Touché Digital Age

Touché Digital Age

Hey there! Let’s just jump in, shall we? Recently, I had the bad luck of my phone breaking and I had to wait for a replacement. What that led to was a two week hiatus that started off VERY rough, but ended up providing me more self-awareness I didn’t know I needed.

I think we all know that the digital age we are in right now is very impactful. We are constantly depending on technology and more so, our phones. We keep our memories, messages, and so much more on a small device that fits right into our hands. In the beginning of the year, I tried following the trend and writing about my vision for 2019. You can read it here, but spoiler, I did not do so well. I will give myself a solid 2.5/5…awkward. Either way, one of my goals was completely about my use of technology and using the screen time feature on my phone.

Long story short, two weeks without my phone was a struggle. In the beginning of the hiatus, I used my laptop to constantly still be on social media. I thought I was missing out on so much and I hated not being able to check on my accounts. I genuinely thought this would completely derail the work I put into the blog.

Half way through I reflected on a recent coffee date I had with two amazing women. On this coffee date, I opened up about the stress of writing and how I fall out of love with ideas and how I don’t use my time properly. I took this memory and just started writing in my journal. By day 5/6, I would check my accounts, but not nearly as often, especially since I had work to push me through the day.

I thought it was so crazy that I was actually aware of my change in mood without a phone. I started off as antsy and annoyed, then upset that I may be missing out on something, to at terms with the situation, to finally realizing the blessing in disguise this was. It’s not often that you can be completely disengaged and not have people have an easy way to reach you. Although I can see the convenience, I now also see the benefits or as I have been saying… I think I finally understand Ed Sheeran’s madness. Now don’t get me wrong, by the end of the two weeks, I was extremely happy to have my phone back, but I definitely can feel the difference and recognize the difference.

So, here are a few things I learned about myself:

  1. I’m awful at directions. I rely on Google Maps constantly, so having to drive places without it truly made me use my memory and take time to plan ahead.
  2. Holy moly, people aren’t kidding about phones being glued to your hand. While out, I was the only friend phoneless and it was obvious as everyone was looking down. There would be times the space got quite and I don’t think anyone noticed except for me.
  3. I didn’t miss anything life changing. I was so worried I was missing out on something exciting and important and I didn’t. This made me realize that limiting my time going forward on these apps wouldn’t hurt and is honestly needed.
  4. I have a lot of time in my day and without my phone, I was honestly more productive. I indulged in Netflix; don’t get me wrong, but I also crossed things off my list that have been on there for MONTHS. I got wedding things done, worked out, and took time to write and read.
  5. I am so much more excited for my content. I don’t know the last time I had time to actually write; paper and pen. By doing so, I was able to outline so many things I want to write about as well as making lists of entrepreneurs to reach out to for CLT BTS. For two weeks I stopped comparing my content to others and it was really refreshing.

At the end of the day, I’m not a consistent blogger and I’ll own that. What you can expect of me though, is that the things that I write are all topics I feel inspired by, that I’m excited about, and that I enjoy. I am 100% in on each post that I publish.

So, do you ever just take a few days off from your phone. Put it down, maybe on silent or do not disturb? I challenge you to do so. I think I’ll try doing it again around the holidays to make sure I’m as present as possible.

What started off as a simple inconvenience lead me to a much needed time of reflection before the end of the year. What’s something you wish to take time to do before 2019 is done?

So as I started this post off, I’ll tip my hat to this digital age and say touché. You really have changed the world we live in. Now it’s up to us to decide how we use it and how much importance we put on it.

xx Alicia

Getting To Geraghty: My Bridesmaid Proposals

Getting To Geraghty: My Bridesmaid Proposals

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today is 10 months from our wedding and is also just a week after I asked all my bridesmaids and maid of honor to stand by me on my special day.

The rule of thumb is to ask them 8 months to a year before the wedding so I figured right in the middle worked perfectly; especially as some are not here in NC. As I was preparing to ask them, I figured a call would honestly do. Then I really started thinking about everything they’re about to commit to… everything that I committed to at some point as a bridesmaid. The travel, cost, time, and patience is no joke, so I wanted to treat them and make them feel as special as possible!

Since I had to ship a few of these boxes, I wanted to keep the “breakables” to a minimum as well as not sending anything liquid or that could melt in transit, so I kept it as feasible- and as cute- as possible. Some of the items I made with my Cricut and some things I purchased.

