Saturday, December 29, 2012

Smelling Roses

As I am reflecting on 2012 I am so thankful that God has truly taught me the importance of enjoying as Joyce Meyers would say “Everyday Life.” Sometimes we get so busy trying to succeed and reach our many goals that we forget to take the time to smell the roses along the way. More often than not I hear someone speak about regrets of not taking time to enjoy their family and simply the blessing of life until its too late. Life is fragile tremendous gift that each moment should be treasured. So here are some of the journeys that I am currently enjoying.

Spiritual Journey: God is so amazing that no matter how close or how long you’ve been serving him, you can never know him enough and there will always be room to grow. There are still many areas in my life that He challenges me to surrender completely to him and He is shaping and transforming me daily. So while I am not where I want to be I am so thankful that I’m not who I was.

Health Journey: This year has been the year that I discovered green juices/smoothies. I can personally say that I have reaped major benefits. However, I have not been consistent but I’m still thankful for new knowledge and that making healthy choices has always been a lifestyle for me.

Hair Journey: I learned about hair care a few years ago but I think this year was really the turning point for me. I went through all the frustrating points, I was a product junkie, jumped on every bandwagon etc. but thankfully that is over and at the end of the day it really is just hair. I refuse to allow my hair to become a frustration. In the meantime I’m enjoying the health of where it is now not solely focused on where I want it to be.

Whatever journey you’re on I hope that you will take the time to smell your roses. Celebrate your small victories whether you moved from a size twenty to size eighteen, furthering your education, becoming debt free, etc. What are some victories you celebrated for 2012?
Remember where there is life there is always hope:)

He Makes Beautiful Things,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Memories

I often chuckle when I hear people say that it does not feel like Christmas until it snows or that they are wishing for snow for Christmas. Admittedly, that first snowfall is beautiful, and there’s something incredibly beautiful and peaceful about watching snowflakes fall softly.  Yet I don’t equate snow with Christmas. The Christmases of my childhood memories are quite the opposite. They were warm and usually sunny and filled with smiling memories of family, friends, and good food.

Growing up, I had what you called “island Christmases.” Those Christmases spent in Jamaica are some of my best and favorite childhood memories. I remember waking up to a packed house filled with relatives and friends from near and far.  In our excitement, my cousins and I would rush to open gifts on Christmas morning, usually grabbing the gifts from relatives in “foreign” (the term we used for the U.S., Canada or England) first.  Though exciting, gift giving and exchanging was not the focal point of Christmas.  We were always thankful for what we got, but I don’t remember creating wish lists or even wanting the latest gadget.  I do remember anxiously awaiting my cousins’ arrival and longing to see my relatives from abroad who usually came home for Christmas. Time spent with loved ones was paramount in my family. Since I come from a musically talented family, we often gathered around singing together or listening to my uncles play the guitar or keyboard. My sister, cousins and I also enjoyed dressing up and performing songs for my family. I haven’t sung some of those songs in years, but today I still remember the lyrics. There are times I catch myself humming those songs of my childhood around the holidays. In addition, my family always (and I mean always) played a huge and extremely competitive game of scrabble. To this day, scrabble remains my favorite board game, and to this day, I cannot beat my uncle T., aunt M. or cousin S.

Although it does not snow in Jamaica, I do remember waiting up one Christmas Eve with my sister and cousins looking out for Santa and is reindeer. We were way too young to realize that poor Santa would have sweated buckets wearing his red wool suit in the Caribbean.

As we get ready to celebrate Christmas in a few days, it’s a great time to stop and reflect on its true meaning. Gift giving and receiving are definitely great parts of this blessed holiday, but they are not the full meaning of Christmas. I like to refer to Christmas as “love holiday,” because the greatest gift that anyone of us can give each other around this time is love. So for this love holiday, remember to give some love away. 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Holiday Party Look

Yesterday I attended my office holiday party. I used some of my own tips from this post such as wearing color, dressing up and adding sparkle. Since I was a little girl, I've loved pink. I thought that my pink preference would have changed with age, but lo and behold I still love pink.  I fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it in store,  mostly for the color, but I was sold when I tried it on for its cut and the soft feel of the fabric. 

