fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Posts Tagged ‘women’

Ready. Set. Click. Yes, she Canon!

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm

unnamedIntuitively creative and artistic, eh?

Those in my circle would offer that as an assessment of my current photography skills… and humbly, I would  agree.

Attracted to every aspect of photography… countless hours of snapping images, reading, studying other photographers and web searching have been invested.  Haha — an abundance of trial and error indeed — if you only knew how I have pained over creating bokeh in my compositions!

Self- taught, and a decent photographer… I know that the information untapped is considerable.  Still perplexed by aperture, still perfecting composition and working my camera in manual mode, the mission of becoming astute continues to be the goal.

Action plan?

Check!

The action plan has been implemented and it is time for that next step… one that is LONG overdue.

Actually, it should read as such:  L. O. N. G. OVERDUE… for commencing tomorrow, yours truly is beginning studies as a student in the Washington School of Photography, Professional Photography Program.

Shhhhhh.  Listen carefully… you can hear me shouting from the rooftops…“Oh freaking happy day!”

All things happen for a reason…. and the reason that this endeavor hasn’t happen sooner, will perhaps one day be revealed.  I know for certain that timing is crucial; patience even more so.  Especially since two years prior, I participated in conversations with the program registrar and opted out — knowing that a “right-fit” wasn’t right then.

Since that conversation, the signs indicating that I needed to move forward, have been everywhere.   Even more so now…

How does one describe that feeling… the feeling of knowing that the moment is now right.  Elated?!  Yep… elated!

Big picture though…  29 days ago, my 45th birthday was celebrated.

For me, birthdays offer wonderful opportunities to be relished by loved ones, reflect on accomplishments and roadmap the way for new birthday wishes made.

Since turning 40 in the midst of an awful snowstorm… celebrating with friends and family in Paris on my 42nd birthday and shaving my head on my 43rd birthday, that day, 7 February, serves as momentum for newness.

More important, the wisdom that is gained with each passing birthday, I am truly compelled to share.  Since I am constantly learning from others, my hope is that perhaps someone; mainly my two children and especially my daughter (who, even though she will not admit it, is always carefully watching her mother’s actions) can possibly gain something from my experiences.

Back to the big picture…

Tomorrow marks more that just the beginning of a photography program.  It marks the notion that all things are possible and it is NEVER too late to pursue your aspirations!

Back in late December of 2014, serious preparations for this program officially went into play.  All with the objective of pursuing a dream and entering another birthday with a next step of improvement secured — fulfilling a wish made.

In being transparent, the African proverb – It takes a village – is applicable to me.  Without embarrassment I say that even at 45 years of age and working full-time outside of the home, the financial investment of family has enabled this opportunity to become reality.  For that, I am eternally grateful… and deeply touched that they too share my dream and see my potential.

More transparency…

What used to embarrass me and cause me angst in conversation is no more.  Never a untruth told… I just artfully evaded the question or skillfully used semantics in my favor when answering… but truth be told, I did not graduate from college.  For a long list of reasons (some 23 years later, many of which now seem so frivolous) the years spent at The College of William and Mary did not yield a degree… instead, a wealth of knowledge, an unforgettable experience, a close circle of friends, a compassionate man who became my husband and a career in interior design.  Haha — perhaps I did graduate, eh?!

Sans degree, I still know that knowledge is key and educating/investing in yourself is a nonnegotiable.

So… with the many hats that I wear, I am eager to add another and take my photography to the next level.  When my children become adults and coherent to rhythms of adult life, I am hoping that my actions make them proud.  I am hoping that they view me as a role model and see my appetite to improve myself as tenacious… and in their own life, they too follow suit.

This past Christmas, my husband gifted me with a phenomenal 50mm lens for my camera.  His way of offering me a nudge in the direction of my goals.  His words… “Kisha, you are about to blow up!”  My interpretation of his words… in a true T.I fashion, “do it, do it, do it… whatcha waiting for?  Big things poppin’!”

I’m on the move… and my appetite for photography is ravenous.

And… over this year-long program, I intend on quenching it and getting full!

Taking it one step further, my life as a stella & dot stylist and the company mission have definitely been a fantastic influence on my photography ventures… that mission:  to give EVERY woman the means to style their own life.

Well here I go… here I go!

Ahem… what was that?  Did you say you needed to hire me to take your picture?  (wink. wink)

Soon…

Very soon.

Cheers!

-k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RED lips are…

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm

redlipSophisticated.  CHIC.  Classic.  STRIKING.  Powerful.  Timeless.  Utterly SEXY.

And… ABSOLUTELY, one of my favorite things!

What I know to be true is this:

E V E R Y woman can wear a red lip.

and…

E V E R Y woman should have at least one kick ass tube of red lipstick that effortlessly compliments her complexion.

Can’t believe that since starting this blog in 2011, that this is only my second post on the subject.  Considering how long I have been attracted to red lips, it should have been my introductory post, as well as every other post there after.  Ladies (and gentlemen) the passion is serious… I am a hard core fan.

HARD CORE!

There is no special occasion needed for me to don a red lip.  Haha — just ask my children.  5:30am in the morning, still wearing my pj’s, making lunches for school?  Check.  Off to work, or dinner with friends?  Check.  Sitting around the house with my husband?  My traditional “MD to Italy”  wine Skype session with my BFF? Or my favorite stella & dot Insatgram shots?

