Rebranding Me: Learning to Love Myself


Welcome back to Tantalizingly Tasteful! Today I want to talk about something a little bit out of the ordinary for me: body image and self-confidence. Being confident in yourself and your abilities is much easier said than done, but I think the process of getting there is something that needs to be discussed. I want to share my own personal story with you. This is something I’ve been working on for about a year now, and I’m honestly still a little hesitant, but I know that so many people go through the same kind of situation and I want to open up the discussion. So, here goes.

I’ve spent my whole life being overweight. I knew in kindergarten that I was different from the other girls in the class. When I walked, my shorts would ride up my thighs (what has affectionately been known as thwedgie in my family), I couldn’t run as fast on the soccer field, and I couldn’t easily be lifted up. But as a kindergartner, you don’t really understand that having a bit more body fat than the other girls in class is going to make you stand out in a bad way.  I was also one of the only kids in class that wore glasses, and to five-year-old me, that made me “uncool.” I would play a game with my friends in which I would take my glasses off and say “cool Toni,” then put them back on and say “nerdy Toni.” How did I get the impression that a pair of glasses defined who I was?

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A shot from elementary school field day, complete with my classic “thwedgie.”

In elementary school, I was the first of my friends to wear a bra, and it wasn’t because I was the first to hit puberty. And yet, I still didn’t really think anything was too wrong with me. It didn’t really hit me until fourth grade, when a “popular” girl I considered a friend nicknamed me Jell-O. I didn’t understand why she was calling me that, so I was thrilled to think that I had finally made it into the “cool girls” crowd. When I got home that night, I excitedly told my parents about my new nickname, only to have them explain to me that it wasn’t a very great nickname to have. I was incredibly hurt to think that the people that I considered friends saw me that way and, even worse, seemed to be out to make fun of me because of what I weighed. I think about that realization a lot.

effies-wedding
This one’s from my cousin Effie’s wedding. I was 11 and a junior bridesmaid. I had gained weight between the fitting and the actual wedding, so my dress ripped during cocktail hour. I was humiliated.

Fast forward to middle school, when I just continued to gain weight and started growing facial hair due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. At that point, it had become more common knowledge to me that I was the heavier friend, and while my friends really didn’t have anything to say about my “physique,” it was quite evident that I was just different and sometimes had to be left out. I could never share clothes with my friends, I could never eat as much as my friends, I struggled to keep up with them in sports. I had girls pull my bra strap and laugh at me because my bra wasn’t supportive enough for my chest. One of my best friends pointed out to the entire gym class that I was growing a beard. I started to become ashamed of my body, a feeling that I would never wish on anyone. And instead of combating my issues with an improved diet and more exercise, I comforted myself the only way I knew how: food.

bat-mitzvah
A photo of my mother, my youngest brother and I at a bat mitzvah. Clearly I did not know what a bra was.

In high school, I tried to pretend that I was more comfortable with my body. I had accepted that I was just bigger than my friends, but my weight was still a source of contention with my family. My parents have always been super supportive, and when they worried about my weight, it was always for the sake of my health and not my appearance, but it was (and still is) a sore topic for me. My grandmother was notorious for not giving me a second serving of food to keep me from gaining weight. My parents often told me that certain clothes just weren’t meant for my body type. Even my five-year-old cousin told me I was fat. For me, realizing that even my family remarked that I was overweight was heartbreaking. I felt like no one saw me for my personality or interests, but only saw me as the girl who needed to lay off the pasta and hit the gym. This realization brought on a rough time of self-doubt, self-loathing, depression, and self-harm. When I finally got myself out of that slump, I decided I was going to take ownership of who I was and focus on bettering myself and getting healthy, not necessarily skinny. I told my parents that I needed them to support me despite what I looked like or what I decided to wear. I thought this inner transformation would be good for me in so many ways.

Here’s a picture from marching band in ninth grade. I remember loving this picture because I thought my hair looked so long.

But then prom season hit, and two years in a row, no one asked me to be their date. And I couldn’t help but attribute it to the fact that nobody wanted to go with the fat girl. Of course, I was heartbroken, and debated not going to prom both years, but ultimately I went and had a great time. But the idea still remains in my head that no one wants to date me or be friends with me because of my weight.

A picture of me, alone, at senior prom. Luckily I still had a great time.

I had a similar experience at the beginning of college. Before I moved in, I was considering joining a sorority, but at the actual club fair, I noticed that no sorority sisters even considered approaching me. Instead, they were approaching the teeny tiny skinny girls, the girls who were the “populars” that would have made fun of me in elementary and middle school. It was then that I realized that my body weight can sometimes prevent me from achieving everything I would’ve liked to, and it was then that I was inspired to write this post.

