Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm a souljah

Dear Chicago,

I love you, but we need to talk. As you know, I'm a sunshine loving woman. When the sun is shining high in the sky tickling me with its warm loving rays...I feel alive. I feel loved and safe and chock full of scrumdiddlyumptious joy. But lately, Mr. Golden Sun seems to have joined the witness protection program. I've not seen him in so long that my internal sunflower is starting to wilt. Now, I know we all have our days Chicago, I understand. But really, this long tall beautiful brown skinned Sun loving souljah needs those rays. Please oh please oh please...won't you let Mr. Golden Sun come out and play? I would greatly appreciate it. OkThanksBye.

Yep, that's how I was feeling today. The day was long, gray, chilly and forbidding. Despite it all though, I had an awesome day :-)

Why you ask? Well because I'm on a roll. Two days in a row, two outfits outside my box makes me a very happy camper, lol. I am all kinds of proud and pleased with myself, you just don't know *giggles*

I have to be totally honest, my LOTD was inspired by God's Favorite Shoes and her Rumble in the Jungle blog post. GFS was inspired by this picture of Mary J. Blige. Had I not seen GFS's and MJB's pictures, I may not have ever thought to put my look together.

I draw inspiration from many of the wonderful "every day woman" personal style bloggers I read. I love high fashion and haute couture, but so much of that is way out of my league. What I love are the thrift store haunting, Ebay adventuring, Etsy searching, Target shopping, H&M harvesting, in-their-own-lane-but-outside-anybody's-box style having regular woman bloggers that populate my blog roll. The women I read about are unapologetic, fiercely loyal to their own visions and will blaze a burning path through any and every "fashion rulebook". They wear what they want, when they want, how they want and they are the captains of their fashion choices. Gotta love that. I'm learning this. I'm learning that there is no wrong way to wear what you like. What I wear doesn't have to make sense to anyone else...it's all about what makes me feel good. Because when you feel good, you look good...and vice versa, lol. At any rate, here's my take on GFS's and MJB's look...


BDU Shirt = Gift from an Air Force friend
Leather jacket = Wilson's
Clutch = Crossroads Trading Company
Black T = Old Navy
Black leggings = F21
Leopard wedges = F21 (Gift from my bestie Shan)
Belt = Gap
Necklace = Gift from Grandmother (it was my Great-Grandmother's R.I.P.)
Bracelets = Alloy and Delia's
Keyhole ring = Crossroads Trading Company
Cracked turquoise ring = Charlotte Russe
Gold flake ring = Charlotte Rusee
Earrings = Gift from my Mommy (R.I.P.)
Plum Perfect nail polish = Essence
Jade nail polish = L.A. Colors (gift from my bestie Shan)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mixing Mediums...sorta :-)

Soooo, since I haven't done a LOTD post in a minute (I blame my lack of a photographer), I thought I'd share...because you care, lol.

Today was real blah. The weather was mild for the most part, but the day was so very gray and dreary. I probably should have gone bright with my outfit but I was in a more neutral mood. As I am prone to do, I played it safe, not really taking any chances, not doing anything overtly exciting. I blame it on the anal retentive straight laced Virgo in me, lol. One thing I am enjoying though is mixing different patterns. I'm actually proud of today's outfit because though very casual and neutral, I played around in a way the old me would never have done. There's hope for me yet :-D

Without further ado...like to see it, here it is...

Jacket and jeans = Gap

Infinity scarf and headband = F21

Green henley = Delia's

Sparrow ring = F21

Keyhole ring = Crossroads Trading Company

Brown plastic sparkle ring = Charlotte Russe

Nail polish = You Hue by Finger Paints

I love shirts with thumb holes

DIY key necklace

Bag = Delia's

Olive, khaki & yellow Converse One Stars = Alloy

And there you have it. Basic, comfy, neutral but still cute IMO. I loved putting the black/white plaid bag with khaki and Leopard and denim and oatmeal and olive....it gave me a real thrill, lol. What do you think? Progress?

Post Turkey Day...gobble gobble :-)

Greetings Dashing Divas, Fabulous Fashionistas & Stunning Styleistas! How was your Turkey Day? Mine was pretty damn good, I have not one complaint :-)

Well, the weather sucked, but hey, that's to be expected in Chicago around this time of the year. Speaking of which...Autumn is awesome! Despite the ever darkening Chicago skies, intermittent rain and dropping temps, I love Autumn. The trees are blazingly beautiful, fall fashion is in high gear and everyone and their momma is having a sale. A nice bonus is that this second to last quarter of the year is filled with good eating :-)

Since I haven't posted anything since last Tuesday, I'm going to catch you up on my Turkey Day haps.

