Something Old, Blue Yet New

One thing that I’ve been looking forward to since getting both doses of the vaccine is getting to attend events and reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in person over the last year so you can only imagine how excited I was to see that Sarah Chiwaya of Curvily was hosting a picnic in Central Park. At scoring one of the few tickets available for the intimate event,  I immediately started to do some shopping online to see what I could get together at such short notice.  I mean after a year of wearing mostly bralettes, loungewear, oversized band tees and pajamas, I figured a new statement piece was in order. That is until my mother presented me with a challenge – styling an old piece that I already own instead.

For context, I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to clothing. I think this is due in part to growing up fat during the 90s and early 00s it was borderline in possible to find anything worthwhile in my size (or bigger) so I would keep everything that fit regardless of whether or not I truly cared for it. The idea being that I just because I managed to find something once didn’t mean that I would again so I had to keep and take care of what I had. That being said, there are a few exceptions to this, like this dress. Continue reading

Rejected but Winning?

Late last year I was presented with an opportunity that I was beyond just excited about. There was a long screening process that just ended  this spring. I managed to succeed at every round and I was so sure that this project was mine that I even shared my excitement with my mentor as well as my best friend. Rejection was the last thing on my mind so when I received the news that I wasn’t selected, I was devastated.

With my confidence shattered, I tried to distract myself with my next side hustle project only to find myself constantly wondering why I should still bother. I found myself unmotivated to work on anything outside of my day-job and let everything else kind of fall to the wayside. It became increasingly obvious that a change was necessary and that’s when I started to re-read a text I’ve been meaning to bring up on the blog for a while – “Win or Learn” by Harlan Cohen. To be honest when I first got it I didn’t expect to actually need it so soon, nevertheless, it has been a game changer.

Here are 4 major takeaways I got from this book that may help inspire if you too are dealing with rejection (of any kind) at the moment.

Disclaimer: Book was gifted for review, but opinions are my own.

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Talk 30 to Me (A Milestone Birthday Re-do)

Last year I turned 29 plus 1 by which I mean that birthday didn’t count since I spent it in quarantine. With the rollout of the vaccine and the number of cases going down each day, I figured it was safe enough to have a mini-staycation in the city with some friends for my birthday weekend. I reached out to my friends to see if this was something they would be up for, wrote up an itinerary with activities, booked a hotel room, and shopped my closet for outfits for the weekend. (And for the first time I actually didn’t over pack for a 3 day trip! I guess with age comes all kinds of wisdom even some for packing, hahaha.)

I had a blast with this “milestone birthday celebration re-do” that I simply had to share the experience with you. Giving myself this “get away” was an amazing way to recharge from being glued to the computer for work and such that I’ve found myself to be less anxious as a result, even today.  I’m hoping that  it inspires you to take some time off from working and disconnect for a staycation, be it solo or with friends/family.

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Spring Fantasy Cottagecore

Of all the trends that came out of quarantine life, there is one that I grew to appreciate : Cottagecore. While this is more of an aesthetic than an actual trend, it really took off over the last year and the appeal is totally understandable given how we’ve spent the last year.

The premise conjures up nostalgic images of tranquil moments of whimsical escape,  complete with frolicking in flower fields, and picnics with tea served on vintage porcelain. As one would expect, even within this aesthetic niches like cottagegoth, and witchcore (to name a few) have sprung up as well. Bringing a more dark and edgy vibe, these lean more towards historical,  romantic and sometimes fantastical elements via color palettes as well as folksy mysticism.  That being said, there are those who have argued that cottagecore is basically a glamorous extension to boho and I totally can see that given the similar color palettes and even prints. Bandanas and bandana prints,  for example, have made a comeback in fashion due to the rise of this trend, some even in very stylish ways as is the case with this dress.I first stumbled across this bandana dress while scrolling through Instagram, I was in awe. It’s a simple idea that is so brilliantly executed that I can’t help but wonder why we haven’t seen these before. Or maybe they’ve been around and I just haven’t noticed. Who knows, the point is that after I spotted it, learned more about the brand and the designer I knew that I must have my own in my two favorite colors.

Being a little extra with a  faux suede fringe handbag, sunglasses and platform creepers.

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A Quarantine Hair Story

I’ve been #teamnatural my whole life but I am far from perfect when it comes to knowing and doing what’s best for my hair.  I have type 3 hair (though I’m 100% not sure if I’m A or B if I’m totally honest) and it has suffered through some major heat damage in the last 10 years due to straightening with heat. Since my sophomore year in college it has become a sort of traditional to straighten my hair every fall/winter, be it via a roller-set or blow out. It started out as something I did for internship/job interviews but later it I realized that having straight hair also made things much easier for me during the colder seasons as my curls are not fans of winter outerwear, hats or scarves.  (For context, my hair tends to get a bit matted and seriously frizzy under any kind of duress from wool and other winter knits.)

How it started (March 2020) vs. How it’s going.

Quarantine began around the time I would normally begin transitioning back to my natural curls, however once it became obvious that I wouldn’t be working at the office anytime soon, I started to change up my weekly hair care routine in order to give my hair the care it desperately needed after so much neglect. By the time my birthday came around in May, I started to see an improvement so I fully committed to staying curly for the rest of the year. No heat styling at all.  I even went so far as to packing my heat styling tools deep in storage so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep up with my old ways.

While it did take some trial and error with products, as well as patience, my hair now is the healthiest it’s been since probably high school. I know that all curls are not the same, but I wanted to share the products I’ve used  (in the order that I received and tried them) that helped get me to this point. I hope you find it helpful whether you have curly hair or not, as some of these work on all types of hair.

Disclaimer: Some of the products listed here were sent to me as samples for review. All opinions are my own. 

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo

Ok, first let me just say that this is probably the priciest product I will ever share on this blog, but I had to. I got a sample of this product last May as my Sephora birthday gift and from the first time I used it I was in awe. In an attempt to limit frizz, I tend to be pretty heavy handed when it comes to applying styling product to my hair which often times leads to my scalp flaking so having a product like this is a God-send. I immediately went to see about getting myself a full size bottle only to see the $42 price tag.  It would be months before I could convince myself to spend that kind of money on my head, but I don’t regret it for a second.

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