Grown Up Friends

We have constantly heard-since we were kids-that things get more complicated the older we get. Which made sense to me for the most part. Bills, career goals, laundry, making sure we don’t get run over by car … ya know… #adulting! That what most of us expected. A life filled with rules, obligations and constant compromise. But very few grown ups share what happens to our relationships as we get older. Life began to move at a breakneck speed after I got married, and even more so after I turned 30. I moved away from my close knit group of friends in New York and while I was developing one important relationship my other established relationships went out of focus. Sure, there were over the phone catch up sessions, but it was tough, and making new friends as a grown up in a new setting was tougher. It didn’t make sense to me and I didn’t expect it.The fact that I moved back to my hometown didn’t make it any easier. I moved from Miami to New York at 21, so unfortunately, my childhood friends and I didn’t have a ton of things in common, and when I’d make the effort to connect with someone new, I felt like I didn’t fit in because I had turned into a New Yorker. I shopped at different places, liked different music, and felt misunderstood. I was a foreigner in my native land where people enjoyed going on boats and Disney on the weekends and I just wanted see an indie film, go to cool bookstores, and find a nice glass of Rosé (which I never did). I eventually got in to my groove and made some great friends that enjoyed my quirks and understood me. They are all wonderfully different and made my 2nd time around in Miami memorable, but it was incredibly hard at first.

Once I began blogging, I was lucky enough to meet a few great people who shared the same interest my husband and I did. One in particular was my friend, Lola. We first met digitally, through Instagram, which was surprising. I’m very outgoing and never thought I’d make friends through an app. But I did, and quickly too. We started our blogs within a month of each other and mutually admired each other’s content. She had a great sense of style and a beautiful new born baby girl, Vera, that she dressed to perfection. We resolved to meet during Swim Week last year, but kept missing each other at events. Until I found her business card strewn at the bar of an event we both attended (after she left) I knew then we had to meet. It was a sign. We finally met the next day -the rest is history. Lola and I understood each other and shared so many similar passions, one of them being New York. Our husbands also got on swimmingly and before we knew it, we were over their house every day and they are now friends that are family.

They have since relocated to D.C. shortly after we relocated to New York and we continue to grow together with love and support, despite the distance. We push each other to create and change consistently. She gets it, and understands the struggle of juggling real life and blogging. Lola and I keep each other grounded, inspired and motivated while we deal with the ever demanding pressures of #adulting. All of my friendships (new and old) are very unique and special, but what’s cool about my relationship with Lola is that it would’ve never happened if one of us didn’t decide to persue our passion and create something for ourselves. She is the only friend I have had that I didn’t meet through any one person or situation ( work, school, etc.) .

I didn’t understand how important it was to have something I do for myself that isn’t working out or getting my nails done, until I created my blog. In a way, we attracted ourselves to each other by putting what we love out into the universe first.

I’ve said many times that The Flamingo Chronicles has changed my life, and this is yet another example of that. There are many ways to make ‘grown up’ friends, there is certainly no wrong way. For me, putting my passion out into the world was the easiest way to make a new friend and I definitely recommend it to any one who is transitioning and may need one, because the truth is, you really can’t have too many quality friends that lovingly support you. Put your whole self out into universe and it will give you what and who you need!

Be open to the possibilities friends,

XX

J

P.S. Be sure to visit here for chic, fun style, tips from a cool mom, and adorable pictures of sweet baby Vera. You can thank me later!

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Business Objects: Casual Work Wear Simplified

Of all the questions I’ve gotten about style from friends, readers, strangers… I’m consistently asked one question the most:

‘What should I wear to work’?

This questions seems to frustrate even the most style conscious ladies ( including me) because as traditional offices are becoming more a thing of the past, dress codes become more lenient (score) but also much more vague. We have all seen the various interpretations of “Business Casual” which can mean a blouse and cropped pant to some and tight skinny jeans and dirty Converses to others. Of course every workplace is different, and if your boss is wearing Vans to work, you probably shouldn’t be in a suit. So then what ? How can you look professional and be taken seriously, but still match the tone of your work environment?

