YCS Bride Guide: Engraved Watches – The Perfect Wedding Gift

Bride Guide Logo

By Erika, Fashion Expert

I can’t believe that our wedding is less than two weeks away! So crazy to think that it is almost here!  The last few weeks before a wedding are a flurry of activity.  There is a lot of time spent pulling together final details, adding special touches, and managing forgotten tasks (hey, it happens!).  What you will NOT want to do in the final weeks leading up to the wedding is scramble for wedding gifts.  For brides and grooms who are looking for meaningful gifts for their future spouse, parents, or even their bridal party, consider a beautiful, unique wooden watch from JORD Watches.


About JORD Watches

JORD watches have been hand crafted from 100% natural wood.  The company focuses on creating timepieces that are modeled after a modern lifestyle. They value sustainability (hello, wood!!!!), efficiency, and experiential living.

JORD offers stylish options for both men and women on their website.


3 Reasons to Gift a JORD Watch

DESIGN: Raw Material, Refined Design

I have the FRANKIE Series watch in Zebrawood & Champagne and love it for so many reasons.  The hand-crafted wooden timepieces from JORD are incredibly modern in their lines, shapes, and design.  I originally imagined that a wooden timepiece would be clunky.  Not JORD watches.  They are sleek, sophisticated, and classic.

My FRANKIE Series watch is the definition of luxe with it’s ultra slim case, streamlined shape and uncomplicated face. Though it is minimalist in design, it always makes a statement.  Whenever I wear my watch people compliment me and ask where they can get their own.  As you browse the JORD collection on their website, it is clear that luxury, fashion and style are all seriously considered when designing these wooden men’s and women’s watches.


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CUSTOMIZATION: Make the Gift Your Own by Engraving Your Watch

Beyond the watches being beautiful, you can also customize your JORD watch’s faceplate by engraving the recipient’s initials, or a sweet message or inside joke. This is why it makes the perfect gift for brides, grooms, parents or the wedding party.  Not only are styles sophisticated and timeless, but you can really step out and make the gift your own by customizing the message to be engraved, as well as the font and size of your message.


One sweet idea, especially for a bride-to-be, is to engrave the watch with her new name or initials. I am incredibly delighted to take my new husband’s name (and make my maiden name my middle name), so I was all too excited to engrave my watch with my new name along with my wedding date.

SERVICE: A Pleasant Customer Service Experience

Nothing is worse than getting a gift for someone, having to make a change to the gift, and having an unpleasant customer service experience. I am happy to say that you will not have that problem with JORD.  JORD has a very reasonable warranty, repair, exchange and return policy. Beyond that, their customer service team is prompt, accommodating and very professional and helpful.  I had a slight snafu with my watch and the team fixed it within a matter of hours.  Not days, hours.  If I was going to give you a company to compare the service to, think along the lines of Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co.  Yes, they are that good.

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A Gift For You

Because JORD (and I) loves you so much, they are offering one lucky reader a $100 gift code to use on the JORD website!  All you have to do is fill out this form by April 1, 2018 for your chance to win!

Copy of Copy of Book Now

Plus, everyone who enters to win the $100 gift will automatically get a code for 10% off their watch order after April 1, 2018.  The contest ends April 1, 2018 at 11:59pm – so you definitely want to enter now!  And remember, your gift code and 10% discount is valid through April 15, 2018.


What could be better?  I get wedding gifts.  You get wedding gifts.  We all get wedding gifts!

Don’t wait any longer! Check out the men’s and women’s watch collections from JORD and be sure to enter the giveaway today.




Wooden Wrist Watch

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


OOTD365 March 5 – 11, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

I don’t know about you guys but I’m over here waiting for spring to, well, spring! The tease that we had a few weeks ago whet my appetite for warmer days and now, with each new snow, I’m longing for sunny weather and higher temperatures.

I’m also eagerly counting down to the big day! It’s crazy that we are only three weeks away! Less than that, actually. The beginning seems so long ago. I can hardly believe we are almost to the wedding. Counting down to the wedding also means counting down to the honeymoon!! One way or another I’m going to get my warmer temps.

