Wow, it has been an incredibly long time since I have written for this site. Im starting this post a few weeks before it goes up and I hope to speak as genuinely and passionate as I feel about my blogging hiatus and my niche change.

First, let me say that Syd and the City was never created to be a long term thing. From the very beginning my word to describe it has always been a stepping stone for me to continue to expand. Blogging has always been something I wanted to do and once God allowed for things to go forth, I also knew it wouldn't be a career. I had bigger goals and while blogging amidst them seemed like a fun thing, it never sit well enough with me for me to make it a forever thing.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
Am I ending Syd and the City? No, not technical, but I am redirecting my focus from it. Two years in the blogging word is a long time. To calculate all I've put into the blog would produce a significant amount of money, but I wouldn't change a thing. I believe in investing in not only yourself, but your hobbies in order to get the most out of them. I couldn't have grown it the way I did without putting in time, money, and hard work.

Now, it is my plan to turn this blog around from being fashion and lifestyle focused to reflecting me in the moment. I will not be producing weekly content on here, instead I will have a monthly Letter From the Editor and a few random posts that go live when I feel compelled to write them. I am growing in my walk with Christ, so there will be tons more spiritual talk and resources that I find because I want to share my God. I will also be taking in marketing work and posting here as necessary per my contracts.

I've mentioned before that as I change my blog has to change that's simply it. I took time off and while I missed writing a few times, I never really missed the work that goes into producing content. I've actually been inspired to create a different kind of content for the Syd and the City that's more fitting for daily life and allows my personality and voice *wink wink* to shine. I'll be utilizing Instagram and Facebook a lot more going forward, so please stay up to date there!

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 
Psalm 37:7

Long time no see... literally! I took some time off because it’s the summer and I wanted to get a good  break in and regroup before the start of a whole NEW year of blogging! Crazy it’s been two years of writing + publishing content for anyone caring enough to read. Time has really flown, but I can still remember the first shoot like it was yesterday. A big thank you to to anyone who has been reading Syd and the City from the beginning and a welcome to all the new people who are just finding me.

When contemplating the return from break, I was originally thinking of going all out. I’m talking balloons and makeup artist and the whole nine. However, I also have other components I want to factor into year two that won’t be able ready till October, so we’re easing into this thing! That lead me to change my writing gears from celebratory to reflective. I though this would be a wonderful time to share where I’ve been AND what the blog has been about for the new folks.

Where have I been...

Blog wise, on a big ole summer break! I said above I wanted to regroup and I did just that. I wanted to infuse some real life into my social media, so I didn’t create my normal weekly content. No shooting in the Texas heat every week thankfully , but I did get to shoot a few days for my first paid content work! That was an amazing feat for me because I was approached from prior work I did and while I don’t seek validation, it’s nice to know what I put out there is good enough for a company to recognize and pay me for. Big, big shout out to the Man upstairs! It happened pretty recently, so it seemed like a true gift for working toward something and being myself while doing it. 

Personally, I’ve been focusing on my relationship and foundation with God more than anything. Nothings really changed in my everyday life other than my attempts to infuse it more with God. As of now, getting in His word and serving Him would be my top priorities! Oh, I also sung at church AND got baptized, literally all in the same day! That was amazing because those were two things I really wanted to do since joining my church and now they’re both checked off. I will continue to sing in the choir, though so thats has a permanent smile on my face and an opportunity for anyone to hear me sing! 

My break has come to an end and with that, I believe I have a bit of clarity with what to do with Syd and the City. I’m growing, so it has to follow suit too. As of now, the content will be pretty regular, with causal looks and some lifestyle post here on Syd and the City, but I’m going to spruce things up and do my best to be a bit more come October. A small facelift and some creative quirks are all that’s to be expected, along with minor tweaks to my posting schedule! Don’t want to spoil it all, so stick around to see all the good that’s too come and happy to be back writing guys!

 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 

Hey guys! I hope all is well and your holiday was safe and fun! I've been MIA for two reasons; 1. I didn't prioritize shooting because I didn’t feel inspired and 2. I've been spending time off  relaxing and with my family because I've been feeling slightly worked up. Two rather valuable reasons in my opinion lol

Nonetheless, I’m back and I’m talking about the body...once again. This time however, it’s not so much preaching about why you should love you body, which I hope you do, but just sharing my truth with my own body. I have this theory that when we share our stories, it gives people permission to share or accept their own, so I’m going to see how this goes. That sounds rather dramatic, but ...

I stand before myself every day and view myself in the barest form. This is something I started doing years ago, as I believe it helps people appreciate and accept what they have and I think it works! I love myself in ways I didn’t think I would, but that grew to happen over time. No form of self love is going to happen over night, especially if you have changes occur and you have to adapt to something new. 

Currently, my body is in a new form. This is the curviest I’ve ever been and it’s work to accept it. I mean, I love what I see, but it is coming with much adjustment. Clothes for differently, some don’t fit at all. I’m more conscious of myself and take measures to downplay certain areas because I’m not 100% in presenting it properly just yet. Work in progress. It’s interesting because it’s like things changed over night. I heard a friend say she’s developed her “grown woman body” and I like to think the same has/is happening for me. 

