Figure it Out. 

If you can get through it, you can figure it out. 
Moving to Central Illinois, four years ago as a college student, was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life. Granted, it was also the most annoying, tragedy-inducing, and spiritually enriching moment as well. I am only being a little dramatic. Going into college I was so sure of myself: my goals, plans, and hopes had all aligned themselves and created the perfect version of my life. I would have a “dean’s list worthy” GPA. I would join a sorority. I would earn more scholarships than I’d had in the beginning. I would earn valuable internships at well-known media companies. Etc. 

However, some of these things did happen. I met life-long friends. Established meaningful relationships with my professors. Learned techniques of my field and earned great internship positions. All things that seem to benefit my future. I am grateful for these blessings. Since graduation, last semester, I have gained the chance to see what it’s like on the other side. Think about it, I have been a student for over seventeen years. In school- out of school, the cycle repeats. This is my first time truly on my own. Yes my family supports me. Nevertheless, as a budding adult, I try not to lean on them heavily, as they have their own lives to enjoy. 
I have gone through some trying times as most college students do and I have made many mistakes. In the clutches of financial grudging, anxiety of failure, family based stresses, balancing a healthy social life, etc. It gets more than difficult. 

That’s the part that makes it so much more worth it. Now I am in the stage of “figuring it out”. This period of my life feels so much more freeing. Owning the choices I’ve made and finding out how to get back on track. I am not in school currently, (I am taking a break before continuing) so time is in my hands and whatever I choose to do with it, I may. This blog topic isn’t meant to preach to you and say a bunch of old cliche quotes. For example: “don’t worry”; “time heals all”; “patience is a virtue” and whatever else may be used as a tattoo. My point is that, if you really want something bad enough (a degree, a new house, a career, another chance) you have to be willing to put in the effort, and deal with the struggles, that come in earning that blessing. 

Sharvelle L. Bullock 

Illinois State University 

Class of 2017 

School of Communications, Journalism 

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3 Styles to Spring into this Month

Good morning fabulous inhabitants of earth,

With the spring season in full affect (except in the midwest) I figured now is as good a time as any to share with you three styles that are deemed this season’s most popular trends. These styles can be easily achieved with just a bit of creativity.

3. Flower Power: Florals of course are a spring trend every year. Instead of wearing those same threads, switch up your wardrobe by mixing and matching your colors/textiles and patterns. According to “Who What Wear,” playing with the fit of a full head-to-toe floral fit is also a way to personalize a classic look. florals

2. Stripe it up! Stripes can be your best friend. Almost any or every item in your closet can have stripes, shoes, pants, handbags, and even glasses. There are a few rules, like, if you have a curvier body you probably want to stay away from horizontal stripes for fear that it would make you look wide. If you are short you’d probably want to wear vertical stripes, to make your body appear longer. Whether you’re feeling chic or sporty, nothing beats a striped ensemble.

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1. Say it loud! This is my most favorite trend of the spring, statement T’s/ or Word Tee’s as some may call them. The best thing about this trend is that it can easily go from “classy to sassy” in a matter of hours. You can pair your favorite statement tee with a pair of jeans and sneakers or a body con skirt and booties. No matter how you choose to wear it, keeping this style handy is a great idea!

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Room for Improvement

2017 is officially here and in full swing! I apologize for not pushing out a post within the first week of January, but for the life of me, I could not decide what to write about. How do you discuss the topic of the New Year in a ” New Way”?

Well after a few days of pondering and soul searching (lol, jk), I’ve decided this:

Each year we set aside “resolutions” that we claim we want to achieve over the next 12 months. Within the first 3-4, we usually give up, get too busy, or completely forget we chose that goal in the first place. Some of us tap out in the first few days.

We change the name to see if that’ll spark inspiration. “Don’t call it a resolution!– Call it a goal. Or a plan of action. Blah Blah Blah. No matter what you call it, if you don’t stick to it, then it’s not really that important, is it?

This year I am putting a little different twist on my own resolutions. Improvements, are what I’ll call them. I don’t simply want to change. That’s easy, to swiftly alter how you want to look, who you want to date, etc. No– I want to improve. I love my life for what it is, but there are areas that could be better. For instance, I graduate from undergraduate in May. Before then, I’d like to increase my efficiency as writer and photographer, practice being more timely, not procrasting as much, and developing more projects. None of these ideas are new to me, however they  are areas in my life that I haven’t always given 100%. 2017 is the comeback season. Have a project that you have yet to finish? Get started right now! Want to become healthier, don’t do a bunch of fad diets, just try to incorporate more water, fruits, and vegetables into your daily routine. Don’t expect any changes over night, but keep a journal and mark your improvements. By Decemeber, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished.

