What I've Learned After 10 Years Of Marriage + Vow Renewal Recap

Black Couples In Love, Black love, Vow Renewal

What better day than today to share a recap of our vow renewal. 10 years ago on January 10, 2009 I literally married my best friend. And guys, it still amazes me that even after 10 + years in, I’m beyond happily married.

Over the past decade we’ve been through A LOT and yet through it all we still really dig each other. But don’t get it twisted, staying together this long nowadays requires more than love. It entails work and being intentional.

For me the biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to make mountains out of mole hills. I mean so what he doesn’t put the toilet seat down after he uses the restroom. It cost me nothing to just put the seat down and pee. I’m sure there’s some things that I do that gets under his skin.

As Robert’s wife, it’s very important to me that he knows I’m his #1 fan and biggest cheerleader. Which is why I will never tear him down in his face nor behind his back. After God, he’s my first priority.

Another good lesson I’ve learned over time was to learn and love my husband in his love language. Hub’s primary love language is physical touch, followed closely by “acts or service.” Understanding this shows him how much I love him, because we all know actions speak louder than words - right?

If I had to name a key factor in what keeps our marriage running, I’d have to say sex! Yes guys, lots of sex. If you don’t take anything else away from this post, as a marriage couple you should never underestimate the importance of sexual intimacy. This is hubs favorite part of our marriage.

Speaking of hubs, when I asked him what his biggest lesson learned was he said - “I learned not to argue with you and to say, You’re right baby.”

Outfit details:

Hubs: Jacket - Macy’s / Pants - old / Shirt - Men’s store in Stonecrest Mall / Shoes - D & K Men’s store

My look: Top - Bodysuit, Asos / Botton - Custom made by designer Nicci Hou / Shoes - Betsy Johnson

Photography: Kaylin James & Kay Hillman // Videography: Howell Designs

Sequin Skirt + Polka Dot Sweatshirt For Valentine's Day

Sequin Skirt + Polka Dot Sweatshirt, Atlanta top blogger, Atlanta personal shopper

With Valentine’s day only a few days away, my anticipation is increasing. I already know what I’m getting. A delicious box of juicy chocolate covered strawberries and a yummy candy apple. Ya’ll!

I remember my first V-day as a married woman. We had just gotten hitched the month before and thought it would be a great idea to go out to eat. Bad move, we ended up waiting almost two hours for a meal that was just meh! After that, we decided that we were good on trying to go out on Valentine’s day. Although this year I took off work and we’ve planned to celebrate our undying love for each other during the day.

With February 14 being so close, have you decided what to wear? If the Mr and I were to have a night out on the town, this polka dotted sweatshirt and sequin skirt (with the socks and heels -because I’m just that extra) look would be my #OOTN. It’s so unconventional and a direct reflection of my personal style.

While the classic reds, pinks and blacks are the obvious choice, why not use this opportunity to try something new, something bold? Basically this is your chance to step outside of your comfort zone and to face your fashion fears head on. Just imagine you try something different and you actually like it!

Just in case you need a little inspiration, you’re already in the right place. My blog is full of style inspo.

Photography: Kaylin James

Adding Color To Your Winter Wardrobe

wearing pink during winter, pink sweater, pink blazer

This season I decided to add more colorful pieces into my winter wardrobe. Although there’s nothing wrong with the darker hues, color is just more exciting. Adding bold splashes of color is super easy and anybody (female or male) can achieve a stylish look.

The color that I choose for this look, pink, is still one of my least favorite colors, but here I am rocking it with style and grace. What’s funny is my silly reason for not liking the pink. I didn’t like pink growing up because I was a tomboy and wanted nothing to do with anything to feminine and girly. Nowadays it’s not even that big a deal.

Incorporating bright and playful colors into your winter wardrobe can range from pieces like this bubble gum pink blazer and sweater combo in today’s look or something as simple as a handbag, a belt or shoes. You could even add a pop of vivid lip color if you’re feeling frisky. Just to prove to you that I’m here for adding color to my winter wardrobe, check out this neon sweater look or this highlighter yellow hoodie look or my fave, this hot pink blazer look.

What are your thoughts on wearing color in the wintertime?

Photography: Kaylin James

My Epic Outfit Fail

Mustard Sweater, Plaid skirt, Atlanta Stylist

Outfit fails can happen to anyone! Nobody gets dressed with the intention of looking a hot mess, but hey it happens. I can’t tell you how many times Kaylin (my photographer) has sent back my pics from a shoot and at least one look was all wrong. I’ve had moments where my mom gut was hating on me or my pants or skirt was twisted or the look wasn’t as cute in reality as it was in my head.

