Month: January 2018

Purple Shawl + Maroon Boots

Lately I’ve been all about jewel tones in both my fashion and makeup. Although color palate rules are no longer a “thing” anymore, I certainly still get a rush from wearing these shades in colder months.

Today’s look was entirely pieced together around this beautiful printed shawl. The deep purple color looks absolutely beautiful in the rich velvet. The sheer abstract floral pattern adds another dimension of color.

In similar fashion to my last shawl ensemble, I kept things simple by pairing it with jeans and a turtleneck. However, saw this as the perfect opportunity to wear my maroon over the knee boots.

Faux suede never looked so good, lol. Hope you’re enjoying your day loves, catch you later!

Shawl//Marshall’s , Top//Uniqlo , Jeans//H&M , Boots//Liliana

Money Matters: What to Know about Cryptocurrency?

Let me start by saying this is a very sensitive subject, due to the fact that many people don’t understand this “investment” and have a very skewed view of Cryptocurrency as a whole. So I may speak in bullet points and, at times, repeat a point to destroy any possibility of misunderstanding. My goal is to ensure folks have a clear understanding of what “this” is.

  •  Digital currency to date, is not regulated ( meaning not insured, not covered by FDIC, or backed by any other economy) and very few banks or financial institutions recognize it, if any, at all. The most popular digital currency is “Bitcoin”. Thus, crytocurrency is NOT Bitcoin; it is rather one of many crytocurrenices.
  • Other popular types include Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano and Litecoin. Next cryptocurrency is internet based and tracking is done by “block chains” which in the simplest terms is a ledger tracking all transactions digitally.
  • Lastly, there are few ways to access your “coin” when you’re ready to withdraw. Most popular at this time seems to be cryptocurrency ATMs. There are few located here in my city of Philadelphia, but not many are aware of this, unless you are in the know.
My overall point on this, I’ve always been a fan of tech advancement, however this is an EXTREMELY high risk option. I would advise everyone to approach this the same way you do any investment. Determine your risk threshold, funds available to lose, and lastly “Do I have a clear understanding of my investment”.  Cryptocurrency is comparable to “day trading”. To date, there have been 3 major digital currencies heists; most recently the $500+ million heist this past week.
My advice to you, read the financial news at least 3 times a day, listen and look for trends in the market, and research the trends so you have a better understanding of what is going on in the world of money.
I thank you for your time and consideration these last four weeks. It has been a my pleasure to share what I know with you all.
– Jay
Time is only money when you know your value….so what is your time worth?

Money Matters: The Truth About Credit Cards

Chances are you or someone you know has owned a credit card. It seems that over years, credit cards have gotten a bad reputation. However, if used properly, a credit card can be a great financial tool. Here are few things you need to know should you decide to use one for yourself:


1. Secured vs unsecured- The difference? Secured cards require you to deposit money first, usually your limit is directly linked to the amount of deposit. This is a great opportunity CREATE credit! A good rule of thumb is to never use more then 30% of your limit ( if your a BOSS, then you know you use only 6-7% of your credit line). For example, if your credit card limit is $500 than your max usage should be $150 monthly. Also, 6 months of EARLY credit card payments, NOT on time payments,  should bring you closer to the option of unsecured. Unsecured cards are credit driven, the better your FICO score better the odds of approval.

2. Pre-approval vs approved- If you’ve ever received a pre-approval letter in the mail please know that this credit card issuer has made a soft inquiry into your credit file and believes you may be a fit for one their cards. The question is, does this card fit me? What are the benefits? What is the  interest rate? Are there reward programs? Do I care about what they are offering?
3. Be in the know- Having a lot of credit cards is not a sign of great credit. Rather it really just shows a lack of self control. How many cards does one need? Well, your lifestyle should determine the answer. If you frequent Walmart, then having a Walmart credit is justified versus having a credit card you never use. Remember, the issuer gets paid off of the USE of the card. If your account lacks activity, then they may simply cancel the card. After all, what is the point in having a credit card and showing a line of credit which translates into debt on your credit report if your not going to use it??
– Jay
As always…Time is only money when you know the value of your time. 

