Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly. ~Proverb
It’s not authentically in my character to throw in the towel when the going gets tough. However, as I’m sure many of you can relate, sometimes things get to a point where your back is up against a wall, and you aren’t really sure what happened to the initial door you walked through. That happens, it’s life. We all go through it at one point or another. As nonchalant as that may sound, it’s the truth. A friend recently told me, the trick is nobody else is going to make you a priority, except for…yes YOU! As a busy bee trying to figure how to maneuver your way out of a sticky situation, remember to keep asking yourself, have you exhausted all possible solutions to ultimately spread your wings and fly as high as you want, when you want, and how you want? Stick with the honey you have, and be blessed to have the opportunity to still be up and buzzing. De-clutter your mind, hold on to hope, and make sure to always know your worth and what talents you bring to the table. We are all here for a purpose. Once you’ve mastered that concept, royalties are always paid where they are due, and without a doubt, you will earn the Queen or King Bee title you deserve.
Be proactive or just plain pitiful. The decision is ultimately your call.
Born in “Brick City” Newark, NJ, and growing up down the block in Irvington (Essex County area), I saw and experienced many unique occurrences through out my adolescent life. Some not so appealing, and some that left positive lasting impressions on me that I now take with me through out my adulthood. As you age in an urban society, there are often times, that members of the community get stuck in a box, and conclude that the world is against them. Why do better and not just join in on the nonsense? On the flip side, there are many individuals that choose to take there circumstances, and turn them into a positive. Along with some of my peers, I definitely chose the latter, and used everything as motivation to do better, be better, and continually get better. With all that said, I always promised myself to make sure in whatever I do, to pay my experiences forward to help others in need and remain close to those who have paved the way before me. As the old African-American proverb goes, “Each one, teach one.”
“Paying it forward” can be anything from mentoring, to giving someone a few pointers, to simply leading by example. When you are ready to quit, act out, or just ignore those who need guidance, remember that there is always someone watching behind you, and even if you can not directly reach them, it feels way better to know that you are being strong for them. Before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. there was Harriet Tubman, before Floyd “Money” Mayweather there was Muhammad Ali, and before powerful writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, there was the late and extremely influential, Maya Angelou.
You might not be available to touch millions of people, but you owe it to yourself, and those within your reach, a chance to learn from your mistakes, be the best they can be, and continue on a legacy of good deeds. We are just about half way through this year folks. If you haven’t already, it is time to pay it forward!
Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, and with a 3-day weekend on the horizon, it’s time to get fly and show out. Duh! In honor of remembering troops who died for our country, I think it is festively fitting to try to stick with a red, white, and blue color palette. A little striped dress is easy breezy, and paired with a mesmarizing pair of metallic sandals adds the right sparkly touch. Add a juicy red lip and smooth on some body bronzer; you are good to go! My budget doesn’t quite allow for me to purchase everything in this set, but all items are on my wish list. The real question is, who’s barbecuing? #2snaps
So a few people inquired where this delectable southern brunch dish was from posted on my Instagram feed a few weeks ago. It was actually one of my bestie’s, Eleise’s plate, and it was from one our Saturday brunch dates that just happened to be at Manny’s Diner in Montclair, NJ. It is so funny because the whole morning she kept saying how she could go for chicken and waffles, but we couldn’t find anywhere local that had the combination. We settled at Manny’s, and she was in luck! Our sweet waitress pulled out a special brunch menu, and guess what meal was right at the top? What she, and eventually we all had been craving! Service was great, outside seating was cool, and time well spent with the BFF’s was valued. An all american diner, Manny’s, is located on Montclair’s Church Street where there are also cute clothing shops, vintage antique stops, and cool outside tunes from local talents on the weekends. If you are ever in the area early on a weekend, I highly recommend!
We are one week away from Mother’s Day, and as I am scrambling to think what to get my beloved mom, I have been considering a new spring scent. Most of us have seen the lovely ads everywhere, but after taking a few whiffs of Dolce & Gabbana’s new fragrance, DOLCE, I must say it is indeed quite decadent. With top notes of Neroli and papaya flower, white daffodil and white water lily at the heart, and bottom dry down notes of cashmeran and sandalwood, you really can’t go wrong with this floral find. Plus, the beautiful bottle makes for a gorgeous piece to add to your vanity. “The nobility of the soul, the elegance of every day gestures, the joy of sharing from generation to generation, and the effortless perfection of a single white flower. This is the picture of Sicily that I carry within me, and the one captured in this delicate fragrance,” says Domenico Dolce.
