The top 3 best black owned coffee shops in Dallas, Texas, and why I chose them.

The ambiance can set the tone and mood for a coffee shop, providing customers with a comfortable and inviting environment.  A well-designed space with the right lighting, music, and décor can enhance the overall experience of a coffee shop and make for a unique atmosphere.  I have tried several black-owned coffee shops near me. What I love about these three shops is that they all have distinct personalities, unlike coffee chains like Starbucks. A unique coffee shop experience fosters customer loyalty.  Find out why  I chose these coffee shops as the top 3 best black-owned coffee shops in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

If you’re in the Trinity Groves area of Dallas, please try Soiree Coffee Bar.  I first tried Soirée coffee bar for a Sunday brunch and was pleasantly surprised with the jazz-themed atmosphere.  It offered bar seating, cozy sofa seating, plenty of tabletop seating, and outdoor seating.  I was sold on the cozy blue sofas but then came the live jazz, and I knew I would be a regular.  My go-to coffee drink is a latte, so I tried the salted brown sugar latte called the Ella Fitzgerald.  I loved the uniquely named beverages and knew I’d return to try the different jazz-themed coffee offerings.  But the Soiree coffee bar is not just for coffee and pastries. There are cocktails and wine on themed days and nights and a limited menu as well.  What I also love about Soiree Coffee Bar is that they give back to the community.  This fits the bill if you want to try a coffee shop that’s not standard.

Try Black Coffee if you are in the Ft.  Worth area, and even if you’re not, it’s worth the trip.  As I drove up to the coffee shop, I was impressed with the mural on the outside wall with the Create Change signage.  It evoked the change I could see in the Dallas area with the many new black-owned coffee shops.  Murals on the inner walls also kept the theme going with a painting of John Lewis on the inside.  If the Soiree coffee bar evoked jazz, Black coffee evoked a passion for creativity with social art.  The creativity continues with the merchandise this coffee shop offers.  In an ode to coffee lovers and how they prefer their coffee, black tee shirts are for sale that read, “no sugar, no cream” or “lotta sugar, lotta cream.”  No matter how you take your coffee, Black Coffee offers an offering that will fit your needs.

Another great coffee bar is Cup of Vibes, located in Arlington.  Walking into the coffee shop, you are greeted with a vibrant atmosphere, including a perfect photo wall.  I loved the bright yellow seating and the green wall in the back of the shop.  Although they provide plenty of coffee options, I love that they also have great tea options.  Their house refresher tea is a definite must-try.  I was given a sample and know that it will be on my list when I return.  Like most coffee shops, they have pastries and a light menu.  Like the refresher tea, the smoked chicken salad is a definite must-try.  If you want to feel personally welcomed by your coffee shop, Cup of Vibes will make you feel like you’ve been invited rather than stopping in for coffee.

There are plenty of black-owned coffee shops in the Dallas area near me.  I chose these three because they show that black-owned coffee shops can be found throughout Dallas.  These three live up to the experiences they offer and are all unique and different.  If you’re in the Dallas Ft./Worth area, these three should be on your list if you want more than the standard Starbucks experience.


What are the best hairstyles for Black female travelers?

What are the best hairstyles for Black female travelers?

The natural hair movement has been around since the sixties, but in the last decade or more, a Black travel movement has also been birthed, and Black women are traveling!  As a flight attendant in the late eighties, I was forced to use chemicals to control my natural hair under the airline grooming standards.  It wasn’t until the nineties that a lawsuit affected my ability to wear my Black hair naturally.  So, I know the challenges of wearing conformist hairstyles, using chemicals, and wearing my hair naturally when traveling.  I firmly believe in natural styles for Black women, but traveling with natural hair can be challenging.  As a Black woman who has worn locs for over twenty years, I know this personally.  Still, there are plenty of options for Black women when traveling with their natural hair.  Here are some challenges and a few choices I consider the best hairstyles for black female travelers.

There is a definite challenge for Black women travelers who choose to wear their hair naturally.  The natural hair movement came about partly because of the challenge of maintaining hairstyles that weren’t natural to Black women, such as wigs, extensions, and harmful chemicals.  Traveling to different destinations exposes natural hair to environmental factors, such as humidity, dry air, or extreme temperatures.  These changes can affect the natural Black hair’s moisture levels, causing it to become dry, frizzy, and more susceptible to breakage.  When traveling, finding specific hair products, tools, or services tailored for natural Black hair care can also be challenging.  It’s often harder to locate products that cater to natural hairstyles or find a local hairstylist experienced with natural Black hair.  Then there is the additional fact that traveling often involves packing light, which means black travelers have to be practical in carrying all their preferred hair care products, tools, or accessories.

