Author: vanavain

New York Coffee Talk Ft. Nailah Ali

April 20th in Dumbo Brooklyn, a group of fine, glowing, beautiful, stylish and driven women met up, sipped and built. Aka another #NewYorkCoffeeTalk where you never know who’s showing up until the morning of. Even with tickets it’s still a treat of sorts because I met a lot of these women for the first time. This NYCT featured Nailah Ali who’s a graphic designer and director. Pedi’s and Lush products are cool, but these empowering and enlightening convos was like the ultimate and highest form of self care outside of prayer and solitude. To understand is to be there. We talked everything from raising families, manifestation and creating our own opportunities. Thank you ladies for your presence, light and energy. Share This:

How To Get Unstuck

Ever come to a stand still and don’t know what your next move is? *raises hand* This happens to be every once in a while. I’ll be on a roll and then BOOM! I become stuck dead in my tracks. Sometimes with warning and other times I go from being hella inspired to ……….crickets. I used to get frustrated when this happened and felt like I and or my overall brand is taking a leap back. I for one know we don’t have forever to use our gifts so I don’t be with the shits. With all things I try to look at the bigger picture and brighter side. So my last few times when I felt stuck I decided to do away with the frustration and dig a lil deeper for sanity’s sake. I practiced solitude, prayer , journaling and forgiveness. Solitude- The world is a noisy place and so is social media at times depending on how often and why you use it. Sometimes solitude includes not being a slave to your text …

LATELY- life update

Allow me to reintroduce myself..my name is V.A to the N. A(fake Jay Z voice) Ok let me stop, but hey there! It’s been a while. I’ve been living. Like more gratitude, living in the moment, a lot of quiet time and isolation when not working. Fully present in all that I’m doing and man do I feel rich. I went to Tokyo , Japan with my daughter to bring in the New Year and that was a an experience for the books. It was so peaceful, clean and orderly. A few days before that departure on wash day I decided that I was no longer going to deal with all this hair so I took my son’s school mini scissors and just chopped it off at the root. I went to the barbershop to get it trimmed and lined up and went about my business. This last year I’ve been truly living my best life. Big chances, big losses and most importantly holding myself accountable, making a decision and doing what I say I’m …

No, We Cant Have Coffee.

I love coffee.  I really do. However, I don’t have time to be having coffee all the time with anyone and with no purpose. ” Let’s grab coffee!” is not what it used to mean prior to social media and DM’s.  Years ago I was that woman that was saying yes to every meeting request all while having a monthly meet up #BostonCoffeeTalk. It became draining and a huge waste of my time. The moments in my car after pointless and energy sucking meetings made me approach coffee dates differently. I have had to accept the last two years that while it’s a nice gesture from some and others a way to avoid a consultation, I just can’t do it.  Time is money and if we can email or text or jump on a call let’s do that instead.No there is no way to ever tell for sure what peoples intentions are(Your gut be right 95% of the time), but some things to think about  when you get asked for a sit down is What …

Lessons From Paris

My tip to Paris was above and beyond anything I had ever experienced on a trip.  It was bigger than the shows, features and the designer dresses I got to wear. It was the big little things and lessons that really changed me for the better. Like….. Commitment –  For years I’ve said Paris and this country or that country was on the to do list. After years of saying  it  I thought “Do it!”. It was time to commit. Like, Vanessa do what you say you’re going to do. PeriodT! Planning isn’t my strong point, but commitment requires that which ends up being less stressful. The same commitment to everyday tasks and goals has made life easier by being proactive earlier on. Be present– One of the first things I noticed in Paris was the engagement amongst the locals l.They are intentionally present even with a simple eye contact with other by passers.  Here in America Boston and New York specifically we are always in a rush , not often friendly and don’t make eye …

