Tea & Cupcakes with Rae & Sophie


This afternoon I hung out with my good friend Rae Lewis-Thornton and her adorable dog Sophie. Rae is a MAJOR tea lover. She's very passionate about her tea and has launched a new addition to her booming bracelet business, tea bracelets.

Here's the tea bracelet, Rae made for yours truly:

The silver ball holds loose tea. Those are rose quartz beads. I'll
update you on the charm on the end.

I'm a coffee drinker and a tea novice. When I drink tea, it comes in bag form. Loose tea is where it's at and that's how real tea drinkers like it. Tea is big business and drinking it is quite an experience. The tea bracelets look lovely dangling on the side of a mug.

Whenever I visit Rae, cupcakes are a requirement. I stopped by Sprinkles (YUM!!!) and picked up some treats. Even Sophie got in on the cupcake fun!

Top: Vanilla, Milk Chocolate Vanilla
Bottom: Lemon Coconut, Red Velvet

Doggy cupcake for Sophie - I should have bought 2!

Sophie REALLY enjoyed her cupcake, lol! She's cupcake wasted!!!!!
Rae is going to give me a full Tea 101 lesson and I will share what I learn here with you guys. In the meantime, please check out her fabulous RLT Collection.

For more information:
Rae's blog

Keep up with Sophie on Twitter (Yep, Sophie the dog tweets. Follow her adventures!!)

It's Neko!!!!

Hello Everyone! Happy New Year's Eve!! Hope you all have a wonderful and safe night of celebrations.

I want to introduce you all to Neko, my Nookcolor. Neko this is everyone. 

I'm very happy with Neko. I love his vibrant color display and compact size. Earlier today I downloaded the January issue of Harper's Bazaar. Ya'll know how much I love my magazines and I can admit that I was not completely sold on reading a magazine on an e-reader but Neko has changed me. I didn't miss the feel of the glossy pages (okay maybe a little...) but overall, I really enjoyed reading a magazine in the digital format.

So in 2010 I am leaving behind my leaning tower of magazines and overcrowded bookcase shelves. 2011
is all about Neko =)

Sparkly New Year's Eve Nails!

Try this sparkly trend for the new year. I'm here to share the lacquers I love now.
4 Perfect-for-New-Year's-Eve Glittery Nail Polishes
This is a TotalBeauty.com nails article

I recently waxed poetic about the possibility of wearing glittery eyeliner or eyeshadow for the holidays, which I totally did, BTW.

And, I'll admit, it looked quite smashing, not nearly as tween-y as expected. But now it's time for glittery nails, here's how I'm getting them …

Teena Marie


I had to peek in from my little holiday vacay to acknowledge the passing of soul legend, Teena Marie. May Lady Tee rest in peace. Thank you for the wonderful music!

Square Biz was the first Teena Marie song I ever heard. I was seven years old and Square Biz was on the radio every morning and it quickly became my favorite song. I sang it all the time and danced whenever I heard it. At seven I had no idea what she was singing about but I sang right along like I did, lol! I was a hip little second grader, rocking to the beat at the breakfast table.

Good soul music is timeless and brings back so many memories. Everybody get up and dance with me to one of my favorite Teena Marie songs! Celebrate her life and the legacy she leaves behind!!

Santa Baby: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust


When I saw this Rolex watch in the current issue of Conde Nast Travel, I was unable to turn the page. I sat motionless staring at the luxury timepiece as if I was willing it to jump off the page and magically appear in my hands.

It never fails that I like the most expensive items. I need (want) it!!!! I've been an awful good girl ;-)

picture courtesy of Rolex

Monday Inspiration: The Holstee Manifesto


I saw The Holstee Manifesto on Golden Parachutes yesterday and it truly resonated with all that I am going through right now so I'm sharing it here. Hope it inspires someone out there too!

Thanks to Marian at Haute Travels who pointed me in the direction of Golden Parachutes.

For more information about Holstee click here.

The Stylish Life Wishes You A...


