March 2020 Reading Challenge Selection

My March reading selection is The e Iguodala.ou are a basketball fan you know exactly who he is and what ancredible sixth man he is. Click the link below to get your copy!!


https://amzn.to/2QRkU5Q

March 24th 2020 - Girl Boss Luncheon Q2

Just over a week ago I held my second quarterly "Girl Boss Luncheon". This is a venture that I am so proud of and excited about it's potential. I created it 

to serve as an opportunity for female business owners and bloggers to come together to discuss marketing ideas, the benefits and drawbacks of social media and branding, as well as growth and possible collaborations. It all came about when I was trying to decide how I wanted to celebrate my last birthday. I knew I wanted to do something I hadn't done before, I also knew I was in a different state of mind than I had been before. With this being my first birthday celebrating as a business owner it inspired my plans. I wanted to be around like minded women who were just as hungry and driven to become successful at something they created as I was. 


I came up with my plan of how I wanted to execute things and sent out the invitations. I was initially surprised by the lack of response I got. I thought for sure that women would be just as excited as I was to come together to bounce ideas off each other and possibly generate new business, but that wasn't the case. Instead, it ended up just me and one other Girl Boss. My second attempt received several more RSVPs but only two attendees other than myself. For most, that would have been discouraging enough to make them want to quit. Good thing I'm not most people! What it did make me want to do was surround myself with the like minded women I thought I already knew. Girl Bosses that want to support each other mentally, physically and financially. Women that are creating streams of income for themselves that I can be inspired by and also learn from. 


Even with only three of us meeting, we actually got a lot accomplished. We talked about our business goals and how we plan to reach them. We also talked about the hardest struggles in reaching those goals. We focused on the second quarter by coming up with marketing ideas specifically for the spring months and different ways to manage our schedules to be sure we are doing something to progess daily. The best part was towards the end when we started brainstorming on ways to collaborate and build together which was my original goal. Regardless of the small turnout this was very fufilling for me. To see even a few women being brought together and making business connections is enough motivation to begin working on plans for my next luncheon in June. 


I would love to see "Girl Boss Luncheon" grow to the point where maybe there's a round table discussion or speakers with more business experience can come and teach us all something new. For now, my main focus will be to continue to grow my Girl Boss circle with women who I can reach out to on a regular basis and be inspired by in life and in business. 


If you feel that this has helped you at all please SHARE so we can get better together!!

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AmberD "Leopard Earrings" "Triangle Necklace" in GOLD " Leopard Cuff" "Classic" pants in OLIVE GREEN

March 10th 2020 - AmberD the Cook

I've considered myself a creative soul for quite awhile now. To me, that means I like to express myself through creative outlets like dancing, art, music and cooking. I absolutley LOVE cooking. I started cooking for myself when I lived alone during my brief stint away at college. Later, when my husband (then boyfriend) and I moved in together I was cooking a lot more often but since I only knew how to make a few meals, we got tired of eating the sames things all the time. That led to mostly canned goods and boxed and/or proccessed foods. We were younger and the unhealthyness didn't effect us all that much but as we got older I wanted to make better food choices. 


A couple of years later, I was introduced to Pinterest by a coworker and my life has never been the same!! There I found a plethora of information about so many things, but what I mainly focused on (at least at the time) was food and recipes. I saw all kinds of things. New ways to cook foods I had already been making, new foods and spices I wasn't familiar with and things I knew I'd never try to make...ever. But, I loved it! At one point, I made it a goal to try a new recipe once a month but that quickly turned into trying a new recipe each week. I was so excited to expand my cooking range that I switched my focus to baking and began learning to bake my favorite desserts from scratch. 


After learning so much more about the world of food and recipes, my favorite food to cook and eat is still baked macaroni & cheese! That's one recipe I didn't need Pinterest for and once I taught myself how to make it, I NEVER made it from a box again. It was also important to me to add more fresh produce into my recipes. Good thing my husband loves green vegetables so that was easy but I wanted to make sure there was a variety. I've tried Greek dishes and Cajun recipes and sides dishes and Italian recipes. I always try to make them my own and put my own spin on the things I cook. 


