February Reads…

February Reads…

Hey y’all!

Happy Black History Month Y’all! In honour of Black History Month, I thought I would read some books by African- American authors.  I’m actually reading two books that I have previously read as well as one new read and a devotional on the Book of Isaiah.  It’s an ambitious list as February is a short month, but as I will be travelling for quite a bit of this month, I figured what better way to pass some time than to read while I soak up some much needed Vitamin D and ocean waves! 🙂 Here’s what I’m reading:

The Wait:A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love – BDeVon Franklin, and Meagan Good ( Goodreads.com)

Hollywood power couple DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good candidly share about their courtship and marriage, and the key to their success—waiting.

President/CEO of Franklin Entertainment and former Sony Pictures executive DeVon Franklin and award-winning actress Meagan Good have learned sometimes all we can do is wait for “the one” to come into our lives. They spent years crossing paths but it wasn’t until they were thrown together while working on the film Jumping the Broom that their storybook romance began.

Faced with starting a new relationship and wanting to avoid potentially devastating relationship pitfalls, DeVon and Meagan chose to do something almost unheard of in today’s society—abstain from sex until they were married.

In The Wait, DeVon and Meagan share the life-changing message that waiting—rather than rushing a relationship—can help you find the person you’re meant to be with. Filled with candid his-and-hers accounts of the most important moments of their relationship, and practical advice on how waiting for everything—from dating to sex—can transform relationships, allowing you to find a deep connection based on patience, trust, and faith.

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This is a re-read for me. With February also being the month of “love” I thought it was fitting 🙂 .

The Autobiography of Malcom X – as told to Alex Haley

Through a life of passion and struggle, Malcolm X became one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century. In this riveting account, he tells of his journey from a prison cell to Mecca, describing his transition from hoodlum to Muslim minister. Here, the man who called himself “the angriest Black man in America” relates how his conversion to true Islam helped him confront his rage and recognize the brotherhood of all mankind.
An established classic of modern America, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” was hailed by the New York Times as “Extraordinary. A brilliant, painful, important book.” Still extraordinary, still important, this electrifying story has transformed Malcom X’s life into his legacy. The strength of his words, the power of his ideas continue to resonate more than a generation after they first appeared.

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I’ve read this book several times throughout my childhood  ( yes , I was an avid and advanced reader since the age of 4) and adolescent years. I think it’s important for me to revisit this book and  interpret it through the eyes of an adult who’s core values and life experiences may give me a fresh outlook on this particular body of work.

Monday’s Not Coming- By Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone? (Goodreads.com)

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I was just perusing the shelves at my local bookstore and the cover jumped out at me. I picked it up, read the synopsis and was sold! I will definitely be digging into this one on my vacation. It seems to be a mystery novel  which is not normally a genre that I gravitate towards but I am intrigued by this book and I’m excited to see how the plot plays out.

Finally, The Daily Grace Co. always has fantastic devotionals for some in depth Bible study . Like I mentioned before, this month I’ll be journeying through the book of Isaiah.

Everlasting Love - Study on Isaiah

Check out their website for other cool devotionals: https://thedailygraceco.com/collections/bible-studies-devotionals

What are you reading this month?
Let me know!

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3 Perfect Red Lipsticks To Wear This Holiday…

3 Perfect Red Lipsticks To Wear This Holiday…

Hey loves,

One thing I love to do is add a red lip to spice up my holiday outfits. Here are 3 lip products I have been reaching for consistently this holiday season!

Mary Jo K- Kylie Cosmetics

I absolutely love the formula of the Kylie Cosmetics matte liquid lipsticks. I find that while they are matte, they are not extremely drying as you find with most liquid lip products. The colour pay off is amazing. You can wear this all day without fear of it smudging or smearing. This lipstick is described as a true blue red product which makes it very wearable for lippie lovers of varying complexions.  This retails for $17.00 USD which is mid range price point for this type of product.

