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I like to think that I’m a pretty adventurous person. I’ll pretty much wear anything, try any trend and my love off all things colorful occasionally has me dressing like a walking bag of Skittles. I wear it. I own it! But I realized a few months ago that a lot of things scare me or just flat out give me anxiety. Are these things “scary,” or have I just built up the fear in my mind? It’s the latter.

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to Nashville with Chevy and I had to seriously ask myself, “did I make a huge mistake???” Though Chevy was our sponsor, there was a fitness component to the trip, including CrossFit and kayaking. Um, CrossFit absolutely freaks me out. The workout just seems so hardcore. I like working out, but those workouts just seem too intense. And as far as kayaking? I can’t swim and have a serious fear of large bodies of water. So this trip would have normally been something I said no-way to, but instead I said, let’s do it!

I brought my friend Tara along because she’s a CrossFit lover. She’s been trying to get me to go to her gym that’s close to us in Brooklyn for more than a year. And for more than a year I’ve been saying, “uh yeah, sure, I’ll try.” But this trip, I had no choice but to go for it. We landed in Nashville {which is super cute, so stay tuned for a budget travel and thrift shopping guide soon!} on Friday, had a great welcome dinner and the next morning it was time for the workout. To say that I was full of anxiety would be an understatement.

I never did Cross Fit before. It always just seemed too intimidating. But today I changed that and took a Cross Fit class with Rich Froning {he’s like, a bit deal!}. I really just went from 0 to 60. I pushed myself. Did my best and didn’t compare myself to anyone else. That’s my overall philosophy in life. And of course I had to add a bit of flare to my outfit with the glasses and scarf * * * *#wod #crossfit #ChevySilverado #SilveradoStrong #lookingflyonadime #fashioninspo #fashiononabudget #blackswhoblog #browngirlblogger #blackgirlswhoblog #blackfashionblogger #realoutfitgram #outfitideas #makeyousmilestyle #photosinbetween #theverygirl #visualcrush #outfitiftheweek #fashionobsessed #everydaystyle #abmlifeiscolorful #budgetstyle #affordablestyle #reebok #fitnessmotivation #fitnessjourney

A post shared by Patrice J. Williams (@patricejwill) on Jun 15, 2018 at 2:24pm PDT

Reebok outfitted us from head to toe and we took an hour long drive to Rich Froning‘s home. He’s the best of the best when it comes to CrossFit, which made me even more nervous! But we got there and Rich and his team were the nicest, most accommodating people ever. I had a vision of CrossFit being a bunch of shirtless, super fit people lifting massive objects and grunting. Um, this wasn’t that! Rich made it clear that CrossFit is about going at your own pace. Basically, you are your only competition.

We did a warm up and then it was time to really get going. We incorporated the Chevy Silverado pickup trucks into the workout and that anxiety that subsided was rising up again. I had no problem lifting the 25+ pound ball into the truck bed, but we were also jumping into the cargo bed!

After doing a burpee {which I’ve always struggled with!}, we then had to jump into the back of the truck. I have the shortest legs ever, so of course it was a bit of a struggle, but Rich broke it down. He reminded us we just had to “get” into the back of the truck, however we chose to do so was totally up to us. There were some pros who leaped straight into the back of the Chevy {see below!} and others like myself who used a handy little step that’s built into the side of the Chevy truck bed which makes getting in and out super easy.

The workout was over before I knew it {though it felt long at the time} and I was happy I survived. Days before I would have never done CrossFit and then here I was having completed a workout with a CrossFit champ.

To say that I was proud of myself was an understatement, but the next day there was another challenge. Kayaking. I’ve never kayaked. I can’t swim. I hate large bodies of water. I don’t even like going into water past my waist. I don’t like taking water taxis. In the back of my mind I rationalized if I wanted to sit this activity out, no big deal right? Wrong! Tara and I pegged the weekend “Adventure Time,” so there was absolutely no backing out.

As much as I hyped kayaking up to be so dangerous and scary, I was shockingly calm until it was time to get in the actual kayak. There were a few hiccups in the beginning because we just didn’t know how to steer and we were on one side of the river while everyone else was on the other side {see the hilarious pic below!} but after that? We found our groove.

It was blazing hot out but the ride was relaxing, the scenery was absolutely beautiful and not once did I think about drowning!

