WNJ Inspires – Staying on Track

I believe the 1st quarter of the year (Jan-March) is imperative because it sets the tone for the rest of the year. In January, we’re usually finalizing resolutions and goals and creating vision boards (see mine HERE). These plans are a surefire way to get us motivated for a successful year. But I’ve noticed that although people are excited about change, they start beating themselves up before they really get started. I’m guilty of this. I can be so hard on myself at times and my husband often reminds me that “life is a marathon, not a sprint”.  So how can we keep ourselves inspired throughout this 1st quarter?

20140113-213849.jpg

Scarf: Borrowed (then gifted, LOL)// Cardigan: Gifted// Leggings: H&M (available HERE)// Flats: Mossimo, Thrifted// Clutch: Love, Cortnie (shop other styles, HERE)// Sunnies: Purchased at a Vendor Sale (similar HERE)

20140113-213903.jpg

1. Find a Mantra - When you find yourself struggling to keep those goals for the New Year, think about and repeat a saying that will help you over the hump. For example, you may be starting a new workout regimen and you just don’t feel like you can make it through a particular exercise. Try repeating something like, “I’m strong and I will get through this”. This phrase can work for many situations. I find myself repeating similar sayings or even scriptures to myself throughout the day. Words have power – begin training your mind to believe and think more positive thoughts.

2. Make a List & Cross Off as You Go - Last week, the BLM blogging group had a twitter chat and one of the topics was organization. I shared that the best way for me to organize my tasks for the day is by using pen and paper. Each day, I write a to-do-list and as I complete a task, I cross it off. Seeing that I accomplished a task helps keep me going. Using technology for this is great too. There are several apps out there that will help you stay on task. As for me, there’s just nothing like pen and paper. ;-) Having a to-do- list lessens “scatter brain tendencies” and it allows you to get in a zone. Even if you don’t cross off every single task, you can still see your progress.

20140113-213935.jpg

3. Edit Your Surroundings - Sometimes the reason we’re stuck in neutral or even reverse is due to the company we keep. When you succeed, not everyone is happy about that. Be careful of the company you keep and be careful who you share things with. I’m a firm believer in energy and some people know how to suck all the good energy out of you. You do not need people like that rallying behind you. Pray for positive people to enter into your life and embrace their positive energy. Their way of thinking or habits may be a good influence on you.

4. Have Fun – At times, I can be very Type-A. Having order and structure keeps me sane. But the older I get, the more I realize that loosening up and allowing myself to laugh about certain situations makes things so much easier. Setting goals and following through is very important, but don’t get so caught up in achieving something that you forget to have fun. Life is too short not to.

20140113-213955.jpg

I hope you find these 4 tips helpful. Whenever I can offer inspirational words or motivation of any kind, I see it as a blessing. I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty inspirational people in my life and I believe that inspiring and motivating others is a way to pay it forward.Until next time, be blessed…XO!

____

**Linkups: Fashion Linkup, Fun Day Monday, The Brandied Pair & Monday Must Haves** 

WNJ Inspires – I am Not My Hair

So this weekend I decided to change my hair, again, lol. I really wanted to embrace my natural hair and play around with different styles. After a few hours of washing, conditioning, and blow drying, I sat in the mirror and shook my head. “Do I really feel like dealing with all this hair?” I asked myself. A couple minutes went but and I just decided to stick it out. I finally found a style that I could work with for a few days. Thank goodness for bobby pins and banana clips, LOL! :-D

all_black 1

Coat: Simply Be (Similar Styles HERE)/// Dress: Thrifted (pictured HERE)// Scarf: Bakers// Shoes: Thrifted// Sunnies: Purchased at a Shopping Event// Clutch: Love, Cortnie// Jewelry: Charming Charlie

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a “hair girl”. I like my hair to be healthy and to look nice, but I’m not one to play with styles and try different products. I find a few styles I like and I rotate between them. When it comes to the products I use, I let my hair stylist tell me what’s best and I go from there. However since I’ve been wearing my hair natural for 6 months, I’ve realized how much time and effort it takes to really do my hair. From wigs, extensions and everything in between, I’m tired, LOL! Years ago, my freshman year in college, I wore my hair natural for about 2 years so, I’m no stranger to this process. I’m just at a different place now. Carving out 25-30 extra minutes in the morning to lay my edges down is getting on my last nerve.

all_black 2

With all that being said, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. By the beginning of the year, I plan to make a decision as to weather or not I’m going to stick it out with my natural hair. People have a lot to say when it comes to hair but when it comes down to it, I have to be the one to deal with it on a daily basis. I have to make me happy and do what’s best for my busy, on-the-go lifestyle. When my hair wasn’t natural, I found it a lot easier to manage. Granted I spent a bit more by going to the hair salon every 2 or so weeks but, it worked for me. Like India Arie said, I am Not My Hair. Natural, permed, whatever – it’s your choice. So we shall see.

