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A.R. Smalls

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Ashley resides in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, better known as the DMV. She loves words, music, and spending time with her three boys. She encourages being yourself and loving whatever and whomever you love and remaining grounded. For her, that means being engulfed in creativity. Oh, and ice cream! She loves ice cream! Find her sharing music, recipes, and the many things she likes on Pinterest.

Poetically Inspired: The Poet Life


What does it really mean to live the “the poet life”? When you think of a poet’s life, what do you close your eyes and see? What do you feel? Is it all the depths of life and the many classifications of emotions which come with joys and sorrows of life itself? If so, you may indeed have a firm start, but further explicate the notions that typically result when poetry is concerned.

While you may still be conjuring up what comes to mind, For the Love of Style Magazine had the pleasure of speaking with a native of the Washington, DC  metropolitan area who will soon enough, be a poet-life mogul, and expounding on the very idea of a lifestyle association with being a poet in the local, underground, and mainstream industry. This changemaker has many years of experience, talent and a network to pitch poetry a home run ball in the entertainment, lifestyle, and nonprofit industries.

Meet Christoph Jenkins, who is the founder and creator of The Poet LIfe. The Poet Life brand is an expansion of a poetic infused lifestyle. Surprisingly, what started with a pair of socks, is now a brand for poets nationwide to transcend the poetry; wearing gear that celebrates a culture. Growing up Chris was engulfed in a religious environment and has been often led by his spirit. When a dear childhood friend was diagnosed with Cancer at only 18 years old and sadly lost the battle to Osteosarcoma, after seven years of fighting, Chris was deeply – emotionally – affected. Not only did his own loss dishearten him, even more, did the grieving of his friend’s family. As a young man, it can be difficult to properly place those emotions, but Chris did it in a constructive way. He did it with poetry. Remember the life of the poet and why one writes. It is often because there is something in the soul that will cry out. Thus, Christoph’s spirit led him to birth his nonprofit in honor of his late friend.

Every poet has a why with words. It’s usually not just because they’re good with words. Every poet has a cause. It’s not always to get something off their chest. Although, emotions do evoke poetry that spews the depths of one’s soul. For Chris, he had to share his pain through the creation of Fighting Cancer With Poetry and hoped to give others joy.

Poetry consumes a life, after the world has marginalized it. Nevertheless, it is a lifestyle. There is a realm that exists where poets go. They join forces and make the spoken word oh-so-much more insatiable. Christoph Jenkins is the guy that created a realm where poets can hone their craft and emit their vibrations to the rest of the world. A soulful character, grown in the hospitality of a hymn life, Christoph is now allowing his grace to be extended throughout the nation by collaborating with some extremely talented souls.

The Poet Life was built off of those heartstrings you may have felt tugging while thinking of the life of a poet; the very essence of tragedy and motivation. However, The Poet Life brings relief.

In no better way could you pay homage to someone’s life than to dedicate yours to a cause directly correlated to them. Chris did just that. Many of the performances for which artists perform through The Poet Life are for great causes such as the Male Empowerment Summit and Curefest. Artists such as Orville the Poet, Prentice Powel, and Pages Matam have collaborated with the Poet Life to perform at some monumental stages, including at The White House.

Chris is taking a spark that began with an elementary school poetry anthology to ignite a wildfire of hope, unveiling, and solitude among many. The Poet Life is continuing to expand in its endeavors and available merchandise. More recently, releasing The Poet Life sneaker allowing artists to truly “walk the talk”. As Christoph stated, “The things we say are more than just rhyming words. The things we write are more than words on paper or a computer screen. These words become open doors for caged birds who want to fly and sing simultaneously.” 

That thinking is why The Poet Life is a hub for artists who want to hone and display their expertise. It is a place for individuality, creativity, and connections to soar.

It won’t be long now before Chris has closed the gap between poetry and the rest of the world. Already broadening artist bookings across the country to California, The Poet Life is growing for a good cause. With an opportunity to represent the culture and use a platform to express themselves, The Poet Life is indeed a movement of empowerment.

When Chris is free, he enjoys spending time with his blossoming family that consists of his wife, and two daughters, who both have their own businesses. Chris believes in entrepreneurship and sowing into the next generation tremendously. Growing the next generation of talent isn’t something that he takes lightly and it shows the fact that every fiber of his being is built in empowering someone else. The light he shines through his passion for charity, giving and empowerment shines through his network and his family.

Link With The Poet Life:

October: It’s Not Just for Boobs


1 in 4 women.
1 in 7 men.





Those are the statistics for people in America who have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. Could you be the one? Hopefully, never. If you are, you aren’t alone and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope to be had if you want out. There is help if and when you are ready.

Pictured: Gigi McMillan – Kamisol Style Consultancy’s Chief Creative Officer, Survivor and Advocate of Domestic Violence Awareness.

Many of us have entered into relationships believing and feeling that we’ve found “the one”. Love seems to be blossoming and all is seemingly well. In some cases, it’s as if there’s a flick-of-the-switch and we wonder just how we got into the most unfavorable relationship we could have ever imagined. Like many victims of domestic violence, we begin to question ourselves, our decision-making abilities, and worst of all, self-worth. The guilt of remaining loyal to someone we know is abusing us, can make it even harder to live with oneself. The embarrassment of sharing the painful result of an unhealthy relationship makes it even harder to share. We know. Domestic Violence is a demon that we’ve let linger in our relationships, our households, and our communities for far too long.

Domestic violence is a common occurrence in our nation. The Bureau of Justice reports 1.3 million non-fatal instances of victimization of domestic violence annually from 2006-2015.  Although, it is overshadowed by many other crimes and tragedies. However, 30 years ago, it became such an important cause to fight, that Domestic Violence Awareness Month was established. Show your support for those who have survived domestic violence and those who were not as fortunate to escape their circumstance with their life and freedom. In case you missed your opportunity to wear purple on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 as part of #PurpleThursday to honor domestic violence victims and support survivors, there are still things you can do to show your support.

Although domestic violence can happen anywhere and often happens in the home, many times it can occur over drinks and in public places. It’s no secret that it doesn’t matter how you’re dressed to experience degrading speech or violent action from a stranger or an acquaintance. In an effort to keep these experiences to a minimum or non-existent, Collective Action for Safe Spaces, is hosting an event for bars and restaurants. Sunday, October 22, 2017, bars and restaurants have in the Washington, D.C. area, have an opportunity to attend Safe Bar Collective Training. This is a chance for your establishment to train to have “safety captains” to help minimize the increase in violence in nightlife.

