Don’t Wish Your Life Away in College

My mom has always told me to never wish my life away. As I got older, I started to say this too. I feel like as a society the majority of us look forward to the weekend or can’t wait until the next vacation we go on. We end up wishing for anything but the present.

Senior year for most people is the combination of wanting the year to end but also not wanting to give up all the freedom that you have. The first semester of my senior year I found myself wishing my life away, something I know my mom told me not to do. I couldn’t wait to be done with those courses, to go on the trips I had planned or even just to have a break from everything. I was so ready for a new experience that I wasn’t enjoying the present.

As second semester rolled around, I was on the verge of tears just hearing the word graduation. One day it hit me that my time was limited. I had already accepted a job offer in another state and knew I wouldn’t be close to friends or family. This is when I started to panic. I had spent a whole first semester not enjoying Saint Louis or the people I was surrounded by. I soon changed my perspective. Of course there were days when I was “over it” and wanted to be done with college. But more often than not I just wanted to hang out with my friends as much as possible.

One of my roommates graduated in December and the differences of a college student and a post-graduate was becoming more and more obvious. Seeing her live her post-grad life was shocking. You think that when you graduate you suddenly have all this free time, think again. You quickly get back into a routine and have your own things to accomplish on a weekly basis.

The days and weeks started flying by and all my friends and I could think about was making the most out of the last few moments we had together as college students, as roommates, as 5M (our freshmen year floor).

When it came to the end of the year, I noticed that the people that I was still surrounded by would definitely be there to stay. I have lived with them, shared so many experiences with them and have been there for them just like they were there for me.

My advice to those who are in college and can’t wait to get that degree and be done is just to enjoy the moment. You don’t realize it at first, but that is the last time you will be in the same place at the same time as some of your closest friends. Never take your time with the people who meant so much to you for so long for granted.

 

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

Content Creator Community

After sitting around for months thinking about starting my own blog, I finally did it. I did it because I was so inspired by all the bloggers I was seeing express their love of fashion. A few months after getting interested in blogging I realized that every creative thing you can think of is striving due to its online presence. Social media has empowered anyone and everyone with internet access to pursue their dreams and express themselves.

Once I started my blog I couldn’t get over how many content creators I was surrounded by that I had never interacted with before. Some are bloggers, photographers, graphic designers, song writers, and so many other things. Interacting with them on a regular basis has given me so much inspiration and confidence to continue to pursue my passions.

Over the course of the last few months, I have found myself going back to this same group of people. At first I thought it was because I had just found a new group of friends, and then it hit me… I keep coming back to these people because they inspire me and keep me motivated.

After reflecting on all these conversations I have had with these people, I noticed a common thread. We are all more passionate about our side hustles than we are passionate about school and work. It is so hard to sit there and not be able to focus on something other than your passion. It is so hard to sit there and feel like there is this massive barrier between you and your dreams.

I started to think about why I feel so inspired by these people; the people who take my photos for my blog, the people who designed my logo, the people who I am constantly asking how their music is coming along. Then I realized what it was; I am inspired by their passions because they are real. They aren’t afraid to put themselves out there for others to see and hear. They aren’t afraid to invest in themselves and their future without seeing a return on investment immediately.

I think this is why this community is so close. We are always asking each other how our content is going, commenting and liking each other’s posts and its because we get it. We understand the daily struggle of producing content that virtually the whole world could see. We understand that sometimes its hard and can be so frustrating, but also one of the most rewarding things ever.

I never thought that the friends I made due to blogging would be some of the best friendships I have formed. Blogging has not only opened the door to new friendships but has made some of my existing friendships even stronger. I think it all comes down to sharing your passion with people, once you open up to them on what you really want in life the “real talk” slowly starts consuming your conversations.

What is your passion and what are you doing to express it?

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

Emily Brady Designs Illustration

This is an illustration that @emilybradydesigns made for me! Check her out on Instagram!

