I know the seasons are changing in the fashion world but there’s still a little bit of summer left no matter what they say. So I decided to bring a little more heat to Summer’19 in this stunning Ankara print gown. Fun fact this frock is actually two separate pieces designed to melt beautifully into one garment. I plan to style the top with pants and some more stuff; look out for the looks in my Insta-stories.


This beautiful frock was designed by, fashionista, blogger, world traveler, designer, all round baad girl Sarleamah. I first saw this dress on Sarleamah on her IG page (follow her she’s everything) and I fell in love; I had to have it. For some, it’s a major fashion faux pas to wear a piece worn by another, especially someone as well known as Sarleamah. Guess who could care less about “the rules”, this girl. I’m a rebel, a fashion gangsta. I wear what I want and I wanted this dress! Seriously can you blame me?! Can I just say how well designed this garment is, the fabric is high quality cotton. The construction is that of a true talent and thee C O L O R… is everything!!! It’s even more stunning in person, so rich and vibrant, it’s breath-taking.

Welcome to Brooklyn!

Sarleamah didn’t hesitate when I reached out about this dress. She graciously jumped on my design request. She was professional, responsive, and prompt in all our communications. Admirable qualities in a designer. The dress didn’t take more then 2 weeks to construct, right on time for the shoot.

Continue reading “SUMMER AINT OVER JUST YET! Part One”


If you haven’t heard or been under a rock you should know the Nordstrom’s anniversary sale has begun!! Well at least for credit cardholders and certain over-achieving Nordy club members (Nordstrom’s loyalty program); guilty and guilty we get early access.  I didn’t want the card I promise, they practically forced it on me, scouts honor, wait I was never a scout, minor details folks, MINOR DETAILS…lol Seriously, for the rest of the planet it starts July 19th!! Mark your calendars folks!!!

I think we can all agree there’s nothing like a good sale but Nordstrom’s annual anniversary sale, is the sale of ALL sales!!!

While most department store sales offer discounts on stuff you aren’t all that excited about; Nordstrom doesn’t. They have the deals on the most coveted brands, discounts anywhere from 40-50%, sometimes more. For a fashionista who’s balling on a budget like myself, you don’t want to miss this sale!!

So without further ado, here are a few things I’ve had my eye on. Some pieces I’ll probably never purchase but they’ve caught my eye just the same. Full disclosure I’ve already ordered two coats for the Fall because I just couldn’t help myself. It was an amazing deal and I had Nordy bucks (free money). Honestly I have my eye on a ton of pieces, this sale is so overwhelming, so many yummy items to choose from. This literally is just the tip of the iceberg.

I’d like to give you guys more but the way my team is set up: technology: me, editing: me and recently added Alex, creative direction: me, content: me; we can only do so much. If me and the rest of my “team” have a few extra hours to kill from now until the end of the sale (sale ends August 4th) I may do another round. But I can’t make any promises; stay tuned either way.


Linked in order of appearance: one, two, three, four.




I can hardly believe it’s been an ENTIRE year since we first launched It’s Very Necessary (IVN)! What a ride it has been?! The mission is the same to save as many people as possible from unfortunate fashion choices; whether it be for work or play…lol I want to inspire women and men to be the best version of themselves, fashionably. I sincerely hope I’ve done that to some degree. And if not you guys let me know and mama will work on it ;-).

Dance like no one’s looking, even if they are. I’m doing my happy dance. Year one down, many more to come!

My very first post featured the lovely Laila Beale (my youngest daughter). What a shoot that was, the heat, the outfit changes, the bribery (yes I had to bribe her with new toys just to get her to cooperate). It was all worth it. Our first post was quite the hit. Look how far we’ve come. No bribery was involved for this shoot, she’s a professional now.

This adventure also started out as a necessary (pun intended) distraction from my work; now it’s my new baby. I say baby because friends and family often ask if we want another child, specifically a boy. Since children, boy or girl,  don’t come out potty trained and talking, Ricardo and I decided we’ll pass. Our two girls keep us plenty busy.

IVN really has become our new baby. This “child” requires a considerable amount of time, money, blood, sweat, and tears. Maybe not blood but everything else for sure. IVN has given me an opportunity to share my love for fashion with so many people. I’m honored and humbled to share my baby with my IVN family.

We’ve had some highs and lows but more highs than anything. I’ve had to teach myself so much about the blogger and influencer world, I still have so much to learn. I remain undaunted and I am eager for the next chapter. But to celebrate this first chapter we had to do an anniversary shoot. I couldn’t have imagined doing the anniversary shoot without my dream team. I’ve begged, cajoled, bribed, guilted, and demanded my family’s cooperation and participation in bringing IVN to life. In all seriousness they’ve been instrumental in IVN’s success. Without them this just doesn’t work; my family is everything.

