sunday afternoon date.

3 things I love: being with my husband...eating...and dining outdoors!

Over the weekend the Husband took me out for a Sunday afternoon date on Las Olas Blvd in downtown Fort Lauderdale (one of my favorite places to hang out). I really enjoy outdoor dining, especially when being able to watch multi-million boats go by on the water. Between the Filet Mignon, french fries, mac & cheese, my virgin strawberry daiquiri's and picking from the Husbands plate - I was in Heaven! What cleanse? The weather was perfect, although we did have a few random gusts of wind...but I wasn't wearing my wig so it was totally fine! During dinner, I also made friends with the cutest baby ever that was sitting with her parents at a table next to ours. The cutest little thing ever...which of course only added to my baby fever. After I stuffed my face and my new friend left, Hubby took me to get ice cream (red velvet ice-cream...mmmmm) before I wobbled back to the car.

I have to say, I am really enjoying living South Florida. I don't miss New York the way I thought I would - just my family and friends of course. I'm really looking forward to purchasing a home here in the next year or two (God-willing) and really plant some roots here.

A VLOG | {Isn't She Lovely} Cousin Kim

This may go down as Worlds Worst Interview, but we had a lot of fun, lol

Beware of dirty jokes...

my horrible British accent

the fact that we harmonize for no reason at random times

...and of course, Idris Elba talk...

...if you guys don't completly hate this, maybe we'll do more vlogs together in the future

Read Kim's Blog | Follow Kim on Twitter

Sand & Sonic

The weekend kicked off on Friday with Kim demanding me to meet her at the beach within a half an hour, after I decided to spend the day in bed crying. Her idea sounded much better than mine, so I stole, borrowed a swimsuit from my mom, grabbed Lil Sis and did as I was told. Before hitting the sand, we went to Sonic! It was my first time ever eating there, but this is a much fancier Sonic than the ones I see in commercials. It's not a drive-in, but is located in a really cool space with gorgeous modern furniture with a white and turquoise color scheme, over looking the ocean (see top middle photo). Even better than Sonic was the fact that Kim introduced me to her friend Vicki who was celebrating her birthday that day (go team Aries). While on the beach we filmed Kim's interview for Isn't She Lovely (it's a hot mess by the guys are gonna think we're so weird), lost Vicki and Kim's bikini bottom fell off...a couple times. It was an amazing day, I could hardly get anything done at work the next day, as my mind was on vacation mode from the day before. Thanks for inviting me to beach cuz, mi love yuh long time, lol!

What A Week

Between bouncing between two jobs everyday this week, still aggressively applying for work (because I'd like to have one great job instead of two so-so), obsessively writing down ideas for a business I plan to start, reaching out to people who can help me get started, baby-fever, grieving (I cried at work this week...embarrassing), abandoning my cleanse and a million other things...I'm so done. Nonetheless, I'm counting my blessings and have been attending church 3- 4 times per week. Since relocating and not having insurance anymore, I'm not able to see a therapist as I did before, so church has been extremely helpful. I did research a few therapists in my area, but as expected, the out of pocket costs aren't affordable for me. However, I'm lucky to have a great Pastor who is so amazing and has been beyond supportive during our time of grief. Can you believe it's been over 8 months now since Jolie's passing? I still feel like it just happened yesterday, but I'm proud of my progress (for the most part, lol). I'm still struggling with the flashbacks...but it's getting better.

I also learned from an old friend that I recently re-connected with, that he and his wife went through the same thing last year. She randomly went into labor and their son died at birth. Jolie fought for her life for almost 4 hours, I couldn't imagine giving birth and saying good-bye in the same instant. But we are stronger than we think, right?

I'm so excited to be off today. I'm hoping to finally put my birthday plans together and run some errands. Still no rest for me, but that's ok.
How was your week?

{Isn't She Lovely} CHAVONNE of "Like It's Golden"

Another Friday is upon us, and I'm so happy to bring you the 3rd installment of Isn't She Lovely - highlighing authors of my favorite blogs. I'm so excited to introduce you to Chavonne today (if you're not already a reader of her amazing blog, "Like It's Golden". We've been blogger friends for quite some time, and I just love reading about her gorgeous little family (by the way Chavonne, I'm available for adoption if you're looking for kid number 3).

