Elevate

“Elevate, elevate…Only obligation is to tell it straight…So much on my plate I gotta delegate. Who else is jamming to Drake’s Scorpion Album? I definitely think it’s the album of the summer.

Elevate has always been my mood but recently more so now than in the past. I recently got to work with Karleen Roy of The Vanity Group. She produced several activations for the Essence Music Festival. It’s funny because over the years I would apply and apply for the jobs with the company Essence hired to produce the festival. I would snag an interview but never land the job. This year I got to be in the room with some of the people that hired that same company. That’s even more ammunition for me to keep going.

Throughout the weekend I got to be in the presence so many movers and shakers..I’m talking millionaires. I left each day with more encouragement and more confirmation that I was on the right path.

As you elevate there are going to be people around you who don’t understand and that’s okay. Those are the people that can’t come with you on your journey. I am no longer feeling guilty about elevating. No longer wishing for support. I am no longer sparing feelings. I just don’t have it in me.

Those who are not for you will show themselves sooner than later and when they exit, count it as a blessing. There were so many jewels that were dropped during the weekend and I thought I would leave you with some:

“Eliminate Negative People…You Can Always Keep them in Prayer but not in Person”.

“Be Picky About Your Circle…Take Note of the Friends that want to Co-Sign instead of being apart of the Original Investment”.

Photo Credit: Britt Smith Photography

Cool Down

The last few days have been scorchers in Nola, so I have been trying to dress as cool as possible. Plus hot summer days are the perfect time to indulge in what some of you may refer to as a “snowcone” but here in New Orleans we call them Snowballs.

It is also important to find ways to cool down mentally. Your Mental Health is extremely important and you need to take care of your mind, body and soul. After being in a high stressed environment I like to take some time to myself. Even if its 10 minutes, you need that alone time. Cut off the tv, put the phone on silent; you have a right not to answer the phone if you know someone is about to interrupt your peace.

Dress | Forever 21

Also, utilize the word “No”! Ya’ll it’s so satisfying! I used to do certain things to accommodate people or consider others feelings over mine but nah! If I don’t want to do it the answer is NO!

And third treat yourself, take a spa day, get a sno-ball, girl get that dress you been eyeing in that boutique! Some may say this is bad but I love retail therapy! Yes I know “mATeRiAL tHIngS arENt evERYthINg” *Insert Spongebob Meme* but these are my methods! What are some methods you use to de-stress?

JD BRUNCH SERIES – JUNE

I’ve heard so much about The Country’s Club Drag Brunch and Pool that it was definitely added to my list of places to visit. I was dying to see what the hype was about but chilllee the hype did not match the food or the customer service.

We arrived and were seated in our area. The waiter came by and introduced himself. It was our first time there so as you can imagine a few ladies had questions about the menu. Well chillleee our waiter Jake (name has been changed) was not for the questions and was giving extra shade and sass.

Britt Smith Photography

One of the ladies asked the portion sizes for the crab cakes as there were two different prices listed  as such $12/$24. Jake (name has been changed) says “one is an appetizer and one is an entree”. She says ok how many crab cakes in each? He says “one is an appetizer and one is an entree”. She’s like well how many is it one or two? With a whole lot of attitude he says “1 crab cake for $12 and 2 for $24”. She says ok I was just asking…he says “well I was just answering”.

Next someone from the group asked if they could get a Poinsettia. He says no there’s only Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Sodas, Tea, and Water. We look over to another table and someone has what looks to be a Poinsettia. So another guy who was really nice by the way, (shoutout to Zack) was passing by our table and refilling mimosas. We asked about the Poinsettias, he says I don’t know why he told ya’ll we didn’t have it, we have a full service bar. Luckily Zack was able to take care of the drink order. Then there was a  Waffle House reference from shady Jake…chile it was just all bad.

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Britt Smith Photography

Now on to the food I had the Traditional Breakfast which included Two eggs, Bacon, Heirloom Grits & a Buttermilk Biscuit. I only enjoyed the grits which were really good and had a unique taste. Most of the table went with either the Crab Cakes, Fried Green Tomatoes or Traditional Breakfast. There were mixed reviews on the Crab Cakes and both ladies who ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes said they weren’t good. I will say I would have given them another try had the Customer Service been better but I won’t be back. The Country Club was a big let down!

Thank you to the ladies that came out Samjah of Style & Energy, Kineatra of Naturally Nex,  Brittany of BEE TRENDI,  Dev of Dev and the City and Kierra of Jus Kierra.

Britt Smith Photography

P.S. I did call and ask to speak to the manager the next day and he had every excuse in the book for the waiter. Literally a rebuttal for everything thing I said.

For my looked I grabbed this cute little spicy jalapeno shirt from Forever 21 when I was visiting NY. It comes in straight sizes too and can be found here. I paired it with a yellow skirt and red heels. And of course my favorite summer bag. (There go that bag again)

 

Check out some street style from the ladies below!

