Thursday, July 20, 2017

Edit Your Life: Your FOMO is making you go broke

I have never been a fan of people using FOMO to justify their bad life decisions.

For those who don't know, FOMO stands for the "Fear Of Missing Out". And my generations has it BAD.

I partly blame social media (darn all those shopping spree haul videos and amazing looking Eurotrips). When it appears that the whole social sphere is living their best life, it is easy to feel left out. And when you're engrossed in social media, kind of like most of us are, that constant exposure to the over glamorized but often misleading world of social lies, er, life is not good for the psyche.

But I also blame it on my generation's entitlement issues. To be blunt right here at this point, I know most of us received participation trophies and the like, but that means crap when it comes to being an adult. There are no participation trophies for adulthood. Everyday, you have to work hard to earn yours. You don't get what you think you deserve, you get what you work hard for.

And our collective and especially our individual FOMO is emptying our bank accounts, depleting our savings, and racking up our credit card debit. I.E. making us go broke. We want the latest bag or the coolest shoes because we saw some girl on the street with them. We want to go to Bali because our coworker just came back from her 5 day yoga retreat there. We want to make it to every single party/function/ event just in case something awesome or cool or weird happens. We need new, unseen outfits for all of these events, functions, and parties, so we spend big on looks we might only ever wear once.

And the madness must STOP.

Listen love, you going to all those parties, eating at all of those restaurants (especially when you've got good food in your fridge right now), spending the hard earned cash you make every week is NOT doing wonders for your accounts, credit, closet, or anything else.

So how do we overcome FOMO? When FOMO attacks me, here's what I do:

Looking at your own life rather than everyone else's:
It's easy to feel like you're missing out when it looks like everyone around you is doing something fun and luxurious all of the time. But look at you own life. Look at the things you own and the achievements you have made. Look at your own accomplishments. I can guarantee you will find something to make you love your own life again more than you love what you think other people's lives are like.

Check your motives:
Ask yourself why you want to go to a specific place or buy a specific thing. Is it because everyone else is doing it? Is it because you yourself actually want to do it? Can you do it responsibly (i.e. not going broke)? These questions eliminate the impulsive behavior that is making you broke and addresses the actual concerns.

Gratitude Journaling:
Yes, I mean it. Actually sit and make a list of all the things you like and are grateful for in your own life. I guarantee by the end of that exercise, the FOMO will be gone.

Unplugging from Social Media: 
Social media is mostly filled with lies. And not everyone is who they post to be (get it?). But too often, we believe these lies and see the glossy, stylish lives other people are living and it makes us hate our own mundanity. However, what you perceive as mundanity is real, its authentic, and it's happening now. Log off social and live in the now. Go for a walk, take a bubble bath, open your Word, call a friend or a family member and have a real conversation. Guarantee the FOMO will fall off.

Start a FOMO savings plan:
You heard me right. Take all that cash that you would typically blow on a weekend shopping spree for more clothes that you don't need or parties you don't even really want to go to, and save it. Then, when you find something that you actually want to do, like a fancy vacation, a spa day, you have the cash.

Reclaimed Readables, July 20th

Happy Thursday loves!

Today's Readables feature an easy budget anyone can stick to, the surprising groups us Millennials want to join, the financial writer who hates giving financial advice, productive time management hacks, and your ultimate guide to a Roth IRA.

MyDomaine: What is a Roth IRA, time management hacks
HelloGiggles: The financial writer who hates giving financial advice
Apartment Therapy: How to save for early retirement
Refinery29: Millennials want unions
Camilla Styles: An easy budget anyone can stick to

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This Was Made By A Black Woman: CeeCee's Closet NYC

This installment of TWMBABW, we will be hearing from the dynamic duo of CeeCee's Closet NYC.

I found them, like I find most of the great and inspiring women, on social media. Once scroll through their Instagram feed and I fell in love with their vibrant and happy spirit that, in turn, emits through their pieces.

"Our names are Uchenna and Chioma Ngwudo we're the co-founders of Cee Cee's Closet NYC. Our brand creates stylish African-inspired accessories that seamless fit into any fashionable person's wardrobe." Including but not limited to accessories, jewelry, headwraps, bags, and yes, even adorable tees.

When asked about how they got started, the ladies admit their beginnings into entrepreneurship was somewhat accidental. "We first started our company after Chioma came back from our paternal grandfather's funeral. She purchased two clutches as gifts for herself and Uchenna. During her graduation party, her clutch became the envy of many of the attendees. After realizing there was a strong demand for the bags, we started Cee Cee's Closet NYC and imported more clutches."

Uchenna and Chioma have given a great deal of thought to not only the products they sell, but even the products they design. Each product is carefully considered for not only aesthetics but also how they address a need. "This is especially true when you think about our silk-lined head wraps. We're both natural and wanted to remove the step of having to wear a bonnet or silk scarf underneath our head wraps. Therefore, we created a product that addressed that particular need."

