Mother’s Day

In lieu of this past Mothering Sunday I wanted to take a moment & write in depth about what it’s been like to grow up without a traditional mum. The term mother in the English dictionary classifies it as “A mother is the female parent of a child. Mothers are women who inhabit or perform the role of bearing some relation to their children, who may or may not be their biological offspring. 

If you follow me on social media (Instagram Afi Like Taffy or Facebook Afi Maita) I posted this on Mothering Sunday & got so many questions & comments that I wanted to address what it’s been like growing up without one “traditional” mother figure but in fact having 3 in my siblings.

This was the post:

“Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mother’s out there past & present, you get ALL the roses!!🌹 🌹

Mother’s Day has always been a hard day for me having lost mine at the young age of 6 years old so I really didn’t get to experience what it’s like to have a traditional mum. Listening to people’s stories of their experiences always left me with a sense of longing & awkwardness as that was never my reality. However in losing my mum having 3 older sisters who fulfilled the role as Sister, best friend+Mother meant I was blessed beyond anyone as I gained 3 Mother’s so maybe I do know what it’s like to have a mother. If having a mother means I was constantly checked up on, loved unconditionally, selflessly & held accountable for my actions then yes I do believe I know what it’s like to have a mum. So with this I say a special Happy Mother’s Day to my extraordinary sisters Mary, Esther & Ruth (or their nicknames Merr, Esso & Struthie) I am unstoppable because I had you three as examples of what a mother could be. It’s like our Mummy broke up little parts of herself & left them in you so she never really left us. I love you so so much my Sister Mama’s. All exceptional mother’s yourselves now I can truly say those little ones your raising, they are beyond lucky to have you.”

To understand my history we need to go back to the beginning of how I lost mine….

i was born in West Africa, Nigeria & was raised there most of my formative years. Victoria my mother was the ultimate warrior whom defied the odds as in 4 pregnancies gave birth to 3 sets of twins… I was her only non twin at number 5 being born alone. Victoria had 2 sets of twins before me & 1 set of twin after me & unfortunately the last set was too much for her body to take as she passed away 2 days later after delivering them successfully. My mother was allergic to penicillin & the doctor on duty utilized that as a last resort as complications arose after their birth & she passed away March 25th 1990 in a Lagos, Nigeria hospital.

After my mother passed away my distraught Father who was in shock sent the older 2 sets of twins to boarding school in England as was suggested by his older brother & for 2 years I was schooled in Nigeria with the last set of baby twins until I turned 8 years old & could join my older 4 siblings at St Lawrence college, junior boarding school in Ramsgate Kent.

My father re married soon after but our step mother Pauline tried her best to be affectionate but was very limited having been emotionally abused by her own step mother so didn’t break that cycle & therefore inflicted trauma & abuse to us children. That’s another blog post…🙁

Between boarding school tutors, my stepmothers sister (whom despised us but watched out for us seeing us as cash cows to line her pockets when my parents were out of town on business) my older siblings & I really helped raise each other into adulthood going home from boarding school every time we broke up for seasonal holidays to our house in London. We held each other accountable for our actions like who was on cooking duty vs. dishes & chores were delegated & agreed upon amongst ourselves so it was fair. Growing up with 3 sisters & a brother Haruna we were so close in age so it was rare an argument ensued as we were mature beyond our years. Having to grow up so quickly after our mother passed away & the boarding school skills that taught independence & just great life lessons were priceless. We also stood up for one another when one of us was being bullied, an example of this was after we left boarding school & attended the Mount Day school I was constantly being picked on by a girl in my year (whom we later found out was also emotionally abused) & I went home crying to my older Sister Esther & she dealt with her defending me & really getting to the root of the problem & the girl stopped. When one of our sisters was being spoken to harshly by a teacher another one had a private meeting with the Headmistress of the school & that situation was resolved in a short time.

The point I’m trying to make by this post is despite the trails & tribulations as children we faced from our mother passing at such a young age & the emotional abuse her replacement inflicted on us having each other was our saving grace. We saved each other as children by just going through it all together, being there for each other, listening, coaching & supporting one another. Despite running away from home, thoughts of attempting suicide, eating disorders, neglect & living in constant fear of the unknown, we persevered in an impossible situation despite the odds being against us. Yes it would have been ideal had our birth mother survived, life most likely would have been easier but what doesn’t kill you surely DOES makes you stronger.

