It's Casual

Happy Friday, loves! Are you excited for the weekend? I sure am, especially because I *may* be attending a special event. Details for that coming soon *insert evil smile*

If you have been following my blog for a while, do you remember the Style File series? Essentially, it's a week in my wardrobe where I share looks that I wear pretty regularly. I keep it light too, with no photographer, no special lookbook setup (although I obviously adore lookbooks as well!). But here, it's just me, my phone, and a mirror. The last time I did a style file was back in 2014! I figured I should try and bring it back.

For today's style file, I'm keeping it super casual. Lately I've been super into casual looks, especially with these denim joggers.

The material on these are really nice, they feel much more expensive than they are. I believe they're around $20 at Target and they are a steal. 

Top: Discovery
Joggers: Target
Chucks: Discovery

What's interesting is when I first bought the joggers, I didn't really wear them much. I liked them when I tried them on in the store, but then when I got home, I was stuck as to how I'd style them. Clearly I got over that. 

This next look is a bit more dressy, but still very casual. 

Sweater: H&M
Jeans: Forever 21
Shoes: Forever 21
Necklace: Discovery
Belt: Thrifted

I love this sweater from H&M. I got it a couple seasons ago and it's still clutch. I throw it on when I want to look put together, but still super comfy.

Also, how cute are these shoes from Forever 21? I have to give a disclaimer though: they are not comfortable. Not in the least. If you plan on doing a lot of walking while wearing these...choose a different pair of shoes lol. But, if you're the kind of gal who likes to sacrifice comfort for fashion, I highly recommend these! They are super cute.

Last but not least is of course, another crop top outfit. What's funny is I wore this top in 2014 in the last Style File series lol! Clearly, this top is a staple in my closet and I love it so much!

*Info coming soon :)
There's a special look book post coming out with this outfit though, so this is just a little sneak peak. I'll list details for this outfit in that post, so stay tuned!

That's it! Hope you enjoy the weekend and I'll see you soon!


We've Been Nominated!

*Photo from Au Revior, Plain Jane!
Hi everyone!

I'm super excited to share that Unapologetically Pam has been nominated for The Blogger Awards!! I was chosen by the lovely Sherrelle of Au Revoir, Plain Jane! I've been given a list of questions to answer, then I get to nominate some of the amazing bloggers I follow for the awards as well.

The Blogger Awards has been an excellent way for bloggers to network with one another and share each other's content with different audiences.

Here are the rules:
- Tag the blogger that nominated you
- Answer the questions you were given
- Nominate 10 bloggers
- Create new questions for your nominees to answer
- Inform the bloggers you chose that you nominated them

I am honored to be a part of it, so let's answer some questions!

1. What inspired you to create your blog?
I wanted a place where I could be myself and do so without apology. Prior to launching Unapologetically Pam, my writing was a reflection of my actual life: edited to please other people. Once I started really deeply thinking about who I am and the type of woman I want to be, I realized that it is one with out regret or apology. I wanted to become myself, unapologetically. And so I did!

2. What are some things that you would like to improve when it comes to blogging?
For myself, it would be scheduling. I'm not on a particular schedule, I write when the inspiration comes. I do try to post at least once a week though.

3. Would you one day like to collaborate with fellow bloggers and/or brands/companies? If so, who?

Absolutely! I want to collaborate with bloggers and brands who promote freedom in creativity, self love, and overcoming the odds. Currently, I've partnered with DivorceForce which is a wonderful online community for folks who are struggling with the various issues that come with walking away from painful situations. I want to do more things like that.

4. How important is it to you to have a specific niche for your blog?
Not. At. All. LOL! But for real, I'm not trying to fit into a box. I can't. There are so many facets to 'Pam' and I want to be able to write about them all, in one spot. That's why I don't brand this as a fashion blog, relationship blog, or educational blog. But you can find all of that content here because all of those things are pieces of who I am and this blog is a reflection of that, unapologetically.