As always, I’m interested to know what you think. Does natural hair work better for your lifestyle? Does hair really matter all that much to you? Let me know! TTYS…XO!

all_black 3**Linkups: Tre Chic Thurs, Weds Style Connection, Love it Link it, Style Linkup, Trendril Linkup, Whatever Weds, Wardrobe Wed., WIW,  What I’m Wearing**

 

Personal Style – Black & Grey Maxi

Hey there! Today is Personal Style Wednesday and I can’t wait to see what looks you all linkup today! Huge thanks to all those who participated in my 1st linkup (see post HERE). Today I just wanted to give you all the full look at my outfit from yesterdays post. This grey & black maxi was a go-to-look for the summer. I purchased it at the end of August but it still got a lot of wear. To make this short sleeved maxi weather appropiate, I added my faux leather jacket and some patent flats. This outfit was super comfortable, as well as a last minute option for a random date night, lol.

blackgrey

blackgrey2

Faux Leather Jacket: Target (Plus Size, Exilhiration)// Dress: Macy’s, $10.99// Necklace ($1) & Reading Glasses ($2.90): Thrifted, 2nd Avenue// Patent Leather Flats: Mossimo, Thrifted for $4// Clutch: Love, Cortnie (no longer available)

blackgrey3

So now it’s your turn – link up your favorite outfit that best displays your personal style form last week (or whenever)You must include this link in whichever outfit you post. Also, don’t forget to grab a button and show it off to let people know you’re participating in PSW (Personal Style Wednesday). Thanks for reading and for joining in. TTYS!

946011_1435239006702397_685607233_n (1)

**Linkups: Monday MingleWIW, Thrifters Anonymous , Wardrobe Wednesdays Whatever Wednesday**

::Inspirational Tuesday:: The Balancing Act

Have you ever had those days where you find yourself slightly overwhelmed? I know those days all to well. Let’s face it… life can a lot sometimes. For me, it’s been an uphill battle learning how to deal with all the changes and new “roles” in my life.  Not only do I work full-time, but I have my own small business, of course I blog, and I’m also a wife, a daughter, a big sister, and a friend. So how do I balance it all? As I said before, it’s an uphill battle but I have 6 balancing tips that I’d like to share with you, in hopes that you can find some sort of balance in life. :-)

tues12

1. Eat Breakfast - It may seem simple but there are so many people who skip breakfast. For years, I did the same thing. I was “too busy” in the morning to think about eating. However for the past few months, I’ve been making an extra effort to  get up and pack my breakfast before work. Most of the time I’ll pack boiled eggs, fruit, yogurt, or cereal. Eating in the morning gives me energy and it helps me focus throughout the day. This one small change has really helped so I suggest you start here!

2. Get Lifted - I’m not here to convert your beliefs or tell you to pray 24-7. But I do think having some sort of daily does of inspiration is important. Reading Our Daily Bread, A Purpose Driven Life, or some other uplifting read can help focus your thoughts for the day. I usually read Our Daily Bread and listen to something uplifting while driving to work (see post here) to get my day started.

3. Write it Down - I’ve been slacking on my journaling but I do create some sort of daily reminder/list that I can refer to. I use my phone a lot for this. I have so many notes like what I ate, our grocery list, random thoughts/ideas for my blog and business, etc. all in my trusty iPhone. If I get all the ideas out of my head and onto paper (or in a phone), that’s one less thing for me to think about. I also make a daily checklist once I get to work. Seeing all my tasks and highlighting them when their complete gives me a mini-sense of accomplishment. :-)

tues2

4. Unplug - This is SO difficult for me but I’m finding it to be very necessary and beneficial. I’ve started unplugging from social media, texting, and talking for at least 45 mins to an hour when I get home. Usually when I’m cooking, I’m able to do this. I charge my phone in the other room, turn on a jazz or R&B music station on TV and just focus on cooking. I do have the house phone nearby in case the hubby or mom calls. When I’m not cooking, I use this “unplug” time to make my lunch for the next day or do meal prep for the rest of the week, tidy up around the house, or take a nap. Yes, a nap STILL does wonders for me at 27 years old, LOL! I also use this time to chat with my husband about how his day was or anything else we decide to talk about. I think setting aside time to have a one-on-one conversation with your mate or significant other (with no cell phone in sight) is important to maintain a healthy relationship.

