May is here and of course New York didn’t get the memo that the season has changed. I still have to pull out my big coat on some days, but I’ve enjoyed about a week of warm weather. Nothing wrong with a little tease for what’s to come.
As I organize this apartment to put up these big sweaters…hoping one day for good, I’m finding more favs that are a must have for me to get into the Spring Season, while we wait for the weather to catch up.
So, here’s my list to continue the #mood of Spring!
Perfume Paint (Tease).
You can’t pass up on beauty products. Especially the ones that make you feel…SEXXY! That’s where my first item comes in. Strolling through Victoria’s Secret, I run across this brush on perfume. I’ve never seen a product like this before so I HAD to get it (AND it was on sale!). Getting it home and giving it a try, I was immediately impressed with the soft brush painting on this smooth, sensual fragrance by the name of Tease. A few pumps, then painting on those sacred areas, and I’m ready to own the night!
A Memorable Vacation.
Spring season means its time to cash in on those flyer miles or collect a stamp or two on the passport. A good vacay can ease you into a new season by purging the woes of winter. To kick of spring, me and my girls took a trip to Cuba! YES, Cuba! We spent three days in Havana enjoying back to back sight-seeing and activities like horseback riding, salsa lesson, a tour through a tobacco and coffee farm. Even got a history lesson by visiting a coffee plantation. The restaurants had great menu choices with free fish and tasty pleasures that can only be found in Cuba.
The last leg of the trip was spent at Varadero Beach, soaking up the sun, and taking in views of gorgeous blue water. So many good memories and a great disconnect from the daily routine of work, train commutes, and social media. I returned with new inspiration and a relaxed mind. Thank you Cuba!
In the bar scene, I love trying new things. Venturing in midtown, I ran into a bar (The Ginger Man) and found a unique treat on the menu. Chocolate Beer! Otherwise known as Boulevard Chocolate Ale. Two of my favorite things mixed into one. Who knew chocolate could serve many purposes?
Spring is still in full effect and I’m ready to take on the new adventures of this season.
Be sure to share YOUR favorite things to get you through Springtime!
I want to share a few gifts. Sharing is caring right? Everyone has their own list of “must haves”, new discoveries, and trinkets for sentimental reasons. I’d like to expose a few of mine :). Hopefully these will give you new ideas, inspos, or even a confirmation that there’s another addict in your section ;).
Ready? Here goes…
Anything That Sparkles.
I LOVE to shimmer! Who doesn’t. Whether it’s glitter or sequins, I NEED IT!. Clothes, shoes, and accessories with sparkle is automatically on my list (usually ending up in my shopping cart). Any and every occasion requires a hint of shine. A regular day strolling through the city or a night out in Manhattan, looking for Sex and the City vibes.
I have my fav pair of sparkle boots. Found them on sale at Forever 21. They were the last pair, just my size and when I took them to the register, they were half off of the sale price! I knew it was meant to be!
More sparkles in my collection includes an iridescent sparkle purse I mix with a cute outfit along with my go to black sequin purse I throw on with casual wear OR date night.
For New Years 2019 Celebration, I found another gem at Forever 21, these gold sequin pants. (I like to call them my disco pants). Bringing in the New Year with a sassy shine, hitting the town in ATL.
Give me sparkle; give me a shine and I know I’m in for a great time!
Something cute that goes great with my sparkle-fits or a warm greeting to my feet in the mornings as I get out of bed...Faux fur makes the list.
I look forward to cold weather as I get to pull out my coats to strut around in the low temperatures of NYC. Cozying up to my stylish faux fur, while hitting the town only adds to the excitement of taking on the night.
At home, my faux fur serves me well. Decorating my floors with an accent rug to keep my feet warm, along with adding a little spice to the New York living.
Got body?...Suits I mean. Leaving my legs to put on a show, body suits are a sensual given when wanting to look cute around the house, or add to your fav pants or skirt.
Photo shoot time and can’t figure out what to wear, my first “go-to” is a body suit and a pair of thigh high socks, then the “fit” comes together around that.
I like a variety of body suits that includes lace, sheer material, patterns, or just a plain cotton solid color to give a pop to a pair of fitted jeans. This gem is a good alternative to wearing shirts that you’d like to tuck in. No worries of it coming un-tucked of spending time in the mirror, tucking and un-tucking for that perfect look. Just put on the go!
Being lazy around the house and I wanna feel cute? I go to my stash of body suits to have a Friday night chill time with wine and catching up on my shows. Who says you have to look “bummy” for a solo evening at home!?!
Chrome Book (Beasley).
My old laptop houses all of my creative works, BRASH! Magazine, my books, other writing work, pictures, and everything else that I need to save for business and personal. With the years of wear and tear, my poor laptop decided to show its age and slowly fall apart. In addition, it's a bit big and too much to carry around with me.
