Lifestyle | Lauren and Cameron’s “Love is Blind” Spin Off

Lauren and Cameron’s whirlwind romance was a true favorite among the couples on Netflix’s three week event Love is Blind. Lauren and Cameron hit it off instantly, getting in to some deep conversations, opening up their eyes to emotions they didn’t even know they had. Their personalities and desire to find true love matched and after five short days of laughter and even some tears, Cameron proposed to Lauren. But here’s the kicker, they hadn’t even seen each other in person yet. 

After a quick getaway trip to mexico and some time in a new apartment, coordinating their lives to see what it could be like living together as husband and wife, the couple tied the knot. 

The series has been number 1 on Netflix for the past week with fans all over the world however Lauren and Cameron’s experience was definitely a crowd favorite especially among black viewers. 

Actress, singer and social media babe @thejessiewoo was rooting for Lauren and Cameron’s union.

Some fans like @shadesofsoso even went all out getting dressed up and ready for the Love is Blind wedding.

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Instagram and Twitter fans are already calling for a Lauren and Cameron show! Who wouldn’t want to see this right? The couple is practically the American Meghan and Harry! 

As Lauren so rightly said in her Instagram live stream, “America’s audiences needed this.” We needed to see unfiltered, unscripted real life footage of how beautiful love can be without all the over the top drama. With most reality shows about love and relationships portraying black women as angry, aggressive or just plain gold diggers, Netflix did a wonderful job with this series making it feel the most authentic and relatable reality series yet. Now all Netflix needs to do is to start filming Lauren and Cameron’s spin off! 

 

Hello Spring | Feelin the Warm Sun

It’s May 1st

Can you believe it’s already May 1st! Time is going by so quickly, but I don’t mind at all because spring is here and I am totally loving the weather and beautiful blossoms! I tend to appreciate my campus most during this beautiful time of year. The grasses are always plush and bright, the flowers are blooming and the sunshine just adds life and freshness to the landscape. I loved today’s weather so much that I just had to lay out under the trees enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze. 

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Graduation is Coming Up

The countdown is definitely on for Queens College 2018! I’ve bought my cap and gown, I’ve RSVP to my department graduation and I’m ready to celebrate my achievement. It’s been quite a journey adulting, living life and doing my thing, but I have endured and enjoyed the good times and the bad times. 

During the past four years of college I didn’t have much of a social life because I was so focused on working and going to school. Being goal oriented is all well and good, but I do wish that I would have spent more interest in building connections and exploring life outside school and work. Knowing that I’m nearing the end of another chapter in my life has afforded me the opportunity to finally stop and smell the blossoms! These past few bright spring days has really been God’s reminder to me that no matter how hard things could get, “this too shall pass” Come May 31st, this too shall pass, as I embark on another journey into the world of work! 

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Interviews Galore

I am lucky enough to have scheduled at least two interviews per week for the next couple months and I am really looking forward to them all. I’ve been applying for jobs like crazy since last September to no avail and I was a bit worried, but I am so grateful that things seem to be panning out quite nicely.  

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More Fun to Come

I know I haven’t been blogging as consistently as I should be, but bear with me, I’m really trying my best not to get too distracted from my final assignments. Nonetheless I have great plans for a fantastic and exciting summer so stick it out with me guys because there’s more fun to come! 

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Blogger Feature | Diva Named Dom

All Black Everything

Miss Diva Named Dom is always slayed to the Gods! I just had to feature her again, not only because of her awesome photos and fashion sense but she has that Naomi Campbell confidence that every woman should always aim to exude!

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All this talk of Beyonce at Coachella made me wanna step my shit on up and step on out on the scene.

Because I don’t have Coachella ticket money but I’m obsessed with Coachella fashion, I decided to mix it up a bit. Check out this gorgeous Black Lace Dress I got from Forever 21. I know I need to stop shopping here, but my wallet is holding on to the relationship for dear life. Besides, they’re adding a contemporary line for women like me that literally wanna stay Forever 21 25.

Thigh high boots are a hot commodity for thick’ems like myself. Imagine how elated I was to find a pair that actually went up my size 12 thighs?! You can grab the same pair here.

