Danyelle

7 Places to Find Awesome Swimsuits for your Next Vacation

June 25, 2018 in Uncategorized

Even though it’s January, I am on the hunt for new bathing suits! I love prepping for Summer ahead of time. Even just thinking of being in warm weather helps me get through the brutal Chicago winters. I think the beginning of the new year is the perfect time to start the hunt. You honestly never know when you’ll decide to plan a quick tropical getaway! The vacation I’m looking for swimsuits for is Coachella!!! If you know anything about Coachella you know that fashion is everything! That’s why I am on the hunt for the perfect swimsuit!  I personally feel like you can’t get really sexy bathing suits in store. That’s why I decided to ask some friends about where to get the perfect bathing suit for my next trip! I hope my list below helps you out in your hunt for sexy swimwear! I’ve made sure to include a note about each site’s return policies! I’ve learned the hard way that’s so important to know those before you hit buy!

  1. Fashionova

I’ve personally never shopped at Fashionova but I have heard really great things. My sister and friends shop there all the time! I’m sure you’ve seen them all over. If you are looking for unique and sexy bathing suits, Fashionova is the ultimate site. Their price range is not bad, around $30-45. In regards to the sizing, I have heard that they can run small. So you do have to be careful about what you order. Also, please be aware that they don’t let you return swimsuits! So although their swimsuits are SO cute, just make sure you are confident in what size you’re getting!

 

  1. Amazon

You’re probably thinking why is Amazon on this list!? I know I personally would have never thought to shop here, but I guess why not? They have everything else! Simply type in, “Swimwear” and hundreds of items appear at your finger tips! I’ve heard good things about the quality and service. It’s also nice because Amazon has great return policies. I’d still check under each vendor though to see if they vary from Amazon’s own policies. At first when I was browsing through, I saw mostly conservative bathing suits, but if you keep looking you can come across some pretty sexy bathing suits! I think my favorite thing about this option is that you can look at the reviews for the products easily. There’s also Q&A on there which many help you decide on what size to purchase.  I’ll definitely be adding Amazon to my bathing suit shopping list.

 

  1. Icon Boutique 

This place is such a steal! It has greaaat prices. Most of their swimsuits are only $22.00 and they are super sexy! Some of their sale items are as low as $5! You honestly cant beat that! They have a variety of styles such as one pieces, two pieces, three pieces and even monokinis. They have a sizing chart so make sure to look at that before you purchase! As far as their return policy, you can return your items for store credit only within 7 business days!

 

  1. Zaful

My friend recently put me on to this place and I’m so glad she did! You really can’t beat their prices. Most of their bathing suits are only $15! YES! I said $15! They have some really unique styles too! I’m always looking for unique bathing suits to shut the game down! Their return policy is as follows: If the customer has ordered an incorrect size or product, they will also allow a return. In this case, the customer will be responsible for the shipping fee both ways (to and from our warehouse) for an exchange. If the customer chooses a refund, they will refund the original product price. All and any shipping fees are non-refundable.

 

  1. Asos

I am a huge fan of this site because they do mix & match! It allows you to pick your top size and bottom size which I LOVE. As someone who’s top and bottom are not symmetric by any means necessary, this site is perfect for girls like me. It is based in London so all the prices are in pounds. A simple google converter will give you an accurate pricing! What’s also nice about Asos, is that you can return any item for a refund, within 28 days of receiving your original order. If you wish to return underwear, swimwear or any items marked with a + next to the product name, you can’t remove the original wrapping for hygiene reasons.

 

  1. Swimsuits For All 

This site is really cool because it caters to curvy women. They have a wide range of swimear items from tankinis, bikinis, to cover ups and even chlorine resistant items! The types of bathing suits they have are probably the widest range I’ve seen. Discovered some new categories for swimwear! They cater to women 4-34 which is awesome. Their return policy is pretty good.  All their returned products must be in their original condition, unworn, unwashed, with original tags and the panty protective strip intact. E-Gift cards are issued and it’s free to return. You can also do exchanges! I believe you have 90 days to do returns/exchanges.

 

  1. Cupshe

I really loved the designs on Cupshe. They’re known for amazing prices, premium quality fabrics and flattering silhouettes for every body. I was excited to learn that they do mix and match bikini tops as well. However, their selection for mix and match isn’t that large. Cute, but not a large selection for those.  They do have a wide variety of different types of swimsuits which I Love. They’re also reasonably priced! Their return policy is not bad. It’s sassy to initiate a refund or exchange in 30 days after delivery of product. Sale items can’t be returned. As far as bikinis, they only accept returning whole set of bikinis, both top and bottom, not one part.

 

I hope this list proved helpful on your search for the perfect bathing suit! If you have any other suggestions, please comment below! I would love to hear them! See you guys in warm weather!!

 

 

25 & Planning Disney

November 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

If anyone knows me, they know that I am the biggest Disney Fan!!

I own every Disney classic on VHS. Why? Well, because I want my kids to have the originals… don’t fight me on this. It’s an awesome idea. I’ve seen every Disney movie, yes I’m 25, again.. don’t judge me.

