When to Clean-A Few Tips For A Better Clean

According to Health Magazine there should definitlely be a "method to the madness" for Neat*Freaks obsessed with dirt and grime. As a fellow "freak," I was a little taken back by the tips that I was not familiar with as part of my "Clean Routine." Not to worry, because within minutes I was making mental notes on and computing new strategies on how to use this new Intel in the never ending campaign to rid my home (car, workplace, etc) of germs!

I'll share these tips and some of the "germ-iest" things/places in your home after the break!


Weekend in Pictures - Baltimore Inner Harbor

To celebrate of my "xxth" birthday this month, take a break from the rigorous demands of course work and retreat from the stress of my 9-5 I was gifted with a road trip to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The harbor area is one of the regentrified and safer areas of Baltimore. Geared at tourist, sports fans and young professionals the area offers a variety of activities and restaurants that echo the fresh, new spirit of a city that has seen it's share of rough times. 

The highlights of the trip: Rachael's Dowry, and the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Check out the pics after the jump...


I had the immense pleasure of staying at Rachael's Dowry. A fully restored,Victorian style, Bed and Breakfast, located near Baltimore's inner harbor. It's just off the beaten path and somewhat lesser known than area mega, brand corporate hotels which only adds to it's sweet, romantic charm.


At A Food Truck Near You

Free Samples from the Popular Malaysia Kitchen Food Truck thru November 19th in NYC!
Click on the link below for info and locations:

"I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul." -William Ernest Henley

Whether it’s going back to school, write a novel or start that business you’ve always dreamed of owning, we all have dreams and goals that we’ve set aside or that have become seemingly unattainable due to life’s circumstances. We let fear halt our progress. We buy into the negative seeds that are sown into our hearts by others, take root and grow, choking our confidence and suffocating our drive.

I remember wanting desperately to pursue a career in Fashion Design and painting when I was younger, but by the time I was set to enter college and really pursue those these fields I’d let discouraging questions and comments about my ability to make a substantial living deter, and ultimately detour my path.  Notice I used the word “detour.” I’ve since decided that my destiny and ultimately my happiness is very much connected to my ability to express myself in creative ways. So nearly 20 years later I’m back in school pursuing a Master’s degree in Design, and opening myself to new and exciting opportunities in other creative arenas, i.e decorating, crafting, etc.

I credit this “second chance” to my faith and tenacity, but also to the time I took to do a lot of evaluation, reflection and analysis.

  • Evaluation-taking stock of where you are in your life. Who you are? What you’ve achieved.  Where you are headed and what you want to become.

  • Reflection-What experiences were positive or negative? What have you overcome? Are you proud of yourself? Do you feel that you are living your purpose and using your gifts and talents to the best of your ability? Are you happy with your life today?

  • Analysis- What’s your life going to be? Who do you want to be in 5, 10, 20 years? Is the path that you’re on one that will lead you to where you want to be? Are you doing what’s necessary now to prepare you for the road ahead-are you laying the ground work now for what is to come?

Reality Check: Even if you’re only 25 time isn’t waiting for you.  The clock won’t stop while you defer your dreams. Try to do something each day that moves you closer to your goal. A small step is still a step. It’s never too late to start but the reality is that youth has it’s benefits. You’ll probably have more energy and resilience and less life complications at 35 than you might at 65.

Confront Your Fears: The naysayers, the haters, the doubts, the insecure feelings, the fears, it’s time to face all of them. Depending on your situation these may be actual people in your life or voices that have taken up residence in your head, not matter the make-up it’s necessary to come to terms with these messages and move forward in spite of them, because the reality is they will pop-up every once in a while. Feelings of fear and self doubt can affect anyone the key is not allowing these feelings and messages to have the ultimate power that is paralyzing your growth.