Of all the foods I've cooked there are things I still want to try. I am defintely a meat eater (I love bacon too much to give it up) but I want to incorporate some vegan options into my diet as well as full days without meat. That's important to me for health and environmental reasons. I'm also interested in doing a juice cleanse but I know how cranky I get when I don't eat so I don't know how safe that would be for the people I interact with on a regular basis. This Scorpio has a sharp tongue lol. But if you know of any good ones that only take 2-3 days please let me know!!


If you feel that this has helped you at all please SHARE so we can get better together!!

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AmberD wearing "Tassle Necklace" in purple.

February 2020 Reading Challenge Selection - *Blogger

My February book choice is "The Mother of Black Hollywood" by Jenifer Lewis. If you love fabulous women and great books then you have to read this book!! Watch for my review and click the link to get your own copy. https://amzn.to/3ahIKy

Fed 25th 2020 - Know Your Why

In my last blog post we talked about the importance of staying motivated. An excellent way to do that is to focus on your why. Why have you decided to embark on this journey to better yourself? Of course we all know that we should always be working to be our best, but doing so takes commitment and dedication. When that journey gets tough, and it inevitably will, what is your reason to keep pushing foward? For some it may be creating a better life for your kids, making more money, leaving your mark on the world or all of the above. When it seems like the entire universe is conspiring against you, instead of letting it break you, regroup and focus on your why...


For me, as a business owner and blogger,  I had to have some major tunnel vision because it was so easy for me to get comfortable and fall back into old habits that were not getting me where I felt like I deserved to be. What I didn't realize is that I didn't deserve to be there if I wasn't putting in the work consistently to get and stay there. I had to block out all the distractions and stay focused on my why so I didn't stray too far off course. I always wanted to be a business owner and whenever I would come up with a great idea, I would be all too excited to hit the ground running. I would soon find out how hard entrepreneurship is at times and it was easier to quit and settle back into mediocracy instead of pushing through into my greatness. 


Some people are lucky enough to where this may come natrually to them, others not so much. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. There are days where I wake up with a smile on my face and can't wait to get to work, there are also days where I struggle to get out of bed and once I do I just want to be lazy on the couch. It's then I ask myself if I've earned to right to be lazy today. Have I done enough to sit here and waste time? Usually the answer is no, especially while I'm still in the building phase, there's always something to do, so I get up and get to work. 


It's a good practice to have physical reminders for yourself. Pictures, trinkets, alarm reminders on your phone, whatever works for your. Keep pictures of your why on your desk at work, put your vision board on your nightstand, time that reminder for when you usually start to slack off. Start to hold yourself accountable, focus on your why and watch how your life begins to change for the better. 


If you feel that this has helped you at all please SHARE so we can get better together!!

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AmberD wearing "Vivica", "Triangle Necklace" & "Pyramid Earrings" in GOLD

Feb 11th 2020 - You Have To Motivate You

At just over a month into this new decade, have you noticed all that "this is my year" chatter has died down quite a bit? That's because it's easy to talk about the changes you want to make, while picturing how great your new life would be, and just as easy to NOT put in the work to make it a reality. Quitting is easy. Quitting will keep you in the same place in life year after year. Quitting will never get you where you want to be. You have to want better for yourself and use that as motivation everytime it's easier to quit than to put forth the extra effort. 


Circumstances will never be perfect and you won't be great as a beginner, but you'll never get to your highest level of success until you start AND refuse to give up until you get there. Start with making the conscious decision to be better and then do something, at least one thing, everyday to get closer to better. As a perfectionist, I had to adopt the mindset of "progression, not perfection". Of course in the big picture, I do strive for perfection, but I'll never get anywhere close to perfect if I don't allow myself to learn and grow my way into perfection. I couldn't let the fact that things weren't exactly as I pictured they'd be to hold me back from getting started or moving forward once I had. 