Check… check… CHECK!

I honestly don’t think about the occasion or the action of applying the lipstick — I just do it.  Kinda second nature for me now, eh?  Breaking it down to elementary terms:

red lips, simply make me happy.

Something about seeing my lips painted red… it provides an immediate energy.  And don’t even get me started on the energy that erupts upon seeing another woman wearing a stunning red lip… especially when she got it right!  Haha — it makes me wanna walk up to her and scream “DAMN!” while giving her a hearty high-five!

Several women have left impressionable and memorable “red lip” moments.

In college, two of my friends named Jane and Kim kept my eyes alert  — I watched (and still do via facebook posted pics), better yet, studied their precision and technique.  Currently,  Ms. Tracee Ellis Ross (who has forever reminded me of my baby sis), constantly keeps my heart fluttering.  She is my newly crowned “red lip icon”… the QUEEN; for she ALWAYS gets it right!

But hands down, my late grandmother, Ruth E. Brown gets all of the credit.

She was/is my first memory — my inspiration and teacher.  The absolute EPITOME of a red lip and my sustained standard for judgement when making my determinations.  Wonder if she knew just how many times I practiced with her lipstick and then carefully wiped away ALL evidence of any tampering.

Her influence created yet another lover of reds…. and I’m thinking that my grandmother would be proud of my endeavors.

Through research and experimentation, I have discovered what works for me.    In a true “pay it forward” fashion, I’m sharing my learnings with the hopes that another woman might become newly acquainted with her favorite red lipstick.  And of course, sport a gorgeous RED lip!

So…. what I have learned over the years boils down to three things:

ONE.  Only wear reds that suit your skin tone.

Why bother with anything else?? Just in the same manner that we dress and wear clothes that flatter our body shape, the same holds true for make-up/red lipstick.  If you are uncertain about your skin tone/undertones, for a minimal fee at most department stores, you could get a professional consultation.  For me, cooler reds (ones with blue undertones) suit me perfectly.  And since making that discovery — I stay in that color lane and I do not stray.

My favorites?

The unbeatable BEST, knock it out the box, works EVERY TIME color is MAC’s Ruby Woo.  I have YET to meet a woman who couldn’t wear this color.  It is like blood type O+… it is a universal donor!  Trust me and just do as I say…  IF you don’t own it, you need to order this color – ASAP!  You can wear it alone, or, you can use it as a base for other colors.  It is long lasting and it yields the most  the intense, bold red color is scrumptious… and damn near unforgettable.  Ruby Woo is the Ironman of all red lipsticks.  It just is!

Another favorite is Chanel 99 Pirate.  It reminds me of Ruby Woo… just a smidgen creamier.  The color is vintage and sleek.  #99 is so very old Hollywood… big sunglasses and head wraps.  An elegant color, but packed with attitude!  While I have worn this color alone, I mainly use it as the top layer over Ruby Woo.  The two lipsticks combined are a beautiful marriage and the color that is produced is exceptional.

SECOND.  The application process shouldn’t be painstaking or tedious.

When it comes to make-up, especially lipstick, you can Google search scores of ways to apply.  I’m not a make-up artist… but what I do know is that:  if it involves more than “apply lipstick to a clean lip”,  I am NOT interested.

The easier the better… clean lip, a very, very, very light amount of lip balm as a conditioning base and then apply your rep lip color.  BAM – that’s all she wrote!  Side note though.  If you apply a coat of red, blot/purse lips on a paper towel and then reapply your red… you will have a longer lasting lip.  I’m just saying…

THIRD.  Keep your red lip matte and refrain from adding gloss… you know, GLOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

No “wet-n-wild” lips please.  Otherwise… well, you run the risk of possibly looking a bit too scandalous suggestive racy risque?  And just like Forrest Gump… that’s all I have to say about that.

To all of my fellow red lip lovers, I do hope you concur.

RED lips are…

Fabulous and a must for all women.  And please… don’t just wait for a formal affair to dazzle.  Grocery store?  Check.  Picking the kids up from school?  Check.  Running shoes and work out clothes?  Check. (Seriously… check out #redlipfit)  Any place and any event — add a POW and show off your red!

And for all who are curious.

YES… I did have red lips on as I typed this blog!

redlip2

Cheers!

-k

And once again, the house is quiet…

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

houseThe expression that “time flies” gains more truth with year that passes.

For me, the gauge presents itself in birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, weddings and funerals… mainly because these are generally times of reflection and or times in which you see and catch-up with family/friends who are removed from your daily routine.

Times when, for better or worse, the cyclical rhythm of our lives become more visible. And we note it like a bookmark, eh? Self-assigned “life” passport stamps, proving and illustrating the old saying that “time flies” and also, that it waits for no one.

So, as time would have it, yet another cycle has come to pass. The lazy days of summer have come to a close and the hustle, hustle, bustle, bustle of back-to-school now begins.

Today, it is official.

A new school year eagerly greets my 10th grader and 8th grader… as well as my husband who teaches high school special education and coaches varsity football. Their summer break is now a memory and the 5:45am wake-up time to prepare for the school day is now reality.

