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Editor-in-Chief, Annette Johnson Design Director, Joey Shepherd Online Editor, Bianca Nelson Home Editor, Jennifer Adams Travel Editor, Peggy Hattendorf Financial Editor, Deborah Hightower Social Media Director, Tamara King Editorial Assistant, Jazmyne Crowder Sales Manager, Mary Taylor Special Projects Manager, Veronique Thomas Contributors: Dylan Callens Allyn Evans Precious Hughes Jaime Johnson Sara Lanier Dr. Curtis McElroy Rachel Schroath Tommeka Semien Cover photo (Evelyn Braxton): Derek White, photography Selena Hulett, fashion stylist Fallon Armbrister, make-up Tyiesha Mitchell, hair Natasha Harvey, nail design Shonett Arnold Hill, custom jewelry Clothing provided by Bridge Boutique, Atlanta, Ga (Virginia Highland) Inside photo spread (Tameka Raymond): Ralph Williams, photography Fallon Armbrister, make-up Tyiesha Mitchell, hair Natasha Harvey, nail design Clothing provided by Paparazzi, Atlanta, Ga (Perimeter Mall) Customer Service For subscription service or change of address, including email, contact info@hersmagazine.net or write to P.O. Box 1071, Atlanta, GA 30301 Hers (ISSN 2372-3785) is published six times per year by Allwrite Communications, 50 Hurt Plaza, Suite 1448 Atlanta, GA 30303 404-221-0703



8 Tameka Raymond: A Woman After Fame No longer married to her famous ex, Tameka seeks her own claim to fame


(Music) Artists to Watch in 2016

These four young rising stars are getting major attention for their fan favorite music

12 Healing or Hoax?

Tijuana clinic promises woman an alternative hope for cancer treatment

36 How to Read Between the Lines With a Man Ways

men try to show women how they truly feel but we may be missing

38 Make a Teacher Smile: Supply, Surprise & Inspire Find out what gifts teachers most look forward to and actually use


Summer Wear that Boosts Your Confidence

Lisa and Lucyǯs latest collection is full of breathable, bold looks 4

40 Mother’s Day and Father’s Day DIY Ideas Fun,

creative crafts that kids can do with mom and dad

42 What Did You Just Say? Deciphering common slang our kids use

H E R H E A LT H 26 Best Ways to Burn Calories and Lose Weight Should you do cardio exercise or weight training to lose weight

16 Natural Ways to Protect Skin from Sun Damaging Rays

These natural oils can provide SPF protection

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30 Sitting is the New Smoking? Sitting too long can be just as detrimental as other poor lifestyle choices


28 Pick one: Rich or Poor, 5 Habits that Separate the Two Five money habits that can

keep you from the poor group and begin a journey to rich

41 Signs that You’re Doing Bad Business These are seven critical indications that your business could be in peril

32 Evelyn Braxton: Her Many Expressions of Motherhood “Miss Evelyn” dishes on her famous kids and her past heartbreak

43 (Books) Blended But Not Broken Popular radio personality Sasha The Diva releases her new book on blended families

44 Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Not Just for the Rich & Famous Taking your wedding on the road may be less expensive and even more memorable

50 (TV) Summer TV for Her All new seasons premiere for some of our favorite small screen shows

51 (Movies) Summer Movie Picks From Mothers and Daughters to Bad Moms, enjoy this summer fare with relatable characters hers-magazine.com

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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 6

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Editor’s Letter

ruly, a woman doesn’t have to biologically parent, or give birth to, a child in order to be a Dzmother. dz A woman who is responsible for the rearing and care of a child is also a mother. She can be an aunt, cousin, stepparent, or even a friend. In this issue, we meet all types of mothers, two of whom are parents to famous children: Evelyn Braxton and Tameka Raymond. Each shares insight into her family life before, during and even after the fame. With a spotlight on celebrating special parental figures (Mother’s and Father’s Day), design queen Jennifer Adams shares fun DIY craft ideas that make the occasion even more memorable. Similarly, we provide Dzgift-keepingdz ideas for teachers, who function as defacto parents during the workday. Who knew that teachers give away the impractical, thoughtless gifts we often give them? Well, you’ll learn what they really want. Read on...


With so much focus on what women do and want, we also remind women of what they may need: to pay attention to a good man who may be right in front oftheir face. Too often, we are guided by misguided notions about what a man should be rather than appreciating who he is – just as we would want him to do for us. As some focus on what a man can do for them, financial editor Deborah Hightower reminds us that our own habits are what dictate whether we end up rich or poor, not if we choose the right man. With the right monetary mindset and man, planning a destination wedding could be more feasible than a local ceremony, according to one destination wedding specialist, who breaks down the advantages. No amount of money can buy good health, so as always, we remind our readers of lifestyle choices that can inhibit good health. Strangely, this includes sitting, which is now being compared to smoking. Readers can

look no further than their kitchen cabinets to find natural oils to protect against damaging sunrays. They are also challenged to look within themselves for signs that they may be prohibiting their business dreams from fully developing. Are you guilty of arrogance, for instance? The summer is almost here, and so are new fashions that can actually boost your confidence. Check them out along with the new small and big screen releases featuring some of your favorite actresses in comedic roles. Remember that laughter and even a smile can undo the temptation to focus on the negative. We are #HersNation and we make it happen – while looking good with a smile. Until, Annette R. Johnson

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n a world where printed newspapers no longer hold as much value due to theirslower release of information, we as a tech-savvy generation look to the new, continually updated, easily accessible social media outlets for information, even our up-to-the-minute news updates. We also get “the tea,” gossip or just the plain ol’ truth via social media. Sometimes, social sites are places where it’ s difficult to decipher truth from lies, so I was determined to uncover the truth about Tameka J. Foster, formerly Tameka J. Raymond, and her new life. During Tameka’s very public pregnancy, marriage and divorce to Usher Raymond, she remained a trending topic on social media. People wanted to find out as much as they could about the former Mrs. Raymond. What we learned is a fact that Tameka J. Foster was once married to Ryan Glover, and the couple had two sons. She then remarried her once best friend and client Usher Raymond. After two years and two boys later, the divorce was announced publically in 2009. Again, as was true throughout the relationship, social media was abuzz in search of the cause and circumstances surrounding the divorce. Many gossip blogs and social media 8

“I always say I am a lot of things. I am a mother, and that’ s a title I hold with high regard because it’ s a great responsibility that is given. I didn’ t realize that until my second child. ” outlets have categorized the mother of five as a damsel who is terribly “insecure” with a “nasty attitude” and, most of all, unwilling to let go of her past life with ex-husband Usher. On March 25, 2016, I would have a chance to determine for myself if the characterization was unfounded, more about envy and shade rather than grounded in truth. I met with Tameka at Houston’ s Restaurant on the outskirts of metro Atlanta. Greeted immediately by a cheerful, accommodating hostess, two feelings combined into one, a bit nervous about the wondering eyes and slightly bothered by the noise level. The hostess asked about seat preference and I glanced at Tameka. With a wide-eyed smile, she and I both said“a booth.” Adding to the late-afternoon crowd in the restaurant, waitresses and the hostess

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continued in sync after we were seated. Seemingly unbothered by the bustle, Tameka sat settled in a throw-over dress with a unique pattern and cross-body bag. Her skin looked healthy, without a trace of tension, and her hair was neatly curled, falling softly around her face. She had the poise of a self-confident, wise woman who had learned patience and experienced pain but embodied no apologies. In describing who she really is, she painted a well-rounded persona, committed to motherhood, as well as entrepreneurial endeavors. She said, “I always say I am a lot of things. I am a mother, and that’ s a title I hold with high regard because it’ s a great responsibility that is given. I didn’t realize that until my second child. The first time I was young and I thought I was doing all the ‘



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+ F E AT U R E D

“I never thought of having a two-car garage and the white picket fence. I wanted to be a neurosurgeon or a lawyer. I wanted a boy and a girl, but I never dreamed of being married. Oh, and I was going to drive a Mercedes.” mommy things,’ but it’ s really a blessing to have a child come through you.” She beams with pride when talking about her sons, including Ryan, who she says is a star high school quarterback. She already recognizes that young Usher V will likely end up in entertainment, much like his famous father. Meanwhile, she seems content inproviding the support


system her boys need, such as team mom and along with other parental duties, while she pursues her own professional creative ventures. “I am a business woman, so my mind never stops. I am always thinking of the next best invention (laughs loudly), like the next mop,” she adds. “And I am a funny person. People don’ t know that about me, but I take life

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with a grain of salt.” How does she handle others’ negative opinions of her? She simply says, “I don’t. I went through that with my last husband, wondering and internalizing. I would stand in front of the mirror like (blank stare and searches the restaurant) Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!! But now I have learned to not care.” Tameka says the comments not only affected her, but also her marriage at the time. “Some [people] are naysayers you know, and it certainly took a toll on my last marriage. I was constantly trying to correct myself and about things that were said. But half of the time, those people were thumb thugs, and hurt people hurt people... When I thrust into [social media], I didn’t know what I know now. My ex-husband, we didn’t know what we know now. I mean the block is HOT (laughs out loudly).” She readily admits that there was a period of personal growth after her last divorce. “I definitely had to grow.” Even now, she constantly reminds herself that those who comment do not pay her bills. Surprisingly, being married with a large family was never something she aspired to having. She had envisioned a professional career instead. “I never thought of having a two-car garage and the white picket fence. I wanted to be a neurosurgeon or a lawyer. I wanted a boy and a girl, but I never dreamed of being married. Oh, and I was going to drive a Mercedes.” After her life goals changed because she fell in love, shared Tameka. However, she clarifies, “I have been in love a lot of times, and my first marriage wasn’t the first time I was in love. My first love I didn’ t marry because he passed away and that was out of my control.” Her relationships with both her exes are “amicable,” according to Tameka. She holds no animosity, saying, “I love everybody. I like to believe even in a person’ s angriest times they are still displaying a form of love. That emotion is still love because the opposite of love is indifference. I have never seen unlove from any of my exes.” hers-magazine.com

+ F E AT U R E D

“I run a nonprofit organization called Kile’s World. I have been working on this feverishly. We are doing summer camps, and we are still working on grants. We receive private donations and small grants, but the building is still in the works.” Using an analogy of ill-fitting but a much-admired pair of shoes, she explains, “Think about the shoes in your closet. If you open up a shoebox everyday, trying on a particular pair to make it work. It’ s not unlove, because you really like them; you just can’ t make it work.” Right now, as far as her love life, she says she is only willing to date casually for now. “I’ m not looking to do anything serious. I’ ve been married twice. I’ m single, and I’ m just having a good time. Dinner here, movie there, a vacation, nothing serious. And it’ s not just one particular guy I’ m dating.” She added, “I hers-magazine.com

do not plan on having anymore children.” Her other love is business, particularly in the creative design industry. She describes herself as a “creative mess” because she has so many things she loves to do. Currently, she is a stager, which is very much like a fashion stylist for a home, similar to an interior designer. The name of her company is Swanky Staging. “Ultimately, I would love to have my own line of accents and accessories. I have been thinking about it, but there just aren’ t enough hours in a day. Still, the wheels have not been set in motion yet.” In the past, as a recognized fashion

stylist, she has dressed superstars, including Jay-Z, Chris Brown, Toni Braxton, Mary J Blige, Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, and Chaka Khan. As for long-term career goals in as a stylist, she says, “I have styled just about everybody and everything. I’d like to be in film productions. That’ s one thing I haven’t done. I would probably be a consultant on a movie or a television show, such as deciding which things to bring on the set in order to make it work realistically.” Emphatically adding to that, she says, “I would like to see a building for my son Kile (Glover) who passed away. I run a nonprofit organization called Kile’s World. I have been working on this feverishly. We are doing summer camps, and we are still working on grants. We receive private donations and small grants, but the building is still in the works.” Whether from Tameka or her talented sons, look for new projects and burgeoning careers, as she embodies a woman after fame.

