IMG_4365.JPG

One thing that I truly love about myself is my hair. I feel like the hair that I have is like having a super power. Since it is so versatile, I can literally transform who I am. One minute I can have bone straight hair like Cher in her prime or I can become Diana Ross with my wild curly afro. As a young women, I believe that women and girls have the ability to change their look as much as possible. I remember seeing a meme on Instagram of a guy telling his girlfriend “we need to see other people” and she changes into multiple wigs (see meme below, IT HAD ME HOLLERING!).

him-i-think-we-need-to-see-new-people-me-sure-24957170.png

 

I genuinely love being able to switch my hair but wearing it curly and big is definitely my favorite style. When I was in Morocco, I didn’t see a lot of women with curly hair, especially hair like mine. Since my hair made such a statement, vendors at the market would yell out “Shakira!, Shakira!” since my hair is curly and I guess that’s the only celebrity reference they associate curly hair with. Obviously, the Latina pop sensation and I look nothing a like, so I know it had to be the hair. Growing up, my mom always recited two really cool quotes  about having big hair, “the bigger the hair, the closer to God” and “the bigger the hair, the more they stare”. My mom was absolutely right, I sure did get a lot of stares. Being a woman of color with a lot of hair, many individuals ask to touch it and the answer will always be NO! My hair is not a creature and neither am I. There are so many dynamics in regards to hair and what it means to a woman, but for me it means a lot. I make sure that I treat, clean, and nourish my hair using Form Beauty because it’s important that anyone with hair knows how to take care of it.

My favorite product that I have been using recently is the Multitask 3-in-1 Leave-In Lotion. I use it on my hair almost everyday because it’s great for layering, moisturizing, and styling. Whether I want to wear my hair slicked back in a puffy bun or out in a fro, this leave-in-lotion keeps my hair hydrated. I truly detest when I put leave-in products in my hair and they are too heavy or too creamy. This product is also great for braids as well. If you wear box braids, cornrows, or any other protective style, it’s important that you give your scalp and hair moisture. Why I love this product is because it’s easy and simple. All I really have to do is spray, style and go. It cuts down the time when doing my hair and it keep my hair smelling fresh. I couldn’t ask for a more fun and easy hair care product.    

product_page-82b3ff9c930c60bb643fb805c21d4635df135aebf93ffecc3e3e26ddfcb68eed

 

FORM Beauty

Multitask.

3-in-1 leave-in lotion

12 fl oz. – $32.00

 

IMG_4800.JPG.jpegIMG_4239.JPGIMG_4374.JPGIMG_3855-1.JPGIMG_4406.JPG

Photographed by Thaïs Martin

him-i-think-we-need-to-see-new-people-me-sure-24957170.png

unnamed-6.jpg

Ever since I could remember, my Papa, Eric Maurice, has always been the beau of the ball. His dapper demeanor never goes unnoticed when he enters a room. He is in a class of his own with his salt and pepper hair, fierce walk, impeccable style, and that sexy french accent to top it off. Papa is definitely not your average 56 year old man. He manages to live a 007 lifestyle between Los Angeles and Paris while staying fit, fashionable, and fearless.

Over the years, he always made it imperative that he dressed for success. Growing up with a European father with exquisite taste made shopping 10x more fun. Papa never believed in leaving the house in pajamas or sweats, he believed in dressing how you wanted to be addressed. Every season, he would take my brother and I to the big outdoor outlets in Camarillo or Pam Springs, located in California. Together, we would shop all day, maybe get a Auntie Anne’s pretzel in between stores, then continue shopping until we heard  “Attention! the shops will be closing in 15 minutes”. During those long days of shopping, my father taught me color swatches, fabrics, quality versus quantity, and the essentials I needed to have. If Eric Maurice was going to look his best at all times, his kids were going to as well.

Since my father blessed me with dual citizenship between France and The United States, we’ve had many shopping dates that have occurred in Spain, Paris, and London. I’ve been so fortunate to see different cultures and fashions around the world because of my father. He has opened my eyes up to see that fashion everywhere, it is inspired by architecture, food, and people. Still to this day, Papa reminds that having one style or being good at one thing isn’t good enough. Yes, you should have a signature look that represents your style, but also be able to diversify your style. Being able to show people that you can tap into different genres of fashion and life, expands how people view you as a person.

