Saturday, September 24, 2016

I’ve tried a couple subscription boxes and liked the opportunity to try out minis before purchasing full size products. I also loved experiencing products I might have never thought of purchasing. Even though I could always find use for the products and I honestly discovered some great products through subs, I started gifting more than I kept. That was my clue to take a break from subscribing. 

And then last week, POPSUGAR sent me this must have box to try for free. I thought why the heck not? Trying new things is always fun anyhow. What stuck out to me right away when I opened the pretty pink box was that the products were full size! Tucked neatly in the box was a trifold card that detailed the contents of the box, all six.

Jack and Lucy Wide Brim Hat

The first was the Jack and Lucy wide brim hat. If you subscribe to this box then you must be familiar with this POPSUGAR must have exclusive brand. We all know nothing says chic quite like a pair of fabulous sunnies paired with a wide brim hat both of which I am a huge fan. As the season changes and we move from straw hats to felt, this piece will surely come in handy for those off duty model looks we plan on creating. I plan on showing mine a lot of love. If you’re like me and already own a few black fedoras, no worries. One more in your arsenal won’t hurt but help you switch things up while staying fierce. 
While this hat is a one size fits all, it’s equipped with an adjustable string for a perfect and snug fit on every size head. This hat is my favorite piece in the box and is valued at 58$.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

At 100 calories per serving, these gluten free bites are packed with simple ingredients like organic brown rice syrup, toasted coconut, organic dates, sunflower seeds and flaxseed. I’m a huge fan of anything coconut so I thought, hmm this yummy threat probably won’t last until tomorrow. Wrong! They lasted for zero secs after I took the pictures. Long live chocolate and coconut. You were made for each other and for me!

Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer

Imagine a wide brim hat, a pair of killer sunnies and bold red lips! Classic, chic, fierce! The gold micro shimmer adds a cheeky touch to an otherwise elegant beauty bag staple. I’ve worn it a few times over my liquid lipstick and find it very moisturizing and lasting as well. The 5ml tube is a bit thicker than than the regular lip lacquer tube and I really like that. Liquid lipsticks tend to be drying so this is a welcome addition to my beauty bag. I’ve also worn it by itself and loved it. The best part is that it’s paraben and gluten free. This product retails for 22$. And of course I had to swatch 3 times cos once wasn't enough, LOL. Kudos to my beauty blogger friends that probably do this with their eyes closed!

NCLA Mani-er Tool Kit

This kit was so unexpected for me but come to think of it, we have enough to worry about in the cold seasons. From what coat compliments our looks best to what boots to pair them with, accessories as well not freezing our brains off in the cold during outfit shoots. We shouldn’t have to worry about our nails too. That's one little but essential detail that this handy kit takes care of. It has everything you need for a chic manicure in a purse ready pack. Adorable!

Briogeo Don’t despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask

Your hair puts up with a lot especially in the cold months so this is a great product to keep handy. Treat your hair to a spa day with this restorative mask. It promises to reduce breakage and restore natural vibrancy on even the most over processed locks. This should be instant gratification as it’s supposed to work in minutes. The consistency is just right and it has a fresh scent to it.  The packaging says it has no sulphate, no silicon and no parabens. This product retails for 36$.

Flint Lint Roller
As we inch closer to the darks wearing season, this will probably be one of my most used items from this box. We all know how much lint stands out up against dark clothing. I love the pretty gold color of this retractable/refillable portable roller and just like my selfie stick, I plan to plant it in my bag permanently. I never want to take the risk of walking around with the unsightly mess aka lint. It’s also extra sticky so lint doesn’t stand a chance. This retails for 9.99$

Much as I wish I had the limited edition which IMO is a great curation, this #MustHaveBox is a win for me all in all. I love everything and am actually using them. Sorry daughters, not this time. Have you received your box? I’m certain you have. Not yet? Why did you look, LOL. When I subscribed in the past, I always held out on looking at spoilers, I love surprises, :). And are you loving it or hating it? Loving it? Enjoy! Hating it? Gifting is always an option. There’s always that, thankfully. And the joys of opening for the recipient is always priceless.

Do you like sub boxes? Visit POPSUGAR to subscribe. Use code SHOP5 to get 5$ off your first must have box. Enjoy!

