Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Spotlight... Janelle Monae

This Black Natural Haired beauty has been my hair crush for a while but now she has been bumped up to girl crush. You know we all have them right?

Janelle Monae is not just musically talented she has her own style and OWNS IT. Not converting to the norm is just one of the reasons why I have decided to put Janelle in the spotlight. Swoon.








Monday, 15 April 2013

Busy busy bee

It appears I have been off the radar for around 6 weeks and it's because my life has literally been non stop.

What have I been up to?

Promotion at work
One of my besties swan weekend (we are more classier than hens)
The wedding
My little Bubz turned 6

I have had today off work just to catch up with life and the TV I have missed.

So apologies but I'm back now.

Roch

X





Thursday, 28 February 2013

Because of them, we can!

Like the British have a celebration of Black History dedicated to the month of October, the US celebrate theirs in February. The last 28 days have been a reflection on where they have come from to continue to get where they are going.

Americans seem to celebrate this more than us, I assume because so much of their history is in one place, where as a lot of black british people are of 1st and 2nd generation, myself included. Whilst trailing the internet I came across this poignant post that included images of children imitating black figures who have made a difference. Most I know from researching black history in my spare time, others I have since looked further in to. Below are some of the images taken from becauseofthemwecan.com.
























I will definitely show these to my nephew as he gets older as a reminder that he can do anything he puts his mind to.

The Martin Luther and Harriet Tubman ones (there are more on their site) are my favourite, it may be bias as I have studied them the most. I did happen to read a negative comment online about the Kerry Washington image though, it stated that she hasn't done enough to earn her stripes so to speak. Being the star of Scandal makes her the first black female lead in a US primetime show in 38 years. Yes you read right YEARS, so I personally think she deserves to be in there too. The little things make these big changes.

Moving aren't they?

X

Thursday, 14 February 2013

And now the BBC have noticed...

Some may be doing it for fashion but my hairline didn't really give me a choice, nine months on and I'm still willing it to grow back whilst learning to love and manage my hair in its natural state. Even the BBC are on this natural hair flex now... check out this short video about the natural hair revival for black women. 

x

Let's play a game...

My friends and I usually play this game... If you were on deathrow, what would your last meal/s be? I get this sounds sinister but remember it is just a game and just an excuse to shout about our favourite meals. This works on the premise that on deathrow you can order whatever you want. Here's my list...

Starters
Ackee & saltfish, festivals, plantain
Mushrooms, goats cheese, balsamic vinegar, rocket 
Hot pepper prawns
Nachos
Bacon and egg sandwich


Mains
Curry goat, fried chicken, fried snapper, salad, roast potatoes, veg, rice & peas  (yes all together, hold, yard style)
Fajitas (steak, chicken, prawn, I love me some fajitas)
Lasagne, salad and garlic bread (my moms is the best)
Spare ribs in BBQ sauce with fried rice and banana fritters
Omelette (cheese, sweetcorn, chicken, mushrooms, onions and peppers)


Dessert
Sticky toffee pudding and ice cream
Jamaican spiced bun and cheese 
Apple crumble/pie/strudel 
Vanilla Cheesecake
Melt in the middle chocolate pudding



Fun isn't it? I've whittled my list to five in each category and to wash it down Guinness punch, ginger beer, grape or pineapple KA or apple juice.

What would be on your list?   

x


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

My First Time... At Blackpool Pleasure Beach

I have been to the capital of hen and stag dos many times. University friends live there so I have made numerous visits, but of all the trips I have taken up north I have never had the chance to go to the pleasure beach. So this was my first time. Excitement. Nerves. Excitement.

I dislike rides. I really do. The stomach in your mouth feeling you get when you drop at what feels like the speed of light is nearly enough to make me sick. The moment I get of though. I get an amazing buzz, plus there were small children who barely hit the height line and were going for it. When in Rome.