You’ll notice that I did end up blacking out a few details on my card, but in time I will share that with you guys. I didn’t necessarily pick a theme for the boxes, but I just wanted it to feel beachy and fun. With everything I included, I’ll let you know where I got everything from below!

Box from Michael’s | Filler from Michael’s | Straw from TJ Maxx | Glass from Target – Created the etching myself| Stadium Cups from Amazon- Created the vinyl myself | All snacks from Target | Bubble wrap for shipping & tissue paper from Office Max | Cards & Envelopes from Michael’s | Notepad from Target | Daily Planner from Hadley Designs

All the informational papers were cut with my Cricut and printed at home on nice cardstock that I purchased. I made a card for my colors, attire & accommodations, information about our day and the days leading up to the wedding, as well as a cute note about being a bridesmaid! Although this seems like a lot information right off the bat, I just wanted to ensure they had all the information they needed right away; especially since I have some out of state.

So if you’re been in a bridal party, what’s been your favorite gift or gifts you’ve received? Let me know, as I can always use ideas! Thank you for stopping by for another Wedding Wednesday post in the “Getting to Geraghty” series. I’ll see you next time!

xx Alicia

25 Things I’ve Learned As I Turn 25

25 Things I’ve Learned As I Turn 25

I feel as though this is a pretty typical post you see for big milestone birthdays. I wanted to put a bit of a spin on it and let you guys into how my last 24 years have shaped and molded me into what’s about to be one of the best years of my life! I have a lot to look forward to this 25th year, so it’s been extremely refreshing to look back and reflect on how far I’ve already come.

In the past 24 years, I have graduated college; technically not high school- long story, gotten a big girl job, moved states, have lived overseas, gotten a dog, purchased a house, started a blog, and have gotten engaged!

Then there are the struggles. I have lost those that I have loved, I have left a job, I have had major surgery, been rejected, had my heartbroken, and have struggled with myself.

Good or bad, I’m so grateful I opened my eyes on my 25th birthday, ready to take on another year. So without further a-do, let’s jump into it!

  1. Self-love and self- awareness is a journey. You get better and better at it, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
  2. Self-confidence does not equal self-love. I said it. I find myself still battling my confidence in other places in my life other than the love of myself.
  3. Some people just don’t love, respect, and/or support you as you do for them. That’s okay. Recognize it, evaluate the relationship you have with them and figure out whether it’s a healthy relationship to keep in your life.
  4. Emotions are not a weakness. Learn to communicate your emotions, but understand that being “more emotional” doesn’t make your emotions less valid.
  5. As you grow, some people will always see you for the person you were. Those people are probably not in your life anymore…you know who you are. You don’t need to prove you’ve grown. Your actions will speak for you.
  6. TREASURE YOUR ALONE TIME. Being comfortable being alone only makes you stronger when you’re with others. It keeps you balanced.
  7. Just do it. Life is too short. If you want to travel, find a way. Want to start a new hobby, try it.
  8. Spend time on what brings you joy.
  9. De-clutter your life and refocus on people, goals, dreams, and versions of yourself you want to work on. Anything that doesn’t serve that purpose, let go.
  10. Fail, fail again, and then try again until you succeed. Success comes from failure. The failure to try does not bring you success.
  11. Let your mom continue to teach you…especially when you think you can sew, but can’t.
  12. There’s not one way to do something. Honestly, don’t get stuck in your ways and realize everyone has their way of doing something.
  13. Everyone falls on the dance floor at least once in their life and everyone dances on a table at some point or another.
  14. Everyone has something to contribute and something to teach you. Listen up!
  15. Just because you’re right does not make you smart. Be smart and know when to be right.
  16. Stop pacing your life to those around you. Do things in your own time.
  17. Dear college, you were the best and worst.
  18. Family isn’t always a title given to those that are blood related.
  19. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN. Skincare before makeup 100%.
  20. Making friends as an adult is so much harder.
  21. Take time and truly learn to have a healthy relationship with money. Financial independence is where real adulthood kicks in.
  22. In general, take care of yourself. Seriously, go to your annuals and don’t skip the dentist; although I’m not a fan. Just take care of your body.
  23. Get off your phone, be present.
  24. Your life isn’t over when you make a mistake. You’re alive right? Okay then, clean slate, keep living.
  25. Seriously- call out people commenting on someone’s body. It’s not cool. You don’t know someone’s story so zip the lips.

Bonus 26- Drink the beer, eat Chick-fil-A, and just be content with the fact that all your clothes will always be covered in dog hair.

Well that’s all folks. What would you tell your younger self? Let me know!

