5 Magical Ingredients for Achieving Your Dreams

It’s crazy how many of us look at people we admire and secretly wish we could accomplish what they did. But we totally can. I’m currently writing to you from underneath my blankets, with pimple cream on my face, while wearing a pancake onesie. Living your dreams doesn’t always look as picture-perfect as it may appear on Instagram! Going after your goals doesn’t have to be scary. Here are my tips for not letting anything stand in the way of your dreams:

  1. If you’re not living the dream, courageously make it happen for yourself

The first step towards achieving your dreams is being brave enough to acknowledge what they are, which isn’t always easy. Chasing dreams and embracing change can definitely be scary, but you have to decide if you’re going to let fear stand in the way of your potential. That doesn’t mean you should ignore fear, though! Sometimes feeling afraid is valid and it may be a sign to prepare more. Other times it’s just a warning to proceed with caution. Ultimately, taking time to process will help you manage fear so you can courageously go after your goals.

Back when my husband and I were living in Oklahoma while he finished grad school, we felt a ton of pressure to find a consistent paycheck. There were times when we didn’t have money for food. It was literally one of the scariest times of my life. Despite having very little and needing a job, I realized I wanted to open an online shop and Sal was fully supportive. I remember reflecting on my fears and realizing that even if my shop was a total failure I’d be in the same situation as before and I could always apply for a job later. Acknowledging my fear helped me to deal with so I could be brave when times were scary. And ultimately I just went with my instincts and decided to make a decision based in optimism instead of fear and I’ve never worked a regular job since.

 

  1. Embrace your uniqueness   

I’ve wanted colorful hair ever since I was a kid, but for most of my life I never had the courage to commit. I was afraid of not being accepted by my friends and family, and that I wouldn’t be taken seriously in my business. Many of my early hairstyles were me trying to fit in and I was always disappointed as a result. It wasn’t until I truly accepted myself and acted on my truth that I was able to embrace the hairstyles I actually wanted. Once I did that, I had more confidence to be myself and almost everyone noticed. In fact, my colorful yarn braids became my signature, which really helped my career.

 

Your strongest asset is your uniqueness. I had to learn the difference between being inspired and trying to be someone who I wasn’t. Anyone can learn a skill or improve their talents, but nobody else can be YOU. If you want to achieve your individual dreams, you have to celebrate all many lovely things that make you, you.

  1. Make time to actually dream

No, seriously. I’ve found it’s impossible to chase my dreams if I don’t get enough sleep. My ideal bedtime is 8pm so I can get a jump on the day by waking up at 5am. If my sleep suffers, I’m a total train wreck the next day. Having a routine is key to being able to get to bed on time.

 

One thing I never let get in the way of my literal dreams is my period. Life doesn’t just stop when it’s that time of the month. I don’t want to be concerned about leaks when I’m trying to sleep, especially when I have a heavy flow. Enter U by Kotex® AllNighter® Extra Heavy Overnight pads. They are designed for sleep without worry with 2X the coverage (versus U by Kotex® Security® Regular Ultra Thin Pads). Learn where to score some for yourself here.

 

  1. Learn from your failures

Failure isn’t fun. But it is a valuable part of the growth process. We’ve all been there, myself included (I can’t lie)! Remember my Instagram-famous rainbow wall? It did not start off that way… My vision was to make this amazing rainbow statement wall in my apartment. As I painted, the wall started giving off major circus vibes, which wasn’t what I was going for. At that point I was SO frustrated. I spent a ton of time, energy and passion on the project and felt I had ruined my home. I almost scrapped the whole thing, but instead thought “what if I really did splatter paint on the wall?” The result was something I was truly proud of, especially once I started to feel the love on social. I loved that my wall made others feel happy, too.

  1. Keep on dreaming  

People don’t just have one dream their entire lives. Our dreams are constantly evolving and multiplying over time. And that’s a good thing! You really can’t plan for everything. I didn’t have a master plan to become all the things I am today on day one. Becoming a unicorn entrepreneur/creator/partner/positivity-spreader only happened because I’ve chased multiple, shifting dreams throughout my life. The only way you can achieve all of your changing goals is by allowing yourself to keep on dreaming. If you don’t dream it, you definitely won’t achieve it.  

I hope you never give up on your dreams, no matter how big or small. Keep reaching for those stars!

 

Love,

Amina

 

This post was sponsored by U by Kotex® and its NEW AllNighter® Ultra Thin Pads. Opinions are my own, but based on our shared belief that you don’t put your dreams on hold during your period.

