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NOVEMBER 2014 Winter: City Chic

Are You

Investing in Your Curves?

Be

C.U.R.V.Y! Stay Centered and Healthy During the Holiday Season!

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Call Today 832.380.4373 LOGOS • ADS • WEBSITES • HOSTING • SEO • MENUS • BROCHURES POS • CD’S • LETTErHEAD • MAGAZINES NEWSLETTERS • CATALOGS SIGNAGE • BANNERS • BILLBOARDs • PACKAGING • POSTCARDS • FLYERS • DIRECT MAIL • DOOR HANGERS ENVELOPES • BUSINESS CARDS LABELS • CUSTOM CALENDARS • POSTERS INVITATIONS COUPONS • PRESENTATION FOLDERS • RACK CARDS SALE SHEETS • PRESS KITS MAGNETS • CONSULTING • & MORE!

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Model: Anita Hawkins Prosper, Texas MUA: LoveFaces by Nikki Photog: Mystro Photography Custom Wardrobe: Andre Terry

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» A Message from the Publisher

Our 2nd Edition! Boy, does time fly when you’re having fun. I’m so excited about this “Winter: City Chic” issue. Anita is giving you “Flawless Beauty From the Inside Out,” while Ana is telling you how to be a Budgetnista and put more money in your pockets! Who doesn’t love saving? “Be C.U.R.V.Y!” Not just during the holidays, but all the time. That’s just what the doctor ordered! We have spent countless days and weeks connecting with Curvy Connect followers and Ambassadors from around the world. The love and support is overwhelming. CCM received some great submissions from writers, models and followers. With the launch of our new site, we are now able to share, promote, and give YOU, our readers, some of the best curvy information directly. This coming year, we will have even more opportunities for everyone! During the last six months we have expanded and will be announcing some awesome news & collaborations. We hope that you will continue with us on our journey as we grow. Your feedback and commitment to seeing CCM succeed is invaluable. Thank you for being on our team! Hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Happy Holidays!

Publisher/Model P.S. - Please share CCM with a friend today, and ask them to subscribe! Grow With Us! LIKE | SUBSCRIBE | FRIEND | FOLLOW u Facebook.com/TamaraDennyse u Twitter and Instagram @tamaradennyse u Facebook and Instagram @curvyconnect u Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+ @curvyconnectmag www.CurvyConnectMag.com

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“Find something to smile about. If you can find one thing to smile about, you can make it through any day.�

epre r t n e tor | n e M | opist r h t n Phila | l e ut! Mod ide O

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p40 Model: Anita Hawkins Prosper, Texas MUA: LoveFaces by Nikki Photog: Mystro Photography

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TABLE OF CONTENTS THIS ISSUE

PAGE

Message from the Publisher

5

Message from the Editor

9

Are You Investing in Your Curves

11

Editor’s Pick: Twentyone0six

13

Just a Girl

15

Dear Damien

16

Be C.U.R.V.Y!

20

The Best Gift…Self-Love

22

How to Be a Budgetnista

26

Nom Nom Nom

30

You’re Invited

34

How Do You Summon Him

38

Cover Story: Anita Hawkins Flawless Beauty

40

Make-Up Trends & Tips

47

The New You: Setting Goals

50

#ccmcandidlycurvy

52

From the Male POV- Modeling Tips & Tricks

54

#ccmbreastcancersurvivor

56

Publisher Tamara Brown Editor-in-Chief/Staff Writer Jennifer Amoako Marketing Kim Tezeno Creative Director TEGA-Creative-Studio.com Photographer Barry Gatlin Contributing Writers Terr Cacilia L. Chantay Jacqueline Goodwater Regina Hatcher NishaSpeaks Abraham Joshua Prieto Dr. Nadia Richardson Kim Tezeno Damien Thomas Ana Wade Daniel Wilson

We Want

You!

Are your positive, upbeat, and love all things CURVY? Awesome... Join the team. Curvy Connect Magazine is seeking motivated individuals from all over. Become a Curvy Connect Ambassador! Submit your contact information and 1-2 paragraphs on why you want to be on our team. Visit www.curvyconnectmag.com for more information.

p31

Curvy Connect Mag P.O. Box 112 Alief, TX 77411-112 832-819-4CCM (4226) Material may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form without prior written permission.

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» A Message from the Editor

Are you excited about the holidays? If you can’t wait for Black Friday, be sure to read Ana’s savvy saving tips before braving the crowds and the cold in the wee hours of the morning on November 28th! Does the holiday season give you the blues? Learn the warning signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and how to stay balanced and stay C.U.R.V.Y! in the coming months.

Confident. Upbeat. Resilient. Vivacious. You! On the cover is plus model, socialite, and philanthropist Anita Hawkins. Oh! Did I mention that this busy wife and mother is an author as well? We’re also introducing you to Twentyone0six, my Editor’s Pick and photographer for this edition. And things wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t tell you how to be “Winter: City Chic” at upcoming festivities. Sequins? Yes please! Go ahead and SPARKLE! Nearly all fifty states and over fifteen countries… It is incredible that we’ve grown so much since launching in August! I am enthusiastically looking forward to what the New Year has in store for us. THANK YOU for your support. Keep spreading the word about Curvy Connect Mag! If you’re a fashion or beauty industry professional, join our Curvy Connect Network on Facebook. Happy Holidays!

Editor-in-Chief

Grow With Us! LIKE | SUBSCRIBE | FRIEND | FOLLOW www.CurvyConnectMag.com Photog: Ricco Hair/MUA: J’la www.twentyone0six.com

u Jennifer on Facebook.com/curvyconnectmag.eic u Facebook and Instagram @curvyconnect u Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Google+ @curvyconnectmag

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{curvy inspiration}

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By Kim Tezeno

Investing in your curves is essential to be successful in your modeling career. The first investment should be made inwardly. Self-love is the best love and will take you to the next level. Are you confident, but not cocky? A beautiful spirit will afford you modeling jobs more than a beautiful face. Last but not least, invest spiritually. Taking time for meditation and prayer is an excellent equalizer for all that you may encounter in the world of fashion. The next phase of investing in your curves is making time for physical activity and being mindful of what you’re consuming. This combination is a sure way to keep your curves in all the right places. Also, attention must be given to your hair, skin, nails and teeth so that you will glow in your photos. Investing in your curves today will yield a priceless return. Are you investing in your curves?

