La Cubana


This was a completely, unplanned and spontaneous trip on my part. I knew that for this birthday, I DID want to do something but I wasn't sure what. I talked about doing a yoga experience with some friends and maybe having a girl's night out but I wasn't sure. I really wanted to go to the Grand Canyon with one of my friends but the tab was slowly adding up and we decided to look for other places. My friend jokingly mentioned Cuba and I said that if she was serious, I was as well. We booked tickets and never looked back. Cuba was an experience that I simply can't explain. Magical is really corny. Serendipitous sounds forced and contrived. I'll just use the word "right" for now. From the people that we met, to the places that we visited, even the food we ate. Havana, Cuba will always have a place in my heart. Below are just a few pictures that I took of this magical place.








Down in Jozi

I am finally getting to this South Africa post! I was based mostly in Johannesburg during my time ,so therefore all of my exploits were in that city. SA was unlike anything I had previously experienced.. In terms of Africa, I had only gotten the chance to explore the more, western countries, so everything in SA was a breath of fresh air. It was beautiful to see so many people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. SA is a place that I could definitely myself coming back to for the long-term.

And if it was meant to be, then so it shall be


If I actually created a graduation cap, lol, this would have been apart of the quote. "And if it was meant to be, then so it shall be. Pyramids don't get built in a day."


There's a lot to explain about these last few months that I simply can't explain all at once. And a lot I can't explain at all. But it truly has been a whirlwind, a mess, a joy, a pain, the struggle upon all struggles.. The last time I was here I was feeling anxious about my post graduation steps; as you can see, well I've finally reached "here" but I can't help but feel no where at all really. And that I'm not here. I'm not sure where I am, I know it's on a way but because I don't know which way in the grand scheme of things, it isn't much of a place to be. 

For a person who loves being spontaneous and adventurous, I sure hate not having a solid plan when I feel I need to have one. I like things to be up in the air but am anxious about my inability to control what I don't want to be a surprise.


In reflection, a great summary of these past 4 years.. is that I SURE TAKE MAJOR Ls. Don't get me wrong, I've had magnanimous achievements and learned so much about what actually pushes me and how far I am willing to go and subsequently can go.. but an even greater lesson was how many damn Ls it takes to get there. And I took some MAJOR, continuous losses. I still am to be quite frank. They were hard to swallow and even harder to push aside in order to move past. I appreciate transparency because these past years have not been a walk in the park and should never be viewed as such. School is not for everybody, sheesh most aspects of life as well, but I digress. But I'm also (kind of) grateful for all of my experiences and tears and dramatics thus far, because if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be as appreciative as I can say I am now. I wouldn't be as driven and determined as I am now. I wouldn't be as present.


But now here I am. I've literally been in school for 18 years; that is such a damn long time. That's a whole human's lifespan. That's a jail sentence. That's the time it takes writers to master a novel... that's a lot of time to even possibly feel wasted. That's a lot of time to feel just disappeared, a lot of time to not be able to recount or trace. I'm having a hard time getting all the correct words in their designated order in this one because that's exactly where I am. I know the end, I have moves, I want a plan but I honestly do not think that's feasible so I'm stuck. Stuck without reassurance and having to solely rely on trusting the dark; faith. It's funny, not really, how you can put faith in every other thing because you're against a wall and literally must but not so much your own original thoughts simply because they've been backseated for so long and you actually gave yourself that option otherwise. Yes, you. Them. Me. Us.

no longer.

I realize this could just be an opportunity for change. This would be the doorway to big change, it could be a life-defining era, the calm before the storm of a 360, the great hoorah at the end of the romcom movie. 
So even though it doesn't completely feel like it, here's the close to a long-drawn chapter. Thanks for sticking with me thus far, brace yourself for the nonsense that's sure to ensue.

xxoo missusmonroe






fro styling

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This was a pretty exceptional day. For no reason in particular besides from these exceptional shots.


Well, okay I'd have to be lying if I said other great things didn't happen, they were just exuded in these pictorials. It was one of those random, fleeting, warm-ish days here in the DMV and I took great advantage of it, yes I did. See, I'd been plotting on wearing this outfit for a little bit now, since the beginning on Fall when I'd received this dress from Zara. Since my early high school years I just cannot stay away from pairing sweaters/long tops with the accordion of long skirts or the lace of a maxi dress. The two go hand-in-hand in my eyes, automatically. I had difficulty busting it out because around the time I got it, it was beginning to be too chilly to show it off, there were multiple layers encompassing it but honestly, not enough to keep someone warm. Especially with this v-neck, okay?


