Month: September 2014

Monday Morning Memo – It’s Nobody’s Job But Yours

inspirational-quotemonday-morning-memo NEW it's no one else's job to see you; to honor you; to care for you; to prioritize you;
to provide for you;
to care for your great, big, beautiful, tender heart.
no one else's job ... but yours.
see yourself
honor you
care for yourself
provide for you
prioritize you
care for your own great, big, beautiful, tender heart!
be for you that which you need
and if you've been waiting for someone to fill that need,
realize you are who you've been waiting for!


Today's Monday Morning Memo is an original piece by my friend, Judy Ford of Sunrise Consulting. I was fortunate enough to meet Judy at a retreat sponsored by Rosetta Thurman of Happy Black Woman fame. Since that time, Judy's consultancy has blossomed to incorporate not only career and leadership coaching, but health and wellness services, including yoga instruction. When I saw this little gem on her timeline, I knew I had to get her permission to share with you all. Do yourself a favor and "like" her on Facebook for more pearls of wisdom.

Be about your job this week, ladies!

Event Alert – Plus-Size Shopping Event in Silver Spring! (11.8.14)

Save the DateLadies of the DC metropolitan area, make sure to reserve Saturday, November 8 on your calendar. Some of the most popular plus-size bloggers in the local area are joining forces to present an afternoon of shopping, socializing, and fun! Save the Date More details - and ticket sales - coming soon! If you're a local plus-size fashion/style blogger who is interested in participating, please contact me today!

What Would a Plus-Size Olivia Pope Wear?

HELLOHELLOIn honor of the fact Scandal is BACK tonight in the USA (and, to make up for the fact that the new Scandal-inspired collection from The Limited does NOT include apparel over size 16 *grumble*) I thought I would update my original Olivia Pope - Get the Look! post to include a few more current pieces for the Gladiators among us. Retailer Modcloth particularly nails the essence of Miss Pope with many of their pieces.



First up, this jacket from Eloquii! [caption id="attachment_8216" align="aligncenter" width="269"]The Studio Drama Peplum Jacket from Eloquii. A little darker than what Olivia would typically wear, but that ruffle is everything! The Studio Drama Peplum Jacket from Eloquii. A little darker than what Olivia would typically wear, but that ruffle is everything![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8215" align="aligncenter" width="299"]The Portside Greeting Cardigan in White from Modcloth. Perfect for a quick jog to the National Mall, dodging reporters who want to know about your torrid affair with Fitz. The Portside Greeting Cardigan in White from Modcloth. Perfect for a quick jog to the National Mall, dodging reporters who want to know about your torrid affair with Fitz.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8214" align="aligncenter" width="301"]The Inkwell Done Coat in Camel from Modcloth. Because it gets cold in Washington while trying to protect legislators and ambassadors from their own misdeeds. The Inkwell Done Coat in Camel from Modcloth. Because it gets cold in Washington while trying to protect legislators and ambassadors from their own misdeeds.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_8213" align="aligncenter" width="273"]The Creative Consultant Coat from Modcloth. (Coming soon!) Because sometimes you just want to look girly when getting buzzed into the White House and dreaming of Vermont Jam. The Creative Consultant Coat from Modcloth. (Coming soon!) Because sometimes you just want to look girly when getting buzzed into the White House and dreaming of Vermont Jam.[/caption]

What did you think of these picks? Personally, I have already signed up to get notified when the Creative Consultant coat becomes available for purchase.

Are you a Gladiator? Will you be watching tonight's season premiere? Let me know in the comments section, or on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

CBC Week 2014: Where to Go, What to Wear, & What to Say

Capitol seen from Pennsylvania Avenue
Well, it's that time of year - the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference has arrived! Washington, DC will be abuzz with panels, workshops, and luncheons focusing on the hard-hitting public policy issues of the day as well as numerous cocktail parties, receptions, galas, and other social gatherings to allow African-American legislators, congressional staffers, advocates, and others to engage in networking opportunities. If you are unsure of where to go, what to wear, or what to do, this post is for you!

