Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend in D.C., Part II – Trailblazers in Full Effect

Day 2 of The Life You Want Weekend in D.C. was my favorite. Not only did we complete workbook activities taught by Oprah (more of that in Part III), but we also had the opportunity to be inspired by the stories of 4 amazing trailblazers. The trailblazers included Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant, Pastor Rob Bell, and Mark Nepo. Each speaker brought something different to the table and of course, I gained much insight from them all.

life you want weekend in D.C.


Mark Nepo

His calming nature captivated the audience as he began to speak about being a cancer survivor. That experience “rearranged his core“. He went onto explain that being present and holding nothing back is imperative to living the life you want. Another great point he shared was that in life, you take turns being the teacher and the student. We don’t know everything, but we do know somethings. It’s OK to sit back and be a student in life from time to time. And understanding that “no one can make it alone” ties into this as well. In life, we all need one another. There’s just no getting around it.

Elizabeth Gilbert 

Elizabeth’s speech stuck with me the most. Walking out to the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles let me know that we were in for a powerful message! Elizabeth’s strength and fearlessness is admirable. She made it clear that “if you want to change your life, don’ expect it to be easy and painless”. Going through different seasons in life is natural, but it can be difficult. The hard lessons, the lost friends, the scrutiny for certain decisions we make – it’s tough. But we can and will get through it. The life we want for ourselves is on the other side of all that we’re scared to go through, but after hearing Elizabeth speak I realize even more that it’s worth it!

Life you want tour D.C.Rob Bell

Rob Bell burst onto the stage full of energy! The takeaway from his portion can be summed up with his quote I shared on Instagram - “The life you want begins with embracing the life you have.” I couldn’t agree more. We can’t go through life expecting and wanting a better life if we don’t appreciate the life we’re already living. Being grateful and living in the now will prepare us for something even greater. Bell also pointed out that “we rush through the things that transform, shape and change us.” This hit home for me. It was a reminder to be constantly aware of how certain situations and moments change my life in a positive way.

Iyanla Vanzant

I was really looking forward to hearing this phenomenal woman all last week. I’ve been reading her books for years, thanks to my Mom, and being able to hear her speak was quite a treat! Iyanla pointed out a few things that made me go, “hmmm” and “ah, yes.” One of them being “when building a new life, be careful about who you hold onto and who you expose your self to.” That right there spoke volumes. As I continue to grow I’ve noticed that I’ve been very careful about those things. Another nugget she shared was that “in relationships, you have to have a vision.” I agree with this 100%. I believe that life is all about relationships, but more importantly it’s about the purpose of each relationship. We should ask ourselves from time to time, why are we building a relationship with a certain person? What do we plan on learning/or gaining from that relationship? Going back to the first lesson, be careful who you hold onto. Building a relationship with everyone you meet isn’t necessary. Lastly, Iyanla stressed the importance of learning to forgive yourself. We (may) struggle with this, but its important to do this in order to live the life we really want.

Life you want tour D.C. - Iyanlya


So tell me, which trailblazer do you think you would have enjoyed? Any takeaways from what the points I’ve shared? Let me know!

Be sure to come back Friday for my final recap of the event of my Life You Want Weekend in D.C. experience. I’ll be wrapping up my thoughts and sharing a few other things with you as well. Until then, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

Event Recap – Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend in D.C., Part I

I’m still on a high from Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend tour stop in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. As I mentioned in this post, I was blessed to have the opportunity to cover the event as media. I was expecting the event to be thought provoking, powerful and of course enjoyable.  To say that the event exceeded my expectations is an understatement. I had a marvelous time and walked away feeling full, blessed, and empowered. Today, I’m happy to share Part 1 of the experience with you. (Tomorrow and Friday will be parts II and III. )

Life You Want Weekend DC


Day 1: An Evening with Oprah

The main event started around 7 p.m. and I was ready to receive what Oprah had to share. She graced the stage in a floor length red gown, ready to inspire! There were so many nuggets of wisdom shared, but there were a few that really stuck out to me. Here are 4 of my favorites, along with my interpretation on how I plan to live each one out.

