week 39 \\ 2015: dating yourself

I know, reading the title makes it seem mad corny. But lemme explain:

So you’re single. You’re bored [which you never should be] and wanna get out of the house. All your people are either not in the mood or have plans. Or maybe you don’t have any people. Nonetheless, you are just itching to see that art gallery exhibition. Or new foreign film. Maybe you just wanna try a different eatery that your stomach’s been craving. These are all exemplary reasons to take yourself out. I have done the movies, coffee shops and art galleries alone, but the thought of sitting by myself in a crowded restaurant or concert still gives me a little anxiety. Maybe one day. Maybe. Probably..

The upsides to it?:

You get to do what you want. No compromising. I mean really, what other perks are there in singledom? 1.1 Stay out as late as you want without checking in. 1.2 [my favorite] You don’t have to share your delicious meal. 1.3 You choose where to go and when to leave. 2 You, if you’re somewhat of a traditional gentleman, will spend less money. 3 You face that anxiety of being seen out alone doing generally social, two+ persons activities. 3.1 You step out of your comfort zone, which is always a big plus. And who knows, 3.2 you might meet a potential boo or make a new friend while you’re out. 4 You get to brag to all the homies that dissed your invitation about what an amazing outing you had without them! haha! [also peep why you should date yourself before anyone else]

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When you do meet a new romantic interest, your world may get a little smaller and you’ll appreciate your space and solo dates/ventures. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for love, but I believe that you must maintain your identity within any relationship. You should have activities just for you, like a class or book club or whatever-things you enjoy doing solo-so there’s that balance of being alone and being together without too much of either. Going out and doing cool stuff with yourself [instead of dwelling on the fact that you’re single or no one is available to accompany you] is vital. Dating yourself builds character, helps you discover new interests + makes you more comfortable with you. And it will, most likely, create some great memories. Then later, when the universe finally responds to your openness for genuine, lasting love and companionship, you can share those experiences in a different way with your newfound crew or that special someone.

inspiration appreciation admiration

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visual inspiration: autumn/winter

Black men with style 

[pics stolen from all over the internets]

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I love when grown men dress like grown men

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..and it doesn’t necessarily have to include a button up or collar, necktie or suit jacket.

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Y’all have it so easy-much easier than some of you make it. With a little effort, prep time and age appropriate, well-fitted clothing, you can look like a million bucks. And it should be fun and feel good! Don’t be afraid to throw in some color + texture.

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Above all, confidence is key. [And it’s hot.]

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“Style has little to do with clothing; it’s a way of living, of being.”

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I included a lot of visuals with some variety to help dispel the influx of dresses and skirts showing up in menswear. There is no reason for a MAN to be rockin tunics or leggings either. This gender bending is not fashionable to me AT ALL and, instead, is just another means of emasculation to confuse our impressionable young boys and girls.

Men, young and old, can simply wear men’s pants and shirts, sweaters and coats in many many ways and still look like confident, trailblazing individuals with impeccable taste.

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:::for more inspiration:::

streetetiquette urbanfieldnotes

stylepreneur | menstyle1 | pinterest | bdmotp

Birmingham Street Style Project | Wayne Tippetts

fashionforpassion | tumblr | socialbliss

Blackandmarriedwithkids.com

thefashiontag

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+ some shops: h&m | jcp | Rock u lateR | karmaloop | Improv Goods | UO | asos

Clothing is a great tool to express yourself; dressing well is a form of good manners + it introduces you before you even say a word-projecting your level of self-love and self-respect. I see a very well dressed man and there’s an air of mystère-I wonder what he does? I wonder where he’s going? My late grandma used to always say dress your best because you never know who you’ll run into. And that’s quite true, but you should dress well for you and how you want to present yourself to the world.

Black men, I appreciate you. I’m inspired by your inherent style and admire your effortless sex appeal.

baby, bend ovah

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I don’t practice yoga often but I do find it very effective [when I apply myself]. It’s difficult! [Although I do find peace + clarity in meditation, I’m more of a runner/cardio/let’s get this over with kinda chick when it comes to staying active.] My sister is pretty into it though, has a mat and everything- follows her favorite practicers on youtube and instagram. She gets down. The whole nine. So I got a little insight from her and some others on how to go about my current illustration series: zen like that.

