Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Office Fashionista: Animal Print



Excuse my frizzy hair in these pictures. It was POURING in NYC the day these pictures were taken. My hair was not cooperating with the weather. Anyway, if you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I LOVE anything animal print. I'm back on my animal print kick. This tunic was a Christmas gift & I'm obsessed with it. It's long enough to wear with leggings but can still be tucked into a pencil skirt or jeans. 

I've been wanting a hat like this one forever. I finally found one that didn't look huge on my small head and was a good price. The first day I wore this hat, a big gust of wind took it right off my head. I ran after the hat down the streets of NYC and almost got hit by a car. Oh, the things I do for fashion...

My blog has hit over 10,000 views and I couldn't be happier! Thank you so much to all my readers, my friends who are constantly sharing my website, and to my lovely photographer Jessi. This blog has grown way more than what I had imagined it would ever be. I hope it continues to grow this year!

I'll be taking a brief hiatus from posting to travel and catch up on life. I'll be back in a few weeks! :)

Top: Gifted 
Leggings: Forever21
Hat: Forever21
Coat: SheInside, Similar Here (Almost Identical!)
Boots: ShoeMint
Lipstick: Blissful Berry by Maybelline  

Photos by Jessi

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Year, New..

Happy New Year!
Yup I'm a couple of weeks late but guess what? It's still 2015.

I had to feel out the year so far and I think I like it. It's been full of good times already, planning for vacations, moving and more. The year is young and I'm trying to take advantage of it.

Something that has been keeping my spirits up is writing. My passion has become more important to me. Not just making everyone else's dreams come true. I look back at all the clients I've helped in 2014 and I'm a little disappointed. Not by the money, but the fading of my impact on them. They lack "ganas" as my seventh grade Math teacher use to say. And it's true. There has been a lack there of, and it's shown even in my work for my entrepreneurial clients. My last one would probably like to blame his lack of website traffic on me, but he can only truly blame himself. He's had no focus or desire to make his business better.

In 2015, my desire will be my sole purpose. I'm happier at my day job when I know I have writing in the works. I have been putting together ideas for the last book for the My Blank Life trilogy. Thinking about where I want to send my books. Who I want to do presentations for. My memoir. Desire has been leading the way.

What's your desire? I'm curious to hear what's moving you.

Friday, December 26, 2014

That's So America

Many of you have heard about Raven Symone's interview with Oprah. What the focus has been is that she is a homosexual.  What many neglect to focus on is her comment that she isn't African American...well maybe that's not entirely true. For months, I've been trying to figure out a way to talk about this topic. And find a time to sit down and write about it. Now I see no better time.

When will an actor be just that? Not a black actor, gay actor, once impoverish actor, and whatever other label you can think of. When will a woman, just be a woman? When will a baby be a baby and not a mixed baby? There are so many adjectives s we use when all we should be saying is the noun. Besides Raven, White Collar's  Matt Bomer addressed this in an interview I read a while ago. He's an  actor. Now he's categorized as a "gay actor". 
"What we really have to do is stop the adjective before the job title—whether it's 'black actor,' a 'gay actor' or 'anything actor,'" Bomer said. "Everybody thinks that equality comes from identifying people, and that's not where equality comes from. Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are. I hope the media and the press catches on to that because it's time to move out of 1992."

Sometimes I wonder if this goes against the EEOC. Do these celebrities feel harassed or discriminate against because of their skin color, age, gender, sexuality?

"The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit."

I guess you can say many of us aren't discriminated against because of our pronoun, but maybe America is so acclimated to the way things are that we don't notice. For example, we are all conditioned to notice and acknowledge race. We go on the defensive or offensive rather quickly. When phrases like "That's gay" is used, you see the true colors of those around you. Americans like labels. Makes them feel comfortable. Fortunately, as the times are changing, more and more people are embracing their labels. It's unfortunate at the same time; that means people like Raven or Matt who don't want to be labeled, are going to be.
Maybe its time to change this. I don't need to be a young black woman entrepreneur, eventually I can just be an entrepreneur. 

Tell me what you think.

Can you spare a dollar?

At 6am on a subway train, a man announced, to the train car I was sitting in, that he was homeless. He was just looking for some help so that he could get something to eat and of course not use it for drugs. I sat there trying to sleep a little and ignored his plea, as many passengers usually do. Then he walked around to collect his hard earned money. “2 cents! What am I supposed to do with this? Buy candy?” he started, “How are we in a metropolis and this is how you treat the needy?” Clearly he was hurt and upset. “What are we coming to where you can’t give the homeless money? Do you people celebrate Thanksgiving?” He asked everyone, “I’m asking you, do you?” This man went on and I’m sure we all couldn’t wait until the next stop. Personally, I was ready to yell at him. How dare he try quilting people to give him money?