Girl Boss Dinner Party

Jessica Robinson of Justini Cocktails hosted a “Year of the 30” Girl Boss Dinner Party in celebration of her birthday. The event consisted of cocktails, a three course meal, a performance from T-Ray the Violinist and a whole lot of Black Girl Magic.

Jessica and I went to high school together and we share a mutual friend. I have always respected her grind. She’s a go-getter and her energy is motivating. So when she posted the Save the Date I jumped at the opportunity. Plus I am always looking for a reason to dress up!

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As the drinks flowed so did the conversations. We discussed experiences and ways to keep pushing towards your goals. To me a Girl Boss isn’t about what you have, it’s a mindset. It’s about being confident in your field and empowering other women. “Motivation over Competition”  as my sis Kandice Guice would say. If you missed it don’t fret! The event will be turned into a series and held quarterly.

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My three course meal consisted of a Seasonal Salad, Roasted Lamb Chops with Wilted Spinach and Truffle Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Banana Fosters Cheesecake prepared by Chef Gabe Noel. It was delicious!

Last night Jessica said some of us thought we would have it all planned out by now, but that’s not how life works. I used to be so hard on myself and I don’t know if it has something to do with reaching your 30s but you get this go with the flow attitude. I’m just living. Now…”Let’s Be Clear”… I’m going to always stay on my grind but not only am I celebrating the wins…I am appreciating the losses.

                                                                                      Dress by Asos !

The Perfect Kimono

Kimonos are definitely a statement piece and can transform any outfit. Whether you are pairing it with a dress or t-shirt and jeans, it just works. I’ve been told they look like robes but apparently I don’t care…let me live with my robes. I am always on the hunt for ones that make a statement and this floral one immediately caught my eye in It’s Fashion. Yes It’s Fashion!

Sidenote: Ya’ll better start shopping everywhere and stop sleeping on the cheaper stores.

Britt Smith Photography
Britt Smith Photography
Britt Smith Photography

I paired the floral kimono with all white because I wanted the Kimono to get all the shine. My shoes were from Burlington’s, Jeans FashionNova, $5 Tank from It’s Fashion and I got the bag off  Amazon. I paired a few inexpensive pieces and came up with this bomb look. Run to your local It’s Fashion and see if you can find this Kimono. Unfortunately, their items aren’t for sale on the website. Maybe we should write them to change that…but first write them and tell them I would be a bomb brand ambassador!

Here are some other Kimonos I am currently crushing on:

1.  Forever 21

2.   ASOS

3.  FashionNova

4.    Forever 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

NY What’s Good

My cousin and I decided to return to New York this summer. We had such a great time last year that it was definitely a must for this year. We arrived to the New Orleans Airport at 6:15am and the flight was set to leave at 7am. Crazy I know…but I woke up a little later than planned. My cousin always travels light with just a carry-on but ya’ll know me…I have to travel with a large suitcase. We were going to be there for 4 days and I had to be prepared! I commend everyone who’s able to travel with just a carry-on. I don’t know how ya’ll do it!

I was extremely nervous because Delta Airlines always has a long bag check line and that was the case this time. The airline worker told me my bag may not make it on the flight and we better run to make it on board. That’s just what we did. All out of breath we were the last two to board the plane lol. It’s funny now but I was frazzled. Never Again! What size luggage do you travel with? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

Currently Crushing on this set from Urban Outfitters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We linked up with some of my college friends at TreehouseBK which is a bar and restaurant on the first night. We got some complimentary Tequila shots so the night started off great. It’s small but super chill. The drinks are great and food is fire. Get the Sweet Chili Wings if you go. There is also a cute patio at the back of the restaurant. My friend Lauren then took us to Las’Lap on Orchard Street for a friend’s birthday. I got blessed with a complimentary glass of champagne. New York is expensive so I was getting excited for these small victories! The restaurant has only been open for a few months but it’s super chic and the music is great. Drinks are a bit pricey but hey it’s New York!

 

 

   Night One Outfit:

Top | Asos

Bottoms | FashionNova

Bag | SimplyBe

Shoes | Local Store

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday we got up wanting to explore but first Brunch was a must! We caught an uber ride to Harlem to the restaurant Chocolat. Sidebar: Try NOT to Uber. Those fees add up but if you must… definitely do UberPool. The brunch was a bit pricey but when I tell ya’ll it was the best meal we had on the trip! The red velvet pancakes and fried chicken was to die for! They also had bottomless mimosas so that was an automatic win! We visited Black Ink and met the show’s Wardrobe Stylist and another tattoo artist. Caesar and Teddy actually opened a shop in New Orleans. The regular crew was out and about preparing for their trip to New Orleans. We passed through Central Park and did some shopping at Fulton Mall back in Brooklyn. I even scored two pairs of cute sunnies for $5 each from one of the vendors on the street. I loved my day two look. I got so many compliments on my top. Too bad it’s sold out.

