POP UP POST // Out & About + Dressed To A T – Main Street Bethlehem Brunch

By far, one of my favorite things about this time of year is Sunday Brunching it with great friends.  This past weekend, headed out to Bethlehem with my co-residents to enjoy the weather and have some great food (we LOVE to eat…lol).  The food was great and we enjoyed a nice short trip to Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom

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I had never been to a specialty vinegar or olive oil store before but as you can see, the selection was overwhelming!  There were so many different flavors of vinegar (there was a Dark Chocolate infused vinegar that I could just imagine would be HEAVENLY over a fresh fruit salad in the summer) and various olive oils infused with various scents and spices as well!  I have to say, I felt very fancy and grown up in that store for some reason…lol

I did end up purchasing a few things from Seasons….

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So yeah…I bought this with no intention of cooking with it lol.  I do usually use Olive Oil mixed into my deep conditioner or pre-poo and also on my face, mixed with my Oil of Oregano and Tea Tree Oil (more on that to come soon in my updated skincare regimen).  This Blood Orange infused Olive Oil smelled SO amazing.  I cannot wait until my braids are out and I start deep conditioning again.  I know the aroma is just going to be…everything….

I also bought two amazingly scented soaps that I am just eagerly anticipating to use in the shower.  The Blood Orange scent permeated the packaging and just tickled my nose oh so deeply.  Then there was a Lavender scented soap that was just so…*sigh* I know it’s going to be a perfect stress-reliever in a few months when life gets quite busy once again.

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Oh yeah….and here’s what I wore 🙂

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Floral Kimono – TJ Maxx / Black Tank Maxi Dress – Forever21 / Gold Skinny belt – Thrifted / Black pointed toe flats with gold metallic straps – Zara (similar HERE) / Black cross body bag – Phillip Lim for Target

Love and God Bless,

– T

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POP UP POST // Brick Wall Reunion on a [Kate Spade] Saturday

It’s been a long time…I shouldna left you *cue Aaliyah’s “Try Again“*

Well Well Well….look who finally made her way back out onto the balcony and the brick wall! lol. I know my boo Jana will be quite happy 🙂

For some reason, the last couple of months have been quite busy, and I haven’t been able to do my balcony shoots as I would like for the blog.  But this Sabbath, with my chic red Kate Spade Saturday dress on hand…I made an effort to change this!

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 Dress – Kate Spade Saturday / Brown skinny belt – H&M / Cognac platform pumps – Mossimo for Target

Love this dress so much!  And the cognac pumps are the perfect nude shade for my skin tone.

Hopefully I’ll be able to make my way out to the balcony more often…..

Love and God Bless,

– T

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POP UP POST // #linked

If you’re in the DMV area this weekend, you should definitely come out to Mitchellville SDA Church on Saturday, June 28, 2014 @ 11 AM.  The drama ministry is presenting a brand new production called

 

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Flyer designed by T (me! 🙂 )

It’s a great inspirational play revolving around the lives and stories of three seemingly disconnected individuals who turn out to be a lot more connected than they think.  I can’t wait to see the final product!

And as a special surprise, (not really but it sounds fancy to say it that way…lol) I will be providing three live vocal performances (doesn’t that sound fancy too! lol) for the play!  Now of course, I’m in PA and won’t be around until final dress rehearsal this Friday evening, BUT I’ve been practicing nonstop for the past week (I need some tea & honey cuz…pray church lol) in the car to and from work…in the shower…listen!  Singing for Jesus is not a game! lol

Hopefully you guys get a chance to come through and see the performances by all of the talented members of the Mitchellville SDA Drama Ministry!  I’d LOVE to see your beautiful faces! 🙂

Love and God Bless,

– T

POP UP POST // Out & About – #MondayFunday in G-Town

Two out of three of my younger siblings are out from school for the summer (yay!).  So when I was home this weekend, my younger sister Tanya (the one that looks just like me, in my humble opinion…lol) and I took to the Metro to peruse the streets of Georgetown, DC.  It was actually her request because she’d never been before, so I definitely obliged!  I LOVE the Georgetown area so so much, especially M Street where we spent our day.  Tons of places to shop, eat, and just enjoy a nice afternoon out.  If you’re from the DMV (and shoot, even if you’re not) you probably already know about the amazing Georgetown Cupcakes located there. It. Is. Everything….