This is a #sponsored post but all opinions if any are mine.

Howdy darlings? 
Did you watch the Emmy red carpets? I thought Giuliana’s Rancic's Geoges Chakra gown was spectacular. Christine Bell in Zuhair Murad was beyond stunning. I loved Sarah Hyland's Monique Lhuillier high low floral top, so up my alley. Can you tell I am so drawn to the floral gowns and light colors like dusty pinks and whites. The liquid gold and silver gowns were big hits too for sure. And Terrence Howard whom I’ve always had a crush on (minus his voice LOL) looked pretty clean.

Thank you for stopping by. Keep thinking the purple thoughts, xx.
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Popsugar Must Have Box

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Everyone can boast of at least 1 pair of jeans. The classic blue jean is a wardrobe staple. There may be slight changes in the ‘it’ silhouette from season to season and according to fashion dictates. From the distressed to the flare, cropped or skinny to name a few but denim still rules, has such unmatched versatility and is not going anywhere anytime soon. 

What do you favor? I love distressed. Gosh I love skinny jeans. No scratch that. I love flares. Heck I love them all! They're everyone’s (both boys and gals alike) 'go to' and there’s a plethora of creative styling possibilities for any and every pair. 

Today I’ve incorporated a pair of denim flares, the new 'it' fit and one of my old faves that I spoke about here in my look. Fashion gals all over are loving and trusting this silhouette to keep them comfy and cozy especially in the upcoming Fall season. Featuring flare jeans, this gorgeous necklace, a gift from the wonderful folks at Haute Beads, a layered frilly bandeau top, Daffodile Brodee a limited edition from Christian Louboutin's 20th anniversary collection years ago and a Jimmy Choo bag, this look is easy, cute and comfy.

How cute is that top by the way? My daughter has since claimed it and it now hangs pretty in her closet, :-0.
A perfect yet playful day time or sexy date night piece, this top is by Lost link and comes in two colors. Sadly it is sold out but here is something similar in a color that will transition seamlessly into Fall. And here is another with long sleeves that's perfect for the upcoming season. I scooped up one of each and I am so in love! If something about Fall makes you crave flares, then check out this pair that's similar to my (antique, LOL) Bebe pair.

"Life is too short to wear boring jewelry"
I was pretty stoked when I received this stunning piece of jewelry from Haute Beads. It's been sitting in the box it came in for a while now cos sadly this full time working gal is currently involved in a few projects that are just gnawing away at my time. Truth be told staying afloat has been a challenge lately. That will pass soon I promise. 

Haute Beads
I introduced this brand to you here. Checked them out yet? You’d be amazed at all the great finds. This and this are so cute and this is still available for purchase. Okay okay, I won’t spoil it for you. I am a sucker for tag lines. Theirs is "we design with passion or not at all'. Fab! Head on over and take a peek, you won’t be disappointed. Thank me later now. You're welcome!

Did you read about the Atlanta 4th grade teacher's photos that went viral for her dressing? I didn't but my daughter did and told me and then another teacher at work said she read it and thought of me. She didn't think it was offensive. Not by a long shot. Not sure who was complaining about that gal's clothes but I personally think it's ridiculous that she's being sexualized because of her curvy body. Like dude, she has no control over that. We all wear jeans/tee and knit dresses and those hug the body too. I hope she doesn't lose her job over this cos teachers have a right to look good too. Not inappropriate but good, really good. Count me in! #teacherbae, support all the way.

Seriously guys, this is hilarious!
So a sibling to one of my students from last year thinks Beyonce is Ms. Idu. Her mom, a colleague of mine said when Beyonce was performing at the VMAs, she insisted that was 'Ms. Idu on TV' and nobody could convince her otherwise. I ran into her and dad on campus yesterday and as soon as dad said "she thinks you're Beyonce", she took off and hid behind him. I couldn't stop laughing. Can't wait till she comes to Kindergarten 17/18 school year. 

Hope your week was great darlings. 
I indulged all week. Too much food, too much cookies and cream ice cream (my new favorite flavor), some shopping, yada yada yada. On the flip side, it's fashion month, what are you loving? What trends do you see emerging?
I hope y'all enjoy a much needed relaxation this weekend!