Still a little unsure about the new designer scent? No worries! Whether you would like to gift the fragrance to your mom or try it out for yourself, I’m giving a bottle away. Sharing is sexy, and once you repost this post on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @LiveLoveLaurean using hashtag #2snapsgiveaway, you just might have this fab fragrance in your possesion soon!
As the late Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” With that, I beg to ask the question, are you bored yet? You shouldn’t be! Thankfully, we live in a time, where as regardless of gender, race, or class, everyone is granted access to having fun! Fun doesn’t require money, special occasions, and as odd as it may sound, it doesn’t require anyone else to be having it with you. How many of you have just enjoyed a restaurant by yourself, saw a movie alone, or just danced like a fab backup dancer for Beyonce in your undies on a Saturday morning? Whether or not you find all of those things to be considered fun, we all should constantly be trying something new, opening ourselves up to new people, places, and things. Broaden your social network! Hey, new friends! I’ve gotten some of my best wisdom by bugging out with people a decade younger than me as well as cutting up with individuals twice my age. We put so much emphasis on making it to “the top,” that many of us don’t even know how we would continue to enjoy life once we actually make it up there. Sadly, friends are left behind and unique experiences are missed. ”You only live once” and “now or never” are common quotes for a reason that stemmed from someone longing for fulfillment and improving their quality of life. Why keep hitting the snooze button and holding off on “fun.” I’m ready to be inspired, continue learning, create my own unique path, and dance through life like nobody is watching. Are you?
photo credit: instagram
People watching and scrolling through some my usual social media channels, I came across this breathtaking image of Nicole Richie. Aside from this just being a stunning shot of her, the obvious point-in-case is how smoking hot her new hair is. I am seriously swooning and so inspired. Sheesh! This lovely layer of lilac is bold, beautiful, and surprisingly very fitting on her. Over the years, her style has become pretty impeccable, and this shade is so right on her. Boom, she won! I have been debating on trying a new color for summer myself, but I just want to be careful as I know it can be damaging if not cared for correctly. Not sure if I am ready for a full head of purple just yet, but don’t be surprised if I pop up with a blonde streak of two, three, or ten soon! On a serious note, now that the days are getting brighter, and we all are in “spring cleaning” mode, try switching up your hair color a tad. Why not keep things fun, and and keep everyone guessing what’s next?! Looking for color care tips? While it’s still on stands, check out this month’s “Hair Color Redux” hair feature in EBONY Magazine! Hope you are just as inspired as I am! Yes, that was a slight #plug. Enjoy!
Whatever it may be, I pray that I am given the opportunity to fulfill God’s plan for me, and that I reach my full potential before leaving this world. I must admit, lately it has began to feel like if I increase in one area, I sacrifice and decrease in another. #TheStruggle Example: When you hustle hard toward a goal, you may end up missing out on a close family event or checking in on a long distance friend. Something about this picture bothers me. As many of my close friends know, I try my best to make it to everyone’s occasion. For the most part I do, but I end killing myself trying to make a deadline or simply doing something as simple as unpacking a vacation bag. Talk about FOMO? Feeling-of-missing- out is at an all time high, especially with warmer weather on the way (smh). But, you know what, one of my besties, Jihana, gave me a reality check, “Jackie, you don’t have to make it to everything.” That’s kind of hard to comprehend in the line of work I do, but more so than anything, she was right. You have to think about “what matters to you right now,” and what will matter to you in the near future. Dig deep within to make sure you are really working toward things that not only matter, but will contribute toward everlasting happiness. Whether it comes to family, education, career, creating a family, or just having a few hot drunken fun nights with your friends, the clock never stops ticking. Why should you?
“Self-discipline is often disguised as short-term pain, which often leads to long-term gains. The mistake many of us make is the need and want for short-term gains (immediate gratification), which often leads to long-term pain.”- Charles F. Glassman
And on that note, 2 Snaps and a Twist!! xo