Tuesday, August 30, 2011

:::drools::: Rihanna-style for Plus Size Fashionistas

This marks the very first time I am recreating a look from Rihanna for plus size fashionistas. Not because I'm not a fan of her style. In fact, I like 85% of the ensembles she's been seen in over the last few months. My reason for not featuring her before is simple: EVERYBODY'S done it! LOL

What inspired me to find an outfit of hers was her new video for "Cheers (Drink to That)"....

I thought the song was super fun, and I liked seeing the video footage of her on stage and off, enjoying her life while looking fabulous along the way. I thought that a fun weekend look would be the perfect accompaniment for this song. When I spotted this picture of Rihanna walking around New York City, I knew I didn't have to look any further.

I love that this outfit looks polished and casual/comfy at the same time (I am all for comfort, folks!). I could very easily see myself rocking something like this to dinner and a movie with my honey, or even to lunch with my homegirls. It's also a great way to revamp a tee and sneaker rut without feeling too different. Here's how I recreated the look:

Top: Alicia Lace-Trim Tunic ($31.90, Alloy)
Jeans: Propulsion Skinny Jean ($64.50, Torrid)
Hoop Earrings: Textured Hoop Earrings ($3.80, Forever21)
Necklace: Whimsical Nature Necklace ($5.80, Forever21)
Shoes: Ohearn Ballet Flats in Bone ($50.00, Aldo Shoes)
Clutch: Fair Trade Coffee Brown Girlfriend Raffia Purse ($59.99, A Gift to Africa)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

Happy Monday, everybody!!! Hopefully those of you in the Northeast like me are recovering happily from Hurricane Irene (ol' tired heffa... That is my official name for that hurricane, btw!). Anyway, leaving tangent for the matter at hand.

Breakups. Most of us have been there, and they're seldom easy. I have been dumped, and have been the dumper.... and both were painful experiences for me. This week's song choice for Music Therapy with Miss Moon serves as a musical sister circle that's perfect when you're just out of a relationship. I hope that it's message is one that uplifts and inspires... "Give It Up, Turn It Loose", courtesy of En Vogue.

Baby girl (unfair but true)
Can love him once but not twice
Who plays games with no rules (a fool)
Tears for fears (are no surprise)
Happens almost every time
Love knocks you on your behind

(Loved you hard, loved you long, now his love is gone)
Love 'em and leave 'em (is the rule of most dogs)
You must be strong
Stand up on your own
Take control of your life

I've seen it time and time again
It's not worth it, no
Don't be down and miserable
You and only you
Can bring yourself around

Give it up, turn it loose
Oh, if he don't wantcha, you don't need 'em, girl, yeah
Give it up, turn it loose
Oh, you got to have

Fact of life (so sad but true)
Love can often hurt you
Leaving scars most of your life (nightmares can haunt you)
But fairytales of love, can come true
Both play tricks on your mind

(You'll be fine, take this time, to find piece of mind)
Sooner or later (bad feelings will die)
You must be strong
Don't blame it all on love
In time good things will come

I've seen time and time again
It's not worth it, no no
Don't be down and miserable
You and only you
Can bring yourself around

Give it up, turn it loose
Oh, if he don't wantcha, you don't need 'em, girl... yeah
Give it up, turn it loose
Oh, you got to have
(Give it up)
Give it up
(Give up)
Give it up
(Give up)
Give it up
Give it up turn it loose
Turnin' it loose, baby
(repeat till fade)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Be Blessed: And Chill....................

"There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills."
~ Buddha

"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt
~ William Shakespeare

Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.
~ Judge Nancy Lopez

While I wish I could say that I am 100% optimistic and am always aligning my thoughts to positive vibrations... I have days lately when I feel like everything I do is wrong, that everything I say is being misconstrued and that I am the most unlikable, loathsome human being to ever walk the streets of Bed-Stuy. Of course people do not chase me around Fulton Street with pitchforks and torches, so I know I'm cool, but it's gotten to the point when I actually found myself recently saying internally, "Audrey, Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllll!!!!!".

I had let doubts about myself give way to feeling wretched for days, and it took me realizing I need to let it go, that I started to feel better. I know the truth about who I am, and I am a damn good woman who is getting better and better every single day! What helped me get back to that groovy feeling was the following excerpt courtesy of Iyanla Vanzant. I hope that it will resonate for you as much as it did for me.

The following is an affirmation. An affirmation is a statement that embodies the truth. If there is something you want to know about yourself or your life, faithfully and reverently repeat this affirmation three times and ask yourself the question. It is best to ask questions about yourself rather than asking about another person because their truth may be none of your business. Once the affirmation is repeated and the question asked, remain still and listen for the answer. If the answer does not come right away, have faith! Sometimes the truth is more than you can handle at the moment. At the right time, in the right way, the truth will make itself known to you.

