A Tribute to my “Gay Bestie” During Pride Week

A Tribute to my “Gay Bestie” During Pride Week

I’ll be the first to admit it. I grew up as a privileged white female in an equally as white and privileged community. It wasn’t until college and life in New York City that I really started to befriend people of diverse backgrounds. I’ve always considered myself accepting and open, but my surroundings never allowed for certain situations until later in life.

However, like most girls, I always joked that I wanted a “gay bestie” because the thought of having one sounded fun and glamorous. All the girls in the movies that had a gay BFF always had the best time bonding over their likes of boys and lattes. Yet, when I was least expecting it, my wish actually came true in a way that I wasn’t anticipating.

Enter, Nick Gilyard.

About two years out of college I was working in Public Relations in New York City (still am) when I was introduced to my new coworker, Nick. Instantly I noticed that he was the most impeccably dressed, beautiful black man with a grin that lit up the room. You see, the thing is that on the outside Nick isn’t your stereotypical gay male that you would find in a chick flick. He’s often clothed in a pristine fitting suit or a head-to-toe Zara look. He’s well spoken, charismatic, smart as hell and opinionated, but in the best ways possible.

Pretty instantly we started to bond (along with some other amazing coworkers). What started as lunch dates in the communal kitchen area quickly turned to nights out to deep and meaningful conversations about love/relationships, family, life, politics and much more. With time, I finally started to know what it truly meant to have a “gay bestie.”

Nick is much more than someone who I can bond over fashion and Beyoncé with (don’t get me wrong, we still do that), but he’s someone who has opened my eyes to another side of the world. A side that can often be hateful, judgmental and cruel. He’s educated me on the pressures that black men, especially homosexual black men in America face from society. He’s answered all of my weird and sometimes even inappropriate questions with a smile. He’s slept on my couch when he was between apartments (but that’s another story).

On the surface, you’d never know the struggles that Nick has endured because he always takes the high road. I personally have witnessed a cruel comment he received on Facebook and immediately felt my blood boiling and fingers typing something snarky back. Unlike me (whoops), Nick refuses to engage with negativity. If he receives a hateful comment on one of his posts, he believes responding will only set a poor example for others whom might fall victim to cyberbullying. Instead, he stay quiet and lives by the rule of “fighting love with love.” And we can all learn something from him.

Now that’s the gay bestie I always wanted.

In two weeks, I’ll be in Miami to celebrate his marriage and beautiful relationship with his partner Dominic (who is equally as amazing). I couldn’t be more proud to be friends with such inspiring people who are the definition of LOVE. It’s no wonder their love story recently went viral. I promise you, this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing or hearing of these two.

Across the Brooklyn Bridge

Across the Brooklyn Bridge

Shop my look!
PS: this jumpsuit is only $75 and perfect for the summer!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, blogging has brought me so many amazing opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone. Living in New York City, I’ve always had a little “NYC Bucket list” and one of the things I always wanted to do was walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Seems simple enough, right? Yet, I never wound up crossing it off my list and making it happen – until yesterday.

I woke up at 6am to get ready for a 7am call time (although I admit I was a bit late) and met a new photographer at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge on the corner of Tillary and Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard. We captured photos all along the bridge and I soon realized that I was already half way back to Manhattan, so decided to walk the rest of the way back, then hop on a subway to my day job. And just like that – I walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Had it not been for that schedule photo shoot, I may have never crossed it off my list.

So for those of you that don’t have a blog to kick you in the butt and make you do things you’ve always wanted to – here’s my reminder to you to go out and do them anyway! You won’t regret it.

The Ultimate Busy Gal’s Bliss List

The Ultimate Busy Gal’s Bliss List

Summer is around the corner (yay!) and as you know, I always love sharing my “products of the moment” with you each season. So low and behold – my busy gal’s bliss list! Shop and read about some of my favs below.

Bloom Mineral: This 4 piece skincare kit is inclusive of a purifying mud mask, softening cleansing milk, shielding eye cream and moisture shield. Can you say #goals?!  To incorporate these products into your routine, you can follow these simple steps: clean your face using the softening cleansing milk, generously apply the mud mask (leaving on for 15-20 minutes) and apply the moisture shield & eye cream.  Ps: you can use the code “skin25” (good through June 30) for 25% off your order!