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E Company: Twentyone0six Location: Washington, DC Metro Photog: Ricco Website: Twentyone0six.com

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EDITOR’S In a day and age when we are saturated with provocative, sensual, and even sexually explicit images, it unbelievable, yet refreshing that a business would choose to focus on modesty. Let’s face it, “sex sells!” But I also believe in something that my mother instilled in me as I grew into a young woman… “Leave something to the imagination.” We don’t have to show everything to be beautiful or sexy. Sometimes less is more, even in the fashion and beauty industries. So, in a world where risqué images are the status quo, Twentyone0six is working to prove there is another way. The MODEST way.

“Twentyone0six is a ministry committed to developing artists in a modest fashion. We are dedicated promoters for modesty and promise to incorporate it into any interested individual’s career; from runway modeling, print modeling, music production, and everything in between. Our promise is to deliver a positive and modest product to our clients quickly and to high-quality standards.” “Modesty is our priority.” Twentyone0six is located in the Washington, D.C. area and offers an array of services including photography, hair and make-up, models, music production, and event hosting. Lead Photographer Ricco and Hair Stylist/Make-up Artist J’la are the talented duo behind my photo shoot for this edition. They were a blast to work with, and I am extremely pleased with the finished product. I look forward to working with them again. To learn more about Twentyone0six including the origin of their name, check them out at www.twentyone0six.com! Curvy Connect Mag :: November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition :: curvyconnectmag.com 13


Model: Mayah London, United Kingdom Photog: Hanna Suhonen

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They say I’m too big, too bold, too loud! They say I should relax, but that’s really not my style. I don’t think they realize that this is just who I am and it really irritates me that they think I’m this way because of a man... Honey no. See the way I was raised, a closed mouth didn’t get fed. And as you can see I’m as healthy as a thoroughbred. I’ve been to school, I’ve got two degrees, I’ve got two kids that call me mommy. I’m a coach, a nurse, a chef, a teacher, and sometimes even a motivational speaker. And those are just the things I do for them  and Lord have mercy if I had to factor in a “him.” But there’s another side of me, one who is sometimes vulnerable, insecure and has needs. She doesn’t show her face too much,  ‘cause in this life, honey you’ve just got to be tough. And when I say tough I mean... Tenacious, outgoing, undeniable, graceful and heroic. And I am all of these things and you can bet your bottom dollar baby I know it.  So yes I am big, my presence is strong, And yes I am bold,  I am bold and free, Free to be everything God created and destined me to be..Just a girl. By NishaSpeaks

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{health/wellness}

Dear

Damien? Dear Damien,

I have been happily married for several years. I have a loving and supportive husband that accepts me as I am and appreciates my curves. However, my mother-in-law is very critical and blatantly makes hurtful remarks about my weight. My husband has addressed this issue with her, and I have spoken to her directly as well. Although she has apologized, saying that it is out of concern for my health, she continues to make snide remarks and comments, such as my husband should “make� me workout. I am losing my patience with her. I am trying to remain respectful, but she is making it difficult because I feel completely disrespected by her. What else can I do? Anonymous, Pensacola, FL

Dear Carolyn R., Considering that you and your husband have both addressed the issue with your mother-in-law, it sounds like a third meeting is in order. This meeting should include yourself, your husband, and mother-in-law. By addressing the issue collectively, it will diminish any impressions from your motherin-law that she is in control of the situation and your marriage. I also question the dynamics between your husband and your motherin-law based on the fact that this issue has grown into a recurring problem. He either has problems with exhibiting assertion or the dynamics between him and his mother are unhealthy. This will also give you more emotional security knowing that your husband truly supports your position. Damien Thomas, NCC, LPC

Do you have a question for Dear Damien?

We want to hear about it! Submit your question to deardamien@curvyconnectmag.com

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Model: Plus Model Kerri Huntsville, Alabama MUA: Jenice Mangruem of Face II Face Cosmetics Hair: Monica Earl of Styles by Mo Photog: Ron Mayes Photography

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Model: Hillorie Ray Delaware, Ohio MUA/Hair/Wardrobe: Tiffanie Pfeuffer Photog: Kerrie Cocherl

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{health/wellness}

By Nadia m. Richardson, phd

3 Book flight home for Thanksgiving. Check! As busy and phenomenal as we are, I have a strong feeling that most of us are not doing such a good job checking that last item. The truth is, making time for ourselves is often not even on our list of things to do. The holidays are a time for giving. It is a time to reflect on the year’s life lessons, give thanks for our blessings and consider new possibilities for the future. But sometimes it’s hard to remember to enjoy the holidays because, when you get around family and friends, you are bombarded with these types of questions: If you’re single: So….when are you getting married? If you’re married: So….when are you guys having kids? If you have kids: So….when are you have another? If you’re in college: Aren’t you done yet? We’ve all been there…just breathe. These type of questions in addition to financial pressures, hectic event schedules or the loss of a loved one are just a few of the reasons why depression can creep up during the holidays. Here are a few ways to stay centered and healthy during the upcoming holiday season: Take some time to yourself Understand that family and friends will often

3 Finalize shopping list for Christmas. Check!

q Make some time to celebrate yourself this holiday season…

ask questions that are a reflection of their expectations for your life. And while it is great for them to want you to achieve, it is up to you to decide what success and happiness look like to you. This is why it is so important to take time out to meditate, set life goals and ask yourself what you want out of life so that the expectations of others don’t cause you stress and anxiety. Slow Down Whether it’s an office party, church play, family dinner or girl’s night out, it is extremely draining to attend a holiday event every single night of the week. Slow down. Get the rest you need so that you don’t fall behind on some of your everyday responsibilities. Stop and ask yourself: Do I really want to or need to go to this event? Bills, Bills, Bills Who are you trying to impress spending everything you have for the holidays? Set realistic goals. Overextending yourself is a recipe for disaster. Not only will you experience the pressure of having to find ways to cover your regular expenses, you will likely experience stress and anxiety for spending irresponsibly. Be honest with yourself If you find yourself unable to move past feelings of isolation, sadness or fatigue during the holiday season, be honest with yourself and

say so. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, is a diagnosable form of depression that can arise during the holiday season. Some symptoms of SAD include insomnia, changes in weight, crying, moodiness and, in severe cases, thoughts of suicide. This is why it is important to be honest with yourself and not hide in shame should you experience these types of feelings.

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There is no shame in letting people know how you feel or taking advantage of professional wellness resources that you may need. If you are lonely, make plans to be in the company of friends or family. If the holidays are difficult because of the loss of a loved one, reach out to a counseling center or support group. And if you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of SAD, schedule an appointment with a counselor or medical professional. Holidays don’t always look like the TV family sitting around the table for a picturesque meal. And that’s ok. Make the most of this special time of the year by embracing your uniqueness and celebrating in your own way. Surround yourself with love, be Confident Upbeat Resilient Vivacious You (C.U.R.V.Y!) and take care of yourself. Be healthy so you can make your authentic mark on the world in 2015!


