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Be a Girl Boss with No Apologies

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Lately, I have been a workaholic and I have felt the need to constantly apologize. The fact that I have prioritized growing my business over recreational fun has made me feel like I need to explain myself every time I decline a request. The reality is I can’t be everything and I can’t be everywhere. No, is a complete sentence! (Easier said than done, I know)

I know so many women who are starting new business endeavors and every Girl Boss needs a pep talk to keep going. Hard work is often isolating because when you want to do something well it consumes your thoughts and spare time. I think as women we question the efforts of working towards our goals more than we would question our pursuit of true love or the need for a family. We’re always caught up in the reward of working because we need to show that our work validates us.Work is as work does and in order to do it well, we have to be unapologetic in our quest to be leaders in our chosen fields.

I Ain’t Sorry

I can’t feel sorry for working hard. It’s in my DNA. For so long I didn’t want to be “The Boss”. To much whom is given much is required and I got to witness it first hand with my dad being a small business owner himself. I saw him work tirelessly it was like he could never give his full attention to anything outside of work. I always thought “Man this sucks.  Who would want to do this?” On the flip side, being expected to work relentlessly for the greater good of someone else also sucks. Life requires hard work.  At some point, you will have to choose who you will work for.I choose to work to build my legacy and strengthen others who want to be a boss.

Get In Line Girl Boss

The quest for equality is real and you are not the first woman to discover that you are in a unique position being a woman in business. You are going to feel the urge to get emotional because well anything you pour your heart into draws a connection to your spirit. I have noticed that women fear being direct but will give into to emotional outburst. I have found that in business people tend to respond less to emotional breakdowns. Go ahead and speak your mind, share that idea, or shoot down that proposal because that will be received much better than emotion. Be prepared to rework your plan so that you can achieve your overall goal. It’s ok to be attached to your goals but the path may change. The journey is just beginning.  Get in line girl boss, we all want to be great and there is room for you at the top.

Don’t Be Afraid to Break

Work from rest. I have heard this saying time and time again but I have a hard to applying into my actual work ethic. Recently I realized that I had overworked myself. I couldn’t get a grip on my own thoughts and nothing was being accomplished. I eventually had to take a break from social media and all of my projects. Spinning out is inevitable when you work yourself too hard. You can’t produce good work when you’re in a fog. Focus on quality of work and not quantity. Maybe you should push that project back. Taking a break can rejuvenate your thought process.  You will return to work with focus and joy. Even the boss needs a break. Don’t be afraid to delegate because the best bosses are leaders as well. Pass that task off to someone who is capable of fulfilling your expectations of a job well done.

Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper

The reality is that not everyone is going to understand your hustle and you can’t expect them to. Your business is your vision but that doesn’t undercut you because others don’t see the value in what you do. You will find that people find your creative talents useful for their own personal needs but will not want to attach a monetary value to what you do. Don’t be offended just don’t be afraid to exercise that complete sentence “No”. Withdraw from over sharing your excitement on certain topics on business because they just don’t get it and they never will unless someone misuses their talent.  It’s just not relevant to them. Misunderstandings will lead you down a path of resentfulness because you just won’t understand why people don’t respect your hard work.  But keep your eyes on your own paper figuratively and literally.

I was inspired by Chya of No Apologies. I love her t-shirt line and what it represents. As women, we are constantly striving to meet the ever-pressing expectations of others. Instead of apologizing for failing to meet others definition of perfection, live life with NO APOLOGIES. Her mission is to uplift, support, and encourage the women around her. I needed this shirt because it perfectly represents how I am playing both roles of being the beauty and the boss!

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Just Another Girl in a LRD (little red dress)

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The powerful dynamic of the LBD (little black dress) plays a major role in fashion, but we often forget about the equally powerful LRD (little red dress). It’s like a secret weapon that you pull out when you want to reach optimum sexiness. Red has such an emotionally intense presence that it can make even a classically cut a-line a show stopper.  With it being Valentine’s Day, I’m sure we all want as much positive attention as we can possibly get.

