Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wardrobe Makeover

So I picked up a bit of fascinating news during a seminar I attended last weekend. One of the facilitators of a workshop there shared that roughly 80 percent of people only wear 20 percent of their wardrobes.


Of course I had to research this "stat" myself. While I couldn't find any hard facts from a recent clinical study, it unfortunately appears to be true.

My closet does NOT look like this.

I guess I shouldn't be totally surprised since I am well aware of how most of us are overconsumers but that info still made me pause. Seriously. It made me think about the roughly 20 purses I have hanging behind my closet door and about 7 or 8 clutch bags on a nearby shelf that I cherish but rarely ever see the light of day. And then there's the tote bags...The huge grey satchel that fits everything from my change of shoes to my lunch to my magazines however? It is in constant rotation and although I just purchased it last December, I've carried it a gazillion times more than most of the bags I've have for years.

So I get it. We're creatures of habit and some of us like me are pack rats. (Mr. TK recently informed me with a straight face that I have a clutter problem when I told him that my email inbox was full...again.) But still, why so much stuff? Don't we know that stuff can't make us happy? The latest designer jeans can't spoon with you at night, right? We've all read the self-help books, the service articles in women's magazines...right? One of the best dressed women I know is in her 50s, far from rich and has a mere fraction of the clothes that I have. But she looks great in everything she wears and rarely impulse shops. She shops like a man -- typically only buying something when she needs it. Shopping isn't receation for her. Why though, after all I just typed, do I still feel like I need another purse (a LV speedy) at this very moment? (I'm being honest.)

What's your take? Are you part of the 80 percent? Do you, like me, regularly donate clothes, sometimes unworn, to charity and rarely ever pay full price for anything but still occassionally feel guilty about having so much stuff, especially knowing what you're NOT a trust fund kid? If so, what are you doing about it? I wanna know, what percentage of your wardrobe do you wear on a regular basis? Leave me an (honest) comment.


Folks, don't you love weddings? Of course you do! Even those of you who are cynical about marriage or just flat out think weddings are a waste of time and money are secretly intriqued by them.

Admit it.

Well my cyberfriends, each and every Wednesday on, you can read about a different (brown) couple who jumped the broom and learn a little about the hurdles they hopped to get there too. Plus check out pics of the the cake, the dress(es) and possibly view a video. An extra bonus is the practical advice in the form of a "Bridal Budget Bite" that each newlywed shares. The feature is called Bridal Bliss and it sort of my new baby and your support will help me with a much bigger project I'm working on.

Check out yesterday's Bridal Bliss pics here and read the story here. And don't worry, I won't tell anyone you looked. It'll be our lil' secret.

BTW - Happy Belated Earth Day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Is It More Than A Crush?

While thumbing through the New York Times "T" mag earlier today, I stumbled upon this beauty below:

Done drolling? Okay. Now imagine this in bold, piercing red. (That is the color T shot it in.) The baby sells for $1,799 at I'm thinking that it is worth the money especially since I envision having my living room decorated in primary colors. So this red couch will go quite nicely with a blue chair and yellow throw pillows. I also love that it is a sleepr sofa and will really prove to be handy when my nieces come up to visit.

Hmmmmmm... It is about time for me to invest in another grown-up piece of furniture so we shall see. First, I need to investigate whether or not I can score this baby any cheaper through a hook-up of some sort. LOL! Hey, it is what it is.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Big Easy Fun: Chillaxin' on Magazine Street

Happy hump day! This past weekend I had a heavenly visit in The Crescent City aka New Orleans. I traveled down to The Big Easy for a good friend's wedding and ended up having the time of my life. She and her husband are a couple that make me love love even more, I ate like a pig, listened to great live jazz and discovered a new shopping haunt that I'm excited to tell you guys about.

While I had read about the trendy shops and hip restaurants on Magazine Street in mags like Lucky before, this visit was my first time in the area. After a $15 cab ride from the French Quarter, my girls and I ooohed and awwwed in boutiques up and down Magazine Street. A vintage lovers dream, the strip of about 7-10 blocks was a nice retreat from the often loud and crowded Bourbon and Frenchman Streets. I scored a sweet little vintage purse from Funky Monkey while my girl Big C snagged a beautiful Petro Zilla sundress from the retail goldmine. I'm also totally siked about my long Indian inspired drop earrings for a mere $12 from the nearby Ah-Ha boutique that I ended up wearing to my friend's wedding.

Me (in the purple dress) and my girl Shay during the wedding reception. I'm wearing my new earrings in this pic. ;-)

A true highlight of our excursion was the dip into Sucre for a sweet treat. Everything from gelato to marshmellows are for sale in this adorable space. Apparently Oprah digs their delectable desserts as well.

Sucre on Magazine Street in The Big Easy is a must-visit. I can still taste my blueberry treat -- part custard, part tart (called a Bluet). Mmm, mm good!

