‘Insecure’: Relating to the Modern- Day Black Woman

HBO kicked off Season 2 of Insecure on July 23rd, created by co- creator and executive producer Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore, the TV series gives its fans a taste into the lives of present-day black women facing real life problems with a twist of comedy.

Its awkward, funny, sexy, sassy, young, black and I LOVE IT! The show speaks of the real life struggle of real life people. It brings a different taste to the television screens. It’s not just about black women but it’s about breaking barriers and bringing it in its most contemporary form. Its three main characters: Issa, Molly and Lawrence are totally relatable. I don’t know about you but I love me some Issa!

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According to some critiques, the relationships and issues presented in the show puts the lives of black women in perspective. On the other hand, some think it gives black women a bad reputation such as the idea that black relationships always go wrong.

For me, I think the best shows or movies are those that can relate to me on a deeper level.

The First episode of the season titled ” Hella Great” deals with Issa (Issa Rae) going through the break up with her ex- boyfriend Lawrence who is played by (Jay Ellis) along with her sassy best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) who finds out she is making less money than her white male colleague. Turns out this season continue to stick to the same flavor of two females facing their own realities of finding love and steering through their everyday lives. It picks up from last season finale, as Issa lies outside with Molly when she realizes Lawrence moves out of their apartment. As it returns, Molly will have to deal with a wage gap crisis while Issa stays on the hunt to a painful single life.

Insecure aims to revive old TV sitcoms by telling a genuine story that relates to the lives of everyday people.

“Insecure” airs on Sundays at 10:30pm on HBO.

ON-THE-GO

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Hey again,

Welcome to this post featuring my dress down looks on the go.

I don’t know about you guys but I love to keep it simple and throw on a pair of leggings, a graphic tee or some sweats! Today I paired some of my favorite pieces from Zara along with my newly favorite old skool vans.

Wearing:

Zara Graphic Tee

Zara Jeans

Vans Old Skool

H&M Sunglasses

Gingham Too Much

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Happy Monday!

A little update: These past few months have been so hectic that I haven’t been able to blog as much but luckily for me my junior year of college is officially over. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store! Currently, I will be spending my summer in NYC as well as interning. I will be sharing more of my outfit details and experience soon. STAY TUNED!

Lately I’ve been following this motto: ” Dressing good is a form of good manners “ – Tom Ford. I always tell myself that dressing good is a way to express yourself using different patterns, prints or colors. I am completely in love with these Black PaperBag Skinny Trousers. The fitting is so comfortable and body fitting. I was a little bit skeptical about how the material would feel but I must say I am not disappointed. I decided to pair it with this Gingham Print Body Suit. I had no idea gingham prints could look so beautiful when paired correctly. Hope you guys enjoyed this look as much as I did!

Wearing

PrettyLittleThing | Body Suit

PrettyLittleThing | Skinny Trousers

Taylor Tyler Designs | Box Clutch

Missguided | Barely There Heeled Sandals

Amazon | Women’s Fashion Jewlery Brooch

20 1/2 + My Journey

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BPS, is what I’m most commonly called by close friends and family. You might think that I’ve referred to myself as such for years. To be honest, it took me a long time to accept and understand my identity for who I was.

For years, I never appreciated my blackness, features, culture or even my flaws. I constantly hid myself behind fake smiles and fake hellos. Little did people know that I disliked A LOT of things about myself. I constantly felt insecure or uglier compared to my peers who had long beautiful hair with lighter complexions.

Fast forward to the year of 2017, I began to appreciate my culture, my name and the little things that make me, ME

I remember every time I would fill applications, I would circle female, Black/ African-American… but reality is.. Did I really know what I was circling? I struggled with my identity not because I didn’t care but because my culture wasn’t appreciated. Compared to the other kids in my classroom, the cultures and traditions I knew were completely different from what I saw once I stepped outside my home. Although, I was born and raised in America as soon as I returned home every afternoon I was living in Ghana.

So yes, we eat different foods and yes we wear clothing with different shapes, colors and patterns and yes we wear a different hairstyle everyday.. but that doesn’t make me any different than you.

In middle school, I was made fun of for the food I would bring to school or often called the “African booty scratcher”. It crushed me and made me feel insecure about myself for a long time. Currently I owe my confidence to myself and accepting the fact that if ain’t broken don’t fix it. Remember believe that you are different with your own purpose. What you bring to the table is different from everyone around you and for that you’re unique. The different identities you are made up of make you special.