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I could hear the laughter as I walked from the dining area to the waiting room. People were telling stories and sharing personal details. We had just finished brunch and the mood was lighter than when we arrived. We found ourselves sitting in a cozy waiting room filled with people in comfy chairs. Even though the temperature outside was 60 degrees and it was mid-January, the fireplace blazed.


lthough, my experience is limited, I had no idea that this visit would be pleasant and laughter-filled. It felt like I was at a retreat, not an oncology treatment center. Most of us gathered here with a hilltop view of Tijuana, Mexico, were vibrant people—full of life, not living with a diagnosis of cancer. We flew to San Diego for the first part of our trip to Tijuana to visit the clinic where my friend was going to take a special tonic from a team of doctors who claimed an 80 percent success rate. On Monday morning, we met Dennis in the lobby of a Wyndham Hotel. What surprised me most when we boarded a van for our ride from San Diego to Tijuana, I couldn’t tell who was the patient and who was the family member or friend accompanying the patient. I had actually guessed wrong with my first attempt and decided to not try again. After a 20-minute drive, the driver announced: “Welcome to Tijuana.” As we drove through the border crossing, he waved at the border patrol. That’s right. We did not stop. We did not have our passports checked. I almost completely missed it. We also noticed that he never stopped at four-way stops, even when a sign informed the driver to “altodz” (translation: stop). He explained: “If you stop, others don’t and will rear-end you. If you get rear-ended, you get the ticket. Better to do rolling stops here. You don’t get tickets for that.” After driving through a large yellow metal gate upon arrival, we were greeted by an oversized birdcage in the front driveway. The birds were there by design, we learned later, to provide a sense of tranquility. The morning started off with niceties. We met wonderful people who shared their diagnoses and swapped tips. Caregivers also shared, and we focused on the ailments, not the healing. By mid-morning, the mood was festive, and people were telling jokes while making new friends. We immediately bonded with Dzour groupdz who came in together. Each patient had different orders, hers-magazine.com

though. Some were being sent home with a tonic and a special diet and others would be adding a daily intravenous experience to their treatment, which meant they stayed and/or returned each day for five days. We also learned as we talked to others that each patient had a different diet, different program and would usually be told to come back in three or six months for evaluation. After fasting since the previous day, patients were allowed to eat after they finished their first round of blood work and x-ray. We were told to “go have breakfast.” We found the place packed with people. All the bar stools were full at the counter. Behind the counter and clearly visible to the group, were two ladies who were handling the cooking, cleaning and ordering. We sat at a small table behind the bar and our cook came after about 15 minutes to take our order. The menu was filled with choices of standard eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, and Mexican variations with the same ingredients. The food was surprisingly good. I noticed later – as a testament – some locals came in to eat lunch. After breakfast, we waited to see the doctor. Finally my friend’s name was called and we followed Dr. Fernando Crux to his office. He asked questions and took my friend’s history, but he was not very communicative otherwise. After he preformed a very basic physical, we returned to wait. We decided to get a smoothie from the kitchen while waiting for Dr. Crux again. I noticed a man who looked out of place waiting. I wondered – again it was hard to tell – if he was a patient or someone waiting for someone being treated. He ended up being a patient because I heard him talking to the lady at the front desk: “We will work out financial arrangements to help you get treated.” Apparently, they do not turn down anyone and will work with those individuals who do not have the resources to pay for it themselves. Finally, my friend’s name was called and we headed back to see Dr. Crux. This time, Dr. Roberts, a German doctor who spoke German, Spanish,

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French and English and who had moved to Tijuana years ago, also joined us. His role, we realized about halfway through, was to answer my friend’s questions about supplements. He gave my friend his opinion about the various supplements she was already taking. Interrupting the discourse, Dr. Crux took control again and announced: “If you don’t let me finish, they will miss their ride back to San Diego.” Dr. Crux didn’t realize that news wasn’t comforting. In hindsight, I knew deep down they wouldn’t leave us, but for a brief moment, it caused me concern. The doctors teased us and said we could stay in one of the four rooms in the facility if our ride left us. I quickly informed them that the rooms were full. I had overheard the receptionist telling someone that earlier. After Dr. Crux gave his treatment suggestions, we were told to go upstairs to the pharmacy to get some of the supplies my friend required. We suddenly felt upbeat because we thought we were about to be done. The long day was about to end. As we rounded the corner, we realized we weren’t going home just yet. There were at least 10 people ahead of us, and each person’s processing time seemed quite lengthy. We discovered later that they were hand mixing herbs and stuffing them into capsules—different formulas for different people. We had to wait until every patient in our caravan was seen, treated, and hadsupplements and ointments in hand before we could leave. Yes, our group was waiting on us by the time we were finished. We left close to 7:00 p.m. and still had to make an additional stop for those picking up their special tonic from the pharmacy. On this particular day, we found out later, 27 people had shown up to be helped. This meant that 27 patients required blood work, x-rays, a medical history, medical exam, recommended treatment and finally their additional supplies from the pharmacy. It was Monday, which meant it was less likely that patients were showing up only 14

requiring a daily intravenous treatment. All 27 were getting the works. From what I could tell, there were no more than four doctors with a limited support staff. We were all tired—those of us carrying bags of supplements and those of us not. We boarded the vehicle driven by our designated driver. I was a bit relieved that we had been selected to be in Damien’s van instead of the station wagon driven by Dennis. There was one young Canadian couple accompanying their father who had to sit in the backend of the station wagon facing the wrong way. What made this comical is how afraid they were of being in Tijuana. They thought people were going to randomly shoot at the vehicle, and they felt over exposed in the big back window of the car. They reported upon arrival: “People were staring.” I thought, ”Of course, they were staring. You were riding backwards in a station wagon.” Then we were driven to a drugstore where the patients were told to ask for their vitamins. I asked Damien while two of the passengers went to the pharmacy: “What’s the highest number of patients seen in one day?” “He replied, Dr. Since that cure cancer video came out, we’ve had a lot more people show up. One day we had 47. We did not leave the clinic until 9:30 p.m.”

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Another person still in the van asked, “So everyone gets seen no matter what?” “Yes, as long as they arrive before 9:00 a.m. They will be seen.” My friend explained that she had been unable to make an appointment directly with the clinic. They repeatedly told her to contact the driver and make arrangements. That is the only person who knew she was coming, Dennis the main driver. She requested a specific doctor but was told all they could do is make the request. While we continued to wait, I spotted the station wagon driven by Dennis and noticed the two young Canadians facing the wild, crazy and dangerous Mexican road while they waited for their father to bravely make his way to the pharmacy. We all had a good laugh about the expressions on their faces and wondered what they were thinking. Damien, who grew up in San Diego and had been living in Tijuana for four years,explained, “There is nothing to worry about. It is very safe here. When there is only one cartel in charge, it’s not dangerous.” He added, “You should see the old police station. It’s only a concrete slab now. It was bad because two cartels were trying to be in charge, and they decided to blow the place up. Things are good right now.”



He warned us that tonight might be a long wait at the border. Turns out we had selected Martin Luther King Day, a holiday weekend, to visit. After telling us his longest wait at the border was three hours with clinic visitors in tow, he assured us we’d get through faster than most. He had a medical GOES pass, which meant “fast-lane.” As we rounded a turn, Damien said: “Uh oh, looks like we will have a bit of wait.” One of the passengers asked, “So are we a few miles from the border?” Damien laughed. We didn’t make him explain. We were grateful we had the medical pass because at least we were moving much faster than the four lanes to the left of us. The slow journey to the border did give us plenty of shopping opportunities. Men carried a variety of items and walked between cars stopping at windows to try to sell their wares. We felt sorry for the ones that seemed to all have the same “bad” merchandise. They were at the beginning of our line. But as we got deeper in, the merchandise got better. A young couple from Miami spotted ponchos, and our driver asked the man if he had one for Miami Dolphins. He did not have any on hand, but said, “Wait. I will be back.” hers-magazine.com

Of course, we couldn’t wait, but he knew we were making our way slowly to the border and certainly knew how to find us. Some time and at a least a mile later, we decided he must not have one and forgot about it. Two us in the van noted that if they would sell food and drink, they would be a lot more successful. As we rounded another turn, to our surprise and pleasure, we saw food and drink for sale. Several in the car recognized that one vendor was making freshly made churros, delicious sugary-fried sticks of dough. Damien pointed out they were even cutting them right there and immediately dropping them in the fryer. We asked our driver to get us some. We all took bites. Some partaking would soon have to start their restrictive diets, which I am sure heightened their enjoyment of the fried delicacy. Two more passengers made more purchases as our driver negotiated on our behalves. Then out of the blue, and at least two miles from where we first saw him, the man with the ponchos appeared. He delivered a clean, well-made Miami Dolphin-themed poncho. By the time we made it to the border, our group had purchased a poncho, two churros, a scoop of ice cream and two ceramic

skulls. After buying the two skulls, we heard the merchant and his nearby friends cheering and celebrating their $40 sale. As we got within close range of the border, Damien asked us if we had any fruit or produce? We all said no. One passenger said, “I have herbal supplements.” Damien, of course, already knew about these because the passenger picked them up at the clinic. “That’s not a problem,” he said. We had been joking and kidding the entire way there. Damien was quite the character. When we were two cars away from the border, he announced: “Okay, folks, this is serious. All joking stops here until we cross the border. He said Homeland Security doesn’t joke around.” We were quick studies and all got in our “we-are-good-American-citizensonly-doing-good-things” mode. We rolled up to the guard, who was, in fact, most serious and packing guns. Damien announced our purpose, opened all the doors and turned on all the lights and handed over our passports. The guard looked at Damien, then looked at us and returned our passports. He waved us on. We all cheered as we re-entered the U.S. and Damien announced, “That is the fastest I have ever gone through! You guys rock. That’s never happened. He didn’t ask any questions. They always ask questions.” We were relieved. It had been a long day and we still had 20 minutes of driving to do. At approximately 8:30 p.m., we finally reached our hotel. We said our farewells to new friends we might never see again but who we hope have grand success with their tonics. We went to the hotel restaurant before heading to our rooms to retire. All in all, despite travel fatigue and the long procedure, I would do it again for the love of my friend.