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First we stopped at Pizzeria Paradiso to grab some lunch and shared a Margherita Pizza, which was AH-mazing!  I love traditional Italian style pizza and this spot did not disappoint at all (first time there too!)

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Later in the afternoon, we made our way to Olivia Macaron, as it was highly recommended by Mr. JusPose AND neither of us had ever had macarons before. I know I know, but when I say my life was CHANGED! Listen…macarons are a delectable treat and I thoroughly believe that this is what manna HAD to taste like. No one can convince me otherwise….lol.

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We also did some very light shopping.  We’re both on strict-ish budgets (Tanya just finished her freshman year at college and is taking a summer class this month and I’m just trying to make it on this resident salary.  Balling we are not…lol).  And thankfully we both stayed within our budgets!  Despite the crafty wiles of J. Crew, TJ Maxx, H&M, and others…lol

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Top – Target (clearance rack)  / Tribal print shorts – Forver21 online sometime last year / Aviator Sunglasses – bought that day from H&M / Silver sandals – stolen from my youngest sister (lol)

Overall, it was definitely an AMAZING day spent with my little sissie 🙂  Can’t wait to do more fun stuff throughout this summer!

Until next time…

Love and God Bless,

– T

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POP UP POST // Happy Memorial Day! + My Week on IG

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Happy Memorial Day loves!!!  First of all, I must say a special thank you to all the individuals that have served and continue to serve bravely so that we can enjoy this freedom that we have. Even something as simple as blogging and freedom of speech isn’t a luxury some have elsewhere and for that I am grateful. Thank you!

AND can I just say that it feels SOOO good to be off today? lol.  I’ll try to remember that when I’m working on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s later this year…*cries real tears* 😦

This past week has been super de duper busy but OH so much fun!!  Definitely one of the best weeks I’ve had in a really long time.

I’ve ventured into the world of subscription boxes, you guys…smh.  I’ve been intrigued by the concept (I mean, who doesn’t want a guaranteed package of goodies to be delivered to their doorstep on a monthly basis??) but also skeptical.  After doing lots of research, and scoping out reviews on YouTube, I decided that Onyx Box and Curlbox would be where I’d spend my hard earned, strictly budgeted coins.  This month I was able to sign up for Onyx Box (Curlbox subscriptions were sold out, as always lol), which features a nail art theme (haven’t received it yet but they ship out this week! Excited!).  I also purchased the exclusive Beautiful Textures Onyx Box, mainly for the Texture Manageability System, but it also came with 3 other full sized Beautiful Textures products (all for just $15!!) that I’ll have lots of fun trying out!  You know the product junky in me got my entire life…lol.  The Texture Manageability System is a heat straightening system (not a relaxer or texturizer) formulated specifically for naturalistas who want the straight look every now and then with a reduced risk of heat damage and a guarantee that their hair will bounce back to their original curl pattern.  After seeing this awesome YouTube review AND curl reversion by MsVaughnTV, I was SOLD!

But then….I got my hair straightened this week so I guess I’ll be waiting to try that out sometime later lol.  I FINALLY found a stylist that I absolutely love and trust completely to straighten, trim, and style my natural/transitioning hair.  If you’re in the DMV, definitely head over to Mane Movement and check out Amanda B.  She is an amazing stylist and treats my hair BETTER than even I do.  She detangles gently, recommends appropriate treatments for your hair’s needs, uses a heat protectant, AND uses a heat setting (on the blow dryer & flat iron) that’s effective but I lie to you not….I don’t feel ANY heat on my scalp. AT ALL!  And for someone that’s gone to Dominican Hair salons for the past however many years, that’s a really big deal!  And the straight look lasts as long as I want it to!  I usually pin curl my hair each night because I like the body & curl (HATE flat hair that I get when I just wrap it…with a passion) and that works to keep my hair looking LAID! lol  And when I deep condition and wash my hair the next time, my curls are back and poppin’! Love her…never letting anyone else touch my hair ever again lol.

