Archive for June, 2010

emPower Happy Hour: Networking For A Great Cause

We’re all always looking for happy hours to attend after work during the summer. Why not attend one for a great cause!! 

On the first Thursday of every month, emPower magazine is hosting an emPower HAPPY HOUR at Tabaq Bistro to further its mission, which is to not only discuss social issues, but also challenge our readers to take action.

Each month, you have the opportunity to support a different non-profit organization in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. Attendees can give in two ways:

    •    By drinking (10 percent of the beverage proceeds will go to the non-profit)
    •    By bringing non-monetary donations (depending on the needs of the organization)

This Thursay, July 1st, non-profit recipient is Books for America.  Attendees are being asked to bring one (1) new or used book in very good condition. Admission is free and happy hour runs from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Admission is Free.

As I’ve mentioned multiple times, let’s do our part and give back to the community.  Happy Hour fundraisers are a great way to meet new people, give back to the communtiy and enjoy a few drinks with your friends.

To register for this event or future Thursday emPower Magazine Happy Hours, please visit

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Fellas, Check Out Instructions: The Art of Dressing Well

A few months ago, I urged all of the young professional guys out there to Step It Up in terms of dressing up to go out for a night on the town.  For those of you still looking for other stores to purchase the necessary attire to help you step your game up besides Nordstrom, EXPRESS and other mall retailers, I have found another resource that just might help you.

Founded in 2008 by “three regular guys trying to make their mark in the corporate world,” Instructions Apparel is a fashion resource for men both in and out of the workplace.  The founders of Instructions found that the desirable items men look for are far too expensive, it’s often difficult to find a shirt and complementary tie at the same location and bargain shopping rarely produces quality fitting shirts and ties.  In order to solve these three major issues men face when shopping, Instructions offers men stylish shirts, complementary ties and recommendations on what to wear for different occasions.

As a dedicated brand to making men look and feel good, Instructions offers 7 Basic Instructions for men’s apparel:

1.  Make sure your socks and belt match your shoes.

This is often overlooked, but it is the most important rule with respect to The Art of Dressing Well. We recommend that you stick with basic colors such as a dark brown, tan, or black shoes. Other colors will be difficult to match, and therefore should be avoided.




2.  Match Your Shirt & Ties

On our site you will see our recommendations for shirt and tie combinations. These recommendations provide a combination of solid, paisley, polka-dot and striped ties.* We match these ties with a variety of shirt colors ranging from solid white to pink stripes. Thus, don’t be afraid to experiment with colors. With respect to formal attire, ties are the means by which you express individuality.

While ties are a great way to express yourself, keep it tasteful. For example, going into a job interview you would wear our solid white or light blue shirt with a solid color or paisley pattern tie. Yet, once you’ve landed that great job, you can mix and match from our entire collection. Most importantly, be sure that your tie complements your shirt, suit, sweater and all other accessories worn.

*Instructional Note of Inquiry: For our collection, which consists of modern-fitting shirts with a spread-collar, we recommend knotting your tie with a Half Windsor knot.

3. Wearing Brown and Black together is a no-no!

When wearing brown slacks you should wear brown shoes. This rule also applies when wearing black. If and when you seek to express individuality, do so with your shirt and tie. Mixing brown and black has been tried by others with very little success.



4. Pinstripes

Pinstripes are a safe and stylish alternative to the solid-colored suit. As opposed to wearing a solid gray suit, try a gray pinstriped suit. There are no particular colors that should be avoided.

Your own personal style will dictate which colors work for you. However, certain color combinations should be avoided. In particular, beware of complementary colors. These are colors opposite one another on the color wheel, such as red/green, yellow/purple and blue/orange.

5. Watches

A nice watch is the single most important accessory a man can own. We, at Instructions, suggest that you invest in a quality watch. If you prefer owning multiple watches, wear the appropriate watch for your outfit: A sports watch is not appropriate to wear with a shirt and tie.

If you prefer leather bands, wear a black band with black shoes and belt; a brown band with brown shoes and belt. A watch with a silver or gold band is the safest choice for all occasions.



6. Pocket Sqaures and Ties Clips

Pocket squares and tie clips are the icing on the cake for the well-dressed man. We, at Instructions, believe that a little goes a long way in The Art of Dressing Well. One would be amazed at how a tie-clip and a plain white-pocket square will liven up a suit on its dullest day. Go the extra mile and invest in a plain silver tie-clip and the appropriate pocket square for your ensemble.

In the Dress for Any Occasion section of our site, you will see various recommendations of pocket squares for each shirt and tie combination.

If you are unable to find a pocket square with our recommended color scheme, there are always two great options:

  1. A solid colored pocket square the same color as your shirt or tie;
  2. A plain white pocket square (It is important your shirt has white in it).

