Current Favorites

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Keeping Up With The Kardashians & other Social Media Shit

If you are Keeping up with the Kardashians where does that leave anyone that doesn't look like them?

I was having chat with a friend at #brunch about who is successful on social media in the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle communities and why. 

No surprise here, but the media impacts social media and influences interest based on who is most widely seen. 

The media = the blueprint
Social media emulates that blueprint 

You have probably seen that hashtag #representationmatters well, I hope you have seen it. Without representation, the underrepresented seep into the background and the message of not having someone who looks like you on TV, magazines, or movies causes a prodding "why is there no one who looks like me in the public eye?" question.

There is a gap in who is represented - kind of like when you can't find your correct foundation color. When I go to the explore page on Instagram, I am suddenly viewing non-poc ass cheeks and lip fillers. I love big lips and thick legs as much as the next person who enjoys a snack and I have no qualms with plastic surgery or enhancements but why is this trending so much now when it was looked down upon or overlooked just a few years ago? I truly feel that the majority of where this trend came from in American culture has been largely influenced by the Kardashians. I hate to call physical attributes a trend, but unfortunately that is what they have now become. 

If you don't want to read about race this is your chance to click away. 🙃

Physical attributes are not respective to any one particular ethnicity or race. However, whether you agree or not, black women have typically been categorized for having voluptuous bodies and fuller lips. Why did it take women who are not African American to make these attributes more widely acceptable and appear more high profile? 

The Kardashian women are gorgeous and their aesthetic is on lock. Kris Jenner knows she can make a profit but it is no secret that their brand has capitalized and gained huge profits from ripping off black culture. Bo Derek / boxer braids, Grills, Kendall's Pepsi commercial.
Come on.

Their aesthetic has created a blueprint for non-woc to emulate to on social media. Some of my favorite Instagram accounts with thousands or even a few million followers house beauties that mimic the look and aesthetic of Kylie or Kim. That is not to say they are not talented in their own respect, but looking like someone who is already famous definitely does not hurt their chances of social media success.

I am not here to bash the Kardashians or any social media stars who have gained success from an opportunity they have created but just to have a conversation on why is it important to keep challenging the images and ideas constantly being pushed in our faces.  

Still with me? 

I am loving Yara Shahidi, Zendaya, and Rihanna to name drop a few but they're all light skinned beauties. Since there is less representation of brown skinned women in the public eye, I feel we don't have a blueprint for social media so we do not look as familiar to people. I am not saying you have to copy someone else's image to be successful but less familiarity will be challenging for viewers because the underrepresented may be seen as less relatable. More importantly, lack of seeing someone who looks like you could create self esteem and mental health issues. 

There are so many factors of social media success and what I've written just touches on a few of those factors but one beautiful aspect of social media is that people who once may not have had a voice, now do. 

The solution seems be to create that blueprint that may not yet be in the eye of the media.  

It may sound cliche, but being the change you want to see is the only way to start something new.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

How to Win At The Beach Your Labor Day Weekend Getaway Guide

Summer's over when you say it's over and I am headed to Rockaway beach a few more times this season. If you are like me, you are dreading the brutal winter that lies ahead and hanging onto everysingle, last warm day.

Labor Day weekend is coming up (hell yeah) so why not spend it relaxing under the warm sun, sipping a cocktail, with your toes in the sand? Grab your girls, pack a bag, and live your #bestlife. 

You'll need a few essentials before you hit the sand, so read on if you want to know how to win at the beach. 

What You'll Need:

The Beach Bag

I ordered the cutest beach bag from Amazon! It's huge and has tons of pockets for keys, valuables, and space for all of your beach essentials. It also came with a phone case to prevent sand from ruining your life... I mean phone. 

Mini Booze Bottles

BYOB duh. Before your trip, buy a bunch of mini bottles of whatever booze you like to sip on. When you get to the beach: grab a cup of ice, a drink of your choice to mix said booze with, then mix your own drink to quench your thirst with your delicious cocktail. The mini bottles win over the big bottles because they will not weigh your bag down or break because they're plastic. You're welcome. 

The Cocktail Cups

Ok - you cannot just mix your drink in a plastic cup because it will spill out and probably get sand inside when the wind blows. Grab some metal wine cups with a lid so a bug doesn't ruin your drink and so that your drink stays nice and cold. Love these!

The Beach Towel

The towel design is now important because Instagram is a thing. You'll want it to look good for whatever your IG aesthetic is and be functional to dry off after a dip in the ocean. I found my towel on Amazon because I'm addicted to Prime. 

The Bathing Suit

Finding the perfect bathing suit can be hard but I love options from HM and Zara. Make sure it's cut for your body type that way you look 🔥 in pictures and on your story.