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Sessy- Colourpop 

This product falls under the category of “products Youtube made me buy” (lol). I follow a youtuber named Ellarie and she did a makeup collaboration with Colourpop Cosmetics. I have literally been wearing her two liquid lip shades since they debuted and this beautiful reddish wine  shade has definitely been one of my favourites.  This product in particular falls under the Colourpop category of ultra matte liquid lipstick, which is their boldest and longest lasting formula. I can definitely attest to this product being long lasting. You may need a little coconut oil to break it down when removing. This product retails for $6.50 (USD) and at that price you may as well treat yourself to one this holiday season!

Ellarie x ColourPop - Sessy deep red wine Ultra Matte liquid lipstick

 

Beso – Stila Cosmetics 

My ultimate favourite red lip product of all time. Yes, It has taken the spot of the long withstanding Ruby Woo by MAC Cosmetics. I feel that this red is the red that suits my deep complexion the best.  A  little goes a long way with this product. One swipe is pretty much all you need to fill your lips.  While this product is a little bit on the pricey side at $22.00 USD, It is well worth the money.  Although I have tons of red lip products, this is the one I find myself reaching for the most. I have seen it look stunning on people with darker completions like myself as well as my more fair complected consumers. I would certainly recommend you give this lipstick a try, One flaw is that it can be a little on the dating side, so be sure to have hydrated lips before you apply or your cracks will show!

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What reds do you guys grab for in the holiday season? Let me know!

Til next time!
xoxo
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Style Sunday: The Blue and White Striped Dress…

Style Sunday: The Blue and White Striped Dress…

Hey guys!

So… my style  aesthetic has kind of been all over the place this summer. But,I think I have narrowed it down to the one thing I am looking for in an outfit which is…. COMFORT!I have really been drawn to shift dresses, bold patterns and classic streamlined pieces. This post is about the most comfortable shift dress to ever exist!

I was perusing the shelves at my local Old Navy and right at the front, there was a rack with some shift dresses. Now, being a girl with some curves, a shift dress is not usually something I would usually gravitate towards. But this particular one caught my eye!

It was an off the shoulder, vertically striped, blue and white ( which is a colour scheme I am really loving right now)  dress which was a cotton blend. So it was super soft to the touch! I put on my brave face and went into the change room and tried it on… and never wanted to take it off! It was extremely comfortable and surprisingly figure flattering! The dress also has three quarter length sleeves with tie up detailing which I thought was really cute!

The dress is super casual, but what is nice about the dress is that your can dress it up if you needed too!

The dress currently retails for $25.97 on the Old Navy website and I do believe you can still find it in stores.

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This time I chose to keep it casual and here’s how I styled it:

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I simply paired it with my cross/ baby ring necklace ( that I never take off lol) a super big pair of  hoop earrings and some super ancient gold tie up sandals! I kept the makeup simple with some concealer, setting powder, eyeliner and a new lip colour I’m trying out from MAC called ” Oh, Lady” from the retro matte liquid lip colour line.

So that’s it folks! Thanks for sticking with mw through this long hiatus! Love you all and remember…

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xoxo

Sunday Style: The One With The Black Jumpsuit…

Sunday Style: The One With The Black Jumpsuit…

Hey y’all!

Follow me on this tale of a girl who had an event to go to, yet had absolutely nothing to wear! The girl is me and this was my dilemma yesterday…

Sigh,,, so I’ve known about this event I had to go to for weeks now, yet hadn’t bothered to look for anything to wear. So Saturday afternoon, approximately about 5 hours before the event was to start  ( Thank goodness we were on Caribbean/African time, so 5 hours was really 8 🙂 ) I found myself in the mall with my homegirl ( who was also attending the event) SCRAMBLING!!! Guys, we went into 3 or 4 or 5 or 10 stores, with NO SUCCESS! I was literally about to give up and pull out a repeat outfit ( ugh the horror! just kidding ) when I sauntered in to one final store and.. there it was … the black jumpsuit.