7. Casual Wear, i.e., a “Night out on the town”:

Dressing properly and stylishly for a night out can sometimes be challenging. You want to stand out from others for your impeccable style, not because of inappropriate attire.

To avoid being just “the guy in the sweater vest”, consult our recommendations to pair our selection of shirts together with a variety of denim jackets, blazers, and v-neck sweaters.

For more tips on putting your best foot forward and to purchase stylish shirts and complimentary ties, visit

 Please note: These are tips from Instructions, not A Diva State of Mind

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Naomi Campbell: Consequences of Wearing Weave

Recently celebrities have been breaking free of the Hollywood norm of wearing weaves and this picture may be all the evidence we need to understand why. 

Naomi Campbell was spotted at a photo shoot in New York City. We never hear the stories of what damage wearing weaves can do to your hair.  Is this evidence of the downside to wearing lacefronts for so long? I know for most people they are convenient when you don’t want to do to your own hair and add a little extra length when your hair won’t grow on its own.

But ladies, we may want to take a step back and pause for a minute.  Think about the damage you’re causing by continuously wearing weave. Don’t get me wrong, in the past, I’ve thought about wearing a weave because I wanted my hair to be “beautiful” and I thought it would make me more attractive. But after cutting my hair short, I’ve learned that short hair can be just as, if not more, sexy depending on whom is rocking the hair cut.

Why are we so infatuated with wearing a hair style that could cause us to end up looking like Naomi Campbell? Is this the Hollywood influence?

For those of you that wear weaves, does this make you reconsider wearing them or think about wearing them less often?

 Source: Splash News & Clutch Magazine

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Lessons Learned From The BET Awards

Source: Clutch Magazine

Sunday night marked the 10th Anniversary of the BET Awards.  After last year’s disgrace of a show in honor of Michael Jackson, BET NEEDED to redeem themselves and make sure they got the show right!! And they definitely did; this show was 10x better than last year, but then again, they could only go up right?

The show was definitely entertaining.  Blog sites have been going crazy with commentary: recapping the show, talking about Chris Brown’s performance and Prince’s lack of enthusiasm.  Regardless on your take of the show, there are a few lessons learned from this year’s award show: 

1. Debra Lee Needs a Stylist (or a new one):

Every year, Debra Lee never fails to come out in some other the top outfit that would look great on someone else, but just doesn’t translate when she walks out on stage.  Is she picking out these outfits herself or does she have help?? And it doesn’t help that she seems to be nervous every time she speaks too.

Sidenote: Whoever told celebrities it was ok to wear sweaters and other winter clothing in 90 degree weather needs be fired. If these celebrities made that decision on their own, they clearly have no friends because there is no way I would let my friend walk outside like that.  It doesn’t make you look cool; you look foolish and uncomfortable.

2.  Never Try to Dress Like Your Kids

Jada Pinkett Smith. Need I say more? Usually Jada is on point when it comes to her red carpet outfits, but her 90s braids were an epic FAIL!! She looks like she goes tanning and was she wearing shorts or a skirt? Jada, we love you, but please stay out of Willow’s closet.

3. Lip Synching Rap Songs is NOT ok!

Source: Necole Bitchie

I don’t know who told Nicki Minaj that it would be ok to lip synch her 20 seconds on stage during the “Hello, Good Morning Remix” and “My Chicks Bad Remix”, but they clearly gave her some bad advice.  It wasn’t cool when Britney Spears did it, but at least she was dancing while “singing” so I understand if she didn’t want to sound bad and seem out of breathe. But Nicki, all you have to do is look like you’re having a seizure and say your 5 lines. Can it really be that hard??

4. Oldies Are Still the Goodies

From the surprise appearance by El DeBarge to Tyrese swooning the ladies with his Teddy Pendergrass tribute, these fellas proved once again that the oldies R&B is still the best.  I’ll even push early 90s into my “oldies” category because there is nothing like some 90s slow jams! The R&B music we were reminded of at the award show is exactly the type of music we’re missing today. I feel bad for these young kids today because they don’t have any clue as to what good music is.   I can tell you it isn’t Teirra MarieSponsor

 5.  We ALL Make Mistakes

This isn’t a new lesson learned, but I’m sure someone was expecting a reference to Chris Brown if I was going to talk about the BET awards.

We all make mistakes and would want to be forgiven in order to move on. Why can’t C Breezy do the same thing? If he has truly learned from his mistake and is trying to be a better man, then let him be. Should I even bring up other artisit who we have forgiven over the years?

