Fashion Musings…..Fall Updates and Additions!


Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 6.20.54 PM

I recently discovered that I work really close to a Saks Fifth Ave. warehouse that opens it’s company store to the public on a regular basis. I stop in from time to time to look for hidden jewels that won’t cost the equivalent of my rent to add to my Fall wardrobe.

I was on a mission that first time I went to the Saks company store. I needed an evening dress for a wedding and my closet was lacking in the fancy dress department. I left there with an ombre Halston silk dress for $10.

My second trip I hit the jackpot! I walk in the door and right in front of me stands a rack of leather pants. (cue the heavenly music and sunbursts) The first pair that looked like my size was a pair of Helmut Lang zip front leather leggings. The second pair are  ankle length skinnies with a cute zip on the side. Both were a bargain at $99 and $69 dollars a pair. They are both missing a button but a quick Amazon search solved that issue for $6.95.

Styling classic leather pants is a easy thanks to Pinterest. I have started a page called Rock Chic Glam that is full of looks that will make wearing my treasures fun to wear. Dress them up or down leather pants will always be hot!

How are you updating your wardrobe for Fall?

Advertisements

Lomo Musings…..Lomo On Point!

So I have returned from my travels to Mew Orleans and a Mexican cruise courtesy of my amazing parents. I am feeling triumphant because I packed all of my fun toys and returned with a baggie full of film all prepped and ready for drop off. I am anxious to see the images of Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

I am proud to say that I used all of cameras on this trip and I took six or seven for variety. I learned a few things about each one. The least expensive of the lot my Fuji Instax was the most fun and drew people like a magnet. The looks on my fellow travelers faces when they saw a photo pop out of of the top of the unit was worth every photo that I gifted to my new friends. So this camera is a must- have for every trip from now on. The settings are a no-brained and the pics come out soft and perfect.

So this camera is a must- have for every trip from now on. The settings are a no-brained and the pics come out soft and perfect. Buying film for this camera in bulk from Amazon was a lifesaver and saved me from spending unnecessary money. Per habit, I located a camera store in Canal St. in NOLA but realized that I didn’t need a thing but secretly I was hoping to stumble across a hidden gem.

Here a few instants I didn’t want to bombard you guys with selfies of my sisters so you get me and ocean shots.

So take your Lomo and see what you get!

Lomo Musings….Shooting with Lady Grey and Earl Grey!

th-2I have had to dig deep into my past to get a handle on film photography. I’d gotten accustomed to snapping photos with my iPhone that the basics got away from me. It’s the little things that trip me up…taking the lens cap off and reloading on the fly. It will be really interesting to see the prints when they come back. I am not discouraged it is all a part of the journey back to film. Lomography has made exploring the 35mm film format that much more accessible with the launch of their super -cheap cameras that produce dreamy, light-straked photos. This week I am exploring the world of black and white.

Lomography’s Lady Grey is a lovely black and white 35mm ISO 400 film that will add class and elegance to your photos. For capturing action and great low-light shots, Lady Grey is your best bet. Lomography’s Earl Grey is an exquisite black and white 35mm ISO 100 film that will surely give your shots an extra dose of style and class. Whether you’re taking landscapes or portraits, you will get jaw-dropping results with Earl Grey super-fine grain and wide tonal range.

Camera Musings…..My Lomo Obsession *sigh*…….

LomoThe summer season is winding down and my thoughts are turning to fall. It has taken me all summer to get my head out of grad school mode. It has been hard….re-focusing my after a commitment like graduate school was tough. So I channeled my energy into analogue photography and it has helped me find peace.

 

I started reading up on Lomography and my curiosity went into overdrive. Lomography is the style of pop photography based around the quirky cameras by the Austrian camera manufacturer known as Lomo.  There are several camera types that fall under the images-3lomography genre. Among some of the more popular, are the Diana and Holga. These cameras, and (all of them in the Lomo line) are usually poor technical cameras. They are inexpensive, plastic and often have light leaks, poor alignment of their lenses or other defects, which makes it a cool signature look. They are inexpensive and can be found on Amazon and Ebay for less than $100.

 

I carry one or two cameras everywhere I go and follow the Golden Rules of Lomography… “Don’t Think, Just Shoot” motto! After all, Lomography is all about having fun while taking good pictures, so memorize them by heart or break all the rules; either way, be ready to throw your photography inhibitions away!

 

Lomography-cameras

The Golden Rules of Lomography…who doesn’t love Golden Rules?!

