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Editor-in-Chief, Annette Johnson Managing Editor, Morgan Hufstader Design Director, Joey Shepherd Online Editor, Bianca Nelson Beauty Editor, Erika Mitchell, Travel Editor, Peggy Hattendorf Social Media Director, Tamara King Editorial Assistant, Sarah Kitchens Sales Manager, Mic Mell Special Projects Manager, Veronique Thomas Contributors: Jennifer Adams Chloe Barksdale Fran Dean Bishop Nicole Brodie Linnet Brown Stevie Boi Chavella Campbell Claudette Cleveland Laura Ginn Paige Harden Hovey Gretchen Howard Jaime Johnson Andrea Jurjevic Darcell Lawrence Rhea Li Ellie Mack Ingrid Michaelson Genie Patterson Tracee Randall Donte Slocum Jenny Strebe Lenise Williams Customer Service For subscription service or change of address, including email, contact or write to P.O. Box 1071, Atlanta, GA 30301 Hers (ISSN 2372-3785) is published six times per year by Allwrite Communications, 241 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30303 404-221-0703




Domestic Violence Hurts Everyone

Are you trapped in a bad situation? You might have more on the line than you think.

54 Fifty Shades of Feminism How ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ changed female sexuality as we know it

56 Women Who Get Down and Dirty These women share how some traditions have changed very little for women in construction and other maledominated careers

60 She Tows It: Bernice (Women Who Get Down and Dirty) Super strength

and super cool, Bernice won’t be intimidated by the men around her

46 How Busy Families Stay Connected

For the on-the-go family, you can reconnect with your family with these quick and easy tips

51 Divorce is Not Defeat

How to learned to stop worrying and Love who’s important – you – after divorce

52 6 Essential Tips for Attracting Healthy Relationships We must

13 Homemade Facial Scrubs Make these simple facial

scrubs yourself to renew your skin

17 The Super Quick DIY Hairstyle In the spirit of getting ready on the go, this hairstyle is perfect for the woman who never stops moving.

18 Spring into Plakinger Heat up with this fiery spring collection

32 Sweetie’s Jewelry Box

Florida teacher combines food and fashion to create a integrated line of cute, sweet accessories

47 The Business Woman’s Makeup Kit All made-down

with everywhere to go? Look as professional as you feel with these 10 quick and simple beauty tips

50 Greek Meatballs

Serve as an appetizer or with tzatziki, either way these meatballs are mouthwatering

66 Gloria Govan See what former ‘Basketball Wives’ Star is wearing on the beach in her fashion spread

strive to develop these ingredients for healthy relationships

79 Lentil Sloppy Joes Give

74 Reducing Allergens

93 10 Skin Care Tips

Jennifer Adams shares some other surprising ways that you can reduce allergens in your home

him the hearty meal he wants with your own healthy spin

Tips to help prevent breakouts and clear them up as fast as possible

16 Create a Legacy, Not a Hustle Are you in it for the money

or the long haul? Find out and make the most of your small business.

75 Top Three Gadgets

Use these top three gadgets for work and play.

76 Back Accounts for Bad Credit 101 Bad credit can make a dent in your plans, but it’s not irreversible.

80 Furious Self-Exploration


Home Design Tips for Spring It may be cold outside now, but getting a jump start on your spring cleaning will give you more time to enjoy the warm weather.

A book about one woman’s journey to keep her head above water and survive all the turbulent trials life throws at her.

36 Taking Film Directions From Her

Take a look at how these 20 female filmmakers are changing their industry and viewers’ outlook of women

86 Year Round Ski Resorts

Can’t get enough of winter? Follow the snow with these year-round resorts.

94 How to Dance the Tango in 8 Moves Impress your friends

and loved one with these spicy moves.

8 Beneath the Veil A few years

ago, she wouldn’t have been able to write these words. Now, she speaks out against crippling self-doubt.

14 4 Steps to Combat a Bad Day Having a bad day? Turn it

around with these four helpful steps.

H E R H E A LT H 42 A Deadly Dis-Ease

It’s better to give than to receive, until the giving kills you. How to avoid a martyr’s life and death.

62 Healing Benefits of Weeds Cleaning up the garden?

78 A Place of Her Own

Think before you pluck; you may have more in common with your weeds than you think.

82 The Beauty and Business of Big Booties Paying big bucks

64 5 Ways to Stay Healthy Without Home Cooking Don’t have time for a

Do you have your own sanctuary? We explain why every woman should.

for bigger butts is the in-thing, but what is it really costing women?

home cooked meal? Here are five ways to keep yourself healthy.

96 Daytime TV in Heels

A list of our top five favorite women currently on TV.

97 Female Director Takes On Race The female director of

Selma uses her own keen eye to bring to light discrimination and the struggles of Martin Luther King Jr.

98 Madonna is Only Human Is Madonna on her way out or on her way into the 21st century? You decide.

99 No One Puts Baby in a Corner Dirty Dancing brings its best to Atlanta’s Fox theatre.

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Editor’s Letter

o we have arrived in the month (March) that celebrates the significance of women’s accomplishments. I’m sure most are aware of some of these historical feats, including the19th amendment to the Constitution that allowed women to vote. What we may have missed or could be overlooking are the history-making occurrences that are going on today, in this era. To that end, we have included the industries (film and construction) and opportunities (inequities in pay and promotion) where women still lag behind despite substantial gains in other areas. Take time to read about each modern woman’s victory in filmmaking, such as Angelina Jolie, Ava DuVernay, and Rory

Kennedy, and some of their continual challenges. You’ll learn something about them, your own potential, and our prospects for the future. We even included the historical fascination with one of women’s most endearing physical assets: her buttocks. Sir Mix-A-Lot 1990s hit, “Baby Got Back,” may have given credence to the love for big buns, but you’ll read and learn that this is nothing new. In this issue, you’ll also see spring fashion and trends from around the world, including a beachwear spread with former Basketball Wives LA star Gloria Govan. You’ll learn a little bit more about love, namely the love for oneself, because “being average” can be a source of self-loathing, according to one of our contributors. As

for the fantasy of romantic love, we have a full comparative analysis from a “Fifty Shades” book series fan who wants to share her thoughts with you about the movie’s adaptation. “Fifty Shades” director Sam Taylor-Johnson, by the way, had the biggest opening ever for a female film director. That’s something else to celebrate and commemorate. Just keep flipping pages to hail what other women have done and what’s still left for us to do. Always remember to share whatever you gotten from us with others. Until, Annette R. Johnson

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Just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to write these words. I was so gripped in fear, self-hate and pain that the thought of exposing the “real truth,” that is, the truth that I had been hiding deep inside that no one could ever know, was unbearable. So there it remained, for more years than I care to remember, that truth, the feeling that I was a “fake.” I was terrified that one day someone would remove the veil and then everyone would know.


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recently had lunch with a very wise woman whose past seemed way more horrible than mine, and she said, “Tracee, never let them expose the truth about you. You should be the one to do it.” So what is the dark secret that has plagued me all these years, for as far back as I can remember? Let me tell you what it is not. I wasn’t sexually molested, abandoned, or a drug addict. I didn’t recover from alcoholism or suffer a great tragedy. No limbs were lost – no, no. Still, I suffered. You may laugh under your breath, thinking, she has no story to tell; she had no obstacles to overcome.  All the great speakers and heroes overcame great adversity to become who they are today, so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that I represent a huge group of women. From the outside looking in, these women don’t seem to have a reason to hurt (and maybe we don’t have a good reason), yet they hurt. I thank God for my journals, the spiral notebooks that held all my secrets. Let me explain. For as long as I can remember, I have felt like an “outsider,” like I didn’t belong. It was as if I were the main character of a movie, yet I was invisible and of no value to all the other actors. In the movie that played inside my head, I was always conscious of the way I looked, what I said, how I said it, or what I wore. Consciously, I was critical of every move I made, as if there were a director critiquing me, but I never measured up.  I could hear myself speak and laugh on the outside while still hearing that inner voice speaking even louder, “You are invisible. No one is watching you.”  I tried really hard to be heard, to be seen. It seemed the harder I tried, the worse it got, somewhat like those actors in B-movies who sound rehearsed and fake, never quite hitting the mark. More than anything, I wanted to be really great at something, not just great, but the “best” at something, anything.


I was neither the prettiest nor the ugliest. I definitely wasn’t the thinnest, but I surely wasn’t the fattest. My hair was neither the straightest nor the curliest. I wasn’t the smartest or the dumbest. I was sickeningly “average.” I hated, no detested, being average. I despised being mediocre, so self-hate controlled my life.  One of my symptoms was self-denial of food. I began this love-hate relationship with food that caused me to binge and starve. However, I was only mediocre at that too. I was a teenager during the time that the awareness of anorexia was first coming onto the national scene. Girls were literally starving themselves to death, and then looking in the mirror seeing themselves as fat. At 100, 90, 80, or 70 pounds while literally dying, their body image was so skewed that they could not see what others saw. I tried so hard to be anorexic because at least they weren’t invisible like me. I remember writing in my journal: “I am so average. I am half-ass at everything!  I even suck at being anorexic.” I will tell you one thing I was amazing at and didn’t even know it at the time.  I could act. I was living an Academy Award winning performance. No one, no one knew of my secret self-hate. No one knew that inner panic was controlling my life. I hid behind a veil of lies while outlaughing, out-performing, out-doing those around me. As much as I wanted others to know how I was truly feeling, I was even more ashamed, consumed with guilt, jealousy, pride, and embarrassment. Thus, I learned to cope. My desire to be loved and accepted led me down a dirty path of lust, where I substituted sex for love. This caused more shame and more self-hatred. I could play the role, though, pretending in my real life movie that I was the desirable, loved, talented, beautiful heroine. Meanwhile, night after night, day after day, the veil of deception grew longer and darker. No one could see any of this because I protected my secret well. I was the head

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“There are many women who feel as I once did, invisible. If I can share my story and lift the veil, exposing everything – sincerely smiling and laughing now – there is hope for you,,” mistress of the set and prop department of our high school drama team. I graduated from high school with an “A” average, not the best of course, but certainly in the 1% of my graduating class of 700.  I became the youngest and only female bartender in Dallas, Texas at the time.  I excelled in college and received a teaching scholarship that was only given to one person in the state per year, and I was asked to speak to more than 100 educators about what being a teacher meant to me. In every job I got (and I always got the job I applied for), I would start in an entry-level position and end up as manager or make changes that would affect the company’s profits in a dramatic way or sometimes even end up owning the company.  I never passed up an opportunity, yet the secret of self-hate plagued me endlessly.  It filtered everything I did and said. So, what is the point of my sharing all of this?  Why should you care about the life of a successful, Caucasian, middleaged woman who had everything going

for her, yet appreciated none of it? You should care because there are thousands of people out here, hurting just like I was hurting and some never healing. And sadly, a whole new generation of young girls are emerging who feel invisible and unloved because they do not love themselves. We are victims too, victims of a generation that holds great value in outward beauty. We are victims to a fatherless society that leaves its daughters seeking love and acceptance in ways that leave them empty and hopeless. What changed for me?  You must know that I changed because, otherwise, I would still be hiding beneath the veil. My journal would still be filled with words of despair and darkness. It was not one thing that triggered my revolution, but a series of events that led me to people who were willing to see me. I never felt like a victim,

for I always had fight in me. I never gave up. I always knew deep in my spirit that I was destined for greatness. As I began to meet people who shared their secrets openly, who used their story to free others, I had mentors, pastors and teachers who stepped into my life. One by one they began to show me a glimmer of who I was, not the body I am packaged in or the outer beauty, but rather the deeper inner beauty that had always been there, hidden beneath the lies and deception. And each person, each mentor would take me to a new level of self-worth. As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”    The teachers are out there, ready, prepared, waiting to show you not who you are, but who you can be.  They will cause you to set your standards higher, walk a little taller, and love more deeply. 

They take you as far as they can take you, and when you are ready, the next one will appear and the next and the next. Until you get to a place where you can look in the mirror and realize the veil has been lifted. Suddenly, you not only like who you see, but you love her! She is beautiful. She is amazing. You recognize that you’ve been given a precious gift.  This gift isn’t yours to keep, though. In order to keep it, you must give it away.  You must look past the veil of hurt and deception, and show someone else who she was meant to be. You must become the teacher.  You must share your story. You must remove the veil and show what is beneath it.  When you do, you will attract new mentors and teachers, and you will rise to a new level. A young, powerful friend of mine said something recently that impacted me. He

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said, “There are two important dates in everyone’s life: the day they are born and the day they find out why they were born.” I’m sure that it didn’t originate from him, but it was as if a light bulb switched on in my head. There are many women who feel as I once did, invisible.  If I can share my story and lift the veil, exposing everything – sincerely smiling and laughing now – there is hope for you, and you, and you.  It’s time to begin removing the veil. It’s time to stand tall. It’s time. I realize that if you’re reading this article and there’s a knot in the pit of your stomach and maybe a tear rolling down your cheek, then today is a day of change. I know you’re out there because every time I speak on this subject or every time I write about it, women of all ages approach me, and suddenly the veil has been lifted just enough, just enough to catch a glimpse of the realness that is beneath it. They hug me and say, “Thank you.  Thank you for understanding me!” So if that’s you right now, I want you to promise me something. I want you to close your eyes and stop that inner voice that is talking to you so loudly even now, and I want you to say out loud these words, “I am beautiful. I am amazing. I am wonderfully made. I am strong and courageous. I am powerful, talented and worthy of love.”  That’s good for starters. Now I realize that this isn’t going to be easy to do, and it sounds like it’s almost silly. However, it works. Trust me.  It works.  After you say it out loud one time, it gets easier and easier. After you’ve done it a day or two, I want you to get a bit braver. Walk into your bedroom or bathroom, and look at yourself in the mirror while saying those words. You can change it up a bit and say other things, as long as it is positive. Don’t say what you’re not, only what you are. “I am a writer. I am a speaker. I am a…” You fill in the blank.  At first, maybe even for a while you will be just saying the words, but you won’t really believe it. Just trust the process and the results will come.  After 12

“Every night before you close your eyes, purpose to write down five things that happened that day that you are grateful for. ” a while, you will believe every word you are saying. Your voice will be strong and bold, and you will hear your words above the whispers and lies you’ve been listening to for so long. You will write a new script and become the dynamic star of your own movie. Begin to journal. Write as if no one would ever read it; write freely and without fear. If you’re not a natural writer, start with a “gratitude journal.” Every night before you close your eyes, purpose to write down five things that happened that day that you are grateful for. They don’t have to be anything big. You may have more than five, but write them all down. It could be as simple as this: I am grateful that: 1) the sun was shining bright 2) The lady at the cleaners said hello to me. 3) no red lights stopped me on the way to work 4) saw the cutest puppy today and got to pet him 5) found a $5 bill when I changed purses today

Do this every night before you go to bed, and read the statements again each morning once you wake up. Your day will start with a spirit of gratitude. You will find that after a few days of consciously doing this, you will begin to notice things throughout the day and think, “This would be perfect for my gratitude journal.”  When it crosses your mind, write it down immediately if possible. If not, purpose to

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remember it and save it for later. You will find that each night you have more and more for which to be grateful. I also want you to find your teacher. He or she is out there. Watch for her, and tell her you are ready. She will become evident to you if you start looking for her.  She may be a neighbor, a businesswoman, or even a stay-at-home mom. She may be an actual teacher.  Swallow that big lump in your throat and lift the veil a little higher.  Ask her if she will help you.  If she isn’t the one, ask her to help you find who is!  When you discover her, she will know what to do. I thank God that I am free. It has been a long journey, but I am free.  I am free from fear of what others think (or don’t think) about me. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am bold and full of courage. These are the words that I hear daily now. I say them out loud every single day, and I believe them.  I look in the mirror, and I see the face of a little girl who once thought she was mediocre. Nothing has changed on the outside, well except I have a few more lines, a few more miles. As I stare in the mirror, I now recognize the face of a teacher, a mentor, and a beautiful woman whose veil has been lifted. Beneath it, is a life filled with gratitude and love, a self-love that is powerful and allows me to fully love others!  To paraphrase Luke 12:48, “To whom much is given, much is required.”  I give the same gift to you.  Lift the veil, dare to believe, and become the teacher!


