Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spotlight On A True Fashionista: LoftTalk @ Loft101.net Contributor {SHANAY - July 2015}



Courtesy of: www.modcloth.com
Last month I asked for "experts" to share their stories or ideas on an area they were talented in and I received 2 stories.  I know you will be influenced this month by the expert insight these contributors share with us!!  Happy ;-) for me because I promised you that I would get 2 experts to share!  I didn't set the bar very high because I wasn't really sure if I would get a lot of folks wanting to participate.  LoftTalk is creeping by, month to month, with a story here and a story there, but with that said, I believed 2 people would share for this campaign and they did!  Thank you for stepping out and sharing...
 
So, here's the first contribution from Ms. Shanay Brown.  You may remember her contribution to LoftTalk last month on "Cheryl's Taco Dip Recipe."  She praised her Mom(Cheryl)and how much she loved her tacos.  This month, Shanay shares some tips, advice and good information on her fashion experience and it's an awesome contributionThanks Shanay for your expert information!!  
 
Let's peek in and see what Shanay is sharing with us this month as our "Spotlight Fashionista!"
 
Next "expert" story will post next week ;-)! 
 
 *This submission will ARCHIVE to Corner Loft101 Page in 30 days for future reviews
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FASHION EXPERT
Ms. Shanay Brown 
 
“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably they remember the woman.”  Coco Chanel

Before I begin to dig deep into fashion and fashion critic. I would like to dedicate this post to my all time favorite fashionista’s that have been in my life for a great amount of time.  My mother Cheryl D. Brown, Aunt Antoinette (Toni) Stevens who is my mom’s younger sister, my two older cousins Akilah E. Stevens and Kay Taylor, Deaconess Sharon Ball and Myra Smith, and of course my New Psalmist Sister Mrs. Deborah Ramsey

Obtaining over six years of extensive knowledge and experience in the Retail and Fashion industry, I am confident when someone ask me for my advice about their fashion style or how they should hook up a "5 star"  outfit for a special occasion!  I began styling babies and toddlers at Gymboree in Owings Mills Mall, to styling men and women at Banana Republic in Annapolis Westfield Mall.  Most recently, I've had the opportunity to work my fashion expertise at Aerosoles in the Galleria at Harborplace, located in the heart of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. 

I am truly and forever thankful for my fun and humble beginning at "Wear It’s At" in Reisterstown, MD.  This experience allowed me to learn the ins and outs of the Consignment business, which is very near and dear to my recent success. Giving back, in any capacity, is rewarding.  So,I "love to indulge" within the consignment industry, selling my personal pieces of clothing that are always in great condition. 

My style is a mix between vintage, budget friendly and high-end merchandise. Flea Market finds and hand me downs have been staples for my every day wardrobe, as well.  Sounds funny, but it's true!!  As a fashionista/stylist I choose to mix trends, colors and styles, wearing what feels most comfortable on me.  Yet, a life lesson that was quickly learned was you do not have to follow the clique trends because you will quickly go broke!  Learn to dress for yourself and don't let other people's opinions change what you feel like wearing. 
 

In the fashion industry, it's important to understand and know the concerns of your customer and/or client.  Providing excellent customer service and knowing as much as you can helps with styling, all around.  For example, I wouldn't
style my mother the same way I would style and lend advice to a friend.
That's good "fashion sense".....

KEY WARDROBE PIECES..

*      Black dress

*      Black blazer

*      Black button collar shirt                       
*      Black classic heels
          
*      Black tights

*      Skin tone stockings

*      Tan and/or nude heels

*      White button collar shirt

*      Black/grey/navy skirt                         

Remember unexpected things do occur in life so having the basics is a must
Online shops are the best because we can hit them anytime of day or night and enjoy the convenience of "no shopping bags"...LOL!!!!
 
 
ONLINE....Check them out! 

*      www.asos.com


*      www.lulus.com
*      www.zara.com


*      www.nordstrom.com

      LOCAL.....
*      Wear It’s At

*      Too Good to Be Thru, LLC

*      A People United 

*      The Woman’s Exchange

*      For Rent Shoes 


HOT TIP...

