Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Daily Style - That Blogger Hustle

The other day I had an interesting experience, I was out running errands sans kids in workout clothes, big hair in all it's glory and made a trip to the tailor to get some things hemmed. I was pretty excited about the task because it's been on my list for a while and I was finally checking it off and I was looking forward to the upcoming events that required the trip in the first place. After mentioning I worked from home as a writer the seamstress asked what I wrote and I stated that I wrote about beauty + style on MommyNoire and For Harriet as well as ran this blog, she looked at me quizzically and said, but who would pay you to do that? "

Ha. I couldn't help but chuckle at the question. As a blogger /freelance writer it's something I get asked regularly and it's one that I am often un-inclined to answer to strangers. It's hard to explain your written work as art to someone who isn't about that internet life. Or who has no concept of how and why articles are written or that a "regular" person like myself is the voice behind some of these great articles on style. Particularly when I'm not looking super stylish myself.

It's what I do. Yes I am a writer. Yes, I am a blogger. I am a storyteller and this is how I make my living. It's not a typical gig and for that I am both blessed and sometimes cursed, because deadlines don't care about sick kids or unexpected changes to schedule. Being creative everyday is tough, it seems like it's all sunshine in roses but let me tell you writing over 300 words on one type of boot can be a stretch to anyone's fashion vocabulary. And I love it. I wake up each day knowing there are things I want to write about and that I have a platform for my voice. A space to share my ideas and thoughts on life and then, and then, someone is also paying me to discuss style, fashion, beauty and motherhood which I do all anyway. I mean, does it get any better than that?
I am, for all intents and purposes, living my dream. But to do that I have to hustle.

That doesn't mean that I sit around all day and just watch TV and chase after Baby Ninja. No, I actually spend the majority of time pitching work. I like to keep work lined up so that when one project ends there is always one more waiting in the wings. This mama hustles hard in order to keep up with the rest of the world that's working 40 hours at a consistent wage. Hustling in this day and age is no longer what it once was, a somewhat derogatory term about a person's profession, these days, the word is both verb, noun and adjective, and more of a testament to your work ethic. 

So of course, when I went back to pick up my items I had to wear this shirt. It seemed only right to rep my industry and let her know my hustle is just as real as hers. My blogging boo Mimi Cutelips, whom I met last summer at Blogging While Brown, posted a photo of a tee she got from Blogalicious / Tees In The Trap and as soon as I saw it I was a smitten kitten and knew I needed to make it mine. Because blogging. And hustlin'. Because life. And Tees In The Trap. 
Also, it's stupid soft and y'all know how much I love my graphic tees. Paired with my tried and true torn skinnies and leopard skimmers it's the perfect uniform for this busy mama. Between chasing Baby Ninja and runnin Sweet Pea around. With the summer like temps we've been having during the day but cooler mornings and evenings this makes it easy to throw on a sweater or jacket of some kind. I can switch up my shoes add a swipe of lipstick and I'm ready for the next event! 
Also- can I just say how much I am LOVING my hair? I mean. I really have no plans to switch things up anytime soon as it's just too easy to get up and go each day. I mean, my only concern in the mornings are my eyebrows and which shoes to wear. It doesn't get much better than this.

What's your go to look for everyday? 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Maverick Monday: Macy's "The Style of Soul Era" with June Ambrose

"I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own."

If you've been reading this blog for some time you know that I have a massive girl crush on celebrity stylist and rock mom June Ambrose. Not only are we born in the same month (days apart to be accurate) and have a deep love for style but I truly admire her work ethic and am impressed with how she manages her busy career and role as mother. Not to mention that  her shoes are to die for and with all her videos and flipagrams, she is absolutely one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram.
So when I found out that Macy's would be honoring Black History month by hosting events all over the country with June and costume designer Johnetta Boone that celebrate the Soul Era in fashion and design, I jumped at the chance to attend. These ladies are icons in the fashion world having worked with everyone from Beyonce, Jay-Z and Will Smith and have been featured in magazines all over the world as well as VH1 and HBO. And now both of them are going to be at a Macy's near you!

Do you die? Because, I totally did! I've been wanting to meet June for a long while and it seems that 2015 is finally my time!
I'm excited to be attending the Soul Era event on February 26 in Los Angeles and I may or may have not danced around my office upon receiving confirmation because I could NOT contain my excitement!  There's no purchase necessary to attend and it's guaranteed to be a great evening. If you don't live in L.A. there are still a few more stops on the tour!
  • Macy’s State Street (Chicago) – February 19, 5:30 pm
  • Macy’s Union Square (San Francisco) – February 25, 6:00 pm

So go here: http://bit.ly/MacysBHM2015  for more information on how to get tickets to the event closest to you. And if you're in L.A. come on out and say 'hey girl hey' to me! I'd love to see you, talk fashion and take an 'usie'!

As a child of the 70's I'm slightly obsessed with fashion from that era and love looking at old photos of my parents and their friends as well as iconic magazine spreads and random archives from that decade of over the top fashion and accessories. The 60's and 70's are my favorite era of fashion and I'm looking forward to the panel discussion and fashion show. I'm semi in search of a fabulous jumpsuit from that era and hope to be inspired even further by the evening.