Facial Scrubs for All Skin Types GENTLE FACE EXFOLIANT

2 tablespoons powder milk 1/2 cups ground oatmeal 1 teaspoon cornmeal water 3 drops of Geranium essential oil Directions Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly. Combine 1 tablespoons of scrub mixture with enough water to form a spreadable paste. Allow one minute to thicken, then massage onto face and throat. Rinse.


1/2 cups ground oatmeal 1/3 cups ground sunflower seeds 4 tablespoons almond meal 3 drops of tea tree essential oil 1/2 teaspoon ground peppermint, spearmint, or rosemary leaves Dash of cinnamon powder Water, milk, or honey cream Directions Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly. Use 2 teaspoons of scrub mixture for the face, more for the body. Add more water for oily skin, milk for normal skin, and cream for dry skin. Allow one minute to thicken, then massage onto face throat and body. Rinse. | M arch /A pri l 2 0 1 5 | H ER S Ma gazin e |

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4 Things To Remember When You’re Having A Bad Day BY NICOLE BRODIE

When we were young, most of us could always depend on the “rock” of our family, whether it was mom, grandmother, dad, or even our older siblings to paint the rainbow at the end of our bad day. Now that we are older, most of us are realizing that it takes more than a rainbow to get us through those days when we wish we had never gotten out of the bed. We all have certain expectations when planning out the marvelous days

ahead; however, our expectations sometimes prove to have nothing to do with what life decides to throw at us at any given time. Whether prepared or not, we all have, and will continue to receive our share of good and bad days. It’s important that we remember that even though a day may start off bad, we don’t have to end the day the same way. Here are four things to remember when you’re having a bad day.


Breathe I used to wonder why it is that when a person is visibly disturbed by something, the first advice given is to “breathe?” Well after being on the receiving end of one too many bad days, I finally get it. It’s amazing how when we are upset, breathing is the last thing on our mind. The act of breathing has proved to have one of the most calming effects on not just the body, but the mind as well. When we take a moment to breath within the heat of a moment, we will be amazed at how that act alone can prevent an action that could cost us dearly for the rest of our lives.

You Are In Control of your Actions and Reactions When things are going wrong, our reaction can determine the events that follow. When we are upset, our mind immediately searches for a resolution that will result in us regaining our peace as soon as possible. However, many forget that some of the

choices we make in the name of peace may bring us anything but, especially when they are not well thought out. We must remember that there are consequences that accompany every action; therefore, we must not act recklessly, but rather responsibly in the pursuit of the peace we so desire. Remember that you are in control of your actions and reactions; therefore, the power to activate or prevent destructive behavior is in your hands.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Over For those of us who have taken the bait and allowed our emotions to turn a bad day into a worse day, I want you to know that you are not alone. You are not expected to get it right every single time. The truth is, we all have had the unfortunate experience of being devoured by the circumstances of our day more times than we’d like to admit. However, the great part about being human is that it’s never too late to start over. The very moment that you realize that you are out of control is an awesome place in time to


change direction. Take this opportunity to self-evaluate and end in a better place.

The Power of a Smile Smiling serves a purpose that goes deep beneath the surface. When we smile, we send off internal and external signals that suggest that we are in close proximity to peace. Smiling has a masking effect that confuses the purpose of anger long enough to strip away its power over us. Remember that a smile first starts within our spirit then manifests itself on the outside. The next time you are challenged by a bad day, fight back with the power of a smile. Author Nicole Brodie takes great pride in inspiring people to live a happier, more productive life through her articles on topics covering self-esteem and accepting personal responsibility in the pursuit of freedom. Nicole is also the author of “Exposing the Bondage Within” which is an inspirational and motivational tool designed to inspire those to take the journey of self-evaluation in order to find freedom from what keeps them from forward movement. To learn more visit www.nicolebrodie. com.

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Create A Legacy, Not A Hustle LENISE WILLIAMS


s an entrepreneur, I don’t want to create a hustle; I want to create a legacy. What’s the difference? A hustle is something you do to get money quickly. A hustle is something to keep you busy with for a bit of extra money in your pocket. A legacy may not pay you much in the beginning, but the rewards are greater. A legacy will make money and makes you happy, thereby increasing your longevity. I don’t want the quick money; I want the longevity!

Take yourself seriously. If you treat your business like it’s a quick way to make money, it will become just that. Believe in yourself and your services/products. Tell people you are a professional, present yourself as a professional and maintain a work ethic like a professional. Invest in your business, your business development and mentorship. If you take yourself and what you do seriously, so will others.


Think BIG but start SMALL. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint! Take your time. Don’t make your business a big business until you have established yourself in the industry. Instead, let the business grow with you. Trying to grow with the big business you create may set you up for a quick hustle instead of a lasting legacy. However plan and run your business like it’s an EMPIRE! If you are prepared for the business to become HUGE, it won’t take you by surprise.


Redefine. There comes a time in your business when you may have to reinvent your brand. Redefining and reinventing your business to stay relevant is necessary! You may need to redefine things a bit when you grow, or when you want appeal to a new audience. Don’t be afraid to take your business in a different direction than you initially planned. You can tweak things, but still stay inline with your purpose, mission and personal morals.

Do your homework.


Yes, your history homework. Look at businesses or entrepreneurs that you admire. Those superheroes likely had humble beginnings. Do a bit of research to find out what their early days were like. Learn from their lessons and study how they grew their legacy.

I know everyone is different so I ask: what would you rather, a hustle or a legacy?



Watch your cash flow. Always pay attention to how much money is coming in and how much money is going out. Find ways to keep your overhead low. I do not encourage any business to cut corners; however, if you can save a few dollars here or there do it! Buy things in bulk, buy less of something you do not use often, shop around for the best pricing from manufacturers. Losing or wasting money is the quickest way to have to stop your hustle and get a new one. I don’t know about you, but I want a consistent business/ legacy and not the stress of finding new hustles!

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The Super Quick DIY Hairstyle JENNY STREBE

Running out the door and want your hair to be a little more interesting than just wearing it down? Why not try this easy and foolproof half up half down hairstyle? This look is perfect for all lengths and hair textures. This is also a great DIY hairstyle to try on day two or three of dirty hair! All you need is your favorite teasing brush or comb and a few bobby pins. Let’s get to styling! 1. Start with dry hair. It can be dirty,

4. Lightly pull the hair back towards the

clean, curly or straight. To achieve the look shown, prep your hair with a large 1 and 3/4 inch curling iron to add soft waves.

back of your crown.

2. Section out a triangle section of hair on top of your head, starting from the recession line in front of your face to the crown.

3. Tease the top section.

5. Twist the ends and gently push the hair upwards for added volume. Secure with bobby pins.

6. Pull desired hair out to frame your face and add interest to the look. Now head on out the door (fast!) and take on the day with a fun and fresh half up half down hair look.

For even more hair and beauty fun, visit me over at The Confessions of a Hairstylist and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Reaching over 3 million women each month, ( is the most popular online destination for women and hairstylists looking for today’s latest hairstyle trends, tutorials, tips and advice.

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Svetlana Ziggel and her mother Galina Plakinger founded the brand together, starting with bespoke atelier designs for a luxury clientele from Russia, Arabic countries and the United States. PLAKINGER is a fashion label whose collections are a vibrant mix of modern and unpretentiously luxurious fashion. All clothes are produced in limited quantities. It’s 100% handmade in Germany with the most luxurious and exquisite fabrics (they have the same fabric suppliers than Dior and Chanel so the quality is definitely amazing). Now the brand is expanding with high-end ready to wear. The silhouettes, cuts and details bring together feminine classics and elements of traditional men tailoring. This Spring-Summer 2015 collection has been showcased during Paris Fashion Week in September, and the Fall-Winter 2015/2016 will be presented in March in Paris too.


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Wrap-style dress crafted from ivory, lightweight wool. Gold-flecked coral broche, full length, snapped fastening on the waist, button closure on the cuffs of the bishop sleeves, lined though body.

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Strapless dress vividly multicolored in lilac, orange, pastel green and silver shiny, sheer stripes. Internal boned bodice in front of the ruffle, top of the ruffle is fringed, cinched waist, flared skirt. Invisible zipper on the back, fully lined.


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Full-length dress vividly colored in lilac, orange, pastel green and silver shiny, sheer stripes. Sleeves and skirt hem fringed, invisible zipper on the back, skirt pleated, bottom lined.

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Mid skirt features large box pleats and a high waist with a pleated hem (color scheme can be inverted on request). Woven from a double-face silk jacquard, pink corals contrasting the ivory background. Invisible zipper on the side.


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Navy blue coat tailored from a sumptuous virgin wool and angora blend. Straight cut, slim stand collar, padded shoulders, self-tie belt, concealed snapped fastening on the waist, slant pockets, body lined in navy blue and sleeves in pastel blue pinstriped viscose.

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Pencil skirt cut from a scrumptious navy blue virgin wool and angora blend. Waistband pleated at front, hook and invisible zipper on the back, back vent, fully lined.


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Silk obi-belt dress with large pink stripes, positioned in chevron pattern, reversed at bottom of the dress. Back vent, V-neck, invisible zipper on the side.

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Pencil skirt cut from a black, perforated faux leather, features triangular shaped peplum. Exposed silver colored zipped on the back, back vent, fully lined in beige viscose. Black silk organza scarf on request.


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Navy blue pants tailored from a sumptuous virgin wool and angora blend. Waistband straight-leg cut, concealed hook and zip fastening, pleated, pressed creases, slant pockets, fully lined.

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Pink striped blazer tailored from a Mikado woven silk. Tailored cut, rounded strand collar, padded shoulders, a covered button, patch pockets, back vent, fully lined.


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Navy blue blazer tailored from a sumptuous virgin wool and angora blend, features a contrasting under collar made from a vivid pink silk jacquard. Tailor cut, pagoda padded shoulders, a covered button, well pockets, fully lined in pale pink. Pink striped pants cut from a Mikado woven silk. Elasticated waistband and cuffs, slant pockets.

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Jumpsuit crafted from a lustrous linen and silk-blend features a pleated one-shoulder front. Pleated bottom, pressed creases, slant pockets, invisible zipper on the side.

Tailored tuxedo blazer crafted from a lustrous linen and silk-blend features menswear inspired details. Shawl collar, covered button, pagoda shoulder pads, front welt pockets, fully lined in pastel blue viscose.

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Florida teacher combines food and fashion to create an integrated line of cute, sweet-looking accessories Jessica White is a 24-year-old entrepreneur and owner of Sweetie’s Jewelry Box in Boynton Beach, Florida. The company specializes in fashionable accessories that mimic sweets. The product line includes lollipop earrings, ice cream cone and fruit necklace sets, gumdrop bracelets, tasty lip gloss, and much more. “We always want to ensure that each customer leaves with a quality fashionable sweet,” says White. Currently a first-year teacher at Boynton Beach Community High School where she helps at-risk students recover credits in courses they have failed, White allows her students to volunteer at her various business events. They can learn customer service skills, business networking, and time management while earning community service hours. The students were actually White’s inspiration for launching the almost one-year-old company after they kept asking her about the custom jewelry she wore to work.

Connect with her on Facebook at



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Take a look at how these 20 female filmmakers are changing their industry and viewers’ outlook of women


lot has changed for women in the workforce, but not in the film industry. Women and Hollywood reported that women directed an

average of 4.7% of studio films from 20092013, and 10% of independent films from 2009-2013. Women comprised 6% of directors working on the top 250 films in 2013, which is down 3% from 2012 and 1998, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. On episodic TV shows, women represent 14% of the directors.

Jennifer Lee – “Frozen” ($400,738,009) Jennifer Lee is a writer and director known for Frozen (2013), Wreck-It Ralph (2012) and Frozen Fever (2015). Lee co-wrote and co-directed the blockbuster “Frozen” with Chris Buck, and she is the first female director at Walt Disney Animation Studios. In Her Words: “Really, it’s just about creating a very powerful, emotional story, but also having it be something that is a lot of fun and actually quite epic, something big.” (Fast Company)

“I’d thought we would be done asking these questions by now,” said Martha Coolidge, the first female president of the Directors Guild of America, in a February 2015 Los Angeles Daily News article. There are 13.7 percent female directors in the Directors Guild. In 2014, women accounted for 7% of film directors, up 1 percentage point from 2013, according last year’s annual study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. These recent films directed by 20 women have grossed more than half a billion dollars combined:

Sam Taylor-Johnson – “Fifty Shades of Grey” ($147,764,000) “Fifty Shades” had the biggest opening ever for a female film director. In 2011, Sam Taylor-Johnson directed “Nowhere Boy,” an indie film about John Lennon as an adolescent. She also directed the short “Love You More” in 2008, an intimate account of budding teenage sexuality. In Her Words: “I think, in hindsight, they were really hoping for a woman director to handle [Fifty Shades of Grey].” (Interview Magazine)

Shana Feste – “Endless Love” ($23,438,250) Shana directed and co-wrote “Endless Love,” a remake of a 1981 film. She is also the writer and director of “Country Strong” (2010) and “The Greatest” (2009). In Her Words: “As soon as I got pregnant, I was just dreading telling the studio and my agent. And I thought, ‘OK, this is where I’m fired.’” (

Ava DuVernay – “Selma” ($50,408,000) Ava DuVernay made her feature film debut with the documentary “This in the Life” (2008), a history on hip hop movement that flourished in Los Angeles in the 1990’s. DuVernay’s first narrative feature film, “I Will Follow” (2010), secured her the African-American Film Critics Association award for best screenplay. Her follow-up, “Middle of Nowhere” (2012) won the Best Director Prize at the 2012 Sundance film festival, making her the first African-American woman to receive the award. She is the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Best Director Golden Globe for “Selma.” In Her Words: “As a filmmaker, you put the film out there, and you just want it to be okay. You don’t want to let people down; you don’t want to embarrass yourself.” (Rolling Stone)

Angelina Jolie – “Unbroken” Laura Poitras –“Citizenfour” ($2,682,157) The Pulitzer-winning filmmaker concluded her documentary trilogy with “Citizenfour” (2014), which began with “My Country, My Country” (2006) and “The Oath” (2010). She won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for “Citizenfour.” Her documentary “Flag Wars” (2003), about gentrification in Columbus, Ohio, earned a Peabody Award and numerous other awards. In Her Words: “There were definitely moments where I felt like I went in and out of different roles, sort of more the journalism role vs. the filmmaker role. But when I was in Hong Kong, I was like I was definitely there to document. Just to try to capture what was happening.” (Salon)

($115,493,000) As an actress, Jolie has appeared in dozens of movies, including “Maleficent” (2014), “Changeling” (2008), and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001). She also directed “In the Land of Blood and Honey” (2011) and the documentary “A Place in Time” (2007). Jolie won the Oscar Award and the Golden Globe Award for best supporting actress for “Girl, Interrupted” (1999), and she won Golden Globe Awards for her roles in “Gia” (1998) and “George Wallace” (1997). In 2014, she was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In Her Words: “And I was scared. But I worked hard, and he made me feel that it was going to be all right. And even when I didn’t have faith in myself during production, he would remind me I was going to do a good job.”

Gillian Robespierre – “Obvious Child” ($3,123,963) In 2009, Robespierre co-wrote (with Anna Bean and Karen Maine) and directed the short film Obvious Child, about a comedian who is impregnated after a one-night stand and decides to have an abortion. Robespierre directed the feature version in 2014. In Her Words: “Our rough cut for the short was 30 minutes long, and I felt like, ‘Wow, if we only had a couple more hundred dollars and 50 more pages to the script, we would have a feature.’ There were more things I wanted to say that didn’t because of time restrictions.” (The Moveable Fest)

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Amma Asante – “Belle” ($10,726,630) Amma Asante is a screenwriter and director known for “Belle” and “A Way of Life.” She is a former child actress who began her writing career at the age of 23 with a script deals from both Channel 4 in the UK and BBC. Her first movie, “A Way of Life,” which she wrote and directed, won her numerous awards both in the UK and internationally. In Her Words: “I was completely obsessed with 18th-century England— and I was also obsessed just generally in where we, as people of color, fit into European history.” (Elle)

Trish Sie – “Step Up All In” ($14,904,384) Grammy Award-winning dancer and choreographer known for creating the rock band’s OK Go music videos, Sie is also well-known for her viral videos, most notably the dance video “Here It Goes Again.” In Her Words: “I was happy to see some of my favorite Step Up characters in the story. And reading it, I was drawn to the fact that this installment of the franchise explores the daily lives of the characters... the frustrations, heartaches and joys of dancing.”