Be prepared to shoot in the moment! Carry your camera everywhere and observe life as we live it. Find beauty in the simple things. Most of all have fun!

Break the rules and use it anytime you want. Research ISO’s and film combinations and shoot in low light. Inside or out, day or night. Do your research and most importantly….take a chance!

Lomography photography is not an influence on your life….it enhances it! Embrace your art! Your camera is hungry for thrills and spills, whatever the weather, whatever day of the week it is and whatever time it is. So keep shooting restlessly and relentlessly; give your memory a kick in the ass with your lovely, crazy, beautiful, artistic and silly Lomographs. Esse est percipi est Lomographi. Use your camera whenever you’re alive!

Shoot from the hip! Try different angles and see what pans out! Don’t look through the viewfinder; forget about safety margins and unnecessary shyness! And why should a photo always be taken whilst standing up and looking through the viewfinder? If we did that all the time, every photo would be from the same kind of perspective. How about holding your camera below the knees for your next shot? Or as high as you can hold it above your head? You’ll end up with all manner of crazy photos you never realized were possible…..it may take a few rolls of film, get them developed and see where you ‘eye’ takes you!

Don’t think….Shoot! Your best shots won’t be the ones you plot and plan! Shoot when people least expect it….capture the beauty of life! I discourage posing and stiff smiles…..I want to shoot the living, breathing beauty of the world we live in. Shoot blind without a care in the world.

Be Fast! Hold your breath, be brave, take a chance, move, shoot, have fun and act fast – that’s Lomography!

Be patient! You will not get the instant gratification that you are accustomed to with lomography photography. You shoot, switch film and go on. The results come after you have handed your precious film over to the lab for processing. Yes, you have to wait! But when you get the film back you can proclaim yourself an artist!

Don’t worry about any rules! You don’t have to know what you captured on film…be patient and trust your instincts. See the beauty in your creation lol….the good the bad and the ugly. Adjust your shots, learn your camera and practice!

 

Snip 2017-09-03 22.51.27

 

Next up…Shooting with the La Sardina in low light.

 

Rainy Day Musings…..Red Hunter Boots!

images-3The East Coast has been hit with a number of heavy rainstorms this year and last week I got caught in a big one. I was soaked from head to toe. Thankfully, I was on my way home for the day so that soggy feeling had a foreseeable ending. I knew it was time to bite the bullet and buy a pair of red Hunter boots! I have danced around this purchase for years. I have been looking for a deal on them because I already have a pair of black and a pair of fuchsia Hunter boots but my heart was set on the eye-popping red version. Every time I wanted to buy a pair my size was unavailable or I didn’t want to pay full price. Well, my lucky break came in an email from Groupon. They had my boots! The size and color and they were discounted. I knew it was time and when they arrived all I could do was gaze at them. They are beautiful!

I love shopping in my closet! It is so much fun to pull outfits together from what I have and come up with new ways to wear items that I have had for years. I find that I do not shop as much and buying key items keeps my wardrobe fresh and wearable all year round. I want these boots to make a statement all year round and I am already planning the cutest looks for them. I love denim dresses and now I have the perfect rainy day compliment for them. Those plaid blankets scarves from last 6e6a89d7c783424df5510b4fed46eb9aseason?!…. red Hunter boots pick up the color and make a casual outfit pop! Grab your favorite leggings and sweater or those white skinny jeans from the summer….pair them with red Hunters add a denim jacket and you are set! Light snow on the ground….red Hunters with the comfy liners will keep your feet toasty! There are so many ideas that Hunter boots pay for themselves in all of the compliments you will get from your friends. There are so many ways to wear these boots that you will never be disappointed.

Let your personality shine with that pop of color that can take an outfit from drab to fab! Keep it simple, classy and fun! You can’t go wrong with red Hunter boots.

Natural Hair Musings…..I’ve Been Damned!!!!!!

4_2048x2048My natural hair journey has been long but satisfying. I love trying new things but I stay away from any and everything lye-based. It has been 5+ years that started in Afghanistan. I spent a year working in Kabul, Afghanistan and the work was very meaningful but my hair suffered greatly. The water was hard and my lightened strands to a serious beating. So, I did what I always do and turned to the Internet and researched a solution. I came across and advert for The Damn Salon and instantly knew that I found my solution. I booked an appointment with the salon’s touring team that comes to Washington D.C every three months for a marathon hair session and found my happy place. The styles that I wore were wild and free and represented my personality perfectly. The styles that I wore were wild and free and represented my personality perfectly.

images

I met the salon’s creator, Mushiya Tshikuka and we bonded instantly over the natural hair movement. I gave my hair health to Mushiya and The Damn Salon for two years and was rewarded with hair that was free of chemicals and growing like a weed. …..And that was 5 years ago and our friendship is as strong as ever! I have never met a woman that cares as much about women’s emotional health and how it is tied to our confidence. She wants every woman to look and feel good.  Mushiya went on to become a featured cast member of ‘Cutting it in the ATL’, a reality show that followed the business practices and lives of a few elite Black hair salon owners in Atlanta, Ga.

