Happy New Year!! {Lessons, & Moving Forward}

Happy New Year Peeps!

2014, whoo!

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I can’t believe its the first of the year. What can I say about 2013 before I like…officially let it go.

Well, I was having some personal reflection time a couple days ago looking for the summation, in a sense, of what 2013 was all about in my life. And my spirit came to the conclusion that 2013 was all about building and patience. It was a year of a lot of blessings, but a lot of testing as well.

For instance, the beginning of 2013 started with my mom in the hospital in a fight for her life. By new years she had come out of her induced coma but her condition was still critical. She could barely speak, she couldn’t walk. Don’t wanna drone on and on about the negative though. Ultimately, by mid-to-late Jan she was out of the hospital and though she had to learn to walk and talk again, she fully regained her health by late Feb, early March. She is fine, strong, and healthy now. Praises be! I feel like it was a testing of the faith and patience of my family, to wait on Source to restore her.

The entirety of the concept for Free Spiiirit came to be November 2012 and the line was slated to drop Jan 1st of 2013, but with all the things going on in my life with my mom  and family and such, we chose to change that deadline. I’m super close to my Mom, man, she is my rock and I am hers. So the whole situation was pretty hard on me….moving on, February 13th the line was dropped and the site was opened to the public. From then we hit the ground running with promo and fashion shows and did our best to make Free Spiiirit as great as we could from the small city of Huntsville, TX (where our school is located). We laid the foundations of the business and made it our mission to grind, grind, grind to build it up from there. Building blocks, stepping stones. We planned SxSW as a business trip to get the brand name out past the boundaries of our school grounds.

After SxSW in March, is when Triiin and I formulated the plan to move to California together in August. After networking with so many like-minded people during the festival, meeting Kendrick Lamar, and seeing how much we could build the business by simply being in the right place at the right time we knew Huntsville was too small a pond to remain in for much longer. At this time, began the building pressure of school and my growing disinterest with it, as well as a decline in monetary resources. By summer, the struggle had become all too real. I was taking school and working and hating every second of it and still only had enough money to survive. How were we ever supposed to save to move to Cali in these conditions? I didn’t know. To top it all off, the summer ended with an apartment fire days before move-out (–it was caused by a faulty dryer–) that destroyed some of our merchandise and made it twice as hard to pack and move out of the unit. It was August by now and the plans seemed to be foiled but we knew in our hearts Cali was still where we were supposed to be. “Patience, Patience” was the whisper…In good fashion, the Lord provided recourse and Triiin & I went to stay with my Mom in Houston.

Houston was its own beast. The Beckster (my car…Becky was her name) started giving me issues after moving there & soon pooped out altogether. Every expected avenue for Cali money was snatched from us by one instance or another. Then not to mention once you stop living with your parents, you never wanna re-live with your parents (and siblings) again. Lets not get into the endless reasons why. (Love them, they’re great n shit…but this is just TRUE, lol). We were doing our best not to get hog-tied down to the city of Houston and trying to keep in mind that Cali was still the mission regardless of what things look like. But imagine living everyday striving so hard for what you want, what you know you are supposed to do…and feeling no closer to your goal. Every day waking up with hope and going to bed with the nagging stab of disappointment. It gets really difficult. This was a true testing of patience and finding inner peace. But we just kept working on the business (Free Spiiirit) and keeping our mind, hearts, and energies set on the path laid out before us. God kept giving us signs that we were on path and after 2 months in this purgatory we were let into the gates of Heaven, so to speak…

October. Hello L.A., city of Angels! It was such a blessing to make it here and so surreal to be here. Everything, from the drive to finding a good apartment in record time. The whole situation was in God’s hands and he worked everything out just perfectly…as one must learn to always trust Source to do. And L.A. is so beautiful! My goodness. Getting here just made it continuously clear that this is where we were supposed to be all along. The endless possibilities began to expose themselves to us. But don’t think its been all candy, cupcakes, and roses since we’ve been out here. We have had our share of struggles too since being here…mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, etc.  But when you become in tune with God…and self…and the God in oneself these outward things start to shake you less and less as you continually see Him see you through, dropping just what you need from the heavens like manna. Allhamdulilah!

This is the work in progress that had been begun in me at the start of last year and I truly feel like I have passed the test and completed this step. Why? Because I feel like I have learned the lessons I was supposed to from 2013. The lesson of patience and knowing that things do not happen in your timing, but in God’s timing. And the plan is perfect. Energy takes care of it all. You just have to be patient, stay positive, and stay connected. Also, the lesson that there is a time for everything under the sun. A time for sickness and a time for health. A time for grief and a time for joy. A time of struggle and a time of prosperity. A time of building and a time of reaping the benefits of your labors. 2013 was the year of Building and Patience for me. And I whole-heartedly believe that 2014 is the time of Prosperity and Reward. Not just monetary richness (though, that too) but also richness in love, mind, body, spirit. I’m ready for it!

How are you guys feeling about the new year? What was 2013 like for you? What do you expect from 2014?

P.S.

Today we dropped the U.N.I.T.Y Collection on FreeSpiiirit.com!!!

(Yayyyy)

UnityCollection

The collection is centered around celebrating our oneness and our cultural differences as a global community, simultaneously.

Check it out Check out Check it out! & use code : hello2014 for 10% off your entire order!

{photo cred: Triiinity Tafari}

Peace & Blessings Loves

& again, Happy New Year. Make the best of it 🙂 .

