Food & Drink

Over the last year, charcuterie boards have taken over social media. So many people have been jumping on the trend by sharing videos of themselves on Instagram and TikTok making boards in new and creative ways such as sushi boards or pizza boards. But not all boards are created equally. Some of what we see as charcuterie boards aren’t actually charcuterie boards. How? You may be wondering. Well, we spoke with the owner of The Bougie Grazer Shandra Turner and she schooled us on the difference.

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Everyone knows that beauty comes from within, which starts with what you put into your body. Eating and drinking the right things can lead to clear skin, youthfulness, and an outer glow. We all know the beauty benefits that fruits and vegetables have and the fact that they help you achieve beauty goals; but what about drinks? There are a lot of products on the market that promises to give you the skin you so desire. There’s collagen, which is popular, and other beauty elixirs that parade themselves around as the best of the best.

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There are so many things to do during the holiday season from ice skating to Christmas parties. But a new activity on the scene is quickly becoming popular during this time of year: holiday pop-up bars. If you aren’t familiar with them yet, you will be soon because they are popping up everywhere in cities all over the U.S. from New York to Detroit and even sunny Miami. I’ve visited a few of these Christmas-themed bars in Atlanta, GA as well as Greenville, SC, and they are as festive as they sound.

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This post is in partnership with Toyota.

Rosco Spears is a do it all type of woman that can adapt to any position she's called to, and she credits that with growing up in Detroit. Known as the "motor city," this famous midwestern city has a thriving art, culinary, and nightlife scene. Rosco currently works as the creative director of The Lip Bar alongside the brand's founder Melissa Butler. Rosco and Melissa had been friends since high school. The Lip Bar has become a nationally recognized beauty brand, and the brand's corporate offices are right in the heart of the city they grew up in.

"I'm from the west side of Detroit," Rosco tells xoNecole. "Dexter and Linwood, to be exact, which is a little hood, but it's still home."

Despite the negative stereotypes that exist about Detroit, Rosco believes there is so much beauty and togetherness in her hometown. "For a while, people were making [Detroit] out to be a very dark and eerie place. But Detroit is so beautiful. I mean, I'm pretty sure everybody would say that about their hometown, but it's really such a beautiful place. The people are genuinely good and friendly. it feels like family."

As a busy executive, wife, and new mom, Rosco is committed to building a future and legacy for herself and her family. While she currently resides in North Carolina with her family, she often travels back to Detroit for business and to visit family. Reflecting on Detroit brings up many memories for Rosco, including growing up with folks that looked like her.

Her most fond memory is escaping to Belle Isle for the most scenic drives. Since the new Toyota Corolla Cross is made for cruising, Rosco recommends this offshore destination as one of the best ways to experience the city. "This is not technically Detroit, but I love the St. Clair shores. You just get to drive along the shoreline. That's like if you're riding up Jefferson, which is a very popular street downtown, you just keep going up Jefferson and you can get a scenic route. It's such a great way to experience the city.

Check out Rosco's favorite hang outs, wellness experiences, and eateries in her Detroit city guide below.

Condado Tacos, 634 Selden St, Detroit, MI 48201

"I love Condado Tacos. It's a Mexican spot. They have amazing tacos, amazing drinks, amazing taco bowls, veggie bowls. I've never had anything on their menu that I complained about. I think it's amazing."

Yum Village 6500 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202

"There's this really amazing Caribbean spot called Yum Village. I actually found out about them because they used to have a food truck right behind our pop-up store. They have the most amazing plantains and the most amazing jerk chicken."

American Coney Island, 114 W Lafayette Blvd Detroit, MI 48226

"American Coney Island is the spot that you go to after the club because that's the only thing that's open. So it's essentially the let-out, because after everybody is out partying, Coney Island is open and they literally have everything. You can get salads, you can get a chicken pita wrap, you can get chicken wings, you can get a steak. But they're known for their Coney Dog which is a hot dog with chili, onions, and mustard. I would say the Coney Dog is a Detroit staple."

Woodhouse Day Spa, 1380 H Street, Washington, D.C. 20002

"What's funny is that I work in the beauty industry, but I am the opposite of a beauty girl. But when I want to get my body wrap done or a massage, I go to Woodhouse Day Spa. They're Black-owned and the founders are very kind people."