To me, yoga is beautiful, challenging, relaxing and kinda sexy. I appreciate the [superhuman] women and men who make it look so easy and can testify to its affect on their mind, soul + body after years of practice. [Dare I say it’s an art form.] And I used to think it was just a means to relieve stress and lose weight/get toned[which it definitely can], but it’s SO much more; the word yoga itself is defined as union, becoming aware of your deepest nature. The practice is a means to maintain balance, heal, gain clarity and strengthen your body as well as deepen spiritual connectivity.

For further inspiration, I did an image search for ‘Black yoga’ and was pleasantly surprised to find a nice amount of results. I love to see us doing positive things-keeping our mental and physical health in check, striving to become our best selves.

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I had a lot of fun with these yoga ladies. I opted for a minimalist feel where the attention goes to the focus, the skin and the pose. Please visit my site or etsy shop if you’re interested in purchasing or seeing more. And drop a comment to tell me what you think!

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week 38 \\ 2015

ksmif{click to enlarge}

Artists of all realms -graphic designers, interior decorators, photographers, chefs, illustrators, fashion stylists, etc- live in our own world. Many people just aren’t going to get it. Ever. And that’s ok. Don’t let it discourage or hinder your [untapped] greatness.

I have felt it

when he spoke my name

the earth quaked

and my everything

melted

our eyes locked and

my heart leapt

every time

I knew

I have felt it

when I lost my thought

thinking of his smile

his skin

his breath

his taste

I have felt it

when his arms

warm

strong

were my only solace

I have felt it

when he got loud

and I got louder

hurtful

truths

angry

daggers

pierce with love

only to hold each other

tighter

longer

harder

begging

stay

I have felt it

when the thought

just the thought of him

of us

not being

formed rivers

eyes welled

swelled

hot tears

burned canyons into my cheeks

for days

weeks

I have felt it

go

when he did leave

and my heart became hard

heavy

concrete

my soul hollowed

my spirit soiled

my smile

nonexistent

colors faded

mere tints and tones

feelingless

shadows and blurs

I have felt it

real

true

pure

submerged IN it

completely

I have felt it

so I can’t benefit from doubt

unsatisfied with

mediocre

surface

romance

I have felt it

love

real

true

pure

so I only welcome

drowning

untitled| © kelley 2015

I don’t write[like this] often but this came to me this morning and I couldn’t sleep before getting it all out. I hope you felt it.

sexy late summer vibes

The clothing. The jewelry. The beauty. The hair! The vibes. The love. That voice! Just a timeless, feel good song with a beautiful visual to match.

.com  listen | follow

Simmer Down

Just a light recap: The Simmer Down Picnic was presented by Chop It Up x Good Hearts Win-a summer outdoor experience in creative company. This was a great event for all involved; vendors and attendees alike got to indulge in local music, local foods, and a local vintage shop. And, of course, mingle pretty tough with some super cool locals.

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I still haven’t come down from my high since the loveliness that the Simmer Down Picnic imposed upon my soul last Sunday. I could not have asked for a better opportunity to launch my and my sister’s all natural desserts. It was beautiful.

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For us first timers, the anxiety was high but the weekend prep and morning of went pretty smoothly. The birds were chirping. The buttlerflies were flittering. The weather was perfect. But the vibes! The vibes were amazing! There was an abundance of authenticity, pride, individuality and beauty at this event. Such a great group of people with like minds that just wanted to have a good time, chill out, eat good, dance and network.

photo cred: @vekneal {via ig}

photo cred: @vekneal {via ig}

It was all that.

photo cred: @prtraci {via ig}

photo cred: @prtraci {via ig}

And then some.

photo cred: @rmonica_ {via ig}

photo cred: @romonica_ {via ig}

We were pretty occupied spittin game and slanging sweets that we didn’t get to take many photos [so I stole some from some attendees]. We laughed a lot, made some great connections, and sold a great amount of our baked love. I’m not the type to speak on things with “outsiders” until they can see it, but the things that my sis and I have privately shared with each other and the affirmations I’ve given myself are finally coming into fruition.

It was just a little thought one day. And now. It’s happening.

{P.S. You can still gofundus and place an order via email[PayPal only] if you’re in the Atlanta area.}

I’ll keep you all posted on the Two Dough Girls takeover. ❤