Pick Up My Purse & Go…


Hello Lovelies! I’m taking a bit of a break from my typical subject matter to let you guys have a peek behind the curtain that is my life.
The title of today’s post says it all; I am ready to pick up one of my haute handbags and go. Calling my current state a rut is a gross understatement. In my mind, I’m selling most of my material trappings and bidding adieu to Chicago and my job. Lately I have been pretty miserable. I try to hide it because I don’t want to be a dark cloud to others. The truth is I took my current job because I was tired of job hunting. Having been unemployed for nineteen long months, I was at my wits end and my savings were nearly depleted. I took the first thing that was offered to me. Big. Mistake. My job is just that…a job. It’s not my dream job, but I give all my energy over to it because I conditioned myself to do well in the workforce years ago. I refuse to fail at anything I do.
Inside little pieces of me are being pushed out and I’m moving further and further away from the things I want to pursue. I spend eight hours a day at work, staring at a computer, poring over spreadsheets, and reading reports. By the time I make it home, all I want to do is rest which translates into no energy to blog, no desire to be around people, and my dreams remain on hold.

I wear my emotions for all to see. If I’m mad, you know it. If I don’t like you, trust me you will know from the look on my face. At work, I’m very focused on the work and I interact very little with my coworkers. I’m sure my office mates can tell that I’m not as jovial as I was when I first came on board. It’s not the job, it’s me. After three months, I had to face the reality that I do not like my job. You all have no idea how guilty I felt when I said that out loud. Wasn’t I being ungrateful? Millions of people are out of work, and I have the nerve to not like my job. I had a lot of damn nerve! Had I not spent countless nights praying for a job? Did I miss something while I was out of work? Was I too focused on working again when I should have been pursuing my dreams? I never know what to choose when I come to the fork in the road. I don’t have the security of a significant other who can handle the bills while I do me. Everything falls on my shoulders. I have to take care of myself. If I don’t work, I don’t eat, I could end up homeless. Those thoughts terrify me and keep me stuck in a job and city that each day I loathe just a little more. I’m too old to go back home to mom and at thirty-faux (*smile*) shouldn’t I have it all figured out by now?

I’m supposed to be somewhere else doing something else. Wouldn’t it be grand if I knew where and what? I have a mantra taped to my wall at work: NONE OF THIS MATTERS. I am on the path to my purpose. I am seeking a change. This is what I do, not who I am. I look at those words about ten times a day. I pray the answers come soon because I am slowly but surely losing the battle that is going on inside me.

Thanks for reading my mini vent! I'll be back with my normal fabness (is that a word???) really soon.

Update on The Dilemma: My Fall 2010 Bag


After much debate and browsing I chose my fall bag Monday night. Actually the bag chose me...

My new baby: Coach Kristin Hobo - please ignore my messy desk, work is busy

Monday after work I went to Nordstrom to exchange a blouse and I decided to take a peek at the handbags. There was a table of reduced bags with two of the Kristin hobos among the selection. The bags did not appear to be marked down so I asked an associate to scan it for me. Hang on to your hats kids, this is where it gets interesting...

The bag was $100 off  of the original price of $298. Score!!!! Besides the price being to good to pass up, the bag met the rest of my criteria: the option to carry across the body, roomy, and any color but black.  I promptly whipped out my debit card and made my purchase! After two days of carrying my new bag, I am quite pleased. The leather is lightweight but very sturdy and I have received a lot of compliments about the color, aubergine (isn't that fancy?) Say it a few times, aubergine, aubergine. See? Now don't you feel just a little bit fancier? LOL!!

Well I have to get back to work! Ciao!!

The Stylish Life: Haute Bag Lady Bag of The Week


Mulberry Python Bayswater
Mulberry's classic Bayswater  bag in metallic gold python makes me want to curl up in a little ball and just cry. Where oh where is my billionaire boyfriend???

This is a gorgeous bag. It has a brown suede interior and the buckles on the side expand to make the bag larger. I would carry this haute bag whether I was dressed up or down. The Python Bayswater is a bag that says "Yes, I do have it all and you should envy me." Just kidding...

By the way, it costs $4000 and my birthday is in 2 months. I implore you all to feel free to donate to my handbag fund at anytime or just send the bag to me. I love getting gifts. *smile*

pictures courtesy of  Netaporter.com

Hair Care Boot Camp: Cold Weather Hair Care


As the temperatures prepare to drop, it is time for us to kick our hair care routine into high gear. And taking extra special care of your hair is important whether you are natural or you’re relaxed like me, say it loud, I’M RELAXED & I'M PROUD (fist pump, explosion of confetti, queue the noise makers) Relax, I kid, I kid! I am so NOT into the whole relaxed or natural debate. Do what works for you because I will most certainly do what works for me.

