Walking to New Orleans.......

I always thought about the idea of going on a trip solo for a while now (my niece “When Geeks Travel, did a trip a year before) it inspired me and I decided to give it a shot in May 2018.  It was a few days before my birthday, a year since graduating grad-school and I was itching to getaway. I was used to telling friends or family “I can’t go” because of a final and now I ended up with a lot of free time.  A few days before leaving for NOLA, I was nervous if I made the right decision to go on a trip by myself to a city that is known for partying. I figured I can’t turn back now and either way the experience would end up on the blog, ha ha!

Rather than running from attraction to attraction, I realized I am more of  fly under the radar, live as I would if I lived there type of traveler. New Orleans ended up being  the perfect city to break in traveling solo. The culture, music, food, and the coffee! The people in NOLA are friendly, warm, and welcoming.   Special shout out to my friend Allyson and my new friend’s from NOLA Scott and Robi they really looked out for this city gal!

New York Times listed New Orleans as the top place in the world to visit for 2018. With this year being the 300th anniversary of the city, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to check out. I’m glad I did! Check it out!

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Street Cars – The city still operates very old-school trams. Of course I got lost in one of them being Uber spoiled! Not only do they look cool but they also take you almost anywhere a tourist would want to go! At $3 for an unlimited day ticket or $1.25 single ride they are by far the cheapest (albeit a little slower) way to get around town.

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Cemetary Tours-Due to much of the city being below sea level, burying the deceased above the ground is common practice, making the city’s cemeteries a popular tourist attraction..  St. Louis Cemetery #1, was one of my first stops in NOLA. It is where the famous Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, is believed to be buried. Book your tour though the nonprofit Save Our Cemeteries to help support their preservation.

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City Park – The largest in-city park in the US, (an easy uber or streetcar away) is also home to a fabulous art museum (mix of contemporary art and antiques with a great mix of well known artists) a pretty good botanical garden and a nearby sculpture park.

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French Quarter- Besides Bourbon Street (check out Acme for the Chargrill Oysters btw), there are more activities to do in the French Quarter.   Walk around (with a to-go cup from Pat O’Brien’s) and take in the beautiful Spanish and French Architecture. You’ll run into beautiful Jackson Square where you can have a peek into St. Louis Cathedral (oldest cathedral in the U.S.), watch cute old people dance, and most importantly make a beignets stop at the very famous 24-hour open Café Du Monde for your Beignet fix and frozen coffee. This combo was amaze I ended up here a few times during my 4 day trip. First time having Bourbon Punch too, Bourbon House specializes in that!

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Frenchmen Street-Walk down the street, listen to the open venues, and grab a seat and listen to music, swaying back and forth in your own world. The Spotted Cat was my favorite! Then check out the market!

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New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA): they have a mix of contemporary art. When I went to NOMA in May, I spent a good half the morning there with my lovely friend Allyson. The Alexander McQueen exhibit was EPIC! “A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes”  The exhibit showcased rare pieces from one of the world’s largest private collections from the designer. After NOMA stroll over to Morning Call-I kid you not they have the best Cafe Au Lait!

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Walking tour of The Treme:  The Treme' (pronounced Tre-May) sits adjacent to the French Quarter and is the oldest African-American neighborhood in the United States.   Treme' was originally settled by Free People of Color; often referred to as Creoles, whose unique experience helped shape the civil rights movement. It is the hallmark of African-American history not to be missed. Today, Treme' is home to artists, musicians, and craftsmen and is a living, breathing, joyful piece of New Orleans history.  The tour I went on, had a great balance of historical info and personal anecdotes from our local tour guide Robi, who is a resident of Treme’.  Robi was deeply knowledgeable (and passionate about) his community and it shined through in his analysis of cultural politics in the neighborhood.

Louis Armstrong Park: As soon as you set foot in the park, you have engulfed yourself in African American history that dates back to the 18th century. From Congo Square to the Mahalia Jackson Theater, every inch of the park’s grounds contain history that has become a vital part of New Orleans’ culture. The park’s history involves slave culture, music, dance and entertainers that have all made an impact on the Treme area.

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Magazine St. – I spent time on Magazine Street the final day before heading to the airport. I couldn’t get enough of looking at the Southern Style porches! This is a long stretch of street in the lower garden district with cute bars, antique shops, vintage stores and interior shops with stretches of residential colonial style houses in between. My last meal was at the Ruby Slipper, ahh it was amaze never had biscuits so fluffy and sweet. Thanks for the recommendation Scott!

