I am very much a midi dress/skirt enthusiast. They very much embody the classy and feminine style aesthetic that I love. Plus, they are so versatile, you can wear them to work, church, or a night out. Since I wore this look to church, I paired the dress with a blazer, but I can easily take off the blazer, add higher heels and bam! I'm ready for a night out on the town.
Today I'm excited to feature Shanequa and her blog, Fashion Pad. Learn more about Shanequa and her fab style below:
Tell us about yourself, who is Shanequa?
I am a child of God. I love him and am so thankful for the full and happy life that I've experienced so far. I am a family person and a loyal friend. I've been blessed to have a wonderful group of individuals in my life and they are so supportive....and irritating, lol. I am a clinical pharmacist, a Zumba fitness instructor, and I volunteer with various community groups.
What inspired you to start a blog?
Initially, I started my blog to curb my spending habits. It worked for a brief time, lol. Afterwards, it became a platform for me to interact with my readers and showcase my new wardrobe additions, personal style, and other events.
Do you have any New Year style resolutions?
Absolutely; my goal is to shop my closet! I am also going to participate with my church in a spending fast for Lent. My shopping is ridiculous. I have to be more disciplined and enjoy the garments I have now. The poor items hardly see the light of day because it takes so long to get to rock them.
Who are your style icons?
Michelle Obama, Princess Dianna - glamorous dolls
Rihanna, Miraslova Duma - edgy/fashion forward divas
I appreciate this opportunity to share my style with this community of amazing fashionistas. Thank you kindly :-)
I first wrote this post for my previous blog in 2011. I decided to share in here today, because self-love is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to ourselves. It's a journey we all NEED to take to reach our full God-given potential and one that I encourage you to take, don't wait until tomorrow to start, begin today! I hope you enjoy!
Some people seem to know who they at a young age, some people seem very confident early on....
I use to envy those people, because I was not one of them.
I clearly remember being at a party in college, scanning the room and feeling inadequate. Looking at my smiling face, you wouldn't know that inside I felt insecure. Why was my body this way ? My hair? Why did I talk this way? Why wasn't I more outgoing? more relaxed? more...? Why did I feel so different from everyone else?
"You were born an original. Don’t become a copy "
These thoughts I had in the middle of the party are only a small glimpse into the thoughts that were my closest confidants each and everyday. Sadly, most of the times, I felt inadequate. No matter what my mother, friends, and family members said, deep down I just did not believe I measured up. This view of myself affected the way I interacted with others, because I had this nagging fear that they too would realize I was not good enough. As self-destructive as I knew these thoughts were, I did not know how to change them. I felt stuck, and I struggled. I had so many questions, I really wanted to learn how to love myself, but I didn't know how.....
As I asked these questions of myself, I started discovering answers. I discovered the power of your thoughts and words, and so I began reading and researching information about positive thinking and positive self-image. Through my research, I discovered that the negative thoughts I harbored, shaped the way I viewed myself. This was enlightening, but scary. No wonder I often felt the way I did, my thoughts about myself stunk! I started to counter those negative thoughts with positive ones. Each time I thought something negative, I replaced it with a positive thought. I also began to be more careful about the things I said about myself. Words are incredibly powerful, and I wanted to make sure that the words following "I am..." demonstrated self-love. Additionally, I started journal(ing), praying and inundating myself with positive messages. I began a practice where I would look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I was beautiful, worthy and lovable just as I am. I also ended relationships that did not serve my new found self-development. At first it was difficult, there were days that I slipped back into my old stinking thinking (old habits are hard to break); but I pressed on. I decided I was going to fight for me in a way that no one else could.
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are"
Slowly but surely, my concept of myself began to change. I don't remember exactly when I noticed the changes, but I began to change. I started owning my voice and expressing myself, I started to see value in my personality and my character, and I saw beauty when I looked in the mirror. My relationships with others started to change. I pursued quality over quantity and my standards changed - the bars became a lot higher.
"A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down."
More importantly, I found comfort in my relationship with God as I started to get closer to Him. As a Christian, I found comfort in the Bible. I realized that I was "fearfully and wonderfully" made by my Creator in His image. He who knew me before I was even born, He who sent His Son to die for me, He who loved me unconditionally, gave me strength.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Today, I am happy with the woman I have become. In essence, I fought to become her. I can honestly report that I love me. The differences I did not like before, are the things I love about myself. I embrace who I am, because it is who God created me to be, and she's fabulous!!! Quite often, people tell me I seem very sure of who I am. I usually chuckle, because it is a far cry from how I was a few short years ago.
"But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous "
Each of us bring a special gift to the world, and we deny the world that gift when we aren't true to ourselves. I cannot stress this enough, please be you. Be truly you! Please do not rob the world of your unique and special gift. If you get the urge to compare yourself to others, Stop! Please stop right there, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made just as you are. You are deserving of love, just as you are. If you didn't know if before, please start believing it now. I think my struggle with self-acceptance has made me particularly fond of those I deem genuine. If anything, it's what I find most attractive in a man. A man who is truly himself is a winner in my eyes.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”
It's funny, in my high school yearbook, I chose the quote "Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else." I graduated from high school over 10 years ago and that quote cannot be more true.
While watching Episode Two of Being Mary Jane (aren't you already hooked?!), I could not help but notice Mary Jane's fabulous two-toned trench coat that she wore in the opening scene. It's the perfect classic spring trench with a modern twist - the color blocking detail. I looked and found a similar version, Sam Edelman's Mixed Media Trench Coat:
It's the New Year, and this means that for many people it is the start of a journey to being fit and fabulous. A few months ago, I started my own personal fitness journey, and it's one of the most life-enhancing decisions I made last year. Achieving your fitness goals is a journey, there are ups and downs, and some days you may feel discouraged, so I created this video to encourage you on your journey. Know that you can do it! I hope you enjoy!!!