What’s Your 2020 Vision?

Image of me, Jacqueline Jenkins, hard at work on my 2020 vision board.

At the start of the new year, I posted my thoughts on the past decade.  While much has occurred, there is one thing that remains consistent.  For the past ten years, maybe even fifteen, I have started my year by doing a vision board.  My vision boards have served as a source of motivation and direction.  So, I did the same for 2020.  I am pleased to say that one of my college classmates and fashionista, Carol Anthony, joined me in the process, and we kicked off our vision board session with a Texas-inspired brunch and tons of discussion about what the year would hold.  These are my top five tips on making a vision board.

  • Spend time reflecting.  What’s the saying, “In order to know where you are going, you must know where you have been.”  Usually, in mid-December, I start shifting my mindset from closing out the year to planning for the new one.  Because of my vision board, I am able to assess my progress.  I journal what happened, what didn’t happen, and why.  The reflection process is my time to hold me accountable for my successes and misses for the year.
  • Set goals that help maintain balance and peace in your life.  If all your effort goes towards one goal, there is a chance that other areas in your life might become neglected.  Please don’t get me wrong.  There are times, like when I was in grad school, where all our energy was focused on just one thing.  However, our lives are meant to be lived with a sense of balance and purpose.  For this reason, I divide my vision board into quadrants.  Each square is devoted to an area in my life that I would like to see change.  These are examples of what I’ve focused on in the past – finances, relationships, career, and spirituality.
Clippings from Vogue that capture my themes for the new year.
  • Make it colorful.  Because we want our futures to be bright, I tend to fill my board with imagery that is vibrant and channels the positive energy that I need to get me through the year.  For this reason, I start collecting magazines around October to be used for my board.  I also get creative by using paints, markers, and stencils to share my thoughts for the future artistically.
  • Think big.  Since only we can say where we plan on putting our efforts, put in your mind that you will use these next 365 to do BIG things.  Don’t cheat yourself out of your greatness by setting your goals too low.  Since its your vision, go BIG with it.  For example, instead of setting a goal of just losing weight, commit to living a healthy lifestyle that will enable you to achieve your weight loss goal while also creating habits that enhance your overall health and wellness. 
  • Keep it in front of you.  Now that you have a board that inspires and directs you for the year don’t hide it away.  Hang your vision board in a place that you will look at on a frequent basis.  A tip that I saw from a lifestyle blogger was to take a picture of your vision board, so you can carry the image with you. 
The time spent making the vision board truly pays off in the end.

Here’s to an awesome 2020 to kick-off the decade.  Happy vision boarding!!!! 

It’s My Favorite Time of Year…

Me taking a refreshing break from my holiday shopping at Tiffany & Co.

Fashionistas, Merry Christmas!!!  While I love NYC all days of the year, I am unable to describe the magic that happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.  With so much to see, I still consider myself the ultimate tourist even though I’ve been living here for the past seven years.  Since that time, I can honestly say that the Rockefeller Center tree, the always-on beat Salvation Army bell ringers, the packed streets of Herald Square, and the enchanted view of Central Park from the second floor of Columbus Circle never get old.  With or without snow, NYC at Christmas is always wonderful. 

The classic table setting.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to visit the Tiffany & Co. flagship located at 727 5th Avenue.   This seven-story store, a.k.a. the set of Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is always buzzing with tourists and, of course, the nervous fiances-to-be purchasing the iconic Tiffany engagement ring.  While the main floor’s bling was quite captivating, I was on the hunt for stemless champagne flutes (they are the best gift), so I continued onto the fourth floor.  The neat thing about Tiffany’s home accessories is the creative way that their artisans transform basic objects into the most divine pieces of art.  Thanks to my visit, I am now obsessed with what Tiffany is calling, “The Everyday Objects – Bone China Paper Cups.”  What!!!!

The everyday cup transformed into a piece of art. They are a mere $110.

While on the fourth floor, you must take a peep at the Blue Box Café, a charming dining concept of American cuisine served within a room of Tiffany blue marble.  For a mere $29, you can luxuriate at one of 5th Avenue’s new jewels.  However, let’s be clear.  The Blue Box Café should be renamed to the always packed, can never get a Resy time café.  If I sound frustrated, I truly am.  Since its opening in 2017, I have yet to be able to score a table.  Because I believe persistence is key, I decided to chat up the tuxedo-wearing host who politely told me that the only way to obtain one of the coveted reservations is through the online booking service.  Oh well, I tried. 

