This Is My Story.
March 11, 2014 , I was driving my car near Elysian Park early in the morning. As I was driving a song came on and it made my stomach drop. I had to pull over because I was sobbing. The song was, “Hanging On” by Ellie Goulding, the song you hear in Project 3-11. This song held a lot of weight with me because in May of last year , I was in the middle of a battle to try to save the life of the man I loved who was Bipolar and suicidal . Whenever he was in a depressive state, he would play this song in his headphones. When I heard it, I always knew it was going to be a tough day. Sometimes, I would wonder if he was going to live to see another good day and I prayed over how I could make sure he would. I hadn’t heard that song since that time and although I had processed the experience spiritually, all those fears and feelings of trauma came rushing back to me and hit me like a train. It was at that moment, on March 11th, that I decided to share my story. There is no experience like being side by side with someone who is sorting out a plan to end their life. It’s a feeling of helplessness that cannot be described. For me, love is loyalty so all I knew to do was to fight. I hunted down the doctors, monitored every pill, prayed over him while he slept, and disposed of the straight razor I found that he intended to use on himself. No matter how scared I was, I couldn’t allow myself to fold. I felt that my strength and love would somehow carry him through. It did. He lived through it. We both did. What I didn’t realize was how the experience was molding a new perspective for me. I had never been that up close to the realities of mental illness. I had witnessed trauma as a child, but nothing like this. What I began to see was that this is an issue that happens all around us and we are usually unaware. Even when we do focus on the effects of mental illness, rarely do we focus on the effect it has on the family and loved ones of the mentally ill. I was unaware of just how many organizations there are that truly care and are willing to help. These were the driving forces behind why I made Project 3-11.
I’ve never shared this experience with anyone outside of my loved ones and it was a scary idea to put myself out there and share my personal life with the world. The only thing stronger than that fear was my passion to open people’s eyes about mental illness and how it effects those around the mentally ill. Through writing and filming this, I was able to find empowerment. It was no longer just an unfortunate experience. I was able to take it and turn into something that could possibly save a life. I have aways expressed myself creatively, but with 3-1, there was a sense of purpose.
I have to say that I am extremely grateful to my cast, who put in the talent, hard work, long hours to help me tell my story. Thank you to my friends and family who encouraged me when I was afraid. Thank you to the National Alliance of Mental Illness here in California for offering resources when I felt very lost. If you are reading this and know that you or someone you know needs help, don’t be afraid to take action. You are not weak because you are unaware. This site has a resources tab with several organizations that can help you. For everyone else reading this: I ask that you take the time out to share it. It always saddens me when I hear of someone’s passing and people say, ” I would’ve never guessed he or she was suicidal.” Suicide is preventable but not when resources remain unknown.
Thank you for watching.
Spring is always great for new beginnings. I’ve picked up a new skincare routine, a few new tunes to my Spotify, and a new appreciation for “not so high” heels. I probably walked around Zara for an hour trying to wrap my mind around these block heels. For some reason, they just worked for me.
Once I paired them with a metallic purse and some neon it all came together. I think they will be a cute addition to some of my vintage spring dresses or lightweight printed shorts this Spring. I’ve listed all my latest beauty must haves for Spring below and because I luh ya…a couple songs that I have on repeat.
Jacket: Gifted, Tank: H&M Shorts: Heavenly Couture Bag: Gucci Ring: Etsy Watch: Michael Kors
1.MAC Prep & Prime BB Cream $30 in Medium Dark. Now that my skin is experiencing some act right, I’m able to skip my Cover Effects foundation some days and use a sheer layer of this. It has SPF 35 which is dope. 2. That act right that I mentioned is due in part to this! Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel in Extra Strength $82 I saw results in about 3 days. I’ve been using it for maybe a month. It’s awesome. 3. Makeup Forever HD Pressed Powder $36 also comes in a tiny compact which is great for your purse. 4. Toof Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Fucshia $21 5. Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow $18 I am obsessed with everything Anastasia! My brows are black, bushy, and long and I love them that way. But there is nothing like a precise line on a thick brow. I use this Dipbrow in Ebony. 6. Origins Ginger Gloss Smoothng Body Oil $21 7. Murad Essential C Sun Balm SPF 35 $25 This is awesome because I’m at the beach alot and it doesn’t make me look greasy or clog my pores. Plus it’s easy to toss in your tote. 8. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino $210 9. Zara Block Heel Sandal $60 Featured in the photos above, I love these! I am a 5 inch or better type of girl and these were an adjustment for me. Alot of days if I’m walking miles in the fashion district or doing a quick photoshoot for someone, I don’t want to be teetering. These are not completely flat but still comfortable. I have a thing for metallic sandals anyways. 10. Jo Malone Lime and Basil Mandarin Scented Home Candle $65
What are your Spring Beauty Picks? Have you used any of mine? Let me know. xoxo Ivirlei
Super excited about the end of this year. Since March of this year, each month has presented new challenges. Some of which I thought would break me. By the time the holiday season rolled around, I was mentally and spiritually exhausted. Now that it is Christmas, my heart and mind are both focused on the opportunity that a new year brings.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned this year is to never allow other people or situations to be placed above your own happiness and mental peace. Self preservation is key. I gave so much of my energy this year that I felt like a walking zombie! I decided to spend the remainder of the year trying to regain my energy, strength, and mental clarity. It isn’t selfish to take care of yourself above all else. It’s an act of love and respect for yourself.
