Monday, August 15, 2016

Good Girl Chronicles Contributor: Jacquelyn Grace's 'You Had Me at Hello'

There's just something special about Grace. She goes by Jacquelyn Grace but I call her Grace. Because when I met this radiant woman I was praying for Grace. I saw her outside of a Starbucks with her husband in a lovely pink pea coat. She was the picture of serenity. I won't lie I was fangirling. She had this effortless beauty about her, and I knew I wanted to know her. Well Grace gave me her blog and I lost the card.


We ran into each other at Greenbrier Mall almost a month later, and this time I knew I had to hold onto woman called Grace.

Here is Grace's latest blog for Good Girl Chronicles: 'You Had Me at Hello' Like myself and Jade, Grace has found that special woman who seems to know exactly what to say and when to say it. Love those kind of chicks. They are totally #WOMENWHOSLAY #IRONSHARPENSIRON

“Hi, I’m Ayla,” she said, smiling at a group of boys sitting on the sand.

“Hi,” they replied, admiring her.

They turned to me. I froze. What was I going to say? What is my own name? How did I get so drunk?

“Uh–hi…she’s Ayla,” I managed to say.

“Hi,” they said again.

Full of rum punch, we sashayed to the clear blue waters of Nassau beach. Or rather, she sashayed. I have no recollection of how my inebriated body made it from point A to point B.

That was last summer. A few weeks ago, Ayla and I told this story to her family during our week-long vacation in Avon, NC, resulting in a round of raucous laughter.

After their guffaws and giggles faded away, something inside me clicked–Ayla had shared with me her secret to breaking the ice, and it was so simple.

“Hi, I’m Ayla.”

So freaking simple.

No crazy pickup lines.

Just an introduction.

Wow. If I only knew that when I was younger…

When I was eleven years old, I had a crush on this boy in my class…and so did a bunch of other girls.

Every day, I tortured myself admiring him from afar and watching this one girl effortlessly approach him.

Her eyes twinkled. His eyes twinkled. They exchanged smiles.

“How does she do that?” I thought to myself. “How does she flirt?”

I filled my diary with my preadolescent frustration and longing.

During those middle school years, a rumor went around that I was mute because few people could see past my shyness. Anxiously, I decided that it was better to be silent than say something stupid. After all, I couldn’t speak to a guy (let alone make eye contact with him) without stammering and blushing and beating myself up later for being so awkward because goshdangit, Jackie, all he was asking for was a pencil.

Le sigh.

It wasn’t until right before I graduated the eighth grade that I had my first victory. It was the last dance of my middle school career, and I still had not danced with anyone. I resigned myself (for the millionth time) to being a wallflower and watched from the sidelines as my classmates smiled at each other and swayed to the music.

I would have looked back at this night with disappointment and regret if my best friend hadn’t literally pushed me if front of this guy I had been feeling all sorts of tension with since the beginning of the first semester. The force of her push made me almost collide into him. We stared into each other’s eyes for a second. It was now or never. Breathlessly, I asked him if he wanted to dance with me. He put his arms around me, and all at once I understood the feelings I had denied all year.
But still, that didn’t happen on my own. That moment was sponsored by my friend’s uncanny arm strength, God’s impeccable timing, and my brand new Charlotte Russe skirt (which still had the ink tag, as I discovered later).

Without that combination, I was still the clueless girl who had no dramatic entrance, no opening lines, and no game.

Fast forward to my first year of high school. I was crushing so hard on this guy who eventually became our class valedictorian, and I was so awkward it was pathetic.

In my diary, I scribbled a poem.

I know that you avoid me
And I avoid you too
Because of fear I cannot
Bring myself to talk to you

I pined after him and his coke-bottle glasses all Freshman year. The year after, at Homecoming, I asked him to dance with me, and I told him how I felt. He let me down gently, but it was awfully ironic that DHT’s version of “Listen to Your Heart” was playing in the background.

Damn that song.

Junior year, I finally got my first boyfriend. That was the beginning of my winning streak for the next few years of my life. I finally grew into my features, and boys started noticing me. No one knew that I still got tongue-tied or shy because I didn’t have to approach the boys. At last, they were coming to me.

But even so, to this very day, I am still mystified by the art of flirting. How does one do it? How does one approach a man?

Just the thought of putting myself out there paralyzes me with fear.

But here, in the present, while sipping pineapple juice and vodka, Ayla made it all so simple for me.

Flirting is not complicated. Neither is approaching a man.

All I have to do is say, “Hi, I’m Jackie.”

