Friday, November 17, 2017

Dressed In All Black


There is something about an all black outfit that makes you feel bad and boujee *cue Migos!* I used to always ask my debate teacher in high school (shout out to Mrs. Siegel formerly known as Ms. Knapp) why she wore black every day. I used to always encourage her to wear color, because a high school junior has all the fashion answers lol! While I am in no way opposed to color, I now understand as a 31 year old why all black outfits are so lit.



Wearing all black from head to toe is a fool - proof way to class up your outfit in a jiffy. By playing with different textures, and silhouettes it allows you to wear black from head to toe without looking boring. If you add a few unexpected finishes it can amp up your outfit like none other. 

In this look my accessories are what takes this simple combination of a black boyfriend blazer + black tee + black denim jeans to the next level. The fringe belt, lace - up - booties, choker, and sunnies all play a significant role in pulling this look together. 








BLAZER//via Forever 21: old (similar) - BLACK TEE// via H&M (similar) - SHEER PEPLUM TOP//via H&M (similar) - DIY DISTRESSED DENIM//via The Gap (similar) - FRINGE BELT//via Windsor: old (similar longer version) - LACE - UP BOOTIES//via Charlotte Russe (similar) - CHAIN CROSSBODY BAG//via Forever 21: old (similar here) - CHOKER// via Charlotte Russe (1 of 3 pack similar) - PRIMA DONNA LIPPIE//via The Lip Bar  - SUNNIES// via Charming Charlie's (similar)

If you don't have anything to wear this weekend, pull out your favorite black pieces from your closet (casual or dressy) and I guarantee you that you will have an instant outfit on your hands. I hope you all have a great and fashionable weekend. See you back here next Monday!

Xoxo,
-Ali

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Neutral Dreams



Every time I pass a cotton field (like the one behind me in these photos) it gives me cause to pause, to reflect on the rich lineage and heritage I am a descendent of. The vast fields of white, sprouting from the ground acts as a reminder of the daily struggles of my great - grandfather (my grandmother’s father on my mom’s side) and ALL he had to endure in the late 1800s, as a Sharecropper in the deep south of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It reminds me of the sacrifices my ancestors made for me, a little brown girl,  so I can pursue the things I love today. Because of their tenacity I am able to go after my passions, my gifts, and  my purpose. I follow in the footsteps of strong - willed, intelligent, hard - working individuals like my great - grandfather, my grandmother (who is an HBCU college graduate - Alabama A&M University in the 50s - and the first African American food service administrator at the University of Michigan dormitory),and countless unsung heroes who risked their very own lives to allow me the freedoms I have today. 



Because of their relentless pursuit for a better life, I am able to stand before you (or sit in front of a computer screen as you read) and blog about things I love like fashion, family, faith and more. I am able to live out things they could not even fathom back in a segregated southern landscape. So this blog post is dedicated to all my amazing ancestors who have come before me. This is for the Bishop's, Henderson's, Reveire's, and Ferrell's! This is for creating a legacy that I could build a foundation upon. A young, black, woman from humble beginnings of Ypsilanti, MI embarking on a dream of spreading joy, positivity, self - love, empathy, and encouragement to all who will listen by offering fashion tips and life hacks as a wife, stillbirth survivor, rainbow mommy and more. 




So in those moments where I feel like giving up, or I feel too overwhelmed to do anything, I think back at all those who have come before me, who had no choice but to go HARD! I’m standing on the shoulders of giants and I will pay homage to them by stopping excuses that run across my mind, by succeeding, by taking my dreams to a whole other level, and using my platform of success to pull others up with me.




PINK SWEATSHIRT DRESS// via H&M (here) - FUZZY VEST// via Forever 21: old (similar)  - DENIM// via Charlotte Russe (similar) - EARRINGS// via H&M (same earrings different color) - TAUPE BOOTIES//via Forever 21 (very similar) - PINK FUR CROSSBODY BAG//via Charlotte Russe (here) - PINK SUNNIES//via Charlotte Russe (similar)

So here's to being our ancestor's wildest dreams! Living our BEST lives with purpose, passion, and hard - work! Happy hump day luvs! 

Xoxo,
-Ali

Monday, November 13, 2017

Covered Up In My Tan Poncho + Flare Jeans


It is getting cooler outside so I pulled out my camel - colored poncho that I snagged from H&M 7+ years ago, along with my white button up, and flare jeans to cover up and keep warm. While the temperatures aren’t frigid as the Michigan temperatures I’m used to, the chilled temps have finally caused me to grab my warmer clothing option as I get dressed each morning. 

Fall/Winter seasons are not just about covering your body in layers to keep warm, it is about doing it in style! You all know I love to look my best (and I’m sure you all do too), but the truth is, in today’s society we often cover up who we truly are (inside) because we may be different than what we see on TV, through different media mediums, or just different than those that surround us on a daily basis. 




