LIPSTICK LOVE | NYX Lip Lingerie in Honeymoon and Beauty Mark

When the seasons change, I am always inspired to switch out items from daily wear makeup bag. The bright lippies and blushes from warmer months have now taken residence in the makeup cases in the bottom of my closet. My favorite plums, reds, burgundies, and deep browns have made a comeback! And while browns and nudes never really disappear from my rotation, I do forget many of my all-time favorites and have to bring them back out. 

If you've been here for a while, you know I love a good, affordable lipstick. And for that reason, I keep repurchasing lippies from the NYX Cosmetics Lip Lingerie line. Lip Lingerie boasts to have a "nude for everybody" with over 20 shades between the original and the XXL line. Two of them that I just can't seem to get out of my system are my beloved Honeymoon and Beauty Mark. 

I've been rocking these two for years and can always seem to find a replacement when I run out from virtually any big box store or drugstore. So, as long as these stores continue to feed my habit for the low, I'll continue to slather my lips with their product. Check out how they look on the pucker below.

Feels Like Warm Hugs | A Playlist

So, I have a quick confession to make. Something about this time of the year makes me want to hibernate and isolate. I don't know what it is. And I'm pretty sure many other people feel this same way. Lately I've been careful with creating comfortable spaces for myself and taking breaks from certain things to recalibrate. This is an essential part of my self-care plan

I've been finding ways to find calm + comfort in the smallest things. Been surrounding myself with people that feel like home. Preparing meals and libations that taste like warmth and nostalgia. Visiting beautiful landscapes that smell like saltwater, pine, lime and eucalyptus. Sitting outside late evenings to watch the beautiful sunset over a pool of cotton candy + tangerine skies. Wrapping up in my favorite fleece blankets and slipping on my favorite silk pajamas after a shower. And of course, listening to soothing sounds reminiscent of warm hugs and treasured memories. You get my drift, right? There's nothing quite refreshing like being present for the small things that make your soul happy. 

Speaking of happiness and warm hugs, when is the last time you've heard a song that made you feel all warm inside? One that you could actually feel on your skin and see through your mind's eye? I believe one of the things I love most about music is the way it allows me to experience something without the element of physical touch. How the lyrics, the basslines, the melodies, and overall mood of a single song can be felt so intensely, so passionately, without physical touch enacts an intimacy so deep, it almost scares me sometimes. I keep a few songs like this in my rotation to remind me of all those feels. 

spotify playlist

QUEUE THE "Feels Like Warm Hugs" PLAYLIST:  This is for those moments when you're craving a  feeling you can't quite put your finger on (literally and figuratively). For those of us looking for comfort when the tangible aspect of that comfort eludes us. Click the image above to open the playlist up in a new window.

Loving these Spotify playlists? Let me know in the comments if you want more here on the blog. And be sure to give me a follow if you're on Spotify, too. I love making mixtapes and sharing music with my good boos over there.



10 Must-Read Modern Poetry Collections by Black Women


poetry by black women

I believe there is healing power in poetry. Reading words written in a lyrical way that mirror your own thoughts and feelings makes you feel seen. It gives language to emotions you may not always know how to articulate. And it also shows you that you aren't alone in your deep feelings, especially when you're overwhelmed in emotion. I believe that is why I've leaned on poetry so much over the years.

There are times when I like to write my feelings and allow them to spill in any way that I can release them. Other times, I like to read poems from others to explore how they navigate their feelings as well. It is a carthartic experience when I find myself in reading the words of others.  So much so, that I'd like to share a few collections with you from Black Women that tugged at my heartstrings and settled in my head for hours on end. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Easy Skincare Routine featuring Good Molecules

When is the last time you tried something new on your skin? Now I will be honest and admit I don't usually enjoy change when it comes to my skincare. I've tried so many different products in the past, that once I find products my skin loves, I tend to stick with them. Like, forever, forever ever, forever ever! But every now and again, I come across a "new to me" skincare line and I grow curious. If they mention fighting oily skin, I draw closer. And if they make mention of fading hyperpigmentation, I get all up in their mix! This is how my fixation with Good Molecules came to be. I had been following the brand for a while on Instagram, as well as reading rave reviews from satisfied customers. So, I felt like it was kismet when the brand reached out to me offering a PR package with some of their most loved products. 

