Back in the A

We celebrated a national holiday in January! Brittany THE Brand was Tippin On 22 in Atlanta and and support North Carolina A&T at Honda Battle of the Bands. Somehow, I only got one picture with the birthday girl but we were still cute!

New York Fashion Week 2018

February 21, 2018

It doesn't matter who you are, if you are into fashion, it is a D R E A M to attend THEE New York Fashion Week! If you currently follow me on social media, then you already know that I had the opportunity to attend for the first time. 

It's amazing how the universe works because just five months ago, I wrote about how to experience the notorious well-known event. With only six weeks to plan, my friend and stylist Alysha Williams of Fetch Fashions, decided to buy a plane ticket and make it work! There was nothing but space and opportunity right in front of us to check this off of our bucket list. 

I managed to over-pack, get business cards printed and as you can tell from the home page, revamp my logo! Thanks to Custom Touch Designz, based in Charlotte, N.C., who worked with me to bring my vision to life because it made me feel more credible as a creative and entrepreneur. 

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If this experience taught me anything, it's taught me to prepare. My favorite quote is "stay ready so you won't have to get ready!" I can apply this inspirational phrase to all facets of my life. Whether it's brushing my hair before running to the grocery story, keeping an updated resume, or carrying cash just in case my card isn't accessible. Being prepared is essential, especially in a time when everything moves so fast, so quickly. 

As soon as we found out we were attending Fashion Week, we knew we needed a plug. If you aren't familiar with the term, it means a connection, a way in, an access point, all that. Phone calls were made, emails were sent and before we knew it, we had media credentials and a place to stay! I don't know how many times I can say this in each post but it's about networking, people!!

Work the room, maintain contacts, reach out to your friends who occupy the spaces you want to frequent.

 

As Alysha and I navigated the city, got lost in the city, ate in the city, and dominated the city, I realized my level of appreciation and pride I felt. The two of us could have made the decision to attend New York Fashion Week next year or thought small and attended the fashion week in our own city. Instead, we were decisive and intentional on making this trip happen. We chose to focus on the resources we had to create a strategy, not the resources we lacked. 

Take a look at our triumphs from that weekend and tell me in the comments how you will create a strategy in the next two months!

 

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World Tour: Series Part 4 - Los Angeles

For many who do not know, I was born and raised in Los Angeles and although I call North Carolina my place of residency now, I try to go back to visit my family as often as I can. More recently, I visited just to have fun but this visit was definitely a trip to check on my family and my best friend. 

As soon as I landed, I met up with my favorite people! My aunt and uncle. It was my Uncle's 70th birthday and I was excited to celebrate with them. As tradition, they always make reservations at Houston's. Although I used to go when I lived with them, it has almost been 5 years since I last went. I love my aunt and uncle because they may be seasoned with age but they are young at heart. They travel all the time, they're retired, educated, and well established. Honestly, they're goals. They don't have any children so I don't mind being spoiled by them from time to time. 

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I believe this dinner was the first time they saw me in a different light and more as an adult. We touched on topics regarding police brutality, net neutrality, 45, all the way to social media, how it works, what are influencers, etc. etc. It was nice to teach them about how my generation interacts and informs one another via social networking. My uncle and I also had a slight debate regarding his concern for my generation's plan of action with the current state of the world. I'm sure I could insert that [here] but then this post will be never-ending. Either way, with the help of my aunt as the mediator and translator (haha), we were able to see each others' point of views. In reality, my uncle and I are very much alike and if anything, this brings us closer. As always, dinner was amazing and I had a great time. 

