Life

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

 

 

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Life

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

 

Life · Pleats

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 🙂

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?

Life

September Events I’m Fangirling Over

I’ve tried to publish this post twice already but due to technical difficulties it wouldn’t post properly. Anyway, there are a couple of things I’m excited about for September that I wanted to share.

BTS Comeback

BTS is one of my favorite kpop groups so I’m stoked that they’re new album “Her” releases on September 18th. I probably won’t buy the album but I’ll definitely stream the videos.

EXO Comeback

Another one of my fave kpop groups: EXO will release their repackaged album in September. I’m hoping that this will clear up some of the theories surrounding the EXOclipse concept.

Lecrae Album

I’ve been a Lecrae fan for a long time and I’ve been waiting for this album since Church Clothes 3. “All Things Together”, which comes out on September 22nd, also features Kierra Sheard, Tori Kelly, and others which intrigues me.

Lego Ninjago Movie

Moving on from music, the Lego Ninjago Movie comes out this month. I enjoyed the other lego movies and used to watch the Lego Ninjago series on Cartoon Network when I was younger, so I expect this movie to be hilarious and a bit nostalgic

Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards

This fashion documentary about Manolo Blahnik features Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley whom I love and I don’t know much about the Manolo Blahnik story yet so this documentary should be perfect.

Karl Lagerfield X Vans

When I first saw an article about Karl Lagerfield for Vans I did a double take. I don’t really like Vans but I often like Karl Lagerfield’s aesthetic. So while I won’t be buying anything you’ll definitely be seeing some items on my Pinterest.

Balmain X L’Oreal

A designer collab that I will be buying from is Balmain for L’Oreal which I’ve been waiting for since May. Balmain is my fave RTW brand and I can’t wait to cop one of these pretty lipstick shades, especially since I was broke for Balmain X H&M lol.

Stay fly,

Akilah

What are you looking forward to?

Life · travel

Travel Diary: Chattanooga in Photos

Earlier this year my grandmother, auntie, baby cousin, sister, mom and I went on a girls’ trip to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. After much consideration we settled on Chattanooga as our destination. My last trip to Chattanooga was amazing and I knew this one would be also, we had so much fun going through the Tennessee Aquarium together on our first ever all girls’ trip. Without further ado on to the photos!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Life · Music

May Playlist

Since May has almost come to a close I decided if would be fun to do a look at what I listened to throughout the month of May. This is by no means a complete list because I listen to a lot of music, but these are songs that have been constantly on repeat. Check out my May Music playlist on Spotify to give these songs a listen.

A Song Called He Reigns -Geofferey Golden

This isn’t a new song but I’ve been listening to it a lot more lately. The background singers harmonize so well and I love Geofferey’s voice. Also the lyrics are so hopeful and filled with truth, “He reigns, though many don’t belive. He reigns, every nation soon will see. Even though it hurts within, we know in the end we win…”

All of Me -John Legend

I have no idea why I suddenly started listening to this song again but it’s such a sweet love song. And obviously John Legend has an amazing voice, I also love Chloe and Halle’s cover version on Youtube.

You’re Welcome -Jordan Fisher/Lin Manuel Miranda

Jordan Fisher and Lin Manuel Miranda are epic, so even though I haven’t seen Moana yet I instantly fell in love with this song. It’s so infectious, and can we take a moment to appreciate the mega high note Jordan hits… I meaannn!

May I Have This Dance -Francis and the Lights feat. Chance the Rapper.

I’ve been listening to this song everyday for weeks now and I can’t get enough of it! I originally listened to be because Chance is in it and I heard he danced in the video, and can I say this is my current fave music video. Honestly, you must watch it! The dancing is impeccable and the beat of the song is perfect.

When River’s Cry -Somi feat. Common

The orchestral melody and serene feel of this song bring you in, Somi’s voice makes you stay, and the lyrics keep the song with you. This song is contemplative and nostalgic about days gone by and is a little bit sad. Also Common’s in it, I love Common, and his verse is epic.

Empire State of Mind Part II Broken Down -Alicia Keys

I don’t like Jay Z’s part in Empire State of Mind all that much but I love Alicia’s part so this is perfect. It makes me want to go to NY so bad! Also note the bass line and how there’s a crescendo after the vamp…golden!

Cold War -Janelle Monae

The whole Arch Android album is lit and creative, she essentially created a whole new world represented in this record. The music in the track is so complex and intriguing and the lyrics really made me think about what I’m fighting for…deep stuff.

Blessings (Part II) -Chance the Rapper

I originally thought this was a reprise of the earlier Blessings, and while it has similar elements it’s a whole different song. I like it a million times better than the first Blessings (which is a good song) because the verse is so creative. He uses great wordplay (like cold and Cole as in Nat King Cole), movie references (Mufasa from The Lion King), and really quotable lyrics (“The people’s champ must be everything the people can’t be…”). I love this song to the moon!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What have you been listening to lately? Do you like/know any of my songs? What recommendations do you have for me?

Life · Pleats

Quote of the Moment ~Virgil Abloh

“At the end of the day, it’s your body of work, and the amount of work, and the refinement of that work that will define who you are as a creative,” ~Virgil Abloh, Fashionista

While reading an article on fashionista.com I stumbled upon this statement by Virgil Abloh, creative director of Off-White. It caused me to stop and re-read it, then ask myself: how do I want my body of work to define me? In 2017 the body of work for creatives is not only a sketchbook, collection, or portfolio, instead it encompasses every image we post on social media, every word we speak or write, and even every outfit we wear. Personally, I want my body of work to reflect my life for Christ, love for people, and passion for beauty. What do you want your body of work to say?

Stay fly,

~Akilah