Before this week’s recap, I want to prep you guys for a few things ahead of the wedding. First, I will be taking a brief hiatus from posting my #OOTD365 looks from April 2-9 while I’m away on my honeymoon. I’ll snap photos and share a recap, but I make no promises to post the looks daily. I want to focus on honeymooning. Second, there will be a TON of post-wedding Bride Guide content. A lot of the stuff I want to share needs to wait until after the wedding as to not ruin some surprises and special moments. So be on the look out for that. Lastly, if you want a sneak peek at life leading up to the wedding, as well as some behind the scenes action on the day of, then follow YCS on Instagram and be sure to watch our IG story. That’s where you’ll get some insight and sneak peeks that others won’t see.

And now, for what I’ve learned this week:

  • Self care is crucial. Intellectually, I know this. I often preach it. But I don’t always follow it. This past week I had a much needed massage and facial and a few really good nights sleep. I needed those. I hadn’t realized how much my schedule and life had taken a toll on me and my body. Also, I must have been a raging lunatic because not one, but two, of my dear friends gave me gift certificates to the spa for my birthday!! Ladies (and gents) take care of yourself!!
  • Do not stop learning and growing. I’ve got a whole post on this coming up (and something really special for my DMV readers). You are never too old or too smart to learn and grow and change. Be open to improving. It’s good for you.
  • Do more of what makes you happy. By nature, I’m a people pleaser. It is exhausting. And you end up giving away much of yourself who people who do not deserve or appreciate it. For my 35th birthday, I promised myself that I would spend more time doing what makes me happy, being around those who make me happy, and focusing on pleasing God and myself. Life is WAY too short to be bending over backwards to please people who don’t matter and giving so much of yourself away that there is nothing left. Yes, I’m getting married this year, but be clear, this is the year of “me.”

And now for what I wore:

XOXO, Erika

#OOTD365 February 19 – March 4, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last recap post. When I tell you that a TON has been going on these last two weeks – phew!!! That would be an understatement. There are a LOT of really exciting things happening, much of which I will share on the blog in the near future. But, unfortunately, at the moment, mums the word 🤐.

People always tell you things get really crazy right before your wedding and then a couple weeks before you hit coast mode. Well, we are in the midst of “really crazy” and I’m looking forward to hitting “coast mode” in the next couple of weeks. Once the wedding is over, I have a TON of content to share with you. But it’s a little hard to do without giving away details of the big day.

Personally, things have been a tad bit wild too! Life is happening a little more than I’d like but, you know, that’s the nature of life. I am working on taking a break, having a breather, and prioritizing when things get crazy. I often put so much pressure on myself to be all things to all people and that is physically impossible! So I had to take a step back and be OK with it!!

With all of that said, I’m back with two weeks worth of outfits to recap (minus one day because I just COMPLETELY FORGOT to snap a pic) and three things I’ve learned:

  • Your tribe matters. I feel like I said this before but boy, oh boy, has my tribe showed up for me. I’m actually going to do a YCS Bride Guide post all about choosing your Bride Tribe and why they are so important to your mental health and emotional stability during the wedding planning process. My tribe (including my Bride Tribe and Goal Diggers family) has truly lifted me up and held me down over the last few weeks. And honestly, NONE of it had to do with the wedding. These women have prayed for me, with me, over me, spoken life to me and my fiancé, hyped me up, encouraged me, supported me, and pushed me when I thought I couldn’t go on. Who you surround yourself with matters. Who you let speak into your life matters. Who you allow to sow into you matters. Don’t feel bad about being selfish about your space and he energy you allow around you. It could truly be the difference between life and death!
  • Remember to look out for winks from God. Sometimes we can get so focused on different things and the turmoil around us that we miss when God sends winks our way. The other day, a lady in front of me decided to buy my coffee at Dunkin Donuts and I almost burst into tears. It cost her hardly anything ($1.49) but it was a tiny little wink from God that reminded me there is good in the world and that He’s there. God is constantly sending us nudges and reminders – we have to remember to look for them.
  • Have an attitude of gratitude. It can change your perspective on everything.

So that was a little long 🤷🏽‍♀️. And now, for the looks!

XOXO, Erika

#OOTD365 Weekly Recap: February 12 – February 18, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

I’m a day late with this week’s Recap post! My sincerest apologies for that.  Truthfully, I took a trip to Wakanda (again!!) on Sunday night and by the time we got home the only thing I was going to do was crawl into bed!

