REVIEW | I'll Fly Away by Rudy Francisco

"I tell myself that every hour is happy hour, as long as I am on this side of the ground..."

If you are among those of us who believe books find us at just the right time, believe me when I say I'll Fly Away by Rudy Francisco found me and entranced me at a most convenient time. 

I'll Fly Away Rudy Francisco

I am no stranger to Francisco's work. In fact, I've been following him for quite some time. Becoming a fan after finding his spoken word poetry on YouTube, then connecting so deeply with his collection, Helium, I could not wait to devour I'll Fly Away. Digesting this book of poetry did come with a price, however. You will feel the words in your chest long after the read is over.

Self-Care with Soarbae

If you've been here for a while, you already know we're big on self-care around here. I don't think I can stress enough how imperative it is to take care of yourselves. In order to show up in the world as your best self, you must pour into self often. As nurturers by default, I believe that many of us women only remember the importance of self-care when we're zero miles to empty and in desperate need of restoration. That's why every chance I get, I'm reminding someone (even myself) to add something to the weekly calendar to cater to your individual needs. Fulfilling these needs allows you to operate at your best in service of yourself and others. 

In sharing the message of self-care, I love discussing ways I incorporate self-care into my daily routine. So, when I learned that my dear cousin LaSheena Wilson created her own self-care brand specializing in candles, I knew I had to get familiar right away.  I am so grateful she sent me this beautiful package so I could share it with you guys!


Soarbae was created out of passion to inspire and celebrate women. With each candle, the brand hopes to "ignite the light inside of you to soar beyond the limits." Now I don't know about you guys, but nothing sets the tone like lighting "hand-poured with love" candles when starting my self-care routine. Read below to check out how I've incorporated Soarbae into my moments of self-care.  

Lipstick Love | The Lip Bar Lipstick in Purple Rain

Have you ever had a lipstick that was just perfect for ANY occasion? I mean, you could be going out for groceries, going out for lunch, or even meeting up with a friend, and that one lipstick stays front and center for the choosing? I don't know about you, but I have a few of those lipsticks in my makeup bag. And for the longest time, creamy purple lipsticks seem to always go high on my everyday lipstick list. 

Don't get me wrong: I love my nudes, hot pinks, and my deep berries (especially during the fall). But there's something about one purple lipstick in particular that makes me feel like my best flirty and feisty self. And that lipstick is none other than The Lip Bar lipstick in Purple Rain. This lipstick has been holding a secured spot in my makeup bag for a minute and is definitely an instant repurchase when I run out. Peep the details below to learn why I keep running back to her after the jump.

purple rain lipstick

Skincare to Try: Pixi Rose Infused Skintreats

Do you change up your skincare regimen as the seasons change? For the most part, I stick with my basic routine. But every now and again, I love trying new systems. For example, Pixi Beauty always seems to have a skin care system that suits about every skincare need possible.

Since my skin has been looking for a bit more hydration and nourishment this season, I've decided to revisit my tried and true Pixi Rose-Infused Skintreats. These products are ideal for those with dry skin, but are suitable for all skin types. And for those of us who like to indulge in the occasional spa-like experience for less, I thought it would be a perfect time to share my thoughts on these goodies with you guys.


I swallowed hard,
force-feeding myself 
These secrets
For fear that they 
would come
My lips.
Then became 
so full of them,
I could no longer 
Recognize myself.

For with these secrets
You formed something 
within me
That I never asked to keep
Of which I'll spend years
Pulling away from my skin.
As I unlearn and learn myself
And over

( empty of me to be so full of you -Janet Jackson)

photo credit: jazmin quaynor

Make Yourself Comfortable: A Playlist

There is healing power in music. Ask anyone who has ever gone through a break-up and depended on the blues to give sound to their pain. Ask anyone who has ever drowned out their frustrations belting out familiar lyrics with Alanis Morrisette (queue You Oughta Know) and Kelis (Caught Out There would be the one). Better yet, ask anyone who has tuned in to DJ D-Nice on IG Live during "quarantine" to dance and sing along with their favorite celebrities via social media. Music makes everything better.

One thing I love just as much as listening to music is creating playlists. It combines creating the perfect music mood and my obsession with list-making. Since we've been spending much more time indoors, I've been doing a lot of writing, reading, and listening to music. I've also cracked open 52 Lists for Calm by Moorea Seal. I absolutely loved filling out each list for the original book I got a few years back, so I knew using this book would be perfect for me during this time of searching for peace and trying daily to calm my anxiety over the unknown.

