Monokini swimsuits are all the rage this summer season and it’s no wonder why. The new beach must-have looks amazing on body-types of all shapes and sizes. Plus, with tons of strategic design options, you don’t have to settle for one that reveals too much or one that prevents you from getting sun in all the right spots.
There is some confusion about what constitutes a modern monokini, so let me clear the air. Modern Monokiniswimsuits are one-piece bathing suits designed to mimic the look of a bikini or two-piece. They usually feature cutouts at the side of the suit exposing some or all of the stomach area and an exposed back.
The word “monokini” can also be used to describe a bikini bottom worn without a top – which is why it can be a little confusing.
If you’re looking for a style that flatters all over then check out these five modern monokini swimsuits that you can snag before summer ends.
Sugar Coast by Lolli
This Target find has the words, “unicorn dream” written all over it. It features adjustable straps, removable cups, and a fun rainbow color – $27.98.
Look as great poolside as when you’re taking a swim with this ruffle monokini swimsuit from Lipsy – Asos $60.00.
Make Me Chic
Who says you can’t wear crochet in the water? This colorful crochet trim monokini swimsuit halter-neck looks great wet and dry. Snag it at MakeMeChic – $31.00.
Make black and white the “it” colors of swim season in this stylish monokini swimsuit from E Besi. It’s also available in blue and pink variation. Amazon – $27.99.
You’ll turn heads all summer long in this bright and bold color block monokini from AMI Clubwear – $20.25.
I went on a road trip last weekend. Well actually, it was a #RogueTrip to Woodbury Connecticut to test drive the all new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport. After three days of hitting the road, exploring the sights and chatting with Robin Moreo, the brand’s senior manager of product planning, I’ve gotten a good feel for the ins and outs of this CUV. So, here are 5 cool things to know about the new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport.
It Takes Being Sporty Seriously
This car is fun to drive, seriously. You may feel a smile creep across your face as you zip from zero to 60 (in about 9.4 seconds) and glide over bumpy roads with ease. It’s got a roomy interior despite being 12-inches shorter than the standard Nissan Rogue. Plus, the exterior is anything but boring. Chiseled with sharp lines, its outside is designed with an upscale and smart appearance. The car is available in many standard colors like Magnetic Black and palatial Ruby. However, statement makers may prefer its bolder color options like Nitro Lime and Monarch Orange.
Parking Is A Cinch
If you’re worried about parking in the city – like I always am – the Rogue Sport can probably help ease your worries. It has a rear camera to assist with pulling into a spot from behind. Plus, it has side cameras so you can monitor the parallel lines on the ground as you pull into spots at the supermarket or mall. Not to mention, it also has a front camera so you can make sure you don’t tap anything as you inch forward. At the press of a dashboard button, the camera stitches all the footage together giving you a real-time 360-degree view. So you can evaluate your parking job without stepping foot outside of the car. Not that you’d ever need to do that, right?
Safety Isn’t An Afterthought
The Rogue Sport comes with all the standard safety features you’d expect – dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, and brake assist. It also has a couple of newer safety features that might make you wonder how you ever lived without them. One is the high-tech, blind-spot monitoring. I’ve written about the brand’s version of blind-spot monitoring as a “well-designed” system before and that statement holds true in the Rogue Sport as well. It keeps you aware of actual hazards around you without being set off by every car that passes you.
The other safety feature I really dug was the Latch system for kids. The system lets you secure LATCH-compatible child restraints in the second row without having to use seat belts or a locking clip. I’m not a mom yet, so this wouldn’t have been a safety feature that was top of mind. But I’m a god-mom and auntie to some of my friend’s kids, so it’s a feature that I’d be happy to have when I scooped up the little ones.
It’s Pretty…and Smart
The 2017 Rogue Sport is filled with many more high-tech features. In addition to the blind spot and rear view monitoring previously mentioned, the car also comes standard with a Bluetooth phone and audio system inside. I had my cellphone synced and playing music in under a minute, so it is very easy to set up. It also has high-intensity daytime lights on the exterior and an Advanced Drive-Assist Display. The 5-inch colored monitor located in the gauge cluster shows the external temperature, upcoming turns, and tire pressure. It also displays song titles and other key information you may want to access to as you drive.
