style

My Next Shoe Purchase

This is going to be a brief post, because this is a BUSY week!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I LOVE a creatively designed pair of shoes. I also love supporting true artisans, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out shoes that marry my love of creative design and excellent craftsmanship.

I was recently introduced to Aminah Abdul Jillil from a fashionista on FB. I didn’t realize it, but I’d been seeing Aminah’s designs all over a bunch of blogs but I never knew the name behind the designs. So yeah, I’m late to the party, but I’m glad I arrived. Her shoes are DROOLWORTHY. Just look at these beauties:

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Champagne Open Toe Pumps by Aminah Abdul Jillil

Considering the cost of most designer shoes, Aminah’s designs are downright affordable. These will be perfect for showing off the results of my foot exfoliation treatment. I can’t wait to purchase my first pair! When I get them, I’ll be sure to share photos and review them.

 

life curation · luxury

Adventures at Anthropologie

While spending time with my best girlfriends in Charlotte, we made a stop in Anthropologie. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped at Anthropologie, mainly because my personal tastes were VERY different from what they offer. However, my tastes are changing, and I was open to seeing if they had some things that I would enjoy.

Wouldn’t you know it, I barely looked at the clothing because I got caught up in the books and stationery section. The BOOKS called my name, y’all! I was in heaven among all of the journals, planners, and self-care guides. I was among kindred spirits, because my friends were also stuck in the same section LOL!

One of the planners that I purchased during my Anthropologie trip (you can buy it here)

I kept picking up books and putting them back, because if I’m not careful, I’ll buy them all! So many great planners for those that are interested in living well curated and mindful lives.

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The other book I purchased (you can buy it here)

But my delight didn’t stop with the paper goods. Anthropologie also has a beauty section, including fragrances. You all know that I’m a sucker for perfume. They sell one of my favorite brands, Tocca. I refrained from purchasing, since I already have some great perfumes that I’m using right now. But as soon as I finish using them, I’m stocking up!

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Tocca’s Florence is a sumptuous fragrance that I’ve worn

Maybe next time I visit Anthropologie I’ll actually spend some time browsing their fashions. There’s a lot to see in this store, and I simply couldn’t do it all during this trip. Do you have any favorite picks from Anthropologie? Let me know in the comments below!

life curation · style

Preparing for Spring: Wardrobe Ideas

Since doing the Kibbe test and confirming that I’m a Soft Classic, I’ve been spending time brainstorming what pieces I should add to my wardrobe. I want to add some whimsy to my wardrobe (along the lines of the Joe Browns line) but I honestly look best in clean, streamlined silhouettes.

Using the Soft Classic information I gleaned from the Truth Is Beauty website, I found that Naomie Harris is one of the few Black celebrities that falls into this category. And when Naomie gets it right, honey, she absolutely knocks it out of the park. I’m loving the fact that she appears to have a neutral undertone that leans toward coolness (much like my own). So I should be able to wear most of the same shades that she does, since our coloring is similar.

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Photo of Naomie Harris (courtesy of InStyle magazine)

So, I don’t have a red carpet lifestyle – yet. So my daily wardrobe can’t be quite as ornate as Naomie’s. But I can draw some inspiration from the way that she styles herself. Here are a few items I’m considering adding this spring:

A duster in pale taupe or light gray

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Naomie at a Calvin Klein show (from Business of Fashion)

The key to making this look classy (and not sloppy on my frame) is to make sure that it has some moderate structure, light tailoring and minimal frills.

This light tan trench by Aphratti gets pretty close to Naomie’s look. A belt gives some extra definition in the waist.

A magenta blazer

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Naomie at the 2014 BAFTA Awards (from Elle)

Structured but undeniably feminine, a bright blazer in an intense pink hue would be a great addition to my wardrobe. a 3/4 length sleeve is perfect for me, so I’ll aim for a blazer that closely replicates the top half of Naomie’s dress. I couldn’t find anything quite like this yet, but if I do, I’ll be sure to post it here!