First of all, I didn’t even see this jumpsuit. I saw another olive green one that was so gorgeous, just not the colour scheme I wanted for the evening. I was literally about to give up for real, when my little sis ( shout out to you Shanice) found this little gem and brought it back for me to try on.

The jumpsuit is made of a thick polyester material. It boasts a tapered leg and a v-neck scrappy detailing that is to die for! Here’s how I styled it and purchasing details!

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The jumpsuit itself was so cute that I didn’t want to add too much to it jewellery wise. I simply added a silver and crystal beaded necklace. I also added a silver cuff bangle. Both were gifted to me so I’m not sure where they came from.

The black jumpsuit is from a store called Dynamite. It retails for $59.95 ( Canadian Currency) Purchase here

The black cropped blazer jacket was a Target find about 3 years ago when Target made its failed Canadian expansion 😦  On the bright side, I managed to pick that little gem up for… wait for it… $5.00 measly Canadian dollars ! 🙂 🙂

The shoes are my all time favourite shoes, black faux suede ballerina heels from Aldo years ago. These shoes are actually so comfortable. I wore them all night and even did a two step in them with no aching feet at the end of the night.

I threw on a Bauhau5 ( Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick) on my lips along with a plethora of other things on my face ( let me know if you want to know details ) and out the door I went!

I guess waiting till the last minute worked out for me this time!
Have an amazingly stylish week and remember…

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xoxo

Style Sunday: Black and White Striped Pants…

Style Sunday: Black and White Striped Pants…

Hey ya’ll

I am currently travelling so this is a quick post today of an outfit I wore awhile back to a concert where I was ministering in song. I needed something comfortable yet still stylish. Here’s what I came up with,,,

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I chose a pair of black and white striped palazzo pants ( wide legged pants) with an elasticized waist, pockets and a self tie belt. These pants are the most comfortable pants ever. They are made out of  rayon material, which make them so light and airy. Perfect for an unusually warm spring day.

I paired these pants with. a simple black cotton long sleeved bodysuit and some faux velvet loafers. I also threw on a floppy felt hat!

I kept my makeup extremely simple: Just foundation, eyeliner, highlighter  and lipstick.

Outfit Details: All pieces were purchased at Forever 21! 🙂
Makeup Details:  Foundations ( NARS in the shade “Benares”) Eyeliner ( Maybelline Unstoppable in “Onyx”) Highlighter ( Kylie Cosmetics in “Salted Caramel “)  Lipstick ( Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in “Bauhau5)

Have a wonderful stylish week and remember…

slay

XOXO

Style Sunday: Easter Weekend Outfits…

Style Sunday: Easter Weekend Outfits…

Hey y’all! Quick post today! Just wanted to share some of the outfits I wore this weekend. Any holiday is a reason to “dress up”  for me, so this is what I threw together for this Easter Weekend!

Outfit One : Good Friday Service: 

Anybody who knows me, knows I can be a little bit extra when it comes to my fashion. I definitely like to make a statement with my outfits. What better way to make a statement, than to throw a fascinator on! 🙂

I paired a knee length black pencil skirt from Forever 21 with a cream wide strap tank top. I found in my closet a red quilted semi bomber jacket that I purchased at a  store called Urban Behaviour many many  years ago. The fascinator was ordered when I was part of a bridal party for a bridal shower off of the Aliexpress website for something ridiculously cheap as $4.00 or something! I paired my old faithful black booties from Payless and off I went.

My makeup was kept simple. Foundation Nars “Benares”, Laura Mercier setting powder, Maybelline Unstoppable eyeliner in “Onyx” and Stila liquid lipstick in “Beso”.

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Outfit 2: Good Friday Dinner/ Easter Concert

I needed an outfit that was casual enough for family dinner, yet stylish enough for an event in the evening.  I chose my favourite pair of high waisted  distresed skinny jeans from the Old Navy Curvy Collection. I  paired these jeans with a mustard yellow bodysuit with a keyhole opening  at the front. I placed a white bralette underneath for modesty 🙂  I threw on some 2 inch nude pumps to dress it up a little, as well as a rose gold watch from Guess. My makeup was the same as above, with just a lipstick change. I wore the Kat Von D Everlasting lipstick in “Crucifix”

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Outfit Three: Easter Sunday Morning Church!

