The Real Chic Recap

The last week and a half has been amazing and busy in the best possible way! But we also lost another musical Icon this week and I want to give a nod to the Queen of Soul here too.  So here’s my quick weekly recap and a few things you might be interested in embracing too.

Here’s where I went


First up: NYC- I went to my first ever blogging conference in New York-BlogHer.

I was invited to the conference by my friend and fellow blogger Square Pearls. I went pretty much on a whim mostly because I wanted to connect with my friend again and meet other women who love blogging as much as I do. I also wanted to learn as much as possible and thought this might be a good opportunity to do so. The conference was interesting. It was my first, so I had nothing to compare it to but I enjoyed it.  There were a lot of amazing speakers. I was inspired by Marie Forleo- the creator of  B School who dropped a few nuggets. She reminded us that consistency is key and that clarity comes from engagement not thought. Gabriel Union and Amy Schumer are both advocates for women and made me want to throw two hands in the air and wave them like I really do care. Color Me Courtney (a super cute blogger who definitely embraces color) encouraged us to find our niche. “Find out what you’re good at and do that one thing well” she reminded. I think the messages I picked up at BlogHer apply to all women, bloggers or not.

But that’s not all…once I found out I was going to NYC things got bigger and better! O, The Oprah Magazine decided to throw an Insider NYC meetup and that was so much fun. We enjoyed drinks and nibbles, talked and laughed and got to know each other a little better through Two Truths and a Lie…no lie. Then I toured the O Mag office at Hearst again and chatted with their warm, welcoming, O-mazing staff.


I rounded out my trip with a great breakfast with a fabulous lady from Chico’s and it felt like I was spending time with an old friend. I adore this brand and the people behind it.

Speaking of Chico’s…Next up was my trip to Sanibel Island with 10 other amazing influencers to celebrate their 35th Anniversary. This trip was the thing dreams are made of. I am not even exaggerating here. We had a meet and greet on the beach with the most gorgeous sunset, and toured Chico’s headquarters where we learned about how they create their designs. They even have someone who paints designs by hand! Amazing right? We learned about the fit process which is done via a fit model and technology, learned about set up through their mock store, and had a great listening session with their brand president and their senior VP of Marketing, where they were really interested in our feedback. After that we went to the first ever Chico’s store and had so much fun shopping together, had lunch, dinner, took an amazing sunset cruise and ended the trip with yoga on the beach. The bottom line is we fell more in love with the brand and each other.


Here’s what I listened to



Next…the day I returned from that amazing trip the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin passed away. I know that for a lot of us we grew up listening to her belt out tunes that made us proud to be women. If you aren’t familiar with her music do yourself a favor and listen to this. I think you’ll stand a little taller and demand a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T after you do.

Here’s what I read


On both of my trips, I took  Number One Chinese Restaraunt, a Novel by Lillian Li. It was on Oprah’s Summer Book List and it did not disappoint. It tells the story of the intertwining lives of characters who work together at a Chinese restaurant. I won’t spoil it for you but it is so rich in detail that every one of your senses are engaged through her descriptive writing style.  Li weaves a story that feels so decadent and full with overlapping culture that you won’t want to put it down.

I’d love to hear about what you found interesting this week too! Feel free to share below.

Until the Next Real Chic Recap!

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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

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