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Lifestyle

5 Reasons Why I’m Not Going Back to Mexico

In Fashion, Travel

…unless it’s with Parlour Magazine at UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya


It has been exactly a week since I left Mexico and I SO REGRET GOING! When Ty of Gorgeous in Grey posted the #TravelFlySolo17 trip, my interests were SLIGHTLY piqued! For some reason, all I could think about was a group trip in an uber-touristy place. UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya made sure to disappoint my assumptions.

Despite the title of this article being a little misleading, my five days in paradise was AMAZING! Every time someone asks me about how it was, I cannot help but smile. The premise of Parlour Magazine’s #TravelFlySol017 was to allow yourself to experience revolutionary rest! The #TravelFly Solo Weekend is for the luxe-loving woman (that I know you are) who wants to try solo travel or enjoys, but appreciates being around familiar faces (for safety) and having company for dinners, outing, etc. Just like Ty said, this trip was a completely self-designed weekend—NO itinerary, NO group think, NO feeling like you are in a machine. There was a digital guide that assisted in planning our weekend.

Dress from Rebdolls  

Essentially, it is the “non-group trip” for the woman who hates the typical “group trip.”

At first, I went in thinking, “I cannot wait to hang out with all my blogger boos and get wasted a little bit.” However, by day three, I found myself resting and thinking under the beautiful sunset in the Riviera Maya. I suggest that every person takes at least one trip of revolutionary rest, a phrase coined by Shannon Washington–co-founder of Parlour Magazine. I slept by the beach and let the salt water restore my wounds. I went on a small ATV tour and sped like I was a biker! I ate until I could not eat anymore! I was BLESSED! This is by far the BEST VACATION that I have been on. So to that end, I wanted to list the five reasons why vacationing with Parlour Magazine at UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya was the best experience.

Location! Location! Location!

The RESORT was BREATHTAKING!! I am talking about an ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT with dirt cheap inclusions. Where can you get a full body exfoliation for $30.00? I mean they got in between every crevice and gave me a brand new layer of skin! Also, a huge shout out to Gavyn because I learned that my tan would look better if I got a full body exfoliation beforehand. Unico also comes with an app that is so user-friendly. With customized turn down service, scheduled activities for the day, and even real-time food service, I do not think I could stay anywhere else!

Also, I know you saw my posts in my outdoor jacuzzi! Each room has an outdoor jacuzzi or a hammock and swim-up room! Like, COME ON!Lastly, this is Cabo; this was the Riviera Maya. Meaning, no rowdy kids passing out drunk everywhere. It was full of Mayan ruins, rustic art; iguanas staring you down, swimming in the Cenotes cave, dining, and sailing, etc. If you are looking to relax, this is the place! Whether you were I was at the Yucatan jungle or gazing at pyramids, it was amazing.

Swim set from Rebdolls 

FOOD!

I cannot begin to tell you how good the food was. With four major restaurants on sites, I was in a new country every night. The first night was Italian, then Japanese, then Mexico, etc. It was HEAVENLY!   Paired with a buffet that opened from 7 am to 5 pm, it was impossible to starve. Also, room service was FREE! So when I wanted churros at 3 am, I got my churros at 3 am!

Great Wifi

That pretty much says it all! There was wifi throughout the entire resort–even the beach! Also, free calls to the US! As a blogger, I had to keep you all updated on my travels, so Unico’s wifi made it possible!

Mesh Top from Fashion to Figure

 Revolutionary Rest

I am a woman who wears MANY HATS! I work a full-time job, I blog, and I am in school part time. Living by the motto, “Sleep when you die” has always been my excuse to keep working harder.

The idea of taking time off to just RELAX feels like a luxury. But #TravelFlySolo17 helped me destroy that myth of having to work all the time. Getting full 10 hours of sleep was AMAZING!
Waking up at UNICO for a private yoga session, AMAZING!
Spending the morning exploring the Mayan ruins of Tulum, AMAZING!
Afternoon zip lining through the jungle, AMAZING!
Then finishing with a beachside dinner back at UNICO was like a dream come true.