Mink + Velvet

You’d have to be living on a deserted island not to notice that velvet is THE fabric of the season. Sandals, sweats, tees, boots… it’s everywhere, and it’s functional. Few fabrics just ooze luxury and take me back to Joan Collins Dynasty era glam like velvet.

A while back I scored this velvet faux-wrap dress from Burlington Coat Factory while searching for the perfect dress for a Christmas party. The party was canceled shortly after but this dress was mine to slay. I’m in love with way the rich hunter green color looks on my skin tone. The soft velvet gathers beautifully across the waist and drapes along the left leg.

I decide to go full on eighties vibes and add my vintage chestnut mink jacket and vintage chain link purse. Instead of the usual black pump I took a risk and opted for black lycra boots  and added gold earrings to finish the look. I totally plan on wearing this again for a visit to the Opera. What say you, how would you style a similar dress? Leave a comment below!

Dress//Calvin Klein , Jacket//Saga Furs , Boots//Anne Michelle

Money Matters: Assets vs. Liabilities

Welcome back young world, I appreciate you taking time away from your busy schedule to so let’s jump right into this week’s topic “Assets vs. Liabilities: Income producing vs. Bill Pay”.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s tax season – a time when you get to see a snapshot of your past year’s income. Are you surprised by how much or how little you earned? Were you not aware of how much taxes you paid? Or like most, are you simply asking “Where did it all go?”.
The simplest way to determine if something is an asset or liability is to realize anything that DOES NOT increase your income or eliminates an expense is a liability. This same rule should apply in your relationships – friends and family should have a healthy increase, provided you know the proper definition of increase. Let’s say you want to buy a house. I get it BUT it is a liability UNTIL the year ends and you’re able to write off part of the mortgage & insurance. Remember, 2018 tax rules have changed. Using our example of home ownership, here’s how to go about it:
1. Do your research – The price of the home should be lower then the value of the home. Why? INSTANT EQUITY. If the home appraised (valued) at $180k and you purchased it for $125k then you currently have equity in your home in the amount of $55k. Please hear me: BUYING A HOME IS ONLY A DEAL IF YOU GET IT FOR LESS THEN IT’S WORTH – PERIOD. I don’t care about how much you make or the “deal” they are offering if it’s over priced then you have left yourself open to being “underwater”. (Google the term, can’t give it to you for free)
2. Be financially honest with yourself – Can I afford this? What will it truly cost me? Overtime should NOT be a way of life, neither should constantly borrowing from others. These are 2 red flags that clearly show you can’t afford your current position & future position. Over the past few years I’ve had to be okay with others having opinions about my finances based on their point of view of money. The more I curbed my spending and redirected my money, the more I saw the misdirection of others’ finances.
3. It’s not about how much money you have, it’s how much you can afford to spend – Never become prideful of your finances. After all, it’s only money. I was joking with a friend of mine who is extremely wealthy. He asked about my income and I told him it was nowhere near his fortune. He leaned back in the chair in my office, laughed, and waved me off.  “You only need 1 or 2 million. Anything more and people change”, he said.  Now this individual’s net worth is that of an entire NBA team, yet he tells me I only need 1-2 million?!! I say again, NEVER become so prideful of your income, your money saved, or the cost of a thing. In your bragging, what you are truly sharing is how much you over spent.
Remember time is only money when you know the value of your time.
– Jay

Money Matters: What you think you know about money.

Hi there! My name is Jay Johnson and for the next four weeks we’ll be discussing something you hold very dear – your money. January is financial wellness month and as a banking professional it has become clear to me that money (the need, usage, amount, acquiring and maintaining of it) has become somewhat of task for many. Over the next few weeks my goal is to burn and bury some of the myths that have kept you bound in fear of money and all the opportunities you should have.

