This time of year is always special for me. Since becoming a Mom three years ago, I’ve been incredibly blessed. But motherhood definitely comes with its challenges. Suddenly you have a little person (or people) wholly dependent on you, and that can be SO overwhelming. But it’s honestly a job I wouldn’t trade for anything. And it’s something that has made me even more appreciative of my own mom’s love and sacrifice.
One of the perks of being a Mom is receiving all the hugs, kisses, acknowledgment and even special gifts on Mother’s Day. I typically spend so much time and energy making sure the moms in my life are taken care of, I hardly ever indulge in anything for myself. So when Hallmark Jewelry reached out to me and told me they wanted to send over a special gift from their Hallmark Diamonds Heart of Hallmark Collection for JCPenney, I was ecstatic. Nothing like a little sparkly self-indulgence.
Opening the package up is sometimes the best part. Little boxes always have something sparkly and special waiting for you. I loved the Hallmark packaging. They included a cute little quote card in there with my necklace that reads “Life’s the best story of all…”.
I chose this piece because I thought it was so simple, elegant and beautiful. I don’t wear fine jewelry often, but when I do it’s typically on special occasions and I like my pieces to be minimal but still statement-making like this.
One of the things I find so tough about buying gifts for “the mom who has everything” is finding something that has special meaning. What’s nice about Hallmark Jewelry’s collection (available at JCPenney) is that there’s a little something special for every Mom. If your Mom is faith-based, there are beautiful crosses and angels to choose from. If she loves rose gold, there are mixed element pieces that suit her style. Even if you just want something to reminder her she’s “Mom” they have something for her. The pieces are really beautifully made.
True story – when I saw VH1’s trailer for “The Breaks”, I was hyped. I love the 90’s. No really. As a late-80’s baby, I grew up in the 90’s and I still get nostalgia thinking about all the iconic style. I loved everything about it from the boombox culture to the dark-lip-and heavy brow beauty moments to the graphic sweats and ripped jeans.
So when elements of 90’s style (like the dark lip, the choker, distressed denim) came back into mainstream as cyclical fashion does, I embraced it with open arms.
VH1’s The Breaks seriescurrently airs on Monday nights on VH1, and it picks up where the original TV-movie left off. If you saw it, you know it’s set in New York City in 1990, at the height of rap’s “Golden Age” of creativity.
The main character Nikki (Afton Williamson) lands a dream job as the assistant to the legendary and out-of-control Barry Fouray (Wood Harris) while her best friend and producer DeeVee (Mack Wilds) is working with new rapper Ahm (Antoine Harris), who is currently under investigation by the police for murder. It’s crazy yall. But so SO good. Check out the trailer below:
If you haven’t seen it, you need to get your life. They’re currently offering a full Season Pass to the series on iTunes. With a pass, you own every episode plus bonus content, so you never miss a beat (corny pun, I know).
One of you lucky folks will get a Season Pass for FREE courtesy the folks at VH1! Just leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite memory or style trend from the 90’s. We’ll contact you when a winner is chosen. Good luck!
Guys! After two years of hosting my annual Shop LoveBrownSugar holiday pop-up shops in NYC, I decided to officially launch an online shop! Shop LoveBrownSugar is now live and in full effect, and the shop currently hosts 12 black-owned brands that I’ve partnered with this holiday season for amazing gift offerings. Here are the brands and a little about why you’ll love supporting them, just like I do:
12 Black-Owned Brands To Support on Black Friday
1. Pardon My Fro
One of my absolute favorite illustrators, Dana Bly of Pardon My Fro partnered up with me for Shop LoveBrownSugar to do custom journals, custom holiday cards, a BabyBrownSugar calendar, BabyBrownSugar Coloring Book and so much more. PMF is AWESOME.
I discovered LIT Brooklyn on the ‘gram and instantly fell in love with the packaging. Then I met with the owner Denequa in Brooklyn and fell head over heels for her scented candles. I mean, such a dope company. And the candles are travel size!
I’ve known the ladies behind Ginger + Liz for years now, and it was love at first sight with their nail lacquers. They’re vegan, toxic-free and vibrant. I use these on myself and on Cadence during special occasions.
I remember when The Lip Bar first launched! I thought it was such an innovative concept, empowering women to feel beautiful and challenge beauty standards with vibrant, poppy bright lip colors. Since then they have expanded to include liquid matte lipsticks, glosses and so much more.
Kimone of 84 Gem was a vendor at my last two pop-up shops and her jewels are always a big hit. Handmade by her in her studio, Kimone is self-taught but you would never know. Her jewels are absolutely beautiful and one of a kind.
Y’all. Belle Butters makes so many amazing skincare products I love. But when I took a whiff of this butter owner Tasha custom created for Shop LoveBrownSugar’s first pop-up shop in 2014, I knew this was a winner. It smells like heaven in a jar. And so do most of her products. Definitely a beauty brand to watch!
When I first met Africa Miranda, we were fast friends. I watched her reality show when she was living in Atlanta and thought to myself “Omg! Love her!” (as if I really knew her, y’all do it too #dontjudge). Anyway, when I met her she totally lived up to my expectations and since then I’ve been consistently inspired by her and her drive. So when she told me she was creating a Facial Elixir based on her travels to Rio, Brazil I knew I needed some and you needed some too.