Fate will take care of the rest.


Lolo's view: In my eyes dear you are more than gold, beautifully and wonderfully made. Thanks for the blog Grace. Check her out at www.theartwithinmyself.com





Monday, August 8, 2016

A #MakeupMonday About Friendship


Don't get me wrong I love makeup. I love the creative things you can do with eye shadow, the cool ways you can contour your face. But more than anything I love how good makeup, a good artist, and a good product can make you feel on the inside. I've had lipstick bring me joy on low days.
 I
And now I'm meeting  makeup artists who show me how to slay with product and slay in life. Today's #makeupmondaymaven is my new friend Caleb, a makeup artist at Sephora in Greenbrier Mall. I didn't have time to do a full blog do I did this YouTube video. 


Thank Caleb for sharpening me with you amazing makeup skills and encouragement. 







Monday, August 1, 2016

Another Emotional #MakeupMondays: My MakeUp Love Story, Mary Kay Lady, Ulta Beauty Saves The Day


OMG when did I fall in love with makeup? Well it all started when I was sixteen and preparing to go to Ring dance. I wasn't super popular in high school and I wasn't heavily courted (that's old people talk for being pursued). Ring dance was no different. One of my best guy friends didn't have a date either so we went together. The night of our Ring dance a Mary Kay representative came to home and made me feel like a star. She showed me how to put the makeup on, and what colors looked good on me. From that moment makeup became like armor to me. It was my way of hiding from the world. I never quite mastered the makeup thing in high school, but in college I somehow found a nice balance of natural and fun makeup.

One of the days I nailed it as a reporter in Lynchburg
Thus began my love affair with makeup. When I became a television news reporter, makeup was all about covering dark circles from little sleep, pimples from stress, and highlighting my good features. I won't lie I didn't love makeup during those days. It felt like work, and I had some rough makeup days starting out. There were times when my makeup made me look pale (too much spf) , times it did not cover ( no concealer), and it never lasted ( I didn't know about primers). But, now that I am an amateur makeup blogger, I absolutely LOVE makeup.

Television Makeup: I did not apply any of this... This was for my headshots

Covering Presidents Park: Not Enough Makeup
My makeup obsession went into overdrive when I discovered this store called Ulta Beauty. I can't remember the exact date I met Ulta but I believe we'll be makeup friends for life now. Why do I love Ulta? Well the Ulta I go to is in Chesapeake, and those girls always make me feel beautiful and free. I know all of them by first name, and I know their life stories. They show me products that work, give me samples, offer make up tutorials. THOSE GIRLS SHARPEN ME. I need to apply there.





My Ulta Makeover
On of the toughest days of my month, I went into Ulta for a little love. I had no money and no credit cards. All I did for 3 hours was play in makeup: Becca, Tarte Cosmetics, NYX Cosmetics, Laura Gella, Stila. I tried them all. Then I put on my retail associate hat and I helped other people with their products too. I matched makeup, foundations, and I helped some cool teenagers find good affordable makeup brushes. I felt like I was working there. It was joy, and for those few moment I forgot about my parents, being hungry, having no money, and wondering about my future. For those 3 hours I was just Lolo, fabulous, fun Lolo playing in colors like I did back when I was 16. I could cry. Those three hours were therapy, and I didn't buy a thing. I left with some priceless... acceptance, and love. Thank you Ulta girls for getting me through a tough day. I also bumped into another makeup blogger I respect and the two of us gabbed like girlfriends. Proverbs 27:17 says, 'Iron sharpens Iron so one person sharpens another..." You all are the epitome of that.

You are #womenwhoslay and I love you...... Thanks for a fun Sunday.. and maybe my next career choice.






Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#WomenWhoSlayWednesday: Women of Greenbrier Mall, Women Who Are Lifters

In this new journey of life I've been fortunate to meet some amazing women. I have serious trust issues with women. I didn't discover that until a new friend said, "Lauren why do you always think I'm trying to get over on you?"

I thought for a second. At first I wasn't really sure, then I thought harder. Oh yea, that's right cause some of my closest friends have thrown the most harmful daggers. I don't say this to throw shade. Some of my closest girlfriends have been the most critical, hurtful, betraying forces in my life. I've made peace with those incidents, but I would be lying if I didn't say it changed me. I am guarded with females, and I do expect them to eventually backstab me. I mean you watched 'Mean Girls' right? I knew a few Regina Georges in high school and in college. Women who pretended to be my friend only to undercut  me later. I know that being distrustful of females is no way to live so I pray often for God to soften my heart, and receive female friendship. (This is why I have so many guy friends.)

