The importance of having High Standards

I have lost count of how many times I have been told to lower my standards. I mean on a daily basis. Not just in dating, in life. Let’s start with what is a standard? Standards are things you set for yourself, by no longer putting up with less than what you are capable of what your worth is. What is the difference between people with low and high standards? People, who set high standards, feel very good about themselves and other people. They operate from a philosophy of abundance, they recognize that there is enough for everyone and all can win, if they choose to. People with low standards have very little self-respect and believe that all things are limited, so they don’t deserve much.

I was that girl once who had friends with no ambitions, dated a man who was on all accounts was “a scrub” throughout college. I was tired of having the bare minimum in life. I decided I could have it all and I worked and still working to that standard. Once I set a standard for myself, I knew nothing and I mean nothing could lower that. If anything, my standards keep getting higher.

What triggered this article? Let’s back track. I went out to have drinks with an old friend, we”ll call him Alec. I haven’t seen Alec in months, so I was excited to see him and catch up. I updated Alec on all my recent shenanigans. I then proceeded to ask Alec about his life. He told me he had met someone he likes very much. I was excited for him until I started asking questions. You know the typical ones, within 5 minutes of asking questions, I felt sorry for him. He has settled for anything that’ll take him. I asked him what was special about this lady and his answer “she is comfortable,  and she just simply says “no worries” to everything”. I was embarrassed for Alec that I had to cut the night short. Alec simply was the type to date anything that will date him. His standards were non existence. 

I started questioning myself and asked myself over and over, how could I even be friends with someone with zero standards.

When you have high standards you expect to be treated with the highest of regard and truly believe you deserve the best. Not in a pompous manner but in a way you are so sure of yourself, you know what you bring to the table. Aesthetically, sartorially, mentally, spiritually, intellectually and much more.

We all have moments where we think lowering our standards would lead to happiness or a less lonelier life. Unfortunately, this can lead to a downward spiral. Pretty soon, you’re with and taking on anything that breathes and stands erect.

I hope to God when I found the one (and in all things) when someone asks my partner what is special about me. His answer is more than “she is comfortable” but more “she is THE standard”

So, let’s stop settling in everything. In relationships, jobs, friends, and overall life. I could have settled for a regular job with two kids by now but I chose a life, a calling, something bigger than me. I always tell my employees, “at specsandblazers, we seek perfection, if we can’t attain it, we settle for excellence”. That is the motto of my business and I apply that to all aspects of my life. I’ve been called a tease, or a “bitch” because I don’t tolerate anything less than I deserve and I refuse to waste time explaining myself.

Is it wrong that I think I deserve the absolute best at all times? Do I have an unrealistic expectations? Maybe. Maybe I’ll end up happy. Maybe you’ll wish you didn’t settle. Dont settle. Dont settle. Dont settle. The moment you lower your standards, you’ve given up on yourself. Please keep your standards high.

With Love

Niké

 

“It is a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.” -W. Somerset Maugham

4 TIPS ON HOW TO OVERCOME SOCIAL MEDIA ANXIETY AND STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.

Today, we are discussing the social media curse. Comparing ourselves to others on social media. I’m beyond guilty of this. We all do it but I think it’s even more prevalent amongst influencers. There is this notion when you log in that everyone else doesn’t have any life issues but somehow you do. That “they” all live such a perfect life. We all know this not to be true but somehow that logic goes out of the window the moment we log into social media. The truth is we are humans, we all have issues and feelings. We have ebbs and flows. We have off days, weeks or even months and sometimes a whole year. I went through a point in my life last year where social media coupled with my blog sent me into a dark place of sadness. When I came out of it, I made a promise to myself to never ever go through that again. So, how did I get to a point where I was able to lessen my social media anxiety? I’ll share 4 tips I’ve learned in the past year that has helped me a lot. Hopefully, this can help anyone going through that.