As always, thank you for stopping by.

xx Alicia

My Vision For 2019

My Vision For 2019

Well hello there 2019, you came in hot! New year, same me, new ambitions, more focus. I’m not a fan of resolutions and promises, but I do love some goals and goal planning. I’m not saying you have to make new goals at the beginning of the year, honestly you can start whenever, but I love the sense of a “reset button” that the new year provides you!

It’s time to say “This is what I want and I am going to get it!”. So let’s jump into 2019 with more focus to drive us to the goals we have in each aspect of our lives. Currently I have professional goals at work, but I wanted to share some personal ones with you all. Let’s jump into “business” first.

All Things Alicia Goals

My main goal for this blog in 2019 is creating a community and connecting with you guys! I want to be able to have a steady pulse on what you guys enjoy reading and seeing me share. Expect to see more polls, giveaways, and more consistent content. Especially content I’m passionate about, like the Local Spotlights! Get ready to learn a ton about local businesses, services, and organizations.

As for my social media presence, I’d love to bring you all more consistent content on my Instagram and Facebook page. My main goal will be creating a goal plan to do so that comes from a message and purpose. I don’t want to just put out content for the sake of it! I also want to share more about myself and push myself to do so on all of my platforms.

Personal Goals

The biggest “theme” of my goals this very is finding the purpose behind each one and to ensure my intention is in the right place. I want to be able to know why I am doing something so clearly that it becomes a habit.

  1. Traveling: I love exploring new places and visiting familiar ones too and although I did that in 2018, I really want to travel to a few places on my “wish list”. I’ve had a list of places I’ve wanted to since Sophomore year in college and if I could even cross two places off this year, it would be a win for me!
  2. Reading: I am such a book worm and it brings me so much joy! Unfortunately, I have a handful of books still chilling in my Barnes & Noble cart online that I want to find time to read. This year it is my goal to commit at least 2 hours each Saturday or Sunday to a book. I want to carve out time for an activity that I love so much, that I almost categorize under my own type of self-care.
  3. Technology: If 2018 taught me anything, it’s that I was constantly ashamed of my screen time that my iPhone so graciously provided each week…and still does. I haven’t set a goal yet for my actual screen time usage, but I do want to stop using my phone at dinner and after 8pm. I think that I will begin plugging it in somewhere other than my nightstand and will set reminders on my phone to do so.
  4. Relationships: I am that friend that is always following your journey and rooting for you, but from afar. I’m not good at keeping contact with my friends and family and that’s changing in 2019! I am giving myself the goal of reaching out to someone and checking in each week. Whether it’s on my way home from work or it’s after church, I want to ensure the people I love in my life know how much their relationship means to me. This also goes for Dan as he travels for work. My love language is very much so quality time, so I want to make sure the time we spent together is intentional and appreciated.
  5. Health: Last one and the hardest one. My goal is to find a class or gym that I find joy with. I continue to want to improve my health and mobility and I have to put my heart into it. Finding a class or gym I enjoy I believe will truly change my motivation and help with my mental health as well. So here’s to 2019 and trying new things to find my best fit!

So that’s my list and I’m sure it’ll get longer throughout the year as I start accomplishing some of these. Thank you to everyone for following and supporting me as I started All Things Alicia in 2018! I am forever grateful and can’t wait to see the growth we go through together in 2019. I hope some of my goals help you build your own. Leave me a comment of a goal or two you have for 2019!

Ya’ll I can feel it, it’s our year- cliché I know, but I believe it!

xx Alicia

A Weekend in Charlotte: 10.25

Happy Monday, back to the grind we go! Today I’ll be sharing a weekend wrap up with you guys! It was a fun and special weekend in Charlotte and wanted to spotlight some places I spent my time. 

Although I wish my weekends were always this fun and busy, you can usually find me on the couch one day out of the weekend binge watching Netflix and catching up on anything I recorded. Can anyone else relate? I’m all for a good adventure, but sometimes I really like being a home body.

THURSDAY

Last week I was able to host an Alumni happy hour for my Alma Mater and it was great! That started my weekend off on Thursday. We held it at NODA Brewing and I received great feedback on the options on tap for beer as well as the wine and spiked seltzer they had. The spiked seltzer is actually a newer release for them and it was so good. If you head over to their taproom I highly suggest trying it out! 

We had a great turn out for our event and indulged in the food truck, Tin Kitchen that was on site. I personally love the food trucks in Charlotte as there are a ton of options and there’s always one parked at a brewery. As for the brewery itself, if you ever want to host an event there, it’s a great option. The taproom is big enough and they make using their drink tickets easy! 

