Incorporating family heirlooms into your look

“I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams”


Influence

If you follow me on social media, you may know that my grandmother passed away back in December of 2018 a couple of days before Christmas. Naturally, I was heartbroken. So much of the woman I am today is due to the immense influence she had on my life. She was a nurse and I became a nurse. She was the original world traveler and taught me the value of collecting passport stamps. As a toddler, she taught me the value of education, which inspired me to excel academically throughout grade school and enter a Top 20 University for college. Last but not least, my grandmother was the original fierce, fabulous fashionista! She was unapologetically “ON” at all times. Yes, she was the type to rock pearls and furs to the grocery store. LOL Furs were her best friend and she prided herself on her collection of fur coats, hats, and stoles. Needless to say, I’ve got it honestly. I get all of my bad and bougie traits from her. Grandma Ruby taught me well! 🙂

Keeping the legacy alive

The day before she passed away I decided to do a photoshoot with a vintage Saks 5thAvenue fur stole she passed down to me in 2015. I kept this prized heirloom tucked away safely in my closet for special occasions only. However, this day I decided to incorporate the heirloom and create a fabulous look with it—one that would honor her legacy and show her influence on my life and style.

An unforgettable moment

Shooting this look, I literally embodied her essence. It was surreal! As I stroked the fur of the stole, I felt her presence right there with me. It was as if she was reassuring me that she would always be there. I always knew she was proud of me, but I genuinely felt it in that moment. It was a moment that I would never forget.

Making her proud

Grandma Ruby tried to keep up with my blog as much as she could, but unfortunately she never got a chance to see the photos from this shoot.  She passed away the very next morning. Her legacy most definitely lives on in and through me! You are looking at “Lil’ Ruby” (as she would call me sometimes). I am proud to honor the original Mrs. Cockrell. 

In Loving Memory of my grandmother Ruby C. Cockrell
(my favorite photo of her circa late 1980s)

Other ways to incorporate heirlooms into your look

Her heirloom means even more to me than ever before. If you have something that belonged to your loved one, don’t just sit it in your closet, incorporate it into your daily look! I also have a scarf from my great-grandmother that passed away that I use as a neck-tie. If you have a broach or pin from a loved one, you can pin on your blazer or on a beret. Every time you see that piece it will remind you of their love and support and wearing these heirlooms helps you to create a style all your own.

Style details

Not only is this look in honor of my grandmother’s legacy, but its the perfect look for a fancy night out on the town. Valentine’s Day is approaching and you don’t have to break the bank to look like a million bucks. Trust me! I found this top at a local Houston thrift store for less than $10 (amazing, right?!), the skirt was $10.50 from American Apparel, and the YSL pumps were less than $300 from a second-hand store (another great deal!). Remember, it’s not how much you spend that makes your look. It is how you put it together!

How do you plan to incorporate your family heirlooms in your next look? Or rather, what is another way you can honor the legacy of your loved ones? Comment below so I can hear from you!

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“I can buy designer, but this Fashion Nova fit!”

“Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it.” -Nicky Hilton

I love luxury brands and designer clothes, but I’m also a fan of mixing high and low! I call it balling on a budget. LOL. I can literally shop at any store in search of good deals on clothing that I can restyle and wear over and over again. When you’re on a living spree, you want to look stylish while still saving those coins! Plus, I’m a firm believer in adding value to my clothes and not allowing the clothes to add value to me. By no surprise, Fashion Nova is one of my go-to stores for online shopping deals when I want to create a luxe look for less. I love the saying, “Mix high and low, they’ll never know.” 🙂

She won

One of my favorite items I purchased from Fashion Nova is the “Wild World Chevron Jumpsuit.” I scored it for a mere $26 using a 30% off discount code! I first saw it on celebrity Adrienne Bailon, who styled it beautifully. I knew the vibrant jumpsuit would be perfect for vacation-wear, but the long sleeves and pants also made it feasible as a transition piece when the seasons changed.

Jumpsuit: Fashion Nova | Similar: here , here and here

This jumpsuit is a current fave in my closet and here’s why:

The color

I love color, especially pops of color. As mentioned in one of my first blogs here, popping a color is one of my favorite ways to make a fashion statement. Don’t shy away from rocking vibrant colors year round! Once the seasons change, you can add a black leather jacket or navy blazer over the shoulders.

