We’re celebrating the official start of summer with a Memorial Day SALE!!! Enjoy 20% off Saturday – Monday on special selections! Stock up on everything you need for summer: sandals, beach bags, hats, bikinis and swimwear, accessories, and plenty of summer dresses and apparel from our favorite designers.

Saturday, May 26: 20% off Beachwear

Sunday, May 27: 20% off Accessories

Monday, May 28: 20% off Clothing

The fun kicks off Saturday and continues through Monday!

If you haven’t made plans for Memorial Day yet, it’s time to get started. After all, the holiday weekend is right around the corner. In the past, I’ve typically stayed in my home base of Fort Lauderdale. It is no shock that I love everything about it: the businesses, the people, the atmosphere… everything.

However, I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to different places for Memorial Day weekend. I always think it’s great to escape for a few days and truly unwind. After all, there comes a time in every business owner’s life where you just need to disconnect. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how important it is to take a break from creating, building, growing and learning. Here, I’ve come up with a list of my top five Memorial Day destinations.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riviera Maya’s name alone brings up images of pristine water, white-sand beaches, sun-drenched days and margaritas. It’s true— you really can find all of these here. Make a trip to this oasis for a whiff of the Caribbean and a taste of the good life. Most all-inclusive resorts offer some really great rates over Memorial Day weekend since many Americans tend to stay a little closer to home. Yes, please!

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Forget Palm Beach or the Hamptons. Cape Cod is the real playground of the rich and famous. Think the Kennedys, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift. From politicians to actors to musicians, everyone has purchased a home here. And it’s for good reason. Although the water may not be warm enough for a swim, you can still enjoy a stroll down the beach and visit some of the area’s stunning lighthouses for a beach vacay unlike any other.

Palm Springs, California

I know what you may be thinking: do I really want to spend my Memorial Day weekend somewhere that doesn’t have a beach? Don’t fret. With a variety of dining & spa options, Palm Springs is the perfect destination for the long weekend. Soak up some sun and sip on cool cocktails poolside at one of the city’s many stylish boutique hotels. Memorial Day also marks the end of bearable temps out in the desert, so many properties run great specials over the holiday. Who doesn’t love a good deal?

Miami, Florida

This time of the year in the Magic City typically means comfortable temperatures. My personal favorite place to stay? The swanky, yet approachable Soho Beach House. However, be warned: Memorial Day weekend happens to fall during Urban Beach Week, which draws over 300,000 participants to South Beach. If crowds aren’t your thing, head on over to the Brickell area. With a plethora of shops and waterfront restaurants (hey, American Social), you won’t be missing out.

Austin, Texas

Last but not least: Austin. With its Tex-Mex joints, bustling music clubs and scenic walking trails, this city is making a name for itself. Not only does the Texas capital gets some of its best weather around this holiday, but Memorial Day weekend kicks off the boating season. Head on over to Lake Travis or enjoy a swim at Lady Bird Lake.

I hope my suggestions help! Let me know in the comment section below if any of you will be visiting these places to celebrate Memorial Day. Cheers to the long weekend!

Xoxo,
Michelle

 

Photos: JetSetter.com

I recently sat down with Thrive Global to share my top “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me”. Read the interview below or click here to see it on Thrive.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle DiMarco, a South Florida based small business owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Michelle’s award-winning boutique, Lilac And Lilies, just celebrated its ninth anniversary in business and is dedicated to sourcing up-and-coming designers from both coasts. Her female entrepreneur film, Small Business, Big Dreams, was screened at The Palm Beach International Film Festival, and her blog aims to help women achieve daily inspiration and success in the retail industry.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I was just coming home to Florida after graduating from FIT and didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I knew one thing and that was I could never see myself working for someone, and I wasn’t afraid of hard work. Asking myself “what if” or “I wish I would have” wasn’t an option. So in 2009, in the midst of a recession, I decided to open Lilac And Lilies Boutique. We are now in our 9th year, and I’m proud to say we have been featured on major television networks and received numerous awards throughout the years.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

When celebrities come to the store is always equally funny as it is interesting. Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Taylor, Dan Marino, Kathy Wakile from The Housewives of New Jersey and the cast of Basketball Wives of Miami have all been to the store. Watching these celebrities interact with customers and our staff is most definitely interesting.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

What I think makes Lilac And Lilies stand out is that I hand pick unique styles that I personally love and curate them into an ever-changing, always growing collection for our fashion-forward clientele. I want my shoppers to stand out as individuals on a daily basis through my selections. At Lilac And Lilies, you can expect to find reasonably priced and sought-after dresses, tops, skirts, and jackets nestled among embellished displays of accessories, gifts, and other stylish curiosities.

