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!

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 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

World Tour: Series Part 1 - Quarter Century

You're wondering where I've been? Well, I'm here to tell you that these past two months have been non-stop. The last part of 2017 has been bittersweet but after much thought, I would say more sweet than bitter. Every year, around my birthday, is always a time of reflection. I think about the people I surround myself with (also known as "My Tribe"), the decisions I made, the struggles I've endured along with my growth (because without struggle, there is no progress and trust me there will always be struggles). 

As usual, I wait until the last minute to make plans because that's the indecisive Sagittarius within me and it wasn't any different with my 25th birthday. I contemplated for months on how to celebrate this milestone birthday, yet I did not solidify any plans until a month before. What I did know is that I wanted it to be in a different city (what's new) and memorable. Check and check. I went to Atlanta for a weekend and had an amazing time. 

I never expressed this to anyone but there were many times were I didn't think I would make it to 25. I don't think it was because I thought I would die because of a tragedy, but simply because I couldn't envision myself as a 25 year-old. It's quite laughable the lofty goals and the high standards you set for yourself when you're a child. Here's what I had in mind when I was in high-school:

  • Married and have kids by the age of 26
  • Graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts
  • Be a fashion designer or fashion publicist like Kelly Cutrone, curating all of the hottest runway shows in New York& representing the dopest brands
  • Traveled the world and visit each continent
  • Owned three cars: Audi, Lexus, and Range Rover
  • Be a photo journalist after gaining recognition as a fashion photographer
  • Have fresh flowers in my apartment every week
  • Maintain a Sunday ritual of yoga, smoothies, journaling/reading

Not to say that these goals are laughable (except for marriage and kids) but it's interesting the timeline I set for myself. I was in such a different headspace where I had an idea of what my life should look like. I put enormous pressure on myself on a daily basis and I'm always seeking to achieve my next goal that I don't always relish in the accomplishments that I have achieved. It may not have been in the time frame that I was hoping for, but nonetheless I am pretty damn successful! I credit this to being determined, hard-working, restless, and relentless.

You know what they say: the dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately!

I also have one of the best support groups ever. Whether it is my mother, who I've seen raise a child by herself, establish and maintain her own business, instill great morals and self-confidence within myself. My aunt, uncle, grandfather and my friends show me what family and friendship really mean. I continue to grow tremendously with their support and help as I navigate these years of self-discovery. As a young adult, I question my decisions, thoughts, and re-evaluate my goals and it is comforting to know that I am not alone. As I write this post, I am trying to hold myself accountable with my thoughts and replace "you" and "your" with "me," "myself," and "I."

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2017 was the year of intention. I am claiming that 2018 is a year of execution. 

Ok, this was not how I intended this post to go but here we are! Be on the look out for pictures from my birthday weekend! What are you claiming 2018 to be?

Next Up: Atlanta

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!