 

*** Stay updated on what’s going on this year by following me on SnapChat, Instagram, and Twitter @LaModaViva.***

Tis’ the Season… (Behold Final exams)

With Thanksgiving in the rearview and Christmas in our sights, it is safe to say that we are well within the ‘Holiday Season’. To cover this month’s topic, I made the decision to create a poem to help put you in a jolly mood. Enjoy!

 

“Twas’ the holiday season

Time spent with family and friends

Unlimited meals, cheer,

and hella questions

Darling how’s school?

Son, how are your grades?

Mom! Dad! Chill—

I’ll be home for days.

I must get some sleep

For it’s been a tough year

We’ll make time for chitchat

So please don’t fear.

My friends hit me up

“Let’s get lit”, they yell

Finally, 21 for the holidays

Gonna’ turn up forreal.

Thrifting in the city

Shopping sprees galore

Jewelry, shoes, we’ll stop at every store.

Four weeks of relaxation

Since finals week is complete

Just two more weeks of school

No time to be weak!”

Good luck on your final exams!

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“HalloWorthy”

For the past few months, I have been in a relationship. Eight to be exact. With Halloween right around the corner, one question has been brought to my attention on more than one occasion… “What are ‘you two’ going to wear?” Not what am ‘I’ going to wear, or what will ‘he’—but ‘we’. Admittedly, I’ve never done or participated in a couple’s costume with anyone before, not siblings, not friends, not ever. Usually, I go against the grain and as people select a theme, I usually go around it and do my own thing. Example, my senior year of high school my friends and I went trick-or-treating (no—we were not too old). They dressed as a pack (?) of zombies. Since I was not a fan of zombies, I’m more of a vampire kind-of-girl, I decided to go as a crazy ex-girlfriend (inspired by Miranda Lambert). I wore a ripped shirt, smeared my makeup, the whole nine.

College was no different. Except this year. It is kind of expected within our society that couples choose a theme and wear collaborating costumes. We see it all the time, especially on social media. In fact, one couple’s collage of photos went viral. You may have seen it, she was the Pikachu to his Ash Ketchum, the Mrs. To his Mr. Incredible, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, the ideas are cute and sometimes scary enough to be ‘HalloWorthy’—so I’m not complaining. I just want to know what people’s thoughts and ideas are on the topic. So please, share with me, your coupled costume ideas and experiences—if you send photos, you’ll even get a chance to be shared on my next post.

Comment below or send emails to lamodavivafotography@gmail.com or tweet me @Lamodaviva

Summer, Situations, and Summaries.

 

Hello all,

I hope you ALL had a sensational summer break. Mine was mostly spent, volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club and folding fits at Target. While I did not get the chance to travel cross-country or shop the boutiques of metropolitan cities, like some of my peers, I did get the opportunity to learn life lessons and create lasting memories.

The past few months I, admittedly, have been dealing with a lot. I have switched apartments. I applied, been selected, and turned down internships. I have been denied internships. I accepted a position as a freelance photographer. I have gotten rid of clothes. I changed my hair over a dozen times. I survived a car accident. I have gained weight. I have lost weight. I have gained new friends. I also lost a few.

Of all the experiences I have had this summer, nothing beats the feeling that I felt on August 20, 2016

Two days before my 21st birthday.

I spent the day with the people I most love. At that moment, on that day, nothing else mattered. Everything that I have ever been upset about, everything that may have stressed me out the days before, it did not matter.

So now, entering my senior year of my undergraduate career, I am carrying with me the mantra and great proverb, “Just keep swimming” to remind me that, things may come my way. Things I may not be ready for. Situations that may seem annoying, and bothersome. But if I remember to just keep swimming, it will not matter. To keep a positive attitude and focus on the task at hand, not stress about what ‘might’, happen.

Just keep Swimming.

Say, “I do”… to the dress?

Happy wedding season to all. Before the comments begin to roll in, yes, I am aware that everyone isn’t married. I’m not. But I hear the sweet sound of church bells and I feel surrounded by lace and tulle so I thought I’d share this post with you.

