Latest Posts

Style Star of the Week: LaBrandon Dates

LaBrandon Dates, 30
Birmingham, AL
Marketer, Travel & Style Blogger

How would you describe your style? Hard question! I think I put a contemporary spin on mixing formal and casual pieces.

What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning? My mood! If I’m in meetings all day, I want to dress like a boss. If I’m traveling, I want to be comfortable.

What item of clothing or accessory makes you feel most like yourself and why? The sports coat/suit jacket – it gives you a powerful silhouette!

If you could trade closets with anyone who would it be? UK rapper Tinie Tempah

What is your dream job? Chief Marketing Officer for an entertainment-centric brand like Apple Music, VH1 or a movie studio.

What’s something you read, listened to, or saw recently, that you found interesting or thought provoking? I recently finished two memoirs – ALT by André Leon Talley and The Bomb Life by Claire Sulmers. Both fashion tastemakers offer up great career and life lessons. Also, I just picked up Black Privilege by Charlamange.

What is something most people don’t know about you? I just self-published a personal coffee table book – Beyond 1316!

Do you have a mantra you live by? 2 Timothy 1:7

You can learn more about LaBrandon, his projects and partnerships at

Style Star of the Week: Subomi Salami

Subomi Salami, 18
Lagos, Nigeria
I’m a student studying Economics at Covenant University, Nigeria. My style is comfy but chic. I also love timeless pieces that I can wear as trends come and go. My style is also more on the feminine side but with an edgy twist.
If I could trade closets with anyone it would definitely be Solange Knowles. I absolutely love her edgy and carefree style.
My dream job is to own a fashion brand which caters to society’s fashion needs by providing timeless pieces. I would also love being able to make a living creating content on my blog.

If I had to wear one outfit for a week straight it would be Palazzos (with the freedom of a skirt and stylishness of pants). I’m a sucker for comfortable clothes.

In my spare time I like to write, It’s a very good outlet. I also love watching youtube videos, so much creativity and inspiration on there.
A quote I live by is “This too shall pass” I believe whatever I’m going through would eventually pass and I just need to be strong for better times are coming.
I’m literally everywhere on the internet so come find me!
Instagram –@subomisalami

10 Lessons My Mother Taught Me

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to share some of the nuggets of wisdom my mommy has instilled in me. Enjoy!

Lesson One | “You Only Have a Minute to be a Kid, but a Lifetime to be an Adult”

I was in fifth grade, and my best friend Victoria showed me she had shaved her legs. I had hair on mine still and I felt embarrassed that I wasn’t shaving too. I went home to ask my mom if I could start too and she said no. A similar situation occurred when my friends started to wear makeup. My mom didn’t let me start wearing anything more than mascara until I was 16. “You only have a minute to be a kid, but a lifetime to be an adult,” she’d say. She didn’t want me to rush into shaving and convinced me to enjoy not having to shave, because once you start you have to keep it up. With the makeup, she showed me that I have naturally beautiful skin and I don’t need to cover it up. She wanted me to enjoy not having to wear makeup for as long as I could, and to this day I still don’t wear much more than mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick. It’s a valuable lesson even today, as I am 21. I am enjoying the stage in life I am in right now, instead of wanting to rush to being a more established adult… especially since it’s not looking like things are going to get any easier…


Lesson Two | It’s Okay to Be a Little Skeptical

My mom is always a little skeptical when she comes across something new. For example, when I would ask to go to a friend’s house she’d need their name, their address, phone number, and an estimated time of return. I used to hate when she asked a bunch of questions, but I know now she was just looking out for my best interest. Another example is if there’s something I am not sure about, like the time I was asked to style a major campaign for a popular hair care brand while I was living in New York City. She matched my level of excitement, but still had a bit of reserve in her tone. She wanted to know if I had signed anything, if I had asked for a deposit, etc. Of course I hadn’t thought about those things, but was assured the deal would go through because “they were really nice people.” After spending an entire day calling PR agencies and researching the concept they were looking for, I called them to ask for a release form to borrow clothes from a PR company, and was told they no longer needed me because of “budget issues.” I was devastated, but learned a valuable lesson in remaining a little cautious of deals like that, to always ask for money upfront, and to not get excited until the agreement was official on paper.

