We are thrilled to be a part of Ocessories summer 2020 launch of its newest collection- The Warrior. This collection features some of my favorite designs to date. Each collection is also near and dear to designer Omneisia Evans heart but this line speaks to the warrior spirit inside of every women- the power, strength, beauty and drive. At a time where we could all use a little “pretty” in our worlds this line does that for me. Each set also tells a story and speaks to the very nature of what it means to be a woman; soft yet strong, powerful but gentle, fierce but calm. Oh the duality of being a woman. Women are multi-faceted and this line highlights that in each set.
This launch also features a new addition to the brand, anklets. I had the pleasure of chatting with Omneisia about the line, check out interview below. We talk about the brand, the collection and where Ocessories is headed. In addition, Omneisia is more transparent and intentional about her vision for the brand than ever before. You can view the entire collection below as well as commentary on my favorites. I also have a treat for you guys. Ocessories has created an exclusive discount code for the IVN family. So use the discount code IVNWARRIOR to save some coins at checkout!!!
Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
THE PALM PRINT BY JANIE AND JACK
Summer is officially here gang! Nothing says summer like palm prints. You know I had to style little miss Laila in Janie and Jack’s Ruffle Strap Palm Print dress. This dress is giving all kinds of sassy fun in the sun. This dress is 100% cotton, which means little ones with sensitive skin don’t have to worry about the “itches”. Laila is one of those children and this dress has received the Laila Beale stamp of approval. This print has matching family styles, meaning if you have an infant, boy, or girl there’s a style in this print for them as well. For all the coordinating mamas this makes life a lot easier.
We decided to shoot at the U.S. National Arboretum. It’s a beautiful little oasis on the edge of D.C. Sadly the arboretum and this dress is probably the closest we’ll get to any kind of a tropical setting this summer.
The sandals complimented the dress quite nicely. These sandals are easy to get on and off. They feature a traditional hole-strap with several notches for growth. I hope we get another summer out of these sandals but the way she keeps growing it’s highly unlikely. They’ll be a very nice hand-me-down to a cousin or friend.
Hey gang, I hope you all are hanging in there. Quarantine continues to be a rollercoaster of emotions for me and quite frankly I’m ready to get off. Like sir can we please stop the ride I changed my mind. One day everything is “open” the next day, the virus is surging. I don’t even want to get into the non-stop fire works in my neighborhood as soon as the sun sets. Enough already guys. People are just bored, BORED.
On a lighter note, my company has been closed all week for summer break and I can’t express the complete and indescribable joy I’m experiencing right now. I have not been on a Zoom or Microsoft Teams call all week and it feels good. I honestly didn’t want to touch a computer this week but I couldn’t let the week pass without dropping a little bit of this black boy joy in your laps.
BLACK FATHERS EXIST
Say hello to Raoul (my dear friend and husband to my bff Amanda) and Ricardo (my husband, you’ve seen him before)! Neither one of these men are even close to being Hispanic but their names are. We laugh about this all the time because people always assume they are Hispanic. But boy are they surprised when they first meet either of them…lol What’s important about these two aren’t their names. It’s what they do and who they are. Aside from my father, these guys are two of the hardest working, loving, caring, and dependable fathers I know. Bubba (Raoul’s nickname) is a police officer in D.C. and Ricardo is a field tech with Century Link (a tele-com company).
Hey gang. I hope everyone is doing well. I’m at the beach, kid-less and husband-less, yassssss. I felt a tiny morsel of guilt and I do mean tiny, leaving them behind but this trip was very necessary (pun intended) if we’re going to make it through the summer. I think it’s fair to say we all need a break from each other. In fact, the next trip will be something fun for them. With most of the fun places closed it should be interesting what we come up with, especially because almost every where you would want to go, requires you wear a mask. But if you’re going to wear a mask, make it fashion!! Smooth transition right?!