 Dress: I love H81
Shoes: Topshop
Clutch: Vintage
Cardigan: Old Navy


I very much wanted to rear red lipstick, but I tend to shy away from bright lips because of my braces.  I decided to focus on my eyes and wear a neutral look. I found the perfect inspiration from one of my favorite Youtube makeup artist, The Fancy Face, and did a neutral smokey eye with a neutral lip. 

The Inspiration


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our Condolences

Our hearts are so heavy right now for all the families affected by the elementary school shooting in Connecticut. Our prayers are with them. May God comfort them in their time of pain. Pray for our country and 
pray for our children. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

7 Fashion Dos for the Office Holiday Party

It's that time of year, good cheer, time with your loved ones and holiday parties. Here are some tips on how to look professionally glam at the office holiday party.

1. Do Dress Up
How many times do you get to dress up for work? I mean really dress up? Here's your time to shine! Go for a beautiful and elegant dress or dress pants (brocade pants are hot this season) with a silk top. Make sure to keep your look tasteful and professional; though it's a party, it's still a business event. 

2. Do wear red lipstick
Red lips may not be appropriate for the office during your work day, but it's a great way to glam up your holiday party look or add a pop of color to your makeup.  I personally love and highly recommend Mac's Ruby Woo. As a tip, if you do choose to go with a bold red lip keep the rest of your makeup soft and natural. 

3. Do spice up your look with tights
Tights are my favorite Fall/Winter accessory. They're such a great way to have fun with your outfits by playing with texture and color, plus they're always fashionable. 

4. Do Add Sparkle
Tastefully celebrate the season's festivities with your look by adding a dash of sparkle with accessories. 

Michael Kors Bracelet,  HERE

5. Do make a Statement with your Shoes
This is the perfect opportunity to pull out those statement-making shoes that are inappropriate for everyday office wear. Make a fashion statement with your shoes. One caveat: do wear shoes that are a comfortable height for you. Stumbling around in uncomfortable shoes you can hardly walk in is not exactly the way to make an impression at any party. 

 shoes available HERE.

6. Do wear color
If your work wardrobe consist of the colors black, grey and navy blue do switch things up a bit and wear color. Variety is the spice of life, right?

7. Do wear a smile

Because nobody is fully dressed without a smile.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Given A Chance

Top: Express, Skirt: Express, Stockings: Primark(London) Shoes: Macy's

My sister gave me this skirt a few years ago....and this is my first time wearing it. I took so long to wear it because I was on the fence, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not so to the back of my closet it went. Fast forward three years and I was getting ready for church and I saw the skirt peeking out at me and thought I should give it a chance. I decided to wear it and absolutely loved it! I felt like I was at church from dawn until dusk because of an event we were having and I was comfortable and uncrumpled the entire day:) Another cool thing about the skirt were the side pockets. Sometimes in life we have to give people, relationships, ourselves, and our dreams a chance. You never know, the outcome might me fantastic!! What will you give a chance in 2013?

He Makes Beautiful things

Monday, December 3, 2012

Do It Afraid

“Just because you feel fear doesn't mean you can't do it. Do it afraid."

I'm looking forward to the New Year - the possibilities, the hopes, the dreams and the plans. Not necessarily my own plans, I've come to rest assured in God plans for my life. "For I know the plans he has for me..."

Reflecting on 2012,  I call it a year of lessons.  Snapshots of time periods and scenarios that were filled with life gems. Some lessons I grasped quickly, others I think will be revealed over time. It's the beauty of life, we must constantly learn in order to change and grow. 

