I love getting free clothes, so when I found out that my area Goodwill was hosting a giveaway for high school students to win a free styling session and $25 to purchase outfits I was excited. When I found out the stylist was style blogger Porsche Pope I was beyond excited! I met Mrs. Porsche at a Goodwill Sip Style and Shop event a couple of months ago and I’m continually inspired by her blog. Having her as my stylist was amazing! She nailed my aesthetic perfectly even though all she had to go on were my favorite colors. I’ll have a lookbook coming soon where I’ll wear complete outfits and talk about the pieces but for now I wanted to quickly (please excuse the wrinkles) show the clothes.
brunch noun \ˈbrənch\ : a meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch…or my favorite meal ever created. What’s better than a meal where you can have meat and pancakes, salad and dessert? I’ll wait…
Over the course of the summer I’ve eaten a lot of brunch, partly because I’m sleeping later but mainly because brunch is bomb. So, today I’m excited to share with you my three different brunches from three different cities. Just call me the traveling brunch queen.
Birmingham: Waffle Works
During a day trip with my church youth group to the Civil Rights Institute, we stopped in this chic little food court on the outskirts of downtown Birmingham. Inside where a plethora of cuisines but I knew as soon as I saw “shrimp and grits waffle” on the menu that this was my brunch destiny. I’m a sucker for shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles so the mixture was made for me. They mix grits into the waffle batter and create this spicy gravy with shrimp and andouille sausage over top. It’s perfection!
Nashville: Biscuit Love
This place is iconic and lots of tourists come here when visiting Nashville but even as a local I’d never been, so on Father’s day we decided to check them out. I’ll admit I was a little bit skeptical because it’s so popular but I was pleasantly surprised. I ordered shrimp and grits (I told you I loved them) and we shared an order of bonuts. First let me talk about the bonuts because they were a blissful little package of biscuit/donuts with lemon marscarpone and blueberry compote. They were fried to perfection and reminded me of bougie fair food, like funnel cake’s rich cousin. The lemon marscarpone kept them from being to sweet and the blueberry compote had pieces of blueberry in it. The shrimp and grits were also amazing, on the menu it was called the “Bill Neal” leave a comment if you know who that is because I don’t. Anyway, they were not your normal shrimp and grits: the mushrooms, green onions, and applewood smoked bacon definitely made sure of that, They were bursting with flavor and the lemon tabasco sauce added a subtle spicy acidity that was amazing. Also props for no lumps in the grits they were completely smooth and creamy, I’d love another bowl right now.
Amazingly enough I did not order shrimp and grits at Yolk (they weren’t on the menu in case you were wondering). But seriously, I was drawn to the “Croque Madame” a grilled ham, turkey, swiss, and Dijon sandwich made on challah french toast and topped with a sunny side up egg. It was amazing! The challah was thick and soft but didn’t overpower the other flavors. Holla for challah! And I love swiss cheese so that was a win. Not only did I have this amazing sandwich, but the staff randomly gave our table an order of cinnamon roll french toast to share. This french toast was heavenly, the cinnamon roll icing was creamy and the french toast itself was cinnamony and light. I would definitely come here again next time I’m in Indy.
Well, that’s the end for now of my traveling brunch adventures. Do you like brunch? Comment down below your favorite brunch foods.
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!
What’s good! It’s been a minute since I’ve posted and I apologize for leaving without notice. But now I have some fun posts planned for you: travel diary entries, food reviews, and such, but they will take a litle bit more time and planning on my part before they’re released. So in the mean time I decided to to a little outfit post.
This top is one of my current favorites. After snagging it for $9.00 at Dillard’s New Year’s Day sale, I’ve become obsessed. The floaty sleeves remind me of the 70s and the black floral give any outfit a sophisticated vibe. The keyhole tie in the front and the hi-low hem are details that say anything but basic. Because the top is such a standout piece I decided to pair it with denim shorts and Chuck Taylors so the shirt could shine. This is an outfit that will definitely be on repeat!
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!
What have you been listening to lately? Do you like/know any of my songs? What recommendations do you have for me?
“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?
“And it felt good to feel like one of the teammates. Like I was there-really there-as me, but without so much scream inside.”
Castle Cranshaw, a.k.a. Ghost, can run. It’s something he’s been doing for much of his life, but now that he’s joined a track team it’s not just about running anymore. Can he let go of his anger and his past enough to be a part of the team?
Ghost is the first book in the new Track series by Jason Reynolds. Jason Reynolds is one of my favorite authors so I was excited to read this book. I haven’t reviewed any if his books on the blog yet, but my favorites are coming soon, I decided to start with this one as it was the most recent one I’ve read.