The Print

Prints, shapes and patterns are definitely “my thing.” I love energetic, tribal patterns. The retro chevron print is actually one of my favorite style patterns, but this was the first chevron print I wore that also had all of the colors I loved in one!

The Fit

Let’s just say this piece fit me like a glove!  It accentuated the waistline and was super stretchy and comfortable, which is important for someone like me who’s stylishly on-the-go.

Dress to Impress

You could wear this jumpsuit anywhere! I wore it on date as well as a night out on the town. You can also wear to brunch, events, parties, etc. and make a fashion statement. As mentioned previously, you can add a leather jacket over the shoulder to add extra edge or even a hat for transition into the fall season!

High-low Mix Tips

When shopping at trendy stores like Fashion Nova, try to visualize how you can enhance the quality and look of the outfit. Remember, you make the clothes…the clothes don’t make you! Dress it up with cute accessories and a nice handbag. I decided to keep it simple and wear these gorgeous gold earrings from ZARA, added my Prada sunglasses and the infamous bamboo handbag.

Earrings: ZARA (sold out) | Similar: here, here, and here

Stay woke

Don’t sleep on Fashion Nova! They do have some cute items in their shop, but don’t expect the “best quality” in the world. You can’t go wrong with them for trendy clothing or last minute “cute” outfits.  I guarantee before this year is over you will at least take them up on one of the many sales they have! Who can turn down a 30% off discount? It’s worth a try!

Jumpsuit: Fashion Nova

Earrings: ZARA

Sunglasses: Prada

Shoes: Steve Madden 

Bamboo handbag: Amazon

Makeup: Tonia O. Artistry 

Photographer: JP Hanney

Don’t forget to join me on my living spree! Subscribe to the blog and follow me on Instagram and Facebook for all things fashion, travel and inspiration to live your best life! I would love to chat with you there and hear some of your feedback. Leave a comment below if you’ve ever shopped at Fashion Nova and created a luxe look for less! I want to  your experience!

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How I Conquered New York Fashion Week in 2 Days

“I’m living my best life…”

Indulging Life

My latest living spree was my very first New York Fashion Week experience. I was only in NYC for a weekend getaway so naturally, I crammed a ton of things into 2 days! But, that’s what a living spree is all about—indulging life no matter what. For over 6 years, participating in NYFW was a bucket list dream of mine.  However, I always came up with an excuse not to attend—I’m not qualified to be there; I have to work; I am not prepared, etc. This year, I refused to get in my own way again and I finally took that leap of faith! This blog will cover some specifics of the fashion, but I would like to focus more on the experience I had in hopes of inspiring you to take a leap and do something you’ve always wanted to do as well. You never know the outcome unless you try!

Top: SHIFT StyleHouse | Skirt: Marshall’s (old $7) | Booties: Steve Madden “Wagner” | Handbag: Kisa Kisa

Fueling My Creativity

NYC is pure magic and is always a source of inspiration and entertainment for me. Although I’m from the South, I’ve always loved the hustle and bustle of the city. Maybe it’s the tall skyscrapers and city scape that make me feel fearless or maybe it’s the creativity that I see simply by people watching. Whatever it is, it’s like a breath of fresh air. I wanted to enjoy the city and some of the entertainment and sights on the first day in order to maximize my time and also my experience. I dedicated day 1 of my living spree to exploring the city.

Rose Mansion was the first stop on the agenda for Saturday. Rose Mansion is a traveling museum dedicated to the history and making of rosé. It’s also every blogger’s dream because it’s filled with tons of boomerang and photo ops—a “content” castle if you will! While walking through the rooms of the museum, we sampled 10 different rosé from all over the world while learning the history of this classic beverage. Although Rose Mansion had nothing to do with fashion week, it was an awesome way to get my “creative juices flowing” (pun intended lol)!

(Enjoying Rose Mansion with Friends Shyla and Danielle!)

(Final sample of the day: Sway Rose’ from Texas)

Next stop was Dumbo Brooklyn to experience the infamous Washington Street—everyone’s favorite street for a photo op. This location is popular because of its corridor-like view of the Manhattan Bridge. As you walk closer to the bridge to the end of the street, there is a spectacular view of the East River. I’m always searching for a breathtaking view when I travel and this spot definitely lived up to the hype!