Tell us a little about yourself
Hi! I'm Chavonne- wife, teacher, blogger, and mother to the
sweetest 8 year old little guy and a spunky 2 year old little girl.

I love your hair! Can you share your
hair routine and your must have hair products?
Thanks! I simplified my routine quite a bit since having to chop a good amount of hair off last June. I had my hair straightened for the first time in about 5 years and it was not in good condition. I was twisting it every night, which was no good at all. So now, Sunday's usually hair day and it consists of an avocado prepoo treatment, wash, and deep condition under the steamer. Every other week i switch between a protein conditioner and a moisturizing condition. After, I put my hair in 8-9 double strand flat-twists and let dry over night. I can usually wear it down the first day, the rest of the week it gets pulled back into a puff. I do the mini pineapples at night. I also get my hair trimmed every 3 months. So far so good!

I stick to about 6 products: sulfate free shampoo (right now I'm using Loreal), moisturizing deep conditioner (no favorite at the moment), protein conditioner ( Aubrey organics rosemary mint), Beautiful Curls curl nurturing leave-in (works for me and my daughter!), Shea Moisture hibiscus and coconut moisturizer (I use this with the other leave-in during the winter), and shea butter to seal.

What's your favorite nail polish?
I was a big fan of the gel manicure. It lasted for 2 WHOLE WEEKS!!! But my nails were so beat up that I had to let that go. Now, I'm back to Essie with all their delicious colors. I just wish my nails didn't chip so quickly.

You've been fortunate enough to do some traveling! Where was your favorite place to visit? Which one would you relocate to if you had the opportunity?
So far my favorite place has been Costa Rica. Very laid back, not too expensive, and I got to swim under a waterfall. I wouldn't want to relocate to any of the places we've been to so far but we're visiting Paris later this year and I've always thought it would be cool to live there for a while. Let's see if that dream holds up after we visit.

What's the biggest lesson you've
learned about yourself since becoming a mother?
I've learned that the amount of love my heart can carry is immeasurable. I've learned that I'm very patient but still, that isn't always patient enough. I've learned that I can be independent to a fault and there's nothing wrong with asking for help (or even paying for it) when needed.

Anything else you'd like to share? And where can we find you around the web?
I love finding new blogs and getting glimpse into other's lives. So stop by and say hello at! I'd love to meet some of you out there in the blogosphere

 . . .
Thanks again Chavonne for being apart of the series!

Be sure to stop by her blog everyone, and tell her Jin sent you :)

Have a fun and safe weekend everybody!!!

all photos courtesy of Chavonne via Like It's Golden

Hair Length Retention & Protective Style Ideas

In the beginning of my healthy hair quest, I use to often ask myself, "how can I make my hair grow faster and longer?". What I've come to learn, is the key to longer hair is maintaining the ends of your hair. Hair grows from the root, so if you protect the ends from breakage and splits, you'll see the growth.

Does your hair seem to be stuck at one length? I know that feeling. Some of us have to work a little harder at growing our hair longer, but it can be done! In my personal hair journey, protective styling has been key. The more I leave my hair alone - the more length I see over time. Kimmaytube is a huge advocate for protective styling. Until I finally took heed to her advice, my hair would always break at a certain length each and every time - without fail.

Whether you're relaxed or natural, protective styles (putting away the ends of your hair) and low manipulation can be a main factor in unlocking your hair growth.

Protective Style Ideas |

Buns or Chignons: I go through phases with my protective styling because I tend to get bored. Buns are my thing right now and there are so many styles to try! With your hair in this style, your ends are completely put away. This style can last for days when protected correctly at night.

Wigs: This is the route I go most of the time, because I like that my hair is covered, but then I can take it off at night and let my scalp breathe.

Sew In Weaves: Of course, be careful your stylist doesn't braid your hair too tight as that will cause you to loose your edges. If possible have your hair sewn in with silk thread instead of cotton.