As a birthday day gift to myself, I bought an HP Chrome Book. All white, touch screen, with the capabilities to turn into a tablet should I choose to use it that way. This Chrome Book was such a life saver, I decided to name him “Beasely”. (And he’s also my temp boyfriend since we spend a lot of time together).
It’s small, convenient and I can do everything on this contraption as I did with my laptop. Now I can grab my “boo” and spend time at a coffee shop, laundry mat, plane ride, or anywhere to create and stay up to date with my projects.
We all have our “regular” drinks when we can’t think of anything else on the menu. Mine is the usual Rum and Coke. However, some nights I want to sip sexy. That’s when the Manhattan Martini comes into play.
One of my fav martinis 🍸 the “Manhattan”. Made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters. Rye whiskey is my fav with this drink.
This special one is from STK Midtown in NYC, “Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan” (George sickle rye, zinfandel port, carpano antics sweet vermouth and bitters.) very tasty and a nice complement to a Sex and the City style dinner with your girl! You’re welcome! 😉.
To detox the libations, and to cool down, I LOVE making lemon water. It helps me to cut back on sodas and sugary drinks. This refreshing beverage also helps with clearing up your skin, acts as a good source of Vitamin C to protect your immune system, AND it’s a great digestive agent.
Quick and easy to make so it is always available to go with a good meal or a parched moment. ;)
So there you go, a few of my favorite things. Of course there's more to the list but I won't bore you with my long list of "can't go withouts".
Tell me, what are YOUR favorite things and why? Let me know in the comments below!
My night at an Inspirational Rock-Doc, Bohemian Rhapsody
I have a thing for 70s and 80s rock stars. The whole idea of letting go and laying it out on the stage. Being free to just be… One band who is amazingly legendary is Queen. A British four piece band of misfits, responsible for the classics of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen” (my personal fav), “The Show Must Go On", "Another One Bites the Dust", “We Are the Champions”, and so much more to name. Queen pushed the envelope in music, showing that you don’t have to be one thing to fit the formula of the music industry. The band’s front-man, Freddie Mercury, was one of a kind. The way he put on a show was like none other. His voice was impeccable and can’t be duplicated. One look at him and you know he was born to do it!
On to Freddie.
You couldn’t tell me, Rami Malek, wasn’t Freddie Mercury. Hair and make-up did their part however, he brought it to life! You can tell thorough research was done and he was exceptional in re-creating Freddie’s life and performances. I hope he wins an Oscar for this one because this wasn’t some impression. Freddie was reincarnated right before our eyes!
We even got a glimpse into the genuine love story with him and Mary Austin. Although their engagement was broken off, they remained in each other’s lives and she was loyal to the end. He even left her a good portion of his estate to her after his death. (My exes only left me alone, but I wrote a book series about it so I’m good lol.)
Throughout the movie, I was left with nuggets of inspiration. To live the life you want to live, break barriers, and DO what they say you can’t. That’s how you become legendary. Not by silly antics for attention. Bohemian Rhapsody inspires me to keep going and to be the person I was meant to be and for that, I’ll always be grateful to Mr. Mercury. Thank you for your gifts, your voice, and your live out loud performances that I can watch, share, and cherish. You can’t watch this movie and NOT be inspired. This is a movie you MUST see!
Thank you Mr. Mercury!
Oh Yea its just me…I’m cool with that.
Eating alone is always deemed as a bad thing. “She doesn’t have friends?” “No man to take her out?” Not even. You just need that time alone. And why wait on someone to schedule you in just to get a meal or a nice drink. Many people stay inside day and night just because they don’t have anyone to accompany them. What’s up with that?!?!
I LOVE hanging out alone. Yes it’s safer with a friend in the big city but there are ways to have a good day/night without the fear. Stay on guard, trust your instincts, go home at a decent hour...ALONE! And don’t make eye contact with the creeps.
Outside of that, you can have a perfectly good time with yourself. I know I do!
It’s the weekend baby! Time off from work and sleeping in. But I tend to go stir crazy being confined within the four walls of my apartment. Even during my freelancing days I took a weekday afternoon for an adventure or just some quiet time in public. It’s fun having time to relax at home but I need sun, I need to feel a cool breeze, I need to stretch my legs and most importantly, I need food!
I like to take the train and pick a stop. I know I’ll find a good place to eat where I can sit outside or inside of a unique decorative restaurant with perfect strangers ready to strike up an insightful convo. Or just sitting with my own thoughts to jot down in my “notebook”. Or to study my lines. Either way, I’m enjoying time out of the house, just exploring. In New York, no place is the same and as a “newbie” its hard for me to visit the same place multiple times. There’s just too much to choose from.
Although I have my favs, my random adventures help me find new place and new faces. Whether a light lunch or a big meal, I know I’ll have a great dining experience without the awkward silence or the long yammering about nothing. I sit. I watch. I eat. I enjoy!
Day time dates with myself entails beautiful scenery, people watching, cute pups searching for that perfect spot to lift its leg, and getting some exercise in for the day.
