2021 | The Year of Commitment

Thursday, December 31, 2020



2020 has been...a lot to say the least. I experienced grief in ways I wasn't prepared to deal with. I sat with myself long enough to have anxiety attacks and learn to healthily process through them. I lost weight and then gained it back (plus some, chile). But you know what, my spirit is the clearest it's ever been and with that, has come appreciation for this body that's carried me through.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately, ya know. This delicate truth that our bodies have constantly experienced simultaneous trauma and joy, pain and pleasure; yet rather than focusing on what our bodies have done for us, we focus on forcing them to do and become something that doesn't serve us well. I'm committed to focusing more on taking care of every part of this vessel, rather than trying to achieve a certain version of it. This body has served me well and in 2021, I'm committed to returning the favor.

This commitment goes beyond the traditional New Year's resolutions that include working out, changing my diet -- yada yada. Because honestly, I've never been met with major change in the single moment of resolve that happens on December 31st. This time, I want the peace that comes with feeling safe in my own body (even on the days that I don't like the way it looks). The emotional clarity that comes with allowing my body to process through every feeling, on its own time. The strength that comes from moving my body regularly and resting habitually. And the joy that comes from keeping still long enough to hear God speak to me and appreciating the process of applying what I've heard.

com·mit·ted
/kəˈmidəd/

adjective
feeling dedication and loyalty to a cause, activity or job; wholeheartedly dedicated. 

If you haven't already figured it out, my word for 2021 is committed! 

Here are my commitments for the year:
  • I am committed to finding the balance between extending grace to myself and pushing past my comfort zone, gently..but without excuses.
  • I am committed to intentional financial planning.
  • I am committed to extending grace and compassion in all of my relationships, starting with myself. I no longer wish to see the people that I love from lenses clouded by my own brokenness (even if they are responsible for shattering those parts of me); I am wholeheartedly dedicated to seeing them from healed lenses - lenses that I took time and care to repair for my own sake.
  • I am committed to walking in forgiveness. 
  • I am committed to being healed and whole, not broken and damaged.
  • I'm committed to my health and wellness, and will continue to show appreciation to this body that allows me to make such a commitment.
  • I'm committed to showing up for myself...on time (LOL). 
  • And lastly, I am committed to basking in the "little moments" and the grace that meets me even in those -- because change still happens in the small moments of my daily life. 
What commitments are you making in 2021?

























Deck the Halls (and your closet) with DICKS Sporting Goods

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I've been to DICKS a ridiculous amount of times in the last week (don't ask me to count, let's just sayyy...more than usual)! Every time I go, I find a new gift for someone else on my list. From CALIA by Carrie Underwood for the women in my life who live in athleisure (it's me, I'm the woman in my life who lives in athleisure), to the Nishiki Bikes & Cycling Accessories for the folks I love who picked up a new hobby during quarantine, it's been so easy to unwrap the magic of sports and gifts for everybody's wishlist!



In case you didn't know, Christmas is in 3 days. THREE. DAYS. Are most of your gifts still at the store like mine? No? Hm, okay. Well if you're telling the truth, the answer is probably YES. And at thiiiis point, it's way too late to order anything to get it here by Christmas day. But that ain't no problem, SHANNON SHARPE. 

DICKS contactless curbside pickup gives you the option to order online and pick everything up at your local DICKS in the same day (within an hour) without ever having to get out of your car! Not only will you get your gifts on time, you'll also avoid the last minute crowd and skip the long checkout lines.



Now that you've purchased gifts for everyone on your list, it's time to treat yourself! The holidays can be a hectic time as we shop and prepare for Christmas Day, so it's important that you remember to take a moment (or two, or five) for yourself. I've found that squeezing in a quick sweat session each day helps keep me sane in the midst of all of the Holiday chaos. From the perfect workout sneaker, to the comfiest leggings and sports bras, and even the best equipment; DICKS has everything I need to make that quick workout session before Christmas breakfast count!


My must have items for my Christmas workouts are these CALIA by Carrie Underwood leggings, a pair of Nike 270s (my new favorite sneaker) and a set of Bala Bangles.

For more information on extended store hours, contactless curbside pickup, great deals and more, head over to DICKS.com!

