Book Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Happy last day of Motivational March! My advice for today: read Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming.

When I started reading Becoming I went into it knowing it was going to be a great read, but I didn’t know how inspirational and informative it would truly be. It’s a book full of honest high and low life moment for Michelle and Barack Obama and their two girls. Becoming shares so much of Michelle Obama’s personal life from bigger details like marriage, having kids, becoming the first African-American FLOTUS, down to learning to play the piano and her first kiss. It’s a romance, inspirational, and educational novel all in one.


In the first section of her book titled Becoming Me, she focuses mainly on herself as Michelle Robinson.
She discusses growing up living on the second floor of a small apartment in Chicago and how close-knit her and her family are. Her grandfather, nicknamed Southside, brought music and excitement to her otherwise simple, quiet life. Her mom Marian Robinson is a hardworking, professional woman who is a big influence and role model to Mrs. Obama.

She talks about attending Princeton just as her older brother Craig attended before her. She was in Princeton not only as a woman, but also as a minority which was rare in the 1980’s. We learn about graduating from Princeton, getting her first “big girl” job, and even her first encounter with Barack at her law firm and how their bond started to grow.

The chapter titled, Becoming More, takes us deeper into the Obama’s budding relationship. We see her struggle to balance finding her passion in life and possibly considering leaving her lawyer job for something less tense and more exciting. She talks about how Barack always seemed to have it all together while she felt inadequate at times for not having every aspect of her life in perfect order. Barack was way more go with the flow than she was.

Another go with the flow person she encountered was her roommate and close friend Suzanne, who sadly lost her life to cancer at just 27. Suzanne put traveling, partying, and enjoying life to the fullest as a top priority. Suzanne’s zest for life is something that helped Mrs. Obama realize she need to have more fun and cherish the happy and spontaneous times.

Mrs. Obama also shares with us details of her super cute marriage proposal and the Obama wedding in 1992. It’s such a sweet love story.
I love how she shares intimate details with us about her love, it’s relatable and honest.

In this chapter she also dives head first into political and overall career details. She tells the encouraging story of how she started running a non-profit titled, Public Allies, where the mission was to fight for an equal and higher salary in the workplace. While running her non-profit, this was also around the time where Barack started to run for office and where the couple had fertility issues and a miscarriage. These were aspects of her life that she didn’t need to share, but shared it because she knew that her story would help others facing similar challenges.

Luckily she was able to get pregnant and give birth to Malia and Natasha, nicknamed Sasha, a few years later. As if she didn’t already have a lot on her plate, she was now balancing work, motherhood, and being a new wife. To me, Mrs. Obama was proving that life was all about balancing and how to keep the scale from tipping to heavily on one side or the other. She was balancing being humble yet confident, a boss yet a mom, a wife yet an individual. She was also
balancing Barack Obama running for president and her strong feelings against him running at same time, but still trying to be supportive.


I don’t follow politcals as well as I should so I don’t know or understand a lot of political terms, but Mrs. Obama was able to easily put the poltical world into laymans term throughout the book so that it was simple to comprehend. There’s a lot that goes on in the political world that we as citizens don’t know about and wouldn’t know about unless someone like Mrs. Obama shared those details. She dealt with hurtful political backlash about herself and about Barack Obama as well. She had to learn how to properly campaign and give speeches and rally people in neighborhoods to go out and vote which is not easy to learn.

In the final chapter of the book titled, Becoming More, we see Barack Obama become the 44th president of the United States and the first black family to serve in the White House. She details how the family has to move to D.C., enroll the girls in good schools, and redesign some areas of the White House to make it feel more at home such as adding a MLK bust and starting a garden. She even chooses to share with us small details like the codenames Secret Service gave everyone in the family. She shares the story of the lovely bond between her and the Bidens n their kids. These are life moments that we don’t fully get to see from the outside, but she felt that sharing it was impactful.

She shows that life in the White House was difficult and intense at times, but she knew the work that her and Barack Obama was doing was important and effective. During her time as FLOTUS she set up three initiatives like Let’s Move! to get kids eating healthier and being more active, Let Girls Learn which mentored young girls and let them know that they could be anyone or anything they wanted to be and also Joining Forces which provided better support for troops and their families as far as rehabilitation and obtaining jobs.

