Sunday, August 3, 2014


it should be snug over your hips so that it comes in under your butt, but not so tight that it gathers on your front side.



Saturday, August 2, 2014


in all honesty, after reading amanda brooks' first chapter, i can hardly say that i have any real classic pieces. my necessity is comfortability + casual. strong emphasis on casual. but as a girl woman no longer in her, to put it delicately, younger days, having more sneakers and boots than heels, more oversized tees than blouses, i must be reformed to some degree. this will be my biggest hurdle.

Friday, August 1, 2014


i received this book for my birthday from the originative last year, but i was in the process of moving so it got stored away in a box. i finally got a chance over the weekend to actually read the first chapter and skim 
through the rest after being intrigued from what i had read so far.

i could not have read this at a better moment.

i found my closet in a state of crisis several weeks ago. one could possibly mistaken it for a boy's wardrobe save maybe the three skirts that i have. i have been buying mostly for comfort (and making sure comfort looks good) but i had nothing to dress up a pair of khakis. i had to make a rule for myself that if i dominated in tom i would have to off center it with some girl and vice-versa.

my signature.

 a signature is like a rule, but it's more permanent and noticeable. it is a part of your look so constant that it defines you, makes you stand out, and becomes part of your fashion identity. ---amanda brooks, i love your style, p26

this book is all about discovering your personal style and how to take staple items and make it your own. i thought i would spend the next few posts blogging about this book, and my new purchases i will be making over the next six months to build up a strong wardrobe that i will hopefully never have to get rid of.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


i will be venturing to canada with my sister for five days and can only bring a carry-on bag that will comfortably house my belongings while we roam and explore calgary. what could i fit in my ralph lauren chaps sack?

roll call:
two pants
two sweaters
one shirt
two scarfs
one hoodie
two shoes (one for hiking, the other for other things)
one jacket

keep in mind that i will have a number of these items on when traveling, so i will have tons of room in this bag. i had to plan my outfits a week out so that i didn't overpack.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

T H I R T E E N // THIRTY : Wear Sunscreen

so this song (or speech rather) called everybody's free to wear sunscreen began to circulate in the summer of ninety-seven, just a few short months after i turned thirteen. as i thought about what words of wisdom i would grant future going on thirties, this song popped into my mind and i looked up the words for it, and found it to almost sum up everything that i wanted to say. below i have pulled some quotes out from the song that i thought were good.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future.
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.
The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Enjoy your body.
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.


Get to know your parents. 
You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. 
They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,
but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, 
because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.


Accept certain inalienable truths:
Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old.
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

T H I R T E E N // T H I R T Y : How I viewed myself

my first trial at modeling. age thirteen.

there are very few pictures of me as a thirteen year old.

when i got the proofs back from the shoot seen above, the whole time i kept picking out what was wrong with me. i dodged the camera whenever i could.  if i happened to be in a picture, i rarely smiled or i covered most of my face. comparison was a poison, deep in my veins. something felt wrong about me. i even avoided mirrors and windows for the sake of not seeing myself.

i wrote a lot of poems, more so when i turned thirteen. as i read over a few of them, i realized something inside of me had died, or rather i had repressed my true self. i remember looking in the mirror one day and actually staring at myself, but the person that i saw in the mirror did not feel like me. i later wrote the following poem:

fraternal twin

who is this stranger i
see in the mirror staring back at me?
it is me, plain and
nothing to be vain about,
but this person standing in another world
looks back at me with vanity.
we are one, but
she has confidence written on her face. her body
shows strength and grace. mystery and beauty
gleam in her eyes.  
i ask myself, "why is it so hard
for others to see my reflection,
and for me to see it too?"

i think i subconsciously asked myself that question over the next sixteen years. during my twenty-ninth year i finally came to terms that i had been living fractured. i was me, just never me all at once. it was a daily struggle to see myself as the things i saw in my reflection, as God had always seen me, but i am happier because of it. as i look forward to turning thirty this week, i am glad that i can walk into a new decade finally as one person.

wholeness never tasted better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

T H I R T E E N // T H I R T Y : How I viewed my future

acording to i should have accomplished these thirty things before my third decade of living:

travel to paris. dream job. volunteer for a cause. visit all 50 states (hahaha...are you serious?). big road trip. travel solo. get a passport. fall in love. buy your first home. have a baby. visit nyc on nye. the list goes on. and there are more like this that could easily make you feel like you have yet to accomplish anything in your life.

so i decided to create my own list of things i have accomplished and after i did it my collage of experience is far more interesting than i mapped out for myself when i was thirteen.

graduate from college in two and a half years.
become a family lawyer.
get married by twenty-two.
have two kids by twenty-six.
own a home by twenty-eight.

graduated from two colleges.
became a graphic designer.
apart of several grassroots social justice movements.
road tripped from florida to missouri, alone.
been to south america once.
been to central america four times.
europe three times in my life.
been to every state on the east coast, a few in the midwest, and two on the west coast.
managed my first magazine and fashion show.
started my own business.
published my first book by twenty-two.
have learned a new language.
have been in two dance performances, small and large scale.
and the best part, i haven't even lived yet.

so here is my challenge. try to remember when you were young and what your life goals were. write them all down. then write down all that you have accomplished. don't put down what you haven't or what failed. you may find that God's winding path is a lot more interesting than your straight forward plan.

