Last week I went to St. Louis for a convention with my mother and some of my family. While my mother and I went to classes and lectures, there was still plenty of time to explore and enjoy some of the things St. Louis had to offer like Sweetie Pies aka The Crust! The day we went Oprah Winfrey’s camera crew was there filming for the show Sweetie Pies that comes on OWN. We had to sign waivers and take pictures. The line was down the block, but it was well worth all of that standing when I got my fried chicken and sweet tea to perfection! LOL!!! I made sure I wore comfortable shoes because I knew it would be a line. We also went shopping at one of the outlets that day. I was beyond tired each day so I never got to unpack my swimsuit and get in the hot tub. My family was really supportive, understanding on this trip and did everything on this trip to make sure I was comfortable (I have Rheumatoid Dis-ease). I also did not overextend myself much. I slept like a log each nite and was refreshed each morning. Oh and I was cute each day in class! I also met some wonderful people I hope to see next year in Oklahoma.
I’ve been to St. Louis many times as a child and a few times as an adult. It was always a rush as an adult. Six flags, zoo, eat, relax at the hotel, go home. But, this conference allowed me to see St. Louis in a different light. There was much more to see and do for a week and I did not feel stressed or rushed. However, I must return for a week without a conference and do much more! I’m an advocate for visiting a place a few times and doing something different each time.
I took a photo of the sunset each nite from my hotel room.
The shoes are by Guess, which I’ve had for sometime, but I purchased them at TJMAXX. The dress is by London Times and my lipstick is Zoe’s Red by L’oreal. I went out to a birthday celebration at IN LOVE’S nightclub here in Memphis, TN. The dj was great. The service and staff was great. The live band, the PC band, was amazing. It was a setting for adults.
Here is a recent picture of my faux locs and my makeup. I wore them like this for New Year’s Eve to a party. This has been my favorite protective style and I have had the most fun with it. The makeup is an Almay i-Color Combination for green eyes! When I saw it I thought forget it! I love those colors and it would do just fine for my brown eyes. Sure enough it did! I am not a makeup professional and barely an amateur. However, I try new things, I take my time, I YouTube and Google and play with my makeup. I like to look fabulous and as quick as possible. Please and Thank You. I used a primer and moisturizer on my face which I discovered by accident gives me a natural glow (see how much I know! LOL). On this particular night I did not use any foundation or bronzer/powder. I do not care for foundation and use it sparingly. I always had a problem with eyeliner staying on and then I discovered gel liner. Liquid liner did not work for me either. Thank you makeup gods! (Makeup remover is great, but I take a Q tip and vaseline to remove eyeliner and mascara (Kleenex or towel)). Oh and the lipstick is some glitter lipstick I should have thrown away years ago! (Honestly). I religiously live by the rules I was taught in my one year modeling school stint…take your makeup off before you go to bed!
Here is the Almay and it was on clearance at Target:
Below I shared a picture of the faux locs when I first got them (no make up).
She sports a natural mohawk and minimum makeup (laughing as I type that!). A Vince Camuto dress purchased at the Macy’s in Las Vegas three years ago for…brace yourselves fashionistas….49.99!!! It was on clearance and in my size! I love this dress because it is really a fall dress and gives the fall so much warmth. It has a belt you that you can wear with or without to give the dress a different look. Also, the sleeves can be worn long or 3/4. The gold chain that ties or not, just gives it class and sass. The shoes are Steve Madden and the purse was borrowed from my mom. She purchased it at the Coach Outlet Factory. I love the way this dress moves on me. Vince Camuto is one of my favorite designers.
I was torn between the scarf and the necklace. I made it work! The slacks are a grey pinstripe (silver stripes). This was literally put together because I did not have anything to go with the pants. I didn’t have a button down or a sweater to pare with it because I had gotten rid of the sweater I normally wear with it. Which reminds, I need to build on sweaters, shirts, and blouses.
2015. This was Janet’s last stop on her tour (Memphis) if I am not mistaken before she discovered she was pregnant! It was a great show I will never forget
I’ve wanted to do a blog piece on fashion and RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis and also other illnesses such as Fibromyalgia (which alters what you can and cannot wear at times). I thought this would be the perfect example. In this photo I was forced to compromise a fresh pair of sneakers for my heels because I had surgery late August last year on my right foot due to Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was still healing which took about 7 months and I am still pushing my limits. There are some heels I will never see again and there are some I am still holding out hope for.