I paired it with a bold red lip and a lace choker (also Forever 21). I purchased this one quite a…

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Travel | Islandlife in Sweet Tobago

A trip to Trinidad isn’t complete without paying a visit to its sister isle Tobago. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a scenic stay in Pembroke in the countryside. Although it was about 20 minutes drive away from Crown Point, the hub of Tobago’s nightlife I really got the opportunity to appreciate the islands greenery and sea views. The drive between Crown Point and Pembroke runs along the island’s coastline which conveniently allowed me to capture some amazing landscape memories of this trip.

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It may seem like I didn’t do much, however my two-day stay in Pembroke was still quite satisfying and enjoyable, not only because I enjoyed taking beautiful landscape photos, but I also appreciated immersing myself into Tobago’s country life giving me a rare opportunity to unplug and detach myself from my hectic life.

I have to say though, the best part of my island getaway was my trip to the calm and relaxing waters at Store Bay in Crown Point.

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20180409_104625The convenient and probably the best thing about Store Bay is that it is just a stone throw away from Crown Point’s nightlife. The ANR Airport, the bars, lounges, nightclubs and multiple resorts are all within a few minutes of each other surrounding Store Bay. In Crown Point you can surely have it all, there’s the serenity of Store Bay complimented by the pizzaz of the nightlife.

DSC_0752One thing you’d find most interesting about Tobago is that the locals are so warm and welcoming. Dawn Cape, owner of Sips WIne & Cocktail Bar was the perfect host and so willing to pose for all my photos that I just had to feature him in this blog. 

sips barLast but certainly not least, another highlight from my visit to Tobago was the food. Long before I had even arrived in Trinidad, I had been fantasizing about eating Tobago’s infamous crab and dumpling. crab dumpling1.jpgCooking is a social tradition that the family I stayed with enjoys doing outdoors in their backyard. The Sunday norm is to invite friends over and together they’ll cook up a storm over drinks, laughter and good conversation. 

All in all I genuinely enjoyed living the country girl, island life for a couple days. It was stimulating and refreshing, I would definitely recommend taking a visit to Trinidad and Tobago. Hopefully, I’d be able to enjoy another Caribbean getaway this summer, so look forward to more travel and adventure blogs from me here on hellomirabelle.com 

 

Food & Drink | Trini Mom Shares Pastele Pie Recipe

Traveling and exploring different cultures definitely affords the opportunity to taste the world and while on vacation in Trinidad you just can’t avoid indulging in all the local and traditional foods.

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Local mom, hairstylist and aspiring entrepreneur, Sigournie La Foucade, was so kind to open up her kitchen to my curiosity sharing her tips and tricks to making the perfect pastele pie. This quick and simple recipe transforms Trinidad and Tobago’s most famous Christmas dish, pastele, into a year round favorite. Combining the ingredients used to make pastele with the technique used to make shepherd’s pie, Sigournie effortlessly whips up two pastele pies while giving me the exclusive on her recipe secrets.

Ingredients 

Minced Meat Filling

  • 1 lb minced meat
  • 1/2 cup raisins 
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 1/2 cup olives
  • 2 small onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 pimentos
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 4 stalks cilantro

Pastele Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp maggie all purpose seasoning

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Bon Appétit! Follow Sigournie on instagram at authenticme_whitney_ to see more of her life as a mom and stylist.

 

 

 

 

Travel | Hello Trinidad & Tobago

It Feels Good to be Home

Although I left Trinidad for New York to pursue a college education and career opportunities, I can’t help but stress the idea that there’s no place like home. Ugh, I hate clichés but it’s so true. There’s nothing like the feeling of nostalgia when you’re back home hearing the rustling of the leaves or the crowing of the rooster in the morning. It might seem so corny but I enjoyed listening to the chirps of the crickets that I used to find so annoying when I was younger. DSC_0631I don’t really have to go too far but a few steps into my yard to enjoy some chill vibes. I never gave it much thought about how much I missed my home until I kicked my feet up and soaked up some good Santa Cruz evening sun.

It’s been about five years since I’ve been in Trinidad and it feels good to be home. It may seem like a short time, but so many things have changed since I’ve been here. Nonetheless, the one thing that has remained the same, is the relaxing and captivating floral and fauna around our yard.DSC_0639

DSC_0647Coming on this trip I was definitely looking forward to the mangoes, the oranges, the papaya but most of all I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a coconut! A real coconut! Picked fresh from a tree in our backyard. Coconut tree

DSC_0533I probably had about three coconuts. The coconut water was so sweet, nothing like that force ripe artificial flavor in the coconut water from the grocery store. And the jelly, not too soft, not too hard, it was the perfect consistency!

