Monday, November 30, 2009

Rejection or Regret

Oh Twitter Family, how I need thee to give me clarity!

So my next question was worth a million dollars to be paid in hugs and peace of mind.

“Which is worse? Rejection or Regret?”

This sparked a great debate between some of my more ambitious followers. Their quotes are as follows. What is your opinion?

Rejection: to me knowing that I want something I can't have is worse than regretting that I didn't go out to get it. But that's just me. I don't really have regrets.” – Courtney (@jessica_ebony)

“Regret is definitely worse. Rejection is God's way of telling me I dont need it, whatever it is. Something better is out there!” –Jessica (@JungleJessi)

“You can always follow up on a regret or find some way to make it not as regrettable but if you’re rejected there's not much to do to change that or get rid of that first initial blow.” – Mya (@ChasePerfection)

“Regret definitely. Rejection is an ego buster but sometimes you need that to get back to reality. Regret lasts way longer.” –Aneesa (@YelwarCA)

“I say rejection.You are forced to learn life lessons from regret. And plus I hate the word no in any context.” –Haaveshe (@QueenVesh)

“I'm gonna say rejection because that one can actually lead to regret.” –Aleria (@leriperry)

“Regret. The worst thing someone can tell you is ‘no.’ But a missed opportunity can haunt you.” – Justin (@Phlocaine)

“Regret because I’ve been rejected enough over the years to have built up a tolerance.” –James (@JKH2)

“Regret is worse. All it takes is one person, hopefully the right one, to make you forget about all the other rejections.” –Willy (@WBeamen)

No one disputes that both are lessons learned. If we take it up with a dictionary, we are met with a different way to see these words.

Rejection (n) – The act or state of being rejected; to discard as defective or useless, throw away.

Regret (v) – To feel sorrow or remorse for, to think with a sense of loss.

When you consider this question in the scheme of your life, which do you think has more value, the feeling or the action?

Do you think the terms vary with situation? Would you rather regret something in your career and face rejection in a relationship? What place do you think “reality” has in this?

I don’t have any wise words to add about this. It’s an issue I’m toying with myself, hence the large call for feedback. I do know that these thoughts either aid or impede your personal and professional growth. Imagine all the chances you would take if not for fear of something. As we continue to be progressive individuals, it is hard to let go of feelings completely. How can I fearlessly chase my dreams when I’m truly scared? I think about this ALL THE TIME.

As you can see, we haven’t come to a clear answer as to which is worse, but all of this is just food for thought today, and I would love your opinions on my comments box (I’ve been hearing it’s hard to leave notes on this site, sorry!). Even if you feel like everything has been said, continue through the week understanding your relationship with rejection and regret and how to overcome any fear you have toward either.

“I have no regrets in my life. I think that everything happens to you for a reason. The hard times that you go through build character, making you a much stronger person.” – Rita Mero

“If Only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” –Mercedes Lackey

A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” – Bo Bennett

Friday, November 27, 2009

Morning Sex: The Formula to Starting the Day off Nicely

“Morning sex is probably the greatest sex you can have all day long,” started a super excited, anonymous caller/ follower of mine in response to my refreshing twitter question. The topic for the day added a little spice to the morning in more ways than one. I wanted to get to the bottom of morning sex, the excitement and the pitfalls, and if you weren’t in the middle of the act during my poll, you were sounding off on my page, through text message, or through direct contact.

Who wouldn’t want to start their day off with a little bit of breakfast lovin’? It seemed more females than our counterparts were excited to take a morning turn, but as with anything we all have our preferences.

The Clean Mouth Campaign:

“Someone HAS to brush!” – Angelique (@LoveAngel84)

It might be appreciated if at least one person did...preferably the person that did the waking up. But if not just don't kiss lol.” – Crystal (@SeeSiSea)

Let’s just jump straight into the dirt of the matter. Do you brush or don’t you? Part of the excitement of morning sex is the spontaneity of the act. When you roll over and your man is experiencing nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT is a real case, look it up!), and you just can’t waste the good morning greeting on the other side of the bed. Do you fight it for just three minutes and handle the harsh situation in your mouth?

“It kinda takes away from the ‘as I am’ appeal of morning sex and just becomes sex in the morning though, doesn't it?” –Justin (@Phlocaine)

Brushing would be appreciated but then you’re not just rolling over and doing it.” – Naz (@MissTubman)

So let’s try and be solution oriented with this matter. Keep gum or mints by the bed, just for access to a quick fix if you’re going to partake in morning glory. It would be nice if someone, at least one of you, slipped out of the bed to at least gargle mouthwash. Then again, this is sex. No one said anything about kissing… If you’re both too lazy or too excited to handle your breath, then I hope the height proportions keep your faces far away from each other. Try a position that doesn’t put you face to face, and maybe breathe less? I've heard spooning from the back works wonderfully.

