Month: November 2013

It’s a #SweaterDressThanksgiving!

So, CaShawn aka ThePrettyBrownGirl over at Dirty Pretty Thangs has declared this year to be a #SweaterDressThanksgiving - isn't that cool? All you need to do to participate is post a pic of yourself rocking your sweater dress THIS Thursday, November 28 somewhere on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.) using the official hashtag #SweaterDressThanksgiving.
It's a #SweaterDressThanksgiving
(To get a better view of the items, CLICK HERE)
I'm totally game for this challenge! I love me a sweater dress - cosy, comfy, and super convenient - they are one of my favorite must-have items for cold-weather cuteness! Check out these other posts featuring sweater dress options for plus-size beauties from across the web:   So, what say you? Will you be participating in DPT's #SweaterDressThanksgiving? Don't forget to show off your style on social media!!!

Don’t Forget – We’re Chatting Tonight!

CJBL Chat 11.25.13 Don't forget! Tonight Arlett Hartie of Chasing Joy, blogger/event planner/all-around diva Erika McDaniel of Your Chic is Showing, fab entrepreneur Jese Gary of LuxeGiving, and yours truly will be hosting a Twitter Chat tonight at 9pm (Eastern)! Bring your questions about fashion, goal-setting, and, well, chasing joy! Use the hashtag #CJBL and find us at @Chasing_Joy, @luxegiving, and @Curvy_CEO! Tweet with you soon!

Curvy CEO Asks: How Do You Deal with a Relapse?

tyronebiggums Ok. So you've been doing great for the last several weeks. Drinking your water. Getting plenty of rest. Choosing fruits and vegetables instead of candy and chips. Hitting the gym on a regular basis. You're looking and feeling terrific. Then, all of a sudden, life gets in the way. Your workload increases. Family obligations pop up. You find yourself under the weather. Then, all of a sudden you are just able to take care of the absolute essentials, like brushing your teeth and showering. Everything else goes out the window. Suddenly, you're getting less than six hours of sleep a night. You grab a cup of coffee in the morning and call it breakfast. The only exercise you get is running from meeting to meeting as you try to keep your head above water. You, my friend, have just had a healthy habit relapse. You know that you need to get "back on the wagon"...even though you know that there really IS no wagon and that being healthy is a lifestyle, not something to be "on" or "off". But still, you've got to start somewhere...you're just at a loss for where...how to begin. This is me right about now. I'm sure it's many of you as well. With the holidays upon us, I know that prioritizing wellness will be a challenge for many of us. So, I'm really wondering if those of you who have had long-term success at making health and wellness a lifestyle can share some of your tips for overcoming a healthy habit relapse. Cuz yeah, ya girl needs help!

Curvy CEO Reviews: “Soulevant: The Lingerie That Lifts”

[caption id="attachment_6979" align="alignleft" width="350"]Soulevant Fuschia Nightgown & Menagerie Robe Soulevant Fuschia Nightgown & Menagerie Robe[/caption]

Recently, I was gifted a beautiful menagerie-print nightgown from Soulevant - a lingerie company that specializes in creating gowns that feature built-in bras that lift and support. Now, I must admit that when I was first offered the gown, I was a little skeptical. Most items - whether they be camisoles or sport attire - that promise to lift do anything but. However, I was pleasantly surprised! The Soulevant nightgown was actually quite comfy and kept everything quite *snug* if you will. Also, it is made from a more cottony fabric so it was quite warm. (Is it just me or does most lingerie leave you feeling icy cold, too?) All in all, it felt like a loungy maxidress to wear around the house. Now, I will admit that the brand  IS a little pricey, so I'll have to save up to get the matching robe, but I highly recommend it just the same. (In fact, you can save 10% if you order a robe and gown together and use the code "COMBO.") I hope you will check them out online at www.soulevant.com. You won't regret it!

Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat: An Interview with Nicole Williams, Secret Career Confidence Coach

I know you've seen the commercials for Secret Clinical Strength deodorant. Well, recently, Secret partnered with Nicole Williams, LinkedIn's Career Expert and bestselling author of Wildly Sophisticated: A Bold New Attitude for Career Success, Earn What You're Worth: A Widely Sophisticated Approach to Investing In Your Career-and Yourself, and Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success to launch two new additions to the Secret Clinical Strength Collection, which is designed to target stress-related sweat. In connection with the debut of these new products, I was given the opportunity to interview  Nicole. Check it out below!