Back to school! Back to our morning routine… and my routine on my days off.

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Which means for me… once again, the house is quiet.

Haha — certainly, I am not alone with my sentiments?! Show of hands…. raise them!

Keeping it real, I’m going to blame my feelings on an ever so slight (yes, EVER so slight) case of jealously. As a working mom, with a full-time profession that is unlike my husband’s, I have never experienced the joy of a summer break.

In the past, when the cycle of summer break would appear, I would grow incredibly envious of my family’s carefree days. The house was filled with constant activity, late bed-times and even later wake-ups! Hey… going to work while your family is still in the bed, enjoying their deep slumber … or knowing that they have packed and are off to some exciting day adventure — I’ll break it down into two words: NO FUN!

Don’t get me wrong now … during the summer, I’m really left out. Naturally, summer breaks afford an opportunity for a vacation, impromptu social gatherings, house guests, grilling, loud(er) music and laughing til’ the wee hours of the morning. Again, a hub of activity… and in my house, we are no strangers to such — and yes, I am an active participant! It’s just different… bittersweet knowing that the next day you go to work while they are still on break.

At any rate, it is what it is… and contrary to what it may seem, I do welcome the summer.

I’ve become more accustomed the summer break routine.

And, as time would have it (and since I’m a grown ass woman who basically had to get a grip on her feelings) instead of being OVERLY envious and focusing on what I wasn’t doing with my family, I curtailed it to a slight jealously… I decided to see the bigger picture. My children have a father who is on break with them… they are in safe loving hands… and, they are happy. Now I actually love the shift that accompanies summer… and when the new school year resurfaces, I realize how much I too adore the back-to-school routine.

Guess what?

Today, I have it back.

And while I miss my family when they are away… during my days off of work; once again, the house is quiet.

It’s me time.

Coffee time.

Blogging time.

Cleaning and redecorating time.

stella & dot time.

Anything I want to do…

Well, that is until 2:45pm… school’s out and it’s time for pick-up!

Cheers!

-k

…things are never what they seem.

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm

blogLooking out of my kitchen window while peeping at facebook, tunes from Pandora floating in the background (Beyonce today — don’t judge) and sippin’ on my favorite coffee with organic half and half, I saw my friend’s status… and it was like she read my mind.

Six simple words… “things are never what they seem.”

My shoulders twitch from an immediate chuckle and I’m now wearing a huge grin.  From over 8,000 miles and a different time zone away she always appears at the most appropriate moment.  Haha… I’m chalking it up to energy —  how in the world did she know that I was JUST about to write a blog on the very same subject?!

Don’t let me lose you… and please don’t wander off so quickly, for I am not about to blog about anything negative.

Her words, “things are never what they seem” are incredibly refreshing to me and embody one of the most important life lessons.  Simply put, we all have unique stories.  In turn… completely embracing this truth and refraining from applying your own perceptions to the life of another (I know… much easier said than done) is the key to finding that ethereal happiness we all desire.  Right?

Countless people seem to have contemplated this and figured it out.

How easily can one find quotations by Confucius stating “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” or Theodore Roosevelt saying that “Comparison is the thief of joy” … what about our very own “Live your best Life” Oprah Winfrey and her many mantras… “With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.”

Haha… calling Dr. Richards.  Dr. Richards?

Naaaaaaah.  I’m not a psychologist.

I’m creative.

I’m an artist, an interior designer… a stella & dot stylist.  Actually, “completely right-brained” might offer a more precise description.

Emotion, intuition and nonverbal communication steer my actions and furnish me with insight.  Couple that with over four decades of wisdom (in the form of life lessons) a splash of analytical tendencies and a wholesome love of self… I’m thinking that in itself could afford a figurative “Dr.” status!  Haha… just kidding!

Seriously though… I’m just like you.  Working hard, trying to be a productive member of society/my community, wanting each day to feel good and basically, be happy.  And of course…sometimes, lose sight, start glancing at that “greener grass” and make assumptions about what may or may not be in another’s world…  shit, I’m human, eh?!

But… I always come back to the notion and much-needed filter, “things are never what they seem”.  These words act as a refreshing reminder and enable me to completely appreciate what I have in my world.  Because the bottom line is, we ALL have unique stories… and discounting yours while elevating someone else’s will only generate for you, a long (actually, it should read: looooooooooooooooooog) road of internal discontentment.  Yep… I said it!

The past 54 days have been some of the most enlightening days in my lifetime and have fortified this belief.

Since shaving my head, the amount of feedback that has been forwarded my way has been incredibly humbling and at times surprising.

Without going into great detail… the feedback stems from being showered with complements, told that I was an inspiration/brave, asked if I was undergoing chemotherapy and even received an embarrassingly unwanted head-rubbing.  Some have revealed to me that they could never see themselves doing this and why they couldn’t… others told me that when my hair grows back I should think about wearing “this” type of style and they proceed to tell me what “this” should be… and others have simply embraced my new look… and left it at that.

Hey, I know why I shaved my head and I am still comfortable and delighted with my decision.

But, going back to… “things are not what they seem” — with each response, my “right-brained” self used the comments as a gauge. A dual-sided gauge no doubt, for surely those that decided to give me feedback had some sort of preconceived notion as to why I would or would not shave my head.  Sometimes what I thought an individual might say, they didn’t… or, what I thought they wouldn’t say, they did.

