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Latoya Bond - CEO Yandy Smith - President/CMO Jaliylah Amin - Chief Merchandiser Latisha Elmes - COO Janique Burke - Director of Communications Mark Hayes - Creative Design Director Nisha Kittles - Web Master Joseph Buapim - Associate Designer

Entertainment Editor-Kierra Tobiere Associate Editor - Brittany Bryant Entertainment Contributors - Bryhana Moore, Tahajah Samuels, Ericka Smith,

Everything Girls Love Magazine-Blog


Chief Web Officer - Latoya Bond Managing Editor - Chey Parker Senior Editor - Milan Zoe Editor in Chief - Janique Burke Editor At Large - Latisha Elmes Editor At Large - Yandy Smith


Beauty Editor- Regina M. Tucker Beauty Contributors- Laura Eckels, William J. Edmonds, Neeko Gordan, Trenice Jett-Jones Christina Westley, Michelle Whitaker


Culture & Literature Editor- Victoria Ford Culture & Literature Associate Editor- Jazmine Kilpatrick Culture & Literature Contributors- Nikki Hardison, Gwendolyn Lewis, Alex Travis, Alex Wiggins


Wellness Editor- Kanarian Kindred Wellness Contributors – Mareissa King

Fashion Editor- Monica K. Romero, Fashion Contributors- TeArra Boone, Shana Gelisa, Tanysha Rodriguez


Life & Style EditorsLife and Style Contributors- Cashay Chanel, Tekeisha Coy


Love & Sex Editor- Precious Avorkliyah Love & Sex Contributors- Ness Baker, Treshelle Chambliss, Ramona Charles, Aramis Grant, Kanarian Kindred, Renee King, Lillian Prince,


Hustlapreneur Associate Editor- Angela Solomon Hustlapreneur Contributor- Samantha Irving, Crystal Jordan, Consha “CAP” Price. Editorial Assistants- Aprecia Cabey, Dejaurnelle Cid,




R&B Diva Monifah

Back in a good way


“Things we can’t live without” Gift Guide



Trendy finds for everyone on your list


PLAN A FRUGAL FABOLOUS HOLIDAY PARTY 10 tips to help you pull it off


Ariane Davis of Love and Hip Hop ATL

PROPOSAL AROUND THE WORLD Will you say I do this Christmas?


The 1st Lady of Deaf Jam Nikki D

FAIL PROOF CHRISTMAS DAY BRUNCH Full recipes and directions inside






Don’t spend what you don’t have this holiday season


Investing in our future



Rocking out with the youth

With gifts from the heart



Designing her way to the top



Beauty picks for any budget.



Celebs try to top the extravagant gifts giving last season


Trendy holiday vacation spots

every girl loves

Cover Story


Claiming Failure and Living Authentically By Latoya Bond “I started getting high to escape. I cracked the door and the enemy kicked it open.” Only a select few of us are blessed with the chance at fame, Monifa received this blessing twice, first as Photographer: Nathan Pearcy Stylist: Olando Narcisse Jewerly: Enjeanious By: Rean Designer: J.Loren Makeup : Natasha Harmon Coordinated by: Rhonda Wilkins


an R&B Diva of the 90’s and now as the star of a hit reality series. This time around, she’s on a mission to live honestly and to share the lessons she’s learned along the way.

EGL GIRL Drama… Right! So if it’s not there the way they think they need to see it, they make it, they create it. It’s actually very clever how they do it. I just wish that people had gotten to see the person that I am very close too. Like, her real story because it’s an incredible story. She’s an amazing person, talented and determined. She’s a true, true meaning of a deter­ mined sister with a lot of positive attributes. She’s an amazing person.

“I’ve always lived my life authentically. My failures are mine, I walk with them.” Tell us about the evolution of R&B Diva’s. R&B Diva is the brainchild of Nicci Gilbert Daniels, who is also one of my cast mates and a good friend. She shot the treatment herself, the teaser and everything and the rest is history. Faith came on board and TV1 picked us up. [After Faith signed on] I kind of felt like they [the produc­ ers] got that there’s a story that needs to be told. As women in this business, the things that we go through… It was time for people to hear the other side of the story. It’s interesting that you say Nicci was the brainchild behind it because recently there’s been talks about Nicci probably leaving the show, is that true? I don’t know. Nic is very committed to this. This is her baby she may not be on camera, but she is the Executive Producer and creator. This is her franchise, her show. So even if she never comes back as a cast member she’s never going to be gone. You saw genuine parts of her and her genuine reactions, but you don’t see what she was reacting to. There’s a formula and it always have to be some kind of you know…

So one can assume you were happy with the way you were portrayed? Right! So if it’s not there the way they think they need to see it, they make it, they create it. It’s actually very clever how they do it. I just wish that people had gotten to see the person that I am very close too. Like, her real story because it’s an incredible story. She’s an amazing person, talented and determined. She’s a true, true meaning of a deter­ mined sister with a lot of positive attributes. She’s an amazing person. Did you have any reservations about putting your relationship on TV and how that might affect you or your fan base? I lived on this earth for 40 years and I’ve always lived my life au­ thentically. My failures are mine. I walk with them. Emotionally, I’m in the best place I’ve ever been in. My relationship is amazing. I am blessed by it, why would I not want to share it. I would

never hide it. We all know and are related to people who love differently, I hate to say differ­ ently, but it’s not so uncommon. I think we need to really take the blinders off and the judgments and focus on just loving people. I think timing is everything. God has prepared me and he has saved me and he expects me to walk in my truth and walk in truth period. So, that’s where I am with it and that’s part of my truth.

We were introduced to your daughter briefly on the show. What is your current relationship with her? And, do you think you will show that relationship more on upcoming seasons? My daughter and I were in the process of rebuilding our rela­ tionship. She’s a 21­year­old young lady who loves her moth­ er and is trying to find her way. There is no such thing as perfect, and I think that should be strick­ en. I wanted to show that we have a difference of opinions but we work through our differ­ ences. The bottom line is I love

her and she loves me and I’m her mother and she’s my daughter. That will never change. The most important thing is our relationship. What caused your hiatus from music? Universal sent a box to my apart­ ment of all the shows I’ve ever done. It was this huge box. Not a letter, not a phone call, nothing, just that box. I was like ‘yo this is how this shit goes, this is how they are doing it.’ I didn’t realize at the time how that affected me. I have abandonment issues. I lost a lot of key people in my life that I was close to starting at an early age. It’s crazy how certain things put you on a path and you don’t real­ ize until you either get well or kind of fit in. And for me, it was getting well and addressing those things. It was like another person that I cared for leaving me and aban­ doning me. I knew that a record deal didn’t define who I was as a person, but I didn’t really real­ ize that I had to mourn that loss. And I didn’t do it in the right way; I got depressed. So to answer your question, I felt abandoned. I start­ ed getting high just to escape. I cracked the door and the enemy kicked it open. You said you dealt with a lot of loss, was Heavy D’s passing one of those things? How did he play a role in you leaving universal? Hev and I parted ways creatively on the second album, but he was an integral part of the reason why I became a recording artist. He

believed in me. He saw something and he took a chance. He was one of the last important people that left my life to go on to glory. The only difference is that my faith was stronger when I got the word that he had passed away. I imme­ diately thought about his daugh­ ter because I was the same age as her when my own father died. We have a bond that is unbreak­ able because of how God used him. I know our spirits will meet again… he will be missed. As a celebrity, you’ve had the pleasure of traveling all around the world. How was it growing up in Harlem and do you think being from New York shaped you into the person that you are? Oh yes! Growing up in East Harlem was incredible and growing up in New York has definitely shaped the women I am today. I like those rough edges. I like that fearless­ ness and fierceness that we ac­ complish as New Yorkers, espe­ cially Black New Yorkers. So what are your days like now since you stopped taping? Fruitful and interesting. Appear­ ances have picked up, but it’s pretty much the same. I have a project [I’m working on]. I’m still an independent artist and it’s not always the easiest, so I’m taking my time. I do a lot of crocheting. I do my best thinking while I’m cro­ cheting, it really helps my nerves, and it’s an outlet. I tend to be in my own head, so I try to stay in the moment. Because if you think too far ahead you’re missing out

“If you think too far ahead you’re missing out on what’s going on and you are not being effective in your moment.”

on what’s going on and you are not be­ ing effective in your moment. I’m actually writing some things about how my life has changed up until this point; I want to share the vast difference and the jewels that I’ve learned. The next generation needs us, they need to know we got their backs. I was watching Black Girls Rock and I was crying the whole time. I was so proud. I’m just so proud of us. I’m glad that they are shinning light on these younger kids that are taking the bull by its horn. So would you consider yourself to be a girlie girl? I don’t know; it depends on the day. Some days, yes I do feel like a girly girl. But, overall you can see my muscle and my femininity. I love to go paintballing and I love to do what girly girls like to do also, so I guess I’m a healthy balance. Do you cook? Yes, I’m a great cook. I love to cook; it’s therapeutic for me. My favorites are spa­

ghetti first, my chili, smothered steak and homemade mash potatoes. I make mean homemade mash potatoes. What are you doing for the holiday? Family, friends and fun. And I’ll probably do some volunteering this year. What’s on your Christmas list? Health. If you could describe yourself in one word, what would that word be and why? Determined. Determined to live this life, determined to serve and be who I was born to be. Determined to survive and live. Determined she is! Don’t count her out.


Questions and Answers Yandy SmithEditor at Large My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Decorate the house. The door is wrapped in Christmas themed wrapping paper, Christmas tree and Christmas Stockings go up the Friday right after Thanksgiving. I even get candles that smell like pine or apple cider.

Janique Burke Editor in Cheif My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: To watch Christmas movies on Lifetime or the Hallmark channel. I absolutely love the holiday season so it doesn’t really take much for me to get into the spirit. But, watching movies about family and the spirit of Christmas kicks off my holiday. The best gift I ever received was: My little Mason, who was born a little over a week after Christmas almost three years ago. My favorite thing to give is: Something a person really, really wants. I listen carefully all year for hints and then I surprise them with it for Christmas. Nothing beats the joy I feel when giving gifts I know people will enjoy and treasure. I feed my soul with/by: Reading the Word, having complete blind faith and prayer. Prayer works! An EGL girl is: A girl who is stylish yet educated, hard-working, spiritual, loving, loyal and an amazing friend.

Latoya Bond Chief Web Officer My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Plan our Thanksgiving menu. My mom and I sit down and plan the menu, and then we go shopping together. This kicks off our holiday season and gets us in the mood. The best gift I ever received was: A set of Emeril Lagasse non Stick Pots. Those pots single handedly launched me into Top Chef Status! LOL! Never underestimate the need of great pots. My favorite thing to give is: Gifts people need rather than want. I gave my Stepmom a GPS last year; she said it’s the best gift she ever received. I feed my soul with/by: Believing anything is possible and living my life that way. An EGL girl is: “A Girl on Fire.” A woman that is balances her career and family in stilettos; and doing a great job at it.

The best gift I ever received was: My son but after that was a diamond ring from his dad. My favorite thing to give is: Homemade cookies to the family.

Latisha Elmes Executive Editor My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: When I was younger my mom would decorate the entire house with Christmas decorations right before Thanksgiving… that always put me right in the mood! Miss living with my mom!

I feed my soul with/by: Going to church every Sunday and praying throughout the day; everyday!

The best gift I ever received was: My daughter! Life hasn’t, and will never be the same. Gives life/everything a new meaning.

An EGL girl is: An ambitions, motivated, confident, eclectic, family focused, business driven diva. That doesn’t apologize for who she is. She accepts her uniqueness and embraces her own individuality. She doesn’t settle for status quo and constantly reinvents herself to make a lane that others only wish they can one day travel in.

