Shade of Encouragement: If I Can See It

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of a vision board. Over the past few months I’ve heard several people mention the importance of having one. I never thought too much about it, but consistently hearing that it’s worth creating one made me give in. I once heard someone say if you can’t realistically see yourself living the life you want, then don’t even expect it. Makes sense to me!

Yes count me in as a member of the vision board team. Every morning I read my vision board out loud. Not only to put it out in the universe, but to actually hear myself say and speak the things I desire for my life. I find something so empowering in that. Speaking it aloud also gives me motivation to put some things in action. I can read a vision board all day long, but if I’m not putting in the effort to make those desires come to life…they wont! The bible says faith without works is dead. If you plant seeds and don’t water them nothing will grow.

So today I challenge you to start your own vision board. It can consist of pictures, quotes, scriptures, a list of goals, whatever you wan’t to include. Be as creative as you want. Let the board represent what you want for your life. If you can see it you can do it!

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Just for Fun: The Shade is Real!

Color means something. Not just whether it matches your skin tone or the look you want to project for the day. Color has a deeper meaning beyond its surface! So take note the next time you’re in the mirror trying to put on that perfect shade.

Red– “Being the color of physical movement, the color red awakens our physical life force. It is the color of sexuality and can stimulate deeper and more intimate passions in us, such as love and sex on the positive side or revenge and anger on the negative.”

Orange– “The color orange radiates warmth and happiness, combining the physical energy and stimulation of red with the cheerfulness of yellow.”

Pink– “The color pink represents compassion, nurturing and love. It relates to unconditional love and understanding, and the giving and receiving of nurturing.”

Gold- “The color gold is the color of success, achievement and triumph. Associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance, the psychology of this color implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance.”

Purple- “The color purple relates to the imagination and spirituality. It stimulates the imagination and inspires high ideals. It is an introspective color, allowing us to get in touch with our deeper thoughts.”

To read more on colors and their meaning please visit https://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psyc 

 

Nadia Shalini

As a Professional Makeup Artist in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, you can definitely say that Nadia Shalini is an expert in the beauty world. With her work being featured in Magazines, BET, MTV, and Cartoon Network just to name a few, Nadia’s experience extends over twenty years. Her work includes editorial, television, bridal, lifestyle, and grooming. If all of that doesn’t make her sound busy enough, add that she is also owner of Blend Beauty Bar in Las Vegas. Nadia is motivation to all of us ladies that we can achieve whatever we set our minds to.

Photography by Lexi Gomez

Definition of Success: 

The definition of success to me is consistently working towards and achieving your goals.  If you can do that and maintain and wonderful attitude and have gratitude, success is guaranteed.  I would say some of the sacrifices I have made to get to where I am have to do with how I’ve chosen to spend my time,  I’ve missed family and friend holiday times and other important dates because of prioritizing my career and not wanting to miss work related work. 

Healthy Self Esteem:

This is a tricky one, I do struggle with self esteem and self worth,  especially as a business owner some days I feel like I can handle anything and anyone and other times I second guess every decision I make.  For me it’s been very important to keep a close group of friends and just people whom’s opinions I value around. I also try to look to remind myself of the bigger picture and look back at what I have accomplished.  I do keep a journal that I use more like a checklist of goals, I don’t write in it everyday, but break down what I am trying to do and how I plan on getting there, once I accomplish something I check it off the list, no matter how small,  it helps me to feel productive and that I am trying. I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older at going easy on myself when I don’t achieve a goal or something goes wrong.  

Dating Advice: 

I don’t usually give much advice in this arena, other than to trust your instincts, usually they are right.  As far as dating in 2019 goes, Ladies, let your friends know where you are going when venturing into the world of online dating, it’s better to be precautious these days unfortunately. 

What’s in the future: 

I’d like to grow my business Blend Beauty Bar,  to include more indie, local and environmentally conscience cosmetic and beauty brands.  For me being an educated consumer is very important in today’s market. There are so many products out there all claiming to be the best, unfortunately we can’t always trust what we are told. Doing the research and sharing that info through my business to my customers is what I would like to do and be known for. 

Favorite Shade of Lipstick:

Fav Lipstick shade,  Ruby Roo!

To learn more about Nadia please visit

https://www.nadiashalinimakeup.com/

Shade of Encouragement: Stay in Your Lane

If we focused more on being like ourselves do you realize how much better we would be as women? Our society is so big on keeping up with the Jonses and getting what the person next to us has, that we lose sight of just focusing on our own selves.

Get a bigger house because your best friend just got one, get bigger boobs because yours don’t look like Kim Kardashians, get married because you’re the last of your friends still single, blah blah and blah.

