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More Than a Woman | Aaliyah

Aaliyah Dana Haughton was born on January 16, 1979 in Brooklyn, New York. Aaliyah — whose name derives from a Hebrew word aliyah, meaning “highest, most exalted one, the best, grew up in Detroit where she attended the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts. At the age of 12 Aaliyah signed a recording contract with her uncle’s label, Blackground Records. She would go on to release her first album “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number” under the production of R.Kelly at the age of 14. It would go on to sell millions, and was followed by the incredible success of her 1996 sophmore album “One In A Million” and her last album in 2001 named simply, “Aaliyah”, both produced by the wonder team that was Timbaland and Missy Elliott.

I absolutely loved all things Aaliyah. She was talented and it seemed liked everything baby girl touched turned to gold. She was a phenomenal singer, dancer and after having a break out part as the female lead Trish in the movie “Romeo Must Die” alongside Jet Li, it seemed like she would excel in acting as well. She was transforming from a star to a super nova.

Aaliyah was later cast in the lead role of Akasha in “Queen of the Damned” and had landed roles in several other films but sadly these were recast with other actresses due to her death–“Honey” (recast with Jessica Alba), “Sparkle” (recast with Jordan Sparks) and two of the Matrix movies “Matrix Reloaded” and “Revolutions” as the character Zee (recast with Nona Gaye, daughter of soul legend Marvin Gaye).

14 years ago on a day like today, Aaliyah tragically lost her life (along with 6 members of her entourage & the pilot) in a plane crash off Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. She was 22 years old.

So today in celebration of her life, music & talent. I’m going to share with you some of my favorite music from Aaliyah– and trust me it was hard to choose just a few songs because she was one of the few artists whose entire albums I played with no skips.


Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. 1994

Back & Forth

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

(At Your Best) You Are Love


 One In A Million. 1996

One In A Million

If Your Girl Only Knew


 “Are You That Somebody” 1998


 Aaliyah. 2001

We Need A Resolution

Try Again

“More Than A Woman

Rock The Boat


Hope you enjoyed today’s post in celebration of Aaliyah. Baby girl is gone but she will definitely never be forgotten,

Meanwhile, I’ll just sit here anxiously waiting on those never released Aaliyah tracks Timbaland promised us a few weeks ago.

Until next time my lovelies,

zadry sig

Unconditional Body Beautiful: Part Eight: GETTING BY ON MY FEET

hello down there!

my feet, funny how we take them for granted sometimes. i stand on them all day at work, i walk with them, i dance with them. and through all the high heels, falls, injuries and the weight loss/gain roller coaster…these are the feet that hold me down. so after years of mistreating them in painfully chic shoes i made a pact with them to treat them well. to love them and take care of them. because these are my lifelong companions for the path that still lies ahead.

If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.”  ―Rachel Wolchi

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” ―Henry David Thoreau

so i’m kind to them, i still put them in pretty shoes but i won’t compromise their comfort for a fly pair of heels.

i pamper them with scrubs, creams, oils, soaks and massages.

i let them walk free, feel the fresh grass underneath them.

i appreciate my weary companions.

i keep them happy and healthy for whatever crazy journey lies ahead ahead of us.

Until next time my lovelies– remember to be kind and loving to yourselves,

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Unconditional Body Beautiful is a self-love series created by Rebequita Rose“It is a year-long collaboration which I created-slash-founded, and I will be doing this with many other bloggers…We will focus mostly on discussing our bodies more than on fashion, but at the same time we will fuse the two together.”

#UnconditionalBodyBeautiful

On the 18th of every month we will each publish a new post discussing that month’s theme (body part), so be sure to keep an eye out for the hashtag on social media for some wonderful posts and body love inspiration.
 For more #UnconditionalBodyBeautiful inspiration be sure to check out these wonderful blogs:

An Afternoon At Cauley Square

Last month I decided to go on another local adventure, and I’ve been eyeing this place for awhile– Cauley Square Historic Railroad Village, located at 22400 Old Dixie Highway in Homestead, Florida.