My favorite thing to give is: Pictures take you back instantly to a moment in time that you can never re-live; but it has been captured for you to view time & time again. Hallmark’s “Between me and you” greeting cards always express exactly how i feel about a particular person. Love Them! I feed my soul with/by: Music! It says things I would never say. Explains things I never thought I’d understand... Gives meaning to things I’d never think twice about... It makes me happy & sad all at the same d**m time. LOL! An EGL girl is: Flawed but strong & determined.


Questions and Answers

Kierra Tobiere Entertainment Editor My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Watch reruns of my favorite Christmas movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carey. It’s like a little personal Christmas tradition of mine; I’ll make homemade hot chocolate and watch the movie over and over while cuddled on the couch. The best gift I ever received was: Two Christmas’s ago my mother surprised me, my sister, and my brother by flying our grandmother in from Florida. She made homemade West Indian curry chicken, fried plantain and roti; it was perfect. My favorite thing to give is: Anything that I can order online! It’s just so easy to go online, find exactly what the person wants, and just send it to them directly with a cute little note on the package.

Cheylin ParkerManaging Editor My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Go ice-skating! I’m a big kid at heart. The best gift I ever received was: My Ugg Boots. They’re perfect for the cold weather! My favorite thing to give: Is my time. This season is all about giving back and helping others to make their holiday season the best. I feed my soul by: Going to church and spending time with my family. An EGL girl is: A woman who is fearless enough to follow her dreams despite the obstacles.

My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Make my Christmas list! Yes, every year I make a themed Christmas list. Last year’s was “Milan’s Coco Chocolate Christmas. This year my list is entitled “Star bright, Starlight an ode to Milan’s Starry Christmas! The best gift I ever received was: My MacBook! Her name is Coco because she was the best present I received last year for Christmas. My favorite things to give are: Gifts that will help the person I’m giving the gift to look and feel like a better person. Like a gift certificate for a yoga classes or make-up (if the need it lol!) I feed my soul by: Going to church and spending time with loved ones!

I feed my soul by: Listening to the Soulful Christmas albums. My favorites songs are Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” and “It’s Christmas Time Again (The Christmas Song)” by The Temprees. An EGL Girl is: Captivating, Clever, and Congenial. She’s Captivating because her presence not only captivates the room when she walks in but also the minds of everyone in that room. She walks in with poise, undeniable style, and a touch of humbleness. She knows she stole the show but feels no need to speak on it. She’s clever because she is educated, smart, and well rounded. She has goals filled with ambition and ambition filled with determination, and she’s congenial in the sense that her fun-loving and irresistible personality is just the icing on the cake. With an infectious laugh and warm heart, the EGL Girl has a dynamic that every girl wants to obtain.

Milan ZoeSenior Editor

An EGL girl is: A woman who finds a way to feed every part of her being. A woman whose is intact mentally, physically, and spiritually, and emotionally. Jazmine KilpatrickAssociate Culture Editor My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Put up the Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving. The best gift I ever received was: My engagement ring! My favorite thing to give: Is my time to a person because it is easy for me to get caught up in projects within my personal and professional life I feed my soul by: Finding a good book to read in order to escape reality. An EGL girl is: A girl, who is passionate about their life, has goals and aspirations, helps others in need, and puts fourth their best talents to reach their fullest potential.


Questions and Answers

Precious Avorkliyah Love & Sex Editor My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Listen to my favorite Holiday song, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”

Victoria FordCulture & Literature Editor My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Sing holiday songs with my little brother and bake cookies with my little sister. The best gift I ever received was: A pair of socks and a water bottle from my baby brother. He’d been saving money since September and it’s the thought that really count. My favorite thing to give is: A home cooked meal. I love cooking for friends and family, because it’s a time where they can relax and unwind and it’s also an opportunity to bond with them. I feed my soul with/by: Doing things with my family. Being outside in the yard during a cookout and laughing together is a priceless gift during the holidays. An EGL girl is: A woman with confidence who is not only hard working and self-sufficient, but self-less when it comes to her loves ones and family.

The best gift I ever received was: Was my niece who was born one week before Christmas. I call her my angel. My favorite thing to give is: anything that someone can remember me by. I feed my soul with/by: Giving other people support and hope for better days. An EGL girl is: Secure, confident, and ambitious. She laughs hard and enjoys life. She has a presence. She IS everything to Love.

Regina M. TuckerBeauty Editor My sure fire way to get in the holiday spirit is to Watch classic holiday shows and movies from my childhood with my kids. Who doesn’t love A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, & Home Alone. The best gift I ever received was- My mom brought me a paint set when I was in about the 6th grade. My favorite thing to give is- I always love giving beauty products, gadgets, and accessories. Right now I am super excited over the Cranberry Brown Sugar bath, shower, hand, and body lotions by Bubalina. I feed my soul with- Each morning I try to start my day off with a little quite time before the whole house gets up. It’s my way to connect with the universe, I write a little bit, sit quietly and just try to get grounded as I enter into the day. An EGL girl isis- Confidant, well balanced and at peace physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Monica K. RomeroFashion Editor My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Blast the Jackson 5 Christmas CD while baking Holiday treats like pies and cookies. The best gift I ever received was: A pair of 5” studded Ruthie Davis boots from my fiancé Travis. How can you not love a man who buys you shoes! My favorite thing to give: Personalized gifts. Last year I gave my boss a flask that was engraved with the punch line of one of our inside jokes, she loved it! I feed my soul by: Cooking a HUGE Holiday meal and spending time at home with my men, the 3 loves of my life. An EGL girl is: A woman who handles the Holy Trinity with Style & Grace…Home, Honeys & Hustle!


Questions and Answers

Nisha Kittles-

Mark HayesCreative Design Director My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Put up decorations around my house. The best gift I ever received was: ATARI 2600 back in the days. My favorite thing to give is: Time and Service. I feed my soul with/by: Music, Meditation and God. An EGL girl is: Intelligent, Sexy, Loving and Spiritual.

Web Master My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Get the shopping started! The best gift I ever received was: My son was born a week before xmas last year, best gift ever. My favorite thing to give is: a handmade gift with a side of gift card. I feed my soul with/by: family time and art. An EGL girl is: powerful girl, who’s not afraid of any challenge life throws at her. Family, career, love? Bring it on.

Joseph Buapim Kanarian Kindred Wellness Editor My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is Listening to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving.

Design and Programming My surefire way to get in the holiday spirit is to: Is too watch March of the wooden soldiers with my brother.

The best gift I ever received was a tenspeed bike.

The best gift I ever received was: it wasn’t a gift for me but for my mom when me and my siblings was able to send her to Africa to see her mother which she hasn’t seen in over 30 yrs my mother’s smile and expression made it the best gift of all.

My favorite thing to give is my time and personalized holiday cards.

My favorite thing to give is: good advice lol because that’s goes a lot further then material things and it’s cheaper too.

I feed my soul by reading and writing my personal blogs.

I feed my soul with/by: I feed my soul with prayer and studying and learning way to be a better me.

An EGL girl is strong, dedicated, analytical and above all fair.

An EGL girl is: An EGL Girl is a woman with her head on her shoulders who is motivated and push pass any obstacle in her way.


A GREAT TOTE When youre a girl on fire you need to carry the world on your back and in your purse.

Item: Fun Functional Tote Price: $50.00 Where to buy: Trendy fun color and budget price with plenty of room.

Knock out your gift list with help from the EGL Team and our annual “Things we can’t live without list”. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list, at every price point.

OUTERWEAR Sometimes it is all about whats on the outside.

Item: My Army Fatigue Jacket Price: $15.00 Where to buy: Vintage Army Thrift Store A Camo Print Jacket is extremely versatile. You can Dress it up for a rocker Chic look , or down for casual cool look. A must have!

Item: Essential Black Blazer Price: $68.60 Where to buy: Express A black blazer is a nonnegotiable staple! Pairing it with a faux fur vest is really hot this season as we get into the cold months!

Item: Steve Madden Faux Mink Vest in Peacock Price: $89.00 Where to buy: Steve madden or Century 21 Turn a blazer or denim jacket into sheek, fabulous, and warm.

Item: Disturbed Bendel Tote Price: $299.99 Where to buy: Henri Bendel I like this one because its black and brown with silver and gold accents so I can pair it with almost anything!

Item: Celine Luggage Tote Price: $3,200.00 Where to buy: Barneys This bag has been deemed the “It” bag for 2012. It’s so chic and practical. Available for rent at Bag Borrow or Steal for $375 a month.

Item: Pim + Larkin Novelty Stitch Sweater Coat Price: $62.50 Where to buy: A sweater coat is mandatory for in between weather and changing of the seasons.

Item: Vera Bradley Tote Price: $49.00 Where to buy:, Vera Bradley Tote bags are not only fashionable, but they’re long-lasting. They come in a ton of shapes and sizes as well.

Item: Petunia Pickle Bottom Society Satchel Diaper Bag Price: $325.00 Where to buy: Nordstrom’s Mommy Fab! With an infant there is so much more you have to carry. This diaper bag is stylish and functional and doubles as a purse.

Item: Aldo“Cyphert” Bag Price: $50.00 Where to buy: ALDO Practical and affordable.

FOOT WEAR We literally walk FOOT WEAR miles in our shoes so they better be cute and comfortable.

SHADES Item: Steve Madden Tsunamii Rain Boots Price: $89.95 Where to buy: Our world doesn’t stop when it rains. stay dry and stylish.

Sunglasses and Avil last night was mad real.

Item: Marc Jacob Sunglasses Price: $98.00 Where to buy: Neimann Marcus Affordable option for blocking the paparazzi and the sun.

Item: Bandolino Boots Price: $129.99 Where to buy: Macys Casual and Polished.

Item: Black Suede Wedge Sneakers Price: $80 .00 Where to buy: Aldo Fashion meets comfort with these black suede wedge sneakers.

Item: Rayban Aviators Price: $160.00 Where to buy: Classic aviators great year round whether you need to hide your face or just because.

Item: Nude Nine West Leather Rocha Pumps Price: $79.00 Where to buy: These are the most comfortable pair of pumps you will own and they can be worn with many different outfits.

Item: Steve Madden “Chaufur” Loafers Price: $80.99 Where to buy: Steve Madden, Macy*s, Bloomingdale’s, or Nordstrom When heels just aren’t an option.

Item: Porsche Vintage Aviator Glasses Price: $200.00 - $600.00 Where to buy: Ebay Vintage aviator style with removable lenses so you can change the color but keep the frame. Timeless Classic that will never go out of style.

THE essentials the must haves.


Natural is great but every girl needs a little help.


Item: MAC Studio Fix Powder Price: $27.00 Where to buy: Mac It keeps my skin looking smooth and clear without the heavy, cakey feeling.

Item: Faux Leather Pants Price: $34.95 Where to buy: H&M Literally Wear them with anything! Instant Rebel Glam.

Item: Paisley Pashmina Scarf Price: $25.00 Where to buy: Macys These fashionable scarves are great for winter and can be tied in multiple ways.

Item: Tom Ford Lipstick in Sable Smoke Price: $48.60 Where to buy: Neimann Marcus The perfect nude shade. Item: Mario Badescu skin care products Price: - Drying lotion $18 - Silver Powder $12 - Almond and Honey face scrub $14 Where to buy: Nordstrom Acne fighting and moisturizing at the same time.

Item: Leggings Price: $35.90 Where to buy: Zara These aren’t pants their skin. Can’t live without them.