Nothing is real. The reality is, people are mostly showcasing the best aspects of their life onto social media. Especially as influencers, we are literally paid to showcase an embellished version of our lives. We emphasize the best versions of ourselves instead of the real versions. Simply because I know this for a fact, as soon as I feel myself spiraling on someone else’s page and their “perfect lives”, I take a moment to say “remember, this isn’t real”. Your real life is waiting for you outside social media.

Reduce your time on social media. This one is so difficult for me since social media is literally what I do for a living. However, I’ve learned to give myself a 2 hours time out once a day. 2 hours out of each day, I tell myself, I cannot and will not log into social media. This allows me to be present in my real life and practice mindfulness. With mindfulness comes discernment. When you direct your attention toward the real world, you have less time and energy to direct toward meaningless activities such as social comparisons.

Especially avoid looking at profiles of people who trigger thoughts of comparison. You have nothing to gain in doing so besides anxiety and sadness. There are few girls on my feed with such a “perfect” life and much younger than me. Going on their page causes me such anxiety. I’ve never been a jealous person but I’m also human. Of course, I won’t do something as drastic as unfollowing or blocking them (trust me, a girl did this to me because she thought my life was better than hers and she had to “protect her energy”) but I do tend to avoid their profiles and simply focus on mine.

Self Awareness. Ultimately, you need to take responsibility for your feelings. Assess where those negative comparisons are stemming from and try to figure out why you are having these feelings. Maybe try to develop some self-confidence and self-worth. Personally, each time I make an unfair comparison and start berating myself, I try to view it as an opportunity for a little self-evaluating.

I hope I’m not coming off as demonizing social media since it’s what I do for a living but It’s super easy to go down the social media rabbit hole of friends, family, exes, and friends of friends of friends, all doing sparkly things with beautiful people, and in turn feel like your life doesn’t shine quite as brightly as you thought. Put a leash on your inner snoop and go outside and mingle with the real world. Hope this helps.

Niké

 

 

RUSSIANS HACKED MY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT AND HOW I GOT IT BACK.

 

Let’s skip the pleasantries as it felt like death and I’m still discombobulated. I remember when people use to say “being famous on Instagram, is like having monopoly money”. Well, we all know that saying has been debunked as some of us and myself included does it full time. When I first started blogging full time, I used to be so embarrassed to say “I’m an influencer”. It took me a while and a lot of soul searching to get to the point where I’m comfortable in my own skin to get to the point I’m proud of my job. Because there is a lot to be proud of. You don’t get to work and sacrifice as much as I have and not be proud.

I think what people do not realize is that bloggers put hours and hours into each blog post and IG post. We pay photographers to take the photos, we pay social media assistants to help amplify the posts, and we work hard to integrate sponsorships into our usual content in a way that is authentic and natural. In fact, it costs me so much money…and time.

I have sacrificed so much to get to where I am at, so to watch my pictures deleted one by one and my account sold 2 days after hitting 100k literally felt like death. I sat on my floor for 4 days and cried and cried and cried. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t have customer service or even a form to fill out for help. After having a heart attack and going to the hospital. I came back home and thought to myself, I’ve fought my whole life and I just have to fight even harder. So, here are the few things I learned during this past week:

. Persistence works! My lovely hacker actually removed my Facebook, email, phone number and everything in between. After a mini-heart attack and a hospital visit. I started emailing everyone. Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t have emails or forms, so we were just grasping at any email we could think of. Eventually, I started googling articles. I read every single article on google. From page 1-page 10. Refreshed and started over. Eventually, I ran into an article from a guy who lost his account at 300k and after a month of trying to get it back, he eventually went on Linkedin and typed in “Instagram” and started emailing every single one of their employees. This might sound insane and dramatic but “squeaky wheel gets the grease”.

.Determination is your best friend. When everyone was telling me “you’ll get over it”, “you can start over”. I refused to start over. I called my Mother crying & screaming and she said: “You are a fighter, you don’t just give up, you get in your car and drive to their headquarters”. I not only wrote everyone on Linkedin. I also collected all their employee names including interns and wrote long and obnoxious paragraphs under all their pictures. Do now, apologize later.

