crush of the week: afia and jay

simply calling jasmine my style crush isn’t sufficient. her wardrobe is beyond.  she’s more than epic style though — her blog, afia and jay, bridges the gap between fashion and career advice for millennials. check her out and fall in love.



local love: spice suite


i’m 19 days into my whole 30 cleanse (but who’s counting), and food has never tasted this good. eating only protein, fruit and vegetables has called for creative recipes — so i was beyond excited when mariama of brownbelle recommended we meet up at the spice suite in takoma park.

DSC_6616nestled on a short strip of local businesses, the spice suite is owned and operated by chef angel anderson. glass jars of internationally-sourced spices line the wall, boasting unique flavors like mesquite salt and raspberry sugar.

aside from selling spices and soups, the ambiance is delightful. it’s the kind of place that makes you want to post up with a good book, sip angel’s strawberry basil lemonade and chill on a quiet saturday afternoon. it’s like a black-owned cheers with a cozy, bohemian vibe. DSC_6622

not only is my pantry grateful for some new flavors, but i’m ecstatic to have finally met my blogger boo mariama! her lifestyle blog is a must read for food, interior design and style inspiration. she’s even lovelier in person, and i can’t wait to create magic together.

if you’re like me and think you’re doing something fancy by using trader joe’s sea salt, then it’s time you stopped by spice suite to get your life. nervous about delving into spices like saffron without a tutorial? no worries, angel’s hosting a sip ‘n spice on november 22nd to sip, chat and learn all about introducing new flavors into your cooking routine.


confessions of an obsessive travel planner

confession: i have obsessive tendencies. once i pick up a new hobby or interest, it’s full steam ahead until i’m pulled into the next adventure. since i’ve crocheted my entire family multiple scarves, it’s time for something new.

thanks to the growing black travel movement, exploring the world is my latest obsession. remember my summertime fine piece where i made a commitment to adding more stamps to my passport?  thankfully, i did just that with a recent trip to costa rica. cool breezes, palm trees, beaches, delicious food — we lived la pura vida for five relaxing days (check the ‘gram if you missed it).

while we were still in costa rica, i was already planning our next trip abroad. i mentioned i was obsessive right? here are my top social media and black travel bloggers who give invaluable access to a world without borders:

    1. zim ugochukwu and travel noire: get real familiar with zim and everything that is travel noire. after losing her job, traveling the world and sleeping on a friend’s couch, she emerged from a personal journey with a dedication to encourage black folks to see the world. she’s lowkey my latest inspiration, and travel noire’s #tndistrict is one of the most creative ways imaginable to connect with black folks around the world. check out zim’s interview with time magazine for more insight into the black travel movement.
    2. oneika the traveller: traveling to 70 countries on 6 continents has made oneika a certified travel expert. she’s been everywhere — when i say everywhere, i mean EVERYWHERE — you ever thought about traveling and thankfully chronicled her experiences online. browse her blog for top notch advice before you even think about booking a flight.
    3. catch me if you can: me and j.nambowa should be friends. her courage to get up and go off the solo move inspires all type of black girl magic. not only does her blog offer travel tips, but her periscope takes things a step further with realtime visuals from her epic locations. plus her advice on saving to travel helps squash that voice in the back of your head saying “you can’t afford to take that once in a lifetime vacation.”
    4. hashtags, hashtags and hashtags: #blacktravelers, #blacktravelhackers, #travelisthenewclub, #travelnoire and #jettsettingchicks are my go to hashtags for travel experiences. just scrolling through the pictures will inspire you to get up and go.

living in a fast-paced-urban environment provides lots of distractions from my inner self, but travel puts life as i know it to a halt. traveling is not only my latest obsession, but part of my dedication to self-care.

go big girl what you gon’ do?

beach1 beach2beachnew2

i’m not the only woman with a small frame and large chest, but for most of my adolescence and early adulthood, you would have thought i was sent from mars. when was the last time you saw one of those cute $19.99 two-piece bikinis at target with a 34ddd top and size small bottom? you said never? i know. thankfully, bathing suit shopping was sooooo much easier this year when i discovered that asos has an entire line of swimwear for the dd+ crowd.

my new white swimsuit snaps snugly in the back and the three straps on each side really help to ease the weight of my chest around my neck. this was just a test run, i can’t wait to try more.

what are you wearing to the beach this

crush of the week: danielle from love 416

dani1we love dani because her blog, personal style and eye for interior decor are fresh. not fresh like fly (although she most certainly is), but fresh like walking through a farmer’s market with a breeze on your back. she’s simply lovely.


check out her blog and youtube channel for delicious inspiration.

crush of the week: justina blakeney


justina blakeney is a bohemian, pattern-loving interior designer and blogger who stole our hearts.  she’s sweet as pie, always taking the time to interact with her fans, and has an eye for making seemingly mundane antiques come alive. for those of us craving a bit more than her blog can offer, she just released her first book, the new bohemians: cool and collected homes.  it recently hit the new york times bestseller list — i can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!justinasjungalow justina-unit World-Market-58