Fashion, Lifestyle

The 10 Basic Items Every Stylish Woman Owns 👗👠👖

May 19, 2016

Renée Billy and I met over 10 years ago when I working as an entertainment lawyer in New York City.  Speaking on a panel in Charlotte, North Carolina to high school students, I connected with Renée’s childhood best friend and now client Bevy Smith.  A few weeks after returning back to the city, Bevy and I met up for lunch.   At the time, my schedule was crazy with cross-country travel, work and the daily hustle that young people have when trying to establish their footing in this “city where dreams are made.”  I complained to Bevy that I needed someone to help me get organized.  She immediately suggested her girl Renée who had recently launched a business where she provided personal services such as organization, relocation and personal styling.

Renée and I met and hit it off!  I remember her as well dressed, down-to-earth and smart.  I hired her for that initial project and she got my single girl, “Sex in the City” closets in tip-top shape.  Since then, I have hired her to help pack for my wedding and honeymoon, to switch out my seasonal clothes (there is never enough closet space in New York City for everything all at once) and to integrate my husband’s bachelor stuff with my single girl stuff.   Years ago, I overheard my #hubbs say something like, “Renée is like having a thinking and rational 3rd adult in your household.”  I would agree.

Fast forward 10 years and she is now family.  The big sister I never had but always wanted.  She shows up for me.  I can count on her to answer my calls and give sage advice.  But let me warn you, Renée is not about the BS.  You ask.  She answers and serves it straight, no chaser but always with the #truth:

  1. “You don’t need a gaggle of girlfriends running around you. You just need the ones who have your back.  The rest, let them go.  They cause unnecessary problems in your life.”
  2. “Chile please, serve them every single time. Walk into the room and own it. Let them step their game up.”
  3. “Your marriage is the most important relationship. Treat it as such.”

Working in fashion for years now, Renée understands style and how fabric should drape the body.  She studies a person’s body type and lifestyle and helps them find clothes that make them feel confident, sexy and current.  Whether working with talent for a VH1 special or  a new mom who wants her “sexy back,” count on Renée to find those pieces that make your heart sing.  She is Jackie Unfiltered’s Fashion consultant.  You will get to know her and her fashion secrets well.  For a little taste of “Nae” as her girlfriends call her, keep reading.  To save you some time, go grab your credit cards from your pocketbook because you will want the gems below. Continue Reading…

Fitness, Group Fitness

Going To The Barre Changed My Body 💪🏽

April 15, 2016

Around December 27, 2008, on a trip in Mexico, my Mind had a heart-to-heart talk with my Body:

Mind:  Hey body, we are 31 years old  and things are changing.  We need a new health and wellness plan.

Body: Why?  A plan for what? We’re good.  You think to much.  We just fell in love.  We live in this amazing, diverse city.  We’re healthy.  In fact, just think how much healthier we are today than we were in our 20s.  We worked 12 hours a day and then partied all night with the beautiful people.  Ahhh…the gold ol’ days.

Mind:  First, our 20s were indeed lots of fun but we would not have survived much longer at that pace so just be glad we lived to tell the tales.  Second, I agree with all you said about being in a good mental place.  But the problem is that since turning 30 , I see and feel the changes to our skin, our metabolism and our overall health.  If we are really honest, we don’t feel comfortable right now.  And that’s not good.  We need to look into something different and make health and wellness a priority.

Body:  Aw, you’re too hard on us.  We work out.  We try to eat healthy.  I mean, we fall of the wagon from time to time.  And we have put on a few pounds during this whole falling in love phase, which was fun by the way, but overall we are doing pretty good.

Mind:  But that’s the point.  I think we could be doing sooo much better.  And yes, I would like us to lose a few pounds.  But my end goal is not to get skinny, the goal is for us to feel strong.  Plus, we need to feel more connected, moving forward in the same direction.  You are over here.  I am over there.  We must create a better mind and body relationship so that our daily habits align with our long term goals.  For example, if we want to remain active into our golden years or hell, even our 40s for that matter, we have to develop different habits today.  And yes, we also need to drop a few pounds and build more muscle.  Today, we are 31 and have gained 5 pounds since turning 30.  If we gain 5 pounds every year for the next nine years, that’s 50 pounds overweight when we turn 40 and I just have to imagine that will be hard for both of us to deal with.