I believe in the power of truth.
I believe in the presence of truth.
Truth cannot be buried or hidden.
The truth must be revealed.
I now experience the essence of truth as it moves through me.
The Spirit of truth now envelops me.
The Spirit of truth now envelops me.
I am filled with the light of truth.
I am filled with the power of truth.
I am filled with the presence of truth.
The truth is revealed to me now.

Until today, you may not have known how to get to the truth of a pressing matter in your life. Just for today, ask the truth to reveal itself to you. Remember that what you ask for, you will receive!

Today I am devoted to knowing the truth about myself and my life!

From Until Today!
by Iyanla Vanzant

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Little [HOMEBASE NYC] for a Saturday Night

It's the last Saturday night of August (Wow, this summer has gone by fast!!), and I am chilling out at home with the familia. I was supposed to be basking in the excitement after the Haute Hair Affair over at Karen's Body Beautiful today... but like many on the Northeast, I'm waiting for Hurricane Irene to appear! This week's song pick is great for a Saturday Night at home anyway! :)

I hope you all will enjoy "Sleep" by Homebase NYC (With vocals from Coco of Quadron), and that it will get you in a chill, mellow kinda mood!! Everyone Irene sets her sights on, be safe and keep indoors!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Let's Talk Tresses Friday: How Often Do YOU........?????

When first embarking on a natural hair journey, it can seem like there are tons of "rules" to adhere to, and in the interest of making sure your hair is well taken care of, you may want to follow them like gospel. I know that was the case for me, and I am sure many of you felt the same way starting out.

After a while, I realized it's about taking their advice and using it to formulate a regimen that is specific for YOU... based on your hair's needs. There is really no uniform, universal way to maintain our hair, because each of us have various hair types, challenges and needs.

How often do you wash, co-wash and deep condition your hair?

How often do you trim your ends?

I bet our answers will be as diverse as our hair textures and colors!!! Leave a comment, and let's talk about your regimen and how it works for you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Heart Her Hair: Jasika Nicole

How dope is Jasika Nicole on "Fringe" as Special Agent Astrid Farnsworth?!? Smart, Funny, and with her dealings with Walter Bishop (who puts the MAD in Mad Scientist)... infinitely patient!LOL

Jasika Nicole is also an amazing artist, and her website http://www.jasikanicole.com/ is dope as hell. Check out her Revlon comic.. hysterical!!! All of that... and she has the most adorable curls!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

:::drools::: Gillian Zinser-style for Plus Size Fashionistas

I have to admit.... I had no idea who Gillian Zinser was prior to writing this blog post. LOL

I saw this outfit, went gaga and knew I had to recreate it for plus sizes. So this edition is a very unique one. I now know (thanks to a bit of Google Magic) that Gillian is a star on the new 90210 series, and appears to have a helluva style. Here's my "everyday economical" interpretation of her look:

Plaid Shirt: Avenue Plaid 2 Pocket Tunic Shirt in Green Combo ($29.90, One Stop Plus)
Maxi Skirt: Women's Plus-Size Mossimo® Black Shirred Maxi Skirt ($19.99, Target)
Faux Fur Bag: Lovers + Friends Large Fur Cheetah Bag ($32.00, Revolve Clothing)
Bracelets: Alli Wrap Bracelet Set (2 for $12.90 each/3 or more: $10.90 each, Alloy)

Finish the look by pulling your hair into an slightly tousled updo and rocking a light lippy for an easy, effortlessly comfy & feminine look.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yummm! Brown Baggin' It with Scrumptious Sandwiches

Working in Manhattan, I can very easily spend around $50 a week on my lunch alone... and that's if I only frequent outdoor carts, so yeah.... that's over $2,000 a year!!!! I really need to be more frugal, so I have decided to try to brown bag it to lunch more often. I love a good sammy (Which can cost $8-$12 Downtown Manhattan), so I decided that I would start by bringing a sandwich to work at least three times a week. While average Tuna and PB&J are great, I wanted to look up some more exciting (and grown up) sandwich choices!

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten, Food Network


4 large red or yellow bell peppers, preferably Holland
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers
For assembling:
1 large ciabatta bread, halved horizontally
1 (11-ounce) garlic-and-herb or plain goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet) at room temperature
8 to 10 large basil leaves
3 thin slices red onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture over the peppers. Stir in the capers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom half of the loaf with the goat cheese. Add a layer of peppers and then a layer of basil leaves. Separate the onions into rings and spread out on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with the top half of the ciabatta and cut into individual servings.

