EVERYBODY MATTERS- GOOD AMERICAN SWIMWEAR EDITION

Hey Gang! I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend. I couldn’t let the season end without doing an EveryBODY Matters swimwear edit with my bestie Amanda. Fun fact, Summer isn’t technically over until September 21st, but folks love closure and Labor Day weekend usually gives the Summer haters (aka lovers of all things Fall/Winter) closure. A debate on the change of the seasons isn’t why we’re here. It’s all but the swimsuits. This year we’re in Good American Swimsuits.

EVERYBODY MATTERS- GOOD AMERICAN SWIMWEAR EDITION

As you can imagine finding a flattering swimsuit, that we both loved or liked a enough to be photographed in was a challenge. I heard Good American had a plus size line so I decided to test them out. Yes I’m keenly aware this is Khloe Kardashian’s brand and none of them need anymore of our money than they already have. But I wanted to see if the brand lived up to the hype. Short story I wasn’t disappointed but I wasn’t impressed either. Before I get into the critique of the swimsuits, we need to discuss the shoot location.

CHASING WATERFALLS

Amanda wanted to do something “different” for this year’s swimsuit edit, she wanted to do the photoshoot at a waterfall. Queue TLC’s Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls. Since going to the rainforest of Costa Rica was out of the question, I found a local waterfall at Scott’s Run Preserve in McLean, VA. With very little time to scout the location (fresh off my Grecian vacation) I had no idea what to expect. However from the little research I did do, it seemed easy enough to get to, a 1.5 mile walk to the falls, EASY. However we didn’t take that path. For reasons I can’t explain, we decided to just follow the people walking up the stairs. I never follow the crowd but this time I figured why not; big mistake!

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SHE DID THAT

No I’m not referring to my fabulous outfit, I did kinda slay this look. Pats self on back. I’m actually referring to the work the team at She Did That Films is doing. Before we get into the film, let’s discuss why I was out on a school night, looking like a whole snack LOL.

woman in pink and red for She Did That

SHE DID THAT

The saying you attract what you are couldn’t be more true when comes to Christina @sharpandsoundstyle. Christina and I are lifestyle bloggers, we connected via Instagram. We recently started following each other, commenting on each other pics and stories, we became quick IG friends. Short story short we decided we needed to meet in real life. Christina invited me to a screening of She Did That’s short film on Kalilah Wright, CEO of Mess In a Bottle.

We decided to meet up for dinner. Christina suggested we dine at Dirty Habit. Definitely a must if you’re in Washington DC area or plan to visit. The short ribs and mash (pictured below) literally melt in your mouth. I like sweet cocktails, so the Monaco Side Car was a perfect pairing. After dinner we made our way to the screening. When kindred spirits connect it’s a vibe y’all! I had good ole time with miss Christina! I smell a collaboration coming, stay tuned for that.

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STRANGER THAN FICTION

Warning there is no fashion news here. Just life happening in a big uncomfortable ways.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, truly stranger than fiction. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. Where do I start, ah let’s start at the lock down at Laila’s school two weeks ago. Yes that was as nerve wrecking as it sounds. Her school sent out the alarming text below about an hour before dismissal:

“Our school has been placed on lockdown. We have no additional information to report at this time. All children are safe and secured in the building.”

No cause for concern right?! The safe and secure part is the only thing that kept sane. The no additional information part is what I was struggling with. Given what little information I was given, I was proud of the level of calm I maintained. I called my husband to tell him what was happening. He was his usual cool and collected self, nothing to see here. While he was doing his best to reassure me this was probably nothing, Laila texted, deep sigh of relief. She let us know she was just fine but her classmates were whispering loudly (point of fact they were not whispering at all) and if this was an actual threat she’d been done for.

This kids starts texting us her survival plan which consisted of playing dead and covering herself in someone else’s blood. Plan B was hiding in the coat closet. I immediately thought how sad is this. This kid is devising survivial tactics to make it through the school day. I never had this particular and peculiar worry. Sheltering in place, in case of an active shooter was unheard of when I was in sixth grade and I went to school in NYC, the shooters were usually outside. Different struggles, same sad world.

STRANGER THAN FICTION

Fast forward to the stranger than fiction part. This is probably one of THEE wildest things that has ever happened to me. I was born and raised in Brooklyn NYC, I’ve seen my fair share of extraordinary. Let me set the scene, it’s a sunny Tuesday morning, I’m working from home, under my heated blanket, minding my business, living my best life. Then I hear a ZOOM, SCREECH, BAM!!! It was like an old Batman & Robin episode, sirens blaring, helicopters hovering, and shouts of GET OUT THE CAR, GET OUT OF THE CAR!!! I peek out my bedroom window to find police officers, what I eventually learn are actually U.S. Marshalls arresting someone.