.Two-factor authentication does not work. As a matter of fact, that’s how I got hacked. It’s called a hack because these people are brilliant and they are unfortunately smarter than you are. However, there are other ways to reduce your chances of getting hacked. use a very long and complicated password. Do the code backup option on your settings. I kept 5 different codes. So, it; ll literally take James Bond to break into my account again.

.Have a balanced life. As you all know, in everything that happens to me in life, I always seek the lesson in it. The lesson for me is that I really need to slow down. I’m such a workaholic and, truly I am addicted to working. I was pushing out content when I was hospitalized for exhaustion and dehydration. I don’t believe in rest or breaks. I’ve always said, “I can sleep when I die”. However, with the new success of the blog, it got worse. All I do is work. I don’t date, don’t go out, don’t have any hobbies. When I had my mini heart attack at 29 and the doctors told my friends to take me to go do my favorite activities. Both my friends (photographers) looked at the doctor and said: “she doesn’t have hobbies, her only hobby is working”. In that moment, I thought “Oh crap! If I make it out of this alive, I need to try to date and meet new friends and eventually maybe start dating again. (This makes me sound so pathetic).

.Be vigilant! Exercise caution if you encounter any suspicious activity such as unrecognized incoming calls, texts, and emails. In many cases of Instagram that was hacked this weekend, it was simply because of an email “phishing” that looks very real but the I is swapped for an L. Unfortunately, it’s easy to miss when they are all in small letters. So, open the email address and ask the second eye to help you look closely.

Thank you to the team at Instagram for working diligently to get my account and username back.

I won’t wish this on my worst enemy. Hope this article helps! Thank you to everyone who reached out and fought with me to get my account back. To all the brands who stayed patient through it all, thank you. My deepest gratitude. Have a blessed evening.

Niké

The Ultimate Summer Date Night Guide – What To Wear.

Hi, Ladies! Summer dates are the best dates if you still believe in dating or what not. I don’t remember the last time I dated but when I used to date, I loved getting dress up for a fun night especially during summer season. The fabulous thing about summer dating is that it doesn’t have to last. (I’m kidding). You can sit outside to enjoy your date and stop for ice cream on your stroll home, stay out a little later than you would normally because it’s still light out. But dressing for summer dates in Los Angeles can be another story. It gets somewhat chilly at night. So, the trick is to pick something sweat proof and perhaps add a layer at night. Here are 5 ways to have your date staring at your outfit all night.

1. A lingerie-inspired slip dress is perfect for hot summer nights. Thank God we can wear our lingerie out now. When you were growing up, your mom probably told you to make sure that your slip doesn’t show. Find a beautiful midi slip dress and throw a leather jacket on top.


2. Slip on some bold sandals. You know what they say, the higher the heels……


3. For Fickle weather, start with a crop top and midi-skirt as your base layer, then throw on a moto jacket in case the temperatures start to dip.
4. For dipping on the dance floor, style a slightly sheer shirt with a fitting skinny jeans and pumps for a well-balanced ensemble.


5. To give your date night outfit romantic finishes, style a lace dress like mine. With this particular outfit, I’ll bring a vintage-wash denim jacket to add just the right touch of laid-back style to this ultra-feminine, pink lace dress. Worn with nude So-Kate pumps to elongate the look of my legs. You could also wear this outfit easily for brunch, coffee or a casual dinner just switch out the shoes with nude wedges.

Have a great rest week and thank you so much for reading!
:: Outfit ::
Dress :: Elliatt
Shoes :: Christian Louboutin
Accessories :: Strathberry Bag.

