Dec 26, 2014

Style Icons & Cues

Me!  I take my style ques from all of the women below!
Details:  Natural tapered hair, Earrings, Fur vest
When it comes to style and fashion, most of us take note of what's trending in celebrity style and fashion news.  But there comes a time when we feel a pull to make style a priority in our lives and we want to get serious about "the look" we portray to the world.  When you reach this point in your style life, it will become necessary to find inspiration in other places besides magazines and red carpet affairs.  It also becomes necessary to start paying attention to the details and what best complements your lifestyle.   

Historic style icons are the perfect guide for style inspiration.  Here are a few that always peak my interest and I hope they do yours as well!  Pay attention to the details and you don't have to choose just one either. Mix it up and take your style cues from them all!

Sophia Loren:  Glam Diva
Details:  Eyebrows, Eyelashes, Winged eyeliner, Nude lip

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis:  Classic Diva
Details:  Sunglasses, Print scarf, Neutral coat, Hobo bag 

Diana Ross:  Eccentric Diva
Details:  Dramatic eye makeup, Simple earrings, Dramatic gown

Madonna:  Bad Bitch
Details:  Fur, Multi gold chains, Bouncy hair 

Dec 9, 2014

At Home: Stylish and Comfy!

inspiringcolor on Etsy:  Tie Dyed Caftan in
Aquamarine and Seafoam

You think it's impossible right?  Nothing to resort to but a ripped t-shirt and old yoga pants when you're relaxing at home? Well let me tell you a funny story. Today I had on my favorite black lounge pants by Gilligan and O'Malley that I got from Target a few years ago. They are still soft and comfortable and they would be stylish except they now have holes in 3 different places. I've literally worn them to death!  They are still okay to wear around the house just not past the porch. So today, I ran out to get take-out for dinner and I put my coat and shoes on and walked out the door with "the pants" on. No worries though because I was going to a drive-thru, but oh how soon we forget. I get to the drive-thru and the line is long, but when I looked inside the restaurant, there were no customers waiting.  So I parked my car and decided to go in and place my order instead of sitting in a long line. Only problem was, I had on my worn lounge pants and I forgot I had them on!  I didn't even realize it until I was walking out with my order! Needless to say, I was a little embarrassed, but not really because it happened without me knowing it. Tis the purpose of this blog post. The pants I had on tonight were nice while they lasted, but it's a good idea to keep your lounge wear collection up-to-date and fresh. It's okay to be nice and comfy at home, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with being stylish at the same time.  Voila divas!    

Target:  Gilligan and O'Malley
Plus-Size Fluid Knit Pajama Pants
Walmart:  Faded Glory Flannel Sleep Pants, $6

Nov 29, 2014

From House to Home!

White and Silver tray from Pier 1 is a special, yet unpretentious way to serve guests a quick snack.  Only $27.96 at Pier 1.
Hey divas!  I hope you all had a chance to watch Oprah Prime tonight in which she gifted Iyanla Vanzant with a home makeover by Nate Berkus.  I was nearly brought to tears by his design work!   He did a phenomenal job at turning the house Iyanla bought into a home and a sanctuary that reflects her life--past, present and future.

Most of us don't have an "Oprah" in our lives, but we can start our own home/lifestyle transformation by adding little touches to our living spaces that will make it comfortable for us and welcoming for others.  Check out the 5 affordable items below which will allow you to begin to adding cheer and warmth to you home.  Comment below or Tweet me @TheDivaPlan and let me know which item(s) you love!

Coffee or tea with friends doesn't require a fancy, overpriced set up.  This cup and saucer set is $4.99 at Ikea.  Affordable enough to buy 4!  The more the merrier!

This wooden candlestick holder is an easy way to add an organic element to a room.  Medium size is $12.95 and the small size is $9.95 at H&M
What simpler way to change the tone of a room than by changing or adding throw pillows?  This colorful, gorgeous 12 x 20 lombard pillow cover is offered by Etsy shop owner JuneThirty for $30.10.