FRIDAYAll week was leading up to Friday. We got to see Hamilton with the Phillip touring cast.  It was unreal honestly. I was captivated and rode the wave of emotions that Lin-Manuel Miranda so beautifully wrote to evoke connections and engagement within the crowd. I laughed, cried, and held my breathe. I was not only grateful I was able to see Hamilton, but also grateful that Charlotte has such a beautiful theater to allow these kind of experiences. 

The Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is centrally located within the city. Dan and I grabbed dinner at RiRa’s Irish Pub not even a block away from the center and walked once we were finished. The ease of it really made me appreciate the city set up, especially on this cold and windy night! I’m still reeling off this night as it’s now Monday morning and I’m going through the Hamilton soundtrack album on Spotify for the second time rewatching the show in my head. Who can blame me? 

SATURDAY

Honestly, going out in Charlotte for Halloween is not for me. Just like most cities there is a bar crawl, most bars are jammed full, and you will get hit by someone’s costume at least once. This year I wasn’t planning on doing anything until Dan came home with costumes in hand for a Halloween party a friend was hosting at his house. 

It was the epitome of a throwback house party in college and they did an awesome job setting up. Each room had a different theme for Halloween and people got creative. I lasted maybe a half hour in my heels and put flip flops on…girls you know what I’m talking about! Other than that though it was a great party and a great way to see some friends without the craziness of the city. It wasn’t a late night for us, but I was glad we got out of the house for some fun together since Dan has been traveling often for work. 

SUNDAY

Sunday was a self- care day in the morning, but also a needed cleaning day. Dan headed out to the Panthers game and I put on a face mask and went to cleaning, which was pretty quick. Just before half time I was getting stir crazy and made plans with a friend to get out of the house. A girl’s day in NODA was much needed! 

I have not been to Divine Barrel until today and it was great. They had live music, tons of space in the taproom as well as outside on their patio and table games. We played a few games, watched some football, and I grabbed a glass for Dan’s collection before heading to Jack Beagle’s for some dinner. If you haven’t been in the NODA area, there are a ton of options and all walking distance within each other. Plus Jack Beagle’s has solid mac ‘n cheese…just saying! 

I finished my weekend just hanging out with the pup and Dan before going to bed. This weekend was a jam packed one and one I wanted to share with you guys. A peek into my life! Let me know some of your favorite places in Charlotte and I would love to try them out on a weekend. As always, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you guys next time. 

xx Alicia

My Genetic Testing Experience

Hey guys! I took a few polls on my Instagram this weekend and you guys let me know that you wanted to know more about my genetic testing experience. Please remember that this is just my story, I’m not a specialist and I’m only sharing what I learned! If you have questions, I highly suggest you talk to your doctor about the possibility of getting tested. 

I would be lying if I was not nervous writing this, but transparency is key with you guys. My experience with genetic testing was recommended by my doctor as we started digging into family history. Doctors have recommended the testing to me before, but I have never followed through. As I start to have conversations about family planning, I realized the importance of the testing due to my family history. 

No one in my family, to my knowledge, has had this testing done before. Going through this experience has taught me that cancer stems from genetics or environmental factors and sometimes both. It’s usually separated by hereditary, familial, or sporadic cancer and I’ll leave those definitions below. My family history includes throat, stomach, colon, prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. At the beginning of this process, I could attribute possibly only one of these to an environmental factor, which was smoking. Of course that’s what my mom told me, so I’ve never been sure. 

The best way to explain genetic testing is that it’s a test that helps you figure out if you carry any of the 28 main genes that are connected to 8 important cancer types that fall into that hereditary bucket I mentioned. The genes tested are for breast, ovarian, colorectal, uterine, melanoma, pancreatic, stomach, and prostate cancer. There is a ninth column for “other” cancer that really just means that with specific genes, they can tie back to multiple other cancers that aren’t necessary as “prominent” as the eight mentioned. 

For the testing itself, I had the option of a blood or spit test and was told I would have results in about 2-3 weeks. As for the results, the genes could fall into three categories: positive, negative, and uncertain variant. For uncertain variants I was told that they are treated as a negative result until there is an update on the specific gene, but often the gene is categorized as a negative anyways. 

If a gene came back as positive, there is a structured plan for managing the risk. Each plan would correlate to the specific gene mutation found. There were also statistics provided to me for positive results. One specifically that explained a positive result would correlate to a 50% chance that my parent(s), sisters, brothers, and children would have the same gene mutation. 

