Archive for August, 2013

Labor Day Cocktails by SMOKE Liqueur

A few weeks ago, I received a bottle of SMOKE, a new liqueur that has become the hottest beverage to hit the night life scene. The product originally launched in New York City at Jay-Z 40/40 Club and now has expanded to the DC market.

An innovative spirit, made with a unique blend of top-shelf vodka, pineapple, coconut and Moscato, SMOKE® Liqueur blends two of the most popular trends in the spirits industry today – Ready-To-Drink cocktails and Moscato, the fastest growing wine category in the United States.

You can drink SMOKE over ice or mixed into a cocktail. Personally I think SMOKE tastes better as part of a mixed cocktail. If you plan on partying this Labor Day weekend and want to try some new drinks, here are three SMOKE drinks to try:

Strawberry Fizz

*3 oz SMOKE

*Add Strawberry Puree

*Splash of Soda

*Drop of lemon juice


Fiery Tequila Twist

*4oz SMOKE Liqueur

*2 oz Avion Silver Tequila

*1 oz Vida Mezcal

Dear Summer

*4 oz SMOKE Liqueur shot

*2 oz Grapefruit juice

 *Garnish with a peach wedge

 For more information about SMOKE visit You can follow SMOKE on Twitter and Instragram. Followers must be 21+. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY!
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Learn To Pick Your Battles

 One of the biggest lessons you can learn in life is learning how to pick your battles. 

People may piss you off. Someone may hurt your feelings. But every disrespectful, hurtful action from someone doesn’t require your attention or retaliation.  I know, we want to check someone when they do us wrong (I’m that type), but sometimes (not all the time) it’s just not worth it. 

When it comes to choosing your battles, it really comes down to what do you really want to spend your time being upset over? For example, my friend has taken the role of being the organizer for our annual ski trip. A handful out of 20 people has made comments about the trip that she did not necessarily care for. Let’s just say I am still trying to calm her down. But should she take those comments personally? Probably not; those handful of folks aren’t attacking her. And honestly, I am not sure they realize they come across as being disrespectful. My friend could spend her time being upset or she could brush it off and think of the big picture: a great ski trip.

Friendships and interactions with people are tricky. We aren’t always going to get it right. If someone does something to you that would make you upset, acknowledge it, inform them about it (if necessary) and then move on. I am sure it’s not worth being upset over for days or brainstorming aggressive ways to respond (I know all too well from experience). And although you may move on, let their actions also be a lesson on how to interact with them in the future. 

I’m not giving this advice as if I’ve mastered it. I’m still learning too. But I have come to realize that a lot of the stuff we spend our time and energy being upset about is not life changing. Am I saying let everything roll off your back? Absolutely not. What I am suggesting is that we be a bit more strategic about what we allow to upset us. 

“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering” - The Four Agreements

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NEW MUSIC: Jay-Z “Holy Grail” Video Feat. Justin Timberlake

Considering these two went on tour this summer (which was a great concert!) I would’ve expected to see this video sooner.

Today, Jay-Z released the video for his single “Holy Grail” on Facebook. #NewRules. The video is dark and features a few chopped and screwed moments; a nice twist to the song. Check it out!

I love JT’s on this song. If you haven’t seen him in concert, he goes on the 20/20 Experience Wrold Tour this fall!

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Diva Spotlight: 17-Year-Old Victoria Duval Defeats Former Tennis U.S Open Champ

Today’s Diva Spotlight focuses on another teenager making major moves!

During the opening round of the tennis U.S. Open, 17-Year-Old Victoria Duval defeated the 2011 champion Samantha Stosur, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Stosur is ranked 11th and Duval is ranked 256th in the world. Duval resilience on the court is a reflection of a life she endured leading up to the match.

The New York Daily News reports:

That Duval is a resilient and emotionally sturdy player should perhaps not be a surprise, given her life’s journey. At 7 years old in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, she and several cousins were held hostage by armed robbers in her aunt’s house before being freed.

“It was traumatizing, (but) worse things have happened to people,” Duval said. “I’m lucky I got out of it. I’ve kind of erased that all from my mind.”

Victoria’s parents, Jean-Maurice and Nadine Duval, both of whom are physicians, decided to move the family to Florida almost immediately, though her father kept up with his obstetrics/gynecology practice at a Port-au-Prince clinic and would shuttle back and forth. Then, on Jan. 12, 2010, the earthquake hit, and Jean-Maurice Duval was buried alive beneath the rubble of the family home. His legs broken and left arm shattered and seven busted ribs puncturing his lung, Jean-Maurice Duval somehow dug himself out, and ultimately was airlifted to a Fort Lauderdale hospital, thanks to the generosity of a family in the tennis club Victoria was competing with at the time.

“There’s a lot to be thankful for, I don’t take anything for granted,” Duval told ESPN. “I thank God everyday for everything that has happened. Life is short.” Amen!