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SHOP YOUR CLOSET

One of our dedicated supporters noticed I pulled a Tiffany Haddish, a fashion faux pas, clutch you’re pearls, oh no she didn’t offense… The crime, I wore a statement piece twice and I was photographed in it. The first time I wore said cardigan was during a 2018 photoshoot in Dallas, TX. I dusted her off again for our recent Black History Month photo shoot. The cardigan is as old as the blog. It’s only right that she is the star in this edition of “Shop Your Closet.”

SHOP YOUR CLOSET

There are so many reasons you should give the clothes in your closet another spin around the block. First you’re not a celebrity no one remembers or cares that you wore that dress twice. Second it makes sense from an economic and sustainability perspective. Third we may be on the brink of another Cold War with Russia. Buying new clothes will be the last thing on the to do list.

If the US imposes any of the sanctions reported, gas prices will skyrocket, and we’ll be paying $20 a gallon on gas. Californians might not even flinch at that kind of increase they already pay something close to that right now…lol All I know is Russia is super annoying right now and I need them to chill; it’s upsetting to me and my homegirls. Ok that ends my take on geo-political matters, back to the fashion.

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I AM BLACK HISTORY

On this 18th day of February (Black History Month 2022), I give you The Beales (sans Sanaa, track meets trump photo shoots these days). We are indeed our ancestors wildest dreams.

We are a young black family, successful, educated, and gifted. Everything the generations before us dreamed of but were denied. We are the dream realized and it feels good. The grandness of my existence is only possible because of the sacrifice and struggle of those before me. So when I show up I show out… PERIOD

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SPANX VS SKIMS

Maybe you put on a few pounds during the pandemic, maybe you’re on the road to your new body but you’re not quite there yet and you need a little help. Insert shapewear, actually insert SPANX or SKIMS. If you are at all confused (for my male readers) as to what a SPANX or a SKIMS are, it’s just shapewear (body smoothing/slimming under garments for the ladies). Pay attention gentlemen you might just learn something.

SPANX VS SKIMS

Gone are the days of the bone crushing girdles (ask you’re grandmothers and aunties about it, this post is only but so long…lol) we have now reached much a more civilized place in society where we squeeze and smooth our unwanted fat in what amounts to high-tech elastic.

SPANX totally reset the bar on body shaping under garments. If Spanx reset the bar, it’s probably fair to say SKIMS made it prettier, more popular, and dare I say a bit more functional. One should expect nothing less from the pop-culture icon Kim Kardashian. SKIMS is Kim K.’s creation.

To be completely fair, this isn’t an apples to apples comparison. Being a novice to the shapewear game I unwittingly purchased a bodysuit from each brand thinking they would be comparable in fit considering they were comparable in price and I thought design as well; I was wrong. Gentlemen keep reading if you still care at this point.

SPANX

Let’s start with the OG, SPANX. I purchased the Thinstinct Thing Bodysuit from Spanx. It’s definitely thin, they got that part right. The bodysuit is described as follows: “…the Thinstincts® Thong Bodysuit is the perfect smoothing, lightweight layering piece.” It’s definitely light weight, great piece for layering, but it doesn’t quite check the box in the smoothing department; at least not for me.

woman sharing SPANX VS SKIMS
Spanx Thinstincts Body Suit
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HELLO 2022

Hey guys it’s been a while since I’ve posted on the blog, but as you can imagine life has been life’ing in a major way. The New Year started off a little rocky for the Beale’s, Covid-19 invaded my house. The whole house contracted that good ole Omarion (Omicron variant). Because black people play entirely too much and have zero chill we’ve dubbed the Omicron variant, the “Omarion” (R&B Singer, B2K) virus/variant for obvious reasons. “Omarion” Touched down on our house January 1st and I didn’t start feeling like myself until late last week. Of course the husband and kids bounced back in like 2.5 days; I took a little longer.

woman walking in the snow welcoming HELLO 2022
The Mega Kuei in the snow!!

Long Haul Covid

It was scary and disappointing to end up with Covid considering we’ve been so vigilant during the pandemic, wearing our mask, social distancing, quarantining when necessary, and getting vaccinated. Disappointing because no matter how vigilant you are, there’s no real safe place unless you stay inside and limit your interactions with the outside world to the bare minimum. Scary because I didn’t want to end up with any Long Haul Covid symptoms-loss of smell, taste, fatigue, dependent on oxygen just to breathe. Long Haul Covid is real. I personally know folks who are suffering with these long term symptoms. I didn’t want any of it and so far I’m not experiencing any of symptoms, thank God. I’m just happy to back in the land of the living.

