Monday, January 23, 2017

GEORGIA ON MY MIND




HAPPY SUNDAY, Y'all!

I admit, I have not been watching much football this season. Typically, I catch most of the games, but for whatever reason, it just hasn't happened. I've only seen a few games here and there. But I feel like today TOTALLY made up for it. I watched the Atlanta Falcons game and witnessed them not only score a WIN, but a ticket to the Super Bowl!! And I could not be more excited for my old hometown.


As most of you know, I lived in Atlanta for 11 years prior to moving to New York City. I have lived in a lot of places in my short thirty-four years, but nothing felt more like home than Georgia. I owe a lot of who I am to the years spent there. I became an adult. I fell in love, real love, for the first time and also experienced heartbreak. I had a successful career which taught me that I was capable of much more than I ever thought possible. And now, has lead me to starting my own business. I found life long friendships with some of my closest girlfriends, in which I credit Atlanta for having us cross paths. Friendships that have endured the highs and lows of life, marriages, babies and moving out of state. I also, welcomed my thirties with a new lease on life after throwing out my life timeline in effort to live more in the moment. But what I most cherish from my time living in Atlanta, is meeting my best friend, Will. We have been friends for over twelve years now and currently live together in the city. So, I guess I kinda get to have a piece of ATL with me everyday in NYC.


Atlanta was 'home' in so many ways and although I love living in New York City, there are things that I miss about the South. Football Sunday's, Sweetwater beer, Waffle House after a night out, sweet tea and southern hospitality. I have no doubt that one day I will move back for good, but until then, Georgia is always on my mind.



XO, Rae


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NEW YEAR, SAME DREAMS




Happy New Year, y'all! I'm excited to get back to blogging and share even more content with you in 2017! Not gonna lie though, I'm kinda sad the holidays are over. I love how the city transforms into this magical place during the month of December. But I guess all good things must come to an end sooner or later. And maybe that's a good thing, considering all the indulging that I've done the past few weeks with holiday treats and cocktails. Thank GOD, for yoga pants!


A New Year is kinda like having a fresh start. Whatever held you back last year or didn't bring you joy, you can leave it all behind in 2016. And that is exactly what I plan on doing. Since leaving my 9-5 corporate job in the Summer of 2015, I have been in this awkward transition phase. I worked from home for awhile and have since been putting ideas together of starting my own business. My dream is to create a Lifestyle Brand that reflects me and has something for everyone's budget. And it has proven to be harder than I ever imagined. Not that I thought it would be easy, don't get me wrong. But having BIG DREAMS also means BIG CHALLENGES. So, here I am, back to the drawing board and pushing myself to do EVERYTHING I can to get this business off the ground this year. 


I was recently explaining to a friend, over brunch, how you loose some of your confidence when you haven't worked in awhile. I have always been driven in my professional life. And I always succeeded in any position I held. But when you strip everything away and get back to the basics, it's easy to forget what you are actually capable of. You constantly fight off doubt and start to question yourself. 


I also, allowed my personal life to overshadow my dreams and goals last year. My parents divorced and the aftermath was more that I could handle at times. I spent months just feeling like my whole world was coming apart and I didn't know how to fix it. And it caused me to be distracted and unfocused on my life

For me, 2017 is going to be a year of CONQUER. I want to conquer the FEAR, DOUBT, COMPARISON and DISTRACTIONS. And I want this year to be the year I let go of anything that doesn't serve a purpose in my life. It is possible to live your best self, you just have to want it bad enough.


How will you make 2017, your best year yet?!


XO, Rae


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

YEAR 2 OF LIVING IN NEW YORK



On October 10th, 2014 at 3 A.M., I crossed over the George Washington Bridge and into Manhattan. Moving to New York was never something I saw myself doing, but when life brings you opportunities, sometimes you have to take it and RUN! It's hard to even believe that it's been 2 years already. I still feel like I just moved here but also strangely feel like I've been here forever. That's the thing about New York, once you live here you instantly become attached. My first year living in New York was one to remember. It was full of amazing experiences and growth. And year two has been just as memorable. Here are some of my favorite memories over the past year. 






Walking in a Real Life Winter Wonderland. This past February, NYC literally shut down for an entire day due to 24 inches of fluffy white snow that covered the city. At the time, I had a friend in town visiting who had never seen snow. So, after being cooped up inside all day playing games, drinking and even having a build your own snowman contest, we were more than ready to get out of the apartment the next day. So, we bundled up and headed out to Central Park. It was breathtaking. I've seen snow many times in my life, but this was something magical. 



Standing at The Top of The Empire State Building. Seeing all of New York City from 86 floors up above, gives you all the feels. It also, gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "views for days". It reminded me of how lucky I am to be able to call this concrete jungle, home. 





Sunday Funday in Brooklyn. This Summer, my brother visited NYC for the very first time. I was excited to get to show him around the city. But I also wanted to show him life outside of Manhattan. And Brooklyn is the next best borough. We first walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, then grabbed pizza at Grimaldi's and finished the day drinking beers at the Brooklyn Brewery. By far, one of my most favorite days.