Here are a few tips that I have found extremely helpful over the years:

Be Yourself: 

This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s important. Your work wardrobe should reflect your own personal style elevated a couple notches. For instance, if your weekend wardrobe consist of skinny jeans, sheer tops, and combat boots ( errrr my weekend wardrobe) take the essence of what makes you feel like you and tweak it for a more polished version. Sub out the skinny jeans for a slim fitted trouser, swap the sheer top for an airy silk or crepe top and wear a low heeled bootie for some work appropriate edginess. You can still look professional and feel like you.

Details: 

So I’m curvy, and that can be a challenge when dressing for work- everything looks sexier than intended and often not appropriate. For that reason, I like to stick to classic silhouettes  for my key work pieces, and I do not deviate. My formula is simple.

Blazer + button down + cropped pant= work wardrobe.

Sounds boring, but I like to play within that structure. For example, my button down MAY have tiny doodles of pizza on it, for a little whimsy. I have some blazers with leather detail, or cool buttons. I  also love adding fun belts or wearing a cool silk scarf around my neck and I’m currently obsessed with wide leg cropped pants – so comfortable and on trend.

Step it up:

One of my personal mottos is : It’s better to be overdressed than under dressed. This is especially important in the workplace, I firmly believe in dressing for the job you want, and when you work in a relaxed, less traditional work environment, that’s pretty easy to do. For most of us it could just mean swapping out those sneakers for cute loafers, or throwing a blazer over that tee. Playing with more elevated textures and fabrics goes along way as well. A silk tee or cashmere sweater can easily elevate any work look.

As I always say, the key to curating a functional and fun wardrobe ( work or otherwise ) is selecting pieces that makes sense for YOU. You need to be comfortable to confident – I will never tire of stressing that.

Work it bird,

XX

J

 

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Miami Born and Bred

After many requests, I will be sharing my transition from Miami to NYC  very soon. However in true #flamingostyle, we need to do a prelude. You need to fully understand what started the fire.

The fire: my obsession with NYC. A fire that started early ( like age 5) and lead to me leaving my nest at 21 years old for the big city. But Miami, (surprisingly) still possessed a magnetism of sorts that lured me back in 2012, and shortly after that, a Flamingo and her Chronicles were realized. This bird also realized that maybe the place that birthed her, isn’t the place where she could truly be herself. The fire was smoldering and I had to do something.

By now you may have gathered that the brightly colored bird I proudly use as my mascot, inspiration and alter ego often seems ironic. For starters I seldom wear color- this blog was originally started around the concept of colorful pictures of my black and white wardrobe. The only tropical element of my blog was it’s back drop, Miami, a place I didn’t exactly fit in. Despite me being a native. I hate the heat, I don’t enjoy the afternoon tsunamis, or the social dynamic… and if I’m honest, I often felt like the odd one out.

A Flamingo feeling odd in Miami?

Fun fact: Flamingos are rarely seen in Florida. Most natives can’t make a claim of seeing one in nature. Probably why I’m so fascinated with the creature. #justsayin

This particular Flamingo prefers to fly north for the..well, forever. So I did, for the second time, with out a doubt in my head. Miami was not for me, and maybe I wasn’t really the bird I thought I was. Maybe I wasn’t bright and different, maybe I belonged to the darkly dressed masses that are okay with wearing one color and shuffling through snowy city streets.

What I’ve  found was that I most definitely was bright and different, I just needed to ( once again) have a change of scenery to stretch myself, and show my true colors (pink) in a city where everything is (truly) possible. I just needed the contrast, the pink against a grey jungle. NYC is where I will reach my true potential, tap in to what I really want to do (jury is still out on that) and show those feathers off.

Stay tuned for the real deal on my move earlier this year and what life is like almost 8 months in.