Here's a tip for you.... a trend that is somewhat new to the fashion industry is Renting Handbags and clothing.  Ladies, I will leave that for you to discuss with your family and friends. The Wall Street Journal did an amazing article on July 24, 2008 entitled  “ The Skinny on Handbag –Rental Services.”  Please check that out as a notable source. 

Love Ya,
Shanay 

Friday, July 24, 2015

How To Meditate For 10 Minutes: It Works!


True story...recently, I participated in a meditation session and it was something I had never done before.  I am such a busy body, always running from here to there, never taking "time out" for anything!  That's the truth.  Well, I participated in a meditation session this month and the best way for me to describe it to you is AWESOME! 

I've posted blogs in the past about creating a "quiet place" for yourself and how important that is. Today, I'm sharing PART II to your quiet place.  Hopefully by now, you have created that place that is yours and yours alone.  I suggested that you find something that you could relax with during your quiet time. Something that you could fix your mind on and something that you could simply stare at, all day long, that would provide a sense of peace.  My "something" was a pink flower that I purchased years ago.  When I need quiet time, I go to that place where my pink flower is, which is my office and I take a mental dump for a few minutes.  Please see my blog post on "Taking A Mental Dump."

Well, with that said, I want to take you to another level of PEACE.  I want to recommend that you consider adding a form of "meditation" to your quiet time, in your already quiet place!  When I say this, I mean transforming your mind.  Going from "quiet" to "calm".  Does that make sense?   From "silence" to "tranquil".  The focus is not only on the "quiet place you are in" but "the quieting or meditation of your mind."  It's very simple to do.  Let's  go there...

Go to your quiet place.  Now record this meditation message below on your smartphone and have some instrumental music playing, behind your voice. Music shoud be soft and low.  You want to hear the voice message as you speak these words of PEACE into your soul.  This is my very own meditation version that you can try but when sharing please know that it is a COPYRIGHT and cannot be claimed as anything other than such.  

You may use this meditation message, but please give credit to LOFT101.net as the source of origin.
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LOFT101.net 10 MINUTE MEDITATION
(Copyright 2015)
***Pause 3 seconds in between each sentence!! Enjoy this 10 minutes for YOU and appreciate the moment.

Close your eyes.  You are resting. Let your heart relax.  Breathe softly, in and out.  Relax.  You hear the sounds of water but the ebbs and flows of the ocean are so quiet, that you can barely hear the waves.  Its calming to you.  Your senses pick up the smell of salt water and the sound of a light wind.  The wind is blowing through your hair and you feel so free.  Like a kite that is soaring through the atmosphere.  Relax-Relax-Relax.  Let your eyes, nose and ears relax.  Relax your head and neck.  Tension is no longer toxic.  Relax your shoulders, your arms, your hands and your fingers.  Relax your thighs, your legs and your feet. Let each toe relax. Just think about relaxing your entire body.   Enjoy the breeze but appreciate the sun that has just broken through the clouds.  The waves are now a little louder but very gentle.  The heat from the sun is comfortable and a moderate feel on your face and neck.  Don't think about anything.  Totally clear your mind of everything. This is your moment for YOU.  Just relax. Invite PEACE and think about nothing but you.  Let's just listen to the quiet for a few minutes.........PAUSE:  Let music play low and softly. 
START AGAIN....You are free from the world on a moment that soley belongs to you. Now breathe in and out 3 times. Breathe-Breathe-Breathe.  Feel your chest and back contract.  In and out.
You are free. Now open your eyes and sit for 5 minutes before returning to your day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

All New DIY101 Projects & Ideas!! Introducing Ebbs & Flows Of Decorating @ Loft101.net

Courtesy Of:  fleamarketdecor.com
 
Hi There!
 
Are you ready for another innnovative idea from LOFT101.net?  I've been so busy at LOFT101.net that I actually feel like this blog has become my second job...LOL!!  I am continually thinking of new ideas and new challenges for myself that I can introduce to you.I am creating MODULES that I hope are helpful to you when you visit my site. Today I'm adding another MODULE!
 