Into the Night.
Why wait for someone to make plans? I love taking myself out on the town. It beats sitting around waiting for some magic to happen. I like to go out and create the magic. Plus it’s a good way to find another cool spot to add on the weekend list when friends visit. In New York you HAVE to experience a night on the town. Watching the beautiful buildings illuminate the sky with their lights on the way to a bar/lounge with more chic décor. (It also gives me ideas to spruce up this apartment.)
Having a solo dinner date can also introduce you to some interesting people. Interesting in a good way. I’ve met many people for networking or “new friends” purposes. And there’s no pressure like there is on dates. Random stuff with a good story behind. I love to listen to people’s point of views that are unbiased and non-judgmental. Very easy to reveal your dreams to a perfect stranger. They don’t know me, and if I don’t agree with their opinion, out the other ear it goes!
Yes NYC is expensive and a good lunch is costly. But that’s what Happy Hour, EventBrite, and the Appetizer menu is for! It doesn’t take a bunch of money to hang. Need ideas to hang? Go to Eventbrite and look up free events in the area. There’s so much going on in this big city: Art Galleries, Speed dating, Dinner Specials, and even a great party or three. Look it up and enjoy your time alone.
It’s not a big deal to treat yourself out of the house. No one is judging you. Those are only thoughts running through your head that only deters you from experiencing a great time.
So hold your head up when you tell the hostess “Just One”. You’re about to be in for a treat!
Where's Your Fav Solo Date Spot?
I’ve gotten so much better with this subway system. Now people are asking ME for directions and I can actually get them going in the right place! Go figure! Of course, I still have to deal with delays, random track switches from express to local. The usual NYC MTA aggravation that makes New Yorkers even more impatient with constant human contact. But all in all, you take it in strides and part of the experience. And we’re not even going to get on the MTA vending machine taking your money while the workers behind the desk tell you to “call the number on the side of the machine”. Umm ma’am I have places to be so just buzz the door, so I can walk through. Thanks!
Throughout the aggravation of transportation, the destination makes it all worth it One Saturday I ventured to lower Manhattan. Not too sure how I got there but I guess my feet and eyes wanted to take my mind on an exploration. The bar scene, shopping and “museums” were impeccable as always. I decided to make it an exploration day. I LOVE the décor in the random bars and restaurants. Each place is different placing its own spin on the dining experience while having fun art and fixtures that creates conversation or if you’re like me, have wonderful things to stare at while chilling alone.
I love to “people watch” when I’m out by myself. For those who don’t know what it is, the name says it all. I like to study various mannerisms, conversations, and create my own scenarios of how two or more people ended up together and where their story will lead.
At a spot near 8th street. I observed a woman alone, eating, drinking and slowly seeing the liquor take its toll on her. At first, she was timid. Making small conversation with the bartender but as time went on, she developed a courage like no other. On the other side of me there was a handsome man sitting and having a drink while doing some writing. I wondered what inspired him and the masterpiece he was in the process of creating. The liquored up woman decided to take a chance and come across the bar to sit next to him. Immediately, he showed that he wasn’t interested. But somehow she missed those signs and kept the small talk going. I don’t know whether he really had to go or he grew tired of entertaining an unwanted guest, but he quickly settled his tab and packed up to go. She ventured back to her original seat and finished her drink before leaving as well.
Hopefully her spirits weren’t all the way shot. I mean it IS just a man. The woman was inebriated heavily so a clouded judgment played a major role in her shot getting blocked.
The next bar was simple yet festive. A group of friends were upstairs playing a game of beer pong while spitting the lyrics to Cardi B. Part of me wanted to join in but #1 I didn’t know all the words and #2 that would just be weird. I grew bored and left to walk the streets. NYC is like none other.
I found a vintage Volvo parked on the side of the street in Greenwich Village along with beautiful brownstones that I’d wished I found when I was on the apartment hunt. Tourists holding up the walking process to take pictures of the high buildings and local spots. Capturing memories that will not only be posted on Instagram, but cherish and become part of the “Remember when we were in New York…” stories.
After all of my venturing I was back on the train heading back to Harlem. Not ready for the night to end, I wandered into a spot I came to when I was just a visitor. Harlem Public. A smooth, chill date spot with dim lights, candles on each table and me sitting alone. For the first time all day I wish I had a companion to chat with. Looking around at all of the conversations, even the loud ones that irked me, I felt at home. I was home. Soaking up the people and scene like I frequent there on the regular.
My night ended at a more “turn up” style bar sipping on my usual rum and coke while meeting new people. It’s amazing that most people I meet aren’t even from New York. They’re “transplants” like me. What connects us all is the hard part of getting used to the mechanisms of the city and making the best out of the situations.
Let’s just say I shut the place down and didn’t’ leave until the house lights came on. 4AM in the NYC streets. Ending on a high note as it began.
People watching mission was a SUCCESS!
"I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!"
- The Blakk Dahlia