Like any other woman, there are days when I look in the mirror and am not too pleased with what I see. I’ve picked at myself, over analyzed my features and have spent time obsessing over my body. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often anymore, but as a younger girl…ugh! I think we’ve all been there and all have those days. When Beautiful Brown Girls asked me to appear in the premiere issue of their magazine, I jumped at the opportunity, though at one time I thought I was anything but a beautiful brown girl. Part of what has helped me grown my confidence over the years is setting and accomplishing goals. There’s nothing like having an idea, working hard on it and seeing it come to fruition. Every time I crush something I think to myself, “yea…you did that” – it feels good. These days, my self worth comes from what I do and how I make people feel as opposed to how I look. Blogging has been one of my biggest confidence boosters. As someone who used to be extremely shy, it’s forced me to put myself out there, meet new people and grow a tough skin. In the article, I share my tips on how I stumbled into blogging and how I’m growing this little space. The outfit in this post are from the photos featured in Beautiful Brown Girls. I wanted to wear something that shows off my personality – colorful, fun and a little different. Be sure to CLICK HEREto check out the article, I’d love to know what you think.
Coolais an incredible organic sunscreen line started by Chris Birchby. This brand came across my radar last year when I was looking for a sunscreen productsafe to use on my family. The Coola Sport Continuous Spray SPF 35 is the product that initially caught my eye for my husband. While I can lather myself and the baby in sunscreen, he’s a little more stubborn and says that it makes him feel even hotter in the Florida sun. Apparently this is a complaint for most guys. When I got the invitation to meet Coola’s founder and learn about their partnership and launch with Ulta, I couldn’t wait to check out the products first hand.
Coola was awesome enough to provide a car service to chauffeur myself and other bloggers to the event. I was given the opportunity to speak with Chris one on one about his brand and vision. Inspired by his parents issues with melanoma and his love of surfing, Chris Birchby wanted to create a sunscreen that was effective yet healthy. The result is a line of potent formulations that are up to 97% organic! They’re also expanding into skincare products and baby sunscreen is available as well. My favorite product so far is the Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Tint that worked well with my oily skin.While Coola has been on the shelves of resort and spas around the world, it’s new partnership in Ulta’s prestige department makes it accessible to the masses.
I’ve already been threatening my husband to bring his spray to work everyday now that I have some products on hand. After spraying it on him, he was shocked at how lightweight it felt. I think we may have a winner on our hands here!
Thank you Chris for taking to time to chat with me. My family and I can’t wait to try your fab and eco-friendly products!
Shirt: Merona | Necklace: Dress Barn | Suede Shorts: (similar)| Bag: Louis Vuitton | Sandals: Mossimo
On Saturday while preparing to support my friends Naturals In The Sun for International Natural Hair Meet-Up Day, the impossible happened – my mom offered to keep the baby overnight. If you’re a parent, you know that your life revolves around your child. Between parenthood and work, it can be extremely hard to spend quality time with your partner. This is certainly true for my husband and I. Although I was excited to hand out with my curlfriends (last year was so much fun), I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have alone time with my man. I quickly jumped on the computer and booked a room before letting my husband know that we’d be hitting the road in a few hours when he got home from work. Naples is definitely NOT a turn up spot if that’s what you’re looking for. However, we love to head out once in a while when we want to relax and do nothing. It was strange not having our little guy around for 24 hours, but it was great to have more than just a few minutes alone together for the first time since he was born 16 months ago.
For this look, I was wanted to a luxe yet comfortable outfit to explore in. I was running out the house so fast that I only brought the shoes on my feet, which weren’t as comfortable to walk around in. We hit up a local Target where I picked up these awesome white Mossimo sandals which I already know will be a summer staple. They’re definitely handy when you’re on the run! Speaking of which, have you seen Jay-Z and Beyonce’s “On The Run” tour trailer? So dope!
How was your weekend? Do you have ever do staycations?
Blazer: F21 | Tank: Old Navy | Skirt: Marshalls | Shoes: Target
…so I’m starting a garden. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Oh Dear Drea or have been hanging out in Home Depot too much. Either way, I thought this would be a fun family activity that we can do outdoors without leaving the house. There’s something out about planting tiny seeds and taking pride in watching it flourish – in the garden or in everyday life. I’m all about eating real food and raising a healthy family, so why not grow some of our own herbs and some produce? For anyone else who may be interested, Martha Stewart has great gardening tips that I’m finding helpful.
