Hey, It’s Mel Bae! A born & raised Brooklyn bae in my twenties sharing my NYC (and worldwide) adventures. My blog is all things lifestyle, beauty & eats. Also known as a few of the best things in life.
When a new year comes around we all kind of go through that weird phase.
You know, when you’re reflecting on your past years, thinking about all the changes that you’ve experienced, the people you’ve interacted with, your highs your lows, what you need to improve & just life shit, basically. During these major these major thinking sessions I’ve realized, I’m still upset.
Still upset from past experiences & past relationships (both in friendship & in love). I know deep down inside I still want those apologies I deserve, I want clarity, I want honesty but after a fall out, I’m that person that goes right into getting shit done, my “i can’t bother” with even dwelling on this attitude has become an automatic reaction. Do I hate it? No, bad experiences always push me to go harder with my goals & I have to admit I definitely crossed a couple off my list. But I do have those “this person owes me an apology” moments rise again, because I never really addressed those emotions.
Reality Check: You’re Not Always Going To Get An Apology, Even If You Believe You Deserve One.
I know you’ve heard it before, but read it again. Sometimes you just won’t get that apology. Now I’ve broken it down to two reasons why that happens. 1. Whoever you want the apology from doesn’t care. I know, it’s a tough pill to swallow and if you’re anything like me important factors like: time, opening up or even money is involved, it’ll make you mad af just thinking about it. But you know what, that’s life. You cannot force people to feel. 2. Who you want an apology from actually feels like they deserve one from you. Now TRUST ME… stubborn is my middle name. So I feel like this reason is understandable to an extent. Personally I’m not perfect, there’s a couple untold apologies I probably owe to. But sometimes tensions are so rough that apology just could never be given.
I’m an optimistic person, I give people I care about chances & those who are closest to me know I’d choose being a lover over a fighter any day (don’t fuck with me though). But my wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt made words such as “maybe” and “might” be my downfall. He might change and be sweet. They might give me that apology. Maybe she has good intentions.
One thing I’ve learned: TRUST YOUR GUT. Might & Maybe is making excuses for behavior or actions you know will happen. There’s a thin line between being optimistic and naive. Accept that it’s not coming: change, the apology, or even that person being in your life. It’s hard & you might not listen to me (shit the amount of times I don’t listen to myself) but please try.
I feel like in life we have to apologize to ourselves sometimes, we don’t do it enough. Where I’m going with this is, if you’ve already got it set in your mind that apology isn’t coming, it’s a bummer.
Your mind starts wandering: damn I put in all that time, that was dumb. Damn, I really was allowing trash vibes in my life that was dumb. Damn I thought that person was a real one, that was dumb. Stop it & give yourself a break, first congratulate yourself: You are Human (so when you’re asked to put in that code if you’re a robot, you’re actually telling the truth) you my friend actually have feelings. Were some of your choices dumb? Maybe, but did you add an interesting chapter to your biography? Most definitely. With every experience should come a lesson & you just gained one.
Getting the apology that you might want from someone else won’t come on your terms, but being apologetic to yourself & rising above from your past experiences is all in your control. Learning to free myself from what I cannot change & hoping you all join me on the journey.
If you’re anything like me you adore a BEAT face. Cue the yass, the gagging and the edges being snatched.
But for me there’s NOTHING more important to me than maintaining healthy and acne free skin. Personally I wear makeup to enhance my natural features, but I focus on my skincare because this skin right here.. Ain’t going nowhere, we’re stuck together fo’ life. Might as well take the best care of it right? ESPECIALLY as i’m getting older.
Also I never wanted to be that girl where when I wash off my makeup and have everyone wondering um.. who is this? or even worse my iPhone X not recognizing me.
So the key to being comfortable in your own skin and also having it in it’s best condition is to take care of it! That’s why once I learned about Nola Skinsentials (which is Black Owned, Cruelty Free & Vegan!) I knew I had to try em out and see what’s good… and all of it that’s whats good. #SkinByNola
Why wasn’t this in my life earlier? I don’t know and honestly don’t want to live a life with it. I personally have normal/combination skin so in the winter my skin tends to get a little dry. My biggest concerns are staying moisturized and keeping that glow I had during the summer months. And this mask right here is the quick fix I needed. Described as a Pumpkin Spice Latte for your face I couldn’t agree more, it’s made with ingredients such as organic pumpkin, glycolic acid & more. Once i felt that tingle on my skin, i knew this was about to be IT. I was noticeably glowing right after rinsing and skin felt moisturized as well. Must have? Yes.
