The Secret Behind That Tutu I Was Wearing On Instagram…

 

Over the weekend I wore this tulle skirt to a New York Fashion Week event.

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While the outfit felt incredibly obnoxious in the privacy of my own bedroom, once I was out walking the NYC streets, you couldn’t tell me I was anything less than fierce!  Folks’ compliments didn’t help-it seemed like almost every woman I passed was ogling over the exceptional tutu.  As a pranced along throughout the evening, I was nearly convinced I was a princess!  :p

I’m here to let you in on a little secret…  Would you believe me if I told you I made it myself?  Yes, it is a DIY project.  This past spring I sat down and made my tulle tutu.

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I spent $20.  Yes, twenty dollars.

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Blake Von D posted the tutu tutorial awhile back and after closely following her directions, I had a masterpiece of my own.*

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As hard as it is to believe, it really is as simple as stated on her site.  The most difficult part of the entire process for me was deciding which color(s) of tulle I wanted!

Happy tutu-making ladies! XOXO

*While Blake ordered three rolls of black tulle, I thought I would make two tutus, so I ordered three rolls of wine tulle as well.  Unfortunately, when I started adding the black tulle to my elastic band (from an old pair of leggings), my skirt was still extremely sheer.  It was at that point I began adding pieces of wine tulle between the pieces of black.  My two-toned tutu took six rolls of tulle and I couldn’t be any happier with it!

I’m Back

     In 2004 I was introduced to English Composition 111.   As a freshman at Miami University, my instructor, merely a grad student himself, decided that one of our long-term assignments to work on throughout the semester would be a “blog.”  That term fell on ignorant ears-we were all clueless about what that would entail.  He described it as a simple way to stay in touch with friends and family that you may not talk to regularly.  On a blog you could write blurbs on your life, things of interest, post photos and anything else that you fancied. He himself had one that he maintained and said that it proved to be a valuable resource for the folks that cared about what he had going on.  He encouraged us to think beyond the four walls in that residence hall basement (that served as our classroom) for our own individual blogs, to remember that this was an undertaking that could be maintained long after our short semester with him. 

     I had rolled my eyes at his idea.  I chalked up the assignment as simply, “Stuff White People do,” did what I had to do for the class and landed my A.  I already knew nobody close to me would be reading one word of this supposed blog.  My family wasn’t computer saavy-I chalked that up to stuff, “Black People do,” and all my close, college friends were joining the new website, The Facebook.

     Fast forward to now, 2012.  I’m in this new city (8 months on the 10th but hey, who’s counting?), encountering new things daily and ultimately learning more about myself than I could have EVER imagined.  At the root of it all, I so desperately want those close to me, who care about me, to participate in this journey in some way with me.  I don’t have the time or resources to call everyone on the phone or send an email their way so I decided to go technical-old school…I want to bring back the original “blog” concept.

     Moving forward, this blog is going to be a pretty personal, sometimes intimate, look at my life, my opinions, my interests, and whatever else comes across my path.  It’s purpose is simple-those that care now have a resource to check in on Ashley/Yancey/(Asha)Mina/Amy/Fancy lol.

I’m back guys 🙂 I’ve missed you much and love you even more.

NYC: The Biggest, Small City EVER

In a city like NYC, everyone understands the importance of “networking.”  It’s vital to your success to know people.  Unfortunately, “networking” doesn’t come naturally to someone like me.  While I am quite social and love to talk (lol), engaging in lengthy conversations with random people I’ve never met is intimidating to say the least.  I hate doing it.

Thankfully, in this city I have been able to get away with no networking (meaning I’ve yet to show up to an event and “try” to network).  On the flip side, EVERY SINGLE TIME I step out for fun, social gatherings I’ve found myself connecting with people in new, interesting ways.

For example…

Earlier this summer I attended an anniversary party for BklynQueens, a women’s vintage clothing store.  I’d heard about it back in Ohio because Azure’D, my sorority sister, attended high school with Keira, the founder.

