Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I've been hooked on micellar water ever since my first bottle.  This powerful cleansing water truly a beautiful thing.  What makes micellar water so amazing is the microscopic oil molecules ("micelles") that have the ability to attract and lift all the dirt, makeup and grime off your skin without  any tightness or over drying.

It dissolves all the bad stuff leaving your skin perfectly hydrated.  The origin of this wonderful creation stems from French women who sought out an alternate approach to cleansing their faces.  Their water is harsh so they needed a suitable workaround to maintain beautiful skin.  To me, micellar water is a must have beauty item if you want to cleanse often but don't want to overdry with harsh ingredients.
Basically, micellar water is perfect.  So it only makes sense to incorporate it into a hair product.

Monday, January 30, 2017

When I first entered corporate America, many years ago. I worked in a career that I thought would allow me to interact with a diverse group of people.  Little did I know that part of my job responsibilities also included giving presentations to large groups.  The only experience I had in public speaking was a speech class I took at a community college in which I barely received a B.

I recall the early days when my supervisor forced me to speak in front of a crowd. My voice cracked, I was covered in sweat and my heart raced a million miles a minute.  Years later, I "mastered" the art of public speaking.  My presentations were so perfected that I would receive countless compliments on how well it went.  I even had people come up to me afterward asking if I could coach them on becoming a better speaker. A couple years ago, I attended a success conference.  During the break, I told the woman hosting the conference a story about how I was introduced to her organization.  Unbeknownst to me, she randomly invited me up on the stage to share my story with her audience as an illustration of her effective marketing strategies.  I got up, grabbed the mic off the stand, said a few words, and sat down.  Later during the break, a few people came up and praised me about my stage presence and speaking voice.  This happened multiple times over the two-day conference.

When I tell people that I used to be afraid to talk in front of an audience, they're shocked! They immediately ask me what I did to become the confident speaker I am today.  The answer is simple and can be summed up with one word.

That one word is preparation.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Have you ever had someone tell you that you're much nicer than they expected? If so, then you're probably the victim of resting mean face.

You're one of those people that others automatically characterize as being unapproachable or having an attitude.  You're  unknowingly walking around with a look that says "please don't talk to me." Sometimes having "resting mean face" can be advantageous for those days when you don't want to be bothered.  But, who wants to walk around looking like that all of the time?

 I've always admired Kelly Rowland's gorgeous skin and toned figure.  I've always got my eyes and ears open to learning more about Kelly's beauty secrets. What I know thus far is that Kelly believes in and invests in her self-care routines. Even back in the Destiny's Child days, Kelly revealed that she loved to indulge in facials and various spa treatments.  As a matter of fact, she often performed facials on her Destiny's Child bandmates. We also know that she isn't afraid to spend a little extra on her skin.  Kelly is a huge fan of the luxury brand, Nutra Bisse. Some other notables who also love this line include Brandy, Beyonce, and Meagan Good.

We also know that Kelly maintains her washboard abs by knocking out at least 200 sit ups a night.  She also works out faithfully with trainer Jeanette Jenkins.  This screams of a woman who's dedicated to living a fit and healthy lifestyle.

When I got word that Allure conducted a video interview with Kelly to discuss her self care routine, I was all over it.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

I live within walking distance from the local park.  I try my best to get at least 30 minutes of walking in on a regular basis. This park is pretty big and if I do a full round it's over a mile long.
I know that walking is good for me but I've noticed that my leisurely stroll in the afternoon doesn't produce the weight loss I want. This is because my regular walks aren't really doing much to impact my fitness levels.
Then I learned that I've been doing it all wrong.

Friday, January 27, 2017

I'll never forget the very first time I watched The Dragon's Den, the British version of Shark's Tank.  The program invites new & upcoming entrepreneurs to pitch their business to potential investors for funding.  To me, this show was pure gold.  As someone who desired to launch my own business, seeing this on TV felt like a dream come true.

I've learned so much from watching countless seasons of both Dragon's Den & Shark's Tank.  Not only did it provide loads of inspiration, I also received real insights into the thought process of successful entrepreneurs.  Every time the Sharks/Dragons challenged an entrepreneur with tough questions, I did a little self-reflection.  I absolutely attribute some of my success to what I've learned from the passionate pitches and subsequent questions from the investors.

You can imagine my excitement when I found out that Centric TV was launching a similar show featuring black women entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Just a couple of weeks ago, I expressed my desire to live out my lifestyle fantasy of enjoying fresh juice and tonics every morning.  Today, that dream has become reality.

Several months ago, I searched for the closest juice bar via the Yelp app.  A nearby location was found so I immediately grabbed my keys and headed out.   I walked into the small establishment and stood motionless in front of their industrial refrigerator brimming with bottled juices.  After chatting with the employees for a little bit, I walked out with 4 bottles and $40.00 lighter.