Now the reason I got my hair straightened is because as you all know by now, I was invited to be the Keynote Speaker at my former high school, Largo High School’s Class of 2014 Graduation Ceremony (click HERE for more on that)!!! It was such an amazing and humbling experience.  I love love LOVE inspiring young people!  And to know that I’m far from perfect but can still be an inspiration….it’s a beautiful thing 🙂

Remember the collab I posted last week with JusPose Photography and Lauren Larry, LRC of Golden Life Coaching?  Well one of the photos was featured on blackfashionmag.com!!! I’ve submitted and been featured a couple of times before (first time by my fave Jana after our style collab, and then following my last shoot with JCKA Photography).  And each time is just super fun!  It’s cool to know that people kinda enjoy the product of what you do for fun 🙂  And it totally makes me Tumblr famous right? lol

And speaking of JusPose Photography, over the weekend, Justin took a super adorable Sabbath portrait of my family and me!  I love my family so much and I’m so glad he captured that love so well with his lens 🙂

Have you guys gone to see the new X-Men movie “Days of Future Past” yet????  If you haven’t, go check it out!  The ironic thing though is…I’m more excited for the NEXT movie coming out in 2016 after that little sneak peak following the end credits at the end of Days of Future Past.  It has the potential to be soooo epic!!! So yeah…don’t leave after the lights come on and the credits roll on this film.  Thank me later.  Then after that, tweet me so I can share the insight into what promises to be an exciting next chapter in the X-Men series.
HINT: Channing Tatum has already signed on to be a member of the cast for the upcoming film. NUFF SAID! lol

And last…but certainly not least:  Meagan Good knows I exist!!! LOL!  On Sabbath, I decided I wanted to wear this really lovely red wrap dress that I own and was trying to find a lip color/makeup look to really play up the awesomeness of the dress.  So I scoured the net and found this lovely image of Ms. Good.  After imitating the look and posting side by side pics on IG (and tagging Meagan Good, of course…lol), she commented!!!  She said it was beautiful and wished me a Happy Sabbath! (Just in case you don’t know, she’s married to an SDA minister and film producer, Devon Franklin).  When I say I squealed and swooned a million times…I did! lol  I love that Meagan’s inner beauty and faith continue to shine through despite what naysayers may think and express.  She’s such a gorgeous human being, and I love her!

And that wraps up my past week on IG!  Now, I’m heading off to have some brunch with my prayer partners!  Maybe I’ll snap some pics and share more on that later this week but if not, I definitely will post some pics over on my Instagram so go ahead and follow me!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and supporting this lovely hobby of mine!

Until next time….

Love and God Bless,

– T

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POP UP POST // My Commencement Address to LHS Class of 2014

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Some of you may know that I was invited to deliver the commencement address to the 2014 Graduating Class from my former high school, Largo High School, in Prince Georges County, Maryland.  The ceremony took place yesterday, and it was such a HUGE honor.  I’m still so humbled that they considered and invited me.  Honestly, I really do consider this to be the greatest moment in my life thus far.  Over my own graduation, greater than graduating from medical school, more awesome than match…..Okay nothing so far has been greater than matching into a Pediatric Residency program slot lol.  But this was a pretty close second lol.

It was really great to be able to shake the hands of each of the graduates, look them each in the eyes and say “Congratulations” from the bottom of my heart.  Exactly 4 of them said that they really loved my speech, one said that they loved my dad (he teaches at Largo High School), and one super sweet young man told me I was cute (lol).  I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this special occasion and after reading my last blog post about my passion for youth, I’m sure you can understand why that is 🙂

So in today’s pop up post, I just wanted to share the speech with you.  I really tried to make it adolescent-friendly and I think I succeeded (lol).  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing it in person 🙂

LHS COMMENCEMENT SPEECH 2014

May 21st, 2014

Faculty and staff, honorable guests, family members, friends, well-wishers, and of course the illustrious Largo High School Graduating Class of 2014: Good Afternoon!

First of all, I have to take a moment to say thank you to the LHS administration, and my dad, Mr. Paul Johnson, whom some of you may have had as your teacher for a few science classes. Thank you so much to all of you for granting me this amazing opportunity to come back home and deliver this speech to the graduating class. It is truly an honor to stand before you all today to share just a few words that I hope will stick with you from this day forward.

And I promise! I won’t take up too much of your time! I know that most of you are itching to walk across the stage and collect the glossy black portfolio that will house your diploma from this day forward. Or….maybe some of you are just anxious for this day to be over so that you can head to Golden Corral and REALLY get the celebration started! Either way, I’ll keep this speech short and sweet.

