Giving Thanks...Making Transitions (Allow me to reintroduce myself...)

No one who achieves success does so without the help of others.
The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.
Alfred North Whitehead
I have a lot to be thankful for this year! As always I am eternally grateful for my giant family and all of my friends, colleagues and mentors who've contributed positively to my life. I can only find success knowing you are there for me. I am healthy and have a wonderful home. I count my blessings every day for this beautiful life!

I am thankful for social media. What started out as a fun hobby has turned into my most powerful networking tool; has brought me a ton of new friends who I would've never met otherwise; and has also opened doors I never would have known were there to open had I not put myself out there on Twitter, Facebook and here on my blog.

Now, I can add that social media has officially gotten me to my next chapter in my professional life!

I wasn't actively looking for a job. Knowing what the job market is like for a lot of people out there, I didn't think it'd be worth my time when I was still in a job I got a lot out of. You can imagine my surprise when Banyan Branch approached me about joining their team. Come mid-December, my time at the Chamber is coming to a close.

I have learned so much in my ascent to events director for the chamber, meeting so many different kinds of people in every kind of business you can imagine. I was given an incredible amount of creative freedom and independence to grow the Chamber's body of networking events and professional development programming thanks to a fabulous boss who really believed in my potential. I've grown immensely in my public speaking, networking and problem solving having had every type of problem and public speaking situation thrown at me there. Countless opportunities have been afforded me through my work and the network I've built there. I got a lot of praise and a lot of criticism too - both have helped me grow. They say to never forget where you came from and I have the Chamber forever imprinted in my life. Thank you for shaping a part of me!

I'm SO excited to make a career change into a field I LOVE (marketing & social media), with the skills I've honed at the Chamber to help me excel in what I've been brought on to do.

I don't talk about work much on FreshJess.com but making this transition has dominated my mind the past few weeks and I'm delighted to share the decisions I've made with you. Not to worry, FreshJess readers; though I know I'll be puttin in work in my new role, I'm going to do my best to keep this blog updated with fresh content as much as possible.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Peace, love & happiness to you & yours.



Fresh Friends: Clutch 22 (and a call to action!)

I met Jordana of Clutch22 early this year and she's been a force in my life ever since! She's the true embodiment of one of my favorite quotes by Madeleine Albright:
"There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."

While making a name for herself professionally in the world of (digital tech & fashion) PR, Jordie has always been willing to lend her time and energy to help her friends. She was a catalyst in driving me to take FreshJess.com much more seriously, branching out to new creative ideas and ways to differentiate my blog from other lifestyle blogs out there. Despite her recent move to NYC, she's been there to bounce ideas off of and is a constant support in my plot to take over the world :)

Jordana was featured recently in DList Magazine's Young Seattle issue as "The Blogger" and is a regular contributor to the international online community Independent Fashion Bloggers.

She needs our help in the home stretch of the America's Most Stylish Blogger competition by BlueFly.com & StyleList.com. Jordana is representing style that's made her fashion blog Clutch22.com a hit - Seattle-influenced and now with an NYC edge.

The AMSB challenge ends December 1st, and you can vote daily in the AMSB widget in the sidebar <-----
Every time you vote, you're entered in to win $1000 to spend at BlueFly.com! Check out her past outfits (w/links to her commentary) and stay tuned for her last one tomorrow. Seattle - show your girl some love and vote every day through Dec 1!


Fresh Faves: Nicki Minaj

I am lovin Nicki Minaj right now!

A few weeks ago I was perusing Necole Bitchie's blog reading up on celebrity gossip when I noticed Nicki in almost every other post. 'Who is this chick?' I thought to myself. Sure enough, after reading the blog I saw her everywhere I turned and in every video I saw.

Back in the day I LOVED Foxy Brown, Lil Kim and Trina. I feel like it's been forever since a lady rapper has dominated the overwhelmingly male hip-hop scene and it's cool to see Nicki taking charge so quickly. The girl is supremely talented (watch the BET Cypher vid below), she can sing and rap (writes her own stuff), she isn't overly raunchy and she's evolving her larger-than-life persona fast. She recently signed to Lil Wayne's Young Money crew and can be found on tracks with Drake, Gucci Mane & Weezy himself.

The Jamaica Queens, NY native is African, Indo-Asian & Trinidadian. Like Beyonce and her Sasha Fierce, Nicki's got three personas that describe her style: Nicki the Harajuku Barbie (girly, cartoonish), Nicki the Ninja (lyrical assassin) and Nicki the Boss (taking over the game).

Take a look at the "Who is Nicki Minaj" interview and her Cypher freestyle below to see her crazy awesomeness for yourself. I can't wait for her mixtape!

img via HoneyMag.com

Who is Nicki Minaj?

BET Cypher at the Hip-Hop Awards - part 1

Hear her stuff at Nicki's Myspace Music page


Fresh Style: Thrifty & Witchy

I don't like Halloween. I hate costume shopping, mostly because I can't find any rhyme or reason in spending cheese on something you can only wear once, on one night, then never again. I can't do it!

I do, however, love Wishpot and Hotel Max, so when they teamed up to put on a Trick or Tweetup, I was happy to oblige with the costume-preferred dress code.

Still not wanting to spend a bunch of cash, I ravaged my closet. Ideally I wanted to be Bellatrix LeStrange from Harry Potter, but I spun it to reflect my body, style and what I already owned.

All black everything!
Leather gloves: vintage (from Lucky Vintage)
Pearl necklace: F21
Tank: SPUN
Belt: Moksha
Skirt: vintage (from Closet Treasures Sale) - worn as a tube dress
Fishnet tights
Granny boots: etsy.com find - Magpie & Birdie

Thanks to the lovely Andria Lindquist & Beauty Revolution Magazine for the pic!

p.s. I was also Amelia Earhart at work, but sadly I didn't get any pictures. It was awesome though :)


Peak Shoulders: Don't Stop Til You Get Enough!

this weekend we caught "This is It" - a peek into what was to be MJ's last hurrah. i highly recommend seeing it while it's out in theatres. you really get a sense of why Michael is such a one-of-a-kind. the magic he brings to the stage wasn't lost in the midst of all the scandal and craziness that haunted him for most of the past couple of decades!

one of my favorite parts of the movie was seeing MJ continue his streak of trend-setting jackets. throughout the whole movie, we see him donning peak-shouldered, fitted blazers - much like the ones favored by rihanna, karl lagerfeld, victoria beckham and perfected by designers like balmain & preen. one of my favorite girls, Jordana of Clutch 22, styled the puff shoulder in a recent post!

check the trailer - then view a few of my favorite variations. God bless you and your impeccable style, MJ!