Courtesy:  Bing Images
  
MODULE ONE (1) 
LoftTalk @ Loft101.net Contributors,followers,subscribers & viewers social media circle and platform for sharing
 
MODULE TWO (2) 
CoachTalk @ Loft101.net
My experiences as an aspiring coach in training toward becoming a Certified Professional Coach (CPC)- Graduating in January 2016
 
 MODULE THREE (3) 
Ebbs & Flows of Decorating @ Loft101.net 
Repurpose, refresh, makeovers, flea market & DIY ideas 
 
 
Courtesy Of:  fleamarketdecor.com
LoftTalk @Loft101.net has been slow but successful since I launched it in March of this year.  It will run for the next six months until December 2015!  Who knows what will happen after that!  It may stay and it may not.  That's what makes what I do so exciting, I never know what to expect next!
 
  I've just began another module on my blog called CoachTalk @Loft101.net where I will be introducing a series of blogs each month that speaks to my experiences as an aspiring coach.  I'm learning so much in my training and I want to share my experience with you as I march toward CERTIFICATION!!  The next blog on this module will post in August.
 
 
Today, I am going back to where I started from one year ago with decorating ideas I shared with you from DIY Projects and things that I improved in my own home. I'm starting another third module at LOFT101.net called
Ebbs & Flows Of Decorating @Loft101.net 
Courtesy:  Bing Images
It's going to be fun and interesting as I plan out projects that I will be doing around my home using all kinds of resources!  The fall season will come around quickly, so I am beginning to think about things I want to work on.  This new module begins in August so stay tuned for some new and improved ideas I have in store for you!  
 
WELCOME TO A SECOND YEAR OF LOFT101.NET!  "I APPRECIATE YOU" AND I HOPE YOU WILL KEEP FOLLOWING....THANK YOU♡ 
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Healthy & Fast Spicy Grilled Shrimp Quinoa (Keenwah) Salad: "Meet Me In The Kitchen" - Week 2


  
Happy Monday!
Well, I'm a day late with posting this salad recipe that I wanted to share with you for Week 2 of our "Meet Me In The Kitchen Blog Series" but I just had to share it with you because it is super healthy and goes well with any other side dishes you plan to have with your dinner. 
Lately, I've been on this "getting healthy" kick, so I've been researching to see what new foods I can replace or add to my current diet to help with this new venture...LOL!!!  I discovered something called "Quinoa".  It's pronouced Keenwah.  I first heard about Quinoa on Tia Mowry's show on the Cooking Channel.  She used it in a breakfast recipe with an egg and it really looked tasty.  The recipe was called "Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Crispy Kale Chips"...yummy!!   After hearing her talk about how full of proteins it was and the other healthy ingredients that were in it, I wanted to give it a try.
Compliments to "Cooking Light" for sharing this recipe with the world because it's AWESOME!  Please step out and try something new if you have never tried Quinoa before!  This was my first time and here's what I know, it's really good and good for you.  It's grainy but in a good way...LOL!!!! "Come on", try it.  It's healthy!  When you grill the shrimp and put all of the other ingredients together to make this salad, you will enjoy it and you may want to cook with Quinoa more!

History Of Quinoa (Keenwah):

Quinoa (Keenwah) was recognized in 2013 as "The International Year of the Quinoa".  Even though a lot of people are unfamiliar with it, it is slowly becoming known as a practical food that is being used in various recipes.  The stars from the Food Network Channel are using it in their recipes!  It's nutritional richness comes from a combination of protein sources that are good for you.  It has become one of the only foods that comes close to providing all the essential life sustaining nutrients.  Check out some of the benefits of Quinoa below...

It's high in protein and fiber

Contains nine essential amino acids

Low in calories

High in iron and vitamin B12

Won't spike your blood or sugar

Dairy-free and Gluten-free
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Spicy Grilled Shrimp Quinoa Salad
Recipe Courtesy:  cookinglight.com 


Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided

10 teaspoon olive oil, divided


2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/8 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

4 garlic cloves, chopped and divided

24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 pound)

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon honey

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup canned organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup diced peeled avocado

1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled

Cooking spray

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

1. Preheat grill to high heat.

2. Combine 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, black pepper, hot sauce, paprika, and 2 garlic cloves in a medium bowl. Add shrimp; toss well. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

3. Rinse and drain quinoa. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add remaining 2 garlic cloves and quinoa; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 13 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and honey in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add quinoa mixture, tomatoes, chickpeas, avocado, and cheese; toss gently.

4. Remove shrimp from bowl; discard marinade. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Thread 3 shrimp onto each of 8 (6-inch) skewers. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until done.