Lynn Shelton – “Laggies” ($1,066,981) Lynn Shelton has directed as many as nine films. She is the writer and director of “Your Sister’s Sister” (2011) and “Humpday” (2009). “Laggies” was the first film Shelton directed that she had not written as well. Multi-talented, Shelton is an actress, editor and producer also. In Her Words: “I don’t have a desire to make films that have cardboard cut-out or Hollywood stand-in replicas of humans. I need the real deal.”

Paola di Florio and Lisa Leeman – “Awake: The Life of Yogananda” ($1,307,758) Oscar-nominated filmmaker and television producer Paola di Florio has made critically-acclaimed work that has been distributed theatrically throughout the world and featured in broadcasts on HBO, CBS, NBC, FOX, and PBS. Lisa Leeman writes, produces, directs, and edits documentary films, which has garnered her a Sundance award and an Emmy nomination among other honors. Leeman and di Florio’s current film, “Awake: The Life of Yogananda,” premiered to sold-out crowds at the Seattle Film Festival May 19, 2014. In Her Words: “It’s not easy to make a film about a saint. We’re storytellers, and good narrative usually requires conflict, struggle, and a protagonist with human flaws.” (Huffington Post)

Jennifer Kent – “The Babadook”

Gina Prince-Bythewood – “Beyond the Lights”

($944,726) “The Babadook” is the debut feature of Australian actress turned filmmaker Jennifer Kent, who drew from her 2005 short film “Monster.” The psychological horror film written and directed by Kent, the film has earned near-unanimous critical acclaim. The film won the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards for Best Direction and Best Screenplay.

($14,618,727) Gina Prince-Bythewood also wrote and directed the widely acclaimed feature film “Love & Basketball” (2000). Her other directing credits include the HBO film “Disappearing Acts” (2000) based on Terri Macmillian’s best-selling book. “Beyond the Lights” (2014) is an exploration of race and gender in the music industry and the alienation artists can feel from their public images.

In Her Words: “We had many people fight the ending. I had to really defend that ending. To be perfectly honest, if I had to have killed that thing (the monster) I wouldn’t have made the film. You can’t kill the monster; you can only integrate it.” (The Dissolve)

Stephanie Soechtig – “Fed Up” ($1,538,899) Written, produced and directed by Stephanie Soechtig, “Fed Up” is a documentary about the causes of obesity in the US. Katie Couric also produced and narrated the film. She also produced the documentaries “Tapped” (2009) and “GMO OMG” (2013). In Her Words: “We spent a little over a half a year just calling schools, churches, synagogues, different hospitals, doctors that specialized in diabetes and obesity and we’d say, ‘We’re looking for some families that could give us sort of a look into their world. What was making it so hard to make good food choices?’” (Beliefnet)

In Her Words: “There are two things that are important for me in shooting a love scene. First: No nudity. Because nudity, I think, immediately takes an audience out of it… Two: Just focus on faces because love scenes are about the emotion that’s going on… And there’s a story to every scene. A love scene shouldn’t just be a sex scene. There should be a story to it.” (Vulture)

Soundarya R. Ashwin – “Kochadaiiyaan” ($817,192)  Soundarya began her career in film as a graphic designer. She made her directorial debut with “Kochadaiiyaan,” in which she directed her own father as one of the actors. She was honored for “Technical Innovation in Film” at the NDTV Indian of the Year awards 2014. In Her Words: “Recreating [the actors] and to maintain that realism was the most challenging part of this technology. The entire process is created. The entire film is created, so people act wearing bodysuits and head cameras. We capture their actions, and we apply it to a virtual 3-d image of the same character.”

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Martha Stephens – “Land Ho!” ($727,594) Co-written and co-directed by Aaron Katz, “Land Ho” premiered at Sundance Film Festival. Stephens’ first two feature films that she wrote and directed were “Passenger Pigeons” (2010) and “Pilgrim Song” (2012). In Her Words: “It was hard because I’m a location scouting fanatic, it’s such a huge part of pre-production for me, and if I had had it my way, I would have taken the guys all over the damn country, gone up to the fjords and stuff. It was hard for me to rein myself in…” (Filmmaker)

Rory Kennedy – “Last Days in Vietnam” ($466,114) The youngest and 11th child of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, documentarian Rory Kennedy earned an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Film feature in 2015. The film, according to Kennedy, told the “untold stories about Americans and Vietnamese who were on the ground, who went against U.S. policy and risked their lives to save Vietnamese.” Rory has directed and produced more than 15 documentaries, including “Homestead Strike” (2006) and “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib” (2007) for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Documentary. In Her Words: “Vietnam obviously has always been of interest to me, it’s an important part of our history. This chapter hasn’t been told. I was happy to be able to tell it.” (Indiewire)

Michelle MacLaren will develop and direct the Wonder Woman movie in 2016. Will she somehow improve the film’s portrayal of William Moulton Marston’s character? Check it out for yourself and tell us.


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Snow Zou – “But Always (Yi Sheng Yi Shi)” ($430,760) Snow Zou wrote and directed “But Always,” the story of young love in the 1970s that began in Beijing and was rekindled years later in New York City. Zou produced the TV series “Ginseng vs. Aliens” (2013) and the animated children’s film “Bull Brothers” (2015).

Gia Coppola – “Palo Alto” ($767,732) She wrote and directed “Palo Alto” (2013), based on James Franco’s short story collection Palo Alto. The granddaughter of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, and the daughter of Gian-Carlo Coppola, Gia made her directorial feature film debut with the movie. She directed the short film “Casino Moon” (2012). In Her Words: “I guess I knew my dad was into photography, so a part of me was interested in picking it up to understand him a little better.”


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+ H E R FA I T H /S P I R I T UA L I T Y



here exists a disease especially prevalent in women but not exclusive to them, that is more deadly than any known to medical science. It is more deadly because it attacks the spirit, which eventually affects the physical. I have given the name “It’s better to give than to receive” to this infliction. It creates a tumor called guilt in the majority of American women. When or where this disease originated I can only guess. I do know it is very often inherited, passed from mother to daughter and so on. Its physical symptoms are numerous. Some of the more obvious are malfunctions in the female body, depression, poverty, suppressed creativity, and PMS, to only name a few. When I approach some clients on this subject during therapy or counseling, they become extremely defensive and even angry. Some common verbal responses are: “it makes me feel good to give” or “its duty to give to my children or husband” or the lamest response of all, “that’s what my mother and church say God wants me to do.” These are the same women who come to me because they are unhappy and have exceptionally low self-esteem and self worth. Some clients through years of living with this disease take on the role of martyr as a defense, which cripples their spirit even more. Even when 42

wonderful things are given to them, they find some way to sabotage the gift. With guilt and a feeling that they do not deserve, they make certain something else in their life that they value is given away. I have taught methods of practicing unconditional love. What exactly is unconditional love, particularly in reference to this disease? It is the willingness to give unconditionally, which most women have mastered, but it also is the ability to receive unconditionally, which most have no idea of its meaning, much less do it. Unconditional giving is giving something to someone and not expecting anything in return including not dictating how that something is to be used. Unconditional receiving is being able to receive something without feeling you owe the giver something in return. I can hear your rebuttals: “but I like giving, it makes me feel good.” In most ancient teachings, a circle represents the divine, a complete circle not a semi-circle. When you only give and do not receive you are creating a semi-circle. The same is true when you only receive and do not give. It is just another half circle. When our lives don’t work in a way we want them to work, it’s often because we are out of balance. Creating half a circle definitely causes an imbalance thus creating “dis-ease” in the body. When working with a client, a couple of the

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“Some of the best memories of childhood were of freshly baked cakes with fluffy icing swirled on top,” diagnostic questions I ask are: “what do you say when someone compliments you?” and “what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone gives you a very expensive gift?” It is sad for me to report that most clients deny the compliment and immediately think of how they can possibly repay the giver for such an expensive gift. Try this simple test on yourself. The next time someone tells you that you have pretty hair or your eyes are magnificent; take note of your reaction. If you respond by thanking them and believing what they are saying is

+ H E R FA I T H /S P I R I T UA L I T Y

true, then you probably know how to receive. But if you respond with comments like “oh, I really need a haircut” or “I can’t get rid of the bags under my eyes,” you have work to do on the receiving side of your circle. Concerning the receiving of material gifts, whether expensive or not, try receiving that gift with an inner knowing that you deserve all of the abundance of the universe. Then don’t question from where it comes. You know inherently that you are a giving person so you will complete that half of the

circle without much conscious effort. Reciprocating the gift need not be to the bearer. It could be given to someone else when appropriate. The universe is a master at balancing everything as long as you don’t interfere. You interfere by refusing to receive unconditionally. In other words, no accounting degree or balance sheet is needed when you practice unconditional love. To strengthen your ability to receive, try using the affirmation, “I am worthy and deserving of all the abundance of

the universe.” Say these words out loud to yourself until you believe them. This type of affirmation and the inner belief in its truth has proven to be an effective antibiotic for this crippling disease. Claudette Cleveland is a teacher, counselor, author of fiction and non-fiction books and a professional artist. For more information about Claudette’s articles and books go to her website and http:// BeneathandBeyond.html

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5 Ways Domestic Violence Affects A Child Domestic violence in the home is, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon. Domestic violence has parents at each others throats and children pitted against their parents and siblings. Although domestic violence can take on many forms, the impact it bears on the lives of children is always devastating. While an adult can walk away from a violent situation, a child is not able to. Although domestic violence occurs in different ways, the issue it creates will destroy the emotional well being of the minor.


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. Witnessing Violence The retention of seeing a parent being hit by another produces a lasting negative impression on the mind of a child that cannot be erased by time. Adults suffer the impact of witnessing domestic violence during their childhood. Parents that will experience differences of opinion and might have heated discussions simply should not allow the child to listen to them. Some parents will keep such discussions in the silence of their bedrooms so that the child does not discover or examine it. Parents should recognize when a discussion is going to go out of hand and come after the warning signs if there is a temper issue with either. Grownups should not allow other adults to employ them as a “punching bag” and have their children suffer the effects.


. Sexual Violence Minors need to have positive one-on-one attention from their parents, and not just when they misbehave. If children are not getting love and attention at home, they will seek it out from people who may sexually abuse them. In the digital age, kids will often search on social media for someone to show them love and end up talking to the wrong kind of person. You can monitor your child’s online use, but the best way to prevent something of that nature is to simply spend more time with your child.


. Sibling Violence Sibling rivalry is not new and many adults still have difficult relationships with their siblings due to rivalries and tension in their childhoods. This goes on a lot within step-families. Favoritism can create a division among siblings in which one feels superior over another and then use the power to their advantage.


. Bullying Violence Bullying is another kind of domestic violence within families. Negative name calling with the function of making the child to feel inadequate is devastating to the child’s self esteem. Sometimes, parents tell an unruly child “you are not going to add up to anything” with the intention that the child will prove them wrong and work harder. But the youth does not know his/her parents’ intentions and then the child internalizes the negativity which makes him or her create negative self-image.


. Physical Violence Physical abuse occurs when parents or anyone for that matter use excessive means to get a child to conform to acceptable behavior. This type of domestic violence comes in different forms, such as hitting with an object, physically forcing the child to drink or eat, or otherwise causing physical pain to the child. Domestic violence is real, which is why the United States has strict laws against such behavior in the home. Parents need to ensure the safety of their children so that they do not leave them legacies of pain, but instead something positive to hand down to their children. Linnet worked as a elementary school teacher and then as a qualified social worker in the UK. Linnet worked with children and their families for a number of years and has a lot of experience in child protection issues. Linnet has now removed from social work and currently writes for children and young adults about bullying, abuse, gang activities, illegal drugs and other issues that challenges the everyday lives of a youngster. She has written “The Power of Words”, “My Green Green Grass bk 1 &2,” “Secrets Can Be Told,” and more. You can find her books on her Facebook “Linnet Brown” and on Amazon.

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Families Stay Connected How Busy


Between homework, weekend activities, grocery shopping, and the work commute, you barley have time to breathe (let alone think). You’re so busy keeping everyone’s plates spinning that experiencing real, meaningful connections with your kids often falls by the wayside. If the quality family time you crave seems harder and harder to come by, and work-life balance seems like just a pipe dream, it may be time to revisit your “why.’”

Remember the Big Picture

Replenish Your Life

Everyone is focused on getting it done. But what is the purpose of doing, doing, doing? Do you ever stop to think about WHY you’re doing it all in the first place? Most people are running themselves ragged for a very good reason – to support and care for their family and loved ones. If you’re constantly frazzled and stressed, it’s probably because you’ve lost sight of the big picture, otherwise known as your personal “why.” When that happens, it’s crucial to step away from the business of doing, and focus on why you’re doing it all in the first place.

The start of the year is a time to replenish the energy that’s been exerted throughout the year past. It’s also a time to make small, positive changes that can be carried over throughout the year. It’s much more effective – and much more replenishing – to set small, achievable goals and meet them, than it is to make big, sweeping changes. Replenish what’s been lost by nurturing yourself and your family with good nutrition, exercise, and activities that have nothing to do with school or work.

Focus on Connections You can’t grow and maintain authentic connections with your kids if you don’t have an authentic connection with yourself. Creating a strong work-life balance begins on a personal level – it starts with you. The more balance you’re able to create within yourself, the deeper your relationships will be with your kids. Balance is an internal phenomenon that radiates outwards and positively impacts everyone in its path, but it has to start with you. However, getting in touch with yourself and connecting with your family is only possible when you…


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Build a Legacy The greatest gift you can give your kids is a legacy of connection and inspiration. By pursuing activities together outside of work and school, you’ll demonstrate the importance of simply being together and having fun. You’ll also set an example by putting yourself and your health first while inspiring your kids to do the same. Fran Dean Bishop is an award winning business coach and CEO with 20 years in the health management industry. She founded Aerobodies Fitness Company, (now AFC Management Services), in 1994 as a corporate service provider of health promotion, fitness management and behavior change programs for the private sector and federal agencies. Fran also designed and launched two successful health technology innovations, MyEquilibriumCoach and To request Fran for a speaking engagement or workshop, contact her at


The Business Woman Makeup Kit As a busy career woman, it’s difficult to take the time to stop and do anything when you’re always on the go. Keeping up on your makeup will make you look more professional and help you build your image (or “brand”), but it’s easy to forget when you’ve got a list of 101 things that need to get done first. Here are some easy and quick tips that won’t interrupt your busy day. T h e B u s i n e s s Wo m a n M a ke u p K i t 1. Pressed powder compact with mirror to fix t-zone shininess. 2. Foundation or blemish stick for cover up. 3. Eye shadow duo with natural shades. 4. Multipurpose chunky pencil for lips and cheeks. 5. Lipstick or pot of gloss.