Anyhoo, I have my hair relaxed every eight weeks because as I have shared many times on my blog, I am extremely lazy when it comes to doing my own hair. I’m good at basic home maintenance but elaborate styling, at home washing and conditioning? No. Not. Happening. I have a standing hair appointment every Saturday morning. Since the cold weather is surely on the way, my stylist and I will work together to keep my hair healthy, growing, and on my head this season like we do every winter.

Here are my cold weather hair care tips:

Protect Ya’ Neck – No this isn’t just a song by the Wu-Tang Clan which was my jam back in the day, but I digress… It is a way to prevent breakage at the nape of your neck. Acrylic and wool coat collars and scarves are the hair enemy! Head to your nearest TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or even Macys and find an assortment of affordable silk scarves to wrap around your neck as a barrier between your hair and collar. If you wear a hat, you can find a satin skull cap from your local beauty supply store. I bought one from Sally’s last year. It kept my hair style intact, my head stayed warm, and my acrylic knit hat never touched my hair.

Drink your water – Simple enough. We all know we should drink 3 liters a day but I suggest squeezing in an extra cup or two if you can. In areas that are really cold like Chicago, the dry air can be extremely cruel to African American hair.

Grapeseed Oil & Organic Coconut Oil – There are so many hair care companies that tout these two oils as the main ingredients in their products but when you look at the back of the package they are somewhere in the middle or end of the list. I say eliminate all the stuff you can’t pronounce and just purchase these two oils from your health food store. OCO is a great pre-shampoo treatment. I use it weekly before I go to the salon. GSO is a wonderful natural heat protectant and it strengthens the hair making it resistant to breakage.

Rosemary Oil – There are reports that RO is good for growth. I like it use it for an at home scalp massage once or twice a week. It tingles and really opens my scalp up. I can’t speak on the hair growth aspect because I take a lot of vitamins and supplements so I always have a lot of new growth. I don’t know if it’s the RO or the vitamins or everything working together.

Blowdrying...Just Say No - I know the blow dryer is fast but it can be more damaging during the winter months. Take the extra hour and sit under the dryer. Wraps and roller wraps are wonderful because your hair holds the shape which means less at home heat styling. All you have to do is add a few self holding rollers in your crown for height, wrap your hair at night then in the morning comb it or leave it wrapped and put your satin skull cap and winter hat on, then style your hair when you get to work.  Okay...was that NOT the most run on sentence? LOL! Who cares, I had to get my point across :P

How will you change your hair care routine this winter? Do you have any cold weather hair tips? Please share in the comments section!

The Black Jackson Pollock

Thanks to Twitter I recently discovered an extremely talented artist, Gregory Pitts better known as The Black Jackson Pollock. Someone that I follow retweeted one of Greg's tweets. His Twitter handle, Blackjkspollock piqued my interest so I knew I had to check his Twitter timeline. He sent me a link so that I could learn more about his work and I was impressed by all his paintings. He is well deserving of being called the Black Jackson Pollock.

Greg was even nice enough to send me a painting:

When I opened the package I couldn't help but smile because I LOVE abstract paintings. I had the chance to interview Greg as well. I hope you enjoy learning more about Greg and if you get a chance to visit Miami next month for Art Basel, be sure to to stop by his show.

 How long have you been painting?

I did my first self-portrait 10 years ago. I stopped for a few years while I did freelance photography for various magazines as well as some acting.

Tell me about your formal training?
I do not have any formal training but have done a lot of independent study.

How would you describe your art?
I would describe my art as diverse, abstract and "from the soul." It comes from my gut. Each piece is different and I never know the specific medium until I am half-way through the painting.

What inspires your art?
My art is inspired by life.

Where do you see yourself in the next 2 to 5 years?
In the next 2 to 5 years, I see myself owning a gallery and being in museums in countries I've never heard of and even having my art in the Vatican.