There are organizations such as UJIMA in Washington, D.C. that can assist by providing resources and transitioning for people experiencing or that may have experienced domestic, sexual, or community violence. You may also visit the National Network for Domestic Violence for more information, ways to get involved with the cause, and events that will continue throughout the year.

Domestic violence awareness month is designated in December, but it doesn’t stop there. Coming soon: Kamisol Magazine’s own Kamisol Style Consultancy will host it’s annual Purple Runway  in support of domestic violence. This event brings together some of the Washington metropolitan area’s charitable organizations, taste-makers, and celebrities to advocate for a cause through fashion. Keep watch for more events in your area as well as those hosted nationally and through Kamisol. Don’t turn your back on the cause. Turn your back on Domestic Violence. You still have time to wear your purple this month to show your support.




September Doesn’t Have to Be Sad


It seems depression is taking over the world.

Why is that? I’m no doctor and wouldn’t be able to begin to tell you the answer to that question. What I assume is that as the generations continue and we become engulfed in technology, the need for speed, and instant gratification, there’s not enough time to consider our feelings. How can you process how you feel when you’re busy consuming how others feel through Facebook status, updates, and snap[chat]? Not to mention, take some time to slow down and assess how the feelings we have might actually be breaking down our mental state. This obsession we have with paralleling the notion of keeping it ‘one hundred’ with being brutally honest and inconsiderate of feelings or sincerely believing a mere emoji proves we really mean it, in our communication. Have emojis replaced emotions? Are we conforming our emotions to fit the small pictures that we so strategically place in our text messages and statuses? I can’t help but ask myself have our emotions become too tech savvy? Have emojis replaced emotions?

By being able to replace a verbal “I love you” with a little red heart, have we tricked ourselves into thinking that little red heart on the screen is worth more than the voice on the other end of the phone? Do you really get “all the feels” from that message? Sometimes I do, but sometimes, I don’t. In this busy world of nonstop text messaging and social media interaction, loneliness may still set in, in my opinion, because a text message doesn’t quite comfort you the way a body or the vibrations of a voice does. Yet, I’d be a bold face lie if I said I’ve never awakened in the middle of the night hoping for a sweet text message to send me back to sleep. Perhaps I’ve adapted.

Even more lately, I hear people debate the romance and nuances of successful relationships and dating by saying “take your feelings out of it” or state the “facts only”. If my heart doesn’t matter, what is it beating for? Why, oh why?, am I taught that love conquers all and on the other hand asked: “what’s love got to do with it?” It gets rather confusing.

It gets rather confusing. On one hand, we are fighting a cruel world and on the other, we’re nurturing it.

Daily, I give thanks for a sound mind because I can honestly remember when that was non-existent. I remember when I was teeter-tottering that fine line of sanity. There was so much stress from the constant blows I was taking in my life. I just couldn’t plant my feet. An emoji from someone that cared just wouldn’t cut it. I just couldn’t find the support I needed.

Let me repeat that: I couldn’t find the support I needed.

Yes, I have friends. Yes, I have a family. But, at the end of the day, they couldn’t fight me for me. They couldn’t singlehandedly break the psychological chains that had me shackled. Furthermore, no matter how much knowledge they dropped, it just wasn’t enough to bring me out of my own warped thinking. It didn’t matter how many facts and anecdotes they brought me, those facts weren’t good enough to snuff out my emotional and psychological influences. A psychologist didn’t do it for me, either. Not because of the stigmas, not because I couldn’t be myself, but because venting to someone that knew me not at all just didn’t help.

I had to do it myself. I had to rehabilitate myself. I had to truly practice mind-over-matter or be prepared to bury the amazing self I always was and that others knew me to be. That’s my story in a nutshell.  I say all this to say:

There are many that suffer from clinical depression. And many of us drive ourselves to it because we don’t practice enough “happy thoughts”. We practice a lot of self-pity. Self-pity will get you nowhere fast. The world is teeming with fake love and obnoxious gloating. What the world is lacking is citizens of self0love. So, to anyone having any negative thoughts I admonish you to love yourself whole-heartedly; with mistakes and all, know that you are great and only will get better. As the saying goes, “Things get greater later”. Make today your best day! Force the happy thoughts and refuse the uncongenial abstractions that are holding you back from becoming the masterpiece you were born to be.

It’s September and the cold weather seasons are upon us. Some call this “cuffing season”, where we find some wonderful human being to shack up with, share feelings, Netflix and chill with, or simply share body heat during the cold season. For some of us, it is the loneliest time of the year, reminding us that there isn’t a thing on this Earth that keeps us warm. I beg to differ. Contrary to common belief or mental state, you must know that you are your biggest comforter. You have to be your own cheerleader and push yourself to make it through every tribulation and every difficult moment. Sometimes the smallest things can help you get through the next 5 minutes.

I applaud you now for the progress you make this season and I know that you can and will overcome sadness, depression, and any negative forces around you. I applaud you for the wonderful person that you are and not the negative feelings that the world may force on you. I applaud you for your own accountability and knowing that you contribute the most to your emotional success. I encourage you to #Begreat!

In the event that you find it too tough to get over the emotional baggage, you should know you are not alone. You should also know that you don’t have to be. Don’t be scared. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be sad.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If by chance you know someone that may be going through the motions and having a tough time, then, be the one to help.

It’s September. The weather will begin to change and the days will only get darker sooner. You have to make the most of your light. You have to believe that you are the light. If not, you are an advocate of the darkness in your life. October will come and some will hide behind masks. Some of us are hiding behind masks of pain. No more. It’s time to be the light. It’s time to take the happiness that belongs to you.










NYFW: Hello September! Is it Spring Yet?!


Facts: The summer of 2017 is soon coming to an end but not without New York City celebrating the warmth-to-come, next spring/summer 2018. September 7th-15th marks New York Fashion Week. The fall fashion week allows designers to exhibit their collections for the upcoming spring and summer. Take a tour through next season’s fashions and moguls of fashion with For the Love of Style Magazine.