Also from H&M, this dark gray jacquard weave throw will warm up any sofa or chair in your home.  Regular price $34.95.  On sale for $20.95 at H&M.

Nov 20, 2014

Treat Yourself!

Daniel Green Karoline Slippers
Women from all walks of life have unbelievable demands on them each and everyday and I unequivocally HAVE NOT been excluded from this category, but this year I decided enough was enough. On an average day, I'm up on my feet by 6 o'clock in the morning and I don't stop moving, fulfilling requests, answering questions, listening to problems, cooking, cleaning, transporting, and sighing until 11 o'clock at night. Long day right? Yet unbelievably, most days I'm paralyzed by the thought of pausing to do something special just for me. A shame right? Well not this year! My birthday is in November and about a week prior to my birthday, I started thinking about a few items I've been wanting in my closet, on my makeup vanity and in my life and I made those things happen for me guiltlessly! Will these items change the
Diptyque Hiver Mini Candle
outlook of my demanding life? Well no....but they will change the presentation of my life, while making me feel better and a little more spruced up as I move about my hectic days. So now I am challenging my readers to start thinking about some things you want to treat yourself to for Christmas and just in case you need a little help, I've provided a list of things to consider. Happy self treating my divas! We'll chat again!

"Treat Yourself" Ideas!
  • Coffee or tea lover?  Treat yourself to a gift card from your favorite coffee shop and use it whenever you need a pick me up or have a quiet moment to yourself.  Sometimes all it takes is one sip to change your day!
  • Is your makeup collection getting old and blah?  Sign up on NYX Cosmetics and BH Cosmetics and automatically receive a 15-25%
    Portolano Fur-Cuff Knit
    Tech Gloves
    off coupon just for signing up and order yourself a new lippie or 2 or 3!  Both of these sites offer a wide range of cosmetics at amazing prices!
  • Go to your local salon, spa or nail shop and buy a gift card just as if you were buying it for someone else and put it away until you can plan a special "me day".
  • While you're at it, also get a gift card to your favorite eatery and use it on your "me day" after you've had your spa treatment or mani/pedi.
  • Or, you can just go for it and do a little retail therapy!
  • Real Collectibles
    by Adrienne

Oct 14, 2014

It's Okay To Take Time

On the the way to KC
Last weekend, for the first time since becoming a mother, I was away from my child for more than 1 day.  The contemplation and dread I faced prior to leaving was the absolute worse!  I couldn't stop thinking about how she would feel without my presence and how I would deal with her feelings, as well as mine.  I kept asking, "How did I get myself into this situation?"  Well here's how it all started.

A few months ago, my cousin came to town for a short visit.  We spent the day with our other cousin just catching up and talking.  After she departed, I came up with the bright idea for my in town cousin and I to go visit her for a little bonding time.  We agreed it was a good idea so we started making plans.  I had about 2 months to put off the thought of leaving my child and to prepare her mentally for my absence.  She seemed okay, but she definitely expressed how much she was going to miss me.  It seems like the week prior to our departure went by like lightening and the day came for me to face my fears.  Then guess what happened?

I survived and my child did too!  Undoubtedly, we had a long hug before I left and many text messages and phone calls were made during the trip.  I made sure I kept in contact with her and was never too busy to communicate.  I'm not going to lie, my heart ached a little, but the bonding time and fun I had with my cousins was priceless and I'm so glad I went through with the trip as planned.  We all expressed our feelings about the current state of our lives and we laughed, ate and drank to our hearts content.  More importantly, we ended our trip feeling reassured that we can count on each other through thick and thin.

Headed back to STL
Towards the end of the trip, I expressed to my cousin that I MUST go to the two-story Forever 21 store in Country Club Plaza to pick up a few surprises for the kid.  She delightfully obliged and I mindlessly overspent.  Needless to say, my reunion with my child was the greatest victory of the whole weekend.  We hugged, kissed and cuddled as I showered her with the results of my shopping spree.
My weekend away from my child taught me a lot.  I learned to be confident about the love I've shown her and I also learned how important it is for mothers to be refreshed so we can continue to be
triumphant in our roles.

