Monthly Archives: August 2015
So it’s August 29th, 2015 and I’m riding around New Orleans reflecting on this day 10 years ago. The memory of that day is so vivid it feels like the devastating event of Hurricane Katrina just took place. I was 14 years old at that time, and a year prior I had lost my grandmother coincidently in the same month of August. I just remember feeling numb, the only life I had ever known would never be the same.
Like most New Orleanians I literally lost everything. Everything I held dear to my 14 year-old heart at that time. As I pass the now Mercedes Benz Superdome and Smootie King Center I can’t help but be haunted by the horror stories I was told that took place immediately following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and Rita or the federal flood as I would call it. For a second I can feel those panicked souls, but then I snap myself back to reality. It’s crazy to think that since the federal flood all of the wonderful monumental things that have taken place at those same two venues.
The weird thing about being a Federal Flood survivor is that after 10 years, I still feel like the chunk of my life that was taken away during the year and a half I was displaced has left a huge hole in my soul. You would think that after 10 long years everything would feel normal again, but it constantly feels there’s a void here that just can’t be filled. It’s a hard emotion to describe but many New Orleanians feel this way. I can barely remember the years that immediately followed Hurricane Katrina. Some of the most crucial years of an adolescent’s life, I can only remember in flashbacks.
To this very day I still ponder on what grand lesson I was supposed to learn by experiencing Hurricane Katrina and Rita, and still 10 years later nothing comes to mind. I would be lying if I said I was over the devastation. Or that I can talk about my Katrina experience without instantly tearing up. I will say the Federal Flood was my first realization that Black lives did not matter, and that many Americans were filled with artificial compassion.
Rest in Peace to all of the thousands of lives that were loss on this day ten years ago, simply because the government didn’t care.
I pray that one day my city, and the beautiful people in it, will feel “normal” again.
* Be sure to check out Kamaria Gboro’s expose “Generation Katrina,” which features reflections of millennials Hurricane Katrina experience. I was honored to be a part of this heartfelt project, and I hope you all enjoy it.
I’ve never been one to get a “summer hairstyle,” I mostly wear my kinky curls year round. Usually when I feel like switching my hairstyle up I’ll just add some highlights and get it blown out, but this year I decided I wanted to do something a little different.
Around March, I made the decision to try fauxlocs. They’re a good protective style and it would give me a break from my natural hair. I began researching how-to videos on YouTube. After watching about 10+ videos or so I finally felt confident enough to install my own fauxlocs.
From the how-to videos, I knew there were two types of hair commonly used for fauxlocs: kanekalon hair and marley hair. I chose to use kanekalon hair instead of marley hair, honestly, because I was intimidated by the marley hair. Marley hair is very bulky, whereas kanekalon hair is a little more manageable. I bought 5 packs of premium kanekalon hair, to wrap the braids creating the effect of a dreadlock, and 5 packs of regular kanekalon hair for the single braids.
Before installing the fauxlocs, I washed my hair and deep-conditioned it. It is very important to deep-condition your hair before installing any type of protective hairstyle. After washing and conditioning my hair, I sectioned it into four parts, and within those sections I began to braid my hair into single braids. Next, I braided the regular kanekalon hair into my hair, using my hair as the third leg of the braid. Once I was done with the single braids, I then began wrapping the braids with the premium kanekalon hair to create the effect of dreadlocks. Lastly, I burned the bottom of the fauxloc to seal the ends. And just like that I was a dread-head! *flips hair emoji”
The process of installing fauxlocs was very easy. If you know how to do single braids, and wrap hair around your finger then you can do fauxlocs. Seriously! It’s that’s simple. Fauxlocs are also extremely cost effective. The total cost for the hair was only $40, and because I did them myself I didn’t have to pay someone to install them for me.
The worst part about having fauxlocs was the unraveling. After about two-weeks of having them, a few of my dreads began to slightly unravel. Especially after wearing them in a up-do hairstyle. So I had to do minor touch-ups here and there, which was annoying. Also it took about 8 hours to install the hairstyle.
Overall, I LOVED having fauxlocs! It was such a fun hairstyle, and it provided some much needed versatility. I received so many compliments. I would definitely do fauxlocs again. I recommend fauxlocs to anyone contemplating the idea of permanently growing dreadlocks or to anyone looking for a cool, Afro-centric hairstyle.