Can you imagine 54 days straight of “something that someone said or did” granting you with continuous “ah-ha” moments?

Well…welcome to my world… and I would NOT trade it for anything!

Surely my friend didn’t have my hair adventures on her mind when she posted her status… but I can guarantee you that in some way, shape or form… her reason for posting her statement directly relates to we ALL have a unique story.  AND simply… embrace it for what it is!

55Tomorrow is day 55…

with an open-mind, I enthusiastically await what comes my way.

Cheers!

-k

A rebirth on a birthday…

In Uncategorized on February 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

IMG_8097I did it because I was curious.

I did it because part of me was a stranger.

I did it because I craved a change.

I did it because it was honestly long over due.

And, by doing so, I wanted my actions to be a bold and brave example for my children… especially my daughter.

What pray tell did I do?

Haha… not groundbreaking news in the least.  But for me, a rebirth of sorts.

I have decided to stop using relaxers and chemically straightening my hair.  I am joining the ranks and “going natural” — you had better believe, I am ready for my natural hair texture to make its debut!  Obviously, in order to sport my natural texture, that relaxed stuff has got to go. Hmmmm… time for a transition.

Like the many who have made and will make this transformation, each transition method is incredibly personal and varies.   For me… I tend to air on the side of impatience.  Once I finally committed to the decision, I wanted to start from scratch.  A quicker and more noticeable metamorphosis was the goal.

So…

I shaved my head.

It sounds so matter of fact, eh?  Straightforward and unemotional, “I shaved my head.”  So not the case.

It has been years in the making.  Years of contemplating.  Years of changing my mind.  Years of being curious as to what hair texture resided under all of that relaxed hair.  Years of pondering — would I even be able to style the mysterious curls that would sprout without a relaxer in my hair?  Years of not being ready because I was concerned (truth be told… fearful) of what others may think.  Years of wondering how I might be perceived without my relaxed hair.   Years… years… YEARS!

Actually, last year, during a week-long birthday trip to Paris, I was “this” close… “this” close to making the transition and shaving my head.  I never mentioned it to anyone… not even the girls that accompanied me on the trip.  I was going to wait for my birthday and just do it.  Considering that I adore aesthetics, a “story” and creating “moments”… you would think that the scenario was ideal.  Naaaaah.  I chickened out!  I just wasn’t fully committed to my decision and still unnecessarily anxious as to what people would say.

What boggles my mind is that in other areas, I would say that I certainly display confidence and can be exceedingly vocal with my opinion.  With my relaxed hair, I have never been shy… I am not timid about cutting it or even experimenting with color.  Ahhhhhhh… I do adore vibrant shades of red!  But walking away from a relaxer and NOT chemically straightening my hair — it would just stop me in my tracks.  Being afraid of the unknown, literally stopped me in my tracks!

As a five-year old child, my mother started using a relaxer to help her manage my thick head of hair.  A head of hair that drastically differed from her very fine curls.  It was what I knew.  Continuing into adulthood, I maintained what my mother established.  And when my daughter’s thick curls grew thicker, I would sometimes reach for a children’s texturizer  to assist me as well.  Truth be told… I loved the look of a relaxer in my hair and I liked the styling options.  But… decades and decades of chemically straightening my hair has resulted in damage, breakage and thinning.

Now, I desire a change.

The courage has been slowly churning and brewing inside… and just like a roller coaster cranking up a hill, now it’s time for the ride!  It’s kinda like one of those bucket list items and going against the norm.

Unlike last year, when I attempted to make this change, I did decide to discuss my intentions.  I talked to my baby sister.  I value her opinion and had questions  about her natural hair and her experiences.  In an effort to possibly gauge the reaction of people in my corporate interior design environment, I mentioned it to a co-worker who has been employed with the company for a considerable amount of time.  I also talked to my husband and my two children.  I knew that my husband would be supportive and in my corner.  Being 14 and 12, I was uncertain as to how my children would respond.  Questions and answers… more questions and answers, not about me wanting to refrain from relaxers, but about how I might look with my shaved head while my hair grows back.  Haha… kids, eh?!  To the rest of those very close to me, I remained quiet.  I think I just wanted their raw reaction… either once they saw me, or when they read this blog.

I will say that I  also did a fair amount of research…

Google, scores of YouTube videos, facebook pages, blogs, hair product websites.  SO much information available.  Happily, I have made several discoveries!  Nine new products purchased from Carol’s Daughter and Ouidad.com are sitting on my bathroom counter for my daughter and me.  I registered at Curl Box and  I am just waiting for them to extend the invite.  I started following…ahem, actually addicted to Whitney and her Naptural85 blog, vlog and YouTube channel.  Her natural hair transition commenced in 2008.  From the videos that I have watched thus far, her time-saving tips with make my transition a breeze and will easily aid me in taking better care of my daughter’s gorgeous head of hair.

So today, on my 43rd birthday, I am happily welcoming this brazen attitude towards my new hair journey.