I plan one day a week to do house chores. On this one day, I try not to leave the house and get everything done. Now, I know myself well enough to know that once I'm in the groove it's best to power through until I'm done and able to check everything off my to-do list. If I stop to take a break, what was intended for 10-15 minutes will easily turn into 2 hours and I'll have to talk myself into getting up and getting started again. I try to apply that same mentality to other aspects of life. I come up with a plan and I work the plan through to completion. When and\or if things don't go according to plan, I rework the plan and continue instead of shutting down and giving up. 


You have to get to the point where you fully understand that you deserve better. It's literally just that simple. Do you believe that you deserve better? Because if you knew this to be true, that would be motivation enough to get up and fight the good fight every single day. I deserve better. You deserve better. Since better isn't just going to fall into our laps out of nowhere, we have to go out there and get it. Who's going to join me?!


If you feel that this has helped you at all please SHARE so we can get better together!!

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AmberD wearing "Miss Thang"

Jan 14th 2020 - What is your Self Image?

One of the first things I did when I was starting my boutique was order business cards. I wanted them to make the most important points about what we offer and where to find us in a brief but effective way. I wanted them to make a lasting impression. Then I realized, I should be doing that myself, as well. How I represent myself is my business card and with or without speaking, I want to leave a lasting impression. 


As someone who is looking to build a personal brand as well as a business brand, I try to look at it from all angles. How am I being perceived in person, on social media, in business, through my family and friends, etc. People will notice how I look of course, but also, the level of self respect I show myself sets the bar for how others respect me. Of course you don't want to get to the point where you care too much about what other people think about you, but it's also about how much you care about yourself. Your self image is how you say that without having to say a word. 


It's funny that there are so many people I haven't seen in years and may not ever see again but as soon as I started my business, I was running into long lost friends left and right! You know the first thing you ask and/or get asked is "What have you been up to?" Of course one of the things I was excited to mention was my new business and everytime I so thankful for the fact that I was representing my business well. Even unexpectedly and caught off guard I was still projecting a pulled together look that says "I know what I'm doing and my business is ran well". 


I've always believed that when you look good, you feel good. When you take time to invest in yourself everyday, you'll naturally start to feel better about yourself. No, you won't automatically love everything about yourself but it should also lead to taking action and working towards a better version of yourself, whatever that means for you. Then you'll have no choice but to level up, if for no one's sake but your own, and when you level up so does everything around you. 


If you feel that this has helped you at all please SHARE so we can get better together!!

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AmberD wearing "Sinthia" & "Beret"

Jan 28th 2020 - Passion for Life

Since making my first year long to-do list in 2014, I have been a firm believer in hobbies. Never underestimate the power of a good hobby. I was tired of the endless cycle of just going to work and going home so I started to really look into the things I said I always wanted to try. I have since become a dog mom, started back dancing and tried about 100 new recipes to up my cooking game. Actually following through with something I said I wanted to do gave me confidence but when I stumbled on to something I really enjoyed it gave me a creative outlet. 


Finding a creative outlet and spending time at it was another way for me to invest in myself. Investing doesn't always have to mean money, I consider time and attention an investment as well. What you feed grows and taking time out for yourself to work on a creative outlet could lead to it growing into something you are incredibly passionate about and just like that, you've uncovered another layer of yourself. There are so many creative, talented people out there that have know idea simply because no one encouraged them to explore that part of themselves. Well, if that's you, I highly encourge you to try something new! Anything! Just get out there and see what happens. Of course, be careful and do your research but whatever you do, don't talk yourself out of it. You'll regret it and we don't do regrets, ok?


You never know what trying something new could lead to, the possibilities are endless. New friends and/or a love interest, a hidden talent and quite possibly a new career path, invention or business idea. What's holding you back? Don't have the money? Start working on ways to save money. You could also try something similar that costs less or find something to try that costs nothing at all. Don't have a babysitter? Try something that's family friendly and take your babies with you. Don't have the time? Gurll BYE!! We all make time for what we truly want and if you really want to do something, you'll figure out a way to make it happen for yourself. 