Phony Pony: ...but make sure your hair isn't too tight

Braidouts & Twistouts: These are great styles as long as you're not over manipulating your hair too much by braiding or twisting every single night.

Sometimes I style my hair while it's in Twists as to have as low amount of manipulation as possible {see this post}

Braids & Cornrows Making sure these styles aren't too tight is essential

Protective Styling is only one part of maintaining length and over all healthy hair. I'm not a certified expert or anything but I hope to continue sharing what I've learned along with you, in hopes that it may make your hair journey a little easier.

Eartha's Essentials

Hello to all my new readers who have found me through Fly! ((waves really hard))

I've been getting a lot of questions about Eartha (my fro) lately, and I've just noticed that I haven't done a hair post in ages. She hasn't been getting all the attention she deserves due to all the things happening in my life including the move, getting settled, finding a job, etc. - but now that my boxes have finally made it, I hope to dig up all my cosmetic and hair loot. Nonetheless, I've decided to share my hair essentials with all my new friends who have been asking, and those who may need a reminder.

By the way, I don't want to mislead anyone, so I need to make something clear...
This is one of Eartha's stunt doubles that I use as for protective styling, moments when I'm lazy, or when Eartha decides to be a diva and not cooperate with me. I typically purchase curly/"natural looking" wigs that are as close to my color as possible. I know someone asked me to do a tutorial on that look, but the only thing I can tell you about how I achieved it, was that I bought it at the beauty supply for $20 - lol. I'm so sorry to dissappoint.
Thank you for the compliments I received on this style...although truthfully, it's something I throw together without much effort. Maybe I can dig up my Flip Cam and do a tutorial for you...although I'm camera shy...well, shy in general. Some of my family members have been hounding me to do a length check but I just haven't gotten around to it. Like I told a blogger/twitter friend yesterday - I haven't had a blowout in almost a year now. I straighted it once in 2011, and twice in 2010. I've a made a concious effort to not really apply heat to my hair and it has really helped. I haven't got the slightest idea on the length of my hair right now! However, I do know that most of my color has grown out since I dyed it in July of last year, so something is definitely happening, lol.

The 3 key factors that have worked for MY hair are

1. Avoiding heat as much as possible (blow dryers included)
2. Putting my ends away (protective styling)
3. Moisturize, moisturize and then moisturize some more.

Jojoba oil is the newest member to my regimen, and I don't know what took me so long. I love how light it is, and I typically use it for sealing the ends of my hair at night when I twist my hair.

I use Vatika Oil the night before I wash and/or condition my hair. I practically bathe my hair in it, cover my head with a shower cap, then my silk scarf, and sleep it with it in over night. Because my hair is prone dryness, I try to lock in moisture in every possible way that I can.

Ever since my first experience with Bentonite Clay, I have been hooked. I use this as my "shampoo" and treatment about once per month - once every other week if there's excessive build up. { read this post for more detail }
Pantene For Women of Color Conditioner, is the only conditioner that works miracles on my hair each and every time. It's not labeled as a leave-in, but I use it as one. It makes detangling a breeze and leaves my hair hydrated and supple. This was also my weapon of choice when I had a relaxer. I've been a Pantene girl since I was a kid,

I've discussed the God-send that is Shea Moisture's Curl Enchancing Smoothie many times. This is the most important thing to Eartha and to my sanity. I use it every day! I want to marry it!

...and of course, a wide tooth comb. Nothing smaller than the comb shown above goes in my head...unless I want to rip all my hair out of course.

. . .
I hope this brings you up to speed on everything Eartha!
If you have any questions, you can always leave me
 comment here, email me at info@lovelossandlacquer or tweet me.

Take Care,

Millionaires Row

Sunglasses: Rayban | Necklace: Forever 21 | Jacket: Therapy
Dress: Forever 21 | Bag: Louis Vuitton | Sandals: Nine West |
Over the weekend, we headed to Downtown Miami to play tourist. Bayside Mall offers an array of boat rides around Biscayne Bay, with options such as glass bottom boats, party boats, and a variety of other tours.

