words are just words quote Jackie R Daniel

So I absolutely love a good quote. If I could end all of my arguments and make all of my points in quotes, I probably would. Why? People have short attention spans and language is complicated. There’s so much satisfaction to be had in using a simple quote to paint a clear picture of a complicated principle. For that same reason, I find that quotes actually help me settle many of my internal conflicts. “Should I take this risk?” “Yes, of course you should ‘Just do it’. I have been motivated time after time by simple quotes that have somehow altered my way of thinking and thus changed my life. It may seem far-fetched but some words are just so powerful, so impactful, that they not only resonate in that moment but the clarity they provide, the epiphany you experience, can last a lifetime. Here are a few of my favorites and how they have and are currently impacting my life:

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. — Mark Twain

I heard this one while in high school. As an introvert, it was a total confidence builder. What it meant to me: As long as you have the heart you can conquer the biggest and the toughest obstacles. I’ve built a mental toughness over the years that has served me much more than my physical fitness ever has.


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. — Confucius

My Professional Development professor in college put me on to this one. It struck a cord the moment it left his mouth and I’ve been chasing it ever since. I still haven’t found this utopia yet but I’m relentless in my pursuit of it.


You teach people how to treat you.  Dr. Phil

This may or may not belong to Dr. Phil but that is where I heard it first. The other version is longer and attributed to Tony Gaskins. That version states: “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” Sure the person in question might have been raised by wolves but what have you been teaching them about what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to you? This quote is a constant reminder for me to not accept the unacceptable. Life changed for me when I grew some metaphorical balls and started putting my foot down.


Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. Elmer G. Letterman

I’ve always been drawn to a magnetic personality. After struggling to understand why someone who seemed so great on the surface was eventually sickening to be around, I understood that I put way too much weight on personality. Yeah… I don’t do that anymore.


A liar should have a good memory. Quintilian

Alternate version: “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” – Abraham Lincoln. Recalling memories is easier then recalling stories. I learned to play close attention to the things people say especially when trust is in question. I learned that my silence was my most successful bait when trying to catch a liar. A liar will fill uncomfortable silence with tall tales, fables and details that may or may not be available to his memory later. I just learned to pay close attention.


Trying is lying. Unknown

When I first heard my brother say this I thought he came up with it but it looks like this one’s been around a while. After responding to a question with “I’ll try”, this was his not-so-subtle way of telling me that my response was a cop out, a set up for failure, if you will. Nowadays I’m more conscious of replacing “I’ll try” with "I will.” As you can imagine the “I will” has been more effective in helping me get sh!# done.


Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't.” Student of Warren G. Tracy

Honestly, I owe one of my biggest accomplishments in life to this quote.  While going through a tough financial period, I made a decision to deal with my discomfort instead of chasing comfort in order to save money. It was difficult, sometimes near torturous but I knew the sacrifice would pay off in the long run and it did. I crossed a major item off of my goals list and continue to make the sacrifices that I know may be uncomfortable today but will allow me to luxuriate in comfortable later.


Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. — Mike Tyson

I’m a planner by nature. I plan the hell out of everything. Give me an obstacle and I’m working my way though it in a spreadsheet with considerations for different scenarios. But no matter how detailed your plan there is still a chance that you’ll get hit with an unknown variable and variables sometimes feel a lot like being punched in the face. What I learned: preparation won’t make me invincible and I’m going to have to deal with some BS when I least expect it. I can’t feel sorry for myself. I just have to take the blow and keep it moving.


I got my start by giving myself a start. Madam C. J. Walker

I’ve just added this one to my list. If you read my last post on Madam C. J. Walker, you’ll understand where it comes from. It might be a little too early to determine if this quote actually helps to change my life but it definitely feels like it provides the type of clarity that can be life-changing. When it comes to career or success, I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of waiting for someone to give me a shot. My new outlook is to give myself a shot.


There you have it. A couple of quotes that have helped change my life. There are a couple of others that I didn’t mention and I’m sure there will be more along this journey I call life. Let this be a friendly reminder that words are powerful. Listen closely – apply them wisely.


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

There's no doubt in my mind that this little girl went off and had an absolutely amazing day. Why? Because she drew that energy to her. How many of us drag ourselves out of bed in the morning dreading the start of another lackluster day? We may even sit at the edge of our beds in deep thought. Scratch that, in deep, negative thought, already dissatisfied with a day we have yet to begin (I'm not judging you. I've done this). If we only stopped to think about how powerful our thinking is and how much of an impact our thinking has on our daily lives and wellbeing in general. Everyone always says "You are what you eat." but equally as true is, "You are what you think".