This is one of my favorite selfies from freshman year. Before I found my close friends, I would go home every weekend because I felt so out of place.

That was a year ago, during my very first semester of college. I had completely different friends, completely different interests, and a completely different outlook on life. Originally, this post was supposed to be a wake-up call to me and to anyone reading, a cautionary tale that would hopefully teach people that they should keep themselves from getting heavy so they can prevent themselves from getting hurt. Now, I see things very differently.

It’s taken me a long time, but I’m finally getting to the point that I’m realizing I love the person I am. There may be things I want to change and things that I regret doing, but I’ve learned over the years (and especially the last six months) that the only person I need approval, attention, and love from is myself. The only person who can help me is myself. It also helps that the friends I have now like me the way I am, so I’m not forcing myself to be something I’m not.

I wish I could detail how I got myself to this point, but honestly, I think it was just spurred by a sudden realization that if I can’t love myself for who I am, no one else will. I do have some recommendations, though, that I know have helped me feel happier and more confident and empowered.

  1. Read self-help books: Yes, this is corny, but after reading even a few pages of self-help books, I always feel refreshed and inspired. One of my favorites is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, even though I haven’t even finished it yet. I used to read it every night before bed during the spring semester of my freshman year, and it made me feel like I could take on the world just the way I am. Some more on my list of books to read are Yes Please by Amy Poehler and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.

    eat-pray-love
    You can get your copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller for $10.96 at Barnes and Noble.
  2. Work out: I’ve been talking about this up and down for the last six months, but working out has made me feel a million times better about myself. Every time I work out, I go into beast mode, and I feel like I can accomplish anything. Find an exercise routine you love and stick to it. Not only is it good for your body, but it’s also good for your soul.
  3. Listen to pump-up music: I literally have a playlist called “I DESERVE BETTER” that’s filled with songs that make me feel better and remind me that I am worth the work and worth being treated well. It’s filled with some of my favorite songs, like Hair and Shoutout to My Ex by Little Mix, Stronger by Britney Spears, and Down in the Dumps by Walk the Moon. I highly recommend putting together a playlist that makes you feel great about yourself and helps pick you back up when you start to fall.
  4. Get motivational wallpapers: Inspirational phone backgrounds and computer wallpapers are my guilty pleasure. I like to change them every month just to get something a little different. I always find it so inspiring to turn on my phone or laptop and get some sort of pick-me-up.

    This is the wallpaper on my laptop right now and I love turning it on and seeing this.
  5. Don’t take things so personally: I’ve always been a very sensitive person, and I always let people’s reactions to me affect the way I feel about myself and everything around me. Recently, I’ve come to the realization that you don’t always know what other people are going through, so you can’t hold things against them or let them get you down. Like I said, the only person’s validation that matters is yours, so don’t let yourself get down because of a stupid comment someone else said. When I dyed my hair purpley about a year ago, one of my best friends made a comment that if I lay down on the grass, it would look like Barney. His opinion meant a lot to me at the time, and I was upset about it for a while. Since then, I’ve realized that it’s my hair, not his, and if I like the way it looks, I don’t have to really consider his opinion.
  6. Do what you’re passionate about: Doing things that you love to do and are good at are great for a confidence boost. Plus, if you get involved with something you’re passionate about, you can find other people who are passionate about the same thing and you immediately have something to connect over. When I started writing for my school newspaper last semester (even though it was for class credit), I met so many awesome people who were also passionate about journalism. It was really inspiring and motivating for me to get pointers from them and just be surrounded by people who loved to interview people and write just as much as I do.
  7. Journal: One of the best ways to release negativity is to write it down. I find that every time I write down what’s bothering me, I can better recognize what the problem is and then find an appropriate way to deal with it. Also, I can write down all the positives in my life and reread them if I start feeling down. I also love picking pretty journals that inspire me to write and work hard, like this one from Barnes and Noble.

    be-awesome-today-journal
    Be Awesome Today Bound Lined Journal, $9.95 at Barnes and Noble
  8. Find support: The biggest thing that has helped me come to terms with the person that I am has been my religion. I was born and raised Greek Orthodox, but I didn’t really get into learning about my religion until I was 16 and went to Camp St. Paul for the first time. Since then, I’ve become more confident in myself and my abilities because I know that God made me the way I am and only sends me challenges that He knows I can handle. Now, I’m not trying to tell you to start going to church every single day or to convert right this second. All I’m saying is that everyone needs someone or something (healthy!) to bring you back when you start fall. For those of you who are not religious, I’d recommend finding something or someone that always has your back and best interests at heart. I have a handful of really close friends that constantly cheer me on and pick me up when I fall. I’d be nowhere without them. Even my parents are there for me whenever I need them, and I can tell them absolutely anything without them judging me or putting me down. The bottom line is that it feels amazing to know you have people who love and support you all the time and can pick you up if you start doubting yourself.