Blue Box Cafe seating with a view.

This concludes my lovely holiday afternoon at Tiffany’s.  Merry Christmas!!!

The Purge – A Time to Release and Renew

In my closet thinking about what to keep, and the items I need to remove from my closet.

For as long as I can remember, December has always served as a time to hurry up and complete, where possible, my current year goals while starting to transition to the upcoming year mentally.  One way that I do this is a physical purging of my closet.  A time when I take stock of my wardrobe, remove items from my past that don’t need to be a part of my future, and start to envision what new energy, items, and ideas that I should be welcoming into my life.  These are my top three tips on how to do a closet purge that will set you up for an awesome new year. 

  • Make some money.  Since you paid good money, as my momma would say, for what’s in your closet, sell your old items.  This week, for my high-end designer wear, I am trying TheRealReal . This online designer consignment site allows you to shop and sell.  To make the process easy, they offer three means to collect your items for consignment:
    • Schedule a free home pickup.  Available in 20 metro areas.
    • Ship your items directly to them with a free, prepaid label.
    • Visit a Luxury Consignment office for a free evaluation and consignment drop-off.

Note, The Real Real’s consignment process is selective with what they will take.  Be sure to read their List of The Real Real Accepted Designers .

I am a big fan of ThredUP, the world’s largest online secondhand store where you can buy and sell your items for either site credit or cash.  I love them because they send a lawn leaf size bag that you use to ship your items.  I believe that the nominal charge for the shipping is reduced from the sale of your items.  Regardless, I like it because you don’t have to carry your items anywhere.  The bag can be picked up by the regular delivery services.  I also like that they give you an online accounting of how your items are selling.  The brands that tend to sell well on the site are Nike, Banana Republic, and Loft.

The items I packed up to go to storage. It is all about removing clutter.
  • Do good.  With the holiday season and the cold weather upon us, charity is always a great option. I have a rule, although I’ve not been good at enforcing it lately –  If I buy a coat, I must give a coat. For that reason, I am a faithful Goodwill donor.  Of course, don’t forget to get your tax deduction slip for your donation.  I also try to send my gently used work items to places like women shelters that often need work attire.  If I enjoyed an item, it makes my heart smile to think about someone else enjoying it too.
  • Clear your space and mind.  In addition to purging my closet, I also take the time to bring organization to my space.  As I am a visual person, the aesthetics of space impact my mood.  I find it very hard to think in a cluttered area.  Additionally, my NYC lifestyle has forced me to be a minimalist. For these reasons, I place a special emphasis on eliminating clutter to welcome new energy, ideas, and precious items into my life. 

Now that you’ve purged your closet burn a candle to cleanse the space, and take a deep breath to welcome in the new year. 

A clear space enables me to think clearly.

Time to Brag About My Family – Sonya Jenkins

The original over to Shayla’s Catch. The newly released Amazon book-to-film movie.

I have two wonderful sisters, but I’ve also been blessed with amazing cousins that I’ve had the pleasure of bonding with, admiring their success, and bragging about them.  This blog post is a shoutout to my fashionista filmmaking cousin, Sonya Jenkins.  She is an Atlanta born and raised actress, entertainment journalist, and author.  Sonya just released on Amazon Shayla’s Catch, her debut book-to-film project.  Congrats cousin!!!!!   Movie Link

Sonya is a talented screenwriter and director who shares the drama of a modern-day love story of Shayla (Shakari Gault), an ambitious fashion exec that falls in love with a charming, but definitely a lady’s man, pro football player Calvin “CK” Moore (Malachi Mutakabbir).  Much like real love, there are moments of passion, interrupted by the realities that often arise when two dynamic individuals come together.  As written by the Tennessee Tribune, Shayla’s Catch is a valid and timely depiction of the competitive nature of American sports mixed with drama, romance, money, intimacy, broken hearts, and hope.  The film also addresses issues around self-esteem and understanding the boundaries of a healthy relationship.