Last week was loads of fun and really special for a lot of reasons.  In one week I celebrated Valentine’s Day (which, quite honestly, could be my least favorite holiday), made my way to Wakanda twice, and had a lovely, lovely Bridal Shower hosted by my mother.  It was a great week indeed!  Here’s what I learned from it:

  • The people who love you support you and the rest of the people don’t matter.
  • I am not obligated to be in relationship with people just because of their relationship to me.  What does that mean? Well, so often we feel (or other people make us feel) like we have to be in relationship – not romantic – with someone just because they are our family member/future family member/friend of a friend/etc. But it is my job to fiercely protect my space, my energy, my bubble, my mind, and my heart and this week I was reminded of that.  Regardless of other people’s opinions or how they think I should feel – I am in charge of how I feel. And I don’t have to allow people who suck the life, energy, or positivity out of me to be around me.
  • Sometimes, you hit a fashion stride.  That feels good.  And this week, I hit a little stride!

And now, for what I wore . . .

February 12February 13February 14February 15February 16img_0832

February 16 x 2February 17img_0831

February 18




XOXO, Erika

#OOTD365 Weekly Recap: February 5 – February 11, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

I feel like all I have said for the last several weeks is “it’s been a week.”

Well, if you can believe it, it has probably never been more true than this week. I can’t get into details, so I’m going to jump straight to what the one thing learned this week. It’s something I already knew but was reminded of so clearly this week that it needs to be said.

So what did I learn this week?

My tribe matters. We’ve all heard this, we all know this, we all say this all the time. But truly, my tribe (and your tribe) matters. The people that you choose to surround yourself with are so important. This week, my tribe rose up and surrounded me with love and prayers and it was a reminder of how much the women in my tribe mean to me. And how, if I didn’t have the tribe I had, this week would have been even more difficult than it already was. Simply put, your tribe matters. . . .

And now, for last week’s looks:

XOXO, Erika

#OOTD365 Weekly Recap: January 28 – February 4, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

We have entered the second month of the year. I don’t know about you guys but the month of January went fast but the weeks went slow. January was a month filled with highs and lows; so, honestly, I’m kind of glad it’s over.

February brings a LOT of excitement. A Super Bowl win for the Philadelphia Eagles. A bridal shower for me. Less than 60 days until the wedding. New York Fashion Week. It’s shaping up to be a great month. As I leave January behind and look ahead, here’s that I learned this week:

  1. I am in silent competition with myself not to repeat an outfit. I hadn’t thought about it but it’s kind of my own secret challenge. I have no idea how long I’ll be able to keep up the jig.
  2. Some moments in life are so much bigger than fashion. They just are. And, as much as I love fashion, it is crucial to recognize the moments that are far more important than what I’m wearing (see Day 34 on Instagram when there was no #OOTD365 post).
  3. I still get surprised, and super flattered, that people are investing in this little journey. It seriously tickles me whenever anyone mentions it.

And now, for last week’s looks:

XOXO, Erika

#OOTD365: January 22 – January 28, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

Four weeks under my belt in this challenge.

I said at the beginning that this would be all about transparency. So many times we admire what we see on social media or the lives we imagine people are living. And we forget that they are just photographs. Moments in time. The best 10% of people’s lives. The highlight reel compared to the reality show of our lives. The fact of the matter is that every day we put on clothing and get dressed and face all sorts of troubles.

So here is my moment of transparency. If I’m honest, this past week was incredibly difficult. I was on the road for work this week which began with its own set of frustrating challenges. While I was away I had a close family member be admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. And, upon my return, I spent the day at a different hospital where a friend to both me and my fiancé passed away under the most tragic of circumstances. Simply put, it was a week. And this week, more than any other thus far in the challenge, it think my fashion most accurately reflected – or completely hid – my mood. So, what three things did I learn this week?

  1. People have strong opinions about what I wear. I heard from more than a few people that my wardrobe this week was “too dark” or needed “more color.” What I thought would be an exercise in sharing my daily attire has turned into a bit of a social experiment with people weighing in on what my wardrobe needs more of and even a few folks emulating my looks. Not what I expected but a pleasant surprise, for the most part.
  2. Style uniforms come in handy. I’ve said for as long as I’ve had this blog (and Instagram) that my style uniform begins with jeans and a white t-shirt or that it is generally something black, white or cream. This week, that uniform came in handy. It may feel like the world stopped but, in reality, it didn’t. So having a style uniform made picking clothes easy when it was the last thing I wanted to focus on some days.
  3. A great leather jacket might be the most important wardrobe staple I own. Meditate on that.

And now, for this week’s looks (in reverse order, for some reason):

5 Reasons to Register for “6 Weeks to a Fashionista” . . . and 1 Flash Sale

By Erika, Fashion Expert

If you’ve been keeping up with YCS, then you know that on February 15th we are launching our first YCS Academy Course, “6 Weeks to a Fashionista,” online!