Also well thought out is where they source their products. Importing their clutches from Nigeria has helped to not only provide the brand with authentically designed and crafted African pieces. It has also benefitted the local artisans there as well. "We viewed Cee Cee's Closet NYC as an opportunity to have a positive economic impact on Nigeria. That's why all of our products are made by artisans there."

As the brand expanded, the two thought to incorporate more beautiful goods. "Eventually, our brand grew to incorporate more products such as headwraps, backpacks, and leather goods."

Looking forward, these sisters are showing no sign of slowing down, saying "We look forward to launching our clothing line in the future."

While both ladies emphatically love all of their products, when asked about which were their absolute favorites, "I would have to say that Uchenna loves Ozioma Headwrap and Chioma loves the Bashirah Mini-Backpack. Chioma loves how vibrant the bag looks and its functionality. Uchenna is in a mood right now where she loves all things turquoise."

When asked about being a Black-Woman Owned business, "Being a black-women-owned business means having an opportunity to create highly functional products that tap into our cultural heritage and specific needs."

Check out more about Uchenna and Chioma and their beautiful brand, CeeCee's Closet NYC as well as connect with them here.

Reclaimed Readables, July 19th

Happy hump day loves!

Today's Readables feature 4 unique office ready outfits, how to keep sweat stains out of your clothes, over 25 products to help you stay cool this summer, 24 super cute swim suits for busty girls, 17 hair tips for perfect summer hair, and why Michelle Obama remains on our style radar.

Man Repeller: 4 unique summer work outfits
WhoWhatWear: Michelle Obama's best looks so far
Apartment Therapy: Sweat stain removal that actually works
BuzzFeed: 27 products to help you survive summer, 24 cute swimsuits for busty girls, 17 summer hair tips

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reclaimed Readables, July 18th

Happy #TuesdayShoesDay!

This week, we are talking the best summer sandals, shoes to kick up your  t-shirt and jeans style, Vans get a stylish makeover, cute shoes for girls with big feet, why mules are taking over, and comfortable commuting shoes that won't cramp your style.

Comfortable commute shoes that won't cramp your style
Why mules are taking over
Actually cute shoes for girls with big feet
Vans get a makeover
Shoes to kick up your t shirt and jeans style
Summer's best sandals

Monday, July 17, 2017

Trend Alert: Sneaker Espadrilles $50 and Under

The sneaker is the fashion shoe of choice right now (and all the girls who hate heels and foot pain cheered) and when combined with the rope bottom summer staple that is the espadrille, you have a shoe that could be the epitome of comfort.

But these shoes aren't just comfortable. With vibrant prints, interesting details, and in sleeker designs, these hybrid pairs are versatile and ready for whatever the summer brings. Here are
20 pairs I have curated, all for $50 and under. Happy ShoesDay!

Trend Alert: Sneaker Espadrilles $50 and Under

Dolce Vita sneaker
$50 -

Manebí slip-on shoes

Joy & Mario slip-on shoes

Joy & Mario navy shoes

Sondra Roberts slip-on shoes

Joy & Mario slip-on shoes

Joy & Mario slip-on shoes

Keds canvas sneaker

Steve madden sneaker

Forever 21 shoes

Dolce Vita navy shoes

Manebí slip-on shoes

Reclaimed Readables, July 17th

Happy Monday loves!

This week's #ManCrushMonday features Target's new menswear line, affordable style pieces of July, the history of the club master, the top skin products this week, how to battle burnout, and the new go to skin product for the most problematic skin.

Menswear Style: The new go to product for problematic skin
GQ: Battling burnout, top products of the week
He Spoke Style: The history of the club master
Dappered: Target's new menswear line, most wanted style of July

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Trend Alert: Summer Tie Dye

Tie dye is no longer for hippies and the artsy fartsy. The once campy print has gotten a high fashion makeover and is making its way to the closets and wardrobes of the cool kids this summer.

And while you could stand in your bathroom over a bucket or two of fabric dye with rubber band laden tees and do this one yourself, I think you and I would agree that this project is best left up to the experts (because who wants to walk around with blue hands for a week?).

Here are 9 super cool tie dye tops under $50 to summer up your look. Enjoy!

Summer Tie Dye

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Reclaimed Newsletter

Last year, when I launched out into the freelance writing and social media world, I needed a way to talk to my closest readers about the experiences I was having, the lessons I was learning, the mistakes I was making, and how I was overcoming my fears.

So, I started a newsletter. It became a place where I shared how I was developing as a writer, consultant, and a person. But it also became a place where I shared out awesome deals and offers my sponsors were sending me directly for you.

A lot of times, these updates and deals don't make it to the blog. However, they make it to my mailing list.

However, it's been a while since I have written (sorry to those who have already signed up). This past week, I have relaunched my bi-monthly Newsletter. And you can get in. Sign up here for direct access to me, my sponsors, and resources. Looking forward to speaking directly with all of you soon.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Reclaimed Readables, July 14th

Happy Friday loves!

Today's Readables feature 25 powerful women on confidence, sexy bralettes for big boobs, 8 ways to stop sweat odor, how to build a star worthy make up kit using only drugstore make up, the model and celebrity loved posing trick for better photos, where to find plus size accessories, the hype around pineapples, and why does every model look like Kylie Jenner?