Taking My Mom to The Color Purple on Broadway. Once I knew that Heather Headley would be taking over the role of Shug, I knew I had to see this show. And what better show to take your Mom to during a girls weekend?! It was one of the best shows I have seen thus far. After the show, I pulled my Mom quickly aside and stood to wait for the cast outside. We got to have our playbills signed by all of the main cast including Heather Headley and Cynthia Erivo. I was freaking out (on the inside of course). Sharing that moment with my Mom was amazing. 





Seeing Alicia Keys perform in Rockefeller Center. I may have had to wake up at 4:30 A.M. to only stand in the back of the crowd behind a street light pole. But to hear Alicia Keys sing LIVE made all of it worth it. Not to mention, I got to share the moment with my best friend. We bonded over Alicia Keys music over a decade ago and I'm pretty sure we will dance to 'No One' one day at my wedding. 




Witnessing my best friend propose to his boyfriend. That dinner, those words and the tears shed will always be a night to remember. I can't wait to plan their wedding and stand next to my best friend as he says 'I Do'. Love is Love. 






Finding New friendships. Moving to a new city means meeting new friends. And although there are millions of people here, it almost makes it harder. Everyone is busy with work and the city hustle, so it's not often you find long lasting friendships. But I have been lucky to meet some amazing people and I am so glad I get to call them friends.


I never could have imagined all the things that would come with living in New York City. Every day still feels as exciting as the next. I can't wait to see what the next 365 days brings!



 XO, Rae

Friday, October 7, 2016

FALL BUCKET LIST





It's finally cool enough in New York City, where you need an extra blanket on your bed at night. I love how the city changes with each season. And FALL is no exception. As the leaves start to change in Central Park, we pack up our shorts and tanks, break out the sweaters and trade in our iced lattes for PSL's. There is so much in the city to look forward to in the Fall. Here are a few things I have on my bucket list to capture the most of the season. 


1. Walk through Central Park to see the Fall foliage with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand.

2. Bake Pumpkin Bread. It's one of the few things I'm actually good at baking.


3. Take a trip to upstate New York with friends. We actually have this beautiful house from the 1800's booked for an upcoming weekend. Can't wait!


4. Visit a festival and sip apple cider. 

5. Carve pumpkins. You're never too old to celebrate Halloween, right?!





6. Find a new favorite Fall scented candle at Bath & Body Works.

7. Ice skate in Bryant Park under the stars. 


8. Drink copious amounts of wine with my best friend. She is visiting NYC for the first time, next month! #girlsweekend

9. Take new headshots for the blog. Any suggestions for local NYC photographers??

10. Launch my lifestyle brand Rae Created. Eeeeek!




What are you adding to your Fall bucket list?  Comment below. 




XO, Rae


Friday, September 9, 2016

BLANK PAGE: A LIFE UPDATE




We're adults, when did that happen? And how do we make it stop? These words immediately resonated with me as I heard them out loud during an episode of Grey's Anatomy. I was having a crappy day and was in my feelings so, I ordered Chinese food, dug deep into the blankets on my bed and binged watched a season on Netflix. And at that moment hearing those words, I burst into tears. Life has recently reminded me that it owes you nothing and that change is inevitable. 


I know now more than ever that life happens regardless if you're ready for it or not. This year has been full of change both personally and professionally. My family dynamic has changed with the divorce of my parents. Although probably best for both parties involved, it still comes with pain and loss. And one thing I was not prepared for, is how it has changed the relationship I have with my mother. She is someone I have always been extremely close with. But I'm learning that parents have their life to live just as we have our own. And even though I wish things could go back to the way they were, this is now our new normal. I also, recently parted ways with my half-sister. This is something that has built up for years but still hurts nonetheless. I understand now that with loss comes growth. I have always been a "fixer" in my relationships with others. And this year has taught me that there are some things that can't be fixed. I've learned to accept things for what they are. And in the process, I am also learning to stop carrying the guilt. Being an adult comes with responsibility, but it also comes with the freedom of doing what is best for YOU.


My professional life has taken on a whole new meaning. As I once used to pride myself on a title I held in the corporate world, I am now learning the meaning of being an entrepreneur. I never realized how much I depended on a job status until I stripped it away. But in the past year of reinventing myself, I realized that I didn't need to have a "title" or "status" in order to be happy. My only regret is that I wish I had realized this sooner. But Life is funny that way, in that it gives you what you need when you least expect it. 


So, let this be a reminder that life comes with many unexpected changes. But you always have the option to rewrite your story and start on a blank page. Even when life feels like too much, just know that you will get through it. Although, I never would have imagined all the change this year would bring, I am reminded that I have much to look forward to. I am in the process of starting a business and launching my own Lifestyle Brand, later this FALL! And I could not be more excited. I also, will be embarking on year #3 of living in New York City, this October. I am choosing happiness even in the middle of life's chaos. 



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XO, Rae