4 Business Lessons/ Office Romance Tips from Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang

I have always admired Eddie Murphy’s original content. From ‘Harlem Nights’ to ‘Coming to America’ he has always thought outside of the box when it came to cinema. His romantic comedy ‘Boomerang’ left no stone unturned. From the script to the wardrobe and directing Murphy again showed that he knew what audiences wanted to see. In the midst of a recent movie night unbeknownst to me I uncovered some business lessons and office romance tips I just had to share.

1. Office Romances Can Get Messy – Set Clear Boundaries! The longer you put off having a real conversation about what exactly your situation is i.e dating, hook – up, monogamous – the harder its going to be. Put your cards on the table and set it free. I always find re-visiting a situation after 3-6 months is enough time to gauge trends, patterns and to determine if continuing makes sense.

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2. When You Look Good, You Feel GoodHair done, nails done, everything BIG. -MJB, Drake’s ‘Fancy’

And when you feel good, you can do anything!

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3. The Bottom Line is the Bottom Line – Never forget that you were hired to do a job! If you happen to fall in love during the process, fine. However, that’s not why you were hired. Put 1st things 1st, don’t let your numbers slip and make sure you are still adding value to the company. Or else have the guts to fire yourself!

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4. You need a tribe. These folks might be discovered inside or outside of your company. These are people you can confide in and gain insights and fresh perspective to issues that might be bothering you.

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5 Apps Everyone’s Little Sister Should Have

Girls in STEM, Girls Who Code, Girls Girls Girls…some of our girls don’t know the basics. It was with this thought in mind and recalling stories from my own 9th grade sister – I started thinking: What are some basic apps I WISH my sister had on her Smartphone? What could benefit her NOW and beyond at this stage that she’s missing out on? I mean she has her favorites: Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. But what are some informative and interactive apps that could inspire and educate her TODAY??

Source: huffpost

Source: huffpost

Here are my Top 5 Recommendations:

1. A Period Tracker – I was never good at keeping track of my cycle – I started early, age 9. Thank God for my mom, it was she that made sure I had adequate protection every month.  With that said a few years ago I started using period trackers. I could monitor my period and any PMS symptoms like cramps and cravings. I could even keep track of my moods. Every woman that’s pre menopause can benefit from this type of app. Some like my personal favorite, Period Diary also lets you know whether you’re fertile and ovulating. You can also select days you were/are intimate!

2. Pinterest – The most visually inspiring website on Earth. And you my dear are the master curator. Its one big vision board. Pinterest is the easiest place to be inspired and share what inspires you. I use pinterest religiously to find and pin recipes to my board Eat, Drink and Be Merry or my board Award Tour ; an archive all of the dresses/looks I want to wear or recreate when its my turn to hit the red carpets!

Related: 5 Ways You Can Get a Job Using Pinterest 

3. Nextdoor – Bring your family, friends and community into the digital age with Nextdoor. Its a social network for neighbors. You can keep your community informed on local businesses, crime and most importantly foster a real sense of community where neighbors actually know, speak and look out for one another.

4. Human Body – Ok, so I JUST discovered Human Body and I am already obsessed. Basically this is a full working human body. Also for boys. The cool thing about Human Body is that – its completely interactive. There are so many “Oh”, “I didn’t know that did THAT” and “Wow” moments you’ll have it’s gonna be really hard to put your smartphone away.

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5. Mint – If you are good to your money it will be good to you! I’m currently reading Suze Orman’s book Women & Money, it fell right into my lap. I felt it was imperative that I got my financial house in order. I spoke on The Breakfast Club last year about judgements I had had against me and other financial set backs, and how there are great FREE resources out here to help. I know this because I use one of them. Now that those areas I struggled with are under control I am moving into a new phase: investing and creating residual income.

Related: Financial Empowerment Center 

Remember we don’t become wealthy working for someone else. So after you’ve fully defined what success means to you – be sure you are treating yourself and your money right. Use Mint to track where your money goes and how it grows. It’s never too late to start saving for a special trip, or investing in products/services you like and start “cashing out.”

Now What? If you like this post let me know in the comments and be sure to share it with your younger sister, cousin, friend, etc. If you have an app recommendation let us know that as well!

 

 

 

Exit Strategies

Pondering all the things I want to do, need to do, and probably forgot to do. This, for me is progress.

 

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6 Inspiring & Uplifting Songs for African American Children

For as long as I can remember I have loved music. When I was supposed to be doing chores like cleaning my bathroom – I’d be singing instead. It usually went like this: walk into bathroom, close door, cut on radio: “Oh! I LOVE THIS SONG”, 2 hours later my mom knocks on the door and discovers her child has gotten caught up in the rapture…of music.

Music is truly a universal language, one that speaks to me deeply. In fact if you follow me on instagram I posted a video of a recent “night of song” I had with one of my BFF’s David. We have these nights often and recently decided to share them with the “masses”.

