2019 Gift Guide for Her

‘Tis the season for giving, but sometimes it is no easy task to find the perfect gift.

I have compiled a few options to help! And the best news, it’s all from Amazon – making it extremely convenient.

Top of the list is Revlon’s one-step hair dryer and volumizer. Easy to use for blow out hair in half the time of a hair dryer and round brush.

Next is a unique twist on a classic gift. Many of us have received and given a blanket or throw. Upgrade that thought to a weighted blanket and you’ll give snuggle comfort after a long day. This Quality weighted blanket comes in different sizes, colors, and weights with one side cotton and the other minky, it’s a major winner!

If your gift getter owns any hot tools, this is the gift for them! It’s useful at home and for travel. 2-in-1 hot sleeve comes in gray and Tiffany blue. You can open it flat and lay your hot tool on it to protect your counter plus you can fold it and insert your hot tool for travel.

For the makeup lover in your life, a compact, yet spacious makeup bag that fits in a tote may be just what she needs. This bag is ideal for necessity items that need to be in your purse and I love the marble design

The jewelry lover will adore these delicate necklaces. Perfect for her to showcase her loves initials – husband, boyfriend, or kids. Sideways initial necklaces are dainty and unique, but if for someone more traditional, opt for this cursive initials necklace.

Next is an item that completes any closet – a steamer! Not just any steamer either, a luxury one, making it perfect for that royal lady in your life. This steamer offers refined features like cool-touch design, totally dry exterior, and a Nano Polymer water tank that filters out fabric-ruining sediments.

Finally, a more practical gift. Caution: a practical gift needs to be accompanied by a more fun gift, don’t just gift this unless it was asked for! this gift will help your loved one continue shining through their smile. It’s the latest waterpik and toothbrush in one.

What new gift ideas do you have?

2019 Corporate Holiday Glam Guide Finale

We have been talking all about dress options for your corporate Holiday event, but I know some of you are not about the dress life. Today’s post is all about holiday dress alternatives.

Dress pants are a good alternative. You can find dressy pants like these at numerous places. Pair them with a dressy, embellished top like this, and you’re set!

Another great alternative is jumpsuits! They are on trend and easy to find right now. This one is from Dressbarn last season, but you can find a sequined option on sale here. I would also recommend this as an option from Macy’s. I’m also a huge fan of metallic and sequins to give you that glam feel, but in the comfort of pants. If you prefer sleeves, this Amazon jumpsuit is perfect for you offering sheer sleeves and embellished cuffs, plus it comes in different colors.

I hope this series has brought a little glam inspiration to everyone!

Tell me which looks in our series inspired you?

2019 Corporate Holiday Glam Guide III

Let’s continue our journey down this holi-glam path, shall we?

So far, We have de-coded dress codes for your corporate holiday event and encouraged you to step away from the traditional little black dress, but I know some of you may not be at that level of comfort yet.

If you find comfort in the LBD or you want to maintain a more conservative look, these dress options are for you!

If you haven’t noticed, lace is on trend and is currently easy to find without having to break the bank.

This dress from Amazon Fashion is a great alternative to your traditional LBD and allows you to join in the love of lace! It features feminine lace bodice with a solid black bottom that includes pockets. It offers enough five at the waist and arms to make it ultra comfortable.

Amazon Fashion dress by Nemidor

This other option is also from Amazon and gives you the best of both worlds – cocktail with a hint of formal with an asymmetric hem. It features delicate lace detail, an empire waist and is available is numerous colors. If you’d prefer a symmetric hem, you have that option as well.

Warning: this next dress will get you constant compliments. It has lace and tulle – what’s not to love??? This dress from City Chic is a show stopper and they also offer it in a maxi.

City Chic Rare Beauty dress

Which look do you love best?

2019 Corporate Holiday Glam Guide II

It’s easy to put on a little black dress for a corporate holiday party, but I challenge you to see this type of event as an opportunity to be seen in a fun environment! Just make sure you stand out in a positive and professional way.