While we’re on the subject of growing, I’ve been having thoughts on expanding this blog. I love to bring style in all areas of my life! From quick recipes, to home diy’s and entertaining, there’s so much more that I want to share. I hope you enjoy the new topics as I introduce them.
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’m starting an eco-glam bath & beauty brand called Jolie Bloom. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for years, but have always allowed fear and a lack of focus to keep me off track. Once I decided that I was going to do this and concentrated on the reason why I wanted to present this to the world – things started to fall into place. Because this brand is created and inspired by my daughter Jolie, I’m excited about launching on what would have been her third birthday, July 2 2014! I’ve always loved business and the idea of being my own boss. I’ve tried many thing over the years from makeup artistry to cupcakes. Somethings worked and some didn’t, while some projects fizzled out because I wasn’t truly passionate about it. If there is one thing I am proud of however, it is that I’m always willing to try…but I tried everything except what I’m supposed to do – this line. Instead of jumping into this, I’ve been taking my time, doing tons of research and doing experiments. You guys, I’M EXCITED! Part of this has been studying and reading lots of business books. Next up on my list is one by a girl I’ve admired for years – Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal who recently penned the book #GIRLBOSS. I love reading modern business literature from people of my generatiom who started from the bottom. From a little ebay store to what is now, Nasty Gal is winning and pulling in millions of dollars in revenue. I don’t know if Jolie Bloom will be THAT big one day, but I sure will try. I’m looking forward to diving into the book and posting a review. Have you ordered a copy of #GIRLBOSS ?
My road to becoming a #GIRLBOSS myself is requiring a lot of time and sacrifice. I’m (trying to) balancing work, marriage, motherhood and entrepreneurship at the same. I’m not sure what free time is anymore, I’m self funding my start up (what extra money?) and well…I’m tired. These sacrifices however, are common denominators is some of greatest come up stories that I’ve read. I guess I’m on the right track.
On the fashion tip, I’ve practically been living in these camouflage pants that I purchased at Monc Boutique during my birthday party. Please support these ladies during Small Business week and if you’re local in South Miami, definitely stop by and check out the beautiful boutique.
Do you currently run a business? Are you looking to become an entrepreneur?
Who are the business women who have inspired you? Leave their names in the comments
My family and I can’t remember life before we received our Quinny Buzz Xtra Stroller. It rides so smooth, it’s easy for me to use and my son loves the recline feature during nap time. I can go on and on about how amazing this stroller is, but as a fellow mom – I know time is limited. It’s time to get to the meat and potatoes of this post. I have the mother of all giveaways for you just in time for Mothers Day Weekend – Quinny USA is giving one of my lucky readers a chance to win the Quinny Buzz Xtra and Maxi-Cosi Mico AP !!! This epic travel system was just featured on the Ellen Mothers Day special if you want to see it in action…or if you want to see the ladies go crazy for it, lol! All you have to do is enter below and this can be yours….
I’m not sure what my husband has planned for my second Mothers Day this year, but I’m excited. Honestly, I don’t need much. My only requirement is quality time with him and our son – some great food would be good too, lol. If you’ve been busy or completely forgot that Mothers Day is this weekend, I have a few ideas here for you. William Sonoma is always my go to place for my mom! I’m always guaranteed to find something fabulous of great quality. If your mom loves beauty products (what woman doesn’t), Sephora usually has nice sets put together. In any event, get out there and get something for the woman who has raised you and show her a good time this weekend. If you’re a mom, I wish you a fun and relaxing weekend of good vibes. Here are a few last minute ideas to consider if you haven’t made it out to the stores as yet:
Birchbox is a beauty company that has been near and dear to my heart since it’s beginnings. I remember hearing about this concept and seeing girls on youtube opening their boxes every month, surprised each time at the contents that were inside. As a product junkie, I just had to get a subscription! After completing a quick survey, my $10 monthly subscription would come in the mail and give me new products to play with. Month after month, I discovered new brands and even did a little acting with my sister in an effort to win their Gossip Girl contest. When I discover a company that I love, I appoint myself as an ambassador – I made everyone who would listen purchase a subscription. As embarrassing as this may be to admit, they should have at least a dozen applications on file from me trying to work there, lol.
