Alex in The City: Sunday Brunch, a Walk in The Park

 

 

 

 

I have a running ritual of a Sunday morning Girlfriend brunch with two of my friends. It is one fourth accountability group, 2 parts ‘pinky promise bff’s forever’ and 1 part ‘we freaking love to eat and drink while the sun is out.’ 

One of the phrases that often comes up while planning is “and we can take pictures for our blogs!” And so we do, every week, with very few exceptions. Check out some of the photos our trip to Jacobs pickles and A walk in central park! 

I love having special time set in my schedule with my friends because it gives us all a good part of our week to look forward to and it reminds me that I know how to take time to smell the flowers and stuff my face and dress up every single week.

What are some of your favorite routines or traditions with your friends? 

 

Love!

 

Alexandria
XOXO

 

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

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Alex in The City: Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum

Me and a close friend/fellow blogger had the pleasure of seeing the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum mere days before the exhibit closes!

Check out the video I made capturing the beautiful works of one of the greatest designers of our time.

There are even a few pieces that Beyonce has worn! When I saw the piece she wore at the Live at the Wynn Las Vegas concert I fell in love! There is also a photo that resembles some of the visuals from her latest album! Check out the video to see if you catch the picture I am taking about!

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Check out the video and to see more great pictures like the one above view the photo album on my Google + profile by clicking this link! –> Alex In The City- JPG

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The Exhibit is open until the 23rd! If you hurry you can still make it!

Love!

Alexandria
XOXO

CONNECT WITH ME!
@wtvrlolawants on twitter
Thepushedenvelope on IG
VISIONARYWATERINGHOLE.tumblr.com
YouTube.com/lavieenrougee
Alexandria Johnson on Google +

Alex In The City: Opening Night of American Ballet Theatre

I am in love with this look, particularly with the skirt and it was just perfect for a night at the ballet. I stole a Jay Z lyric for the theme of most of my fall looks “Bordeaux and burgundys” … Continue reading

Photos from my first weeks in NYC!

I have soooooooo been meaning to update this blog in the last few weeks but all I’ve been doing is GOING GOING GOING! Fret not my loves! i have taken plenty a picture along the way. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so consider yourselves served with a new post!!!!

 

 

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Postcard From Europe!

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Me in the garden at la Gellerie De Mediterranee’ in Marseille France

I am back from vacation, recovered and I finally have some time to update!Back to business! 

I had an amazing experience in Atlanta and on my 6 day cruise on the Mediterranean. The trip was my first time traveling abroad and officially getting my passport stamped! The excitement!

I really had the time of my life. Travel is one of my great pleasures and this trip was
a perfect mix of calm cruising and adventurous trekking. While I loved visiting each city, making impromptu excursions and using what little Spanish and French skills I possess I must admit that it was great to go back to the ship at the end of the day where my native tongue was prominent and there was a little less figuring out to do. The Norwegian Epic is a great ship with lots to offer!

The trip included a visit to Napoli, Civitavecchia/ Roma, Pisa, Palma De Mallorca, Marseille and or original and a return to Barcelona for a very long flight back to the States.

If I detailed every city for you all it would be a never ending post so I will be taking it one city and subject at a time!!!! Yayy for more posts!

I, of course, have to go down the fashions and amazing cuisine I came across each day and chronicle the tales of the most extravagant vacation I’ve been on this far and share it with you here on my beloved blog. Trust there were many laughs, and great moments of reflection, great food and fun and lessons and genuinely good times.

PSA: My friend and I took in each port sans your guide in an effort to avoid spending unnecessary cash (the excursions were exorbitantly priced and got so so reviews) and get a more authentic experience and I am so glad we did.

I was glad to use my new up band while walking around the cities and the ship. We committed to only taking the stairs while on the ship and we worked out nearly everyday. The gym was wonderful with an awesome view!

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Candice and I in Atlantic Station, Atlanta GA

 

I spent a day and a half before and after the cruise in Atlanta in the process of usual Atlanta fun I got to reunite with my friend Candice that I mentioned in my DC Postcard! You can read about that trip here!

 

Soooooo, until next time enjoy some of my fantastic photos! I took over 1500 photos on this trip and I really am in love with many of them.

Love! 

-Zan

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My friend and Kindred spirit and now my International travel buddy! T!

