Saturday, December 31, 2016

Diva Chronicles Year in Review: 2016 Tried to Take Me Out, But I Made It!

It's that time again folks. The time where we reflect on all of our ups and downs from the past 365 days. I'm thankful to have made it with my life, health, and strength. I wanted to recap a few of my favorite and most personal posts from 2016. Also what I'm working for 2017! Leggo!

1. Traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras

While my January 2016 was pretty uneventful,  I kicked it up a notch by heading down to New Orleans, LA for Mardi Gras for a friend's birthday. The food, the culture, and the excitement made it a trip to remember! I'll definitely be back. Maybe to cover the Essence Music Festival. Hmmm.

2. I Got in Formation and With Beyonce on the Formation Tour!

Funny story: while we were in New Orleans, Beyonce dropped Formation out of nowhere. We were literally chillin', then boom(!)...Formation. Obviously, this was calculated as she was performing at the half town show that weekend for the Super Bowl. We literally were rushing back to the hotel room to watch her performance  (we were all stans). Then we realized we weren't going to make it. I can't tell you which side of New Orleans we were on, but it wasn't near Canal Street. So we popped into a bar then got kicked out because the owner thought we were just some party goers, even though we sat at the bar and was getting ready to buy drinks. He was rude and slick racist but that isn't the point. We ended up befriending some sketchy people on a Winnebago equipped with a flat screen to watch the half time show. We played nice long enough to watch and then we dipped! We later concluded they were a traveling band of prostitutes that sold marijuana lollipops.

Fast forward to May 1, 2016, and I was at the GA Dome with my cousin and friends singing with Bey until I was hoarse and my ears were ringing. There was this couple in front of us that kept buying us beers when they bought themselves another, and every time one of the girlfriends (they were lesbians) opened a new cold one she said "Cheers to Beyonce!" LOL. Fun times.

3. I Moved Back Home

I was in desperate need of a change. About a month later, I announced that I was moving back to my hometown. My transition has been FAR from smooth, but things are looking up. Currently drafting a post filling you in on the details now. Will hit the blog soon!

4.  My Most Read Post of 2016

5. The Diva's Marketplace Announcement 

For as long as I could remember, I wanted my own boutique. What I wanted to sell in it changed over the years and now I know what it is. I have my list and categories and what products will fall under each. You will have to be patient with me through this journey to see what they are, but for now, it will be body and beauty products. I want the Marketplace to have an intimate and more personal feel so I will be producing and releasing small batches of products. It is coming along slowly but surely. I want to fund as much as I can myself in the infant stages of the company, then branch out from there. I found some INEXPENSIVE jars, so look out for new products in 2017!

What's Next??

New Blog Design

I have been contemplating a new blog design for the past year. I like the aesthetics of the current template, but it seems I received more interaction and collaborations with the traditional blog layout. Of course, it will have the Diva's touch. I have even contemplated changing platforms altogether. I have a close friend that is good with graphicsStay tuned to see what I decide!

New Resume Website

I want to branch out and do more freelance writing and projects outside of Diva Chronicles to add to my skill set. Therefore, I plan to launch my own website displaying my work. Paper resumes are good and all, but when someone Googles you, make what they find intentional.

Diva's Marketplace

As I stated before, I am working on my baby. I can get so caught up in wanting things to be just right that I forget that you have to evolve as you go. So, I'm starting small and simple and having the open mind to make changes throughout the journey. Look out for 1-3 products being launched in 2017!

Passion for Fashion!

Tomorrow, I will officially assume a leadership position at a major retailer. I'm diving in head first in the fashion and beauty industry. I'm being a sponge and learning as much as I can and making my own rules as I go because there is no one way to a destination. This is a new challenge that I am willing to accept and learn and grow from. I hope to aspire other young men and women who want to enter this field.

More Travelling!

In the midst of life knocking me left and right, I let my passport expire. I know! Shame on me. First things first for the new year is rejoining the passport gang and hopping on some planes!

Lastly, THANK YOU!! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, to the readers, the commenters, the sharers, the pinners,  and the likers.  I am grateful that I get to share my creativity with the world in my little corner of the internet. With the advances of modern technology, I know my words are being read in Canada, France, Germany, Ukraine (!), Russia, Portugal, and many more places across the globe. I promise to keep the content coming in 2017. It can only get better from here!

HAPPY NEW YEAR Diva Chronicles Fam! See You next year!!