My boyfriend and I went downtown and there they were. The ‘they’ I am referring to, are wedding party’s. One. Two… Five. In the 7 hours that we were strolling throughout  city we came across FIVE wedding party’s!

The ones that were close enough to speak to, we spoke to, and told congratulations. I even took photos of a few. It made me think, prematurely if I may add, “how does one go about selecting the perfect wedding dress?”

By comparison, the way you shop for a prom dress is similar to choosing the dress for your special day. You shop for style, size, comfort, and that “omg” mirror moment. The thing that makes it difficult is the fact that there are so many different styles and fits to pick from. What if they all look good? What if they are all in your price range? What if your bridesmaids or friends say ‘awwww’ to literally every dress you model for them? Then what?

I am interested in finding out more about this. Please feel free to respond and share your wedding dress photos and stories. They’ll be featured in the next post!

Follow me on  SnapChat, Twitter and Instagram @Lamodaviva and @Sharvelle Bullock on Facebook. 

 

Where to…?

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Chicago, IL

Good morning stylish people!

It’s April, and with only two weeks left of the semester, it’s reflection time. This semester has been extremely busy. This school year as a whole, in fact, has been filled with so many great memories and challenges. I have grown as a student, first and foremost, as a writer, photographer, videographer, Style Guru, and much more. Every step of the way, I have enjoyed it and I am grateful for it.

So what’s next?

It’s definitely internship season, so that’s something I have gotten a jump on and am waiting to find out about. I’ve applied to several places, called dozens, and I still have a few more on my list.

This summer I plan to: learn as much as I can about the fashion industry, start preparing myself for graduate school, make as much money as I can, take millions of photos, and see and understand realms of fashion that I may have ignored. In Chicago, anything is possible and that’s where I’ll be for the majority of my summer.

 

STATE Your Fashion…

As an Illinois State University student and Journalism major, I have been provided with the opportunity to write about what I love the most. Fashion.

Although I am not in the major directly I feel as though my internship with College Fashionista, my several subscriptions to fashion magazines, and my obsession with all the latest celebrity fashion trends, have me pretty confident on the subject.

My goal, post-graduation, is to work as an editor, staff writer, or art director at a magazine. None in particular, I don’t want to limit my options.

So why this obsession with fashion?

Easy. I come from a family of artists (Musicians, dancers, painters, vocalists- you name it, we’ve got it). So not only am I musically inclined, I also fell in love, inevitably, with visual art. To me fashion isn’t about what’s “in” what’s “hot” it’s more about “how can I express, me?” “Who do I want to be, today?”

These are questions that I believe every person should ask when they get dressed. Fashion is like taking your personality, capturing it, and displaying it to any and every one.

It’s less about style and more about confidence. If you feel good in it, rock it. Lady GaGa is the perfect example of this.

Define, “Dope”…

So I was talking to my mom about a pair of shoes, specifically the Rihanna Pumas, and as I was looking at them online I said, and I quote, “These are so dope!”

My mom looked at me as if I had just muttered a Class A swear word. So to soothe her I repeated, “These are so D-O-P-E. Dope.”

She laughed at me and said, “I heard you,  but what does it mean. Define, dope.”

This incident got me to thinking. What is dope? In today’s culture we see the word ‘dope’ everywhere. Social mediaclothing, even movie titles. But what does this word mean?

In the 80’s and 90’s dope was the street name for drugs, heroin to be exact. But in the 2000’s the meaning has kind of been altered. Defined by urban dictionary, ” dope is a word describing something extremely cool, such as music, clothes people, etc.”

Dope is a sense of style. It is a mixture of edgy, urban, and great fashion sense. A few people who exhibit ‘dope’-ness would be: Rihanna, Kehlani, Chance the Rapper, Zendaya, and of course, Kanye.

Although everyone has their own ideas of what’s cool and what’s not, these artists have been labeled, therefore branded, by social media as Dope icons. Whether it is for their taste in clothing or their talents.

A few items have been labeled as dope by the urban fashion community: Sneakers, chains, wild and unusual hair colors and styles, sweatshirts- usually ones with music, television, or vintage (throwback) themes, and music lyrics- usually ones that include truths about neighborhood situations or that have deep metaphors.

EVERYTHING is not dope. A cute dress is still a cute dress, it is NOT dope. Please for the sake of the word, do not over-abuse it, like #Fleek. A minimum of maybe 5 things a month should be dope.

What/ Who is dope to you? Do you define it differently? Feel free to leave comments below.