This is the time of year you get an opportunity to take a little more risks in clothing and step away from your familiar place of style comfort. ‘Tis the season for color and this season continues with jewel tones and fun textures! Embrace it.

These dress options will allow you to shine bright.

First, a velvet wrap dress. These dresses are great for a variable fit because you control how tight or loose the dress is per the tie. Let me be honest. When I first received the dress, I debated returning it because something about it made me feel like I was wearing a bath robe. That then I paired it with this glam cinch belt from Torrid and it changed the look completely! [This belt is last season, but you can find a comparable one that is currently on sale here.] Takeaway here: give your outfits an upgrade by adding statement belts or jewelry!

The one I’m wearing from Eloquii last season, but they have a similar style in a fit & flare this year. Find it here. Torrid has a great option in stock right now. You can also opt for a long dress with this option from Kiyonna.

Eloquii Wrap Dress (last season)

Next up, a velvet sheath or velvet with sparkles. These dresses are a great way to show off your curves, yet still modest enough to wear around coworkers. The sleeves add some added flare and personality. This dress is out of stock, but you can find similar options from Lane Bryant here. I also love this unique and affordable alternative from Rotita!

Lane Bryant Velvet Sheath

Finally, a velvet fit and flare that is so flattering on a curvy body! The puff sleeves add personality and the keyhole is a tad sexy. You can find this on Amazon in different colors. Torrid has a v-neck more skater style flare option here and a cold-shoulder option here.

Amazon Keyhole Velvet Pleated Dress

If you haven’t gotten on the jewel tones and velvet fabrics bandwagon yet, well – all aboard!!! They are a must-have this holiday season.

Metallic shoes compliment jewel tones perfectly – I opted for my Sam Edelmen pumps in pictures 1 and 3. Wearing a satin Nina open toe pump in picture 2.

Which of the above looks are your faves?

2019 Corporate Holiday Glam Guide

What are you going to wear to your corporate holiday party?

This has often been difficult to answer and why I am bringing back ConfidentlyCorporate’s Holiday Glam Guide for a second year in a row.

In thinking of work holiday parties, I want to maintain an air of professionalism, but I don’t want to dress like it’s just another day at work.

I’m sure many of you can agree that finding somewhere between formal, yet festive and just-another-day can be hard to nail down.  Then add on the desire to be professional while still stylish and on trend, and it gets more complicated – that is where I want to offer some help. 

First, figure out the suggested dress code for your holiday party or happy hour. Usually it is shared on the invite via wording or theme.

  • Black-tie – formal clothing is appropriate, but certain cocktail dresses may work too. A floor-length gown is perfect, fancy cocktail dress, or LBD (little black dress) glammed up with fancy shoes and accessories.
  • Black-tie optional – formal clothing is appropriate, but not necessary. A more understated floor-length gown or cocktail dress will work.
  • Cocktail attire – the most forgiving of the dress codes and what most corporate party dress codes tend to be. A tea or knee length dress is appropriate, a LBD, a dressy jumpsuit or pants suit will work also.

A LBD is always in style and classic, but this time of year offers your safe LBD a break. The holidays allow you the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone. ‘Tis is the season for GLAM and with options in bold hues / jewel tones and luscious fabrics, you should embrace some glamorous chances!

Next, don’t forget about the shoes / accessories and hair / makeup – these can make (or break) an outfit. 

  • Shoes: Open-toe is appropriate, but don’t think a closed or peep toe won’t work. A closed-toe metallic pump can pair beautifully with a cocktail dress and they are very much on trend this season.
  • Accessories: Sparkle and statement jewelry is appropriate, but make sure to balance it with the dress you are wearing. If you have on a sequined or metallic outfit, simple maybe the best option. If your wearing an LBD, your jewelry can be played up much more.
  • Hair: This is a perfect opportunity for an updo or lush curls. Don’t know how to do an updo? Don’t stress! It can be as simple as a sock bun or a messy bun. Alternatively, curls can dress up any outfit and can be achieved with a curling iron, flat iron, or hot rollers. Or consider classic straight, polished hair that can be pinned half-up.
  • Makeup: No better time for a Smokey eye look than now! Or add a pop of color with some bold lipstick.

