See more of this easy, breezy Sunday look after the jump!
I’m still elated by the memories made on my very first international trip. Aruba was amazing: the beautiful beaches, the toasty weather, the friendly faces, the abundance of adventure. I wish it didn’t go by so quickly. Here are a few highlights from my vacation with a few close friends.
I flew out of LAX at 11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9 and could hardly contain myself knowing that soon enough I would be running wild in the Caribbean! The songs “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys and “Caribbean Queen” by Billy Ocean were on a constant loop inside my head. By the time I caught my connecting flight in Washington, D.C. — where I met up with my pals Yvette, Sierra, Corneka and James — it was beginning to feel like Christmas.
We were greeted at the airport by Yvette’s brother, who was kind enough to let us use his timeshare at Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club, and on the short car ride there, my eyes were wide, drinking in the sights.
After we got situated in the room (which, by the way, was a lovely two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite with a kitchen, living room and balconies facing the resort’s pools), the first order of business was to feed our growling bellies. Thankfully, we found Hadicurari, just steps away from the resort.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the things within our view while dining.
1. The designers of these Klub Nico Rosine D’Orsay Flats clearly had me in mind when creating these gems. Polka dots, cutouts and thin straps — all things I crave in a sensible shoe. (anthropologie.com)
2. I happened upon this website and was taken aback by all the awesomeness that it has in store. Take for instance this Pharaoh Sweatshirt. Looking for a hamburger sweater? Maybe a cat with huge round glasses? Perhaps a pepperoni pizza? You’re in luck because they have all three and much more. Take a gander! (shopjeen.com)
3. Hey now, Dopeciety! I’m loving this Fulani Shirt, which is sure to turn heads. (dopeciety.com)
4. There’s no denying I’m a So Cal girl. The Vans US Open of Surfing has become somewhat of a tradition between Best Friend Jr. and I. Looking forward to seeing Modest Mouse and catching a glimpse of the surf competition in Huntington Beach today. (usopenofsurfing.com)
5. If only there were one site where I could see a bunch of the cutest clothes and accessories in one central location. Wait, that’s what ootdstore.com is for. This Cut-out V-neck Blue Denim Suspender Dress has summer fun written all over it. And I just discovered Romwe in the process. A double win! (ootdstore.com)
1. QuellyRue Designs has won me over yet again with its Asantewaa: Warrior Queen Earrings, as the site says, an “ode to the mere woman who fought against the cannon gun.” I’m really loving the spikes juxtaposed with the kente fabric. Absolutely fierce! (quellyruedesigns.com)
2. This Menu Dropp!! Fruit Bowl in Deep Red would ensure that I have fresh fruit on hand at all times. (popgiftboutique.com)
3. Sometimes you have to let them in on the secret. This mermaid tank is all kinds of fun. (heartofhers.com)
4. I recently got hip to Vision Street Wear and I fully support these Canvas Hi-Leopard kicks. Rawwrr! (visionstreetwear.com)
5. If Bill Cosby was a pair of socks, he’d be these bad boys. So colorful. So ’80s. I love! (dillysocks.ch)
I stumbled upon this little gem on eBay and couldn’t resist. It’s a little eccentric, I know, but it was the horses and floral print on this Western-style hooded jacket ($15) that won me over.
Grand total: $15
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
This past weekend I celebrated my 29th birthday, and one of the festivities included a night of line dancing at Cowboy Country Saloon in Long Beach. Yeeehaw! That evening I paired a peplum top with bow cutouts with a flouncy skirt — tutu added for extra emphasis (I mean, it was my birthday after all) — and my trusty cowboy boots. In all, it was a wonderful weekend and I feel tremendously blessed that God has brought me this far, and that the best is yet to come!
