Shifting Season Stripes

With less than 30 days left before its “officially” autumn, I’ve can’t help but dream of the upcoming sweater weather that will keep me from sweating like this summer has. Although I’ve spent the last couple of months inside, I’ve spent this time building out the summer-side of my wardrobe, all of which given how “unnecessary extra” my selections have been has a clear lean towards revenge dressing.

By now I feel like everyone knows about revenge dressing, either from recent fashion articles on the subject or just by simply participating in it,  however, just in case you happen to be unaware, this concept is basically an emotional response with fashion; usually attributed to events like a breakup, think Princess Diana’s dress that she wore after her divorce from Prince Charles.

For many of us who spent the last year and a half in loungewear coming out of quarantine has provided a greater stage for (unapologetically) stepping up our style to make up for lost time. As for me, I love a reason to dress up especially if it’s to mark a special occasion.

Two weeks ago I made a major decision that came with some changes for me, one of them being that I won’t have access to a computer for 2-3 weeks as I wait for a new one to arrive. This may not seem like a long time, but for a workaholic like me this feels like torture. So I’m taking the next two weeks to soak in the last rays of summer, with some style of course, in the form of a well deserved vacation before I move on to this next great venture. (Trust that I will be sharing that news as soon as I can.) And I figured that this dress would be perfect for this occasion, even more so as it has some major Beetlejuice vibes which is fitting as I’m already in a Fall/Halloween mood though it’s still way too warm for it.

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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

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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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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Sweet Like Deadly Nightshade

Fun fact: When I was growing up, my father had major aspirations of my brother and I becoming child models. Every so often he would put up a white bedsheet on one of the walls in the living room, get some props and outfits together and we’d have our own photoshoot sessions right at home. I still have the albums full of the photos including the professional ones that he had done to send to modeling agencies. Neither my brother or I ever got a modeling contract as kids (Not for lack of trying, I mean we were adorable but I guess that wasn’t enough, hahaha) but at the very least we have the memories.

At the start of quarantine last year, my brother was actually the first one to point out that I could not use the pandemic as an excuse for not continuing to take photos and create content. According to him, I’ve been “trained for in-house photoshoots” and now I even have more space to work with than we did growing up. I initially disagreed because working in one space can be pretty limiting, but in time I took up the challenge, working around issues with lightening (my apartment is intentionally dark in certain spaces) and even did some much needed furniture/decor shopping which I had put off for the last 2 years.

I’ve done quite a bit of shooting at home as a result, some of which I haven’t shared yet, but I wanted to try my hand at something “different” for this new year. So armed with my trusty tripod, selfie light, new make up, new bedding and a lux velvet set I bought as a Christmas gift to myself, I figured it was time to try something way, way outside of my comfort zone – my own boudoir shoot. Continue reading