What is the story behind your name, the Black Jackson Pollack?
Actually I did not choose that name. I had been doing photography for 30 years and one night, I was out at an art walk event and stopped by a gallery that had recycled paper from the Philipines for sale. I bought 20 sheets of the paper in different sizes and painted abstract artwork on this special paper. I chose to sell the art and give the proceeds to the organization "Mission Gifts", whose mission is to rescue children and young women from human trafficking. When I took the piece to the gallery, an elderly lady said that it reminded her of a Jackson Pollock and that I should call myself 'The Black Jackson Pollock." I had no idea of who he was because I had been doing photography for 30 years.

Greg's websites:
The Black Jackson Pollock
His art work

I want Lanvin, not flowers...


I'll be lining up for the Lanvin for H&M collection. Anyone interested in joining me?

More Chicago Fashion Focus Pictures


I have always wanted to be caught up in the fabulous hoopla of Fashion Week and Chicag Fashion Focus week afforded me the opportunity. I am one tired fashion lover. Work is super busy, I've attended 3 shows, and had an unexpected night hosted by Ebony Magazine. Did I mention I still have to go to my real job? Hopefully next year I will be better prepared at burning the candle at both ends. But alas, enough about that.
StyleChicago.com presented the finale runway show, The Art of Fashion. This show boasted contemporary to couture Spring 2011 collections from Chicago designers, Lara Miller, Kirk James Collection, Paul Sisti, Lauren Lein, Borris Powell, Elda de la Rosa, Hector-Javier MonArrez, Lydia Wawrzyniak and Fraley Le.

Here are a few pictures I managed to take:

Lara Miller:

Lauren Lein:

Elda De La Rosa Couture:

Lydia Wawrzyniak:

Gilt Groupe Chicago Bloggers Breakfast


Gilt Groupe graced Chicago with their stylish presence to meet with local bloggers for breakfast today. Yours truly was in the house. The breakfast was held at the luxurious Peninsula Hotel.

The service we received upon arrival was superior. Tasty mimomas were served as Gilt Groupe's staff made it a point to greet each blogger. They were such a personable group of people who put us all at ease.

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson officially welcomed us when we were seated. She gave a brief overview of Gilt Groupe and shared information about Gilt's latest venture, Gilt City, which offers amazing deals on a variety of experiences in several cities. Gilt City Chicago recently launched so be sure to sign up!

Tyler Thoreson of Gilt Man was next to speak. He was impeccably dressed so I see why he heads up the men's division. After Tyler spoke, it was time to eat. I had the french toast which was served with warm caramel syrup. 

I would go back to the Peninsula just for this french toast.

I was at a table with some amazing bloggers so the conversation was quite lively. 

Fellow bloggers

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and I
This was a great opportunity to meet the faces behind a thriving brand. I have shopped Gilt Groupe since they launched and have been very pleased with all my purchases. Anytime I can get designer items at nearly 80% off, I'm a happy camper. If you have yet to sign up for Gilt Groupe, what are you waiting for? Click here ----> Gilt Groupe

A special thank you to Skirt PR for the invite!!!

Happy Shopping!!

Chicago Fashion Focus: Designers Past & Present


Last night I attended the kickoff runway show for Chicago Fashion Focus Week. The Chicago Fashion Incubator and Macy's is a year-long program that develops the talent and careers of local designers.
My name on my chair in the press section.

I'll admit that I am not that familiar with local design talent in Chicago so I was pretty excited to see the creations come down the runway.
Here are some of my favorite looks from Designer's Past & Present Runway Show:


I'm a sucker for ruffes and flower details.

Simply gorgeous!

Audey - This was my favorite collection of the night!

I loved the whimsy of Audey's dresses. There was a sweet yet very modern country girl vibe that really spoke to me.  

Loving the patterned tights. They lend an edge to a pretty tame gathered mini.

AggA B.

Something about the above look was very Katherine Hepburn to me.

Nora del Busto

Donaldo Smith of Killian Gui

Really like the color blockedand untucked shirts!

A man cannot go wrong in a tailored button down shirt, crisp jeans and polished boots!
This was an excellent offering of past and present Chicago Fashion Incubator designers. I'm so proud of Chicago. There is an amazing plethora (I love that word) of fashion talent here and I am so glad that I now know of some local designers.

Do any of the designs appeal to you? Let me know what you think!!

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