Style-spiration: Love What You Do

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I’m a natural born talker. I enjoy talking to people and hearing about their background stories. Conversations are my favorite past time. It is the love of stories that I built my business on.

Style-spiration-Love What You Do-titleToday, I have a speaking gig. I’m kind of nervous, but I’m playing it cool by tricking my mind into thinking that I’m more prepared than I feel like I am. A part of me has always wanted to speak in front of crowds and have candid conversations with strangers.

When the opportunity came to speak at Southwired — formerly Digital Atlanta, is one of the Southeast’s largest and longest running digital conferences starring the country’s top innovators. Hosted in Atlanta each year, the five day brain exchange features the biggest innovators in digital technology and media – giving attendees all access to best practices, industry trends and next gen breakthroughs (website)– I knew that I wanted to be a part of it to exercise my public speaking chops as well as market myself as an innovator in branding and digital marketing.

 

Style-spiration-Love What You Do-quote via SOAinspired

To me this is a huge check mark on my list of accomplishments this year. It’s a testament to being able to do the things that I love. As the year winds down, so many of the conversations I’ve over heard or have been a part of have been about revisiting everything that we’ve been through, accomplished, and dealt with in the past year…personally.

I have to honestly say that this has been the year where the love of what I do + my determination and work ethic + my unapologetic belief in myself are all starting to come together. I believe this has been the year where loving what I do motivates me to continue to do what I love.

Style-spiration-Love What You Do-outfit deets via SOAinspired

Have you experienced that moment? That moment when you catch yourself in the middle of executing your dream to realize that you actually LOVE what you do and wouldn’t trade any of it in the world? Not the loss of the sleep. Not the rejection. Not the opportunities for the 9 to 5. Not the employer for employee. Not the influence or access or thought leadership. I’m there. In the middle of creating and planning events, hosting and speaking, consulting and mentoring, I realized that I truly truly love what I do and that’s the only way to be able to do what you love.

Love What You Do via SOAinspired

 

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Style-spriation: What having it together looks like

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This week has been pretty much amazing! I got the chance to experience Shake Shack. Hosted an awesome event curated by my brand and later tonight I’ll be going to the annual Art Beats + Lyrics event sponsored by Jack Daniels here in Atlanta. You would think someone as put together looking as me would actually be put together….

What having it together looks like title

I think this week has taught me that looking put together and being put together are two totally different things. As awesome as my week has been for both my personal and professional brands…I have been missing out on some very important things! I feel like a hot mess!!!! *insert emoji*

I missed not one, but TWO  conference calls this week all because I relied too heavily on my apparently malfunctioning reminder and calendar. Ugh! The part of me that is too hard on myself feels like a serious failure. The entrepreneur in me is dying for an assistant that’s reliable. And the Aquarius in me is like ‘get over it and do better next time.’

What having it together looks like via SOAinspired

I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine that asked me how do I do all the things I do from growing my brand to being a wife…who cooks no less than four times a week to mentoring to being an entrepreneur, I simply told them that ‘I just make it look good, but behind the scenes I’m a bit of a hot mess.’

The thing about looking like you have it together is knowing when you don’t actually have it together and allowing that overwhelming feeling to consume me with failure so that I can learn and grow from it. Am I mad that I messed up? Absolutely! Will I let it defeat me? Hell no! Am I going to ensure that I rectify my mistake? You bet! Like Walt Disney said,

All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…
You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.

Style-spiration-What having it together looks like deets

Style-spiration: Bright

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I wore this outfit several weeks ago when my mother dragged me to a wedding for one of her mentees. It was something I literally threw together.

Style-spiration: Bright via SOAinspired

Sometimes I feel like that’s what the universe does to us. It just kind of throws things in the mix for us to sort them out and make sense of it. The folks who have learned and grown to appreciate it become better able to take whatever it is the universe has thrown at them and turn it into opportunities, lessons, growth. For them, no matter how crazy things may seem, the future is ALWAYS bright!

Style-spiration: Bright quote via SOAinspired

That’s where I want to be. I can’t say that I am fully there because you know…I’m human. And I can’t say that every time the universe decides to throw in a paisley scarf, plaid skirt, and orange top that I’m going to agree that it goes together, but some where in there, it just works.

Style-spiration: Bright outfit deets via SOAinspired

The universe is funny like that. You’ll go years, months, days wondering why karma is picking on you and asking yourself what you did to deserve it, not realizing that everything happens for a reason. Everything happens to make you greater. Everything happens to make the future brighter.

 

Style-spiration: Unmasked

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I have found that the older I get, the more of myself I become.

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You would think after 27.5 years on this planet that I have completely come into my own, but honestly that’s far from the truth. You grow up completely influenced by your parents and what they expect of you. You start school and start becoming influenced by your friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and teachers. You go to college and get influenced by campus life. You graduate and become influenced by the working society, just to wake up and wonder what your life is really about! Oh the trials of a twenthysomething!

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As you get older, you start to pick choose and refuse what you will be influenced by — taking off the mask of who people think you are and finally revealing yourself…your true self.

As the layers are peeling back and the mask gets lifted higher and higher, I find I love who I’ve become…I love who I am. All the influences of my life have shaped me to who I am and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.

I guess that’s what growing up is all about. Instead of fighting all your influencers, you appreciate them for who they are and what they’ve given you. You appreciate the fact that because of their influence, you have learned to unmask your true self.

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Outfit deets: Dress: Forever 21 (Similar) | Boots: GoJane (Similar) | Clutch: C/O Imperfect Concepts | Necklace: Boutique | Ring: Target | Mask: DIY

Who has influenced you for the better in your life? Has someone influenced you in a negative way, but you received a positive lesson from it? Let me know in your comments!

