Peacock Finds: Fall And Winter 2013 Book Reads- Biographies

Alyssa Manners Fall Winter Reading List

I’m sure by now you’ve read or at least glimpsed at my About Me section, so you have an idea of who I am and my background. I have a joint degree in English and Journalism, so clearly my love for writing knows no limits. But I am also very passionate about reading. Sometimes (often times), television shows are simply not enough. Not enough substance, not enough depth, not enriching whatsoever. And where reruns of Sex And The City or Mad Men fail me (it’s rare), a book will forever find success.  Continue reading

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To Trend Or Not To Trend? Box Braids & Yarn Wraps

Janet-braids

As you know, I am on a quest of hair growth discovery. After wearing my hair chic, sleek and short, I am ready to dive back into long hair, but actually take care of it this time. Au revoir, mon cherie short hair.

I am woman enough to admit that the struggle is real. I want to do something different to it, and the monotony of wearing my hair the same, all day, every day, is killing me!!!! So I have decided that box braids would be a fun but proactive way of treating my needs. I can grow my hair under the safe protection of the style, but I also have a nice change of pace.

Quick history lesson: Box braids and the art of braiding are an African tradition that is said to date back all the way to the dawn of civilization. The first documented artifacts depicting braids trace back to 2630 B.C. This isn’t something new kiddies.

Box braids got their name because, well, they look like a sea on consecutive boxes woven into the hair. I have had box braids one time when I was 13, and though they were pretty, I am not of a patient nature.

12 years later, I may have changed my mind.

I’m torn. On one hand, I would totally be dope girl fresh in box braids, immortalized among the greats, past and present. The style has most recently found its way onto the heads of your favorite celebrities. Note: I threw in some classic pics of the best braid wearers to ever do it for fun:

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Beyonce-Box-Braids

Beyonce is reaching back to her roots. LOL

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Gucci & RocNation Pre-GRAMMY Brunch - Arrivals

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Tae Heckard

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Brandy-styl-in-the-Nineties

 On the other, I am the anti-trend. I try to avoid them like the plague, but they have been crawling into my life more frequently than I would prefer. Hidden wedge sneakers? Stiletto nails (though in my defense, I was wearing them long before they were a universal commodity)? Digitally printed sweatshirts and all things created out of leather? Dammit, I love it all.

That’s one thought. The other is this new but not so new style known as Yarn Braids. Crafted out of acrylic yarn, this style is fashioned out of the look of dreadlocks, but faux. Faux locks. Pro: Chic. Con: Very lengthy installment process, very, very trendy. Check out how they look in the video below:

Stay tuned Monday for my final result!!!!

Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock

Video Courtesy Of GranolaHeads2010.

Video Courtesy of KnottiKurls.

Growing Up (And Out) Is Hard To Do

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Little Peacock First Day of Kindergarten

It has been over a year since I decided “Long Hair, Don’t Care” wasn’t for me. I’d been wearing long hair most of my life, and was afraid that short hair would look awful. I’m not a fan of fear. I walk right up to it and punch square in the face.

At the end of my cosmetology school stint last year, I decided a change was needed. I was in a different place in my life, and what better way to signify that change but with a haircut? Plus, with all of the frying and dying I did to my hair, it wasn’t hard to let go of my deceased tresses.

Fast forward a year and some change, and I’ve cut, colored, decolorized, and God knows what else to this hair, I am ready to start my descent back into longer hair. Fact is, as much as I adore my hair short, it grows obscenely fast, and is impossible to keep up. To maintain its cuteness, I need to get my hair cut once a week. It’s also the end of the year, and I am preparing for the woman I want to become in 2013 now in every aspect. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial. All of these are on the road to better.

So I begin my journey to growing out my hair, but I want to do it right this time. I’m going back to the basics.

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When I was a kid, my mother kept my hair regimen very simple. She used Wildroot plus Mane and Tail to moisturize/style my hair. Wildroot is very lightweight, and doesn’t leave your hair sticky or greasy.

Now I know I’m not as young as I was in the above picture, and though hair color & hormones have waged war on me, I believe that going back to my roots [no pun intended] is critical in my success.

Sidenote: I died in hysteria while watching “Blades of Glory” when the came to the Mane and Tail scene. Yes, you can use it on your pets because it’s animal and human friendly.

Yes, that is also baby shampoo. They contain mild surfactants that rid your hair of dirt but do not strip it. The debate is, since adults use so many harsh chemicals in their hair, baby shampoo does not do an adequate job in cleansing the hair. That is exactly why I opted into using it. Like said, back to the basics with my hair. Plus it’s great for in between hair washes, as it doesn’t strip away all of the oils curly-haired people like myself are dying to get.

