Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How I Have A Good Morning

My Mornings start at 5am and on some days, a few minutes before.  Let me just say--it's not easy.  First of all I am NOT a morning person and second I just don't like having to be up so early.  But hey, a woman has to work, so I don't have a choice.  At this time I've chosen an earlier work schedule so that my husband and I can commute to work together about an hour and fifteen minutes away.  It works out because we are off earlier around the same time and are able to fit some gym time in.  Let's just say I will be a happy woman once we finally move to our new city, but until then, as they say-- "You gotta do what you gotta do."  In a perfect world, everyday would be easy to wake up bright and cheery, have breakfast, a latte, be dressed to kill everyday for work--but let's be real--sometimes I wake up and only have about 30 minutes to get it all together.  Most of the time, I'm eating breakfast on the go (If any at all), and almost everyday I'm not wearing any makeup until mid morning ( I apply my makeup at work). 

Starting the day super early can be hectic or stressful if you let it.  Here are a few ways I'm able to curve my morning grouch, walk out the door in a good mood, and ready to take on my work day.


I really cannot stress  how important this is.  Especially if you have a tight schedule like I do.  I seriously don't have time to think about what I'm going to wear to work the morning of, no time to spend sipping coffee or tea in the kitchen wondering what's for breakfast.  I have to be a few steps ahead already knowing what is taking place that morning.  I normally plan the night of or even a few days before.  I plan/prep my meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner the Sunday before the week.  I haven't been really consistent with this but outfit prep is a good idea also. 

I like to make sure my work and gym bag are all prepared as well as my hair (normally a low bun).  That way once that alarm hits, I'm literally grabbing and going.  Preparation is the most important key to having a good morning because you aren't rushing.  And Lord knows when I'm rushing I'm in an irritable mood.  Don't even do it to yourself sis, go ahead and prepare everything the night before to make it easier on yourself.

Wake up With Gratitude

I use to have a habit of waking up (already grouchy of course because--I'm not a morning person, lol) and maybe discussing things with my husband that happened during the day before that irritated me.  I've learned to ditch that.  It only causes stress and increases irritability even more.  It may not be wise to talk business or work related issues when you're still blurry eyed and groggy.  I've learned to start each day with a thankful heart and clean mindset.  I do this by praying.  Thanking God for another day of life and good health.  Thanking him for allowing me to see another day.  Expressing appreciation for all the good and positive things he has done in my life and everything that I believe by faith that he is going to do.  I ask him to shift my focus and mindset.  When I do that, I realize that important matters can be discussed later in the morning.  Waking up with gratitude puts me in a better head space and mood to leave my home with a positive attitude.  In my opinion, we need that every morning.

Eat Breakfast

And I'm not talking about scarfing down a bunch of pork and potatoes.  Eat fresh!  My body responds better to fruits, vegetables, and water early in the morning.  I try not to eat foods that will leave me feeling weighed down and with the Itis by mid morning, so I ditch the sugar packed foods and have oatmeal with fresh berries instead.  This will give me the energy I need and hold me over for a few hours.  I also love eating sliced avocado, seasoned with a side of fruit.  After I have a few cups of water also.  Eating puts me in a good mood already so fueling up on breakfast makes for an even better attitude and overall a better morning. 

Start Fresh

Each day is an opportunity to start new.  To start fresh.  I'm trying to make it a habit not to carry over yesterday's stress into a new day.  Some challenges, I've learned, whether it be at work or personal, can't be resolved in a day, and that's fine.  But when you go back to the issue with a clear and fresh mindset after a good night's rest may help to see a different perspective and ultimately resolve the problem.  This seems to happen with me at work.  There will be a point where I am trying to complete a reconciliation for a certain account and if my totals are off, of course I need to find the money, lol.  Anywho, sometimes it can be a simple miscalculation.  Maybe a total amount was entered in my spreadsheet incorrectly.  Maybe there is a number that has been transposed.  I can't even tell you how many times I have combed through data day by day in a sea of numbers to figure out the problem.  I've learned that sitting and looking at a computer screen for 3 or 4 hours may not solve it.  Most times I'm able to reconcile a discrepancy by stepping away from the project for a little and then coming back to it.  My response when I find the solution "It's RIGHT THERE!  How could I have missed it?"  Looking too hard hun, lol.  All in all a new day is a fresh start.  Tackle any challenges with a new mindset.  Don't think about how yesterday went.  Just take one step at a time that day.