 

 

Euros, a map and my third hand aka my iphone

Euros, a map and my third hand aka my iphone

All dressed and ready for cirque de soleil

All dressed and ready for cirque de soleil

T at lunch in Marseille

T at lunch in Marseille

T and I at the Humidor on the Norwegian Epic

T and I at the Humidor on the Norwegian Epic

Me in the Humidor cigar Room on the Norwegian Epic!

Me in the Humidor cigar Room on the Norwegian Epic!

T at breakfast! Enjoying the morning sun!

T at breakfast! Enjoying the morning sun!

 

My Deep Conditioner Concoction

I make an honest effort to carve out time each Sunday to deep condition my hair and or give it a protein treatment and I choose to use a mixture of products treat different issues. I mix a scalp-nourishing oil, a moisturizer, damage control product, and a strengthening product. The mixture of products that I have been using the past two weeks has done wonders for my thick tresses and I wanted to share in hopes that someone else may Experience the same benefits as I.

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Carols Daughter Monoi Oil repairing conditioner, Lisa’s hair elixir, and repairing hair mask. Spectrum organic coconut oil. L’oreal EverCreme conditioner, Paul Mitchell daily moisturizer.

I combined the products shown above too create a conditioner/hair mask/oil treatment that has all the benefits but takes a lot less time. After applying the mixture I put my hair into double strand twists and they it hang for a day or two so that I would have a solid look when I transitioned to a twist out for a Christmas brunch and other holiday run-around.

I was really pleased that a single days efforts in hair-styling lasted me an entire week. Check out the video above and photos below for additional commentary and this weeks conditioning results!

On another note I would like to give an honorable mention to the products I use. I am a very conscious consumer and I do research not just on the quality of the product and how it makes my hair feel I also look for a great background to a product whether it be something I was introduced to by a friend or celebrity campaign, a sulfate free product and a cruelty-free and honorably run company etc., these are all things I look for and am honestly influenced by. I like to knowwho is going to benefit or be hurt by something I am buying, where my money is going, what it took to make the product, what had to happen for me to be able to use this product, that is important to me because I don’t want to buy something that goes against my values if I don’t have to. Here’s a quick run-down of these products why they are great, why I support them and how I got to ‘Know’ them!

1. Carols Daughter – Cruelty free, sulfate free shampoos conditioners and other products. This company’s mission involves using natural ingredients to create quality products that serve the diverse beauty needs of world we live in  . Supporting Carols Daughter is also supporting “black business”, which is important to me. I also met the creator of this brand when I picked up products at a pop-up store in New Orleans during Essence Music Festival last summer, the sales people were delightful and informed, I loved it.

2. Paul Mitchell – Three words: Culture of Giving! Paul Mitchell’s Foaming Pomade was THE FIRST product I used in my hair after my big chop back in 2010 and I have been in love ever since! I did some research on the company and was elated to find that in addition to  creating quality, effective, and beautifully fragrant products (I am big on smell) they are a cruelty free company with a concern for our planet and a culture of giving. You can check out more info on their website HERE! For all of those who limit yourself to only natural hair products or products made for “black hair” you are really missing out on some great product, do what works for you and support great business. I rarely use the pomade anymore but the daily conditioner is a regular in my hair routine and the super-skinny serum is exquisite as well, its smells amazingly!

3. L’oreal – I watched a Ustream video of Kerri Washington and her glam-squad buddy Takiesha*and found out about the wonders of the L’oreal ‘Ever’ line, in that video Kerry uses the EverStrong but I came to find that the L’oreal EverCreme (Eva Longoria endorses that particular line of products) worked better for my hair and I have stuck with it after not having as much luck with Pantene Relaxed and natural products. This line is sulfate free and makes my hair feel, look, and smell beautifully. L’oreal is also a cruelty free company and they are more reasonably priced that both Paul Mitchell and Carols Daughter, I will spend for the quality products or wait for them to go on sale but it is great when they are a little more affordable at their original price.

4. Spectrum oil – Coconut oil has been raved about on natural hair blogs everywhere and my personal stylist recommends it as well. I will admit it stained my sheets when I got a little enthusiastic with the application but it has made all the difference in the sleekness and softness of my hair especially when transitioning from one style to the next without wetting. There really is no big story behind spectrum for me at this moment, I bought this particular jar of oil at Whole Foods on sale for 7 bucks along with some sesame oil I picked up for Oil Pulling, whole foods even had a $2-off coupon to sweeten the deal! Thus far I love it I just wish it hadn’t stained my gorgeous chocolate brown sheets! Any tips on how to get that out?

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Thanks for checking in!

