Stop “Grinding”

by Jackie

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon

I was standing in the middle of a mountain of clothes that rivaled Everest. Despite the yo-yo temperatures, I decided to swap out my winter wardrobe for my spring/summer wears. The project that I had estimated to take me about three hours was taking forever because I was tired, yet I was on a mission to organize my closet by color and type. Yawning into the fifth hour of my Friday night project that I began after a long day of work and grueling two-a-day workouts, I did what I always do when I start feeling overwhelmed, I called my best friend. “Don’t do the thing where you stay up all night to finish a thing,” she said. “Choose sleep. Always choose sleep.” She knows my modus operandi. Finishing what I’ve started had become a life motto, even if it meant staying up until the wee hours of the morning. I started relying on concealer to hide the signs of whatever I’d committed myself to the night before, my moods were becoming unpredictable, and I was always fatigued.

Me after not getting much sleep.

Me after a full night’s sleep

There is no amount of styling that can hide sleep deprivation. A full night of sleep leaves your face and your attitude bright and fresh. Do your health and your look a favor, stop subscribing to the “You sleep, we grind” mentality. Adequate sleep is a must. So, choose sleep. Always choose sleep. If you don’t believe me, check out this infographic that illustrates the effects of not getting enough sleep and click the image for the terrifying details:

( Infographic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post)

(Infographic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post)

 

Sherria’s Spring Wish List

by Sherria

The sun is finally starting to shine here on the East Coast and it’s putting me in “shopping mode.” Since I already have a ton of clothing in my closet from last spring, I’m planning to add only a few small accessories and dresses to my spring/summer wardrobe. I believe that small accessories can be mix and matched with the same outfit to create a totally different look (FYI: It’s also more economical than purchasing more clothes).

Below are three of my top picks to add to a spring wardrobe:

 

spring wish list

 

Kealla Wedge Sandal (ALDO, $65)

Navy Enamel Bezel Silicone Metro Watch (Kate Spade, $175)

Botanical Woven Dress (Forever 21, $19.90)

 

Take it off

by Jackie

Strip it down. Clean it up. Take it off. I am so happy that the “beat” seems to be dying.  Plaster-of-Paris style foundation and harsh contouring have been the make-up look dujour for far too long. The trend has plagued faces across America, transforming, soft, feminine lines into alabaster geometric shapes.  The dog days may be over though, as signaled by one of the vanguards of the look, Nicki Minaj. The self-described Barb has ditched her doll-like look for a more natural face, letting her true beauty shine through.

I hope make-up artists (and the rest of us who emulate their techniques) take note, and take it off.

 

Nicki-Minaj

Before

Nicki-Minaj-467

After

Jaded is the New Black

by Jackie

sunrise

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.
- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

It’s easy to be a cynic. Trust me, I know. Whether it’s a sarcastic tweet or a blog post complaining about a case of the Mondays, I’ve done more than my fair share of contributing to the negativity that has become a trend on these here interwebs. Don’t worry, this is not a manifesto proclaiming that I’m trading my dry sense of humor to be Susie Sunshine, but rather a promise to myself to be just as expressive about the everyday happy happenings as I am about the nuisances.

Being jaded is a trend that I definitely don’t want to follow. In the spirit of everyday happiness, here are 10 little things that brighten my day:

  1. Waking up early enough to have a sit-down breakfast before work
  2. Chair dancing to Marc Anthony songs on the metro during my morning commute
  3. My 3:00 p.m. cup of tea
  4. Trying out a new hairstyle, and it working out
  5. Shopping my closet and making new outfits out of old pieces
  6. My book club, the #Bookettes
  7. A fresh coat of bright nail polish
  8. A new pair of shoes
  9. Making it to the gym on time for my workout
  10. A spoonful of sea salt caramel Talenti gelato

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Cancel Monday

by Jackie

photo 4

 

As if Mondays weren’t bad enough, it’s raining and it’s still cold. Ugh. One way that I’m trying to un-suck Monday is to revisit the awesomeness that was this past weekend. Sherria came into town for our annual A*cute professional development workshop at Crittenton. (We’ll tell you more about that later, it was so much fun!) So, we decided to have an impromptu girls weekend, complete with a trip to the spa for springtime pedis, dancing the night away, and a boozy brunch.

brunch

 

We’re both Francophiles, so I made brunch reservations at Napoleon Bistro & Lounge in Adams Morgan. I could have stayed there all day pretending I was in Paris.  The food is rich and delicious (I had the Crab Benedict,  and stole some steak and French toast from my brunch buddies).  The black and white decor, petite bar, upbeat jazz playing in the background, and French movie projected on the back wall made brunching a true experience.

We decided to work off all the food we ate by shopping (obvi) and stumbled upon Violet Boutique. Boutique shopping is one of my fave activities because it’s intimate and there aren’t a million carbon copies of any item. The Violet ladies made me feel like I was the only girl in the store, though the second-story walk-up was pretty packed with shoppers stocking up for spring (whenever it feels like showing up). I picked up a couple of items and can’t wait to wear them when the sun finally decides to stick around.

violet

 

photo 3

 

Lunchtime Links: Women’s History Month Edition

by Jackie

This edition of Lunchtime Links pays homage to Women’s History Month. Celebrate womanhood with this roundup of inspiring women who are writing a new page in history.

Tomica Gets Cutthroat

TomCookery announcement

New York-based chef and business owner Tomica “Tom” Burke brings her talents to the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen. The episode airs on Sunday, April 13 at 10:00 p.m. EST. I had the privilege of chatting with Tomica when she launched her new comfort cuisine and catering company, TomCookery. Read more about her journey to kitchen stardom here.

Beauty Beyond Skin Deep

Few people know that I’ve been dealing with a nuisance of a scar on my nose from a self-induced chemical burn from an at-home astringent routine gone wrong. When I’m not going to the dermatologist for treatments to get rid of it, I cover it up with Dermablend. To the outside world, it may be nothing, but to me, it’s unsightly. (I can be very a bit dramatic, sometimes. I know) The brand recently launched Camo Confessions, a campaign that features  people who have ditched their makeup for the sake of telling their stories. Cheri details her victory over vitiligo in a stunning video.

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Be Bossy

There’s been a lot of buzz around banning the term bossy. I tend to err on the side of meh on this topic. While I agree that girls and women should be encouraged to be leaders just as much as boys and men, I also think that there are other, more important threats to women than being called bossy. I have been called bossy on more than one occasion.  Hard to believe, I know. I’m not offended by the term, I actually kind of revel in it. In the poetic words of singer-turned-Food Network-star Kelis,

You don’t have to love me / You don’t even have to like me / But you will respect me / You know why? / ’cause I’m a boss!

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