Festival SZN: The Essentials

The weather is finally starting to break and while those with allergies are going through a rough time right now, everyone is still looking forward to a summer full of late night bonfires, cookouts, relaxing beach days, rooftop parties, and of course, music festivals.

Summer festival season is a memorable time of year, especially when you’re enjoying it with a great group of people. You spent your hard earned money on a pricey ticket and you are expecting to have nothing less than an amazing time. This includes lots of Instagram pictures (some pictures won’t make it to the gram because we still have jobs to return to on Monday morning), day drinking, and dancing from beginning to the very end. Whether the festival is one day or a full weekend, there are some essentials that you’ll need to make it through. 

 

 

|SUNSCREEN|

This should be applied before you even get in the car. It’s most likely going to be a very hot and sunny day. Even if it’s partly cloudy, you still need to protect yourself. Carry a little sunscreen with you so that you can reapply at least one more time before the end of the day. Most of us don’t wear sunscreen on a regular basis like we should, but it is crucial that we commit to it on days like this.

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Black Girl Sunscreen| $19 https://blackgirlsunscreen.com/

 

 

|SNACKS|

Food typically isn’t allowed in the venues. So, if you decide to skip on their overpriced snacks, bring something to leave in the car. An apple or a small bag of chips will be so clutch on the car ride home.

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Rap Snacks | $24 for a 48pck http://www.rapsnacks.net/

 

 

|HAND SANITIZER|

You’ll most likely end up using a port – o – potty at some point. Do you need more of an explanation?

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|ZIPLOCK BAG|

If you carry one ziplock bag with you, there is a 90% chance you’ll use it for something. One thing it’s good for is the rain. I’ve been to my fair share of concerts where the sky opened up and showered us. That’s when you use your ziplock bag to put your phone in; even while it’s in your purse. You’ll save yourself from water damage. Or, if you have a jewelry malfunction, into the bag it goes.

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|SUNGLASSES|

These are not just for fashion purposes. Sunglasses are made to protect your eyes and if you’re going to be in the sun all day, you’ll regret not bringing them. So, even if your winged-eye liner looks absolutely perfect that day, still bring your shades.

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Eye Dare You | $8 | https://www.eyedareyou.co/

 

 

|PORTABLE CHARGER|

I can’t stress enough the importance of bringing your portable charger. It’s one of those little things you cannot forget at home. You’re going to go through most of your phone battery in one day and so a portable charger is imperative. They usually save the best performers for last and you don’t want to risk not getting a good picture or video of your faves.

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5 Things Guys Wear That We Love

Hey Guys (and this time I really mean guys),

 

I spoke with a diverse group about what guys wear that makes them look extra dapper. It’s obvious that a man’s character and intentions are important, however, it was cohesively agreed upon that a man’s style can be a head over heels bonus. Everyone’s idea of a stylish man is different, so use this as a guide for trying something new.

 

Me: “So, what is something that you like to see a guy wear? Something that keeps you intrigued.”

Girl 1: “Suits!”

Me: “What about suits?”

Girl 1: “They’re nice and fitted to the body, which I like. So spicy!”

Me: “Ha! Spicy. I like that one”

 

 

Me : “What do you like to see guys wear?”

Girl 2: ” I love a good authentic American boy look. So, flannels with a pair of Wrangler boot cut jeans really do it for me.

Me: ” Is there a specific color flannel you like?”

Girl 2: ” I honestly like any color as long as it fits the body well. I want to be able to see the outline of his muscular arm.”

*proceeds to show me pic of boyfriend*

 

 

Me: “What can a guy wear that will make you look twice?

Girl 3: ” I love when he wears a sweater that shows off his arm muscles and a vest over top of that. It makes him look like a handsome single father.”

Me: “Interesting.”

“Do you prefer him in a specific brand?

Girl 3: “Not really. I just like the darker and more neutral colors like olive green and navy blue. It gives a cozy fall vibe.”

Me: “Everyone loves a good fall vibe.”

 

 

Me : “Finish the sentence. I love when a guy has on __________.”

Girl 4: “Nice clean sneakers. Emphasis on the clean part.”

Me: “What kind?”

Girl 4: “I think the Nike Air Max 270s in black and lime green are dope. If he has those on with all black and maybe a grey jean jacket, we can talk.”