I am so excited to launch this course and have been pouring over the content and developing a curriculum that will incredibly helpful for the students in the class.  More than a few people have asked me why they should sign-up for the class.  Here are 5 Reasons You Should Sign-Up for “6 Weeks to a Fashionista.”

OneYou Hate Shopping

I know it sounds counter intuitive to take a class all about unleashing your inner fashionista when you hate shopping; but hear me out.  Most women hate shopping because they spend hours trying on clothing that doesn’t fit or doesn’t look right on their body type.  The entire experience is frustrating and, if you have that frustrating experience enough times, you will come to hate shopping.  What if I told you that taking this course would teach you how to shop? By learning your body shape and understanding how to dress it, you will learn what clothes to shop for and what to leave on the racks.  What was once a painful experience can become painless simply by spending a few hours with me.

One copyYou’re Ready to Step Your Style Game Up

Maybe you’re stuck in a style rut.  Maybe you haven’t changed your look in the last several years.  Perhaps you’ve just gotten a new job or promotion and need to dress the part.  Or maybe you have lost some weight.  Are you re-entering the dating scene? Whatever your reasoning is, you are ready to step-up your style game.  This class will teach you the elements of great style and help you build a wardrobe of chic fundamentals to help catapult you to the next level of style.

ThreeYou Want to Be Stylish but Have No Idea Where to Start

A lot of us see celebrities, fashionistas, and stylish women in our every day lives.  We want to be like them, dress like them, and look like them; but, many of us don’t know where to begin.  This class will give you an excellent starting point. You will get help understanding your body shape, learning your color story, and discovering your signature style.  And, all along the way, I’ll give you tips and tricks – like “have a fashion uniform” – that will help you remain stylish on a consistent basis.

You Could Use a Confidence Boost four

It’s no secret that when you look good you feel good.  You do not need an entirely new wardrobe to look and feel your best.  By simply learning how to work with what you already own you can refresh your wardrobe and give your confidence a much needed boost.

FiveYou Want a Personal Stylist but You Have Commitment Issues

Hey, I get it! Hiring a personal stylist, wardrobe consultant or personal shopper is a big financial commitment. It can be scary and maybe you aren’t sure if it’s the right solution for you.  This class is a perfect way to get introduced to the idea of hiring a personal stylist or wardrobe consultant.  Beyond the videos and course materials, you will have access to the YCS team who will be there to answer your fashion and style questions.  This is a great place to start to see if engaging a stylist is the right answer for you.

What will I get with the class?

Over the course of six weeks I will personally take you through a step-by-step process designed help you discover and unleash your inner fashionista.  Each week a video lesson will walk you through each step of the journey to help you understand your body shape and color story, discover your personal style, and identify wardrobe fundamentals. You will also be provided with weekly guidebooks and workbooks to help you on your journey. All students will also have access to me via email and a private Facebook group where you can ask questions, share ideas, and experience the benefits of working with a personal stylist.


At the end of your six week journey you will be ready to reveal your inner fashionista for all the world to see!

Weekly Curriculum

Week ONE: Discovering and Understanding Your Body Type 

Week TWO: Discovering and Understanding Your Color Story 

Week THREE: Dressing Your Body Type and Understanding Proportion 

Week FOUR: Discovering Your signature Style 

Week FIVE: Closet and Wardrobe Fundamentals 

Week SIX: Hair, Make-Up, and Undergarments 


$499 NOW $149!!

Today is your lucky day!  Register by January 31, 2018 and get the special Flash Sale price of $149 for the course. That’s right! For a limited time we are slashing our price.

This price is only available through January 31, 2018 so you do NOT want to miss the opportunity to register early and get the discounted rate.

Register Now

Do NOT miss your opportunity to register for this class and reap all of the incredible benefits – including valuable information, workbooks and guidebooks, and exclusive access to style expertise.  Class space is limited!

There is not better time to unleash your inner fashionista!


XOXO, Erika

#OOTD365: January 15 – January 21, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

Another week of our #OOTD365 Challenge is in the books.  Are any of the YCS readers taking the challenge? If so, let me know so that I can follow you on IG and get inspired by your looks!

Some weeks, I feel like I really hit a fashion stride – as opposed to a slump – and this was one of those weeks.  I loved every outfit I have put together.  Here’s what I learned during week three.