Body:  Ok, fine.  Good points.  50 pounds overweight in 10 years got me extra shook.  What’s the plan?

Continue Reading…

Be Authentic, Find Your Voice, Open Letter

The Moment She Died… 🙏🏽

April 15, 2016

Dear Mom:

As if it happened yesterday, I remember the exact moment I learned you died. In June 1997, on a late Sunday afternoon around 7:00 pm in the evening, the phone rang at our apartment in Los Angeles.  I shared a small two-bedroom apartment with four other interns also in the Xerox summer program.   I answered: “Hello?”   On the other end, I heard my brother Timothy’s voice: “Can I speak to Karli?”   Karli, a fellow classmate at Spelman College, and I shared a room in the Los Angeles Apartment.    I remember laughing, wondering why he was calling and asking for Karli.   “Tim, its Jacqueline. Are you playing some joke?”   I had barely spoken to my recently married brother all summer and now he was calling to speak with my roommate.  For a second, it made no sense.   Almost immediately, Timothy started sobbing uncontrollably. Through his emotions, I could only understand the word “dead.”   I still feel guilty because I immediately thought he was talking about Daddy.  Our father has diabetes, high blood pressure and a history of other health problem and I thought something had happened to him. I choked out, “Daddy died?”  He paused.  Some pauses last a moment and some can flash an entire lifetime.  He said: “No, mom.”  In shock, with tears streaming down my face, I dropped the phone and started screaming. How could this be? You were a gentle giant: tough as nails, strong as an ox but quick to cry and quick to love. You were full of life, the center of the party but absolutely a no-nonsense type of woman. Timothy didn’t provide the details during the short conversation.  And the true significance of the moment would take hours to really hit.  But my body ran into a brick wall at a 100 mph, and I shattered into a million pieces.

Continue Reading…

Fitness, Group Fitness

Yoga Provides Balance ⚖

April 15, 2016
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I love yoga.  Okay, in patent honesty, I love a type of yoga taught by a specific instructor in a certain city.   The instructor is Julie Wiesman and the class is “Core Fusion Yoga” in downtown Miami.  Exhale Spa describes this class as “fast paced yoga flow with an extra ‘oomph’ for your thighs, glutes and abs.”  Jackie Unfiltered lifestyle describes it as “ass-kicking, sweat your socks off yoga that makes your core feel rock solid and is not for the faint of heart.”

Despite my committed feelings about fitness, in the past, I have verbally disliked yoga.  I used to say that it feels like a waste of time with too much breathing and stretching and not enough breaking a sweat and moving.   Well my opinions changed after my first Core Fusion Yoga class with Julie in February 2016.   Julie, a quintessential “Miami-an” with her killer body, blond hair and amazing smile, teaches this class to hip-hop, rhythm & blues and soul music.    She focusses on breathing through each pose, constantly corrects students making sure every person gets the most out of the hour and provides endless variations so each fitness level achieves maximum burn.

Continue Reading…

Welcome to the world of Jackie Unfiltered!!!

April 24, 2016
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On this partly cloudy New York City spring day, I start Jackie Unfiltered’s journey by launching this “Blog-azine” (Blog + Magazine), a compilation of my utter obsession with the details of life from Home Décor, Entertaining & Fashion to Beauty, Fitness, Food & Philanthropy.  (💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼 that’s my happy dance!)

For a complete overview of the content Jackie Unfiltered will cover, head over to the About page.   If you would rather dive right in and start learning about the products and services I cannot live without, Jacqslist is a good place to start.  Or use the slider bar above and click any photo that tickles your fancy.  We will publish at least two posts a week so please join our mailing list to the right and check back often for updates.  If you are inspired or feel that everyone you know should be aware of the awesomeness of Jackie Unfiltered, we won’t be mad at you for using the “Share” Buttons at the bottom of each post to share Jackie-ism on your social media accounts.  Go ahead, test it out and start with this one.😉   Also, feel free to copy and paste the URL into a mass email. My momma said you gotta ask for what you want!

