#SummerSlaySeries: Bomb DIY Pedicure

Trust us – your feet will thank you for this bomb pedicure.

Sandal season is here, so we have to make sure our toes are up to par. While going to the nail salon is a nice treat every once in awhile, the cost can rack up over time. Instead, try a do-it-yourself pedicure that’ll have your toes shining without breaking the bank. There’s an upfront cost for the tools you’ll need, but once you have them, you can do your nails for the low low all season long.

Before getting started, gather your supplies. You can try Target, Walmart and Sally Beauty to pick up everything.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Cuticle softener / remover
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Foot file
  • Buffing block
  • Emery board
  • Nail clipper
  • Base coat
  • Top coat
  • Nail color of your choice
  • Pumi bar or pumice stone
  • Nail Tees or cotton swabs, and cotton balls

Optional

  • Oils (such as peppermint, coconut, tea tree or extra virgin olive oil)
  • Sugar Scrub – white, brown or organic sugar + oils of your choice
  • Shea body butter  – natural shea butter + oils of your choice
  • Cuticle nipper
  • Body wash and epsom salts

The nail polish came from our Just Polish Box. If you’re a nail polish lover who wants a package of goodies delivered to your doorstep every month, be sure to subscribe! With 5 – 6 different bottles of polish from professional brands such as Essie and OPI in some boxes, it’s easy to fall in love with the quality and convenience of Just Polish.

After getting your supplies, follow these eight easy steps to do a fabulous pedicure on a budget.

DIY Pedicure

1. Remove pre-existing nail polish

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important not to miss this step! Ensure that all of your old nail polish is off before giving yourself a new pedicure. Use an acetone nail polish remover and cotton balls to get the polish off.

According to Sally Beauty, acetone is most effective for removing oils and preparing the nails for polish, but it can be drying to the cuticles — so pay extra attention to step #7.

2. Soak your feet

Start by filling your tub with warm water, body wash and a few drops of oil (such as coconut, tea tree or extra virgin olive oil). For an extra touch, add a cup of epsom salts to the water, and then soak your feet for 5 – 10 minutes. This process softens tough calluses and your nails and cuticles, along with removing built up dirt.

3. Gently file your feet

Dry your feet off and use the foot file to remove the dead skin on the heels and balls of your feet. Place a paper towel or wax paper underneath to capture the dead skin. When filing, focus on the rougher areas, but be sure not to scrub too hard so you don’t irritate the skin.

DIY Pedicure

4. Exfoliate with a sugar scrub

In a small bowl, combine a cup of sugar with 2 – 3 tablespoons of oils and mix well. Scoop the sugar scrub on your feet and gently rub using the pumi bar until your feet are smooth. Rinse your feet and the pumi bar (or stone) afterwards.

DIY Pedicure

 

5. Clip and shape nails

Use the nail clippers to trim toenails straight across and down to your preferred size. Using an emery board, shape your nails to be slightly squared and buff down any sharp edges. If possible, file nails in the same direction to avoid damage.

6. Prepare your cuticles

Your nails are almost ready for polish! Apply a drop of the cuticle softener / remover at the base of each nail. Then gently push the cuticles around each nail back using the cuticule pusher. You can take it a further step and cut the excess skin with a cuticle nipper, but it isn’t mandatory. After preparing your cuticles, rinse and dry your hands and feet.

DIY Pedicure

7. Moisturize and prepare for polish

Shea butter is a great all natural moisturizer, so I like to rub a body butter on my feet to seal in the softness. In a small container or cup, melt the shea butter down a little bit and add oils of your choice until it has a creamy consistency (peppermint oil works and smells great!). Apply the body butter and give your feet a much needed massage. If you don’t want to use the shea butter mix, you can also use a foot lotion of your choice.

8. Apply polish

Get in a position where you can comfortably reach your feet, and then lace toe separators on both feet. Start by applying a base coat which helps the polish stick to your nail easier and protects your nails from damage. After it dries, apply two coats of the color of your choice and then finish off with a clear top coat. Each layer should be thin and given ample time to dry before applying the next coat.

