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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
Ello Lovies!! This past week i’ve been getting my ducks in order. New year plan is to shape up this website & really focus on polishing it into what I DREAM of it becoming. I met an amazing blogger called Josie (her handler name is hellosilhouette on the Gram so follow her) & we had a couple of brainstorming sessions & a photo shoot at my house so we could create some content for my social media & blogs as content is KEY! It went exceptionally well as Josie has a knack for bringing out my goofy side in pics that I was admittedly too nervous (or too British) to share. She has been in this blogging business for quite sometime coming up with ideas some of us are too afraid to say out loud let alone act on but she is DOING it! Cheers Indeed love!
Here are some of the images taken in my newly renovated sitting room area & home office. Our color scheme in our sitting area is mostly maple cognac, granite, browns’s, cream & white. We wanted to create a calm space to relax in after a hard day at work.
For my home office above I only wanted 3 colors to be used for my personal space, white, light gray & green & that to me is perfection coupled with the wooden flooring! Combined they opened up the space whilst being photo friendly & ready for my fashion blog shoots.
Spring 2018 trends we are looking at pops of color from all pinks to crystal embellishment, pearls, vertical stripes, the Trackstar (tracksuit) is back. Denim sweatpants have made a comeback, the ultimate cuff denim, deconstructed denim, ornate embellished denim & lastly asymmetrical denim. Low slung, utility & mum jeans are going to be more popular than ever.
For the next 13 weeks i’ll be going through each trend showcasing how I would style it & how adaptable a pump User (Tandem T: Slim X2) such as myself can navigate around them. Yes I got a Diabectic pump readers! Just after I met my insurance deductible for the year I invested in my health so that means we payed very minimal cost. Felt like I cheated the system which was bloody brilliant! I’m still on my first week so still adjusting but can’t help feeling like i’m looking after a small child that is my “pancreas”.
Catch you next week lovies where I will begin my Spring Trend Investigations. Can you guess which title i’m going to investigate…you’ll have to tune in to see!
Cheers & Best Wishes,
Afi Like Taffy A.L.T
Ello Lovies! I hope your week day has been going great?! My renovations you reckon is 1 day away from being complete if you can believe it?! We’re getting so excited to have our kitchen/ house back after Glamping (Glamorous Camping) for 3 weeks!😳 Everything in our house is at an upheaval as we’re painting our hallway, color matching the ceiling of our kitchen to our dining room as they’re all one space now with the kitchen remodel & re-painting the husband, Zack’s office. I didn’t realize he had so many freaking sneakers & I thought I was bad! Lol😏 Here’s a sneak peek of our custom new maple cognac cabinets that just went up from Woodmark! Awesome sauce!🙋🏽
Don’t know if you know this but I’ve been living in Arizona for 10 years (since April 2007) having moved here for Love & found myself lacking in Black girlfriends. Coming from such a multicultural background & living in London pretty much my whole life in such a melting pot, I paid no attention to it. I have to mention I have every nationality of girlfriend & do not discriminate against any race but I just couldn’t build a long lasting connection with any black women in Arizona. Missing the closeness of my 5 sisters (who live in London) since I’d moved across the pond & Zack could see that with my obsession with the HBO show Insecure. I would act like the main characters Issa Rae & Molly we’re my Besties so with that clear indication he encouraged me to seek out more “Sister” friends! 😂 I went on Facebook & lo & behold there was an invite to a black Girl Magic Phoenix Brunch that was being held 2 miles down the road from where I live. If that wasn’t a sign I don’t know what was!! Now this event had popped up in my Facebook news feed many times but I was a little nervous going on my own but I finally grew some female balls, purchased a ticket online & selected my brunch choice with beverage (omlette with bottomless mimosas🍳🥂) Cheers!😋
Cueing up in line I started to do what I always do which is nervously sweat & question what the HELL I was doing there?! A lady in front of me in line with long bouncy curls & stylish framed glasses smiled So I spoke asking her if it was her first time which it was then we went from there.I sat next to her & we introduced ourselves, chatted then 2 other ladies came to the same table asking to sit as well & we all connected, shared our stories & exchanged contact details with plans to meet at a later date…Here are the beautiful ladies I met at the Black Girl Magic Phoenix Brunch whom I hope to develop a solid friendship with!😍
After getting to know the ladies at our table the Creator of Black Girls Brunch Gaybrielle, a Phoenix Native introduced herself to the entire room, a warm & bubbly lady whom I could not be more enthralled by! She introduced her Co-Founder of Black Girl Magic Phoenix Kyley & a volunteer Deanna. Gaybrielle described that Black Girl Brunch was created for black women to “see” each other, network & it was a place where ladies became “Sister Friends” & I totally agree with that. Gaybrielle mentioned that they usually shine light on one of the guests/ members business but this week they just wanted everyone to mingle & get to know each other… Here’s a shot of Gaybrielle & I after a little sesh on the dance floor.💃🏿💃🏿
There was a lot of dancing with a fun Dj, networking, delicious peach cobbler cheesecake dessert & bottomless mimosa’s, a fun experience it was indeed!!! If your looking for strong black women who are self- driven, empowered & looking for girlfriends then this is for you.