The more we focus on other people and what they have, the less we are focusing on how blessed we are. God has a plan for each and every one of us. An individual plan not a group plan. This ain’t Verizon. Your path is not going to be the same as the woman next to you and hers is not the same as yours. When you learn to stay in our own lane, you will begin to realize that your journey is made just for you. So buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Lady L.

Photography by Jimmy Goldfingers

Black women make up a very small percentage of the tattoo industry. For Lady L., that wasn’t going to discourage her from showing the world her skills and talent as an artist. With over thirteen years in the industry, and being named “Detroit’s Best Tattoo Artist” three years in a row, her gift and creativity truly speaks for itself . As Founder of Ladies of Ink Tour, Lady L. takes her passion for tattooing on the road traveling the U.S. with a group of black female tattoo artists. Showcasing not just their work, but also female empowerment and the beauty of black women coming together!

Definition of Success:

Success in my eyes is being at peace with your own journey. I feel that people who trust their process (the ups and downs), remain optimistic and work passionately towards their goals are successful. 

In the past I’ve sacrificed rest, time with my family, and self care on the road to success. You have to learn how to balance things in a healthy manner. Entrepreneurship is tough. 

Self esteem:

When you stop comparing your life to others and know you’re valuable and worthy of being loved. Knowing the root of these self esteem issues helps with understanding why they are present and healing from that. Loving, embracing and forgiving yourself is easier said than done at times. 

Dating Advice:

I don’t have all the answers but from my experience I will say “Watch out for the red flags, ladies!”. We see them all the time, a lot of us are empathetic and make excuses for the way we are treated: DONT.  If they aren’t adding value and peace to your life then ask yourself is this a potential headache. Don’t rush at all. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. 

What’s in the future?

In the future, I see myself as a pioneer for black female artists in the industry. I want to continue to inspire other artists and influence them to pursue their dreams/visions. I see myself owning a female operated tattoo shop based off the Ladies of Ink tour. Im bringing something to the industry that hasn’t been done… it hasn’t been done how I’m doing it. 

Your favorite shade of lipstick 

Nude shades…different brands. 

To find out more about Lady L. visit https://ladyltattoos.com/

Shade of Wisdom: Words from Awesome Women!

I’m a sucker for inspiration. I love reading quotes and positive saying to help keep me motivated. Below are some quotes from amazing women who know a thing or two about success.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” Oprah Winfrey

“My greatest beauty secret is being happy with myself. I don’t use special creams or treatments – I’ll use a little bit of everything. It’s a mistake to think you are what you put on yourself. I believe that a lot of how you look is to do with how you feel about yourself and your life. Happiness is the greatest beauty secret.” Tina Turner

“I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” Marilyn Monroe

“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.” Tyra Banks

Find more quotes at www.brainyquotes.com

Shade of Encouragement: A Dance from the Past

It’s often super hard to not let past mistakes and regrets hold us back. The past can be haunting. It can lurk around the corner when we are trying to move away from it. We hold on to it knowing that we should just let it go, but being human we often get stuck in the shoulda woulda coulda. It’s a dance that we dance with ourselves. I’m moving forward but let me step back. Forward forward back back. Wishing we did this differently or said this or done that. Then at the end of our thoughts we realize that there is not a single thing we can do. It’s the past. It’s done and will never return.

Sounds sad right, but in actuality it’s not. Mistakes and regrets from the past can better prepare us for the future. They are life lessons and pearls of wisdom that we now have under our belts because been there done that. You can’t change yesterday, last week, or last year. What you can do is allow those past mistakes and failures to be lessons that you learn, grow, and become better from. Let your past prepare you for a better future!

Ayo Haynes

Ayo Haynes Backstage at the Apollo

Some say the world of real estate is a man’s world, but Ayo Haynes proves it would be nothing without a woman who is on top of her game! With a background as an actress and voice-over artist, a BA in Business Communications and a MBA in Marketing, Ayo is definitely making her mark in the world of real estate. As a Real Estate Broker in NYC for 13 years, she is now breaking into the Connecticut market and loving it! She is dedicated to helping her clients find the perfect place where home and wellness meet!

Definition of Success:

Success for me is when people call to ask me to be their exclusive agent or to work with them as a buyer without me having to go pitch them; your talent and experience speak for themselves. Pitches are like auditions in acting. You know you’ve made it when someone says here’s the listing. 

I love this time in my career because I can make my own schedule which is especially needed as a single mom. Initially, getting into the business you work about fifty to sixty hours a week, especially if you’re on a busy team like I was. Starting out you have to be prepared to not get a check three or four months which can be hard for most people. People see these reality shows and think that real estate is easy and that you only work with a client for a few days.