Roll With The Punches

When you live long enough you understand that everyday won't be perfect.  I've locked my keys in the car, have had flat tires, woke up late, gotten traffic tickets-- I mean the list can go on.  This is what life is all about.  Of course we want to always prep for emergencies, but sometimes the inevitable just happens.  That's what we would  I've learned to just roll with the punches.  Okay, yeah so you locked your keys in the car, which will cause you to be late for work.  Okay.  We can call a locksmith to get them out.  You'll get to the job that you will still have and make it home that evening and life will go on.  There may be something else and it may not be the last time something happens that slows up your morning.  In the past year I have really adopted my parents' mantra of living life 'Stress Free'.  I'm not going to spin my wheels worrying about ish that is beyond my control.  GIRL.  I am a grown woman with too much to do!  I don't have time to make myself sick (because that's what stress will do!) worrying about the uncontrollable.  I'll handle whatever as it comes.  Upset for a moment, disappointed for a time, but I won't let any challenge or small nuances take over my life.  When I tell you I don't have the time...believe me I don't.

And this is how I have a great morning guys.  I do what I can with the right attitude by the grace of God and boom..I'm out the door!  If I'm doing really good, I'll even treat myself to a yummy latte at a local coffee shop downtown.  Hopefully these small tips can help you out.  Just my thoughts!  Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

What's In My Bag | Kate Spade

Hey Beauties!  Recently I downsized my Everyday/Work bag to a cute cross body by Kate Spade.  Since then, I get tons of compliments every single time I wear it.  Seeing how everyone loves this style I decided to to a 'What's in My Bag' video on YouTube!  You'll get to watch me go on and on about random items I keep with me from day to day.  

I purchased this bag via Kate Spade.  While I believe it is sold out there, I found it over on, if you're interested.   Just click the highlighted links to get additional information.   The style of this bag is the 'Grey Street Dominique' in black.  I decided on this particular bag because I really needed a quality classic bag and one that was not too big.  What I love is that it's just a classic bag as well as the gold hardware and dual handbag straps.  My favorite aspect of the bag has to be the removable, adjustable body strap.  I definitely helps so much when you want to be hands free while you're out and about or SHOPPING, lol.

I have been carrying this bag with me DAILY since I purchased it.  I'm surprised I've lasted this long with having it as a work bag.  Normally I go for something larger so that I can fit my planner and document holder in it.  Needless to say this was a definite change and I had to downsize items like my wallet and utilize my phone for notes and planning.  Regardless of the changes, this bag is my fave.

Enjoy the video and if you haven't already, be sure to Like, Comment, and Subscribe to my channel. 


Friday, April 7, 2017

My Life Around Town | Fruitive At Hilton THE MAIN

One thing I'm really big on is how I spend my down time.  I normally have long work days throughout the week due to an hour long commute to and from work (hopefully this will change SOON).  If I don't go home right away after work I'm getting home later in the evening and late nights quickly turn to early mornings.

With all of the driving, early mornings, hustle, and spending time inside of a cubicle for eight hours each day, I value my weekends and any time that I have off.  Getting out and doing things that I really enjoy definitely gives me the balance that I need and literally puts back so much LIFE into my spirit!

I spent this particular day in one of my favorite places in the Hampton Roads area:  Downtown Norfolk.  The last agency I worked with professionally was in the heart of downtown Norfolk and I loved every last minute of it.  I'm such a city girl, so being in walking distance of the mall, a variety of restaurants, and cute coffee shops was right up my alley.

Since then, a new hotel-- Hilton Norfolk The MAIN was built and recently opened.  I decided to go on down and take a little tour and grab a bite to eat at Fruitive--a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that offers Cold-pressed Juices & Plant-Based foods.  I'm not a vegetarian, but I will have days where I will go meatless.  This day was definitely the day.  On top of that the other Fruitive location is further out in Virginia Beach so only having to drive 30 mins verses 50 gave me the excuse I needed to get back down to Norfolk!

