OOTN|Army Fatigue X Fringes 

It’s not officially summer yet, but it sure did feel like it this past weekend! I stepped out wearing a simple black graphic tee, fringe heels and an army fatigue skirt with a mesh bottom that I purchased for just $1 by the way. Yes, you read that right! ONE  DOLLAR!!! I love when I come across little deals like this, don’t you? The less money I spend on clothes, the more money I can spend elsewhere!

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A neon bag for a pop of color!

How did you spend this very hot weekend?

Top:: Mandee

Skirt:: Forman Mills

Bag:: Forman Mills

Shoes:: AMI Clubwear

– A Black Girl About Town


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Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

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How’s Your 2017 Going? 

Can you believe it’s June already? We are halfway through 2017. This year is just flying by! I hope you’re chipping away at those resolutions or goals as I like to call them, that you set wayy back in January. It’s easy to fall off track with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but we still have a chance to work at our goals, even if it takes all year! Keep pushing! Another thing to remember is, not every accomplishment has to be so grandiose. Any progress is better than no progress. Here are a few things that have happened in these past six months for me:

1. I started the ‘Bible in a year’ challenge

At the start of this year, my church began the Bible in a year challenge. Starting from Genesis, we read a few chapters each day until we finish the Bible in its entirety.

What I Learned 

At first I found it to be easy. Reading gave me so much peace, especially where I needed it the most, in the workplace! Instead of just reading some ancient text, I was reading something that I could actually relate to in a lot of ways. The people in The Bible really weren’t so much different than us! I must admit though, I have fallen off from my reading and I do plan on getting back in the game.

2. I asked for a raise...

After working at my current place of employment for two years, I decided it was time to ask for a raise. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I am one of the best employees that place has ever seen and I need to be fairly compensated for my services! What did Rihanna say, “Pay me what you owe me!” Even though it was no where near the number that I would have liked, I did get the raise.

What I learned…

Always speak up for yourself! Had I not mentioned getting a raise, it would have never been a topic of discussion. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation, especially if you’re a valuable employee. Now, if you have been slacking off, don’t you go asking for no raise and get your feelings hurt, li’l baby.

3. I was featured as a guest blogger

I shared my experience being featured as a guest blogger on the ‘Being Young and Twenty Blog,’ in a previous post.

4. I volunteered!

Volunteering is something that has always been near and dear to me. I enjoy giving back to people who need it the most. In the beginning of the year, I volunteered at a place here in Philadelphia called Career Wardrobe. Career Wardrobe helps to empower women who are transitioning back into the workforce through several programs and initiatives. They operate a store called The Wardrobe Boutique, which takes donated clothes and resells them to fund the women’s programs. I volunteered in the boutique sorting through the clothes, checking for damages, and sorting them as needed. It was a great experience and I hope to return in the future.

5.  I started a second blog 

Well, kinda. It started off as a project for school and I just really want to see where it’ll go next. I often hear people complain that there’s nothing to do in Philly, but I beg to differ! There’s tons of events happening in Philly, many of which I attend for free just by RSVP’ing. But if you don’t know… you won’t go! The purpose of the blog is to inform other black, millennials all of the cool things unfolding under the Philly skyline!

Check it out if you wish! I’d love your feedback!

So, enough about me! How’s your 2017 going? Are you keeping up with your goals? Have you fallen off in any way? If so, how do you plan to bounce back?

– A Black Girl About Town


If you’re on social media, stop by and say hi!

Instagram:: @zeenathefashionista

Twitter::@its_zeena

Sole Searching: Spring Footwear 

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not much of a sneaker girl. I currently own 2 pairs of sneakers (sad, I know), one pair of pink pumas and a floral pair of canvas sneakers. Though I admire those who can rock a pair of sneakers and still look fly, I’m much more of a flats kind of gal!

In terms of spring essentials, flat shoes are at the top of the list for me. They are super cute, easy to pair and come in a variety of styles. I recently a floral and a solid pair of pointed toe flats to wear this spring. I love pointed toe shoes because they are office appropriate but can easily transition for an after work affair as well. And if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I get a great deal on just about anything! Take a look!

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Eternity Fashions, $5.00 (Super Comfy, btw!)

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Eternity Fashions, $14.99

What items are you stocking up on this Spring?

– A Black Girl About Town


Twitter:: Instagram

Everyday is Mother’s Day!!!

Contrary to popular belief, Mother’s Day is NOT the second Sunday in May. I know, you’re probably reading this thinking, this girl is crazy. Here comes another one of those semi “woke” sistas talking noise about how it’s just another manmade holiday, centered around commercialism with nothing at all do with the woman who gave you life. Typical. But it’s true. Mother’s Day is NOT May 14th. It begins the day a woman becomes a mother.

