Looking back on what a vibrant year 2015 has been…did I say vibrant, I meant crazy. Child, I went from 100 to zero to negatives to 70 and concluded the year a strong 80 (Praise God?). While reading some blogs last year, I came across a relationship expert who said, rather than asking the person you’re dating why they broke up with their ex, ask them what their past relationships have taught them.
So here I am, telling you what 2015 taught me….
Wouldn’t it be so much easier for me to tell you that I was somewhere in Paris, basking in the comfort of baked treats, crowned with chocolate and cream?
I mean, can we talk. No, seriously…let’s be real.
Thanksgiving – the day before Black Friday, where you have to deal with the most judgmental people in your life.
As an upcoming blogger/writer, you dream of having your work published by anyone other than yourself. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a published writer, it’s that your story won’t always make it to the publication. My very first work published was a poem that appeared in The Collegiate Scholar called “Pick Me” (read here…page 25), however, my heart always longed for a newspaper appearance.
After multiple failed attempts with a number of media houses, I finally caught my break with my university news paper and not only did I make an appearance, I came through with a bang…”Cover Story” baby!!!
When I first got the news that my story was making it to the paper, I sang happy songs the entire ride home. As a first-timer, I was perfectly fine being tucked somewhere on page 8, so you can imagine how amused bystanders were when they saw me do my happy dance upon receiving the paper and seeing the magical words “Cover Story” just above my headline (and in case you’re wondering, my happy dance is a messier uncoordinated version of the hand-flip in Beyonce’s Single Ladies music video).
A few days later, my friend called me up and told me that another story I had written had made its way into my University’s Pharmacy School’s publication, The Lozenge which I will post in a few days…I’m saving it for a good day.
“As much as this might sound like a brag-fest, I just want to be one of the millions to tell you not to give up on something you’re passionate about. Not everyone will appreciate your art, keep trying and who knows, you might find that one who will appreciate it enough to push it to the top!”
Before I sign off, I’d like to thank Professor Serbino Sandifer-Walker and TSU Herald Editor-in-Chief, Lenzi Causey for making it happen…for making my dream a reality.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
These are the images of my article.
After a 7-hour drive, a stop in Baton Rouge to get BBQ from the renowned TJ Ribs, and my friend (Hi Sherin) who wouldn’t let me catch a nap for the entire ride just cos she couldn’t catch one, we finally got to New Orleans, Louisiana….
I don’t know if it’s the summery weather for most of the year, or the ocean’s presence a few miles away, or the classy Palms gracing the streets and the laid back chic vibe of the people, that has me crazy about the City of Angels. Los Angeles is my city of choice, and by this I mean if I had to pick one city to live in for the rest of my life, I’d pick LA…or Cape Town…which is basically the LA version of Africa. I do have a type when it comes to cities. Check out my list…
- Must be a big spacious city built by the ocean
- Lots of beaches and trees…preferably palms
- English speaking
- Lots of sun and no snow
- A diverse population
- Urbanized yet embracing of different cultures
- A quiet countryside less than an hours drive away
- A transport system that allows me to drive my car around without worrying where to park it.
The thing I love about LA is that even with all the craziness of celebrities, and people trying to survive in this expensive city, there’s still a laid back vibe and everyone can fit in. Mine was an exciting five day visit. You have probably already seen the Venice Beach post. This specific post is about my visit to Hollywood and Beverly Hills and can I say this day in particular was the most exciting because I got to check off three…no wait, FOUR things on my American bucket list! I visited the Hollywood sign, walked on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, drove up one of those Hollywood hills where I got to see LA below me and finally, I had a photoshoot on the famous Rodeo Drive.
The family and I started out at the Hollywood sign. Lucky for us, we know some cool people who live in LA and they know the best spot to see it. We drove up a very curvy road through a residential neighborhood and the more turns we took the more I wondered why someone would want to risk their life and family living on a steep hill with a road that has turns as sharp as that. No seriously, if for whatever reason your brakes failed, that car would end up in someone’s living room. As we got higher we started to see more land scape and less houses and soon enough, there it was, majestically serene, against an untouched backdrop. The cameras and poses came flying out with everyone trying to get the best shot possible. I gotta admit, there’s a deep satisfaction in seeing this landmark that validates your having been to Hollywood.
On our way down, we took a detour up another hill, just above the Hollywood Bowl where concerts are usually held. At the top, we could see most of Los Angeles. I love a good view and I felt like an accomplished hiker, only that this hike happened in a car. The view isn’t what I would call breathtaking but you’re looking down on this famous city, and that to me is big. The beautiful isolated house whose pics I took has become a landmark of its own. Turns out, the surrounding land isn’t for sale so basically the owner’s view is set for life.
