Luxury Laundry: Managing the Household Load

Having the ability to do everything does not mean that you should. Whew – glad that’s finally out and in the open!!!
If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed take a look at your to do list and ask yourself:

Do I have to do this?

If the answer is No – then delegate it or completely get rid of it.
If the answer is Yes – I challenge you! Are you absolutely sure you have to do this? Does it have to be done at a specific time?
Let me explain.
In my household – I handle the laundry.

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Continue reading “Luxury Laundry: Managing the Household Load”

How to care for cut hydrangeas

How to care for cut hydrangeas
I have officially graduated from the “Grab & Toss Club”!  You may not be familiar with this club because I just made it up 😀 – but don’t worry – I will give you the insider scoop!!! This club refers to the group of folks that love to grab a bouquet while out shopping, toss it into a vase at home, and step back like they just created magic.
My husband would watch me doing this every week and encouraged me to step into floral arranging. I decided that he was on to something and started to watch flower arranging YouTube videos to get my knowledge up. On our next grocery trip to Trader Joes I picked up 4 different bouquets to make a blue color schemed birthday bouquet. That handsome guy below just stepped into the Terrific Twos 😀 !

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I spent $15 dollars on flowers at Trader Joes and got to arranging once all the kiddies went to sleep.
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 I played jazz, sipped on sangria, and wore a newly thrifted floral robe set. This mama was living her best relaxed life and loving every bit of it! I will admit before I started snipping and arranging – I was very nervous! I was nervous to mess up – but then remembered it’s art and to just go with it. Deep Breaths – woo saa- snip snip & Bam! $15 dollars worth of flowers were turned into 2 beautiful arrangements.

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Y’all, I was sooo pleased with the results of my first flower arranging session!!! Until I learned that the blue hydrangeas – didn’t want to let the arrangement be great! 😦 I had been away from my flowers for less than 12 hours and returned home to find that the hydrangeas in the taller vase had wilted! That morning they looked fine, but by the afternoon they were on the struggle bus.
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 I was soooo sad, but now I am glad that it happened – Why?

I Learned Something New

Cut hydrangeas are needy flowers and require lots of hydration! Before placing them into a vase be sure to:

1. Submerge the Flowers
Yep – baptize those beauties in a bucket of water except hold them under for a little while. Hydrangeas absorb water through their petals even when cut and require lots of water to stay perked up. Take your hydrangeas, snip the step, and fully submerge in cold water. I recommend leaving them submerged for a few hours, pulling them out, and giving a good shake. You can repeat this if they begin to droop again.
2. Cut & Split the Stem
Once you’ve taken the hydrangeas out of the water bath give the stem a horizontal snip with floral shears to get a clean-cut. Then take the scissors and vertically cut up the stem to increase water absorption.
3. Remove the Leaves
Those huge dark greens are beautiful and take up a lot of water. For the greater good of the petals – remove a couple of the leaves.

I followed the steps above for my wilted hydrangeas and they perked back up! They were restored as if freshly cut! I was beyond amazed & it reminded me to :

Never Give Up on People or Situations that Look Hopeless

My hydrangeas looked beautiful when I brought them home and due to improper care they wilted. Once I submerged them in water to give them the TLC that they needed – they perked back up. They showed no signs of ever being depleted – all because they were nurtured back to health via a 5 hour love bath.Y’all- I  saw a video where cut hydrangeas had been kept out of water for 5 days (they looked dead) and were placed in a bucket of water for 24 hours – & they came back to life!
Please let this serve as a reminder to immerse yourself in an environment of love and to get help if you feel you are struggling with life. That time of intentional love may be what you or someone else needs to make it through a difficult season.
20180511_171453.jpgPlump Hydrangeas 🙂
 Additional Hydrangea Care tips:
  • Hydrangeas release a sap when cut that can act like a barrier – preventing water from being absorbed. Dipping the stem in boiling water for 30 seconds and placing in cool water assists in removing the sap. I do not do this, however, if my hydrangeas were truly struggling I would jump on this.
  • Hydrangeas thrive in shorter vases – because again water. The stem is shorter, therefore, water can be absorbed quickly.
  • Cut hydrangeas should not be placed in direct sun – and should be kept in a place with some shade
  • When away from home or sleeping – placing the hydrangeas in the fridge helps retain moisture and increases the longevity. This tip goes for all flowers!
Have any of you played with hydrangeas? Do tell!
Peace & Blessings,
Lo Johnson

Overpacked Living & Oversized Jacket

Overpacked Living & Oversized Jacket
Mother celebration month is officially here! When I think of the woman balancing motherhood alongside all her other responsibilities the first word that comes to mind is:

Pressure

This is probably not the word you wanted to see, but I am just being honest. There is always something that a Mother has to do!  Personally, I have this underlying pressure to fit everything in, to make sure everyone under my roof is pleased, and to make sure my individual identity remains in tact. It is a lot & that is before extending to the responsibilities and expectations outside of the home!!! Over the past few weeks I have reflected on this struggle and have determined that some of this pressure may be:

Continue reading “Overpacked Living & Oversized Jacket”

5 Reasons to attend Posh Party LIVE

5 Reasons to attend Posh Party LIVE
I have officially attended my first Poshmark social shindig (woot woot 😀 )! The Posh Party LIVE event made a stop in Chicago and I had quite the time! If you are new to Poshmark, interested in joining Poshmark, or just like to be surrounded by Go Getter Girls – check this event out! Not convinced? ….
Here are the 5 reasons to register:

1) Everyone is Invited

That’s right! You don’t have to be a seller or a buyer on the platform to partake in this Poshmark fun! Which means if you are simply interested in starting a closet one day – you can register! If you are on the platform and don’t have a Poshmark Bestie (PFF) to attend with you – bring a friend! I brought my sister and she had a great time – even though she isn’t a Posher! My sister fit right in and had a great time! The registration total for the both of us was $25 – super affordable! Grab a friend and go!!! They may just get motivated to start selling on Poshmark and become your next PFF!

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My Sistie & I. ❤ 


2) Poshmark Tips

This is a no brainer reason to attend! There are closet consultations that you can pre-register for to get tips on improving your listings. A portion of the party time is dedicated to a Q&A panel where knowledge is shared from a select group of Poshmark gurus! At Posh Party LIVE Chicago – I learned about the importance of building your closet at your own pace, not being afraid to ask questions, and to look into investing into a Ring Light (apparently it’s life changing for photographing inventory).

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3) Relationship Building

Getting to talk with other like-minded people is such a treat and this event pulls in the fashion finding reseller crowd! Stepping out and talking to people you have never met can feel like a daunting task, but the end result makes it so worth it.  To be honest – I looooove talking but that first conversation with a stranger is such a struggle. Thankfully my sister was with me and encouraged me to leap and learn! I ended up talking with a handful of ladies and getting lots of knowledge! I learned about a new thrift store opening up and that the Goodwill locations in Chicago have a 69 cent sale! Information I never had before was now suddenly mine! Step out and build some relationships peeps.

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Credit: Poshmark Photography (Tammy Vega)

4) Selfies & Usie Safe Haven

Yes, I put that a reason to attend the event! As a blogger and model the struggle to find someone to take your picture at the right angle – is beyond real! Posh Party LIVE had the cutest decor and photography stations. There was a photobooth/GIF maker with a sparkly backdrop! The GIF was instantly text to my phone and I was handed a printed photo collage – it was perfect! There was also an Ivy covered “Posh Party LIVE” wall for taking selfies and usies – & there were plenty of Poshers willing to take your photos so all of your crew could jump in!
NOW, I will say that as much as I love grammable moments – there has got to be balance. If you spend the whole event taking pictures of you looking cute, others looking cute, and you looking cute with cute backdrops – you may just miss out on Posh Tips & Relationship Building. I recommend capturing a few photos, putting the phone away, and engaging. Backdrops can be recreated, the individuals attending the event – not so much. Think on it. 🙂

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This romantic skirt is Anthropologie – $5 thrift find. 

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One of my PFFs! Check out her closet – here.


5) Fashion Inspiration

Don’t let this reason scare you! Some folks were dressed like fabulous fashion bloggers while others looked everyday chic! The whole night I kept thinking “ooh that’s a cute outfit”….wait “that outfit is beyond cute”….and then I realized everyone was just so darn stylish! I left committed to stepping up my game!!! If you are thinking of going – please have fun and style yourself! It will most likely trigger folks to stop and drop the ” Oh, your outfit is amazing – what is your name?” line. I used that methodology and line when striking up conversations. 😀

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Credit: Poshmark Photography (Tammy Vega)

These shoes are just sooo creative & make for a perfect conversation starter! 

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Credit: Poshmark Photography (Tammy Vega)
If you still aren’t convinced… here are two more bonus reasons!
  • Free Drink (with a nice pour 😀 )
  • Free Poshmark Goodies (stickers, cards, balloons)
Go ahead – add all the perks up and you will quickly see that the return on investment (ROI) is pretty darn good! To the Mom’s with young children – grab a jumbo balloon on your way out to take home.  The kids will love punching it and will forget that you ever left (mine did at least 🙂 ).
I hope you leave inspired to attend a Posh Party LIVE near you.
Peace & Blessings,
Lo Johnson

The Must Have Flower with Lasting Power

There is nothing like a vase of fresh flowers! Colorful blooms brighten up any space and if you are living somewhere where it is still snowing in April –

The Flowers Bring Hope!