5. What is your absolute top choice of social media that you use to promote your brand?
If I had to choose just one, it would be twitter. There are soooo many networks on there, it's crazy (in a good way!). I particularly love Bloggers of Colour, they are so supportive and wonderful.

Okay, that's it! I couldn't narrow it down to 10, so here's 11 bloggers I admire. I nominate (in no particular order, because these girls all ROCK):

Shea - Shea What's Real
Eimear - The Two Darlings
Melanie - Mattes & Metallics
Cortney - Lively Little Life
DeAndrea - A Sister's Crown
Jasmyn - Jasmyn Ruja
Kaye - Kaye Creates
Liyana - Rouge and Ruche
Lee - Lee Thrifts
Candice - Life in a Pile
Jasmine - Jasmine Diane

Questions I'd like them to answer:
1) What do you do outside of blogging/writing? Or is this your full-time gig?
2) How do you balance freelance writing with everything else in your career?
3) What's your favorite way to wind down at the end of a long day?
4) How has blogging impacted you, positively or negatively?
5) If a celebrity wanted you to write about their life, who would you want it to be and why?

BOOM! That's it, yall! Once you've been nominated, don't forget to tag whoever nominated you in your post. Can't wait to read the responses.

Thanks for reading, everyone!



Happy Wednesday to all you blog lovers out there in the world!

Today's post comes after a much-needed hiatus to celebrate love over the weekend with my Honey Dip (check out our vlog here if you haven't seen it!). I'm feeling refreshed and I'm very excited to share this collaboration with local Chicago photographer Nancy Valladolid.

If I could sum up Nancy in one word, it would be extraordinary. She's sweet, yet determined and passionate. And she knows how to partner with your vision, while simultaneously making you feel comfortable in front of the camera. On the day we did this shoot, I had a particularly bad migraine and it was collld in the Windy City, but her encouragement kept me laughing and motivated.
Top: Wet Seal
Bottoms: H&M
Plaid: Target
Boots: Target
Accessories: Akira & Discovery
She's a game changer, too! Her vision goes beyond taking beautiful photographs. Her heart is much deeper than that. She looks to partner with young artists, couples, entrepreneurs, families, non-profits, etc. to capture their vision in a digital format.

In short, her fire ignites your fire! She's amazing to be around and I'm honored to call her my dear friend. If you want to get in contact with her, here is her Facebook page and website!

PS - Please excuse the lint on my shirt lollll. As I mentioned, it was freezing and I had my big fuzzy scarf on before the photo shoot hahahaha.

Thanks so much for reading and Happy Hump Day!

Date Night Matters

Okay y'all...let's talk about the "R" word...that's right.


If you're in a long-term relationship, married or not, often one of the first layers of romance that we tend to relinquish after the "honeymoon phase" is date night. Now this can be for a variety of reasons. Maybe kids came into the picture. Maybe your work schedules changed. Or maybe, this happened...
Either way, date night went further down the priorities list or off the list altogether. I'm here to advocate for the return of a regularly scheduled Date Night to enhance your romance.

Now you might say, "But, Pam! You don't know my struggle!" That's real. Especially if you're a parent, cause I haven't lived that life yet. But I have experienced a failed marriage and I am in a long-term, loving relationship now. In both circumstances, I've learned that Date Night Matters.

I would argue that date night is a matter of self-love. When you prioritize date night, you prioritize your needs to feel loved and give love. By dating your mate, you honor yourself. I love that I chose my partner.

It's a reflection of my loving myself to choose someone who cares for me holistically as he does.

Because of this, I love being around him. I crave it. While we are both working to build an empire, we feel that it's so important that we express our love by continuing to date each other weekly. We get more dressed up than usual (unless we've agreed on a super casual date, which is also fun!). We also put effort into what we wear, personal grooming, and where we're going. It's almost like preparing for a first date, but instead of the nervous jitters, there's just excitement because we love each other. When you care for yourself, you care for each other. And in return, you'll be surprised at the number of other people who also will be inspired to love themselves and their partners better.

