Love, Food, Travel

Tag: Houston

Mission: Level HER UP!      The Plan HER Conference 2019 Recap!

Mission: Level HER UP! The Plan HER Conference 2019 Recap!

Empowering. Driven. Compassion.

These are example words that usual represents the tone of a great women’s conference.


The thing is…the creators behind Pink Productions, Bri’Ann Stephens and Klarke Foreman, brought the 2nd Plan HER Conference 2019 to a whole ‘NOTHER level! Listen! I’m not talking about how my co-workers say ‘another‘ at my job. It’s more like when I hear my mom and my country Louisiana aunties laughing/talking about whatever news is out there.

“Girrrrrl, Anna ‘nother thing!” …

*20 points for you, if you said that with NO ISSUE LOL !*

Seriously, the conference surpassed my expectations! The ladies made this event into a great, multifaceted production: everything from the speakers to the venue location played a HUGE part into their successful day. Nothing was lesser than, from start to finish, the flow of the schedule was finely tuned to detail.

The Lovely Ladies Attending the Conference!

The Westin Houston, Memorial City Hotel location was phenomenal, buuuut the beautiful ladies (**attendees, vendors, volunteers, speakers, press**) on the 2nd floor meeting area made the event alive and welcoming. Soon as I jumped off the elevator, I wanted to really dive into the action with the vendor tables. SHOUTOUT to the local WOMEN-led businesses that represented their brand well throughout the conference. I have tremendous respect for business-minded women of color. Despite ADVERSITY, you are chasing your dreams and building a market where we feel comfortable to buy from and support.

While I embraced the spirit of hustle and grind, I had a chance to talk to a few vendors *that’s just the friendly, connecting girl in me lol*. The ladies are Clariona from Pass on de Fashion (clothing pop-up boutique), Tiara from The Skai Luxe Collection (luxury hair extensions), and Andrea Venson (also part of the Music + Arts panel!) representing her brand Enlightened Dreams and her paintings. We had our casual conversations, but my general question to them was, “Why are you here at the conference?”. Even though, they represented different businesses, the answers are pretty similar…yet powerful. Not only did the conference offer them a platform for more exposure and unconventional confidence/faith to step out the box, but a chance to connect with other like-minded women and build STRONG sister bonds with one another.

Speaking of sisterly bonds, it was time to break the ice and really DIG deep into the panel discussions part of the day with a beautiful ‘swag surf’ (the traditional HBCU dance that turned to a reunion party with our fellow sisters). I LOVED how the panels were broken off by the areas of expertise that the 12 panel speakers represented, Fashion + Beauty, Music + Arts, and Women’s Activism. Bri’Ann and Klarke did a spectacular job hand picking and interviewing the ladies, each panelist spoke to me (and many other women!) in so many ways to encourage us, dropping gems after gems! Let me have the honor to share some:

  • Eryn Shields, Founder of Style Sew Me, told us that our circumstances doesn’t have to HALT us from where we need to be.
  • Tausha Sanders, Founder of SneakHER Summit, shared her story about KNOWING her identity and standing firm on her ground.
  • Tay Powers, musician and recording engineer, reminded me of the Power of Saying ‘NO’ and knowing my worth.
  • Valaencia Thompson, Founder of Glittered in Goals, engraved in my head to ‘not let what I go through go IN VAIN.’

OMG, I am appreciative that all of the speakers kept it real with us *unapologetic*, no glamourous personal stories and sugar coating their trials. They shared awesome resourceful tidbits that we can use in our personal and business life. I’m so sorry that I can’t share ALL of their stories because that would be a WHOLE miniseries, not a blog post lol.

*Truth Bomb* Sometimes, I hold a guard up when I go to different environments. Questions rise up in my head: “Will they be friendly?”, “Will they ignore me, give me mugshot faces when I smile and say ‘Hi’?” Or…“Do I need to have my “Knuck If You Buck” hands on deck???” *I am sweet as pie, but I’m from the hood, stay ready spirit 🙂 *

This experience showed me that we are not ‘so different’. We’ve had our share of hitting the ground HARD called LIFE and learning how to SURRENDER TO GOD to go forward. I felt the love from each lady, hugs turned to embracing, laughter/joy all around the vicinity…even tears coming down our cheeks. I was truly blessed to witness the greatness of this conference to the fullest.

The conference ended off with one of the all-time girl power songs from an ALL-GIRL POWER group, ‘Girl’ by Destiny’s Child. (4 hours went by QUICK!) The song exemplifies being there for your sister NO MATTER where you are in life: mentally, physically, and spiritually. “I GOT YOU” AND “I LOVE YOU”.