Ultimately, Black female travelers must choose a hairstyle that suits their personal style and comfort level.  To make caring for natural hair easier while traveling, the best hairstyles are those that consider low-maintenance natural styles that protect their hair and require minimal upkeep.  Its highly recommended to carry travel-sized versions of essential hair care products, such as shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in moisturizer.  A satin or silk pillowcase or hair bonnet will reduce friction and protect natural hair at night.  Don’t forget to schedule time for hair care, even when traveling, to maintain a healthy natural hair care routine.

This is not an exhaustive or extensive list of the best hairstyles for Black female travelers or all the challenges Black female travelers may face.  Check out other great travelers with natural hair like myself who can share even more ideas on natural hairstyles.  I hope this post has been helpful and you are even more encouraged to travel with your natural Black hair.

Expert Advice: 4 Comfy Travel Outfit Ideas & What NOT to Wear When Traveling

Expert Advice: 4 Comfy Travel Outfit Ideas & What NOT to Wear When Traveling

When traveling, it is common to see eye-raising outfits, from pajamas to skimpy outfits.  Gone are the days when travelers got dressed up for travel, but that doesn’t mean you should dress sloppily.  You can choose comfy travel outfits that are the best and most comfortable for travel.  My advice would be to avoid anything that has metal hooks or buckles and avoid strappy shoes.  These items can be a nightmare when going through security.  Additionally, comfort over style will win the day, especially on long flights.  Most importantly, choose outfits that make you feel confident. I’ve shared ideas on preparing for travel, but here are a few suggestions regarding choosing comfy travel outfits.

Do not dress for location.

It’s tempting to wear strapless tops, shorts, or tees when thinking of warm destinations or bulky sweaters for cold destinations.  However, it is better to dress for comfort during your journey than for your intended location. Dressing in layers is always a good idea. Although dressing for a summer or winter vacation might be tempting, aircraft temperatures do not match their destinations.  There is no accounting for the airplane’s temperature, so layer your outfit. It’s advisable to have a jacket or sweater, as airline-supplied blankets are not always guaranteed.  Conversely, bulky clothing can be equally uncomfortable when traveling on an aircraft with a broken air conditioning system.

Graphic tees.

While a great way to make a statement, remember that you travel on transportation guided by very different rules than your own. It’s always best to be cautious about what you wear on a flight.  Graphic tees with inappropriate language or images can be seen as disrespectful.  In many cases, travelers may claim free speech or civil rights perfectly great to you, but your graphic tee might be offensive to some and could lead to conflict.  Graphic clothing is not worth the pleasure of travel to justify your clothing choice if getting to your destination is a priority.

Dress for comfort.

Some jeans can be very comfortable for travel clothing but can become constrictive if you travel a long distance.  Leisure outfits can be more forgiving on longer flights and more of a comfort.  You are also more likely to go through screening machines more quickly as most leisure outfits do not come with metals or need belts and buckles as you would with pants and jeans.  Flying will often make you feel bloated.  Tight clothing, like tights or Spanx, will become uncomfortable over time. It’s also a good idea to wear darker clothing as they will be more forgiving if you encounter spills or get dirty.

Jumpsuits or overalls.

Although jumpsuits or overalls can be appealing, they are often a hassle to get on or off if you must go to the restroom, and they require almost total disrobing to use the restroom.  Moreso, given the size of most bathrooms on the airplane, they can be problematic.  While jumpsuits can be stylish and comfortable, they may not be the most practical or versatile choice for travel clothing.  Choosing clothing that is comfortable, easy to move in, and can be mixed and matched is best.  Additionally, you cannot change a top or bottom if you spill something on yourself.  You must change your jumpsuit or overall or wear it for the whole journey.


Choosing the right shoes can be a lifesaver.  As a former flight attendant, I have to point out that heels, while attractive, can puncture a slide in an emergency.  Flip-flops can also fly off during an emergency, so avoid wearing them on airplanes.  In addition, you may have to run through the airport to make your flight, and flip-flops are not a good idea.  Closed-toed shoes like flats or athletic shoes are best.  They are comfortable and protect your feet much better than sandals if someone, unfortunately, steps on you.