M a ke u p B a re Es s e n t i a l s • • • • • • •

Apply your makeup in the order listed below for a sexy, sassy, and simple look. Concealer - Put under your eye with a dab on your eyelid. Powder - Evens out your complexion and covers minor blemishes. Also gives your T-zone a matte finish Basic black mascara - Will enhance the whole eye by highlighting your eyelashes. Blush - Use something soft and subtle. Powder is better than cream. Lip liner - Gives emphasis to your lips. Sheer gloss or lipstick - Brightens the lips and illuminates your whole face. -EM

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6 Ways to Make Cleaning Easier eaning ring Cl



Though it may not feel like it just yet, springtime is coming sooner than you think. So why not prepare in advance? Springtime means getting more light with longer and brighter days. But it seems like dust and grime gets more visible! This must be why spring cleaning was invented in the first place. Who sees the dirt with all the darkness and gray skies? Fortunately, spring cleaning isn’t that bad if you keep up on a few tasks. Here are my latest tips on how to make your cleaning chores easier come sunny, bright days: BY JENNIFER ADAMS

Clean before you need to. Avoiding cleaning chores for a while and tackling them all at once seems like it saves time, but it doesn’t, really. Here is an example. It takes a quick 10 minutes to scrub an all-tile shower once a week. That’s not too bad. But if you wait for three weeks, it takes 40 minutes to scrub because it’s really dirty! Plus, you have to live with the dirty shower. That’s no fun. The same idea applies to kitchen surfaces, toilets and floors. Split up chores by vacuuming one day, cleaning the bath another, laundry on yet another. Who wants to spend all day cleaning house?

For tile, use a non-acidic cleanser weekly and seal stone, tile and grout occasionally. Harsh, acidic cleaners and bleach makes grout porous, allowing dirt to penetrate and algae and mold to grow. Sealed stone and tile simply doesn’t get as dirty and is easier to clean.


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Use less soap, cleansers, shampoos and conditioners. Luxurious conditioners and bar soaps also coat your shower and tub, making them harder to clean. Use only what you need, no more. A dollop about the size of a quarter is plenty to wash your hair, maybe a tiny more for ultra-long hair, less for short. It’s trendy to not shampoo your hair every day, anyway! Furthermore, if you have a hand shower attachment, spray down the shower or tub when you’re done. Same goes for the laundry and dishwashers. You probably don’t need to even use the “recommended” amount of detergent. That “little extra” doesn’t get clothing or dishes any cleaner, but it does waste money and creates buildup inside the machine. In time, filters will clog, making your clothes, dishes and the machines themselves dirtier or smelling funny.

Use protective mats, cutting boards and trays to prepare and serve food for yourself and pets. Silicone mats or trays for pet food bowls contain the crumbs and they keep the dishes from sliding all over. You’ll need to only clean the mat daily, not the whole floor. Recycling plastic yogurt or other container lids as coasters under messy bottles of cooking oils and cleansers helps keep shelves clean. Saucers work well as spoon rests, and go right into the dishwasher when you’re done.

Let pots and pans soak in soapy water for a few hours before scrubbing. Water is nature’s most effective and least expensive solvent; let it do the work for you. Even dirty casserole pans and cheesy sauces clean up easier. Another tip: cleaning melted cheese, especially Parmesan and other hard cheeses, is much easier with cold water than warm or hot.

Install a water softener if you live in an area with hard water. The minerals accumulate in sinks, tubs, toilets, glass shower doors, pots, pans and inside dishwashers and washing machines.


Sfarnas Greek Meatballs with Mint (Keftedes) GENIE PATTERSON

When visiting restaurants in Greece the common name for meatballs is Keftedes (kef- teh-des). Different towns and islands have their own variety of Keftedes. For example, I have had Keftedes at many Greek homes over the years and everyone has their own version. Some use tomato and some use cheese. Whose grandmother do you argue with?

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients 1 pound ground lamb or beef 2 slices of bread 1 onion finely chopped ½ cup chopped parsley 1 cup chopped fresh mint 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper 1 egg, beaten 1 cup cooking oil Flour for dusting Steps: 1. Place meat in a medium size bowl. Briefly dip bread into water to dampen, then squeeze out the excess water and crumble it into the meat. 2. Combine meat, bread, onion, parsley, mint, salt and pepper and egg. Mix thoroughly. Pour oil into a large sauté pan. 3. Form meatballs, lightly dust in flour and sauté in hot oil until brown on all sides. 4. Cook thoroughly. Drain on paper towels. 5. Serve over Greek pasta or rice and bask in the comp. Please also visit my shop on Etsy at GenietheSpiceGoddess Follow me on Twitter @GrkVillageMkt “Like” us on Facebook Genie the Spice Goddess

Divorce is Not Defeat BY DARCELL LAWRENCE


eflections are what we see staring back at us when we look in the mirror—they produce an image. When we look in the mirror, we see reflections that can look different depending on the stage of life we are in. It could be the reflection of graduating from college, starting a new dream job, your own business, or the joy of meeting the man of your dreams. And if all goes as you hope and dream, meeting this man can lead to the ultimate day when you are standing in front of the mirror and your reflection is that of a beautiful bride. In that moment, you never thought you could be any happier—you have found your soul mate—this is the most exciting day of your life. If your story is like mine, that day feels like your greatest accomplishment. These days, I beg to differ. There are times when this “great accomplishment” does not quite work out as planned, and you’re faced with a new acquaintance, one called divorce. Maybe a side of the guy you never planned on meeting and have been trying to avoid your entire marriage somehow showed up and knocked at your front door demanding to be let in. But if you find yourself having to answer, do not be afraid. Depending on the circumstances, there are dozens of emotions a woman can feel when faced with divorce. She can feel hurt, disappointed, sad or even broken. But if you are facing that knock on your door called divorce, please don’t feel defeated. Divorce does not mean you are a failure. What I’m about to suggest

may seem far-fetched and a waste of time but you may be surprised how well this technique helps when you are experiencing difficult days. Everything in life is about perspective—which takes us back to how we see something, that is, the reflection. We can change our perspective on divorce when we reflect on it by taking the word and turning it into an acronym. Let the D stand for determined, the I for invincible, V for victorious, the O for overcomer, R for resilient, C for courageous, and the E for emerge. In God’s wisdom, He created women to be strong and resilient, so never fixate

on what people are going to say, or the comments of naysayers. Divorce does not mean defeat and it definitely does not define you as a woman. It merely means that this chapter of your life is coming to a close, so get ready to embrace a new one. If you are determined to recognize you are invincible and victorious no matter what, you will be the overcomer who is resilient and courageous enough to emerge from the pain of divorce as a conqueror. Now, when you reflect on the woman in the mirror, because of your new perspective, you will see the image of a wonderful and awesome woman. When you look at yourself, who do you see?

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Essential Tips for Attracting Healthy Relationships BY MAY CHEW

When a relationship ends, we feel the pain. We are left to flounder on our own on how to fix the relationship, whether we should fix it, or how to recover from the relationship. Building healthy relationships from the beginning is essential to avoid pain of broken relationships. It’s about building the essential bridges that serve to salvage hurt minds, bodies and souls. It about reversing pain, neglect, and lack of understanding with love, commitment and caring. Here are 6 ingredients for healthy relationships that we should strive to develop in every relationship, especially those close to us, our close friends, buddies, colleagues and even business relationships.


Acceptance, empathy and respect. Essentially, it is love. Love is much deeper than a feeling. Love is a commitment we make to people to always treat that person right and honorably. To understand and accept the other person as he is 52


Fulfilling of needs. ”You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.” A healthy relationship helps meets needs. We serve – and get in return –without consciously and eagerly expecting, of course. Rewards will come mutually and naturally.


Open and honest communication. “Communication is to relationships what breath is to life.” The key to communicating is to be a good listener, have something good to say and express yourself well. Project warmth, empathy and caring. By letting the other person know what we think and feel, it lets us connect with the other person. It enables us to make a connection. Both listening effectively and communicating what we feel is essential.


Patience and loyalty. We are humans and humans make mistakes after all. And it takes time to change. Often, those who give up on relationships too early or because the other person isn’t perfect, often forget that their next friend, their next spouse or business partner, will not be perfect either! And those who have gone through major

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turmoil in their relationship and emerged with patience have emerged stronger after the crisis.


A common purpose. Working together, building together, failing and succeeding together – while pursuing a common purpose - that is what relationships are made of. Find people with whom you have common purposes. In your current relationships, find a common purpose to look forward to. It will gel and create long lasting joy and benefits.


Have fun. OFun brings enjoyment to the relationship. Often, this is forgotten or neglected in our family and spouses. Especially when we take the relationship for granted. We have to remember to consciously create fun situations and moments that we will remember with amusement and gratitude for a long time. Having and developing all these takes time, but it is the most rewarding activity one can have. You’ll not regret and be ever so grateful you did at the end. May is passionate about helping people achieve the life of their dreams. Discover your self. Live Fully and Achieve.


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F E AT U R E S • H E A R T • F L AVO R • H E A LT H L E S S O N S • W O R K • P L AY W W W. H E R S - M A G A Z I N E . C O M

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Fifty Shades of Feminism


here have been a lot of recent headlines regarding best-selling book Fifty Shades of Grey and its recent film adaptation. A great deal of those headlines have been negative, if not scathing. But why? The complaints run mostly like this: Fifty Shades of Grey is not only demeaning to women, but it also promotes abusive relationships and submitting power to another person. Is that, however, really what’s going on here? The positive aspects of the book seem to have been discarded entirely, all


in a haphazard attempt to demonize both the author and lead character, Christian Grey. He is often referred to as controlling (something he readily admits) and abusive. The BDSM community is largely split: many members view Christian’s actions as stepping over the line, while others laud the book’s efforts to normalize what was once viewed as deviant. The power, however, should not be given to Christian. The power belongs in the capable hands of Anastasia Steele. Representing a state of “every woman,” Ana Steele presents as a timid college student who happens to tumble into the

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office of a young billionaire. Her intrigue of Christian begins immediately, as does his with her, although he is the one in pursuit. Even though Anastasia has been touched by her encounter with Christian, he is the one who has to struggle to achieve further contact. When it is granted, the relationship progresses on Ana’s terms, moment by moment. In one of his verbose email exchanges with Ana, Christian states, “What I think you fail to realize is that in dom/sub relationships, it is the sub who has all the power. That’s you. I’ll repeat this—you are the one with all the power. Not I.” Christian enters into non-legally binding contracts with the girls he deems as his “submissive.” He explains to Anastasia that she has the control in the relationship, even though the contract spells out a great deal of rules she will have to follow at his behest. Though seeming to be contradictory, this is a commonly known practice in the BDSM community know as SSC (Safe, Sane, and Consensual). A submissive is given the power because (s)he is able to stop activities and relationships at his/her request. If (s)he is not given that opportunity, the relationship is abusive. Not only is Anastasia granted the control in the relationship, she takes it. She amends the contract until she is content with it, and she scarcely compromises. Eventually, Christian’s life changes. Where he began their relationship explaining that he wanted to give her physical pain, he eventually panics when on their honeymoon, his handcuffs leave imprints on her wrists and ankles. He concedes control to Anastasia, and while his proclivities never change, Ana is the one who has control of her sexuality and their relationship. The power play between the two characters is one of the main points of debate surrounding the book, and it can be argued either way. Beyond the (contentious) fact that Ana has all the “power” in the relationship (i.e., the


ability to say “no” and have everything stop), Fifty Shades of Grey has an interesting twist on virginity. Christian is surprised, even appalled, to learn that Ana has lost her virginity to him, but for Anastasia, there is no mysticism around the act. She lost her virginity because she wanted to, a progressive way of thinking in today’s society. Women are taught to treasure virginity, to fear its loss for what it means for future prospects. For Anastasia, however, it is something entirely different. It is just another part of growing up.

Despite the unlikelihood of as many orgasms as Anastasia has each time she and Christian take a roll in the hay, it is a symbol of a woman coming into her own. She grows with each page, coming into herself, and her sexuality influences Christian’s life, making him question the routines to which he’d grown accustomed. The fact that a woman coming into her own sexual awakening can change a man’s life completely is a concept within these books that should not be overlooked. Let’s take a second to look beyond the

book and the film. Only five years ago, Blue Valentine, a movie featuring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, received an NC-17 rating. Why? Because there was a brief moment of consensual oral sex in which Ryan Gosling’s character put his head between Michelle William’s legs. Meanwhile, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) features not only a woman giving man oral sex, but also a woman getting raped. The rating? A mild R. Why does this matter? Because the implication is that a woman receiving consensual, sexual pleasure is somehow “scandalous” and threatening. It’s much easier for the general American audience to swallow down the rape pill than it is for them to stomach female sexuality. Fast forward to 2014. Gone Girl, one of the break-out movies of December, shows a woman receiving oral sex and managed to get by with only a R rating. So what changed in the last five years? Well, hot on the heels of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the first Fifty Shades of Grey book was released. Love it or hate it, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Fifty Shades of Grey opened doors for female sexuality. Suddenly, women didn’t have to be ashamed to enjoy pleasure at the risk of being called a “slut.” Women all across the country were, for the first time, able to openly read and enjoy erotica. It’s opened up doors and, more than that, an important dialogue surrounding the longrepressed phenomenon of female sexuality. In the film, Anastasia asks, “Why are you trying to change me?” In a voice reminiscent of every woman’s fantasy, Christian replies, “It’s you who’s changing me.” Hopefully, the book will eventually be viewed not just as “mommy porn,” but as a novel that heavily influenced the confidence of women to explore their own sexuality, and abandon the fear associated with former gender norms. Stick that in your Red Room and spank it.

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“I love what I do,” said Linda Anderson, owner of Anderson CCBI Construction & Quintessential Homes. “I love the creativity of it all. I work 60-80 hours a week, and I don’t mind.” Her 15-year-old company builds everything from affordable to highend homes in the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, area. Through the implementation of affirmative action programs that began in the early 60s, women like Linda have been able to make great strides in political, economic and social realms in the United States. Women have even moved from the sidelines to the main players in certain professions, such as education,health care and communications. The career opportunities where women’s advancement remain stunted may come as no surprise because even some women perceive these jobs as male-preferred occupations. They are physically demanding trades with historically male appeal, such as welding, carpentry, auto mechanics. In construction, women have been less than 2.3 percent of the workforce since the early ‘80s. In other fields, however, the numbers have changed quite dramatically. Ironically, 56

affirmative action programs began in the construction industry. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Office of Federal Contract Compliance requiring all government contractors and subcontractors to use affirmative action to expand job opportunities for minorities in federallyfunded construction jobs. Susan Eisenberg, author and professor at Brandeis University, started working as an electrician in 1978 when, she says, affirmative action first opened construction jobs to women. President Jimmy Carter signed Executive Order 12067 in 1978 to develop uniform equal employment enforcement standards that applied throughout government. Seventeen federal agencies and departments were then responsible for enforcing non-

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discrimination statutes and orders under the oversight of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). “When Jimmy Carter issued the executive order, in the early days,” says Susan, “it had a lot of strong enforcement. The women who came in that period actually experienced affirmative action that was enforced and had that expectation. When it went from Carter to Regan, he kind of dealt with affirmative action like he did with OSHA. Things didn’t go off the books, but they stopped being enforced. They slashed the number of monitors. With nobody checking, that’s where the numbers really stalled.” Susan, one of the first women in the country to achieve journey-level status as a union electrician, has discovered that

legislation without enforcement not only impedes progress to equal opportunity, but it also invariably causes a recession in advancement. Susan adds, “Affirmative action had only a brief time when it was enforced. No one has given it the same level of enforcement since Jimmy Carter.” President Carter was not the first legislator to try to buttress women’s economic opportunities, though. On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, triggering the initial legal phase of establishing equal standards in the workforce for women. The following year, the Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination in recruitment, hiring, wages, assignment, promotions, benefits, discipline, discharge, layoffs and almost every aspect of employment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 created the EEOC to oversee the elimination of unlawful employment discrimination in both the private and public sectors. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter also created a National Women’s Business Enterprise Policy, requiring each agency to take affirmative action to support women’s business enterprises. The common assumption with affirmative action is that underrepresented groups are being given “handouts” and would not be otherwise qualified. Susan says just the opposite is true, however. “You’re taking less qualified people in order to keep women’s numbers so low. You have to overlook a lot of very qualified women to have such a high percentage of men in the workforce. Affirmative action would actually improve the quality of the workforce because we are capable of the work.” There is no concerted conspiracy to keep women out of certain fields, suggests Susan, but male attitudes are consistent without enforcement. She says there is a sense of thinking, “We don’t have to comply. We don’t want to comply. We’ll keep a small percentage [of women] available so that if somebody’s looking, we can make our numbers immediately available.”