Fruitive's menu has so many great items and since I had been to this restaurant at a different location I was very familiar with all the fresh, clean, and GREEN foods it had to offer.  I decided to get the Collard Southwestern tacos with strawberry infused water.  I love the food at Fruitive.  Everything is made fresh and I love that the customer service was on point.  That panini up there belonged to my sister.  

I'm someone that's also really big on experience and part of the experience is the ambiance and aesthetic of where I'm dinning.  I have to take photos of everything including my food.  The fact that there were the marble countertops, artwork hung throughout the hotel (Fruitive sits in the heart of the lobby floor of the hotel) and boutique music being played throughout the area, put the dining experience on another level.  It made for a very chic, feel good afternoon lunch.  I highly suggest this place if your looking for a healthy lunch or breakfast to really jump start your day.

This weekend will  probably include doing something similar to what you see here.  I'll be starting the weekend off in Charlottsville, VA for some blog work and then back to the 757.  What are you guys up to this weekend?  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Happy Hour at Home with Harry & David

As much as I enjoy going out for drinks for a nice happy hour, nothing compares to popping open a bottle of wine right at home!  Especially on a Friday or Saturday night when you just want to relax and not go anywhere but the sofa!  It's something so comforting to me about hanging out with a nice glass of wine in front of the TV. 

I will add that a glass of wine just isn't complete without some snacks.  I'm the woman who loves to have fresh cut cheese, grapes, and or Salami with my wine--- it's just a must for me.  These types of  snacks are so savory.  Paired with the right wine, you got yourself the ultimate chill night!

Today I wanted to share with you my very own Happy Hour that I had right at home with this fab Snack Box that I picked up from Harry and David while I was in Williamsburg, Va.  I purchased this box because I wanted to take my at home chill time up a notch and of course it pretty much had all of my favorite things in it anyway.  Why not?? This box is perfect to enjoy anytime as an impromptu light meal or gourmet snack to share.

The box comes with a flavorful, hickory-smoked summer sausage (MY FAVE), creamy aged white cheddar cheese, and a honey hot mustard, which are paired with three-seed crackers. There are premium mixed nuts and Classic Caramel Moose Munch® Premium Popcorn.  I must say that Moose Munch popcorn is bomb.  You will eat the entire bag in one night, lol.

Isn't this perfect?  I think it serves as not only your own little something at home but also as a great gift as well.  This is my first time purchasing anything from Harry & David and I am extremely pleased.  I will definitely be hitting them up again.  Take a look at their site.  There are some really nice boxes you can get that are even larger and include other items like fruit and different kinds of cheese.  The box you see here is regularly priced at $24, but I snagged mine on sale for $6!  Pretty much a steal.  Where are you spending happy hour?  Cheers to a fine dining snacking experience in your own home!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Foundation Routine feat. Hourglass & Milani Cosmetics

Over the years the way I apply makeup has definitely changed.  These days I have the best foundation routine that I think I've ever had since I started wearing make up.  I've had to try out different things with time--multiple brands and a few shades.  Finally, with all my testing, I've found what works for me and my skin type!  

In this post, I wanted to share with you my current foundation routine.  I get a little more in depth here discussing a few details that I may not have mentioned in the video.  If you'd like to fast forward through and just get right into it, you can view my video of the step by step process HERE or down below at the end of this post.

Now to be honest, I wear liquid foundation if not everyday, every other day.  Depending on where I'm going, I adjust the amount I apply.  If it's throughout the week and I'm going to work, I'll apply one or two small drops around  my jawline and other parts of my face.  My skin tone has improved so much over the past few years and my hyper pigmentation has cleared up a lot, so I don't even really need that much.  After that, I apply Smashbox Photo Filter Finish Foundation Powder and that's pretty much it.  FLAWLESS skin!


I was sent the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid to Powder Foundation in several different shades.  The color I am wearing is in the shade 'Chestnut'.  The shade is still a little cool for my skin complexion when used alone.  I couldn't go the next shade deeper because it would be completely unmatched to my complexion, so I settled with this color.  This is my first time using a liquid to powder foundation and I love it.  This breakthrough liquid powder foundation absorbs oil, camouflages imperfections and delivers a long lasting velvet matte finish.  The formula is made to work throughout the day to control oil, while it's been shown to reduce the appearance of blemishes, pores, and acne scars for naturally matte, complexion-perfecting coverage that lasts.  I find that it does exactly that.  As I stated in the video, I never really have to touch up my makeup throughout the day.  By the time I get home at the end of the day and if I plan on going out, I may apply a little powder but I don't necessarily have to.  The price on the Hourglass foundation is at $56.  You can find it at Sephora or online.  I know that's a little steep for foundation, but if you're wanting a high end product for those special occasions-- this product is it.  I would definitely suggest keeping at least one high end product in your beauty arsenal.