For me, after getting these shoes at a Beacon's I already knew they would really accent this outfit. The mere essence of it just correlated in my eyes. I didn't really have a warm enough day and I knew I could not really save it for Spring because, it wasn't a rainy day type of thing, this called for sunny, clear skies, slight wind; partly cloudy maybe. But that was really pushing it. Then I was given this mediocre in temperature but lit, the sun was just shining, day and it was pretty obvious it would just have to do.

I hesitated at first because of my fro. I only did this because without the jacket, which is how I'd initially planned on wearing it, it looked a little too ho-bo vibes, not what I was looking for today. (plus for some reason the socks were just off at a lot of angles) It also would make me look like a lollipop in my mind, as I imagined the straight silhouette of the sweater and dress combo and the upward reach of my hair... I wasn't sure if I wanted that. In actuality, I was sure I did not want that. Fro-styling can be so weird sometimes cause I almost feel like you have to look "extra" or overcompensate in order to not look that drab unkempt, and y'all know there's a cool unkempt and that homeless-aspiring-for-yeezy-season unkempt. It's either your hair has to look big and styled somehow to wear "normal clothes" (it has to look purposeful is the term really) or you overcompensate your fit, cue extra, cause of your fro. Which really stems from that "you about to go get your hair done?" history that black women have when they're just wearing their roots, "her hair ain't never done", similarly.

What does having your hair 'done' look like?
xxoo missusmonroe

Thrifted sweater, Zara dress, thrifted shoes, UO socks





as brown as my history


Finally! Now you all know, or should know really, that I have been on the hunt for some real thigh-high boots for quite a period of time. Like, a minute. I am very aware of how long those stripper-me-down, 29 inch heeled velour pussy grazers have existed but yeah, that's not really what I was looking for for everyday wear. Now, backtrack to a time when I did in fact purchase some boots I thought would be my saviors senior year of high school, a whole 4, 5 years ago. For about .5 seconds they honestly, faithfully were. Then I took a step forward and yeah I quickly realized they just would not do.


See I was looking for boots that significantly reached my mid thigh but almost more importantly, stayed up on my leg and wouldn't be slouching down all day, exactly what those old boots did. There was a point where I pinned them to my pants...innovative yes, but very sad for my vintage practically satin pants (I'm a murderer I know). I think y'all get the point that I didn't want heels, just regular old boots that weren't 700 bones but were stylish and I could rock come winter time. Literally, I never think I'm asking for too much but clearly I am. I'd found some contenders but I think the recent development of the tie-back boots is nice in theory but tacky in reality ~since we're being honest. And I personally realized I loved the narrower toe, it adds some class and makes a shoe look more expensive than it really is.


Long story short, Forever finally had these babies in stock. And I have to admit, I was playing. I was lollygagging trying to decide on a color, did I want plain black or did I want that ash taupe, a color I don't have in my shoe selection that could add a lil something to my closet. In actuality I think I was going to order two pairs, honestly I also wanted a hunter green but that also was not an available option so that had to be done with pretty soon. Black was the first color to go out of stock. Alright, cool, cool as long as I wasn't stuck with that poop brown... they have this pop-up sale and the taupe is next. Oh hell no, it's the taupe or nothing. But I couldn't get this boot off of my mind, because y'all the other options I had were disastrous or expensive for no viable reason; I mean if you're gunna cost my leg at least let the material rectify my loss...
So I decided I'd make do with the brown. The boot is completely sold out at this point. Nice going D, just smooth freakin' moves. I get on the waitlist, wait, miss it to it being sold out again, and nearly give up until God sent me an angel in the form of a returned shoe to the physical store and well, here I am. In the position I would've been off jump if I'd just bought the damn brown in the fist place

Boohoo jacket, thrifted sweater, American Apparel skirt, forever21 boots

The story behind this jacket is also another whirlwind but just know that I've been looking for a bomb aviator/Shepard's jacket for a bit. I say this too often for my own good on this blog, but it's really the truth, I look for clothing items that exactly fit my vision for seasons on end. That's why I need to design, cause then I can just make the shit instead of waiting for someone else to do it. In any case, this jacket was also angelic and just better than I'd ever expected. A sorry, no-backorders, unsuccessful google-image search hunt, and magical sale later, I literally found it. Miracles.

As far as putting this dream together, after buying the boots then later sifting through options for the jacket, I realized how much my closet lacked brown in general and the fact that the two items appeared to be an exact match, color wise. I'd literally just received the jacket when I was compelled to wear it...like the next day(I usually like for items to sit) but because of wanting to fully highlight the boot, meaning showing dem legs girl, and the sudden coordination of the weather, it was just a match made. This brown sweater literally just seemed to fall in line and with the mix of browns in it, the appearance was a lazy, coincidental match.

