What I Ate: J. Alexander’s

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Dear restaurants,

Please make your tables bigger so that I have clear space for my photos.

Sincerely,

An aesthetically obsessed foodie

 

A few months back we went to J. Alexander’s on a Sunday afternoon. It’s one of my grandparents’ favorite restaurants, so it’s fitting that we at there on my grandfather’s birthday. I ordered the ahi tuna burger which is amazing. The tuna is seared to perfection, the peppery-ness of the arugula balances theย  acidity of the lemon aioli, and of course the shoe string fries perfectly compliment the burger. Dang, I get so excited talking about food.

Anyway that’s it, I know this post is kind of short but it’s because I’m working on a huge blog series for Feburary so look forward to that.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

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Monsta X Beautiful Inspired Outfit

Does anyone else have that one song/video that means so much to you? I mean the one that lowkey makes you teary because it was the start of something that changed your life? …oh, that’s just me, ok cool.

Anyway, I know that was super dramatic but that’s truly how I feel about Monsta X’s Beautiful. I can definitively point to it and say: “that’s what started my obsession with Kpop.”

And of course because I think in terms of fashion, my gears were turning from the gorgeous outfits featured in the MV, live stage, and even the dance practice. Today I chose to focus on this Mnet Comeback Stage.

For this stage they go for a red, black, and gray color palette with silk shirts and blazers. It’s very sultry and luxe which I totally love. Monsta X is one of those groups that can truly rock any concept and I completely dig this one. Although it has a more mature feel than past aesthetics, they still seem confident and comfortable with this concept.

My outfit is inspired most directly by I.M’s look, but instead of a red shirt I chose a pink one which still fits into the “Valentine’s aesthetic”.

All this stuff was already in my closet because honestly, my style is very business-luxe influenced. I also like androdgynous and menswear inspired looks so this was a perfect fit.

I had a lot of fun taking these photos, I basically just did the choreography and had too much fun ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stay fly,

Akilah

2018 Goals

Happy New Year!!!

I’m so excited about 2018, I have a lot of amazing things planned and I can’t wait to see what this new year will bring. I try to always set new goals for myself, especially at the start of a new year so here are my goals for 2018.

Study 4 books of the Bible in depth

I’ve read through the Bible multiple times so now I feel it’s time to go into deeper study. I chose 4 books so I can study one every quarter of the year.

Read at least 50 books

In 2017 I read 31 and in 2016 I read 91. I know that’s a huge disparity but my life looks very different now than it did then. I definitely want to read more books than I did in 2017 though so I think 50 is a good number.

Give 4 just because anonymous gifts

Just think how cool it would be to come home one day and find a random gift just for you. This is the feeling I want to give others this year.

Exercise at least 3 times per week

In the realm of healthy living I’m really good at healthy eating, water intake, and adequate sleep, exercise however is a different story. I simply don’t exercise enough and that’s going to change in 2018.

Be consistent in skin care

2018 is the year my skin will finally be healthy and clear, I can feel it. Consistency is key in everything and I want to be more consistent in this.

Master 4 new baked goods

I don’t know how much I’ve blogged about baking but I do bake quite often. I also sell my baked goods too. Because of school and business orders of the same type I haven’t baked anything new in a long while. This year I want to master 4 things, one per quarter, and add them to my repertoire.

Learn to eat with chopsticks

Since my love of Asian cuisine is so strong it’s strange that I don’t know how to eat with chopsticks already. I did learn when I was younger but completely forgot. My parents got my sister and I a set of authentic chopsticks for Christmas so I’m excited to start learning.

Reach 150 blog followers

This is where you guys can help me out! If you like this blog tell your friends and family.

Become fluent in French

This is probably the hardest on the list, is it even possible to become fluent in a language in a year without living in a country where it’s spoken? I’ve been taking French casually for some years but now it’s time to grind and really learn it. Hopefully by 2019 I’ll be speaking French fluently and able to read, write, and comprehend it easily.

 

What are your 2018 goals?

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

 

Best of 2017

2017 was an amazing year for me. I discovered a lot of new things and pursued my favorite things even further. Today I’m doing a “best of 2017” so you can see a taste of my favorite events of the year.

Best Red Carpet Moment

Taraji P. Henson at SAG 2017

P. Diddy at Met Gala 2017

Rihanna at Met Gala 2017

Janelle Monae at Oscars 2017

Winner: Rihanna ~Met Gala

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RiRi did not come to play in 2017, she really dominated. Her Met Gala look truly embodied Rei Kawakubo and Commes des Garcons which was 2017’s theme. It was elegant, artsy, and avant garde. If you want to see more of my thoughts on this Met 2017 look and others check out this post and this post.