So when my parents asked me where they should go for their 32nd Wedding Anniversary, Disney immediately came to mind. My family and I haven’t been there in over 10 years, and I thought it would be the perfect family vacation. Also, what’s more magical, then Disney?! TELL ME?! *crickets*

As you can imagine, my sister, 28, and brother, 27 weren’t the most ecstatic that I chose Disney over a tropical vacation. However, I knew, that they would have an amazing time! Stay tuned till the end to see if they did! In my opinion, you can always layout buy a pool.. but when can you go to Disney with your family?! Not very often!

I’m a planner by nature, so I was left to plan this trip. I always get stuck planning things. No one likes to step up to the plate. I’ve just accepted this is my permanent role. Anywho! I don’t advise just booking a trip to Disney and figuring it all out there. It waists time. I don’t know about you, but I want to spend as much time as I could at the parks. That is why pre-planning is so key.

My Disney Experience is a great resource guide. It has all the restaurants where you can make reservations, Fast Passes, basically you can plan your whole trip on this app/portal.

On the platform they allow you to download a map of each park. I highly recommend doing this. That way you can highlight the rides you want to go on before you get to the park. That saved me a ton of time. There’s so much going on at Disney, it was fun and beneficial mapping out the rides I wanted to hit. That way I knew what fast passes to book, and I knew where I wanted to go once I stepped inside the parks.

For flights, I usually try to stay with southwest airlines. I mean, you honestly can’t beat 2 free carryon’s and 2 free bags. While other airline prices may seem cheaper, if you add in the cost of luggage, as well as the stress of only having one bag, it’s not usually worth it. I definitely can’t lie, though. The cheap flights from Spirit airlines were tempting but I’ve heard so many horror stories from that airline, I was to chicken to even try it! I also thought about doing the Priceline name your own price deal.. but I’m convinced you only get dusty airlines with that, and I didn’t have time to play.

I was able to score flights from Friday – Saturday for about $230.00 through Southwest, which isn’t bad at all. I’d suggest joining some airfare email lists like Airfarewatchdog. They are always sending me cheap flight deals.

Now…where to stay?

My parents are owners of a timeshare at the Westgate resorts and received a free week stay. I was SO glad to hear that, because that means one less thing I have to pay for. I’m not well adverse in the time share rental department, but for what I’ve seen it seems worth it. Feel freet to sidebar with me if you have questions about it, I’m sure I’ll be able to get you some answers!

So, I had one week in Disney, what to do? Again, I’m a planner, so I did some research. For anyone going to Disney I would personally recommend ordering my Disney bands ahead of time, having it shipped to your house and registering it at home. Therefore, it saves you time registering it at a park. The magic bands will run you about $13 for the standard one and up to $70 for the custom ones.

If you don’t get a my Disney band shipped, you can always pick one up at the theme parks or Downtown Disney, I mean Disney Springs. However, why not save yourself some time and have it shipped to your house? If you don’t’ choose to get a band, they give you a free card, that looks like a room key. This card is SUPER IMPORTANT. You need it for everything! Fast passes, entry to the park, etc. I think it’s much more convenient to just have the magic band on your wrist then pulling out the card for everything, it gets annoying.

Tickets.. Tickets.. Tickets…

If you live in Florida, you basically get 50% off of entry into the parks, which is awesome. My sister had a Florida ID so she was able to get the pricing. If you want to know how we all got the pricing as well… you’ll have to message me about that, lol. But anyway I know I wanted to hit all the parks. I also wanted the option to visit multiple parks in once day as well as water parks! To do all of that, you need the park hopper pass. For Florida residents, that ran us $304 vs $450 for non-Florida residents.

Even though we had the hopper pass, we were way too tired to even hop parks. It was A LOT of walking. I felt like I walked across the country in those parks. They are BIG. However, we did visit Typhoon Lagoon which was a lot of fun, so I’m still satisfied with my purchase of the Park Hopper passes. I think you would be too.

So, we had tickets, flights, and a place to stay.

It was time to head out on the adventure of a lifetime!

Stay tuned to see how Disney was for an Adult!

If anyone is looking to go to Disney, feel free to message me on here and I’d love to help you plan and offer you any tips or tricks!

Stay tuned for my next article which talks all about the Parks and the rest of our trip!

5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Entrepreneurship

October 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

  1. It’s Way Harder Than You Think

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I ventured into the realm of entrepreneurship, I honestly didn’t think much about it. I had an idea, a dream, and I wanted it to come to life. Did I think I was in for a long tough journey? Absolutely not. After all, I didn’t even consider creating a website an actual business. Boy was I wrong! Never go into something thinking that it’s going to be easy. I don’t believe I necessarily thought creating my platform would be easy, but I couldn’t fathom how much work I’d actually have to put into it. In my case, it was especially challenging due to entering into a space I wasn’t that familiar with: tech.

3 Tips to Decide if You Should Pursue Your Idea

  • Research, research, and more research.

