Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Break (Part 1): Clothing Haul

My friend Lizette and I spent pretty much the entire Spring Break together. We met up in L.A and then drove to Las Vegas with her sister, her sister's boyfriend, and her cousin, in order to celebrate her birthday. We were in Las Vegas for the weekend and then drove back to LA. The next day, we took a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico (her sister, her, and I were the only ones that went on this little day adventure). We spent the rest of the break in L.A and then I flew to N.Y and then headed back to school. A lot of folks have wanted to hear about how each trip went, but also how I was able to afford it all. So I have decided to break it down here on my blog so that folks can get a better look at how I travel and do so affordably.

This blogpost, as you can tell from the title, will basically be a haul of what clothes we purchased for the trip. Being that I do not own much, in terms of summer clothing, Lizette and I went shopping. However, now that I think about it, she didn't really wear much of what she bought while we were on Spring Break, so I think it's safe to say that I benefitted most from the shopping trip (haha).

To start: nothing I purchased was over $10. I only shopped for what I needed and I only really needed a couple of casual dresses. I guess I can be described as being quite frugal; when it comes to shopping, I always try to spend as little as possible. If something is cute but not within my budget, it usually stays on the shelf . From my experience with traveling, the most expensive thing is usually my plane tickets (unless I purchase them way in advance, which is rare).

Liz and I ended up going to the Holyoke Mall; we woke up extra early on what I believe was a Saturday morning because she had work later that afternoon.

We went into stores such as: Forever21, H&M, JCPenny, and Guess, but ended up buying the majority of what we purchased from the Burlington Coat Factory (hence why everything I purchased was $10 or less). Don't sleep on Burlington, y'all.



First dress I purchased: $8.99- BCF
Liz: $8.99 from the BCF
We did a mini haul on SnapChat
(hence the photo captions).
Btw, if you don't already,
you should follow me on the Snap


BCF: $10

Babydoll Dress: BCF for $7.99
I ended up selling this dress because I didn't
really like it, but I got it for $10 at the BCF
Same dress Liz was wearing in her
look #3
I was tired of taking photos
so I just started acting silly (haha)



We purchased the same dress: BCF $10
I'm wearing it above (look #3)

Liz purchased this from a random store at the mall
I believe it was $19.99

After selling the dress I didn't quite like,
I ended up purchasing this dress
from a girl on my campus who was selling it for $10

                                                                           Bonus Buys:
While in L.A, I needed a pair of cute sandals.
I found these when Liz and I went to a swap meet.
Got em for only $5
I also purchased a bathing suit top from JCPenny with a gift card that I'd had for like 5 years. The top was like 24 bucks, but honestly, I just wanted to finally get rid of the card. I received the gift card in my senior prom gift bag from high school, so yeah, mad long ago. So as it turns out, I actually did purchase something that was over ten bucks, but I would consider this to be more of a gift. 

If you have questions about anything spoken about here, in part one, please feel free to leave a comment below. Also, stay tuned because there is more to come. There is a lot to cover so please bare with me.
-xoxo 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I Got Me Some Wigs

I am officially the owner of two synthetic wigs, y'all!!
How it happened: One day, I was chillin in my friend Diandra's room and we just started messing around with her wigs. I tried a couple on and there was one that I knew I had to have. It was a kinky haired wig that looked really natural.
Since I have locs and I'm not one to do much with my hair, mostly because I'm not skilled in that area and I'm too lazy to take the time to learn, wigs just seem like a cool alternative. Not to mention, I'd been missing my loose natural hair so discovering this wig came at a perfect time.
Pic that I took when I tried on my friend Diandra's wig (AKA: When I fell in love). 
My friend Diandra combed her wig out when she got it so the texture of the hair, in the picture above, is different from the one I received in the mail. I wasn't surprised because she let me know and showed me pictures before I ordered it. 

Pic of me with the wig (straight out the package)
When I first put it on, I was shocked by how full it was. Though I was excited and loved it, I should warn, that is does shed quite a bit. Also, like natural kinky (4c hair specifically) it tangles quite a bit so if you are not a fan of tangles, you might have to put in some work. However, I don't mind the tangles and the shedding all that much. Lastly, the cap is pretty roomy. My locs are not super thick but I do still have to usually plait them and then put on my wig cap before putting on the wig. It is adjustable so no worries there. Overall, I've been loving it. 

