Children's Bookshelf | Eli's 1st Winter Carnival

It warms my heart to see my children beam with excitement over a new book--especially my youngest son. It takes him a while to warm up to anything new. But seeing characters that look like him in his storybooks is what really makes the connection. This was the case for Eli's 1st Winter Carnival by Lisa Bowen and illustrated by Nina Vanessa Pontillas.


Eli’s 1st Winter Carnival by Lisa Bowen takes readers on an adventure-filled day with Eli and his family for Winter Carnival. Through vibrant, beautifully illustrated images by Nina Vanessa Pontillas and easy-to-read storytelling by Lisa Bowen, readers can get in on the fun through the eyes of the youngest in the family.

MUSIC | The Mood-Boosting Playlist

music blogger

Everything in life feels a little bit better with some soundtrack music playing in the background. At least it feels that way for me. When I wake up in the morning, I want to put my music on. Before I get in the shower, I spend several minutes getting my shower playlist together. Even when I'm preparing food, reading books, or writing my blog posts, I absolutely must have some tunes playing ignorantly loud in the background. And it's been that way for as long as I can remember. Now when I worked in an office I shared with co-workers, I was respectful and wore headphones (most of the time). But now that I work from home and can play my music as loud as I want, I GO IN honey. Some songs just require a higher volume and frequency for optimal listening pleasure.

New York Street Style | An Adult Coloring Book

book blogger

I'll be the first to tell you that I didn't immediately jump on the adult coloring book train when it arrived. I never mind grabbing up a coloring book from the children's section of any store and having my way with the pages, coloring everything in whatever hue I desire. But when I scored a review copy of New York Street Style: A Coloring Book by Zoé de las Cases, I decided it was time for me to step up my coloring game. Fashion-inspired coloring pages? Illustrations of stylish clothing and accessories sprinkled all throughout? Why had no one told me these types of coloring books existed? I was all the way here for this concept.

Fall Skin Care With SimplyScrub Organic Body Scrubs

One thing I struggle with when the seasons change is preparing my skin for the elements. Fighting oiliness from the summer subsides and the need for moisture comes to my attention in the fall. And now that the cool temperatures of October have set in here in North Carolina, I know it's time to adjust my body care. It's always the goal to keep my skin feeling polished, pampered, and luxurious throughout the year. But with the help of rich scrubs from SimplyScrub, I can attend to my skin's needs for exfoliation AND moisture using all-natural ingredients.  

skin care for women of color




SimplyScrub is a line of scrubs that, as the title suggests, keeps it simple. Their scrubs exfoliate your skin to perfection without the long list of chemicals. You read that right-- they are 100% all-natural, 100% chemical-free, and 100% organic. Got eczema or sensitive skin? SimplyScrub is gentle enough to take care of your skin's needs as well. And while I prefer to use them on my body only, these scrubs are known to reduce dark spots, blackheads and acne. With four varieties of scrubs in Coffee, Chocolate, Soursop, and Rose, I am almost positive that at least one of them will appeal to your skin (as well as your senses). For my fall skin care, I've been using the Rose Body Scrub + the Chocolate Body Scrub and I'm loving them both.

REVIEW | Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest Episode 3: Muffin Wars

Have you ever imagined how cool it would be to know you are the absolute greatest at everything you set your mind to do? Ask our friend, Jaden Toussaint, a 5-year-old boy from New York City who's a big deal among his family and friends. He's dubbed the greatest because he's the best at everything he does. Whether it be science, making jokes, or doing boss ninja moves, Jaden Toussaint is the man to see about them all. Not only does Jaden have the moves, he's smart, and that's what makes him such a star among his peers. I was so excited to learn more about a young, talented child that resembled my children and I couldn't wait to share Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest Episode 3: Muffin Wars with them. 


BEAUTY BOOKSHELF | VOLUME II

north carolina beauty blogger

Am I the only one that brakes for beauty books? In my previous Beauty Bookshelf post, I shared with you guys the origin of my beauty book love affair, so in today's post I thought I would jump straight into the good stuff. When I'm browsing the internet or out and about in discount stores, I always keep an eye out for a beauty book that can provide some sort of value. Because I'm a girly-girl and I love all things beauty products, routines, rituals, hacks, and skin care secrets, my eyes immediately scan for them. And along the way, I've found quite a few great ones. This week I have a few more from my personal favorites that I would love to share with you.

