Sparkly Treats

In less than a week, I will be 30.

30.

Whoa.

I love to splurge on myself, but such a special day deserves an extra special treat. I couldn’t figure out what I’d gift myself that would be extravagant. Do I get my first pair of designer shoes? A fancy bag?

And then the lovely folks at Anjolee.com contacted me to see if I’d be interested in learning about their jewelry and designing my own piece.

Ding, ding!

So, over at Anjolee, you can custom design anything they have to your heart’s desire. Lovely ring, but you want a topaz and not a sapphire? Done! You need that necklace to be platinum instead of white gold? No problem! Love the look of that diamond tennis bracelet, but you need another inch or two? Piece of cake!

Speaking of which, I totally decided to get myself a bracelet. I can also tell you it was a hard decision, what with all of the possibilities! I picked out something with blue topaz, because blue is my favorite color. Look at the packaging:

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And how lovely my piece is:

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And the cool part about it is that since you can customize everything down to the length, if you happen to have bigger arms like me, you can add inches on if you needed. Standard length is 7 inches, and I added an inch for a perfect fit (you can even do half inches if you need to.) I used a measuring tape (dressmaker’s, not the retractable) to measure what I would need.

I am so happy with the results, and the quality is superb.

If you’re looking for a gift for a loved one or a gift for yourself (I’m all for personal treats), give Anjolee a try. You won’t regret it!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Anjolee. All opinions are my own.

 

Uncategorized

Tales From Retail: Classism

Picture it, Dallas, 2008. I’ve just started my first retail job, and I’m running the registers like a boss.

So far, all of my customers have been pleasant, and while I made a couple of mistakes, everything is running smoothly.

While walking the floor, I run into this very pleasant lady and her daughter. The little girl is around 10, and she’s doing a little homework while her mom shops. I hear her trying to figure out if the word “everyone” is singular or plural. I had a brand new shiny degree in English I wasn’t using, so I went over to help.

“Sounds like you’re having a bit of trouble there, hon. Anything I can help with?”

“Yes! I have to pick the right verb, but I don’t know if “everyone” is one person or more than one person.”

Common question, since the word makes you think of more than one person. If you’re reading this and feel a bit rusty: everyone/everything and anyone/anything are singular, as they refer to a single group (one unit.)

So, I answer the little girl, and help her with her work so her mom can shop in peace. When the mother is ready to ring up, I go to the front to check her out.

Her: “Honey, you are so intelligent! Thanks so much for helping my daughter out.”

Me: “Thank you so much, and you’re quite welcome. I used to tutor for a spell.”

I keep scanning items.

Her: “You know, you’re so bright. Way too intelligent to be working here. Why don’t you go to school and get your degree? Then you could quit working here!”

*record scratch*

Y’all. Y’ALL. I cannot stand when people do this. College degrees are not indicative of high intelligence. Do not assume the person working in the service industry is unintelligent and retail is their penance. At the time of this incident, the economy took a nosedive, and I had just graduated college. I didn’t get into law school, and I wasn’t into the idea of teaching (I feel as though your heart has to be in teaching, otherwise you won’t give the students your all. And I knew then as now that I just don’t have that passion.) I work retail because I enjoy eating, keeping a roof over my head, and clothes on my back. Also, oddly enough, I enjoy it, even when customers get out of pocket.

So, I’m staring at her as I put her purchases in a bag. I felt like this:

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IRRITATED!

But I had to keep it cool, because I needed that job.

Me: “Oh, I have a degree in English, actually. But I could use an extra job. Is your company hiring?” *bright smile*

Her: *shifts her gaze from me as her face reddens*

I hand her the bag. “Have a great day!”

She walks out quickly, and I wave goodbye to her daughter.

My manager: “Welcome to retail!”

Me: *deep sigh*

That night, I understood the concept of happy hour. I enjoyed that rum and coke!

Happy Monday!

Stories

So, I Was Part Of A Thing…

And now I finally get to share it!

So, a while back I shared these looks on my Facebook:

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And I told y’all that I was working on a really cool project? Well, part one of that project is done, and I’m so happy to share this with y’all!

So, this project I was part of is all about natural hair and beauty, and I was so happy to participate. Most images of natural hair pretty much stick to the uniform corkscrew curls. Now, don’t get me wrong—those curls are gorgeous. But it also tends to edge out those who have fluffier, less defined curls (mine) or those with dreadlocks or those with puffs, and so on and so on.