After going on most of the rides, The Big One aka Pepsi Max being the worst stomach churner, I stuffed my face with an unnecessary amount of food and rock before heading to what can only described as one of the most heart racing moments of my life. Pasaje Del Terror. I hate the dark. So being in the dark, being chased by all the scary characters from movies I have avoided because they are scary had me so close to peeing my pants as I didn't know what was coming next. I may have taken the when in Rome saying a bit too far.

Then onto the arcade, where my friends and I spent quite a bit of money winning tickets to exchange for Spongebob mugs. 



That was my weekend. My aim of being dead skinny is getting further away as I have yet to weigh myself in 5 days which is breaking the norm for me. I will do tomorrow though. Two months and counting until the wedding and I want to look amazing in my bridesmaid dress, I am refusing to eat out at work and I am also giving up fizzy drinks for lent.

How was your weekend? Have you had any firsts lately? What have you given up anything for lent?

x






Spotlight... Solange Knowles

Often in her sister's shadow, it is now time for Solo to finally have her day in the spotlight. I just love everything about her. Her quirky style, her laid back attitude and the fact she has been reppin' natural hair before I started embracing it also has me rooting for her. Even her protective weave/lace front styles have volume. She really has come into her own. 

Fader84_Cover_Single_Front_620
Image courtesy http://styleblazer.com
 
Dressed to impress: Solange Knowles attended the Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream screening in New York on Tuesday
Pins to die for as she wears this white shirt, trouserless. Werk!

Hey DJ, can you play that sound? Solange also took to the decks to DJ at the bash

Going dotty: Solange Knowles looked stylish in a patterned trouser suit as she attended a Delta Airlines event celebrating the Los Angeles music industry on Thursday night


Going green: Florence Welch wore a custom made floor length green dress, while Solange Knowles also sported an emerald floor length number
If I were to imagine this combo in my head, green sequinned dress with a split, paired with orange heels, it would not look like this. Flawless!

Radiant beauties: Beyonce's sister Solange tweeted this picture of herself and her sister looking glamorous at the Roc Nation Pre-Grammys Brunch on Saturday

These shots are just from the past two weeks, as it is award season Solo is getting column inches. Hasn't she blossomed?

x

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Spotlight... Blake Lively

This beauty is my not so new girl crush Blake Lively. Looking oh so chic in this cream and chocolate get up, it is so nice to see a celebrity dressed weather appropriate for a change. 

If this outfit is not enough, she also made a funny comment after seeing the magnificent Beyonc√© perform at the Superbowl. To quote 'I just want Beyonc√© to be the mother of my children. She was amazing! I can't, I can't even. I don't even have words for her.' It is comments like this that have me in awe, the fame and lifestyle she has and she still gets on a hype over a celebrity, I too make flippant comments like this and also love Bey that much, so I'm with you on that one Blake.

Fashion fiend: The Gossip Girl star matched everything perfectly in her chocolate leggings and cream jumperSuper co-ordinated: Blake Lively shows off her perfect style in a variety of browns and creams in New York

How cute is this outfit?

x

Monday, 4 February 2013

Another week, another pound...

Happy Monday, just a short post to keep you in the loop. I have decided I will try and post at the beginning of every week to inform you of my dietary efforts. By the title you can see it hasn't gone too well.

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend, mine has been ridiculously busy but delightful. Cocktails, food and laughter. I went to Blackpool to celebrate a year since the birth of our little mascot, the first child from my uni group of friends. Xavier. I cannot believe he is one and I cannot wait to witness many more of his special days.

 Photo: 6 years and a baby later ... Time flies!

With a birthday there comes cake and when the weekend arrives I lose willpower, add a weekend away and I figuratively see my Monday to Friday diet fly out the window. It is now Monday, the scales are no longer my friend and I feel dirty. The kind of dirt you feel after eating a McDonald's. It may taste good at the time, but you can't shake that feeling for at least 24 hours later. This week I intend to cleanse. 