I am here today to say I am a survivor of childhood trauma, I am a survivor of abuse & I am a proud warrior who lived to tell the tale.

Growing up with a non traditional mum figure but having a few mother’s in my sisters & brother made me the person I am today. A person who loves fashion & was resilient in acquiring a job at one of the most prestigious stores, Saks Fifth Avenue, a style blogger, a good friend, a strong sister & sister Mama, a loving wife & hopefully an amazing mother myself in the future.

Thank you all for reading this & please leave a comment or ask away if you have any questions?!

Catch you next time lovies,

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T

Love Day Photo Shoot!

First of all I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebrating with the ones you love you lovely jubblies! Been feeling unmotivated as of late hence the lateness of this blog post. I appreciate you sticking with me through this process & the love you show me through social media & in reading this post as well as commenting on my photos.😍

I love blogging about my photo shoots as it allows my creative style to flow through & prepping for this Valentine’s Day photo shoot was no exception.

Keeping in mind with my New Years resolution to build my brand & blog more I really wanted a love themed photo shoot &  really wanted my Husband Zacko to be a part of it. We didn’t have an engagement photo shoot 11 years ago before we got married so I thought that would be a great excuse to call this a post marriage shoot & just have fun taking pics & having them for my blog. Zacko however, was a little puzzled by my rationale in being included in the shoot however he quickly got on board as he loves me. Let’s be honest most men would only do this for the one they loved & I am very lucky indeed!😭😍

After conversing with my Photographer Alyssa we were limited in locations as to get those beautiful sunset pictures I so love at another location would mean driving during rush hour at the time that was convenient for all 3 of us so we settled on the oldie but goodie location of Papago Park. The versatility of Papago Park was an added bonus being enormous so we hiked a little to get the amazing shots we wanted.

Coming up with the styled looks was easy as thats my forte so I knew i wanted a casual look for both Zacko & I with it being so close to Valentine’s Day with the color red being prominent & the second look would be more formal. I scoured online for red dresses finally finding my first dress for the shoot on the Nordstrom website for the brand Reformation & a dress with pockets no less which is just everything. For Zacko we went with a Zara plaid shirt & Pants with black & red for his casual look.

For my formal dress  having been an avid fan of Tadashi Shoji an Asian designer brand owning 3 of his daytime lace dresses which complimented my body type, I found a ball gown version of his infamous lace dress with a nude undertone which was perfect for the shoot.

Next up was hair + makeup in which red was definitely the color theme in mind with my ruby red hair, blue red lips & smoky nude eyes. I wanted bold colors to compliment that exaggerated red lip in the first look but also didn’t want eye makeup that was too overpowering for when i switched to a darker red lip for my outfit change. Gathering my trusty glam squad of Mimi Von Lace Beauty for my makeup & Renata Henderson for my hair with the romantic curls to create the looks was a MUST & they brought it out + put it down you name it!! The proof is in the pudding as they say & the end result was much more than I ever could have hoped for & more.

This shoot was extra special to me having the love of my life be a part of it & we actually had fun creating memories together, being goofy & just laughing at each other. These pictures hold such a dear place in our hearts & will most definitely be part of our Christmas cards this year!

Catch you next time friends,

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T.

New Year, New Goals, Same Me!

Happy Happy New Year Lovies! First of all lets take a moment to celebrate!! WE MADE IT 2019! Whoop WHOOP!! Through the trials & tribulations, struggles & successes we survived so high five friends!

My holidays were work motivated (its like our super Bowl for a Stylist) however it was riddled with me contracting a cold that progressed into a sinus infection due to my weakened immune system as a Type 1 Diabetic but by the magic of antibiotics, I was cured! Cheers baby Jesus!🙋🏾‍♀️

Christmas Eve I worked so the hot husband Zacko made his Italian Nana Josephine’s meatballs & sauce which were insanely good! So good that if I wasn’t already married to that man, that meal alone would have sealed the deal!😭🙋🏾‍♀️🍝 We rented movies & just enjoyed each other.

