SEE Eyewear Lands in Williamsburg for Their Newest Retail Location

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SEE Eyewear in Williamsburg. 156 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11249

Being a wearer of spectacles since 1989, I like to call myself an eyewear aficionado at this point in life. I have been very intentional in choosing my glasses since I was a little girl, so having the opportunity to discover different brands through my blog over the years has always been a treat. For the past few years, I have been purchasing a new set of prescription glasses with a visually interesting frame. I love a style that is made of sturdy materials and unique; not seeing others in my frames actually makes me feel REALLY good.

When SEE Eyewear invited me to come into their latest Brooklyn location in Williamsburg (now open just a few weeks) for a custom fitting of eyeglasses or sunglasses, I was super excited as I had been hip to the brand for a few years, but never saw their product up close and personal. I came in for my appointment on a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon, with a rather simple commute as the shop is only one block away from the Bedford Ave L-train.

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Interior layout of SEE Eyewear in Williamsburg.

Upon entering the facade, I was warmly greeted by the store’s staff and PR team, given the rundown on the location, eyewear styles, materials, and where product is sourced from. My eyes gleamed when I was told all product is made in limited quantities, so the odds of someone else having my exact frames was quite low. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to eyewear, so I meticulously looked through all the styles that piqued my fancy, tried a few on, and made an informed decision to not get a pair that looks like any of my older frames.

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SEE 1549 in Gold/Tokyo

I decided on the pair above, SEE 1549 in Gold/Tokyo. I’ve wanted a pair of aviators for some time, but wasn’t ready to commit to the style as my sole pair of frames, so now was the right time as I have some variety in the spectacles. As soon as I tried them on, I knew they were the ONE! I got the pair fitted with my current prescription and anti-reflective lenses. I picked them up a few days ago and am really digging them!

19 Williamsburg Influencer 20 Off

You know I wouldn’t share this story if there wasn’t something in it for you, my readers, so here goes! Now until the end of May, SEE Eyewear is running a promotion at their Williamsburg location. Say the code word “BEDFORD” in-store to receive 20% off your prescription eyewear purchase. Happy shopping!

*Photos courtesy of SEE Eyewear

Lead An Active Lifestyle? CBD Living Has The Goods You Need To Relax & Relieve Your Muscle Aches

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Up Close & Personal

So you’ve committed to your fitness goal. You are staying active as much as possible, trying new activities along the way to keep your mind and body moving. But with all that movement, we encounter a few hiccups along the way in the form of soreness, tightness, and even minor injuries. Since fully committing to my own active lifestyle which consists of running, boxing, Samba dance, and yoga, I have had more than a few hiccups, which have usually led to breaks in my training schedule. I fully believe in and practice holistic remedies, so when I was contacted by CBD Living to review some of their products, I was all in.

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Drip Drop

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock, you may have noticed that CBD (cannabidiol) is all the rage now. Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD has a relaxing effect and contains no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the chemical which causes a psychoactive effect on your body (AKA what makes you high). I personally wanted to try products to help with my muscle aches as well as to help me sleep because I tend to be restless at night.

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Full line-up: Sleep Aid, Freeze, and Tincture

I requested the CBD Living Sleep Aid Grape Flavour, CBD Living Freeze, and CBD Living Tincture 500mg. Here is my experience with each product:

  • CBD Living Sleep Aid Grape Flavour: Very cool packaging. Flavor of the syrup is almost identical to any grape cough syrup you may have had in your life, so a very familiar taste. The sleep aid contains 120mg of CBD and 16mg of melatonin to prepare for a restful sleep. My first few nights in a row did prove to be a bit more restful, but I believe my body got used to it quickly, so nights after, I still had some issues with sleep. Perhaps a higher dosage of CBD & melatonin in the formula would be helpful for people like me? MSRP $26.
  • CBD Living Freeze:  A roll-on pain reliever with cooling properties containing 120mg full-spectrum Nano-CBD, along with menthol, aloe vera, arnica montana, and tea tree oil, among other ingredients. Reminiscent of other roll ons I have used whilst in physical therapy, I find that the relief does not last as long as I would like. So far I have used it for menstrual cramps directly on my lower abdomen, lower back, knee, and hip. MSRP $30.
  • CBD Living Tincture 500mg: A 500mg full-spectrum Nano-CBD tincture to be taken orally, formulated with organic MCT oil. The oil formulation of the tincture can be taken on its own via the 1ml dropper, or added to food or beverages. I have used it a few times in its own, and a handful of times in a beverage. The relaxing effect has been very slight on me, so I will consider upping my dosage. MSRP $60

