Other Stuff

 

9664 Office Halloween black Princess Jasmine

The Halloween celebration at my job seems to get bigger and bigger every year. From the elaborate party in the downstairs auditorium to the costume contest, and the haunted house and other related activities, Halloween definitively isn’t one of those days where you want to call out sick. This year a couple of my super-creative colleagues decided to decorate our entire department in the theme of an evil carnival, a CarnEvil to be precise. They went all out with the decor and needless to say our department emerged victorious when it came to the decorating contest.

I’m always up for having fun at work so I was all in on the festivities. I didn’t go for my usual over-the-top, creative costume this year (*side bar: I made a BuzzFeed list this year for my Halloween Costume as “The Cloud” last year check me out at #10). I just didn’t have the time or the energy to commit but I did thoroughly enjoy my Princess Jasmine getup. Check out a few pictures from the day’s shenanigans.

9684 Office Halloween CarnEvil carnival theme
Skeleton manned ticket booth entry (skeleton not pictured).

9688 Office Halloween clowns 9697 Office Halloween carnEvil mouse popcorn 9718 Office Halloween Clown 9712 Office Halloween Cotton candy

9750 Office Halloween Haunted House
The haunted house got a little crazy this year.

6903 Office Halloween pumpkin carving Trumpkin9720 Office Halloween food throw up guac

Office Halloween Starwars Costumes Department VPs
EVPs and VPs patrolling these mean corporate halls like badasses from Starwars.
6951 Office Halloween Princess Jasmine and Ariel
Disney princesses among the clowns and sketchy carnival types.

Sarah Thomas NFL 1st female official

I'm not the biggest fan of football. Frankly, I know very little about the sport. I cheer for the home team (Yay, go Dolphins!). Maybe I'll watch a game or two during the season but really that's about it. Even with my limited knowledge, if you had asked me a little more than a week ago about the status of female officials in the league, I would have been pretty confident in saying that there aren't any female officials in the NFL and I would have been totally correct. However, I'm happy to report that as of last week that statement would be wrong.

So the NFL recently announced that it was bringing on Sarah Thomas as its first full-time female official. Thomas will join the league as a line judge. Surprisingly (at least to me) she won't be the first female to officiate an NFL game. Shannon Eastin filled in as a line judge for three games during the 2012 lockout.

Though she’s less concerned with being a trailblazer and more concerned with being the best official she can be, like the Mo'Ne Davis story, this gives me the warm fuzzies. Stories of young women and women achieving greatness in male-dominated sports are some of the most inspiring types of motivational stories when it comes to achieving great success. We're built differently, we think differently and we're playing a game of catch up in nearly all aspects of life so when a few of us actually do catch up or even surpass our male counterparts, I feel like it's cause for celebration.

Anywho, I'll wrap up this post right here because I'd be pushing it if I spoke anymore about football, but I just want to congratulate Ms. Thomas and thank her for setting a great example for women everywhere, even if that isn't her intention.

Thank you for reading. Now... "Let the power moves continue."

BMW i3 Super Bowl Cmmercial What is Internet

 

Super Bowl Sunday has always been about the Ads for me.  My inner advertising geek has been hooked since my college days where my marketing professors would assign projects based on ads that ran during the Super Bowl. I’m always curious to  see who pushes the envelope.  Check out some of my favorites below:

 

1. BMW i3: Newfangled Idea

I thought this BMW commercial with Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric was pretty brilliant. Footage from 21 years ago shows the anchors trying to figure out the enigma that was the Internet. We catch them asking “What is Internet anyway?”

 

2. Budweiser:  Lost Dog

Budwisers always goes for the heartstrings. I’m pretty sure this story of a lost-then-found pup gave me all the doses of cute I'll be needing for the year.

 

3. Fiat 500X: The Blue Pill

This cheeky little ad was all about innuendo. When this senior fellow loses his little blue pill right before it’s time to get intimate, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. Oh and when they ended with the line “Bigger, more powerful and ready for action.” All I could do is smile. Oh behave.

 

4. Bud Light: Real Life PacMan

When Bud Light puts a grown man inside a real life PacMan game and asks him if he’s down for whatever, a good time will probably be had.

 

5. Dove Men + Care

I’m a little confused by the message. What makes men stronger? Showing that he cares. Dove Care makes men stronger. Ehh? Whatever the commercial’s just so darn touching, it was destined to be one of my favorites.

