Monthly Archives: July 2015
Photos | Shainna Miles
Dress x c/o Langford Market Boutique | Kimono Vest x c/o Langford Market Boutique | Sandals x Francesca’s Collections | Bag x Francesca’s Collections
Earrings x Francesca’s Collections | Necklace & Ring c/o Langford Market Boutique | Watch x Nixon | Sunnies x Burberry
One of the best things about living in New Orleans, besides the fabulous food, are the fun boutiques you can discover all around the city. My shopping addiction is REAL, so trust me when I tell you I’ve probably shopped at every store in NOLA and the surrounding areas. Still, one of my favorite areas to shop is on Magazine Street. Magazine Street just has an ambiance that is it’s own. It’s filled with cute shops, little pubs, bars, and lots of character! I can remember being a little girl having a “shopping day” on Magazine St. with my mom. We would shop until we dropped, and would always grab lunch after. In fact, that is something she and I still do this day. One store that screams “Magazine Street Style” is Langford Market Boutique. I just adore that store! There is always fantastic sales, champagne, and fabulous clothes. And the staff treats you like pure royalty. Be sure to stop by, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed that you did, and make sure to tell them Dev sent you to receive a special treat!
*Special Thanks to Langford Market Boutique for providing the clothing for this look!
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Recently, my friend Trenice was on Instagram and someone put up a post that read “if you want to keep your boyfriend, treat him like your husband.” She laughed to herself and was confident that most people would find this opinion absurd. After the post struck some interest, she began to read the comments. Surprisingly to her, a lot of people were agreeing with the post, and shockingly most of those people happen to be around the same age as us. After watching her snapstory or should I say snaprant about how idiotic our’ generations ideals of “relationships” can be, I decided it would be the perfect subject to discuss on my blog.
If you personally know me, or are a fan of my blog then you know I would never consider myself to be a relationship expert. So most often I try to keep my opinion about other people’s relationships to myself. However, this was one topic where I just couldn’t keep my thoughts to myself. So I began conducting little surveys amongst my closest friends, and asking how they felt about this subject. And let’s just say the results were interesting.
Personally I think there is a very large gap between just dating and being married. There are steps you have to go through before you can even say you are dating someone. Once you meet someone that you can potentially be interested in dating, you have to get to know them. You can’t just converse with someone a couple of weeks and then be dating them. After you get to know the person, you should hang out with them, see if you actually like being around the person one-on-one. Once you’ve hung out with the person a few times, in a public setting (and no that does not include the club), then you can say you are casually dating them. So if all you have just been doing is “chilling” together ie not going to public settings, you are not dating. “Hooking-Up” maybe, but not dating. (Yes, there is a difference.) Next, after a couple of months of dating, and you realize “wait I actually like this person and don’t want them to be seeing anyone else, and I don’t want to see anyone else,” if the feeling is mutual, and you’ve had “the talk” you can now say you are in an official monogamist relationship. Once you are in a committed relationship, you should be building a deep bond. During this time you should learn all things possible about one another, this includes the good things that makes you fall even more in love with that person, and the bad things that you are willingly to look over (within reason). Lastly, after you been in a relationship for a while (over the course of some years), and you literally can’t see your life without each other, THEN and only then, comes marriage.
Sadly, these days people are not operating like that. I know people who have been seeing each other for a few weeks calling one another ” hubby” and “wifey.” Stop it! You don’t even really know them yet. Too often people are mistaking simple sparks as being in love. Sparks don’t equal being in love, they just mean you could have a potentially good connection with that person. The act of being in love is an intense thing, and it should take time to feel. It doesn’t happen over night.
What is even worse than these people thinking they are “in love,” is the people that actually treat the person like their life partner. Marriage is a serious commitment. You are agreeing to a partnership that says you will have each other’s back to the end of time. Marriage means through everything life throws your way, you will always be there to support and love one another. It’s a sacred act, and not something to play with. It’s the type of partnership you don’t just give to anyone. So why are some of you all giving those types of benefits to everyone you date? Those benefits should be earned and ONLY given to someone very special.