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Casually Chilling On The Roof

My conclusion is that CBD on its own is not a cure-all. As I am incredibly active with a now increased appetite, I believe the oral products may not have been as effective on me because of my high metabolism. For the topical products, I believe using them alongside extensive stretching, foam rolling, and massage would be the method to fully reap the benefits of the products.

In addition to the products I tried, CBD Living’s range includes water, teas, lotions, bath bombs, and more. All in all, I definitely believe CBD is a natural alternative worth trying.

 

Photos by Victoria Morris

I received complimentary product from CBD Living for my review.

EVENT: Fight The Stigma, A Mental Health Awareness Class + Discussion @ Overthrow NYC 4/20!

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Mental health awareness is a topic that is very important to me, having struggled with anxiety and depression, and having many friends and family members who live with these conditions and more, each and every day. My cousin Ashley introduced me to NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness a few years back when she was fundraising for their annual 5K Walk and Run in NYC. When she mentioned her idea to me of holding a fundraiser for her NAMI Walk team this year at Overthrow New York, the boxing gym that I currently work at as Event Manager, I was all in. Together we bring you Fight The Stigma, A Mental Health Awareness Boxing Class + Discussion. We will begin with a high-intensity boxing class, followed up by a panel discussion fighting the stigma of what mental illness looks like, as well as highlighting the therapeutic uses of CBD for anxiety, depression, and muscle aches.

Panelists include:

  • Ashley Johnston- NAMI Advocate + Athlete
  • Ida Lomibao-Kashif – Former Bodybuilder + Raising Awareness for Postpartum Depression
  • Cynthia Scott- NAMI Volunteer
  • Steven Phan- Owner of Come Back Daily
  • Moderated by Andrea K. Castillo (me!)

All info is below. You may register here. Looking forward to fighting the stigma with you!

 

FIGHT THE STIGMA

Date + Time: Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 4:20 PM

Location: Overthrow New York | 9 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012

CBD demonstrations by Come Back Daily

CBD cocktails by Care Division

Refreshments by KeVita & KIND

Benefiting: NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, Now On View At The Brooklyn Museum

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Frida & Idol. Nickolas Muray.

Late last year when the Brooklyn Museum announced they would be curating a full exhibition on Frida Kahlo, I was overjoyed. Those that know me know how much I love the remarkable Mexican artist and iconoclast of a woman. Since my schedule was a bit off around the holiday season, I completely forgot to RSVP to the press preview (I know) but scheduled a time to visit with the help of the Press team at the museum. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving opened on February 8th at the Brooklyn Museum. I visited on a Tuesday afternoon in what I would call one of our NYC “slush storms”, but the weather did not deter me from seeing a full exhibit dedicated to one of my favorite women.

I arrived a bit early and sat in the lobby, staring fondly at the LED screen wall at the exhibit’s entrance that blinked “FRIDA KAHLO” in all caps in an energetic color pairing of coral and cobalt blue. I received a complimentary timed ticket (price $20) for the exhibition, which allows patrons an hour to walk through the entire collection of works. Untimed tickets are available as well for $35. The clock struck 12:15 PM and it was my time! I walked into the technicolor reception area where a flavorful soundscape of Latin tunes pumped, curated by Remezcla.

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Ricardo Ayulardo, Family of Matilde Calderón y González, 1890. Silver gelatin print, 8 x 10 in. (20.2 x 25.2 cm). Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Archives. Bank of Mexico, Fiduciary in the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museum Trust.