In any event the songs below have always inspired me to reach higher, do better and have helped to shape my outlook on life. I was introduced to each of them as a child and they definitely aided me in developing my self-confidence and I believe that any child that’s exposed to them will feel the same.

1. One Moment In Time 

You’re a winner for a lifetime
If you seize that one moment in time
Make it shine

2. Black Butterfly

Trumpets, violins, and lyrics like:

Black Butterfly, sailed across the waters
tell your sons and daughters
what the struggle brings
Black Butterfly, set the skies on fire
rise up even higher
so the ageless winds of time can catch your wings

This song can shift the atmosphere…think I’m kidding? Play it for yourself. 

3. When You’ve Been Blessed (Pass It On)

4. Do You Know Where You’re Going To 

5. Man In The Mirror

6. The Glow 

Listen I LOVED this movie. Not only was Bruce Leroy my 80’s crush- damn you to hell Vanity, but I briefly considered studying the art of karate.

Singing:

Well, when you reach that upper level
Your mind body and soul will be one
Hah!
It’s a sacrifice
It takes hard work
It’s a way of life

When you got the glow
You feel the one
When you got the glow
Your body’s gold
So don’t let go
Of the power of elevation

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What songs inspired you as a child, leave a note in the comments!

What The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies Can Teach You About Diversity

{SPOILER ALERT}

First off, I love the Lord of the Rings franchise. I read the books back in the day and instantly fell in love with Middle Earth. Many times while reading I wanted to live there, always as an elf, and other times I found Middle Earth to be a scary and frightening place. Nevertheless, when Meatball said he had tickets to the IMAX, 3D advanced screening I could not hide my excitement while at work. The movie didn’t disappoint either. There was more than 1 scene that either had me jump because it felt soooo close and real, or I wished I had a sword so I could help kick some ass! All that being said, who knew The Hobbit would be dropping gems about diversity. Salute!

1. Never Underestimate The Little Guy – Those damn dwarves were not to be slept on. They may have been “vertically challenged” but they worked together to find solutions to their shared problems/issue – reclaiming their throne. Now, King Thorin went through some trials in this one. After taking back the kingdom he pretty much lost his damn mind. He thought everyone was trying to steal from him, and he became obsessed with finding one heirloom! His lust for his new found wealth, and his inability to think for the team almost ruined it for his dwarf subjects AND cousin all of whom came to his aid to hold onto the kingdom he’d JUST gotten back! He did finally have a come to Jesus moment – though it took most of the film. Nevertheless the dwarves heart, fire, and eventual focus allowed them to come together and overcome! And believe it or not, despite the few moments of selfishness their reputation as warriors preceded them.

So remember: don’t sleep on the little guy, the funny girl that seems like she’s not on her job, or the quiet guy in the back with his head down. They might just muscle you from your position and you won’t see it coming!

2. Pretty People Can Be a Pain in the Ass – Now I want to be an elven lordess as much as the next girl, but that father of Legolas, Thranduil was conniving, petty and pretty as hell. You got to watch those pretty people, they might be too pretty to think clearly for the team. He too was concerned about reclaiming some FAMILY heirlooms that King Thorin was now sitting on, that he was not heeding wise counsel, from GANDALF mind you. Who was telling him to make nice with the dwarves and work together to tackle the REAL issue…the damn orcs that were en route to slaughter EVERYBODY! However in Thranduil’s defense when you step on the scene like thissssss 

I have to give you a pass. I mean what is this beast of majesty he’s on? The elven army slayed that day! And these costumes.

3. Keep Magic in your Heart & Old People on the Team – Wise counsel, divine intervention. To be successful all it takes is a little faith and a discerning spirit. Be able to spot out prophetic counselors for your life. Everyone needs a Galandriel and Gandalf the Grey on their team. Their insight is of another world, and their power is unmatched. After witnessing Cate Blanchett in yet another elegant, ethereal, and frightening performance as Galandriel, I know exactly who I’m channeling for the 2015 Halloween galas!

4. Diverse Teams Fight the Good Fight – If everyone is on the same page, giving of their individual strengths and talents then all you can do is win. It might not be easy to find your footing or voice at first, but find a cause you believe in and your voice will be heard – do your part and fall in line. Everyone can’t and should not lead but we can all do what we can to push HUMANITY forward. In this film you had elves, dwarves, men, and wizards come together to save the day. Is your team as diverse or does everyone look and think the same? When you’re up against a group of orcs who’s only purpose in being created is to takeover EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY you’re going to want some diversity on the team!

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies comes out this week, December 17TH. Check it out in Imax, 3D for an unforgettable experience.

