If I told you how often I get this question, you would NOT believe me (includes those that opt to ask my family and/or friends instead)! Clearly a Question That Needs Answers (QTNA) in a lot of people’s mind. Let’s flip it to the question you really want answered, How Can I Travel More?
If you don’t follow me on social media
, allow me to explain what’s normal for me:
- 2017 Travels: Barbados, Phoenix, South Africa/Zimbabwe/Dubai, North GA Mountains, Oklahoma, Cuba, Girl’s Weekend Staycation, Italy, Spain, Vegas, Chattanooga, Chicago and Miami (OK, this year was a bit of an anomaly; 4 work trips and 3 life events (weddings and a funeral) added to trips planned in ’16)
- 2016 Travels: Valentine’s Day Staycation, Austin, Miami/Peru, DC, Miami/Bahamas, Hilton Head, Boston/Maine, Mexico, NYC, Istanbul/Prague, Ecuador/Galapagos Islands/Miami, DC, Cincinnati, Miami (6 works trips – 1 international!!! and 2 graduations added to deals I could not pass up!)
- 2015 Travels: Houston, North GA Mountains, DC/Frankfurt/Kenya/Zanzibar/ Brussels, San Destin, Chicago, Miami/Key West, NC, Abu Dhabi/Joburg/Durban/Cape Town, Vegas, Miami/Key West
I’m sharing these details so you understand that this is my way of life, it is my passion (I am not new to this, I am true to this. I’ve been to 30+ countries and 5 continents, most of which were over the last 3 years). Travel is something I refuse to live without. So, #QTNA: How do I make this happen? I start each year with a goal to travel as much as possible (I have friends that travel WAY more than I do so it’s all a matter of perspective). Okay, so what does that really mean? I am a process oriented person so I created a planning process that works perfectly for me:
Let’s talk consignment! Do you shop consignment? If not, you should absolutely try it! In an effort to save money and infuse some new brands/looks into my life, I’ve started shopping consignment . Disclaimer, a dear friend warned me that it can become addictive!! I have not crossed that line yet but I can see how easy that can occur. Now that I’ve been in the consignment shopping game for about a year, I’ll share what I have learned so far.
- It’s not always old/used: I’ve lucked up on a consignment shop with a niche for selling items that are less than 2 years old (they have also successfully extended their GA locations with sales via their website, Instagram and Facebook Live which is how I prefer to shop). High-end designers are the only exclusions that I’ve noticed (e.g. Chanel, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, etc.). Back by Popular Demand consignment shop has great relationships with retail store managers and fashionistas who likely have NO SPEND LIMITATIONS so you can often find a lot of new with tag items.
- Discounted designer digs: There are several designers that inspire me but I doubt that I would ever pull the trigger on paying full retail (I enjoy a bargain far too much). I’ve been able to add Vera Wang, Shoshanna, Diane Von Furstenberg, Catherine Malandrino, Tory Burch, etc. to my wardrobe at an average price of $55!! There are a few consignors that I follow that consistently deliver high-end designer finds so check out Labels Resale Boutique and Alexis Suitcase (they also have websites and post their hottest items on Instagram)
- Know your consignor: Not all shops are created equal so you have to do your research and choose wisely! This is especially important if you opt to shop online. You will want to ensure that they post high quality pictures and fully disclose the condition of their items. If you are unsure, inspect the item thoroughly in-person but know that the hottest items won’t last. I typically rely on recommendations from other fashionistas in my network when adding new shops to my rotation.
- Be known by your consignor: If they know you, your style aesthetic and your wish list they will call you when new items arrive! Some of the very best items are often sold before they hit the floor (this is especially true at the higher end consignment shops). The more frequently you shop/stop in the greater chance you have of scoring incredible buys.
- Experiment: There are likely things you would love to buy but can’t justify because you are uncertain if the trend will stick or you won’t wear it often. My first ever consignment purchase was a pair of red Hunter Boots via an Instagram post. I had them on my wish list for a while but I just could not bring myself to pay full price especially since I knew I would likely only wear them when it rained. After stalking them off and on for a few years, I stumbled on a gently used pair for $60 and pulled the trigger (this is SO UNLIKE me but I’m so glad that I stepped outside my comfort zone). For me, consignment has been an excellent fashion sandbox to play in and a great way to take a chance on a new look!
- Replace something loved but worn/lost: I had a bracelet that I absolutely loved and wore daily. I ended up gifting it to a friend traveling the world indefinitely (Yes, INDEFINITELY!! I know some DOPE people!!) because I wanted her to carry me wherever she went. Once I returned home (we met up in Prague so perhaps I have some dope in me too LOL) I realized how much I missed my bracelet. Thanks to the internet, I stumbled on Poshmark and I was able to find the same bracelet I had purchased years before and it had never been worn (reunited and it feels so good)! I LOVE my closet so when something nears end of life I’ve had to get creative to find them all over again!
