ILA ( I Love Afrika Designs) has been an household name for my husband and I for 2 years now. So it was no surprise when my husband requested them as the final touch to his wedding attire. ILA is a online boutique from Trinidad that sells Loc Caps, Crochet Tops, and much much more. My husband and I both decided our dreads would be wrapped on the day of our ceremony. Since we had a summer wedding we both needed something thought would make us sweat too much. ILA loc caps are my husbands go to because they allow your head to breathe even on hot summer days. After purchasing the loc cap I personally reached out to inform them that we needed the loc cap for our ceremony and she graciously mailed it out the next day. I love how personable ILA is which their costumers. They inform you how long shipping will take due to the fact that it is being shipped from another country which did put me at ease. The loc caps come in different sizes depending upon how long your dreads are. Also you have a choice in how long you would like the elastic band to be for the perfect fit. There are loc caps for men and women alike as well as knitted hats. Once it arrived my husband was so excited. Thank You ILA for making my husbands day and for being the finishing touch for my husband on our Wedding Day.
For more information on I Love Afrika Designs Click Here.
Every little girl has this fantasy of how she will look on her wedding day. As for me my vision changed over the years. It wasn’t until I knew who I was that I was able to see myself for who I truly am. Luckily I came to that realization before wedding bells started to ring. Once I evolved into the woman that I am today I put much thought into my attire for our ceremony. I knew the attire must be symbolic of our union as well as my families history. Another huge factor was that my husband and I address one another as Empress and King; I wanted my attire to symbolize not only a royal but also a spiritual union.
Once the time came to go dress and accessory shopping I was already captivated by a beautiful woman by the name of Empress AK on Instagram. Without hesitation I personally reached out to her for ideas and inspiration. I have followed her for a little over 2 years and watched her grow as a woman and brand. When it came to supporting her business I was waiting for the perfect time and occasion. What influenced my look for the ceremony was the love of my heritage within the African Diaspora and our cultural attire across the world. Woman such as Nefertitit, Queen Makeda, Empress Menin, Oshun, and many other African Queens. For me our ceremony signified my rights of passage as an Empress as I begin to create my own dynasty along side my Emperor. I knew that I could only got to Empress AK to make that vision manifest. Alli was such a joy to work with and so humble the entire time. The first day I got into contact with her she sent me so many adornment ideas and consulted me about how I should wear my wrap. Even though she is located in New York she made it a point that we communicated back and forth up until the wedding day. It meant a lot to me because I wanted her to see the final look with everything put together. These moments alone felt like a dream come true. I will never forget trying on the full attire at Impressions Bridal with Empressive Finds jewelry adorning my head. The entire bridal shop was completely quiet; everyone was in complete shock because everyone said this look couldn’t be done in a classy or elegant way. Well The Empress AK proved them wrong. I am forever grateful .
What I love about Empress AK is she informed me on when she shipped the adornments and in the package she takes the time to write a thank you card which is personalized. Empressive Finds boutique has a variety of things. She is known for her glossy head wraps however she offers bases wraps as well. Aside from wraps she has third eye jewelry, earrings, and much more. Her card brought tears to my eyes and put me to ease. Alli puts time and love into her work which overflows into how she interacts with her customers; or as she calls us her cousins. Again Allie is so humble, real, and sweat. She will forever be family in my eyes. Thank You having a hand in making our ceremony magical. I am not sure what I would have done without her.
For more information on Empressive Finds Click Here.
The Groom has to look as good as the Bride right??!!!
