9 posts categorized "Travel"


Marlo Monday's: New York… The City of Dreams!

Divas and Divos… What day is it? It’s Marlo Mondays!!! And this Diva is turned up!

 I spent the weekend in New York. A city I’ve grown to love because it’s true, if you have a dream, New York City is the place to pursue it. And it’s like Mr. Sinatra said,” if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” So New York is now my 2nd home, but don’t sleep, St. Petersburg, Fla is not too shabby either.  Some of the most successful brothers and sisters in show business call it home. The beautiful Angela Basset is from there... Former Middleweight Champion, Winky Wright is too. My childhood friend, the extremely talented Will Packer, movie producer extraordinaire was born and raised there, and so was Ms. Marlo herself. 

Marlo Hampton walks the Think Like A Man Too red carpert at the ABFF in NYC.

Before I go any further I want to give a huge shout out to Will Packer to congratulate him on the success of his latest movie, Think Like a Man Too. I attended the premier at the American Black Film Festival, (ABFF) this past weekend and I laughed, cried and then laughed til I cried.  It was funny, sweet and just well done so kudos to the entire cast and a big thanks to the founder of the ABFF, Jeff Friday who created this platform to showcase black films and filmmakers.

Marlo Hampton and Janell Snowden

 On the subject of dreams… Will is an awesome dreamer who wasn’t satisfied with dreaming only – so he went after what he dreamt about and now look at him. He’s one of the reasons that I decided to talk about the power of realizing dreams today. Will, Angela, Winky and countless others have proven that Nothing is Impossible and it doesn’t matter where you came from. If you can dream it, then you can do it. (Yeah R.Kelly! You told us to believe we can fly!) You have to believe in yourself, and to me, that’s what New York City represents. It’s filled with people with big dreams who may have come from small towns like me, but made their way to New York, to make them come true. No one ever imagined a little brown girl like me, from country-bunkin St. Petersburg, Florida with my history and record would end up rubbing elbows with the talented and famous in New York City, while pursuing My dreams. So the message for all my divas and divos is this, NEVER give up on yourself. It doesn’t matter what your situation looks like right now, we were all created to do great things. If you can dream, then know that dreams come to inspire you. I’m living proof that anything is possible so don’t give up because I’m not. #everydayI’mhustling.

 On another note, let me tell you what happened to me on my way to New York… You may want to take a seat for this! 

I was flying Delta, First Class to New York when a rat (or mouse – what difference does it make? It was a nasty little rodent), decided to run across my foot. WTH? I couldn’t believe it… but you know what was worse? The flight attendant tried to convince me that it was more afraid of me than I should have been of him. (Really lady?) And then she had the nerve to ask me did I want something to eat? Seriously? Absolutely not! Didn’t she see that the rat ran towards the galley (aka kitchen area)?  I want nothing to eat or drink on this plane. At that point, all I did want was to get off!

 Then last but not least…

While driving down 34th Street we were rear ended by a yellow cab! I got a busted lip, had my first encounter with New York’s Finest and hadn’t even been there 24 hours. It was an experience that could only happen in New York City! Now I’m down in sunny South Beach recuperating from my trip. Rest, relaxation, bikinis and cocktails are just what the doctor ordered.  

Be sure to log in next Monday divas and dios, I’ve got some tea to spill. Til then… Smooches!



I Dream of Nene: The Wedding

My girl is back!  I tuned into “I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding” last night and loved every second of it.  It’s not that often that you have a second chance at love and my girl, NeNe has just that.  NeNe keeps it real and we all can learn from her.


As one of her bridesmaids, I was up close; but it’s not until you sit down, reflect and see the show that you can truly appreciate the whole reunion of Greg and NeNe.  There’s so much more to come, and you bet I’ll be watching as this love story continues to unfold.

 Next week is interesting, fabulous and so much more …

 Stay tuned!


Hawaiian Vacation

Helloooooo my loves! I’m back!!!!! Did you miss me? Yes, I absolutely did miss all of you and we have so much to catch up on. Of course I’ve been taking care of business during our hiatus, building my brand, working with the kids (You know Marlo loves the kids!), traveling and of course keeping up with what’s going on in the life of my first love, FASHION of course. (Who did you think I was referring to?)

