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There is nothing like opening a new pair of classic Chuck Taylors. It’s like seeing a new born baby for the first time; fresh scent, smooth texture and unharmed. When you slide in them for the first time, it instantly boosts your confidence. Chuck Taylors and I go way back, since the first day of Kindergarden. My mom always made it a tradition for my brother and I to have the crispest pair of Chucks on the first day of school. My brother always chose black and I always chose white. I truly believe they are the most fearless pair of sneakers I own. No matter if Chucks are dirty or clorox beach white, they always go with every outfit. They are a timeless shoe that will never go out of style.

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To me, the coolest thing about Chucks are their sizing. I am someone who has a very long and narrow foot, thankfully Chucks have the tendency to always run a half size larger. This allows me to have more wiggle room and air for my feet to breathe. Since Chucks are ageless, I paired them with other ageless pieces like a classic pinstripe blazer and a pair of fitted mom jeans. I wanted to keep my outfit monochromatic so the Chucks would stand out. No matter where I am in the world, I always cary my Chucks with me. You can dress they up and down, plus they match with almost all my outfits. If you aren’t a part of the #Taylorgang yet, make sure to shop Converse.com or Zappos.com .

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#FOREVERCHUCK

Photographed by Kasey Stokley

SHOP CONVERSE

Cartagena isn’t just a city full of color, it’s full of great food and inexpensive cocktails. The interior decor of the restaurants are to die for. Many of the dishes are colorful and flavorful but sometimes a tad bit salty. If you’re not a heavy salt eater, I suggest you tell your waiter or waitress to go light on the salt, it makes a huge difference.

Let’s jump right in!

LA VITROLA 

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A classic authentic Colombian restaurant with a 1960’s ambiance. You are greeted with the sounds and beats of old-school Colombian live music. Your food is served by an all female waitress staff whom are dressed in crisp double breasted chef whites. Make sure to walk around the restaurant on your way to restroom or after your meal, the colors are magnificent along with the historical photos of legendary Colombians on the wall.

LA MULATA 

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In Spanish speaking countries, the word  “la mulata” means mixed girl and is a term used to refer to persons born of one white parent and one black parent or to persons born of a mulatto parent or parents.  The vibe of restaurant is very Afro-Colombian, including the art decor on the wall. Try the avocado and the fried platanos, they have some the best in Cartagena.

HARRY’S SASSON

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This restaurant is a “must see” landmark in old city Cartagena. It’s interior architectural structure is full of arches, high ceilings, and spiral staircases. You can tell this is a place where old money chooses to stay. The restaurant is also apart of a hotel that gives you a fabulous view of the city and the ocean. The lighting is always perfect and the food is always fresh, so make sure you’re camera ready.

MARIA & DON JUAN 

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Maria and Don Juan are are two restaurants that are located right next each other. Maria is the wife restaurant to Don Juan and Don Juan is the husband restaurant to Maria. This dynamic duo gives a flavorful fusion twist to Colombian food. They might be right next two each other but they have completely different menus. Try one place for lunch and the other for dinner.

ALQUIMICO

This vibrant 3 story tapas bar and restaurant is full of great music, games, and creative culinary. It’s right next to Maria and Don Juan, so maybe you can pop in here for a small bite or a drink before your dinner reservation. The first floor is laid back with a full bar and a cool playlist of R&B remixes. As you walk up the steps to the second level, you’re surrounded by gorgeous white columns that lead you to a fun game of pool or foosball. As you make your way up to the last and final level, it turns into a full roof top bar, just like NYC or DTLA. The music get funkier on the rooftop as it hops from 90’s to R&B, and Colombian champeta music.

ALMA

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This gorgeous restaurant and hotel is one Cartagena’s most famous establishments. It’s decor is filled with some of the finest woods and a breathtaking waterfall. Your food might take a little longer than usual but every bite is worth the wait. While you wait, try their famous Moscow Mule, you won’t regret it.

CARMEN

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TALK ABOUT ABOUT A MENU THAT WILL KNOCK YOU OUT OF THIS WORLD. JUST GO!

 

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I know that I am not the only one that is struggling with getting into the holiday spirit. I’ve seen so many Christmas lights since Halloween, but I guess I haven’t felt the vibes of the Christmas angel. One thing that I know for sure is 2017 moved faster than Usain Bolt.  I swear I was just watching the 2017 count down in New York City, like it was yesterday. I am quickly realizing that as I get older, time seems to move faster. I love Christmas time because my birthday is 2 days before Christmas. For me, that means double presents and since my parents are divorced, their partners always tend to slide in an extra gift for me. This year I will be turning 23 years old on the 23rd of December. This year is my golden year, so I know I am supposed to shine everyday of 2018. I have so much to be excited about this holiday season but I guess I need some more help. My Mom used to do these 4 things to jumpstart the holidays so I think I need to start them up again:

1) LISTEN TO THE JACKSON 5 CHRISTMAS ALBUM 

My favorite thing to do is listen to Christmas music, even when it’s not Christmas. There is nothing like hearing little Michael Jackson sing ” Santa Clause is coming to town”. His voice was so perfect and infectious that the holiday bug has to bite you when you listen to this album.