Well thank to Etsy that was possible. Etsy has been the talk of the town over the past year. For much of my planning people have referred the site to me for things such as invitations and decor. However I have always been skeptical about using the site and any other online shopping site. When it came to our ceremony my husband wanted something cultural yet different. Often times when looking for African Attire unless you look online or at a Middle Eastern shop you pretty much see the same thing at each store. Our primary drawback when shopping was that we couldn’t find anything in all white. Each attire had gold or silver embroidery. When looking at different designs at other cultural shops it just wasn’t what we were looking for in a cultural garment. When shopping we were going off of a design I found on the internet however we never looked to see who the designer was. All I knew was I didn’t want him to have to buy something offline. After doing some digging I found the shop on Etsy.com. My husband decided to order the attire with high hopes and expectations. I was on pins and needles because I had never ordered from Etsy. Once everything came in he was thoroughly impressed with everything. I tried my hardest to find the man or woman behind the brand yet I couldn’t find anything. The attire is made in Ghana with very light material and is made to order if you send in your own measurements. My husband was comfortable the entire ceremony and was able to wear it through the reception. He truly looked like royalty.
Shopaholic GH is a etsy boutique that specializes in African Clothing. There is attire for men, women, and children. You will find that some of the attire is a matching set for the entire family. Shipping does not take long to arrive at your home and you are able to track the shipment.
As a bride you want to start wedding planning as early as possible to be able to lock certain things in such as venue, catering, and any other vendors that may need a early deposit. Which is why my husband and I took a winter trip to New Orleans. Originally we went to lock in a location for the ceremony and reception; we tried food just to give us an idea of what we possible wanted our menu to be. One afternoon we stumbled upon a Caribbean restaurant by the name of CoCo Hut. A very small family owned business where the food is made to order. Thoroughly impressed we asked if they catered and was told yes on the spot. Once we returned home I called CoCo Hut as I was instructed to recieve a quote for all that would want at the wedding. Our reception menu was based on there menu and specifically what we ordered on our visit. After speaking with CoCo Hut I was told I should expect a call to confirm by Friday.
The Catering Blues begins here……..
A we goes by and we never received a call back. Each time we reach out we are told the owner isn’t in she will call back. Unfortunately the owner is the only person able to discuss catering matters. During this time we are going into Christmas and I decided to wait until the holidays die down before continuing with vendor confirmations. The second week of January I am calling twice a week yet I can not get in touch with CoCo Hut. Once February comes I am a little on edge as I am calling and continually being told the owner is out of town or not in yet. I assume Madi Gras may have taken up some of her time; so again I wait. March there is no call back and we are 3 months away from our ceremony. By the middle of March we are over the waiting game and decide to make a trip to New Orleans to finalize everything for the wedding. By this time we have everything for the ceremony and are dropping things off for our cake and doing a final walk through of our venue. Yet and still we have nothing for our guest to eat. We decide to visit CoCo Hut in hopes that the owner is in for us to speak with.
As we arrive the owner is in casually talking to her brother.We greeted the owner and expressed we would love to have a moment of her time and she was instantly defensive and ask, ” For what?”. Unfortunately she was not willing to have a seat and discuss our catering menu which we gave her months in advance. After explaining we had been trying to call about catering our wedding she asked us to, “come back tomorrow”. We were willing to come back however she refused to give us a definite time she would be in. While trying to engage she continued to have a side conversation with her brother. The entire experience was extremely frustrating. While at the restaurant we considered waiting to grab a bite to eat. As we waited I was able to take in the entire restaurant kitchen area included and I was dissatisfied with some of the conditions the kitchen was in. My husband and I decided to look else where for a caterer and to never eat at CoCo Hut again. Livid doesn’t express how upset we were when leaving the establishment. However, we cancelled our order and left in peace.
CoCo Hut was very unorganized and unprofessional which put us in a very uncomfortable position. I would have appreciated and respected the establishment if we received a phone call let us know they were unable to accommodate us. In the months leading up to our final visit we were scrambling in search of a Plan B for catering. Having to deal directly with the owner has ruined our experience with the business establishment. The cashier as well gave poor customer service that day as well while taking the orders of others. Perhaps it was a bad day? However, we chose to take our love for Caribbean food elsewhere when in New Orleans.