Always keeping things colorful, always keepin’ it real.

XX

J

 

 

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One year, One Bird


A year ago I launched this blog. Hooray.
Warning: this ain’t no warm and fuzzy celebration post with balloons, confetti and me in a tulle skirt – although ya’ll know I love a tulle skirt. In true #flamingostyle, it’s reflective, wordy, and a bit sarcastic.
As I’ve mentioned before, my decision to finally create a blog was more than just a vehicle for me to write at least once a week and get my creative on. It was a life line.
4 years ago my life changed in many ways. While it changed in many positive ways, like getting married, starting a new career path in luxury retail and adopting our adorable dog; it changed in not so great ways too.Enlight40Enlight38
I changed, and forgot a bunch of shit.
I forgot how I need time to myself, I forgot that I need to be creative as much as I need to breathe, and I forgot that I thrive when I venture down the road less traveled.
I just fucking forgot.
I forgot that I’m a damn bird, I forgot a piece of myself.
So then I started waking up and remembering, I got mad at myself and then took action. I started with the one thing that has saved me (literally) during my most trying times; I started writing. I kept it light and fun and just talked about the things I wanted to talk about. Personal style, beauty products…I even published lists of things I wanted to talk about, and people actually paid attention and talked back. Some agreed with the things I said and some even thought I was funny … HA.

I can’t tell you how wonderfully validating your feedback over the past year has been. So inspiring and down right delightful. I wasn’t ready for it. It was terrific.
Then there was the other piece, the visual side of things. The intimidating side of things. Styling looks was a no brainer; it’s only like my favorite thing to do other than eat and have sex.Enlight39
But me styling myself, then taking pictures?
HA
You can imagine why it took me so long to start a blog, the me prancing-around like-a-model side of things scared the life out of me.
For starters, I had gained weight and didn’t feel very model-esque, but I’m also so awkward and goofy – my faces alone are tiny disasters. I think I’m doing a sexy smile and in reality I look like I need to go #2. I’m better off being a cartoon, seriously.
Fortunately, I started this journey with my partner in crime, my husband. Who also blogs and has become this incredible, self taught photographer right before my eyes. Not only does he motivate and inspire me everyday, but he takes all of the shots you’ve seen on here. We’ve grown creatively together, and he understands my vision and reminds me to stay true to myself, and to not make that face that makes me look like I need to run to the bathroom. He’s also taught me the basics, how to edit, and how to see the world in a new way. I have fallen in love with photography all over again as a result. Creating images that make people feel something is addictive, and I’m hooked. Enlight37Enlight36So here we are, one year down. I’ve grown a small but faithful following. I’ve met some amazing, creative souls through blogging. Some of which I now consider some of my closest friends. I’ve discovered what I really want to do with my life (hint, it does not involve wearing a suit), and I’ve started to respect and own my voice.
I can’t wait for what lies ahead, this blog has truly been a catalyst for everything I’ve wanted to change in my life! I’m proud of the bird I’ve become and can’t thank you birds enough for allowing me to chronicle my journey. Stay tuned this week on Insta for throwbacks of some of my favorite posts!
Happy Anniversary #LeChronicles

Love you all, my finely feathered friends!
XX
J

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High necks and High Standards

High:

adjective

1. of great vertical extent.

2. great, or greater than normal, in quantity, size, or intensity.Enlight2For me living high is a desired way of life. High expectations (mostly placed on my self), high spirits and high standards. Since I was a child, I was obsessed with taking everything to great heights. I couldn’t just sing in choir, I had to dance and act as well, constantly taking it to the next level of intensity. I can’t remember there being a time in my life where I didn’t have a desire to turn up volume on everything. Because good was never good enough for me.

Do I sound obnoxious? I am.