REVIEW | It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan

I have been a Terry McMillan fan for years. I can remember sneaking through my mother’s books on her nightstand as a young girl in the 90s getting familiar with novels like Mama, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Disappearing Acts. Secretly devouring these books late into the midnight hour by the small lamp in my bedroom fueled my love of reading. It’s Terry McMillan’s way of telling stories of family, love, and relationships that made me feel like I was growing into a part of a sisterhood no one had told me about. Flipping those pages was a rite of passage! I was reading things that I had only heard about while eavesdropping when my mama’s friends came by (because of course I was not allowed to be in the room). I have experienced so many stages of life through the lens of a fictional Terry McMillan character that resembled my mom, aunt, grandmother, and other loved ones. I’ve grown up on Terry McMillan novels and will brake for anything she pens, automatically.

 All of that brings us to my experience with It’s Not All Downhill From Here. I read the synopsis and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy! I was fascinated by the premise of a 68-year-old owner of a beauty empire with a full life. I dived in head first with Loretha and could not wait to see what kinds of gems she would share in this read. 

REVIEW | When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

"The thing I didn't realize about having a best friend while I still had one is just how wrapped up she is in everything. Every outfit I wear or song I listen to. Every place I go. Losing someone can leave you haunted."

When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk gave me all the feels. It is very rare to see friendship break-ups be the main plot in books. so I have been anxious to read about the one between main character Cleo and her ex-best friend Layla since I first heard about it last year. Because as much as I've read about romantic breakups over the years, I'd had yet to read a book about breaking up with a best friend. And this one felt so realistic to me.

With the timeline moving between then and now, readers see the actions that led up to the inevitable demise of Cleo and Layla's friendship, as well as how Cleo is dealing with the fallout. Weaving through the background is a sub-plot showing the blossoming of a potential love thang between Cleo and the cute new guy Dom as well as a new friendship with Syndney and Willa, but I love that the friendship between Cleo and Layla is the main focus.

5 Things My Awkward, Anxious, Introverted Self Wants to Tell You But Won't

They say Geminis have two sides and I truly believe that. While one side of me enjoys meeting new people and interacting with several people, the other side becomes paralyzed in fear at the thought of letting my guard down to interact. It's almost as if I'm afraid that one day people are going to see past the cool I pass off as confidence so I felt it was time that I share these words here on the blog. These are a few things my truly awkward and introverted self wants you to know about me, but I would have never shared with you outside of this blog post.

Lipstick Love | Milani Bold Color Statement Matte Lipstick

Lipstick holds a special place in my heart and my makeup bag. So you know I brake whenever I see new-to-me tubes in my local stores. Sometimes I'm lured by the promise of being long-lasting in their titles. Other times I'm teased by their incredible range of shades. However, most of the time, it is the packaging of a lipstick that makes me stop and take notice immediately. Not only did the sleek, matte black packaging of the Milani Bold Color Statement Matte Lipsticks make me pause; the affirmation of each label made me want to add them to my cart ASAP.

milani lipsticks

According to the Milani website, the Bold Color Statement Matte Lipsticks are "extra in the best way." Now doesn't that sound like a lipstick you would feel confident wearing? These lipsticks have a guaranteed "no smudge, won't budge" formula that boasts to last all day.

LIPSTICK DIARIES | 3 Steps to the Perfect Pout

If you've been reading here for a while, you already know I believe in the power of lipstick. There's something about wearing a flattering shade of lipstick at any event that provides the best confidence boost. And as much as I've discussed alluring shades and formulas here in this space, I have yet to share how I make sure my lipstick is always looking flawless. Well that changes today!

In this space, I'd like to take the opportunity to REALLY talk about lipstick. I mean, we spend countless hours in the beauty aisles debating on which lipsticks get chosen and will be coming home with us. We stare at them in the tubes, we imagine what they might look like applied generously on our lips, and we might even sniff the lipstick to see how we feel about the fragrance. But how often do we talk about how to properly apply our lipstick to REALLY make it look the best on us?

Sure, we want to make sure our lipstick has the best chance of showing up and showing out for us. We want to make sure it's placed perfectly on our beautiful lips each time. We want to make sure our lips are primed and ready for a dope application. And we want to make sure that baby lasts for as long as we want it to each and every time. So if you're new to the lipstick game and want to make sure your lipstick is on point, keep reading to learn three steps for the best lipstick application and performance.

Lazy Girl's Wash Day | Natural Hair With Tapered Cut

Happy Wash Day, ladies and gentlemen! It's been a while since I've shared a wash day post, hasn't it? Since it's the start of a new year, I decided it was high time to do so. I did the big chop back in November of 2018 and have been experiencing a lot of trial & error when it comes to finding products that work for my natural hair. Now that I've found a happy medium with what works (and doesn't) for my hair, I thought it would be a great time to reintroduce wash day posts here on the blog. Check out my recent wash day routine for my tapered cut + natural hair below.

wash day routine natural hair

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