5.12.2015

Haters Gonna Hate...









Kimono: LOTUS (15% off online with code: MODA at checkout), Dress: Urban Outfitters (5+yrs ago), Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Bracelets: Alex &Ani and the big cuff is a Celene Stones creation. You are interested in Celene Stones, email my girl Krista at CeleneStones@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram at CeleneStones. 15% off when you mention you saw her stuff here on the blog.

Maaaaaaaaaaaan... some people. 

I tell ya...

I love women and I support them. I don't hate on women who are successful, have nice things, have a rockin' body, lots of money, are hilarious, are off the charts intelligent or possess any number of talents or traits that seem to frustrate other women and make them jealous. I mean.... I may refer to them as "bitches" but in a....

"Man.... THIS BITCH RIGHT HERE is killin' the game!!!" kind of way.

Real hateful jealously is a waste of time and energy (count your own damn blessings would ya, everyone has problems you know nothing about); but I have found that it is the root of almost every side eye, or catty, hateful comment made (by women about other women).

I get inspired by women who innovate, hustle and work hard for their shit. (Just look at my friends... they are hot and successful... and all-around awesome.) It always throws me off when other people don't. You know, the "Negative Nancies" of the world. The people who always have some dumb shit to say, are never happy for other people and immediately feel threatened by someone else's success.

I am writing all of this out (venting basically) because I've been on the receiving end of some "hate" lately and it's pissed me right the hell off. 

I recently made the decision to start selling Rodan and Fields.  It's clinical skincare (4 different regimen lines and various other products) and it is ahhhhh-friggin-amazing!!!

It has changed the lives of the people who use it by making them feel more confident. That may sound like a stretch ("it changed their lives... yeah... sure, Melissa... ), but truly.

It's helped:
  • get rid of wrinkles and deep lines (Redefine)
  • reversed brown spots and years of sun damage (Reverse)
  • cleared up acne (even major, cystic acne) (Unblemish)
  • soothed red, irritated skin (even for people who suffer from psoriasis and/or eczmea)  (Soothe)

It was created by the same dermatologists who created Proactiv. The shit is the REAL DEAL HOLYFIELD. Although I will admit... I was REALLY skeptical at first. I refused to try it for months and months saying it was too expensive and probably didn't work. Truthfully, I was getting annoyed by people who were aggressively trying to "sell" me on it. I hadn't met anyone who just kind of talked to me about it like a girlfriend versus a potential customer. Until my friends, Elizabeth and Caroline. They talked "to" me, not "at" me and finally... I listened.

And when I did. I stood corrected. Really effing corrected.

I LOVE beauty products and I've tried a lot of them out there, but (for me at least) it was time to stop effing around and get serious. I'm 35 years old and I've got horizontal lines across my forehead, a few enlarged pores that look like little holes in my face, some blackheads on my nose that never go away for long, sun damage near my forehead, and I those vertical "11" wrinkles were coming in something FIERCE between my eyes.

(The pictures on this blog are pictures taken in GREAT light and the ones that look really rough, well... let's be honest they just don't make the cut.  I mean, I'm real on this blog, but don't get crazy.)

I kind of always thought I'd be the type of women to not really give a crap about wrinkles and stuff, but that was before I got them. When you are 25 it's REALLY easy to be all like... "I'm going to embrace growing old. I'm going to let Mother Nature leave her mark all over my face. Wrinkles are just evidence of past smiles and a life fully lived. Blah... blah... blah." But now.... FUUUK.THAT.NOISE.

I'm not going down without a fight. Mother Nature is a bitch.

I am trying to look exactly like I feel... young, vivacious, energetic, and healthy.

I spent a lot of time in the sun for many, many years. Like half my life. That shit jacked my face UP. I don't even leave the house w/o sunscreen now, but man... the damage has been done.

So here's the deal... I love Rodan and Fields products and the only way you can buy them is from independent consultants (aka- they are not sold in stores). So I decided to become someone you can get them from.

I don't care if you buy them, or if you don't believe me that they are THE BOMB. I'm not going to try to "push" anyone into anything. It's kind of the opposite. I'm not trying to "sell" so much as share.

