DEAR BLACK GIRL, YOU'RE A SOLDIER

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DEAR BLACK GIRL, YOU'RE A SOLDIER.

This is my ode to you.

You're magical, beautiful… a novelty that many seek to imitate but can’t fully understand. Your presence is a force to be reckoned with.

I too, was once and still often am, filled with doubt, anger, and confusion, I too was once unaware of my power and the precious gifts that I have to bestow on others. 

But even the darkest skies have stars to illuminate the night. 

You're fearless. You’re brave. A fighter with a heart made of pure gold.

Your skin is so rich it glistens-filled with all the secrets our ancestors left behind. 

Don't you dare alter it by bleaching. Lighter does not mean better, every shade of our black is beautiful.

Your hair defies gravity. Baby don’t you ever forget that you're out of this world.

Your laugh is so special. It has sass that no one else can match. It’s contagious, infectious, and bright.

Embrace your body no matter what the shape. 

Embrace your femininity whether you choose to wear makeup or a weave. Embrace it. 

Embrace those kinks those curls and those coils. 

Remember that a rose can grow in-between concrete. Don’t hate yourself for making others feel uncomfortable. Embrace it. 

Beauty comes in all forms.

Remember to laugh so hard your stomach hurts.

Remember to go with your gut instinct and live your life. 

Remember to relax. You haven't figured it all out and you probably won't. 

Happiness comes from within. Remember to be happy. 

Do not lose sight of your dreams. Do not let the world steal your kindness. Never let doubt cloud your judgement.

Remember you are entitled to your emotions… angry happy or sad. They belong to you and no one else.

Dear Black Girl, you are a gift. 

You are a solider and this is my ode to you.

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SPRING STYLE: KHAKI TONES WITH JORD WATCHES

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While many would consider this look fall-related, which I can also agree on, I've always had fun breaking "fashion barriers" by wearing my muted tones all year long. With Spring offering some seriously challenging wardrobe decisions, this color palette suits the weather with exactly what it's offering. My favorite way to accessorize muted tones are by adding a bit of rose gold and usually a dope watch like the JORD one. 

Style is all about personality, how you feel and what vibes you'd like to give out. The oversized sweater, Yeezy inspired boots and exclusive wooden watch perfectly set the tone for my comfy boyfriend yet girly look. This timeless wooden watch fits right into my creative lifestyle by being fashionable and practical.

ABOUT JORD WATCHES & HOW I STYLE MY WATCH

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JORD is a creator of unique wood watches made with details by artists, designers, marketers and minders. The company makes timepieces that reflects a modern lifestyle for individuals like you and I. 

What I admire the most about their story, besides them being relatable to their consumer, is the ability to portray a timepiece for people who not only have somewhere to be, but somewhere to go. As someone who runs on a very strict schedule and has a lot on her plate, this spoke volumes!

My watch personally tells more than time because it shows my style and personality. It's subtle (with the gray, brown and gold color palette) yet bold (with its wooden composition), it's unique but fits perfectly with any style. Whether I am on a Starbucks run in the concrete jungle, pressed for time due to a meeting or simply enjoying the scattered sunshine at a cafe during this spring season, I like to have functionality and style. 

As a creative who plans accordingly and enjoys timeless projects, I like my accessories to marry into my lifestyle. April showers might bring May flowers, but dealing with the inconsistent weather while being cozy in style helps gets the job done. 

SURPISE GIVEAWAY!

If you've read this post through this far, surprise! I've teamed up with JORD to give you guys an instant giveaway! All entrants will receive an e-gift code for $25 OFF a watch of their choice but a lucky winner will receive a code for $100 OFF a watch of their choice. Want a chance to win or receive a gift card? Simply follow Jord Watches & Stilettos & Standards on Instagram and sign up for the Exclusive Giveaway Entry Form

If you've read this post through this far, surprise! I've teamed up with JORD to give you guys an instant giveaway! All entrants will receive an e-gift code for $25 OFF a watch of their choice but a lucky winner will receive a code for $100 OFF a watch of their choice. Want a chance to win or receive a gift card? Simply follow Jord Watches & Stilettos & Standards on Instagram and sign up for the Exclusive Giveaway Entry Form

 

This contest ends on June 1st 2017, exactly one month from the day this post was published.