To be completely honest, I don’t even remember who gave the commencement speech at my high school graduation ceremony 9 years ago (and now I feel old….) much less what was said, and that may have had to do with the fact that I was sitting on the stage, stressing out over my own Valedictorian speech and praying to God that I didn’t mess up or trip on the way to the podium, which…is not going to happen to anyone here today, just so we’re clear. So if after today you don’t remember my name or who I am, I’m okay with that! But hopefully, something that I say here today will stick with you and maybe even come back to your mind sometime in the future when you may need it.

Over the years, I have received really great words of wisdom, and as I thought about what to share with you all today it was pretty hard for me to narrow it all down to be honest. But thinking about my life so far, I think that I have consistently latched on to 5 of them throughout the years. So in true countdown fashion, let’s start with number 5.

5. How many of you have heard of Drake? Raise your hands if you have….okay, I see you! Well, Drake actually popularized what I would consider to be a really valuable piece of advice and that is “YOLO: You Only Live Once.” Now, a lot of times we use that expression when we’re about to do something life threatening or…..really risky, like going sky diving, pulling an all-niter when we know we should have started on the project 2 weeks ago, asking out that girl that you think is too good for you and will PROBABLY shut you down…things like that! But I really do think this could be applied in a broader sense: You only live once, so make it count. Live your best life because you only have one life to live. Don’t waste it on things, habits, or people that will not allow you to grow into the best possible version of yourself. YOLO.

4. Now this next phrase, it’s kind of ironic that Rihanna has this tattooed on her chest and I’m mentioning it right after talking about Drake BUT that’s neither here nor there. As some of you may know, after Rihanna’s very public battle with domestic abuse, she got a tattoo on her chest that reads, “Never a failure. Always a lesson.” And I think that’s something so important to remember. As many of you head off to college or to start new jobs or even to join the military, you have to realize that you will make mistakes. Messing up is a part of life! And if I had to tell you about all the mistakes I’ve made just up until today, we’d be here for a VERY long time. But the reason why I am able to stand here before you all as Doctor Tonasha Johnson…instead of sadly curled up in a corner somewhere, is that I learned from all of those mistakes and used them as what I like to call “character building moments” to make me a better person. When you mess up, and you will, take those mistakes as lessons to make you a better person. Never a failure. Always a lesson.

3. Now all of us want to be successful, that’s a no-brainer, right? But do you know that there’s a formula that leads to success? Well that’s my next piece of advice to you, so listen closely: “Success happens when preparation meets opportunity.” So many of us think that we’re going to get everything that we want handed to us because that’s our “right”. Well, truth is, the real world doesn’t work like that. The most successful individuals of all time had to endure sleepless nights and put in blood, sweat, and tears to achieve their highest goals. You have to work like the opportunity is right around the corner because one day, it just might be! And the only way you’ll be able to successfully take advantage of that opportunity is if you are truly prepared. Success happens when preparation meets opportunity.

2. We’re getting down to the last couple of points here so stick with me. How many of you have parents, grandparents, friends, cousins, brothers and sisters in the audience here to celebrate with you? Pretty much everyone, I hope, and if you don’t have any of these people here, then consider me your one person that’s here to celebrate with you! But, I say all of that to say this: “No man or woman is an island.” As you venture off into brand new territory, never forget that you need and have support, and you cannot make it to the top without that support. Appreciate those individuals that continue to motivate you to keep going even when you feel like quitting. And right now I just want to take the time to acknowledge my support system, that is here in the audience with me even today: My father, Paul Johnson; my mother, Camille Johnson; my little sisters Tanya and Talitha; and my younger brother Jamal who is up at Morgan State preparing to meet his opportunity (aka his last final of the semester) as we speak. Thank you so much for always being there for me no matter what. You constantly remind me that no man or woman is an island.

1. And last but not least, anyone that knows me, knows that I love my family, I love children and teenagers, I love Chipotle, and I love my Jesus. So I couldn’t leave here today without sharing with you one of my favorite passages of scripture and it comes from Matthew Chapter 6 verse 33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” If there’s one that I have learned in my life, it is that success is truly meaningless without a higher calling. You may have all the money and earthly success in the world, but never forget the Source of all those things. Seek Him first.

Largo High School Class of 2014: This is your time. Make it meaningful and make it count.

THANK YOU!

Love and God Bless,

– T


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