She tells us honestly about her dislike of the division politics causes in the country and the fact that she didn’t really understand military life until she started campaigning and became FLOTUS. She also tells about the heartbreak, but also relief that that comes with leaving the White House after 8 long years.


I believe that her goal with all of the stories she tells throughout Becoming is to inspire children and adults alike, no matter the race, gender, or even political beliefs and to me she succeeded in doing that.

If I shared every detail I loved about the book I could probably write my own book on it so I shared what I could without giving away too much. I hope this review made you want to run out and by the book, I promise that it’s worth it. Have a lovely day!

Wearing your Natural Hair in the Workplace: Why is there a Debate?

Happy Monday lovelies; I hope your workweek is off to a great start!

Today’s blog topic is something that’s been on my mind for a while so I decided to share my stance on it.

Over the past few years there’s been debates and articles about whether natural hair is professional enough to wear at work and the answer is “YES!”, but some people disagree.


Just last year a black, female journalist and television reporter got fired for fighting back against her company because her boss considered her hair “unprofessional” for the news station’s viewers. This year, she is still fighting that battle against the company’s discrimation towards her.

Now that is just one situation, but I know that it’s not the only one out there. Natural hair is professional hair. Nobody should have to hide the hair that grows from their head to appear professional to someone else.


I have thick, type 4 hair and I’ve been natural for a little over 5 years. Luckily, I’ve been in the retail business for majority of that time so the company policies are heavily focused on freedom of expression and style.

I wear my fro majority of the time, but when my fro isn’t out I usually have my hair in braids, twists, or under a headwrap. I’m happy that some companies see natural hair as professional and is welcomed in the workplace, we just have to continue to work towards it becoming a norm everywhere.


My advice: wear your natural hair to work and don’t be ashamed to do so. Style it how you like and be proud of your unique look. If someone doesn’t understand it or considers it unnattractive or unprofessional, speak up about it, defend yourself and your hair. You have the right to wear your beautiful natural hair just like women of other races wear theirs as well. Stay strong sis!

And for Day 18 of Motivational March: Be proud of your differences, it’s what makes you unique. ❣

I hope this post inspired you today. Leave a comment below if it did and share with me your natural hair in the workplace experience.

5 Quotes That Will Uplift Your Day

Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday so far! For day six of Motivational March my tip is: Find a few quotes that speak to you in your current situation.

No matter what life is throwing at you right now, understand that you will make it. Stay strong, focused, and motivated!


Below are 5 quotes that will uplift your day!

1) “Your bounce back is always going to be greater than your setback.” – Jeannie Mai, Stylist, TV personality & Host

My tip: You may feel knocked down by whatever challenges you are facing right now, but just know that once you get back on your feet, you will be stronger than ever.

2) “I don’t know what my path is yet, I’m just walking on it.” – Olivia Newton-John, Singer-Songwriter

My tip: You may be confused about what path is the correct one to take in life and that is ok. Just take life a day at a time and remember that baby steps are still steps!

3) “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis, Writer

My tip: Don’t focus so much on the past. You can remember it and grow from it, but realize that you have a whole future in front of you that you can make amazing.


4) “A ship is always safe at shore, but that’s not what it’s built for.” – Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

My tip: Go for it! It’s easy to play it safe, but that’s not what’s best. Get out of your comfort zone, embrace the changes, and you will soon realize your new space is way better than your safe space.

5) “Surround yourself with only people  who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey, Media Executive, TV Host & Producer, Philanthropist

My tip: I see this quote as a reminder to have positive and uplifting people around you. You want to grow with like-minded and supportive people. Negative energy has no place around you.


Have a great day and remember, you got this!

Coral Buttons: An Origin Story

Happy first day of March everyone! I realized that some of you may be new to reading my blog so why not share the story of how Coral Buttons came to be.


My blog, Coral Buttons, originated in one of my Communication Arts classes at Hood College. I went to college initially thinking that I wanted to major in English, but after a few Comm Arts classes, I fell in love with communications. I enjoyed the fact that communications encompassed so many platforms such as photography, digital media, social media, newspaper and magazine writing, and journalism.