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To Nurture Your Potential Schedule Your Appointment Today! 3670 Lakeland Lane, Suite 30 Jackson, MS 39216

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www.damienthomascounseling.com Curvy Connect Mag :: November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition :: curvyconnectmag.com 21


{health/wellness}

The Best Gift You Could Give Yourself This Holiday Season

Self-Love.

By Terr Cacilia

W

ith the holiday season upon us, and a new year around the corner you may be wondering about what gifts you will be receiving from others. But have you considered the absolute best gift you could give yourself? How about self-love, acceptance, and maybe, that designer bag you’ve been eyeing? (Let’s be honest we all would totally buy it!) We have all been faced with internal challenges. The struggles that haunt you year after year. The little voice that lives in the darkest part of your mind that repeats every negative thought you have ever had about yourself. Or maybe this little voice of what others have said to you. With this holiday season, why not release yourself from the heavy shackles of an internal negative monologue, and instead choose a life of love and acceptance? Your journey can start small. Even as simple as dedicating 10 minutes a day to accepting yourself as you are exactly at that moment. I like keeping a journal, you may like treating yourself to a spa day at home. I asked my Facebook community what they did to practice self-love and one response I received was from Sarah. She said, “I am always gathering positive

quotes for me to look at whenever I have those days where I am down on myself. I try to love myself a little bit more every day; I try to develop habits that are good for my body, and stop the ones that aren’t.” These simple activities could be the stepping stone of which you begin your self-love journey. Try making this the year of YOU, and no, that is not a selfish act. In fact, it is actually one of the most selfless acts you can do. Being able to love yourself wholeheartedly will allow you to love others more easily, allow you to be more patient, and yes, you will be happier. A better mood benefits everyone and your energy will potentially inspire others. Let me not mislead you to thinking you won’t face days that are harder to practice self-love than others, those days are very real. Some

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days the word “impossible” may come to mind. It is important to remember the saying, “Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.” because this statement is crucial, and even more it is TRUE! I am here to tell you that you can achieve anything! There it is in writing! This holiday season give yourself the best gift ever... the ability to love yourself! The year 2015 is dedicated to YOU, and it will be the best year yet. My friend Becky sums up the never-ending journey of acceptance flawlessly. “You are perfect, your cellulite, your belly - everything is beautiful and just as it should be. Embrace it. Your journey may be longer or shorter than mine, but it is yours.” So what are you giving yourself this holiday season?


Model: Wy Renae Houston, Texas MUA: Allegra Webb Wardrobe: Shay Blache’ Photog: The Lennz Photography

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Model: Lex Texada Lake Charles, Louisiana Wardrobe: Body Central Photog: A’Leila Jackson

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{fashion/beauty}

By Annerys “Natural DominicAna” Wade

With the holidays right around the corner there is no time like the present to talk about saving money. Yes, saving money! As we all know, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the times when we spend the most. We have dinners, gifts, decorations, parties, and the list goes on and on. If you are anything like me or have a family like mine (4 boys and a husband) then your list is pretty long, and money may be an issue that needs to be managed. So I have dedicated myself to finding ways to attain what we need and sometimes want without breaking the bank.   With the beauty of technology, the web, and smart phones, I have been able to resolve this issue in a few easy steps with easy-to-use tools. I would like to introduce to you Ebates.com, RetailMeNot.com, and Bradsdeals.com and the handy dandy Discount Calculator Phone App (for in-store use). These tools have been a complete relief to both my bank account and my husband’s heart.  

1

Make a list of what you want to buy per person and set a budget. Why a budget? If you don’t set a goal, you will not have anything to aim for and no way to hold yourself accountable.

2

Go to Bradsdeals.com and search for those items and attain coupon codes for those items found on the website. NOT everything that you are looking for will be there but many will be and you might find something better!   a) Bradsdeals.com is a website and app that lists all the sales that are taking place across the board from popsicle sticks to a visit to the Zoo throughout the internet and in-store. With the items listed, it will provide you with discount codes that will drop the price sometimes more than the coupons that the stores may offer.  b) Once you have found the items that you are looking for, make sure that you save the coupon codes. After you have added your items to the cart visit my next favorite site....Ebates.com.

3

Ebates.com is a website that allows you to set up an account where you can save all of your favorite sites and stores and get cash back and discounts every time you shop.   a) First, sign into your ebates.com account and click on the store where you previously added items to the cart. At this time, you will find out the percentage (%) that you will earn in cash back from Ebates. At times, there will be more than one option available so make sure that you choose the one that fits you the best.

b) Clicking the link will create a tracking ticket that will redirect you to the site, and you can continue shopping or checkout the item(s) in the cart. Depending on your choice and the time of year, you could save and earn from 1.5% to 18% on your shopping cart items just through Ebates.com!   

You may be wondering, “What is 1% to 18% going to do for me?” Well, a lot when you combine it with my final resource for saving money… RetailMeNot.com (the site or app)!  

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{fashion/beauty}

4

RetailMeNot.com is a coupon code provider for almost every store out there online or brick and mortar. When you create your account, you will be asked for your geographical details to make sure that your codes are for stores in your area. You may save coupons for later use and you will be reminded of expiring ones. You can also save the stores that you frequent and be alerted when you are near it and if there are any sales taking place in that area.

Ooh! I LOVE SAVING MONEY! Once you have all of your items in the cart and have created your tracking ticket through Ebates.com, you must search RetailMeNot.com for coupons codes that may be better or can be stacked with another code. Kohl’s is a good example of a store that allows more than one coupon code to be used. Once you have narrowed down everything, you can now check out and let the savings begin! Within three days you will get an email notification of your savings from Ebates.com and every three months, you will get a BIG FAT CHECK from Ebates.com for your savings.   Recently my family and I visited Kohl’s to pick out my oldest son’s birthday gift. He wanted a pair of jogger pants. He showed me the ones that he wanted, and they cost about $40 for one pair! Of course, I laughed and told him that I refused to spend $40 on one pair of pants and to keep looking. He walked around and then gave up. I continued to look and found a pair of jogger pants for $25 each. He liked them, so I pulled out my phone used my Discount Calculator App and RetailMeNot App and purchased two pairs for the price of the one that he originally wanted. He was very happy, and I saved over $10! I also purchased a pair of Michael Kors loafers, originally priced $100 from Nordstrom.com. Using my shopping method, the price was reduced to $80. Then I earned $27 from Ebates.com for a triple cash back offer, making the total I paid only $53! OOH! Yes, it sounds like a lot just to save money, but it is worth the effort. So make it FUN by creating a “Shopping Crew” that includes the family. Try it and reach out to me via email at nuevobeginnings@outlook.com and let me know how it worked for you. Have a great time shopping, saving and earning money this holiday season!