I barely get acne but sometimes when that time of the month comes Mother Nature comes through like here you go sis a nice hefty pimple for you to rock out with for a bit. I usually ride it out till it goes away but since I had the Witches Brew Toner why not try to use it right? Sprayed my face that night, pimple gone that morning, that’s how it’s done ladies and gentleman. Another win for Nola Skinsentials
You have to say “iconic” in your best Joanne the Scammer voice for this because it really is. Now this product says it aids in healing acne scars and reducing oil production. I really just love it because the way my skin feels and looks after using is insane. Using an oil on my face I would be scared that more pores would end up feeling clogged and gross but that is NOT the case here. I feel like it adds that extra glow I’ve been craving for my skin.
Overall Nola Skinsentials is a winner in my eyes! If you’re looking for new products for your updated skincare regime in the new year. They’re the ones to go to, best part is that if you don’t know what products would best work for your skin type they provide skin consultations to help any customer!
Now if you’re following me on social media.. (@__melbae – but you already should be doing that!)
You know my big announcement! I’ve officially partnered up with Bacardi & The Bacardi Culture Suite to host No Ordinary Mix! This will be a series of events throughout the winter showcasing their flawless cocktail mixes, good eats, fun karaoke, and of course bomb music provided by my co-host and DJ of the events Michael Medium of Hot 97!
Last night was my first No Ordinary Mix event with Bacardi and not to be corny or whatever but it went UP on a Tuesday. In the uptown venue Harlem Nights, the special pitcher mixes of the night included the Blackberry Beret, PYT Punch and my focus of the night – the Paisley Pomegranate.
The Paisley Pomegranate is made with: Grey Goose, Pomegranate Juice, Lime Juice and Fresh Rosemary. Once again the smoothness of any cocktail made with a liquor under the Bacardi brand such as Grey Goose never fails. It’s the perfect concoction for all holiday festivities.
And let’s not forget the karaoke portion of the night! Songs such as The Way You Move – OutKast, Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran, and Run It – Chris Brown were just a few among many that people performed. Trust me whatever random song you think you would want to sing, we’ve got it. Now you might not get a grammy after your performance, BUT you do get some nice Bacardi swag, so it’s worth it!
If you missed the first event, catch me hosting December 26th at Harlem Tavern from 7pm-10pm alongside Michael Medium, don’t get a case of FOMO and come through! For more information visit noordinarymix.com
In my last post I took my first ever solo trip to Philadelphia! Which was a nice little warm up to the beginning of my solo adventures this year but I knew I was ready to kick it up a notch. And this trip I had planned right here means the world to me…
MY SOLO TRIP TO LOS ANGELES baby!
If you’ve kept up with me on social media (__@melbae) last year I took my first ever trip to La La Land and I loved it. Loved it enough that I was officially convinced bicoastal living is a dream of mines that I really want to make a reality when the time is right. I spent quite a bit of time out there BUT I still had some places I wanted to visit, things I wanted to experience and this time I wanted to do it on my own. So being my typical spur of the moment self, I found a great deal via JetBlue and booked my birthday trip and needless to say… I was excited af!
Now let’s get into some of my favorite places that I visited:
Runyon Canyon Park
If you go to Los Angeles and don’t take a hike on Runyon, did you really even go? In Runyon Canyon Park you can find both LA natives & tourists hiking and getting their workout on while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the city! As a New Yorker, you don’t see mountains that’s just not a thing for us, so being out here and just soaking in all of the nature surrounding you really creates a spiritual moment. It reminds me why I love California, it provides a balance of both the peace of nature but when looking out into the distance you see the liveliness of the city just waiting for your return.
Runyon Canyon is of course FREE to enter and open from dawn to dusk!
Please note: Service is not always the best up there! So if you have any questions on how to get out and things of that nature don’t be afraid to ask a nearby hiker, they’ll be more than willing to help you out. Also if you want to view specific spots such as the Hollywood Sign check out some of the tips here.
While walking down Hollywood Boulevard, your girl got hungry and of course I was craving what I always crave… tacos. Now when I came across Calle Tacos I honestly thought that the tacos would be mediocre being that it’s right where all the tourists are, they have a huge sign that claims they make the best fish tacos and they just looked way too commercial for my taste. But when I saw their 5 dollar margarita pitcher deal of the day, I was sold enough to at least try it.
MAN THESE TACOS WERE EVERYTHING – I REPEAT THESE TACOS WERE EVERYTHING
Thinking about how good they were already has me looking up flights for my next return. The fish tacos were delicious & fulling, oh and the huge $5 jalepeno margarita just made the whole experience even better. They have a really cool food truck interior and have a seating area that’s indoors but open windows x doors. If you’re in the Hollywood area and a taco lover like myself, you must go. You haven’t lived till you had Calle Tacos.
