BEAUTY

Layered

02.05.14

So the focus has shifted to my hands. Rings, bracelets, watches, nail art….gives me a bit of bling around my face. I gesture with my  hands a lot when I’m talking. Guess that’s what happens when you marry an Italian…That being said, as of late I’ve been piling it on. 3 rings on one hand? Yes please. Body chains? Certainly! Turquoise, gold and diamonds? Why not?

I’ve found that the more delicate the pieces are, the more you can mix without feeling over accessorized. In my ongoing obsession with finding great pieces, I find that I go back to two places time and time again. Jacquie Aiche & Catbird NYC. Both have beautiful pieces that are delicate, inspired by nature and just overall cool. Neither Kadi or myself are ever without our Jacquie Aiche finger bracelets and lately I have added some first knuckle rings to the mix from Catbird. Add all that to my Godmother’s and her sister’s wedding bands that never leave my fingers, a first anniversary gift and a colored ring or two and I’ve got a righteous mix.

*photography by oh_crumbs

*jewelry Myka’s own, Jacquie Aiche, Catbird NYC

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LIFE

Are You A Highbrow Hippie?

02.04.14

A Highbrow Hippie is more of a mindset than anything else, and if you keep following us on this blog you’ll get even more insight into what a Highbrow Hippie really is. But in the meantime, we’ve put together a quick guide for you. If any of these things sound like you, then chances are you’re a Highbrow Hippie. Welcome to the Tribe.

A Highbrow Hippie is neither Highbrow nor Hippie, but resides in the grey area between, picking elements of each as it suits them. Highbrow Hippies have a curiosity for things outside of ourselves and use travel as an opportunity to learn about a culture and place. And pick up some cool stuff in the process.

We are are selective about where and how we spend our money. Walmart? No thanks. We prefer to support local, independent businesses that have a direct impact on the communities we live in. Highbrow Hippies don’t look to be cool, but rather to be authentic. We buy organic and prefer to eat simple, seasonal food. When we cook, we only cook what we’ll eat because we don’t believe in waste.

Equal parts boho and glamour, a Highbrow Hippie is low maintenance in the best way. We believe everyone has to live their own lives and reserve judgement for bottles of wine only. We’re flexible and go with the flow. Patchouli and wildflowers? No thanks. We stick to our signature scents and whatever flower is in season at the farmers market (although we’re always praying for peonies).

Highbrow Hippies aren’t attached to stuff and don’t believe our possessions define us. We’ll stay up late, move cities in a heartbeat, drink until we stumble and think front row concert seats are the only way to go.

We believe in grooming not just our bodies, but our minds. Mani/pedis, massages, waxing and hair coloring have the same priority as acupuncture, yoga and meditation and journaling in our book. Highbrow Hippies do cardio but are real enough to tell the truth – we hate it.

Highbrow Hippies create rituals. Highbrow Hippies give back to their communities. Highbrow Hippies start over and over again and approach life with confidence and swagger. We are prepared to be wrong and think that getting old is a gift.

Highbrow Hippies create. Highbrow Hippies do. Highbrow Hippies show up.

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EATING

Holiday Eats

12.10.13

It all starts with Thanksgiving and my Aunt’s famous oyster soufflé and ends on New Year’s Day with our annual feast of Alaskan king crab legs, greens and black eyed peas. So random, but it works for us.

One of my favorite things when I was younger was the cheese ball. Typically I try to stay away from dairy but cheese is my weakness. I mean what could be better than a ball of cheese? With nuts?? Dying.

This year I decided to take a stab at making my own and what do you know – it’s super easy and good. And you get bragging rights by saying you made it yourself – always a good idea. There are a million variations on the cheese ball, but I went classic with cheddar. No pineapple, no bacon, just good ole’ cheese. So if you’re like me and love the nostalgia of the Holidays (and cheese) then you will want to give this recipe a try.

Myka’s Christmas Cheese Ball

  • 2 packs of cream cheese
  • 8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbs of minced shallots
  • 1 Tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tsp dijon mustard
  • Pecan pieces

Mix together all the ingredients except the pecans in a bowl with a mixer.

Stir in however many pecans you want

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. Overnight is ideal.

Divide in half, roll into balls and then roll in pecans to cover the outside.

