Hey girl hey! It’s been awhile, I know. This little love letter delay is what happens when you pivot your freelance career and take on a little more corporate structure. But hey, I’m here, I’m happy and guess what? As of today, I’m one year, older, wiser and a whole lot better!
Living life in your 30s affords you a certain level of confidence, but I’ve learned there are plenty of lessons just waiting to be discovered with each passing year. Over the last 365+ days, I’ve learned a impactful lessons shaping me to become a better woman each and every day. Check out my favorite lessons learned (and life celebratory pics) below.
Work Life Balance is possible
As a young diva, I believed that the hustle would dictate your success and ultimate happiness. (Boy was I wrong!) Now that I’m a bit older and wiser, I’ve learned that you need to take time to enjoy and appreciate life to the fullest (After all, this isn’t a dress rehearsal). Now, I still do believe in working hard – but I also believe that making an effort to travel more and engage in amazing framly (friends+family) experiences is what makes life worth living.
Comparison is the thief of joy
Everyone isn’t blessed with the same strengths (or weaknesses for that matter) and its important for all of us to stop comparing ourselves to others. It’s easy to wish you had something someone else has, but you also have to remember that you don’t know the trials, tribulations, joys and pains that they had to endure to get what they have today. Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone’s Chapter 12, start living a life of gratitude for what you have today and watch your personal blessings grow by leaps and bounds.
Life Is All About Relationships
As a self-proclaimed introvert, it may have taken me a bit longer than others but I’ve learned that the relationships that you have with others can help you get through ANYTHING. I’m talking relationships with friends, siblings, parents – you name it. Building and maintaining great relationships are investments that anyone can make. It’s calling your loved ones regularly, being a listening ear and not being afraid to tell the ones you love – that you love them. Investing in relationships early – they’ll be pivotal in the bad times and essential when celebrating the good times!
Forgiveness Keeps You Beautiful (…and stress free!)
Now this is one of those lessons that’s been around us all along, but we’ve never taken the time to notice it. One of the most beautiful people I know is my mother. She’s 20+ years my senior, but barely looks like my older sister. One of the biggest lessons she’s taught me through actions is “forgiveness”. She’s shown me that not only forgiveness helps others, but it also frees you from angst and unnecessary stress that can cause you to look prematurely old and haggard. (Between practicing forgiveness and good skincare products like Vichy & LaRoche-Posay you should expect my mom and I to look like this well into our 100+ birthdays! LOL)
I have to say, this chapter in my life feels good and I’m excited for what the future will bring. (If you forgot my birthday, don’t worry, I’m accepting eGifts from Amazon, Panera Bread, Sephora or Starbucks all month long Lastly, if I could share one piece of advice to my younger self, it would probably be this. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and take risks early in life, lessons learned from mistakes are the foundation for greatness! Go Big or Go Home!
Did I miss any important life lessons on this list? Have you learned important life-altering lessons lately? Share in the comments or tweet me @DivasandDorks!
In celebration of it’s 4-Year Anniversary, Jabs Gym partied the best way they knew how – with a fitness party! Dozens of boxing enthusiasts and fitness newbies laced up their sneakers/boxing gloves and piled inside of Jabs Gym (Birmingham) for an intense sample of kickboxing and conditioning inside (and outside) the ring.
Led by Jabs Gym co-owner and professional boxer Willie Fortune, fitness fans began the 90-minute experience with cardio-kickboxing basics plus the fundamentals behind classes like Circuit boxing and BOYO throughout the evening. What’s BOYO – you ask? BOYO is a group fitness class that combines elements of Boxing and Yoga specifically developed and exclusively taught at Jabs Gym.
It didn’t take long before my girlfriends and I were wrapped and ready to go, punching and kicking our way to our summer body goals. (It was hard work, but at least we looked cute in our fitness gear! LOL) The kickboxing classes are tons of fun and open to all fitness levels (it may take a few classes to memorize the combination punches and kicks, but it’s all worth it in the end.) If you’ve ever considered boxing – Jabs is it! And if you’ve ever wanted to experience a gym with friendly, knowledgeable staff filled with powerful classes – grab your gym bag make your way to Jabs Gym today!
Established in 2013 as a state of the art intimate fitness and group training facility to make boxing training accessible to the everyday person, Jabs Gym has is the perfect gym to take your fitness goals to the next level. Equipped with a full-sized boxing ring, ample personal training space, free weights, weight machines, cardio equipment, and more, it’s the perfect facility to get fit, while having fun. If you’ve ever wanted to try a new fitness regimen learn more about Jabs Gym and sign up for your FREE fitness class today at JabsGym.com.