I’m sure we can all attest that things don’t always turn out the way we want. This look is evidence of that. Here I am thinking I’m cute or whatever only to realize that my sweater is bulging through my skirt.  I was going for an effortlessly chic look by opting for half-tucking my sweater.  Clearing I failed!  Typically, a button-down blouse works better for the half-tuck look.  For a thick sweater like the one I’m wearing I should have only tucked in just a few inches of the material either in the front or on the side. 

Once I got the pics back and saw the error of my ways, I cringed.  How could I have done such a dis-service to this super cute look?  I thought about re-shooting the look but reconsidered because life happens, right.  I guess I should be grateful, it could have been a situation where my skirt was stuffed in my underwear. 

Have you ever encountered an outfit fail situation?  What was it and how did you handle it?

Photography: Kaylin James

3 Things I Plan To Do Differently In 2019

Top Atlanta blogger, Style Blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist

Photography: Kaylin James

It’s the last day of January and I’m feeling pret-ty good. Crossing over into the new year, I didn’t write up a list of resolutions that I probably wasn’t going to accomplish anyway. Instead, I decided to re-evaluate my current status and look for areas of opportunities to improve on.

Last year when I attended Werk Pray Slay, a women’s empowerment conference, hosted by Koereyelle, I had the opportunity to interview her afterwards. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. Of all the questions that I asked Koe, one particular answer struck a cord with me…

MS: What’s your biggest piece of advice you have for female entrepreneurs?

Koe: Know what you want.  In order to chase your dreams/visions you have to know yourself enough to know what you want.

Ever since, I’ve been on a mission to re-discover what DOI want. The answer >>> I want to elevate myself - personally and professionally. Meaning I’ll be removing people, places and things out of my life that aren’t doing me any good and replacing it with all the people, places and things that will help me improve myself. Although there are more than three things I could do differently, here are three areas I plan to start with first:

  • STAY FOCUSED

My mind runs a mile a minute. I’m constantly thinking of just about everything, from bills and family to my blog and brand. Getting focused is a struggle let me tell you. But this year I’m honing in on how to eliminate distractions so that I can focus on what matters. Another struggle for me and maybe one of my biggest obstacles is procrastination. This thorn in my side has caused me much frustration. Because my mind is always in overdrive I’m either not starting or starting something and not finishing. However, what I’m learning to do is identify and prioritize what deserves my attention and then dedicate time to focus on completing the task.

Other tricks I hope will work is doing one thing at a time or completely unplugging for a bit in order to re-set then start again.

  • PRAY MORE

THIS! There was once a time I prayed and studied my bible everyday. Nowadays, not so much. Being a pew baby, sometimes I feel bad for missing out on my prayer and study time. While I can offer up a 1000 excuses (and some may even be legit), there isn’t any excuse good enough for not giving the Father his time. Although I haven’t come up with an effective method for incorporating this special time with the Lord into my daily living, I am focusing on taking this journey one day at a time.

  • BET ON MYSELF

I’ll admit, social media has been the devil for me at times. Scrolling down Facebook and Instagram taking in all these beautifully curated squares showcasing “the life”, I started to question my own existence (okay maybe that’s a bit much, but you get what I’m saying). Seriously though, I understand how it seems when you’ve been grinding harder than Ginuwine in the ‘Pony’ video only to feel like someone who’s younger, taller, prettier, smarter, faster or richer is getting all the opportunities you’ve been dreaming and praying for. At times it has made me doubt my own gifts and talents.

But guys, the pity party is over. No more feeling sorry for myself. From now on, I’m betting on myself. I’m choosing myself. Once I realized I was standing in my own way, I moved. I became my biggest fan, routing myself on. Even in fear, I’m still betting on myself. I’m giving myself a chance to win and win big. Even understanding that I may not always win, I’ll still bet on myself.

Before I get outta here, I want to leave this with you…. ‘While there may always be someone who can do “it” better than you, you cannot allow that to keep you from doing what you know you’re good at. That’s why there are different restaurants, different malls, different cars, different cell phone providers your market is tailor-made for you. Be encouraged not to give up and no matter what stay focused on your assignment.