The Fun Factor:

Morning sex is my fave, not gonna lie. No preparation, it shows that we're comfortable.” –Sharonda (@Wames)

If morning sex is too good I'll wanna go back to sleep, of course I take the risk though.” – Anonymous

So we have all decided it is a fun activity and great way to spice up the daily routine. After a while, sex can become more of the same, and who knew that the time of day could mix up the way you feel about the action. Morning sex can turn a good day into a great one… or an unproductive one. To make the most of this experience, please try to stay focused on what you have to do afterward. Maybe use it as a prelude to greater things to come after work. You can even try a little time limit. We’re all busy, so giving in to a little temptation is easy and enjoyable enough, but when morning sex is hindering real world success, you may need to reevaluate ‘rising’ with the sun.

“Shower together. Conserve water you know? Also get brunch afterwards. Or make breakfast together. Super comfortable. Love it!” – Neela (@Neeeela)

“Best feeling after a bad dream. Stay in bed for an extra 2 hours. F*** going to work/class.” – Wynton (@F1ash_Gordon)

There are great ways to make this a creative and intimate morning date if you have the time. For most, it’s just a quick fix. But keeping your mind open to the possibilities can only add to your relationship. Morning sex is usually a surprise, so how many more brownie points can you get with some surprise scrambled eggs on the side?

The word most frequently used by women in their responses was “comfortable.” In the morning, a woman may not feel she’s at her sexiest state. If they’re like me, their hair is in a bonnet, all the makeup is gone, and what I couldn’t remove is smeared (too much of a visual??). Bottom line is if I’m going to do something sexy, I’d like to look the part as well. But there’s no more comfortable place in the world than in bed with my boo in the morning. Wouldn’t you agree? That feeling alone sets the scene anyone should need to get going. Kisses and compliments are appreciated, but the companionship and our chemistry at this time should be effortless and mindblowing. Are you getting the correlation?

….ummm I’d Rather Get My Sleep:

“I don’t care what it’s for, no one needs to wake me up so they can get their anything else up!” – Anonymous

So what if you’re “that type” that just doesn’t want it first thing? I always think “where there’s a will there’s a way!” However, this might take more effort on the partner. If there’s a specific time when the morning-sex-monster has to be awake, start the games then. Alarm clocks aren’t necessary to wake people up, and which would you prefer, a little lovin’ or a harsh buzzin’? It might add pep in your partner’s step. Try setting the mood, and don’t rush anything. Soft music or a scented candle may wake a sleeping beauty on the proper side of the bed. Hormones build up overnight during sleep, so use this to your advantage. Of course a lot of my wonderful peers said oral sex is the surefire way to get into the action, and as I’m certain this is true, my mom is a big fan of my blog and I’d rather not go there as I’m sure I’ve already said much more than she would like to hear. I’ll just close with my favorite phrase: you can never have too much of a good thing.

Really cool article on morning sex:

A few updates:

Sorry I haven’t been posting as much, it is the end of the semester and a girl is almost at graduation!

I did accept the offer from WSB (the ABC News affiliate in Atlanta) and I will be there 20 hours a week in the spring… now if only Monica Pearson would retire and pass the baton…

Is it just me or does a Thanksgiving diet leave anyone else with a muffintop over their jeans? Is that too much visual again? Sorry :/

As always, follow me to participate in my random polls: @The_SJB



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adrene's Boutique

As I walk into the store, this petite California chick meets me. She’s got Dorrough playing in the background as she tells her male customers, “let me know if you need sizes, I do have SMEDIUMS!” Surrounded by unique pieces of urban fashion, I’m in Adrene’s Boutique on Peters Street and trying hard to take notes instead of grab merchandise. My job teases me.

What drew me to this shop initially was viewing her package on WSB after her fourth break in over a two-year span. Although Adrene Ashford keeps women’s clothes priced all under $100 and men’s clothes under $200, she understands that people are going to want her pieces and not want to pay for them. “What can I say, I’ve got great style!” Adrene adds, keeping the same positive demeanor she has had to maintain while experiencing the pitfalls of owning a high-end boutique. From what I see, business is steadly running in and out, as her resume includes names like Jennifer Hudson, Ciara, TI, Terrell Owens, and Kim Zolciak of Real Housewives of Atlanta. What I love about Adrene is that no matter what your budget, every customer is met with a great smile and her sharp opinions for fashion. As Adrene danced my way to Beyonce’s “Video Phone,” we chatted it up about her start in this biz, and why all you need to enjoy Atlanta is on her block.

SJB: First, how did you get your start in fashion?

AA: Well I opened my first store out of necessity. I got into law school at UCLA and didn’t have enough money to go, and someone told my mom I was using my refund checks to buy clothes. She told me I had better sell those clothes to get some money for school. So I started to host these Sunday soirees where I decorated my walls with clothes, similar to a boutique, and I had my friends over to shop. I would have these cocktails called pink panties and mimosas and made it a real comfortable girl’s day, but the focus was to shop. I did this the whole summer before law school and still didn’t have enough money to go. I just took my investment and rented a loft space from a designer 9 years ago.

My first big break came while I was interning at an entertainment firm, building clientele. I was at a photoshoot and got call from Puffy’s marketing company, Blue Flame, and they wanted to hire me. Well, I didn’t know people got paid to dress people. I was like, you wanna pay me? And it all came together from there.

SJB: Why Peter’s Street?

