Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

I talk with Fitness Magazine on taking truly transformative risks!

Flipping through Fitness Magazine‘s March issue you’ll find an article about ditching your rut and transforming with change … You may even notice a name you know … How delightful it was to be interviewed for such an inspiring piece! Some say life is too short to be unhappy, how about more it’s too long!

Ready for a Change? Read the article exclusively here. If it inspires just one person to stop what they are doing and go for their dreams than it’s a success. 


Please Pardon Our Appearance!

We are still rebuilding things here at Possess Your Style after an unfortunate hack.  My media guru used her awesome web 2.0 skills to eliminate the hack and clean the site up.  But unfortunately, we ran into a few more hiccups.  Hence our interim appearance. Thanks again for your patience!

Stylishly yours,


Pardon Our Appearance . . .

We’ve been M.I.A. for the past couple of weeks because Possess Your STYLE was hijacked by a pharmaceutical hack.  Fortunately, my media guru used her awesome web 2.0 skills to eliminate the hack and clean the site up.  Hence our interim appearance.  Since our look has changed a bit, I’ve decided to give the blog a little facelift.  Expect to see the blog back in full-swing after Turkey Day.  And as always, thanks for your patience!

Stylishly yours,


Are You PINteresting?

Ok, I admit it.  I’m slightly addicted to Pinterest. Never heard of it?  Not to fear, like Instagram, it is slowly gaining momentum beyond dedicated users of twitter and Facebook. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago, voted it one of the 50 best websites.  So what is it? Pinterest is a visual virtual social sharing pin board.  Put simply, it’s a virtual pin board of your very own.  Haven’t you been wishing for something just like this? How many times a day do you come across an image or item on the internet that you want to save, not bookmark a page but save an actual image?  Well, although Pinterest was only launched 17 months ago (it’s still in Beta mind you), it seems as if its three creators – Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp – have their fingers on the pulse.

How does it work?  You add a “Pin It” button to your bookmarks bar and each time you find an image you want to pin, you click the button and choose which pin board you want to add it to.  So, if you’re interested, follow my pins here or email me for an invitation.

Happy 4th of July!

From Paris With Love

Paris Postcard

Stylish Legend | Lena Horne

Lena Horne died on Sunday, May 9th, at the age of 92.  My first memory of Lena Horne is from The Muppet Show.  As a child, I remember watching her on The Muppet Show and being awed by her presence – she seemed soooo nice and soooo beautifully elegant to me.  I was too young to know that she was revered as a ground-breaking singer, actress and civil rights activist.  Then, a few years later, she was Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz; the “urbanized” retelling of one of my favorite books,  L. Frank Baum‘s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

By the time The Wiz came out, I was just old enough to realize that Lena Horne was someone special.  Born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, Lena Horne’s career in show business began at the tender age of 16 as a chorus girl at The Cotton Club.  In 1942, she became the first African-American to be put under contract by a major movie studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, after refusing to pass for a Latina.  As beautiful as she was, she was resentful that she got parts because of the way she looked.  The more I learned about her the more I was intrigued.

While movies helped to put her on the map, it was her singing and political activism that we’ll all remember her for.  Well, that and her beauty; although, I’m not sure her looks are what she would want to be remembered for.  Lena Horne’s outspokenness wrapped in her graceful presence helped to teach me a very valuable lesson  - Beauty is only skin deep; what truly matters is who you are and what you are about.

Her life touched millions; she definitely touched mine as an awkward, gangly pre-teen with braces.  When she was singing Believe in Yourself to Dorothy in The Wiz, I thought she was singing to me – telling me to believe in myself just as she believed in me.  Thank you, Lena!  Rest In Peace.

Letting the Joy Unfold

Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey.