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Protect Skin from the



There are definitely benefits to getting moderate amounts of sunshine, but hopefully you are already well-versed in the importance of protecting your skin from sun damage. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The CDC recommends that you protect your skin from burns by avoiding large amounts of time in the sun, covering up when possible, and by using a broad spectrum sunscreen every time you go outside.


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he Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a measure of the time that it takes for a person’s skin to begin burning when they are outside without sunscreen. The number of a sunscreen’s SPF protection generally indicates the additional time a person could be outdoors without starting to burn. For example, if your skin normally begins to burn within 20 minutes of going outside, a product with SPF is potentially able to provide 15 times that protection, allowing


you to spend up to 300 minutes (or 5 hours) outside before burning. Be warned that not all products’ SPF are created equal. It is also recommended that these products need to be reapplied frequently, at least every couple of hours, due to the fact that they are often washed or sweated off. Though sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 is recommended by the CDC, there are concerns that commercial sunscreen products on the market may contain harsh chemical ingredients that can cause harm to your

body. There are reports that some of these chemicals stay in your body long after you wash the sunscreen from your skin. These chemicals may disrupt your endocrine system, the glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, sleep, reproduction, and even your mood. There are concerns that the chemicals found in these sunscreens may promote skin cancer growth. They can break down, causing free radicals, which are believed to contribute to many of the negative effects of the body’s aging.

Thankfully, there are some natural ways to obtain the benefits of moderate sun exposure while avoiding the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. • Avoid the hottest rays by staying out of the sun during the middle of the day. • Wear a wide-brimmed sunhat any time you are in the sun.

• Use a sun umbrella or seek out shade provided by a tree or shade-providing structure. • Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing over exposed skin.

Additionally, there are even numerous plant oils and other ingredients found in nature that can provide some SPF protections. These ingredients help block UV rays and keep the rays from reaching your skin in the first place. These ingredients will moisturize your skin, adding the benefit of increased elasticity and hydration. Here are some natural resources that provide at least some SPF protections: • Olive oil- SPF 2-8

• Red raspberry seed oil- SPF 25-50

• Almond oil- SPF 5

• Carrot seed oil- SPF 35-40

• Coconut oil- SPF 4-6

• Shea butter- SPF 4-6

Zinc Oxide is a naturally

occurring, non-toxic, mineral. It is a broad spectrum sunblock that works by scattering the sun’s rays and absorbing UVA and UVB rays. This ingredient can be purchased online. Look for non-nanoparticle versions and always wear a mask when adding this ingredient to your skin care products. Depending on the amounts used, Zinc Oxide will hers-magazine.com

add an SPF of 25-50. While these ingredients should never replace your doctor recommended skin care protection, think about adding some of these ingredients to your usual skin care recipes. An easy way to use any of these products is to add them to your favorite lotion bottle, shake well, and apply yourlotion as usual.

Jaime Johnson’s passion for allnatural products started as a challenge to produce high-quality health and beauty products, at home, from common household ingredients. This research lead to the creation of her book, Natural Beauty (www. naturalbeautythebook.blogspot.com). naturalbeautythebook.blogspot.com).

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There’s nothing that kills your confidence like breaking into an embarrassing sweat. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. Lisa and Lucy’s latest collection is full of breathable and bold looks that will ensure you survive the summer in style unmarked by sweat. Founded by industry maven, Geneva Goldsmith, the line is a mix of modern femininity and classic style with vibrant prints, flirty hemlines, and timeless silhouettes that will keep you comfortable and beautifully cool. 18

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Being Boss Look and feel like a Boss Lady in this powerful ensemble. At the office, you’ll want a look that can be layered and Lisa and Lucy has given you just that. This striped ensemble is a modern revelation in summer attire and can be easily layered with a blazer.


Out and About Running around town has never been so stylish or so fun. This Lisa and Lucy look is the epitome of Summer Fashion this year. The flouncy top is both flirty and sophisticated and paired with a cute floral skirt, it doesn’t get much better!

Brunch Picture perfect in a polished maxi dress, you’ll be ready to brunch on the patio without fear. Light and flowy, while still highlighting your figure, this dress is perfect for meeting the parents or hanging out with friends.

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After Hours However you choose to spend your after hours, you’ll be doing it in an effortlessly chic and modern style thanks to this to-die-for sheath. The halter dress just made it to the 21st century and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Date Night Say hello to a super sexy little white dress that will have your special friend’s jaw dropping. A deep v-neck and effervescent white material make for a knockout summer look. Spend less time worrying about your look and more time on your honey with this stunner.


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Su p e r + Hero = MoM



Gift Giveaway

Hers Magazine has partnered with Macy’s to make Mother’s Day even more special by celebrating Moms, real-life SuperHeroes!

“Mirror Mirror on the Wall, You Are Your Mother After All.”

How many of us have looked in the mirror at one point and realized that we look more like our mothers than we thought? Enter our sweepstakes and you could win a $500 card to shop at Macy’s!

How to Enter: 1) Follow/Like Hers magazine on social media* 2) Post a picture of you and your mom 3) Tell us what makes your mom “super” and/or what makes her your “hero” in 100 words or less 4) Add hashtags #MySuperHero #HersMagazine Not sure how to describe what makes your Mom a SuperHero? As an alternative, you can share one of your favorite facial features that you got from your SuperHero Mom and why you like/are proud of this feature. *Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn If there is a tie, the Hers editorial team will make the final decision. The winner(s) will be announced online and contacted directly. Prizes will be mailed or picked up from the Allwrite Communications office in Atlanta, GA.

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Deadline for entering the contest is Saturday, April 30th at midnight.




2016 1 1 FA C E S T O L O O K O U T F O R I N

As we look forward to a new year of theatre, here are the people to keep an eye out for in 2016

Paapa Essiedu He’s currently treading the Royal Court boards in You For Me For You, but it’s his upcoming performance in the RSC’s Hamlet that seems destined to put Essiedu on the map. It’s hard to remember a production of Hamlet that’s offered a relatively unknown, young actor the chance to sink their teeth into the Prince of Denmark since Ben Whishaw at the Old Vic in 2004.

Evelyn Hoskins Considering she made her professional stage debut in Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith six years ago, it seems a bit bizarre to include Hoskins in this sort of list, but following her heralded performances this year (Carrie, The Sound of Music Live) and a UK tour of Ayckbourn’s Hero’s Welcome early next year, we can see Evelyn’s career hitting new heights in 2016.


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Emmanuel Kojo Kojo graduated from Arts Ed in 2014 and pretty much went straight into the West End production of The Scottsboro Boys. He’s currently smashing the proverbial ball clean out of the Crucible as Joe in the Sheffield venue’s Christmas musical, Show Boat. We’re expecting a transfer of Daniel Evans’ production, but if that doesn’t happen it won’t be long before you see Kojo back in the limelight, trust us.

Duncan McLean With recent credits including Privacy and City of Angels at the Donmar Warehouse, Secret Cinema’s take on Star Wars, and Hangmen at the Royal Court, this Video/ Projection Designer should be on everyone’s ‘to-keep-an-eye-on’ list. Upcoming 2016 projects include James Graham’s new play Monster Raving Loony and WNO’s Macbeth.

Dan Hutton Theatre company Barrel Organ had everyone excited in Edinburgh in 2014 with their first show Nothing which came fresh from the National Student Drama Festival. Company member Hutton co-created and performed in the piece, and Some People Talk About Violence - for which he was dramaturg - was generally heralded as a promising follow-up. His work with Barrel Organ, plus his gigs assistant directing on the likes of audacious sci-fi play Pioneer and the Royal & Derngate’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof means that we will be looking forward to seeing what he comes up with when he directs Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy at the Old Red Lion in London in March.


Emma Rice Emma Rice has been making fabulous theatre for the last ten years or so down in Cornwall with her raucous company Kneehigh. But in 2016 she steps up to one of the most prestigious theatre gigs in the UK - running Shakespeare’s Globe. She’s only directed one Shakespeare play before - Cymbeline - but WhatsOnStage met her recently and she’s clearly massively excited about the prospect of her new role. Her new season will be announced in early Jan, so watch out for the details of that. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, so all eyes will be on her to see what she comes up with.

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Aoife Duffin Her performance in Annie Ryan’s adaptation of Eimear McBride’s best-selling novel A Girl is a Halfformed Thing was described as a ‘mesmerizing tour de force’ when the one-woman play ran in Edinburgh this year, next year it makes its way to the Young Vic. Expect to hear Duffin’s name on awards shortlists by the end of 2016.

Jack O’Connell Having first found fame in E4’s Skins, O’Connell has continued to impress with acclaimed performances in films Starred Up and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken for which he won the BAFTA Rising Star Award. He returns to the stage in Richard Bean’s new snookerbased comedy at the home of snooker - the Crucible, Sheffield.

Sophia Decaro Decaro made big impression when she starred as Tallulah in the Lyric Hammersmith’s smash hit revival of Bugsy Malone. Her previous credits are musicals, but now Decaro turns to straight plays, with a starring role in the Lyric Hammersmith’s production of Simon Stephens’ Herons, a play about adolescent bullying.

Dean John-Wilson Noma Dumezweni Unless you’ve been living under a Hagrid shaped rock for the last week, you’ll have heard that Dumezweni has been cast as Hermione in the upcoming production-ofthe-decade Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. What you might not know is that she’ll also be making her directorial debut in February with Mongiwekhaya’s I See You at the Royal Court. A busy year for Dumezweni, then.