I guess my main point in all of this is to stress how important it is to live our lives on purpose. None of us know exactly how much time we have left and I want to be sure to make the most of however much time I'm blessed with. To me that means living a passionate, purpose filled life regardless of what that may look like to others. We can decide our own level of success and strive for that. Of course I have days where I just want to sit on the couch and do nothing but if I knew I only had three months left to live, would I waste a whole day watching TV on the couch? Hell no!! So since I don't know, I act accordingly. I keep myself busy by working towards my goals daily and rest when needed but I never completely stop. 


If you feel that this has helped you at all please SHARE so we can get better together!!

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AmberD wearing "Shante"

January 2020 Reading Challenge Selection

I've challenged myself to up my reading game by reading no less than one new book a per month for the entire year. I've decided to start with "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. Watch the video for my review. Here's the link to the get the 25th Anniversary Edition https://amzn.to/2TMdLFZ

Jan 1st 2020 - Let's Make 2020 Count

Hello All and welcome to Fabulously Me!! Here, we'll focus on learning our true selves, which will lead to unconditional self love as well as self growth. This year, let's put in the time and effort required to really get to know ourselves, not just who we've become after life and society have told us who we are. We're all a product of our past circumstances and current situations BUT we, as grown ups, get to decide who we are. We can decide who we want to be and choose the life we want to live. I can't tell you it will be an easy process but it will most definitly be worth it!


I love new beginnings! It's a time to regroup and start fresh. I can't remember a new year coming around and I didn't have a list of resolutions that I was super excited about. I also can't remember a year ending where I had completed all of my resolutions. My good intentions faded fast and it was so easy for me to settle back into old, comfortable ways that weren't helping me to progress further in life. 


Then, 2014 rolled around and instead of making resolutions, I made a list of 12 things I wanted to do by the end of the year, one each month. Some of the things were small like going to a Farmer's Market and a pumpkin patch, others were bigger like buying a car and visiting a beach.  I made the list because I noticed I was always mentioning things I wanted to do but never acutally followed through with. I didn't want to be the person that wants to live a fufilled life but in acuality just goes to work and then back home, with very little mixed in between. Making that list and checking in on it regularly helped me to hold myself accountable for the direction my life was headed. Every month, when I was able to check something else off the list my self confidence grew, even if it was just a small amount. By the end of the year, seeing a completed list with 12 amazing experiences to go along with it made me incredibly proud of myself. For me, it solidfied the notion that I can live my life and not just be alive. 


Since 2014, I've reworked how I structure my year. I choose things I want to check off my bucket list (everybody should have one), business goals I want to accomplish and personal growth challenges I've set for myself. I then decide where each one goes on my yearly timeline based on how long it'll take to get done and what time of year I want to complete each goal. Some of the things I plan to complete in 2020's first quarter I've been working on for the past few weeks to ensure I'd be able to start the year off with a bang, instead of getting a slow start. 


As far as my bucket list, I divided it into 5 seperate sections and put 5 things in each section. 

*Things to Accomplish (inner self based)

*Places to Go (destinations to visit)

*Things to Do (experiences)

*Shows to See (favorite artists, musicals/performances)

*Things to Buy (house, etc)

I'm about half way through and have already began replacing the completed items with new adventures. 


Having something like this to reference back to helps keep my mind right when I feel like I'm stuck in the revolving door of the day to day we all experience at times. I'm reminded of what I'm working towards and how close I am to completing another goal. Some may need a daily to-do list while others do better with weekly/monthly reminders. Try different options and find which approach works best. You may not take the same steps that work for me but I hope it helps to figure out how to move your life to the next level. 


If you feel that this has helped you at all please SHARE so we can get better together!!


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AmberD wearing "Lola"