Winter Freelancer Survival Guide

People hear freelance and instantly they think you have this crazy amazing life filled with light cameras and “action”.  There is that, but there is also waiting for checks and creating your own checks.  We have crazy schedules.  Some months I work a 2-3 week 10/12hr gigs while barely seeing my kids.  Bags under my eyes that’s not by Chanel. Sometimes weight loss or bad weight gain from eating poorly.  Other months I can have a whole two weeks off where I get to recoup and wait on my kids arrival from school with their favorite meals already plated with a smile. Keep in mind the week we don’t work there is currently no checks for that gap.You also have to keep in mind that invoices are sometimes  late so it’s never a definite date for the upcoming checks. Seeing my kids for a few days after long weeks  is great, but after like three  days I’m like aight y’all cute but this stay at home Mom shit isn’t for me!  Unless you’re proactive  and …

The Wedding I Never Had

When I was packing for Paris I thought “You have to bring that vintage dress!”. The one I snagged from a thrift shop like 6-7 years ago just because.  I’ve never been to Paris and who knows when I’ll be back so when In Paris do the most!  I brought the biggest suitcase on wheels and was determined to fit 10 days( only was staying 7) worth of clothes and this big ass wedding dress in there. To  make enough space, I had an additional carry on for all 10 pairs of shoes because options people options. Before even booking my hotel I envisioned wearing this dress on a perfectly designed balcony overlooking the city. My room at Hotel  Bienvenue was perfect.  My view didn’t overlook the city, but the view to a greenery filled outdoor terrace was just as good for this over the top adult.  On this particular morning I woke up with what felt like a U-Hual  parked on the left side of my brain.  The kids of today call it a hangover.  …

A Princess In Paris

Location: Paris Song : The Carters “Heard About US” Mood: Pulls In Paris/ Keys to the city Guys!!!!! Where do I begin? Paris was a dream.  I’m typically a wordy person, but the last fews days when I think about Paris and asked about my trip all I can do is smile and  yell out “ahmazzzzing!” The 7 year old me and the 33 year old me became one.  Being able to do designer pulls and shoot in the dresses was out of this world.  Typically  fashion week for me the last few years means crazy lines,  delayed runway shows, packed presentations and rude PR encounters.  This first time Paris fashion week was a totally  different experience. I had one runway show and the rest was show room visits. I got to meet the designers, get to know them over water, coffee  and the finest chocolate while getting ins on how the collection came about. It was at an appointment preview  that I met Sandra Mansour. Monroe had seen her collection in Paris  years ago …

Palace of opportunies

“Can’t believe we made it!”(Beyoncé voice) To Paris that is.  For years I’ve been saying how I have to go to Paris and this country and that country.  I got  tired of wishing and hoping. Twas bout damn time I started doing what I said I would. After resting, eating and getting some  rest, we took day 2 by storm and like true creatives  went to shoot some looks. Monroe has been to Paris at least 4 to 5 times already so I didn’t do too much of a to do list of things I wanted to do or places I want to eat. We are both foodies and I trust her taste. I’m not a tourist-y type of traveler.  I like to go where the wind takes me and just explore and chill.  After passing by the Eiffel tower Monroe suggested we visit Jardin du Palais-Royal and if you can’t tell….it was lit.  This vintage Valentino dress fit me like a glove and I felt like a regal baddie walking through my palace of …

My Beach Is Betta

When it’s too hot to wear real clothes you throw on your beach wear.  I know, I know. “But it’s a bathing suit” , but baby rules were made to be broken.  Okrrrrrrt?!(Cardi B voice)Wearing bathing suits with jeans is nothing new under the sun, but making it classy and a lewk isn’t something I see often.  When I purchase bathing suits I not only think about how it will look on the beach, but I also pick pieces that will look great with my signature summer a line skirt looks. I want my one pieces to be a lewk with some wide leg pants and scrappy sandals.  One that is so good that you won’t know its not a bodysuit unless I tell you. I purchased this bra from Target 2 years ago to go to Puerto Rico with my family.  The print got may attention so I grabbed it despite the fact that it was one size too small.  That’s how I get my fake Double D boobs because truth is Momma’s breast …