Our unique shopping experience is enhanced with in-store stylists, designer trunk shows and monthly special events designed to connect like-minded women. We pride ourselves on extending a family-like atmosphere to each customer. Many of our customers have been shopping with us for years. We have seen them get engaged, married and have children.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

When I was first beginning my career, I crossed paths with a businessman named Ronnie. He believed in me enough to want to become my business partner and has been instrumental in helping the company grow.

I remember this story like it was yesterday. I was attending my first tradeshow (mind you it was during the recession) in New York City, and the odds were against me. The wholesale vendors were hesitant to sell to me because I was brand new and a lot of other stores were going out of business. It was almost impossible for me to place orders. I called Ronnie from a bathroom hysterically crying. He said to me “Wash your face and get back out there. I promise you one day they will know who you are.”

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

How are we making a difference? I ask myself and our team that question often. We have built a following on our social media platform and we use that platform to raise awareness for various organizations and charities. I also love to share my personal and professional trials and tribulations with other women. I use our blog to give back knowledge, encouragement, and inspiration. I also use the platform to showcase incredible people who are redefining roles and doing amazing things.

Personally, I volunteer at Kids In Distress, and I am on the board of The Humane Society of Broward County. I am very aware we are in an over-saturated market that is not need-based, but want-based. To earn a living off of what we do is a blessing, and giving back is the least I can do.

Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale.

I was taking a course at FIT and it was a recommended book on our list. I read it, reread it and made flash cards. It has helped me tremendously, and it trains your brain to think in a more positive way in every aspect of life. I have this book on my kitchen countertop, and the flash cards are taped in my bathroom as a daily reminder. It’s my bible.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. You will experience some dark and lonely times. When you start a business you must give it your all, often sacrificing time with friends and family.
  2. Never ever burn bridges.
  3. Cry when you have to.
  4. Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
  5. Some people will be waiting to see you fail. Believe in yourself enough to prove them wrong.
  6. Bonus: When time allows network as much as you can.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

It would be my dad. I’d want to tell him that I created a pretty amazing business.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

march-events-featuredJoin us at Lilac And Lilies for an eventful May! Please see our event schedule below. Please note, event details are subject to change. Please call the store at 954.530.3109 for questions.


May 5

Cinco de Mayo Flash Sale

  • 10% off storewide

May 12

Mother’s Day

  • 20% off storewide
  • Mimosas & Sweet Treats

May 26 – 28

Bikini Trunkshow

  • Exclusive Selection
  • Sips & Sweets

May 26 – 18

Memorial Day Sale

  • Saturday: 20% off beachwear
  • Sunday: 20% off accessories
  • Monday: 20% off clothing

 

Have you heard!? Lilac And Lilies is celebrating its NINTH anniversary, and I’ve put together a calendar of amazing events at the boutique to celebrate you, yes YOU! We would be nothing without your continuous support and love, so I’m dedicating this birthday bash to all of the incredible women who have kept our brand alive. Speaking of incredible women, something really special is happening on Saturday, April 28th. I’ve invited four female trailblazers who are not only inspiring, but totally kick-ass in their respective industries to sit on an interactive panel and take YOUR questions.

You may be wondering; how do you define a trailblazer? Trailblazers are curious. They’re problem solvers. They’re passionate about learning. They know how to take what they learn and turn it into a job. More importantly, they care about empowering others, no matter who they are.

It’s not every day that four dynamic women from varying walks of life get together to shed their truth on navigating the fashion and beauty industries. Join us for a day of conversation, encouragement and inspiration from women who are shifting perspectives.