WHERE TO GO: Once again, The Fab Empire has you covered with their annual Insider's Guide to CBC Week. This 28-page guide features a vast array of events - from free receptions that require only an RSVP to invitation-only, exclusive parties for Washington's most elite. Most events fall somewhere in between - where a reasonably priced ticket purchased in advance will gain you access to several events across the area. You need to act fast, however, as events tend to sell out quickly. To view the guide online, visit http://issuu.com/thefabempire/docs/cbc_14/3?e=1349956/9321171.

WHAT TO WEAR: Once your agenda for the week is set, you will need the perfect wardrobe to carry you from business events during the day to social events during the evening. Check out this post - From Office Hours to Happy Hours - for ideas about how to craft looks that will take you seamlessly from the Convention Center to the club.

WHAT TO DO: So, you know where you're going and what you're going to wear. But how to behave once you hit the scene? If networking is not your strong suit, here are a few posts to help set you out on the right path.

  • How NOT to Network
  • Quick Fixes to Your Most Common Networking Dilemmas


  • Well, there you have it! I hope that this provides you with some help as you prepare for CBC Week. Will I see you there??

    It’s the Falling in Love

    fall in love

    Cool points for anyone who can identify the inspiration for today's post title.

    I absolutely love the fall. It's my FAVORITE season! After months of extreme heat, the fall is truly a welcome breath of fresh air...it's as if a fever has broken and we can all finally breathe easy again. I know it can be a sad time for some, what with the end of the beach getaways, cookouts, sandals, and sundresses. However, there is a LOT to look forward to as well. Here are some of my top reasons for being in love with the fall!

    fall in love (For details and shopping information, click here.)
    • You can finally light up fragrant candles without anybody giving you the stink eye.
    • It's chilly outside. What better way to battle that cool fall air than with a sensational hat or scarf - faux fur completely optional.
    • You can wear a leather jacket without having to be on a motorcycle. #FTW
    • Can you say SWEATERDRESS?!?!?!?
    • You can finally save a few bucks on those weekly pedicures and instead invest in some great hosiery (and you know I love my hosiery).
    • Boots and booties, need I say more?
    • Fall always means the return of rich, lavish cosmetics in hues like burgundy, plum, chocolate, and sapphire. *swoon*
    • PUMPKIN. SPICE. LATTES.. Nuff said.What about you, dear readers? What are some of your favorite things about fall?Oh, and were you able to guess the inspiration for the title of today's post? To find the answer, click here!

    Monday Morning Memo – Wisdom from Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend in DC!

    lifeyouwantdclifeyouwantdc If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, then you know that I spent this past weekend at Oprah's Life You Want Weekend tour stop in DC. It was like a spiritual retreat with a few thousand of your closest friends. Even though the people there - primarily women, but maybe a hundred or so men - came from every walk of life, it seemed as though we were all on the same page. I swear, I saw people of every ethnicity, age, level of ability, income level, etc. but we were all seeking our own personal truth and guidance in taking the next steps to living the lives we most desired. While wandering through O Town, to, say, get my picture taken on the cover of O Magazine or get a scalp massage in the beauty lounge, I also met people from all over the East Coast - including New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and so on. I was also blessed to run into a TON of my fellow sisters-in-blogging, like Arlett, Nic, La Dale, Te, and even my girl, supermodel Liris Crosse.*waves across the blogosphere*

    Throughout the entire weekend, Oprah and company set off truth-bombs all over the place. From the need to operate in authenticity to the importance of gratitude as you walk through the peaks AND the valleys of life to taking ownership and authorship of your own life story, this entire experience was introspective, yet very proactive. We completed journal exercises, led by Oprah herself, and even got in a 15 minute workout!
    Here are a few of my favorite pearls of wisdom from the weekend: failure oprah reality oprah [caption id="attachment_8169" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Oprah interwove her personal narrative to illustrate many of the lessons she wanted to impart to the audience. Oprah used her personal narrative to share many of the lessons she wanted to impart to the audience.[/caption] universe oprah use it as information oprah was that ok oprah
    For the overachievers in the crowd, Iyanla used school as a metaphor for life...this really hit close to home for me!
    a c will do iyanla D iyanla
    Reminding us of the "hero's tale" Eat, Pray, Love author, Elizabeth Gilbert asked us a question that would make anyone stop in his/her tracks:
    hero gilbert
    Meanwhile, Pastor Rob Bell challenged us to look for grace in everyday life and not reserve examination of the divine to only those watershed moments in life...otherwise you are missing out on a lot!
    burning bush rob bell