Tom Ford is Back…

It can be said that many have “flew the coup”, making no appearance during the fashion industry’s most influential week – Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Thom Browne, and Joseph Altuzarra, to name a few. Some staple designers may be missed this fashion week. Still in limbo is the Yeezy collection, so Kanye West may be missed this year as well. Nevertheless, some of the most beau monde made it their business to be present at New York Fashion Week with good company in their front rows.

Tom Ford

Remember when Jay-Z made that hit song, Tom Ford, back in 2013? Even more, don’t forget how Tom Ford himself was flattered by such a gesture. Now, flash forward to his return to New York Fashion Week, reconvening at the Park Avenue Amory for a ready-to-wear runway setting the mood for spring 2018 in only the fashionably elegant way that Tom Ford can. Making pretty-in-pink so professional and capitalizing on evening looks with rouche silhouettes and glitzy accents, grabbing looks inspired by the Tom Ford collection for the next night out on the town, or fancy shindig will be a priority. However, colors were not the only star of the runway. There were in-fact, black ensembles of leather monochromatic looks for the less adventurous or classically chic outfitter. Black could never go out of style, and thus a staple on the runway, regardless of the trending colors.

This is maybe forward-thinking, but with many designers set for fashion weeks in London, Paris, and Milan, it may be up to Tom Ford to revive New York’s fashion week. Tom Ford is prestige. Tom Ford is classic – better yet – iconic.

Helmut Lang

Model in Helmut Lang SS’18 Look 12/ Photo by Yannis Vlamos for Indigital TV/ Courtesy of Vogue.com

The revisionist in now Editor-in-Residence, Isabella Burley has brought on Hood by Air designer, Shayne Oliver, to revitalize the Helmut Lang brand which hasn’t been lead by Lang since 2005. As a matter of fact, Lang severed ties with the brand in 2005. The original designer is known for breaking the mold and seeing in his designs, something that the current audience couldn’t fathom but certainly, could foretaste. The absence of such prominent designers seems to have foreshadowed the declining allure of New York Fashion Week. However, it could be perceived that putting a pause on his own line to pursue greatness with Helmut Lang is now Oliver and Burley’s way of contributing to the revitalization of New York Fashion Week.

Helmut Lang by Shayne Oliver SS’18 Look 42 NYFW / Photo by Yannis Vlamos for Indigital TV Courtesy of Vogue.com

New Era: Fenty X Puma

Fashion house collaborations are now the norm and increasingly bringing hype to the mainstream like fashion has never hit the scene before.  One of the most anticipated collaborations has been Rihanna’s with the Puma brand. Rihanna’s influence on the fashion scene is part of a new era, while her indulgence in the fashion world is not new at all. Rihanna has been present for prestigious fashion events, while herself, being the muse for top designers such as Oscar De La Renta and Comme de Garcon.

Model in Fenty X Puma SS’18 Collection at NYFW / Photo by Luca Tombolini for Indigital.tv courtesy of Vogue.com


Puma has a rich history dating back to 1928, with successful beginnings in the Olympics. Legends such as Jesse Owens have won gold medals in the shoes before it became the Puma brand as we know it. Since then, Puma has been more so influential with their shoe brand in and outside of arenas. The blend between Rihanna and motocross is no exception to their cutting-edge past. The edginess brought to the runway for SS ’18 proves their pioneering in not only athletic wear but the merging of it with fashion.

Model in Fenty x Puma at NYFW SS’18 / Photo by Luca Tombolini for Indigital TV courtesy of Vogue.com


Dominating land and sea, the duo showed off a few very adaptable looks for the subtle and the audacious fashionista. Surpassing just a typical workout-wear-turned-outfit, this partnership epitomizes the versatility and creativity that can be birthed into athleisure – melting together the looks of motocross with weekend wear. While there was some futuristic boot-like footwear, the highlights were the sandals that had moon-boot-like ankle straps, modern booties, and high-heeled flip-flops. All which, were paired with attire that looks to prepare for some sand dune-jumping or some wave-surfing.

Model Joan Smalls in Fenty x Puma Look 6/ Photo by Luca Tombolini courtesy of Vogue

Coach 1941

It’s already been said that history repeats itself. It’s also been said that the 70s are back (which built itself on the earlier decades). The 80s just might be noted as the greatest decade ever. These phenomena prove true through the runway show provided by Coach. Think: when-cowboy-met-disco and the thought is spot-on with the elements of this collection. Glitter is sprinkled throughout this wardrobe, showcasing the shine of the culture that is now. Still, Coach has captured the essence of being rooted in early American fashion.

Model Jing Wen in Coach 1941 RTW Look 20 – NYFW SS’18 / Photo by Edward James courtesy of Vogue.com

Embedding the late Keith Haring‘s pop-art work in the details of this collection not only pays homage to the artist but invites a new generation to care about a cause. The Coach collection dives into the meat of the culture of past decades but more importantly, the current one.

Model Imari Karanja in Coach 1941 RTW Look 55 / Photo by Edward James via Vogue.com

The mixing of decades to make something great never looked so rustic, nostalgic, and sexy. From the satin slip dresses, leather-details Coach is so very-well known for, and the metallic boots, this is a superb collection of mixed media that is indeed ready to wear.

Coach 1941 Opening Look Details / Photo by Edward James via Vogue.com

It would take forever to go through every collection showcased at NYFW this season. Naturally, it would be an injustice to omit the designer celebrating their 20th anniversary:

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott, like aforementioned Lang and Oliver, has an affinity for futuristic fashion that defies the odds. However, his seniority in the fashion world takes on its own recognizable characteristics. For the spring summer ’18 collection, the Moschino designer decided to pay tribute to himself through remaking many of his older designs with a slight tweaking. Weird creatures, snakeskin, camouflage, and bright colors may never leave his lookbooks and many are “here for it”. However, Jeremy Scott puts a rather intriguing twist on his collection incorporating mesh and jewels and pairing looks with a trending finisher: boots. From combat boots to thigh-high snakeskin, this ready-to-wear collection screams “look at me now!”

Model Soo Joo Park in Jeremy Scoot SS’18 RTW Look 11 / Photo by Marcus Tondo for Indigital TV via Vogue.com

Even as loudly as Scott projects his designs, there is yet a sense of calm in the SS’18 collection that is much-so alluring. Spring time brings snapback hats and sweats. Jeremy Scott portrays his line in the comfort of spring and the exotic of his own mind. One could probably feel the cool breeze and the sweat of the runway.