Street Style: Neon Hoodie

Neon Hoodie, melodiestewart.com, absolute victory everyday

Oh don’t mind me, I’m just out here trying to be low-key in this highlighter yellow hoodie, Ha! This winter season I wanted step away from wearing the usual “winter” colors (black, gray & navy) that most people tend to gravitate to. Bright colors are my friend and in my humble opinion, wearing bright colors in the wintertime is a fashion statement to-do.

Incorporating neon hues like this neon hoodie and other eye-catching colors like tangerine orange, brazen blue, lime green or hot pink into your #OOTD may seem a bit much, but it’s definitely doable. But if you don’t think you can get away with actually wearing these vibrant colors, instead think smaller pieces like maybe your shoes or accessories.

If you are feeling brave, take a risk and go overboard, like I did in this neon monochrome ensemble. Btw, you can grab this hoodie from my homeboy >>> AVE - Absolute Victory Everyday or on IG: Absoloutevictoryeveryday.

Photography: Kaylin James

My Favorite Looks From 2018 + Lessons Learned

Top Looks of 2018 - melodiestewart.com

Whelp guys, we made it! 2018 was a year wasn’t it? Looking back I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown, learned and pushed myself to not give up. One of the biggest lessons I learned in 2018 was to find my lane and stay in it. Towards the later part of 2018, I took inventory of a few people and things in my life that weren’t adding to me, so I removed them. This included people I might have known in real life and on social media. In order for me to stay focused, I needed to clear my mind from certain distractions.

I don’t have a new year resolution, however, I still have goals and aspirations for 2019. The first goal concerns me learning how to ask for what I want. Fear of rejection and lack of confidence in myself caused me to be afraid put myself out there and just ASK. Hearing a few no’s or assuming the answer would be a ‘no’, I would be to nervous or intimated to ask for something that I really wanted. But now, I’m going for it. I’ve siked myself up so much that 2019 will be my leap of faith year. And you know what? There’s a ‘yes’ out there for me somewhere.

Last year was a fun style year for me. I experimented with new pieces and loved the results. I’m so looking forward to seeing what style’s I can create this year. And nowww my top 12 fave looks of 2018. I hope I inspired you to step out of the box creating a unique and memorable wardrobe. Which look is your favorite?

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Is It Cool To Wear Sandals In the Winter?

Sequin duster, clear sandals, atlanta personal stylist

One trend I just can’t seem to get into is wearing sandals in the wintertime.  Seeing this fashion statement in style magazines, on tv and down my social timelines let’s me know that there are plenty of women out here braving flu season by wearing their toes out. If I could get passed the thought of my toes freezing off due to the lower temps then maybe. I remember back in my “we be clubbin’ days inwardly laughing at some of the females standing in line wearing their tiny freakum dresses and heeled sandals - shivering. But you know what, I shouldn’t knock it until I try it, right?  And maybe one day I will. 

A stylish remedy for continuing to wear your summer sandals in the cooler months is super easy.  Just add a fun pair of socks (or tights). Think about how cute your NYE party outfit would look if you paired it with a cutesy pair of short or knee-length socks. Not only do you get to keep your feet warm, your outfit can still be dope. For your styling pleasure, check out a few looks where I’ve incorporated socks into my look >>> HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE.

The older I get the more my style evolves.  I was once the girl who would never be caught wearing anything pink or shiny and definitely not strutting around in a pair of heels.  Now here I am in a shiny sequin duster with a cute pair of pink and green heels on.  I wonder what my younger self would say to my slightly older self after seeing me in today’s look.    

Btw, I shot this look when the temp’s were warmer. What are you thoughts on sandals in the winter months?

Photography: Kaylin James

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Wearing One Color Is Anything But Boring!

monochrome street style, atlanta top blogger, neon sweater

Mastering the art of a monochromatic look is really quite simple. I’ll even go as far as saying it’s easier than putting together a mixed print or color-block look. And you can undoubtedly put a one color-coordinated outfit together in no time with pieces you already have in your closet.

But what is a monochrome look? I’m glad you asked - In the fashion world it’s when your outfit consists of either wearing a combination of black and white or separates of one color and/or varying tones of a color (now that’s a mouth full).

When you think about a monochrome look, think all black or different shades of off-white. Even during the winter season don’t shy away from making a statement with bold colors like this mustard top and bottom number or this orange getup. Let’s not forget my all time fave monochrome combo black and white.