I hope this post gave you a bit of a look into my life and some inspiration and motivation to start loving yourself completely and entirely. Don’t forget to keep me in the loop as you embark on your journey!!

xx,

Toni
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My 2017 Goals + Tips


I’m all about setting goals for myself, but sometimes, deciding exactly what I want to accomplish can be tough. After two weeks (yes, two full weeks), I’ve finally compiled some New Year’s resolutions that I’d like to share with you, as well as some helpful tips I use to narrow down my thoughts.

My Resolutions

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Above are my resolutions for the new year (which I typed out on Canva, a great site for designing everything from cards to resumes). I chose to organize them by category (more about organization to follow!) and list one way I can go about actually achieving each goal. I think this will help give me a good start and keep me accountable. While there a lot of things I’d like to be able to accomplish this year, these 20 tasks are the things I felt were most important and most attainable. I’ll probably print these out and hang them up on my desk to keep me inspired and remind me what I set out to do.

Tips

Like I said, setting goals can be just as hard as actually achieving them. Here are some pointers on how to successfully set your own 2017 resolutions (and it’s never too late to do it!)

  1. Write them down: Last week I mentioned to my friends that I hadn’t written down my resolutions yet and they all said something along the lines of, “You write them down? That’s smart. Maybe I’d be more successful if I wrote mine down.” I’m not even kidding. I really believe that writing them down holds your more accountable and can inspire you to keep on chugging. Write them down or type them out so that they look nice, then put them somewhere you can see them and be reminded of the things you want to accomplish.
  2. Record your thoughts: I found that I had a lot of visions for myself and things I wanted to change, but no concrete goals to set for myself. So I picked up my journal (for the first time since June… oops) and wrote down all of my thoughts. Five pages later and I had a better idea of exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Take the time to write down your thoughts and desires and watch how clear your goals become. Bonus points if you use a cute journal like this Shoot for the Moon journal!

    journal
    I have this journal and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. I used it to record all my interviews last semester, and it really served me well.
  3. Organize: One way to help make making resolutions easier is to organize them in some way. I like to organize mine by categories that correspond to the different things going on in my life, but I have also seen people organize theirs by priority or even by month. Find a way to organize your goals that will help you to stay inspired and know what you actually need to do.
  4. Limit yourself: I know people usually say the sky’s the limit, but in this case, I’d say limit the number of goals you set for yourself. It can be tempting to set 100 goals, but it’s just impractical. The reason I was able to set 20 goals for myself was because they were relatively small goals that can be accomplished within the scope of my average day. There’s no way, however, that I’d be able to achieve 20 big goals. Limit to yourself to what you are confident you can achieve and apply into your everyday life.
  5. Look it up: Sometimes you’re just out of ideas or can’t find the words to correctly convey what it is you want to accomplish. So what do you do? The same thing you always do: look it up. I love checking Pinterest for resolution inspiration. I literally just type “resolution” into the search bar and so many ideas come up. If you’re stuck, don’t be afraid to do a little research!

    resolutions-inspiration
    Here’s some inspiration I found on Pinterest, posted by Easy College Coupons!
  6. Set achievable and measurable goals: My last tip for you is to set goals you are confident you have the ability to achieve and can easily measure your progress with. When I was writing my own resolutions, I was very tempted to write something like “go on a weekend trip,” but I didn’t because I’m not sure if that will be achievable for me when it comes down to time and money. It can still be something I’d like to do, but not necessarily something that I’m recording as a New Year’s resolution. The same goes for something like “lose weight,” but more so because it’s not quantifiable. Losing one pound still counts as losing weight, but that definitely would not be my goal. Even saying something like “lose 50 pounds” might be unrealistic because you can’t be sure that’s achievable. My recommendation would be to set smaller, achievable, quantifiable goals like “work out x times a week” or “record food intake” that are easier to accomplish and can still lead you to the outcome you desire.

I hope that my New Year’s resolutions and tips helped inspire you to chase your goals and dreams this year. I’m looking forward to another year of sharing my life with all of my Tasters. Wishing you all your best year yet, full of love, laughter, and happiness!

xx,

Toni

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Winter Style: Holiday Outfits #1 +#2


It’s holiday party season, which means it’s time for red everything, velvet dresses, high heels, and tons of tinsel. Stay tuned for some cool outfit ideas!

