Thursday, July 30, 2009

To the land of my birth....

Dear Blog World,

I'll be away for 8 days, attending a conference and frolicking in Jamaica. Meeting new folks, tackling development problems of my small island and hanging with my high school and college friends!! Can you sense the excitement in my typing? Details of the exciting opportunity in my new blog The Reluctant Immigrant.

I am unsure of my posting schedule , but I will be eyeing island and indigenous styles on your behalf....lot's of treats and even a give away when I return.

be good. do better. look your best.

On polished Beauty

Foot models - my sister and I.( we both have chicken looking feet)

The blog world is quite fun. You meet lot's of folks...mostly ladies, who have interests that make them interesting. To say the least. :) Adore Pink over at Polished Beauty is an example. She has a healthy appetite for nail polish. We all, or most of us do pedicures and manicures or as my Dad would say " footcials and handcials (read: foot-shals and hand-shals). I went through the acrylic phase and would never go back. But this 21 year old college student describes herself as "self-proclaimed feminist and nail polish addict".

Last Friday after checking through her blog throughly I looked at my own nails and made a emergency stop at the local "nail shop".

I don't mind that my influence comes from the " blog next door" and not the television. I am concerned about the acetone etc and toxicity of the polish. But with skills like's a tiny price to pay for pretty painted paws!!

be good. do better. look your best!

Scents from down under.....

A couple weeks ago I met the lovely owners of Australian Scents....I didn't buy anything , my friend did. I press my face against her so as to get a good whiff of the product each time a see her. Awkward moment. I even considered stealing I need to go get my own.

As a person bothered by eczema the story resonated with me......check them out .....

"australian Scent is a family owned and operated business specializing in hand crafted, small batch, cold processed formulas that maximize the nutritional and healing properties of the raw materials we utilize.

In 2004, whilst living i
n australia, my husband was diagnosed with psoriasis which severely affected his eyes and neck areas. after realizing the prescribed treatments 'may cause blindness', we chose the natural alternative."

p.s My title is so cliche. it's the equivalent of someone saying "no problem mon" to me.......forgive me

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Breaking up is hard to do

CIMG0066, originally uploaded by tavaughn22.

This beautiful and ornate design exists on the back of a hooded track suit I own. The outfit is a tad too tight but I do not want to give away or consign it since I love the embroidered work so much.

a.) Do I remove the design and stitch it on to something else?
b.) Do I keep I frame it as wall art?
c.) Do I count my loss and pass it on to someone who will enjoy it?

And I thought leaving my job was hard decision...
Vote a, b or c.

be good. do better. look your best.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This blog got a new dress

Sustainability and Style got an overhaul. I am embarking on new endeavors, so I decided to do the same for my blog too. I got it a new dress for the occasion! Yeah? No? You like? Go back?
I had some extra time on my hands considering I will no longer be working on park and public policy and my proposal is all done.

The design is not my own. Courtesy of:

In keeping with the overhaul....Do you blog? Then, send me your link. Finally, a hearty 'howdy do' to the 16 followers of S&S!! I appreciate you!

As good. do better. look your best.


CIMG0092 CIMG0093

If you walk, jog or run in the morning? I applaud you. Better yet. I respect you. Tried it this morning after being coerced by a friend ( her name starts with B.A.I). The best part I was up so early I had a chance to do some laundry via hand washing.

Do you hand wash? It is okay if you don't. But do you air dry? Confession: the first time I saw a dryer up close was 4 years ago. On a recent trip to Barbados, I noticed that a friend of mine (who lives the equivalent of two blocks from the ocean) used a dryer. How sad?

Wasted energy and missed opportunity to watch your clothes dance in the wind. The fresh scent from the crisp air! Clothing keeps its form better and no added chemical drying agents!! You don't need to wait on summer to air dry either. Read Earthlings Handbook for tips and the benefits of air drying.

Dress- Grass @ Macy's, Embroidered top - ( I got married in this 4 years ago), Belt - from Mr. Husband's lether jacket, Flats Chinese Laundry

be good. do better. look your best.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Youth

Youth, originally uploaded by tavaughn22.

Here's quick picture with the group.  They all have fancier phones than I do. One of the youth took this photo.....with these smarties our future is bright!! 

Youth Worker

originally uploaded by tavaughn22.

I've worked with teens in the past. I was punched while separating a fight with two 13 year olds over a boy. One girl told me ' I hate you and my boyfriend will deal with you". I have her art work my bedside. 3 years later.
I vowed that working with teens was not my thing....but I know how important it is. So I do it occasionally.

This morning I had a session sharing with about 16 youth, ages 13- 18 about my career in sustainability, environment and community jobs, conservation etc. It was very important that these teens, mostly of African or Hispanic descent, of immigrant parents in many cases, heard from a young person(i think that's me) in this field. That was a loaded sentence....they are many layers to it...ask me later.