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Model: Madeleine Havell Bristol, United Kingdom MUA/Hair: Laura Goodwin Photog: Gavin Chapman

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{nom nom nom}

Ingredients 3 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 large eggs 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar 1 cup canned pumpkin puree 1 1/4 cups milk 1/2 cup molasses 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter, plus some to butter the iron Syrup, whipped cream or fresh fruits for topping, to pass at table

Directions Preheat waffle iron. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in pumpkin, milk, molasses and melted butter. Stir the wet into dry until just moist. Do not overstir the waffle batter. Brush the iron with a little melted butter and cook 4 waffles, 4 sections each. Serve with toppings of choice. Credit: Foodnetwork.com. Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Ingredients 4 strips thick-cut bacon 2 tablespoons butter 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved 1/2 large onion, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, then roughly chop. In same pan with bacon fat, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussels Sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss bacon back into pan. Serve immediately. Credit: Foodnetwork.com. Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson

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{nom nom nom}

Ingredients 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder 12 cups whole milk 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

8 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder in a 6-quart slow cooker. Turn the cooker to high, and slowly whisk in the milk to prevent lumps from forming. Add the vanilla and salt, cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. The sugar and cocoa powder should be completely dissolved.

24 peppermint candies, crushed (about 1 cup), for serving 3 cups mini marshmallows, for serving 2 cups peppermint schnapps, optional, for serving

Whisk in the chopped chocolate a little at a time until it is all incorporated. Replace the lid, and cook until thickened, 30 minutes more. Turn the cooker to warm, and serve with small bowls of the peppermint candies and mini marshmallows and a small pitcher of schnapps, if using. For minty cocoa, let a few teaspoons of the peppermints melt in an 8-ounce cup or add 2 tablespoons of schnapps. Copyright 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

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Model: Karen M. Lafayette, Louisiana MUA: Sacha Cosmetics Photog: Teddy B Images

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We specialize in the resale of new, contemporary, couture apparel, shoes, and accessories.

Effortless Fashions & Designs True Style Is Timeless; Make It Look Effortless!

We’re Just a Call or Email Away For questions regarding items currently listed in our online boutique, styling consultations, consignment appointments, or personal shopping requests. Contact us at:

832.713.8813 consultant@makeitlookeffortless.com twitter.com/effortlessfandd facebook.com/makeitlookeffortlessfashions

www.makeitlookeffortless.com Curvy Connect Mag :: November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition :: curvyconnectmag.com 33


{fashion/beauty}

YOU’RE INVITED By Regina Hatcher

It’s that time of year when you can start to expect the holiday party invitations to roll in! The functions may range from small Happy Hour gatherings to extravagant Black Tie Galas! Whatever the occasion, you’ll want to be ready! The first and most critical thing to remember is proper foundation. Whether you wear Spanx, full coverage bras, control top tights, or corsets,

make sure they fit properly! The most gorgeous gem can be a wash if the appropriate undergarments aren’t worn. Now that we have that piece of business out of the way, LET’S PARTY! What’s a goddess-sized diva to wear? Whatever flatters and showcases her curves best! Let’s work our way up from the simplest to the most grand attire.

The bosses choose to treat you and your co-workers to a fun, festive, dressycasual affair to be held after work. Well, the transition from day to night can be easy. This is the time of year that festive attire is in order. Try wearing a sequined shell under your suit or glamming up your dressy-causal day attire with metallic accents. Be rebellious and break some rules! Just remember to be office appropriate. Examples of how to own this look are featured below. We absolutely love this gold metallic skirt that Eloqui.com featured a couple of seasons ago. Wear this with a modest blouse or sweater, and opt to slide into a party shoe for the function. The skirt is a great length for office wear, but hits your curves in just the right places.

If you choose to shake up the office a bit, try something like this leopard sequin high-waist skirt by Jibri. Featured on Prettypearbride.com in an article for clues on holiday fashion, this was certainly a stand out. This piece is timeless! Leopard print is a mainstay, and the shape is quite flattering for a goddess-size diva! The Jibri brand found on Etsy.com is designed for the “fashion conscious curvy woman.” Pair this with a modest blouse or bolero jacket to keep it toned down for the office. After work, slide your jacket off to reveal a sexy shell. Add a sinful shoe; your job is done!

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Let’s raise the stakes and the heat with some sexy cocktail dresses! Find a garment that is flattering, yet comfortable. Remember to review the invitation for the dress code. Dressy or cocktail attire gives way to lots of selections. Let’s see what trouble we can get into. If ever there is a time to take a risk and play with bold metallic patterns, this is it! Exhibit A is a sizzling, sinful gold sequin party dress designed by Monif C. She has garnered quite the reputation for packaging the dangerous curves of the full sized woman well! This dress is NOT for the faint at heart! You will have to own it! It’s just the right length to showcase those legs and fierce shoes. Keep your shoes and accessories scaled back a bit. The dress is its own statement piece! Her dresses feature structure to shape the curves, yet have enough stretch to make for a comfortable fit. Get ready to turn heads in this number!

Exhibit B is another Monif C. jewel. This dress is one for the ages! Simplicity, but detailed is how we would describe this lovely. The draping and ruching are strategically placed in ALL the right spots. Paired with a metallic or “after 5” shoe, this would work well for the holidays. Substitute the shoe for something such as a leopard print, and wear to an evening wedding or birthday party. You really can’t go wrong with this dress if you wear the appropriate foundation.

Semi-formal and cocktail dresses can be one in the same. According to eHow.com, semi-formal affairs tend to feature short cocktail dresses made of silks, chiffons, and satin fabrics. Here are some examples of semi-formal dresses to add to your wardrobe we found currently on Macy.com: The first is a Ruby Rox sleeveless A-lined empire waist dress which is very much on point for most any semi-formal occasion. It’s flattering without being as fitted as a club or party dress. The rhinestone pin can be removed to allow for more versatility. Opt for a strappy sandal with a rhinestone accent or contrasting color satin shoe for that extra pop. Our second semi-formal beauty is a great piece for those ladies who don’t feel comfortable with a fitted dress. This chiffon shift dress by Connected can be just the answer they need to feel comfortable, yet sexy. The kimono sleeves and rhinestone accent add drama to the simple dress. The length is just right to show off those pretty gams. An elegant “after 5” sandal or satin shoe would work well!