Model Ellen Rosa in Jeremy Scott SS’18 RTW / Photo by marcus Tondo for Indigital TV courtesy of Vogue.com

Thank you to Jeremey Scott for putting together the type of designs that are not just ready-to-wear, but ready for stares.

Model Sofie Richie in Jeremy Scott SS’18 RTW Look 38 / Photo by Marcus Tondo for Indigital TV courtesy of Vogue.com

Fashion week is, of course, a star-studded week-long event. Actors, artists, and high-profile celebrities are there in their best-dressed designer outfit and accessories and waiting to get fresh new threads from right off of the runway. This year shines bright with celebrity appearances in spite of some prominent designers bowing out, such as the legendary Chaka Khan, Ciara, Russel Westbrook, female rapper Cardi B and her love-interest, rapper Offset, and Selena Gomez.

And You-Know-Who Was There Too…

Fashion Top 5: Fall/Winter ’17-’18 Musts!

Photo: Givenchy Model Ready-To-Wear Fall/Winter 2017-2018 // www.vogue.com

Every decade has its day. Then, it has its day again. This fall and winter season the 70s are back! This time around, the disco decade is mixed with a little of this and a little of that, making some perfectly updated fashion statements of looks from the past. The mixing of prints and textures is most certainly a must. If you wear nothing else (Of course this does not mean go naked), we reckon you must incorporate these styles into your fall and winter wardrobe.

Let’s begin.




Pictured: Saint Laurent Niki 105 Thigh-High Boot // www.ysl.com

Metallic/Shine: Talk about disco fever! Go out and cop a pair of the most fly boots you can find with some shine! They may have sequins; they may be metallic; they may be straight up glitter all over. Either way, if they appeal to you – get them! Someone is sure to compliment you and ask where you purchased them. While shopping for your boots with all the glitz for the upcoming season, you may come across other sparkling items. Don’t feel as if you have to limit your luster to just your feet. Your sparkling style can be extended to the details in your clothing as well. Try sequins or go with a mixed media jacket or sweater to dazzle your closet. You may actually be amazed by how many options you’ll come across.


Photo: Model Wearing Givenchy Resort 2018 Collection // www.vogue.com

Red: Sprinkled in every last item that could be your wardrobe, red is killing the style scene this fall/winter season. Although it is also very true that monochromatic looks of many colors are dominating the runway as well, the sure-fire attire will be in the red. Don’t hesitate to make your own style statement by dressing in bold hues of red from head to toe. If you can’t find those shimmering boots in a look you love, go for the red ones. Red pants, red shirt (go for the stark silhouette or something with shoulder pads), red trench coat, and red thigh-high boots will create a runway inspired look to kill any competition. As the Givenchy model to the right proves, you can go for the feminine look as well and kill a few birds with one stone: Boots. Velvet. Floral. Red….Check!






Photo: Model in Zara Light Blue Denim Sweatshirt //www.zara.com

Denim: Don’t ever throw away your denim! Denim is one of those versatile materials that will find its way into personal style, no matter the season. Blue jeans and jean jackets are classic items – which you know already. However, this season it’s time to punch it up with patchwork, embroidery, and the most deconstructed looks that can be found. There is no such thing as plain denim this season. You must fall in line with the trend or risk being left in the past and potentially be labeled as boring. Ironically, the jeans pictured to the left are a tad bit boring, but if you read our back-to-school post, you’ll get the hint.

Photo: Miu Miu Velvet Bomber Courtesy of Who What Wear // www.net-a-porter.com

Velvet: Although fuzzy things have been trending for the last few seasons, it hasn’t yet reached the point of “over kill”. Actually, incorporate more fuzz with other trends. Go velvet on your outerwear and especially accessories. Mini backpacks, belts, hats, shoes, etc. With mixed media also trending, it’s the perfect time to combine velvet with the other cold-weather materials in your closet. Need we remind you that monochromatic is the way to go. With that being said, you can take the opportunity to add some variation to those colors by switching up the material. If you’re going to wear a turquoise top, with a turquoise bottom, why not jazz it up with a turquoise velvet jacket? It adds the texture to the layers that give your outfit that pop!






Photo: Unicorn Moulamax Sequin Bootie by CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN // www.nordstrom.com

Boots: Don’t you dare think you can skip the boot trend this fall/winter season. As a matter of fact, unless you’re wearing a fresh pair of sneakers, don’t be caught in anything else BUT boots this season. With the 90s grunge movement, we reveled in combat boots with dresses and all things dark and plaid. This will continue through the fall. Draping silhouettes will dominate and the finishing touches to such will be the infamous boot. Long skirts will be followed be thigh-high boots. Coats, the new statement accessory, will need some extra oomph to finish the look. Moreover, a good pair of denim needs a trendy finishing touch. Boots are just the thing. Besides, once the coat comes off or you shed the denim jacket, what else would anyone want to look at?  Of course, the shoes. These beauties pictured to the right? In the words of Billboard Hot 100 artist, Cardi B, “These is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes“. If you’re feeling like money and you need the good pair of shoes to make your money moves in, don’t pass up a sparkling pair of Christian Louboutin boots.


Photo: Kendall + Kylie Reign Crackled Metallic Lace Up Platform Sneakers // www.bloomingdales.com

Sneakers: Shall we never forget fashionable comfort? If, and we repeat – if – you’re going to wear sneakers this season, make sure to wear the best. Athleisure is in a league of its own – we know. However, there are shoes out there that don’t necessarily scream “gym-rat”. Casual is always great, but sometimes one may want to go for grandeur. Guys and gals will be happy to know the options for sneakers are endless and much more stylish these days. It’s not just about basketball shoes anymore. Casual sneakers are making a huge comeback and they’re bringing an ode-to-millennials vibe with them. Nonetheless, designers understand you have to always bring something new, too. Therefore, sneakers are merging your every mood into comfort and incorporating all the feels of the runway. This means retro, embroidery, and the colors of the season.