Even though most of us met for the first time, Bri’Ann and Klarke brought the spirit of unity and empathy. I left inspired, having an elevating spirit to level ‘HER’ up (*my inner me*) and help level my lovely sisters UP!

To the creators and people behind Pink Productions, volunteers, speakers, press, vendors, and attendees….

“I’m your girl, you’re my girl, we’re your girls, don’t chu know that we love you!”……I love you all and I can’t wait to see what Year 3 looks like! Thank you for giving opportunities for us to express ourselves and creating a freeing space to let our hair down! The mission was ACCOMPLISHED!

Make sure to get your RSVP’s ready quick for 2020, you don’t want to miss out!

~The Unconventional Shell

Too Much Ketchup, Little to No Pepper

Too Much Ketchup, Little to No Pepper

That title is pretty much how I feel....

If I could describe my past/current situations, blessings, and self-reflection of 2018.......it would be similar to some of my food experiences. *Yes, I relate life lessons with food ok! lol*

Some of the time, it would be exactly what I want. Then, there are other times when it's ruined by one or multiple factors. Overcooked chicken meat, flimsy fries, cold vegetables, no special sauce.....too much ketchup, little to no pepper.

It's funny how we always remember more of the bad than the good. KNOWING this, what can we learn in this space?? Perception of ourselves? True motives of others?

It is said, How we handle situations/issues shows the true state of our character and strength of our spirit. Well....I need help.

Maybe, that's why God wants the glory in our weakness KNOWING that's where triumph comes from, success, growth...I've experienced too much to give up now. With the necessary tests and countless foolery, it pushed me to really dig deep within myself. I've only dealt with the smooth surface...not the ugly, junk about Shellsy that I keep pushing under the rug and avoid!

I had to reverse my thoughts and renew my mind towards myself.                                       
Old Thoughts:

  1. 'My dreams are too far-fetched.'
  2. 'When I talk, no one cares to listen and I fall silent *rooted from childhood*.'
  3. 'People want to include me in the group when they want something from me.'

New Thoughts:

  1. God gave me one of His greatest gifts, CREATIVITY! He gave me the ideas to give Him the glory in this world.
  2. The enemy is trying to keep me quiet because MY VOICE MATTERS, MY DREAMS/THOUGHTS MATTER...SHELLSY MATTERS! *Thanks to my sis, Teressa, for the reminder!*
  3. I can't bring my past to my present. I will no longer be haunted by my past and negative people. I'm blessed with great friends and strong sisterhoods!

Last Saturday, I went to my best friend's beautiful, empowering women's event called Message from My Wounds. I knew by the title that it was going to be amazing and I HAD to be in the place for whatever she needed! I was just helping, being friendly (very Shellsy-ish) and I can recall great testimonies, deliverance messages, and beauty unveiling.

I was just happy to be a witness to this experience......to feel included.       I love to bring joy and friendliness to others because I know how it feels when people overlook/forget and doubt others. Nearly everyone addressing their wounds......except for me. And, there was plenty of open wounds that needed to be mended.

I brought this up because I KNOW I'm not the only one going through this. Every now and then, we can be so hard on ourselves as we move through life.

Contrary to most people's thoughts towards me, I don't always have it together and I can be a mess! That burger with too much ketchup and no seasoning can be ME......only if I let it!

Ladies and gents, there are ways to overcome this! *Heads up for some mental notes!*

  1. There is POWER in YOUR WORDS. I have been reading Acts 16:25 about the imprisonment of Paul and Silas. Around midnight, they prayed and singed hymns. Then, there was an earthquake and the prison doors opened, along with their chains breaking off! WE can't make things happen with our mouths shut! Say it with your words and CONSISTENTLY repeat it!! Write it out, set an alarm to remind you if you have to! Make your words KNOWN in the atmosphere!! Get your words of affirmation together, along with prayer and verses to stick with it!
  2. There is POWER in NUMBERS. You can't do life alone....I tried. I found myself pushing towards a dark place where the enemy had plenty of free range. Pushing everybody away doesn't solve any problem, buuuut pushing away the negative influences matter in your purpose. Get your sisterhood together, find someone you know that can keep you accountable of your spirit and your goals (Tips to Grow an AWESOME sisterhood!! Click Here!), and push for self-reflection checkup sessions every 3-4 months of the year with your sisters!

To conclude this long journey post (sometimes, I can type all day...sorry lol). When life gives you that messed up burger, add some salt/pepper and scrape the extra ketchup to the side....for your french fries, of course......or just go to Chick-fil-a, that's a God-ordained establishment! When it comes to Him, He NEVER messes up!