Next stop Beverly Hills! Having lived in America for a good minute, I know very well you won’t find celebrities aimlessly walking around. So with that in mind, seeing someone famous was the least of my concerns. So my dad who is about that designer life found this shoe he really liked, but the store didn’t have his size. Lucky for him it was at another location and lucky for me, it was on you guessed it, Rodeo Drive. While he was in the store, I bullied my brother into doing the shoot which was pretty easy considering the fact that we all wanted to take pictures in the area. I loved the Faux European building alley with the traditional cobblestones and the famous torso sculpture. The rest of the street isn’t much really, except for the expensive shops and the famous celebrities that drop by from time to time for shopping sprees.
Call me lazy but I was so not interested in finding my fav celebrities’ stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Aside from watching my brother get star struck over the Halle Berry one (imagine), I got to see the Micheal Jackson star and right by it was this guy all dressed and made up like MJ and get this, he was talking like him too…my IG followers prolly saw his hilarious clip. Well folks, enjoy the pics.
Can I just say how much I loved InNOut Burger. It’s a family owned franchise and uses natural ingredients.
Dress and belt: Forever 21
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction
Bag: Ted Baker
Six years I’ve lived in Houston and I have never been to one of the most popular attractions of this town. Kemah is a small town right outside Houston with an old style setting, and stuff to entertain the entire family. The boardwalk is particularly the main attraction. Basically it’s a mini amusement park with no more than 20 rides, a bunch of restaurants and a breathtaking view of the shores of Galveston Bay. My mum, sisters and nephew are in town so we took the time to go check it out.
As a person that doesn’t fancy large crowds, I was super comfortable. It’s quite small and I think going on Tuesday also helped. Of course its amusement rides don’t level up to what you will find at Six Flags or Disney. This isn’t really that kinda place. It’s more of an outing than an adventure.
The first thing I did when I got there was get myself a flannel cake. You won’t easily find them being sold around unless it’s a carnival or the rodeo or some major outdoors event. During the rodeo I missed out cos I wasn’t about to stand in line for more than 30 minutes waiting on some fried food, so you can imagine my excitement when I found no line at this stand…for a second there, I thought the stand was closed cos Texans love em’ some flannel cake.
Let’s talk about my nephew Ismail for a minute. This boy has never been to an amusement park so when I tell you he got a high after going on his first ride? I told my sister Leilah that he wasn’t going to want to leave and indeed when it was time to go, that little blue bear you see, he was beating Leilah with it, meanwhile she won it for him…kids.
My Outfit deets:
Jeans-old navy; Top-H&M; Necklace-Charlotte Russe; Sandals-Macys; Earrings-African Village (Uganda); Bag-Call It Spring.
Enjoy the pics…
This is me just now documenting the events of that time when I was running around America. This was at the lovely Venice beach in Los Angeles and as you can see, it can have heartless people like the one you see giving me rabbit ears while I was trying to get a shot.
So this is one of those beaches with a lot going on and by a lot I mean skating teens, senior citizen roller blade dancers (I have that video somewhere) and those guys who can draw your face in minutes! You know what, I only found out after the vacay was over, that this was where the No Type by Rae Sremmurd video was shot. You know that song…I ain’t gat no type…bad bitches is the only thing that I like…yo, that’s my shit right there. Mehn I wish I had known…perhaps I would have mobilized the family to “weird mime the song for your Instagram laughing pleasure.
Did I get any souvenirs…no…because the dude tried to sell me a skull for $25 and the same skull is on eBay for $15 (refuse to get played…I’m one of those people who check! #bargainingGameOnFleek). I will talk more about LA in another post so let’s get to the outfit part.
I have had this dress for a few years although I don’t wear it often. This dress is kinda special to me cos it was the first thing I bought myself from Macy’s. I used to stereotype Macy’s as one of those stores that sell undershirts for $200 so everytime I walked through while enetring the mall, I didn’t even bother looking around. Somehow this dress was at the front on the rack and it caught my eye cos of the vibrant colors. I walked up to look at it closer when I realized it was on sale for $35. I remember looking around in shock like “what else have I missed out on”. Macy’s is now one of the top 5 in my fav stores…and they do cater to most financial brackets.
This dress is perfect for the summer cos it’s so light weight and the colors are really juicy and fun. What I looooove about it is that the print runs in a vertical way which makes it look taller and less wide. When it comes to maxi dresses with busy prints, vertical prints look better than horizontal ones on curvy silhouettes. Also I’m not such a fun of maxi dresses cos some of them tend to make you look too old however, high-low maxis are a great way to spice up a maxi dress…you know I’m always up for some leg! I know this specific dress is no longer in the store, but the style is very trendy, I’m sure you’ll find something similar with most popular brands. Anyway I wore my most loved Kenneth Cole Silver flat peep toes, which look great on everything I wear them with.
Enjoy the pics and hope your July 4th weekend was amaze-balls (p.s did you read my birthday post…if yes…you’re awesome…if no…hurry…it’s here).
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction
Earrings: House of Harlow purchased in Nordstrom