Calle Tacos is located at 6508 Hollywood Blvd – Open from 11:00 am – 1:00 am
Before my trip to LA i did some investigating of what cool things were happening and discovered that the Museum Of Illusions just recently opened, so you know I had to check it out! The museum couldn’t be any more self explanatory. In here you can find a series of artwork that create illusions and it’s all instagramable! After having lunch with a friend we both decided to visit together.
What’s funny about the illusions is sometimes you don’t actually get what the illusion is but then you take the photo and you’re like hey I get it! Admission into the museum was $25 dollars, now in LA you can find a ton of art for free or even cheaper but since it’s new, we were with it. Was it worth it? Completely we had so much fun figuring out the illusions and there were SO many, it was to the point we were actually surprised how much art there as in there. I’ll be posting pictures until 2020 tbh and don’t judge me.
The Museum Of Illusions is located at 6753 Hollywood Blvd – Hours: 10am – 12am
If you know anything about the restaurant/hospitality biz in Los Angeles you know that Catch LA is a major hotspot in the area! You can find celebs such as Kim K, Chrissy Tiegen.. even Drake and J. Lo had a dinner date there. So it was the perfect option for my birthday dinner & I made reservations prior to my trip! The venue is just beautiful. The fact that it located on a rooftop is clearly what attracts people to come and it’s picture perfect landscaping. Major #NoFilterNeeded alert the lighting here is just perfect. Inside is equally as gorgeous with beautiful seating areas, beautiful staff and immediate understanding as to why celebs come here. I wanted to order the lobster roll because I was really craving lobster but unfortunately they didn’t have any so I opted with the Lobster Mac & Cheese + their Sesame Mai Tai to drink! All good because they were both amazing.
Mel Tips: The menu is pricy (birthday behavior) but ambiance + quality makes it so worth it. Making reservations in advance is a MUST. During my trip I met alot of LA locals who told me the difficulties they’ve had trying to get in. A reservation really makes sure it’ll be a smooth experience
Catch LA is located on 8715 Melrose Ave in West Hollywood – Hours: 5pm – 2am weekdays and two intervals on the weekends: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11am-3pm & reopen 5pm-2:00am
If you want one of the best views of the LA skyline, 71 above is the place to be. Their Skylounge is perfect for cocktails and quick bites while looking out at the stunning view. I originally was planning to go to OUE Skyspace LA (located upstairs) to get the view of the city but ended up stopping here, realizing it’s just as great.. if not better because food and drinks haha! Their staff was amazing and so so sweet! I started chatting up with an employee there and shared how I was traveling solo and we had an great conversation about life & chasing your dreams (it got deep) – I ordered their Fritters and a drink, can’t remember the name but also got a complimentary glass of champagne for my birthday! I had sucha great experience definitely will be returning anytime I’m in LA
Mel Tips: Also another pricey spot, listen yall I was on my birthday behavior. But everything about this place makes it completely worth it.
71 Above is located at 633 W 5th Street – 71st Floor Hours vary but generally from 11:30 am – 11pm on weekdays and on weekends 5pm-12am
Yall I kind of hate to admit it, but I really love LA.
In NYC, life is: fast paced, the hustle is consistently on the mind & you don’t have time to really gather your thoughts. Coming to LA helps calm down my need for urgency & even though it was a vacation I still had to get ish done & I did! I love both cities but could see myself living in both! If you’re thinking about making a solo trip soon, Los Angeles is definitely a a great destination to visit.
What are your thoughts on the city? Will you be visiting LA or taking a solo trip soon? Leave a comment, send an email, @ me share your experiences I would love to hear!
We’ve officially entered holiday season yall! You know what that means, cozy looks, spending quality time with family and friends AND…
Filling yourself up with good eats x dranks of course (aka my favorite part of the holidays)
I kicked off the holiday fun with the Bacardi Culture Suite with the pleasure of attending their #NoOrdinaryMix Showcase at the popular uptown restaurant, Harlem Tavern. Where not only did I experience a mixology class with Colin Asare-Appiah, Bacardi’s Senior Portfolio Ambassador I ALSO got to turn up with the Bacardi gang. Which consisted of me singing Bodak Yellow in Karaoke because YOLO and of course drinking the smoothest cocktails.
The featured spirits of the night included Dusse, Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose Vodka, and of course Bacardi 8. The cocktails served were impressive and I’m a major critic when it comes to my liquor. But a combination of smooth, delicious and magical, Bacardi definitely proved they are not one to be played with in the spirits industry.
Some of my personal faves?
