Thursday, April 29, 2010

FORMSPRING :: "Good Hair?" I think as a liberian, you should know that there is no such thing as good hair.

I'm not sure what I've ever said about "good hair," but I know a thing or two about ease! I wear extensions right now because of the versatility it offers with my workout schedule. I have a beautiful natural haired cousin @lafemmechinery that reminds me that even when you've tried everything out, nothing's more flattering than that which you're born with! Good Hair? I don't know. But easy hair, I agree with that concept.

Ask me anything

I see you say you're now celibate, but I also know you've not exactly been a prude in the past. There's a saying "there's a fine line bw being sexually liberated and being a whore." How do you know which side of the line you're on?

Wow excellent question! I can say I've tried all sides of the sexual line, but nothing quite measures up to being honest with yourself about what it is you want, and why you're doing it. I prefer to say I'm sexually liberated because people treat sex like it's supposed to be so hush-hush in the media and to students, but violence is everywhere. I'd rather images of passion than hate, and I take it that seriously. Sex is good for your health when practiced safely, and good for your spirits when a woman learns to enjoy herself as much as she can. Men have no problem getting out there and making sure they're fulfilled, and ladies have earned that sort of satisfaction by simply being a woman. In summary, we need to make love more, whether it's with someone else or by ourselves!

Ask me anything

Monday, April 19, 2010

So What You Gotta Say About My Checklist??

My amazing baby brother and my new twitter boo responded to my checklist. I love you all for these. Ladies, do you agree??

My Brother -- We're cut from pretty good cloth!

My Twitter Boo -- His sound quality may give you a headache, but work through it.

AP said "I love weave. Best invention next to the eyebrow filler." He's a winner.

And my brother is my brother. Taken by a beautiful lady, but of course he is. He's a Bernard.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What Archel Wants :: The Checklist

Here's another page out of my video diary :) I'm interested to know what you think, men and women alike, of my standards. Where should I bend the rules??

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to be a Boss Chick: Jenny Bennett

Another boss chick I adore is my amazing Godmother Jenny Bennett. Sure enough I've known her all my life as my family member with the demanding job, but when she got the corner office and all the big boys began to report to her, I knew we officially had a boss chick in the family. I love my Aunt Jenny because she worked her way up in her company. Her loyalty to the United States Postal Service has proven extremely beneficial as she began as a mail carrier and is now Postmaster of the City of Decatur, an honor that comes complete with a holiday. As the first female to have this title in the city, her dedication shows a type of mobility I had to learn more about, and a level of achievement I hope to experience myself.

A boss chick's take on where she expected to be and learning about life...
When I entered the working world I didn't have a timeline on where I wanted to be. I began working because I had to. I was super stressed in my 20's because I just didn't know what I wanted to do, and I was well into my 30's before I found out. Having a family can truly affect the decisions you make and at the rates in which you make them, however everything happens for a reason. I was in the right place at the right time and continue to find new opportunities by being patient and aggressive at the same time.

A boss chick's guide to taking that leap...
People seldom understand that as the boss, I'm always working. Yes, I can make my own hours but I have an operation to run sometimes I get into the office at 3 in the morning. The misconception is that "having your way" means doing nothing. I work hard. I work when people aren't working. I work when people don't think I'm working. Any successful person will tell you this. One of the reasons I am able to be successful is because I have a strong foundation at home. No matter what your family looks like, you cannot be a good leader if your life doesn't have balance. Any woman can aggressively move to the top of her field, especially if she has a solid foundation to live in.

A boss chick's guide to being that woman...
Women are used to being the backbones in the family. We're generally more responsible than men. Black Women especially take on lots of responsibility for family. We can also do that in the work world. To become 'Jenny Bennett,' I've given up part of my personal identity. It's lonely at the top and you stop being able to let your hair down. Last year I went to a restaurant called Pearl for my birthday and all night I ran into people who worked for me. I had to be on guard for my birthday. The safety net is really small and it's apparent. The next day at work, a carrier said 'I didn't know you hung out at night.' If my skirt is too short, or my heels are too high, I'm under scrutiny all the time and I have to act accordingly. Lastly, being that woman involves having confidence in what you do. Always appear to be in control. Don't let anyone see you sweat. Women are tougher than the world gives us credit for. Use your strength to your advantage.

A boss chick's thoughts on fitting the professional bill...
I'm involved in Post Office sponsored professional organizations. One is gender related and the other is race related. After you get into management, the network is imperative. It's nationwide; it helps when you're looking for new positions and it's the way we break into the good ole' boy network. Here, you have more executives willing to help you out. When you truly want to be the part, join an organization. When you want to dress the part, don't underestimate the discount stores! Many times I've seen a suit in a large retail store to turn around not long after and find it in TJ Maxx. I may be a boss, but I like to save money, too.

Word association with a boss chick...

Passion: A deep desire to achieve.

Hard Work: Doing what you have to do.

Faith: Believing in yourself.

Opportunity: Going after what you want.