Monday, April 14, 2014

T H I R T E E N // T T H I R T Y

this month went by so fast! normally, i take it in slowly and enjoy my birthday month; but between packing and moving, my biggest thrill was being able to see my bedroom floor. work has kept me extremely busy (both of them plus a few freelance projects) so you can guess why i haven't been updating at all in almost a month.

but by the title you can probably guess that i have been anticipating my 30th birthday. i decided to take this week in slow mo leading up to my birthday and reflect on different things that i have learned, things i have accomplished before 30, even take a look at things i wrote when i was 13 to see what my perspective was like (it is full of angst-y humor).

hopefully, this will be of some help to all those twenty-somethings out there who are trying to cram life into ten years from 18-28 because they feel as though life after 29 doesn't exist if you don't have a totem pole of musts chiseled into it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


bird conversations mix with the crackling sound of electricity. nature and man are both vibrantly alive.

spring hammock preserve embodies an eerie stillness. the half hidden paths are haunting if stared at too long. this is not a trek to do alone if your imagination precedes you. i brought a friend i knew would enjoy the trails.
the air smelled of honey, fresh cut wood, and mint. the trail toward lake jessop was calming. not once did an animal alarm us...except the wolf pack that came out of no where and which were thankfully accompanied by a human.

we froze in our path, staring at its patterned body as we mumbled the schoolyard chant. red on black, venom lacks, red on yellow kills a fellow. red on yellow. red on yellow. i held my breath. of course we would encounter the poisonous kind of that rhyme. the coral snake scampered off the path. jeannette and i did the same in the opposite direction, fear mixed with awe.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


oxford exchange.

was this really tampa? i gave a tiger woods fist pump as the hostess put us by the fountain in the sunlit conservatory room. vine covered walls and a large glass paneled sunroof filled us with glee and made us trigger happy with our phones.

redemption was in order from my previous night of a bad starbucks cappuccino (how are they still in business), so i started off with one, paired with gargantuan strawberry scones.

moment of silence for the scones, cream, and berry jam.

finished off with a golden monkey latte. rich and malty. grammed the place and got an instasuggestion to check out edison food and drink lab from @kristineyoungin. i have seen where she goes, so when she told me, i was game. great choice. saturdays should always feel like this.

so glad and full.

Friday, March 14, 2014


 if you want to keep a classic look from being too straight up, a bold pattern or print can make a huge impact. start with a print that is small in scale. choose one that either has tonal colors or very few colors. --amanda brooks, i love your style p57

as i have been packing up my stuff, i realized how color did not exist. denim, black, grey, and army green have been my staples since last june. not that i am scared of color, i have just been trying to figure out what color looks like for me now that o think i have a better handle on my style.

in the meantime, i decided to ease into patterns. i spotted this jumper a month ago, but the line to this particular forever21 was excrutiatingly long just to try it on, so i put it back and tried to see if i could find it elsewhere. as you can see, i did, and was thoroughly happy that it fit.

Monday, March 10, 2014


sixty balls. five dollars. one girl and her bat.

i haven't been to a batting cage since i was thirteen. it did not take long for the bat and i to become comrades. its amazing what the muscles remember. the manager said i had a solid form and a good swing. dad had a hand in that. my sister stated that all the silly guys in my life had a hand in that. i'll admit, this is a great stress reliever, even if i will feel this in the morning.

my sister showed off her ambidextrous skills hitting straight toward centerfield, homeruns at that. symmetric to the bone. we tried out baseballs our last round. it turns out i hit smaller objects better than big objects.

we ate a champions' meal at hubbly bubbly, a new greek hub in college park. simple menu. grrrrreat baklava. the owner, georgie, i can't even. so adorable.

georgie, the owner. full of laughs, fun, and hugs.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


shrouded in dense fog. jacksonville looked like death. i half expected the ferry man to fade into existence and carry me away on styx. i tried not to stir the gemini but they are light sleepers i suppose. i am ashamed to admit that after knowing them so long, i am just now able to tell them apart. maybe because i usually got them  together and never separately.

it is no surprise that i found myself at a dead end. nothing familiar. all directions seemed like the right path. with a ten foot visibility, the geese were lucky.

standing on the landing, i saw bridges waiting to be crossed. my plan was to conquer most of them by foot, but after my triumph over one, the river grew wider and longer, and domination seemed exhausting. i paid charon his fare and took the river taxi over to other side, fighting against current, feeling as though the boat were treading in one spot, but reassured of our movement as we passed under the bridge. no troll there today.