The best lesson that Papa has taught me about style is that there is power when entering a room well dressed. No matter how many designer brands you buy, it will never equate to confidence. Along with Papa’s Sean Connery looks, his confidence is what makes every outfit perfect. To me, Papa is Mr.007 because he isn’t an ordinary man who allows the suit to wear him, he wears the suit. He knows that he can accomplish anything when he looks good and that fuels him to make every mission possible.

unnamed-10.jpg

 

Photographed by @Mamadivisuals

http://www.mamadi.co/ 

Images captured by @itsbarrydaly

Casting expectations suck! We do it in the smallest ways even when we don’t think we are doing it. For example, when you send bae a thoughtful text and he or she doesn’t respond in the way you were expecting or they might not respond at all. The moral of the story is that expecting someone to do something for you just because you did it for them is setting yourself up for heartbreak, unhappiness, and a stank attitude.

I’ll never forget my father taking my brother and I to church every Friday for soup kitchen. After a long week of school or work, church members would get together and help feed the homeless. My first few weeks I was annoyed because I didn’t want to be there and I wasn’t getting paid. I was surrounded by old church folks who talked about retreats that I couldn’t go on, my brother was only there to talk to girls and my job was being the dishwasher. After being a nuisance to my father and begging not to return, he told me that I should stop complaining and realize that “the more you give, the more you receive” (Luke 6: 38). I had no idea what he was talking about, but he suggested I start making brownies and handing them out at the soup kitchen. Since I was a chubby kid who loved to bake, I told myself to do it and have fun doing it.

The following week, I outdid myself and I made five dozen brownies for the homeless soup kitchen. I marched into my church with my blue tupperware ready to serve and not wash dishes. I stood proud at the end of the food table eager to give out my brownies and the people receiving it were even more eager to see me. Many of the homeless men and women enjoyed getting a substantial meal but they enjoyed my brownies more. In a short period of time, I began to create conversations and relationships with these men and women. Some starting coming just because they really loved my brownies and the smile they were given. I became the topic of discussion when those church folks started talking because I went from dishwasher girl to the brownie girl. I felt so blessed and overwhelmed that I could have this affect on people solely by giving them something good to eat. I quickly realized what my father meant about giving and receiving.

When it comes down to giving, give because you want to and because its coming from the goodness of your heart. Don’t give to make others happy, give to make you happy. It made me happy to see those men and women smile just because they had something sweet to eat. It made me so happy that I continued to make brownies all the way up to high school. I grew out of thinking that just because I did something kind for someone that a kind gesture would be returned. I remember getting a few eye rolls, nose flares and stank faces when giving out my brownies, but that didn’t stop me from going back every week. I knew that a majority of people craved my baked goods and I accepted that my brownies were the bomb.com for a large group people but not everyone.

Accept that no one owes you anything in this world. Accept that you are good enough and that the ones who value you will show you. Accept that not everyone is not on the same page as you or has the same train of thought as you. Accept that everyone is cut from a different cloth. Accept that nothing good or bad goes unnoticed. Accept that your happiness stems from you being your best self. Accept that expectations will have you waiting around a long time and you don’t have time for that. Don’t exaggerate yourself in someone life as a priority because you are your own priority. Expectations might suck but you don’t!

-ICM

 

 

 

Photo by @photo__mark

If you don’t know me by now, I am a full born and bred Cali girl. I’m hardly home, but I am always reppin’ Los Angeles City. I grew up learning how to roller skate on Santa Monica beach, playing basketball at Pan Pacific Park and spending my weekends at The Grove. Los Angeles will always be home but most importantly, it will always have my heart. Many people make the assumption that Los Angeles is the city of sink or city (it definitely can be), but when you are surrounded by people who truly care about your growth and success the journey is worth it.

People have often told me “if you’re not losing friends, you’re not growing up”, which was true for me but it doesn’t have to be true for every one. Some people are in your life for a reason or a season but that also relates to your environment. After I graduated  high school, I began my college journey upstate New York. Many of my friends stayed local or went to college and universities a few hours away from home, but that was not my route. Spending my college years in Syracuse, NY, then moving to New York City after graduation, taught me that it’s important to live in an environment that makes you happy. I could of easily returned home to Los Angeles after graduating, but I wanted to challenge myself. I currently live in New York City, but every time I return home to Los Angeles, it’s like I am pressing a restart button.