Me: “Gotcha.”

 

Me: ” What is something a guy can wear that will make him look good?”

Guy: “A bomber jacket, definitely.”

Me: “Tell me more.”

Guy: “I mean, there are a plethora of ways to style it, but overall, it’s a mysterious yet masculine look, which I like.”

“Plus, it’s always nice when they reveal ‘the outfit’. ”

Me: “Love it.”

Setting the Energy for 2019

The year is coming to a close and it’s time to start setting goals for 2019. Before we dive into that, I find it behooving to take a look back and see what’s been accomplished this year and what might make a second appearance on the 2019 list.

In my previous post titled “Stepping Into 2018 Like…“, I listed everything I wanted to do this year and I’m pleased with the outcome. With the right energy and focus, I managed to tackle everything on my list in some shape or form.

 

 

 

In order to keep the momentum going all year long, you have to be self-disciplined and consistent in your actions. Write them down. There is something so authentic about physically writing down your goals, plans, wishes, prayers, desires, etc. It’s taking the idea in your head and now having a visual representation of what you want. Put that list in a place where you will see it regularly as a reminder to yourself throughout the year.

Sacrifices go along with self-discipline. What you want to accomplish may require you to let go of other things. For example, I wanted to do some traveling this year and take my student loans seriously. That required me to give up other everyday luxuries that I enjoy, but it was well worth it.

 

 

While I do have a list of resolutions for the coming year, I want to focus on habits we should all leave behind in 2018 in order to have a prosperous 2019.

  1. Lack of faith | I’m talking lack of faith in all aspects. You need to keep your faith strong in whom (or what) you believe in whether, it’s God, the Universe, Buddha, Allah, the Moon, etc. If you choose not to believe in any higher power, then the least you can do is have faith in yourself. If you don’t think you’ll be able to achieve great things, you’re mentally setting yourself up for failure. These “great things” could mean becoming more fiscally responsible or turning your side hustle your main hustle. You’ve got to foresee it before you can make it happen.
  2. Inimical People | The company we keep makes a significant impact in our lives. You should always strive to surround yourself with peers and friends that will not only support you, but seize the opportunity to help elevate you to the next level. Anyone harboring negative energy for whatever reason or trying to keep you from your full potential shouldn’t have access to you in 2019.
  3. Fear | Letting go of fear is, by far, the hardest thing to do. We often times allow it to keep us from making bold moves and being who we are capable of. The on-set of fear goes hand-in-hand with where your level of faith is. The time you spend thinking about the negative outcomes can be used to think about the positive things you’ve done thus far. In the new year, we will take time to acknowledge, vocalize, and be proud of our accomplishments so that we can remind ourselves how great we are and not be fearful of our greatness.
“…is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Happy New Year!

 

Avocado Toast

Hello friends!

I’m coming to you today with something a little bit different than my usual fashion slayage. Recently, I was invited to Urban Table in Morristown, New Jersey for a unique dining experience and enjoyed a three course meal including avocado toast, arugula salad topped with salmon and house dressing, as well as a french onion dip sandwich with prime rib.

My first dish was the ever so popular avocado toast and it blew my mind! This combo has had quite the buzz lately and based on the sound of it, I wasn’t sold. Avocado + Toast = BORING. But boy was I was wrong!

It’s so much more than just avocado on bread. It was layered with cheese, seasoning, corn, etc. I loved it so much I decided to re-create it in my kitchen.

Aaaaaand voila…..

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It tasted so good!

When I did this re-creation I eye balled everything. No measurements were used at all.

First, I had to make the Mexican Street Style Corn.

In a medium bowl, I combined:

  1. 2 generous spoons of mayo
  2. A hand full of feta cheese
  3. Some diced red onions
  4. Some minced garlic
  5. Fresh lime juice (a little less than half a lime)
  6. A little chili powder
  7. Salt and Pepper ( I used more pepper than salt)
  8. **You can add in some jalapeño peppers if you want it a little spicy**

Then I poured two cans of corn in a skillet coated with olive oil and let it char some. Once the corn was done charring, I combined the corn with the mix in the bowl.

 

After making the street style corn, I put everything together in this order:

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A thick slice of oven toasted bread from a baguette.

 

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Sliced Avocado.

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Mexican Street Style corn.

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Diced Tomatoes.