One of the best things you can do for the people in your inner circle (your children, friends, family, colleagues, etc.) is to date your partner.

When you date your partner because you love yourself, you love your partner, and you both prioritize your relationship needs, I'm trying to tell you, it is life-changing. THIS is why Date Night Matters. If we take this beyond Valentine's Day, we have the opportunity to really become love-struck both with ourselves and our mates.

Date Night Ideas

1) Take It Easy - How about a walk in the park? This one's a freebie, for those who perhaps don't have a ton of time, as you're figuring out when a date can fit into your schedule. Or maybe you don't want to spend any money. Whatever the case, a walk in the park is fun, especially if you can find a park nearby that neither of you have been to. For my Chicagoans, I'd recommend a drive up to the Skokie Sculpture Park. It's about a 2-mile stretch that features biking/walking trails. Along the way, there are over 60 unique sculptures to view for your enjoyment. It's like an outdoor art museum! I've been there once, but my partner hasn't been there. So, this is a date we're looking forward to when it gets a bit warmer!

2) Date Night In - Recently my partner and I didn't feel like going out but we still wanted to honor date night. So, we decided to have "old school music video night." We live-streamed to our television about 20 music videos that we both selected from the '90s. Man, talk about nostalgia. Erykah Badu, Tupac, Boyz II Men, Aaliyah, Mint Condition, Bone Thugz 'N Harmony. Yo, it was SO DOPE! We broke out a bottle of wine and spent a few hours just laughing, dancing, and re-living our childhood.

3) Classic Dinner & a Movie - This one's pretty self-explanatory, and it works. There have been times that my partner and I have been in a rut and we've had to force ourselves to get up and get dressed for a dinner. And it's always been worth it. I love the restaurant atmosphere, the interaction with a good waiter, the clamor of dishes and laughter...and also, restaurants are wonderful for people watching.

PS - You can also do a dinner & movie date at home, once everyone has gone to bed. The point is that you both zero in on each other and spend intentional time together.

4) Urban Crawl - This is for my city dwellers! Find a place in the city, and go exploring! Chicago is such an awesome place to go for an urban crawl, especially if you do so along the Magnificent Mile. There are shops, museums, tours, restaurants, cafe's, any and everything you want along the way. My partner and I absolutely love doing an urban crawl because it has so much flexibility. You can do one that's expensive by going on tours, having wine/beer in different places, actually buying things in the shops, etc. Or, you can have an inexpensive crawl by window-shopping, having some coffee, grabbing a quick bite at a random cafe/bakery that you've never been to, exploring Millennium/Grant Park or Water Tower Place. Seriously, there's so much to do! 

5) Small Town Crawl - This one's for those who maybe aren't in a big city (or want to get out of the city!). Small town's often have cool little hidden gems. We love going to the suburbs around Chicago for a small-town feel. We'll go to an ice cream shop, have a walk around the mall, or (my favorite!) hit up a local book store. It's always fun to see how different our interests are. My partner always goes for the comic books, while I'm always looking at hair magazines (yasssss!). Small towns can offer more serenity when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

That's it! I hope you've found these quick tips to be useful in some way. What are your date plans for Valentine's Day? And beyond? I'd love to know about it! 

Also, PS - If you're single, don't be afraid to date yourself! Or have a night out with the homies.  Your self-care matters.

*sending you warm cyber-hugs*

Comfort Clothing

Hiiii guys! Happy Monday (if there is such a thing!). Speaking of that, let's have a #MondayMotivation chat, shall we?

Do you ever have one of those Mondays where you just can't? Like literally, if you could, you would...but you just can't?

You slept through your alarm, missed grabbing coffee while trying to catch the train...but then you missed said train. And on top of that, nothing in your closet seems to fit right, you feel tired, and you're on "grumpy cat" level of angry with the world...

On days like that, I recommend you reach for your handy dandy "comfort clothes." This is your stash of worn-in jeans, leggings, (jeggings, cause girl...I feel you!), and that flowy shirt/sweater that still makes you look put together, even though you couldn't be bothered this morning.

