Our VIP Preview at Burberry

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 IN: Blogging Talking Fashion

Our Private Preview at Burberry
April turned out to be fantastic.  First, there was another adventure to Washington, D.C. for a second visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This time, the NMAAHC tour included coordinating thirteen family and friends who came from New York, Maryland, and Philadelphia. And I can’t forget my amazing experience at the Chico’s casting call in New York City. But the pièce de résistance this month was our VIP preview at Burberry.

Our Private Preview at Burberry.

Our VIP Preview at Burberry. The Burberry Store at the King of Prussia Mall.

I say “our” because my BFF and I were invited to attend a private showing of Burberry’s Spring 2017 line inside its store at the King of Prussia mall. 

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Women of Grace: Meet Anita by Design

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, April 24, 2017 IN: Women of Grace

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design
Please allow me to introduce you to the latest Woman of Grace: Anita Morris, the blogger behind Anita By Design.  I met the lady of the hour via social media, through our involvement in The Fierce 50 Campaign.

Anita fits the Woman of Grace profile. She is a woman of faith, over 50, is aging gracefully, looks fit, healthy and stylish. By the same coin, she reminds me of some of the other Women of Grace I’ve profiled here: my bestie Cynthia, singer and actress FabuLesley, and bluegrass musician Julia Chatwell. They all have that certain je ne sais quoi! You may not be able to describe what they have, but you know it’s definitely something special.

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design
Anita, tell us about yourself. Do you work full-time? 

I am a housewife and sewing blogger.

Are you originally from California?

I was born in Memphis, Tennessee but have lived in California since I was seven years old.

How long have you been married?

I’ve been married for 21 years. It will be 22 in August.

What else do you like to do besides spending time with your family and sewing?

I enjoy tea parties, working out at the gym, and reading.
Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design
Congratulations to you and your husband on his retirement as Captain of the Los Angeles Fire Department. How did your faith in God help you and your sons through his 20 year career as a firefighter?

God gave me wisdom and guidance to run the household and take care of the boys while my husband worked. In addition, I was very active in our church as a Sunday School Teacher and Women’s Ministry Member. I kept our kids busy and engaged with other children through a group called the MOMS Club (Moms Offering Moms Support).

God orchestrated all of this to help provide a community for the boys and me while my husband was away, but He used it to increase my faith and teach me how to live for Him and encourage other women. Because of the nature of my husband’s job, he lived away from home about 40% of the time. God gave me everything I needed to take care of the home while my husband was away. I am so grateful that I had Him to help me be the woman, wife, and mother I needed to be for Him and my family during those years. I also praise Him for protecting my husband and our family.

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

How did you come to know your mission in life to encourage other women through your sewing?

I’ve always had the mental awareness that God wanted me to help women. I’ve noticed through the years that women feel comfortable confiding in me about personal issues or needs. I remember asking myself on so many occasions, “I wonder why she’s asking for my advice?” I believe it was trust that led them my way.

When women come to my blog, they get “me” with the sewing. Coupled with the feedback on the blog and private messages of gratitude that reaches beyond sewing, I’m confident that God is using me to reach women for His glory. This, for me, is confirmation that my mission to encourage women is taking place through the blog. Correspondingly, it’s in the feedback.
Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

You have beautiful skin, do you have a particular regiment or individual products that you must use? Have you adopted any new products since turning 50?

Why thank you! I have used the same products on my skin since I’ve been an adult, and there is nothing sophisticated about it at all, haha. For cleansing, I use Oil-Free Acne Wash by Equate (a Wal-Mart generic brand to Neutrogena). Whenever I get blemishes, I use Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment. I moisturize with Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin or the Equate generic brand. I haven’t switched my routine up since turning 50 because everything continues to work for me. 
Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design
Please share how you maintain your great physique?

I workout at the local gym 4 or 5 times a week. My workout routine consists of weight lifting and cardio. For weight lifting, I alternate between upper body and lower throughout the week, using both free weights and weight machines. For cardio, I use the treadmill, elliptical, cable robes and sometimes participate in the Zumba class.

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

I try to only eat fresh foods with vegetables only, excluding starches and other carbs. I don’t always stick to this, especially since my husband’s retirement. 
Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

You celebrated your blog’s one year anniversary in January. It is my understanding that you started your blog to encourage women to embrace their personal style. Tell us about that journey?

My definition of style is not what many think of upon hearing the word. I believe many view style as what you wear. I believe that style is who you are on the inside. My personal style is what directs the choices I make in every area of life. Personal style guides my speech, relationships, entertainment, behavior, wardrobe choices, etc. Knowing who you are, your style is liberating. It frees you from the darkness of a “people-pleasing” lifestyle, where you base many of your choices on what you think others want from you. Unfortunately, a desire to “fit in” causes some to sacrifice who they are, which in turn ushers in depression in some cases. When we embrace our style, we embrace God’s design and bless those within our sphere of influence, as we live authentic lives.