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Shopping and other things to do in the DMV

For many of you this is the last weekend to get out into those streets and shop until you drop. I ventured out to the Nordstrom’s in Tyson’s (Virginia) last weekend to see the Nichole Lynel collection in-person and let me tell you the people were out and about!!! Nordstrom’s had a live DJ, no doubt to make the shopping experience more fun and festive; it worked. I definitely felt far less anxious about being out among the masses. A good bop can put anyone in a better mood. That said, if you’re in the DMV this weekend, this one’s for you…

Shopping and other things to do in the DMV

Still looking for cool and interesting gifts for your loved ones, here are few places you should visit:

Holiday Markets to Visit

Truly there is no competition. The Victura Park Holiday Market (Fri-Sun,  entry, , Kennedy Center) and the  National Arboretum’s Procrastinator’s Holiday Market (Sat,  entry, , Arboretum) are happening this weekend. There’s nothing like the views from the Potomac and you view the last fall foliage for the year; either way there isn’t a more scenic venue to do your holiday shopping.

Pop-Up Markets are literally Popping-Up Everywhere

Here are a few seasonal markets where you can finish your shopping at here in the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia).

DC- There’s literally like a pop-up every day! Visit the 6th annual holiday pop-up (Sun, entry is free, Van Ness). There’s also a Star Wars-themed Artists & Artisans Winter Vendor Village, (Sat, $20 entry, Lamond Riggs). Last but not least there’s a Holiday Market at The Ven (Sat-Sun, free entry, Dupont).

Virginia: Attention all dog owners/lovers, bring your dog to the Rosslyn’s Holiday Market (Fri-Sat, Free entry, Arlington) or maybe watch a movie at the Winter Bazaar at the Arlington Drafthouse (Sun, free entry, Arlington).

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CYBER MONDAY

***Full disclosure this site contains affiliate links. If you use one of my links I may be compensated.***

We’re kicking off the gift giving season right. I’m sharing some of my favorite places to shop on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is my favorite shopping day of the year! All of the brands I love slash their prices in half. All the stuff I’ve had sitting in my virtual shopping cart for weeks is affordable now. Now let’s hope everything I saved didn’t sell out.

Quick update, unrelated to Cyber Monday buuuuuutttt the NL Label (Nicole Lynel) is coming to Nordstrom December 1st (we already have one piece online). The NL label coming to Nordstrom is HUGE!! Kimberly Goldson (another luxury black owned label) is already at Saks and Nordstrom, okuuuuur in my Carbi B voice. Black women owned and operated brands coming to stores like Nordstrom and Saks is a whole vibe. It’s black girl magic on steroids and I’m just happy to here to see it all. So look out for that assuming you have any coins left after today.

Let’s get into these Cyber Monday picks…

First stop Amazon.com. Does Jeff Bezo’s need anymore of our money?! Nope, but he’s gonna get it because you can’t beat two-day shipping and the the deals Amazon offers. Jeff and Beyoncé are really agents of the Devil. I can’t keep a coin in my purse between the two of them, it’s really sickening but I digress.

CYBER MONDAY

Let’s get into why you guys came, the fashion and the deals!!!

Amazon’s Making the Cut Designers is your one stop shop for party season. The best part of it all is you can “try before you buy”. I listed some of the pieces I’ve had my eye on for a while. Pro tip: wait for a deal of the sale on these pieces you want to save a few coins. But come back to my site first to shop lol.

  1. Seta V-Neck Maxi Dress
  2. Seta Long Sleeve Reversible Top
  3. Pantora Sweater Dress
  4. Pantora Houndstooth Sequin Blazer, skirt and pants
  5. See Pantora Sequin Drawstring Pants and coordinating crop top
  6. Painted Maxi Skirt
  7. Sequin Maxi Skirt
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DRESS THE TABLE

*** Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you use one of my links I may be compensated***

Raise your hand if your granny always had her dinning room table set like she was gonna have a five course meal daily? My granny did so I’m sure I’m not alone. I rarely ever set or dress the table when I’m having dinner. After I’m finished cooking and cleaning I barely have time to dress myself let alone a table. But lately I’ve been adulting and dressing my table really has me feeling like a big girl.

woman sharing how to DRESS THE TABLE

DRESS THE TABLE

You don’t need a lot, start with a center piece, a simple floral arrangement is great place to start. You don’t have to do too much. I grabbed a bunch of seasonal flowers right out of Trader Joe’s and made a lovely arrangement for this shoot. If you don’t have the time or skill set for making your own arrangement, head to @leesflowersdc they know how to do a center piece like nobody’s business.

Next grab you a table runner with some sparkle. Sequin, shimmer, or shine just make sure it pops. The table is gonna need a little light. Some people prefer candles on their table, while candles are elegant, they scream fire hazard for me, so I prefer string lights. Super affordable and far less likely to end with a visit from the fire department.

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