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

 

 

 

Spring has sprung and summer is around the corner. This means that hair gets lighter, skin gets darker, and denim gets distressed. If your summer denim wardrobe doesn’t have any rips, tears, or bleach, it’s time for you to start shopping the Mahjing Wong Denimu Season 1 collection. If you don’t know already, Mahjing Wong was on Project Runway 15 and ripped his way into being a finalist. Wong is known for his innovative use of denim. This denim doyen knows how to mix and match different denim tones, but he also creates his own denim colors. As the saying goes “if they don’t have it, create it” (I think I made that up, LOL), and that is exactly what Wong does. The best thing about his garments are the construction. Wong knows how to construct denim to a tee. No matter if he is creating a skirt, dress, or trouser, he can make denim look sexy on any silhouette.

Make sure to shop the Denimu Season 1 collection at http://www.mahjingwong.com/category/denimu-season-1

Instagram : @mahjingwong

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photographed by Rai Smalls 

Processed with VSCO with se3 preset

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

                                                                                   screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-9-14-37-pm

Photographed by Laura Craffey 

Processed with VSCO with se3 presetProcessed with VSCO with se3 presetProcessed with VSCO with se3 preset

fullsizerender-4

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-12-12-56-am

I love discovering new things, whether it’s food, thrifting for a vinatge gem, or learning how to wear a garment a different way. I know I’m not the only one that gets goosebumps when I see a clean, crisp, and fresh, collared shirt. I love the way it hangs on the hanger straight out the dry cleaners. I love it when a man leaves a few of his top collared shirt buttons open, so you can see his chest hairs. Oh! and lastly, I love it when I wear a classic black pant suit with a bright white collared shirt, the outfit instantly spells out BOSS! Since a collared white shirt is a classic, it can never go out of style, but it has the power to create a new style.

Many fashion trends stem from classic looks and one trend that I have been seeing lately are the multiple ways to wear a collard shirt. Some trendsetters are starting to wear collard shirts backwards, off the shoulders, one sided, or tied in the front. Recently, I have found myself following this trend and I have found two cool ways to wear them.

The OFF THE SHOULDERS Look 

All you have to do is figure out how many buttons are on your shirt and then button the bottom buttons and leave the top buttons undone. Pull your shirt off your shoulders and wear it to your liking. Lastly, tuck the collar inside the shirt so it’s not hanging out, but if you like it, wear it as you please.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-37-04-pm screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-37-25-pm

Photos taken by Sydney 

The ONE SIDED SHOULDER Look

For this look, I leave the top buttons undone as well and pull the shirt over to a side that is most comfortable. Only the middle buttons of the shirt are buttoned. The bottom buttons are also undone because I tied the the ends of the shirts together.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-1-49-01-amscreen-shot-2016-10-28-at-1-49-14-am

Photo taken by Kadeem Riley 

Love,

IVY COCO

84a1946d9433decb809e94d4c3010c4d

Last month, I had the pleasure of going to Miami, Florida for the Adele concert ( I waited a almost a year for this concert and it was definitely worth the wait). During my stay, I had the opportunity to spend some time on South Beach at one of Miami’s hottest new hotels, The Confidante. I was greeted with a cocktail by a very friendly concierge. This hotel is full of culture, color, and class. The rooms are spacious and filled with vibrant colors. When you aren’t enjoying the comfort of your room, you can take a trip downstairs and relax poolside. The pool area is filled will gorgeous bungalows where you can order a cocktail, or a mocktail, for my non-alcoholic drinkers. If you are there on a weekend, you can catch one of the hotel’s day parties. If you want to experience the beach, all you have to do is follow a small trail way that leads to the beautiful white sand. The hotel staff can assist you with a beach tent for you and your company. The Confidante is truly a place for fun and relaxation. The location isn’t too far from the South Beach strip, so you’re able to feel like you’re away on a private island, while still being close to the night life. Consider, The Confidante, for your next stay in sexy South Beach.

peace & love,

Ivy Coco

Shop The Look

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-3-37-45-pm

Hotel Handles

@theconfidante 

@carmapr

Photographer @BrotherJunior

Coordinator @she.illy

6b76b27a91d24f02f4bdff16b47ed8ec 4a9e0d06829abe255ce20f1416a26b40 2bfc0abe049b94aa29753d514c5378f0