I feel renewed in faith and spirit which has come from countless hours of prayer, reflection, and studying. 2014 for me will be a year to focus on what makes me happy, amazing, and fulfilled. It was in that spirit I decided to do a quick improptu OOTD shoot. My shorts are vintage Levi’s, the boots I’ve had for years and years. The plaid shirt is thrifted and my sweatshirt was a gift from my honey girl Chrissy. My bracelets are all from Lulu’s.
As I look forward to the new year, the thing that excites me most is how much my faith has grown from being tested. I’ve seen disaster situations turn around in minutes because of prayer and focusing my intention. There is also power in focusing on the things that are going well rather than those that aren’t. Being thankful for the lesson in the middle of the trial.
Every tough spot is an opportunity for you to learn about your limits, your weaknesses, and your strengths. The lowest parts of your story are where the true work happens and you discover what you are truly made of. I’ve discovered that I’m stronger than I thought I was. That alone gives me fuel to make 2014 an amazing one. Whatever is happening to you, it is a tool that the universe saw fit to give you in order to strengthen you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my readers and everyone else I love. Love is all that matters. xoxo Ivi B.
I’m excited about this post because it features a hobby I recently have gotten more into. Needless to say, I’ve always been a creative head. My hobbies are always dealing creative direction, models, design, etc. This project is a model series that I’m starting where I shoot and edit artistic videos of models to display them as not only models but real people with emotions, insecurities, and beautiful flaws (or lack thereof in some cases) lol. Anytime I am going through a tough period for any reason, being creative pulls me right out of it. Like magic…
I had the pleasure of shooting model Jessica Jordan, who also happens to be a dear friend. She agreed to be my guinea pig:) We shot this vid over a course of 2 days. I didn’t really know where I wanted to go with it, I truly just saw images in my head and wanted to get some practice in at putting those ideas on film.
The funny part is that I had a plastic bag on my camera, fully dressed in a running shower trying to get the best shot. LOL I had a blast and I’m excited to create more videos. As an actress, I always feel like I’m in my zone when I’m being creative in other areas of my life…. in this case it’s my latest hobby. Jessica Jordan’s website is Here and you can follow her on IG @KingJessica. I’m gonna post more of my shoots here under the tag, “Ivi Hobbies”. Thanks for checking it out loves. Oh yeah, the song is called, “WTH” by Jhene Aiko.
Credits: First Installment of my Model Promo Series.
Directed by Ivirlei Brookes ivileague.com
Starring Jessica Jordan jessicajordanonline.com
Camera Operation by Ivirlei Brookes
Editing by Ivirlei Brookes
Filmed in Echo Park Lake, California
Camera: Canon Rebel 600D t30 handheld
I’m excited to show you guys what I just finished working on.
Styledirty.com is a new site owned by Nik Pace (formerly of ANTM). The footage was shot by Corey Reese Photography and all of the editing was done by me. I’ve been editing video since 2007 but only recently have I been doing it for others as a hobby. Check out the Vid and let me know what you think? xox
Styling by: Beatrice Benbow
Models: Phiorella, Xenia Sky, Jeanette Peakes
Hair and Makeup by: Daryon Haylock
It’s officially my bday month (June 18th to be exact) and I’m in a giving mood:)
Haven’t posted in a while so I decided to introduce two of my new favorite acts whos music is getting my Summer off to the perfect start!
First up is Johnnyswim: The husband/wife duo originates from Nashville. Amanda (the daughter of Donna Summer) and her hubs Abner have a folk, blues, and pop mixture going on that I find refreshing. They both have beautiful voices and each song feels so authentic. My favorite on repeater is Heartbeat. Listen below:
Tank: Thrift Store Pants: Zara Shoes: Anne Michelle Bracelets: Tiffany’s, BCBG
Besides Justin Timberlake, I’ve been rockin Electric Guest regularly. My favorite song is “This Head I Hold” which I featured below. Lyric snippet:
“So find me stuck in the scene
I wanna get out but there’s no in-between
So I sit back as I watch the crowd go
Never assuming that I’ve sunken so low
If I wanna be free
I gotta stop playin’ round and runnin’ from me”
I always loved the quote from Dan Zadra ,”Worrying is a misuse of imagination”. Often times when we fear a certain outcome, we spend most of our energy concentrating on how much we don’t want it to happen rather than the outcome we’d rather see. Because of this, we attract the very same outcome we were trying to avoid. Anywhere your energy goes the outcome will match that exact vibration. Needless to say….it’s important to concentrate on nothing but the things we desire.
I’ve had to take years to learn the art of not worrying and I’m still not a pro. Most of the time what I worry about never happens. Every day is new lesson in how expecting the best creates the best. This week I was faced with so many variables that it was easy to slip into a state of fear and worry. On the day of this shoot, I took time out to recall all the times the Universe has taken care of my needs and that always reassures me that all will be well.
Tank: We As Folk Pants: Handmade by Bill Hallman (I love the wheat design on them. I’ve had these for years.) Clutch: Vintage Eelskin and Snakeskin Shoes: Aldo Necklace: Vintage Bracelets: Vintage Watch: Michael Kors
My usual method of discovering artists is spending hours clicking on any and every album I see on Itunes. Other times I create a weird station on Pandora then explore the music of each artist that comes up. I’m always on a quest for that kind of inspiration and it’s not always easy to find. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised to find Lianne. The 23 year old soul singer has been endorsed by Prince as well as Stevie Wonder….