Don’t get me wrong… there is still an element of nervousness.  Knowing that today was the day, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach.  Game day, eh?!  All of the hair routines that I have comfortably established and that are second nature… they have got to shift.  But keeping it really “real”… the nervousness truly stems from me wondering what will be my reaction to my newly shaven head?  Liberating… is what I was told by a girlfriend who shaved her head decades ago.  Hmmm… will I feel liberated?

It’s game day… game day… game day!

The kiddos are at school and my husband has taken the day off of work to share with me… create my “story” and share this “moment”.

Together… we shaved my head!

Haha… kinda romantic, eh?!

Scissors in hand, he made the first snip.

Snip. Snip. Snip!  It was then when anxiety began to lessen.  By the time he used the clippers I was at ease.  BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  The sound filled the bathroom.  Interesting sensation having one’s head shaved.  My very first exposure to clippers was a mixture of comical and (as my girlfriend mentioned to me so many years prior) liberating!  All of that hair falling… and (as I do, keeping it real) all of the dry flaking skin scattered all over me and on the bathroom floor… thirty minutes later, I was in awe of this new look.  My new look.  Bold and sexy.  WOW, who knew I had such a cute little head!  I can’t stop touching it.

Talk about new experiences… the shower afterwards was so refreshing.  I have never…EVER felt the spray of the shower head directly on my scalp.  No hair… just scalp!  This is my new world, eh?  Or at least until it begins to grow back.  Haha… and until it grows back, my husband and I are twins!

You know what I am really wondering?  How long will it take to grow enough hair so that I can color it red?  Haha… I never said that I was walking away from the color… and with my new curls, I am certain that I will love it even more!  I’ve just gotta find color that is fitting for my new texture.

shavedHappy happy birthday to me!

I couldn’t think of a day more fitting to make this transition.  My rebirth on my birthday.  Hmmmm, now when my kids get home, I wonder what they will say?

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!

Cheers!

-k

en-er-gy…

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2012 at 6:57 am

A quick Google search yields this simple definition:   The strength and vitality required for sustained mental or physical activity.

Delve further, and naturally you will find an abundance of definitions, information and explanations… and all correct in their interpretation of the word “en-er-gy.”  Such an intriguing and expansive concept.  Mysterious en-er-gy.  Electric and thermal energy.  Chemical en-er-gy.

Kinetic.

Attractive.

ENERGY!

As of late (just for a reference, probably for the past 9 years), I have been consciously focused on energy.

Mainly… the chemical energy that one emits and receives when they interact with another. Truth be told… it is almost to an obsessive state.  I am going to blame it on being an artist and an Aquarius… ok, ok… let’s blame it on my expressive soul.   Bottom line, I am dependent on energy.  And clarifying just what “energy” is to me, I should say that I am dependent on stimulating, positive, passionate, and revitalizing energy.  Not anything far from the norm, eh?  Surely, we all crave this type of connection.

I know this to be true:

The daily connections that you make with others contain energy  that is often not recognized and even taken for granted.  The energy generated during these connections can feed you… or they can deplete your spirit.  Acknowledge it or not… this type of energy that is transferred from one person to another  is ever-present and surprisingly powerful.   It is a force… and whether it be good or bad, it is a force that steers you towards those that can and will reciprocate that same energy.  And that ain’t nothing but the truth!

Nope.  Nope.  Nope.

I’m not preaching… just sharing.

Sharing because I am confident that there are others who “get this” and seek this very same connection.  Sharing because sometimes (as my brother would say) “it is a beautiful thang” to be reminded that what you emit, you attract.  Sharing simply because… hey, it’s what I do!

Indulge me for a moment…

Think about the people who you keep close in your circle.  Your spouse or your partner might be exempt for this example… so think about extended family members and your friends.  Co-workers and acquaintances.  There is a varied mix, eh?

Now… of this mixture, think about the ones that you tend to gravitate towards.  Repeatedly gravitate towards.  This is probably most applicable to those that you consider friends… think about the ones that without a doubt, you seek out and you genuinely enjoy their company.

Now ask yourself this…

Why them?

Haha… I’ll tell you.  It is energy baby.  It all boils down to en-er-gy!

The connections they provide are stimulating… right?  When you give them your energy, they respond by fueling you and giving that energy right back to you.  A continuous flow.  There is a spark… a magnetism… (as we say this together) there is en-er-gy!  And to repeat myself… that ain’t nothing but the truth!

This is the point at which my husband would tilt his head to the side and offer a chuckle… although he is not on a soapbox like I am, he understands.

Seriously… I pour that word on him like it is a fine wine.  The word “en-er-gy” has become embedded in my vocabulary and I am constantly using it to describe my daily activities… especially my social endeavors.  Haha… as funny as this may sound, for me, en-er-gy  is as essential to me as the air I breathe.

Naaaah, he and I will probably never share the same devotion for the concept of energy.  But we do both recognize its presence and from the sideline, he does appreciate (maybe even admire) my overzealous approach.

That circle I spoke of earlier… your go-to  peeps, you really wouldn’t hold them in that regard if there wasn’t that connection.  Where I find sippin’ on a succulent wine with friends while listening to come fantastic music incredibly enjoyable, a connection via energy with that group is a nonnegotiable — a must!  It just is what it is… and for me, what it will always be!