GOOD LUCK! 

 

DISCLAIMER- Please note that my watch was gifted to me from Jord Watches however, this post is not sponsored and all opinions are honest and mine.

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HOW TO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS

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Blogging is an incredible creative outlet that can potentially turn into a career. However, it can easily become stressful if the main focus, which is enjoyment, is lost. Comparison has always been the thief of my joy because it often lead me to ignore what I should be grateful for. So after another serious hiatus, I'm back at having peace within and understanding what my purpose is. If you're a blogger or simply a creative who is on the verge of calling it quits, hold on. I've felt the same way and here are some tips that helped me get through it. 

THERE'S ENOUGH ROOM FOR EVERYONE

Do NOT listen to small minded people that tell you not to go after what you dream of because they are too afraid to do it themselves. No, the market isn't saturated and NO, there aren't limited spaces for whatever it is you want in life. Have people succeeded at what you dream of? Great because if they can do it, so can you. 


QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

I knew I needed a break when I felt the need to blog just to produce content. It wasn't authentic because I was loosing sight of who I was and what I wanted my brand to represent. Do NOT post just for the sake of posting. DO put a 1000% of yourself into everything you create and ask yourself if you would enjoy what you've created. 

DO NOT COMPARE

If you've been following Stilettos & Standards for a while then you know how I feel about comparison. I've always stressed about not comparing your journey with anyone else's. So let me remind you once more, STAY IN YOUR LANE & DO YOU. The worst thing you can do is lose sight of what's on your plate because you're too busy looking at someone else's.

BE YOURSELF

Be unapologetically and fearlessly, comfortable in your own skin. Blogging has truly taken me out of my comfort zone where I am constantly judged through the lens of people who can't step out of their own. I've often felt awkward or conscious about it but I've come to the realization that it isn't my job to make someone comfortable with my confidence. Regardless of what your passion is, do not let anyone dim the light that sets your soul on fire!

TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Mental health is extremely important. More than often, if you aren't feeling like yourself it becomes transparent with the results of your creation. YOU come first, that is the most important thing to remember. While consistency is important and I don't encourage an excessive amount of breaks, if you need a day or a few weeks to shut the world out and work on finding yourself, I support you darling. 

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NEW YEAR, SAME MANTRA

An insanely infamous quote most people swear by as the new year approaches is "New Year, New Me." It without a doubt drives me insane to see it all over social media but, I've had to learn to sip my tea and allow people to grow in their own way. 

My approach for a New Year resolution isn't to become a completely new person for two weeks (something most of us are guilty of) but to strive at becoming better than I once was. I wouldn't describe 2016 as a very memorable year but I would say I've been blessed with more light than dark moments. Among all the things I've learned and shared with you, here are several mantras (from previous posts) that I will be taking with me into 2017.

1. GRATITUDE- I've always been very hard on myself and sometimes play ignorant to what my full plate looks like. Having a grateful heart in moments where things do not seem to go my way has really taken me far.  I can't worry about what someone else has on their plate when mine may be filled in a different aspect. Everyone has a unique timeline so I've learned to be thankful and focus on mine.

2. REALISM- Most of my frustration comes from not being able to achieve a goal within an unreasonable deadline I've created for myself. I firmly believe that nothing is impossible but I consider my timeframe and other noises that might give me a limitation. I've improved by breaking goals into chunks and giving myself a realistic timeframe to achieve them- which always relay such a rewarding feeling. 

3. KINDNESS- When you're kind and have a pure heart, people will walk all over you. I've had to remain impeccable with my words and behavior when my kindness was continuously tested. Not every action deserves my reaction or getting out of character to prove a point. I like my softness and my belief that the world is still such a beautiful place through all obstacles. I mean, I can go from high tea to vodka real quick, but I prefer the high tea part 99% of the time!

4. MOTIVATE- I am an advocate for motivating people to pursue their dreams and do what ultimately make them happy. It's so important to understand that we all have a passion or a hidden talent and when we learn to master these gifts it becomes a fraction of a great manifestation in the world. Could you imagine if someone pushed you beyond your limits just when you were about to give up? Good, now go do the same for someone else and watch how grand you'll feel when they take that leap of faith.