Ladies, rest is your friend! 

My Girl Gang GREW

Although I knew about 6 or 8 ladies who were part of our travel group, I met six new friends who were just as awesome! Jenny from Brooklyn has to be my fav! She understands me. We tried to crash a Too Short concert by hoping on a random bus and trying to blend in with the crowd! Although we did not get in, this was one for the books! GUCCI! Ebony is an up and coming blogger who has so much soul and gets me!! Moreover, lastly, spending time with my blogger boo Katie was the icing on the cake! I love my new sisters!

When preparing to look for clothes for the tropical weather, your safest bets are always going to be Fashion to Figure and Rebdolls! There were clothes for every occasion. From clubbing at Cannibal Beach to Cruising in my ATV, I was all protected! I shared most of the links to my outfits during my trip, but here they are in case you missed them:

Rebdolls

Swim Suit 

Maxi Dress

Fashion To Figure

Tankini Bathing Suit

Yellow Maxi Dress

Mesh Shirt

Beach Tote

Ruffle Dress

Accessories:

Sunglass Up:

Mirrored Glasses

Round Glasses



Amazon Fashion:

Cape Robbin Pom Pom Heels

So are you ready to Travel Fly SOLO? Make sure you follow Parlour Magazine for their next trip! I know I will be there!! Also, a special shout-out to Travel By Design for hooking us up with such a sweet deal!! I am using them from here on out!

Until next trip.

Char!

Dear Kurvy Katie

In Fashion, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Personal Style

Today’s post is short and sweet!


I want to dedicate the best blogger friend that I have: Kurvy Katie.

Y’all may know her as “the girl who has all the promo codes and gets things for the low-low,” but to me, she is so much more. We can talk about EVERYTHING and not feel a hint of judgment. In the blogging world, it’s so hard to know someone’s true intentions because it can be catty! Now don’t get me wrong, I have other friends that I vibe with and trust, but making friendships within any industry is tough.

To that end, I wanted to send my Katie a love letter cuz she’s the bee’s knees!

Dear Slim (cuz she loves hip hop and MIGHT like Eminem lol),
Thanks for being that friend that is down to turn up and turn down. Always providing me with direction, advice (like cut that dude off or “let me text him for you and tell him you like him lol”) and the truth! It’s easy to find people who will smile in your face but talk craziness behind your back! Ya mad dope son. From serving overseas to continuing to serve the community of armed forces back home, you truly are a gem!

Two weeks ago, I was going to spend 1500 in accommodations for training in DC…but you intercepted with the quickness and looked out for your homegirl! Thanks for looking out! Letting me lounge around and even kick it with you and Kiki (oooh—tell her she should start a Youtube called “Kickin’ It with Kiki).

Aside from letting me crash, when Boston Curvy Fashion Week just started, for two weeks in a row you came out and supported! That was deep, dude!

In a few short days, we are taking our first international trip together, and I can’t EFFIN wait! I couldn’t think of a better roommate and travel mate! So here’s to great vibes, Mexican guys, and Mai Tai’s! Love you
Char!

Chardline Outfit Details

Denim Dress (40% off using code SHOPJUNE): Eloquii 

Gingham Heels: Sold out, from Shoe Dazzle

Katie’s Outfit

Striped Dress (on sale for 25.00 now!) : Target

Chuck Taylor Sneakers: Macy’s

Book Review: The Bomb Life by Claire Sulmers

In Beauty, Body Positive, Fashion, Inspiration, Interviews

*DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT SPONSORED/NOR WAS I GIVEN THE BOOK. These opinions are 1000% my own*


It was the first week out of school, and I was anxious to delve into something that has NOTHING to do with Urban Policy. Enter: The Bomb Life.

