Why You Were Born to Sparkle and Shine

Hey Guys! Happy 17th day of February and I hope whether you celebrated Galentines, Valentines, some other mix of the two, or skipped both and jumped right into NBA All Star weekend, that your February is off to a great start. I was thinking about how often we walk through life and people,  the media, messaging, or some other source delivers to us how we are too much of something. Not too long ago, a guy I was dating told me I was a handful (I would like to add that I considered it a compliment  and was glad that I was staying true to myself of having a lot to give and overflowing although I am certain that he didn’t intend for me to take that message and find the positivity in it.) But why is an excess of something considered an awesome thing except when we speak about other people?

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

No one complains they have too much money, food, happiness, or comfort. In fact, we as human beings are constantly striving for more in terms of the goals that we set out to complete or the lifestyle or life we envision. Why then do we allow ourselves to be compacted and shrunken by the expectations, fears, feelings, and opinions of others? Why do we attempt to take ourselves down a notch to be palatable to the world or to feel that the only way that we can fully be accepted is to show up as a lesser version of ourselves?  I am here to tell you from the day you were divinely created and purposed you were supposed to show up, show out, shine and sparkle.

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Photo Credit:mysocialmate.com

I personally believe that every time you shrink yourself you miss out on the chance to impact the world in the way you were created. Light, shine, and sparkle all have unique characteristics. But the one thing that they all have in common is that they stand out and lead the way, offer perspective to an otherwise dim environment, and most importantly bring JOY and SMILES and allow others that are receptive to it to feel a little warmth and specialness to each day. There is truly no more honorable or fantastic way to show up in the world other than being your most authentic and audacious self. When others see you walking in your truth, they  feel free to walk in their own truth and that’s a wonderful and freeing feeling. The world doesn’t become better by you playing small.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

People need big love, ideas, extraordinary and over the top personalities, loud and crazy laughs, big smiles, big hearts, people who know how to have big fun and be bold but also the humility to understand that everyone needs someone willing to RISK it all and show others that being extra is just simply being unapologetically in touch as a human being navigating this wildly crazy, but fun and meaningful ride we call life. Yes, everyone may not appreciate the luster that your sparkle is supposed to emit and the shine that you have to reach those that TRULY NEED and are BLESSED by your presence but SHINE ON!  The next time you find yourself or someone/something dulling your sparkle keep in mind, Tiffany’s has been in business for almost 200 years. The brand continues to attract new customers daily and never stops improving and stays committed to the process of providing the world’s most brilliant  and quality diamonds, why is your inner sparkle and shine any different? Dare to be different, blaze a trail,  be your most fierce and fabulous self, the world needs your genius, brilliance, sparkle and shine.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

Leveling Up to Expand and Improve Your Life

Hey Guys,

I have missed you so much! I haven’t been on here in a while but I definitely haven’t forgotten and it’s been such a desire to post on here but I only want to release content that’s meaningful and purposeful because I take my subscribers and this community very seriously and each of us is blessed with a gift to share knowledge and our world with the world. How amazing is that?!? It’s been crazy busy on my end but it got me to thinking about why that is. Honestly, it’s because I’ve been extremely intentional about leveling up and changing and expanding my life to truly CREATE the life I believe I was meant to live. I feel like LEVEL UP was truly the theme for 2018 and it’s something I plan to carry with me into 2019 and the years to come. (Shout out to Ciara for the amazing inspo.)

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Photo Credit: Billboard.com

But what does leveling up really mean and look like? It means that you’re operating in your best self and walking everyday with purpose looking to make decisions that your future self is going to thank you for and going to impact you but the greater world around you. It means you’re practicing your most optimal self care exercise, thought processes and actions, you’re learning how to prioritize what’s important to you on a financial, emotional, and spiritual level and how to align yourself with the activities that will help you meet the goals for those areas. Overall, you’re showing up as your best and brightest self because that is the only way you can truly activate your drive to pursue your wildest dreams. So what are some practical ways that anyone can truly level up?

  1. Take care of number one first.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

Be committed to learning when and what to say no to, asking for HELP and not being too prideful to get it when you KNOW you need it, and truly investing in your own mental, physical, spiritual, financial, emotional, and overall well-being. The often used phrase is you cannot pour from an empty cup  is true so be sure to do those things that are going to make you feel fulfilled, recharged and whole.  Whether that’s going for a walk, grabbing your favorite cup of coffee, reading a book, taking time to meditate, watching your favorite Netflix movie or show, or taking a mini vacay or stacay. Be creative, open-minded and remember that it’s ultimately about bringing you back to your equilibrium.