Here’s to looking fly while saving coins this summer!

Becoming Brilliance at A Pink Affair II

Becoming Brilliance

Whether it’s your biological mother or another woman who was mother-like, we all have amazing women in our life who support and guide us. This Mother’s Day weekend, we were amongst powerful women full of brilliance like this at A Pink Affair II, hosted by Tonya Henderson Freeman of Dolls to Divas, Inc.

We had an incredible time connecting with beautiful women who were pretty in pink. With a shoe cam, step and repeat banner and gorgeous courtyard at The Villa Christina in Atlanta, A Pink Affair II was the perfect event to get cute, take pictures and embrace everything girly.

At our table, we encouraged attendees to write what #mamatoldme on a mini chalkboard.

Becoming Brilliance

Becoming Brilliance

We love ya’ll too much to allow you to miss out on the gems that was dropped at A Pink Affair II. Here are a few key takeaways that the speakers shared:

  1. Alissa Jones spoke shared how to elevate your confidence. Start by acknowledging when you have those low confidence moments. Then think about what you need to do to change your mindset. Wake up everyday and understand that as long as you speak positive to you, nothing else matters.
  2. Some things are just a moment – it’s not a destination. Don’t take residence in a feeling when a feeling was just meant to be a moment.
  3. Carol from GlitzyGals, LLC shared a few tips about etiquette. When dining, pass the shared plates to the right. Also when passing the salt, always pass the salt and the pepper together since they are a pair.            
  4. Camille Cameron encouraged attendees to dream big and clearly establish exactly what you want out of life. She wears many hats, and how she became successful by getting intentional about where she wants to go and not limiting herself.                       
  5. Take your experiences and struggles and use it for greater good. After successfully battling breast cancer, Tammy Bolton started The Pink Frog Foundation, Inc. to help other women who were going through treatment. At A Pink Affair II she shared her journey and it was a reminder that we were all put here for a greater purpose – even if that means using your obstacles to make a difference in someone else’s life.                                                

Becoming Brilliance

On our journey of becoming brilliance, we are blessed to be amongst other women who just want to see each other shine! Tonya from Dolls to Divas, Inc. has been mentoring young women for more than 30 years. Through her organization she helps cultivate positive girls into extraordinary women through group mentoring, events and other programs. In addition to A Pink Affair, she hosts monthly events to help women and girls celebrate, network and empower each other. She can be reached at dolls2divas@comcast.net for more information.

We’re looking forward to A Pink Affair II next year! If you’re in Atlanta, we encourage you to join us!

Kudos Queen: A Pink Affair II Edition

Kudos Queen

Don’t ya’ll love seeing other women shine?

It’s a beautiful sight when you see another Queen doing her thing — you have to give her kudos!

We’re looking forward to networking with other brilliant beauties at A Pink Affair II on Saturday, May 13, 2017 in Atlanta. Although the tickets are now sold out, we’ll be giving you behind the scenes via our Instagram Story, so tune in between 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.!

Here’s six Queens who’ll be dropping gems and shining their light at the event:


Tonya Henderson Freeman,  Dolls to Divas, Inc.

Tonya is the heartbeat of A Pink Affair II, and the event is one of her many projects to inspire and motivate women of all ages. Through her organization, Dolls to Divas, Inc., she works with young women from elementary school to college, and cultivates them to become extraordinary women.  In this era, DIVA can carry a negative tone but Tonya is defining “A Different Type of Diva” —  one who thinks outside the box about life and career choices.  

Tonya’s Kudos Queen quote: “Every queen should have confidence, a great circle of girlfriends and a mirror.”


Yakira Praise

Yakira Prise, Relator

This Modern Renaissance Woman has more than 12 years of experience in the marketing, real estate, business consulting, and lifestyle management industries. The St. Louis native, Atlanta transplant is a self-described “ball of energy” and is in the business of extraordinary living. 