Christmas morning was spent opening our gifts to one other, my favorite gifts from Zacko this year was my Wonder Woman Christmas ornament, Diana Gabaldon books (author of the Outlander series) & my Pump Peelz stickers (stickers designed to customize the face of my diabectic pump Shanaenae). Christmas day also consisted of us going to see the blockbuster action movie Aquaman which was so riveting, a little cheesy but I loved that. I highly suggest it if you like the Justice league, Marvel/super hero movies!

 

Later that day we ventured across the street to my in laws house (yes they live across the street from us😯) for a casual dinner of eating fondue, playing games, gift exchanges & exchanging white elephant gifts.

For my white elephant gift I left with a fun Snoop Dogg Holiday apron with his typical lingo.

New Years consisted of Zacko making hot ham & swiss cheese sandwiches using Hawaiian bread, more vegging out, watching the  New Year countdown on the tele & a toast at midnight.

This new year I set myself 3 realistic goals

  1. Say Yes more in life. Life is too short & also why not?
  2. Plan ahead in business with better content & try to take my blog posts to the next level as a result.
  3.  In saying Yes also don’t be afraid to say “no” when certain things don’t fit my lifestyle or brand.

Making strides so far I’ve started creating New Year, New You Style videos. 3 times a week I post videos of combined high end designer pieces, resort wear & affordable contemporary items. Being we’re immersed in resort season & all I wanted that to reflect on my looks but also give you guys options with playful & more professional looks. Check out my Instagram account if you don’t already follow along @afiliketaffy & @afi_maita to watch!

 

 

In addition to taking my blogging to the next level I have my Valentine’s Day photo shoot scheduled for the end of this month & it’s a different shoot as its “Love” themed being so close to the holiday but even more special as I have my husband Zacko participating. I have my magicians glam team all ready to go so keep a lookout friends!

Happy New Year once again & catch you next time Lovies!

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Maita A.L.T.

 

Winter Photo Shoot!

Getting my whole team of magicians together came so easily for this Fall Photo shoot more so than my previous 2 photo shoots earlier this year indicating I was becoming a veteran at this Blogger lifestyle! Yesss!🙋🏽

I already knew I would use my one & only talented Hair Stylist Renata @rhhairstylist, Lash Extensions extraordinaire Carmen @eyelashedaz & my Amazeballs Photographer Alyssa @alyssaryanphotography. For Makeup however I was approached by Mimi a deliciously multi-talented Makeup Artist, Photographer & fellow Type 1 Diabectic I’d met at a Type 1 Diabectic Event held @dermalogica in Scottsdale, Az hosted by a blogger friend Paloma @glitterglucose earlier this year! MiMi handler @mimivonlacebeauty sincerely offered to do my makeup for my next shoot & I was floored & overwhelmed by her generosity so when I got the date set for the shoot we planned to meet up.

I researched locations online for the shoot & wanted to go somewhere where the leaves had changed indicating Autumn was in fact here but living in the desert has its limits & Sedona was the closet location to showcase that, 2 hours away & we just didn’t have the time for that!🙄 So… we made the best of what we had & settled for the same location as my first ever photo shoot with Alyssa at Papago Park.

For my wardrobe I knew I wanted the theme of hats, belts & jackets featured throughout. I also knew I wanted an undeniably holiday look planning ahead for Xmas/New Years. Lastly I wanted to showcase my favorite trend of the season Animal Instincts! I derived 4 looks to encompass all those themes in mind & created the looks you see below.

Wednesday, November 14th was set for the date of the shoot. The weather started out overcast & became more cloudy & windy the closer it got to our meetup time & Alyssa shared concerns about the clouds & if I would be okay shooting if it rained, being the optimist, I was rareing to go…

After getting all my beauty services done being pampered rotten from my lashes going for a baby doll look by Carmen @eyelashedaz, Renata for my hair created a customized red violet tint & rolled up loose romantic waves. For my makeup I had 2 pictures in mind & Mimi re-created them with her own twist to perfection going for a smoky heavy eye & nude matte liquid lipstick. She brought her own ring light to apply my makeup which i’d never before experienced & it worked wonders as it brought literally everything to light. MiMi customized my entire makeup & mostly used Tarte products her expert line & after that I was ready to go.

