#WNJInspired | 25 Life Lessons Learned from My Mother

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend! Mine was lovely, mainly because I was able to spend it with my mother. For Mother’s Day my sister and I planned a day of relaxation, food and fun for both my mother and grandmother. Although I see my mother pretty much everyday (we work together), it was nice to shower her with extra love and affection. My mother and I have always been very close. I cherish our relationship and I’m extremely grateful that we’ve maintained a healthy and loving relationship all these years. It’s not something I take for granted.

I’ve watched her play the role of a daughter, mother, wife, business owner and friend. During the past 5 years, I’ve especially paid close attention to how she manages to juggle it all while running a business. I’ve pretty much been a sponge. Working with her has allowed me to witness first-hand the in’s and out’s of being an African American woman entrepreneur/business owner. Whenever I have a question, idea, or thought about business she’s the first person I turn to. 

life lessons learned from my mother

I marvel at how she talks to and encourages both my sister and I. Raising two daughters, one 29 and the other 13, isn’t always a walk in the park. But she does it effortlessly, while making sure we each have access to her whenever we need it. Watching her as Mrs. James, the wife, is always inspiring. I’ve actually become a more understanding and loving wife because of how I see her treat and interact with my father. Her patience and kindest towards my grandmother, her mother, has also taught me how to be a better daughter.

Mary’s daughter, Dennis’ wife and Taylor and Whitney’s Mom has taught me some of the most important life lessons. And do you know what impresses me the most? Through all the lessons, she’s remained humble, impeccably stylish, and above all, graceful. Take a look at the top 25 life lessons learned from my mother.

life lessons learned from my mother

Faith + Family

  • Always say your grace and always say your prayers.
  • Have kids when you’re ready.
  • In everything, give thanks.
  • Family First.
  • Have Faith.

Life + Love

  • Don’t hide the gifts God gave you to; figure out how to use them to help others.
  • Everyone is not your friend & everyone is not going to like you.
  • Independence is always attractive.
  • You teach people how to treat you.
  • Experience life & travel often.
  • Sometimes love isn’t enough.
  • Keep the spark alive.

Business + Money

  • You have to spend money to make money.
  • Have more than one bank account.
  • Loan money wisely, but not often.
  • Everything is negotiable.
  • Love what you do.
  • Work hard.

Health + Beauty/Style

  • Understand your body and listen to what it’s telling you.
  • Wearing makeup everyday is not necessary.
  • But always wear lip gloss or lipstick.
  • Wash your face before bed.
  • Sleep on a silk pillowcase.
  • Don’t buy cheap shoes.

* More Beauty + Style Tips HERE *

So tell me, what do you think about the 25 life lessons learned from my mother? What are some lessons your mother has taught you? Let me know! 

When I was a child I never wanted to be “just like” anyone, except my mother. After reading this I’m sure you can understand why. I can’t wait to pass down what I’ve learned to my children one day.  If you still have your mother in your life, I encourage you to show her some love (in your own way) while she’s still around. Life is short and each day we’re blessed with, we should show those we love just how much they mean to us. Until next time, stay safe and be blessed…XO!


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Lifestyle | A Few of My Favorite Things Lately

Remember a few posts ago when I told you this was my season of preparation? Well, that season has really set in and I’m finally embracing it. Mentally, physically, financially and spiritually I am preparing for greatness. I have a few personal goals for the above mentioned areas that I plan to achieve by the end of the 1st quarter, as well as a few others I plan to take care of within the next few months.

As I travel through this season, something has come to my attention – I haven’t been posting as much. Instead I’ve been enjoying my free time with my husband, family, catching up with girlfriends, as well as working (tirelessly) behind the scenes on my #FearlessWomanIam project. I felt bad about the lack of posting, but realized I needed to embrace this season and fully enjoy these moments. I’ve also made time to enjoy a few good reads, which brings me to today’s Favorite Things.  

