Beyond the Previews: What’s Really ‘Beyond the Lights’

by Jackie

beyond_the_lightsBeyond the Lights is nothing like its trailer, and that’s a good thing. I wrote off seeing it because the previews led me to believe it would be a watered down, sappy version of The Bodyguard. I decided to give it a chance after reading some surprising reviews on Twitter, and I’m glad I did.

Underneath the syrupy love story between Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Kaz Nicol (Nate Parker), the film explores more complex themes like mental health issues, complicated family dynamics, sexism, race, and self-actualization. Though Noni, an exploited pop star, and Kaz, the hero cop who tries to save her from herself, have very different lifestyles, they both struggle with overbearing parents who live vicariously through their adult children. It’s this story that didn’t make the cut in the previews. It’s this story that makes Beyond the Lights a special movie.

I wish I didn’t judge this story by its cover, and had gone to see it earlier.







How to be A*cute During the Polar Vortex

The Polar Vortex is making the most notorious comeback since Britney Spears. But, you don’t have to let Old Man Winter steal your style. Layer up using key pieces that will take you from the office to a night out on the town in an instant.
Blanket sweaters are on trend for casual outfits, but wear yours over an LBD with patterned tights and heeled booties for a sophisticated look that will keep you warm. The key to keeping this look together is the monotone color scheme. Despite what anyone says, black will always be the new black.

Selling Yourself: The Resume

by Jackie

Your resume is your first introduction to a potential employer. With the rise of social media and the decline of attention spans, infographic resumes are becoming more and more popular. They are attention-grabbing and will be sure to make you stand out. But, will bright colors and flow-chart shapes make you stand out for the wrong reasons? Are traditional resumes boring?

Vote for your ideal resume below!

The Infographic Resume

The Traditional Resume


You’re Invited to the 4th Annual Clothing Exchange!


A*cute and Heart & Sundry invite you to the 4th Annual Clothing Exchange & Trunk Show. Exchange your gently worn business attire, casual clothing, children’s clothing, and accessories.

Attendees will enjoy music, prizes, and light refreshments.

When: Saturday, December 6, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EST

Where: Historic Whitelaw Hotel, 1839 13th St. NW, Washington, D.C. (Located conveniently by the U Street Metro)

Price: Early Bird Fee $15 (First come, first served!); $20 Regular Admission


**Items not exchanged and portion of proceeds to benefit local youth organizations:

New Community for Children, Crittenton Services of Greater Washington, and New Hope.


Lunchtime Links

by Jackie

It’s hump day, celebrate yourself for surviving thriving so far this week! Get into these links while you get into whatever’s in your Tupperware:

Brandy, Queen Latifah, Mc Lyte & YoYo Perform ‘I Wanna Be Down (Remix)’ 

Quarter Century” Season 2 Premiere: Power Rangers [‪#‎QCNY‬: S2Ep1]

Buzzfeed Editor Goes Makeup Free, Learns Important Lesson


(Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed)


Break Up with Workday Stress

by Jackie

You know the feeling: Your phone keeps buzzing, every email in your inbox is marked “URGENT,” and you have to have a meeting on the way to a meeting because your calendar has less space than you did on the train ride to work. I don’t know how it happened, but at some point, we’ve accepted stress as a normal part of life. Over time, these everyday pressures can have adverse effects on how we relate to others, our productivity, and our health. Here are some of my quick fixes for stressful moments:


My BFF sent me this URL via Gchat and I have been sharing it widely ever since. Click if you dare to be calm, and enjoy relaxing scenes from nature and meditative sounds. You can choose to play the scenes on loop or select 2-, 5-, or up to 20-minute guided sessions. Put on your headphones and give yourself a moment of peace.

Take a Walk

(Photo: IG @jax1125)

Constitution Gardens, Washington, DC. (Photo: IG @jax1125)

Unless you work in a hospital, you can take a 15-minute break to take a walk away from your stressful environment and get some fresh air. Don’t forget to leave your cell phone and your iPad behind.

Make Yourself a Calendar Item

Tres Leches, Cuba Libre (Photo: iPhone5)

Tres Leches, Cuba Libre (Photo: iPhone5)

Had to eat lunch at your desk? Again? Make a date with yourself after work to indulge in something sweet. Happy hour can be fun, but the noise of it all can just add more stress to your day. Every once in a while, put some “me time” on your calendar and enjoy your own company. You’ll have something yummy to look forward to throughout the day.