   



A Safe Getaway with ARC the Hotel | D.C. Travel Guide

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


This has been a crazy year for all of us and most of us have (mostly) been in the house all year; but yall, I HAD TO GET OUTTA DURHAM. I love my living space, but I needed to go somewhere...I just needed to [safely] get away so I could catch my breath before the New Year.

So, a friend and I decided to go to D.C. for the weekend and it was just what we needed! We arrived on Thursday afternoon, had 2 full days of good eats and a little exploration, then we were heading home by Sunday. One thing I noticed, is that EVERYONE in D.C. wears a mask whether indoors or outdoors, so I felt comfortable while I was there.
 
I'm going to share where we stayed, what we did and what we ate while we were there -- I'll also share a few things I wish we'd been able to do while we were there in case you want to add them to your list!


I was so excited to partner with ARC the Hotel for a simple, yet restful stay while I was visiting. Located in the historic Foggy Bottom area, we were a short drive from both Georgetown (my fave place to visit while in DC) and downtown D.C. -- it was the perfect location! ARC is a cute, minimalistic style boutique hotel that was just what we needed for a quick getaway.


Unfortunately, due to COVID, many of the hotel's amenities were out of commission; but Andre and William made sure that we were comfortable and well taken care of during our stay (and by comfortable, I mean they sent up a complimentary bottle of Pinot Noir for the inconvenience...that's my kinda accommodations, okay?!).

One cool feature that they have at ARC, is keyless entry. You still get a typical keycard, but you have the option to download the 'OpenKey' app on your phone and hold it up to your room door just as you would with a traditional hotel room key. I was very fascinated by this! 


FOOD:
I know most of yall are foodies like me, so here's three places we went to during our quick trip that were my favorites!

Busboys & Poets | This is a MUST-HAVE, GO-TO spot for me anytime I visit D.C. They have 2 locations -- one is super intimate and jazzy, the other location definitely supplies the turn-up brunch vibes. I personally enjoy both. I recommend the shrimp & grits with crabcake instead of shrimp *chefs kiss*

Duke's Grocery | We went here on our first night after driving in because we wanted something good, but casual and this place was great! The staff was super kind and the food was really good. Try the white truffle mac & cheese.

Shake Shack | Okay...now I know this is so basic. Lol, but this was my first time having Shake Shack and the cheese fries are SO. GOOD. And the chicken was cooked perfectly for my spicy chicken sandwich. 10/10 would recommend!



Things to Do:
We knew we wanted to have some fun while we were in town, so we picked a few things to do that would allow us the opportunity to have a good time as risk free as possible! Every activity we picked required folks to keep their masks on the entire time and there were hand-sanitizing stations set up everywhere we turned.

ARTECHOUSE | This was such a unique experience! ARTECHOUSE is known for connecting art and technology (hence the name) and it was so much fun to see and interact with the current exhibit, Crystalline. Tickets were $24/person and the experience was worth it.




Candle Pouring at Paddywax | I have always wanted to make my own candle, so I was so excited to find this place! Tickets were $40/person for the workshop and they provide everything you need -- you have so many fragrances and vessels to choose from to make your candle exactly what you want it to be. Paddywax (Reston location) is located in a cute little shopping center, so you can walk around, shop and/or grab food as you wait for your candle to cool.




Additional Things to Do:
We obviously didn't have time to do everything -- mainly cause we old and laying in the hotel bed is a necessary part of vacation, honestly. Here's a couple of things I had on the list:


Georgetown

Museum of the Bible





Jeans Flannel Shacket Mules Cross-body Bag

This quick trip was great, but honestly, I'm ready for the world to open up so I can be naked on somebody's beach. If you see me on the beach next summer and the most fabric on me is my mask, MIND YA BUSINESS.



 

Holiday Gift Guide | For Her

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
A Gift Guide for Her by Breanna Powell

Treat your favorite women to a few things that they'll love this Christmas! Click on any individual item on the graphic above, or shop the links below.




