Crossbody

Remember when I told you that H&M bag was going to be my everyday bag? I wasn't lying. If you follow me on instagram or have been reading my sporadic outfit posts, you'll see that I always have it with me, lol. Crossbody bags are perfect for ladies like myself who are always out and about running all over town. When I'm going from dropping my sister off at school, to grocery shopping, going to the bank, etc, it helps not to have a purse in my hand. Here are a few more styles that I'm eyeing:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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A Moment To Say Thanks

[ yesterdays grocery shopping trip ]
Good morning everyone! I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the comments and emails I've received regarding Jolie's Story. Sometimes I sit in tears reading your notes. They mean a lot.

This is a very lonely healing process. Yes I have the support of my family and the most incredible husband, but I am the one that carried her, felt her movements and gave birth to her. In the beginning, I used to get upset that people didn't understand what I was feeling - but they can't. I get it now. Everyone's experience is different, even in loss. Sometimes I have to unplug because there seems to be a pregnancy announcement or birth announcements every few seconds, though in reality it's not that frequent - but it feels that way. It's challenging when it seems like everyone is bringing their baby home when I left the hospital empty-handed...and when most of the women you've connected with in the baby loss community are getting pregnant again, and you still aren't.

Sometimes pregnancy seems like an unattainable concept to me...like it's never going to happen again. And yes, there is a part of me that fearful having experienced first hand what could go wrong. How did I get so unlucky? Sometimes I envision myself fully immersed in motherhood. There's a constant back and forth with my feelings and the decision of if I even want to try again. There's a constant fight to drown out the negative thoughts that plague me. I continue to do my best to choose happiness and still be grateful throughout the day, even when I feel like throwing in the towel.

I don't talk about my feelings in my every day life as I do here on LL&L, so I appreciate that you haven't stopped reading. I'm actually in awe that readership continues to grow, lol. Thank you so much!

Do you ever feel like someone is singing the words from your diary? This video just came on and stopped me in my tracks, and recited all the feelings I've had bottled up in my heart. I know God is listening.
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Curlbox Meet-Up with Founder Myleik Teele

Myleik Teele, founder of Curlbox and I

I was elated when I received an email from Curlbox informing us their founder Myleik Teele would be in Miami, and was planning to do a meet-up! I was even more excited when I realized we'd be meeting at the famed Fountainebleau - I will take any reason to go there :) Myleik's work ethic, intensity for business and passion for Curlbox can be felt through her social media platforms, so I knew nothing was going to stand in the way of me attending the meet-up. I'm always inspired by Black women who have taken the road to entrepreneurship as I have always aspired to do the same.

I posted about this company back in November when they had just a landing page for those who were interested to sign up for updates. Once the full site was launched and memberships opened up, it sold out within minutes - and it continues to happen every time Myleik opens the membership to new members. I'm one of the unlucky souls that keeps missing the openings ((sigh)) but please believe, I will have my membership sooner rather than later - I'm not giving up, lol! Nonetheless, I tell EVERYONE about Curlbox and have had the please of interacting with Myleik through twitter and instagram over the last few months.
With Myleik Teele at Curlbox Meet-Up, Fountainebleau Miami Beach - Thursday April 19, 2012
[ there were quite a few more ladies in attendance, but had to exit before I remembered to take a picture ]
Over drinks, Myleik gave us insight on everything from Curlbox, to dating, business, book recommendations, hair and more. Anything and everything was discussed - no question was unanswered or off limits. We were in an intimate environment that felt more like hanging out with your cooler and very successful big sister who was schooling you on life. Ms Teele gave it to us straight - not an ounce of sugar coating, and we ate up every minute of it. She has a huge, animated personality that had us cracking up throughout our conversations.
Curlbox founder Myliek Teele & Kim
There were some amazing ladies in attendance including the gorgeous Shana of Ily Beauty Co. and the ladies of Natural In The Sun.
Myleik Teele & Cousin Kim
Kim and I left the meet-up beyond inspired and motivated! We're ready turn the ideas we have in our heads, into lucrative businesses! Being fearless was a big topic of the night and something that especially hit home for me. However, after talking with Myleik and seeing how an idea she came up with only last August has already translated in a successful business - I'm ready to run towards my fears & conquer them! I also learned to ask for things. I know that sounds simple lol, but if you're shy like I am, or have a fear of rejection - it can certainly be a hinderance.