Power: Being a leader but still having integrity.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Campaign Against Cake Face

Wanna know a secret?? I wear makeup, but it's so flawless you'll never be able to tell. In my newest YouTube videos, I arrive bare-faced and finish with a clean look using two of my new favorite beauty products. Of course I love seeing things in action before I purchase! But if my demo convinces you to spice your makeup kit up a bit. Let me know. Three cheers for natural looking skin!

NARS Orgasm Illuminator -- $29 :: Sephora Stores

BeautyBlender -- $23 :: Entebello

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thanks lovers!

I believe in humility, and I don't think one can say thank you enough.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to be a Boss Chick: Margaret Garner

I love the female boss. It's deeper than cute suits and shoes that come in bags. There's really something to be said about a woman that can emerge to the top of her field, however I think women were build to conquer. I caught up with two really awesome boss ladies to get into their money-making, shot-calling thoughts. The first is Margaret Garner, founder and CEO of Broadway Consolidated Companies Inc. I love Ms. Garner because she's self made. She built her company from scratch and has overseen projects like the construction of the first WalMart store in a major urban city, and was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine in December. Ms. Garner's website proudly proclaims "Broadway Consolidated Companies, Inc. is a 100% African American female owned company."

A boss chick's take on where she expected to be and learning about life...
When I was in college, this isn't where I expected to be. I really never envisioned this. I expected to get my MBA or pursue a law degree. Having a family made me change paths. Challenges in life are guaranteed. Changes are a common denominator. Rolling with the punches is all part of life's training.

A boss chick's guide to taking that leap...
A woman can start her own business but her family and partners must be inline. If we desire to achieve these high goals, we have to learn to balance. When you are prepared to launch, just start it. Don't worry about 'the right time.' Put together your business plan, find some investors, sweat equity, savings, etc. Be prepared to work all the time. When a man is good in business, he's just considered a good businessman. When a woman is aggressive in business, she is considered a bitch. That's the reality of it. The playing field isn't level. I gave up a traditional family life to be Margaret Garner. I couldn't be the 'soccer mom,' because that's what it took. I haven't figured out yet how to prevent my job from consuming me.

A boss chick's methods of being professionally well-rounded...
I am a member of many different professional organizations. Most are industry related, and I participate in social activities. It's important to build those relationships within your field. 2009 was a tough year, so it was important to tap into that network I had already built. I recommend students get involved after college, as soon as they start working. If you intern, ask your bosses if you can attend meetings with them. You now have such an opportunity with social media to break through the good ole boy barriers. The way we interact now is so different. The key is to use all of this to your advantage. The good ole boy system still exists, but as we learn to support our industry we will see our own success.

Word association with a boss chick...
Passion: The love of what you do.

Hard Work: Do it the old fashioned way. No one will give you anything.

Faith: Believing in God. Believing in the ability you have to get it done.

Opportunity: Creating it. This is the toughest.

Power: Making it happen.

The Key: Be well versed, be well trained, practice humility.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Things I'm Loving Right Now: T-Shirts

It's always t-shirt season. They're light enough to work out in, thin enough to layer, and fly enough to make a statement. I found two awesome and affordable sites with t-shirts that I guarantee you won't find on anyone else. Except a few celebs and all of my really stylish readers. You're welcome in advance.

Minoritees has some really cute stuff for the urban girl to play in. If it's Janet approved, then there should be no hesitation in grabbing a few. My favorite style is this pink v-neck. They gave the soul sista wings and let her sit ontop of the world. I will be purchasing it as soon as I'm off my shopping fast. Hopefully the boutique will still be running, because the 30-70% off sale indicates the recession has stopped some people from buying Minoritees' reasonably priced merch. It's all up to you. Please buy a few tees and keep Minoritees open for at least a month so I can still be Janet Jackson bad just in time for my birthday. Thank you.

Yes, you too can be as fly as Beyonce in Wildfox Couture tees. I'll have to admit that it feels kind of nice to be able to afford the shirt Queen Bey wore to dinner one night. Yes it's one shirt, on one occasion, but who's counting? While you race to the website that hosts the cute top, check out some of the other 80s inspired, extremely feminine tops. They come in a slew of breezy designs and aren't very hard to fall in love with. They're original, they're glam, and they're still cotton. Go to the website and you'll soon notice you've seen their tees before. Welcome to the cool t-shirt club.

Feel like a celebrity yet? I love effortless chic too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Things I'm Loving Right Now: Nigerian Fashion on CNNI

When I spent Christmas in Liberia, I became my own fashion designer. It was so easy, because I was able to have my say in the start and finish of every item I wore. I've never spent time in any other West African country, but it seems to be the same ordeal according to this CNNAfrica clip. In Nigeria, business is booming.

I know, I know, you want to visit.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Discovering the Recipe for Sugar

At what point does one say they've "made it?" Life throws so many curve balls that often the plan I intended to follow isn't the same as the one I end up seeing through. I believe one of the biggest components of success is opportunism. I've learned that I have limited control over the path laid before me, and I can be nice to people and put out all the positive energy in the world I want, but truly whatever will be will come to me. I've just got to learn to maximize all opportunities and "make it" with what's being thrown at me.