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A semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008, John-Wilson has gone on to appear in several big productions including Tim Rice’s From Here to Eternity and Here Lies Love at the National Theatre, but nothing has quite lifted him to the lofty heights he’ll experience on the flying carpet when the Broadway megahit Aladdin rolls into town next year.



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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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Cardio Versus Weight Training BY DR. CURTIS MCELROY


eople want to lose weight for many reasons. They may want to lose weight to achieve better health, to look better in clothes, improve chances of finding the right relationship, or be able to do more with family and many others. A common question is should I do cardio exercise or weight training to help me lose weight? When discussing weight training as a way to lose weight, many are concerned that they will gain muscle and actually look bigger. Making weight training a routine part of your exercise regimen will result in the building of muscle. Initially, it may seem you are not making any progress from a weight loss standpoint; however, if you stick with it, you should start noticing changes, such as clothing fitting better, more muscular tone, and an increase in energy. Weightlifting can be an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to losing weight and may give your weight loss program the boost it needs. The following discusses how weight training helps burn fat for weight loss: Weight training primarily utilizes the glycogen system for producing energy. Your heart rate will increase during weight training exercise, and if you work out for about 40 minutes, you should burn about 500 calories. The average person burns about 2,000 calories per day just doing their normal daily activities. Adding 40 minutes of weight training can help you burn an extra 500 calories each day you work out. Running for the same amount of time will burn a similar amount of calories.


One pound of fat is equivalent to about 3,500 calories, so burning an extra 500 calories per day or decreasing your intake 500 calories may help you lose about one pound per week. You should consider investing in a fitness tracker and see how many calories you are burning, so that you can adjust your workouts with confidence. Lifting weights tends to work several muscle groups even when you are focusing on one area of the body. The release of hormones, such as testosterone and growth hormone are stimulated and help in t he repair of muscle after your workouts. The involvement of multiple muscles during workouts boost your metabolism and burns more fat even when you are sleeping. Cardio, or aerobic, exercises (bike, treadmill, elliptical, jogging, swimming) are exercises that improve your heart health. Strength training exercises are exercises that utilize external resistance (machines, dumbbells, cables, tubing) or your body weight (pushups, planks, lunges) to improve your muscle and joint health. Both are important for a balanced fitness regimen. Resistance cardio involves combining cardiovascular exercise with resistance exercise. Examples of resistance cardio include riding a stationary bike on a high setting, or performing the rowing exercise against a lot of resistance. So, when your goal is to lose weight and look more toned, resistance cardio should be an excellent consideration. Dr. Curtis McElroy is an internal medicine physician. His specializes in weight loss, obesity, and anger management.

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So, which will it be: rich or poor? How do you see yourself now? As we journey together through the farce of financial exploits, it is important to have a foundation from which to build. Will your platform be from a rich or poor standpoint? First, let’s take a look at a formal definition of both. Rich is defined as abundantly supplied with resources, means or funds; possessing something of great value; fruitful; productive; prolific, bountiful, flourishing, thriving. Poor, on the other hand, can be summarized as having little or no money or goods; deficient or lacking; faulty or inferior; without desirable qualities; needy; underprivileged; penniless. The question remains, in which category do you fit? Here are 5 money habits that can help you stomp down the poor category and begin the journey to rich! Make the decision – today will be my vital, decisive, pivotal point to better.

1. A change begins with your thoughts!

We eat the fruit of our thoughts, words and action. Here’s a novel idea – instead of saying to yourself (and others) “I hate my job but a girl got bills”, change it to “I’m not in my dream position right now but I am working to get there.” When you have a plan, you’ll begin to see your job as a means to an end – not an end in itself.

2. Save, Spend and Give.

Have a plan for each category – the 10/70/10/10 formula. Assign your resources to each category and give it direction. First up, save at least 10% of your take home pay. Build the savings account to 3 months of fixed expenses (rent, car note, utilities, etc). Use 70% to fund your living expenses. Know exactly where and how much you spend. Is everything in the Spend category an absolute must? If not, cut hers-magazine.com

it down. Give 10% to charity. Giving makes a heart merry and it is our responsibility to help make the world a better place. Invest 10%. If you have a business idea, start investing in it.

3. Be properly expectant

The Rich are realistic with their expectations. Do you have $20,000 in credit card debt and you want it paid off next month and you make $2000 per month? Without a windfall of some sort, that probably won’t happen. But if you pay twice the minimum payment and put extra money toward the balance, you can celebrate that you are moving forward. 4.

Do one thing every day that moves you closer to where you’re going.

Success is accomplished one step at a time. It is the small things done every day that move us on the continuum

to the goal. If your goal is to write a book, make a point to do something every day that will move you to the publishing date. Write a page, look up publishing options, or think about your cover design. The daily small things will add up to equal your finished book.

5. Keep a record.

There is nothing more refreshing and encouraging than to see how far you’ve come on your journey. A vision board or journal is a great way to measure your accomplishment. It holds YOU accountable to YOU – no one else matters. It’s what YOU want to work toward. It also measures the activities that didn’t work out as planned and the changes you need to make going forward. When you see the credit card balance at a big fat $0, a flush savings account and dreams becoming reality, you will be fueled to keep it moving. Remember, success begets success! Rich or poor? Which will it be? Stay on board as we navigate the financial waters to propel you to richer... Deborah Hightower writes for networking and lifestyle blogs and magazines and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Morningstar, CNBC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, and other news outlets. She has been listed by INC. Magazine as one of America’s Trendsetters in Health, Wealth and Success. Find out more at www.deborahhightower. com. Follow her on social media at: www. facebook.com/DeborahHightowerInc; www.twitter.com/thedeborahhigh; ww.instagram.com/thedeborahhigh

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Sitting is the New


“When did that happen?” I said out loud to my mirror as I looked at a new roll of something forming near my hips. I also had the thought: “Is my stomach sticking out more?”


t seemed to me that changes were happening more rapidly than they had in the past. Ahem, gravity tugging and the constant progression of time will do it every time. Sherlock, I think I got this one. I am a mostly a regular exerciser, but in the last year, I have been living in a new place. This meant, I had walked away from a regular routine— inexpensive personal training classes and had not found an equivalent replacement. Months later, I noticed changes I didn’t like. I didn’t take much action. Guess what happened next? It got worse! I eventually reached a defining point, especially with summer is fast approaching. I looked at my reflection in the mirror: “I gotta do something!” As I said before, I was already doing something, but it was no longer enough. My new regimen consisted of walking and well, sort of jogging. I also took an aerial yoga class on Tuesday mornings, but I wasn’t doing squats and strength training anymore. What’s a girl to do? Not able to squeeze another drop out of my schedule and keep my sanity, I started thinking about things to do that wouldn’t take more time. While watching a rerun of The Intern starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, I was reminded of something a good friend told me one night at dinner: “I’ve been sitting on a ball for 10 years?” “What? What does that even mean?” “Instead of using a chair at my desk,


I sit on a ball. It’s called a desk chair ball.” He continued: “Really develops your core.” I did find it interesting, but at the time, I was more pleased with my core. Timing is everything, right? So, I am watching the movie and one of the characters says in passing while at work: “You know, sitting is the new smoking.” Then, I remembered: “Desk chair ball, I can get one of those!” According to Dr. Andrea LaCroix, director of the Women’s Health Center of Excellence at the University of California, San Diego, those sitting more than 11 hours daily were at the highest risk for cardiovascular issues and cancer, she reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. What else can I do? I started thinking of other shortcuts. I thought of adding ankles weights throughout the day. When checking out the research, I decided it might not be a good idea. Apparently, the added pressure to your joints might cause issues if not immediately, then later. Nope, don’t want to risk that. My next idea was a better one. “I will buy 5 and 10 pound dumbbells.” My plan: “When I am walking from room to room, I can pick up my weights and do some curls or overhead lifts.” With a new plan in place that didn’t break the bank or pack my already full schedule, I will be better prepared for shorts and short sleeves this summer.

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Tips to help you get over your sitting sickness … 1. It’s cheaper to purchase an exercise ball than a stability ball. The stability balls range in price from $70 to over $100. I purchased my exercise ball for under $15.

2. You’ll need to ignore size recommendations if you decide to buy an exercise ball. You will probably find an exercise ball designed for tall men more fitting for a desk chair replacement.

3. You’ll want to start off slowly. Set an alarm and sit on the exercise ball for one hour. Eventually, you will be able to sit on it for longer periods of time.

4. If you find that it is too challenging to keep yourself sturdy. There are stands to provide more stability.

5. If you want to add weight lifting to your regimen and are on a tight budget, you can substitute dumbbell weights for others things, like bottles of water, books, bags of fruit, detergent and canned vegetables, just to name a few.

Allyn Evans is a published author, former newspaper columnist, former college lecturer and long-time workshop facilitator who has a BA in psychology and an MBA. She has teamed up with two MDs at Samvit Wellness www.samvitwellness.org who believe being vital and healthy involves the whole person—body, mind and emotions. hers-magazine.com


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EVELYN BRAXTON: Her Many Expressions of

MOTH ERHOOD “Being a parent is not easy,” declares Evelyn Braxton, the 68-year-old matriarch of the renowned Braxton clan: Toni, 48; Michael Jr., 47; Traci, 45; Towanda, 42; Trina, 41; and Tamar, 39.


oised with a commanding, preacherly presence and distinctive expressions, including “I’m just saying” and “look at God,” one could hardly forget a conversation with Miss E, as she is called by most. Her five girls signed their first record deal as a group with Arista Records in 1989, releasing their one single Good Life the following year. As a solo artist, Toni went on to sell more than 67 million records and earned countless music awards, including seven Grammy Awards, throughout her career. The family has had their lives chronicled on the reality show Braxton Family Values (WEtv) for the last five years. Tamar has since released a successful album (“Love and War”) and is one of the hosts of The Real talk show on Fox. Evelyn feels as if her large family was both a gift and a surprise. “My doctor told me and my ex husband that we could only have like one or two children at the most. Lord, where is he now?” she said with a hearty chuckle. “Somebody lied.” Though unexpected, all her children’s birth brought her personal joy but also constant derision from those in the church who questioned her


choice to have so many children. “People in church would say, ‘You pregnant again?’ I would say, Ain’t God good.’ People would make me feel bad, asking, ‘Do you have a job?’ I’m like, ‘Are you feeding me?’” She described her pregnancies as a “blessing,” adding, “I loved being pregnant. I loved feeling them move inside. I loved the connection. I would sing to my children, and they would kick. I was proud of that little belly. I was proud of that baby. When God choses you to bring forth life, you have to obey.” Being the mother of many and having famous children was part of her God-ordained destiny, asserts Evelyn with a seriousness that commanded the attention of all those standing nearby. “God told me they would be a household name. Sometimes the promise and the blessing don’t come right away, but if you wait, have faith and believe, He will bring you out and bring you to your destiny. Look at God; don’t look at me. I was just a vessel. If God cannot do it, it can’t be done. Trust me.” While Evelyn insists that she has no favorites among her brood, her children claim otherwise. “I told my children I love them all the same. I don’t

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love anyone any more than the other. Sometimes they think I treat Toni better.” The one thing she says that they all have in common is the pain they caused her at birth, she jokes while remembering the joy of her pregnancies. “I admire each different personality. I concentrate on that. They all have great personalities. They are good people with good hearts.” In general, she adds, all the children have her stamp. “Toni is more reserved. I can be very reserved. Tamar is very outspoken. I can be very outspoken.”

