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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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CHECK OUT MY VLOG

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I remember being a kid and really wanting two things, braces and freckles. I got braces and I enjoyed them, until they started hurting me and was unable to eat my favorite candies. One think I never got were freckles. Some people think they look like mini black heads but I think they are absolutely gorgeous and they should be embraced. We all have a specific feature that makes us unique. Some have full lips, a fascinating bone structure, a gorgeous large forehead, or like me, thick eyebrows. I have seen so many makeup artists and high fashion magazines add faux freckles on models and clients. At first, I thought it was very strange until I tried it and I thought it was pretty funky. Working with with creator, designer, and professional makeup artist , Vyana Brie, she and a few other MUA’s taught me cool little tricks on how to create natural faux freckles.

Easy products to create faux freckles:

  1. MAC Eyebrow Pencil  mac_sku_M1EF03_640x600_0.jpg
  2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz  s1056084-main-hero.jpg
  3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade  (apply with a fine paint brush that be bought at your local art store)s1578699-main-hero.jpg

 

 

Lightly apply the eyebrow pencil or pomade on the areas of your face where you want to create your faux freckles. Do not press the pencil or brush deeply into your skin because they will look like random dark marks on your face. Once you have applied them on the area of your face, use a beauty blender that already has a little leftover foundation on it above the faux freckles, so it looks natural on the skin. Lastly, lightly apply some foundation powder on top of your new faux freckles to hold them in place.

Have fun with your  face and stay cute!

xoxo,

Ivy Coco

Photographer: Art Crooks

MUA and Designer: Vyana Brie

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Summer time is all about light hair, dark skin, and bright colors. I am a lover of black no matter the season, but lately I’ve started to see the color beige appear in my closet. I know I have a diverse color palette within my wardrobe, but some colors appear more than others, such as white, black, beige, and grey. They are very common and basic colors that are easy to match. Since the heat is coming quick, beige is my basic color of the season.

Recently, I had the opportunity to shoot with the fabulous photographer  Art Crooks and have my face beat by Pro MUA, creative director, and designer/owner of SAULT , Vyana Brie. Together we created looks that were fun, fresh, and vibrant for the summer. Vyana designed this amazing unisex jumpsuit that I am wearing in the photo above. The jumpsuit is light weight and easy to slip on. It can easily be worn in the spring/summer  with a sneaker or sandal , but can also be worn in the fall/winter with a great jacket and killer boots. Since the outfit is a basic color, it gives you the opportunity to accessorize with a 90’s choker or even a funky cool pair of platforms like I did (see photos below).

The best thing about a basic color is that it can be easily paired with other colors and still look fabulous. Don’t be afraid to color block and spice up your style. Everything doesn’t have to be monochromatic, especially during spring or summer. Have fun will essential garments and bring them to life with splash of color.

Love,

Ivy Coco

Outfit Details

Jumpsuit: SAULT (coming soon)

Platform shoes: Zara

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Earrings: Vintage

Dress: Missguided

This week marks one year since ivycoco23.com has been my blog and brand. It makes me so excited to know that as a life & style blogger and social media influencer, my influence is growing. My blog/brand is like my baby and seeing it grow into something big is such a rewarding feeling. Through blogging I’ve learned a lot about myself, branding, and self branding. There have been moments and days where I wanted to give up, but I didn’t allow myself to. When I tell people I’m a blogger, I usually get 1 of 2 reactions. Some find it cool and powerful, and others don’t understand how I can support myself blogging about beauty, life, and style. Blogging is harder than people think. There are no professional bloggers from prior generations, so I have ultimate control over my career and how I choose to brand myself.

WHAT IS A QUEENDOM?

I am still building my brand and my queendom.  A queendom isn’t about ruling over a people or a community, it’s about guiding them and making sure they are given the tools and resources to survive. That is what the Ivy Coco brand is about, GIVING INDIVIDUALS WAYS TO ALWAYS REINVENT THEIR STYLE THROUGH FASHION, TRAVEL, BEAUTY, AND LIFE LESSONS. STYLE IS HOW WE CARRY OURSELVES, DRESS OURSELVES, AND CREATE OURSELVES. I want the community of the Ivy Coco queendom to know that as I grow, I want them to grow as well. Through blogging I am allowed to give my kings and queens my perspective of clothing, culture, and class. I enjoy sharing my favorite fashion finds, beauty tricks, and travel itineraries, but style is deeper than how we look. I want my queendom supporters to know that we must DRESS HOW WE WANT TO BE ADDRESSED. We must know what we want and acknowledge what is good or bad for us to know our personal style. AS WE EVOLVE SO DOES OUR STYLE and that is the beauty of knowing ourselves. My queendom will continue to grow and succeed because my key is to SHARE. I will continue to share my life and style through my Ivy Coco queendom and hope my fellow kings and queens will not just visit the queendom, but call it home.

Don’t forget to always wear your invisible crown!

Ivy Coco

Photographer: Brandon Hicks

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