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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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Shot by @underground_nyc

Shot by @underground_nyc

When you first hear the word “curry”, I bet the lyrics ““I been Steph Curry with the shot, Been cookin’ with the sauce, chef, curry with the pot, boy” , from Drake’s  o to 100 song , pops in your head. Along with thinking about Steph Curry, I also think about curry goat or curry chicken. As a Jamerican, curry based foods are a part of my life diet. Curry doesn’t just taste good, but it looks good. The gorgeous yellow and golden colors of curry stand out on any dish.

I recently went from eating curry to wearing curry. This fabulous color has been plastered all over Zara stores in New York City. My mother bought me a ruffled, 70’s styled curry colored dress and I fell in love. For me, yellow is just a little too bright for me, but curry is just right. It’s still a bright color without being phosphorescent. The color also evokes the emotions of hope and happiness. Since curry is in the same color family as yellow, the colors are a representation of enthusiasm for life, confidence, and inspiration. Curry and yellow are highly visible colors, which can boost ones ego and emphasize how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us.

Spring is right around the corner and I believe curry is the new black of the season. This is a color that knows how to make a statement. It looks great on every skin tone and has the ability to make you look good and feel good. Pop your head into your nearest Zara, Mango, or Banana Republic, just to see what type of curry they are stirring up in their spring collections.

Peace and Love,

Ivy Coco

Photos photographed by @1lensporter

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I’ll never forget  February 2008, at my all girls catholic school in Los Angeles, CA. My middle school wanted to be “inclusive” so they renamed black history month to “multicultural month”. As a 13 year old black girl who went to a predominately white school, I felt like I was the only one yelling “Black Lives Matter!” while my ruler whipping nun of a principle was yelling ” Well, all lives matter!”. Back then, I felt I couldn’t change the 15 year old tradition of my schools “multicultural month”, but I knew I could change perspective with words. I rushed home after basketball practice on February 1 and bolted into my mothers bathroom. She was ecstatic to hear about my day but I was just ready to tell her about how my crazy catholic school really renamed black history month. I thought she would be ready to be my accomplice and march up to my school the next day to speak to the principal about this preposterous notion, but all she said was “look up Sojourner Truth”.

Sojourner Truth was a black female abolitionist, civil rights leader, and women’s rights advocate, who is best known for her speech “Ain’t I a Woman?”. After my mother said her name, I did tons of research on her. I read her memoir, books, and multiple sources. She was so cool to me because she spoke dutch, made her way out slavery, and led her people to freedom. My 13 year old self became so obsessed that I started dreaming of conversations between the two of us. At the end of February, my school held a multicultural potluck for the students and their families. The students were allowed to bring in foods from their culture and make speeches. Only 5 girls in the entire middle school signed up to make a speech and I made sure I was one of them.

The day of the potluck my mom had to catch a flight for a speaking engagement, but she made sure I looked good and went to school with the best Jamaican fried plantains. My mom is talented when it comes down to motherly costume design. Between 6:45 AM to 7:30 AM my mom took the time to transform me into looking like Sojourner Truth. She slobbered a big ole kiss on my face and said “Baby, today is the day you speak your truth!”.  At 10AM, I walked into my school gymnasium with 200 of my school mates and their family members. I waited for my care taker Ms. Mae, who is like my second mother, to bring my fresh plantains to school and tell me that I could do this speech. At noon, I began making my way to the stage podium. My heart began to race and my hands started to shake, but as I looked in the audience, Ms. Mae was entering the gym with the plantains and she had the biggest smile on her face. I left the podium, took center stage and began reciting Sojourner Truth’s speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?”. I felt like I was Sojourner leading men, women, and children to freedom, declaring my rights, and speaking my absolute truth. After my speech the entire gymnasium was on their feet roaring, clapping, and whistling at me. I walked down to the floor level with a huge smile on my face, knowing that I killed my speech and ready to eat Ms. Mae’s plantains.  An older white gentleman, that was freakishly tall, tapped me on my shoulder, shook my hand, looked me in my eyes and said ” you are powerful, that was powerful, and thank you for teaching me”. I looked him in his eyes and said ” thank you”, knowing that my BLACK HISTORY MATTERS!

xoxo,

Ivy Coco

Photographed by Castle

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I don’t care what anyone says, I know that every stylish young millennial loves a good camo jacket. If you’re financially friendly like me, I enjoy thrifting for a good camo jacket or pant. When fall comes around, I start to see more and more camouflage patterns come out the closets. A camouflage jacket is such a great statement piece that can be worn multiple ways. If you pair it with the right outfit you’ll be surprised how a rustic army jacket and become a classic.

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2. WITH A PAIR OF BLACK JEANS                                                     

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3. WITH A HOODIE AND SWEATS

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All Photos below were photographed by Aaron Ricketts

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Someone from the snobby elite class in the late 1800’s, created one of fashion’s worst rule, NO WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY! If you ask me, this rule is absolutely PREPOSTEROUS. Come on man, white is such an awesome color and we all know that is has the power to grasp attention. Yes, it can get dirty easily, but like the hip-hop rapper, Dej Loaf, once said ” Rock that all white, when I’m feelin’ Godly”. I understand that back in the day black was only to be worn for mourning, blue jeans were only to be worn for gold mining, and white was to be worn during summer. Since I am a Cali girl, the weather is still very hot after Labor Day, so I like to think that the rule doesn’t apply to me.

When it comes to my fashion (key words: MY FASHION), I wear whatever makes me feel good. Fashion “rules” will never determine what I wear and in what season, but I do respect the people that follow them. I actually know a few people that still follow the old fashion tradition, but honestly and truly, it just isn’t my cup of tea. Some rules were made to be broken, so I choose to break them.

MY REACTION TO “FASHION RULES”

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XOXO,

Ivy Coco

Photographed by Laura Craffey

Hair styled by Shawnah at Hairstory Philly

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