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are mine. No place for any BS here. Thx Shireen, :).

Top - Lost Link (similar here)
Bottoms - Bebe (Old)
Heels - Christian Louboutin (Old)
Bag - Jimmy Choo (Old)

Thank you for stopping by and keep thinking the purple thoughts, xx.
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Flares and Frills

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Last week seriously kicked my butt. To where I couldn’t even get cranking on blogging. So I took a week off and my friend and I went out to the city and chilled instead. But I’m happy to be feeling more settled into the busy work life again. I’d say I missed everyone but you already know that. I'll say it anyhow.
 I missed the heck outta y'all! 

Five Reasons to Wear Bright Colored Coats This Fall

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I legit love dresses that celebrate a woman's bod and curves aka body con dresses. They are so flattering (yes they do amazing things for a gal's figure) and they're so fun. Lately, the market has been saturated with a slew of ‘wannabe' bandage dresses that don’t hold things in quite as nice or suck you in (for lack of a better word) no thanks to the flimsy fabrics embraced for mass production and maximum profit. Some of them make the already thin line between sexy and trashy a tad more obvious.
Hey screw that, I rock those too, paired with heels and huge doses of confidence.
Hello Vegas nights!

Body Conscious Style

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A very heartfelt THANKS for all the prayers and support for my last post. I stay very appreciative of you all. I'm also very thankful to everyone that has purchased my blook so far. I am blown away by the response. If you haven’t snagged a copy and and would love to, it’s available here. No pressure though, LOL.

School is back in session and every year at this time, I say I feel like I was run over by a truck. That’s because I truly do. Going from being home for 10 weeks, sleeping in and just lazying around the house to setting up the classroom in on Monday, staff development all day Tuesday and 26 kindergarteners on Wednesday, getting out of bed at 4am daily is like going from zero to 100 in no time. I’m glad it’s the weekend. Time to relax and rejuvenate cos I am totally pooped. 

I attended SoulFest with 5 of my friends two weeks ago at the Thunder Valley Casino & Resort in Lincoln Ca. The O’jays, the whispers, Evelyn Champagne King all performed. We ate, ate some more, partied till the wee hours of the morning and crashed in our 2 beautiful suites. Leaving in the morning was hard. Getting together with friends is always so fun and this was truly a magical outing. 

This a very quick share of my look to the concert. I hope you all had a phenomenal week. 

Song Rec : Just Like Fire

Pant Set - CB
Bag - Yves Saint Laurent
Lace Up Heels - Lola Shoetique

Thank you for stopping by. Keep thinking the purple thoughts, Xo.

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Soul Fest

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Let me be the first to say “Happy 2nd Anniversary Fashionably Idu”. Seems like yesterday when I celebrated my first anniversary with a giveaway. I am celebrating differently this time. 
Read on.

Bardot Top and Cropped Flare Pants
All you need is lattes, lipstick and off shoulder tops. 
Summer of 2016 will be remembered for changing the sartorial game with the influx and total embrace of cold shoulder clothing. I bet you haven’t been shrugging off this trend. You’ve not only embraced the trend you’ve also made it your new BFF. Me too! (Can I get a ‘Me three’? Yaasss!). For what is a gal without her shoulder baring Summer uniform? Just don’t invest too much of your hard earned $ on them. Much as you love it, it’s only just a trend after all and will be gone soon enough unlike staples. My rule of thumb when I shop is 'Splurge on Staples, Skimp on Trends’. Think high and low. So it’s ‘no can do’ to trends that make huge dents on the wallet. Paired this cute top with previously styled cropped flare pants with a volume that makes a every step dramaful, a boater hat, and Ambertina, my favorite of all the heels I own, this is a perfect after hours look. 

Beating Cancer
"Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me"- Psalm 66 V16
I’m also celebrating beating cancer. Yes you read that right. I am 3 years out from being diagnosed with colon cancer. From that fateful afternoon in April of 2013 that I was handed what seemed like a death sentence. After I had prayed until I could pray no more and better believe I can pray. I attended a catholic high school and that’s all we did anyhow. Surrounded by my children, siblings that flew in from all over and my then friend that I thought of as my surrogate sister. I was told I had colon cancer. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths and is among the top 10 cancers to affect people ages 20 to 49. I became a part of that statistic.

