Sunday, July 19, 2015

Top 5 On The Reading List

We are well into the summer (back to school season soon), and we are currently in the 3rd Quarter of the Year!!! Summer is certainly the season to get the majority of your reading done.
 There is more treasure in books than all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.   - Walt Disney
Reading has many advantages for young women. While there are beach visits, shopping, dining, exercising, etc., let's not forget to save some of that time for reading. There have been studies that have proven that there is a substantial amount of knowledge loss during the summer. Why? Simply because there is no information being planted into the minds of most teenagers outside of social media happenings and television shows and music lyrics. Even I, as an educator, have to get new and fresh information in the summer to prepare for the fall school season. Reading this summer will prepare young women for the new school year. More information can cause you to reach higher heights in life and embark on more and better opportunities in the future. There are 5 Must Reads for Every Teen Girl (or teen in general) that we will like to share on today's blog.
1. Joyce Meyer- The Battlefield of The Mind for Teens
This book does a fantastic job in helping teens understand how the mind works. It gives insight on how teens can use their thoughts and imagination to overcome challenges and bring great success in their lives.
2. Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson
This is  a great story told about the life of Dr. Ben Carson. Every reader is left inspired by how Dr. Carson didn't allow his hardships and challenges to discourage him from pursuing his purpose.
3. The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make by Sean Covey
Mr. Covey sheds great insight on pivotal decisions that every teenager will have to make during their life. He talks about the importance of those decisions and why they matter on the road to success.
4. Attitude 101 by John Maxwell
John Maxwell, one of the gurus on the topic of leadership, explains the role that 'attitude' plays in a person's life and perspective. The reader will begin to understand why one's attitude is one of the driving forces of decisions and/or choices made in his/her life.
5. The Lost Art of True Beauty by Leslie Ludy
In this book, Leslie Ludy so elegantly explains the beauty of innocence and femininity which is something that has been lost in today's generation. After this read, every girl will feel even more powerful and beautiful.
These books can be found on Amazon or in local bookstores. Let's end the summer off right!!!


Monday, June 15, 2015

Girls And Tea

     It has been a long time goal of mine to host a tea party for Girls Are Gems. One of the biggest reasons why I wanted to host a tea party specifically was because I wanted to give the girls a new, sophisticated way of looking at life through conversation. Experiences are keys in helping people transform their lives. My mentor has done the same exact thing for me for over 7 years with her parties and workshops and conferences, and I wanted to gift this opportunity to my mentees as well. I decided to give the tea party a theme centered around one of the main focal points of the company. Our theme was 'My Beauty Story', so the biggest activity highlighted that concept. We decided to host our tea party at a nice, traditional flavored tea store called Infusion Tea in Orlando. The environment was very calm and lovely.



     Two options of tea- mint green tea and orange ginger tea was served along with tea sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies and scones!!! This was the first time the girls ever had the tea experience so it was very exciting to see them try something new. As the food and tea was served, we ate and begin conversing by using these great Chat Pack Conversation Starters from Barnes and Noble. This was a great idea from a friend of mine, Ms. Ragina Smith, who specializes in social activities throughout the city of Orlando.

I was also very excited to bring in a speaker and Image Coach Mary Key to speak with the girls about dining etiquette; she also shared her beauty story with them.
Next, I introduced the girls to an activity that I did several years ago in an Image Course I took from Success Coach and Success-n-Style Blogger Dr. Stacia Pierce. Your beauty story has a lot to do with your purpose and your style so the activity was to have each girl develop a personal style statement. Everyone shared their statements, and they were really good!!!
The time ended with revealing the special made Girls Are Gems t shirts for the graduating senior girls which were created by Kimetra Newell, owner of Success-Ts.

This was a very nice event, and I am glad that it was a great experience for all the attendees!!! It was a creative way to elegantly converse with teenage girls about such a major topic before they really enter adulthood. I look forward to many more.

Monday, May 4, 2015

That Slim Girl Over There


     Years ago, I walked into Barnes and Noble, and I was on a mission. I was tired of dealing with the 'You so skinny' jokes and 'Girl you need to put some meat on them bones' statements. So I decided that I was going to go on a weight gain journey. During this journey, there were a couple of days when I ate too much and got sick. I was on and off with a trainer. He gave me a list of foods to eat; I ate these foods month after month after month. There was no weight gain. As an avid reader, I decided to go on a search for a book perhaps that could help me find the answer.

"Excuse me sir," I asked one of the employees, "can you tell me where I can find books on weight gain?"
He chuckled, "I don't think we have books for that ma'am. We have books for gaining muscle."
Oh great I thought. That was the last thing I needed- a skinny girl with too much muscle. I wasn't trying to add muscle!!! Sure enough I looked around, and I found no books about weight gain. Discouraged and disappointed, I was headed out the door when I spotted this book.