It’s Ok Not to Share: As you are working things through and hashing out your strategy you may feel compelled by excitement to share your new found direction with the world. It’s important to understand that not everyone will share your excitement. Everyone may not have your vision and have the ability to understand what it is you are trying to build in your life, which is not to say that this comes from a negative place or from a lack of love, but there will be people in your life with whom you share your ideas and aspirations and they just flat out don’t get it. That’s ok. It will be up to you to determine if you have the strength and confidence in your plan to brush that off. It’s ok to be selective in sharing your news, it’s also ok not to share until you feel confident enough to brush off any negativity, you may be hit with.

Take Action: Remember, a small step is still a step. If you’ve already figured out what is it you want to do or accomplish, as a result of time taken for reflection, evaluation and analysis, then it’s time to begin the work. So maybe you can’t afford to take the classes you really want to take, are there any Blogs or “How-To” videos that might offer you information in the meantime? You want to start that business but don’t qualify for loans and don’t have the savings to finance it yourself. Have you started writing your business plan and done the market research? Think about the small things can you do each day or a few times a week that will help chip away at the larger picture or your overall goal.


Profile of a "Superwoman:" Interview with Christy Rak-Samson

Determination, faith, dedication, the love and support of family and friends, are just a few of key ingredients required success mix according to this Community Activist/Teacher and former Mrs. New Jersey, turned Entrepreneur. Christy Rak-Samson talks dance, career, and her obsession with Mixed Martial Arts with WLLC! Read More after the Jump!


Give Your Skin A Boost: 3 Tips to Help It Glow

Can you feel it in the air? The winds are a little stronger and temperatures are a bit lower. The elements can be harmful to delicate skin.

Just think about it, no matter how harsh or mild the weather your skin is out there covering you with protection. So how about a little reciprocity?

Tips for to Clarify, Plump & Nourish after the break...


Girls And Their Curls

Click Title for Video:

Like many of have seen this cute Sesame Street clip on Youtube I was really touched and drawn to the message of self-love and acceptance. Our society puts so much pressure on women to be conform to a single standard of beauty and unfortunately for many of us, that standard is not only too high it's impossibly unattainable. As I watched this video I wondered how many doubts and struggles with self-esteem I might have avoided if I had been bombarded with more messages like this as a child.

Check out the video and read more commentary after the jump...

Home Shopping-A Night Out With BROCADE Home

If you're a fan of BROCADE Home Goods  and you're in the NYC area, you'll want to check to be "in the house" this Thursday night! Log onto http://www.brocadehome.com for deets.


Taking All of My Energy

I work full-time by day, study for a graduate degree in Interior Design by night, building a event planning business on the weekends,  and try to maintain some semblance of a normal, active, healthy life as a daughter, sister, friend and girlfriend, all at the same time. Who has time for sleep with a task list like that? I’ve I have found that my once solid and consistent bond with sleep has become undone. I used to require 8 hours of sleep. I’ve learned to adapt, function and even be pleasant on less. My concern is for my health. It is during sleep that the body restores and rejuvenates all that is lost to the stresses of the day. Rest or lack there of can boost or destroy the immune system, and weak immune system makes for a “very sick, inactive, underpaid, all around cranky” me.

So when fellow blogger, Nik, from TheMopTopMaven.com (blog=inspirational) told me that Flaxseed, namely Flaxseed Smoothies, were her “secret weapon” for keeping her energy high with her hectic schedule, I was intrigued.  I did a little research, which echoed the earlier claims and indicated additional health benefits, and hit the nearest Whole Foods to make a purchase.


Product Review: Vegetarian's Delight

Wheat Meat, Mock Duck, Gluten Meat, you may have seen these names in the vegetarian section of restaurant menus or heard these names mentioned by Vegan/Vegetarian friends when referring to meat substitutes. Ever wonder what it actually is? The answer is Seitan!

Seitan, is a food made from wheat gluten, hence the name "wheat meat."It has become a very popular non-Soy, meat substitute, and alternative to Tofu. It is basically wheat flour dough that has been relieved of it's starch content. In restaurants it is often used in Asian cuisine.

