Say “NO” To Thanksgiving Shopping- Small Business Saturday

As a blogger during these past few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving my inbox has been flooded with “guide to Black Friday” shopping emails. I have ignored every single one. Although Thanksgiving is not a true holiday in the most literal since of the word- meaning it is not a “holy day” tied to a system of belief it is a day that most people spend with family, or friends who have become our family as “friends giving” has become a popular new tradition for the day.

I have adamantly ignored every piece of email touting Black Friday discounts because the sales and overall consumerism has reached an all time level of disrespect. Not only have retailers attempted to woo consumers with the promise of deep discounts to help them meet their own annual revenue goals, many of them have suggested that you wolf down your holiday meal, rush from the one time a year when family is forced to eat at a table together and begin your Thanksgiving shopping before you can properly sleep off your zyptrophan -induced post, Turkey Day “itis”.

The day that has traditionally been dedicated to moving from the dining room table to gathering as a family in front of the television to watch football, catch up on each other’s lives or just simply down a second (or third) plate of food has been turned into a microwave holiday where you are encouraged to Shop! Buy! Spend! All with the promise of deep discounts.

Well I’m not here for any of it… I plan to spend the day luxuriating in the moments and quality time generated by love, laughter, good food and in my house- plenty of wine. Instead of rushing out to Walmart, Target or “insert retailer of choice here” I will be enjoying time with the people who share my DNA, a collective history and a lifetime of memories. I will dedicate myself to creating new memories and if nothing else I will relish in the fact that my dining room table will be used for something other than the collection of mail that always manages to pile up there.

Suffice it to say that I enjoy both gifting and receiving and most of my shopping will be done on small business Saturday- with local retailers who are either from my hometown of Baltimore or located in MD. Here are a few places to check out for small business Saturday- support minority businesses that offer unique gifting options and items that you won’t see everywhere.

Fly Nerd
Hands down this is one of my favorite local artisans- I fancy myself a bit of a sneaker head and the best companion for a fly shoe is a fly tee- Fly Nerd offers uniquely designed tees created by Andrea Tomlin who managed to marry her love of fashion with graphic design with these awesome t-shirts

Fly Nerd

Fly Nerd

Truth outfitters
Alex Bank$ is the creator behind the brand which was born during his high school years when fitting in is such a struggle for just about everyone- Bank$ Tag line for the line is striving to “fit in while standing out” and the collection is equal parts art and fashionable.

Truth Outfitters

Truth Outfitters


K. Staton Boutique

If you’re a curvy girl in the DMV K.Staton Boutique is a must shopping destination for you. Jade Greer the dynamic owner of the boutique has a carefully curated selection of high end, high quality options for the curvy fashionista.

K. Staton

K. Staton

Why Solange Knowles Broke The Internet

photo by:  Rog Walker

photo by: Rog Walker

photo source

November 16th ( the eve of my own wedding anniversary) served as the day Solange broke the Internet. The reason for her heavily hashtagged, heavily regrammed notable internet breakage was because she got hitched to her long time partner Alan Fergueson.

Solange has long since established herself as a fashion icon- from her enviable, full ‘fro, to her bold fashion choices and omnipresent brightly-hued lip- Solange is the fashion “it” girl in the Knowles clan. Her style is undeniable but the reason so many fashionistas love “Solo” is because she walks in her personal truth with a unique authenticity that is so fundamentally her and we love it. She didn’t have to bare it all to get the attention of all of social media and the fact that Vogue magazine was granted exclusive rights to the photos from her nuptials just further solidifies Solange as a bonafide fashionista. She is proof positive that you can don a cape, a gorgeous Humberto Leon gown, rock a fierce ‘fro and be your own fashion super she-roe with style, elegance and grace- and break the Internet whilst doing it.

Style Item Of The Week- Nice Laundry

Nice Laundry

Nice Laundry


Hands down one of my favorite trends of late is colorful socks for men. Sunday morning church service is overflowing with the more stylish and daring gents of the congregation wearing what has affectionately been referred to as “socks of glory” or “the sock ministry”.

