In honor of Women's History Month check out my GRL PWR playlist on Soundcloud! I featured an all female line-up of nothing but boss babes.
Enjoy the vibes <3
My friends, love is in the air. Maybe that gets you feeling all warm and mushy inside or maybe you just puked at the thought of it. There is no doubt that Valentine's Day will have even the coldest at heart thinking about old crushes and flames. Who knows...maybe your third grade valentine is waiting for you to swipe right. You never know.
While you're prepping for the big day I've got you covered with a few hip hop gems to keep you feeling good. I know hip hop and love aren't a typical match, but you have to remember even the toughest "gangsta" has a soft spot for a special lady. So whether you're getting spiffy for a date night with your boo or having a wine-filled (oops i mean fun-filled) Galentine's I hope these songs have you singing along and realizing how awesome of a catch you are, sweetheart
Happy Valentine's Day <3
As you look up to the second floor of this old-fashioned motel, it’s hard to believe that an international legend once stood on that ground. A Nobel-Peace Prize recepient, a legend, a leader. Today, a beautifully arranged red and white floral wreath now hangs over the balcony of Room 306 at the former Lorraine Motel. Where that wreath hangs – courage, passion, and dreams once covered the balcony of the Lorraine Motel as the blood of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. flowed from his lifeless body.
I am not going to write a biography on the life of Dr. King, because I am quite positive you all know his story as well as his passions. Instead I want to remind you of how King like many of us was a man with a dream. As a dreamer, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. understood the tiring process of turning his dreams into reality. The trials he faced along his journey were mental as well as physical. In this pursuit, to shift the mindsets of the American people from a materialistic, war-crazed society to a “people-oriented” society, Dr. King faced thousands of individuals who despised everything he preached and who quite frankly wanted him dead. Many people would coward away knowing the evils that followed them, but Dr. King was not one of those individuals. King was not moved by the evil actions of others he continued using his platform to spread his hopes of a peaceful society, one where hatred, inequality, and racial segregation would not be the norm.
Dr. Martin Luther King was so much more than a dreamer, he was a doer. Everyday he woke recognizing his power and his mission to change the narrative of a corrupt society. He put his feet on the ground and got his hands dirty, by working with labor groups, sitting with government officials, marching, and challenging America’s economic system. King will always inspire me to get up and push towards my dreams despite the discomfort I may feel. Dr. Martin Luther King’s determination to see better days for his people was seen in the way he would carry himself even while being harassed by the government, jailed, & abused. This same determination eventually put a deadly target on his back. Although Dr. King is no longer with us today his radical spirit still lives on in the souls of fellow dreamers.
So what about the dream?
Now that the dreamer has been slain, what about the dream?
So it is finally 2016. It is still early enough in the new year where I can smell remnants of straggling pieces of evergreen & peppermint meeting the eager spirits of those new year resolutions. Although we aren’t a full month into 2016, if you venture into any store you will notice how swiftly the memorable colors of Christmas have now been replaced with the pink and red love notes of February. The retail market wastes no time in pulling the old to make room for the new. The products that they know will make customers buy, buy, buy – which simply makes these big dollar companies happy.
I have known for quite some time how important space is, but still I find myself in the middle of clutter and chaos. For about two months now I’ve been making a sincere effort to de-clutter my space i.e. my life. The spaces that I am focusing on include my environment (home), mental/physical space, and lastly my personal space (my bubble). When these spaces are cluttered I am troubled with anxiety, worry & fear; all emotions that hold no true purpose in my life. It took some time, but once I forced myself to pinpoint the culprit of these emotions I knew I was ready to let some things go so that I could breathe again.
It’s hard to let go of things we think we can’t live without. It takes courage to let go of things we once loved. I think we hold, well I, hold on to things because of the nostalgic feelings attached these items. Although there are often wonderful feelings connected to certain items I know that constant reminders of the past were not only a distraction for me, but instead a trigger leading me to compare my past to my present, creating mental turmoil. The only things that came from these obsessive comparisons was fear, self-doubt, and worry.
