Darker Than Blue Cafe

“where blues and jazz meet great food”

Looking for a place where you can have a nice small gathering with a few friends? Need a new date spot? Well I don’t normally do restaurant reviews but I suppose it’s my duty now to tell you about places I’ve enjoyed and Darker Than Blue is one of them. This cozy and intimate cafe is located at 3034 Greenmount Ave in Baltimore, MD. The atmosphere almost reminds of the scene in “Love Jones” where everyone is together just hanging out in Savon’s living room enjoying good conversation and laughter, remember that? No? Ok then, moving right along, chef/owner Casey Jenkins and the staff  at Darker than Blue are really friendly although they could use an extra hand serving if you ask me. If not that then that button you push that alerts someone in the back to come to your table. They have this really tasty peach and mango tea that  I am always eager to have refilled. I’d go there just for that tea and their delicious cornbread if I didn’t enjoy the food too. Now I love bread in general but ain’t nothin’ right about that cornbread… it’s so good! Fresh, hot, buttery, moist, and sweet cornbread from their kitchen to your table and possibly gone in two seconds if I happen to be anywhere near you.

It’s reservation only at Darker than Blue so please be sure to call first. The picture above is just after they opened for business one Saturday but the place filled up not long after that and everyone appeared to be having a nice time. I wish the jazz music you’d hear could play as you read this post but that would be doing the absolute most.  Some Saturdays you’ll experience  live jazz musicians playing with that appreciation for music that only they could have.

All I wanted for an appetizer was to try their salmon cakes and they didn’t have any in the kitchen, -5 points. Reservation only would lead some to believe there should be no lack of food, however, I understand changes arise depending upon day to day operations and what people want.  No worries, I’ll be going back to try them and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think.

What did I order?

Blackened tilapia over jasmine rice with sautéed spinach stuff between the two. That sauce you see is a Louisiana cream sauce with chunks of salmon, crab, and shrimp all up and through. It wasn’t too spicy and I loved the extra chunks of seafood, great dish! The plate across from mine (not pictured) was their slow roasted spare ribs which I tasted but was pretty much your basic plate of ribs… nothing to write home about.

They are closed on Mondays but if you’re free this weekend make the trip over there and try them for yourself! Sometimes they offer discounts on weekends so be sure to check their website at www.darkerthanbluecafe.com for one of those and don’t forget to make a reservation first.

Happy Monday!!!


What I Wore When…

If you were out last weekend like me then you too were caught in the rain at one point or another. I managed to make it to Artscape in Baltimore on Friday and I walked through the entire festival which was a first for me. For those who are unaware, Artscape is a large free arts festival that attracts many people over a weekend. There are fine artists, fashion designers, craftspeople, visual art exhibits, outdoor scuptures, photography, live concerts, family events, children’s entertainers, a wide varitey of foods and beverages, and performing arts including dance, opera, theater, film, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Normally I try to visit two of the three days and I always catch a live performance. Friday I watched Laura Izibor the young lady known for the song, “From My Heart to Yours” and Brian McKnight. Great set by both artists. Thanks to the rain dance the whether put on, my pants were wet most of the evening and you all should probably hear it from me now, I do NOT like wet pants and I LOATHE wet feet. It’s just gross. I never managed to snap any pictures.

Ahem, moving along, Saturday I was in Mt. Vernon trying to snap photos of a consignment store for you and I got caught in a light rain yet again. Thankfully it let up and I got to sit and enjoy the outdoors for a few minutes.

Umbrella- Target, Hair Accessory: Made by me, Top & Bottom: Forever 21, Accessories: I don’t remember, Studded Flats: Marshalls

I was stopped a couple times in my travels because of my top. It may be from Forever 21 but from what I heard a similar print has been used by a top designer. Who knew?!

Do you remember what you wore last weekend? Share how you DEFINEDchic by emailing your pictures to  definechic@gmail.com.  Feel free to include what you where you were going and what you were up to!

Shop Stop: Buffalo Exchange

Greetings!!! I hope you all had a marvelous weekend despite the rain that appeared. The sun managed to peek it’s head out for my friend’s birthday yesterday which was great because according to her, it always rains on her special day. After a Sunday brunch with her at B. Smith’s restaurant in Union Station, I found myself at  Buffalo Exchange. This consignment shop is far from new as there are 28 company stores and two franchise stores. The D.C. location recently opened on Saturday, June 16 and is located off Logan Circle at 1318 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. The shop is easy to miss if you’re driving but it’s  between N Street and Rhode Island Avenue and convenient to the Mc Pherson stop on the metro. If you’re thinking of stopping in, store hours are Monday-Saturday 11–7 and Sunday 12–6.

