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The Lifestyle Magazine For The Professional Woman

April 2012

Elizabeth Wright


Networking Works!


Damitra Simmons-Stuart Creator/ Publisher Damitra (Dee Dee) Simmons-Stuart is originally from El Paso Texas. The 35 year older has always been passionate about business and at an early age aspired to be successful and interested in a variety of things. In 1999 while attending college at University of Texas El Paso, Damitra was a campus DJ at KTEP Radio, interned with channel 9 NBC News, worked for Providian Financial Services as a sales representative ( i.e. she received the state-wide award for the #1 sales rep in Texas). In pursuit of increased entrepreneurial and income opportunities, Damitra started her first business called Dee Dee’s Cleaning. While growing the business, she continued to work second jobs to acquire additional skills and learn more trades. In 2002, not only did Damitra work as a Vetenerian Technician while owning her business, she assumed a part-time job as an office manager with The Northeast Community Bugle Publishing Company in El Paso, Texas. While working as the office manager, Damitra requested additional responsibilities and asked to create her own publication. The publishing company afforded Damitra with the one opportunity to prove her abilities; and she happened to do it successfully! She created a monthly magazine called, Tyght which showcased Fort Bliss, Texas, a huge, predominantly African American military base inside of El Paso, Texas. When the publishing company began to go belly up, Damitra decided to start her own company named, D&D Publishing Company where she continued the Tyght publication for an entire year. In 2004, Damitra’s vision for Dee Dee’s Cleaning expanded. Her love for business and growth resulted in eight branches of her cleaning company. Starting with her first location in El Paso, Texas, Damitra’s business eventually expanded the nation from New Mexico to Denver; Athens to Atlanta; and lastly, Tampa to Los Angeles. At the end of 2010, Damitra dissolved Dee Dee’s Cleaning Company. Ingenious business ventures were not the only things that comprised Damitra’s arsenal. As an avid dog lover, in 2006, Damitra invented and sold a portable dog potty called, “Porty Pooch”. She marketed and sold the invention to ten (10) of her neighbors for $20.00 while attempting to provide a larger scale distribution to a merchant in Buckhead, Ga. This novice yet entrepreneurial attempt to leverage her idea resulted in the loss of her invention. Nevertheless, her multimillion dollar idea was repackaged and is currently being used as portable potty for dogs world-wide! On January 1, 2011, Damitra created Atlanta Ambition Magazine & TV. Atlanta Ambition Magazine & TV is an online lifestyle magazine focusing on women who are either business owners; occupy prestigious titles in business, or individuals who aspire to become successful in the Atlanta area. Although the magazine initially targeted an Atlanta-based audience, its’ content has become contagious, captivating viewers, nation-wide. As the host of a You Tube web series called, “Hanging with Dee Dee”, Damitra covers her own version of news footage! Damitra’s casual yet authentic style allows her to conduct interviews with women from all walks of life. These interesting and dynamic women comfortably share their life successes and challenges, transparently unveiling their road to victory. It is definitely Damitra’s sincere passion of getting to know others, and her love of interviewing that resonates so loudly during each interview. However, Damitra does not solely focus on a woman’s success; she tends to be most interested in understanding the road that led them to their journey! She also started Epic Graphixx in the summer of 2011 where she specializes in graphic and web design! Damitra is currently a junior at Westwood College studying Visual Communications and Design and has her own cable channel called Ambizion Networks that will premiere on Wisecast Television in May 2012 as well as her own production company called D Renee Productions.


Table of


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It’s not About the Goal, But the WHY! You’ve Survived....Now What?

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Unhappy Couples Putting Divorce on Hold

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All Things Old are New Again

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The Menopausal Vagina and Sex, S.O.S.!

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Plan a weekend getaway

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Cover Story : Elizabeth Wright

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Why You Should Work Your Legs

Taking Aim

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Simple Ways to Transform Your Rooms

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Fire Safety for College Dorms

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Garage Door Entryway 1st Impression

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Shopping Online for a Lender?

Will CAMLETTES™ of Atlanta, Georgia Be the Page 34 Next Spanx(R)? Sharon’s Kitchen: LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE

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The Power of Maintaining a Positive Attitude


Although the scenario is not meant to be funny, I cannot help to laugh, and sometimes sad, when a man or a woman attempts to convince me that they know what they need to do, and how to do it, and yet go on to complain “But I do not know why I am not making money’ or obtaining whatever it is they want. It is widely published that only 3 – 20% of people establish goals for themselves; whether personal or professional. And of those that do set goals, very few, execute on those goals.

It’s not About the Goal, But the WHY! Bernadette Boas Picture it! You’re sitting by yourself in your office, or maybe you are out at a restaurant waiting on friends. You suddenly have a ‘eureka’ moment, or to kill time waiting, you begin to draft some adventures, ideas or plans out on a napkin or a scratch piece of paper. You get done scribbling, or your friends show up and you stick that napkin or paper in your pocket or desk drawer. Unfortunately for most, those notes are never to be seen again. Has this happened to you? More importantly, have you done this? You have all of these great ideas floating around, you scribble them out quickly before you forget them, and then suddenly that napkin and therefore your exhilaration vanishes. Or maybe you are the type like so many corporate executives, business owners and even stay at home mom and dad’s I meet, that proudly proclaim as they point to their head “It’s all up here”. Is this you? Someone who has great ambition, dreams and specific goals, yet keep them all in your head, always wondering why you are not achieving them. Although the scenario is not meant to be funny, I cannot help to laugh, and sometimes sad, when a man or a woman attempts to convince me that they know what they need to do, and how to do it, and yet go on to complain “But I do not know why I am not making money’ or obtaining whatever it is they want.