Fashionable Face Mask
Let me just say I wear a verified K-95 mask whenever I’m in highly populated areas, so yes I’m referring to the grocery store, otherwise I opt for something a little more stylish. I found exactly what I was looking for in CandyCreationsBling. The mask featured is a custom CandyCreationsBling piece; Candace Chesnut on Facebook. Candace is actually a family friend. Short story, my sister Shana was on the hunt for a fashionable face mask for an up coming celebration. She reached out to a few designers and soon learned of Candace’s amazing pieces. She had a pearl mask made, similar to the photos below.
The finished product was stunning, so you know I had to have one made also. I opted for the all black crystal mask. My mask features two crystal hearts as well, cause I’m all about the love. These mask are handmade, to-order, and can be customized to your liking. The mask also includes a mesh insert that you can remove and wash as needed. Candace can embellish just about anything you can think of, not just face mask. Sooooooo, I say all that to say, get yourself one or pick up one for your fashionable friend. A million things have been canceled this year, but cute has not been cancelled.
Stay tuned for some mommy and me fun. Sanaa and I are going to give you some super cute midi skirt looks for the summer.
Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to my Amazon store. If you use my links to shop (please do) I will receive a commission.
Hey gang! The mini-me and I snuck out of the house for a little social-distancing photo shoot so we could debut our prettiest Mommy & Me look yet. It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Blair Eadie. She speaks to my soul with her bright, cheerful, yet ultra chic style. If high fashion and a rainbow had a baby, that’s Blair. I’m sporting a dress from her latest collaboration with Halogen X Atlantic- Pacific. Halogen is one of Nordstrom’s top selling ready to wear brands. It’s also become one of my favorite brands outside of it’s collaborations with Ms. Blair.
HALOGEN X ATLANTIC PACIFIC
It’s all about the strips for me. Do I look like a summer day walking or nah?! I think so. About the dress, it’s sheer and light-weight. The dress comes with a removeable slip, a sign of a pretty well thought out garment. I wore undergarments that were very close in color to the slip so it blended seamlessly. I’d advise you to wear nude undergarments with this one; better safe than sorry. This garment definitely has some room for growth; it’s very forgiving. The only con in my opinion is that the dress get a case of the wrinkles earlier on; which is true of most pieces made with organza. Not a real deterrent for me as they are hardly noticeable but if you are a neat freak it may bother you. Either way you’ve been advised.
Hey gang! I hope everyone is hanging in there! I know this quarantine is wearing us all out. But rest assured this will all come to an end, one way or another. Take solace in knowing everything that has a beginning, has an end. During all of this I’ve tried to maintain some sense of normalcy. One of the things I’ve had to figure out is my HAIR. Natural girl hair (no chemical processes on hair, i.e. chemical relaxers or straightening agents) requires a bit of work. To be honest most days I don’t even bother but there is an occasional Zoom happy hour I try to look decent for. My newest go to look and protective style (styles that promote growth, low stress on hair shaft) is my drawstring ponytail extension from Heat Free Hair.
18″ Everyday full Drawstring ponytail
18″ Everyday full Drawstring ponytail
HEAT FREE HAIR
Heat Free Hair has been on my radar for a while. They were a featured vendor at a panel discussion organized by the black professional network at my firm. The discussion was about women of color and their hair journey in the professional setting; we dubbed it “My Hair Story”. Various women at the firm shared their “hair stories” with the audience via pre-recorded interviews. We then opened it up to the audience for a Q&A. It was a riveting, open, and refreshingly transparent conversation. Women of color have had to contend with a considerable amount of frustration and anxiety in the corporate world when it comes to the their hair.
I was so proud of my firm for supporting this event from creation to execution. It’s a very delicate subject but we were able to be authentic, vulnerable, and informative; we kinda nailed it if I do say so myself.
It’s been a challenging few weeks. We’ve lost some dear friends and family but we still have so much to be grateful for. Ricardo and I celebrated nine years of marriage this past Thursday (May 14, 2020). I know right I can hardly believe it, time sure does fly. Before I get into that I’m going to share a little about our wedding story. We were married on the beautiful island of St. Thomas, May 14, 2011.