Style-spiration: Black to the Future

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. Well…I’m always thinking about my future. What’s going to happen? Where will I be? Who will I meet? Will I be stable? It wouldn’t be fair to say that it’s the ponderings of a millennial. I think we are all guilty of wanting to know what our future holds.

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Lately, I’ve been having what I like to call “A Career Month.” As an entrepreneur, you become used to the instability of clientele and funds. I often have conversations with my friends and colleagues about how the life of an entrepreneur is the total opposite of what most people think it is. It’s not all the glitz and glamour, flashy cars, designer duds, and private jets people think it is. Much of the time, we’re just trying to make it until one day we don’t have to try so hard.

I’ve been having a career month. For the past several weeks, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to sign new clients, plan new events, meet new partners, have more of my ideas taken seriously, and so much more. For the past several weeks, I’ve felt more like an entrepreneur than I ever have. I feel like it’s because of my determination and tenacity during the time when nothing was happening that things are happening.

Black to the Future-SOAinspired

On this particular day, I had 5 meetings all around the city for several projects coming up in the next 3, 6, and 12 months. It was a really good day.

It’s like what they say in the Law of Attraction, when you set an intention, visualize, and execute, the thing that you most desire will come to fruition. What I most desire is for my business(es) to be successful enough for my income to be sustainable and then some! I’d like to think that’s what any business owner and entrepreneur wants.

I think believe that the attraction has caught up to me. Now instead of envisioning my future and seeing black, it’s starting to come to focus. It’s starting to look brighter and brighter every day.

Black to the Future 2- SOAinspired

Style-spiration: Good Music

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“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” -George Carlin

You know when you’re in the car or at the house and you have the Pandora or the Rdio blasting with your favorite album or artist and your song comes on? It’s as if the world melts away, all your problems disappear, and some invisible force takes a hold of your body and starts moving you into a euphoric state that only ends once the song is over.

style, lifestyle, fashion, music, Rihanna, SOA Inspired

This picture is giving me Tamar, hunny! Yes Gawd!

That’s how music should make you feel. It should make you feel happy, emotional, silly, invincible, like you are the sole best singer, dancer, choreographer on the face of the planet!

These lost files from my annual photoshoot last year made me extremely happy when I looked at them again recently. Carter James of IndiePop Group did a fabulous job of capturing me in the moment…even though I was supposed to be modeling. It took me back to what song I was listening to (Rihanna’s Pour It Up) and the feeling it gave me (utter euphoria). When it came on…I HAD to dance. These extremely candid photos are the end result!

style, lifestyle, fashion, music, Rihanna, SOA Inspired

Outfit deets:

3/4 sleeve turtle neck: IndiePop Group style closet | Vest: Forever 21 | Belt: IndiePop Group style closet | Skirt: thrifted (similar) | Shoes: Industry Party Heels ModCloth | Arm Party: Various places including Target

Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music. -George Carlin

What songs instantly make you get up and dance when you hear them? What’s your all time favorite dance album? Leave a comment below!

10 Things I Learned From My Makeup Box

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Recently, like most people, I’ve been on a Spring Cleaning adventure. I’ve been cleaning and organizing just about everything, from the files on my computer, to pictures on my phone to of course make sure the house is neat and tidy. I finally took sometime to clean out my makeup box after a random rash breakout. When I say it was time to clean out that makeup box! It. was. time. to clean that. makeup. box!! But what was interesting was that as I cleaned and trashed my old makeup staples, I began to see myself in each tube of lipgloss, each container of blush, and definitely in my foundation. Check out what I learned below!

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10 Things I Learned From My Makeup Box

1. I have a love affair with lip gloss. Remember when you were a little girl how you constantly begged your mother to buy you those LipSmackers lip glosses that tasted like candy? Well, I kind of brought that into my adulthood, but instead of candy flavored lip gloss…it was candy colored *cringes*.

2. I like color even though I don’t wear it. I have a Sephora eye shadow palette as well as an ELF eye shadow palette…my go to eyeshadow colors are gold, brownish gold, charcoal, and goldish pink…I should really explore the other 99 colors in those palettes.

3. Too many samples, not enough staples. “Hey! You want this free sample?” But when it runs out it’s like “Hey! You want th….oh :(”

4. You can never have too much  black eyeliner. *in Bubba Gump voice* Milani Easyliner in black, Ulta Gel liner in blackout, Maybelline liquid eyeliner, Rimmel liquid eyeliner

5. My brows have evolved. No more Chola brows for me. I discovered Milani’s Browfix Browkit. My brows is a grown wohmahn…but they will NOT do whatever they want.

6. Brush it! Brush it real good! When I started adding better and better brushes to my kit….Whew! My face became a work of art!

"I feel like I became a woman when I learned to properly apply red lipstick" -@soainspired[Milani Easyliner for Lips in Sugar Plum + Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede in Backstage]

7. I transitioned from little girl to lady in a tube of lipstick. I feel like I became a woman when I learned how to properly apply red lipstick.

8. Rogue rouge. I don’t know what it is, but the right tint of blush will make your face go from eh? to Hey!

9. I love my golden brown skin. I would prefer to not have to wear foundation, but I love that my bareMinerals is the perfect shade for my skin and it is so light, I forget I wear it. It really highlights the golden tones in my skin…funny when you like something you really do become a walking advertisement. Ha!

10. Makeup really is fun. No seriously. It is. Many of my friends have asked how I learned how to put on my makeup and I simply tell them, I just practice and have fun..it also helps to consult with a makeup artist you trust to teach you some industry tricks…Pinterest also helps too!

Have you started your beauty spring cleaning regime? What have you learned about yourself while doing it?