 

Best Fashion Collaboration

Louis Vuitton X Supreme

Nike X Off-White

Balmain X L’Oreal

Winner: Louis Vuitton X Supreme

For LV, this was a perfect marketing move. Partnering with Supreme revitalized the established fashion house and kicked it’s streetwear game up a notch. Supreme benefitted from this too because Louis’ loyal following became obsessed with their aesthetic. The pieces themselves were a perfect hypebeast meets luxury look and the collab transcended borders. We saw everyone from rich kids in the Hamptons to Kpop idols rocking these clothes and accessories.

 

Best Collection

Balmain Resort 2018

Off-White Menswear 2018

Elie Saab Resort 2018

Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2018

Winner: Balmain Resort 2018

The fringe, dark eye makeup, intricate patterns: I’m totally here for all of it. It’s vintage Parisian meets clubwear and it works. This collection was cohesive, creative, and utterly Balmain.

 

Best Book

Walk Two Moons ~Sharon Creech

The Boy in the Black Suit ~Jason Reynolds

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass ~Frederick Douglass

Winner: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Sometimes, a book can influence your life so much that its hard to remember how you thought before reading it. Narrative of the Life was like that for me. Frederick Douglass’ account of the horrors of his slavery and escape truly resonated with me and it was very timely coming from the 2016 election and current events concerning police brutality and race relations. His fearless honesty, poignant language, and revolutionary ideas make this book something I’d recommend everyone read.

 

Best Author

Jason Reynolds

Renee Watson

Winner: Jason Reynolds

Representation is one the most important things in life and especially literature. Jason Reynolds is one of those authors who truly seeks to include the stories of all kinds of individuals from all kinds of backgrounds. His writing hits hard, is witty, and lingers with you. I was obsessed with reading him this year and I look forward to reading more of his works in the future.

 

Best Album

The Code ~Monsta X

The War ~EXO

Wings ~BTS

Winner: Wings

This album actually came out in 2016 but I didn’t know much about Kpop in 2016 and I hadn’t discovered the beauty that is BTS or this album. Wings is a concept album inspired by the book Demian by Herman Hesse, although I’ve never read the book, the symbolism laced throughout the tracklist is evident. I love how each member gets an individual song (many of which they wrote themselves) this allows the listener a personal look at each member’s thoughts and feelings and a showcase of their singing/rapping ability. This is the album that brought us Blood Sweat and Tears, Cypher Part 4 (my favorite cypher I think), and 21 Century Girl, each of these songs are poetic with well written and meaningful lyrics about sacrificial love, self-confidence, and empowerment. Wings is BTS at it’s finest.

 

Best Song

Mic Drop ~BTS

Blessings (Reprise) ~Chance the Rapper

Angel of Mine ~Monica

Electric Lady ~Janelle Monae ft. Solange

Winner: Electric Lady

This song is…well…electric. The lyrics are witty and well written, the bass and electric guitar are lit, and Janelle’s rap in this gives me life (I know every word of it). Also, the music video is gold so you should check that out. Although it didn’t come out this year it has been one of my favorite songs all 2017.

 

Best Artist

BTS

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There are no other nominees for this category because BTS takes this. I mean, did you see their bags? They’re full of trophies in 2017. They released tons of great music, dominated charts in South Korea and around the world, won numerous awards, and launched their philanthropic campaign. It was the year of Bangtan!

Best Restaurant

Biscuit Love

Uncle Julio’s

Waffle Works

Winner: Uncle Julio’s

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This was tough! I loved all of these restaurants but Uncle Julio’s just really stuck with me. It’s authentic Mexican food fresh and delicious. We went here twice in 2017 and both times we had amazing food.

Now, moving on from ‘best of’ picks, here are a few statistics from my year:

Books read: 31

Songs downloaded: 200

Blog posts published: 44

Local restaurants tried: 6

Outfits worn: 365+

And drumroll please for my most liked blog post of 2017:

I’m glad y’all liked this post so much. I was able to combine two of my favorite things: BTS and fashion and use something that inspired me immensely to create an outfit I loved.
That’s all for my 2017 wrap up, be on the look out for my 2018 goals coming soon.
Stay fly,
~Akilah

 

Lunch at Plaza Mariachi

I absolutely adore places that are dedicated to celebrating culture and Plaza Mariachi is one of those places. It’s a collection of restaurants and specialty stores that showcase Latin culture. They have live music, an array of cuisines, and even a grocery store where you can buy authentic ingredients.