I picked the location, the idea grew on Ricardo as the plans started to come together. Honestly, I felt like it was the most diplomatic thing we could do as far as our families were concerned. I’m originally from NY and his people are from the south (MD, NC, TX), so someone one was going to have to travel. So I picked a neutral territory, St. Thomas. Yes of course I could have picked a state side location, but how much fun would that really have been?!
OUR LOVE STORY
In all seriousness we met a number of objectives with that location- neutral ground as far as family travel was concerned, built-in honeymoon, and an amazing location for our guest to wine down after the wedding; it was at an all-inclusive resort. What I didn’t anticipate was just how inept the US Postal Service is/was. Let me explain. I’m a planner and in my planning I thought I could offset some of the shipping cost (which start to add up with a destination wedding) by shipping a few key items for the wedding in advance. Proactive, forward-thinking right, hold your applause I’m not finished.
One of the key items I shipped was my wedding dress and my daughters flower girl dresses. Before you question my intellect regarding not holding on to one THEE most important dress I’d ever wear, let me explain. I’ll be doing a lot of explaining. My dress was very heavy and long. I didn’t want to risk it getting damaged in anyway, not in anyone’s’ overhead bin, captain’s closet, nada. I didn’t have time for anyone mistakenly ripping it or TSA saying something stupid like I couldn’t carry it on, so I decided to ship it, well in advance.
Also, I had a one-year-old at the time.
So flying with her a huge dress, baby bag and some more stuff wasn’t my idea of a good time. Of course Ricardo was with me but traveling with a toddler is just stressful for everybody. Peace of mind was priceless to me at that point, so off the dress went. I did not ship the dress a week or two ahead of the wedding I shipped it off at the end of February, let’s say the beginning of March just to be fair. Several ahead weeks should get anything within the US and it’s respective territories to it’s respective destination in time right?! Wrong!!
My dress arrived at the resort 3 weeks after my wedding. I learned it would not arrive after talking to my wedding planner the day before we were suppose to fly out. No she didn’t advise me not to ship anything in bulk (I shipped a large box) to the island because it takes a minimum of 12 weeks to arrive no matter what the post office advertises or claims.
She was great in every other respect, she pivoted when the rain begin to fall, upgraded us to better location, found flowers at the last minute, but never mentioned don’t ship anything important down especially bulk items. No one ever mentioned, suggested, implied, inferred, or insinuated the dress would not arrive in a timely fashion contrary. I looked into suing the post office I was so upset. Suing the US postal service is a futile endeavor, many have tried, many have failed.
Why did I use the post office you ask?!
I was balling on a budget and they were the most cost-effective. I asked the obvious question(s), will this get there in time? Are you sure? I was assured it would arrive in time by the post office staff and when I called the customer service line. I did my due diligence. However, it did not arrive in time. Nothing I researched indicated my parcel wouldn’t arrive in time. I was in tears, completely inconsolable, for the entire flight down and most of the day before the wedding.
But as I said I’m a planner. During the early stages of wedding planning, I ordered a dupe (aka knock-off) of my actual dress hoping it would look like the real thing but it didn’t quite measure up to my standards. We purchased the authentic version but I still kept the dupe.
In my grief and anguish I forgot all about the back-up dress. I was a mess when I realized my dress wasn’t going to be there; an absolute mess!!! I just knew I had to get there so I packed everything else we had to bring with us and we flew out. So what did I get married in? The back-up dress. But how? My dear sweet, bestie, Amanda brought the back-up dress and the dresses for my girls (their dress were also in the box).
She flew down later than us and thank God she did, otherwise it would have been a true disaster.
Hind insight is always 20/20 when you look back at it, but of all the things that went wrong and quite a few things went wrong the day of the wedding as well, the one thing I got right was me marrying my very best friend on a beautiful island, in front of my family and friends. My granny even made it. At the end of the day that’s all that really mattered. Not the dress, not the flowers, not the cake. All that mattered was us.
Hey gang, it’s May, we’re still on lockdown but there’s so much to be grateful for. Here are few things I’m looking forward to…
My wedding anniversary!!!