How amazing are these photos @mimivonlacebeauty took after she applied my make up!😍

Packing up my car like I was going on a 2 week holiday across Europe I met Alyssa at Papago Park🤷🏾‍♀️😭. We’d shot at Papago Park Earlier in the year but on the other side, this photo shoot would include more mountainous images.

With the clouds rolling in as soon as we picked the first spot for the photo shoot to commence it was like magic, the clouds disappeared & the sun came out to say Ello & that was it! When I needed the wind to showcase my dusters like magic we got the shots we needed! It’s always so amazing working with Alyssa, I’ve said it once & I’ll say it again she’s wonderful at giving direction but also trusts your suggestions & also more importantly listens to what you have to say.

This shoot has been by far my favorite shoot to date due to how easy everything came together so organically. From all the talented women doing what they do best to the looks  created & lastly the weather, like a sign from up above it was just meant to be.

My T:Slim X2 Diabectic Pump Shanaenae came out to play in all my looks so look out for those special images as she is indeed my lifesaver & I’m proud to celebrate & show her off. In addition to Shanaenae, Shanequoi (my medical device Dexcom G6 CGM Continuous Glucose Monitor) remained placed on my Torso the entire time so no images of her in this shoot like my last 50’s style Photo shoot.😊

Happy Christmas from me & mine to you & yours Lovies & I’m so looking forward to showcasing my plans, pictures & blogs for a brand spanking new year!

Cheers for reading this post & your love & support Lovies, I appreciate you.🙋🏽✨❤️ I’ll catch you next time,

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T

 

 

50’s Style Photo Shoot!

I’ve always loved retro clothes, dressing up in full skirts, fitted tops with pops of color & fun prints from different era’s especially the 1950’s. Celebrating a friend’s 50’s themed birthday party last summer reminded me of my love for that time. However,heading back home to London 2 months ago was so inspiring to me in every way but especially in fashion. Hitting up one of my favorite 50’s inspired stores called Collectif Clothing in Camden Town (best city in London) was the inspiration I got for my latest fashion shoot.

Location.
Deciding to have the Photo shoot at Hotel Adeline was a no brainer being one of the newest boutique hotels that re-opened up this February in Scottsdale, Arizona.The aesthetic was perfect from the welcoming influencer inspired pool area to the old school air conditioning unit in their suites, vintage orange-colored mini fridge, classic chaise lounge chair & spacious bathroom with funky tile work.

Hotel Adeline are willing to work with influencers & gave me free rein to rent the suite, explore & take pics all over their Hotel so cheers Hotel Adeline!

Clothing.
I went with a classic white & red gingham print dress from Collectif clothing that portrayed true retro style from the 1950s. My Photographer Alyssa recommended swimsuit looks (especially as they had a pool to-die-for) so I went in search for the right swimming costumes to compliment my curvaceously strong figure. I asked all around for thong swimsuits as I planned to get a little steamy in these shoots & I was informed the term is now called “cheeky bottom” lol
My last hope after finding no swimsuits with a cheeky bottom was Everything But Water the designer swimsuit store at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. Ironically I was the Assistant Manager there 10 years ago so it was sweet visiting it. I found my 2 swimsuits so quickly & the help that I got from the Staff was outstanding! A nude Luli Farma & yellow Vitamin A swimsuits were the winners.

Props/accessories.
I already had my Vintage dress picked out, bag, shoes & accessories being a fan of that era i’d accumulated bits & bobs over time so next up was setting the scene & I needed Props. A coverup & sun hat for my swimsuit looks & possibly flowers… I headed to Victoria Secrets & found a green printed kimono style floral silk bathrobe, done!
Finding a sun hat was impossible as I looked everywhere & wanted something unique & still couldn’t find it so I thought why not try vintage stores, take it waaay back!
I perused Old Town Scottsdale & came across a quaint & boutique called Twice Boutique (instagram: Twicescottsdale). I met the owner Brittany whom was lovely jubbly so I bought a flamingo sunhat (which I LOVE) & Her store was full of so many hidden gems & I can’t wait to visit that Boutique in old town Scottsdale again! Furthermore whilst I was admiring the decor at Twice Boutique Brittany very generously offerred me all the sunflowers she created herself that you see strewn in the picture below… how sweet!!After that my looks were complete!

