To the 20 somethings, the post grads, and the down-right “wtf am I doing”(s)

It’s been quite some time, to say the least. I’ve taken a break from this whole blog and my Instagram, because bluntly I’ve been unsure of who I am for the past year. I’ve been re-evaluating myself and everything that I’ve been doing lately. 2019 for me has literally came out nowhere – and really forced myself to get in check with reality. Life hasn’t been easy – and sometimes it’s difficult to put that into tangible words. But lately I’ve found myself to sit in constant reflection, rather than action. And I know that’s complacency we’ve all fallen into before.

It’s easy to fall, to let your negative thoughts overcome you. To fall along with all the things in your life bringing you down. To look only where you want to be, never what’s in front of you. To wonder about failed relationships and friendships — to wonder where you went wrong. To only keep focus on the unknown. To sit, to wish, to remain.

But I challenge you to take a step back, and look. Really look.

These past few months, despite all my blessings – I’ve been feeling downright disgusting and unconfident in myself. Constantly comparing myself to others and questioning my worth as a person. Letting the people in my life dictate my worth, my confidence, my choices.

But I took a step back, to look. To really look.

5 months ago, I graduated college. And you can bet I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. But I knew what I wanted – just didn’t think I would get there. Funny thing is… I’m here. I’m exactly where I wanted to be. Yet I still found myself finding purpose in people, in things, in events – that don’t suffice. It comes to show that your mind cannot be curated with positivity until you let it. It’s your thoughts, it’s your perspective. Change is inevitable. But if you’re not growing positively in your outlook on life – what constructive change can you expect?

I started Cultivating Confidence not in hopes to impress or to prove who I am to anyone. But as a reminder to myself and to those who struggle with self-worth – who you are, and what you stand for is significant.  And that’s something I’ve lost within the past years. If you’re constantly venturing for worth or for purpose in other people, stop. It’s a never-ending journey.

People will always have something negative to say about your choices. People will always have something negative to say about the way you hold yourself. They will still talk underneath their breath, so let them. If you’re living true to yourself, to what you stand for – that’s your power.

So I challenge you, if you aren’t where you want to be – remember you can get there. But when you get there, remember to cultivate your heart with positivity. Never compromise who you are, just to please others.

Cultivate Confidence.

(yes… we’re back)

 

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Back and Better

Back and Better 

I’ve spent this past year avoiding posting on my blog, because I was genuinely unhappy with the content I was putting out. I’ve taken steps back to re-evaluate where I want to go as a blogger, and how I can present myself in a way that is true to myself and who I represent.  This past year has been an immense year of growth, learning new things, and connecting with new people. I’ve learnt things about myself that I’ve never known, and finally understanding the true meaning of staying persistent and working hard to achieve the things you’ve always wanted. After much editing and deliberation, riaxla.com is finally relaunched and ready! I am super excited, to get back into officially blogging and speaking my voice.

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This past year has been filled with blessings that I will forever be grateful for: becoming one of 50 Charlotte Russe It Girl’s, reaching 10K followers on Instagram, teaming up with small businesses and big brands, and meeting inspiring individuals along the way. I am reminded every day of the blessings and opportunities that Cultivating Confidence has brought me. Living confidently and having the self-efficacy you can achieve the things you want, surely isn’t easy. But work hard, be persistent, and most importantly stay true to who you are. Never compromise who you are to please others. Work for yourself, and do things for yourself simply because it’s important to you. If it’s important enough, hard work will come easy.

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This past year has pushed me to grow more than I anticipated. And amidst all the blessings, was a world full of heartache. I just recently finished my junior year of college, and let me just say was it an emotional roller coaster. I’ve lost close friends, who showed me their true colors when things turned difficult. Broke up, got together, broke up again with important people in my life. Put my faith and trust into people who promised they’d always be present. I’ve made mistakes that I deeply regret, I’ve lost myself in different ways because of my own pain. There are many days where I fake a smile and pretend to be strong for those around me – but bottom line is I was struggling, and sometimes still am.
34826285821_199c039ce1_oHighs and lows, and lows again. Sometimes it’s hard to get up. There are moments where I sit back and question my ability to carry on. I think a lot of the time we sit around trying to find a savior. Wishing for someone to pick us out of our pain, someone to save us from ourselves. Something I’ve learnt, and still trying to come to terms with – the only person who can pick you up is yourself. People who promise to be there, eventually won’t be there anymore. And that’s not to say is their fault – it’s life. Sometimes people get caught up in their own reality. If you constantly focus on someone else for your happiness.. if you need someone to save you, how are you going to save yourself? Respect yourself enough to know who you need. You are strong, you made it this far. You will continue to persist.

Focus on your dreams, bounce back, and be better. That’s the goal. Make it your own.

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Entire Outfit from Charlotte Russe 

Shop the look:

Crop Top   (similar look –  exact crop top available in stores)

Pants 

Photography by Kelvin Cheng 

Coachella Fashion Guide

If this is your first Coachella, relax and try not to stress out to much. A problem of mine was worrying about what I was wearing WAY too much. Yes, it’s about the fringe, flower crowns, and crop tops.. but just remember it’s really about the music. Enjoy yourself and don’t wear something that will hinder your experience!