Gift Guide | For the Hosts In Your Life

Thursday, December 3, 2020

 



If you have someone in your life who is anything like me, they LOVE hosting. Not just any type of hosting, I mean the type of hosting where everything is CA-YUTE. Your favorite host or hostess deserves to have the very best when they gather! Most of these items are under $100 -- click any individual product above to go straight to the item, or use the descriptions below to shop my LiketoKnow.it links (I've included similar, less expensive items there).

Faux Ivory Serving Tray | Perfect for serving that appetizer you found on Pinterest!
Marble Print Cake Stand | This is not limited to serving cake; there's room to get creative.
Gold Wine Rack | Because quality wine deserves an aesthetically pleasing home..duh.
Gold Rimmed Wine Glasses | Is there a better way to drink wine? Sip that Cabernet in style, honey.
Bose Speaker | Turn on that playlist that gets the PORTY started.
Gold Old-Fashioned Glasses | If you're going to have a cocktail, pour up in these!
Charcuterie Board  | Cause...classy.
Gold Bar Cart | And make sure it's stocked!
Food Warmer | Yall know folks be late and you know they don't like cold food.
Navy & Gold Electric Wine Opener | This set also comes with wine preservers so you don't have to toss out that perfect pour of wine after you've had enough for the night.
Marble Wine Cooler Sleeve | Honestly, just get it cause it's cute lol.
Drink Dispenser | This is what I wish we had in college instead of those ugly Gatorade coolers.
Gold Cocktail Shaker | Bartender, can I get another round please?



Big Smiles Come in Small Packages with REEDS Style the Ear Collection

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Alright! So we all know that Christmas is going to look A LOT different this year, but who says that change has to be a bad thing? This Christmas, the smiles will STILL be big and the looks will STILL be served; and REEDS has you covered! Whether you want to add some extra sparkle to your Holiday Zoom calls or dazzle at your (safe) in-person gatherings, REEDS has the shine you need with their Style the Ear collection.



The best part about this collection? You can purchase multiple pieces and layer them if you have multiple piercings! Each piece is small enough to wear with another, while not overwhelming your ear. Layering jewelry pieces is very on trend right now and there are infinite combinations with the collection that will complement any outfit, for any mood and any occasion!


Reeds Style the Ear collection makes it so easy for you to give yourself some extra shine for your Holiday photos, or to send a small surprise with a BIG impact to someone you love this Christmas!


If you're sending a gift to someone you can't be with physically  during the Holidays this year, Reeds makes sure that your family and friends will still feel your love close with beautifully packaged gift boxes AND personalized notes.

This year, shop REEDS Style the Ear Collection to shine at your Holiday events or to gift your loved ones with joy under the tree!

 

See, big smiles really do come in small packages!


Holiday Gift Guide: Self-Care Edition (for HIM)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


 

Dear Black Man, you should be prioritizing self-care too! Whether you need a drink or hours in front of your new PS5, treat yourself to some alone time with YOU.

It's time to start shopping for gifts and I wanted to start with self-care because, well...we all need it now more than ever! Whether you're in need of a self-care night or you know someone who is, this self-care gift guide is perfect for a night of intentional self-care.


Shop the links below and take care of yourself!


Facial Steamer

Set of Clippers

Whiskey Set

Uncle Nearest Whiskey

PS5 Games

Black Owned Candles

Dear Black Men




Holiday Gift Guide: Self-Care Edition (for HER)

Monday, November 23, 2020

 


If we're being honest, it's been a hectic and slightly rough year for most of us. 2020 came in like a wrecking ball and tried to take us out -- but here we are, 32 days until Christmas and the Holiday Cheer is all around us!

It's time to start shopping for gifts and I wanted to start with self-care because, well...we all need it now more than ever! Whether you're in need of a self-care night or you know someone who is, this self-care gift guide is perfect for a night of loving on the most important person in your life; YOU.


Shop the links below and take care of yourself!


McBride Sisters Wine

Crate & Barrel Wine Glasses 

Forvr Mood Candles

InJoi Candles

Essential Oil Diffuser

Facial Steamer

Today I Affirm Journal




Sugar, Spice and Everything SPIKED: Spiked Gingerbread Cider Recipe

Sunday, November 15, 2020

 


As much as we've been through this year, we all deserve a lil dranky drank at our upcoming [small and safe] Holiday gatherings! I have to give credit to my "Soulmate / Pink Starburst," Mrs. Nia Cannady, for this spiked cider recipe. Nia made this cider for everyone at our housewarming party (her surprise engagement party) last year and I've been hooked ever since! If you're planning to have this at your Holiday parties this year, head out and get your ingredients ASAP because the two most important items are seasonal.