Now that fall is officially in full swing the dip in temperature provides the perfect opportunity to enhance your sock wardrobe. Admitedly I initially wanted my husband to review the socks that the folks from Nice Laundry sent over, but the colors appealed to me I kept a few pairs for myself. Not only are they stylish, they’re comfortable and offer the perfect exclamation point to any ensemble.

If you’re looking to add to or even lunch your own sock drawer Nice Laundry offers a recycling program to their US customers where a percentage of the recycled socks are repurposed.

Want more details? Visit www.nicelaundry.com

When Life Gives You Curves- You Rock Them-Curves Rock Weekend Recap

This weekend the Hyatt Hotel played host to the third annual Curves Rock Weekend. The weekend kicked off with a runway competition hosted at Oxygen Lounge and continued with a mix of panel discussions, a sample sale and a showcase of emerging designers. The highlight of the weekend is always the runway show which featured a mix of designers for the traditionally under served curvy girl.
One of my new local favorites who I initially discovered via Instagram @Mimidre of Fly Nerd was featured both as an emerging designer and in Saturday evenings runway show.

Tionna Smalls returned with her own brand of curvy, plus-positive humor keeping the attendees not only laughing but continuously reminding everyone about just how awesome it is to be curvy.

Ms. Maryland Plus delighted us with her talents and personally brought me to tears with her spoken word which was equal parts poignant, impactful and encouraging.

Follow the designers showcased via IG
@trudivadesigns
@marcohall
@mimidre
@dreamsbydanielle
@siobhanpeay

Here are some highlights from the show and you can follow my Pinterest Board for additional photos. .

Fly Nerd

Fly Nerd

Curves Rock

Curves Rock

Marco Hall

Marco Hall

imageimageimage

image

Big Easy Style Lounge: Design Essentials

 

Photo credit: Exclusiveaccess.net

Photo credit: Exclusiveaccess.net

The sound of jazz can be heard on almost every block once you hit the Quarter in N’awlins; during the 20th anniversary of the Essence Musical Festival that music was rounded out with the soulful or funkdafied sounds of just about every other genre of music that speaks to your soul.

The Superdome was the place to be in the evenings and during the day I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few brands that I’ve come to know and love. Design Essentials hosted an event featuring the Grammy nominated Ledisi who played host to their inaugural Big Easy Style Lounge. Guests were treated to massages, makeup application and had the opportunity to chat with professionals about the range of products and which specific combination worked best for individual needs.

Because I’m a naturalista currently wearing a weave (with some leave out) the sleek edge control was recommended as well as the hydrience which serves as both heat protectant and moisturizer.

For more details on the Design Essentials line please visit www.designessentials.com

#FrotallyFlawless Event Recap

india dropping knowledge

from l-r @imccleod, @felicitystarr, @keetaray @iheartnaturals

 

products convo

@Felicitystarr

@Felicitystarr

 

Trina- I woke up like this

Trina- I woke up like this

On a  warm Saturday a few naturalistas and those they love got together for food, fun, product swaps and an amazing panel discussion moderated by Trina Megginson and featuring hair guru’s India McCleod, @KeetaRay and @Felicitystarr. The panelists all dished on properly caring for your natural tresses, debunking myths of natural hair and offering up great perspective on life in general. The panel felt like a conversation in your best friends living room, curled up on the sofa and simply swapping advice.
Some of my favorite highlights came from my salon owner India McCleod who was very instrumental in helping me with my personal transition to natural hair. Her advice was simple- wear a scarf to bed. I know this is not always a popular option for those of us with a boo, but just get your groove on first and then tie that hair up! McCleods reasoning is that a scarf can help not only protect your hair it can prevent you from losing moisture in your cotton pillow cases.
Some of the other really sound advice included:
1. Stop stressing over length and shrinkage- why are naturalistas so hung up on length checks anyway? You have made the decision to *go* natural- just focus on overall health and taking care of your hair – after all, healthy hair IS good hair
2. Understand how any underlying health issues may play a role in your hair health- if you are caught up on length, it’s important to understand that your hair may not be where you want it to be because of something else that’s going on in your body. Diet, WATER and exercise does the body AND the hair right
3. Get routine trims- India who was the only stylist on the panel suggested trims every 8-12 weeks. Though many naturalistas do not like to straighten their hair, her recommendation was that the best trim comes from straightened hair
4. Learn what works for your hair- If you’re natural you have likely experienced someone who is either transitioning or newly natural running up to you in order to ask what do you use in your hair? This question is always funny to me because product choice for natural hair is NOT one-size fits all. Listen to advice, watch the YouTube videos but ultimately the right product mix is going to come from trial and error; once you find something that works for you stick to it! There is nothing more disappointing than spending time (and money) trying something new only to achieve less than desirable results.