Are you needing examples? Ask and you shall receive! The next week, I will share one outfit per day that are sure to leave you feeling #ConfidentlyCorporate (+glam) and impress your colleagues, and date too! Follow @ConfidentlyCorporate on Instagram and Facebook so you don’t miss out!

Finally, use this opportunity of dressing up and feeling beautiful to let your confidence shine.  It’s great to enjoy your time at the event mainly with your squad, but make sure to mingle with those you don’t get regular exposure to.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest that you partake in drinking responsibly, keeping in mind that you will see these colleagues in the office come Monday morning.  

Lessons from Muffins with Mom

This morning, I was blessed to be able to attend muffins with mom at my daughter’s school.

As we were waiting in line, I noticed a little girl standing a foot away from the line looking at all the moms in line with the saddest look on her face. As we got closer to where she was, I saw tears steaming down her face. At first, I thought she was with the group a few people ahead of us and maybe she was throwing a fit or pouting – God knows my little can be dramatic. But as I watched, I realized she was by herself. I approached her and knelt down to eye level and asked if she was ok. She quickly glanced at me and looked down, shook her head no, and began crying harder. My heart aches for her. I asked if her mom was with her and she cried harder, so I told her to come with me and let’s go talk to one of the teachers. I told my daughter to hold our spot in line and I walked this sad child over to the school counselor and I told her quietly the situation. She asked the sweet girl, “would you like to sit with me and have a muffin?” The little girl said no in between whimpers.

Y’all, I couldn’t walk away. I knelt down and asked if she wanted to have muffins with me and my daughter, she shook her head yes. So we walked back to the line and I introduced my daughter to her and started a conversation with the three of us.

I’m not telling you this because I want praise, I don’t. I am telling you this because it is so easy to be wrapped up in our own world and not notice the pain around us. But all it takes is one simple act of kindness to impact someone’s day. I think we sometimes fear helping, especially as it comes to children.

I don’t know anything about this girl and her mom. There could be numerous reasons why her mom wasn’t there. Maybe her mom couldn’t get off work? (Been there! And it is amazing when another mama steps in to tell my kids I miss them and take pictures for me.) Maybe her mom forgot? (So been there?) Maybe her mom isn’t a part of her life? Maybe her mom is passed? All I knew is it’s not my job to figure out the why not judge the situation, I only wanted to brighten this child’s day.

My emotions are still on high from this morning.

  • I feel overwhelming blessed that I can be there for my kids and that my husband can be there for them.
  • I am grateful to be in a job that allows me to come in late or take off for events such as this.
  • My heart aches for that little girl, but also for her mama but I’ve been praying for them this morning.
  • I feel proud that I set an example of kindness and inclusion for my daughter. You see, it’s not enough to just teach them, we have to show them.

Next time you are out and about, look around and observe. I bet there is a random act of kindness that you can handle to make someone smile!

Side note: All my mama friends out there, if you can’t make an event, let me know and if I’m there – let me step in for you. Not to fill your shoes, because I can never, but to send you pictures and remind your little how much you love them and wish you were there.

Dear Mama, It’s okay

Where are all my mamas at? Truth moment – I often feel guilty for being away from my kids. I felt guilt being at work or spending time with friends. I struggled simply having something I enjoy apart from them.

So, I didn’t go anywhere but work. And I didn’t have anything apart from them.

Guilt just seems to be part of moming. Scratch that. Guilt seems to be something many women struggle with – moms or not. I heard a wise female leader recently describe guilt as a useless emotion. I find this accurate for me because I often feel guilty about things that are part of everyday life.