I would talk more about this, but between twitter and blogs, I’m tired of talking about it…moving on…

6.  Pregnant is Sexy

Source: Necole Bitchie

Alicia Keys looked stunning at the award show; I guess she has a reason to glow now that Swizz Beats divorce is final and the two love birds can move on to create their own family.   This diva worked it on stage with her pregnant self, singing some of her biggest hits while being recognized as the BET’s Artist of the Decade.  I think she forgot for a second that she was pregnant, because she climbed on top of a piano to serenade the audience during her rendition of “Adore” for the Prince tribute. According to, this was supposed to be her last televised performance until after the baby was born.  Well she worked it out!!! Ms. Keys proved Sunday night that while she may be pregnant, she is still sexy and fierce! I wouldn’t be surprised if this diva was 9 months pregnant trying to go on another world tour!

7. We All Have Meltdowns; It’s How We Recover That Really Matters!

Last year Kanye West went a little crazy and had to go into hiding.  So it was refreshing to see him open the show with his hit “Power.” His show was solid and surprisingly, we didn’t hear from Mr. West for the rest of the night.  Maybe he’s done a little reflecting and now has his emotions under control after his stunt at the MTV award show last year.  Only time will tell until the next MTV Video Music Awards, but until then, Mr West, we’re glad you’re back!

 That’s all I could think of at the moment.  What other lessons did we take away from Sunday night’s BET Awards show??

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HELLZ: A Crime For All Seasons

My friends may call me a “fashionista,” but if I have plans of pursuing a career in the fashion industry, I need to step my game up when it comes to knowing about designers.  We all know the “popular” designers, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Christian Louboutin, etc, but there are a lot of designers and brands that I’m not aware of, so I love coming across a brand and designer I’ve never heard of before. 

I came across HELLZ  on twitter, a brand offering “fashion alternatives for the bold fashionista with edgy tops, jackets, denim and accessories.” Whether we outwardly express it or not, all of us have a more fierce, edgy side in us that we would love to explore.  HELLZ is that fashion brand that does just that!

I found a post about the Summer ‘To Dye For’ Collection, but after reviewing the site, I’m loving the Spring 2010 Collections too!  I know in the fashion world, it’s all about moving forward (I should be featuring Pre-Fall and Fall Collections right now) but the collection is hot, so I’m going to feature on the site anyway!

The Spring 10: Obsessed With You Collection and Delivery II: Oh Bondage Collection “reflect an obscure view of modern fashion, offer sex appeal and unique details to each silhouette.” If you’re going to rock HELLZ, there’s no need to be shy.  We all need to add a little spice to our wardrobes and there’s nothing wrong with exploring that edgier, wilder side; the spring and summer months are the best time to do so!!

Spring 10: Obsessed With You


Spring 10: Delivery: Oh Bondage



Visit to learn more and shop!


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RECAP: Mix It Up at Midtown Fundraiser Happy Hour

On behalf of Capital Partners for Education (CPE), I want to thank everyone that came to the fundraiser happy hour last night. I want to also thank those you made donations but weren’t able to attend. Thanks to you, we were able to raise over $5,000!!! All proceeds will go toward funding the CPE programs that directly benefit the CPE students.

CPE hosted the “Mix It Up” Fundraiser Happy Hour to not only raise money for the organization, but to bring awareness as well.  CPE has been around for 17 years providing private high school scholarships to DC youth, academic support and an amazing mentor program.

Guest began strolling in at 6:30pm and the last person didn’t leave until after 9pm.  There were well over 50 guests in attendance enjoying great drinks from the staff at Midtown Loft, food and of course participating in the raffle of more than 22 prizes! in Information cards were placed throughout the loft for guests and a PowerPoint was running that featured graduation pictures from this year’s class and recognized sponsors and raffle donators.  CPE staff, leadership committee members and mentors introduced themselves and talked to guest about CPE and how they too can become involved.

The raffle started around 8pm and prizes included yoga for a guest and ten friends, Nationals tickets, comedy show tickets, salon gift certificates and lots more!

I personally haven’t started mentoring with CPE, but I can tell you that it is a GREAT organization.  The staff, mentors and leadership committee are very passionate about helping young people in the area.  The students that become members of the CPE program are gifted, motivated students seeking the necessary resources to be successful. 

I look forward to being matched with a student this August. While I’ve never been a mentor(so the idea makes me a little nervous), I know that I’ll be helping someone reach their full potential, while under different circumstances they may not have had that opportunity.  If you’re interested in learning more about CPE, please visit I encourage everyone to take the time and volunteer with an organization that interest you, whether it’s CPE or not.

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Christian Dior Contact Lenses…Really?!?!

It’s one thing to coat your car interior with designer labels like Louis Vuitton, but Christian Dior has taken branding to a whole new level!! ‘”Dior Eyes” have gilded edging and the iconic couturier’s CD monogram in the lower corner.’  The contact lenses sell for $145 in the European market and come with a luxury case. 