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The thing that I love about the classic dress is that you can play with accessories more. I love pairing this very “New York street style” handbag with a more mature look. Have a little fun with your style and accessorize by using details that remind you of your adolescence.  It’s a way to add youthful energy to your look without overpowering your whole outfit.

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Dress: Fashion to Figure (Sold Out), Bralette: Torrid, Shoes: Payless (, Purse Charming Charlie (similar)

Looking for LRD: Torrid  Fashion to Figure  Rebdolls Boohoo

Quirky Purses: JustFab Charlotte Russe  Aldo

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Are You In My Range? | Seriously Single

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One of my favorite movies is How to Marry a Millionaire, starring Lauren Bacall. The plot of the movie is three models share a penthouse apartment with the hopes of landing a millionaire. Lauren Bacall eventually starts dating an older gentleman who’s a millionaire. One night they come back from an evening out and just as she thinks she landed him he breaks up with her because he thinks he’s too old for her. Lauren Bacall’s pleads with him to not end their relationship and exclaims, “But I hate young men!”. That’s me in a nutshell.  Overt immaturity has never been a turn on for me.

It’s not even something that I thought would affect the dating ecosystem until recently when my friend Dannie B reached out to me about Seriously Single.  He asked have you ever considered writing about dating outside your age range or setting age standards for Seriously Single? When we got to talking it made me analyze my thought process about dating older men and question if it’s as effective as I think it is.  I loved Dannie’s perspective so much that I told him, you need to write this and contribute it to Seriously Single! I hope that you find Dannie’s contribution as refreshing as I do. It’s always good to flip the coin and hear things from a man’s point of view.

Are you in my Range? Dating in and outside your age range.

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One night I was having a conversation with my bestfriend about dating older women, excuse me, more mature women, if you will.  We had gotten deep into a discussion about how many of the women that we’d both been meeting were outside of our age, most of them older, but some of them younger.  The void that we both saw was that it seemed like women who are our age, or within a year, are difficult to come by.  Fast forward a few weeks and I was having the same discussion with The Wize One and we both were intrigued to find out that this woe was not exclusive to men or women, we both experience it.  She shared with me that she often found herself dating outside of her age and believed that it was only women who faced the peril of not meeting people their age.  She was amazed when I told her that us men also experience the same issue.

For starters, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with dating outside of your age, whether older or younger.  The concern that drove this topic was the fact that people are doing so out of necessity rather than choice.  It’s one thing if you have the option to date someone your age, younger, or older, but it’s entirely different if you’re forced to go younger or older because the pool of people your age is non-existent for you.

I’ve always been drawn to older women for as long as I can remember.  I chalk this up to being born to older parents and having a group of friends that are mostly older than me.  Both of these have contributed to me being considered “mature for my age” and carrying myself as such.  In the most recent years, the majority of women that I’ve dated have been older, around five to seven years older, with one being only two years older.  I’ve also dated one or two that were younger than me by up to three years, but I’ve never been as interested in younger women.

Despite favoring older women, I’ve noticed that when it comes to serious relationships I tend to learn towards people closer to my age, one of my ex-girlfriends was my exact age.  I’m not sure if this has been a conscious or unconscious choice but it’s something I’ve become more aware of.  Within the past few months, I’ve found myself appreciating people closer in age because I feel that we have more in common when it comes to life experiences and where we’re at in life.  For example, someone who’s in their 20’s may be more focused on figuring out what their direction in life is, someone in their 30’s may be more focused moving up in their chosen life direction, and someone in their 40’s may be more focused on enjoying the fruits of their labor from the past two decades.

There have always been women my age that I’ve had interest in but I’ve never had much success with them.  I’ve been able to get their initial interest but in each situation nothing further would develop.  The theory on this that I shared with my friend is that women are drawn to men who can give them something that they don’t possess themselves, or feel like they can’t obtain for themselves.  A women who’s financially insecure wants a man that’s financially secure, a women who lacks creativity wants and man that’s creative, and so on.  After all, they do say opposites attract.  To a woman, it’s probably perceived that a man your age is in the same place as you in life and can’t offer you anything that you can’t get for yourself, at least on the surface.  For this reason, I believe women are always drawn to older, more established men that can provide security or younger more spontaneous men that can give them freedom.  