                                                             
Style #1
Style #2


Link to where you can find it is here.

I paid around $24 for the one I have and I got it in the color 1B. However, it looks like it has gone up a buck or two on Amazon, but in my opinion, that's still a steal. Also, if you have Amazon Prime, you don't have to worry about paying extra for shipping! So go on and cop you this here wig, child.  
Bonus Pic
Now the second wig is one that I purchased right before spring break. I didn't really end up wearing it because I was feeling the first wig way too much. The second one is a straight wig, which is probably why I wasn't feeling it as much. However, the texture is very much like that of 4c relaxed hair. It does tangle a bit, but that is an aspect that I like so I don't really mind it. The only thing that I dislike about the wig is that the lacefront is hard to work with. As a result, I had to often wear a headband because otherwise the lace would flip under and show all my business (haha). 
It also sheds quite a bit and I don't really like the way it's parted. I simply deal with the shedding by not manipulating the hair too much and, as it relates to the part, I kind of just create my own part by flipping the hair here and there until I feel that it looks and feels right.

I got this wig off of Amazon as well (link here). I purchased it for $29.99 in the color 1B, but, like the first wig, it seems to have gone up by a few bucks. This is kind of random, but I sometimes wish that I had gotten this wig in a fun color because it is straight and I have to wear it with a headband anyways, so my edges/the color of my hair doesn't even show. Regardless, it's a pretty decent wig.  


Wig #2

Bonus pic of me and my friend Diandra foolin around with her wigs.<3 b="" nbsp="">
Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. Also, if you have further question, feel free to ask away. 

-xoxo

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Danny Severance Out Here Gettin It

I met Danny Severance in Brooklyn, NY at an open mic at the Street Poet's Den. I was a freshman in college and was just getting into the NYC poetry scene. I'd been invited to the event by this really awesomely sweet and smiley guy named Kevin who worked security at an Urban Outfitters near West 4th in the village.
The Street Poets Den seemed to be a place where folks were unafraid to express their love and respect for the arts and it had an interesting air of community. Danny was one of the house musicians alongside members of what seemed to be his band. I was automatically impressed by his stage presence and by how free he seemed to be; he sang, he danced, he belted, and he played the shit out of his violin. His voice and stage presence stuck with me. When Danny sings, he exhibits a kind of fearlessness; he is comfortable with vulnerability in a way that gives him room to expand outward and touch his audience.
I am now a senior in college and I have continued to keep up with  Danny's progression as an artist.
While I was on spring break, he dropped a track on soundcloud called "Time to Go." The track was created in collaboration with producer Charlie Scovill. It is one of many tracks that they have been working on, meaning there will be more to come.

The track is extremely melodic, almost meditative and Danny's voice flows extremely well with the instrumental. It is almost as if he is floating above a calm stream of water. There are no drastic changes in pitch or tone, which makes the song easy to simply vibe to.
Though the track is smooth and Danny's vocals calm and calculated, there does indeed seem to be a battle going on underneath the surface, which I found present in the lyrics.
With all the political madness currently taking place within the U.S and all over the world, it's hard not to want to checkout sometimes. I am not at all saying that this is what the song is suggesting, but there definitely seems to be some negotiating taking place between being aware of the world around you and being in tune with your own being and where you fit in in regards to all of the madness.
In other words, the song seems to give one a chance to reflect on current events and question what it means to be present.

You can find Danny Severance on:
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud

If you happen to check out the song, please let me know what you think. I'm sure Danny would appreciate it as well.

xoxo

Friday, February 10, 2017

Artist I've Been Diggin: Khalid

The first song that I listened to by Khalid was "Location" because two of my friends were conversing about it. I have to admit, I didn't really like the song when I first heard it, but it eventually grew on me. After listening to "Location" I listened to "Shot Down" and I was automatically sold. "Shot Down" begins with a chant like harmony that comes back later on in the song and it seems to allow Khalid's voice to transcend to a completely different level of awesomeness; his voice is both harsh and smooth on the track and he flows on the beat quite well.

I would probably describe Khalid's sound as being similar to that of Sampha and ODIE, although Khalid probably falls somewhere in between the two. Nonetheless, their styles, though similar, are also distinctively different.