AA: The culture and spirit of this neighborhood is phenomenal. When I went to Clark Atlanta (University), I was told this area was all drugs and rundown and just to never come here. Now with the energy of other entrepreneurs, where else could I be? Neighborhoods are great when you can bring businesses together and the energy bounces. People barhop here, lounge here, network here, so we close at 12 on the weekends to set ourselves apart from others. Where else can you grab a nice shirt at 11:30? My boutique adds shopping to the space. The energy here is great for business and for living, why not add a little shopping to the mix?

SJB: Tell me about what sort of guts it takes to keep going after the pitfalls you’ve experienced.

AA: (Laughs) Peaks and valleys are real in entrepreneurship. You choose this to have freedom, and it’s unrealistic to think it will be just high road the whole way. You have to keep in mind the valley will come, because you’re always being tested, being stretched. These are challenges to grow your mind. I chose this life accepting the good and bad. It’s my passion and love that allows me to keep going. When someone shops at my store, it’s my attitude people are buying when they buy this It’s my energy they take when they let me style them. I have to be positive when business is at a high and a low.

SJB: What makes a woman stylish?

AA: What a woman wears can bring her such energy. If she’s wearing black or if she’s wearing colors, it affects the way she walks, the way she carries herself. I can take any girl off the street transform her and throw her back she will be a different woman. That is really how I feel. Wardrobe changes everything. If you’re wearing something bright it’s impossible to pout. Colors exude energy and that relates to the way you walk and your overall swag.

SJB: So what about a man?

AA: Men like you to put a look together. With women it can be one piece, but men are more head to toe. They want all the pieces and they’re all about the fit. For women, we don’t always wear the right size but it makes us feel a certain way. Too tight or too loose, it’s something we are looking to feel. Men just want to be put together while women are looking for other variables.

Here are a few of our favorite things!

Daisy soft denim jumpsuit $98

Tweed Long short with suspenders, Nicola Bertti $89

Assorted Jewelry $25- $50

Black Coat, Hot Air $179

Patchwork dress $79

Gray super warm coat, Monarchy Collection $225

Check out Adrene's Boutique across the way from Slice and 255 on Peter's St.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lazy Friday

Hi All--

This article I'm working on is taking a bit longer than necessary but no worries, my distraction is leaving town for the weekend so today is my cop out day as I revamp material and conduct some interviews for the next few weeks. I wanted to give you some things to read and think about. The point of my page is to exercise thought for the intelligent mind, so even if I'm not writing it, I know you want to be fed by more than a gossip column.

1-- This first page is something to think about while we "mourn" the jail sentences of TI, Gucci, Wayne, and Boosie. As unfortunate as they may be, excuse me if I feel our concerns should be placed somewhere else.

2-- You can never have too many money saving tips, especially at this time. Another Clutch Magazine clip you're sure to gain a thought or two from.

3-- Why your budget may not be as beneficial as you may think.

4-- Another piece, this goes into why you should all celebrate my favorite midweek occasion.

5-- Let's go back to the beginning, if you're confused about this healthcare reform. You don't have to tell anyone you clicked this link.

6-- I love this site because it's called "The Frisky." Who knew? One of my favorite topics: Silent Revenge on an Ex

7-- Self explanatory really: I like the older man and so does she!

These are all really smart, witty columns and I hope I haven''t let any of you down by posting them. Just don't develop any sort of dependencies during my one day hiatus.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Moms are the Best

So I text my mom today to no response. However I logged onto Facebook with this message in my inbox.

I know you don't want me editing your blog (and you're doing an excellent job so you really don't need my input) but you should know: IN LIEU OF means instead of or in place of.and when you write 'you and I' or 'you and me,' a good way to determine which one to use is to write the sentence dropping the "you and" in your mind ie: "I'd like to focus on you and me tonight" or "It's so fun when you and I go camping." oh, and remember, if it's at the end of the sentence it's always ME. as in "The story is about you and me." Keep up the good work!

So while her intentions are amazing, there are a few issues here:
1. Moms shouldn't have facebook.
2. Moms should text back if they know how to text.
3. Moms care so much. Yes that's an issue and a blessing.

Maybe this is only funny to me, but I'm pretty sure all moms have their "things." If only I could get you people to use my comment box below to tell me I'm not the only one with a wonderful mom...

First Date Etiquette

Hello Lovers--

Today is the 1 week anniversary of my blog and I want to thank you for almost 1000 hits. Your support amazes me and I'm so excited that you all want to read my words. In lieu of the amazing first date I went on yesterday, I thought I would publish a good handful of do's and don'ts as given by my twitter family. Guys, I know I keep it pretty feminine focused on this site, but the ladies were honest about you! Read and enjoy, and of course make sure you're falling in line!

Ladies DON'T get ahead of the date. Yes it is too early to pronounce your first name with his last. It's completely normal to get excited about meeting someone new, but if your expectations for your outing aren't met, who's left high and dry? Give him the opportunity to earn your affection. This way if he doesn't you haven't lost much, and if he does it will be that much sweeter.

Horror Story: "Someone brought his kid on the date! I'm not trying to be stepmama yet!" - Submitted by Ashley (@Peaches_AW)
Lesson Learned: DON'T reveal everything on the first date if you want a second. Dating is the process in which we gradually learn if we're compatible with each other. Although there is something to be said about laying all your cards on the table, we're saying "run!" not "success!" Honesty is important in dating, however understanding the difference between "full disclosure" and "honesty" is key to this.