2. Invest and believe in yourself.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

The biggest part of your leveling up journey is investing into yourself and believing that despite what the circumstances or situation may look like that that investment is going to pay off and manifest. Do the work. Plant the seed. Continue watering it. It has no other choice other than to bear fruit. Read inspirational and educational books that will not only keep you inspired but expand your worldview and keep you well-rounded. Place intentions around the energy of the people you surround yourself with and what type of energy or experiences they bring into your life. BE INTENTIONAL about how you spend your time and give your resources, gifts, talents, and skills and NEVER EVER sell yourself short. Demand every last penny of your worth because there will never be another you who does things the way you do them and if you don’t stand up and believe in your own WORTH(which by the way is priceless) then people pick up on that energy and will treat you that same way in every capacity. Travel, try out new restaurants, learn a language, truly be committed to doing something everyday that will be an investment into who you are in the long run.

3. Have unwavering confidence, determination, and poise.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

The most successful people in life consistently believed they could achieve their goals and dreams, stayed determined and did it with grace, their own sense of style/brand,  and fulfilled their dreams beyond their wildest imaginations. Persist until what you envision exists. Don’t let your own self-doubt or even lingering negative thoughts you’ve managed to believe or pick up stop you. Don’t let the voices, opinions or fears of others stop you. Activate your faith and just keep going! Just because someone did it one way and it was successful for them in that manner doesn’t mean it’s the ABSOLUTE only way to carve a path to your own version of success. Yes, you can take notes from successful people but the most successful people also create a niche for themselves and God always  makes a way to have the audience/clients/people you’re supposed to meet find you. Work with God and manifest your own blueprint to divinely create a life that YOU and YOU only were meant to live. Be ambitious and bold and doubt doubt (yes I said to doubt your own doubts) and just go for exactly what you want. I am a STRONG BELIEVER in the law of attraction and manifestation so just keep putting the good you want out there and it will come back to you ten fold.

4. Keep your eyes on the prize.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

It’s very easy when all these things in today’s world are calling out for our attention to take our eyes off the focus of our short term goals and action steps, that help propel us to our long term goal. However, it’s extremely important to stay focused. Sit down and give yourself some time to really plot out a plan of what you want to do and the steps that are going to help you get there. STAY ORGANIZED. Whether it’s a planner, a vision board, reminders of tasks on your phone, anything that will help jog your memory of what’s important to you and what you want to achieve. Keep track of the progress you’re making and look at your level of productivity overall.  Ask yourself the honest question of  “Is this really getting me closer or taking me farther away from what I actually want to achieve or who I want to be when I envision my life?” Be honest with yourself and figure out what it will take to do that. Journal, write down your ideas, keep a pad or notebook handy because your best and brightest ideas always come in the most strange, inconvenient and sometimes odd places (speaking from personal experience). Most importantly be open to the journey, whether it’s getting your business to where you want it to be, building your brand, stepping out your comfort zone and trying new things, manifesting love, growing in your spiritual walk, or overall just becoming a better person, keep that vision at the front of your mind because that will keep you going when things get crazy and keep you pressing towards the goal.

I’m so excited for my own level up journey and I would love to hear from you guys! What are some things you’re working on? How has your level up journey been going? Have you started? What things do you think stop you from moving forward in the way you want? What actions are you taking to keep you pushing forward, motivated and closer to your goal? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear from you guys! And most importantly remember to keep on leveling up and being Fearfully Fashioned and Wonderfully Made!

Level Up
Photo Credit: GIPHY

OOTD: All dolled up for church or a Derby

Happy Sunday! Today was a good day and was super refreshing for my soul and spirit. I thoroughly enjoyed church today! Even before I got there I was just in a good place. I kind of put this outfit together this morning in a crunch but I think it has a fun, sophisticated flair to it and it made me feel like I was ready for the Kentucky Derby.

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There’s nothing quite like dressing up for any occasion that just makes any woman feel absolutely amazing!

Anyway to the nitty gritty!