Spring Personified: D.I.Y. Faux Flower Jacket

 

About The Jacket

Where is the jacket from? I made it! Duh!

How?  The jacket the was pretty easy to make. I glued a bunch of flowers from Afloral onto a cheap bomber jacket that I had lying around.  I’m currently putting together a comprehensive faux flower tutorial with detailed info about how I made the jacket and other useful tips and tricks that I’ll be uploading to my youtube channel soon!  In the meantime, here is a tutorial on how I made the flower wall in my living room which is essentially the same basic process as the jacket. 

Why?

Spring is my favorite season. Honestly, its become a lifestyle at this point. 

 

About The Outfit

 Maxi Dress: I have this maxi dress in 3 colors, its super comfy and easy to wear.

Sheer Dress: I got this dress that I layered under the maxi dress last summer. I’m pretty sure its sold out now… but  here is an identical one in a different color.

Lunchbox: The “My Little Vegan” Lunchbox is a favorite by indie artist Robin Le Riche. Check out his stuff here

Sneakers: Pink Connies  

 About My Hair 

I’ve been braiding my hair for 2 decades. I started wearing colorful braids around 2013 when I begin using yarn and I never looked back! While I sometimes wear my natural hair to give my scalp a rest,  I’ve discovered that being colorful feels the most natural to me.

(I recently switched back to standard kanekalon synthetic braiding hair as more colors have become available)

You can find tons of videos and tutorials about my braids here on my youtube channel 

   

All photos were taken by my amazing husband and creative partner Salvatore Mucciolo 

Dear Black Female Creative,

Dear Black female creative,

If you have ever felt like you’ve had to work twice as hard to get half as much as your non-black female cohorts, then I’m writing this for you. 

I didn’t really plan on posting this… but today is the first day of Black History Month, so I figure its a good time to talk about our future. I have been working hard in my industry for 6 years. I literally started a business with NOTHING. I went from being unemployed to supporting myself and employing/ creating jobs for others, all by doing what I love. I made a lot of mistakes and I am extremely proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. I believe I’ve had some good luck, but mostly I’ve worked my ass off to make the most of every opportunity that I could. 

I believe in the power of women and I work in an industry where “girl power” is basically a religion. Women are banning together, collaborating, lifting each other up and building networks to ensure that they’re all getting a fair shot at the same opportunities. But I, more often than not, feel excluded from this support both on a personal and professional level and I know I’m not the only one.  So what do I do? Confront people?  Fire off some angry tweets? Complain? (sometimes)  But mostly, I just keep working harder and use the frustration as fuel for my dopeness.

But today I want to do something different. Black girls, lets link up!!  Artist, entrepreneurs, bloggers, musicians, actors, writers, designers, whatever! I don’t care how many followers you have on social media or where you are in your professional or creative journey. I have a lot to share and a lot that I want to learn and accomplish in this world and I believe that we can do it together!

love,

Amina.

p.s. Email me: tasselfairy@gmail.com

A Casual Weekend in Downtown Los Angeles (featuring Modcloth)

I spent the weekend hanging out in my favorite city (I live here, so I may be a little biased) and wore two outfits from Modcloth that were super cute and more importantly comfortable! 

Saturday: Exploring the Arts District


I threw on this “Fun With Fab On Top Easy Fit” dress, along with my favorite sparkly sneakers and this super cute unicorn cross body (which is totally on sale right now!) and I hit the town!

    This playful pastel print really popped against just about every backdrop.

Sunday: Brunch at Beelman’s + a stroll around the Historic Core

This is the perfect outfit to wear on a casual Sunday and this skirt is totally the star!

I felt like a cute piece of peppermint candy as we walked off our brunch and headed back to your neighborhood.

Looking Forward To Fun In 2018 With ModCloth

As grownups, we have so many concerns in life that sometimes its easy to totally forget about fun! In 2018 fun will be a major focus and I intend to dress the part. This will be a cinch with a little help from my friends at ModCloth!

Cute clothes alone don’t necessarily equal a good time, but I know for a fact that you are definitely more likely to have a ball if what you’re wearing makes you smile when you look in the mirror! Trust me… Ive done the research 😉

I’ve picked out a couple of super cute outfits from Modcloth that will definitely help you have a ball! I know I sure had fun just wearing them around my house and running errands… which tbh is usually pretty lame lol. 