Horror Story: "He didn't pick up the tab when he asked me out!!" - Submitted by Valerie (@VDubbalicious)
Lesson Learned: DO exercise common courtesy. Everyone has their own feelings about what is an appropriate way to exit the first date. Since this is MY blog, I'm going to say the guy was wrong for that. If you want to put that good foot forward, show me that you can be the gentleman, at least for the first date. If you're on a budget, that's okay. Just take me somewhere you can foot the bill. I know, I know, the best excuse for everything these days is "it's a recession," but sometimes the best dates are the most creative. So I'm certain you can afford me, even if I'm spending more time in thought than anything else.

The flip side to this is DO be prepared for anything thrown at you. Ladies, this is not the time to order things you wouldn't pay for yourself. Since you don't know what to expect from this guy, be prepared for anything. Make sure you come prepared to cover your share of the damage, so if he's not as wonderful as you expected, you've saved yourself from a truly awkward situation.

DON'T name drop excessively, brag about yourself, or your material things.
Really what does that have to do with ME anyway? And this date is supposed to be about you and I right? So let's converse about things we can really use to learn about each other.

Things on the super no-no conversation list:
  • Wedding/ Honeymoon Thoughts
  • Credit Score
  • Old Relationship Specifics
  • Anything that may move someone to tears
  • Hypotheticals that include old relationship specifics
  • Sex
I want you to have a second date. Steer clear of these topics and you may have just that.

DO talk about things you are passionate about. DON'T hide yourself. Dating kind of sucks, but you have to do it. You may as well be honest about yourself from the start. You either find someone you're compatible with, or you don't. When you're honest, there can be no regrets.

Look at conversation from a girls' perspective: "I knew I would go on a second date with him when he really tried to get know me by asking non-standard questions and was comfortable leading the conversation." - Submitted by Adaora (@AdaoraO)

And from a guy's perspective: "If I didn't ask her out again it probably had something to do with convo or just the vibe of the night. If I'm carrying the convo the whole night no bueno!" - Submitted by Shaun (@rg33zy)

DO remember you are on a date to get to know one another, and conversation is the most important factor. When I asked my twitter family for responses to these questions, girls just wanted to laugh and feel comfortable. Guys just wanted responses and to feel comfortable (who'd have thought??). Let's stay away from anything that might hinder this process. Watch the cocktail intake!!

At the end of the day, the first date isn't a contract, it's more of an audition, and I'm sure you'll go through many more of these before you hit your last first date. Get comfortable, be yourself, and think of these last super hilarious stories as you try not to slip up.

"It's nice when guys open doors, but if a girl reaches a door 1st, don't shove her outta the way 2 open it 4 her ... that cancels out the gentlemanly gesture lol." - Submitted by Neela (@Neeeela)

"It's a no go if I checked her facebook page and saw that she dated some of my friends, LOL." - Submitted by Khalid (@ThaGuy22) Editor's Note: Why are you facebook stalking?

"I don't like if she talk 2 dayum much N name drops!! Bitch I givs a fuk who u n da studio wit or who u hang wit n da club." - Submitted by Avery (@Ave34) Editor's Note: Well alright....

"...and then his ex girlfriend called me with her friend on three way like they were trynna jump me! thru the phone!" - Submitted by Rita (@noneknowsmyname)

"But a deal breaker was this guy kept touching me and rubbing me....and trynna stunt me in the club for a booth that me n my girls paid for." - Submitted by Rita (@noneknowsmyname) Editor's Note: Gee Rita, you've had your fair share!

Follow me and participate in my random polls @The_SJB

Also, today is our money man's birthday! Have a good one Omari!! @TheMoneyMaven (See Let's Make Money in our timeline)

Atlanta Fashionista Needed!!

Hello Girlfriends!

I, being of new media and therefore easy connection in Atlanta, have two very cool and girly events to attend this weekend. One is tonight at Cherry Bomb Boutique at Little Five Points from 6-9pm. It is a Customer Appreciation Party in conjunction with Fashion Over Atlanta with storewide discounts and a huge new shipment arriving just for us insiders. The second is tomorrow night, a Shecky's beauty insider party at the hot new lounge called Joia on Cresent St. The link for that super exciting shindig is below:

I want to take one of my wonderful readers to each gathering, just to get another opinion on what's hot and fabulous this season. If you're available, please let me know via email:

First come first serve. Serious inquiries only please!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Vixen Manual: How to Find, Seduce, and Keep the Man You Want

New York Times bestselling author Karrine Steffans keeps releasing page turning novels, and August’s newbie, The Vixen Manual: How to Find, Seduce, and Keep the Man You Want, has proven to be no exception. The slight change in themes however has changed the book club chatter among women, as it’s not about WHO she’s been involved with, but HOW to be involved. Karrine touches on a few of our favorite subjects including love, sex, and becoming a better woman, while giving us insight on how to do it all like a vixen. I’m sure opinions will run wild on this one!

