Style & Vibes Link Lovin’

by Miss Mikelah on January 24, 2015

Link Loving 4x4

Racism in America: Are Caribbeans who come here for a better life naive to the notions of racism that exist? {Aiden Neal}

Puerto Rican American actress Gina Rodriguez, star of Jane the Virgin wins a Golden Globe for best actress in a television comedy and why her acceptance speech was a viral phenomenon {Tea & Breakfast}

Fellow Caribbean lifestyle blogger Kerry of Carry on Friends has started a motivational podcast! To kick off the new year she talks about goal setting and accountability. {Carry on Friends}

Hatian-American digital maven Karen Civil talks philanthropy, expanding her brand and demanding respect with Vibe Magazine {Vibe Magazine}

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Personal Goals for 2015

by Miss Mikelah on January 19, 2015

 

2015 GoalsPhotos by Fred Berry

I know we’re halfway through the first month of 2015, but I figured sharing my goals can never be late, right?! Let me say first I’m thankful and blessed to make it to 2015! I thank you for reading and rocking with Style & Vibes new and old. I accomplished much in 2014 in terms of personal growth, a continuous journey with setbacks and successes.

What I learned in 2014

Confidence: I deserve to be here and my success is not by chance.

Time Management: Keep my task list to 5, once those are complete make another 5.

Financial Priorities: Sticking to shopping lists, budgeting, saving and paying off debt – I second guessed EVERY purchase I made right down to breakfast we every morning. I also made a decision to actively have a personal savings cushion.

Sleep is important: creating and 11pm cutoff time was important to functioning correctly. There are times where I’ve had to break it to finish work but for the most part in stuck to it.

Discovered Green Smoothies:  Green smoothies are my best friend in the mornings. I did a green smoothie challenge last year and maintained it at least 3-4 mornings a week.

2015 Goals

Read Books: I read something everyday, mostly blogs and news articles online and magazines, but nothing comes close to reading a good book. My goal is at least 1 per month.

Prioritize Me: I have a tendency to put everyone and everything I need to do first, but putting my own priorities first is important to achieving my next set if personal goals.

Be Consistent: This has been my biggest setback and it’s at the top of my priorities for this year. I’ve often put blogging on the back burner, but posting regularly is important to me. Not just with blogging but using my time wisely on social media platforms with regards to a mapped out strategy.

Lose 20 Pounds: I actually started this in ate 2014, with regards to exercise, but I need to change my eating habits slowly and eating out too much.

Execute: I tend to plan forever, to the point where if it’s not perfect I’m not doing it. I’m learning that perfection can be overrated and the results of non-perfection can turn out pretty awesome.

2015 Goals 2

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Kaci Fennel Cover

January 2015 Issue of Triple the Focus featuring Miss Jamaica and candidate or Miss Universe 2014 Kaci Fennell. Kaci was featured in our fashion issue  a few years ago. In this issue visit the beautiful island of St. Lucia, deep conditioners for your hair, start the year off right with six exercises that will transform you body and learn to budget better in 2015. Get to know new artists Omari Banks, Shaliek, Nathaniel and more!

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Curly to straight on tapered hair

I’m growing our my hair! I know I just cut it earlier this year, but I miss my ponytail and big bun for those off hair days. But I’m not in a rush (no length checks here) I enjoy the low maintenance of my short curls. Some days the shape looks weird since it’s growing out, so I recently straighten my short hair for the second time since I’ve been rocking short hair. Going curly to straight always makes me feel sassy! I love the versatility of natural hair, but straight natural hair does not coincide with moisture, so it only lasted a few days (it was a wrap after I took a zumba class) but it was fun nonetheless. I actually used the same technique that I do with my long hair, blow dry with a paddle brush and flat iron. I’ll do a step-by-step tutorial soon!

 

Straight Tapered Cut_Natrual Hair

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Main copy

Celebrating my blog anniversary was this time around was extremely enjoyable. The intimacy of getting together with a few of my favorite bloggers, brands and supporters was a personal achievement, since I’ve never publicly celebrated. This year I teamed up with brand new Brooklyn based Caribbean fusion restaurant Suede to host an intimate group of ladies, a few of my fellow Caribbean Digital Divas for an appetizer tasting sponsored by Suede but of course we stayed for dinner!

Suede is a brand new Caribbean fusion restaurant located in middle of Brooklyn among the people. Whenever I dine out I look for great food and good vibes. The decor was was warm, inviting and modern. Not to mention the bathroom area had a mini lounge area with a fireplace. I can’t wait to go back in the summer, they have an unopened outdoor patio that they’ll be opening up in the warmer months.

The menu is filled with contemporary twists on classic Caribbean favorites offering a variety  of sweet, heat and savory meals. Suede sponsored our appetizers, so the ladies and I had the sampler which included codfish fritters, jerk shrimp, mango wings and Island chips and dip along with the Street Corn which was brushed with jerk aioli and toasted coconut flakes. My favorites were the jerk shrimp (a little spicy, but I loved) and the street corn.