Fast forward a little over two years since my discovery of this innovative brand, I was so excited to receive a VIP invitation to attend their event at Dr. Brandt’s Coral Gables office. I’m not quite sure how to sum up this world renowned celebrity dermatologist except to call him the man! He’s everything! Upon arrival to his tres chic office in swanky Shops of Merrick Park, the doctor was dripping in designer fashion while briefing us on his resume and accolades. Once he wrapped up, it was time to choose the winner of an in depth skincare consultation and treatment with the doc himself. I was a little apprehensive, but still chose to put my business card in the bowl for consideration before sitting down. I’ve struggled with my skin my entire life, and had this vision of him telling me that I needed an entirely different face all together, ha! I know it sounds silly, but I’ve had some really mean things said to me (and behind my back) about my skin while I was growing up. It’s what prompted me to eventually become an esthetician and makeup artist during my college years. Sure, my skin has gotten A LOT better, but I was feeling a little nervous to be picked. My nervous quickly turned into excitement when my name was actually selected for the treatment. After listening to how passionate he was about his craft and how qualified he is (and the fact that he’s the man), I could barely contain myself and jumped out my seat when my name was called. And because it wouldn’t be me if something cooky didn’t happen, one of my box braids fell out, #blackgirlproblems lol!
While the rest of the ladies enjoyed smoothies, yummies (can you tell I’m a mom) and a tour of the office, I got cozy in a private room for a my consultation. I removed the makeup I’d so carefully applied for the dermatologist who works on the likes of Madonna and the Goddess Gwyneth to examine my face. After some questions and observations, Dr. Brandt recommended the Isolaz acne laser treatment. After laying under the steam for a few minutes, everyone gathered in the room to learn about the treatment and watch it in action.
Dr. O’Connell made me feel very comfortable and the treatment didn’t hurt at all. I felt like a warm vacuum and left my skin dewy and hydrated. The laser light zaps the bacteria while the vacuum loosens the oils and gets rid of inflammations. Once the demonstration was complete, we all got to sat individually with Dr. Brandt for a one on one so that he could customize a skincare regimen for our individual needs. Having done an in depth meeting with me earlier, he quickly checked off a list of products for me to take home! How lucky am I? I’m going to be chronicling my journey to healthier and better looking skin using the products and sharing my thoughts here on the blog. People around me are already noticing a difference and it’s only been a week! I’m so excited!
Thank you so much to the Birchbox team for the invite and for chatting with me – you’re all so lovely! Dr. Brandt’s team is amazing – I can’t wait to book a few sessions of the Isolaz treatment!
The Quinny Buzz Xtra Stroller has been so much fun for our family! There’s nothing like being outside with each other and finding new places to explore. It’s light enough for me to take in and out of our SUV myself, yet sturdy with all the bells and whistles. Grey acts like such a divo in this stroller – I guess he feels fancy when he’s being pushed around it. It could also be all the attention that we get from people when we are out and about with it lol. If we should stop for some reason, he starts to cry. The ride is so smooth even on rocky surfaces as the wheels are all terrain. When I did the Corporate 5k with my job a few weeks ago, it was so easy to push him while walking and occasionally doing a light jog. The extra large sun canopy reallycomes in handy here in Sunny (and HOT) South Florida. You know that mom who lathers her kid in sunscreen everyday before they go outside – that’s me! The visor helps my paranoia by further protecting him from the intense sun rays. There’s storage at the bottom for the huge bag that I always carry (mainly stuff for me) which is helpful whether the seat is facing you or the world. I especially find it helpful during supermarket trips without my husband – the basket is so convenient.
To be quite honest, I can’t name anything that I don’t like about this stroller. It’s functional, fashionable and tough enough for years of use (up until 50 lbs). You even have the option to safely secure a car seat in this stroller if their not big enough to stop using one as yet – so technically you can use it from birth. We LOVEour stroller and are not sure how we were able to function in the months prior to having it.