Lesson Three | “Speak Up”

I am naturally soft-spoken. I always have been, but the difference between my personality now and what it was several years ago is that I am not afraid to voice my opinion and “speak up” in the figurative sense of the word. I’ll always remember my first day of 7th grade. We had just moved to Champaign, Illinois and I went to a school called Edison Middle School. It was way more diverse than I was used to seeing at any school I’d been to before. I was used to being one of a few black kids but this school had a vast population of hispanics and blacks. The kids quickly picked up on the fact that I was a little different from them, especially the black kids. I spoke “white” they told me, “I was an Oreo,” they said. On my first day, I went to sit down in class, and almost immediately this girl behind me started kicking my chair. At first I thought it was a mistake, so I ignored it. She kept persisting, increasing how hard she kicked as she went. Everything in me wanted to turn around and ask her to stop. I even thought about just getting up and sitting down at a seat across the room. But I was new, and I hate conflict, so I just tried not to let it bother me. My plan was to ignore her until she stopped. She didn’t. How ridiculous is that? I am so glad I got over that and now how the confidence to not let people just walk all over me. I think in general, my mom didn’t want me to continue this practice of compliance, for fear of a situation that would be much more serious. Although I’ll always be an introvert, I no longer fear confrontation. 

Lesson Four | “When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them the First Time.”

It wasn’t until later in life that I realized this is actually a Maya Angelou quote, but its something my mom frequently says to this day. She’s taught me that first impressions are everything, and to pay attention to things that seem “off” about a person. They could’ve had a bad day, so I don’t solely base my opinion of someone off that initial greeting, but any intuition I gain from the first impression will be noted. My mom recently had a situation with a client she decided to let go that aligns with this concept. Click here to read. 

Lesson Five | “Don’t Just Think About Yourself”

My mom is a naturally selfless person and I admire that about her. I still have some work to do. When she goes shopping, every now and then she’ll surprise me with a new pair of shoes, or a top she came across that she thought I’d like. When she goes to grab lunch, she makes sure to bring something back for the family. When her grandmother came to visit she’d run her a bath and buy her favorite candy. She’s very thoughtful and genuine which is why I think people are so drawn to her.


Lesson Six | “Everything Happens For a Reason”

This has become my life motto. Anytime I’ve gone through something that really had me down, most recently deciding to break up with my boyfriend of 2 years, she’d reassure me to stay focused on God’s plan for me. “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime,” is something else she often says. I am a very optimistic person. I like to feel whatever emotion I need to feel at the time, but then let myself heal and move on. I am a forward thinker, so I just have to stay faithful and trust in the bigger picture that I cannot see.

Lesson Seven | “Be Classy”

This one mostly has to do with the way I dress. I think my mom played a major role in how modest I prefer my clothes to be. I had my occasional moments where I’d want to wear a skirt that was too short for me, because my friend’s could wear them, but my mom reminded me that I am tall, so I had to be conscientious of the length of things like that. She never wanted me to come off as anything less than the “classy, young woman” I was/am so I always needed to remain aware of the message I was sending through fashion and style.

Lesson Eight | Don’t Keep Your Feelings Bottled Up Inside

I am really thankful that I have a mom I can talk to without receiving any judgement in return. She offers unconditional love and support. I hate crying in front of people, but there’s been times when she’d notice something was wrong and stayed persistent in getting me to talk about it. She was always right in knowing that’s what I needed, instead of keeping it bottled inside to myself. There’s never been a time when I didn’t feel like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders after one of those talks with her. Although, I am still working on breaking down the walls I build and  just going directly to her when I am feeling vulnerable, instead of her noticing first.

Lesson Nine | Lift Others Up

“You can give them a compliment to0 you know,” was something my mom said after I expressed to her that a random stranger told me I was beautiful. My reactions prior had always been a “thank you,” but I had never thought to say “Thank you! You’re beautiful too,” or “I appreciate that, and I love your shoes! We all know how good it feels to receive a compliment, so it’s nice to be able to give them as well.


Lesson Ten | It’s Never Too Late to Pursue Your Dream

My mom started her interior design business in her forties. She’d always loved decorating our houses over the years and did a great job, and decided to stop working in sales and follow her true passion. What I love about this is that she didn’t always know this is what she wanted to do. As we age we continue to learn more and more about who we are and what we love. I believe we never stop learning about ourselves and we won’t ever know our maximum capacity for potential in this short lifetime, but what we do discover can be life altering. My mom has taught me that it’s okay to take risks, and you’re never too old to pursue your dream career. We aren’t limited to what we have college degrees in, or to even having a college degree at all. We don’t have to remain doing what we’ve been doing for 20 years. Life is a journey with many trails and winding roads, and we can go down multiple paths throughout our time here on Earth.