5. Divide quinoa mixture evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 skewers. Garnish with cilantro.  

6. Enjoy!!!!!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

DIY Layered Salads in Mason Jars {Pick 5 Ingredients} "Meet Me In The Kitchen" - Week 2

Let's cut right through the veggies and fruits and jump start Week 2 with preparing some healthy salads for the summer! I've come up with a great way for you to prepare salad in advance and individually!  If you are a regular viewer or follower of  LOFT101.net, you know by now how much I absolutely love mason jars.  Well, if you really know me, you would undoubtedy know how much I love, love, love salads!  I love to eat them and make them!!  Today, for this post, I'll be using mason jars to prepare and layer ingredients to create 3 salads that are hearty, healthy and too easy to make!  

Each jar includes 5 healthy ingredients.  One of the salads is so good, that your kids will even like it! This is such a great idea for saving time.  Prepare the salads ahead of time for lunch the next day. Here's an idea,  for a casual barbecue, you can be creative and make different salads in each jar, label or tag them with each person's name and a short message of what kind of salad is in the jar.  I've done this for friends that have had dinner at our home and it's always a great conversation piece!

As a crafter, naturally, this is the way I think...LOL, so preparing a salad in this way, was a no-brainer when I thought about sharing it with you for the "Meet Me In The Kitchen Series" this week!  Have fun, but keep it healthy. Be careful when handling or when children are handling mason jars because they are made of glass.  Please be careful!!

IDEAS.....

If you are preparing salads for the kids, think of making cheese your main ingredient and perhaps add some grapes.  The kids will be distracted by the fun stuff that is in the jar and so anxious to eat it that they won't realize it's really healthy ;-).

I also try to stay away from veggies that produce a lot of water, like cucumbers and celery.  Perhaps you can pack them as a side. Also, don't add any salad dressing because that will only make your salad soggy.  Put dressing in a separate container.

You are going to love this DIY 101 salad prep and here's the 5 different ingredients I used in each jar..

Pick 5 ~ Spinach, Mushrooms, Sundried Tomatoes, Scallions,  
                   Broccoli

Pick 5 ~ Iceberg Lettuce, Crinkle Cut Carrots, Pepperoni Slices,
                   Grated American Cheese, Grapes

Pick 5 ~ Cherry Tomatoes, Romaine Lettuce, Bacon Bits, Dried
                   Cranberry, Feta Cheese Slices
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How To Make Homemade Shea Butter Body Soaps {Coconut Lemon & Vanilla Almond} "Meet Me In The Kitchen" - Week 1

 
Ok, I'm wrapping this Week 1 up with some body soaps that are not only homemade but that are so good that they won't last long around your house!  They are so simple to make and the 2 kinds that I created are both smooth and creamy, a light clean fragrance.  If you have never experienced using "shea butter" well, let me invite you to try it out for the first time ;-)!  It's such an awesome soap and combined with vitamin e and almond oils, your skin will feel lovely! 
 
Making soap is very tricky but you can do it!  I did it for the first time and it was fun.  It's a DIY101, so I know you can do this!  Here's a tip I want to give you, soap hardens very, very fast.  Some soap blocks that you purchase may say it will take 24 hours but the one I used took only 1 hour to fully harden.  Actually, if you don't pour your molds immediately after immediately melting your soap, the mixture will begin to harden on you very fast and you don't want that to happen. 
 
 Again, this was my very first time trying this project out and I besides that observation I discovered ;-), making soap is really a lot of fun and you can create your own soap recipes, if you realize this is something you enjoy doing.  Have fun and invite your kids to hang out with you and make some soap too ;-)!  The soap recipes that I share with you are safe and have all natural and organic ingredients in them. I share step by step what you should do.  Follow my photos and you will be ok....;-)! Let's get started ...
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Coconut Lemon Shea Butter Soap
Ingredients
1 3x5 block of Shea Butter Soap (cut it in half to fit in bowl)
1/4 cup Flake Sea Salt
1/2 tablespoon Coconut Oil (melted)
1/4 cup Organic Coconut Chips
1 teaspoon Lemon Essential Oil
1 teaspoon Vitamin E
Directions
1.  Microwave Organic Coconut Chips on High 30% for 2 minutes.  They will get soft.  Once time is done, remove and crunch up into smaller pieces.  Crunch up as much as you can.  Pour into bowl.
2. Add flake sea salt, to the coconut chips. 
3.  Melt coconut oil and add that to the coconut chips and flake sea salt.
4.  Add lemon and vitamin e oils.  Stir to mix everything and then set bowl aside.
5.  Now, place your 2 halves of soap blocks into a bowl and microwave on High 30% for 6 minutes.  Your soap should be fully melted.  If it is not, microwave again, same settings for another minute.  That should do it!
6.  MOVE QUICKLY - Pour soap into the bowl with the other ingredients, stir QUICKLY and pour into your molds.  *If you do not move quickly, your soap will begin to harden and get clumpy.  If this happens, FORGET IT ;-(...you can try to re-melt but if that does not work, prepare recipe again.  You want it to be correct for it to look right.