Item: EGL Lounge Wear Price: $20.50- $47.00 Where to buy: Perfect for being comfortable and still looking stylish while you work out, run errands, or lounge at home.

Item: MAC Conceler Price: $17.00 Where to buy: Simply put, this is the foundation of a flawless look.

Item: Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner Price: $32.95 Where to buy: Lush Year around this product helps to keep your entire body soft and smooth.

VANITY Natural is great but every girl needs a little help.


Item: Feed Me Hydrating Treatment Base Price: $10.00 Where to buy: or drug store Between juggling the kids, the marriage, and the job; sitting down to get our nails done is NOT always an option. This polish not only adds shine to your dull nails but it also hydrates them.

Item: Lancome Hypnose Mascara Price: $26.00 Where to buy: or any Lancome counter in Macys or Nordstroms The eyes tell it all-Lancome’s fabulous mascara gives plenty of length and volume for ladies that don’t have naturally long lashes.

Item: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Art Stickers. Price: $8.50 Where to buy: Drug Store These are easy to apply, and unlike regular nail polish they don’t crack as soon after you put it on, and they last at least a week and a half.

Item: “Bossy” Lip Gloss Price: $16.50 Where to buy: My lips stay moist and have a hint of color with my Embellish “Bossy” Lip Gloss.

Item: Maybelline’s “Baby Lips” Lip Balm Price: $4.99 Where to buy: CVS drug store In addition to sweet flavors, this lip balm is guaranteed to revitalize and transform your lips!

Item: Chi Silk Fusion Price: $10.74 Where to A serum which provides shine and a light hold without looking greasy.

LASTING IMPRESSION Nothing makes a statement like a memorable scent. Item: Olive Oil Edge Control Price: $4.99 Where to buy: Sally Beauty Supply My Olive Oil Edge Control is perfect for controlling my edges and it puts the finishing touches on any hair style! Item: Coco Mademoiselle Perfume Price: $115.00 Where to buy: Sephora Perfect mixture of sweet and sexy and can def be work from day to night all year long.

Item: Glam Glow Tingling and Exfoliating Mud Mask Price: $69 .00 Where to buy: A ten minute mud mask for men and women to help keep your skin clear and glowing.

Item: EGL’ s We Own The Night Crystal Compact w/ LED Lights Price: $40.00 Where to buy: The dual mirrors which include a standard mirror on one side and magnifying mirror on the other makes it perfect for makeup application on the go, and the light ensures you can get a perfect finish no matter where you are.

Item: Chi Pink Chrome 1” flat iron Price: $99.97 Where to buy: Walmart or The Chi flat iron is great because I have short hair. The Chi iron prevents me from constantly getting relaxers and it conceals the moisture in my hair.

Item: Avril Lavigne’s Forbidden Rose fragrance Price: $42 .00 Where to buy: Frangratice. com or Rose fragrance is the perfect floral scent, that’s both sensual and long-lasting.

Item: Jimmy Choo Perfume Price: 2 oz.- $70.00, 3.3 oz. - $95.00 Where to buy: This sweet and sexy scent will keep you smelling amazing and people asking “What’s that you’re wearing?”

Item: Jessica Simpson’s Fancy Perfume Price: $35.00 Where to buy: KOHLS The sweet aroma of this fragrance will definitely makes a statement everywhere except your pockets.


The little things that make greatness possible.

Item: iPhone Price: Starting at $199.99 Where to buy: Apple Store The Ultimate organizer. Item: Kindle Fire Price: $199.99 Where to buy: Carry all your fashion magazines, textbooks, and reading material in your pocketbook without the added weight!

Item: Xbox 360 Price: $249.00 Where to buy: Best Buy, Toys R’Us Not only is it a great gaming system, but the Xbox 360 let’s you enjoy family movie night.

Item: The Galaxy Tab Price: $250 Where to buy: If your anti Apple, this is the next best thing.

Item: iPad 2 Price: $399.99 Where to buy: Best Buy Great and light to carry around instead of lugging a huge laptop!

Item: Mophie Juice Pack Air Price: $79.99 Where to buy: Doubles as a protective case and backup battery for my iphone.

Item: Bose Noise Canceling Headphone Price: $299.99 Where to buy: or Sometimes you need to tune out. Whether you are traveling or at home, these headphones are amazing at blocking out everything other than the music that you want to hear.

Item: iWatch Price: $24.95 -$85.95. Where to buy: Apple Store online Keep the time and also check the weather or listen to your favorite music on this handy gadget. The iWatch includes Facetime camera, wi-fi, internal memory 16 GB, Bluetooth, and more.

Item: Words with Friends App Price: Free Where to buy: iPhone and Android This fun game , which is just an electronic version of Scrabble, will help you pass the time and keep you on your toes during a friendly competition with friends or random opponents.

Item: Blackberry Bold 9900 Price: AT&T: $549.99 T-Mobile: $549.99 RadioShack: $539.99 Best Buy $649.99 Essential for international travel and multiple emails.

every girl loves



The Best Gifts are Free

By Samantha Irving


Hand Made Gift Ideas Under $5 1

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, businesses are depending on shoppers to come out and spend their last dime on gifts for others. While some may have the money to spend, there are others who do not have the money and go into debt to ensure that their loved ones receive gifts. Many people, mothers especially, do not want to feel like they’ve let their children down by not gifting them the hottest sneakers or electronic gadgets. The essence and joy of the holiday season has been overshadowed by what someone is giving or receiving. This holiday season; let’s bring back the true spirit of Christmas by giving, from our hearts and not our pockets.

3 1- Paper Clip Earrings 2- Printed Candles 3- Tile Coaster Pics an tips courtesy of /2011/11/25-handmade-gifts-under-5.htmlv

4- Mason Jar Sewing Kit 5- Bird Nest Necklaces 6- Spa Scrubs


4 One of the beauties of the holidays is the gift of giving and sharing. Giving doesn’t mean to shower your loved ones with huge gifts; it means to serve others, volunteer and donate. There is no greater joy than giving your time, serving others, and helping those who are less fortunate. Many people do not have homes or families to share the holidays with. There are many more people out there who are in despair, who feel lonely or may be ill in the hospital without visitors. The holiday season should remind you of how blessed you are to have essentials and inspire you to share your blessings. If you and your family have never volunteered before, make this a part of your holiday celebration. You will feel good that you’ve helped others and your relatives will too. The hope is that this gift of giving and service becomes a family tradition passed down through the generations to come.


Material gifts are nice, but like cars, they depreciate with time. This season, challenge yourself to make all of your gifts. These gifts will outlast time, as they now have personalized and sentimental meanings behind them. This holiday season, bring out your creativity. If you have a child who loves magazines, collect old magazines and clip articles and pictures that they will enjoy reading. Use this season to teach your relatives the meaning of love and the finer things. In life, you may find that the smaller things are the finer things. Love should not be shown by pulling out your wallet. Creating lasting memories and time well spent with your family and giving to othersis the essence of love.



7- Bread in a Bottle 8- Reversible Cup Sleeves 9- Beautiful Bookmarks 10- Hair Comb

Money can’t buy love and it certainly can’t buy happiness. Do not allow this season to break your bank account or leave your financial life in shambles. In 2011, a survey from the American Research Group concluded that Americans were expected to spend $646 for gifts this holiday season . Many consumers used credit cards as their main source of payment. While that may seem like a small amount of money, often times it takes people months to pay off the balance and added interest. Do not compensate your happiness for a temporary feeling of fulfillment because you were able to give materialistic gifts. If you decide to head to the stores this season, use cash as your primary source of payment. When you get to the counter, your cashier will ask you if you’d like to save an extra 10% on your purchase. While you might be tempted to save a couple extra dollars, it may cost you more in the long run. Each time a creditor pulls your credit; your credit report is hit with a hard inquiry. This inquiry lowers your credit score and too many inquires could work against you. Keep your credit in top shape and avoid opening two or three credit cards to purchase gifts this holiday season. The true meaning of the holiday season is to spend time with your family and create beautiful memories. While you narrow down your long list, think priceless rather than pricy and you’re sure to come up with thoughtful unique gifts for everyone. To get you started here are a few handmade gift ideas under $5 that are sure to please.

Happy holidays to all!



Rising Star

Rising Stars Alize Beal and Tiffany Bender:

every girl loves

To be successful women taking control of their today’s and creating their tomorrows.”

Y.U.N.G Harlem Baaaby!

By Chey Parker

Alize Beal Tiffany Bender

Founders Alize Beal and Tiffany Bender are taking over New York through their nonprofit organization, Y.U.N.G Harlem (Youth under New Guidance). Through its programs, Y.U.N.G Harlem aims to show young people everywhere that making your dreams a reality, no matter what they may be, is possible. Beal, a Howard University alum and consultant, and Bender, a Syracuse University alum and aspiring radio and television mogul, have both learned that although it may not be easy, you can have it all! Everything Girls Love had the chance to chat with Beal and Bender to get the 411 on their big future plans for Y.U.N.G Harlem, what it was like being honored at Black Girls Rock, and the tough lessons they’ve learned through making Y.U.N.G Harlem a success.

EGL: What inspired you to make Y.U.N.G Harlem a reality? Alize Beal: Tiffany and I were inspired to bring Y.U.N.G Harlem to fruition after a major violent event occurred in Harlem during our freshmen year. We spent a good amount of time complaining about the negative events that was occurring to the youth of Harlem and after about a week of talking about all the changes that needed to occur we decided to become the change Harlem and the youth needed. Tiffany Bender: 2008 was home to one of Harlem’s most dangerous summer[s]. After a seemingly casual cookout, Alize and I drove down 125th street until we started seeing people running down the avenue. We later found out that evening that fourteen people were wounded and seven killed. As you can imagine we were both devastated and became determined to figure out a way to bring change to our community instead of simply complaining about it. EGL: What has been the hardest part of making and keeping Y.U.N.G Harlem a reality? Alize Beal: The hardest part of making and keeping YH a reality was developing a solid team of people that believed in our passion just as much as we did. But after we found the members that are current today it made our work a lot easier. Tiffany Bender: Keeping your team as motivated and passionate about your dream is extremely difficult. There are seven people total in YH – that’s seven ideas about what change means, seven egos, seven emotions, seven people to make sure they’re responding to your e-mails. So you aren’t allowed to have an off day when you are accountable for managing the fire in six other people. It makes it worth every headache for all of us when we meet the kids we mentor and help get into colleges.

“I don’t like to fail and before I give up, I’m going to try a little bit harder.” Alize

As far as Y.U.N.G Harlem is concerned, what are the perks and challenges that you face? Tiffany Bender: I would say the challenges are when you are trying to do good for others in the community or for yourself you’re always in the minority. Its hard gathering help and finding genuine people that are as passionate as you. We lucked up, we have a small team but they are very passionate about changing the community. That’s just the perk. I find so much joy in having team meeting[s]; we argue we fight, whatever, but we get things accomplished and that’s where the perks come in for me. And what about you Alize? Alize Beal: The most challenging part of it all is to understand we can’t help everybody. We both have very tough humanitarian thrill about us and we enjoy helping people, typically the youth, typically the minorities. Once you see one problem you want to take on everybody’s problem as your own.

Staying focused on what we’re doing and knowing that we can’t help everybody, but we will try to do it if we can. The perks of the thing is that we help each other. Many times we do events, we’re panicking seconds before and when it’s all said and done it’s a pleasure to look at Tiffany and to see how proud everyone is of each other; that we came together to accomplish our goal.” Do you ever find any road blocks in your way due to being a woman or to being young? Alize Beal: I think more of being young than it is being a woman. In the beginning we would have people looking like ‘ok what you are real-

ly trying to do.’ It hurt because it’s like you’re so passionate but you don’t want to look like the young naïve passionate student so we really had to educate ourselves on the side because we wanted to come correct and we wanted people to take us seriously. I don’t think we face anything as women yet, I know those will probably come later on but I think the hardest part is the age. For the most part, we know our stuff and we are very tight and we make sure that when we come to the table we are limiting the amount of no’s for a possible yes.