Happy Mother’s Day Mommy! I love you!!!!!! 💕

Style Star of the Week: My Mommy (In Honor of Mother’s Day)

This week’s style star is someone very special to me. She kind of gave me life, so it’s casual… If me constantly ruminating through her closet is any indication, she has great style… Alright, so let’s meet my mom!

Ricci Jackson
Entrepreneur/Interior Design Consultant 

How would you describe your style? I’m comfortable in layers these days but I like a  minimal unfussy look with a statement piece.

What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning? I dress according to my day, my outfit is casual comfy if I’m working from home, but stylishly professional for initial appointments with clients. If I’m moving furniture and lifting, I need something that is stylish but allows for movement.

What item of clothing or accessory makes you feel most like yourself and why? I love a statement piece because it adds a nice touch without being fussy, and black is sophisticated, elegant, and slimming.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Catch up with a good book, improve areas in my home, and have family time.

What is something most people don’t know about you? Most people don’t know that I love dancing to really loud music when no one is home.

Do you have a mantra you live by? Do you!

What’s your favorite part about being a mom? Sharing my life with my children, appreciating each stage of their development and watching them blossom and being comfortable with their identities.

What’s the most challenging part of being a mom? Not being able to protect my kid’s from life’s harsh realities and just providing them with a healthy amount of self confidence and humility at the same time.

My mom has a blog too! You can find that along with her website below and follow her on Instagram and Pinterest….

Blog |
Website |
Instagram |
Pinterest |

30 Day Fitness Challenge + Fun Workout Leggings

Photography By Amie Santavicaa 

Is it just me or do you also have trouble working out consistently? When I give into my urge to run, I keep it up for about a week or two, and then I am back on hiatus for a month. Then of course my body is all sore after working out again, because it’s not used to working certain muscles. So I get all motivated and decide to push through the pain only to repeat the cycle all over again. I admire those who dedicate themselves to an everyday or even several-days-a-week exercise regimen, but I haven’t had much success with that since my days of running track in high school.

Recently I came across a 30 day ab challenge on my Facebook timeline. I made a mental note to try that “someday” and kept scrolling, but a week later, I was still thinking about it. So I printed it out, and I’ve been diligently staying on course for a week now. It starts off in small increments of a set of 4 exercises: sit ups, crunches, leg raises, and plank. Day one’s set looked like this: 15 sit ups / 5 crunches / 5 leg raises / 10 second plank versus Day 30 is: 125 sit ups / 200 crunches / 65 leg raises / 120 second plank. I am on Day 10 and just finished 50 sit ups / 50 crunches / 30 leg raises / 38 second plank. I am already seeing results, so I am excited for what my abs will look like at Day 30. I also decided I want to strengthen my arms. I feel like I neglect those when I workout. So I printed off blogilates 30 day arm challenge as well, and just do the two in cohesion with one another. Want to join me? Click Here and Here for each challenge.

These fabulous leggings have been perfect to workout in. They are from a company called 7th Bee which offers fashion leggings that work for day and night. This particular cheetah print pair are made of a soft moisture wicking fabric that’s conducive for breaking a sweat. Below are a couple of my other favorites from the 7th Bee collection.

Click images to shop

Your New One Stop Shop For Affordable Jewelry

A couple of month’s ago I came across the website 7 Charming Sisters which carries trendy and affordable costume jewelry. They recently made their pieces even less expensive. Starting at $7 for sale items, everything is either $17, $27, or $37. You may remember seeing me wear 7 Charming Sisters on this blog and Instagram. Here’s a refresher….

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The company was founded by 7 “work sisters” each with their own personality and jewelry style to match. You can take the style quiz to find which jewelry matches your personality best. According to the quiz I got “Super Mom.” While I am not a mother, the description is pretty accurate: “You’re into wearable jewelry that transitions from work to school events without a fuss. With everything you have to do, you don’t have time for nonsense.” So true!

Here are some of my favorite pieces at each price point:

Click here to SHOP SHOP SHOP!

Style Star of the Week: Taquann Drayton

Taquann “Tay” Drayton
New York, New York
Occupation: Fashion Retail Full time & Lifestyle Blogger on the Side

How would you describe your style: Versatile. I try not to box myself by having one particular kind of style all the time because I think it’s very predicate when people can automatically place you in a category based off your certain type of style. I like to be unpredictable & play around with different looks. One day you will see me give androgynous vibes & the next you will see street wear vibes. I also love to mix high & low. I don’t mind mixing Valentino & Dior with H&M & Uniqlo. I have a great appreciation for high & low. 