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More Feta Cheese.

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Paprika.

So it was fun making this and as a side note, I recommend making the Mexican Street Style corn as a side for other dishes too. It’s something a little different and goes well with other dishes.

As for Urban Table, I’ll be back soon to taste some other foods on the menu! Thanks again!

 

P.S. They also had the best Frozè I’ve ever had! You’re welcome.

 

I’m hungry

Hi Everyone

I’m the type that loves to eat out at restaurants and diners. I know my favorite places and my favorite things to get on the menu. For my birthday, a friend of mine took me out to eat at a place called Veggie Heaven. I was weary because I didn’t know if that meant there were very few meat options or none at all, so I ate before I went just in case because I’m no vegetarian. Hahahaha.

Needless to say, I was very hesitant to try it but I’m glad I did because it turned out to be really good! I had some general tso chicken, which was actually tofu. This experience got me thinking that I should try to step out of the box when it comes to trying new foods.

Thus, I came up with the idea of trying more local restaurants around my small town. It also helps in supporting small businesses so it’s a win-win situation. Obviously, I’m going to document the journey via my blog and Insta story so stay tuned and check out my first restaurant stop below!

And no, I’m not turning into a food blogger. LOL This is an experience.

 

The Quiet Man | Rt. 46 Dover, NJ | Irish Pub

When pulling up to this restaurant, I noticed they had a menu placed on the outside so you could see what they had before going in. That’s something you see in a more metropolitan city so I was pleasantly surprised because I really appreciate when places do this.

After walking into The Quiet Man, I felt like I was no longer in Dover. Let’s just say the demographics changed completely. This Irish pub was occupied 90% by those who probably had an Irish or European background and I guess it isn’t normal for a black girl and her hispanic friend to walk in for dinner. We did get a few head turns and short stares. But I took my seat with the upmost poise and remained unbothered.

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We had potato pancakes as an appetizer. I’m not going to lie to you and I’m not throwing shade but they were not seasoned and that’s all I’m going to say.

For the main course, I chose the special they had going on which was the crab cake, vegetables, scalloped potatoes, and corn on the cob. Everything was very, very good. Nothing was over cooked or under done so that’s a huge plus. The crab cake and the veggies were my fave.

My special also cake with dessert so we shared crème brûleé that had Bailey’s in it. I’d never had crème brûleé before but I don’t think I should’ve started with this one. I had a scoop and wasn’t sold on it, however, I think it’s because the Bailey’s liquor over powered it. So maybe I’ll have to try it again at some point and put the Bailey’s on the side.

The Quiet Man is a little expensive (in my humbly broke opinion) but worth the experience if you’ve never been or if you like Irish food. Our two meals came to $70 and that’s including a tip. I would definitely go back to try a couple other things I saw on the menu.

Here are some pics:

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My friend ordered the chicken pot pie

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Stepping into 2018 like…

Hey!

So 2017 has finally come to an end. For some, this has been a year of new adventures and great energy. For the rest of us, we’re just happy it’s over. However, what we can all agree with is that 2017 is one for the books.

I plan on making changes in 2018, however, I don’t want to use the new year’s clichè: New Year, New Me…..Yawn.

Instead, I am going into the new year with different “practices”, if you will, that will bring good energy, positivity my way and help me achieve the results I desire. Below are Tia’s 2018 #Goals:

  1. Clear Skin. I need my skin to be clear as if the Glo Gawds have rested their hands on my forehead. I’ve been blessed to never have had bad dermatological skin issues and I want my skin to always look its best especially in the winter when our skin tends to be more dry than usual. Lemon water will be my friend all 2018.
  2. Embracing my natural curls. So as most of you know, I did the big chop about a year ago and it has been a big adjustment for me. I still wear wigs for a couple of reasons. One, I like the fact that I can switch it up from long to short hair whenever I please. And two, I want to cover and protect my natural hair so that it can grow faster. This coming year, I want to work on finding natural styles that I like and embracing them some days rather than my wigs.
  3. Make this the year of travel. I love love love to travel and want to do more of it in 2018. This can include traveling on a plane out of the country, or just doing a weekend getaway in another city. Traveling is so important. I have a couple of trips put together already and plan on adding to the list.
  4. Work, work, work, work, work *Rihanna voice*. I am a 24 year old college graduate and am not working at my dream job…yet. It’s frustrating at times because my main source of income comes from working an entry-level retail job. As much as I despise it, I have to remember that it is just a stepping stone and is not going to be forever. However, for right now I have to respect the job and work as much as I can because it pays my bills, allows me to save, and provides me the money to travel. And that’s all.
  5. Loans. This one is a little more personal. I’ve been out here trying to live my best life acting like my loans do not exist, but it’s time to straighten up and start making small payments because even though I cannot see the loan, it unfortunately still exists.
  6. Step up my STYLE game. I have a great sense of style *hairflip*, but I want to change it up a little bit. For example, I tend to rock a lot of neutral colors and I want to add more bold colors to my wardrobe, especially my shoe collection. No more playing it safe.

