In Full Bloom: Jordan Lee Dooley will help you get ‘unstuck’ and encourage you to tackle your ‘

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In Full Bloom

Jordan Lee Dooley will help you get ‘unstuck’ and encourage you to tackle your ‘why’



An interview with Melissa Joan Hart


Holiday Gift Guide Must-have items for everyone on your list A WONDERFUL WINTER


everything you need for winter beauty.


/ No Time Like the Present

In this issue: 7



In Every Issue



Angie’s Editor’s Page



LIFE Now and Later Vision Ways to see your future more clearly


HEALTH & FITNESS Get Ready for the Holiday Season Recommendations on exercising and eating right


HEALTH & FITNESS Fitness During the Holiday Season Tips for staying fit during treat season



Easy things you can whip up for your next party

Brace the cold in style this season


STYLE Glam Holiday Looks

FOOD Holiday Treats

RELATIONSHIPS Irresistible Home-Spa Party Tips for throwing a DIY spa



BEAUTY Pucker Up!

STYLE Cozy and Chic Winter Outerwear


We can’t get enough of these luxe clothes and accessories


HOME Be My Guest Tips on entertaining for your upcoming holiday party

5 lip shades and 1 treatment you need this winter


BEAUTY Getting to Know Jasmine Lawrence Tips on healthy hair, achieving your dreams and future plans WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 1


/ No Time Like the Present


28 40



CAREER An Interview with Jennifer Mearns



In Full Bloom

An Inspiring Look into the Life of One of Muncie’s Leading Women

Motivational social media star, author and podcaster shares her secrets to becoming unstuck, and how to bloom where you are planted.



MONEY How to Stop Impulse Purchases During the Holidays Our recommendations for a debtfree Christmas


RELATIONSHIPS Yes Sister! Who Brunch A photo collage of our first Yes Sisters! gathering

INSPIRATION Holiday Gift Guide Must-have items for everyone on your list


TRAVEL Wonderful Winter Girlfriends Getaway Tips on What to Do and Where to Go in Greenville


WATCH The Hart of the Holidays The holiday season is more magical when this actress is involved


READ Books You’ve Always Wanted to Read Cuddle up with a great book


WATCH Holiday Rom Coms Hope’s movie night picks for the season


LISTEN Christmas Songs from Our Dearest Collaborators Our Friends’ Favorite Christmas Songs



is like snow—it beautifies everything it covers.



/ Section subject HOPE FOR WOMEN Q4 (Winter 2019) THE SIMPLE THINGS VOL. 12 NO. 18






Hello Beautiful I can’t believe the holiday season is already upon us. I don’t know about you, but my days are filling up with shopping, baking, preparing, and finishing up end-of-theyear work deadlines. Sometimes, it’s enough to completely overwhelm me! And we can’t forget the feelings of grief, loss, stress, and depression that the winter season often brings. Whether it’s missing family members who are no longer with us, lamenting broken relationships, or getting caught up in the ‘grayness’ of the season, this time of year is not all fun and games. So, how do we take care of ourselves this holiday season? Instead of feeling burnt-out and depressed at the end of the holidays, how do we get through the season healthily and joyfully?

Within the pages of our winter issue, HOPE offers you tips on how to care for yourself physically and mentally, how to host others with joy and finesse, and how to let down your hair and have a little bit of fun this holiday season! We as women must support each other this season, now more than ever, and HOPE is so excited to be by your side as we grow and EVOLVE together! Happy holidays,

Angelia White Editor in Chief



Evolving into your 2020 Vision • Stay Fit During Eating Season • Holiday Treats to Make


Photo by on Unsplash


/ Your Life: 20/20 Vision

Now & Later Vision Evolving into your 2020 vision WAYS TO SEE YOUR FUTURE MORE CLEARLY Talking about vision is fun and inspiring. A great conversation, sermon or class on vision can motivate you to believe and achieve the seemingly impossible. It can prompt you to write the vision, create a vision board, start a vision journal and more. That’s all good, but there is another task you must do if you really want to achieve your goals and help your vision manifest: you must develop what I call “Now and Later Vision.” A successful woman must develop the skills to see and address what is front of her now, while also visualizing and preparing for what is to come later.

About three years ago, my eye doctor said something I considered very weird at the time. He said, “Your eyes are totally healthy, and you’ll likely need reading glasses in the near future.” To my uneducated (in the area of optometry) ear, that statement was an oxymoron. If my eyes are healthy, then why would I need reading glasses? The reason is because for many people, the way our eyes focus on things changes as we get older. In these cases, the eye begins to focus on things that are at a distance and not so much on things that are close-up. The quick and painless fix for this is using reading glasses or bifocals. Refusing to use readers or bifocals will likely further weaken your close-up vision. My doctor was right, because I’m now at the point where I feel more comfortable reading with the assistance of reading glasses, and without


them, it’s a strain to see what is literally right in front of me. Appropriately reacting to this small change in my eyes enhanced my ability to see—and all it cost me was about $20, a little bit of time and some humility. Why are we talking about reading glasses? The spiritual eyes are like aging eyes. They are perfectly healthy, and you must train your train them to focus on what’s happening right in front of you and what’s going to happen later. You must learn to give as much attention to the present small opportunities for success as you give to the big wins that are a few years away. In other words, you must develop a bifocal vision for your life—one that includes the now and one that includes the later. Without doing this, you can possibly (and most likely) sabotage your ability to achieve your big goals. Let me give you an example: I want you to keep believing and focusing on building a million-dollar business, but I want you to also focus on being excellent at the job you have right now. How can you go above and beyond at your next staff meeting? How can you implement a novel idea? What training can you attend, or book can you read next month? Giving your attention to what’s pertinent right now will prepare you for the big things to come. My favorite book, the Bible, says that the small foxes spoil the vine (Song of Sol 2:15). This means that a successful and fruitful harvest requires equal attention to the small things, as well as the big. Keep this in mind as you prepare your 2020 vision. Be a woman who is bold enough to detail and dream about your later; yet, humble enough to use her faith and talent on the small, seemingly insignificant, things that are a part of your now. Deal with what is immediate first, and then move to the next thing and so on, and you’ll reach your big goals before you know it. Vetta Cash is a born-again believer who is living out the will of God for her life. She is the director of women’s affairs at Flow Church, the founder and CEO of the Breathe Conference, a conference speaker, national columnist, Pastor’s wife and mother of two.