The best thing about living in SoFlo, is that after a stressful week at work, you can drive a few minutes to the beach or a tourist attraction, and take a mini-vacation. A little time on the water can completely rejuvenate you, put you in a better mood or inspire you. We choose to sail on The Island Queen that took us on a tour of Miami's most affluent mansions on the water. Yes, for a fee, you can view the backyards of some of your favorite musicians, actors, athletes and other influencers. This trip came just in time, as I had a stroke of genius last week where I came up with a solid business idea (which I can't wait to share when the time is right). I was defintely inspired by these luxurious homes on Star Island, Fisher Island, Palm Island and more.
Seriously...welcome to Miami!
Scarface (one of my all time favorite movies) was filmed this house
This $55,000,000 mansion is the biggest on Star Island! It's not owned by a celeb! It's owned by a doctor who owns a pharmactutical company. One of his most successful medications being Viagra! Yes, if you know anyone who's ever bought Viagra, they helped buy this house, lol.
The yellow-orange mansion is owned by Will Smith! I've seen just about every Will Smith movie - I know I paid for atleast one fixture in that
Shaq & Shaunie used to live here when Shaq played for The Heat. They sold it (for around $15 mill, I believe) to Naomi Campbell and her billionaire beau.
This house belongs to Richard Cramer - architect/real estate mogul. You may have seen this house on Real Housewives of Atlanta when the ladies vacationed in Miami.
You can rent this home for $30,000 per day. I believe this is where Usher filmed "Burn"
Couldn't resist...the sunset was so romantic
Wishing you all a productive week ahead!


I have a serious girl crush on Vashtie Kola. It's been pretty serious for a few years now. I think what drew me to her was the fact that she does so many different things - she directs videos, snaps photos, designs her own clothing line as well as a Jordan sneaker, dj's sometimes - a million different things. As an individual who has always had many different interests, and pursuing a variety of things simultaneously in the name of art - I can relate. I also love the fact that she's a tomboy but turns the glam all the way up when neccessary! She's currently modeling for Karmaloop's Ladies Spring Lookbook and I'm liking! A lot! Curly hair, nude lipstick, bright lipstick, colorful outfits - all the things I love!

{Isn't She Lovely} BOBBI of "TODAY I'M BOBBI"

Happy Friday lovely readers! I'm so excited to present the second edition of my Isn't She Lovely series, highlighting the authors of my favorite blogs.

You're in for a treat today! Meet Bobbi, author of "Today I'm Bobbi". After a hilarious case of mistaken identity, a few emails back and forth, and an upcoming cupcake date - I decided you all had to meet her as well.
    Tell us about yourself.
Ohhh, this is a bag of worms isn't it? I'm a 26 year old former ad agency girl turned freelance writer/strategic planner/travel ninja/blog designer. That sort of comes close to summing it up! I like to dip my fingers into everything, that's why my interests are kind of all over the place! I'm originally from Florida, but I spent the last two years living in Australia and New Zealand. I have a ridiculous passion for travel and I hope to wear out my passport frequently and for the rest of my life!

You have an enviable head of hair, what are your hair product essentials and routine?
Haha, thank you!! My hair has kind of always been a focal point for me. I won't wear makeup, but I make sure that my hair doesn't look, crap. I swear by hot oil treatments and Lush products. The only thing that I don't do is shampoo regularly. That's not as gross as it sounds, I promise! I have curly hair so shampoo, with all of the stuff they put in it, is like pouring acid on it, so I wash it really well with conditioner {I use Retread by Lush} and put masks on it from time to time. I've just gotten a solid shampoo from Lush that seems to be amazing and easy on my hair, so maybe I'll be converted to using shampoo more often! I try to leave it alone {I don't overstyle with blowdrying and ironing} and let it do its thing for the most part. Also, dry shampoo {the spray-on stuff} is a GODSEND.

Do you have a skincare or makeup favorites that you tend to spurgle on?
I don't get too fussy about makeup. I cannot be bothered to put on more than blush and eyeliner {and that's only because my eyelids are different sizes, so I balance them out in order to not scare small children and that's it}. I really like Burt's Bees chapstick, but that's not too expensive so I wouldn't count it as a splurge. When I do buy makeup it's MAC, but I can't stand going to their counters so it doesn't happen very often.