Now I know people love designer labels and already have them in random places, but this is a hot mess.  Would someone really wear designer contact lenses? Warning to my friends, please don’t let me ever catch you wearing designer contacts.  We’re too old and classy for that. 

Color contact lenses when out of style years ago; to think these color designer contacts are going to be hot is a stretch but I have a feeling other designer may try to follow in Christian Dior’s footsteps.  I’m even more interested to see which celebrity is going to try and make this a popular fashion trend. I wonder which rapper will be the first? hmmm…..

Which one of you would try these? It’s ok, you can admit it. I won’t judge!

Source: Clutch Magazine

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L Boogie (Lauryn Hill) Is Back

Lauryn Hill is BACK! She recently performed at the Harmony Festival 2010 this past weekend, performing songs from her album, The MisEducation of Lauryn Hill.  I’m so glad she is back on the scene.  Now, we just need her to get back in the studio!!!

Check out her performances at the Harmony Festival. What do you think?

You can also check out Lauryn Hill at the Rock the Bells Festival in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC this summer!

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Basketball Wives…Sigh…

I have to admit, I sat down and watched the Basketball Wives Reunion Special last night (hanging my head in shame). Now I didn’t set out to watch it because I follow the show consistently; I think I was more interested to see how ridiculous these women were going to act!

I’m still trying to understand why is the show called Basketball Wives. There are only 2 wives on the show. I would think Basketball Ex-Wives, Basketball Girlfriends, or Business Deals, would be more appropriate name.  Maybe? I mean, most of these women aren’t currently dealing with NBA players so how does their life represent the lives of basketball wives?

Well after checking out a few episodes this season, watching these women throw water on each other, debating to save marriages or acting like hoes at a party, I feel sorry for them.   Maybe I don’t understand where they’re coming from because I don’t live in that “world,” but if you’re trying to rid yourself of the groupie/hoe title, why would you enter a contest at a celebrity party and dance like you’re expecting someone to start making it rain on you?? And yes I know, when people start emailing you and threatening you, you must defend yourself and family, but does throwing water really solve your problems? I mean, after seeing that for the third time, it gets old.

Now I’m not exactly sure what Shaunie O’Neal had in mind when she came up with the concept of the show; was she trying to bash cheating basketball players because she’s bitter with her entire Shaq situation?  She should’ve just called the show The Lives of Basketball Ex-Wives!  When I heard Basketball Wives, I was thinking I was going to see another Real Housewives series, only it would’ve been women that were actually married to athletes. Now don’t get me wrong, the Real Housewives women are just as dramatic and foolish, but they seem to still have a lot more going on than just fighting each other.

I’m not sure what’s in store for Season 2, but I’m hoping for something other than ex-wives and girlfriends fighting groupies every weekend (hmmm, that statement made it seem like I plan on watching Season 2).  But then again, it’s a reality show on VH1.  Should I really expect anything more?

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Mix It Up At Midtown Loft Fundraiser Happy Hour!

Capital Partners for Education provides DC youth with private high school scholarships, adult mentors and academic support services for all four years of high school.  In CPE’s 17-year history, the organization has helped nearly 400 students get on a path towards college. Without the support from CPE, many of these students’ talents would be unrealized. Our students face numerous obstacles on their path to college, including limited family income, unsafe neighborhoods, and a lack of positive role models.
Despite these challenges, our students are earning academic distinction, giving back to their communities through service and most importantly and are becoming the first in their families to attend college. Not only do 99% of all CPE graduates enroll in college, they graduate college at 5.3 times the rate of their DC public school counterparts. 

Please join me at the Mix It Up Fundraiser Happy Hour at Midtown Loft on June 23rd from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Ticket price includes top shelf open bar, hors d’oeuvres and great raffle prizes. Contributions are tax deductible.

$50 - Sponsor (1 raffle ticket) : Sponsors the cost of one CPE student’s
participation in our Career Pathways program for one year

$75 - Cum Laude(5 raffle tickets) : Sponsors a CPE mentor/mentee match for one

$150 - Magna Cum Laude (10 raffle tickets) : Sponsors the cost of textbooks and
uniforms for a CPE student who could otherwise not afford them

$200 - Summa Cum Laude (15 raffle tickets) : Fulfills an Emergency Fund Request
to cover school-related expenses for a CPE family experiencing temporary
financial insecurity
 To purchase tickets to the event, please visit
Designation: Mix It Up Event
You can also find out more information about the organization, the event and ways to donate on CPE’s website:

By supporting CPE, you can help us continue to provide life changing opportunities to motivated, !low-income students who would likely not graduate and enroll in college if not for our program’s support. I hope you and your friends make it!!!

I hope to see you all there!!!

Midtown Loft
1219 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC

If you can’t purchase tickets in advance, they are available at the door for $55 and include top shelf open bar and hors d’oeuvres

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