Throughout the year, I’m not the biggest fan of the color pink but when spring and summer comes around, I sometimes have my exceptions. When I do wear pink, I pay close attention to the shade. A neon pink is totally different from a pastel pink but both are shades that can catch an eye.  When I wear neon pink, I make sure that the outfit is different and daring (like in the photos below). Pastel pink is a color I wear for formal events during spring, like Easter, weddings, graduations, or lavish sports event (derbies or polo matches). One thing that I really love about pink is that the different shades looks great on A LOT of skin tones. I’ve realized colors like pink, purple, orange, curry, or green have the power to compliment multiple skin tones. Pink is also a happy color that represents a gentle type of love. According to Colorpsychology.org pink “is associated with nurturing, so it’s not only used for romantic love, but also for familiar love. Pink is a color that has a calming effect on people. It is not aggressive like red, but rather suggests safety and vulnerability.” I always tell myself and others that you ATTRACT WHAT YOU WEAR. When we wear vibrant colors like pink, it has the ability to affect others around you. It exudes affection, love, sensitivity, and increases peacefulness. It’s always nice to know that when you feel good wearing a certain color, it can also make someone else feel good. When you put on your next colorful outfit, think about the emotional impact that you could potentially make.

xoxo,

Ivy Coco

Photographed by @Timajasmine 

Pink 2 piece set designed by @_jesuis_

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Ruffled top designed by @bee_wax

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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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I recently took a weekend trip to Washington D.C. and I made it imperative to do some sight seeing. Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States but I didn’t know it also a capital for impeccable art. Growing up in a european and caribbean household I’ve always had a deep fascination with art. My mother and father collected different works of arts when I was a child and it was a trait I picked up. When I travel I enjoy going to museums and monuments. I have been blessed to travel both domestic and international. Having a French father, ever since I was a little girl I fell in love with Paris. I love the fashion, architecture, food, and one of the most famous attractions, The Louvre Museum. The Louvre is a big “must see” when in Paris because of the Louvre pyramid, but the museum contains amazing pieces of artwork. At night, the pyramid lights up and has a red light that beams down the center, total Harry Potter vibes. If you’re ever in the D.C. area, I highly suggest visiting the reflective pyramid that is located right across the street from the National Mall Art Museum (east building). The pyramid is so beautiful that it allows you to feel like you are in Paris for a few moments, for me it was a few hours (haha!). It isn’t as grand and big as The Louvre Pyramid but it is definitely a site to see.

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Photographed by Anne Kim

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A few months ago, I moved to New York City and it has to be one of the greatest decisions I’ve made in my life. I lived in NYC as a kid, while my mother was on broadway, but now that I am older, I get to relive the city in a more mature manner.  I love waking up and knowing that my day will be full of adventure. NYC gives me the confidence to take over the world. I’m not sure if it is the place to start a family but as I enjoy my twenties, I am very happy.

One thing about NYC that I love are the coffee shops. I’m not a heavy coffee drinker, but I do enjoy a good cup of hot cocoa, hence my name, lol! On every block, there is a coffee shop. No matter if it is big, small, colorful, busy, or noisy, somehow I find beauty in any coffee shop I go to. I love going to coffee shops to read, blog, have a photo shoot, or have meetings. Every coffee shop is different and they are all filled with different people. No matter what day of the week it is, you never know who you can meet. I’ve made great connections with fellow bloggers, editors, business owners, and genuine people. Being a somewhat “new comer” to NYC, coffee shops have really allowed me to expand my business and brand. When I am in a coffee shop, I have the tendency to get things done much quicker. Something about the environment in coffee makes me happy. I feel like it gives me a sense of structure. It is so important that we learn the environments that allow us to excel. Just because I can focus in a coffee shop doesn’t mean that I can focus in a library. We all digest things differently in different areas. I personally enjoy learning and getting tasks done when I am surrounded by people and a little noise. What works for me might not work for you, but there is not harm in trying. Make sure you take the time to understand the environments that can allow you to shine.

Love,

Ivy Coco

Photographed by Roderick Jackson  (@shotsbyrod)

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I don’t know about you, but I am VERY excited for the year 2017. I love entering a new year because a majority of people start setting new goals. This time last year, I decided that 2016 was going to be my year of expansion. I wanted to expand my brand, mind, and my consciousness. I used to believe that setting goals or resolutions at the beginning of the year were weird, but after I graduated college, I learned there is importance in setting annual goals. Setting a goal or goals is a reminder to an individual that he or she can accomplish anything they set their mind to. I have no problem setting daily or weekly goals, but those are short term. It’s easy getting comfortable with short term goals, but LONGEVITY is key! Accomplishing quick and easy goals create momentary happiness. Accomplishing long term goals creates longstanding happiness.

I am declaring 2017 to be my year of EXECUTION. Anything I do, I am going to follow through and do it with great determination. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I fear disappointment or failure. I understand that I will fail in life, but I will choose to fail forward. I sometimes get stuck with the thought of fear without even trying. 80% of the time when I don’t want to do something, I end up loving it. I want to challenge myself to see everything through and do what I say I am going to do. I challenge you do set a long term goal for your 2017 year and apply it to everything you do. If you need to remind yourself everyday, set an image of your goal as your background on your phone, laptop, or Ipad. If that doesn’t help, start documenting through a journal or a video diary. Lastly, there is no shame in sticky notes or phone notes. If you have to write daily notes to communicate with yourself, that is okay, YOU ARE NOT CRAZY! Remember to live your life to the fullest because you never know when you are going to take your last breath.

Peace and LOVE,

Ivy

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Photographed by Laura Craffey 

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