I’ve never really been a fan of Nicki Minaj because everything about her is so over-the-top. But, I really like her made-under look for the cover shoot for Elle April 2013. To me, it’s consistent with the  average-girl personality she’s shown as an American Idol judge. What do you think? Is she reinventing herself, taking on a new, understated personality? I like it.

Of course, effortless-looking doesn’t actually mean effortless…which look do you prefer? Over-the-top? Or effortless?

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Start each day with words of affirmation. Photo

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The Blues

 Blue is such a lovely color. My favorite, actually… a shame it gets such a bad wrap.The Blue - 5The Blues - 4The Blues - 7


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The Letter “L” – Laughter

Brooke Engagement-7

Laughter – When I moved to DC, I couldn’t have imagined that I would find a group of people who could be as dear to me as family. My family is tight! And because of that, I feared moving so far away would be difficult. But, as my good fortune would have it, I have found the most amazing group of friends here.

At one point, we practically all lived together in a reality meets situation comedy called “The Halfway House”—the story of 7 transplants trying to make it in the nation’s Capital. We would just sit around and entertain one another in times that still generate conversations beginning with “remember when…” and followed by laughter.

Over the years, however, as each of us became gainfully employed, and emotionally involved or otherwise independently absorbed outside of the group, the occasions for us all to get together have become less frequent and even more meaningful—Sunday brunches, birthdays, job promotions…and, most recently an engagement. We welcomed the groom-to-be into the group on a particularly wild night, one November. He fits right in—a character in his own right. I can’t wait for the wedding.

Cheers, my friends! …to the times we all get to share together, laugh and make memories together, and to grow old and wrinkly together.

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Less > More




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Monster Mondays


My co-worker often teases me about being grumpy on Monday mornings. Accordingly, this morning I arrived to the following message: “Morning. I expect you to be in your usual Monday mood. Looking forward to it.”

To her surprise, when she later stopped by, I was not in my typical Monday mood, which she acknowledged. I am not a morning person, but I want to become one. To that end, I have changed my attitude about the morning time. They’re not so bad after all. I have also scheduled several weekly, early morning meetings, to get in the practice of waking and getting things done. So there, take that Mondays! –Photos


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The Letter “L”




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LEISURE: My father has always said, “first you do what you have to do. Then you can do what you want to do.” That is probably the reason that as an adult, I schedule leisure as a “have-to-do.” This has been a week full of “has-to’s,” with no leisure included. Thus, I look forward to a weekend of slumbering on Saturday and celebrating a friends engagement on Sunday. Have a great weekend!

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Melt My Heart


I pledged to cook more often this year, and I am not off to a bad start. Two of my favorite dishes so far have been from coconut curry salmon and portobello parmesan recipes. I have been known to incorporate sweet potatoes into nearly anything I can. Sweet potatoes are said to make your skin glow. Although, they turned my sixth grade teacher’s skin orange (he ate them everyday)…I’m not kidding.

What can I say about this sweet potato patty melt? The gooey, sweet, salty, and crispy potential for deliciousness kind of speaks for itself. While the recipe calls for chorizo, I would either make it meatless or substitute it with a turkey chorizo. The only problem is, I don’t like buying bread because I never eat the whole loaf. Whoever comes up with the idea for the half-loaf is sure to make a killing. So, then the only question now is who’s coming over for lunch?

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Haute Links


This Week’s Haute Links: Chrianna cuddled up at the Grammy’s on Sunday/ On Tuesday, I called it, FLOTUS wore a Jason Wu dress to the SOTU address/ Naomi Campbell promoted her new show, “The Face,” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon wearing a black velvet and crepe wool dress from Alexander McQueen’s pre-fall 2013 collection/Bloomberg said Coach’s lack of brand personality is hindering its growth/Applications are now being accepted for the Fashion Law Bootcamp 2013 at Fordham’s Fashion Law Institute/ RECAP: DC Bar’s “For the Love of Fashion: Protect Yourself” Event/ UPDATE: on the Louboutin v. YSL dispute/ The NFL and the federal government have teamed up to fight against counterfeit Super Bowl Merchandise/ Beyonce is covering The Gentlewoman magazine/ I am coveting this J. Crew blouse/ Finally, Marc Jacobs closed out NYFW on Valentine’s Day looking like a tall glass of water, and if you haven’t had enough fashion week by now, here are 200 street style photos to hold you over til fall. PHOTO

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Las Vegas Bay Bay

PicMonkey Collage

Remember the bridal shower I went to a couple of months ago? Well, the Bachelorette party was this past weekend in Las Vegas. I know that everything that happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, but nothing really happened ;)