Favorite Things

I’ve always LOVED to read. I remember zipping through B-more Careful and The Coldest Winter Ever back in high school in just one night! My favorite novels, Catcher in the Rye and 1984, were also consumed rather quickly during my high school days. Once I entered college I swooned over Eric Jerome Dickey and Terry McMillian novels, and also caught the magazine subscription bug. From Essence, Ebony, Honey, Vibe – all magazines I longed to work for during my print journalism daysInStyle, People, Time and even National Geographic, I was obsessed with magazines! Now that I’m a little older, and I have to pay for these things myself, I’ve lessened my magazine purchases and I’ve gone the audiobook route, as far as novels.

But lately I’ve been falling back into my old ways and picking up certain magazines here and there. I’ve also purchased a few (hard copy) books too, a few of which I plan to in depth reviews on in the coming months. All in all I’ve realized that I’ve missed reading and taking sometime during the day and weekends to do nothing but catch up on magazine and book reading. Granted life gets busy and we all have things to do and places to be, but there’s nothing like reading a good book or magazine article every now and then.Favorite Things

I’ve made it a point to take at least 20 minuets during the week to read…SOMETHING. And not just blog posts and social media statues, although you can learn a lot from them too. I mean reading something that interests me and something I can possibly learn from. It’s nice to take a little break sometimes to enjoy a bit of reading. And if you can learn a thing or two in the process, that’s a win-win!

Here’s a list of some of my current favorite reads:


  • Essence
  • Success
  • Entrepreneur
  • Fortune
  • InStyle


So tell me, what are some of your favorite things lately? Have you read any good books or magazine articles? If so, let me know!

Thanks for reading and be sure to share your comments and suggestions below! More in depth reviews on the books mentioned above coming this and next month, as well as a few other fun and helpful posts. Until next time, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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Personal Style | Denim and Leopard Print

Wearing denim and leopard print is probably one of my favorite combinations! This weekend I was able to style this combo for a day of errands, lunch and hanging out with hubs. I’ve been dying to wear this jacket, purchased from Macy’s a few seasons ago. Since the weather was just right, not too cold and not too warm, I figured it’d be the perfect jacket to wear.

Denim and Animal Print

OOTD - Denim and Animal Print

Denim: JCP (Another Option) // Jacket: Calvin Klein (Another Option) // Flats: Tesori (Another Option)

Denim and Animal Print - OOTD

I like to fill my wardrobe with clothes that can easily be mixed and matched. Of course I have some wardrobe items that are specifically for formal occasions, but the majority of my options can be worn any day. This outfit is the perfect example! Not only is this a great outfit for the weekend, but it can also work for a casual date night, a shopping trip or even a day of working from home.

Denim and Animal Print OOTD

Outfit - Denim and Leopard Print

Clutch: Thrifted, Goodiwll (Another Option) // Earrings: Thrifted, 2nd Avenue

Denim and Animal Print Outfit

So tell me, are you a fan of the denim and leopard print combo? Does your wardrobe consist of many mix and match options? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! Be sure to link your recent outfit to my Personal Style Linkup below. Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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** Linkups: How I Fall, Throwback ThursdaySophisticated Style**

#WNJSocial | 5 Reasons Why You Should Use Snapchat

Of all the social media platforms, Instagram and Snapchat are my absolute favorites! As I’ve shared before I’m a very visual person, so it makes sense that these are two of my favorite apps. To be honest, I was late to the Snapchat party. It wasn’t until my 13-year-old sister gave me an intense lesson that I began to consider joining. Once I read Gorgeous in Grey’s comprehensive how-to use Snapchat guide for adults, I was sold. I downloaded the app and haven’t looked back since! So of course, I’m going to do my best to convince you to hop on the bandwagon. Here are 5 Reasons You Should Use Snapchat. 

Why You Should Use Snapchat

1. Show the Real You | I love this app because it’s a great way to show people “the real you.” Sharing snippets of your day allows an instant behind the scenes look at what your days are really like. We live in an world where seeing how others live their lives is interesting to us. We also enjoy sharing (some of those) moments with others. Well, at least that interests, sort of. For that reason Snapchat is a must!