When did you fall in love with hip hop? Honestly, truly? For me, it was sneaking to watch music videos at my grandmother’s house and witnessing a rambunctious trio known as T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli singing, rapping and causing mayhem in their first music video “What about your friends?” — and just like that, I was hooked! As an 80’s baby, growing up in the golden era of music, expression and creativity was something that has shaped the way I work, live and play today. (Remember the calculator watch?) Eclectic beats and styles inspired “around the way” girls everywhere to love extensions in their hair, and bamboo earrings (at least two pair).
Nowadays, it’s that same freedom of expression that has influenced the retro styles in music, fashion and even technology today. Love the nostalgic look and feel of turntables scratching and mixing from pubescent school dances? You can bring memories back to life with mixing turntables or a retro bluetooth boombox.
When it comes to music, I live by hip hop nostalgia playlists on iTunes featuring Notorious B.I.G, TLC and Kris Kross. (Who remembers the East Coast family of BBD, Boys II Men and The Boys? Say I!) What about the 80’s and 90’s style? From designer takes on the trends, like Gucci belt fanny packs and gigantic gold bamboo earrings to New York Fashion Week trends of bra tops, shearling coats and bright bold colors – the Hip Hop era of the 80s and 90s will forever inspire and shape the things we love and enjoy today.
I’ve partnered with VH1 to share my love of Hip Hop and if you love nostalgia like I do, then you’ll love this amazing giveaway! In celebration of The Breaks return to VH1, we’re taking you back to summer with your chance to win a $100 iTunes Gift Card to purchase a Season Pass to VH1’s NEW Original Scripted Series, THE BREAKS, your favorite Hip Hop music from the 80’s/90’s and more! Find out how you could win below!
The Breaks series picks up where the successful VH1 original movie leaves off. It is 1990 in New York City at the height of rap’s “Golden Age” of creativity, but corporate America has been hesitant to embrace the genre. Nikki (Afton Williamson) lands a dream job as the assistant to the legendary and out-of-control Barry Fouray (Wood Harris). Her best friend and producer DeeVee (Mack Wilds) is working with rapper Ahm (Antoine Harris) who is currently under investigation by the police for murder. How far will these driven young people go to rise to the top of the hip-hop world? Stay on top of the twists and turns of this new series and get your Season Pass for VH1’s The Breaks now on iTunes.
The Breaks series airs Monday nights on VH1.
To enter, head to our Instagram and answer the question “When did you fall in love with Hip Hop?” or “What 80’s/90s Hip Hop song describes you?” One (1) lucky winner will be selected at random.
This post is sponsored by VH1 The Breaks. All opinions expressed and shared are my own.
Celebrating a colorful 50 Years of stylish technology in Las Vegas.
This year the 50th Annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas highlighted the brightest and best in all things tech. HARMAN received nine 2017 CES Innovation Awards for breakthrough innovations like the JBL Everest Elite SDK, JBL BassPro Go, JBL Flip 4, and Infinity BassLink DC. The HARMAN brands continue to drive exceptional listening experiences everywhere. Audiophiles want connected and personalized products in the car, at home or in the office. Check out a peek into how HARMAN wants to upgrade your listening experience in your home, car and beyond below!
Smart Listening At Home or Office
Whether its listening to your favorite podcasts or music streaming service at home or in the office, JBL has you covered! What if you could take the powerful booming bass from your car into your home or next outdoor party (*grabs party shoes*)? Imagine a hybrid automobile subwoofer and portable speaker, this versatile speaker system that delivers JBL’s Signature Sound anywhere on-the-go. Say hello to the JBL BassPro Go!
When docked inside the vehicle’s trunk, the JBL BassPro Go adds powerful bass to the existing car audio system, delivering sound performance equivalent to a traditional aftermarket subwoofer system. The JBL BassPro Go also operates as a portable Bluetooth speaker when undocked from the vehicle. The speaker is designed to deliver big concert sound to outlast any tailgate or party with its 15 hours of play time. Users can connect up to 3 mobile devices and take turns playing DJ when it’s detached from the mount. The JBL BassPro Go also features JBL Connect+ technology that can wirelessly link multiple JBL Connect-enabled speakers together to amplify the listening experience. The JBL BassPro Go will be available for purchase for $599.95 at JBL.com and select JBL retailers Summer 2017.