Snacks, Shades, and Sunscreen

Shades are a must when strutting down the boardwalk or laying in the sand but put on your sunscreen first. I get most of my shades on the street in Harlem, but you can find cute ones online. Shein or Gucci - your choice. For the snacks? Prepackaged is the way to go to but beware of hungry seagulls because they are not afraid to swoop down and steal your skinnypop popcorn! Yep. That happened to me.

Your favorite Reads

Lounging in the sand is the perfect time to catch up on the book you've been meaning to read or to flip through your favorite magazine. I am a hopeless romantic and love, love, loved "A Duke by Default" by Alyssa Cole. I also brought along an issue of Marie Claire for the ferry ride to the beach. 

How to get there:

One thing I love about NYC is that you're never too far away from the water. To get to Rockaway beach you can take a comfortable and scenic ride on the ferry from Wall Street/Pier 11 and it's only $2.75 one way. The beach is about a 15 minute walk from where you will be dropped off and most importantly you can drink on the boat. #winning :)

Where to Stay:

I stayed at a new and very Instagrammable hotel called the HighTide Hotel. Only one block from the beach and there are a range of rooms: some rooms can hold 2 people and some up to 6 people. I stayed in suite #9 which was very Instagrammable and super comfortable. You can book through AirBnb! 

With this guide you'll be sure to win at the beach! Ready to go?

This post is not sponsored.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Haven’t been to Broken Shaker? Here’s Why You Need to go Before Summer Ends

 I love cocktails, I love views and Broker Shaker is the perfect combination of the two. After venturing to the top of the Freehand hotel on Lexington Ave in my Urban outfitters shorts and cute black top, I was pleasantly surprised by the crowd and vibe. 

Tropical bars seem to be the new New York trend and Broken Shaker definitely didn’t disappoint. Here’s why…

Plenty of Seating

Okay so standing up and mingling is cool and all but after a while it’s nice to sip sitting down. There is lots of indoor and outdoor rooftop seating for you to take a load off while enjoying the space

The Drinks Actually Contain Booze

Don’t you hate when you get a drink but it’s basically, well…juice? Yeah, you won’t have that problem here because the drinks are nice and strong. 


Don’t you also hate food that’s expensive but too small and you only get one bite if you’re sharing with friends? ☹ The snacks and spreads on the menu are pretty much all sharable and after a few drinks a sharable snack always sounds good. If you are still not satisfied, you can grab the chicken sandwich or a thick burger & fries

Summer Will Be Over Soon 

*Cries* Soak up every last bit of summer you can before NYC turns back into an arctic tundra

It’s Instagrammable 

We know what we do is for the gram. Anyone who watches your story will want to be where you are. #facts 


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Venice Vibes, Gelato, & Gondolas | Travel Guide for Venice, Italy

The thought of Venezia, Italia alone makes me want to marvel and cry at its alluring and captivating beauty. Ok, so that may be dramatic, but I really was almost brought to tears when I first laid eyes on Venice. City number two on my 10-day solo trip to Italy and it was love at first sight. 

Since there are no cars in Venice, I explored the romantic and ethereal floating city mainly on foot but a Gondola ride at sunset on the Grand Canal is an absolute must do. Gondola rides cost about €60 during the day and a painful €80 around the time of sunset. 

Alas, my sunset gondola ride was absolutely free thanks to an admiring and generous Venetian Gondolier who kindly offered his services free of charge. He even let me stand up on the Gondola to row the boat and I somehow managed to not crash it into an Italian wall. If you want to see how that all played out, peep my Italy vlog part 2! 

What to do in Venice:

Visit St Marks Square – Beautiful church. Get ready to be serenaded by live music in the charming square. Skip the food and drinks though...super pricey because it is a main tourist area. 

Eat at Terrazza Dei Nobili - Lovely restaurant right on the water with serene and calm views. I ordered pizza, a glass of crisp rosé, and sat for hours.

Buy an Italian Leather Handbag - Italian leather shops are everywhere and are full of a TON of leather goods. The price ain't even that cray but fyi, they're usually cash only.

Walk Across the Rialto Bridge – The biggest bridge in Venice. Early morning or late at night are best times to snap the perfect pic for the gram. 

Eat Gelato Wherever - Pick a gelato shop. Order gelato. Eat gelato. Repeat. 

Sip a Bellini at Skyline Rooftop Bar - On top of the Hilton on an island across from Venice you will find this gem. Order a fresh Bellini and take in the Venice skyline. Ok, so you need someone with a boat to get to this location but if you can swing it, it's worth it. 

Go No Where in Particular – Get lost on foot in the Venetian streets and enjoy the sweet life. #wanderlust

Take a Gondola Ride at Sunset - See above. 