/ Get Ready for Holiday Season


Eating Season 6 tips to staying healthy


RECOMMENDATIONS ON EXERCISING AND EATING RIGHT The holidays are on their way – get ready! The latest research states that the average American gains five to ten pounds between November and January. Preparation is key to helping you manage the barrage of food choices, so you can avoid the Holiday Ten! This may not seem like much, but it can add up year after year. The good news? You can enjoy the celebrations and avoid gaining weight! The key is to remember one thing: stress and emotions are all part of the season. Follow the six tips listed below to help you stay in control while enjoying your friends and family.


STAY ON YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE Exercising regularly will help you manage your emotions and eliminate stress. If you have not been exercising (no judgements!), then this is a great time to start! Your time to exercise has to be non-negotiable. So, plan to get up 20 or 30 minutes early to use your treadmill or stand and sit continuously while watching the morning news. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Don’t let a lack of time become your excuse for not exercising.


MODERATE, DON’T ELIMINATE! You will have other meals in your life! Select only two carbs, such as sweet potatoes and dressing, and skip the rolls and corn. Also remember to watch the portion size – later, you’ll be happy you did. If you try to stay away from all the goodies, then you're going to feel like you’re deprived. This leads to – you guessed it! – even more eating. Let yourself indulge a little in your favorite foods: just keep it in moderation.


EAT BEFORE YOU GO TO YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY Never go hungry to a dinner party (trust me, it never ends well.) Eat a high protein source like lean chicken, chili or lentil soup first. Any of these will satisfy you and help you make better food choices once you arrive to the party. Again, watch your portions and never skip meals in anticipation of eating at an event. If you’re really hungy, you will be more likely to overeat. 8 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019


RE-THINK YOUR DRINK! Choose smaller serving sizes of your favorite beverages (yes, alcohol also falls in this category.) Consider a lowcalorie beer and a flavored or carbonated water instead of soda. Also, make sure to constantly refill your water bottle. Water is a natural appetite suppressant; drink a glass of water before eating any meal or grazing the buffet table.


MANAGE YOURSELF AT THE BUFFET Start with something green, then walk around and look at what else is there. Choose wisely! One simple way to stay healthy is to choose larger helpings of veggies than anything else. Remember: taste the things you love the most, but keep those portions small.


OFFER TO BRING A DISH Not only is this polite, but also, it’s a great way to make sure there are healthy things at the party that you like! Bring your favorite low-fat entree, then go and enjoy! Hosting the holiday event yourself? Help yourself and your guests by providing plenty of tasty vegetables and salads. Put the vegetables and salads out first as appetizers before the higher-calorie items are presented. Then, make sure to send the most tempting options home with the guests! The most important thing is to enjoy this special time of year with your friends and family. I’m wishing you all the best! Norma Rixter, MBA, is a leading health coach, certified nutritionist, author of “Eat to Lose” and “Norma Can COOK!”, personal trainer, and creator of Norma’s P-Tein Vegan Protein More information can be found at


/ Maintain Weight Holiday

Fitness During the Holiday Season How we can maintain our weight throughout the holiday season BY SELENA MOOREHEAD


It’s that time of year again, when everyone is gearing up for the holiday season. This brings family gatherings, outings, traveling, and festivities that will undoubtedly be filled with very tempting dishes and treats. It’s practically impossible for you to maintain your weight through it all!

Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It indicates that most health benefits, including weight loss, can be realized when adults do the equivalent of 150 to 300 minutes (two-and-a-half hours to five hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.

Albeit a short span of time (from Halloween through the New Year), one could easily get off track and re-gain any weight lost in previous months. But with the right mindset and pre-planning exercise and nutrition, you can get through the holiday season without moving the scale one iota! It will, of course, also take dedication and commitment to sustain your plans. Follow these three tips to help:

Be active with your family and find times that you can dedicate 30–45 minutes per day for four days a week to exercise. Sticking with it is the key. If you’ve already implemented an exercise plan, then your job around the holidays is to not let anything or anyone distract you from your goals.


Healthy weight loss is 80% nutrition + 20% exercise. During the Christmas holidays, you’ll want to plan your outings and adjust your meals accordingly. For instance, if you know you’ll be attending an evening family gathering where there will be lots of food, eat a small breakfast and lunch and prepare a healthy dish to contribute to the potluck. Here are some other daily tips that will help you avoid weight gain:

“Mindset” traditionally refers to an individual’s way of thinking that shapes thoughts and habits. These thoughts and habits affect how you think, what you feel and what you do. Being in the right mindset, however, means having the belief that you are in control of your own ability and destiny. Before the holidays, picture yourself at the weight and size that you desire. Keep this image in the back of your mind at all times, especially when attending festivities. This will help you evaluate the food tables and select smarter choices. Creating affirmations and speaking them daily will help you get in the right mindset as well. In fact, by repeatedly telling yourself who you want to be, what you want to accomplish and how you are going to accomplish it, your subconscious mind will shift your beliefs and behavior, according to the Miracle Morning for Network Marketers by Hal Elrod and Pat Petrini. Eventually, your affirmations will manifest into reality. DEDICATE YOUR TIME TO AN EXERCISE PLAN

It would be ideal if you were already part of the 53.3% of adults aged 18 years and older who meet the Physical


• • • • •

Choose snacks wisely Practice mindful eating Keep meals balanced with protein Include fiber Watch your portion sizes

Lastly, you may want to recruit someone to be your accountability partner during the holidays to help you stay on track and implement your plans. Selena Moorehead is a health and financial wellness consultant whose passion is to educate others on how healthy living transforms into financial wellness. Visit www.AHealthierYou. today for her healthier consumer goods and www.BossWomen. today to jumpstart your health and financial wellness business. Connect with Selena on Facebook or Instagram at @tw4life4all and @bosswomentoday. WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 9