I am also going to work my ass off and stay clear of hair color for a little while. After my latest hair color binge (went from blond to red to brown in a 72 hour period), my hair is slightly stripped, and will probably need to get cut out over time to promote healthy hair. I adore hair color, so this is going to be a test of self-discipline.

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I will keep you posted on the wins and woes of the grow out.

Short hair, you will be missed!!!

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Merry Christmas Eve All!!!

A Peacock’s Christmas: My “All I Want For Christmas” Wish List

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*Mariah voice* I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There are just some things I need. I kinda care about the presents, underneath the Christmas tree.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a person that is only concerned with receiving Christmas gifts. I enjoy gifting my family & friends with little touch of dopeness.

And let the record show, I am not a label whore or a price tag checker. The sentiment means far more to me than the name in the clothes or the cost of the item. I have a pair of earrings that I adore that cost $1.00 and a pair of $200 shoes collecting dust in the back of my closet. The best gifts are the ones that show how much you care. Don’t disrespect me with labels. Lavish me with love.

So if you plan on buying for Moi, but have no idea where to begin, here are a few of my favorite things in no particular order:

1. Leather Snapback

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I am strung out over beanies and snapbacks. Though I am anti-trends, I have developed a proclivity for hats since cutting my hair last October. Beanies and snapbacks provide a sense of street kid cool I could never quite grasp in high school. I am so smitten over this Accessories Boutique Leather Snapback it’s ridiculous. Must have for year round adventures.

2. The Nike Dunk Sky Highs

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-577898/pgid-568113

Probably the priciest thing on my list, I am going mad with desire for these kicks. Like said, I wasn’t very “street chic” in high school. I could never seem to properly coordinate a pair of Pepe Jeans with Air Force 1‘s. These Nike Dunks provide sneaker comfort with a hidden wedge twist. Isabel Marant may have laid the framework for the hidden wedge, but Nike is taking it to new heights. Pun intended.

I’m not picky. Any of these colorways will do.

3. Gemstone Ear Cuff

ASOS Pastel Rainbow Ear Cuff

ASOS Pastel Rainbow Ear Cuff

I was very tempted to get an over the top, heavily embellished peacock feather ear cuff, but realized that I couldn’t wear it as regularly as I want. Plus I am beginning to move out of my feathery phase and into more stones. Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires, Amethyst, etc… are what I would prefer (or at least a cheaper rendering). The ASOS Pastel Rainbow Ear Cuff (shown above) is a bit expensive for my taste, especially because you only get one, but isn’t it beautiful? Asos has loads of others too that are within price range and are drop dead stunners.

ASOS Crystal Scroll Ear Cuff

ASOS Crystal Scroll Ear Cuff

ASOS Double Jewelled Ear Cuffs

ASOS Double Jewelled Ear Cuffs

ASOS Rhinestone Snake Ear Cuff

ASOS Rhinestone Snake Ear Cuff

If I’m going to be honest, I would really prefer a custom made piece. Something that looks as though careful consdieration were placed into it. Etsy has a great variety and are handmade so that no two are the same.

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Dangly Ear Cuff

4. Masculine Yet Feminine Gold Watch

Bold Pave' Case Bracelet Watch by VT Luxe

Bold Pave’ Case Bracelet Watch by VT Luxe

I usually wear men’s watches because they are made of better and sturdier material. Plus, they pack an extra POW! in size and gaudiness. Women’s watches always look so dainty and timid like they are afraid to be great. Maybe I am reading too much into this.

I just so happened to trip and fall in love with these watches. Though very different, they are very statement-worthy and fun!!! Curiously enough, they are also both women’s watches. The Bold Pave’ Case Bracelet Watch (above) has such a clean aesthetic and would be great with any outfit. I’ve murdered my big face watch, so this would be a fab upgrade.

Kirks Folly Brilliant Butterfly Light-Up Watch

Kirks Folly Brilliant Butterfly Light-Up Watch

Though a little girly, I am digging the detail on this Kirks Folly Butterfly Watch.

Sidenote:

I love Michael Kors, but I am sick to death of seeing MK watches everywhere!!! I know at least 12 people in real life that own modified versions of the same watch. Why must we look like we came off of the same damn factory line? Walking around like a bunch of carbon copies. *tisk tisk*

Moral Of The Story: You know what? I may end up buying these goodies for myself. Because really, the only thing better than getting a gift from someone else is giving to yourself!!! If you don’t get any worthwhile gifts this year, spoil yourself! You only live once, that’s the motta…YOLO!!!

Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock

IG Weekend Wrapup: Weddings x Go Karts x Christmas

Midday Vamp

Yes, I “mean mug” a lot. I don’t understand why I do it, but it happens. Moving on…

I hope your weekend was as fabulous as mine!!! Have you ever had one of those crazy hectic weekends that leaves no time to sleep like you hoped? That’s basically every weekend for me, and this one was no exception.

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should be by now), you can only imagine the amount of things that transpired.

One of my dear friends, Cecily, tied the knot Saturday at the beautiful Riverside Park in Red Bank, and I was honored to be her maid of honor. Though the temperature in Jersey is below burrrr, it was a clear and crisp day, perfect for the exchanging of vows. I will disclose more specifics when the photographer sends me the photos, so for now, please see above for a visual reference.

After the wedding, it was off to the races…Sorta.

A group of my friends and I decided to ditch the dainty and throw on our bad girl for a night of Go Karting.

(Left to Right) Bodacious “Bunny” Brittany, Kissin’ Kimmy, (me!!!) A+ Alyssa, AcQUAINTance Quinn, & Words of Wisdom Juanita. Terry’s behind the camera.

For whatever reason, chambray hates me. It doesn’t matter how much I iron it, fold it, or hang it, it’s hell bent on wrinkling. Oh well. Outfit wise, I opted for these really cool two tone skinnies that I bought from Forever 21. They remind me of Rag & Bone jeans, but in my size & within my budget.

Just another day at the track

I partnered my asinine shirt and jean combo with a pair of black leather and suede riding boots.

Had to get serious!!! There was a Time Crisis!!!

Topped it off with a black Pashmina scarf and beanie and away we go!!! A lot of people were feeling my lip game, so I’ll spill the tea. My lipstick of choice is “Hestia” by NYX Cosmetics. It’s a deep, red wine color that is silky smooth on your lips. With the temperature dropping, I am excited to try deeper shades of red and plum. Stay tuned for a product review coming soon.

What would the night be without drinks with the girls?

(left to right): Me & B.B.

After I was brutally beaten on the track, I deserved a strong drink. I won’t disclose the topics of conversation because a lady never tells.

She’s always laughing at me. Is it the way I look?

Let’s just say that things went awry in 2.5!!! Gotta love your homies!!!

Kisses for my Kimmy!!!

Sunday was recoup day. But before I could have nap time, I had to get my Christmas tree in order.

An EXPLOSION of Peacock

Since this is the first Christmas that I’m living by myself, I decided to get the hottest ornaments and tree I could find.

Pardon the blurriness, I was so excited!!! A Black Christmas tree!!!

The only thing hotter than a Black Charlie Brown Christmas tree…

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree…

Is one dripping with Peacocks!!!!

I had far too much fun decorating my tree. Do you feel Christmas bliss like me or am I just high off the Glade Christmas plug-ins?

Moral Of The Story: Life may get hard & overwhelming, but try & find the simple pleasures in life, even if it means goofing off with friends or decorating a tree.

Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock

Fade To Black…

Alyssa Peacock: “Another for the folks”

Burrrr!!! Fall has arrived folks!!! I love all things that accompany Fall. Though I am not a fan of the transition from warmer weather to this Northeast chill, the changing of the leaves, apple cider, & Fashion Week make it worthwhile. It was 80 degrees one week then 50s the following.

My favorite part of Fall? I have an excuse to bust out my favorite wardrobe pieces. Fur, leather, & knits are my style poisons of choice. I am also afforded the opportunity to wear all black everything without the unintended “WTF” face from passersby. Fact: I am known to wear an entire black outfit in the middle of August. Judge me not!!!

Continue reading

First Look: Maison Martin Margiela x H&M

The Pièce de résistance of  designer collaborations, Maison Martin Margiela x H&M, has released their full ad campaign right on the heels of the Anna Dello Russo for H&M debut. I may be sick that day so I can skip work & scope up some goodies *cough* *cough* Stay tuned for the launch November 15th.

Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock

Peacock Problems: Natural Or Relaxed?

“Hair style is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself.” –Hubert de Givenchy

 THE STRUGGLE IS REAL PEOPLE!!!

It is no easy feat hailing from the land of the Peacock. You are always ready to do bigger and better!!! Better job, bigger car, newer style. Transformation is ever a constant.