 

Some honorable mentions go to:

Microsoft: Braylon O'Neill

This ad featured a voice over from one of my favorite rappers, Common narrating the story about Braylon O'Neill, an inspiring child with prosthetics.

 

Sprint: Sprint’s Super Apology

First Sprint apologized for calling Verizon and AT&T goats and then they proceeded to call them jackasses. Ha Ha. They’re cutting the competitions bills in half for their new customers. They are so wrong for that but also so right.

 

Nomore.org: Pledge to say NO MORE

The message was somber but so well done that I forgive them for putting a damper on the mood. It was a great way to bring light to an issue like domestic violence.

 

Nationwide: Invisible Mindy Kaling

While Nationwide missed with the "dead little boy" ad they hit the nail on the head with this one. I love Mindy Kaling. No one should ever make her feel invisible.

Overall, there were some great commercials.  Nothing absolutely floored me but I appreciate the creativity. One observation I made is almost all of these commercials had a designated hashtag. The ad guys really had social media top of mind this year. You can see the effort put forth in hopes of sparking conversation and creating something that would be a viral success. Good job. Until this time next year.

Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Girl Rising Collage

You may or not be familiar with cosmetics mogul Bobbi Brown but in case you aren't, she is what happens when you mix makeup guru with business acumen and creativity. Brown who earned her B.F.A. in theatrical makeup became fascinated with makeup at an early age and would eventually make a career out of her life-long passion. She was already an accomplished makeup artist before she founded her own cosmetic line in 1991.  Four years after launching, Estée Lauder acquired the line, not only offering Brown cash but also creative control.

Today the Chief Creative Officer of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics continues to have great influence over the industry as well as other female entrepreneurs who aspire to the type of success that she has realized. I’m placing her in the girl power spotlight today because of her recent charity related power moves. Not only does her company have the Pretty Powerful initiative (cool name BTW), it has also recently partnered with the Girl Rising movement for a double dose of girl power.

The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls partners with organizations that make education and learning accessible to women and girls on a global level. The organization supports programs that provide women and girls with the knowledge, skills and experience to overcome the social inequalities and disadvantages that they face.

Girl Rising seeks to empower girls by providing them the educational resources they might not otherwise have access to. The organization works toward the goal of breaking the harmful cycles of illiteracy and poverty while educating girls globally.

This is the perfect partnership for Bobbi. She and her brand have been long time believers of female empowerment. Already having partnered with organizations like Dress For Success, Bobbi felt like it was time to start placing the focus on educating girls. I’m totally for it. Seriously, I'm all in. Let’s start our girls early and give them the guidance and education they need to go on to accomplish great things in life.

For more information on the Bobbi Brown and Girl Rising partnership and how you can get involved, visit prettypowerful.bobbibrowncosmetics.com

Thank you for reading. Now… "Let the power moves continue."

cloud costume icloud MG_5692

Halloween is always a fun time at my office. Luckily my past 3 jobs have always made it a fun day for the employees.  This year I decided to tap into the news headlines and capitalize on what’s going on in pop culture. With the recent leaks of celebrity pictures, I thought it would be a great idea if I could be the iCloud.  I gathered my supplies (a hoodie, two pillows and some funny pictures) and went to work.  Here’s the final outcome as well as a glimpse of some the day’s fun.

cloud costume icloud2 IMG_5693

pirate dead halloween costume IMG_5755 spider girl halloween costume IMG_5708 start trek halloween costume IMG_5762 google and cloud IMG_5730_sml

the walking dead halloween costume IMG_5737 Wednesday Adams halloween costume IMG_5746

Halloween cubicle decorations Jac O' Lantern pumpkin carving contest

 

 

(From Right to Left: Darryl, Bonita, Me, Staceyann, Greg, Horasetta, Shadel, Shadel's wife Leander)
(From Right to Left: Darryl, Bonita, Me, Staceyann, Greg, Horasetta, Shadel, Shadel's wife Leander)

Today we'll be departing a bit from our normal work-wear fashion and business topics to look at a little travel, some formal fashion and matters of the heart.  Last weekend my crew and I headed out to picturesque city of Tucson Arizona. You may recall, me mentioning my crew in a recent post on the topic of wearing white after Labor Day. "The Crew", a collection of old college buddies who one of our parents affectionately dubbed "The Black 90210", graduated some (cough) years ago but have managed to remain incredibly close.

