10 Gems Every GirlBoss Can Learn From R.Kristi

popbliss

Photo courtesy of Kesha Lambert Photography

It’s not often that someone disrupts a $50MM industry — but that’s exactly what entrepreneur and girlboss Racquel Kristi has done with PopBliss, a pop-up destination wedding for unconventional couples. Her team thoughtfully selects up to 10 adventure-seeking couples to tie the knot during a luxury group wedding celebration. They take care of all of the details — including the location, vendors, decor and food. The couples don’t know anything until their wedding weekend — they just book their flight, show up in their attire of choice and prepare for the royal treatment.

popbliss

The New York native has learned a lot about being a #girlboss since launching her event planning company RKristi Modern Hospitality in 2009 and executing the first PopBliss event in 2016. She also coaches entrepreneurs on how to make their dreams a reality.

Here are 10 gems she dropped for Becoming Brilliance:

1. Being a girlboss starts with the right mindset — so take yourself seriously
“It’s either you will or you won’t — there is no try. Make the decision to follow your dreams and then be hungry and focused on making it happen… We all already have everything we need, we just have to tap into it.”

popbliss

Photo courtesy of Racquel Kristi

2. Don’t jump in before you’re ready.
Kristi stressed the importance of researching your industry if you work for someone, but it’s even more essential if you’re an entrepreneur. She also recommends staying abreast of what’s changing, and having a clear business plan — something she wishes she would have done first to avoid a lot of stress. Kristi also recommends creating a road map for your career journey. It can be tweaked along the way, but it’ll help guide your business ventures and keep you on track.

“The intent to start a business is to stay in business, therefore you need to do your homework and be in it for the long haul,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor or an event planner — we’re in the people business and you have to know everything about your industry so your client wants it from you and only you.”

3. If you aren’t willing to make sacrifices for your dreams, then you don’t want it bad enough
“You may prepare mentally, emotionally and physically, but there are certain aspects you’re not prepared for until you’re in it,” says Kristi. “It takes strong willpower, determination, and sacrifices. Every day you wake up and go harder.”

4.A girlboss should always keep a notebook handy
Like some of her other ideas, PopBliss came to Kristi in a dream. She woke up and scribbled down her thoughts before the slumber knocked her out again.

Even if you don’t sleep with a pen and paper like Kristi does, make sure you have a small notebook or use a digital notetaker like Evernote around to capture your thoughts.

popbliss

5. Your ideas are golden
Whether your ideas are small or lofty, it’s essential to have confidence in your brilliance. You bring a unique perspective to the table, so Kristi recommends basking in that.

“There’s no need to copy or duplicate someone else’s idea. That’s basically stating that you’re not creative enough to come up with something yourself. So if you don’t believe in yourself and your potential, why would someone else? Trust in your ability.”

6. Be intentional about everything
We can’t get our time and energy back, so Kristi suggests being intentional about everything that we do.

“If you aren’t working towards your goal, then you’re working against yourself. Every decision, interaction, and movement you make needs to be connected to your reaching your goal. You have to be intentional about the reasons why you do everything that you do.”

7. Do not count the bad … count the good
“Don’t get caught up in the number of family members or friends that support you, your social media following or amount of clients. Remember that your journey is unique and therefore it will look like nothing you have seen before. Count all the great things happening for you to help stay focused on the road ahead.”

8. Pay attention to your childhood interests
Before Kristi was a girlboss, she grew up in New York around a lot of West Indians and Hispanics. She’s of West Indian descent and noticed that her culture didn’t typically have big birthday celebrations like their Hispanic counterparts did for a young lady’s Quinceañera. This inspired Kristi and her friends to plan their own birthday celebrations and she’s loved event planning ever since then.

Our childhood interests and hobbies can shed light into our passions, so think about who you were as a child and how that can impact or personalize your business ventures.

9. Be able to say NO
“Never make a decision out of desperation, fear or lack because it will turn out to be the opposite of what you wanted in the first place. Say no and be confident that what is coming next is exactly what is for you.”