The Cut: 25 women on confidence
HelloGiggles: Cute bralettes for big chests, fighting sweat odor
Into the Gloss: Building a star worthy makeup kit using only drugstore products
Pure Wow: Model worthy posing trick
Huff Post: Where to find plus size accessories, what's up with all the pineapples
Racked: Why does every model look like Kylie Jenner?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Edit Your Life: The Abundance Attitude

Money is a touchy subject in general.

I grew up in a predominantly single household. I had my first job when I was 14, and I have been working ever since. Watching my mother and the strong women around me hustle created a hustler's mindset within me. Everyone I know is a hustler (or being silently judged by the rest of us for not working hard).

But recently, I have changed my view of money.

This became very evident when an unexpected expense came up. I stared at a bill that was nearly 3 times as much as I had been paying. I began to feel the usual cycle of money worry engulf me. "Oh no. What am I going to do? Geez, how am I going to pay this? If I pay this, will I have enough for the rest of the month?" Usually, this cycle would go on all day, maybe even several days, and it would literally consume my mental state.

But this time, something within me spoke up. I heard myself speak directly to my worry, saying so calmly "I am not going to worry. God has provided for you thus far, and He will keep providing for you now. I am not going to worry." A wave of transformative calm came over me. As I looked down at that bill, I suddenly felt victorious. (As an aside: A phone call later would show me that I really did not need to worry as the bill was actually an error that has been fixed.)

I stopped seeing money as a power over me and more as the tool it is. When I started looking at the money I earn as tools to not only cover my own expenses but to bless someone else, further my business, save for a vacation, spoil the little ones in my life (or the big ones for that matter) it made me feel like I was in control.
To be clear: I don't make that much. My first year working for my self hasn't been glitter and glam, but I have learned so much, and I have not lacked ANYTHING.

If anything, I have gained more: more time to work on my dream, more time to enjoy my family, more time to connect, more time to write, and more of an abundance attitude.

I go on trips, shop, go to dinners, support my friends in their businesses, all because of this abundance attitude.

What is the abundance attitude?

It is trust in God's provision, that He will take care of you because He loves you.
It is being responsible with the money that has been given, paying off debt, paying your bills, etc.
It is also being willing to give.
It is seeing the needs of others and being generous, whether financially or with your time and talent.

It is also freeing yourself from a poverty mindset, that says there isn't enough, that your needs won't be met, and that you will go without.
There will be times when you won't be able to too all of the things that you want to do, that's life. But that doesn't mean that you hoard and suffer. That attitude makes money ruler over you. It makes you greedy, it makes you selfish, it makes you not the person you want to be.

The abundance mindset frees you from that laborous, miserable trap. And combined with a hustler's ambition and faith in God's love and His provision, you won't ever have to worry.

When I was listening to one of my favorite writers and coaches, Cara Alwill Leyba on her latest podcast discussing money, and she voiced the same sentiment, it resonated with me. She says:

"When you have an abundant attitude, and when you feel like there is enough, and when you feel like you deserve to have...everything is going to change. Your self worth is going to change, your business is going to change, your energy is going to change, your mental state is going to change. You are going to feel healthier, you are going to feel better."

And she's so right. I certainly do.

Reclaimed Readables, July 13th

Happy Thursday loves!

Today's financially friendly Readables features Warren Buffet's financial advice anyone can do, clever ways to avoid overspending, 7 ways to get real about your finances, how to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck, the side hustle making people big bank, and the difference between not spending money and actually saving it.

My Domaine: Warren Buffet's Billionaire cash advice, how to avoid overspending
HelloGiggles: 7 truths about your money to stop ignoring
Apartment Therapy: Breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle, the side hustle making people big $, the difference between saving and not spending money

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Reclaimed Readables, July 12th

Happy Wednesday, beauts and beaus!

Today's Readables feature Ashley Graham's sultry lingerie line, Malala Yousefzai turns 20 in a very Malala way, the beyond chic editor of Elle Magazine talks beauty, 30 lovely summer dresses with sleeves, summer beauty tips to bless your life, and shopping mistakes to stop making after 30.

Refinery29: Ashley Graham's new lingerie line, Malala Yousefzai turns 20
Into The Gloss: Elle Canada's chic editor
BuzzFeed: 30 summer dresses with sleeves, summer beauty tips
WhoWhatWear: Shopping mistakes to stopping making after 30

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Woven Sandals Under $50

The perfect combo of summer chic and boho street, woven sandals and slip one are the versatile shoes of the summer. Whether as a mule or open toe, there is a wide variety of pairs perfect for any beach soireé or block party.

Here are my picks, all $50 or under. Happy ShoesDay!

Woven Sandals Under $50

Latigo shoes

Latigo open toe sandals

Vintage Havana pom pom sandals

Espadrille shoes

Chase & Chloe open toe sandals

Fringe shoes
$38 -

ZiGiny open toe shoes

Mia shoes

MIA black flat sandals

Vidorreta black leather shoes

Xoxo shoes