Finally, if have any inclination to understand why the heck a married, 39-year old woman trained as a lawyer birthed this project, keep reading below…

Dear Readers all over the World 🌍:

Jackie Unfiltered is a place where my duplicity melts away.

In law school, the first thing they taught us was how to dissect a case using IRAC (Issue, Rule, Analysis & Conclusion).   Here goes to always thinking like a lawyer:  Jackie Unfiltered v. People of the World, April 29, 2016…what say you?

The ISSUE is that my formal education is both my party invitation and my gilded cage.  My unused law degree traps my mind to believe that I should not, or rather cannot, write about the topics covered on this website.  While those framed pieces of paper sit in storage covered in dust, magazines and books about lifestyle, travel, food and fitness fill every drawer and surface of my living space.   Do I look backwards or forward?

The unspoken RULE is that you must choose a path in life, either left brain or right brain.   Others might tell me, my moment to choose has already come and gone.  I choose law school; therefore, if I want to write then fine, cover “serious” topics like politics, theory or social issues.

Despite all this, I always end up with the same ANALYSIS.    Regardless of the rules, I love fashion.  I love home décor.  The feel of textiles.  The joy that comes when finding that perfect mix of hard with soft.  Satin with khaki.  Checked shirts with sequins.  Stilletto biker boots with red ball gowns.  A little dressier than expected.  A touch more casual?  Look more closely, not really.   I love the process of making a house a home.  I soar when entertaining.  I love playing with make-up much like a teenage girl.  I am passionate about inspiring others to help humanity.  I adore getting tangled in the tiniest nuances of life and then wrapping myself up in the joy of figuring it all out.

A few years back, I said to my darling friend Wendy over cocktails, “I want to write. Maybe I should take a creative writing class.”  She replied something like this:

“Why?  You know how to write.  Just write.  Write until you get stuck then take a class or speak with someone.  If you never get stuck, then just keep writing.  You don’t need a certificate or school to grant you permission to pursue a passion.”

Intrinsically, I understand this but self-doubt nonetheless wiggles itself into my brain the same way an earth worm finds the freshly tilled Spring soil.    Can I survive or even thrive in a world where I am no longer duplicitous?  Where my private thoughts and obsessions are laid bare to see?  Will you judge me as silly?  Or will you cheer for me when I publically declare that wallpaper, fedoras and barre classes strike me as most interesting?  Will you understand why at 39 I want to share that on some days I still feel like the 20 year old young woman who lost her mother far too soon?   Can you see that my greatest hope in sharing my story is that I might help someone else trying to understand the type of intense pain which tries to take permanent root and residence in souls?

The only CONCLUSION I come to is I am both a lawyer by trade but a creator by heart.  So today, I say to you,  “I try.”  Because to not try would leave so many questions unanswered.  In that spirit, I welcome you to my social experiment on lifestyle.…Jackie Unfiltered.    Honestly, I am scared and nervous as hell to be this authentic.  But maybe, just maybe, I will luck up and make some new rules.  Fingers and toes crossed.

xoxo 💋




Beauty, Lifestyle

Favorite Red Lipstick 💋

April 22, 2016
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My favorite red lipstick hands down is Mac Cosmetic’s “Ruby Woo.”   This alluring red lipstick and I definitely have a love affair.  We first met during Christmas 2013 when KeKe introduced us as I frantically tried to figure out what to wear to a “women’s only” holiday party in New York City.  For this event, the hostess, a dear friend and one of the chicest women I know, asked everyone to dress in monochromatic black & white.

Before I go further, I have to explain the New York City fashion scene.  Just like any other city, women definitely dress for other women.   But it is a city that appreciates originality and authenticity.  I always strive to look appropriate and put-together.  But I also want to add a bit of that Jackie Unfiltered lifestyle which means an interesting edge, a little undone and a pop of something.  The goal is to fit in yet stand out, all at the same time.  I seek to create interesting contradictions.