I look forward to watching Duval during this year’s U.S. Open! Hopefully this won’t be the last time we see this young tennis player at major tennis tournaments.

Match point:


Interview with ESPN:

Source: Clutch Magazine

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What To Wear To The ‘Made In America Festival’

This Labor Day weekend, many will travel to Philly (myself included) for the second annual Budweiser Made In America Festival. Created by Jay-Z and Budweiser, Made in America is a two-day music festival featuring Beyonce, Miguel, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and more!

If you plan on attending the festival but don’t know what to wear, hopefully this post will provide you with some inspiration!  The key to dressing for a festival is comfort. You’ll be standing and walking around all day; but remember, you can be comfortable AND stylish at the same time.

When I think of dressing for music festivals, I automatically think of wearing a printed tee or tank and cut-off denim shorts. It’s easy, cute and comfortable.  The key to taking a look like this to the next level is by pairing those pieces with the right accessories.  Since you’ll be standing and walking around a lot, pair your cut-off shorts with wedge sneakers or combat boots. The studded boots add a little edginess to the look. Since you want to keep your hands free for food & drinks, add a fringe cross body bag. Seal the look with a headwrap (very similar to a headband) and red lip!

The second look is for the ladies who want to be a bit more girly at the festival. The key to being comfortable in a dress at a festival is to wear one that isn’t restricting. A shift dress like the one below is a great option. For any other outing like brunch, I’d definitely recommend wearing gladiator sandals with this dress, but since you’ll be at a festival, sneakers work here too.  If you opt to wear sneakers with a dress, you can keep the rest of the look fun and flirty with long necklaces, animal print sunglasses and a straw hat. If you want to wear more color, look for a printed dress instead of one in a solid color.

Crop tops and prints were a major trend this summer so they’ll look great worn together at the festival. Create your own crop top using a t-shirt and pair it with printed pants. I added wedge sneakers to this look, but you can also wear combat boots, low top sneakers or sandals (depends on what’s most comfortable to stand in for a long period of time). Spiked bracelets, fringe bags, oversized glasses and a gold chain headwrap give a 70s vibe; perfect for an outdoor festival.


The weather in Philly is supposed to be in the 60s at night. You may want to bring a leather jacket or denim jacket with you just in case you get chilly. If you love the headwrap look, check Urban Outfitters. They sell headwraps in-store and online for $12.

What do you think of these looks? Would you wear any of them to a music festival?

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Beauty Tip For Oily Skin: Milk of Magnesia As A Primer

A few weeks ago during the Elaine Luxe photo shoot, makeup artist Jeneal and I talked about various makeup tips. I had mentioned to her that I have combination oily skin so my forehead and nose tend to get really oily. To combat oiliness while wearing makeup, Jeneal recommended I apply Milk of Magnesia to my face as a primer.  I had never heard of this beauty secret before so I when I came home from the shoot that evening, I Googled “Milk of Magnesia Primer.” Apparently, a lot of people use this product as a primer. Who knew?!

Available at Target for $4

Since Milk of Magnesia is dry, it mattifies the face for long lasting foundation wear.  Since I had plans to be out all day Saturday, I gave Milk of Magnesia a try. After washing my face and applying my daily moisturizer, I applied a THIN layer of Milk of Magnesia using a spray bottle (you can use a cotton ball, foundation brush or makeup sponge as well).  I let it dry completely before applying my tinted moisturizer. Make sure you blend in your moisturizer or foundation really well. After applying your tinted moisturizer or foundation, continue with your normal makeup routine (concealer, powder, etc).

I had my makeup on for over 12 hours Saturday and it held up well. I checked my makeup throughout the day and my forehead and nose weren’t really shiny. I think I reapplied my powder once since I hadn’t blended my concealer very well.  My face actually felt a little dry because the milk of magnesia makes your makeup matte, but my face didn’t appear dry. I think my face felt that way because I’m used to it being so oily.

No shine after 12+ hours of wearing makeup. Please excuse my hair frizziness lol

This was my first attempt so I’m definitely going to use Milk of Magnesia again the next time I wear a full face of makeup. I’m no beauty expert (I’ll stick to styling) but I do think if you have combination oily or oily skin, it’s worth a try. Check out what others had to say about using Milk of Magnesia on the Makeup and Beauty Blog and Makeup Alley. You can also Google Youtube videos.

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Where To Buy Boyfriend Jeans Under $150

As much as I love the look, I’m surprised I didn’t do a post on boyfriend jeans sooner!

boyfriend jeans Where To Buy Boyfriend Jeans Under $150

Ladies, do you have those days when you want to wear a casual chic outfit but you just don’t want to wear skinny jeans? They are cute, but sometimes you don’t feel like wearing tight jeans. Believe me, I understand! I’ve been leaning more and more toward printed loose pants and I love my pair of boyfriend jeans.