So exactly sixteen days later after spitting into a tube, I got my results. I locked myself in my room and listened to my specialist tell me I tested negative for all but four genes that came back uncertain variant. She explained I would get updates on those genes as more research was done, but to treat them as negative results otherwise. 

This easily has been the best news I’ve gotten in a while and made me very grateful I did it. I have truly had a weight lifted off my shoulders as I’ve always worried about cancer. Of course this doesn’t mean that I am immune to cancer, but it does mean that nothing in me has put me at an additional and elevated risk. 

All in all, my experience was a good one. I had a supportive specialist that answered all my questions and ensured I understood all the information provided. Luckily my results came back negative and my nerves have been put at ease. I truly recommend this test to those of you that have worried about cancer within your family. For me, this has calmed my mind for the simple fact that I now know my body isn’t putting me at a disadvantage to this very impactful genetic disease as well as knowing my chances of passing it on to my future children. It’s a painless process and worth it if you’ve been thinking about it. As always, thank you for stopping by and I will see you next time! 

xx Alicia

*

Hereditary Cancer: Occurs when an altered gene (gene with a mutation) is passed down in the family from parent to child. People with hereditary cancer are more likely to have relatives with the same type or related type of cancer. They may develop more than one cancer and their cancer often occurs at an earlier average age. 
Familial Cancer: Likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. People with familial cancer may have one or more relatives with the same type of cancer; however, there does not appear to be a specific pattern of inheritance (e.g., the cancer risk is not clearly passed from parent to child).
Sporadic Cancer: Occurs by chance. People with sporadic cancer typically do not have relatives with the same type of cancer. 

3 Thoughts On Home Ownership

Welcome back! Today I wanted to share some thoughts as it’s been a bit more than a year of being a home owner. After taking some time and reflecting, I have come to three conclusions I stand by and remind myself about often. To give you the backstory on our house before jumping in, I’ll give you a short summary of our house hunting journey.

Dan and I started looking to buy a house in mid May of 2017 and closed on July 25th, 2017. Our house had three offers on it by the time we were even able to see it- thank goodness for our amazing realtor David Traugott. Honestly, we didn’t think we had a chance, but still put in an offer and maybe an hour later we got the verbal acceptance! I cried in the parking lot of a Dunkin’ Donuts, I’m sure all first time buyers have been here before…right? Back to present day and we love our house, but we have also needed to come to terms with some things. With that said, let’s hop into my top three thoughts on home ownership!

Setting Yourself Up Financially  When we bought the house as you could imagine our savings took a hit, but we knew we needed to start back up as soon as possible to ensure we had money ready and available for any unforseeable issues. One of the best things we did was set up a joint account that we transfer money into each paycheck. We have made a goal for this account, which is to save 20% of the house value. I think that everyone knows they have to save when they have a house, but my thought on this is to truly make a goal and stick to it. Breakdown what it will take to get there whether you get paid weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc to ensure your goal is feasible. 
In our case we use this account for other items as well, but we use the app GoodBudget to ensure we are budgeting our funds for the right things. For example, within the app we have “buckets” set up for the dog, house, wedding, and monthly charity donation we have set for autodraft. When money is put into the account we allocate the proper amount to each of those and when we use the joint card, we subtract the expense from the proper “bucket” to track our cash flow. 

Know Your Home This is a big one. We are one year out and have been extremely lucky. We have gotten our AC fixed with no major cost and have had to buy a new toilet, but that’s about it. We are fully aware that it could be worse and will be at some point when something big goes out. We took time to ensure we knew how old everything was for our house and if there was anything replaced. This goes for the AC, water heater, to the fence and roof outside! Over this last year, we have made sure to do what we can to take care of these items as best we can. There’s not a whole lot you can do sometimes, but when you can take preventive methods just take the time to do so. Even when that item may break at least you will have a plan and be aware that it was a possibilty! 
Even for the little things like a sliding door, take the time to maintain it and ensure it’s in good condition. Owning a house is such an amazing accomplishment, but it is not cheap so avoiding costs and taking care of your home is so important! Proactive measures and prevenative methods will always beat out being reactive and rushed when things do go wrong. And again, things will go wrong at some point. 