 

Graduation Season Inspiration

Let’s face it, graduation season is here! Seniors, yes, that means reality is creeping up on us. Thank you for those who noticed that I was freaking out about graduation season and commented on my Instagram (@lavidalisa_) posts asking for some must-haves/inspiration! 

Here is my list of must-haves during this graduation season along with a few gift ideas!

Graduation dresses – whether you are graduating or attending a graduation you probably want to look good! You will likely need at LEAST one dress for a graduation and one for a graduation party. (click the photo to direct you to the site!)

If I was a graduate I would wear something like this… 

Nordstrom Graduation Dress 1  Nordstrom Graduation Dress 2  Nordstrom Graduation Dress 3

These are all bright so if you take a few pictures with your gown on it will stand out! I also worry a lot about length and sleeves. I hate feeling like a dress is borderline too short for me or feeling like I have to adjust my sleeves or pull up the bust of my dress.

If I was the graduate at my own party I would wear something like this…                                Nordstrom Graduate Party 1  Nordstrom Graduation Party 2     Nordstrom Party 3.2

These are a little bit more statement pieces. You will want to stand out at your party while being comfortable!

If I was attending a graduation party I would wear something like this…

Nordstrom Party Guest 1  Nordstrom Party Guest 2 Nordstrom Party Guest 3

These looks are casual but still super cute. You don’t want to show up to a party too over dressed but definitely not underdressed!

And here are a few gift ideas…

For her:

  1. Water bottle for her new big girl job
  2. Inspiring bracelet to let them know you’re proud
  3. A tote for work  so she never has to use the one she took to class everyday again

For him: 

  1. Messenger bag for work  because they will look sleek af
  2. Tie and coordinating socks  let’s be real, they might not know how to match
  3. A travel kit  in case they are going to go on their first business trip and have no idea how to pack

For either:

  1. Bed Bath & Beyond gift card because they will have to drop a lot of cash on their new apartment
  2. A bar tool kit so they feel classy in their new place
  3. Tech cables kit  so they can finally have their life together on those long flights

 

I hope you are inspired for this graduation season!

Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe so you won’t miss any of my posts!

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

Spring Must-Have Sneakers

By now I am sure you have noticed that I love wearing sneakers. They are my go-to on a daily basis, my go-to when I travel and my go-to when I can’t decide which shoes to wear. I am constantly planning my outfits around sneakers because let’s be real, everyday isn’t a booties or wedge day!

Today I am sharing some of my favorite sneakers that are available this season and what I might pair each category with!

“Traditional” Sneakers

These are the type of sneakers that I would style much like my Adidas Superstars; a shoe that I throw on at least 3 times a week with a simple graphic tee and jeans. These are such good shoes to have in your closet because they are fashionable with minimal effort.

Adidas Superstars

My favs that are in store now…

  1. Adidas Cloudfoam Advantage Sneaker (literally JUST bought these!)

    Adidas Cloudfoam Advantage Sneaker

  2. Reebok ‘Classic’ Sneaker (I had a pair of these as a kid and tbh, I want to invest in them again!)

Reebok Classic Sneaker

3. PUMA Basket Strap ExoticSkin Sneaker (the “exoticskin” adds texture and makes a simple sneaker unique!)

PUMA Basket ExoticSkin Sneaker

“Simple as can be” sneakers

These would be like my Nordstrom Halogen sneakers; I wear them with dresses and jeans so that the focus is on the top/dress. Here are two ways that I love styling a simple as can be sneaker:

My favs that are in store now…

  1. Steve Madden Genette Slip-On Sneaker (a little platform never hurt nobody)Steve Madden Genette Slip-On Sneaker
  2. Vans Perf Leather Slip-On (the name says it all…)

Vans Perf Leather Slip-On

3. PUMA Basket Heart Sneaker (simple, but still a little girly)

PUMA Basket Heart Sneaker

“Statement” Sneakers

I consider statement sneakers to be the accessory that makes the outfit. I typically don’t wear my statement sneakers with anything that is too loud on the top since I want the shoes to me the focus of the outfit. So like in the picture below, a simple bomber jacket and white tee is spiced up with my statement Nikes.