Mushiya has given me looks that give me life! Here are a few of my favorites!

 

So that is the ‘Damn’ back story! LOL! Mushiya has unleashed my inner hair diva and I haven’t looked back. When I have been Damn’d my confidence is through the roof. I am a bit shy normally but I do not have confidence issues. But, I get an extra boost when I leave the loving, creative atmosphere that The Damn Salon brings to every city they visit. We talk, laugh and boost each other up. Mushiya is an accomplished chef and we eat well….I am guilty of bringing the wine on a few occasions. We share success stories, wishes and fears. I even learned a few Congolese dance moves that I am going to bust out one day when I want to dance like no one is watching….I was with these ladies when I received news that I was accepted to grad school with a scholarship so it was with joy that I returned with the news that I’d graduated with my Master’s degree in Emerging Media Studies from Loyola University Maryland. We laugh, we cry and we love!

10896975_10203749518327194_2340382043310069446_n (1)

 

Along with the love and sisterhood come the products….YASSSSSSSSS! I left with a shiny pink bag chock full of products that Mushiya has developed for natural hair and the people that love STUFF! b04677_ae699ec6b5188070e2edd4f28fa399d4When I came home from Afghanistan with damaged, bleached hair with balding spots that were down to the scalp in places I couldn’t see. It was these products that brought my hair back to its natural state. I massaged the shea butter-based hair butter into my thirsty scalp once a week and in a few short months my hair grew back in the balding spots. A few months after that I had a headful of healthy hair to deal with.

It has been a week since I got my hair done and I am still enamored with the Urban Twists that Mushiya chose for me along with the honey and platinum color that she knew would compliment my skin.

Damn! I am summer ready and off to my next adventure…stay tuned!

Camera Musings….Fuji Instax Mini!

OriginalPhoto-518069418.627040I have written many blogs on my love of photography and I am always on the hunt to add a new twist to my craft. So here it is I am done with grad school with a freshly minted Emerging Media Master’s from @LoyolaMaryland and a lot of time on my hands. I was gifted a powder blue Fuji Instax mini 8 camera and a load of film….so off I go to capture art and life as I see it.

The Fujifilm Instax mini 8 is a basic point and shoot camera that takes instant photos and develops them like an old school Polaroid camera. The analogue camera looks like a toy and and is guaranteed to have serious hipster appeal.

The Instax mini 8 looks like a big kids toy from its matte plastic finish, chunky lens and big buttons. It’s not exactly pocket-friendly, but it’s light enough to throw into a bag without trouble. The buttons and features are basic. Up front is a button to extend the collapsible lens and turn on the camera. Around the lens is the brightness adjustment dial you can twist to choose the different exposure levels. On the hand grip is the camera trigger with the viewfinder above and the always on flash just beside it. Around the back is where you’ll find compartments for film and the battery on the hand grip. Yes it takes batteries, two AA ones to be precise. This is an analogue camera in every way.

Bottom line….it is a lot of fun! The photos have vibrant color with a vintage feel. I can’t wait to take this camera on my weekend walkabout. The film is not cheap but this is my hobby and it is all about keeping me busy before I get bored enough to jump into a doctoral program. I was able to find black and white Instax film at my local Target and will update this post with pics of those pics tomorrow.

Be and individual! Don’t Follow the Crowd! Take it back to the days before technology ruled us. Most Importantly…..Have Fun!

 

 

Kinky Hair Musings…..Summer Hair Revamp!

Most women have to adjust their hair products when the seasons change. I am no different! When the temperature rises I want to feel free. I let go of all things heavy. My morning beauty routine gets shorter and products get lighter. Natural curls and minimal makeup become the norm. I tackled summer make up early on and @MilkMakeup images-2quickly became my go-to. Milk Makeup allows my natural skin to shine through and takes minutes to apply with your fingers. Tap tap tap and off you go in all of your natural glory! Next…the hair! I wear my natural kinky, curls in the summer and it takes as much work as my winter hair. After a much needed haircut I knew I was in for a hair adventure. I had to find summer hair products that would allow me to co-wash, define my thirsty curls, springy coils and stubbornly unidentifiable nape all before I run out the door for work.