Let’s talk aesthetics first: if you’ve read any of my other book reviews then you know that I love minimalist cover designs. This yellow background with the black lettering looks so sleek. Plus, I love the rippled effect of the letters as Ghost runs by.
Written in first person point of view, this book allowed me to easily connect with Ghost’s voice. He’s hilarious, blunt, and reminds me of people I know. I definitely cringed many times because he would do stupid things, but that was part of his character arc and made for a satisfying ending.
Another character I appreciated was the coach known as…Coach. He genuinely cared about Ghost not only as a runner but as a person. Ghost’s “squad” also cared about him, their relationship started out rocky but they grew closer, and I’m hoping that in the next book there will be more of them together.
I wish there would have been more scenes with Ghost and his mom, we heard about their relationship but didn’t see much of it. A tragic event led them closer together and I would’ve loved to see the effects of it further explored. This narrative was well-written and the cast of characters were the standout piece.
Ghost’s life events are quite complicated, he often feels less than because of where he lives, who he is, and what he’s been through. Thus, this book explores whether the end justifies the means in certain scenarios in Ghost’s life. It asks hard questions about whether the wrong thing is still wrong even if the motives were right. Personally, I don’t identify with the “end justifies the means” perspective. Sin is sin and what’s illegal is illegal, end of story. Most times when we’re being honest with ourselves, the right reason we have for doing wrong can be achieved by doing right. This was the case with Ghost, as you’ll find when you read the book. I was quite satisfied with the resolution and the overall story. I definitely recommend it.
Today is the second installment of my favorite looks from this year’s Met Gala, if you missed it check out part 1. My sister is joining me for this one also, her comments are under AJ and mine are under AG.
Fei Fei Sun -Alberta Ferretti
AG: The simpliciy of this dress in gorgeous. It seems to be a more approachable version of the Commes des Garcons aesthetic. I love the architecture of the sleeves and the color.
AJ: Very streamline then you have the sleeves. Which add a slight space theme. The silver clutch adds an extra pop.
Gigi Hadid -Tommy Hilfiger
AG: I find the colors and fabrics of this interesting: the tulle train and satin bodice compliment each other nicely. I also love the fishnet tights (socks) with the ensemble. However, I think the off the shoulder looks strange, like it slid down, I would have preferred the sleeves to be symmetrical.
AJ: I’m a big fan of symmetry so this isn’t my kind of dress. Although it fits with the theme. I like the gold blush color even though it is very close to her skin tone.
Jourdan Dunn -H&M
AG: This is a look I would wear so hard. The angles of the pieces of the bodice and skirt look like they were printed in a 3D printer. It’s elegant and futuristic at the same time, thus perfect for the Met Gala. I think the suspender strap is odd and unnessecary, without it though this look is superb.
AJ: This is probably my favorite dress the detail fom the nails to the earrings is simply stunning the top is definitly my favorite part. The sleeves add a futuristic look. The pinstripe skirt and bow give it contrast.
Zendaya -Dolce and Gabbana
AG: The orangey coral and yellow give this dress a tropical feel that I adore. The off the shoulder full ball gown style also speaks to me. I know some people dislike the birds but I find them to be unexpected and fun, which is how Rei Kawakubo’s designs are. Law Roach, Zendaya’s stylist, is my fave stylist and I think he nailed this look. Plus, her hair and makeup team deserve a round of applause for serving looks like this!
AJ: I like this look…except for the parrot. Really a big parrot in the middle of the dress not my aesthetic. (Though the colors are popping) and the makeup artist is slayin’, the lip color: poppin’. It’s not my favorite of Zendaya’s hairstyles but it’s okay.
Michael B. Jordan -Ralph Lauren
AG: A double-breasted tartan suit is totally unexpected, yet somehow it works. I wish instead of a white bow tie he would’ve worn a contrasting color such as a green from the suit, as it currently gets lost in the white shirt. My only other complaint is the tight cut of the pants, they make his proportions look off and his feet abnormally large.
AJ: I don’t think I can get past the hair… Really what is he doing these days. But on an aside the shoes are nice and the watch matches really well. (I’m not a big fan of men looks on the red carpet so…)
Lily Aldridge -Ralph Lauren
AG: Honestly, you either love this look or you hate it, and I love it. It’s so sleek and daring in its structure, but not overwhelming. When I saw the look I instantly fell in love with the boots which I remembered from Balenciaga’s runway show, I love how the pop of red balances the white. But I think that fuschia tulle is just extra and read too costumey.
AJ: As Akilah said you either love it or you hate it. While she loves it I hate it…with a passion. (Yes we are birth sisters… or are we? *me doing an evil laugh*) I don’t like the overall dress. I can’t stand the boots. And the tulle: just bleah.