The award winning JBL Flip 4 is the perfect listening companion to make life on the go more fun than ever before. Wirelessly connect up to two smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing impressive stereo sound. Built-in 3000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery supports up to 12-hours of playtime. Take crystal clear calls from your speaker with the touch of a button thanks to the noise and echo-cancelling speakerphone. Build your own party by connecting more than 100 JBL Connect+ enabled speakers together to amplify the listening experience. Available in 6 vibrant colors & prints including: Black, White, Teal, Gray, Red and Blue, the JBL Flip 4 will be available on JBL.com and select retailers for $99.95 starting spring 2017. (Can’t wait? Get your hands on the JBL Flip 3 for a lot less here.)
HARMAN Voyager Next In Car Experience
With so many car sharing options on the road, Millennials aren’t so quick to spend a lot of money for their first car. HARMAN believes that you don’t have to sacrifice technology and sound for an affordable new car. Moving beyond traditional audio to capture a fully integrated entertainment experience, Voyager Next adds customizable in-vehicle lighting along with connectivity and control of compatible in-home and portable devices.
The HARMAN Display Audio provides an embedded, connected head-unit that brings the best of your smartphone experiences seamlessly into the car through the tech, navigation and other capabilities you already know and love. Instantly connect using Apple CarPlay, Google AndroidAuto, Baidu CarLife and SmartDeviceLink; giving you several ways to connect any smartphone to the car regardless of make or OS. HARMAN Voyager Next completely redefines traditional car connectivity, making it available and affordable for all.
No matter if it’s in the car, office or your next impromptu house party or outdoor picnic, HARMAN and JBL has the ultimate sound quality experience to enhance your favorite moments audio from day to night. For more on HARMAN and JBL products visit harman.com.
Is saving more money one of your big new year resolutions? Is more income, luxury travel or a new car plastered on your 2017 vision board? What about a new designer bag or slay-worthy pair of shoes? (I don’t judge!) How would you like to save at $500, $1500 or more for your next big purchase or vacation? One of our loyal readers did just that when she recently shared how quick and easy it is to save – thanks to DivasandDorks.com! If you’re looking for a little help saving quickly and easily, I have the perfect app for you! Say HELLO to Digit! The best money saving smartphone app that will be your saving grace for 2017!
Digit is a free online app that automates your savings in a way that you won’t realize you’re saving. Digit first links up to your bank account, reviews your payment history and predicts your income and cash flow. After Digit’s system understands how much you spend every day and how you try to manage your money, it calculates all your possible daily savings opportunities. Everyday, Digit takes out small amounts of money (anywhere from $5-$50) that you may not have realized you didn’t need or use. After Digit takes out the dough, it puts that cha-ching into your savings account. I’ve saved more than $1000 using the app myself and look forward to saving even more in 2017!
The whole idea behind the Digit money saving app is that you’re saving little by little on the daily without feeling like you’re restricting your normal use of money. So you’re still buying your lunches, groceries and gas, but you’re saving too! Your savings stash goes into your personal FDIC-insured Digit account. Digit doesn’t store your password or go through your savings. The account is entirely yours with no minimums and no fees. Use Digit’s new GoalMoji feature to check the balance on your savings goals for a new home, vacation, car and so much more. My new goal? A bigger house for 2018 and Digit’s new GoalMoji feature will get me there!
Digit always checks in with you and lets you know how much it’s been able to save for you via regular text messages. But if a particularly rainy day hits, just text the word “Withdraw” and your money will be in your pocket by the next business day. Sounds like we’re all going to need a bigger wallet. Ready to get started? Download the Digit money saving app and instantly earn $5 when you share the best money saving app with others HERE. Just think, if you sign up today, you could save at least $500 (or more) just in time for a new designer dress, bag, sunglasses or Summer vacation!
So what are you waiting for? Start saving today!
DISCLOSURE: I’ve teamed up with Consumer Reports and am proud to be one of their paid brand ambassadors; my personal opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Consumer Reports.
When was the last time you thought about making serious strides towards planning your financial future? With so many changes in interest rates, politics and today’s economical climate, now is a great time to take a hard look at your finances and discover how today’s new retirement rules can make a huge difference in your money matters tomorrow. Consumer Reports’ recent feature on retirement planning will help you prepare for your future.
With the new year quickly approaching, many of my friends and family are discussing plans and intentions for growth in 2017. Recently, my brother and I were discussing how we have to plan our financial future a little bit different than our parents and grandparents did. Back in the day, our parents and grandparents working in the ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s, probably thought retirement would be the traditional life-of-leisure kind. In 1983, 56% of American workers—and 80% of those making $20,000 or more—could expect an employer-provided pension, according to the Social Security Administration. But today, things have changed – drastically. Only a quarter of Americans working today have the security of a pension, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Everything you thought you knew about retirement has changed. Have you wondered how much you actually need to save by now in order to have the same lifestyle in retirement? Find out HERE.