5. LIVE- None of the above can happen unless I live to the fullest extent of my potential and in the moment. I am that person who's always waited for summer to happen in the winter and complained about the heat. Once I learned the beauty of living and not surviving, I was able to efficiently practice all of the above.

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DISNEY PRINCESS | NYE INSPIRED LOOK

Many who have seen this New Year's Eve inspired look have compared it to the very well known Frozen Princess, Elsa. But if you're a 90s kid like I am, it should also remind you of Aladdin's gorgeous princess, Jasmine. 

When I decided to shoot this year for the holidays, I knew I wanted my photos to implement the beauty of Disney Princesses (without Disney Princes) into real life. As a little girl watching these animated films, I dreamt of their magical world and the need for a prince to have a happily ever after. It wasn't until a few years ago that I've had to force myself into understanding solitude did not mean failure and that children should not be taught to need a prince for freedom.

Of course as a human being, I would love companionship and someone to have a happily ever after with. However, I am just as brave, strong, magical and fierce the way I am. To all my single princesses, you do not need to be rescued or completed by someone because you are meant to be complemented.

Disney made my childhood a great memory and while the cartoons should teach us other values, many of us translate them for companionship. If theres anything you should take from this besides the look, it is to be the princess that you are and not to settle for less than what you deserve or bring to the table. 

May your 2017 be magical.

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(RED) AID AWARENESS | A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pose in this beautiful princess-like gown and to achieve many dreams of mine which has led me to where I am today.

I'm also well aware that there are many children in the world who will have a harder time achieving their dreams because they are living with AIDS. My goal is to bring awareness about the disease and inspiration to these children and many others because there is always a silver lining in every cloud. RED is an organization that helps bridge the gap between those who are treated and those who lack the proper care, which is worth about 30 cents a day something many with the deadly disease are never able to provide in their lifetime.

Approximately 36.7 million people in the world are living with AIDS and only 17 million out of that population is receiving treatment to live with this disease. More than often, mothers pass the virus to their children without knowing nor the proper care to prevent so. While our Christmas lists may be filled with beauty products, electronics or heels, someone in the highly infected AIDS demographic can only wish for another day to live. 

RED is an organization very close to my heart for the support it gives to my motherland. With the help of its partners, it has raised over $365 million to provide the anti-viral treatment needed to live with AIDS. I can't stress enough how important it is to know your status (1 in every 8 people doesn't know they have HIV) and raise awareness through funds or volunteer work.

Make a child's Christmas a little better by being informed, volunteering or donating.

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CHRISTMAS AS A MUSLIM

My fondest memory is growing up in Benin and celebrating the holidays around lively people. Whether it was Eid, Christmas or New Year's Eve, there was a sense of unity through the breezy yet humid air. As a Muslim living in a predominantly Christian country, my parents allowed us to see the world as a whole rather than in pieces through religious views. They were Muslims raising children in a Christian country- creating their own traditions while respecting others.

Christmas as a Muslim signifies family time for us and fortunately for me the decorating part is a creative drug. My mom would pull out boxes of decorations, let us be children and only give us a hand if we were truly struggling. The next day, we would be all about the presents that Santa left for us. (I didn't believe in Santa because as a light sleeper I could hear my mother dropping the gifts. But as long as they were given, I was good.) 

I do not believe that muslims appreciating Christmas makes us any less religious nor any more ignorant. It's about understanding why it is celebrated in the first place and respectfully creating your own tradition. I am beyond grateful to have such heart warming memories created by my parents which will be passed on to the family I create. The holidays are all about gratitude, family and spirituality of some sort.

Merry Christmas from the Stilettos & Standards home to yours.

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PINK OCTOBER | PINK FAUX FUR

To my girls who have experienced a loved one with breast cancer, your strength is appreciated.

As a child still living in Benin, I often imagined of wearing fancy coats and watching the air come out of my breath in the coldest winter. Snow was as much of a fairytale as reindeers were coming from the North Pole. The heaviest thing on the market were light weight sweaters for our second season on the beaming equator, fall.

Attaining this fancy faux fur coat and shooting on a breezy day may be an acute experience to many but rather extraordinary one and fulfilling my childhood dream to myself. As I wear it in monochromatic pink to represent the fight against breast cancer, I hope finding the cure is an attainable dream that also comes to fruition.