This year marks nine years of martial bliss. Marriage isn’t easy but it’s totally worth it. It’s a lot of loving, give and take, conceding, arguing about stupid stuff, forgiving one another after you’ve had some time to cool off about said stupid stuff. And sometimes, sadly, it’s about grieving together. My father-in-law passed away last week. It caught us all off guard. He’s survived so much so we didn’t expect he would pass away so suddenly, nor did we know he was so ill.
I’m heartbroken for my husband, his siblings, and step-mother. Just going to the funeral will present an extra layer of anxiety due to travel restrictions. You can’t even grieve normally anymore. I think we can all agree Corona sucks. I had plans to make this a special anniversary celebration, now I want to make it extra special. Despite enduring such a great loss, it’s also gives us an opportunity to take stock of what we have and be GRATEFUL for what we have, each other.
Cinco De Mayo.
Mexican culture is one of my favorites. The food, the people, the music, it’s all a wonderful assault on the senses and I’m here for it all. And let’s face it we could all use a shot of Tequila at this point. I’m making shrimp tacos with The Funny Momma tonight you should join her Instagram live if you’re free, this woman cracks me up for reals. Grateful for her and the margaritas we finna mix up. Just an FYI Sombreros, tequila, and tacos have nothing to do with the purpose of Cinco De Mayo, see a funny and condensed history lesson here. You’re welcome!
Last but certainly not least it’s Teacher Appreciation Week!!!
Hence my especially studious look for this post. I’m channeling chic nerd here but I digress, this about the teachers. I am especially thankful for my first teachers, my parents. They both have/had an incredible work ethic; moms retired, dad can’t seem to sit still. They both showed us how far hard work and a little dedication can go, for that I will be eternally grateful.
Big news I’m running a Teacher Appreciation Week giveaway on my Instagram page. Like the post, follow me, Omneisia of Ocessories, and tag your favorite teacher for a chance for them to win this set of Ocessories beaded bracelets and an Amazon gift card. Visit my feed to see complete details.
I sincerely hope everyone is doing well. Life in quarantine has been taxing on us all. Check on your extroverted friends, they are not ok…lol. We’ve all been trying to manage as well as we can. One of the ways I’ve been coping is by imagining life post-quarantine. Where will I go? What will I see? What will I do once outside reopens? Most importantly (for a fashionista) what will I be wearing on all my adventures post lockdown?! I’ve been prepping for my spring debut ya’ll. Oh what a show I’m going to put on?!
Some people don’t mind spending a few more pennies on that yummy potato bread whereas others could care less. They just need something to hold the meat and cheese together. The same applies to fashion, some of us are more discerning than others. One thing is for sure we shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for affordability, there’s a happy medium and that’s where fast fashion comes in.
Fast Fashion Picks
I tend to do a little dance between lux and affordable pieces. This look is a prime example of the Cha Cha slide I do between lux and affordable.
Here are my top picks on fast fashion brands, IG (Instagram) Boutiques, and online stores I’ve come to know and love.
If you know me, you know I’m a certified sneaker head. Don’t let the ultra chic clothes and shoes I pose and prance around in fool you. Either I’m dressed to the nines or I look like a 5th Ave. hobo (5th Ave NYC- the street that features every high brand/designer known to man). 5th Ave hobos just dress better, it’s 5th Ave they have to, I don’t make the rules.
Air Jordan Sneaker Collection
Since we’re all cooped up in our homes I figured there was no better time to show off my babies- my modest sneaker collection. By why of collections I’d say this is rather subdued. There are crazy people who have hundreds of pairs of sneakers. I’m not one of those crazy people (at least not for that reason), I may have 20 pairs tops.
I love all kinds of sneakers, fashion, athletic, I’m here for it all.
But the Air Jordan brand holds a very special place in my heart. Being one of nine children I’m total (my parents kept going after they separated) there wasn’t a whole lot of money for $100+ sneakers. Although I think it had more to do with the fact that my dad refused to put another dime into Nike’s pockets especially when kids starting killing each other for them in the hood. My mother was no help either, she hates sneakers, she thinks they are ugly. She might own two pair, if that. She was willing to buy me any dress shoe I wanted but she could not bring herself to buy a pair of ‘ugly sneakers’, in her words.