Floppy Black Hat with bow in back: Preston and York (I got it from a Dillard’s in Alabama at least 5 or 6 years ago but I have paired it with so many things and I just love any type of piece that allows me to do such)

Blue striped assymetrical dress: Vince Camuto (Dillard’s in Sanford about 4-5 years ago. I love this dress because I find that it’s perfect for any occasion. I can pair this with a blazer or cardigan for work or church and when I want more of a sassy look I can lose the blazer or cardigan and pair with some cute sandals or heels and it’s a perfect day-to-night piece)

Gray ruched pumps: Jessica Simpson (I absolutely love these pumps, these are truly transitional event pumps in that I can wear pretty much anywhere)

Blue blazer with pin striped sleeves: New York and Co (I honestly have had this blazer for a good little while and I just love how comfy and cute it is and how it dresses up the simplest things like a pair of jeans and a top or a dress and it’s such a soft feel)

What are some of your favorite things to wear to your place of worship? What makes you feel good on a Sunday? Feel free to comment, I would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

OOTD: Flowy skirts and structured tops

You know how you have a crazy week but you still have joy? It’s been one of those weeks for me but I can honestly say beyond just internal joy  and peace it’s the little things that have really made me sing this week. Those things include flowy skirts and structured tops. Both of these OOTDs are from earlier this week but I love how mixing colors and prints just puts you in a good place (plus the right cup of coffee and productivity) Eeek! I over love a good mix of patterns or prints with bold colors or fun shoes. Oh and ya’ll please excuse my mirror, it needs a cleaning but it’s been THAT kind of week. LOL.

OOTD #1

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Details

Blue stripe button down: Touch Dolls boutique { Touchdolls.com}  The fit is great and runs a little roomy and I ordered some other items from there that I absolutely am in LOVE with.

Red High Waist Skater Skirt: Choies.com (I love this skirt because it’s so versatile and I can wear this to work,  church, and pretty much anywhere else and can be dressed up or down and has the right amount of sophistication but comfort) I commonly look for pieces that go well with multiple things or can give me different looks so I am not having to update my wardrobe all the time. Did I mention it has pockets? Yay!

Gray ruched pumps: Jessica Simpson (DSW I think #recoveringshopaholicprobs) The detailing in these shoes is EVERYTHING! I love that they have a great height (just about 3 1/2 inches I believe) to give me that extra boost of confidence for anything I face during my day and they are just subtle enough to be worn in the office but dressed up for after work festivities.

OOTD 2

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Red fitted turtleneck body con top: Meow and Barks Boutique  This top just gives any outfit or pairing the perfect pop of color and splash of fun that any fashionista is always searching for.

White contrast polka dot print maxi skirt: Choies.com I probably stalked (YES STALKED) this skirt for a good little while before I actually caved in and bought it. What I really love about this skirt, is that as the wearer it gives you such a regal feel especially when you dress it up with your favorite boots or pumps. And it truly is perfect for any occasion. Unless that occasion involves running or vigorous running. LOL.

You can probably barely see the ends of my boots peeking out (we caught a few days of cold weather so I got super excited and decided to bust out my boots) so I will save my review and details of them until a later date where you can get a better look.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors, prints, etc. and let your fashionista flag fly loud and proud! Create a style all your own and strut your stuff with confidence!

Slaying your day to night wear: the sassy career girl’s guide to wardrobe versatility

It happens to EVERY ONE OF US. We have a super packed schedule and want to figure out how to transition from a long day at work to a fun night of play. But this is the feeling we get when we stand in front of our closet.

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Photo Credit: Refinery29 via GIPHY

BUT WAIT!

There’s so much potential within that closet,  you just have to be creative with it and figure out HOW to make that transition from day to night.

  1. Switch up those shoes
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Photo Credit: GIPHY

Flats or less flashy pumps are perfectly fine for an office environment but for cocktail hour, girls night, or quick prep for date night with boo add a little sparkle to your feet and you’ll be sure to stand out and make an impression on whoever you run into and add a little pop of fun to your evening festivities.

2. Lose the more structured pieces

Blazers and suit coats are great for making a bold statement in the office  and showing your bossy side. If you want to wear a blazer in your night activities, make a bold statement with a pop of color in your blazer in neons or bolds to add a bit of fashionable flair and pizazz.