Lamb Sandwich
Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart


2 slices 7-grain or whole wheat bread
Mayonnaise or unsalted butter
Grilled Lamb
Mint jelly
Fresh mint leaves
Romaine lettuce
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


Spread mayonnaise or butter on 1 slice of bread. Top with lamb, mint jelly, watercress, mint leaves, and lettuce; season with salt and pepper. Spread mayonnaise on remaining slice of bread and place on top of mint leaves to form a sandwich.

Grilled Cheese with Pulled Short Ribs and Pickled Red Onions
Recipe Courtesy of Epicurious

4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns

Pulled short ribs:
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 carrot, cut into large dice
1/2 celery, cut into large dice
1/2 onion cut into large dice
6 medium cloves garlic, cracked
1 cup red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon)
Sachet (see above)
3 cups beef broth
1 2-pound loaf sourdough bread , cut into 16 slices
12 ounces Bel Paese cheese , sliced thin
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Pickled Red Onions
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons grapeseed oil


For the sachet:
For the sachet, wrap the parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a small amount of cheesecloth and tie with butcher's twine.
For pulled short ribs:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Beginning with a large saucepan or braising pan with a lid, heat the tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Sear the short ribs on either side until caramelized and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan. Add the carrot and celery to the pan and cook for 5 minutes over the same heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook together until caramelized, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed. Add the short ribs back to the pan and deglaze with the red wine. Add the sachet and, stirring from time to time, allow the wine to reduce until almost evaporated, about 6 minutes. Pour in the beef broth and bring the braise up to a boil. Put the lid on and place in the oven for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
After the first 2 hours of cooking time, remove the lid. For the next hour, baste the short ribs every 15 minutes, leaving the lid off. Cook for an additional hour, until very tender, for a total of 4 hours cooking time.
Pull the short ribs from the oven and allow them to cool in the braising juices for at least a few hours. Carefully transfer the meat to a plate and strain the juices through a fine sieve, then allow the fat to rise. Remove the fat. Using a dinner fork in each hand, lightly shred the meat along the natural grains in a pulling motion from the center outward, and set aside.
To prepare each sandwich, begin by preheating the oven to 350°F.
Take 2 slices of bread. On the bottom slice, place a layer of cheese (you'll want approximately 1 1/2 ounces for each sandwich, just enough to cover the bread to the edges), then top with 1 teaspoon of pickled red onion, spread to the sides. Place 1/4 cup of the pulled short ribs on top, add another layer of cheese, and top with the second slice of bread. Brush each completed sandwich on top and bottom with 1/2 teaspoon butter.
In a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon of the grapeseed oil and allow it to get nice and hot. Place 2 sandwiches in at a time and flip so they will absorb the oil on both sides. Weight them down with a small sauté pan. After 1 minute, flip the sandwiches, return the weight, and place directly in the oven.
After 2 minutes, remove the weight. Flip the sandwich one final time, and cook for 1 final minute. Pull from the oven, slice diagonally, and serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich
Recipe Courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com


3 Tbps olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (less or more depending on how much heat you want)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
4 small slices of Monterey Jack cheese
4 sets of hamburger buns
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
Iceberg or lettuce of preference


1 In a shallow bowl, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, and chipotle chile powder.
2 Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper. Use a meat pounder to pound the breasts to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cut off excess fat. If you are starting with 2 half-pound chicken breast halves, cut each one in half so that you have 4 pieces (to better fit the buns). Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour.
3 Heat your grill on high heat if you are using a gas grill, or prepare coals for direct heat if you are using charcoal. You can also use a cast-iron grill pan on your stove if you do not have a grill. Grill the chicken pieces a couple minutes on each side, until cooked through. Once you have cooked the chicken pieces on one side and flipped them, add a slice of cheese to the chicken. Cover the grill for half a minute to melt the cheese. Toast the buns on the grill as well.
4 Assemble the sandwiches - bun bottom, chicken with melted cheese, avocado and lettuce, mayonnaise on the top bun.
Serves 4.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

Happy Monday, All!!! My post yesterday was all about conceptualizing your dreams into reality. One of the hardest hurdles in achieving that is that Negative Nancy voice in your head that tells you "No, girl.. you can't do that!!". I know that I have that voice inside and frankly... she's getting on my nerves! LOL

This week's pick for Music Therapy with Miss Moon is a song that I think is great to sing to yourself when in the midst of negative thoughts that may steer you in the wrong direction. I hope you all will enjoy "Dream On Dreamer" by The Brand New Heavies (featuring the beautiful N'Dea Davenport).