I  have a news flash for you…one that I continuously try to internalize each day! God made all of us unique. We are not supposed to be carbon copies of one another with the same thoughts, ideas, style, mindsets, skin color, hair textures, body shapes, careers, hobbies, gifts etc. He created us to be a melting pot of beauty (the vision He saw of us when we were sculpted in our mother’s wombs). 

In this day and age of social media it is so hard to try to fight to be you when everything around us tells us to be like everyone else. This week, while we try to cover up to keep warm physically, I want us to try to uncover who we truly are. Dust off those gifts buried deep within. Try a new hobby that you’ve been putting on the back burner because it’s “weird” or different from the norm. Try something you’ve always wanted to do this week. Focus on only saying positive things to yourself instead of being overly critical of yourself. Begin learning to love your flaws in all. They are what make you distinctly YOU!







TAN PONCHO// via H&M old (similar) or  (here) - FLARE JEANS// via NY & CO. (similar) - WHITE BLOUSE// via H&M (similar) - VINCE CAMUTO LEOPARD PRINT BOOTIES// via Belk (similar) - TAN FEDORA// via Forever 21 (similar) - SUNNIES// via Charming Charlie’s (similar)

Here’s to uncovering and unlocking the REAL YOU; with style and grace. Have an amazing week. I’ll see you back here on Wednesday and Friday :)

Xoxo,
-Ali 

Friday, November 10, 2017

A is for Ambition


There are some things that I truly want in life! I've been reading a lot about tapping into and unlocking those deep seeded gifts God planted into us that we sometimes bury because they seem too outlandish to achieve. I know we're wrapping up the end of the year and we always look ahead to the new year to make New Year's resolutions. But, this year I want to do things a little differently. I want to focus on maximizing each day, hour, and moment I am given to the fullest! We always hear that tomorrow is NOT promised but sometimes we plan, dream, and fantasize about tomorrow so much that we forget to think about, enjoy, and take in today! I am totally guilty of it. I'm all about a plan, but A is not only for AMBITION...it also stands for ACTION!




It's time to let all those inner gifts loose! It's our time to shine! It's time to walk into our purpose! It's time to throw fear to the wayside and pick up fearlessness! There are sooo many things I want to accomplish and I will no longer stifle myself because it's unconventional, different from the norm, or goes against the things people "think" I should be doing. I will use my ambition, my persistence, my work ethic, and my faith in God to move to higher heights, and levels I'm can't even fathom yet. 












BLACK DENIM// via Gap (similar) - "A" SWEATSHIRT// via Forever 21: old (similar) - CROPPED LEATHER JACKET// via H&M (similar) - TAN FEDORA// via Forever 21 (similar)  - CHUNKY BOOTS// via online boutique: old (similar) - YELLOW TINTED SUNGLASSES// via Windsor (similar) - QUILTED CHAIN BAG// via Forever 21: old (similar) - FURRY BAG CHARM// via Beauty Supply Store (similar)

My prayer for you and I is that we begin to live out the lives and blueprints that God created for us while we were in our mother's wombs! I'll end with this scripture: 

13 
13 "For you created my inmost being;
    
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    
I know that full well."

Psalm 139:13-14New International Version (NIV)



Let your ambition take you to new heights starting today! Happy friday luvs,

-Ali



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Printed Pajamas



Ever so often fashion hits a home run with a new trend. The new matching pajama trend is ideal (at least for me). You get to wear something comfy that doesn't take much effort to throw on and pull together because it comes as a matching set. 

When I first saw this printed pajama matching set at Target a few months ago I was intrigued. The print along with the unique color palette kind of intimidated me at first, but I took it to the fitting room and tried it on anyway. Ali's Fashion Sense Tip: ALWAYS try things on...even if it may scare you on the hanger. You never know what gems you may stumble upon. 








WOMEN'S WRAP KIMONO// via Target - WOMEN'S WIDE LEG FASHION PANTS// via Target - WOMEN'S VELVET DOUBLE TIER TANK// via Target - YELLOW SUNNIES// via Windsor (similar) - BOW CHOKER// via Charlotte Russe (similar) - LACE UP BOOTIES// via Charlotte Russe (similar in burgundy) - TASSEL EARRINGS// via H&M (similar here & here)


I'm so glad I made the purchase for four reasons: 1.) It looks awesome on 2.) It fits well 3.) It is very cool aesthetically 4.) You can mix and match each piece in the set with different items you already own in your closet. This is a 3 - in - 1 set (wrap kimono, velvet tank, printed trousers - even though everything I purchased was separate), which allows you to get the most out of your money spent!! Here's to wearing pajamas outside in a stylish way :)

Happy Hump Day luvs, Make today a great one,
-Ali

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dear Gray


Grayson you just turned 8 months as of Saturday, November 4, 2017! Not only did October fly by, but so did these past eight months. Where did the time go? It seems I ask myself this question every time I do a monthly reflection on your evolving life! 

Ever so often I go back and look at your newborn photos and I'm amazed at how you've changed so drastically physically, mentally, and through your ever changing personality. Your face has grown fuller, your melanin has gradually grown darker and richer, your body has grown longer and your personality has ballooned into an awesome little human being. 