Good news though, the size ten bridesmaid dress fits, not quite like a glove, but I'm in there at least and so the diet continues...

x

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Django Unchained... My thoughts...



According to my friend Hannah, I love slavery. I wrote a 9000 words writing project on it for my dissertation. Have researched from Tubman to Douglass, Equiano to Garrison, Truth to Turner. On my list of favourite books are Toni Morrison's Beloved and Harriet Jacob's Life of a Slave Girl. The old saying of you need to know where you've come from to get where you're going is true and whether I like it or not, slavery is part of my history. 

Sometimes there is a hype, you try not to get on it but curiosity gets the better of you and you get on it anyway. There has been so much talk surrounding Django Unchained, a lot of it praise, some of it controversial but nothing unexpected considering its topic. Slavery. 

So what did I think of the movie?

I loved it, but it wasn't without it's flaws. 

I had a certain expectation because of the topic, but it wasn't what I expected at all. Never in my life did I think I'd laugh at a movie about slavery. I've seen Roots and believe me it is no laughing matter, but Tarantino did something different. He made it a vengeance and love story, that was funny in parts. I won't give too much away just in case you haven't seen it yet but I want to find a man who will literally put his life on the line for me. Django...the D is silent (Jamie Foxx) did this for his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) who had been sold to another plantation, and it was no easy feat. She was Candie's (Leonardo DiCaprio) property and he could do with her as he pleased. Long story short, there was a lot of fighting, I covered my eyes in parts, and the ending was uplifting, although it will probably be the first and last 18 I watch at the cinema. 

Highlights...

Kerry Washington, I may be being biased because I am loving her work at the moment, not only stunning but a great actress, really stepped up since Save the Last Dance.

Jamie Foxx, he is a great actor. I forget he is the same singer in his music videos as he truly makes me believe.

Dr Shultz, the German who took Django under his wing, seeing him as a person not and not his property. Their friendship and his actions are heartwarming.

The N word, this has been the most controversial part of the movie, apparently Tarantino uses it a lot in his films. I would have been offended if he didn't use it. What do people think black people were called back then? It made me wince at times as it is a word I detest and it is always hard to hear, even in songs, but it also sparked an emotion. When questioned Tarantino said I don’t want it to be easy to digest. I want it to be a big, gigantic boulder, a jagged pill and you have no water.”  It certainly was.

Samuel L Jackson, what the Americans call an Uncle Tom character. Dark. Sadistic. Brilliant.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Now to the parts I didn't like...

There were dark slaves 'working' in Candie's house. It threw me a bit because with all the self esteem issues I have had with been darker and the many documentaries I have watched, even Tyra has done a show on it, this seemed to contradict what is known about darker skinned slaves working the field. These issues all date back to slavery (the brown paperbag test) that lighter skinned black people were considered 'gentler, kinder, more handsome, smarter, and more delicate'[2] therefore received the better jobs. There was also the black slave dressed in a maids uniform who giggled a lot. Please explain her purpose. 

Rick Ross song??? I nearly fell out my seat. The audience laughed but I think I missed the point. After looking further into this I now know it is called 100 Black Coffins, which does make sense but what this connoted to me was something different entirely. Here I was watching a movie about black people's struggles and sufferings albeit more lighthearted than what I was used to and they were playing a song by a black artist who has a song called 'F**k with your shoes on.' I've probably read too much into it but is this what my ancestors fought for? Dumbfounded. 

The only two things out of a 3 hour film that I didn't like, says a lot. All in all it was an amazing film, one that I will watch again, and again. If you are expecting it to detail an accurate account of how slavery went down, then don't watch. It is a Tarantino movie after all.

So I kind of did give it away, sorry. Have you seen it yet? What are your thoughts?

x


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

10 things I still do even though I'm an adult...

There are things you do when you are little, things that become habit, things you do hoping it will make a change. The following are all three. My secret, well not so much anymore list of things that I should have grown out of but havent...