On Casual Sex: You shouldn’t be afraid of what it means to be a woman, and part of that means understanding that we are wired to feel an emotional connection with a sexual partner, especially one who makes a repeat appearance.
I’ll say as a single woman, it’s easy enough to fall into the trap of wanting some sort of affection rather than none at all. The old-fashioned approach to dating has evolved, and not to our benefit if we want the appropriate courtship. Any woman who has tried knows it’s hard to turn a man from casual partner into full time love interest in the ninth inning. The issue here is that a woman should truly be honest with herself and her desires as she approaches situations with another man. Casual sex requires too much of your time and energy for such little reward. What is it you’re really searching for with a physical relationship? What void are you trying to fill? Since sex is so easy to get, what value will it fill for you? “A lady makes a man work, and work damn hard for every morsel of affection.” Imagine if every woman thought like this. Reputations would be cleaner, feelings would be preserved, and most important, we would leave ourselves in a better place to find that meaningful relationship we desire.

On Balancing Independence and Loneliness: Don’t look up and find yourself lonely because you were trying to be too worldbound and dominant at home. In the era of the independent woman, it’s hard to ignore the role shift we are experiencing as we try to build the best life we can for ourselves. Many women find it hard to acknowledge when it is appropriate to relinquish power to their partner, and when to keep the driver’s seat. While it is one thing to be on your own and be sufficient in your own company, it is a complete other to be alone because you don’t know how to include a boyfriend into your life equation. If a man is unsure how to fit himself into your independent life, there is nothing preventing him from finding a woman who may be more open to including him. As a woman used to having power, the hardest pill to swallow may be how to share that power in a relationship. What are you scared of? What are you protecting yourself from? I would be more afraid of securing my life as a single female with my subconscious actions. Part of a woman’s power is in knowing when to relinquish simply that.

On Physical Currency: No matter what size and shape you are, be confident knowing that you take good care of yourself.
Without taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally, what good are we to a relationship? More important, what good are we to ourselves? So many of us have hang -ups in one area or another of our physical appearance. Sometimes we spread ourselves so thin that our dreams get deferred for other reasons that may seem more important at the time. Nothing should be allowed to come before taking care of yourself. Karrine recommends making a list of goals you want to accomplish, big or small, because in defining yourself, you lose the chance that others will do it for you. I believe things that are out of sight are out of mind, and advancing yourself in any way should be at the forefront of your mind at all times. If you want to lose weight, make a plan, meet with a dietician and do it! If you want to start your non-profit business, find funding, write your proposals and go for it! No one is stopping you but you. When your dreams are big and you stick to the pursuit, the drive is attractive to anyone. Be a compliment to yourself.

On Preparation Meeting Opportunity: The universe always delivers, as long as you believe.
Here’s where Karrine starts to get into some more tangible thinking. She explains that your preparation for a man should go beyond your looks, but you should acts as if you already have him around in your day-to-day activities. Visualizing him is one of the strongest ways to bring him. Step back and look into your life. Would your home look the way it does now if you had that man? Would your bed have fresher linens? Does your skin feel and smell as it would if you had that companion? Would you be cooking more? Do you even know what you would be cooking? Take the time to make your environment a welcoming one, that way when opportunity comes knocking, you’re not meeting it with big t-shirts and molded food in the fridge. As with any potential job, you want to go in with your best foot forward. Treat preparation for a relationship the same way. When you believe it will come for you, be ready to accept it and shine. In the end you will have made yourself better individual while you wait on your perfect compliment.

I am curious as to what anyone feels not only on the words she’s saying, but who’s saying it. Karrine Steffans isn’t exactly anyone’s ideal role model, but three bestsellers is nothing to sneer at. Would you take relationship advice from her? Fellas, do you think this is good advice for women to take? Leave comments for me under this post, or tweet me at @The_SJB. My favorite thing about exposing my thoughts is the educational, healthy conversation it sparks. What do you think about this post?

The Vixen Manual: How to Find, Seduce, and Keep the Man You Want is available at Barnes & Noble for $25.99 and for $17.15. You can also visit Karrine Steffans’ website at She does get into some interesting sex positions as well. I mean, what are we getting her novel for?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Celebrity Stylist Ashleigh Jeter

For the longest time I thought musicians were just stylish. Like in order to be a celebrity, you just had to know how to dress. I never understood that they really just have the right people whose duty is to make them look elegant at night and effortlessly put together by day. Meet Ashleigh Jeter: Celebrity Fashion Stylist and Creative Director of Kay Dane’ ( Ashleigh’s resume includes dressing stars like Amerie, FloRida, UK’s Alexandra Burke, and even Erykah Badu. She’s real, she’s hot, and she’s got a few words and tips for you to look A-list without an A-team.

SJB: How did you get your start in fashion?

AJ: Fashion has always been in my blood. I originally moved to Atlanta to go to school for fashion design & marketing. Well... I never finished school and almost forgot that it was my passion. A friend of mine who is a video director actually gave me my first big break. He took a chance with me on a large budget music video and I haven't looked back since. Being in Atlanta has its pros because everyone from artist to managers even to the labels come here. But being able to travel to LA and NY is where most of my actual work comes from.

SJB: How do you feel about people starting clothing lines that don't necessarily sew?