Photo: Gucci Studded Leather Tiger Belt // www.neimanmarcus.com

Belts: Don’t boast or brag about your fashion prowess; Belt it out with one of this season’s attention-grabbing staple accessories. Whether you’re a guy or gal, a belt may just be the mark of the fashion beast. For the men, the oversized, stylish buckles just keep reinventing themselves! Women will find belts to be draped from the waist to their toes. For each, you’ll find the seasons best colors ready to wear. It’s okay to shop ’til you drop for every belt that fits your attitude for the day. One could never have too many belts. One could never lasso in too much attention. Believe in the power of a boisterous belt, no matter if it’s  bejeweled, reversible, big-buckled, or snakeskin.


Photo: Gucci Snake Embossed Drawstring Backpack // www.gucci.com

Miniature Backpacks: Acting as if you haven’t seen this trend is probably because you can’t bear to come to terms with the obvious. Everywhere you look, designers are recreating fanny-packs and mini-backpacks. Women have been toting around purses for centuries and guys have even discovered such thing as the man purse or man bag. Now, there’s a unisex option that is to-die-for. Miniature backpacks are everywhere in every color, print, and texture. Simply take the time to explore your options and pick one or a few that work best for you.




Pictured: Model Wearing Mulberry New York Ready-to-Wear Collection Fall/Winter 2017-2018 // www.vogue.com

Plaid: To add to the Je Ne Sais Quoi styles of the season is the long-lived pattern of plaid. Wearing plaid in style means mixing it with other patterns in more sophisticated cuts. Sure there are flannel plaid shirts, but that would just be boring. Look for plaid in bold dresses and bias-cuts. For guys, of course, your plaid sartorial choices are always expected in the work shirts or button up shirts. This season try for plaid in the details of the patchwork of jackets and jeans. Give plaid a try even on your pants. Mix it with sweaters, scarves, and/or accessories and we promise you’ll be on-trend.


Brocade-Patchwork Straight-Leg Jeans
Photo: Dolce & Gabbana Brocade-Patchwork Straight-Leg Jeans // www.neimanmarcus.com

Floral: If you’re worried about looking like a tablecloth or curtains, or your grandma’s old sundress – you’re spot on. That’s the look you’re going for. Embroidered florals and those that look a tad bit traditional are the awe that you need in your print mix for fall and winter. Floral prints may seem like an oxymoron, going into the winter months, but there is so much to be discovered in embroidery and lace patterns within mixed media.



Understand that the biggest trend of all this upcoming season is that of versatility. Mixing and matching are at an all-time high. Therefore we have confidence that your innermost self will rip the runway of your world this season. Take notes from ready-to-wear collections of some of the greatest designers and building your greatest style of the season with color, texture, prints, great shoes, and accessories.

If you can’t find the looks you love just yet, be sure to check back around September at some of the best department stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Nordstrom.

Back-to-School Style: Don’t Be Basic!


It’s That Time of Year Again!

You’ve heard the phrase over and over again, like a broken record. We know but, you have to face the music; Going back to school will always be a thing. These days it’s not just for the kids, either. More and more of the US population is going back to school whether it’s for their G.E.D or the higher education they’ve always wanted. Education has become increasingly important over the years with more people seeking post-secondary degrees. Whether you are already a professional taking night classes, have children heading into their first year of primary school, or you’re entering into secondary or post-secondary matriculation, your shopping list will benefit from these trends well into the winter.

Taking a quick lesson from Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, who is the designer behind the most popular brand of 2017 Q2, we know there is such thing as considering clothes for both men and women that can be melted together for a complete fashionable look, whether man or woman, boy or girl. With that being said, let us explore some looks for everyone headed back to school.

Elementary school can be so easy since most of the kids are really more worried about how cool their school supplies are than if they have the latest cool t-shirt. As we age though, hopefully, we get a little better fashion sense. If you’re a parent, and you’re fashion savvy, We’re providing you with some ideas to jump start your kids’ fashion sense (besides the typical joggers).

Autumn/Winter Rule #1 – Mix Prints, Textures, and Colors.

Junior High and High School is where style begins to matter. At this point, basic graphic tees are just so-so. It’s time to upgrade that elementary style and get a little more avant-garde. Gone are the days of mommy or daddy laying out the outfits for each day – or the week. At this point, your tween or teen has probably already provided you with a list of all the “in-clothes” for the season. If you’re the stylish person that we know you are you can meet their list with a list of your own and hopefully step in where their style may need a little direction while still allowing some personality to flare.

Autumn/Winter Rule #2 – Do Polka Dot, Whimsical, Plaid

Summer break seems so short-lived for the college student. Trust me, we know. We’ve been there. Finals were pretty much last week – as are those high school or freshman threads. But hey, now there’s an excuse to spend some of that summer job money on not looking like “fresh meat” on campus. College is where style is polished and fashion becomes an even bigger deal than ever. We’d like to think college is something like an educated fashion show. There may not be a runway, but there is this thing called “the yard” and if you’re being seen anywhere on it, you must look your best. You can’t be walking around looking like Sesame Street when you’re on Saks Fifth Avenue. Here’s to hitting the stores before you hit the books again:

Autumn/Winter Rule #3: Definitely Do Fancy Denim

Ummm… “What about the shoes?”

No worries. This season, if you’re lucky enough to not have to stick to boring shoes due to strict dress codes or uniforms, there are more than enough to delight the stylish. You better go high or go home. It’s all about boots, and for women especially, thigh-high boots. Red may not be your color, but be assured that it will be a color option for probably every shoe you’ll be interested in purchasing. A list of shoes could never be exhaustive with so many great trends this season included metallics and exotic heels (and man heels!). Vibrant jewel tones, traditional Earth tones, and the embroidered trend will transcend into footwear through this fall/winter season.

Have no doubt in your mind that the retail industry is prepared for the sweep of back-to-school shoppers. As the consumer make sure you also take advantage of the tax-free week in your state. For some that may mean getting a head start next year. For other states, you can still take advantage in the months of August and September. Going back to school is commonly about your confidence. If you’re not quite ready, take one last shopping trip and pick up a few of these trends to boost your mood and your ego on the first day back. Take your own tips from your grown-up wardrobe and impose on the kiddies and they’ll also be feeling too school for school!



Photo: Jake in Washington, D.C. City Center // image by Carlton Hart Images

Jake Who?!

Jake Elmendorf is his name if you want to be politically correct. However, you will soon come to know this smooth dude as just “Jake”. After you hear the melodies moving from his mouth and feel his vibe, you will instantly be on his team. Not to mention, you will be racing to your iTunes, Google Play Music, and/or Spotify account to blast his latest hit on repeat. Walking into Mix Master Pro Studio, you couldn’t anticipate the experience of how your mind would be blown – and not just because of the amazing sound system and quality engineering. Luckily, For the Love of Style got the opportunity to be blown away for an evening.