Niké

POLITELY PINK IN BLACK HALO

Happy Monday! I’ve never been a fan of pink so I don’t have a lot of pink in my wardrobe. However, I’m slowly falling in love with the color pink. When my family at BLACK HALO sent me this dress, I was ecstatic.
Even though, I am falling in love with pink. I still try to keep at a minimum. I kept this look pretty minimal, kept the palette soft, feminine and within the same color family. Because it’s oh-so-girly, I just finished it off with peach sunglasses. Completing the look are my essential go-to pumps in nude (can never go wrong with these). These are from Louboutin. Hope you like! Many more of this style to come…

www.blackhalo.com

Dealing with Anxiety – Using the power of a present mind.

Hi, guys! This is something have been meaning to share with you all but didn’t know how to bring it up. I suffer from anxiety, crippling anxiety as I’m sure some of you do as well. The kind that you can’t seem to get out of bed for days. Anxiety is the power of the mind against the mind. That power is your greatest asset – and it’s an exceptional one. Now to claim it back so you can use it in a way that will build and strengthen you. I’ve suffered from panic attacks and extreme bouts of anxiety to the point that I’ve stopped breathing without realizing it. As most people know, anxiety is living in the future rather than the present, so lets change or at least try to manage it, shall we?

 

 

1 Be present. Be where you are, not where your anxiety wants to take you which is the future.
Anxiety works by using a solid collection of ‘what-ifs’ and ‘maybes’ to haul even the strongest, bravest mind from a present that feels manageable and calm, to a future that feels uncertain and threatening. Experiment with staying fully present in the moment. Find the ability to pull back from the anxious thoughts that steal you away from the safety and security of where you are in the future back to the present. Try to get into a regular practice each day, for however long you can – two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes – it doesn’t matter. There’s no right amount, but the longer the better. The main thing is to keep doing it. 
Try: ‘Right now, I’m here and I’m safe. I see the sky. I feel the breeze against my skin. I hear my footsteps’.

 

 
2 Be patient. Don’t be in a hurry to change your thoughts and feelings.
Thoughts and feelings will come, they will stay, and then they will go. No thought or feeling stays forever. Be patient and know that whatever you are feeling, or whatever you are thinking, it will pass. 
Experiment with being fully present, without needing to push away any thoughts or feelings. There is no anxious feeling and no anxious thought that is stronger than you. However big they feel, you will always be stronger and more resilient. Be patient. Be open. Be curious. See what wisdom lies at the end of your anxious thoughts and feelings if you stay with them, rather than fight them. Let them stay for long enough to realize that you have no need for them today. 
 Try: ‘An anxious thought. That’s okay – you’ll leave when you’re ready.

 

3 Trust your anxiety. Know that it won’t hurt you. 
There are a lot of reasons anxiety feels so awful. Two of the big ones are because it comes with a bunch of ‘unknowns’, and because the physical feelings don’t make sense. A curious, strong, thoughtful mind will try to put these feelings and thoughts in context, because the idea that they are free-floating and not attached to anything feels even worse. You might find yourself wondering if your physical symptoms are a sign of something more serious. You might wonder if that ‘bad feeling’ means something bad is actually going to happen. You might worry about the worry (this is common with anxiety) – what’s driving it, how to you stop it.  that your anxiety isn’t a sign of something bigger. This is hard to do but the more you practice it, the stronger you will be at calming your anxious thoughts and not believing the messages they contact. Anxiety is there as a warning, not a prediction. Feel the security and safety of what that means for you.

 
4 Exercise 
Trust that whatever happens, you can deal with it – because you can, you absolutely can. I’ve the same anyway. What you focus on is what becomes powerful. The more you focus on something, the more it flourishes and expands. I’ve never been a work-out kind of person. Every time I pick up a hobby, I drop it rather quickly. However, I enjoy solo hiking trips. Find forms of exercise that you truly enjoy and dedicate 30 minutes 3X a week to it.