When doing hard work it's important to look pretty and feel good about your self. Teens will tear you apart if you allow them to! A pretty skirt helps...Skirt - I adore this skirt, I bought it 4 yrs ago in Jamaica!! It's a very green skirt, flowers and all - how much more cheesy can I get?

be good. do better. look your best.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ula Cafe (Updated)

It's raining and too cold for July. The breakfast meeting worked out well. If you are ever in Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA. Please check out out Ula Cafe.

My new office space...atleast for the next two hours. I tried a scallion and cheddar scone with Chai...yum, yum!!!

More pics soon.

Let it rain!!!!

On Freebies....

In one day, I received the following in the mail:
- One coupon for $25 of any purchase, sale or otherwise. No minimum value in West Elm.
- One coupon for 15% as a August birthday gift. On any purchase at Anthropologie.
- One gift card fro $25. Period . As rewards poinst from Mr. Husbands credit card.

Plus the Anthro coupon holder will become a little coin purse or card is way too cute...a bonus!!

Yeah me!! Don't you just love free and free-ish stuff?

I was too giddy with excitment to rotate the I am of to a 8:30 rainy day breakfast meeting to break the news of my soon exist from my job to the wonderful committee I have been working with. Sniff, sniff.....
be good. do better. look your best.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blogger Style

Since my attempt at blogging, I have been introduced either through links, comments, blog rolls etc to a plethora of wonderful bloggers and sites.
One day. One day soon with no obligatory date I will make a comprehensive list. Until then here is one new ( new to me) blog I am loving and some of the vintage items on Etsy.
Introducing ......Sally Jane Vintage (all images are from the site)

I absolutely love how every item is set against this red brick wall. The prices are decent considering other sites ridiculous prices for vintage. Read more about choosing vintage here.

Lilac Dress (M - L)

I am not sure if I absolutely love this dress. It's very Easter Sunday -ish. But something about it gets it a second look. Yeah? Nay?

Tropical Romper (XS - S)

I see me, this romper, and a pair of sandals, somewhere in the Caribbean. Sometime soon
Cream Pintuck Blouse (S - M)

Pintuck is quite popular again. I used to hate how long it took for my mother to do this style on my little outfits.

Bonnie Skirt (XS - S)

This red skirt reminds me of my "button down dream skirt' and would be super chic for a workshop, conference or meeting. Me gusta.

I decided to start featuring other blogs here, let me know what you think or send me a link to your blog. Have you found any good sites recently? Care to share?

be good. do better. look your best.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

About me...response to your emails.

I am wife, daughter, friend, sister , volunteer, lover, stripper, head cook and bottle washer.

Currently a grad school student doing a MA in Sustainable International Development with a focus on biodiversity conservation in Small Island Developing States.

An Afro- Caribbean culture buff, world citizen, wanna be drummer and maroon throne heiress.

A lover of skirts, crisp white shirts, cotton and silk dresses, 1970's purses, flats, turquoise jewelry and thongs.

Been relaxed, waxed, cut, colored and locked. Now I am feeling my own hair for the first time ever.

I am recorded as a hyphenated American, I prefer reluctant immigrant.

Conversation starter, dance floor filler and non sports player.

Interior design and boutique ownership is a dream, my mother a muse and traveling is a habit.

I drink more soup and tea than water, eat more vegetable than flesh and I miss my father's farm products.

Oh yes,

and I am not yet me.

be good. do better. look your best.

Rainy Day Movie Picks

I am in no way a movie buff. I find sitting in theatre and watching most of these hollywood box office hits a complete waste.  But I sometimes do it cause Mr. Husband loves the movies so I compromise. However, I adore true stories about struggles in foreign places, the human spirit, history and inspiration.  I've never seen the Matrix , Harry Potter and many other hits and I watch the news when I want to be scared.

That said, I am excited to see PRECIOUS,  I recently enjoyed the Michael J Fox Special: ADVENTURES OF AN INCURABLE OPTIMIST  and Sundance Channel's HAIR: LET THE SUN SHINE IN

be good. do better. look your best.

Monday, July 20, 2009

If it aint broke...don't fix it.

When I find a combo that works , I tend to work it. Rather I milk it. The black , green and white combo inspired by the $1 Wet Seal cotton scarf is a winner for summer time work wear. It's quite fitting for a discussion on Invasive Species Management in urban parks. TRANSLATION: we talk about removing ugly weeds from parks and playgrounds.