Yakira’s Kudos Queen quote: “My goal in life is to be all I can be, to inspire, and to enhance. I just work hard to use all the time God has given me as wisely as possible.”


Alissa Jones

Alissa Jones, Author and Motivational Speaker

Alissa shares her truth in hopes of setting others free. The notable author and speaker founded the Survivors With Voices Foundation to provide an open forum for survivors to be supported by their peers with similar circumstances. She recently won President Barack Obama’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her tremendous work that positively impacts the community.  At A Pink Affair II, Alissa will be sharing how to elevate your confidence and boldly unleash your truth.

Alissa’s Kudos Queen quote: Aside from her crown, every queen should carry with her her King (Revelation 17:14), purpose and confidence.” 


Carol Rey

Carol Rey Dorsey, Founder and Owner of GlitzyGalz, LLC

Carol has 21 years of teaching experience as an educator in the public school system, and she’s continuing her passion for teaching through GlitzyGalz, LLC, a Southern charm brand and movement that helps individuals learn and understand the technicalities of proper etiquette. With etiquette and fine dining classes and a growing line of apparel and accessories, Carol’s lessons are engaging and encourages self- confidence.

Carol’s Kudos Queen quote: “Pretty is as pretty does.”


Camille Cameron

Camille Cameron, Creative Artist

Camille is multi-talented force to reckon with. The accomplished artist, photographer, and singer/songwriter is the owner and creator of A Paint Party, a mobile art studio servicing the Atlanta area. She’s also owned her online graphic design and art studio, Simply Camille, since 2009.

Camille’s Kudos Queen quote: “A Queen should have confidence, courage, and her own style.”


Tammy Bolton

Tammy L. Bolton, Founder, The Pink Frog Foundation, Inc.

Tammy is on a mission to fight against breast cancer. Through her nonprofit, The Pink Frog Foundation, she raises awareness about breast cancer and helps breast cancer patients while they are undergoing treatment by providing transportation, maid and nutrition services. 


Stay tuned for another post about A Pink Affair II after the event so you can read more brilliant gems from inspirational women!

New movement to Silence The Shame about mental health

silence the shame

Silence the Shame

Openly talking about mental health is a hard, yet healthy conversation to have in the age of social media, police brutality, racial tension and Trump presidency.

The graphic content that we consume, such as watching a police officer shoot an unarmed citizen or seeing an elderly man die on Facebook Live, has an impact on our mental health. And when the Black community in particular couples that with the mental shackles that remain since our ancestors were in slavery, it’s an issue that we can no longer sweep under the rug.

Music veteran executive Shanti Das is making it her mission to openly discuss mental illnesses and dismantle the stigmas and misconceptions that are associated with the taboo subject through her initiative Silence The Shame.

Known as the Hip Hop Professional, Shanti has been instrumental in marketing some of music’s biggest stars for more than 20 years including, Prince, Outkast, TLC, Erykah Badu and Toni Braxton.

Now she’s leveraging her credible platform and influential relationships to get the word out about mental health awareness. Nick Cannon, Usher, Ed Lover, Andra Day, Will Packer, Estelle and more public figures have stood behind Shanti to silence the shame.

“Education is the key to unlocking mental health,” says Shanti. “You don’t know what you don’t know, so we want to educate our community and share information that can help transform and save lives.”

Shanti’s passion to move our culture forward is rooted in her own mental health journey. The effects of her father’s suicide when she was 7 months old made the adult Shanti fear that she would follow in his footsteps, leading to her depression and anxiety.

“It took a long time to be able to talk about my dad’s death. I used to just say he passed away. I wouldn’t say he shot himself because I was afraid of what people would say. I was also angry at him for leaving like that and I suppressed those feelings.”