2. Inspire & Uplift | Snapchat is another platform where you can inspire and uplift others through your verbal messages, snaps (pictures) and quotes. Yes, you can type messages on the pictures you upload. It’s a great way to share positive messages, rants, or even songs with your followers. As with any platform, I believe you should be careful what messages you’re sending out into the social media universe. What you share says a lot about what you stand for and what you believe in.

3. Promote Yourself | Have something to sell? An event you want people to attend?  A product you want us to try? Snapchat is a great way to share and promote that! Many companies don’t use Snapchat the correct way, in my opinion, but I think it’s a genius way to promote and market your brand/or product. You have a captive audience, so what better way to promote your blog, product, event or services using yet another social media outlet?

Why You Should Use Snapchat

4. Get Instant Feedback | I love being able to interact with friends, readers and others. Snapchat makes it so easy to do so! You can comment/reply to a persons snap, as long as they have that option available. Most Snapchat users, at least the ones I follow, do have this feature available. It’s a great way to get instant feedback about an idea, product or question you may have. Don’t have any feedback to give? You can simply start a conversation or let the person know you like whatever they’ve shared!

5. Follow Your Favorite Celebs & Brands | Since I was young I’ve had an interest in knowing the in’s and out’s of certain celebrities. Questions like what do they eat for dinner or what products do they use everyday always seemed to run through my mind. As far as brands, I’ve always been fascinated with the behind the scenes process of how things are created, made, etc. The celebrities and brands I choose to follow answer those questions, and much more! Just another reason why you should use snapchat, just saying…

So tell me, are you on Snapchat? If so, what are your thoughts about this social media outlet? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me on Snapchat (@wnicjames) if you’d like! I’m not as exciting as some “Snapchatters”, but I do share my daily happenings quite often. And my husbands antics and funny commentary seems to be quite a hit on the Snap. So much so that many people message me suggesting we take our act on the road, via Youtube or Periscope. We shall see, LOL! Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

P.S. Don’t forget to link your recent outfit to my Personal Style Linkup, HERE

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Personal Style | #ThatBlogLife + Wearing Black and White

This t-shirt and these photos make me chuckle for two reasons – (1)  I’m usually wearing black and white “in real life” and (2)  9 times out of 10 I’m doing something on my phone or iPad for WNJ, a social media client or for Fearless Woman, I am. I’ll admit that I have gotten better about checking my phone every few minutes, however most days between 9-5 I’m working on something. I guess it’s safe to say that I am indeed about #thatbloglife. 

Black and White OOTD

T-Shirt: That Blog Life (Purchase Here) // Sweat Pants: (Another Option) // Cardigan: Jessica Simpson, Macy’s (Another Option) // Flats: Tesori, Nordstrom Rack (Plain Black Option)

That Blog Life

Black and White Outfit

Wearing black and white along with a cute and clever t-shirt is stylish, for sure. And although #thatbloglife is a cute and catchy phrase, some may wonder what being about #thatbloglife really means. For me, it means 3 things.

1. Being productive, not busy. | For awhile I had this concept all wrong. I was constantly “busy” thinking about what to share next, talking about my next move for the blog/brand and joining any and every blog related Facebook group or chat. Now my mindset has shifted and I understand the difference between being busy vs being productive. I’m now busy being productive. I don’t just think or talk about what’s next; I make an Action Plan and get it done. I join and participate in groups and chats that are useful and aligned with my purpose.

2. Being committed to fulfilling your purpose through sharing useful and uplifting content. | Earlier this year, I made a commitment (to myself) to fulfill my purpose through blogging. I’ve always had a passion for writing and helping others, but I’ve learned how to infuse passion and purpose in order to make an impact. Some may think you can’t for fill your purpose through blogging, but I beg to differ. Blogging is the perfect platform to share your passion(s) with the world while fulfilling your purpose and uplifting others.

3. Being committed to serve an audience. | Serving an audience goes hand-in-hand with my purpose. It’s very important (to me) that I’m serving my readers while fulfilling my purpose. I want to show and share content that inspires and interests you and every time I’m able to do that, my heart is full.