I like women. I wants us all to look and feel good. I found out about something that can help with that, and I'm helping get the word out. Simple. And yes, it's a business. If I make some money from the time I spend working it... win-friggin-win. I refer people all of the time to things. (My hair guy, nail place, or a good restaurant. I share workout tips, when I find a good product on sale, who does my brows, where I buy clothes, etc.) I like buying local. I like supporting people that I know believe in what they sell. So this is a natural extension of that. 

Anyway...

Here are some before and afters that blew my mind. If you're interested in any products let me know (Hess.Melissa1@gmail.com or send me a private FB message). I'll call you, send you some info via email, or invite you to a girl's night in I'm going to have at my house soon. Here's my website if you're curious. You can buy a product, a full regimen, become a preferred customer, or become a consultant yourself.

Women sharing beauty secrets and supporting one another. What's so bad about that? In my opinion... nothing. So... sit the hell down and mind YO business, haters.

Go get mad about something that matters, like mass genocide, human trafficking, or global warming.

And if that scowl on your face starts to give you frown lines... I can help with that. HA!

REDEFINE regimen

SOOTHE regimen

UNBLEMISH regimen

REVERSE regimen

REVERSE regimen


5.05.2015

Create Yourself







Pants: Express, Shoes: Guess, Shirt: Vestique, Jacket and Bag: Target

I don't spend a ton of time thinking about the past.

I'd much rather think about the present and the future than get lost in things that have already happened. I keep the good stuff (great memories, old friends, etc.) and leave the rest of the bullshit right where it belongs... behind me.

I wasn't always able to do this effectively, but I have found that the more I concern myself with the here and now the less time I waste carrying around old baggage. When I am busy setting goals, meeting new people, learning, collecting new experiences, and/or trying something for the first time, I have much less time to get lost in the archives of my life.

I have found that looking ahead versus looking behind has served me quite well. It has allowed me to forgive, move on, turn the page, start over, rebuild, and focus not only on building a life I love, but creating myself.

One of my favorite quotes says:

"Life is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself."

I keep that quote on my fridge and at my office.

The minute I started to really believe that, that I could "create" myself, everything changed for me.

I understood that I could move away from situations and people that did not serve me. I could grow. Change. Start over. It's not easy, but I think the trick is that you have to want what is on the other side MORE than you want to stay in the familiar. Because even when something is uncomfortable (ie: being broke, miserable in a relationship, out of shape, etc.) it is familiar.

I am in a gym setting every day teaching Bootcamp and Pilates/PiYo. Lately I have found myself in the middle of a lot of conversations that center around physical transformation. What I have noticed is that many people have a microwave mentality. That's what I call it when people expect dramatic change, lightening fast, with little effort. 

Are you sick and tired of being out of shape, not being confident, and being miserable but you're pressed for time and you love food? Well... no shit. Most human beings are busy and most of us really love food.

News flash: You don't "own" busy and you don't "love" good food more than anyone else does. << I know for damn sure you don't love it more than me.>>

If you want long term change, you have to put in long term effort and nothing that happened to you in your past gives you an excuse to give up on your future self. So you made some poor decisions. We all have. If you allow yourself to live in the past, your future is going to look exactly the same.

So what's the difference between you and the person who transforms themselves? In my opinion it boils down to two things: Vision & Realistic Expectations. You have to be able to "see" yourself on the other side of whatever it is you truly want (vision), and you have to understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of success (realism).

Did you let that sink in? Failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of success.

No one in the history of the human race has done anything worth a damn without facing adversity. Sometimes I think adversity is put in our lives to test us... to see how bad we really want to reach our goals. Victory is sweet, but you have to be willing to work damn hard to get it.

You're going to fall. You're going to gain weight back. You're going to get pissed, sad, heartbroken,  discouraged, lonely, bored. You're going to get tired. You're going to give up. You are a human being. When those things happen, view them as temporary. They are minor setbacks. Don't get mad at yourself then throw your hands up and give up. Get your shit (back) together and keep it moving.

