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.

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.

How to Cut Through the “Sponsored” Bullsh*t

How to Cut Through the “Sponsored” Bullsh*t

Word to the wise – marketing works. It’s the reason that I bought a bump-it back in 2009 (obviously never wore it) and the reason why I have a Vegetti (you know that thing that turns your veggies into spaghetti). So yeah, I’ve definitely fallen victim to “buying into marketing” – literally.

So how do you know what’s real and what’s fake? Especially when it comes to the world of influencers, who’s to say we actually like the brands we’re promoting? Because we all know there is no way in hell Kim Kardashian is really eating Sugar Bear Hair Gummies on the reg.

With that, I thought it would be fun to do a little 101 on how to cut through the sponsored bullsh*t.

So let me just put this out there – I never promote brands I don’t like or wouldn’t use. In fact, I actually turn down a lot of partnerships if the brand or product doesn’t seem like something I’d actually buy on my own. That said, there are a lot of ruthless influencers who would promote dog sh*t to make a buck. So how do you figure out who’s being truthful and who’s being dishonest? Find my tips below.

  • Get to know the influencers you follow. Anyone that follows me will see that I do Instagram Story make-up tutorials semi regularly. My followers know that I’m just genuinely sharing the brands I use in order to help my followers mimic a similar look and am not getting paid to promote the items. Once you “get to know” the people you follow, you’ll understand who is trying to share advice with their audience and who is just trying to make money.
  • Do your own research. If a skincare line is doing wonders for an influencer you follow, that’s pretty promising, but all skin types are different. Be sure to do your own research to look into the chemicals in each product and read online reviews before buying.
  • DM the influencer. Sliding into someones DM’s may seem creepy, but blogger welcome feedback and questions! I’ve had plenty of people text or message me asking “does that product really work or are you just being paid to say that?” I always am truthful and am open to answering any questions my followers have. At the end of the day, we want to see you guys love the products we love, so I encourage you to ask if you have any hesitation.
  • Trust your gut. Do you ever have a moment where you realllllly want something, but your favorite Bachelorette contestant just posted it and you feel like buying it would make you a total sellout? My advise – who cares! If you want it, buy it. It doesn’t matter where you saw it, it just matters that you genuinely like it.

Any additional questions that I may have not answered? Feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll get back to you!

An Ode to Female Bloggers on International Women’s Day

An Ode to Female Bloggers on International Women’s Day

An ode to my fellow female bloggers on Internal Women’s Day

I commend you

Because, I too, can relate to working at 12 hour day

Yet, still having a full “to-do”

Not always being taken seriously

The chatter behind our backs

The weight of balancing two gigs

Yet still prevailing

Supporting one another

Supporting women

This is our passion

And we choose to live it with the odds against us

And for that, I commend us.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Whether you’re getting a gift for your boo thang or your bff, call me cupid because I’ve got you covered. Just in time for the loved up holiday, low and behold my 2017 Valentine’s Day gift guide (I just threw up in my mouth a little bit). Shop items for your boy-toy, #WCW and even your Galentine below!

Gifts for Your Boy-toy:
From lounge-wear to electronics, you’ll be sure to snag something for your beloved. If you want to treat him to something sexy, shop some of my picks below for yourself! 

Gifts for Your #WCW:
For all of my male readers – I’m here to help you out! Trust me when I say, your lady will love any of these items. You can’t go wrong with a designer fragrance, comfy pajamas or gourmet truffles. You’re welcome 😉

Gifts for Your BFF or “Galentine”
Your bestie needs some lovin’ too! Treat her to something funny to let her know that she’s not alone with Valentine’s Day. Then, buy two tickets to see Fifty Shades Darker and you’re all set. I’ll see you at the movies.

Thank me later for all of the extra love your about to receive after gifting one of these gems.