Tiffany Bender: I definitely agree. I

“Every day you realize that nobody owes you anything. No matter how much you’re giving, that’s a very hard lesson to learn every day.” Tiffany

think more so in our own individual perspective careers we face the, ‘oh you can’t do enough or you don’t know enough because you are women and because you’re young.’ Tell me more about how it was to be honored at Black Girls Rock. Alize Beal: Being honored at Black Girls Rock was one of the most humbling moments ever. It really did mean a lot to have someone recognize the work that we have done. A year ago to date I told Tiffany we would be the 2012 M.A.D girls and to have that come to life really did prove to me how important it is to speak positive affirmation into your own life and having faith in our organization and each other.

RISING STAR Tiffany Bender: I was okay with simply being nominated amongst the final list of amazing young women. However when we received the e-mail stating that we won – I don’t think I can describe that feeling in words, honestly. I remember when I found out we won, I was having one of [my] “discouraged” days – I was frustrated that I had moved home with my masters ready to conquer the world and had not a job offer in sight. Literally standing at a bus stop with my heels in hand, Alize gave me the call that I honestly believe changed the trajectory of our lives as we know it.

Tell me something about Y.U.N.G Harlem that the average “Joe” or person wouldn’t know. Tiffany Bender: First thing is we aren’t going anywhere. We’re going to be 45 and 55 worrying about having the youth under new guidance, which is what Y.U.N.G Harlem stands for. Alize Beal: Also what people don’t know is our goal, ideally, is to train young professionals coming right out of college to take accountability and responsibility for their peers underneath them. That’s the goal of Y.U.N.G Harlem. There’s a circular revolution of reaching back and making sure that people between the ages of 18 and 21 are looking out for their peers between 14 and 17. I feel like any time, we, within this age group, become so focused on our own career paths that we forget about those that are younger. Those that are younger are forced to look up to people that are 30 plus and it shouldn’t be like that. People that are young professionals can reach back and speak to high school students and elementary students and relate to them because they are so close in age. Our goal is to make sure we are training and building youth to always have this idea of I have to look back and make sure the people behind me have someone‘s hand that they can reach out to. Have you ever wanted to give up, just ran into a road block and felt like maybe this is not where it’s at or what I’m supposed to be doing? Tiffany Bender: I don’t think it was the matter of giving up; it’s just every day you realize that nobody owes you anything. No matter how much you’re giving, that’s a very hard lesson to learn every day. You’re giving and giving and giving of yourself and you still learn that no one owes you anything. So I don’t think I ever wanted to give up but there were days I emailed Ali like, I need a week from not emailing the team and not emailing sponsors and not getting no’s and I’ll come back. Alize Beal: The good thing is that Tiffany and I can look at each other and we have the same passion, that’s why we are able to move in sync with each

other. It is difficult when you’re trying to get your passion across to people and they’re not passionate about your cause and you have to fight to get them excited and then you have to fight to keep them excited. We just have to be blessed for a good team. I thank god every day to have someone like Tiffany working alongside me because it would be impossible to do this sometimes but we love it. What keeps you going? Tiffany Bender: I’m going to give him a shout out; Eric Thomas the hip hop preacher. I put my iPhone on the charger to charge on the iHome deck and he has a mixtape. And like a traditional rapper has a mixtape out, but it’s all his best lectures mixed with music that he talks about and literally I jump out of bed and he says; ‘Sleep! Sleep are for those that are weak!’ [chuckles]. I literally jump out of bed and it’s an array of songs for any mood you are in. You know when you’re tired, discouraged and when you’re feeling too cocky he has something for that too. I would definitely have to shout him out. Alize Beal: I would say just the pressure. I don’t like to fail and before I give up, I’m going to try a little bit harder. I don’t ever want anyone to look at us as a failure because we stopped, because we gave into our weakness. It’s said you’re destined to do things and [have] a purpose and I feel like this is our purpose and it’s like how can ‘I give up on my purpose?’ Where do you see Y.U.N.G. Harlem in the next few years whether that’s next year, the next 5 years, the next 10 years but what’s your long term vision for the brand? Alize Beal: We need to be nationwide. Our goal is to take it to young Philly, young D.C, young Chicago, young LA; putting on events in the summer, hitting different programs, different states, different cities.”

“You get one shot at this thing called life and because of that you must push through fear and discouragement to get to your goals.” Alize


RISING STAR Alize Beal: And plus a lot of our friends, I was just thinking about this tonight, one of our friends had just launched their PR agency and their having an event. Even though it’s going to be, like fun more less like networking fun, everything that we do with our friends they’re going to be working. We’re going to be working in the sense of networking so we get to go out but business is never done honestly. So it’s the holiday season, how important is it to you to give back to your community during this time? Alize Beal: For us, giving back is something that we do year round. When the holidays arrive we just push our community service efforts in turbo.

“feelings of discouragement are placed on purpose, and that everything in life is by design. You have to encounter something to make your victory that much sweeter.” Tiffany Tiffany Bender: I am most excited about conquering New York, when I say conquering I don’t mean to brand it, this is Y.U.N.G. Harlem. I mean to really accept change in our youth. I don’t think higher education should be an option. That’s what we have some of our kids thinking; that college isn’t for everybody and you don’t know unless you try, you know. I remember at one point we considered intergrating and maybe having someone who didn’t go to college to talk about going to trade school, and we said no education is the key. That’s the only way you will know. There’s no such thing as a feeling. So that for me would be important in the next year and like Ali said, expanding out across the nation. What inspires you most about your business partner? Alize Beal: Tiffany Bender inspires me more than she probably even realizes. Tiffany has such a relentless attitude and her courage to keep going, even when things do not make sense. She is not afraid to fail and she isn’t afraid to move in the opposite direction of the crowd. She is a born leader

Tiffany Bender: It’s great because we can increase volunteer activity – but honestly, I’m more focused on giving during the off hours, during the Mays and Junes when girls are trying to figure out how they can afford prom dresses and during August when our young boys are killing one another.

and I will always be willing to follow her!

What would you say to a girl or woman that is discouraged about following her dreams?

Tiffany Bender: Her drive. She’s such a firecracker when it comes to getting things done and introducing us into new realms of business. Outside of business, she is my sister. She holds a mirror to my best qualities and forces me to believe in myself – I need that more often than people think.

Alize Beal: You get one shot at this thing called life and because of that you must push through fear and discouragement to get to your goals. Remembering that there is no ceiling on anything you accomplish will give you the faith that the sky is the limit.

What’s the best way to balance your professional life with your personal life? Alize and Tiffany: We don’t. Tiffany Bender: Ali and I lucked up in the sense that we met young and that we became best friends and that we became business partners. The most part, our late night meetings turn into a girl’s night out but other than that we spend so much time working long and hard that neither one of us has a social life. So the nights that we spend planning and stuff turn into nights of fun for us. We’re lucky in that sense because we don’t have to worry about the gossip or loosing focus and all that stuff because we have each other so we really don’t have a social life.

Tiffany Bender: That her feelings of discouragement are placed on purpose and that everything in life is by design. You have to encounter something to make your victory that much sweeter. The first golf ball was created completely smooth. They found however that after the ball was hit a few times and got some dents – it traveled further. Needless to say, today you will not find a golf ball without a host of dents. Take some dents in life to go further. EGL: In your own words an EGL girl is what? Tiffany Bender: A girl that rocks! [laughs] I think an EGL girl is a Jane of all trades. She’s good at everything and more than trying to figure out what her passion is, she’s trying to figure out what she’s not good at because she’s good at everything.


every girl loves


Not Your Typical Fashion Gift Guide It’s that time of year again folks!! The Christmas Holidays are right around the corner and so is the hustle and bustle that comes along with it. All the shopping, parties, traveling, entertaining, cooking and decorating can become a bit overwhelming. So to help make it a little easier, here is a gift guide for the hard to please fashionista on your list.


Boss Lady


A little bling for the most special lady in your life. ABS Allen Schwartz Pave Hoop Earrings, $50.00, Bloomingdales

A little nautical chic goes perfect with a power suit! Fun Broach is an easy way to jazz up a boring suit.

Silk Scarf, $50.00, Banana Republic

Collar & Tie Brooch, $20.00, Top Shop

Keep Mom warm, cozy & fabulous in these safari print pajamas. Nick & Nora Pajamas, $29.99, Target


Update mom’s wardrobe with a simple flat in an exotic print. Janey Calf Hair Leopard Flats, $198, J. Crew


This patent leather polka dot wallet will make mom feel chic and trendy!. Carlise Street Stacy Wallet, $128, Kate Spade

A little killer fab comes in handy when handing out business cards. Perfect Coffee Table Reading Material! Christina Louboutin Photo Book, $92.00 Barnes & Noble

Alexander McQueen Snakeskin Card Holder, $250.00 Alexnader McQueen




Studs, Chain Strap Detail, Oxblood; What more could a girl ask for? Studded Shoulder Bag, $46.00,

Function and fashion meets.

The studded trend is still going strong, so she’ll definitely appreciate stepping out in style.

La Mer Triple Chain Watch, $50.00

Michael Kors Stud Toe Sneaker, $145.00, ’ A funky little tote in an even funkier color!! Marc Jacobs Hiller Tote, $498.00, Marc Jacobs

Leopard Luxe for your p artner in crime! A.P.C. Leopard Shoulder Wrap, $400.00, Net-A-Porter

Personalized Arm Party! CWonder Initial Enamel Cuff, $48.00 each,

Add a little winter lux to her below zero look. Faux Fur Pom Hat, $28.14,

A rich navy clutch embellished with sparkling stones! A must have for any glam gal. Jeweled Navy Clutch, $ 395.00, Diane Von Furstenberg



Daddy Dearest

Hipster garb for your too cool brother. OBEY logo shirt, $24.99, Urban Outfitters

BUDGETFAB A fleece jacket is the quintessential cold weather layering piece!

Keep your big headed brother warm with this beanie!

Eddie Bauer Fleece Jacket $44.99,

NEFF, the Daily Heather Beanie, $18.00,

Help dad embrace the trend one foot at a time. Vince Camuto Gingham Socks, $10.00, Nordstrom

BALLIN’ A cool Nike watch complete with GPS is a must have for any techie! Nike Watch $169.00,

These sneakers are versatile enough to go with anything from Jeans to Slacks. Supra Skymoc Hi-Top Sneaker, $150.00,

BALLIN’ A camel corduroy blazer is the perfect addition to any dad’s wardrobe! Brooks Brothers ‘University Flatiron’ Corduroy Blazer, $248.00 Nordstrom

Umbrellas aren’t just for the rain their a perfect accessory for a distinguished gentleman. Fox Umbrella, $295, Bloomingdales

FASHION For The Beaux



His only chance to wear something from the Kardashian line. Arthur George Suitcase & Horseshoe Men’s Socks, $30.00, Neiman Marcus.

Keep your honey warm and toasty is this sleek puffer coat! Gant Rugger Puffer Coat, $275.00 Barneys

Perfect for winter date nights! Cream Sweater, $34.95, H & M Stores Nationwide

Upgrade your man’s gym bag to something a little more sophisticated! Jack Spade Dipped Coal Bag, $295.00,

every girl loves

Feature Feature

To be mysterious

VH1’s Love and Hip Hop Atlanta invaded our homes this summer and became the guilty obsession for EGL girls all over the country. Amid all the drama and dysfunction one character stood out from the rest, leaving us all wanting to know more about the Brown skin sister with the fierce hair cut and no nonsense attitude. Her name is Ariane Davis, a celebrity bartender from the A, who prides herself on being a southern belle with a beautiful spirit.