Me gusta!
CIMG0009 by you.
Polka dot shirt - H&M(4 years ago), black wide leg linen pants( F21), Scarf, Wet Seal $1

be good. do better. look your best.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Floor covering

Could I possible make this? At $688 I could learn.
Vintage Belt Floor Mat

Vintage Belt Floor Mat
One of the coolest floor covering/mats i have ever seen. Its made of old leather belts and has a textures and colors that astound me. You can find them at Branch Home, along with a whole lot of other cool designed sustainable items and housewares.

Designer: Inghua Ting
Made from: Vintage leather belts
Price: $688.00

Buy it at: Branch Home


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Architectural Designs (updated)

I wanted to share House of Siim.
I have loved her designs since I was a first year student in undergrad where I knew a model and fellow dorm mate who modeled her pieces.

Siim, is an Architect turn designer..."Siim's clothing combines ethnic and modern geometric forms with inspirations drawn from the rich heritage of the Caribbean, layering lushly textured, lightweight fabrics with clean geometric lines."

I love the structure pieces, the whites are very cliche Caribbean ( I am a sucker). I should seek her out and buy a piece on my next visit home.

In the event you are moved to buy me a early birthday gift. Please go ahead and get the white pant suit featured above. Thank you kindly, you are way too kind.

be good. do better. look your best.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do over. In the nude this time.

I was scheduled to break up with my job yesterday. I didn't. My supervisor was way too busy. So I woke this morning with the conviction that I would do over yesterday. Scarf, white bottom and pearls included.

I love white linen pants. It must be the travel and resort advertisements of Caribbean folks in all white( not!) I was pleasantly surprised to find this one at F21 at a good price but I ditched the original white belt. I tried it on countless times with countless colors. I am satisfied with the nude combo & the hint of coral in the scarf.

CIMG0050 by you.CIMG0059 by you.CIMG0049 by you.

be good. do better. look your best.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quoted Style

 You`re considered superficial and silly if you are interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial and still be interested in frivolity. 
- Sophia Coppola,  Academy Award-winning American film directoractressproducer and screenwriter.

What do park people wear?

As a rule, I do not think head scarves are appropriate work wear. Although I work in a very casual environment [ insert: hippie green and public park people] where I have seen everything from sweat pants to tube dresses. I am determined to 'look my best'. If I rolled out of bed and went to work I would fit right in with the gang.

My hair is braided, but am not too ready to wear it out in public like that...besides. I look quite butch(not to offend any one).

I figured if I was wearing a scarf and since I was going to playground opening with the Mayor of Boston, I should dress it up.....pumps and pearls always take things up a notch!

Scarf - $1 @Wet Seal Shirt- Lacoste Skirt - Marshall's Pumps - DSW Faux Pearls - Goodwill( a box of 9 pieces at varying length $5)

P.S I am breaking up with my job today so I wanted to look nice doing it...I think I did okay? Yeah?

be good. do better. look your best.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hairy Jamaica

I am sitting in bed wearing lingerie and pearls  (TMI). I got dressed up for bed because I am still working on a paper and wont leave the house for the day.

 I was fueled to do the post when I read an interview over at BGLH'.(Click here for full interview)

"Jamaica is more accepting of traditionally African features mainly because the dominant culture is of African decent. Though they have a tendency to make note of skin tone with terms such as brownin' etc which is no worse than red bone/yellow bone in the U.S. The U.S. really pushes light skin, and straight hair BUT I am seeing the U.S. incorporate more ethnic beauty in the media. It's so refreshing!!!"

I cant say I agree, but I wanted share some images in any case.

Images directly from the site Afflicted Yard. His warning on piracy would be quite scary..had  I not been Jamaican too. See the link below for more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Do you eat food?

Chipotle: Mexican Grill Resturants has become a favorite chain restaurant of mine when I need a fast meal, that's not fast food. Their guacamole & black bean burrito is so good. 

So, I am currently reading Michael Pollan's " In Defense of Food" and was super excited to see that Chipotle is sponsoring free screenings of the 'must see' movie Food Inc.

If you eat food. Especially in America. You should see this. 
The movie examines the food and agricultural industry in the USA. I will not taint your meal today , but be reminded not everything we eat is food, or the way it is produced is completely unjust and unsustainable. Check out this site to see when and where it is showing. 

Have you seen it? What do you think? Truth or Propaganda?

be good. do better.look your best.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Red, White and Whooooooo!?

I was feeling quite chic this holiday week end. It must have been the 80 degrees weather and the break from two months of intermittent rain. Hair moisturized, with mayonnaise ofcourse. Shea butter finally at a room temperature and unfinished paper on biodiversity conservation in small islands of the Eastern Caribbean I was off.......

Saturday cookout.

Sunday morning service.

Sunday afternoon Cape Cod trip.

What did you do? Where did you go? Did you watch the fireworks?

be good. do better. look your best.