But not just any museum….

I finally made it to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and it is all that it was purported to be and so is their museum shop.timed-pass-art

If you’ve never shopped in a museum’s (or other cultural organization’s) store you’re missing out on a great source of gifts.  New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Store is so renown it has it’s own brick and mortar store a couple of blocks away from the actual museum and has an unbelievable online presence.

Here were some of my finds from the NMAAHC:


Socks abound. Throwback NBA heroes. Muhammed Ali. Jackie Robinson. Colorful. Fun. A great and usable memento and gift (my favorite kind).

Grouped Sections of Greatness: Got Soul?!?

One of the neat things about the store is that it’s organized sort of like the museum – an arts section (music, dance), a book section, fashion, etc. That’s my cutie patootie nephew point to the sweatshirt. Note the socks. Didn’t I mention there were socks!

Books, Books, and More Books!

They had the entire MARCH graphic novel series written by civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis.

I picked up a tee shirt for myself – I couldn’t resist.  But the store has some great jewelry and items that family and friends would love to have – especially out-of-towners who may not have access to this museum at home.

Be Inspired.


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Much More than a Sneaker Store…

Right outside The Linq Hotel – my accommodations for a recent wedding – is a great strand featuring shops and eateries – Sprinkles Cupcakes anyone?!?

It’s there that I ran into 12AM:Run or XIIAM.  The store is co-owned by Nas, creator of the cult classic Illmatic, hip hop icon, and lyricist extraordinaire.  So it makes perfect sense that the vibe in XIIAM would be amazing even at 11 o’clock a night.

Founded by Nas, this Vegas sneaker store is worth a visit, if only to absorb the vibe.

The store’s tagline is “Sneakers. Fashion. Lifestyle.” and indeed what a lifestyle.  

The staff was amazing – cool and accommodating without being overbearing.  The clothing and accessories were unique, well-priced and equally well-shown. #merchandisinggamestrong 

Great art adorns the store. I want this image of Karl Lagerfeld saying “I’ve always wanted to wear sweatpants” for my own house. Also check the layout of caps and the color coordination of tee shirts. #details matter

I picked up a couple of gifts for the holidays and have gone to their online store a couple of times since leaving the city as I’m lusting after one of their sweatshirts.

So if you’re caught in Vegas late night, stop by 12 AM:Run.  The only thing missing was the real Nas, but trust me his essence lingers.

Be Inspired.

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A Great Spot for Last Minute Gifts

Basin White in The Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes, Las Vegas, is a great place for pretty gifts.

I love taking trips and finding unique shops that allow me to bring home great gifts.  A few weeks ago I was in Las Vegas for a wedding.  I was a +1 and didn’t know the bride or groom, but after meeting them and subsequently being invited to attend their nuptials, I thought – these two deserve a gift.


While exploring the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian (I was there just a year ago and boy have they expanded in the best way) I came across Basin White (also known as Basin).  Basin White is basically a bath store (like Lush) and has a number of great products and equally impressive packaging.  

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I was able to pick up a few bath bombs for the – ahem wedding night – and also some very cute “bride and groom” soap.  They may never use it but at least it’s festive.

This bride and groom soap seemed perfect for a couple who was celebrating a destination wedding and small enough to pack in their bags without adding too much weight.

I also got to try my hand at video for the first time (my soror She’Don played the talent) as we watched a bath bomb dissolve and got to test out the products ourselves – which by the way are AMAZING!

So if you’re in Vegas – stop by Basin White.  

Be Inspired.

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Because appreciation is critical…

I recently had a little rant over the importance of saying thank you.  Although I promise that I’m over it, I have found that those feelings have translated into great blog content and has kept me on my “gratitude toes” so to speak.

So in order to walk my talk I took the opportunity to thank one of the members of my team for doing an awesome job in putting together a major event at our workplace.  She did great and putting together this little desk delivery was a simple, inexpensive and appropriate way to say thanks.

img_1770How to do your own desk delivery:

  1. Choose your packaging.  It could be a box or a gift bag  I went with a glass jar with a chalk label on it that I could use to write a message (lesson: writing on a mini chalkboard is not easy).  I picked up my jar at Hobby Lobby.
  2. Fill the package.  I used my teammates favorite – Dove dark chocolates.  But it could be mints or gumballs.  You could also fill it with office supplies or other doodads.

