REVIEW | I'm Judging You: The Do Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

Some days when perusing the wonderful digital world of the Internet, we can find ourselves overwhelmed with the flux of reality star tell-alls, celebrities behaving badly, and the latest pop culture craze. Social media and modern technology makes it very easy to stay connected to all of these things with just the touch of an index finger or thumb. Other days, we just can't with the shenanigans. We're over who's engaged to who, who's divorcing who, and we don't want to read another twitter rant from "that guy" from "that show." On those days when I just "could not," I knew I could look to Luvvie Ajayi and her humor blog, Awesomely Luvvie, to deliver a word or two to help me cope with all the things.

 If you are unfamiliar with Luvvie Ajayi, she's an award-winning writer who's known for sharing her witty and candid commentary on pop culture and current events. Reading an update from Luvvie's site or social media feels like talking to a good girlfriend who keeps it all the way real with you. You know the friend who gives a hug when you need it and tough love when you need it all the more? That's Luvvie. So when I learned that she would be giving more of that kinda love in her debut book, I'm Judging You: A Do Better Manual, I knew I had to read it.


INTERVIEW + GIVEAWAY | Postcards from Venus by Trisha R Thomas

As readers we often look for our likenesses in the books we devour, hoping to find ourselves within the carefully crafted characters of an author's literary work. We long for characters that leap from the pages and experience life in many ways that we do, facing similar challenges as we find hope in their triumphs or eventual "happily ever afters." 

I found bits of myself within the richness of a character by the name of Venus as I read Nappily Ever After last holiday season. She's a woman who, like many of us, took the first step of embracing change in her life by cutting her hair. Venus really left an impression on me, causing me to do some deep introspection (and long to cut my hair). Has this also been you? How many times have you tried to change the outlook on your life by changing up your hair?

Being so moved by a character that you find yourself trying to keep up with her, continuing her series and even following her creator on social media to find her whereabouts are not strange actions for book lovers like us. So you can imagine how elated I was in receiving the opportunity to talk to author Trisha R. Thomas more about the Nappily Series and her latest installment to the series, Postcards to Venus.


As the author of highly acclaimed novel Nappily Ever After, Trisha R. Thomas is also a 32nd NAACP Image Award finalist for Outstanding Literary Work and Best New Fiction by the Black Writer's Alliance. Her literary work has been reviewed in Essence, O Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and the Washington Post. Universal Studios optioned her debut novel, Nappily Ever After for adaptation to film (with Halle Berry slated to star as our beloved Venus).

Her latest novel, Postcards from Venus, is the 9th installment of the Nappily Series. In today's interview, Trisha tells us more about her latest book as well as dishes about her inspiration to write about Venus, and her motivation in keeping the series going. After the interview, I'll tell you guys how you can win your own copy of Postcards from Venus.

Fall Style Inspiration | Styling a Shirt Dress

How is the weather where you are? Are you guys breaking out the jackets, sweaters, and booties yet? Unfortunately it's still relatively warm here in the south, with the occasional breeze. So when we're in between seasonal temperatures, I love finding ways to style pieces that transition well--like the shirt dress.

The shirt dress is one of my favorite wardrobe pieces. It's one of the easiest articles of clothing to dress up or down with minimal effort. And to be completely real with you, it's a ready-made complete outfit for me. And like I mentioned before, it transitions well throughout the seasons, depending on how you style it. In the fall, I love stepping out in one of my favorite shirt dresses with tights and booties, ready to go out wherever. If you are too a fan of the shirt dress, check out the outfit inspiration below.
styling a shirt dress

LIPSTICK LOVE | Sincerely Ciera Payton

lipstick for black women

Are you cautious about trying cosmetics for fear of the unknown ingredients? Has your sensitive skin made you resistant to trying the latest beauty trends? Do you always make sure to purchase cruelty-free, all-natural beauty & body care products? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you're in for a treat today!

Oftentimes when I share posts about my favorite lipsticks here, I'll have a few inquiries about more natural, mineral based options for women with sensitive skin. Actress Ciera Payton's new lipstick line, Sincerely Ciera Payton, is definitely an option that caters to this need often neglected in the beauty world. Sincerely Ciera Payton is a cosmetic line geared towards women who experience irritations and reactions to harmful toxins found in many cosmetics. These lipsticks are free of any preservatives and unnatural, synthetic ingredients. The line is also cruelty-free, as they aren't tested on animals.

Fall Style Inspiration | Dressed Up or Down

The fall season is finally upon us, ladies. Temperatures are finally starting to cool and many of us are beginning to notice the shifts in the weather. We are cleaning out our closets, looking for our favorite boots, scarves, and the military jacket that was LOVE last year. We are brainstorming ways to transition our favorite summer pieces into the fall. We are perusing the aisles of our favorite stores (or if you're like me--adding items to your online wishlists) because we must be prepared for sweater weather, right?

Well if you're looking for ways to style your favorite fall wardrobe essentials, I'm sharing some fall style inspiration here over the next couple of weeks. And if you're someone who loves the idea of dressing the same outfit up or down according to the occasion, today's look is for you!
Do you like to switch up your color scheme with the seasons? I do. When fall hits, I love to bring out deep hues of burgundy, olive green, plum, and neutral tones. This year, I've been adding rose and blush shades with everything, hence today's look. I love this long-sleeved lace top. It's soft, feminine, and is comfortable enough to wear on early fall days before cooler temperatures hit (at least here in the south). Though the accessories appeal to the feminine aspect of the look, adding these trendy destroyed denim jeans and moto jacket (for layering) give this look a bit of an edge. This is the ideal balance I look for when styling- girly meets edgy. And since you must have a bag to compliment a look as well as carry around the important things (you know--wallet, phone, several tubes of lipstick + gloss, mascara, etc), get into this cute Charles Jourdan tote!

Now the remaining options for your look depend solely on your shoe preference. If you opt to enjoy a night out to dinner or plan to be on your best diva-like behavior, you may opt for a sleek pair of booties like the Jessica Simpson Aggie shown. Or if you prefer a nice casual sneaker and know you're going to be doing a lot of footwork, you may choose the stylish Adidas Samoa.

Would you rock this look? If so, where?
Which shoe do you prefer-- the booties or the sneaks?


fall beauty must haves

What beauty products are you ladies currently lusting after? These are a few that I've added to my fall beauty wishlist.