Have Realistic Expectations Would I love to redo my kitchen and fill my house? Of course, but with purchasing this house I had to humble myself and remind myself that we will grow into the space with time. Our house is four bedrooms, two and a half baths, and basically 3200 sq ft. Yes, we are crazy. No, we do not regret buying the home. Yes, the house is too big sometimes when Dan travels for work. At the end of the day though, we got an amazing deal, a house we can grow into, and a home that had everything we wanted on our list of “must-haves”. 
If you’re anything like us, most of the furniture in our home is a combination between both Dan and I’s apartments. We purchased some items and were gifted things as well, but for the most part our house is just a mashup of everything we have owned previously, which surprisingly works out for the most part. With this said, I have to remind myself that it’s going to take time to fill this house and that’s okay. My taste and style have already changed a hand full of times so the more time I have the better I’ll be able to buy and decorate the house with Dan. 

I used to get so frustrated with all the space we had and the lack of furnishings, but I’ve had to remind myself lately how lucky I am to be a twenty-something young professional with a house. I am so grateful to have a place to call home that has my name on it. To be paying money for more ownership into something. Having a home to create traditions and memories in. More and more I must remind myself that the material things that fill the home do not make it a home. 

Filling up the house and making updates are still expectations I have, but are now long term plans. When you buy a home, make goals and have expectations that are feasible with where you are in life and what makes sense. I understand the pressure to do so especially if you want to host people or if you just want that “Pinterest” look, but your friends will understand and well, Pinterest projects aren’t always all that they seem. Just remember to pace yourself accordingly and build a timeline of projects, goals, and expectations based on the right timing for you. You alone, not for anyone else. 

Owning a home has been wonderful and we have some amazing memories and traditions we have created here. I always love reflecting on our journey and how we got to where we are. As the end of the year creeps up on us, I can’t help but look around at my slimly decorated home for fall and smile. I smile because 2018 has challenged me, rewarded me, and humbled me. All things I have been able to process and work through within these four walls of my home, for which I am grateful for. 
So how long did it take you to decorate your home? Were there things you were grateful you thought about once you owned your home? Do you like these types of reflection posts? Let me know in the comments! As always thank you for stopping by and I will see you on my next post! 

xx Alicia

Local Spotlight: Worthy Figures

Local Spotlight: Worthy Figures

Happy Friday! I hope you all have an amazing weekend planned! Today I’ll be sharing with you my experience with Worthy Figures, a brand that offers boutique style shopping for sizes 12+. Amy is based in Charlotte and she has an amazing eye for fashion. She is also a newly appointed Mod Cloth Advocate which is exciting and she posted about it on her page if you would like more information. She keeps classic, trendy, and special occasion pieces stocked and helps you to step out of your comfort zone.  I got to experience this shopping day excursion with Shanice Littlejohn, which was so exciting and a pleasure.

When we got there, there was a delicious candle lit warming the space, a mirror ready to do its job and racks of clothing waiting to be sifted through. Amy explained that she had a rack of curated pieces that were chosen based on our Instagrams and pieces we have liked that she posted. We browsed the racks and tried on pieces that fit our style and some that pushed us out of our comfort zones. All the while, I couldn’t help but ask Amy a few questions. She explained her love for shopping and styling, while giving some great examples of how a piece in her store has fit into so many people’s closests that all had such different tastes and that were all different ages. I think that alone is a statement about how much time she invests in diversifying her boutique and her customer base.

By the end of the appointment, I walked out with three sweaters and a cute fall t-shirt she printed for her business. All four items will be featured in my Instagram posts as well as a Fall Look book I’m working on for you guys! You could say my experience was an A+ with an extra + and here’s why.

I have always had a hard time shopping mainly for any sort of top due to the fact that my chest is, well, large. I mean…I have a hard time finding bras sometimes if we’re being honest. I didn’t have that issue with Worthy Figures because it’s her niche and specialty. Amy knows what brands tend to run small or big, which have a bit more stretch in their clothing, and so much more. This knowledge showed in our appointment.

With this experience, I still went up a size in one of the sweaters simply because I loved how it looked oversized. Overall though, I have been looking for affordable pieces; under $50, for the fall since August and have struck out, but not this time. For once, I left a shopping experience with a huge smile on my face. I didn’t leave defeated or discouraged because I was set up for success and let me just say that even if I did leave with nothing purchased I still would have been happy. I believe this because this business concept is a unique one. It’s not often that this is actually an option for women that are plus-size. This Boss Babe has gotten it right, from the atmosphere to the physical stock, and I can’t wait to see the growth that this business deserves. 