I can state from my own studies, when speaking to a room full of people, whether 40 or hundreds, less than 30% have goals written down, and 10% of that 30%, actually execute on them. Why? Well, there are more excuses than there is white space left on this paper to cover that. So, what can someone do to overcome those odds, and be one of 10% who take action on their goals? 1. Know what you really want? a. Not the things people tell you that you should want and have, but what YOU really want b. If you do not know what you want, and most people don’t; especially women, then take time for YOU to define those things in life, both personal and professional that you want from your life c. 2. Write them out in black and white so you can see them clearly 3. 4. Define WHY each of those dreams, goals, adventures or plans are important to you, and ONLY you. Warning: Many people may baulk at your ideas and goals, even close friends and family. Ignore them because if you allow others to sabotage what you want, then your WHY and YOU aren’t important enough. Note: Really knowing and defining the WHY you want to achieve your goal, is the difference between success and failure. Think about it..


Have you ever really considered why the multiple attempts you have made to accomplish a goal, have failed? Whether it is to quit smoking, lose weight, get promoted, ask for a pay raise, get married, change jobs, move to another city, etc… The probability is extremely high that it is because your WHY wasn’t big enough. The reason or the benefit, the impact or the change that would come as a result of achieving your goal, wasn’t important enough for you to sacrifice, compromise, or to work hard. 1. Take 5 minutes and write out the last goal you had that you did not accomplish. 2. Now, consider all of the reasons why. Write them out. 3. Review them and be honest about whether the value and impact was as important as overcoming those excuses. Now, define your WHY and be sure you are determined to achieve it. 5. Engage those influential in your life in your goal? a. It is important to have the love and support of those most influential in your life. However many people don’t fully engage them. b. Tell them your goal and why it is important to them. Define expectations, needs, risks, and anything else that will allow them to fully understand your goal. c. Establish boundaries should anyone fail to support you. Remember, you are in control of who is engaged in your goal. Do not allow others to sabotage you. 6. Treat your goal like any other project: a. Establish the timeline, budget, resources and anything else that is needed b. Block out and dedicate time (appointment) to work on the goal c. Establish both rewards and consequences for the effort put in 7. There is no such thing as failures, just missteps. So if you should take a few steps backwards in working on your goals – simply assess and readjust. 8. NEVER give up. They are your dreams after all, and you only have one life time to achieve them. Again, whether you are a corporate executive or business owner needing to steer a business toward prosperity and growth, or an individual with big dreams for your professional and personal life; do not be afraid to proclaim and own your goals. Define them, understand the WHY behind them, and do everything needed to take action on them. Everyone around you will benefit from you pursuing and achieving them. It is a win-win for everyone. Bernadette Boas Coach, Consultant, Author, Speaker and Radio Personality Ball of Fire Consulting – proud owner of the mega movement Shedding the Bitch®


Initially, it’s a good idea to request a meeting with your manager. Discussing next steps for the business can minimize the fear of the unknown, and help you feel reassured about what to expect, and help you focus on moving forward. Additionally, The author of “How to Self-Destruct: Making the Least of What’s Left of Your Career”, Jason Seiden, outlines 5 steps that layoff survivors can take to move past the emotions that the loss of co-workers, accompanied by significant change in the organization brings about.

You’ve Survived....Now What? By Rhonda C. Hight The national unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in January, down from 8.5 percent the prior month and from 9.1 percent a year earlier. Total [nonfarm] payroll employment increased by 243,000 over the month and by 1,953,000 over the year. While the numbers are encouraging, the reality is that there are still many Americans that are unemployed or working for organizations in which layoffs are an expected reality. There’s a surfeit of support and assistance for individuals who lose their jobs; however layoffs can also be challenging for the employees who remain. As with the loss of a loved one, numerous layoff survivors experience The 5 Stages of Grief, a model developed by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, which has become known in psychiatric circles as the Kubler-Ross Model. The stages are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance (not always in sequence). It’s normal for surviving employees to feel sadness about the loss of co-workers, and even guilt that they survived. So, you’ve survived….Now what?

1. Offer Assistance: Utilize your personal network (internally & externally) to assist former colleagues with their job search. Make it a point to setup virtual introductions for them with key players in your network, or share leads on open positions that you become aware of. One of the most valuable things you can do is to be a supportive ear for them. They too (more so than the survivors) will experience the 5 Stages Dr. Kubler-Ross described, and having someone as a sounding board can help them work through their emotions and move the healing process forward. 2. Keep the Connections Alive: Initially, it can be awkward and difficult to find the right words to say. Oftentimes people will avoid saying anything, or allow an extended period of time to lapse thinking that time will make these conversations easier to have, but in reality the opposite is true. The more time that goes by, the more difficult it becomes to restore these connections. You may feel guilty about the prolonged gap in communication, and because of the emotional stages they’re experiencing; the former colleague may interpret the lapse as indifference, versus discomfort on your part. 3. Resume Daily Patterns: Office norms will be slightly altered in the first few days and sometimes weeks following a layoff. The focus [for many] will be on the loss of co-workers, anxiety about the security of their own positions, and the increased responsibilities that will inevitably follow the redistribution of work. Resuming your daily patterns, and encouraging or influencing others to do the same is good for your mental health. It forces you to continue moving forward instead of looking back and reflecting on a future that you can’t fully control.


