It’s the Wednesday before the Big Fest and we’re trying to figure out what to wear to the couch or dinner table, at least I am. Full disclosure I’d be in my Skims onesie if I had it my way but I don’t. I have to people tomorrow, yes I’m using people as a verb, deal with it. If I’m going to people, I’m going to be cute doing it.
What to Wear Wednesday!!! EveryBODY Matters Edition
I’ve teamed up with my bestie Amanda for the latest installment of our everyBODY matters series. Our goal is to put a look together that’s flattering to both our BODY types. We always look for pieces that make us look and feel good, also factoring in our respective budgets. I buy what I can afford and I Affirm what I can’t LOL. Amanda is far more frugal than me. Lately, Target has become the undisputed champion in affordable ready-to-wear fashion for me. The champs did not disappoint with the dress we found for this look. The long-sleeve sweater dress from Target’s in-store brand Wild Fable, checked all the boxes for us. This dress will have you serving looks for days.
It’s versatile… This is a mini dress so if you’re looking for a more modest look, wear it as a top and pair it with leggings, knee boots, or booties or even your favorite sneakers (sans leggings or stockings) like we did. It can also be dressed up or down. Clearly we went for a dressed down look however dressing it up is an easy pivot. Grab some knee boots, a cropped faux fur jacket and a cute clutch and you’re ready for anything.
It’s affordable… The dress retails for $30 USD. Need I say more.
It’s EXTREMELY comfortable… This dress feels like a hug, FULL STOP.
It’s a mini-dress… If you’re shapely in any way you have to factor in your hips and booty. Big booty Judys beware this may not be the one for you and that’s ok.
It’s shoulder-bearing… Meaning you’re going to have to wear a strapless bar or another undergarment to keep the “girls” front and center. Not a deal breaker for me, maybe for others.
The top rolls… The fold-over portion of the dress rolls up during movement, somewhat of a design flaw. It only becomes an issue when you’re very active, sitting down to eat dinner should not be an issue. Again, not a deal-breaker for me, considering the price point and the comfort, it’s still worth it.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
I recently attended one of thee premiere fashion events in D.C. Just days ago Anifa Mvuemba’s (Hanifa) held her very first live runway show at the National Portrait Gallery. The show was live streamed and recorded for the rest of the world, you can watch it here. I can be seen at the 1 hour 24 minute mark of the video. Don’t blink you might miss me, lol. I’m the vision in winter white but this isn’t all about me.
ALL HAIL HANIFA
Ms. Mvuemba did not come to play, she came to slay. The show’s theme- HANIFA A DREAM IN DC lived up to the hype. You couldn’t ask for a better canvas than the Portrait Gallery. The show was a grandiose display of black girl magic. The models ranged in size and color. Ya’ll already know how I feel about size inclusion, I will die on that fashion-hill a thousand times. More than 400 guest were in attendance. I mean anybody who’s anybody in fashion and style was there. Yes I got the invite, this baby blogger is moving up in the world. My look for the even was even mention worthy, check out the article on Hello Beautiful.
Pyer Moss- fashion designer, Neffi Walker- creator of the Black Home, queen of décor and all things beautiful, Angela Rye- political pundit/style and changemaker. I stood right behind Angela (she was seated, I was standing with the rest of the chattel reporting on the event). I was totally unbothered by that, honestly I was just happy to be there. Not only was I there, I was breathing the same air as Angela Rye and Pyer Moss, and Neffi (we’re best friends in my head). I’m still on cloud 9. Claire Sulmers- founder of Fashionbombdaily was also there. And we’re not going to gloss over the fact that I was in the same room with Ms.Sulmers twice in less than a month, let’s just let that ruminate for a second, ok I’m done. Now about the show…
Happy Fri-yay!!! Big news gang, IVN has joined the SHE Media Partner Network!!! The SHE Media family uses it media muscle to take baby bloggers like myself to the next level. They help brands build, scale, and grow into media powerhouses. This is truly an honor as they don’t accept just anyone into the network, so I must be doing something right.
So how did all of this come to fruition? I recently attended the BlogHer Biz conference in Brooklyn, NY. BlogHer is a part oft he SHE Media family. I’ve been a huge fan of the BlogHer platform for sometime. When they announced they would be doing an in-person conference this year, I knew I had to be there. I registered for the conference to secure my seat at the table. I also applied for the scholarship they offered and as luck would have it, I was selected. Watch the replay here. I made the highlight reel on their IG page too; pats self on the back. It does pay to be well dressed, just saying.
IVN x SHE Media Partner Network
The conference was everything, it surpassed any expectations I had. I met some of my biggest sheros in the fashion and business world. Claire Sulmers- CEO, Editor in Chief, and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily (FBD) was one of the this year’s VOTY spotlights. The VOTY spotlight is one of BlogHer’s newest ways of giving content creators their flowers for the contributions to the industry. Claire’s story resonates with me on so many levels. She’s a native New York, her family hails from the same Caribbean island as mine, the Bahamas, and probably the most impressive fact about Ms. Sulmers is that she built her media empire from the ground up, see a snippet of acceptance speech below. I literally visit FBD’s IG page or website daily. It was literal thrill to see her live and in-person. I can only dream of the level of success she’s achieved.
Quality- Theses garments are well made. They’re designed for wear and tear; hopefully not too much tear. When the time comes, these pieces can be passed down to a younger sibling, cousin, or family friend; still in mint-condition.
Discounts- There’s a always sale going on, you just have to catch it. I rarely full price for anything.
Style- These pieces are expertly curated and designed. My Laila doesn’t get excited about too much, but she loved the pieces we received from the last two collections and that’s saying a lot for a 12 year old girl… #picky
Steps down from soapbox…
We needed to do a festive Fall look and we’re been long overdue for a Mommy & Me look. My sister-in-law Julie (photographed below) suggested we take my nephew Jaxxon to a local farm for some outdoor fun while visiting my mom in North Carolina. Boom two birds with one stone, festive fall look meets Mommy & Me awesomeness. We also took some pictures of Jaxxon and Julie. I love candid photos they tell the story and you don’t have to say a word; somebody’s a mama’s boy who has an affinity for Superman.
I know my Jaxx is a looker, but let’s get back to the reason we came, Laila and Andrea cuteness.
It’s sweater weather and I’m on a real tear when it comes to these cardigans. I’m kinda obessesed. This edition of sweater weather features another Hanifa staple, the Miya cardigan dress. This dress is so versatile, it can be worn as dress or double as outerwear. It comes in a variety of colors, so there’s literally something for everyone. The material is super soft (not itchy), which is must when it comes to sweaters. It can be dressed up or down, with heels or sneakers, party or the park, it’s utility piece you’ll have in the closet for years to come.