This outfit is one of those for me. I have on my "5 Minute Face" and a current favorite go-to ootd: a chunky knit, my white jeans (if you've been following me you know I. Am. OBSESSED.), some flashy socks, and comfy boots. Plus, this thrifted trench that's been getting me through the winter.

Top: Thrifted
Bottoms: Target
Trench Coat: Thrifted
Purse: Target
Necklace: Akira
Bracelets & Watch - Discovery

I threw on some basic accessories to complete this look. And bam! I was out the door and on my way to work.

What are your go-to "comfort clothes" ?? I'd love to know! Leave a comment down below.

Hope you enjoyed this look! Now go kick Monday's butt!

Celebrate the Little Things

Hello blog lovers!

Today's post will be short and sweet, as I have a migraine that started yesterday but it's still lingering around. Not gonna lie, when the migraine began, it got me really down. I used to get migraines all the time, but since being on my health journey and really changing my diet, I only get them maybe once or twice a year. Although I've been eating really well this year, the start of the migraine made me question what I'm doing wrong, which is never a fun feeling.

However, I decided I'm not going to allow myself to be bombarded with bad thoughts of what "could be" and instead, I'm going to celebrate what is. My life is beautiful (and messy), my dreams are huge (and terrifying), and I'm on the right path to achieving my goals.

This Fashion Friday post is a reflection of my celebration. Because, how could you not celebrate when wearing all white? *insert happy dance here*

Denim Jacket - Thrifted
Top - H&M
Bottoms - Target
Boots - Target
Chain - Akira
Watch & Arm Candy - Discovery Clothing Co.
As you all know by now, I love white in winter time. And I especially love this look because it's casual and these burgundy boots are to die for. I wore this look on a rainy, cold day in Chicago. I splashed in puddles all over the city with my trusty boots on!

I hope this look inspires you for the weekend! Casual chic, and perfect for a Saturday outing.


PS - If you didn't get the chance to check it out, my first lookbook is up! Happy Weekend! :)

5 Tips for Surviving a Bad Break-Up

Happy Monday, blogosphere!

Today's topic is one that is near and dear to my heart. I've been wanting to write more on my divorce for a while, but it's taken me some time to sit down in front of the computer and really be comfortable with sharing details that are so intimate...and now I'm ready!

One of the things that I hear most often from women who have gone through an ugly divorce or break-up is that they feel alone. I think this is because no one really wants to talk about it openly because it's uncomfortable to be vulnerable, hard to face that shame and/or guilt.

By not being transparent about our pain, we are isolating each other.

This leads to the repression of feeling anything at all, or the need to fake the "strong woman" image. 

Well baby girl, I'm here to tell you that heartbreak hurts. Nobody ever gets married with the hope of divorcing. When I was standing in front of God, family, and friends declaring my vows, I had no idea that four and a half short years later I'd be standing in front of a judge who declared those vows null and void. I never thought that I'd ache in places I didn't know were possible, I never knew that I'd allow someone to disrespect me and my body so much, I never knew the depths of my self-loathing...again, heartbreak hurts

So, if you're currently going through a break-up or divorce or if it's in the past, but you haven't healed from it, here are some friendly tips that I learned along the way. 

Oftentimes, we tend to jump to the "I should just forgive him/her" stage before we feel the anger, the hurt, the sadness...but when you don't allow yourself to feel those things, your forgiveness is lackluster at best. Yes, holding a grudge for years and years will hurt you in the long run. But initially? Like the first year? You need to feel what you need to feel in order to find true healing. There's no way around this one, you just gotta go through it. 

And that's hard right? Because no one wants to admit that they're hurting. But let me tell you,

It's okay to be broken.

Allowing yourself to feel that pain will be one of the best ways you can move forward and heal in the future. No way around it, over it, or under it. Just gotta go through it.