4. Acknowledge & Release Your Guilt: Survivor guilt is not just some theory cooked up by doctorate students in search of a dissertation topic, it is very real. Our co-workers often become like extended members of our families. We know of the challenges they face in their personal lives; challenges that the job loss will most likely amplify, and our concern for them will illicit feelings of grief that we survived and they didn’t. Acknowledge this feeling and then release it. Allowing it to take root makes it more difficult to keep things moving in a forward motion, and if left unchecked can develop into an attitude of resentment toward the organization, which certainly does not benefit any of the parties involved. 5. Continue to Invest in the Company’s Success: Generally layoffs are done to keep the business viable from a financial standpoint. Commit yourself to doing your part to help the organization in this mission. This is not the time to pull back, or disengage. Now is the time to take a strategic and proactive approach to helping shore up the fiscal standing of the company. Look for opportunities in your purview to make a positive impact on the Company’s bottom-line; either by making or saving money. This investment in the company’s success will prompt out-of-box thinking, and potentially pay dividends for all of the company’s stakeholders. Rhonda C. Hight is President/Owner, Let’s Talk, LLC & LT Productions


Unhappy Couples Putting Divorce on Hold Margot Swann Divorce rates are down. There are many people who cannot afford to divorce, that is they can’t possibly support two households on the income that has been barely adequate to support one. Now this could actually be a good thing: maybe a couple who just has a stale relationship should decide to stay together. After all some counseling (emotional and perhaps financial) is an awful lot less expensive than divorce. If you do decide that divorce is the only solution – either there is abuse, infidelity, or the other guy is demanding a divorce – it is possible to divorce pro se. Pro se means representing yourself in the legal system. This is potentially dangerous. However if you have no money to hire an attorney, you can indeed represent yourself.

Visions Anew Institute strongly recommends that you still employ the “Team Concept. “ • Take time to speak with a financial expert, for instance. Just because you have little money doesn’t mean you should divorce with no financial advice. used to be called Consumer Credit Counseling. They are credited by important government agencies in all 50 states, have counselors available 24/7, and many of their services are free. There are other financial advisors at banks and other financial institutions who can advise you about how to organize the financial aspects of a divorce. • Please take time with a counselor or pastor. Divorce is one of the most emotional events you will experience. It is important that you support your emotional side with an expert. There are a number of institutions that will provide low cost or free support. In addition support groups are extremely helpful as you make sure you separate the emotions of divorce from the business of divorce. Free Divorce Support Groups are available through Visions Anew Institute. • There are a number of counties and organizations (like Visions Anew Institute) that provide basic legal presentations as well. It’s important to know the legal components of divorce. Divorce rates are down a bit but if divorce is the only solution don’t plan to divorce alone. The “Team Concept” will preclude many missteps.


Here are a few trendy ideas: 1. Cinch the waist of an otherwise full shirt, t-shirt or long sweater for the cinched in style of the 50’s. Choose whatever belt size will best suit your waist. You can put a jacket or cardigan over the belted look as another option. Put over some narrow leg pants or skirt. 2. Put some fullness into your skirts, drop fullness to hip level or go with A-line or gourd skirts as a great proportion equalizer.

All Things Old are New Again By Ann Jackson If you have been watching what has come off the runways for Spring, and recent fashion magazines as I have, you have been noticing that looks are now revisiting the sweeter simpler times of the fifties. The updated looks are all there. Louis Vuitton has pastel bags to go with the suits with Peter Pan collars; Prada has a line of heels that embrace the style of my mother’s “springalator” heels, kicked up a notch with embedded tail lights into the backs of the heels, combining the love of the cars of that era! Chic, soft waves and curls in the hair, clear strong red lips, soft doe eyes, and waist revealing dresses with full skirts have been all over the red carpet for a few years now.

3. This summer will be a great time to vamp up the sundresses, whether scoop necked, halter or straps, go with the most flattering neckline for your figure type. Remember the jewelry and glitz it up. Have a shrug or cardigan ready for chilly evenings or for the “arm conscious”. Keep in mind, the fuller the skirt, the smaller the appearance of the waist. 4. Remember the details, short red nails, match lipstick or go with a different color, add a different color of belt, bag, and shoes that accent. We have more freedom this time around to “break” the two color rule of the 50’s. Espadrilles, cheap plastic bangles, flower pins, and platform shoes are all the finishing touches of the “new” good old days! Divaliciously yours, Ann Jackson

How can you “up-cycle” this look with your existing wardrobe, without dropping a bundle on the latest couture or vintage store? 678-913-5553


The Menopausal Vagina and Sex, S.O.S.! By Dr. Kay entrekin Women have a variety of reasons for having problems with sex. These can include a lack of desire, a lack of arousal, a lack of orgasm, and pain during sex. Some women never have comfortable sex, some do well until menopause, and some never have a problem even after childbirth. The reasons for sex problems are complex and can include relationship or personal emotional issues, medical problems especially those that require medications, and pain in the pelvis or vagina. Ways to improve sexual problems can include having a “date night�, reading books or websites about sex, and talking to your partner about how to make sex better. Counseling, appropriate medical therapy for medical diseases, eliminating unnecessary medications or changing to ones that interfere less with sex, vaginal treatments, and physical therapy are also potentially helpful. One of the most difficult sex problems to have is vaginal atrophy. This is a medical term for the changes that occur in the vagina due to menopause and the lack of estrogen. Vaginal atrophy is one of the most common and difficult-to-treat reasons for pain with sex. Patients often complain of vaginal dryness, burning, itching, discharge, bleeding, and pain with sex. They also can complain of urinary frequency and recurrent urinary tract infections.