I am constantly evolving, and holding on to past feelings was only hindering my growth.
Mentally I feel stronger, some days I even feel untouchable. Everyday I remind myself that I create my own happiness. Being mindful of my emotions keeps me in a place of inner peace. Even when I do become stressed, fearful, or sad I have learned that allowing myself to feel through these emotions instead of becoming upset that I feel this way has been extremely beneficial. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. Life isn’t always sunshine. BUT have your moment then get up. Don’t wallow in self-pity. It will take you no where.
I thought this de-cluttering process would just be a quick resolution of mine. At the beginning I was merely focusing on the physical, but while doing this it forced me to realize that my mind needed a good cleansing as well, which in turn lead me to look deep into relationships in my life. This organic transition has led me on this new journey. I hope to keep my spaces clear of negativity and my mind full of peace in this new year and the coming years as well.
Yes, Yes! Get excited! So last week I FINALLY decided to try out Warby Parker's Home Try-On. And it was awesome. I am new to the prescription family and am not a fan of my contacts at all, but the ridiculous prices for prescription glasses have averted me from trying out a pair of nice specs. I am no stranger to the Warby Parker advertisements online, but I can admit I was always a bit skeptical of such a great deal. Last month I was out and complimented this young lady's glasses and she told me she purchased them from Warby Parker! After that I knew I had to give them a try.
A five day FREE home try-on with 5 frames...sounds like there must be a catch. Let me tell you..there is no catch. You just need to venture over to their website, warbyparker.com, select 5 pairs, enter your info, & boom! You'll have your specs in no time. I believe mine arrived in 3 days. Oh, yeah I almost forgot to tell you! The company covers shipping...both ways.
My favorite part about this was being able to receive feedback from friends, family and strangers on the frames I had chosen. Unlike typical retail eyewear stores, Warby Parker allots you plenty of time to get a feel for the frames before you make such a big purchase.
For my fab five, I chose three pairs that were a bit more conservative and two that were completely off the wall. I didn't plan on falling in love with the two unique pairs so much, but I did. The clear frames were darling. I knew I would love them, but I didn't think they would love me back. That pair is in the style Nash 'Crystal', but the pair that took the cake were the Kimball in "Marzipan Tortoise". I was a bit skeptical about these, but I decided to suck it up and be bold and wear them once to work and also out with my girly, Kimberly. Both times I received plenty of compliments on the tortoise frames. Those compliments and inquiries about where I got them from definitely solidified them as the specs for me. Sometimes it takes the opinion of others to really know what looks good on us, you know.
There is no doubt I will be purchasing a pair or two of these fab five frames from Warby Parker. The best part is definitely the price point for the frames. Majority of their frames are just $95, which includes the prescription! Also when a pair of glasses are purchased, WP gives a pair to someone in need :)
I can't wait to sport my new frames this season! They totally had me feeling a bit spunkier than usual. Whether I was dressed up or dressed down the compliments I received from the Warby Parker glasses put some pizzaz in my step.
A bad habit of mine that I am in the process of breaking is looking at my iPhone before I even get out the bed in the morning. I know I am not the only one who does this. Its like before I can even open my eyes let alone get my thoughts together I’m already scrolling through my IG feed trying to peep what I’ve missed & who/what is popping that day. Often times this little habit causes me to get out the bed on the wrong foot, well with the wrong mentality for the day. Instead of starting my day on a positive note I’m waking up comparing myself to others. I decided for my mental sanity I needed to push the phone away and wake up and just breathe. I needed to reflect on the day and think about me, if only for a moment.
So in an effort to bury my soon to be old habit I started keeping a book next to me in bed. Recently I’ve been keeping Alex Elle’s Love in My Language near me at night. The book is such an easy read - perfect for morning affirmations or little self worth reminders. Last week I randomly opened up to the page below and it instantly spoke to me.