Their Loco Ocho which consists of:
Dusse, Orange Liqueur, Cranberry Juice, Apple Juice and Fresh Lime Juice
And the PYT Punch. which consists of:
Grey Goose Vodka, Cranberry Juice and Lemon Juice.
What I’m basically saying is don’t be surprised when you see me whipping up some bomb drinks for any holiday get togethers, the Bacardi Culture Suite taught me. Will you be including any of these liquors in your holiday turn ups?
Ever needed a quick getaway, without breaking your pockets? That was my energy at 3 am on a Friday night as I randomly decided I need a change of scenery real quick. So what did I do to cure my spontaneous itch? Purchase a round-trip bus ticket to the city of “brotherly love”… Philadelphia!
Personally one of my goals this year and every year is to travel more. I already frequently travel but I’ve realized that I barely show any love to the cities around me! Taking a quick trip out of town to a city nearby is the perfect option for travel newbies, people on a budget or even solo travelers not quite sure if they want to go halfway across the world on their own, yet.
So at 3am, I looked up bus tickets (saw it would only cost me $20 RT), clicked that purchase button and boom, PHILLY I’m coming for ya! My first solo adventure in the city and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve always talked about solo traveling but never really took the steps to do it! But right now I’m currently in a point in my life where nothing makes me happier more than my own solitude, the experiences I live on my own always teach me so much about myself & well I just have more fun doing whatever I want, so these moves are being made. Let’s get into my trip!
Now I’ve been to Philadelphia literally once, turnt as hell at Made In America, so am I counting that as a real visit? No, I didn’t get to see the actual city. This time I’m going to see what the city is all about. So here’s where I went during my Philly Daycation!
First Stop: Reading Terminal Market
Once getting off the bus to Philadelphia, the Reading Terminal Market is a two minute walk away. So if you’re anything like me and your first thought is “Where the food at?” this is the place for you! The Reading Terminal Market is filled with TONS of food options, from Asian food to Greek to Mexican and of course Philly cheese steaks. Now i know what you’re thinking… get what Philly’s known for, but instead I opted for fish tacos at 12th Street Cantina.
Listen, the taco life choose me, I didn’t choose it. I have no regrets (and got my Philly cheese steak fix later)
Second Stop: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
And the award for the “Dopest Art Museum I’ve Ever Been To” definitely goes to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. The whole building itself is art and it’s pretty hard to miss. Both it’s outdoor and indoor area is made from tiles, mirrors, bottles and more miscellaneous objects from top to bottom. The term “Magic Garden” fits it perfectly you will feel like goddess/god walking throughout the museum and if you haven’t checked out my Instagram already, completely instagramable. Also fun fact: The art done by Philly’s very own Isaiah Zagar, can be found all over the city randomly! After visiting Philadelphia’s Magic Garden’s you’ll notice when you see a piece of his. Tickets to enter the museum are $10 for adults & $8 for students!
Third Stop: Electric Street/Percy Street Project
Randomly lurking through Instagram the night before my trip, I spotted a few Philly residents taking pictures next to this art installation, but barely any deets on where to find it! After some lurking through the city your girl found it! The neon mural done by local artists David Guinn and Drew Billiau can be found By Percy Street & 9th, you could say it’s “in the cut” but if you’re in the area you’ll spot that pop of color easily! I would say to visit the area in the late afternoon/night hours to truly see the neon colors at it’s best!
Fourth Stop: Geno’s Steaks
I knew I couldn’t left Philly without having an obligatory Philly cheese steak, so EVEN THOUGH I wasn’t in the mood for one. Geno’s was right by Electric Street and it was smelling good af. Headed over there and the employees were SUPER nice, I told them I just wanted the best Philly cheese steak I’ve ever had and GODDAMN did they make one I’ll never forget. Definitely going back when I’m in Philadelphia again! Please note: There is no seating area indoors, but there are seats outside or of course you can take it “to go” also Geno’s is open 24 hours.
Fifth Stop & Sixth Stops: Liberty Bell Philadelphia Museum Of Art / Rocky Steps
I stopped by after the Liberty Bell exhibit after it officially closed so I wasn’t really able to bask in it’s presence much. But it was dope to see something I’ve only really seen in my text books back in the day and that’s a part of American history right in front of me! By the way it totally looks way smaller in person and it’s crack, gives it some character. And last but not least I stopped by the Rocky Steps, I totally gave my attempt at running up those stairs and you know what… we’re going to have to save that for a Philadelphia part two trip. It was getting super cold & honestly I was not with it LOL but it was so cute watching everyone pull out their inner Rocky and make their way up the stairs.