Holiday Outfit Inspiration #1: Red Peplum Top

I love wearing red to holiday parties. I think it’s such a great, festive color. So a red peplum top is a great central piece for this outfit. Peplum tops help whittle your waist and create and hourglass figure. Pair with a pair of black leather or coated pants and a patterned sports jacket for a cool-girl kind of look and a bit of shine. Finish off the look with black stilettos with red accents, a black bag with some silver hardware and a solid silver choker to polish the entire outfit.

outfit-1

Peplum Top: Time and Lace Wine Red Lace Peplum Top, $18.50 at Lulu’s

Choker: O-Ring Snake Chain Coker in Silver, $3.90 at Forever 21

Pants: Moto Babe Coated Leggings, $15.87 at Go Jane

Shoes: C Label Napoli-28 in Black, $32.99 at 6pm

Purse: Ida Clutch by Carlos Santana, $29.99 at TJ Maxx

Jacket: Jealous Tomato Floral Raglan Scuba Bomber Jacket, $29.99 at Century 21

Holiday Outfit Inspiration #2: Denim Mini Skirt

Another look I really love is the denim mini skirt. Though people may traditionally associate denim skirts with springtime, I happen to love a denim skirt paired with a long coat and long sleeves for the winter. This look is definitely more casual and fun, so it would be great for a small New Years gathering. I’d start with a straight denim skirt, paired with an athletic-looking all-black long sleeve shirt. Pair this with sneakers (bonus style points if they have a platform!) and layered necklaces for a street-style vibe. Top with a brightly colored peacoat, flashy clutch and ultra-cool minimalistic digital watch and voila! You’ve got an effortlessly cool holiday look!

outfit-2

Denim Mini Skirt: BDG Pencil Denim Mini Skirt, $59.00 at Urban Outfitters 

Top: Varsity Stripe Ponte Crop Top, $15.00 at Charlotte Russe

Peacoat: Anne Klein Double-Breasted Peacoat in Cobalt, $89.99 at Macy’s

Necklaces: Black Tattoo Choker with Layered Arrow and Turquoise Spike Pendant Necklaces Set of 3, $5.00 at Icing

Purse: Colorful Embroidered Clutch in Black, $33.60 at UrbanOG

Sneakers: Superga Acot Linea Sneaker, $79.95 at Nordstrom

Watch: White Digital Activity Tracker Watch in White, $9.99 at Rue 21

I hope these holiday outfit inspirations gave you some ideas on how to amp up your style game for this holiday season! Hope your holidays are wonderful and full of happiness, love, laughter, and great fashion!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

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Looking Back at the Fall 2016 Semester


After a three-week hiatus, I am happy to say that finals are finally done and I am finally back in action. Now, I’m all yours. At least for the next month or so.

On Friday, I moved out of my dorm room and back into my bedroom. It’s weird not having my friends in the room right next door or a (half-service) Dunkin Donuts a few feet outside my window, but I’m looking forward to getting a chance to clear my mind and get my life back in some semblance order. Plus, I’ll finally get some time to catch up with my friends from high school.

I learned some really great things this year, academically and professionally speaking. Between my (favorite) journalism writing and reporting class and my internship at the school paper, the Statesman, I feel like I’m really starting to hone in on my reporting skills. I love going out and getting to hear people’s stories. I was fortunate enough to serve as a Teaching Assistant for an Honors 101: Introduction to Stony Brook class and it helped me realize how much I love working in a classroom setting. I even got the incredible opportunity to assist a visiting journalist with research for a biography she’s been writing. It really was an incredible (and incredibly busy) semester.

But academics and work aren’t everything this world has to offer. In honor of the end of the Fall 2016 semester, the first semester of my sophomore year, I’d like to share some reflections and inner musings I’ve accumulated from August to now.

  1. It’s never too late to make friends: I really thought that after my freshman year, the friends I had would stay my friends and that there would be no changes. Though my core group has stayed the same, I’m really happy that I’ve met and gotten to know some super awesome people over the last few months. I’m excited to see how our friendships grow as we get deeper into the journalism program and the Honors College.
  2. Or to find a new hobby: College really is the perfect time to find out what you’re interested in and good at. I’ve always been interested in photography, but never actually learned the necessary skills. I finally took a photo class this semester (two, technically, if you count my journalism multimedia course), and I feel like I found something I love and might actually be good at. I love having the ability to capture beautiful moments. My new-found love led to plenty of impromptu photo shoots and thousands of pictures over the semester. The moral of the story is that if you’re interested in learning something new or picking up a new hobby, it’s worth putting in the work to learn the new skill and make it a part of your life, no matter how late in the game you or others might think it is.

