“Mama I Made it”… on the Importance of My Accomplishments Jar

21 04 2015
A peek at my jar...

A peek at my jar…

This New Year’s Eve, I decided to try something a little different to set myself up for the new year. I didn’t make resolutions; I made an accomplishments jar courtesy of an idea from Buzzfeed.

The basic idea behind the jar was that we all spend so much time focusing on getting to the completion of our goals (a BIG problem of mine, sometimes) that we miss out on the beauty of when we actually accomplish those goals — big and small.

So essentially (to use one example of mine), I should take the time to be excited about completing my query letter for my book instead of running past that achievement and only concerning myself with the completion of getting my book deal. And thing is, every time you complete something, whether silly or serious, publicly important or just something you silently said to yourself, you’re supposed to write it on the piece of paper, date it, and place it in the jar. When the year is over, you go back to the jar and re-read everything you did to remind yourself how much you did over the year.

There are so many reasons why this has been good for me so far, but here are just a few of them.

1. It forces to me to “stop and smell the roses.” I can be very focused and ambitious at times and sometimes lose sight of the small achievements that have to take place before I get to the big ones. Writing a note every time I complete a goal makes it that much more real for me.

2. It puts my gratitude on fleek! You know what happens, or at least what has happened with me, when you’re constantly writing out things you’ve done on even on a micro-level? You begin to realize just how much of it is not your doing. I find myself thanking God all the time now, for like… everything.

3. Which, in turn, keeps me faithful about the larger goals. I read recently that one of the best ways to stay faithful during a waiting period in your life is to constantly be thankful for what’s already in your life. I read this after I’d started on this accomplishments jar journey, and it was like confirmation to what I’d been feeling, and how much less stressed I’ve been.

4. It’s like the Twitter version of my journal, and it makes me commit to the feeling of accomplishment. You know how so often we look up and wonder what we’re doing with our lives? Folks start going through mid-quarter life crises and things? Well, this is a written account of what has been important to me in this year, what I sought out, when I was happy about a specific event, etc… but because it’s done on post it notes or small scraps of paper, it has to be in short and small details. No full out journal postings that start getting into rambling about how I completed something, but now I still have all this left to do. Nope. It’s short and simple. “I lost 20 pounds.” “I paid for someone’s lunch today.” “I woke up without snoozing my alarm sixteen times before getting out of the bed.”

5. It makes me happy. I haven’t even gone back and read anything yet (because technically, you’re supposed to wait until the end of the year lol), but when I see those notes piling up in my jar when I get home, I get a sense of joy. It tells me that no matter how hectic work might have been or if I feel like I didn’t finish something I wanted to complete, I’ve accomplished a lot just in the past four months.

I can’t wait to see what it looks like in December.


Celebrity Shoe Lines

24 10 2012

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With Keyshia Cole launching her new shoe line with Steve Madden next month, I thought it would be kind of cool to profile some of the other celebrities who have successfully launched shoe lines over the past several years. I’m sure Keyshia hopes to be as successful as say, Jessica Simpson, who is arguably more known for her shoe line than her singing career at this point. But only time will tell if her shoes with Steve Madden are a hit or a miss for her.

Keyshia recently spoke to The Breakfast Club about her new venture, saying:

I’ve been talking about this Steven Madden deal for about four years now so the reason why I wanted to do a deal with Steven Madden is because, when I didn’t have any money and before I got my deal, I used to buy Steve Madden shoes. So I just want to make sure that I do really cute shoes that my demographic can afford.

[The shoes will debut in] November.  I’ve already made all three and they will be featured in my videos and in the album packaging.

I certainly wish her luck, and while the first two shoes she’s showcased don’t exactly fit my aesthetic, I could definitely see girls like my baby sister rocking them. She’s a fan of a much flashier shoe than I am.

In the meantime, while we wait to see if Keyshia’s line will be a success, here are the top 5 celebrity shoe lines I think are changing the game these days.

Jessica Simpson

I spoke about this earlier, but Jessica has really branded herself as a shoe impresario with her shoe line. And you’d be hard pressed to find many women shoe lovers who aren’t fans or her shoes. I certainly am!

House of Harlow 1960 by Nicole Richie

This is not the same Nicole who was strutting around Hollywood with Paris, being a bad girl. Well, technically it is, but since then Nicole has really made a name for herself in the fashion world. Her shoes are just the start of that.

L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefanie

I know some No Doubt fans will hate to hear this, but it’s quite possible that Gwen’s known for her shoes as much as she is her music, just like with Jessica Simpson. This is great (for her shoe brand, at least)… maybe not so much for her music career. I’m sure if she puts out another BANANAS song in the near future, that might all change.

