Believe it or not, Bay Ridge has a good number of great coffee shops. Even though that neighborhood is kind of isolated from the rest of Brooklyn, thanks to the lousy R train, this area… More
I am a huge fan of coffee shops. Even though I have a coffee maker at home (LOL!), nothing beats going to a shop to grab a coffee, and possibly a snack, in order to do whatever work or meetup you are doing. At least for me!
Konditori is a chain of coffee shops throughout Philadelphia and New York, though in NYC, they’re mostly in Brooklyn. They can be found in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Prospect Heights and Park Slope. My favorite spot is in Cobble Hill on Smith Street. I go there often, mainly because it is easy to get to and it is spacious. But Greenpoint and Park Slope’s locations are also targets of mine.
Overall, I give Konditori high marks. I usually get a regular coffee (large) with milk and sugar. Occasionally, I get a hot chocolate or hot black tea. In the summer, I’d get an iced coffee (of course). All four drinks are top notch, and I have no complaints.
For snacks, Konditori offers bagels, crossaints, doughnuts, cookies, coco balls and others. They even offer vegan snacks! I recommend their coconut flake doughnut, their spinach crossaints, and their whole wheat bagels. Plus, their chocolate chip cookies are pretty good.
Usually, the staff is friendly and helpful. I never had any complaints. The Wi-Fi at all the Konditoris I go to functions nicely.
Best of all, Konditori offers stamp cards, where if you get 10 stamps, you get a free drink! And you could use it at any Konditori!
So, Konditori is an awesome coffee shop and I love going to their locations.
Hopefully, you would too!
This week is Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, and I love it when these shows happen. That is because it is likely someone is going to wear one of the gowns at these Haute Couture at the upcoming Academy Awards.
It is also a good chance to take a look at two of my favorite designers, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad. Sometimes I think these two never fail. Other times I think they could’ve done better. This time it was in-between for both of them.
Let’s take a look at Elie Saab…
This season’s collection featured a lot – and I mean, a lot! – of bows and fuzziness. It appeared that Saab was experimenting with something different, which is fine, but I felt it was too much this time. There were a few gowns that I really liked, the one on the left is among them. But overall, I wasn’t too enthralled with the feathers and bows for this collection.
Now onto Zuhair Murad…
I liked this season’s collection a lot. Plenty of red, jeweled dresses and pure beauty. The one thing I am concerned about is Murad may be accused of cultural appropriation by incorporating Native American designs and styles into this collection. If so, then whoever wears one of these gorgeous dresses may also be accused of such, and there will be a lot of controversy going on. Even so, I feel Murad topped Saab here this time around.
I like my lipstick with a reddish hue. The one I prefer to wear the most is Covergirl’s Plum Fury, which is like a red color with a dash of purple in it.
But I also have some red tops that I wear to work or to go out with friends. So with the possibility of Plum Fury clashing with my red tops, what should I wear then?
Usually, I wear my other favorite lipstick, Laura Mercier’s Dulce de Leche, which gives a midbrown nude color. Sometimes I add Maybelline’s Untainted Spice to it just to make it darker. But either way, I think this is the perfect lipstick color for the NY & Company red button down shirt that I like to wear to work. As you can see, Dulce de Leche give a kind-of reddish look, but it isn’t either.
Or, I could wear a certain shade of pink. I prefer Makeup Academy’s Blush for my H&M top that I like to either hang around in or wear to spend time with friends. This color works because it is not too reddish pink, and also the H&M top has black threads in it, taking away from the solid red look. But there’s clashing here either!
The goal while wearing a red top is not to wear red lipstick, in my opinion. It would be took matchy-matchy that way. Luckily, with all the choices we had in lipstick colors these days, there’s no way to be at a loss when you wear a red top!
How about you? What lipstick colors do you wear when you wear a red top?
I know it has been a long time since I’ve blogged here. But I am ready and committed to doing this blog, especially since it is the new year, and a new me!
I took some time off from blogging because life had gotten too busy. I moved from Staten Island and returned to Brooklyn after a nine-month hiatus. I then was super busy with work, and job hunting. These days, I am still doing pretty much the same, but I am focused on doing this blog in order to keep my sanity as I work and search for a new job. I’m sure many of you are aware that looking for a new a job is not easy, so anything to reduce the stress – in a healthy matter, of course! – is necessary.
Plus, I want to do this blog because I have a whole new attitude these days. Before, I was kind of glum and unfocused. But now I am more upbeat and focused, and I want to share that with others what I have learned.