I love tea, so when I heard that Cauley Square had a Tea Room I knew that this would have to be a great brunch date with the girls. And the Groupons gods were apparently reading my mind because a Tea Party deal for two became available. So what better way to test out a new place without a major financial commitment.

I will tell you this my lovelies, we were not disappointed at all– the tea party was fabulous! You have your choices of hot tea, cold spiced tea as well as wine, beer and sodas. But a proper tea party requires hot tea, so that’s what we went for. I tried the Green Tea with Pomegranate which was just lovely. We had a choice between french onion & split pea soup, we all chose the french onion soup which was delicious. Afterwards our lovely tea server brought us a three tier tray filled with pure amazingness– quiches, tea sandwiches, cookies and scones.

Oh, our server was so awesome she even let us get our Downton Abbey on, and brought us some vintage hats and boas for a little photo session at the table.

After an amazing tea party we did a little walk around to discover the rest of Cauley Square. The entire time it felt like we had been transported to a small town somewhere in upstate New York, it did not feel like we were in Miami anymore. It was pretty quiet, since we went in the middle of the week which is fine by me, I love having the feeling of having a place to myself.

We walked around their six gardens and just took it all in.

Besides the Tea Room, there are two other restaurants in Cauley Square, the Village Chalet and the Latin Corner which is officially my favorite building, it’s a bright yellow snack bar run by the sweetest lady. There are thirteen different shops, we spotted five of the thirteen– Namaste, O’ Sew Crafty, Ivana’s Artisan, Island Colors & Village Florist.

There’s even a wedding venue area, the Wedding Place. I’ve seen online photos of weddings here and they are breathtaking, so if you’re looking for a venue in South Florida this would definitely be a great place to check out.

It was a great afternoon filled with good eats, discovery and lots of laughter. So if you’re looking for a great place for brunch or a little escape from your daily routine put Cauley Square on your Google Maps and head on down to Homestead for a visit– you won’t regret it!

Until next time my lovelies,

ZadryG

Artist à la Mode | Sara Fratini

Today’s artist à la mode is the talented Sara Fratini. I came across her work while doing what I do best– google searching.

The 30-year-old illustrator was born in Venezuela, studied art in Barcelona, Spain and currently lives and works in Italy. Sara was drawn to art from an early age, a little unconventional start but hey! we all have to start our path somewhere:

“When I was 3 years old I tried to draw with my feet, finding that impossible I decided to start drawing with my hands and I haven’t stopped since.
I always carried a bag full of colours and a notebook, so I could draw anywhere . When I was small, the bag was the reason for many injuries, falls and not so nice encounters with the floor. Today it is an excuse to escape from situations or to make them immortal.”  — Sara Fratini

Sara’s illustrations are filled with messages of feminism, empowerment and body positivity. In an interview for Radio Television Española, Sara explains that she draws the kind of woman she wants to be and by drawing powerful and independent women she confronts her own insecurities and gains freedom for herself.


“Sometimes we are our worst critic.” 


“More freedom, less diets.”


“Because fashion is not only one size.”


“For sensuality neither age or weight exist.”


“Be your own muse.”


“I’m on Strike!”, “Me too!”


“Who cares about cellulite?”


“Be your own superhero.”

Sara’s illustrations are both fun and inspiring. She creates art that conveys messages we can all relate to– struggles with self esteem, body image and womanhood. Sara’s women are whimsical feminists that take on the patriarchy head on and no topic is taboo, from body hair to female orgasms it’s all up for discussion.

Now, I am honestly in love with all things Sara Fratini, but I have to admit that her curvaceous mermaids are my #1 obsession.

“The mermaid that only wanted to sleep.”


“She wanted to be a mermaid & the mermaid wanted to be a woman.”