I wore a plum body con dress with cold shoulder detailing from Forever 21. I paired it with a long camel coloured vest purchased at a store called ” Sirens”. I added my rose gold Guess watch and flower earrings as accessories and beige lace up pumps from Aldo on my feet!

Makeup was basic. No change except my lip colour which was Stila’s  “Chianti” and a little Kylie Cosmetics “Chocolate Cherry” highlight on my cheeks. IMG_4519.JPG

What did you wearing on this beautiful Easter weekend? Let me know, and remember…

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xoxo

 

Style Sunday: The Olive Green Jacket….

Style Sunday: The Olive Green Jacket….

Hey guys!

I know I’ve been MIA for a while but I’ll be back to regularly scheduled blogging very soon! So here’s a super quick post to tide you over till then!

Forever 21 had a sale going on that was 50 percent off the lowest ticketed price! I was in sale heaven!  ( If you know me, you know I love a good sale! I swear bargain shopping is therapeutic for me!) It was during this time that I spotted a beautiful olive green jacket on the rack!

This jacket is a double breasted satin jacket, with gold button detailing . The jacket is very fitted and reaches me at about mid thigh.  It has a pocket on each side and gold button detailing on each arm.

What I love about this jacket is that you could dress it up ( like I did today) or even throw on a pair of distressed jeans and a white camisole and voila another outfit is made!

This jacket retails for $33.99 ( Canadian) and I was able to pick it up for $16.50!

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I paired this jacket with a black pencil skirt and a black body suit, both also purchased at Forever 21 ( seriously this place needs to sponsor me 🙂 )

 

Lastly I added a pair of olive green booties that I purchased  from Old Navy.  I had wanted to own these boots since Christmas , but I couldn’t bring myself to spend 50 dollars on them. I mean they are super cute, but definitely worth 50 dollars to me! So imagine my surprise, when I walked into Old Navy  a few weeks back and said shoes were on sale for $19.99! I wasted no time throwing these into my basket and away I went!

 

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I kept my makeup basic: Makeup Forever Velvet Mat Foundation , Naked 1 Palette , Maybelline Unstoppable eyeliner in onyx and Colourpop “LAX” on my lips! 

I threw my favourite velvet choker with a gold cross on and a gold watch and there you have it!

Have a beautiful Sunday and remember….

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Monday Motivation: The First Time I Realized I Was Black…

Monday Motivation: The First Time I Realized I Was Black…

Hey guys!

A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page a video from CNN.com with the hashtag, #realizediwasblack. This series CNN is loosely based on the works of WEB Du Bois literary book entitled, ” The Souls of Black Folk”. CNN asked celebrities of colour to recount their stories of the first time they realized they were black. I was captivated and this led me to think about my own “discovery” ( for lack of a better word). Here is my story:

As a young black girl, you know the struggle of “wash day”. Wash day was usually on Saturday  when your mom would wash, chiney bump ( aka bantu knot) blow dry, grease and either braid or style your hair for the week. Now as a young black girl, with thick natural hair, this could be a whole day process! Nevertheless, week after week this had to be done, and week after week I would go to school and see my kinky coils and compare them to the silky ringlets of many of my peers( I mean besides me and my cousin, there were no other black girls in our school at the time)  I wanted my hair to flow down my back like theirs did! I never took into consideration that my hair didn’t operate like that.

Now every so often, my mom would use the hot comb and press out my hair ( mostly to make it easier for her to manage and manipulate) and when she did that I felt like a superstar. My hair was “flat” and laying down my back like my friends.