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Upon arrival to my best friend, Aaryn's, house I was greeted with birthday presents! Little did she know I put Mario Bedescu's toners on my Christmas List! I was elated! She also gave me the book salt. by Nayyirah Waheed and I can't wait to finish it. I'm sure it will force me to deal with some "subconcious feelings that have not been addressed" but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Last, but certainly not least, I got Pantone postcards! Pantone is a color matching system used in different industries but primarily printing. So, if I were to have a logo with a specific color code, I could use that code on a variety of items such as business cards, websites, shirts, banner, etc. Pantone Books, which include thousands of colors, cost thousands of dollars. To see at least 100 in postcard form was super cool and new! I'm not sure how I will use them yet but I'm thinking for inspiration boards or photo shoot concepts.

My friends own homes! What do yours do? HA! I'm laughing but it's not a joke. It was so cool and super inspiring to see my oldest friend accomplish a huge goal of purchasing her own home. It reminds me that stability is attainable!

Saturday Night we had dinner at Rush Street in Culver City. Great ambience, cool lighting, and great food. We decided to share different appetizers: Spicy Ahi Tacos, Mesquite Turkey Sliders, Fried Jumbo Shrimp with Cajun Tartar Sauce, and their infamous Mac n Cheese.  Highly Recommend!

Saturday Night we had dinner at Rush Street in Culver City. Great ambience, cool lighting, and great food. We decided to share different appetizers: Spicy Ahi Tacos, Mesquite Turkey Sliders, Fried Jumbo Shrimp with Cajun Tartar Sauce, and their infamous Mac n Cheese. Highly Recommend!

I'm always here for cool lighting.

I'm always here for cool lighting.

Of course, Aaryn and I had to do brunch on a Sunday because well..duh. I have been crowned as The Mimosa Queen and it is only fitting that we indulge in bottomless rounds for   five dollars   to start the day off right at Market Provisions in the Fairfax District.

Of course, Aaryn and I had to do brunch on a Sunday because well..duh. I have been crowned as The Mimosa Queen and it is only fitting that we indulge in bottomless rounds for five dollars to start the day off right at Market Provisions in the Fairfax District.

This is actually a moment that needed to be documented because I don't even like eggs, let alone fried eggs. But their "Breakfast Sandwich" with roasted turkey, melted gruyere, bacon, grilled onions, lemon aioli + 2 fried eggs on ciabatta was impeccable. 

This is actually a moment that needed to be documented because I don't even like eggs, let alone fried eggs. But their "Breakfast Sandwich" with roasted turkey, melted gruyere, bacon, grilled onions, lemon aioli + 2 fried eggs on ciabatta was impeccable. 

Did someone say "Happy Hour?" Maragaritas, of course.

Did someone say "Happy Hour?" Maragaritas, of course.

Tacos...in LA...Mandatory. Aaryn pretty much ordered her favorites for the table but I think we have two chicken street tacos, guacamole, lamb barbacoa skillet wit lamb slow roasted in an adobo sauce marinade , and calamari. 

Tacos...in LA...Mandatory. Aaryn pretty much ordered her favorites for the table but I think we have two chicken street tacos, guacamole, lamb barbacoa skillet wit lamb slow roasted in an adobo sauce marinade , and calamari. 

The view on Stocker will never get old.

The view on Stocker will never get old.

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I'm a sucker for views and landscapes so I'm sure you won't mind the obligatory airplane scenic pictures. I would be grateful because there are more where those came from.

It never fails. I come to LA, get comfortable, my skin clears up, I adapt a natural glow and then BOOM I'm on the next flight back to North Carolina with 30 degree weather. Despite the worst Mercury Retrograde that I've ever experienced taking place in all three cities, this was the best trip in a while. I got to see my aunt and uncle, my best friend, and my grandpa (not pictured). I need to start planning my next one soon. But after this tour, I'm thinking I should stay put for a while. Actually, I'll be honest with myself, traveling for a living would be the dream.

While on this "world tour," I did attend a few events that will be separate posts so make sure to check back soon! Have you ever been to any of the cities mentioned? If so, leave comments on your favorite places! Maybe even recommend a restaurant, store, or museum for me to stop by the next time I'm in town. 

World Tour: Series Part 3 - Vegas

So let's dive right in!