    Here's an interesting thing. I'm a pretty "deep" person. I could teach a course in introspection and navel-gazing. And I will say that a lot of the things that were shared over the course of the weekend, I had already heard, thought, been told, or knew to be true. Even if I hadn't verbalized it, I knew it in the depths of my heart. But I don't know - there is something about hearing these words come booming out from a microphone and echoing throughout a stadium that forces you to take a hard look at the distance between the life you have, the life you want, and what it will take to close that gap that really...reinforces those ideas and challenges you to take real action.
    I am definitely going to take some quality to time to go through the exercises in the journal again. In the meantime, I'd like to share more pictures from the weekend with you.
    [gallery ids="8179,8180,8184,8181,8182,8183,8185,8177,8176"]
    Finally, I'd like to invite other bloggers - whether in the DC metropolitan area or not - to share their posts about the Oprah Life You Want Tour. Even if you're not a blogger, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the tour if you were able to attend. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! [inlinkz_linkup id=448927 mode=1]

    Your Style is Your Brand: An Interview with Stania Romain of Miss Sassy LLC

    One of the absolute best things about blogging, one thing I never even counted on or expected, was all of the new people I was blessed to meet on this adventure. One such person is Stania Romain. Human Resources professional by day and wardrobe stylist and motivational speaker by night (and weekend!), Stania is truly making a name for herself through her company, Miss Sassy LLC. And sassy, she is! Stania was good enough to take a few moments to share some of her key insights in the areas of fashion, image, and personal branding.

    photo 1 (3) When did you first fall in love with fashion and style? I can remember being about 7 years old. Most of my clothes were made by a seamstress at that time and I was usually styled from head to toe by my parents. Yes, the stylish life of a West Indian child! When did you decide that you needed to share this love through blogging? About 4 years ago, I decided that I needed a central location to share style tips, inspiration and my natural passion and expertise on style and shopping. How did you come up with the name "Miss Sassy"? I wanted a name that was catchy and with the 'S' initial to match my first name. The name was a good description of how I felt about myself and when styling others. I always encourage others to 'Stay Sassy.' How would you describe your own personal style? Definitely into classic looks, being effortlessly chic and flavors of vintage. You can't lose with that photo 3 (2)combination. Although trends freshen things up, it's good to be able to build your wardrobe around items that will always show your personality and keep you versatile. In addition to sharing your own style on the blog, you also coach business students on professional attire and teach self-esteem workshops for young girls. What would you say are the top three tips that you share when speaking to each of these groups? With my background as a Human Resources professional, I've seen a lot of dos & don'ts while recruiting and on the job. That combined with an eye for style has motivated me to empower others to obtain a more professional image. Business etiquette is also a great portion of my presentations to students.The self esteem workshops are a way for me to influence the youth into becoming confident young women, in and out of the workplace. My top three tips for business students are usually: (1) Your style is your brand. (2) Your work is your brand. (3) Your attitude is your brand. [pullquote]My top three tips for business students are usually: (1) Your style is your brand. (2) Your work is your brand. (3) Your attitude is your brand.[/pullquote] For youth, I help them determine their talents and how all of their characteristics make them special and valuable. That foundation must be established before anything else like style, can be polished. What can we expect next from the Miss Sassy brand? Projects that are tailored to building and maintaining a positive and attractive image. The ultimate goal of Miss Sassy LLC is to become an image consulting brand. How can my readers keep up with you? Visit my blog - and subscribe! - at www.miss-sassy.com. I'm also on Instagram (Miss_Sassy_Style), Twitter (MissSassyStyle), Pinterest (MissSassyStyle) and Facebook (MissSassyPage). Please be sure to stop by Stania's website and social media pages - you won't be sorry!

    Transition to Fall in Your Maxi Dress – #WorkwearWednesday

    While the sun is still shining well into the evening, the temperature continues to drop. Fall is definitely in the air! However, if you're anything like me, you probably can't bring yourself to put away your favorite pieces from your summer wardrobe...not quite yet. So, today's Workwear Wednesday features a transitional look featuring a maxidress! Yes, I know what you're thinking. A maxi dress? At work? For reals? Much like Corporette, I was initially horrified by the idea. But, then I saw Shea over at Curves and Confidence work the look to perfection! By adding enough "business" elements to it (the fitted blazer, the structured handbag, the sensible shoe), I believe you can absolutely wear a maxi dress in a work environment. The exception, of course, is the business formal setting where everyone is expected to wear dark suits, hosiery, etc. at all times or when you might have an important meeting with a client, investor, etc. Anyhoo, here is today's #WorkwearWednesday transitional fall look!