One of the assignments for my class was to create a blog and post weekly or more often if I chose to. I’ve loved writing since I was younger and it came easy for me so blogging for a class seemed like fun work. Before I dove into writing posts, I had to actually create the blog. We used WordPress as our blog site, which I clearly still use to this day.

Our first step after setting up a WordPress profile and choosing our blog layout, was to pick a topic. Growing up, I watched wedding and fashion shows sometimes more than cartoons…don’t judege me! So even from a young age I knew that fashion and styling was an interest of mine so I decided to choose fashion as my overall blog theme.

The next step was picking a name. I struggled with this for a while and googled blog titles non-stop for a few days until I stumbled upon a great blog title template. The template said choose one of your favorite colors and something related to your blog and that can be your blog title. One of my favorite colors is Coral and buttons relate to fashion so put the two together and Coral Buttons was formed.


My professor loved the title and so did I. Once I gave my blog a name, in a weird way, I felt that I gave birth to a blog baby. I created this website from scratch and now it was mine to do as I wished with it.

The final step in Coral Buttons origin story was to write. As I mentioned above, I already had a love for writing before the class began. All I had to do was write 200-500 word posts and include some pictures and videos and bam, I was blogging. The more posts I wrote, the more I realized that blogging was not just homework for me but also a hobby that I enjoyed. I got to write about things that interested me and offer advice to people who were reading it and gave people a glimpse into my style, my ideas, and events happening in my life.

After the class ended I didn’t want to stop blogging because i fell in love with it. Going on six years later, Coral Buttons is stronger and better than ever. Hope you enjoyed learning about my blog history!



Also, its Day 1 of Motivational March so throughout the month I will be sharing motivational tips and advice to help inspire you. Tip of the day:

Remember that everyone has an origin story. Oprah didn’t start off as  one of the best TV hosts ever. Serena Williams didn’t start off as the #1 tennis player in the world. Barack Obama didnt start off as the first African American president.
Each one started off in a different space compared to where they are now, so whether you are at the start or middle of your journey or you’re completed lost on your journey, just know you have more to your story. 👏🏽

Have a great weekend!


Removing Marley Twists

Happy Monday! Start your week off with a smile and stay positive. You can make it!


Today I wanted to share my Marley Twist takedown process. What you need: scissors, your braids/twists, and an hour or less!

It’s a super easy process, check it out below:

1) Cut your twists about halfway down making sure to not cut too high in order to avoid cutting your real hair



2) Take out twists by pulling two strands apart which in turn untwists them. They unravel naturally!

3) You then are back to your natural hair!



Stay tuned, I will soon be posting a braid/twist install process with more pictures and maybe even a video. 🙂

Have a great week!

If it makes you happy, wear it!

Hope you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day, whether single or in a relationship! I actually love Valentine’s Day. A lot of people think I love the holiday because I’ve been in a relationship for a few years now, but I’ve actually loved it since I was younger.


As a young girl I watched wedding shows sometimes more than cartoons…I know, weird right. I was the student who wanted to give Valentine’s candy and cards to all of my classmates growing up. I just always loved the idea of love.

I know some people believe that Valentine’s Day is just a superficial and commercialized holiday, but I see it as a special day to go all out for your signifcant other in a different way than the other 364 days of the year.


And if you are single, practicing self-love and taking yourself on a date that makes you feel beautiful, confident, and happy is also a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Yesterday, Shawn and I actually had a very lowkey Valentine’s Day. It was a rainy LA day so we decided to stay in and catch up on all of our tv shows, which was fun and relaxing.


I only left my apartment to take the pictures you see in this post and then went back to the comfort of my bed, blankets, and snacks.

A few days ago I was trying so hard to figure out what to wear on Valentine’s Day just in case we went out somewhere. I was thinking about buying a pink skirt or a cute red dress to wear, but I honestly wasn’t feeling pink or red this year for the holiday.


I felt like every year I aimed for something pink, red, or white in my outfit to match the usual theme of the holiday, so I switched it up this time for a less bright and less girly look and I loved it.