Who’s that girl?! By Latisha Elmes

“My face could be gone tomorrow; I still want people to say she’s a beautiful spirit.”

Photo Retrieved From Google Images Photographer- Elvis Peidra Stylist- Darryl Anderson Makeup- Dominique Doyle Hair- Brandon Thompson and Cherise Beasley


So how did you end up on Love & Hip Hop? It kind of just fell into my lap honestly. Mona and everyone else kept hearing my name in the streets of Atlanta so when I finally went to interview with them it was, we like this girl she’s going to be on the show. At the time, they didn’t even know that Mimi and I were friends. Mimi interviewed on her own; and I interviewed on my own. Once they asked MiMi about me she was like yeah that’s my b*tch, they were like ok this is perfect. So that’s how it kind of came about. It was crazy. I didn’t go looking for anything. Are you originally from Atlanta? Were you born and raised in Atlanta? I was born in Mississippi but I was raised here. I’ve been here 20 years. I’m a southern bell honey! Everyone on this show is connected to someone who has been in the industry in some form, what was your connection? I’ve been a celebrity bartender in this city for almost 10 years so that’s how everybody in this city knows me.

What is your relationship like with the rest of the girls on the show? Do you guys keep in contact? Mimi and I have been friends for 8 years; I’m really close with Rasheeda. Erica and I are really cool too. I don’t have any issues with anybody. Everybody is just doing their own thing. I’ve remained neutral in every situation and when people don’t understand me being neutral that’s not my problem. I noticed that. You did an interview with Power 105.1 fm and they asked you about the K Michelle & Memphitz hits situation and also you relationship to him and you just gave a very general answer… There was no more to say. They started talking about him. And like I told everybody else in every interview, I won’t talk about that anymore. They asked me, I got it out. I hadn’t said anything else before about it and it won’t be talked about ever again. People really do thrive on that shit; they really, really just love that drama, I cant. Done, next, moving on. What do you do for a living besides bartending? I do everything. I’m a little social butterfly; I don’t have a job title. LOL! I’m not at liberty to really talk about anything but there are a lot of opportunities that have happened and that I have put myself out there for and everything is just coming back so gracefully and I’m blessed and so excited about everything. I just want everybody to wait; I don’t really want to talk about it.

Has being on the show changed your life in anyway? Of course it has! When people say you’re my favorite celebrity, I’m like girl who are you talking to? I am nobody’s celebrity. When people meet me and say, “You’re so pretty, pretty girls are usually stuck up and your personality is amazing.” I’m like nah, my face could be gone tomorrow and I still want people to say she’s a beautiful spirit. You know? Absolutely, do you feel like the experience was a positive or a negative one? For me, definitely positive because I didn’t give them anything negative to work with. I was consistently who I am. I stayed true to me and I have no regrets. I have my moments don’t get me wrong, but I try to stay positive and distance negativity away from me. That’s great that you’re humble because fame sometimes changes people. I’m watching it happen to certain people. But I just feel like some people aren’t built for certain sh*t. I was raised differently. I have always been humble no matter what I had going on, or didn’t have going on. It’s just who I am. I’m walking with one foot in front of the other just like everybody else. Let’s address the Mermaid controversy… I don’t really read blogs. I don’t stop and see what anybody else is doing because I will lose focus on what I’m doing. But, I didn’t feel like anything was wrong with it. I thought it was a creative artistic movement and people don’t understand art. For people to lash out at me the way they did, you would have thought I showed my whole titty. What people don’t know is I am really an exhibitionist. If I could be naked all the time, I would be. In my head, in a perfect world I would be naked all the time so I didn’t understand what people’s issue was.

“I’m walking with one foot in front of the other just like everybody else.”

“I’m still the same girl, it’s you that is changing and I don’t understand why.”

So what does Ariane like to do for fun? I go to karaoke, I skate, I bar hop… I’m just a fun girl! I like to do whatever. Since the season wrapped, we have seen pictures with you and other reality stars hanging out; have you always known them or are they new found friendships? Most of them are definitely new found friendship but a lot of the artist I already knew. Everybody that I have encountered has been cool so far you know but I’m not seeking friends though. It’s just something that happens. Comes with the territory…. Yeah and I’m cool with it, I very open to meeting people. So you’re not leery about the cattiness associated with women? No because I don’t give them anything to be catty about. I don’t talk about people. Their business is theirs and mine is mine. I’m not here to talk about anybody else’s business. Let’s just have a good time.

Are you a girlie girl? I can be a little tomboy at times. I think my friends think that I’m very aggressive at times but I’m very feminine when it comes to my style. I like to stay classic. A lot of women don’t know how to do that. I would describe my style as classically sheek, with a little edge sometimes.

Is there someone special in your life, a boyfriend perhaps? There is someone special in my life. I’m happy, very happy!

Do you cook? I do. Chicken, turkey necks, pasta’s, you know just county girl shit. I have to; I can’t afford to eat out all the time.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be and why? Consistent and that’s one word I really like to use a lot, because I’ve had friendships and relationships where people are just inconsistent. It’s so annoying when people are inconsistent and it’s unnecessary. With all this shit that is happening right now, when somebody tells me I am changing… No, I’m still the same girl, it’s you that is changing and I don’t understand why.

The Holidays are approaching. What is one gift that you are hoping for? Just give me a new wallet with some money in it, and I will go from there. My birthday is coming up so I don’t really ask for too much for the holidays because I like to be spoiled on my day.

And that’s all you are going to say huh? I’m glad you know! You have learned me in 25 minutes! LOL

Rising Star

every girl loves

To be successful “women taking control of their today’s and creating their tomorrows.

Tashida Watson:

Investing in Our Kids and Molding the Future. By Latoya Bond

EGL’s Rising Star Tashida Watson is the owner and CEO of Grayson Academy of Grayson GA. Grayson Academy is a place where children are given the fundamental tools needed to excel and thrive as they begin their journey to young adulthood. Built in 2006, Grayson Academy provides a superior learning environment for children 6 weeks to 12 years old. Children not only receive essential skills and tools needed to create strong learners and future leaders, but the Academy is a home away from home where children are also nurtured and giving the life skills that builds character and values. At the age of 30 most people are still trying to find themselves but Tashida has served her country as an Information Technician in the US Navy and is now fulfilling her lifelong dream of owning a learning Academy. Smart, driven, and determined to create a brighter future one child at a time, Tashida is a rising star with unlimited potential.

RISING STAR Did you always plan to end up in the field that you are in today? I did not. Being a child care owner was a dream that I never thought would be possible. I envisioned myself remaining in the corporate world in management. I originally left the British Consulate seeking more income, but once hired I only remained at the new company for a couple of weeks. They wanted me to put my job before my family, which was not an option. At that time my daughter was attending a Child care where the owner became my mentor and has remained till this day. She helped me find the opportunity to take over ownership at Grayson Academy in January 2011.

Tell us a little bit about your business. We have convenient hours for our hardworking parents and we open early at 6 am and close at 7pm. We have live web cam via the Internet so parents can login from home or work to see into the classrooms and onto the playgrounds. We have a secure facility where families are issued swipe cards to enter. We also have tap, ballet and hip hop dance classes as well as karate classes offered onsite. We have an amazing summer camp program with over 30 field trips scheduled over ever the summer to keep the children learning and engaged while they are out of school. We have parent referral rewards, to reward parents for helping spread the word. We use the High Reach Bright Baby Curriculum in our

Infant I and Infant II class that covers different learning activities for their age group including basic sign language. Our other classes utilize the Creative Curriculum which balances teacher‐ planned and child‐initiated learning, emphasizing responsiveness to children’s strengths, interests, needs, and learning styles. We understand that each child learns and develops at their own pace and creative curriculum allows us to cater and meet each child at their specific needs. What are the perks and challenges of being a business owner? One main perk is being able to be around my children and have them at my place of business with me. Another perk is having the flexibility in work

hours. However the challenges are that being a business owner is very stressful. It’s a non-stop 24/7 job. I often find myself consumed in it and concerned about its success. I dream about it, it consumes my every waking hour and the thoughts of what to do, how to do, what to change, what to make better is nonstop. Being a business owner you not only hold your future in your hands, however you have employees that also depend on your business being successful so that they can have a job and continue to provide for their family. As a business owner you normally do without financially while waiting for the business to become profitable to ensure that your business and employees don’t lack and that’s often very difficult.

RISING STAR the center and my teachers love their job and they love the children and it shows by their passion and hard work. I also refer to this picture often because I have put so much into this business that I would hate to give up with the possibility of my treasure being just a few more hurdles away. How do you give back? I give back by having an open door to my families and my employees. By hearing concerns voiced by my families and trying my best to cater to their desires and concerns. I am also always open to help anyone that’s looking to venture out into the business world by giving suggestions and answering whatever questions they may have and I try to help point them into the right direction. Do you find any road blocks due to your gender an age? I get a lot of surprised looks when I introduce myself as the owner of Grayson Academy. Some people may make a remark like wow; you look very young while others may just give me a shocked looked. I find that some business partners when meeting me face to face may not take me seriously until I make it known that I am the owner and they often ask is there anyone else that needs to be around to make a final decision about something and I have to let them know that I am the decision maker. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? I know it probably sounds cliché but follow your dreams, don’t let others negativity cause you to stumble and lose your vision. Be mindful who

you tell your dreams too, because everyone is not for you and don’t have your best interest in mind. Set your goals and work towards them with a passion and desire that you won’t quit. I’m not saying that it will be easy because it will not. Each day you have to work for it, you have to put in lots of sleepless nights, hard work, sweat and tears but it will all pay off in the end. Have you ever wanted to give up, what keeps you going? Yes, many times. My faith in God that He won’t bring me to something that He won’t bring me through is what keeps me going. I have a wonderful support system with my family and friends and I have an amazing team at the center. My center’s Director Gillian Miller has been a God-send to be my helpmate and have the same vision, passion and drive as I do for

How important is appearance in your line of work I wear business attire while at work. Although in a Childcare facility, jeans and a shirt would suffice but I like my front desk personnel to look the part of the management.

How do you balance your professional life with your personal life? To be honest it’s very difficult. To run a business is very demanding and during the first couple of years it’s very critical and you have to be present doing the work. A lot of times it means doing the work yourself that you can’t afford to pay someone else to do. I wear many hats from janitor, to cook, to plumber, to driver, to construction worker, you name it I’ve done it! It takes a lot of time and sacrifice and a lot of dedication to the job. HowHow ever, we know the duties of our personal life do not stop to run a business. I am a mother and a wife first and they expect so much from me as does my business. I find myself up alone at night into the wee hours of the morning taking care of business things and back up early in the morning at it again before my mommy and wife duties call. As I said before many sleepless nights! But I love it.

1045 Cooper Road • Grayson, GA 30017 (678) 344-9991 •


The fabulous Life

1) When superstar

Rihanna isn’t performing and selling out shows or sitting down for interviews with Oprah, we can find her in her native home of Barbados. Rihanna was just named Ambassador and signed a 3 year deal as a spokeswoman for the country. This beautiful vacation island is where people come to unwind during the winter and catch the sun. Check out the pictures from Christmas with Rihanna last year!

3) Rapper and actor T.I and his

adoring wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris, were recently spotted in October enjoying life while vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! TI seems as though he is really “feeling” the attractions!