So what does this mean for you? Many of us have spent years trying to figure out how to manage our 401(k) plans, making money errors along the way, such as choosing high-fee investments or prematurely withdrawing money. Discover five 401(k) mistakes you can’t afford to keep on making. 2017 should be all about making smarter money choices. Millennials now more than ever before, have the knowledge and education available to make good on earlier mistakes. Want to know get better insight on proper retirement planning and how it could work for you? Take the Consumer Reports Retirement Planning Quiz HERE.
To learn more, visit Consumer Reports Retirement Planning Guide for expert advice on all the elements that contribute to a good retirement: saving and investing; planning; maintaining your health; identifying activities and work to suit you; and, of course, being a savvy consumer.
Consumer Reports’ mission is to empower consumers and their families to make informed choices every day – all year round. Consumer Reports is a nonprofit, independent organization that relies on your support. Most people don’t realize that subscriptions alone don’t cover the full cost of Consumer Reports product testing and research work. Support CR today (until December 31, 2016) and your tax-deductible contribution will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $30,000 by two generous donors. Your contribution will allow us to continue to provide hard-working families and all consumers with the information to make the best buying decisions, protect your health and safety, and hold businesses and government accountable.
There’s just something fabulous about warm, comfy and cozy pajamas that truly makes life worth living. Whether it’s matching pajamas for the entire family or a one-of-a-kind onesie that you’ll want to wear all day long, here are a few of my favorite holiday pajamas that’ll keep you in comfortable style all season long! (OH YEAH, Did I mention they’re hundreds of additional styles just like this up to 60% OFF! ((You’re welcome!))
Are you comfy cozy or more chic & cheeky? What’s your holiday pajama style? Share your favorite holiday at home looks in the comments or tweet us @DivasandDorks!
It’s the busiest shipping day of the season and that means that last-minute gift shopping is finally here. Office holiday parties are in full swing and I’m a firm believer that last-minute gifts don’t have to be thought-less or super expensive. (Even Oprah believes this!)
Gifts for co-workers and even gift exchange parties don’t have to be a stressful celebration when you stick with custom gifts that anyone with a name would love! That’s why I’ve round up a few of my favorite custom gift ideas under $25 that’ll make you a holiday hero below!
(Featured item from Oprah’s Favorite Things list)
Disclosure: The following content has been sponsored by HP/HSN, however all opinions shared are my own.
Let’s face it, 2016 is almost over and if you haven’t started working on 2017 by now, you’re already behind! But don’t worry, you can still slay your day AND your New Year’s goals with the right technology as strong and stylish as you!
Finding the right computer to suit you and your family’s needs can be tricky. It has to be powerful and fast with plenty of storage space to create yet versatile enough to make multitasking (think Netflix & Chill) with ease! I’ve been looking for a desktop that does all of the above, plus fit the style and feel of my home office and I’ve finally found it!
Say hello to my new best friend! The HP All-in-One desktop computer. The widescreen HD+ display transforms the computer viewing experience with unbelievable HD detail. The space saving desktop even offers the latest Intel processor and 1TB of hard drive space making it easy to work on multiple projects at once! Whether it’s jamming out to holiday tunes while finalizing my gift lists or finalizing my 2017 business strategy – no more lagging in-between programs with the All-in-One.
Even the design is slim, chic and all the way put together in one convenient desktop. The monitor and tower are all in one with a chic ripple pattern and a new, elevated stand truly making it a fashionable desktop centerpiece. Armed with a simple power cord and wireless keyboard + mouse, I’ve transformed my cluttered desk into a styled oasis of creativity & productivity. The HP All-in-One desktop is designed to integrate seamlessly any and every space imaginable. It’s even available in colors perfectly suited for any office space of your own – white, black and teal.
Whether you’re crushing holiday shopping lists or working on your 2017 vision board plans, the HP All-in-One is the right computer to get things done and HSN is the perfect place to get the deal of the year. Even if you haven’t set aside a huge budget for tech this season, HSN has you covered! For $399 (that’s $100 in savings) you can upgrade your home and tech the halls right! With HSN Flex Pay, you can breakdown the full price desktop in easy payments that you can afford. But wait, there’s more! If you order now through 12/31 you can score the HP All-in-One for less than $100! Talk about a great deal at an even greater price! The HP All-in-One is the ultimate family value to upgrade the home office or gift yourself for a holiday job well done.