What do you think about getting dressed in the morning: This may sound crazy but the funny thing is, I don’t think. I’m a perfectionist. With that being said, pretty much everything in my life is very organized and well planned out so I don’t have to spend time thinking about it. I just grab and go & if for some reason I’m not feeling the particular look I cultivated, I have a plan B & C for backup. 

Who or what inspires your style: Instagram & New York City are definitely my two biggest inspirations. I’m so grateful to live in a well diverse city with an endless amount of creative people around me everyday to bounce off of. On Instagram, I love to see fellow bloggers styles because I get ideas from all of the other bloggers out there as well as other fashion pages & try to recreate certain looks that I love but with my own twist, of course. Instagram is basically my new google. 

What is your dream job: To sum it up, I wanna be an entrepreneur. I wanna dabble in many different business ventures because I was never a one lane type of person & have so much that interest me. I always wanted to go into real estate. Growing up in New York, architecture, buildings and skyscrapers was something that always fascinated me. Hopefully I can build and own a building one day. I also want to own a restaurant. I have a great love for food & I wanna create a one of a kind experience for people to come, eat & enjoy. The biggest dream I want to achieve is to become a very influential blogger because I want to show & be a great example to the future generation to the LGBT community that you can be yourself, live in your truth and be comfortable in your own skin. We sometimes tend to get lost in being something we are not out of fear, validation or acceptance & we need more positive figures for the next generation to look up to.

What’s something you read about recently that you found interesting or thought provoking: Definitely North Korea launching multiple missiles into the Sea of Japan. I try to be very in tune & somewhat educated as to what’s going on in the world besides the world of fashion & I think it’s crazy what’s going on in the world right now. It’s very alarming knowing that we can possibly enter a war with North Korea. 

What do you like to do in your spare time: I love to spend quality time with my boyfriend, family & friends. I love to go shopping, traveling & out to eat, especially for Sunday brunch. Then I have my times where I like to be alone, write in my journal and reflect on my life…..or just simply lay down, order take out and binge watch my favorite reality shows. I’m a reality tv junkie. I have an obsession for all the Housewives shows (Atlanta, Beverly Hills, New Jersey & New York City are my favorites) Love & Hip Hop & Basketball Wives. 

What is something most people don’t know about you: Most people think I can only dress well & take a good Instagram photo but they don’t know that I can draw & paint extremely well. I’m an all around very artsy person. 

Do you have a mantra you live by? If so, what is it: Live your dream, create you life & lead with intention. 

If you had to wear one outfit for a week straight, what would it be and why: It would be my denim crew neck t shirt, denim regular fit jeans, oversized denim jacket and my all white adidas. Denim on denim is one of my favorite looks because it’s simple & classic yet it still automatically brings attention especially if you have different shades of denim on all at once. Denim on denim looks like you tried without really trying. 

To see more of Taquann’s fashion, food & travel, head over to his Instagram: 

A Different Route

Top: Tobi // Bralette: Target // Jeans: Hollister // Necklace: 7 Charming Sisters Shoes: Nordstrom Rack

Bracelet: 7 Charming Sisters // Rings: Forever21 // Sunglasses: Sunglass Warehouse 

This top isn’t something I’d usually select for myself, but I wanted to try something a little different. It’s sexy, which is not how I would describe myself, but I think it can also be sophisticated. I chose to pair it with a lace bralette and jeans– perfect for a girl’s night out, but it can also be worn with a cami underneath and to work. I thought about adding a closure towards the top so it can even be worn open and closed. I am all about styling outfits in creative ways, so I want to try a graphic tee underneath and play with a sexy/nerdy paradox too. I am excited about the versatility of it all. What do you think?

Photos taken by @CallMeRideout2

Why I am No Longer Obsessing Over My Follower Count on Instagram and Why You Shouldn’t Either

This past Sunday’s church sermon has really stuck with me. The message was about what happens when we compare ourselves to others, and how we should be focused on how God made us. He painstakingly knit you and I to be unique individuals, unlike anybody else. So we should find solace in that. The pastor went on to compare a dump truck and a Ferrari. Both are vehicles, but one is meant to carry a large amount of items, and the other to drive fast. The dump truck isn’t wishing to be a Ferrari and the Ferrari isn’t wishing to be the dump truck. Although the two have similarities, they were specially designed for their own purpose. The same is true for us believers. We shouldn’t occupy ourselves with someone else’s assignment, but instead stay focused on our own. God doesn’t compare what he creates. 

