7/25/16

Grateful!!





All day the word grateful has been swirling in my spirt. 
So here are some things I am grateful for lately...

NINE WEST Indira Heels found here 

1. I am grateful to celebrate my 5th year wedding anniversary this week! Can you believe it! It's been 5 years! 
2. I am grateful that we will be enjoying a much anticipated anniversary vacation near a beach! 
3. I am grateful that I don't look like what I have been through in the last year, especially the last month! 
4. I am grateful that I serve a God that does not keep a running tab of all the things he has done for me or how many times I have let him down. I would be in trouble if he did. 
5. I am grateful that my little baby boy is about to celebrate his first birthday in a few days!




What are you grateful for?






Set: Grassfields (here) 

Truth Zone: I ordered this two piece set from Grassfields. They specialize in African print modern pieces. You know I'm the queen of alterations so I took it to "my people" to get a few adjustments done. I had to almost re-design the top because I am soooooo top heavy. So my tailor and I decided to rouche the top and make it into a bikini top. Also, I am a shorty and I felt that the print was too overwhelming for my height so I had it turned into a midi skirt to show a little skin. I bought it for my anniversary trip to (Cancun) so it is the perfect piece to bring with me. (My 5 year wedding anniversary is this Saturday:)  Overall, I do enjoy Grassfields for their price points. Nothing a little visit to my favorite tailor can't fix. 

(Don't forget to Pin any of the looks you like from the blog on Pinterest!)








7/13/16

Confessions of an Entrepreneur







God is really teaching me a lot of lessons this year. 
I'm learning quite the lesson in business, entrepreneurship, about myself, expectations, family, friendships, faith...well basically LIFE. 



I mentioned in the previous post that this month marks a year that I have been offically a business owner. 
I thought that it would be kinda cool to compile a quicklist of the lessons I have learned so far. 



1. Just start. I can't say this enough. If you have an idea. A gift. A business. Whatever it is. Start now. There will never be a perfect time. 

2. Be authentic. Be Yourself. In the short time that I've been on this "create what you existed" journey, I have learned that there will always be someone who might lift your idea. The thing is that anybody, can steal your style, your words, even your pictures, but they can never BE YOU. DO YOU. THINK LIKE YOU. It's impossible for someone to replicate you. 

3. People will tell you how awesome your idea may be or say they are going to support you, but don't expect it. I think it's human nature for people to nod their heads when another person is talking but that doesn't mean they will use your services or buy your products. Be okay with that. Keep trying to find your target audieence. There is an audience for everything. The only one who should be passionate about your business is YOU. You can't expect that same passion from everyone else. 


4. Manage your expectations when it comes to support from your family or friends. I learned this the hard way.  For some reason, it's much easier for a stranger to sow a seed into your business than someone you know. (There are exceptions of course.). I don't know the science behind it but now I try to support my friends and family in their businesses by becoming a customer/client...because I know how it feels. 

5. Be flexible. I started God's Favorite Surprises originally as a concierge service to send cards and flowers to encourage other women. That business model has changed so much so that I now sell exclusive t-shirts and cards to send as  surprise gifts. I am even adding a few more things to my services like hosting "Gratitude Pop-Up Shops"  for conferences/events. A year ago, that never existed....what a difference a year makes. 



6. Nobody has it all figured out. You can have the best business model in the world but until you actively are in business, you will figure out fast that you are probably a fish out of water. THAT'S OKAY! Figure it out and keep it moving. 

7.  Open your mouth! Closed mouths don't get fed. I am not a natural hustler/social butterfly. I have to work hard to mingle, socialize and network. But over the past few months, I've had to step out of my comfort zone and simply let me people know what I do. I don't have time to be shy about it.  God keeps opening doors for me that I didn't even know existed. 

8. Don't limit yourself. You can be good at more than one thing. You don't have to box yourself into one thing. I have this style blog and I have a concierge business. I try to make both of them work for me in some way! 


"You Are So Dope" tee from God's Favorite Surprises  (here)
Skirt: ASOS (Similar here)
Necklace: @Frugalfindsnyc
Shoes: Nine West ( here )

Earrings: H&M ( here )
Hat: H&M ( here )


9. Don't allow someone to tell you that you don't deserve to be in the business you are creating. I struggled with that. But really, it's not really my business what other people think of me or think about what I do. 


Bonus! Be open to collaborations! Collaborations are a good thing. It allows you to breathe new life into an old idea. 
With all of that said, this post doesn't mean I have it all figured out. I struggle everyday. It's hard to keep your business relevant in a sea of so many businesses popping up everyday. 
But there is a place for my business. 
There is a need for what I do. 
I stand firmly in that. 
Who knows. 
Next year might find me back in a traditional classroom (sigh), but I still stand by every lesson learned. 

La Coste Photography

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” 

What have you learned about entrepreneurship? 
Are you sitting on a business and still want launch it? WHY? 
Let me know in the comments! 
Feel free to share this past! 
Sharing is caring! 