I have so much to share, so let me start with my first trip to Hawaii. OMG, when I first arrived I was awestruck by the natural beauty of the island and the people, although for a minute I thought I had mistakenly landed in China! Why? Because the people I met and saw seemed to be from Shanghai instead of Polynesia, but I digress…

Anyhoo… I had the opportunity to visit some amazing places like the birth home of our beloved President Barack Obama. He grew up in a charming old duplex surrounded by the beautiful flora and bougainvillea native to the island. It was truly amazing to see that great history was made from such humble beginnings. It must have been sweet to grow up in Hawaii… No wonder he’s so laid back. 

Marlo Food Truck

So of course I had to also visit some of his favorite eateries. If you get a chance to go, you have to dine at Alan Wong’s restaurant. The short ribs of beef are to die for! I mean it, they were so tender, juicy and succulent I can still taste and smell them right now. They are a must try, believe me!

Yes, I did go to a local luau, and yes it was a tourist trap! Plus the food wasn’t anything to write home about. (Actually it was just shy of nasty, but that’s not nice is it?)… The pig that was roasted on an open pit was too salty and the noodles drowned in mayo was downright disgusting! There’s no other way to describe it. However, the entertainment was amazing, so I guess it was worth the experience even if the food left a lot to be desired.

 And can you believe it; I went Parasailing at 1000 feet all by myself!!!!! I kept screaming for someone to get me down, all while talking to the Lord until I realized that no one could hear me, (except the Lord of course). After a while I realized that I was flying or getting as close to it as possible and serenity fell over me that I cannot explain. Looking down at the beautiful aqua blue and turquoise water and stunning white and pink sand beaches just put into perspective that this was an experience I should relish not fear. Once I decided to just “go with it,” there was no place else I would rather be in that moment. With the warm sun on my face and the cool trade winds blowing through my hair, it was a time like no other. I recommend it for everyone. Just try it – at least once. It’s worth being a line item on your bucket list. Actually, put it on the list a couple times, so you can take a few trips. That’s just how much there is to see and do like a trip to the Spitting Cave, and Turtle Bay Resort or Laniakea Beach where you can romp with the sea turtles. Oh and I can’t forget to mention Makapu’u Lookout.

Marlo parasailing

If you’re looking for a great place to chill for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while drinking in the gorgeous Hawaiian sunset, you have to go to the Halakalani Resort. It was absolutely breathtaking and a must see even if you don’t stay there.

Now if you’re one of those folks who need something familiar to have a good time, then you can’t go wrong with dinner at Nobu. Who doesn’t like Nobu?

I know you are just dying for me to tell you about the shopping, but it wasn’t over the top for me, and you all know I’m a shopping connoisseur.  “It was nice.” They had all my favorite designers, but it definitely wasn’t as exciting as a trip to Fifth Ave in New York or a stroll down the boulevard in Milan. Souvenirs are the way to go here, if you absolutely must buy something. You can definitely find some unique local accessories that will really compliment your summer style – you might even get lucky with a one-of-a-kind find, and that alone makes the trip worth it – at least it will for my true fashionistas.

  Marlo with Tour Guide

And don’t let me forget to mention my tour guide, Will, who was a real doll! He made sure I saw and experienced the best Hawaii had to offer. He was pretty popular with his infectious smile and warm personality, so if you go looking for a tour guide (and there are many!) ask for Will, maybe, just maybe you’ll get the right one and tell him Marlo sent you! 


My Week in Denver...


I have really enjoyed my week in Denver.  I needed it, the calm and quiet surroundings, the laid back pace.  One night, it snowed while I slept and in the morning I woke up to a blanket of white covering the cars and trees, and when I went and stood on the balcony to admire it, snow fell on me.  Like a dream...

Denver was a change of pace for me from life in Atlanta.  Right away I noticed how very few black people there were.  From the clubs to the gym to just walking down the street, black people were rarely anywhere in sight.  And everyone was dressed very casually.  Not like me, in a sequined dress with python booties, a Fendi trench and scarf.  Still, I enjoyed myself.  I worked out with a great trainer - she had her last child at 38 and her body was amazing!  Hope for me then!  I also enjoyed a night on the town, at Corridor Lounge and the Suite 200 Club.  The Christmas lights were already out, so festive, so sweet.  

Thank you Denver, you were just what I needed!  There is much awaiting me at home...



Always the kids...

We had a great night going out to a club in EG.  I got just what I needed, a little bit of culture and a little bit of home.  The dj played 2 Chainz, and I dropped it like its hot...