Top: Fashion Island
Skirt: Forever 21
Tutu: Del Amo Swapmeet
Earrings: Hand-me-downs from Mama Dee
P.S. Special thanks to my bestie boo, Yvette, for snapping these wonderful pics of me 🙂
1. How cute is this alternative vacation idea? Santa Barbara Auto Camp provides lodging in these really swanky yet nostalgic campers, furnished with bathrooms, kitchens and dining areas. Plus, the Airstream campers come with two beach cruisers! I can just smell the adventure that awaits. This would be a fun weekend getaway for my birthday in July. (sbautocamp.com)
2. Miss KL, Karmaloop’s website catered to women, is having a 40-percent-off sale on shoes! While perusing the kicks, I was drawn to these Alicia Keys x Reebok Dubble Bubble Sneaker in Tribal Multi. In the words of Ms. Keys’ hubby, Swizzy, “Oh, you fancy, huh?” (misskl.com)
3. I’m a huge fan of handmade accessories, and I’m loving these April Earrings from Alodeuri, made from upcycled fabric rounds. What a nice way to add some sophistifunk to any outfit. (alodeuri.com)
4. Kate Spade is bringing sexy back this season with the Sexy Back Dress in Abstract. This flirty little number is making me wish it was summer already. (saturday.com)
5. I can’t get enough of these bralettes. H&M had a couple of these fun tops for perusal on its website. Oh how I wish they had their online store up and running. (hm.com)
Call me old-fashioned, but I’m the kind of person who still likes the feel of a magazine or newspaper in my hands (I suppose it’s the journalist in me), or a vinyl record or compact disc to thumb through the liner notes. And I don’t foresee that changing any time soon. I’m also one of those who finds great joy in receiving a handwritten thank-you card or a quick note. Why? Because it’s a rarity, with email and text messages the norm for communicating in today’s fast-paced world. The very act of writing by hand a message to someone is thoughtful and shows how much you care for the person on the receiving end. It brings a sense of warmth, seeing how the sender’s words flowed from pen to page in their very own, unique way.
Last September, my mom said this to me during one of her impromptu, half-serious rants: “Social media is for the birds. Let’s get back to writing notes on paper or pretty stationery.” Though the irony of her saying this via Voxer isn’t lost on me, the heart of what she meant has stuck with me. Last week when I had to mail something off to her, I thought I’d take the time to send her a quick note as well, just telling her that I love and appreciate her, and believe in her dreams and plans for her gift basket business (See image above). I think it was a pleasant surprise to my mom. We all need reminders and encouragements every now and then. Up next to receive a handwritten letter from me is my younger cousin, Alexis, who currently is in boot camp. I just know she thrives off of getting mail when she’s so far away and disconnected from everything.
That being said, we’ve decided to launch a letter-writing campaign. Not the kind where you gripe about something to your congressperson, but the kind that brightens days, brings smiles to faces and instills joy in the hearts of those who read them. By golly, we’re resurrecting the dying art form of handwritten messages. Who’s with us? (If this were a movie, I envision the slow clap starting right about … now)
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices.” Psalm 16:9
It’s only Tuesday and I’m already ready for the weekend! I rocked this outfit last month during my epic trip to the Bay Area for my bestie’s birthday. The itinerary for the evening? Lots of dancing. It was a typically eventful night in Downtown Oakland. We even got called “hipsters” by an angry resident. It was pretty great. The headwrap turned a few heads as well. I mean, it’s pretty hard to miss with all the bright colors and all. Also, fun fact: I found the mustard yellow shoulder bag at a garage sale for $5. Whammy!
Peplum Top: Nordstrom’s Rack
Skinny Jeans: C. USA
Headwrap: Garment District L.A.
Lipstick: Wet n Wild’s Purty Persimmon
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us, And we are glad.” Psalm 126:2, 3
I guess I could call this my Janelle Monáe-inspired look, too. It’s not uncommon for me to hear that I look like the spunky songstress when my hair is styled in a pompadour (mine, of course, a subdued version of her iconic look). And we can’t forget Ms. Monáe’s penchant for black and white. I, personally, am a huge fan of the color combination of black, white and gold. After hearing a great message at church this past sunny Sunday afternoon, I accompanied my friend, Linda, to Second Street in Belmont Shore, where we enjoyed good conversation, plenty of laughs and cupcakes from Frosted.
Shirt: 99 Cent Only store (Yes, you read that correctly! I tell ya, these pieces just jump out at me. No store if off limits!)
Skirt: Forever 21
Earrings: Hand-me-downs from Mama Dee
Purse (and added Scarf Accent): Thrifted
Sunglasses: Melrose Trading Post