–  Saturday, March 28th from 10 am to 7 pm // Panel begins at 2 O’CLOCK –

Whether you’re interested in working in beauty or fashion or you’re looking for advice on how to build your own business, our panel will offer real and fresh viewpoints on what it takes to succeed like a #GirlBoss. Bring a notepad and pen because our panelists are about to be dropping some crucial gems that you won’t want to miss!

Without further ado, I’m thrilled to announce our Trailblazers Panel:


Leslie Munsell, celebrity makeup artist and founder of Beauty For Real — @beautyforreal and @lesliemunsell

Leslie is real. She is Beauty For Real. She is a Makeup Maverick. Innovator. Trend Forecaster. Educator. Entrepreneur. #GirlBoss. As the founder of Beauty For Real, Leslie Munsell is diligently on duty 24/7 — making the world, well, a prettier place. With over 25 years’ experience as a celebrity makeup artist, she has worked with the biggest talents in the advertising and fashion worlds and collaborated with legendary photographers including Patrick Demarchelier, Tom Munro, Anne Menke and high-brow designers such as Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Zac Posen. Her A-list clientele includes Mariah Carey, Venus and Serena Williams, Brooklyn Decker, Miranda Kerr, Shakira, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union. Leslie’s work has been prominently featured in publications such as W Magazine, Allure, Harper’s BAZAAR, InStyle and Oprah and she has frequently appeared on NBC and CBS as a beauty expert.

 


“Brickellista” Evelyn Torres, lifestyle blogger and entrepreneur — @brickellista

As one of Miami’s top bloggers, Evelyn Torres has become one of the leading voices in fitness, fashion, and Miami. Brickellista started as a Twitter alias in 2009 and has expanded to become a lifestyle blog capturing a Miami girl’s perspective. Evelyn is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, brand ambassador, who also happens to be on the pulse of the Miami social scene. Today, as Founder and Creative Director of BrickellistaFile.com, Evelyn is not only the face of BrickellistaFiles, but oversees the strategy and direction. She is the driving force behind the brand and has built the go-to site for everything Miami.


Marissa Mosseri, fashion blogger and Business Development Manager of PRIV — @marissalynne and @priv

Marissa is a Miami-based blogger and online influencer who shares her personal style, foodie adventures, favorite products, event coverage and worldwide travels with her audience. Marissa also handles Business Development for Priv, the innovative and rapidly growing on-demand beauty and wellness app. Priv has worked with companies including Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Bloomingdale’s, Bumble, WeWork, Hilton, and Macy’s to bring beauty and wellness perks into their offices, or on-site as an event activation.


Caitlin Saucier, fashion influencer and celebrity wardrobe stylist — @saucistyle

Style Expert Caitlin Saucier has been lending her style advice to Floridians since the day her toes hit the sand from the Big Apple. Best known for her “Closet Rehabs,”​ she has also done a number of photoshoots and video advertising campaigns for companies such as Tresemme and NuNaat. Caitlin has styled everyone from top Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras for his Johnnie Walker Blue ad campaign and his editorial in Esquire Magazine Latin America, to interior designer Thom Filicia. Caitlin is currently styling Thom’s ad campaigns and video for the highly anticipated Biscayne Beach development. Furthermore, Caitlin contributes her expertise to THINK Magazine where she has a monthly column of what’s hot now.

Check out our Facebook event for all of the ninth anniversary details! I look forward to seeing you all there!

Xoxo,
Michelle

We’re celebrating our 9-year anniversary with a weekend-long event celebrating the amazing women who kept the L&L brand strong. The three-part celebration, beginning on Friday, April 27 and ending on Sunday, April 29, will include one-of- a-kind activations, bubbly fueled shopping compliments of Villa Riviera, organic nitro cold brew compliments of Lucky Jack Coffee, and and an interactive speakers panel of female trailblazers including Beauty For Real founder and celebrity makeup artist Leslie Munsell and Miami lifestyle blogger, Brickellista File’s Evelyn Torres alongside Lilac And Lilies founder Michelle DiMarco.

Guests are invited to celebrate this momentous occasion at the Fort Lauderdale boutique, located at 2541 East Sunrise Blvd. Since opening its doors in 2009, Lilac And Lilies has thrived as an innovative fashion boutique and lifestyle destination in South Florida, allowing its fashion-forward clientele to enjoy the fiercest styles in women’s clothing and accessories.

