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3.29.2019

FIVE THINGS FRIDAY


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{My kind of home arrangement;-}

Happy Friday, guys! How’s your week been? I’ve got to tell you, after coming back from our spring break vacation at the beginning of the week, it took me a while to get back into the groove of things again. For the first time in a long time, I felt overwhelmed with all I had to catch up with. But, a few exciting anticipatory things gave me the boost I needed to get going though. For one thing, we’re currently working on putting together our front courtyard so we can enjoy sitting out there before the sweltering heat comes. I’m so excited about the new outdoor sofa we ordered for the space and impatiently waiting for it to arrive. I’m also hosting an afternoon high tea for a couple of friends who are coming over this Sunday whom we haven’t seen in a while. So, it's a pretty busy weekend around here. What have you got planned this weekend?

Without further ado, below are my few favorite five things Friday links of the week. 

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{Still trying to figure out this mirror selfie game}

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{A brunch to remember}

1. Now that spring is here, all I'm imagining me wearing this Spring and Summer are these comfy dresses.

2. I never even noticed triangle stickers above the windows of airplane seats when flying, let alone knowing they even had a hidden meaning. Did you?

3. How many decisions have been made about you today by AI (artificial intelligence)? Even more interesting, which never crossed my mind is, how many of those decisions are based on your race, your gender, and your background? And the correlation AI has with Algorithm. Pretty eye-opening.

4. Proof that when respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness override selfishness and greed, a family culture can exist no matter the race and gender.

5. When watching certain films, I often wonder how do actors cope afterward with all that extra emotional baggage of the characters they slip into when performing? I never saw Black Panther, but here's what Michael B. Jordan had to say after playing his role


3.20.2019

LOOKING GOOD STARTS WITH FEELING GOOD


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I believe looking good starts with feeling good. There’s nothing worse than looking good on the outside but feeling yucky on the inside. There have been so many times people would say to me, “you look so nice... you look really good.” Yet, on the inside, I'd be on the verge of bursting into tears either about a nostalgic memory, something that had just happened, 'that' time of the month, feeling homesick or my mind being held captive by some impostor thoughts. Add to all of that, are the craziest encounters that seem to be the new norm for me these days. That’s why when I tend to go quiet (besides being on vacation) with posting and sharing what I love, it isn’t because I’m short on content, it's usually due to being down and out and trying to work on boosting myself back up. That way, when I post a pic with me smiling, you know it is really genuine and not just for the sake of the post. To me, doing something like that would make me feel like a fraud. As an honest realist, it makes it nearly impossible for me to live in a world of make-believe... pretending that things are fine when they are not. It's not part of my makeup. For that reason, I feel it’s important to confront what’s going inside our heads first, instead of solely focusing on the outward appearance.

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looking good starts with feeling good-how-to-red-fendi-jacket-blazer-leather-skirt-stevemadden-floral-brocade-bag-heels-red-pumps-desert-photoshoot

Granted, there are days I wake up feeling blah but then get a mood boost with a great outfit. However, that isn’t always the case. For a lot of us, it’s an ongoing blurry mess of negativity going on inside our heads. For most, it’s easier to dodge inner change, because the fear of tackling such issues can feel paralyzing and it’s just easier to bury oneself in the shallow things of life. The truth is that no matter how much you shy away from working on those negative thoughts, clearing our minds from the negativity plays a big role in achieving our goals and plays out on our faces every day.  

The question is HOW does one make that mental shift? By taking baby steps. I love this adage: “You cannot scale a mountain in a single step; however, you can take on the challenge one step at a time.” The same is true of most obstacles we face, no matter how mountainlike they might seem to be. Whether it’s taking on a scary project or just trying something new. Right now, we can choose to make a change. We can decide to sharpen our focus on the inner person and start seeing the positive. You’ll only be pretty if you feel that way without the piling of makeup and pricey clothing. Not that I have anything against this. In fact, I get fascinated by watching women who have the patience to sit there and apply makeup layer by layer, like an artist that strategically applies paint on his canvas. I just feel when beauty has to do more with who you genuinely are on the inside as a person, and not with looks, it's more long-lasting and better for your well-being in the long run.

I’m also a believer in the inspirational quotable extract. When engraved upon the memory it creates a reservoir of good thoughts. It doesn’t matter the length, if it suggests a good idea, I pen it down and file it in its respective quote folder I’ve created on my computer. I even have different quotes framed and hung on my walls throughout my home that help me to refocus my thinking and/or remind me of my goals. As we know words are incredibly powerful, and thoughts are even more so. Along the pathway of my years, I have learned much from quotations and find they can profoundly affect one’s life. So, starting today, in an effort to clear the mind of negative thoughts, I plan on sharing quotes that offer a flash of insight that will help shift my thoughts and hopefully yours too, for the best. Look out for them in my instastories and on my Instagram. And if you've got some good ones that you love, please feel free to share them with me. 


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3.15.2019

FIVE THINGS FRIDAY


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Happy Friday! Okay, let’s be honest, how many of you panicked and felt the world was ending when Instagram was down on Wednesday? Or was it a welcomed social media detox? Onto the plans for the weekend: What have you got going on? We have officially entered the start of our annual vacation season and I couldn’t be any more excited about that! (Insert dancing emoji here :-D). So, this weekend for me will be pulling out outfits, including a 1920s themed outfit for a dinner event we’ll be attending during our first upcoming pilgrimage vacation. Also, I’m working on collecting the remaining items for our front courtyard and prepping it for chilling out there since Spring is pretty much a quick month away.