AJ: Creativity is the major component to fashion. If you don't know how to sew, so what?? You find someone to out source your natural creative idea and make it happen. It’s the design and concept that set you apart not the needle and thread!

SJB: What would you say is the key to individual style?

AJ: Just be yourself and let it shine through your wardrobe! Don't be scared to take risks, and start trends. Funk it up! When you stop being afraid, when you realize the world is creative, and that you are a leader! That is when life becomes fun. You are no longer living in a box, abiding by others’ rules of "playing it safe.” Your creativity is spoken through your style!

And with that, she leaves us with her top three must-haves for winter for girls and guys! Find some of these pieces on, and find others in your everyday stores. Although the styles may not be for everyone, they may be bold enough for you!

For My Girls: Kay Dane’ Slasher Split Legging ($128), shown on Amerie in photo, and on dancers in video. Available at; Riding Boots, I love the Collinson by Aldo ($180) in black or cognac; Printed Mini Dresses, I really like the Striped Structured Alice Dress by Motel ($65), available at or the Kimchi Blue 80s Floral Strapless Dress ($30), available at Urban Outfitters.

Something for the Fellas: Mosley Tribes Sunglasses, Free City style ($235), available at; Military Jacket, Shades of Greige Round Collar Coat ($158), available at Urban Outfitter; Combat Boot, Cesare Paciotti ($210), available at

Follow Ashleigh's blog at

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let's Make Money!

According to my poll, money is a top motivator for many of you. So what if someone told you that “money is just an idea?” I caught up with Omari Worthy of Maven Investment Group and he enlightened me on their philosophy and shared a little bit about my biggest money curiosity: investing.

SJB: What influenced the start of the Maven Investment Group?

OW: After graduation from Georgia Tech, I got a job in the corporate world and although the job supported me financially, I wanted more out of life than what my job offered. It was also painfully evident to me that many of my peers had a serious lack of financial literacy. So together with two business partners that I met in college, we pooled our knowledge of the stock market, venture capitalism and real estate and formed our investment firm. One of our biggest business models is that by helping others become more financially literate and financially independent, we become more financially independent ourselves.

SJB: Okay so what do you mean by “Money is just an idea?” I’ve always been told it makes the world go ‘round.

OW: We've all heard the saying, "It takes money to make money.", and through my own research, I've found that many people have ideas and plans to make money, but many of them don't follow through with their ideas because they believe this adage to be true. Then, I have also polled people and asked them what would they do if they had $100,000 and generally the first
response I get is, "Well, first I need an idea." From everything I've seen, it's our ideas that generate money, it's not the money that generate the ideas.

SJB: How can I get started investing if I don’t even know my way past online banking?

OW: A quick and easy way to start investing is to use a long-term investing approach and dollar cost average in the market. What you will do is to put $50 dollars a month into the market until you retire. If you can afford to put more, that is good, but the goal is to be able to do this every month. To start, you will have to open a brokerage account and I suggest Sharebuilder (, now owned by ING Direct. It is an online brokerage that allows you buy pieces of shares for stocks that may exceed your monthly amount. There is also no account minimum, no inactivity fees and it's services are targeted for the everday investor. This is how I got my start in investing and it takes no more than 30 minutes to set up. Right now you can buy stocks for $4 with their automatic investing services. Once you set it up, it will deduct your amount each month from your bank account and invest it in the stock market for you. It's that simple!

SJB: What stocks should I buy?

OW: All of them! Standard and Poor's, a market research firm, created a basket of 500 stocks that serve as a benchmark for the stock market's performance. Named the S&P 500, this is what mutual fund managers use to gauge whether they are performing better than the overall market. Once you set up your account, you want to invest your $50 dollars each month into the SPY, which is the stock symbol for the S&P 500. The average return for the S&P since 1926 has been a little over 10%! $50 dollars a month would turn $15,000 dollars invested over the next 25 years into a little over $64,000! Not bad for 30 minutes of work! As you get older and start making more money, you can increase the amount you put in. Please note that about 70-80% of mutual fund managers fail to beat the market each year. So by buying the S&P 500 index you will be inline with the market and hence beating most people who manage money for a living!

Given that it's this easy and way less expensive than you thought it would be to get into this lucrative world of investing, I encourage you to at least check it out. After you visit, go see what else you can learn from our money man Omari and his partners at This is just a tiny piece of the knowledge the team is more than willing to share with individuals looking to make the most of their worth, so bookmark their site and prepare to be enlightened! Let's turn this 'idea' into something real in your pockets. Have a profitable Monday!

Follow Omari on Twitter: @TheMoneyMaven

Sunday, November 8, 2009

High Heels and Top Deals

Yesterday I went shoe shopping for work (I love this job), and sought to bring you the hottest shoes for the most reasonable prices. On a little piece of Atlanta there lie two trendy shoe stores with completely different attitudes and all you need to step up your shoe and accessory game. Yes it was very hard to leave empty handed, but my reward will be simply putting you in the know for all things shoes at Defoor Place in Atlanta. At least that's what I'm telling myself...

I started at the Shoe Depot. I was met by Cherie and Tim Watts, the husband and wife owners of the boutique, and when I say I left ready to party I am only talking about the feelings I got from the shoes and the boisterous clientele on a mission to find the perfect pump. Enough of the small talk, check out the merchandise.