10. Strive to make an impact
Celebrating is a common thread in all people no matter what culture or background they have. Kristi is pioneering a new way of thinking regarding what marriage and celebrating is all about. She hopes her events allow people to have fun, stress less and lower divorce rate if possible.
popbliss

The next PopBliss ceremony will take place October 17 – 19, 2017 in Las Vegas! If you know a couple that’ll be interested in having Kristi coordinate their wedding, direct them to register here and use offer code “luv17” to receive a special gift that’ll jumpstart their journey to matrimony.

#KeysToBrilliance + Giveaway!!

Becoming Brilliance Giveaway Brilliance Box

DJ Khaled isn’t the only one dropping major keys!! Last month we celebrated our one year blogiversary, and during the month of love we’re hosting a giveaway and reflecting on how much we’ve learned from the brilliant beauties (like YOU) that we know in real life and online.

Our sheros have taught us a lot about finding happiness, success and romance, so we’ve compiled our top 10 #keystobrilliance — lessons to live by as we navigate our twenties:

  1. You deserve to be happy
  2. Be strict about your goals, but flexible about your methods
  3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
  4. Never feel guilty for resting and recharging
  5. Appreciate blessings of every size
  6. What’s for you is for you and no one can take it away
  7. Good vibes only; establish and maintain meaningful relationships
  8. Write down your goals and watch them come to life
  9. Embrace daily challenges, they facilitate growth
  10. Control the controllable, don’t stress about the rest

Enter our giveaway by sharing your #keystobrilliance for a chance to win The Brilliance Box. Don’t wait — the giveaway ends on Saturday Feb. 18 at 11:59 p.m. EST. See the bottom of this post for more details!

We’ve partnered with 4 small business owners / entrepreneurs to bring you a carefully curated box of products / tools that will help you tap into your brilliance — it’s worth more than $100!

Becoming Brilliance Giveaway Brilliance Box Becoming Brilliance Giveaway Brilliance Box

The Brilliance Box includes:

PLUS!

  • A soy candle
  • An “I Like Who I’m Becoming” pin
  • A flashdrive with our NEW #MyBrilliance Digital Workbook + Becoming Brilliance Playlist
  • A cute storage box

Here’s the steps to enter…

Becoming Brilliance Giveaway Brilliance Box

Show some love on the gram!

Becoming BrillianceEmmeline De Le Cruz | Laurette Paige Jewels | Atlanta Bath Company | Alair Hallman

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway runs from Monday, February 13 – Saturday, February 18 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen at random and notified by email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected. You can read the rest of the terms and conditions in the widget below.

Thanks to our amazing sponsors!!

17 Random Acts of Kindness You Should Try For #RAKWeek2017

Random Acts of Kindness #RAKWeek2017

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  – Aesop

Without a doubt, we need more kindness in the world. While we all have differences, at our core, we are all humans who want to be loved and appreciated. 

We each can make an impact on someone else from where we are and what resources we have. When we do something nice for someone else, it makes us feel better about ourselves.

This week kicks off #RAKWeek2017, which encourages people to do random acts of kindness from Feb. 12-18. Founded by the RAK Foundation, this observance helps us connect to humanity and show how much love there is in the world.

Random Acts of Kindness #RAKWeek2017

Hopefully these 17 random acts of kindness will inspire you to pay it forward this week and beyond:

1.Write down things that you love about someone in your life on sticky notes. Then post them where they can see them — such as a coworker’s desk, your boo’s mirror or on the refrigerator at your parent’s home.

2. If you grab a meal at a relatively inexpensive restaurant like Chipotle or Panera, pick up the tab for the person behind you; or purchase a $10 gas card and give it to someone at the gas station.

3. Send someone that you haven’t spoken to in a long time, such as a former teacher or old classmate, a handwritten note.

4. Text five of your closest friends or family members and tell them how much you appreciate them. Get a little sappy and share some of your favorite characteristics about them.

5. Give a homeless person that you see food and strike up a quick convo with them. You can ask them where they are originally from or something random like what they wanted to be when they were a child. Often times, the homeless feels invisible because they are ignored or belittled, so having a brief conversation reminds them that they too are human.

6. Give three people that you don’t know well or at all a genuine compliment

Random Acts of Kindness #RAKWeek20177. Stop by your local hospital or clinic and give the nurses flowers as a way to thank them for their work.