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{fashion/beauty} Let’s first go over what “Black Tie” attire means for ladies. According to eHow.com, most black tie affairs require a floor length gown or two-piece evening gown of any color. They caution to be mindful of the occasion. Scale back on the number of jewelry pieces as well as the “over the top” selections. When choosing gowns that flatter our goddess-size divas, Outerliner.com advises that “curvy and plus size girls will benefit from A-Line or Empire style dresses.” This is because these dresses have a relatively high defined waistline. In addition, their skirts flow down and over, as opposed to hugging your curves. The result is no obvious bulges for a polished, sleek silhouette.” We concur! Let’s take a peek at some of our favorite looks! The first dress is featured on Kiyonna.com and comes in three equally lovely colors. The “Screen Siren Lace” gown features a black and nude option which is a showstopper! For a more conservative look, the twilight grey and onyx options are stylish options too. The dress features a scalloped neckline, ruching at the waistline in a contrasting color to direct the eye to the smaller part of the body. The fit and flare skirt, along with the stretch fabric allow for comfort and ease of movement. WE LOVE THIS DRESS! Our next beauty is an empire waist dress featured on Igigi.com. The full skirt is accentuated with embroidered beaded tulle fabric. The dress is so very simple, yet elegant. Add understated jewelry and accessories to complete the look.

We would be remiss if we didn’t enter a WILD CARD into the mix. There will be those parties that dresses are optional. You may opt for jumpsuits crafted to accentuate you in all the right places. We love how Monif C. offers jumpsuits in various fabrics and styles all year. Here is one of our favorite jewels from seasons past: The “Pauletta” sequin jumpsuit features the peplum accent to camouflage tummy issues; the stretch insert in the thigh adds extra support. The pencil leg can be set off by a fierce shoe.

Our final selection is a stunning purple Tadashi gown worn by a gorgeous lady who does “curvy” to the fullest. It’s none other than rapper, actress, talk show host, Queen Latifah! This full skirted empire waist dress features jeweled accents on the straps and a forgiving A-line skirt to skim over hips and tummy areas. The Tadashi brand offers many selections for full-figured women. The quality fabrics and colorful arrays give way toward a well put together diva!

Divas, the only thing left to do is be YOU! Take your time when shopping for After 5 and Black Tie apparel. Don’t be discouraged. Do research online before heading out to the stores, to ensure items are in your size. When shopping online, look for detailed descriptions to ensure proper fit. Order early to give time for alterations or returns, if needed. Don’t forget the cardinal rule: WEAR PROPER FOUNDATION! We wish you a BLAST all throughout the holiday season! Make memories, turn heads, and leave them SPEECHLESS!

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Model: Natural DominicAna Santo Domingo, Dominican Republican MUA: Latisha Grant Photog: Mac Media by Shanica Mac

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By L. Chantay

I think, sometimes, when we are so accustomed to certain things we begin to take them for granted. From birth many of us have been taught that we are the fairest things of the land and simply showing up was and is enough to warrant the time, attentions, desires, and affections of men. Men constantly reaffirm this notion as they all gallivant around vying for our attention. May I interrupt our realities for just a moment? I urge us to stop and think about how we would feel if one day all the attention we receive on a daily basis just suddenly stopped. What would happen if we no longer got hit on by the annoying guy at the grocery store, by a random stranger when we don outfits that make us feel like sex kittens, or by our mates when they wanted to engage in sexy time? I will be the first to admit that although I am modest, I do think I am pretty hot. I may even secretly be a little conceited or arrogant. I take it as a dare for any man to walk past me and not do a double take. Okay, maybe not every man, but definitely most men. I know I can’t be the only woman that thinks or feels that way. My walk always gets an extra little “come hither” action when my mister comments on how sexy I am. Now back to reality. Being constantly hit on doesn’t feel so annoying now, does it? I would go so far as to say it’s

an ego boost. What human can do without an ego boost every now and again regardless of gender? Men need attention and validation just as much as we do. The best part of this? Most men are fairly simple! It doesn’t take much to make them feel masculine and wanted. A well timed genuine compliment can have him feeling as though he can conquer the world. How do you deal with being aroused and wanting to pounce on your man? Fortunately for many of us, we need not assume the position of dominatrix in order to summon. Subtlety works to our advantage in this regard. Casually walk past him wearing sexy lingerie, costume, or nothing but your birthday suit and heels. Bat your lashes and ask if he would like to play with you. Feed a man, and there’s nothing that he

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wouldn’t do for you. Just ask Beyoncé. “All up in the kitchen in my heels, dinner time.” Men are very visual, and they love to eat. What would be more of an aphrodisiac than seeing his hot sexy dame donning pinup-esque attire while cooking him a meal? Heaven I tell you! It would be Heaven for him. A simple, “I want you,” works well and gets straight to the point. No clues needed. Can you imagine how eager he will be to please you if you summon him? What is a girl to do with all that power and a man willing to worship at the temple of her body? I doubt you can go wrong with whatever method of summoning you choose. Trust me, he will just be happy to be having sex with you, you smoldering sultry thing you.


Model: Jenn Stephens Los Angeles, California Photog: Patrick Ludolph

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Model: Anita Hawkins Prosper, Texas MUA: Aminata Ceesay Photog: Kauwuane Burton Photography Custom Wardrobe: Reco Chapple

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{feature} If the man in your life is a baseball aficionado, chances are he has heard of LaTroy Hawkins. The professional MLB player may be known for his pitching and his Immaculate Inning in 2004 while with the Chicago Cubs, but these days it looks like another Hawkins is hitting it out of the park. Curvy Connect Magazine had the privilege to sit down with the MLB star’s wife, model Anita Hawkins, for a chat! If I could sum up our delightful interview with just one word, I would have to say, “Inspiring.” Curvy Connect Magazine deems Anita Hawkins “one to watch” and after talking to her, there’s no question about it! Anita is a fashion maven and socialite in her own right. She’s much more than just a pretty face. These days, she’s making a name for herself. A peek at her social media will give you a glimpse of just how busy this woman is with projects and ventures. We’ll get to all that in just a second. First, we just had to know how does she do it all and stay balanced? Her modest answer, “As far as balanced…I have no idea.” She giggled. Although keeping a detailed schedule and agenda on a calendar is a start! Her drive? “I know it comes from being without. A lot of people have a story… they can say they grew up with nothing. That’s not my story. I grew up in a middle-class family. I can’t say my family had nothing... but my dad decided to sign me over to the state when I became a single mom as a teen leaving me to figure it out. It left me with nothing. So to come from something and be left with nothing, trying to figure it all out, I didn’t have a choice. I had to be driven. I just knew I wanted to make something out of myself. From the age of fifteen, that’s how it has been.” An exciting project in the works for this busy mom is her book “The Storm after the Storm.” As an author, Anita shares a riveting, coming-of-age story that is a fuse of fiction and fact. Anita tells a true-to-life story that hits on major issues that many girls and women face today. Aere, a beautiful and talented girl whose name means “storm,” endures many storms as she grows into a woman in this gripping and captivating drama. Born of parents from two vastly different worlds, Aere discovers what she is made of as she faces tragedy in her life all too soon. Sexually abused by her cousins before her teen years, young Aere’s once peaceful world is shattered by confusion, fear, and a string of events