2)This past June, Magic Johnson,Samuel Jackson and baseball hall of famer Dave Winfield along with their spouses were spotted in the South of France taking a break from their busy schedules to enjoy a relaxing vacation sailing on Magic’s luxurious yacht!

4)First Lady Michelle Obama, along with her beautiful

daughters Sasha and Malia, spent President’s Day weekend on a well-deserved ski trip in Aspen Colorado back in February enjoying the wonders of the high mountain slopes at the Buttermilk ski area.

5) R&B musician John Legend and supermodel, Chrissy

Teigen took a break from the studio and runway this January for a romantic retreat. The singer whisked his then girlfriend to Maldive Island to ask for her hand in marriage. The white sandy beaches and clear blue water created the perfect scene for this romantic proposal.

6)R&B singer Monica and husband, NBA star

Shannon Brown love to vacation in tropical destinations. The couple took time for some relaxation as they went horseback riding on the beaches of Maui. They seemed to be in great spirits as they enjoyed each other’s company.

7)Singer-songwriter, Alicia Keys “is on FIRE” and enjoying life as a

mommy and wife. This past January, she and her family flew down to Hawaii to soak in the sun. It may not be a national holiday for us, but for Keys and her boys it was! Just the three of them, it’s so adorable how in love Alicia and Swizz look with each other, even more so with their son, Egypt.

8)Celebrity basketball-wife, reality-star, television personality and actress, Lala Anthony lives a life many would envy. Escaping the city-life of both Los Angeles and NYC, she and her hubby, Carmelo Anthony, have spent their leisure time vacationing in Thailand. This past Labor Day holiday they jetsetted to Koh Samui for a couple’s excursion.

9)Singer Nick Lachey and television personality, Vanessa

Minnillo, describe Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands as timeless and beautiful. The lovebirds regularly visit the island so it came as no surprise that was the location of their intimate wedding ceremony.


You’ll Be Surprised What a Little Love Can Do for Your Holiday Blues!

every girl loves

By The EGL Love & Sex Blog Team With so much emphasis placed on the holiday season, it ignites an anxious nature that can cause insecurities as pertaining to our love lives. Depending on your particular relationship status, you may feel awkward about where you stand with your man and where you should stand on the holidays. These insecurities can make the holiday not so cheerful. Just having to wonder and/or receiving the wrong signs can put a damper on your season. But, you’ll really be surprised to find out what a little love can do for these holiday blues. There is a remedy for each holiday blue that you might encounter. Because, the bottom line is that the holidays are filled with so much more than just expectations of romance. But if romance is the request on your list to Santa; then be careful that you don’t allow your anxieties to block your potential for cozy comfort during these winter months. So here are a couple of anecdotes to cure the common holiday blues.

I think I love him, will he get scared if I tell him for the first time during the holidays?

Well ladies, I asked around and the guys explained that whether it’s December 25, or March 25 if they’re not ready, they’re not ready. So, DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS, if he has a tendency to avoid moments where your eyes connect, or becomes awkward when ending calls or parting ways; then he might not be ready to exchange “I love you’s”. But this is fine because the holiday season doesn’t mean that we need to kick the relationship into gear. Thus, adding a bottle of cologne to the deal doesn’t sweeten the package for them and will not in any way affect their decision to be with you. Don’t put so much pressure on the next step simply because of the season. When the time is right, you’ll know it and it will have nothing to do with the time of year.

Dating and mating Are we ready for holiday sentiments, and the exchange of Gifts? It’s the gift-exchanging, spending-money time of the year! You’re probably racking your brain trying to think of the perfect gift to give your wonderful guy. And well, maybe he’s doing the same for you. But as you window shop, you may be wondering just how much you should spend on a gift. Holiday gift giving symbolizes different things for different people. And for the most part, we look at it as something sentimental that couples do together. This holiday, rise above the stress and confusion and remember that giving a gift can simply mean putting a smile on someone’s face. You don’t have to make a grand gesture and go bankrupt to impress him, but a simple gift may be just the thing to make your holidays bright and get you both on the right track. Also, this holiday season, remember that gift giving isn’t about what you receive in return, but what you are able to do for someone else. So if he didn’t realize you guys are at the gift giving stage, then just give him something because that is what your heart is directing you to do…or not do!

Do his actions during the holiday season determine how much he is invested in the relationship? There are multiple factors that may determine a man’s actions during the holidays like the type of relationship, the longevity of the relationship, and any expectations or lack thereof within the relationship. For example, a married man who knows his wife would appreciate a new ring, might upgrade her engagement diamond as some sort of commitment renewal – this is not only a sign that he knows and respects his woman’s wants, but it’s also shows that he is considerate of the significance of her wedding ring. Each partner’s expectations should be made clear early on so when it comes to the holidays there’s little room for confusion. But don’t be naive! If you are dating a man and you two celebrate Christmas on the 22nd or the 27th, you already know what your role is.

Will He propose? What if he doesn’t?

Am I pathetic if I’m spending the holidays alone?

There’s an old holiday song played yearly around this time named, “What do the lonely do at Christmas”. One of the most sad verses is, “’tis the season to be jolly, but how can I be when I have nobody”. It’s hard to fathom a holiday filled with fruitcake, Christmas trees, presents, and Santa can leave a person void of happiness. Unfortunately, there are millions of people unable to make it home for the holidays, and being alone on the holidays can create feelings of despair. Though it seems like an oxymoron, there are ways to enjoy the holiday season alone. First, take a whiff of the crisp winter air and thank god you’re alive. In other words, thank god for life, pick yourself up and make the best of the situation. Start by reaching out to friends in the area who may also be without family. In the event they’re still in town, get together and have a nice dinner party together. Since you can’t be with your family, the next best thing is sharing Christmas memories with great friends.

Should none of your friends be in town, view it as an opportunity to make a new friend. There are always holiday parties going on, therefore find one that interests you and attend. Though the thought of meeting new people during Christmas might seem sad, it might be the beginning of a great friendship or relationship. Lastly, if friends aren’t around and you don’t feel like partying, why not volunteer. There are homeless shelters, hospitals, and senior citizen homes always in need of volunteers. These are also locations filled with individuals in need of good cheer during the holiday season. The sincere giving hand of a stranger is truly priceless, so give it a shot.

Dating and mating

Holiday seasons are all about family, food, and love. Individuals usually take this time to introduce new relationships to their family, spend quality time with loved ones, and create new memories. For many women who are in a committed relationship, they view the holidays as a possibility for new beginnings. Engagement! Sure there are 365 days in a year in which this can happen but it’s just something about the holidays that makes it more exciting. However, despite how excited we get at the thought of “what if he does” we need to be realistic and also think “what if he doesn’t”. Unless more women are planning to propose to their man; the reality is that the ball is in his court. Even though it would be amazing if your mate did propose this holiday season, women must brace themselves for the possibility of it not happening. Being disappointed is understandable but don’t let the fact he didn’t “put a ring on it” deter you from having a great holiday season. Instead focus your thoughts on the new memories that will be made and be thankful you’re able to share with your loved one.

Are holiday gifts better than holiday memories? Gift-giving is a great way to commemorate the holiday season. However, the gift of spending time is often overlooked and underappreciated. Here are a few tips you can utilize to get your man in the holiday mood of creating memories. Speak Up: Reading between the lines has proven to be unsuccessful for decades. It’s unreasonable to hold unspoken expectations, and assume your guy knows your thoughts/feelings. If you have hidden expectations of how your holiday should be (i.e. the picture in your head), tell your significant other. Communicate your desires of spending time with one another during the holidays before it approaches. Get Creative: Have suggestions that are workable for both of you on how to spend the holidays. Incorporate your man in the holiday planning. Perhaps celebrating the holiday beforehand or afterwards, or hosting a gathering together can be done in compromise. Whatever is determined, make certain it’s together.

Dating and mating 1. Turn your home into an exotic atmosphere think about your favorite place, imagine yourself somewhere you would love to be, a little creativity will go a long way. 2. Plan a romantic dinner with wine or champagne, candles, music…and just relish in each other; Make sure you have on that sexy lingerie a sassy new thong or silk new robe would do it. 3. Surprise your love with a nice bubble bath for two, when your done give each other a massage, make it hot and seductive use hot oils or aromatherapy lotions.

MONEY IS SCARCE. CAN I GIVE HIM THE GIFT OF ME IN A TEDDY? Ladies, sometimes we have to wrap us up and put a bow on us, because time or money doesn’t allow for presents that come from a department store. And other times we may need to wrap ourselves up just because we know that we are the best gift that our man will ever get. Here are some sassy and sexy holiday ideas for keeping him warm during the cold holiday nights.

Take our Love Number quiz to determine whether love is around the corner for you this holiday season.

4. Purchase a game from the adult store they have a wide array of choices, anywhere from kinky to extremely dirty.

I feel like the holiday season is a time for sharing and caring. 3pts

5. Have an aphrodisiac dessert in the bedroom, such as chocolate-covered strawberries or bananas this could help boost sexual desire.

I know exactly what I want for Christmas and have outlined it in a detailed list. 2pts

6. Give him his gift because it’s time to turn this romantic evening into a night of love making, enjoying each other in every way. After all, it’s really about the love. Look, no one wants to wake up on Christmas morning to just one stocking over the fireplace, we want to see two. We have our own perception of holidays that are magical, filled with fantasy, wishes, and surprises. But you are not the puppet master, nor Santa Claus, or the Almighty; therefore give yourself a break and let fantasy manifest around you on its own terms. Turn in your holiday blues for some love and watch the many ways that love will sprout in your life when you least expect it.

I am not worried about what I will get for Christmas. 3pts

I am one of the few people that don’t believe in gift giving during the holidays. 3pts I love the holiday season because it makes me feel like love is more prevalent.1pt I have little to no expectations this holiday season.2pts I still pretend that Santa Claus exists because I feel like Christmas needs magic.2pts I am not above giving myself presents. 3pts I start planning for the holiday season at least 2-3 months prior to November.2pts I believe that if people care for me they will show me in some way that they care during the holiday season. 2pts Grading Chart: 1-7 high chance of love 8-15 medium chance for love • 16-23 low chance for love

every girl loves




Philosophy Christmas Morning $24.00 This brand always has creative packaging, but they truly shine during the holidays.


Grooming Lounge Ivory Shaving Set-$45.00 This shaving set comes equipped with a hand crafted hair brush for men on the go. Why should women be the only ones able to conveniently groom themselves?



Grooming Lounge Ebony-$260.00 Why not spoil the man in your life with this classic shaving set which allows him to shave like a pro in his very own home.

$85.00 $124.95 Lush Twas The Night - $124.95 Lush offers several holiday boxes which includes both seasonal items along with their every day collection. It’s the perfect way to introduce someone new to the brand.

Malin + Goetz Rum + Lime Hand Wash Set- $40.00 This inexpensive hand wash set is sure to leave your lover’s hands smelling good and almost just as soft as yours.

Tom Ford for Men EDT Fragrance- $85.00 Your man will always remember his favorite lady when he applies this zesty citrus cologne every morning. And let’s face it, what woman doesn’t love the scent of a great smelling man?



Grooming Lounge “ Money

$54.00 Shaver” Gift Set- $54.00

The money shaver comes with the Grooming Lounge Beard Destroyer Shave Cream (5oz), the Grooming Lounge Best for Last Aftershave (5oz), and the Razor Pit razor blade sharpener (which lasts up to 150 shaves), talk about getting your money’s worth!

RevivePeau Magnifique Duo $1950.00 $1950.00 This 28 day skin transforming treatment features special bioengineered ingredients including patented and Nobel Prize winning technology.