Serve with crackers.

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LIFE

Disappearing Acts

05.14.13

When we first started HBH, we made a promise to each other that we would be patient with the growth of the blog into the brand that HBH will eventually be, and patient and understanding with each other as friends first when life got overwhelming. Maintaining a blog while the both of us juggle demanding careers poses a challenge, and one that we know we can achieve with dedication, diligence and most of all, balance.

We want to sincerely thank all of you that have followed us from the beginning. Your support and your feedback is motivating and so appreciated. We are working hard to deliver more honest and authentic musings on the Highbrow Hippie life. Stay tuned for some exciting changes coming to the blog, and we hope everyone is having a rocking spring so far. Cheers to balance, and to life.

Love Myka and Kadi

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BEAUTY

8 Things We’re Into for Spring

04.09.13

#1: GOING GREEN: GREEN IS THE COLOR OF THE YEAR! GO GREEN BY EATING RAW & HEALTHY TO KEEP YOUR BODY ALKALINE, GO GREEN BY RESPECTING THE ENVIRONMENT & GO GREEN BY BUYING VINTAGE AND RECYCLED CLOTHING AND FURNITURE.

#2 PALE NAILS: NEUTRAL NAILS ARE THE WAY TO GO FOR SPRING. FIND YOUR BEST NEUTRAL SHADE AND LAYER IT FOR DIFFERENT EFFECTS. WE LOVE RGB COSMETICS FOR THEIR HIPP FOUNDATION COLLECTION. PLUS THEY’RE CHEMICAL FREE. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?

#3: OIL CLEANSING : USE OIL TO CLEANSE YOUR SKIN. SOUNDS COUNTERINTUITIVE, BUT OIL BINDS TO THE NATURAL OILS IN YOUR SKIN AND LEAVES SKIN FEELING SMOOTH AND MOISTURIZED. PLUS IT REMOVES ALL YOUR MAKE UP NATURALLY! WE LOVE THE FOLLOWING BLENDS: CASTOR, JOJOBA & GRAPE SEED. AND IT’S SUPER EASY TO MAKE YOUR OWN. FOLLOW THIS CHART FOR PERCENTAGES OF CASTOR OIL VS. CARRIER OILS. THE OILER YOUR SKIN THE LESS CASTOR OIL YOU NEED. ADD DROPS OF DIFFERENT ESSENTIAL OILS ACCORDING TO YOUR SKIN TYPE AND YOU’RE GOOD TO GO! DIY SKINCARE.

OILY: 30/70

NORMAL: 20/80

DRY: 10/90

AGING: 0/100

#4: PASTEL MATTE LIPS: LIPS FOR SPRING ARE COLORFUL AND  MATTE. LOOK FOR SHADES OF MUTED CORALS,  PINKS. WE’VE BEEN BREAKING OUT NARS ROMAN HOLIDAY FOR A GREAT TAKE ON THIS LOOK.

#5: BOLD BROWS : BROWS OF THE MOMENT ARE FULL AND NATURAL. IF YOURS ARE STILL THIN, NOW IS THE TIME TO START GROWING THEM IN. TRY RUBBING CASTOR OIL ON THEM NIGHTLY TO PROMOTE GROWTH. OR BETTER YET – FILL THEM IN WITH POWDER AND A SLANTED BROW BRUSH. WE LIKE SONIA KASHUK’S BROW BRUSH AND LIZETTE FOR MINERAL BROW POWDERS THAT ARE WATER RESISTANT.

 #6: COLORED LINER: BLUE AND GREEN WERE THE COLORS SEEN ALL OVER THE SPRING RUNWAYS. USE THEM FOR A POP OF COLOR AND TO UPDATE YOUR MAKEUP FOR SPRING. KEEP THE REST OF THE FACE NEUTRAL TO LET THE COLOR REALLY SHINE.

#7: LIGHTWEIGHT LEATHER: IT’S NOT JUST FOR WINTER. LOOK FOR LEATHER SHORTS, SHORT SLEEVED LEATHER JACKETS AND PERFORATED LEATHER SHOES FOR SPRING

#8: HAIR ACCESSORIES: GET LONGEVITY OUT OF YOUR BLOWOUTS BY USING HAIR ACCESSORIES TO TRY A NEW STYLE. OR JUST TO ADD A TWIST TO YOUR OUTFIT. VINTAGE STORES ARE GREAT PLACES TO FIND SCARVES TO USE FOR THIS TREND.