I guess all I’m trying to say in this post is TAKE YOUR TIME. Stop rushing yourselves into a committed relationship. It will happen when is suppose to happen. Being by yourself is perfectly okay. Get to know who you are, that way once you do find yourself in a committed relationship, you’ll be an even better partner. Trust me.
I recently watched the James Brown biographical movie “Get On Up.” The movie was phenomenal, it truly deserved to win every award it was nominated for. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do yourself a favor and watch it.
Throughout the movie, racial under toning was very prevalent. Scenes that involved Mandingo Fights, or the stereotype that if too many African-Americans are in one place riots will ensue, even one that showed the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assaination.
After watching the movie, I began to reflect on the state of America now. Has much changed? Sadly, no. Yes, we may have an African-American President. Mandingo fights may not take place anymore. And there may be more upper class African-Americans now, then ever before. However, the mentality, the underline racial tones that existed throughout the 60s is still very much here today.
Many would argue that racism simply doesn’t exist anymore, and that our country has moved past that phase. Unfortunately, that is just not the case. Racism is not a phase, it is deep-rooted hate that affects all minorities, especially African-Americans. Just visit social media, you’ll find millions of stories where some Black person, somewhere was treated unjustly. And not just mistreated, but assaulted or worst…murdered.
We still live in a world where police brutality against African-Americans is justified, and where people can kill us because of the color of our skin, and nothing is expected to be said. We live in a world where cultural appropriation should be accepted, but are still ridiculed for the same features, hairstyles, and overall culture that is being appropriated. We live in a world where we are racially profiled, and expected to understand it, because at the end of the day “all Blacks steal.” Newsflash! People of all races steal, but because you have been subconsciously taught that African-Americans are economically inferior, that is who you focus on. Sadly, we live in a world where being Black in America is still very much exhausting. Stop un-acknowledging African-Americans pain. It is not just in our head, it is real and detrimental.
I know I speak for Black people everywhere when I say I’m not bringing these issues up because I want to play into the “Poor Us, Poor Me” narrative. I am writing this post to raise awareness of the fact that although my people have come extremely far, we still have a long way to go. I am writing this post for the people that ask me why do I have to post and tweet so much about Black activism. We want change, and the only way change will come, is if you create awareness.
I challenge everyone reading this to vow to end racism. If you see someone committing a racist act or making a racist remark, speak up. We may not be able to completely extinguish racism, but I guarantee a day will come when “their” viewpoints are the minority.
To my racial counterparts that put their lives on the line to help us demonstrate and speak out on our behalf, we appreciate you more than word could ever express.
And lastly but definitely not least, to my Black people, continue to push through adversity. We will win this war. Never apologize for your Blackness, EVER. Be proud of who you are. Embrace your kinky hair, full lips, and beautiful skin. We are awesome sauce and don’t you forget it. (Cheesy I know, but very true.) Like the late-great James Brown said, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.”
In case you haven’t realized it by now, I’m a true music lover! I enjoy listening to several different genres, and my musical taste ranges from The Killers to India Arie. Like everything else with me, I’ve always been ahead of curve when it came to discovering new artist. I can usually predict who will be taking over the music scene next. I guess you can say I have a good eye and ear for all things creative. Since people often ask me what artist they should be listening to, I’ve decided to profile five up and coming artist, whose music I listen to almost daily. Check them out below!
I first discovered Tori Kelly a few years ago watching MTV Hits late one night. She had just released the video for “Dear No One,” and during that time in my life I could really connect to what she was saying in the song. I immediately searched the internet to see if she had a cd or an ep available for download, and she did entitled “Foreword.” All of her songs are so personal. I find myself relating to everything she sings about, whether I have experienced that situation or not. Last month Tori released her first studio album “Unbreakable Smile,” and it did not disappoint. Anytime I’m having a bad day or I just need to focus, I put on Tori Kelly and life instantly feels better.
I can credit Pandora for helping me discover Bryson Tiller a few months ago. After giving one of his songs a “thumbs up” for maybe the third time, I realized I need to look this artist up. What I love about Bryson is that he can not only sing, but he can rap as well. He’s dubbed his sound as trapsoul, which I find to be very fitting. Whether you want to mellow out or turn up, Bryson is the artist to listen to. I guarantee you, you will be hearing Bryson Tiller’s music on mainstream radio and clubs everywhere very soon.