I first became familiar with the product through my friend and fellow blogger, Naeemah.


Snore No More: Product Review-Silent Snooz

Research shows that as many as 50% of people snore habitually or at some point in their lives. The tendency to snore presents more often in men than in women. The causes are linked to things like stress, allergies, poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and serious conditions like sleep apnea, but if you're living with someone who snores you probably already know this, and the only real question you might have is "How can I make it stop?!"

So here's the skinny. My boyfriend snores and I am, unfortunately, an incredibly light sleeper who was fast becoming a very cranky partner. I tried every solution I'd hear of: "rollover nudges," removing, and hiding the pillows, those nasal strips, I even began wearing ear plugs to bed. Nothing seemed to work and it was beginning to cause irritation in other areas of the relationship. Not wanting to end up like one of those couples you hear about who live under one roof but in separate rooms. I set off on a search to for ways to manage the situation.

Professional Girls Night Out

Vanessa of owner of jewelry line Lionette and Christie trying on a few Lionette pieces.

Last night I attended the inaugural "Professional Girls Night Out" event. Organized by my friend Julia Kreibich, of Shoebizness.com, the event was designed to connect professional women from various industries for the purposes of networking, business opportunities, mentoring, and of course fun!

The event took place at Whiskey Park, on 6th Avenue and 59th Street, The turnout was very positive, and I met some fascinating women I hope to partner with and introduce you to in the coming months! "Professional Girls Night Out" will  be held on the first Wednesday of each month and of course I'll keep you posted.

Julia and Bobby. Bobby stopped by to support!

Another fab Lionette piece!

Shoe designer, Adrienne and I strike a pose. Check out the Lionette hair piece I'm rocking! Luv!


Eat & Drink: Black Swan, Brooklyn, NYC

Last Saturday night was Girls Night! I crossed the Manhattan Bridge into the multi-cultural, mutli-ethnic, urban hang suite that is Brooklyn! Our intention was to hit First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Musuem but Jersey to Manhattan traffic thwarted those plans.

I did, however, get to sashay around town to a few different restaurants and hot spots. Most memorable was Black Swan on Bedford Avenue. This rustic bar & restaurant has a "speakeasy," pub vibe. The bar staff was very friendly and just right on the "pour," if you get my drift. The music was upbeat and moody without being loud and overbearing. The owner, who explained that he named the bar for a dream he had about a Black Swan, was very gracious and made his rounds to ensure the patrons were having a good time.

If you're in the area stop by. I didn't get a chance to sample the Eats but I hear that they do Brunch like no other. When you stop in be sure to ask for Jordan. He makes a mean Hot Toddy!

 I gave the Turban look a spin. My twist out was still wet. I'm kinda diggin' the look!

Black Swan
1048 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY


Interview with JeMere Smith of Style J & Shower Caps by Je'Mere

Being an F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) alumna is a funny thing. Attending as a “part-time, evening student, I never really felt connected to the school and many of my fellow students. I suspect that, such is the case with many evening students. When the majority of the students were leaving campus to begin their evening undertakings, the “night shift” students were just beginning the grueling task that is sitting through a 3 hour class after an 8 hour work day.

On the flip side,  I was fortunate to build a few quality and meaningful relationships with some of the most unique and dynamic women I’ve ever met. JeMere Smith is one of those women.

JeMere is the owner and founder of the company, Style J, and the designer for her signature product line, Shower Caps by Je’Mere, a bespoke line of stylish and inventive shower caps. Thoughtful and innovative Shower Caps by JeMere was developed to fill a need in the market for shower caps that would provide adequate protection, and fit, with a touch of color and whimsy.

JeMere was gracious enough to speak with me about her product and company, what it’s like launching a new product, and what she wishes women would stop wearing.