People visit New Orleans for 2 things. TO EAT & DRINK. Everything else is usually a plus. I have been to New Orleans a few times over the years and I thought I knew just about everything I needed to know about the beautiful city. However, what I didn’t know is that there is a huge food truck culture. I found this cool fact out on our final trip to New Orleans when we went to save our wedding reception from hunger. If you don’t remember anything from a wedding you remember the food; usually because of how bad it was. Needless to say we were on the hunt for the best food in NOLA but not your typical Cajun Cuisine. We wanted Caribbean Food!!! Unfortunately we had a rough time finding a reliable caterer and was down to the wire. Not to mention there aren’t a lot of Caribbean restaurants in New Orleans.
I found Jamaican Johnny’s Grill on Yelp a site I was very skeptical about depending on. We sent someone to New Orleans to scope the restaurant out and to everyone’s surprise it was food truck. I was intrigued off of that fact alone so my husband and I took a trip to meet the owner. Before leaving we got in contact with the own and sent our menu request and informed Johnny’s Jamaican Grill we were making our way back to New Orleans. Our first time Jamaican Johnny’s Grill we felt like family. The Food Truck is located at Deja Vieux Food Park. The atmosphere is that of an outdoor restaurant or food court with amazing food and drinks. When the owner Mr.Johnny heard our experience with finding a caterer he stepped in with nothing short of refreshing energy. Mr. Johnny also offered to show my husband the inside of his food truck and what he would be using to cook everything. We also had the luxury of trying quite a few of his dishes while visiting and was blown away. Johnny’s Jamaican Grill has great customer service and an open line of communication. Mr. Johnny was extremely open and transparent which made our experience unforgettable. We knew each others schedule which put one another at ease when we were not in communication for periods at a time. What I love about Johnny’s Jamaican Grill is all foods are made to order and come in big proportions. Outside of that all ingredients used are fresh; each dish is authentic Jamaican cuisine.
The day of the wedding Mr. Johnny cooked all dishes the morning of the wedding. Everything was fresh and the food arrived on time. Each pan of food was devoured rather quickly. Everyone enjoyed the food and had nothing but good things to say about each dish. We wanted the food to be buffet style because the reception was an informal setting where everyone could relax. Our main concern was that there would be left overs; safe to say there was no food left behind. Thank You Jamaican Johnny’s Grill for saving our wedding reception.
To see more about Johnny’s Jamaican Grill Click Here
When it comes to scarfs, head wraps, and hejabs I am all in. Often times I consider wearing one for everyday of the week. However, being a yoga instructor you sweat a lot and I tend to sweat in my head. Nevertheless when I dress outside of yoga 90% of the time a head wrap is in tow. So it was only right that my head be covered for the most important day of my life. The colors for the ceremony were Turquoises and Silver and I wanted my wrap to be the accent of Turquoises. Finding the perfect wrap was pretty hard. Many of the wraps I came across were Turquoises and orange or had patterns that clashed with the ceremony. My vision was simple and elegant and Fanm Djanm had exactly what I was looking for. My biggest concern was that the color wouldn’t be the exact shade that I wanted considering the fact that Turquoises comes in many shades. However, the wrap matched everything perfectly and I was able to wear it the entire day because the material isn’t heavy. The wrap fit perfectly over my base wrap creating the perfect amount of height and fullness I was looking for. Shipping was easy to track and actually came earlier than expected. Fanm Djanm wraps was another major factor in creating the vision for the ceremony. I can also wear the wrap multiple times because it is a solid color which was the deciding factor when making the purchase.
Constina’s Boutique is filled with beautiful authentic clothing and much more. The boutique makes you feel like family the moment you visit with them. Their pricing is very reasonable and there is something that caters to every style you could imagine. I had the opportunity to shop with them at an amazing event and I was in heaven. I love the fact that everything is often an one of a kind piece with the exception of a few things. Therefore it is few far and in between that you will cross paths with someone that has on the exact same outfit as you. As vendors they were so personable and they pulled out all the stops. The owners are such beautiful souls and their shop reflects just that.
Both tops you see featured below have a loose fit that allows for comfortable movement.