Wearing - Black and White

Earrings: Thrifted // Clutch: Fly By Night Boutique // Bar Necklace: oNecklace (Purchase Here – 10% OFF)

OOTD Black and White

Wearing Black and White

So tell me, what does being about #thatbloglife mean to you? Are you a fan of wearing black and white outfits “in real life” too? Let me know! 

I must give a shout out to my web designer Kim (Her Name is Kim) for creating these amazing t-shirts. The fit is so accurate and the material is soft and moves with you. I love that! For the first time I was able to order a plus size tee in my size that actually fit! #WINNING Also, being able to style an item that embodies my lifestyle is a major plus. Be sure to visit That Blog Life and grab yours! There are several goodies to pick from. Until next time, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

P.S. Don’t forget to link your recent outfit to this week’s Personal Style Linkup, HERE

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Personal Style | Tunics and Capes for Fall

The weather here in Maryland has been so strange. One day it’s 50 degrees and the next it’s pushing 70. I can’t keep up, but luckily my wardrobe can handle the change. One of my go-to styles for networking events, church and some dresser family functions has been tunics and capes. This combo works like magic when I’m trying to be chic and not that overdressed. I find that wearing tunics, a sensible pair of heels and a fall cape add an element of sophistication and elegance to my personal style. Can’t beat that, right?

Plus Size Tunic

Tunic: Nic + Zoe, Nordstrom (Another Option) // Pants: Sejour, Nordstrom (Another Option) // Heels: Kenneth Cole, Bloomingdales (Another Option)


Wearing Tunics and Capes

Whitney Nic James Wearing Tunics

With this particular outfit, I decided to dress up the same pair of sweatpants as yesterday a bit more. The nude heels add that “something extra” to the outfit, perfect for those occasions mentioned above. During networking events I like to be comfortable, of course, but I want to be taken seriously. After all, I’m usually attending such events representing both WNJ and #FearlessWomanIAM. That said, I have to dress the part. Looking presentable, fashion forward and approachable is a must because that’s what both of my brands represent in a nutshell.

This outfit is one that also makes me feel really good and rather empowered. When it comes to personal style it’s important not only to look good, but to feel good as well. Regardless of the event, whatever you wear should make you feel amazing. Feeling this way instantly boosts your confidence and makes others take you seriously. As stated in my recent Brown Girls Love Brunch recap, first impressions are crucial. Make yours a good one by being confident when introducing yourself. Being confident with what you’re wearing is the start to making a good first impression.

Fall Fashion - Tunics and Capes

Cape: Thrifted (Another Option) // Purse: Forever 21 (Similar) // Earrings: H&M

Fall Fashion - tunics and capes

OOTD - Details

So tell me, are you a fan of tunics and capes this fall? What’s your go-to look for networking and other events? Let me know!

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to link your recent outfit to my Personal Style Linkup HERE. I can’t wait to see what you’re wearing! Also if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Upcoming events, services offered and other good stuff will hit your inbox very soon! Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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** Linkups: Garay’s Treasures, On Trend Tuesday’s **

#WNJInspired | How to Finish the Year Strong Without Overwhelming Yourself

There’s no getting around it. The end of the year is near. If you’re like me, you have several goals you’ve been working hard to achieve throughout the year. There may even be some goals you’re scurrying to accomplish before the year ends. I’m right there with you. As we rush to check things off our lists, it’s important not to drive ourselves crazy in the process. Speaking form experience, being overwhelmed and acting like a crazed maniac is no fun. Here are a few tips on how to finish the year strong, without overwhelming yourself. 

Finish the Year Strong

Write it down. | I lead with this suggestion all the time when giving advice on how to be productive. You have to write your goals, ideas and plans down on paper in order for them to become a reality. There’s something about seeing your plans on paper that makes plans that much more attainable. Grab a pretty planner, journal or notepad and start writing. Even if you just have ideas and no solid plan of action, write it. It’s better to brain dump and get it all out first, then figure out and create the plan of action. You may find that writing down these last few 2015 goals may have to wait until 2016. That’s OK. But if you don’t write it down and start thinking about it, you’ll never know.