In the meantime, here are the five random things that I’ve been into this week…

1. Given that I have spring decor projects on the mind for our courtyard space, and have been on the hunt for certain pieces, this week's catalog arrival with these outdoor photos made me smile ear-to-ear in glee. 

2. Speaking of pulling outfits for vacation packing, one thing that's always a staple pick is a good jumpsuit. How amazing are these?!

3. I so enjoyed this podcast interview with my fellow New Yorker JLo, which resonated with me on so many levels and inspired me to not give up my quality of tenacity, no matter how many people may make me feel bad of being that way.

4. I felt such an emancipated feeling just reading about Frogmore Cottage and the idea of it being a "special place" for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to start another new chapter of their lives and can't wait to move into weeks from now... is giving me all the feels! Did you see what that "small cottage" five units building look like? (Insert mouth wide open emoji here).

5. It can be expensive to travel between major cities in Europe, which makes finding this traveler's favorite site The Trainline for cheap train tickets the greatest discovery of all. 

Pro Tip: book train tickets as far ahead as possible to ensure you get the cheapest fare saving you more than half the amount. Say whaaaat?! You're welcome.


3.08.2019

BEST RECOMMENDED FAVORITE RED LIPSTICKS


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Since this post prompted several of you to ask which red lipstick I would recommend, I thought I would share a list of my few tried and true favorites. I'm a minimalist when it comes to my beauty routine, but I do believe in the power of a good bold red lip when the right occasion calls for it. When it comes to lipsticks, especially red, I tend to hoard them when I can find the shades that compliment my skin tone perfectly since hunting down that perfect shade for brown skin is not an easy feat in a sea of reds that are catered more for pale skin. On occasion, I love a fierce red lip for it’s such a classic and it's a color that has the power to lift your spirit, making you feel bold and confident all at the same time. Who doesn't want that?! My two favorite types are matte lipsticks and lip stains for their long-lasting power, as I tend to peel my lips with my teeth a lot and end up eating my lipstick minutes after swiping it on. That's why stains are my faves. Aside from the days, I want a little pick me up, I love wearing a red lip for date nights with my evening wear or with a simple casual outfit to jazz it up a bit. As I’ve mentioned, it took me a while to find the right shades of red to compliment my brown skin tone well. What’s nice about the ones I’m sharing here, is that they look good on most other skin tones as well.

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I'm a hard sell when it comes to recommending beauty products (as most products don't stand up to their claims), so when I recommend something, rest assured they're legit. These best recommended favorite red lipsticks look and feel amazing on and deliver the right touch of bold while complementing your skin tone. Without further ado, here's a breakdown of why they are my favorites and what I like about these lipsticks. 

Starting with my Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour "Fire Starter 500," this is very lightweight in texture and delivers the boldest velvety high-intensity matte finish with just one stroke. Aaaand, it's waterproof and lasts up to 12 hours, so it doesn't transfer onto anything once it dries. 

Milani Color Statement Lipstick "Best Red," is one of my all-time favorites because of its amazing formula and shade. I love how it glides on so easily in a smooth finish that not only makes your lips feel good but defines them in such a way that makes them pop.

Another favorite of mine! Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink "20 Pioneer," inspired by my home state NYC attitude - bold, intense and warm. The liquid lipstick formula goes on sticky at first but once dry the stickiness goes away and it stays put for what feels like more than the sixteen hours they say. I love the flawless matte finish of this one. It's perfect for people like me who don't like traditional lipstick that comes off right after application. Plus, the arrow applicator makes it easy to get a precise application around the lips. It stands out and is ideal for anyone who wants to go with a bold lip. It will go with everything!

Note | The super stay lipsticks live up to that name and need the Superstay Eraser Lip Color Remover to gently remove your lip color without having to scrub your lips raw. However, when I'm out of the lip color remover, I use good'ol vaseline in the interim which works almost just as well. I listed some more of my other go-to faves below for your shopping pleasure. Please feel free to suggest other good ones that you think are great in the comment below. I'd love to add them to my list.


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3.01.2019

FIVE THINGS FRIDAY



Happy March! For some reason, January gave me this sense that maybe the year was going to unroll at a much slower pace than the previous years, but here we are already in March. How has the year been treating you thus far? It’s finally hitting me that Spring is lurking around the corner and I need to start thinking about getting the few remaining accessories and some more plants to finish our front courtyard so we can have it ready right on time for the start of the season. That way, we can get to spend more time outside enjoying the refreshing, breezy Spring air while taking in the show that our vines put on for the season, which sends the birds into a chanting, frenzied celebration along with their counterparts, the hummingbirds buzzing around. I’ll be sharing the before and after of the front courtyard transformation as we start the project, so be on the lookout for that. What are you up to this weekend? 

In the meantime, here are my Five Things Friday links and a quote that caught my attention this week.

1. Swooning over Kylie Jenner’s pink glam room along with all photographs of all my favorite Hollywood ladies.  

2. Speaking of Spring on the horizon, these UO whimsical colorful, fun pillows have me feeling all cheery.

3. Proof that things have not really changed since the 1950s. It’s even felt on a social media platform like, Instagram...

4. In view of the aforementioned, you can understand why a man like Sydney Poitier felt the weight of representing 15 - 18 million people with every move he made. 

5. I start each day/week with a quote that gives me the right dose of a pep talk that I need to keep motivated, and I keep it right in front of me on my console in my home office. I figured I’d share this week’s quote just in case you too, may need to hear the same words. Here’s what it says: “We are each gifted IN A UNIQUE and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure TO DISCOVER our own special light.” 

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 {A peek back at Oscars 2019 cocktail table scene;-}

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 {A girlfriends' night out shopping excursion after happy hour}

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 {Any arrangement of pretty displays of home fragrance and candles make sooo happy}