I feel super official because my big-girl job allowed for me to go on an all expense paid trip to VEGAS....FOR A WEEK! I felt so legit haha Also, this trip fell perfectly in line with my birthday so the world tour continued after Atlanta.

This was an experience I will never forget. I essentially work for an international company as a designer and every year, the company sponsors a national convention for our consumer segment/lifestyle. This year, moving from an intern to a full time employee, I was fortunate enough to attend this trip. One would think I was living it up in the night life, but I was definitely working and perfecting my craft. More importantly, I ate incredible food. I mean incredible! I probably ate at Wolfgang Puck's three times, an amazing Italian restaurant, an Irish pub and some others. As great as the food was, I was ready to head to my next destination, LA, by day three. None the less, I had a good time, learned a lot more about my job, and experienced Las Vegas in a different light.

Check out the pictures to get a glimpse of the places I visited!

I'm a sucker for views. This is before I landed in Las Vegas.

I'm a sucker for views. This is before I landed in Las Vegas.

I was on the 27th floor and the view when I woke up to the sunrise was impeccable. I could wake up every day with the sun shining through the blinds above a skyline. I have no problems with that.

I was on the 27th floor and the view when I woke up to the sunrise was impeccable. I could wake up every day with the sun shining through the blinds above a skyline. I have no problems with that.

Please note: Mercury Retrograde was taking place and I was not happy. This was the worst one that I'd experienced to the point where social media wasn't letting me post after editing images four. different. times. My work laptop wasn't working on random days. It was just too much. Did anyone else experience a tough time with technology or moods during this period?

Do not let this picture deceive you because the temperature was frigid! I mean low 40s, upper 30s with wind. I was shocked! I'm pretty sure my feet left the ground while I was on the strip at one point.

Do not let this picture deceive you because the temperature was frigid! I mean low 40s, upper 30s with wind. I was shocked! I'm pretty sure my feet left the ground while I was on the strip at one point.

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Jeff Koons x Louis Vuitton window display was perfection. This picture doesn't do it any justice. 

Jeff Koons x Louis Vuitton window display was perfection. This picture doesn't do it any justice. 

Ok, boom. I definitely don't eat beef on the regular but this roast beef panini with horseradish aioli and homemade steak dipping sauce  WAS HIT-TINGGG. *Insert clapping hands emoji between each syllable* Best sandwich I've ever had hands down.

Ok, boom. I definitely don't eat beef on the regular but this roast beef panini with horseradish aioli and homemade steak dipping sauce  WAS HIT-TINGGG. *Insert clapping hands emoji between each syllable* Best sandwich I've ever had hands down.

If you know me, you know I love my smoothies and I was feeling really heavy from all the meat and greasy food I was eating so I opted for a juice with 75% beets. WARNING!! Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT consume beets if you have plans for the rest of the day/night. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love beet juice, and probably one of the few who actually do, but this stuff is called a cleanser for a reason. 

If you know me, you know I love my smoothies and I was feeling really heavy from all the meat and greasy food I was eating so I opted for a juice with 75% beets. WARNING!! Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT consume beets if you have plans for the rest of the day/night. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love beet juice, and probably one of the few who actually do, but this stuff is called a cleanser for a reason. 

This Irish Pub had a very "Haunted Mansion" a la Disney vibe with floating statue heads but their bar was pretty cool. The salmon was so good that it didn't last long enough to get a picture.

This Irish Pub had a very "Haunted Mansion" a la Disney vibe with floating statue heads but their bar was pretty cool. The salmon was so good that it didn't last long enough to get a picture.

I'm all about ambience, aesthetics, and vibes. Fiamma Italian Kitchen was super authentic and had me sold. The menu was even in all Italian! Love.

I'm all about ambience, aesthetics, and vibes. Fiamma Italian Kitchen was super authentic and had me sold. The menu was even in all Italian! Love.

If you didn't know, over time I've become the girl that loves Christmas decorations.