Ever Saturday my fam bam takes a trip to Trader Joe’s and I sooo look forward to the trip. My husband focuses on getting the food, I ooh and ahh over the floral section, and our kids secure the snacks! My one and only responsibility is to secure the bouquet (maybe 2 or 3 –  if I am willing to sacrifice a snack 😀 )! That is my kind of grocery trip!

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As much as I looooooooove flowers – I refuse to break the bank to secure them and those petals better not fall off for some days!!! The cut flowers have to last. A few weeks back I was soooo “stressed” out about what flowers to select because every bouquet was saying “Take me home”! I would put a bouquet in the cart, wheel it around, see a lady with a different  bouquet, talk to her, switch my bouquet out so we could be twinsies, & repeat! Finally as we were nearing check out I talked to a fellow Mom club member –  who had the flower lover scent all over her and some kids! I asked her 21 questions about the flowers she had in her basket and she gushed about how they were the best in the land! So I got two bouquets of the flowers she had!!!
Let’s just say – I am a forever fan of these budget friendly flowers! If they can survive a photoshoot of being flung to and fro – they are a definite keeper!!! 🙂

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Bam!!! Here are the long lasting blooms and the thrifted Kaftan that better last a lifetime!

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Hanging flowers upside down helps them to open up and last longer !

Just Kidding!

It’s simply an extra AF pose that will cause others to laugh hysterically and question your sanity! & if you’re lucky they may ask you where you snagged your shoes from!

I promise this is not an ad – these clorox white sneakers are Nike and were snatched off the DSW clearance rack. I tip toe around town trying to stay clear from all signs of dirt 😉 

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Do you know what kind of flower this is?

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This is the ” Lily of the Incas”. 

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The scientific name is “Alstroemeria” & they come in a plethora of colors.

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*Abrupt  Pause* 

 The detailed print on this Kaftan needs proper acknowledgement.

Let’s stare and admire the wardrobe art.

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Originally I thought I’d only wear this $4 gem at home, but it makes me feel like royalty – so I’ve ventured out of my palace and into the supermarket with it on!

My new fashion motto is to: Standout & Wear Whatever I Want!

If someone has something to say – I am prepared to slide them my Reseller Stylist business card and offer to hook them up with some royal threads 😀 .

*Back to the Blooms* 

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Alstroemeria “Lily of the Incas” has lasted as long as 3 weeks for me!  I typically pick up 2 different colored bouquets for $8. Once I get them home, I sit down at the kitchen and let my mind drift while I prep them for the vase. The ends get cut and the leaves on the lower portion of the stem get snipped. I also clip off any leaves that look beat up. Then – in the vase they go.

As time goes on – the water will obviously need to be changed and I just keep cutting the stems down.

These flowers are so easy to take care of and truly have a 

“long lasting beauty”.

 

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Be on the lookout for these blooming beauties and a kaftan to elegantly sashay around in!
Do you have a favorite flower with some staying power – do tell!

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Peace & Blessings,
Lo Johnson

 

Festival Fashion

It is time to start getting ready for those art & music festivals! The extremely popular Coachella Valley Festival (aka BEYONCE concert 😀 ) is just a few days away! If you are looking for that last-minute stand out outfit – your local thrift store might just have your back.

Check Out The Scarves! 

 I love an item that can be worn an unlimited amount of ways and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Thrift stores are overflowing with this versatile accessory! Find a large square scarf with a fun bold print pattern – and make it into a trendy top!
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Simply  fold it into a triangle then tie the ends around your back!

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The larger the scarf the more dramatic the tie in the back!

If you think you would dance right out of a halter top – which is entirely possible – then there are a few other options:
  • Take the scarf (in its square shape) – tie one set of ends around your neck and the other set of ends around your waist. This makes for a well supported top.
  • Make the scarf into a fun statement head wrap or headband
     –  Perfect option for covering up that sweated out hairstyle!
  • Wear the scarf as a belt to accent your outfit

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Bam! You have one item and multiple styling options!

The best part is that scarves can typically be thrifted for less than $3! The one I am wearing cost me 2 dollars – which means less money needed to shop and more money available to have a good time with friends & family! Cheers to the non budget breaking – stand out – be kind to the earth and reduce waste fashion find – YASSSSS! Isn’t that the hippie way!?!

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I can almost guarantee that no one will have that same scarf pattern!
Which is something to smile about! 

Just make sure you don’t wear heels to get your festival groove on – that is a sure way to get awkward stares and have yourself crying in a field somewhere 😦 ! Wear comfy sandals or sneakers. The goal is to look effortlessly cute and unleash that free spirit!