that threaten her well-being and her future. When she gives birth to a child from her second pregnancy at 16 years old, her relationship with both of her parents is severed and she is forced to fend for herself and her newborn son — but something rises up deep within her. As avid readers, we must say from the synopsis, we are more than enthusiastic to get our hands on Anita’s book! We were enthralled by the first few lines. We asked Anita what inspired her to share this story. She responds, “It’s my life story. The book is a metaphor of me coming out of my “life storm” and coming into who I am today. You just never know who might be going through the same thing and how you can touch their life just by sharing those little nuggets of hope.” Look for “Storm after the Storm” in the New Year! Like any dreamer with a vision, one’s plate is never full. We were elated to talk to Mrs. Hawkins about her ties with a new franchise, Fresh Healthy Cafe. The aforementioned is a Canadian brand with stores sprouting in places like New York, California, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. Anita saw an opportunity and took it! She was excited to let Curvy Connect Magazine know

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she is helping bring Fresh Healthy Cafe to Texas. She currently owns the master rights to the franchise in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area and is projecting to open ten state-of-the-art cafes. Rolling out ten individual venues would seem like a major undertaking for most people, but Anita is a relentless businesswoman with ambition! We had a sneak peek at the menu… DELICIOUS! It’s a chic, cool, new concept that goes hand-in-hand with the message that eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.


{feature} Model: Anita Hawkins Prosper, Texas MUA: Paulette Pradia PrefinityArt Designs Photog: Kendra Jones Stylist: Karissa Lindsay Wardrobe: A Leap of Style Accessories: Truly Free Creations

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Model: Anita Hawkins Prosper, Texas MUA: LoveFaces by Nikki Photog: Mystro Photography

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Over the last few years, First Lady Michelle Obama has brought the of healthy eating to our dinner tables. Anita is capitalizing on the movement along with Fresh Healthy Cafe after a recent, personal health scare. She says she needed a change, and a “diet” was not optimal, but revamping her lifestyle was. Anita’s savvy business moves and never-seizing gears are helping make that lifestyle change and healthier choices more accessible here in America. DFW area residents, you’re going to look fabulous! The glamorous diva does not stop there. She is also closely connected with other projects such as Mocca Cosmetics, a makeup line for women of color. The colors are phenomenal! Anita adds that what she loves the most about Mocca Cosmetics are the pigments. It’s worth every penny! Even more, Mocca Cosmetics is enabling woman of all ages to learn makeup basics and expand their beauty arsenal by becoming distributors and consultants. She was so happy to add that young girls are becoming makeup artists and growing with the makeup collection. If you have seen her Instagram or Facebook pictures, you know Anita knows beauty and technique. Since she slays every picture, and her makeup is exceptionally flawless, we had to ask her, aside from Mocca Cosmetics, what product in her makeup bag does she swear by? We were pleasantly surprised when she revealed she is obsessed with BareMinerals. Ladies, the selfie queen has spoken! With a heart as big as Texas, Anita also gives back through the local “Where Are You” program. She helps put together events in her community through wellness programs for the homeless, baby showers for women in shelters, and a recent event that provided haircuts, pedicures, and facials to the homeless. “We just love on them,” she continued, “we go out there and let them know we care, and they are not forgotten.” As if that was not enough, you can get a taste of Anita’s writing and message of hope through her collaboration with New Life Community Church in their book, “Celebrate Small Victories”. It’s a book available on Amazon in which she shares a chapter that focuses on forgiveness and moving forward. Anita once again shares the message that the storm is not the end. You endure.

Minnie’s Food Pantry - 5th Annual Feed Just One Gala WDCC Thanksgiving Homecoming Gala Custom Design: Kenya Mills - KMillsCollection

You learn. You celebrate the growth. So what’s next for the hard-working mogul? She has set her sights on the fashion scene! The fierce mom is serving by modeling for hot fashion designers like Karissa of “A Leap of Style.” She exclusively shared with Curvy Connect Magazine her plans to deliver a fashion line of her own as well. The idea is still its infancy, but we know nothing is impossible for Mrs. Hawkins. The philanthropist also just became one of the board members for Minnie’s Food Pantry. Whether it’s changing a girl’s life by instilling a business mindset through Mocca Cosmetics, or speaking directly to the soul of a reader with her book, “The Storm after the Storm,” Anita Hawkins exudes resilience, perseverance, and individuality. She is a great example and beacon of triumph to women of all colors, ages, and sizes. Her image breathes confidence into those that follow her on all avenues of

social media. She says you have to own who you are. Furthermore, she adds “I can simply say, it is gratitude…A lot of us forget what defines happiness. At the end of all my emails I sign, “Find something to smile about. If you can find one thing to smile about, you can make it through any day.” There is no doubt Anita Hawkins is one to watch. We root for her continued success not only in her business ventures, but we share her vision of selfacceptance. She personifies “the sky is the limit.” As we journey through life, learn from the storms. Turn your tears into fuel. Love yourself…all of you. Celebrate your individuality. Establish goals and conquer your fears. Give back. Shoot for the stars. Most importantly, never stop dreaming. Follow Anita: twitter: @aehfashion instagram: @aehfashion facebook.com/anita.hawkins32 facebook.com/FindOneReasonToSmile facebook.com/ahawkinsfreshhealthycafedfw

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{feature} Model: Anita Hawkins Prosper, Texas MUA: Aminata Ceesay Photog: Kauwuane Burton Photography Custom Wardrobe: Reco Chapple

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{fashion/beauty}

Glitter Gradient By Noemi D

Zoya Yasmeen By Jelena S

Silver Glam Cutcrease By Holly L

Neutral Glam By MaquillateconAurora G

Shine Bright By Virginia A

Rose-Inspired Ombre Lip By Melissa M

For more great looks visit www.preen.me Curvy Connect Mag :: November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition :: curvyconnectmag.com 47


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Model: Terr Cacilia New York, New York Photog: Zackary J.

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TheSetting NewGoalsYou By Jacqueline Goodwater

Step 1: Implementing the 5

P’s: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance • Research how to effectively reach your goal – If your goal is to lose weight, research trainer fees, gym memberships, and nutritionists. This will give you a clearer insight of what to expect financially so you can prepare accordingly. • Create a schedule and sync it in your personal calendar. This approach will help you to be consistent and accountable. • Start working towards your goal before the holiday season!