Further, when we look at natural hair in mainstream media…well, you don’t see it. Not in all of its forms; not in all of its glory. Think about it: the last time you saw a music video, did any of the women have natural hair? Hear any songs praising those kinky curls?

Well, this video has all of that, and I got to be in it. :)

Without further ado, I present to you: Natural Love: A Vignette.

The song was written and produced by the same guy that directed this piece, Civil Justus. You can see his other work on his channel here, and read up on his other projects here. This is just the first part; the next part is interviews about our hair.

I had an amazing time working on this,and am so honored to be a part of it! I can’t wait to share the next part with you. :)

Hair Positivity YouTube

Tales From Retail: Naturally Brown

Picture it: Dallas, Texas, 2008. I’m applying makeup to a young client; she’s competing in a pageant and needed a test run of some of the products her mom was purchasing.

She had to have been about four or five, but she knew what she did (“I love the glittery lip gloss!”) and didn’t like (“No smoky eye, please!”)

*blank stare* Well, ok then.

She was better than a lot of my pageant girls, because you could really tell who competed because they loved it and who competed because their mamas enjoyed it for them. She loved it though.

At any rate, she was a pleasant little girl, and we had a great time putting together some looks while her mom shopped.

Once I got done with a look both I and my little client could agree on, I called her mom over to see how she felt.

“This is perfect! Ok, we’ll take those three glosses, that bronzer, and those two eye shadow palettes.”

Now, I’m geeked, right? Because selling is ultimately the name of the game in retail.

“Awesome! Would you like to check out now, or would you like a basket so you can continue browsing?”

“I’ll take the basket, thanks. Also, could you show me some foundation for myself?”

So, we keep shopping, and the basket gets more and more full.

“Ok, I have one more question for you.”

“Sure, what can I help you with?”

“I need a good self tanner. Which one do you use? That brown is the absolute perfect color!”

Pause.

In case any of y’all had no idea: I’m Black. This isn’t to say that Black folk don’t tan or wear bronzer, but anyone who’s seen self tanner on knows its a self tanner. But I gave this kind woman the benefit of the doubt and said, “Oh, I don’t use self tanner; this is my natural skin color. But I’d be happy to help you pick out a product.”

She pauses. “Oh, really? Are you sure?”

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Am I sure I’m Black or…

I had to have that internal dialogue many retail workers have when ignorant foolery comes out of someone’s mouth: you NEED this job. Breathe. Have a drink or two later. BREATHE.

So I’m just looking at this customer after her last statement, and she’s actually waiting for an answer. So I say “Yes, I’ve been this color for quite some time. Would you like me to help you find something that works for you?”

She scoffs. “I suppose not. I thought you were tanned, not Black. We’ll just take these things.”

…sigh.

She ended up spending about $500, but I was mentally drained after from holding my tongue.

I had a couple of glasses of wine after work that day. I needed it.

Happy Monday, y’all! :)

Stories

Fatshion Friday: Bathing Beauties

As you read this, I’m still throwing things in a bag for vacation.

Why yes, I told y’all I was prepping for this two weeks ago, and I’m still not done. Please don’t judge me!

:D

Anyway.

In celebration of me making the move to a warmer climate for a few days, I thought I’d put together a lookbook of some of the best styles I’ve seen so far. I was never really a bathing suit girl; deciding for the most part to stick with a tank and shorts. Coupled with the fact that I can’t swim, I figured there was no real need for a suit.

Well, lo these many years later, and I still can’t swim, but I love the beach, swimming pool (the shallow end), and hot tubs. I also have discovered how much I love being as close to naked as I can get in public, so bathing suits are a must. I shared a while ago one of the suits I’m bringing with me on my trip, and now I’m going to show you some other options.

Let’s get to it!

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From Swimsuits For All.

I prefer suits that are not basic black. In fact, if I can find it in as many loud colors as possible, it’s probably going to go home with me. I also prefer a top with some support, particularly because my boobs aren’t that big. If they aren’t big, they’re at least gonna sit up high–so this suit fits the bill! Bonus: it comes as a set (!!!!) and you can order different sizes for the top and bottom for the perfect fit. I actually have the one piece version of this, but sadly, it’s sold out (can’t even find it online anymore!)

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From Forever 21.

Like your suit strapless? This will be spectacular for you! I also love the peplum because this helps to add a little more camouflage to the belly if that’s your preference.

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From Swimsuits For All.

This colorful number has all of the straps and all of the colors. There’s a two piece version of this suit, which you can find here. I can’t decide which style I want, but this pattern is next on the list!