“More women may want to enter these trades, but they don’t want their ability challenged every time they show up for work.” Having laws requiring equality doesn’t make a difference, as Susan points to examples in Canada where there are no such laws, and the numbers are about the same. “It’s going to take a certain investment, an infrastructure investment, that really hasn’t been made to really make changes.” The Job vs. The Culture In addition to inequality to access opportunities or excel in male-dominated professions, women face distinct kinds of discrimination based on gender, such as sexual harassment. Female miners had the highest rate of sexual harassment, and female construction workers had the second highest rate of sexual harassment complaints, according to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Some women may not want to enter certain fields because they don’t want to deal with the culture within a maledominated profession. Still, Susan doesn’t believe there are certain types of jobs that are just better suited for women. “Just like there is a whole range of men, there is a whole range of women. These [construction] jobs are not suited for all

Susan Eisenberg, author and professor at Brandeis University

types of women just like they’re not suited for all types of men.” Furthermore, Susan says more women may want to enter these trades, but they don’t want their ability challenged every time they show up for work. “Demeaning attitudes have changed in many occupations, but they still exist in the construction field. It’s as though that workplace is in a time warp back to 1963 when discrimination was legal in the work place.” An African American female, Linda feels her experience with men in the construction industry has been somewhat less challenging because of the way she’s learned to interact with them. “I think it’s about how you conduct yourself,” she says. “They are very respectful because I treat them with respect. I don’t play any games with these guys. I crack the whip and I get the best out of them.” Still Low When OSHA was enacted in 1970, women comprised less than one percent of workers in the construction trades. That percentage has only grown to about 2.3 percent. “It seems difficult without some thought or effort to keep the numbers that low,” surmises Susan. “If you think of how much [society] has changed since 1980 to now when young women growing up are very fit and are encouraged to be fit. So the

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question about whether do women have the strength or physical ability is a totally different question in 2015 than it might have been in 1980. The [construction] work itself today is much more mechanical so that’s not an issue. Because the work is a lot more computerized, it involves using your brain more than your biceps. So a lot has changed in the industry and the way women are raised has changed and yet, these figures are the same. In her book, “We’ll Call You If We Need You,” Susan examined the factors that contribute to women’s low representation in male-dominated professions. She interviewed 30 women in five trades and examined the role of violence, including random accidents, in the workplace. Overall, she discovered that there is a “need to regulate the office” better than it is now. She also has a blog to bring the


perspective of grassroots tradeswomen into the public policy conversation. Among the issues is the topic of keeping tradeswomen as an apprentice, which is equivalent to a college intern. You are paid as you train. In 1978, women were supposed to be 25% of all the apprenticeship classes, recounts Susan. “That would have led to women being 25% of the workforce. One thing wrong with the federal guidelines is that they don’t separate apprentice and journey level. It’s not an advantage to an employer to hire a journey level rate person. So you see a lot of women working as an apprentice rather than a journey level.” Susan insists that there must be a legislative and societal commitment to making changes. “All these years later, how do we make Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964) a reality, not just a law?”

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Tips For Women Seeking Careers In Male-Dominated Fields: • Look at the “real” opportunities to advance in that career. Are the opportunities limited or fairly dispense based on ability and experience? • Find out the systems that are in place to ensure your safety and success on the job. Who are the gatekeepers? • Work with employers or seek unions who have demonstrated their commitment to fair employment. • Don’t do it alone. Network with other women who are ahead of you, those who are doing or have done what you’re trying to do. Get mentors (male or female) or friends who can problemsolve with you. • Look for political allies who can keep pressure on enforcement of having a fair workplace. • Be aware of your own rights and resources.

Tina Councell, owner of Iron Maiden Studios in Asheville, NC

“It is loud, dirty, and requires a certain about of physical strength. I think more and more women are realizing that they can do whatever they want,” “Overall, think of yourself as consumer, in a sense, and do your homework,” says Susan. Tina Councell, welder After high school, a friend asked Tina to sign up for a welding class at a local community college. She liked it, and decided to take others. Another friend’s father, who is a sculptor, found out about her taking welding courses and asked that she stop by his shop one day. John ultimately gave her a job at his studio, and from there, she worked as an apprentice under him for about five years.

During that time, he introduced her to Penland, a craft school in Bakersville, NC. He took her on a field trip to the school where she met a female locksmith who was teaching a class the following semester. Tina registered for the class and then decided to take other classes at the school over the years. She continued taking art and business classes at the community college as well. He died about seven years ago, and his family offered to leave me his studio and sell me all his tools for a really good price. “All of a sudden, I had to figure out how to run a business. It kind of just fell in my lap.” Today, as the owner of Iron Maiden Studios in Asheville, NC, she has two other female welders who work for her. Along the way, she admits “running into so many things that have been incredibly difficult while working in a male-dominated field.” For instance, she says, “Some ask me silly questions to test my knowledge and abilities. They generally are skeptical of my abilities. On the flip side, once I demonstrate my knowledge and skill in my field of work, they trust me enough to hire me. The real payback comes when I complete their project and they are impressed with the finished project. They come back and give my name to others. Most of my work is word of mouth.” Tina feels as if she’s as qualified as any of her male counterparts. She adds, “And better in some ways.” Being a woman has actually helped her to the job better. “I do not have the ability to muscle my way through things. I have to work smart, not hard, to achieve my goals as a metal worker. I have a hoist system that is quite helpful for heavy lifting and moving tools around. We often spend more time figuring out the best way to set ourselves up so we are not constantly lifting and using our bodies to do the work. Don’t get me wrong, the job is still very physical and requires a strong back. It is a known fact that women are generally better welders because we have finer motor skills, and a higher attention to detail. We also have a certain finesse when it comes to movement, even with tools.”

How does being a female welder affect her personal relationships with men? Tina says, “I feel like I am put in a box and generally viewed as a dyke. While I am not opposed to dating women, it is frustrating to be viewed as a lesbian simply because of my career choice. I find that when a male is interested in me, the first question is always, ‘Can I ask you a personal question?’ and then I know what’s next: ’Are you straight or gay?’ “I’m never surprised by this. I generally just laugh when I see it coming. I think it’s hard for someone to envision me in a dress when I am in dirty Carhartts and a flannel on the daily. I have always been a tomboy and like wearing clothes that I can get dirty.” In trying to maintain some level of femininity, Tina admits the clothes she has to wear are not very flattering. “I generally resort to men’s work garb because they are rugged enough to stand up to the wear and tear. Most women’s workwear is cut funny and made of flimsier material. I would love to find a company dedicated to making stylish women’s workwear. I have plenty of ideas but no time.” Tina says she loves her job, and her only real concern is her health. “I am constantly exposed to different fumes and chemicals. I take a lot of precautions to maintain a safe and clean work environment, but I’m nervous about the long-term effects of working in such a harsh environment. ” Welding is an intimidating profession to many women, according to Tina. “It is loud, dirty, and requires a certain about of physical strength. I think more and more women are realizing that they can do whatever they want, and if that means working with metal, they have equal opportunity. And in fact, the industry is growing with more and more female welders. Part of my mission as a female in this industry is to promote this as a career option for females. I have two girls that work for me that are amazing metal workers. I don’t want to sound like a man hater when I say this, but I really only plan to hire females as employees. I want to give back the opportunity that I was provided.”

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Towing is for Her: ‘Bernice’ BY ANNETTE JOHNSON


omen are taking on all sorts of roles formerly restricted to men. Although these jobs may not be seen as desirable to some women, one woman shows us repeatedly that not only can a woman do a “man’s job,” but she can also do it better to some degree. If you haven’t seen her on TV, taking, towing and even flipping cars, then you missed one of our modern-day superwomen in terms of physical strength and mental fortitude. Lakatriona Brunson, or “Bernice,” is a tow truck driver for Tremont, a Miami, Florida, towing company featured on TruTV’s reality show “South Beach Tow.” The show features dramatized 60

reenactments of unwitting Tremont Towing customers, or some might say “victims.” The show first premiered on July 20, 2011, and among the show’s breakout favorites was Bernice, a cool but no BS driver who literally moved anything out the way that interfered with her one goal – making money. “It’s like a family,” says Bernice of her interaction with castmates. “We fight. We fuss and all that other good stuff.” Of her on-air family, she describes tow driver Jerome “J-Money” Jackson as the

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“lady’s man.” Like a big sister, Bernice finds herself being protective of others on the show who need her strength. “I’ve always been like that growing up. The weaker people, I always cling to them. Basically, I mentor them and try to get them to a point where they don’t have to depend on anybody [for protection].” Prior to working at Tremont, Bernice worked in Miami’s public school system as an SCSI (in-school suspension) teacher. She was looking for summer work when she landed the towing job and subsequent

I gotta have my own business. I’m too strong to work up under people

TV role. “It’s a competition. Nobody wants to be outworked,” she explains, especially by a woman. “[Towing] is a pure hustle. If you don’t work, you don’t eat. You can sit there and be on the clock all day, but if you don’t bring any cars in, you won’t get paid.” While South Beach Tow’s reenactments may seem bogus at times, Bernice insists that what’s seen on TV is often the tame side of the towing business. “If they show you some of the real stories and some stuff that happens on a daily that they can’t put on TV, you’d be surprised... People actually break into the tow yard and steal their cars out. There’s always a lot of crazy stuff going on.” The show has had four successful seasons, but it may not return. So, what’s next for Bernice? She couldn’t give us all the details, or in fact, any, but we know she’s probably coming back to TV. She may even return with some of her

castmates, but not in the tow business, Bernice assures. She admits to wanting to operate her own business eventually. “I gotta have my own business. I’m too strong to work up under people.” She graduated from Miami Northwest High School in 1995 before attending Tennessee State University, where she played basketball. Bernice also played defensive end for the Miami Fury of the Independent Women’s Football League. “Don’t ride by the cars. Ride by the sidewalk somewhere,” she said while directing her 11-year-old godson on his scooter during the interview. She says TV or fame hasn’t changed her. She still lives in the same neighborhood where she was raised in Miami —between El Portal and Lakeside. “I surround myself with people who love me since forever. Those people never changed. My family, my friends, I’m around the same group of people all the time.”

She admires Oprah, Queen Latifah, and Beyonce, all strong, accomplished women. Her connection to other ever day women is often clouded by their singular perception of her from the TV show. “Most people look like you’re gonna straight throw them in the garbage can, not knowing that I do speak in sentences and paragraphs… My personality is basically: if we’re cool, we’re cool; if we’re not, we’re not. There is no in between.” The antithesis of a femme fatale, more of a fatale femme, Bernice says she possesses a softer side that she can use in her dealings when necessary. “I use everything I got to get what I need. If I have to sweet talk you, then I can sweet talk. I do whatever it takes. Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” We’ll just wait for the next word from Bernice as to what she is doing next. -Annette Johnson

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Don’t Pick Those Weeds! The Herbal Benefits of Five Common “Unwanted� Plants BY JAIME JOHNSON

Technically, a weed is defined as any plant that is growing in a place where it is unwanted. Most weeds are very invasive and can quickly take over your entire garden. Before you remove that unwanted plant, make sure you know what it is. Often these undesired plants have health benefits that might just give them a special place in your yard. Before using any of these plants, be sure they have been obtained from areas free of pesticide use.


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Plantain has long been considered a healing plant. Of no relation to the banana-like plant of the same name, this particular plantain is a perennial that is commonly found in meadows or on the roadside. Plantains have anti-inflammatory properties and have long been used as a soothing, pain reducer for bug bites and stings. It may even be used on small wounds to help stop bleeding or to soothe and reduce the swelling of minor burns. To use, crush the leaves and apply to the skin.


While some people value the dandelion for its little yellow flower, it is largely considered a weed that can pop up just about anywhere, including in cracks in sidewalks and driveways. It is safe to consume the entire dandelion plant--leaves, roots, and flowers. Dandelions are rich in calcium and stimulate the production of insulin from the pancreas, helping to lower blood sugar. Full of vitamins, fiber, and minerals, dandelions have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin problems, blood disorders, and depression. To use, add dandelion leaves to your favorite salad.

Red clover contains isoflavones, which act like estrogens in the body. This makes it a great weed for women to use both pre and post menopause. It is frequently used for hot flashes, PMS, to help prevent osteoporosis, and to even help lower cholesterol. This beneficial herb contains calcium, chromium, magnesium, and potassium. Studies have shown that use of red clover may even help prevent heart disease. Pick and dry the clover’s flower head to use in an herb tea. Brew 2 tsp. of the dried flower heads in a cup of almost boiling water for 30 minutes.


Bamboo is a highly invasive grass that is hard to control.


Bamboo extract and bamboo shoots, less than 2 weeks old and less than 1 foot tall, have long been used for skin, hair, nail, and teeth health. Bamboo is full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and is used to strengthen the immune system and fight cancer. A good source of potassium, bamboo is said to lower blood pressure. Peel the leaves off the shoots and discard. Cut the shoots into small pieces and boil 20 minutes. Add the cooked shoots to salads or mix into your favorite casserole.

Kudzu, known as the weed that is taking over the south, has long been used in Chinese cultures for treating alcoholism, allergies, and colds. Dry the leaves to make a tea that is said to reduce the symptoms of a hangover, including headaches, upset stomach, and dizziness. This herbal tea will also help fight sinus infections, colds, and hay fever. Kudzu has been used to help with heart problems and high blood pressure. Additionally, Kudzu has estrogen-like properties to ease symptoms of menopause. Add 2 tsp. of dried kudzu to a cup of boiling water and let steep for 30 minutes.


Technically, a weed is defined as any plant that is growing in a place where it is unwanted. Most weeds are very invasive and can quickly take over your entire garden. Before you remove that unwanted plant, make sure you know what it is. Often these undesired plants have health benefits that might just give them a special place in your yard. Before using any of these plants, be sure they have been obtained from areas free of pesticide use.

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1. Exercise

Engaging in regular physical activity is a logical and obvious way to lose weight. These days, a gym membership may be too expensive or too far from where you live. Instead, try walking for at least 30 minutes per day. This could include walking to and from your car in a parking lot, doing laps around the park or campus, or window-shopping at a mall. If your safety is an issue, you can also keep your workouts indoors by running up and down the stairs, doing sit-ups, jogging in place, or jumping rope. For weight lifting, try using canned foods or packs of dry beans instead of dumbbells.

2. Do Not Skip Meals

Ways to Prevent Weight Gain When You Can’t Make Your Own Food BY RHEA LI

Staying healthy can be difficult when you have limited resources. Frequent business travelers, for example, must rely on pre-made restaurant foods often loaded with salt, fat, and other preservatives. Trying to find a good meal with fresh fruit and vegetables can be an arduous task without the necessary support. However, there are numerous ways to stay healthy and prevent weight gain, even when

One of the biggest myths to weight loss is that skipping meals is the best solution. On the surface, it makes sense: eating less means fewer calories, thus leading to weight loss. However, what actually happens is that your body’s metabolism slows down in an effort to conserve energy, thus storing fat. As a result, when you do eat, the food is broken down a lot more slowly. This food is also stored as energy or fat, which means that even when you exercise, your body does not burn fat. Another issue with skipping meals is that since your body is so hungry, you end up overeating during the meals that you allow yourself. Therefore, it is recommended that you eat every few hours, about 5-6 small meals per day. For example, have some eggs for breakfast, and have a small piece of fruit a few hours later. Consume a small lunch, such as a sandwich, and snack on crackers and cheese in the late afternoon. The key is to include protein and carbohydrate at every meal. Nuts, dried fruit, cheese, saltine crackers, and peanut butter all make nutritious satiating snacks.

you are unable to prepare your own food. 64

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3. Avoid or Limit Stress

Stress is a frequent cause of weight gain because it can lead to skipped meals, increase in fast food consumption, little exercise, and no sleep. The best way to combat stress is to take frequent breaks at work. Stop to speak to a coworker for a few minutes, or take a short walk during your lunch break. Sometimes, it helps to stand up and stretch and close your eyes for a few minutes. Some people find it helpful to prioritize and list things that need to be done immediately. Listen to music that may help ease your worries. Most importantly, be aware of signs your body may give you to indicate that it is time for a mental or physical break. A few minutes of rest may go a long way.