Shanti admits that she didn’t even want to learn about her dad’s Indian culture, but she finally saw the light when she visited a therapist in 2003. Through a series of counseling sessions, she learned forgiveness and how to understand what her dad might have been going through. She also found a new church in New York where she learned about herself and relationship with God.

“Although I sought therapy and forgave my dad in 2003, in 2015 the depression returned with a vengeance. One of my best friends committed suicide the day before and also I talked myself into a downward spiral from several issues and considered taking pills. That was really the moment I knew I had to get real help.”

These experiences taught Shanti how to silence her shame. By getting help she’s now able to openly talk about her struggle with depression and anxiety in hopes of encouraging others to share their story and seek professional help.

Like Shanti, many people with mental health issues lead a seemingly “normal” life. According to NAMI, 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness. These issues can come from stress, loss of a loved one, divorce, troubled work environment, and traumatic experiences such as sexual assault — things we all deal with to some degree.

silencetheshame

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Here are six actions that we can take to help silence the shame around mental health:

1. Get educated

Shanti recommends learning more about mental disorders, symptoms and treatments by checking out the Mayo Clinic and the National Alliance of Mental Health. Mental Health America also offers online assessments to see if you may have a mental illness, but visit a licensed professional to determine if you are affected.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours / day if you or someone you know is considering suicide.

She also encourages people to attend events to learn more about the topic. Silence The Shame is hosting a Community Mental Health Fair and Symposium in Atlanta on Saturday, May 6th, 2017. Mental health professionals, community leaders and members of the faith community will discuss identifying symptoms, treatment and ways to support others.

2. Raise your voice

Shanti is encouraging everyone to use their platform to speak up about mental health and share resources, especially on Silence the Shame Awareness Day on Friday, May 5th, 2017. With Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Shanti and her team is using this key moment in time to spark a global conversation about the issues via social media using the hashtag #silencetheshame.

anxiety

3. Understand the signs

Shanti knew something was wrong when she didn’t want to get out of bed, despite usually being a morning person. She lost interest in the things that mattered most, including music, and found herself at home alone a lot. She also ate out of depression.

The signs that one may be suffering varies based on the type of mental health disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness or hopelessness; angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters; and sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much.

While anxiety is a normal part of life, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. The Mayo Clinic states that these feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time.

More complex illnesses, like Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder have different symptoms. It’s important to understand the signs so you can address if you or someone you know has a mental health disorder.

silence the shame

4. Get the help you need

Although she is a woman of God, Shanti admits that mental health disorders isn’t something that you can just pray away. That’s the first step, but it’s important to get professional help.

She recommends speaking with someone who is neutral and doesn’t know you or your background to have an unbiased conversation. She also explained that there are levels to professional help. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that evaluates patients and can prescribe medications. A psychologist can offer treatments, but can’t prescribe medications — they can only refer patients. There are also licensed counselors and therapists that can help with coping and managing the illness.

“Seeing a doctor if you think something may be wrong is an act of self love. You have to love yourself to get the help,” says Shanti. “If you don’t love and value yourself, it means that you’ll do anything to the body that God lent you. Make sure that spiritual connection is there by getting help, loving God, and loving yourself.”

5. Be supportive and stop judging

Words have power and using negative terms like “crazy,” “weird” or “insane” further perpetuates the stigma around mental health and discourages suffers from speaking up or getting help.

“We don’t know what people are going through, so sometimes we have to pull it out of them if they aren’t open to talking about it,” says Shanti. “Stop hiding behind social media — pick up the phone and check on people more. Also, don’t take warning signs lightly. It’s better to intervene than to be too late when you could have saved someone’s life.”

Shanti stresses that compassion is essential, and we can’t write people off because of what they suffer from or what they’re experiencing. We have to be there to help one another and start normalizing the conversation around mental health.

6. Practice mental wellness

“The best way to improve your mental wellness is to do whatever brings you peace and balance — do what makes you smile,” Shanti says.