When my hair was long, I went through infinite hair styles. Black, red, blond, straight, curly, bangs, the list was endless.

But since I’ve chopped my hair off, I’ve been struggling to find a flattering lane of change. I went blond for every bit of an hour before throwing blue black hair color back over it. I had red hair that washed out my fair skin. I have been contemplating a gray patch, but since I am considering a career change, I don’t want to jeopardize any opportunities. Plus, I already have claws that I will not compromise on.

As an added inconvenience, I am a Zumba instructor. Straightening my hair is totally pointless. I will spend immense amounts of time and/or money having my curly flat ironed just to sweat it out the same night.I also hate weaves and wigs. I wore a lot of weave in high school, & overdosed on weave my Senior year when I developed alopecia areata.

I am dying for a different look.  Something chic but badass. Maybe black hair if the cut is dope enough.

Which leads me to my current torn situation: I am seriously thinking about relaxing my hair.

If you do not know what a relaxer is, it is simply a lotion or cream concoction that chemically “relaxes” the curl pattern in hair, making it straighter.

I have not had a relaxer since I was in 3rd when I got it chopped out. My hair is really fine & I was a tomboy. My hair would just break and break because I wanted to wet it all of the time.

But as an adult, relaxing for that instant straight, sexy look would be ideal. However, I have a huge issue with being dependent on products. Relaxer chemicals are the absolute worst for your hair. Besides, I love my hair curly, it’s getting boring ’tis all.

My vote is being strongly swayed by all the stupid dope hairstyles I keep seeing.

What do you think? Natural or Relaxed?

Check out my current temptations as well as those making a strong case for natural:

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Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock

Peacock On The Go: Hosting Duties

Alyssa Peacock (left) with Bride-to-be (right)

As previously mentioned, I was on hosting duties for one of my friend’s engagement party. Granted, I know most of the bride’s family, I was a little anxious. I’m not even sure how I ended up with these responsibilities to be honest. I think a certain bossy bride twisted my arm to do this. Luckily, I’m never one to back down to a challenge. LOL

For the occasion, I went bold with a cobalt blue shift dress by Calvin Klein with Orange & pink peep toes pumps by…??? Why don’t you see much of those shoes? Because those bad boys make my toes burn. They’re great for sitting down and looking pretty. Standing for hours of hosting? Not so much. I slipped on a pair of Steve Madden blue and pink loafers for comfort (also not shown because I forgot hehehe) My earrings were a rare Forever 21 find that I bought because I hate mailing in returns. The earrings actually match an Aldo purse in my closet I’ve had for years!!!

Get a similar look below:

Cobalt Life

Tadashi shoji dress
neimanmarcus.com

Lanvin sheath dress
neimanmarcus.com

Calvin klein
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I had tons of fun hosting!!! I had to leave early to hightail it to yet another friend’s fashion show that I participated in!!! Details coming soon…

How pretty!

The lovely couple

Just some bridesmaid’s antics

The [Mother] In-Laws

The Bride’s Mother & Brother

Gifts are always welcomed!!!

 

Moral Of The Story: Step outside of your comfort zone. You’ll never know your true strengths if you don’t.
Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock

We’ve Got Your Back!!! Celebrity Ladies Go Hard For Obama

 Elections may be a month away, but the ladies are already showing up to the polls!!!

The Obama campaign has released a video from some of entertainments elite showing support for the current president. Everyone from Beyonce to Olivia Wilde to Gloria Steinem expressed why reelecting President Obama is crucial to the future of this country and the future of our daughters.

“If we understand our power, we can move forward.” –Gloria Steinem

“In the 3 1/2 years he’s been in office, women truly have come first.” –Julianna Margulies

“There’s no way to say this isn’t a president that doesn’t believe in women and women’s empowerment.” –Kerry Washington

We have the opportunity to make a change. Our daughters need to be afforded the same opportunities as our sons. First it’ll be Roe v. Wade that’s overturned. Next, Planned Parenthood. We’ll look up and exist in a time before suffrage. If we don’t vote now, we don’t have the right to complain later.

Make sure you’re registered to vote, offer your support, & get on those lines November 6, 2012 as we fight to get President Obama back in The White House for 4 MORE YEARS!!!

And if you’re like me, and you’re a stylish voter, show your support by clicking the “Obama Girls Hustle Harder” photo seen below & purchase your shirt. ALL proceeds will be donated to the Obama campaign!!!

Moral Of The Story: Whether it’s big or small, stamp your mark on history by doing what is right.

Be Extraordinary- Alyssa Peacock