Interview with JeMere Smith of Style J:

Tell us about your product and how you came up with the concept?
Shower Caps by Je'Mere, is my shower cap line that I create and hand sew. 
I created the shower caps because I was unsatisfied with the performance of the plastic shower caps sold in beauty supply stores. I didn’t like the color variety and the one size fit all. My hair would constantly get wet in the back when taking showers because the elastic would stretch and it wouldn’t hold tight enough against the back of my neck. So, my mother and I brainstormed on various ways to create my own shower cap by using the best sewing techniques considering the fit and the various sizes. In the fall of 2007, my first shower cap was completed.  This eventually led to the creation of my company, Style J, Inc. in April 2008.

Describe the woman who buys your product?
The woman who buys my product is stylish and loves unique items. She doesn’t need anything but wants everything.

Where do you get inspiration for your various styles?
I get my inspiration from fashion, nature, candy, magazine layouts, and anything else that uses various colors that look good together. I pay a lot of attention to trends like animal print. This trend comes and goes but always comes back around. Other times I just get creative and match fabrics and the outcome is always beautiful!

 What fashion/style trends are you into right now?
I just worked fashion week. I was backstage during the Michael Kors, Vera Wang, Donna Karan, Jason Wu, and L’Wren Scott fashion shows. Since I’m a fashion follower and leader I like classic pieces mixed with trend pieces as well as high low. I may buy a pair of jeans from Charlotte Russe but pair it with a designer handbag, heels, and sunglasses. As far as fall/winter trends, I’m looking forward to the military look, thigh high boots, and paring them with my vintage fur coats in some way.

My fashion goal is to use vintage boutiques and begin to collect one of a kind pieces from all across the globe. I also love raiding my mother’s closet for pieces that have priceless value and often times a story behind it.

Any trends that you've had enough of?
For woman, it’s the 2 piece tracks suits. My issue is that the relaxed attire has caused some woman to become lazy and not give the effort it takes to look nice. Often times it doesn’t take much effort. A simple causal dress, big earrings,  sunglasses, and a smile is all it could take. There’s times when I get dressed and my husband will ask me, “And where are you going?” and I would say, “To the supermarket.” 

Back in the day woman would get dressed in hats, gloves, corsets, lace up shoes, just to go to the market. For me, I embrace being a woman and I look forward to the times I get to dress up. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, hot or cold, whether I’m going to the gym, playing tennis or going to dinner with a friend. I enjoy using my closet to play up or down an evening in or out.

How difficult or easy has it been launching a new product? What challenges have you faced?
The creative process is the easiest part because I get to infuse a portion of my personality and style preferences. Another part I enjoyed is creating a presence on the internet by using social media. The hardest part is exploring areas that aren’t common sense, like taxes.

You attended FIT. How did your experience at a fashion college help you in your business?
It helped me a lot. I was apart of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and within that club I joined Seven Communications, PRSSA’s Public Relations firm. One semester Seven Communications picked me up as a client. They brainstormed on ways to market and promote my shower caps. They created a press kit and published an article about me in the campus newspaper. The immediate reaction from college students and faculty gave me confidence and showed me that I have a good product.

How do balance your personal life with business life?
In the business with me are my husband and my mother. So, I often have to switch from being daughter and wife to being the President and so far it seems to work. As far as the work load, I utilize any free time and apply it to sewing, establishing new connections, updating my blog, and cross promoting. I work on my business all day long because I’m always thinking of ways to expand while sticking to my goals.

What advise would you give to others on work/life balance?
If you have a hectic schedule use a calendar, either an electronic one or a regular paper calendar. As long as you can see what you have to do and can cross it off when done, you’ll feel like your accomplishing something. It also helps to be good a managing your time both personal and business. Lastly don’t forget to set time aside for yourself. Go to the gym for 30min-2 hours a day, find a quite place and mediate or do yoga. If you can’t do that than place pictures of your family around your work area and take 5-10 minutes to reflect on those happy moments.