Oct 3, 2014

Fall In!

As much as I love interior decorating or the thought thereof, I'm always surprised at how many components of it I completely overlook.  Sure I decorate a little for Christmas and I change the sign on the front door from season to season and holiday to holiday, but I tend to lose sight of the details. To be absolutely clear, these days my love for interior design doesn't go beyond my subscription to Elle Decor magazine. Thankfully, I was inspired this week by a few YouTube channels to spread my wings a and try my hand at adding a little fall decor to my home.  Now don't expect a lot of DIY with little details tucked in every corner. I basically hit the main spots like my dining room table and the side tables in my living room.  Nevertheless, the main thing is that I was inspired by some wonderful homemakers to spruce things up a bit and these little touches will take me all the way through to Thanksgiving.  Then I can do it all over again for Christmas!   This minuscule decorating soiree simply reminded me that sometimes it only takes a few small things to change the tone of an environment.  Most of all, it slows us down so we have time to appreciate the season we are in before it passes.

P.S.  Most of these items I got from Family Dollar and Dollar General for $1 to $3.  Also, check out HayleysWIFESTYLE, DoItOnaDime, Veri Keri and Living Luxuriously for Less on YouTube!

Sep 28, 2014

You Can Get It!

Let's be real, as much as we have all tried to frugalize (Is that a word?) our budget's in this sagging economy, every now and then we still have the desire to purchase a high end item.  Well if you haven't heard yet, there is a place where you too can get it!  Chanel, Prada, Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin all included!

Couture USA is an online designer resale boutique that offers previously owned, luxury items at much gentler than retail prices.  Couture USA also has a consignment program with various options for selling your gently used luxury items.  I have perused the site several times and found no lack of merchandise to choose from.  Now let's get to the good part.....THEY HAVE LAYAWAY!  Yes you read it right! Couture USA offers a 60 day layaway plan, on a minimum $100 purchase, with a 30% down payment. The thing I like most about the 30% down payment is that after your down payment is subtracted from the total price of your item, it makes the remaining balance seem much more attainable.

So no longer do you have wish upon a star, play lotto or make penny rolls to get some of the luxury items you've been wishing for.  Visit today and start fulfilling your your high end dreams!

Sep 22, 2014

Sunday Guilt

Hey Divas!  I hope everyone is doing well and living life to the fullest.  I have a question to pose today.  Has your weekend ever ended with you feeling not only exhausted, but unproductive?  I don't know about you, but last night this is exactly how I felt.

My weekends always starts out full of optimism.  This past one was no different than any other. I planned on catching up on chores, grocery shopping and getting a little rest. However, at the top of my list of priorities, every weekend, is spending quality time with my child. Very seldom do we just bum out.  We usually get out and take advantage of not being on a schedule, but it never fails that by Sunday night, I feel totally unprepared for Monday.  I find myself feeling down and out about not meeting my household deadlines.  Maybe it's just an issue of time management or procrastination.  At this point, I'm not even sure.  Luckily, I always find a way to pull together a weekend's worth of duties within a few hours on Sunday night.  Can you feel the stress?

When I logged into my Facebook account today, I was inspired by a simple post that made me realize it's time for me to stop being hard on myself.  More importantly, it's past due time for me to learn how to take life one day a time and to have more appreciation of each moment of each day.  I was so inspired by the post that I decided to share it with my readers.  Let this soak in and let me know if you also deal with Sunday Guilt.

"Think about how when you took the first breath this morning and how delighted you were to wake up another day.  Let that feeling last through out your day because someone didn't get that feeling." 

Mary T. Moore of Disclosure Newszine 

Jun 23, 2014

Alone Time.....Pleaseeee!

Let's face it, there are times when we feel like the walls are closing in on us.  It doesn't matter if you are a stay at home mom, working mom, single mom, empty nest mom or a single woman who does it all alone.  Sometimes the responsibilities, duties and obligations feel like they are pushing you into the ground.  I'm having one of those periods in my life right now and something has got to give!  I've over extended myself in various categories and I'm seriously feeling it!  Most women are smart enough to know when it's time to take a break.  Although most of us worry if the world will keep spinning on it's axis if we do.