 Gosh I love my guy friends. I feel like a little sister surrounded around tough brothers. I know when I'm with these cats nothing bad is going to happen except for maybe one of them farting without notice. Love You Guys.

Back to the females. Since I said that prayer about female friendships God has brought some amazing, funny, beautiful, complicated, supporting women in my life. This is certainly not all of them but a few. Here's to this week's lifters, eagles, and slayers



#WomenWhoSlay: Women Who Are Lifters, Promoters, Supporters, Slayers 

Andrea N from The Limited: I love to shop, but now that I am a curvy size woman shopping is not as easy as it used to be. I can't wear certain patterns, cuts, or materials. I always have to watch out for how outrageous my breasts and ass look in clothes. Trust me the #struggleisreal. I walked into The Limited in Greenbrier Mall back in February. At the time I had no job, my business Good Girl Chronicles was just an idea, and absolutely no wear to work clothes. 

I was greeted by the manager Andrea. Now I can say this because I consider Andrea a friend. But, homegirl and I are not on the same clothing spectrum. I am a size 16 and Andrea, well Andrea can wear sample size. I do not say this to throw shade. When Andrea came and asked, "How are you doing?" I thought to myself, "There is no way this woman is going to be able to help my fat ass fit in anything." ( I didn't say that out loud.) 

"Oh I have some job interviews coming up and I have no cute work clothes," I said. 
"Really what are you applying for," she asked. At the time I was applying for a few radio and television jobs. 

"Let me show you what we have, " Andrea said leading me around the store. I have never shopped at The Limited EVER! I thought it was too expensive, too square, and not stretchy enough. Andrea changed my perspective on all of that. She showed me the material that is forgiving to plus size women, patterns that concealed and THEN encouraged me on my job search. I'm going to try not to cry, but I needed Andrea that day and I didn't even know it. She made me feel like anything was possible, and with a good suit, a smile, and confidence I could land any job I wanted. I walked out with a store credit card and a lot of amazing clothes. Thank you Andrea. It's not just Andrea her entire staff slays. I  know them by first name, and when I opened my business Good Girl Chronicles LLC The Limited let me host 2 shopping events there to promote my blog. Oh I forgot to mention I never break the bank at The Limited because it's an outlet store in Greenbrier Mall now called 'BackRoom at the Limited' and the prices are always crazy good.



Thanks for sharpening me Andrea. I'll never forget what you've done for me and Good Girl Chronicles. Here are some pictures from the Shop for Team Good Girl shopping event.




Elizabeth -I met Liz at Kay Jewelers in Greenbrier Mall. I never imagined I'd have a Kay Jewelers account since I am single, unmarried, childless, and financially challenged. But, Kay Jewelers approved me, and a sales representative (not Elizabeth) sold me on the idea of spoiling myself. Eventually I found myself in the Kay Jewelers in Greenbrier Mall almost every other day. I go to the  mall often to power walk and network and Kay Jewelers is near the mall entrance. Each time Elizabeth has been there I've felt safe, loved, and supported.

How can a jewelry associate make you feel that way? Well when I went into the store I talked about my blog, business, and my crazy love life. Each time Liz was all about it. She asked me questions, took my flier, even tested out some bras I'm reviewing. She is honest, but kind. I've bought several pieces of jewelry from her because I trust she is not hustling me. Even more than that, Eizabeth has taken an interest in my life. She's hugged me on a day I needed a friend, brought me dinner when I was hungry, and through her amazing story-telling reminded me my life is not as crazy as I think. Basically she reminded me, someone always has it worse. Thank you doll. Glad to call you friend. Oh and did I mention she's hella inspiring because she's losing weight the healthy way? Well she is and I'm super proud. Thank you for sharpening me doll.


#KEEPSLAYING

The Taylor Swift of J.B. Robinson- Ya hunty I met Taylor Swift at Greenbrier Mall. Not really but she is named Taylor and she is fabulous.  I meet Taylor at J.B. Robinson. I had purchased a necklace at another jewelry and I was convinced the necklace made my skin turn red, itchy, and blotchy. The other jeweler did not want to investigate the problem or offer me a return of my item. I went to J.B. Robinson in hopes of figuring out why I had an allergic reaction, Taylor Swift ( my Taylor Swift not the singer) research the issue, and in minutes it became clear that I broke out from a necklace cleaner. Taylor said a lot of people had issues with the cleaner. I was so grateful that I purchased an item from J.B. Robinson because I felt safe and cared for with Taylor. She explained the deals, and promotions the store was running and I actually ended up saving A LOT of money.