Known for its airy and inviting ambiance, the boutique is where up-and- coming designers from New York, Los Angeles and overseas share shelf space with local favorites hand-picked by owner Michelle DiMarco.

Among the 1,700 square-foot boutique’s elegant Italian finishes, crystal chandeliers, designer wall coverings and exotic rugs, guests will enjoy numerous female-empowered activations at the weekend long anniversary celebration. “I couldn’t be happier to celebrate the store’s milestone with the women who have supported my store along the way and are the reason why it’s been so successful to this day,” said Michelle. “I’m constantly inspired by and eternally grateful for their ongoing support.”

Friday, April 27 from 4 pm to 7 pm
The anniversary festivities will kick-off on the evening of Friday, April 27, with a Lips and Sips pop up, where guests will enjoy makeup touch ups with beloved local beauty brand Beauty For Real and premium French rosé compliments of Villa Riviera.

Saturday, April 28 from 10 am to 7 pm (Panel at 2 p.m.)
The in-store celebration will continue the following day with a Women Trailblazers panel, featuring local female entrepreneurs and designers who have made an impact in their respective industries. The interactive panel includes Beauty For Real founder and celebrity makeup artist Leslie Munsell and Miami lifestyle blogger, Brickellista File’s Evelyn Torres alongside Lilac And Lilies founder Michelle DiMarco. After the Q&A session, guests will have their portraits drawn by a live sketch artist.

Sunday, April 29 from noon to 2 pm
The three-day event will conclude on Sunday with a custom perfume-making bar hosted by the Air Essentials fragrance company and premium French rosé bar compliments of Villa Riviera. To complete the ultimate anniversary weekend experience, attendees will be treated to 15% off all
merchandise.

candy tong lilac and lilies

Name: Candy Tong
Company: Professional Ballerina with Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Age: 22
Instagram: @candytong12
Website: www.candytong.live

How did you get to where you are today?
Like many other professional ballerinas, I began dancing when I was 3 years old. My parents threw me in every curricular activity possible as a child to find out what I truly enjoyed doing. A long side dance, I spent most of my childhood playing competitive soccer, basketball, and even drawing.  I found my love for dance at a young age of 9. I knew then that being a professional ballerina is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I began my professional training at San Francisco Ballet where I soon soared through the levels and was appointed lead roles in performances not only in the school, but also with the company. I was the youngest and tallest (haha) ‘Clara’ at the age of 11 in San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker. Because a dancer’s schedule is so rigorous and time consuming, I began to tackle more academic work on my own. Starting from fifth grade I joined an independent schooling program where I was able to advance with my school work. As an end result, I was able to complete high school two years early with Dean’s Honor List and other academic achievements. The purpose of this was so that I could spend more time training in the studio perfecting my craft. I even traveled all over the country to train with the most prestigious and renowned teachers/mentors to get the best possible training. A long side, I competed in many state and world competitions. I was crowned Miss Dance of California in 2013 and was later placed as third runner up for the title of Miss Dance of America. My first big move as an “adult” was at the sweet age of 16; then I joined the Professional Division at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. The following year, I made a bolder and bigger move across the pond to London, England. I found a new home with the English National Ballet School where I experienced my first big tour with a professional company. I was able to travel all over Europe performing ballets that I have been dreaming for so long. I was living my fairytale, but of course like any other dancer something was bound to go wrong. I dealt with my first serious injury. I fractured my right metatarsal which kept me out of dancing for half a year. As exaggerated as this may seem, it felt like my world ended. I chose to take a break from the professional dance world and attended college at University of California, Irvine where I deferred my first year to dance in London. I knew I still wanted to continue to pursue my dance career, but always wanted to achieve my degree while doing so. With that mindset, I again was extremely motivated in school and repeatedly completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance in just 2 ½ years. During my time at college, I was the youngest to be placed in the highest levels for all dance categories; ballet, modern, and jazz. Because I was able to complete all my credits within my first year, I was allowed to travel during my time at school to audition and perform for professional dance companies. By the end of my second year I took a quarter away from school to dance with Complexions Contemporary Ballet at their annual gala performance in NYC. From there I knew, that this is the company I wanted to dance for. So here I am one year later, dancing with my dream company in my dream city. There has been many ups and downs in my career that has led me to this place. I believe that with a strong will and mind, you can accomplish any goal and dream you have your heart set on.