Photo: Jake Elmendorf via Instagram

Within the walls of this two-level studio, there lies a group of hardworking and humble men. Rob “Mix Master Pro” Sanchez and Brandon “Big Benz” Martin are truly gifted in what they do. These music masters are ready to catapult the next new talent into the mainstream. That next new talent is Jake. In Mix Master’s perfect setting, this young man’s voice comes alive. The studio offers three separate rooms to record, accompanied by a separate control room to mix and master, depending on your taste and your budget. Although Jake is only 18 years old, he has impeccable taste. Recording in Studio A with HD configuring, Jake is definitely hopping out the gate with that superior sound.

Pictured: Jake tuning the studio guitar with friend Farran // Photo by Kamisol Style Consultancy

Although you may believe you have, you’ve never seen such fervor and energy from a guy so talented he could probably do whatever he wants, but yet he chooses music. Yes, Jake is 18 and full of life and loves to spend his pastime with his family and friends, but the passion he has to create is beyond refreshing. Being devoted to the creative process, and not just the end product and the fame is more than what a lot of 18-year-olds can say about any one topic. Jake is ready and willing to write his own music and join in the accompaniment via any of the instruments he’s taught himself to play. This includes piano and guitar. With a natural ear for music, it isn’t hard for him to catch the vibe at all and assist in the mixing and mastering of his own work. Watching him harmonize and perfect his tracks so effortlessly at this age was inspiring. It surely is a natural gift.

He must have been born with it.

Photo: Jake Elmendorf modeling for Lawrence Clothiers // Carlton Hart Images

Jake, born to parents of German, Honduran, Cherokee Indian and some Mideastern descent, has such a unique flair of pop and reggaeton laced music. To add to his natural culture, Jake has had the uncommon pleasure of hosting a foreign exchange student from Spain. Jake’s love for people and heritage easily kept him connected to Farran (pictured above), who’s come to be one of his closest friends. Nearly fluent in speaking Spanish, you must keep up as they flip-flop from English to Espanol in their regular conversation. In addition to being nearly fluent in Spanish, traveling, and attending college, Jake is a model and an actor. He is on the roster of models for Kamisol Style Consultancy and pretty GQ whether dressed down or dressed up in Lawrence Clothier suits. Versatile is an understatement. He’s no knock-off Justin Beiber or Daddy Yankee. He’s just Jake.

Photo Credit: Beyond The Dawn Studios

And by “just Jake“, we mean he’s quite a catch. In the nearly two decades he’s been able to tackle this thing called life, Jake has already had his fair share of experiences, including heartache and relationships. Jake draws from his encounters and puts it in his music. Writing one of his songs in just three hours, he pulls from his heartfelt experiences as a young man. His song Time Will Tell, he explains, was originally written for an ex from a past relationship. “It’s a growth song”, he says, about the things that make him better equipped to be a man that can lead his woman. Without spoiling the lyrics or dissecting each song – trust you’ll just have to listen – you may not be sold that he’s just beginning college.

Speaking of college, there is no question that Jake keeps a packed schedule. While on summer break from school, he’s using the free time to get good use of the studio and propel his music career forward. Check out some scenes from his recent video shoot for his upcoming song, Time Will Tell (below).

Photo: Jake during a video shoot for Time Will Tell // via Kamisol Style Consultancy

Progress can be a slow process, which we all know. However, Jake embraces that process and whatever struggles or successes that may come along with it. He prides himself on living by “no regrets” and learning from his mistakes.


Photo: Jake (piano) and producer Cody “King Soma” Taft (guitar) during the video shoot for his first single // via Kamisol Style Consultancy

After talking with Jake, it is evident that he doesn’t want to be just another pop star being soaked up by the industry. He doesn’t want to be just another singer. Adamant about writing his own lyrics, he aspires to truly be a songwriter behind the music.

He’s not your average young adult by a longshot. As stated earlier, Jake has many interests and he’s darn good at them. If you’re not sold on his music – you’ve got to be sold on his good looks. The catwalk loves him and the camera lens does too. If you haven’t heard him, you will most definitely see him, soon. We can’t wait to give you more Jake!


Inspiration Station: Yo! Millennial Style

Photo via fashionsizzle.com // Pictured: Salt 'n Pepa and DJ Spinderella

Everyone apparently hates the millennial generation. The gypsy souls are flighty, spoiled, cocky, demanding, and have an aura of entitlement hanging in every handshake. On the contrary, it seems it became the coolest thing ever to be born in this decade. Some couldn’t be more proud to be an eighties baby and why shouldn’t you be? The eighties and nineties represented a changing, thriving, explorative culture. The culture consisted of new lingo, the onset of new wave music, the best fashion trends and an all-around explosively unique pop culture.

More importantly, the baby-boomers were busy making babies of their own. Enter: the millennial generation. You might happen to be one of these “off-the-heazy” (unbelievably different) infants born in the eighties. All grown up, now, you may be what they call a “millennial mother”. Millennial mothers also star in roles such as superhero, chef, world traveler, mompreneur, and curators of life’s content. I’m sure you must fit one of those descriptions! Long story short, the eighties and nineties produced a new generation that is changing the world with a powerful style and the type of ambition that is setting a precedent.

Pictured: Heather Locklear in Black and White Leotard and Legwarmers // www.liketotally80s.com

Millennial. Mother. those two hats are both unique in their own right. Surely, you can truly identify with both titles and hold them confidently and concurrently. In today’s world, you have to be great at being both. Just as Heather Locklear did in the photo above, most of us mothers are really good at blending style with functionality. Hence the popularity of athleisure. Being a millennial means knowing how to dress it up and dress it down with style. It’s throwing on your favorite dark lipstick to pay homage to grunge makeup, and finishing your look with sneakers or boots. It’s making business casual un-boring.

Photo: New Balance 574 Mid Cut // www.newbalance.com

As an eighties baby, more than anything else, You’ve learned to overcome hard times. You may not have meant much to the rest of the world while they were obsessing over the baby-boomers and the war on drugs, but now you are the very pick of the litter for job opportunities, the housing market, and the ideal audience for “baby-making” music. I know that last one isn’t really a thing, but you all know exactly where I’m headed. The millennial generation is spearheading the cultural norms of the times. One thing you can bet on is that it’s a blast from the past.