1. I arrived on Friday afternoon and met two of the other girls at the airport and we hopped a cab to the MGM together. As soon as we walked through the door. Miranda observes, “It smells like strippers!” It really did. What is with the cheap smell in the hotel lobbies? We got checked in. Our suite was grand. We freshened up and set the room up for the bachelorette to arrive. The Maid of Honor had also gotten all of us other girls gift bags with a ton of fun stuff in them; 2. Fast forward to the morning of day two. Whooooo. I needed coffee; 3. The afternoon of day two was full of random acts of fun, including tongue tattoos and video taping married strangers with advice for the bride-to-be. For some reason, the tattoos caused quite the social media uproar. My mother called me on Sunday evening to say that I was getting “wild” on my Facebook page, and my cousin commented that the picture was “on the edge.” You think so? I mean sheesh! If a candy tongue tattoo is racy then…is it because I’m thirty?; 4.-5. The Wicked spoon in the Cosmopolitan Hotel is the bomb nom nom!! Think gourmet buffet; 6. That night we took in Thunder from Down under; 7.-8. Oh! I also found the Garrett’s Popcorn that just recently opened up in Vegas. Rumor has it that they are opening up a second location there as well; 9. After the girls left on Sunday morning I hung around for a few more days to hang out with my dad, who lives there. One of my best girl friends from high school also lives there, and we had dinner at Lemongrass at the Aria Hotel on the night before I left. Very good Thai food. It was a wonderful trip. Next up, the wedding in Dallas!!!!

Follow me on Instagram @Kitycatwalk!

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Roses are red, violets are blue, this chocolate kiss is just for you. Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO

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Mini Moments


Ever just feel like hiding? I’m horrible at disconnecting. When people call, I answer. Ask for a favor, I say, “yes, of course!” Because of that, I have reserved Saturday mornings for myself. Don’t call, cause I won’t answer. Have an event? Chances are I won’t be there. Is it Saturday yet?? How do you disconnect? Photo

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Have a Heart


February is American Heart Month. Accordingly, in the past week, you have probably heard something about the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and partner organizations’ national campaign called The Heart Truth. The centerpiece of The Heart Truth is the Red Dress, which was introduced as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 by NHLBI. The Red Dress reminds women of the need to protect their heart health and inspires them to take action.  As an icon, the Red Dress tested well with women across the country who cited its ability to get attention, convey the seriousness of heart disease, and change the perception that it is only a man’s issue. Source

Each February during Fashion Week, The Heart Truth hosts its annual Red Dress Collection Fashion Show. To see this year’s show click here and follow along with Jen over at Comme Coco here for live and other coverage. For information on other The Heart Truth events, including National Wear Red Day, click here.

Here’s how you can help: post a photo on Twitter or Instagram with #showyourheart to trigger a donation from Diet Coke to heart health programs. See my photo here.

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IMG_0712If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that last week was very insightful for me – inspiring, encouraging, and energizing – a small revolution. Sometimes, I get very discouraged with myself, with this blog, and other creative endeavors, because I want everything that I put more than a smidgeon of effort into, to be meaningful and to serve a purpose.

I have so many interests, and dare I say – talents – that it’s hard to find the time to do everything that I would like to do and to master my craft, so I must start choosing how I spend my time much more wisely. But, what interests and activities most deserve my time and talent?

Desperate for an answer, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflecting recently and putting things into perspective, simultaneously setting some goals,  and  seeking input from people that I genuinely trust and validation through my faith. What I have learned, so far, is that: 1. I do not give myself enough credit. I have accomplished a lot of things, including with this blog. People like what I have to say, and look forward to hearing it, and 2. I must get over my fears (of both complete failure and continued success), and take some risks in order to make a real impact. What am I really afraid of, anyway? What I have decided is that whatever I choose, I will do so with the benefit of others in mind, and not myself; recognition from others is not on my list of goals. With that, things are becoming more clear.

I am confident in what lies ahead, although I’m not certain in what direction my decision will lead. For now, I will proceed with the insight I have gained and the commitments I have made on the road to becoming a master servant. Still with style (I was born with that) and grace (I am a work in progress) of course, but with a  renewed sense of purpose and with sanctified ambition.