  1. I’ve taken an unspoken challenge not to repeat outfits during #OOTD365.  This is, of course, not sustainable (because budgets); however, it’s been fun to push myself.  Let’s see how long I can keep the streak alive.
  2. I have a LOT of “old faithful” outfits. These are looks that I know will always look cool, pulled together and chic.  As a result of #1, I have found myself keeping them in my back pocket for a day when it’s really a struggle to get myself together.
  3. When I get dressed, I always think about the image I want to project that day. Like everyday, even on my most chill days, that still runs through my mind.  Down to how my hair is – if it’s in a ponytail, it’s intentional. I hadn’t realized how much actual thought I put into my looks until I was documenting them every day.  I’m trying not to put any more thought than I already to into my looks. That is a struggle.

And now, for the recap of last week’s looks!

Jan 15Jan 16Jan 17Jan 18Jan 19Jan 20Jan 21

(I think next week, I’ll have to pull photos from the computer, not my IG/Facebook. I didn’t realize quite how grainy they show up on the blog.  My bad!!!)



XOXO, Erika

Just One Thing: Andrelle’s Natural Skin Care

By Erika, Fashion Expert

As you can see, we’re bringing back “Just One Thing!” It’s been a while, but I am super excited because there are tons of great products and brands that I can’t WAIT to share with you guys.  A quick note about my “Just One Thing” posts – these are NEVER sponsored content.  When the content is sponsored I will, as I have in the past, always let you know.  “Just One Thing” posts are all about just one thing I’m completely in love with.

Now that that is out of the way, I want to tell you guys all about Andrelle’s Natural Skin Care. I got hip to Andrelle’s in 2016 when I was lamenting to a close friend of mine about how my skin completely revolted against me once I hit my 30s. I was having breakouts worse than I did as a teenager and my dermatitis was active and worse than ever.  When combined with my naturally oily skin it was essentially a recipe for disaster.  My friend walked me into her bathroom, showed me a plethora of Andrelle’s products, and suggested that I reach out directly to the owner, Krystal, to explain my issues and get her recommendation for what would work best on my skin.

Oily Skin Package

Fed up with the fact that I was spending loads of money on stuff that wasn’t working, I emailed Krystal and asked for her recommendation.  Within a day she had written me back and recommended I try her oily skin package and pair it with a coffee and sugar scrub.  If I’m honest, I was a little skeptical at first because the products aren’t cheap.  But my friend had given it such rave reviews and I was so through with everything else in my bathroom I gave it a shot.  A couple of weeks later my package arrive and that was the day a believer was born.

About Andrelle’s

You can visit the Andrelle’s website to learn the full story behind the brand, which was founded in 2007 (long before natural lifestyles were a THING) by Krystal Burrell Armstrong who wanted to develop a line of skin care products that worked naturally.  Seven years later – after studying essential oils, flower waters, carrier oils, etc. – the first sample bottle of cleanser was sold. Since that time, Krystal has not looked back and has now grown the business to line of cleansers, moisturizers, toners, scrubs, serums, masks, facial oils, butters, and even a subscription service!

3 Reasons I Love Andrelle’s

1. The customer service.  Listen, there are some big, primetime brands that I love (Clarins and Kiehl’s being chief among them) but I’m almost positive that if I email them for recommendations they aren’t writing me back with specifics based on my skin ailments.  And yes, I can pop into Nordstrom or one of their stores and ask for help – but it’s not coming from the founder/owner.

Coffee + Sugar Scrub

2. Minimal ingredients. Maximum Results.  When they say minimal ingredients they mean it.  Most of the products only include ingredients that can be counted on one hand. One hand.  And it is all stuff that you can read and pronounce.  I can get behind that!

3. It’s a small, woman, black-owned business.  Talk about the trifecta.  As an entrepreneur myself, I love when I have the opportunity to support and promote other entrepreneurs.  Krystal does so many things right that it is easy to throw my support behind her, her business and, most importantly, her products. The team at Andrelle’s didn’t ask for this post – they’re getting props in tons of magazines and large publications (ummm hello, British Vogue!) – but, I love the product so much I had to post about it in 2018’s first “Just One Thing” feature.


So ladies, and gentlemen, I definitely recommend checking out andrellesbykcj.com and getting your hands on skin care products that are worth their weight in gold! I’ll be back next month with a new “Just One Thing” post.  Wonder what it will be?!


XOXO, Erika