I've had this faux fur coat from House of CB for a year now and could not wait to style it when it got a bit chilly. I loved it for it's great quality, coziness and perfect shade of pink. While the entire outfit may be a little daring, I truly felt compelled to style it in a way that represented my more than often bold taste and payed tribute to the breast cancer fighters. 

What are some foundations you know of that support the fight against breast cancer? Have you volunteered for Pink October? What was your experience like? Comment below!

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DIY DISTRESSED WUTANG T-SHIRT

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Distressed T-shirts have literally been all over social media, so when I saw it again on my Instagram, I knew it was a fashion trend I wanted to join in on. While these could be purchased, I preferred to have a customize and affordable version- that way if I did mess up while distressing it (which is pretty impossible) I wasn't losing so much money. 

I purchased this $20.00 Wutang men's shirt in a size large to fit like a dress- and played around in it to locate where I wanted the holes to fall on in order to make sure my skin wasn't overly exposed. When it comes to DIY projects like this one, it's important to understand that it is meant to be crafty and exciting. I had to remind myself these things as I got a little frustrated about how my shirt was turning out. Overall, it was a very fun project and a learning experience from doing something that could seem a little challenging but so simple. 

 

DISCLAIMER- These laced up heels require a lot of patience, pain tolerance and time to adjust and wear. 

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TIPS:

  • Start with tiny holes and work your way with the scissors then stretch the cuts with your fingers in order to give it a rugged look. 
  • Fabric scissors are relatively sharp and can easily rip through a shirt if you are not too careful. 
  • In order for you not to cut the back of the shirt, you will need to place your hand underneath as a barrier to prevent cutting through the shirt.
  • An adjustable spray bottle works effectively by allowing you to control how much bleach you'd like on your shirt and how heavy you want the drops to be. 

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YEEZY INSPIRED LOOK

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My favorite season of the year is here! Fall scented candles, Thanksgiving, hot cocoa, beautiful trees...I can really go on and on! 

In addition to all these wonderful things, I've really been looking forward to fall fashion and layering.  

My summer wardrobe usually screams girly girl, mostly neutral shades with figure-hugging pieces to accentuate the features I am most confident with. But when it starts to get a little cooler, I reach for more of a casual boyfriend look and ditch my summery dresses until next year.

This look, inspired the Yeezy Fashion Show, has taught me to switch things up with a vintage approach. The simplicity of muted shades complimenting a rugged feel took a while but finally grew on me. It's all about breaking barriers and pulling versatile looks for this season- or even all year round. I am stocked for the fall season as I will not only be shopping in my closet but will be on the hunt for vintage or distressed looking pieces to layer and play around with.  

What are some of your favorite fall pieces this year? Are you sticking to a color palette or more on the various color side? Let me know your current favorite buys! 

DISCLAIMER- These laced up heels require a lot of patience, pain tolerance and time to adjust and wear. 

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YEAR OF YES

Every year on December 30th my best friend and I get together to open envelopes to check off things we've accomplished during the year. It's the most rewarding feeling to know we've done what we said we would and reminisce on moments shared together. And right before we call it a night, we write down our new goals and wait until the following year to discover our latest accomplishments.

While it is a tradition I am extremely proud of, many of the goals I jot down are attainable or already in the works. I never go beyond scratching the surface and trying out things that will make me uncomfortable. It wasn't until I read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes that I realized how many times I have said "NO" to situations that were foreign to me. 

I was ambivalent about various things like learning how to swim because I was positive I would slip under water and bang my head, going to networking events because I thought I would embarrass myself or would frown at the thought of a healthier lifestyle because I was sure I lacked the endurance for one. I said 'no' on so many occasions that people started to expect it- and sadly I didn't think to care. As a big dreamer, who loves to be a doer- I knew I had to get out of my shell and explore life. I was hesitant on achieving many of the few things listed above because I was afraid of the unknown. There were many physical and emotional challenges I refused to face because I didn't think I could handle it.