Besides illustrations, Sara also creates the wickedest murals, imagine a mermaid filled wall — yes! please. The one below was commissioned for the ALT!rove Street Art Festival in Catanzaro, Italy.

Discover more of  Sara Fratini and her phenomenal illustrations on her website & via social media on Tumblr, Facebook, TwitterInstagram. You can also purchase some Fratini awesomeness for yourself or your home via her shop on Society 6.

Until next time my lovelies,

ZadryG

Let’s Talk Hair

There’s one thing I take even more seriously than glowing moisturized skin— my hair, and whether it’s curly or straight it always has to be on point down to the last follicle.

It’s taken me a long time to get to really know my hair and discover the best ways to care for it. Especially my curls, since most of my adulthood I’ve relaxed my hair I’m just getting to learn the best ways to pamper my curly locks. I’ve maintained my natural curls relaxer-free for the past 2 years and it has been a definite learning experience. Through a lot of research, reading and bombed attempts I’ve learned some of the best ways to care for and style my hair…and believe me, I’m still doing a lot of learning.


Adventures in Products

Product wise I’ve tried Wen, Carol’s Daughter and Shea Moisture

— all great brands, but I’ve learned two things from all my trial and error:

  1. What works for your hair might not work for mine and vice versa
  2. The needs of our hair changes and in order to keep it happy you’ve got to switch up your hair care routine sometimes.

Right now, I’m loving Giovanni’s shampoo & conditioner— my baby sis got me hooked on them, funny how someone who loves to shave her hair off always finds such great hair care lines, she put me on to Shea Moisture before that.


Surviving The Elements

Because I live in Miami my greatest foe is humidity, that sucker can turn any straight or curly style into a pile of nonsense, so I’ve started to use keratin on my locks. The keratin lets me keep my natural curls, but gives me the freedom to go straight when I choose to with minimum heat styling stress to my hair and the best part is regardless of the style I choose the keratin serves as a barrier for humidity…boom! foe defeated.

Now a typical summer afternoon in Miami consists of 3 main ingredients: heat, humidity and unexpected showers– and we’re not talking dainty showers or sprinkles, we’re talking spectacular sunshine one moment and a full blown monsoon the next.

So I tend to let my curls flow in the summer, it’s less stressful than constantly heat styling my hair to keep it’s silky straight look.


Hair Care Routine

Right now I’m head over heals with Giovanni’s regular & leave-in conditioners, anyone with curls knows rule no #1 is condition, condition, condition because a good conditioner = happy bouncy curls. My current hair care routine goes something like this:

I co-wash, which is short for  conditioner washing— cleansing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo, every week & shampoo only once a month. So far this co-wash/poo combination has given my hair the best results. Every two weeks I deep condition with Shea Moisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and I use their Jamaican Black Castor Oil Grow & Restore Edge Treatment  on a daily  basis to keep my hair looking glossy plus it helps me tame any pesky fly-a-way.

It’s a short but sweet routine, sometimes I tweak it in order to try out a new product but so far this is the combination that has worked best. I believe we all have our own hair journey and in the end we have to find the products and hair care routine that works best for us & our hair.


This was so fun! I loved talking hair with you. If you have any fabulous hair secrets or tips you’d like to share with me go on and drop them down below in the comments area. I’m always up for trying something new. Until next time my lovelies,

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To shop any of the fabulous products featured in this post drop by our online store, just click on the photo below:


For more hair talk be sure to checkout my fellow Untamed Style blogger babes:

VANESSA | Sweet Leigh 

 You see this little button right here, this was created by the lovely Veronica of Cid Style File, & the ultra fab Michelle of  Glitter In The Dirt (formerly of Zaftig Times). We’ve created a sisterhood of fierce femmes which also includes the amazing ladies behind Margot Meanie,Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick,Sweet Leigh & Curves Become Her. Every month we’ll take on a different topic/theme so be sure to stay tuned my lovelies!