“However, you will never come crashing down because your drive to succeed isn’t just a dream, it’s your reality.”
At the end of the day we all have to decide whether we are going to commit to our vision or toss it to the wayside, because someone else doesn’t believe in it. We all have people in our lives who influence us, but sometimes those very people we love are the same ones who dont support our dreams. In part its because they can’t see something that isn’t intended for them to see. Remember that vision, those dreams - they are yours not theirs.
Sometimes in life we forget that we control our destiny. Like my morning social media habit, I have to put forth the effort to break it. I am not going to just wake up one morning and be anti social media, it doesn’t work like that. Work is the key component to turn the naysayers to believers and turn that dream into reality. When you’re dream chasing some days will require a little more effort. A little more effort to have faith - A little more to believe in yourself - And a little more to trust your process. No matter how hard, but if you want it - you better make it happen, boo.
This weekend I rewatched a gem of a documentary by the late Albert Maysles, which focused on the rare bird of fashion herself, Mrs. Iris Apfal. At 93 Iris is still flawlessly, yet effortlessly killing the fashion scene with her unique and confident approach to personal style. Iris stresses the importance of self discovery, individuality, and creativity. Her quick wit is unparalleled and is a mix of sassy know it all and that old age hard wisdom. Iris’ uniqueness and confidence demand attention - even while having her wheelchair pushed through the streets of Harlem. One thing about Iris I truly admired is that she pays homage to street style and its influence on the fashion world. In the film, Iris states that many designers have become lazy in their craft and choose to scout looks and then change a button or two and call it their own. They take street-style to the runway attempting to take ownership over something that was never their own.
With the Fall season officially beginning I recommend a quick Netflix and Chill session with Iris; it will inspire you to stay true to you this season. Like the clever Iris Apfel stated, “It’s better to be happy than well-dressed.” There is no need to conform to the trends of the season especially when we are all born to stand out. Let your personal style be a reflection of you! Let the rare bird of fashion inspire you this season.
But seriously if you don’t watch this film for the style boost at least do yourself the favor and check it out to see 93 year old Iris flirt with Kanye West. It’s great!
About a week ago I posted on my IG that I would share one of my favorite go to natural styles. After days of careful consideration I decided to switch it up. Instead of a style post I have created a mini-series “A Week with my Hair”, where I will share my weekly hair regime. I am going to tell you EXACTLY how I achieve my curliest, fluffiest hair. So stay tuned for all of the deets - from wash day to wash day.
Since I don’t have a set wash day, I make sure I listen to my crown and try not to neglect it. Meaning if my hair is in need of a wash, I'm going to wash it. Now let me be the first to tell you, if it ever comes down to my having to choose clean hair or sleep..I’d choose sleep with no shame. My weeks are pretty hectic with work, classes, and commitments with various organizations on top of spending time with family and friends. Because of this I like to keep my wash days to a minimum. Through trial and error I have finally mastered my ideal hair regime.
Continue reading to find out how I achieve my Day 1-2 Wash n Go style.
First things first!
Detangle: Treseme Naturals Conditioner
The key to detangling natural hair on wash day is slip. You need a product with lots of slip in order to reduce the amount of breakage you would typically encounter if you were detangling dry, natural hair (WHICH YOU SHOULD NEVER DO). This conditioner provides an ample amount of slip to ease the detangling process. My preferred method of detangling is finger detangling, but some days I am a bit pressed for time and I use a wide tooth comb instead.
Cleanse: As I Am Coconut Cowash
It’s important to cleanse your hair with something that benefits your tresses and doesn’t strip them of natural moisture. The As I Am Coconut Cowash is AMAZINGGGGG!. It is moisturizing, removes product build up, and doesn’t leave your hair feeling dry as some shampoos tend to do. Healthy hair growth starts with your scalp. When product is building up it is weighing your hair down, preventing proper growth, shape and movement.