Dream on dreamer life gets in your way
Dream on dreamer life gets in your way

There you go day and night
Up in the clouds flying so high
You try your best to stretch your mind
Beyond reality and sense and rhyme
You see things that make you big heart sing
Like the flowers trees and birds and pretty things
Hate to put your two feet on the ground
You like to step aside
And release yourself and fly

Dream on dreamer life gets in your way
If the life you live is a spinning top of pain then you can
Dream on dreamer life gets in your way
If ya live to learn you'll be lucky one day

Now the paisley pages of your mind
Are so complete like seeing colours black and white
Do you realize that you look so spaced out
You've made your peace with the need to be free
Without a doubt
Yeah I frown 'cause something don't look right
It's the twinkly twinkle star that's in your eyes
Hate to put your two feet on the ground
So go on and step aside
And release yourself and fly

Dream on dreamer life gets in your way
If the life you live is a spinning top of pain then you can
Dream on dreamer life gets in your way
If ya live to learn you'll be lucky one day

You know you gotta
Dream on dreamer life gets in your way
If the life you live is a spinning top of pain then you can
Dream on dreamer life gets in your way
If ya live you'll be lucky one day
Over over over and over
Over over over and over
Over over over and over
Over over over and over

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Be Blessed: And EXPECT Your Dreams To Come True!!

"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly."
~ Langston Hughes

"Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity."
~ Kahlil Gibran

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic and poser in it.
Begin it now.
~ Goethe

Have you ever felt so confident about a situation, that you knew EXACTLY how it was going to turn out?!?! Whether the end result was positive or negative, you felt instinctively that was going to happen? The phone rings and you KNOW that it's your Mother, or your Job, or your BFF?
I am starting to really understand and recognize that the people who have made their lives a success do the same thing with everything they encounter. And it's with that self assurance, they have built lives we can only dream about.

But... if we can dream about it, why can't we EXPECT our dreams will come true? Why can't we expect to achieve all of the goals we know will benefit our lives and the lives of our family and friends? I would this amazing lecture excerpt from Abraham on how to create positive expectation, that I knew I had to share! Something that truly resonated with me was the statement, "You cannot find something you believe is lost.... you don't have vibrational access to it." Anyone who has looked for something thinking to yourself, "I'll never find it!" can definitely relate!

This week, I am going to tune my vibration to everything and anything that brings me joy & thrills me!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Little [TORO y MOI] for a Saturday Night

I'm feel easy, breezy again... and I wanted to select a fun song that is made for driving around on a Saturday Night.... I really need to get my license, because I always find driving songs and frankly I lack the knowledge or the car to drive! LOL

Anyhoo, I hope that you all will enjoy tonight and enjoy this week's song pick, "Still Sound" by Toro y Moi.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Let's Talk Tresses Friday: What Gets a Big Thumbs Down from Your Hair?

I've been pretty forthcoming about the products and things I'm "Not so much..." about. I think that it's always a good thing to share positive (And negative) feedback about products you've tried. If someone has a similar hair type or hair challenges, it's good to know what you may want to steer clear of.

So far, on my hair journey, I've discovered my hair doesn't like products with SLS, anything with rosemary (this was something I recently discovered and my scalp has thanked me for it), and I'm noticing as I get older, my hair (not to mention my skin) responds more favorably to 95% - 100% natural products.

What products have you tried and will never try again? Leave a comment with your experience!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

:::drools::: Solange Knowles-style for Plus Size Fashionistas

By now most of you have seen the recent photo of Solange Knowles with her son Jules attending the INC International Concepts at Macy’s press preview held at the Openhouse Gallery yesterday. The internet has been all abuzz about her fly as hell ensemble choice for the evening. I even posted the pic on the Miss Moon's Musings FaceBook page!

My first instinct was to not recreate this look, purely because I've done her outfits A LOT in the past few months (She's been killing me softly with her style, what can I say?!?!). But I could not resist, there was no use fighting it! LOL

Here's what I used:

Sweater: INC International Concepts Three Quarter Sleeve Colorblocked Sweater ($69.50, Macy's)
Pants: (Thanks to Jay the Bohemian Diva!!) Avenue Signature Capri in Buttercream ($19.99, One Stop Plus)
Shoes: Katy Bow Wedge ($29.99, Payless)
Purse: Matt & Nat Stardust Santogold ($107.25, Zappos)

For my readers sizes 8-14, Asos also has a fantastic pair of capris! And the sweater is available in Misses' sizes, too! Thanks again to Jay to hooking me up with the capris!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Heart Her Hair: Imani Coppola

I've been a fan of Imani Coppola's ever since I first saw her music video for "Legend of a Cowgirl" many many years ago. I consider that song one of my personal anthems to this day. And don't get me standard on Little Jackie and "The Stoop", I am super psyched about the new album Made for TV... I downloaded it a few weeks ago and it's DOPE AS HELL. Of course aside from her phenomenal music, she also has a simply terrific head of hair!!!

I am so envious of her daring color choices and I wish I could do that without the damage (If I keep things up, I might lighten Frieda up for my 40th birthday...six years from now!)