Category: A Lavish Life

You CAN go to the African American Museum in DC

Everyone on my timeline has been talking about this place. The magnitude, the content, the emotion, the realness. My daughter and I wound up in DC after getting admitted for a tour of the White House, a must for us while Obama was still in office. And while the White House was pretty amazing in and of itself, I couldn’t help but feel an extra tingle of anticipation to visit the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. We didn’t have tickets, but blind faith told me that we would get in. And we did. Without making a reservation months in advance. For a full recap, and tips for getting in – tomorrow – visit Black Travel Diva.

And get you a plate!

Model Spotlight: Philomena Kwao

Philomena Kwao

Philomena Kwao is a stunning Ghanian model from London living in New York. The curvaceous model captivated me with her doe eyes, but I am floored by her powerfully graceful appearance on the runway and in print. Kwao has a degree in International Health Management, and is a vocal activist for body positivity in the media, as well as fighting for maternal rights. You can read more about her here and here.

When she’s not modeling or campaigning, she’s writing here. Check her out.

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Five Jewels of Rejuvination

It’s been quiet around here, I admit. I haven’t had much to say. But sometimes when you’re going through it, the best thing to say is nothing at all. And in that quiet space of self-rejuvenation, I picked up a few gems to take me back in the driven direction I’m accustomed to. You won’t find these in Bergdorfs or Saks but trust and believe me when I say they are invaluable tools that helped me get my glimmer back.

  1. I started pole dancing. I won’t post pictures of my pathetic attempt at a martini move or firefighter, but I will say that the pole reinvigorated a sensuality within me that lay dormant for quite some time as I stopped dancing years ago. It was just the jolt I needed.1_pole
  2. I signed up for a 10K. Training and running for a 10K gave me something to look forward to on the days I felt like I had no goals that were attainable. I downloaded the Jeff Galloway walk/run app and finished with a personal record AND minimal body strain
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  3. I started regularly scheduling beauty treatments for myself. Not on a whim, not when I had time – but actually pulling out my little red Moleskin planner and writing in my beauty days. That little habit did wonders for me.
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  4. Speaking of scheduling, I added meditation, yoga and mini morning workout to my cell phone calendar to give me that gentle nudge to be active every day, especially on days where I would rather just curl under my comfortable and read a New York magazine.
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  5. I’ve been talking and expressing myself now more than ever. I’m not the type of person to wear my emotions on my shoulder; I’ve been told many times that I have the perfect poker face. But this period saw me releasing tears, frustrations, and general thoughts to my closest, trusted friends. It felt good to be open and honest, but a little scary to be vulnerable. But in giving myself permission to release, I realized that I am not a one woman island, and I have the support and love of some very special people. And that is a jewel that can’t be bought.
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Serena Williams. The Greatest.

If they want to market someone who is white and blond, that’s their choice. I have a lot of partners who are very happy to work with me. -Serena Williams on the endorsement preferences of her white counterparts

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Serena Williams, the greatest tennis player of all time, brushes the haters off in the latest New York Times Magazine. Because she is, the best at what she does, and there is no argument about that.

I Didn’t Watch the Superbowl

It’s the Year of the Horse
But I did spend the day in downtown Manhattan enjoying Chinese treats and engaging with dragons in the street. It was crazy fun although seriously crowded in the normally crowded streets of Chinatown. But we loved watching people pop off their Chinese firecrackers loaded with confetti and little parachutes. I purchased my own firecracker, but decided not to detonate it, holding off for another time. We had an obligatory cone from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, and then headed to Sara Roosevelt Park for the festival, where elderly Chinese people cut the lines fighting for free calendars, Ramen noodles and Verizon gift bags.
We made it home in time for the Superbowl, but after all the fun, I just couldn’t engage in the sport after two minutes. So forgive me for not getting into the sport  and instead gazing at the pretty stars instead.

More Than the Wedding

 Ronnie and Lamar Tyler, founders of Blackandmarriedwithkids.com
When I watch some of these reality shows and their subsequent “reunions” I can’t help but think how much emphasis is placed on the ring and the big over-the-top wedding. But there is not so much time spent on making the marriage work.

(I see more destruction than construction, if anything). We already know that positivity doesn’t bode well for reality TV, but luckily there are many real-life couples across the web sharing their triumphs. I finally got around to looking at Ronnie and Lamar Tyler’s website Black And Married With Kids, and I loved the articles they have on relationship, family, and financial building. Because truly, its not just about the wedding.

 Here is the trailer for their latest production “Still Standing”
 
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Review: Heidi Klum for New Balance


Post workout in the yoga studio, modeling my  #HKNB Heidi Klum tee on Instagram.
You see that white band on my arm? That’s the sign that I’ve imprisoned myself to hard manual labor in  Equinox’s Spring Training Camp. For the next five weeks, I will arrive to a 5:45 a.m class to plank, burpee, TRX, and run myself to a slimmer, healthier body. So far, it’s working. But can my gym clothes keep up?
I will admit, I’m an ample, curvaceous lady. While once a lithe dancer, childbirth and office work has not been kind to my body. And neither have I. So everything on me is thicker and requires more fabric and spandex. Nonetheless, I’m really on my fitness game, and decided to try out Heidi Klum’s new fitness line for New Balance,

of which an entire outfit was sent to me: A tunic, ruched leggings, and a neon green tee. While the outfit looked great, I knew the real test would be the class’s first round of burpees. With my first squat, I could feel the leggings inch down past my hips. Luckily the tee saved me from embarrassing myself in front of the other 50 or so bootcampers. On our first jog around the perimeter of the gym, I knew the pants had to go, so I slipped into the locker room and put on a more booty-stable pair. The tee, however, did its job, masked my belly, and held the sweat which would otherwise be pooling in the floor beneath me as I held a plank.
I wouldn’t totally write off the pants, though. I tried them again in the Inside/Out class, a low impact toning workout in the yoga studio that doesnt require large movements. The outfit worked perfectly. And I love the tunic. Its a perfect throw-over after a luxurious shower and steam routine. Total win.
As far as workouts go, I look for a style that stays put, flaunts my best assets and keeps the sweat at bay. What’s your favorite workout look? Use hashtag #HKNB and Show it off on Instagram!

New Balance has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. The Heidi Klum for New Balance partnership combines New Balance’s expertise in fit and form with Heidi Klum’s commitment to sophisticated style, to create a versatile collection for women that is both everyday wearable and chic. Learn More.


Disclosure: Compensation was provided by New Balance via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of New Balance. 

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