Another thing that is new is how I am viewing fashion and beauty. I’m really coming out of the dark, so to speak. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be changing the name of this blog. I still am The Dark Pearl. I still like dark colored-clothes, even though I have been leaning a little bit more towards more color in my wardrobe. Yes, my experimental semi-goth days are done. However, I still love gothic jewelry, and the color black, so that remains. So, maybe I am not really done after all!
I also plan to discuss my love of coffee shops. I’m in Brooklyn after all! I’ll be sharing my thoughts and reviews of coffee shops around this borough. I’ll also give my reviews on fashion while I share my own fashion loves. Meaning, I may just review fashion shows and red carpet events. It is award season after all.
Anyway, I am back and here to stay!
I know I am very late with this topic, but I only heard about it recently and I do want to chat about it.
As some of you may know, supermodel Kate Moss recently declared matching earrings “uncool”. Mandy Moore was seen at this year’s Met Gala with mismatched earrings, as did Ivanka Trump while visiting Germany with her father. As someone who adores earrings and has multiple piercings, it did get me asking whether mismatched earrings are indeed a trend and one to follow.
Personally, I think mismatched earrings only look good at certain places. I think if you work at a uptight, professional atmosphere, mismatched earrings may look juvenile and unprofessional. But if you are out with friends or at a party, sure! Go for it!
As for me, I really don’t think I’ll be wearing mismatched earrings anytime soon. I am too much of a neat freak to wear mismatched earrings, and besides, it can look sloppy if you don’t pick the right earrings to mismatch. Take Charlize Theron at this year’s Oscars for example. She wore dangled diamond earrings, but one was shaped like a pear while the other was shaped like a heart. That’s totally fine. But if she were to have worn a dangled pearl earring with one of the diamond earrings, I think she would’ve done the mismatched poorly. As for Mandy Moore, it looked like one of her earrings lost their bottom part.
So, if you choose to go mismatched, make sure you pick the ones that do sort-of match anyway. Pick a fraternal twin to one of your twins rather than an identical. Or, stay identical! You’d look more put-together that way, depending where you go.
I love skirts and dresses. There’s nothing better than to feel feminine whilst wearing those items. However, during the cold winter, pants are a must, and I believe there are three certain pants that belong in every woman’s closet.
They are: the black pants, the gray pants, and the pinstripe pants.
We all know black pants are a must, but gray pants are essential too in case you have a black top to wear. Never wear gray on gray, though. You can wear black on black, but never other colors. It just doesn’t look right.
Unless, of course, you have pinstripe pants. As in, black pants with white or gray lines going vertical. These pants allow any tops, including black, gray or white. I recently wore a gray button down top with the above pinstripe pants, and I have to say, I rocked the outfit!
So there you have it: black, gray and pinstripe. All other kinds of pants – beige, dark blue, red, etc. – are just nice little extras.
Earlier this week, I posted a photo on Instagram of me wearing Maybelline’s Untainted Spice. I had bought the matte lipstick because it resembled my Laura Mercier Dulce de Leche lipstick, which is running low, and also because with my tight budget, I couldn’t afford the Laura Mercier kind (sob!).
Anyway, I have been wondering if I wear the right color for my lips. I was once told that I have the perfect skin tone to wear red lipstick – the bright, pinup style. So, I wore that kind of lipstick often, only to be told it didn’t look good on me.
I even have a Mulberry Luster Matte lipcolor from Sephora that gives, well, a mulberry color, which I’ve received quite a few compliments on. It’s a bold color, and when I bought it, I was in the mood to be bold.
But I’ve been debating lately what looks best on me. It looks like some of the lip color that I own don’t look too good on me. I do like dark red colors, so I hope to find the right lip color for my complexion and hair.
Finding the perfect lipstick feels like a pain. Heck, finding all makeup that looks good on you feels like quite the hunt. It is all trial and error.
Yes, that’s it: trial and error. Finding the right lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow, etc., is all trial and error. Sometimes you pick something that looks right, only to realize some time later, it never looked good in the first place. Other times you put something on, unsure if it actually looks good, only to receive numerous praises.
Trial and error. That’s how a woman tries to look good.
I did it! I finally did it!
Took me 14 days, but I finally did one of my New Years’ resolutions: exercise regularly.
After days of saying I need to exercise more following the holidays, while also stuffing my face with too many snacks, I finally set some time aside today and worked out. I did push-ups, squats and sit-ups. All 25 each, which is the most I can do with my weak body (I’m not really weak, just quite out of shape). Hopefully as time goes on, I bring that number up to 50, 75 and even 100.