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I am grateful for NOLA being my first solo traveler experience. I embraced my identity in a way I didn’t think was possible and eagerly submersed myself in the culture, meeting new people, and discovering things about myself.  I am stoked to plan more solo trips for 2019 and beyond!

Xo
Kosi

Love Of The Knit

Knitwear for women is a long-standing classic in feminine fashion, it’s so versatile. My love of knitwear comes from my wholesale experience with Qi Cashmere, it was my first job graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology. While at QI Cashmere I was able to see the design team playing with proportions, hues and wool thickness creating knits for all tastes.

In the summer my sister who is THE KNIT expert taught me how to knit. I am in the process of finishing up my first project: A COWL (a post on that is coming when it’s finished):

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The fall 2018 runway knits got me inspired months ago. Now that the weather is a bit cooler, I’ve stoked to have an excuse to wear a chunky sweater!

Prabal Gurung Fall 2018

Prabal Gurung Fall 2018

BCBG 2018

BCBG 2018

Check out my favs, that will make you certainly feel comfortable and look stunning!

Occasionally, sweaters can fall victim to pilling. Taking the sweaters to the dry cleaner can be costly and also the sweaters could lose it’s shape. To minimize the trip to the dry cleaner I suggest purchasing The Wool & Cashmere Spray or Wool & Cashmere Kit from the Laundress.

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Side note: The Laundress products are made with nontoxic, biodegradable and allergen-free materials. The spray in particular, works great as a natural moth repellent for closets, drawers, refreshing the scent on drawer liners, and long-term storage.

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Besides knitwear what items are you stoked to rock this fall?

xo

Kos

All the Wellness Thangs at The Project Beauty Expo

Fall is here! When I think of fall it’s usually: Flannels, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, and Leather Jackets. However in the last days of summer, I had the opportunity to attend the Project Beauty Expo and pick up a few items to jump start my fall beauty routine right!

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 The Project Beauty Expo (PBE) has been in existence for three years and was launched by Brittany Brown. The expo features wellness, personal care, and cosmetic brands founded by women of color.  I was inspired as an aspiring entrepreneur seeing 40 brands showcase their product.  The expo provided a space were women of color could gain additional knowledge in band wellness and connected with fellow beauty enthusiasts. 

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As soon as you entered Cosmic Juice was there offering a refreshing beverage (It was hot af that day) The Aura Tonic stood out to me as the ingredients are also good for the fall to treat the common cold: Ginger, Lemon, Pineapple, Watermelon. I plan to add to the protein shakes I drink in the morning :)

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My skin does very weird things when the seasons change..does this happen to y’all? So much so that I am careful of what type of soap I use. I think the universe heard my concern because I ran right into Kim Waldropt of Terra Tory’s products. The artisan-soap line is hypoallergenic and inspired aerial landscape photography.

Me being a sucker for anything lavender scented opted for the Milk and Lavender soap.  I am going to try the  Cocoa, Coffee,Oatmeal Bar  next!

Me being a sucker for anything lavender scented opted for the Milk and Lavender soap. I am going to try the Cocoa, Coffee,Oatmeal Bar next!

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Blade and Bloom offers 100% natural skincare products that do good while making you feel good. Their products are handmade in Chicago packaged in recyclable / reusable containers. I stopped dead in my tracks when seeing (drumroll please) A JADE ROLLER!

I have been wanting to try the facial roller trend for sometime now…again the universe coming in to play. I used the summer to improve my skin routine (pores no more) and drink more water. The results have been astounding. Why not step it up with the benefits of a JADE ROLLER:

Issa Vibe
Various crystals are speculated to offer different benefits, the rollers are no diff. Rose quartz is said to improve anxiety, reduce negative energy, and aid with romance and self-love. Amethyst is said to promote healing and balance, including sleep and the nervous system, and jade (the one I purchased) is meant to be calming.

Anti-inflammatory
They make great tools for calming the skin, reducing inflammation and puffiness, and providing a cooling massage to tired facial muscles.

Adding the essentials kit to the Jade Roller purchase was a smart move. I use it a few hours before bed time. Tip: put the roller in the freezer for 10 mins it wakes your face right up. I know I just said I use it before bed time but on top of the essentials oils that are meant to “calm” you down for me it works better ;)

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Check out Fashion Edits the week of October 1st as I highlight more brands from the Project Beauty Expo!

Follow PBE on INSTAGRAM and sign up for their newsletter, they are expanding (get on it!)

xo

Kos