Besides bringing Tara along because I knew she’d love CrossFit, I also needed to bring someone who could drive…because I don’t have a license! We had the chance to drive the Silverado trucks {we actually test drove two of them!} for the weekend and that obviously meant I needed someone behind the wheel. The car drove smoothly and we certainly got a few looks while driving and when people saw two petite women hopping out of the truck. Though it was nice to sit back in the passenger seat and play with all the different bells and whistles in the car, but I have to admit, I was a bit envious about not being able to drive! I conquered CrossFit, kayaking and now, I think driving is up next!

I finally realized I had a habit of hyping things up to be so much more daunting than they were. But in actuality? It’s usually not that serious. Though some moments proved challenging, I was always safe, having fun and that’s what mattered. kkkk

I always advocate for women wearing whatever they want, trying a new trend and just having fun. It’s time I start taking that advice when it comes to life! I’m ready for my “adventure time.”

Thanks to Chevy for the amazing trip!
Photos: Sanford Meyers for Chevrolet

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Ah, the button down shirt. Pretty much everyone has at least one in their closet and you can find them at pretty much every, any store. And understandably so. The style is a classic.

But while you might wear a button down in the traditional way {buttoned down!}, you can absolutely have fun and remix it. You can even turn a button down into a trendy crop top and even a halter. Don’t believe me? I’m showing you how. And it’s ridiculously easy.

If there’s one item I’ve thrifted a lot over the years, it has to be a button down shirt. I find them in the women’s and men’s sections and embrace bold colors and patterns. But all too often, button downs can feel a little stiff and stuffy. So I wanted to have fun and try new styles with the same ‘ol shirt, which I scored for $2 from the Salvation Army a few years ago.

Once I started playing around with undoing a few buttons and even turning the shirt upside down!, I was amazed at how versatile and trendy a classic piece can be. And of course I had to make a video to show you exactly how you can also style your button down in fun ways.

7 Chic, Unexpected Ways to Wear a Button Down Shirt
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7 Chic Ways to Wear a Button Down Shirt - YouTube

It’s really easy to do and the options are limitless! Fashion should always be fun, that’s why I created the 5 Days to a More Stylish Wardrobe e-course. We all have moments when we get caught in a style rut, but it’s easy and affordable to find your fashion mojo again.

Are you subscribed to my YouTube channel? I’m finally back to making videos. Also, I’m heading to Nashville this weekend and hopefully I can get some thrift shopping in, so I’ll make a video on that as well. Stay tuned!

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It’s been a while since I’ve been overly excited about something on the blog. Last year I shared an in depth post about blogging burn out and why I stopped blogging for six months. Also, I made it clear I wanted to provide something that’s really beneficial versus just posting content on the blog for the sake of having a weekly post. I knew I wanted to create something fun and accessible. Oh, and free. That’s why I’ve been working overtime on my first e-course.

I’m so excited to finally launch 5 Days to a More Stylish Wardrobe!

This course is full of tips, style tricks and accessible advice to up your fashion game. It doesn’t require you to spend hours cleaning out your closet or dropping cash on a totally new wardrobe. Nope, this course shares quick ways you can rectify common style challenges, like determining what to keep or toss from your closet, how to find your fashion formula and why I think it’s important to have a style crush.

If you’re not sure how e-course’s work, here goes:
sign up
-receive a new lesson or tip each day via email 
-that’s it!

Though it’s a five day course, the first lesson starts whenever you sign up and after that, you’ll receive a new email each day at 12pm EST. Again, you can sign up anytime!

Ready to up your fashion game? Join the free e-course: 5 Days to a More Stylish Wardrobe
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Also, each day’s email includes a worksheet {like the checklist above}. These are the sheets you can download or print and they’ll really help you grasp each lesson.

So, ready to sign up?! Of course you are. It’s free, why wouldn’t you??

Join 5 Days to a More Stylish Wardrobe. I really worked hard on putting this together and I hope you not only like it, but find it helpful on your style journey.

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Most of us put some effort into what we wear on a daily basis. I mean, we’re heading out to work, running errands or meeting with friends or loved ones. So you wanna look your best and rep your style, right?

Something interesting has started happening to me. Over the past few months, I’ve been focused on what I wear to bed. Yes, bed. I even have a bottom drawer in my dresser that’s solely devoted to loungewear and the first few hangers on my clothing rack are for displaying vintage robes.

At first I felt a little silly, but then I realized we all need a feel-good night time routine and for me, that involves wearing what makes me feel great and relaxed.

While I’ve always loved candles, I finally bought an aromatherapy diffuser {you can find them pretty much anywhere for less than $30}. I finally realized why everyone loves these things. It’s extremely quiet, the lights are relaxing and I load mine up with lemongrass, lavender or eucalyptus essential oils and I’m immediately relaxed. Also, I’m finally reading Women Who Run with the Wolves and definitely recommend it.