I did a nice sweep through of the store in about an hour and ended up purchasing 4 things which is outside of my normal 2-3 items per store. Yes that’s a big deal because I try to be sure I really love what I’m purchasing and a three item cap keeps me from going overboard, call it buyers remorse I guess. The store is pretty small but there are a lot of good steals hiding within the compact racks. I found a Michael Kors floral print, sleeveless top for $18.80! I saw a cute leopard print fur, nice bags & several items by Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) and other designers, all for affordable prices.

My favorite purchase?

Taupe wide leg chiffon pants with an elastic band and dark brown leaf print by Kimchi Blue. Love them!! The associate that rang them up loved them as well and congratulated me on the purchase. The gold top I wore tucked in to the pants was by Express and I didn’t purchase it. The top/tunic shown in the top left was another favorite of mine although I need to figure out a better way to tie it where it doesn’t rise up high in the back… of course the picture doesn’t show that. It’s a combination of purples and gives me a bohemian feel.

The striped woven duffle bag above is one that I grabbed immediately upon entering the store. I was told that a lady dropped it off and supposedly she purchased it from Indonesia. It’s study and looks a bit more used than the picture but I can tell it is built to last.

The gallery below includes a picture of this boot a customer was trying on. We talked for a moment about how she was unsure of whether she’d be able to walk in them and as it turned out she had some trouble but they were different. I found a couple of costumey items you could put to use when Halloween roles around also. On that note, if you’re ever around that way be sure to stop in and I have no doubt that you’ll find something to take home. ::singing: “I wonder if I take you home…”

Til next time…


Living the High Life

A few weeks ago The High Life Suite had a beauty giveaway and I decided to participate on the very last day before the contest was closed. Readers were instructed to leave a comment sharing your favorite beauty tip of all time, follow their twitter page (@HighLifeSuite) and stay tuned for the winner to be announced. I did as I was told and guess what?

I WON!!!

I know you’re all wondering what I won so here it goes:

  • Vaseline total moisture cocoa radiant body oil gel
  • A 5oz bottle of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock
  • two(2) lipsticks from our fav G.L.A.S.S. Kisses Cosmetics
  • two(2) nail polishes from Polish & Co.

I first have to tell you that my prize came in a lightweight wooden box with a purple bow AND the picture on the front of the box is the same picture on their site! How nifty is that?! Very smart thing to do when you’re building a brand and I can use use my box as storage.  I’m quite the sucker for nice packaging & they’re off to a good start. I have products in it at this very moment.

Okay back to the matter at hand. G.L.A.S.S.(Glam Lips Adding Signature Style to Society) Kisses Cosmetics is a fresh new line. According to The High Life Suite, “they aim to represent the essence of true beauty in every woman. Their goal is to ensure and promote confidence and empower women through their unique products.”

The two lip gloss colors I received were Daring which is a deep but bold red/burgundy and Dream Chaser which is a slightly shimmery pink. Both glosses were extremely rich in color and both colors slid on oh so right. I’m a fan!

I received the colors Shi-Krazy, a dark turquoise blue and Too Much Info, a coral pink from Polish & Co. Now for those of you that know me, I rarely paint my nails. As a matter of fact I only own four colors. I thank God that my actual nails are nice but as with many people nail polish doesn’t stay on very long and I hate chipped polish leaving me with two options, paint them & stay consistent with top coats applications during the week or leave them paint free. For the most part paint free wins but I digress. My prize polishes were not thick but they popped and I can like that. I’m probably the wrong person to review polish.

I look forward to trying the sunblock, especially because I recently read about how important it is for people to protect their skin. Did I already know about the hazards of the sun? Sure but like most people of color I didn’t feel it was necessary. I’m going to change all of that. Hope you all do the same if you haven’t been on point with skin protection.