I can understand many women who willing gave up heels, but being who I am and my love for all things fashion I wasn’t willing. To each her own! So I did the physical therapy and I took it a step further by doing foot exercises by ballerinas, athletes recovering from foot surgery, and whatever I could YouTube lol!!! Yes, please admire my dedication to heels. (laughing hysterically). However, my gait has changed and I cannot where certain heels (yet? ever? who knows) and also my balance has been off due to damage of RA and Osteoarthritis. But like a captain who goes down with his or her ship is how I plan to go down with my heels! Yet, I have found many fashionable ways to rock my sneakers as I love shoes period!
P.S. When I arrived at the show Janet did her entire performance in sneakers! I was like see, great minds think alike!
Well, I started last weekend off with a trip to Memphis’s Farmers Market and since I was undecided on whether or not to attend the Memphis Book Festival I dressed cute and comfortable to be on the safe side. I got my fresh fruits and veggies (see Memphis Farmers Market Post) and headed down Union. A quick left into the Playhouse on the Square and a parking space magically appeared! I believe I was in sync with the Universe! (Parking spaces in midtown are hard to come by) I waltz in like I know where I am going and what class I am going to sit in but, I don’t know either. With a warm welcome and a quick read of the confused look on my face, I was handed a festival class and activity guide by a lovely volunteer.
I see the class Having It All and the description of balancing being an author and your other endeavors (blogger, running a publishing company, publicist, working professional, etc). I thought to myself “Can I have it all? Will I have to let some things go? I need balance. I don’t know what I am doing. This is the class for me!” I walk in and opt for a seat by the window so I can view the tent of authors I would visit after this class.
ALL of the authors on the panel gave us the unbridled truth about having it all, how they got where they are, where they are trying to go from there. They were very down to earth, practical, spoon feeding us truth serum in the world of Having It All all with pats on the back. You know the kind of hearty pats on the back your mom gives you after you cough from the horrible liquid night time syrup that is sure to make you better by morning.
I met Kima Jones, publicist for Natalie Baszile, the author of Queen Sugar. If you didn’t know, Queen Sugar debuted a few weeks ago as a new night time TV drama on OWN. She was the only woman on the panel and offered sound and sharp advice to women in the audience.
After I floated out of the class, I ran smack dab into a woman here in Memphis I adore. Cheryl Pesce is an angel that handcrafts jewelry with intricate details from precious stones and metals. I follow her on Facebook and Instagram (and you should too!) because she is so inspiring, unique and gifted. She has a story to tell that will light fire under your stilettos or sneakers.
I headed on over to Belly Acres for lunch and walked right into a Junker’s Fair in Overton Square. Belly Acres is in walking distance from Playhouse on the Square along with many other restaurants and bars. It was my first time there and the food was delicious.
I went home, rested and got back out to end my night with the crooning of Eric Roberson and D. Maurice as they made a pit stop in Memphis for a fundraiser of a very special and important non-profit organization here in Memphis; SisterReach. Click here to find out more about this organization and to see how you can help: https://sisterreach.org/about-sr/
My Monday was a push through to a Cocktails and Connections:Building Powerful Relationships hosted by The Brown Experience and Kay Brooks at the Hattiloo Theatre. It was well worth the push through as the panel, once again, delivered sound advice on how to handle the many types of relationships you will encounter as a professional and an entrepreneur. They shared their experiences, honest mistakes, and wisdom. I needed that advice like a fashionista needs a matching clutch to complete her attire. https://www.facebook.com/thebrownexperiencemem/ Like The Brown Experience on Facebook for up and coming events!
I was beat after that but, headed over to a behind the scenes photo shoot with flip flops in tow to relieve my aching feet from those gold heels. The experience of seeing multiple models in front of the camera and how a photographer conducts shoots was priceless. I made some great connections with the owner of iHustle, a Memphis born clothing line. Photos from their fashion show coming soon.