 
5 Social Media Breaks
Messages and experiences from the past have a way of changing the filter through which we look at the rest of the world. This is the way it works for all of us – anxiety or no anxiety. I am a sucker for going down the rabbit hole on social media. Looking at pictures of old friends/frenemies/enemies that are married with children sends me into terrible anxiety. Although, I know most are an illusion. So, I’ve taught myself how to turn my phone off few hours a day and do things like read a book, watch Netflix or just meditate. 
 Surrender. Let go of the need for certainty, even if it’s just for a moment.  You are brave and resilient and you have everything you need inside you to deal with anything that might stand in your way. You are going to be okay.

 

 

My Trip To Cuba

Cuba!!!!! What an experience. I wish I can describe this trip as good or bad but that’ll simply be impossible. I stayed in Havana, Cuba in an AirbnB. I would say it was the most gratifying yet exhausting and costly trip I’ve ever experienced.
Traveling alone usually is something that I enjoy and prefer but how I wished I had a companion that spoke Spanish on this trip. I’ll start with the positives. Cuba in a way is an Utopia. They have no access to the outside world. You buy internet illegally under the table by the hour and you have to go to a park to use it. On average, you’ll spend over 300 dollars on internet access and I promise you, you’ll probably be able to log on once or twice. I know that sounds like a negative but I think its what makes the people so kind and the country crime free.
Cuba is truly the safest country for women. Cubans operate on routine. They wake up at 5 am, drink the strongest coffee you can imagine then go to the park with their children to do yoga.
Now, to the negatives. Like I said before, Cuba is the most expensive country I’v ever visited. There is a sense that they are still trying to punish Americans for the past, so when exchanging currencies, you are given 10% to 20% less of your exchange. An average cab ride or meal costs about 60 USD. In a day, you’ll spend an average of 300 dollars. Needless to say I spent over 2,000 dollars in a week. Tourism is the only source of an average Cuban income therefore, once they figured you are an American, you’ll inadvertently be charged more than you should. They also have two different currencies, the CUP and the CUC and my God, good luck trying to figure out where you should spend which.
Virtually, no one speaks English and I mean NO ONE. Because I’ve been to myriad of Spanish speaking countries in the past and was able to communicate just fine with my little Spanish and their little English, I assumed I won’t have any problems.
In many ways, going to Cuba feels like going back in time. It’s not just because of the classic cars. The cars are so fabulous!! There’s also the lack of infrastructure.
I’ll absolutely love to go back to Cuba. Cuba swept me off my feet.  I felt every hair on my neck stand up when I arrived in Cuba.  I absolutely won’t mind living there when they have internet. I was trying to absorb every detail of the scenes that were unfolding.  Four days there felt like a month because of the sheer amount of experiences we had, but at the same time it felt like I only scratched the surface of this country.
CUBA WAS AMAZING AND I’LL GO AGAIN WHEN I’M RICH!

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It’s My Birthday!

Aaannnnnnnnndddddd I’m turning _____ You thought I was going to tell y’all huh?!
I’m celebrating tonight in Havana, Cuba with locals and I can’t wait to ring in this next year of my life by dancing the night away. There is so much I want to accomplish, and I’m so blessed to be where I am in my life. I’m happier and healthier than ever. I literally accomplished everything I wanted to this year and more! I don’t have many deep thoughts or profound truth to share today other than chase your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible. I’m incredibly grateful to you all and a heartfelt thanks to God for an amazing life.

Dress Provided by: http://www.blackhalo.com

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Neutral Outfit: How to wear Camel, Cream, Beige And Nude

People will tell you that neutral has no positive characters or features. I think not! When used together or for contrast it could be fantastic. Flesh tone outfits looks good on everyone. This winter, nude tones are on my top list. I decided to go in the glamour route. I paired an H&M turtleneck with JustOneAnswer leather circle skirt and forever21 nude coat to finish it off. A pair of nude shoes is a staple in every woman’s closet but it shouldn’t end up with just shoes. So, I finished it off with my https://goo.gl/7AyljE pumps. Mixing all nude colors gives you a certain classy and ladylike look. Let me know what you ladies think.

“If you believe it will work out , you will see opportunities. If you believe it won’t you will see obstacles.”

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