Upon entering the exhibition in the Robert E. Blum Gallery, I was amazed at how large and expansive it is, including intimate family photos & those of her with husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera, relics from indigenous tribes in which she decorated her home, her surrealist paintings, and her vast collection of elaborate garments, mostly inspired by the Tehuana women in Oaxaca state. I felt right at home with the myriad of colors and indigenous items on display, at times a bit emotional whilst reading through the life experiences of Frida; having contracted polio at age six resulting in one leg being shorter than the other, was a victim of a major car crash at age eighteen, resulting in wearing a body cast (photo of one below), and her passionate, yet tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera. It made me think, “how can a woman who has suffered so much, make herself up and create such beautiful works of art?” The thought is one that stuck with me on my tour.

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One of Frida’s adorned body casts

Just imagine suffering a terrible car crash which fractured your ribs, legs, collar bone, pelvis, and displaced some of your vertebrae, resulting in bed-rest and a body cast, and still finding the will and energy to paint said body cast, as well as other canvases from bed? Her works are a true testament to the human spirit.

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Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907–1954). The Love Embrace of the Universe, 1949. Oil on Masonite, 27 ½ x 23 ¾ in. (70 x 60.5 cm). The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation. © 2018 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The surrealist nature of her paintings draw you deeply into her world. Take the piece above, The Love Embrace of the Universe, where we see Frida embracing a naked Diego in a style similar to a Madonna and child painting from the Renaissance. They are embraced by what appears to be Mother Earth, whom is embraced by the cosmos, or the Universe. Her multi-layered style really makes you stop and think about her inspirations, and how her mind works, in general.

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A Myriad of Frida’s Dresses

Frida’s personal style of dress, adopted from the Tehuana women of Oaxaca state, was a deliberate homage to the culture of her mother, as well as a protest of Eurocentric/colonial ideals. It expressed her “radical politics and artistic sensibilities.” The many layers of her clothing, and long length of skirts enveloped Frida in gorgeous silhouettes, while hiding her physical ailments. This idea of “Appearances Can Be Deceiving” is also the title of one of her paintings in which we have almost x-ray view of what lies beneath her clothing, showing a detailed depiction of her limp, and medical corset to support her deteriorating spine.

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Frida Kahlo on White Bench. Nickolas Muray

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is on view at Brooklyn Museum until May 12th. Tickets may be purchased here. You can experience a Frida Kahlo-inspired First Saturday on April 6th at the museum. Tickets for the exhibition must be purchased in advance.

Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

Carnaval Kanaval Carnival!! A Diasporic Celebration & Party @ Cumbe, Sat. March 2nd

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I started off 2019 expressing my thoughts as an artist, and now, I am putting it all into action. In the month of January I was contacted by the wonderful team at Cumbe: Center for African And Diaspora Dance to take a class and learn more about their organization. As of now, I have been taking Samba class on Tuesday evenings with Danielle Lima, and am very excited to announce that I will be performing!

On March 2nd, Cumbe will be holding Carnaval Kanaval Carnival!! A Diasporic Celebration & Party. The format is an informal dance party with pop-up performances by Careitha Davis, Danielle Lima, Azriel Wallace, Cumbe students (me!), and DJ THECAINMARKO. Food and drinks will be available.

Tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door. You may purchase here: http://bit.ly/CarnivalMar2. Come out and get your carnival fix in Brooklyn!

Thoughts of An Artist

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Relaxing by the Caribbean Sea, at Goff’s Caye

At the time this is published, this post has been in my drafts for several months. I have a lot to say, so here goes.

The experience of being a multi-disciplinary writer, and overall human being, is the daily struggle of my existence. The simple way of explaining who I am is that of an artist, but it is a title I often do not feel comfortable with. I see every aspect of my life through an artistic lens, from expertly matching a textile to the paint color on my bedroom walls, to aligning the elements of a homemade meal perfectly on a plate, to creating the playlist that properly sets a mood for the occasion, to listening intently to others before I speak as I want to make sure the words I utter are pleasing to the ear, and impactful. I know no other way, so why is it so hard to call myself an “artist?”