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

You have nearly 17, 000 subscribers on Youtube! It’s so exciting that you teach a Youtube beginners sewing class, how did you decide to use this platform to reach an audience? Which came first the blog or the Youtube channel?

The blog came first. The Youtube channel began out of a need to give back what I’m receiving. As I learn, I need to share with the sewing community. I knew that I would teach when I started the blog. Though I had never created a YouTube video, but I knew I could learn by watching tutorials, haha!

I learned in a blogging 101 Course that to keep your audience interested and coming back you need to have something to offer them, and they’re not going to keep coming just to see you in beautiful clothes. So from the beginning, I knew I needed to have something to offer. I knew I could teach and I’ve seen it done on Youtube, so I decided to give it a try. The response has been overwhelming and far beyond what I expected. 
Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design
Based on what I see on your Instagram and Facebook, it looks like you prefer to wear classic and timeless clothing. How would you describe your style?

Usually, I describe my style as ladylike. In everything that I do, I want to present myself as a lady with class, elegance, and dignity. In my speech, behavior, attire, and dealings with others, I desire to be respectful to myself and viewed as a lady. When choosing the type of clothing I wear (fashion), I think about what makes me feel good and how I’m presenting myself to the public. 

But above all, regardless of what I’m wearing, I want to carry myself in a way that gives an air of approachability. If I’m to be a vessel through which God reaches other women, I must be approachable. Others must feel safe and comfortable around me. I wear a smile almost every day. I say almost because I’m human and have days where I don’t feel like laughing, so I’m not a robot. Hahaha! But I can say that I’m known for my big smiles. So whether you see me wearing a ball gown, comfy maxi dress, or casual t-shirt and jeans, I accessorize it with a smile and approachable attitude.

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

I’ve noticed that many women over the age of 50 are finding the time to express themselves through blogging and re-visiting crafts they learned earlier in life. Is this how your sewing became your passion again? Are you from a family of seamstresses?

I love seeing so many women over the age of 50 stepping into their God-given talents. I’m inspired by and feel proud to be among them. No one else in my family sews. I learned how to use a sewing machine in 8th grade home economics class. Then I took a few beginner sewing classes to learn the basics when I was in my mid to late twenties. I picked up on the techniques quickly and began sewing. So sewing took a back seat for many years after I got married and started a family. 

My sewing became a passion again in 2013 when I decided to make a dress for a Christmas party. From that moment I started sewing here and there until I was introduced to the Mimi G. Style blog and learned about the huge sewing community that I didn’t know existed. That’s when I knew I was back. The inspiration and talent blew me away. Moreover, I’m so happy to be part of this amazing community of DIYers.
Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

I see you are involved in a new sewing venture, Sew Sew Def, a new multi-cultural sewing magazine. How did this partnership come into existence?

I am so excited and honored to be part of this fabulous new magazine. The best part is that the woman who created the publication is the same person who inspired me to take my sewing to the next level and start blogging. She is an amazing seamstress and pattern designer. She asked if I was interested in being part of her team for the upcoming magazine. After I had picked myself up from the floor in my mind, I responded with an enthusiastic YES. She assigned me to the Beginner’s section of the magazine, which is right in line with my passion. I love teaching beginners how to sew. The team was put in place, and sewsewdefmag.com launched on April 4, 2017.

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

A fun fact that I read about you is that you love tea parties. What should we know about hosting or attending tea parties?

When I host a tea party, the most important element I consider first is the guest list, as this dictates everything else I do to plan the event. Next, I send out the invitations. After everyone RSVPs, I start to plan the event.

Next, I start to plan the menu. I always consider who my guests are and if there are any diet restrictions, I take that into consideration. I usually serve scones, salad, finger sandwiches, a dessert and tea of course. After I plan the menu, I decide which china set I will use. I’ve collected several sets over the years, and I love setting the table. Likewise, I like to think about my guests as I’m setting the table and envision the great time ahead.

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design

During the tea, I like to serve my guests, not allowing them to lift a finger for anything, except to eat their food and drink their tea. And it blesses my heart to do this because as wives and moms, we are usually so busy serving our families. 

Finally, I like to bless my guests with a small take-home gift. Once I purchased delicate handkerchiefs and had them embroidered with each guest’s first name.

You like to read. What’s last book you that read? What did you like about it?

The last book I read was True Style, A Look Beyond the Surface, by Glenda K. Harrison. I love the fact that this book speaks directly to my belief of what style is. The author so eloquently puts into words exactly how I feel about style. Harrison explains the difference between “style” and “fashion.” She also walks the reader through discovering their “true style.” It’s a well-written piece, and I look forward to meeting her in person one day.

Anita, I want to thank you for sharing the intimate details of your life with us.  I greatly appreciate it, I know my readers enjoy learning about the ladies that I admire.  Ladies, how fabulous is Anita and her sewing skills? You can stay connected with Anita on her blogInstagramFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

What do you think of Anita and her style?Please share in the comments section.

Have a fabulous, stylish and fierce week!