Rihanna -Comme des Garcons
AG: Thiiiiisssss dress! I love the origami feel of it, the color scheme, and the shape. It’s wearable art, which in my opinion rivals modern impressionists. The makeup and hair compliment so well, I love the smudged eyeshadow and the top knot which brings out the Asian feel. The lace up sandals balance the busyness of the dress well. Everytime I look at this picture I find more to love.
AJ: Honest opinion: it looks like if a butterfy came through the window it would land on her thinking she was a flower. You can take that to mean this look is good or bad. Not my favorite but not terrible.
That’s all for now! What did you think of the Met Gala?
One of the biggest fashion events has come and gone: the Met Gala where all the A-listers don their chicest most envelope pushing looks to preview a new fashion exhibit at the Met. This years theme was Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garcons: The Art of the in Between, thus avant garde looks were in order. Unfortunately, the majority of celebrities didn’t stick to the theme, but some showed up and showed out. Today my sister Anaya will be joining me to discuss some of my favorite looks: her comments are under AJ and mine are under AG. On to the looks!
Janelle Monae -Ralph & Russo
AG: I always watch for what Janelle Monae will wear on any red carpet as she oftens dominates. She exudes elegance in this look since she stuck to her signature black and white but pushed some boundaries with the neck piece and structure of the skirt. The dimensional look of the skirt also aligns perfectly with the 3D aesthetic of Comme des Garcons.
AJ: I like the top and neckline. The black and white elegance balances out the fluffy Big Bird skirt well. Rita Ora -Marchesa
AG: Marchesa gowns almost always impress me and the satin and tulle wrapping technique is quite unexpected. The blond short hair and red lip pop against her complexion and compliment the dress, I’m totally diggin’ this look, she looks like a queen.
AJ: This is my favorite dress. The red looks beautiful against her skin. The simple hair cut balances the large bow well, (although the hair looks a little like papermache up close.) and the blush colored tulle is unexpected.
Zoe Kravitz -Oscar de la Renta
AG: When one of my favorite style stars and one of my favorite designers pair up, magic happens. Let me just say I expected to miss Zoe’s locs but I love the blond short cut on her. The pink satin is beautiful yet expected, but the addition of the black feathers and cape add the “avant garde” element.
AJ: This shade of pink paired with black is a beautiful combo. I like the cape except for the black feathers on the shoulders. (it’s a bit much.) But I do like the feathers on the bodice simple yet elegant.
Joe Jonas -H&M
AG: Never having been a fan of Joe Jonas’ ensembles, I didn’t expect to like this look. But I was pleasantly surprised. It’s quite difficult to be different with men’s looks but this burgundy definitely brings it.
AJ: …I don’t really know what I think of this…at all…
Diddy -Rick Owens + Cassie -On Aura Tout Vu
AG: When I saw Diddy in the photo I instantly fell in love with this look. You can’t wear this enesemble anywhere but the Gala but it’s quite futuristic and he wears it well. Cassie also looks gorgeous in this black number, since black is something that Rei Kawakubo made popular, it’s also on point for the theme.
AJ: I like the skirt of Cassie’s dress, but that’s about it.
Halle Berry -Atelier Versace
AG: Jumpsuits on the carpet hold a special place in my heart, and this THIS is magnificent! I love the sheerness, sparkles, and gold shingling. Can I also say she looks positively glowy? Thank you!
AJ: The black and gold neckline and cape suits my tastes…the jumpsuit does not.
Cara Delevigne -Chanel
AG: Cara looks like a futuristic automaton super woman, and I love it. The hair, the belt, and the pumps just make that pantsuit pop. I don’t like how revealing the blazer is, if we could have just closed that jacket a lil’ more we’d be good! This look also could have fit with last years “Manus X Machina” theme about the future.
AJ: I can see what she’s trying to do and it fits with the theme but as I said before I’m not the jumpsuit type.
As you can see, we have very different tastes and styles but we both love fashion and we had fun doing this. Subscribe so you won’t miss part 2!
I adore getting unexpected gifts! There’s just something special about when someone thinks of you out of the blue and gives you something for no reason at all. God has blessed me with so many people in my life who love me and know me well, and who will randomly give me something that makes my day. Recently one of my favorite former tutors gifted me a super fly natural hair t-shirt. The graphic is gorgeous with the hair in the shape of Africa and I couldn’t wait to style it! For a casual look I paired it with my favorite distressed jeans and white sandals. Rose gold jewelry elevated it from basic to chic and I further repped natural hair with a curly fro. I’ve actually worn this outfit multiple times and I’ve received so many compliments, it’s definitely a new favorite piece.