I write this with a fire in my chest, for many reasons. I often think to myself what my legacy will be, and at the ripe age of thirty-two years old, I really don’t know what that would be. I often beat myself up for being so unfocused, but am I really unfocused? Or is it just that I am very passionate about many things, and quite good at them, so it does avert my attention on the regular? It becomes very hard for me, because I can never give anyone a clear answer when I am asked “what do you do?”, the question that is so quickly asked in cities like NYC and LA before you are asked your name, or how you are doing. In my adult life, I have called myself the following, as I have actively done all of these jobs:

  • fashion designer
  • sales professional
  • music & culture journalist
  • prep cook
  • rum beverage crafter and bottler
  • live events professional
  • freelance bio & copywriter
  • natural skincare & candle crafter and producer
  • on-camera personality
  • events producer

My resilience is seen as a strength, but I am resilient because I know no other way. I am used to making something out of nothing. I am used to creating something beautiful when I am in a dark place. I am used to gathering all my resources to create an incredible experience for others. So why do I continue to take a back seat to myself? Why do I continue to question my abilities when I am SO GOOD AT SO MANY THINGS? Self-doubt is a helluva drug, and I do admit it is hard to ween oneself off of. It is as easy to not do something as it is to do something. The issue with not doing it is having the looming thought of “what if” following you wherever you go.

Not writing is probably at the top of my “not-doing” list. Having been a freelance writer for so many years, brainstorming and pitching and submitting to various outlets, I began to feel that my words were not my own. When you submit a piece to any publication, you go through an editor, and depending on who that person may be, there are a few outcomes that may occur. You may have the opportunity to work with an editor who really sees you and hears your voice for what it is worth, and maintains that voice in the finished, published product. You may also work with the editor who really doesn’t edit, and that finished, published product may have errors you did not notice upon submission. Finally, you may have the unfortunate circumstance of working with the editor who not hear your voice, and edits your work to uphold their voice. I have worked with all three types of editors over the years, and in doing so have had triumphs and disappointments alike.

It is easy to not just write, but when your vocation is one of an artist, particularly a storyteller, the writing must continue. As I kick off my 2019, I am constantly reminded of how important it is to learn, question, and research the stories of others that I so feverishly want to tell, knowing that such passion is the impetus for truly sharing my own story with the world.

Welcome to my world.

#SoulofaNationBKM is Now Open at the Brooklyn Museum! A Glimpse Into Some of My Favorite Works

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Carolyn Lawrence (American, born 1940). Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free, 1972. Acrylic on canvas, 48 1/2 x 50 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (123 x 128 x 13.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Carolyn Mims Lawrence. (Photo: Michael Tropea)

Soul of A Nation: Art In The Age Of Black Power is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. Organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with Brooklyn Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Brooklyn Museum is the only east coast venue for the exhibition. Featuring over 150 works by more than 60 artists, the exhibition gives an encompassing view of the artistic response to the Black Power movement across the United States, displayed in groupings of Black artist collectives in various regions across the States. I have been patiently waiting for this exhibition to arrive at the museum, as the focus is one that is very important to me, specifically the dynamic of Black artists creating works in some of the most challenging times in our society.

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Lorraine O’Grady (American, born 1934). Art Is (Girlfriends Times Two), 1983/2009. Chromogenic print, 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York, NY. 2017 Lorraine O’Grady / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I had the opportunity to attend the press preview of Soul of A Nation and was elated to see familiar faces in some of my peers. The exhibition begins on the fifth floor and continues down on the fourth floor, with works ranging from photography, sculpture, large scale paintings, textiles, mixed media, audiovisual presentations, writings, and archives from The Black Panther newspaper. I was able to walk through the entire exhibit almost solo at times (which is a big deal for me) to take in every piece of art and the stories behind it. There were many favorites, but as I do not want to spoil it for you, I have compiled a short list of a few of my favorite works in the exhibition.