Top: Thrifted | Pants: ModChic Couture | Metallic Pumps: Zara | Tassle Earrings: Ch0ked

Essence Street Style

After exploring the city on Saturday and catching up with friends, I finally got to the nitty gritty of my NY fashion weekend experience on Sunday. First stop—Essence Street Style. “Street Style” began as a section of Essence magazine and has since evolved into a block party and staple of NYFW.  Hundreds gather in fabulous “street style” fashion to celebrate black culture, community and style. When you look around, everyone was dressed to the nines and photoshoot ready. I was beaming from ear to ear and taking notes at the same time ☺

Top: Thrifted shirt tied into bandeau | Pants: House of Chic L.A. | Wedges: LolaShoetique

There were numerous black-owned vendors at the block party, so I did what I do best—shop!  My first purchase of the day was a stunning gold choker. I had been looking for a statement a piece just like it, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally find it! I also had a chance to see the new Lebron James limited edition women’s sneaker, which is the result of a collaboration spearheaded by incredible black women designers and a partnership between Nike and Harlem’s Fashion Row (“HFR”), a movement founded to increase diversity in fashion. It was great to see the shoes in person and also to learn about their ground-breaking significance, especially given that the shoes sold out in little over 5 minutes after they launched earlier that week.

(Ran into Houston Beauty Guru and Founder of Lamik Cosmetics, Kim Roxie)

(Lebron James Women’s Sneaker)

My First Fashion Show

After spending less than 30 minutes at Essence Street Style Festival, I hopped in a Lyft and rode from Brooklyn back to Manhattan to attend my first fashion show. I was beyond excited! Not only was this the first real fashion show I had ever attended, but it was definitely my first time attending as press and receiving a media pass! Back in May, I attended an event in Houston titled “A Girl’s Guide to NYFW” in collaboration with handbag designer Elizabeth (“Beth”) Purpich. At the end of the event, Beth announced that she would be showcasing her designs at NYFW and passed out invitations to all attendees at the event! I was so excited and at that moment, I made the decision that I would attend my very first fashion show since the opportunity presented itself. I kept in contact with Beth via email and she offered me a VIP/Press pass and an opportunity to interview her prior to the show. I was honored and elated!

(Pictured with designers Elizabeth Purpich and Veronica Purpich)

During the Cesar x Beth Fashion Show, Beth showcased her handbags in collaboration with the clothing designs of Cesar Galindo. I was so honored to attend and support designers who are both from Houston. The show boasted a colorful mix of zebra prints, sequins, and florals all with an “Afro punk” vibe. I LOVED almost everything the designers sent down the runway and would definitely wear some of the outfits personally. I think most of us millennials are looking toward Africa for fashion inspiration and creativity, so the designs felt timely and on point.

The Interview with designer, Elizabeth Purpich

The highlight of the night was my interview with Beth and her sister-in-law Veronica. This was so special to me not only because it was my first interview experience, but also because I learned that Beth is on a living spree herself! During the interview, Beth noted that she is a self-taught designer, whose vision for creating handbags came to her in a dream. She brought that vision to life in the form of the now popular “Longhorn” handbag. This was the catalyst to her starting a one-of-a-kind designer handbag line. Prior to releasing her first line, she had no prior experience in fashion or design.  She simply followed her dream and the rest is history. Five years later, the Elizabeth Purpich collection is not only a successful handbag collection in Texas, but all over the country. Beth’s living spree is pursuing her dream through embracing her creativity and embarking on a journey that has unlocked her true potential! Watch a clip from the interview below:

(Beth was excited to receive her “My Living Spree” tee!)

(Pictured above with designer Cesar Galindo)

The Magic of Time Square

After the fashion show, I literally stumbled into Times Square! My face lit up like a kid in a candy store. Walking up and down the blocks on Broadway, seeing all of the lights and billboard signs was literally a dream come true. I had forgotten the magic of Times Square. It was in that moment that I stopped for a photo op (as always lol) and made the promise to myself that I would be back. I promised myself to never diminish my potential and to always believe in myself. I vowed to operate as if I belong in any and every situation and to always seize every opportunity that comes my way.

Two Day Takeaway

I definitely wish I could have stayed longer than 2 days because there was so much more to see and do. Experiencing NYFW in two days was nearly impossible, but it worked for me in my own way. I was grateful for the experience I had, the inspiration I gained from being in the city, and the connections I made at the shows. I learned that it’s all about setting intentions and putting yourself out there. Never allow fear to keep you from doing something because you never know what good things can come out of it.  Next year, I plan to do NYFW again, but bigger and better than ever!