Nike B&W Rose Print Sneakers

My favs that are in store now…

  1. Topshop Cupid Embroidered Sneaker (pop of blush with some detail can make a simple look super chic!)

Topshop Cupid Embroidered Sneaker

2. FENTY PUMA by Rihanna Bow Sneaker (idk what it is about these, but I am feelin them…)

FENTY PUMA by Rihanna Bow Sneaker

3. Gucci New Age Snake Embellished Sneaker (okay okay, I know these are far fetched for my current budget, but I love them! You get the general idea though, simple sneaker with a statement patch/design)

Gucci New Age Snake Embellished Sneaker

There you have it! Some sneakers that are out this season that would go with just about anything in your closet! These can make your casual outfit look casual chic with little to no effort.

Thank you for visiting my blog today! Don’t forget to subscribe or follow me on Instagram (@lavidalisa_) for daily fashion inspo!

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

Three Simple Ways to Style a Trench

The last few weeks have been so rainy in St. Louis and I have been using my trench more than ever. I have had it for over two years and used to only wear it for work. But recently, I have started to use it on a regular basis. Today I am sharing three looks with my trench to show you how versatile it can be!

1. Simple everyday going to class look 

As I am sure you have all noticed that anytime I can get away with wearing jeans and my sneakers I go for it! Here I paired it with a simple tee, threw on a a light scarf and my go-to sneakers. This is something I would definitely wear to class or on the weekend for running errands.

Street style Trench 1

2. Rainy day, but I still want to look chic look 

For this look I paired a patterned crop top that adds a pop of color and sleek rain boots. These boots and trench go well together because it looks like you’re trying to be super trendy but really, you’re being practical since its pouring outside. Since this is a slight crop top, I would wear it out on the weekend for a coffee or to go shopping.

Want to look chic 3

3. I have a cute dress, but I might get chilly look

Who else hates it when they know they should probably wear a jacket but don’t want it to ruin their whole outfit? I know I do! A neutral color trench is the perfect jacket to throw over just about any dress! Here I paired it with one of my new favorite dresses and cannot wait to re-wear this look. Date night look or just a nice dinner with some girl friends for sure!

Might get chilly 1

I’m so glad that I have been able to get out of my comfort zone with my trench. I used to think I could only wear it when I’m dressed up, but now that I am using it more often I have found that I love wearing it on my casual days too!

There you have it! Three simple and versatile ways to style your trench this spring! Let me know which look you like the most!

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie

Photo credit: Jonathan Hwang

Pura Vida

Hello everyone!

I know I posted photos on my Instagram (@lavidalisa_) during my spring break trip to Costa Rica, but I thought I would share what I did each day and some photos that didn’t make the grid!

Day One: On the first full day in Costa Rica, we went on an excursion. We went zip-lining through a rainforest in San Luis. This was my first time zip-lining or doing anything like this, so at first I was pretty anxious! However, I soon realized that I really enjoyed the adrenaline rush.  After returning from the excursion, we went back to the hostel I was staying in, ran some errands because we forgot a towel (rookie mistake, I know) and then enjoyed dinner in San Jose.

Jasmine and I in our zip lining outfits!

Day Two: Day two was much longer than we expected it to be! Our day started off around 7am when we got picked up for a full-day excursion. The first stop was in La Fortuna where we stopped for a short amount of time to see the largest Ox cart and see a beautiful church. We then drove about two hours or so to see one of the six active volcanoes in Costa Rica, volcano Arenal. This was an amazing view! It was so crazy to see smoke coming out of the top of the volcano and knowing that it is still active! The last time Arenal erupted was in 2010, so I tried not to think about that too much.