Luckily, these impossible ambitions are cleverly hidden inside me so that I can still be somewhat of a pleasant person to be around. Because high strung over achievers are too Jesse in Saved by the Bell circa 1995… ‘I’m sooooo exciteddddd’ *insert teen nervous breakdown*  and nobody wants to be around that.Status quo has never been my thing, I have impossibly high expectations for myself and my life. Which is probably why my favorite place to live, is a high octane jungle of high standards and high hopes. What can I do to be better? How can I go higher?Enlight3Enlight4Enlight5This is the #struggle in my head. It’s not fun, it’s masochistic and it’s essentially chasing an invisible thing. While moving back to NYC has filled me in ways that I’ve forgotten existed, the volume in my head DID get turned all the way up and my own music is now blaring. I MUST be the best at work, I MUST blog and be creative EVERY free moment I have, I MUST work out and be in the best shape physically and mentally, I MUST be the best wife, sister, daughter, friend, and coworker.I MUST BE THE BEST ME YET!

What was that? Sorry, couldn’t hear you, my expectations were on HIGH.

Enlight1

I’m sure I’m not the only bird that feels way. We all deal with an enormous amount of pressure to constantly bigger, better, and brighter. Which, I am all for, but we must make sure we keep the volume of the those ambitions and high expectations in check, because if we don’t…we can’t hear ourselves. I personally will be turning my own volume dial a bit to the left, for some easy listening, because I can’t live on HIGH everyday.

Be well and enjoy living at different levels!

XX

J

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Deep Dives

So the only way to do this is to dive right in. Except… wait! You should know that as candid as I may seem to be in my previous posts, it’s a very controlled candor. I play at being intimate, and truth is I’m incredibly private about most things. It’s also worth mentioning that I was raised to be this  private about personal ordeals and not overshare as it may be perceived as desiring attention from others or worse, pity. With that said…

Here goes the dive:

I struggle with Endometriosis. About 200,000 women get diagnosed with it yearly in the US. Simply put : the tissue that normally lines my uterus  grows outside of it. This can cause many different  symptoms that range in severity. Intense lower abdominal pain, excessive bleeding during menstruation, and painful intercourse are just naming a few.

:::breathe:::

If you’re wondering where I’m going to cleverly weave in something about my outfit, or how to not look like a slob in a hoodie – it’s not happening, I’m sorry. I know, we’re talking about uterine bleeding, WTF? We are in some strange waters, I know, just stick with me, please. Let’s take it from the top.

Past:

I was diagnosed 5 years ago, after years of mysterious pain and irregular cycles. My mother suffered from this, so I wasn’t surprised. She had a very severe case that resulted in a Hysterectomy, (removal of ovaries and uterus), that was invasive and forced menopause at age 40. When I was diagnosed, I had a pretty good idea what to expect, because I had witnessed the symptoms 2nd hand my whole life. Still didn’t quite prepare me for what was next. What was next? Lots of ultrasounds, pain, questions about your pain, people looking at you like you’re broken and say ” I hear that condition makes it hard to concieve “. Followed by more pain that comes out of nowhere at times, crushing, debilitating, electrifying pain, that makes you feel like you really are broken, defective, not quite right. Eventually, it starts to effect you mentally.

:::BREATHE:::

Present:

Before my relationship with my husband, I didn’t have an interest in having children. Soon after falling in love with him, I realized I wanted to create something with him. It was powerful, and so was a doctor telling me I couldn’t satisfy this change of heart because of my disorder. The pain actually makes me crazy some days, and drains every ounce of energy. On my best days, I struggle with annoying, painful interruptions. On my worse days I feel like less of a woman. After consulting a few dud doctors, I have now have two doctors  (one OBGYN and one speciality surgeon) that are as transparent as they are talented, and are invested in my well being. I have endured several different hormonal treatments to aleviate my symptoms. One treatment gave me forced menopause. I actually had real hot flashes this summer, which lead to sleepless nights and chronic fatigue ( i.e. not the look ). Finally, I had my fourth surgical procedure to remove excess tissue in and around my uterus one week ago. This time, the lining of my uterus was also removed in hopes to decrease menstrual flow and the extreme symptoms I experience. I don’t have a lot of fears and I can get used to anything, but I  have yet to get used to going under the knife. I freak out everytime. Oh and did I mention there’s a chance it might not work?