    15289158_1092547074198327_2818345758278471916_o
    Nature pictures are some of my favorites to take. This was taken at the High Line in Manhattan.
  3. Being involved is great: Like I said, this was a busy semester. I interned at the school paper, served as a teaching assistant, assisted with research for a biography, served on the School of Journalism Advisory Board, and served as the treasurer of the Greek and Cypriot Student Association. I’ve learned that it’s the activities you take part in outside of the classroom that make the college experience what it is. If I didn’t have these things to participate in or work on, I would be so bored and un-busy. I love being busy (even if I do complain about it in the moment.) Really, I’m not myself unless I’m busy and running around like a maniac. I thrive in chaos. Plus, being involved in things you’re passionate about helps you meet new people and make essential connections. Being involved in university activities is a great way to distract yourself from the mundane every day of the college experience while still being productive.
  4. You can’t let your mental state control your life: I am way too guilty of this. If I start feeling down, I’ll let the mood take over my life entirely. I won’t get out of bed, I won’t clean my room, I won’t eat, I won’t hang out with my friends, etc. It’s an awful downward spiral. I’m beginning to learn that sometimes you have to force yourself to stay positive and be motivated even if you’re feeling exactly the opposite. Sometimes the only way to get things done and get yourself out of the slump is to not let yourself give into your negative mood. This is definitely something I need to work on in 2017.

    Just found this on Pinterest… Pinterest always has exactly what you need when you need it!
  5. Only buy as much produce as you will actually use: Not as deep as usual, but still important. Long story short, I tried to eat healthier this semester, and in the process, brought way too much produce (sorry, Mom and Dad.) I seriously wish I had bought less. Just trust me and learn from my mistake. It’s much better to have to buy more than waste food.
  6. It’s okay to play Just Dance by yourself: It’s okay to do anything by yourself, really. Even though people thought there was something wrong with me when they walked past my dorm room door and I was dancing by myself, it was kind of fun. So was going to the campus art gallery right now. And eating dinner by myself. And going to the gym. I think there’s something really powerful in doing things alone. It’s easy to fall into the idea that you have to do things in groups or else you’ll be judged, but I think this makes it a lot harder for us to get to know ourselves as individuals. Seriously, treat yourself to some time alone and get to know what you’re into and what your inner thoughts are telling you. We spend so much time working on our relationships with other people, so why can’t we spend some time on our relationships with ourselves?

    14563498_1060633717389663_4499886652696267146_n
    I took this when I went to an art exhibit by the Guerrilla Girls on campus… alone. And I have to say, it was oddly refreshing to walk around the gallery by myself. No pressure, no distractions. Just art.
  7. Writing is hard but worth it: I’ve always loved writing, but sometimes getting words on paper is easier said (or thought) than done. This semester, I became a lot more serious about and devoted to blogging, and also participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November, in which you “win” if you write a novel of 50,000 words or more. (I didn’t win, in case you were wondering, but I’m still proud of my progress!) Writing well is definitely a challenge. It can be hard to make characters come to life or convey the right feeling. It can be even harder when you’re inspired and motivated to write but you don’t have the time to do it. Even writing my stories for the Statesman and my reporting class was challenging, especially because I wanted everything to be perfect. This semester, I really learned that even though the process can be challenging, writing stories and blog posts is worth it, because it’s something I love. Being able to record my thoughts and communicate stories through the written word is one of my favorite parts of this life, and one of the biggest parts of who I am. So yeah, in a nutshell, even though it is definitely a challenge, sometimes the most challenging things are also the most valuable and enjoyable.
  8. I’ve got things to work on: Yes, this one is totally obvious. Everyone has things they need to work on, but I think this semester really helped me narrow down a couple of things that are at the top of the list. I’m beginning to understand that I can’t control anyone or anything except myself, and I can’t always fix other people’s issues. I’ve realized that I have a tendency to romanticize and idealize situations and forget the bad things when the good things come along, but I can’t keep returning to situations that hurt me. Also, relationships go two ways, and I can try over and over again to fix things, but if the other person isn’t doing their share, it’s not worth it. Basically, I’ve learned that I need to work on seeing my own value, that I’m not someone to be taken advantage of just because I care so much about other people, and that I don’t need to change myself in order to fit other people’s ideas of what I should be. I am who I am and I should be proud of and happy with that. I need to learn that it’s okay to put myself and my opinion first sometimes. Now I just need to actually figure out how to work on these things…
  9. Experiences>stress any day: I’d rather make memories than stress out over classes any day. Ten, twenty years from now, I’m going to remember the stupidly fun things I did with my friends, not the extra hour of studying I could’ve gotten. I’m not even going to lie, I cut class once this semester to go on an adventure at a local park and preserve with my friend Alyssa. Was it the best idea for my education or grade? No, probably not. But Alyssa really wanted to go and it was beautiful out. And you know what? I don’t regret it. Just like I don’t regret getting midnight bagels. Or midnight McDonald’s. Spontaneous adventures with my friends are the highlight of my life. Grades, classes, and work aren’t everything, guys. Don’t let society make you forget that. Live a little. Do what you love.