1. Share. Let the rest of the world know what you have. - It’s important to share our talents and gifts with the world. Being selfish with our “stuff” is no way to live. Bless the world with what God has given you. I feel that blogging and sharing my thoughts and expertise on certain topics is a good example of sharing what God has blessed me with. It’s a sure way for me to live out my passion and purpose.

2. Pay attention to your life and the signs; it keeps speaking to us. This is crucial and I’m so glad Oprah reminded me of this. We all have a purpose and a calling and being in tune with ourselves is a sure way to realize what that calling is. Something as simple as paying attention to how we act and react in certain situations helps. Be in tune with your life and what’s going on around you. As Oprah mentioned, we all have a thread. We just have to be open and willing to connect the dots.

3. When you’ve done all you can do, surrender. – Surrendering is not giving upIt’s simply realizing that you cannot do it all on our own and allowing a higher power to come in and help lift and guide you to do the right thing. We all think we can handle life by ourselves, until things get really bad. Next time that happens, surrender and realize that you don’t have to do life all by yourself. God’s got us.

4. You have no power in other peoples power field. – When Oprah said this, I think everyone had a “Amen, hallelujah” moment. It’s pretty simple. WE don’t have any business worrying about other people and what they’re doing. Stay in your lane and stop worrying about other folks, who more than likely not worried about you.

Life You Want Weekend DC Oprah

As the evening went on, Oprah showed videos and pictures of her life from birth to the present day. She also shared a few stories with us. One being the time she entered a pageant and won Miss Fire Prevention, lol. Touching on on her relationship Stedman (just a little), she explained that he is “living in the light, not her shadow”. I LOVE that.  Too many times society thinks powerful women cannot have a man by their side who isn’t threatened by their success or power. It is possible and Oprah made that very clear. Hearing that made me even more thankful to have a such a strong and secure man by my side. 

Lastly, there were several moments during Oprah’s speech where out Life You Want wristbands lit up. Those were such magical moments. I sat there in amazement, gazing at the thousands of people in the arena. It was truly an amazing site. It looked like stars in the sky…just beautiful.


 So tell me, which of the 4 points stands out to you? Have you attended the Life You Want Weekend in your city or do you plan to? Let me know!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for Part II of my Life You Want Weekend experience. I’ll be sharing my favorite moments from trailblazers Iyanla Vanzant, Rob Bell, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Mark Nepo. Until then, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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The Fashion of Goodwill – Greater Washington Goodwill Fashion Show 2014

Whenever there’s an event involving thrifting, a good cause, and a breath taking venue, I’m there. Thursday nights Greater Washington Goodwill Gala & Fashion Show was exactly that! This is my 3rd year attending and I must say, this year was my favorite! The event took place at the new Marriott Marquis on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C. – this hotel is simply stunning.

Their theme this year, “Let’s Get to Work” focused on showcasing fashion in the workplace. This theme also celebrated Marriott Marquis Job Training Program. The Goodwill of Greater Washington partnered up with the Marriott Marquis to create this workplace development program which allowed native Washingtonians a chance to work at this brand new hotel. Some of the employees took a walk down the runway that night – they were filled with excitement and a lot of spunk. Of course, they were dressed in head to toe Goodwill. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a shot of them walking, but check out this site for a glimpse.

 

BEFORE THE SHOW

I was thrilled to attend the event with my D.C. event partner in crime, Vivi of Heart, Print & Style. She and I have attended this event together for the last 3 years. Both avid thrifters, we marveled at the items available for sale Goodwill Popup Shop. I especially enjoyed the pretty jewelry and hats, but was most smitten with a particular vibrant and stylish lady. She was so cute and her vintage beaded jacket was divine! When asked to take a picture, she smiled and said, “I’m all thrifted up, dear!” How cute? :-)

As far as my outfit for this occasion, I went for a chic yet thrifty look. I paired my Nordstrom jumpsuit with my thrifted jacket/blazer. I’ve been dying to wear it and I felt what better event than the Goodwill Fashion Show to showcase this thrifted beauty?! I wasn’t the only fashionable blogger there. Check out my fashionable blogging buddies in the pics below!

