Coffee Dates and Meet-Ups | A Playlist

When is the last time you visited your local coffee shop and just enjoyed the ambience? I mean, like you really drank in the atmosphere? You took notice to the hustle + bustle of the people around you grabbing orders or tapping relentlessly on their laptops? You smiled back at the overzealous barista with the dimple in her left cheek who rattles off your order before you even speak? You realize the temperature is just right and the air is surprisingly more comfortable than home at times? And before you know it, the light music that spills in waves over the shop makes you feel at ease as you wait for your good friend to join you. It reminds you of simpler times, brighter days, and overall happy feelings, right? I don't know about you guys, but that's a beautiful feeling for me. It sets the tone for an amazing visit and makes me want to frequent said spot more often. 


There's a particular spot that makes me feel just like this, minus the music. If you know me, you know I need soundtrack music to create a moment. I want to be able to set the mood for my productivity (or my weekly coffee date with so-and-so) at the coffee shop with amazing tunes. And this one spot provides everything but that. And maybe it's that piece of me that romanticizes everything, but once I started comparing my life to random 90s sitcoms, I wondered why my coffee shop of choice ain't playing dope music like the ones I saw on TV. So, without further adieu, I'd like to share the aftermath: "Coffee Dates and Meet-Ups." 


music mixtape cover

MY PERSONAL MANIFESTO

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I am strong. I am unfiltered. I am bold in my decision-making.

I speak with conviction. My words have meaning, hold promise, and honor my truest self.

I want my testimony to encourage and inspire others. I want my triumphs to show others anything is possible with faith and love. I want my tribulations to show others that while every day won't be pleasant, it will present a blessing and a lesson.

I believe in love and connection. These things affect how we exist, grow, and thrive in the world around us. To be my best self- I will love myself and connect deeply to my source of strength to understand who I am, what my purpose is, and how to connect with others.

I believe that love and vulnerability heals. I know that in using my voice, I can encourage others to do the same. I feel that walking in our truth and sharing that experience with others is one of the most purest forms of freedom there is. It allows us to remove the masks we have created for ourselves out of necessity, comfort, or as a means of survival.

I want to live in a world that embraces differences, encourages creativity, and doesn't use fear tactics as a form of control. I want to live in a world where a woman can live out loud and still be soft-spoken, be street-wise AND well-read, be strong and soft, simultaneously, without being seen as too masculine or too emotional.

I want us all to exist in harmony without the weight and constraints that society and "tradition" inflict upon us. I can be cultured, open-minded, and still love trap music. I can exercise my faith in Jesus Christ by being of service to others without allowing my humility to be reduced to being anyone's doormat. I am a woman of many layers. I am not a monolith.

I believe that society has conditioned us to feel guilty for not following a certain path, and for getting to know ourselves first as women and creative beings. I believe we can't fully function as our best selves for others until we've done so for ourselves.

I want to be a voice for other women, especially other 30-somethings trying to navigate life, nurture their loved ones, and express themselves creatively by any means. I will create a safe space for these women who want to create their own paths, not travel those created for them; for those women that long to use their voices with strength and conviction.

Ultimately, I want to inspire others to love on themselves so that we can love on each other. And when I say love, I mean embracing every part of ourselves, even the undesirable, not-so-pretty, or socially acceptable parts of ourselves. This is how we build a community of authentic love and support. This fosters healing, growth, and acceptance of self and others. With this level of support, we can make everything around us bloom.

photography by nicola styles

RECOMMENDED READING: SOMETIMES I TRIP ON HOW HAPPY WE COULD BE BY NICHOLE PERKINS

 

sometimes I trip nichole perkins

Alexa, play that Prince song. You know the one... 💜🎵 

Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins was beautiful and candid, funny and frank, and let me not forget spicy, y'all! Nichole Perkins has a way of pulling you into her stories that feels like she's trusting you with a secret she hasn't told anyone. However, she shares them with such honesty and conviction, you soon realize you aren't the first one to hear these "secrets." In "Sometimes I Trip," Perkins divulges tidbits of her life through coming of age & relationship stories glittered with music + pop culture references. She had me remembering the last time I logged into an AOL chatroom, recalling the first time I heard Shirley Murdock's "As We Lay" (and actually knew what it meant), and even going back to watch my favorite episodes of Frasier to appreciate how absolutely cynical, yet neurotic Niles Crane was!

This book was a fun read I could not put down and between me and you, I even had the nerve to relate to quite a few of the things she was dishing out. If you've read the book, we def need to talk about it soon! As I told my gf the other day, I came for the title (as a devout Prince fan) and stayed for the candor. Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nicole Perkins gets 4.5 stars from the kid. 

Have you read Sometimes I Trip... yet?

Sundays at Dre's | Volume 3

Spring is in full effect in sunny North Carolina and the newness of it all has me feeling a bit nostalgic. Flowers are in a beautifully fragrant bloom. The warm weather is often accompanied by a few rain showers-- for good measure. And I'm feeling like I'm coming out of some soft of personal hibernation. So, on this particular Sunday, I've been re-evaluating a few systems in my life and household with good music and savory foods.

 

Alone time with my music and notebook really allow me to plan for the week ahead in the most calming and effective way possible. Not only does it calm me, it helps me to be present without becoming overwhelmed with the upcoming week's tasks. Adding a 90's R&B playlist to the mix for soundtrack music? That's the icing on my vanilla spice-flavored cake, today!


If you've been here for a while, you already know music is life. I have a playlist for every vibe, mood, experience, memory, and feeling, no matter how fleeting. Sundays are no different. For y'all that follow me on Instagram, you may be familiar with "Sundays At Dre's," the playlists I used to share over there in my stories on Sundays. Today I'll be sharing Volume 3 of the installment.


Installing a Lace Wig for Beginners | Featuring LUVME Hair

If you're new to wearing + installing lace front wigs at home, you'll want to read all about how I installed this beautiful loose wave lace wig I've been wearing lately as a protective style. While this post is a paid partnership with LUVME Hair, all thoughts and opinions about the hair + experience are my own. To read more about my disclosure policy, click here.




As I've mentioned before, I love wearing wigs and weaves as a protective style for my natural hair. Installing them at home saves so much time and money! And while many may think installing a wig at home is time-consuming for a beginner, I promise you it's easy-peasy! The style I'm sharing today is very beginner friendly, as you can get it already colored and pre-plucked. You also don't have to use any glue to apply this one, because I don't use glue on mine. I'll walk you through how easy it is to do so. 

10 Easy Ways to Add Luxury to Your Life

When you hear people speak of luxury, what automatically comes to mind for you? 
 


Luxury as a noun means the state of great comfort and extravagant living. Now I know everyone’s definition of extravagant may vary. However, I believe that everyone should have access to great comfort in their lives. I am a person who relishes in the small things, things that awaken my senses and bring me joy. It could be as small as the sheer curtain sweeping over my window to let in the slightest bit of sunlight. Or it could be something as major as getting a massage from a top-rated spa in the city. But because the latter is only occasional maintenance for me, I create ways at home to give myself the same type of comfort + care the spa trip permits.


Read below the break to learn more about easy and affordable ways to add luxury to your everyday life.

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