A few months ago, we went there for lunch and had some bomb food. First, we stopped at place to get drinks. I ordered the Avocado Lime Agua Fresca. It was so creamy and refreshing, if you’re wondering how avocado works in a sweet drink, it works wonderfully and adds a satisfying mouth feel.

Next, we went to Tres Gauchos for food. I’m a huge fan of chorizo, so when I saw a chorizo sandwich on the menu I was intrigued. It also had chimicurri and pico de gallo on it, which added a freshness and moisture. The roll was toasted perfectly and soft in the middle. Plus, the fries that came on the side were thick-cut, crispy and warm. They also had this amazing spicy aioli to dip the fries in that was to die for. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

If you’re in the Nashville area definitely go to Plaza Mariachi, you won’t be disappointed!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Break TBR

December is here and with December comes Christmas break. Since I’ve been so busy lately, I have a stack of books waiting to be read over my weeks off from school. Here’s what I hope to read:

IMG_20171209_140513.jpgDear Martin ~Nic Stone

I pre-ordered this book on Amazon because I was stoked to read it. This is her debut novel that deals with police brutality issues. Plus, she’s repped by Jason Reynolds, one of my favorite authors.

Pride and Prejudice ~Jane Austen

I started this a while ago, for school, and didn’t get a chance to finish it but I really want to. It’s a classic, I need to add more books to my list, and most importantly I enjoy it.

The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfield, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris ~Alicia Drake

One of my favorite times and places in fashion history is 1970s Paris. Yves and Karl where both in their prime and at their peak. I’m really excited to read this book that explores the gorgeous era.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What do you plan to do over the break?

 

Warby Parker Resort 2017

Today Warby Parker releases their Resort 2017 collection and I’m honored to be able to bring it to you in my own way. Warby Parker seeks “to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price”, which is something I can relate to as someone who needs new glasses like clockwork.

I decided to use the glasses as styling inspiration and create a few outfits inspired by these classy frames

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First of all, kudos to Warby Parker for their diversity in this campaign. I’m totally here for this #blackgirlmagic! Anyway, these frames are definitely more than plain black glasses. The sleek shape gives off modern classy vibes that I can’t get enough of. Because of that, I kept this outfit to a basic color palette and chose a skirt and sweater with classic silhouettes, this would be a perfect outfit to wear to a Christmas party or on Christmas Day, if you get out of pajamas that is.

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I love the pattern on these and the gorgeous blush color. For a more casual look, I paired these with a pink sweater, collared tank top, and jeans. I added some brown boots and a silver and pink ring to add some pizzazz.

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Finally, we have these chic sunglasses. The cat eye is adorable and the frame color just says “rich and bougie” all over it. These read very Karl Lagerfield-esque to me. Also the lens tint is to die for and a nice break from the reflective style that’s super popular at the moment. When I saw these I immediately thought of this brown courduroy jacket. I was thinking a warm fall-like color palate, so I chose these rust colored pants. To keep the focus on these amazing shades and the jacket, I paired this outfit with a white top and, again brown boots, throwing in a cream and gold statement necklace.

Since Christmas is coming up, you should definitely check out Warby Parker’s eyeglasses and sunglasses. Who knows, even if you don’t find any gifts, you’ll probably find something to add to your wishlist.

Stay fly

~Akilah

Five Things Friday: MAMA 2017 Red Carpet

Fashion and music have always been deeply connected and it seems to be even more so in Kpop culture. I looked at the coverage from the Mnet Asian Music Awards and wanted to write about my fashion favorites. I’m including the group photo even though I’ll be focusing on my single favorite look (photos from Soompi.com). Also, I’ll denote from which city the look is from because I’m merging Japan and Hong Kong.

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Johnny ~NCT 127 (1st from the left)

(Hong Kong)

Trench coats or trench coat-like blazers seemed to be quite in vogue on the carpet, and Johnny’s polka dot one definitely caught my eye. If you’re an NCTzen then you know that Johnny’s really into fashion with his “Johnny’s Fashion Evaluation” show. And I think this daring look suits him. I like how he kept the rest of the outfit simple and clean to draw attention to the statement jacket.

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Jin ~BTS (3rd from left)

(Hong Kong)

Jin’s outfit was one of the more conservative out of the members. His navy colored double-breasted blazer with black lapels was tailored absolutely perfectly. I like the simple white shirt and flower to complement it too. The shoes, however, are horrible in my opinion. They look like those shoes you have to wear if you work in a restaurant kitchen for safety reasons. But, the tailoring of the suit really makes this look for me, so I guess I’ll over look those hideous shoes.