DC Events - Fashion of Goodwill

Goodwill Popup Shop

Fashion of Goodwill - Runway Show

Jacket/Blazer: Goodwill, Annandale Locaton // Jumpsuit: Sejour, Nordstrom (Same) // Heels: DKNY, DSW (Similar) // Clutch: Fly By Night Boutique // Earrings & Watch: Thrifted, 2nd Avenue

 


 THE FASHION OF GOODWILL

True to the  with the “Let’s Get to Work” theme, the Goodwill models all dressed as if they were going to work! Some fashion choices were more conservative than others, but I liked the mixture. Some outfits were more casual workdays, while others were outfits you’d wear to a work related evening event. Stylist Tu-anh did a great job styling. Below are some of my favorites looks.

fashion of goodwill - DC Gala

Fashion of Goodwill - Let's Get to Work

Goodwill-Fashion

Fashion of Goodwill - Gala 2014

Goodwill-Fashion


So tell me, have you ever been to a Goodwill fashion show? What do you think about the “Let’s Get to Work” fashion? Let me know! 

It’s always a pleasure to attend the Greater Washington Goodwill Fashion show. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. Thanks to my hubby for these wonderful pictures! :-)

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Linkups: Thursday Favorites, Tres-Chic Thursday, WIW, Thrifters Anynomous


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WNJ Inspires – Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend

I’ve been a fan of Oprah for years. To say that she had some impact on my life would be an understatement. When I was younger, I remember watching her talk show with my mother and grandmother after school. I really didn’t understand much, but I did know that Oprah Winfrey talked to a lot of famous people and gave away a lot of cars, lol. As I got older, I began to enjoy and learn from both her celebrity and non celebrity interviews. I also began to understand her passion for wanting to share her knowledge and wealth  with the world. By high school, I was fascinated with peoples life stories (famous and non famous), and I also really enjoyed interviewing people for the stories I wrote for my high school newspaper. I thought I was on my way to becoming a mini Oprah. ;-)

As the years passed, I blazed my own trail and continued to pursue my dreams of becoming a journalist (all while keeping up with Oprah, of course :-) . I continued to watch her talk show and read her books. Looking back, I was able to fulfill some, if not most, of my journalistic goals. And here I am today a blogger- the new age version of a journalist, lol. I’m still writing and I’m still living out my dreams, just like Oprah.

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So imagine my excitement when I was contacted about covering both days of Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend Tour as media! Excited much?! I had to read the email several times for it to sink in. I am BEYOND grateful and excited about this news. To be in the same room as Oprah is one thing, but to be able to soak up her wisdom is another. And to do so as press/media? Yeah, pretty much a dream come true.

Oprah, along with Iyanla Vanzant, Deepak Chopra, and 3 other “Life Trailblazers” will be a part of this event as well. I’m in for 2 days of inspiration, motivation and life changing moments. I am ready to receive it and I cannot wait to share my experience with you all! 


So tell me, have you attended or do you plan to attend Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend in your city? Do you plan on attending the one in DC? Let me know! 

Be sure to follow me on social media. I will be sharing my 2-day experience with you on all my social media outlets. Wishing you a blessed and productive day. Until tomorrow, stay blessed and be safe…XO!

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Spread the News – Nic’s Picks Summer Shopping Event

Happy Friday! Just popping into let you know that my vintage online shop is hosting it’s 1st summer shopping event next month! I’m really excited about it and I hope to see all my DMV (DC/MD/VA) readers there. This free event is one of many to come! Check out the details below.

summer shopping event

Aside from the fantastic items available for sale, there will also be cute finger snacks and sips – I LOVE a good snack while shopping, don’t you? ;-) My goal is to make this event enjoyable and relaxed.


So tell me, will YOU be attending Nic’s Picks 1st shopping event? Have you been to a shopping event before? Let me know! 