I know that you are there as well.  Perhaps you aren’t as vocal with your observations as I am…maybe never even analyzed it to this degree, but there.  As adults, we sometimes have the mind-set of “life is short” and we spend our days/time accordingly.  So then I say… having a preference as to who you gravitate towards and an awareness as to where you deposit your energy is the perfect means of ensuring that your time is well spent.

Relocating to the Washington DC area temporarily upset my circle, leaving me with my favorite go-to family members and my best girlfriends dispersed around the globe.  As I keep in contact with them, I am slowly but surely finding my energy in new and unexpected places.

But that’s my take…

What about you?

I’m only putting this out there because I am curious as to how others grasp this concept…. surely not to be swayed, just enlightened.

Those energy connections are paramount.  Haha… and no pun intended… they are electrical and I am drawn to them!

Cheers!

-k

…and with this, my fashion feet stay firmly planted!

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2012 at 10:13 am

Funny how such simple thoughts can easily transition into something so significant.

You know… thoughts that to others my appear trivial.  Frivolous thoughts that we often apply to our lives subconsciously and somehow they evolve into these self-imposed rules… rules that we abide by with resolute dedication.

Haha… things like which direction to place the toilet paper on the holder (ahem… flap OVER in my house), what color dishes you purchase (only white for me for I love the way the clean canvas shows off the food) or what sock/shoe goes on first (left for me… always left).

I tend to do this MORE than I care to mention.  My friends would probably blame it on slight obsessive compulsive tendencies… but I’m going to chalk it up to me… just being me!  If I had to apply a ratio, I would say that for the most part these self-imposed rules air on a quirky side and truly are only beneficial to me.  However, there are moments that merit an “ah-ha”… and these are the moments in which I feel compelled to share.

In writing my last blog, I stumbled upon yet another “note” written on Sunday, 15 March 2009.

Titled “Random thoughts regarding fashion…” I posted it on my facebook page, unsure of how it would be received.  Surprisingly, those self-imposed rules generated a healthy response. Hmmmmmm… perhaps I was onto something and had I listened to the advice of others, kishafwd.com could have been established much sooner, eh?!

Not a surprise when I say that in revisiting that post, it all still rings true today.  Actually… and I say this emphatically, I would say that when it comes to those fashion rules, I am steadfast.  Unwavering.  Haha… completely committed!

Soooooo, since I shared before, I eagerly share again.  The camaraderie of womanhood is and has always been the muse.

3 years later, here it goes again… but, since I do have those “mild” obsessive compulsive tendencies, I have added just a few thoughts (possibly slight interruptions in the original flow of the post)… all noted by the italics.

—————–

Random thoughts regarding fashion…

For whatever reason, I have this overwhelming desire to write (as if I were this “in demand” stylist) a “real woman’s/on a budget, but I want to look fabulous” guide to fashion. Chuckle, if you must, but after reading, I do believe, that even the most hard to win critic, will walk away with a tip… or two.

I know, I know, you have read them in all of the magazines…

The essentials we all must own, the top 5, 10, 15, 25, gazillion things that everyone must wear… and most of us (me included) are somewhat addicted to the television shows, that steer the lost into the light… cough, cough “What Not To Wear” cough, cough…(for the record, I adore Stacy London and Clinton Kelly and would embrace an opportunity to chat with them both).  So check this out, I DID meet Stacy London, 15 April 2012 and she is just as energetic and spirited as I had imagined!
Nonetheless, we read, we watch, we try and wonder… whose advice do we follow, who is right?
All of them? None of them? Some of them?

The answer: they all have something to offer. And it is just that simple.

So ladies, if it were to have a title, let’s just call it “After a bit of trial and error, Kisha recommends…”

· First and foremost, be honest with yourself, without guilt or shame and learn your body type.  Embrace your assets and STOP worrying about what you don’t have.  Apple, pear, hour glass shapes… narrow hips, full hips, long torso, short torso, fuller breast and smaller breast… we learned in our middle school health classes that we were built differently.  So, discover what do you have.  Study your nude body in the mirror, jot down a few notes and let that be your roadmap when investing in your wardrobe. The result… all future purchases will only accentuate the positive!

· Once you figure out what is going to work for you, the next objective is to find who sells it!  You probably already know this, but it is worth repeating… every store is not going to work for your body type.  AND, there are probably stores that will work best for you when you are looking to purchase bottoms and others, which you will go to when needing tops.  This you will only discover by trying on, trying on and more trying on… perhaps a bit tedious in the beginning… but the payoff, once you discover “who” is for you… priceless!  All I will add is this:  Ladies, as we age… we must be willing to let go of some of the stores that no longer cater to our MAGNIFICENT age and body types.  There is a sophistication and incredible beauty in becoming older.  Our wardrobes should reflect that attitude.

· Invest a bit of extra money, in pieces of clothing that work for you and are a necessity for your lifestyle. We all have our favorite “inexpensive” store that we frequent for that one piece, for that one event… but, we do so knowing, that after a few washes, that item has a short lifespan in our closet. But, for those key items that we need for work, or home, or all of the after work cocktail parties – spend a bit more, invest in garments made with higher quality fabrics, launder them properly and you will quickly see your hard earned dollars go further.

