A girl’s best friend

Ladies, ladies, ladies: raise your hand if you have way too many bags than room in your closet and, money in your bank account! ✋🏾🙋🏾 (I raised both hands) Now that that is established, let’s talk purses.👜👜

In my last post, I opened up about my obsession for bodysuits but unfortunately, it is not the only addiction that I cultivate. What would probably come first on my list is bags! I love them, I breathe and dream about them at every time of the day. It is a vice that I got from my mom and that I sadly and proudly carried on and, will pass on to my daughters because, they are simply too beautiful.

As the only girl in the family, it was only right that I inherited the singular passion for all things girlyish. My mom has always been my model and style inspiration. She has that timeless and effortless classy aura and taste that will make anybody want to know more about her. This is something that I have always hoped and worked hard on to channel, even to this day. However, if there is one thing that I definitely assimilated is her taste for bags.

I probably got my first designer bag when I was in Middle School or High School. I am not sure, it was a long time ago. Why so long though? Because my parents believed and raised us to always be grateful and worthy of anything that was given to us. My dad, a very loving but still very strict man, never refused me a thing but, made sure to instigate in me the values of merit. In other words, you can get anything in life, as long as you work hard for it and prove that you deserve it – henceforth I always excelled throughout my education. So, just as my parents started giving me more responsibilities, they introduced me to the designer world.

I bought my first bag in 2011, the Noé Louis Vuitton bag (LR) on Vestiaire Collective. That was my first experience buying a second-hand bag and I must admit I was a little bit freaked out. My sister-in-law who was using the website at the time, referred me and shared her positive experience with them, which helped me a little into trying it out. After I received my bag, I was so in love with it. I was so proud, cause I bought it with my own money for once and I loved the feeling of owning my own sh*t. 👸🏾

After that, I moved to New York and things went south. My addiction reached new highs and became severe. I discovered outlets, warehouse sales, designer sales and what I like to refer to as the devil 😱😈: Century 21, TJ Maxx and Marshalls. My collection went from Gérard Darel, Lancel and Longchamp to CélineSaint LaurentDior, Chanel, Fendi, Ferragamo, Prada and Givenchy, to name only a few. As of today, I own close to 30 designer bags, which is not negligible for someone this young. I look at them like long-term investments that I will be happy to pass down to my daughters and theirs afterwards. This is why I look forward to get a hold of my mom’s collection – even though we have an agreement that I can “borrow” an item per trip back home and, return it the next time I visit.😏

While these days I have slowed down my compulsive shopping, I still have a number of pieces in my wish lists on Vestiaire Collective, Net-à-Porter and C21. When seasonal sales hit, my taping game knows no limit: add to basket & purchase lol. (Don’t tell my husband) There are pieces that I however keep on the fantasy side and try not feed into too much, for fear of losing my mind: Constance & Kelly by Hermes, Peekaboo by Fendi and Miss Dior by Dior.😣😢 Those will only become realities when I am financially established aka I own a house and have savings secured for my kids’ future. Let’s be clear, just because I love luxury pieces, does not mean that I would forget about my priorities – my parents taught me better.

May your collection grow and your bank account flourish! 😅💵💳💰

I Am… Sasha Fierce

The month of love is here with its famous celebration, Valentine’s Day! This is even more special as we will celebrate our sixth month marriage anniversary and, our second year of dating! It is exciting and definitely one of those times where I want to surprise and spoil my man.

For the first time, I can freely unleash my Sasha Fierce and what better occasion than love season. If you know me, I outdo myself when it comes to showing and expressing my love and care when in a relationship. From time to time, I like to switch up things and make sure that we do not fall into the ‘boring couple’ category. I don’t like basic. Never have and never will. Therefore, I make sure to spice it up when necessary, sometimes just because.

So what’s the plan for V-day this year: I have no clue, as usual. lol, I just let my man handle that day. However, I surely have a few tricks up my sleeve, to make sure that I am always ready at all times. Like every woman, I absolutely love feeling and looking sexy & attractive, for myself and for my man. There is no better feeling than that look your bae gives you when you’re smoking hot! Lust and passion are definitely two necessary spices to keep a healthy and exciting relationship.

In order to properly prepare for the occasion, I went ahead to my wax lady last weekend  to handle my business and got a fresh mani-pedi. Another thing that is absolutely important is lingerie. I love it, well actually I am obsessed with lingerie. I like looking good underneath my clothes but above all, I want my man to feel like he’s unwrapping a gift every time he undresses me so I always look for the cute and inciting sets. I have a thing for boudoir lingerie and a clear obsession with lace and bodysuits. My favorite brands are L’Agent by Agent Provocateur, Fleur du Mal and of course Victoria’s Secret, to only name a few.