Everyday there are many panhandlers in NYC and other cites as well. My opinion about it is that people shouldn't give money to them. ESPECIALLY if they didn't even try earning it. I commend those who dance, sing, tell jokes or use whatever talents they have to earn the money from the passengers. But the girls with the baby sleeping and a sign or the dirty guy holding a sign or this guy who just announces his unfortunate situation, do not compel me to dig into my pockets. I have volunteered with many organizations in my lifetime and some were to benefit the homeless. I know there are resources out there and I refuse to believe everyone who is on the street is in dire need of food.

This brings me to my actual point. When will someone come onto the train and just say, “Good Morning Everyone! I hope you have a nice day.”? I felt like doing this the other day, and only saying that. No scripture or preaching after, just a pleasant gesture. Then I thought a little further with this idea. What if someone who was on the train made an announcement like this, “Hello everyone. I just wanted to say that I’m not on the street and I don’t need your money. I am a New Yorker. Finished High School/College and now thinking about starting at a business.  Although times can get hard; we don’t all end up on the street. Just remember that.”

How different would your train rides be if you heard that instead of someone asking you for money?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Social Media Management Tips

There is this business owner who teaches Social Media 101 and I always laugh. People pay him to teach something he really has no working knowledge of. I check in on his Twitter here and there and it’s not far from the number it was three years ago. I sometimes think about what others must think when they see my social media accounts, but remind myself three years ago to now; my numbers have doubled on some and tripled on other social networks. Now that’s social media management.

The Number-
You should always keep track of your progression. Even if it isn’t every week or every month, track the number at some point. I’m referring to the progress from one point in time to another. At the same time, I do not completely agree that the number is everything. It is good to have a high number, but what kind of high number needs to be considered as well.

The Reach-
The high number can be just a number and have no meaning. You have a 1,000 followers but no one ever favorites or retweets your posts. What’s the point?? My following isn’t the highest it could be (especially because I have been slacking), but I guarantee you that I have a solid reach. My followers SOCIALIZE with me all the time. We joke about things, network, and relate often. That is the type of account you should aim to have.

The Schedule-
I’ve had some of my clients get upset because I do not tweet or post on Facebook every hour. And I always wonder, “How important do you think you are?” I know that when even a celebrity posts too many pictures on Instagram, I start to get annoyed. Most of the time the content is meaningless when it is set to post that often. Your audience should get excited about what you have to say. They should want to go looking for it if they missed it. And yes, this takes time, then give it time.

The Result-
People! It takes MONTHS to see full results on an account. I have been working with a company’s Twitter and Facebook for the past 5 months and I can proudly say that I have made a huge impact on their social media. With that said, I know I could do more socializing to get the reach up and connections tight, but this is just the beginning. In time, I know that their social media results will continue to have positive results. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waste of Time

Articulating is hard for me a lot of the time. Sometimes when I am trying to make a point, I go around in circles as I’m thinking the ideas or issues through. This is usually one of two things for everyone else, confusing or inspirational. I don’t know how I do it but let’s call it a natural talent. I’m a wise woman and I love bestowing my wisdom onto others. If I did not do so, I would consider that being selfish. Ballsy, right? Like who am I to have things to share with the world and still be in my 20’s? How dare I? No how dare you to think such a thing. I’m bringing confidence back.

How annoying is it when someone says, “What a waste of time”? Not that annoying. How about when someone says it about something you don’t think is a waste of time? A little, right? I find that most of us waste our time on a daily basis. But what about this thought, “Your twenties are all about wasting your time.  It’s what you spend the most time wasting it on is what matters most”.
Many of our friends spend these ten years living it up. Going to bars, hooking up with strangers, traveling, moving into their own place or moving back into their parents’ basement, falling in love, falling in love again and possibly again, getting married, having their first baby, maybe having a second, and then “Hello thirties”. Whatever it is, make sure when you look back, it was worth it. I wasted my time plenty when I was online dating, but I am more than happy that I did. Not only did I get really great blogs out of it and a new following, but I developed and matured in a way I did not think about often.

Wasting your time is trying. And to not try is… you know it, to fail. Therefore waste your time and apply to a position you don’t believe you qualify for. I did! Best thing ever. I now know where I actually want to be professionally.