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DESIGN

Spring Fever

03.19.13

Recently (okay, last year….) those weekly trips came to an end and I found myself spending a lot more of my down time here in Atlanta. Backstory – I moved to Atlanta in 2009 after spending 4 years living in Munich, Germany. Atlanta is where I’m from, my family is here, but I never thought that 4 years later I’d still be here. It was originally a stop off, but then I started a business, that business became successful and here I am. The past 4 years have brought a lot of changes into my life, the least of which was the adjustment of living without all of my stuff which was 1) still in storage in Munich and then 2) in an apartment in NY which never really felt like home because of all the traveling. But that’s another blog post. Recently I accepted that fact that for the moment, I actually live in Atlanta as opposed to just working here and decided to give my home the attention it deserves.

You see, I am a furniture and design junkie. I didn’t want to buy anything new because I loved all my OLD stuff which was still in NY. So I bought the bare minimum (sofa, bed, lamp), gave up entertaining at home (which I actually LOVE to do) and focused all my creative energy on my business since that’s where I spend the majority of my time. I renovated, opened a nail bar 6 months ago (yay!) and have basically put all of my time and money into my work space.

But this year, as Spring began to approach, I began to feel unsettled and decided to go back to my roots. My styling roots that is. One of my favorite things to do at this time of the year is change my home over for the season. Yes, your home should change with the seasons much like your wardrobe. And for me it’s much more fun to restyle my house for Spring than it is to restyle myself. I love to constantly rework spaces and cycle things in and out using what I already have.

This year this task was even more fun since I had a whole new slew of stuff to work with. I moved a bunch of stuff from NY to Atlanta and have been going about the task of making this loft feel more like home.

In order to get my home in order for Spring and beyond I did the following:

  • Got rid of any unnecessary household clutter. This was easy since I didn’t have a lot of stuff.
  • Walked through each room and made a list off all the “problem areas”, things  I want to change and/or things that are in need of repair or replacement. 
  • Went through the list and picked 3 projects from each room to complete this year. These should be things that will have the most impact and bring you the most joy. If you’ve always hated the dark color of your mirror – paint it. That’s actually one of the things on my bedroom list so stay tuned to see how that turns out…

My first project was my entryway. It was boring and dull, a place to drop my keys/bag/shoes on my way to the kitchen for a glass of wine. It depressed the hell out of me and every time I walked in the house was only a reminder of all that needed to be done.

So I got to work and within 2 hours, it became this:

DSC_1033 DSC_1015 DSC_1019

 Total cost $305. And that was for the mirror. Everything else I already had and just brought it into the space. Is it finished? No way. Will it be finished by the end of this year? For sure. I’ll make sure to post updates along the way so you can join me in this journey. In the meantime, I’m keeping focused on making my house a home.

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FASHION / LIFE

California Dreaming

03.12.13

Every facet of my life has been infiltrated by the influence of the ocean. From the way I dress, to the car I drive, to the decor in my home. By now our readers are familiar with our backgrounds, and know that I moved to America at the age of 10 from the island of Jamaica. For the next 15 years, while I still technically called the beach town of Westport, CT home, the cold, long, harsh winters made it a far cry from the tropical paradise of my native island. But Westport definitely possessed a super cool, laid back vibe that has continued to influence the way I live to this day.

 

photo 2

 

I finally found my Utopia when I transferred to the LA location of the company I was working for at the time of my mid twenties. The longing that I had for a more relaxed, bohemian lifestyle was realized, but with slightly more polish than one would find in island life. It was during this period that I truly became a Highbrow Hippie. I really don’t enjoy possessions that are too “precious”. But don’t get it twisted. That doesn’t mean that I walk around dressed like a slob. I’m a Highbrow Hippie after all, “perfectly undone”.