In all the lessons that I learned, I did not learn how to be fearless. I know that statement might sound odd, but I've always wanted to be fearless.  I prayed to know how to  be fearless. Yet God answered my prayers in a different way.  I am not fearless.....yet.  But I've learned something else; to do that thing I'm afraid of doing in spite of my fears. In other words to do it afraid. I do not know if it's possible to have a human existence without feeling afraid sometimes, but I do know that what we do when we're afraid can profoundly affect our lives. As the saying goes, "courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." 

Before I moved to California, I was afraid. The excitement was definitely there, but one night I lied awake thinking about the gravity of my move. I was moving 3000 miles away from everything I knew to a place I've never even visited. I had no family there, and except for a dear friend who lived 5 hours away in San Francisco, I had no support system. Yet despite these fears I moved anyway. So far it's been awesome.

That's just one example of the many things I made a conscious decision to do afraid. It's not confidence in myself, it's confidence in my Father who will  never leave me nor forsake me.

As we move forward to anther year, I challenge you to try it. What is it you want to do but you haven't because of fear? Do it anyway and do it afraid! A fear is so much smaller when you face it head on.


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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Having It All: Can Women Have It All?

“But I thought you were the career woman!,” my friend exclaimed with surprise. I had just told her that I could not wait to have my own family – the husband, the babies, the dog and the picket fence. I was (and still am) looking forward to that.  This conversation occurred a few years ago. At the time I was in my early twenties, a recent college graduate working at a firm in Manhattan.

Since I was a young girl, I dreamt of a successful career. While the exact career transformed from year-to-year, the dream was always there. Yet, I also dreamt of having a family. The early romantic in me wanted the big beautiful wedding, the doting husband, a son and twin daughters.  As you can see, I had it all down to the details. I never felt or thought that I would have to choose family or career. Not once did I believe that I would have to give up one for the other. I believed both could happen simultaneously.

Thus, my friend’s reaction to my spoken desires shocked and perturbed me. I paused wondering if I had to choose. I wanted to know if pursuing my career goals meant that I had to put my dreams of having a family on hold. Most importantly, I wondered if the people in my world saw me as “the career woman” and only that.

I do not have dreams of being superwoman. I know that women everywhere juggle career and family all the time, and I can imagine it’s demanding and difficult (even if  fulfilling) at times.  I can also imagine that the scale is often unbalanced.  Having a career and family means that I must be comfortable with accepting help in many different forms. I do not fool myself into thinking that I can go about my dreams alone (see note about superwoman). Yet as I did as a child, I still believe I can have both the career and the family. Like so many women, I look forward to adding the family hat to various other hats that I wear. Am I a career woman? Yes. But, I’m also a whole lot of other types of woman.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Personal Style: Thanksgiving Recap

I had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with friends in Las Vegas. It was my first trip to Vegas, and all I can say is that the city definitely lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed a meal of traditional Guyanese and American dishes at my friend's apartment, which is located on the outskirts of the city. I followed my own advice from this post and chose to wear leggings and a flowy top.

After dinner, we went sightseeing in the city. We also stop at a cute cafe where we each enjoyed mugs of Irish coffee. Yum!

So, how was your Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks: Determined Praise

                I call it determined praise. You know that kind of praise where you make up your mind to give thanks despite the circumstances?  You look around you, and in the natural things look pretty dismal. Maybe a loved one falls ill, the bills are piling up with no financial recourse in sight, the children are causing you stress and the list of other possible life stressors seem endless. It can get dismal, you will sometimes feel despondent, but as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I challenge you to practice determined praise.

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Despite what many self-help gurus say, some troubles in life are unavoidable. Like we have storms in the natural physical world, we will also face storms in our lives. There is a season and time for everything, and we enjoy some seasons better than others, because they’re more pleasing to us.  Whatever season it is you are facing in life give thanks. Even if it’s difficult, try to remind yourself of three things that you can be thankful for, press forward with determination to find the silver lining in those clouds. As my sister would say, “the storm must pass.” Giving thanks might not be a remedy to your problems, but it can help you keep a healthy perspective during the storm. You may not be able to control what goes on around you, but you can control your response to the circumstances.