My mom and dad worked the early shift. Which left me on my own to get ready and get myself off to school at a pretty young age ( don’t judge lol this was over 2 decades ago where it was socially acceptable  and much safer for kids to be home alone and  walk to school by themselves) Every morning, I would get up, get ready and meet my cousin at the corner and off to school we would walk together. I  must have been about 7 or 8 years old at the time.

One particular time,  my mom pressed my hair and had just left it in a simple ponytail without the usual frills and ribbons and clips. I saw this as my opportunity to “wear my hair down” . So when I got to school, I had my cousin take out my ponytail and brush out my hair and help me put on a headband.  I strutted like a peacock into that classroom and was met with stares….

Immediately I began to feel funny.. Why was everyone staring at me? and then it happened …One of my  peers looked at me and said, “Eww Sophia! Why does your hair look like that? It looks so weird!” I was confused! I was embarrassed. I ran out of the classroom and straight to the restroom. When I got there to my horror, my “beautiful” silky pressed hair had reverted back to its natural afro by way of humidity! I didn’t yet understand  that my hairs texture was not conditioned to stay in its silky state.  I had never noticed before the immense difference between my hair and the rest of the girls in my class, and the fact that my peers first reaction to my hair was “Eww” really hurt me!

I ran to my cousins class ( she was a few years older than me) and begged her to put my hair back in a ponytail. But we were kids whose moms still did our hair, so we had no idea what we were doing! Needless to say,I didn’t look like a child who’s parents even glanced at them before they walked out the door.

Finally, recess came. Outside we went…. and then something happened that really put the nail in the coffin of this awful day… and probably solidified my understanding that I was different.. and that people are going to judge me because of that.  We were playing races. I was naturally fast , so I easily beat this one boy. I ran and gave my friends high fives and then the boy that I beat turns to me and says, ” You’re so ugly and your hair is ugly. You like poo!” Go back to Africa!

I stared at him and burst into tears and ran into the bathroom and hid. I stayed there for the rest of recess and pondered what he had said. Was I really ugly? Was my hair ugly too? How could I go back to Africa, when I had never been there in the first place?

Naturally, I was glum for the rest of the day. I had completely forgotten about my hair until my mom came home and saw my head and said, “What happened to your hair???!” ( she was not pleased) So I had to tell her my whole days ordeal. She looked at me and said, “Well Sophie, remember you’re black. You’re not like them and every opportunity they get , they are going to remind you of that.” So off to the bathroom we went, where she re-washed and styled my hair and  I never did that again.

When I got older and got my hair relaxed, I enjoyed the easiness of “wash day” but relaxed hair was never really for me. That’s why in 2007 after being a bridesmaid in my god brothers wedding and having my hair gelled up and slicked for an updo, I washed all that gunk out of my hair.. grabbed a pair of scissors… and cut it all off! I called my girl and she hooked me up with some braids, and I never relaxed my hair again! Almost ten years no relaxer! Best decision ever. Now don’t get me wrong, when it comes to hair care I AM LAZY! I hate washing it .I hate taking care of it, so weave and wigs and braids are right up my alley. But don’t get it twisted ! I love my natural hair  that God blessed me with and I don’t think I would ever relax it again!

Now my mom always instilled in me that I was black and that I was to be black and proud! Never let any one of any race or culture make me feel like I was less than!  She always taught me that my black is beautiful and that I am perfect just the way God made me. I wish more young black girls had strong examples in their lives, that encourage them to love the skin they’re in and embrace their melanin! 🙂  Sadly, many young girls live a world where they have been taught ( or forced) to feel less than beautiful… less than powerful.. less than important… less than valuable!

I want every black young lady ( and gentlemen) to know that YOU ARE IMPORTANT!  YOU MATTER! BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE!!

Psalms 139:13-14 says: For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 

God makes no mistakes! You are you for a reason, for a purpose!

You’re fearfully and wonderfully made so be black and be proud!

I think the amazing James brown said it best 🙂  ( take a listen)

Have an amazing Monday!

xoxo

ps check out other stories like mine here:

Black Woman, Did You Know That You’re a Queen…

Black Woman, Did You Know That You’re a Queen…

Hey guys!