Well I've decided to take a chance.  It's a shame in itself that I'm considering taking a break as taking a chance.  I have a 1 week vacation coming up in July and on the first day of that vacation, I've put everyone on notice.  LEAVE ME ALONE!  On that day, my Ikea Lack side table will be my stationary butler as it will hold a glass of ice water, my Nook and my new Samsung Galaxy 5.  Between mini naps, I can eat and read the June, July and August issues of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Elle Decor.  I'll probably take time to pin some fall fashions to my Style Room board on Pinterest and most of all, just really take time to think about the life I want for myself and my daughter.  I think I will make a sign for my bedroom door that reads, "No Inquiries, Questions or Complaints" just so I can be completely clear and of course because some people are visual and not verbal learners.

P.S.  I will post an updated picture of my side table on my "Alone Time" day.

Jun 18, 2014

Should You #Ipsy...?

#Ipsy June 2014
With makeup being my new obsession, I'd been on the hunt for a subscription similar to the CurlKit (a monthly natural hair product box), but one that exclusively offered makeup.  I did my research for well over a month and found several offerings of this kind.  The prices for such a subscription ranged from $25 to $40 per month and I just wasn't willing to commit to spending that amount of money every month for what would inevitably be a surprise.  Don't get me wrong, I like surprises, but I also based my opinion partly on online reviews and YouTube videos.  After all, for those prices, I could spend the same amount each month on the E.LF., BH Cosmetics and NYX products of my choice.  Upon more analysis, I realized that if I could find a reasonably priced monthly makeup subscription, I could also save myself some time by allowing these products to arrive at my door instead going to get them.  My primary motivation at this point is to just build upon my current collection by adding some random and new products.  Once I realized  how the affordable the Ipsy bag is, I quickly decided this would be the subscription for me.

This weekend, I received my first Ipsy bag and I must say I was pleasantly surprised.  The unique thing about Ipsy is, each month your products come in a makeup bag so truthfully, for the month of June, instead of receiving 5 products, I actually received 6.  The contents of my June subscription were as follows:
  1. A Rebecca Minkoff makeup bag (love it)
  2. OFRA universal eyebrow pencil, full-size (love it)
  3. NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair, full-size (love it)
  4. Real Tree eau de parfum, sample size (nice fragrance and will fit nicely in a makeup bag)
  5. Nicka K Shimmer Eyeliner in blue, full-size (definitely look forward to trying this)
  6. Carol's Daughter Sacred Tiare Styling Cream, sample size (haven't tried it yet)
For the record, I was very pleased.  Here are the details on how Ipsy works.  Go to the website and sign up.  Take some time to peruse the site so you can take it all in, but make sure you take the quiz because your monthly bag will be customized based on your answers.  If you like what you see, then you will need to subscribe.  Now here's the beauty of it all.  The monthly subscription is only $10!!!!!! After you subscribe, you will have to enter your payment information, but you will not be charged until an offering is available for the next month's bag.  Also, you may be put on a waiting list, but Ipsy will offer options for getting off of the waiting list.  In this case, you won't be charged until you are off the waiting list and the next month's bag is offered.  Shortly before shipment, Ipsy will release sneak peaks of what's in your bag.  You will also have the option of posting photos and videos of looks you've created and they also offer products for purchase at a discounted price.

Bottom line?  I would recommend subscribing to Ipsy.  The price can't be beat and the bag allows you to add to your collection while trying some great new products. 

Apr 10, 2014

Today's Deal is All About Nails

When I posted the other day and said I was coming back full force with this blog, I meant it! 

Ladies if you have yet to find the inspiration you need to start getting ready for summer, then I have something to get you going.  Groupon is offering a 6-Piece China Glaze Neon Nail Lacquer Collection in its Goods category for $21.99!  6 bottles of nail polish should keep your digits pretty through the whole summer. 