I've always liked the idea of positive affirmations but after reading and watching a couple of inspiring books and videos recently, I’ve started to really make the act a habit. The root of so much failure and dissatisfaction in our lives often comes from how we view ourselves and how we think others may view us. Self-esteem is a large determinant of our success and happiness. You're a lot less likely to become successful if you're viewing yourself as worthless or less than and you're definitely not going to be happy or satisfied in life with that mindset. The good thing is, you have the extraordinary power to change that with one simple thing: positive thinking.

natural hair girl kissing herself in the mirror

I have a couple of daily morning rituals that I've enacted recently that have really started to make a difference on my outlook on life. One of these rituals is my positive affirmations routine. In the morning after thinking about and expressing gratitude for the often-overlooked blessings in my life (sight, hearing, mobility, etc.), I begin to speak, out loud, positive things about myself. I begin with "I am..." And complete the thought with a positive attribute. Some of the statements I believe wholeheartedly, 100%, others I may need some work on. But the point is to remind myself of how great those attributes are and speak those iffy ones into existence. I won't delve into all of my affirmations but to give you an idea, I may say: "I am smart. I am compassionate. I am creative. I am beautiful. I am successful. I don't have them memorized. There isn't a script. Sometimes some new affirmations creep in. Sometimes I forget some of the old ones. I usually remember the one's that are most important to me and I think that's what makes the major difference.

If you don't already do this exercise, I implore you to get started. It's a simple activity that can make a huge difference on your life. Take my word for it. There are few things more powerful than the power of positive thinking.

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



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.

Heart candies - it's not me it's you


A report from Bain and Company explores frontline managers and their impact on women’s career aspirations.  What the study brings to light is that a significant number of women have nearly the same story. At the start of their careers women are ambitious and confident. As they progress and attempt to work their way towards the C-suite they gradually begin to lose confidence. What’s the confidence killer? Well, that can partially be blamed on the lack of women in upper management to serve as examples as well as working for direct supervisors who are of little help. 

All that ambition you’ve got… it’ll last about 2 years.

The study shows that 43% of women aspire to top management when they are in the first two years of their position, compared with 34% of men at that stage.  Wow, look at how ambitious we are. It’s not surprising that fresh out of school we are bright eyed and bushy tailed. We’re equally confident as men. We aim for top management and are ready to kick ass and take names to get there.

But then…

Over time, women’s aspiration levels drop more than 60% while men’s stay the same. Among experienced employees (those with two or more years of experience), 34% of men are still aiming for the top, while only 16% of women are.

To be frank, the “It’s not me. It’s you.” statement above isn’t completely fair. Understandably, sometimes this drop off occurs as women get older and start putting more emphasis on marrying and having children. What’s interesting is that the study’s findings suggest that marital and parental status do not significantly differ for women who aspire and women who don’t. The picture improves only slightly for more senior female employees.

What’s happening?

As far as education, the population of women seeking higher education continues to grow. Currently, women account for more than half of all college graduates and are earning approximately 40% of all MBAs. Yet our numbers at the top of the corporate hierarchy remain abysmal. Women number only a slim 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 17% of board members.

For women the confidence gap is real and not simply because we don’t believe in ourselves. We don’t believe in our leadership or our companies to make this issue a top priority.  Women, just don’t believe they have an equal opportunity to advance. There are three critical areas that help incite this feeling of inequity: a clash with the stereotype of the ideal worker, a lack of supervisory support and too few role models in senior-level positions.

To sum it up, too many women believe their supervisors don’t know where they are in their career aspirations, aren’t supportive or don’t know what to say or do to support them. The end result is a decrease in employee engagement and loyalty and missed opportunities to develop female talent (all bad for business if you ask me).

To read more on the study  and suggested remedies click here

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."

Look at you. You're a mess. Get yourself together.
Look at you. You're a mess. Get yourself together.

Some people are worriers and are simply panic-prone by nature. Some people jump to the worst possible conclusion first and ask questions later (Hi mom). I'm pretty much the complete opposite. I'm a thinker so I tend to absorb information and take my time to process the situation before reacting. I'll get around to worst possible conclusions whenever I get to them. There are very few things that unnerve me but some things do come close. I recently received some unsettling news at work and like most of my colleagues I couldn't help but be upset. Although I didn't go into full-on panic, I definitely lost focus for the rest of the day and didn't quite make it fully back on track until I had some time to really sit down and think.

