May 26, 2011

She's Got That Good Good: Cynthia E.

I was perusing one of my favorite blogs the other week, Natural Belle, when I came across today’s stylish individual. She is originally from Cameroon, West Africa and runs a fantastic blog called “Addicted 2 Etsy” in her spare time. Not only does she have a great sense of style, but she also has some of the most GORGEOUS hair I have ever seen! Without further ado, here is..


Cynthia E. from New York City

How old are you?
I'm 29

What do you do for a living?
I'm an attorney by day, wife and blogger by night.

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Make it work (thanks Tim Gunn)

Where are your favorite places to shop?
Zara, H&M, No-name NYC street stores, Brooklyn Flea, ASOS, Etsy of course (mostly for accessories).

What is the one article of clothing that you could not live without?
Underwear. No seriously, it would honestly have to be my “had them for too long” super comfy PJ's.

Cynthia has such an effortless sense of style. I’m a sucker for vintage clothing so I definitely appreciate the vintage pieces that she incorporates into her looks. Her outfits have a lot of balance which I absolutely love. Thank you so much Cynthia, you’ve got that good good!

Make sure you check out Cynthia’s amazing blog by clicking (here).

May 24, 2011

Summertime Fine

With summer rapidly approaching, I think it is really time for me to kick my closet out of winter mode. I am such an odd shopper; I have this addiction to buying only sweaters and jackets. Of course this is fine during the cold months, but by the time the weather gets warm I never have anything to wear. Because of this, one of my friends and I are organizing a shopping trip to NY very soon so I can update my summer wardrobe. Here are a few things I am hoping to get and a couple of the looks I will be going for this season..


Most fashion lovers have style muses and Solange is definitely one of mine. This woman is a master of mixing patterns and I love the subtle yet effective manner in which she does so. I think she looks smashing. Both of the looks above are great for the summer.


Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while probably know that I am an absolute vintage fanatic. I even used to do thrift store haul posts where I would display all my vintage finds (you can view them by clicking here). Vintage dresses are one of my favorite things to buy from thrift stores; I absolutely love their unique fits and interesting designs (and you really can’t beat the low price either which is $7.oo at the store that I frequent the most).


Like I mentioned before, I have an odd addiction for buying coats. Fortunately, it does get a little chilly on some summer nights so my addiction doesn’t go to total waste. My idea of a good summer coat is something light and loose, like the 2 coats pictured above.


This is a trend that is catching like wildfire. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this concept, color blocking is the combination of different colors that complement each other in an outfit. There are some people that could color block an entire outfit from head-to-toe and look smashing, but I don’t think I could pull off such a look, personally. I am a fan of more subtle color blocking like in the outfit seen above.


These are nothing new, but I have yet to purchase one! Usually I just use my own scarves to make turbans. However, I feel these simple pull-on turbans will be a great purchase for me, especially when I’m in a rush and I just need something to throw on.


What will you be wearing this summer? Leave it in a comment!


May 23, 2011

The 2011 Black Weblog Awards

I would like to take this time to officially announce that That GOOD GOOD Blog is, indeed, a finalist in 3 different categories of The Black Weblog Awards! The 3 categories are: Best Blog Design, Best Fashion or Beauty Blog, and Best Culture Blog. Thank you so, so, so much to all the people who nominated this blog. I really mean it. I haven’t even been blogging for a full year yet so I definitely was not expecting to be a finalist in 3 categories. Knowing that I have the support of my readers means everything to me.

Now comes the final leg of the competition that will determine whether this blog wins an award: the voting round!

HERE IS HOW TO VOTE

2.  Enter your e-mail address
3.  Look for and click the button next to That GOOD GOOD Blog under
a.   The 1st category (best blog design)
b.   The 4th category (best culture blog)
c.   The 7th category (best fashion or beauty blog)
4.  In all the other categories that you choose not to vote for, click “NO VOTE FOR THIS CATEGORY”



PLEASE NOTE:
-You must scroll to the bottom of the page in order to click the “next page” button. There are 5 pages in all and the “SUBMIT” button is found on the 5th page.
-Only 1 vote is permitted per computer
-Voting lasts up until June 17, 2011

Thank you all so much again!