5. Unwind & Pamper - Every Sunday, I try to treat myself to a foot massage (I purchased a portable foot soaker/massager one form Walmart) and a facial. After filling up the foot soaker with warm water and Epsom salt, I soak for a good 30 mins. I also use that time to catch up on the latest fashion and gossip magazines or watch the shows I missed from the week. I purchase these little face mask packets from Target in order to give my self a mini facial – I love the detoxifying and purifying ones! It’s like a mini spa our bedroom on Sunday afternoons and I love it! :-)

6. SLEEP! - I try my very best to be asleep by 10.30 – 11 pm on weeknights. If Scandal is on, it’s 11 ;-). I used to stay up until way past midnight writing blog posts, watching TV, reading…whatever! I would wake up the next morning with a rather blah attitude and then go through the day feeling so lethargic. Gone are those days. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to get proper rest. Whatever I don’t finish that day waits until the next day. A good night sleep is key to functioning though my busy days(s).

tues

Reading Glasses & Necklace: Thrifted// Faux Leather Jacket: Target (plus size section)// Earrings: Bakers// Dress: Macy’s

Now that I’ve shared my balancing act tips with you, what do you think? Do you do any of these things on my list? What are some things that you do to keep balance in your life? Let me know! As always, I love to read your feedback and ideas. Until next time, be blessed…TTYS!

**LinkupsStyle Sessions, My Style Monday & Weekly AmbitionMonday Mingling**

Simply Be & All Black

In case you’re wondering, yes – the big curly hair is back and I’m loving it!! :-) Oh how I’ve missed this wild, carefree hair. It feels good to be back! :-) Ok, ok…I’m done, lol…let’s move on to today’s outfit post.

Have you ever shopped online at Simply Be? I came across this online site last year and instantly fell in love with their items. They carry sizes 10-28 and the prices are pretty reasonable. Last year I was planning an outfit for an event and there were a few dresses I had in mind. Browsing through the site, I saw this jacket – it was BAD! Faux leather sleeves, collar and trimming – it was perfect! I put it on my wishlist and to my GREAT surprise, I actually won the exact jacket form a Love Brown Sugar giveaway! I saw that she had the giveaway going on and the same jacket was the prize. To this day I am SO glad I entered. I guess you can say it was meant to be. ;-)

allblack

allblack1

As you know, wearing all black is always so easy. It’s a perfect canvas for gorgeous, colorful and bodacious jewelry, cute and playful blazers, and fun fancy shoes! The dress I’m wearing was a steal at $9.99 and I really like the tie in the front. It helps conceal the middle area – a huge bonus! ;-) The bold statement necklace was a thrifted gift from my mother-in-law. She too enjoys thrifting and bargain hunting.

allblack3

allblack4

allblack2

Coat: Simply Be (Giveaway) // Dress: Macy’s, $9.99// Necklace: Thrifted (Gifted)// Earrings: Thrifted// Shoes: Sam & Libby, (Macy’s) $12.99

allblack6

allblack5

The glittery shoes really compliment the necklace. I’m glad I decided to keep them, lol. I was so close to selling them on eBay because I hadn’t worn them in so long. But when the hubby suggest them to me, I had a change of heart. I plan to wear them more during the holiday season.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I look forward to your feedback on my look. Are you a fan of all black looks too? Do you love bold statement necklaces as much as I do? Chime in and let me know! TTYS!

**This is not a sponsored post**

_____

Linkups: Yolo Mondays, Thrifters Anynomous, Monday Mingle, Visibile Monday, Love it Link it & Style Elixer

Wear to Work (WTW), Part I

Good evening, friends! It’s been VERY HOT here in Maryland but I’m trying my best to keep cool!

I’ve been wanting to do a “series” on the blog and I think my 1st one will be geared towards my workplace attire. I’m going to call it, “Wear to Work“. I’ll be featuring my weekly looks (Mon. Weds. Fri.), as well as options to, “shop my look”. Workplace looks, via-Polyvore, will also be featured. I plan to break down why I think certain pieces are necessary for every woman’s work wardrobe. I hope you enjoy this mini-series—can’t wait to show you more!