Two weeks ago, I attended Claire Sulmers’ “Conversations with Claire.” And while the conversations were fruitful and the drinks were flowing, I wanted to learn more about the Fashion Bomb brand and how Claire rose to be the force that she is today. At the time, I wasn’t curious about being a boss, bombshell, and beauty–but after reading her book, I realized that I have potential to be someone/something more. Also, since I was featured on Fashion Bomb Daily in the past,  so you already know my interests were piqued before attending the event. Before we get into the book, just wanted to give a little bio on the Fashion Bomb Daily:

Created in August 2006 by journalist Claire Sulmers, Fashion Bomb Daily provides daily doses of chic to savvy stylistas. Recognizing there were few print and online sources for multicultural fashion, Claire took her interests in style and writing to create the number one online destination for global chic seekers with a penchant for all things fabulous. Readers log on to The Fashion Bomb for its fresh takes on fashion news and stories, along with its boutique spotlights, exclusive editorials, magazine scans, fashion show reviews, trends, wardrobe advice, celebrity looks for less, and tips on how to break into the industry from the best in the business.With 2.4 million monthly visitors, The Fashion Bomb made Ebony Magazine’s 2011 Power 100 List, while Claire was named Black Blogger of the Month by Black Enterprise, and was dubbed Blogger of the Moment by Teen Vogue. Well respected in the industry, The Fashion Bomb has been referenced in New York Magazine, featured in Glamour, and quoted in Time. Claire is a regular contributor to Essence.com and Vogue.it.

BOSS right? Now, I know that this life isn’t for everyone. In fact, I am starting to realize that this life may not be for me, either. But, if there’s anything that I learned from The Bomb Life, it’s the power of hard work, sacrifice, gut instinct, and playing the part! In this stunning memoir and self-help book, she tells what she had to do to get to the top, and offers aspiring bloggers and digital influencers tips on how to monetize their sites, build an audience, and ultimately live the Bomb Life.

-Sets the scene-

When I first picked up the book, I was commuting to-day 1 of my Fair Housing Training in Washington, DC. Eager to finally read something that didn’t come from a course catalog, I immediately started to flip the titles of The Bomb Life. I saw that the book wasn’t lengthy so I committed myself to two chapters a day. The first chapter immediately hooked me in. Claire’s life reminded me of mine. Not only is she Haitian, but her parents worked hard to send her to private schools. Claire’s humble beginnings show that she was brilliant and stayed true to who she was–much like myself. She had her fair share of bullies, over-wore her “most popular” item in her closet and had to deal with parents who were “anti your creative dream”. I know this all too well because my mom loved her some bargains and still doesn’t know why I blog. Suffice to say, they usually come around.

As I continued to read, she started to find out who she really wanted to be. She went to Harvard and killed it; she persisted in finding opportunities to advance herself in the field of journalism, and then she took the leap of faith that I still have yet to carry out: the move to NY. From there, she landed a gig as an intern for a well-known publication, but still faced the issues of working in an “it’s who you know/who knows you” industry. But the endearing part of it all is, that never stopped her. She kept working hard!

Picture Creds: Comme Coco

From gatecrashing high-end fashion shows to walking around the streets of Paris to find the most stylish people for Vogue.fr, Claire was on a mission! I found her passion for fashion, her reasonable application of life’s lessons, and even her lust for creating her own lane inspiring. Even when reading about her love story gone wrong, it made her seem more REAL. Once you’ve read about her drug dealing ex-boyfriend, you might instantly start seeing similarities lol …not that I dated a drug dealer…I’ll shut up now.

All while Claire launched her blog Fashion Bomb Daily, she was still working her way to the top. She multi-tasked, wrote blog posts until wee hours of the night/morning, faced the backlash from other bloggers, took rejection from MANY people in the industry, put herself out in the mainstream, and to this day, SHE’S STILL ROCKING IT! Knowing me, I probably would have stopped.