If you didn't know, over time I've become the girl that loves Christmas decorations.

My first night in LV of course involved shopping. Although I didn't buy anything major, I made a stop in Urban Outfitter and found these vinyls by Sza (my fave) and Beyonce (MUVA). Of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't have a crazy story to go with it. As we are in the mall, all alarms start sounding and people continue to walk casually. The person that I am starts searching social media for hashtags, looking at the location's Snapchat, everything. At this point, the alarms went off for about 10-15 minutes and loudly might I add with high-voltage bright lights. The shoe store I was closed their doors...with us still there, advising no one to leave. Come to find out, there was a shooting on the strip between two men who got into an altercation. One pulled a gun on the other and the man was taken to intensive care. Of course, we read about the article from the news and the associates who worked at the store begin to panic. Long story long, everyone within the mall was ok and me and my friends were able to leave. Talk about a first night to remember! 

My first night in LV of course involved shopping. Although I didn't buy anything major, I made a stop in Urban Outfitter and found these vinyls by Sza (my fave) and Beyonce (MUVA). Of course, it wouldn't be me if I didn't have a crazy story to go with it. As we are in the mall, all alarms start sounding and people continue to walk casually. The person that I am starts searching social media for hashtags, looking at the location's Snapchat, everything. At this point, the alarms went off for about 10-15 minutes and loudly might I add with high-voltage bright lights. The shoe store I was closed their doors...with us still there, advising no one to leave. Come to find out, there was a shooting on the strip between two men who got into an altercation. One pulled a gun on the other and the man was taken to intensive care. Of course, we read about the article from the news and the associates who worked at the store begin to panic. Long story long, everyone within the mall was ok and me and my friends were able to leave. Talk about a first night to remember! 

Does anyone else have a soft spot for Haagen-Dazs? I grew up on this ice cream!

Does anyone else have a soft spot for Haagen-Dazs? I grew up on this ice cream!

Something about architecture and craftsmanship!

Something about architecture and craftsmanship!

Dinner this night was hilarious. We started at Morimoto, looked at the prices, and dipped out. We told our waiter we had an emergency. Haha how dumb. I usually am not one to be bougie about menu prices but this was a little more than we expected. Nonetheless, we ended up at this very Americanized restaurant instead. 

Dinner this night was hilarious. We started at Morimoto, looked at the prices, and dipped out. We told our waiter we had an emergency. Haha how dumb. I usually am not one to be bougie about menu prices but this was a little more than we expected. Nonetheless, we ended up at this very Americanized restaurant instead. 

I ordered the Spaghetti Chitarra and this was anything by ordinary spaghetti. Trust me. It had San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Basil, Parmigiano with Italian Beef Meatballs...please hold while my mouth is watering.

I ordered the Spaghetti Chitarra and this was anything by ordinary spaghetti. Trust me. It had San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Basil, Parmigiano with Italian Beef Meatballs...please hold while my mouth is watering.

On the last night, we ate at this cute tapas bar called Crush. The decor was a mix between modern and garden vibes. The drinks and food were amazing! Our waiter was super patient and recommended great items. This drink was one of their specialty cocktails called Punch, Drunk, Love. (Mint Infused Hendricks Gin, Lillet Rosé, Fresh Watermelon Juice, Fresh Lime Juice) Very refreshing!

On the last night, we ate at this cute tapas bar called Crush. The decor was a mix between modern and garden vibes. The drinks and food were amazing! Our waiter was super patient and recommended great items. This drink was one of their specialty cocktails called Punch, Drunk, Love. (Mint Infused Hendricks Gin, Lillet Rosé, Fresh Watermelon Juice, Fresh Lime Juice) Very refreshing!

Hair: Corey Paul Hair Studios | Sweater: H&M | Denim: Wrangler Heritage Jean  Unapologetic Selfie

Hair: Corey Paul Hair Studios | Sweater: H&M | Denim: Wrangler Heritage Jean

Unapologetic Selfie

When I travel, I try to order food that I wouldn't normally eat at home. What's the fun in that? But I'm also super indecisive but ultimately, I chose the Ravioli dish with Brussel sprouts and roasted carrots. 