Joslyn the Diva

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Diva's Life: Planning Out My New Year with My Hustle Journal + Journaling and Planning Tips I Have Developed So Far

When I moved back home this summer, I found a bunch of my old notebooks and planner from my senior year in college. I had a lot going on. I was the president of my college's Habitat for Humanity chapter, I was preparing to graduate, taking graduation exit exams, finishing up my final projects, and everything else in between. One thing I noticed is that I wrote EVERYTHING down in my planner. There were also Post-It notes reminders all over the pages. I realized that I stopping planning like I used to do. Writing tasks down, and holding myself accountable to make sure I completed them. I got lazy when there were no grades involved. Sure, I keep up with bills and minor to do lists. But I have not been planning and following through on my goals like I should have. I was supposed to be selling you body products by now. You see I have yet to release one butter, balm, toner, or tonic (See what I did there? Preview.). Well, I plan on kicking things up a notch as a finish out 2016 and head into 2017.

Both the planning and journaling communities are very big from what I found on the internet. I already have a personal journal and am still undecided if I want to merge the two as I head into next year. I have perused YouTube for some inspiration and found a few that have helped me this far. I thought I wanted to go with the bullet journaling route, but do not know if I can commit to that system. However, I do like the idea, so may pull some things out that work for me. Don't get me started on all those themed planning stickers packets and Washi tape. Pretty to look at, creative, and I applaud those who use and sell them, but umm, I will not be devoting time to that. I may use a sticker here and there, but not a full spread (I feel I may be talking too soon though lol). Here are some tips for you (and myself) that I have developed as I dive deep into planning and executing.

1. Develop Your Own System

I did find that I liked the idea of a monthly "spread" and following up with "daily's." I plan to incorporate that into my own planner/journal. So far I have:

  • 2017 Goals Page
  • Monthly Spread
  • Daily's
  • Finances
  • Monthly Goals (Personal and Business)
  • Accomplishments (at the end of each month)

2. This or That? I Pick Both?

I also noticed the debate of whether the book being shared is a planner or journal. Myleik's Hustle Journal is marketed as just that, a journal. There is no calendar, just lined paper. However, I have drawn my own planner onto the pages, so I guess I am merging the two. I wanted to use it more than just to do lists. I also wanted to move away from just depending on my Google calendar and start back physically writing things down more.

3. Create A Key

I color coordinated tasks and events in my Google calendar, and that has helped tremendously. I wanted to bring that system over to my planner/journal. I bought some inexpensive colored pens to use for different categories. My key is as follows:
  • Black: Regular tasks
  • Green: Finances
  • Hot Pink: Blog
  • Bright Orange (no red): Urgent matters
  • Purple: General reminders
4. Evolve As You Go

I just started and have already changed my weekly layout, and plan to make changes in the future. Create a layout based on your needs and your schedule.

I will be doing updated planning posts periodically once I have developed my process. Do you have any tips or resources for me? Be sure to share!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Diva Cover Stories: Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, and Taraji P. Henson for Essence Magazine, January 2017

The three leading ladies for the heavily awaited film, Hidden Figures,  show style and grace on the cover of Essence Magazine.  Hidden Figures is the untold story of the three African American women, Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), and Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) directly contributed to the NASCAR space race. The movie hit theaters in select theaters on Christmas Day, and premiers nation wide January 6, 2017.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas From Diva Chronicles & My Christmas Wish

Well it's the big day of the holiday season. The reason for the crazy sales, horrible traffic, and houses full of family and laughter. Today is Christmas! Now, I realize everyone does not celebrate Christmas, so I will wish you a Happy Holidays season for whichever holiday you do observe.

I didn't overdo it this year. I barely did anything. My only present I want for this Christmas is to REST! I slept in (If you call waking at 8 a.m. sleeping in.) and rose naturally, sans alarm. I scrolled through Pinterest, did some brief journaling in my new Hustle journal, and now I'm writing this. I'm still in bed and I love it! This is where I plan to be until guests start arriving for dinner.

How are you spending your holidays?


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Diva's Life: More Style Posts in 2017??

I posted this photo on the DC Instagram account and got positive feedback. I love fashion, but rarely showcase my personal style on the site. Mainly due to time. Then you have to factor in making sure you capture blog worthy ensembles, scouting locations, taking quality photos, learning your angles, etc. It's a beast!

 However, this is something I wanted to dive into to inspire others. Maybe weekly roundups instead of daily instances? I'll try to slide from behind the computer screen more in 2017. Check out more of my (occasional) style entries below.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Diva's Reads: The Bomb Life, My Brand. My Terms. by Claire Sulmers

When Claire Sulmers, blogger turned multi-hyphenate divulged she was writing a memoir/self help book on how she broke into the business, I immediately knew I would support and buy a book. I've  been reading Fashion Bomb Daily since '08-'09 ish and have been hooked every since. I've learned so much about the fashion industry from reading her site and become hip to that many more designers.

 The Bomb Life, My Brand. My Terms consists of eleven chapters chronicling Claire's youth all the way to present day. She holds back on none of the obstacles she indured and the drama in between. It is a quick read, I got through the first six chapters in one sitting. If you're a fashion industry hopeful in any capacity AND a woman of color, I definitely recommend this book. I wanted to share a few things I took away from reading the Bomb Life in hopes it will inspire you too.