 

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Poolside Slay: Always Extra, Never Too Much

We’re coming towards the end of my favorite season of the year—Summa, Summa, Summatime! But, there’s still time to catch some sun by the pool or even take a vacation! I love a good #slaycation though, so I naturally tend to dress to impress no matter where I go! Sometimes I walk out of the house and my friends ask, “Where are you going, girl?! Why do you have all of that on? Why are you so dressed up?” I meannn, its better to be overdressed than underdressed, right? LOL. I live by the saying, “always extra, never too much!” It’s okay to make fashion fun…even in the sun! I’m here to give you a little style inspiration if you are planning to slay during your next vacay.

After staying at this beautiful, chic boutique resort for a couple of days, I was naturally inspired to create a super cute poolside look! I chose this high-cut one piece bathing suit from Kiss Runway because its colorful floral print screamed “vacation wear”. I love high-cut bathing suits because they give a simple, yet sexy flare and are on trend for summer ’18 swimwear.

Instead of wearing shorts to cover-up my bathing suit (which I normally do lol), I chose to wear this super cute sarong from ASOS! This slinky fringed sarong is so versatile and can be worn with any swimsuit! Literally! It’s the most stylish cover-up for a poolside slay.

Last but not least, I even wore my favorite pair of fringe earrings to compliment this entire look. They’re currently my favorite pair of statement earrings and the color makes almost everything pop! They are not as heavy as they look and I’m definitely getting a lot of wear out of them because of the versatile color and style of the earrings.

Moral of the story, don’t be afraid to slay all day, everyday! By the pool or by the beach, have fun with fashion. Remember, be yourself! Always extra, never too much.

Swimsuit: Kiss Runway

Sarong: ASOS

Earrings: Ch0ked

Photographer: @Farranweezy

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Hello Spring: 5 Must-Haves for your Spring Wardrobe

“No matter how long winter lasts, spring is sure to follow.” – Proverb

Spring is finally here! Time to hang up the winter-wear and prepare for perfect weather! From stylish watches to wooden bags, florals to tassels, I am so excited to dive into spring fashion! Here are some of the go-to items you need for this season’s look!

1. JORD watch

I am so excited to add this fabulous wooden watch from JORD to my spring look! Their watches are like none other and I haven’t seen anything like them yet! They’re known for making unique, wooden watches with minimalist designs that are stylish and fashionable. I have the Frankie series in Zebrawood and Navy and I am in love with the versatile, chic color combination. The navy definitely gives that pop of color that I love and I can wear this watch day or night. I love it! Because I love them so much, I’ve partnered with them to host a giveaway (see end of post for details)!

2. Wooden bag

Yes, it’s the wooden “it bag” of the season and I see why—this bag speaks for itself! It’s sure to freshen up your spring fashion effortlessly. It is also the perfect bag to compliment your vacation-wear for the summer! You can find this bag at Amazon.com.

3.White Bottoms

White bottoms are hot right now! White jeans, shorts, or skirts are all perfect for a casual, comfy look. In the photo, I am wearing white linen shorts from Forever 21.

4. Floral prints

What’s spring without floral? Exactly! Floral prints are always on trend for spring fashion. I purchased this cute floral top from Forever 21 last season and I love that I can wear it with just about anything. I paired it with white shorts in the photo, but I also plan to wear it with high-waist denim jeans as well. Tie-up your tops to add shape like I did in the photo.

5. Tassel earrings

I am kind of obsessed with tassel earrings, especially these from Lucky Brand! This pair goes with pretty much any look and I tend to get a lot of wear out of them already. I also have other pairs in different colors like red, mustard yellow and even pastels. Tassel earrings are definitely on trend right now and I’m a huge fan of fun, statement earrings. I want even more colors!

As always, thanks so much for reading this post! Don’t forget to join me on my living spree by subscribing to the blog for the latest updates on all things fashion, travel and inspiration to live your best life! I would love to hear your feedback on this post in the comment below and please to share on your social media using the icons below! Now, let’s go on a living spree!

Bonus: JORD watch giveaway

I’m so thrilled to partner with JORD watch for my very first giveaway! We want to give you a chance to win $100 toward your favorite watch (men’s or women’s)!

All you have to do is click here to enter the JORD giveaway page and complete the form!
As thanks for entering, you will automatically receive a 10% off discount on your first purchase once the giveaway ends.
The giveaway will close May 27th at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced May 28th! Good luck everyone!
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