I read this on my BFF Portia’s refrigerator magnet last weekend while visiting her in D.C.  It made me pause for a moment as I reflected on the truth of such a simple statement.  I’d just had the most amazing day in D.C.; a trip that I took on a whim. I decided to go to D.C. Friday mid-morning and I arrived in D.C. at Union Station Saturday early morning. We had all sorts of plans. First on the agenda was a tour of the city from the luxury of P’s car.  Then shopping at three different locales (consignment, outlet and the good ole regular mall), our favorite past-time. And finally, we planned to cap the night off with dinner and drinks at some swanky D.C. hotspot.

In reality? Well, it had been almost a year since we’d spent any quality time together in person.  2009 was a whirlwind for each of us – my wedding and her appointment by President Obama (I know, pretty cool, right?!?!?!) meant that neither of us had much free time last year.  So, while there was so much we wanted to do, we did what we needed to do. We lazed around the house, watched Kimora Lee Simmons, our favorite reality tv star whose Fabulosity kept us in stitches, and caught up.  We did finally leave the house and got our shop on, so much so that the last store we were in turned the lights out while we were paying for our purchases (we made it to 2 of our 3 destinations). Night out on the town?  Yeah, right. We’d tired ourselves out and needed our second wind for the next morning.

Originally, Sunday am was going to consist of lazing around like we used to in our dorm room, brunch with Bloody Marys and more catching up.  But, that plan changed at about 7:30 pm Saturday night when one of P’s friends sent a text to see if she was free to go to brunch at The Supreme Court (Yes, that Supreme Court) being hosted by Justice Sotomayor.  Unbelieveable, right? I used to believe that this kind of stuff only happens in movies until it happened to me. Portia graciously thanked her friend Mike for the invite, but turned it down explaining that I was in town so she wouldn’t be able to attend (a good friend, right?). Undeterred, Mike responded back with a simple question, “what’s her last name?”

Now mind you, I’d packed for shopping, drinks & dinner and then brunch.  I’m usually packed for just about any eventuality that I can possibly perceive (rain, cold, club vs lounge), but meeting one of the Supremes was not on my packing checklist.  When P got Mike’s text with that simple question, she turned to me and said, “Girl, you’d better buy a dress you can wear to The Supreme Court tomorrow just in case. Mike rarely asks for info unless it’s going to be put to good use. I think were going to The Supreme Court tomorrow.”

So, I bought a dress as the store manager was turning the lights out. We left the outlet mall dog tired, but high on sugar from our stop at the dollar store. We stopped for a quick bite to eat and then headed home to pass out. Visions of the Supremes all but forgotton and replaced with visions of a heavenly bed.

We got home and there was a message from Mike, “You’re both on the list. Starts at 11:30, ends at 2. C u there.”  Then the panic ensued. OMG! We had to get up and get moving in the am.  Brunch at 11:30 am at The Supreme Court meant we had to be ready to walk out the door no later than 11 am.  And did I mention, Justice Sotomayor was hosting?  We got there at 11:30 on the nose. Made it through security, got our names checked off on the list, signed the photo waiver and were taken to the second floor.  We passed the “courtroom” where the Supremes sit and cases like Brown vs. Board and Marbury vs. Madison had been argued.  I was in complete awe from the moment the cab dropped us in front of The Supreme Court.

Although I’m no longer a practicing lawyer, I’m still a lawyer.  My husband is a lawyer, my BFFs are lawyers and many of my friends are lawyers whether practicing or not.  Like all lawyers, I spent three years in law school reading cases written by the esteemed Justices of The Supreme Court (I affectionately call them The Supremes).  Believe it or not, walking in the hallowed halls of the building and see the courtroom where those cases were decided was absolutely AWESOME!  I was high on a cocktail of excitement and adrenaline.

We were ushered into a private reception room off to the side of the courtroom and there she was, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.  The first woman of color to sit on The Bench.  Amazing.  Even more amazing was that the reception room was filled with faces that looked just like mine.  Now, remember, we’d received a text message the night before with an invitation to a brunch but with no information about the brunch.  I leaned around one of the servers passing hor d’oeuvres to ask another guest what the occasion was and learned that it was the culmination of The Kennedy Center’s Joyful Sounds: Gospel Across America week.  Most of the attendees had been at the Kennedy Center the night before for some sort of gala event.  As we chatted with more folks, we learned that P’s friend Mike had been the keynote speaker.  Did I mention that Mike is all of 27?