For my mother, that day came (for the third time) on July 17th, 1990 when I came into this world, prematurely at three pounds and some odd ounces. Small enough to fit into the palm of her hand, she would tell me. From that day on, everyday has been Mother’s Day. Every award, graduation, birthday, breakup, makeup, let down, disappointment, rejection, ache, pain, has been mother’s day. This includes her own ups and downs that I as a daughter, have witnessed.

So yes, Mother’s Day isn’t just reserved for one special day. We should celebrate our mothers EVERYDAY. Just like we shouldn’t wait ’til Valentine’s Day to show our love and appreciation to our spouses. Mother’s Day should be an addition, not a substitution for a whole year that we can celebrate, call, check on, love our moms!

To close, I think it’s very fitting to share a scripture that my mother instilled in me that I keep in mind this very day:

16 ‘Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you,

that your days may be long, and that it may be well

with you in the land which the Lord your God

is giving you.’ – Deuteronomy 5:16 (NKJV)

Thoughts?

– A Black Girl About Town


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Tips on Supporting Loved Ones This Graduation Season!

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Graduation day is slowly approaching for many hopeful grads. They have put in years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice in exchange for a piece of paper that ultimately will decide their future. Speaking from experience, nothing trumps the excitement that I felt the moment I walked across the stage to receive my Bachelor’s Degree. All of the frustrations I felt earlier in the day– my family running late, having to rush to get my hair and makeup done—were so small in comparison to what I ultimately achieved.

This graduation season, I will be supporting two very important people in my life as they experience some of the very feelings I felt six years ago, and will be experiencing next year upon completion of graduate studies, Lord willing. I will be sitting on the sidelines, cheering them on, taking pictures and whatever else they want to do, why? Because it’s their moment. It is important to have people in our circles who can sit in the cheering section and share a genuine moment of happiness, even when the moment is not about them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Everyone doesn’t know how to play that role. Parents can be over zealous, further contributing to that old sibling rivalry. Others may just show up for the party. Whatever the situation, we must not lose sight of what we’re there to celebrate. Here are a few ways we can support the grads in our lives:

  1. Leave your personal problems at the door!

Traffic on the Ben Franklin was a mess. The humidity is messing with your fresh press and curl. Your Uber didn’t have a charger outlet for you to use and your battery is low, inhibiting you from taking any pics. Keep it to yourself! Your grad doesn’t need to know. They have more important things to worry about like if they’re wearing their cap the right way and praying not to fall to their death in six inch heels, while sashaying across the stage to get their degree. Don’t ruin their day by making your problems their problems.

  1. Participate in the festivities!

And there will be a lot of festivities taking place. There’s the graduation ceremony, which can be hours long depending on the size of the graduating class, the celebration back at the house with family and close friends, then there’s the after graduation turn up at a lounge in the city that weekend to come. Oh, and if your grad is really trying to turn up, there just might be an after party, after the party. Take pics, tell everyone it’s your friend’s graduation so they can get into as many after spots (for free) as their hearts desire. They will greatly appreciate you for it.

  1. Check in and see how you can help!

Graduations can be stressful af. From trying to find the perfect outfit to dealing with your family from out of town, the stress level can go from 0 to 100 real quick. Not to mention the pressure of wondering if they’ll actually land a job in their intended field after graduation. Make sure you are doing your part by calling or texting to see how they are feeling. Ask if they need help doing anything because I’m sure they will.

  1. Don’t take it personal.

You might not to get a chance to take all of the pictures you want and the ones you do take might not come out right. Everyone has a good side, right. Plus your bff might forget to tag you in his or her thank you post on social media. Don’t take it personal. Most likely it was not done with malice.

Can you relate of being on the giver or the receiver of some great support? Do share!

– A Black Girl About Town


Social Media Links

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How to SLAY a 1920’s look…on a Budget!

If I had the chance to experience any time period firsthand, I would most likely choose the 1920s, for out of that Era came some of the greatest Black American musicians, poets and writers, (i.e.The Harlem Renaissance) not to mention, the fashion was on point. No matter what means people had, they took pride in dressing well and looking their best at all times!

This past weekend, I got a chance to experience a taste of the 20s at a 30th birthday bash. I could’ve easily purchased a pre-packaged costume–it sure as heck would’ve been a lot easier! But being the fashionista that I am, I opted to piece an outfit together from head to toe–all while on a budget! My inspiration for this look was Josephine Baker (of course, duh!) and our favorite bad gal, Ri Ri and her breathtaking ensemble at the 2014 CFDA Awards. I wanted to write this post in hopes that it may garner some inspiration for any of you ladies who may have a similar themed party to attend in the future, or simply for anyone that loves fashion, as do I!