Treatments include hormonal and nonhormonal options with a goal of decreasing symptoms. Mild changes can often be managed with the regular use of vaginal moisturizing agents (see table) supplemented with vaginal lubricants (see table) during sex. Having regular sex, masturbation, and/or vaginal dilators help to preserve vaginal elasticity and pliability. For moderate to severe symptoms estrogen is the most effective therapy (contraindications aside). Local vaginal treatments are as effective as oral treatments and have fewer side effects. The dose can be individualized (the lower the better) and treatment can be continued indefinitely if the patient remains healthy; however, medical studies do not follow women beyond one year. Local estrogen therapies can also decrease the symptoms of urinary frequency and recurrent urinary tract infections. There are 3 types of hormonal therapy (see table) available and they include the Estring vaginal estrogen ring, Vagifem vaginal tablets, and estrogen creams. The ring is used for 3 months and replaced. The tablets and creams are used daily for 3 weeks and then twice weekly as needed. Smoking cessation is also helpful because women who smoke are relatively estrogen deficient. If you are experiencing moderate to severe symptoms, it is best that you discuss your care with your physician. Some patients are not candidates for any type of estrogen therapy (i.e. many breast cancer survivors). Reference: 2011 UpToDate, Inc.


Beach Bunny Key pieces: Lightweight cotton or linen separates, easy pullon dress, shorts, sandals and sunscreen

Plan a weekend getaway By Peggy M. Parks, AICI CIP Planning for a long weekend getaway has its fun components, but figuring out what to wear isn’t always one of them! It’s hard to plan outfits for days in the future where you’ll be outside of your usual day-to-day grove and away from your stuffed closet. To help you feel more confident, here are some wardrobe ideas to suit the mood of your next getaway. Glamour Gal Key pieces: LBD, statement jacket, great jeans, bold shawl, versatile heel, comfy walking shoes Are you going to be spending the weekend among stars on Broadway? Sounds glamorous! How are you going to be an efficient packer? For starters, select a few key pieces that will be your stand out pieces. Do you have a flirty and fun jacket that can be paired with your LBD by night and then worn again with your jeans for a day at the museum? Want to wear that black dress on another night? Pair it with a beautiful cashmere shawl in a bright bold color or pattern. Add some gorgeous jewels for a night of sparkle. That cashmere shawl will be great as a functional layer that will keep your neck warm when walking through a beautiful city park on your way to brunch in the morning. A pair of versatile heels will have you looking sexy in the evening while a comfy pair of walking shoes will guarantee you’ll be able to enjoy all the exciting streets a big metropolitan city has to offer.

A few days at the beach is a great way to ease into some relaxation, so don’t stress about your packing. Beach weekends call for casual and comfy clothing. Cotton and linen items should be your go-to pieces. An easy dress, long flowing skirt, or a beautiful pair of linen pants can be your staple as you switch around your tops. Pair your linen pants with a soft lightweight cashmere sweater for walks in the early morning. Trade in the sweater for a crisp cotton blouse and a beautiful coral necklace for an easy dinner with friends. Take that same summer weight sweater and wear it with a pair of shorts and leather sandals to walk into town for lunch the next afternoon. Don’t forget your sunscreen! Woodsy Woman Key pieces: Versatile cargo pants, water resistant jacket, warm fleece, smartwool socks, and comfortable hiking shoes. Are you spending a weekend camping with the kids? This sounds easy but make sure the clothing you bring is not only appropriate for the outdoors but advanced enough for varied weather conditions. Camping by a river? Make sure your clothing has wicking properties. You don’t want damp clothing dragging you down while chasing after the kids. Active clothing can be very versatile. Those shorts you wear in the river can come with zip in legs that turn them into long pants for late night bonfires and smores’. Don’t forget your fleece! Those nights of outdoor camping can get very chilly and fleece will keep you nice and warm. Those cotton socks just won’t cut it. For long hikes invest in a pair of smartwool socks to keep your feet dry during day and warm during night. Must-haves: insect repellent and a headlamp! Luxury Lady Key pieces: Multi-purpose sweater, linen pants, comfy and fancy flats or sandals, sexy printed dress, bathing suit, widebrimmed hat, and sunglasses Heading to the wine country for some wine tasting and spa time? For this casual chic getaway you’ll need some pretty pieces. Your daytime clothing should be comfortable and easy. A loose woven sweater over a pair of soft linen pants will be comfortable as you get in and out of your limo for the various wineries you’ll visit. At night, add some glitz. Pair that sweater with a sexy printed dress for dinner. Slip into some metallic heeled sandals. Use that same sweater the following day as a cover up while you’re lying by the pool. With all that outdoor activity be sure to bring a widebrimmed hat to protect your face, and a pair of Sophia Loren inspired sunglasses for glamour and protection.


The 40/40 Celebration Series:

Celebrating 40 years of life by doing 40 events that give back to the community. “If i can’t serve, then I don’t derserve!”

Erica M. Alcox CEO/Founder Geechie Gurl Inc.

Cover Story Elizabeth Wright If anyone in business could be your mentor who Where are you from? would it be? Avondale Estates Georgia. My parents still live in the house I grew up in. I have been mentored by David Copper. He is an amazing national sales trainer from Nashville Tn. How did your parents influence you I totally believe in business coaching and have had growing up? several. We now offer coaching. Suzee Ormond and In many good ways. We had religious Tory Johnson are two consultants that I admire. and cultural opportunities. We were enWhat do you love most about your career? couraged to use our imaginations and had time to play. Someone was singing a I love seeing my clients businesses grow and their majority of the time. We knew we were networking skills develop. Giving a hot referral is loved. almost as exciting as getting a gift! Working from home is wonderful! It also allows me to do some When you were a child, what did you volunteer work. My business has also fostered some want to be when you grow up? wonderful relationships. I took ballet, studied choral music, participated in cheerleading and drill team. How do you balance family life with your career? I was interested in advertising and have always loved fashion. First of all I’d have to say that I have a wonderful husband and family! We all support each others What lead you to the road that you are goals and careers. on now business wise? Most of my career has been in sales and the marketing/advertising that go along with it. As soon as I found networking I was hooked. I love connecting people, businesses and social networking. Tell me about your business. Networking Works business referral network was founded in 1999. It is a membership organization. We have exclusive teams, run by trained facilitators that meet weekly for one hour. We use an effective meeting agenda and provide events and training. Our members are represented on our website.

