Book Review: The Bomb Life by Claire Sulmers

In Beauty, Body Positive, Fashion, Inspiration, Interviews

*DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT SPONSORED/NOR WAS I GIVEN THE BOOK. These opinions are 1000% my own*


It was the first week out of school, and I was anxious to delve into something that has NOTHING to do with Urban Policy. Enter: The Bomb Life.

Two weeks ago, I attended Claire Sulmers’ “Conversations with Claire.” And while the conversations were fruitful and the drinks were flowing, I wanted to learn more about the Fashion Bomb brand and how Claire rose to be the force that she is today. At the time, I wasn’t curious about being a boss, bombshell, and beauty–but after reading her book, I realized that I have potential to be someone/something more. Also, since I was featured on Fashion Bomb Daily in the past,  so you already know my interests were piqued before attending the event. Before we get into the book, just wanted to give a little bio on the Fashion Bomb Daily:

Created in August 2006 by journalist Claire Sulmers, Fashion Bomb Daily provides daily doses of chic to savvy stylistas. Recognizing there were few print and online sources for multicultural fashion, Claire took her interests in style and writing to create the number one online destination for global chic seekers with a penchant for all things fabulous. Readers log on to The Fashion Bomb for its fresh takes on fashion news and stories, along with its boutique spotlights, exclusive editorials, magazine scans, fashion show reviews, trends, wardrobe advice, celebrity looks for less, and tips on how to break into the industry from the best in the business.With 2.4 million monthly visitors, The Fashion Bomb made Ebony Magazine’s 2011 Power 100 List, while Claire was named Black Blogger of the Month by Black Enterprise, and was dubbed Blogger of the Moment by Teen Vogue. Well respected in the industry, The Fashion Bomb has been referenced in New York Magazine, featured in Glamour, and quoted in Time. Claire is a regular contributor to Essence.com and Vogue.it.

BOSS right? Now, I know that this life isn’t for everyone. In fact, I am starting to realize that this life may not be for me, either. But, if there’s anything that I learned from The Bomb Life, it’s the power of hard work, sacrifice, gut instinct, and playing the part! In this stunning memoir and self-help book, she tells what she had to do to get to the top, and offers aspiring bloggers and digital influencers tips on how to monetize their sites, build an audience, and ultimately live the Bomb Life.

-Sets the scene-

When I first picked up the book, I was commuting to-day 1 of my Fair Housing Training in Washington, DC. Eager to finally read something that didn’t come from a course catalog, I immediately started to flip the titles of The Bomb Life. I saw that the book wasn’t lengthy so I committed myself to two chapters a day. The first chapter immediately hooked me in. Claire’s life reminded me of mine. Not only is she Haitian, but her parents worked hard to send her to private schools. Claire’s humble beginnings show that she was brilliant and stayed true to who she was–much like myself. She had her fair share of bullies, over-wore her “most popular” item in her closet and had to deal with parents who were “anti your creative dream”. I know this all too well because my mom loved her some bargains and still doesn’t know why I blog. Suffice to say, they usually come around.

As I continued to read, she started to find out who she really wanted to be. She went to Harvard and killed it; she persisted in finding opportunities to advance herself in the field of journalism, and then she took the leap of faith that I still have yet to carry out: the move to NY. From there, she landed a gig as an intern for a well-known publication, but still faced the issues of working in an “it’s who you know/who knows you” industry. But the endearing part of it all is, that never stopped her. She kept working hard!

Picture Creds: Comme Coco

From gatecrashing high-end fashion shows to walking around the streets of Paris to find the most stylish people for Vogue.fr, Claire was on a mission! I found her passion for fashion, her reasonable application of life’s lessons, and even her lust for creating her own lane inspiring. Even when reading about her love story gone wrong, it made her seem more REAL. Once you’ve read about her drug dealing ex-boyfriend, you might instantly start seeing similarities lol …not that I dated a drug dealer…I’ll shut up now.

All while Claire launched her blog Fashion Bomb Daily, she was still working her way to the top. She multi-tasked, wrote blog posts until wee hours of the night/morning, faced the backlash from other bloggers, took rejection from MANY people in the industry, put herself out in the mainstream, and to this day, SHE’S STILL ROCKING IT! Knowing me, I probably would have stopped.