More than anything, your outfits for travel should be comfortable for you.  As a former flight attendant and seasoned traveler, knowing what not to wear sometimes can be super helpful.  You don’t have to dress to the nines, but dressing tastefully will be appreciated.  I hope these suggestions help for a more pleasant travel experience.  Let me know about your experiences with different travel outfits.

Helpful strategies to make your travel experience less stressful.

Helpful strategies to make your travel experience less stressful.

Whether you are a frequent traveler or not, travel is stressful.  No matter how often you may have traveled or how familiar you are with the airport or boarding process, every encounter is different.  This is one of the reasons why many travelers experience stress.  However, there are stressful situations that are entirely avoidable.  Taking the stress out of travel can be helped by simply knowing your seat, utilizing the overhead bin space effectively, not going to the bathroom during boarding, or taking your assigned seat.  Below are a few ways why these can be stressful.

Where is my seat?

Generally, there is only one way to get on and off an airplane; the boarding door.  I have never seen airplane seat numbers that weren’t sequential, 1,2,3,4….etc.  In addition to paying attention to your boarding group number, remember your seat number.  Have your ticket out, so you know exactly where your seat is.  Almost always, the seat number is at eye level, either to the right or the left.  Every seat also has a letter, and the seat number and letters are also located on the armrest of every seat.  It should not take you any extended length of time to find your seat.  The faster you get seated, the more chances of an on-time departure and getting you to your destination as quickly as possible.

Which overhead bin should I use?

Overhead bin space is shared space.  The overhead bin space does not correspond to a seat number.  Put your belongings in an overhead bin that is convenient for you, and try not to take up the entire space for just your items.  Remember that the area is shared space, and another passenger often has to check their bags because you selfishly took up all the overhead bin space without regard for your fellow passengers.  Look ahead as you board, and if you see that the overhead bin space is full above where you estimate your seat to be, place your belongings in the first overhead bin you see that has space (in your cabin).  It’s always better to get to your luggage as you leave the plane if it’s ahead of you than to try to go against traffic to retrieve your carry-on luggage.

Bathrooms during boarding.

Generally, try to go to the bathroom in the airport rather than on the airplane.  Public restrooms will often be cleaner and more spacious than on the aircraft.  Going to the restroom during boarding is almost always inconvenient as you will push past people in the opposite direction.  In addition, the door to the aircraft can’t close until every passenger is seated, which will slow down the boarding process and may delay departure.  I have experienced having to return to the gate to remove a passenger because there were more passengers than seats.  This can happen if someone is in the bathroom and unaccounted for.  It’s also why some airlines do not allow the bathroom to be used during boarding.

Switching seats.

Seating is a commodity on most airplanes, and airlines sometimes charge different pricing for seat allocations. Most airlines will allow you to choose your seat when purchasing your ticket. If not assigned a seat when purchasing your ticket, a seat will be given at check-in.  Most of the time, the airlines will try to keep families and groups together, so it’s best to check in early to ensure your seating. Asking fellow passengers to switch seats is not often an issue, but it can annoy some people. Requesting that someone change a seat with you simply for your benefit is an inconvenience to that person, even if they may not verbalize that fact.  In addition, it can be annoying for other passengers and flight attendants simply waiting for you to settle down and be seated.

Knowing some basic travel information goes a long way to relieving stress from your travel experience.  I hope these ideas help.  Let me know in the comment section below.

How to be prepared for flight delays when they occur?

How to be prepared for flight delays when they occur?

When travelers encounter flight delays, they now have more recourse for compensation from the airlines.  But, if you read your airline ticket’s fine print, you will note that arrival times are not guaranteed, and delays often occur.  Issues such as weather, staffing, mechanical issues, and many other factors can affect flight schedules and cause delays.  Airlines are not required to provide compensation outside airline tickets and associated fees.  Services such as food vouchers, hotel vouchers, and ground transportation should not be expected.  But planning for the often inevitable flight delay will help.  Here are a few tips.

Keep updated with the airline app or opt-in to text or email alerts.  Airlines are required to provide passengers with information about flight delays.  If you learn of a delay in your flight, try to arrange another flight with the airline as soon as possible.  You can be sure that other passengers will also be considering their flight options.  First, check to ensure no change fee is associated with your ticket.  If there is, the change fee may be waived depending on the reason for the flight delay.  You can ask the airline to transfer your ticket if there is a flight option with another airline.  There is no guarantee that they will transfer your ticket to another airline, but if you have the information available, the agent will appreciate you giving them the options.