2) EAT PANETTONE: THE ITALIAN CHRISTMAS CAKE

I’ve always loved Panettone Christmas cake ever since I was a little girl. I love bread and I love raisins, so to have a cake that kills two birds with one stone is a great feeling. The texture is fluffy and easy to pull apart. The smell is sweet, zesty and fruity. Lastly,  it can be purchased in your local grocery in a red box or SOMETIMES it is sold in Staples.

3) MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Gingerbread cookies and houses are always a classic. If you’ve got some little ones in your household or family, it’s time to pull out the frosting and cookie cutters. When I used to make gingerbread houses with my mother, she always told me the importance of having and owning your own home. I feel like building a gingerbread house is a great way for children to learn about what they might want in their own home one day. Once you’re done and the children have gone to bed, you can eat it and throw it back with some spiked eggnog or rum punch.

4) DRINK JAMAICAN SORREL

Being a Jamerican, I’ve always celebrated my holidays with a glass of sorrel. It is a hibiscus drink that tastes great with white Jamaican rum. It has a sweet and savory taste that is divine. If you’re looking for a holiday drink that isn’t eggnog or a mixed cocktail, I suggest trying out some sorrel.


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Fall is my one of my favorite seasons because I can start drinking hot cocoa and I can bring out those fabulous coats that I’ve have been hiding in the back of my closet. I love a stylish coat that can keep me warm. Living in New York, it’s so imperative to have a coat that can do both: break necks and keep your body from freezing. The three main pieces of clothing that are important to me during the fall and winter are cashmere sweaters, black boots and once again, a durable coat.

Sorry to say this, but during the cold seasons people are looking at the outside instead of the inside. What I mean by that is, since everyone is usually bundled up, they probably won’t be looking at your complete outfit, they’ll be looking at solely your coat. I believe that your coat(s) should make a statement and represent your style. If you’re someone like me whose style is changing everyday, that means you have a lot of coats. If you’ve been wearing the same black or brown coat for the past decade, I suggest you donate it to your local coat drive and upgrade. Coats, jackets, and parkas can be expensive, so if you’re not ready to invest in a new coat, try going to your local thrift or consignment shop. During the winter, thrifts store are the best for stocking up on grandpa sweaters and jackets. If you’re completely lost, you can shop my favorite jackets up above.

Peace & Love,

Ivy Coco

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Photographed by: Laura Craffey 

Hair braided by: Jeri Jennell 

I am so happy that more and more makeup companies are creating a copious amount of makeup shades for women of color. For a very long time women of color, especially BLACK women have suffered when it comes to finding the right shade of makeup. Obviously beauty comes in all shades and tones, but it’s hard to say that when makeup brands don’t shed light on darker skin tones. Women of color who are models, celebrities, or entertainers are always asked to bring their own foundation to set because some makeup artist and makeup brands don’t carry their shade.

Let me tell y’all a little story! So one day, I got booked to walk in New York Bridal Week. I was so excited and thrilled because it was my first runway show. On the day of the show, I had a 7 A.M. call time and I was running late. I usually like to put a little foundation on when I leave the house but on this day, I did not have time. I decided to drop my foundation in my bag and put a little pep in my step to catch the subway. I arrived at 7:03 A.M. and I was the last one to arrive, so that kind of made me a little upset (I hate being late!). As I waited for my time in the makeup chair, I began looking at all the other models and I only saw two other blacks girls and they were darker than me. I sat in the makeup chair and I closed my eyes for about 10 minutes and once I opened my eyes, I looked like a pale geisha. I mean I really looked PALE AF! My make up was awful. I scrambled backstage to find the other black girls and they did their own makeup. That experience definitely taught me to ALWAYS be prepared.

It’s so annoying that mainstream makeup isn’t always looking out for the black girls and the women of color. Thanks to CoverFX, they have a range of foundations and powders dedicated to darker women. When it comes to setting powders, I don’t always like wearing banana powder because sometimes I feel I look a little yellow. I recently tried the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder which gives my makeup a flawless finish. The powder ranges from fair to deep and when I mean deep, I mean DEEP! I highly suggest going to your nearest Sephora to test out which powder sets best on your skin tone.

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Photographed by: @Deanay0