7/6/16

Hot Sauce In My Bag! (Anniversary Time!)





Guess what! 
Today marks an exact year that my little business, God's Favorite Surprises has been in existence! 
Well, at least publicly!
That was the first time that I publicly introduced my new venture (really an adventure) to you! 
I am so proud of myself. 
Because I kept with it. 
I'm still trying. 
I'm still going. 
How many can really say that? 
Like really. 




It's not easy. 
It's not always rewarding. 
But I believe in it. 
I believe in the movement probably even more than I did a year ago. 
To suprise someone who has invested in you with a simple gift of gratitude. 
That's all to it really. 
It's not about the expense. 
It's not about the card. 
It's about the simple gesture of letting someone know that they are dope. 
We all get busy. 
We all have something pressing to do. 
And that's exactly why my business exists, to fill in the gap for you. 
I saw a need for something and decided to fulfill that need. 
And really, considering what we see in the news EVERYDAY, can you really argue with the spirit of my business at all?



I had to take my off cutesy heels for this shot! LOL The things we do so that our pretty shoes won't get ant infested!

Nine West Heels (Here)

My next post will be a reflection on my first year as an entrepreneur and what's next for this year. 
For now, I'm going to have the hubby make me a Lemon Drop Martini and work on the Anniversary GiveAway fro God's Favorite Surprises. 
See you next week. 



And not for nothing, if you have been "waiting" to do something. 
Waiting for the perfect timing...
Don't. 
Just do it. 
So you can look back a year later and say I DID IT. 
I EFFING DID IT! 
(Mind you that I was 8.5 months pregnant when I launched!)
(I said the real cuss word in my head) 

P.S. You can purchase the limited edition "You Are So Dope" tee right here!
Buy one for you but most importantly, let us surprise somene with it FOR YOU!
That's what we do! 

7/1/16

#SLAY





I restocked the #SLAY T-Shirt! 
I had no idea that this shirt would hit such a big nerve in New York a few weeks ago. 
But we all love to SLAY every once in a while. 
Inventory was depleted (yay)  
But all is well with the world now. 
You too can #SLAY! 




Remember, my business is not a t-shirt business or card company, it's a concierge service. 
Which means I will send this tee WITH a card to the person you want to gift it to...on your behalf! 
I even handwrite your message on the card! 
So click HERE to check it out. 



I will say that these limited edition/specially designed by Dana of Pardon My Fro tees will not be sold all year. 
So grab one while you can! 
And enjoy your 4th of July! 


#SLAY shirt: God's Favorite Suprises (Here)
Skirt: ASOS (old)
Shoes: ALDO
Hat: H&M

P.S. That rainbow was not photoshopped. God was smiling at me. I'm sure of it. 


Photographs by LaCoste Photography

*I sized down on this crop top because I have no home training:) No, really it's because I wanted a snug fit. So when you purchase, I would suggst sizing down to get the same fit. I am wearing a Large in the photos above*

6/21/16

All Good Things






I'm just coming back from The Curvy Con in New York, and I'm still trying to process it all. It was the longest yet the most rewarding business trip.



So, I'm going to skip my musings for a day and just direct you to my Curvy Con/NYC recap on God's Favorite Surprises.
You'll see why it's hard to process it all.
All good things.

Dress: ASOS (Of course) Click here
Shoes: Steve Madden (old)
Bag: Zara (sold out)

Sidenote: Please tweet ASOS on my behalf and tell them that they should consider having me as a brand ambassador/social influencer because everything I wear is from them! Click here
#iaintsorry





6/18/16

Thanks JC Penney!



As you know, this weekend I went to The Curvy Con to mingle with bloggers and to be a vendor for God's Favorite Surprises. 
JC Penney proudly sponsored The Curvy Con all while launching their new line, JC Penney Boutique. 
The Boutique focuses on the plus size figure assuring that women feel confident, sexy and trendy while still being affordable. 

During the Curvy Con, JCPenney launched a powerful body positive message with some of the nation's leading voices in the plus size community. Specifically, this year's Project Runner winner Ashley Nell Tipton. 






In a culture where body shaming has become the norm, this video embodies the notion that all bodies are beautiful and capable and enough. 



Here is the #hereiam campaign, created to empower us all!
I was completely moved by the powerful message,  especially as a mother of a little girl who will face a world that will constantly tell her she is not enough

#sponsor #ad  #hereiam


6/14/16

New York, Here I Come!




This week, I will be headed to The Curvy Con events in New York!
It's a two day event, Friday and Saturday (June 17th & 18th)
I will be there as a blogger but my business, God's Favorite Surprises,  is also one of the vendors!
I'm so excited!
I hope to see your face.
I will be in work mode most of the day but hopefully I will get to sneak and do one fun thing Friday night or Saturday night! 