Pic Creds: Fashion Bomb Daily

Because this is a relatively short book (or maybe it’s short for me because I am used to reading 1500 pages a week for school), I kept the synopsis short and sweet! I really urge you to buy the book and read it on your own. Why? Well here are five reasons why reading The Bomb Life is GOALS! 

Faith

Any book that includes even a bit of prayer/trust in God GETS ME! Even though I am trying to figure out who I am today, I am grateful for the lessons that God teaches me along the route. I know that everyone doesn’t ascribe to a specific faith, but I honestly don’t know where I would be without HIM.

Letters to Younger Self

At the end of the book, Claire writes letters to her younger self. Those letters are POWERFUL! No, they aren’t written in prolific conundrums or use crazy rhetorical devices, but instead, her letters give clear examples of how to learn to love yourself better, learn to wait for love (my biggest challenge) learn to trust the process and learning that the world is yours for the taking.

Blogging/Digital Influencer Advice

To be honest y’all, I’ve been sitting on the fence with this whole blogging thing. Social media is double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can make your coins, connect with others around the globe, and even gain valuable knowledge or today’s news. But on the contrary, you can feel really shitty about yourself. You subject yourself to developing low self-esteem, the feeling of having to keep up the Joneses, and I’ve been in positions where social media has affected my relationships. Scary right? But Claire provides a positive spin on social media. From tips on a establishing your domain to ways to marketing yourself better, Claire drops two chapters of gems SPECIFICALLY to social media + brand building.  But, if you read the book from cover to cover, you will see the book is just oozing with gems on how to build your brand OVERALL.

Personal Appearance Advice

Every time I see Claire, she looks AMAZING! One time I saw her on the plane at 5 am and she looked like she just came back from a hot date! Admittedly, I looked like a hobo, so I didn’t even try to say hi. However, in her novel, she speaks on how she consulted with image consultants and brand experts to refine her look. She gives advice on how to play up your features and to always be “ON” because you never know who’s watching. Who knows, if Claire looked the way I was looking that day I saw her at the ATL airport, I probably wouldn’t have noticed her. So what am I doing now? BUDGETING–budgeting my wardrobe, hair, makeup, and nails. For a while, I was trying to dress sexier so that my love interest would lust over me like all the girls he fawns over. But in the midst of that, I failed lol. I tried to be sexy with a hint of who I am at the core. So imagine Blair Waldorf meets a BBW entertainer? YEA! To that end, in the next few weeks, I’m going to take you on an interactive journey with my image consultant.

Staying True to You

In Claire’s book, she gave so many examples where she could’ve been petty, foul, and even threw a wad of cash in people’s faces. But, that’s not who she is. From sleuthing interns to over zealous bloggers, Claire maintained her composure, didn’t have sleep with anyone to get where she is, and kept it pushing! It’s hard to maintain who you are once you enter an industry. I’ve watched bloggers and models who were so down to earth become some of the most unpleasant people to be around. In fact, one of them is —oops, Claire advises against talking bad about others…nothing but bad karma ensues.— Don’t let the fame and fortune get to you.

I give this book an A+! 

For content, readability, real life application, and complete honesty! If you haven’t already bought her book, head to the website to check it out!

Until next time,
Char!

5 Reasons Why I Am Martine Chanel’s Daughter

In Body Positive, Personal Style

There’s only one person that can get me post on Sundays: My Momma! My mother is my hero & it took me all of 27 years to realize it. My mom and I spent so much time screaming at each other, that we never really took the time to understand each other. I always assumed she was crazy (still do) but now that I’m a bit older and wiser, I realize that we act this way because we are the same.