Much Love,
Dee

May 18, 2011

The GOOD Life: Brianna McCarthy

For the past month or so, I have been trying to think of ways to improve the “People You Should Know” interviews that I conduct from time to time; not that these interviews weren’t already excellent. I wanted the questions I asked to go a little deeper but I wasn’t sure which angle to approach them from. Interestingly enough, I found my answer in the philosophy class that I took this past semester. My professor created this eye-opening concept of “the good life” and challenged each of us to take look at our own present situations, think back on our past experiences, consider our future goals, and ask ourselves this question: What is my definition of a good life? This level of introspection was fairly new for me and, although it did give me a mild headache, it really forced me to look into myself and determine the things in my life that I place the greatest stock in.

Later on in the semester, we began reading some of Henry David Thoreau’s essays and assessing his ideologies and it was at that point that I had my Oprah-esque Aha! Moment. You see, Thoreau didn’t feel like he was placed on this Earth to please everyone or to conform to the narrow beliefs of society; his main purpose in life was to live it as deliberately and authentically as he possibly could. I felt so inspired by Thoreau’s mindset and, having realized that this was his idea of a good life, decided that I wanted to take this exploration further. Because of this sense of ‘knowledge of self’ that I gained from my philosophy class, I really want to carry this theme of “the good life” into my interviews from now on in the hopes that all of you reading this will feel challenged to look within yourselves and discover what your idea of a good life is as well!

The first individual that I will be interviewing in this new set of features called “The GOOD Life” is an artist who hails from Trinidad and Tobago and whose vibrant artwork entices the eye and sweetens the soul.

Brianna McCarthy
What is your definition of a “good life”? Do you feel as if that is what you are living?
A good life is, for me, when the things that make you smile are more powerful than those that don’t; when what is gained through sharing with others and having them share with you vast outweighs what is taken by day to day living. It isn’t about money or material possessions; it’s about having love, respect, communion with people you want to share with, tasks you enjoy, having some kind of work to do and the option to just rest sometimes. It’s fulfilling, I think, and so important. I think I do have a “good life”, yes. With a lot of support I have that as a real possibility for which I am very grateful.



How important do you feel it is for people to follow their passions, even if doing so doesn't seem like a "secure" life choice?
It’s critical I would say. Maybe not immediately but I, in deciding to practice art full time, just had to look around, to listen, to observe in order to see the impact of not following those innate passions – everywhere there are people who feel stunted, wasted, a little bitter because of that disconnect from what is essentially the thing that they’re meant to do. I’m young, it’s easy for me to say “Go for it!” but that’s ok, that’s a part of being young. It’s something I hope never lose really and something I hope to pass on to my children when they come; take a few wise risks, believe, work hard, play hard, respect others and never give up. It’s not always an easy decision to live with, not always easy to believe in myself but everyday I wake up with the anticipation of making something today, working on something today – knowing I have this freedom and being challenged to not waste it. That’s the worst thing I feel I could do; waste this. So, as discouraging as it can sometimes be, I have a gift, I have a blessing, I have been given something, decided something – however you choose to see it – and I have to make the most of that.

What aspect of your work makes you the happiest? Which aspect do you like the least?
I enjoy that the ladies seemingly have their own personalities. I’m most pleased, I find this to be a part of what makes me keep going, when I see something positive come out of my work for someone else. People contact me – women contact me – when they say that my work has helped them see themselves as beautiful beings I’m thrilled. That’s worth it. I’m my biggest discourager at times. What I dislike most is when I feel like what I’m doing is irrelevant. It’s heavy. 

Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew a few years ago that could have helped you along your life path?
That things are alright! That I shouldn’t be so afraid all the time (I’m still working on that). That it’s sometimes fine to not know exactly what I’m doing. That although some things feel like they happened a long time ago, they didn’t – my life just started at 27; I know nothing, I feel everything. Life might be short but I’m trying not to rush through to some preconceived end. Had I believed this some years ago many things may have been different, however, I can see very plainly how I needed to have NOT believed that then so that I could be here now.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a black woman today? Are these ideals represented in your artwork in any way?
I’ve been feeling for a while, perhaps only because of my relationship with the internet in a particular context, that there’s a resurgence of the Black is Beautiful movement. It’s everywhere and it’s lovely. I’m black and West Indian – which is a unique dynamic (some might say trauma) and I do find it incredibly stimulating to attempt to understand my society at work in me and in my work. In most ways my work is about myself. By extension, it’s about women, West Indian women, Black women, girls becoming women, what does that even mean?, how am I, are we, perceived by our societies and how to we negotiate with our unique challenges. I’m deconstructing myself – sometimes literally.


 Where do you see yourself and your artwork in the next 5-10 years?
Is it bad to say I don’t have a clue? I’d like to think I would have found the next step by then and would have not been afraid to take it. I would want to have challenged myself or to have been challenged into being more. I can’t predict what that is at this point but I’m working now to ensure that I’m still making things then.


What advice would you give to someone who is unsure about what career they want to pursue?
When you’re most content, genuinely fulfilled, challenges and all; stick with it, work hard. Doesn’t mean everyday will meet you delirious and dancing with happiness but it will mean that everyday, should you feel like it’s not working, if you gave it some thought you’d be able to see that you have much to dance about. The day you can’t see that, take a break. Allow yourself to cry. Laugh as much as possible. Know your value. Choose your advisors very carefully and remember that every person struggles, every day with something– you can’t legislate for others. Make time to play by yourself or with those important to you. Be thankful for what is and make provisions for what isn’t. In Trinidad we say, “what is to is must is” – I believe that in some ways.

If you could give someone a quote to live by, what would it be?
I have a few that speak to me. I can only go with what I have learnt myself; this one changed my life quite literally - “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” -Abraham Maslow. Whatever it is you are; be it with discipline, with commitment and with love. I’m trying to do the same.

May 17, 2011

6 Songs That Help Me Get Through

Like I always say, music is such a huge part of who I am. When I’m going through a rough patch in my life or when I am just searching for a dosage of daily inspiration, I always go to my iTunes. The power that a single song possesses is immense and is often times the best medicine for a wounded soul. During the past year and a half of my life, I went through more trials than I ever have in my 20 years on this planet. There were times when the words of encouragement my friends and family gave me simply weren’t enough to ease the pain I was going through on the inside. It was during these moments when I found solace in the sweet, raspy voice of Lauryn Hill, the spirit-gripping lyrics of Dead Prez, and the hypnotizing cadence of Bob Marley. The songs I listened to gave me reassurance that everything would be okay in the end. They challenged me to act wisely. Their rhythms put my mind to rest. Their content gave me hope. These are just a few of those songs, just click on their names under the photos. Enjoy!

See, I picks my friends like I pick my fruit & Ganny told me that when I was only a youth
I don't go 'round trying to be what I'm not, I don't waste my time trying to get what you got
I work at pleasin' me cause I can't please you, and that's why I do what I do
My soul flies free like a willow tree, doo wee doo wee do wee…

Sometimes you just have to let it go 
Leaving all my fears to burn down
Push them away so I can move on

Life can bring us through many changes, it’s alright. Just don't give up and know it's gonna be alright.
People come and they go, it's just the way that it goes. Everything is everything, it’s alright.


Beware the false motives of others. Be careful of those who pretend to be brothers
And you never suppose it's those who are closest to you, to you.
They say all the right things to gain their position, then use your kindness as their ammunition
To shoot you down in the name of ambition, they do..

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy ‘cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?
Some say it's just a part of it, we've got to fulfill the book.
Redemption Song by Bob Marley

We can't be stopped if we don't give up, even though they hold us back we still find ways to come up
A lot of people make promises with no plans to keep 'em. But me, no matter what I'm ridin' till I get my freedom
If I fail, then it's only a challenge to go harder. Don't want to be no martyr so I adapt to things smarter
It's death before dishonor. And I put that on my son and my momma
And don't take it as a threat, that's a promise.