LIPSTICK LOVE | ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip in Virginia

Were you here for the TNT Drama Claws that premiered early summer? If you know how much I stan for Niecy Nash, you already know I just HAD to check it out. And through my tuning in each week for lots of laughs, shocks, and clutching of my proverbial pearls,  I was introduced to some colorful characters. While it was evident that I would be mesmerized by Niecy Nash's stylish, "around-the-way-girl" character Desna, I was also intrigued by Karrueche Tran's character Virginia. Homegirl was a door-knocker rocking, booty-shorts styling, working-at-the-pyramid-tonight-type hot mama who didn't know a thing about doing nails, honey. How she ended up working at a nail salon was beyond me, but I still continued to watch her screw up nails (among other things) each week.

And as you can tell from my description of the show so far, Claws definitely grew on me. So much so, that I was sad to see the season coming to an end a few short weeks ago. However, I was excited to see that Karrueche would be debuting a new lippie from her ColourPop collaboration bearing her beloved character's name. Once I saw that bright red violet lippie come across my phone screen, I just knew I had to have it.

lipstick for women of color


13 Things I'm Looking Forward To This Fall

Are you guys as excited about the fall as I am? Things finally start cooling down here in the south and nature truly begins to show her true colors. Not only do I look forward to the harvest months, I get all geeked about festivals, fairs, and community events around my way. And even if you're not a fan of enjoying the good outdoors, fall is still the perfect season to wrap up in your favorite blanket, grab your beloved warm beverages, and get lost in a good read. What's not to love about the approaching season? 


black beauty blogger

As I prepared to write upcoming posts about beauty, fall reading, and upcoming events, I thought it would be cool to join the masses and add a list of the things I'm most looking forward to this season. Read after the jump to check out the 13 things I'm getting hype about.

LIPSTICK LOVE | ColourPop Lippie Stix in Glam Bag

Hey ladies, have you ever fell in love with a lipstick at first swipe? Can you recall the sudden rush you felt when you puckered your lips to apply that smooth, creamy color and it showed up a little something like perfection? Like the color and finish were made specially for your lips? Well ladies, that's how I felt a couple of weeks ago when I received ColourPop Lippie Stix in "Glam Bag" through my monthly Ipsy subscription.

If you are unfamiliar with Ipsy, it's a subscription service that allows you to try the latest beauty products each month for $10. And while I enjoy the products I've gotten in recent bags, I don't always receive items from brands I use in my daily beauty routine. So receiving a ColourPop product in my bag was not only surprising, it also became the highlight of my Ipsy experience this month!

lipsticks for women of color

Back in the spring, Ipsy collaborated with ColourPop Cosmetics to give subscribers exclusive products to be featured on the ColourPop.com website and future Ipsy Bags. Subscribers voted for their favorite colors of Ultra Glossy Lips and Lippie Stix.  This month, Ipsy debuted the lippies, including one beautiful magenta lippie appropriately named "Glam Bag." So when I unzipped September's stylishly studded baggie and came across the ColourPop box, I was immediately hype! It was a matter of time before I put down everything else in my bag to go try this lippie on! And when I tell you it was LOVE at first swipe, I am so sincere.

How To Stay Prepared as a Woman On-The-Go

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadeGummies #CollectiveBias



As a busy woman, how do you stay prepared for the day? With school back in session for my oldest two children, my husband and I do a lot of running around in the run of a day. Between running errands, meetings, sports activities, and keeping my toddler engaged in the daytime, I have to make sure I'm always prepared for anything the day may present to me. Lately, I'm learning that keeping my purse filled with essentials keeps things running smoothly. While we may remember to grab our keys, cell phones, gum, and maybe even our sunglasses, we often forget those small but necessary items that will keep us prepared for a full, action-packed day. Read below to find out how which items I keep tucked away in my bag to ensure that I stay prepared as a woman constantly on-the-go.

REVIEW | Real American: a Memoir by Julie Lythcott-Haims

I received a free copy of Real American: A Memoir in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


When was the last time you looked deeply into yourself to ask, "What truly makes me who I am?"

