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.

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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 make 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…




In the concluding piece of my sit down with Cyrkle, we got into some deeper topics. We also got a glimpse of Cyrkle, THE WOMAN. It’s only a peek because we got layers over here ya’ll.  How does she keep it all together? Check out the final part of our discussion below.

 Queen Cyrkle

IVN: Let’s talk about Cyrkle, the actress, author, educator, mother, partner, daughter, sister, aunty… How does a Cyrkle keep it all together? I know it takes a village.

CL: It definitely takes a village. But I also invest in myself in therapy so I can get my stuff out, because the REAL is that we are all flawed and if we’re going to stand in front of children, it’s imperative not to take out your issues out on children. They’re just figuring it out. You should have figured it out already. And if you haven’t figured it out, that’s what therapy’s for. But I’m just have an amazing village in my parents, my children’s father, my significant other. I really have an amazing support system.

I’m also just very transparent about where I am when it comes to socializing. If I’m not in the mood to connect with people because I’m using that energy to connect and lead a school throughout the week; I’m very transparent and honest about that. I just have to say NO. No is my favorite word.

IVN: (LOL) No is a complete sentence despite what people think.

CL: Right. Now if it’s someone that I really care about, they know why I’m saying no and sometimes I’ll give them an explanation, i.e. I have professional thing, I’ve had a tough week at school, I have another obligation that I need to prepare for, sorry no. I create boundaries, that, and a very, very, strong support system is how I keep it all together.

IVN: That’s awesome. It’s really important that we (working mothers) create boundaries. Do you have any projects you’re working on? You did a one woman show, The Queens Chains, a little bit over a year and a half ago. Are you doing another show? You have to do another show! (Squeals in excitement)


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Here’s the back story on my little love affair with Ms. Cyrkle Lomax. I met Cyrkle circa 2014-2015. She taught my eldest child Sanaa at Excel Academy. Sanaa would come home raving about how cool Ms. Lomax was. She said she was a lot like me, small but mighty, a disciplinarian, that played ZERO games with the kids.

She commands respect but gives it willingly and in abundance when it’s is deserved and earned. She has an endearing quality, that children, my child specifically gravitated towards. Sanaa has never connected with an adult outside of our family the way she did with Cyrkle. When we finally met, I could see why. She was all those things and more.

When she introduced herself, she was so sincere, “Hi my name is Cyrkle, like the shape”, because her name is spelled non-traditionally and to ensure you didn’t misunderstand what she just said, that was indeed her name, the intro was necessary. I immediately thought I love the creativity of black folk, we sure will recreate something real quick, but I love it, it was unique just like her.

When she left Excel for bigger and better things, there were definitely tears from all her babies; Sanaa included. Sanaa and I, aren’t what you call big criers, so if this kid was in tears over a teacher you know the love was real. The love has remained real. We’ve cheered her on when she starred in her very own, one woman show, The Queen’s Chains, which received rave reviews. Purchased her memoir Love Addict, it sits on my coffee table beside Michelle Obama’s Becoming.

We celebrate our educators during the first week of May during what is affectionately called, “Teacher Appreciation Week.” This year I wanted to highlight this special woman. We met at our “local” Starbucks and chatted about a whole lot of things. Check out the Q&A below. We got in to so much during our little “tea session” I had to split the conversation into two parts, so stay tuned, this is a two-parter.

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