~ I can’t emphasize how important it is to do your due diligence in researching your idea. The space you’re entering, success and failure stories, your competition, and the barriers to entry.

  • SWOT Analysis

~ Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your potential idea.

  • Market research

~ Asking friends, family, your potential customers about the idea.

~ The easiest way to do this is by creating a simple survey that gages interest for your idea.

My intention is not to scare people away from starting their own business. It’s to give you realistic expectations, which is something I did not have starting out. It’s easy to see the finish line, and not all the hard work to actually get there. I’m guilty of that. The journey to create B.O.W. has been more work then I could have ever imagined and there’s still so much more to go. You have to truly want what you’re working towards and believe in your idea. So if you are ready to take that leap of faith, focus on what drives you every day: your goals, mission, and vision.

  1. Organization is key

I’ve never been the most organized person…That’s probably not the best trait to have as an entrepreneur, but it’s something I’m constantly working on. Being organized and sticking to your plans and goals is essential for success. I have been finding countless ways to stay organized, and once you have a rhythm and a system it’s not that hard to stay on track. I believe that if organization is a weak spot for you, you need to tackle this early. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself in the end. As an entrepreneur you will feel like there’s a million things you need to get done in one day. You’ll stay busy, but will not be efficient. In order to actually get things done, you have to be organized and make sure you focus on the task at hand. I wish I started off doing this in the beginning, but I’m so glad I’ve gotten to the point where I have a grasp on organization.

A couple organization tips:

  • Create A Plan:

Creating a plan that breaks down your yearly goals into monthly goals, into weekly and daily tasks is a life saver.~ Do this early, trust me. You’ll thank me later.

  • Create To Do Lists:

I have daily to do lists that are solely based off the plan I broke down above.

  • Download apps to help or utilize organization management systems:

I recently started using Trello to stay organized and I really like it.

~ There are a number of apps and online systems to help you stay organized. Test and try some out, as each isn’t the right fit for everyone. However, they help tremendously with the organization process.

  1. It’s okay to Cry.

There have been times where I have felt like every sacrifice and everything I worked for won’t work out. It’s not a great feeling, and usually stems from complete frustration. I think as women, especially black women, we are told to be strong, keep your head up and those tears in. Yet I’ve found that there’s something relaxing and important about a good release. Now i’m not talking about crying for days.. That’s far too much. But i’m talking about releasing all the stress, anxiety, and just having a good cry. It allows us to discharge our pain and comfort it.. Now once you cry, make sure you collect yourself and continue with the hustle. Because, if you believe in what you’re doing, and are passionate about the work you’re creating, it will all be worth it in the end.

There’s actually a few health benefits to crying:

~ Confronting your feelings help you move forward in life.

~ Expressing your emotions help you to be creative.

~ It’s a needed release.

  1. It’s Not Your Job To Explain Your Vision

One of the most frustrating things I’ve found, especially in the early stages is that no one actually understands exactly what I’m trying to do, and where I want my company to go. I’ve gotten the “You think that’ll work?” “Have you actually done any research” “What you’re setting out is hard and I just don’t think it’ll work..”

I found myself desperately trying to get my family, people I came in contact with at networking events, even friends to understand what I’m trying to do and accomplish. But you know what I learned? It’s not my job to make them believe in what I’m doing. I believe in myself, and know the vision God gave me. I love this quote, “Don’t expect others to understand your grind when God didn’t give them your vision.”

I think that is 100% true. I’m sure people told Mark Zuckerberg he was crazy and never fathomed the heights he would take Facebook. That’s how I feel. I also hate explaining what I do everyday as an entrepreneur, “Like what do you even do?”. Try EVERYTHING. I realized it’s also not my responsibility to convince people that I’m putting in the work. That this company, this dream, is is serious to me. So continue to focus on what you are doing, and as long as you believe in your vision, and know you’re working your behind off, that’s all that matters.

  1. There will be more bad days than Good… But it’s worth it

I hate bad days. I really do. I live for the good and fun filled days that life has to offer. I think there are so many “bad days” in the beginning because everything is new, mistakes are being made, things aren’t working out right.. And countless things go wrong. HOWEVER, if it was all sunshine and daisies in the beginning, I don’t think you’d appreciate the pay off in the end. I believe the Universe has a way of balancing things out. It also separates the wantrepreneurs from the entrepreneurs early. If you become an entrepreneur to become rich the next day.. Even next year, it’s not for you.This journey is hard, but I believe the payoff of working for yourself, creating what you envisioned, and ultimately achieving your dream is worth all the rainy days.

I tend to daydream about the future. About the life I see myself having when I make it. That pushes me forward, that keeps me working past the bad days when my head is screaming at me to give up. That’s just the devil. God put a purpose in you, and he wants you to follow it.

 

As Hebrew 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.”

 

Keep hoping, keep praying, and keep believing and what you hope for, will come to fruition in God’s timing.

What have my other fellow entrepreneurs learned in their first year? Comment below! See you on the platfom

Danyelle

@danyelle.gray

 

HOW TO: Sleek Ponytail | Short Natural Hair

July 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

All Credit To: BeautywithTy