Where do you see yourself in the next year? Continuing to be happily married to my husband. Enjoying my family and friends. Continuing to study business and my hobbies. Developing teams, increasing our membership, training leaders and networkers. When you leave this earth, what would you want your legacy to say about your ambition? When I am gone I’d like for people to say I was focused on helping others more than ambitious. I want to be remembered as being loving, kind, faithful, helpful and intelligent.


Will CAMLETTES™ of Atlanta, Georgia Be the Next Spanx(R)? Lauren Shepherd, Leslie Bowes, and Leesa English are three Atlanta sisters who have created a new cropped camisole that is bringing lightweight, silky comfort and true versatility to any girl’s or woman’s wardrobe. In 2010, Lauren Shepherd, frustrated by thick, uncomfortable cropped camis that rode up, decided to create her own. After much trial and error and sample after sample from the manufacturer, the perfect cropped camisole - the Camlette - was born. “After struggling for years with camisoles and cropped camisoles that were too bulky and too thick to wear comfortably alone under outfits or over bras, I researched styles and fabrics to develop a cropped cami that really wears like a second skin, with the versatility of stay-in-place convertible straps that can accommodate the shape of any top, dress or jacket design,” commented Lauren Shepherd, inventor of the Camlette. With her sisters and business partners, Leslie Bowes and Leesa English, Lauren has created and produced a highly desirable product that is easy to wear and comes in a variety of colors and sizes, for women and girls of all shapes and sizes. “This really is an ideal wardrobe enhancer,” said Leslie Bowes. “It has the feeling of a luxury fabric and the aesthetic beauty to enhance the neckline of any outfit.” A quick peek at their website shows how a Camlette’s versatile straps and suggested layering under tops, shirts, dresses and jackets, gives women and girls numerous options for completing many outfits, while modestly covering their cleavage in the process. “Cover your curves!” is Camlettes’ slogan, and it’s meant to offer a practical, comfortable, beautiful option when a deep, plunging neckline may not be appropriate. A Camlette’s lightweight, luxurious fabric is perfect for all seasons and offers a layered look without feeling like you’re wearing an extra layer. This versatile wonder comes in a variety of colors and sizes (Small to 3X) and can be purchased online at 21

Why You Should Work Your Legs By Teena Baine We use our legs every day and if we are able to walk freely without any assistance, we pretty much take them for granted. As women, we, for the most part, don’t like the way our legs look, and for men, it’s not something they worry too much about. We use our legs every day for the simple things we do like standing, running, jumping and just walking up the stairs. Taking care of our legs is extremely important for many reasons. If the muscles around our knees are strong than it helps to protect our knees, and quite possibly alleviate joint issues as we age. The muscles in our legs are large and when we work them, it causes our heart rate to elevate which in turn helps with our metabolism. Working your legs can aid in weight loss, and for women, working with heavy weight can make your legs lean and muscular, rather than bulky.

There are many different leg exercises, and lots of options at the gym or at home. The other nice thing about working your legs is that you can do it totally without equipment, so even if you are away from home or can’t afford the gym then you really have no excuse. One really easy leg exercise is a walking lunge. You can do this anywhere you have enough space to perform the lunge correctly. If you cannot actually alternate the lunge, moving forward, you can always alternate the lunge and stay in the same place. If you can get outside then take a walk and every few minutes perform alternating lunges. This way you are getting your cardio in and working those large muscle groups in your legs. When performing the lunge make sure you step forward far enough to allow your front knee to be over your ankle while your back knee heads downward toward the floor. (think about how an elevator moves down not forward). Always push off with the heel of the foot you lunged with to maximize your movement. You always want to make sure you are properly warmed up before you perform leg exercises and also when you are done remember to stretch those muscles to aid in flexibility, help alleviate soreness, and prevent injury. I have added a short video clip of some leg exercises for you to try. As always, if you have questions please ask me. You can find me on Facebook at or www.facebook. com/tena4fitness. My blog is, and my online fitness company is i am here to help you reach your fitness needs. I look forward to meeting you.