It’s Designed For Real, Real Life
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport makes it hard to pigeonhole it as the ideal car for one consumer market. And, that’s an impressive feat. Urbanites, suburbanites, parents, and singles will be impressed with its compact size, smart design, and smooth handling. They’ll all be equally impressed with its safety features, roomy interior, and built-in technology.
If I had to pick the “perfect” driver market for the car then I would say, the outgoing and social yet responsible crowd would probably fall hardest for it. Those who don’t want to have to trade up cars if they have kids would also really appreciate this ride.
The 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport seats five and gets 32 miles to the gallon on the highway and 25 miles to the gallon in the city. It comes in three models, the S, SV and SL and starts at $21,420. I test drove the SL model which starts at $26,070.
Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to take your fitness routine to the next level but with prices ranging from $40 to $100 per hour, it can get pricey quickly.
Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to get an enhanced workout these days. Thanks to some pretty amazing smartphone apps, you can have access to a personalized exercise plan that’s affordable (or even free) and optimized to help you meet your goals.
Whether you’re aiming to run a race or simply looking to get in better shape, there’s a fitness app that can help you do it. We put together a list of our favorite ones to get you started.
Here are five of the best workout apps for women to help you get in shape without shelling out tons of cash.
Sworkit is one of the most popular workout apps on the market and for good reason. The free app – which stands for “simply work it” offers users the ability to sort exercises by impact level, difficulty, category or focus area, making it simple to select the right workout routine for their needs. They can also share their workouts with others through the app and get your friends active too. Sworkit is available on iOS and Android.
30 Day Pushup Challenge
Sometimes starting small can lead to big results. That’s the theory behind the 30 Day Pushup Challenge which is helping people get excited about exercising the right way. This best workout app for women pick encourages users to do a few pushups each day, gradually helping you master a standard pushup over the course of a month. From there it offers pushup variations to make the workout more challenging. The app is free and available on iOS.
7 Minute Workout
The excuse of not having enough time is a non-starter with this app from Wahoo fitness. Available on iOS and Android the free 7 Minute Workout app focuses on providing an effective personal training regimen in a condensed time. The daily workouts track your progress and mix cardio with strength training to keep you challenged.
Variation is the spice of life
. The same is true for a great workout routine. The Workout Trainer app from Skimble provides tons of exercises with step by step instructions. The free app can help with everything from conditioning exercises to get you ready for an upcoming race to strengthening and toning workouts. Users can also build their own customized routines using the app’s workout library and share them online. Workout Trainer is available on iOS and Android.
Pilates can be an addicting workout but it can be hard to learn the moves correctly even in the most intimate boutique gym group settings. The Pilates Anytime app helps makes it easy to master the workouts at your own speed by providing videos that clearly breaks down every move. The iOS app has more than 2,500 Pilates classes to choose from and offers a premium subscription for $18 per month – which is a drop in a bucket compared to an upscale Pilates studio.
Let me know if there are any best workout apps for women that I missed. I plan to update this list regularly.
Summer’s officially here. So it’s time to gather the wine, friends, and, of course, sunscreen – and head outside. But, before you grab a bottle of everyone’s seasonal favorite – rosé – you should know that there are some tasty new wines on the market that are perfect to pair with your upcoming adventures. Here are four of the new best summer wines that you should totally try.
Best New Summer Wines:
Staycations can be just as much fun as traveling abroad, especially when you get to enjoy some international flavor right at home. Produced in South Africa, Lubanzi Wines has two toast-worthy wines to explore, a red blend, composed of Cinsault, Shiraz, Grenache & Mourvedre and a white, a Chenin Blanc. The responsibly sourced wines retail for $18. You can find them here.
You can have fun popping bottles and still watch your waistline. Skinny Prosecco from Thomson & Scott Wines recently launched nationwide and is the low-sugar, 67-calories per glass elixir you’ve been waiting on. It’s also the first 100% vegan and organic sparkling wine in the US. It’s not available for US order online yet, but you can (and should) check with your local wine/liquor distributor to find the best location to purchase T&S’s Skinny Prosecco near you.