Mike arrived; I gave him a huge hug and thanked him for working his juice to include me in such an auspicious event.  And believe it or not, as we stood there talking to Mike, Justice Sotomayor made her way over to us! I kid you not; she and Mike had bonded the night before as fellow Bronx natives and Yankee fans.  She was chic in camel slacks, a red silk blouse and a red cashmere wrap flung elegantly around her shoulder just so.  In a room filled with pictures of austere white men, here was a woman I could relate to being funny and gracious and talking to me and my friends.  A sitting Justice of the Supreme Court that I could relate to! Talking to me, us.  WOW.  Wow.  She was cool.  No pretense, no old lady mannerisms, just cool.  Welcoming and interesting and cool. The memory of the experience is indelibly imprinted on my psyche.

Going to The Supreme Court for brunch is an experience that will forever be a part of my happiness journey.   What took meeting Justice Sotomayor from great to awesome was that it was so unexpected.  As I reflect back on last Sunday, I keep hearing Jill Scott singing “Livin’ my life like it’s golden, it really matters to me.” Life is Golden. Sometimes it may take someone else or something a little out of the ordinary to help us see how golden our “mundane” is, but my point here is that life’s ordinary moments really are golden.  Going to The Supreme Court for brunch was extraordinary.  But, while it seems like hanging out with my BFF was ordinary, that was really my golden moment. Meeting Justice Sotomayor was just the cherry on the top.  Spending quality time with a friend, playing with your kids in the yard, visiting your parents, etc. those truly are the golden moments in life.

So, as Jill says, “I’ll be high steppin’ y’all, lettin’ the joy unfold …”


The Overflowing Closet | Consignment Shops

Is your closet overflowing?  To some extent, we all have overflowing closets. Hopefully, your chaos is a little more organized than the closet pictured above.  By overflowing, I really mean do you just have too much stuff in your closet no matter how well organized it is?  Is your closet easy to navigate?  What if you needed a friend, or your spouse, to go through your closet to pack an overnight bag for you? Would he or she be able to find what you asked for easily?  Or, would it be like sending them into a labyrnith?  If it’s the latter, you’re not alone.

Believe it or not, cleaning out your closet is cathartic once you do it.  The process of culling is sometimes painful, but the end result makes the process worthwhile.  It feels great to get rid of things that no longer fit or things that you thought you were going to wear and you just never did.  It happens to the best of us.  Donating gently worn or used items is a win-win for all involved; one woman’s discards are another’s gold mine.

But, do you have some items that while you’re willing to part with, you’d feel better about letting go of if you could recoup a portion of your investment?  If so, you’re not alone.  Have you noticed the proliferation of consignment shops in the past few years?  Hello! Ebay.  Consignment shops are all over the place from virtual shops online to brick and mortar storefronts in some of the ritzier parts of town.

Consignment shops are second-hand stores that offer used goods at a lower cost than new. Many offer new items as well.   Typically, the consignment shop owner (seller) pays the consignor (you, the person who owns the item) a portion of the proceeds from the sale. Payment is not made until and unless the item actually sells. The consignor retains title to the item at all times, and can end the arrangement at any time by requesting return of the item. A specified period of time is commonly arranged, after which time if the item does not sell the owner can reclaim the item (or, if not reclaimed within a period of time, the seller can dispose of the item at his discretion).

If you decide to consign, pay close attention to the terms of consignment. Some shops take as much as 50% of the proceeds, while others will let you set your price and then add their percentage on top of your number to insure they get the commission they’re seeking.  The general rule of thumb seems to be a 60%-40% split – you get 60% and the seller get’s 40% (sometimes you can get as much as 70%).  Unfair?  No, not really. Yes, you own the item but the seller is the one working to get it sold.