When I pause and remember I’m 22, because I definitely have to remind myself how young I am often, I realize I have lots of growing to do. In more ways than just the physical, I’m barely hitting the precipice of life. At this age, I am forming into the next version of myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Of course that’s easier to write and not what one may say when the jeans just won’t come up their thighs any further, but it’s good to take note of. Too often, I feel we get comfortable at a certain level in our life and then become sad when things aren’t copacetic, not realizing that the change is good. Growth is good. 

I say this from the perspective of a young adult woman who is experiencing natural bodily growth. Its 100% natural and something that everyone is going to experience. It looks different for everyone and benefits us in more ways that we know - unless you’re into health and just have all the info! Boobs get bigger (and may sag), hips get wider (beneficial for birthing children), and stomachs may round out a tad (kudos to you for enjoying good food). All of these things affects every single woman (and man!) you see, again, all in different ways. 

Not to preach to the choir. But love yourself. Remember what I said in this post...despite not looking the way you want to at this moment, you still need to love yourself. 

Photos via Bluufox Studios

Outfit Deets
Shirt: Gap | Bra: Calvin Klein | Shorts: Wild and Fable | Shoes: Nike 

I haven’t discussed skin on here in a minute and truthfully, it’s because I’ve been pretty consistently inconsistent with what I use. I’ve been trying African black soap to see what that would do and while it was okay, it’s not what I need. I’m making the conscious decision to incorporate more natural products, which is wonderful for the brand I’ll be sharing today. 

For 2 weeks, I limited my skincare routine to the Be Transcendent Glow Full regimen and will be detailing my thoughts and product info below. 

First, let me give a run down of the products. There are four steps that correlate with a traditional skincare routine: Cleanser, Toner, Daytime Moisturizer, and Nighttime Serum. All are 100% plant based and naturally created for your specific skin type, so each batch is a bit different. I received products that are for normal to dry skin. 

My initial thought with the products were that they smelled amazing. Literally. The cleanser has a natural smell that I love to inhale when cleaning that just put me in a good mood. I’ve never really used bad smelling products, but using something that smelled so good really was noticeable. Of all the products, this is the most potent and best smelling one.

In terms of application, everything is pretty standard. The cleanser foams a bit, which I like. It doesn’t leave your skin dry and feels quite nice once washed off. The toner was my least favorite, as it had a bit of a sting to it that I just couldn’t get with [Editor’s Note: I have an allergy to rose and it is an ingredient used. The stinging was an allergic reaction and has no relation to the products actual use]. The moisturizer and serum both are luxurious when applied, but the moisturizer provides a longer moisture that I lived for. 

Now my thoughts after using Be Transcendent for two weeks would be...

I think this system has benefits if you want a glow. I felt my skin was a bit more radiant after using the moisturizer daily, which is what I live for (a good moisturizer), but that was the big highlight. The products do their job, and not much else, but that’s not a bad thing honestly. I think we sometimes over complicate skincare, so it’s really refreshing to find products that provide exactly what you need! 

Check out their website and instagram to get your own glow going! 

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Song of Songs 4:7

I’m excited to be bringing one of my favorite posts to do! Here, I’ll be in a swimsuit and talking about my body, but not in an annoyingly vain way - no, I’ll be talking about how I love my body despite its imperfections and stress why you should do the same!

Now, for reference and true transparency, I’m going to share my stats. I’m 5’3, between 140-146 pounds, and I hold most of my weight below the belt. I have stretch marks and a little bit of cellulite. By national health standards, I’m considered overweight and by cultural standards, I’m a snack. Nevertheless, neither of those definitions mean much to me. 
After having this body for the last 22 years, I’ve seen it change a lot. There have been times I wanted something bigger and a few times I wanted, and currently want, somethings to be smaller. It’s natural to want things to change if they’re not 100% what you want them to be, but there is a factor of contentment that needs to be present no matter where you currently are.

I think that far too often, the comparison game starts and it gets us away from truly honoring ourselves and bodies for what they do. If you seriously think about it, God has given you a body that carries you every.single.day. Sure, your legs may have spots, your tummy may have a few extra inches, and/or you maybe getting stretch marks for the first time ever. Whatever the case may be, I promise you are still fire and your body still deserves love. 
Going spiritual, our bodies are temples. The primary definition of a temple is a building for religious practice, but there another that defines it as a place devoted to a special purpose. If we adapt the way we think of our body to seeing it as a place devoted to a special purpose, it is my belief we would appreciate them differently. We’d see there are no mistakes from what’s natural, that God was truthful in calling us “wonderfully made”.  

My point extends to those who don’t love what they see in the mirror. I am human and I get it that sometimes you just feel unhappy with what you see, but being unhappy, doesn’t mean you can’t love yourself despiteDespite the sickness, despite the unhealthy weight, despite any and everything you pick apart when you stand in the mirror, love has to be a feeling your body has felt for a happier time in it. It’s okay to make changes, but let them be what you genuinely want and not what society is pushing. It’s okay to want to healthier, but until you get there appreciate where you’ve been and where your body can take you. 

Photography by Bluufox Studios 

Swimsuit: Zara | Hat: Target (Similar) | Sunglasses: HM x Anna Dello Russo
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