I’ve been following influencer, author & fellow mompreneur Alex Elle for years now. I remember when she was documenting her natural hair journey. And then when she released her first book of poetry. And then when she got married and shared her beautiful wedding photos on social. Safe to say, I’m a FAN. So when I saw she was releasing a line of skincare products, I was all in.
Last year, S Dot Beauty was a vendor at our Shop LoveBrownSugar holiday pop-up and while I ws there she gifted me a set of her baby products to try out on Cadence. When I tell you I use her products RELIGIOUSLY as part of Cadence’s bedtime routine! They’re infused with lavender and chamomile and all things amazing. And she makes products for women, men and the whole family.
As someone who travels often, I’m always looking for options to make my life easier. I’m a travel wipe addict. I use them to remove makeup, to freshen up my skin on long haul flights and everything in between. These aren’t just wipes. They are made with the best & safest ingredients. For the conscious beauty aficionado.
When I first got a copy of Happy Hair™, I thought it was SUCH an incredible campaign. Teaching young girls to love and accept their hair in various shapes and forms is so important to building confidence. So I’m beyond proud to be carrying this book in our shop.
I’m a big fan of head wraps. As a mompreneur, it can get tough having your hair in tip-top shape every single day, so headwraps are my save for bad hair days. They’re also super cute & allow you to express yourself with different colors and patterns.
I love everything about summer style so once fall creeps up, I get a serious case of FOMO. Transitioning back to neutral and dark tones, heavier fabrics, and structured silhouettes takes me longer than average because I absolutely love the flowy silhouettes and bright colors of summer.
If you’re anything like me, you may need some tips on bringing the fun & free flow of summer into your fall wardrobe. I partnered up with TheOutfit.com and JCPenney to show you guys how to transition your look for fall with 3 easy tips.
Photos by Keyaira Boone
Check out the full story with my tips, more pictures of my look and “Where To Buy” information here: The Outfit
This post is sponsored by JCPenney in partnership with TheOutfit.com. All opinions expressed here are my own and not those of the company.
This post about the Color Full Lives podcast is sponsored by State Farm®. All opinions expressed here are my own.
As you all know, I am incredibly passionate about women of color looking good AND feeling good. I’ve also made it one of my personal missions to help positively change the perceptions of women of color in the media, so I am really happy to team up with State Farm to talk about the Color Full Lives podcast series.
Earlier this month, I went on an 8-day excursion to Italy and Greece. Ever since I studied abroad during my Junior year in college, Italy has been one of my absolute favorite countries. Though I studied in France, Italy left such an incredible impression on me. I’ve always wanted to go back. This year I had that opportunity. I also had the chance to finally visit Greece! My only regret during my study abroad semester is that I didn’t take a trip there, so when my friend Gabi invited me to Santorini for her 30th birthday – I was all in. Here’s what I wore and loved on my Eurotrip. I chose pieces that fit my shape and made me feel like a goddess:
This season Harlem’s Fashion Row once again celebrated designers, innovators, and stars of color at their Runway show and awards ceremony. Throngs of fashion industry spiders flocked to Chelsea Piers to attend the celebration which was supported by Motions, Latina Magazine, Ebony Magazine and more. As Harlem’s Fashion Row founder Brandice Daniels reminded attendees designers of color make up less than 1% of the brands found in major department stores making institutions committed to highlighting these unsung talents crucial.
Legendary record producer, philanthropist, and designer Swizz Beatz was presented with this year’s icon 360 award. His speech was straightforward and compelling. He confessed that when he was told about the award he instructed his assistant to clear everything on his busy New York Fashion Week schedule so that he could attend the ceremony. “Sometimes when people call we say I’m busy but when Tom Ford calls I’m not busy. So I had to make sure that I answered your call the same way that I answer Tom Ford’s call”.
During his speech he also highlighted acclaimed stylists like Ty Hunter and Wouri Vice who were also in attendance thanking them for their contributions to the fashion community.
There are several things I just didn’t expect to see in my lifetime that have now taken place- a black president, Beyonce’ with a pixie cut, and now average sized models at a “traditional” womenswear show. While the presence of normal women on the runway of a show intended to promote and selling clothing to normal women shouldn’t have been shocking for me it was. I couldn’t hold my applause as Sabina Karlsson, Precious Lee, and Marquita Pring each emerged gracefully from backstage this season at Christian Siriano and the rest of the crowd seemed to feel the same way.
Summer came at us fast. It seems like just yesterday we were spring cleaning, and suddenly it’s time to break out the jean cutoffs and tanks! Well in anticipation for the drastic change, I partnered up with TheOutfit and JCPenney to offer you guys tips on rocking three summer trends that can seamlessly usher your wardrobe from spring to summer.
Check out a sneak peek below:
Get details on my outfit plus more tips on summer trends over at TheOutfit.com.
I Don’t Do Clubs is working with a variety of retailers to provide you with affordable and accessible ways to support black owned businesses this June. We’re all about supporting black business at LoveBrownSugar so we had to round up some of our favorite selections for you to check out below!