Try to buy non-stop flights.  There is a difference between non-stop and direct flights.  Non-stop flights, as the name suggests, will not have stops, but direct flights may have stopovers.  Non-stop flights will also have less flight time; in case of a flight delay, you will merely have a later arrival.  Most importantly, you can’t miss a connection if you don’t have one, and non-stop flights can be priced as competitively as other flight options.  Additionally, flights with stops carry more opportunities for mechanical or other delays.  These flight delays may make you miss your connection or delay your travel overnight.  This can be extremely frustrating if you are traveling on the day of an event like a wedding or departing on a cruise.

Choose early morning flights.  Although often inconvenient, early morning flights are most often on time.  Airlines plan their schedules around the first flight in the morning, and a delay in the first flight will have ripple effects throughout the day.  Chances are that the plane will have been sitting overnight and be available for an on-time departure.  Additionally, early morning flights are less expensive than other times throughout the day.  Another great perk of an early morning flight is that the aircraft is often cleaner because it may have been serviced overnight rather than a quick clean between flights.

Have airline customer service numbers with you.  If there is a delay, passengers often rush to the airport service counters to make arrangements.  You can take the additional step of calling the airline.  You can usually get through to someone faster than waiting in line for two or three agents trying to handle hundreds of passengers.  Be prepared and have all your flight information handy such as record locators or ticket numbers, if you are traveling on different airlines.  Additionally, try customer service numbers in different countries.  Often airlines have offices worldwide, and if in a different location, the customer service agents may not be as swamped as local agents.

I hope you find these tips helpful and they make you a bit more prepared for your next delayed travel.


Discover how to make long-haul international flights more comfortable.

Discover how to make long-haul international flights more comfortable.

I have commuted from the US to Asia for over fifteen years, making several trips a year. Most of those trips were over 12 hours and were considered long-haul flights. Because I have flown these trips so many times, I know that long-haul flights do not have to be an unpleasant experience if you prepare in advance. There are many ways to make a long-haul flight a more pleasant experience. Here are a few tips.

Research the airlines. Often the flight prices are competitive, and only a few dollars will separate one airline from another. The service that the airlines provide will often be quite different. Food choices or the number of services offered by the airline will differ. Depending on the airline, services such as pillows, blankets, individual bottled water, face mask, snacks, and alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage choices differ. The aircraft type might be the same, but the airline may be configured differently. Some airlines prefer to prioritize the number of seats over the comfort of the seating. Other airlines will try to fit as many seats as possible and sell them cheaply, while others will have larger seats to sell at a higher price. As a result, your choice of airline can make a difference.

Choose your seats wisely. Traveling on a long-haul flight is often unavoidable, but hundreds of people do it daily. One way to make it more comfortable is the choice of seating. Some seats are better than others, and middle, last-row, or seats that don’t recline can make the trip a miserable experience. One way to check seats on flights is SeatGuru. Using this site, you can find out if the seats are close to the bathroom or the galleys. Seats on the first row of the airplane may have legroom but also are preferred by families, and you may be seated next to or close to small children. Seats near the galleys will have lots of traffic from flight crews and passengers stretching their legs during the flight.

Dress comfortably and in layers. Airplane temperature is centrally controlled, and people tolerate temperatures differently. There’s only so much you can do if you’re overheated, but having a sweatshirt or jacket can help if the plan turns chilly. Conversely, you can remove your sweater or jacket if it gets too warm. Tight clothing can be very uncomfortable in confined seating areas for long periods, but you do not have to wear pajamas to be comfortable. Comfortable leisurewear that is not too tight, compression socks, and slip-on shoes are great options. Try not to wear lots of jewelry or bulky accessories.

Prepare to pass the flight time with your entertainment. Airlines provide entertainment for long-haul flights, but there are times when the entertainment system is inoperable, or your seat system may not work. Do not rely on airline entertainment; have movies, shows, or books downloaded to your device, and make sure devices are fully charged. Prepare with noise-canceling headsets or earplugs to help with airplane noises and other noisy passengers. Other great accessories are eye masks or neck pillows. Sleep is a great way to pass the time, but if you need to take sleep aids, try natural ones like melatonin and those you are familiar with or have used before, so you know how your body will react.

Long-haul flights do not need to be a chore. Enjoy them on the way to your next travel adventure. Please let me know if these tips are helpful in the comment section below.