Then it’s time for the fashionable night time ensemble. I adore silky lingerie, but now that the weather is {finally!} getting warmer, I like something I can breathe in, like this $6 pajama romper. And, even though this is technically a “pajama” romper, I seriously think I could get away with wearing this outside. You think? Possibly on a hot summer’s day or to the beach?

Though the romper is perfect for sleeping comfortably, I also like to lounge around in a silky robe. I started collecting vintage robes a year ago and when I found this peacock and floral kimono robe {from Amazon, less than $16!}, I was stunned at the details and the vintage-y style. The texture combo of the breathable romper and the silky kimono is perfection. Also, the robe provides more than enough coverage so if I need to answer the door for an unexpected delivery, I’m not caught off guard!

If you would have told teenage me that I’d love rushing home just so I can relax, I would have never believed you. But cheers to unwinding {in style!}.

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While I love a good dress, there’s just something about denim. I practically live in jeans. Denim is just so…timeless. And appropriate for so many different occasions. But a few years ago I realized I was getting bored and that was mainly because I only wore skinny jeans. Um, I had to switch that up! Fast.

Because jeans are so versatile {skinny, high waisted, mom jeans, boyfriend jeans, cut offs, distressed, etc.}, it’s only a matter of finding the fits that work for you and then having fun styling them.

Last year I vowed to make more videos for you and I’m holding true to my promise. Hopefully you caught the thrift store haul video from a few weeks ago, and now it’s time for a denim lookbook.

But this isn’t about how to style a single pair of jeans different ways. This is showcasing the range of jeans, particularly five different cuts and how you can wear them. Some of the looks are more casual, others are a bit flirty and trendy.

Denim Lookbook - 5 Ways to Wear Jeans {How to Style Mom Jeans, Cut off Shorts & More!} - YouTube

Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can be alerted as soon as new videos are released.

And do you see the high waisted shorts above? Those were originally a pair of mom jeans that I cut up! I’ll have another video soon on how to create your own cut off shorts.

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I’m the carry-on queen. I don’t say that to brag, it’s just the truth. I never check my bags so I’ve become a pro at how to pack a single carry-on.

While most of us know the tricks to packing clothes efficiently {rolling versus folding, using packing cubes, etc.}, if there’s one area that still causes carry-on anxiety, it revolves around the beauty routine. I mean, when you’re limited to 3.4 ounces of a single product, how do you cope?!

But it’s totally possible to have a single carry-on bag and not have to sacrifice your daily beauty routine. I collaborated with Walmart to show you how to pack your bag, maintain your beauty routine and of course, do it with ease and style! The products I found at Walmart are the perfect size and make that carry-on life much easier.
The key to a pared down beauty routine involves making an honest list of what you actually need. I break my routine down by morning and night so I have the essentials like lotion, sunscreen, body wash and include the must haves that address my skincare issues {for me, that’s acne!}. Walmart has fast 2-day shipping, so even if you have a last minute trip, you’re covered. I like transferring products into smaller travel size bottles {more on that below!}, but I also found a few items from Walmart that were already the perfect travel size for a carry-on. Literally, you can just throw them in your bag and go.

Once I have a clear idea of what I actually need, it’s time to bring in the travel bottle pack. This 7-piece kit includes bottles that come in a variety of sizes to fit every cream or liquid imaginable. And the labels are also a nice touch.

I always suggest knocking the big boys out first, that means the beauty products you’ll use every day, sometimes twice a day {lotion, SPF, body wash, etc.}. I have insanely dry skin, so there’s no way I’d leave home without my Nivea body lotion or SheaMoisture Hydration Body Wash. I’m pretty adventurous with my fashion, but not so much when it comes to trying new beauty brands, but Walmart had the brands I already use and love. So no worries about a rogue breakout, which would be especially annoying while on vacay.

As for my morning routine, I keep it pretty simple with Neutrogena acne face wash. I can use this in the morning and night and it addresses my acne woes. Though the travel bottle container I transferred the Neutrogena into looks small, I got nine pumps of the face wash in there! That’s more than enough for an average trip. While it can be necessary to transfer products to smaller containers, I also love when beauty essentials already come in smaller sizes, like my serums and the Murad Oil-Control Mattifier. I didn’t even know Walmart carried Murad!