While lingerie plays a major role this season, I am very excited about Fifty Shades Darker. I devoured the trilogy in two weeks when it came out four years ago and was extremely pleased to see that the movie remained as faithful as possible to the books. Like last year, I managed to get advance tickets for 2/9 except this time, I will be treating bae to diner. From time to time, it is good to show him how much he is appreciated and what better occasion than NYC Restaurant Week. I look forward to it because it will give us an opportunity to take a break from New York fast life and, focus on each others.

Until then, ‘Laters, baby.’

Back on Tracks

Last week marked the beginning of two important things: my 3rd semester in my PR program at NYU and, my return to the GYM. While the first happened quite smoothly, I must admit the comeback to the latter was not so easy and that is all my fault.

I had been slacking from my almost religious workout routine since October so it is only fair that I would be struggling after three months or so. As part of my resolution to become the best version of myself this year, I want to get my sh*t together and get back on tracks with my weight and fitness goals: losing 10 lbs/5 kgs & toning up my body.

With a fully loaded semester – 4 full-time classes – I am aware that it will be challenging and that I might want to give up on multiple occasions but, I will just have to work harder. Fitness helped me overcome and alleviate a lot of the pain and stress I faced last year after losing my best friend and, I do hope to integrate it fully to my routine this time. This time, I am lucky to have the guidance and tips from my hubby who will be extremely resourceful  into meeting my goals. He’s going to be a real a** but that will be necessary cause I need a pusher to get me started.

Here is what my new routine will consist of:

  • 3 workouts per week targeting
    • endurance/cardio
    • legs
    • upper body
    • core
  • 1 yoga session to improve my flexibility and alleviate the soreness from my workouts

Meanwhile, I have slowly started reducing my calories intake, focusing on lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies (which are already part of my diet) and, consuming more water. Let’s be clear, Rome was not built in one day so I am not rushing myself into it. I want to enjoy every step of the process while making sure I do not lose my husband when he becomes a bully at the gym (sigh).

I will be posting updates soon about my exact routine and diet but you can check my Instagram story for the latest news. Wish me luck, I will need it!

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Travel diaries : Brazzaville

Home is where the food is. My fellow Congolese will agree with this statement, probably adding music to the statement lol. So, if you have never been to Congo, now is the time!

I left NYC cold weather for a warmer destination: Brazzaville. I had been planning this trip for a bit, making sure that I would make it on time to surprise my dad on his 66th birthday. Every single member of my family was in the confidence, including my 10-month-old nephew, except for my dad of course.

I left NYC on sunday night, my flight was supposed to leave at 6:20pm but didn’t take off until 11pm. I ended up missing my connecting flight in Paris the next morning and was rebooked to a flight to Morocco. I had a 6-hours layover in Casablanca and waited another hour in Pointe-Noire to finally make it on Tuesday morning at 5.50am to surprise my old man.

One of my suitcases did not arrive until Wednesday evening, although Air France continuously assured me that they would both make it at the same time as I did. Delta never apologized for the inconvenience but I guess that is just how things work with these companies. In the end, I was home and, the tears my father and I shared that morning were priceless.

While my journey was full of unforeseen events, I did manage this time to catch up with my loved ones. No partying nor heavy drinking but, lots of quality time with family and friends, and some sunbathing cause my skin was craving some vitamin D!

I am not sure if I am getting older (and wiser lol) but I don’t feel the urge anymore to be outdoors all the time. I despise crowded places and above all, the hypocrisy that surrounds our milieu. I have reached my limits and can no longer pretend to like being around people I simply cannot stand. Last year definitely taught me that life was too short to be living anything but your own truth.

Although I was born and raised in Brazzaville, I only started appreciating the beauty and richness of my culture until recently. Crazy right? Well I always was and will be a fan of my native land. In fact, the longer I lived in abroad, the more I value and cherish the time I spend here. Even though I complain all the time about people being lazy and that I live too far from the center of the city, it makes me sad to see how my colourful and vibrant city was affected by the financial crisis.

I always loved the food at Mami Wata, it is what we call a “valeur sure” – meaning, you can never go wrong there. Although I always get the same items off the menu, which consists of the fish brochette (kebab) with a side of plantains and rice. What I enjoy the most there is the view of the Congo River and of Kinshasa. My crush however was the newly opened Elbo Suites whose modern architecture and, its simplistic and discrete staff definitely contributed to the hotel’s fast growing reputation. I met my girls there for diner and had the Carbonara Pasta and a Mojito which were both to die for and, THE best in town!

Although this was a very short trip, I definitely refueled my soul and heart, from the house staff to the cab drivers, the rude street vendors and the invasive family members. All of this contributed into making my quick sweet escape a very colorful and cheerful experience! I am not sure when I will be able to return home but at least I know I carry it everywhere and wherever I go, in my heart!

For further information about Brazzaville and all of its beautiful and amazing touristic attractions, visit the National Tourism Office, you will get more tips on where to stay, eat and party; how to access the Odzala National Park and see the Gorillas, amongst all things.