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Elizabeth Catlett (American, 1915-2012). Black Unity, 1968. Mahogany wood, 22 1/2 x 20 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (57.2 x 51.4 x 31.8 cm). Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Catlett Mora Family Trust. Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY

Born in Washington, D.C. to parents who were the children of freed slaves, Elizabeth Catlett’s Black Unity, sculpted from mahogany, depicts two conjoined Black faces on the front, and a fist on the back, a central Black Power symbol.

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Faith Ringgold (American, born 1930). United States of Attica, 1972. Offset lithograph on paper, 21 3/4 x 27 1/2 in. (55.2 x 69.9 cm). 2018 Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York. 2018 Faith Ringgold, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Born in Harlem, Faith Ringgold is a legendary multi-disciplinarian whose art ranges mediums from paintings, to quilts, to sculpture, to children’s books. An educator first, there are many teachable moments in her works. United States of Attica is a poster made in tribute to the men who died in the prisoners rebellion at Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York, in which the men fought for better living conditions and political rights. Ringgold will be live at the Brooklyn Museum for Brooklyn Talks on September 27th discussing her artistic career. Tickets available here.

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Roy DeCarava (American, 1919-2009). Couple Walking, 1979. Gelatin silver print on paper, 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm). Courtesy of Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives. 2017 Estate of Roy DeCarava. All Rights Reserved

Roy DeCarava is another Harlem-born artist, whose specialty was black & white fine photography depicting African American life. His early focus was that of jazz musicians, including the likes of Mahalia Jackson and Miles Davis. He was the first African-American photographer to win the Guggenheim Fellowship, and with this win, he was able to photograph his community, as seen in the above photo, Couple Walking. Sherry Turner DeCarava, publisher and art historian will be live at the Brooklyn Museum on November 8th for Brooklyn Talks. She will be discussing and celebrating the new edition of the 1955 best-selling book The Sweet Flypaper of Life, which features words from Langston Hughes, and photos from her late husband, Roy DeCarava. Tickets are available here.

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Wadsworth A. Jarrell (American, born 1929). Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971. Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 64 x 51 in. (162.6 x 129.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of R.M. Atwater, Anna Wolfrom Dove, Alice Fiebiger, Joseph Fiebiger, Belle Campbell Harris, and Emma L. Hyde, by exchange, Designated Purchase Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, and Carll H. de Silver Fund, 2012.80.18. Wadsworth A. Jarrell. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Born in Albany, GA, Wadsworth A. Jarrell was an instrumental figure in the Black art movement in Chicago. He co-founded AFRICOBRA: African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists in 1969. The collective would become internationally known for their politically-themed art in very vibrant colors. Revolutionary (Angela Davis) is a perfect example of this style, featuring an abstract, color-drenched depiction of Angela Davis composed almost entirely of words and sayings that are powerful to the Black community.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is on view at the Brooklyn Museum September 14, 2018–February 3, 2019 in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 4th and 5th Floors.

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052

Hours

MONDAY Closed
TUESDAY Closed
WEDNESDAY 11 am–6 pm
THURSDAY 11 am–10 pm
FRIDAY 11 am–6 pm
SATURDAY 11 am–6 pm
SUNDAY 11 am–6 pm

Tone Up That Body for FREE at The Sweat Sessions in The Meatpacking District

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It is the most wonderful time of the year in NYC. We are in mid-May, meaning without warning we can experience anything from torrential downpours to sweltering heat at the drop of a dime. For natives like myself, May signifies the beginning of pre-summer ’18, and you know what that means? Tons of opportunities to explore the city on the cheap, and get that body in check with so many different fitness classes that are FREE 99.

One of my favorites, The Sweat Sessions, held every summer in the Meatpacking District at 14th Street Park, is back with their Summer 2018 line-up, and of course, they are bringing heat (pun intended) with their class offerings. The sessions kick off on Tuesday, May 22nd, and are held every Tuesday evening, with the exception of holidays, with 45 minute classes held at 6PM, 7PM, and 8PM. Check out the lineup below for the first two weeks, and be sure to RSVP ASAP!