Also!!!!!

I have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!I'm going after my long....long dream!!! Due to come out Late FALL 2018!

Too Much Ketchup is a branch for The Unconventional Shell's video/audio podcast content. Too Much Ketchup will discuss topics that are deemed to being "too much" towards society's standards and personal issues that is "too much" to deal with, along with a panel of everyday women from different backgrounds.

LET'S GO!!!

 

 

WomenCrushEveryday

WomenCrushEveryday

The power of women gathering is immeasurable.

Hey, hey!!!! It’s February loves!!! *no pun intended lol* 2018 for me…my God, if I could put it
in words…mind-blowing and spiritually stressed, along with heightened joy and peace. Yes, plenty
of words but it’s so TRUE! This year is already crazy, but there will be tons of success for me…and you, too!!! I have realized that we are in the “Season of the Woman.” After centuries of mistreatment and
‘intentional’ invisibility from the others, we are finally coming out LOUD into the open!! Hear us ROAR!! *making weak imitations of a lion, but more like a low-key injured blue whale* Lately, I’ve been coming across PLENTY of women-empowered events that I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of. We are just in February and I feel this movement will require us to be purpose-driven. A movement where we don’t look towards man or society for approval. A movement where we look at other women with love and support, instead of pride and envy. A movement where we are comfortable and embrace ourselves for who we are! Not only do I feel this, my inner circle of sisters are going through similar life situations as me. I have this beautiful comfort that relieves me saying, “You are not alone.” Through my book club, brunches, meet-ups, bible studies, and etc., we go through our share of struggles. Whether if it’s depression, body image, rejection, or fear, we are here for one another.

Since we can’t do life alone and I’m a strong advocate of empowering women: we need to ‘step out our box’ and handle the situation! HERE are some creative ways to bring about ‘women empowering women’:

Start a common interest group. 

If you are a people-loving person (like myself lol), you can start a group with something most women will have in common and enjoy. It could be cooking, creating a book club, movies, whatever you want!! We should have strong bonds and ties with other women, this is where sisterhood comes in. With me, this is why I started the Feminine Vigor Book Club. I love to read and I want to bond and build with other women who took a strong interest with reading. I had no idea that many women loved to read like me! I believe that it is successful because the connection that all the women are building with each other and it is BEAUTIFUL TO  SEE!

 


ARRANGE A “COFFEE DATE”.

This is my favorite tactic (oh yes, I said tactic) to get close/bond with people and get down to deep rooted issues. Set a calm  atmosphere (coffee spots are MY THING), order yummy treats, and open the floor for great conversations!! Sometimes, small groups are nice for this type of setting, but one-on-ones are PROSPEROUS! You can laugh, rant, or cry….this is the opportunity to let go and be free to be yourself! With my own set-ups, I do attend women-empowered gatherings.  On Tuesday nights, I dedicate my time with my dear friend’s non-profit organization’s Diva Sessions Diva Demeanor where we release our frustrations, restore with support, and set out goals to conquer. Go Jasmine (I roll with cool chicks)! Make sure to check out the link to get in and I will see you there or you can create some “coffee date” time. By the way, if you are in Houston, my favorite coffee spots are in the Houston Heights area (pretty much all of their coffee is BAE!)

HAVE A RETREAT DAY.

Along with empowerment, self-care is IMPORTANT to our physical, mental, and spiritual being. I had the greatest time at a local retreat day held by a beautiful blogger with a big heart for uplifting women. Valaencia is a Houston lifestyle blogger who throws one of the best events that I’ve ever been to in the city. Valaencia’s Website! With her latest event, I won tickets to her Glittered in Goals’ Let’s Heal event!!! This is my season of winning tickets to events, in the name of Jesus! It was the bomb.com!! There was motivational speakers, a professional masseuse team (my first one!), and yoga…..plus, I met my other blogger sisters that I follow from social media!  That is a beautiful recipe of RELAXATION! As women, we need to unravel our minds and tend to our bodies….don’t neglect them! You can do it BIG like Valaencia or go on a walk with friends and attend a yoga class together. Wake yourselves. Here is some candids of the event:




GIVE A SHOUTOUT!