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New Year , Same me

Happy New Year!

I hope everybody had an amazing time and that you all spent the holidays with your loved ones. Goodbye 2016 and hello to 2k17 – year of achievement. Although I must admit I was anxious about what the new year would bring, I have set myself into thinking and acting more positively!

The first week of 2017 definitely started off on a good note. I passed all my classes with As; I got my French visa and managed to visit my family in Congo and France. I can’t complain, God has been good so far.

It is obvious that every year, one must anticipate new challenges, redefine and refine objectives and, eventually, establish new ones that will guide them through the new year. Not for me, not this time along. I decided that 2017 would simply be another opportunity to focus on myself, my family and loved ones and on my brand.

This year I want to work on really taking the time to appreciate life, one day at a time. 2016 was tough. I almost lost myself, trying to fight against the wave of events and, I almost drown myself trying to fight the inevitable. 2017 will be the year of achievement and personal enhancement. I need and must trust in myself and into God because worry never brought anything positive.

So new year, definitely same me. Setting up surrealistic resolutions has become such a trend in my generation in the past decade that we all end each year disappointed at ourselves and reflecting on what-ifs. I just hope that this new year will be filled with nothing but love and joy for each and every one of us.

2016 you taught me the value of life, you took away the greatest of souls but most importantly, you humbled me. In 2017 I want to become the best version of myself, worry less of the things I have zero control over and, maximize on the achievable.

Isis.

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Movie review: Hidden Figures

What I love the most about the holidays is the amount of free time at hand to read, go to the movies and engage in many other cultural activities. While I am working on finishing Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, I checked out one of my must-watch movie of the season: Hidden Figures.

I love movies that have a good and deep story to tell, especially with a strong female cast. Imagine my excitement to see my whole time favourite, Taraji P. Henson co-starring with Octavia Spencer & Janelle Monáe in a movie that recounts the life of the African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson and her two friends and colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who, while enduring segregation, helped NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) catch up in the Space Race against the Soviets.

The movie, more than being another depiction of the Civil Rights Movement, takes a feminist and empowering approach, focusing on the struggle of black women, alongside those of their men, fighting to get their voices heard and have their rights acknowledged in the then-segregated state of Virginia. Taraji P. Henson gives an award-winning performance in depicting a strong-willed, courageous and devoted woman and mother – something I have not seen on the screen since Viola Davis in The Help. Octavia Spencer who plays Dorothy, embodies THE protective black mom who won’t take sh*t from anybody, including her superior played by Kirsten Dust, nor the police officer who tried to come at her two sons. Janelle Monáe aka Mary Jackson reminds me of myself, the funky and outspoken member of the crew who will fight anybody who tries to get in the way of her dreams, may that be her husband or the racist Jim Crow laws.

This movie is a gem and got me teared up on multiple occasions. I enjoyed the determination and patience these three ladies displayed throughout their respective struggles not only as females but most importantly as Black women, evolving in a world full of misogyny. As a black woman, I ought to educate myself on structural matters that have shaped the African-American community in order to better understand the culture that I am trying to integrate. Movies like this help me gain more awareness of those key historical personalities and moments.

I am definitely adding the book by Virginia native Margot Lee Shetterly on my reading list. I definitely recommend this movie for girls’ night, a date or even solo. I went to watch it at AMC Empire 25 with my cousin who is visiting from France and we both LOVED it! The movie was released on Christmas day in the U.S. in limited locations will be expand on January 6.

Tis’ the Season!

If you’re reading this, you’ve survived 2016 and you most definitely deserve a HUGE present this Christmas! Yep, 2k16 is finally coming to an end and I am EXTREMELY excited for what next year will bring.

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This Christmas is even more special because it will be our first holidays as Mr. & Mrs. (plus little Storm lol) !!! Pardon my excitement but if you’ve read my last post, you know that I need to jump on any opportunity to smile and enjoy life to the fullest. So I got to buy my own tree, decorate it myself (like a grownup) and even wrap them presents like a bawss *Rick Ross voice* :d :d :d

No international travel this time around but just fun and relaxation until I get called in for an interview – yep cause baby girl can finally work in the U.S. and that’s the greatest gift I could wish for this year.

However,  we are headed to Washington D.C. this weekend and I will finally get to visit the Capital City, before the Obama’s leave the White House. Yay! It’s a shame, I know, especially because I have been living in the U.S. for almost five years *🙈* but anyways!  I can’t wait to visit the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Capitol and the many other attractions the city has to offer.

But hold on a second, I almost forgot the most important thing about this season: GIFTS! I mean come on, what’s the point of being good all year-long and bringing good grades if I ain’t getting a reward 😩 lol. Since I am already extremely thankful for making it this far this year, I have decided to keep my wish list simple 😂:screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-2-34-15-am

I hope Santa’s little elves will read this blog post cause I’ve been really really really good this year! 😇