 

Introducing #TheFeelGoodProject Talks, Featuring DJs Olivia Dope, Tiff McFierce & Twelve45, 4/18/18 at Canal Street Market

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On April 18, 2018, A Life In The Day of Andrea will celebrate its 7th birthday. Over the past seven years, I have used my platform to share, converse, highlight, and connect with some of my favorite brands, people, locales, and experiences. As a blog, my focus has been the written word and photographs, but I have always yearned to make the experience one that can be lived out in real life. With that being said, I am launching #TheFeelGoodProject as a means to bring my online experience offline.

I love having conversations with people, and have done this on the blog via my #MANday & #WOMANday features over the years. #TheFeelGoodProject will be a series of live offline conversations and self-care sessions. For my first edition of #TheFeelGoodProject , Talks, I will be producing a conversation entitled “Last Night The DJ Saved My Life”. Alongside DJs Olivia Dope, Tiff McFierce, and Twelve45, we will discuss why we love music so much (this blog started off as more of a music site), and how important it is to create community on the dance floor. Details below.

A Life In The Day of Andrea Presents:

#TheFeelGoodProject Talks

“Last Night The DJ Saved My Life”,

A Conversation Celebrating the Women Behind The 1s & 2s

Olivia Dope | Tiff Mc Fierce | Twelve45

Wed. April 18, 2018 | 6-8 PM

Canal Street Market | 265 Canal St, NYC

RSVP HERE!

Refreshments provided by KIND Snacks & Harmless Harvest

Can’t wait to see your beautiful faces there! 🙂

EVENT: Wukkout!® x Athleta Friends & Family Class & Shop Party With Cas Rum Beverages Fri. 3/9/18

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Your girl has been a little quiet on the blog front, but it is all for good reason. If you have been following my adventures on Instagram, you would have seen that I have been traveling a lot more, maintaining my fitness, and pouring up dranks. For the past few years, I have been testing out Cas Rum Beverages, a line of bottled rum cocktails with Belizean flair. My goal in creating these beverages has been to share it with the community, and in doing so, share my Belizean heritage with each glass.

For the past month, I started taking the Wukkout community class at the Athleta flagship store on 5th Ave. Founded by Krista Martins, a dancer and choreographer of Guyanese descent, Wukkout is a Caribbean dance fitness class led by soca tunes to have you feel like you are “pon di road” (aka marching on the road for Carnival). I really love the energy of class and immediately thought it would be great to collaborate on an event with Krista, and HERE WE ARE!

To kick off Women’s History Month, Wukkout is holding a special class and shopping party, with ya girl providing delicious rum punch to chill out after class, and encourage purchasing of lovely fitness apparel from Athleta. You may RSVP here. Class spots may already be gone, but you can definitely slide through for the shopping party and fashion show!

Wukkout!® x Athleta Friends & Family Class & Shop Party

Fri, March 9, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

And if all that wasn’t enough, and you can’t make it, all friends of Wukkout receive 25% off their purchase at Athleta.

Wukkout!

See you there!

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados: Jammin On A Catamaran Atop Crystal Blue Waters

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Sail

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados. In my last post, we explored the natural wonder of Barbados’ Harrison’s Cave, and in this final edition, we are back on the water having some good old fashioned island fun. I am always up for hopping on a boat and taking a little trip on the waters, so when Lauren mentioned that there was a catamaran day trip, I was on it. In a similar fashion as Harrison’s Cave, we signed up for the Jammin Catamaran Cruise via our hotel activities desk, and placed our deposit. We chose the Sun Blast Cruise, with a length of 5 1/2 hours starting at 9AM, serving breakfast, lunch, unlimited rum punch, and proper Caribbean tunes.

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Close-Up

On the morning of our trip, a van greeted us at our hotel and picked up other guests along the way until we reached the dock of the catamaran. Once out of our shuttle, we paid the remainder of our package in the company’s office on the dock, and were then set to board our home for the next 5 1/2 hours, the 63 ft Jammin catamaran. The girls and I immediately found our spot on top of the net, and placed our things down for maximum sun exposure. We applied our sunscreen and proceeded to have a light breakfast of a muffin and some juice.