Within days, those 4 bottles of juice were consumed. I had a choice to make. I could either rush back to the juice bar and invest over $100 for a week's worth of juice, or figure out another solution.  Although the intention stayed with me, I didn't take any action until being inspired by a few celebrity SnapChats.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I followed Karrueche Tran on SnapChat specifically to see if I could learn of 1or 2 of her beauty secrets.  Months went by and I got no insight into what she does to maintain her glowy skin.  Then suddenly, and out of nowhere, the floodgates were opened.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

By chance, I was scrolling through Tumblr when I landed a short video that introduced me to my latest muse.  Fate somehow led me the Instagram page of Ford Model Ubah Hassan. Her modeling career spans over 10 years. Some of the highlights of her career include being the face of Ralph Lauren and appearing in the pages of Allure and Italian Vogue.

Friday, January 20, 2017

It's already Friday. Where did the week go?  Just 7 days ago, I talked about the launch of Finance Fridays.  I have really high hopes for what will manifest as a result of consistently focusing on our financial health.

My financial journey started many years ago after reading a book that changed my life.  It's called Automatic Millionaire.  The author, David Bach, stressed the importance of saving automatically.  You know how everyone talks about "passive income?"  David is all about passive saving and wealth accumulation.

Once I learned about growing wealthy "automatically," I was sold.  Immediately I set up a draft to pull a set amount from my checking into my savings every payday.  My new savings system worked like a dream.  It's a habit that I've maintained for years.  As a matter of fact, while reviewing my checking acct the other day, I saw an unfamiliar debit for $100.00. After a moment of reflection, I realized that I set up a new reoccurring transfer and pretty much forgot about it.  That's how easy saving money should be.

But I understand that it's hard for some folks.  If you fall into that category, I have some good news.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Teyana Taylor is probably on everyone's vision board as body goals ever since her recent appearance in Kanye West's Fade music video.  Most of us were well aware of Teyana's amazing physique and dedication to fitness.  But her collaboration with Kanye really put her on the map.

Teyana gave us so much fitspo that the team at Vogue reached out to her for a fitness video collaboration.  And, of course, the final product is pretty much work of art. When you're the premier source for all things fashion, it's only natural for you to create a workout video complete with embroidered corsets and 18th-century inspiration.

The short film is a visual masterpiece but it also actually has some great workout moves incorporated as well.  Let's discuss.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As you are well aware, I'm constantly on the prowl for new beauty tips and interesting brands.  I've stumbled on so many gems thanks to the generous women who photograph & share their holy grail products.

Yesterday I was scrolling, per usual, when I stumbled upon a reveal of a brand I'd never heard of.  I quickly took a screenshot then moved on.  Hours later, another product from the same company showed up on my feed.

Could this be a mere coincidence? Or was the universe trying to get my attention?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a friend's house to for a small gathering.  While there, we chatted about our goals & intentions for the year.  My friend is the perfect hostess who prepared plenty of snacks for her welcomed guests.

The small spread included mini cupcakes, popcorn, and a few other selections.  As we all gathered around to enjoy our mimosas and discuss the year ahead, I reached for a little treat.  Three mini cupcakes later, I moved on to the popcorn.  It was the bagged popcorn that already comes "pre-popped."  To be honest, the popcorn wasn't really all that great. So nobody really ate it......except for me.  They were all perfectly content in simply enjoying each other's company whereas I kept going back for more food.

A short time later, I looked up from my notebook and realized that for the past several minutes, I had been mindlessly eating the popcorn non-stop.  Without thinking, I blurted out to the table that I think I have a problem.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Earlier this month, I urged a friend to watch the Secret Movie for the first time.  She really wants to do big things in 2017 and I figured that watching the Law of Attraction movie was a great place to start.

I too rewatched The Secret (for the millionth time) to see if I could identify one lesson that I'd carry with me in 2017.

As the movie played, I was reminded of the power of thinking positively and focusing on what I wanted to attract.  But there was one concept in particular that resonated with me. And this is what I'll nurture in 2017.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I have this elaborate lifestyle fantasy.  One aspect of my fantasy involves me, opening the fridge, revealing multiple brightly colored bottles filled to the brim with freshly squeezed juices.  Every morning, I'd reach for a health tonic to commemorate the start of my day.

In an effort to infuse my real life with the vision I have in my head, I visited a local juicer and inquired about the price of purchasing a week's worth of vegetable juice.  Much to my dismay, the investment was around $10.00 a bottle.  I could do it as a splurge but having fresh bottled juices on hand all the time wasn't cost effective long-term.

What's a girl to do?

Friday, January 13, 2017

This year, I'm developing a habit that I hope will transform my financial life.  The inspiration for this new habit comes from the time that I set an intention to save $10,000 cash.  Once the goal was set, I implemented a system to get me there.   And my consistency really paid off.