If you are looking for a good home cooked meal on the go or catering for your next big event look no further Houston. YSF Catering Co. is a Black Owned Business with quality food and customer service. YSF Catering Co. puts their heart and soul into every meal that is prepared. I have had a great experience ordering lunch from this wonderful establishment. The food is exceptional and the service is nothing short of family vibes. You have the option to pick up your food if you stay near or you can have it delivered personally to you home or work place. All forms of payment are accepted and YSF even adjust the order to fit my none pork or beef life style. All in all I support YSF 100% and look forward to ordering even more delicious food.
Immediately after graduating from Lamar University with a B.S. from the Lamar culinary program Zoia Taylor started the business with her partner Jamilah Thompkins. I have had the pleasure of attending college with this beautiful soul and order a meal or 2 myself. YSF Catering Co. will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary December 6th and they aren’t showing any signs of stopping.
I’ve had the pleasure of ordering from Naturotica numerous times and the consistency keeps me coming back for more. All of the products I buy are organic in every sense and I make it a point to order from businesses that are centered around just that. Naturotica and the sister brands Nene Organics and Yoni Poppin are the only brands I trust when it comes to feminine health and hygiene. The products are organic and vegan based; when shipped to you the owner Nerissa Irving provides facts about the products you purchase as well as useful tips. Naturiotica offers products such as: Yoni Steams, Yoni Eggs, PH balancing body wash, PH balancing feminine spray, Waist Beads, Skin care products, and Hair care products (locing products as well), and much more. Ordering the products online is a piece of cake and products take less than a week to arrive at your doorstep. Below I have listed the products I have purchased thus far.
Traditional Waist Beads ( Click For Full Image)
Dressed By: Constina’s Boutique
Menstrual Cup ( Squeeze Drain)
The menstrual cup I purchased allows you to drain the cup without having to remove the cup itself. The cup is soft silicone which allows to be manipulated with ease to fit snuggle inside the vagina. The is a slight sensation when you first insert the cup however it subsides after 2 mins or less. I prefer to wear the cup over tampons or passed now because it is more sanitary. It also puts me more at ease and is comfortable to wear. The first day you have to empty frequently to prevent it overflowing however that is not an issue. It helps me stay more mindful during this time. To purchase menstrual cup, see benefits and more (click here)
The rose water and lavender blend last majority of the day and smells really refreshing. I also noticed on extremely hot and humid days it prevents excessive sweating as well. You do notice a change in your PH balance.
Yoni Egg ( Drilled)
The yoni egg I ordered is the African Blood Stone Crystal that holds some amazing properties and benefits. When I first used the yoni egg I was very nervous however Nerissa Irving provided me with instructions and her social media outlets carry alot of information. Since using the yoni egg and frequently doing kegels my menstrual cycle is lighter and I experience less harsh cramps sometimes none at all after the first day and a half. As of now my yoni eggs acts as a crystal more than a kegel tool. The drill is in place to add a string in case you would like to add small weights to strength your muscles. (Click Here) for more information on yoni eggs.
Poetry has a way of tapping into the minds and hearts of thousands. It tells the stories of triumph and pain turning them in to art. One may even say poetry saves lives; giving people an outlet to channel their pain elsewhere.
Meet Taju Alim, a Screenwriter/Spoken Word artist from Houston, TX, developed the passion for writing in his high school English Literature Class. Taju and several other students were grouped together to rewrite the play Antigone for a major grade assignment. Potentially facing summer school and desperate for a passing grade, Taju single-handedly re-wrote the play. The group received an A and Taju discovered his inner love for writing. While furthering his education at Lamar University, Taju became a member of the Zeta Psi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Communications. He’s written two feature length scripts and has put together several Spoken Word videos. Taju’s work has been featured on local Houston radio stations, Worldstarhiphop, Blavity and Russell Simmons All Def Poetry. Taju Alim’s ultimate goal is to write and direct screenplays that influentially create unity among all races.
Here is one of his most recent pieces, ” Jealousy x Envy x Rage” A video dedicated to Dominique Thibodeaux a mother off two who was slain by her ex husband.