Teyana Taylor wearing an OG x TB Red Hooded Sweatshirt, Red Jogger Pants, and Nike Air Jordan 16 Original “Ginger” Sneakers // stealherstyle.net

There’s no surprise that as generations continue, change is eminent. These days, mothers are kicking college’s butt and pushing out new life like it’s nothing. Millennial mothers are more prevalently becoming entrepreneurs, socialites, and homebuilders.

With that being said, your style is in-fact trend-setting. Most Millennial Moms are going for comfort while drawing from recurring trends. You can trust that people around you are wondering how you juggle all those hats and look good while doing it. Well, let’s think about this: Going back to that splurge of culture from the 80s we can see what makes the millennial mom so darn cool.

There’s Something About Shoulders:

#WhoRemembers Shoulderpads?!


Photo by Best of the 80s via WordPress

Now, this hasn’t made as popular of a come back just yet but it’s possible! Now, we’re rocking off-the-shoulder trends, ruffled sleeves, and other garments that have a lot of emphasis in their geometry. If you were kids during the shoulder pad phase, you most certainly hated big shoulders. If you were a teen or adult, you were probably styling and profiling. Go out shopping for some bigger shoulders – Kim did. We dare you. This look is truly bold and if you have the guts, the taste, and the style to pull it off, you’ll certainly be fabulous in our book. If you’ve got some vintage pieces in your closet, you’re already winning. However, you can play around with the patterns and colors to fit today’s world if you want a more updated twist on the past.

Pictured: Model wearing Zhivago Eye of Horus Metallic Mini Dress // revolve.com


Acid Wash. Denim. Overalls.

Whichever you choose (maybe all of them at once), you are sure to be not only on-trend but also drawing from the nostalgia of the 90s. You do remember The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, right? This guy was the coolest of the cool, whether you were a guy or a girl coming up in this era. The millennial mother most certainly gets a little style from this infamous decade. Afterall, sometimes you need to let loose and still be functional. For that reason, don’t leave home without a pair of comfy denim overalls. Update your wardrobe with a new pair. Overalls, acid wash, and denim are making a strong comeback. You would be a fool to give these items away right now.

Photo: (left) OVeralls viaa Norstrom.com (center) Fresh Prince of Bel Air photo courtesy of VH1 (right) Denim Overall jumper via Forever21.com



1. Embrace your innermost self

2. Get nostalgic but stay trendy

3. Millennial style rules go (push the limits)


Photo: Model wearing JNCO (“Judge None Choose One”) wide-leg jeans

Quit buggin’! Comb through your closet and see what you can mix and match, but don’t be afraid to implement some retro into your look. It’s totally in. In case you missed out on the cool kid trends: Here are some exceptionally Gnarly 80s things you should definitely take the time to explore or revisit. If you’re looking to draw some inspo from the 90s grunge era, you might want to plunge into what was called the “last great decade”. After a trip down memory lane, we assure you, shopping for those flashback fashions to incorporate in your day-to-day will be super sweet. You’ll walk out your door every day looking like you’re “all that and a bag of chips”.


Why I Don’t Clean My Closet


It takes too long.

It’s boring.

I want to keep everything.

It’s sentimental.


It never fails… Every time you set aside the time to clean your closet, it doesn’t actually get cleaned. You fail miserably, only being able to set aside a few pieces that you can find it in your heart to part ways with. You can give these precious items away. You could NEVER throw them away – my God, No! So many of our clothing items become so special to us and we may not realize it until it goes missing or it’s time to clean out the closet. Oh, that doesn’t happen to you? You’re not a hoarder? You don’t have a nostalgic connection to anything in your closet? Well, lucky you! I, on the other hand, only find it easy to part ways with old underwear.

Photo: Sergio Valente Jeans via Pinterest

Nostalgia: My First ‘Skinny’ Jeans

I think back to when I was a pre-teen (and into my teenage years) and I started to become more self-conscious about my body type, shape, and size, and even color or my shade of ‘black girl’. Growing up, I remember “stretch jeans” – now skinny jeans – were the thing. Every girl beginning from middle school on up had at least one pair of the following: Princess Jeans, Sergio Valente Jeans, Milan Jeans, and/or Parasuco Jeans. I couldn’t be left out of this trend, – like Nah, Ma.  Just as most modest and protective moms were, mine didn’t want me flaunting the silhouette of my blooming lady blossoms for the world – and especially young boys – to see. Naturally, I didn’t agree. I felt I was mature, modest, and virtuous enough to not be banned from this jean movement. So, at the perfect age of 13 or so, I broke my piggy bank. It was imperative that I owned a pair of these stretch jeans.

With my $200+ in rolled coins that I cracked out my piggy, I smiled all the way to the bank to exchange my coins for bills. Then, I smiled out the bank and all the way to the mall. *insert cheesy face emoji here*

As the proudest little ‘baller‘ that  I thought I was, I headed to the infamous “New York Fashions” and excitedly searched for the perfect pairs of stretch jeans. They had to exude my personality and of course be trendy. They had to be fitting and not loose; demanding attention, but in good taste, and ultimately – game-changers. Who knew so much went into a pair of jeans?… Given I used my own hard-earned savings, I was proud of my first pairs of stretch jeans. Trust me when I say, they got ALL the attention they deserved, and then some.

Cash money records were “…taking over for the ’99 and 2000” with the infamous song “Back That Azz Up“. This was a theme that trickled into my teen stretch-jean-craze and all the basement party playlists. Needless to say, my jeans were “in there like swimwear”. I remember the days of parties in the dark and jean stains on the wall. I think many of us can relate; we were more worried about the fraying jeans than the marks we left on the walls.  I outdid myself by finding the ultimate pair that would never leave a blue stain: A red satin pair of Milan Italy jeans with the matching red satin jacket. Boy was I such a bamma, but if I could bring back Parasuco Jeans… Now, we might be on to something.

My point is just this: The past is the past sunshine.