Happy Monday! This weekend I was sidelined by a nasty cold that just drained all the energy from me,  so please excuse the lack of activity this past week!( and probably this one too… sorry in advance)! However,  I did mange to get out to the movies to watch “Hidden Figures” and boy am I glad that I did! What an amazing film! I encourage all women ( especially women of colour) to run out and watch this film! So empowering! I also watched the Golden Globes and was honoured to watch great talent like Viola Davis and Tracee Ellis Ross receive accolades for their work in film and television this award season… all of which inspired me to write this piece. Enjoy!

(Side note: All women are queens and are to be honoured and revered. I am a woman of colour and so often we are overlooked and overshadowed! This is just a special reminder to them)

 

Black Woman, did you know that you’re a Queen?
From the kinky coils of your hair  and the melanin in your skin

Skin rich as cocoa or with a caramel hue
Yellow toned beauties and deep tones too

Black Woman did you know that you are strong?
Your strength overpowers all those who have done you wrong.

Like the person who told you, you’d never be enough
Or the ones who did everything to make life rough…

Black Woman did you know that you are smart?
Your  mind is truly an impeccable piece of art!

Your wisdom surpasses them all
You turn the largest problems into nothing at all!!

Black Woman be proud
Hold your head up high

For although they may limit you
Your destiny is reaches far beyond the sky…

Black woman you were born to persevere
Through every adversity every toil, every fear

However, some black women must have forgot
That they were born to wear a crown and not to be a thot

Or a passing thought , a fleeting memory of someone not worthy
Black woman let them marvel at your beauty !

See, a black woman gave birth to a black woman who gave birth to a black woman and that woman is me…

Determined to be everything God intended me to be
A perfect design made in His own image … Black Woman take ownership of your royalty!

Black Woman…. did you know that you’re a  Queen?

Rich
Regal
Royal….

YOU…ARE…A…QUEEN! and don’t ever let anyone tell you different!

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Thanks for taking the time to stop by the blog tonight! Pray my strength so I can get back to regular scheduled posting! Until next time! xoxo
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Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”

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(I figured this song was appropriate for tonight! 🙂

Disclaimer: The image used  in my featured image,  is an image found on Pinterest. I do not take ownership for the image.) 

Style Sunday: Girls Night Out…

Style Sunday: Girls Night Out…

Hey guys!

Quick post today! This weekend I had a weekend I had an opportunity to get together with some of my gal pals! We all met up in the downtown Toronto area, as it is the most central location for all of us.  We were going to be taking transit because it’s so much easier to navigate the downtown core on the subway or a street car than it is to try and find ( and pay for) parking! So I needed an outfit that was super cute and super comfortable!

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Here’s what I wore:

Black Tights: My absolute favourite tights from Garage Clothing. Very comfy and the shiny material makes them a little dressier than your average black tight.

Mustard Yellow Top: Purple is my favourite colour but yellow is my favourite colour to wear! I found a mustard yellow  top with black pinstripes on sale at Old Navy for like 8 dollars I think!  3 quarter length sleeves and and a scoop neck make this a super casual yet trendy top.

Pins: The top I wore was very simple so to jazz it up a bit I  added some  pin patches. Pin patches were the in thing in the early 90’s when I was a little kid ( 5-6 or so) and I remember having a sweet denim jacket with tons of patches on it. So imagine my elation to see that this trend has made its way back around! Lots of stores have them and they are actually adult appropriate! I purchased the ones I was wearing from Aldo Accessories. Super cute and easy remedy to spice up  a plain(ish) top.

Similar to these ones…

Necklace:  I had to throw on my favourite choker from Aldo Accessories. Black velvet with a tiny gold cross pendant.

Shoes:  I threw on my trusted little tiger striped booties from an Aldo Outlet store many years ago. They are so comfortable which was perfect for the walking we did!

 

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So that’s it folks! Have an amazingly stylish week and remember….

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