Don’t get so tied up on themes or what other people are wearing, wear what makes you happy. For my non-traditional Valentine’s Day outfit, I decided to wear navy and black!


I wore a navy blazer from H&M and paired it with a black Topshop bralette, black FashionNova jeans, and black dress shoes from Nordstrom Rack. I felt like this outfit was sexy enough for the lovey dovey holiday while still being simple and stylish.

As I mentioned earlier, it was a rainy day, so I was excited to add my umbrella to my outfit. My umbrella has pink and white polka dots on it, which added a nice pop of color to my Valentine’s Day look.


If dresses make you happy, wear them. If crop tops make you happy, wear them. If you don’t feel comfortable in shorts and they make you unhappy, don’t wear them.

Anybody can wear anything that makes them feel confident and happy. All bodies are good bodies!


Have a lovely weekend!! 🙂

Find Fun Walls

Hey hey! Hope your week is going well. Today I will be showcasing an outfit and giving a tip I learned that can help take your pictures to the next level.


My tip: find fun walls that make your outfit and picture stand out.

Walls come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the traditional stone and brick walls, but there are also walls that are colorful and highly decorated. I love finding walls that compliment my outfit.



LA has a lot of cool street art throughout the city so it’s easy to find a patterned wall to use as a background. I actually found this wall on the side of a parking garage near Melrose. I chose this wall because the red and black pattern on it was bright and looked edgy.


I wore a striped button up shirt from FashionNova that I knotted in the front and black Topshop pants. To finish off my look, I wore teal, velvet heels.

I like versatile outfits and pieces that I can rewear multiple ways. If I throw on some flats with this outfit it works for a casual, everyday look. If I button up my shirt and throw on a blazer, it’s a professional look.


What pieces do you have in your closet that you love to rewear? Where are some good picture locations in your city? Let me know in the comments below and enjoy the rest of your week!

“Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes – Book Review

Hey hey! Can you believe that we are almost through the first month of 2019? I hope you are still sticking to your resolutions if you made them or are working on achieving your goals daily.

One of the tasks on my 2019 goal list was to read more books and I’m starting the year off great because I just finished my first one: “Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person.” 10/10 rating!


This book is like a rollercoaster you won’t want to stop riding. Every page is full of Shonda Rhimes personal stories, guarenteed to keep you entertained from start to finish. She offers honest and humbling advice from the problems she faced over the years and shows readers how she overcame them.


This book actually came to be because Shonda’s sister Delorse said six words to her “you never say yes to anything.” Those 6 words sparked a fire in Shonda’s soul and made her realize that her sister was absolutely correct. She vowed to say “yes” to everything for a year. “Yes” to every event, “yes” to every interview, “yes” to every guest appearance or photoshoot, literally “yes” to everything that took her out of her comfort zone or scared her.


Throughout the book you see that her “Year of Yes” was extremely challenging. She actually had to say yes to speaking at her alma mater Dartmouth College and she did an amazing job! Her Dartmouth speech is in her book and online as well, I definitely suggest checking it out. She had to say “yes” to spending more time with her kids and not letting work or events become more important than quality time with her babies. She had to say “yes” to a healthier lifestyle in order to reach the weight she wanted to be.

Throughout the book you saw her growth from start to finish. We see her having mini panic attacks and struggle to say “yes” to things, but we also see her overcome these obstacles and that’s what really inspired me. She didn’t give up during her “Year of Yes” and she also realizes that saying “yes” to one thing sometimes means saying “no” to negative things and negative people.


Sometimes when she was feeling sad or stressed out and needed a confident boost, she would strike a Wonder Woman pose to make herself feel powerful and like she can conquer anything she sets out to do. It may seem strange to break out into a random pose, but try it, trust me it works!

In the book, we also see how important it is to surround yourself with good people or your “ride or dies” as Shonda calls them. Those people who will pick you up when you are doing veal practice (Shonda’s term for laying motionless on the couch lol) and who will keep motivating you to continue your “Year of Yes.” You have to surround yourself with people who support you, want the best for you, and will help you reach your goals. She admits that she couldn’t be the amazing and talented woman she is today if it wasn’t for a lot of help from others.


Few of my favorite quotes from the book:

1) “Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy,” she says. “But he is not the sun. You are.” “

2) “I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

3) “You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than.”