There’s nothing wrong with a summer classic, especially when it’s good. Produced in Orlando, FL the new rosé from Snowbirds Vintners includes hints of strawberry and peach and pairs well with barbecue (whoo hoo). The whimsical wine – named after the folks who move to warmer climates – is sustainably sourced and sells for $18. It is available here.
If lounging by the pool with a drink is your thing, why not sip in style? Suite Four, the new California Champagne that launched last year, is the refreshing upgrade you need this summer. The sparkling wine is light with aromas of green apple and nectarine and pairs perfectly with all the best parts of summer – beach days, barbecues and soirées. It retails for $30 and you can get it here.
The peek-A-Boo shoulder dress trend is in full swing this season – be it off-the-shoulder, cold shoulder, or one-shoulder styles. The question for the summer isn’t if you should wear an arm-candy displaying frock, the question is which one should you rock? To help you choose the right style, we’ver picked out our fav 7 Peek-A-Boo shoulder dresses to help you own this look wherever your adventures take you.
Channel your inner bohemian goddess with this gorgeous one-shoulder sheer minidress. This stunning sheer peek-a-boo number is just what you need to flaunt your curves at a summer wedding, a party of a fancy dinner perhaps. Its delicate embroidery gives the minimalist design a dramatic yet graceful finish. Snag it at Free People – $250.
Pull off some old-school glamour in this timelessly elegant off-the-shoulder dress. The body-con design will give your curves a sharply structured finish that will flatter your body type, support your bust, and give you a polished finish. The best part is this peek-a-boo number is only $10.44 on Amazon.
We love this modernistic masterpiece by Milly. A delightfully refreshing cobalt blue color, this silk off-the-shoulder dress is dramatically voguish. The tie sleeves give a contemporary update to a 60’s inspired style, making it peek-a-boo perfect for all formal gatherings – be it cocktails with friends or a formal dinner with business associates. This beauty is available at Bloomingdale’s – $435.
Summer is all about flaunting your colorful florals with pride. And this gorgeously embroidered floral delight is no exception. A Perfect off-the-shoulder minidress for festivals, cocktails, and beachside bashes, it features a bold peek-a-boo neckline perfect for summer happening. Snag it at Free People – $356.
This stunning maxi dress is a fabulous looker from Asos. The artistic exotic pattern is reminiscent of florals and it’s serving a double dose of peek-a-boo action – with a one-shoulder top and sheer bottom. Find it at Asos – $61.
Diane Von Furstenberg
Rock your romantic femininity without compromising your bold lady boss vibes at work in this sleekly structured Diane Von Furstenberg dress. The uber-sophisticated peek-a-boo shoulder dress pick is picture perfect and offers a dramatic one-shoulder design and flirty hemline. Available at DVF – $328
Uh, can we say “summer soiree?” This sleek shift is the perfect number for a casual day at the park or weekend brunch. Complimented with a peasant top flair this peek-a-boo shoulder dress is easy to love. Find it at Target – $32.99.
Your goal during the interview is to stand out from the competition – in a good way – so why follow outdated fashion tips designed to make you blend in with the crowd?
Landing that coveted in-person meeting is already pretty difficult. So, when you do, you’ll totally want to dress to impress. And, it might help – at least, visually speaking – if you interview outfit doesn’t put people to sleep before you even open your mouth.
Of course, there will always be some careers – like law – were playing it safe when it comes to style is probably the right way to go. But consider ignoring these five old-school fashion tips if the company culture of job you’re seeking encourages a touch of fashion flair.
5 Fashion Tips Jobs Seekers Should Ignore:
Wear A Suit
You should always up the style ante when you’re interviewing, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear a boring basic solid suit. You want to look polished and professionally and also comfortable and confident. If wearing a suit makes you feel uneasy or the company has more of business casual vibe (which you can find out by checking out its website and social media profiles) then opt for coordinated separates with a bit of personality. Topshop Embellished Midi Pencil Dress – $180 and Zara Double Breasted Blazer – $99
Wear Neutral Colors
Black, navy, brown and gray are fine colors, but you might want to leave an impression that you are more than just a “fine” candidate. A strategic color pop can give off a feeling of friendliness and/or confidence, amplifying the profile of an interviewee who knows their stuff.