The next time you’re standing in front of your closet trying to decide what to wear consider pairing pieces within the same color hue together for a chic and trendy look. Have you tried this trend? If so, what’s your go-to single outfit color to wear?

Photography: Kaylin James

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Monochrome Mom Jeans, My Current Obsession

Monochrome Mom Jeans, Top Atlanta blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist

One thing about me that most people don’t know is that I kinda have a thing for black and white. This color combo is so chic and super easy to style. The number of ways to style these two colors are endless. When I pair the two hue’s together, I feel regal and modern at the same time.

Noticing that most of my jeans are various shades of denim skinny jeans, I figured it was time to start incorporating other jean styles into my wardrobe. My most recent additions were these oversize distressed jeans and these frayed ankle jeans. Guys how stunning are these contrast leg mom jeans? I’m obsessed (even wearing them 3 times already)!

Wanting to highlight the uniqueness of these monochrome jeans, I decided to style this look with a pair of really cute and trendy kitten heel red booties. To keep the look simple, I opted for a style item that’s been on my to buy list for a while, a black turtleneck (secret, the top is really a bodysuit). And because I want to be considered a cool mom, I added this black leather jacket (that I begged hubs to buy for me). In this look I’m ready for date night out with the Mr, hanging with my home girls or attending a networking mixture.

What are you currently obsessing over? Drop a line in the comments.

Photography: Kaylin James

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A Stylish Outfit For Christmas Dinner

Holiday Dinner Outfit, Top Atlanta Blogger, Atlanta Stylist

The days are running away from me. I literally thought I had another week before Christmas. Are you ready for Christmas? I’m looking forward to spending time with my family.

Speaking of family, I can see it now, me walking into my parents’ house with this outfit on. Funny part about it is that nobody would even be surprised. More than likely one (or both) of my sister’s would shake her had at my extra-ness and my dad would probably have  tight smile on this face, then say that’s my Melli-Ann ( btw, I have no idea why he calls me that).

Dressing up for dinner at your parents may not warrant such a “doing the most” outfit like this, but putting a little effort into your look ain’t never hurt nobody.  However, if you’re visiting your new bae’s family for the first time this holiday season, a cute look is probably a good idea.  After all first impressions are lasting and often times before you even speak, you’ve already been judged. 

Now going all out for dinner at home with your folks may get you crowned queen doing the most, yet opting for a super dope look would be awesome for Holiday parties outside the home. Whether you decide to go for a more festive look or a street chic vibe, the point is do you!

While most people would probably go with some type of Christmas garment, sequins or jeans, a comfy sweater and boots. I’m showing up in today’s look. It’s vibrant, bold and makes a statement. For some this look is too much, but for those who are up for making a statement I hope this outfit inspires you to step outside the style box and try new things.  Until next time!

Photography: Kaylin James

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T'is The Sequin Dress

Sequin Dress, Holiday wear, Top Atlanta blogger

Most people usually don’t pull out their fancy sequin pieces unless it’s for a special occasion or for the Christmas or New Year’s Eve holiday.  But the gag is…. sequin can be worn well past Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Which works great for me since I don’t have any fancy holiday events to attend and I really like this dress.

Gather around guys and gals, it’s short story time… A few months ago while nonchalantly perusing Zara.com I happened upon this silver sequin dress.  While it was a cute dress, I didn’t dwell too much on getting it for two reasons: 1. I figured the length would be too long on me & 2. I didn’t want to pay the original price of $100 (call me cheap, I don’t care).  A few weeks later I see the dress is on sale for $25!!!  I quickly added it to my cart and anxiously waited for it to arrive.  The dress came, I fell for it, glad I got it.  The end!

In an effort to prove myself wrong regarding my point above about how often and the main reason most people wear sequin, I pulled this dress out once more.  Not wanting to take away from the dress (this time) all I did was added this distressed jean jacket.  Let’s say we call this look street chic! 

Now about these shoes.  As soon as I saw them I wanted them. Ironically, I wasted almost no time deciding if I wanted to pay the $100 price tag for these beauts (yet I rolled my eyes at the $100 for the dress – go figure).  The embellished heels are so over the top and they paired wonderfully with this sequin dress.      

Before I get outta here, let’s get this straight, sequins are appropriate no matter what the occasion.  I encourage you to come up with other ways to wear your sequin pieces well after the tree has been taken down and the ball has dropped.

How will you be wearing sequins this winter and beyond? 

Photography: Kaylin James