4. Choose the Right Foods

Hectic schedules can lead to eating out more frequently or picking up take-out. Most dining halls and restaurants have items filled with fat and salt, but you can learn to choose the healthier option and help control your weight. A salad is always a good option, but be careful of toppings like cheese, dressing, and croutons, which can all add many grams of fat and several hundred extra calories to your meal. Look for the words “grilled” or “baked” as these foods will be lower in fat compared to fried foods. Since most portions at a restaurant are up to twice the recommended serving amount, cut your meal in half at the start of the meal. Ask for a to-go box and put the remaining portion away so you will not be tempted to eat it. In addition to saving calories, you have another meal to enjoy at a later time!

5. Stay Hydrated.

Finally, an easy way to keep healthy is to drink plenty of water. Carry filtered water with you in your bag or store a refillable bottle at work. If you are trying to lose weight, drinking a cup of water before and after every meal will help prevent you from eating too much. If you exercise and sweat a lot, it is very important to re-hydrate. Tea and juice are other options if you need some more variety - just remember that juice still has calories and sugar and can easily cause weight gain if you drink a lot. Try to limit soda or coffee intake to a few times a week. In sum, minimizing weight gain can be a

difficult task without the right resources or budget. However, making small and simple changes can help you lead a healthier lifestyle. Rhea Li is a registered dietitian who received her Bachelor’s degree in nutrition and master’s degree in public health from the University of Texas. She has a special interest in working with children and has received her certification in pediatric weight management. Currently, she is working on a research study to determine the importance of nutrition in pediatric cancer patients. In the past, she has worked with pregnant women and their children. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family, exercising, traveling and, of course, eating. To contact Rhea, please visit or her Twitter account, @Rhea_Li.

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Gloria Mendoza Govan is mainly known for being the wife of Los Angeles Clippers player Matt Barnes and a former reality star on the hit TV series “Basketball Wives: LA.” Much notoriety was gained from not only her role on the TV show, which she appeared on for three seasons, but also for her turbulent relationship with Matt that has played out in the media over the last few years. In October 2014, the couple, who married in 2012, announced their separation. While at the recent premiere of “The Wedding Ringer,” Govan says she’s “letting it ride out” rather than airing all her personal business on social media. Gloria apparently first met Matt when only 12 years old. At that time, she vowed that one day they would marry, and years later, her prediction rang true. Though most would only know of Gloria through her estranged proballer husband, assuming by him she’d rest on her laurels, a VH1 blog revealed that Gloria’s parents own nightclubs in California. In the past, she’s stated that she hoped to open up a club like her parents,


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possibly in Orlando with her brother, and she was working on developing a crib mattress that would help prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). On “Basketball Wives,” Gloria held firm in her belief that what she and Matt shared was far superior to the experiences of others on the show. Her refusal to succumb to the questionable antics of her costars along with her refusal to accept the often-unsolicited advice of the other women, tended to keep her somewhat isolated at times. Yet now, Gloria, who Matt has described as an “attention seeker,” has joined the ranks of most of her former co-stars, a soon-to-be ex. With the TV show now behind her, it is the controversy between her and Matt that seems to keep the blogs talking rather than her current career aspirations as a model and actress. Take a look at some exclusive pictures of Gloria posing in beachwear. Go online to Facebook (/hersmagazine) or Twitter (@ hersmagazine) to tell us what you think.

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Gloria Govan is wearing Custom Made Stevie Boi Shades.


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Stevie and Gloria wear a pair from the “Aztec� collection. Shot in Los Angeles.


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JUST $9.95

F E AT U R E S • H E A R T • F L AVO R • H E A LT H L E S S O N S • W O R K • P L AY W W W. H E R S - M A G A Z I N E . C O M

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Five Surprising Ways To Reduce Allergens In Your House BY JENNIFER ADAMS

Springtime is drawing near! I love the flowers and the pale green sprouts, but if you have allergies, spring actually makes you feel sick. Tree pollen, dust, molds, shedding pets and much more causes discomfort for many year-round, but it can be worse in the spring. At home, you can reduce your symptoms by keeping things as clean and dust free as you can.


. Dust resistant window shades. Dust collects in window treatments, particularly in fabrics and on horizontal blinds. Hard materials are easier to clean, but it’s still a task. Consider vertical blinds or windows with built-in blinds contained between two layers of glass. These windows open up easily for cleaning, but since they don’t get as dusty you won’t need to do this often. And, in the meantime, any dust that collects is nicely contained between the glass panes.


Things you can do regularly include using moisture resistant pillow and mattress protectors, unscented detergent and fabric softeners for clothes and bedding, keeping pets off your bed, and regularly cleaning or replacing the filters in your vacuum and your furnace / air conditioners. Here are some other surprising ways that can reduce allergens in your home!


. Take off shoes at the door. This will help contain a lot of dirt and dust to just inside the door, not all over your house. A rug or rough stone flooring at the entry will help tremendously.


. Wash your hair at night. Logistically, this may be difficult for a lot of us, but the idea is that pollen and dust gets trapped in your hair, and if you wash it before sleeping, the dust doesn’t get all over your pillow.

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. Clean your refrigerator, inside and out, regularly. Mold can grow around the door gaskets, on the shelves and under the veggie drawers. The dust on the coils and around the ventilation can cause problems. Keep the tray under the water filler clean and dry.


. Get rid of potted plants. The plants may help clean the air, but the soil they grow in also can harbor mold. A mulch of aquarium stones may help. Also keep the bowl or tray the pots sit in clean.



GADGETS The Bluetooth Splash Speaker, $70 from Uncommongoods The Shutter Camera Remote, $20.00 Fancy yourself as bit of a photographer? Boldly display your photo fanaticism by using this quirky new mug. It looks and feels exactly like a real camera lens and will soon become an essential part of your photographer’s kit bag!! The mug boasts a stainless steel lining and a screw top lid - making it ideal for use as a travel mug without losing any of the design flair of the original! Not only will the lid stop any spills, the mug will also keep your drink warmer for longer. There is even a sip-top slide compartment to make it easy to drink on the go. To ensure the sip-top compartment is water-tight, slide to cover the opening click to secure! Encourage a few heads to turn when you’re out and about by hitting the streets with your coffee in this inspired vessel.

This Bluetooth 3.0 speaker has both extraordinary sound and is shower proof! Its tough rubber exterior and splash-resistant shell makes it perfect for use in the bathroom or outdoors. The Bluetooth capability also means that your gadget never has to be in harm’s way - the wireless signal works from up to 10 metres away! The speaker itself boasts crystal clear treble and amazingly deep bass - so you don’t have to compromise sound quality for convenience. A rubber lanyard makes it easy to hang in the shower or outdoors, while the Bluetooth capability extends to iPhone, Galaxy, Tablet and more.

Camera Lens Travel Mug, $29.95 Fancy yourself as bit of a photographer? Boldly display your photo fanaticism by using this quirky new mug. It looks and feels exactly like a real camera lens and will soon become an essential part of your photographer’s kit bag!! The mug boasts a stainless steel lining and a screw top lid - making it ideal for use as a travel mug without losing any of the design flair of the original!

You can even take calls on the speaker from 10 Metres so if you are in the pool you’ll never miss a call!

Not only will the lid stop any spills, the mug will also keep your drink warmer for longer. There is even a sip-top slide compartment to make it easy to drink on the go. To ensure the sip-top compartment is water-tight, slide to cover the opening click to secure!

The Splashproof Bluetooth Speaker has a rechargable in-built battery which provides the user with up to 4 hours of music for one recharge.

Encourage a few heads to turn when you’re out and about by hitting the streets with your coffee in this inspired vessel.

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Bank Accounts for Bad Credit


Unemployment, illness, and unexpected tragedies cause many people to have bad credit. Once your credit rating drops low, it is hard to bring it back up. There are bank accounts for folks with bad credit that can help you manage your finances while rebuilding your credit. Combining a current basic account with a prepaid credit builder credit card is a great way to get back on track with your credit. 76

Current Basic Accounts This type of account is true to its name. It is very basic and doesn’t have many frills. It does offer direct debit and a debit card. Energy companies like direct debit payments and this can save you money on your energy costs. Setting up direct debits to pay all of your bills will help you manage your money better so you can start paying down your debt. Basic accounts do not offer overdraft, checks, or pay interest. All you need to get a basic account is proof of residence and a proper ID.

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Credit Builder Credit Card This is a card that is designed to help rebuild your credit. The cards have set limits and you must show that you can stay under that amount and faithfully pay your bill each month. Apply for one of these cards only if you feel certain that you will not abuse it and will manage it responsibly. It is important to realize that if you exceed your credit limit or do not make your payments on time, it will be reflected in your credit history. Pay your bill in full every month and do not make cash


always be paid first. Do not cash your check and go shopping first. Pay the rent or mortgage, the energy bill, buy food, and pay other bills. Say no to the latest technology toy, and save any money left after bills for an unexpected expense that may occur later. Learn To Live Within A Budget When creating a budget, the first items listed are the things you cannot live without, such as shelter, electricity, gas, food, and then everything else. Most people get into credit problems because they didn’t know how to manage money they treated their very first credit card like a toy. Purchases were made for things that were not needed, and the bill added up fast. Soon the only payment made each month was the minimum required amount. Interest started adding up at that point, and the bill grew larger and larger. Before long, the minimum monthly payment grew too big and everything else spun out of control. That same scenario cannot continue if you ever hope to re-establish good credit. The things that you need each month are those things that provide shelter, warmth, and food. The expensive electronic gadgets, tablets, computers, and smart phones can wait for a day when all the bills are paid and there is “extra” money to purchase something you want more than need.

withdrawals. The interest rate on these cards is very high. Once you credit ratings improves, request a better rate. Secured Credit Card When you apply for a secured card you must deposit cash with the credit card issuer. The amount of cash you deposit is normally the amount your credit limit will be. The money stays with the card issuer as a security deposit in the event you do not make your payments. You must pay your bill each month on whatever amount

you use. It is not deducted from your deposit like a prepaid credit card is. All payments and non-payments are reported to the CRAs. Look for a secured card with low fees. Manage Your Spending Most people will admit the reason they are looking for a bank account for bad credit is because they are addicted to spending. Do not buy things you cannot afford. Learn to save money until you can afford to buy things. Your bills must

You can repair your credit no matter how badly damaged it is. Special current bank accounts for bad credit, as well as prepaid and secured credit cards, are tools to help you with the job of repairing your credit. Use the tools wisely along with some common sense and you will find you are able to restore your credit. Laura Ginn knows that when you have a bad credit rating you need to work on rebuilding it as soon as possible. Visit bad-credit/ to learn more about the bank accounts which are open to you when you are struggling with bad credit.

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ver hear of Virginia Woolf ? She was a 20th century writer and critic renowned for her sharp, witty viewpoints on women’s rights. Perhaps Woolf ’s most notable essay was A Room of One’s Own (1929), which highlighted this key point: a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. Irrespective of the social constraints women suffered during the early 1900s, Woolf positioned herself as a person of influence. She wrote passionately about women earning their own money, pursuing careers as writers (or whatever they wanted to be) and owning lucrative businesses. If only Woolf could see us now! Fast-forward 86 years; women have certainly come a long way! Women do indeed pursue careers. Some are bestselling authors, and many are successful entrepreneurs. To top it off, women have even run for president! With the passage of time, social constraints have relaxed considerably, as we can enter the workforce and perform tasks once reserved for men. We are wives, mothers, friends and in some instances, superheroes, putting ourselves in the line of fire for the greater good of our communities, as well as families. Yes, today’s woman has achieved great things 78

and can only strive to be even better moving ahead. So what is this place of her own that I refer to? Well, figuratively, it is a sanctuary that every woman should possess in order to feel reinvigorated emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. The key is to balance ourselves as we juggle the demands of life. This place symbolizes our peace of mind and health. In addition, this place can also be literal. Similar to Virginia Woolf, think about the position you’ve established. What have you done, and where do you intend to go in

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your personal and professional life? What impact have you had on peers, family members, and so forth? What valuable lessons have you learned along the way? Explore such thoughts and see what you come up with. No doubt, you’ll be proud of your accomplishments and also the fact that other women have paved the way for us all. We have a history to be grateful for. Charvella J. Campbell, author a collection of short stories titled “A Life Interrupted.”


Lentil Sloppy Joes GRETCHEN HOWARD

Hearty lentils offer meatless satisfaction in this reinterpretation of a childhood favorite. Serve on toasted whole wheat buns or use as a filling in

Yield: Serves 8

corn tortillas. Either way, prepare to get a little messy! Ingredients 1 1/2 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over 1 yellow onion, diced (about 2 1/2 cups) 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder 2 teaspoons paprika 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Directions Place lentils in a small pot. Cover with 2 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne and tomato paste.

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato paste 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 6 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 dried apricots, chopped 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes 8 whole wheat hamburger buns

Cook, stirring constantly until spices and tomato paste are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and then use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 2 cups water, garlic, apricots and crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and let sauce simmer until it thickens, at least 30 minutes. When lentils are cooked, drain off any excess cooking liquid. Add lentils to the pan with sauce; stir

well to combine. Mash some or all of the lentils using a wooden spoon. Toast hamburger buns in the oven, if desired. Ladle 1 cup of the lentil mixture on each toasted bun and serve.

Nutritional Info: Per Serving: 320 calories (25 from fat), 2.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 61g carbohydrate (12g dietary fiber, 15g sugar), 17g protein.

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The Furious Exploration of the Self BY ANDREA JURJEVIC’

“A wounded dear leaps the highest,” said Emily Dickinson. In her memoir The Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch, an Oregon writer, mother and teacher, not only leaps high, she does it with grace, rage, and she does it repeatedly. Among many brutal recollections, her stories tell of her childhood fraught with abuse and alcoholism and of her triumphing on her single strength— she was an excellent swimmer. It was an athletic scholarship to Texas Tech that opened a gateway to her, but soon she found herself swimming through failed marriages, the loss of a stillborn baby, peeling herself from the sticky webs of drugs, promiscuity, and even incarceration. The only thing that eclipses the wild surprises and turbulence of this memoir is the author’s persistence and fiercely beautiful storytelling. Think shredded life rendered as art. Yuknavitch thanks her ability to keep kicking, as she says, to her two mentors: Ken Kensley, a professor at University of Oregon who taught her how to write, and Kathy Acker, a dominatrix mistress through whose affliction of pain Yuknavitch “wept a cleansing” and “became again.” Right from the opening lines, we are pulled deep into the cold waters of reality. 80

“The day my daughter was stillborn, after I held the future pink and rose-lipped in my shivering arms, lifeless tender.” From here on, her stories flow in poetic, rich and uncompromising language despite the gritty reality they often depict. There is an eerie resemblance between water and memory, as well as Yuknavitch’s syntax and the book’s organization. Every scene is authentic. There is no performatory theatrics, no fudging, no propriety, whether she recounts sadomasochistic sex, sitting on the couch with her father as he fondles her arm and touches his crotch, or the thorough process of making up herself.

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After reading the book, we feel a physical reaction. It is a kind of a high that moves through the body and leaves a lingering sense of being overwhelmed but wanting to dive back into those pages. We want some of this woman’s ferocious strength to face what most people don’t—to explore her sexuality, to risk stability, to cultivate her individuality—and in doing that, never to silence her spirit, her natural intensity, but instead, to transform it into art. Yes, Yuknavitch as an artist leaps on these pages, and she does it because, “When pulled under, kick.”