When I travel, I try to order food that I wouldn't normally eat at home. What's the fun in that? But I'm also super indecisive but ultimately, I chose the Ravioli dish with Brussel sprouts and roasted carrots. 

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I was beyond excited to finally fly on Virgin America Airlines

I was beyond excited to finally fly on Virgin America Airlines

Next Up: Los Angeles

World Tour: Series Part 2 - Atlanta

To start the world tour off right, I decided to go to Atlanta! I hadn't visited the city in a few years and figured that would be the best way to bring in 25! Of course I made my way to Lenox Square in Buckhead a couple of times and I finally tried Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen! I heard about the famous restaurant and finally had the chance to experience it for myself.

I started my meal with their specialty drink called The Swamp Thing and ordered the andouille sausage gumbo appetizer. For the main course, Pasta Mardi Gras (without mushrooms). This was one of the most amazing meals I've ever tasted! The waiter was perfect with his suggestions and he was originally from the city where I currently live. Such a small world. Next time, I think I will try the Shrimp Etoufee. 

Hair: Corey Paul Hair Studios |Jacket & Boots: Forever XXI | Denim: American Apparel | Purse: H&M |

Hair: Corey Paul Hair Studios |Jacket & Boots: Forever XXI | Denim: American Apparel | Purse: H&M |

Later that night, my friends and I went to Amora. I wore an amazing dress from Sonyabees Boutique and matching booties from Aldo. Let me tell you I loved this "Happy Birthday" Crown because every one was buying me drinks. I think I'll be wearing one every now and again when I want special attention. 

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Unfortunately, I did not get my Saturday night outfit photographed but don't worry, I'm sure it will make another appearance soon. Overall, I had an amazing birthday trip with great people! I can't wait to see what else 25 has in store for me. 

Up Next: Las Vegas

10 Self- Care Practices to Get Your Week Started

Take it from me, Mondays are not easy. It can be difficult to get into work mode after not abiding by a schedule for a couple of days. Whether it's a Monday or your first day back from a vacation, look at some of the practices I use to get my mind right for the week.

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  1. Get a good playlist going
    • Music is literally my saving grace. It's my therapy, it's my friend, and sometimes puts me in check! But Spotify gets me ALL THE WAY TOGETHER! Apple Music and Tidal just haven't gotten the right algorithm to my liking. This morning, I woke up to a new playlist curated by Lauren Ash from Black Girl In Om entitled "woke + well." I love it! I've been listening it all day. 
    • Also, make sure to check out my friend Mieko's website to access all of her playlists for all of your listening needs. She's really dope and her love for music is so apparent, it's amazing! This LA native, now New York mover & shaker has a playlist for any mood. https://www.mieko.space
    • Lastly, I just started using a playlist for rain sounds on Spotify and it puts me right to sleep. I highly recommend this if you have trouble falling asleep. "This is: Rain"
  2. Plan Out Your Outfits
    • Trust me, if you aren't a morning person like myself, this is a huge help! I used to "see how my mood was in the morning" and let's just say the way my sleep schedule is set up, that never worked out. Do yourself a favor and pick out your clothes like your mom used to do in elementary.
  3. Take Time to ACTUALLY Wind Down
    • If you just hop in the bed, in my experience, your mind will be racing, thinking of a million different things. Get in the habit of setting a routine. Put new linen on your bed, and light a candle, and take a bath and rinse off in the shower (hygiene, people). This will definitely ease your mind and put you in a relaxed state.
  4. Read
    • Pick a designated time: during the day, right before bed, or first thing in the morning. Reading can really enhance your mind, your vocabulary, and get your mind off reality. I'm personally in the midst of reading rupi kaur's, Milk and Honey and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I believe if I read more now that I am not in school, my verbiage and writing will improve.
  5. Watch Your Favorite Youtuber/Interview with Your Favorite Musician
    • You can gain great insight and inspiration by listening to interview. Please see: Jay-Z, ET the Hip Hop Preacher, Nicki Minaj, Angela Rye, Dr. Dre, Tupac, Diddy, & Oprah
    • Ted Talks!
    • My fav you tubers: Charisse Christine + Kayla LaShae
    • Or you can be weird like me and watch cleaning videos. They're so satisfying! lol and they give great tips Check out this video by StyledBy Casanova
  6. Wash Day
    • Hair or Clothes, you choose. I find it super relaxing 
  7. Catch Up on Your Favorite TV Show
    • Recently, I discovered a plug to give me the link for all 8 seasons of Girlfriends on Youtube. Excuse me, while I try to maintain my excitement. Comment your favorite tv show at the moment!
  8. Self- Reflection
    • This might include prayer or journaling Whatever clears your mind and releases the negative energy you deal with on a day to day basis...choose that.
  9. Brew Tea
    • It might sound weird, especially you aren’t into tea like myself. But, there is literally a tea for everything. I have one to get me to sleep, one to wake me up in the morning, one for stomach aches, and the list goes on and on. It's one of my favorite beverages.
  10. Do NOTHING
    • Absolutely nothing! Sometimes you don't realize how much energy you exert until you just sit down. somewhere.