If one thing stuck out the most about this experience it’s when we would try on something that was out of our comfort zone. Amy would be there telling us to make it our own and to not let the piece dictate the outfit, but to make it fit into our own personal style. Shanice found this amazing large pearl sweater that she thought was too feminine for her style, but Amy urged her to try it and with some (gorgeous) black thigh-high boots and jeans, Shanice absolutely rocked it. The bottom half of her outfit didn’t play up the femininity of the sweater, it instead balanced it.

This is a business I will continue to support because her heart is in the right place and her business’ mission aligns perfectly with who she is. Yes, I am laying it on thick, but man was I impressed. If you are in Charlotte I highly suggest you checking her out as she has a few events coming up that I’ll list below as well as linking. Worthy Figures attends events, does personal shopping/ styling, and does personal appointments. Even if you find something you love, but aren’t sure she’ll hold it and invoice you for later to ensure you want it. She’s accommodating, professional, and relatable.

This post shares a small sneak peek into what I bought and what she has available. I have always loved supporting local businesses, so I was so excited to write this post. Have a business you want me to check out in Charlotte for my “Supporting Local” posts? Send me a message or leave me a comment. This first Supporting Local post was a big win in my books and I can’t wait to continue finding businesses I fall in love with.

Worthy Figure’s Facebook with event dates are linked to the picture to the right. Make sure you subscribe to blog so you don’t miss a post and follow me on Instagram! As always, thank you for stopping by and supporting All Things Alicia! I’ll see you guys next time. xx Alicia

Five Things I Wish I Knew In College

Happy Wednesday beautiful people! We are so close to the weekend…bless. It’s been over three years since I’ve been out of college and I always catch myself wishing I knew something before I went in or during my time there. I figured, why not share my top five that I constantly think about. Things that I hope help some of you that may still be in college. Enjoy some throwback pictures and if these tips help even one of you, then I’ve done my job!

Start To Build Your Personal Curriculum 

By this I mean to take all of your experiences and opportunities and ensure they help weave you into who you want to be, not necessarily for your career. Unfortunately, there were too many times I did things that I thought would be best for my future, but not for me as a person. I made a lot of mistakes, wanted to eat my words, and often had to step back and fix a lot of problems I got myself into. By no means do I regret this as it has really helped shape me into the person I am now and has made me more self-aware, but it wasn’t ideal in the moment. Remember that with each decision you make, there is a lasting effect for yourself and those around you. Ensure everything you are doing benefits your personal growth as well as helping you build your future. Losing yourself is easy in college, but making yourself question if the the decision you are about to make helps build your personal curriculum can hopefully help combat that. Just remember in the long-run, the title you are working to get to, won’t define who you are as a person. Build the person you want to be and the title will come. 

Be Humble 

Listen, you feel unstoppable in college (at least I did), but there are times you need to humble yourself. Remember that you don’t know everything and that you’re there to learn. Open your mind and ears, truly listen and engage with those different around you. I wish I went out of my way to meet people that didn’t naturally fall into my group of friends and acquaintances. I now have loved meeting new people with such different backgrounds than me and have gone out of my way to engage in conversations that can really open my eyes to others’ perspectives and experiences. This can be so awkward to do at times, but it’s completely worth it. Push yourself to do this while you’re in one area for four years, make yourself uncomfortable once and a while! It’ll humble you for sure. This has so many benefits. You’ll find yourself being more accepting and less closed off. 

Don’t Hold Grudges, People Are Human

This one goes hand in hand with my first point. In college, you don’t have to remain friends with the first people you meet, but if you do that’s amazing! Also know that it’s okay to part ways with friends, but take it from me- don’t hold grudges. They’re a waste of time and everyone makes mistakes. It’s okay to be upset and want space, but grudges take too much out of you. I’m not sure about you, but I had my walls up whenever I had a bad break with friends and I always regretted it. I was too proud. I realize now that it could’ve been handled so much better. You can’t allow yourself to lead a conversation out of emotions, especially when the emotion is a negative one. I find that the conversation is not productive and almost a battle instead. If you’re in this predicament, think about it. How much time do you want to devote to this ugly feeling? Step back, process, and move on in the way that best fits you. 

Start Building Your Schedules And Habits Now 

This is a quick one. To help you post-grad, ensure you have built good habits and know how to schedule. Habits built in college will be hard to break later if they’re not good ones. Especially senior year, put some thought into your sleep schedule, your health habits, and how you manage your time. I didn’t have a few months after graduating to adjust for my job, I started working 28 days after graduating. I needed to ensure I was prepared for the lifestyle change I was about to go through. 