Hair, Makeup & Lashes.
Looking for a typical 50’s era hairstyle online, I went with one pincurl & loose waves that my hairdresser of 5 years Renata Henderson (instagram:rhhairstylist) styled so effortlessly. She is a joy to work with & I can’t tell you how the entire staff at Hotel Adeline knew which era I was representing based on my hair alone. We added a wire covered bandana first in white with black polka dots then an animal print loose scarf.

A friend who works at the same luxury brand I run my business through Britney-Rae Sanchez (instagram:brinnyrae) who is an internationally published celebrity makeup Artist offered to do my photo shoot & what an offer! Britney decided to create a natural glow with retro cat eyes & finished my look with her own custom lipstick concoction of an Armani red lip gloss then added red glitter from a costume store to seal the look! Genius! Britney warned me the glitter would get everywhere & she wasn’t wrong as it got on my teeth,face,inside my mouth & all over my chest but cheers to Britney I was prepared.I had tape & 2 touch ups worth of both said glitter & lip gloss & it turned out so well…

I’ve been seeing my Lash lady Miss Carmen (instagram: eyelashedarizona) for over 6 years & I never go anywhere else. Carmen is a true Artist battling my insanely curly lashes adding extensions to accentuate my big eyes & give me that glamour that I truly believe cemented my Pin-up look.

Photographer.
This was to be our second photo shoot working together & if the chemistry between Alyssa Ryan (instagram:Alyssaryanphotography) from the first shoot was anything to come by then we had no worries. True to that thought we began in the hotel suite,took it outside to the balcony,by the hotel restaurant,influencer signs & lastly the pool, bar & shower. With Alyssa’s talent & openness to explore 3 hours later we got all the shots in the bag! I truly recommend Alyssa as she’s just so easy to work with, eager to make her own suggestions but willing to explore yours & is fearless.

What an amazing experience that was with all those collaborative forces coming together to create magic! I want to thank each & every one of these amazing people including Hotel Adeline who helped me live out my dream as a 50’s pin-up girl. Please go & follow them & show support.Catch you next time loves!

Cheers & Best Wishes,
Afi Like Taffy A.L.T.

Me too Shoes!

Almost 6 years ago I began my journey into becoming a personal fashion stylist at the Luxury brand I run my business through.

I searched everywhere for the right type of footwear as I had to constantly be on my feet running around during client appointments.

After many battles with different brands & styles & still left with bruised & sore toes I came across a brand as per a colleagues recommendation. She said they were sold at Nordstrom’s & with some investigation I headed over there tried them on & bought 3 pairs!

What I love about the shoe is that they have a built-in padded cushion for the heel of your foot, which takes the brunt of your weight. Their unique technology is purrfect for my Lifestyle & I haven’t looked back since!

20 pairs later I started my Style & Lifestyle blog & post an outfit of the day tagging the brand Me Too Shoes & Adam Tucker Footwear daily (as they are both under the same umbrella) on instagram. Me Too Shoes contacted me as they could see how much I love their brands & provided me with the 40% off code INSTAAFI40 for all my followers. I publicized their newest Summer sandals in a mini social media advertisement of me dancing wearing their 2 styles the Norina with the perforated ankle strap in new luggage goat nubuck color & Tarin’s criss cross Strap Chamet shoe in metallic (both pictures below).

I had Instagram followers, clients & friends ordering from them & got such positive feedback that I just received their fall collection!

This weekend I went to Sedona for a romantic getaway with my husband Zacko & wore out my burgundy flats Olympia Me Too Shoes in the quaint village of Tlaquepaque & my Camo print slip on Reese’s at the Buddhist temple Peace Park (both pictured below!) In addition their Hallees in a delicious floral print has me like woah! Check our their website www.metooshoes.com & www.adamtuckerfootwear.com.