It's easier to wish for change then it is to get up every day and recommit to it. But... there is no other way. There is no easy path, quick fix, or magic potion. And I'm not just talking about changing your body. I'm talking about any major life change. It's going to be terrifying, it's going to suck sometimes. It's going to be WAY easier to go back, but don't. Setbacks are not permanent. We are given a new chance to start again Every.Single.Day. What an amazing thought.

You don't need a new year, you don't need a new month, week, or a Monday. Stop waiting for perfect conditions. There aren't any. Get off your ass. Make a plan. If you don't like your life, change it. Not all of it, and not all at once, but do it... little pieces at a time.

Create yourself.


4.22.2015

Tortilla Chips and Delusions







Dress: Lotus (15% off anything online with coupon code MODA at checkout)Shoes: Dolce Vita, Bracelets: Alex & Ani and custom Celene Stones (email Krista at CeleneStones@gmail - mention ModaFresca and get 15% off any order - CeleneStones on Instagram)

What up, What up!?!?!?!?!

Allow me to introduce you to the dress I will be wearing pretty much every day for the rest of my life.

It's one of my favorite colors, has adjustable straps, POCKETS <whoop whoop>, and does not cling anywhere. It basically begs you to go to dinner and eat your face off in it. In fact... it really should have been sold with a side of chips and guacamole to save you a trip to your local Mexican restaurant.

Anytime another outfit is too tight and makes me feel self conscious (and subsequently puts me in a no good, terrible, foul-ass mood) I'm just going to throw this bitch on and twirl. Twirl around whilst shoving corn chips in my face and then all will be well with the world once again. Best part about this dress? On the tag... it says.... wait for it... S/M. I mean... it's pretty much a one size fits all dress, but something about the tag saying S/M makes me love it even more. Like... oh man... I really SHOULD eat these corn chips. I mean... I am wearing a SMALL. I don't want to get TOO skinny. I'm SO close to getting too skinny. Scarily close. What if my friends start to think that I'm sick? Oh, gosh... I look sick.  I do. "Sir... more guacamole please! It's an EMERGENCY. Clearly."

Other than professing my love for this garment, I don't have much else to share.

The only noteworthy thing that has happened since my last post is that I am now 35. I had a birthday last week, and for some reason it hit me pretty hard. Now, don't get me wrong... I am SUPER happy to be celebrating a birthday because the alternative is to ya know... not to be alive, but I was in a shit mood last week.

My corporate job has been sucking my will to live here lately. It's one thing after another. There is a ton of change happening and I was SO incredibly fed up that for the first time in 12 years... I cried at work. Yup. Angry tears. They felt like fire falling from my face. I was so mad. I stared out my window so no one would see me until I got my shit together, but whew.... this guy pissed me off so badly that I wanted to walk out. On top of carrying that shitty anger with me into the next day... it was the first birthday I didn't hear my Grandma's voice over the phone saying... "Happy Birthday, Dolly. I love you." I cried all morning thinking about that. And then...

FACEBOOK.

Say what you will about social media, but there is NOTHING better than having a Facebook account on your birthday. People from all different seasons of your life taking a second to show you some love? Posting pictures, wishing you well, reminding you how much you mean to them. Man, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. It's awesome to hear from people you went to grade school with all the way to present day. It's like a big, bear hug that gives you a little squeeze with each ding of your phone. Unless of course no one wishes you a happy birthday at all that day and the notifications from your phone are an just invitations to play Farmville. Then FB can fuk off. Seriouly.

NO ONE wants to play Farmville.


4.08.2015

Scared Shhtless







What I wore to work yesterday: Skirt: Lotus (15% online with checkout code: MODA), Shirt: Old Navy, Shoes: Guess, Watch: Michael Kors, Necklace: CeleneStones (15% off when you mention this blog and EM Krista for your own custom bracelet, earrings or necklace- celenestones@gmail.com)

You know that old saying "Be careful what you wish for."?

Yeah. About that... 

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you probably know (and are sick of hearing me talk about) how I have spent the last year working on creating my best self.