While there I bumped into Jessica, my sorority sister who is also my ADP (she was the assistant to the dean of my chapter’s 2006 pledge class)!  Would you believe that Keira and Jessica are best friends?  They are all from Columbus, Ohio!

"You had me at hello!" lol

So yeah, I’m at the anniversary party and this woman comes in with the TALLEST.  HAIR.  EVER.  Like, I’ve never seen anything like it.  She definitely stood out because of her hair’s awesomeness.  There was SO MUCH one had to question it’s authenticity, like “Is that even real?”  She and I chatted for a few and I learned that she’d been natural for five years (if my memory serves me correctly).  We later became facebook friends and I discovered she has her own vintage and natural-hair inspired blog, http://urbanbushbabes.com/.

It wasn’t until several weeks later I was watching television when I saw her in this KMart commercial…

Wow!  I’m telling you, it’s a small world out here!

Qream by Pharrell

This past Tuesday I opened my email and found this in my inbox…

After QUICKLY responding to the email saying that I would definitely be in attendance, I did a small Google search to see what Pharrell’s new liquor was all about.

“I looked at the market, I looked at the holes out there and it felt  like ‘indulgence’ and ‘women’ were the two things that were being neglected,” he said. “When you pour a glass of Qream, it’s significantly less calories. It’s a thinner consistency, so a woman doesnt feel like she’s gained ten pounds just by thinking about drinking it.”

Pharrell then describes the delectibilty of the stuff.

“It’s definitely in the ice cream world, in the shake world.” –NY Observer

While I highly doubted that Pharrell would actually be in attendance, I figured the event would be worth my time to attend.  I’d get to test Qream, hang out with a friend or two and prayerfully meet some new people.  Boy oh boy, by entering with such low expectations, I had unknowingly set myself up for nothing more than success.

The day of the event my girl Erin met me at work and together we walked five short blocks to the NY Museum where the event was held.  Unfortunately our names couldn’t be found on the list but we were able to finagle our way into the event anyway.  I was immediately met with intense, banging music, a huge crowd of people and bright, flashing lights that seemed to be reflecting off of everything.  While I was concentrating on taking everything in, I noticed in my peripheral a short-statured, smaller man wearing a hat cocked to the side, relatively close to me by the entrance.  I glanced over and boom, I was locking eyes with Pharrell.  Lol.  I smiled.  He smirked back.

I stood there for a second since he was about to take a picture or two.  Afterwards, he was walking towards a group of people (who obviously seemed to know him quite well) near me.  Once he got near he stopped.  I saw it as my chance to make small talk but didn’t want to seem thirsty.  I made a comment about Qream, he elaborated how people were digging it; I mentioned pictures, he said we’d take one in a moment, as soon as he took care of something (I forget what it was).  Lol, “in a moment” never came.  He then spoke to the group he knew near me, then told us he’d be right back before heading to the lobby.  I didn’t wait around too long after that.  So yeah, that was that.  Haha!  Smh.  I bet that’s the last time I show up anywhere without being camera-ready.

Next up were the drinks!  We quickly found our way to the bar that had endless supplies of Strawberry Qream, Peach Qream and Ciroc.  We each tried the Strawberry which I am definitely a fan of.  It is everything that the marketing propaganda says that it is.  It was light, fresh and milk-like in flavor.  I can best describe it as a light, strawberry-flavored milk with a hint of alcohol.  I don’t want to call it crisp and fresh, because it wasn’t.  But it wasn’t thick and heavy either.  I’ll go with light and chill.  Later we tried the Peach.  I have one word for it.  N-O.  I’ll describe it as peach-flavored liquor mixed with milk…yeah, uh uh.   One thing that’s important to note is that Qream is 95% lactose-free, despite the heavy milk influence in the product.

A few things that were seen/overheard throughout the evening that helped contribute to my overall experience were:

I spotted maybe 2 or 3 security persons inside the venue the entire night.  That was crazy to me because of all of the bigger celebrities that were there.  It allowed us regular folks to mix and mingle with the best of them and maintain our composure lol.