The High Life Suite is a fresh and modern blog about fashion, food, beauty and everything in between.  G and Dyanna, the two incredible young ladies who own the blog, do a great job staying consistent and putting forth their best. Not only do I faithfully check the site every wednesday for wedding and love posts but I’m right there reading whenever they check out a restaurant, food truck, or post anything about food in the DMV area. I loooove food! Their reviews are honest and that is definitely commendable in today’s world. I know some people get paid to blog about products in a positive light but I’m led to believe that even if these ladies did get paid, they’d still be upfront with we the people us, their readers.  Click the link for their site on the right of my blog and you can check their site out for yourself. Live the high life!!

Huge thanks to The High Life for my fun-filled prize! Keep up the great work. You ladies rock!

Split Hues

It’s Friday!!! I hope you all have something planned this weekend. I have a busy Saturday but I’m looking forward to having some down time on Sunday to work on accessories. Last weekend I was out and about in the heat that was FedEx-ed straight from hell but I had a great time.

Pic 1: ‘The Blues’ Pic 2: ‘Sunflower Power’

Picture number two was taken at an outdoor festival in Baltimore. I arrived just in time to watch the Elle Varner aka “The Refill Girl” if you ask a friend of mine. I’m surprised she could even hold a note out there in that heat. I look rather nice for a person with sweat sliding down her leg huh? Yuck you say? Yea, I know. My inspiration was this image in my head of a hippie traveler lost in a field of high grass and wild animals. I was rushing that morning so I didn’t quite pull off what I had in mind but that’s life.  I made the head-piece myself with an elastic band and a flower I bought from the Michaels. The lightweight white eyelet top is one that I bought last year at the H&M in New York and that day was my very first time wearing it. It’s tucked into a green tiered skirt that was thrift and the chocolate-brown belt is from Forever 21. My leopard wedges are by Steve Madden but they were a ‘last pair’ on the clearance rack at Marshalls. $29 buckaroos! Not considered a steal by some but Steve’s shoes are not cheap in my opinion & sometimes they don’t act right. I remember seeing J.Lo in the Manolo Blahnik boots in her “Jenny From the Block” video…

ringing any bells?

Yea, so I saw them and duh, I couldn’t afford them but when Steve Madden released replicas I was all over them. I bought one pair in an off white color I believe and I hadn’t even worn them 4x before my heel broke. The reason behind that still remains a mystery but I don’t recall purchasing any of his shoes after that. I didn’t work hard as a youngster to get those shoes for all that.

Moving on well backwards to picture number 1. That was Sunday and I was supposed to end up back at the festival to watch Salt N Pepa and some other old school acts. I was ready to sing, rap, and dance when I kept hearing it was going to storm. I waited and waited and no storm til the following morning. If you knew how much I was looking forward to that show then you know I had the blues and not the good macaroni and cheese  type of thing either. I was so blue that I didn’t even care to fix my collar before the picture was taken. The pants, top, and leopard bracelet are both from Forever 21. My lace up gladiator type brown wedges are from Bakers. I waited til they went on sale either last summer or the summer before last. The purple bracelet and beaded string of different purple and blue necklaces are both from Hers & Mine… that’s H&M for all you reading.  The bag was on sale at Aldo for $21 not too long ago and lastly my friend’s sister made the  leopard bow in my hair.

I met Ms. Treasure Moore at the festival and loved her how the bow in her hair made her hair color and cut stand out. Her outfit was just a little edgy mixed with preppy and it was comfortable which is the best way to be when your outdoors all day. I was trying to take the picture with the flash and lighting just right and the only picture that came out anywhere close to right was this one. Unfortunately her cute flats are not in the picture but peep how she DEFINESchic below.

What to Wear While Thrifting

Planning to spend a day thrifting? Make sure you take your outfit into consideration. The last thing you want to do is spend more time undressing and getting dressed again than actually making your way through the store. 

My ideal outfit for thrifting?

Layers is the way to go when thrifting. Dark leggings and a dark tank top work perfectly for me. In case I run into a store that doesn’t have a dressing room I can slide things over my tank top and leggings because they aren’t bulky & they hug my frame just right. It’s easier for me to gauge what fits this way and I’m not standing in the middle of someone’s aisle taking it all off! The other thing I do is wear comfortable flats that my feet can slide in & out off. The last thing you want to be worried about is tying laces or buckling straps. Grab a bag you can throw over your shoulder and requires little manipulation so you can quickly make your purchase and keep things moving. Why the long cardy? I may be tiny but I don’t really care to have my tushie bum just poking out so a long cardigan keeps me covered. It’s modest and it keeps a line drawn between potential exercise gear and ‘hey, I actually put some thought into this ok?’.