/ Holiday Desserts

Holiday Treats

to Make For Your Loved Ones Delicious recipes you will want to make right now BY JENNIFER MOORMAN

EASY THINGS YOU CAN WHIP UP FOR YOUR NEXT PARTY Bestselling magical realism author Jennifer Moorman spins whimsical tales set in the charming small town you know and love. With its quirky characters and heartwarming stories, Jennifer’s novels invite you into a world where anything is possible especially sweets that will put a smile on your face. Jennifer weaves her love for food and baking into her novels. Whether characters are sharing an oversize cinnamon roll at the local bakery or finding comfort and warmth in their grandma’s lasagna, you’ll be reminded how much community and love we find while sharing our favorite dishes. In the fictional small Southern town of Mystic Water, magic floats on the breeze. Nestled inside the cozy bakery, whimsy and enchantment are sprinkled into every treat. Cookies will fill you with warmth on a blustery winter day. Decadent pies will kindle your childlike wonder for the giving season. Warm scents of melting sugar and warm dough straight from the oven will wrap you in memories full of nostalgia and love. Mystic Water’s bakery invites you into its cheerful, sweet-filled shop and offers you a seat at the counter with its twinkling holiday lights and delightful desserts. For anyone who loves delicious treats, these recipes, inspired by Jennifer’s magical realism novel The Baker’s Man, are perfect for this holiday season.


Love extra chocolate-y cookies? Daydream about warm, rich, velvety hot chocolate? Melt-in-your-mouth goodness? Hot Chocolate Peppermint cookies offer a chewy, double chocolate cookie with mint in the batter and topped with a gooey marshmallow, silky ganache, and a sprinkling of crushed candy cane. Whip up a batch of these on a wintery day and fill your home and your heart with warmth. These are perfect for cookie exchanges, holiday gatherings or alongside a mug of hot chocolate. Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes


Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • • •

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick equals 1/2 cup) 3/4 cup sugar 1 large egg 1/4 tsp natural peppermint extract (I use Frontier Co-Op) 1 1/4 cup unbleached King Arthur all-purpose flour 1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/3 cup Enjoy Life dark, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips 24 Kraft Jet-Puffed large marshmallows 2 4-ounce Baker’s quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (113g each), finely chopped* • 1 cup (8 ounces; 240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream • 3–4 candy canes (finely crushed)


/ Holiday Desserts

Instructions: • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes. Add egg and peppermint extract, and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as you go to ensure even mixing. • Add flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder to a sifter, and sift gradually over the wet ingredients, mixing as you go. Mix until well combined. • Add chocolate chips and fold in with a mixing spoon. Then, chill in the freezer for 10 minutes while the oven finishes heating. Dough can be stored overnight in the refrigerator if making ahead and baking the following day. • Form the dough into small balls (2 tablespoon size), and place 1.5 inches apart on an ungreased or parchmentlined baking sheet. Press the tops down, working to keep the dough in a circle. • Bake until slightly under-baked, approximately 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut marshmallows into halves using kitchen scissors. • Remove cookies from oven and add 1 marshmallow half to each cookie, placing the cut side downward. Return to oven and bake for 2–3 more minutes. The edges should start to dry, but the tops will still be slightly soft looking. • Remove from oven and gently press down on marshmallows to flatten slightly. Let set on the cookie sheet for a few minutes more. • For the ganache: Place chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil– that’s too hot!) Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2–3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate. With a metal spoon or small rubber spatula, very slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted. • Drizzle melted ganache back and forth across cookies. Don’t completely cover the marshmallow! Tip: Consider performing this method and the candy cane sprinkle with cookies placed on a cooling rack over a baking sheet to control the mess. • Sprinkle crushed candy canes on immediately. • Transfer to a cooling rack to rest until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh for up to a few days or freeze for several weeks.


If irresistible treats are what you crave, then you will love this unbelievably rich and creamy Nutella tart, enhanced with a toasted hazelnut crust. Bakery patrons promise this simple, although quite extraordinary, pie will boost your holiday spirits and lighten your steps. This Nutella Tart with Toasted Hazelnut Crust is the perfect make-ahead dessert! Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes Yield: 10–12 servings Ingredients • • • • • •

Toasted Hazelnut Crust 1 cup chopped unsalted hazelnuts 1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed • 3 Tablespoons ice water

Nutella Filling: • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch • 2 cups heavy cream • 1 cup Nutella • 1/8 teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Special Equipment • 9-inch tart pan • Pie weights

Instructions • Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Spread chopped hazelnuts out onto a parchment paper or silicone baking mat on a baking sheet. Toast until slightly darkened, approximately 5–7 minutes. You should be able to smell the light nutty flavor when they are toasted. Allow to cool down for 5 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). • For the crust: Using a food processor, pulse 3/4 cup of the toasted hazelnuts, the flour, sugar and salt together until it reaches the consistency of coarse meal. (Reserve 1/4 cup of the nuts for topping.) Add the cubes of cold butter and pulse until the mixture turns into pea-sized crumbs. • Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, slowly stir in 3 Tablespoons of ice water. You only want to add enough water to bring the dough somewhat together. Do not add more than 3 Tablespoons of water! Using floured fingers or the bottom of a flat and lightly floured measuring cup, press the dough evenly into a 9-inch tart pan. You want it extremely tight in the pan. Line the crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and add pie weights. Tip: Leave enough overhang of foil or parchment so that when it’s time to remove the pie weights, you can lift them out of the pan easily (keeping all the pie weights contained.) • Bake (with pie weights) for 20 minutes. You’ll want the crust to be slightly brown and firm. If the bottom still feels soggy, return to oven for 2–3 more minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack so it can slightly cool as you prepare the filling. • For the filling: Whisk the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream together in a small bowl. (You want a little cream mixed with the cornstarch to avoid white cornstarch lumps in your filling.) Combine the cornstarch mixture, the rest of the heavy cream, Nutella and salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. While constantly whisking, allow to boil for 3 minutes as it thickens. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla, then pour into the crust. The top will smooth itself fairly well while you pour, but if you want it smoother or you want to create a swirling pattern in the filling, work quickly with an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon. Filling firms up quickly. • Chill in the refrigerator for 3–4 hours or until set. Top with remaining hazelnuts. Tip: If you’re in a pinch for time, place in freezer for 1 hour and tart should be ready to serve. WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 11