Most of the songs I've heard by Khalid have been about love and heartbreak, which can get cliche pretty quickly, but it seems to work for him. I also noticed that his voice has a sort of sluggish quality to it, which is something that you can either rock with or turn away from; I rock with it. I find his voice and his music to be quite soothing and in fact, for the past week or so, I've been listening to it while doing homework and other little tasks such as replying to emails.

If you happen to check his stuff out, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

--XOXO--

Other songs that I would recommend:
"Saved"
"Coaster"
"Reasons"
"Let's Go"

If you care to know a little bit more about Khalid: FADER did a cool little documentary about him which you can find here.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Several Mini Spiels Within a Mini Winter Break Haul

The semester has begun and things have been a bit hectic. I've been working hard to get settled and organized because I am taking 22 credits (again) this semester and I can't afford to let myself get behind. Not to mention, I have two big performances this month (one on Saturday and another in about three weeks). The first involves music; I am a part of an accapella group at my school and we are performing at an event for the BSA conference. The second is a play called The Vagina Monologues; I haven't had much time to devote to my lines, but after this Saturday hopefully I'll be able to dive in and have them memorized in no time. This past week I have been constantly telling myself, "Girl, you are a force," and it has been helping me stay motivated and on top of things. I have a lot to do, but I am determined to continue to pursue the things that I love while still maintaining a hold on my academic career. This blog is something that I told myself that I would try really hard to keep up with, despite my workload, and I am going to do just that. 

So without further ado, I'd like to share some of the items I purchased and received over the winter break. 

  Black Ripped Jeans and Cut out Top from Danice Clothing Store (Barclays Center Mall) 
So this is literally what I wore for New Years Eve. My friends and I decided to go out to this bar in the city and I wanted to look cute but casual. I did my makeup, wore a really awesome headwrap, and put on my all black Vans. I wanted to be as comfortable as possible so that I would be able to dance and have a good time (mission accomplished).

These next few clothing items were a gift from my uncle who apparently thinks that I am going to take over the corporate world (never going to happen). He insisted that I shop for some "nice things," aka clothes deemed appropriate for interviews and such so he took me to JCPenny's. While we were out shopping I was wearing ripped jeans and a Nirvana tee so as you can imagine,  I do not often wear "nice things." 
I am currently in the middle of trying to secure a summer internship so if/when I land one, my uncle will probably be the first person I call and tell. Fwi, everything I picked out was on sale. I don't know if it's just me but whenever something is on sale, I start to wonder if everything we buy is constantly being overpriced (major possibility) and whether or not it could actually be sold for a "low-price" all the time (definitely could be). This thought frustrates me and is one of the reasons why I am not a very big shopper.


Bisou Bisou Michele Bohbot Black and Burgundy Dress Size 6
Originally $60 but it was sale so I got it for $22.29
Studio One New York Lace Navy Dress Size 4
Originally $72 but it was on sale so I got it for $26.74


Black Worthington Blazer Size 6
Originally $70 but it was on sale so I got it for $37.15

Liz Claiborne Ponte Casual Pants in Heather Grey and Navy Blue 
Originally $48.00 but they were on sale so I got them for $22.28 each
So in looking at the original prices versus the sale prices, do you see what I mean...? It's pretty wild, but anyways, lastly, my uncle got me a new carryon bag from Marshalls: Kenneth Cole Reaction 8 Wheelin Expandable Luggage Spinner Suitcase in Dark Green (suggested retail price is $200, but Marshalls sold it to us for $64.49. Four years ago I purchased a Tommy Hilfiger carryon bag for only $10 so if you are looking for luggage, don't sleep on Marshalls because they just might have what you need.
Both bags are pictured here

The carryon suitcase looks a  bit  like this, but it's dark green and the interior is a little different.


The next two photos include things that were all gifted to me via friends and family.

Necklaces, Chokers, Earrings, etc that were gifted to me by a good friend, my aunt, and my cousin

The majority of the things in this picture were gifted to me by my aunt and cousin, but the moose and snowflake socks were gifted to me by my mom
Last but not least, technically I did not purchase these boots (below) over the break because I got them when I got back to school, but I was so excited about them that I thought I should include them. So my school has a Facebook page where students can sell and exchange things. The day I got back to campus, someone was selling these boots for $20; I'd been looking for boots like these for quite some time. These particular boots are Cougar boots, they are usually quite pricey due their quality (they are waterproof and super warm). I looked these specific ones up online (Cougar Zag Waterproof Ankle Boot Black Deertan Leather) and they were priced for about $180. The person who sold them to me said that she had only worn them once (I literally could not even tell).