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From Forever 21. Top and Bottom sold separately.

Doesn’t this look like some fancy lingerie? That’s what initially drew me to this set. It’s beautiful and strappy, and even though you have to purchase each piece separately it isn’t ridiculously priced.

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From Monif C.

Hello, gorgeous! This would be my pool party suit–do you see how fierce she looks with those heels? OMG. I’d be working the party and you couldn’t tell me a thing! And I’d be sipping my drink while I sashayed, honey.

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From Ashley Stewart.

And what’s a post on bathing suits without something pretty to cover them up? I know, your bathing suit is fierce, but you may not want to wear it out to brunch. This pretty number keeps you pretty and covered till it’s time to strip back down and lay on the sand.

And there you have it! Some of the suits I’m loving for the season. Here’s a question for y’all: bikini or one piece? Tweet me @fashion_amateur with your answers!

Happy Weekend!

Retail Therapy Shopping

Nail Adventures: Tropical Sparkle

Y’all, vacation is so close I can almost taste the fresh seafood that awaits me in Myrtle Beach!

This also means that it will feel like time is ticking backwards because I’m so ready for it to be here, but I digress.

The week before vacation is always a rough one: trying to get the house cleaned up, get things washed and folded, get new luggage if you need it (mine has a hole the size of a football field in it) on top of making time for a wax and a pedicure. Added is making sure work things are squared away so I can actually ENJOY vacation without having to worry about (or do!) any work.

Whew.

I had to keep the nails simple for this week, because I’m up to my elbows in spring cleaning (cleaning out the closet, OMG!) but I still wanted some pretty colors.

So, what did I come up with?

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So, this yellow glitter polish. This was…underwhelming. *sigh*

I didn’t realize it was so matte, and even with a shiny top coat still remained pretty flat. It does have a bit of a metallic sheen to it though. This is OPI’s Pineapples Have Peelings Too. The pink is Orly’s Hawaiian Punch, and what would a Char manicure be without a rhinestone?

You know I’ve already knocked that off. Oh, well. :)

And now, I’m in the home stretch of my workweek. I can make it, I can!

Happy Wednesday, folks! :D

Nail Adventures

Tales From Retail: Five Finger Discount

I’m coming back from lunch, and I’m headed to the office to get clocked back in and get some paperwork done.

As I’m walking across the store, I notice a commotion in the beer aisle.

Really, it wasn’t hard to notice the commotion because it was pretty loud, but I digress.

I see one of the managers asking for a man to pull the beer out of his pants and give it back to him.

Yes, y’all. Folks steal beer, socks, makeup testers–anything that’s not nailed down. Even if stores have security, they can’t be in all places at once, so it falls on us as staff to keep an eye on the goods.

Anyway.

As the manager is asking for this beer back, the thief is getting louder and more belligerent, which eventually scales to him threatening to jump on the manager.

The manager, naturally, was NOT here for that foolery and was ready for that fight. At this point, the stock guys are out there trying to calm everyone down. The cashiers are calling the police, customers are horrified, it’s borderline bananas at this point.

As one stock guy is holding back the manager, the other stock guy is pushing the thief out of the door (sans beer; he handed it to the stock guy when he put his hands up to fight.)

It’s at this point I walk into the thief’s line of sight.

It’s important to reiterate: at this juncture I have little clue about what’s going on since I’m coming back from lunch, and I see one of the cashiers on the phone calling the police. I’ve said before that in retail, you see everything, so I was pretty unaffected by the commotion. I just wanted to clock back in and finish my paperwork so I could go home.

The thief sees me walking past. I stop to make sure the cashiers are good and to tell the customers everything’s cool. And do you know what this thief says to me, y’all?

“Oh, what bitch? You want some of this?! What you wanna do?!”

*record scratch*

Most folks have a part of their brain that keeps them from doing stupid shit on a whim. I’m missing that part of my brain, because after I took a moment to do this:

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I then pulled out my box cutter (ain’t just for cutting boxes, y’all!) and said “Sir, we can handle this right here.” He pauses in shock, and that was just enough for the stock guy to shove him out the door finally.

I sheath my box cutter. And walk to the office to do my paperwork. Like a boss, as the young’uns say.

Sigh.

I’m glad I didn’t have to use it, and I was equally glad I had it. But know I would have.

Yep, retail can be dangerous, y’all.

Also? This same thief came BACK to the store, right? And stared daggers at me across the store. I suppose he wanted to intimidate me, but I don’t scare easily.

I just went back to collapsing boxes. :D

Stories