Pic Creds: Fashion Bomb Daily

Because this is a relatively short book (or maybe it’s short for me because I am used to reading 1500 pages a week for school), I kept the synopsis short and sweet! I really urge you to buy the book and read it on your own. Why? Well here are five reasons why reading The Bomb Life is GOALS! 

Faith

Any book that includes even a bit of prayer/trust in God GETS ME! Even though I am trying to figure out who I am today, I am grateful for the lessons that God teaches me along the route. I know that everyone doesn’t ascribe to a specific faith, but I honestly don’t know where I would be without HIM.

Letters to Younger Self

At the end of the book, Claire writes letters to her younger self. Those letters are POWERFUL! No, they aren’t written in prolific conundrums or use crazy rhetorical devices, but instead, her letters give clear examples of how to learn to love yourself better, learn to wait for love (my biggest challenge) learn to trust the process and learning that the world is yours for the taking.

Blogging/Digital Influencer Advice

To be honest y’all, I’ve been sitting on the fence with this whole blogging thing. Social media is double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can make your coins, connect with others around the globe, and even gain valuable knowledge or today’s news. But on the contrary, you can feel really shitty about yourself. You subject yourself to developing low self-esteem, the feeling of having to keep up the Joneses, and I’ve been in positions where social media has affected my relationships. Scary right? But Claire provides a positive spin on social media. From tips on a establishing your domain to ways to marketing yourself better, Claire drops two chapters of gems SPECIFICALLY to social media + brand building.  But, if you read the book from cover to cover, you will see the book is just oozing with gems on how to build your brand OVERALL.

Personal Appearance Advice

Every time I see Claire, she looks AMAZING! One time I saw her on the plane at 5 am and she looked like she just came back from a hot date! Admittedly, I looked like a hobo, so I didn’t even try to say hi. However, in her novel, she speaks on how she consulted with image consultants and brand experts to refine her look. She gives advice on how to play up your features and to always be “ON” because you never know who’s watching. Who knows, if Claire looked the way I was looking that day I saw her at the ATL airport, I probably wouldn’t have noticed her. So what am I doing now? BUDGETING–budgeting my wardrobe, hair, makeup, and nails. For a while, I was trying to dress sexier so that my love interest would lust over me like all the girls he fawns over. But in the midst of that, I failed lol. I tried to be sexy with a hint of who I am at the core. So imagine Blair Waldorf meets a BBW entertainer? YEA! To that end, in the next few weeks, I’m going to take you on an interactive journey with my image consultant.

Staying True to You

In Claire’s book, she gave so many examples where she could’ve been petty, foul, and even threw a wad of cash in people’s faces. But, that’s not who she is. From sleuthing interns to over zealous bloggers, Claire maintained her composure, didn’t have sleep with anyone to get where she is, and kept it pushing! It’s hard to maintain who you are once you enter an industry. I’ve watched bloggers and models who were so down to earth become some of the most unpleasant people to be around. In fact, one of them is —oops, Claire advises against talking bad about others…nothing but bad karma ensues.— Don’t let the fame and fortune get to you.

I give this book an A+! 

For content, readability, real life application, and complete honesty! If you haven’t already bought her book, head to the website to check it out!

Until next time,
Char!

Classic White Denim. JD Williams Edit

In Personal Style

White denim jeans have always been on my to-do list, but since I’m so accident prone I typically shy away from them. Now that I’ve accepted my clusmy nature, I finally got the guts to start wearing them more. I wanted to buy some jeans on saw on Fashion Nova, but I hate seeing my cellulite popping out of bright colored pants—last time someone asked me if my jeans had a ribbed effect–no lady, it’s my braille! So here’s to Spring flowers and the white denim jeans that I’m rocking all Spring and Summer! And of course, JD Williams FTW!!

Plus Size Blogger wearing JD Williams

Aren’t they cute? And I did not smooth out the cellulite either–they are naturally great quality pants!

Plus Size Blogger wearing JD Williams

Also, my floral top from JD Williams is going to be a closet staple too. So far, I’ve styled it 4 ways and I believe there’s potential to do more! It a hybrid faux off-the-shoulder dress…therefore you can wear it with a bra!