Figure out who you need. | Do you need a business or finance coach? Possibly an accountability partner or mentor? What about an intern or assistant? Not sure about you, but I’m at the point where I’m considering adding a few people to my team. In order to finish the year strong and ensure a successful 2016, I need a little help. No one can do it alone. With the blog growing and #FearlessWomanIam preparing to fully launch, I’m in the process of figuring out who (and when) I need to add to my team. Admitting that I need a little help to accomplish everything I have planned is a huge step. Never be afraid to ask for help and realize that in order to be successful, you need a solid and reliable team to assist you.

See, The Importance of a Solid Starting 5

How to Finish the Year Strong

Purchase HERE

Be realistic. | Setting realistic goals is a must during anytime of the year. If you’re setting new goals to complete by the end of 2015, be realistic. There isn’t much time left, so your end of the year goals should be short and concise. Maybe you have that last 5 lbs to drop before 2016. Very doable – create a plan and go for it! Possibly you want to re-design or re-arrange a room in your home. Use your calendar and lock in a (realistic) date to complete this task. Jot down exactly what you’ll need to make this happen in a blank journal or notepad, pin a few images for inspiration, figure out what stores to visit and what you can maybe do yourself, and get to work. Don’t try to squeeze in too much. You can always start the process and complete it in the 2016. Some plans/goals do in fact require more time.

Make your plans known. | Share your “last minute” goals with those around you. Going back to figuring out who you need – letting people know what you need in order to achieve a goal is a good thing. You never know what advice, tips or resources others may have to help you crush your goals. Protect your dreams, yes, but don’t hold them so tightly that you hide them from someone who can possible help make that dream come true.

How to Finish the Year Strong

Purchase HERE

So tell me, any tips you want to share on how to finish the year strong? Any last minute goals you have before 2016 gets arrives? Let me know! 

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to link your recent outfit to my Personal Style Linkup. I’ll be sharing my favorite linkup next week so be sure to show us what you’re wearing. One last thing, don’t forget to sign up for the WNJ newsletter. I’ll be sending the latest edition later today and I don’t want you to miss it! Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe.

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Personal Style | Wearing Hats Lately

I’ve been in a casual mood lately when it comes to planning daily outfits. I’ve also been wearing hats A LOT more than usual. Luckily, as long as I’m presentable, I’m able to dress down a bit at work. My office does not enforce a strict dress code and I really appreciate that. I don’t have to worry about my feet hurting from heels or feeling stuffy because of a pant/skirt suit. I’m able to feel comfortable in my clothing throughout the day. However if I feel the need to dress it up a bit, I’m able to do that as well.

OOTD Casualwear

Casual Outfit

Sweater: Nordstrom Rack (Another Option) // Pants: Sejour, Nordstrom (Affordable Style Option) // Hat: Flea Market (Plain Black Option)

Oversized Sweater

Yes, I can even wear hats to work. Awesome, right?! We’re all about embracing (appropriate) personal style choices at the office, all while getting work done of course. I don’t wear hats to work that often as a personal preference. I do tend to throw on a cute one after work, especially if hubs and I have a casual date night planned or if I’m making a grocery store run.

Hats are the perfect accessory to add to an outfit during fall and winter. Of course, it’s a stylish and obvious way to keep your head warm during this time of year. It’s also a great way to cover up a bad hair day, like the time I wore this one. Lastly if you’re into a more laid-back style, like I’ve been for the past few weeks, hats are a wonderful option to complete a casual OOTD!

OOTD Casual Outfit

Outfit Details

Purse: Bakers, Old (Another Animal Print Option) // Flats: Steve Madden, Steve Madden Outlet (Another Option)

Casual Outfit Option

So tell me, have you been dressing more casual or wearing hats lately? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to link your recent outfit to my Personal Style Linkup. I’ll be sharing my favorite linkup next week so be sure to show us what you’re wearing. One last thing, don’t forget to sign up for the WNJ newsletter. I’ll be sending the latest edition tomorrow morning and I don’t want you to miss it! Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe.

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** Linkups: Garay Treasures, Pink Sole **