To say I love…love…L O V E the collaborative projects of Alina Baraz and Galimatias is an understatement. Once again, I discovered Alina and Galimatias while listening to a Pandora Station. I found myself instantly memorized by their sound. Their voices are so pure and serene. Alina and Galimatias are perfect for the nights when you want to unwind, take a relaxing bubble bath, and have a nice glass of wine.
I discovered Sango a couple of years ago one day when I was bored on YouTube. That same day, I found out he had recently released an album entitled “North.” Sango is an multi-talented musician that not only sings, but produces as well. He’s been the sole producer for all of his musical efforts, even producing for other artist like r&b sensation Tinashe. He’s one of the very few artist that can create a sound that can provide enough energy to choreograph an entire dance routine to, but still be extremely soothing if you just want to vibe out. A fun fact about Sango, he is bilingual, and a couple of his albums are entirely in French.
#5. Justine Skye
About two years ago, one of my favorite bloggers Necole Bitchie, featured Justine Skye on her website. I can remember me saying “OMG! She’s Gorge!” However, I quickly learned there was more to Justine than just a pretty face, she is super talented. Once I researched her, I found several videos on YouTube of her doing covers of songs, and she killed every single one. I always say if you can perform a song better than the artist it was written for, then you can not just sing, but sang. And Justine can sang! Her voice is a powerhouse and it doesn’t hurt that she can dance her behind off as well. On last month Justine released her first ep “Emotionally Unavailable.” I look forward to Justine taking over mainstream radio in the near future.
I hope my post helped you discover some of your new favorite artist. Make sure to support these incredibly talented musicians. It will only be a matter of time until everyone all over the world is singing their songs. Don’t forget who told you about them first. Who are some of your favorite “under the radar” artist?! Be sure to tell me about them in the comments!
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Photo | Grove Pashley/Corbis
On last weekend the annual Essence Festival made its’ way down to New Orleans. I look forward to the Essence Fest every year, its always a fun and fabulous time! There’s music, good food, beautiful people, and my personal favorite the “empowerment seminars.”
This year I had the pleasure of attending a seminar hosted by renown speaker and author Iyanla Vazant. I am such a huge fan of hers! Like myself she keeps it real, and is very witty. I just love her spirit and energy. Her message was simple. You are the sole controller of your life, and don’t you forget it.
After hearing Iyanla ‘s speech, I began to contemplate. I thought to myself, why as humans do we find ourselves allowing others to make decisions for us? Do we feel inadequate to make our own choices? Do we want to have someone else to blame other than ourselves if all goes wrong? No matter the reason, we need to stop. We have to learn to start depending on our own knowledge. Will we always get it right? Probably not, but that is what life is about. Life is a learning process, a feeling process. We will never have all of the answers, nor will we always make the right choices.
I will say, as I’ve gotten older my ability to make the “right” decisions has tremendously improved. Most would say it’s because I’ve matured, but honestly, I don’t think it has to do anything with that. I’ve learned to trust my instinct, or as my mother would call it, my “gut-feeling.” So far it has yet to steer me wrong. Another thing that helps, prayer. One of the joys of the journey of life is that we never have to walk it alone. We all have a higher power on our side, whether you realize it or not. As long as we have faith, everything will always work out according to plan.
Understand that life is not easy, and it never will be. Those struggles are necessary, and in the end you’re going to be a stronger and wiser person. So stop worrying about if you have all the answers. Stop caring if you don’t get it right all of time. Go out and enjoy life. Everything will fall into place when it’s suppose to. Remember the hiccups of life may not be pleasant but they’re necessary, they help us grow.
On last Sunday I hosted my very first “Style Day” event at Langford Market Boutique, which included a few of my favorite things: shopping, champagne, and make-up! I had such a fun time giving ladies mini makeovers and style tips.
*All Mary Kay products were used for the makeovers.
If you would like to place a Mary Kay order, click here!
Special Thanks to Langford Market for allowing me to host the “Style Day” event at their boutique, and to everyone that came out! I can not wait for the next one!