I’ve done my fair share of consigning, but I must admit, I’ve gotten lazy. Finding the right shop, setting up the appointment to show the shop owner my goods, schlepping my goods to the shop (in New York traveling with more than just your tote bag is often more than a notion!), etc – these are things I no longer have much interest in doing unless I’m consigning something I paid a lot of money for.  So, what’s a girl to do?  That’s what I was trying to figure out last January during one of my seasonal closet cleanouts.  To the rescue? Julia’s Overflowing Closet. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Julia is a good friend of mine from college.  In an hour-long catch-up last January, Julia told me about a new business she’d started – an online consignment shop.  Kismet or what??!?!?

All I had to do was ship my clothes to her; she’d reimburse me for the shipping, and send me a check once my items sold. She explained that she pays for all fees associated with selling the item, she researches the item to determine the selling price, and she writes the description and takes pictures for the listing.  When the item sells, she ships it to the buyer.  To be honest, I’ve definitely thought about selling stuff on ebay, but I haven’t taken the steps to do it because there seem to be a lot of them.  Julia’s Overflowing Closet has been a godsend for me; it could be for you too.

If you’d like to learn more about Julia’s Overflowing Closet, please feel free to contact Julia directly.

Happy Consigning$$! Ca-ching!

Possess Your STYLE – Giveaway No.1

Thank you for all of the great comments – it was soooo good to hear from all of you!

Drumroll please . . . . And the winner is  . . . . Naima who deftly explained why she should win the Possess Your STYLE Minx manicure giveaway:

“Sadly, I had not heard of a Minx mani before today and assumed (prior to reading about it 2 minutes ago) that it would somehow involve fur, and despite my fur fetish felt it would look insane, but now I NEED one for my office sanity! Sounds like a great way to be quietly wild in the office (sort of moving beyond sexy lingerie under a suit!) . . . .”

Be sure to stay tuned, this is just the first of a number of giveaways for Possess Your STYLE.

I loved reading all of your comments!

Stay FAB and continue to Possess Your STYLE.

Stylishly yours,


Gift Wrapping – Make It Pretty

Although the economy is reportedly re-bounding, many of us are still conserving cash this holiday season which means that there may not be as many gifts under the Christmas tree on Friday.  Just because it may take less time and effort to undress the tree, doesn’t mean that the gifts underneath it shouldn’t be stylishly wrapped – make the presentation worthy of the present!  Think of it this way, creative gift wrap is an opportunity to express both yourself and how much the recipient means to you.

  • Go Green – Use all of your paper leftover from past years; to unify the presents use the same color bows and ribbons on each gift.  Or, gather those Whole Foods bags you’ve stashed away or the newspapers that have piled up.
  • Color Coordinate – If starting from scratch, buy a few rolls of a patterned paper along with a solid color that coordinates with the pattern.  Find bows and ribbon in a contrasting color.
  • Layer  Coordinating Papers – Mix and match patterns, colors, and textures. When wrapping your gift, begin with one pattern, then run a band of complementary paper around the center. Finish with a velvet ribbon for added texture.
  • Go Graphic – Don’t limit yourself to using papers with holiday motifs and colors.  Try mixing in nontraditional graphic designs that you can use year around.

If you’re looking for interesting, unique and beautiful gift wrapping paper, check out a few of these sites:  Cavallini & Co., Kate’s Paperie, and Pikku Wares.

A beautifully wrapped present heightens fun and anticipation!

Happy Holidays!!!

[image from Country Living]

Just Married . . .

Hello Readers!

I got hitched last night and am taking a few weeks off to honeymoon with my husband.  Possess Your STYLE will be back in your in-boxes on November 23rd and the official launch of my blog Wedding STYLE by Kalyn Johnson will take place then too!

Stylishly yours,