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Hills are Alive

I love the sea and ocean immensely, so to be sitting on top of the catamaran with the deep blue water in perfect view was icing on the cake. We made a few stops along the way. Our first stop was snorkeling with the turtles. Unfortunately on our day, the turtles were not out in plain view, but we were guided to sites of shipwrecks in the area which was awesome to see. I kicked myself as I did not bring my GoPro to capture the underwater moments, but seeing with my bare eyes was probably more special.

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#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados: Exploring Harrison’s Cave

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Coconut tree at the grounds of Harrison’s Cave

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados. In my last post, I introduced you to the beautiful Rockley Beach, and shared some lovely photos romping around the seashore. I love the beach immensely, but aside from R & R, what is a vacation without a little adventure? Travel without adventure is something that I do not do. It is so exhilarating to experience natural wonders in various locales, even if it involves getting a little dirty or wet in the process.

On day three of our trip, we ventured to Harrison’s Cave.  Named after Thomas Harrison who was a prominent landowner in the area in the early 1700s, the cave is a limestone underground live formation in St. Thomas Parish in the heart of Barbados. I am fascinated by the natural design and history of caves, so I was really excited to partake.

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Spiky ting

We had booked our outing in advance via our hotel front desk, and were all set to go with a tour guide on that bright Saturday morning. We met our van out front of our hotel at minutes after 8 AM, joined by a few other tourists, mainly families. We took an approximately 30-minute drive out to the site of Harrison’s Cave, all whilst getting a little local history of the nation of Barbados from our driver and tour guide.

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#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados: My Beach Is Better. Rockley Beach Is Better.

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A gorgeous view of Rockley Beach

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados. In my first chapter, I gave you the lowdown on my travel experience, and first day on the island. Story time continues. So it’s day two and I woke up hungover and a bit ruffled. I get myself together and head down with Lauren and LeAndra to breakfast. I sit at the table slightly mute because I feel horrible. The breakfast options were only of the American sort (eggs, bacon, hash browns), most options a little too greasy for my liking. I decide to have ginger tea and ginger ale as it is a cure-all, and it definitely worked. I stormed out the restaurant to the nearest restroom to throw up. I felt super weak, so I decided to go back to the room, hydrate, nap, and get better.

After a little bit of time, Lauren and LeAndra came back to find me hiding under the covers because I didn’t know how to adjust the AC (I laugh at this now because I realized the remote was right next to me the whole time). They said they wanted to go to the beach, to which I obliged. I felt a little better, and if I know anything about myself, I knew the sun, sand, and sea would make me feel better. I drank more water, changed into a new cheeky bathing suit for maximum tanning exposure, lathered on my sunscreen, and got my things together to head to the beach.

cheekyrockley

Stepping out

Accra Beach Hotel is situated right on Rockley Beach in the Christ Church district of Barbados, so we literally had to walk a few steps to experience paradise. Let me tell you this, Rockley Beach was one of the most beautiful, clean sand, and clear water beaches I have ever experienced in my life. The beach is on the south coast of the island on the Caribbean Sea, offering calm turquoise waters. I was like a kid in a candy store, letting the sand sink between my toes, rushing in and out of the water. The current did get a bit strong at points, but nothing to worry about. There was hardly any rocks or seaweed, so it was easy to play around in the water barefoot without the worry of stubbing or scratching a toe.

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Tying the hair up

Whilst playing around in the water, we saw swimmers of all ages around, and a few folks on boogie boards and surf boards. The waves were a good size for the surfers as not far from Rockley, the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea merge. Because of this, I can say that my bathing suit shifted a bunch of times, but I was in the water, so no flashing!

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#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados: Shout Out to CARICOM & Rum Punch!

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The view of Rockley Beach from Accra. Photo: Accra Beach Hotel

Travel for me serves so many purposes. For one, it is to get away, to break the monotony that can be everyday life in NYC. On the other hand, it can be a search for what is the same, for what feels familiar, and like home. In the beginning of December, I went on a tropical escape to Barbados with my cousin Lauren for her 30th birthday along with her lifelong friend LeAndra. I was extremely excited to go Barbados, as I had never been, and it was my first Caribbean (CARICOM) nation outside of Belize that I visited. I usually do a lot of research for new travel destinations, but I knew Lauren had it handled as she consulted co-workers and friends of Barbadian/Bajan descent. It was different for me, and a bit of travel anxiety lifted from my plate as I did not have to plan our trip day-to-day.