Although I have not been 100% on point all of the time...  I mean... I have taken a bottle of canned whipped cream right into my open mouth whilst standing in front of the (non-judgemental glow of the light from my open) refrigerator more times than I can count and enjoyed one too many glasses of wine one (or 10) too many times... but, I have been conscious and deliberate about doing things that scare the shit out of me and working on making myself proud over the last year.

I have written out goals, made plans to achieve them and executed. I have tried, learned and taught new things.... Pilates, PiYo, and becoming a certified Health Coach. I  have stopped buying quite so much meaningless shit, paid down some debts and developed a deeper faith and trust in God.

My goal throughout this journey has been to:
  •  become physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier
  •  be happier with how I look and feel
  •  become a kinder, more supportive, enthusiastic, positive person
  •  ditch ALL extremes... extreme self-loathing, extreme fear of judgement, extreme diets and/or  binging, and the tendency to compare myself to some unreal/unattainable standard of beauty
  •  to learn how to take care of my body with food and exercise
  •  to balance self-discipline with grace and realism

And then, once I had a handle on all of those things...

  • help other people reach their goals and become the best versions of themselves

Those have been the goals all along.

So why... now that these things are happening... am I absolutely terrified?

I got a message from a friend I went to high school with (who is now a trainer/nutritionist/chef in another state). She asked me if I would be interested in doing some blogging for a fitness and nutrition website. She said she thought that what I have to say might resonate with people. The current contributors (two VERY fit individuals who have made careers out of fitness and nutrition) are inspiring and extremely knowledgeable, but they are SO physically fit that your average person may not always be able to relate to them. When you see people who own studios, are personal trainers, have a half dozen certifications, and are paid to work out all day, or are a paid to be a fitness model... you may write them off as not being able to understand the struggle of the average person who is along way from having a handle on food addictions, or who wouldn't know where to start if dropped off at a gym.

After an amazing two-plus hour conversation I said... "Most definitely!"  I'd love to partner with you and contribute to this website.  She asked for a bio, a few blog posts, and some photographs to post on the site.

I was extremely excited.

UNTIL.............................duh.....duh.....duhnnnnnn.....................

I went to the website and actually saw the pictures of the other contributors!!!!!

Holy Hell.

This man and woman are insane. I'm talking 6-pack abs, chiseled muscles, and not an inch of fat to be pinched. The only way either of them would have a belly roll is if someone placed an actual pastry on their abdomens. A roll sitting on a "belly". That is it.

Instantaneously all of my excitement turned to terror. No friggin WAY you are putting my pictures next to their professional fitness photographs. Sweet LAWD. No one would take me seriously as a fitness and nutrition contributor. Who the hell would read what I had to say??????? The fear had set in and it was major. I could  hear it now...

She's fat.
She's not even in that good of shape.
She doesn't have a Masters degree in Nutrition.
Why would I want to take advice from her?"

Thank gosh I had to leave the house to get to my Pure Barre class or I may have written my old friend an email backing out of the whole thing.

While I was in Pure Barre and later that night teaching PiYo I was surrounded by mirrors. Mirrors that forced me to look at my meaty thighs, the rolls I have when I'm bent over in a forward fold, or the back fat creeping out of my new (super tight) sports bra. I looked at all of it. For 2+ hours. At the end of the night I laughed and told a girlfriend and student of mine not to be surprised if all of our workouts are extra hard over the next few weeks while I prepare to have some pictures taken for this website. I briefly mentioned that the people I would be contributing with are physical specimens. She scoffed at my remarks and rolled her eyes. Then I looked around that room full of women I have grown to love and thought of the ladies I just left in my barre class and I realized that I am in really good company.

Most of us are not fitness models. Most of us are just trying to feel better, be healthy, live a good, long life and be the best version of ourselves. And... the more pictures of average, healthy body types there are out there in the world (or on the worldwide web) the less we will feel like we all have to look "perfect" to look good.

So, I figured that it is time to "walk the talk".

I can't just talk about how proud I am of turning my life around and then be ashamed of what my "transformation" looks like. I can't extend grace to other people and talk about realistic expectations to my health coaching clients and then turn around and condemn myself for not looking like a fitness model. I may not ever feel "ready" so I guess now is as good a time as any.