I think one of the reasons we repress our feelings is because no one talks about it. We are much more comfortable sharing all of the ways that our lives are beautiful on instagram, but we're uncomfortable about sharing our pain. Since there's a fine line between being transparent and sharing too much on social media, I suggest that you first try being vulnerable with yourself. Write down your thoughts, write down your anguish, your pain...your moments of happiness and brokenness. For all of the things you can't say out loud, write it down. 

Once you release a thought from your mind, you might be surprised at how it loses its power.

How many of us after a bad break-up try and linger on the good times we had? Or dream about what might have been or could have been?

Seriously homie, check yourself before you wreck yourself. At some point, you have to stop thinking about whatever your partner's intentions were and start living in reality. Intentions can have you in a fairy-tale world, where he intended to be faithful, he intended to love you, he never intended to hurt you. 

Well intentions kinda go out of the window when you're in the hospital with an STD, you feel me? 

Listen, I've been there. I still believe that my ex is a good person...and man, if he ever becomes all that the Creator has made him to be, he will be a walking testimony. However, I couldn't dwell in what could be or should have been. I had to face reality. And that reality was ugly, painful, and dark...and it had been that way for seven years. Whatever he intended to do, I had to step into my reality and realize that I was harming myself over and over again by staying.

Now, as you can imagine, once I started living in reality, my whole world was shaken to its core. I hated him for what he had done and I hated myself for allowing it to happen. This is when I started to sink deep into depression. 

One of my biggest regrets (and a fate I'd like to save you from) is that I didn't take any time off to heal.

Nothing stopped for me. I was still a full-time graduate student, I was still working full-time, and I was volunteering full-time for church. My days and nights were filled to the brim. I didn't stop any of the meetings, any of the classes, any of the work projects...I led worship every Sunday even when most people at my church at the time still didn't know I was separated from my husband. Nothing stopped. And we can make that sound glamorous all we want and paint the picture of a strong woman, a testament to "pressing through when it's hard." But the truth is, I was sinking inside. I continued doing all of those things even though it hurt and even though all of the red flags were up: I couldn't sleep without sleeping pills, my anxiety was so high that I was having panic attacks nearly every day, I was having para-suicidal thoughts. 

But I didn't want to seem weak.

Because, everyone just keeps pressing through, right? I mean, that's what it looks like. It seems that everyone else who goes through this just keeps on living so I should too. Wrong. 

Now don't get me wrong, I know that life doesn't stop for any of us. I had to keep working, I wanted to stay in school, and I love worship, so that's part of the reason I didn't stop. But, I regret not taking any time, not even just a few days to step away from everything and go on a mini-vacation to clear my head. Every woman I've spoken with about divorce and break-ups has said that either they took time off from work/school/life or they wish they had. I am a part of the latter group. If you can spare the time and have the resources, take a week or so off. You're going to need it to just recoup and step away from the madness, even if just for a moment.

Seems pretty simple, right? But for whatever reason, this is one of the hardest things for us to do. Yes, you're hurting. Yes, you feel like crap. And yes, life is a mess and you're not sure of what the next step is.

All of these things are true. But you know what else is true? 

You are worthy of love.

It starts with you loving you. Pamper yourself. Get a facial, go to a spa. If you know of someone going through a bad break-up, why not offer them a spa certificate? You have no idea how much your kindness will help. And if you can't afford to go to a spa on your own, give yourself a spa treatment at home (here's a video that might help you). Get your hair done (or do it yourself, if you can!). Put on some makeup, throw on that one dress that makes you feel like a million bucks. And take yourself out on a date!
Don't wait on anyone else to love you. Do it for yourself.

I took myself out on a date at the famous Signature Room while I was still new to my singlehood journey. When my waiter learned that I was dining alone, he treated me like a queen and I treated myself the same way with a four-course meal and a wonderful glass of wine. I didn't need a date to be treated like royalty. I found that self-love within me.

Love yourself. Embrace yourself. Trust yourself. And take care of yourself.

I hope this post speaks to you. If you're hurting, I am truly sorry. But know that you're not alone. And if you have tips for anyone going through a break-up, why don't you share? Comment down below. 

Thanks so much for reading!

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