We try to get together for a little getaway about once a year and this year the destination was Tucson, Arizona. Why Tucson, Arizona, you ask; certainly not for the wealth of entertainment and activities  (umm why is there nothing to do in Tucson?) but because our dear friend Darryl was getting married. Like a 3rd installment of the Best Man movies, The Crew descended upon the Ritz Carlton Tuscon, Dove Mountain and started the weekend off with laughs right from the jump,  laughs that would not let up until we boarded our separate flights back home. Our trip was so filled with good times and fabulous fashions, I thought I’d share a few pictures (read: a gang of pictures) from our lovely weekend.

(Upon arrival at The Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountaiin, a magical place where your questions are never answered with "No" but "I'll see what I can do." Fabulous resort.
(Upon arrival at The Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain, a magical Shangri-La)

We arrived at this grand resort and couldn't help but be in awe of how gorgeous it was. It really doesn't matter that there's nothing to do in town. Dove Mountain is a town in of itself. I also finally understand why people rave about the quality of service at the famed Ritz Carlton. It's like a magical place where a guest requests are never answered with a "No" but rather "I'll see what I can do." Of course I had to test my boundaries and request that someone find me a unicorn. Low and behold, a staff member returned to me with a signed photo of a Unicorn. I see what you did there. I love this place.

Scenic rustic wedding mountains Tucson Arizona Ritz Carlton Scenic rustic wedding fire pit Tucson Arizona Ritz Carlton

Scenery. I need say No more.

The crew college buddies friends wedding double
Rehearsal dinner/meet and greet and food truck fun.

 

The crew college buddies friends ladies The crew college buddies friends ladies2

We did a little venturing off the resort to see if there was anything interesting to see. You guessed it, nothing.  So like any group of self respecting shopaholics would, we ended up at a mall. No complaints. Pretty cute outdoor ambiance.

Lime green neon yellow dress orange shoes single2

Wedding day! Wedding dress code called for "Resort Cocktail attire". I thought about something floral or a flowy jumper but then decided to go super bright and incorporate some oranges to tie in an Arizona desert feel. It turned out more tropical than desert but I liked the outcome none the less. More details on the look below.

Bonita's strapless floral pencil dress was on point. Paired with those awesome nude sandals. POW!
Bonita's strapless floral pencil dress was on point. Paired with those awesome nude sandals. POW!
Make love to the camera. Staceyann looking all goddess like in this bold green stunner.
Make love to the camera. Staceyann looking all goddess-like in this bold green stunner.
Attitude. Alright Horasetta don't hurt 'em. You can never go wrong in a little black dress.
Attitude. Alright Horasetta don't hurt 'em. You can never go wrong in a little black dress.

Lime green neon yellow dress orange shoes collage2

My outfit details

Accessories lime green neon yellow dress orange shoes collage

  • Dress: ASOS
  • Shoes: BCBGeneration
  • Bag: Francessca
  • Accessories: Charming Charlie

 

And then there was the wedding...

three piece band wedding Arizona Ritz Carlton

We were all shuttled to the wedding location where we were greeted with a pre-ceremony cocktail reception, libations and passed hors d'oeuvres a'plenty. We took our places for the ceremony, passing a 3-piece band and photo booth/guestbook station. The backdrop for the ceremony… absolutely incredible. The sun hid just behind the mountains and we were all among  friends and family.

TV tuxedo gay wedding Arizona Ritz Carlton2
Darryl's groom Bill entering with his mother.
pink tuxedo gay wedding Arizona Ritz Carlton2
Darryl entering with his mother.
pink tuxedo gay wedding Arizona Ritz Carlton
Darryl & Bill together in sharpness. Loved the pink. Peep the adoring sister crying in the background. aww.

Post -ceremony we mingled during cocktail hour before taking our seats as the sun set.  The drinks flowed and the laughs continued. After dinner ties came undone and the guards let down. We partied.

Bonita Edgar floral pencils cocktail wedding dress
Bonita and her husband Edgar.
Shadel and Edgar cocktail wedding
Shadel and Edgar engaged in some interesting conversation.
All smiles.
All smiles.

The crew college buddies friends ladies4

party people dancing wedding Arizona Ritz Carlton

Overall, It was a great weekend. Entirely too short but totally blessed to know such amazing people who at this point are more than friends. We're family.

The crew college buddies friends wedding

"Bling Bling! Where dey at?"

