Stories in Black and White

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending VoWcon (Voices of Women Conference) as always to be expected from 4 Real Women International, INC. it was a wonderful and inspiring event with a diverse set of honored guests that included Award winning -journalist and Spectrum NY 1 News anchor, Cheryl Wills and Brandi Inez Sutton of the Metropolitan Opera. The theme for the conference this year was all about breaking barriers in all parts of your life and highlighted the need to share your story.

With 4RWI CFO, Angela Fletcher & 4RWI Founder, Norka Blackman-Richards

What made this VoWcon17 even more special was the fact that it was also the book launch of Real Women’s Stories – a powerful, inspiring collection of short stories by and about real women. I had been invited to submit a chapter for this book earlier in the year and it was approved to be included in the published text very soon after I sent my first draft. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had the goal to be a published author so the fact that my first published work is actually a chapter about a personal life experience is pretty surreal, nevertheless I can officially add “author” in my resume while also take pride in the fact that my words may help and inspire someone going through similar challenges to the ones I had.

The books!

As one of the authors of the anthology, I knew I would be expected to attend the conference so back in the summer I had already made plans for an outfit to the point that just needed to find the right shoes for it. However a little less than a week before the event, I was asked by my editor and the 4RWI team to wear white, which worried me because I can literally count on one hand the amount of white items in my closet. With no time to shop I put in my request for my Dia box and got this lovely dress from the new Nanette by Nanette Lepore collection.  Continue reading

Spring Into Summer Refresh

With Spring  finally breaking through what felt like the longest winter ever (not that I am complaining because I actually love the cold),  I have also gone through some changes. For one thing  I finally got my hair cut  after putting it off for a good eight months, even going so far as to get it cut shorter than last year with a brighter shade of red as a highlight accent. As someone who has always had long hair its been quite the adjustment, but I figure its a new year and a new season so I might as well go all in. Warmer temps and new hair got me in a bit of a shopping frenzy, however in an effort to stay on budget, I have made sure that at least some of my new wardrobe additions actually work to refresh some of my favorite pieces that I currently own and challenging myself even more with different kind of looks that I never would have put together before.
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My Bare Arms Summer

Ever since I was a tween,  my biggest insecurity were the appearance of my arms. They are big, covered with stretch marks, and scars– things that I believed absolutely had to be covered. This insecurity would effect me most once it started to get warmer. For me this usually meant that sleeves (not short sleeves, mind you) and sweaters made up most of my daily summer wardrobe, even in 100 degree NYC humidity. While other girls and young women would wear their tanks and spaghetti-strapped summer dresses, I wore thick hoodies (sometimes over long sleeves).

This continued on as I have  entered adulthood. Even with the scorching  sun outside, I would stay covered, replacing my adolescent hoodies for shrugs, cardigans and blazers.(It should come as no surprise that I usually spend the summer indoors.)  I truly believed that as big as I was, I had no right to show off my arms. Nevermind that the various types of cover-ups didn’t make my arms disappear from existence or give them a slimmer appearance.  This all changed mid- May in a Target fitting room. As I stood there looking at my reflection in the mirror, I just could not figure out how to wear the Lilly Pulitzer Sea-Urchin-for -You Satin Florence dress  with a shrug and  retain the overall silhouette of the dress. That’s when it hit me, why did I have to? It was then that I decided to stop hiding my arms and embrace them as they are. Continue reading