Keep in mind, if you aren't currently signed up on Groupon, sometimes after you sign up, they will give you coupon for your first purchase.  Click the link below for more info.

6-Piece China Glaze Neon Nail Polish

What Every Woman Needs

Yesterday was an emotional day for me.  It was one of those days that not only forced me to reach out to a friend, but it also made me take a look at myself.  In retrospect, I'm glad it happened because it caused me to also think about how this blog influences its readers.  Empowering women towards well rounded growth has always been my main objective because at the time I started this blog and even now, I too needed to be empowered.

Sunday while I was preparing to go to church, I ran across an alarming Facebook post that one of my close friends had posted.  She said she didn't think she could go on.  She was weary and emotionally drained by the failure of her 20 year marriage.  Some of her FB friends, as well as myself, posted inspirational messages to lift her spirits.  She reiterated that she couldn't go on.  Although I was concerned about her mental state, I didn't push any further.  I made my way to church. 

My day went along as planned, but she stayed on my mind for the rest of the day.  Now you may be wondering why I didn't call her or rush to her side.  I chose not to take any action beyond words because I've been down this road with her before.  She has been suffering for a few years.  I felt like I was running out of inspiration to provide her with.  I've tried prayer, tough love, a CD with empowering songs, liquid lunches, shopping and many, many words of encouragement.  A few days later she admitted to me that she had been checked into the hospital over the weekend because of her depressive mood.  She really was on the edge of ending it all.

Listen Divas, no matter how dark life gets, there is a predestined plan for all of our lives and it is a no fail plan with only one caveat.  We must trust the journey.  The journey isn't easy, we just have to trust it.  If we fail to move forward, that means we don't believe we are deserving of our lives moving to higher places.   

This experience served as a great reminder to me about my life, but I also want to remind my readers what this blog is about.  The sales, online deals, travel deals and fashion news I sometimes provide are all communicated to serve the higher place we are all longing for.  In other words, The Diva Plan is an all inclusive plan to help us reach our best life.  Living a good, quality life is not exclusive to people who are rich, pretty or skinny.  We must gather the courage to create a life that fits our uniqueness.  More importantly, we must always be in the mood to lift each other up because the journey is useless if we refuse to inspire others as we rise.

Apr 7, 2014

Isn't She Lovely!

Rara Avis by Iris Apfel Bicolor Square Bangle Bracelet
My latest inspiration has come from an unlikely place.  Although I've always been fascinated by the style and grace of older women, when most women reach a certain age, we are usually busy finding ways to make time slow down.  All I can say is, my mind has been changed by Iris Apfel. 

A little over a month ago, I ran across a photo of Apfel on Facebook and I was immediately blown away by her unique, flamboyant style.  My curiosity about this lady has grown since then so I decided to do a little research.  Why was I not surprised at what I found out about this rare bird with the stylish glasses, jewelry, feathers and furs? 

Apfel spent 50 years in the textile business in New York City, but she always yearned for more.  Her penchant for all things style has catapulted her to a place WE never imagined her being.  As she explains it, she has just always been herself.  Her unique presentation has taken her places that other 90+ year olds would have long stored in their attic of dreams.  As a result of her nomenclature personality and style, she now has a color line at MAC and an accessories line at HSN.  The only thing I can pray for now is that she develops a clothing line for HSN or some other outlet! 

The primary takeaway from my new inspiration is that she believes that women should never get to the point where we just sit still and not do anything and not express ourselves.  Iris Apfel is the ethereal originator of JUST DO IT!

Where Has The Time Gone?

Geesh!  I have totally been remiss in managing this blog.  It started out as a great idea and all of my past posts communicated exactly what I wanted it to be about.  I wanted this blog to serve as an inspiration to women to get up, get out and get something.  LOL!  Really though!  I think now is the time to get back to business because there are so many new and inspirational things going on in this world.  Please stay tuned as I revamp this blog.  New posts will be coming as soon as this week!  Voila!