DRINK RESPONSIBLY.



*serving size is for ~12.*

INGREDIENTS:

2 bottles of Captain Morgan Gingerbread Rum, 2-3 bottles of Trader Joe's Spiced Cider, Oranges, Apples, Cinnamon SticksGround Cinnamon, Ground GingerGround Cloves (optional)


STEPS TO MAKE IT:

Pour Spiced Cider into crockpot and turn on low.

Slice your apples and oranges (as many as you want). Add them into the cider.

Add 3-4 Cinnamon Sticks, 1 tbs of Ground Cinnamon and 1 tsp of Ground Cloves.

DO NOT ADD LIQUOR YET. Give your cider time to mull (at least 30-45 minutes). 

Add a full bottle of rum + 1/4 of second bottle to cider after 30-45 minutes and let all of your flavors blend together for at least 30 more minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy!



Fall Skincare Must-Haves: Moisture, Moisture, Moisture!

Friday, November 13, 2020

 

*I hope yall read that title in your best Brady Brunch voice*

I’m back with another #FallMustHave! This time we’re talking skin.

If you live in North Carolina then you know how unpredictable the weather has been....one day it’s cold and the tire pressure light is on, next day it’s 80 degrees and we’re blasting the A/C again!

On top of WEARING YOUR MASK (which I HOPE you're all doing), all of these changes can be so harsh on your skin. So I’ve added a few new items to my routine to make sure I'm keeping as much moisture in as possible during the seasonal transitions.


Soothing CBD Facial Oil x GlassSkinCo. 
With 100mg of CBD/fl oz., it’s ideal for all skin types and helps regulate oil production in the skin, while also acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Vitamins B & E promote soft skin and help deliver the much needed hydration into your skin as we endure the most unpredictable Fall ever!




Exfoliating Gloves

My Wax Guru, Jade Aiken put me on to this STAPLE item! Exfoliating gloves promote healthy skin by removing dead skin cells, stimulating blood circulation and leaving your skin smooth. I no longer have to spend money on expensive exfoliating products because all I need are these gloves and my favorite body wash (currently, that is this Dove Glowing Mango + Almond Butter Body Wash). You can purchase exfoliating gloves at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.


Body Butter x yurbody

After you exfoliate, it's time to replenish the moisture. I am a huge fan of handmade body butters! They are packed with essential oils, they leave my skin feeling smooth and smelling delightful. yurbody is a Black owned company that makes butters that cater to folks who deal with hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions like eczema. I like to hydrate my skin in luxury and your skin deserves the same!


What are your skincare must haves for the colder months?


 


Fall Style Must-Haves: Styling a Denim Jacket

Monday, November 9, 2020

 

I've been really hesitant to admit it, but I think I'm ready...Fall is now my favorite season. THERE I SAID IT! I love the weather and the activities of summer, but Fall fashion is a clear winner here. 

One thing I love about the fashion of this season, is that staple items get to come out of the closet and make a lot of noise! My favorite staple item for the fall is a jean jacket. Distressed, oversized, dark or light; denim jackets are the perfect compliment to any outfit!

Click this link to see how I styled my oversized denim jacket FOUR different ways.

Whether you dress it up with boots, or keep it casual with sneakers, jean jackets are perfect for any occasion! I've snagged 3 jean jackets this season and paired them with a little black dress, printed pants, graphic tees and 2-piece sweatsuits

Like I said, with this staple item, the possibilities are endless! Follow me on LIKEtoKNOW.it for links to some cute and affordable denim jackets that you can add to your wardrobe!

If you're not sure what look to try first, create a Pinterest board with all of your favorite denim jacket 'fits! Then get to shopping!



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Affirmation of the Week

“You have always been a blessed thing, and goodness has no trouble finding you because goodness is what you deserve." – Upile Chisala