For those of you lucky enough to have a Curlbox subscription, please know this woman goes HARD for you! Perfect example, the fact that she wakes up at 3am and starts answering customer emails. She sacrifices a lot to make sure this company is at it's best and to make sure that cosmetics companies realize that we are the group that spends the most on hair and beauty products but aren't being catered to. Curlbox is not just a subscription service, it's a movement - wait till you see what's in store!
Thank you so much Myliek for your insight & advice!

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Easy Breezy

Another Friday is upon is ladies! ((insert happy dance here)) I wanted to share the outfit I wore to the Curlbox meet up last night. You know me, I like to be comfortable above anything else, so I opted for a basic tank and a pair of shorts I've been wearing just about everyday this week, lol...which I stole from my mom by the way. I found this kimono-type situation in Forever 21 yesterday and had to have it, though I wasn't quite sure what to do with it at first. After some experimentation, I was able to throw this together. I got a few compliments from some gorgeous and stylish gals at the meet-up, so I guess I did ok. Although, at one point everyone mistakenly thought I was wearing a dress (because of how it appeared when I was sitting) and thought I was accidental showing "my box" lol. Once I stood up and showed it wasn't a dress, the shorts and all that, it made sense. But we did have quite the laugh, lol.
Another funny story about yesterday!!! While we were in Miami Beach on the way to the meet up, we see a car being followed by a police car that had it's lights flashing. Naturally, we figured the cop was trying to pull over this guy, but he wasn't stopping. I thought, "wow, this is worst slow speed chase ever". We couldn't figure out for the life of us why this guy wasn't stopping even though he was clearly being followed and being signaled to pull over. We get to stop light and I'm like "yea, the cop is gonna come out his car, guns blazing!!!". Then we see the car break a red light to make a u-turn...how crazy is this person? He's ready to die! The car makes the u-turn and the driver looks right at us - it's friggin' Mark Wahlberg! Turns out the cop was his escort. Ladies, this man looked like a Ken doll - he looks perfect!!! His hair was amazing, he was tanned and glowing, his sunnies were hot - I mean...out of control...seriously! Very random.
Remember the Beetle Ring I posted about on my Topshop Birthday List? I found a replica at Forever 21 !!! At a much better price by the way! I kept scaring my aunt with it while I was waiting for Kim to get dressed, lol.
Necklace | Tear Drop Necklace - Forever 21
Kimono (?...maybe) | Forever 21
Basic Tank | Forever 21 - only $2.80 ladies!!!
Belt | Forever 21
Shorts | Nine West uuuummm...when did Nine West start making clothes? I was so confused
Shoes | Dollhouse
Lipstick | Red Coral by Motives Cosmetics
Lacquers | (Peach) Wellington Square by Nails Inc

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UPDATES + THOUGHTS: Jolie's Birth Story, Healthy Living & Locs...and some more stuff

I was tempted to write Happy Monday, but isn't that an oxy-moron? Then again, any day above ground is a good one right? Let's be thankful that we woke up this morning, were able to breath on our own, stand on our two feet to get out of bed, and are given another chance to change our lives. Yea? Let's go with that.
photos via Le Coil
So ladies, I'm having a moment. I'm seriously considering getting locs. I don't know if I've been watching too many Chescalocs videos or what, but I'm kind of obsessed. I'm definitely going to think about it for a while to make sure I'm not going through a faze, but I'm so tempted to start twisting my hair up right now. AAArrrggghhhh!