When I scrolled through the pdf I have of The 50th Law of Power, this lesson literally jumped out at me. I couldn't ignore it. I believe the universe gives you exactly what you need at exactly the right time.

Lesson 3:: Turn Shit into Sugar — Opportunism::
Every negative situation contains the possibility for something positive, an opportunity. It is how you look at it that matters. Your lack of resources can be an advantage, forcing you to be more inventive with the little that you have. Losing a battle can allow you to frame yourself as the sympathetic underdog.

Do not let fears make you wait for a better moment or become conservative. If there are circumstances you cannot control, make the best of them. It is the ultimate alchemy to transform all such negatives into advantages and power.

Knowledge right?!? This is sometimes the hardest thing for me to put into action. I mean when shit gets bad, it's really bad. However, if we've got more life to live let's live it by milking everything dry.

Take for example Elliot Spitzer's mistress Ashley Dupree. Or everyone's mistress Kat Stacks. Or even the visually appealing Kim Kardashian. The shit they got into would be getting caught. The sugar is parlaying their scandals into mega media money. I mean sure these women aren't exactly perfect role models for 8yr old girls everywhere, but honestly if they can make sugar out of that shit, then anything must be fair game.

I've never heard a story from any maven that made it with ease. There's always some sort of rocky terrain. I just always assumed that if I did everything the right way I would never struggle. Then real life reminded me that I am not exempt from the ways of the world I live. I've got to make my own recipe for sugar with the shit I've got. Opportunism is challenging, but I've got a bit of a sweet tooth.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Things I'm Loving Right Now

Cheap Monday jeans: As a curvy female, I’m constantly on the hunt for the best jeans for my body. Everything I put on needs to look brand name. Let’s be honest, leggings are way comfier. However guys are catching onto the fact that they are the new fat girl attire. As soft as leggings are, and as much as they add the illusion of a butt for me, I need great jeans for practicality. When I found Cheap Monday jeans, I decided I could make the move from cotton to denim and rest assured my fake thickness would still be intact. Cheap Monday jeans have the perfect mixture of spandex and denim to have and to hold your body as long as you both shall be together. No really, they don’t fall like a typical low rise pant, and they don’t stretch out with wear like any other jeans I’ve bought. At between $65-$95 a pair, you can always find the best rise, fit and color for you, and still have cash left over to drop in that back pocket under their trademarked skeleton head logo. I have three pairs that I scooped from the Bill Hallman stores in Atlanta. My favs are my dark blue denims that come right to my belly button without mom-ifying my shape. I still look yummy.

The new J-Hud: She’s glowing, and if it’s Weight Watchers that’s helping her to do so, then sign me up. Jennifer Hudson has super slimmed down and looks amazing these days. The funny part is that I really don’t remember any other American Idols from her season. She took that opportunity and parlayed it into a glamorous, full figured and full blown career that can showcase all her talents. I doubt anyone saw it coming either. I believe in two things when it comes to success. First, things are considered impossible until someone does them. Second, no matter what you choose to do, be true to yourself. In my mind Jennifer Hudson is a perfect example of both of these, and I’m loving her right now.

Teedra Moses and her new mixtape Royal Patience: There’s no better “thanks” a fan can get than a free album of quality music. Being that Teedra Moses is my favorite singer in the world, I jumped at the chance to get some new music from her. It’d only been six years since her last CD. At any rate, Teedra’s sound is like none other. She’s got a soulful, smoky voice and her beats are catchy enough to keep you moving, but simple enough that they don’t overpower her vocals. Her mixtape can be downladed from her website here at your leisure. I love R&B mixtapes because typically there’s no obnoxious DJ talking over the songs. You can really enjoy the album as you were meant to. I enjoy this CD and Teedra’s passion from start to finish, but my favorite songs are Everybody Rock and Kisses Never Taste So Sweet. Yeah it’s girly, but what could you expect from me? I get tired of the “ho-talk” sometimes. Currently, Teedra’s on the Lady Hennessy tour. It doesn’t stop in Atlanta, but it does stop in three cities in Alabama (side eye). At any rate, tour information can be found here.

Hydrogen Peroxide as Makeup Remover: Don’t give me a weird face for this! I’m always hunting for a home remedy to something and you’d be surprised how perfect this one is for facial care. I had heard of using peroxide as a toner, and now I can cut costs in multiple ways with this one formula. I use it before bed, by pouring it on a cotton ball and rubbing it all over my face and neck, the same way I would any high priced makeup remover. I’m finding great results, even though I’m always super skeptical about products with names I have to look up in order to spell correctly. Really, many beauty products contain similar ingredients to peroxide and cost way more, so I recommend you try this out for yourself and see how surprisingly good a treat this can be for your face.

Keri Hilson at the Hawks game: Okay she did really mess up on the anthem words, but she sounded really good doing it. Anyone who can make a mistake and continue to push through gracefully to the end of his or her task deserves some sort of a gold star for effort. So be nice people! Atlanta’s a tough market!

Selita Ebanks: Just because. She's friggin hot :)