Styled by 5 Featuring Love Winnie James

Each month myself and four other boss blogger babes have been styling the same piece of clothing and since we all look and think differently from each other (hair, religion, location, skin, size, height, style…all of the above), you’ll get five totally different looks. That means you’ll get to see what I style, on other body types so you can find something that is best for you!

Winne JamesStyled by 5 featuring Love Winnie James Styled by 5 Marina Shirt Love Winnie James Marina Shirt Overalls Outfit

I want to say that I don’t like to play favorites. But we all know that’s not exactly true. I absolutely adore versatile pieces more than basically anything. This Love Winnie James Marina top really takes the cake.

Lightweight, but modest. I like that it can be layered if it’s cold or rocked solo if it’s hot. It’s not denim, although it kind of looks it. So I couldn’t stop myself from trying to go for a denim on “denim” look. I’m almost always cold, so even if the temperatures are way up, I’m not opposed to wearing jeans. Or, in this case, overalls.

There is zero doubt in my mind that this will be my absolute favorite shirt this summer!

Even though I chose to keep it simple for this look, there are so many more outfits that I have in store for how to wear this top. Deidre, Kaylynn, Jacque, and Lauryn really nailed their looks as well make sure to check out their blogs to see just how well! And use the code STYLEDBYFIVE to save 15% off your Love Winnie James purchase!




Photos taken at The Verb Hotel by Gabby Mbeki of First & Warren.


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My Poolside Essentials

Poolside Essentials

Even though I still have yet to find my way to the beach, I have managed to hangout poolside. And while I’m not all that big on swimming, I could soak up the sun all day long.

With SPF, of course.

Plus a few other things…

I don’t really have a ton of poolside essentials. I am more than content with just a few necessities.

Thanks to this thing called melanin that I was blessed with, the sun doesn’t bother me all that much, but I’ve heard horror stories involving boils and second degree burns on darker women of color. I would much rather be safe than sorry, so sunblock is a MUST.

You know that feeling when you walk inside, after having been in the bright sun, and you can’t see anything because your eyes need to adjust? I hate that. So, I try to minimize it by wearing sunglasses or putting a hat over my face.

Staying hydrated is crucial. I drink more water than I normally would. I also make sure to pack my travel size evian Facial Spray in my beach bag. It’s great for the pool because it also removes harsh chemicals, like chlorine, that can do some serious damage to you face.

And, just in case I end up looking for something to do other than Instagram or listen to music, I will almost always carry a magazine or book to read.

What are your summer must haves?




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My Mermaid Life

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links.

My Mermaid Life Old Navy Swim Scalloped Bikini

In another life, I swear I was a mermaid.

When I was asked, what my favorite Disney movie growing up was, without missing a beat I would reply, Cinderella. (Our family dog was even named Bruno, just like Cinderella’s. I’d had to convince my little brother that it was cool because of Bruno the Kid.)

That is until it came up in front of my older sister. She cut me off and was basically like, no. Apparently, I made her watch The Little Mermaid over and over again. While singing the songs. And putting a red t-shirt on my head, pretending it was hair.

I remember having a stuffed Flounder, but I didn’t think it was that serious.

But, it makes sense.

When I saw a red scalloped bikini, I wanted it. Bad. But wasn’t willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for a bathing suit! Even if it was killer.

Thankfully, I was told that Old Navy had a similar one, just in time to buy it while it was on sale for 40% off. And with their Super Cash promotion I was able to get an additional $10 off. I ended up spending less than $20 for the top and bottom!




Photos taken at The Verb Hotel by Gabby Mbeki of First & Warren.


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5 Things You Need to Make a Cozy Kitty Corner

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PawsToSavor #CollectiveBias

Cozy Kitty Corner Savor the FlavorCat Bed Purina Pro Plan


We all like to have our own special spot in our house, but what about our pets?

Where do they get to “paws” and savor the moment?

Thinking about these two questions made me realize that my cat didn’t really have his own little space. Sure he can roam around, but the second he got comfortable it seemed like he was always in someone’s spot. That didn’t feel very fair to him. So, I decided to make one for him.