3. Add in your beautiful accessories

That poppin’ clutch you’ve been dying to wear? Those new bangles with the extra shimmer and shine? That statement necklace or ring? All amazing pieces  to pair with your favorite fitted dress or skinny jeans and stand out like the diva you are!

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Photo Credit:GIPHY

4. Own your look with confidence and play around with different make up looks

If you have a purple, orange, red or similar bold hues don’t be afraid to bring it out especially at night. Maybe you really want to play up your eyes? Find a smoky eye combo that works for you or dust on your favorite shadow, throw on a bit of mascara, line your eyes, do what feels right for you! The most important thing is that you have fun, you make  a great impression, and you look and feel great while doing it!

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

Now gone head girl, with your cute self, and conquer the world or at least the night!

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Photo Credit: GIPHY 

Walking by Faith NOT Fear

WALKING BY FAITH NOT FEAR 

The sinking pit in your stomach. The feeling that at any given moment it all could go wrong. The overanalyzing/overthinking, the calculation, recalculation and plans A-Z if 1, 2, or 3 were to happen. These are all common things that I must admit at various times I’ve experienced and struggled with. Stating with my mouth that I am going to believe but doing everything in the books to work against myself and my beliefs and what I was trusting God for.

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via Shades of Yoga.com

A constant spiritual and emotional battle fighting against feelings of inadequacy, doubt, hopelessness, insecurities, and in general paralysis that keeps you from moving forward into the best version of yourself and reaching those goals you’ve been longing to reach.

 

BUT…… What if we were to replace all those negative feelings with positive feelings, affirmation, and faith? What if you took a deep inventory and began to understand what prevents you from tapping into your higher calling and authority in God? What if instead of anticipating all the ways that you believed that you would fail you just walked into the victory of being confident, persistent, tenacious and focused? Don’t you realize there are people connected to your goals, vision, purpose, and life? I often sit and wonder for all those times I allowed fear to keep me from pursuing an opportunity or acting in alignment with my best self what calling from God did I miss? What opportunity to be a blessing or receive a blessing did I allow fear to steal from me? How could I have grown had I just stretched myself a little further outside of my comfort zone? Am I really going to let uncertainty rob me of the chance to go higher and reach new depths?

What I’ve learned and what God has been showing me over the past couple of months is faith has to BE ACTIVATED. It’s great to SAY you believe but that belief becomes real when you get the opportunity to doubt, worry, or just act in unbelief and you choose to believe that as Romans 8:28 tells us God works everything out for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. NOTHING IS WASTED. No time period, experience, event, interaction is wasted. It’s all a part of your unique blueprint for the story that is being divinely created for the manifestation of your destiny and HIS glory.

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via Istockphoto.com

You see fear is a natural human response but it shouldn’t stop you from pursuing the calling of God on your life nor keep you from enjoying life. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Thus, divinely to reach your highest potential you need to activate your power, walk and allow all your acts to radiate love and keep a clarity of mind about you despite what your feelings may be telling you or your eyes may be seeing. Faith isn’t logical, but neither are some of your biggest dreams and goals. Every day you are going to come to a cross roads, giving into your fears and staying stagnant or letting go and applying faith and expecting the best outcomes and doing the work internally, personally, professionally, romantically,  whatever capacity desired by working with God to reach them.

The beautiful thing that I have observed about children is that they know no fear. If they are fearful, it is only because it has been learned or told to them. Quick story: I was about 11 years old and was still playing with Barbies. Nickelodeon had this drawing for a Barbie and a Barbie tour bus. I entered into the contest expecting to win. I prayed about it (my parents always instilled the importance of a prayer life in me) and forgot about it. About a month later, what showed up on my door step but a Barbie and a Barbie tour bus. I didn’t obsess over it, I didn’t worry myself into a frenzy, I didn’t doubt, I just did the work, planted my seed of faith and believed the rest would work itself out on its own. I think thats definitely a vital lesson that can be emulated from children.

So I challenge you and myself today to continuously and unwaveringly  walk by FAITH, set your fears aside, do the work, and watch God work.

How do you do that? Well I am glad you asked.