If you happen to make your way down to Nawlins in the near future, be sure to do something off the beaten path as well. Take a walking tour of the historical Treme neighborhood and learn about the free Blacks who were doin' it big in the South long before slavery was officially abolished in the U.S. And then get yourself a plate of catfish and grits from Lil' Dizzy's. Tell Ms. Lucy I said "Hey!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The One&Only And Other Cape Town Bits

Long time! Today, I wanted to blog about something I should have a long time ago...

Yesterday, I caught up on some WWD reading and learned that the billionaire investor Sol Kerzner hosted what seemed like a fab party in Cape Town to celebrate the opening of his One&Only resort there. (Looks like the property is scheduled to open later this year.) Well, Kerzner certainly brought the big dogs out. Nelson Mandela was invited (not sure if he actually attended), Thandie Newton was in the house, Bebe Winans, Hugh Masekela, Robert DeNiro and Grace Hightower and Mariah Carey were all partying it up in the new space as well. I've been to the One&Only resort in the Bahamas and folks, it is SICK. Simply beautiful and you don't have to want for anything while you're there.

Reading about Cape Town's newest luxury hotel made me think back to my own stay in the Cape last fall. I lodged at the 12 Apostles and it too was SICK. My friends and I had no idea we were going to be staying at such a posh spot when we first booked the trip but once we were there, people thought we were a singing group (real talk). They just couldn't imagine seven young Black women being able to afford the 12 Apostles. (That's a whole 'notha post.) Well the 12 Apostles has a top of the line spa, movie theater, 3/4 restaurants...all the bells and whistles. We got a GREAT deal (told y'all I don't like paying retail, that includes my vacations) and were practically treated like royalty during our stay. Now it looks like the 12 Apostles will have more competition for those taking a holiday on the Cape.

This is one of the 12 Apostles restaurants I ate at during my stay in Cape Town last fall.

But you know what? There's a lot of poverty in Cape Town. Still. PLENTY. I saw miles and miles of shanty towns while visiting and it made me SICK at times to be staying in such a SICK hotel. Poor me? Nah, I'm not about to have an American guilt trip moment -- it is what it is and I don't regret my stay but I am grateful that I managed to dontate to a worthy cause while I was visiting. One of our tour guides told me of the volunteer work she does with orphans and although I didn't know the woman from Eve, I believed she was sincere. I whipped out a U.S. $20 bill and gave to it her right then. In hindsight, I should have given much more. She called me at the hotel later on to thank me again and assure me that the money would be put to good use. Then an email was sent to me from an administrator of the group she works with, Little Angels to thank me. I'm sure lots of similiar orgs exist in Cape Town but now Little Angles holds a special place in my heart. Mr. TK and I plan to go to Cape Town in the near future (he's still salty he couldn't go with me in September) and I hope that we can spend a couple of days doing hands-on work with Little Angels then. In the meantime, I'll donate what I can, when I can. Orphans and foster children have a special, special place in my heart whether they live in South Africa or the South Bronx.

An example of a shanty town in Cape Town. There must be hundreds of them.

So if you consider treating yourself to a stay at the Cape's new One&Only or 12 Apostles, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. But just consider checking out Little Angels too. Tell them an American lady sent 'ya. ;-)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Girl Power

When it rains, it pours. As a child, I never understood when my mother told me that but I sure as heck do now. At this very moment I need to get a new phone, schedule a dentist appointment, fax documents to my tax guy, pack for a weekend getaway, return (personal) calls to about 6 people...and that is only half of it -- LOTS going on.

Whew, I had to get that out. Now back to business.

I had the plesaure of speaking at The Young Women's Leadership School in Jamaica, Queens (NY) on Tuesday. I spoke to a group of 10th graders as part of the school's Cool Women, Hot Jobs program. Every single time I participate in something like this I feel partially guilty as I always get just as much out of it (if not more) than the students. Talk about gaining perspective. While I have spoken at a school in Queens before, being in JAMAICA where I was born and raised meant a lot to me. The girls I met on Tuesday have so much promise, so much talent. They were bright-eyed and actually seemed interested in hearing about little 'ole me and what I do for a living. In me telling them to never give up and work hard even when it seems no one is paying attention, I was reminding myself of what matters most too. God is so awesome like that. Why am I sharing with you guys? Well it is probably the flyest thing I've done all year.

How can you not look at this picture and smile?

Then, last night I spent the evening in Harlem for a lovely shindig to help launch Shaun Robinson's new book, Exactly As I Am. Just as the title suggests, Robinson's book encourages young women to nuture their self-esteem. Interviews with everyone from Gabrielle Union to Nancy Pelosi are included. I mingled with more inspiring women there and picked up a copy of the book for my nieces. They can't appreciate it now but they certainly will one day.

We are blessed to be a blessing to others. The youngins are watching us y'all. They really are.

P.S. - Topshop is FINALLY opening in (Soho) NYC today! More on that later.