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A cool view of Lagoon Bar. Photo: Accra Beach Hotel

We had a non-stop Jet Blue flight from JFK to Bridgetown, the capital of the country, and arrived in the early afternoon. Barbados is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST), so we were an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). Upon landing and walking down the stairs to the ground with the sun beaming on my face, I immediately felt at home. The airport was small and reminiscent of Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City, and I was so excited to flash my Belize passport on arrival. Belize and Barbados are members of CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, and with a CARICOM passport, travelers are able to wait on a shorter line and stay for longer periods of time in Caribbean nations sans visa.

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LeAndra & I being proper millennials, Instagramming our food

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Lookbook: Just Kicking It With Wear It To Heart Holiday ’17, Captured By Kermit Mercado

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Oh, hello there!

For those of you that have been following my musings on this here blog, you know that I am big into fitness. Even when I am not breaking a sweat, I gravitate to active options, whether they be a fly pair of running sneakers, cool leggings, or a cozy hoodie, as I truly value the intersection of comfort and function. When the wonderful team at Wear It To Heart reached out to ask if I would be interested in collaborating to showcase some goodies from their Holiday ’17 collection, I immediately said yes. I have featured the brand on my site in the past, and own a few pairs of their leggings already, so I felt it was the perfect fit.

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Will I get taller if I continue stretching this way?

I was given a few options of looks to pick from, all including a sports bra and leggings, and like the TRUE Yorker that I am, gravitated to the mostly black option from the Foxy collection.  I chose the  Foxy Crewneck Bra and Foxy Boundless Leggings. Once I received the products, I was so happy with the hand-feel, super soft to the touch with a dense denier, so no see-thru leggings over here! I tried on the full ‘fit and immediately fell in love; it felt like a second skin. Wear It To Heart’s garments use a 4-way stretch, so they move the way you move.

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Welcome to the gun show!

I brainstormed a million photoshoot ideas. Would this be a purely product-focused activewear shoot? Would I show the versatility of the look and how it can transition from the gym to the streets? Would I be wearing cool kicks or barefoot? I went back and forth for weeks, admittedly, and decided to call up one of my buddies and fave photographer collaborators, Kermit Mercado. We decided we would just keep it simple, and this is what we created.

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Details on the Foxy Crewneck Sports Bra

The details on the sports bra were too good; a thoughtfully created narrow racerback to allow maximum movement with sheer laser cut elements. There are removable cups in the shelf bra to give shape and maintain modesty.

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Bedazzled legs & fancy feet

The pattern of the collection is reminiscent of fox fur, given the name. I enjoy the textural element it adds. With a sprinkle of black rhinestones below the knee on both the front and back of the left leg, you get a touch of pizazz that can likely lead your super comfy leggings from day to night.

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Kung Fu Dre

It is important for activewear to perform when you are active, yes? I tested this out by jumping, kicking, stretching, and just moving my body in all directions. While in action, the crew neck bra and Boundless leggings moved where I moved. I enjoyed the higher waist on the leggings. Being a woman with a near 15 inch waist to hip ratio, lower rise leggings are problematic as they slide down south and can be quite uncomfortable. Since this sat at my natural waist, I had no issues of peeking when I bent over.

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Are you excited to see me?

We played around a lot on camera, and while we did get so many amazing shots, the silly ones are some of my favorites. I call this look the “I haven’t seen you in ten years and you brought me my favorite dish.”

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That’s All Folks!

Are you digging the look? Head over to Wear It To Heart to get the lowdown on my look, and scope out the entire Holiday ’17 collection.

Purchase here:

Foxy Crewneck Bra

Foxy Boundless Leggings

 

Hair & Makeup by Andrea K. Castillo

All photos by Kermit Mercado

 

*I received complimentary apparel for this post