The first leg of my journey to me on trip back to the products I used when I first went natural over four years ago. The combinations just weren’t right and I was stuck with heavy, clumpy hair full of white hair product. I tried all of my old go-to products and none of them gave me the look I wanted. So, off to the blogs I went, I had to figure out what products would and the amounts I needed to use. Kinky Curly is a great product and can make a comeback as my runner up product. 81osU7w-iGL._SX522_Light gels and the leave-in conditioner gave my hair slip and made the detangling process easy. Nice product but I needed a product that would elongate and the curls in the crown and front of my hair….(different textures…who knew!) I also wanted a fresh, clean scent……then the lightbulb went off in my product addled brain.! Miss Jessie’s!

 

My Amazon order arrived today and off I went to do a test run. I am very satisfied and hope my hair is as happy as I am! First, I applied Super Sweetback Treatment deep, daily conditioning treatment that made my hair softer almost instantly….so far so good. Next, I applied a quarter-sized dollop of the Baby Buttercreme moisturizing leave-in creme to seal in the moisture. Finally, I styled my hair with Curly Meringue curling custard 51bGwgaFJTL._AC_UL246_SR190,246_using the shingling method check out the Curly Nikki website if you need to know more about different styling techniques for natural hair. After a few minutes of gently raking my fingers through my strands I was done. The final step was to give my hair a few good shakes to make sure my curls were defined. I gave my hair a few minutes to settle and went back for a closer look. Meh, my nape and sides are not taking to any of the normal products and will only be tamed by Eco-styler gel so I applied it to my shorter nape and sides. Eco Styler gel works without fail and will hold my hair in place with no problems.

These products work for all types of curly hair so give your hair a summer makeover!

 

 

Summer Wine Festival Musings…

https-cdn.evbuc.comimages28682777230014489061original

Hey WEEKENDERS!!!! It is finally SUMMER…keep an eye on the weather but we have finally reached the unofficial start of summer and now the Memorial Day has passed it it time to jump right into you summer plans! Looking for something to do in the Maryland/ DC/Virginia area in mid-June I recommend a wine fest! I can’t say enough about my local wine fest. Food, Fun, and Music…all on the beautiful Baltimore waterfront. The 3rd Annual Baltimore Wine Fest is simply the best. Experience 160+ wines from around the world, gourmet eats provided by local eateries, live music, chef cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, craft beers & spirits, unique shopping and a family friendly atmosphere. Gather up your girlfriends, besties and bring the kids!

An event like this is a photographers dream! Everyone is happy, friendly and ready to pose for you. I take my Holga and a few rolls of film and let the light lead me. The festival fashions are phenomenal and the smiles are plentiful. The first year we had a few rain showers but it didn’t stop the party. I danced barefoot in the grass to fabulous reggae and zydeco-inspired music. It was my personal Coachella….the best part I walked home. So come out and say Hi! Tickets are available in the link above. Hope to se you there….share your photos.

Camera Musings….Me and My Holga!

images-3I am at heart a photographer! I love the feel of a camera in my hand and I carry one everywhere I go. I was trained as an Army videographer and was told that I am a good one. I chalk that up to great Army training, a steady hand and breath control are the result of my years in uniform behind a camera capturing things that go BOOM! I wouldn’t trade it for the world but my heart is in photography. I use my iPhone 6s Plus and my Hipstamatic app for spontaneous, in-the-moment shots and friend shots that end up on Facebook and Instagram. When I want to capture dreamy, artistic shots I pull out the Holga.

images-1After its launch in the early 1980s, Holga cameras became a popular option for people like me that want to shoot medium format 120 film on the cheap. The Holga was manufactured in in China and was marketed as the working-man’s camera that was expensive and available to everyone. Alas, camera production was shut down in late 2015, but the Holga is making a comeback! Lomography color negative film paired with the Holga produces photos that are lightly colored with light leaks and blurry edges that are artistic and full of life. My interest in Holga’s started a few years ago and I was able to purchase my Holga’s…yes I have a few and plan to get more…from Amazon and with it’s Prime delivery option I can have a new one in my hand in a day or two. I love the fun colors and the toy camera feel.

Photos don’t have to be perfect and if I can get one beautifully, imperfect photo out of a roll of film I am happy. Find beauty in the simple things! images-2The summer season and all its adventures and activities will guide you just follow your eye.

Happy Holga Days and I want to see some of your pics.