It’s absolutely shameful I haven’t given you guys an update on at least one of my splurges all year. Don’t fret here’s a good one. I took advantage of the Andrea Iyamah sunset sale in July. I splurged on a few things mostly because I didn’t think I was going to make it to Beyonce’s Renaissance Tour, but I did, which was also a splurge, but that’s a story worthy of it’s very on blog post. Stay tuned for more on that in my August round up.
Here’s the back story, one of my baby sisters (Eden) sent me a link to the Eros Escape Tote Bag back in January. Why would she do such a thing you might ask? Simple, it’s a big, beautiful, and bright tote bag with my first name on it, what can I say, she just gets me. However I was on a “spending freeze” essentials only, so I said nope I’m not gonna do it, especially not at the retail price. I waited months for a sale worthy of my coin. My patience paid off in July.
Andrea (she and I are dear friends in my head) had one of the biggest sales of the season, 40% the entire site no exclusions. Talk about X-mas in July. I snatched up everything I had my eye on since January and the rest is history. She’s currently running an end of season 30% off sale, exclusions apply. We shot the looks at a local farm, Monteplier Farms. I checked two things off my summer to do list, shoot a summer look at a sunflower patch and personally support a local farm, snaps for me!!! LOL
Hey gang the Target designer collections for spring is live. Yes the rumors are true all the pieces are under $50!!! You know what that means mama is going stock up!!!
This drop features one of my favorite labels FeNoel. This is probably the only time I can actually afford multiple pieces from the brand without using Affirm lol. I’m not ashamed to admit that either, miss Felisha (Felisha Noel= FeNoel, the brand’s creator) is heavy on the luxe and there’s nothing wrong with that!! We (black girls) deserve all the things too!!! The collaboration also includes pieces from other popular warm weather brands, Rhode and Agua Bendita.
As promised, fresh new content for 2023. I was suppose to post this Monday but totally missed the mark, so let’s talk makeup. So here it is on a Thursday. This update is kind of a big deal for me. I had the privilege and pleasure of slaying Dr. Stella Chukwu face for her very first television appearance. Hopefully this will be the first of many of Dr. Stella’s TV appearances.
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.
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!
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.
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.
*** 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.
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.
*** Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase via the link provided I will be compensated.***
At this point it’s basically an IVN tradition to shoot a look from Target’s Annual Fall Designer Collection. Ya’ll know I love me a good high end meets low end look; high on the design low on the price and Target never disappoints. Since I aim to please, here are a few of my fave’s from this year’s drop.
Target Fall Designer Collection
My favorite designer from the drop was Victor Glemaud collection. The collection featured his signature- knit skirt sets. These sets are as, bright, bold, and well made as his higher-end designs. Of course I bought every piece of the polka dot set and made Amanda buy the top and skirt. Amanda would not let shoot this collection without her. The quality of the pieces is impeccable, soft, comfortable, with plenty of stretch.
Hey gang! I know the unofficial end of summer was last weekend but me and Amanda are still summering…lol Since we’re all about to be pumpkin spiced to death we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share our annual body positivity swimsuit shoot with you all.
In our latest installment of the everyBODY matters series, we’re wearing the Matte Collection’s Kai swimsuit. I’m rocking the white Kai-Cheetah print and Amanda is in the black Kai- Snake print. Why did I choose the Matte Collection for this year’s shoot, it should be pretty clear as to why, but I’ll go ahead state the obvious anyway, they make swimwear for everyBODY!!! The Matte Collection swimsuits are super affordable, comfortable, stylish, and just the right amount of sexy. Perfect for the ladies that want to give’em a little razzle dazzle on the beach or pool side.
It’s our 3 year anniversary gang! This past year has been A LOT!!! Between you, me and the walls I didn’t wanted to throw in the towel on the blog, for a number of reasons. At the height of the pandemic it seemed silly, dare I say insensitive to post about fashion and fun when some many people were sick, suffering, and quite literally dying. So many people are still struggling just to make ends meet. However instead of throwing the baby in with the bath water I decided to pivot, because that’s what champions do they adjust.
IVN TURNS 3
I’m so glad I made the decision not to quit, not to give up on my dreams, not to give up on the community we’ve built. The IVN community is small but thoroughly engaged, something you can’t find just anywhere. It’s really all about the engagement and adding value. It will be so cool to have big brand sponsorships and an enormous following on all my social media platforms one day, but having an attentive and engaged audience is what I’m most proud of and how I measure our success. You guys allow me to experiment and grow without being pigeon-hold to one genre or niche. At it’s core this blog is definitely about fashion but you all let me share everything and I appreciate that more than words can express.