Yes, you should totally wear pantyhose or tights if the company you’re interviewing with is conservative, if you feel more comfortable having your legs covered or if it is just cold outside. However, cramming your legs in nylon casings should be an optional interview outfit addition when you’re already wearing pants, a knee-length – or longer – skirt or dress. Do it if it makes you feel more ready to conquer the day. Skip it if it doesn’t.
Wear a Black or Brown Handbag
Nothing completes an interview outfit better than a clean-lined, structured handbag, but black and brown shouldn’t be your only color choices. A smartly pattern purse or tote in a complimentary color to your outfit can hint to a personality that knows how to pull things together.
I love a pair of good heels. They literally make me taller and I find I stand up straight more when I wear them. But I also love my ballerina flats and that I can move faster than a New York minute in them. Opt for whichever polished pair of close-toe pumps, ballerina flats, loafers or boots make you feel more confident to complete your interview outfit. There’s no sense in wearing a killer looking pair of heels if you’re going to worry about tripping in the company’s reception area.
Whether you’re traveling for work, play or both, there’s no reason not to do it in style this summer season. Travel bags have gotten some serious design and tech updates over the last few years, making it easier to stay organized, comfortable and fly – while on the road.
I compared more than 50 of the newest carry-on friendly, travel bags on the market and narrowed the list down to my top picks for summer based on usability, weight, style, design – and, of course – price.
So, ditch your bulky luggage and check out the list before you book your next flight, road-trip or must-needed getaway. After all, the journey is half the fun. Pack accordingly;)!
– Best Travel Bags For Summer –
The Raden A22 Carry is as smart as it is pretty. The 22-inch bag comes installed with two USB ports that allow you to charge your cell phone or tablet, a built-in scale that can tell you how much your packed bag weighs, and GPS so you never need to worry about the airlines losing your suitcase (if you do decide to check it). There’s also a smartphone app you can sync to your smartphone for monitoring, a TSA approved lock and 360-degree spinning wheels for easy movement – all in an 8.4 lbs polycarbonate shell.
The Raden A22 is $295 and is available in 12 fun colors.
Coming in at a mere 6.5 lbs with 360-degree spinning wheels, the vintage-looking Rockland Stage Coach 20 Inch Rolling Trunk makes dashing anywhere a breeze. The 20-inch suitcase has a clamshell design, faux leather trim, is made of sturdy abs and comes in four styles and colors. It’s a looker at $200 and half the price of similarly-styled designer carry-ons.
This Women’s Weekender from Merona is anything but basic. Made out of cotton the bag is soft to the touch. It also measures 14.5 inches x 30 inches x 12.5 inches making it large enough to haul several changes of clothes along with a laptop and multiple pockets to store valuables. The bag zips shut and features double handles to carry it on your shoulder or in your hand. Plus, it’s only $19.98 (so snag it before it’s gone).
There must be sorcery in the FUGU Travel. The suitcase expands to nearly three times its size when its side walls are inflated– taking it from a small carry-on bag to a medium-sized checked bag. You can watch the transformation here. The convenience of not having to tote along a second bag on trips made this a top pick. The fact that it weighs less than 10lbs and you can buy a FUGU USB power bank for charging your devices from the bag on the one, made it one of my favorites. The FUGU Travel is $349 including the USB power bank.
What’s cooler than a multitasking bag that can be worn three ways? One that’s around $40, but looks like it cost way more. The Clean Vintage Hybrid bag can go from backpack to messenger bag to briefcase instantly by unzipping built-in, hidden straps. It includes a padded pocket to stow a laptop and compartments for all your travel essentials. Just add a change of clothes to make this your new favorite overnight bag. The Clean Vintage starts at $41.19.
Viola Davis is pure Black Girl Magic. The regal beauty and scene-stealing legend is never one to shy from speaking the truth and is beloved as much for her star turns as her empowering words of wisdom.