8. Purchase a bouquet of roses (or less expensive flowers) and hand them out to strangers and then ask them to pass it on to make someone else smile.

9. Print this image and place it in a public area (such as a coffee shop or mall) for people to take what they need.

10. Go to the Dollar Store and purchase $10 – $20 worth of toys and donate them to a local children’s shelter or hospital with sick kids.

11. Call an old friend and catch up — as simple as it sounds, having a phone conversation is much more personal and impactful than just texting.

12. You know your parents, boo or best friend pretty well, so do something special that they would appreciate, such as washing the dishes all weekend, cooking breakfast, or binge watching Netflix for the umpteen time.

13. Learn the names of people you see everyday — such as the office security guard or the person at the front desk. Greet them by name everyday moving forward.

14. Purchase a product from a small business owner and then give them a special shoutout on Facebook.

15. Offer a ride to someone that’s sitting at a bus stop.

16. Bring in food or snacks for your coworkers or classmates.

17. Last but not least, be kind to yourself. Write a list of things that you’re grateful for — strive to jot down at least 25 things.

What other random acts of kindness have you done or will do during #RAKWeek2017 and beyond?

 

#Kudos Queen: Coriya Burns Falker

Michelle Obama, Necole Kane and Beyonce are just a few of the Queens that we look up to. However there are so many women who aren’t as well-known, but are just as admirable. We’re excited to present our monthly #KudosQueen spotlight, which pays homage to brilliant women in various industries that we look up to!

I landed my first internship the summer after my freshman year of college, and those three months at Radio One Atlanta were LIT 🔥 🔥 🔥 to say the least. I learned the latest dance moves during promo events at summer camps, rode the elevator with Brian McKnight, and kept my composure watching Chris Brown and Lloyd (my husband in my head) walk backstage during Birthday Bash, Atlanta’s biggest annual hip hop concert. But the highlight of my summer wasn’t being in the presence of celebrities or staffing radio events, it was working under an amazing, powerful, God-fearing woman named Ms. Coriya… our first Kudos Queen Spotlight!

Coriya Burns Falker, also known as C. Burns, has worked at Radio One Atlanta for more than 21 years as a sales and media specialist. Aside from her work in radio, she wears many hats as a business owner, motivational speaker, wife and mother to her ambitious son Bryce. She is also a Minister at the Light & Salvation Outreach Church in Douglasville, GA where she primarily works with youth and single women.

Surprisingly, Coriya’s roles at work and church aren’t as different as one might think.  “In each role I’m still taking care of people’s needs. Every client’s goals may differ, but whether you’re in ministry or media, the most critical part is to listen.

The importance of listening was instilled in Coriya early on by her biggest inspiration, her mother, who also taught her not to make excuses. While growing up in Memphis, Coriya and her siblings never felt like they didn’t have much — even if their single mom was actually struggling.

“My mom took what she had and made so much out of it,” she says. “She never allowed us to make excuses. Her philosophy was GET IT DONE! That shaped me more than anything because she showed me how to find a way.” 

That GET IT DONE mentality is what helped Coriya launch #FaithBoard. Through social media, events and conference calls, Coriya’s business encourages people to seek the visionary before casting the vision.

“#FaithBoard is trusting God more than you trust yourself. It’s about asking God what it is He has for your life versus you telling Him what you want,” she says. “And this way is fail-proof. It’s a guarantee that whatever it is you set out to do will happen because it’s His plan and He can’t fail.”

One of her signature events is the #FaithBoardExperience, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 at 10 a.m. Coriya will be discussing “5 Keys to Achieving Your Dreams,” and sharing how in just a few short years she was able to tune in to the voice of God, launch a business with her son, marry the man God had for her, book numerous speaking engagements, run a 1/2 marathon and be recognized as one of the country’s top radio sellers in multiple national publications. If you’re in the Atlanta area, get your ticket to the free event here.

All smiles after running a 1/2 marathon!

Throwback pics of Coriya and Ludacris, who worked at Hot 107.9 before becoming a multiplatinum rapper

I asked Coriya to finish the sentence … a queen is _________, and without hesitation she said “flexible.”

“Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods,” she says. “Roads change all of the time, so be flexible about the path you’re taking to get to your destination.”