 

 

 

[Part 1] – Top 10 Black Fashion Movie Moments

1. Boomerang – Decadence & Glamour

The first time I watched Boomerang I distinctly remember wanting to become some kind of executive when I grew up. Marcus Graham, played by Eddie Murphy made it seem like the coolest job ever. He was a hot-shot, advertising executive that lived the ultimate player’s life – then he meets his match in Robin Givens – a major man – eater. The film  was set in the 90’s where men happily went shopping for suits and fine touches like cashmere scarfs and silk ties.  The women of the time wore clip-on earrings, pearl choker’s, shoulder pads and hair was teased and feathered whether it flowed down your back or was shaped like a mushroom (see Halle Berry).

Other notable moments – anytime Strangé, played by Grace Jones came into the frame & John Witherspoon’s mushroom shirt/jacket/tie “you got to coordinate” moment.

Get into these looks.

2. Love Jones – Dark & romantic minimalism. A poet meets a photographer – swoon. Nina Mosely, played by Nia Long was so chill. She wore a mixture of textures in muted color palettes of black, white,  brown with very little jewelry and always a dark, vampy lip.

Spoiler alert – Music by Maxwell… that’s all!~

3. Mahogany – Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams. Chile…get your life!

The movie was about Tracy, played by Ross leaving Chicago to become a GREAT fashion designer. She ends up in Rome, gag! This movie should be required viewing at every fashion school.

One of the most inspiring songs ever written is from this movie: (Do You Know Where You’re Going To).

True Story: Diana Ross designed some of the costumes in Mahogany

How these so-called “diverse and progressive fashion institutions” continuously miss the significance of this film..

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4. B.A.P.S

If white people can have Dumb & Dumber, and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion then dammit WE GON’ HAVE B.A.P.S. & Soul Plane!!! Black people, yall gonna let Halle be great!

Anyway, these “Atlanta Diva’s” started out a little rough around the edges, yet remained true to themselves; and after an intuitive trip to Los Angeles they cleaned up pretty nicely.

Listen, Halle was committed to this character.” Billz

Honey, All I know is Halle had ALL the vinyl suits!! Not to mention the most lavish hairstyles and gold teeth!

5. Carmen Jones – The pioneers on which all of the above and myself stand. Carmen Jones was SO mean that in 1992 “the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.The filmed starred Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll and others. The costume and musical numbers are so well executed I can’t understand why we don’t have more musical films today.

I hope you enjoyed. So often I see post that list the top fashion films and they never include a black and/or minority film.

As if we don’t have careers, interest, or impact within the fashion industry. So I decided to compile my own list. These films continue to inspire and motivate me.

Come back for Part 2 later in the week. Leave a comment an let me know your favorite Fashion Films starring African Americans!

My Fair Lady

I swear it’s taking everything in me not to pass out. I’ve already had a morning cup of joe, later a Red Bull, but I am STILL very much exhausted. The last 2 weeks have been a series of transitions. After Mercury came out of retrograde, praise Jesus, things sped up in my life very QUICKLY. I literally went from having causal conversations about opportunities and/or ideas to them coming together in a matter of days.

Thursday before last I went from a TV pilot call back in midtown Manhattan to shoot a pick – up shot for the ID Channel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, then went BACK into the city, this time the Lower East Side to perform for the 2nd night in the play I was in. I didn’t get home to somewhere near midnight and was up at 5:30am the next day to continue working my new freelance job, Social Media Manager for Black Enterprise. Ironically, the girls I was an afternoon nanny for are upstate for the summer, so the new job was certainly divine timing. I told myself I would not worry about what was next, that God had it all under control and he showed up and showed out! But I am tired. The first week of the new job I did remotely as I was still a nanny and had to perform in the play. This week was my first week in Black Enterprise’s Madison Ave offices. I haven’t worked in a “typical” office since moving to NYC in 2005 and honestly its been so refreshing and certainly challenging with all the new responsibility. I had so many meetings last week at one point I was looking like…

 
 I am in such a bigger position than I have ever been in before and am adjusting, as best as I can.

Am I overwhelmed, YES!

Is it challenging, YES!

Am I enjoying it, YES!

I have to take this opportunity and run with it,  it’s just God taking me from the background to the forefront!

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This Friday I’ll be doing extra work for the new Martin Scorsese – Mick Jagger HBO Pilot. I am pretty excited. Though I am simply a “subway rider” my little dress I got fitted for is super cute and they’ll be blowing my hair out for full Afro realness! After this project though, I am done for the summer, acting wise and will focus on my new position with Black Enterprise and also take some classes: on-air hosting and voice-overs.

My sister and I made it over to see the Kara Walker – “A Subtlety” aka the Marvelous Sugar Baby exhibit at the old Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg last weekend. Smelled like straight sugar and to see the mammy sphinx in all her glory was…remarkable.

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These sad little sugar babies, and the sugar baby corpses (not pictured) were…disturbing to say the least. Nevertheless, remarkable.

Welp, that’s all for now! In the meantime…

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