ON PARENTING After marrying at 18 years old, she and her husband needed support while raising their expanding family. Evelyn’s mother lived away from them in South Carolina, but she would come to Maryland to help at times. However, her main support with the children came from an aunt who had essentially adopted and raised Evelyn since age 13. “It wasn’t easy,” she admits. “But... I wouldn’t change a thing. Did they work on my nerves? Absolutely. Did I get on their nerves? Absolutely. I’m blessed.” She readily notes that children don’t come with instructions and says she evolved as a parent even as her children matured. “When you are raising your children, it is trial and error. What I did, I did out of love. I wasn’t a perfect parent. I am just human – no more no less. If it was not the right way, forgive me – no more no less.” Not just true for parents, but also youth, wisdom gained through trial and error is essential for children, suggests Evelyn. “Children are not supposed to listen to everything you say. They have to learn knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. They have to fall sometimes. We don’t listen to everything God says. None of us do. If children listen to everything you say, they can’t grow into wisdom.”


To new mothers, she advises, “Just wait. Just relax. They are just trying to find their way.” Furthermore, she rejects the notion that when children turn 18, they should be shipped off to live independently. “They were just 17 yesterday. If they didn’t have any sense yesterday, where are they going to get sense from today [when they turn 18]?” Also a pastor and counselor, Evelyn advises that parents should follow God’s timeline, not their own. “Everything is done in God’s divine order. Nothing is a mistake. Our children will be alright. Anoint them when they leave the house.” In raising her own children, church involvement was a regular part of their upbringing. She describes their family life as normal, saying, “We were just like any other family. Sometimes we could afford it, and sometimes we couldn’t. But we could always do Bible study. That was free. Their father was a pastor, so they had to learn scriptures. We were deeply and strongly in the Lord.” Meanwhile, she warns about religious families becoming so pious that they forget the core principles of Godly love and compassion regarding their children. “I think we get lost and caught up in raising our children. We get so caught up and heavenly bound. We say ‘God this’ and ‘God that,’ but we forget our children are not perfect. We have more grace toward other people or other children than our own. They want to know they are loved and cherished.” Wanting to motivate and encourage our children can have a negative impact when we have unrealistic expectations, according to Evelyn, who suggests that parents push too hard at times. “Sometimes our children might make a C and they say I tried my best, but you don’t think it is good enough. And they get low self-esteem and you don’t mean it, but you are just trying to pull out their best. But that might be their best.” Shortcomings were allowed, but disrespect was not tolerated in her home.

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She asserts, “Let me make myself clear. I didn’t play talking back… I don’t deal like that. I demand respect.” Like with her own children, Evelyn treasures the opportunity to help rear her grandchildren as much as she did her own children. In fact, she was there for each of her grandchildren’s birth and helped as much as she could, but she was given one restriction. “[My children] wouldn’t let me name them. They had names they wanted already.” To her delight, her grandchildren reach out to discuss whatever is going on in their lives, but although she listens and carefully advises, she never subverts their parents’ discipline. “When you have children is one thing, but when you have grandchildren, you have to be very careful. They are reaching out for your love and your attention.” Logan is Tamar’s 2-year-old son, who, like his mom, is the youngest of second generation of Braxtons. “They compliment me,” Evelyn gushes. “Logan says ‘Grandma you look beautiful.’” She spends her time between Los Angeles and Atlanta to help Tamar with Logan. “I think with grandkids, it’s like you get a second chance.”

ON LOVE The children’s names were a major consideration in the Braxton family. She named her children names starting with T because she says she was young and in love, wanting to honor her husband’s wishes. She agreed that if they had a girl, the name would start with a T, and if it was a boy, his name would begin with an M. “I thought Tawanda was going to be a boy. I was kind of disappointed. You know, at that time, they didn’t have ultrasounds. So you got whatever popped out. I was hoping Tamar was going to be a girl. Her daddy wanted a boy, and he was going to name the baby Cornelius. I wasn’t having that.” The only boy, Michael Jr., used to


“terrorize” his sisters, she recalls with a laugh. “He would get toilet paper and put chocolate pudding on it, then let it hang out the back of his pants, and walk around the house while [the girls’] friends were over. They would be like ‘ewww, Mom look!’” He would even go so far as licking the chocolate to really get a rise out of his sisters. Family harmony was interrupted after 35 years of marriage when Evelyn and Rev. Michael Braxton Sr. got divorced due to her husband’s infidelity. Apparently, Michael Sr. had been cheating for nine years and got remarried one month after their divorce. Evelyn said their children kid took it very hard, and she “had to step up” to provide reassurance and support. “It was the hardest thing we went through as a family. I never knew pain like that. I don’t ever want to feel it again. I would never fall in love again.” One of the most important lessons that she learned from the breakup was the distinction between “love” and “respect” in a relationship. “I think respect is more important than loving a person. When you love someone, it’s all ‘baby this’ and ‘baby that.’ But when you respect someone, there are certain things you won’t do to them or in front of them.” As for giving a man a second chance after he has cheated, she ardently advises against once a person’s self-respect has been compromised. “Too much black water has gone under the bridge. And baby, when the water is black, you can’t swim in that. Too much has gone down. It’s not good for your health. I think when you compromise your integrity, where else do you look to? You have nothing left.” She is dating a particular man and admits that she is “in like” right now. “Most men I see want ‘pressed out women,’ young women with no wrinkles, fresh from the womb. I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be.”

ON LIFE No matter if you’re single, married or hers-magazine.com

divorced, Evelyn’s advice is that people should learn to appreciate their situation, without envying another person’s life. In her typical colorful manner, she tells a story to illustrate her point: “It’s like this man who knocks on Father Abraham’s door, and he is there with his cross. He said, ‘Father, I can’t carry this cross.’ Abraham said, ‘Well, come in and get the cross you think you can bear. Hang up yours.’ The man saw many different crosses, but he didn’t like any of them. He finally chose a cross with no blood and no pain. Father Abraham said, that was your cross to begin with.” She adds, “Sometimes you think your situation is bad until you see others’.

What’s going to happen is going to happen.” What Evelyn expresses in most every word and her demeanor is unrelenting “faith,” the kind that renders people hopeful even in the most perilous situations. Her family has overcome and endured much adversity because of their faith. People must learn to “just chill and step back,” she says. Miss E remains both a dedicated parent and mentor to her children, who have been given a model of motherhood that will likely extend beyond the next generation of Braxtons.

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+ H E R R E L AT I O N S H I P S


Society uses the film industry, the arts and media to reference how a man should act in a relationship. The problem with this is that we don’t appreciate the man in front of us. We tend to place importance on our ego, pride and social status. For example, our man must:


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+ H E R R E L AT I O N S H I P S

– Provide expensive and frequent restaurant dates, surprises and thrilling events.

– Pay for everything, including luxury brands (he is the man after all).

– Have a hot body and maintain it. – Hold high social status and have a respected job title.

– Pick me over the boys and all of his other interests (going the extra mile for my needs).

– Send me romantic texts and always provide romantic gestures (flowers, chocolates etc).

– Act like other guys I admire. – Do what I want or hit the highway. In addition to this, women are often advised to be cold and suppress their compassion, honesty and kindness. Treat them mean, and they will stay keen. If you are expecting the above from your man, then you are not in a lovebased relationship. You are building a relationship based upon external things rather than what his heart can give you. How can any relationship survive or blossom with a foundation based on selfishness, greed and dishonesty! Build a relationship with the person he is on the inside and not what he can be changed into or because of his social status. Once this is done then you will see that list change into something money cannot buy. Growing with the man that could be your Mr. Right. So how do you know if your man is the real deal? The real mans affections are shown in different ways and I have listed some of them below:

• He shows you that he is thinking about you by an unexpected text or unscheduled call.


• He always asks for your opinion in any matter because he respects you and wants you to feel secure with him, not dominated but both have equal importance in the relationship.

• He opens up to you with his fears, concerns or personal circumstances that are challenging to him. It takes so much for a man to fully open up to a woman and be completely vulnerable so when he does be there for him as this is his way of showing you that he trusts you.

• He shows his affection by kissing you, giving you hugs, holding your hand, brushing past your hand (some men do not feel comfortable showing their affection in public), gazing into your eyes, putting their hand on your back (showing you affection and protection), he runs his fingers through your hair and any other gentle gestures.

• He listens to your fears, concerns, challenging circumstances, insecurities etc. because he wants to love them away. He cares about you and wants to help you feel secure or to tell you the truth of how beautiful you are inside out.

• He helps with any struggles (domestic or personal) because he loves you not because it is his duty. This is commonly missed!

• He compliments you unexpectedly, showing you that he appreciates you and treasures you. He is here to help you develop into the woman you want to be. He will build you up (never criticize you or make you feel less).

• He gives you meaningful gifts with the value awarded by its sentiment rather than price, showing you that he was listening.

• He encourages you to attend classes, reach for your dreams and be the better you through his love, kind words

and showing you that support that then makes you feel like you can soar.

• He makes time to see you, purely because he wants to rather than because it is his duty.

• He thinks ahead and completes the task at hand. This shows that again he loves you and you are not alone because he is there with you.