After reading Rhimes' book, I felt the desire and connection of wanting to change my perspective of things. I wanted 2016 to be a year of YES- I needed to invest in myself emotionally and physically. I started to participate in activities like swimming, working out and attending networking events which I would've never imagined of doing. Getting out of my comfort zone was the hardest part because after that, it was easy to just keep going. Once I achieved one task I thought I was unachievable by my own standards, I had a high of finding out what I could accomplish next. 

My year of yes is about achieving goals beyond the tangible. It's about being a dreamer but also being a doer. While this book was the sign I needed to get going, I hope this post is just as much of what you are looking for to start something for the first time. 

Write down a list of five things you'd love to do that absolutely scares you! Give yourself a realistic timeline and go for them either alone or with like-minded individuals who will push you to do them. It will make you uncomfortable but I promise it will be a life lesson. 

 

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BLUSH BANDAGE DRESS

With summer coming to an end, I had to pull out a girly dress for the last time until next year. While on occasion I can wear a few of them during the fall season, the majority are tucked away as I welcome the cold breeze in the air and the beauty of layering. This blush bandage dress was just the perfect one, showing the right amount of skin and hugging me in the right places. There's something about a dress that compliments the body to give you an extra boost of confidence.

So as summer comes to an end and the pumpkin flavored gems make their debut, I hope you've the chance to wear that "it dress" before you store it in until the flowers bloom again.

What was your favorite piece to wear this summer? What was your most exciting part of the summer? Comment bellow! 

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LIFE AS AN ALUMNI

"How can we convince the next generation that education is the key to success when we have poor graduates and rich criminals?" - Unknown

As a recent graduate still on the hunt to officially start my career, this viral tweet stuck with me for a long time. One of the biggest misconceptions for college students is that once we complete our educational journey, there will be a job waiting for us at the end of the tunnel. Some are fortunate enough to score this rare opportunity, but for the most part it's really time to begin the hustle. 

I vividly remember the first year of entering my campus knowing not one person and hoping to at least find myself in the end. I hunched myself in the classrooms scarred from the bullied days and a little embarrassed at my name being the subject of mockery. The professors who held their Coca Cola in one hand, sat on their desk and unintentionally butchered my name. "Ayeeekatoe? Ahshayou?" They proceeded to say until I phonetically spelt Aïchatou for them so they would have an idea by the last day of class. 

Fast forward several years to turning my tassel from left to right and being so sure that I would land my dream job with seven honors and three majors. I was so used to being graded and ranked that I didn't realize the real world wasn't set up in such structures. I had to go twice as hard to get half of what I thought I deserved. I was not only competing with my 2,000 other graduating classmates but with other schools too. How could I truly stand out and not regret getting an education?

If there is anything I learned about life after college it's that comparison is the thief of joy. Everyone's time zone is different and their blueprint to success is not identical. I had been so used to being graded against my peers in a competitive state that I thought the same when it came to getting a job offer. Yes, there is competition in the job, but a more qualified candidate doesn't mean you're less valuable.

If you are currently in a position where you feel defeated and confused about where you would like to be in life, you're meant to go through this. I believe in things happening the way they are supposed to and teaching us a lesson along the way. So no, you are not alone in this fight, and yes, as a fighter with you I strongly believe it gets better.  

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FIVE WAYS TO SPREAD LOVE

Lately, it seems like there's always something controversial and heartbreaking happening in the world. Every time I turn on the news, there's a family who's lost a loved one to an unfair and brutal death, an unreasonable racial attack or a government under seize. It truly saddens me that lives so short and sweet are being taken away by so many people who are filled with nothing but animosity. 

Through all the madness, I truly hope YOU can find happiness in even the smallest things and believe the world to still be a beautiful place. I myself have been supportive and appreciative of my surroundings so I thought I would share a few ways to spread love and light in a time of darkness and sorrow. Here are a five ways to make your world a little brighter.

 

1. TAKE A LOVED ONE OUT- I took my brother out to a frozen yogurt date and the idea of doing a simple shoot for the blog came up. I enjoyed summer days as a teenager so why not be a big kid with him when my schedule is cleared? Taking a loved one out, not only makes them feel special but can make you feel good too.

2. VOLUNTEER- Volunteering is a great way to spread love. Giving time is just as valuable, if not more, than giving money. Do a walk for a great cause, support a main stream business, go visit a sick child or donate to a family in need. 