Since I've been using their products for a while now, going on to create my own skincare regimen and repurchasing items, I knew I had to share these products with you guys. Read below to check out the full details of my current skin care regimen using Good Molecules.

good molecules skincare

5 Ways to To Jump-Start Your Creativity

creative woman

One of the toughest things about being a creative is being consistent. There are times when I feel like ideas flow through me and pour out of me with ease. I write and the perfect words just come out of nowhere, beautifully. I can come up with a concept and will be able to execute it in no time. And it is during those times when I feel like I'm truly meant to make a living being a creative. But then the time comes when I feel like I'm stuck. I fall into a creative rut and I struggle to pull myself out of it. None of my ideas "stick." And as soon as I find one that does, it becomes such a hassle to bring it to life that I want to leave it all on the proverbial "cutting-room floor." 

Am I the only one who has fallen into this trap before? I'm sure I'm not the only one. Perhaps you've had your own moments of  writer's block. Maybe you've been looking for creative clarity lately. You could be reading this right now and nodding your head in agreement because that uninspired feeling has been playing you close these days. If you've answered yes to any of the above questions, this post is for you: read more to discover ways to jump-start your creative process sooner than later.

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


blog workspace

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



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.

Blue: A Poem

couple in blue

I fell into you, 

tracing my fingers 

along your scars.

Kissing each of them,

one by one, as they dissolved 

on my lips and in my heart.

You'd meld into my skin. 

Filled in 

the spaces in me

that were hollow and bleak. 

You created in me 

an all-consuming fire 

with a burn 

that never grows weak. 

We emulsify, 

we set alight 

and shine bright, 

capturing everything 

in our wake. 

We blend 

and transcend, 

never to bend or break. 

We are a wonder, 

instinctively drawn 

to each other's vivid hues. 

Bodies moved to 

some unnamed, unheard rhythm. 

We collided and blazed blue.

photography by ricardo esquivel via unsplash

Nightcap | A Saturday Night Vibe

Are you one of those people who can easily wind down after a long day? Or are you one that finds yourself more than ready to turn in until you get in bed and realize you need a little something extra? I often end up in the latter category, simply because I can't turn my brain off. Things I haven't thought of all day seem to resurface at night and for some reason, I just can't silence the noise.

Now if you know me well, you already know I have went through my nightly self-care routine and I'm probably just in need of a good sitcom or smooth playlist to lull me to sleep. Then there are nights when a neat lil nightcap does the trick. Usually, however, that nightcap comes with the smooth tunes as well. And before you know it, I'm waking up the next morning well-rested. 

slowjam playlist


If you're like me and love a good wig, you'll want to read all about this affordable headband wig I've been wearing as a protective style to give my natural hair a break. 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.

luvme hair headband wig

It's no secret that we love a good wig around here. As much as I love my natural tapered cut, I always make sure to protect my natural hair as often as I can, as well. Usually my protective styles of choice are quick-weaves and wigs. But quite honestly, I don't always want to play around with a lace-front wig to make sure my edges are laid, my part is plucked, and there's enough concealer applied "like-so" to make sure it's presentable for the public. So, when I found out about LUVME Hair's headband wig line, I became curious. Installing a wig in a New York minute without any prep work and she's good to go? That's my kind of protective style!


poetry for black women

Hello everyone, I'm Drea and it's come to my attention that I may or may not have an addiction. See, I grab for nearly every beautiful book cover I see and have no shame about it. Especially beautiful book covers featuring brown girls with natural hair. Could I be acquiring all of these books at lightning speed to make up for the ones I needed growing up but didn't have? Perhaps. Either way, I love them and I'm gonna stick beside them.

What's the most beautiful book cover you have on your shelf right now? I went with Black Girl, Call Home today because this baby here is beautiful inside and out. The poetry within these pages moved me to + through ALL THE FEELINGS last year. Covering topics of race, feminism, and queer identity, Jasmine Mans reminded the wanderer in me how much childhood shapes us, how much trauma scars us, and how those scars do heal, eventually. Have you read this one, yet?

To grab your own copy of Black Girl Call Home, click here.




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