:::breathe again:::

Future:

Recovery is going smoothly and I have an incredible support system. I’m healing properly and only time will tell if what was done is a viable solution. The hard part will be keeping an open mind about the possibilities and not letting the fear and negativity set in. At this point, I should be jaded, but I refuse to be. While I struggle with the fact that I don’t know what lies ahead, I can’t lose perspective. Will my chronic pain continue? Will I know what it’s like to have a baby inside me? Will it work and all this be a distant memory? I have no clue. But I also have no idea where in the world I’ll be in 3 years and if I’m okay with that, I need to be okay with all of my unknowns. I know one thing now: I can handle it all.  The long swim, the deep dive into the depths of uncertainty.

This is my struggle right now, it’s mine, I own it.  Just like my dysfunctional uterus! I’m grateful that is not anything worse and I plan to own everything it’s teaching me. I know that every set of eyes that reads this is struggling with and healing from something. Don’t apologize and don’t be afraid to talk about it. I believe we learn from sharing, and as terrifying as writing this was, I’ve learned a lot.

Thanks for sticking with me birds,

J

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The Heart of the Matter

They never tell you all sides of the story in the beginning. When I was little and had creativity coming out of my eyeballs, no one ever laid out the cons, only the pros were highlighted. When I say “they” I am referring to my parents, family, and teachers that all witnessed my little creative wheels turning and could see the fruits of it in the dance moves I’d created, the songs I sang, and the “poems”  I’d scribble down. I made evening gowns out of my bed sheets (with hair clips as fastens) and created extensive biographies for each of my stuff animals. I wasn’t Mozart, no child genius, but creative enough for people to take notice and encourage me to pursue something in a creative field. So I went willingly, and embraced every creative outlet that interested me. I sang in the choir, I did ballet briefly, I was a thespian by age 12 and I had a poem published in a local magazine when I was 16. Awesome right?

Heart-0054Heart-0055heart (5)

It was, and still is. However, no one warned me about what happens when a creative person grows up, the bad habits, the self deprecation, the emotional exhaustion, insomniac tendencies,  the procrastination, but most of all the FEAR. The fear of never being good enough, the fear of actually succeeding and monetizing said creativity, the fear of  having to consistently produce things that just “come out ” of you. Creativity isn’t a skill, or a formula you just follow. You can’t fake it, you also can’t force it.

:::Enter anxiety attack:::

Us creatives tend to get those too by the way. Sure, education and a certain skill set can be an almost fool proof vehicle for said creativity, but at the heart of it all, if you don’t have the idea, the light bulb, the divine inspiration…you have nothing, your product has no heart. So what happens when you’re tapped out- when your day job got the best of you, you got four parking tickets in one day, and it hurts to think of your full name? How can you still produce honestly and passionately? How do you find the heart, when you can barely feel a pulse?

Heart-0052heart (1)heart (3)

I don’t know.

But here is what I do know: I am a creative. I was built to work with the many grey areas in this beautiful world. I see things differently, and feel everything- sometimes all at once. For now, clothes and words may be my vehicles of choice, but I should never fear where my creativity takes me. I know that most of who I am is powered by my brain, but my creativity- in the many shapes it has taken over the years- is powered by my heart, and as long as I recognize and appreciate how unique BOTH parts of me are, I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay.

The hardest part of being a creative is trusting yourself. It requires lots of honesty, self- love and crazy vulnerability.

No one ever told me about the pitfalls of being a creative, but then again, if I had the disclaimer in the beginning would it be as fun? Would I even do it?

I’ll never know, but that’s okay. I’ll just follow my heart instead, it hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Never skip a beat birds,

XX

J

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