  1. Commune with God about His will for your life.
  2. Meditate on the purpose and will and be open and obedient to how God may cause it to come to pass in your life. There is no formula, just a process of being obedient, faithful, faith filled, and a willing vessel.
  3. Guard your heart from anything that may cause distractions, unbelief, doubt or triggers that will cause you to be deterred from the work God is trying to do in you and through you.
  4. Be vigilant about protecting your faith because you are going to have opportunities for people, places, events, circumstances etc to poke holes in it or fill you with doubt.
  5. Be expectant for something AMAZING to happen that more than surpasses your expectations and blows your mind. Faith has a way of being chock full of opportunity for miracles and for God to show up, show out, and show his people and their doubters he is SUPER FAITHFUL and sovereign.
  6. Last but not least show gratitude for where you are going and respect your journey. Each step you make to walk by faith and every day that you wake up putting one foot in front of the other is a step in the right direction.

Never give up, never stop believing, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s and never forget you are fearfully fashioned and treasured.

XOXOXO

Jazz

What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made?

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via favim.com

Perfection seems to be the very standard by which many of us in today’s age measure everything we do. From perfect careers, to significant others, perfect vacations, perfect Instagram and Facebook posts complete with pictures that have been filtered and formatted to set us in just the right image. Hair, nails, outfits, partners, everything has to be just so. No one can ever think or perceive that what we do, say or think isn’t straight out of a picture book or that everything in our life isn’t all that it we post or as it appears.

BUT what if I told you that you were already PERFECT without feeling any added pressure to make yourself that way and that you could walk day to day and JUST RELAX? I don’t know about you but I would be souped for that level of good news. GUESS WHAT? You already are! How awesome is that?!?! You see your perfection is not through anything that you have done but EVERYTHING that has been done before the formation of the Earth FOR YOU and IN YOU.  I didn’t collaborate with God by happenstance to name this blog fearfully fashioned, I truly believe because I am a child of the MOST HIGH and HIS word speaks to such I don’t have any more good sense and faith but to believe EXACTLY THAT.

Let’s take a further look at this:

Psalms 139:14-18 (NIV)

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast are the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand- when I awake I am still with you.

Gosh! How beautiful is that? To have the absolute confidence that before your parents and anyone else knew you God did and that all your quirks, beautiful parts, everything he designed, he designed specifically with you in mind? He knew your days before they unfolded and all his thoughts are thoughts of lovingkindness and good thoughts towards you? TALK ABOUT MIND BLOWN!

If you need a little more proof head over to Jeremiah 1:5 and Jeremiah 29:11. LIFE CHANGERS.

If I can be super transparent for a second, this BLOG itself is waaaayyyyy out of my element. While, I am a huge people person when I do things I like to be in the background and allow other people to be the spokesperson or mouthpiece and I like to see other people in action and just be the contributor and catalyst to that action. I struggled with the Holy Spirit for A LONNNNGGGG time about this blog. I was like Lord no one really cares what I have to say, no one will read it, and many other thoughts that pointed to doubt and unbelief. Then I got heavily convicted and God explained to me anything he asks me to do he will give me the grace and capacity to do so and just GET STARTED. And he also affirmed to me that I need to show and share with people that no one is perfect outside of the WILL and covering of God. Then he sweetly reminded me that I love to encourage people, I love sharing my thoughts, heart’s desires and HIS WORD and what better way to do it than through this avenue?

So I say all that to say this I am in no way PERFECT and will not be until the day I am perfected in HEAVEN. But I do love God, I am on a life journey to walk out my soul salvation, and whether you are a Christian or not I pray that you come here and this blog blesses your soul and makes this journey here a little bit easier for you.

No matter shape, size, color, hair texture  etc. I truly believe and stand in faith with you that God has something super special planned for your life and a beautiful purpose for you to carry out on this Earth. He loves you and so do I. And guess what? He made you fearfully and wonderfully without spot or blemish. So that blog you’ve been waiting to write? Write it! That business you’ve been waiting to start? Start it! Whatever has been purposed in your heart to do, DO IT! Don’t ever allow fear, doubt, unbelief, insecurities or whatever to hold you back. You were fearfully and wonderfully made and you have everything you need right inside of you to carry out the plan God has for you. Walk in that authority and do it fearlessly knowing God’s spirit is with you and will never leave or forsake you. There are no perfect people, just a perfect God working tirelessly on our behalf and in our lives. And that is what it TRULY means to be fearfully and wonderfully made.

Never give up, never stop believing, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s and never forget you are fearfully fashioned and treasured.

XOXOXO

Jazz