I believe we all, as we journey down our unique paths to self-discovery, ponder this question from time to time. Lately for me, this question ballooned into something larger than I expected, as it turned into a series of questions: Who am I, authentically and organically? Is this based on the family I was born into? Is it the way society perceives me? Is it what my parents have taught me to be? Or is it who I truly believe I have grown to be, through all of my life experiences? Being a black woman in America, this line of questioning plagued me as I delved into my advanced copy of Real American: A Memoir by best-selling author Julie Lythcott-Haims.

book reviews for women of color





 

Children's Bookshelf | I Just Kept Spinning

Have you ever been told you couldn't do something you love because of who you are or the way you look? Do you know what it feels like to be denied or deprived of an opportunity because of something as simple as the style of your hair? These questions presented themselves when I recently read children's book I Just Kept Spinning by 18-year old Memphis native Destini Berry.

books for children of color


In I Just Kept Spinning, we meet 7-year-old Destini who wants nothing more than to be a ballerina. Inspired by the grace and beauty ballerinas express through dance, she begged her mother to let her take part in ballet. And while her mother finally allowed Destini to participate, her path to become a graceful ballerina was met with resistance. Just when Destini was growing excited about her new venture to become a dancer, her long dreadlocks seemed to have caused a problem for her. Would they get in the way of her goal of becoming a graceful ballerina?

Children's Bookshelf | Anything But Pink by Adelina Winfield

As a mom, have you ever tried to go "against the grain" with your parenting? Or as a child, can you remember your parents going against the norm with how they raised you? Sometimes we want to approach parenting differently, by allowing our children to do things we didn't do as children. Perhaps we want our daughters to play basketball instead of becoming a cheerleader. Maybe we want our sons to embrace the arts as well as sports. And sometimes it's as simple as allowing our little ones to wear colors other than the pretty pink and baby blue hues their gender automatically assigns them. Or as author Adelina Winfield has written with this book, Anything But Pink!

books for children of color



First Impressions | Origins GinZing™ Skin Care

Most days, nothing wakes me up quite like a large cup of coffee. Some days I take it with a couple of sugars and creamer, while other days I'll take it straight. It all depends on how much "reviving" I need that particular morning. Fortunately as of late, I've been able to get an extra shot of coffee--- but not in the usual way one would expect. What if I told you this AM, it wasn't only the coffee in my cup, but the coffee in my skin care that truly gave me the wake up call I needed? For the last couple of weeks, I've been testing the Origins GinZing™ line sent to me complimentary by Influenster and I must say, it has my nose (and eyes) wide open. Check out my thoughts on the cleanser, eye cream, and moisturizer after the jump.

skincare for women of color


REVIEW | Bloom by Brittany Travesté

Where are you in your self-love journey? And when is the last time you read something that encouraged you to BLOOM? While I feel that I have grown to love myself and everything that has shaped to be who I am, I still have a way to go. Like many of us, I still have a tendency to conceal or hide the not-so-desirable parts of myself and my past. So you would believe it had to be fate that while dealing with this very issue I would receive a book in the mail that spoke directly to my situation. Enter: Bloom by Brittany Travesté.

books for women of color



How to Get Summer Time Ready for a Fun Day Out

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FindYourTone #CollectiveBias


summer fun with tone body wash

How do you get ready for a fun day out in the summer? As a work from home mom, most days I just get up, shower, put on sweats, and get my coffee brewed for a productive day around the house. But on the days when I have something exciting planned, like a matinee movie, quick lunch date, or sightseeing with one of my girlfriends, I add a bit of extra effort to my get-ready regimen. Read after the break to check out how I get summer time ready for a fun day out with Tone® Body Wash.

Review | When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

How do you share expressions of God's love and His teachings with your young children? As a Christian, I count it a joy to find books I can share with mine that illustrate basic principles of our faith. So, when I received children's book When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner + illustrated by David Catrow in the mail, I was over-the-moon excited!

books for children of color

At first glance, I see this vibrant colored hardcover book with a cute little brown-skinned baby on the cover that reminded me of my daughter as a toddler--complete with braids and all. I was instantly pulled in by this image, as I knew my children would be as well.  A beautiful burst of watercolors washed over my eyes as I rummaged through the box containing the book. Inside, there were also note cards, a miniature easel, and a paint set perfect for tiny fingers. As my youngest son peeked around me, he instantly grabbed for both the book and paints. And with a little negotiating and flipping through the pages of the book, I convinced him to read before diving into painting.