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For the chilly mornings or evenings – search your local thrift store for an oversized lightweight jacket! The one I have pictured above happens to be my favorite color and matches my scarf color palette – it only cost me $5. I would also wear with a fun oversized denim jacket!
If you are like me and looking to attend Summer festivals like Lollapalooza or Afropunk  – you have a lot more time to prep and have pre-loved fashion shipped right to your door!  My poshmark closet is filled with festival friendly pieces and is constantly getting new inventory.  A few of my offerings are pictured below – keep in mind there is only one of each ;)!

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Wishing you the best of luck in building up your budget friendly festival wardrobe!!!
Have fun & much love ❤ !!!
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Peace & Blessings,
Lo Johnson

Suri Rose Boutique Vintage

Our lives are filled with intersections. Moments where we are going about our journey and we cross paths with another traveler. Many times we have those quick ” hi and bye” chats where we may get a little nugget to help us along the way, but then there are the course altering collisions! I am talking about the good kind – the encounters that cause a shift in your mindset and create beautiful masterpieces.
One Saturday in 2017, I was at my local thrift store sourcing for inventory. I didn’t feel extraordinary that day and I was looking a hot mess! To be honest I was not in the mood to be seen. As I was combing through a rack of dresses, this beautiful Black Woman struck up a conversation with me. One of her first questions was ” Is that your hair?” followed by “What is your size?” and then a “Do you model?” – I was cracking up inside, but maintaining outward composure (…i think 😀 ). After chatting for a bit, we exchanged numbers and Instagram handles.
Let me tell you about my friend:

Kristian, the owner of “Suri Rose Boutique Vintage”


Screenshot_20180406-135904.jpgBlack Girl Magic Alert!
Kris (pictured above) has extensive styling experience; ranging from editorials to fashion shows to movies.

The day I met her I did not know she was a collector of beautiful pieces!  In fact, she has been doing so for 15 years! I had the opportunity to view some of her finds and this woman has been blessed with –

The Eye

If you are a reseller or collector of vintage pieces – you know that this is HUGE! Kris has got the gift and I have had the honor of seeing it firsthand!

The sequins.

The furs.

The lace.

The intricate details on her colorful garments!!!!

I. Want. ALL. Of. It. Some of her finds are posted on her Instagram page here, however, that does not even begin to scratch the surface. Kristian’s collection deserves a space of its own. The world needs to fully experience her artistry in person!
Thankfully, she is a woman with a vision and the work ethic to back it! Kris has plans to open a physical boutique selling eclectic pieces of clothing and furniture. I cannot wait for the day to come… like can I just get in line now !?! Y’all her pieces will fly off the shelf. This will happen because she not only has an “eye” for garments – she has a heart that sees beauty in everyone. This is what life is all about:

Showing the overlooked and undervalued that they too are loved!

We all desire to be known. The day she met me – I was in my hot mess disguise, yet she “knew” me to be model caliber. Through her business Kris hopes to use that same “eye” to show at risk teens their potential and how to help save the Earth through sustainable fashion. Hmm, maybe they will get their first job logging inventory at her store or assist customers in selecting pieces!…One thing I do know – is that they will be edified with words of encouragement. Kris is the mother of not 1, not 3, not 5, but SEVEN beautiful human beings! She is well –

Equipped to Inspire!

In fact, she rang my phone with a proposition that I personally could not resist. Kris had a vintage 1960’s coat that she described to me as being reminiscent of “Jackie O.” style and when thinking of someone to model it – thought of me! Before even seeing the coat – I was all the way signed up for this reseller stylist collaboration! All I had to do was show up, get styled from head to toe, and pose.
We connected and had such a blast! Laughter was the thread holding all of our conversations – she dropped a gem of a response to my  ” What would you tell your 30-year-old self?” question – which is an entire post in itself (wait on it 🙂 )!  I learned that Kris is concerned about how the world is losing the art of communication, taking time to breathe, reading from books, and loving ones self to the fullest. The funny thing – is that as she was styling and photographing me in her pieces – it was like we traveled to an era where self-confidence soared and time slowed.
You are invited to observe this experience in the fashion gallery below.
All quotes are from the iconic  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
as this photo shoot was inspired by her impeccable style.
Enjoy & much ❤ .

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“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world.

Love of books is the best of all.”

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“Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it….All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought about by words. “

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“I am a woman above everything else.”

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“I want minimum information given with maximum politeness.”

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“One should always dress like a marble column.”

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” I think my biggest achievement is that, after going, through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane. I’m proud of that.”

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” A great goal in life is the only fortune worth finding.”

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“I want to live my life, not record it.”

Special thank you to my friend Kris for affording me the opportunity of being styled in her pieces and experiencing her creative vision.

Peace & Blessings,

Lo Johnson