Happy Thanksgiving Lovelies!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Looking Chic During Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and many of us are still trying to decide on what to wear for Thanksgiving dinner. It's an impression making time of year, whether it's going home to meet the beau's parents for the first time or spending time with family/friends you haven't seen in months or years looking good is apart of making that impression. So here are a few dinner outfit ideas to help you start out on the right foot. 

Casually Chic

If you are going for a look that's casual and chic, you can never go wrong with a blazer and tights/jeans. I chose tights, because it's a lot more forgiving on the waistline when it begins to expand ;). A blazer is a great way to upgrade a casual outfit with a touch of sophistication. Complete the look with boots, heels or ballet flats and you're good to go.

All Dressed Up

If you're going for a look that's all dressed up and lovely, a flattering dress in a jewel toned color is a great and festive option. Jewel toned colors will look great a against your skin and this dress is sophisticated and classy. Further, because it's not fitted it gives you enough room to enjoy your meal without the added discomfort a tighter dress could create.

After the beach, outfit to dinner out!

Funky Fresh

For those of you who prefer a look that's more funky and avant garde at Thanksgiving, mixing prints, colors, patterns and fabric is a good place to start. It's also great way to express your individual style .

Tricky Trend: Mix of prints and colors

Have a Fabulous Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Yorker in L.A.

Everyone who knows me well, knows that I am a true blue New Yorker. I love New York City, the lifestyle, the culture, the food and the people. It is the city where I came of age, a city that holds my heart dear. So when I said goodbye to D.C. after law school and headed to New York, I thought that I would be starting my legal career there. In my city, the big apple of my eye. 

But life sometimes throws you other plans, as they say, we make plans and God laughs. In the last couple of weeks, I have been busy getting ready for my big move. This true blue New Yorker moved across the country to L.A.!!!!! I still pinch myself sometimes, I did not see this coming at all.  Yet when I got an offer to move to L.A. for a year, I jumped at the opportunity. Why not?, I thought, this is the opportune time in my life to do it. So far, I like L.A. I've already checked out the fashion district and the weather is awesome! This is me yesterday in Griffith Park yesterday, I can't believe it's November and I'm not bundled up in a coat.

So I thought it would be great to take you guys on this L.A. journey with me on the blog; thus I created a New Yorker in L.A. category to share my experiences for the year (or more, who knows right?)

So here's to being a New Yorker in L.A.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Head Over Heels


Hey Chicstars!
Have you ever just fallen completely and utterly in love?? Well that's what happened to me and let's call her "Blue." Our story began in September, I saw this really pretty coral peplum dress online and I thought this would be the perfect dress for my hubby’s birthday. I decided I wanted to pair it blue heels. So I went to the mall and the second store I went to...I saw her she was suede, royal blue with a silver platform and 5inch heel. Even without trying on Blue, I knew that she was the one. I took her home anticipating her debut in October.

The day finally arrives and I am getting ready and I slip her on, I go prancing around and I start to wobble a little and I think “Nicole seriously you can’t walk in 5inches?”Because the alternative would be something is wrong with my shoes and I refused to accept the possibility, not only was I not home but Blue was it… my heart was set on wearing her! So I finished getting ready looking real cute and literally a step away from falling on my butt. I was angry by this time I felt so betrayed but my hubby finally convinced me to change shoes, so I slipped on the only other pair that I had with gray pumps. Well “Gray” stepped up to the plate and we had a blast!!!

Unfortunately Blue and I had to part she is now back at the store..well probably in the garbage somewhere,she had me completely googoogaga over her. As of right now I still haven't found her replacement...guess there is such a thing as irreplaceable.

Dress:Online/ Clutch:Forever 21/Shoes:Gifted

Remember He Makes Beautiful Things

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Celebrating 28!!!

For I know the plans I have for you saith the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.  