Photo: Vintage Parasuco denim vest

Holes Go

Jeans Stay

Vintage Hello

Nostalgic Slay

Size, shape, and style change over time. So as the cliche says, “Out with the old. In with the new“. And while we can all potentially wander back down memory lane, it’s best to make a right (or left) turn at the Goodwill store.  It’s time to plant new seeds of style in that closet and move on to the next phase of a fabulous you. Don’t let your inability to get rid of some old items stunt your style. Or, anything else for that matter.

Style starts from within. Growth happens from within. If you’re not willing to let go of old moments and instead spend all your time living in the past lane, you’re only blocking your future style blessings and limiting your speed limit on the fashion highway. The world is changing, Sunshine and it needs your little light of style. Furthermore, that whole “fake it ’til you make it” thing is not cute. We’re maturing. The wardrobe must do the same.

Update that Nostalgia. At the end of the day, we get it. Just like my affinity for Parasuco, There are some brands you love. There are some styles that you know are far from “in” but you just want to wear one more time. While I wouldn’t suggest throwing on that popcorn textured shirt (I haven’t seen that trend make a comeback just yet), I can certainly give you the “OK” to keep some of the threads you love. Find new ways to wear old items like jean jackets and overalls.

E V E R Y T H I N G   E L S E   M U S T   G O !

Having statement pieces are more of an asset to your closet than the items that have been lingering for years that you only wear quarterly. Scaling back on your wardrobe is a good first start. On the other hand, maybe you still have a closet full of pieces that you just don’t style, but you know it can be done. If you need help with your closet, start with Kamisol Style Consultancy. These days it’s easy to get on track with your own personal style with a quick style consultation.






Eating Pretty: Summer Edition


You Are What You Eat… Duh.


We’ve heard the saying over and over, but we have yet to take heed. Lucky for the healthy-eating laggards, society has now latched onto more clean and healthy eating habits. Perhaps you’ve noticed the onset of fads such as the Paleo diet? Maybe more of your friends are “going vegan“. Or maybe it’s you, that has decided to take the leap of faith into the world of better eating.  Nevertheless, it’s the best choice you can make for yourself. Believe me. Don’t wait any longer. It’s time to eat better and maintain beauty from the inside out. 

I Took Clean Eating For Granted. 

I grew up in a family where a green thumb was pretty much second nature. My grandparents had a massive garden and my dad, a landscaper. I spent so much time as a child appreciating my food because of my close relationship with the people cultivating the land, trees and vines that my food grew from.  Even more, my personal play-places consisted of tiptoeing through the carefully plowed rows of seeds, chasing cousins around fruit trees, and picking weeds as I impatiently waited for the produce to ripen so I could pull it off the vines. The joy I got watching my Nana and Grandaddy (AKA Grandaddy Greens) plant, grow, pick, and serve their own food, is a priceless portion of my upbringing that I will cherish forever. To a certain degree, I took it for granted. I took clean eating for granted.

Unfortunately, as I got older and especially in high school, I replaced that appreciation with convenience. I ate Popeye’s, McDonalds, and Pizza like it was going out of style. My first job allowed me the opportunity to consume biscuits at an alarming rate and hardly ever a farm-to-table meal. I just paid off my boss everyday because I knew I’d be dipping into the biscuits and salty chicken backs. There were even friends that used to call me “Biscuit”. SMH. Looking back, it’s hard to believe I had high cholesterol and was at my heaviest weight as a cheerleader in high school. I would definitely attribute that to the Popeye’s and the biscuits.

When college rolled around, I wanted to tone up and shake some of what I was calling “baby weight”. HA! Well, shout-out to my dad who was a firm believer in buying groceries over eating out. His direction completely changed my life forever. Thanks Dad! While most of my friends were surviving on university cafeteria food, I had a grocery allowance from my dad. I was able to cook somewhat healthier, balanced, less processed meals.

Motherhood and Pregnancy Changed it All




After having my first son at 21, I was still pretty vibrant and maintaining healthy eating habits complete with new tips I’d learned from pregnancy, such as eating wild caught fish instead of farm-raised. Though, I did crave burgers from Red Robin… “yummmmm”! By the time I was pregnant with my second son, I was eating any and everything under the sun – no holds barred. I craved crinkle cut fries drenched in cheese, ketchup and hot sauce. Don’t forget my steak and shrimp sub drenched in mayo and ketchup to go with that. Then, along came pregnancy with son number three. Fruit snacks, Slurpees, cake and Ice cream became a staple every night before bed, I went back to drinking soda, and these habits continued post-pregnancy. #Nobueno.

Photo: Unhealthy foods // ArtsyBee

Before I knew it, my body was breaking down in my twenties. My cholesterol was headed back up along with my blood pressure, arthritis kicked in, non-stop headaches and a host of other ailments I never encountered before. As I mentioned I have three boys. How on Earth can I be there for them if I’m already breaking down before they all get a chance to start school?! Oh, and lets not forget those smile lines that started to creep up were rather eye-opening as well. I had to make some changes.

Enter: Eat Pretty, Live Well 


This journal (below) will allow you to embrace clean and healthy eating for a better, more beautiful you. More importantly, this should be indefinite lifestyle change. Eventually, by using this journal you can master shopping for the best produce during it’s proper season. Then, by keeping a log within the pages, you are able to monitor your own progress and growth. This book is encouragement to try foods you’ve never heard of, thought of, or refused to incorporate in your diet. If you haven’t already, read the book and/or pickup the guided journal and get started on your own journey to beauty from the inside out.

Photo: Eat Pretty, Live Well Journal // A. Smalls

Here at For the Love of Style, we’re all about action. We strive to become our best selves everyday and empower other women to do the same. With that being said, we totally get that everyone is not at the same place in their journey. That’s no problem at all! If you’re an all-star procrastinator, no worries. Let me share with you some of the Summer’s pretty produce to help you get your beauty show on the road. The next time you’re in the supermarket, pick up a few of these:


Photo: List of summer produce // A. Smalls

It’s hot out gals. So definitely be sure to increase your intake of produce like pineapples and cucumbers for ultimate hydration. I can’t give you all the secrets as I’m sure Ms. Jolene Hart (author of the book) would not like me very much. However, I do encourage you to incorporate these foods and watch your complexion clear, your sleep improve and establish an overall since of well-being.

There is a season for everything. Foods and beauty are not exempt from this fact. With the fall season being right around the corner, check back in with us to dive more into what you can do to prepare to enhance your palette during the autumn months. By then, you may have already purchased your book or journal. If not, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. #staypretty