Ladies, what’s your take on dating in, or outside of your age?  Is age a consideration when dating?  Do you find yourself dating people your age, younger, or older?  Is there a reason why you may favor a particular age group?

Dannie B

Dannie B is a writer and photographer currently living in St Louis, MO. You can find out more about Dannie at http://www.dannieb.com/ also be sure to Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @dannieb224

 For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

 

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Looks Good With Trouble

 

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During the spoils of youth, I think all women enjoy some drama with their romance. Thank goodness for maturity. I like my drama right where I can control it, in my closet. Sheer details are trending and I had to hop on board when I saw this dress on Rebdolls website. If you’re trying to dip your toe into the sexy end of the pool, rocking a sheer look is the way to dive in.

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Don’t Be Scared

This is not a look for the faint of heart. Sometimes putting it all out there is the best confidence booster because you’re suddenly free with nothing to hide. There is nothing sexier than a confident woman. Talk about being the ideal Valentine, going sheer can seem intimidating but it’s truly just creating an illusion. You’re not as naked as you appear. Wearing the right undergarments and hosiery will provide additional support and coverage. I am wearing sheer to toe hosiery and high waisted shapewear  I am very impressed with the quality of the velvet of the bodysuit. It enhances the elegance.

 

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Dress: Rebdolls, Fur: Target (similar), Cocktail Ring Old (similar)

I Can See Straight Through You!

Looking for a sheer or lace dress

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Flirtatious and Warm

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Maybe it’s just too cold. Too cold to leave the house. Too cold to stand in line waiting for your Cheesecake Factory Reservation. I understand and depending on how cold it is I am inclined to agree with you. For a wintry occasion such as this, I am inspired by the ski lodges of Aspen. If you’re in a winter weather situation, playing the role of the sexy ski bunny will work for a night in or a night out.

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A Few Things to Consider:

  1. Never underestimated the universal flexibility of having a pair of leather leggings in your wardrobe. You can work them into your wardrobe as athleisure or for a night out on the town.
  2. Give your sweater some sex appeal.  Consider wearing a strappy bralette under the sweater for a more flirtatious feel.
  3. Rock your snow boots! Style them along with your look so you can be cute without sacrificing warmth.

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Where to shop:

Sweaters: Torrid Lane Bryant Ashley Stewart 

Bralettes: Forever 21 Boohoo

Leather Leggings: Forever 21 Charlotte Russe 

Snow Boots: DSW

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A Bodysuit In Every Closet

 

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Every woman needs a wardrobe formula that she can rely on. My new go to formula is a bodysuit and an A-line skirt. It’s a no-brainer because of the versatility of a bodysuit. I like tucking in my shirt and a bodysuit gives me the tucked in look without the bulk. I bought one bodysuit and now I can’t stop.  I guarantee your skirts will get more wear if you add a few bodysuits to your wardrobe.

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Bodysuit: Boohoo, Skirt: Fashion to Figure, Fishnets: Torrid, Shoes: Steve Madden(similar here)

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I love the playfulness of an A-line skirt. If you are more narrow through the hips an a-line skirt can add volume and balance to your lower body. If you are top heavy and narrow through the hip this is a sexy alternative to body conscious dresses. Bodysuits and skirts are a great personal uniform option. It’s just as no fuss as a maxi dress.

Looking for a bodysuit: Boohoo, Fashion to Figure, Ashley Stewart, ASOS

Need a skirt? Rue 107, Eloquii, Fashion to Figure, H+M

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Pretty In Pink

 

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Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I am a facilitator of love and for the next few weeks, I will be the cupid of outfit inspiration. My first look is for the laid back ladies. I am all about the wardrobe uniform. A wardrobe uniform is all about embracing your personal style.  You know what works on your body, and now it’s all about tailoring your look to every occasion. If your signature look is jeans and a t-shirt, consider elevating the look with a great motto jacket in a fun color.