 

Sunny A-line dress

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At the Spectre press conference (from Vogue UK)

An A-line dress that skims gracefully over the hips but remains tailored in the waist is great for creating the hourglass silhouette.

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The Eva Square Neck Midi Skater Dress is a bright yellow that isn’t too acid or too warm.

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Another option is the Zoey Sleeveless Cut Out Mixi Skater Dress: no cleavage but the side cutouts keeps it sassy.

Pale blue or green chiffon skirt (tea length)

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Naomie at the Mandela screening (from The Fashion Spot)

A pale blue, gauzy skirt is soft and unique. It’s the kind of signature piece that can be dressed up or dressed down.

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This crepe skirt from Boohoo is giving me a similar vibe (the Neave Crepe Pleated Mini Skirt). It isn’t as soft as the chiffon material that Naomie is wearing, but the below-the knee length and structured pleating gives the garment more shape.

Drape-y satin blouse in oyster white, pewter or champagne

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With Olivia Palermo at the launch of Maison Makarem (from Getty Images)

I’ve always shimmery satin tops in pearlescent hues. Add some careful pleating and draping, and I should be able to get the Greek goddess effect without getting lost in a sea of fabric. I’m still looking for one of these, so if I find it, I’ll post it here as well.

That’s all of my ideas for now. I suspect that I’ll continually refine and improve on this list, and as I do, I’ll share it all here.

reading list

Book Review: The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

As you all know, my January book review was overdue because of my wonderfully restorative Nairobi vacation. Now, I’m finally giving you all my (very late!) review of Tim Ferriss’s “The Four Hour Work Week”.


This book has been around for about ten years, and it focuses on showing entrepreneurs and employees how to minimize their work hours and maximize their life enjoyment. Tim’s methodical approach to reducing work and creating systems that allow more freedom and income is nothing short of inspirational.

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The author, Tim Ferriss (photo from his website)

Tim provides specific steps for making money online and negotiating remote work agreements, so that readers can start spending more of their time in meaningful, life-enriching activities. I am a big fan of any materials that encourage people to create truly satisfying lives, so Tim’s message definitely resonated with me.

The book is voluminous so I won’t give a chapter-by-chapter overview like I did with The Best Year of Your Life, but I will confirm that the book includes testimonials and hacks that could be very useful to anyone that is willing to give it a try.

My only advice for this book would be to focus on implementing the concepts and principles first, because jumping directly into the Income Autopilots could be an exercises in frustration and futility. While I think the framework for Income Autopilots is effective, the book *is* ten years old and the Internet has changed a lot. That being said, having the groundwork – the mindset and approach as explained by Tim – in place already would prevent some of the mistakes that may come from trying to implement older strategies. Also, I’d advise that any interested readers be sure to listen to Tim’s podcast, as this is consistently updated with Tim’s most recent tips, hacks and life advice.

Overall, this is a great book for any aspiring entrepreneurs or for employees that are ready to create some real work/life balance. I’ll be referring to it throughout the year, as I’m interested in trying some of Tim’s techniques to see if I can increase my income and reduce my reliance upon my current employment.

style

Review: Leezeshaw Dress

I was hesitant to do this review, because I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t recommending a poorly made product. Leezeshaw is one of the many Chinese companies that sell clothing on Amazon, and if you have ordered from one of these companies before, you know the problems that can occur.

For starters, most Chinese vendors use Chinese fit models, which means that the clothing is fitted to the bodies of women that are overwhelmingly rectangular-shaped (not much difference between the bust, waist and hip measurements). This is okay if you are also rectangular-shaped, but for women with hourglass, apple, or cone shapes, this means that the garment will not fit properly.

There’s also the issue of size conversion. You have to carefully read the item descriptions to see how to convert from Chinese to US sizes. One misstep, and you’ll have a garment that doesn’t fit and costs a fortune to send back. I’ve done this and ended up just giving the item to charity: shipping it back to the vendor wasn’t worth the cost or hassle.