Thank you Me Too Shoes & Adam Tucker Footwear for saving my feetsies! Don’t forget to use the coupon code for 40% off! Catch you next time Lovies 😍💋

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T

The Bug!

After Zack The hubster & I’s Kitchen & bathroom renovation was complete people kept telling us we’d get the bug to have more work around the house done but we thought that would never happen! Guess what…We got the bug! We set our sights on the backyard as it was pretty much a dirt backyard with partly cracked concrete leading from the house to the yard with an orange & white checkered fence from the 70’s era surrounding the lot which was on its last leg!

We planned to have them build a new brick wall around the backyard, lay down pavers over the exposed dirt, some planters, build over the cracked concrete flooring, add some turf & lastly install 2 gates one leading to the front of the house & the other to the back. Firstly we had to look at hiring a backyard landscaper but wanted to get quotes …

Certain renovators were asking between $30,000-$50,000 & even one of them did a mock up of our desired backyard plan (we let them see another landscapers rough draft) & tried to charge us $500 to keep it! I know it’s a business but golly gumdrops thats a lot of Mula!

After much debate we ran into Sergio the Owner of Two guys Landscaping & he said he could do everything we asked for under $10,000- Thank baby Jesus!🙋🏽

It took them almost 1 month to complete & would have been sooner had their team not got a bad case of the flu which set them back a week! But Bravo to Sergio & his team for completing it all in a timely manner. Here are some pics of the before & after..

BEFORE.

AFTER:

We went with Tuscan Pavers & had the landscapers coat the concrete to give it a more effortless effect. The Hubster Zack & I love it & had been enjoying it until the 100 degree weather hit Arizona last week!😊

The Spring trend I’m exploring this week is called Logomania! This trend has been publicized in magazines such as In Style, ready to wear & has popped up all over the runway & what it entails is the logo of a brand sporadically placed throughout a garment. I have 3 alternate looks for you to look at based on your body type.

Look1:

This is more of a sporty look in the LogoMania trend with the red Palm Angels cropped logo hoodie $515.00 Givenchy logo snapback hat $525.00, Gucci logo belt pocket bag $1290.00 (The Dream!) Off-white Off cotton sweatpants $555.00 (that color though!) & Balenciaga all over leather logo slides $650.00.

 

Look 2:

 

More of a nighttime look with this delicious Jace Sequin- embroidered jacket from Alice & Olivia $595.00, Madeworn Bob Marley Crewneck Tee $160.00 (one love!✌🏾) Fendi Fever logo embossed belt $580.00 (Yaass!!) Seven for all Mankind floral embroidered ankle skinny jeans $279.00 & Gucci Lawrence faux fur mules $790.00. If your looking for an amazing bold lip color then try this Chanel rouge allure ink matte liquid lip color $37.00! Your welcome!😊

 

LOOK 3:

Look 3 is more of a casual daytime look in the Logomania trend with this Isabel Marant Carley Float print silk dress $1160.00, Moshino logo leather belt $275.00, Balenciaga explorer printed pouch $895.00, Forever Fendi logo strap sandals $550.00 & to get that daytime glow I highly recommend Lancome click & glow highlighting skin fluid $23.00.

Look 1 would be more for my petite ladies with the bare mid drift if your bold & also if you have more confidence than the average person as a curvy lady I recommend high waisted jeans & you should be good. Look 2 & 3 would be great for all body types depending on your taste.

For my medical device users look 3 would call for a removable storage compartment wheather an arm, waist or leg strap depending on where your device is placed. Look 1 & 2 has built in pockets so no thought necessary for storage.

Catch you next time lovies! Before I go how amazing is the quality of my featured blog post image?! Its all cheers to the Photographer @alyssaryanphotography so check her out, she’s talented & lovely jubbly!

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T.

3.4

Ello Lovies!! Ask me why for almost 6 weeks I’d had it in my head that I was turning 33 years old only to realize 2 days before my actual birthday I was indeed entering the big 34?!!😮 Blaming it on short term memory loss but the truth is I wasn’t paying attention with life happening & furthermore my 33rd year has been so amazeballs I unconsciously wanted to relieve it again.☺

Turning 3.4 has its advantages though & I’ve broken them down in 5 points of self realisation like self confidence, time management, priorities, self purpose & lastly happiness.