This was one of the biggest lessons that Coriya learned from being married over the last five years.

“As women we’ve been forced into a survival mode that was never meant for us. We’ve had to take care of ourselves. So when people are sent to help us, sometimes we don’t know how to receive that.”

Coriya adjusted to being married and letting her husband help her throughout life as God intended.

As a single woman waiting for a man to put a ring on it, I asked Coriya if she had any advice for a Queen that’s trying to find her King, and she replied:

“Don’t look– let him find you! It’s not our job to look for a man, but you should look the part by carrying yourself like a wife.”

For Coriya that meant working on every aspect of herself and ensuring that she was worthy (and ready) to be found. She dropped another gem as a final response to the question — “Remember, no boyfriend deserves wife privileges!” — and I shook my head in agreement. So often we as women give the guys in our lives benefits that should be reserved for our future husband, if commitment is what we seek.

Coriya and her husband, Ryan

This purposeful woman lives by 1 Peter 5:10, which says:

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (New International Version)

Coriya’s journey has been full of twists and turns — from studying Forestry in undergrad to taking a temp job that she hated after moving to Atlanta to making an impact on the music industry with her humble and kind spirit. But the one thing that remained consistent is her faith in the man upstairs. Without a doubt, Coriya is answering God’s calling for her life, and inspiring everyone she meets to do the same. 

Baby Food Hair Masque?

The winter months are brutal on hair. It seems like the gusty winds and chilly air just strip my short tresses of any moisture they may have once had.   So, deep conditioning is essential to maintaining healthy hair especially during this time of year.  I’m sure most of us have a holy grail deep conditioner or hair masque that we’d never forsake because it’s our savior for retaining moisture, giving incredible shine and softness like no other. But what if I told you; you could get the same benefits using organic baby food?

Skeptical? Well, I was too but with a little research and inspiration by LipstickNCurls on YouTube I was excited to give it a try!

What you’ll need:

  1. Banana or Banana & Pumpkin organic baby food
  2. 1 Tablespoon of raw honey
  3. 1 Tablespoon of organic coconut oil
  4. Perm/Dyeing Brush (optional)
  5. Plastic cap

It’s important that you get organic baby food because others may have preservatives, which wouldn’t be ideal for hair. The banana and pumpkin mixture is a perfect choice because they both possess hair-loving benefits.   Bananas are rich in potassium, natural oils and vitamins that promote soft hair and protecting the hair’s natural elasticity preventing split ends and breakage. While pumpkin has many minerals that maintain healthy hair and regrowth such as potassium, copper, and iron. And even better, purchasing the already pureed fruits and veggies is super convenient plus they’ll leave your hair smelling delicious.

My hair felt so soft and hydrated with such a healthy sheen once rinsed. And it remained that way while styling and days after. My hair definitely appreciated the healthy benefits of this masque and this won’t be the last time I use it. I’m adopting the baby food masque into my healthy hair regimen and you ladies should too. Try it out!

xoxo,

Melissa

The Millennials Guide To Managing Up

The best power move you can make this year is to learn how to manage your boss.

In short, managing up is making your boss shine and getting what you need from them. Managing up is especially crucial if your boss is uninvolved or not tending to your work or career needs.

When done respectfully, managing up helps you build a relationship with someone in your industry and ensures that you get what you need out of your job while you’re there. A lot of us Millennials don’t see ourselves working at the same place for years — we tend to bounce around and explore other opportunities. Instead, utilize the resources and relationships that are available where you are now, knowing that it’s temporary.

Some may say, “But it’s not my job to manage my boss. I don’t get paid enough to do that.”

Managing up is for your personal gain. At the end of the day, your manager has someone to report to that they want to please. Do your job well and find ways to add value to make your manager look good. Plant seeds by being a hard worker and team player now, so you can reap the benefits later.

Here are a few key ways to master the art of managing up:

#1. Make Them Shine

The first step to managing up is to be a superstar employee — get your work done, meet deadlines, flag issues ahead of time, and slay daily! This not only makes you look good, but it also makes your manager shine to their boss.

No matter what type of manager you have, they want to keep their job, so find simple ways to help them. See what admin tasks you can take off their plate, like printing the agendas for a meeting or copyediting documents. Pitch in so you make your manager’s life a tad bit easier.