Yesterday I celebrated my 28th birthday. For a lot of us, birthdays signify a new beginning and a time for reflection. As I reflect, I am so thankful for the many ways that God has blessed me and for all the lessons he placed in my path to shape me into the woman I'm becoming.  I see so much growth in myself as an individual and as a woman - I am a lot stronger, wiser, humble, discerning and grateful. I know more what it means to have faith, to totally depend on Him and to trust Him. I understand through experience how to stand on His word and promises despite what things look like on the outside. He is the potter and I am the clay.

I celebrated by birthday with a small dinner with close friends.  This past year more than any other year in my life, my inner circle grew tighter and closer. I had friends and family really come through for me during difficult times and they also celebrated with me in a number of joys such as my  graduation from law school in May. We need each other, and I am blessed to have friends and family I can depend on.  God also moved some people out of my life for the best. I love my friends and family and I'm so grateful to have them.

As I celebrate 28, I excitedly await God's will to unfold in my life. I pray that He guides and orders my steps.  I welcome the new beginnings, beginning with my upcoming cross country move in the next two weeks.

Be Blessed!.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Brown Eyed Beauty

What can I say? I have so much love for her… How could I not? After all Nika gave me my nickname when I was born because she told our mom that I was so pretty and looked just like her doll. Even though she did go on to tell me I was adopted when I seven years old lol but of course  that can’t be true because we’ve been classified as twins so many times before which results in us giving each other the eye thinking “seriously we don’t look that much alike” 

I remembered when at sixteen years old she worked overtime at Old Navy just so I could have a special outfit for my birthday.  Then there was the night I got engaged and I called to tell her the news…she screamed so loud in the phone my eardrums vibrated. I am so thankful to God; Nika has been such a great example of class, intelligence, and independence.
I think it’s the funniest thing that Nika thinks cats are stuck up but she loves them in fact if you know her you know she loves the cartoon Garfield, now I never look at cats the same…I always think “man that cat is stuck up!” lol Another one of her love/obsession is fashion and I will never forget when she was eleven years old and she cried for hours until my mom gave her pearls to wear with her outfit because hello…what is a lady without her pearls?
We have been through some challenging years together but it only made our bond so much stronger. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know, without you I know for certain I would have been a very different woman today thank you for protecting me (I mean I know New York City streets are busy but you can let go of my hand) for being my stylist, for your constant encouragement and for always letting me know the truth even when it hurts. I am so proud of you, for all you have achieved and the great things you are going on to accomplish
I love you sissy!!! Have a wonderful birthday and go on with your beautiful self…we know you’re a ten!! Hugs and Kisses from Florida!  
Take time to appreciate and love on your family and friends

 He makes beautiful things

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hot and Married: Can a Woman Be Married AND Fashionable?

Should there be a difference in dress between married women and single women? I stumbled upon this online discussion, and raised unsurprised eyebrows as many of the ladies retorted something to the likes of  “but of course. “ The general consensus of the discussion relayed the message that single women wanting to attract men needed to ensure they looked fabulous at all times. There was no description of what fabulous looked like exactly, but nevertheless, they (single women) needed to coyly convey that they were available. Married women? Well, not so much. Maybe, just maybe, “mom jeans” are o.k. for them I balked at the notion, yet I was slightly intrigued.  

I am a fashion-loving single woman in my 20s who have no plans of losing my sense of style once marriage and baby(ies) come along. While I do believe that there will be lifestyle changes that will call for adjustments, I don’t subscribe to the notion that those adjustments must include the “mom jeans” singled out as the clothes of choice for married women.Being married doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly lose my sense of style and morph into the dowdy wife. Even if that’s the general consensus, I challenge the underlying assumption that as women we dress only to impress men and not to express ourselves.

But even if impressing men is apart of how we dress, are husbands not worthy of being wowed by a well-put together wives? Don’t married men and women try to present their best selves (including their best dressed selves) to their spouses? Thankfully there are plenty of married women who’ve denied the notion that being married calls for dowdy dress (our First Lady comes to mind). I think it’s totally possible to be stylish and married and scoff at the notion that our marital status should define our style.  Hot and married? Hey, why not!