 Let our advance working become advance thinking and planning."

- Winston Churchill

I’m a visual thinker so when I’m thinking about too many things at once, all of these images are scrabbled in my head like some sort of moving collage. What I need to have, for my own sanity’s sake, is a view that is more like individual, static, vignettes that logically connect with one another. When I got some quality time alone to gather my thoughts I knew my end result would be neat and orderly and… I who am I kidding? I knew I would end up with a spreadsheet and that’s exactly what happened.

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

– Mike Tyson

You may recall me writing about 2015 goals earlier this year. My year was neatly spelled out with clearly defined goals and objectives and the roadmap for achieving those goals was set firmly in place. What I know to be true is that sometimes plans get screwed up. Hell, plans get screwed up all the damn time. I’m logical. I know this, but still manage to be deeply annoyed when I can’t see out my plans exactly as I’ve envisioned them but I digress. Cut to my punch in the face. I grabbed a sheet of paper and began sketching out possible scenarios.

Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.

-       Denis Waitley

By the time I was done my thinking and sketching I had six different scenarios outlined of what could happen, color-coded, arranged by optimal outcome and documented by length of time in an Excel spreadsheet. I printed it out, stuck it up on my wall of productivity, looked at it and breathed a sigh of relief.  “I’m going to be alright.”  I was calm and all was right in the world.

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

- Winston Churchill

Now, I’m not telling you to be as anal retentive as I am but this is just some food for thought.  Worrying never helps. Never. Well maybe… nah it never helps. It’s not productive and just makes you feel like crap. Do you want to feel like crap? Well then, don’t. The next time you’re met with a difficult situation and aren’t quite sure what you’re going to do or how it will play out, take a second to sit back and organize your thoughts. Come up with a plan (Or six. I don’t know). Knowing what your options are will make a world of difference in greatly helping to relieve that stress. “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” flirty winky face emoji

Happy planning!


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



J. Daniel

Here it is folks, my first ever social media contest in honor of my 1 year anniversary as a blogger. There are two methods to enter. Check out the details below. Good luck!

Entry Via Instagram

Instagram Contest Rules

  • You must be a follower (new or existing) of the Power Moves and Pumps Instagram page (@powermovesandpumps)
  • Repost the picture above on Instagram and tag @powermovesandpumps
  • Be sure to include the following hashtag #happybdaypumps in your post

Entry Via Facebook

Facebook Contest Rules

  • You must be a Liker (new or existing) of the Power Moves and Pumps fan page on Facebook Facebook.com/PowerMovesAndPumps 
  • Repost this picture and tag Power Moves and Pumps
  • Be sure to include the following hashtag #happybdaypumps in your post


Contest Rules:

Contest ends 1/31/15 at 11:59pm Eastern Standard time.  Winner will be announced on 2/1/15. One DSW gift card loaded with a value of $100 will be awarded to 1 participant chosen at random. Winner will be contacted through the social media outlet from which they entered with instructions to contact Power Moves and Pumps via email. Winner must contact the email address provided to claim prize. If prize is not claimed within 3 days, the winner will forfeit the prize and another winner will be chosen. Friends and family members of Power Moves & Pumps not eligible to win.

Bloggerversary Blogger anniversary collage sml

Yup, one year ago today I announced to the world the launch of Power Moves and Pumps. One year ago today I set out on a mission to not only learn and grow professionally but to also share that knowledge and growth with other women like myself.  I didn’t know that by sharing and making a commitment to share that I would in turn learn so much.  What emerged from an idea I had for sharing my passion for fashion blossomed into so much more.  If I was going to talk about what I was learning, I had to make sure I was actually learning. If I was going to talk about looking your best, then I had to look my best. My commitment to you, the reader has certainly kept me on my toes.  So what you have done for me by following my musings has been invaluable and I can’t thank you enough.

Why I started

If you’ve read the about me section, then you already have a solid understanding of why I started this blog to begin with. I was inspired by other bloggers and encouraged by colleagues who appreciated my fashion sense but it extends far beyond that. This blog has allowed me to showcase my ideas, hold myself accountable and at times be an inspiration to others. Navigating through a career journey is unnecessarily hard for women but I’m a determined individual and I’m remarkably stubborn when it comes to success. I won’t give up until I have it. I’ve certainly had plenty of reason to throw in the towel and settle for the status quo but as tempting as that is, I could never bring myself to do it. In my mind, if I’m this determined when it comes to making it through the obstacles, there’s no reason why I wouldn’t ultimately succeed. I have the utmost confidence that I will eventually arrive at my destination. Knowing that, it would be selfish of me to hold on to the knowledge that will eventually help me reach my career destination.  Hopefully, I can make the journey a smidge easier for someone else.