/ Surprise Your Girlfriends


HOME-SPA PARTY Your girlfriends will be amazed BY MAURITA SUTTON BROWN

TIPS FOR THROWING A DIY SPA One of my favorite things to do in my home is to gather with women and share about our lives. Our home is a sacred haven, and I love to get together with others and create opportunities to relax, explore ideas, chat about our families and pray. When it comes to sharing life with others, I use my unique talents as an interior designer and life coach to help. For example, I know of a great way to honor your girlfriends at gatherings that will have them in awe and totally relaxed—hosting a home-spa party! Follow these tips and activities to host the most irresistible DIY spa for your girlfriends this month. INVITE 5-TO-10 GIRLFRIENDS AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO EACH BRING: • Cozy lounge wear, preferably including a with a cotton chenille bathrobe • Workout attire and a yoga mat • Open-toe slippers or sandals • Their overnight bags and a pillow SET UP FOR THE SPA PARTY WITH THE FOLLOWING ESSENTIALS: • Have a large basket of soft face and body towels available • Set the mood with drawn curtains, light Simply Maurita candles and play soft music • Use a large clear space so your guests will have privacy at their stations • Set out food—salad choices paired with sparkling or purified water and fresh vegetable and fruit trays • Have champagne and cake available for a toast at some point during the event • Hire a photographer (preferably a female) • Invite trainers and sponsors to your event (maybe each of one of them will give away a free gift) 12 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019


/ Surprise Your Girlfriends

ENCOURAGE YOUR GUESTS TO TRY OUT EACH OF THE THEMED STATIONS AT YOUR PARTY: • Yoga on the Lawn: Nothing eases the mind like a yoga session. Ask your invited yoga trainer to create a new beginner’s routine for your session or simply pull up a simple video on YouTube. This will help everyone warm up to the day, relieve stress and make for a great bonding moment. • Facials: Pamper your guests with a facial from an esthetician or a facial station set up in your home. Make sure you have products available for all types of skin, including things that help with detoxifying, anti-inflammatory issues and other facial needs. In this area, set up little mirrors, facial masks, little bowls of water (add rose petals for a special touch) and small towels. Play soft music in this area to keep things serene. • Hand and Foot Massages: Your guests will enjoy a simple soak and full massage for their hands, calves and feet from your sponsored reflexologist. Warm soaks, hot towel wraps, paraffin waxes and more are available to give them the full luxury treatment. Or, you can simply warm up hot water to soak the towels in, then wrap them around your legs and stick your feet in a bowl of warm water with Epsom salt to help guests relax. • The “Share Life” Moment: You and your guests have spent a memorable time at your Irresistible Home-Spa Party, and everyone is relaxed. Now its time to bond and relax. Encourage everyone to change into lounge wear and gather close together, facing each other. This is a great time to do a session of breathing exercises as soft music plays and candles flicker nearby. Ask your girlfriends to answer thought-provoking questions, such as “What are you thankful for now?” or another topic. This will have your girlfriends feeling closer than ever and wanting you to do this annually. If you need any tips or solutions to create The Irresistible Home-Spa Party for your girlfriends, email Maurita Sutton Brown, PhD Candidate of Psychology at


Pucker Up! • Get to Know Jasmine Lawrence • Glam Holiday Looks •


Photo by chelsea ferenando on Unsplash



/ Lips for the Season






Snow is gently falling all around you, your cheeks are flushed pink from the warm hot cocoa you’ve been sipping on, and your hair is naturally messy from the cold wind whipping it around. This picture-perfect moment is practically right out of a Christmas card! The only thing that could make it even better? Wearing the perfect shade of lipstick. You need something dark enough to stand out, bright enough to make your face glow and smooth enough for, well, date nights with your boo. Keep reading for my top 5 choices this winter plus a bonus treatment to help your lips stay ultra-hydrated.

A. RETRO MATTE LIPSTICK, MAC COSMETICS There’s a reason the retro matte lipstick from MAC Cosmetics ($18.50) is a best-seller. It’s striking red color is more intense than Santa’s hat, not to mention it looks bold and fierce on any skin tone. And the matte finish leaves it feeling silky, without being too creamy or messy. B. LIMITED-EDITION MATTE LIPSTICK IN GRAZIE, VIOLET, MARY KAY Since the fashion world has turned to greys, whites and blacks for the season, now is the best time to experiment with color in your lipstick. That’s why we love the limitededition Mary Kay matte lipstick in Grazie, Violet ($18). This velvety lipstick paints your pout a stunning bright purple— perfect for a night on the town with your girls or whenever you need a confidence lift. C. HOURGLASS COSMETICS GIRL LIP STYLO LIPSTICK, NEIMAN MARCUS You’re a visionary, girl, and your lipstick should be too. Go with this dark maroon lipstick from Hourglass Cosmetics in Visionary ($34), and you will be ready to accomplish anything you set out to do. This strong color is made with a blend of Shea butter, Jojoba, mimosa and sunflower seed to moisturize lips and give them a soft, heavenlike feeling. After all, nobody has time for chapped lips when we’ve got business to run and goals to crush! D. REALHER MOISTURIZING LIPSTICK, NEIMAN MARCUS Speaking of lipstick that gives you confidence, you have to try any color from the RealHer moisturizing lipstick collection ($18 each). With shade names like “I Define Beauty Myself,” “Boss,” “Girlpower,” “I Love Myself” and more, you will feel an instant self-esteem boost every time you pull one out of your bag. Oh yeah, and the colors are great too—they range from light peach to dark purple and are formulated with Jojoba and Macadamia seed, Shea butter, Aloe Vera and vitamin E for a hydrating