Sonya Jenkins, author, actress, and director. Way to go cousin.

The release of Shayla’s Catch has been a goal of Sonya’s since she first presented the screenplay in 2003 at the Jamerican Film Festival.  The following year, Sonya pitched the project to Robert Townsend. As we Jenkins are persistent, Sonya continued to develop Shayla’s Catch while pursuing her acting and journalism work on the red carpet for her celebrity web magazine, Sonya’s Spotlight.  By keeping her eye on the prize, her efforts paid off when Ava DuVernay approached Sonya to direct a small scene for Selma.  While the piece was eventually cut, Sonya was bitten by the directing bug.  Sonya’s passion for directing was further cultivated while she worked as a background artist for several of Tyler Perry TV and film productions.  Through these roles, Sonya honed her skills as a director. 

I am so proud of my cousin for making her dream a reality.  Sonya, may you continue to shine on the big screen and in life. 

Camera-Ready – Fashion Tips for Your TV Debut

As we browse to find that perfect look. Bloomingdale’s 59th St. NYC.

When your BFF Dr. Kimberly Williams, a leading NYC neuropsychologist, is invited to share her words of wisdom on TV, it’s a great reason to spend a Saturday afternoon shopping closets and finding the perfect outfit for the occasion.  While today’s selfie culture makes it seem like everyone wakes up camera-ready, there is an art and a little science to picking the right on-air outfit.  These are my five fashion tips on prepping for a TV debut.

  • Dress for the Occasion.  The first thing to do when preparing for a TV appearance is to gain an understanding of the show format.  What does the set look like?  Will you be sitting or standing?  Does the show have a formal or more casual vibe?  What is your role in the show?  By answering these questions, you will be able to match your look with the show. 
Yes, there might be a ton of color selections, but you want the color that works best with your complexion.
  • Create a wow moment.  TV cameos are great because they position you as an expert in your craft.  They also create a means to connect you with the viewership in a personal manner by your engagement on the screen.  For these reasons, COLOR is key.  There are some basic rules like don’t wear white on the set because it often drowns a person out on camera.  While black is slimming, it can be a little blah on TV.  Look for colors that work with your skin tone.  To find the perfect color, I suggest you take pics of yourself to check colors against your complexion.  Remember, TV works with bright lights.   For that reason, you want a color that works well under the lights.  For my BFF, we went with a warm and vibrant color of burnt orange.  It truly popped and created a high-energy feel that tied in with the image that Dr. Williams was looking to create on camera. 
  • Don’t be a walking billboard or distract the eye.  Unless you are doing an advertisement promotion, my recommendation is to avoid logos on your outfit.  They could date the piece and also may limit where the footage could be shown.  Stripes and plaids may be a challenge on the eye.  While I typically suggest fashions with visual variety, for TV, stay away from busy patterns that cause the eye to work too hard to focus on you. 
Try on your pieces to ensure you like the look and the feel of the outfit. Because camera lights can be hot, think about this when selecting a material.
  • Think about the total image.  Because TV is all about the visual, you want to ensure that your total look is correct.  While your outfit is key, you also want your hair, makeup, and nails on point.  Just as I would take my car to the mechanic for a tune-up vs. me trying to do it at home, I say the same thing for hair, makeup, and nails.  Call a professional!!!  On camera, you want a flawless look.  Most people have a beautician, but a makeup artist might be a stretch.  However, everyone has access to a mall where you can stop by a Mac counter.  By spending $65 or more, you are able to have your face done.  If you share with your makeup person that this is for a TV shoot, they can adjust your foundation and coloring to ensure that you have a natural, polished look on camera. 
  • Enjoy the experience.  While it might seem that there are a ton of things that you must do to get ready for a TV appearance, it can also be a great excuse to pamper yourself.  Treat yourself to a facial and makeover.  Maybe this is a chance to add a coveted piece to your wardrobe.  Whatever you do, make this moment special for you.

While I can’t show Dr. Williams’s final selection because she plans to do a formal launch, I will share that her look was professional but with a pop of color.  We selected a dress with a timeless silhouette that added to my BFF’s charm.  She looked amazing.  I will be sure to post an update once the show airs.  See you on TV land.