1. Avoid cracks in the pavement. The old saying of step on a crack, you break your mother's back was why I used to avoid them but now, I don't know, the superstition stuck.

2. Avoid walking on 1 or 3 slabs/drain covers, if I do cross my fingers.

3. Blow at traffic lights willing them to change to green. If you have seen Corina Corina you know what I mean.

4. Take 3 steps backwards if a black cat crosses my path.

5. Still bagsy/bagsy not/shotgun. This applies to cars, answering doors etc. Whoever says it first does or does not do the thing in question depending on the situation.

6. 'Swear on your Mom's life' by saying this, whatever was initially questioned is now fact!

7. Nap in the afternoon. Not so much now I've left uni and have a full time job but come the weekend I try to squeeze one in. Nothing more refreshing.

8. Guess the advert. Not so much fun now I live on my own but when I was little my Mom, sister and I used to guess the adverts before it showed any branding.

9. Leave the crusts on sandwiches. Not because the curly hair thing, they're just not my favourite.

10. Watch Children's TV. It may not be as good as it used to but I seem to have an obsession with it. At the moment I favour iCarly, Victorious, Good Luck Charlie, and Life with Boys.

So the cat is now out the bag, I genuinely do all these things, more even. Some habit, superstition, obsession others just because I'm a big kid at heart.

Do you happen to do things you should have grown out of?

X

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Modern Fashion Icons...


Welcome... Didn't expect to see me so soon? Did you not read yesterday's post? Well I'm here to stay.

Awards season is in full swing and this means one thing.... Dresses.

A perfect chance for me to drool over the amazing hairstyles and arm candy that the women bring as their dates too. So I got to thinking as I scrolled the pages of Daily Mail online (do not judge me) which fashionistas I love. The following ladies are, in my eyes, modern fashion icons. When they dress to impress they make your draw drop, like the Audrey, Grace, Sophia and Elizabeth of our day. 

Jennifer Lopez

Image courtesy of www.justjared.com

How is this woman old enough to be my mother? A figure to die for after carrying twins, skin looks as smooth as a baby's bottom, and her hair... swoon. Dressed here in a Zuhair Murad floor length dress at this years Golden Globes. Well done J.Lo. My how she has moved on from the Love Don't Cost a Thing big hooped earring days. 











Jessica Alba 
                                                                         
Image courtesy if huffingtonpost.com
Motherhood certainly agrees with this beauty too. Who remembers Never Been Kissed and Dark Angel? Ok, so the 90s weren't good for anybody but as Jessica climbed up to A List so did her style. This Oscar de la Renta gown compliments her complexion, those diamonds help too. 

Michelle Obama

Image courtesy of fabsugar.com
Thrown into the spotlight since her husband became President of the United States in 2008, everyone seems to be watching what his policies are and what this woman is wearing. She oozes charisma and style  for a woman of nearly 50, favouring designers Isabel Toledo, Thakoon and Naeem Khan.

Blake Lively

Image courtesy of youralmostalice.blogspot.com
I posted about this beauty yesterday, whether as playing Serena in Gossip Girl or just being herself she knows how to dazzle us with more than that huge rock from Mr Reynolds.

Olivia Palermo

Image courtesy of blog.forever21.com
She may have an awful personality, you know what I'm talking about if you watched The City, but what she lacks in charm, she makes up for in style. Her beautiful boyfriend Johannes Huebl is a fabulous dresser too. They may be the best dressed couple on the planet.

Lauren Conrad

Image courtesy of thefabguide.com
If you hadn't guessed this already, I just LOVE LC. If her personality doesn't win you over, her understated style will do. She has now branched out from the reality star label by creating her own clothing line. It's been nice to watch her go from beach chick to red carpet chic as she has matured from her Laguna Beach days. Looks like she learned a tip a two working at Teen Vogue and People's Revolution.