Suede NYC Appetizer

 

Next I had to wanted to try something I never had before, so  I tried the taco trio with Jerk Chicken, Ackee and Saltfish and Callalloo; an interesting trio that worked perfectly with each other with great flavors in a bite size. Next up was the oxtail pizza. I’m not into meat lover’s pizzas, but my guess is if you like meat on your pizza, you’ll love this pizza. The the traditional slow stew of oxtail definitely enhance the rest of the pizza’s taste, the pizza’s thin crust began to soften as you ate more slices, that was was the only setback of the pizza, but the flavor was great. The ladies had an assortment of dishes, but the presentation of Jay’s fish & chips was amazing!

Suede NYC Tacos [click to continue…]

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Chicken Salad Recipe

Traditional Chicken Salad is not something I usually have. Most recipes are cold and creamy, which I’m trying to stay away from, but I was determined to find and easy chicken recipe since I’m also not a huge fan of cooking chicken unless it’s stewed down or curry. I digress. I don’t roast chicken, so I bought some roasted chicken from the grocery store and had plans to just put it on top of some salad and call it a day. But that just seemed so uninspiring I did a quick browse of what was in my pantry and whipped up an amazing recipe that will probably be my new “go-to” for an easy chicken salad.

Ingredients:

Roasted Chicken Breast (skin off and cubed)

Handful of Cilantro

Canned Corn

Canned Black Beans

Half a small onion chopped

1 clove of garlic

1/3 cup of olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

Salt

Pepper

Directions

1.) Combine cubed chicken, corn, black beans and onions in a bowl

Chicken Salad 1

2.) Rough chop cilantro and place in a bowl (I used a measuring cup for no particular reason

3.) Fine chop garlic, add to cilantro

4.) Add Salt and pepper to cilantro and garlic, then squeeze lemon juice on top

5.) Wisk in olive oil, continuously stir for a few minutesphoto 2

6.) Pour cilantro Vinaigrette over chicken and mix with a spoon. (I added a little pepper to the mixture) photo 3

You can actually stop here and eat as is, but I wanted to add a little greens to my salad. I wasn’t planning to do a meal prep, but I had mad so much I decided to put in a these mason jars. Then put whole baby spinach leafs and topped with a plum tomato slice. This was a great for lunch, it made 4 servings.

 

photo 4

Chicken Salad Final

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Buy Black Owned on Black Friday

This Black Friday shopping for many are out of the question. In the wake of the disappointing turn of events due to the Mike Brown’s killer, officer Darren Wilson not being indicted, many have opted to not buy anything on Black Friday. Rather than boycott completely consider buying from black owned businesses not just this holiday, but regularly. Boycotting Black Friday will defeat the purpose showing our economical power if we end up buying next week anyway. Supporting big businesses are important too, many minorities work at these companies in order to really promote positive cultural change that needs to happen in and outside of our community. Diversity is what makes this country great, so let’s continue to support each other as much as possible. Here are some of my favorite Black and Caribbean brands with great gifts for your love ones this holiday. Shop small black owned businesses!

Cocotique is a monthly beauty box subscription for only $20 a month you get a variety of samples and full sized items curated for women of color. I look forward to my box every month! If you purchase after Dec. 1  Get 10% off your first deluxe beauty box subscription from COCOTIQUE.com! Use code BOX10.

Jolie-Bloom-Bath-Tea

Jolie Bloom is a skin healthy product line with a variety of bath bars, bath teas, lotions and candles all made from natural ingredients. The line of eco-friendly products created by fellow Jamaican blogger Jhéanell AdamsJolie Bloom is running a Black Friday Special at 30% off using the code black30 at checkout. You’ll also get a free soap sample on purchases over $25.

Scotty Beama

Scotty Beama is an eclectic line of graphic printed apparel created by Tisha Innis. She’s an amazing designer who’s worked with a number of designers and recently ventured off to create her own line. Scotty Beama is running a Cyber Monday Sale at 30% off at check out.

Sukari Gift Set

Su-Kari’s line of products includes brown sugar scrubs, foot scrubs, body butters, and body oils. The Su-Kari line is carefully formulated to exfoliate and moisturize your skin, leaving it silkier than before. Combining exfoliants derived from nature including raw sugar, coffee beans and the Israeli Dead Sea with essential and aromatic oils to leave skin soft, smooth and rejuvenated without chemicals, parabens, or artificial preservatives. Su-Kari also has great gift baskets for the holidays, their body butters are my favorite!

MORUKA HOLIDAY SALE

Moruka Designs is a handbag accessories line inspired by Guyana, home to the company’s founder Julian Gravesande. Moruka Designs clutches are bold statement pieces perfect for a night on the town, holiday party or gift for a girlfriend.

The Pink Locket

Handmade jewelry always makes a great gift! The Pink Locket has a number of pieces, many that can be customized! Created by hand with love by Kamilah Campbell, owner of  The Pink Locket, she makes bracelets, earring, cuff links and even wine charms for your next dinner party.