Regardless of if she is accepting an overdue award for her her acting skills, doing an interview with top-tier media or calling out the history of racism, sexism, and ageism in Hollywood, the “How to Get Away With Murder” icon never fails to represent for herself and Black women everywhere!
This diva has been unapologetically, rocking her crown for years and the world is finally paying its respect.
Here are 15 quotes that remind us that Viola Davis has always been a queen inspiring us to let our inner queens shine too.
“The one thing I feel is lacking in Hollywood today is an understanding of the beauty, the power, the sexuality, the uniqueness, the humor of being a regular Black woman.” – Viola Davis
“You can’t be hesitant about who you are.” – Viola Davis
“Do not live someone else’s life and someone else’s idea of what womanhood is. Womanhood is you. Womanhood is everything that’s inside of you.” – Viola Davis
“I don’t have any time to stay up all night worrying about what someone who doesn’t love me has to say about me.” – Viola Davis
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” – Viola Davis
“Even when I get the fried chicken special of the day, I have to dig into it like it’s filet mignon.” – Viola Davis
“You can’t shine if you have two lines in the background as a bus driver. You can only shine if you’re included in the narrative, and narratives start when you put pen to paper and you use your imagination. You just tell a story. That’s all you do. You tell a story. You don’t put any boundaries on it. It’s infinite and that’s the only way we can do what we do is that people use their imaginations so that we can be included in it.” – Viola Davis
“I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are, truly being who you are. And I’ve spent far too long apologizing for that—my age, my color, my lack of classical beauty—that now at the age of, well, at the age of 46, I’m very proud to be Viola Davis, for whatever it’s worth.” – Viola Davis
“As Black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences—experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as Black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.” – Viola Davis
“They say to serve is to love. I think to serve is to heal, too.” – Viola Davis
“I see a lot of sexy women who are hard, cold, look like they have windswept hair and lip gloss and light makeup when they say it’s no makeup. I work out five days a week, and I’m still not a size 2. So I wanted to see a real woman on TV. I wanted to see who we are before we walk out the door in the morning and put on the mask of acceptability.” – Viola Davis
“Vanity destroys your work. That’s the one thing you have to let go of as an actor. I don’t care how sexy or beautiful any woman is. At the end of the day, she has to take her makeup off. At the end of the day, she’s more than just pretty.” – Viola Davis
I would tell my younger self just be yourself—that who you are is good enough.” – Viola Davis
“The internal sexism within womanhood is very predominant in Hollywood, because we all want to be successful. There’s a plug to it: You all have to be skinny! You all have to be pretty! You all have to be likable, because that’s the formula that works. On an executive level. On a power level. And it’s not always the same working with black people, because of the internalized racism. The colorism.” – Viola Davis
“What keeps me in the business is hope, and that’s the hope that women of color are also a part of the narrative, that our stories are just as potent, because we also have the power of transformation. We also have the power to be quirky, and sexy, and different, funny, heartfelt and all of those things.” – Viola Davis
It’s hard to believe that a just a few weeks ago, Mother Nature was trying to cut my review time with the 2017 Mazda6 short. I mean, I did have to break out the shovel, ice pick, and snow boots, but I made sure to get in some quality drive – and shopping – time.
Let me get the obvious out of the way first: one never appreciates a car more than when the weather is brutal. This was especially true of the Mazda6. Everything about the car felt luxurious – the warm interior, heated seats, and rear-window defogger. Seriously, I was so happy not to have to walk in the cold that every included feature felt like a rare gift.
Once I’d thawed out a bit, I was able to evaluate the car more fairly.
The 2017 Mazda6 is slightly larger than the 2017 Mazda3, offering more leg and headroom. It also has more horsepower. Besides that, the 4-door sedans are nearly identical and come with Bluetooth connectivity for navigation and hands-free dialing, a digital center console, an infotainment system, and Sirius XM Satellite radio.
The built-in touch screen display provides GPS directions and switches to rear view when you’re reversing to backup or park. It also shows incoming calls on screen, if you have your cell phone synced to the car – which only took a few seconds to do.