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    Here’s a picture I took of Alyssa when we went on our adventure. Not pictured: Alyssa bonding with the geese. Honestly, this is one of my favorite memories of the semester.

With Fall semester finally over and Spring semester so close, I’m glad I had these thoughts now and left room for more improvement come January. I’ve got great things to look forward to next semester too, including the next phase of the journalism program, another photo class, more Greek dancing (finally!), and more! In the meantime, I’m taking an online business class over the winter break just to get some credits out of the way. I hope you stay tuned for more life reflections and upcoming holiday and New Year posts! Happy holidays, Tasters!

xx,

Toni

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Winter Style: Valentine’s Day Look #2: Red Patterned Pants


Welcome back to Tantalizingly Tasteful! We’re just around the corner from Valentine’s Day, so I’ve been working on a series of outfit inspiration for you guys. You can check out my first idea here, but in the meantime, here is a second idea! Hope you guys enjoy!

Red Patterned Pants

Red is such an intense color, and it’s especially great on Valentine’s Day. Be bold and daring by wearing it in a surprising way by rocking red patterned pants. They’ll draw attention to killer legs and add some punch to your outfit. Stick to a tight silhouette to balance out the rest of your outfit.

AX Paris floral pants
Women’s Long Floral Printed Red Trousers, $24.99 at AX Paris
lumber jane leggings go jane
Lumber Jane Patterned Leggings, $8.52 at Go Jane

White and Black Graphic Tank

White and black go great with red. They make the red stand out and since they’re neutral, match with any other color you may add to your outfit. I chose graphics that relate to Valentine’s Day to keep the outfit festive. I would suggest that the shirt itself should be white and the graphics should be white so that the tank stands out under the blazer (more details below.)

love at first pinch top modcloth
Love at First Pinch Top, $29.99 at Modcloth
wander with love tank Forever 21
Wander With Love Tank, $15.90 at Forever 21

Black Fitted Blazer

A black blazer can make an outfit look totally polished, but when paired with red pants and a graphic tank, it can make you look totally urban cool. Make sure the blazer fits well and isn’t too baggy so that you look put together and not like you’re swimming in your clothes.

7th avenue black blazer New York and Company
7th Avenue Design Studio One-Button Jacket – Signature Fit – Double Stretch, $69.95 at New York and Company
bar III black blazer Macy's.png
Bar III Rouched Sleeve Cropped Blazer in Black, $47.99 at Macy’s

Shoes

I would pair this outfit either with a leathery, shiny black flat, like a loafer, or a strappy black heel. Both will add to the cool feel of the outfit and play up the red pants.

slick fix loafer modcloth
Slick Fix Loafer in Black, $39.99 at Modcloth
joy and mario lisa slip on DSW.png
Joy & Mario Lisa Slip-On in Black, $89.95 at DSW
michele black lace-up heels Lulus
Michele Black Lace-Up Heels, $36.00 at Lulu’s
buckled strappy gladiator chunky platform heel urbanog
Buckled Strappy Gladiator Chunky Platform Heel, $102.90 at Urbanog

Accessories

I see this outfit with a really slick and precise updo, like a cool topknot, so I would pair this with a pair of gold drop earrings and an eye-catching clutch. A cool pair of sunglasses would definitely help amp up the cool factor, but of course they’re only necessary if the sun is actually out! Keeping the rest of your accessories minimal will allow this super cool look to speak for itself.

merritt triangle drop earrings Francescas
Merritt Triangle Drop Earrings, $12.00 at Francesca’s
geo du jour cutout taupe clutch Lulus
Geo du Jour Taupe Clutch, $30.00 at Lulu’s
spitfire sunglasses Forever 21
Spitfire PR55 Sunglasses, $39.00 at Forever 21

Now I’d like your feedback! I hope this post gave you some help deciding what to wear for Valentine’s Day! What did you think of this outfit? Do you have any ideas about how you’d execute an outfit like this? What are you planning on wearing for Valentine’s Day, and what are your plans? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email totantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! You can also follow my brand new Facebook page, Tantalizingly Tasteful! Don’t forget to follow my Tumblr,tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account,http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram,@tantalizinglytasteful! Love you guys, thanks for reading!!! xx

 

Winter Style: Valentine’s Day Look #1: Pink Midi Skirt


Hi everyone, welcome back to Tantalizingly Tasteful! Valentine’s Day is just a week away, so I figured it was time to get started on some outfit inspiration. Whether you’re going out on a date, hitting up a party, or just heading out with your girls, I hope you find some inspiration in my ideas, and that you have a great Valentine’s Day!