just a stillness.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


i am a sucker for supporting my local girl scout. three boxes. those adorable little daisies got me to buy three boxes when my limit was one. gsa knew what they were doing when they created the daisies. cookie sales must have been down before their existence.

only three days left before the cookies go back in the vault. the fact that i still have two of three boxes left--i devoured the thanks-a-lot (thanks a lot for getting me off my diet)--is still quite commendable. trefoils and thin mints. i must savor them a little longer.

lately i have been buying colors that emulate the khaki palette and i know that burnt orange is a fall color (i am a fall girl) it still color, and i have been void of it for a little too long. time for an upgrade soon.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


so there's this really incredible guy that i happen to like a lot and today is his birthday. so grateful that i still have him, especially since a couple of years ago i almost lost him for good. without him, i wouldn't be who i am. 

the intense science projects you helped me with. how many girls can say they learned how to read a naval radar schematic and troubleshoot the problem? 

teaching me how to play sports. teaching me how to enjoy watching sports.

our goofy dance offs to where i was clearly the winner every time, except for that one time in bested me good. you had luda on your side.

our dates. our unabashed love for anne of green gables, ever after, and pride and prejudice flicks.

dressing well. teaching me how to be a strong, independent woman all without being a man.
so as stated before, i would be nothing without him...literally...well maybe genetically someone else, but i just couldn't be 

happy birthday, pops.

Monday, February 24, 2014


went dress shoe shopping, once upon a time.

came to a sad conclusion that i can no longer sport my nine west favs which have always been a comfort to my soles. they were my first pair of heels and my bodacious calves thank them. now, i find more heels to be uncomfortable due to last years basketball injury, so boots, sneakers, and anything else that is flat takes precedence. but now i have a new job. they want me to get all dressed up and such, and said shoes will not do anymore. but i hast to has 'em. 

enter steve madden

i must say that i never cared for steve madden style of shoe, but in recent years i have been impressed with the face lift and he has done me a favor in  combining what i love and what i have to wear into a comfortable compromise. i think i just found my "the one". 


Sunday, February 23, 2014


i woke this morning to chase the fog and its obscurity. 
that gypsy dog wished me luck, her eyes begging me to take her.

the roads are thick with the albedineity of a fallen sky that nestles in between brick and branch. this is probably the only time i enjoy the ambiguity, the mystery in my journey, taking turns where the paths lay unseen. but the sun was too fast for me, and dissipated secrecy.

i found myself in winter garden, named after a season we do not claim. where honey and orange intertwine and settle in abandoned crevices. the melancholic great lake apopka broods far beyond me. i might as well be looking across the atlantic.

what surprises the earth unveils when wandering in the unknown.

Friday, February 14, 2014


had a wonderful valentines.
started the night off with 90s jams and famous couples. then valentines cards were made and handed out at random.i was told it was the highlight of most people's night.
food. champagne.
full moon. full hearts.
all while dancing like the fools that we are for allowing this day to be discarded because we hate to be alone. not tonight, friend. tonight love is all around.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


i totally went there. and i totally can.

with all the valentines going around, even i forget that a whole month is reserved for honoring black americans. maybe its because most of the time its spent being showcased their mistreatment, their shortcomings. their scars are a bitter swallow, and sometimes the beckoning of creamy chocolate is a sweeter chew.

but for me, a child of parents who lived before during and after the civil rights movement, i have known nothing but love from them for all people. they are not scared by our history and i am forever blessed because of it. i can look inside the riotous crowds and marches and see chocolate and vanilla skin, looking "good together, mixed in". standing on the same side. willing to be arrested. beaten. killed for a stranger of a different shade.

that takes love. love is what i choose to see.

so in celebration of love and in celebration of blacks, here are some songs on amore sung by blacks during a time when america was purging itself of its hate.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014


three days ago i realized how out of shape i was. my diet has been pretty healthy, so my weight has not gotten too much out of control, but last year's business with the show (video to come soon) left me pretty inactive. 
this year is about loving my body again, get it back to what it was two years ago.

i started looking up apps to help keep me on track. i went through 2 exercise tracking apps and 3 diet based apps before i found something that work for me. sports tracker and my fitness pal.

seriously, my fitness pal is fantastic. its thorough and user friendly, and has a barcode scanner on it so you don't have to type in all the nutrient facts. if i eat more than one serving size, i can change the number and it will calculate the calories and what have you. (okay done sounding like an infomercial--back to your regularly scheduled program.

i also decided to start doing exercise routines via youtube. i decided to go with circuit training. its 45 minutes long. the first day i only got through twelve minutes. the second day i made it to twenty. i am so uncool.

julian 2. me a depressing 0.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


i love a good grey, stormy day. 
when it bleeds out the colors of the trees and flowers, vibrant tones hushed by the steady fall of rain. the sky hoards it all above the clouds. 
it cannot contain the color and at dusk it blushes at its failed attempt to swallow up the reach of the sun.