Catch you next time Lovies,
Cheers & Best Wishes,
Afi Like Taffy A.L.T 😍❤️
Ello Lovies! The last 2 weeks have been hectic with life & me trying to get back on my gym game. I’ve been slacking, still trying to hold on to that summer Holidaze “feels” of chilling. As a type 1 Diabectic it’s essential for me to exercise as it lowers my blood sugars naturally & the less insulin (which is a protein that keeps me alive) I use, the better. I know I haven’t touched much on my condition but I was diagnosed a month before my 27th birthday for juvenile (or type 1) diabetes which is pretty old in age diagnosis. Some children get it as young as 3 years old but at almost 27 years it was rare & I’ve been living with this condition for 6 years (shhh don’t tell anyone my age 😊). Firstly there are 2 types of diabetes if you don’t know. Type 1 is hereditary & Type 2 is not. Type 1 diabetes is an incurable condition that can only be managed & I do that by checking my blood sugar about 5 times a day, (pricking my finger with a lancet & placing my blood drop on a test strip that produces a reading) counting carbs I eat & calculating that by how much medication (insulin) to give myself to control it, exercising & trying to eat well. Doctors nicknamed my condition Type 1.5 (which is even more uncommon) as I got to lead a relatively normal childhood without syringes, blood tests, insulin & such…
This all came about when my Hubster Zack & I decided to take a trip to Las Vegas as we were promoting his Printing & Embroidery business in 2011 & after much debauchery of late nights, drinking, no sleep & eating all the wrong foods we got back home to Arizona & I found it hard to look at the television or images in general. My gym workouts were a struggle as I had no energy to run on the treadmill & was easily out of breath which was abnormal being an athlete my whole life.The real kicker came when I started to vomit everything I ate & in 3 days lost 15 lbs. My extremely worried husband took me to a random doctors office & after checking me out (with no blood test) told me I had a “cold” & prescribed me sugary syrup cough medications. BIG MISTAKE! (oh I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Women when she gets shunned by the snooty sales associates then goes back to said store with all her new shopping bags to tell them off !!😂) After taking the prescribed medications I disintegrated further becoming disorientated & my Zack & mum-in -law Kris carried me to the hospital. The doctors & nurse did some blood tests & said a normal person’s blood sugar should be between 80-120 mg/dl, mine was tested at 1200 mg\dl. Firstly I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabectic (basically my God given pancreas stopped working) secondly I was entering a Diabectic coma, and lastly a couple more days going untreated & I would have been dead.
I was in the I.C.U for 3 days & the hospital for 5 more days after that…it’s a miracle I’m alive today.
Zack says he would ask me the days leading up to my diagnosis if I was awake or asleep & I would say disorientated shaking my head “I’m in between, I’m in between!”. We laugh about it now because we were crying at the time…what doesn’t kill you & all…literally! Very dramatic but there you have it with my diagnosis story. My pancreas was in a honeymoon phase & was producing insulin from somewhere nobody knows but it had a limited supply hence I was labelled a Type 1.5 Diabectic. It eventually shut down after our Vegas trip just before I turned 27! Happy. Freaking.Birthday.To. Me.
So exercise is a big part of my life like my condition I have to do it. Boxing, running, stepping, eliptical, cycling, weight & circuit training fitness, you name it i’ve done or am doing it 3-4 times a week. I want to live a long life & between seeing an endocrinologist ( my diabetes doctor) & dentist every 3 months I hopefully will! I now manage my condition with a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) and an Omnipod (wireless pump) personal diabetes manager, pre-filled flex pen with insulin & syringes & My last A1C (how i’ve managed the sugar in my blood for the last 3 months) was 7.3. (could be better & working on that but not perfect)
I find ways to incorporate my Diabectic style into my wardrobe by either hindering my pump (when I wore one) with fun & funky armbands to secure it for my workouts or swimming. Or just showing it off. My favorite experience was when a lady walked up to me at a supermarket & blatantly pointed at my arm & asked “what is that?” I replied it’s my outside pancreas! She looked appalled & started to walk away but I explained to her what it really entailed & she ended up offering to take me out for tea! Lovely jubbly!!☕️🙋🏽
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed how I became “Le Diabectic” feel free to leave comments below, I welcome them! Catch you next time!
Cheers & Best Wishes,
Afi Like Taffy A.L.T
Ello lovies! Taking you back to the nightmare of our Renovations you reckon?! Both our bathrooms are finally done & I can’t tell you how happy we are with the end results. Here are some pictures to show the before & after like I promised… we went with smoky mosiac tile floors that look like wood (as floors get dirty easily), white porcelain wall tiles with a hint of gray & white quartz countertops with the same color scheme which opened up the bathroom as they’re small. Brushed nickel was our choice of metal for all of our appliances so that flowed from the shower head to the bog (toilet) paper holder.
What a difference 1 month makes innit?! After all the drama & disappointment amazing work came out of it!
In continuance with my San Franciscan summer holiday, Day 3 we were feeling groggy after the ice-cream coma so decided we needed an energy boost & rented bicycles!
Our bike ride lasted 8 bloody miles which was NOT our intention so a bike hike is what it turned out to be,Lol ? We rode our bikes from Fishermans wharf down to the Golden Gate bridge and then rode through the Presidio down to Golden Gate Park where we laid on the grass for a bit to relax.
Here is a pic of me rocking my Lorna Jane workout gear after our exhausting bike/ hike. We decided to do one of my favorite things, SHOPPING!!!? We hit up Haight-Ashbury for the stores that don’t exist back home in Arizona. We went to boutiques & found so many graffiti wall art which I fell in love with! Here I am rocking my Topshop Jamie denim, Miss selfridge Nude off- the shoulder bodysuit, Zara bag & Urban Outfitters gray booties.
That night was my favorite night of the entire trip as we were invited by our bestie Badfish to watch his Dj friend lay down some tracks at Madrone Art Bar in Hayes Valley. The theme was Motown Monday’s & as soon as we got into the bar people were boogieing down like it was “1999”! I was like “here are my people!” So I just danced through the crowd & we were dancing all night! Here Zack & I are happy having had a little sauce ☺️ but mostly just enjoying the great ambiance!
Next week Wednesday I’ll let you know about the last chapter of our Holidaze including our journey to Lake Tahoe!
Cheers & Best Wishes,
Afi Like Taffy