Thinking about trying fauxlocs? Have any fauxlocs tips?! I would love to hear about it in the comments!
Here are some of my fave how-to videos on installing fauxlocs!
Photos | Shainna Miles
Top x c/o Langford Market | Skirt x c/o Langford Market | Bag x Francesca’s Collections
Shoes x Steve Madden | Sunnies x Ray Ban | Earrings x Francesca’s Collections
Necklace x H&M | Bracelet x Hive&Honey
As we all may know Fall is rapidly approaching! Yes people, it’s almost that time of year for fab boots, sexy sweaters, and leather leggings. Every year towards the end of summer, I try to wear all of my fave bright colored pieces as much as possible. Although I am a fan of transitioning certain pieces from summer to fall (look for this post coming soon), I feel some colors/patterns are strictly meant to be worn in the warmer months. This outfit screams “Summer Brunch!” The beautiful fuchsia top compliments my skin-tone perfectly, and do I even have to say why I love this floral skirt?! *hearts for eyes emoji* Since the clothing for this outfit is so bold, I decided to pair it with minimal accessories. I just LOVE this ensemble!
What summer outfit will you be wearing before Fall makes her debut?! Tell me about it in the comments!
*Special thanks to Langford Market for providing the clothing for this look! (:
As you all may know, I LOVE an authentically talented musician. There is no better feeling than discovering new dope talent. For this month’s “5 Artist You Should Know,” I decided to feature artist that not only record their own music but write and produce it as well. Be sure to check them out below!
#1. Johnny Rain
For the last couple of months I’ve been OBSESSING over this young man’s music. Picture Frank Ocean meets Drake, and you have Johnny Rain. He is such a soulful artist, and I have yet to hear a song from him that I didn’t like. A day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t listen to one of his trance-like slow jams.
Photo | karmaloop.com
If you haven’t jumped onto the Kehlani Tsumsni (as she calls herself) train yet, you are doing yourself a great injustice. Her music is so real, and very personal. She’s one of those artist that when you listen to her songs, you feel like you actually know her. It’s very easy to connect with her music.
Photo | saintheron.com
#3. Iman Omari
If you’re a reggae fan, you’ve probably discovered Iman Omari already. When I listen to Iman’s music I automatically think summertime. It’s something about the sexy sounds of his reggae and r&b mixed music that’s so vibe worthy.
#4. Lion Babe
Lion Babe is a duo that is composed of Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman. Imagine if Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Jill Scott decided to come together and form a power group. Well that’s what Lion Babe’s sound is like. It’s soulful, passionate, and electrifying.
Photo | bingimages
Mulherin are a duo composed of twin brothers, Marshall and Parker Mulherin. I discovered them thanks to my co-worker (and friend) Janeicia, who had recently finished shooting a documentary about the musicians. After hearing just one song by them I was totally hooked. Their sound is so tranquilizing, and they’ll easily become some of your favorite artist to listen to.
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 | popsugar.com
I must admit, when it came to the “choosing friends department” I haven’t always made the best decisions. I went through a phase in my life where it felt like every person I had ever called my “friend,” or who I felt exceptionally close to, deeply hurt me. I was at a point where I stop thinking I needed people around me. What’s the point of letting people into my life if they’re only going to betray me in the end? I started to solely depend on myself for emotional comfort and rely on my own wisdom to help me make decisions. And if I’m being completely honest, it began to drive me a little crazy.
Whether we like to admit it or not, human beings were designed to have human interaction. In life you need people who you can depend on and who you can trust. Real friendship is very important. Life is exhausting enough, and you don’t need to add to its’ stress by only relying on yourself. We have to learn the importance of letting go, and how to stop allowing a few bad experiences with people affecting the future friendships we could possibly have. Trust me I know, that’s easier said than done, but if I can do it you can too. There are still some genuine souls that exist who want to see you win.
Real friendship isn’t about how long you’ve known a person, it’s about who is really there for you through it all. You won’t have to buy real friendship, or be someone you’re not for it. Real friends embrace everything about you, whether they understand it or not. And most importantly real friends won’t put you down or make you feel bad about yourself.