The Mazda6 also has a tad more space in the trunk (14.8 cubic feet) than the Mazda3 (12.4 cubic feet), which depending on your shopping habits can be a deal closer ;). I fit around $200 worth of groceries in the trunk and had plenty of space to spare. (And, before you comment on my food spending – know I hadn’t been grocery shopping in a while).
The car handled the snow covered roads smoothly, and I felt safe driving it on the still wet streets.
The 2017 Mazda6 seats five, and includes front airbags, front side-impact airbags, and side-impact air curtains. It also has advanced safety features like blindside monitoring and city break support – to help you avoid collisions.
The 2017 Mazda6 gets up to 26 miles to the gallon in the city and 35 miles to the gallon on the highway. It starts at $25,245 – around $3,000 more than the 2017 Mazda3. If you need the extra space, I’d say spring for the Madza6.
You can also check out more info on the Mazda6 here.
The new LG G6 launches around the world today and it is clearly LG’s best smartphone yet. I’ve been testing the phone out for a little over a week and been impressed by the phone so far.
Check out my latest Lifestyle Unboxed video to see how it works and measures up.
Also, check out the 7 things you should know about the new LG G6 below.
It’s Got A Big Screen with A Sharp Display
The LG G6 includes a 5.7-inch screen which takes up 80% of the real-estate on the front of the phone. Despite the large size, the phone fits snugly in one hand and I was able to swipe apps easily with my The actual dimensions of the phone is 5.9 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches which is smaller (and lighter) than the Google Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus. Also, it’s 2880×1440 resolution made images and videos look crisp on the screen.
It’s Got Three Cameras
One of my favorite features on the LG G6 is it dual rear 13-megapixel cameras. One camera takes standard shots and the other takes wide screen shots. The phone includes some manual controls that allow you to manipulate the light and shutter speeds. The rear camera also takes 4K video with both rear cameras.
The LG G6 also includes a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies.
It’s Water Resistant
It’s crazy for a phone not to be water-resistant these days and LG clearly agrees. The new G6 is water tight and can be submerged in up three feet of water for 30 minutes without damage.
It’s Got A Headphone Jack
Some phone brands may want to move you to purchase wireless headphone by not including a standard headphone jack on the device, but LG hasn’t made that move yet. The phone includes a good-old headphone jack which allows you to use your favorite wired headphones. I’m still struggling to find a brand of wireless headphones that fit in my tiny ears, so this oldie feature is a win for me.
It’s Got A Solid Battery Life
The battery clocks in at just under 7 hours when I streamed a video over wi-fi which is pretty solid. It includes a 3,300 mAh battery which lasts for about 22.5 hours of talk time. Unlike previous models of the “G” Series phones, the battery in the G6 is not swappable. This is mainly because the phone is built water-tight, so it can’t be opened and shut. Not being able to carry a second battery is not a big deal for me, but some may not like it.
The US version of the LG G6 includes 32 GB of built-in storage, which may not be large enough if you like to store lots of photos or videos on your phone – like I do. The phone does include a micro-SD slot and is expandable to 2TB of storage. However, when researching micro-SD cards I learned that 512GB is the largest available size currently on the market. So, realistically 524 GB (32GB built-in storage + 512GB expandable card) is the largest amount of storage the LG will be able to hold at one time for the time being – which is still plenty for most people.
It’s Designed for Wireless Charging
The LG G6 includes a USB Type-C charging cable in the box but is built to allow wireless charging. I did not have a wireless charger pad, so I was unable to try this feature out. The phone does support both Qi and PMA wireless charging. For regular wall charging the phone takes about an hour and 28 minutes to charge fully when it is fully drained.
Additionally, the LG G6 sounds good when making and receiving calls – which is a standard requirement of any smartphone. It comes in three colors: black, platinum and white. I tested a black model and it shows finger smudges clearly. You’ll probably want to get a case if you go with the black color.
Also, the LG G6 runs between $600 and $750 depending on carrier.
Overall, the LG G6 is a great phone with all necessary feature. It’s one to consider if it’s time for an update.
-XOXO Charell Star| Not Just A Girl In A Dress
LG G6 Dual Camera: Standard Shot (l) Wide Angle Shot (r)