But my favorite moment of course was a visit to an orphanage.  I do always love being with children and connect with them easily.  But this one was special.  She was four years old and from the moment we met we never left each others side.  We played basketball, jumped rope, we drew pictures and planted a tree in the Garden of Zion.  I also showed her how to do the Naomi Campbell walk and to throw up a peace sign.  She was a natural diva.  I instantly fell in love with her.  I still think of her and how precious it would be to have her in my life, her beautiful smile lighting up my every day.  I think of how her life will be, how she will grow up and if  someone will ever play with her the way I did, and love her the way I could.  I hope she remembers our time together.  I hope I may see her again...










Notes from Equatorial Guinea

I was s

o excited for my second trip to Africa - being able to return  after my amazing last visit. I was wondering how this would be different, what I would see.  When we arrived, I immediately noticed the construction -- it seemed like a whole new city was being built, including my hotel.  And it was lovely, with a view overlooking the pool and lots of greenery. So peaceful.

There were dinners and conferences, speeches introducing us to the history of this former Spanish colony.  I saw a lot of pride and an interesting custom: no dessert, but instead platters of fruit served after every meal.  I was grateful not to have the temptation of sugary sweets and thus less pounds to keep off.

Africa has its share of talented designers - what would a vacation for Marlo be without fashion?  La Vie Couture put on a show of gorgeous dresses and of course I put on my own show, featuring Lous Vuitton.


Stay tuned for a night out and falling in love...


Sequins & what sparkles most of all


It was so interesting to see how quickly we could move past the absurd, to the wonderful and truly lovely.  How we could so easily grow apart and stay divided over things like labels, height and safari style.  Then, just as easily we could come together.  And once we did, there was no division, there were no differences.  We all felt the same thing - love and gratitude.

It is hard to describe really.  The children, naturally precious.  They are God's most beautiful designs.  And your heart breaks when they are not given the most basic things all children need.  There is no feeling quite like knowing that you could easily love them, take care of them, nurture them, but then have to leave them behind.  To see their happiness at the very little they receive and not being able to give them even more.  Each of us wanted to grab them all, each of us wished for magic - the ability to change their lives in an instant. 

We couldn't.  What we could do is treasure them and hold on to the look in their beautiful eyes.    And I will treasure sharing that moment with everyone who was along...



Travel & the Essentials....

What I love about travel is the change, the chance to experience something new, to temporarily forget where you are.  What I don't always love is the preparation, the stress.  Trying to get everything done by a certain time.  And packing!  Deciding what you need, what you can't live without, what is just too much.  I admit that not a lot fell in the too-much-pile when I packed for South Africa!  But here is what I do when I want to keep it simple...

Top: A grey James Pearse t-shirt is perfect for layering and grey is almost neutral.

Bottom: black Wolford leggings are great for underneath chunky knit sweaters or an oversized blazer and of course so comfortable on a flight.

Jeans: distressed Joe's skinny jeans are versatile and easily dressed up.  I love them with very tall heels.

Evening: It's easy to pack a stretchy black dress, something fitted with long sleeves when it's cold.  I also love how a cropped military jacket with skinny jeans can give a little edge but still be sexy.

Intimates: I like a one piece even better than a top and bottom.  A little bit of lace...I prefer black, but sometimes I find something really beautiful in a dark jewel tone and I love it.

Coat: It's winter and there's a chance of rain.  A Gryphon trench with a leopard print belt is almost like a dress by itself.

Hand Bag: Obsessing over Victoria Beckham's bags, but for now I rotate my classics, black or beige.

Shoes: Heels of course, Brian Atwood, always a little unusual.

Accessories: A long triple strand of pearls has been my stand-by for years, but I have been eyeing Kelly Wearstler's accessories, reminiscent of her design aesthetic.

Watch:  Presidential Rolex in gold.

Glasses: Oliver Peoples, large frames.

Scent: Always Clive Christian.

My lip: Mac "snob," this pink can be worn casually with a little gloss or matte for a red carpet look.

This is my simple, easy, routine.  What is yours?






Goodbye Belgium...


Belgium was so sweet to me.  He had seen my distress, was worried for my emotions.  He knew that what was whirling around me was untrue, undeserved.  He felt protective of me.  He thought that what I needed was to get away.  To be among friends, a beautiful setting, a bit of adventure and of course a bit of what brightens every girl's day - shopping.  He took care of me and provided me a safe place to go.  He knew what I needed without me having to say it.  He knew what I needed without me having to ask.  I thank him for that, I appreciate him for that.  Because if I have to ask, you are not the man for Marlo....