As the founder of your own company (WORKS by Nicole Williams), you are a successful entrepreneur, author, and all-around mogul, but tell me a little bit about the beginning of your career. Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur? What gave you the courage to finally step out on your own? I grew up with a mom who worked in a paint and chemical manufacturing factory and she hated it! It pretty much sucked the life out of her, affecting all aspects of her life including her health and relationships with those she loved. I don't know that I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but I did know very early that I didn't want to find myself in the same situation. I wanted to help other women who had the same sense of purpose and passion. My final step was simply looking for the career building business that I needed. When I discovered it didn’t exist, I went about building it.

Secret Logo Nicole Williams photo credit Michelle NorthWhat piece of advice do you have for women who are thinking about contemplating entrepreneurship? Two things. The first is that willpower, discipline and perseverance are what’s going to make or break you. At many points along the way you will feel lonely and that this is too hard and not worth it. Keep a list of all the reasons why you are doing this on hand (and written at a more optimistic time) and refer to it when you want to give up. The other piece of advice that was given to me when I started out is that until you start making money you don't have a business, you have an idea. That really stuck with me when faced with billing clients and setting my pricing. I think when you love what you do, you tend to want to share it with everyone…for free! That's a hobby not a business.

Shifting away from entrepreneurship, what do you think are the three most important things a woman should do during her first day/week at a new job? The first week at the job is the most important. It is where you establish your reputation. If you show up late, your boss will be forever on the lookout. This is the week when you want to extend yourself, meeting as many people as you can, ask to be involved in high profile projects, show up early dressed to the nines and stay late. A week of really hard work upfront solidifies you as a player.

What are some ways a woman can maintain her confidence when she is one of a few or perhaps the only woman in a business setting? I've often found myself working in a predominantly male business and the most important thing for me in terms of maintaining confidence was to connect with other women outside the job and within the industry. It helps to know you're not alone grappling with the issues that are inherent in this kind of working environment and gleaning advice from those women who have had the same experience and/or strategizing together is both empowering and invaluable.

Despite our best efforts, we all make mistakes. What are some of the best ways to recover from errors on the job? I have a three part process to deal with the inevitable errors that we're bound to make. The first is to speak up. Our instinct may be to hide the issue, but if you step up and are the first person to disclose the issue, you will be respected for taking it head-on. The second step is to take responsibility and apologize. Don't take more than your share, but admit to what went wrong. And then finally, lay out your strategy for ensuring it doesn’t happen again.

One of the most stressful situations can be asking for a raise and/or promotion. Any tips for how to handle that situation with ease? I totally agree. This isn’t a conversation you want to have on the fly. Schedule a time to sit down to discuss your performance – this also gives them a heads-up regarding what the conversation is going to entail so they can prepare. [pullquote]Money trades for money and if you want more, you need to explain how your efforts contribute to the company revenue.[/pullquote]Before the meeting, do your research. The primary thing you need to understand is the revenue model of the company you are working for and how your efforts have specifically contributed to the company’s bottom line. Money trades for money and if you want more, you need to explain how your efforts contribute to the company revenue. Once you go into the meeting, look the part. Make sure you’re wearing an outfit that exudes confidence and that you’re protected from stress sweat beforehand. Secret partnered with the authorities in taste & smell research (Monell Chemical Senses Center) on a recently published study that revealed stress sweat odor (the worst smelling sweat) actually causes people to negatively judge women’s confidence, competence and trustworthiness – a perception you don’t want your boss to have when you’re asking for a raise or promotion! To keep yourself your most confident and prevent any judgment from stress sweat, I use a high performing antiperspirant/deodorant like the new Clear Gel form of Secret Clinical Strength so I don’t have to worry about odor (or distracting white marks for that matter!).

Anything else you would like to share with my blog readers? Just that entrepreneurship is tough, but worth every minute of it – if you find something that you feel passionate about!

For more of my career tips to keep yourself 100% confident and to see which form in the Secret Clinical Strength Collection is best for you, visit www.SecretStore.com

Come Chat With Us!