candy tong lilac and lilies

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
I giggled when I read this question because sometimes I feel like just the title “professional ballerina” is enough of an elevator pitch. This career is so rare and unique that when I meet new people or introduce myself as one, the reactions I receive are priceless. They think I’m some graceful yet strong mystical athlete.

How do you define success? Do you consider yourself “successful”?
My definition of success determines on my happiness. Knowing that what you are doing whether in your career or any activity in your every day life is helping you and others lead a better and happier life is successful to me. Live your life in a way where that causes you to feel little pain and a lot of pleasure. I think I’m successful in terms of my own definition, but I am and will always be striving for success. There’s so many things in life I want to accomplish and be “successful” at.

What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
The biggest reward thus far would have to be joining my dream company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, this year. I’ve worked so hard all my life and have been through a roller coaster ride with my career as well with injuries, rejections, and failures. But I’ve learned to trust the process and believe that everything is supposed to happen for a reason. So therefore, I am extremely thankful for where I am today.

candy tong lilac and lilies

What have been some of your mistakes? What have you learned from them?
This may sound crazy to many, but I wish I spent more time in the studio perfecting other dance forms. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a mistake, but I wish I had taken hip hop, ballroom, and even musical theatre more seriously. Nowadays young dancers are perfectionists in all genres. They are triple threats and to be able to get a job nowadays, you must be diverse.

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I hope to make a name for myself not just in the dance world, but in everything that I do whether it’s as an influencer, a blogger, or in my career after dance. I want to live a life where I can feel fulfilled and live knowing that I’ve been able to do everything that I’ve ever imagined.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is my mother. My mom is my number 1 fan, supporter, and best friend. She’s seen me at my worst and at my best. I received my passion, dedication, and discipline from her. She’s inspired me to never give up on my dreams whether realistic or not attainable. My mother is an absolute god (*says all daughters and sons*)!

When was the last time you were overwhelmed and cried from something provoked by work?
I’m not sure if I get overwhelmed much, but I do get frustrated especially if you are somewhat as a perfectionist like me. I am stubborn and if I don’t get something perfect, I usually will think that I’m bad at my craft as silly as that sounds. I’m a strong tough cookie and don’t cry often from my work. But if I do, it’s probably because I’m seriously injured!

How has your career affected your personal life/relationships?
I think my career as a ballerina has actually helped me in my personal life. I am a social butterfly and love to meet new people on the daily. It’s amazing to have both a group of dancers as friends and the mechanical, tech geniuses, writer/etc. group of non-dancers. It balances out my world and helps me live a well-rounded life. As for relationships, it’s not an easy thing I must say. I’m a very independent lady and enjoy being busy 24/7 which is why I strongly believe NYC is my city. My schedule is usually crazy where I am often traveling/ touring and or working during the weekends which allows for no “play” time. But for me right now, I enjoy my job so much that I am not too worried about having a relationship right now.

candy tong lilac and lilies
Have you ever thought about giving up? What provokes those thoughts?
Definitely!! After my serious injury when I was in London, my mindset completely flipped 180 degrees. I immediately thought about quitting dance and believed that I wasn’t meant for the dance world. It’s crazy to think that one injury can evolve to these kinds of thoughts. The reason to this is because we spend so much time, effort, money and energy to our craft and that if we get injured we feel and think as though we’ve been set back 2 years behind. As a dancer you are always replaceable (like any other field of course). But since this dance world is so cut throat, I feel as though It is more painful to go through.

What causes you anxiety/sleepless nights?
I don’t get anxiety, but I usually get a lot of adrenaline or excitement before and after a show which causes sleepless nights. I love performing and I love being on stage which gets me so happy and tireless.

What makes you happy?
SO MANY things can make me happy! It’s the little things that bring me joy. Of course, nailing my performances will make me exuberated, but also even seeing someone on the street perform a good deed for another person will give me the same feeling. I am just a very happy and good-spirited person!