I went on a bit of a beauty binge this weekend. My moms cousin was visiting from Jamaica and had me help her to learn about makeup and take her to purchase the products I recommended. I took her to Sephora and she was quite amused by how short my attention span was once I walked in there. There was so much stuff! I wanted the entire store! I can't wait to share what I got. Oh yea, and she bought a few items as well.

I finally got around to sharing the series of events that took place on the day Jolie was born on the "Jolie's Story" page. You have to excuse me, I wrote it pretty quickly to get through it as fast as possible, so I have to edit it over time to add in some details that I couldn't bring myself to write as yet.

In preparation to eventually get pregnant again, I'm on a mission to eat better and loose a few pounds...well...A LOT of pounds, lol. I decided to share that separately on an extension of this blog, called "Love, Weight Loss & Lacquer". I should have a post up sometime tonight.

...so please tell me you guys saw that Tupac hologram at Coachella last night? How crazy is that? Technology makes just about anything possible nowadays! I probably would have fainted if I saw the performance in person, lol. Amazing!

I'm off to create my Plan of Action for the day and hopefully get most of it accomplished. Wishing you all a safe and productive day ahead.
Take Care,
Jin

My Birthday Dinner


After being rained out on the boatride, we literally ran off the boat and jetted back up north to pick up Kim and then head to my house to get ready. J.Alexanders is my favorite place to eat around here, so it was a no brainer to host my gathering there for my group of 13. We ended up having to sit at two seperate tables because there was too many of us :( Funny enough, all the married people gravitated towards each other while all the single people had their own section. I just found out last night that I sat at the wrong table, because my friends boyfriend paid for their entire "single table" (damn, damn, damn, lol). I also had my first real adult drink...I had a mimosa ya'll, lol...although it took me like 3 hours to drink it. The food was incredible as usual, my family and friends were their typical loud and crazy selves and our waiter was brave enough to put on his Easter hat for us - he was quite fab!


Choose Happiness

photo via my damn blog

"happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions...it's a MENTAL ATTITUDE...it comes from appreciating what we have instead of being miserable about what we don't have. It is so simple, yet so hard for the human mind to comprehend"

As I've shared here, I suffered from depression after my daughter passed away. I use to cry frequently throughout the day, every. single. day. I felt alone...hopeless...helpless...less than...every negative adjective you can think of, I've felt it...and still feel it sometimes. One day I woke up and randomly declared that I was happy, though I was quite the opposite. But I wanted to be happy again. I couldn't just be happy, I had to work on it. A little everyday. I found a hobby (I'm sure you've all noticed I've been blogging more than ever), read motivational books, watched motivational programs on television (Oprah's Lifeclass is the best thing that ever happened to me) and dove head first into my Faith. Those are the things that personally worked for me, but everyones journey to reclaiming happiness is different.

One of the biggest things that helped me was Dr. Wayne Dyer's concept of "change your thoughts, change your life". How does one change their thought when they're in despair? Just do it. It sounds too simple to work...but that's all it is. Choose happiness.

For me, whenever I think about the weight of my situation and I feel my eyes watering up, I find something else to focus on immediately. Whenever I look in the mirror and I'm disappointed with the reflection staring back at me, I find something else to do. Of course, once in a while my emotions may get the best of me, but it happens far less frequently than before. It's like exercise, you feel better as time goes on.

Negative thoughts and emotions only attract even more negative thoughts and emotions to you. Saying you want to be happy, but then crying in bed all day...will only attract more negativity. Do the work. No one else can do it for you.

You can choose happiness.


BIRTHDAY RECAP: The Boat (AND LAST DAY TO ENTER GIVEAWAY)

I had to wake up at 5am to go to my Baptism, so naturally I took a lllloooonnnngggg nap when I got back home. Since our spa date didn't work out, we took a trip down to Miami to get on a boatride. Unfortunately for us, the weather took a turn for the worst and it poured like a Category 5 Hurricane. We got completely soaked but made the best of it. Of course, the second we got off the boat, the sun came out! We also made friends with a 12 year old boy from Wales, who sat in the rain because he said he's use to it where he lives, lol.