These were just a few examples of the ways men try to show us women that they love and care for us. We need to start paying attention to the details. If we do we will then see that he is really trying. If you are currently single, please try to forget the old expectations you had for a man. Throw away the film industry’s expectation of how the film portrays a man and go for a man you truly connect with spiritually. Get to know his dreams, his passions, his hobbies, and his life story and you will find your Mr. Right. Learn to be vulnerable with him. Always be honest with him and help him let his guard down. Break away from the social rules i.e. you can’t call or text back straight away as you do not want to come across as too eager. It is time for people’s souls to connect. Modern rules and expectations surrounding dating are preventing people from knowing who the other truly is. You cannot treat something that could be so beautiful as a mastermind game. He may not turn up right away but if you focus on a man’s characteristics and the principles over reputation or social status you will find true love. It really does exist. Precious Hughes Hughes helps to assist individuals to reach their maximum potential in their life, spirit, nutrition, addiction & personal development. She believes in helping others grow into what they are meant to become.

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Make a Teacher


Supply, Surprise and Inspire BY TOMMEKA SEMIEN


eacher Appreciation Week (May 2 - 6, 2016) is one of the best weeks of the school year. It is a special five days when both students and parents come bearing gifts and words of appreciation. If you know a teacher or happen to be one, you are no doubt familiar with the week after Teacher Appreciation Week, or what I refer to as Re-Gift It Week. This is the week when teachers share their select goodies, including candles, note cards, lotions, candy and other items they got from students and parents. However, what about the items that aren’t re-gifted, the stuff that we don’t see leave the classroom, the stuff that goes into the secret stash? Non-


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teachers really don’t have a clue about what happens before or after Re-Gift It Week. So, I reached out to some of my teacher-friends via Facebook to gather a little information about the items that make it to the week after and the items that they keep for themselves. After reviewing a very cute infographic, my teacher-friends shared what they enjoyed receiving during their special week. Every single response indicated that teachers appreciate every kind word and item received. The responses also suggested that the gifts teachers most look forward to fall into three categories: (1) Classroom Supplies, (2) Surprises & Swappables, and (3) Happy Dance Inspiration.



Classroom Supplies:

Happy Dance Inspiration

Name a teacher that will turn down a pack of paper. Just ask any teacher if she needs copy paper and you will, no doubt, be blown away by their enthusiasm. In addition to paper, other items are also needed. Just name the day of the week, and a teacher can name the supply.

(you know the dance)

• Art Day – crayons, colored pencils, markers, baby wipes • I don’t have a fever so I came to school Day–hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, tissues • Everyday – paper, pencils, pens, folders • Math Day – more pencils, scratch paper, erasers, rulers, calculators • Ants in My Pants Day – books, prizes, candy (sugar free)

Surprises & Swappables Most teachers are probably some of the nicest people we know. They always smile (at least the closer it gets to Memorial Day) and are grateful for what is shared with them. (Well, most of them.)Teachers are usually resourceful people who are not wasteful, preferring to recycle and reuse as much as possible. So if you send something that they don’t really like, they will smile and say thank you, but believe me, their wheels are turning, thinking about how they can swap the present for another or share it with their students, friends and family. When you choose a gift for a teacher, you should do a quick mental check. 1. Will my child’s teacher like this? 2. If I forget to send the present, will I use it? 3. Would my aunt know what to do with this? If you answered yes to at least two of the questions, the present is a keeper. hers-magazine.com

Treat the Teacher to Lunch

Teachers are super dedicated to their students, so much so that they usually scarf down lunch with them everyday. Help them avoid lunchtime indigestion by bringing them a nice, non-cafeteria lunch. If you can arrange it, make it extra special by serving as the sub for an hour while they enjoy their meal.

Bring the Bar to School

(Coffee-Tea-Cocoa Bar, Yogurt Bar, Trailmix Bar)If you want to become Pinterest-Famous, put together a shoebox beverage and snack bar. Place a variety of teas, coffees, sweeteners, creamers and snacks in the bar. Instead of a mug, place paper beverage cups and wooden stirrers in the box. If the bar concept doesn’t work, just insert all items into a medium craft bag, stuff with paper and tie with raffia. Done!

Relaxation Station

This might require a group effort, but it is so worth it! According to my unofficial Facebook poll, teachers want to be pampered...and to feel pretty...and to be appreciated. So get together with a few perky parents and find a masseuse or two to help your teachers relax. If you can’t find a group of do-gooders to help out, a very sincere thank you might just be a close runner-up.

Gift Cards

Never, ever have I heard a teacher say, I hate gift cards.If you can’t decide on a specific present or you’re feeling less than awesome about simple words of thanks, you can hardly go wrong with a gift card. Your options are limitless – coffee, gift shop, restaurant, office supply store, department store or bank. A gift card always inspires a happy dance. As you prep yourself for Teacher Appreciation Week, make sure that you offer your favorite educator(s) the right stuff. You can provide thoughtful items, services or words of appreciation. Just be sure that whatever you give falls into one of the appropriate categories – supply, surprise or inspiration. And don’t forget, it’s the thought that counts. All teachers stash great memories and warm words in their hearts. You can’t re-gift that!

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Jennifer Adams –

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day DIY Ideas BY JENNIFER ADAMS

Mother’s and Father’s Day are the perfect excuse to make moms and dads (or yourself!) feel pampered, loved, and extra special. Nothing says love like something crafted out of your own imagination, by your own hands. To celebrate the holiday, this is why I love including fun, creative crafts that kids can do with mom and dad. Here are a few of my favorite Mother’s Day and Father’s Day DIY projects for the whole family:

Mother’s Day:

Easy breakfast in bed ideas for kids to make think boiled eggs, toast, and a bowl of berries with yogurt. Dad might need to help, or everyone can work together and take the whole family back to bed for a fun PJ breakfast. Make an outdoor floral arrangement in a pot instead of a traditional bouquet, or indoor herbs in a pot for the kitchen. A fun project to do together – and watch it grow. Clean and decorate the bathroom for a Mother’s Day spa day session! Kids can include their very own DIY bath soaks/scrubs or choose a scented candle for mom to relax in the lap of luxury. A cozy new robe and slippers are the perfect gift for hardworking moms. Make your own flowers together out of bent wire and craft/tissue paper for a bouquet that will last longer than real ones! 40

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Father’s Day:

Homemade spice rubs and ketchups for the grill master dad are super simple and fun to create. For the spice rub, add 2 T (each) paprika, salt, and garlic powder with 1 T (each) black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, and dried thyme. Combine in a bowl and pour into a Mason style jar. I love these for gifting and storage! Set up a relaxation station outside for dad – whether its poolside, at the beach or reading on the patio. Just like any Mom, a Dad deserves own space to relax. Set up an outdoor oasis with dad’s favorite reading materials, beverages, and snacks to catch some quiet time. Backyard camping is a great way for dad to get some downtime with his favorite little campers. Pitch a tent and build a small campfire (or utilize candles or an outdoor fireplace) for making S’mores and telling ghost stories.


Signs That You’re Doing Bad Business BY ANNETTE JOHNSON

No one ever wants to believe they are either causing or allowing the problem. In personal relationships, this denial may not be as evident an issue as it is in business, where the consequences occur in the form of profit and personnel losses. Nevertheless, here are some indications that should be flagrant enough to combat even the mildest forms of denial: 1. You’re not getting referrals. So you don’t have a big

marketing budget to spend on ads and public relations. What you do have, however, or at least should have is an exceptional product or service that is delivered in a professional, polite manner. That should produce referrals to keep your phone ringing. When you’re not getting referrals, which is word-of-mouth advertising, step back and examine either what your selling or how you’re selling it.

2. High turnover.

In business, the people, or staff, is your greatest asset. When talented people leave your company, you can say that these individuals are so marketable that they are exercising their many options. However, when those who are less skilled and even desperate for a job – initially – keep leaving your company, then you have to begin looking at the company’s culture, compensation structure, or the commander-in-chief (you or whoever you appointed). An employee exit survey or customer feedback cards can be a good source to discover the real issue(s).


3. All in the family.

Yes, having family work in the business can save money because they are more likely to work for less or even nothing until the business flourishes. However, working only or mostly with family can jeopardize some very significant aspects of a promising business. Other, nonfamily, employees are keen to differences in treatment, no matter how minor. Owners tend to put up with “bad” family members who work for them because of relational ties, pay flexibility and so forth. Meanwhile, the business suffers.

4. Arrogance.

Be proud of your accomplishments. You bootstrapped your dream and now you’re making enough to take a decent vacation. The issue becomes when you think you know it all. Even if you don’t ever say it (I know...), people can tell, so they stop trying to provide you with any type of feedback. Put off by your attitude, some may even watch you get into a perilous situation without ever trying to intervene. Never stop listening – to customers, employees, advisers or someone who sincerely cares.


5. You are the business. In

the first few years of a new business, working long hours is expected. If you’re still pulling 10-plus hours per day after five years or more, then you own a demanding job, not a business. A business is centered on a system that creates consistent results. These results should ultimately be achieved with or without you. This means creating operating procedures and guidelines while hiring capable, dedicated people.

6. Duties are unclear.

It’s one thing to have too many bosses in a business, but it’s quite another when no one knows who’s in charge of what. Without clearly defined roles and accountability, people have no gauge to determine their success or failure. They have no goals to work toward. Some would argue, “Well, we’re making money regardless.” Reputation is what builds lasting brands while profits fluctuate, and a business with no organizational structure cannot withstand market fluctuations.

7. Personal life is lacking.

Moderation. Balance. Stability. However you describe it, your worklife balance should be steady. If your life is work-centered, then you may become disconnected from personal interactions. The danger is that while you don’t value your personal life as much, you also treat other people’s love for their family and friends with the same disregard. Having love and support make work more fulfilling. Eliminating or minimizing personal relations makes us less able to relate to customers and employees. The essence of every issue mentioned is the failure to look at the truth, which is the foundation of all bad decisions and bad business.

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What Did You Just Say? Common Teenage Slang Used Today BY LAURA GINN

Your kids talk. The words sound like English, but nothing makes sense. I know because I’m in the same boat. So, allow me to share what I have learned with you. One of my kids eli5’d these terms to me. You say, explain eli5 like I’m a 5-year-old. When a discussion is too difficult to follow and you want an easy-to-understand explanation, you can say eli5. From what I was told, this is popular on forums, but it hasn’t reached mainstream conversation, yet. If your teen spends some time on Reddit, this one may come up. “Boots” aren’t just for wearing this year. It’s also used for emphasis, similar to how a normal person would use very but added after the adjective or verb. For example, if you’re very tired, you are now tired boots. On a side note, if you didn’t sleep well and have a busy day ahead of you, you could always set your Adderall Alarm Clock. Here, you set your alarm an hour early, take your prescribed stimulant, go back to sleep, and in about an hour, you wake up “turnt.” “Turnt”, you ask? Oh yes, that would be when you are in full party mode. I suppose if you wake up turnt, 42

that might be a problem, since it does refer to partying and large amounts of alcohol. But hey, who am I to judge? Turnt away. If your teen throws “shade” at you, it might be time to take away the X-Box. This is the new way of saying passive aggressive. It’s a negative statement put in a pleasant way. Like, “Hey Dad, I love the way that you don’t care if your gut sticks out.” Thanks kid, forget about that ride to your friend’s house! Even worse is if your kid calls you “basic”. They mean to say that you are boring, that you have no defining characteristics. It also means that you lack intelligence and have no social skills. Ouch! Bad kid! It’s made worse if your teen gives you a face palm while doing it. They are emphasizing their point with body language, essentially calling you an idiot. Kids can be so mean!