I have not known Taylor long but she's offered me amazing customer service. I've worked in retail off and on since I was 17 so I appreciate good service. Taylor also compliments me everytime I'm in the store, offers me deals, and had some incredible heart-to-hearts with me. I am sad she is leaving J.B. Robinson to explore other career opportunities but I know she'll do great wherever she goes.. and she's going from jewelry to selling furniture. I guess I know where I'm buying my next couch from. Thanks doll.! #ironsharpensiron

Where MY GIRLS AT: I also want to thank Bethany, Anita, Shay, and Kendra for your generous donations. They have literally fed me. Love you dolls.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

#LOLOSLOVES: 2 Pink Peas "Soft Voice, Strong Heart"

As a writer and blogger one of my favorite things to write about is other other people.  My life story is beautiful, messy, shocking, complicated, and raw. More than telling my own story I love telling yours that is why I was a television journalist for so long. Periodically I will be telling your stories through a blog post I like to call "Lolo's Love". My first story under this headline is about a company called '2 Pink Peas"

(2 Pink Peas did not pay Good Girl Chronicles LLC to write this glowing review) 

Consider it a digital thank you card for doing right by my company Good Girl Chronicles LLC.

I first came in contact with 2 Pink Peas at a Biz Connect Hampton Roads meeting. Biz Connect is a networking group I am apart based out of Norfolk, Virginia. After our weekly meeting, the co-owner of 2 Pink Peas Sophia, introduced herself. 

I was struck by two things; her amazingly light complexion, and her soft voice. I am a Navy Brat so I've seen several different shades, but Sophia has this soft, vanilla glow to her I couldn't quiet place. I was intrigued. Is she white or is she black? I thought to myself. 

"My name is Sophia, and I am the co-owner of a company called '2 Pink Peas we make eco-friendly, affordable hand bags," Sophia said.

Wow this chick has it all together. Bags? Did you she say bags? Sophia then went on to show  me the cutest unique handbags. I'll give you her URL now so you can go see for yourself. www.2pinkpeas.com 


Sophia and I made a date to meet at Daily Grind in Virginia Beach Town Center. (one of the best meet up places in vb if you ask me) Homegirl came with  her A game. She knew her products, future plans, and ability to manufacture. I mean get this girl read for Shark Tank. I'm kidding. I say this because we are both fans of the show and we discussed the pros and cons of being featured on the show. I see great things in Sophia's future. She's a sophomore at Old Dominion University and already has a blossoming company. When I was a sophomore I was at Tidewater Community College at a crossroads: Psychology or Journalism. I choose the television dream, but somehow I find myself practicing psychology as well. More on that another time.

Sophia shared with me the reason she started '2 Pink Peas' and then I knew we were kindred spirits. Here is a excerpt from her beautiful website:

"When owner Sophia O’Neal was in middle school she finished third place in a local roller skating rinks weekly red-light, green-light game. Her pants did not finish so well, and she spent the rest of the rather short, mortifying evening with a sweater tied around her waist, her jeans having split down the middle in a “Red-Light!” stopping scramble. (Ouch.) The silvery jeans were new, and, since her old bookbag was falling apart, she used some old sheet material, the ruined jeans, and a homemade pattern to make a ruffled purse. When people commented on it, their queries of “Did you make that?” came off as “You made that, didn’t you?” and a sad truth was realized - eco - friendly did not mean fashion friendly. As the years went by (and Sophia grew "more fashionable) the question continued to present itself: Could ecological fashion also be fashion forward?"

Gosh she slays. During our meeting I discovered Sophia was home-schooler, uber smart, and super driven. When I first met her I noticed her soft voice, but when I got to talk to her I noticed her strong heart and drive. You slay chick, and I'm so excited to form a partnership with your company. Thank you for sharpening me with your humor and business knowledge. Her bangs are so amazing Good Girl Chronicles LLC will be placing an order when money comes through for swag bags. and, I plan to sport them myself.

Thanks dolls. This is only the beginning. 
Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another." 
That is my business philosophy and how I want people to feel when they leave Good Girl Chronicles. 

Once again check out 2 Pink Peas for more on her mission, her eco-friendly bags, and why she calls herself 2 Pink Peas (it's an adorable story by the way. I'll let her tell it)

(I'm obsessed with this NYX matte lip cream BTW)