On Wednesday, 11-24-10, my Sun, daughter and I took the train out to my grandparent's place in the far south suburbs. I decided to go out there early because I knew this Turkey Day was going to be especially difficult on her. With the passing of my mother and brother, my ill grandfather, and my younger sister declaring war on the family, I knew my grandmother's stress levels would be high and that she'd need the extra help. I'm glad my seeds and I could lend her a helping hand. I wasn't very glad to be on the train though...but you can't tell...

The children were tired, cold, bored and cranky. I was good though. Music will do that to you :-)
When we got to the house, we rested for a few and played with the demon dog... 

After catching our breath we worked until we were ready to pass out. I pretty much did. Thank my daughter for the picture, lol...

The next day, we got up and did more housework and food prep. By 2PM, family members started arriving and the feast was ready to be had. It was a good day with some good eating...

Fried turkey, cornbread dressing, mac & cheese, greens and mushroom roast beef.

Not shown is the seafood gumbo (I'm allergic), the candy sweets (me no likey), ham (I don't really mess with swine), and the desserts.

I didn't take many pictures because I was too busy feeding my face, lol. Here are a few though...

My baby brother

I used to bottle feed him and change his diapers, lol

My cousin Shara, cousin Malcolm and me

My cousin Kendall and I

My baby brother, Sun and daughter

I almost always wear my Kente print Dashiki on Turkey Day...my way of inserting a bit of culture into an otherwise anti-cultural day. This year our family get together was very subdued. It just wasn't the same with my mother and brother absent. I made sure I placed a plate for them and my egun on my ancestral altar. Well lovelies, that was my Turkey Day...how was yours?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lovely Loc Update: 21 Months In!

Happy Monday almost Tuesday everyone! Today I celebrated my 21 month loc anniversary by shooting a loc update vid. Check it out will ya? 

Having locs is a test in patience, as I mentioned in my vid. I have learned so much about myself these past 21 months and my loc journey played a huge part in that. As my locs mature, I mature.Just like my locs are still pretty much immature, I am still immature in some ways. I look forward to continued growth and maturity both inside and out.

Also, as I mentioned in the vid,I don't manipulate my locs much. I haven't retwisted since June of this year, just washing, popping and going. I wash with Giovanni Triple Treat Tea tree Shampoo and I use Oyin Handmade's Greg Juice as a moisturizer. You can get more info on those products by clicking their names. The song playing in my video is Closer by Kings of Leon. You can buy the MP3 by clicking the link.

Thanks for reading/watching :-)

Later loves...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wang, Prorsum, Kors...oh my!

Though these pictures are old, I can't stop ogling them and I must share. I'm sure you've seen it all before...


Alexander Wang can do no wrong in my book. He can go kick ass edgy and frilly and fem in the shake of a rose scented hankey. This here is straight up, down, across and all up in my alley! Mmm, all black everything, gotta love him!

When I think of Burberry I always think of those Virginia Slims cig ads because Burberry has come a loooong way. When I first became aware of Burberry, I wasn't very impressed. All plaid everything, stiff looking boring designs...those were my thoughts. Now I drool over their runway pictures. Sumptuous shearlings/furs/leathers, velvet, lace, feminine and edgy looks...Burberry has won me over.


How can one not love Michael Kors? His designs are fit for every woman (even if the price tags are not). Since I'm chameleonic (yes, I just made that awesome word up) in my tastes, I love that he is also chameleonic with his designs. I'm partial to edgy looks but I also like classical fem details. A sheath dress dress with cage platforms and pearls? I'd rock that, lol.

Just thought I'd share a couple of my current obsessions because sharing is caring :-)

Which designers/looks are you obsessing over right now? Share!

Party for a cause!

J.T. over at Chic Therapy Online recently sent me the press release for Ribbon Rouge #5, a fabulous and fun music, fashion and art exhibition that has been raising money for HIV relief in Africa for the past 5 years. Please check out the deets below and pass the word on. Thanks a bajillion loves!

Ribbon Rouge #5 is a Fashion and Art exhibition with a silent auction which has over the past 5 years raised and donated approximately $10,000 towards HIV relief in Africa.