So now that I’ve shared what I’ve learned. Let me share some of my recent consignment wins!
The feature image is an Alice and Olivia Mimi Cold Shoulder Dress that I scored new with tags for $60 (MSRP $295) and it was perfect for my trip to Miami!
I am in LOVE with the YSL LouLou Shoulder bag but there is no way that I am spending ~$2K on a bag so when the Tory Burch Kira Shoulder Bag popped up for $175 (MSRP $528) I had to snatch it up. It’s been such a great addition to my girl’s night/date night rotation and I bought this via a Facebook Live video!!!
Fringe is HUGE this year so why not start with the Schutz Evelize Fringe Boot – $135 (MSRP $380). They are SO FUN to wear and Schutz is one of my FAVORITE shoe brands. I have several in my closet and many others that I have on my wish list. I lucked up on these boots via Instagram (most of my consignment purchases have been online)!!!
If I had not already spent my Feb shopping budget (yes, I realize that we are only 9 days into the month but I caught a sale at a consignment outlet last week and got 2 leather jackets for less than $100), these items would be on my shopping list today (OK the first would be on the I wish list LOL)!
Click on the images below to access the Instagram posts shared below!
I genuinely LOVE shopping, not buying, the act of shopping . . . finding the latest trends but also looking for those off-season deals or mega sales that are sometimes irresistible. It dawned on me today that I should probably share those with you! So here are my picks for this week . . .
Deal Pick 1: Buy Here
Bonus Buy!! Buy Here – GUESS by Marciano Women’s Faline Leather Jacket! Because who doesn’t love a good leather Jacket! AND this price is INSANELY LOW!!!
I often remake meals that I’ve experienced during my travels. I had some amazing soup at Weera Thai in Las Vegas and so I have attempted this many times and I’ve finally found the perfect ingredients.
- If you’ve opted to add your favorite vegetables, I listed the ones that I add in, clean (I prefer to use baking soda) and coarsely chop the vegetables and set them to the side (if you have baby bok choy you can keep whole or slice in half)
- In a medium-large saucepan, combine coconut milk (I prefer Chaokoh as it tends to be creamier), chicken broth, ginger and lemongrass (I tried the version in the tube the first time and there is no comparison, you must find fresh lemongrass!!) and bring to a boil over Medium-High Heat (be sure to watch the pot to ensure that it does not boil over, this may have happened to me once or twice).
- Reduce heat to medium-low/low, add carrots, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chili paste and simmer for ~4 mins
- Add mushrooms and remaining vegetables (napa cabbage & baby bok choy) and simmer for ~1 min then add Shrimp (peeled and de-veined) and simmer for ~2-3 minutes or until thickest part is opaque
- Add Thai Basil, cilantro and salt to taste (I normally add an extra lime in place of extra salt)
- Serve and enjoy (I typically top with a pinch of thai chili flakes)
Let me know how yours turns out as well as any extra ingredients that you opt to include!
If you read my last post, you likely wondered “What did she ask Lisa Nichols?” I really did not intend to create a cliffhanger but in the process of figuring out how to edit the video I caught the flu, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Pneumonia and now my mom has Pneumonia as well (when it rains it truly does pour but this too shall pass!!) but on today I decided to push through and share.
Watch The Video Here (I gave it my very best effort and YouTube was the only thing that worked)
So . . . When you don’t believe in you . . . how do you get it back? Simply put, you must leverage a mirror with purpose, I coin this The 3 x 7 Mirror. This is an affirmation exercise that consists of 3 key statements followed by 7 critical affirmations. I share my 3×7 below but more importantly, I challenge you in the same way that Lisa Nichols challenged me, ask these questions daily, and repeat this exercise as often as you must until you “Release the Shackles of GUILT, SHAME, FEAR and REGRET” – Lisa Nichols.
There are times in life when we must accept that IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT YOU! We impact others based on the choices we make, the words that are said and even those left unsaid. Someone maybe watching, listening and following your footsteps even when you are not aware.
I was one of 700+ lucky women to attend the 10th Annual BE YOU Women’s Link Leadership Forum hosted by The Home Depot (In prior years, I did not make the cut, but NOT THIS YEAR!!!). As I prepared for the day, I committed to being present, engaging with someone new and following my instincts.
Lisa Nichols, best selling author and motivational coach, was the keynote speaker (It saddens me to admit that I did not know who she was before this event but she has changed me forever) and she was indeed #blackgirlmagic! She shared some incredible gems that I must share with you:
- “Give yourself the freedom to disrupt the environment you’re in. Once the soil is disrupted you can plant a new seed. What do you want to grow in your next season?”
- “In order to get something new you have to do something new.”
- “Start the journey back to you. Share the real you with the world; not the you you think they expect you to be.”
- “Some of your best blessings come wrapped in sand paper.”
- “Are you willing to stop asking for permission and start giving notice?”