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While my dreams, ambitions and potential may be greater now than I had ever imagined, I will always cherish and appreciate my small town Trinidadian roots. Once an island girl, always an island girl! 

I will do my best to take as much pictures as I can on this trip so stay tuned for more about my visit to beautiful Trinidad and Tobago.

In case you were wondering where in the world is Trinidad and Tobago, here’s a little perspective for ya. 

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Fashion | Project Runway All Star Launches New Clothing Line

Project Runway All Star Anya Ayoung Chee proudly launches her new clothing line Anya Ayoung Chee – Limited Edition

Anya’s rise to fashion stardom began when she graced the 2008 Miss Universe Pageant in Japan representing her country Trinidad and Tobago. Then, in 2011, the United Nations Association of Trinidad & Tobago (UNATT) spokeswoman auditioned for Project Runway Season 9 where she easily became a fan favorite. Anya’s creative designs always captivated a tropical island aesthetic, bringing something fresh and inspiring to the table which won her the Project Runway Season 9 title.

Fast forward seven years later, Anya has appeared on Project Runway All Stars and guest starred on a reality show with Tim Gunn where she mentored aspiring designers. Anya has never lost interest in her roots designing costumes for Tribe, Bliss and she has even designed her own line of fete and Carnival Monday wear, cANYAval. 

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Earlier this year, crowned in a carnival inspired headpiece, the designer tied the knot with photographer Wyatt Gallery at their small beachfront wedding in Blanchisseuse, Trinidad. Wyatt posted this photo on his instagram account saying, “In a small, intimate, family ceremony yesterday, I married my soulmate and my love @anyaayoungchee while overlooking the coastline of Blanchisseuse, Trinidad, a place that has been a part of my soul since 1999. It was a magical dream come true (finally!)”

After her extended break from designing for the rack, Anya is back with her new clothing line Anya Ayoung Chee – Limited Edition which aims to provide exclusive, small quantities of each design she creates.

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Love on the Brain | Holdin’ It Down Like a Ride or Die

Men will always desire ride or die women like Dreka Gates, one of social media’s favorite rapper wives, because they are the ones who stay consistent in their efforts to support and invest time and energy into holdin’ it down.  

If you’ve been exploring the dating world for some time now you’d know that most women usually tend to be attracted to men who keep them intrigued. Boring is never ideal! For the most part, it’s less likely ever about how he makes her feel, but more so about how she feels about him. Regardless of who he is, where he’s been or what he’s done, a woman’s desire always lies wherever or with whoever her energy is drawn to.  When they say women never really know what they want, that isn’t quite true, we innately know exactly what or who we want, but we rarely ever know how to express it.

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Simply put, the majority of us want to be desired. We want to be that person in our man’s life who he turns to when he wants love, when he wants comfort, when he wants happiness, when he wants stability, when he want to feel safe. Because we’re all separate individuals with our own individual experiences, thoughts, emotions, inhibitions etc, no two people will ever truly need the exact same components to commit to a successful relationship. The only true component necessary for a successful relationship is invested energy. 

Successful relationships are never solely based on love. Love, the noun, is an intense feeling of deep affection, and love, the verb, is to feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone or something. Both meanings, despite the general misconception, are critically subjective. Love is an emotion, emotions come and go. How much of us can really say we’ve consistently experienced the same emotion, unchanged, for extended periods of time? Sometimes we feel happy, sometimes we feel sad, sometimes we feel angry and sometimes we feel love. So if love comes and goes, our desire to be in a relationship with someone will similarly, always come and go. 

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The law of energy is simple, energy cannot be created or destroyed, however, it can be transformed or transferred from one form to another, or in this instance, from one person to another. Hence the reason why successful relationships always come across as “easy” or “simple”. Just as in nature energy exists, so too in our relationships with our partners, our energy just exists. The “hard” part that people in long-term relationships always refer to only comes when we have to transform or transfer our energy in our relationship. As individuals, we are responsible for and should always be held accountable to where our energy is spent. We can either invest our energy in making our relationship work, or we can choose to be lazy and let our energy be drawn in all different directions where they don’t belong.