3. MOTIVATE-  I am an advocate for motivating people to pursue their dreams and do what ultimately makes them happy. It's so important to understand that we all have a passion or hidden talent and when we learn to master these gifts it becomes a fraction of a great manifestation in the world. Could you imagine if someone pushed you beyond your limits just when you were about to give up? Good, now go do it to someone else and watch how grand you will feel they take that leap of faith.

4. BE KIND- One of the most natural human reactions is to lash out at those who make us uncomfortable. A prime example for me is when someone makes my commute to work extremely difficult such as slowing down the public transportation (if you live in NYC you know the struggle.) I used to cringe my nose when I saw a homeless person "polluting" a train car with a foul smell or roll my eyes when a disabled person is slowing down a bus. Then I finally realized that illnesses and poverty do not discriminate. I have once been in a situation where I could not afford to pay a bill and have been hospitalized for over three weeks where I required mobility help. When we are put into a situation of helplessness all we desire is kindness and patience. I now smile at a homeless people, discreetly hold my nose and transfer cars. Someone's disability shouldn't upset me because they will make me late. I can plan accordingly to leave my home early because I am able to.

5. TREAT YOURSELF- This starts within! You can't give love if aren't loving yourself. One of my all time my favorite quotes is "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" No really, when was it? Getting out of your comfort zone and accomplishing something new should always be a goal for you. Once these things are achieved you automatically feel the need to share it with the world.

With all that being said, please remember to smile through these tough times because it is just that. Time passes and this too will pass, times of sorrow and pain have their purpose too, and it is with bittersweet hope that we learn something positive from days like these. Don't let it discourage you and find a way to spread love through it all. 

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BODEGA MAMACITA

 

If you have or do reside in NYC then you know what a bodega is. The dictionary defines it as a small grocery store, especially in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood. To me? It's a nostalgic place I visited countless amounts of times as a preteen, right after school for a few bags of chips and a quarter juice. A dollar really had me thinking my life was together and the days my parents gave me $5.00?! Boy! I had the ENTIRE week planned out. I wasn't allowed to play out for so long especially as a new immigrant, so I would take my sweet time going home after school just so my mates and I could happily grab our snacks and catch up on what teenagers talked about. 

It was only right to head back there and shoot a look when my nieces triggered my memory through their obsessive desires to continuously head to the Bodega aka Deli. For some sunflower seeds, a bag of Doritos and that good old juice that now costs $1.75. I silently giggle as I thought of all these tricks my sisters and I had just so we were allowed to do the same.

Oh the memories of being a Bodega Mamacita.

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PURCHASE M.Y.M COLLECTION LACE SHIRT HERE

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STREET STYLE X NIKE

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If you couldn't tell by my smile, I'm super excited for the warmer weather! And clearly, my love affair for street style hasn't subsided. It's all about being comfortable and sometimes that means tucking away the pumps and pulling out a pair of comfy sneakers. This pair of Nike's that I purchased directly from Kith, an exclusive shop, are extremely comfortable! I could have partnered the look with a bomber jacket, (like the olive you always see me sporting) but I really wanted to add a "tailored" feel to it with my leather basket weave buttoned tan coat. The best way to look dressed up without putting too much effort, is throwing on a badass fitted coat. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more look books because I will be combing through my closet and putting together some more spring looks! 

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STREET STYLE X METAL CAP TOES

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More than often, I'm dressed casually unless it's for a special occasion. To be realistic, most bloggers are normal people in comfy clothes on a regular basis until it's time to work (by that I mean Slay honey). While I do love feeling comfortable, looking put together is just as important. My staple items are usually chunky knits (or a basic tees), form fitting jeans, "pretty" shoes and a tailored coat. Because shoes and coats can make an outfit in the cold season, I focus on having stand out pieces. Street style is all about having an avant-garde urban inspiration with an added personal touch.These limited edition Adidas Superstar Sneakers complete this offbeat look with its clean silhouette and metallic cap toes. I've developed a fascination for having either "A Sex in The City" look, a preppy look or something more badass with an urban feel. When I am too lazy to dress things up with heels you can catch me wearing the stated alternatives. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to click the title and leave a comment below. Don't forget to join my family by subscribing on the side bar (right below the "Meet Aïchatou" photo). YOU are appreciated! 