Teena Baine’s Videos can be seen at


Jason walked into the kitchen as I scraped the leftover mac and cheese into the trash can. “He’s already out there tossing the ball, he’s got great heart, just not great aim,” he responded, laughing at our son’s efforts but lack of performance. “It’s enough,” I said. Jason looked at me. “I didn’t mean anything...” he said. “I know,” I said again, “I’m just saying, his heart will take him where his arm won’t.” Jason looked at me with a big question mark. I turned and looked at him with tears in my eyes. “Am I enough?” I asked him. His eyes became larger. “What?” I couldn’t ask again, as tears were falling down my face. “Hey, what...?” Jason asked again. I started smiling, feeling silly that I was that Taking Aim philosophical over what started as a first grade By Mary Ellen Albritton conversation about games. “I just know that with 2+ jobs, homework, sports, and chores....I don’t feel Date Night Atlanta “ “Mommy, am I enough?” A question from my seven-year- like I do it all well, just as fast and as crazy as I can old called out to me while eating his macaroni and cheese crank it out, and I was just wondering if I can really during our rushed Saturday lunch between teaching at the be and do all this. And this new venture, I just wonder if its ever going to take off...I wanted to know gym and softball practice. It was a question that forced if...well, if I’m enough.” I ended my sentence in a me to stop multi tasking and look up. “What Honey?” whisper, feeling like all my efforts were never going I asked. “Am I enough?” he asked again. “What do you to reach their goal. Jason looked at me and smiled. mean, you silly jelly bean?” I asked, wondering what he had been listening to. “In class yesterday Miss Janey asked “Honey, don’t analyze it all or you’ll go crazy. You’re much more than enough. You’re everything us how many games we thought were enough, and today to me - to us!” He wrapped his arms around me at the gym Eric’s mommy asked us how many softballs and gave me a big hug. “And starting a company were enough. The TV commercial just now asked how much money is enough, and I was wondering if you have is hard, you’re doing just fine. It will all work out! And just remember,” he paused, smiling and winkonly one little boy, is that enough?” I stared at my son. ing at me, “your heart will take you where your arm How did he put all that together to come up with him possibly not being enough? “You are so special to me and won’t.” We both laughed. I wiped my tears and wrote our new slogan on a napkin, pinning it to your daddy, you are much more than enough,” I said to him, giving him a big hug. “You are everything to us, and the bulletin board. “Your heart will take you where your arm won’t.” It takes more than accuracy to you will always be enough.” “I thought so, but I was just checking,” he said. “And if you ever want to have another win, I thought. And in the spirit of persistence, we little boy, it’s ok with me. Not a little girl though.” He slid headed off to softball practice. off his chair, grabbed his softball glove, and ran out the door. I smiled at his response, but somehow his question still resounded with me. I had just started a business, on top of already working. Jason was working and traveling, and we were busier than we knew what to do with. I felt I was falling short of motherly and wifely duties, and had insecurities from a slow start up and some minor setbacks in my business, the question haunted me. Am I enough?


Simple Ways to Transform Your Rooms By Eleida Fleming, Fabric Accents & Interior Décor Design Professional & Custom Window Treatment Specialist If you think in terms of how we dress every day we all know that accessories take, even a pair of jeans and a plain top, to the next level. Add an interesting necklace and earrings, heels or wedges, bangles, a belt or scarf and you have transformed your outfit and given it a whole new look. Based on your choices you can give the same clothes many different looks - casual, trendy, dressy. The same applies to interior décor…it’s all in the details! Spring is a great time to transform your rooms and bring in new colors and textures, and a simple way to do that is with accessories. Think of it as the jewelry for your rooms, the last layer that can define your style and give your rooms a finished look. It is a great way to update your décor without having to buy new furniture. Where do you start? Look first at what you already have, what works in the room and what you would like to keep. Remove from the room the items you are tired of, donate, sell, or store them to reuse when you want to change the décor again. Next, look at the furniture placement and your focal point. Perhaps you need to rearrange the furniture before adding the accessories. Evaluate your paint colors as well and decide if you want to keep or change them. Look through magazines or decorating websites if you need inspiration to define the style and colors you want in the room. You may use a painting or a fabric as your inspiration and as the starting point for the rest of the room. A design professional can help you with all those details and the whole project or get you started in the right direction. To start adding the accessories use pillows, throws, and window treatments as a great way to add color, pattern and texture. An area rug will also anchor your furniture, define a conversation area, and add texture and color. The main trick to blending patterns is to use them in different scales and in the same or related colors. You may mix a floral, a stripe, and a geometric print but vary the scale of each pattern to achieve a harmonious look. Let’s not forget the walls and placement of mirrors, pictures, and other accessories. Wall art should occupy about 2/3 of the furniture it hangs above. Eye level is 60-65” from the floor but also consider the height of the furniture under the wall art. If you are doing a grouping of pictures it is helpful to lay them on the floor and move them around to get the right arrangement before you put them on the wall. Mantles, tables, and bookshelves are also great places to place accessories that add color and interest. You may use vases, candlesticks, lamps, books, floral, greenery, or items of sentimental value that you have collected through the years. Not everything needs to be displayed, just what works for the space. Vary the height and size of the items and work with the scale of the room and the furniture. Find your inspiration and transform your rooms. It’s all in the details and the art of putting the right décor pieces together. Keep in mind that a successful design is functional, expresses a mood, and has a sense of harmony. Happy spring and Happy Room Transformations! Eleida Eleida Fleming is a Design Professional and Custom Window Treatment Specialist with over 20 years of experience in the Atlanta area. Contact her for your design projects or for a Do It Yourself consultation to get you started in the right direction.



Fire Safety for College Dorms By Vera Fossali

Each year, college campuses experience a growing number of fire emergencies. It’s not surprising that alcohol and fire are a deadly mix. In fact, in 50% of fire-related deaths on campus, the victim has been drinking alcohol. Because alcohol impairs judgment, students are less likely to extinguish cigarettes properly, react to a fire appropriately, or evacuate as quickly as necessary. Read these tips, adapted from the National Fire Administration and the Center for Campus Fire Safety, to play it safe at college this year: • Understand your dorm’s fire evacuation plan. If you live in off-campus housing, make a plan and ensure all housemates know it. • If you live off-campus, choose a house or apartment with automatic sprinklers and working fire alarms. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms at the beginning of each semester. • Evacuate a building any time you hear a fire alarm, even if you think it’s a fire drill. You have no way of knowing if a real fire has started. • Do not overload electrical outlets. • Never cover your smoke alarms. • Put out candles and incense when unattended. Never leave lit candles near draperies, linens, or paper. • Cook in designated areas only, and away from clutter. • If a fire starts in a microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit. To learn more, please review the following information: • National Fire Administration’s Campus Fire Safety website • Smoking and Fire Safety Fact Sheet, Center for Campus Fire Safety • Candle Fire Safety Fact Sheet, Center for Campus Fire Safety • Safe (Off-Campus) Housing Fact Sheet, Center for Campus Fire Safety How can Scentsy help with removing the risk of fire in dorms? Our wick-free fragrance warmers melt wax by the use of a light bulb: no fire, no flame or soot. We provide the fragrance needed to make the dorm rooms smell wonderful and at the same time eliminate the threat of fire. We have a great selection of Campus Collection warmers with the College/University logos on them to bring the Spirit of the School into the dorm room. Check out our collection to see if your school is listed…