1. Know That You're Capable, Even if Others Don't 

Claire noted that her family and other adults in her life often weren't on board with her major life transitions. She was discouraged from attending Harvard, except by her brother. They also weren't on board with her move to Paris. However, Claire knew what she was capable of and used that as her motivation. 

2. Listen to Your Woman's Intuition 

My reaction was "Ooh girl!" to some situations Claire divulged. From virtually being uninvited to shows as someone's plus one because she wouldn't sleep with the man who invited her to remaining in an unhealthy relationship that almost ruined what she build because she wanted it more than she needed. In both situations, there were signs that that told her she should exit stage left. Listen to that intuition ladies!

3. Just Because They Look Like You Doesn't Make Them a Friend 

This is a lesson I also have come to learn. Claire ran into situations where she was one of two African-American women. Yet the other women either ignored her or saw her as competition and treated her as such. In a space where it was already difficult to assimilate as no one has shared your experiences as a person of color, it was amplified with lies and drama by someone who could have been someone to lean on. You will find your rock in the most unexpected places. I too, have been screwed over by people who were in a position to lift me up and encourage me. Such is life.

4. Be Gutsy!

Who knew that most of the fashion shows that hit Fashion Bomb Daily in the early years were a result of Claire crashing the shows? Girl! I don't know if I have it in me to drop a name of someone I barely know to gain access. However, if you have no other option, you make one. Cudos girl!

5.  Move with the Times

One of the main things Claire has credited to the longevity of FBD, is her willingness to evolve her brand. With the emergence of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, she hopped on. Doing this helped her brand become more visible and reach more followers.

6. Look the Part

If your career involves talking about the latest in fashion, you have to look fashionable.  You are your brand at all times. In the gym, airport, and at the glitzy party. Find your signature look and werk it!

7. Put in Work

Working for hours on a post only to have no one read or comment on it. I have been there as I grow Diva Chronicles. Claire stated that she kept working anyway and you must to the same when you want to nurture your dream. Long hours, sacrifice, and grit.

8. Network

You have to pry yourself from behind your computer and meet real people in person.  Those contacts can take you far.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Latest in Beauty News: Bobbi Brown Leaving Namesake Brand to Estee Lauder

After 25 amazing years, Bobbi Brown, has announced she is leaving her eponymous brand in the hands of parent company, Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. She will exit her post as creative director by the end of the year. Global Brand President, Peter Lichtenthal, will take over the business.

Image result

This is what Brown has to say about her exit on the 25th anniversary of her company,

“It was a milestone that made me realize it was time to start a new chapter and move on to new ventures.”

Image result for bobbi brown cosmetics

Bobbi sure has something to be proud of. Sources report that Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is sold in over 70 countries and brings in $580 million in wholesale sales (WWD). Not bad for starting off with just one lipstick at Bergdorf Goodman. She has truly cemented herself as a pioneer in the beauty space. No word yet on what those ventures are, but industry buzz has revealed that Estee Lauder put a non-compete clause in her contract. I guess we will have to wait and see what she does next.

Best of luck to Bobbi Brown in the future.

Article Source: New Beauty

Fashion Discussion: Liberian Model, Deddah Howard Creates Black Mirror Photo Series to Take A Stand Against Diversity Issues in the Fashion Industry

The fashion industry has a storied history of using homogeneous models in ad campaigns, runway shows, and on magazine covers. Caucasian models have been mad up in black face as opposed to tlan agency simply hiring an African woman to do the job. Deddah Howard, a model from Liberia was tired of being rejected for jobs and being told "We already have a black model."  This form of tokenism is also problematic (another post for another day). To bring light to diversity issues in the industry, Deddah created the Black Mirror photo series with photographer Raphael Dickreuter. She posed alongside major ad campaigns featuring white models. She's showing that the photos can be just as beautiful centered around a woman of color.  Her mission, according to ger website is for more women of color across all races to be given a fair shot in fashion without the bias. Check out some of her photos below.

Check out the rest of the photos on Deddah's site Secret of DD.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Diva's Holiday Gift Guide: Fab Gifts for Home

It's crunch time! Christmas is ten days away! Will you judge me as I divulge that I haven't purchased not one gift yet? No? I thought you'd understand. :) So it is safe to say that these gift guides will be beneficial to me as well. This one is all about the home. I mean,  because that's our favorite place, right? Enjoy! 

Diva's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Fab Gifts for Home

Faux fur throw

Wine server

Bar tool

Wine glass




Diva's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Fab Gifts for Home

Diva's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Fab Gifts for Home

Faux fur throw

Wine server

Bar tool

Wine glass




Diva's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Fab Gifts for Home

Diva's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Fab Gifts for Home

Faux fur throw

Wine server

Bar tool

Wine glass





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