 
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Day Two Outfit:

Top | Spread LA : Geeked Plus

Bottoms | Forever 21 (similar)

Shoes | Footlocker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday night we decided to try this lounge called Katra but it definitely had the feel of a night club. It was very as the kids would say “LIT”. The crowd was mixed and the DJ was okay. My cousin enjoyed him but I like to hear a little trap music every now and then. #PrettyGirlsLikeTrapMusic. We still had fun and met some cool people. I guess the stereotype isn’t true, we met some pretty friendly New Yorkers. I was worried about having a long sleeve dress but the weather was beautiful. I hate that the picture is dark and blurry.
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Night Two Outfit:

Dress | PRETTYLITTLETHING

Bag | Forever 21

Shoes | Steve Madden

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll have to say Sunday was the most fun! We started our day with the most “LIT” brunch I have ever attended. Woodland is located in Brooklyn and is definitely a restaurant you should experience. You are given a two hour limit and the waitress has to hold a credit card and ID from one of the guests at your table, I believe they may have had some issues with people rolling out without paying their bill. It’s a party atmosphere and everyone is there to have a good time. People are up out their seats and dancing in between bites! I ordered the Brioche French Toast with Fresh Berries and Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon with Bottomless Mimosas of course! The food wasn’t the Best I Ever Had *No Drake* but the cost was worth the experience. Plus somebody 50 year old daddy gave us one hell of a show lol. You’ll have to visit my NYC highlights on IG to see. For the outfit, I was looking forward to wearing this look. I came across the hat on my boo Renae’s (check out her blog) Instastory. I was like I need the hat sis. I don’t know how it’s going to work with my big head and hair but I need it!
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Day Three: Outfit

Hat | Zara

T-Shirt | Forever 21

Skirt | It’s Fashion

Bag | Forever 21

 

 

 

 

 

After brunch we did a little more shopping then went to Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar . I ordered the Strawberry Lemongrass flavored Prosecco & Ice Pop cocktail. It was delicious but expensive. The drink plus gratuity was $30. Yikes…right but I just had to have one. This is just a cute place to go to. I wouldn’t recommend going if you’re trying to get a buzz.

Monday we got lost on the Subway (lol), visited Times Square and met Lauren at Essence Bar where they have a pretty good happy hour. Ladies and Gents go here if you want a buzz.  We left on Tuesday and it was an overall good trip. I love traveling with my cousin. We get along great and always have a good time. Luckily we’ll always have a place to stay when we visit New York. My aunt is originally from New Orleans but has been living in New York for over 50 years. Check out some more photos below from my trip!

JD BRUNCH SERIES – MAY

This month’s Brunch Series was held at Lula Restaurant Distillery. The restaurant is located on St. Charles Ave. and has been open a little over a year. I’ve had dinner there before which was really good and decided to check out their brunch. I was joined by Samjah of Style & Energy, Kineatra of Naturally Nex, Whitney of Whitney J. Decor, Brittany of BEE TRENDI, and Kierra of Jus Kierra. We talked about future goals, stepping out on faith and remaining consistent in our different areas of interests. Some of the ladies received motivational homework assignments and we’ll do a check-in next month. “If you are willing to invest all of your time working for someone else, why not keep that same energy when it comes to your own business and brand?”

The Brunch was really good. I’ll have to say this was my best experience taste wise since I’ve started the monthly series. I had the Pork Roast Grillades & Grits topped with Gravy and a Pan Fried Egg. The dish isn’t plated very nicely but don’t let the look fool you. It was extremely delicious. The Pork Roast was very tender and the texture of the grits were perfect. I will say which was surprising, my mimosa wasn’t that great. I know you’re probably wondering well “How do you mess up a mimosa?”  I don’t know. *giggles* The restaurant was also pretty packed for brunch but the customer service was great. I’ll be making a return. Check out my dish and others below.

For my Brunch Look I went with a the Plus Size Cami Flounce Denim Dress from Forever 21, my Trini Fringe Sandal Heels from Eloquii, that I am just madly in love with and my Bamboo Bag which I purchased from Amazon. You will be seeing this bag a lot this summer. To give the look a little more something something… I went to the local hair store and purchased a scarf to tie around my head. Ya’ll it was a struggle to keep it down though *giggles* my hair was like “Girl you tried it”.  Shout out to my MUA who tied it first and then Kin and Sam who played hair stylist in the restroom. Teamwork makes the Dream work. Let me know your thoughts on the look!

Britt Smith Photography

 

Check out some street style from the ladies below!

 

If you still need a Woman Crush Wednesday…I got a few options!