#2. Understand Their Management Style And Preferences

These psychological concepts are key elements to mastering the art of managing up. To have a better working relationship with your manager, learn their management style. Are they hands off and laid back? Or are they a lowkey micromanager who wants to know everything you’re doing?

Also, understand their communication preferences and writing tone. Do they prefer to send emails or talk in person? When reviewing your work, do they prefer a digital version, a hard copy, or both? Study your manager’s writing tone, especially during the first few months of working with them. Is it friendly or direct? Are happy faces acceptable or inappropriate?

Another helpful way to understand their management method is to take the DISC Assessment together to better understand each other’s work styles. This personal assessment can help improve work productivity, teamwork, and communication by analyzing conflict resolution tactics, motivations, stress triggers, work preferences, and more.

The assessment analyzes where you fall on the spectrum of dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. I took the assessment with my coworkers and found that my boss and I were more similar than I thought — we ranked high on the conscientiousness scale and I learned that he also is motivated by opportunities to gain knowledge and appreciated details and independence. Knowing his DISC Assessment helped me understand how to approach him and work with him throughout the year.

#3. Check in regularly and have open communication

One of the biggest issues that people have with their manager is poor communication. If you don’t already have recurring meetings with your manager, be proactive and schedule them.

The frequency of the meetings depends on your needs and working relationship with your manager. If they are involved in your day-to-day work, you might want to meet weekly or biweekly. If they are hands off or travel often, put a monthly invite on their calendar to touch bases on everything. Even if they are busy — they are obligated to give you time and attention when necessary.

Have a brief agenda or a few key points you’d like to touch on during your meetings, such as current work, career goals, raises and promotions, or recent events. Be prepared so you get the most of the meeting.

To build trust with your manager, it’s important to have open communication. Be sure to flag issues early — if you’ll miss a deadline or be late to work, tell them as soon as possible so you aren’t leaving them in a bind.

#4. Be personable and seek guidance

The key to winning people over is to have a genuine interest in their lives. Get to know your boss by allowing them to talk about themselves (people usually LOVE to talk about themselves). Work appropriate topics include hobbies, children, weekend plans, holiday plans, favorite books or podcasts, and lessons they’ve learned through navigating their career. If you’re traveling to a city that your boss has visited, ask what their favorite restaurants or attractions were.

While some people may still be cold despite your efforts to be personable, this is usually a great way to build a good relationship with your boss.

#5. Help your boss help you

In life, but especially at work, it’s important to speak up! Have an open dialogue with your manager about your career goals. Don’t expect your manager to know what you want to do. If you aren’t feeling challenged, or if you’re interested in other projects, it’s up to you to bring it to your boss. Also pick their brain about their career experiences to see if it can shape your journey somehow.

Navigating your career is challenging, but understanding how to get the most from your managers is a skill that you’ll always appreciate! In what ways do you build a relationship with your manager? Share in the comments below!

Also published on xoNecole.com 

One Year of Becoming Brilliance

We’re so excited to celebrate our one year blogiversary for Becoming Brilliance! On this day last year, we launched our blog baby that has served as a therapeutic and reflective creative outlet. We’ve loved sharing our journey with you as we navigate through life as twenty-something year old women pursuing our passions and purpose.

We started this blog to help other women, especially our fellow Millennials, unleash their brilliance. A woman that is becoming brilliance knows that she has a purpose in life, and is trying to discover or currently walking in what she was called to do. She understands that she has a role to play in the advancement of humanity, and by stepping into her light, she gives other people permission to do the same.

We hope that our posts over the past year has helped you on your brilliant journey. Here are 10 of our favorites from our first year of blogging, and why we love them so much:

1. We Need A Resolution: Improving The Nature of Your Friendships

Before we were blog partners, we were friends. Becoming Brilliance wouldn’t be as special for us if we didn’t have that foundation first. We know first hand that having a tribe of people who are supportive, trustworthy and on a path to greatness is essential to your brilliant journey.

