Who says Valentine’s Day has to be expensive? It does not and I have hand picked a bunch of cuteness with a heart theme and every single goodie is under $25. This is a variety of items from jewelry to clothing. Take a peek!
These are good choices for you (yes you can get yourself something for Valentine’s Day), Moms, sisters, friends, anyone you want to show a little heart! A lot of people say that they hate Valentine’s Day, too commercial, blah, blah, blah – do you celebrate Valentine’s Day and do you have a fave from the heart gifts?
Last December, I had the pleasure of attending a shop and sip for my sister/friend Lenna. Her online store Top Half Boutique sells all things for your cute top half – blouses, sweaters, jackets, scarves and wraps that are stylish and affordable! It is so funny that I was just about to leave the event when I spotted this fur piece. I got this baby home and snapped this pic for Facebook. So y’all know I love faux leather and faux fur. So, I posted on Facebook how much I loved my new faux fur. Well guess what Lenna tells me, it ain’t faux sis, it is real fox and rabbit. Ohhh okay. I was so glad she told me because that changed how I would care for and store this beauty. Today I am sharing some tips on how to care for fur!
Given that me and the cold weather really ain’t friends, these colder days have given me loads of opportunities to rock this fur piece. Check out Top Half Boutique, shop and get 20% off. This gorgeous piece has sold out but here are some good options:
Shop The Look
Do you rock fur, real or otherwise?
Note: This post does not condone or support animal cruelty, merely providing information on fur care. Always consult a professional in this field for more information.
Meatless Monday? I know my thoughts too, no meat? My sorority chapter, Sigma Omega Omega, of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is encouraging Meatless Monday in support of a key national program – Health Promotion. We have all heard that a plant based diet is good for our overall health. But nonetheless, I don’t cook, or at least not very well, so this whole idea while good, is a bit scary for me. To ease into this meatless cooking thang, I picked 3 easy recipes courtesy of Cooking Light for an easy, but delicious Meatless Monday, take a peek…
Winding down this month already. Yep January is about to be in the books. I am just now planning for this quarter and thinking about being open to new things this year and smashing comfort zones. It starts with this post actually. Have you ever had a fashion piece in your closet that you loved, but you were too scared to wear? That was me with these vibrant blue over the knee boots, paired with the cutest sweatshirt. A fantastic find that sat in my closet for two years. Yep two years in the closet. Take a peek at how I finally styled them……
On these last few days of January 2018, I am finally getting my vision board life together. Some people swear by the power of vision boards. Fearless Woman Blogger, Whitney Nic James, has an awesome post about why You and I need to do this! So with a made up mind, the vision board party of one has begun. Here is how I finally got my butt in gear…
A poster board, canvas, construction paper, or your planner
A stack of magazines
A glue stick or scrapbook tape
A pair of small cissors
An open mind and heart
From my research on Pinterest and Instagram, poster board seems to be the most popular medium to use for a vision board. But, I chose to use a planner/agenda – the My Infinite Agenda. I snagged this agenda at the stationery show in New York last year. The clean layout and the blush and teal color combination was so pretty and girly. Not to mention this agenda is all about living the life of your dreams with pages to show gratitude, document your goals, and functional planning pages. But the best part is that a portion of the sales of the agenda go to a good cause, Days for Girls which provides feminine hygiene products. I met the founders and they were so passionate about living your dreams and helping others! Super cool. Okay so inside this agenda are specific pages for a vision board. This quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is MOST appropriate to kickoff this vision board party.
That is the premise behind crafting a board. Layout the plan for your life, regardless as to whether you have it all figured out or even know how any of it will happen. Then, take actionable steps to make these things come to pass. I am pretty clear about my vision, but this agenda asks some good questions to help you define your own vision.
Alright so I have my motivation and some guidance if I get stuck, then the real fun begins, putting it on paper.
Goals, projects, dreams, etc. start in the mind, so I zoned in on magazine clippings with words or phrases that were positive and encouraging. I found a page that had teal green numbers so I used them to list out my 10 vision phrases the foundation for the rest of my vision board.
This agenda has other blank pages to layout your vision. I plan to use those pages to hash out my vision for 2018 in more detail. Now, you do not have to craft yours like this, there is no right or wrong way, do what feels right to you.
I am on cloud nine to finally have the first part on paper. There is a Bible verse that says, “And the Lord answered me, and said, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2: 2-3 is the entire verse but most people focus on verse 2. Looking at verse 3 it emphasizes, not only do we write it down, but we cannot rush this vision. As humans, we get so impatient when things don’t pop off right away. Just wait and at just the right time, things will come together. I am excited.
Have you crafted a vision board? How is it going?
Celebrating to auspicious occasions today, The birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 110th Founders’ Day of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Given the current climate in our country, I thought this quote was most appropriate. I am just wondering how long will it take or what will have to happen before some people speak up??? In the spirit of what Dr. King stood for, serve your community today in whatever capacity you can, just do something to improve your community!
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated celebrates 110 years of service today. The first Greek letter organization for college trained black women, founded January 15, 1908 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC. AKA women have a long history of service to the communities we serve.