Blogging kept me busy and spared me zero time to think of the cancer while the last words of my friend and colleague Gary Golden that passed of cancer last year, 'God's Got This' kept me going.

After a surgery, blood transfusions, an almost 2 week hospitalization, very frequent checkups that I cannot even begin to describe how scary they were, (my siblings flew in and accompanied me to my checkups and I would sometimes refuse to get out of the car at the hospital for fear of what the doctor /test results would say) very close monitoring, CT scans (just had yet another 2 days ago), lots of blood tests and gosh I hate needles, (so much for being a renowned medical doctor’s daughter), lots of crying, lots of love, lots of everything that I have been through physically and more importantly emotionally, my brilliant oncologist Dr. Bahl now says it’s safe to use the word “cured”.
I say a resounding Amen. 

Dear God, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for being with me all the way, for never leaving me, for loving me.

Yes I do have stretch marks on my lower abdomen from having my 4 wonderful kids whom I seriously applaud for walking this kick ass walk with me. Tucked away in between the stretch marks, almost blended in with them is my surgery scar. The constant reminder that I survived, that I beat cancer. You want pictures? I didn’t think so, LOL.

I’ve always been one to celebrate my life, more so now knowing that had God looked away for a split second, I might already be gone to glory. 'Amazing Grace’ and ‘Jerusalem My Destiny’ sung for those are my favorite hymns, and everyone moved on. Head stone might have read ‘Here lies Idu, she loved family, friends, teaching, makeup and clothes. Christian Louboutin shoes were her absolute weakness’. I sob as I write this 'cause heck yeah it’s very emotional although I’m one to cry at the drop of a hat anyhow. Always been that way, will always be that way much as I try to toughen up, LOL. 

Presenting: Me!
Me! Yes me, with a new lease on life. Slaying on 'cos that’s what I do. And me as all the inspiration you need on days that challenges rock your life, on days that life throws you big sharp curves. That you’ll emerge from all that, determined as ever to keep living and not just existing. Especially if you have a good heart for that is every darn thing. Silver and gold have I not but I’m blessed with a good heart if I say so myself. 
“And her heart was the best, it would always calm the storm for those who were afraid of a little rain”. - R M Drake. 

Coming Soon to a Now at a Coffee Table Near You

Fashionably Idu 
Vol. 1
A Blook Just For You

I've been working hard on this project and I'm thrilled that it's finally launched. Grab one or two or more (why not), so you can have a hard copy of your favorite looks of me at your fingertips. All 100+ pages of goodness. On your coffee table. To inspire you like you’ve inspired me. It’s available on here and soon on Amazon and linked at the bottom of this post too. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Susie's Cause Colon Cancer Foundation. I have partnered up with them for this purpose. 
  “There is no greater duty or pleasure than that of giving to others” - Samuel Goldwyn

My Outlook
Writing a blog, which is by no means a walk in the park believe me (oops, I went Donald Trump on y'all again), holding down a full time very demanding job and a family while under the care of an oncologist for colon cancer goes to show that limitations are self imposed. So I plan to be and stay unstoppable! To keep living my life to the fullest, taking nothing for granted. For now is all we have.
I am more determined than ever to fulfill my dreams, to stay focused on my journey, at my pace and in my lane, tuning out any and every 'noise'.

“Then she began to breathe, and live, and every moment took her to a place where goodbyes were hard to come by. She was in love, but not in love with someone or something, she was in love with her life. And for the first time, in a long time, everything was inspiring”. - R M Drake

I appreciate your loyal readership immensely. Thank you ever so much. It’s been an awesome journey. I now lift my glass in a toast to me. To many more years of fabulousness.

To Fashionably Idu! 

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend. My lil girl is back from her one month visit to Canada. I picked her and my mom up from the airport and one of the first things she asked was 'mom can I go to London with grandma in December?'. I haven't picked up my jaw, hahaha. 

Song Rec: All The Way Up

Top - Clayton (here, here)
Pants - Ellery (here)
Heels - Christian Louboutin (old)
Bag - Kate Spade (here)
Boater Hat - Scala (here)
Thank you for stopping by and keep thinking the purple thoughts, Xo.

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Beating Cancer + 2 Year Blog Anniversary