I think I'll call these my $20 "miracle boots" because not only did I get them at a great price, but they are super comfortable and stylish :D 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Winter Break: NYC, Florida, and Georgia (semi mini tales)


The day after completing my last final exam, I hopped on a Peter Pan bus and headed home to NYC (brooklyn to be exact). I hadn't visited home the entire semester so I was really excited to see my family and friends. For the first couple of days, I slept like nobodies business (I had just completed a 22 credit semester, I was exhausted). Since my family in NY does not celebrate Christmas (or any holiday for that matter), I am going to skip to NYE.
My friends and I on NYE

For NYE I ended up going  to a bar in Manhattan (Keybar) with two of my really good friends; we had an absolute blast. That night was my first time rock'n out to House music and it was an all around dope first time experience.

Book I read on the plane
(Highly recommend) 
Me chill'n at my aunt and uncle's house 
 Shortly after NYE, I flew down to Florida to visit my aunt and uncle. It had been a whole year since I'd seen them so I was super excited. Although they were often working during my visit, I still got to spend a good amount of time with them. We engaged in endless conversation about the new president and how the world was doomed (jk, but we definitely watched a lot of news and talked a lot about current events).When they were at work I would watch Netflix, read, write, and take random naps; it was absolutely fantastic.

On Sunday the 11th, I went to Georgia to visit my cousin who also runs a blog here on blogspot. Though my visit was only for a couple of days, we spent a ton of time together. We went on a tour of SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and then the next day we went back so that she could do a photoshoot for her blog. I had the privilege of directing and assisting the shoot which was such a great experience (and 2). After the shoot, we went to this really dope eatery called the Funky Brunch Cafe. I got a bomb veggie omelette, banana pancakes, and some fresh squeezed orange juice (best brunch spot I've ever been to).

Helping my cousin with her blog and pretty much everything we talked about that day is really what motivated me to get back to blogging consistently. So far, it has been a major pleasure and I am super glad that I decided to do it.
Blooper pic, from my cousin's shoot, that I captured
 After Georgia I went back down to Florida. Before heading back to my aunt and uncle's place, I went to visit my dad in St. Augustine; I stayed at his place for about a week. Though St. Augustine is beautiful in its  own right, but it's not a place that I would ever want to live (again). I was glad that I got to see my dad and some old and new friends, but honestly, visiting is always so strange. I always always end up feeling out of sorts when I'm there, almost as if I'm in The Twilight Zone and I hate feeling that way. Side note, The Twilight Zone is a pretty dope show, but I'm just saying.  
When the week came to an end, I headed back to my aunt and uncle's place and stayed there until I had to catch my flight back to NYC. The night before I was to leave, I was worried that my flight would be delayed because there was a tornado watch, but the rain stopped before morning and my flight was on time.
I flew Delta both ways
When the plane was flying into NYC however, it was raining and quite windy so we experienced some turbulence; there was a woman seated next to me who was completely terrified. She had been asleep for most of the ride because she took some sort of pill, but during the turbulence, she woke up and I thought she was going to puke (she didn't). It was weird because I wanted to comfort her somehow but I didn't really know how. It probably would have been super weird of me anyways, plus, when I'm like that, I usually prefer to be left alone so I decided to push myself up against the window in an attempt to give her as much room as possible. She was fine in the end, but as soon as we landed she called someone up on the phone and went off about how annoying the turbulence was (haha).
After being in NY for  two days,  I had to head back to MA for school. All in all, I had a pretty wonderful break. I reconnected with family and friends, I traveled (a lot), I slept (a lot), and I devoted time to reviving this blog. I am currently working on planning a trip to California for spring break. I will be sure to takes lots of pictures and document the entire trip so stay tuned for that.

xoxo

Thursday, January 26, 2017

$5 saving challenge

Sometime last month, I saw this post on Facebook where someone said that they'd saved every five dollar bill they'd received throughout the entire 2016; in the photo they were holding a huge stack of five dollar bills.