$500.00 A Luxury Spa Getaway to the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria in Sorento, Italy $500 USD a night Escape to Italy and enjoy the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. Opened in 1834, the hotel is located on top of a cliff and offers a spectacular view of The Bay of Naples. The 1,614 square foot spa is located in the hotel’s garden amid olive and orange trees. While visiting the spa, try one of these signature treatments: Mediterranean orange aromatic massage, scalp massage, foot massage and Jacuzzi orange bath..



VIOLight Dental Spa- $69.95 A perfect gift for the hygiene nerd of the house. A mini dishwasher for dental appliances that uses VIO light to cleanse and sanitize all products.

Andis SlimLine 2 Cordless Trimmer with T- Blade- $52,00 This sleek trimmer is a great tool to cut and shape mustaches, hairlines, beards, and body hair. The cordless, black and chrome finish is sure to catch your lover’s attention when opening this gift.


Grooming Lounge “ The Best Shave Ever “ Try Me Kit- $25.00 Here we have the perfect last minute stocking stuffer to show the hubby in your life just how important he is to you. What better way for a man to bring in the new year than with “The Best Shave Ever”


Cosmetics $49.95

starting at


VIOLight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer- $49.95 For the germaphobe in your life, this sleek housing dock uses UV lights to sanitize all of your lover’s devices such as iPods, cell phones, head phones and more!

cosmetic Enhancements Dermal Fillers Prices range from $550-$750 Injectable fillers are one of the crucial pieces for holiday dreamers that dream of smoothing wrinkles and adding volume to sagging skin. Dermal fillers and anti- wrinkle injections such as Juvederm, Restylane, radieese and Perlane offer an excellent treatment for individuals interested in regaining the beauty advantages of young skin.

starting at




Storylook Eyeshadow Palette Made With Swarovski Elements $150.00 This palette of Shadows takes eye shimmer to another level.

OPI 18K Gold Top Coat Polish $30 Luxury colors are still hot this holiday. However, this one by OPI doesn’t have quite the hefty price tag.

Nova Lash Eyelash Extensions $100-$300 Get the celebrity coveted fierce eye with longer, fuller, semi-permanent lashes.


Oral B Professional Care Toothbrush $129.00 A bright smile is always an essential accessory.


Cosmetics $40.00

The Ultimate Beard Maintenance Kit- $40.00 This fabulous stocking stuffer comes equipped with the proper facial hair maintenance for the men in your life.


MAC PROLONGWEAR CONCEALOR $17.00 This item is very good in creating a get up and go quick makeup look, and can also be used for a dramatic technique when heading out for a night on the town. But the best thing about it however is the price.

$175.00 So This Is Love‌Swarovski Edition $175.00 Sometimes it all about the packaging, and it smells great too.

$47.00 Black up Shimmering Body Oil $47.00 This is the ultimate in glamour and sensuality for the body. A luxurious, iridescent body oil with a unique nonsticky formula mixed with precious golden shimmering particles and a deliciously light, fruity fragrance.


The Katy Perry lashes $4.99. Eyelashes are a quick and easy way to achieve a more dramatic look. They also have a tendency to make you feel extremely feminine. Eyelashes come in all different lengths and fullness, which is also a plus for someone who just wants a little extension and others who want that exaggerated look.


Paul Mitchell Tee Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer $10.50 With the winter rapidly approaching, moisture is key not just for the face, but the entire body. The cold air causes major dry skin, itchiness and maybe even peeling if not watched. This moisturizer, can be used from head to toe It’s very inexpensive and a good buy.


Cosmetics $120.00

Make Me Crazy” Essential kit $120.00 Makeup brushes are definitely an investment. A good set can last years and make a huge difference in your makeup application. This sets from Sigma Beauty shown here in purple, comes with 12 brushes for a flawless full face application.


DDF Revolve 400X MicroPolishing System. $98 For less than the price of a good facial this great little gadget offers the ability to cleanse, exfoliate, and perform microdermabrasion, which create results that are eight times more effective than a facial scrub alone.

$78.00 Thierry Mugler’s “Alien” $78.00 “absolute elixir of femininity.” It’s a little on the pricey side but the posh looking purple perfume bottle is refillable!


T3 Single Pass Styling Iron $160 We all know that heat damages your hair and damaged hair needs more products to be manageable and look good. Minimize damage with this, two-time Allure “Best in Beauty” winner, sure to give you gorgeous, glossy hair in less time with less fuss, and less damage.

$299.00 Flash&Go Permanent Hair Removal Set $299.00 Professional hair removal, done at home. Instead of spending thousands on laser hair removal in a salon or doctor’s office, this FDA approved product promises professional results in the ease of your own home at just a fraction of the cost.

Sephora Make Up For Ever Be Your Own Makeup Artist - $950



Sephora Fragrance Sampler for Her - $50


St Ives Apricot Scrub $3.59 Exfoliation is KEY in maintaining a nice complexion and preventing breakouts.

The one-stop shopping store for so many of us has several items to make your holiday gift shopping easier. While they aren’t offering specifically limited edition holiday items, the specially packaged gift sets ensure that the recipient will be very pleased.

every girl loves





By Kanarian Kindred

I’m most touched and humbled when young women walk up to me and tell me what my music did for them

The rise of hip-hop music has catapulted into a billion dollar industry. Thoughts of being in music videos, limos, and VIP club sections have millions of young men and women dreaming of instant stardom. Unfortunately, these individuals are so focused on material things they fail to realize this is a business. Though a cruel reality, not everyone is going to make it to 106 & Park. That doesn’t mean a person can’t have a successful music career outside of the limelight. No one knows this better than Nikki Strong AKA Nikki D, the first female MC signed to Def Jam. A true lover of hip-hop, Nikki has been a force to reckon with. Refusing to become a “has been” within this industry, she has held phenomenal positions upon leaving Def Jam, including a top position at Queen Latifah’s label Flava Unit Records, marketing manager for Phat Farm, Brand Manager for PrivacyWear, and currently running her own entertainment company Strong Entertainment. Through it all she never lost her love of hip-hop and has found a way to stay relevant within this business.

A hit record can come over night, but a career lasts forever.

When did you officially fall in love with Hip-Hop? I fell in love with Hip Hop in the early 80’s before I even thought of becoming a rapper. I was so impressed by the idea of a beat and a rhyme coming together as one rhythm and ultimately becoming a song. However, in the early 80’s Hip Hop was still about the best emcee, who could brag the best or flow the best, and after hearing groups like Beastie Boys, Dougie Fresh, Slick Rick, LL Cool J, and more, I just fell in love with it, and wanted in! How does it feel being the first female artist signed to Def Jam? I felt like Hip Hop royalty! I’m still amazed today.” I was clearly on a mission to become the first female rapper signed to Def Jam... I was beyond shocked when the call came in from Russell. At that point Hip Hop took a part of me, that I could never get back, but it’s a part of me I wanted it to have, and that’s my love for the craft! Being singed to Def Jam was such a challenge. Having to keep up with the industry’s best at the time wasn’t easy. Being a female made it even worse, but I pulled through and in the end I debut with a number one single Daddy’s Little Girl and it was history from there on. Any significant relationships with other female rappers? “I’m cool with all the female rappers that I came up with, but I’m getting to know the new generation and I’m not mad at them either.”


Out of all your accomplishments, what are you most proud of? Performing in 30 thousand seat arenas and of course the money is great but I’m most touched and humbled when young women walk up to me and tell me what my music did for them, those stories super seed the awards.” Any advice on how to obtain longevity in this business? The entertainment industry isn’t for everyone. If you believe you have something great, be ready to focus and lose sleep. Have a strong business team, manage and promote your brand. A hit record can come over night, but a career last forever. Any regrets? If you could call it regret, I would have like to been more knowledgeable of the business when my career began so that I could plan then, the way I know how now. If you could describe yourself in one word, what would that word be & why? GENUINE. I’m not one to get caught in the hype and judge people. I’m a laid back person and deal with people how they come and relate accordingly. As an artist, I love creative music that’s touches my soul, and yes Hip Hop does that, and that’s the music I love. Genuine, original, timeless music.

To be successful “women taking control of their today’s

Rising Stars

and creating their tomorrows.”

Rising Star Raquel Reed

Rising Star Raquel Reed has come a long way, since the days when she taught herself to sew while studying fashion merchandising at the University of Southern Mississippi, and shadowing a local seamstress in the area. Just a few years later, her vibrant personality and impeccable design skills have led her to create a line that celebrities like Nivea, LoLa Monroe, Jennifer Hudson, and Tatyana Ali all have worn. She now calls herself Chanel reincarnated as she uses fashion from the Victorian era of the mid- 1800s to influence her powerful, modern pieces. We got the chance to snag Raquel for a quick interview before the mayhem her fall show unfolds. Find out what path she took to lead her to her current success! When did your passion for fashion begin? “I actually wanted to design since I was about eleven years old. I saw a movie with Sarah Jessica Parker in it. She was wearing these great blue jeans and stonewashed skirts. She looked so funky and fresh. I thought, ‘I wanna dress like that.’ So I went to my drawers, but I couldn’t find anything that would make me look like that. It was so disappointing. So I said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna make my clothes.’ So I’ve been making clothes since then.”

“Don’t let others negativity cause you to stumble and lose your vision.”

What was the start-up process like? “First I had to figure out what avenue I wanted to be in. I had to find a location, get a business license, get my materials and my machine. Next, I had to start branding the company. I did that through mass social media, and advertising. Then I had to get my stuff in stores. Some people buy my stuff whole sale, but a majority of the people I deal with do consignment. I have to keep a good relationship with the people that are carrying my clothes to make sure they’re selling it. Then I have shows,

which include dealing with models and sponsors. Now, I have a couple stores in Atlanta selling my clothing and then I have my own work space where my clients can come through.” Why did you decide to name the line after yourself? “Because it’s me! To me, that name jut sounds experienced, sexy, feminine, and powerful.” What made you leave Grip Magazine in 2008 and venture out on your own? “Grip gave me a great platform. My last cover was with Young Jeezy and R.Kelly; a split cover. After that, the financial side of Grip Magazine went down. It was such a good cover, you would think that it would be surviving, but it went down. So I was unemployed. I had been pushing my Raquel line since 2005, while I was working there, but once I was unemployed I had to push my line harder.” Is running your own line a big challenge for you? “I don’t work for anyone else; I work for myself. So if I don’t get out and hustle constantly, I’m not going to eat. I have to hustle constantly, to stay relevant. Sometimes it gets frustrating but I have to stay positive and enjoy my life every day. It’s not easy, it’s definitely a sacrifice, but I know if I stay focused it will keep paying off. It’s a big challenge but when you love what you do, it becomes a part of you.”

Rising RisingStars Stars

To be successful “women taking control of their today’s and creating their tomorrows.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “When I sit down and make this beautiful clothing, it gives me more energy. I enjoy seeing my beautiful work once it’s completed. Just like if I was a performer, just giving a good performance would be the best part. In my case, making a beautiful garment and getting positive feedback, that’s the most high. It makes it all worth it.” How did you get celebrities to start wearing your clothing? “I used to work with a celebrity stylist. So from that, stylists started coming to me asking if their clients could wear some of my pieces. So that’s how it usually happens; a majority of the time it goes through a celebrity stylist. But sometimes a celebrity will be shopping in a boutique that sells some of my pieces and buy them there.” What advice would you give anybody trying to reach your level of success? “The mind is very powerful so be mindful of what you’re thinking. I would tell anybody to put their best foot forward and to always be thankful. Be thankful for everybody. When you do that, opportunities will open up.”