I have gained a little weight this past year. Thanks to the meds I am on, my metabolism is slower. I also have been eating the wrong foods lately. This is all deja vu from when I first became overweight, back in 2010. It was then that I topped my heaviest at 210 pounds. I do not want to weight that much ever again, so I am making an effort to slim down, firm up and also get my heart rate going.
In case you are wondering, I joined Weight Watchers and then moved to Brooklyn and did tons of walking. I then slimmed down to about 165 pounds. But I still wasn’t really slim. I have – and always had – heavy thighs and a flat tire. Even though I used to squeeze into a size 6 pair of pants, I still had some flab. Imagine if I lost enough to go into a size 4?
Right now, my scale tilts at 178 pounds, which leaves me in dismay. One of the reasons why I started this blog was to keep tabs on eating healthy and living healthy. The fact that I typed this post up is a way of committing myself to living a healthier life.
Monday is a holiday, so I’ll be off from work then. I’ll exercise that day as well, and possibly Wednesday or Thursday. I want to start by exercising three days a week for a few minutes before moving it up to a half hour.
Maybe if all goes well, I’ll look super amazing this summer.
A former roommate gave me a sample of Blue Lagoon Iceland Silica Mud Mask that she simply wanted to get rid of a few months ago. I kept it around all this time, promising to try it, until tonight. I decided to give this mus mask a try, since I have been experimenting with masks lately.
In case you don’t know, Blue Lagoon is a famed geothermal spa in Iceland, and this mask comes from the mud around the location. Here’s an article from Bustle and another from We3Travel about this spa.
As I applied the white mud, the skin on my cheeks started to sting. I got concerned that I was probably allergic to this, and wondered if my face would be left with red irritated spots – or worse.
The stinging continued and it felt a bit like my skin was being burned. Slowly, though, it subsided. Once the white mud mask hardened after about five minutes, I was able to remove it.
The results? My skin was glowing a little, and felt softer. But not as soft as the time I tried putting avocado on my face, and my skin has glowed even more before. So I give the Blue Lagoon Iceland Silica Mud Mask an so-so, like a B- rating. The stinging was not necessary but at least my face was not red or anything afterwards.
As 2017 gets underway, I am aiming to do better than I did last year, and this time, I am determined to do so. There’s a lot that I do want to repeat from 2016. Among these are bearing grudges against those who harmed me.
Last year, I carried a lot of weight from previous years around, and it took a toll on me. I ended up suffering from deep depression, angry outbursts, and cynicism. While I knew I was better off letting go of what was done to me, rather than holding on to it so tightly, I simply couldn’t let go of the grudges. I felt it was justified. After all, I had been slandered, bullied and harassed. I was scorned for things I did not do. I suffered a severe mental breakdown as a result.
So why not carry around a grudge? I had every right to be angry at those who hurt me.
But as the clock struck midnight this Sunday, I was beginning to realize that if I wanted a better year and better me for 2017, I needed to let go. I needed to let go of all the anger I had. That anger was not doing me any good, and it certainly was not hurting those who had hurt me. They went on with their lives, unharmed and unaffected by what they did to me. It sucks, but that’s reality. Karma is supposed to be a bitch, but sometimes it is unreliable.
As for me, I was turning into a moody, angry and/or depressed person. You know the saying, “refusing to forgive is like swallowing poison and hoping the other guy gets sick”? Yep, that was what I was going through. And if those who had hurt me were to know I was still suffering, I’m sure they would’ve laughed.
So, I am taking steps to let the hurt and anger go. It is not doing me any good. It is not making me healthier. It is not making me happier, more confident, or more nicer. It is making me unstable, unreliable and unhappy. I’m still letting those who hurt me have power over me.
It is good to know that forgiveness is not about trusting someone or willing to be friends with them again. I think Lauryn Hill said it best with this song:
It is not easy to let go of grudge, but I think the key is to soften up one’s pride and ego, and stop playing the victim. Of course, we were all victims once of someone’s malicious ways, and we have a right to be angry. But after a while, that anger turns into victimhood and it doesn’t turn you into the best of human beings. And honestly, do you want to be as bad as those who had hurt you?
Sometimes Jesus Christ’s teachings about forgiveness sounds absurd, even to this Christ follower, but in the end, holding grudges no longer makes sense.
One day at a time, I’ll be letting go. I want this year to be so much better than last year. And I can’t have that if I carry my grudges.
I’ve learned that carrying grudges ruins your self-respect because you’re allowing those you don’t even like to have control over you. I remember one church sign that read: “He who angers you controls you.” If you don’t like someone, why give them control over you? And turn you into a mess?
Let it go…