A recent work trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming kickstarted the ascent into my spring wardrobe for this year. For me, I’m always inspired by the amazing jewelry and natural colors that abound in Jackson, and this trip did not disappoint. I stumbled upon vintage cuffs and necklaces made of shagreen, and silver and turquoise, with a particular standout in emerald green leather and silver detail that was way out of my price range, but is residing on my wishlist until I can acquire it. These pieces, combined with the more delicate staples from Jacquie Aiche that never leave my body, is the perfect mix for me.

photo 2-4

As a rule of thumb, I always try to splurge a bit more on accessories and then build my wardrobe of basics from there. Upon my return to LA (and an amazing early spring of 80 degree days), I stopped at my favorite J.Crew location in the Malibu Lumberyard and stocked up on my favorite v-neck tees and tanks to last me through the season and to go with everything in my wardrobe, and my favorite Panama Hat and gold thong sandals to kick around in everyday. My next stop was at the Michael Kors store on Robertson Blvd, where I replaced my neutral flat for the season, this time in a gladiator with a gold zipper detail, and updated my sunnies with a new pair of tortoise frames and vintage inspired aviators.

 

photo 1-4

 

Other recent acquisitions to get my beach bum wardrobe up to date include suede and leather shorts from Ralph Lauren, recycled straw totes from Jackson Hole and Malibu that I will use to lug around my salon supplies for house calls, an incredible caftan and poncho from the line Jen’s Pirate Booty, and a dope vintage poncho from Principessa on Abbott Kinney in Venice that is perfect to throw on after the beach when the temperature drops and the top is off of my Wrangler. Which this “Jamerican” Cali girl is most likely driving barefoot, naturally.

photo

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FASHION

Red Carpet Blues

02.25.13

And I’m not just talking about the host….the red carpet was equally as boring….I mean, did everyone’s stylist get the same memo?? Boring.

Rene Zellweger looked totally stoned, and I have to say that I can’t blame her because I was stoned and I was at home. Had I been at the actual awards show I would have had to be ultra stoned and drunk just to be able to sit through it.

I was itching for some edge, some color and there were a few hits, but overall? Meh. Not impressed. It seemed that the hits are brought out for the after party – not the main event. Kinda like in school when your Mom took you shopping and  you got all this great stuff but you didn’t wear it the first few weeks. You’d break it out around week 2….you know, when nobody was expecting it and you could really showcase…

photo charlize-theron-oscars-2013

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LIFE

Happy New Year?!

02.17.13

It was filled with tension and grief and general discord. After talking with different friends, we all decided that we needed a restart and we were going to grant ourselves permission to do so. It was suggested to me by my friend Cynthia that I take the time in between the “traditional” western NYE, and the Chinese or “Lunar” new year, and reflect on the goals I would like to accomplish during the year. My aim was to keep it as simple as possible. Life is complicated enough. I didn’t want to focus on the outcome, but the act of doing. Once these goals were established, the plan was to enter my “new” new year gracefully and with ease, surrounded by love and support. My goals boiled down to 2 things- have more respect for my life and be more present with the company I keep and reciprocate the love that is given to me.

My first goal is a big one that encompasses many smaller factors. These factors ranged from eating a more balanced diet (I’m already a pretty healthy eater), move my body more, maintain healthy boundaries, and just go with the flow in general. My second goal is a big one for me, as I spend a lot of time traveling for work and pleasure, and have slowly come to realize that I have neglected to nurture my friendships in LA. Because of the nature of my work, I naturally acquire a lot of acquaintances. I had a tendency to group everyone in a box and keep them at a comfortable distance. But the reality is I have some wonderful friends that I was only giving surface time to, when they deserved much more. I determined that it was time to really start being present with them, and enjoy the city that I live in instead of always looking forward to my next escape. With these goals firmly set, my new year began last Sunday and will continue for another week. My plan during the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, was to keep my goals in the forefront of my mind as I celebrated some of the customs and traditions associated with the holiday.

On the eve of the new year, I went to work wearing the brightest colors in my wardrobe, as it is believed to scare away evil spirits and bad fortune. My friends and I then met for dim sum that evening. Each item eaten has special symbolism, and we savored our dumplings especially, as they represent wealth for the coming year because they are shaped like ancient silver and gold ingots. We then went for drinks at one of my favorite lounges in LA, where my friend Tai showed up wearing a heavy snake necklace that represented the Year of the Snake that we were about to enter. We all laughed and drank and made warm toasts to friendship old and new. It was a wonderful night that left me filled with gratitude.