Don’t forget to register for this event! :-) Also, feel free to share the above flyer with your social media friends using the #shopnicspicks hashtag – the more shoppers the merrier! If you’re in the area and are planning to attend, be sure to drop me a note so I can look for you. Thanks in advance for your support. Until Monday, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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Curves Rock Fashion Weekend Fashion Show Recap – Showcasing Plus Size Women in a Positive Light

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Curves Rock Fashion Weekend Fashion Show. This was my 2nd time attending the show; my 1st time was 2 years ago, thanks to the tickets I won from The Curvy CEO! This years show was held in my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland at the Hyatt Regency downtown. The show was hosted by the hilarious Tionna Smalls who’s been seen on VH1′s reality television series What Chilli Wants, as well as the talk show Bethenny. Her jokes, dance moves and high energy kept the show going as the fabulous creations that graced the runway.

Curves Rock Weekend - Host & Founders

Sisters & Co-Founders – Founder Tykesha Reed & Chanell Jones // Host – Tionna Smalls (Middle)

I’m always happy to see plus size women showcased in a positive light. Sometimes women are seen as unhealthy because we’re plus size and that’s not (always) the case. There are also the mindless assumptions of those who think plus size women can’t be stylish because, well we’re “too big”. The Curves Rock Fashion Weekend Fashion Show clearly silenced the naysayers and I for one was happy to be part of such an event. Co-founders and sisters Tykesha and Chanell did an excellent job in selecting the plus size designers to be showcased. Some of the collections had me  gripping my wallet because I literally wanted to snatch a few of the designs off the racks after the show, LOL! Take a look at some of my favorite pieces and I’m sure you’ll understand. ;-)

Curves Rock Fashion Weekend - Sultry Glamazon Closet

Sultry Glamazon Closet

See what I mean?! Wallet clutch worthy, right? ;-) I loved the movement and fabrics used in the above designs. I was also able to capture a few videos from the runway. I uploaded those on Instagram -  one of my faves is the flowy Marco Hall floral dress.There were other talented designers represented on the runway as well. Below is a full list.

2014 Designers

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Ashley Stewart

Boutte Rouge

Dreams by Danielle

Marco Hall

MiMi Dre

Niq Nicole’s 

Sultry Glamazon Closet

Siobahn Peay

Tru Dive Designs

Wanda Newby (Featured Designer)


So tell me, which of the looks I posted is your fave? Have you ever been to Curves Rock Fashion Weekend? Let me know! 

I can’t wait to attend next year. Although I didn’t attend the other weekend festivities, I definitely enjoyed the fashion show. I was able to mingle with a few of my blog buddies, visit and shop the vendor tables, and of course take in some incredible fashions. ;-) Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

P.S. Don’t forget to link up your recent outfit to my Personal Style Linkup! :-)


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Event Recap – 5 Things I Learned from the Blogger Week Unconference

Lately, I’ve been quite the social butterfly. My past 3 weekends have been spent event hopping, socializing and networking. This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Blogger Week Unconfrence in Silver Spring, Maryland. I served as an ambassador and was there to not only learn more about blogging, but also represent the Bloggers Like Me (BLM) group. I really enjoyed being an ambassador and spreading the word about BLM. I also enjoyed hanging with me partner in crime, and other BLM Ambassador, Karen. We always have fun when we get together! ;-)

If you’re thinking about attending the Blogger Week Unconfrence next year, I highly suggest you do. There were several well respected and knowledgeable panelists who shared their social media, blogging and networking smarts with us. If you need more convincing, check out the 5 things I learned from the Blogger Week Unconfrence.

blogger-week-unconference

1. To build you brand, networking is key. I met dozens of bloggers and social media experts at the Unconfrence and although this is not my 1st conference like this, it still amazes me how much networking can help grow your brand. I was able to connect with several like-minded individuals who I may potentially team up or work with in the future. I also handed out more than 35 business cards, leaving a lasting impression on all those I met. If you want to successfully build your blog/business, events and conferences like this are the way to go!