The Heidelberg Project, 3442 McDougall Street Detroit, MI 48207

"There's this guy, his name is Tyree Guyton. He created the Heidelberg project where he essentially went to this neighborhood that was kind of impoverished, lots of abandoned houses, and created artwork everywhere. So he painted the cement, he painted the streets, he painted the houses, he did installations all around. I love visiting it and taking people visiting Detroit for the first time. I like to take them over there because it's just such a wild art installation and it's so unexpected."

BLOOM Transformation Center, 227 Iron St. Detroit, MI, 48207

"The last time I was home, I went to this spot called BLOOM Transformation Center. I went with my sister for sound therapy. We went in, we took our shoes off, we laid on the mats, and we just spent an hour having a sound bath, and it was the most amazing experience."

This post is in partnership with Toyota.

Angel Gregorio, a former school principal turned culinary maven, was born and raised in Washington, D.C. but has left traces of her flavor all over the world. Her seasoning company, The Spice Suite, is nestled in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and frequently draws in corner-circling lines of customers waiting to purchase her hand-tossed seasoning blends. Angel's spice mixes are a labor of love; she travels around the world, sourcing spices from different countries and cooking up unique blends like Sri Lankan curry and smoky tea rub, so it's no wonder she keeps a packed house and sells out online spice boxes in minutes.

As a business owner, wife, mom, and avid traveler, Angel's time is precious. More than that, she knows exactly who she is and what's made for her. That's why she's leaning all the way into the "soft life" by outsourcing her to-do list and having her favorite service providers make house calls. "I am all about convenience," she tells xoNecole. "So while I love a good farmer's market, I also enjoy grocery delivery services." She's also deliberate about pouring back into the community, saying "If ever I'm out and about spending money and not eating at home, then it's almost always going to be with a Black business."

Just like the new Toyota Corolla Cross, Angel is always on the move and making space for what matters. "The way that I make space for myself, even when there are hiccups in life, is to not accept excuses...even from myself," she says. "If I have a nail appointment at 10 am, I'm getting to my nail appointment at 10 am. [Store] shipment delays can't delay my self-care."

The Toyota Corolla Cross is the perfect hybrid vehicle for a road trip with its spacious interior, immersive sound system, and fuel-saving efficiency. Pair this with the scenic views of D.C., and I'd say you have the perfect summer getaway. And when you get there, whip out this to-do list curated by Angel of the best Black-owned businesses in Washington, D.C. to eat, shop, get pampered, and unwind.

She Nailed It, East Capital St SE Washington, DC 20019

"In terms of self-care, I think people who follow my page know that nails are a thing for me. I probably change my nail designs weekly. So having a really bomb nail tech is really good. And even that is a form of convenience for me because [my nail tech] will come to me."

2D Pole Fit 11392 Livingston RoadFort Washington, MD 20744

"I've been going to this place called Two D Pole Fit for aerial yoga and pole classes which keep me active. It's a Black woman-owned studio and I fell in love with it."

Catwalk Boutique, 225 7th St. SE Washington, D.C. 20003

"I love to shop, but I mostly shop online. There's a boutique here by Eastern Market called Catwalk Boutique, and I've been shopping with her for years. I found her while shopping for my baby shower [twelve years ago]. She will let me try things on at home and pick it up whenever they're ready. Her clothes are [made by] low-key designers across the world. I've found the most whimsical, feminine, funky things I've found from her."

Turning Natural Juice Bar, 1380 H Street, Washington, D.C. 20002

"I don't always want to [leave home]. But if I am getting out, it's usually for something quick and simple, but really good. Turning Natural is one of my favorite juice bars in the city. They do really simple, clean smoothies and vegan treats. I'm not even vegan, but they do desserts really well."

Byrd's Nest Box

"I have friends who garden, and I'm grateful a lot of them will grow things for me. My friend Falani has a business called Byrd's Nest Box and she grows organic produce. So if I'm making salads or sandwiches and I need lettuce and tomato, Falani will pull up."

Are you someone who has a really hard time focusing? If so, don’t be so hard on yourself. Between stress, fatigue (which oftentimes comes as the direct result of sleep deprivation), a fluctuation of hormones, getting easily distracted, and even sheer boredom, a lack of focus and concentration is something that happens to us all — more often than most of us would care to admit.

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