  1. Self confidence – Feeling comfortable in my own skin has taken me forever to get too but after actually turning 33 I found my way to accepting my body & realizing that I am a happy & healthy size 10. Working out a few times a week for my hereditary Type one diabectic condition & blood monitoring is mandatory (for myself) & so is eating healthily but also having cheat days is a must for my sanity!😊🍰🍿🍩
  2. Time Management- Wasting my time with people who aren’t reciprocal of the effort put in to maintain friendships are a no no unless their family or live across another continent. Its important to surround yourself with happy, warm & genuine people who inspire you & help lift you up. Those unhappy, miserable debbie downers are a waist of time so drop the dead weight!
  3. Priorities- This is a given but creating lists that help me prioritize my responsibilities in an orderly fashion is so important. My family come before anything else, my health, friends & work all in that order.
  4. Self Purpose- After letting go of my dream to be the next Beyoncé, (Joke! No really) Actually letting go of the fact that I wasn’t going to be a famous singer I found my second calling in fashion styling & now with the world establishing influencers as their “leaders” in generating business I’ve jumped on that band wagon & found my true path as a Style & Lifestyle blogger! It’s a lot of work but so much fun!🙋🏽
  5. Happiness- is the key to leading my best life & we all want to be happy. You have to actively think about being happy & stay that way as its so easy to be sad or mad so unless there’s a reason BE HAPPY!!

I hope these pointers have helped you in some way as they have me. They pertain to every age group to a certain extent & are certainly something to consider…

The next chapter brings us to fashion & this week I’m portraying another spring trend that is called CheckMate. This trend is literally gingham, a reinvented geometric pattern that looks like a chess board however in fashion there are a myriad of colors in conjunction with the checkmate trend. I personally can’t get enough of this trend so here are some fun ways to style the CheckMate trend.

LOOK 1:

Look 1 is all about portraying the business side of the checkmate trend & giving it a little edge. We have this suiting by Sara Battaglia checked double breasted jacket $1110.00, Valentine Garavani rockstud polka dot leather ankle strap pumps $1045.00, Saint Laurent medium leather crossbody bag $1790.00, Majorca pearl and silver stud earrings $75.00 & Celine 56mm exaggerated cat eye black sunglasses $460.00. We call need that power red lip color to compliment suiting so I added Laura Mercier velor extreme lippie $28.00 & lastly Givenchy noir nail polish no.4 $24.00.

LOOK 2:

Look 2 has this delicious Tartan “checkmate” skirt by Johanna Ortiz $1650.00, Cotton citizen classic v-neck t-shirt, Aquazurra all tied up floral sandals $725.00, Alice & Olivia Sally rainbow Pom Pom tote $325.00 🙌🏾 I paired that with Roberto Coin diamond 18K yellow gold ring $1900.00 & everyone needs a little color so I added Clarins limited edition bronzing which is to-die-for, Dolce & Gabbana 63mm round sunglasses $590.00 & lastly Vita Fede mini titan cuff in rose gold $2400.00.

LOOK 3:

Look 3 is a more playful daytime look! I teamed this off-the-shoulder checkmate blouse by Petersyn $288.00 with Cotton citizen high rise split skinny white denim $295.00. A.L.C baby Charlie leather fanny pack $595.00, Rebecca Minkoff Arden wrapped silk floral slides (on my wish list!😊) $125.00. All paired with the Gucci fashion show dark Havana crystal mask sunglasses $1380.00, John Hardy chain diamond & blue topaz stud earrings $1300.00 & David Yurman silver cuff bracelet with diamonds $2400.00.

For my curvy ladies look 2 would be my option as it’s more flattering, caters to the curves whilst being playful at the same time. Both looks 1 & 3 are like night & day catering to business with one look & pleasure with the next. For my Diabectic pump/medical device users both looks have pockets so there is storage for your devices however with look 2 it may be a bra storage or an alternate way to store your medical device deal!

