Showing posts from 2017

Christmas Gift Guide feat. UncommonGoods

Finding the perfect gift for a loved one is such a satisfying feeling! During the Christmas season, I love browsing, choosing, and wrapping gifts for my family and friends. So I have put together a gift guide post, featuring three different sections: Stocking Stuffers, Gifts for Friends, and Gifts for Parents.

I always find myself looking for unique ideas of affordable stocking stuffers. UncommonGoods has loads of cute options, including this Couch Guestbook and Personalized Birthstone Mineral Soaps

If you've never heard of UncommonGoods, they are an incredible brand that focuses on sustainability, organic products, and supporting small manufacturers and artists.

Here are some more stocking stuffer ideas, including a book on how to take care of indoor plants (something I totally could benefit from having) and a trivia game, perfect for Christmas day!


Missing My Siblings

I am really close with my siblings and it has been almost a whole year since we were all together. We won't all be together again until Christmas so this year I am feeling extra excited to be home for the holidays. Living in different parts of the country is tough but we are all pursuing our goals so that is the fuel behind the distance. All these photos I edited to be a little more interesting. 

Cruelty-Free Hygiene feat. Maple Holistics

Committing yourself to the cruelty-free lifestyle may seem a little daunting at first. I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed because I grew up using mainstream brands like L'Oréal, Dove, Maybelline, etc. and had gotten use to the easy access and cheap prices. Little did I know, there are so many wonderful, affordable brands out there that have inspiring missions dedicated to stopping animal testing and promoting natural ingredients, like Maple Holistics, Dr. Bronner's, and more. 

In my last post, I talked about cruelty-free beauty/makeup brands. Some of my favs include Kat von D, Alba Botanical, Josie Maran, and Pacifica. Today I am going to highlight some of my favorite CF brands for personal hygiene. 
Like I mentioned above, Maple Holistics is a brand that promotes all natural, organic, US made products, like their Natural Tea Tree Oil Shampoo. Tea Tree Oil has healing and restorative properties that aid in leaving your hair smooth and dandruff free. I have been using the …

Cruelty-Free Makeup

As my New Year's Resolution for 2017, I decided to "go cruelty-free". It's been nine months and I feel like I have accumulated some good advice so far from my experiences.

Going cruelty-free essentially means that you pledge to support and purchase the products of brands that are certified in not testing their ingredients and products on animals. That is the short explanation.

Here are a couple good sources of information and advice/reviews of cruelty-free brands and products:

Leaping Bunny is the global gold standard for non-animal tested consumer products. Their website is extremely helpful in providing a lot of definitions on the subject and if you see their logo, along with these other two below, you know you can trust that the brand has been certified as cruelty-free.

Cruelty-Free Kitty is an insanely helpful website that provides info on why you should go cruelty-free. It also provides you with everything from the leading certified CF brands, to shoppers guides …

Red Coconut Curry with Chickpeas

Hope you are having a great week! 
I made up my own Red Coconut Curry with Chickpeas recipe to use up some of the items I have had for a while in both my cupboard and refrigerator. It was on the milder side of curries I usually make but I enjoyed it just the same. This makes around 3 servings and since I cook for myself, I had leftovers for at least two more meals.
ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil5 cloves of garlicginger (freshly grated or powder)1 & 1/2 tbsp red curry paste (I use this one here)1 can of coconut milk1 can of chickpeas1/2 cup of frozen peas1/2 cup of frozen corn 1/2 carrot stripsa stalk of celery cut in small pieceshandful of fresh spinach optional spices to add: 1-2 tsp curry powder1-2 tsp nutmeg1-2 tsp turmeric directions: heat olive oil in a pot on medium heatmince garlic & grate ginger, then add to pot to fry off until fragrant (usually 1-2 minutes)stir in red curry paste and any other spices (I used curry powder and nutmeg)add in coconut milk and chickpeas, coo…

Roasted Delicata Squash & Seeds

Today I roasted a Delicata squash and the seeds. It was so delicious!

I went years not eating seasonal vegetables like squash and sweet potatoes, thinking I wouldn't enjoy them. Now I can't get enough! They are so flavorful and with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, the taste is heightened to new levels. I definitely recommend roasting your own different types of pumpkins, squash, and gourds.

Here is sort of an easy step-by-step guide for beginners, like I was, on how to properly roast a squash... and save the seeds too!

1 delicata squash olive oil salt
directions:  preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheitwash the squash with warm water to remove any dirtslice the squash in half length-wisescoop out the seeds, place them in a bowl with water and set asidecut each delicata half into slices to form 1/2 inch moon-shaped pieces arrange on a baking sheet in a single layerdrizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt evenly to coat the slices place in oven and roast for …

Female Authors You Should Be Reading

Reading has become such an essential part of my life. By committing myself to reading more this year, I have discovered and fallen in love with many new authors.

I want to share with you the four women who's work has stood out to me this year and encourage you to pick up one of their novels and delve in with an open mind.

English social commentary novelist
Known for: White Teeth, On Beauty, Swing Time

American linguistically pyrotechnic novelist
Known for: Fates and Furies, Arcadia, Delicate Edible Birds, The Monsters of Templeton

American metaphysical playwright
Known for: Eurydice, The Clean House, In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)

Canadian badass feminist poet, novelist, & activist
Known for: The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Hag-Seed

Here are my favorite novels/plays from each of their bodies of work.

Now, I know there are so many female authors out there that I still need to read and experience. Some of those at …

Fresh Autumnal Produce & Recipes

I went to a local outdoor food market in Harlem today and snagged some fresh produce. I have been craving apples so I got some Gala, McIntosh, and Pink Lady. I also bought a large carrot, a large sweet potato, and a Delicata squash.

I am excited to try this Creamy Squash Rigatoni recipe with the Delicata.

I baked the sweet potato for lunch using this Sweet Potato Fries recipe. I realized a little late in the game of me scarfing down the beautiful fries that I should have taken a photo... but nevertheless here is my masterpiece... there were only three left... and I may have eaten them straight from the baking pan.

I haven't gotten any canned pumpkin puree yet but I plan on making some delicious pumpkin recipes, like this Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread in my new rose gold loaf tin and this Pumpkin Coconut Curry.

What will you be making this fall?  🎃

29 Rooms

I had an incredible experience at this year's 29Rooms
Refinery29 hosts and curates an interactive multi-sensory funhouse of style, culture, & technology brought to life by a group of global artists and visionaries across mediums to celebrate the power of creativity. This year's theme was Turn It Into Art. There were rooms created by the Women's March, Planned Parenthood, Ulta Beauty, Emma Roberts & her book club Belletrist, and Jake Gyllenhaal, to name a few. I went with two of my really great friends, Mary Elizabeth & Natalie. 
Here are some of the highlights of my night, through photos. I hope you enjoy!

I wrote "Cuz I'm Mr. Brightside" in Emma Roberts exhibit... if you know me, you know that is my favorite song.