Avoid wearing too much jewelry at all costs because I’d hate for you to lose something in the shuffle. I normally wear studded earrings. Nothing get’s snagged and it allows for a quick change. I’m known for bringing a nice necklace along  just to see how dressed up certain things may look with one and I love color so since my basic attire is dark and solid, I can incorporate color in my bag & shoes. In the winter, be sure to bring an additional shopping bag for your coat. When I was little I could get my mother to carry my coat but I’m older now and she’s not going to do it anymore so the shopping bag gets it out of my way.

When I went to Philly in the last blog I didn’t apply any of my rules because I hadn’t really put much thought into the trip.

Here’s what I wore…

Forever 21 everything!


I was unhooking my necklace and getting my earrings caught on everything. The sandals were fine but everything else was really a no-go. My shorts had to stay because it was hot out there boy but the vest & that shirt?!!! Biker shorts under a light skirt would and a nice t-shirt would have been better. Even a plain dress would have made my dressing room trials less challenging. Less is better.

Spur of the Moment

Sometimes I jump up and do things. No planning, no nothing, just do and last weekend was no exception. I was trying to find something to wear to this fashion show but the power outage had already done  it’s damage & the show had to be canceled. So 2 something in the afternoon I hopped in my car and sped to Philly to check out the consignment  & thrift shops! I parked on 5th South Street and explored everything close in proximity until my meter ran out.

I had one specific store in mind when I accidentally stumbled upon…


Consignment shopping is known to be more pricy than thrifting but that is because the seller had to buy it from the owner so of course both parties want to make sure they get their monies worth. Thrift stores are comprised of items that people voluntarily give away. They have no physical possession, no legal title, and make no money from the items. They can be dirt cheap because the seller isn’t looking to exceed the amount they spent to purchase the goods, they didn’t spend a dime! You’ll find more quality pieces at consignment shops because the owners of those items try to get a fair price for them and who can blame them?

Anywho, Green Street Consignment was zest fully clean! I like when I can walk into a store and it’s aesthetically pleasing and shop-able. They have 7 locations total with 5 being in Pennsylvania and the remaining two in New Jersey. Click on the picture to be taken to their website for any further information. Overall, I enjoyed perusing the racks and looking for treasures I could take home. Check out the pictures in the gallery below.

Some of the pieces of jewelry were really nice but I couldn’t bring myself to pay for them although they may have been about the same price had I found them at a mall vendor. At least they would have been new though, right? I don’t know. There might have been a pair of earrings that I was going to follow through with to meet my quota but I didn’t go for it. What did I buy?

These olive corduroy pants by Juicy Couture…


I think I have one pair of brown corduroy pants and I can’t say I ever planned on purchasing more but these fit my tushie bum so well & I loved the rich color! I’m sure you’ll see me in them again this fall or winter. They were a ‘trend’ in 2010 I believe but I don’t think they ever leave a person’s wardrobe unless they can no longer fit them.

I also purchased this mint/pistachio green mid-length circle skirt by American Apparel…


Believe it or not I almost left this because as small as I am, it’s actually rather tight at the waist! I doubt I’ll be tucking anything into the band because nothing else can fit. I had to have it and not that I need to but if I do a few crunches or something I should be able to work out that kink.

I tried on this dress while I was in there, just because…

Lastly there was this chartreuse dress that appeared to stop just above the knee. It was by J. Crew in a size 10 for either $20 something or $40 something dollars that I loved. If I were that size this probably would have been it for me. I wish I had a size 10 friend with me at that moment to try it on so I could have seen how it looked. My picture doesn’t do it justice.


A few other shops I checked out just a few blocks away were:

  • Philly AIDS Thrift: A true thrift store. I’ll create a new post for this soon.
  • Bella Boutique: Specializes in high end designs. Hit or miss depending on your style and price range. No clothes for guys.

527 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

  • Retrospect: Vintage clothing and accessories for guys and gals. This shop was my last stop so I was rushing to look around before the time on my meter expired. I didn’t get any pics but I liked the store a lot. There was this faux leather magenta knee length skirt I wanted to bring home so badly! This store had furs, coats, dresses, skirts, everything! Perfect place if you were a stylist or playwright trying to secure costumes for your actors.