Overall the vibe and energy of Philadelphia is totally underrated! Would I come back here? Most definitely – the city is the perfect combination of cozy yet still busy and fast paced. And on every block you get a sense of history whether it’s a building or house’s aesthetics or random colorful art in the city’s walkways you know there’s a story behind it all.
On Tuesday, December 26th – Me, Hot 97 DJ Michael Medium and of course the Bacardi Culture Suite held one of our last events of 2017 and yes yall the litness continued! We turned up over Harlem Tavern, which is personally one of my FAVORITE venues uptown (the food and vibes ALWAYS bomb)
But let’s get into what went down. The night was dedicated to Trap and 90’s RnB Karaoke so the best (or should I say funniest) performers walked away with some Bacardi Culture Suite merch. Some of the performances included some Usher, Mary J. Blige, and even some Lil Jon & Ludacris, which may or may have not been performed by me.. but I’ll let you guys search for the footage.
THE DRINKS THOUGH: Tasty & smooth, as per usual. My favorite aspect of these events are their focus on showcasing these drinks AND the recipes to make them. My drink of the night? The PYT Punch.
The PYT Punch is made with: Grey Goose, Cranberry Juice, Triple Sec, Lemon Juice & Sprite. If you’re looking for a quick drink to make to ring in the new year, definitely suggest this!
If you missed the last event, catch me hosting our first event of the new year on January 2nd at Harlem Tavern from 8pm-11pm alongside Michael Medium, the theme will be King Of Pop vs The Prince! Don’t let that FOMO kick in, come through and turn up with us! For more information visit noordinarymix.com
Like I said before it’s the season of giving so of course I had to hook my readers up with a giveaway!
A couple weeks ago I made my way Uptown and had the pleasure of attending Paint Nite Harlem‘s Sip N PaintEvent at New Harlem Besame Restaurant
And yes, it was as relaxing as you could imagine. I grabbed my bestie to for a chill girls night and it was perfect! We had a wonderful instructor who was super patient with my abnormally slow painting (listen I literally haven’t painted since elementary school). While painting we enjoyed not only some wine but the great music vibes! The playlist included Travis Scott, Cardi B, Migos, SZA and more, you can get a sense of the vibe. Food & beverages are available at each location for you to purchase.
This is a dope experience to have with your boo, your friend or even just to treat yourself! Now regularly this event would cost you around $65 but here comes the details you been all waiting for, check the rules below to see how you can enter! Oh and more pictures of me & my painting that I’m clearly completely proud of.
I’m giving away 10 tickets (5 pairs) to my MelBae.com readers for:
Paint Nite Harlem Sip N Paint Event – December 20th & 27th
*Winner will be able to choose either date*
How to enter:
Follow me on Instagram: @__melbae (that’s a double underscore)
Follow Paint Nite Harlem on Instagram: @paintniteharlem
Comment “Paint Bae” under my latest post featuring the painting I made fro my paint night! *if you’re entering this in hopes of giving this to someone as a gift and don’t want them to see you can also DM me saying Paint Bae as well.
So we’re a couple days into December and… raise your hand if you HAVEN’T started your holiday shopping. Mhmm I see you over there waiting till the last minute to get your shopping done well luckily I’ve got your back!
The PERFECT fragrance gift for the season would be from none other than..
Michel Germain’s Sensual Collection.
Which I had to pleasure of co-hosting their New York Pop Event inside Roosevelt Field Mall’s Macys alongside MEFEater Editor In Chief Gabrielle.
If you haven’t heard of Michel Germain or the Sexual fragrances… no lie (and yall KNOW I keep it real) you absolutely need to get into this! Now part of me is sad because I’m giving away the secret to the scent that’s gotten me several compliments the past few months but it is the season of giving right? So let me not be stingy! This fragrance collection is unlike no other.
Their Women’s & Men’s Collections range with fragrances & colognes such as: Sexual Noir, Sexual Paris, Sexual Paris Tendre, Sexual Sugar and more. Which was showcased at the event, alongside some sweet treats – yummy cupcakes and cake pops!
My personal favorite and go to is Sexual Sugar, the scent is sweet but not in the over-barring fruity way, it’s sweetness is reminiscent of fresh flowers. It makes me feel pretty, playful & the amount of compliments I get for it always has me feeling myself. Which makes it a complete winner in my book!
All Sexual Fragrances can be purchased on the Official Michel Germain Website, Macys.com, and Bloomingdales.com (as well as in-store if you’d like to smell the scent for yourself!) This fragrance is the perfect holiday gift whether it be for a significant other, family member friend or even better yourself! Happy shopping and let me know if you love Sexual as much as I do!