Cheers for checking out my blog post & stay tuned for more spring trends in the upcoming weeks!

Cheers & Best Wishes,

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T.

Pink Parrrty!!!

Ello Lovies! Apologies on being M.I.A there’s no excuse other than life but my childhood friend whom I lost touch with & hadn’t seen in 12 YEARS came to Scottsdale, Arizona by chance!!

Tumi, I and another lady (Alliccia) were in a musical singing group together called In Harmz Way in Mill Hill, North London in 1995 & we’ve known each other since we were 12 years of age. We grew up attending the same Mount School, wearing ugly brown uniforms & performed our original songs (singing & dancing) to the entire school. We even did lunch time concerts with the infamous Amy Winehouse who also attended the same school & was in our Music & English class! Before you ask we weren’t friends but had mutual respect for one another…

After making many original musical demo’s in studios across London, taking professional pictures for content & getting a manager our parents decided that we should pursue education over music so we parted ways. Tumi went to Hull University & I to De Montfort University,Leicestershire. That unfortunately was the last time Tumi & I saw each other until last weekend! Here is one of the professional pictures we took as a group before dispersing to University.

3 weeks ago I got an instagram message from Tumi that she was going to be flying to Scottsdale, Arizona for work & would be staying at the Valley Ho Hotel. She asked if that Hotel was anywhere close to where I live & to both our surprise I replied that I could walk there in 5 mins from my house!!! I started to concoct plans of taking her to old town Scottsdale & downtown Phoenix so she could get the best of Arizona. (cheers for the recommendation my insta followers) 😉😊

Here is a clip Tumi filmed of us reuniting after 15 years & she hasn’t changed one bit other than being more astute, commanding & confident in herself.

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Here are the images of us enjoying each other in Old Town, Scottsdale at The Beverly a local & stylish bar/restaurant  with my Hubby Zack, DownTown Phoenix at Pomo the Italian restaurant then Valley Bar (my fav underground place on earth, you should go…your welcome) & then at her Mizani for L’Oreal Summit which was the reason she was here in the first place! Tumi lead a presentation as the head of marketing & KILLED IT, I was so proud to watch her spread her magic!

 

 

It was amazeballs reuniting with her as after losing contact the universe brought us back to each others lives for a reason. I was missing my sister & I got her back! It truly was meant to be as Tumi also fell in love with an American so here we are Brits living & working in the U.S! Her in New York & myself in Arizona.

Pink is SUCH a big trend this spring season & you can see the different shades of it from blush to bubblegum to deep pink popping up everywhere on the runway to retail in the luxury brand I run my business through. It shouts SPRING to me personally & the start of something new. Here are some outfits put together for this pop of color trend.

Firstly for my bohemian look I have this Pello Bello Jack Fluffy Feather Fever jacket (try saying that 5 times in a row🤣) $248.00 paired with Loeffler Randall minimal rider shoulder bag $495.00 & these delicious Joie Abigail suede sandals $298.00.

 

Next for a very special occasion I have one of my favorite gowns of the season this Marchesa Chantilly lace gown $8995.00, for bit of ice Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier diamond 18k pink gold & stainless steel Bracelet watch $14300.00.Gucci is so hot right now so I included their Linea Farfalla flap leather wallet $420.00 & to finish off the look Jimmy Choo fringe stiletto suede sandals $895.00.

 

Lastly for a sultry night time look I have these Celine Pink square sunnies $400.00 obsessed! T by Alexander Wang lace up long sleeve bodysuit $160.00, Frame Le color distressed skinny denim $199.00, Gucci Guccify leather shoulder bag $4890.00 & Aquazurra powder puff velvet sling back pumps $795.00, the dream!🙌🏾

 

 

For my curvy girls looks 1 & 3 would be great paired with a darker denim or even black as an alternative if your not comfortable with white!

For my pump users looks 2 & 3 place the pump lower on your back & or clip it accordingly (to a stomach strap) so you can show off your outfit to its full capacity!

Cheers for checking out these fun pink looks! Catch you next times Lovies!

Cheers & Best wishes,😍💋

Afi Like Taffy A.L.T