Unboxing: Urbane Boutique

Back in December, I had the privilege to attend "The Women's Edit," which was an event hosted by Urbane Boutique in partnership with PRSVR here in Chicago. Urbane Boutique, founded by the lovely, multifaceted entrepreneur Carlisha Hartzog, is a lifestyle brand that focuses on women's ready-to-wear, leather goods, and travel accessories. PRSVR is a lifestyle brand that caters to men, with impeccable urban style. The pairing of these two brands at the PRSVR flagship location was a match made in heaven! There were mimosas, manicures, and massages. And the clothes were to DIE for. I snapchatted the entire night there (are you following me on Snapchat? If not, you're missing out!)

I received a few goodies that I could not wait to do an unboxing post for!

First, how adorable is this packaging? Seriously?!

This canteen and makeup bag were right on time, as I was in need of both LOL.

This glossy, sleek canteen is called a "corkcicle" and it has triple insulation and a vacuum seal! It can hold up to 16 oz. and keeps beverages cold for up to 25 hours, and hot for 12. I just LOVE that so much! I drink a lot of water and a lot of coffee. This will be perfect for both! You can pick this baby up in this gloss pink color, or brushed copper, brushed steel, gloss white, gloss turquoise, or brushed spider red.

The makeup bag is the perfect size and included a few travel goodies. Plus there is a pack of static nails, which I've never used before, but I'm excited to try! Apparently these last for up to 18 days, so I'll report back to let you know how I get along with them.

In addition to these lifestyle items, Urbane has a beautiful arrangement of women's clothing items. I'm currently lusting after this dope trench.

Also, as mentioned PRSVR also has some bomb men's clothing. I've been eyeing this jacket for bae.

Once again, a HUGE thanks to Carlisha and the Urbane Boutique team and PRSVR for hosting us. I'm looking forward to seeing more from these dope brands ♥

Why Not?

Recently, I went into a Rainbow shop to browse around and I came upon this gorgeous denim dress. I immediately started getting all kinds of winter overalls/denim jumpsuit kinda vibes from it. I just had to have it! But, when I got to the rack, I noticed that this dress was several sizes too big for me. Bummer...I hesitantly started to return it to its rack and let the search continue.

But then I started thinking of all the ways I could style it as an oversized dress. It wouldn't work in the summer time, as I would need to put something under it...but it is perfect for winter-time layering. Furthermore, what really was drawing me in (pun intended, you'll see) was the drawstring. This would cinch in my waist while allowing the top to be baggy and the bottom to flow as necessary.

Nevertheless, I was still not 100% sold just yet. "Let me look at the price, that'll help me decide," I thought to myself. Any more than $15 and it's not worth it.

Guess what? THIS DRESS WAS $3.00. Yes, THREE DOLLARS. I was running out of reasons to not get it.

So, I thought, "Why Not?"

This little shopping tale is where fashion meets reality for me. Honestly, I think we can get caught up in the "rules" too much. We are often given stigmas, labels, and guidelines and told to follow it. But when we do, we can miss out on something extraordinary. For example, when I saw the size of this dress, I could've gone with my first thought, put it back on the shelf, and continue browsing. If I had let the size of the dress talk me out of buying it because it wouldn't fit, then I would be missing out on a dope outfit like this!

PS - Shopping tip: if an item is oversized but has a drawstring like this, it will emphasize your waistline so that your shape doesn't get lost in the sauce. 

Moral of the story: Sometimes, in fashion and in life, you have to make your own rules.

So girlfriends, if you see something you like that's outside of your usual norms BUT the perks add up, just go for it. In the famous words of our Queen, Beyonce: "I see it, I want it...I dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it." Queens, try something new. Break the rules. Better yet, make your own rules ♥


Dress: Rainbow  |  Top, Tights, & Boots: Target  |  Cross Earrings: Forever 21

You Are a Force

Recently, a woman came into my job. As I opened my mouth to speak to her, she said to me, "Wow, you are such a force! Like, you have an incredible presence. I was not expecting to be greeted with a spirit and presence like yours when I walked in here today." I was stunned as I murmured a thank you, and we moved quickly into a meeting. But her words have stayed with me, months later. 

You see, when she said that to me, I was feeling particularly broken. I've blogged openly about my life in the last few years here in Chicago, so you know part of my story. Sometimes, when I'm in a particularly low place mentally and spiritually, I'm just trying to make it from point A to point B, until I can get back home and hole up in my room, away from the world. This was one of those days. I was just trying to make it. Then, in walks this beautiful, vibrant woman who took one look at me and saw a kindred spirit. She saw something in me that I couldn't see for myself at the time:

My brokenness couldn't hide my strength.

Sometimes, we forget that we have power. Sometimes, we forget that we have presence. Sometimes, we forget that we have the potential to change the atmosphere.

Sometimes we forget that we are beautiful, smart, and cherished beyond belief.

Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we are capable. We are brilliant. We are strong. We are loved beyond measure.

So girlfriend, I hope you move through this week with power, and know that even when you don't feel it, you matter. You are worthy. You are a force 
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