I, like many of my friends have a serious addiction to designer notebooks, planners and accessories – practically anything that allows me to express my thoughts, ideas and dreams. I mean, the whole idea behind achieving, succeeding and living the dream consists of writing down the vision, working towards the goal and checking it off once complete.
Finding the perfect planner to inspire your daily efforts, can be a challenge. It has to ignite your efforts, hold you accountable and look as stylish as your favorite designer bag while doing it! That’s why I’ve round up a few of my favorite productivity planners to make your 2017 the most stylish, goal-focused and accomplished year yet!
If you’re looking for a calendar that suits your swag and your style, the Pardon My Fro weekly calendar is it! Customize the cover with your name and fill the pages with goals. This is the must have planner for the sister girl with a serious affection for everything F-L-Y!
The planner spans a full 17 months (August 2016 through December 2017), features full color month-per-spread views and includes a lined and perforated “notes” section on each page so that you can make lists and take them with you as you head out the door. There’s even a handy storage pocket for loose papers, receipts or whatever strikes your fancy.
The ultimate Master Plan journal + pen combo to keep you organized and accountable at the same time. This stylish set comes with two faux leather cover journals and 2 boxed black pens with black ink. Each journal contains 256 pages of archival quality, acid-free, lined pages and a ribbon page marker. The 6″ x 8″ journal is a flexible cover, while the 8″ x 10″ journal is hard cover.
Orange circle’s 17-month spiral planner has a colorful, eye-catching foil-stamped cover, both monthly and weekly views, 315 reminder stickers and a sturdy wire-o binding. Each page has Large grids with lots of room to write so you can keep track of your schedule by task or time of day as well as a place to write notes or to-dos. And, the 128-page planner is printed in full color throughout. It just may be everything you need to stay organized all year long!
This chic planner runs from August to July for the academic year, with a complete yearly view calendar on the inside covers, 2016 in the front and 2017 at the back, a page to record goals for the year, four pages to record class schedules, a section for notes, as well as places to record addresses and phone numbers. There’s a complete month view for each month as well as a place for monthly goals and notes, before it goes into a section breaking the month into week-long segments. Each month is tabbed so it is easy to navigate, and at the end there is a page to record important dates for next year.
Brighten up your busy schedule with this one-of-a-kind pattern-packed monthly planner, featuring month-to-month pages from august 2016 to january 2017 and keep organized all year. Complete with calendar and monthly pages featuring handpainted lilly pulitzer prints, dates to remember, address pages, notes, and 5×5 original art pages. 2 sticker pages and a designed pocket included gold foil and neon accents gold elastic closure gold spiral.
Features include a hardbound cover, elastic band closure, interior golden metallic spiral binding, interior pocket, Mylar-covered tabs, 2016-2017 yearly views, a celebrations section, a notes section, and monthly and weekly views for the months of august 2016 through to December 2017. plus, the sweet sayings throughout add a little motivation to the start of each new month. Discover more Kate Spade accessories and awesome planners here.
Do you ever wish there was more space to plot out those really big plans? The Ban.do 12 month planner solves that issue with a two-page spread that breaks down each month into weeks. while you track your daily to-dos and appointments in your planner, you can keep your eyes on the big prize with a pulled back view of your month. With artwork from Ban.do, fun holidays, tracking and achieving your goals will be super easy.
In classic black and white stripe, this 17-month agenda is a to-do lister’s dream come true. complete with monthly and weekly spreads, note pages and laminated dividers, keeping tabs has never looked so good. (Make it a super cute set and grab a matching handbag while you’re at it!)
The ultimate style agenda and organizer, sure to make your next year the best one yet! This smart, stylish, unique planning system in the 8” x 10” page size features a striped navy paperboard cover with gold foil detail. Weekly and monthly calendar views allow for detailed scheduling and offer ample writing space. Twin-wire binding and durable, coated tabs offer easy page turning and access to past, present and future months.
The perfect agenda for a high achiever, the creative thinker, or fashionista! July 2016 through December 2017, monthly and weekly calendar, 18 colorful laminated tab dividers, notes, lined, grid, blank and coloring pages. Scripture / inspirational quotes throughout, 2018 year overview, calls outs for holidays / dates to remember, map, time zones, interior pocket page, laminated covers. Day Spring equips people to know and share God’s Love in fresh, true, and inspiring ways.
Perfect size to carry around in a workbag or purse. Has monthly views, and then more detailed space for individual weeks. It has pockets on the inside which are super helpful organizing receipts, extra notes and keeping you organized from the inside out.
Did I miss any fancy/haute planners on this list? How are you planning to celebrate and dominate your 2017? Share your organizational tips, tricks and favorite planners in the comments below!