Don’t Underestimate The Need For Self-Care

In college it’s not unusual to go out and party, I get it, but please don’t forget about yourself. Take time to decompress. I learned this later in college after coming back from Spain and it’s probably what helped me survive my last year. Do a mask, buy some magazines, go get ice cream. Whatever it may be that you like to do to make yourself feel grounded and refreshed, do it. Take a day a week if you can and make this a priority. I could’ve used time to write in a journal and declutter my mind. 

I lost myself far too many times and could have really used more time like this. 

So, there’s my list. I have plenty of other would’ve, could’ve, should’ve moments, but I’ll share those in time. These five are the ones that I think of often, especially now as I mentor students and get to know them. Can you relate to these? If so, let me know! As always, thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you guys next time. 

xx Alicia 

Is Amazon Prime Wardrobe Worth It? ($50 & Under)

Is Amazon Prime Wardrobe Worth It? ($50 & Under)

Have you tried the new feature from Amazon yet? Prime Wardrobe is a service kinda like Stich Fix, if you ever heard of them, but more customized. You get to choose up to 8 products- whether it be shirts, jeans, boots, or accessories, to try on at home for 5 days. Whatever you don’t like you would  send back and whatever you do like you keep and purchase. When you put in your order, you are not charged until you make that decision.

For my experience, I wanted to find some staple basics and sweaters for the Fall, so here’s the scoop based on my experience with Prime Wardrobe and if I’ll be using it again. All the pictures are linked.

My first choice was the this cozy draped turtleneck. After reading the reviews and size charts, I sized up and got a 1X so that it would have a loose feel to it. This sweater was cozy and warm, and I really loved the different shades of brown within it. I can see myself wearing this just like this or with leggings! I would suggest you size up because if I did get an XL like most of my sweaters, I think this would have been too tight. Also, if you have a large chest like I do, sizing up is a must with this piece. As for quality, it was not too thick, but thick enough that it would keep me warm coming into the Fall and Winter. I even think you could layer this for colder days.

The pink sweater below was one I was really excited for, but was a bit of a flop for me personally. I think if you do not have a large chest, this would be a solid sweater option! It was so soft and I loved the mix of light pinks and whites in the threading of the sweater. It hit me at my hips, which I find to be  short, since I like some coverage with my sweaters. I told myself I needed to stop wearing brown, navy, and black this Fall, so if you’re looking for a colored piece for your closet, this is a solid option. The cuffed sleeves as well as the horizontal paneling near the shoulders were my favorite details about this sweater.

On to basics! I wanted a few more long sleeve shirts for the Fall for my vests and to layer, so I picked out a 2-pack of cotton long sleeve shirts. These run small for sure, it even says it when ordering, but if you like a true loose fit like I do, I would size up twice especially considering the shrinkage when you wash these. I got a black and white pack and styled it with one of my J.Crew vests. Not bad shirts, but they are very thin and lightweight like the description, which now makes me think they’re not what I was looking for…oops.

Another basic I love having in my closet that I have a hard time finding, is a white button up shirt. Boy did I find a good one through this! Button ups can be hard with a large chest, but this one fit perfectly with no gaping and I honestly could have sized down to a 1X, but 2X gives me plenty of room as well. I would order this true to size. I’ll be using this for work wear and for causal days with jeans. I love a versatile basic like this that you can wear year round. A definite yes for me.

Unfortunately, the boots I ordered did not fit my calf well, but fit my foot. Even with them not completely fitting, they are a good affordable option if you are looking for some quick black boots that don’t break the bank. The sole is thick and there is a faux zipper on the outside and the real zipper midway in the inside of the boot. A solid boot for this season and maybe more depending on wear.

To Wrap Things Up:

So what did I keep and what do I think? I’m sure by the summaries above you can guess, but I will be keeping the brown sweater and the white button up this time around, so 2/5 which sounds really bad. Ultimately though, I enjoyed this service and think the next time I’ll try some more work wear or jeans. It was very easy to check out and return the items I needed to and I think 5 days is a great window to try everything on. For this first experience I wanted to try and keep it affordable to see if there were quality items available at the price point of $50 and below. Next time, I think I’ll just shop as I normally would, try everything on, and then decide if it’s worth spending my money on.

I hope this was helpful and if you were on the fence about this service, I say just do it! I think next time I order I want to share it, but on my Instagram Stories. I’d love to know what you think- if you like that idea, go to my last Instagram post and leave me comment! As always, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you next time.

xx Alicia 

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