Plus Size Blogger wearing JD Williams

And my purse though??? Wherever there are tassels, there’s Chardline! I am going to break this out in the Fall because I see a potential camel colored jacket ensemble in the near future.

 

Plus Size Blogger wearing JD Williams

My Cape Robbin shoes from Amazon are almost out of commission! I legit live in them–along with my headwrap from Amazon! There’s something about pink attributes and Spring time that makes me feel nostalgic of my summers in Montreal!

Plus Size Blogger wearing JD Williams

So how do you feel about it? Are you feeling my Spring / Summer Vibes?? Let me know!!

Want the look??

Shirt: JD Williams // Pants: JD Williams // Purse: JD Williams // Shoes: Amazon Fashion // Head Wrap: Amazon Fashion

Until next time,

Char.

Plus Size blogger wearing JD Williams

This post is sponsored by JD Williams. All opinions are mine

5 Reasons Why I Am Martine Chanel’s Daughter

In Body Positive, Personal Style

There’s only one person that can get me post on Sundays: My Momma! My mother is my hero & it took me all of 27 years to realize it. My mom and I spent so much time screaming at each other, that we never really took the time to understand each other. I always assumed she was crazy (still do) but now that I’m a bit older and wiser, I realize that we act this way because we are the same.

So, in honor of my mom that I love 365 days a year, I wanted to write this open letter to her with five reasons why we are the same person:

Dear Mommy,
First off, thanks for all the sacrifices that you made to give me a BOMB life. You sent us to the best schools and always made sure we didn’t go to school looking crusty! Thank you for not allowing us to go to the sleepovers my classmates had because…well I would be going on child number 5 while smoking two packs a day! You are the real MVP for that! I know we spend a lot of time bickering, but I’ve come to realize we are the same people…always thinking the same–even if we want to deny it. Half of the quarrels are a result of us trying to prove a point just to play devil’s advocate. I always resented the thought of growing up to be like you, but now I’m sort of glad that I am relishing in your path. I know exactly who to consult for schooling, work problems, and even fashion. In many ways, you know me better than I know me–even if I pretend like you don’t.
Thanks for being the mirror that I need when I am power tripping or self-loathing. Thanks for always reinforcing God in my life because, with HIM, I would be totally lost!

Lastly, thank you for respecting how I chose to worship God…I know it was hard watching your daughter go from Baptism-Confirmation, just to end up where she is today. Thanks for letting me be my OWN person but still having a firm hand in my development. You are probably thinking, WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM? Well, to confuse you even more, I listed five reasons why we are the same…who knows, you might actually agree with me (for once).

We love Eloquii– To date, this is the only brand where we both look forward to shopping on Fridays. We surprise each other with what we found and then think of places we could wear them. I don’t even share this type of obsession with my friends.

We don’t take smack from guys– You are the reason why I have a backbone when it comes to dealing with guys. Watching you tell off guys that were disrespectful was a sight to see. Even if a guy called you “honey,” you corrected them because it wasn’t your name. Today, it’s damn near impossible for me to stick around a disrespectful guy because my MOMMA DIDN’T TAKE NO SHIT!

God is first ’nuff said!

We throw down– 9 times out of 10, we would rather cook for our food than paying for others to do it. Let’s face it; we cook way better!

We love hard in our very Chanel way– We don’t know how to explain it, but we love each other like enemies and friends at the same time. We go hard for each other and respect each other’s space.

 

All in all, I got lucky with this lady!
Love you mom!

Thanks to Eloquii for providing our looks for my mom’s special day! We are Eloquii loyalists!!

Pleated Maxi Dress: Here

Cold Should Mock Neck Dress: Here

Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21

NOT SAFE FOR WORK

In Body Positive, Personal Style

*Warning: NSFW – This is a positive experience of what my life has been looking like…with 7-10 f-bombs*


I know what all of you might be thinking: She hasn’t posted since April 25th, and now she’s going to walk up in here and start posting like nothing happened? Well…yea! Now that school is out for the summer, it’s time to unwind and have some real fun. These past few months have been especially trying. I was sick 60% of the time, I lost 17 lbs then gained 26lbs, I think I consumed an accumulative 1 gallon of water, I picked up a bad hookah habit, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster, my weave is already fucked up, I was leaving my school library at 12 am most days, I probably cleaned my room two times,  etc.