Largest Ox cart

Pastel Church in La Fortuna

Volcano Arenal

The next stop was Tabacon hot springs. These hot springs were so relaxing, and honestly, quite romantic! There were over 20 different hot springs you could go into and they were all fairly secluded so you could enjoy the spring with your small group (perfect for a few IG pictures). After the hot springs we had dinner at the hotel and headed back to San Jose.

DSC00195
Some close ups

Day Three: This day we made an impulse decision to go to the coast one day early. The friend I as traveling with was leaving sooner than I was so we decided it was best to move on from San Jose. We took a two hour bus ride to Puntarenas and enjoyed the resort life! This was a nice change from the hostel to say the least. The first day we just walked along the beach and laid by the pool before going to dinner.

DSC00347

Day Four: I will be honest, we did nothing more than lay by the pool, take IG pictures and enjoy a few cocktails this day. 🙂

Sunset Pics

Day Five: We spent the first part of the day at the resort in Puntarenas and then headed back to San Jose. Once we got back to San Jose, we went for a coffee and a late lunch before my friend had to head back to the states!

Day Six: This was one of my favorite days on the trip. Whenever I travel, I really try to do at least a day on my own. I decided to go to the National Museum of Costa Rica which was about a 25 minute walk from the hostel (I only had a printed map and found my way!). After spending some time there, I moved over to the market where I bought way too much but loved helping the local economy! Then I had my last traditional Costa Rican meal, went to the park and had some mango with hot sauce (so good, omg!) and went back to the hostel to finish up packing and to lay in a hammock before it was time to leave.

Spotted at the National Museum of Costa Rica

Overall, I had an amazing trip. There were some aspects that I wish I would have planned better, but I am the type of person that likes to go with whatever I am feeling that day. The other thing that I thoroughly enjoyed (and always do) was practicing my Spanish. I love going to a Spanish speaking country as a tourist and being able to communicate in their native language, sometimes there is some confusion but the locals always love it when people at least TRY to speak to them in their native tongue.

The Power of Sisterhood

This past week I spent four days with some of the most amazing women I have ever met. I got to hear their personal stories and their passions. Recently, I have been finding myself inspired more by people in real life who are relatable to me which it took me a long time to realize. I have been trying to make the people around me understand me, my interests and accept me. But being around all these women made me realize that other people don’t need to understand me and accept me; all that matters is that I accept myself.

I had been searching for a community and people who were like-minded and it took me traveling 1,840 miles to find it. I am truly blessed to be a part of the We All Grow Latina Network and I had no idea how much it would influence me. I thought I was joining this network to gain followers and to connect with brands, but attending the WAG Summit made me realize that it is so much more than that. It’s about empowering other Latinas and encouraging the growth of our community because we do matter, we can make a difference and we will change lives.

Being Latina is of course something that has always been part of me. For the first five years of my life, I only knew Spanish and only had been exposed to my Mexican culture. Once I moved to the suburbs, it changed my life forever. I can recall several times driving into our suburban neighborhood telling my parents to turn down the Spanish music. And I always remember them asking me why, and I would reply with “we’re in Plainfield now.” Even as a five year old, I was suppressing my background because I thought we had to be like all the other families in my neighborhood. 

I never realized until this weekend that I wasn’t embracing my background that I left behind in Cicero. Once I moved, I didn’t realize that I left the Latina part of me there. I now notice that the only time I feel like I embrace my background is either in Cicero, around my family or with other Latinos. I no longer want this to be the case; I want to be who I am all the time.

Joining the WAG Network has done that for me. In today’s society you can feel so connected to people all over the world. So even though I am apart from all those powerful, beautiful women; I still feel their passion everyday by seeing them post and write about their dreams. Going to the summit has inspired me to embrace my Latina side more than ever. I want to set an example for other Latinas and show them that we do matter, we are equal, and we will make a difference.

When one grows, we all grow.

Xoxo,

Lisa Marie