Headpiece

One of the essentials for nailing a 1920s look has to be the headpiece. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either! I purchased this black turban from the beauty supply store for just under three dollars. To give it that 1920s look I added some feathers from an old mask and attached them to the front using needle and thread.

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Dress 

This dress. Honey!  This dress fit Like. A. Dream! I was seriously considering not wearing it at all. It was just wayyy too shiny and the material is not the best feeling against your skin but I’m happy that I did. I purchased it online from Forever 21 for $18 (plus shipping and handling.) Not only was it delivered on time, it just so happened to be on sale. A win-win in my book.

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Accessories

Ladies, it is very easy to overdo it when it comes to accesories, isn’t it? Our minds tell us that we need to have it all when we really don’t. Less is actually more! I especially wanted to keep the accessories to a minimum on account of my dress being already very loud. I accessorized this look with only two pieces of jewelry; a pearl necklace I purchased ages ago from Burlington Coat Factory and an art-deco type necklace which was gifted to me a few years back. For added flair, I chose to incorporate a faux fur shawl purchased from Forever 21 on sale at $9.99.

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I second guessed myself the entire time leading up to the day but it all worked out in the end! Ever been in that situation? Also, have you ever been to an era-specific themed party? Do share!

-A Black Girl About Town


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Twitter:: @its_zeena

Instagram:: @z_marie25

What I Learned About Blogging, the Hard Way…

So, it was recently brought to my attention that I’ve been blogging for 5 years! Woot, Woot! Where on Earth does the time go? Becoming a blogger was never a dream of mine. In fact, when I started my journey as a blogger, I didn’t even know that people were able to make successful livings from it. All I knew was that I wanted to write and since no one was banging down my door to hire me, I was still going to find a way to not only write, but share what I had to say with the world. In honor of my “blog-iversary,” I wanted to share some things that no one actually told me about blogging, but that I happened to find out the hard way.

1. Sometimes there will be crickets…

Have you ever poured your heart and soul into a post only to receive minimal views or maybe even zero likes? Or have you ever posted something in the spur of a moment and received more likes than you’ve ever gotten? Yeah, I’ve been there and honestly, I still am. There can be a number of reasons for this. Maybe you didn’t use the right key words, maybe you didn’t share it on your social pages or maybe the timing was just off. Who the heck even knows. No matter how great you think you are, sometimes there is just no telling what will make people attracted to your post. But in times like that, just remember your ‘why.’ Though it’s nice to have likes, that’s not why I choose to blog, as crazy as it sounds!

2. These ho*s ain’t loyal…

We all want the support of our family and friends, but don’t be surprised if they don’t support your blog! There are other bloggers who won’t even support your blog! No matter how many times you’ve liked, commented or shared their stuff! Please, please, do not let this get you down! I once attended a bestsellers writing class and was given a piece of advice that I apply to blogging. It goes a little something like this: Why are you getting so upset that your twelve family members and handful of friends are not supporting you when there are HUNDREDS of people out there that will??!! Go out there and get you some supporters!

3. You don’t have to accept every offer that comes your way…

This is a new one for me. I was recently contacted by a pretty popular women’s brand who wanted to collaborate on a project. Cool, why not? Every blogger would love the opportunity to work with a brand in some way, shape or form. Though the offer was not paid, it would be great for exposure as the brand would be sharing my post across their social channels. I worked hard on this post, stayed up late writing and even placed some of my own writings on the back burner for it. Later on down the line, I had begun to have some second thoughts. Since they wanted me to talk about their brand, you would’ve thought they’d offer to send me some items, you know, so I’d actually have something of substance to talk about. But no! On top of that, I checked every social media channel associated with the brand and my post was nowhere to be found. Lesson learned.

I understand that everything does not have to be about money. I’m fine with grinding and doing work for free to get my name out there, however, both parties have to hold up their end of the bargain. At the time, I didn’t feel as if I had the luxury of turning down an offer. After all, who am I? But the work that I put in that post was worthy of a check. I  brought it up in one of my classes in grad school and even my professor thought it was something that I should have been paid for. I would definitely advise anyone reading this to value your work as a blogger. Don’t feel obligated to take anything just because a name is associated with it. Use discernment. I recently came across this saying, Exposure is NOT a check. Remember that.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post because I have a lot more to share with you! How long have you been blogging? What’s something that you had to learn about the hard way? I’m eager to know!

-A Black Girl About Town


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Instagram:: @z_marie25 Twitter:: @its_zeena