What advice would you tell your 21 year old self?
I graduated from when I was 21 years old and was dealing with the transition into adult life. I would tell myself to not give up and to trust the process. I learned it later on, but wish I believed in it earlier. Like I mentioned above, everything does happen for a reason and you just have to believe that. Each let down, each rejection, each “failure” is leading to something great and something you have been achieving for years.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
A huge way to get any dancer mad is to tell them that “dance is easy.” Especially as a college dance major, hearing this made me irritated. If dance were so “easy,” everyone could have a profession in it.

What is your favorite quote?
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff

 

Name: Angela Birdman
Occupation/Company: Philanthropist/Founder- Walk In Style For The Animals
Instagram: @walkinstyle_fta @anglbrd

How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been philanthropic, but after my children were grown and entered college, I found myself with more free time.  I took this time to immerse myself into causes I am passionate about – animals, individuals with special needs, and the arts.

What is your elevator pitch on what you do?
I don’t work for a living, I work on making the world a better place for those in need.

How do you define success?
Success to me is when I hear we raised enough money to send the Special Olympic Athletes from Miami-Dade to nationals to compete.  Success is seeing that pup I took from Miami Dade Animal Shelter (MDAS) get released from the hospital, her hair grown back, and finding out she has found her forever home.  Success is knowing a talented young artist will have a scholarship from our fundraising efforts and be able to follow their dreams and inspire us all with their work.  Success is good health, love, and lots of laughter in my life.


What have been some of the most rewarding things in your career thus far?
Some of the most rewarding things?  I think I just mentioned some them in my definition of success. Walk In Style For The Animals and the community response to this event has been extremely rewarding.  Hearing that something I am doing is inspiring others is an incredibly rewarding feeling.  But outside of those, seeing my sons grow into the amazing men they are now has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. I am extremely proud of them and who they have become.

What have been some of the hiccups (mistakes) along the way and what have you learned from them?
I have learned that you must get things in writing, not everyone values commitment as you do.  That was a lesson I sadly had to learn the hard way.  The most important lesson – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

What do you still want to achieve personally and/or professionally?
I would love to take Walk In Style For The Animals nationwide to be able to reach even more animals in need. I am a huge animal lover.  Animals do not have a voice, we must be their voice and advocate on their behalf.  Educating people on spaying and neutering their pets so we can get the pet population under control and have less animals in our shelters is a longtime wish. Euthanasia of healthy animals in shelters due to overpopulation and a lack of funding and resources is truly heartbreaking.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I am honestly inspired everyday by people.  The world has so much negativity as of late, anytime I hear or read about a heroic fireman dying fighting a fire, a soldier killed in the line of duty, a woman rescuing dogs from certain death in China, a boy with special needs who started his own company making socks – this is all incredibly inspiring.  This is probably the most inspiring to me actually – ordinary, everyday people doing their part to make the world a safer and better place or overcoming challenge and accomplishing things no one thought they could. These are truly inspiring people.


What makes you truly, genuinely happy?
Happiness to me is waking up to wet puppy noses on my cheek, spending time in nature, being with my family, laughter with friends, and knowing something I did today made a difference to someone’s life.

What advice would you tell your 21-year-old self?
Don’t do what you think is expected of you – follow your dreams and do what makes you happy!  When you do things that make you happy, everything else falls into place.  Let go of what is not meant for you, so you can make room for what is.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
I think it is assumed that I don’t work.  While I don’t have a “job”, I work harder for the causes I am passionate about that I ever did when in the workplace.  My schedule is always full and I am always working on something – oftentimes a few things at once.

Any words of inspiration or your favorite quote?
“You can’t go deep when you are swimming in a shallow pool.”

michelle dimarco

Those of you keeping up with my blog know I recently touched upon the topic of loving yourself. This year, I promised myself one thing: I would love myself unconditionally (quirks, flaws, potty mouth and all) and practice self-care to its fullest. With all this self-acceptance and self-awareness came the realization that I needed to face something I’ve been putting off for far too long: freezing my eggs.