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Relationships like Kevin and Dreka Gates work, despite the ups and downs, when both partners choose to invest their energy in each other. Men will always desire ride or die women like Dreka Gates, one of social media’s favorite rapper wives, because they are the ones who stay consistent in their efforts to support and invest time and energy into holdin’ it down.  

Lifestyle | Spring Break Haul

Nature has been giving us a few sneak previews of the crisp air and warm sun that comes with Spring for the past couple weeks here in New York, but as we all know, you could never get too excited with this bipolar transition weather. But, it’s finally March 20th, Spring is here and I’m ready for it! My favorite season of the year. 

With every new season comes new fashion statements, makeup trends and new friends so I just had to do a collab with one of the most fashionable lifestyle bloggers I follow, the gorgeous Diva Named Dom. The self proclaimed cosmopolitan diva creates fashion, food, culture and lifestyle content that captivates her essence and desire to be the best version of herself.

Collab Feature | Domenique

Domenique’s blog and instagram feed has successfully maintained an attractive aesthetic to amass loyal readers who are always genuinely inspired by her content and originality. When she isn’t blogging, this Miami beauty enjoys relaxing at home spending quality time with her mother’s foster children and five Dachshunds. This spring, Domenique’s followers can definitely look forward to more amazing blogs and fascinating photography as she plans to shed her winter clothes and enjoy the fabulous Miami weather. Check out her latest post Spring Has Sprung.

What Have I Been Up To Lately?

2018 started off a bit rough for me but I’m finally getting my life under control. While trying to be a little more consistent with my blogging, I’ve also been tutoring part-time while still wrestling a crazy schedule this semester as I prepare to graduate in May, hopefully. Unfortunately, I’m about six credits shy of the required minimum necessary for graduation. However, through several appeals and permission from the English Department and the Registrar at Queens College, I have been permitted to attend commencement in May. Hooray for me! The pit of the prune is, I’ll have to return in the summer to do two classes to make up for my unfinished credits. Not too bad, right? I’ll knock those off by June.  

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That drama aside, spring blossoms also means Spring Break! Turn up or Nah? Throughout the past four years of school, I have never looked forward to Spring Break this much because I usually never go anywhere. This year though, I am destination ready headed for sand, sea and lots and lots of tropical sun. Although I didn’t go too crazy shopping for this spring break trip, I definitely picked up a few blog worthy affordable finds that I am excited to share with you. 

Mini Spring Break Haul

I absolutely fell in love with these cute flats the moment I found them. They seem so retro yet modern at the same time, a bit nostalgic, because I almost remember having a similar pair in brown as a kid. I also picked up these fab African inspired accessories that just brings out the Wakanda in me! And of course, you can’t go wrong with a good ole pair of trendy thrift store sunglasses.

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Getting a straw bag for a trip in the spring is an absolute must have. I was especially attracted to this reddish brown color not only because it matches these cute flat sandals and compliments my skin tone, but I also feel like the regular light tan straw bags are so ordinary. I’m a sucker for a good glow and some lashes so I just had to snatch up these Kiss ‘so wispy’ lashes and this Elf ‘sunglow’ illuminator. 

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I try my best to be a minimalist whenever I travel but I just gotta have a different shoe for every different outfit! So, the minimalist way to try to achieve this is to get the staple colors; white, brown and black. I can’t wait to get my toes freshly done to wear these gorg sandals. I also had to try these layered lashes from Kiss that I got on sale at a beauty supply store in Brooklyn, it was only $1! Can’t beat that bargain. I always get compliments on this floral embroidered crossbody bag so why not include it in the fun right? And it was only $13 on Amazon! Bargaaaaaaain!

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Shockingly I’ve become quite a sneakerhead lately. These suede mauve Reebok Classics are giving me so much life! I’m so looking forward to sporting them with my matching  headwrap this spring! My favorite sneaker brands at the moment are Reebok, Vans and Puma, mainly because they have so much unique colors in simple classic styles. 

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Last but not least, I just had to cop these crocodile hunter looking Under Armor sneakers for all the animal farm, camping, hiking and long walking trips that I plan to take this season. However, it’s just a shame that this picture isn’t doing this headwrap justice! I’m so looking forward to wrap my hair up in all its glittery and sparkly glory.

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I hope you guys enjoyed my quick mini spring break haul. Stay tuned for my travel updates within the next couple weeks, I promise you it will be amazing! Happy Spring!