So it’s with careful consideration that I’m bringing you this post. I purchase this Leezeshaw dress last winter, right before New Years Day. I ordered it in a size large (even though, in US sizes, I bounce between sizes 6 and 8). The dress has a vintage shape that appealed to me. I am pleased to say that this dress was a home run: 

I’ve worn it to work multiple times, and it is still in fabulous condition. I wash it in a lingerie bag, just to prevent some of the damage that can come from washer machine agitation. Here’s how the dress looks while wearing it:

Since this shade of white is more like a winter white, I’ve worn it all year round. The dress has long sleeves, so it’s suitable for cool days but it’s unlined, so it can also be worn on warm days, too (it’s perfect for offices that believe that subarctic air conditioning temps are appropriate during the summer). During the winter months, I often layer this dress with leggings and a silk slip underneath for warmth. I also wear knee-high boots that offer even more warmth.

This dress is elegant and classy, and it’s also affordable at $25.99. I am considering adding some more Leezeshaw pieces to my wardrobe soon!

life curation

The Best Love Affair Is . . .

. . . The love affair you have with yourself.

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(courtesy of Pixabay)

Take time to nurture yourself, embrace the beauty of every moment and BREATHE. You’ve got this.

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(courtesy of Pinterest)

Take time to relax and do the things that make you feel ALIVE!

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(Courtesy of Dreamstime)

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(Courtesy of VideoBlocks)

Have you gotten into the habit of getting into an amazing love affair with yourself? If you haven’t, I encourage you to give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

 

beauty

Review: Ginger + Liz Nail Polish

During my massive beauty haul nearly two months ago, I purchased a bunch of cosmetics and also a few nail polishes. However, I hadn’t had a chance to try out the new polishes until recently. As a result, this review is a bit late, but better late than never, right?

I decided to try Ginger + Liz nail polishes. This indie brand isn’t quite so small anymore: it gained quite a bit of notoriety when Beyonce wore Ginger + Liz’s “Boss Lady” nail polish in her 2013 H&M Summer campaign. The line is known for creating nontoxic, vegan friendly nail polishes in both classic and trendy shades. The polish collection has a little something for everyone.

As pretty as “Boss Lady” is, I know that red shades with orange undertones aren’t flattering on my skin tone. So I opted out of purchasing that shade. But I was still curious enough about the brand to try some of the other shades. I ended up selecting Catch the Bouquet (CTB) and Happy Wife Happy Life (HWHL) (LOL, I see a theme with the names of the shades I chose!)

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(from the left: Catch the Bouquet and Happy Wife Happy Life)

“Catch the Bouquet” is described as, “a pastel pink with pearl undertones. The perfect nail colour for your demure looks, walking down the aisle, or catching the bouquet.” “Happy Wife Happy Life” is, “a textured rose pink foil metallic with contrasting pink tones of holographic glitter and tiny black specs for extra dimension.” I found the descriptions to be accurate for both shades.

The polishes dried in an average amount of time, and the smell was the same as your standard nail polish scent. I did two layers of “Catch the Bouquet” without any base coat or top coat, and I was pleased with the wear (it lasted several days without chipping). Just for the sake of seeing the color and intensity of the polish, I swatched the polishes on white paper and plain (unpainted) press on nails.

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Swatches on white paper: (left to right) “Happy Wife Happy Life” and “Catch the Bouquet”

(l to r: plain nails, one layer of “Catch the Bouquet” and “Happy Wife Happy Life”, two layers of the polishes)

Out of curiousity, I decided to layer “HWHL” over “CTB” and when I tell you I fell in LOVE with the layered look …

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The layered look (HWHL over CTB)

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(l to r) The layered nail look vs. two layers of HWHL

I love the colors and the lasting power. The line continues adding new shades, so I’ll be sure to try more of Ginger + Liz’s products in the future!

 

 

 

 

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