Thursday, April 28, 2016

What's In My Work Bag

A typical day for me involves  8 hours of work with my daytime job, which includes assignments at my desk, meetings, training with co-workers, and a quite a bit of walking downtown.  I take time out on my lunch breaks (Normally an hour) to set personal appointments, make conference calls, work on blog content, catch up with family, and edit photos.  The list goes on.  I also have to do a mild commute, so I could spend a lot of time in the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel traffic (Blah).  I try to carry everything I need so that I don't need to make the hike back home.

I try my best to keep organized and carry essential items that will get me through my day.  My favorite tote to carry is my Stella and Dot Madison Tech Bag.  It’s very sturdy, with a spill-resistant interior. It has a removable strap, and you can zip it up for a smaller, classic shape or unzip it for more room. I can put everything I need in this bag, and it’s the perfect carry-on when traveling.  Unfortunately this style is sold out, but you can shop some similar styles below.  Here's what I pack in mine: 

Leopard Print Calf Hair pouch:  Anything from lipstick to coco butters and small sized perfumes.  All of my feminine products go in here.  I purchased this from J. Crew, which is sold out, sorry loves.  You can find really cute alternatives at Target.  Also shown in the photo are my Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in 'Lolita' (The PERFECT everyday lip color.  I wear this daily.) and my Fekkai Hair Fragrance Mist that I got from my Essence Beauty Box.  

iPad: Sometimes I need to do some quick editing or check emails.  If I'm having lunch downtown and need to do some work with the blog, I'll pull this out.

2016 Planner:  I told you guys that I have two planners.  I like to carry this one at all times because it's light and tucks away easily in my bag.

Kate Spade Back up Battery Bank:  I absolutely love this thing and recommend you get one if you're away from home for most of the day.  I just charge this every night and use it all during the day.  It's so cute and compact.  I'm always on my phone so this just works.

iPhone: We all need our phones these days! Calling, texting, social media.  What is life without the iPhone?  Lol.

Eyeglasses:  I rotate between my contacts and frames.  Lately for work I've been wearing frames.

Kate Spade Work ID Holder:  I work in a secure office, so we need our badges to get in and out.  Plus it's pretty much required that all employees have to have identification at my agency.  I carry mine in this cute Kate Spade ID Holder.  You can find it HERE.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Fresh Start with Essence Beauty Box

The Essence Beauty Box is making it so easy for me to travel light!  Whenever I'm away on a work trip or a weekend out of town, I now grab all the goodies that I've been sharing with you all from this box.  I love how small and compact each item is.  The Essence Beauty Box never disappoints when it comes to qualities and brands.  That makes me feel good when I'm traveling--it's like I'm being pampered!  Have a look at what's inside:

1.  Jane Carter Solution Seal & Shine

This product is made to provide your dry, curly, and natural hair with shine.  It said to aid in reducing dryness in your hair.  It contains Jojoba, Soy oil, Shea Butter and Mango Butter.  I'll more than likely use this to seal my hair after I've moisturized it.  It's been awhile since I've tried this line and I'm super excited to revisit.

2.  Earth's Nectar Coconut Curls

What's funny is that as a kid I hated coconut.  I think that really came from me trying Almond Joy candy bars and despising them. Lol!  It was a texture thing I think.  Now, I can't get enough of coconut.  Especially in hair products.  Coconut Curls is a lavish moisturizing cream that is said to detangle, soften, and smooth away frizz and fly aways.  If you didn't know, Coconut oil helps protect hair from damage when combing and blow drying.  I'm definitely using this the next time I wash these curls.

3.  Paula's Choice Resist Vitamin C Spot Treatment

I used this the other night before bed and I'm excited to see a difference in my skin.  A few years ago I had a horrible breakout.  Things have pretty much cleared now, but you can still see a few spots of discoloration in certain areas of my skin without foundation.  This spot treatment uses 25% stabilized vitamin C to reduce stubborn brown spots, sun damage, and post acne discolorations for smoother, even toned skin.  PERFECT.  Hopefully in conjunction with my spot correcting moisturizer this will give me the results I'm looking for!