My name is Barbara and I identity as a Ghanaian female. I am fearfully and wonderfully made through the eyes of God himself.

Outfit Details:
Headwrap (dhuku) : Originating from West Africa, Ghana. Mom got it for me on her recent visit to Ghana, sorry guys.
Photography by : Michelle Morales

Skin Care Products For Under $15

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The season is changing rapidly and so is the condition of my skin. My face and body changes from dry to shiny to dry to shiny as the temperature changes. The winter is the worst time for my skin because I am constantly trying to find new ways to moisturize my skin. I am always looking for new products to try. Since we are two months away from summer, why not get your skin ready for that perfect glow!

FYI: If you know me I am obsessed with smelling good and taking care of my skin.

I recently went to TJ Maxx and purchased some skincare products. TJ Maxx is great for its wide selection in skin care products ranging from low to high-end products. I realized that they sell a lot of Asian, Italian and Australian skin-care products. Not only are they different but they are affordable.

I first picked up the Anatomicals bye-bye miss American dry cherry body lotion($5) . I instantly fell in love with how soft it made my hands feel and had to add it to my collection of lotions. This product is paraben free and comes from Australia. Since my body scrub was finished, I decided to look for another culprit. The second product I picked up was the Buff Your Stuff Body Scrub With Sweet Almond Oil and Pumic and Shea ($4). Let me tell you, the smell is amazing. This product contains scrubby pumic with peach stone particles and comes from England. Lastly, I needed a new bottle of Tea Tree Oil so I picked up a different brand called Nature Love Essential Oil Tea Tree ($6). Essential oils have been known to help detoxify and refine skin as well as reduce stress. Although, I have not tried it for these purposes I will definitely give it a shot. Personally, I use Tea Tree oil for its benefits on acne. Lately due to stress from college, I have been experiencing more acne than normal. Tea Tree oil is great for acne because it reduces the surface of the pimple and blocks oil and dirt to reduce painful products. I simply apply the oil with a cotton swab gently on the pimple and by the next morning it has reduce it. The smell is extremely strong so be careful when you first try it.

Oh, btw I couldn’t help myself so I picked up a new candle from Bath & Body Works: Waikiki Beach Coconut. They were having a sale on their 3- Wick Candle for just $12.50.

Importance of Digging Deep + milk and honey

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In the midst of this thing we call LIFE we must learn to dig deep, love ourselves and most importantly protect our heart and our souls.

The importance of digging deep is not just about critically thinking it’s about discovering ourselves. It’s about understanding who we are, our purpose and connecting with things and people around us. It’s about giving ourselves time to reflect, question, think and feel.

You may be wondering, how can I dig deep within myself? Where do I start? The answer is :

SOLITUDE
state of seclusion or isolation

Solitude gives you the opportunity to learn to love yourself by discovering yourself and finding your own voice. It gives you time to think deeply about the changes going on in you life as you grow older and a time to unwind and focus.Believe it or not, solitude helps you enhance the quality and relationships with people around you.

Many of us avoid the conversation of feeling. We avoid dealing with our emotions. We avoid discussing things that occur in our lives on a daily basis. Generally speaking, emotions involve : fear, anger, joy, disgust and trust. As human beings these are things we face on a daily basis. After all, it’s what makes us HUMAN.

As I’ve gotten older each day I inspire to connect with others. I inspire to learn, love and feel every single thing around me. It’s a never ending process of DIGGING DEEP from within. Along with doing that I have grown affection towards poetry. Being that I love writing, poetry takes me to a whole different realm. It allows me to connect with each and every word written by the author. It gives me a sense that I am not alone when dealing with these issues I face each day.

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur is a collection of poetry I think every women and not just women but men should have on their nightstand. Kaur discusses her experiences of violence, abuse, love and femininity. The book is divided into four sections : the loving, the hurting, the healing and the breaking. As you read each poem, it takes you on a journey of bitter moments and sweetness. Her stories are absolutely relatable and touching. As you read each page you can’t help but to keep saying yes, yes, yes I can understand your pain, love, hurt and joy.

I encourage you to dig deep, connect within yourself and others and most importantly self-love!