Let’s start with the thoughts that may be guiding your decisions first:
1. “I don’t need a lot of money just enough to ___ ”
For starters, they lied to you and you lied to yourself. To believe this statement means that essentially all bills are fully paid without hesitation, 1 year’s worth of savings at the ready ( in the event of job loss, spouse death, or emergencies), pension/retirement is fully funded, home is free & clear, yearly taxes are paid on time (yes, you can still lose your home even though you have fully paid it off due to taxes i.e. a lien) insurance policies paid, inflation protected, passive income grows with the cost of living, your assets allocated, estate planned, AND your children’s college education is fully funded.
Let me ask, do you know how much you need to retire? Remember, YOU said “I don’t need much.”
2. Never thinking past your current position in life.
Do you work without expectation? There are 24 hours in a day, how is your time spent? Time is only money when you know the cost and value of YOUR time. 
3. Opinions about other people’s money.
Why? Does it increase your finances? Or credit score? Better yet, what are you doing to increase either? My advice to you, never have an opinion about something/someone that is not connected to you, it’s a cost that you can’t afford.
In the next three weeks I will share more about you and your money… until next time.
Rich is the cause, wealth is the reaction. 
– Jay

Dark denim + Plaid Stole

I generally love the beauty and festivity of the holidays, especially during the winter. I enjoyed this past holiday season for many reasons. I spent Thanksgiving indoors and under covers cuddling my husband. We decided against turkey dinner in favor of dry rub barbecue. No dinner hopping from one house to another, just the two of us and a slew of movies. Surprisingly no one protested or made a fuss. I guess it was to be expected, being newlyweds and all.  Christmas was also a treat because we opted for a Christmas Eve lunch at one of our favorite restaurants instead of a traditional pot luck dinner on Christmas day.

After lunch we took some time to explore center city Philadelphia and take a tour of Christmas Village, the city’s beautiful outdoor holiday market modeled after traditional Christmas markets in Germany. Over 80 booths comprise the village with everything from Belgian waffles and bratwurst to hand crafted ornaments and jewelry. This year I saw more diversity among the merchants including some African skin care lines. It was definitely a wonderful way to spend time with one another, begin new family traditions, and make pleasant memories with our 11 year old daughter.

While I had plenty of cider and cocoa to keep me warm I still opted for jeans instead of a dress. I used one of my favorite plaid blanket scarves as the focal point and just layered from there. I paired this red silk top with dark denim skinnies and my black riding boots. This blanket scarf is advertised as a two-way stole but I’m sure I can think additional ways to style this piece. This was the perfect outfit for a day of exploring. I like to think that it was a great introduction to a new season and that it set the tone for a beautiful 2018. How did you spend your holiday? Tell me in the comments below!

Scarf//Uniqlo , Blouse/Jeans//H&M , Boots//Clark’s

2017 Style Star : Cardi B

Cheers to the New Year folks! I’ve had a little hibernation but I pray you and yours had a lovely holiday season. Our first order of business for the new year is the reveal of my annual star. First introduced last year, you may recall my 2016 pick was the beautiful Zendaya Coleman. All throughout the year I kept my eyes peeled for the woman who consistently “stole the show”. Be it a new kid on the block, fashion veteran, or a quirky rebel. I believe my choice for 2017 Style Star is one we can all agree on – the funny and fabulous Cardi B.

First of all, NO ONE has had a better year than this self proclaimed regular schmegular girl from the Bronx. Cardi captured Love & Hip Hop fans with her down to earth personality and quickly became one of the most beloved celebrities of the year. Cardi’s single “Bodak Yellow” broke industry records by topping the Hot 100 for three weeks, making it the second solo hip-hop number-one single by a female artist in the chart’s history, behind Lauryn Hill‘s “Doo Wop“. In week 26 on the chart, the song re-entered the top 10 with her other singles “MotorSport” and “No Limit”, making Cardi B the third act, behind The Beatles and Ashanti to place their first three chart entries in the top 10 simultaneously.

No matter how you feel about Cardi’s lyrical content, her provocative outfits, or her skills as an M.C. you can’t deny that she owned the sidewalks and the catwalks this year. Front row at all the biggest NYFW shows with her loud crazy laugh, Cardi represented for the ’round the way fashionistas across the country. For the girls who are just as comfortable in Giuseppe Zanotti heels as they are in Steve Madden. 

I should mention that my 2017 runner up was the beautiful, talented, consistent veteran Tracee Ellis Ross. I mean, sheesh, what a babe! So what say you? Did I get it right this year? Drop me a comment below and let’s chat.

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