JLO by Jennifer Lopez

She may not be the original shoe line celebrity, but she’s definitely one of the more accomplished from her era. When JLO first came out, you couldn’t find it anywhere in the stores, not because they weren’t selling them in the stores, because they’d be all sold out. The brand’s popularity has died down a little bit, but she’ll always be one of the premier examples of how to use your celebrity to build a fashion empire under your name.

Fergie Footwear

One look on her website, and you’ll see that her shoes are comparable to anything you’ll find at Bakers, Nine West, or Steve Madden. Maybe even cuter?

Anyway, what do you all think? Would you buy Keyshia’s shoes? And do you own any shoes from any of the other popular celebrity shoe lines?

Shoes Doing Social Media

17 10 2012

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Lately, I’ve noticed that some of my fave shoe stores are now doing some pretty cool things with their websites to engage their shoe communities. And I, for one, am pretty impressed.

In this day and age where everyone is trying to compete in the social media market, these stores have found cool and new ways to keep their audience coming back to either learn more information, catch more sales, or give the stores some feedback on their products.

I first noticed Nine West’s youtube page a couple weeks ago and thought, wow – that’s a pretty innovative thing for Nine West to do. I think we all tend to think of Nine West as a brand for work shoes (or at least, I do), but maybe this venture into the social media arena will help them open up their brand a little more. It definitely opened my eyes to more possibilities for them… for me.

The coolest thing about the Channel 9 Network youtube page is that it allows customers to upload their videos for their shoe hoarders episode, but it also has original content. More importantly, the channel has over 50,000 subscribers. I’d say that’s fairly successful, right?

After seeing that social media effort, I also noticed that Aldo was doing some innovative stuff on their site as well – especially in commemoration of their 40th anniversary. Instead of doing the typical 40% off sale for the anniversary, Aldo decided to feature a new sale every day for 40 days. Talk about 40 reasons to keep going back to their site, right? On top of the sales, they’re also featuring a different blog post every day on their site Aldo40.com and highlighting things like behind the scenes action in stores and offering chances to win contests.

Even Barefeet Shoes have gotten in on the craze with their Pinterest page!

I wonder if these efforts are these stores ways to compete with the ever-growing online shoe store competition they now have to contend with on a regular basis. I mean, I love shopping in stores, but I also love shopping online and some sites have made it much easier (and cooler) to do so recently. For example, Sole Society offers not only a variety of shoes, but also has a fashion insiders section (that includes tips and shoe suggestions from various fashion experts) as well as a pretty cool blog. And let’s not forget that sites like Zappos offer free shipping on all purchases!

Seems to me the fact that some of the more conventional shoe stores are beginning to expand their online presence can only mean great things for shoe lovers like me. What do you all think? Would any of these social media efforts make you take a second look at the shoe stores using them?

Rachel Roy Launches Shoe Line

8 08 2012

Photo: rachelroy.com

My goal has always been to design things that enhance her life and help her create, in the most beautiful way, individually. ~ Rachel Roy

While looking through the world wide web for great shoes recently, I came upon an article on the website, Running with Heels. In it, they announced the launching of Rachel Roy’s shoe line in the month of August. So of course, I just had to share with my lovelies!

If you know anything about Rachel Roy, then you probably know that she’s considered one of the hottest new designers out of the United States. Her designs are typically fresh and sophisticated, yet still simple. And actually, according to Running with Heels, her clothes are also a big favorite of First Lady, Michelle Obama.

I, for one, am pretty excited about this shoe collection. Rachel described her shoes as “strong and sexy,” when speaking to Women’s Wear Daily, and I can see what she means by looking at the current line up on her website. Right now, the prices range from about $200+ to about $600+, but I would expect that as her collection grows, her price range will vary more.

Here’s some looks I thought were interesting on first glance:

purple suede 4 1/2 in heels

light pink snake 4 1/2 in heels

dark brown suede 4 1/2 in boot with gold metal tipped toe

Check out her website for more looks when you get a chance. And don’t say I never did anything for y’all lol.

Taking L’s the Right Way

31 01 2011

“Dating is about taking calculated L’s.. you have to do that sometimes… if you do it the right way, it can give you the upper hand.” – P Dawg

“The only way to not take L’s in dating is to be single.” – S_Lyphe

Editor’s note: Taking the L means taking the loss.

The other day, because of the stupid snow in DC, I spent 25 hours without power in my apartment and probably the only thing that kept me sane was that my friend, P Dawg, spent like 13 of those hours with me (as his power was out as well, because he lives in my apartment complex). You can imagine that in a span of 13 hours, we had the chance to talk about a lot of things… one of those being the guys I’m dating right now.

What was casual conversation, of course, turned into me getting slightly chastised, but while I typically disagree with most of his assessments, this time I was actually able to see his point and thus, it inspired me to write this post. It began with me mentioning how I’m going to see one of the guys I’m dating when I go home this week for my dental procedure, and how he’d asked me to stay through Monday after I’d already booked my ticket to leave and come back to DC on Sunday.