I didn't know who she was at the time, but I grabbed the book. I actually ended up checking it out from the local library. I read it from front to back, and I was amazed at the things I found out. I was so intrigued by her story that I read additional books as well. My mentor, Dr. Stacia Pierce, had been teaching us about finding a fashion role model in The Image Course I was taking. Before this, I failed at finding someone out there that I wanted to emulate when it came to my physical image and dress. I didn't feel accepted especially in the black culture. So when it came to wardrobe, I didn't know what I wanted to portray. I had to find a style and clothing that suited me well. Through research, I found out that Audrey Hepburn and I were the same exact weight, height and wore the same shoe size. Her birthday is a week after mine, and we both grew up being told how much we resembled 'an aunt'. This was special to me because Audrey became a fashion icon during the years that Marilyn Monroe was the 'it' girl. When the curvy and voluptuous women were the highlight, she arrived on the scene with confidence and found her own place on the stage. People begin to emulate her style and grace and beauty, and she was different. That message resonated in me. It took a while to get to the point I'm at now, but I thank God for being concerned about this area of my life. There were a lot of keys in this equation, but being exposed to the story of Audrey Hepburn has been a blessing to my life.
The black dress, the pearls, the short hair..... That's me, and it's awesome to see my confidence get to a solid place. Yes you are your own person. Yes I am unique, but I wanted a blueprint of a potential style for myself. One can never duplicate, but emulation can work wonders. Having an example works wonders.  From there, you can begin to create your own style and sense of fashion. There are some steps that one can take to find a fashion role model.
It's all about the research. Finding a fashion role model involves images and visualization. I was introduced to a concept called the "Look Book". This is a book that creatively and colorfully stores images of your desired style.  Images can be stored in a portfolio book or a 3 Ring Binder.

It's all about the research. You can search the style of celebrity women or even certain fashionable business women or bloggers on Instagram. Once you find a fashion role model with consistency in your  style, then you can find and collect images to use for the Look Book. There are examples everywhere.
Here are 3 different places you can search to find images to create a "Look Book".
1. Pinterest or Digital Look Books
You can sign up for a free account with Pinterest which will allow you to create an Image Board where you can pin and store your pictures. They have tons and tons of pictures to choose from. T specifically pulled up Audrey Hepburn pictures, and I made a board. I actually printed my boards out and placed them in a portfolio so that I could actually have the book in my hand. There are also actual digital look book sites. There is a great site called Moonfruit that you can use to create one and actually post on your website.
2. Fashion Magazines
There are tons of fashion magazines out there to purchase. You can find the magazine that depicts most of your style influences or even the latest styles and purchase them. You can cut out images and paste away.
3. Drawings or Sketches
For those that have artistic abilities, you can draw and sketch out the images. You can have an actual sketch book as the 'look book'.
It's a fun and rewarding process. It will create a blue print and a reality in a sense for your direction. You can be on your way to walking fully in fashion sense and confidence.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Writng My Way To Beauty


Writing Your Way To Beauty
     Just a little over a week ago, we celebrated National Pencil Day. While there was much talk about the development of the pencil, emphasis was also placed on the value of what the pencil does. It allows us to write. It allows us to write our thoughts, dreams and goals. It allows us to paint our imagination on paper. There wouldn't even be BOOKS if there was no pencil, especially before the advancement of technology. Writing is a sense of freedom, and it doesn't cost a thing.
     I have been a writer for years. I have stacks of journals starting from high school through college years and now as an adult. As a shy kid, I grew up writing. I would imagine a lot, and create stories on paper. When I was in my early 20's, I took a Design Your Life Course created by my mentor Dr. Stacia Pierce. During the class, I really honed in on the significance of journaling and writing down goals and positive affirmations. My life began to change step by step once I understood that it's great to write for entertainment purposes, but it's even better to write in ways that can better your life.
     In today's generation, young girls can't seem to understand the value of education. They haven't grasped the power in writing. We can post selfies and food and MCM's (Man Crush Monday) pics all day long on social media, but we can also put that same energy into writing our way into beauty. There were several insecurities that I carried concerning physical beauty. Through writing about improvements and changes in this area, I saw major changes.
     I want to emphasize 3 ways in which girls can Write Their Way To Beauty.
1. You can create a positive affirmation or saying about what it is that you want to see with your physical image.
I am beautiful. My hair is healthy and lovely. My skin color is perfect.....
2. You can write down your beauty goals. I like to use colors while I write so I invested in the Sharpies 80"s Glam selection to add color to my writing.

1. I have beautiful, clear skin.
a. Drink more water daily.
b. Find a great, consistent cleansing regiment.
c. Incorporate more vegetables into my daily meals.
3. You can create a story with you as a main character living out your beauty goals. For example, let's say that you had a beauty goal of having long natural hair. You can create a short narrative, and you can begin it as such:
It was a cool brisk day in Florida. As I walked across the path to the mall, my long brown hair blew softly in the wind.
     There are multiple ways to write your way to beauty, and it's a great reflective and fun time spent with yourself or some trusted, small circle of friends. Just put your pen to the paper and begin imagining your authentic beauty. You can even write about your appreciation for the beauty you already see when you look in the mirror. So many young women struggle with their physical appearance. These simple strategies will get you on the road of being able to smile when you look in the mirror. Or even if there are no insecurities in these areas, everyone has room for improvement. Girlhood is all about writing. Go ahead and give it a try.

For more information about Girls Are Gems, you can follow us @girlsaregems on Instagram and Twitter.