The three 5 dollar bills I've saved so far, in
an old talenti gelato container.
fwi: It was Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup ;)
My grandmother was the first person to ever really teach me anything about saving money although, growing up poor helped me as well (when I was younger I would save every penny and I never wanted to spend anything). Now that I'm older and know what it is to work for a dollar and have to pay for my own living expenses, I've learned a bit more about saving and how it differs from hoarding. However, I also understand how difficult it can sometimes be to save when every dime you make has to go towards a living expense.

The day before heading back to school, I saw that I had three five dollar bills in my pocket and remembered saying to myself, a month ago, that I wanted to try the $5 challenge. I am not sure how much I will actually be able to save because I rarely ever carry cash, but I am going to try it out anyways.

If you think this is something that you might like to try, let me know in the comments section below.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Music I've Been Turning to For a Little Peace and Relief

When I'm stressed,upset, or simply not feeling my best, I find a strange sort of comfort in isolation. I shut down and try to focus on being present in my body. Sometimes this means sitting by myself in silence, writing terrible poetry, or crying until the world seems blurry and far away, but more times than not, it means enveloping myself in the world of music.
With this being the case and the state of affairs being what they are, I wanted to share some of the artists, songs, and albums that I have been turning to for peace and relief (listed in no particular order).

"Something in the Way" by Nirvana:
This song is one that I tend to turn to when I just need to pause and take a step back. On many different occasions, I have turned it on, closed my eyes, cried, and been completely transported. It is a stunningly beautiful song that has such a meditative quality about it; which I believe stems from not only the way Kurt Cobain sings it (very controlled and deliberate), but from the repetition and the songs all around pace and tempo.



"Indecision" by Sampha: 
Similar to "Something in the Way," Sampha's "Indecision" is extremely meditative due to the songs lyrical repetition. Sampha's delivery and the songs upbeat tempo gives me a sense of hope and possibility. During finals week for example,  I had it on repeat and it helped me make it to the finish line with my confidence intact. There is something so magnificent about his voice and when he repeats, "let it all work out," my soul believes him.

                                                       

Solange's A Seat at the Table:
The entire album is a magnificent work of art. I have listened to it way too many times to count  (thank you Amazon Prime). In fact, I listened to it the other night as  I relaxed in a nice warm bubble bath; it's fantastic.
The three songs that I tend to reach for include, "Mad" (I really dig Lil Wayne's contribution and presence on the track), "Weary," and of course, "Cranes in the Sky." Solange created an unapologetically black, heart shatteringly beautiful album. The way in which she addresses things such as mental illness, racism, and systematic oppression makes it almost impossible to see the beauty without acknowledging the concrete that it had to fight to grow from. The album has done extremely well since its release and it is safe to say that it will definitely go down in herstory.

Ray Lamontagne- (Albums) Gossip in the Grain and Trouble:
So to be completely honest, I think I would be extremely suspicious of anyone who has a hard time appreciating or acknowledging Ray Lamontagne's musical talent. I fell in love with him shortly after hearing him sing the first couple of notes of his song "Trouble." The raspy quality of his voice has the power to speak to every ounce of pain you may harbor and caress wounds you never even knew you had. I often listen to Gossip in the Grain when I am anxious about the future. Some of my favorite tracks off of the album include, "You Are the Best Thing," "Let It Be Me," and "A Falling Through." When it comes to the album Trouble, I often listen to it when I'm having a hard time believing that love truly exists in the world ("Jolene" is probably my favorite song off of the album). I am absolutely grateful for however it is that I came across his music.

BONUS TRACKS:
I recently stumbled upon this really dope artist who goes by the name ODIE on soundcloud. It happened when I was watching a makeup tutorial on youtube (the beauty guru featured one of his songs in her video). I literally stopped the video and went to find out who he was. From there, I commenced to listening to all of the songs listed on his page. The song that got me hooked was "My Own," but I literally love all of his songs, granted there aren't that many listed on his page. However, he does collabs with other people, specifically someone named Ya'qob; I believe together they make up a group called UNITE.
Link to his soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/odiexyz 

Lastly, there is this really awesome indie folk playlist on youtube that I found sometime last year that I absolutely love. It's a very chill lineup that is good for relaxing or even getting a bit of work done (I'm listening to it right now actually). I honestly think that it is dope from start to finish.
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pliDsyfUXcg



If you have any song or artist suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. I really do love learning about and listening to new music. Also, if you happen to check out any of the music I listed above, let me know; whether good or bad, I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Onward and Upward
xoxo