” it is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply”

4 NEW THINGS | Gearing Up For The Summer

Shopping for the summer in the winter? Who knew! There’s nothing better than sitting at home on a winter night shopping online for the upcoming summer. Who wouldn’t love to save on summer items in the winter? If you’re a shopaholic like me with retail experience you know that most retailers put out their spring/summer collection during the cold months. Most retailers believe that consumers plan on shopping for the summer during the winter in order to plan for trips or just the warm months in general. On that note, I have put together some basic items I have purchased from MISSGUIDED.COM and taylor-tyler.com.Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

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Khaki Scoop Back Bodysuit
For some time now bodysuits have been a trend and must have in wardrobes. Bodysuits are so popular for its versatile looks and of course the fit is just sexy and flattering. This bodysuit is a basic khaki color with a scoop back and a drop armhole style. Definitely perfect for the summer! Guess what? It was just $7.20. Simply add this bodysuit with a pair of high waisted pants and some heels and you’re set to go! I forgot to mention you can also pair it with trousers or jeans shorts for a quick go to summer fit. (P.S only downside is that bodysuits can be annoying when you need to go to the bathroom LOL)

Rock T Shirt
I recently saw this shirt on my favorite fashion blogger and I told myself why not give this shirt a shot. It only cost me $27. I am not really a big fan of Rock Tees but you can’t go wrong with an edgy look. You can definitely rock this shirt once again with a pair of high waisted pants, jeans or skirt. I normally love to purchase graphic tees because you can always wear it over and over giving it a different style. If you’re going for the dress down look a pair of converse or sandals will do. If you want to spice things up a pair of open toe heels will do too! Keep it simple or edgy!

Riot Ripped Knee Bleach Jean Stonewash
Where have you been all my life? These jeans are going to be my go to this summer. I absolutely love the fit and the style. I was a bit hesitant on purchasing these jeans because of its price as well as whether or not it would fit the description. As soon as I tried it on I fell in love. I have been meaning to purchase mid rise or boyfriend jeans for a long time and decided to give it a chance. These jeans were originally $45, however with the 45% off on their site I paid less.

All together my items were just $45.45! Can you believe how sweet that deal is?

Eloise Patchwork
Last but not least, I purchased this clutch from a very good designer I know. This clutch is absolutely eye catching. Normally I only purchase items I know I will re use over and over. This clutch will also be one of my summer essentials. This clutch is a mini measuring 10” X 8.5” made from a black vinyl fabric. You have the option of purchasing it in Black, Red or Nude with either the patch 05 Bas Ass or DIVA. It also offers a cohesive zipper with a leather black zipper pull tassel. It was just $28.50. I purchased this item during her Valentines Day sale with 14% off the entire site. Check out her website at taylor-tyler.com for more info.

#GODISDOPE

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I recently came across this Christian fashion line on Instagram through an advertisement. I instantly became drawn to the message behind the clothing line and decided to do my own research. According to their website their mission is to “ bring awareness to God in our own way through fashion, entertainment and influence. We’re aiming to bridge the gap between God and the youth.”

Of course I am down for any brand or business dedicated to sharing the message of God.  It’s always great to support local businesses that serves a wonderful purpose. So far many celebrities and Instagram users around the country have endorsed the brand. Their clothing line features the “ God is Dope” logo on different colored shirts, wristbands, hats and many more other items. Such a simple design with a classic look!

Wearing:
 God is Dope Basic Logo Tee Red on White
Zara Basic Denim Jeans
Zara Contrast High Heel Ankle Boots
COACH 1941 Sport Watch ‘Gold’

“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity show yourself as an example of those who believe”
1 Timothy 4:12

Why Every Woman Should Spoil Herself For Valentines Day..