How's that for brown history?

xxoo missusmonroe




an organic affair


It's been mad real as of late, mad real. I'm constantly trying to find balance and this time around is posing a challenge. Is there a such thing as balance?... The thought just came to mind because I'm actually trying to remember a time where I was legitimately balance for a long period of time, was productive, happy, and not 5 years old. Even then there was cheetah-chasing, elephant riding conflict (a little stereotypes for the ignorant).

When I was gifted with catching sight of this beautiful skirt, excitement immediately ensued. When it arrived in my hands I nearly shed a tear. Then I was posed with the challenge of styling it. Silver industrial is not my thing. I don't know if y'all have noticed, but I am a strong 'gold or nada, go home' type of girl, so what I was thinking when I decided to risk it all! and purchase this beauty and nightmare, I don't really know. I don't. But y'all you gotta make it work, alright!?

After actually getting in my styling zone it became really easy, I actually came up with two options but I decided to wear this one first. The harness was something I ran across on eBay I just fell in love with but added to my cart on missguided, I think to get free shipping lol cause that sounds like me. I thought of the AA dress in combination with the skirt if I just simply thought of the skirt as a regular leather skirt then I knew the harness would have to be added because of these really eye-catching, off-centered buckles.

Hand-me down jacket, American Apparel dress, Missguided skirt, Urban Outfitters booties
The shoes were a given, with the tone of the outfit already, I randomly grabbed this jacket and it was a warm-ish day so I knew socks would have to be added. I played off of the cobalt with these trusty navy "OTK"s *cue eye roll*. And honestly, I didn't expect it to look this good together. I shouldn't be surprised because every time I feel that way it turns out to be a knockout. In any case, it really only looked this amazing with the jacket on! Without it things started falling apart; thankful for my spontaneous decisions.

xxoo missusmonroe



Hash-Slinging Rule breaker


There seems to be this fine line between bloggers and graphic designers, a line no one can cross. I know the "blogger rules" and boundaries, y'know the ones we claim don't exist and can't exactly point to a bible but can certainly show examples and low-key maybe high-key agree on... How the photos must look extremely natural for example, preferably outside, nice lighting, no background clutter, in the street! look natural! Yeah as natural as you can appear in the middle of the street with your photoshopped, photo-enhanced pictures. No offense.


I feel like I'm always breaking some sort of standard. It's almost unfair to the wannabe rebels. I just don't believe in not experimenting with color depths, shapes, saturation limits, outside and inside gems, negative images... I like it all. I love editorial style but when last have you seen an editorial shot in the middle of the street in one stature, one color scheme? Maybe it's the avant garde in me but when I see those prints, they don't look like every day scenes and poses and that's the point. Because that catches the eye. What real people do you know rock fluorescent beige eyeliner during the day? real, I said.



So I took it back to a basic for a minute: shot in my corridor. Yes the lighting is .. well indoors and the little "B" is quirky and amateur-ish. But I enjoyed it. I took pictures outside as well, that I did not even end up liking more than these. It allowed me to experiment, something I enjoy doing. Plus this face I'm giving? Come on.
This was my first day of classes for my remaining semester of undergrad. And it wouldn't be my life if I didn't spend it fighting some sort of administration. The story behind this outfit..is there is none. Ha, seriously. I just slapped it together. I told you all of the trench I picked up at BC, here it issss. So I paired it with all black because of obvious color reasons. I also planned on wearing these Zara boots I'd been eyeing since the season rolled in and scooped as soon as their annual sale came through, thanks Jesus. The turquoise and the grey seemed very right in my head so I knew the rest had to be timid. Tada!

Are you loving the translucent details in the coat or yes?

xxoo missusmonroe
Beacon's Closet thrifted trench, H&M cropped turtleneck, Missguided jeans, Zara boots




abridged


At the start of break I'd planned a lil baecay before school came back in session, simply for the fact that yes, it was a 'break'..from school but I was working a grand majority of the time ~new job alert, turn up; shout out to my internship, y'all are holding a girl down~ Needless to ever say in my life, plans changed briskly and I found myself alone unexpectedly alone. As winter break just continued to roll on by, I really just considered staying put and re-energizing locally. Incidentally,...


or a miracle from God I'd like to call it, I was struck with the memory that this was around the very weekend a diabolical rodent would enter the White House.. you haven't heard about their pest problem?


I could not be around for the craziness that was sure to surround this city, and even if I was around it at least let me be returning from something amazing to keep my mind off of the tragic horrors to ensue. Now mind you, I've been here and there but I felt like I needed that fill to just bring every thing together, similar to your crusty nail-set, and wrap up this limbo before classes attack once again. You know that thing where you get all dumped or maybe you were the wicked witch, heartbreaking sis *but like, where is my record deal though?..Goodness, apologies for these barz*
So there's a break up of some sorts but somebody just needs to talk about it or see the other one last time for no real reason but just feelings sake? Yes, I needed some of that closure.