TheVibrantCaribbeanPot-Vol2-s-1

Chef Chris De La Rosa’s Caribbean Pot Youtube channel has been a staple of mine. The Trinidadian born chef, now based in Canada shares how to make Caribbean dishes on Caribbean Pot. Chris’ latest cookbook The Vibrant Caribbean Pot Vol. 2 is a great go-to-recipe guide for 100 traditional and Caribbean fusion dishes.

The Global Woman Collection Taj Waite

Taj Hunter Waite is an interior designer and blogger of All Things Taj with a line a decorative throw pillows called The Global Woman Collection using Ankara cloth from West Africa. Handmade in America, part of the proceeds go to various global charitable organizations.

Marley Headphones

While everyone is trying to get a good deal in a pair if Beats headphones, why not be original and get a pair of Marley headphones? House of Marley is having an amazing sale with up to 80% off their headphones!

AyeshantiS-17-500x380

Aye’ Shanti pieces are handcrafted and designed by Brooklyn-based artist, Shanti Vincent. “I love to produce striking designs with elements of culture, fantasy, and unique conversation piece” An ode to her Caribbean background, she’s inspired by the vibrant colors, rhythms, and breath taking natural scenery of her years visiting the Spice Isle, Grenada with a mix of her urban upbringing here in Brooklyn, New York.

TabiiJust Tobago Scarf

Tabii Just launched a new line of scarves inspired by the Caribbean island of Tobago. The beauty of this island served as the inspiration for vibrant, breezy prints that make a statement while maintaining a wearability that is a signature of Tabii Just. These scarves maintain Tabii Just’s Zero Waste ideals and are manufactured in New York’s Garment District. The Tobago scarves are dual purpose. For breast-feeding moms, these scarves can be used as nursing covers. Don’t be deterred, though, guys! These are also a hit among stylish men.

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Beautiful Fun

New Years is around the corner and truth be told, if you haven’t started planning your goals for 2015, you’re already behind! We all need a little inspiration and motivation going into the new year. If you’re looking to find focus on what makes you happy and how  you can channel that into 2015 personally and/or professionally going into the new year, fellow BLM Girl Beatrice Clay is hosting a creative workshop called Beautiful Fun in New York City on Saturday, December 6  that I think many of you would appreciate.

Why Attend Beautiful Fun?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Did your response feel natural and authentic? Or did your response feel forced and like something you should want? [click to continue…]

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Casa Latina Business Blogger Bootcamp

Casa Latina & Blogher’s Business Blogger Bootcamp was great! I like attending a variety of conferences, you can receive great information from bloggers outside of your niche. Being so closely related to the Latino market, with regards to cultural similarities and having a multi-cultural demographic; I found it reinvigorating getting to know new bloggers, brands and learning the Latino perspective (multi language, various niches etc.) The Casa Latina Business Blogger Bootcamp had four panels related to content, sponsorship and branding from a blog entrepreneur perspective. The panelist varied across industries and niches within that Latino lifestyle realm, the conference focused how bloggers can continue to elevate their business, even in a crowded space. The running theme was finding your voice and being consistent, which is how most great bloggers seem grow their business and influence. I have the voice down, it’s the consistency that I lack, but I’m hoping to get better over the next few weeks. Here were some key ideas the made me continue to think about how I want to grow in the future. [click to continue…]

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Style & Vibes Turns 7!

by Miss Mikelah on November 12, 2014

 

Style and vibes Turns 7

 

Although I have been blogging for 7 years, I’ve never celebrated my blogiversary. Until this year, I’ve always felt inclined not to celebrate due to my lack of consistency. I would always say “there’s not much to celebrate.” Blogging consistently is my toughest hurdle. There have been times I thought of walking away, but I really love blogging for the sake of blogging. It’s never been about being a full time well known blogger (don’t get me wrong, that would be nice!), but it’s more about sharing what I’m passionate about in my own voice and on my own terms.

Balancing a my career, a family I love. dabbling the the freelance life  with a vision growing this blog is a lot of work.  While my mind is mentally up for the task, the reality is sometimes I’m unable to give 100% on all fronts, due to time constraints (it’s 6am as I write this post.) My life is full, but I’m not complaining. I’ve had abundant blessings from interviewing amazing people, building relationships with brands and attending variety of events while continuing to share my Caribbean-American culture to the world. I’m inspired everyday to keep going and keep doing more.

I can’t ignore the fact that regardless of my stats there’s a genuine interest in what I’m sharing and when I write truly original content my stats soar. I receive a lot of encouragement to continue writing and have a passion for sharing Caribbean-American lifestyle content. I live and breathe this life daily, and I’m not the only one. While I have plans to do more, I prefer to just show you, rather than talk about what “I’m going to do.” But I must look back and be grateful for everything that I have been able to accomplish and be even more grateful that you all keep coming back to read it.

Celebrating my blog this year is important because it solidifies my plans in continue with my vision. I humbly thank you for your support and hope you look forward to more from the life of the “Fly-Caribbean-Chic” through my eyes.

Mikelah Style and Vibes

 

 

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