2. Dear Me, I Love You…

Self-love is an integral part of Becoming Brilliance.  And reflecting on how far you’ve come is pivotal in how you’ll view yourself and your growth over time. Writing a letter to yourself is a great tool for measuring progression.  It’s guaranteed that after a substantial amount time has gone by and you re-read your letter, you won’t be in the same position as when you wrote it. And that will be an amazing feeling because you’ll see that your life is coming into fruition.

3. 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

There’s no better feeling than supporting brands that we believe in, especially small businesses! We loved highlighting some of our favorites in last year’s gift guide. Although the holidays are over, our round up has gift ideas that would be great for birthdays, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, so be sure to keep these in mind throughout the year!

4. 25 Travel Adventures That’ll Give You Serious Wanderlust

Author Hans Christian Andersen said it best, “to travel is to live.” And we couldn’t agree more! This was one of our favorite posts to write because we loved living vicariously through the jet setters that we featured. The round up helped us expand our travel bucket list and connect with other people who shared reasons why they love to travel locally and abroad.

5. #BeautyBeyondTheBeat

Besides us having so much fun doing the photoshoot for this post, it was truly a passion project that was so well received. We love to beat face every now and again but our best characteristics can’t be seen with the naked eye but rather felt. And that’s what we never want to forget, the beauty beyond being beat.

6. #ExploringEgypt 5 Take-A-Ways From My Egyptian Excursion

It was simply amazing to have this platform and be able to share this experience with our Becoming Brilliance family. We’re all about jetsetting and living beyond what’s just outside your front door. This post was dedicated to all the aspiring wanderers and travel enthusiasts. Where will we go in 2017? There are no limits!

7. 7 #BlackGirlMagic Lessons To Learn From Simone Biles

2016 Olympian Simone Biles is small but mighty and her hustle is definitely inspiring! While watching her take home the gold at the Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Simone taught us the importance of teamwork, believing in yourself, being consistent, and leaping towards your dreams.

8. Demanding Queen Treatment

Millennial women, especially Black Millennial women, are truly channeling the queens that reigned before us and carrying ourselves in high regard in many aspects of life.  However, we relax certain standards we would normally demand from others when it comes to relationships (or situationships). This post is the pep talk we all need from time to time as a reminder of just how valuable we are and to demand what we require in every interaction.

9.  How To Build Your Network Like A Boss

Networking is all about who you know, who knows you, AND the connotation that they have about you. Fortunately, awkward networking events aren’t the only way to build your professional circle — in this post we highlight five other ways we’ve expanded our contacts, including joining professional organizations, volunteering, utilizing our alma mater and tapping into the power of social media to build our network like a boss.

10. Walking In Your Purpose

Now, this is what Becoming Brilliance was created for and this is why we share our journey with you all. Defining our purpose isn’t easy, implementing it sometimes seems impossible.  But the beautiful thing is we’re in this search together and we’re dedicated to sharing the steps we take in defining our destiny, in hopes that it’ll help you do the same.

Was there a certain blog post that you really identified with? We’d love to read what posts impacted you in the comments!

The One Gamechanging Journal You Need In Your Life

I hate to admit it, but I’m a journal hoarder! Every time I’m at a store and I find a cute journal with an inspirational message on it, I pick it up knowing that I have many more at home waiting to be used. A gal can never have too many journals! Haha.  

Each of my journals serves a different purpose — daily reflections like a diary, prayers to God, blogging ideas and random notes. While I loved having countless blank pages to jot down my thoughts, I was yearning for a journal that would help me reach my full potential.

The Sanity + Success Journal was that gamechanger for me! With prompts to help navigate daily life, cope with stress and doubt, and shift my mindset, this is hands down my favorite journal.

Digital strategist, blogger and my online big sister Emmelie De La Cruz created this reflection journal for anyone who needs a confidence boost or clarity on their calling. The prompts help you manifest the things you want and make strides towards goals that may have previously felt impossible.

One of my favorite aspects of this journal is how reflective and self-aware it encourages you to be. There’s a space for you to write your daily lessons, wins and losses so you can keep track of your experiences and use them as learning opportunities. I love that each page also has a section for you to write your mood which Emmelie says can help you “become conscious of certain trends in your moods and how they are affecting your life, your outlook, and the people around you.”