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Note: Purchasing these half a size smaller than your usual sneaker size is highly recommended because these run big. While mine were limited edition, you can "create your own" to a very similar taste.

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BEST OF EIGHT FROM STILETTOS & STANDARDS

If you have an  Instagram account, you are familiar with "Best of 9" trend, where a computer generates 9 of your most liked photos. For Nostalgic purposes, I thought I'd do the same here and highlight my favorite and most viewed moment of 2015!

For those of you who have been following Stilettos and Standards since it's launch, you know your girl stepped her game up! I was so shied away with expressing my opinion on things and my simplistic my looks. If there's one thing I can take away from blogging this year, it is to be YOURSELF. Talk as if you're talking to your best friend because there's ALWAYS going to be someone who disagrees with what you have to say- and that is completely okay. I'm extremely content to have emerged out of that shell because it is now that I am growing and learning due to my genuine experiences. These pictures signify both my progression and accomplishments in the year of 2015. I truly hope you enjoy reading my eight most popular blog posts as much as I was bubbly writing them! 

 

TOP ROW

• "CLASSIC RED & GRAY"- The beginning of "Closet Confidential"! I started taking my creativity and desire to express my simplistic fashion taste to another level and developed techniques for being in front and behind the camera.

• "15 FACTS ABOUT AÏCHATOU FT. SUEDE"- I am not sure what I loved more about this blog post. The fact that I opened up here and share things about me, considering how private I can be, or this suede dress I scooped up in my travels a summer evening in SOHO, NY.

•"CAMOUFLAGE"- This post reminds me so much of why persistence and determination is important. It was humid and raining, my hair started to get frizzy but I sucked it up to get the image I pictured in my head. This has been one of my most viewed and like post!

•"CASUAL CHIC X BOMBER JACKET"- Who knew distressed jeans could look so effortless with a crisp button down, a pair of white pumps and a bomber jacket? I didn't that's for sure!

 

BOTTOM ROW

•"THE BOYFRIEND DENIM"- Let me just say that, these are still my favorite jeans and I am not letting them go. *flips hair*

•"GLAM, SLAY, REPEAT" - YUP, this was the post where I comfortably discussed the reality of bloggers. We are normal, and absolutely repeat outfits or pieces in our closet because realistically speaking, who really doesn't like recycling fabulous looks?!

•"CITY DOLL"- I love love love this blog post! It was shortly after I obtained my college degree and met one of my really good friends for a celebration brunch at Sarabeth's. We were chatting about life goals and how much we had grown when I suddenly I looked across the street and couldn't pass up the opportunity of shooting on this beautiful wall after dessert. 

•"A QUARTER OF A CENTURY"- I turned TWENTY-FIVE! 2015 was such a great year. I graduated from college among the top of my class on a full ride, became a U.S. Citizen and actually traveled as much as I wanted to. I grew with this blog and learned so much about myself. Ending chapter 24 and starting my 25th is just bittersweet but a breath of fresh air because I can feel 2016 being a great one!

CASUAL CHIC X BOMBER JACKET

I loveeeee bomber jackets!

Especially when they are jazzed up with the perfect pair heels for a casual evening or a fabulous night out. I purchased this particular one from Missguided and have so many looks I would like to put together- which means you have to stay tuned and see them!

With the weather changing, it is the perfect time to pull out this versatile piece and switch it up from day to night. I wore it on this day for a balance between chic and casual by throwing on a pair of heels and this button down French cuff shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I am truly looking forward to the days where I can just wear this bad boy to make something so simple, complete. 

Every girl needs a nice bomber jacket for the transitioning weather because it's really one of those pieces you can wear in so many ways.

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A QUARTER OF A CENTURY!

WOW, 25! That's halfway through my 20s and a quarter of a century! I know I'm young but I'm a little nervous as these numbers keep accumulating. What I do know is that I am grateful for the experiences that have taught me wisdom, patience and selflessness. I am grateful for continuously understanding how to turn obstacles into opportunities. So here's to 25, and about 75 more years of what life has coming my way!

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Co-Ordinates- Here (Currently Sold Out) | Wool Coat- Similar Here & Here | Grey Pumps- Similar Here