What I Learned

Blogging is hard work. This ain’t your momma’s weekend scrapbook project. Power Moves and Pumps has a purpose.  This blog has become my baby, a time consuming, sleep depriving, attention stealing baby.  Like all babies right? I never thought about what really goes into producing a post while I was scrolling through all of those other blogs. I think the idea of a post taking four hours to create would have thrown me for a loop. Had I known, I might have run away screaming. Being on the other side now, I can appreciate all that goes into creating stimulating graphics, writing captivating copy or finding links to the resources you want your reader to have. Fellow bloggers, cheers to you. You are awesome.

I’ve also picked up several valuable skills just by jumping into the trenches like how to create and manage a Word Press site, influencing through social media, managing an editorial calendar, creating a budget, hiring help, and even my copywriting has improved. I’ve learned so much through trial and error. I’ve had technical difficulties that almost caused me to pull all of my hair out. I’ve gotten a better idea of what my followers like to see and what I should post more of. It’s been a great learning journey and I’m looking forward to growing and making the experience even better this year.

Favorite part of blogging

There’s so much that I appreciate about blogging but knowing that I actually possess the power to motivate or inspire someone is an amazing feeling. It’s incredible to think you could have possibly affected a change in someone’s life. I’m a creative type and when I blog, I’m constantly creating.  You always hope that someone will like what you created. Therefore, when someone acknowledges something I’ve put a lot of hard work into it’s a beautiful feeling. It helps to validate your works purpose.

Least Favorite Part of Blogging

Blogging this past year has been a blast. There honestly hasn’t been much that I’ve dealt with that I would not be willing to deal with again for the grater good of the blog. My biggest issues were dealing with technical difficulties and the large amount of time it takes to run the blog at just the moderate pace at which I’m it running now. Other than that, it’s really been all love.

What I’m Looking Forward To

I’m looking forward to ramping things up this year and stepping up the pace a bit. I’m looking forward to the continued knowledge shares, more interaction with my readers and followers, more fashion, more fun, and more power moves. I hope you’ll stick around to be part of the continued journey.


Surprise, Surprise…Because I Have to Thank You!

Like I said before, I have to thank my readers for making this past year so amazing. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have an audience to speak to. In honor of your readership and support, I’m launching my first social media contest (and it’s a gonna be a good one!) I will announce it later on today so stay tuned.


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for reading. Now… “Let the power moves continue.”

Black cardigan and blue tie for a woman IMG_5876edit_sml Black cardigan and blue tie for a woman IMG_5904edit_sml Black cardigan and blue tie for a woman IMG_6033edit_sml Black cardigan and blue tie for a woman IMG_5867edit_sml_ Black cardigan and blue tie for a woman IMG_5892edit_sml Black cardigan and blue tie for a woman IMG_6004edit_sml Black cardigan and blue tie for a woman IMG_6014edit_sml


Sometimes you just feel like wearing a tie. Why the hell not? I have never been one to let gender dictate what type of garments or accessories I wear. It would be foolish to let social norms restrict me from some of the fabulous bow ties and suspenders I manage to find.

Blue is my absolute favorite color so when I found this snazzy blue tie, I couldn't resist. The outfit overall is perfect for chilly SoFlo days like today. A black cardigan is worn over a white button down shirt with black trim detail around the collar and is cinched at the waist by a thin waist belt. Funky textured pantyhose round out the menswear-inspired winterish look.

  • Shirt: ASOS, White Button Down with Black trim
  • Cardigan: Merona (Target), Black Cotton Cardigan
  • Tie: Perry Ellis, Blue Paisley Tie
  • Skirt: Zara, Black Pencil Skirt
  • Tights: H&M, Patterned tights
  • Shoes: Nine West, Nubuck Peep Toe Heels



Powermovesandpumps.com is finally up and running. It only took a little bit of blood sweat and tears but we’re finally ready to start making moves. I'm so pleased to share some of my passions with you. Whether its fashion, career, travel or other random happenings in life, if I share it here, it's all up for discussion so please comment and don't hesitate to share.

Don't forget to take a gander into the "About Me" section to find out why I put this whole thing together and get an idea about what's to come. I'm super excited and can't wait for you all to see what's up next.

Lets make moves ladies. Thanks for following.



J. Daniel