I tend to have tunnel vision with my goals. I clearly see what I want to accomplish, but sometimes I struggle with breaking it down into actions. I love that the Sanity + Success Journal has a section on each page for your goals and the baby steps that will help you get there. Goal-setting is essential for productivity, and this journal helps you make strides towards your vision.

Because I love you brilliant beauties, here’s a sneak peek of some of my favorite prompts from the Sanity + Success Journal:

  • What did you achieve in the last 12 months that you are proud of?
  • What does happiness look like for you?
  • List things you are grateful for.
  • What do you want to accomplish, and why does it need to be accomplished this year?
  • Remove mental and emotional clutter. List five ways to simplify your life.
  • What experience changed you for the better?
  • Describe a failure that turned out to be a blessing.
  • What are you most afraid of?
  • What does bloom where you are planted mean to you?
  • How does your relationship with your mom impact your relationships today?

That is just a glimpse of the gems that you’ll find in the Sanity + Success Journal! It’s the perfect tool to write your vision down and reflect on your past experiences so you can attract your heart’s desires.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks for an exciting opportunity to discover the greatness in the Sanity + Success Journal for yourself! I promise that it’ll change the game and help you reflect your way to a better life, business and career.

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Whether you’re buying a gift for your best friend, sister, mom or coworker, the best presents are thoughtful ones. Corporate giants rake in tons of money during the holidays, so we wanted to highlight gift ideas from 20 small businesses that create brilliant products that everyone on your list would love.

Here are a few to consider this holiday season:


Journals / Planners

Help the lady on your list organize her thoughts or to do list with a new planner or cute journal. There are so many options on the market, so think about how best it’ll serve her. Does she need one all-encompassing planner to help her get her life? Or does she need a little kick of motivation to reach her dreams? Whatever she needs, one of the following are bound to help her slay in 2017:

  • Passion Planner A planner to live by! There are various versions, including an undated one, and tons of blank pages so she can customize her planner and truly make it her own. The website also has tons of tips and tricks to help her get the most from her Passion Planner.
  • Sanity and Success Journal Blogger and digital marketing guru Emmelie De La Cruz will help your favorite girl boss transform her life with this game-changing journal. With practical and reflective writing prompts, a space to jot down wins and losses of the day and a push to take baby steps towards her biggest dreams, the Sanity and Success Journal offers a new way to navigate life, cope with stress and doubt, and shift to a positive mindset, for good.
  • Hustler Manifesto Myleik Teele is an entrepreneur and founder of curlBOX, an exclusive monthly subscription box full of amazing beauty products. Her inspirational journal is a must have for every girl who’s about her business and chasing all that her heart desires.
  • Free Your Mind Journal There is power in the pen and the Free Your Mind Journal will help her reflect to gain clarity and a more positive mindset. With thought-provoking questions, prompts, affirmations, and coloring pages, this therapeutic journal is an outlet for creativity and self-care.

Beauty Products

Treat your favorite brilliant beauty to some much deserved R&R that’ll help her wind down and take better care of her body. Throw in a bottle of wine, and we’re sure that she’ll love you forever!

  • Lavender + Vanilla Gift Set Help your loved one relax with this gift set from Atlanta Bath Company, which offers handcrafted and organic bath and skincare products. The lovely aroma of lavender and vanilla will ease her into a great year.
  • Organic Shea Whip and Balm Oil Treat her skin and hair to amazing softness with these natural beauty products from Authenticality Company. Made from simple ingredients like shea butter and essential oils, they will provide nourishment from head to toe.
  • Natural Beauty Must Haves from Soleil Essentials Compile a care package of beauty essentials made from natural ingredients. From oils to face cleansers to body butters, you’re bound to find a few things that she’ll love.

Subscription Box

Give your loved one the gift that keeps on giving with a unique subscription box filled with goodies that she’ll love. If you don’t want the monthly commitment, get her a one-time box that she can try out.