(video included) BIRTHDAY RECAP | Getting Saved

On Saturday, I took one of the biggest steps in my life - I got Baptized. I was Baptized as a baby, but as an adult who is now fully aware of what it means (and able to decide on my own), I decided to take a step deeper in my Faith - fully giving my life to God. It's something I'd been considering for years, but the timing never felt right. When my church announced the Baptism date and I realized it was over my birthday weekend, I came to the conclusion that there was no better time than the present. I've never been so close to God and as deep in my Faith as I am at this time, and for me, there is no other way. What made it even more special, was the fact that my mom participated in the Water Baptism as well.

..lucky for us, my husband captured our Baptism on film. My mom is first and then me...

I took my best friend to Easter Service with me and her mind was blown. I'd been telling her stories of my Pastor's ability to phophasize, but she didn't believe until she experienced it for herself. He looked right  at her and called out a medical condition that she is prepping to have surgery for. Naturally, she was completly freaked out, lol, but I held her hand and took her to him. He prayed for her, and I'm confident that things will be better for her.

My Faith is not something I really get into here on LL&L, but this is a huge moment in my life and I wanted to share it with you. I hope you have an amazing day and don't forget to enter my giveaway.


BIRTHDAY RECAP | Friday Night Miami Lights

Necklace: Random Cart in The Mall | Blouse: Forever 21 | Shorts: Forever 21 |
Shoes: Dollhouse | Bag: Louis Vuitton | Lacquer: Age of Aquarius by Color Club

The festivities kicked off with one of my best friends coming into town, and then we met up at Kim's house to go to Miami. She was meeting up with some friends for dinner, so I decided to tag along and make it part of my birthday celebration. I was quite surprised that we'd be dining outdoors on the water (you know I love that). There was a DJ playing the best music, and I even taught Kim and a new friend how to do the Cupid Shuffle (which I learned from watching "Jumping The Broom"). Good food, good music and crazy people made for an amazing night.



THE JOLIE DRESS

Necklace: Forever 21 | Dress: Touch 9 via Mixology | Shoes: Brash | Bag:H&M

I wore this on my birthday yesterday to my usual Wednesday Afternoon Service at church and then to work right after. I bought this dress last year to attend a wedding, while I was still pregnant with Jolie. I desperately went from store to store, trying to find anything that looked great on me. I had such a hard time finding a cute dress that didn't have a maternity look, but was comfortable, stylish and able to wear post baby. As I was just about to give up, I spotted this dress in Mixology - it was perfect! My husband and I call it "The Jolie Dress" because we think of her every time I wear it...and yes, here I am with that same darn bag! I can't help but wear it everyday, it's so versatile!

Hope you have a great day ahead!



Floral Arrangement

Blazer: Forever 21 | Blouse: Miroa 
 Denim: Angel | Bag: H&M | Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden
It's Monday! Everyone ready to go back to work? Yea me neither...but I do have some good news...IT'S BIRTHDAY WEEK!!! ::pop, locks and drops it:: My birthday is on Wednesday, and I'm so excited even though most of the plans are still up in the air (that's my fault). One of my bestfriends is coming into town to celebrate - I can't wait to see her - haven't seen her, since her birthday. Anyhoo, here's an outfit I wore over the weekend. A little color-blocking...some florals...I was practically screaming Spring. You all know I love a good blazer, so when I spotted this one in Forever 21, I knew she had to be mine. I am looking forward to collecting more colors, as all my others are black and my older sister captured a navy blue one that I had, lol. I love her to pieces so it's all good :) ...oh yea, and if you celebrate Palm Sunday, I hope you had a great time at church yesterday - I sure did!
By the way, if you're looking for a cure to "The Mondays",
I'm going to need for you to CLICK HERE! Kiki, always cheers me up!


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