What strategies have you used to discern your purpose? How do you decide what activities are really worth your time? (pictured with Brea of What I Wore Tip To Toe after a FABB Girls Club brunch)

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Fashion Frenzy

Fashion week

This post is in the spirit of NYFW, which I sadly will not attend (I will proudly be on bridesmaid duty). Are you going to be in NY for fashion week? What events will you attend? What are you looking forward to most? Fashion shows? Blogger conferences? What hotel will you stay in? What will you eat?? So many questions! What are your best tips for survival? Emily started a list over on Capital Style. Check it out and add your tips! –Photo

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Choosing Love


I wish every day was dedicated to spreading love, not just a few. I fervently believe that love is a choice and a commitment. We choose to love or we choose not to love. Love is controllable; it does not just happen to us. And, if we only love others on and off like a light switch, or just on holidays, we do not love others like God wants us to love. Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32 NIV)

Anybody can love those who love them. Becoming a master lover means you learn to love the unlovable. It’s when you love people who don’t love you, when you love people who irritate you, when you love people who stab you in the back or gossip about you. – Rick Warren/Daily Hope

This may seem like an impossible task. That is why we need God’s love in us, so we can then love others: “We know and rely on the love God has for us.” (1 John 4:16 NIV)

When you realize how much God loves you — with an extravagant, irresistible, unconditional love — then his love will change your entire focus on life. If we don’t receive God’s love for us, we’ll have a hard time loving other people. I’m talking about loving the unlovely, loving the difficult, loving the irritable, loving people who are different or demanding.


Do not be misled, I still believe in lots of romance….and gifts… With Valentine’s Day coming up, here are a few ideas for spreading some love to your sweeties:

Valentine's Day

Valentino leather heels, $765/Love bracelets, $18/Elle Macpherson Intimates lace bra, $66/Pink Buttercup bouquet, $17/Godiva chocolate cigars, $15 /Moet Rose champagne, $60/Essie nail polish, $8.

Photos: 1, 2, 3

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Insta-Party: NYE 2013

NYE Collage

I began this year differently than most – with a bang – in hopes that it will end on an equally high note. I have given myself through the weekend to develop and finalize my personal 2013 plan. And, I look forward to growing and connecting with you this year. Happy and prosperous new year, and thank you for your continued readership and support. XOXO

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Volunteer Opportunity: Presidential Inauguration 2013


Be a part of history. The Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013 is seeking enthusiastic  volunteers for the upcoming inauguration activities. Sign up today!


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Snow Days

Gateway Market Day 009

It feels good to be back in the midwest. There’s not much snow here in Chicago. However, Iowa got a ton last week. The kids were out of school for two days! I miss snow days. These pictures are from a cold, snowy day in Iowa that my friend and I decided to go get lunch at Gateway Market Cafe in Des Moines and then play in the snow and test out my new camera.

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For Santa: Cookies + Riddle


Ginger Bread


The stockings are hung, the cookies are out. Christmas is in a few hours…goodnight!

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Happy Holidays from HOTP

Happy Holidays

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Chop Chop


My beauty operator talked me into cutting my hair recently. I love it! I’ve even gone shorter since these pics were taken last week. She’s also talked me into not getting a relaxer. It’s been 6 months. I don’t know how long that will last…that means sweating is not an option, which is  much more difficult than you might think. I started sweating yesterday eating a jalapeno! Plus, I’ve been all the way natural before, and it is just as difficult, if not more difficult to maintain. But, for now, I can’t stay out of the mirror. No complaints here! Will you change your look for the new year?





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December 8, 2012 – Ozio Lounge – The OUTFITTED: Holiday Pop-up Shop unites west coast fashion brands Penolope and Coco, Luv Aj, Plush, MINKPINK, and Virgo Downtown with east coast fashionistas for an afternoon of shopping, sipping, and mingling.

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Cocktails were created by mixologist and co-host Julie, cupcakes provided by Sprinkles, hair styling by Skylar, and beats by Jerz.

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Dear Santa: I Was Nice this Year

My 2012 Christmas Wishlist
Here’s what’s on my own personal wishlist: PRACTICAL: Alarm clock; Classic white blouse; floor mats; Macbook Pro; AFFORDABLE: Anthropologie bedding; Iris lacquer box; J. Crew gift card; Zara gift card; Victoria’s Secret gift card; STOCKING STUFFER: Clean Warm Cotton perfume; Rachel Roy star charm bracelet ; ASOS Dogeared charm bracelet; Personalized ring; Beaded stackable ring; Grace candle; Business card holder; LUXURY: Chanel handbag; Antler wheeled luggage; Michele watch; Find many more ideas on my “gift ideas” Pinterest board!
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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Holiday Gift Guide: For Him
PRACTICAL: New Era Chicago Bulls fitted hat; Garrett popcorn; Phone and Card holder; Gun coffee mug; AFFORDABLE: Alexander Wang playing cards; The Social Animal book; Three Wise Men stackable flask; Nerdz Gone Wild Tees; STOCKING STUFFER: Bose earbuds; Baxter of California double edge safety razor; The Future Perfect Endeavor single bracelet; LUXURY: Alexander Wang leather short shorts; Belstaff Roadmaster waxed jacket; Grenson Fred leather brogue boots; Find many more ideas on my “gift ideas” Pinterest board!
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