  • The Bloom Beautifully Box Take “treat yourself” to the next level with this self-care box that makes relaxation a breeze. It comes with five or six self-care essentials centered around a theme that will help her discover more of what makes her happy. Previous boxes have included shower bombs, organic shea butter lip balm, a sleep mask, and a “ME-TIME” door hanger for those days when she just wants to be alone.
  • Femely Box Help make her “Aunt Flo” a little better with a box full of natural feminine care. The monthly or one-time package comes with her preferred feminine products, like 100% cotton tampons or pads, and body care freebies, organic snacks and more. There are also little surprises in every package — previous Femely Boxes have included herbal teas, candles and natural makeup.
  • Love With Food Box Get the foodie in your life the ultimate all-natural snack box for her mid-day or night cravings. The package includes more than eight snacks each month. And for each purchase, the company donates a meal to a hungry child.

Inspirational Apparel & Accessories

Adorn her with clothes and trinkets that reminds her of her purpose and passions and shows how much of a boss babe she is.

  • More Faith Less Fear Pillow Spruce up her couch, bedroom or office with a cute pillow that reminds her to believe in the good things that are coming her way.
  • Grace and Glamour Cosmetic bag Get your fro-lover a stylish, unique cosmetic bag that’s perfect for carrying her makeup, brushes, toiletries and other small items.
  • To Travel Is To Live Mug Her morning coffee will come with a motto if you get the lady in your life this cute mug that encourages her to #seesomeworld.
  • Who You Callin’ A B*$%#?! TShirt The only B-Word(s) that are acceptable are the ones on this shirt. Help her celebrate her Blackness proudly and in style with this cute shirt that shows people that she is indeed Bold, Black, Beautiful, Brilliant, and Blessed!
  • African Print Passport Wallet Protect her passport in style with this fierce wallet that’ll encourage her to plan her next trip everytime she sees the bright African print fabric.
  • I Manifest Dreams For A Living Mug We’ve exclaimed how much we love Go and Glow tshirts before, but this mug is perfect for the go-getter in your life who’d like to sip while manifesting her dreams.
  • Blessed Beyond Measure Bracelet This handmade cuff bracelet is the perfect addition to her wardrobe and a gentle reminder to reflect on the many blessings in life both big and small.

Stocking Stuffers + Gift Wrap 

Small touches make all the difference. Make this a holiday to reminder by getting her these dope add ons.

  • University of Dope Card Game Test your favorite lady’s knowledge of Hip Hop culture. From the Fresh Prince of Belair theme song, to the classic Kid N’Play dance — game night will never be the same.
  • Colorful Foil Planner Stickers Make her planner pop with these shimmery stickers that’ll motivate her to get sh*t done.
  • Lastly, step up your gifting game with Fetti Wrap wrapping paper. The cute collection will have your giftee wanting to save the wrapping paper because it’s so unique.

For more brilliant gift ideas, stay tuned for our second holiday gift guide featuring poppin’ t-shirts from Black owned businesses.

Happy shopping!

5 Lippies to Love this Fall

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Whether you’re into vampy lips, classic hues, or looking to try something completely new, fall is the perfect inspiration for adding to your lipstick collection or reaching for some forgotten favorites.   Now, women of color often hesitate to try different shades because we’re not sure how it will wear against our various skin tones.  But truthfully, we can pull off an array of colors…and beautifully might I add.  It’s all about tailoring the shades to you, being confident, and owning it!

So, here are 5 fall lipsticks for you to slay this season…

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Nothing says fall like a vampy, purple lip!  This shade is a bold statement lippie that is perfect for a night out on the town. Pictured: MAC ‘Nightmoth’ Lip Pencil and Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in ‘Potion’.  

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The weather is getting chilly, bring out the hot cocoa! Try reddish brown or chocolate brown lips to give your look a vintage feel. Pictured: MAC ‘Bittersweet’ Pro Longwear Lip Pencil and MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in ‘Antique Velvet’.

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A girl can never go wrong with a good nude lip! This season rock a rosy nude on the days you opt for a subtle slay. Pictured: MAC ‘Plum’ Lip Pencil and NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Rome’.

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If you’re ready to step completely outside the box this season, rock a gorgeous grey! Pictured: MAC ‘Chestnut’ Lip Liner and MAC ‘Hasley’ Lipstick.

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Red lips are classic and timeless in every shade. However, a dark, oxblood red will be perfect for when you’re feeling regal this fall. Pictured: NYX Currant Lip Pencil and MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Studded Kisses.

What are a few of your favorite fall lippies? And what new colors are you looking to try this season? Leave a comment below or hit us up on social media!