The next time I followed a regimented financial plan was when saving for my transition from corporate life into the world of entrepreneurship.  Having a systematic approach to my finances seems to work well for me.  So why not make it a permanent practice?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Early this morning I happened to be on Instagram when suddenly a notification appeared alerting me that one of my "Insta-friends" was broadcasting live.

Instagram live is probably my favorite thing so I always hop on even if I'm not that interested in the topic of conversation.  Almost every time I join a live session, I'm always rewarded with a beauty secret reveal.
This morning model, Imogen Alexandra launched a live session to share her thoughts with her audience of early risers.  She ranted a little about something that had been weighing heavy on her heart.  Once the mini-rant was over, it was time for a quick Q&A.  I sat patiently and waited for someone to inquire about her beauty routine.

Then it happened.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Fall & Winter typically means reaching for darker hued lip colors & shadows.  It's one of those long-standing traditions that have been around forever.  Lately though, I've found myself steering away from ultra matte looks. The brisk air is already hard at work, drying out our skin, why would we want to apply makeup that makes us appear even more dehydrated?

Instead, I'd rather create some balance.  Right now, our oil production is down thanks to cooler temps which means that we can absolutely nail a matte face.  From there, we can really bring our best faces forward by adding strategic "glow points"  in certain areas.  Combined, you create an elevated version of the no-makeup look.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Last week I wrote an article about the scientific principle that will alter the course of your year (maybe even your life).  Once you understand  how the Law of Inertia works, you can use that information to cause wonderful new outcomes in your life.

I received a comment from a reader who asked if I could expand on the different ways in which a person can implement change in their lives.  That's what we're gonna talk about today.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Last week, I felt the urge to apply a sheet mask. Ideally, the mask would saturate my parched skin with intense moisture as I researched random topics on my laptop.  But then I felt a slight sense of unease take over.  After a couple moments of reflection, I realized that what I was feeling was guilt for using the sheet mask then throwing all of that excess product away.

Most often, the sheet mask manufacturers are quite generous with how much product they include in each pouch.  Even after I apply a drippy sheet mask, I still have extra serum sitting at the bottom of the pouch.  In the past, I'd have to reluctantly throw it away.  But today is a new day because the solution to this problem has finally been revealed.

Friday, January 6, 2017

My original purpose for following Karrueche Tran on SnapChat was so I could be ready and waiting if she ever decided to spill a beauty secret.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen any reveals taking place.  But, as luck would have it, I happened upon a random pic of Karrueche wearing what appears to be some type of gold facial mask.
With no caption readily available, I had to go on the hunt.  It wasn't long before I  identified the mystery facial mask in question.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

When it comes to anti-aging, fighting oxidation should be your number one priority.  Free radicals are the enemy because they promote accelerated aging over time.  Not to mention that certain age-related diseases are also linked to oxidation & free radicals.  Even though oxidation is the devil, it's also a natural by-product of our body's natural functioning.  Just the simple act of breathing creates oxidative stress on our body.

But since we can't just stop breathing, we take a different approach. And that approach involves consuming antioxidants that neutralize those free radicals.  We're pretty familiar with the standard antioxidants on the market like vitamins C & E.  There are also some whole foods known for their antioxidant content.  Health enthusiasts urge us to include blueberries, green tea and leafy greens in our diet.  But no one is talking about the most powerful oxidant fighting food in the world.  This superfood contains far more antioxidants than anything else on the planet.  Nothing compares to its vitamin C content.  You need to know about this!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

As you look ahead to 2017, you might be envisioning yourself partaking in an exotic vacation this summer.  You've packed a collection of island wear that flatters your cute figure.   You're overcome by a feeling of pure bliss as you take new experiences, foods and memories that will last a lifetime.  You are excited!  But are you ready?

Every year I typically plan some type of getaway. It never fails, a month or so prior to leaving, I scramble to get my body ready.  Sometimes I succeed, sometimes things don't work out the way I imagined.  But either way, I don't enjoy the process of having to work diligently to create short-term results.

This year, it's time to change up the strategy.

Monday, January 2, 2017

I'm a sucker for simple looks that create maximum impact.  One of my style muses is Karrueche Tran for this very reason.  She's a master at mixing wearable, everyday pieces with designer brands. The end result is pretty effortless and completely flawless.  

The New Year is upon us.  I'm sure most of us are still carrying around the feeling of euphoria that fills us this time of year.  We're all excited about about the wonders that await us over the next 12 months. We can't wait to experience new successes unlike anything we've ever had.
Snapshot from a Vision Board creation party I recently attended
What if I told you that this year has a high likelihood of resembling the year before.  Would you be shocked?

I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer but it's better that we talk about this now while the year is still young.  Basically, no matter how positive we feel about '17, it might not be any different than years prior.  Those same big goals might linger on your list for years.  But there's a way to change that.
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