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On the other hand, if your kid tells you that your hair is on “fleek”, this is a compliment. It means that it looks good, or on-point. For some reason, most online references use this to describe eyebrows, but I think that it can be used for anything. If you’re sitting around at breakfast and your son starts talking about a “disgusting fruit roll­up” he ate last night, be concerned. Be very concerned. A disgusting fruit roll-up refers to the flavor of edible underwear. Which in itself, I suppose, isn’t that bad, but it’s probably not a conversation that you want to have with your kids. This list goes on and on, but this should get you started. Good luck in understanding your kids. I know that I need it! Dylan Callens is a freelance correspondent and the author of “Operation Cosmic Teapot”, available at Amazon: http://www.amazon. com/dp/B018YXFOUK


Sasha’s Survival Guide for Stepfamilies “Blended But Not Broken: How My Blended Family Prevailed and Yours Can Too” “Choose me” is the sentiment that punctuated most every interaction in Sasha’s new family, which now included her children, their stepfather, and his kids. While Sasha the Diva had been extremely successful in her professional endeavors as a radio personality, her blended family was falling apart. Her son and husband had developed a volatile rift that was forcing Sasha to choose between the people she loved. Like many people considering a blended family, Sasha was at a crossroads where she was going to have to choose between her marriage and her child. The book has 10 chapters covering topics for both those who are dating with children and those who are already married in blended families. The topicsinclude help in preparing your life for the possibility of having a blended family, as well as dealing with break ups of blended relationships, especially regarding kids. In dealing with blended finances, which will likely include child support payments, Sasha offers advice that should help those


dealing with unreasonable exes. In a chapter (8) on managing relationships with your mate’s ex, Sasha suggests that women usually contribute to the tension with their kids and stepparent. Other chapters on disciplining stepchildren and getting intervention should help alleviate current and potential tension. To reinforce the lessons, the end of every chapter has a review exercise in which the reader can answer personal questions based on the themes presented. In general, the reader will not only learn more about the author and her family, but through the author’s trying experiences, readers should learn more about themselves. Sasha even includes more significant details about her family’s intervention from renowned life coach Iyanla Vanzant, which aired on television (“Iyanla Fix My Life”). By again sharing her life’s trials within a self-help format, Sasha’s book offers readers a shortcut and preventative measures in dealing withblended families.

ISBN:978-0-9971784-0-1 (print) ISBN:978-0-9971784-1-8 (ebook) Price: $14.99

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f the response to where should we get married is“let’ s go away” or “let’ s plan something different,” then a destination wedding presents a perfect alternative to a local ceremony and reception. This seems too pricey or unfeasible for many who are living on a lean budget, but they may not be as cost prohibitive as you think. In some instances, they may be less expensive, as noted by Lisa Sheldon, the co-founder and executive directorof a travel industry trade group representing over 900 certified travel specialists from the U.S. and Canada called Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA.) “Destination Weddings,” she said, “have better price points than regular weddings with 200 plus guests.” These ceremonies and celebrations tend to have more “compact” guest lists, averaging 30-80 attendees and for most couples. In addition, the wedding


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Wedding on the beach – Author – Redbeach

destination serves as the honeymoon spot. Both features are key to managing overall wedding costs. “Millennials represent the typical client group for destination weddings, as this age group is willing to ‘ wait to get what they want.’ They have different buying habits, tend to travel in groups and are very collaborative – they want to be involved in the planning process,” according to Sheldon. But she added that couples on their second marriages, which she terms ‘ Encore’ weddings, are also very attracted to destination weddings. Wedding preparation in general, requires a significant time allocation, precision planning and a realistic budget. When asked the normal lead time, Sheldon indicated, “Some venues average 18 months lead time – while some reserve dates two years in advance



Bride and Groom on Wedding Day – Author – Katrina Brown

planning via emails or telephone conversations from the resort personnel and the bride. Additional travel arrangements for the bridal party, the wedding couple and the attendees are arranged by the Destination Wedding Specialist. During the planning, a question may arise about underwriting guest travel expenses. All guests typically pay their own way – in most cases, even the wedding party. Sheldon acknowledged, “If a free room is earned based on the number of total rooms booked – the bride and groom can choose to give this room/credit to a family or wedding party member. If a large group is booked and many complimentary rooms are awarded, then they may just divide the value evenly among the guests. After covering the basics about planning and understanding the value of enlisting the services of a Destination Wedding Specialist here are a couple of Ms. Sheldon’s “takeaways” from our interview.

Getting Help

Smart Planning

Since the term destination wedding implies geographic distance, this precludes the couple from driving to the church or making frequent visits to the hotel to check on the logistics for the reception. A Destination Wedding Specialist can bridge those“distances” both physically and psychologically. A wedding is an overwhelming process and the specialist can assist the couple conserve time, process information, offer proven recommendations and save money. Most specialists have traveled to the destinations on numerous occasions, know the resorts, are familiar with the lay-outs and logistics of the properties and are acquainted with the onsite wedding personnel. Often couples are not familiar with the location they wish to travel to for celebration of their “Big Day.” Sheldon clarified the role and services offered by a Destination Wedding Specialist, saying, “I will meet with the couple for an initial one-hour consultation. This process can help determine the best locations, resorts etc. Instead of asking directly at the start, what is your budget, I ask questions like where have you been? Where would you like to go? What types of restaurants do you normally go to? Describe your perfect wedding day. Now, describe your perfect honeymoon. I can get a feel if the couple likes to sleep in late and then head to the beach or get up early and see the sights of Rome. After listening to their answers, I will generally ask if they have discussed budget and possibly throw out some ballpark figures. At the end of the consultation, I state that I will prepare a ‘ Plan to Go Agreement’ based on three prospective destinations, three resorts along with a detailed proposal upon payment of my fee. We suggest the purchase of travel insurance sold by the agency or travel suppliers.” Fees paid for a “Plan to Go Agreement”vary by the specialist’ s experience, location, and local market conditions and can range from $250 to $1,000. Once the specifics of location, wedding date and resort are defined, the onsite wedding coordinator is introduced to the couple or the bride for ongoing wedding consultation and detailed planning of the venue. The Destination Wedding Specialist remains updated on the progression of the wedding hers-magazine.com

In consideration of a destination wedding and honeymoon, be mindful of the following: Stay at the resort before you commit to the location or venue. “Certain companies offer the opportunity to stay at

one of their resorts, meet with key wedding staff, and view the resort, to get a feel for the atmosphere and the destination. For a nominal fee, some charge $500.00 per couple; they can stay two nights at one of the resorts. If they book their wedding at that resort, they receive the $500 in credit towards items to enhance their wedding – for example upgraded flowers, a larger cake, etc.” Get the approximate costs, including all possible additional costs. “It’ s really hard to pinpoint dollar amounts

because a couple can have a $7,000 destination wedding in Mexico or Hawaii – but it’ s the inclusions that will factor into higher costs.Some couples have a separate budget for the wedding outside of what they plan to pay for their travel and honeymoon, while others have one amount to cover both. Costs for a small size Italian wedding start around $60,000 $70,000 and go up.” Determine the requirements to hold a wedding ceremony in a foreign country. Contact the embassy or tourist bureau of

the country to understand the procedures for marriage abroad. Ask if your marriage in a foreign country will be recognized in the United States and what documentation may be needed. Contact the office of the Attorney General in

your state of residence in the U.S.

Understand the entry requirements when traveling to a foreign country.View the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of

Consular Affairs website at: www.travel.state.gov.

Check the recommended vaccinations. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC’ s website www. cdc.gov. Contact your physician or a clinic with travel medical

experts for necessary vaccines.

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Top Destinations We selected our topdestinations for weddingsbased on locations with proven performance and reliability, good infrastructures, outstanding accommodations, sightseeing opportunities and bountiful activities. Mexico–Los Cabos, a stunning wedding destination with beautiful beaches, azure blue and turquoise waters, spectacular sunsets, desert vistas and mountains, located at land’ s end where the Gulf of California meets the Pacific Ocean. A twenty-mile corridor bridges the towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas offering world-class oceanfront resorts, championship golf, fishing and boating with riveting nightlife. Celebrity couples: Eli Manning and Abby McGrew and Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloofound Los Cabos their choice of destinations. The Riviera Maya areaextends along the Caribbean coast of Mexico’ s Yucatan Peninsula and encompasses the wedding charmer Playa Del Carmen. The area is known for its ancient Mayan ruins and tradition but not without modern tourist amenities characterized by its shopping, hotels, restaurants and nightspots. Palm-lined and white-sand beaches with crystal clear waters and coral reefs are perfect for scuba diving. While lush tropical jungles, are great for horseback riding or zip-lining through the trees. On the Pacific side of Mexico,Puerto Vallarta, with its charming cobblestone town center, the famed Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Church and El Malecon beachside promenade brim with Mexican character. Image a stunning sunset beach wedding overlooking the horseshoe-shaped coastline of Banderas Bay or a hotel garden reception with the mountains and tropical foliage as backdrop. Jamaica – Almost 700 miles of white and gold-sand coastline, lush rainforests and friendly Jamaican people, shape this exotic and romantic Caribbean island paradise into a major contender for destination weddings. Don’ t be fooled by the laid-back attitude – this island offers plenty of activities. Try zip-lining or hiking in the lush rainforests or climbing famous Dunn River Falls with its cascading waters and small lagoons. Montego Bay and Ocho Rios are two major tourist havens – filled with hotels and resorts with plenty of shopping, restaurants, nightlife and Reggae music. For Bob Marley fans, his birth and final resting place is in the mountainous village of Nine Mile, just an hour outside Ocho Rios. The Bob Marley Museum is in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. Negril, on the western side of the island, is known for Seven Mile Beach but also for its romantic and secluded beaches and coves – perfect for a honeymoon. Dominican Republic – White-sand beaches – gorgeous resort areas - luxurious and relaxing environment – spectacular ocean views – lush botanical gardens – gourmet cuisine ingredients to serve up a recipe for a magical destination wedding and honeymoon. Incredible natural beauty with both 46