Be Inspired.

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And puts a designer bag in the closet…

Recently First Lady Michelle Obama’s debuted the Let Girls Learn Initiative with the song “This Is For My Girls” (if you haven’t seen her Carpool Karaoke you have to watch it). 

Now Instyle Magazine has gotten onboard in partnership and has debuted a group of designer totes that benefit the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund.

dvf_washed_front narcisorodriguez_front

I hate to break it to you but the Caroline Herrera bag has already sold out.  So you don’t want to miss the rest!

Designers include:

  • Jason Wu
  • Narciso Rodriguez
  • DKNY
  • Diane von Furstenburg
  • Prabal Gurung
  • Tanna Taylor

At $52 it’s not a bad price for a designer bag – after all you’re letting girls learn.

Be Inspired.

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You can get candy AND give back…fbagtot02-feed-trick-or-treat-bag-front_main

I love FEED (the foundation established by Lauren Bush Lauren to help feed citizens in underprivileged societies).   I love the motto and the style behind it.

Even better I like the practicality of the products available on the site.  Hence my blog of their FEED Trick-or-Treat bag.  At $18 it’s a great deal and even better, your purchase pays for 40 micronutrient servings, which offer children the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay healthy.

So if you have a little trick-or-treater in your life, invest in the bag and take care of other kids too!

Be Inspired.

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Say Thanks with a Memory…

I recently had a blog-style rant on what I termed the Art of Thank You”.  Now I’m jumping off my soapbox and sharing one of my fave ways of receiving a thank you.

Use your words (in a card) and add some PHOTOS!

It works for graduation gifts (a photo of the graduate) and appreciation for party attendance (wedding, birthdays, retirements, and etc.).

Just send your digital images off to an online photo printing site (like Shutterfly or Snapfish) or use your local Walgreens which offers the same type of service.  Because you can print in small numbers (and it’s no longer so in demand), it’s pretty inexpensive.

Below are some of may faves!


img_1743Be Inspired.



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Time Flies!

I cannot believe it’s been three years.  After more than a year of overthinking, I started this blog during the Federal government shutdown of 2013.  I figured – when else would I have at least a week to devote to it and I’ve been pretty much blogging ever since.

I’m Still Inspired.


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The Art of Thank You

Because “thank you” means everything.

Confession.  I am offended rather easily by what I perceive to be ingratitude and I don’t think I’m the only one.  But there’s an easy fix and it’s “thank you.”  While I am traditional enough to enjoy a lovely thank you card, I can appreciate a phone call or text too.  But to say nothing when you receive a gift is rude.

Thank you cardTips

Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me and now I’m sharing them with you.

  1. Timing is critical.  In other words, don’t wait too long to send a thank you – whether it be a note or message.  When I was a kid my mother used to make me phone in a thank you to my aunties right after I received their gifts in the mail.  The same principle still works.  Different occasions have different timeframes (for weddings I think you have a year), but my advice is not to let the grass grow under your feet.
  2. Keep your message simple and personal.  You don’t have to wax poetic nor be verbose in your thank you notes (or texts).  I think that authenticity is best.  So if you’re appreciative just say so.  I guarantee that it will be well-received.
  3. In other words – don’t go overboard.  You don’t have to overshoot your thank you.  I remember when my father died a friend sent a card with two books of stamps.  It was an ideal and appropriate gift for me since I was planning to send thank you cards out to people who had sent me gifts and cards.  When I called to thank her she made it clear that she did not want a thank you back from me using the stamps lol.  I could have ignored her but I didn’t.  She knew that I was grateful from the call and sending her a thank you would likely have been been going overboard.

When to send a thank you:

  1. For a gift.  In general, if someone gives you a gift, I think that you should send a thank you note.  However, there are modern ways to do this.  I know someone who posts a message on Facebook and tags us all in thanks.  Not traditional, but the message is sincere and immediate.*
  2. For an experience.  If someone goes out of his or her way to do something nice for you I believe that it’s appropriate to drop a card in the mail or send an e-card via email.  This is especially true if you appreciate the gesture.

*Exception: With some of my family and friends who have become family, we have a tradition of gifts for birthdays and other occasions.  I would be sending notes constantly.  So I think that this is the exception to the rule.

Stay tuned for ideas on creative ways to say “thank you.”

Be Inspired.

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