Step 2: Assign Follow-Up

Dates

The holiday season is approaching, and the New Year is around the corner. Many people are making New Year’s resolutions to start getting in shape or have other goals that start on 1/1/2015. Resolutions for many start out with good intentions but without an effective game plan or proper preparation it can cause frustration and most likely leads to failure. Taking these steps will help you stay on track so you can successfully achieve your goals.

• When setting any type of goal you should assign two to three follow-up dates to insure your goal is on track and there is no slack to cause you to fail. Questions you should be asking yourself; Am I following my exercise schedule consistently? Am implementing my meal plan consistently? Have I lost inches/weight? • By assigning these follow-up dates, you can re-adjust components to get you headed in the right direction.

Step 3: Create a Short-term Vision/Goal Board

Vision/Goal boards serve as a way to be creative and to see your goal in a perspective you can understand. Utilize magazines, newspapers, stickers, old pictures and anything that will make you

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smile and feel good about your goal. The board is a reminder of your overall goal. Post it up near your front door or the kitchen on an easel.

Step 4: Hold Yourself Accountable • Making excuses and blaming others for not carrying out your plan on a consistent basis can be a bad habit. Try enlisting a buddy to help keep you accountable. • Keep a written journal of what you are eating and how you are feeling throughout the day. Review your journal recordings during the follow-up dates and make necessary adjustments.

Step 5: Have Fun • Who does not like to have fun? Have fun when setting goals. The term “fun” does not mean you can cheat or slack off but purely means to implement ways to keep you amused and to enjoy activities. • Invite people you love to your activities, workouts, etc. Encouragement from your family and friends will give you some positive motivation to maintain the drive to succeed. Overall, set realistic goals and use motivational tools that keep you inspired. Stay connected with supportive people. Participate in events that move you closer to reaching your goals. Understand the journey will not always be easy, but you must stay determined and consistent along the way.


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281-455-9266 Engagements Graduations Sporting Events Weddings & Much More

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From the

Male POV

Modeling Tips & Tricks Part II - Lines, Curves & Angles By Daniel Wilson

Posing Posing is a simple concept; it is positioning your body in an attractive way. Everyone can benefit from studying poses and understanding the principles behind them. Before you even get started though you have to know what your body looks like. Sounds silly perhaps but I’m talking about really knowing how you look from every angle. To start, put on a one piece bathing suit or something similar and study yourself in a full-length mirror. Look straight on then do a 45-degree angle, and then an over your shoulder look. Turn your left knee just slightly then your right. Hit a right profile then a left. Tilt your chin down and see where the shadows fall. Find your most flattering angles. Know what you look like from the top of your head all the way down to the tips of your toes. There are whole books and courses designed to show you how to pose; we’ll just go over a few basics here. A full on pose into the camera is often regarded as being aggressive or direct and is great if that is the desired effect. A 45-degree angle pose to either side is usually more flattering. Watch the head down too far or too high, both can give more chin than you may be after. A simple ‘looking back over the shoulder’ pose can be alluring and mysterious. Unless you are seeking a ‘peek a boo’ look, remember to keep your hair brushed back. We want to see your face! Try and relax, try focusing on your shoulders and releasing the tightness there. The resulting loss of tension can give a much more natural look.  Seated poses are always classic, elbows on knees, knees together looking to the side or down. You don’t always have to look into the camera. Study something

to the side or off in the distance. Look at other models’ photos and see where their line of vision falls. A lovely pose, especially for bigger girls is lying flat on your tummy either on the ground or a couch, feet up in the back and ankles crossed, hands folded in front. It’s a soft, relaxed position and shows round lines nicely. Even as you are being photographed, make your movements in between poses glide, you want to flow from one position to the next.  Small changes can make big differences in how a photo turns out. Shift your shoulders just slightly. Swivel your hip a tad. If you’re seated, dip a shoulder slightly. Pointing your toes gives you more pronounced calves - and plus size girls always have great calves! Remember your hair, if you have bouncy, flowy hair, give it some movement when you arrange yourself.  A lot has been made about shapes of the body when posing. I like to think of every pose as a living sculpture. In martial arts, defensive and offensive

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elements of katas are often extensions of form. Imagine a line running from one clenched fist to the other in a defensive pose and then analyze the shape. Models can do the same, run an imaginary line from the fingertips of your left hand to your right and then remember the shape if you like the resulting final product. Don’t forget props, be prepared. Sometimes a big hat, funky shades, beach ball or frilly parasol can be just the fun touch a photo shoot needs. This is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Study posing, do it all the time. Play dress up in front of the mirror and study how you look. Get used to hitting some great poses and let them become natural, so you do them without thinking.

Expressions - The wink of an eye When I’m shooting a model, I want to be drawn to her eyes. Actually not just drawn - I want to be mesmerized, captivated, enchanted to the point where I see nothing else but. What dress size she wears is secondary. The eye is the


focal point, the place where I am going to focus my lens first. You all know the saying - smile with your eyes. It has become such a cliche because it is exactly what you need to do. Digital cameras are a great tool. Recruit a favorite girlfriend and have a picture party. Have her take photos of you striking every expression imaginable. Frown, gasp, smile, pout, giggle, stick your tongue out - go from one facial expression to another and then go over them. Have fun with it!    Review some of the looks. What mind state would induce that gasp or giggle? Put yourself there, feel those emotions, think of something funny or challenging or sad - only don’t change your facial expression as you do. Just feel the feeling in your head and convey it with your eyes. Let your

eyes express how you feel. Penetrate the camera lens. When you drive, you don’t look AT the windshield - you look through it. Think of a camera lens the same way. Don’t look at the lens - look through it, connect to the viewer beyond.  In the same breath, don’t be afraid to show some expression! It’s not a contradiction, what you are really striving for is to practice posing and hitting great facial expressions easily and with self-assurance. The viewer wants to see the real you, and that will only happen with confidence. And girls, I hate to have to go here, but I will because I still see so much of it. That ‘model look’ - you know the one, that bored, vacant look that seemed to be the standard for so long? It just makes you look bored

and vacant. Change your expressions, show some life. In order to sell yourself or the clothing line or the product you are being photographed with - people want to feel like they know you. Let them in and let them see at least a glimpse of the real you.