    9.17.14
    FELICITY & COCO Stripe Strapless Maxi Dress ($98.00); City Chic Bow Pocket Jacket ($40.79); BC Footwear 'Landing Gear' Pump ($34.96); Topshop Foldover Faux Leather Holdall Bag ($76.00); Vince Camuto Pendant Necklace ($48.00).
    For more details and shopping info, click here.


    What about you, dear readers? What are some ways that you are incorporating your favorite summer pieces into your wardrobe as the temperature cools?

    Monday Morning Memo – Working Toward Happiness

    monday-morning-memo NEW "We must, therefore, pursue the things that make for happiness, seeing that when happiness is present, we have everything; but when it is absent, we do everything to possess it.” — Epicurus



    Does it ever seem like it's a lot of work to pursue happiness? I mean there are books about how to achieve it; songs bemoaning the lack of it; we spend billions and billions of dollars on medical treatments fighting for it. And, as today's Monday Morning Memo proves, humans have been striving towards happiness since ancient times. In a strange way, I find this fact comforting. Sometimes when you are just scratchin' and survivin', it can feel like you're all alone in the struggle. At least now I know that it's not completely me just being extra. What are your thoughts on all of this? Are you just a naturally happy person or do you have to work towards happiness?

    Chasing the Crown: A First-Person Reflection on Miss Plus USA

    sportswear

    You may recall that earlier this summer, we featured Sasha Ballard, Miss Virginia Plus USA in our ever-popular Real-Life Curvy CEO feature. Well, the pageant took place just a few short weeks ago in Seattle, Washington. Although Sasha didn't take home the top title, she did have an incredible experience that opened the door to new friendships and new opportunities. Let's take a look at her first-hand recap of her experience....

    evening headshotDoing a pageant or more so competing for a title of any sort is something I never envisioned or had interest doing. The way it was advertised, I felt like it was a great opportunity and something kept tugging at my heart to do it. More than anything I wanted to check something else off the list of things I had set out to accomplish and things I attempted to try—even if I was not successful. Being able to set an example to my young daughter that accomplishing dreams is possible.

    I think what I gained the most from the experience is that pageantry is a sport. I have a new found respect for it that I never had before. The same way I used to practice when I played basketball and volleyball is the same amount of effort people put in to competing for national titles. I am quite certain I did not realize that going in nor did I realize how huge the investment and sacrifice is. I shared a room with Miss Florida Plus USA and we built an instant connection. She has become like a little sister to me. I also met tons of other women representing their respective states who have great things to offer. Each of us has a different personality and a different style. You would think with all that estrogen there would be some major problems, but most of us had built camaraderie with each other. Most of us wanted to see the other do well. I do think one has to understand and remember that there is a time and place for “friendship” and not to lose focus on the one goal everyone is trying to achieve and that, most of the time, is winning. sportswearThe advice I would give to anyone wanting to participate in something like this is to do your research. Make sure whatever you are signing on to do is something that makes you truly happy and that you are comfortable with it. Mostly, make sure you are prepared to work hard and take advantage of every opportunity that may arise. Had I not done that and set a precedent for the platform I represent, I would not have been on the news and had multiple radio station interviews. Also, one of the designers who sponsored me has asked me to participate in some major shows that she is doing and I will be one of the only if not the only plus size model walking in the show. That’s a big deal. The even bigger deal is the things that I have learned and the ability that I have had to impact my community and the purpose of my life to help and change the lives of others. So would I do this again? No, it is not for me. Despite my personal gains, I found that overall, it is not my passion to be a part of the pageantry industry. However, everything in life happens for a reason and if you can take the positives out of negatives and align them to your passion, well then you’re doing better than most and you are positioning yourself to a greater vision and vision for your future success.

    If you are interested in learning more about the Miss Plus USA pageant - which is already accepting pre-registrations for 2015! - please visit www.officialplususa.com.