Take a moment and think about the things that make you feel guilty in any given day and ask yourself, what does feeling guilty about ______ do for me and/or my family?

I reflected on the things that trigger my guilt.

What does feeling guilty about working do for me or my family? Nothing. It only hurts me internally. My kids are thriving and learning in their pre-schools. My husband is proud of my career success and supports my ambition. I’m contributing to our household financially while setting an example for my kids that both moms and dads can work and be active + present at home.

What does feeling guilty about hanging out with friends or on a getaway do for me or my family? Again, nothing. It allows me an opportunity to connect with my friends and enjoy the company of supportive women. It helps with my mental and emotional state and refills my cup. It also gives my kids time with just daddy, which is such a critical bond.

From my own experience, I have found my career and my hobbies make me a better mom. It allows me to not lose myself, which many moms struggle with after having kiddos (I know I did). Kids are amazing, but let’s be honest, they are also needy. It is nice to be needed, but exhausting to give 24/7! After having my second child and working a demanding job, I felt like I was giving all day long and it drained me. At the end of the day, I didn’t have much else to give to my husband or myself. I was worn out.

So mama, it’s okay.

It’s okay to care for yourself.

It’s okay to workout.

It’s okay to go get a mani/pedi.

It’s okay to take a long bath/shower.

It’s okay to take your time in the restroom and lock the door so they don’t barge in.

It’s okay to want to (and actually) be alone at times.

It’s okay to want something that is just for you.

It’s okay to need female companionship and make time for those special friends in your life separate from your family.

It’s okay to go on a getaway that allows you to veg out and have fun sans much responsibility.

It’s okay to want and need something that is not your kids.

It’s okay to have something that fulfills you outside of your kids because a healthy mama is the best mama!

It’s okay because you need to be okay – mentally, emotionally, physically.

So do you boo!

This picture of my kids in the background as I’m trying to get a picture of me for ConfidentlyCorporate shows me that it’s okay!

Photo by Us Plus Love

You see, whether I’m at work or trying to get a picture for my blog, I’m still a mom and these little photo-bombers in the background know they are the priorities!

Let’s DITCH the guilt and suffering! It is option. I know it’s easier said than done, but I believe it’s a journey we should all work towards.

Aveda Sap Moss Review

I was fortunate enough to get a complimentary Aveda Sap Moss Shampoo and Conditioner through Influenster. It is a plant based product designed to increase hydration by 85% and reduce frizz! Of course I was excited to try it because frizz is a daily battle in Houston heat!

The claim is you will say bye bye to dry hair with Aveda’s Sap Moss Shampoo and Conditioner through weightless hydration.

Let’s start with a question I asked immediately – What is Sap Moss?

Sap Moss is derived from Iceland moss an larch sap. Iceland moss can absorb twice its weight in water to survive winter droughts, while larch sap seals in moisture to survive long winters. Similarly, Aveda’s Sap Moss products do the same for your hair, filling it with moisture, without weighing it down.

My initial reaction:

  • Very earthy, natural smell – I didn’t enjoy the smell, but it didn’t linger so I was able to handle it.
  • Shampoo didn’t lather well unless my hair was really saturated with water. I put the shampoo in my hands and added a drop of water to it and that worked great.
  • Conditioner is smooth and felt great on and came off without residue.
  • I decided to let my hair air dry to truly test it out. See for yourself in the video!
  • I gave it a full 2 weeks of exclusive use and I did like the results, but not sure if the cost is worth the results.

      The smell did not grow on me during this time.
      I noticed my hair was softer the second day after washing, which was a major plus!
      Air drying did leave it looking pretty good and allowed me to reduce use of heat. But it wasn’t smooth enough to wear to work air dried because I prefer a more polished look.

  • Stop Hiding

    Confidence is not a destination, it truly is a journey that has bumps along the way.

    You don’t become confident over night and even when you work on it, you still have wavering moments of self-consciousness and doubt.