2. “More people want to see you succeed than you know. Humble yourself enough to ask for help.” - Amanda Spann. During her talk on Content and Communication, Amanda dropped this little nugget and it sparked something in me. Blogging is a passion and while I enjoy it, it’s hard-work and I do not know everything. Humbling yourself to ask for help not only helps solve whatever issue you’re having, but it’s also an opportunity to forge a lasting relationship with someone in your field. You can’t beat that.

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3. Social Media is Forever Changing…KEEP UP! Social Media Strategist Kumi Rauf made this very clear during his segment. As bloggers, we have to stay up-to-date on the latest changes in social media. There’s pretty much no way around it, unless your blogging just for fun…which is just fine :-) Staying connecting with your audience via-Facebook  is a bit tougher these days due to all the changes their making. While this is true, attending the Unconfrence helped me see there are things I can do to be successful at using Facebook as a blogger. By the way if you’re not following Kumi, I think you should. ;-)

4. To be successful, you have to step outside of your comfort zone. For awhile, attending conferences and events like this seemed a bit intimidating. I even felt a tad bit unsure when I was asked to serve as an ambassador and represent for BLM. I’m a confident person, yes. But when you have certain responsibilities that can positively or negatively affect a group of people, uncertainty may rear its head. AS I said before, blogging is my passion but I don’t know everything. And that’s OK. Opportunities like this help you grow, learn and above all step outside your comfort zone. I was beyond honored and thankful that Jessica, creator of Blogger Week, and Leslie, BLM Girl creator, trusted me with such task.

5. Hanging with blogger friends never gets old. All the “serious” stuff aside, the best thing about the Blogger Weeek Unonference was hanging out with my blogger buddies. Reconnecting with fellow bloggers and meeting new ones is always a treat for me! I’m a people person  so anytime I can chat and catch up, it’s a good time. I loved seeing so many women (and men) in one room with the same passion and desire to take their blog/business to the next level. It was very inspiring and refreshing.

2014-Blogger-Week
So tell me, have you attended any blogger conferences or meetups lately? Are you looking forward to attending any in the near future? Let me know! 

I hope this post provided insight on the Blogger Week Unconference. Again, I really enjoyed myself and walked away feel very inspired. Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you tomorrow – be blessed and stay safe…XO!

Event Recap – The Boulevard of Chic Fashion Rally {Baltimore’s 1st Fashion Truck Event}

This past weekend, I had such a wonderful time attending the Boulevard of Chic Fashion Truck Rally. As a fashion lover, small business owner and a native Baltimorean, I was delighted to be one of the VIP fashion bloggers to cover this event. After all, I’m all for supporting small businesses and bringing fashionable and enjoyable events to the city.  I’ve been reading and hearing about the popularity of fashion trucks for quite sometime so, to see the trucks “in action” was a real treat! As soon as I entered the event, I was greeted with a smile, a VIP goodie bag and directed to our blogger tent. Talk about 1st class service. ;-) I met a few bloggers in the beginning and they were nice enough to snap a picture of me in front of the step & repeat. Cute, huh?! ;-) 20140501-083107.jpg

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Of course, I made time to support a few of the fashion trucks by purchasing several pieces of jewelry. My 1st stop was Side Dish, a mobile boutique offering really cute and trendy pieces. It was really a struggle to stick to my pre-planned shopping budget; their “side dish” items were that inciting! I also had to hold myself back when I visited  Diamonds by Sonja. Her mix of fashion and handmade jewelry was amazing. I ended up falling for and buying a seahorse ring (pictured above). Fabulous and unique, I know. ;-)

 

So tell me, have you been to any fashion truck events in your area? Have you heard about this “fashion truck takeover”? Let me know!

All in all, the Boulevard of Chic event was a success and I’m grateful to have been apart of their 1st fashion truck rally. Thanks to Alyssa for reaching out and treating me like a true VIP. I can’t wait to see what’s next because whatever it is, believe I will be there! Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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Linkups: Lovely Thursday