For those facing a major life crisis, hitting progress barriers, or simply want to learn how to lead a more fulfilling and happy life. “What differentiates Bridging to Joy from similar-sounding approaches is its commitment to outlining the exact steps to ‘getting there’—and that’s what makes it a standout in both self-help and business genres.” —D. Donovan, Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review “Rather than cheerleading with superficial encouragement, Carr offers substantive suggestions and insight born of her extensive experience working one-on-one with clients in her life coaching practice. Her results-oriented approach is easily adaptable to any reader’s unique circumstances, whether the reader wishes to overcome a challenging life event, or simply feels stymied in reaching success and achieving happiness.” —US Review of Books, Recommended Read “A must-have tool for anyone who is looking to enhance their life or business in ways that they never thought possible.” By skilled life coach, transformation specialist and consultant Mary Taylor Carr,, Apple iBooks | M arch /A pri l 2 0 1 5 | H ER S

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BIG The Beauty and Business of



rom wearing butt lifters to rubbing on butt creams, everything is all about the butt lately, the bigger the better, it seems. The so-called “Michelangelo of buttocks injections,” a transgender hip-hop performer named Padge-Victoria Windslowe, is on trial for allegedly causing the death of a patient that he injected with food-grade silicon in 2011. That same year, Padge hosted a “pumping party” in Philadelphia, where someone claims to have been harmed, resulting in hospitalization. Stories like this continue to emerge in the news, as people desperate to transform their behinds undergo procedures from unlicensed individuals. Some even travel to other countries, such as Thailand and Brazil, where they reportedly “do the best work for less.” As more celebrities are now donning enhanced

buttocks – some claiming they are all natural, however – we wonder if the trend will become more popular. What do everyday women think of this trend? We asked them in our latest poll. Almost all (87%) of the respondents felt that having a plump butt was important. Only 13% of the respondents said they would consider getting their own butt enhanced. The majority, more than two-thirds (67%), said they would keep what they have. Meanwhile, one in five (20%) said “maybe” they’d consider it. What this means is that most women believe society, or more specifically men, prefers a rounder derriere. They may secretly envy the attention and seemingly overnight celebrity of those who have gotten career-defining butt augmentations. Still, they are not willing to alter their rear-ends to suit the current culture. Of those who may have gotten a little help from

silicone or whatever the substance may be, Iggy Azalea (38%) followed by Kim Kardashian (31%) were the top two for those whose butt enhancements made then more appealing. Getting attention from a hypersexualized anatomy is nothing new, and neither are women’s attempts to augment the appearance of their butts. Bustle dresses, worn during the 19th century, were designed to give the appearance of a bigger backside. Saartjie (pronounced “Saar-key”) Baartman is a tragic legendary figure who became one of the most famous women in the world because of her naturally enormous buttocks. She was exhibited as one of the freak show attractions in 19th-century Europe under the name “Hottentot Venus.” She faced social and personal oppression, as she was purportedly prostituted throughout the years, until her death at age 26 on December 29, 1815. Even after death, her body was reportedly dissected and kept on display at a museum in France so the freak show could continue. Women are objects of beauty who can enhance their appearance with a simple change in hair color or lipstick. That is only one part of our significance, though. The greater part resides in the way we love, support and care for the object of our affection – whether it’s a child or another women we call a “friend.” We love hard, and sometimes we pay a dear price for that. We should likewise be prized for our sensibility, which somewhat instinctively

allows us to seek and recognize truth. Because of this, we can sense a lie or deception almost at its inception. Given all our special characteristics, we, nevertheless, allow society to define our worth most profoundly based on our looks. Thus, the woman with the best and biggest body part wins in the attention category. Average women with big hearts and brains may get overlooked in some social situations. Maybe this is why the “Michelangelo of buttocks” exists and always will in some form. People simply envy other people’s attention without ever thinking about what kind of attention they are getting. Who is a bigger butt really for? A woman may claim she is having an augmentation to feel better about herself, but is that actually true? No matter how valuable you may tell your child or friend she is without physical augmentation, she may never truly hear you because the societal clamor for a sexier body is louder. Most people want to feel accepted by others, and in doing so, we alter just about anything to appeal to them. What if we learned to say “I’m good enough as is” and mean it. That would certainly change your world, although maybe not the world, but that’s a start. Having a bigger anything will surely attract more attention, but it will never garner you respect. The only way to get respect is to recognize your worth “as is” and to go through life confident about who you are and what you can achieve with what you’ve got. your individual makeup. | M arch /A pri l 2 0 1 5 | H ER S Ma gazin e |




year-round fabulous vacation spots BY PEGGY HATTENDORF

Push off skiing down the steep, snow covered hill - the wind against your face - heart pounding – adrenaline rushing – a combination of fear and total exhilaration. Sit with a hot cup of cocoa and gaze out the window at the icicles hanging from the eaves of the houses. Fresh powdery white snow from an overnight snowfall glistens in the morning sunlight. Head to the backcountry for Nordic skiing where the snow crystals twinkle along the perfectly prepared path. Feel the excitement of landing by helicopter and stepping out onto a glacier. Laugh with your children as you float in tubes in a pristine mountain lake. There’s something to enjoy winter, spring, summer or fall at these charming mountain resorts. These gems will give you reason to grab your skis now or plan for a family summer vacation.


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Aspen and Snowmass, Colorado are consistently ranked top ski areas by travel and ski publications. World-class skiing and world-class people watching. You can spot celebrities on the slopes, walking in town, shopping in the elegant boutiques or dining in the fashionable restaurants. With the extensive terrain there are places for all levels of skiers. Experts like the runs at Aspen Mountain, locals take to Aspen Highlands, beginners try Buttermilk and families flock to Snowmass. Winter activities not only include downhill skiing, but also cross-country skiing, tubing, snowbiking and Powder Tours on snowcats. Summer brings the perfect time for hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting as well as golf and tennis. Plan a visit to the Maroon Bells, with aspen forest, lofty granite peaks and alpine meadows. Located in the Snowmass Wilderness area, rising in elevation to over 14,000 feet, these mountains are the most photographed peaks in North America. Aspen has wonderful lodging choices with the Hotel Jerome and St. Regis at the top end of the spectrum as well as excellent mid-range priced hotels. There are noteworthy restaurants such as Pinons, Creperie du Village and The J. Bar at the Hotel Jerome. Aspen also has an engaging nightlife. Snowmass, part of the Aspen/ Snowmass ski resort complex in Snowmass Village, is 14.5 miles from Aspen and tends to be more affordable and family friendly, offering condos in every size and budget. Destination Resorts Snowmass Vacation Rentals offers a large inventory of properties.


Deems itself the “Last Great Ski Town” – authentic, friendly and free of crowds. This quaint 1880’s mining village, with its collection of colorful Victorian buildings, also holds the distinction of being the Wildflower Capital of Colorado. Skiing plays a central role in winter activities. The town erects a ski jump in the middle of downtown during the annual Big Air on Elk celebration. It also holds The Alley Loop which is the highest-altitude Nordic skiing marathon in the U.S. But it’s not short on other winter outdoor activities with snowboarding, dog sledding, iceskating, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Turning to summer, Crested Butte hosts a six-week Music Festival featuring free outdoor concerts and art walk. The town is a mountain bike paradise and even has a festival for that too. Accommodations in Crested Butte range from historic hotels and inns in the heart of town, to bed and breakfasts, condos and hostels spread around the area. For an interesting dining experience, try the Sleigh Ride Dinner to Uley’s Cabin.

Crested Butte, Colorado

Lake Placid, New York Delights in its sports history - home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games. It still operates a training ground for new athletes staying true to its Olympic heritage. It features a ski-jumping complex, bobsled run at Mount Van Hoevenberg and ice rinks on Main Street. But it is also one of the oldest vacation destinations in America, and during The Gilded Age, the well-heeled visitors held court at the Lake 88

Placid Club. Here one can ski the greatest vertical drop in the east at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington or enjoy world class Alpine skiing. Summer weather brings forth hiking, boating, fishing, golfing and biking. Lake Placid has a vibrant arts scene and film festival. Learn more about the Olympic Games with a visit to the Lake Placid

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Winter Olympic Museum. There are accommodations for every budget. At the top end are the Lake Placid Lodge, Whiteface Lodge and Mirror Lake Inn. The Crown Plaza Resort & Golf Club and Best Western Adirondack Inn Lake Placid are mid-range properties. For a memorable dining experience try Paradox Lodge or The View Restaurant at Mirror Lake Inn.


Lies in the German speaking part of Switzerland and is nestled at the foot of the Matterhorn, in the southern part of the country. One cannot think of Zermatt without thinking about the Matterhorn. It’s the highest ski resort in Europe with the world’s second biggest lift served vertical drop truly a skier’s paradise. Surrounded by three major ski areas - SunneggaRothorn, Gornergrat, and Klein Matterhorn - it features over 245km (153 miles) of pistes (marked ski trails) with the whitest of white snow. Snowfall is almost guaranteed 365 days a year. Funiculars, gondolas and cable cars carry you to panoramic peaks to view the Matterhorn 4478m (14,691.60ft) rising majestically in the distance. With over 400km (248.5miles) of hiking trails and footpaths, summer is a perfect time to show

Zermatt, Switzerland

off the other natural beauty of the Swiss Alps. For once-in-a-lifetime experiences, try swimming in a glacier fed mountain lake or skiing on a glacier. The summer of 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the first ascent to the summit of the Matterhorn and will be celebrated with a festival and the re-opening of the open air theatre. Learn more about this historic adventure in the Matterhorn Museum. The beautiful town of Zermatt is auto-free to allow for strolling but battery-powered taxis and buses are available. The town and environs feature well established lodging choices like the Grand Hotel Zermattenhof, Mont Cervin Palace, Hotel Monte Rosa and the Parkhotel Beau Site. The Après-ski is almost as regal as the skiing and the natural beauty of the area. It’s a gourmet’s delight with fabulous fare and international cuisine.

Heavenly Valley, California Has the unique setting of Lake Tahoe, the largest Alpine lake in North America, as a stunning backdrop. The lake is 22 miles long, 12 miles wide, with 72 miles of shoreline and covers a surface area of 191.6 square miles in two states – California and Nevada. At Heavenly Ski Resort, skiers can enjoy 97 trails in the midst of more than 4,800 total acres in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. At the Alpine skiing elevations, the snowfall averages 300-500 inches per year earning the reputation of having the most skiable terrain in Tahoe. Located in South Lake Tahoe, Heavenly is close to the Casino area and the middle of the action. Heavenly Village is home to the gondola, shopping, dining, ice-skating and 8-plex cinema. A ride in the Heavenly Mountain Gondola affords magnificent panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. The California and Gunbarrel Runs offer good starting points for all levels of skiers. The Nevada Base with Boulder Lodge and Run are also appropriate for all abilities while Stagecoach Lodge and Run caters to intermediate and advanced skiers. While skiing is prominent, you can also enjoy ice-skating, European sleigh rides and dog sledding. During the summer, boating, hiking, biking, fishing, rock climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, water skiing as well as golf and tennis, take center stage in this immensely popular tourist destination. This large vacation area is not short on accommodations with the Casino hotels and resorts, timeshares, condos, bed and breakfasts along with the main hotel brands. There are restaurants for every taste and budget.

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Chamonix, France Located in the south-eastern part of France, this well-heeled and established ski resort, hosted the first Olympic Games in 1924. This jewel rests at the foot of imposing Mont Blanc, 4,810m (15,781ft) the highest peak in Western Europe. It is known for its extremely long slopes, skiing through forests, free-styling and off-pistes. The three main ski areas are the Argentiere glacier, Lognan and the Pendant. Lognan beckons free-style enthusiasts with snowpack and boardercross. Winter outdoor adventurers also enjoy mountain and ice climbing and paragliding. A 20 minute ride in the Aiguille du Midi cable car from the centre of Chamonix takes you to the gateway of the high Alps. The terraces at the cable car landing at the height of 3,777m

(12,378.61ft) offer a 360-degree view of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. A total glass enclosure – skywalk - opened in 2013, at the tip of the Aiguille du Midi mountain peak, allows you to gaze at, down and over the Alps, Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc. Summer is the time for mountain biking, paragliding, rock climbing, trail running and all types of water sports. For an interesting adventure take the Mont Blanc Tramway. Accommodations range from the Grand Hotel des Alps, Mercure Chamonix Centre, Le Hameau Albert 1er Hotel, and Mont Blanc Hotel, to apartments, chalets and bed and breakfasts. For fine dining, The Albert Premier Restaurant has a 2-starred Michelin rating.

Wanaka, New Zealand Is renowned as having the largest skiable terrain outside of North America. On New Zealand’s South Island, the breathtaking Lake Wanaka area is surrounded by the Southern Alps. The winter season runs from 1 June to 31 August with an average temperature of 10c (50f.) The main dedicated ski areas are Cardrona, Alpine Resort, Treble Cove (the largest Ice Field in the South Island and longest vertical drop) and Snow Farm. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables 90

Is an eclectic town located in the Rocky Mountains West. There’s a mix of ranchers, artists, professors (Montana State University), entrepreneurs and retirees drawn to the small town atmosphere and outdoor lifestyle and recreation. Winter activities center primarily at the three major ski areas – Bridger Bowl, Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Resort. Bozeman boasts 5,512 skiable acres of terrain with 220 runs over 110 miles. Summer fun includes hiking, biking, fly fishing, rafting and backpacking. A good sense of the history of the area is found at the Museum of the Rockies. Within easy driving distance are the Lewis and Clark Caverns and Yellowstone National Park. Depending on the season, you can marvel at the geysers and glaciers and possible sightings of bison, goats, grizzles and wolves at Yellowstone. The Big Sky Resort offers various types of accommodations from hotel rooms, condos, cabins and home rentals. The major chain hotels also have a presence in Bozeman. Good old fashioned American and regional fare are featured prominent in the restaurants.

Bozeman, Montana Mountain Range are just an hour away. If downhill or cross-country skiing are not your preferences, there’s also dogsledding, ice and snow driving, tubing, sledding at the Ice Farm, heli-skiing and snowboarding. With a hot and dry Mediterranean climate, during the summer months of December through February attention turns to jet boating, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, hiking and swimming. It’s the gateway to Mount Aspiring

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National Park, a World Heritage Area and an alpine delight with its towering peaks. Accommodations range from the normal chain brands, timeshares, lodges and bed and breakfasts. There’s a Wyndam Vacation Resort and Grand Mercure Oakridge Resort. Restaurants specialize as much in their cuisine as they do in the magnificent views of the lake and mountains.


Tucked between the Cascade Mountains and the high desert plateaus of Central Oregon, this once quiet lumbertown is now an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. During the winter, there is an average of 30 feet of snow at the Mount Bachelor Ski Resort, making it a perfect choice for Alpine or Nordic skiing on more than 43.49 miles of trails. At the ski resort you can also enjoy sled dog rides, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. The summer months provide the perfect weather for rock climbing at Smith Rock, hiking, biking, fly fishing in trout streams, trail running and mountain biking. Explore the caves and lava tubs tunneling beneath the town of Bend. The lava tubes represent one of the most unique geological features in Central Oregon. As the caves are far underground, they maintain a constant temperature of 45-degrees Fahrenheit. Accommodations include the Mount Bachelor Village Resort, the upscale Brasada Ranch, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts as well as the major hotel chains. Sample the local fare at the breweries and wineries.

Niseko, Japan

Bozeman, Montana

Is 100km (62.13 miles) southwest of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido. Niseko is situated near Mount Yotei, the Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido. As one of the most famous ski resorts in Japan, it’s known for its deep white snow, great offpiste terrain and easily accessible backcountry or slackcountry. Here you can find both alpine and tree skiing. Sunshine is a rarity in Niseko during the winter months and gondola companies have hooded chair lifts to allow for a more comfortable ride in inclement weather. Four interconnected ski runs surround the area – Annupuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu and Hanazono. It’s a winter wonderland not only for skiing but also snowboarding, snowmobiling, snow rafting, snowshoeing, catskiing and snow tubing - with the abundance

of fabulous powder averaging 15-16 metres (52.49 ft) per season. Summer fun continues with horseback riding, rafting down the Shiribetsu River, climbing, hiking, as well as golf and tennis. The area is known for it natural volcanic and mineral hot springs called “onsen” in Japanese. There is a great village vibe and an array of activities with English widely spoken and understood. Head to Hirafu for dining and Niseko for nightlife. Here you can find traditional Japanese pensiones, lodges, and apartments for rent, as well as hotels like the Hilton Niseko Village. Called the breadbasket of Japan, Hokkaido’s fertile land brings a bounty of vegetables and as an island it has a wealth of seafood. Experience Japanese, fusion and European cuisine.