As far as skincare goes, I definitely used to always sleep in my eyeliner and poo-pooed the idea of putting on moisturizer. And then I lived on the other side of the world {where there is no freaking O-Zone} and turned 25 and realized that I can't get away with that forever. SO. I love love love the dry face soap from Lush. It's also perfect because I can travel with it since it's not liquid. And I moisturize day and night with a random brand that I found in NZ, but Dermatologica is great as well!
Where has been your favorite city to live & why?
Mission Beach, Australia. So many good memories there {skydiving!} and it's paradise on Earth. Truly one of the best places ever.

Where have you always wanted to visit to  haven't made it there yet?
I've been to Greece but I haven't been to Greece. There's so much that I want to do and see there, so hopefully this year or next I'll be able to go for a few weeks!

Who is your all favorite one-hit wonder?
New Radicals. Hands down. You Get What You Give is a JAM.

What is your favorite book and why? Probably The Handmaid's Tale, but I have too many to narrow it down! I read like it's my job {sometimes it kind of is}, so I think I have a new favorite every other month. Anything by Haruki Murakami is great and don't get me started on the amazingness that is the Harry Potter series!
Where can we find you around the web?
Where can't you find me on the web is probably a better question! I tweet, I vlog, I pin, and I take a lot of pictures.

Anything else you'd like to share?
Just a big thank you for asking me to do this! The blogging community is amazing, so I'm looking forward to getting to know your readers and the other lovely ladies you feature here!!

. . .

Thank you again Bobbi for taking the time to do this!

Ladies, don't forget to check out her blog, "Today I'm Bobbi" and
stay tuned for some more amazing women in this series

Have a lovely & safe weekend.

My Marni For H&M Picks

like my old self.

To say I've had a rough couple of months would be an understatement. Somewhere between grieving and depression, I lost my creativity. I went from not being able to shut my ideas off at night enough to fall asleep - to having nothing. It felt as though a part of me died, and for a long time, I had no desire to correct that issue. As I now reach a little over 8 months since Jolie's passing (feels like yesterday though), I'm starting to feel like me again. It could be the move I recently made, but I've been feeling these sudden bursts of ideas popping up in my head. The ideas are flowing again and my entrepreneurial spirit has once again awoken. I'm so excited!

During a time where my therapist kept suggesting that I take anti-depressants, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and my loved ones were extremely concerned about my mental state - I randomly woke up one morning and declared to The Universe that I'd been cured. Of course I wasn't, but I want to be, so I declared it! Just pretending to be better made me feel better.

I'm so happy to have had this blog and all of you to express my feelings throughout this time.

I thank you for not leaving during my dark times and sticking it out with me.

I will never get over loosing Jolie. I still cry and have bad days , but I'm learning to live with it. Some days just feel surreal, and I just can't believe what happened...and the way it happened...but I'm still here. I could have lost my life that day.

Besides, how lucky am I to have given birth to my Guardian Angel? Not a lot of people can say that.

I am blessed.

Spring Cleaning

The husband and are decided to do some internal "spring cleaning", and headed over to Whole Foods to properly equip ourselves. After some recommendations by fitness Goddess Kim, we decided on a gentle 7 day cleanse and (reluctantly for me) a tea. I believe I've done this cleanse before, it was just named something different (you know these companies and their private labeling). On that cleanse I felt light as a feather and lost 9 pounds (an added bonus). You don't have to do anything crazy with this cleanse (like not eat) & you will not embareress yourself by being attached to the toilet,lol. Lots of water while clean eating should do the trick. Will be back in a week with a full review...

Do you cleanse?