CJBL Chat 11.25.13 So, you already know that I'm co-hosting the Chasing Joy Brunch & Learn DC on Saturday, January 11, 2014, right? Well, to help give you all a sneak peek of what you can expect, event founder Arlett Hartie of Chasing Joy and event speakers, blogger/event planner/all-around diva Erika McDaniel of Your Chic is Showing, fab entrepreneur Jese Gary of LuxeGiving, and I will be hosting a Twitter Chat NEXT MONDAY, November 25 at 9pm (Eastern) to dish on the event! Not sure what to expect? Come chat with us and find out! Use the hashtag #CJBL and find us at @Chasing_Joy, @luxegiving, and @Curvy_CEO next Monday evening! Tweet with you soon!

Monday Morning Memo – The Simplest Secret of Success

monday morning memo"Eighty percent of success is showing up." - Woody Allen Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a serious workaholic. Even though I prioritize rest and play and constantly strive for work/life balance, at my core I am a worker bee. I work hard. I work smart. And I am thorough. But, most important of all - I show up. And you know what I've learned? Woody Allen is right. Eighty percent of success IS simply showing up...because most people don't. They get scared. They flake out. Or, they show up unprepared and half-heartedly make their way through everything (and then want credit for showing up at all). (Don't front - you know these people...some of them are your co-workers. Some of them are in your family!) Now, I'm not saying you have to give 100% all of the time. But if you can give a good faith effort most of the time, you will find yourself ahead of most people. I promise. Here is to showing up in your life this week, ladies! Let's make it a great one!

Curvy CEO Asks: What Are YOUR Beauty Secrets?

beauty secrets One evening while going through my usual nightly routine, it occurred to me that, despite a lifetime of devouring magazines, I've assembled my own little collection of beauty secrets that often have nothing to do with the latest products or techniques. Rather, they were achieved through trial and error. Many were stumbled upon by accident. And, at the end of the day, they are much more cost effective (and I daresay, healthier) than the super-expensive beauty potions and elixirs that you might buy from the department store. Most items are available at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Here are some of my favorites:

 - Vaseline as Eye-Makeup Remover. We all know there are a bazillion beauty uses for Vaseline. But one of my absolute favorites is as an eye makeup remover. I've found that nothing takes of mascara, liner, and primed eye shadow more than good ol' Vaseline. Now, of course, you have to be careful not to get it into your eye. Typically, I apply some Vaseline to my eyes and let it sit for a bit, later removing with makeup remover toilettes. And speaking of toilettes....

- Makeup Remover Toilettes as Brush Cleaners. Even though there are specially formulated makeup brush cleansers by companies like JAPONESQUE, e.l.f., Mary Kay, and others, in my experience, my makeup brushes get the cleanest when I just use makeup remover toilettes. Yep. The same ones meant to take your makeup off at the end of the day. And, let's just be real, the fact that you can just whip a toilette out of the package makes it much easier for you and, therefore, much more likely that you will clean your brushes on the regular.

- Condition Your Hair During Exercise. As a proud naturalista, I am always searching for ways to increase my hair's moisture. One helpful method I've discovered is to spritz my hair with a little leave-in conditioner before working out. Since I'm going to sweat anyway, I might as well put that natural moisture to good use. This is especially true if I'm going to a hot yoga class. Also, maybe it's a case of mind over matter, but I feel like it helps protect my hair from drying out after I've worked out and my body temperature has come back down to normal.

- Add Essential Oils to Your Shea Butter. So, I think it's been established that black people are all about "the butters". I am a huge fan of African Shea Butter Cream myself. Now, you know that using butters is a fantastic way to keep your skin moisturized, not only during the colder months, but even during the warmer weather if you swim often and/or generally suffer from dry skin. BUT, did you know that if you add a few drops of an essential oil (for example, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, sweet orange, or peppermint oil) to your butters and let it sit, when you go to apply it, you will now have your own custom-scented butter? This is especially great for folks who are into aromatherapy or who have a particular scent that they enjoy that isn't readily available in your everyday over-the-counter products.

With the expensive holiday season upon us, consider this short list of inexpensive, yet effective beauty secrets my gift to you! All I ask in return is that you share some of YOUR beauty secrets in the comments section below!!!