Boyfriend jeans are great because they can be worn with just about anything! You can dress them down with flats and wedge sneakers or you can dress them up with heels. During the spring, I wore mine with a sweater and ombre pumps to work for casual Friday.  I’ve also paired them with a crop top and sandals. During the fall, boyfriend jeans will look great with booties (closed toe or peeptoe) and sweaters, jackets or blazers.

A friend inquired about where she could buy boyfriend jeans. Great places to shop include Top Shop, ASOS, and H&M. Other retailers to consider are below: 

 Do you have a pair of boyfriend jeans? If so, how do you wear them?

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Ava DuVernay and Fashion Fair’s “Say Yes” Short Film

In February we were presented with the beautiful short film “The Door” directed by Ava DuVernay for Miu Miu.  Ms. DuVernay is back with another great short film inspired by the Fashion Fair lip color “Say Yes.”

“I was thrilled to be asked to create a film for Fashion Fair, a brand that has always embraced women of color, and that women of color have so often embraced. The film is a meditation on the power of ‘yes,’ illustrating what can happen when we affirm our family, our friends, ourselves. I also thought about the many ways that Fashion Fair says ‘yes’ to us. Yes to our variance of skin toneicon1 Ava DuVernay and Fashion Fair’s “Say Yes” Short Film , yes to our different ages, yes to our body sizes, yes to the myriad of elements that we are. That’s something worth celebrating.”

The gorgeous costumes are provided by Duro Olowu and the film features Lance Gross, Kali Hawk, Issa Rae and more.

Check out this beautiful story!

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Give Back: #FeedDC Backpack Drive

It’s back to school time! While some families are planning on taking their kids to the store to shop for new school supplies, there are many families who don’t have the resources to provide new school items to their kids.

In order to support those families, #FeedDC is partnering with Martin Luther King Elementary School in Washington, DC to provide backpacks full of school supplies to students this fall. The goal is to distribute 450 backpacks.

Backpacks filled with school supplies average $12. To donate, please visit Below are recommended donation levels:

• $12 for 1 student

• $60 for 5 students

• $120 for 10 students

• $240 for 20 students

• $2,700 for 225 students

• $5,400 for 450 students

 If you are unable to make a donation online, #FeedDC will be hosting a backpack drive on Saturday, August 24th at RoseBar Lounge (1215 Connecticut Ave NW) from 4-9pm.  You can drop off a backpack full of supplies before partying at the RoseBar day party

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Looks We Love: Colin Kaepernick For GQ September 2013

Colin Kaepernick was one of two NFL quarterbacks featured in the September issue of GQ.  In the September issue, along with posing in looks featuring Louis Vuitton, Nike, Micheal Kors, Gucci, En Noir and more, he talks about his upbringing and how he mastered the game of football.

Check out pics and an excerpt from his feature below. Click HERE to read the entire feature by Andrew Corsello.

Sweater by Michael Kors. Sweatpants by Michael Bastian. Tights (beneath) by Nike Pro Combat. Watch by Montblanc

Pants by En noir. Shorts (beneath) by Nike Pro Combat. Sneakers and gloves by Nike.

Jacket by Gucci. Hoodie by Balmain. Tank top by T by Alexander Wang. Watch by Montblanc. Uniform by NFL Nike Elite 51 Uniform.

In other words, Kaepernick is a guy who’s earned the right to be taken at face value. He doesn’t want to be an icon, and his tats aren’t ghetto or anti-authoritarian or disrespecting or black. They don’t mean anything other than what they literally say. (God is good!) He dislikes and distrusts fame—it’s never been about “the grades,” the accolades—and certainly doesn’t want to deploy it in any way. He’s a devout Christian who wants his god “to shine through” everything he does. But he’s not looking to “signify” anything at this point in his life, and to his credit, he doesn’t. He just is. And what he is, and wants to be seen as now, is… Well, Colin Kaepernick said it simplest and best in a letter he wrote to himself back in the fourth grade:

“I hope I go to a good college in football, then go to the pros and play on the niners or the packers even if they aren’t good in seven years.”

Cardigan by Levi’s Made & Crafted. T-shirt by Nike. Shorts by Nike Pro Combat. Watch by Rolex.

Tank top by Nike. Coat (with hood) by Black Sail by Nautica.

Jacket, $4,600 by Louis Vuitton. Pants, $80 by Nike. Shorts (beneath), $30 by Nike Pro Combat.

If you feel like you’re having déjà vu it’s because Kaepernick was featured on the blog last month for his feature in ESPN Body Issue.

The second quarterback be featured is RGIII. Now I know I probably should have featured him since I am a Redskins fan (Hail to the Redskins), but I am not feeling his GQ photos at all! I am not sure if the plaits have something to do with it. I know I know…his hair is in cornrows now (I have no idea why that was BREAKING NEWS for the local media) but something just doesn’t scream GQ! But hey what do I know?? Click HERE to see the RGIII feature.

Source: GQ

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