4.  Palmer's Cocoa Butter Stick

Perfect to stash in the tote and carry on.  This is definitely an oldie but goodie and a MAJOR KEY.  I grew up on this stuff.  My mom used it and her skin is absolutely flawless.  Use this on the face, body, chapped lips.  It's great for sensitive skin and can be used regularly to prevent stretch marks.  You better get into it.

5.  BioDerma Sebium H20

I'm excited about this because I almost purchased some micellar water the other day.  Glad I waited. This is the first make-up removing micellar water for combination or oily skin that actually mimics the natural composition of skin.  This will come in handy when removing eye makeup at the end of the day.  I love my makeup wipes but the smearing that happens when I remove my mascara can be annoying.

6.  Mally Beauty Evercolor Shadow Stick

I would definitely suggest using this stick if you are a beginner at applying shadows.  What's cool about this item is that primer is included in the formula!  Just swipe on the color and boom.  There you go.  Easy.

Visit to purchase your box today!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How To Really Nail Business Casual

Hey guys!  Welcome back.  I took a bit of a break here on the blog due to being out of town on business, which lasted a few days this past week.  Some of you may remember that I began a new position with my agency late last Summer.  I really enjoy the fact that my new job has given me the opportunity to grow professionally.  Working in accounting has allowed me to learn new concepts and challenge me all at the same time.  I love it.

With working full time you guys know that you spend more time in the office, then with family and friends, from what it seems.  While I'm at work I like to dress professional, yet comfortable.  Fortunately for me our office style is set at business casual, allowing us to wear jeans on Fridays.  Every office is different and it may be a little hard to pin point what's okay and what isn't.  Over the years I've tweaked a few things so I wanted to give you working women out there a few tips as to how to really nail business casual attire.

1.  Be Careful with Denim

It's always a thin line between business casual and just too casual.  Pay close attention to the style and wash of the jeans you're wearing.  Even on our casual Friday's I still like a polished look.  My advice has always been to stick with a darker wash.  Dark washed jeans have a more neat, clean look, and in my opinion could even pass as slacks--especially with a boot style.  Anything ripped, frayed, and baggy is a no.  Take a look at your supervisors and managers to get a feel for what may be appropriate and if you're still unsure you can always ask.

2.  Don't Overdo Prints & Patterns

I believe in sprinkles of prints here and there in a small dose.  A nice polka dot blouse or leopard print flat is fine.  Full zebra print pants with sequins etched around the butt pockets--not so much.  Leave your more flashy prints to wear on the weekend and out of the office.  I normally counteract a bold print with a solid blazer, pant, or skirt.  I want to be busy completing work, not having a busy looking outfit.

3.  Shoes Are Important

This means absolutely no to flip flops.  Not sorry about this one ladies.  Save flip flops for the beach.  To me, no matter how 'casual' Fridays are, thong and flip flop sandals are never a fit for business causal.  A peep toe and a two strap wedge are styles I stick to  during warmer months.  The wedges that I am wearing here are from Target and are so comfortable especially with an insert.  Opting for closed in shoes is best.  Simple leather boots in fall and winter.  Flats and simple sandals in spring and summer.  Since I have to walk a couple blocks from where I park to my office I will bring a pair of tennis shoes that I can comfortably walk if I'm wearing heels that day.  Our office is okay with tennis shoes or sneakers on Fridays.  During times of inclement weather I like to keep a pair of flats at my desk that I can change into once I arrive at work.  I've learned that walking around in heavy rain boots can be a little uncomfortable.  I keep flats at my desk so I don't have to tote them back and forth from home to work.  Also, if there's a meeting with my department or upper management I can still maintain a level of professionalism with my look.


4.  Fit is everything

Baggy and loose in the work place says "sloppy".  Too tight says "Trashy" and "unprofessional".  Always keep in mind how your clothes fit.  When I'm not at my desk, I'm either walking, reaching, or bending down, so I really want to wear something comfortable.  Whenever I shop for work clothes I do a test of squatting down and reaching up all to make sure I can do these things with ease.  There's nothing worse than to be bending down to file a document and your supervisor walks by and sees your plumber's crack.  Girl. No.   If you can't comfortably steer your car or hug your man, your blazer is too tight.  If the fabric doesn't lie flat with your slacks—often when you sit down—the pants are too big.  Sometimes you don't even need to purchase new clothes.  Just take them in to a tailor and have them customize for your body type.    It makes all the difference for work.  You'll look even more polished.

5.  Don't loose your Personal Style

There are so many stores and brands out there than can help keep you on track with your professional dress code while still keeping you in style.  I'm not saying to go out here dressed in all black.  That's how you fall into a style rut.  Like I've always said it's best to build a solid foundation and then add little dashes of your personality into the mix.  My outfit consisted of black and white but I threw in the print, olive trench, and brighter work bag to add a little something to it.  It is very possible to be sharp but still yourself.  Add a little scarf, some color, or delicate jewelry.  It doesn't have to be boring.


Do you have a work dress code?  I hope these tips can help you out when you're trying to figure out what to wear to the office in the future.  Another thing to keep in mind is to dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.

Friday, April 8, 2016

5 Tips On How To Style Lace Up Flats

You may or may not have noticed those cute looking ballerina shoes being "a thing" for the past year or so.  Well those 'ballerina shoes' better known as the lace up flat have become quite the little obsession of mine.  What I love about the lace up flat is that they are a take on the ballerina shoe but with more of a cool modern flare that can be worn in so many ways.  This spring, these are a must have!  I purchased mine on sale at Nordstrom.  I normally don't buy into a whole lot of trends when it comes to my wardrobe, but this season I thought I'd get outside of my box a little.  These shoes definitely make a statement all on their own and can be a little tricky to pull off because of so much going on.  Because the shoes are feminine, chic, and delicate I know that if done right, will give you a fresh, chic look without even trying.  Here are a few style tips on how to wear lace up flats from yours truly.


1.  Keep it Simple
The other night when I wore this out for an unplanned date night with my husband, I knew I wanted to look feminine and sexy.  I also wanted to be a bit laid back.  We were going to one of our favorite bars so I didn't want to try super hard to have a 'look'.  This is all about fun with my man.  With these shoes, you achieve that by keeping things simple.  Wear simple colors.  I wore one of my favorite color combos black and white with a pop of blush.  Letting the lace up shoes stand out on their own is how you own this look.  Also, simple jewelry adds for a soft touch along with a small shoulder bag.

2.  Add edge with a leather jacket
By now you should know that leather jackets aren't going anywhere.  The jacket is the perfect way to add some interest to the outfit with your lace ups.  It also creates a cool street style vibe that I love.  With the unstable temperatures in my city this spring, I have actually been wearing this jacket quite a bit on weekends.  I don't just take out this jacket during fall.  I wear it year round as the weather permits.  I especially love it on overcast days.  I love that the leather toughens up the overall look and adds contrast with what is a super feminine shoe.

3.  Wear them with skinny jeans that hit at the ankle
By wearing fitting jeans that stop just at the ankle you bring focus directly to these beautifully made shoes!  Plus you want to give room to lace them up just a bit above the ankle.  These aren't meant to tie up to the calf.

4.  Pair with white for a polished flare
As you can probably tell I love wearing white jeans throughout the year!  Pairing these lace ups with white will give you a polished fresh look.  I'm not sure what it is about the white jeans but together with these black flats will have you looking like you just flew in from Paris, France.  Lol.

5.  Wear them everywhere
These shoes are a perfect fit for wherever it is your going this season.  Pack them on a last minute getaway, date ( like I did), festivals, sunday brunch, and shopping.


Are you feeling this spring trend?  Let me know what you think.  It's Friday so this is a look you can recreate for today and throughout this weekend!  Have fun!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Transform Your Everyday with Essence Beauty Box

Hey guys!  So I'm back with the latest from this month's Essence Beauty Box.  I promise I love getting this box in the mail every month, I always look forward to new goodies to try!  Part of me also loves that some of these products are bite sized so it makes it easy for me to travel with when I'm out of town for a few days.

This box was all about transforming your look from day to night, gym to work, or casual to sultry.  I live and work in two different cities, so bringing these items with me while I'm running errands throughout the day is just super convenient.  Let's take a look at what's inside:

Pomegranate Kiss Body Butter by La Belle Femme-  I WISH this came in full size for this month's box!  I Love this body butter.  Why?  Because it's soft to scoop out with my finger tips and onto my skin.  This butter is perfect and I use it right after I pat dry my skin from a warm shower.  It melts beautifully into my skin and makes it so soft and moisturizing.  I even make sure to put it on the heels of my feet and it makes them so soft.  To top it all off the smell is just...heavenly.  I understand why!  It's Pomegranate with lemon verbena, cinnamon and vanilla. All this creates a sensual fruit and spice combination.  It is my favorite body product to use when I get wound down and relaxed after a long 8 hours at work.  I love it!

Opal Lip Gloss by BITE Beauty-  When I first saw this product I was disappointed because I though "What am I going to do with this cotton candy colored lipstick?"  Well duh it wasn't lipstick, it's lip gloss and I can do that!  I don't really wear lip gloss like I use to in the past--just chap stick now, but BITE is too good of a product.  I can see myself  wearing this on my off duty days.

Perfect Edges by Crème of Nature-  For the past several month's I've already been using this product.  I used up my favorite edge control and hadn't gotten around to ordering another online.  This one was sitting from a prize that I won so I figured I give it a whirl.  Not a fan of this stuff.  Initially when applied to my baby hair it's smoothing, but it doesn't last long or keep those edges laid.  This is a no for me.  See how I like my edges slicked down HERE.

The Revitalizer by Biossance-  This one is new to me.  But I'm excited to use this light oil as a moisturizer.  I'm thinking I would probably take this with me on my next trip because its the perfect travel size.  I tried a little sample on my hands and it doesn't seem to have much of a smell, which is okay I guess.   What's special about this oil is that it's said to be ideal for all skin types and leaves skin feeling nourished and noticeably revitalized.  Can't wait to try!

Curly Magic Curl Stimulator by Uncle Funky’s Daughter-  After all these years of being natural I've never tried this brand that's probably been around since I did the big chop.  This will be the first time I'll be using this product.  This Aloe based stimulator is said to deliver superior results of taming frizz, elongating curls and adding moisture all in one powerful product.  Another product that seems to be perfect for travel because it's multi-functional.  I'm  looking forward to using this on my natural hair when I'm lounging around the house hanging out.

Have you still not made the decision to subscribe to this beauty box?  See if you may like it by visiting!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili

I'm still trying to get this whole time management thing down to a science.  I love to eat, I love to cook, but we all know that when you add work and life into the mix, you can easily find yourself in somebody's drive thru after a long day at the office.  I prefer home cooked meals so planning is the key.  Even though the idea of going to a crowded grocery store is not how I'd like to spend my Saturday or Sunday afternoon, it just has to be done.  I like to get ideas from hubby the week before to know what I'm shopping for before hand.  I've learned to cook a meal like this on a Sunday that way I don't have to cook Monday or Tuesday!  Check out a yummy time saving recipe that I made HERE.  The slow cooker is my best friend when it comes to easy meals.  Just stick everything in overnight and Voila!  Lunch and dinner for the following day.  This week we had Quinoa Chicken Chili.  My husband loves quinoa.  We actually eat it quite often as a substitute for rice.  It's a "superfood" that is naturally gluten-free and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, fiber, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E.  Considered a complete protein.  We try to keep it healthy, lol.


  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14-once can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans black beans
  • 2 1/2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Small white onion, diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Shredded cheese, hot sauce, green onions, etc., for serving


1. Place the quinoa, tomatoes, black beans and chicken broth in the slow cooker.

2.  Combine the onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, oil, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Cook in the microwave for 5 mins, stirring two or three times, until the veggies become soft.  Add to the slow cooker.

3.  Place chicken into the mixture and cook on low for 5-8 hours, until the chicken and quinoa are cooked through.   Remove the chicken and shred or chop into small pieces, then return to the slow cooker.  Stir the corn and cilantro.  Cover and cook for 10 more minutes.