So I was just like, fuck it I'm going to New York.
Okay, very me, but I did have an objective at hand. This wasn't a mindless trip. Because of my need for closure, my random overwhelming feelings of loneliness as of late, and the awareness I had of myself needing a kick of a reminder on who the hell I am and what the fuck I am moving towards, destination NYC pre-inauguration only made sense. Now, this is where the real story begins.

I'd purchased my ticket there at a remarkable price. So remarkable in fact, I decided to hold on getting a return ticket because I was just so surprised at the deal I was able to obtain. The day before the Inauguration? Impossible, I thought. So my return could wait until I got home! 
Wrong. Either I was delusional when I took a glance at the return prices or life was just that crazy, but the way nearly all tickets sold out and how all tickets therefore gladly sprinted to new heights... I was considering not coming home at all you all. At all.

After determining I needed to find a night-life event, a concert, a something, to properly bring this trip to a close, I then really spent hours attempting to discover a magical way home. I really just ended up finessing the shit out of the system, literally, and a hashtag 1 AM vibe was just fastballed at me, I was left with no choice but to cough up the bread and look forward to the next few hours when I'd awaken.

I didn't wake up. Spoiler alert. Well, I did but not nearly when I was supposed to. I ended up doing everything I was trying to avoid, goose-chasing myself in my room, having to give in and call an Uber, randomly stuffing items I knew I'd need in my bag, creating a heavy bag, running outside without shoes on, and forgetting important items (hmm, like my coat). All in a matter of ten minutes because mind you, I was on a very tight gotta-catch-my-damn-train schedule because-I-can't-miss-my-bus-type of thing after literally paying a leg for the return ticket. Get me?

- How I came up with this 'fit, well I struggled to come up with anything really when I was just looking at my closet. I knew it'd be lukewarm and that I wanted something that would look great with Vans and heels, wasn't walking for 6+ hours up and down the boroughs in heels mkay. But so there's this top I've been trying to wear for weeks, so that made me think of white.. and honestly, so honestly it was a guesstimation that worked. Cause I imagined the OTS I DIY'd last NY trip but with something over it since it'd be a tad chilly, but nothing heavy and that you could see the shoulder (duh!), boom mesh top, shorts underneath in cause I wanted to throw it back and to urbanize the upper half but something a lil thick, boom boxing shorts, thigh highs cause it's not that warm, MULES FOR CHEAT HEELS. and whabam. Randomly grabbed jewelry in my morning scramble. I'm just lucky it came together caaause...

So I made it to Union Station. I made my bus. All was great. I ended up having to do my eyebrows in a port a potty on a moving, turbulence-like-a-plane bus, apparently lost my eyelashes and practically new glue in my seat, and was still fermenting in the clothes I slept in. So fabulous. A lot happened and a lot of nothing happened as I was trying to get my life together and figure out where I wanted to go. I found myself in a bathroom stall in good faithful Micky D's changing amongst homeless people discussing how they weren't getting their unemployment checks... as dramatic as it may sound I just really wondered how in the world I got there and literally had to promise myself my New York life could not end up like such.

In my search for a jacket, cause mind you I was staying walk-of-shame late, I actually found a super cheap, super chic light trench with see through elements in a color you rarely see in my closet. And to think I literally was going to chief keef it. I'm a moron as you'll come to realize.

*I'm finally getting to the goods I promise*

After light shopping, discovering a mildly expensive but mildly appetizing Mac n' Cheese spot, getting kicked out of a Starbucks, missing a bus and a stop I had no idea how to get to... I found myself walking the streets and overlooking the water and skyline. I found myself praying, I found myself doing exactly what I hadn't known two weeks ago I needed but that I knew I came to New York to find out.

I walked all the way to the top of the Brooklyn bridge for the first time, I looked below me and saw this skyline again...all the cars, possibly commuters, probably a lot of people with stories like mine, aspirations like mine.. I knew I couldn't let my dreams burn. I knew I had to fulfill my plan, I was just reminded of me. So I changed my shoes and headed to that party. And when I tell you I had a time of my life... there was a point where I was sitting on some speakers near the crowded stage, dancing and plainly vibing with complete strangers, giving face to random photographers, feeling like this was some hip long-lived music video but shot "Juice" style, where I thought to myself, I could really get used to this. (thanks YesJulz)

And so there you have it, another successful trip to the city of dreams. My experience home was tragic; I left with 2 hours of cushion and still made it running, running since when do I do that, to my bus by a minute. The wrong bus mind you ~don't listen to instructions~. I ended up having to uber home for a pretty bone... oddly enough it was worth ..well it was worth something.
xxoo missusmonroe