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:
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).
***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.
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.
*** 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.
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…
I stumbled upon some tickets to an early screening of Will Smith’s new film, King Richard; just added movie critic to my repertoire. The film is a bio-pic on Richard Williams, the father of tennis mega stars Venus and Serena Williams. Let me start by saying this is a must see. Will Smith delivered a convincing performance. We all know this isn’t Will’s first rodeo in the bio-pic arena (Ali, Pursuit of Happyness) and he didn’t disappoint. He channeled all his bio-pic powers to deliver a human and relatable Richard Williams, right down to the walk, quirks and mannerisms.
I was pleased Mr. Williams was depicted as more than a cantankerous, overbearing, self-serving, opportunistic parent living vicariously through his daughters. Instead we got to see a complex human, a father, a provider, and protector in King Richard. Maybe I saw all of this because of my personal experience. My father taught my twin sister and I how to play tennis as well. We played competitively for many years as well. We were nowhere as talented as Serena or Venus, that kind of talent is God-sent.
KING RICHARD Reviews
Their story parallels my own experience in so many ways. We share the same faith, we grew up in some of the roughest areas of the country and we played a game most people deemed a “white person’s sport”. Little black girls playing tennis in Compton or Bedstuy Brooklyn wasn’t as normal as it is today. Black tennis stars were few and far between. Yes we had Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe but that’s more or less where the buck stopped. You had to be a real visionary to see yourself excelling in a sport where no one looked like you.
If Richard Williams was nothing else he was a visionary. In real life we know he was a hot mess express, a visionary but a hot mess just the same. The film details the families struggles with life in the hood and it doesn’t get any more hood than Compton, LA in the 80s/90s. Gang violence was at an all-time high, crack-cocaine ravaged black and brown communities, and police brutality was the order of the day. Making sure all 5 of your daughters made it out unscathed was a tall order for any man. Mr. Williams rose to the occasion, he had a plan. He was the only one who was aware of the plan at times but he had one.
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.
*** 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.
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.
Fall has officially arrived and I’m ready to embrace everything that comes with it. Cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, and amber and crimson leaves twirling in the wind. And of course there’s everything apple related, apple cider, apple picking, apple pie, I’m here for it all. You can however keep all things pumpkin related, as we’re going to get pumpkin spiced to death until January.
But I digress this post is about stuff I love about Fall and that’s a cozy sweater. I’m on a real tear when it comes to the big comfy sweaters for Fall. This is just the first installment in my sweater weather series so stay tuned!
Let’s get into the reason we’re all here, the sweater, specifically the sweater dress. A sweater dress is a Fall must have for me. This Hanifa sweater dress and scarf checks all the boxes. The Olivia, is a Maxi Sweater dress you won’t regret buying. It’s in limited stock and colors at the moment, currently only available in Lime and Raisin.