Garage Door Entryway 1st Impression By Jan Britt Your first impression is important as you walk into a house through the front door. However, many people now use the door through the garage as their entry into their homes. I transformed this entry from the garage to be an introduction of what you will see as you enter the kitchen. The colors and decor add the warm and comfortable Tuscan atmosphere. I removed the ladder and had the wall painted. I selected the perfect fabric to create a wall hanging to cover over the electrical box. One good part about using a tapestry is it can cover up a lot of things you do not want people to see. The rod is projecting 3 inches from the wall as it holds up the tapestry. That was the perfect distance to cover the meter on the wall. On the left and right side of the tapestry I added a side “return�. The added fabric started just below the tabs and continued down so that you could not see (from the side view) what we were trying to hide. The picture was perfect for the size for the wall with the small cupboard below within this wide entryway. The added touch was the rooster sitting there pointing the way to enter into the home. You can create your own personal decor and color palette as an inviting first impression as you enter into your house through the garage. -- Warm Regards, Jan Britt Jan Britt Interiors Cell (404) 510-3636 Office (770) 919-2393 Decorate With Jan Blog Facebook - Decorate with Jan


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Does your customized blueprint for business success include a story to share while networking? Most women are naturally skilled storytellers. Why not translate this valuable marketing tool into a strategy for growing your business? Each of you has a unique story to tell. How effectively are you communicating yours during networking events? If you haven’t created a story, block off some time this weekend and get to work! Revise as necessary until you have a piece that satisfies you. Improvise a networking situation and share your story with friends and family members until it flows! Remember: your unique story provides exceptional opportunities to inspire and connect with others as you cultivate strategic associations. Let it serve as a tantalizing appetizer to your first course! Take a moment to reflect upon events that prompted you to develop your business. Then, weave a compelling story around those unique events. Your story will be distilled and from the “heart and soul” circumstances behind the formation of your business: the challenges, joys, and especially those frustrating moments that can be laughed over and shared as blithe anecdotes. Conversely, a crisis or gut-wrenching event may have shaken you to the core, serving as your call to action to create a product or service to improve your community and the lives of those around you. Gut-wrenching moments make highly effective stories. Always be sure to share your story when networking. Include it as an additional marketing tool on your blog, your social media profiles, and your website. During networking, your short version piques interest while your longer version can be shared as the event progresses. Although you don’t want to monopolize the evening, timing is everything and you have a responsibility to your business and those who would benefit from it to share! The stories you impart during networking events will enhance your associations and potentially drive business in your direction. Connect the passion behind your story and watch as your opportunities soar! By-line info: When a message in a Chinese Fortune Cookie urged Phyllis Walker to “Find a Place to Stand and Move the World”, she created a fine art photography business, established a non-profit organization to economically empower survivors of domestic violence, then embarked upon a speaking career. Her topics specific to Resilience, Overcoming Adversity and the Healing Power of Art are offered to inspire women from all cultures and walks of life to triumph amidst their personal adversities while thriving emotionally, spiritually, and financially along the journey. A percentage of profits derived from speaking engagements and product sales, including sales of her matted and framed Hummingbird Studios fine art photography prints will benefit the Esperanza! A Woman’s Hope scholarship fund. To connect and collaborate, contact Phyllis at


Shopping Online for a Lender? If only Zappos Would Open a Mortgage Division! By Deborah Switts, CEO and Owner GOOD FRIEND MORTGAGE, INC. It’s no secret that, as our lives become busier and the cost of fuel rises, more people are cruising the internet highway to shop. With so much of our daily communication being experienced via computers, I’m convinced that a vast majority of the population would slip into a state of catatonic schizophrenia if access to the web were to abruptly cease. In the hope of finding a great deal on a mortgage rate without leaving the comfort of their smart phones, many consumers are turning to the ever growing list of multi-lender web-sites. Although the anonymity and convenience may be appealing, the phrase “caveat emptor” has never been more fitting. Unlike buying a pair of shoes – and Heaven knows we ladies love to shop for our shoes – the rules of buying a mortgage are fluid, to say the least. Picture this… Monday morning you see a gorgeous pair of Manolo Blahnik’s online that would make the “Sex and the City” girls swoon. At $500, they’re a bargain! (We’re talking fantasy; just go with me here.) You can be fairly confident that the price will remain the same when the charge is posted to your poor, battered credit card on Tuesday afternoon. Not so much with a mortgage quote. Market rates change multiple times during the day. By the time the borrower is cleared to lock the loan, which can take days or even longer to check the LTV, credit scores, down payment sources, etc., the rate has changed. And if you’re looking for something a little more specialized - an ARM for example, which can be a great option depending on your circumstances – the website may not provide all of the information needed to make the best choice. At times like this, a consumer would benefit from having an experienced mortgage professional in their corner. Nevertheless, here are some things to keep in mind if you’re determined to travel the online route alone. Don’t reveal your contact information. Many of the online sites are not actually lenders, but instead are businesses established to collect your personal information and then SELL that information to real lenders for a hefty fee. Lucky you suddenly find yourself on the receiving end of copious phone calls from an assortment of lenders. I’d rather spend my time anesthetizing my brain with reality TV. And I despise reality TV. Just sayin’.


