#blackout friday

picture it. it’s black friday 2003, and wal-mart has dvd players on sale for $20. these were the pre-netflix days so a dvd player priced under $75 was a huge steal.  like dedicated shoppers across america, i woke up at dawn to rush my local wal-mart.

all hell broke loose when somebody’s uncle jumped on a stack of boxes and started throwing dvd players to nearby customers. i caught one like odell beckham jr. and ran for my life. you would have thought i was carrying baby jesus.

fast forward to 2015. not only do i try to abstain from shopping at wal-mart due to it’s anti-worker practices, but i’m also working hard to align my spending with my principles. with the murders of so many black men, women and children, i’m in no mood to celebrate a capitalist system that devalues black life.

this holiday season, my mission is to support black-owned businesses who deserve love year round. on friday morning, i’ll be shopping online from the comfort of my bed while eating leftover sweet potato pie.


  1. nubian hueman
  2. ekineyo
  3. dopeciety
  4. nubian skin
  5. gloss rags
  6. nomad yard collectiv (dc area)


  1. peace images jewelry
  2. venus visuals
  3. rachel stewart jewelry
  4. lost queens


  1. coloured raine
  2. ginger + liz
  3. black up cosmetics

skin & haircare

  1. pooka pure & simple
  2. oyin handmade
  3. curlkit
  4. qhemet biologics


  1. andrea pippins
  2. thepairabirds

good reads & writes

  1. salt by nayirrah waheed
  2. teaching gold mah how to heal herself  by bilphena yahwon
  3. shapeshifters by aimee meredith cox
  4. vagabroad journals
  5. effie’s paper

health & well being

  1. little urban tea
  2. afro-vegan cookbook
  3. the spice suite (dc area)

check out quirky brown love for a list of over 200 black-owned businesses.


end of summer: what i’m reading

book4what happens when a well-educated, accomplished writer who is married with two children decides she wants to be happier? the happiness project is a story that describes gretchen rubin’s journey to up her happy pedometer, not because she was depressed or emotionally unstable, but because she loved her life and decided that she wanted to stop complaining and appreciate it more.  rubin makes resolutions or goals to focus on each month for a year, guided by her 10 happiness commandments.  as a single-black woman, i was hesitant to pick up this book because…well, what could i have in common with gretchen rubin? to my surprise it’s been a lesson in interconnectedness — the human condition makes our struggles and triumphs startlingly similar.

check out the happiness project blog with book recommendations and instructions for 21 day projects.

americanah is the newest novel by my favorite writer chimamanda ngozi adichie.  it’s thebook3 story of a young couple who are separated by distance and experiences when one gets a visa to study in the us and the other is left behind in nigeria.  ever the creator of uber-complex characters, the reader gets a voyeuristic view of what it’s like to experience race, racism and class in america as an african immigrant. part of adichie’s genius is that she doesn’t create clear protagonists — i disliked the main character until the very end, not because she was portrayed as a bad person, but because she was unapologetically human.

book2i read several books at once.  admittedly, i haven’t delved deep into nw, but the first chapter definitely captured my attention.  it’s a story of a group of neighbors living in northwest, london and was one of the new york times 10 best books in 2012. nw is described as, “a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself. ”

book1dreaming in cuban by cristina garcia was recently banned by schools in sierra vista, arizona.  i’m planning to read it for no other reason than it’s clearly the anti-establishment thing to do.  oh , and the plot sounds dope with themes of exile, politics and family dynamics post the 1959 cuban revolution.

what’s on your end of summer book list?

interiors i love: the selby

what do you do when you walk into a well-decorated abode? take pictures, of course.  photographer todd selby is a fashion and interior design photographer who snaps pictures of creative people’s homes and workplaces  for his blog, the selby. i can’t wait to pick up his book the selby is in your place. Selby1 Selby2 Selby3all pics via the selby.


simon vintage


i moved into my new apartment over the summer and didn’t have the urge to decorate.  instead of forcing the process, i decided to wait until the home decor spirit  struck.  well, it finally happened.  while on the way to my favorite ethiopian take out spot, i stumbled upon simon vintage, a haven for well curated and reasonably priced vintage goods.  never the person to walk past a vintage or thrift store, i swiftly walked in and found a gem of a place.

i spotted the green cubes and instantly thought they would make an excellent coffee table.  the owner thoughtfully suggested i place a piece of glass on top that a previous customer had taken from a large coffee table.  due to my self-control issues, i was forced to also purchase the vintage ceramic lion.  needless to say, i’m in love with my new coffee table–much classier than those wood palettes.

btw, that black and white photo is a picture of my granny at 14.  everybody thinks it’s me–our resemblance is crazy!

what your ipad can’t do

while waiting for my dentist, i was reading a recently checked out book from my local library (love that place).  he walked in and remarked, “you gotta step into the 21st century and get a kindle or an ipad!  who reads books anymore?!?”  i quickly retorted–“i read books, i keep it real!” this started a ten minute back and forth with him taking a pretty strong position about the wonderful world of ipads.  my last and strongest argument was, “books are pretty.  you can’t put an ipad on a shelf.”  case closed.

this my dear is how you decorate with books:

i love how the books are the only color in the room