Pink Midi Skirt

I always wear some shade or red or pink on Valentine’s Day, so I thought I’d center this look around a pink mini skirt with a high waist. There are so many different silhouettes to choose from, so pick one that flatters your body and you feel most comfortable in.

pink midi skirt f21
Contemporary Pleated A-Line Skirt in Blush, $19.90 at Forever 21
pink midi skirt urbanog
Peplum Hem Skirt in Light Pink, $15.60 at Urbanog

Cropped Graphic Tee

To keep your look casual and cool, pair your skirt with a cropped (or knotted) graphic tee. Something in a light neutral color like white or grey with heart or love graphics is great for Valentine’s Day. The cropped top will whittle your waist, and a cool knot used to shorten longer shirts and make them appear cropped will draw even more attention to your smallest section and add some instant street-cred. And don’t be afraid to get some red in there! Pale pink and red, contrary to popular belief, can look super cute together!

california love long sleeve raglan tee tillys
Billabong Cali Love Womens Raglan Tee in Maroon, $17.48 at Tilly’s
make your mark crop top go jane
Make Your Mark Crop Top, $11.22 at Go Jane

 

Shoes:

Depending on the look you want to have, I would pair this outfit either with flats, or a chunky heeled or wedged bootie. A flat with a standout color like maroon or a cool, woven texture adds interest to your outfit. Just make sure your colors don’t clash! As far as heels go, wearing a bootie lets you play up the length of the midi skirt while also giving you a little bit of height. Stick to something chunky or something with a wedge so that you feel comfortable and still look casual cool.

maroon keds modcloth
Prep by Step Sneaker, $44.99 at Modcloth
vince camuto bimmy zappos
Vince Camuto Bimmy in Silver, $98.00 at Zappos
citywide open spaces bootie modcloth
Citywide Open Spaces Bootie, $54.99 at Modcloth
mia raphaella wedge bootie
Mia Raphaella Wedge Bootie in Cognac, $59.95 at DSW

Accessories:

I picture this look with a messy-chic ponytail and headband combo, with some eye catching earrings. I would pair it with a cute, fringed long strap bag and some cute bracelets. To finish it off and keep my toes warm, I would add some tall socks and scrunch them down so they’re just above my shoes.

floral maiden wrap headband rue 21
Forest Maiden Wrap Headband, $5.99 at Rue 21
dogeared sterling silver flat heart earrings bloomingdales
Dogeared Sterling Silver Flat Heart Earrings, $38.00 Bloomingdale’s
making the rounds olive green suede clutch lulus
Making the Rounds Olive Green Suede Clutch, $19.00 at Lulu’s
antique silver and gold diamond bandle bracelets set of 4 icing
Antique Silver and Gold Diamond Bangle Bracelets Set of 4, $5.00 at Icing
gold and silver watch target
Women’s Expansion Band Watch – Two-Tone Silver with Gold Accents – Carriage by Timex, $18.39 at Target
ridge thigh high socks pink ice
Ridge Thigh High Socks, $7.99 at Pink Ice

Now I’d like your feedback! I hope this post gave you some help deciding what to wear for Valentine’s Day! What did you think of this outfit? Do you have any ideas about how you’d execute an outfit like this? What are you planning on wearing for Valentine’s Day, and what are your plans? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! You can also follow my brand new Facebook page, Tantalizingly Tasteful! Don’t forget to follow my Tumblr,tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account,http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram,@tantalizinglytasteful! Love you guys, thanks for reading!!! xx

 

 

#OOTD December 31, 2015 + My 2016 Style Inspirations



Happy New Year, Tasters!! I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and are having a great beginning of the year. Don’t give up on your resolutions just yet! Here’s the outfit that I wore for New Years at a house party, hope you all enjoy!