Made with love,

Zan

Holiday Gift Guide!

 
 
The Christmas holiday is only weeks away and the shopping rush is in full swing!
 
whether you are looking for gifts for co-workers, secret Santa,  friends, family members, boyfriends, girlfriends or cute little baby cousins, I have got you covered. My holiday list of favorite things is full of great gifts that can be ordered or picked up in stores in time for the Christmas Holiday and are all under $30!!!!!!
 

1. Lush Bath Bombs and Shower soaps

Mr. Punch

I love Lush products, I have used their handmade soaps -like the one pictured above- , their fresh face masks (featured here), and their bath bombs, all of which are amazing. Lush cosmetics hand-makes all of their products from fresh organic ingredients and prides themselves on never testing their products on animals. This would be a great gift for any ladies in your life and the bath bombs are great for kids too! Units of the Bar soap and bath bomb sell for $5-$8 each so you can make a little luscious goody bag or gift basket.
Find these products online here at Lush’s online shop or in a local Lush store.

2. The ‘Favorite’ Wine Glass

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I call this my Olivia Pope glass but I have become quite fond of it on nights when I am completing a hefty amount of homework, having dinner solo, or just relaxing with a nice glass of wine, some popcorn and ABC’s hit show SCANDAL! This glass is the perfect gift for the wine-lover in your life. Just as the tea/coffee lover in me has my favorite mug, the wine lover in me knows that my sacred wine glass is a must-have! This 23 Oz Camille glass retails for $13 at Crate and Barrel.

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You can walk into your local crate and barrel or order online, they also have plenty of other goodies for holiday decorating, cooking, and gifting!

3. Oster individual blender

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This is an awesome gift for the busy health-nut in your life. Having an individual blender has made all the difference for me, especially in the morning when I get behind schedule and still want to start my day off with something nutritious and tasty I throw some greens, fruit, coconut water or fresh fruit juice into my mini blender for about 60 seconds and hit the road. This Oster individual blender comes in several funky colors and are on sale in Targets online store for $19. You can also order on Oster’s website and enjoy all the great details and even geta free smoothie recipe!

4. A cup of joy and a joyful song!

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Give a gift that will leave them inspi(RED)! This holiday season Starbucks and iTunes have pledged to donate 5% of each Kind(red) gift card purchase to the Global Fund. The cards can be ordered via Starbucks’ online store   and include a $15 iTunes card and a $15 Starbucks gift card. I am a Starbucks gold card holder so this is something I could appreciate and the iTunes gift card is all too popular in my family, we all have an extensive music collection, this gift is a great way to bring cheer to a music and/or coffee lover.

5. Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness –

Toure’

A gift for the book-worm. I don’t have as much time as I would like for leisurely reading but I make time for pieces like this! An in-depth look at the current state of race relations in America as told by over 100 interviewees to MSNBC correspondent Toure’. “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness” is a page turner, a conversation starter, thought-provoking and honest. You can order it on Amazon or in your local Barnes and Noble, it’s also offered in audio form on iTunes  Check out the NYT review here!

6. Magazine subscription

I am a subscriber of  O magazine, InStyle, Black Enterprise, and a few others. Most subscriptions are no more than $20 and come with great gifts and deals at this time of year. Fitness, running, and nutrition magazines are great for those in your life that are dead-set on their new years health kick or lifestyle change, support them with some consistent and reliable literature!
 
 

7. 1 lb dumbbells

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This is another great gift for a health-nut or a person that is always on the go. I got a pair of 1 lb Neoprene weights with my Cardio Barre home system and thought they were kind of silly seeing that I am no stranger to weight lifting but I was surprised when the workout got in full swing, my traps, triceps and deltoids were all burning! The number of reps combined with the light weight still burns fat but it also builds lean muscle. My real pleasure with these weights comes from their ability to travel easily. On the weekdays I take them to work with me and use them on my 15-minute break when I walk around. They are perfect for co-workers that want to break away from the cubicle or desk for a few minutes a day to get their heart rate up. You can pick these up in most department stores or order them online through The Sports Authority for yourself and a few fitness pals, they retail for a low as $2 each! 
Other gifts I am giving this Holiday include Yummy Chocolates, Nail Polish, Pajamas, cosmetics, photo albums and homemade baked goods! Please share some of your holiday shopping adventures and ideas and if you use any of my suggestions let me know how they go over! I would love to hear of all the Holiday festivities and functions.
 
Until next time, stay beautiful people!
Love,
Zan