Quite frankly, the thought of freezing my eggs scared the living daylights out of me. While the option for women to freeze their eggs is thrown around far too casually, I knew what going through this process would entail. After doing some research of my own and falling victim to the rabbit hole that is the Internet (WebMD, anyone?), I came to the blunt realization that this process would be anything but easy.

Egg-freezing essentially means doing a round of IVF (short for in vitro fertilization) without the embryo transfer at the end. You first start off by taking 1-2 weeks’ worth of birth control pills to temporarily shut off any natural hormones, followed by 9-10 days of hormone injections. Yes, that’s right: injections. These injections are meant to stimulate your ovaries, stop them from releasing eggs, and then finally, with an ovulation trigger injection, ripen the eggs that’ll be collected with a needle under deep sedation or general anesthesia.

While many women get along with this process just fine and are able to carry on with their daily lives, unfortunately many aren’t. As someone who has health and fitness down pat (or so I’d like to think), I prioritize feeling healthy and strong. As you can imagine, exposing myself to any physical pain wasn’t something I was necessarily looking forward to. Not to mention, egg freezing comes with an incredibly high price tag and no guarantee.

However, just when I thought there was no way I could undergo this process, I kept reminding myself just how much I wanted this. After all, this is something I had thought about for years, not just days. The reality is I’m in my upper 30s and single. I was constantly worried about how the sell-by-date on my ovaries might not exactly fit in with my future plans to have kids. So, scared out of my mind but clinging onto how badly I wanted to have the option of being a mom someday, I underwent the process.

Was it pleasant? No. Was it worth it? Abso-freakin-lutely.  As soon as it was done, I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of peace. For the first time in what seemed like forever, I stopped hearing the ticking of my biological clock in the back of my head— tick, tock, tick, tock… I felt as though I could truly relax without having to worry about never being able to have kids of my own. This sense of relief alone made the choice and investment to freeze my eggs priceless.

With that being said, I’m not 100% sure I’ll ever use my frozen eggs. For all I know, I could meet my prince charming tomorrow, get married and have little Michelles running around. But, should life continue taking me in the direction it’s headed (hey, no complaints! I love the life I’ve created for myself), my eggs will be there for me to use.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier to have frozen my eggs. The whole experience was very empowering for me as a woman. I know now that I will never have to sacrifice having a family or being a mom, and there’s something pretty damn powerful about taking control of your own future.

Let’s be real, music festivals have always been about the music, but in recent years, the fashion has become just as much (if not more) of a talking point. Festival season can be seriously tricky to dress for. You want to look cool and stylish, but you do have to consider battling the elements as you never know if it will be sun or showers.

Tick tock! Tortuga is this weekend and Coachella is right around the corner. Did you think I would leave you ladies hanging? This week we hung out with Deco Drive and dished on what’s hot in festival fashion.

From the Fort Lauderdale sand to the Cali dessert, Lilac And Lilies has all of the essentials you need to create a festival-ready look. Here’s the skinny:

  • You can’t go wrong with a bohemian vibe or a rock and roll look at a festival. Well, actually, you can. My rule of thumb: pick one trendy piece and mix it with basics from your closet and you’ll look like you’re just that cool. I love this Suburban Riot tee paired with our pleated gingham skirt from Lost and Wonder. festival outfit Suburban Riot Lost and Wonder
  • Festival season is no time for blending in. Calling all free-spirited babes, you’re going to love this floral, bohemian-inspired get up from Elan USA. festival look Elan USA
  • Forgo your basic crop in favor of a trendy bikini top. We love this lace up accent by Blue Life paired with the perfect denim shorts by One Teaspoon. Accent the look with an edgy accessory or two and you’re good to go.festival outfit Blue Life One Teaspoon
  • This Velvet Heart denim shirt is easy to wear and looks good with everything! Complete the look with a playful pomp om skirt by Mink Pink. festival outfit Velvet Heart denim shirt
  • Dance ‘til dawn in festival fave Blank NYC overalls, which offer the perfect contrast when paired with our Blue Life bikini top. festival outfit Blank NYC overalls

Stop in before Tortuga, and make sure you check out the full Festival Looks segment on Deco Drive.

XO
Michelle