experience. Basically, it’s designed for real women, to make you feel like the superstar you are. E. FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA GLOSS BOMB UNIVERSAL LIP B C A LUMINZER, SEPHORA Add a little sparkle to your winter with Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty lip gloss in FU$$Y ($18). This shimmery, baby pink gloss is made with a cruelty-free, non-sticky formula that is good for the environment and healthy for your lips too. Plus, it’s peachvanilla scent will have you licking your lips (and kissing your honey) all day long. Swipe it on for a pretty shine that will complement any look. F. MAMONDE LIP SLEEPING MASK, ULTA When the busy day has come to an end, give your lips time to heal and refresh by using the Mamonde lip sleeping mask ($14). Simply spread over your lips to soothe your pout while you’re asleep. When you wake up, the antioxidant-rich plum blossom extract and Shea and Muru Muru butters will have worked their magic, giving you baby-soft skin. You can also apply this during the day if you need a quick hydration boost or to make your lipstick glide on even smoother. Sydni Ellis grew up in the great state of Texas, where the iced tea can never be too sweet and everyone does their makeup before going to the grocery store. She has her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and she loves talking about her passions: writing, shopping and reading murder mysteries. Follow her on Twitter @sydnimellis to see her latest stories on fashion, entertainment, travel, lifestyle and local events—and to see 500+ pictures of her two blonde babies. WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 15


/ EdenBody Works Feature


Jasmine Lawrence A chat with owner of EDEN BodyWorks


TIPS ON HEALTHY HAIR, ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS AND FUTURE PLANS At a very young age, Jasmine Lawrence was frustrated with products that damaged her hair. After attending a camp for young entrepreneurs, she found all the necessary ingredients for products and learned how to get them from the internet. At 13-years-old, Lawrence managed to start her own business for natural hair, which later became known as EDEN BodyWorks. The brand became a success and can now be found in Walmart, Target, Sally’s and other major retailers. Lawrence went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in computer science and her master’s degree in human-centered design and engineering, which helps her manage her company. She has also appeared on Oprah to talk about her struggles and inspiration to start her own company. We sat down with her to talk about healthy hair, achieving your dreams and her future plans.

HOPE For Women: What was your motivation behind starting EDEN BodyWorks? Jasmine: I started EDEN BodyWorks based on my own need for affordable, natural products that actually worked. I wanted to share the solutions I had created for myself with other people around the world and use them as an opportunity to encourage, educate and empower them to live healthy lives. HFW: How important do you think it is to have healthy hair? And, how important do you think it is to be educated on what we’re putting in our hair? 16 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019

JL: Healthy hair is essential! We should take care of our entire bodies as this will improve our quality of life. We should be just as picky about what we put on our hair as what we put in our bodies. Learning what works well for you and your body is an important step in creating hair and body care regiments that can produce the desired results. HFW: What obstacles did you face when you first started your business? JL: Two of the obstacles I faced were: not being taken seriously (since I was very young when I started my

company) and managing production out of my home. The first obstacle was overcome with time and focusing on the mission of the company instead of what others thought. The second obstacle took research, networking and lots of trials to find the best way to produce and distribute products to customers. HFW: What advice do you have for a young black female who’s trying to make her dreams a reality? JL: My advice would be to be clear about why you are pursuing that dream. This reasoning will keep you motivated in the midst of adversity. Having a strong mission and purpose can bring you the clarity needed to stay focused as well as inspire others to come alongside and support you. HFW: What is the mission behind EDEN BodyWorks? What does EDEN BodyWorks strive to do for consumers? JL: Our ultimate mission is to help people live happy and healthy lives. While our products most notably impact you on the outside, we hope that we can influence what’s inside as well through education, motivation and working to support partners who also share our values. Life is a long journey and we want to be right there with you giving you the tools, products and community you need to thrive. HFW: Describe what the process is like when you’re creating new products or a new collection? JL: Creating new products is always fun and meaningful. There is a lot of brainstorming and ideation with the team to create something that will actually meet the needs of our customers. Once we pick a focus for the new line or product, we also pair it with a social mission as the spirit that embodies the purpose of the line. For example, the Almond Marshmallow line has a lot of products to help repair damaged hair. Our mission with this line has been physical and emotional healing as well as overcoming obstacles in life. As a team, we are guided by data and experience so we can be responsive and adapt to the changing needs and priorities of our industry.

HFW: When you’re not working on EDEN BodyWorks, what else do you like to do with your time? Do you have any other interests or hobbies? JL: When I’m not working on EDEN BodyWorks, I also work at a major tech company creating products for social good as a Technical Program Manager. The rest of my free time is usually spent playing video games, singing, writing, public speaking, playing basketball and traveling. HFW: Do you have any future plans for EDEN BodyWorks? Do you think you’ll expand to skincare, too? JL: There’s so much more in store for EDEN BodyWorks. While hair is the bulk of what we do today, we know there is so much more to a person than that. We hope to continue to experiment and explore other products and geographical areas to serve people in. Expanding our skin line is definitely something I can see on the horizon as well as refreshing some of our classic items. HFW: What has been your biggest accomplishment with EDEN BodyWorks? What has been your biggest personal accomplishment? JL: My biggest accomplishment with EDEN BodyWorks has been building a team of passionate people who have helped to grow and evolve it beyond what I could have imagined. My personal biggest accomplishment has been to have the freedom to pursue my interests, passions and purpose, even if that means having two parallel careers. I’ve been able to balance, sacrifice and make things work for the last 15 years, and it has been incredibly rewarding.

Check our EDEN BodyWorks at their website for more information about the products they offer.