“You have to put in lots of sleepless nights, hard work, sweat and tears but it will all pay off in the end.”

every girl loves




Tips to Planning a Frugal and Fabulous Holiday Party! By: Crystal Jordan

During the holidays, our expenses grow and our income seems to stay the same. Between buying groceries for your lavish holiday feast and buying gifts for all of the significant people in your life, it’s difficult to save money during this time of year. If you’re like me and love to entertain during the holiday season with the little money you have leftover, then here are some tips to planning a holiday party on a tight budget!

The Planning Process 1. Budget! First start by creating a budget for your party. Think of how much you realistically have to spend and allocate that amount for decorations, food, gifts, etc. 2. Create a guest list! Once you’ve created a budget, now it’s time to determine who you would like to attend your party. You will want to make sure this list falls in line with the budget you’ve created in the previous step. 3. Establish a theme! Having a theme will create an exciting atmosphere for your party. For example, your theme could be, 12 Days of Christmas, Jingle Bells, A Cookie Exchange Party or for the grown folks, a Naughty or Nice party! Make sure you get creative because the theme will set the tone for your party!

Lifestyle 4. Pick the food! If you pick a theme that has a food or beverage item in the title, (for example, Hot Chocolate and Holiday Movies) make sure to include those title items for your entire guest. Food is usually the most costly item in the budget, but consider cutting costs by making the party a potluck. *Be sure to include on your invitation that the party will be a potluck so that your guest know in advance. Also, make sure you ask what they will be bringing when they RSVP to ensure you don’t get all of the same food or drink items. (This price range depends on your party size and theme) 5. Send invites! When you’ve decided the date, time and location of your party, then you can create invitations. I recommend creating your own invitations. Personally crafted invitations are not only creative but they are extremely thoughtful as well and the receiver will be overjoyed to receive one! You can also consider creating custom made e-cards which will be sent via e-mail or mobile. Sending e-cards cost you nothing to create and send! Whichever method you decide, just remember you’re on a tight budget! (Depending on the size of your party and the lavishness of your invites the price range could be between ($0 - $50) 6. Buy decorations! Keep it as simple as possible. Have some candles and some holiday items that you had stored away from previous years and get creative. Create centerpieces if your guest will be seated at tables. Centerpieces make any party look outstanding! Use what you already have and expand on those items. Get ideas for pinterest or other idea sharing sites online. (The amount for decorations will vary depending on your creativity level and allocated budget)

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every girl loves


7. Make a music mix! With the latest technological advances, like the iPod and other mp3 players, a DJ is just not a necessary component to having a great party. Create a playlist of great holiday songs that go with the theme of your party. Mix in some old school jams or some funny songs to throw your guest off! 8. Give gifts! Make small gift bags for your guest. It will be a surprise that they will surely appreciate! If you live close to a Dollar Tree or a .99 Cents Only Store, there are plenty of great items you can put together to create great gifts. For example, for female or male guest, you could have a gift bag filled with a candle, body wash, lotion, and a loofah for less than $5 per guest. If you have a lot of guest, than you could create these gift bags as prizes that can be won. 9. Play games! Games are the best ice breaker and create lasting memories. There are plenty of games that can be played at your party that are absolutely free! You can find these games and activities anywhere online. 10. Have fun! This is the step that tends to get overlooked the most. Sometimes when we plan parties, we want them to be perfect and we spend way too much time on the little details and forget to, just have fun. So remember, enjoy yourself because you just planned a frugal and fabulous holiday party!

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Soulful Christmas Day Brunch Don’t you just LOVE this time of year? Family, Food, and Presents, what more can a girl ask for? The only con I could think of is that we (the women) are the ones usually slaving in the kitchen all day and night to prepare the feast and we often miss out on much of that priceless family bonding experience. So this holiday opt for a Christmas day brunch instead of a big heavy supper. To make things even easier we have created a simple crowd pleasing menu that’s sure to keep the family happy and you out the kitchen. This menu is all about indulgence, so you can enjoy one of your final hearty meals before all those new years resolutions kick in.

FA-LA-LA-LA-LAH FRITATTA INGREDIENTS 6 large eggs 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter 3 Tablespoons olive oil 2 Tablespoons whole milk ½ pound asparagus cut into 1 inch pieces ½ pound sliced mushrooms ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese ¼ cup Parmesan cheese DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees 2. Melt butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Stir in olive oil and asparagus, and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, and continue cooking about 5 minutes. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Pour into the skillet, and reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook 5 minutes. 4. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until eggs are no longer runny. Top the mixture with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Turn on the broiler, and broil until cheeses are melted and lightly browned.

Being a Domestic Rock Star MRS. CLAUS SHRIMP AND GRITS

INGREDIENTS 2 pounds large shrimp peeled and deveined 5 strips of bacon. ( If you do not eat pork, skip this step and substitute with 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil) 1 small onion finely chopped ½ green bell pepper finely chopped 2 cloves garlic minced 3 Tablespoons chopped scallions 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt ½ Teaspoon black pepper 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 1 Cup chicken stock warmed in microwave

DIRECTIONS 1. Prepare grits per package instructions. 2. Cut bacon into ½ inch pieces and cook over medium high heat. Remove and drain on paper towel lined dish. 3. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook shrimp until pink. Remove from pan and place aside. 4. Add onion, green pepper, bacon, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium. 5. Add butter and let melt in pan. Sprinkle in flour. Let cook for about 5 minutes . 6. Stir ingredients in pan and slowly add warm chicken stock to pan using a wooden spoon scraping up any bits on bottom of pan. 7. Add shrimp back to pan and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve over warm buttery grits.

Being a Domestic Rock Star

RUDOLPH’S RED VELVET WAFFLES AND FRIED CHICKEN INGREDIENTS 2 Cups of all purpose flour 4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 ½ Cups Sugar ¼ Teaspoon salt 1 Teaspoon baking soda 2 Cups buttermilk ¼ Cup unsalted butter melted 2 large eggs 1 ½ Teaspoon vanilla extract 2 Tablespoons red food coloring DIRECTIONS 1. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and baking soda. 2. In another large bowl mix together wet ingredients, buttermilk, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and food coloring 3. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and using a whisk or electric mixer combine until well incorporated. 4. Let batter sit for 10 minutes. Preheat Waffle maker. 5. Carefully spoon about 1/3 cup of batter into waffle maker. Using a spoon to make sure batter is evenly distributed. Waffles should be done in 3 to 4 minutes depending on your waffle maker. Serve with whipped cream topping, powdered sugar, or maple syrup. (Makes about 8 waffles)

SANTA’S ELVES SANGRIA Ingredients 2 bottles red wine 1 cup brandy ½ cup triple sec 1 cup orange juice 2 limes seeded and quartered 1 cup pomegranate juice ½ cup simple syrup 1 orange peeled and quartered 1 red apple cored and sliced 1 Cup Pomegranate seeds Directions Mix all ingredients together and let stand in a tightly sealed container or pitcher for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

BEING WORLDLY Burgundy. The actual tradition of wearing the ring on your fourth finger on your left hand originated from Ancient Egyptians because they truly believed that people had a vein of love that ran from their ring finger straight to their heart. In Ancient Chinese wedding proposals, women were sought out by the man’s family. The male’s family would seek out a wife for their son by looking for a prestigious family or a family that was similar to their socioeconomic status. In several cases, the bride and groom wouldn’t know each other until after the proposal was set in stone. The male’s


uys are very predictable, so there will probably be several girls rocking brandnew sparkly diamond rings on their left hand during these holiday months. Love will definitely be in the air! Marriage proposals in America normally start with a romantic occasion planned by the man, and then he will end the passionate event by surprising his lady with a proposal. Some men are very creative with their proposals and go above and beyond the “traditional” bending on one knee. Anywhere from surprise engagement dinners, hiring a skywriter, paying for advertisements during movie previews, treasurer hunts, flash-mobs, and even putting the ring in food have all been unique proposals. In some cultures, marriage proposals and courtship have a unique twist as it relates to tradition and rituals. To others, these cultural formalities may seem taboo. The concept of the diamond ring came from England around 1477 when Archduke Maximillian of Austria presented a diamond ring to his lover Mary of

family would arrange for a friend or relative to act as the negotiator between their family and the perspective brideto-be. The negotiator would approach the young woman’s family with gifts and discuss what they thought about the potential match for their daughter. In Finland during the 19th century, women would wear an empty sheath in their undergarments. If a man wanted to pursue a Finnish lady, he would make or buy a knife to put in her sheath. If she kept the knife then it symbolized that she promised to marry him. Also, in the 19th century in Austria, single ladies would keep an apple slice underneath their arm pit during parties and at the end of the night they would give the apple to the guy that caught their eye. In today’s society, Cambodian fathers encourage their daughters to find their one true love by having sex before marriage. The fathers will build love huts for their daughter to sexually please several suitors. The love huts represent a sense of empowerment and independency for these extremely young girls. Some of these girls are only nine to thirteen years old. Even in today’s times, people from India still have families whose tradition is to have arranged marriages for their children. Oddly enough, in the Middle East, Africa, and parts of South Asia marriage between family members has been widely practiced for thousands of years, mainly as a way of securing relationships between tribes and preserving family wealth. The traditions behind love, dating, and marriage varies tremendously throughout each culture. What may be normal to American cultures may be strange to other cultures. Above all, it is important to know who you are before committing to a covenant with someone else.

Rock Candy

The NFL Edition

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Rock Candy: Marcus Dowtin LB – NY Jets By Milan Zoe

This Rookie Rock Candy is a southern boy from Maryland that’s taking a bite out of The Big Apple. Read on as Marcus dishes with EGL on his number one deal-breaker and how to tell the difference between a good girl and a gold-digger. Height: 6-2 Weight:226 Age:23 College:North Alabama Hometown:Upper Marlboro, MD

The road to becoming a pro athlete is long and unpredictable, how did you weather through the ups and downs of maintaining an athletic career which has brought you to the NFL Perseverance and never quitting… Always believing in yourself, having a goal, and putting your mind to something. That’s the remedy to success. What are your plans, post football? Not sure yet, I have a degree in psychology so… Is it hard staying focused with all the attention you receive from women? I try to stay focused on my job and what I have to do every day. I mean women come and go so I gotta focus on the money first and the women will come later.


Do you have a hard time separating the women who are sincerely interested from the ones that are after you because you’re in the NFL? No, It’s pretty easy..

Ok moving on… what do you think it takes to make a relationship work? I think it takes trust, honesty, and acceptance of who the person really is.

Is that so? Ok well what are some of the biggest differences between those two types of women? Some of them I would say... they have ulterior motives. You can just tell by the way they talk, and the things they do.

What’s a deal breaker for you in a relationship? Lying.

What type of women do like? I like educated females, with great personalities, as well as nice looks. Are you currently in a relationship? (Long Pause) yeah…yeah. Actually no, no I don’t. (Laughs.)You don’t sound too sure. Yeah I’m sure.

Do you think women can have a career and personal life and be equally successful at both? I mean as long as they know how to balance it, it’s about managing and balancing and not getting a big head about it. What’s the best gift you ever gave somebody? The opportunity to change… The holidays are approaching, anything special on your Christmas list? I’m not really in need of nothing.

I mean you know... get my family together, that would be great. Is there anything you wanted to share with your female following? In 2013 we gotta do better. In regards to? In dealing with men. Well there you have it ladies. He gave it to us straight, no chaser! It’s safe to say this NFL eye candy is more focused on career than relationship but we got the feeling that he’s secretly hoping a special someone may come along and change his perspective.

EGL Magazine Holiday Issue  
EGL Magazine Holiday Issue  

Volume I Issue 5 featuring Monifah