The bottom line Posing and body acceptance I hear one concern about a particular body part more than any other, and my guess is you are sitting on it as you read this. It seems so remarkably trivial, but I have seen the tears, the paranoia and the self-loathing. I watched a talented girl with a world of potential walk away from modeling because of what she thought she saw when she posed and looked at herself from behind in the mirror. It has to stop.  So let me tell you the truth. The truth is big girls have big bottoms. The other truth is - it’s okay! Don’t be self-conscious about that or any other part of your body - instead, give a confident flip of your hair and rock those curves!  As full-figured fashion divas, you are celebrating your curves not running away from them. Your curves are your advantage, what sets you apart in the modeling industry! Don’t let the very elements that make you unique and sexy and desirable and fascinating hold you back from doing what you want to do!  When you strike a pose, remember the advantages of your body shape. Remember the lines you are creating from your shoulder down your back, the roundness of your bum down to that perfect calf. Look deep into the lens with your eyes and your soul.   Don’t wait for the world to dictate to you - go to it, embrace it, take control. You set the bar. Be your own best friend. Look at you in the mirror and love what you see, and that self-love will show everywhere you go, with every fashion shoot and every photo op. Your poses and facial expressions are who you are - be confident enough to let the world see your beauty - inside and out!    - 30 - 

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I’m a Breast Cancer Survivor #ccmbreastcancersurvivor

During Breast Cancer Awareness month, we asked you to share your survival stories with us. Curvy Connect Magazine partnered with Beauty Mark Make-Up Artistry, RClectic Design Boutique, and Mystro Photography Studio to give one deserving breast cancer survivor a GLAM make-over!

Congratulations to Mrs. Dee Manuel Cloud!

Survivor: Dee Manuel Cloud MUA: Beauty Mark Make-Up Artistry

Dee had an amazing time and said that the experience made her, “feel like a celebrity!” We wish Dee and all of the other survivors continued good health. Thank you for sharing hope, inspiration, and reminding us that EARLY DETECTION is key! We at Curvy Connect Magazine believe that awareness should continue throughout the year, not just the month of October. So, whether you mark your calendar or schedule a reminder on your cellphone, remember to do a Breast Self-Exam (BSE) on the same day each month!

Wardrobe/Stylist: RClectic Design Boutique Photog: Mystro Photography Studio sponsored by

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I

I’m a Breast Cancer Survivor #ccmbreastcancersurvivor

was originally diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in December 2004, just a few short months after my 35th birthday. I first found the lump myself after feeling a sharp pain in my breast. Pain is typically not associated with cancer, and why it is dubbed “the silent killer.” So the mere fact that God sent me a warning was a blessing from the start.

I was not educated in the disease and blindly relied solely on the instructions and/or suggestions of my physicians. Though I received EXCELLENT care at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, I believe if I had better educated myself I could have prevented the reoccurrence. After chemotherapy, a lumpectomy, radiation and 2 years cancer free, the cancer returned in the same breast. In hindsight, I wish I had originally opted for a full mastectomy. If nothing else, I would have received new boobies and a tummy tuck right from the start. LOL! If I had gone the route of a full mastectomy, I could have possibly avoided the reoccurrence, and gained the peace of mind that I still lack sometimes concerning the breast that was not replaced.

Today I don’t focus on what cancer took. Instead, I choose to focus on what I gained from the experience. I believe our attitude to life’s blows greatly determines the outcome. Cancer left me with a renewed strength. A life-threatening illness has the ability to make one realize just how short life is. And stress is one of cancer’s biggest allies. I knew I needed to change the areas of my life that I wasn’t happy with and causing me the most stress. After my reoccurrence, I realized that it was not solely up to my physicians to help me live, and that I had to take some responsibility for my life and my health. I started researching and reading everything I could find on cancer prevention and the end result was a change in lifestyle. I now have a new outlook on life, eliminating anything that causes me stress, and approaching those things I cannot control with new perspective. I choose happiness over fear of judgment. I implemented better eating habits and now work out a minimum of 5 days per week. I say these things not to boast or convince someone that they should live their life this way, but to help women understand that: 1) Stress is a major contributor to sickness and disease. You can’t be stress-free if you’re unhappy, be it work, relationships, friendships, etc.; 2) Black women are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than our white counterparts, but we have a lower survival rate because we get diagnosed at later stages of the disease due to lack of regular checkups, and because we are also less likely to implement healthier lifestyles. Yet, it’s important to understand that if we don’t take control of our lives, life will take control of us. Curvy Connect Mag :: November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition :: curvyconnectmag.com 57


I’m a Breast Cancer Survivor #ccmbreastcancersurvivor

First and foremost I must give praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I went for my annual mammogram in January of 2009. They found some discrepancies in my lab report and wanted me to come in for more testing. At that time, I was really caught up in my son’s sports (it was his senior year in high school). They were on the way to the state playoffs, so I was putting off getting the additional testing. When I did finally go, the results came back that I indeed had breast cancer. At that point I asked about a second opinion at MD Anderson. Over the years I’d read enough to know that would be a good thing to do. I knew that God was in control but he gave the medical staff the knowledge to do His work here on Earth. The most essential part of it all is early detection. Also, to trust God no matter what the doctors say. Your attitude plays a major role in your healing process. Yes, I lost all of my hair, but even that could not dampen my spirits. I knew that God was working through me to make my children stronger and more self-sufficient. Not all sickness is meant to harm you. It’s also to make your faith stronger. At this point in my life, I choose not to give breast cancer any power and give all the glory to God. I am healed and I am grateful for the opportunity to tell my story. Without that harrowing test I’d have no testimony!

58 Curvy Connect Mag :: November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition :: curvyconnectmag.com


I’m a Breast Cancer Survivor #ccmbreastcancersurvivor

Every Penny Counts May I introduce you to Miss Penny? She is my magnum opus representing breast cancer awareness. Miss Penny stands approximately eight feet tall and is specifically designed to support breast cancer awareness. Miss Penny is an expensive work of art, with countless hours spent in the design concept. She is wearing a copper silver strapless gown, containing over five thousand pennies and fifty-five dollars in nickels and dimes, embellished with pink ribbons and flowers for effect. Please make donations to support breast cancer research. Marie Bethel CEO/Designer at Couturier Fashions America & Canada

Curvy Connect Mag :: November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition :: curvyconnectmag.com 59


No More Martyrs!

Redefining Strength. Embracing Wellness. Building Community. No More Martyrs is a mental health awareness campaign committed to building an online community of support for Black women with mental health concerns. Connect With Us: twitter: @No_More_Martyrs | Instagram: No_MoreMartyrs www.facebook.com/Join.No.More.Martyrs For More Information: NoMoreMartyrs@Valenrich.com

www.Valenrich.com/No_More_Martyrs

60 Curvy Connect Mag :: November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition :: curvyconnectmag.com

CCM November 2014 Winter: City Chic Edition  

Curvy Connect Mag

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