Here are the five things you need to make a kitty corner for you cat:

  1. A designated spot. A corner in pretty much any room is perfect, but it doesn’t have to be an actual corner. Anywhere you can make room.
  2. Something for them to scratch. You’re going to want a sturdy one, unless you’re okay replacing it every couple months. PetSmart has a great selection of really good scratch posts.
  3. Somewhere for them to lay down. I was extremely fortunate to find a scratch post with a bed. But, you don’t need one, even just a soft bed or blanket will do fine.
  4. A flavorful savory something to eat. Making sure that you cat gets the advanced nutrition they need is so important. Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Cat Food helps to keep your cat healthy, while enjoying each and every bite.
  5. You nearby. I know that this might sound silly but your presence is key!

Plus, it’s always nice to make the space personal to them, by including their belongings.

And, if you spend $15 on any Purina® Pro Plan® product, 5/31–7/5. SAVE $15 on your next purchase of 10.5 lbs. or larger Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Cat or Dog Food or Litter by 7/31.


My Top 3 Highlighters

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links.

Top 3 Highlighters

With makeup trends changing all the time (did you hear that the no makeup makeup look is now back in?), I’ve pretty much given up on doing what is said to be popular.

So, forgive me if I’m a little late on this, but right now I’m all about strobing.

Creating a natural look that leaves me looking radiant enough to have been gently touched by King Midas, himself? All day, every day!

There are tons of different highlighters out there, I have yet to use most of them, but I don’t need to. I have ones that really help me get glowing.

NARS Illuminator in Oragsm | $30

Benefit Cosmetics Liquid Highlighter in Sun Beam Golden-Bronze | $26

e.l.f. Cosmetics Illumination Palette | $6

These are my current faves, but I’m definitely open to trying others. What’s you absolute favorite highlighter?




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Grey Wrap Dress

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links.

IMG_4837Grey Wrap Dress IMG_4843 High Slit TY-LR Dress

Dress: Rent the Runway | Shoes: Steve Madden | Hat: Target | Bracelets: Kendra Scott (similar)

My number one rule for buying clothes, is to try it on first! I haven’t always done this and ended up with clothes that don’t fit right or missing out on clothes that could have fit even though the tag said otherwise. So now, I try it on to make sure that I really want it and will actually wear it.

Ordering clothes online can be a bit trickier. For this, I read the sizing info and the reviews and take them with a grain of salt. When I saw the TY-LR Grey Georgia Dress on Rent the Runway, I thought it was the chicest wrap dress I had ever seen. The loose fit of it was a major part of the appeal for me, because comfort. But, when I read the reviews pretty much every single one said don’t get it. Much of this had to do with the fact that the dress was loose.

Since that was what I like most about it, I got it anyways. And I’m glad I did.

The reviews weren’t totally inaccurate. I had to wear my Miraculous bra and be a little cautious when walking or sitting. For me, this was so worth it! I mean, it looked great and I felt hot in what one reviewer called a potato sack. I say, sometimes it comes down to how you wear the dress.


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Styled by 5 Featuring Honey & Lace

Each month myself and four other boss blogger babes have been styling the same piece of clothing and since we all look and think differently from each other (hair, religion, location, skin, size, height, style…all of the above), you’ll get five totally different looks. That means you’ll get to see what I style, on other body types so you can find something that is best for you!

Styled by 5 ft. Honey & LaceYellow Skirt PocketIMG_4576IMG_4570 Honey & Lace

Any and everything is better with pockets. Especially dresses and skirts, like this one from Honey & Lace. The color and pattern make it amazing for spring. I’ve already worn it to church and received some of the best compliments!

For this month’s Styled by 5, I styled it how I’d wear it for an everyday look. During the warmer days, my jean jacket gets a lot of wear (and some tear). And the heels are chunky, so they’re a little more practical that some of my other pairs.

I usually prefer pencil skirts over a-line, but after wearing it a few times, I have to say that I may have just had a serious change of heart.

I know I’m going to be checking out how Deidre, Kaylynn, Jacque, and Alexis, styled it, make sure you do too!


Blue Milly Vest

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links.

Blue Milly Vest Rent the Runway Milly Long Vest Outfit Milly Vest Blue Vest

Vest: Rent the Runway | Shoes: Charlotte Russe (similar) | Shirt: Old Navy (similar)
Shorts: H&M (similar)

Social media has quickly become my source for outfit inspiration. I saw how someone else had styled this blue Milly vest on the Rent the Runway Instagram and knew that it had to be in my next Rent the Runway Unlimited order.