· Own jeans that flatter your shape.  Can I say that again… own jeans that flatter your shape.  Yes, this can be grueling (no joke)… Make a decision as to how much you are willing to invest, do a bit of online research and take a friend (who will be honest) with you when you trying on the various styles.  Be patient and you too will have your “ah ha” moment.  And, if you already have that brand loyalty, and they work for you… stick to it and invest in several pairs.  A nice slim fitting jean in a dark (mildly distressed) wash takes me there!!!! YOWZA!

· With that said, and for those that know me, you will understand this next statement…
Once you find an item that works for you, purchase it in ALL of the colors that flatter your complexion.  And, before you think it… no, this will not lead to a boring wardrobe.  You have found the perfect fit of black pants… well; do they come in chocolate or charcoal? You found the ideal wrap sweater (my personal “I can’t live without”…gosh, truth be told, the list continues to grow and occasionally gets tweaked.  But I would have to add that adding pops of animal print is a beautiful thang!) get ALL of the colors that suit you… not your friends, not the photo in the magazine, but you… only you.  The fun comes in how you mix and match… reinvent the wheel, the “color wheel” that is! If you don’t own one, visit your local art store and for a few bucks, you are on your way to creating magnificent color schemes within your wardrobe.

· Last, but certainly not least… do not forget the accessories!
This is the ooooohh, laaa laaaaaahhh to defining your signature style.  How many ways can you reinterpret denim and a white tank… countless, because it is all about the accessories!  And, just to be clear, I am speaking about the shoes, the bag, the coat, the scarf, the jewelry, the shoes, the blazer, the tote, the earrings, the bracelet… do it right, and this will keep your secret “fashion” admirers wanting more, more and more.  The lovely part about accessories is that they come in a variety of price points… and often times, if implemented correctly in your wardrobe, the least expensive of accessories, look like a million bucks!  What a segue (and a shameless plug)… specking of accessories, I just celebrated  my one year anniversay as a stella & dot stylist.  Check me out at:  www.stelladot.com/kbr and www.facebook.com/kbrstylist   Not that I am pushing my favorites on anyone (which is why I haven’t mention any of my favorite stores… fashion is truly subjective and, truth be told, my favorites may not work for you body type) but… blazers are a nonnegotiable. They come in a variety of cuts and work for practically everyone!  As you build you accessory wardrobe, concentrate on what you determine are your staples… then from there, the sky is the limit!  Seriously… a structured blazer is a fashion lifesaver.  EVERY WOMAN should own at least a classic black blazer!

Not to be interpreted as a sermon… just me, spreading some love to my fellow girls.
It is important that we all feel simply amazing in our unique skin.  So, if my random thoughts gave you any insight… then I am humbled.  Perhaps, as you are shopping, you will chuckle and think of me as you are looking at yourself in the mirror, trying on one of your “new” favorites!

And there it is.

And, for the record:  Yes… to these rules I am forever loyal!

Cheers!

-k

A note to my 42 year old self…

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm

What do you do with your notes to self?

You know, those personal collections of thoughts, repeated mantras and declarations that you remember or recite.  Notes to self that often are generated via a life lesson…  acting as an aid in maintaining our confidence, elevating our spirits, keeping us sane and/or reminding us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

For me, the notes are nothing more than the randomness that constantly swirls throughout my head.  Poignant and witty bits of wisdom that present themselves daily and (THANK GOODNESS) as I age, become vividly crystal clear.

As a wife and a mother of a teenage son and a pre-teen daughter it is important and necessary that I have presence.  Even more so for my daughter, me being of sound mind, strong body and calm spirit plays a key factor in our relationships.

BUT, first and foremost, I am a woman.

An independent woman, a woman who works full-time outside of the household, a woman who has an artsy side and enjoys being social, a woman who takes pride in her appearance… and, as important and significant those roles are, I am a woman who is conscious about and determined to be defined as more than a wife and mother.  So, as a woman, I am adamant that presence starts with me!  And for BOTH of my children, I would encourage them to do the same.

Haha… not to get all “Oprah’ish” on you, but the reality is that my notes to self steer that path.  They keep me energized, balanced, allow me to reflect and in times when I lose focus, they do what Hansel and Gretel attempted to do with bread crumbs… they help me find my way home.

I bet there are an abundance of women (perhaps men too) who identify with me and my note to self.  We all do this… we jot down or think thoughts that will rejuvenate us and propel us forward… helps us to “get our minds right!”  It’s human nature, eh?

Wondering if I am alone… but my notes repeat themselves.  Like fashion trends, they are cyclical; coming in and out of season over time and when appropriate.  A few years into my fourth decade, I can easily spot and appreciate those patterns.  Haha… I keep a stash of notes and draw upon them frequently.

My favorite note to self, I keep as the sole information offered in my “about you” section on my facebook page:

“What I know to be true… Change is constant, inevitable and beautiful.  You should accept your imperfections.  Time heals all wounds… AND, this too shall pass!”

So elementary but specific to us all, eh?  Incredibly apropos for “life” and the myriad of situations and events one will encounter.

I recently stumbled across a random note to self that I quickly scribed in a matter of 10 minutes.  Written approximately 3 years ago, in reading it again I was compelled to share — actually with the hopes that in the future, my children might read and appreciate their mother’s candid thoughts.  At the time, I was given an assignment to write down 25 random thoughts.  These were my thoughts — and to this day, they continue to be relevant.