What are the songs that help you through tough times?Leave them in a comment! 


And make sure you vote for this blog in the Black Weblog Awards (CLICK HERE)! That GOOD GOOD Blog was nominated for Best Blog Design, Best Culture, & Best Fashion! I am so thankful to everyone who voted, thank you so much. From the bottom of my heart.

May 11, 2011

Throwback Joint: Come Close by Common feat. Mary J. Blige

This is, by far, one of the sweetest songs and music videos ever created; my heart melts literally every time I watch it. As I have mentioned numerous times before, I love Common. He is such a solid musician. I you were paying attention to the news yesterday, you may have heard some of the to-do buzzing around concerning Common’s invitation to a White House poetry event. Faux News even went as far as to call Common a “vile rapper” which, in my opinion, is laughable. That is all I will say concerning that topic. Sit back, relax, enjoy, and reminisce…


May 7, 2011

That GOOD GOOD Around the Web

Hey everybody, I’m finally back! First off, I would like to thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday on Wednesday; I really appreciate the e-mails and tweets that I received! Secondly, I want to thank all of you who nominated this blog for The Black Weblog Awards! Your support really, really means the world to me. Since I haven’t done a “real” post since April, I thought I would get you guys caught up with the jewels that I have discovered around the web recently. Enjoy!

I am an admirer of companies that are able to construct creative ad campaigns and lookbooks. A concept that cannot be emphasized enough is the importance of aesthetics; no matter what your creative niche is, be it blogging, photography, fashion, music, etc., how you present your product means a lot and says a lot about your product as well. That is why I have so much appreciation for those who present their products so beautifully, such as the brand Minimarket. Minimarket is a Swedish women’s clothing label that was started by 3 sisters in 2006. I absolutely love their lookbook for their S/S 2011 collection, I found it to be beautifully simple yet very effective. 
Here are some photos from their S/S 2011 accessories collection:

Listen to this:
A few days ago, Solange released a previously unreleased track named Left Side Drive. The song was written 2 years ago over the song Left Side Drive by Boards of Canada, a duo based out of Scotland. Solange states: “It’s completely unofficial, and was just inspired by the song which I have had a deep love affair with for years. I am a huge Boards of Canada fan, and got the chance to work with them on Sol-Angel on ‘This Bird’. Still feel honored to this day.” As a huge fan of Solange’s music, I am more than happy to see that she is liberating more of her musical magic. I have been waiting patiently for her to do so since 2008. You can listen to the lovely song below:


I discovered Toro y Moi many months ago while perusing a blog called JUSTNORMAN (which is seriously a great blog, I suggest you check it out!) Chaz Bundick, a.k.a. Toro y Moi, is an amazing musician; his music has a gorgeously pop infused electronic sound. It is relaxing to me, his breezy vocals have a tendency of lulling me to sleep (in a good way of course). This mix was dropped a few days ago and is the latest installment of Modular’s Modcast series.
Click HERE to listen & to download for free!

New Blog to Love: (click the picture)
My friend Teju Bolaji, owner of the London-based travelling vintage store called Vintage Tartlette, has created a lovely blog, also called Vintage Tarlette. You can click on the photo to check it out and make sure you follow it if you like what you see (which I am sure you will)! If you are unfamiliar with Teju, please read the interview I had with her by clicking here

I received an e-mail from a woman by the name of Kavita Parmar who is the creative director of an initiative by known as The IOU Project. In the e-mail, she states: “I am a fashion designer, and together with my company, we set ourselves up with what we thought was an almost impossible challenge: to design and produce a line of totally unique clothing that would be cool and casual, but no matter how many people bought an item no two would ever be the same...”
I never really thought about the repetitiveness in the mass production of clothing, but it definitely exists! The love and intimacy that goes into clothing made by hand is simply monumental and is a beautiful sentiment. That GOOD GOOD Blog proudly supports the IOU Project! Be sure to check out their website here and be on the lookout for their launch which will be in 3 days.

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