Artist à la Mode | Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Last month while browsing Google, like I love to do, I ran across this painting…

I was so captivated by it that I went into a frantic search to see who was the artist behind it, and the Google gods answered by leading me to Shiloh Sophia McCloud.

Shiloh was born in California in 1970. She was raised by her mother, poet Caron McCloud –who instilled in her young daughter a love for poetry, literature and art. Shiloh has dedicated her life to art and the vision that painting can be used as a way of healing the soul.

Her art is beautiful and inspiring, a perfect celebration of womanhood and sisterhood. I think the true beauty about art, is the way it inspires you, how it makes you feel when you see it. When I first saw “The Bountiful One” I felt empowered. The bounty of strength, beauty, love, nurturing and life women give to the world is inspiring. That is the main message behind Shiloh’s paintings, the awakening of your muse, the inner goddess in you.

“Settle in and get a cup of tea. Take a look around with the eyes of your heart. Invite your Muse to join you and see where she leads you. Enjoy the journey through image and video and poem and invitation. May your own spark be lit within…May be you inspired to take action on behalf of your own sacred work in the world.”

― Shiloh Sophia McCloud

To learn more about Shiloh’s inspiring work behind and in front of the easel drop by her website- www.ShilohSophiaStudios.com. You can also follow her via social media on Facebook & Twitter.

Until next time my lovelies. Stay inspired by and connected to YOUR inner goddess,

ZadryG

 

Art used in featured image for this post: “House of the Heart” by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

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Lane Bryant Preview Event

Last Thursday, blogger Farrah Estrella of the Estrella Fashion Report was in Miami hosting a Grand Opening Preview event at the Lane Bryant store in the Pembroke Lakes Mall.  It was a fun night surrounded by lovely ladies and the chance to checkout the new Lane Bryant collections– not bad for a Thursday night.

For those of you South Florida beauties that had a chance to attend, I hope you were able to take advantage of some of the great deals that went down. Lane Bryant had a 40% off flash sale to help entice you into some of the loveliness going on in store– like their HARDWARE MAXI DRESS & EMBELLISHED SWING DRESS.

Of course one of my favorite parts of the night was getting to meet blogger boos Farrah from Estrella Fashion Report, who was hosting the event for Lane Bryant, and the oh so adorable & sweet Lei-Loni from Clothe Your Curves.

Farrah wore Lane Bryant head to toe and was killing it in a CHEETAH PENDANT NECKLACEBELTED MOTO VEST
and these FLIGHT PANTS— which I see in my future real soon.

And check out Lei-Loni’s adorable pair of STUDDED STRAP FLATS.

The accessories were gorgeous– I don’t know about you but I love a good chunky piece and Lane Bryant was tempting me with both their silver ELEPHANT PENDANT NECKLACE & gold PINEAPPLE PENDANT NECKLACE

Of course, any stop in Lane Bryant includes a visit to their Cacique section and my lovelies, they’re having their semi-annual sale right now so you can find some great deals in-store and online: Buy 2 Bras Get 2 Free & Panties 5/$29.

Um, and can I tell you how absolutely stunning this STRAPPY HALF CUP DEMI BRA & TANGA PANTY SET is…I mean hello! curves.

They also have a Livi Active section so you can get your fitness on and still look cute.

It was definitely a great night with some amazing ladies.

For more on the re-opening event be sure to check out these posts from Estrella Fashion Report & Clothe Your Curves.

Until next time my lovelies,

ZadryG

Unconditional Body Beautiful: Part Seven: MY ARMS, MY WINGS

Funny how time flies when you’re having fun. We’ve reached the seventh installment of unconditional body beautiful and today’s self-love post is dedicated to our arms– the wings that help us soar thru life.


You have the right to bare arms.