1. I absolutely love the color green.
2. Despite my imperfections, I think I am beautiful… and I wish more women embraced themselves in this manner.
3. My children are my heart… they are little apples off of the tree and I am often humored as to how they have adopted so many of their parent’s characteristics.
4. I love my husband’s shoulders.
5. I am so proud that my siblings and I have a wonderful and loving relationship.
6. I feel sorry for those that do not know the joy of having a great friend.
7. I love MAC eye shadows.
8. I should read more…
9. I enjoy the smell of coffee, yet I don’t really drink it (Haha..an update:  a busy work schedule and a need for caffeine, as of 2012, I occasionally drink coffee).
10. One day, I would like to go to Africa.
11. Music invigorates me.
12. I am an artist… in a perfect world, I would immerse myself into an art project… and everyday, create something magnificent with my hands.
13. I miss my grandmother.
14. I love my daughter’s hands… from an early age, they have always appeared wise and mature.
15. My son’s introspectiveness amazes me.
16. A great glass of wine and good company is a wonderful treat.
17. I love accessories… a fabulous pair of shoes, a snazzy handbag, the perfect coat….mmmmmmmm, it takes me there! 😉
18. I am always on the prowl for the perfect shade of red… both lips and hair!
19. I love to cook… and KNOW I should do it more often.
20. My children have a great dad.
21. Sometimes, I yell too much!
22. I enjoy decorating my house, your house… any house.
23. One day, I will own a dog… although, Ziggy, the cat, isn’t bad (as of 2012, we now have Izzy the cat).
24. I love listening to and watching my loved ones laugh.
25. I AM BLESSED!!!!

Haha… pretty much, that is me in a nutshell… do you feel as if you know me better?

Well, I definitely intend on frequenting this list often… and of course, continuing to write new notes.  But I do feel inclined to add a #26…and it reads as such:  I am happy!

Cheers!

-k

My No. 2 pencil… is a skirt!

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

The most common pencil for taking standardized test, eh?

Best friend to both students and teachers, the ubiquitous No. 2 pencil is an unquestionable “must have” for every school year.  It’s pretty much a no brainer – this slender tool is a downright nonnegotiable!   At least one will be  found in every child’s backpack and desk… the trusty No. 2 pencil is not only practical but it is guaranteed (with the broad assortment of stylishly colorful designs) to be the most fashionable element in the pencil-case.  In its own right… a timeless classic!

Classic…

Slender…

Timeless…

These words ring true to yet another type of pencil.  Haha – I am just putting it out there – when thinking of that “must have No. 2 pencil”, this is by far my favorite interpretation and my downright nonnegotiable.  My practical tool for any time of the year… the simple, elegant, understated and ageless pencil skirt.

I bet you would consider me crazy if I told you that those skirts make me week in the knees.  Humph… then I would respond by saying what’s crazy is any girls’ closet that is void of one!  Who wouldn’t want a garment that was versatile, sleek and highlighted their silhouette?  I am encouraging everyone to jump on board.  The pencil skirt is a fashion staple that suits many shapes – can I get a “Hallelujah” – for it is not just reserved for the girls shaped like pencils!

Christian Dior’s 1940’s design introduced the world to this curve hugging show stopper.  This straight, slim-fitting number is, in my opinion, a woman’s secret weapon.  An item that not only flatters your figure but elevates your wardrobe by offering countless styling options — that’s damn near magic, eh?!  Oh glorious pencil skirt, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!  I love you with flip-flops and a bright tank top… with sandals and a sheer blouse… with pumps and a structured blazer… even with boots and a chunky sweater.

Don’t even get me started on the most popular style and what Tim Gunn (www.facebook.com/TimGunn) would most definitely include on his list of 10 essentials — the “black” pencil skirt.  Seriously, it’s a chameleon.  It can be smart and savvy for the business woman, carefree and comfortable for those easy breezy ladies, and super sexy for the socialite club-hopping diva!  Like I said… truly a secret weapon!

Available in an array of fabrics and an even greater color and pattern selections, the pencil skirt is a work of art.  Animal print, charcoal gray, black, white, citron, banana yellow, turquoise and poppy are just a few of the styles that I own and keep in constant rotation – so I speak from experience when I offer this one tip…

The trick to looking great in your slim-fitting pencil skirt is paying attention the fit and not wearing it so tight that it appears painted on.  A tailored look is what you seek.  The skirt should hug your curves and have a little give.  This means that you just might have to ignore the size label inside of your skirt and opt for a smaller, or larger size to achieve the ideal fit.  With the construction of a pencil skirt, this should be easy, especially since you have leeway with where the skirt can rest on your waist.

And it’s just that simple.

Since I am sharing…

take a peek at these links  — five of my favorite spots for pencil skirt shopping!  These stores tend to be incredibly democratic with their fits, have both classic and trendy selections, and a range of price points for the savviest of shoppers.

www.jcrew.com, www.thelimited.comwww.anntaylor.com, www.loft.com and www.bananarepublic.com.

I am looking for feedback ladies.  Surely I am not the only one singing the praises of the pencil skirt!

Or am I?

Cheers!

-k