Here’s What I’m Packing for ESSENCE Festival 2019 in New Orleans

For the past 9 years, every Independence Day weekend I find myself on Instagram drunken with jealousy from all the women at the Essence Festival.

Promptly after the festival ends, I make a declaration to attend the next year’s event only for those plans to never come to fruition until now.

Finally, after nearly a decade of lamenting, I finally get to partake in the black girl magic festivities known as the Essence Festival in New Orleans! I’ll also be crossing #3 off my 35 Things to Do Before Turning 35 list.

I’m literally counting down the days until I am inside the Merceds Benz Superdome listening to amazing artists including, Michelle Obama. I stan for the forever FLOTUS. Checkout my previous blog post on Becoming. Not to mention, the funny comic, Loni Love. is interviewing Michelle.

I’m looking forward Mary J. Blige turning the Superdome into a dancery. Not to mention, I’ve signed up for numerous networking events like Essence’s E-Suite and an event hosted by The Lip Bar and y’all know I love the shade Coco Spritzer..

 To quote, Tiffany Hadish “She ready!”

Here’s what I’m packing for Essence Festival 2019:

Business Cards

aryouserious business card

I’m coming to play but I also plan to network with other women with serious goals. I’m looking forward to meeting women indeed of a creative coach that can help them get their business off the ground. That’s me!

 A blazer dress

white blazer aryouserious

I know that the Essence Festival will be very fun, inspirational and hot. I’m mostly looking forward to being inspired by Michelle Obama on Saturday followed by a long night of shenanigans. I can’t fully absorb all of Michelle’s wisdom unless I’m dressed for success. I decided a blazer dress is a great compromise.



We’ll be walking a lot; while sipping hand grenades. To ensure maximum conform I plan to wear sneakers all weekend long.

A Clear Clutch 

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Apparently, stadiums, including the Superdome, has restrictions on bags for safety reasons. Many of the stadiums only allow a small clutch or transparent bags for safety reasons.  I have mixed thoughts on transparent bags but they seem to be en vogue.

Wycliff Brut California Champagne


My friends and I rented an Airbnb for our stay. With no husband or kid,I plan to wake up each day to a mimosa. Wycliff one is blend of premium California grapes with a touch of sweetness and a crisp clean finish. Add some orange juice and you have the breakfast of champions. PLUS its only $4.88.  

Swim Suit for Brunch at The Country Club


We have brunch reservations at The Country Club. This restaurant happens to have a pool and weather permitting I plan on partaking in its cool oasis. I’m already looking forward to ordering fried green tomatoes and grits. 

Dove Deodorant 0 Aluminum 

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About four years ago, I learned that aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. With that bit of information, I threw out all of my products that contained aluminum this included many mattifying foundations, primers and deodorants. In May, I decided to try Dove’s version of an aluminum free deodorant and so far, so good.  

Milani Lipstick Color Statement Matte Beauty 69 

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I recently ran out of my favorite neutral lipstick—which is only sold at select Target stores in Houston. I was in a bind and made a split decision to try a new product. Needless to say, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s a nude for black girls far and wide and of course its vegan and cruelty free.

What’s in your suitcase?

Love + Light

Ar’Sheill Monsanto