Los Angeles has taught me that I ALWAYS HAVE OPTIONS. Not everyday is a surf on the beach, but it’s okay to watch the waves. The L.A. city life is definitely laid back, which has taught me that you can only control situations that you have control over. It’s annoying to sit in traffic, but you can’t control that, so find an alternate route because there is always a way. Home has also taught me that FAMILY IS EVERYTHING. When living at home, I became used to a routine which consisted of me spending time with my family. Los Angeles is a city full of adventure and when you have family to share those adventures with, it’s very rewarding. My family and I consistently tried new restaurants, worked out, and even went to concerts together. Success can always be accomplished when you are surrounded by individuals who feel rewarded witnessing your growth. Lastly, home has taught me that LIFE IS ABOUT BALANCE. Los Angeles has given me different outlets to find my happy place. I am the type of individual who needs a getaway when they are upset or off balance. L.A. is full of scenic views and each one I go to, I’m able to find peace and balance. I’ve been so blessed to grow up in this amazing city and gain knowledge of my surroundings, but the best thing of all is that I’ve gained knowledge about myself.

XOXO,

IVY COCO

Shop The Look: @eldiorsodeckdesign

http://etsy.me/2q6DiuE

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

IMG_7695

When I hear the word “Senegal”, I automatically thing of beaches, braids, and the motherland. I recently had the opportunity to visit Dakar, Senegal, for two weeks. After experiencing new people, places, and perspective, it is definitely a destination MUST when visiting West Africa. Not only is it full of beaches, but it is full of rich culture, color, and history. I’ve visited Senegal twice as little girl, but never truly experienced it for myself as a young adult. This time, I was able to appreciate every moment with deep understanding.

1. NGOR BEACH and NGOR ISLAND

Make sure to get a gorgeous tan and meet new people while laying on Plage Ngor (Ngor Beach). If you want a luxurious private escape, you can take a 7 min boat ride across the water to Ngor Island and lay under your own cabana.

IMG_8172

Swimsuit from http://www.blingostyle.com/

2. PARC FORESTIER ET ZOOLOGIQUE DE HANN

Visiting the zoo is always fun, but I promise you that you haven’t seen a zoo like this before. Most zoo’s don’t allow animals to rome in large spaces, but this zoo is actually based in the national park where the animals have a lot of freedom and space. This large atmosphere allows the animals to feel as if they are in their natural habitat. After the zoo, take a 15 min boat ride on the park’s lake. You can enjoy a drink and see beautiful ducks, birds, and swans.

IMG_7773

3. ATV IN THE SAND DUNES

If you love adventure, you don’t want to miss out on the sand dunes. Dakar is known for their excursions and ATV rides that will lead you to paradise. When you get deeper into the san dunes, it will lead you to the water. Once you reach the water, hop off your bike and take in the waves because it is definitely a site to see.

IMG_8130

4. HOP ON A CAMEL 

If you want a more quiet excursion, take a camel ride. Camel rides allows you to take in your surroundings and reflect. Plus, not everyday you get to ride a camel.

IMG_7645

5. GOREE ISLAND 

Goree Island is a 20 minute boat ride away from Dakar and there is boat ride fee and a fee to spend the day on the island. If you like vibrant colors this is definitely a place to visit. Goree Island is home to the House of Slaves Museum which which was the final exit point for slaves from Africa. It is very emotional and overwhelming so make sure you are ready. If you have time walk up to the top of the volcano and see the 360 view of Dakar.

IMG_8019

Pants by @Shahedah_textiles

6. THE AFRICAN RENAISSANCE MONUMENT 

This gorgeous statue stands tall at 49 meters (160 feet) and is made out of pure bronze. It is definitely a little hike to get to the top, but the pictures are worth it. If you really want to see an amazing view, continue your climb to the top of the males crown to see a spectacular view.

IMG_8193.JPG

7. HAVE CONVERSATION & MEET NEW PEOPLE

I am definitely a person who loves to converse and meet new people, no matter where I am. I am a true believer in Black Girl Magic and I appreciate the conversations that I share with other Black girls around the world. It’s important that we learn new perspective through conversation. Having the ability to learn from experience is a true gift.

IMG_7667

CHECK OUT MY VLOG