Shanti was on prescribed anti-depressants and weaned herself off of them. Now when depression or anxiety creeps back, she recognizes her triggers, prays, talks to friends, makes herself be around others, works out to build endorphins, and helps other people.

She encourages people to approach mental health like their physical health — intentionally exercise mental wellness every day. While this looks differently for everyone, it may include prayer, thinking happy thoughts, saying affirmations, practicing meditation or yoga, listening to music, going to church, and discovering ways to serve others.

silence the shame

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According to ActiveMinds, compared to older adults, the 18-24 year old age group shows the lowest rate of seeking help.

Silence The Shame will continue to reach the public with their Loving U College Tour kicking off later this year. Shanti will join other mental health care professionals and advocates to discuss the importance of taking good care of your mind and coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety and other disorders.

Shanti and her team also has a Silence The Shame podcast where they seek to normalize conversations around managing mental health and healing from illnesses.

It’s ok not to be ok. But we can’t shun people for getting the help they need. It’s time that we educate people, empower them to share their testimony, and dismantle the stigmas around mental health.

Shanti is another example of a woman turning lemons into lemonade and shining a light on the darkness. By openly sharing her struggles and mental health journey, she is freeing other people to do the same and silence their shame.

“You don’t have to tell all of your business, but we all have a duty to share our voice and speak out on what is good and what we believe in,” says Shanti. “We’ve been conditioned to not share, but being vulnerable makes you strong.”

Join in on the conversation by using the hashtag #silencetheshame.

silence the shame

Silence The Shame

#SelfCareSundays

Sundays have always been a favorite of mine and for various reasons. It’s the beginning of a new week and who doesn’t love a fresh start? There’s always a sense of renewal associated with Sunday whether you’re attending church service, spending much needed time catching up with family or having brunch with friends. Often times rain or shine, Sunday equals ME time.

When I was in college, I had a solid Sunday routine consisting of grocery shopping, washing clothes, cooking some dinner and completing my studies due for the week ahead. As I’ve gradually transitioned into adulting, I felt I could never find the time to balance the things I have to do with those I need to do…for my sanity.

Self-care is often lost in the sauce when our plate becomes full. It’s like we know it’s necessary but feels in comparison with our other responsibilities…it can wait. And that’s simply not the case. I’ve embraced the mindset of “you can’t pour into others from an empty cup” now more than ever. By taking care of you first, you’re able to offer your best self to the world. And we can’t lose sight of that, no matter how busy life gets.

I’ve also grown to realize self-care should be practiced daily if only for a few minutes out of each day. However, as my favorite time to do things I love, I’ve dubbed Sundays for me #SelfCareSundays and wanted to share a few of the self-care gems that I enjoy practicing weekly.

  1. Jot down short-term, attainable goals for the week. It makes for small victories and provides positive reinforcement of all you’re achieving as you tackle the week.  For example, workout 4 days this week!
  1. Listen to an album from start to finish. New or an oldie but goodie. I love reflecting on nostalgic moments. At any given moment, I may be listening to a B2K or Trey Songz (with the cornrows) album. 🙂
  1. Watch your favorite show/movie or start a new series. The Sundays where I don’t really have anything planned are often filled with Law & Order: SVU marathons. And my boyfriend and I love to binge watch seasons of a new series on Netflix.
  1. Pamper yourself with a face masque and glass of wine before bed. When you look good, you feel good and your skin care routine should be essential to your self-care routine as well as a glass of wine because…why not? 🙂
  1. Write yourself a love letter. See our previous post “Dear Me, I Love You…”
  1. Find something to be thankful for at the moment. This has been a major key in my self-care regimen. In a moment where I may feel anxious or irritated, I now stop mid-complaint, check myself and simply give thanks for the situation not being worse than it is. 
  1. Declutter your space, light a candle and enjoy your own company. I can be extroverted but I really enjoy being alone. So, I do whatever my spirit moves me to in that moment. Read, meditate, journal, watch beauty videos on YouTube…anything that brings me peace. This is easily one of my favorite self-care keys!