I once found myself chest-to-face with Jay Z (his chest, my face) which was incredibly NORMAL in that moment.  I was standing in the lobby talking on the phone and the area was a bit tight.  I had my head downward to hear better and found myself confronted with a bold-green t-shirt.  I looked up to see who was in my way and found myself staring at the Jigga Man himself.

On my way back inside the venue after my brief run-in with Jay (lol) I realized I had accidently slighted Q Tip’s wife since I had cut her off when I squeezed my way inside the room after him.  I didn’t realize it was him until he had turned back to look for his wife.  I’m sorry Mrs 😦

Another time I was out in the lobby talking on the phone (the whole time I was on the phone with my other girl who was trying to get in.  She and I kept playing phone tag), I spied Tyson Beckford entering.  My, what a beautiful man.

The last time I was in the lobby (lol the lobby was JUMPIN yet most people didn’t know about it, hence all my run-ins, heeeeyyyy now!) I spied Meeka from Basketball Wives.  While yes, I thought about asking her who won the fight between her and Tammi, at the last minute I decided against it.  I’m not about the drama.

While inside I was standing near a couch texting (texting the same girl I was on the phone with from earlier lol) and noticed that right next to me a woman in a black lace dress was doing the same.  I smiled to myself at the similarity in our actions.  After looking at her face and exchanging friendly smiles I recognized her as Selita Ebanks.  Unfortunately 2 minutes later her rude friend/manager/whatever-she-was made Erin and I leave our couch because it was “Sealita’s Seat” only to abandon the entire area five minutes later when they learned that VIP was on the opposite side of the room.

Karmin (google them) performed!  Enough said 🙂

Lastly, after the Selita blunder along came Melyssa Ford and a few of her friends who joined Erin and I on the couch.  Small talk, laughs and fans-wanting-pictures-with-Melyssa ensued lol.

Excuse the quality...this is a BB picture of the original photo.

This was a photo opportunity that Erin and I took advantage of.  On the chaise you could strike whatever pose you chose and a photographer snapped your pic.  A color copy would print out as a party favor.  I grabbed a cupcake and tried my best to be original!

Overall, it was a definitely a great night!

I Hate Working At the Amusement Park

I'm not convinced that this is the life for me.

As many are aware, I’ve recently found a new job.  I left my gig at the Insurance Warehouse (on amicable terms of course) and while I was secure in that decision, recently my new job has made me question my actions a bit.

Yes, I work in an amusement park (of sorts).

When I decided to take the job at the amusement park, I accepted under the impression that my experience would be similar to that of a spectator.  Of course I knew that I would have to help out a bit with the cotton candy machines or even stay at the site a bit after the park closed to help clean up game booths and the like, but overall I thought it would be an amazing experience.  I would get to enjoy the benefits of the amusement park while getting paid on the side.

I was wrong.

While I am able to enjoy the benefits of the amusement park AND get paid on the side, I’m learning that I don’t get to enjoy the benefits as I once would have.   Confused?  Let me give you a few examples…

Yes, I can ride the rides for free as many times as I want, but unfortunately I now have to help set the rides up and shut them down.   Building rides is not fun.  As a result it’s soured my impression of them and I no longer want to ride the rides.

Yes, the games are fun, but unfortunately I have to buy the prizes that the spectators can win.  I am realizing that I have to recruit enough people to play the games so that I can make the money back that I have already invested.  So no, I no longer want to play the stupid, basic games and win a cheap, trash toy.

Yes, the spectators are all fun-loving people when I share in their company, but now that I’m on the other side they are rude, overly-demanding and lack common sense.  I wish I could have their innocence and be as carefree about things as they are.

So yeah, that’s why I hate working at the amusement park.

Lastly, this post is dedicated to the homie Dougie Ealy…he understands why.

P.S.  Everywhere I referred to “amusement park,” replace it with “New York City and all that it includes.”

P.P.S.  Yes, this entire post is a huge metaphor.

P.P.S. S.  Yes, I’m spending my summer in NYC.  More details about it may come later.

Introducing Barbara Campbell, a NYC jewelry designer!