I mean… My skirt is covered in cute little popcorn, cotton candy and pretzels! I’m pretty sure those are the funnest foods ever. Think about about it, whens the last time you had a huge pouf of cotton candy?  I bet you were somewhere fun!

Yes those are gnomes on my socks!

This jumper is a size too large, but I’ve never had more fun doing high kicks! lol

I can’t wait to continue this quest for more fun in the new year! I will be sharing more outfits that I feel really inspire me to get out there and have the best time I can… Whether it be chilling at home or twirling around my town the right outfit really does make a difference!

What are some of your favorite places to shop for fun forward clothes?

Colorful Gallery Wall With Framers Pointe

Ever since we redecorated our loft (Cloudland) earlier this year, there has been one huge  empty wall in the living room.

I made a yarn tassel garland as a placeholder to temporarily bring all the colors in the room together, but I always knew that I wanted to do something more fun!

I’ve partnered with Framers Pointe to create an epic gallery wall inspired by my Instagram feed. Framers Pointe is a online only custom framing site. They have frames, art prints and customizable functional decor like dry-erase, chalkboards and cork! The pricing is pretty reasonable and they have free shipping and returns, which totally makes the whole process way less stressful.

For the gallery wall, I decided to get a bunch of photos framed and printed on canvas. The process was easy enough… you just upload an image and choose whether you want it printed on canvas or as a regular photo. If you want the print framed, there are over 40 framing options to chose from. I opted for a simple gold frame (“Artisan Gold”)  that would work with all of the gold accents in the space.

Since the gallery wall was inspired by my Instagram feed, most of the photos that I got printed were taken with my iPhone. You will want pay close attention to the size and resolution of the original image when choosing what size you’d like your print to be. My prints ranged in size from 8×7 for the some of the canvas to framed prints as large as 24×36. Everything arrived carefully packaged and in perfect condition. Each of the frames came with a little kit that had almost everything you needed to hang them. The only additional items you really need are hammer and nails.

I used about a dozen framed photos and a dozen printed on canvas to cover most of a 12 by 12 foot wall. I wanted the wall to be colorful and fit the fun and upbeat vibe of our living room area and home, so I picked a mix images of objects and fun pics of Sal and I (and our pups of course)!

When uploading my original images and choosing the print sizes, I tried to keep a running total of the square footage of each print, but I didn’t really do any further planning beyond that.

This was both Sal and my first time installing a gallery wall or really hanging frames of any sort… so there was definitely a learning curve. But we followed the instructions that came along with the little kits and got the hang of things rather quickly. (lol see what I did there 😉

(And by “we” I mean that Sal did all the heavy lifting and I chose the photos and told him where to put what)  I totally recommend doing this with 2 people if possible! Especially if hanging anything large and heavy or high up.

Overall I am totally happy with my gallery wall and my experience with using Framers Pointe. I love the way all of the prints jazz up the space and and another interesting layer of texture to the room.

I did however underestimate how jarring it would be to see a 3 foot tall photo of myself in print lol… definitely a lot bigger than my phone screen 😉

A Dozen Cute Things at Modcloth Right Now!

The holidays are officially in full swing… which means it’s time for gift giving, getting cozy and dressing up and Modcloth has everything you need to do it all!  Here are 12 super cute things from Modcloth (in no particular order) available right now!

1.  Cute Floral Frock: I love this dress! I had 3 inches taken off and ever since its been one of my favorites!

 

2.  Unicorn Mug: I’ll only be drinking out of this unicorn mug from now on!

 

3. Sheep pushpin holder:  Literally the cutest pushpin holder I’ve ever seen

4. Black Dog dress: This is the same dress as #1 but in a different print. The dress was so nice I bought it twice! (I had this one altered too)

 

5.  Unicorn Onesie: There are a lot of unicorn onesies out there, but I really love this color combo, plus it looks super cozy!

6.  Blush  bow blouse: This pink top looks so cute layered under my floral dress… its also pretty fab with jeans or a skirt.

7.  Silver pleated skirt: I LIVE for a short pleated skirt! I want this one in every color!

8. Unicorn collar pin: Add to a cozy cardigan or crisp collar for instant magic!

9. Emerald green maxi dress: This dress is giving  spring in the winter time vibes, plus its super comfortable… obvi a must!

 

10. Chiffon shirtdress: Ive learned one thing fro trying to curate a closet full of cute…. When you see a cute dress covered in candy and sweets you buy it! There are candy canes, but I’d still wear it after Christmas.