    I’ve learned what clothes work for my body type, but summers are often a struggle for me because shorts and swimsuits rarely flatter my imperfections.

    I’ve spent years wearing capris or maxis in the heat of Houston summers. Years of sitting on lounge chairs watching my kids play in the pool so I wouldn’t have to take off my swim cover. Years searching for the right swimsuit that camouflages the dimples and bumps.

    I have never worn a 2 piece swimsuit that wasn’t a tankini. Until this year.

    I decided to…

    Stop hiding.

    Stop sitting on the sidelines

    Stop focusing on what others think.

    Stop being ashamed of the areas that make me insecure.

    Here I am. Imperfections and all.

    Smile and shine with confidence

    Your smile (or lack thereof) is one of the first things people notice about you. A smile has the power to brighten a person’s day, it’s often contagious and it increases the blood flow to the brain, making you feel happy!

    Smiling is also associated with exuding confidence. Having a smile that you are happy and confident with can help you present your best self and can enable you to thrive in many social and professional situations. In fact, studies have shown that a healthy, white-teeth smile has a direct effect on successful social and professional interactions.

    I believe my smile helps me build relationships and show my authenticity. It also makes me happy – in the words of Buddy the elf, “smiling’s my favorite!”

    I find that I’m more willing to smile when my smile sparkles and shines, which means pearly whites are in order. Easier said than done with my love of coffee (and maybe wine).

    For me, the over-the-counter white strips and brushing with baking soda did not work. The trays from my dentist did give me some results, but they left me with gross chunks of bleach stuck in my teeth and the results faded quickly.

    Is it too much to ask for a a quick, natural solution that don’t leave you with teeth sensitivity and results that last a while?

    I thought it was, until I heard about Naturally White Houston located in Midtown. Natural, plant based product applied in a one hour session for immediate results with little to no teeth sensitivity? Also, their slogan is “You deserve to shine” – which is something I completely believe. I jumped at the opportunity to try it out to see if it was too good to be true.

    Naturally White Houston breaks out your 60 minute teeth whitening into three segments of 20 minutes. They start with identifying where your teeth are on the chart so that you can later see on the chart your results. I was a 3 to start.

    The process:

    1. Mouth guard is placed to keep your mouth wide open and teeth exposed.

    2. Vitamin E is applied to your lips and gums to keep them from drying out.

    3. Solution is applied to your teeth.

    4. Blue light is placed in front of your teeth.

    5. You are left in the room for 20 minutes. (I listened to music and caught up on social media)

    6. You rinse your mouth out with water.

    7. Repeat steps 1-6 for another 2 segments.

    My after results based on the chart, -1! That is 3 shades whiter!!

    The process was comfortable and painless. I didn’t feel any sensitivity during or immediately after. I did feel some tingling the next day on my front teeth when I drank ice water, but it was minor. For those that struggle with regular teeth sensitivity, I would recommend brushing with a sensitive toothpaste a week prior to your whitening appointment. Naturally White Houston also has a product to further help with sensitivity called Boost that is a pre-treatment applied prior to the whitening session.

    You are instructed to not eat for at least 2 hours after the treatment because the gel continues to process. Make sure you follow those instructions because I did notice my teeth where a bit whiter the following day.

    They recommend you make an appointment every 6 months to help maintain your results and they also have products for sale to help you keep those pearly whites shining at home. I purchased the whitening pen to use as needed – just brush the gel on and wait 1 hour before you eat/drink.

    I love my results so much that I wanted to each of you to experience a pearly white smile because you deserve to shine boo! Naturally White Houston is graciously offering you $60 OFF your first whitening treatment if you mention ConfidentlyCorporate at booking. The regular cost of the treatment is $199, but with their incredible discount, you can get your first teeth whitening for only $139!

    What are you waiting for???? Go book!

    Check out Naturally White Houston on Instagram and Facebook to see before and after pictures proving this is NOT too good to be true. They are also wonderful at communicating with their clients via social media channels so feel free to DM them with questions and to book.