4.  Serve in bowls.  Top with shredded cheese or other desired toppings.

Dinner and lunch for at least a few days!  Time saved.  Problem solved. Perfect! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Caring for Natural hair while Protective Styling with Goody Hairbrushes at Walmart

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GoodyBrushEd #CollectiveBias

As you guys know I've been protective styling for just about two months now and I love it!  The convenience of not having to style my hair everyday has spoiled me a little.  Each morning I will only spend a short time doing simple grooming to my natural hair like applying a moisturizer and a bit of detangling.  I also like to "re-slick" my hair and edges down.  Because I am wearing a quick weave, I like to get my hair underneath as sleek and flat as possible.  This will keep the faux hair from looking bulky or too "wiggy".  I also groom my edges so that the wig looks that much more natural.  Another important thing I do is brush out my wig.  This keeps it from becoming matted and tangled.

A plus with wearing a quick weave as a protective style is the fact that I get to care for my natural curls whenever I want.  About once a week, normally on the weekends, I'll take the time to thoroughly wash, condition, and fully detangle my natural hair.  This feels so refreshing to my scalp.  Whenever I work out I do this too.  It is so important for me to use great tools when caring for my natural hair.  The point of protective styling is to give you a chance to experiment with different looks without doing irreparable damage to your hair.  Using the right tools to keep my hair from getting matted with shed hairs is key.

This week I partnered up with Goody Hairbrushes to give you guys a more in depth look at how I'm caring for my natural hair while it's under this protective style!  I went to my local Walmart (Super Convenient!) and I chose three different brushes to get me through my grooming process.

So after I've washed and conditioned my hair on any given Sunday, I apply a creamy leave-in conditioner and then proceed to detangle my hair from my ends all the way up to the root.  I chose to use the Goody TangleFix Brush to handle this task.  It's so important to use the correct brush/tool when detangling.  This one is so cute and girly.  Normally I use a different kind of brush and a wide tooth comb to get tangles out, but I liked the Goody TangleFix brush best because this allowed me to only need one tool.  What was really nice was that the bristles were flexible, unlike some I've used in the past and it worked easily with getting the tangles out of my roots.  Detangling use to be that one process that took the longest.  I really believe that this is because my curls are so tight, so I need to carefully section my hair and take my time.  This brush made it that much more easier.

Once my hair is nice and detangled, I like to slick my hair back in a small bun.  This is the most important step because as I've said before, I like to get those edges nice and slick for a groomed finish.  I was actually able to do this with my Goody TangleFix brush and as an extra step to lay down those edges I set them by tying a satin scarf around them for about 20 minutes or less.

Now once I've gotten my hair slick I plop on my wig and go! Lol, really the next steps are so simple.  I'm out the door in just a few moments.  I used the Goody DetangleIT brush to brush out the faux hair.  The style of this wig has a wavy look that I absolute love.  It's super chic so using this brush to keep those waves in formation worked beautifully! The brush is very smoothing on the hair and did pretty good with getting the kinks out.  I always use a oval cushion brush when I want to smooth out the hair.

The last thing I do here is a final brush through to set the hair and I did this using the Goody Clean Radiance Paddle Brush.  This brush is so pretty to me because of the copper bristles!  Initially I wanted to used this on my blow dried hair but changed my mind and used it with the unit first.  The directions say not to use this brush with a blow drier because the bristles get hot.  Using the Radiance Paddle Brush as a final brush through was my best option.  This brush is said to be good in reducing build up and gives your hair a healthy shine.  Keep in mind that you may have to use the brush consistently for a while to see some results, but I was definitely able to see the shine in my hair.  You can clearly see that in the photos below.  I also really like that this brush has a cushion pad as well.

Protective styling has not been an excuse for me to totally forget about my hair.  My goal is to give my coils a break all while still nurturing and babying my hair.  What kinds of tools do you use when it's time to care for you hair?  To check out more tutorials that match your hair type, take a look around on the WEBSITE to find your match.


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