My night time routine usually includes a few heavier duty products, but they still don’t take up a ton of space. Again, my skin issue is acne, so I would never be away from home for too long without a retinoid like Differin. This used to only be available with a prescription, but now it’s easily accessible at places like Walmart. Also, it’s just the right size, so I can travel with it as is. But my night serum is in a huge glass bottle. An absolute no-no for carry-ons. But it’s easily pourable into one of my travel bottles and this one has a small spout at the top which makes it ideal for pouring it out onto a cotton pad. And if there’s one beauty travel tip I would share: bring sheet masks! They come in small packs, are loaded with skincare goodness and when you’re done, you can toss them! It really doesn’t get any easier than that. Travel tends to make my skin a bit dull, so this Garnier Moisture Bomb face mask has worked wonders.

How to pack a carry-on without sacrificing your beauty routine
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While the products above are for my morning and night routine, I also make sure to bring my “day” products. Those consist of items that keep me looking and feeling fresh throughout the day. I tend to skip makeup on non-work related trips, but I always bring a stick concealer like the Black Radiance True Complexion Corrector & Concealer and e.l.f’s Cool Down Mist. These are those go-tos that are already TSA-size approved. No need to transfer anything. Major key when packing.

I throw all of my pint sized beauty goods into these clear cosmetic bags and I’m ready to go. The clear design means I know exactly what’s in the bag without even having to open them. The bags make it so easy to just whip them out and place on the conveyor belt when it’s time to go through security.

After filling two of the clear plastic bags with my beauty essentials, I’m ready to go! No problems from TSA and my skin will be happy!

This post was sponsored by Walmart, all opinions are my own.

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It’s been forever since I did a thrift store haul. Like seriously, for-eva! That’s because I’ve been busy, but more importantly, I stopped thrifting for a while. After doing my mega closet clean out and purge, I became insanely picky about what I’d buy and add to my closet. That’s a good thing!

But once I felt the need to shop {versus simply wanting to!}, I hit up L Train Vintage in Brooklyn and found tons of goods. So of course I had to make a video dedicated to everything I found…including the most awesome vintage jacket I’m officially obsessed with.

First, if you’re not subscribed to my YouTube channel, go ahead and do so. I’ve already filmed a few videos and will be releasing more soon {including a denim cutoff DIY video}.

But this video is all about the cheap chic goods I found. Everything was $6-$8 and has tons of character. That’s why I love thrift shopping. It’s not just about finding something “cheap,” but for me it’s the thrill of unique and fascinating pieces.

The items I found range from mom jeans to a tuxedo style wrap dress to an ultra-80s leather fringe jacket.

Check the video out below or on my YouTube channel.

Spring Thrift Store Haul (Try-On and Lookbook) - YouTube

And of course for more thrift shopping tips, you can always download my book {you don’t need to have a Kindle to view it, you can read it via the free Kindle app}. Simply click the image below.

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After completing the Try It, Wear It, Love It challenge, it became clear to me that I appreciate casual garments with a bit of flare. Comfort is certainly key, but looking cute is also a factor for me.

And for a few months I had been on the hunt for a hoodie dress. I’m sooooo not a hoodie girl, but something about a hoodie dress just looked so comfortable. While I saw a few cute pieces online for $50-$60, I wasn’t willing to spend that much for trendy gear. Instead, I made a mental note that I was on the hunt for one and my retail prayers were finally answered when I found this hoodie at the Salvation Army.

It was a simple neutral color, super soft and there was a ruffled hem. Thrift store score!

One of the tips I share in Looking Fly on a Dime: How to Find Fabulous Fashion at Any Thrift Shop & Make the Cheap Look Chic, is to always check the return racks and fitting rooms. This is where people discard the pieces they don’t plan to buy, but you can find some nice options. That’s how I found this hoodie.

Though someone didn’t want it, she was perfect for me. It’s a simple style, but the ruffle detail makes it fun and there are even pockets.

The length made it a little too short to be a dress, but I figured out a few ways I’d wear it. I knew it would look great with skinny jeans or leggings and with boots or heels.

And of course I had to style the hoodie with other thrifted finds, including this brocade red coat and vintage beaded jacket.

You never know what you’ll find at a thrift shop because the inventory is constantly changing. However, when you create a thrift wish list and have a clear idea of your personal style, it makes it so much easier to snatch pieces up when you finally do find them.

Thrifty Threads: The $6 Hoodie I'm Obsessed With {it's all in the details!}
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I know it’s been forever since I’ve done a proper haul, but stay tuned for a thrift shopping haul video! And if you need any additional thrift shopping tips, check the highlights section of my Instagram profile {@PatriceJWill}. Tons of stuff!

Photos: Katie Mader and @Katherine.ashley.photo

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