/ Glam Holiday Looks

Holiday Looks Look elegant at your next party with these outfits BY: SYDNI ELLIS

WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THESE LUXE CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES While watching Jennifer Aniston, Zendaya, Brittany Snow and others dressed in jaw-dropping ensembles at the 2019 People’s Choice Awards, I felt a twinge of jealousy. (I mean, did you see Z’s stunning black gown with dazzling crystals trimming the waist cut-outs?) I can’t remember the last time I dressed up like that! This year, instead of your usual ugly-Christmas-sweater-and-jeans combo, choose something more glamorous for the holidays! Wear sequins, velvet, metallic or even a full-length evening gown—why not? There’s no rule that says you have to win an award to dress up. The amazing confidence you’ll feel and the gorgeous Instagram photos you’ll get are the only prize you need. Check out a few of my favorite glam holiday looks below. SHINY METALLIC Look like a shiny present by wearing something made with a pretty metallic fabric this season. Rebecca Minkoff’s Briella Metallic Cocktail Dress ($178 from Neiman Marcus) is the perfect choice. This gorgeous, silvery metallic dress features an A-line silhouette, pleated fabric and a plunging neckline that is absolutely stunning. It’s so fab, you won’t even need to wear jewelry with it! GORGEOUS VELVET There is nothing more luxurious than a soft velvet dress in the winter. This dark green Aidan Mattox Cap-Sleeve Velvet Illusion Cocktail Dress ($265 from Neiman Marcus) will look totally classy at your Christmas Eve dinner. The dress hits above-theknee with a flirty ruffle hem at the bottom of the skirt. The top is a sheer, sweetheart neckline with cap-sleeves. Wear with your favorite heels and get ready to rock the night!



/ Glam Holiday Looks

EXQUISITE FEATHERS Channel your inner “partridge in a pear tree”-vibes with this exquisite plum Tahari Feather Detail Sleeveless Crepe Shift Dress ($168 from Nordstrom). It looks like a normal wine-colored, sleeveless dress on the top, but the hem is filled with soft matching feathers and a glittering crystal hem. It’s a flawless dress for any occasion. SHIMMERY WHITE Ring in 2020 in style by wearing something shimmery white—you will look like the winter goddess you are! You can’t go wrong with the Eliza J Sequin Wrap-Front Long-Sleeve Jumpsuit ($198 from Nordstrom.) Iridescent sequins cover this piece from head-to-toe, making you sparkle brighter than Christmas lights everywhere you go. This outfit is a statement piece; wear it anytime you want to stand out from the crowd (so basically, every day.) TRENDY ACCESSORIES Even the most glamorous holiday look is not complete without the perfect accessories. Opt for things in a cool neutral black, which will complement any outfit while still looking elegant. The Tory Burch Penelope Embellished Sandals ($398) are stunning! These heels are made with Italian suede and faceted crystals sparkling along the ankle and top-of-foot straps. The final touch is a black Kate Spade New York Bowie Velvet Mini Top-Handle Bag ($298). Carry your dark red lipstick and other essentials in the tiny velvet clutch, featuring an oversized light pink bow on top, which makes this purse look like a beautiful gift. The holidays only come once a year—if you can’t dress a little extra now, when can you? Sydni Ellis grew up in the great state of Texas, where the iced tea can never be too sweet and everyone does their makeup before going to the grocery store. She has her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and she loves talking about her passions: writing, shopping and reading murder mysteries. Follow her on Twitter @sydnimellis to see her latest stories on fashion, entertainment, travel, lifestyle and local eventsand to see 500+ pictures of her two blonde babies.



/ Winter Outwear

Cozy & Chic


Perfect boots and stylish coats BY: SYDNI ELLIS

BRACE THE COLD IN STYLE THIS SEASON The first time I experienced a midwestern winter, it took my breath away. Literally. The air was so cold it physically hurt my lungs, making it hard to breathe. “How do you do this?” I asked my friend, Lexie, a Pennsylvania native. She just smiled and shrugged, zipping up her coat and carrying on as if it was just another Tuesday. The trick is, you have to have the right coat. And boots. And handwarmers. And skin of steel. OK, the last part may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the rest is true. Winter outerwear is a shopping necessity. File it under emergency expenses because you’ll want to make sure you have this when the temperatures drop this season. Luckily—thanks to these local stores—your boots and coats don’t have to be plain. Follow this guide to find the perfect boots and stylish coats! BOOTS YOU’LL NEVER WANT TO TAKE OFF Listen: I’m all about being practical. Boots should be comfortable, end of story. However, they can still be “Whoa, did you see her boots?”-trendy at the same time. For rainy days and snowy weather, go with a durable rainboot. I love the A. Jeffrey Campbell Cloudy Waterproof Chelsea Rainboot ($64.95 from Nordstrom). This Chelsea boot (meaning it hits right above the ankle) is completely waterproof with a raised platform and rugged sole—exactly what you want for trudging throw ice or puddles. My favorite part? It is made with faux leather dyed a striking iridescent blue; it’s prettier than the clear blue winter sky! For days when you are looking for something warm, but not quite as practical, go for a gorgeous over-the-knee boot. The B. Marc Fisher Enrika Over-the-Knee Boot ($99.99 from DSW) is a great choice. The black suede boots are stretchy and soft (so you can still bend your knees) and feature a sexy stacked block heel. These amazing boots are taller than riding boots and make for great accessories with skirts or dresses. Also, they are like really comfortable tall socks, so they will keep you extra cozy with leggings or skinny jeans tucked in. TRENDY COATS THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO WEAR Nobody likes wearing coats—who wants to cover up your well-planned outfit? But this season, everyone will be jealous 20 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019




of these trendy coats. In fact, you’ll want to style your entire look around A them! Stand out with the C. Vince Camuto Cropped Faux Fur Coat ($320 from Macy’s), which comes in a beautiful millennial pink. This totally fluffy coat is covered in soft faux fur, with a stylish notched collar in the front. The collar is so long, you can even fold it up around your neck like a cozy scarf. It’s a chic choice that will upgrade any drab outfit. Businesswomen, fashionistas and everyone in-between will love this gorgeous D. Ann Taylor Funnel Neck Coat ($248). This creamy, off-white coat will also make you look like the glowing beauty that you are. It is a woolinfused, double-breasted coat with a modern funnel neck and a hem that hits just above the knee. Wear it over a sweater and leggings, a formal dress, or slacks and a blouse. It’s fitted, professional and stylish—oh yeah, and it will definitely keep you warm on those cold winter days. Don’t let the cold keep you off guard, or worse, keep you tucked away inside until the first light of spring. With the right boots and an amazing coat, you can do anything! Sydni Ellis grew up in the great state of Texas, where the iced tea can never be too sweet and everyone does their makeup before going to the grocery store. She has her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and she loves talking about her passions: writing, shopping and reading murder mysteries. Follow her on Twitter @sydnimellis to see her latest stories on fashion, entertainment, travel, lifestyle and local eventsand to see 500+ pictures of her two blonde babies.

it's like a dinner kit, but for Beauty

create your own beauty products using plant-based ingredients! Make it classy comes with all ingredients, mixing tools + recipe cards to help you make non-toxic beauty products in minutes.