There’s two types of people at Coachella.. one who sits around, and one who won’t stop moving. There’s some people who simply just sit back and chill in cute outfits, eating watermelon. However.. I’m the type of person who’s always in crowds, dancing, or running around.. with watermelon lol. So if you’re a person like me, here are my fashion DON’TS of Coachella based off of experience.

1.  NO Sandals/Flip-Flops

Yes, I know those gladiator sandals are to die for.. but trust me you’ll regret it. Your feet will not only get super disgusting, but your feet will most likely get stepped on. Especially if you’re with a group who likes to be in crowds.. (aka the Sahara tent) please don’t wear sandals. You don’t want a nail to break, or something happening along those lines. Not to mention your shoes won’t be wearable after Coachella! Save yourself the heartache ladies!

2. NO long sleeve dresses / rompers

People do it, I don’t know how. But for me, I’d rather not be drenched in my own sweat. Most of the material used for these dresses are heavy, and will be more because you’re sweating!

3. NO HATS

In my experience, a hat got super annoying. While I was trying to dance my hat either keep flying away, or people taller than me would elbow it off my head. Although it was useful for the sun, I’d rather do without it.

Those are honestly my absolute no’s of Coachella. So here are some of the things you should wear.

1. Flowy shorts and open-back tops

Shorts that you can breathe in: I can’t stress how important this is. No jean shorts, or material that is heavy. Like a long dress/romper, this will make you really uncomfortable. Forever 21, H&M, and Pacsun are selling really cute shorts with matching crops. Check them out!

2. Fringe boots 

If you can, get your hands on fringe boots! They’re much easier and cheaper to find nowadays. They are super cute, comfortable to walk in, and keep your feet clean! I wore fringe boots all three days last year – my friends were all complaining about their feet hurting, but mine were perfectly fine. So if you find them, buy them!

Other necessities:

  • Camel Backs: invest in one of these so you can refill your water, stay hydrated!
  • Sunblock: you already know why….
  • Sunnies: CHEAP BUT CUTE ONES, they are more prone to get lost or break at Coachella
  • Flash Tattoos: Great way to accessorize without the annoyance of jewelry
  • SNEAK IN PAIN RELIEVERS: just do it, you’ll thank me later!

I hope this helps, and gives you some ideas. Remember don’t stress and have fun! I’m going Weekend 2 so if you see me, say hi. Stay safe, and Happy Coachella ❤

Standing Tall

In world that makes you seem small, make choices that will make you stand tall

A lot of the times, it’s easy to feel like you’re worthless. All the responsibilities, all the things that you’re told you have to be. We’re constantly told that you have to stand out. Told you have to do things a certain way in order to be successful. But all the times I try to do the things I’m told to do.. the more I find myself feeling like I’m compromising who I am.

There isn’t a perfect equation to success, no matter what they tell you. It’s easy to feel unhappy constantly striving for something that is deemed “successful”. But the one thing I can upkeep to is finding success by your own terms, and your terms only. A mistake I’ve made (and still continue to at times) is finding worth in ways that I don’t feel genuine to. Standing tall, to me is being different. But different in the sense where you’re comfortable with yourself to carry decisions that best fits you. It’s being genuine and true. Something I always say is never compromise who you are just to please someone else. Make choices that make you stand tall, but choices that you’re comfortable in making.

Gladiator in Stripes?

AHHHH.. I’m super excited. If you don’t follow me on Instagram/Twitter.. Wet Seal recently featured me on their Instagram page! This is my first noteworthy feature; it’s exciting and such a huge confidence boost!

I went on a little bit of a shopping spree at Wet Seal and absolutely fell in love with these sandals. So obviously had to snap a picture with them. This shirt dress is also from Wet Seal – I really like how it’s tight fitted so it gives it a more feminine look. Especially since I’m so tiny, I drown in shirt dresses- so this was the perfect fit!

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Play By Your Own Rules

Every time I wear this shirt I always get the comment – “you look like a referee” hence the title: playing by your own rules. Wear the things you want to, and how you want to.

Kimonos are my absolute favorite, I think it’s really what makes this outfit so edgy and different. This kimono from F21 in particular is my favorite. I paired this sheer H&M referee inspired shirt with a white bandeau and my favorite F21 booties!

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black out

If you know me well enough, I’m almost always wearing black. Trust me when I say, you can never go wrong with all black. It’s classic and makes you feel and look like a badass (lol).

These high- wasted pants give an edgy look with the zippers on the side. They’re very comfortable, and can be worn in many different ways! I paired it with this unique black crop-top from Wetseal which compliments the look with the open cuts on the side. I topped it off with my brown festival hat, to keep me cool from this SoCal weather.

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Details:

Top and Shoes: Wetseal

Pants and Hat: F21