In Which I Show You My Arms

Necklace: Forever 21 || Blouse: Millenium || Skirt: H&M || Flats: Steve Madden

All women have that one part of their body that makes them uncomfortable - for me, it's my football player sized arms. I typically keep them covered at all costs, so I don't know what got into me when I got dressed for work yesterday. It could be the fact that 90% of my clothes are still packed away in suitcases and boxes. Our belongings finally got delievered from New York (minus my car, bboooo), so I'm looking forward to not having to wash and rewear the same things over and over anymore, lol. I kept feeling self concious once I got in the office, because I wasn't too sure if my skirt was too short. No one notices me because I'm only 4'11 with flats on (lol), but I'll probably reserve this skirt for the weekends from now on.

I'm FEATURED: Fly Girl of The Week

After a blah day at work today, I came home to find that 've been featured  as Fly Girl Of The Week over on Fly. For the past few years, Andrea's blog has been one of my daily sources of inspiration & my way to stay current on all things cool! This certainly made my day! Please stop by and check out my feature when you can. Thank you so much!

Flippity Floppity!

Jennifer Lopez was the reason I originally became obsessed with floppy hats. She used to rock them a lot back in the day and I thought it was the most glamorous thing ever - especially with huge sunglasses! I got my hands on a nice brown one (much like the one Solange is wearing above) but it got bent out of shape during one of my many relocation's. Needless to say, I'm itching to get another one! I'm loving all the different colors and patterns that are currently out there. Forever 21 currently has an array of floppy hats at incredibly low prices. Whether your hair is long, short, straight or curly - this is an easy look to pull off and a fun way to accessorize in the sun.

photo credit: Forever 21

Family Planning & On Going Private

I recently had a pregnancy scare. Like I mentioned, I wanted to give myself some time before I tried for baby #2 - so you could only imagine the emotions when I kept seeing this on my phone... 
Isn't it awesome you can have apps now that keep track of all sorts of things for you, including your T.O.M, when your fertile and ovulating, lol? 

As the days continued to add up to almost two weeks of being late, I told my husband that it was possible there may be another bun in the oven. After all, the last time I was late, I was...well.. pregnant. I didn't allow myself to get excited or nervous, and actually felt relief when my t.o.m did decide to show up.

Even though I don't want to be pregnant right this second, it doesn't mean that I don't want to have another baby in the next year or so. However, knowing what I now know, I'd like to plan a lot better and prepare myself both mentally and physically.

Because my first pregnancy ended in preterm labor, I've already been told that I'd automatically be considered high risk the next time. Between more doctor visits, the high possibility of bed rest, paranoia and grieving - it's going to be a lot for me.

I started researching doctors, and have found a nearby hospital that specializes in high risk pregnancies and has a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I hope to work with them prior to conceiving in order to take all the necessary steps to ensure a full term pregnancy this time. More than likely I'll have to do some blood work, a few tests and shed some lbs before trying again.

No matter how many times I have to get stuck by a needle, go through uncomfortable tests or find the will power to start working out again - I just have to do what I have to do.

Cheers to family planning!
 . . .

On Going Private: For the past few weeks I've been trying to move my blog to no avail. My posts are transferring but are not showing up on the actual blog. I can't figure out what the problem is, the only thing I can think of is that fact that these posts are on it's own url as opposed to a blogspot. Whatever it is, it's not working - so I'm taking it as a sign to leave my blog the way it is.

I sometimes get a little embarrassed about being so open with my emotions and sometimes feel that I share too much. However, after a surprising amount of emails to request access to the private blog and the reasons you shared about why you wanted to continue to read - I realized there is no reason for me to be ashamed. I came to find that my openness is what you seem to enjoy the most about LL&L. For whatever reason it is that you keep reading, I'd like to say "thank you" and I welcome you to be apart of my journey.

"It seems to me that being authentic is being brave enough or just candid enough to be honest about what you are experiencing or who you are, whether it is popular are not. A person gives a gift to other people when they say, 'This is what happened to me or this is how I truly feel, no matter what the popular belief is about what I should feel.' Whenever you are honest, you are speaking for a thousand silent people who don't have the voice to say what they really feel or are really experiencing. So, if you ever talk about [the thing you went through], you will touch a million hearts. Because you are speaking for more than just yourself. You are never alone in what you are feeling." - A Cup Of Jo's post on "authenticity"


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