Visit to make your own face masks, body scrubs + more!


/ Be My Guest

9 Steps


Tips on entertaining for your next holiday party BY KATE HARVESTON

Do you want your guests to depart your holiday party, singing and laughing like they're auditioning for an upcoming Disney film? If so, you need to elevate your hosting skills. How can you throw a holiday party your guests will rave about well into the New Year? Delicious food and bountiful beverages play a role, but the most important thing to remember? Facilitating fun! When you're planning your seasonal soiree, follow these tips and your invitees will name you the Hostess with the Mostest.



/ Be My Guest


How well do you know the folks on your invitation list? Is your friend from high school dating someone new? Did your undergraduate roommate adopt a vegan lifestyle since you last spoke? Chances are, unless you work or live nearby, you've lost touch. Not to worry! Send out classic invitations to your holiday party and ask your guests pertinent questions on the RSVP insert. Include items like: "Will a guest or children accompany you? If so, how many?" and "Do you follow any dietary restrictions?" 2. PLAN AN INCLUSIVE MENU

Whether or not your guests indicate dietary restrictions, you should prepare dishes that those with allergies can enjoy. After all, you don't want to risk someone going hungry because they forgot to check the right box. Avoid singling out individuals by mixing up delicious treats everyone can enjoy. • Portabello Vegan Pot Roast: You can't go wrong with this filling main dish that will delight both the vegan and gluten-free crowd. Plus, because it contains no animal products, it's safe for those with dairy allergies, too. Find the recipe online here: https://www. • Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Chip Chewy Bars: Whether you want an easy and appropriate dessert or finger food for after the main course, these fit the bill. The fats they contain are of the heart-healthy variety. Find the recipe here: 3. PUT TOGETHER A KILLER PLAYLIST

Music makes any occasion more festive. It also increases the chances of spontaneous dancing. Before your guests arrive, design an entertaining playlist. Include holiday tunes with other favorites (and skip those you've heard over and over.) You can ask your guests for suggestions of songs they'd like to hear in your invitations, too. 4. DECORATE EVERYWHERE—EVEN THE PRIVY

Imagine sitting down to take care of your private business while watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You can get everyone feeling more festive with the right decor—even in the bathroom. Also, make a centerpiece that doubles as a grazing station by inserting some chocolate-coated strawberries on sticks as accents. Create old-fashioned popcorn strings to adorn every doorway. If you have little ones, let them help—invite your friends' children to contribute drawings and holiday crafts.


People tend to tie holiday celebrations to drinking alcohol. However, many people don't imbibe for a variety of reasons. Include everyone in the fun by serving both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. Make the substancefree versions as festive as the boozy ones. 6. BREAK OUT THE GAMES

Make the holidays special by breaking out the fun out at your party. Playing games together creates special memories with your guests, and it also keeps children from yanking at the hems of your adult guests' shirts with cries of "I'm bored." 7. REINVENT WHITE ELEPHANT GIFTING

Who says hosting a white elephant party needs to mean going home with a plastic cow pie or some other interesting-but-useless trinket? Do you need another excuse to have a yard sale, especially when there are folks in need everywhere? Instead, have a white elephant party for charity and do good this holiday season. You'll sleep more soundly knowing you made a stranger's day brighter—instead of adding more fodder to landfills. 8. KEEP THE CONVERSATION FLOWING

Do you welcome heated political discourse? If you live for debates, you might not mind when your uncle gets on his soapbox—but your guests may not enjoy his diatribe. Instead, invest in an inexpensive set of conversation starter cards and place them around your party space. Preview the questions to protect against potentially triggering topics. Your guests will keep the banter lively with questions like, "What's the most valuable course you ever studied?" or "If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?" 9. WRAP THINGS UP GRACEFULLY

You want to get to bed at a reasonable hour—without literally kicking your crew to the curb. However, your guests will look to you for cues as to when it's appropriate to leave. When you start feeling tired, excuse yourself to the kitchen and wrap up individual servings of leftovers to signal the party is nearing an end. Pick up bowls of snacks and put any remaining punch in the refrigerator. Offer to call an Uber for anyone who appears intoxicated. Throwing a holiday party to remember doesn't need to stress you out. If you follow a few simple tips, your guests will rave about the fun they had long after that silly rodent sees his shadow in February. Kate Harveston is a health and lifestyle journalist from Pennsylvania. If you enjoy her writing, you can visit her blog, So Well, So Woman at


Jennifer Means Offers Hope and Inspiration • In Full Bloom with Jordan Lee Dooley • The Hart of the Holidays •


Photo by Anastasiya Pavlova on Unsplash





Available for Preorder Wherever Books and eBooks Are Sold


/ At Home with Jennifer Means


Jennifer Mearns CEO and First Lady Offers Hope and Inspiration BY BRIANA ROOKE

AN INSPIRING LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF ONE OF MUNCIE’S LEADING WOMEN Jennifer Proud Mearns, CEO of JPM Consulting and First Lady of Ball State University, is an incredibly inspiring woman! Not only did she spend many years in the prestigious sports marketing field, but she also built her own executive recruiting/talent acquisition firm from the ground up. In addition, she often participates in Ball State events, while balancing her career as a wife and mother to her five children. Her unfailing drive and optimism have led her to great heights, and this month Hope had the privilege to interview her.