(Deep) Conditioner - SheaMoisture Manuku Honey & Mafura Oil Deep Conditioner
This thick, creamy deep conditioner is just what my hair needs after a hard week. It’s extremely moisturizing and even reduces frizz. I typically leave this on for 30minutes to an hour while I just move around the house. But you can also sit under a hooded dryer really help it penetrate the hair shaft.
Leave In- As I Am Coconut Leave In Conditioner
This leave-in keeps my hair tangle free as I prepare to apply my styling products. It even works as a moisturizing detangler if needed.
Styling Products- Water & Flax seed gel
To maintain my wash and go curls I section and spritz my hair with water after my leave-in is applied and then apply Flax Seed Gel to hold my style for a few days.
If I am feeling fancy I’ll diffuse my hair or stretch it using the concentration nozzle of my blow dryer. It really depends on my time and mood. Usually I’ll throw it up in a bun throughout the day to stretch it. Bunning my hair is actually a key point in my weekly regime. You’ll see why later.
Whew! That wasn’t too bad! You officially have days 1-2 of “A Week with my Hair", a simple, light wash and go!
I am without a doubt one of those people who listens to any and everything. If it is something I can dance to, makes me feel good, or just something goofy I’ll probably love it. I can go from EDM to Trap music in a second. So basically if I can sing it in the shower or get down to it, I’ll give it a go!
Music has an undeniable ability to change our moods and I love discovering new songs! Below (in no particular order) I have listed a few of my current favorites!
Chasing Time - Azaleia Banks
Slip Slide - Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment
Look Up - Daley
Watch Out - 2 Chainz
Powerful - Major Lazer & Ellie Goulding
Down on My Luck - Vic Mensa
Lean On- Major Lazer & Dj Snake
Pipe It Up - Migos
How Deep Is Your Love - Calvin Harris
3500 - Travi$ Scott
Comment your current favorites down below!
I know I'm a bit late, but I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend! Labor Day is bittersweet for most, it marks the end of summer, but at least it gives us a three-day weekend and four day workweek. I spent my Labor Day weekend in the Windy City with my family. My time there was split between family and sightseeing. We began the trip by celebrating my beautiful cousin's marriage to her sweetheart. Saturday was a sight seeing day, that ended at my great aunt's house with a yummy family cookout. I spent majority of my day on the Navy Pier enjoying the weather with my cousins. We rode through the city for awhile and stopped and toured some local spots. We even went on a successful mission to find the one and only Harpo Studios. The day was so beautiful, it was warm, but breezy especially around the pier. We took a water taxi to the famous Madison Avenue just to go to the delicious Garrett's Popcorn. Which was great! (I had the CaramelCrisp).
The weather was very up and down throughout the weekend. So, Saturday I decided in order to survive the day I needed to dress for everything. The forecast predicted rain, but boy it was cold that morning. I decided to dress casually for both chilly and warm weather. I wore a pair of patterned print pants and a loose, coral breezy tank. I made sure I had my denim jacket by my side, which I definitely needed while on the water. And I wore my favorite platform shoes. They were so easy to walk the city in and they gave me a few inches in height, which I loved :)
Top: The Loft
Shoes: Michael Kors
Funny side note, being the know it all that I am :) I decided I knew my way around Chicago well enough to venture out on my own to catch up with some of my family at Nordstrom Rack. But of course I didn't and halfway through my walk I realized I was actually walking in the opposite direction! I surprisingly wasn't scared, just thankful for Siri and Google Maps and the nice weather. I am probably the worst person ever with directions, but I'm usually pretty good with landmarks. I actually enjoyed my time alone during my misadventures. I saw a kayaking class, some dope graffiti art, watched some jet skiers rip some waves, and spotted a cute hidden coffee shop. Unfortunately, I didn't get to take pictures of all of this because 1. my phone was near death and 2. I didn't want to look completely out of place and lost lol
Overall I had a great time in Chicago wandering around and hanging out with my family.
Summertime Chi treated me well. Maybe next time I'll run into Kanye.