Celebrity-Inspired Beauty | Meagan Good

Today on the blog, I've created a simple every-day celebrity inspired beauty set for you guys. This look features one of my favorite actresses, Meagan Good. Here, Meagan is rocking a nice, natural dewy face with a beautiful cat-eye and her signature defined brows. Below the jump, I will share some favorites (along with suggested dupes) to help you create this look for yourself at home!
makeup for women of color
This look is about playing up your favorite features for a nice, natural look. Meagan Good focuses solely on playing up her eyes, which is also my favorite facial feature to accentuate. With a beautiful cat-eye, defined brows, glowing skin, and a moisturized pout, you too can recreate this look with ease.

BEAUTY BOOKSHELF | VOLUME I

Long before I became active in the wonderful world of blogging, created accounts all over social media, and became addicted to binge-watching YouTube makeup tutorials, I had a serious addiction to beauty books. You know, the big coffee table books chock full of beautiful makeup artistry embossed over several glossy pages? Yeah, I wanted ALL of them. I would peruse the library on campus and gather up all of the beauty books I could find and study them during breaks between classes. I have been a lover of all things beauty and skin care since I was a teenager, so once I came across these books full of information about skin care routines, color theory, and how to properly apply makeup, I was on to something, y'all.

 Alongside being an Avon Representative at the time, gaining this newfound knowledge about beauty care sparked the beginnings of my beauty blog. I wanted to share all the things I was learning from these books with my family, friends, and my so-to-come readers on the Internet. Before I knew it, I was saving up money to purchase my favorites so that I could read them at home and own them, creating a beauty library for myself. That way, I could study Social Work and English during the day with my tuition and teach myself all things beauty at night when I wasn't doing homework.

beauty for women of color



These are among the first set of books I bought as a beauty enthusiast. I've learned so much from them, that I decided to create two posts sharing my personal beauty library. And while I know much about beauty can be found online in videos and blog posts nowadays, I still prefer physical books for research and wanted to share for others that do as well. Below are some of my personal favorites.

Memoirs of a Fashionista | Keyva of My Life as "Keyva Jo"

Happy First of the Month, ladies! It's been so much fun interviewing ladies for the  Memoirs of a Fashionista feature and I hope you all have been enjoying them! I've learned a lot from the fellow fashionistas I've featured so far and am excited to continue sharing them throughout the next season. If this is your first time checking out the series, the mission of the "Memoirs of a Fashionista" series is to highlight stylish women I admire while allowing them to share the love of fashion from their unique points of view.

style tips from fashion bloggers of color

In today's "Memoirs," I am pleased to be featuring my sis Keyva on the blog. She's not only my blogger friend, she's also my Pretty Entrepreneur tribe sister! She always has a kind, inspiring word to share on social media and her personal style is EVERYTHING! Her flawless looks are polished with the perfect balance of classic and trendy for the everyday working woman. And don't let me leave out the fact that her hair is always on point! I mean, did you catch those sleek, luscious locks above? Keyva shares style tips, fashion inspiration, and her musings on life through social media, her blog, and contributions to the Pretty Entrepreneur "Pretty Ish" blog as well. And I for one, feel like I'm in for such a a treat when she does. Ladies, I present to you Keyva of My Life as "Keyva Jo."

5 Ways to Show Love to Your Girls

If you've been around here for a while, you know I take self-care very seriously. I truly believe that the way we care for ourselves directly affects everything we do- how we care for others, how we receive others, how we interact, how we love, how we heal, and essentially how we thrive. But one important factor I failed to mention in partaking in self-care actually involves those closest to us-- our girlfriends.

north carolina beauty + lifestyle blogger
What do your girlfriends have to do with self-care, you ask? Actually, it has so much to do with self-care. For us women, having a tribe of women to celebrate your wins with, cry over losses with, and just share life in general is wealth to our well-being. It is essential. Not only that, it makes perfect sense that once we have taken care of ourselves we pour that love and care into our sister tribe. Am I right? The first step in self-care is always filling yourself with the utmost care and nurturing. The next is to pass that love and care on to others, whether it be your friends, family, and/or your community.

So what have you done for your friends lately? When is the last time you've shown your best girlfriends a little love? If it's been a while for you (and I'm totally not judging you, sis-- it happens to all of us) here are a few ways to get back into the groove of showing your friends a little love.

