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What? I’m One Year Old! (and celebrating with the big girls at Caravan Stylist Studio)

I started my blog a year ago with a selfie and not much of a thought as to what would happen. I just thought, ‘whatever- it’ll give me a chance to show off my photo skills, get some writing done, more exposure.’ I had NO expectations whatsoever. A year later? I’m Sassy Ethnic Bohemian for real, and I kinda like it.

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My first personal style post on Lucky Comunity, June 18th 2013:Summer Selfie Session . A discount store top and shorts, and my favorite scarf. A ring that I found in the street one day. A pair of fake glasses because I’ve worn frames like that since I was 12. One year later? This happens:

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Getting ready to haul butt over to Caravan Stylist Studios in Manhattan to celebrate my First Anniversary (to the DAY, since this was June 18th) and also do a soft launch of my new treats,  called Chubby Chubs. OK, I might change tat later- but work with me for right now!. Wearing sleeveless linen Ann Taylor shirt, Khamra clasp necklace (thanks Hali from Hechizo!), the Aeropostale shorts that I found cheap at Lepoint Value Thrift, and my weavement sandals from Cat Footwear. I made sure to put on my Chuck Chuck bracelet for good luck, and smoothed my heels with Origins Reinventing the Heel. That black cardi is from August Silk.
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I packed my Dream Awake shoulder bag (a lovely gift from ParMana Designs founder Sara Tarighi Murphy). I love this bag! The emerald color is a spirit lifter, and I know that I’m doing good for the economy by showing off Sara’s dream using fashion to give people jobs and pride in themselves. anniversary4

I decided on a birthday party theme, so it was toy rings and dinosaurs with cute polka dot treat bags and boxes from Jack’s 99 World on 40th (my favorite location). I had $10, and I got all the stuff I needed, plus tissue paper to keep it fancy. Lauren Napier was nice enough to send me a box of her new CLEANSE wipes, which have no odor and moisturize as they gently remove your makeup or travel grime. I ended up getting to display my popcorn and cookie stuffed boxes with adorable makeup bags from Le Sportsac! Talk about coming up in the world!

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After a tortuously long train ride, i manged to finally get to the Carlton Hotel, where the Caravan Stylist Studio is located. So excited! Sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re making progress in your career, whether you’re a blogger or a certified public accountant. Being invited to do something like this was a milestone, and I was properly awed…anniversary6A

The first thing that they did was to offer me refreshments. I passed on the Volvic water, and headed straight for the enticingly pretty Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Lemonade. Sweet tooth! There were bowls of Lancaster caramels everywhere, so I ate them. I’m such a little piggy sometimes, lol! This Infusion iced tea was also delicious. I tucked an extra one in my bag for later.

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Let’s take a moment to admire this table, ok? I loved seeing my popcorn and cookie treat boxes on display. I decided to start Chubby Chubs (and here will be a more ‘healthy’ Chubby Chubs Lite line of treats, too) because while I love blogging, it’s not something that you can really teach people to do and be successful at. I’ve been lucky, and I know that. But? If I can use my blogging to help start a business that will employ others, that’s real. I’ve been broke and unemployed lots of times, but I’m creative and well educated. I can use a simple thing like baking cookies to help other women help themselves out of poverty. This is the first step, in whet I hope to be a long and rewarding process.anniversary7

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Ok, back to wonderland! There was a rack of clothing and they said, Oh, you can have whatever you want. YES. THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED WHILE I WAS AWAKE!!!! Didn’t have to tell me twice. I picked an armload of things like soft cotton tshirts and coverups from Bobi (I have been sleeping in a long peacock blue dress of theirs for a week), a dress from Fashion Star alum Nikki Poulos‘ aw2014 collection, and a cute lightweight white rainjacket from Nautica. First thing I did? Change my shirt, hello! I threw on the softest softest tshirt in pineapple from Bobi. So comfy, and it was just right with my eggplant colored shorts. Kelly from Kryolan gave me a makeup lesson on how to make a cateye, so I got one in yellow to match my shirt. Meow!

anniversary94 Everyone was getting beauty treatments, like in my Superstar Barbie Beauty Boutique I had when I was young…except this was real. Blogger Tania Jen (the only other black girl  know that uses self-tanner) was getting worked on, and my friend Jaclyn Ling (who I gifted with a bottle of Desigual perfume from my Coney Island blogger shoot). NY Examiner Beverly Lim, looked adorable inher brightly colored summer dress. anniversary91

I actually met and had my nails done by Valerie Star, who works on celebrities, ok? And she was super nice. I got a deep green sparkly ( I love shimmer in nail polish) courtesy of Zoya nail polish in Edyta. But guess what? They also gave me nail polish in two pinks (Yana and Maya) and a sizzling red polish called Carmen.

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My other favorite goodies? Well, I grabbed some Herban Essentials towelettes, which are saturated with aromatherapy oils, MD Complete‘s Non Irritating Pro-Peel and Eye Wrinkle Remover, and this luscious Soy Paste from Sexy Hair’s Healthy Sexy Hair collection. I’m so not spoiled, right?anniversary93

The next day, I went back with more goodies to give away, and wore the Bobi coverup over my favorite discount store bra ($1.79, yes). I was going for a 90s Dolce and Gabbana look, ok? Work wit me on this! It was sprinkling out, so I shrugged on the Nautica jacket, and of course my trusty zoia Cat Footwear sandals. The final touch was an homage to the first summer selfie of my blog life- the headwrap, and it’s the same scarf, too!

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Guests! Cristina from Adventures in Polishland, Jaclyn Ling, beauty expert and journalist Grace Gold, and my former internship boss Janine Just (seen here with Karmela Alperez of Caravan Stylist Studio. Don’t they look great?anniversary96

One of my favorite guests was Nancy Osborne of Jack Blue Handbags, who I interviewed in 2010 when I was writing for the Fashion Spot. This was the first time we met! Nancy doesn’t know it yet? But I’m about to ask her for one of those cute cuffs she makes. She uses a lot of snakeskin, and all of her pieces are completely and totally handmade. Isn’t that cool? I love her bags.