Dear Summer…

by Jackie

To everyone that complained about the humidity and the the hot temperatures, you win. Summer, my favorite season, is ending. Though I am sad to see it go, it has truly been one of the best summers I’ve had since I was in school and had three whole months off.  I know it’s not over quite yet, but I couldn’t help but reminisce about some of my favorite summer 2013 moments, and of course, I had to share them with you.

photo(14)I can’t count how many times I’ve been to New York this summer. Every trip has been worth the nearly impossible traffic traveling from DC. Whether it was celebrating my dad’s birthday with a family party in my parents’ backyard, shopping with my mom, chasing July 4th fireworks with my sister in my old neighborhood, or going to throwback parties with my friends, I was home again.

photo(15)For a week, I was beautifully overwhelmed by the sisterhood that I joined more than nine years ago. The 51st national convention of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was more than just a gathering of sorority women, it was a reunion of epic proportions. DC didn’t know what to do with the tens of thousands of women that descended upon the city in July to celebrate the sorority’s Centennial. It was an experience that I will carry with me forever.

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I got to chat with Jill Scott for an hour about her dreams, her passions, and all the stuff that makes her the dynamo that she is. Ok, not really, but that’s how it felt to attend the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art Director’s Discussion Series featuring the Grammy Award winning singer. It was refreshing to hear her talk about how much she treasures the simple moments in life, and to recall the lessons passed down by the women in her family.

Earlier this year, I was riding in my BFF’s car (during yet another trip to New York) as she was playing Lianne La Havas’s debut album “Is Your Love Big Enough?” A couple of notes in, and I was hooked. I know I’m late to the game, but I was besides myself with fangirl excitement when I saw her perform at SummerStage in Central Park (during still yet another trip to NYC). I play her album every day and get lost in her voice. She’s simply amazing.

photo(16)My all-time favorite summer moments are the ones that I spent with my sister, Maronel. From Sister Sundays to random Starbucks dates, it has been fun to hang out with her. She is a natural comedienne and keeps me up to date with all of the trends. I’m blessed to have a built-in friend like her.

Something New

by Jackie 

Before

This summer, I’ve been on a mission to try new things. Last night, I truly ventured into unchartered territory and got my hair braided. My sister, Maronel, originally came up with the idea as a method of giving her hair a break from styling, and after seeing Jill Scott’s look for her summer block party, I just knew I had to try them. I have never worn extensions of any kind up until now, and while I’m still getting used to them I am looking forward to being able to just get up and go every day for a few weeks without having to worry about the humidity affecting my hairstyle. Ah, the sweet taste of freedom!

My style inspiration, Jada Pinkett-Smith.

After

 

Weekend Warrior: @Coldplay at #Lolla and @MissJillScott’s Block Party

by Jackie 

270,000. That’s the number of determined music-lovers that packed Chicago’s Grant Park this weekend for Lollapalooza‘s 20th anniversary festival. Careful planning and dedication landed me a front-row spot to see Coldplay on opening night. Have you ever felt that there was a band whose songs were the soundtrack to your life? Ever since hearing “Yellow” when I was in high school, I could have sworn that lead singer/songwriter Chris Martin and I shared a journal. The show was part laser spectacular, part balloon fest, and total dream come true.

Coldplay performing “Yellow” at Lolla. Ignore the girl singing off-key in the background, she was a bit excited. (I will deny it’s me forever.)

Chris Martin intro’d “Fix You” by singing the late Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” in tribute to his fellow British phenom.

I was just a couple of feet away from Coldplay frontman Chris Martin!

I still can't believe I got to see them live!

Click here to see the full stream of Coldplay at Lollapalooza. My sister and mom text me saying they spotted me. If you see an excited girl in a tan fedora, that’s me!

After I scratched Lollapalooza off of my bucket list, I returned to DC to close out the weekend with Jill Scott’s Summer Block Party, featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, Doug E. Fresh, Mint Condition, and Anthony Hamilton. DJ Jazzy Jeff and Doug E. Fresh lived up to the concert’s title, playing old school jams that had everyone on their feet and Mint Condition’s Pretty Brown Eyestook me on a trip down memory lane. Jill Scott was amazing. It was the second time I’ve seen her live, and I loved the way she blended her classics with tracks from her new album, The Light of the Sun. Her double encore included one of my all-time Jill faves, He Loves Me.” She closed out the song with Spanish operatic breakdown. I love her voice, and her range is crazy. She also looked gorgeous with her braided hair pulled back, gold bamboo earrings, blue sequined dress, and neon green high-tops.

Jill Scott made me want to get my hair braided and buy some gold bamboo earrings.

She radiated positive energy throughout her entire show.

Blockpartiers: Travis, Jennifer, and me.

Photos and video by moi.

 

Get the Look: Alicia Keys and Jill Scott Shine on the Glossies

by Jackie

Glow Like Jill Scott and Alicia Keys!

This month, Alicia Keys and Jill Scott grace the covers of Essence and Ebony magazines, respectively. Both divas have a glow about them that is strikingly beautiful.  Here are some tips to take your shine up a notch.

Exfoliate

This winter was particularly harsh on my skin. Although I moisturize religiously, I noticed that my face was dry and dull. Determined to get my skin back to what it used to be, I turned to an old favorite to do the job.

For about $3, St. Ives Apricot Scrub reveals the soft skin hiding underneath dull flakes. Be careful and  wash your face gently in a circular motion.  Do not scrub your face. The exfoliating particles will do their job on its own. Being too harsh will strip your skin.

Wear White

Wearing white makes you look stunning and striking. Make a clean break from the drab, dark colors with a white on white ensemble.

You don’t have to buy an expensive suit to pull off this look. Just pair a white blazer over a white tank for instant brightening. This cap-sleeve ruffle jacket is priced under $70 at New York & Co.

Keep it Simple

(MAC loose powder, NW 45 and MAC Lipglass Viva Glam V B60)

Though bold makeup looks are fun, a neutral look will enhance your features without covering them up.

My makeup bag has gotten a lot lighter since I’ve been sporting a neutral look. I typically only wear foundation if I’m going to a special event, so it wasn’t a big departure for me.

A dab of loose powder on my nose to control shine, and a swipe of gloss on my lips is all I need these days to get ready.