Yea, life was crazy. However, I learned to count my blessings and keep it moving! If there’s anything I learned from this semester, it’s that God got me and that I should do a better job taking care of my well-being. I mean…A MUCH BETTER JOB! So next semester, I’m gonna do things a little differently. Three weeks before school, I’m going to form habits around healthy and positive living. This includes: sleeping at 11 pm, drinking a gallon of water a day, making sure I commit to physical activity twice a week, nix the hookah, and engage in healthy communication with my loved ones. Even if I start there, slowly but surely I know I will get my shit in order…maybe.

To that end, I had to post these photos because I legit forgot who the fuck I was. My hair has been a mess, my clothing choice –> abysmal, and I stopped taking sexy pictures of myself because I haven’t felt sexy! To me, it’s important to feel yourself from time to time because if you don’t, you’re leaving it to some fuck boy to feel it for you. So here’s to remembering who the fuck I am and why I started blogging, to begin with.

Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21 Plus Size Blogger wearing Forever 21

Bodysuit: Here / /  Duster: Sold out, similar here / /  Pants: Here (I am a size 22, I am wearing a 3x. They have amazing stretch!)  / / Shoes: Sold out, similar here // Bag: Here

Until next slay,

Chardline.

Plus Size Bloggers Shopping at Savers

Sustainable Fashion is In #RethinkReuse

In Personal Style

With six days left in Earth Month, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a post on my latest passion: Sustainable Living. Early this year, I decided to not only get my Masters in City Planning, but I’ve also decided to pursue a graduate certificate in Applied Sustainability. Prior to taking my course in Actionable Sustainability, I thought this field would be all about hugging trees and possibly learn how to grow a plant or two. With two weeks left, I am learning that I contribute the growing problem of climate change in the world. By the year 2030, things won’t be the same…I think the temperate weather is already schooling us.

With my business as usual behaviors, i.e., Multiple hair salon visits, constant shopping for brand new clothing and destroying them, taking uber to go everywhere, etc., I am responsible for leaving a huge carbon footprint in the ozone layer.  When Savers reached out to me about the possibility of doing sharing the great news on sustainable fashion, it felt like one of those ominous signs from God that screamed DO IT! And of course, I had to get the squad in on this too! Now I admit, I shop a lot. Whether it’s online or in store, I go HARD! But after reading these facts as it relates to Boston, it made me look at things differently:

1. Despite the state-wide initiative launched last year to reduce a number of textiles going to landfills, 63 percent of Boston area respondents admitted that they still threw their used clothing in the trash, 9 percent higher than the national average.

2. Most of these people (66 percent) did so because they didn’t think any donation center would take it.

3. The good news is that 76 percent agreed that “If I better understood how my actions hurt or helped the planet, I would be more likely to make environmentally conscious decisions vs. I understand how my actions hurt or helped the planet, but I am not willing to change my lifestyle.”

4. As for donation motivations, 49 percent of Bostonians donated used clothing and household goods to help their local community, while 12 percent do so to help the environment.

So instead of trashing my clothes, I am going to start donating at my local Savers! Also, instead of shopping online all the time, I’m gonna start biking or walking to my local Savers as well. If there’s anything I can do to help the Earth, I am all for it.

With that said, the ladies and I decided to challenge each other in creating the most self-expressive outfits while shopping at Savers.

After we were done, VOILA!

Plus Size Bloggers Shopping at Savers

With the exception of my jeans, my entire look was from Savers. From my vintage duster to fur purse, I scored my entire look for 20.00 dollars and helped the environment in the process. I loved that we were able to express ourselves all in one store. From vintage to rugged, we all have an aesthetic that we were able to recreate at Savers.

So are you convinced? Make sure you donate your unwanted clothing/household goods at Savers! I’m committing to giving three bags every season! How about you?

Make sure you check out the squad’s posts as well! Genevieve, Stavana, Bianca, and Veronica.