Another New Years tradition is to thoroughly cleanse the house in order to sweep away any ill fortune, and to make way for incoming good luck. While my awesome housekeeper Anna aided me in this task, I made my way to the farmers market to fill my home with symbols of deeper meaning such as the sunflower, which represents a good and prosperous year ahead, and oranges, mandarins and tangerines, which represent the fruits of happiness.

My last task for celebrating the Chinese New Year Highbrow Hippie style was to dress for the occasion. This proved to be the biggest roadblock for me , as the color red is preferred for clothing during this time, and I have very little red in my closet. What was a Highbrow Hippie to do? Well, find amazing red leather leggings on sale from one of my favorite stores, Beckley, and put them on prominent display.

These leggings will be in heavy rotation in the next week as I finish out the 14 day celebration by visiting with friends on both the east and west coast, and ending with back to back birthday celebrations for some of my nearest and dearest. And to all I will wish, “Gung Hay Fat Choy” and “Kung Hei Fat Choy”. Happy new year, and I hope that you will be wealthy.

Love, Kadi

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CULTURE

No Dress Code Required

02.12.13

When I heard that a dress code was being instituted this year, I was bummed. It’s the Grammys! It’s a time for us proletariats to tune in and see who is so desperate for attention that they will do/wear/say anything on the red carpet in order to get some press. Nipples out? Check. Ass cheeks showing? Double check. Strategically placed cut outs in dress as to give the illusion that I am naked? Best Dressed!!

That being said, the Grammys isn’t really the type of event you want to tame down. It’s the music industry – a mash up of people, styles, ages and backgrounds. Not only that, but the industry is rooted in creativity. Performers are natural renegades – give them a rule and they are going to break it. A friend of mine said he thought the dress code was a good idea. It would force people to get more creative with their outfits. Hmmmm….perhaps. I might jump on that bandwagon if the dress code was inspiring like “Futuristic” or “Highbrow Hippie” (ha!) but telling people to cover up is less dress code and more common sense. If people don’t have sense enough not to walk the red carpet in todays highly documented age with a see through dress on then they deserve all the bad commentary that’s coming their way. They make things for that – they’re called panties and nipple covers. Get on it.

Each genre has it’s own vibe…Pop, Rock, Hip Hop, Country and Urban Contemporary. Stop. What the hell is that? Urban Contemporary? I honestly feel like they made that up just so Frank Ocean could win an award. Which he didn’t deserve because A) he can’t sing and B) see A.

But I digress. I was talking about red carpet moments and how the Grammys never disappoints. As I watched on Sunday I saw a few  “moments” that made me smile, but overall? Meh. Not impressed. Just lots of floor length dresses (yawn), black (again, yawn) and one shoulder numbers.  I yearned for the years before where Grammy red carpet moments were just that – MOMENTS.

 OF NUDITY….

OF GRAND ENTRANCES….

OF POLITICAL/CULTURAL/RELIGIOUS/WHATEVER STATEMENTS….

OR JUST PLAIN FOOLISHNESS…. 

I mean, if the most memorable thing we can come up with to talk about are Katy Perry’s boobs then….sigh….there is work to be done. Not that she didn’t look fab (my vote goes to her for dress of the night), but really…I could stand for some real fierceness on the red carpet. Take Rick James and Grace Jones 1982….now THAT’s creative.

 

But alas, here we are in 2013 at the 55th annual Grammy Awards and while I wasn’t blown away, there were a few things noteworthy and so I decided to give some awards of my own:

 BEST IMPROVED OUTFIT OVER PAST YEARS:

BEST I DON’T GIVE A DAMN IF HE KICKED MY ASS I LOVE HIM AND BESIDES WE GET STONED TOGETHER : 

 

BEST I AM A NORMAL PERSON WHO IS TOTALY SECURE IN MYSELF AND AS SUCH WILL WEAR A MODEST BUT SURPRISING DRESS BECAUSE WHO CARES – I CAN REALLY SING:

BEST GRAMMY DEBUT THAT LEFT EVERYONE SUPER PUZZLED AND ASKING WTF?:

BIGGEST SORE LOSER:

 

 

 

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