4) “Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.”

5) “Saying yes . . . saying yes is courage. Saying yes is the sun. Saying yes is life.”


As her “Year of Yes” is coming to a close she realizes that saying “yes” isn’t as hard as she thought it was. Reading about her growth during just one year of saying “yes” and doing things that made her uncomfortable truly made me self reflect and think about areas of my life where I may need to say “yes” more or “no” more to negative people and things.

I had so much fun reading this book because it was like Shonda Rhimes and I were holding a conversation with each other and she was my mentor and role model telling me I can make it, learn from the things she’s been through, and keep moving forward.


Floral Maxi Dress and Marley Twists

Hey hey! Today I wanted to showcase a new dress and a new hairstyle. As I mentioned in my last post here, I love dresses!


Maxi dresses, like the floral one I am wearing above, are so stylish along with being super comfortable. You can wear maxi dresses and flats for a casual, errand day or pair it with heels for a chic, brunch outfit.

I decided to pair mine with flats for a more casual look. This floral maxi was a great deal at Nordstrom Rack for only $12!


I love shopping at the Rack because the deals are so great and it helps that I get an employee discount too. My flats are from Nordstrom, my only issue with them are that they get dirty so quick because they are white. During the summer time, I definitely plan on wearing this dress with cute sandals.

On this past Monday, I decided to do my hair. I love red hair on me. I’ve even considered dying my natural hair red because I love it so much, but that will happen later in life.


I’ve done red braids before, but this was my first time doing red twists. Besides how they look, the main difference between braids and twists are how many pieces of hair you use. To form a braid, you use three strands of hair and to form a twist you use two strands of hair.

Once I get a video camera, I will showcase how I do my protective styles (braids and twists). Be warned, it is time-consuming. These twists took me 8 hours to do, but once you get the hang of it its fun and definitely worth while.


My twists allow me to give my natural hair a break and it’s a cute, new hairstyle. What’s your go to dress style? What hairstyle are you currently rocking? Let me know in the comments below!

And I will leave you with this quote my boyfriend and I came up with today as inspiration to help you get through your week:

Flowers bloom even in darkness. So even if you feel like there is no light in your life right now, you can still bloom in your dark place. You are a flower 💐


Rocking a Topshop Hoodie Dress and Vans for a Casual Slay

Hey hey! I hope your week has been fun and productive so far. It’s been a chilly and rainy few days here in LA, so after work I’ve been staying warm and cozy inside my apartment, doing yoga, catching up on a few of my favorite podcasts, and reading.


When it gets chilly in LA is definitely nothing compared to chilly in Baltimore, but i still try to dress appropriate for the weather. LA chilly is around 50ish degrees and requires a light jacket or sweater.

Some of the LA natives would call 50ish degrees cold but thats because they never felt 20 degree Baltimore or east coast weather lol.

I love dresses more than any article of clothing. Anytime i get to wear one I will. I recently found a great deal on this topshop hoodie dress.


Right when i saw it I knew I had to have it in my closet. It comes in a dusty rose pink color and the bright red color I purchased. I purchased it in red because I actually don’t own a lot of red and I loved how bright it was. I love having a colorful wardrobe!

Now some might say that this dress is outside my normal dress attire and they would be correct. My dresses are normally fit and flare, bodycon, or maxi dresses. Having it be so different from what I already own is one of the main reasons I wanted to buy it.


I paired this dress with gray and white checkerboard Vans that have red roses on them. The red in the shoes popped along with the red dress. I wanted this look to be casual, but still stylish as well. Buying a dress that is super comfortable and cute is a great find! Throw on some boots or heels with this dress and you have a cute brunch outfit or party outfit.


Aside from loving dresses, I also love fun walls! That’s why I was so excited when I found this wall near my job. The wall is green plants in a wooden pot fixture in the shape of arrows. I didn’t realize how cool the wall looked with my outfit until I saw the pics.

Visit my Instagram page @coralbuttons to see more pictures and to get some style inspo. Let me know in the comments below if you would rock a hoodie dress and if you would wear it more casual, dressed up, or both. Have a lovely rest of your week!