Victoria Beckham
Image courtesy of aprettierplace.net
No list would be complete without my one time favourite Spice Girl, Posh. She may rarely smile, but who needs to smile when you have that much money in the bank, a beautiful family and have made a name for yourself as a respectable designer. Go on VB crack one once in a while. She brought the little black dress into the spotlight in the 90s, and is continuing to shine with her amazing line. Her kids are gorgeous too.

Who do you admire?

x



Monday, 28 January 2013

New Year, Shallow Me...

I am not one for New Years resolutions. I always break them. It gets to the 2nd and I accidentally have junk food. It gets to a Saturday and I'm back to socially smoking after one too many tequilas, so I am not having resolutions, but aims, and my aims for this year are:

To be dead skinny
Write more
Have a wardrobe Serena van der Woodsen would envy

Shallow? Yes, but whilst you read this and judge, I am grateful that those are my only problems. I am in a very glass half full mood.

I am 5' 6" and currently weigh 11 stoneish. Telling you this is probably the most brave thing I have done in a while. I weigh myself everyday. Obsessive? Maybe, but it's how I decide what I am going to eat each day. Whether I am going to go wild and have semi skimmed milk in my coffee, cheese in my mash or if I'm lighter than usual like today, chips and curry sauce for lunch. Then tomorrow when I've put on that extra pound, it's back to trying to be healthy.

I haven't always been like this. I used to eat what I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was also the other side of twenty and played sports. Then university happened. Then 12 stone happened and my clothes didn't fit properly. I refused to get to the stage where spanx became a necessity, so I lost weight, put it back on and finally I knew I needed to fix up. Bootcamp. Lost a stoneish. I now state to my friends that I want to lose another stone, but truth be told, I want to lose a stone and half and be dead skinny, if only I can keep my bottom. A flat bottom has never and will never be in. I am also a bridesmaid for one of my best friends in April and I am getting the dress ordered in a 10. I am currently a size 12. This shit just got serious.

As you can see I am already starting to write more, so last but by no means least. Wardrobe. As soon as I get paid I spend it on bills then clothes. For the last two weeks of the month I'm on the bones of my arse and cheer myself up by scrolling through ebay, asos and Topshop for when the 6th of the month arrives and the vicious cycle of being 25 with very little savings starts again, but for now I wouldn't have it any other way. Some items in my wardrobe are timeless, others, not so much and I constantly need to replenish. I will soon have a Serena (played by Blake Lively) wardrobe.

Just look at her....

Image courtest of http://youralmostalice.blogspot.co.uk
Casual or dressed to the nines, this girl actually makes you green with envy, before the appreciation of her style and beauty takes over. Serena has definitely rubbed off on Blake because she was not this hot in Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.

Following suit I am now going for classy. The short bodycon skirts are in the drawer and the pencils and midis are out to play, which was very noticeable at the weekend when I went out for drinks. I'm opting for darker shades like navy, maroon, greens, mustards and black, to go with big heels and warm tones on my lips. Yes, I have started wearing lipstick. Below are a few of my recent looks, as you can see my friends are big on the peplum trend, but I just don't have the body for it yet. Just watch this space.

 

I will be updating you on my progression with my aims....What are yours? 

x

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Blowout Saturday...

If you don't know, get to know. I am now rocking my natural hair, eight months and counting. To people of other races who think it's not a big deal... NEWSFLASH... It is... Next time you're out and about have a look at how many black women have hair that is their own, and if so, not chemically straightened, then you will come closer to understanding what a big deal it was for me to go natural.

I try not to use heat on my hair that often after all I have researched on blogs and LC's book but occasionally just to treat myself and to do a length check, I blowout my hair. I use texture my way, naturally straight as a heat protectant and for me this is a really good motivator when you get to the stage that you think your hair is not growing. The front of my hair is a little bit shorter as I had relaxed a section to cover my weave about 9 months ago and have been gradually clipping away at the ends. I have also dyed a section in the front red as I fancied a change.

There was a time I couldn't get my hair back in a bobble, so to anyone who has been struggling with their natural hair journey. I promise it gets better.

x