Pro Tips in Venice:

There are no cars in Venice. Only transportation is via foot or boat

Google Maps doesn't really work. You will get lost and it’s ok. Just gwtf 

Ask your hotel concierge or Airbnb host for directions to the location you will be staying BEFORE you get to Venice

There are a lot of stairs and bridges so comfy shoes are a must. I saw a struggling girl wearing heels and shed a tear for her

Stretch your calfs and quads at the end of the day because who wants to be sore on vacation aintnobodygottimeforthat.

  1. a strong desire to travel...and I did just that. 


Sunday, August 12, 2018

14 Ways New York City living will hurt your feelings

  1. Your terrible neighbor in the apartment above you non-stop playing the piccolo
  2. When you swipe your Metrocard and begin to rush through to catch your train but get punched in the pelvis by the locked turnstyle to look back and see "insufficient funds" 
  3. Kraft grated parmesan cheese $8.49? It's expired??
  4. When you discover your train is not running and are now stranded in your own borough 
  5. Never-ending winters = cold tundras of depression 
  6. Rent :'(
  7. Sitting is a wet spot... pls help.
  8. When the train stops underground and the conductor says it's because of train traffic but how could it be because you waited 19 minutes for this train
  9. When your favorite bodega on the corner near your apartment goes out of business. RIP
  10. Random pee smells
  11. When someone holding the top railing on the train has their arm pit only inches away from your face and their BO is wafting in your direction when you're smushed on the 6 train. No escape
  12. Gross AC water dripping on you
  13. When the "not in service" bus rides past empty leaving you discouraged in 27 degree weather and finally...
  14. LaGuardia airport in general 


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Oh My Milan: A Glamorous Guide & Pro tips to live your best life in Italy

Ahh, Milan. Chic, stylish and effortlessly fashionable. Italy had been on my to do list since I was in college, so booking my ticket for a 10-day solo trip was long overdue. There are so many beautiful cities in Italy that I wanted to visit so it was difficult choosing where to go. I managed to hop over to Milan, Venice, Rome, Pompeii, and Positano. Yeah, kind of a lot but time well spent. 
So, American me landed in Milan, Italy. 

Praise be after the 8-hour red eye. One long and troubling commute to the center of Milan later, I finally made it to my Airbnb in the trendy neighborhood of Brera. As soon as I freshened up and stepped outside, I was in awe of the cute streets and shops filled with Italian leather goods and gorgeous gowns. 

My eyes widened and sparkled at the Milanese style and at the finely dressed, tall, dark, and handsome Milanese men. 

I loved the vibe of Milan and could easily see myself living there. *downloads Duolingo app to learn Italian* I wandered this city for about 4 days and I’m convinced my heart is still somewhere in those Italian streets. If you want the visual of my experience in Milan, check out my Italy vlog on my YouTube Channel!

Where I Went:

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – High-end shopping + insanely breathtaking architecture. Go in the little café above Prada. Fancy af. 

Miss Sixty Café – Perfect for grabbing a delicious tiramisu and cup of tea in a girly spot.

Duomo Di Milano – Stunning Church. Pigeons galore. 

Terrazza Aperol – Trendy rooftop bar with views of the Duomo. Great aperitivos in the evening. 

Montenopoleone – Highest of the high-end shops in the Fashion district of Milan. If you have a sugar daddy or just some serious Euros to burn this is your district. Less touristy than Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Be ready to see a Ferrari or Maserati.  

PaniniDurini – Perfect little eatery for a croissant and fresh orange juice in the morning. Buongiorno.  

Casa Infante – YOU MUST GO HERE FOR THE ORGASMIC GELATO. Thank me later. 

N Ombra de Vin – Bar with lots of beautiful locals and cocktails. Great nightlife. Gets crowded so be sure to stand by someone good looking which will not be hard. 

Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo - Pizza perfection. 

Outlet stores near Montenopoleone – Do yourself a favor and stop into an Italian outlet store. Once again, thank me later. 

10 Corso Como – This place has a bit of everything in one creative space. An art gallery, rooftop views, high end shopping, quirky novelties, garden restaurant, indoor lounge, books, everything! Stay for a drink and dinner after you’ve wandered through all the levels.

Where I Stayed:

Brera District – Artsy, fresh, lots of shops, restaurants and nightlife. Close to the Metro, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the Duomo, and N Ombra de Vin.

Pro tips while in Milan:

Let your personal style come out. People will appreciate the effort you put into your look and gravitate towards you because of it.

This is the place to break out your designer everything. Shoes & bags - flaunt it.

Use your sauce and accept the free drinks, dinners, and good vibes that follow.

Be ready for the cigarette smoke.

Women tend wear heels in the evening around 6pm. Not a flat in sight. 

Ditch the bodycon dresses for nightlife. Sexy chic is the way to go. 

Enjoy the sweet life, eat the food, and live your life how you want. 


Blogger templates by pipdig