It’s officially February and Valentines Day is just around the corner and I figured why not share the importance of treating yourself with some valentine theme treats. Whether you’re single or taken you always want to make yourself look and feel good and most importantly happy! Ladies—remember love yourself first, why? Because you deserve it! I have put together some items I purchased from Victoria Secret during their Valentines Day special.Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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Satin Kimono
Now this was a must buy for me. I absolutely love satin kimonos. Recently I’ve been obsessed with silks and satin for its great texture and feel. It’s perfect to wear to bed, cover up or even to simply lounge in at home. The kimono robe has been part of the Victoria Secret lingerie collection and has been a best seller since then. Personally, since the purchase of my first silk robe from Adoreme.com, I told myself id purchase another one in another color so why not now. Normally, I wear my satin robe to bed or even while I’m getting ready to apply my makeup for a night out. In the Victoria Secret collection they offer a wide variety of colors from black, ruby wine, winter rose, bright cherry, ivory, leopard, clover green and black with a paisley print. Originally, I wanted to purchase the clover green since olive-green is my favorite color but unfortunately it was sold out so I stuck with Bright Cherry and I must say the color is amazing and definitely a classic. I would say look at the size and fit description before ordering. I purchased a size XS/S and it fit perfectly!

The Lacie Plunge Teddy
I’ve always wanted to purchase a Teddy but never found it necessary. I feel like teddies are things you wear on special occasions under a dress or if you’re feeling extra nice. Since VS were having sales I told myself why not. This Teddy according to the VS website is sheer with unlined lace with adjustable straps on the back with an allover stretchy floral lace. Just like the kimono, it offers a wide range of colors from black, ensign, white, and lip smacker and rosy mauve. Being that I am not a huge fan on spending money on lacey underwear, I said spoiling yourself here and there wont hurt. I ordered the color Ensign, which is essentially a navy blue color in a size S.

Cupid Kit
This cupid kit was offered during VS Valentine Day sales with a purchase of $65 dollars. Since both the Kimono and the Teddy was over a $65 dollars I was offered this sweet extra gift. The kit included a cosmetic case with two pairs of Show Stoppers, one Beauty Rush lip-gloss and a Body by Victoria Thong. Who doesn’t love sweet offers? I know I do.

February 14th might be the day of “Love”, but who says you can’t indulge in a little bit of self-love! After all everyone deserves taking charge of their own well-being and happiness.

Why I Choose To Be A Christian

For some time now I was debating on whether or not I would discuss my religious views and beliefs on my blog. I questioned whether or not I would lose viewers or whether or not I would offend anyone but truth be told, I am rather offending God himself. To start of: I am a Christian. I believe in a higher being. I believe in Jesus Christ our one and only savior. I believe that he died for our sins to save us. I believe that he is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I believe that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1-31Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset


“ Believe in God” Black Tee
The symbol in the middle of the shirt means “ Gye Nyame” translating to “Except God or “ Only God it comes from the Twi/Akan language originating from Ghana, West Africa
WWW. ASHANTIBEADS.COM

Truth be told for me Christianity is way of living; it’s a way to live a life that is truthful, peaceful and pleasing to our Lord above. Christianity isn’t just about going to church, speaking in tongues or quoting the Bible every now and then. I didn’t decide to be a Christian because my parents told me to or because I was forced to. I chose to be a Christian for myself because I have experienced how great and amazing he is!

So you may be wondering, how did it all begin? Since the age of 4 I attended Catholic school all the way up until college. I attended church weekly, prayed, took religion courses, completed my sacraments and joined various groups like prayer leaders and mission volunteers. During this stage in my life I experienced Christ at such a young age. I began to understand his purpose for us and the true meaning of accepting Christ. Following Christ as an adolescence isn’t an easy task at all especially in the society we live in now. Compared to many of my friends back in high school, I continued to focus on bettering myself by doing the right things. Although we attended a catholic school, many of them didn’t understand the idea of Christianity or why they had to follow “rules” in order to be a faithful child of God.

Fast forward to 2017, a 20 year old Christian college student who faces many challenges and temptations. Being on a college campus that focuses on the same traditional activities such as drinking and partying every weekend can be hard. Choosing to do otherwise such as focusing on your studies and staying in every weekend working or binge watching on Netflix is something I’d rather do. Oftentimes people around me don’t understand the choices I decide to make and that’s perfectly okay. People often say to me “ you’re missing out on the college experience.”

I’ve made my decision to serve this living God. Regardless of all the troubles or the blessings, I will forever serve him. So no, I am not condemning anyone or saying I am perfect but I am sharing my story. We all make mistakes and those who call God as their savior know that we are trying our best to achieve and strive to live and love like Jesus Christ.

“ The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I often times nave to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say,” O God, favor me, use me, lift me, feel me, forgive me, help me”