My Chico’s Casting Call in New York City

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Thursday, April 20, 2017 IN: On the Road Again Talking Fashion

My Chico's Casting Call in New York City
As a woman of a certain age, opportunities to highlight who you are and what you look can be hard to come by.  However, (I think) because of my involvement in The Fierce 50 Campaign, I received an invitation to participate in a casting for a possible spot Chico’s 2017 fall campaign. I drove to New York City with my daughter on Monday afternoon to get ready for the casting on Tuesday. 

#lovechicos

My Chico’s Casting Call in New York City.  My Chico’s GirlFriends bracelet I received.

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Mindful Eating in Contrast to Mindless Eating

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, April 17, 2017 IN: Health Awareness Nutrition

Mindful Eating in Contrast to Mindless EatingHow conscious are you about what goes into your mouth? Is your quality of life suffering? Have you started to see the makings of the dreaded midriff bulge? If you answered yes to either question, perhaps, mindful eating in contrast to mindless eating is your challenge. 

I know at times I’m guilty of not being proactive with my food choices especially during times of stress, like when my end of the month (quarter, too!) when sales reports are due. I talked last week about upping my daily water intake which helps limit in-between-meals and snacks.

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Is Boxed Water Better?

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, April 10, 2017 IN: Nutrition

Is Boxed Water Better?
I’m just going to admit it here and now. I’m a water snob. I ask the question, is boxed water better?  And to that, I say yes.  But before I go on reveal why and how, let’s look at the importance of water consumption as a needed nutrient for our bodies.

Is Boxed Water Better?

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I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 IN: I Love Museums On the Road Again

My first visit to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in the nation’s capital was on December 21, 2016. I left the museum without experiencing all that the newest Smithsonian had to offer. One day was really not enough. So, I went back. This time with fourteen people ready to take in more of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


NMAAHC

On my initial visit, the hubby and I explored our African American history and culture with our college friends.  This time, our entourage included my millennials from New York City, our fellow Paris travelers, and other family members.

NMAAHC

I Wnet Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough.  Wearing: J. Crew Classic Denim Jacket, Target Who What Wear  Black and White Stripe Crew similar here, J. Crew  Navy and White Sailor Wide-leg Pant similar chino pant here, Miu Miu Gold Heels similar here with Vogue Limited-Edition Clare V Folder Over Suede Clutch.

 

My main goal this time was to see the Emmett Till memorial, including his coffin. We weren’t allowed to take photos at the family’s request but it was well-worth the line to see it.  The last time I went to the NMAAHC, there were long lines with hours of wait time to see the restored coffin.  This time, there was no extended wait time for this exhibit.  As a Black woman, the senseless and brutalizing death of this fourteen-year-old Black child was most certainly a jumping off point in 1955 for the Civil Rights Movement.

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. The segregated railroad car, the first artifact installed into the not completed National Museum of African American History and Culture.

NMAAHC

I Went Back to the National Museum of History and Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. A segregated railroad car of the Southern Railway Company was the first artifact installed into the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the weekend of November 15, 2013.

NMAAHC

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. The restored Jim Crow-era segregated passenger train coach on display inside the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C.

This time I was fascinated with the Southern Railway No. 1200 Jim Crow era train car inside the museum.  The segregated railroad car was the first artifact installed and the museum was built around it. According to The Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (which I bought in the bookstore), during the 1940s, the Southern Railway Company operated a long-distance passenger service between Washington, D.C., and New Orleans.  To comply with state laws that required public transportation be segregated, the company outfitted this coach with a partition to create separate seating sections for white and black passengers.

Reading The Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, reminded me that I still didn’t see everything located in the 85,000 square feet of exhibition space which houses over 3,000 objects.  

The NMAAHC is still experiencing record number visitors since opening in September 2016.  You still must have a timed pass to enter the museum.  I was able to secure another set of the free timed entry passes back on January 5th.  The next release for July 2017 passes is on April 5th at 9:00 a.m.  Passes go very quickly when released.

NMAAHC

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. The millennials and the boomers.

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American of History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. Location: NMAAHC in Washington, D.C. My millennials: Arianna, my daughter, Channing, and Serena.

NMAAHC and National Museum of African American History & Culture

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. Location: NMAAHC. BFF, Cynthia and I at the museum.

Our group of millennials and boomers opted to polish off our day with dinner at BusBoys and Poets, a restaurant, bookstore, lounge, and theater in the Northwest section of Washington, D.C instead of 
Sweet Home Café in the NMAAHC.

If you live in the Washington, D.C area, be sure to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture.  But know that once is not enough to fully experience its wealth of exhibits. If not, I hope you enjoyed my visit this time.

Have a fabulous, fierce and stylish week,

Tip-Toe Through the Tulips

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, March 20, 2017 IN: On the Road Again


Every year in March, I don’t miss the chance to awaken my senses to see and smell spring blooms at the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s theme was Holland: Flowering the World. My BFF Cynthia and I got the chance to tip-toe through the tulips inside the Philadelphia Convention Center located on Arch Street between Broad and 11th Streets.
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