Have you adopted a self-care regimen? What will you incorporate into your #SelfCareSundays?

3 Steps To Improve Your Online Personal Brand

Personal Brand

Your personal brand  online is just as relevant as your resume —  if not more.

Nowadays, companies want to know who you are. People hire other people that they’d like. A brilliant digital footprint is a great platform to let your personality shine bright before you step foot in the interview. Your resume may be stellar, but it won’t capture their interest like your online persona can.

Here are 3 ways you can improve your online personal brand: 

  1. Enhance your social media strategy

According to the Pew Research Center, 86 percent of people aged 18 – 29 use at least one social media site. No matter what site(s) you’re on, it’s important to tell a digital story that you’re proud of.

Start by reflecting on what you want people to think, feel and know about you when they look at your social media profile. Try this exercise — set a timer for three minutes and write down words that describe your personality, interests, aspirations, experience, societal roles, etc. Then write down the type of content you could post based on those keywords. This all makes up your personal brand.

Next, do some spring cleaning to your social media profiles and delete anything that doesn’t fit into the descriptors that you outlined. Photos and posts about your drunken college nights,  F boy exs, or dreadful coworkers don’t belong in your new and improved online presence.

Also think about how you want your social media feed to look. You can really get creative with your Instagram by strategizing what type of posts you publish when. For instance, you could have an entire row that has quotes, or create a border around certain photos for consistency. You could also use a certain color theme or create art with your photo layout.

Think about what you want your personal brand to be, and then line up your social media profiles to look like your vision. It’s your story, so tell an authentic narrative.

Personal Brand

2. Spruce up your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn makes networking, especially reaching out to strangers, much easier. It’s a must to have a profile, but there are ways to take yours to the next level.

Start by reading your profile from top to bottom as if you are viewing it for the first time. Then think about what copy you can make more concise or engaging, and what sections need to be improved or updated.

Customizing your professional headline is a great way to spruce up your profile. This is the line that appears directly below your name. Although it’s common to list your work role, that isn’t a must as long is it captures who you are and what your brand is. Use keywords and traits that are specific to your industry in your professional headline to make your profile stand out.

Personal Brand

3. Create or update your website / portfolio

Make sure the basics are on the website — a well written bio, professional photos, work experience, contact information and social media presence. You can also add more personal photos of your hobbies and interests to your site, such as traveling or volunteering.

If you already have a website, review these elements to make sure they are still on-brand for you based on the exercise previously mentioned. Jazz up your bio with those keywords that describe you.

No worries if you don’t currently have a website! There are many easy-to use platforms to create one including WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, AboutMe and so many more.

Your digital footprint is an extension of who you are, so make sure it’s something you’d be proud of no matter who found it online.

Bill of Brilliance: 6 Affirmations To Tap Into Your Magic

Bill of Brilliance

Did you know that brilliance and beauty is your birthright? You owe it to yourself and your creator to live up to your full potential. It serves no purpose for you to play small. You were created to shine!

We created a Bill of Brilliance to help you do just that! It’s comprised of six affirmations to ensure that you like who you’re becoming.

We encourage you to print out the Bill of Brilliance and place it somewhere that you’ll see it every day. Whether it’s near your mirror, by your desk or even in your favorite planner or journal. We’ve shared the power of affirmations in a previous blog post, which you can find here, and the only way for them to truly work is for you to repeatedly see and say them.

The Bill of Brilliance is just a snippet of what you’ll find in our FREE #MyBrilliance Workbook which you can download HERE. The workbook includes 10 pages full of prompts and thought starters created to brighten your light. With a travel bucket list, guide to networking, shero shout outs and more, the #MyBrilliance Workbook  will help you tap into your magic.

We challenge you to complete the workbook and pass it on to another brilliant beauty in your tribe. Let’s keep it going and encourage each other to reflect on the power within us! We hope you enjoy!

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?