Clear Eyes Pure Relief® Multi-Symptom: I don’t know about you guys, but this time of year my allergies FLARE UP, so Clear Eyes® is a must for me. The brand, which is already the #1 selling brand of eye drops, recently launched its newest, revolutionary innovation in the eye care category: Clear Eyes Pure Relief®. Luckily for me, it has a unique formula designed to relieve red, burning, itchy, dry, irritated, gritty or watery eyes (which is basically every allergy symptom I get). Ps: a $3 coupon is available for download on the brand website at: http://cleareyes.com/clear-eyes-coupons/

Nad’s: You know what they say – no pain, all gain! Nad’s newest sensitive hair removal cream is designed for painless hair removals (formulated with natural extras of melon, aloe vera, avocado oil and honey). The product helps soothe and protect sensitive skin, while targeting the hair shaft for effective removals of unwanted hair (yes, a summer must have). In literally 4 minutes you can have smooth skin, which is why this is a favorite of mine.

Coobie: In the summer especially, I’m all about bralettes. For starters, they’re so much more comfortable than an underwire bra, plus they look so darn cute. Coobie’s new collection is a pretty, sexy alternative for everyday and is made with soft, stretchy lace. The cups are lined with a soft, thin nylon blend that provides comfortable coverage without the bulk (can I get a hell yes!). Plus, there are no pads or wires AND the straps are adjustable and include a mid-strap hook on the back so that you can wear it in a racerback style.

Easily shop some items below, too!

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.

What’s in my Travel Tote?

What’s in my Travel Tote?

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and LIFEWTR. All opinions are mine alone. #ThirstInspiration #CollectiveBias

I don’t know about you guys, but when I travel, I always feel dehydrated and completely thrown off. With so many upcoming trips planned (London, Charleston, The Hamptons, Miami, Jamaica – to name a few), I want to make a vow to be prepared this time around. As such, I’m excited to partner with LIFEWTR, which is easily available at any 7-Eleven and has quickly become my new best friend.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but water intake really does work wonders (just ask my trainer, he’s been making me consume so much). It restores my body, refreshes my mind, quenches my curiosity and even enables self-expression. All of this from water? Yup! Aside from having the coolest packaging, LIFEWTR is purified, pH-balanced water, with electrolytes for taste.

Enough about my obsession with water consumption – let’s get to the fun part. So you may be wondering, what exactly goes into my travel tote bag? I’ve listed my go-to items below for your enjoyment. Hopefully, you can use this as a little “pack list” for yourself before you hit the road for your next trip or grab a cab to the airport.

    • LIFEWTR: This is my #1 must-have. When I’m traveling to the airport, I love to drink a full water bottle during my commute. This way, once I’m on the plane, I’m already feeling hydrated. If I’m just heading somewhere via train/car, I’m still sure to pack a bottle in my travel tote. Either way, I love to arrive at my destination feeling nice and hydrated.
    • Headphones: If I forgot to pack my headphones, I literally want to rip my hair out. Traveling without headphones is the worst. I listen to music and get excited for my new adventure.
    • A Sleep Mask: I’m really sensitive to light and need to sleep in the pitch black, so if I have any hope of catching some Zzz’s, I need my sleep mask.
    • Magazines: Nothing screams travel time like a trashy weekly magazine. As if I don’t follow pop culture enough, sometimes I just need a little good ol’ paper copy to hold on to vs. looking at my phone.
    • A Snack: Clearly, I like to be prepared here. This means making sure I have a stash of healthy snacks in case I go hungry (the horror). I like to keep almonds in a plastic baggy because they’re easy, nutritious and filling.

Like me, I hope you make a vow to make water consumption a priority during your travels. As always, feel free to leave me any questions in the comments! Ps. Check ThirstForInspiration.com for more information. 

 

True Life: I’m Addicted to Podcasts and Here’s Why

True Life: I’m Addicted to Podcasts and Here’s Why

In recent months I started noticing that some of my favorite celebrities and reality stars began promoting their podcasts on social media. To me, the thought of a podcast always seemed boring. Why waste your timing listening to someone, when you can’t actually see them? TV was always the more appealing route to take, until I caved and finally decided to give in and see what the fuss was all about.

Within minutes of subscribing to a few of my favorites, I was hooked! Since I’m not a big “TV before bed” type of gal, I started quietly listening to podcasts while I drifted to sleep. Something about the soothing tone of someone talking really does the trick. Once I was accustomed to the “podcast life” (as I like to call it), I was ready to try something new. Finally, I started to up my game and go from just listening to celebrity interviews to listening to audio fiction podcasts, which is much more interesting to be completely honest.

My favorite is Jules & James, which is a just half hour podcast (perfect for a before-bed listen). The story is a narrative fiction between two artists whom are connected by fate when a “wrong number” situation introduces the two. After deciding to continue conversation, both Jules and James end up talking weekly about their lives, dreams for the future, the world around them and everything else that the comfort of speaking to a stranger allows you to reveal. I don’t want to give too much away, but Jules & James captures the charm of falling in love with the unknown.

To learn more, visit meetjulesandjames.com and be sure to subscribe via iTunes, Android, Stitcher, Tunein.com or Google Play.