Over the past month you've experienced some firsts:


  • Your first FAMU (Florida A&M University) Homecoming (the first of many I'm sure) as a Baby Rattler. 
  • Your First Halloween
  • Your first trip to Tallahassee, FL

FAMU Homecoming
I love to introduce you to new places and new experiences (something I want to continuously do as you steadily grow). As mentioned above you had your first trip to Tallahassee, FL where mommy spent 5 years of her life as a Rattler at Florida A&M University on the highest of 7 hills. I loved taking you around campus, having you meet mommy's LC friends/sisters (your TT's), and introducing you to your Tallahassee extended family (Horace and Brenda - they absolutely adored you). It was an incredible trip. I hope we can go often so you grow up in the HBCU culture (there is absolutely nothing else like it on Earth)!




Story Time At the Library
Every Wednesday, we go to the library for story time. I think you really enjoy it because no matter how sleepy you are, as soon as we get into our group session and the librarians begin to sing, dance, and read stories you are VERY alert and attentive. You love to observe, dance, play with maracas, sing, interact with other babies, and see the bubbles. It's an awesome outing for you and mommy to bond and also meet different people/babies from all walks of life. Never abandon your curiosity and love for learning, reading, and developing! 



Halloween
This was your first Halloween. Daddy and I decided we wouldn't take you trick or treating because you are so young and you can't eat the candy anyways (plus we didn't need all that candy in our house...it's just junk for our bodies anyway). Mommy did dress you up as a Ninja Turtle (Leonardo - the blue ninja turtle) for the Halloween "Character - Themed Story Time" at the library (which actually occurred one week before Halloween). I also dressed you in a cute Halloween themed outfit for October 31 (in your "Trick or Treat" onesie). I can't wait to think of your costume for next year. I think I have it already in my head...but things could change.












Visitors
This month your God-mommy Jasmine came to visit you! She is a flight attendant (a person who assists the pilots and passengers on their flights to destinations all over the world) so she works quite a bit, flying the friendly skies. But, as soon as she got a tiny break in her schedule she wanted to come and visit you...so she did. She truly enjoyed your company and I believe you enjoyed hers too! 




You also visited with Grandma, Aunt Sherri, Cousin Horace and Brenda, two of your LC TT's Kita and Shari (aka roommate - whom I think you had a little crush on...you were giving her the ga-ga eyes) while we were out in Tallahassee, FL.




Noises
You currently have a new sound that you make, and it's pretty cute. You currently make this sound reminiscent of a tiny monster. It sounds something like R-A-W-R! You do it quite often these days. I think you learned it just in time for Halloween so you could scare off other babies lol. It's the cutest thing ever. It reminds me of  the scene in Lion King where Simba first tried to roar (Sidebar: remind me to show you the Lion King when you get old enough...it's a Disney classic and one of mommy's favorite childhood movies)! 

Teething Progress
You still don't have any teeth as of this post, but you LOVE to chomp on just about anything. You name it and you've probably had it to your mouth at any given time. Your latest things to chew on are: remote controls, my iPhone, your foot, your fingers, teething rings, your shoes, and your favorite your pacifiers. I can't wait to see your first pearly whites break through...we're waiting patiently for their arrival. 

Developmental Skills
At the moment you can sit up really well by yourself. You love to roll over when I place you on your tummy for tummy time. You have ZERO interest in beginning to crawl at the moment but I will keep encouraging you to try and allowing you time to practice. Sidenote: No matter how many times in life you fail, NEVER give up. Always try again. In the words of the late singer Aaliyah, "If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again!" These are great words to live by. You can say "da-da" more clearly now, and the cutest thing of all is when you wave "hi!" You melt people's hearts...especially mommy's when you show off your little wave. You are also expanding your personality everyday. I'm so glad I get to have a front row seat seeing you grow into your BEST self! 




Favorite Books
Anything right now by the author Lucy Cousins 

Snapchat & Other Technology
You love to play with mommy in different Snapchat filters. Currently the rabbit with the backwards baseball cap and bunny ears is my favorite filter for you and me!!! You also love phones (probably since we Facetime grandma daily), computers, and watching Sesame Street *cues Elmo's got the moves and the Elmo slide,*




All in all things are going well for you as you embark on month 8! I'm so proud of where you've come just in these short eight months and I can't wait to see you progress even more in the month ahead. Buckle up your seat belt for a crazy ride this November as we embark upon your first Thanksgiving and a slew of  other firsts. Your first time to meet Grandma Edna (daddy's grandma, your great grandmother). Your first Bayou Classic (which is Southern University - daddy's Alma mater vs. Grambling State University - Uncle Derryn's Alma mater). As well as your first visit (at our home) from your cousin Abel (this weekend)! It should be a grand time :)


via GIPHY

Love you with all my heart! We'll see you at 9 - Months!
-Mommy (and Daddy)