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Consider a few things

  1. The traditional uniform would be a white tee, blue jeans, and a black leather jacket.  Three different colors and textures can break up your shape and make you look shorter. Consider pairing gray or black jeans with a matching top.  Monochromatic will make you look longer and tends to give a more dressed up look.
  2. Feeling bright? Wearing monochromatic underpinnings will make your jacket the focal point of your outfit.
  3. Want to look even taller?  Pair your look with a nude pump.
  4. Distressed jeans are just sexy.  It’s something about a small amount of exposed skin. Find a great pair of distressed denim and consider them evening wear. Just make sure you follow this rule while shopping for new jeans. BHT: Booty, Hip, Thigh. I don’t care if the jeans are on sale, if they don’t properly fit the BHT it’s not worth it.
  5. The goal is to keep the line of your body as long as possible. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJacket: Forever 21, Turtleneck: Old Navy (sold out, similar), Jeans: Old Navy, Necklace Charming Charlie (old)

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My Favorite Picks for denim and jackets

Jeans:  Target,  Old Navy

Jackets: Forever 21 Torrid

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Married Couples For Jesus | Seriously Single

 

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It’s funny how the things you rebel against in your adolescence bite you in the butt when you grow up. For better or for worse, I have always been a person who felt sure of herself. I was always sure I wanted to get married.  It just felt like what you do. There is a song by Wale where he says he’s in his mid-twenties and still never been to a wedding. I grew up in the church I’ve been a flower girl at least 4 times and I’ve lost count of the number of weddings I’ve attended. I was born to a married couple and their circle of friends was married. I have three Uncles, one is single by choice and he’s not exactly bachelor of the year. I have two aunts and one is single. Singles are in the minority in my family.  Getting married is expected.

I grew up in a girl gets married environment. What I didn’t want was to marry a preacher or marry a guy from church. Nope, I was too cool and free spirited for that. I felt like a guy from church would have high religious expectations of me and I needed to be free. Why sign up for a race I know I couldn’t win. All I knew was that I cuss when I get angry, I wanted to move to New York City and dance in nightclubs.  Basically, I wanted to be Parker Posey in Party Girl.  A church guy would be against me and not for me.

Now that I’m a 31-year-old single mother to my 15-year-old daughter, I can describe myself as a former serial monogamist. I think Erykah Badu may have described me best as a “recovering undercover over-lover”. I have had my share of worldly men and I can honestly say there are times when I say, “I could have been in Married Couples for Jesus!”. Married Couples for Jesus was a group at my church.  I feel like the name is self-explanatory. It was an auxiliary for married couples. They would go out on group dates and even renew their vows as a group at times. It was basically activities for married couples because going to secular music concerts, the movies or night clubs was well frowned upon.

As a teenager, I was concerned about having a husband who would prohibit me from going to a Prince concert. I didn’t realize that my upbringing was shaping my expectations of my future partner. I grew up seeing men date women.  Single men took women on dates.  Married men took women on dates. It’s just what you did. They treated women well. Anything less would just be downright foolish. I witnessed men court women because they wanted to get married (ok this is a group of people abstaining from sex until marriage, or who at least want to give off the appearance of waiting).

I grew up in an environment where your partner was a reflection of you. If a man wasn’t taking good care of his wife it was a bad reflection on him. A man and his wife were one in the same so if his wife showed up to church looking bad he looked bad. It was a different sense of responsibility for men and women within their relationship.  It was more than just keeping up with appearances,  your spouse was a part of you.

With that being said, I haven’t been on many dates lately. To date a man with no concept of this environment is hard. I have a completely different view on how men should treat women. Some of the men who I have been in relationships with felt I had high, unattainable standards. Outside of church, there is the concept of a couple being two independent entities. You bring what you bring and I bring what I bring and we pick and chose what we share.