There is nothing like showing love by spreading our love for others!! A compliment really goes a loooong way! I find it more genuine when a woman compliments me more than a guy. We rarely question the motives behind the compliment. In this world, it is rarely done and it is an awe-inspiring moment. With the popular hashtag, WCW, woman crush Wednesday is known to show and celebrate the “Instagram-model” type chicks. Beauty is beauty, but what about the beauty in loving others and the beauty in loving our community?? Let’s showcase those women, the ones that are making the change!! Whether if it’s a social media post of them, sending a text/email, a handwritten card….those things might seem little to us, but will make an impact to those we show love to. My girl, Videllia, hailing from the ‘Triple D” Dallas, has a segment on her social media accounts and website called WCW Spotlight.  She gives every lady an opportunity to shine, which is simply amazing to me!! Worry less about competing and more about achieving!!! You can sign yourself or another Queen on her website, just click on the pic for the link!! Her Instagram is only1lady_V, just to let you know!


HAVE A PHOTO SHOOT!

Photo shoots is a CARE-FREE ZONE! This is where the fun comes in: creativity, courage, bonding, and encouragement. My friends did a photoshoot a few weeks back and it was STUNNING! Then, my new blogger group gave an invite to take some pictures (mostly, for our blogs lol). Taking pictures and being a model takes things to a new perspective. Warning: It is a ‘confidence-high’! No one is at the low end on the bar. The photographer and the model brings the product to LIFE! You have to motivate each other to bring something raw, beautiful, and edgy to the picture. You don’t have to be America’s Top Model to achieve this. Get some friends, pick a location with good lighting, and have some fun!!


I hope that this can encourage you to put yourself out there to motivate others! Tell that woman that she looks great today as you’re walking down the street, invite the lady over to your lunch table if she is eating alone. You have sooo much power in your frame that needs to be unleashed into this world! Don’t waste your life! Take that WCW meaning and intensify it to something more powerful.

Think of ‘woman crush Wednesday’ to ‘women CRUSHING IT EVERYDAY’! That’s what we do, we kill it!

I love you ladies soooo much and this post is dedicated to the women out there crushing it EVERYDAY! If you have the opportunity to, please share this post on your social media handles! We need to spread the message of POWER!

Empowered women, empower women.

Love and Blessings.

Shellsy

Old Ties, New Year: An Ode to Self and 2017

Old Ties, New Year: An Ode to Self and 2017

Hi Everyone!!!

Long time no see, I know.

Life happens, which is pretty much all of our story. Yes, it happens but you’re NOT supposed to let it consume you.

I did.

I love my website. Looking over my recent posts and all of the pictures that I rendered, it brought back beautiful sparks of the things I love. Things that I longed for is displayed throughout this website and there are more great things in store for 2018.

During my 4-month hiatus (no post since summer), I have and (still) going through emotional and spiritual battles.

Barton Creek, Austin

Just to name a few, I have gone through my shares of depression, insecurities with my career and finances, past distractions, being far away from my support/bestfriend/sister (the #1 person in my life, besides God), family secrets/burdens….shucks, I disappoint myself constantly because I KNOW what I possess and where I’m destined to go. Yet, I have failed.

I don’t live for myself, I live for something bigger. If I rely only myself and my own strength, I will not make it in this life.

As of now, I’m really getting a glimpse of life and taking advantage of my opportunities (plus MAKING MY OWN OPPORTUNITIES) because of my grandmother withering away from breast cancer. Pastor John Gray, a minister in Houston, said something profound that still sticks to me, “I reach Heaven, yet the Father shakes His head because He said that I had great things planned for you, but you didn’t complete them.

How would you feel if you missed out on the biggest moment in your life because you didn’t say yes? …that’s my biggest fear.

Most people do not say yes because there are things that we don’t want to experience in the process.

Let’s be honest, who wants to go through pain, failure, rejection, abandonment, loneliness, and sadness? Nobody.

But…..if it wasn’t for opposition in our lives we wouldn’t be where we are today. Opposition pushes us to our position.

Yes, I have opposition but I will use that to propel me higher to where I need to be.

Not only will I have to say yes, I have to take action with what I say.

My mom gave me a fortune cookie yesterday, I was a bit excited for my fortune inside (like who eats the cookie?? lol) Just like astrology, I don’t give it much attention, but it’s funny how these fortunes tend to be right on time with things.

It said, Focus on your long-term goal. Don’t hesitate to act now.”

The new year will start in a few hours. I know there will be tons of vision board parties, prayer and fastings, goal listings, etc.

Just keep in mind to ACT NOW on what you said and ACT NOW on the process.

I’m right there with you.

Be on the look out on the many things I have set for 2018…there will be travel, food, books…..

(did I mention, that I have a book club here in Houston?? Thanks, opposition lol) and MORE.

……it’s going to be BIG!

 

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

Joy and Blessings to you,

Shellsy M.