Today’s look is a perfect outfit for work. I work in an office-like environment and while I have my own office, I am constantly walking back and forth to certain rooms/offices every day. Because of that, a comfortable (and stylish) shoe is absolutely necessary. If you can rock a comfy pair of pumps, go for it—it’s all in what is comfortable for YOU! The Tory Burch flats fit the comfort description to a tee for little ol’ me! Also, gravitate towards nude when looking for work shoes. Nude shoes go with EVERYTHING! I’ve found that having these flats saves time for me in the morning. I don’t have to plan my outfit around a pair of shoes anymore—I just go with nude! :-)

My top is colorful, trendy (because of the gold hardware/buttons) and a bit playful, but still work-appropriate. It’s also lightweight and wearable for every season. The black slacks are a staple piece for every woman’s work wardrobe. My ankle pants are perfect for the season and will never go out of style!

pink4Top: Alfani (Macy’s)//Slacks: Ellen Tracy//Flats: Tory Burch//Purse: Nine West (gifted)//Earrings: Thrifted (2nd Ave.)

pink

The purse I’m carrying may look small, but it’s deep. It holds my iPhone, iPad, wallet, cosmetic bag, as well as my notebook. I think it’s very important to carry a larger bag to work. Nothing is worse than having your “work papers” all crinkled up in your hand. It’s unprofessional and messy. Save yourself and invest in a tote or a large bag to carry your “work stuff”. There are so many cute work bags out there so, there is no excuse. ;-)

Enjoy the rest of the pics and be sure to check back Friday! Part II of, Wear to Work continues with how to wear/style dresses in the workplace. Until then, be blessed and take care!

~Whitney

pink1 pink2Shop My Look

**click HERE for more info on the items below**

work1

Today’s Linkups:

WWW (1)

wiww

Change…

Happy Wednesday—we’re halfway thru the week! I hope everyone is doing well.

In today’s post, I want to talk about change. Let me first say that I’ve been thinking about life and topics other than clothes recently so, I hope you don’t mind me veering off the fashion path for a few posts. We all have those moments, right? Anyway…. I’m the type of person who likes order and routine. I like to know what’s going on, what’s going to happen next, and what  I’m supposed to do if it doesn’t go right. LOL, yes…a bit of control freak syndrome going on, huh? Well here lately I’ve been learning to embrace change and roll with the punches. Life isn’t perfect. Things happen. It’s how you handle it all is what really matters.

In the spirit of embracing change, I’ve also become more apt to trying new things. Be it food, a certain TV show, fashion trends and even my hairchanging things up a bit can be fun! What are some new things that you’ve tried lately? What do you do to get yourself out of a rut? Let me know!

Enjoy today’s outfit and enjoy your day. Until next time, be blessed!

 

blackmaxi7

blackmaxi6Maxi: Calvin Klein//Sandals: Target (Purchase, HERE)//Purse: Nine West//Sunnies: Thrifted//Earrings: Bakers 

blackmaxi5blackmaxi4Today’s Link Up’s

WWWwiww

Thrifty Tunic

So let me start this post by letting you all know how annoyed I was when I edited these pics. Why was I annoyed? Because I totally forgot to iron my tunic!!! :-( LOL, I know you’re probably like, “this girl is crazy”. But those that know me understand that I’m a weirdo when it comes to wrinkles. I iron e v e r y t h i n g. But I digress–we all make mistakes, right? queen

Since I got that off my chest, lol, let’s talk about how this has instantly become a go-to piece for me. I love the print, the fringes, and most of all the fit. It’s not super baggy on me, so it still shows my curves a little bit. The leggings were found while cleaning and unpacking. I’ve been looking for these for about 2 months. Glad I found these babies! Leggings are my absolute favorite things to wear. I like jeans and slacks but the comfort and ease of leggings just can’t be beat. Plus, these leggings are thick enough to be worn as pants. I don’t just prance around in any ‘ol kind of leggings. They have to be a good, thick material for me to wear them out in public. How do YOU feel about leggings? Are you a fan??

queen1Well, I hope you all enjoy this look. Thanks, as always, for supporting and reading my blog. Be blessed, and I’ll be back Friday! XO

~Whitney

queen2

Tunic: Laurel Thrift Store ($3.50)//Leggings: Two by Vince Camuto (Nordstrom)//Purse: Gifted, Arcadia//Sandals: Target//Jewelry:Thrifted queen3Today’s Linkups:

WWW

RW

wiww