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If you ever go to Morocco, YOU MUST DEDICATE TIME TOWARDS BUYING A CARPET! It is nothing like purchasing interior decor in the states, it is a journey. Literally, it’s a journey getting lost in a Moroccan souk. A “souk” is a market in Arabic/North African countries. You can buy almost anything in a souk: doors, lights, furniture, jewelry, clothes, spices, and more. On my 3rd and most recent trip to Morocco, I made sure I took my friend Tori, co-founder of The Colored Girl, to experience what it’s like to search for a Moroccan carpet (scroll to the bottom to watch video).

When we entered the souk, we walked into the space where a majority of the carpets were sold and I felt like I was in heaven. We asked a vendor where the best carpets were and he took us on a long stroll through the souk. We made so many left and right turns, my head was starting to hurt, but on our last turn we made a sharp right into one of the greatest carpet warehouses. The warehouse manger and his workers were so kind, they were eager to pull out multiple carpets so we could figure out which one we loved the most. They explained how the carpets were made and what tribe they came from. They became even cooler when they offered us lunch and if you know me, food is the way to my heart. I don’t know what I was more shocked by, how kind the owner was or the variety of carpets there were. There were so many colors, textures, and designs. Here’s a fun fact, some rugs are made for winter and some rugs are made for summer, but there are also some rugs that are for both, like a 2 in 1.

I took a seat on the mountain of carpets and Tori snapped a cute photo of me (see picture above). When I looked at the photo, I realized how defined my curls were, giving off an old school Cher vibe. I was trying to think about how they looked so good and I realized it was all thanks to Form Beauty. The night before, I co washed my hair with the Moisturizing Conditioner, which gave my hair a lot of hydration. Also, before heading to the souk, I applied the Defining Curl Gel to my damp hair and allowed it to air dry. I love when my curls look defined AF. When my hair is on fleek, I feel like a kid in a Moroccan carpet shop, lol, maybe not a kid, but me. After I was done hyping up my hair, we continued to scan around the warehouse, but realized we were  almost an hour late for our lunch meeting. The best thing that I can recommend when shopping for a carpet in Moroccan is MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TIME! It’s not a easy process and you must figure out which one speaks to you. I call it a journey because you must dedicate at least 4 hours. You must see, choose, and barter. It takes time my friends, but if you’re like me and you really love cultural decor, it is definitely something you will devote time to.

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Photographed by Thaïs Martin

Carpet shopping with Tori

 

 

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Being in Marrakesh, Morocco, at the amazing boutique hotel, Jnane Tamsna, was an incredible experience. It was full of great food, great people, great culture and a whole lot of dry heat. It was so hot, that 110 degrees was normal. Don’t get me wrong, I loveeee the heat, but that was heat that could fry some bacon. That being said, when it’s too hot outside, I tend to wear my hair in a style that is pushed away from my face. In high heat, gel tends to feel like it is melting on my scalp. Pomade gives my hair a good hold that feels light and I always want my edges to be laidddddd, so I started to use the Form Beauty, Polish Pomade.

 

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The polish pomade is lightweight and  “uses a blend of oils to lock in moisture, fight frizz and provide a smooth look and soft feel” (www.formbeauty.com). I was able to create the hairstyle, in the pictures above, in four simple steps.

  1. Since I was going for a sleek but bushy look. I first brushed out all of my curls.
  2.  I made a part in the center of my head but I only parted it half way.
  3.  I then damped the front part of my hair so my edges and the front could be slicked down and the back could big and bushy.
  4. Lastly, I brushed down the front area down and pinned it tight. I made the back part of my hair bigger and bushier for as 70’s style inspired look.

Inspiration

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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.

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Photographed by @Mamadivisuals

http://www.mamadi.co/ 

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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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T-shirt: Gee C Vibez

Pants: Zara (on sale)

Purse: Chanel (vintage) Reinvintage carries great vintage Chanel

This past weekend, I visited our United States capital, Washington D.C., along with one of my college best friend’s, roommate, and business partner, Regina. Together, we took a nice girls trip from New York City to D.C. for a pop up shop for our vintage clothing line, Gee C Vibez. We drove on Saturday morning, even though we were recovering from our best friend’s turnt birthday celebration on Friday night. En route to D.C., the sky opened up and we realized we were driving through Maryland’s thunderstorm/flood watch. Instead of getting caught in the rain, we decided to stop at Mo’s Seafood in Baltimore. We sat at the bar and quickly ordered some waters, since we were still recovering from Friday’s festivities. The restaurant is known for their famous crab cakes, but since I am allergic to seafood, I ordered a great Cajun Chicken sandwich that was perfectly seasoned and served with steamed mixed vegetables that were superb. We exchanged stories, shared laughter, and got hit on by a pair of old conservative car sales men trying to get their groove on.

After a filling meal, our Thelma and Louise road trip continued. After a 5 hour ride, we finally arrived at my great Aunt Carolyn’s home in D.C. In her northeastern/southern accent, she greeted us at the door yelling “Are the flies out there eatin’ yall yet ?”, we honestly couldn’t help but to share some laughs with her, then jump right into the bed. Sunday morning, I roamed the streets of the colorful Georgetown with creator and photographer, Anne Kim. It was my first time in Georgetown and I enjoyed and embraced the multicolored walls. Anne and I were able to snag some quick pix in a cute and quaint peach colored alley. The weather might have been scorchingly hot, but the lighting was perfect.

I took a nice Sunday stroll along the water next to the Washington Memorial, which is a 10-12 minute car ride from Georgetown. It was a quite and soothing walk, which is what I needed. Taking a blissful walk is needed in my life, especially when things are getting crazy, busy, and hectic. No matter if your “WOO- SAH” moment only lasts for 20 minutes, at least you took some time out of your day to dedicate to yourself. Sunday afternoon, Regina and I set up our pop up shop at Sugar hosted by JC The Stylist. Every last Sunday at Sugar, JC The Stylist, hosts an event called Style Mixer Sundays that allows young fashion designers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and creatives in the D.C. area to network and showcase their products. Our pop up shop was a success, but once again the sky opened up and we got caught in a mini storm on our way home. We waited for the rain to subside, so we stopped at another Aunt’s house (AGAIN) located in the cow country suburbs of Maryland (it was beautiful, but it was a little bit far from civilization for me, lol). My Aunt Sandra served us homemade eggplant parmesan with angel hair pasta that was so DAMN GOOD! For us young ladies that are living the post graduate life, that free meal was completely worth it. I thank God for family and good friends because as we departed for our road trip back home, I realized during my quick stay I was able to receive the best thing life can offer, LOVE.

taken on Snapchat: Follow me @ IvyCoco23

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xoxo,

Ivy Coco

All pictures were taken by Anne Kim

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