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Senior Couple getting married in beach ceremony – Author – Monkey Business Atlantic and Caribbean facing beaches and cool resort towns - offer endless activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The Atlantic coast’ s surf and fishing towns are set near plush tropical rainforests. The Caribbean side offers clear waters perfect for snorkeling or diving in the underwater caves and mangroves orjust sunbathing on the soft-sand beaches. Weddings and honeymoons on this island are packed with natural wonders including Hoyo Azul, a chilly neon-blue lagoon close to Punta Cana one of the main resort areas which has some of the island’ s best golf courses and stunning ocean views. Las Vegas – These venues are tastefully traditional, romantic and elegant embracing the sophisticated glamour of the highend casino resorts. These properties have their own wedding chapels or outdoor gazebos, with sweeping willow trees and beautiful lush gardens for ceremonies; along with ballrooms and terraces for the receptions. This is also the place for unique themed weddings – like a Shark Reef Ceremony. With non-stop action, plenty of activities - this is an ideal spot for a destination wedding and honeymoon. Grand Cayman Island – Grand Cayman and sister islands enjoy some of the world’ s most beautiful beaches including famed Seven Mile Beach. The Cayman’ s are alive with the exotic both on land with curious monkeys hanging from the trees and vibrant colored birds; to the sea with stingrays and colorful fish in the tranquil waters of this world-class diving hub. Grand Cayman’s weddings are the ultimate in gracious island hospitality, tropical romance and stunning backdrops of turquoise waters, sugar-sand beaches fringed with palm and pines trees. The historic town of Georgetown offers plenty of shopping and dining choices. Picturesque – clean – tropical - a perfect Caribbean paradise.



Gulf Coast of Florida – Here it’ s all about beautiful beach settings, stunning sunsets and year-round sunshine. PassA-Grille Beach, at the southernmost end of St.Pete’s Beach Florida, is a wedding and vow renewal favorite. The blue and emerald green waters offer unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico where you’ ll catch dolphins playing or a magnificent sunset within minutes of the quaint historic beach town. The sand dunes provide a sense of peace and romance allowing for an intimate and simply elegant beach ceremony. Sarasota County beaches are known for their white sugar-sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets. For added character and charm, arrive on the beach for your ceremony in a horse drawn carriage. If you prefer to have your nuptials “off the beach”an

- gorgeous mountains – stunning tropical gardens – majestic vistas – unforgettable sunsets – and the hospitable and gracious Hawaiian people. The locale blends effortlessly from wedding, reception to honeymoon. The “Big Island” known as Hawaii displays active lava fields from two volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa - at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The beaches - Hapuna and Kahaluu in the west are known for snorkeling and water sports and the famous black-sand beaches of Punalu’ u are great for swimming, snorkeling and coastal hiking. The main resort areas lie on the westside of the island in the Kailua-Kona areas and further north at Waikoloa Village. On Maui, the once historic whaling village, Lahaina, is now a “trendy” hot spot and the gateway to the resort areas of Kaanapali Beach and Kapalua.The major resort areas on the southwestern side are Kihei and Wailea. A trip to Maui would not be complete without taking the awe inspiring drive along the Hana Highway, as the road hugs the East Maui coastline with cliffs overlooking secluded beaches and lush jungle. California – Napa Valley – Imagine your “picture perfect day”in Napa Valley –America’ s premier wine area. Venues here include: ceremonies and receptions in vineyards, wineries, wine cellars and posh country clubs. Luscious outdoor garden settings with vows taken under a gazebo set classic elegance; while a rustic barn or farmhouse location present a less formal atmosphere. Farm to table fare and menus paired perfectly with wines, add to the ambiance. While, there’ s plenty to do in the area, San Francisco is just a couple of hours away by car.

Stylish Asian Couple – Author – Ivash Studio 1890’ s rustic wooden chapel or garden wedding might be in order. In Naples, image an intimate waterfront ceremony framed by lush palm trees, with the sounds of gentle waves lapping on the shores of the soft white-sand beaches. From barefoot-on-the-beach style weddings to elegant black-tie affairs, Florida’ s Gulf Coast with its shopping, dining, boating, fishing, golf and top-notch resorts, delivers absolute wedding perfection. Hawaii – Consistently ranked as a top wedding and honeymoon destination, this is where to go exotic without requiring a passport. Enjoy trade winds – secluded beaches


Italy – There’ s a certain mystic about the Tuscany region, situated in the heart of Italy with its rolling hills, tilled fields and farms, castles and manor homes and well-maintained medieval villages. Fancy a fairytale wedding in a medieval castle, elegant farmhouse or a luxurious villa with manicured gardens and fountains overlooking olive groves. There are a number of choices for your Tuscan wedding and they include: Lucca –a charming town with walls encircling the historic center with its cobblestone streets and numerous churches.Siena and Florence –both stunningly beautiful and characterized by their artistic treasures and antiques. Kim Kardasian and Kanye West married in Florence. San Gimignano –is another medieval marvel, while Cortonawas the setting for the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” from the book written by Frances Mayes. And we cannot omit the hilltop town, Montalcino as the area famous for the Tuscan wine “Brunello. In general, the style and type of ceremony help determine your location and venue. This may include: old world elegance with storybook charm –a sunrise or sunset wedding on the beach –family friendly locations – non-stop action day and night – secluded nuptials –polished sophistication and serenity – tropical gardens and gazebos – or a chapel wedding and hotel reception.

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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 48

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+ H E R E N T E R TA I N M E N T

Artists to Watch in 2016 BY JAZMYNE CROWDER

Lion Babe is a neo soul duo that formed in New York City made up of singer Jillian Hervey and producer Lucas Goodman. Following their meeting through a mutual friend, the pair released the single “Treat Me Like Fire” (2012), which raised their profile and led them to sign a record deal with Interscope. Following the signing the duo released their self-titled debut EP in 2014.

Kehlani, 21, is an R&B singer-songwriter who is currently signed to Atlantic Records. She achieved initial fame as a member of the teen pop group, PopLyfe, which was a finalist on America’s Got Talent. She was nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album.In the midst of a promising career, in March 2016, she said she was so devastated over rumors that she cheated on her then boyfriend, Kyrie Irving, she tried to commit suicide. hers-magazine.com

Tinashe, 23, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, actress and former model. She began her entertainment career at the age of 3 when she began modeling and acting. In 2012, Tinashe released two critically acclaimed mixtapes, In Case We Die and Reverie, which she created in her home studio. After the release of the mixtapes, Tinashe signed with RCA Records. On January 12, 2016, she began her Joyride World Tour.

Maren Larae Morris, 26, musician, singer and songwriter is signed to Columbia Nashville. She began her career at 11, writing music. Her latest EP, Maren Morris (Nov. 2015), has charted on two Billboard charts for the songs My Churchand I’ll Be the Moon. Now she is set to release her first major full-length country album titled Hero.

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+ H E R P L AY


Devious Maids (Lifetime)

Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!) Sunday, May 1 at 9 p.m. In its 12th season, the colorful blended family led by matriarch Kris Jenner returns with all new drama, including Rob’s marriage proposal to Blac Chyna, his younger sister’s boyfriend’s baby mama.

Pretty Little Liars (Freeform, formerly ABC Family) Tuesday, June 21 at 8 p.m. The summer premiere of season seven will likely be the most romantic one yet, centering on the Hanna-Caleb-Spencer love triangle.

Orange is the New Black (Netflix) The Bachelorette (ABC) Monday, May 23 at 8 p.m. JoJo Fletcher will embark on her own journey to find love when she stars in the 12th edition of the spin-off series. 50

Friday, June 17 at 12:01 a.m. The ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary are back for round four. In this season of DzOITNB,dz each character undergoes an awakening of some sort and rediscovers who she is, including Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling).

| HERS M a gazi ne | M ay/Ju n e 2016 |

Monday, June 6 at 9 p.m. Set to return for its fourth season, watch Beverly Hills maids Rosie (Dania Ramirez), Marisol (Ana Ortiz), Zoila (Judy Reyes), and Carmen (Roselyn Sanchez) as they wade through new bosses and relationships.

“Scream” (MTV) Tuesday, June 30 The hit slasher series picks up with Emma’s return to Lakewood High after several months at a retreat, where she tried to recover from the horrors of last season. Look for new clues for the connection to the Killer, along with new cast members. hers-magazine.com

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Summer Movie Picks BY CIARA JOHNSON

Mothers and Daughters (dramatic comedy) Release Date: May 6, 2016 Cast: Susan Sarandon, Courtney Cox, Christina Ricci, Sharon Stone, Selma Blair, Mira Sorvino Rigby Gray (Blair) is a New York photographer who takes pictures of moms and their adult daughters and begins to pay attention to real mother-daughter relationships when she unexpectedly becomes pregnant. The film is a celebration of the unparalleled love between mothers and their children.

Equity (drama) The Angry Birds Movie (comedy) Release Date: May 20, 2016 Cast: Kate McKinnon, Maya Rudolph, Jason Sudeikis Find out why the birds are so angry with this action packed summer comedy! When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to three unlikely outcasts- Red, Chuck and Bomb- to investigate what the mischievous pigs are up to.

Release Date: July 29, 2016 Cast: Anna Gunn and James Purefoy The film about a Wall Street firm run by women, follows Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn), an ambitious senior investment banker who is threatened by a financial scandal and must untangle a web of corruption.

Star Trek Beyond (science fiction) Release Date: July 22, 2016 Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin and John Cho The crew of the starship Enterprise embarks on another mission into deep space.

Me Before You (drama) Release Date: June 30, 2016 Cast: Emilia Clarke, Jenna Coleman

Bad Moms (comedy) Release Date: July 29, 2016 Cast: Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn and Jada Pinkett Smith When three overworked and underappreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their everyday responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and selfindulgence.

Young and quirky Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. After the two bond, Will’s cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

Conjuring 2 (horror) Release Date: June 10, 2010 Cast: Vera Farmiga, Franka Potente, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’Connor Paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren travel to London to help a single mother and her four children rid their home of malicious spirits.

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| HERS M a gazi ne | M ay/Ju n e 2016 |


Profile for Hers Magazine

Hers May/June 2016  

Join us as we celebrate mothers and spotlight some well-known mothers who share insight into their family life before, during and even after...

Hers May/June 2016  

Join us as we celebrate mothers and spotlight some well-known mothers who share insight into their family life before, during and even after...