As I contemplate on where I am now in my life, I can’t help but to be thankful for the beautiful souls I have around me. I have such a wonderful group of people that I surround myself with. They support me, are happy for my accomplishments, and truly love me unconditionally. I never knew it was possible to have such a bond with people who weren’t my family.
To my real friends (and you know who you are), this post is for you. I appreciate you guys so much! Thanks for listening to me rant about annoying guys, supporting my sometimes crazy ideas, and just being there for me in general. I appreciate the laughs, debates (lol), and cries that we share. Only God could bring all of our eccentric and eclectic souls together. I’m forever grateful for you all. *red heart emoji*
Photos | Shainna Miles
Top x c/o Lanford Market | Shorts x c/o Langford Market | Bag x Michael Kors
Sandals x Francesca’s Collections | Sunnies x Ray Ban | Watch x Nixon
Necklace & Bracelet x c/o Langford Market
If you’ve ever been to New Orleans in August then you know it is hot, hot, HOT. *cue in the sad face emoji* It’s the type of hot where you try to ONLY go outside for the necessities. But staying in on a beautiful summer day can become very b o r i n g. So sometimes you have to just go out, and brave the heat. Dressing for a hot day, all while maintaining good style can be tricky. It’s very easy to fall into the “basic crop tops and cut-offs” routine. However, since I’m not basic and neither are any of you, I recommend opting for something a little different. I’m a HUGE fan of closet go-tos (t-shirts, jeans, etc.) that have a twist. So when I found this top, I quickly became obsessed with it! I LOVE the blush color, and the soft cotton material doesn’t hurt either. And what better item to match this cute tee than white linen swing shorts?! I simply adore this outfit! I look cute, stylish, and cool enough to beat the heat. What’s your go-to summer outfit to beat a sizzlingly summer day?
*Special thanks to Langford Market for providing the clothing for this look! (:
Photo | simplyliving.com
For as long as I can remember, I’ve never really been a person that cared about exercise or being healthy. I wish I could blame that on my upbringing, but my immediate family has always eaten very clean and exercised as often as possible. However, within the last couple of years, something in me changed. I decided I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, so I made a promise to myself from that day forward I would make better food selections and exercise more. I thought the process would be extremely hard, but surprisingly it wasn’t. I think what helped is I didn’t make drastic changes all at once, every thing was very subtle. I began with my diet. I switched out sprite for iced green tea, made better choices when grocery shopping, and even started ordering low-cal dishes while eating out at restaurants. Next, I amped up my exercise routine. I started taking Zumba classes, which I instantly fell in love with, they were so much fun and it didn’t take long until I saw results. Now, I exercise about 3-4 times a week, I mostly walk park trails and do core strength training. I’m also OBSESSED with yoga! I guess you can say I’ve become a semi-health guru(LOL)!
The best part about this journey has been learning about all the healthy ways you can boost your weight loss, besides just eating healthier and exercising regularly. I’ve become a huge fan of juicing and doing cleanses/detoxes. Whenever I have something going on that I want to look extra fabulous for, I start some type of cleanse, and I find them to be very effective. Since I’ll be going on a weekend vacay for my birthday next month, (and will be wearing minimal clothing lol), I decided it would be the perfect time to start a new cleanse. So on August 1st I began tea-toxing.
Tea-toxing is a process where you detox your system by drinking herbal tea at least twice a day (once in the morning and once before bed) to rid your body of toxins, chemicals that cause bloating, and increase your metabolism. I’m a natural tea drinker, so thus far this process has been super easy, and even after just 3 days I can see results. Along with water, I drink tea (cold and hot) about 5 times a day. I also will be doing core exercises daily, to get the most out of this program.
It’s crazy to think that a few years ago if someone would have told me I woud be such a fan of cleanses and certain exercise methods, I would have probably laughed in their face. I feel I’m living proof that living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. Do I still indulge? Of course! I am for NOLA remember! However, I have just learned to do it in moderation. I’m looking forward to what 31 days of tea-toxing/exercising will bring, and I can not wait to share the end results with you all!
Anyone else tea-toxing with me or have you tea-toxed before? How did it work for you?! I would love to hear about it in the comments!
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