The next thing the pastor said is what made it all click for me: “Redefine success. Are you applauding things that Jesus isn’t?” On judgement day I am pretty sure God isn’t going to ask “How many Instagram followers did you have?” or “How many average comments did you get on your blog posts?” Instead he’ll ask “Did you do what I asked you to do?” This really put things into perspective for me. Lately I’ve been comparing myself to my friends who have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram. I believe my content is just as good, and yet I am not receiving the same opportunities that come with having a large influence. I’ve been focusing on how I can increase my count, the right hashtags to use, posting at the suggested times of day, and feeling the highs and lows of reaching a new goal in the amount of people who follow me, only to lose ten followers the next week. It’s exhausting. And honestly kind of ridiculous. As a christian, I want to live my life according to His plan. What I am realizing is, the only opinion that really matters is God’s. He accepts me and loves me no matter how many likes I get. Wherever he chooses to take me in this short life, I will follow. His plan for me isn’t His plan for those I compare myself to. And I am learning to be okay with that.

My notes I took during the sermon

Whether you believe in God or not, I think we can all agree that your social media influence doesn’t define who you are as a person. If you have 100 followers, it doesn’t mean you’re not worthy or of value. Something else the pastor said was “Don’t confuse what is prominent with what is significant.” What really defines a person is what we can’t often see on social media– their character. If you didn’t know how many followers a person had, or their follower to following ratio, or seen the layout of their feed what would you think of that person? Are they the kind of person who will make a significant impact on the bettering of this world? Are they someone you can trust to stick up for those being oppressed? Will they march alongside you in protest, or stay at home behind their screen reposting articles about it?

Just some food for thought. Life is short. If you’re a Christ follower, you know that our time on Earth is a speck of dust on a pile of sand compared to our time in heaven. I don’t want to waste my time worrying about something that truly doesn’t matter at the end of the day. I am letting go and letting God.

Style Star of the Week: Karissa Allen

Karissa Allen, 31, San Bernardino, CA 

Occupation |  Auditor from 9-5 Mo-Fri, style blogger all other times of the day.

How would you describe your style? | I’m a believer in looking your best for less, so you won’t find too many designer labels in my closet. I also love trying out new trends and switching it up. Some days I’m feeling glam and other days I like to be sporty chic. That’s what I love about fashion, you can be a chameleon and re-invent yourself every single day!

What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning? Mo-Fri I think about pushing the envelope- how can I have fun with my clothing and still be (slightly) work appropriate? On the weekends I strictly think about fun – what can I wear that I haven’t before? What new styles can I try? I love styling, so for me there’s nothing more thrilling than putting together a great look.

Who or what inspires your style? I’m inspired by my fellow bloggers who give me so much inspo every single day. Back in the day I had to rely on magazines for style tips, but now I don’t need to go further than instagram! I also really love Lennon Stella’s style, she’s an actress on the TV show “Nashville.” She’s a teenager but her looks are so chic, daring, and hot. I definitely did not dress like her when I was a teenager!

If you had to wear one outfit for a week straight, what would it be and why? My loose fit ripped jeans, a crop top, and converse sneakers. It’s such a comfortable outfit but still super cute and slightly sexy.

What is your dream job? I would love to own a clothing boutique here in LA. I also want to create a content platform geared toward style and travel, similar to Refinery29. These are both on my bucket list.

What’s something you read about recently that you found interesting or thought provoking? I read this article on the about why fashion is stuck in the 20th century. It gave a very real evaluation of the fashion industry and why haute couture will never be what it used to be.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Watch TV, I’m a reality TV fiend. Ask me anything about the Real Housewives. If only I could get paid to recite useless Real Housewives trivia! I also love traveling, I’ve been to 11 countries and counting!

What is something most people don’t know about you? I’m fascinated by history. In high school U.S. History was my favorite subject. I just love learning about people who lived before us and what life was like for them.

Do you have a mantra you live by? If so, what is it? Be still, and know that I am God – Psalm 46:10

Is there any other information we should know? I’m dedicated to creating relatable content for people who love style, travel, and a combination of the two. Check out my blog  and find me on instagram @thisiskrisjoy!