New York Fashion Week Street Style

NYFW Street Style

Street style has long since been recognized as inspiration for designer collections and this September the fashionistas and fashionistos upped the ante with some serious swoon-worthy style. I sent my photog out to capture some New York Fashion Week street style in front of the Lincoln Center.

Check out my highlights here and visit my Pinterest board for some more fabulously turned out fashion week street style.

20130915-235539.jpg

20130915-235605.jpg

20130915-235633.jpg

20130915-235656.jpg

20130915-235834.jpg

20130915-235851.jpg

Plus Model Magazine Blogger Conference Recap

As New York Fashion Week came to a close last week, Plus Model Magazine hosted  a  blogger conference in order to  introduce Mynt 1792; a new plus friendly clothing line that recognizes just how much “luxury-sized” women like to show off their assets. The collection featured embellished denim, fur vests and brightly-hued motorcycle leather jackets.  The bloggers in attendance were practically giddy with excitement because the  line recognizes curvy women are not afraid of rich and vibrant colors- like the bright Kelly green and fire engine red motorcycle  jackets paired with skinny jeans featured in the collection.  I was particularly fond of the gold slim fitting jeans as they offer a perfect option for the upcoming holiday season when you want to be festive and stand out in something other than the typical cocktail dress.  Mynt 1792 uses fit models that are a size 18 and they recognize that not all curvy girls have an hourglass shape and as a result the collection offers something for everyone.

 

Mynt 1792 will be available on their website as well as Nordstrom.com in October.
Check out a video of the collection here

mixologist creating *mynt* themed-cocktails

 

These gold skinny jeans offered the perfect “wow” factor

The team behind the Mynt 1792 brand

 

These motorcycle jackets are beautifully crafted with an awesome fit

New York Fashion Week Mathieu Mirano Recap

Mathieu Mirano’s Spring 2013 collection hit multiple ends of the spectrum of fashion from ready to wear to editorial. A navy chevron hem coat, navy leather shirt and Mikado trouser with calfskin embossed heels could have walked right out from tents and would have been attacked by street style photographers.

 

Great separates that came in a variety of material and a range of colors from an orange pleated leather jacket to red knit dress in red were wearable pieces that made attendees want to commence spring shopping now. The white sequined cape with multi-rainbow yoke featured in the collection was perfect for a W Magazine editorial and a green chiffon beetle gown that needs a red carpet moment.

 

 

 

 

New York Fashion Week- Dennis Basso

Dennis Basso paired with Pour La Victorie shoes who’s amazingly crafted designs are equal parts elegant and chic. The presentation was a combination of old world glamour meets Paris socialite as the gowns were reminiscent of times gone by and  meant to conjure up images of a evening out in Deauville, France in the 60’s.  This spring, the topknot is going to be making its rounds again, but with a more polished coiffed look than the haphazard “sock bun” that has been pervasive this season. The beautiful gowns paired with faux fur stoles remind me of the old school style in my grandmother’s closet.   The Pour La Victorie shoes featured in the presentation will be available for a limited time contact 1-855-PourLAV for details.      

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers