Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yesterday afternoon, I was minding my own business when all of the sudden, my phone buzzed.  An incoming text from my husband was the culprit.  I casually glanced at my phone and read the message.  Apparently, he stumbled upon a quaint little cajun inspired seafood bar. The online reviews were favorable and they were offering oyster specials that night.  He asked if I wanted to try it out.

After accepting the invitation, I thought for a moment and realized that I was going on a date.  He and I have been married for over a decade so going out to eat isn't anything special.  But since the restaurant was located near his job downtown, we'd meet there after work.  Meeting him there would create a whole new dynamic to our dinner date because he wouldn't have any idea what I'm wearing or what my hair would look like, etc.

This presented the perfect opportunity to try out a "pre-night out" skin ritual.  The pre-night out ritual is inspired by celebrities who often undergo various beauty treatments before hitting the red carpet.  This to ensure that their skin is absolutely glowing for the big event.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

via @aloha_dana
Last month I attended a conference in hopes of sharpening my skillset.  When purchasing the tickets, there were several options available including the VIP package which promised access to a souped up swag bag valued at hundreds of dollars.

I thought for a moment then decided to take the plunge.  What if that bag contained ultra elite beauty products that could forever change my life?  I couldn't pass that up.

The event went well but what I was most excited about was the chance to finally dig into my bag.  Some of the items were full sized hair products that I wanted to try but couldn't carry back on the plane.  Others would make for good stocking stuffers.  I was almost disappointed until I realized that they provided several products from the Biossance Line.

My first introduction to Biossance products was when I stumbled upon a SnapChat beauty secret.  That beauty secret reveal lead to one of my most beloved finds of the year.

Monday, November 28, 2016

via spiritedpursuit
We are days away from the start of a new month.  But not just any month, the last month of 2016.  In several weeks, we'll be celebrating the beginning of a brand new year.  My goal, for nearly a decade, has been to make each year better than the last.  I'm happy to report that I've achieved this goal year after year.

The reason I've been able to do so is simple.  I have a very deliberate creation process. I also spend a lot of time setting up the end of the year to make sure I start off on the right foot on January 1rst.

The month of December is absolutely critical.  To me, this represents the perfect opportunity to finish strong.  There's plenty happening in the month with holidays and other festivities.  If we're not careful, the month will fly by and, by January 1, we'll be making (empty) promises to ourselves about what we plan on doing differently.

Why not try something different this year?   It's time to become a deliberate creator in your life.  And the next 30 days will be the key to creating a new level of momentum.

Here's what I'll be focusing on over the next 30 days.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Who doesn't love a good "What's in my bag" video? They're probably my favorite thing to watch on Youtube.  Sometimes I wish more celebrities had YouTube channels so we can see what they carry with them as they travel from destination to destination.

It seems like the folks at US Magazine have read my mind.  Because they're asking the real questions by inviting celebrities to reveal what's in their bag.  Last year, they asked Meagan Good to spill the beans and here's what happened.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Last week, I reinstituted a habit that I practiced many years ago.  What sparked me to try this again was inspiration from a tv show.  On the show was this woman who has a toned, slim figure.  Her tummy is flat as a board even though she eats whatever she wants and doesn't work out.

 At first, I assumed that her age, genetics, and metabolism were the only factors in creating her envious figure.  But, after studying her behavior, I realized that she had a habit that was probably a huge contributor to her lean physique.

Monday, November 21, 2016

After my first introduction to the Law of Attraction, I found myself going back and forth between manifesting easily and going months without experiencing any of my intentions.  After a little bit of reflection, I realized that manifesting frequently had a lot to do with how often I engaged in the Law of Attraction process.

The more involved I was with the process, the easier it became.

At one point I (mentally) referred to myself as a "Master Level Creator" because it seemed like everything I desired happened so easily.

I'm ready to get back to that place again.  And what better time to do that than the last part of the year?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The other day I was griping to a friend about the struggle to get my eyeliner to stay on.  I told her about my oily eyelids and blamed them for disappearing liner.  My friend, who doesn't suffer from this scenario,  told me that she couldn't relate.  So I started looking for the answer elsewhere.

The ideal outcome is to do my makeup once and have it last throughout the day.  Even if I have to do a little more work up front, I'm o.k, as long as I get the results I'm looking for.

A brief search revealed the answer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It's nearly impossible to scroll through your Instagram feed without seeing your favorite influencers poised as they proudly display a package of skinny tea.  Somewhere in the caption, they mention a positive comment about the tea and provide a coupon code for their followers to utilize.

I've sorta become blind to these not-so-subtle advertisements.  But, the other day, I was introduced to a Snapchat Beauty Secret that immediately caught my attention.  In it, former House of DVF Brand Ambassador Brittany Hampton,  flashed an image of a bottle of what appeared to be fresh, cold pressed juice.

Monday, November 14, 2016

With only a month and a half left in the year, I'm doing a little self-reflection to see if there are any habits I want to develop for the remainder of 2016.  After a few moments of thought, I realize that the biggest area where I can improve is with my personal productivity.

Working for myself has always been a dream of mine.  January 1 of next year will be my 2 year anniversary of being a full-time entrepreneur.  Time has gone by fast and every day I'm grateful for the experience.  But one thing I've noticed is that with my freedom comes a bit of laxity in my work ethic.  I'm not as productive as I could be.  Sometimes a day will go by and I feel like I didn't get anything done.

It's time to change that. I've studied personal productivity tricks for years. In times past, I used to have ultra-productive days thanks to the tips I've learned from the experts.   It's time to get back to the old way of doing things.  I'm ready to become that ultra-productive super achiever who has full control of her day.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

I've been waiting all year for this.  It's time for the annual Sephora VIB event. Once a year, Sephora rewards admitted beauty junkies (who've met their yearly spending requirement) by offering 20% discount on everything in their inventory.  Unlike Ulta Beauty, Sephora doesn't exclude any items from this 20% off event.  So it's essentially a free for all for every beauty item you've ever wanted.

The minute I received notification of the event, I rubbed my hands together and began compiling a list of my absolute must-haves.  I've made several beauty purchases in the past few months so my lust list isn't as long as it could be. Especially since I have a couple of pricey items on my radar.  But with 20% off, now is the time to go big and save on high-end items that I've always wanted to try.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A while back, I wrote about the wonderful benefits of enduring cold showers.  Then I discovered cryotherapy which is like cold showers on crack.  Cold therapy can be a powerful ally in the war for flawless skin.  Many celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and ageless rapper Pharrell leverage cold water to tighten pores after cleansing.

There was a time when I took cold showers without even batting an eye. But lately, I haven't really been up to it.  The benefits I experienced from the frigid water was undeniable so I had to find a happy medium.  Luckily for us, Supermodel Jas Tookes has an alternative solution.
First off, the moment you lay eyes on this woman, the very first thought that comes to mind is "what does she do to her skin?"  Of course, we can probably attribute some of her beauty to genetics but if genetics were the only reason for her flawless skin, then Jasmine wouldn't necessarily have to take on this nightly beauty routine.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki about her recent entrepreneurial journey.  Her story of implementing daily actions to fuel her business truly inspired me.  I was really curious about her knowledge of creating perfect brows.  We all can agree on how much of an impact sculpted brows can have on the face.  Figuring out the right shape for our brows can be tricky. And replicating the same perfect brows day after day can be a hit or miss.  That's why I invited Nikki to share a guest post on  the wonders of Microbladding.  It's a term that I've heard before but didn't fully understand.  If you're curious to know more about this eyebrow trend, keep reading...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I've been in search of the perfect leather skirt for a while.  But once spring & summer came around, my attention turned elsewhere.  Then an image of Rihanna wearing a leather skirt while casually shopping landed on my feed and my desire for a leather skirt was rekindled.
Instantly, I was reminded of why I wanted a leather skirt in the first place.  For someone who loves wearing casual tops, a leather skirt is the perfect way to elevate the look.  Whenever I'm wearing a tee, tend to reach for a pair of jeans.  A leather pencil skirt is the perfect alternative.  Everyone pairs a t-shirt with jeans but who's styling their casual look with a leather mini?

Rihanna allows her skirt to be the center of attention by accessorizing with minimalist jewelry.  She keeps the look slightly edgy by layering several small statement pieces.  The black snapback adds to the casual feel of the overall look.

The best thing about the leather pencil skirt is that you still have the option of dressing it up for a night out.  As cooler weather approaches, one could replace the t-shirt with a chunky gray sweater to keep the look casual & polished.  Rihanna completed this ensemble with a pair of white pumps for a bit of glam but I could easily see her styling this outfit with  strappy heels or sneakers.

Monday, November 7, 2016

This weekend I decided to invest in myself by attending a 1-day conference.  One of the speakers invited was Lauren Bushnell, the lucky lady chosen by the most recent Bachelor.  In her talk, she shared her recent journey of transitioning from being a flight attendant to becoming an influencer, tv personality and (most recently) a blogger.
Lauren & her fiance (Bachlor Ben Higgens) 
Lauren was candid about the challenges she faced during her transition.  Being completely new to the online space, she had to overcome a bit of a learning curve.  As Lauren described her struggle, she repeatedly told the audience of her fear of failure.  I found myself subconsciously rolling my eyes every time the words "fear of failure" were uttered.

I was a bit surprised by my reaction and began to question why I was being so dismissive.  After reflecting for a while, I came to an understanding of why I had such an adverse reaction.  Lauren, who admitted to being afraid to fail at her new website venture, also proclaimed that her site launch was a huge success!  So how does one go from being afraid to fail to launching a super-successful venture?

To answer the question, we must first clarify what we mean when we say "fear of failure."

Sunday, November 6, 2016

This weekend I flew to New York to attend a business conference.  The attendees were treated to panel discussions from various super bloggers and influencers.  Entrepreneur Vanessa Simmons was the key note speaker.  Vanessa has lots of projects lined up including the upcoming launch of  During the panel, Vanessa discussed her successful career along with the vision for her next phase in life.

Once the panel was complete, Vanessa stayed behind to take an infinite number of selfies with grateful fans.  I stood patiently in line with everyone else. But instead of asking for pics, I informed her that I had a couple of questions regarding her beauty regimen.
This woman has beautiful skin.  There were no signs of tiredness from having to keep up with an energetic two year old or the stress of constant travel to make appearances such as this.  In person, Vanessa is even prettier than the images I've seen online.  Her youthful glow and welcoming demeanor lit up the entire room.

Finally, it was my turn to meet her. I opened the conversation with a sincere compliment of her flawless skin.  Immediately, Vanessa shared her favorite at home beauty mask.  It's an all natural formula consisting of three ingredients and we probably already have on hand.  Vanessa explained how she mashes up avocado, honey, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Once blended, she applies and let's it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

I found a video demonstration of Vanessa preparing the mask for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, November 4, 2016

One of my favorite topics to write about are the Monday Motivational posts.  Early on, I wrote them for personal inspiration but eventually, some of you shared feedback that Monday posts were becoming your favorite.  I was really excited to learn that many of you are motivated, self-driven individuals  focused on creating your own destiny.

This past week, I received a direct message via my Instagram that immediately caught my attention.  It was from a reader who stumbled on the blog and began reading through the past content.  She came across one post in particular that instantly resonated with her.

The post she referred to was on the topic of compounding daily actions.  Jeff Olsen discusses this technique at length in his book, The Slight Edge.  The concepts in this book are powerful and will have a significant impact on what you are able to achieve with the time you have. The Slight Edge teaches us about the tremendous power of small actions when done repeatedly (and consistently).

Nikki, filled with inspiration after reading the Monday Motivation post, decided (that day) to listen to the Slight Edge audio book.  Since then, nothing has ever been the same.  The concepts in the book caused her to look at life a bit differently.  "Every day I started doing something. Whether working out, researching for my future business, journaling or reading 10 pages of a book a day." 
Nikki creating perfectly defined brows via Lucx_Brows
No matter what, Nikki made sure she did something every day to get her one step closer to her goals. This all started at the beginning of the year.  Eleven months later, Nikki has a thriving business.  Although she maintains a full-time career, her passion is in the beauty industry.  Her day pays well but it's a far cry from what she's passionate about.

Her business became a creative outlet that grew organically.  After receiving microbladding treatment, Nikki wondered if she can learn how to do it herself to save a little money.  Soon she was hooking up her friends and family.  Word of her work spread and before she knew it, Nikki rented out a shared space to take on her growing list of clients.  Months later, circumstances changed which required her to step out of her comfort zone and purchase her own Brow Studio.
Lucx_Brows before and after transformation
This is a big leap but Nikki is confident in what the future holds.  I asked her to explain how she remains so confident, Nikki explained that after praying about it, she reflects on her past successes, says "screw it" and moves forward (FYI, both Nikki and Richard Branson share the same philosophy when it comes to taking calculated risk).

Stepping up her business location was "motivation to make sure she builds her clientele."   That's when I shared my prediction that the simple act of expanding beyond her comfort zone would likely take her business to the next level.  Sometimes we conform our actions according to our environment.  Renting a space from someone else requires a different mindset than investing in your own location.

Nikki's business is flourishing and now she's reflecting on what the future holds.  Soon she'll have to determine if and when to transition to pursuing her passion full time.  In the meantime, Nikki continues to apply Slight Edge principles daily to her life and business.

Our conversation reminded me of how easy it is to build an empire simply by taking consistent daily action.  Every time she said "I did something every single day," it took me back to my early days. Back when I worked endless hours and longed to experience my freedom.  Time was scarce so I took a bunch of little actions.  Those actions added up and compounded into a profitable business.   Every year, around this time, I revisit the Compound Effect as a reminder that my small actions are critical and will create my ideal future.  This helps me to get a head start on the year ahead.

Go read/listen to this book if you haven't done so.  The Compound Effect and the Slight Edge are similar in content so check them both out.

Since Nikki is such a master at the art of creating the perfect brow, I asked if she would be willing to guest post and educate us on the microbladding technique.  As you can see from her selfie above, a beautiful brow has the power to transform the face.  Can't wait to learn more so I can step my brow game up.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I feel like things are headed in the right direction with regards to my skin care journey.  So now I'm turning my sights back to focusing on my hair.  I've been coasting for a while with my hair journey and progress has been pretty stagnant.

I figured that it's best to jump back on the bandwagon by going back to the basics.  In search of a little inspiration, I headed over to YouTube. The intention was to uncover a different technique that could make a huge difference in my moisturizing and sealing regimen.
Charisse Christine (the woman who introduced me to this new method).
Little did I know that, moments later, I would be introduced to a method that I call the "deep moisturizing treatment."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Lately, I've been making small tweaks to my makeup application techniques.  Some of these little shifts have made a real difference in the overall final look.  One of the biggest changes I've made recently is in how I apply my foundation.

As you may know, Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer has pretty much taken the role as my number one skin care beauty product.  It's performed so well that I've practically forgotten about the full bottle of NARS foundation that was starting to collect dust.

But, after trying this new technique, I've fallen in love with my foundation again.  Heck, this little trick even makes my skin look great using only BB Creme.

What I'm doing differently is using an inexpensive application tool that you all have seen before.  I'm not talking about the infamous Beauty Blender (although I do have a few and they are great).  My new favorite makeup application tool is the wedge-shaped sponge.

I actually love the flat angles of the wedge versus the curvier Beauty Blender.

Here's why.
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