Two shades by Hourglass Foundation in 'Sable' and 'Chesnut'.

I decided to go ahead and mix my foundation color to add more warmth so I decided to purchase the Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation.  I had heard some great reviews on this product so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try something new.  My shade in the Milani Conceal + Perfect Foundation  is also in the color 'Chestnut'.  With this color it provides the red and yellowish under tones that I need.  I love the consistency of this foundation and how smooth my skin looks with the application of this product.  This formula is especially made to combat under eye circles, redness and other skin imperfections with this full coverage, water-resistant foundation plus concealer in one. I love that the no drip pump dispenses just the right amount of fluid needed to achieve a flawless look and works around the clock to keep skin looking naturally perfect!  This product retails for about $10 and I picked mine up at my local CVS.

So obviously I can't just put on foundation and that be it.  These days I prime, apply the liquid foundations, highlight, contour, and finally apply a setting powder.  That sounds like a lot but for me it's not.  Day to day the amount of coverage I apply varies, that's what makes the difference in how much time it takes to apply.  For videos I go heavier, on weekends when I go out I definitely apply more coverage, but throughout the week I literally apply less than nickel size.  With a little bit of powder I have more than enough coverage that I need.

If you guys haven't already, check out the video below and let me know what you think!  Also if any of my beauty junkies have great high and drugstore foundation brands that you love, list them down in the comments below!  Be sure to subscribe to my channel so you can get notified every time I post a new video.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Style At Work | Work Appropriate Makeup Pt 1: Bold

Welcome to the first installment of my new 'Style At Work' Series.  In this series I will be sharing content all about staying chic while at work.  Part 1 is a bold beauty look that I wear when I know I'll have a meeting or important conference to attend for work.  Even with glasses this look stands out.  It was important for me to show you that this makeup look is perfect with or without a pair of frames. 

For me, makeup in the work place should look classic and natural.  Even with red lips, it's important to keep the look professional--I don't want to look overdone.  I really believe that woman of color have so many options in cosmetics on the market right now and shouldn't have a problem creating a professional look.  Depending on your place of work--keeping a professional look should be a top priority when it comes to how you present yourself.  Personally, light to moderate makeup makes me feel more put together and when I feel put together--I tend to do better.

 Enjoy the video!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

5 Ways To Start Your New Year 2017 x Banana Republic

Well I hope you all have enjoyed your holiday season.  For me it went by so quickly, it barely felt like Christmas or even the close of 2016 for that matter.  Like many of you, I spent my time with family and friends on my days off and that included lots of food, laughs, and lounging.  Over the holiday Banana Republic sent over the most perfect clothing items to do just that.  I love a great pair of jeans and a comfy and soft sweater so I was very excited to received these items!  Thanks Banana!  As seen here, I am wearing the Girlfriend jean.  These Mid Rise premium denim jeans are so so comfortable and ideal for throwing on and chilling in.  What I also love is the ease through the hip and thigh and the stretch that I love for my all my jeans to have.  I can also fold them up at the ankle so that's a plus once Spring weather gets here.  I also received this pretty powder blue sweater made with fine Italian yarn that makes for a super soft and stretchy sweater!  

Not only did I spend time with the loved ones, I also took the time to reflect on 2016.  I thought about all of the goals I accomplished, as well as some really tough experiences that I had to face.  2016 although very successful for me professionally, was truly a year of resilience.  

Now I'm not one to fall into the 'New Year, New Me' hype.  Mainly because it's corny and overdone around this time of year.  Also because I am constantly checking in with myself throughout the year anyway tracking the progress of my goals and self-evaluating.  I also feel some type of way about waiting til the new year to make goals.  When you want to do something, just do it.  We don't have to wait until a new year to start, but I do understand that everyone likes the feeling of starting fresh, especially after maybe having a lousy year.  