I intend to keep up these practices for the entire year and not just halfway through February and give up. Send me some words of encouragement! Also, I’d love to hear what some of your goals are for the upcoming year! Comment below!

Tia

Canada, eh?

Im baaaack!

I took a short hiatus because I was up north in Canada. Although I was only there for seven days, it was a trip that required a lot of preparation. Nonetheless, I had a great time being away from home for a week and being a tourist in another country.

My mom and I rented a car and began our journey north. We made our first stop in Elmira, NY for two days to take part in a wine tour. We did a tour with Crush Beer & Wine Tour. They took us to four different wineries where tasted six different wines at each. By the third winery, I felt a little tipsy. It was a lot of wine for one day but well worth the money.

The wineries themselves were really peaceful and beautiful to look at.

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The fashion behind it

I wore this olive green romper I got from Macy’s in Herald Square along with a calf length cream lace cover up. That, I bought from TJMaxx. I wanted chic yet comfortable since it was hot and I knew I would be moving around a lot that day. Side note: My mother was inclined to wear that hat. It blew away multiple times.

 

Our next stop was Niagara Falls.

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We were fortunate enough to have a room that had a view of the falls and the Skylon tower. In the two days that we spent here we did a tour that took us throughout all of Niagara and of course we rode the boat that took us super close to the waterfall itself.

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The nightlife in Niagara Falls is actually poppin! It’s great for families and couples. They had a club, loads of bars, and a street filled with arcade games, funhouses, mini golf, etc. Plus, there were plenty of restaurants so you never go hungry.

The Fashion Behind it

Since Niagara was all about sightseeing, I was more inclined to dress comfortably. Plus, I didn’t know what to expect from being on that boat. I wore an Under Armour threadborne tank top, which is known for being super comfy with a cotton feel but dries fast like dri-fit material. I wore that along with black workout pants.

Our final stop was Toronto.

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This is one of my new favorite spots. If their winters weren’t so long and harsh, I would consider moving there. I just really hate winter.

Nonetheless, my mom and I spent all weekend in Toronto. It was a lot of fun and such a great place for young people my age. We had tickets for a hop on hop off bus tour that took you all over Toronto and our tickets were valid for two days. So we took advantage of that visited all these different spots like the distillery district where they are known for making alcohol, Soma, which is known for having “the best chocolate in the world”, The Bata Shoe Museum, Chinatown, The CN Tower, and the center of Younge & Dundas Square. Those are just a few.

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The fashion Behind It

Toronto is like a city and you never know who you might see. I did a lot of walking too so I was going for cute and comfortable. I wore a mix of dresses with sneakers, sandals, and shorts. I just tried to make sure my face had a slight beat. 

 

All in all, I had an amazing time. This vacation was different being that it was more sightseeing and walking rather than relaxing on a beach for a week. But I’m glad my mother chose this place. If you are ever going to Canada, here is some advice:

  1. Drive. Just drive. I contemplated driving the entire time we were planning and I’m so happy we did. It makes life 10X easier, your’e comfortable, and you can stop when you want.
  2. Take advantage of all of the tours. Tours can sometimes seem very cliché and touristy but it was really easy to see each place for the short time we were there. The hop on hop off bus tour was my favorite.
  3. Stop at the Duty Free store on your way back to the states. The prices are really great. I bought a full bottle of mojito flavored Bacardi for $12! They have designer bags and cologne for good prices too as well as last minute souvenirs.
  4. Bring your passport. I heard a lot of back and forth about whether or not to bring my passport in order to cross the border so I brought it just in case. I’m glad I did because that was the first thing the patrol officer asked for when I rolled down my window. I’m sure if I didn’t have it he could have used my license or something else, however, I think using your passport is the simplest way. Also, I had to ask to get my passport stamped because they usually don’t do it. I’m trying to keep my passport tatted.
  5. Try new places and foods. This is what I do if I go to any new place and especially another country. I try to avoid eating at places that I would on a regular basis. Why would I want to eat at Applebees there when I can eat at Applebees here? Yes they might have more native foods on their menu, but I would rather not eat at a franchise at all.
  6. You can pay in American money, Canadian money, or both over there. However, they always give you Canadian change.