Last summer I just had to have a pair of high waist denim shorts. I got them and they show a little more cheek than I anticipated. The vest covers that right up and I don’t have to worry.

And I wore heels with it because I’m obsessed with these Charlotte Russe finds, but I will be holding on to the vest for a while so I can wear it again with a pair of cute sneakers or flats.

I really can’t get over the pop of color! I mean, royal blue isn’t something I have a lot of, but maybe that should change…



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When Face Masks Review + Which to Use When

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links.

When Face Masks

I have tried a number of different skincare products, but I have to say that When Face Masks are some of the best. So, I was beyond thrill to partner with When to share about my experience with their face masks.

After trying, I found that each of the masks felt and worked pretty similarly. Not surprising, since the main ingredients are essentially the same. Opening a packet and taking out the mask inside initially makes you think what have you gotten yourself into. These masks are thick! But after you remove the paper and whatnot, you are left with what is still a pretty thick but completely manageable product.

This is no 10 minute mask, so I highly recommend using these when you have some serious downtime. Like most masks, these feel a little cold on your face. And  this is where I found the masks started to vary. I found that 10:00 PM stayed cool and left my face looking younger. Not years younger, but definitely less tired. Whereas, Snow Magic seemed to warm up a bit. It made my skin feel kind of tight and let my face with more of a healthy glow.

Here’s which When Face Mask to use when:


10:00 PM

Stay out a little too late with your girls?


Or even worse, do you look it?

10:00 PM is the face mask you need. It restores the moisture in your skin using coconut juice, hyaluronic acid, and ginseng and watermelon extracts.

Snow Magic

Snow Magic

If your skin is looking dull, then I recommend Snow Magic.

Kind of similar to 10:00 PM, it nourishes your skin, but in addition to moisturizing, it also leaves your face bright and glowing.

No highlighter required.



Going on vacation?

Make sure to pack Travelmate!

It’s ideal after a day spent at the beach, using chamomile and Swiss Alpine herb extracts to soothe your skin.

Regardless of which mask you use, the key is to apply the mask you need for 30 minutes and then massage in the excess serum.

Spa day, anyone?



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My May 2016 Birchbox

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May 2016 BirchboxMay 2016 Samples May 2016 Makeup May 2016 HairClean Sample

For my May 2016 Birchbox, I don’t even remember what the sample choices were. One glance at this month’s Naturally Radiant featured box and I was sold!

Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer | $29
COOLA SPF 30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray | $36
ModelCo Lip Lacquer (in Crème Brulee) | $24
CLEAN Blossom Eau de Parfum | $72
Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo | $25
Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner | $29

I am a little bit of a bronzer junkie. Probably because I associate it with summer. A matte bronzer is the best for contouring, but I have yet to find a stand alone bronzer for me to use that way. When there’s a shimmer to it, I use it all over, otherwise I use it like a setting powder. I knew Benefit Hoola Matte Bronzer wouldn’t be dark enough, but because of the hype I wanted it anyways.

COOLA is a brand I like for sunscreen in general, I’ve sampled their products through Birchbox a couple of times, but never a makeup setting spray. I’ve been looking for a natural alternative to Urban Decay’s All Nighter and I’m really happy to have found this, even if the full size does cost a little bit more.

Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the color, but the ModelCo Lip Lacquer feels like a pretty good gloss. I would love to try it in a shade like Morocco instead. Birchbox carries their sample sized trio for $16, it includes both Crème Brulee and Morocco, in addition to Viva.

Perfumes, shampoos and conditioners are not my favorite samples to get, but I don’t mind so much when I get all three for a total of six samples this month. Sure the conditioner is a small packet, but I really wanted to try the Davines LOVE set. It’s for course or frizzy hair. I have both. (Apparently, Davines changed the formula, and the new didn’t exactly get rave reviews. I still have yet to use it, but am choosing to remain optimistic since I didn’t see any reviews from anyone with course hair.)

The perfume is a heavy floral. Which I did not love and made the mistake of spraying in on myself rather than in the air or on a piece of paper to smell it for the first time. And it’s strong.

Despite my feelings towards the fragrance sample, this month’s box was still one of my faves.