I eventually decided to change my flight and stay through Monday, but only after I’d hemmed and hawed, asked my mom what I should do, and finally decided I would stay but that my reason would be more about my family than about him. After all, I did want to watch the Superbowl with my family, which is something I wouldn’t have been able to do had I left on Sunday. Of course I said this to P Dawg and watched him as he looked at me like I was stupid. “So, what, you were actually thinking about not staying the extra day,” he asked.

Well yeah. As I explained to P Dawg, my first thought was that I didn’t want the guy to think he had me because I’d decided to stay longer after he asked me to.  I mean, I didn’t want him to think he had the upper hand, right? Wrong. P Dawg looked me dead in my face and said, “you played this thing completely wrong.” And this is when he made the statement at the beginning of this post. “Dating is about taking calculated L’s… What you should have done is changed the flight, let him think that the decision was all about him, and then you actually have the upper hand. In that way, yeah, technically you’re taking the L, but even if you don’t say it – he knows that now if you ask him to do something, he’s gotta do it. You would have the upper hand. You played this thing completely wrong.”

Well, damn. But I changed the flight, I argued. I mean, I should get kudos for that (y’all know I like a good relationship kudo lol)… the old D-Magic would have completely stood her ground; and that’s not a hypothetical. I’ve been asked a few times to stay longer when visiting a guy and decided to stick to my original plans. To which P Dawg so eloquently pointed out to me, “and how has that worked out for you?”

Grrrrrrrrrrr. I hate when he’s right about these kinds of things.

Anyway, the conversation got me to thinking. One, it showed me just how much men and women don’t see interactions the same sometimes, but more importantly it showed me just how guarded I’ve been in my past. The truth is that it cost me nothing to change my flight (yay Southwest and their no change fee policy!), and the flight leaving on Monday was actually cheaper than the original one. So why would I have chosen not to stay? To prove a point? P Dawg, and subsequently S_Lyphe, was right… that mentality hadn’t gotten me very far in the past. And even though I’ve been saying that this year I’m doing things differently… there was clearly something that made me uneasy about staying for him.

Maybe it was the fact that I’m always concerned that I’m going to find myself in a position where I’m giving too much of myself to a guy again, or maybe it was just that it’s a change from my dating norm to be this flexible and open and change is always uncomfortable. Either way, I got what P Dawg meant and I’m hoping that I can remember it when the situation calls for me to take a calculated L again.

What do you all think, though? Are P Dawg and S_Lyphe right in asserting that you have to take calculated Ls if you’re dating someone or you won’t progress it further? More importantly, do you think I should still get kudos for changing the flight, even if I presented the change in the wrong way? Let’s discuss…

Get your Shoe Game Up – Fall Edition

21 10 2010

So, if you went to the Mecca/ the Capstone of Black Education ie Howard University, you know that Homecoming is raring it’s little head in like a week’s time – and I can’t have something like that coming up without giving you guys some shoe goodies, whether for inspiration, to actually go out and purchase, or for just fantasy time (not the naughty kind of fantasy time, I mean you wearing the shoes in your dreams fantasy time… nasties lol). PLUS, if your parents are anything like mine, they start asking you what you want for Christmas in October and usually I have at least one pair of shoes on my list. Actually, one of the shoes I’m about to show you guys WILL be on this year’s list. Here’s hoping I get them! Woooohooo!

Incidentally, I got the ones I asked for last year and wore them to the Valentine Wedding of 2010. I love Christmas and Santa Claus 🙂

These bootss are HOT, HAUTE, HOT!!! Colin Stuart boots from Victoria’s Secret $158


These are actually my Christmas shoes Plan B – but they’re great, right?! Colin Stuart Strappy Platform Sandal from Victoria’s Secret $75

My Plan A’s!!!!!!!!!! Cobalt Studded Platform Pump from Colin Stuart (Victoria’s Secret) $78

These are kinda cooky looking, but I LIKE them! Goolia flats from Aldo on sale for $25… oh wait – did I mention……..

Aldo’s having a HUGE SALE right now!!!!!

HUUUUUGE SALE!!!!!! I’m not saying to buy something today, but I’m saying you might want to check them and maybe buy something today… before your size is gone.


Last but not least, CCB actually told me about these – YAY! – Avenue apparently sells wider leg boots for those of us with bigger calves. WOOOT! Bree Over the Knee Boot from Avenue $56.90


Enjoy your weekend, ladies – and HAPPY SHOPPING!!! 🙂

DTLR Deal – Sneaker Freaks Alert!

9 08 2010

I haven’t made my way there quite yet, but according to a very reliable source – DTLR has a great sale on PF Flyers right now. $20 per pair – get ’em while you can! You might run into me while you’re there, trying to scoop up all four at one time lol