The real reality is that it is difficult, requires a lot of continuous education and experience, and is very time consuming. Sometimes the time you put in doesn’t match up with your commission check. You have to be willing to put in the work and be persistent. Most importantly you have to love working with and helping people.

Healthy Self Esteem:

I am a true believer in guarding what I take in whether it’s what I’m watching or listening to. I’m in two industries that require people to pick you based on your personality and experience. I need/require positivity around me all the time. If you are coming to the table with something heavy on you and being negative, it will affect your bottom line. 

I also think it is important to use trusted friends and mentors as your mirror, from time to time, when needed. I can be hard on myself so I have to remind myself to treat me like a client and to be gentle with myself. We all have insecurities – physical or other.  If someone I trust can be the voice of reason I listen or at least take what they are saying into consideration.

Speaking of a voice of reason, my 4 year old daughter keeps it real with me all the time. Her bluntness is hilarious but insightful. She’s lucky she’s cute and my daughter! But seriously, I learn so much from her. How she gets over things quickly, she speaks her truth without malice, she’s kind, she apologizes when she’s in the wrong, she shares and she easily tells the important people in her life how much she loves them. I try to take a page out of her book all the time!

Dating Advice:

I probably should be the one taking advice but I think if you are on the fence about someone,  go on three dates to see if there is really something there. Nowadays three dates can take weeks or months to happen so you have to rely on your instincts to gauge if the spaced out dates are happening naturally or because someone is playing a game of avoidance. We are living in a swipe left – swipe right world based mostly on pictures. Pictures don’t tell the whole story. I say the same to my clients when I show them what I know to be a great home but they dismiss it because the pictures didn’t grab them. Sometimes we have to slow down, go deeper, and take things offline when we normally wouldn’t.

What’s in the future:

My business partner and I are working hard on crafting our brand which is all about where Home and Life meet Wellness. For us, that point is WELLNEST. We work with our clients on finding all the ways to make their home and all the other NESTS of their lives as comfortable, healthy, green and empowering as they want or need to be. 

I’m excited to be expanding my 13 years of experience in real estate to the Connecticut market. It’s been a fun challenge to learn a suburban market compared to New York City. My team partner, Ivonne, will be doing the same in New Jersey so the Haynes-Velasquez Team will be able to work with clients in the New York Tri-state area. That, of course, will mean adding to the team which is exciting.

I am also looking forward to more opportunities where my acting and real estate worlds get to play off each other. I recently was asked by the executives at my firm to co-host our semi-annual meeting at the Apollo Theater – it was amazing and a dream come true that I never would have never expected to come from my work in real estate. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next on that front and developing a few ideas of my own. A woman’s work is never done!

Favorite Shade of Lipstick:

I’m more of a gloss person versus lipstick. But for special occasions and business meetings that’s when I put on lipstick. For me, I like a red that has a touch of brown. There is one from Arbonne I love called Dahlia and it’s the perfect combination of gloss and lipstick. Their products aren’t tested on animals, and are paraben and phthalates free which is all right up my alley! 

To contact or learn more about Ayo please visit

https://www.halstead.com/real-estate-agent/ayo-haynes

Shade of Encouragement: Dear Society We Define Beauty

Dear society…we don’t care about your unrealistic beauty standards! You for so long have told us women that we have to look a certain way. You have created this unrealistic box and made women who don’t fit into it, feel like they aren’t beautiful. Women of color especially know this to be true, because we have never fit into your closed minded standard of beauty anyway. Your standards are lies and they are harmful! They are putting pressure on our young girls and women, making them go to desperate measures to try to fit in your beauty box. A box that is unfair, unrealistic, and unattainable. A box that doesn’t allow room for women of all different shapes, sizes, and complexions.

So from here on out…we are taking your standards and putting them back in your box. We are taking that box and throwing it as far away from this universe as possible so it can never return. We will create our own standards of beauty. Where each woman is encouraged to be her best self, and not try to look like what she sees in a magazine. Where dark skin will be considered just as beautiful as light skin. Where imperfections will be celebrated instead of condemned and ridiculed. Where the definition of beauty lies in our hearts and not in the hands of the media.

Dear society we have decided to define beauty. You will no longer define it for us!

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Shade of Encouragement: The Art of Not Caring

Are you ready to get to the point in your life where you no longer care about what people think? I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean it in the way of not letting other people’s opinions or judgements hinder you from living your best life. The reality is people will always have something to say. Some people run their mouths because it’s all they know how to do. A lot of times the ones that talk the most are the most miserable. You can’t stop people from talking, judging, and being who they are. What you can stop is how much you let their chatter and opinions hinder you. Sometimes you have to just tune out their noise and turn up that inner voice that speaks to your heart. So again the question is… are you ready to get to the point in your life where you no longer care what people think? My answer is definitely yes.