How to Find Your Tribe

Do you ever find yourself frustrated and confused by all the changes taking place in your life? You could have recently moved in pursuit of a new job/change of scenery, enrolled in school, just had a baby, are recently married, or transitioning from working in corporate america to full-time entrepreneurship. Any of these lifestyle changes can cause major stress in your life, making you feel overwhelmed and often alienated. Many of those closest to you may raise their eyebrows at your lifestyle changes if they don't understand them or the lifestyle doesn't mirror theirs.

how to build friendships with womenSometimes in dealing with these lifestyle changes our circle of friends change and rearrange. This can leave us feeling vulnerable and alone. And while many of us retreat to ourselves and just continue on with life, the truth is nobody can make it out here alone. Every woman deserves to have a circle of friends she can depend on for love and support. Not only that, we feel better about ourselves if we are able to be all of those things and more to others. So if you've ever found yourself experiencing these feelings and in search of your own sister tribe, hopefully these tips will help you on your journey.

Memoirs of a Fashionista | Zuqueta of The Pnk Panda


Happy Fashion Friday, ladies! I've been enjoying the Memoirs of a Fashionista feature so far, and I hope you all have been as well! I've been learning so much from my fellow fashionistas. If this is your first time checking out the series, the mission of the "Memoirs of a Fashionista" series is to highlight stylish women I admire while allowing them to share the love of fashion from their unique points of view.

In today's "Memoirs," I am featuring Zuqueta Elle. From the moment I came across her Instagram feed, I was in awe of her sophisticated, polished style. She is effortlessly chic and her style shots look like they came straight from a magazine, y'all. She should really be a spokesperson for Target because her posts alone have sent me in the store more times than any celebrity collaboration has-- for serious. A wife, mother of three, and Detroit educator, this fashionista blogs to share how to dress well as a busy mom AND get the most bang for your stylish bucks with her #FlexYourFinds hashtag. Ladies, I present to you Zuqueta Elle of The Pnk Panda.

Spring Style Inspiration | Little Pink Dress

The weather has been nothing but beautiful here in the south this week. I don't know about you, but these warm temperatures here in North Carolina (and the fact that my birthday is soon approaching) make me want to get out and shop for new dresses! While everyone is grabbing new sundresses from the shelves and unpacking last years' pieces to pair with new accessories, I just want to find some cute pieces to rock for my birthday! This year my cake will be adorned with 32 candles, so I'm in the mood for something simple, sexy, and sophisticated all at the same time. And since I'm really loving the off-shoulder and cold shoulder trend this season, those are the particular types of dresses that catch my eye as of late.

I have been doing a little online browsing mixed with a little playing around on Polyvore and I think I've come up with the perfect outfit for my birthday night out. Not only have I found a cute, simple dress, I've found cute accessories and shoes to match! Check out the details of this look after the jump.

Memoirs of a Fashionista | Melanie of Pretty Brown and Chic

As a fan of fashion, I am always observing how it is interpreted and displayed by others through their personal style. Like many others, I peruse my favorite magazines, Pinterest boards, and social media timelines for personal style stories that parallel my own and fashionistas that I can relate to. And as a woman who has fallen in a style rut quite a few times in the last few years due to lifestyle changes, I find myself looking for style inspiration more often lately. 

fashion blogger of colorFor all of these reasons, I've decided to revamp my fashion features here on the blog. The mission of the "Memoirs of a Fashionista" series is to highlight stylish women I admire while allowing them to share the love of fashion from their unique points of view. In today's "Memoirs," I am featuring Melanie Rashay. I have been following Melanie for some time on Instagram and am inspired each week by the way she effortlessly styles her looks to perfection. She is a devout mother, wife, and Christian who loves sharing her classic style on her social media channels. Launching her blog, Pretty Brown and Chic in the summer, Melanie definitely has an impeccable style and a sweet personality to be admired. Ladies, I present to you Melanie of Pretty Brown and Chic.

Fitness Inspiration for Women Who Hate Working Out

In today's post, I will be entrusting you guys with a deep dark secret of mine:  I HATE WORKING OUT. Yeah, I said it! And if you know me personally, this probably comes as no surprise to you. To keep it all the way real, I think there's a lot of people out there that don't like working out. And to be clear, it isn't the actual working out that I hate. My real issue is staying motivated to work out on a consistent basis. Sure I know that I'm a lady of a certain age and my metabolism isn't like it was at the age of 20. I can no longer eat sugary sweets and deep-fried delectables all the time without ever paying the piper by exercising. This is not healthy or ideal. And while I know this to be true like we all do,  I STILL need a little force when it comes to getting off the couch and moving! Now don't sit here reading along and judge me because I know I'm not the only one, y'all. For serious.  

black women working out
I admitted all of that to say that I often need an incentive to get my body in motion. Sure being fit and healthy should be enough, but I need a little something more to get the blood pumping.  And that's where the music comes in to play. Check out three free, easy ways I stay active with music after the jump.