 

Sorry this post was so long! I just had to tell you all so much!     Peace and Love :]

D.I.Y and looking Fly

What’s up everyone!

Yeah my title this time around is a little corny but bear with me.

Sometimes as I am planning my next photo shoot, I look in my closet and can’t find anything to wear. Well, I had one of those moments this week and decided to D.I.Y a piece of clothing that I’ve been seeing on Instagram and it turned into a whole outfit.

I’m not sure what the name of this look is because it’s not exactly a full sweatshirt, however, it’s made from sweatshirt material. Kylie Jenner was seen wearing one a while ago and I’m digging the look.4178767F00000578-4609760-image-a-95_1497629691167.jpg

So I made a trip to the thrift store and found a simple grey men’s sweatshirt and got creative. I watched a couple tutorials and then tried it on my own. Now, I did not take pictures of the process, but I have a little diagram below of what I did.

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Step 1 (Purple) : I cut across the sweatshirt where the purple line is to get rid of the major excess of the shirt.

Step 2 (Orange) : Then I cut along the orange line so I could get more of the look I was trying to achieve.

*This is not an actual photo of the sweatshirt I used. If you are using a sweatshirt that has a logo. brand, etc., you should make the adjustments to your cutting pattern that allow people to still see the logo. Like in the photo of Kylie, the logo is still seen but it has more of a rugged cut.

Step 3 (Purple) : So after I was finished cutting up the sweatshirt, I went back to the first part that I cut off, which was the purple line. I flipped it upside down, and it became a skirt. I’m brilliant.

Now it looks like I have a matching outfit. Check out the photos below!

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Luxe Therapy

Good Afternoon peeps,

 

So recently, I was given a Scalp Soother to try by Luxe Therapy. I opened it and had moderate expectations being that I’ve used products like this before, however, this was divine! It was thin enough to slide right underneath my wig and it got those hard to reach spots that can be difficult to scratch.

As you can see, it is built just like an old school pick but it is a bit thinner.

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So stop patting those weaves and get you one of these! 

You can definitely use this Scalp Soother no matter what your hair type is. Just make sure you rinse it off between each wash and do not scratch too hard especially if you just got your braids done.

Check out Luxe Therapy on Twitter and Instagram @luxetherapy

March Must-Haves

*~  ~  ~ H E Y   M A R C H   ~  ~  ~*

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more luck I have.” -Thomas Jefferson

 

This is the time of the year when the weather starts to change up on us. We’ll have a week of frigid air followed by a few days of sun, which lets us know that spring is right around the corner. Here a few good things to have this month.

1. Leather Jacket

There are two times of the year when I break out my leather jacket. Fall and the beginning of spring when the weather is cold in the early morning and at night. Leather jackets are essential to a wardrobe. They keep you warm (depending on what kind you buy) and they a good look for a night out or just to add an edge to your attire.

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2.Fishnet stockings

Fishnets have been popping up all over my Instagram feed and I must say, I am loving it. The trend is easy and edgy. I rocked the look a few years ago in college (just saying) but I’m glad it is sticking now. I especially like the fishnets that stop at the ankle because I feel like it’s a different take on the trend.

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3. Sweatsuit

The athleisure thing is happening right now. Peeps are adding simple track suit bottoms to their look or dressing up their comfiest matching sweat outfit and taking it to the streets. Comfy + fashionable is pretty ideal for anyone. I saw one of those “You can’t sit with us!” track suits and decided not to buy it in the hopes of finding something…honestly I don’t know what I was looking for. But, you know what they say, nothing haunts you like the things you didn’t buy.

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*I need an a whole suit like this, with a trench style jacket to match! Where can I get this?!?