The Crew- IVN’s heart and soul- Ricardo, Sanaa, Laila, Andrea.

Read more on IVN!


We decided to kick off the summer with a fun trip to a sunflower maze. My family likes to visit corn mazes during the Fall, a sunflower maze just makes sense for the Summer. Sunflower mazes are a great, low cost, family friendly outing. It would even make for a great first date if you’re the outdoorsy type. You can get “lost” in the maze, bird watch, butterfly chase, and/or play the damsel in distress (ladies we’ve all done it once or twice in our lives) should an unruly bumble bee decides to get too close.

Continue reading “SUMMER FUN”


I’m very excited about this post, for several reasons. First, I get to feature one of my very best friend’s in the whole wide world, Amanda Wright. Amanda has been my BFF for over 18 years and counting. She is a brilliant accountant, loving wife, doting mother, and a loyal friend. She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since we met at Temple University. She’s supported the blog and the brand from day one. She’s also the queen of coordination. She love’s to style her whole family in the cutest ensembles no matter how much her husband protest and he’s been known to protest…lol Second I’m doing my part to shade light on a very important topic; size inclusion in fashion.


Amanda and I have a passion for fashion, but we noticed something very unsettling in the fashion world (ready to wear and luxury) a long time ago, designer/brands don’t make cute clothes in EVERY size….



This one has been a long time coming… As many of you may or may not know I’m a makeup artist. Yes we can all agree I do a terrible job about advertising that fact. There’s a reason for this, for a very long time I felt like I was doing way too much. Who do I think I am calling myself a makeup artist?! You don’t do this for a living. This is a form of self expression for you, pure joy, this is not your career… These are all the things I tell myself.

While there’s no denying I’m a certified fashionista and an aspiring influencer but I’m a legit MUA as well. Wearing many hats can be distracting for some and people worry about their “brand” but if it’s apart of who you are, your DNA, your audience will be able to digest it all, assuming you do it right. I’ve always been a Jill of all Trades, master of one, LIFE. I live a BIG, beautiful, full life, and I do a number of things well and there’s no shame in that.

I’ve done weddings, proms, special occasions, you name it. But somewhere deep down I doubt my skills at times because I don’t do it for a “living”. I’ve had to tell myself just because you don’t do something for a living, YET, doesn’t invalidate your skill or passion for it. We’re half way through 2019 and I’m tossing doubt and fear aside. See what positive self talk will do for you.


Ladies and gents without further ado here’s my latest and greatest. Just in time for Women Crush Wednesday, say hello to Ms. Hadassah Hampton. My Dada, that’s her nickname, she is my adopted daughter aka one of Sanaa’s best friends. Isn’t she stunning?! She was such a little dream to work with. I love me some Dada.


I was honored when Dada asked me to do her makeup for prom. I’m always humbled when people ask me to be apart of some of the most important days in their lives, weddings, proms, etc.


So what did I use on this little beauty a few things:

Foundation: I used Cover FX N90 on her face with damp beauty blender. I set the face with NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Banana powder. I set her under eye with Laura Mercier’s classic translucent powder.

Concealer: Kevin Aucion Super Natural Concealer Medium EC06. This was done intentionally, the concealer is indeed lighter than her foundation, it’s meant to be to create a contour.

Eyes/Eye brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow pomade in Chocolate. Mac Veluxe Brown Pencil in Dark Brown. My ride or die pencil.

On the lids I used a few different products. I started with Makeup Geek eyeshadow Bitten in the crease, mixed with a bit of Natasha Denona’s Glory and Citrine from the Sunrise Palette as well.

I finished the eyes by putting Too Faced glitter glue on the lid, than I applied a mixture of Mac’s Rose Pigment, NYX Salmon Roll On Shimmer and Mac’s PINK glitter.

I lined the upper lid, with Make Up Geek’s Immortal Gel Liner. The blackest gel liner on the market in my opinion…period. Applied Ardell’s faux mink lashes, I don’t recall the style sorry guys. I will update later if I figure it out.

Lips: I lined the lips with Mac’s Currant Lipliner and filled them with Mac’s Viva Glam Rhianna Red Lippie, no longer for sale ladies sorry. And voila a real life Barbie Doll.

Photo credit goes to ShotByJacques. This young man is an amazing talent and a real professional. He has an amazing eye, can’t wait to shoot with him again!

Until next time…