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Jun ~Seventeen (1st from left)

(Japan)

It takes special skill to pull off a turtleneck on the red carpet. If you’re going to go for it this is how. The long-line pinstripe blazer balances the high neck of the sweater. It was definitely a good choice to go for matching pants too because it keeps the look clean. Overall, this was a welcome refresher from the dark suits.

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Sehun~EXO (1st from right)

(Hong Kong)

Ok, it’s no surprise that Sehun made it onto this list. Aside from being one of EXO’s visuals, he’s an accomplished model boasting runway shows and Vogue covers. EXO slayed this red carpet and they definitely deserved the “Best Asian Style” award. Sehun’s look was classy and a bit avant-garde. A black suit, simple and no fuss, was elevated by this amazing shirt. It has this cool shawl type piece over the right shoulder (his left) and it seems to have an asymmetrical hem. I really need a photo with no blazer to get the full effect of its greatness. But, I can tell, this look is gold.

 

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Jooheon~Monsta X (Center)

(Japan)

Monsta X’s stylist was paying attention. The burgundy shade of the blazer expertly sets off Jooheon’s platinum blonde hair (which is amazing by the way). If that isn’t enough, the blazer is velvet with velvet lapels. Then we have this gorgeous mauve tie, and although it’s not shown in this photo, some black fingerless gloves. This look is my absolute favorite of all the idols I saw and it’s perfect that they placed him in the center.

Let me know what you thought of these looks in the comments, or if I missed your faves let me know!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Thankful Ramblings + OOTD

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since I’m one of those people who must dress up for Thanksgiving, I thought it’d be in order to do an outfit of the day. But, of course I can’t leave it at that, so here’s 3 things I’m thankful for:

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Doing what I love

I’m so thankful that God has allowed me to do what I enjoy everyday. I’m thankful for supportive parents who encourage me and friends who share in what I enjoy. It’s amazing to live in a time where I can get instructions on any skill and share my thoughts within seconds. I’m thankful for the connectivity and creativity that the internet brings.

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Kpop

I know it might seem like not that big of a deal, but it’s no accident that I discovered Kpop this year, God makes everything happen for a reason ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m thankful for the new friends it’s brought me: in real life and over the internet. I’m thankful for the happiness and inspiration it brings me.

I’m thankful for BTS at the AMAs, Monsta X’s First Win, and EXO’s continued success (together). I’m thankful for B.A.P, BigBang, Seventeen, Got7, NCT (all of them), Pentagon, KNK, CNBlue, Taemin, GD, Heize, and all the groups and solo artists I’ve yet to discover!

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Lasting love

This year in October my parents celebrated their 20th anniversary. It’s amazing to me, the love they have for God and each other that’s allowed them to stay together this long. And not just barely together existing in the same space from day to day, but truly loving each other and thriving together.

Today is not only Thanksgiving, it’s my paternal grandparents’ 50th anniversary. Today in 1967, my grandparents began their lives together and their amazing legacy. Almost everyone who was at their wedding has since passed away, but not only are they still alive, they’re still together. I’m so thankful for all the celebrations of lasting love that this year has brought so far.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What are you thankful for?

My Name in Books Tag

img_2766-1Today class was cancelled and I wanted to use this time to write a blog post. But I had no clue what to write about, so I googled book tags and this one seemed fun. rather than just spelling my name I thought that I would explain why I love these books, then I realized that each one of these is special to me in some way. Without further ado let’s get into this tag!

A: Around the World in 80 Days -Jules Verne

A classic, I read this in a book club when I was around 8 years old and looooved it! It’s full of adventure and when I went back to read it later I realized how well written the prose is.

K: Kira-Kira -Cynthia Kadohata

My very first blog post was a book review of this book, you can check it out here. This book gave me an irreplaceable look at Japanese-American culture and experiences in a way that I never thought about before.

I: If you Give a Mouse a Cookie -Laura Numeroff

These picture books are timeless, I still love them. I think this is also one of the books my mom used to teach me how to read.

L: Life in Motion -Misty Copeland

One of my favorite autobiographies ever! I sped through this book in les than 24 hours because it was that amazing. Misty Copeland is such an inspiration and this book is a must read.

A: Anne of Green Gables -L.M. Montgomery

Another classic that I really enjoyed reading. Anne is such an infectious character and the books never bored me.

H: Hush -Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woo is one of my favorite authors and this book was so emotionally moving. She always does an amazing job of talking about huge issues in a personal way, with one character with whom the reader can relate. This book is no exception.

Stay fly,

Akilah