Everyday Makeup | Covergirl truNAKED Roses Eyeshadow Palette

Hello guys! I hope everyone has been having a beautiful spring so far! This season, I've been looking forward to swapping out my lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes to add bright, vibrant hues to my makeup bag. As someone who spends most of her time in the home, I don't wear a full face of makeup every single day. But I do love throwing on my usual neutral eye look with cat-eye and nude lips when I'm out and about.

black beauty blogger

Since I've been doing this look with my Covergirl TruNAKED Roses Eyeshadow Palette and Trust Fund Beauty Liquid Lipstick in K, Bye constantly, I decided to share it here with you guys. Below is everything I used for this look.

Wardrobe Staple | The eShakti Wrap Dress

When wardrobe staples are mentioned in women's fashion, the classic wrap dress always comes up in conversation. The wrap dress is a popular wardrobe choice for many women and for good reason. Not only is the style of the dress one that transitions well throughout the seasons, the wrap dress is figure-flattering for all body types as well.

plus size bloggers of color

For me, the wrap dress accentuates my best features while concealing my not-so-flattering areas. And with the right pair of shoes and accessories, the wrap dress can be styled with ease. Since my first experience with eShakti.com, this brand has been one of my favorite shopping choices when it comes to classic feminine dresses.

Self-Love Lessons from Janelle Monáe

There’s a special kind of magic that happens when a woman of color sees a positive representation of her likeness in the media. At first glance she’s in awe, enamored even. She then begins to study said woman, examining her appearance, calculating her movements, and paying close attention to how she carries herself. She watches how she communicates her thoughts, beliefs, and passions--careful to see how others respond to her presence. Next, she makes note of their similarities. See, this part of the magic is key. While many argue that comparison kills confidence, this form of comparison could very well save a life. This woman begins to see that there are others with qualities like her who are not only surviving, but thriving as well. And that if this woman can make it out here in the world, so can she.

beauty and lifestyle blogger of color



At least that’s what I was thinking to myself when I first saw Janelle Monáe dancing across my TV screen back in 2007.


Spring Style Inspiration | Floral Dresses and Wedges

It's finally starting to feel like spring down here in the south. Though the temperatures can still be a bit temperamental, it's still safe to pull out your softer, delicate fabrics and hang the coats to the back of the closet. These transitions always get me hype, as spring is my favorite season. Not only does my birthday come in the spring, all of my favorite styles and colors are celebrated during this time of the year. Beautiful blush hues and pastels greens make a bold comeback and I can gladly start wearing my coral lipstick in the daytime again without a care in the world.

And last but not least, I get to rock my favorite springtime style pairing as often as I'd like--floral A-line dresses, wedges, and my staple denim jacket.

SPRING BEAUTY WISHLIST

black beauty blogger
A new season's arrival means a much needed update on the beauty bag! What beauty products are you ladies currently lusting after? These are a few that I've added to my spring beauty wishlist.

BOOKS | Spring Reading List



Happy Tuesday, guys! It's been a while since I've shared a reading list over here, which is a shame because I'm always reading something, right? So I thought today's Top Ten Tuesday link-up over at The Broke and the Bookish would be the perfect opportunity to get back in the groove of things. Today's link-up calls for the Top Ten Books on my TBR list. Below are the books I'm looking forward to getting into this upcoming season.

Love Your Skin with Lovely Lavender Plus



Though Valentine's Day has come and gone, we are still spreading the love here on the blog. But instead of sharing delectable sweets and blooming floral arrangements, I am sharing love for the organic + handmade brand Lovely Lavender...Plus created by Marie Braxton. Lovely Lavender...Plus supports an all-natural, organic lifestyle by providing organic, handmade soaps, body butters, bath teas, and bath salts that cater to your body care needs. As someone who is looking to give my family the best body care products without the harsh toxins, I was intrigued the mission of Lovely Lavender...Plus.

I recently received a package full of goodies from Ms. Marie just in time to bask in lots of love and pampering before Valentine's Day. As I was so pleased with each of the items she sent me, I had to share the love with you guys and suggest that you get familiar with the brand and start "loving the skin you're in" in a new way if you aren't already. Check out the items I received below.