☮ XOXO A.T ☮

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The Hunger Games – Jennifer Lawrence on Fire

I don’t think anyone knows just how much I love the Hunger Games. I love the trilogy so much that, before there was even word of a first movie, my sister and I bought two Hunger Games shirts (mine says “Down with the Capitol” tehe) , a mockingjay pin, and a mockingjay necklace, between us. When the first movie came out, I went (suited in my HG gear and all) to see it immediately. Epic trilogy, man. Awesome societal parallels. & anyone who really knows me, knows of my deep love for dystopian fiction…

That’s why it’s really killing me that I can’t go see Catching Fire tonight. That’s right, Hunger Games Fan #1 is in for the night and stuck NOT watching the much awaited second movie, which made it’s way into theaters on this beloved day. BOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

However, I am not one to dwell on the bad, so on a more positive note… Did you guys see what Jennifer Lawrence wore to the premiere earlier this week???

Oh yes, little Miss Everdeen was quite the “Girl on Fire” on the red carpet in her Christian Dior 2013 Haute Couture Gown. I think she really rocked this look. It was daring, sexy, and classy all at the same time. And her new blonde pixie cut + red lip combo was the cherry on top! Check it out…talk about dressed to kill.

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What do you guys think of Jennifer Lawrence’s premiere look?

☮ XOXO A.T. ☮

Trendspotting Tuesday: Fab or Fail? Studded Hats for Men

Today I am doing a sort of hybrid of Menswear Monday & Trendspotting Tuesday by bringing a growingly male-centered trend to the spotlight.

It seems 2013 is the year of the bling for men. More and more, male bling and accessories are becoming more common place in the “swaggy” male’s wardrobe. In full embrace of this trend, the studded hat is starting to rear its head in men’s fashion. Justin Bieber was spotted rocking one the other day.

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The Biebs is not the only one. I have seen many men on my Instagram feed, rockin’ their studded hats, as well as a number of other male celebs. It seems as though this is the new way of jazzing up your snapback and taking urban style to another level.

I personally am not against the studded hat for men, though not particularly a fan. Some men are really able to pull them off nicely while others look a little loud and overzealous in their attempts at head-bling style. Again I don’t think they are the worst thing ever and some pull them off quite well, but I have seen some hat designs that take it too far and straight into the lane of gaudiness.

How do you guys feel about bling for men & the studded hat trend in particular? Is it totally FAB? Or a total FAIL?

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♥ XOXO A.T. ♥

 

Twas A Merry Half-Christmas

06.25.13

The day before yesterday was half-Christmas and what a merry Half-Christmas, indeed!

Merry Half Christmas

Triiinity and I celebrated by dressing festively, smoking hookah, having an awesome balcony photoshoot, and making a lovely holiday dinner!

The Shoot

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My Outfit: rust feather earrings – SB, cheetah button-up – Thrifted, multi-metal bracelet- Glitter, elephant ring – Beauty Supply, cheetah ring – F21, green shorts- Vintage (from mom 🙂 ), camel belt- Thrifted, camel oxfords – Thrifted

Triiinity’s Outfit: glasses – Claires, pyramid earrings – F21, gold charm necklace – Vintage/Thrifted, crystal necklace – Gift, bicycle ring – Beauty Supply, black bandeau – Buiyahkah, green cardigan – JC Penny’s, distressed red jeans – Free Spiiirit (customization), white converse- online

 The Session

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Wild Mango Shisha, yumm…

The Holdiay Din-Din

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Spicy Shrimp Pasta…dinner in bed prepared for us, by us 🙂

Oh, and we even received a half Christmas miracle! I was finally able to get a part I’ve been needing for my car for a while and not only was it cheap, but a nice guy, who was a random customer in the store, offered to put it in immediately for us!

Allhamdulillah!! Praises Be!

Do you guys celebrate half-Christmas? If so, i’d love to hear what you guys did for your mid-year holiday!

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♥ XOXO A.T. ♥

Menswear Monday: River Island Swimwear Spotlight

River Island has some lovely swim gear for men this summer. River Island is a cool clothing company (one that was brought to my attention through their recent work with Rihanna), but they feature lots of cool stuff for men and women. Their swimwear doesn’t come up short, either.

Check out a couple of their cool printed items from their most recent men’s swim collections.

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With stylish prints and modern cuts, River Island swimwear is definitely worthy poolside gear for the stylish male.

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♥ XOXO A.T.♥

OOTD: Thrifty Glam

Don’t you always feel good when you put together an outfit that’s main pieces are from the thrift? I know I do…

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gold studs- F21, sheer top – Thrifted, black tank – SB, rust colored necklace- SB, cheetah ring – F21, snake ring – SB, ribbon belt – SB, high-waisted jeans-Thrifted, gold flats – Payless

Photo Cred: Triiinity Tafari

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♥ XOXO A.T. ♥

Trendspotting Tuesdays: Orange Lipstick + Finding Your Shade

Orange lipstick is hot, Hot, HOT for the summer.

Check out a couple of celebs that have taken to rocking the trendy color…

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Now orange is a color that can easily look tacky and loud if done incorrectly. However, it can look great on any skin tone, if you pick the right shade for you.

A Couple Tips on Finding the Correct Shade

Light Skin: Choose a very true-to-orange shade, it’ll pop against your bright skin
Medium Skin: Choose an orange with golden undertones, it’ll accentuate your skin and give it warmth without bronzer
Dark Skin: Choose darker oranges with more brown to brick undertones, it will be less harsh on your tone while giving you the poppy look you desire

For all shades: Always opt for liner whenever possible, its the secret to long-lasting and defined lips in any lipshade. (You can buy a beauty supply lipstick and make it look like a million bucks with liner, Trust Me.) Also if you can’t find your exact shade in the stores, don’t be afraid to mix colors and liners until you do!

The right orange lip gives you a fun look and a warm summer glow. And with these tips & tricks in your arsenal there is no need to fear getting it wrong. Go forth & get funky in orange!

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♥ XOXO A.T. ♥