StyledChic

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.

Organize

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**



Sunday, December 4, 2016

Quick Meals for Sunday | Smoked Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup


Happy Sunday Everyone!  As with every Sunday, I do most of my meal prepping for the following work week throughout Sunday afternoon.  Today I wanted to make something hearty and easy.  It's the perfect Fall day for it and I thoroughly enjoyed eating it while sitting cozy on the couch with my throw blanket, curled up with cozy socks!

This meal was so easy to make, I thought I'd share it with you just in case you haven't made dinner yet and don't really have an idea of what to make.  You can make this in 30 minutes!  It turned out so so good.  Enjoy!

Ingredients


  • 1-2 packages of Smoked Sausage
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 cups Kale, leaves
  • 3 cups Potatoes
  • 1 sprig Rosemary, fresh
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme, dried
  • 1 Yellow onion
  • 2 cups Almond Milk
  • 1 carton Chicken broth, low sodium fat-free
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter

Instructions


1.  Melt butter and heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.

2.  Add diced onions, garlic, sliced smoked sausage rounds, kale, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme; 
     stir to combine and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

3.  Stir in potatoes

4.  Add Chicken broth and soy milk; bring to a boil.

5.  Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until potatoes are fully cooked 
     and tender.

6.  Remove from heart.

7.  Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

8.  Remove rosemary sprig.

9.  Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

This meal will probably last in my house for the next two days!  I think I'll even bring a bowl to work tomorrow!  Bon App├ętit!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Luncheon Guest Etiquette



Not too long ago, I was invited by a friend to attend a luncheon presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  It was an afternoon of music, dance, and theatrical performances by local artists here in Virginia.  Not only was the afternoon filled with talented artists, but each guest also dined on an appetizing buffet with savory dishes such as baked ziti, grilled vegetables, rice pilaf, baked chicken, fresh salad, and also an alluring spread of delightful desserts!  The afternoon could not have gone any better.  My dear friend Krystal and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We laughed, met great people, and even went home with a bouquet of beautiful Hydrangeas (one of my favorite flowers).  Once the performances concluded, we spent the rest of our time mingling with our host as she introduced us to personal friends, family, and colleagues of hers.  I've attended many events both professionally and outside of work.   For the most part I've always had very positive experiences when attending, however, I have definitely witness full grown adults not knowing how to act. With the holiday festivities, work luncheons, or events coming up this season I thought I'd share with you my own personal tips on luncheon etiquette.


Be Polite


This means having a positive attitude when you come to the event.  Speaking or shaking hands with people you are introduced to and being an overall gracious guest.  What's the point in even coming to an event if you aren't in the mood to be around people?  Stay home if you're in a bad mood or don't have the openness to talk to others.  Simple manners can take you a long way.  Smile and be genuinely enthused about being there.  Ditch gossip, negative comments about others, and complaining.  Have some tact and be pleasant.  One thing that I can't stand is for someone to be at celebration or what should be a nice event and bring all of their ugly vibes with them.  They don't like the food, or constantly make comments like:  "I'm tired", "So and so is here and I can't stand her", "What does she have on?" Girl.  Just stay home.  Regardless to what you think, people are watching, listening, and observing.    People TALK too.  So, if you came with someone and are acting stupid, you will be remembered in a negative light.  You will be labeled and may not be invited again.

Dress the Part


By now you guys who've followed this blog know that I'm very keen on this.  Make sure you get the details as far as the attire on the event.  More than likely it will be anywhere from business casual to dressy.  Put a little effort into your look. Keep in mind that the event may be held at a hotel or nice restaurant so you don't want to show up looking like you rolled out of bed.  I think it's also a show of respect to the event or hostess that you actually care.

Have Table Manners


When being seated, make sure to initially speak to everyone at the table.  Introduce yourself.  I mean, you will be breaking bread with these people for a few hours.  With all the salt and pepper passing you want to make sure you do this.  Chew with you mouth closed, use your napkin, and don't clank your silverware against your plate.  I know we aren't eating with the Obamas, but we do want to act like we've been somewhere before, lol.  It may seem like common sense to some, but now-a-days common sense ain't common.

Our host: Mrs. Kane, My Friend Krystal, and WAVY News 10 Anchor and Reporter Anita Blanton.


Stand When Being Introduced


Standing establishes your presence and also acknowledges the person you're being introduced to.  Always smile, shake hands, and say your first and last name.  Put your phone down and engage with the person you are meeting or speaking with.  Make eye contact with the person and express genuine interest.

Stay Gracious


While mingling with others be comfortable in your own skin and express gratitude to those who invited you.  Also, never just say "hello" when being introduced to someone.  Offer a kind greeting like, "its a pleasure to meet you" or "how are you this afternoon?"  Graciously accept a compliment from another and be able to return one to someone else.  When doing so though, be sure to do it with sincerity.  

I love going to events to have a great time.  Part of the experience is being around good people.  I normally try to act in ways in which I know that I would like to be treated.  With holiday parties just around the corner, I thought that this could help you out or just serve as a simple reminder.  You can also use this for work lunch or dinners as well.  Hope you find this helpful!  Have a great week!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

BITE Beauty Multisticks | Beauty with Benefits


What's up guys?  Know that if there is ever time that passes that I haven't written a post, I am ALWAYS trying out new beauty products!  There are so many items I've gotten in the mail lately and my birthday just passed so I received a few beauty gifts as well as buying my own items to update my stash on my own, so stay tuned for more.  Today I wanted to share 3 new additions to my make up draw:  BITE Beauty's Multi-Sticks in Macaroon, Cocoa, and Blondie.  The BITE Beauty's Multi-Sticks are designed to be applied to the lips, eyes, and cheeks.  For a woman who's always on the go, these products work well into my routine.  I like the fact that if I want to wear a little makeup for work, I don't have to spend time applying extra products and when it comes to travel you know I'm all for a multi-purpose product that saves time and packing space!  For this review I only tried the product on my lips.  I think the colors Blondie and Cocoa may look okay on my eyes and although the formula applies like a cream and wears like a powder,  I'm not so sure how I'd like these on my eyes!  I don't do a whole lot of color on my lids anyway so, I may try that out later.  For now, here are the colors as lipstick.  I used lip pencils with two of the shades simply because I didn't want the colors to look flat.


BITE Beauty Multi-stick in Blondie
Warm Beige Creamy semi-matte finish

  This color is my least favorite.  I thought it would look really pretty when I paired it with my 'Plum' lip liner by MAC, but, eh.  I normally wear pink shades like this during the week when I'm at the office for work.  The shade comes on as a fleshy tan color. To me it looked a lot better in person.  It shows on camera less tan so, I guess it's okay.  I'll have to play with other lip liners to see if I will feel comfortable wearing it to work.


BITE Beauty Multi-stick in Cocoa
Dark Chocolate Brown with Creamy semi-matte finish

I actually really love this chocolate color.  It's quite different for me because I tend to stick to a whole lot of berry colors and really don't like going outside of that.  I loved the finish.  This color makes for an excellent Fall shade.  Plus, This is a shade I feel like I don't even need a lip liner to wear with.  That's a bit of of a shock.  I think this is my favorite out of all three.


BITE Beauty Multi-stick in Macaroon
Bright Pink with Creamy semi-matte finish

Now although this could have easily been my favorite, it takes second place.  I paired it with MAC's 'Vino' lip pencil and that made it 10 times better.  I'm not really a fan of the Barbie looking pink that it gives off.  You can't really tell in the photo but it was giving me all types of Barbie pink.  Too much of a pop.  The lip pencil I used calmed it down a bit.  I love it over 'Blondie' up top in the first photo, so this shade gets second place.    

Overall, I like the idea of having a multistick, I just wish I would have gotten different shades.  I looked online and I really think the colors 'Cerise' and 'Cashew' would have looked better against my skin tone.  I'm super picky when it comes to that.  I know what I like and what looks good.  Another thing I will add is to make sure you exfoliate and apply a little lip balm before wearing these colors.  The formula is similar to a semi-matte lipstick, but colors 'Macaroon' and 'Blondie' had my lips feeling dry.  These are great silicone-free sticks, however.  Even though I mentioned I wouldn't wear them on my eyes, I think they are perfect for lips and cheek because of the creamy semi-matte finish.  Another plus with this cosmetic line is that products are made with natural, food-grade and organic ingredients and I love the sort of magnetic snap on top each tube has.  The BITE Beauty Multi-sticks retail for $24.  That price may be worth it if I find I color I love.




**This post was brought to you by  BITE Beauty**

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

5 Ways to get Out of a Natural Hair Rut


Yes.  You read it right.  How to get out of a natural hair rut, because it definitely happens if you've been natural for years.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't believe I'll ever go back to having a relaxer.   I think my hair just thrives more in its natural state. However, this year I've reached an all-time low of complete boredom.  I think that's probably why I started the year off protective styling with wigs.  In that post I talked about being tired of doing hair, so protective styling all winter and spring really did me some good.  I like a new look every now and again, but lately, it's just been on a whole other level.   I've noticed the itch to want to change styles more frequently and I've also been really frustrated about different ways to style my hair.  Blah.  Really I'm just speaking out loud, ranting.  In reality it's always cool to go back and forth from afro to defined curls.  I feel like it's also important to know that as a natural there are times in this journey where you won't like your hair.  It won't come out the way you want or may not even be the look you want to go for.  Sometimes my outfit may call for a sleeker look and my hair will give me poofy and frizzy that day.  Ugh.  While I love promoting self-confidence and embracing the features you were born with, at times for me, natural hair can be frustrating AND boring every now and again.  That's why you see a lot of us who's been in the game for a while switching it up with color, extensions, crochet braids, and even wigs.  YES wigs because it's so easy!  Some of us even cut it off and start all over again.  If you ever find yourself in a natural hair rut, here are 5 ways to make it out without reaching for the relaxer:


Experiment


The other night I just randomly did a Wash & Go.  I hardly ever wear my hair in wash & go styles but in the past few years wash & go's are a life saver when it comes to humidity in the summer.  In my early natural days I didn't like how my hair looked and it took me some time to embrace my overall appearance and texture.  I really think just taking the time out to try something outside of your comfort zone will help you to discover different styles.  That can definitely pull you out of a slump of having the same old look.  Don't just watch hair videos, spend time with YOUR hair.  I had to learn what worked for my curl type and just play around.  I discovered ways to style my hair based on my face shape and what just looks good.  You can also get a cut or color to switch things up.  Not everyone should set goals on getting "long hair".  Shorter hair on some women just fits them better.  You'll never really know what can give you that extra something if you don't experiment.  Even with color!

Try New Products


In the beginning I would only buy the basics like shampoo, conditioners, and a style pudding for twists.  It wasn't until recent years that I got a little more educated on how products will work on my hair type.  Products like foaming mousse and curling custards have really helped me out when I want to achieve different looks.  I've also found that trying out different brands can also give you a pick me up.  Not all products work the same.  Being armed with what always works is important but I noticed when I tried the ORS Curls Unleashed Boosting Jelly on my wash and go I really liked it!  It made me feel better about the way my hair was styled thus making me feel super happy about doing my hair the next day.


Protective Style


Sometimes a good wig or crochet braids are all we need to give us a new look without a permanent commitment!  After 4 months of wearing my wig off and on I started to miss my curls.  I believe most of us women like to switch things up so if you aren't sure exactly what you want to do with your natural hair--put it away for a while until you can figure out your next move.

Let Your Hair BE


This past weekend was busy and Saturday night I wasn't in the mood to re-twist my hair when I got home.  So I didn't.  The next morning I woke up irritated because I knew I only had a few options on how to wear my hair if I wanted it to look decent and I refused to wear a dog on bun again.  My hair was poofy and frizzy and so I said--forget it.  This is what it's gonna be and got my gel and foam and went to work.  I ended up pinning it into this up do shown in these photos, which I ended up loving just as is.  Not every curl has to be defined or "popping".  When you just let it be, and roll with it, with just a little this and that girl you'll still be able to swag it out like it's nothing.  

Natural Hair isn't about Having Perfect Hair


Now this took me some time to understand.  At first it was all about recreating these looks I'd see online.  Big brands don't always do a good job at representing every type of curly girl.  For a long time we could see that only a certain type of curl would be praised or marketed the most.  What I've learned here is that with my natural, it's not the same and is not always going to slick down like another's or even be perfectly curled.  I have really awesome hair days as well as those days when I have to roll with it and learn how to handle it. For the most part, I do like to put effort into my hair because let's be honest, nobody wants to look run down and busted when they go out in public.  But I will say that if you're looking for your hair to look perfect all the time go get yourself some weave.  Even when my hair isn't perfect everyone else around me seems to think otherwise.  Weird.  


If you've been in a style rut like me, hopefully these tips will help you out.  I think it's normal to want to try different things.  The main thing is to loosen up a bit and not be so hard on yourself about your natural.  Take the time to learn how to do your hair, experiment, and get inspired.  That should get you back on the good foot!  Oh and I got a Henna tattoo this past weekend at a vegetarian festival.  You can see it on my hand in the second photo in case you were wondering what I was doing, lol.  I love it.  Until next time!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Family Dollar Grand Opening in Charlotte, NC with ORS


Today I'd like to share with you all my experience this past Saturday at another Family Dollar store opening with ORS Hair Care!  The location was set in Charlotte, NC this time and it was so nice to have taken part of another successful event!  If you missed out on the previous event in Norfolk, VA check out my recap HERE.  As Beauty & Style blogger of this event, my job was to once again connect with customers, share my own experience with natural hair, my personal hair routine, as well as beauty and style tips.  If you follow me on Snap Chat ( StyledChic2) Twitter, or FaceBook you all got a glimpse of some of the action that took place in store.  As you can see I wore my natural tresses this time.  Most guests were really interested in my fluffy twist out and what products I used to achieve this look.


Just like before, there were two ORS specialists on site to give each interested customer a Hair and Scalp Analysis along with expert hair care advice & customized product recommendations!


ORS Hair Technician Mother Nature is always so informative.  I love the fact that she uses the Trichoscope to give customers a  better view of their hair by seeing what their scalp actually looks like on the monitor.  It's so easy for us to make assumptions about our hair based on what we think is going on or by watching YouTube all the time.  If you're having deeper issues such hair lose, this tool allows the specialist to recognize the skin or hair problems, if any, and decide on the proper treatment to resolve the issue.  Sometimes it's best to seek professional opinion and help.  Each customer seemed to be very pleased with this in depth consultation.  Following the scalp analysis Mr. Rahmlee did an amazing job at giving customized lists of hair product recommendations by ORS.  Customers made sure to scoop up the samples that we had available to them and the store even sold out of the Olive Oil Smooth-N-Hold Pudding (The product I used for my twist-out)!


Thank you again to ORS and to Family Dollar of Charlotte, NC for inviting me to share in an awesome event for the community.  Mother Nature, Mr. Rahmlee, and Kimberly were such a pleasure to work with.  The turn out was great and Family Dollar did an amazing job with providing food, fun, live music, and giveaways for everyone!  


PHOTOS | SAMARA TAYLOR & MICHAEL HONEYCUTT

If you guys are interested in attending events that I am part of, make sure you are following me on each of my social platforms to stay in the loop!  Hopefully we can chat in person at my next stop!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Easy Timeless Style

  
The month of June has been keeping me pretty busy.  Most of my time has gone to my 9 to 5, which has had me work a few extra hours on the weekend and not any time for vacation because of the end of our fiscal year.  I've experienced similar aspects in a previous position I had before, but things are a little different in the department that I'm now in.  With that said, all of my hours on the clock have given me a little burn out. Which means less time sharing via social media, here on Styled Chic and more time keeping balanced mentally and physically.  To be totally honest, I intentionally stepped away from social media simply to break from the hustle and bustle of posting and taking in information.  I like to do that every now and again.  Whenever work or life picks up I try to make it a top priority to practice some self-care.  It's so important to give yourself a chance to recover after a busy schedule.  

When I find myself not having the time to give towards planning outfits, I rely heavily on statement items that I already have in my closet to make getting dressed easy.
Classic pieces for me will never get old or out of style.  I enjoy the fact that I can pull out an item from 5 years ago and still look and feel current.  What's even better is when you have multi-functional clothes in your closet that can be worn year round.  This navy sleeveless trench is the perfect example.  I've worn this vest a few times to work for a more professional look, but today I paired it with my favorite distressed jeans and snake skin cross body bag for a casual and feminine look.  The vest is light weight enough to wear during summer months and perfect for layering, which can get a little tricky with this heat.  Here's the perfect way to do it in June.



PHOTOS | EMMA FAIR

SHOP SIMILAR STYLES

There's always a way that you can incorporate more trendy items to a minimal look.  I decided that snakeskin would be my animal print of choice and opted for a nude caged stacked sandal.  While looks aren't everything, I definitely believe in getting dressed each day.  Hectic times calls for me to put my best foot forward.  Busy or not.  In this case, I'm out and about having some lunch and taking care of a few things before heading out of town tomorrow.  If I take the time to put myself together, I know I'm setting myself up to be more productive.  We should all know at this point, that if you look good, you feel good, Amen?  If you ever see me out, this is normally my style of choice.  If I had to sum it up I'd say that easy timeless style always wins.


 

design + development by kelly christine studio