Wasting time is not aimlessly trying. Have direction. Make sure you are always wasting your time well. And if you don’t succeed, remind yourself it was worth it. For example, I was turned down for a position I applied for and in result started to look more into what I really wanted to progress to. I have spoken to so many managers, directors and now may move onto vice presidents. Now, the little group of people I knew at my organization has grown. And best part, they all know I am looking to better myself. Will one of them hire me? I do not know. And many people would look at this as a waste of time if none of them do. I believe those people are small minded. I rather waste my time like that any day. In my opinion, you should as well.

Go out there and waste time, and remember to be mindful about what you’re wasting your time doing.

*Proofread but ... you know*

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Relationship 101

I thought it would be nice to cover a topic that was more personal and less professional.  Keep the balance I have going.

Something I've been thinking about is the baggage individuals bring into a romantic union. Whether it's marriage or shacking up, you're united. As many know, both individuals have lived life prior to being their partner's partner. In that life, they most likely learned lessons they rather not repeat, or obtained habits/traditions, or even friends. How dare they? Trust me that's just a taste of it all. Most importantly, I dare to ask if you've thought about this? If not, you should.

Many discussions or misunderstandings are created from things like the partner s/he had before you was mistrusting and therefore any hint of mistrust from you gets him/her defensive. Confusing? Lets try this. Or your partner was verbally abused with phrases like "Don't be stupid" "you're so naive" or "You're lucky I'm with you.". So when you say it, he or she "overreacts".

I once had a therapist who told me that there really is no such thing as overreacting. Most times when someone is "overreacting", its actually in reaction to something they've already been festering or holding onto and possibly didn't realize it. An example is if you come home from a long day of work and you go to lay on top of your bed. "Oh my god,  now I have to change the bed sheets again. Thanks!" Your partner yells. And you're tired, so you get mad because what does it matter if you laid on your bed? It is your bed. But as you argue and discuss, you realize its cause you're pants are on the subway, at the office, at the park or bar throughout the day. They have the dirt from the day on them and your partner doesn't want them in the place where you two sleep. Day after day its mentioned or implied, then finally... no more mister nice guy. Kind of like one day at work, constantly bees buzzed all over the place. One at a time of course. My coworker suggested complimenting them (it may have worked) for them to go away. After work I went out that afternoon and saw a bee. I freaked out. By that point, I felt like they were following me. But no one else would know that. Hence, overreacting. 

I say all this to say, communication is key. Of course we all knew that and have superb relationships, but its a reminder.  My past is tough and I was a good girl Jesus freak. I can only imagine what a well-seasoned crowd has to deal with. Talk about it and you'll be surprised how many disagreements you'll avoid. Even with your mother.  Since I've gotten into a romantic relationship,  I believe my relationship with my mother has matured.  We communicate a tad more effectively. Everyone has a past, respect it.
Listen before you speak,  otherwise you're not listening, you're thinking about what you're going to say (dad taught me that).

Avoid the word "but" when agruing or discussing something. For example, "yeah I get what you mean but you should do it my way." You negate what you said before the but. "You're pretty but you have a big nose." Translation "you could be pretty if you didn't have a big nose."
That's a little peek into what my boyfriend likes to call "girl talk". I majored in girls everything in college after I joined a sorority. Men post your questions and I will gladly answer.
Communication. It does wonders.  

*proofread but this one was a toughy*

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SAE Writing Weekend

Considering I was just watching America's Next Top Model and it was delaying my writing, the fact that my kindle just shut down from a low battery may be a good thing. My posts have been delayed enough!

Hello Everyone! I hear many of you missed me. It is definitely nice to be missed.

I just got back from a writing weekend this past weekend. It was AMAZING. I can't stop using that word to describe it. A lot of the time wasn't used for writing but also gaining inspiration and relaxing. The trip even inspired me to do so much more than expected. For example, I have someone who takes care of my management now. Also a creative hour once a week, to keep the juices flowing. And an idea for making a writing retreat!

Yes, a writing retreat. I feel like not many writers have opportunities to take themselves away from obligations and just be creative. During my time at the writing weekend, I didn't use one writing prompt. I just thought and blocked out my day job, entrepreneurial tasks, and what everyone needed from me. But what I needed from me was a beginning to a third novel. And I got it! The start wasn't too long, but it was a start. All weekend I kept saying, "Did you accomplish more than if you were at home?" If the answer was yes, I was happy.

Take time out for yourself as the holidays come closer and closer. You deserve and your mind deserves time to reflect and create.

Click my links above to get a little peek at the weekend.