My arms have been toned and they’ve been plump. They may not be the strongest, that honor goes to my legs, but they give the warmest bestest hugs. Time has sprinkled these big arms with stretch marks and softness. But these are the arms that hold my loving husband at night. These are the arms that give those I love squishy hugs.  These arms are an intricate part of this amazing body. They let me express excitement, love, happiness and anger. They are my extension to this big crazy world and I’m not hiding them anymore.

We live in a society that seems to define everything that doesn’t meet their definition of beauty as an imperfection. Something to be broken and reshaped into what they believe, resulting in cookie cutter versions of beauty and perfection. The frustrating thing is that once you don’t meet their beauty requisites you’re asked to hide yourself. You see in their eyes you have yet to earn the right to live life and that my lovelies, is ridiculous. Why should you hide your arms, legs, bellies or any other part of your body only because they don’t meet society’s stereotypes. We see this most at summertime, when the bombardment of “summer ready” or “beach ready” body syndrome is at its maximum. It’s time we reclaimed our lives and our bodies.

If it’s hot as hell outside, don’t feel that you have to hide your chunky fat arms because it’s not the “it” look. Let those babies breathe– whip out your sleeveless shirts, spaghetti straps, tube tops and halter tops. Enjoy the sunshine and the warm breeze on your skin. Enjoy summer, be comfortable and above all be happy. Happy with the body you have at this very moment because that is the first step to any journey of self-love.

A love letter to my arms:

I promise to take care of you.

I promise to not be so clumsy and constantly slam you against walls. I promise to always be kind towards you with my thoughts and my words.

I promise not to hide you from the sun. I promise to drape you in soft fabrics, but never use them to hide you because I’m not ashamed of you. I promise to cherish our time together in this body we share without regrets or inhibitions.

I promise to raise you high and above all I promise to always be proud of your presence.

Thank You my majestic wings for allowing this butterfly to break free from her cocoon and allowing her to fly.

Until next time my lovelies– remember to be kind and loving to yourselves,

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What I’m Wearing: ASOS Curve Wrap Peplum Top In Floral Black (I have the white one too…just as beautiful)


Unconditional Body Beautiful is a self-love series created by Rebequita Rose“It is a year-long collaboration which I created-slash-founded, and I will be doing this with many other bloggers…We will focus mostly on discussing our bodies more than on fashion, but at the same time we will fuse the two together.”

#UnconditionalBodyBeautiful

On the 18th of every month we will each publish a new post discussing that month’s theme (body part), so be sure to keep an eye out for the hashtag on social media for some wonderful posts and body love inspiration.
 For more #UnconditionalBodyBeautiful inspiration be sure to check out these wonderful blogs:

Influenster | Bella VoxBox

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. But as always all opinions shared in  this post — the good, the bad, and the lovely are my own.

Hey my lovelies!

I don’t know about you, but this girl takes her product purchases seriously. When I find something that works for me I’m a die-hard fan, but part of finding new products you love is experimenting. Now, I can’t just be throwing my money out and trying every single product I come across, which is why I’ve become a complete stan for Influenster.

What’s this Influenster you talk about Z?“, you ask. Well, Influenster is  a free (yeah, you read that right) online service you enroll in via email/faceboook/twitter. Now the jyst of Influenster is in the name– you use your “influence” aka social media to review the products they send you. They have different expert and lifestyle badges (fashionista, techie, beauty queen, pet, sweet tooth, fitness, happy hour) you earn based on your interests. You earn points toward these badges by reviewing products they send you, as well as reviewing the ones you use in your day-to-day lives. Influenster then sends you monthly surveys to see whether you’re a match for any upcoming reward campaign or themed voxbox — think of these as boxes filled with sunshine & goodies. That’s all there’s to Influenster, easy piecy…

Last month was all about the Bella Voxbox!

Here’s a closer look at the goodies inside– the Bella Voxbox included beauty products from Sally Hansen, Not Your Mother’s, EcoTools, Rimmel London, and a sweet treat from Dove.