This year's show will be held on the 11th of December at 20 Grovsenor Street Toronto. Guests will be treated to a tasteful mixer in the company of classy "fashionistas", enjoy free delectable hors d’oeuvres, listen to the soulful renditions of The Jonathan Blaak Jazz Trio, The Recipe (2009 Canadian festival of spoken word champions), and be entertained by dance sensations Sapphire dance productions and African Dance Festival

Our guests will win several gifts (Including a spa package, Dining gift cards, Free purses, discounts off bespoke clothing and discounts off portraits). In addition, guests will have the opportunity to buy fabulous fashions and art, which are awesome Christmas gifts, from our silent auction.

ALL proceeds go to UNAIDS in support of HIV survivors.

Music by DJ. Nijero
Fashion and Art by Arewa

tickets at 6475003163 or www.arewa.ca
$5 students (with valid student I.D), $10 general, $15 at the doors

Lights. Camera. Action!

Morenike Olaosebikan

Monday, November 15, 2010

Product Review: L'occitane Red Rice Skincare Line

And we're off on another manic Monday! I don't know about anyone else, but I don't much mind Mondays...never really have either. Except for when I was in high school...but that was loooooong ago, lol. You'd never know by looking at my skin though. My oily skin. Don't get me wrong, I don't totally hate my oily skin...anymore, lol. I appreciate my natural oils for what they do. One of the benefits of having oily skin is that it ages less rapidly than other skin types. It's the main reason why folks can't guess my true age. Not that I'm ancient or anything, but I'm told quite often that on good days I still look like I'm in my late teens *batting lashes*

I love that, lol! On my bad days I look like I'm in my 20's, which is still a complement. I owe it all to oodles of MELANIN, good genes and oily skin ;-)

The disadvantages of having overly oily skin are having your foundation turn into an ooey gooey oil slick oozing down your face (I stopped wearing foundation because my skin no likey), shiny/greasy T Zones and finding skin care products to treat/tame it all. *Sigh*

I have been searching for the longest time *cue Billy Joel* and I *cue U2's Joshua Tree* still haven't found what I'm looking for. Though, at times, I've come rather close. This brings me to L'occitane's Red Rice Line. I watched a youtube video a while back about rice water toners and how good they were supposed to be for those with oily skin and decided that I would try it ASAP. Although the vid showcased a tutorial for homemade rice toners, I also needed a cleanser and moisturizer so, as usual, I Googled. To my surprise and joy I found this Red Rice Foaming Cleanser by L'occitane (pronounced lox-e-tahn)...

It comes in a nifty $8 trial size (now $4 but I'm not sure how long)
It cleansed my skin without stripping it comepletely of its natural oils
It made my skin soft and supple and appear less oily
It seemed to reduce my breakouts
Has a nice smell
Soap free
Contains some natural/organic ingredients (they use sustainable/renewable organic ingredients whenever possible)
L'occitane does not test on furry (or non-furry) critters
They are ecologically responsible (recycled/recyclable packaging)

Contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Contains more chemicals/compounds than natural ingredients

Overall, the cleanser gets a 4 out of 5 Qtips on my beauty prods scale.

Next up we have the Red Rice Purifying Toner...

It comes in a nifty $8 trial size
Has a slight tint that adds a nice glow
Made my skin look/feel matte
Has a nice smell
It seemed to reduce my breakouts
Has a nice smell
Same last three pros as the foaming cleanser

Feels gritty
Made my skin feel too dry and tight

Contains Methylparaben
Contains Salicylic Acid
Overall, the toner gets a 2.5 out of 5 Qtips on my beauty prods scale.

Finally we have the Red Rice Ultra-Matte Face Fluid...

Comes in a nifty $8 trial size
Has a nice smell
Same last three pros as the cleanser and toner

Feels gritty
Made my skin feel overly dry and tight
Contains Salicylic Acid

Overall, the face fluid gets a 1 out of 5 Qtips on my beauty prods scale.

Though I like the philosophy of the company and I like the way the products smell, I will not buy the full size system nor will I purchase the trial sizes again. Based on my needs and concerns, the Red Rice Skincare line just isn't a good fit for me. Back to the drawing board *shrugs*

That's it for now guys and gals...


*The aforementioned L'occitane products were purchased with my own money. My review is unpaid and impartial.*

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Just Call Me Easy

For me Sunday is bum day. That means I dress in sweats and do housework, read, watch tv, etc. I also tried to cleaned up a really wack nail job from the other day. Lately I've not much been into my tips, but for lack of anything better to do, I painted my nails. This was the result...

In my mind this looked all kinds of awesome but it came out really less than spectacular. I had no intention of taking it off and starting over however, so I just left it as is. This was done late Saturday night. By today, I was still less than thrilled with the look so I edited it. This was the result...