I will say that 2016 was a year that I was successfully able to just get ish done, lol.  I mean truly accomplish everything that I set out to do!  Well at least majority of the goals I wrote down.  I contribute this largely to how I started the new year off with a list and plan of things that I wanted to accomplish.  

I wanted to make sure that I didn't set the same old New Year's resolutions, so I set goals that were solid, to the point, and realistic.  Most importantly, I planned out how I'd get each thing done.  Fortunately for me, I was able to accomplish every single goal on my list!  Here are some things that I typically do at the start of the new year that has helped me so much.  Hopefully these things can help you to get the ball rolling in your court as well.

Detox Mentally and Physically

For me this means less time soaking up social media or television and switching my focus to gratitude and vocally expressing thankfulness.  I find this very refreshing to do daily actually, not just at the start of the New Year.  I'm pretty guilty for not keeping this up, but I always feel a tug at my heart to get back to the basics of spending time sewing into my mind and spirit.  For me it's through prayer and having a continuous conversation with God about strengthening the weak areas in my life or again, simple gratitude. 

Physically, I start by drinking more water and a lot of times that includes adding lemon for flushing my body and keeping myself hydrated--You'll feel tons better!  I also get on my tea drinking kick, mainly because I'm headed back into the office and want to feel relaxed as much as possible while taking on what's in my inbox.  Eating more organic fruit and raw vegetables are already something I incorporate into my diet, but starting at the top of the New Year will never hurt, just try to stay consistent.  All in all it's being conscious of my health and really taking care of myself.  That also means scheduling doctor visits to keep tabs on my overall health.


Now by now y'all know I love keeping organized.  The process can seem overwhelming, so that's why I tend to throw away junk and get started before January 1st.  Doing things like cleaning my home and organizing my closet space really sets the tone by starting fresh.  I'm not sure about you, but when every thing is organized and clean I just feel better.  It really sets the tone.  I also start fresh with a new Agenda book.  I love planners!  They've helped me keep tabs on things throughout the year.  Target always has some really nice ones and Kate Spade (although a little pricey) are the best + super feminine, which I love!  An agenda can keep you on track with day to day priorities as well as staying on track with appointments and important dates to remember.

Create a Routine

I'm not perfect, but I feel like routines help so much with staying organized and I feel like now is the perfect time to start one.  I have daily routines, night routines, weekly, and even monthly routines. Something as simple as doing laundry every Saturday morning, washing and caring for my hair every Sunday in preparation for the work week, or making my lunch for work after dinner every night.  I mean it doesn't have to be perfect every single day, but starting small helps me in the biggest way.

Manage Your Coins

Last year for me was all about wiping away debt and fortunately, I walked into 2017 completely debt free!  This year is definitely about resisting the urge to spend and to save.  Especially after the holiday season.  What better time than the top of the year to start adding towards the savings account?  Recently I saw a post via IG that confirmed this.  We have to just be better with our money.  You never know what life will bring.  It's wise to save for a rainy day.  Even if it's something small like $25 a pay check.  The pennies will add up.  I like to set a marker for my account that once it reaches a certain amount, there is absolutely no more spending allowed until the next pay period unless absolutely necessary.  Think about a plan that fits your needs and life style.  I mean, a little extra money never hurt nobody. 

Write the Vision for 2017

Last but not least, this one was the biggest contributor as to why I was so successful last year with my goals.  I literally wrote down everything I wanted to accomplish.  There wasn't any pressure and to be honest with you by summer time there were a few on the list I completely forgot about but still accomplished!  Periodically I would check on the list to see my progress.  By fall of 2016 I found myself checking off every single thing.  There's something about writing things down makes you take action.  At least that's what happens in my case.  You always need to plan your future by writing it down.  For every problem I felt I needed to solve last year, I created a solution and the plan of action I needed to take to bring it to fruition.  Try it for yourself.  It worked for me and I'm sure it will for you as well.

How are you starting the New Year?  I find that resolutions don't really work unless you have a plan and are working towards each goal.  Who doesn't want to start fresh?  It's a new day, which is a second chance to live a better, prosperous and full life!  

Happy New Year!

**This post was brought to you by Banana Republic**


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