In today’s world, a woman must prove herself worthy of being married. It’s almost as if you have to be a man’s wife for a long time before he even considers marrying you.  Where in church it went without saying that the woman was good. Church men proved themselves worthy and stable enough to afford a wife. Lots of couples are happy to be together for long periods of time without being married, which is fine. I just know a lot of women who feel like they have to prove themselves worthy and get disappointed when the relationship doesn’t end in marriage. Which leads to this idea that every relationship that doesn’t lead to marriage is a failure. I don’t think that’s true.  I think failure is when a woman fails to acknowledge that she is single and refuses to audition for the part of the wife because it’s not a requirement.

In no way do I think “church couples” are perfect. No, I identified the cons of being a church couple before I saw the pros, not to mention you could be courted and well kept only to realize that you got married just to have socially acceptable sex and be divorced before your twenty-fifth birthday.

There is no safety zone for women who wish to be married. No magic formula or perfect audience to present yourself to. Married Couples for Jesus is just a moment of clarity that made me realize why I have different expectations than some of the men who I have dated. Being a badass at church camp made me feel like such a rebel but maybe I just had more questions than all of the other teenagers. My set of values isn’t as far from those in Married Couples for Jesus as I initially thought. (My 15-year-old self just screamed at that sentence!)

My fascination with the world was only met by the reality that there are pros and cons to every dating scenario. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, so no regrets. Maybe there is some guy out there who felt like a badass rebel at church camp too and has realized worldly women aren’t all they’re cracked up to be either. Maybe he’ll court me at the exact moment that he should in exactly the way he should. I won’t have high expectations at that point it will be shared values and not totally unrealistic. Although he won’t be able to take me to a Prince concert maybe we can go to The Roots Picnic and then go to church on Sunday. Clearly, I like churchmen more than I thought.

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Cold Weather Cute

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I am not the biggest fan of frigid temperatures but I am a big fan of sweaters, capes, and turtlenecks. So for all intensive fashion reasons I continue to live in the Midwest for superficial reasons. In my book, nothing is more chic than a cape. It adds instant sophistication and it’s pretty much an outfit on its own.

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This cape is perfect. It has traditional cape elements but it has the weight of a light sweater. It’s perfect because I can layer a thin long sleeve tee or a thin sweater and still manage to wear a coat without feeling like a marshmallow.

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Consider adding a cape into your wardrobe.  You will not regret purchasing one. It’s a piece that I would recommend investing in if it is made with traditional suiting material because it can work for work and for after hours. If you find a cape that is more sweater-like, I wouldn’t invest too money into it since silhouettes change every season.

Check out these super chic capes:

If you’re tall check out  ASOS (They have trendier options for tall women)

If you’re plus check out SimplyBe and Target

If you’re Petite and Plus Size check out Eloquii  (there is a whole section dedicated to Petite Plus)

If you’re Petite check out Boohoo 

If you’re just looking for a cape: Forever 21

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Cape: SimplyBe, Leather Leggings: Forever 21, OTK Boots: JustFab (sold out, similar here)

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New Year, New Socks

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Well, it’s 2017 and I am drowning in a sea of other people’s resolutions and affirmations. I am filled with gratitude that I made it through 2016 and managed to get everything on my Christmas list. Granted my list consisted of snow boots and over the knee socks. I decided to style my Christmas socks and take them out on the town.

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I remember the first time I sported over the knee socks. It was the first day of 6th grade I had spent an entire summer watching Clueless. I guess my grade school friends hadn’t gotten the memo that Cher and Dion were the coolest high school friends, like ever! Everyone asked me why  I had my socks pulled up so high.It’s pretty funny now considering I will still rock a mini dress and knee socks.

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Pairing knee socks with booties is actually an awesome way to transition and transform your booties into winter, they also offer additional warmth. If you can match your sock and boot color it will keep the line of your leg long. It will also have a more mature look. You want to be sure that the hemline of your dress is above the knee so you can show a little leg.

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Here a few options on where to find over the knee socks: Target, ASOS , Torrid 

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!