For each product you receive Influenster asks you to complete a different task, it varies by brand but mostly includes sharing your honest review of the product as well as images of the product via your social media accounts. Remember your honest opinion is what matters here, after all you’re trying most of these products before they hit the market and your opinion will help others make decisions on whether the product is worth dishing out money for.

You see what I mean, easy piecy! If your interest is peaked like mine was and you’d like to become an official Influenster, click here to join << Influenster Me >>. You can start earning points the minute you enroll by answering survey questions, linking your social media accounts and reviewing.

Hope you enjoyed today’s chat, until next time my lovelies,

ZadryG

schnebly-winery-homestead-curves-a-la-mode

An Afternoon At Schnebly’s

When people think Miami they automatically think South Beach. And although Ocean Drive is flawless with its vibrant energy, gorgeous art deco, palm tree-lined beaches and beautiful people strolling about, Miami is much more than just South Beach– it’s a cornucopia of culture and hidden gems. One of those lovely hidden gems is Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery the southernmost Winery & Brewery in the U.S.located at 30205 SW 217th Ave in Homestead, Florida.

I know, like me the first time I heard of Schnebly’s , you’re probably thinking– “A winery in South Florida?!” Yes! a winery, but it’s not your ordinary Napa-style winery, this one is all Miami. We’re talking Lychee, Mango, Carambola, Passion Fruit, Guava, Coconut and Avocado wines and my lovelies, they are even yummier than they sound.

Four years ago Schnebly’s expanded from winery to brewery, and their yumminess arsenal has expanded to include 4 tasty flagship ales– Big Rod Coconut Ale, Shark Bait Mango Wheat Ale, Vice IPA & Gator Tail Brown Ale.

A few weeks ago we decided to organize an outing with the girls new to the area kind of like a getting-to-know-your-neighborhood kinda thing and first on our list was Schnebly’s. It’s a great place to have an afternoon get together and do a little wine tasting, but really we would’ve used any excuse to go.

Schnebly’s offers two wine tasting options:

The Ultimate tasting is $11.95 per person you get a choice of five unique wines. This glass is specifically designed to enhance the flavors and aromas of the wine you are drinking. Also, you keep the etched Schnebly wine glass, which you can bring back and get the tasting for only $6.

The Special tasting is $11.95 per person. You get your choice of five different specialty wines – dessert and sparkling. You get to keep the Schnebly’s glass so anytime you return, with the glass, the tasting is 50% off!

And if you are more of an ale person, or just want to try them out, there’s a tasting option for that too:

Beer Sampler/Pint Glass $14 – Satisfy your curiosity and elevate your tasting experience using our Signature Pint Glass. A clear beer glass is essential to checking the appearance of beer when tasting, Enjoy every ingredient of our craft beers when tasting and evaluating from our Signature Glass. You get a Beer Sampler followed by your choice of any craft beers with a purchase of the Signature Pint Glass.

They recently added a restaurant to their lineup, The Redlander. The day we went it was closed due to construction outside but from the menu I can tell you that we’ll be back to give it a try, our return was locked down by these 4 words– Lychee Crème Brulee Flan.

Tours of the winery are held on the weekend, they usually last from 30-40 minutes and cost $7 per person. One of my favorite things about Schnebly’s is their Friday & Saturday events called Weekends at the Winery. There’s a cover charge after 6 pm to attend evenings at the winery, but normally you can find some great Groupon deals for their weekend events.

On Friday nights they have karaoke and on Saturdays they normally have live music, trust me you definitely don’t want to miss the winery lit up at night as performers like Tree Hause,  JSalsa & Orq Expression & Bryan Gonzalez fill the air with music. Be sure to check out their online calendar too, they have lots of other fun events like Bottle & Bottega and Om Brew Yoga.

So next time you are visiting South Florida or even if you are a local and have not made your way down to Homestead yet, be sure to put a trip to Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery on your To Do list. It’s just a 35 minute drive from Miami and believe me you will not regret it!

Until next time my lovelies,

ZadryG