The first pair of really exciting pumps I fell on were these tan, snake print, platformed heels. They look comfy, and I have another pair of black ones I purchased from Aldo for literally twice the price that I can't get enough of. A steal at $59.50 (Jeffery Campbell), this python is a fall want that will definitely add definition to an outfit.

Then I came across the thigh high boots. Thigh high's are a very sexy MUST this winter, and we've seen them on the legs of too many celebrities to name. Since it is definitely a trend shoe, I say we only spend $39.90 (Bumper) and still have some cash left over to shop with when the next hot thing shows up. They come in purple and black also, and oh, is that a red bottom I see?

My favorites in the store were by far these Puzzle half boots by Promise. They had a really unique texture and have an appearance you wouldn't find on the girl next door, or even the girl in the booth next to you. The simple black color makes it easy for you to pair it with anything, but the crazy cut will take your outfit to another level. The hottest steal in the store for $35.50. Tim had to pry them out of my hands as I was leaving.

Another reason to shop here is the large collection of blingy jewelry. Cherie let me in on a little secret: the only real diamond that Braves and Falcons' wives wear to the games are the rings on their left hand. The earrings come from their store. Even Judge Hatchett and Monica Pearson have been spotted getting their shine on with Shoe Depot earrings. Once a big secret, now you can have the look of high fashion for less.

Overwhelmed, my next stop was Goodee 2 Shoes across the street. Here, you can find a more professional shoe that can still pack a powerful statement in an office or event. The Marsh Family has found a lot of success with shoes as this is one of three Atlanta locations. They pride themselves on having larger sizes and something for every style type. The goodee's are as follows:

These power pumps by J. Renee' absolutely add a touch of shine to a drab office look. The cut is still classic, but the pattern bold and moving. At $49.99, you're not breaking the bank to break necks either. Not as wild as an animal print, but not as subdued as a plain nude, this is the perfect compromise of tasteful style.

This upgraded Mary Jane by Gomax also turns up a school girl look, and at $19.99 they probably cost less than a week's school lunch. Definitely a fun way to spruce up everyday attire, and the modest heel makes it possible to whip these out when you just want to walk around campus without looking like you have club plans after class. You can't tell here, but the red bottom's back again...

While in Goodee 2 Shoes I learned Harajuku is definitely for Lovers, and I had to peel myself away from anything with that brand on the bottom. I did get pictures of a couple hot pieces to look at and imagine on my feet. Like the black Avalon pump with the adorable heart cut out, and the lavish Aleria sandal (shown with the bracelet on top), both of these with a fun cut and heel, and very hard to say no to at $89.99 a piece. Did I mention I love my job?

Shoe shopping can be quite intense, but now that you know where to go to find couture pieces at broke diva prices, I believe you are ready to meet any task that comes your way (...maybe just a shoe task or something that involves walking). When you look good, you feel good, and if shoes can help you with that part that's alright by me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Greetings from Carolyn Gable!

Hi all-

Late last night I emailed Carolyn Gable and shared last night's inspiration pulled straight from her book. If you missed it, read it here:

And like the true people person she is, she sent a few kind words I felt I should share with you! Get inspired:

Hi Shelby,

Thank you for the beautiful words you wrote! It warms my heart to see
people understand the meaning of the book. "Bloom where you are planted"
is the best piece of advice I can give anyone. You just never know
where God plans are paved for you! I believe when you keep the faith
miracles appear.

I wish you Peace and Blessings along your journey,

So I encourage all of you to "bloom where you are planted," and keep up the good work!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Big Thanks!

I would also like to take a moment and thank you all for visiting my blog and supporting me! I appreciate the continued prayers as I try to make my way into this wide world of communication! Job updates next week!

Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress

I am currently reading a book called Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress by Carolyn Gable (It's All Good Publishing, LLC), and as crazy as that title sounds, I believe in the idea. As a former waitress myself, I've learned that sometimes the smallest lessons you learn while serving tables can dramatically change the way you see completing tasks at your ideal job. Think about it: I'm (almost) college educated, and I'm definitely smarter than scooping chips and wiping salsa. There is absolutely no shame in serving tables, and it was definitely quick money, but I knew if I could do this, I could do anything. She has authored that this is true. I wanted to share a few principles she highlighted, as well as my interpretations, and maybe you can benefit in your career path as well.