It's been 48 hours since the phone call, almost 24 hours since I freaked-the-F-out, and I'm happy/terrified to report that the photo shoot is scheduled, the bio is in the works, and the blog posts are-a-coming.... 

Even if the thought of all of that does make me kind of want to vomit in my mouth. Like that slow burn of a burp that turns to puke. You know the one... 



4.02.2015

Sneak Peak: Spring 2015







Shirt and Skirt: Lotus (shirt is from a long time ago) <<You get 15% off of any online purchase at Lotus with the coupon code MODA>>, Shoes: Aldo, Bracelet: CeleneStones (15% off if you mention ModaFresca when you EM Krista at CeleneStones@gmail.com), Necklace: a gift from my mom

"Going Up... on a Tuesday..."

These were taken Tuesday night... and it was the first weeknight in a loooooong time that I haven't been in gym clothes. No sports bras or Lycra here folks. I'm surprised my skin didn't have an allergic reaction.

You might be like...

"We get it, bitch, you work out a lot... enough. Shut your mouth."

But I'm serious. I cannot remember the last time I was in "real" clothes after 5pm.

I write down my workouts in a calendar and I tallied them all up for January, February and March. I worked out 76 of the first 90 days in 2015 and in those 76 days I completed 127 workouts.

127 1-hr. workouts... in 90 friggin' days.

Between teaching Pilates, PiYo, and taking Pure Barre classes I did 2 (sometimes 3) workouts a day. I say that not to brag (well, okay... maybe a liiiiittle to brag) but mostly because HOLY SHIT.

My 2013 self wouldn't even recognize my 2015 self. I may not look drastically different, but I feel like an entirely different person. I know there is some uber-bitch out there being like.... "if I did 127 workouts in 90 days I'd look ridiculously ahhh-mazing". Well, you can Fuk off. This is how I look. Never going to be "Skinny-Minny". Proooobably not going to deprive myself of things I love to get visible abs, but I'm strong  and I can do lots and lots of things I never thought myself capable of. So... if that's bragging SO.BE.IT. Basically what I am saying though, is that if I can do it... you can do it. You have to give back to yourself. Working out may not be your thing and you may not have 2 hours after work, but you have to set aside something for yourself that brings you joy and makes you proud.

I haven't totally changed though.

I may be motivated to workout but I doubt I will ever be motivated to do my hair. I am still rocking my gym hairdo. A dirty side braid (as per usual). There is enough baby powder on this head to prevent chafing on a baby's ass for a good fiscal quarter. If someone were to have pat my head that night I swear a cloud of dust would have appeared around me like "Pig-Pen" from Charlie Brown. 

The reason I got dressed on a weeknight was because I attended a fashion show for Charlotte bloggers at Lotus boutique. The show was put on by my two favorite boutiques in the city, Lotus and KK Bloom (boutique besties)! The two shops came together and put on a small, private fashion show giving bloggers a sneak peak into their spring favorites 

Each boutique showcased 8 looks. Everything you see below is available now in the one of the two stores.  (Instagram: lotuslook & kkbloomboutique, Facebook: Lotus & KK Bloom)



Bags at KK Bloom

Clockwise: Lotus, KK Bloom, Lotus

First Pic: Lotus Store Manager and creator of Celene Stones jewelery, Krista. If you ever want to work with Krista to create a custom piece you can reach her at CeleneStones@gmail.com. Bracelets usually run anywhere from $35-$55 and necklaces will run anywhere from $55 -$95. If you mention ModaFresca Blog though you'll get 15% off your entire order. You can also find her on Instagram at CeleneStones. Second Pic: (far left) Owner of KK Bloom, Kendrick Slaughter, (middle) Owner of Lotus, Jackie Rodney.  

Clockwise: Lotus, KK Bloom, Lotus, KK Bloom

Clockwise: KK Bloom, Lotus, Lotus, KK Bloom

Clockwise: KK Bloom, Lotus, Lotus, KK Bloom

Clockwise: KK Bloom, Lotus, KK Bloom, Lotus