Oh and did I mention there's a chance to win a makeover by June Ambrose? Yeah. GET ON THAT!
Visit Macys.com/celebrate between February 1, 2015 and February 28, 2015 to enter for a chance to win. 
 Prizes include:
  • A trip for two to New York City, the style capital of the world.
  • A Macy’s shopping spree
  • A makeover by celebrity stylist, June Ambrose
*Sweepstakes starts on February 1st, 2015 at 12:01am EST and ends February 28, 2015 at 11:59pm EST. Must be 18 or older. Void in Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii

Ladies, grab your girlfriends and make a night of it to celebrate this fabulous era in fashion history and mingle with some other ladies of inspiration!

So will I see you in the Soul Era in Los Angeles? If not, will you be hitting up the remaining cities?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Bigger the Hair the Harder They Stare

I've touched upon my issues with my hair in the last week and how much I want to change how I see myself and take care of my hair. So in an effort to give my hair a break from heat and any other damage, last week I had a protective style installed by way of crochet braids. What are crochet braids you ask? Also known as interlocking braids, they are basically the best thing that's ever happened to my head. Just kidding. But not really.

Basically she cornrowed my hair into about 8 braids mixing a few together so that I would have the option to wear it flipped to either side or parted in the middle. I had originally planned on using Marley hair as I loved the look in the tutorials I watched and was interested in the ability to do a twist out as well as wear it free. But I also loved this look on Mattieologie and when I really thought about it, I was doing this so I could spend less time thinking/dealing with my hair, so it might be in my best interest to go with hair that was a little less maintenance. But of course, that decision didn't come until after I'd already bought Marley hair. Because that's how I roll. After searching three stores the morning of my appointment I finally found the FreeTress Braid hair in Water Wave that I hoped would give me the curls I so longed for. 

Nikea is a wicked braider, so she had my entire head cornrowed in no time and was ready to start the process of crocheting the hair through the braids. Using a tool that looks like a crochet hook she threaded the hair through the braid and looped it together in an interlocking fashion. Before I knew it she had the whole back half of my head done and I was getting anxious to see the finished results and kept twisting my head this way and that to see how things were progressing. Since my hair isn't jet black I used a 4 (medium dark brown) + TP4/30 mix since I wanted a hint of color for depth around my face because hey, why not? It wasn't my hair I'd be doing damage to.

We only used 2 and a quarter packs and to be honest we probably could have added more to go even bigger but I'm  really happy with the results. It's big enough to stand out but not so big that it looks fake. And it looks like ME. Which is what's really important. I love that in 2015 no one really bats an eyelash (too much) when I leave the house with my hair one way and show up hours later looking like a completely different woman. Such a refreshing change from how protective styles used to be viewed. 

Unfortunately it was a Wednesday evening and I was whooped by the time we were finished and all I wanted was to eat some chips + salsa for dinner and catch up on work. But of course I had to snap a quick bathroom selfie once it was totally done. And then another when I got home. To be honest, when I took the photos in the bathroom I was really trying to get used to it. I was super paranoid that it was just TOO BIG and TOO DIFFERENT from my usual look and that everyone was looking at me. And while they may have been looking at me (I wasn't in the most ethnically diverse neighborhood) I simply decided it's because my hair was SO fabulous they couldn't help but stare. Yes, it seems the quip my girlfriend text me the day before "the bigger the hair, the harder they stare" seemed to be coming true. 

I spent the majority of the rest of the evening staring at myself in the mirror trying to wrap my head around the reflection I saw looking back at me and figuring out how to best style my new coif.  I've taken no less than 20 selfies in the last few days in an effort to really gauge how my new hair really looked (with my many faces) and to just sort of get used to myself as a girl with "big hair". I've had hair envy since college when my freshman roommate used to wear her hair 'out' and it was my first time being friends with someone who wore their hair like that and I was so intrigued and mystified by it. I secretly wanted that same type of hair (and the looks that came with it) for myself although I told myself that I was happy with my freshly permed highlighted locks. Finally I get to see for myself what it's like to be the girl with 'big hair'.

The next night, Thursday, I had plans to attend a party in honor of John Legend for Grammy week, hosted by L.A. Confidential magazine at the swanky Beverly Hills Hotel and I was stupid excited to take my new hair out on the town! When I picked up my plus one for the evening, my sister-in-love, the first thing she said was "I like your hair! It's so big!" Totally put me at ease as for some reason I was getting anxiety about my new look. Every time I do something drastic to my hair, even if I'm excited about it, I still have major anxiety and enjoy receiving confirmation that my 'do is indeed 'on fleek'. 

As the week has progressed, I've realized that while I do love the look, I'm still getting used to it. But I'm happy to report that everyone else absolutely loves it as well. When I walked in the door the first night D said "Ooooooh." and Baby Ninja said, " I yike your haircut mommy". Sweet Pea digs it as well. I'm having fun with playing around with the different ways I can wear it and fluffing it up at every opportunity.  I keep catching my husband looking at me and he was happy to tell me how much he's enjoying my new look. Poor guy, he never knows who's going to walk in the door whenever I go to the salon! I'm so happy with this look and I have to thank Nikea of New Image Salon in Long Beach for hooking me up with the fresh locks! 

What do you think of my new do? Have you ever heard of crochet braids? Would you try it? 


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