Continue Reading…

Fashion, Lifestyle

The “Sunglass Whisperer” 😎

April 19, 2016
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For years, sunglasses in Jackie Unfiltered's lifestyle have been bought from my beloved Bergdorf Goodman, the iconic New York lifestyle destination located just south of Central Park on the cornerstone of fashion and luxury, 57th Street and 5th Avenue.  Up until Bergdorf started a 1st floor construction project, they tucked the sunglasses to the left of designer handbags off the quiet 57th street entrance.  Now, you will find the sunnies department an elevator ride away directly below that same spot on the Beauty level.

I always purchase my sunglasses from Fatrin Krajka, the seemingly quiet gentlemen well dressed in a blazer, slacks, checked shirt and quirky tie.  He has that purposely unkempt hipster look with hair falling just so across his forehead, forcing him to brush it back from time to time.  His well trimmed beard looks like he has a weekly appointment with a proper barber and his Albanian accent coupled with that certain European customer service creates this charming mystique.   Fatrin wears eyeglasses, the kind you notice because they fit so well but also the kind you can easily forget because they seamlessly blend into his face.

Only recently did I learn Fatrin’s born given name because I have always affectionately called him the “Sunglass Whisperer.”  He comes by this name honestly.   We first met 4 or 5 years ago when I wandered into Bergdorf’s sunglass section looking for nothing in particular.  I asked to try on a pair of oversized Celine sunglasses I recently read about in a fashion mag.  He politely passed them to me.  After I tried them on, he briefly looked at me, shook his head and said, “No.”

Continue Reading…

Love Yourself, Open Letter

How do you #W❤️W?

May 11, 2016

Dear Mom:

Three years ago, I began to pen the process I went through in my 20s and early 30s as I tried to both come of age, take care of our family and grieve your passing.  Using writing as a lens, I examined my younger life and discovered I had used 5 principals to guide my steps:

  1. Proactively delete negative people from my life
  2. Keep a tribe around me that feed my soul and love me unconditionally
  3. Search for my true voice by staying authentic and defining myself before anyone else defines me
  4. Care for myself mentally, physically and spiritually
  5. Love myself unconditionally

Sikia’s essay below delves into the 5th principle which is about loving yourself.  Through lots of trial and error, I found out that before anybody can truly love me, I have to love me first.  I have to appreciate the unique perspective I bring to the world.  I have to value my contribution, no matter how small or large, because it must matter to me before it can matter to anyone else.  Simple concept, hard to execute but necessary.

Always with love,

Jackie 💋 Continue Reading…

Fitness, Golf

The Game Requires Focus ⛳️

April 15, 2016
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Over the past five years, the game of golf has become an integral part of the Jackie Unfiltered lifestyle.  We play to socialize, to exercise, to decompress and, last but not least, to talk trash  (I did break 90 a couple months back…just saying).

Some of our most meaningful friendships have developed on the golf course.  As a club champion just told me recently, its a “social game more than anything.”  After four uninterrupted hours, you really get a chance to know someone and many facets of their character–the good, the bad and the ugly.

Continue Reading…

Food, Smoothies

My Smoothie Philosophy 🍌🍏🍋

April 13, 2016
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If you take my advice and replace one meal a day with a smoothie, over time, not overnight, your waistline and your primary care physician will thank me!  About 6 years ago, I bought a Vitamix, another word for high-powered blender that will emulsify pretty much anything.    Life changing appliance!  I have a love affair with my Vitamix but there are other machines (Wolf Gourmet Blender, Cuisinart Hurricane Blender, Breville “The Boss” High Velocity Blender) on the market that will allegedly do the same tricks.  I tell everyone if I had the choice of keeping only two appliances, everything could go except my Coffee Maker and the Vitamix.  Do you think I’m exaggerating? Every August, family and friends travel to Martha’s Vineyard (a quaint island just off the coast of Massachusetts) for a few weeks of rest and relaxation.   It’s only four hours away, but we pack up the car with a little bit of everything: golf clothes, workout gear, beach stuff, day and night clothes and always the Vitamix.

This single appliance literally changed the way we approach breakfast most days out of the week. I use my Vitamix at least once per day.   Monday through Friday, I replaced our breakfast meal of yoghurt, fruit and high sugar granola with a homemade smoothie packed full of whole fruits and vegetables, low calorie protein and zero calorie flavors. Continue Reading…