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Sun Valley and Ketchum, Idaho have both benefited from their geographic proximity. Sun Valley has been known as a charming, cosmopolitan and international winter playground for over 80 years. Ketchum, once just another mining and ranching town, is now also a booming resort. This town is also fondly known as the final home of Ernest Hemingway. The 3,400 vertical feet of fall line terrain, limitless backcountry access and some of the lightest powder in the Rockies make Bald Mountain another

skier’s paradise. There’s heli-skiing in the magnificent Sawtooth Mountain Range, cross-country skiing at Harriman Trail near Ketchum, snowshoeing, ice-skating and a Nordic Festival during the winter. With its international appeal, Sun Valley has a highly regarded art scene with numerous galleries. Sun Valley provides prestigious live theater with plays, musicals and opera and hosts its own Film Festival. Summer activities include hiking, biking as well as golf and tennis. And to get a taste

Mont Tremblant, Quebec Canada 92

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of the real west, head over to Ketchum for its Wagon Days and Trailing the Sheep Parades. Lodging choices include the historic Sun Valley Lodge built in 1936, Tamarack Lodge in Ketchum as well as condos, chain brand hotels and private home rentals. With over 50 restaurants in Sun Valley and Ketchum, there is something for every palate.

Tremblant, located in the Laurentides region of Quebec on the shores of Lac Tremblant, is a picturesque European style pedestrian village, with red and green roofed 100-year old houses. The Casino Mont Tremblant is connected to the village of Tremblant by a gondola and shuttle service. With its Canadian winter weather, snow activities abound. The numerous choices include 96 ski trails, dogsledding, sleigh rides, iceclimbing, snowmobiling, ice-fishing, ice-skating, snowboarding, dune buggy tours and snowshoeing with Fondue tours. When the weather warms in the summer, outdoor adventure takes to zip lining, horseback riding, biking, boating, water skiing, fishing, hiking and golf. The city hosts an International Blues Festival. Lodging choices include a variety of ski-in ski-out accommodations like the upscale Bondurant condos in the village close to shops, restaurants and activities. In addition, there’s the Hotel Quintessence on the lake, Westin Hotel and Resort, Fairmont Tremblant and Homewood suites. This is an international and cosmopolitan resort with cuisine to match. Come for one season and return for another – these are truly towns and villages to explore over and over again.


10 Skin Care Tips Here are some tips to help prevent breakouts and clear them up as fast as possible: 1. Wash your face twice a day (no more) with warm water and a mild soap made for people with acne.

2. After cleansing, applying an overthe-counter (no prescription needed) lotion containing benzoyl peroxide.

5. To keep bacteria at bay, wash your hands before applying anything to your face, such as treatment creams or makeup.

6. If you wear glasses or sunglasses, 3. Don’t pop pimples. Popping pimples can push infected material further into the skin, leading to more swelling and redness, and even scarring.

make sure you clean them frequently to keep oil from clogging the pores around your eyes and nose.

8. Remove your makeup before you go to sleep.

9. Keep hair clean and out of your face to prevent additional dirt and oil from clogging your pores.

7. If you get acne on your body, 4. Avoid touching your face with your fingers or leaning your face on objects that collect sebum and skin residue like the telephone receiver.

try not to wear tight clothes, which doesn’t allow skin to breathe and may cause irritation. Stay away from scarves, headbands, and caps, which can collect dirt and oil, too.

10. Protect your skin from the sun.

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How to Dance the Tango in 8 Moves BY INGRID MICHAELSON

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If there is one dance that people consider romantic and sexy, it would be the tango. It comes as no surprise that many people show a lot of interest in learning the famous moves they’ve seen in movies. Not to mention, the sultry dresses women wear! As they swing and move their legs to the beat of the earthy and dramatic music, the swish of the skirt is a mesmerizing sight indeed. Unlike the other ballroom dances, the movements involved in tango can either be slow and smooth, or sharp and strong. It is distinctive in its own right and easy on the eyes. A quick leg flip and a head snap usually signals the beginning of the dance. Tango is a dance made for lovers. While it has the same circular flow as most other styles have, there is a sense of need emanating for both the man and woman. It seems as if they crave for the touch of the other person while their feelings of passion radiate all throughout the dance. Although it looks very complicated, the basic choreography involves alternating movement of the feet. The man starts and the woman mirrors his movements. Some people prefer to learn the tango with the help of the instructor. While studios can be found practically anywhere, you can equip yourself ahead of time by learning the most basic steps:

1 2

Stand up beside your partner and hold him close.

As he moves his right foot back, you step forward using left foot. The foot moves to where the body leans. Keep your heel off the ground while your leg trails smoothly. Avoid bouncing at all costs. Allow your heel to touch the floor only when you take a step back.


As he brings his left foot to the side, do the same with your right. This lateral movement begins with the leading foot extending to either direction that is quickly followed by shift in weight. Your feet come together soon after.

4 5 6 7 8

Switch sides and mirror his movement.

As he pivots his right foot to the left, do the same with your left. The leading leg should pull your body weight. Switch sides when he does.

Add toe-taps and a variety of other movements only when you’ve grown comfortable and familiar with the dance.

Think like a cat and try to move like one all throughout. And remember, some people believe that it is actually the women who do the first move. However you chose to do it, you shouldn’t act like a ragged doll being dragged around.

Tango is very much like walking with your partner. The major distinction here is that you face and hold each other close as you traipse your way through the floor. For those who feel the need to challenge themselves, the dance does get complicated. As for those who live in a world of self-reliance, there are those who believe that you can add your own personal movements to the dance. Just know that as an active participant, you must exude passion. After all, what good is the tango without the emotion? Ingrid Michaelson is a 20 year instructor and career ballroom dancer. For more information on getting dance lessons in Manchester, visit http://

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It’s no secret that women are up and coming in the arts. The strong, independent woman is in now. TV rather than film has picked up on the trend and popular networks are now airing some great, female-centric shows. Here is a list (in no particular order) of our top five favorite powerful women currently on TV.

Revenge: Yet another ABC hit,

Orange is the New Black:

An original Netflix series, Orange is the New Black is unique because it is the one show where the cast is primarily women. It takes place in a women’s prison and highlights a diversity of women with different backgrounds, sexualities, and unpredictable personalities. It’s off beat humor will ring true with women of all kinds, even if the situation is extreme.

Revenge follows the life of Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp) who comes to the Hamptons to take revenge on the people who framed her father for treason. Revenge has had a strong run and is currently the most popular ABC show since Lost. Much of the popularity comes from the personal twists and turns in Amanda Clarke’s life, her vibrant supportive cast, and the ever-unpredictable plot that leaves the audience wanting more.

Orphan Black Agent Carter Women have a bone to pick with Marvel. After denying fans a solo Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) movie because there “wasn’t enough interest,” they went into development with AntMan. If you’re asking “Ant-Who?” then you’re in the majority. After turning down a powerhouse female protagonist for another bland, same-old-story male protagonist, Marvel threw the fandom a bone with the female-led Captain American spinoff series, Agent Carter. Taking place in the 1920s, Agent Carter has received some criticism for their Mad Men-esque blatantly misogynistic male characters. However, no one can deny that Hayley Atwell is a power house as the female spy Agent Carter and serves as a great example for women trapped in a male dominated society, constantly using her wits and her skill to get ahead.


How to Get Away With Murder It’s hard not to love Viola Davis. Even harder when she’s a hard-edged law professor, intent on building the perfect team, all the while caught between two separate lives. While she has a talented supporting cast, it’s hard to match the strength and genuine emotion of Viola Davis and the supporting cast tends to fall to the wayside. Still, lovers of crime and legal dramas will delight in this ABC show.

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Orphan Black is a wildly unique show in that the highlight is not the show itself, but the making of the show. The plot itself is unique--a woman realizes that there are clones of her all around the world and races the clock to uncover the nefarious plot behind the twisted science experiment. However, the real draw of the show is the main actress herself, Tatiana Maslany. She plays each and every clone, which makes her not only 90% of the cast but also wildly talented. She effortlessly slips into the different skins of each character, from a street-smart criminal to troubled dirty cop, lesbian alternative scientist, and a Russian madwoman. Not only is each transition brilliantly done, but she also makes each character so unique that the viewer truly feels like they’re watching multiple actors. Whether or not you’re a fan of science fiction, Orphan Black is worth a watch just for the actresses skill set.

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Female Director Takes on Race BY DONTE SLOCUM


elma comes out at a pertinent time for the nation; the past two years have seen muchpublicized acts of police brutality, racial violence and mass public demonstrations. Questions of civil and inalienable rights are as prominent today as they were in the 1960s. Selma tells the story behind the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) is called to Selma, Alabama, to help the local black people in their voting rights campaign. King must also garner support from Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), who is dragging his feet on the matter in order to get his own agenda across in Congress. Director Ava DuVernay pulls back the curtain of history, takes the key historical figures off their pedestals, and gives the audience a glimpse of their worries, their anxieties, and their humanness. DuVernay shows the price Dr. King paid in his commitment to nonviolent protest during the struggle for Civil Rights. She strikes a balance between showing Dr. King as a leader and Martin Luther King as a family man; that is when he is able to get away and see his family. Though playing Coretta Scott King in only a handful of scenes, Carmen Ejogo brings elegant subtlety and a quiet tenacity to the role. Coretta has the important and, at times, thankless job of keeping Dr. King going. Some of the best moments of the film are the quiet but fleeting moments with the King family, including a gorgeous long take of Dr. King going from room to room checking on his sleeping children. DuVernay’s biggest strength is her ability to capture great compositions and poetic imagery. She saves her best work for the attempts at the titular march: The “Bloody Sunday” attack on demonstrators is visceral and harrowing. The second attempt at the march shows Dr. King kneeling with demonstrators in prayer on the bridge; it’s a powerful moment that create chills and underlines why he’s the leader of the movement. Historical dramas are notorious for being stuffy and rigid but DuVerany lends sincerity and authenticity to Selma. Selma is exceptional and well-crafted; the editing, camera movement and acting mend together to create an immaculate film. Donte’ Slocum is a geek who subsists on movies, books, pop culture and superheroes. You can find him at

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Madonna is Only Human



ove her or loathe her, Madonna is back in full fury with the release of her latest album, Rebel Heart. Though the album was initially intended for release later in the year. After a few tracks leaked, her label was forced to release the first half of the album. While the marketing might seem a little strange, at very least it gives us, and the rest of the world, a chance to sample the album before it’s official release. Rebel Heart starts off with more of a whimper than a bang. The first track, Living for Love, doesn’t do the album justice. It starts off like something that would play in a dentist office. Devil Pray is a little more like it. Madonna incorporates a lot of her standard religious (or, depending who you’re taking to, sacrilegious) iconography within the lyrics of the song. The message is a strange blend of hippie-era drug worship (is acid still a thing?) and genuine soul searching. There are a little too much synthetics in some of the tracks, giving the impression that they’re masking years of wear and tear on her voice, but then Madonna busts into Ghosttown. The song proves, above all, that Madonna is not irrelevant in the 21st century. She manages to bring a surprisingly modern sound to her music and her voice, providing fierce competition to the “young and fresh” pop stars, including Rihanna or Sia. Unapologetic Bitch is in the same line. Illuminati sounds the most like a homage to her fans of the 80s, mainly with her opening monologue and pulsing electronic feel. Ironically, Madonna blends in smoothly to the age of electronic, rusty metal synthetic pop. In many ways, she rode the initial wave of incorporating synthetic sounds in her music. With that said, there is still an aged quality to her sound. Bitch I’m Madonna featuring Nicki Minaj is a very obvious attempt to break into club music, but it feels more like something Mrs. Pacman would rock out to. At the end of the day, Madonna has a lot to prove with this album. It is a clear effort to stay true to Madonna’s old sound, as well as update her.


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Ultimately, no one is arguing that Madonna is a legend, but maybe she is destined to be just that—a legend of something that was once great. Songs like Ghosttown proves that Madonna does have it in her to rise to the occasion again, but Rebel Heart doesn’t have the shock-and-awe spice that long-time Madonna fans are accustomed to hearing. As Madonna herself admits in the lyrics, “I can’t be a superhero right now…I’m only human.” This is, however, only the first half of her album, so there may still be a trick or two up Madonna’s sleeve. Look out for Rebel Heart in March.

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No One Puts Baby In A Corner BY PAIGE HOVEY


wenty-eight years after her unforgettable introduction in 1987, Frances “Baby” Houseman leapt from the corner of the silver screen and onto a live stage at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Dirty Dancing- The Classic Story on Stage stopped at the Fox for a five day run in late November. Producers intended to place the audience “in” the movie. Everything was nearly the same from start to finish, sans a few details. A few supplemental songs that effortlessly fit the story and era were added to the recognizable soundtrack. According to creator Eleanor Bergstein, she tried very hard to get these songs into the movie soundtrack, but they were beyond the budget at the time. This was her second chance to incorporate these missing songs into the story, just as she originally intended. The pressure to stick to the formula, however, was on. The classic film has been watched and beloved by millions of zealous fans for over a quarter of a century. This stage musical was not only made for those who have seen the movie, but also for those who have seen the movie countless times and know every minute of film by heart. Patrons most likely to buy tickets expect status quo. Set designer Stephen Brimson Lewis chose minimalism to devise a genius series of versatile stages that transitioned seamlessly from one to another. One moment, we are with Baby at a racy employee party, and within a blink we arrive with her to a wholesome family outdoor activity. Even in the field, forest, and lake scenes when Johnny and Baby practice doing the catch, the setting was impressively clever and never unclear. If I had to guess how the show’s budget was prioritized, I would bet that most money was spent on eye-catching costuming, lighting, and choreography. Funds seemed to be saved on “triple threat” talent that we’re so used to seeing in all other Broadway shows. If not for a couple of powerhouse vocal soloists, the show could hardly pass as a musical. The cast included the two singers, a few respectable actors, and of course about a dozen exceptional dancers. The skill of the dancers and entertainment value of the show itself accounted for the missing traditional musical components. Jillian Mueller played the fresh-faced daddy’s girl “Baby,” whose transition from girlhood to womanhood advanced beautifully and gracefully. The way she looked at the faculty of dancers for the first time showed the awe and envy for who she wanted to become. Her costuming was a character all its own in her maturation, growing Baby up right before

the eyes of the audience. Seasoned and broken-in Johnny Castle was portrayed by Samuel Pergande. As an excellent dancer with impressive credentials, his footwork was mesmerizing. His disposition toward Baby made it clear in their first scenes together that he found her to be a burden with whom he did not want to be bothered. Unfortunately, that treatment continued throughout the show. Samuel seemed to have no fun with the role and Johnny’s evolution to a kinder, softened man did not make it past the stage. Johnny remained a cold, rigid character and his lines were recited with monotoned resentment. Off the dance floor, there wasn’t a degree of heat between the two leads, but with music, the flame rose. Samuel’s inner actor clearly lives in his legs, as the absent passion and love for Baby came to life with no resistance during the duo’s dances. The producers very much delivered directly to their aim to bring the movie to life. The stage production was a near carbon copy of the ‘87 film, but with modernized color palettes and brighter, jazzier visuals. Along with a few added songs and a quick scene or two of extra dialogue, it was every bit the timeless film painted onto a stage. I would strongly wager it hit the mark for die-hard fans, and for those new to the story, it was a fun, visually stunning, and highly entertaining event. Paige Hovey is an Atlanta-based freelance columnist specializing in food writing, theater, interpersonal dynamics, religious philosophy, and personal growth. She can be reached at

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Hers magazine March/April 2015  

In this issue, we celebrate women's history and accomplishments, including 20 of the most recent female filmmakers. We talk to women like Be...

Hers magazine March/April 2015  

In this issue, we celebrate women's history and accomplishments, including 20 of the most recent female filmmakers. We talk to women like Be...