So, in honor of my mom that I love 365 days a year, I wanted to write this open letter to her with five reasons why we are the same person:

Dear Mommy,
First off, thanks for all the sacrifices that you made to give me a BOMB life. You sent us to the best schools and always made sure we didn’t go to school looking crusty! Thank you for not allowing us to go to the sleepovers my classmates had because…well I would be going on child number 5 while smoking two packs a day! You are the real MVP for that! I know we spend a lot of time bickering, but I’ve come to realize we are the same people…always thinking the same–even if we want to deny it. Half of the quarrels are a result of us trying to prove a point just to play devil’s advocate. I always resented the thought of growing up to be like you, but now I’m sort of glad that I am relishing in your path. I know exactly who to consult for schooling, work problems, and even fashion. In many ways, you know me better than I know me–even if I pretend like you don’t.
Thanks for being the mirror that I need when I am power tripping or self-loathing. Thanks for always reinforcing God in my life because, with HIM, I would be totally lost!

Lastly, thank you for respecting how I chose to worship God…I know it was hard watching your daughter go from Baptism-Confirmation, just to end up where she is today. Thanks for letting me be my OWN person but still having a firm hand in my development. You are probably thinking, WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM? Well, to confuse you even more, I listed five reasons why we are the same…who knows, you might actually agree with me (for once).

We love Eloquii– To date, this is the only brand where we both look forward to shopping on Fridays. We surprise each other with what we found and then think of places we could wear them. I don’t even share this type of obsession with my friends.

We don’t take smack from guys– You are the reason why I have a backbone when it comes to dealing with guys. Watching you tell off guys that were disrespectful was a sight to see. Even if a guy called you “honey,” you corrected them because it wasn’t your name. Today, it’s damn near impossible for me to stick around a disrespectful guy because my MOMMA DIDN’T TAKE NO SHIT!

God is first ’nuff said!

We throw down– 9 times out of 10, we would rather cook for our food than paying for others to do it. Let’s face it; we cook way better!

We love hard in our very Chanel way– We don’t know how to explain it, but we love each other like enemies and friends at the same time. We go hard for each other and respect each other’s space.

 

All in all, I got lucky with this lady!
Love you mom!

Thanks to Eloquii for providing our looks for my mom’s special day! We are Eloquii loyalists!!

Pleated Maxi Dress: Here

Cold Should Mock Neck Dress: Here

Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21

NOT SAFE FOR WORK

In Body Positive, Personal Style

*Warning: NSFW – This is a positive experience of what my life has been looking like…with 7-10 f-bombs*


I know what all of you might be thinking: She hasn’t posted since April 25th, and now she’s going to walk up in here and start posting like nothing happened? Well…yea! Now that school is out for the summer, it’s time to unwind and have some real fun. These past few months have been especially trying. I was sick 60% of the time, I lost 17 lbs then gained 26lbs, I think I consumed an accumulative 1 gallon of water, I picked up a bad hookah habit, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster, my weave is already fucked up, I was leaving my school library at 12 am most days, I probably cleaned my room two times,  etc.

Yea, life was crazy. However, I learned to count my blessings and keep it moving! If there’s anything I learned from this semester, it’s that God got me and that I should do a better job taking care of my well-being. I mean…A MUCH BETTER JOB! So next semester, I’m gonna do things a little differently. Three weeks before school, I’m going to form habits around healthy and positive living. This includes: sleeping at 11 pm, drinking a gallon of water a day, making sure I commit to physical activity twice a week, nix the hookah, and engage in healthy communication with my loved ones. Even if I start there, slowly but surely I know I will get my shit in order…maybe.

To that end, I had to post these photos because I legit forgot who the fuck I was. My hair has been a mess, my clothing choice –> abysmal, and I stopped taking sexy pictures of myself because I haven’t felt sexy! To me, it’s important to feel yourself from time to time because if you don’t, you’re leaving it to some fuck boy to feel it for you. So here’s to remembering who the fuck I am and why I started blogging, to begin with.

Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21

Bodysuit: Here / /  Duster: Sold out, similar here / /  Pants: Here (I am a size 22, I am wearing a 3x. They have amazing stretch!)  / / Shoes: Sold out, similar here // Bag: Here

Until next slay,

Chardline.