11. Donut socks: I have a lot of socks, but none are this cute when they’re rolled up; such a clever idea and it would make a great gift.

12. Unicorn bag: I love this take on a unicorn cross body! The face is so cute and those pom poms! *gasp*

Two Cute Date Night Dresses (Featuring Modcloth)

I partnered with Modcloth to share a couple of cute dresses that are perfect for Date night (or any night). I’ve been married to my husband Salvatore for almost a decade, but theres’ still something so special about our date nights. We work together running our business Studio Mucci, which often bleeds deep into our personal time. When we finally get the chance to step away from work and spend some quality time together, I like to look extra cute 😉

Now, I love Modcloth dresses, but I get especially excited when I find ones that fall above the knee that feature cute prints and figure flattering silhouettes.  Since its still like 1,000 degrees here in LA, it seems like I’ll be twirling  my short dresses right into the New year (No complaints here)!   Anyway, these two frocks definitely fit the bill. (And one of them is even black! Gasp!)

Little Black Velvet Dress:

Even a unicorn like me needs a LBD! I love that while this dress is black, its definitely not basic. This Velvet Burnout Shirt Dress with Neck Tie is an easy dress to wear for a more  special night out.

I paired it with sparkling sneakers and The Reel Deal Bag (also from Modcloth). With it’s rich fabric and bow tie neck, this dress is festive enough for holiday parties too, and super comfortable!

Polkadots and Ponies: 

You had me at ponies! Honestly, what is a pony but a horn-less unicorn? This Mesh Detail A-Line Shirt Dress provides the perfect balance between well put-together and effortlessly flirty… which is exactly how I want to look at pretty much all times, but especially on date night!

Throw on some pink shiny flats and a cross-body and you’re ready for wherever the evening takes you. It’s also super cute layered with a cardigan or denim jacket.

Catching Feelings For Fall With ModCloth

Fall is here! And while everyone else is planning their halloween costumes and o-d-ing on pumpkin flavored everything, I’m typically clinging to my summer wardrobe and trying to decide how early is “too early” to start putting up Christmas decorations.

I wouldn’t say that I hate fall, but its definitely been my least favorite season for as long as I could remember.  Tbh, if it wasn’t for my love of candy corns and my birthday which happens to be on Thanksgiving  I would just “skip” fall altogether.

But just like the seasons, somehow I think my feelings towards fall are finally starting to change… and with all the cute offerings from ModCloth, I will have plenty of playful looks to celebrate my new found affinity for what I used to call “pre Christmas”  lol 

Here are two of the most falliest outfits I’ve ever worn. And if you’re a spring/ summer lover like me, maybe these will get you into the swing of things.

I like to call this outfit my “Casual Pumpkin Patch” look. These photos were taken at Disneyland but I couldn’t imagine a better thing to wear whilst picking out the perfect  “watermelon of fall”.

It all started with this adorable pumpkin print blouse

I initially wanted to style it with a rich jewel-tone colored skirt,  but when I saw these velvety peacock blue overalls, I knew they’d be the perfect pairing! I pulled the look together with fuchsia chucks, minnie mouse ears and this cute pumpkin crossbody bag. 

So for this next outfit, I have to warn you…things get pretty dark! I was really feeling the witchy vibes. And I figured if I was really going to commit to this fall thing, I needed to add more black clothing to my collection and thus what I like to call the “Spooky Spice” look was born.

If this Modcloth “Record Time A-line Dress” doesn’t scream spooky but cute but spooky, I don’t know what does.

This is such a versatile dress that you can totally wear in 70 degree L.A. weather or layer it up if you’re in a place that actually has seasons.

I love a good Fair Isle holiday sweater so I figured this one with skulls would totally increase the creepy factor.

Fall or not, I’m still me, so I had to add at least one pop of color to balance all of this black and white and I figured a classic red accent was the best way to go.  These little red canvas sneakers are also from ModCloth. You can find my spooky bat bag here 

 

While you wont find me gushing over chunky knits, rolling around in pile of leaves or drinking gallons of PSL anytime soon (or ever! Lets be real here). I am so here for all of the fun novelty prints and channeling my inner witch. I mean…  thanks to Modcloth  I did totally double the amount of black clothes in my closet (from two to four).   Lets see if all the cute clothes and fall festivities will keep me distracted long enough to keep my pink christmas tree in storage until after Halloween.

*This blogpost was made in collaboration with ModCloth.