            This morning I found an email from the accessories team of Barbara Campbell.  Campbell is a Cuban-American jewelry designer based out of New York City who’s jewelry has been described as “clean and contemporary, architecturally and naturally inspired, and “‘more art than ornamentation.’”  From what I’ve seen thus far, she seems to specialize in a lot of understated, earth-toned, transitional pieces.  You can easily wear her pieces to the workplace aaand to the happy hour/hot spot/boom boom room lol. 

            After browsing her website, www.barbaracampbellnyc.com, I discovered that she uses only recycled materials, handcrafts her jewelry herself and caters to an urban chic design model that pulls on elements from nature for inspiration.  While her online store isn’t up and running yet, her lookbook has a few pieces that have caught my eye.  As a result, her designs are definitely some that I wouldn’t mind incorporating into my own personal jewelry collection.  If interested in purchasing, all inquiries can be sent to orders@barbaracampbellnyc.com.  

Below are just a few of my favorite looks:

It was on Hampton’s beaches while walking along the shoreline that Barbara handcrafted her first piece.  It has now become her signature, the “Lucky Six” necklace.

This “Bella Cross Necklace” is a unique take on a traditional Cross necklace.  I generally am not a fan of Cross necklaces because of that whole “graven images” stipulation in the Bible, but I believe I would feel comfortable wearing this one.  The intention of representation is there without the OBVIOUS imagery.

The “Bella Star Necklace” uses unique thread/wire (can’t really tell what material it is) that picks up light in different ways.  Definitely a statement piece.

The “Black Luna Necklace’s” focus is on that powerful black stone.  I love it for it’s simplicity.

This button necklace struck my fancy because it reminds me of my craft box.  I love arts and crafts so this piece struck a chord within my soul.

A lot of Barbara’s pieces use chain-links which I’m not the biggest fan of- that look is too “hard” for me.  I like these earrings though because the hoop design takes away from the “hardness” of the chains.  An added plus is that because of the chain-links, the hoop isn’t so ordinary 😉

If you know me, you know I’m kind of obsessed with pearls.  I don’t really need to say anything else other than this necklace makes me happy 🙂

In addition to pearls, I love shades of turquoise as well, especially in the summer.  It’s a wonderful pop of color and this necklace nails it perfectly!

The medallions featured on this necklace have the ability to dress up a mundane, boring outfit.  I can picture myself wearing this against a basic white or black tee and skinny jeans.

I love the chunky look of this charm bracelet.  It’s quite a statement piece though so the rest of my outfit would have to be understated.

Followup to Two Weeks Ago…

The smile is sincere, I promise 🙂

            If you read this blog about two weeks ago, I was in a VERY dark place…my heart was broken, I couldn’t pick my head up, I felt helpless and I had temporarily lost sight of Ashley.  To put it shortly, it was a really tough time for me.  Since then all of the feedback, encouragement and talks that so many of my close friends and readers have given me via comments, texts, bbms and emails have done wonders.  All those prayers, thoughts and well wishes did not go in vain.

            At this time I have finally gotten the closure that was lacking back then.  Since then I’ve had a final talk with him on that chapter of our relationship which has helped me immensely when it comes to getting over it and moving along.  As a result of that, and all the support from those around me, I’ve been able to put a genuine smile on my face (no more fake ones) and look forward to a bright future. 

            Regarding my future, I’m still pursuing NYC.  I have to do it.  Summer 2011 is still solid although now Spring 2011 looks even better.  Who knows how it will all work out though.  I have to make sure I take care of home before I can up and leave.  It’s funny because last week I applied to a few Exec Asst positions and received immediate call backs.  I was SHOCKED!  These possible employers were ready for me to interview right then and there.  While I was anticipating a 3-month+ job search, it seems like it will only take a fraction of that. 

            So as I was saying, I have to get my current position covered and in addition to that, I have to secure my bail bond license-it’s up for renewal in March yet I won’t be able to actually use it until April…essentially it’s a complicated process for no reason.  And when I’m honest with myself I don’t feel comfortable being in NYC without that license.  But thanks for reading my random ramblings my loves and have a fabulous day!