Price adjustments affect your bottom line. That great online quote you found is formulated on a best-case scenario. Evidently, the cyber LO (Loan Officer) assumes that you live in a financial Wonkaland replete with an 850 credit score, superior work history, and a bulging portfolio of A+ stocks. Yeah, me too. Any information that is not included in the creation of your loan will impact the price as you will learn when you later discover that fabulous quote is worthless. Beware of “low-balling” and obsolete pricing. “Low-balling” is a practice by some web LOs who post a low interest rate they aren’t bound to honor in order to lure in consumers. As the consumer, you only find out what the actual rate is once you’ve committed to it! Another question is just how current is that “current market pricing.” As previously mentioned, the market is in a constant state of flux, so you may get excited to see your preferred rate only to be disappointed when… surprise!… pricing has been suspended, the market has worsened, and that lovely rate is no more. Conversely, suppose the market takes a turn for the better and rates drop? Unless you have the time and knowledge-base to be able to monitor the market changes, you’re at the mercy of the mortgage wizard behind the online curtain. You may ultimately end up locked into the earlier price quote rather than receiving the lender’s latest, lower-posted price. Was it intentional? Prove it! An unfortunate slip-up? Too bad, so sad. Check to see if all of the lender charges are shown on the site. Lender charges consist of more than just “points” which is a fee expressed as a percentage of the loan. Many of these fees are considered “junk” fees and can be negotiated or even eliminated. Get the scoop on them ASAP. Otherwise, they can add up to an ugly little surprise later. There are also third-party charges to consider, including title and mortgage insurers, which you need to be aware of in order to get a clear picture of the real cost of your mortgage. For most consumers, mediating an attractive mortgage package on the internet is an effort equivalent to uniting Cinderella with the glass slipper. Not impossible perhaps, but like finding those exquisite strappy sandals, it must be done with care if one hopes to find a perfect fit.


Sharon’s Kitchen LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE 16 ounces pasta 6 tablespoons melted butter, divided 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 3 cups whole milk, at room temperature 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Gruyere cheese 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/2 cup minced fresh chives 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided 1 pound coarsely chopped cooked lobster meat 2 cups oyster crackers, crushed 1. Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. 2. Place 4 tablespoons melted butter in a saucepot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion; cook 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Whisk in flour; cook 1 minute. Pour in milk; bring mixture to a boil over mediumhigh heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is smooth and thickened. 3. Remove from heat, and whisk in cheeses and next 3 ingredients. Stir in 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Fold in pasta and lobster. Pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish. Recipes by Sharon Fox, author of COMFORT FOOD for the Mind, Body, and Soul Pick up or order a copy at Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, or today!


The Power of Maintaining a Positive Attitude By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC The power of a positive attitude is essential for helping you live a successful, prosperous and victorious life. Life will bring challenges, tests, trials, and obstacles but your ability to keep a positive attitude will help you ride the winds of adversity and come out on top. The question so many people ask is how do you keep a positive attitude in the midst of opposition and total chaos? How do you stay grounded when you feel like the bottom is falling out and the world is caving in on you? Through all the difficulties you face, they will either make you bitter or better. The choice is yours to realize that nothing happens by chance and challenges are often merely opportunities in disguise. Let’s look at some key strategies for helping you stay positive. Strategy 1: Keep a positive attitude even when the situation looks overwhelming and you don’t know what to do. Why? Because maintaining a positive attitude allows you to keep your mind open to the possibilities, options, and lessons to be learned from this situation. It helps you realize you can turn your pain into a pearl with the right perspective and a miracle can come from your mess. It’s all about keeping a positive outlook regarding the challenges you face. Is it always easy to do? Certainly is it not, but no one said life would be without struggles. To help you keep a positive attitude read your Bible for an encouraging word, or read other inspirational books, or listen to inspirational tapes or CD’s. The key thing is to keep your focus positive. Strategy 2: Do something for someone else. When you are facing challenges one sure way to feel better is to help someone else. This allows you to take the focus off of you and your issues and be a blessing to others. Volunteer at your local hospital, homeless shelter, or your favorite charity and get busy helping others. Many times when you help others, you realize the trials you face are not as bad as you thought. It helps you count your blessings and see things from a new vantage point. Also it is hard to think about your issues when you are busy serving and assisting others. The key thing that will help you maintain the focus is to get into action doing something for someone in need.


Strategy 3: Learn how to laugh more. It has been said laughter is a tranquilizer with no side affects and laughter works like medicine it is soothing to the soul. Laughter is essential to helping us not taking ourselves so seriously. I have met people going through major pain and they still have the ability to laugh and find the humor in life. If you find it difficult to laugh, find a comedy on television, or a funny movie, or recall a time you did something really silly, or simply watch small children talking and playing together. You get the picture. The key thing is to learn the power of laughter and laugh often because when you can do this you are maintaining your positive attitude. The important thing to remember is that you always have a choice as to the attitude you will embrace each and every day. When you arise in the morning and your feet hit the floor, you make a decision as to the attitude you will carry that day. Throughout the day, you will face others with all types of attitudes, some good and some bad. The key is to make sure you don’t allow those bad attitudes to spill over onto you. Think about this question, when people leave your presence do they feel inspired or deflated? Keeping a positive attitude allows you to inspire others and lift them up and often turn their frown into a smile. As you continue on this journey in life, make a commitment to yourself that you will carry a positive attitude others want to catch. Make it a positively awesome April!

Nancy J. Lewis is the president of Progressive Techniques, Inc. based in Fayetteville, Georgia where the theme of her company is “Developing a Better YOU!� Nancy does motivational speaking, business and executive coaching, and management and development seminars. Nancy can be reached at: (404) 559-7614, email: or website:


Atlanta Ambition Magazine  

April 2012 Issue

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