Let me know in the comments if these tips are helpful or if you already do some of the practices mentioned! 

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The Alchemist

Think I Got it Covered for the Weekend

*Sings Weekend By Sza*

Preface: This post will be all over the place because that's how my weekend was!

This weekend I went from absolutely no plans to booked AND busy! It seems like adulting after graduation is just as busy when I was in school. I initially didn't have solidified plans other than washing my hair and doing laundry but that quickly changed. I wanted to throw a birthday party for my two friends, I went out both Friday and Saturday night, went to Trap Yoga & ate goooood. I had an eventful weekend to say the least. 

I started my weekend on Thursday and met up with an old co-worker from my retail days at Banana Republic! I can tell you now that I am very annoying when it comes to choosing where to eat *insert typical meme about indecisive women.* She suggested Crafted, The Art of the Taco! I heard a lot of great things about the restaurant and was excited to try their Baja Chicken Tacos! I highly recommend it. Their guacamole is on point and authentic (v. important)! Hopefully, I can taste one of their mojitos during happy hour in the near future. For this day, I stuck with my water and admired her drink since I had to go back to the office.

 
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Of course I'm extra. Not only do I refer to my friends and inner circle as "My Tribe" because it takes a village haha but I volunteered to host a birthday gathering. Even though the birthday shindig, wasn't technically a party, I wanted to make my friends feel special! The result, a few bottles of spirits, decorations, burning some sage and these flyers! I think they're pretty dope if I do say so myself. I try to be as Pinterest-inspired as possible which ultimately landed me in target to decorate. I love a good photographic background so I made my 2nd installation (still a work in progress) featuring one of the Virgo babies. 

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Spontaneously, Saturday morning I decided to attend Trap Yoga in Charlotte and whatever you're thinking, multiply by 5! It was the perfect balance between ratchet and zen. Leave a comment if you want me to talk more about Trap Yoga Bae and the safe space she created for women of color to practice yoga!

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Since I was in Charlotte, I took a self-care moment and spent the day with myself! I was so relaxed after yoga but I needed to eat. I finally tried Chopt Creative Salad Company, a restaurant I bookmarked on Instagram. I never thought I would cherish a salad so much and for $14, I better!...Damn, guacamole. At least I had a snack later so technically it was 1 1/2 meals. Justification, is key people. Aside from the high price tag, I would go back! 

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I definitely had an eventful weekend, to say the least! Let's see if that's the case next weekend. Where did you do? Tell me below this post or let me know on social media!