#OOTD

img_3457
I love ripped jeans and flannels, so for me, there was no better way to end 2015 and begin 2016!! Shoutout to Emily for taking this shot! Faux leather peplum top: Forever 21+; Flannel button down: Mossimo Supply Co. at Target; Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters; Booties: Steve Madden; Purse: Forever 21
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Torie and I are always taking selfies!
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A Polaroid shot of some of my friends and I! From left to right: (top) Dan, Grant, Emily and Max; (bottom) Arianna, Sarah, Lauren, Me and Amanda
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My last selfie of 2015 with my best friends!! From left to right: (top) Grant and Dan; (bottom) Emily, Me and Lauren

Where You Can Get It

ootd 12.31.15 where you can get it
Thread & Supply Black & White Hooded Flannel – $27.99 at Zumiez; Faux Leather Peplum Cami – $17.90 at Forever 21; Shred Mid-Rise Straight Jeans – $47.99 at Pink Ice; Faux Leather Cross Body Bag in Black – $10.99 at Rainbow; Zigi Soho Kourtlan Bootie in Burgundy – $49.95 at DSW

My 2016 Style Inspirations

Even though the year has really just begun, I can think of a few ever-trendy and just overall cool celebrities that definitely slayed in 2015, and will without a doubt continue to shine in the new year. Here are some fabulous women who will be influencing my style this year!

  1. Khloe Kardashian: Khloe has to be one of my favorite celeb style and fitness icons. I admire her confidence and the way that she (rightfully) shows off the body and curves that she has worked for. And, to top it all off, she looks good on the red carpet and at the gym! Props to her for making herself a priority despite her crazy year! What I’m Stealing from Her: Her confidence to rock her curves and her super cute workout attire (not to mention her dedication to looking and feeling fab)!
    khloe kardashian gym outfit
    Khloe leaving the gym in stylish pants and trendy shades on December 26, 2015 (image via Just Jared)

    khloe kardashian every day outfit
    Khloe flaunting her figure while out and about in July (image via Folasworld)
  2. Zendaya: Zendaya has drawn a lot of positive attention to herself this past year, especially as a strong proponent of being your beautiful, natural self. I admire her confidence in herself and her strong ideas about what truly makes a person beautiful, as well as her trendy and age-appropriate outfits. What I’m Stealing from Her: Her trendy and fun, yet still mature and powerful, vibe.
    zendaya street fashion 1
    Zendaya slaying denim on denim in July (image via Favim)

    zendaya street fashion 2
    Zendaya exemplifying sophistication and confidence in August (Image via Elle.com)
  3. Selena Gomez: Selena Gomez is one celebrity that I feel like I’ve grown up with, since I always watched her on the Disney Channel. I love how in recent years she has embraced her maturity and begun to experiment with different, more varied styles, earning her the title of “style chameleon.” What I’m Stealing from Her: The confidence and adventure to try out (and hopefully rock!) a variety of styles and looks.
    selena gomez street fashion 1
    Selena mixing prints like a pro in August (Image via Fancy Temple)

    selena gomez street fashion 2
    Only Selena could make pajamas look glamorous, September 2015 (Image via People Style Watch)
  4. Nicki Minaj: Nicki is another Hollywood celeb with crazy curves! I love how Nicki uses her curves to her advantage and always plays them up. She has killer confidence and a sense of fashion-y adventure. What I’m Stealing from Her: Her confidence to wear ensembles that flatter her body, especially in bright colors or unconventional prints and fabrics.
    nicki minaj streetwear 2015
    Nicki showing off her killer curves in a casual yet trendy outfit (Image via Pinterest)

    nicki minaj nyfw 2015 style
    Nicki flaunting her bold style and curves at New York Fashion Week in September (Image via Capital FM)                       
  5. Vanessa Hudgens: I have always admired Vanessa’s effortless, boho-edgy chic aura, especially the way she accessorizes. She always has the coolest jewelry and an easy-going and confident vibe. What I’m Stealing from Her: Her ability to accessorize and pile on rings and bracelets, something that I have an obsession with but can’t pull of as effortlessly or as fashionably!
    vanessa hudgens street style 2015 1
    Vanessa looking effortless on the streets of New York City in May (Image via Daily Mail)
    vanessa hudgens street style 2015 2
    Vanessa still looking effortlessly cool and perfect while walking her dog in April (Image via Reveal)

     

Now I’d like your feedback! I hope this post gave to a little bit of a peek into my life and gave you some outfit and lifestyle inspiration! What did you think of my outfit? Do you have any ideas about how you’d execute an outfit like this? What did you think of my style inspirations? Who are your inspirations this year? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! You can also follow my brand new Facebook page, Tantalizingly Tasteful! Don’t forget to follow my Tumblr,tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account,http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram, @tantalizinglytasteful! Love you guys, thanks for reading!!! xx