  1. Have Fun: Loving your job starts with loving your life. Showing gratitude for your place in the working world starts with an appreciation of the blessings God has bestowed upon you. When I was serving I always reminded myself that this was a much needed way to pay my bills, and honestly, you work hardest when there is no other way. Often times we find our thoughts so involved with what we're doing at the present time that we forget we're working toward a goal. Although you may not be in the place you want to be right now, or even the field you wish to pursue, there are lessons to be learned at every step of your path. Why miss out on the great opportunity you have to find out what you like, how to deal with your shortcomings, or how to really exude your strengths in the work world? If you think of your starting position as a practice field, consider exercising accordingly. Show that you truly are a star player, and the habit for excellence you have developed will show in your ideal path.
  2. Patience is not Complacency: I believe that if I demonstrate patience the universe will reward me. We really do live in the world of "now." Things come so quickly and can be found so fast. But if everyone could easily reach the level of success you deserve, it wouldn't really be a rewarding feat, would it? Think about people you know who have had nice things. Did it really resonate within them if they got them easily? Now think about those you know with great things? The hard work builds character. By understanding the great things come in time, we are not settling for a mediocre lifestyle. We just know that our diligence will pay off. I know I have what I need to make it, I'm just waiting for my time to come.
  3. Be Personable. Because it's all about Relationships: We often hear the phrase "It's not about what you know, but who you know." I hear this often as I've continued to try to work in media for some time. The flip side to this is "It's not about who you know, but who knows you." This is the essence of a relationship. Who can you call that will actually answer? To take it back to serving, when I combined these three key elements my wallet had the best feeling at the end of the night. I mean, who do you tip when you're dining out? In the working world, your payoff is the network you have built by being personable. My big fat tip is the connection I have made to an individual, and where the feeling I leave them with puts me. Networking is essential to succeeding in business, you know that. Your name is your brand. What are you doing to take it to the next level?
As her "About the Author" states, we should all aim "to be a credit to society." This means you have to humbly work toward your goals and make the most you can out of all of the situations life has given you. These are only three of the wonderful tips she learned as a waitress that took her company to multi-million dollar earning status, and I encourage all of you to pick up the book if you can. Even if these ideas seem basic, they will definitely serve as encouragement for you to build a stronger character as you move toward your goals. Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress is available at ($15.95), and you can go to her website at

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Childhood Lessons Re-Learned

When you were little, your parents probably supplied your first ideas
about life. They were simplified thoughts, made so you could
understand them and be the best little person you could be. With
deeper interpretation, the rules and ideas they gave you are still
applicable in different forms today. I reached out to my Twitter
family for some of the tried and true lessons that lingered with them,
and by adding thoughts from an older perspective, we can see that
mothers might still know best.

Lessons on Reality: “Your life is not a box of chocolates. You don't
have it that good." – Submitted by Jamal Blackamore (@mallymunster)

A parent’s job is to get their child ready for the world, and a big
part of this is helping them to understand reality. Jamal’s mother’s
edit to the famous Forrest Gump line may seem a bit disheartening but
there’s no shame in this if her words are meant to help him understand
where they sit in life at that present time. All too often we find
ourselves surrounded by people who shine only the positive light on
our lives, scared to tell us that we truly CAN be doing better than
what we’re doing right now. But if everything is all good, we don’t
have anything to work toward. What facet of your being would you like
to improve? Once you’ve recognized it, FIX IT. She said “…you don’t
have it that good,” but she never said you can’t. This thought should
inspire progressive thinking for all of us.

Lessons on Ease and Avoidance: “Hold your nose and you won’t taste
it.” – Submitted by Lauren Watts (@MissLWatts)

By this time in our lives, we’ve learned there are things we do simply
because we have to do them. It’s called paying your dues and there’s
really no easy way out of that. Lauren’s mom is trying to encourage
her to do something she’s not interested in, so she’s showing her that
you can make things as painless as possible. Whether or not this
method works is one thing, but the important idea is some things just
have to be done the best way you know how. When you actively take a
step to completing a task, usually they become ideas of mind over
matter. Is there anything in your life you are putting off because you
can’t ‘hold your nose’ to do it? You empower your challenges by
thinking they are bigger than you. Nelson Mandela once stated “I
learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over
it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who
conquers that fear.” There will always be things you don’t want to do,
and it’s understandable to be afraid of tasks sometimes. Just know
that you have the power to move past them.

Lessons on Faith: “Allah said share.” – Submitted by Hayatt Osman (@hosman3)

Faith is the driving force of our lives in one way or another. Whether
you believe in a traditional religion, spirituality of some sort, or
if you only believe in yourself, what consumes your soul controls the
tempo for your life. Hayatt’s parents wanted her to know that beyond
their reach, there must be something else to drive her to be the best
individual she could be. “Allah” represents the faith she needs to
have in a higher power, and “share” represents the faith she needs to
have that her actions affect others. Her parents are reminding her
that she is a part of something bigger than she understands, and she
should act accordingly. Hellen Keller said “never bend your head. Hold
it high. Look the world straight in the eye.” No matter what you
believe, even the most ordinary situations can have extraordinary
effects. Be sure your actions reflect what you want to put out into
the world. Remember what is most high to you, and don’t just sit and
look at the right path, step by step, walk on it.

Lessons on Growing Up: “Enjoy being a kid as much as you can because
once you grow up, you can’t turn back.” – Submitted by Nikita Chinery

Well, you’re here now. What are you doing that proves you’ve put aside
those childish things? Can you really see strong growth from your
childhood days until now? Do you really know what you believe in? Have
you learned fundamentals, like how to manage your money? Are you an
active citizen; what are your political views? Now that you aren’t a
child, your parent’s views should only be steering you so far. Are you
continuing to define yourself as an individual? Once, you were being
shaped to be the best little person you could be. Now it’s your turn
to take all that you know and continue to shape yourself.

Follow me on Twitter: @The_SJB