Mo'ne Davis pitch 

So this may not be directly related to career advancement but this story is just so darn cool that I had to dedicate a post to it. About a month and a half ago Always released a campaign entitled #likeagirl, encouraging us to rethink using the phrase “like a girl” to insinuate something being done in a subpar manner. I don’t know if Mo’ne Davis, a 13-year-old little league pitcher from Pennsylvania found commonality in the campaign or even knows anything about it honestly, but she certainly is living proof that throwing like a girl can mean good things, really, really good things.

Mo’ne Davis is making history as she leads her Little League team, The Taney Dragons in the Little League World Series.  Not only is Mo’ne the only girl on her team, she’s only the 17th girl to make it to the Little league World Series in its 68 years of existence. Now I don’t need to know much about baseball (I know virtually nothing mind you) to know that Mo’ne’s pitching abilities are definitively a problem for the opposing team. With a fastball pitch that clocks in at about 70mph, something tells me those boys are not ready. They want no parts of this I tell you, no parts.  I have a feeling this little power mover is all set on the path to help her team become world series champs this year. She threw a 3-hit shut out on Sunday (I didn't know what that meant. I had to look it up.) allowing only three hits while conversely striking out 6 players to land an 8-0 victory over Delaware.

How does Mo’ne feel about it? “…more girls should start joining boys’ teams. The attention should not just be on one girl; more girls should join boys’ teams so it is a tradition and it won’t be so special.” What an amazing young lady. Not only is she talented, but she’s also all for the empowerment of other girls.

Mo'ne quote

Mo’ne tells Philly’s NBC 10, “I’ll probably be either the first female in the MLB or the NBA.” You know what girl, I totally believe you. Keep throwing #likeagirl.

Watch Mo’ne strick ’em out at sports.yahoo.com
Watch Mo’ne strick ’em out at sports.yahoo.com

Thanks for reading. Now let’s make power moves ladies.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jackie

American flag independence day high heels pumps american woman text

Happy Birthday America!

In conjunction with Independence Day I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate all of my independent women. Let’s take a look at what it means to be independent. Dictionary.com defines Independence as the state or quality of being independent (not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker.) It also describes independence as freedom from the support, aid or the like, of others. In less conventional terms Urban Dictionary (LOL) defines an Independent Woman as a woman who pays her own bills, buys her own things, and DOES NOT allow a man to affect her stability or self-confidence. She supports her self (sic) on her own entirely and is proud to be able to do so.

woman wrapped in American flag

As a self-proclaimed independent woman, that later definition totally tickles my fancy. I wouldn’t go so far as to describe myself as a bra-burning feminist though.  I realize that no matter how independent you are, there are instances in life where you will have to depend on other people (maybe even men, gasp). Whether it’s for their thoughts and opinions, support, influence, connections or power, at some point in time you’re going to need somebody’s help. However, I feel like being able to do things on your own and being able to make things happen for yourself is one of the most empowering feelings a woman can ever feel. To me it goes beyond being able to say I did a few things independently but rather it’s being able to self-identify as independent that I find extremely powerful and satisfying. It’s not the “I did” it’s the “I am”.  I am an independent thinker and doer. I am powerful. I am a woman. I am an independent, powerful woman. I’m glad you are too.

Thanks for reading. Now let’s make power moves ladies.

Happy Independence Day!

 

Sincerely,

 

J. Daniel

So last week Always® debuted an amazing viral video. Shamefully, I’m just getting around to seeing it. I can’t even begin to put into words how much I love this but I will try. The video entitled Always #LikeAGirl has gone viral in just a few days, garnering over 14.5 million views at the time of this post. Because I’m all for anything girl power, it’s no surprise that I’m ready to jump on the bandwagon for the #LikeAGirl initiative. The video starts with a producer type asking participants to demonstrate various actions in a manner that would be “like a girl”.  The same questions are then asked to young girls. The difference in the manner in which the young girls perform the actions is eye opening. See for yourself below:

Self-acceptance and confidence are definitely things we need to instill in young girls and ensure that they hold on to these ideals through adulthood. Without eye openers like these, without action, without the concerted effort to change the view that women are weaker and less than worthy, the negative correlations to being female in the workplace or society as a whole will never go away. I salute Always for this. Way to use your brand for good. This was genius.

Catch the Good Morning America report on the viral video. Seems like they were equally impressed.


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