 
Vanilla Almond Shea Butter Body Soap
Ingredients
1 3x5 block of Shea Butter Soap (cut it in half to fit in bowl)
1/4 cup Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 tablespoon Sweet Almond Oil 
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essential Oil
1 teaspoon Vitamin E
 
Directions
Same as for the:  Coconut Lemon Shea Butter Soap (above) 
 



















 

Coach Talk #1 @ Loft101.net: What Color Is Your Personality?

 
COACH TALK #1 @ LOFT101.NET

Courtesy Of:  bloom color wheel - http://www.wclipart.com

Although the first color wheel is attributed to Sir Isaac Newton in 1706, the first basic color chart was created by Richard Wall in 1686. I'm taking you to a new level for 2015! I did some research and this is a really good personality color chart that I'm sharing, as well as a few images that relate to this subject!   


Several months ago I wrote a post on how to decorate a baby's room and how certain colors affect baby's moods and their perception.  With that in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to look at elements of color again but from an adult perspective.  I was encouraged to write this post because as I grow in my gift, I am also making contact with a lot of different people.  Learning and developing clients, is a critical part of my training.  As an aspiring coach, I desire to know as much as I can about why individuals, including myself, think and act the way that we do. 


Courtesy Of:  True Colors Personality Profile (slide share)

Personally, I love bright colors but I can remember a time in my life when I liked nothing but dark colors.  Even now, I still tend to find myself closing all the blinds in our home, when I want that cozy feeling.  It's crazy right?  Our moods do effect how we relate to colors.  Why?  Because many times, the way we react, think or feel about something, shows in our body language.  Sometimes this is good but sometimes this can be really bad...LOL! 
Have you ever evaluated yourself and your personality traits?  Have you ever thought about why you act like you act, whether it's good or bad?  Just think about it for a minute.  If you surround yourself with negative or depressed individuals all day long, how do you think you would act?  Probably, the same as them.  Yes?  Now, if you were around happy people and outgoing individuals that were positive thinkers and ambitious, more than likely, in time, I'm sure you would begin to behave in the same manner as they do.  So how does all of this fit into knowing what our personality colors are?  Well, I'm glad you asked...LOL!
Courtesy Of:  Silent Pandemonium:  What color matches your personality? - ad

As I begin this journey, I thought about myself and how I should determine what colors make up who I am before I can eventually coach someone else about the importance of it!  Of course, each day is different for me and some days my personality colors will be different, for sure!  However, "I know me" and "you know you", better than anyone else, so literally speaking, we should have an overall idea of who we are and our real personalities! 

"Truthfully speaking, you have to know "you" in order to make a real and true assessment of yourself...LOL!!"

Yes or No?  If you answered yes, then you can start from there and begin to learn about yourself better, as a whole person. You noticed I said "learn".  We all claim to "know" who we are and that's ok but there is always room for growth and we are always learning new things about ourselves, all the time.  That's just the way life is! 
This is not rocket science, it's simply learning more about who you are, improving on those things that are good and doing away with the things that are not necessarily bad but that are not so good!

You tracking???  Say yes...LOL!!!  Anyway, I'm sharing some information on how you can determine what colors determine your personality.   This is not set in stone and this is only one resource.  You will find other diagrams and resources online if you search on your own.  I simply want you to begin thinking about this.  It is really an important part of who you are and your character.  Let me know what you think and let me know what color(s) you are ;-)!!
 
I would love to hear from you and hope you will post a comment ;-)!

 
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