Founded: January 15, 1908 at Howard University, Washington, DC
Incorporated: January 29, 1913
Twenty Pearls: Founders and Incorporators
Motto: “By Culture and By Merit”
Symbol: Ivy Leaf
Flower: Pink Tea Rose
Colors: Salmon Pink and Apple Green
Official publication: Ivy Leaf magazine, first published 1921
I know Gianne, my talented photographer is going to get me!! But, I am taking the OOTD back to where it started, this white wall in my living room and my non fancy camera. This sweatshirt really reminded me of how far I have come with my OOTDs. From the living room wall, to the back yard, to my first “real” photographer, to shooting with Gianne. What a ride! This OOTD was just me fooling around in the living room, take a peek…
I posted here about all the elements of photoshoot. It is a lot harder than it looks but so much fun. This sweatshirt was made for fashion bloggers and I just could not pass it up. Of course the glittery letters sealed the deal for me. You can wear this sweatshirt alone or layer with a crisp white shirt. I paired it with distressed boyfriend jeans, a funky necklace in silvertone, small leather backpack, and edgy stud boots.
Shop The Look
My word of the year is increase so look for more fashion related posts. Gianne and I want to scout new and unique locations around The A for more fashion shoots. Seeing the progression from living room to professional photographer is encouraging, growth is good.
What are you looking to increase in 2018?
ANNNDDD, don’t forget to enter to win two fab books here!
I’m so excited today to share two of my favorite books and the first giveaway of 2018. All over social media I am seeing a lot of people committing or re-committing to reading more in 2018. Between family, work and other commitments, it can be a struggle to find the time to sit quietly and read. I know it’s hard for me to find some free time. But one way to kickstart your reading habit is to start small, with shorter books that pack a punch. I have handpicked two of my favorites to get you started.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
This might be my most favorite book. No mysteries, romance or science fiction, just 4 common sense ways to just be a better person. The language is simple to follow so you can easily apply these tips to your daily life. My favorite agreement – Be impeccable with your word. Makes a fantastic gift for high school or college grads.
Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient by Valorie Burton
I have read so many of Valorie Burton books because she writes with a biblical perspective. In this book, she outlines 9 habits that will make you think differently, it all starts in the mind. This is really kinda of a workbook with questions to answer and exercises and stories from successful women. My favorite habit – Stop trying to fix your weaknesses. Another great gift idea.
I enjoyed reading both of these, more than once I might add…LOL Self-help, motivational type books are a fave. I am always looking for ways to be better just all around in life – home, work, family relationships, friendships, etc. You are never too old to learn new things or new ways of thinking. I believe you all will like them too so I’m giving away both books along with a couple of surprises. Just enter using the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What’s on your reading list?
Y’all already know that traveling is one of my favorite things to do in the world. But on this recent trip to Dallas, I was a little apprehensive. Real talk, I don’t know what I did to my back but it has been bothering me for a minute. I think I picked up something wrong or something, but any way my back has been hurting. For this trip, I was dreading the long line at security, after all the busiest airport in the world has long security lines 99% of the time (yep The A still holds that title).
On my trip to Seattle, I saw these cute blue signs for CLEAR and the reps were saying get out of that long line and go straight through. I wasn’t sure what it was but I made a mental note to check it out and I was pleased with what I found about this company.
CLEAR is a prescreening system that speeds travelers through the queue line right up to the security area. To accomplish this, the process starts online where you enter basic contact information and pay for the service. You must be age 18 or older and have a valid U.S. ID such as a license or passport, permanent resident card, military ID, etc. Then once you arrive at the airport, CLEAR collects some biometric data, e.g. iris, fingertips, and thumbs to identify you. All this happens in a kiosk.
You’re all set and can head to the security area. In the security area, your identity is verified at the same type of kiosk using any one of the biometrics. I chose the iris verification because it seemed fast and easy. To confirm my identity, I stood in front of the kiosk and looked at a mirror, when the light changed from yellow to green I was identified and CLEARED along with a check of my boarding pass. A CLEAR rep escorted me to the FRONT of the security line and I pulled two of those ugly grey bins and took my shoes off!!! You can imagine the looks on the faces of the folks in that long line. It was so simple, I was in and out of security in seriously 5 to 7 minutes, easy peasy and with no back pain – #winning!
CLEAR vs PreCheck vs Global Entry
CLEAR and PreCheck are two different types of speedy screening. CLEAR and PreCheck gets you through airport security faster, while Global Entry gets you through Customs and Border Protection. If you are flying International, the CLEAR rep will escort you to the Customs and Border Protection area and again, you speed through that process as well. CLEAR and PreCheck work together.
Thumbs up for now! I really loved the uncomplicated sign up and of course it was nice to be moved to the front of the line. The downside is that CLEAR is only in 30 airports, such as, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, Houston,Washington, D.C. and Orlando to name a few. But it is expected to expand to other airports. And it is pricey at $15 a month, billed annually. American Express/Delta SkyMiles cardholders are eligible for a discounted price of $99.
If you plan to travel a lot domestically, I think it is a good alternative to PreCheck. Conversely, if you are more of an International traveler, I would say Global Entry might be a better choice. I plan to sign up for Global Entry since for $15 more, you get the same benefits as PreCheck! Consider how much and where you travel when deciding which program to use.
Airline travel can be stressful, so anything you can do to relieve that stress is worth it and for me CLEAR was a lifesaver, or should I say back saver.
Are you using CLEAR or PreCheck or Global Entry?
CLEAR images via