I'm still not all that thrilled with how it looks but it looks less wack than it originally did...I guess, lol.
Products used:
Orly Nail Armor (1 coat)
Sally Hansen Wet Cement (2 coats)
Sally Hansen Lightning (2 coats)
Sally Hansen Blue Me Away (2 coats)
Seche Vite Fast Drying Top Coat (1 coat)
Barry M. Instant Nail Effects Black Magic (1 coat)

I love the way Wet Cement and Blue Me Away go on, both of these polishes are smooth and dry pretty quickly. Though I didn't have to, I used two coats of BMA. It was opaque in one coat but I went with two. WC needed two coats because it was thinner and lighter colored. Neither of those colors streaked nor was there drag. Love them! Lightning is an Insta Dri color and thus, has a harder to work with brush. It went on a little streaky with a tiny bit of drag and required two coats (three would be better, but I refused). Though I'm no longer a fan of the Insta Dri's, I love Lightning, it's a very nice yellow. The Barry M. nail effects crackle polish was a tad bit difficult to work with for me. It's kind of thick, dries very quickly and doesn't spread well. If you go over the same spot twice you get streaks and drag. This will also affect how the crackle looks (shape and size of the crackle). I more than likely will not but the Barry M. again. I'm waiting for the OPI crackle polish to come out. Cannot wait! And that my dears, was a mini review for you ;-)

Sadly, this was the highlight of my weekend. I did little else other than housework, read books and watch shows I recorded on my DVR. What'd you do this weekend? Are you ready for Monday? I hope you remembered to set your clocks back an hour!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Election Day

Though I'm a few days late and several dollars short (and the Dems/Obama are SOL), I thought I'd share my laid back election day look. Most folks were at the polls looking harried, hurried and worried. Post election day, I'm thinking perhaps folks should have taken more time to research candidates before casting a vote. Ah well, c'est la vie. On to the out of it outfit...

I've always loved African prints and my BFF knows this so I was elated when he gave me this Kente print Dashiki for my bornday back in 2007. I've worn this Dashiki as a dress, as seen here...

(albeit a very short dress). I also wear it over jeans/leggings, tucked into jeans, under cardis, belted, etc. It's gorgeous and versatile and I LOVE it! 

My lighting was oh so bad but I made lemonade with those lemons.

Ring = F21
Dashiki = Gift
Old Leather Jacket = Wilson's
Scarf = TJ Maxx
Earrings = Gift
Glasses = Versace
Boots (unseen) = Chestnut Classic High UGGS

That's all folks.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wish List Wednesday: All Leopard Everything!

For as long as I can remember (certainly longer than the current trend) I have loved animal prints. My top faves are Zebra and Leopard. In my opinion, Zebra and Leopard print are the new neutral. You can pair these prints with absolutely any color and if you're brave, other prints. Floral, paisley, stripes, you name it. In celebration of my fetish today's wish list is dedicated to the lovely Leopard!

Let's start with head gear. I love a cute hat, but the thickness of my locs won't allow for many chapeaus. This cute stretchy beanie is perfect though...

Free People at ShopStyle

For those really cold and casual days, I'm loving this Leopard trapper hat. Perfect for Chicago winters...

Juicy Couture at ShopStyle

Nothing moves me more than when two of my faves come together. This Leopard print infinity scarf is just what my neckline needs...

Tolani at ShopStyle

A skinny Leopard print belt is a wardrobe essential...your closet isn't complete without it. This belt can be paired with just about anything and make you look mahhhhhvahlous dahhhhling! Yes, I did just say that out loud the way Billy Crystal used to, lol.

Express at ShopStyle

I am imagining a beautiful red wool coat (any length) and these lovelies right here...smashing!

D&G at ShopStyle

The Leopard print sheath dress can do no wrong IMO. This dress can be worn on its own, tucked in a skirt and worn as a top, covered with a cardi/blazer or topped...with a top and worn as a skirt. Oh the things you can do with a Leopard sheath. Loves it...

Calvin Klein at ShopStyle

Though pricier, I'm also loving this make/model...

David Meister at ShopStyle

That's an awesome option for going out.

Another must have, IMO, is the little Leopard print faux fur jacket. Again, this paired with a red dress (I love red and Leopard print together) or any color combo is sure to give any girl the warm fuzzies (pun intended). I couldn't find this particular jacket on ShopStyle so just click the word jacket and you'll see my pick.

And that does it for this week's edition of Wish List Wednesday. What's on your wish list? Do you like animal prints? Are you lusting after Leopard like me?