I wish I had enough time to do a little mini meet up!
Follow me on Instagram this week and see what I get into!
Let me know if you will be there!
If you see me at The Curvy Con, stop by and say hi!
And buy something:)



Oh and the t-shirt I am wearing! 
I had these t-shirts exclusively made just for The Curvy Con. 
These cards and mugs are the best sellers on my site so I decided to make a few t-shirts for the New York crowd. 
Why is this important to you? 
Well, because AFTER Father's Day, I will be selling these as part of a package on God's Favorite Surprises. 
So, think of someone in your circle that deserves to be told "You Are So Dope!" then order a t shirt/mug combo and I will send it to them! 

Shirt: God's Favorite Surprises (Available after Father's Day)
Adidas Pants: ASOS
Shoes: Nine West


I also worked exclusively with Dana from Pardon My Fro to create another card for all of  the #girlbosses in our circles who simply SLAY! 

To catch a sneak peek click here 

Wish me luck in New York and if you're of the praying kind, pray for safe travels for me! 


6/9/16

At Least I Am Consistent...


I had it all planned out. 
I saw this dress and literally screamed TC! 
Do you know TC?
You should. 
Because what are you doing with your life?

Dress: ASOS here
Bag and shoes: Zara (sold out) 

TC from Good Times! 
Remember her?
That's why I bought this dress. 
And then I was going to do a whole post about TC. 
Then I typed in TC from Good Times in Google Search.
And I CAME UP! 
LOL! 
Because I apparently already paid homage to TC. 
So no point in writing about TC again because duh. 
I will say that any day that I dress like TC from Good Times. 
It probably was a good day. 

P.S. Shout out to bloggers who in the game back when using a tripod was the only way you could blog! LOL 

5/31/16

Simple Girl

 
I find joy in the simplest things lately.
Little stuff.
Things most people overlook.
For example, I began this random habit of drinking hot water, honey and lemon every morning and night.
Not for a detox.
Just because I love it.
It literally brings a smile to my face when I can sit down and enjoy a hot cup of water, honey and lemon.
 
 

 
My daughter and I went to Walmart the other day. While she was in the basket, she randomly told me she needed a hug.
I stopped what I was doing just to give her a hug in the middle of the aisle.
Those are the things that bring me joy.
I'm pretty sure it has a lot to do with being a mom or getting older wiser.
But the simplest things bring me joy. 


 Not an Apple Watch.
Not the latest shoe.
Not having the dopest car.
Simple things.
No fuss.
That goes for my style lately too.
I love a layered outfit.
But I adore when I can throw on a few pieces in its simplest form and feel like it speaks to the zen up in this ratchet soul of mine.
 


 
Denim Dress: Zara (here)
Bag: Zara (here)
Shoes: Zara (don't see them online but I got them in the store about a month ago)
Glasses: Vintage
Necklace: FrugalFinds NYC
Hat: Forever 21
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


5/24/16

Stepping Into My Season




 
Someone asked me the other day if I missed teaching.
 
Not a whole lot.
I don't miss the stress. The anxiety attacks. The not feeling like I am not getting support from parents and administrators.
But that doesn't mean I'm not a teacher at heart.
When you pull back all the layers, I'm still a teacher.
A few recent experiences have helped me see that it's just a part of my nature.




I have been going to different schools lately for Career Day on the behalf of my business, God's Favorite Surprises.
I have been conducting Thank You Card etiquette classes.
Because when was the last time you got a thank you card from a kid?
Exactly. 

I'm so H-town. You can find me throwing the H sign in almost every selfie on my phone. LOL! #sophistiratchet
 
 Each time, I go for  Career Day, I think that I'm just going to speak about being an entrepreneur and about the importance of college.
But it never goes down like that.
I seem to always go into "teacher mode."
After 10 minutes of standing in front of kids from kindergarten to 8th grade, they have to actually do something with their hands. (In teacher speak, that means "manipulatives")
That's when the teacher comes out. 
I have to get my teacher voice on to facilitate a Thank You card writing lesson and become a major multi-tasker.
And guess what...I DO miss that.
I miss that part.
Facilitating actual learning.
And maybe I enjoy it a whole lot more because I'm in the classroom on my own terms.
Teaching about something that I am passionate.
Because again, when was the last time you got a handwritten note from a kid saying thank you.
Heck, even from an adult?
Exactly.            
 
 

 
I think this season of my life is all about perspective.
I could scoff at my past profession and run from it like the plague.
Or I can embrace what I loved about it and make it a part of my new life.
It makes my life feel a lot more cohesive if I take that approach.


 
And this way of thinking, is what you call GROWTH.
Give it up for your girl!  
 
(P.S. I almost hate to give a disclaimer. I almost didn't post these pics because of that gut. Black doesn't hide everything. But I bet you know someone who didn't wake up this morning. Yeah. So, I'm good. I was tripping with myself for a hot second.)
 
Hat: Forever 21
Jeans: ASOS here
Body Suit: ASOS here
Shoes: Zara (I picked them up in the store, I don't see them online.)
Bag: Gifted by Juanette from Zara (It's literally my favorite bag, I want to buy a back up) here
 
Photography: Lacoste Photography

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