Valentine's Day Night Makeup | Pink Ombré Lips

pink ombre lips beauty trend

Now that we're a week into February, many of us are knee-deep in planning for this upcoming Valentine's Day. While I haven't made any plans as of yet, I do always like to map out in my mind what I'm going to wear for the occasion.  Once I figure out where I'm going and what I'm going to wear, I like to plan out my makeup as well. And since I've figured out how I want to wear my makeup if date night is in the plans, I knew I had to share it here with you guys! My goal was to share a makeup idea that could be worn on date night with bae or on a fun girl's night out with your Galentine(s).

BEAUTY | Everyday Nude Lipsticks

nude lipstick for womem of color


If you've been here for a while, you know I love talking about lipsticks around here. I've talked about pink lipsticks, I've carried on about red lipsticks. I've even shared some of my favorite liquid lipsticks and urged you to add these five "very necessary" lipsticks to your beauty arsenal. But the overlooked gem I haven't mentioned here in a while is the perfect nude lipstick. And while I don't give them much spotlight on the blog, nude, neutral shades are the lipsticks I spend the most time with. I can wear them all day, every single day, no matter the occasion. A nude lip translates well from day to night, from season to season, and from one occasion to the next. So without further adieu, let's get into what I  like to call my "week's worth" of everyday nude lipsticks.

REVIEW | eb5 Skincare

black beauty blogger

When is the last time you set skincare goals for yourself? As someone who always seems to be working on getting her skin together, I set them often. I've tried more products than I can count, hoping to keep up a regimen that would give me perfect skin. You know, skin that rarely gets oily. Skin you never see deep pores or rough texture on when you're intimately close. Skin that never experiences breakouts, goes all "hormonal" on you, and leaves those pesky dark spots behind as proof of existence. I've never had that type of skin, y'all. In fact, I've had quite the opposite. I've switched up my diet for great skin. I've bought plenty of miracle in a bottle promising products, to no avail. Through it all, I've learned that I'm just gonna have to work hard in order to have great skin. And by work hard, I mean stick to a skincare regimen with products that cater to my specific needs. Add to the equation the fact that I'm getting older and trying to maintain youthful-looking skin and extra steps get included to the work.

Enter eb5 Skincare. Named for the two vitamins best for skin your skin (Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin b5), eb5 Skincare offers anti-aging products with healthy plant-based ingredients. Using five products from their skincare line, I have been able to create a new five-step skincare regimen that is simple, yet effective. I've been using this line for about six weeks now and I couldn't wait to share my results with you guys!

3 Keys to Creating an Effective Self-Care Plan

lifestyle blogger of color

We're two weeks deep into 2017 and I hope everyone has been doing well so far. Along with creating new goals and resolutions for the new year, I also hope you have added self-care to your calendars and planners! And if you haven't, no worries. We're gonna take a moment to discuss creating a self-care plan right now. We're also going to make sure that plan is effective for you and doesn't just take up space in that cute new journal you bought a few weeks ago, too (I know I'm not the only one who's been grabbing up lots of pretty stationery for the new year, am I?).

The easiest thing would be to write down a self-care plan and through that alone, our healing comes right on through. Instantly, we're taking better care of ourselves and those around us. And before we know it, our skin starts glowing out of nowhere, too! But that’s just not the reality. Sometimes it’s all we can do to wake up each morning and look ourselves in the mirrors. We might be dealing with self-doubt, grief, remorse, loss, broken-hearts, you name it. But having a self-care plan in place and being intentional about following through in the best way that we can does help. Because when "life" happens, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Having a plan to refer to will help us take actionable steps on how to get on by.

Below are three major keys to creating an effective self-care plan.


Working in Progress: Improving While Embracing Self



When is the last time you took a moment to embrace all that is authentically YOU? When is the last time you took inventory of all that you are and, instead of making lists of things to improve, simply acknowledged yourself as you are? Maybe it was the day you decided to embrace that thigh gap or that gap between your teeth (raising my hand to both). Or perhaps it was the moment you realized your slow southern drawl wasn't going anywhere no matter how often you tried to polish your dialect (raises hand once again). Sometimes we get so caught up in improving ourselves that we forget to fully embrace the essence of our beings and our presence. In these times we have to get naked for a moment to rediscover ourselves and fall in love again. You know, fall in love with the self we are before the world starts convincing us we may need to alter and modify things.
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