HFW: Your career path has taken many turns, and your success is inspiring! What was one of the biggest obstacles you overcame to get where you are today?

at Madison Square Garden. From that point on, I was able to progress and ultimately became a partner in a sports marketing firm.

JPM: I think the biggest obstacle for me was getting my foot in the door in the sports marketing industry. When I graduated from college back in the early 1980s, sports marketing was just developing as a field. I did my best to network with people, but no job opportunities emerged. After about a year of volunteering at the New York Road Runners Club and asking anyone in the industry willing to share advice, I landed an entry-level job in public relations

HFW: What is the biggest piece of advice that you have for women, particularly those seeking to enter career fields?


JPM: Don’t be too narrowly focused as you enter the workforce. Be open-minded about new opportunities that present themselves. Make the most of every job and learn and grow along the way. In the current marketplace, it is

YOUR CAREER / At Home with Jennifer Means nearly impossible to chart a specific course. If you work hard every day and build strong relationships with your co-workers and clients, the next opportunity will come. HFW: How do you balance your career at JPM Consulting with your career as a wife and mother? JPM: One of the reasons I started my own business was to be able to maintain balance in my life. I really enjoy working; I get a lot of energy from it. I also love having a family. When I started my own business, I purposely structured my fees on an hourly-rate basis, rather than a monthly retainer. This way, when I’m working, I’m getting paid, and when I choose to take time away for my kids or Ball State activities, I don’t feel guilty that I should be working. HFW: How do you find yourself stepping out of your comfort zone? How do you continue when you find yourself getting uncomfortable? JPM: My husband’s job at Ball State takes me out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. I’ve been asked to speak at club meetings, participate in panel discussions, and provide guest lectures to classes. I was even asked to be Guest Chef on the student cooking show! Leading up to these events, I have felt nervous and uncomfortable, as you would expect. However, I’m always glad to have participated. HFW: What is the most rewarding part about your career? JPM: I’ve always enjoyed building long-term relationships with clients. It is very rewarding when they continue to show confidence in me and my team. I’m very proud that I have worked with one of my clients for more that fourteen years! HFW: Who is your role model, and why? JPM: My parents were both great role models, so I give them equal credit. My mother, who my siblings and I refer to fondly as “Saint Joan,” was a stay-at-home mom who raised eight children, some with serious health issues. She still found time to volunteer to help those in need. My father, the eternal optimist, was a self-made man who worked his way up from the mailroom to the executive suite in a major corporation. He didn’t have the opportunity to go to college, but he made education a priority for our family. He taught us the value of working hard and striving for success.

HFW: Your husband is the illustrious President of Ball State University! How do you find yourself interacting with the Ball State community? JPM: Geoff is really enjoying his role at Ball State. We live very close to the University, so I feel like I’m interacting every day, and the schedule is filled with events and activities throughout the year. I feel fortunate that I have the opportunity to engage with students; they give me confidence our future is in good hands. We also value the opportunity to engage with the Muncie community. This is a unique opportunity to be part of something special! To learn more about Jennifer Proud Mearns and her illustrious career, visit her website at http://jenpmconsulting. com/! Briana Rooke realizes the impact that media have on their audiences, particularly people in the audiences who find themselves underrepresented in society, and she seeks to analyze media in a way that lets those voices be heard. When she’s not interning at Hope for Women or scrutinizing media, Briana enjoys reading classic books like Les Misérables, drinking blueberry tea, and cuddling with her black cat, Selina. She believes that someday stories will truly save the world. WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 27


/ Stop Impulse Decisions


OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A DEBT-FREE CHRISTMAS According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are forecasted between $727.9 and $730.7 billion this year. It makes me wonder—how much of that $730 billion will be spent on things the shopper actually planned for, and how much of it will be due to impulse wants or tricky marketing techniques? With holiday sales, the FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. You know that nagging feeling you get when you fear regretting a decision in the future? It's the fear of thinking you won't find a better deal, so you snatch up discounted goods. I am guilty of this fear. Don't be fooled by their tactics. Here are some things you can do to keep more money in your wallet this holiday season. LEAVE YOUR CREDIT CARDS AT HOME When it comes to impulse buys, spending more than you have is a reality. There have been plenty of times where I have made up an excuse to justify my impulse purchase, and I paid for it with money I didn't have. One way to not spend more than you have is to pay entirely with cash—and cash only. Take away all other options for payment and force yourself to stick to your budget. Once your cash is gone, no more spending. Having only cash to spend makes you rethink your spending impulses. You can see right away how much you have to spend. The cash is in your hands. This makes you think about your purchases instead of mindlessly swiping a credit card. 28 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019

UNSUBSCRIBE FROM DAILY DEAL NEWSLETTERS There is no better time than now to start unsubscribing from these types of emails. They are a minefield of danger for impulse buyers and are riddled with strategic marketing to get you to buy things you don't really need. If you are a Gmail user, I learned an awesome trick from When you are at a checkout in a store, and they ask for your email, avoid getting on any more subscription lists by giving them your email as The email still goes to your inbox, but it allows you to set up a filter to automatically archive anything sent to it. Stop the temptation in its tracks and start unsubscribing now. CREATE A LIST AND STICK TO IT Creating a list and sticking to it allows you to buy with confidence. It gets rid of buyer's remorse and enables you to shop with a mission. Your mission—get things on your list and go home. • The first step is getting organized. • The second step is looking at your current finances. • The third step is setting a dollar amount for each person on your list. • The fourth step is looking through the Black Friday ads early and finding the specific gifts you want to buy. Now you have a list you can stick to. Remember, you also have the option to buy online. It's the best way to limit distractions. Kumiko Love, also known as The Budget Mom, is an accredited financial counselor and single mom who paid off $77K in debt. She is empowering women to regain control of their finances.



Career changes can be exciting and maybe even a bit terrifying at first, especially when they are beyond your control.

Unexpected Career Change Leads to Pursuit of Longtime Passion Career changes can be exciting and maybe even a bit terrifying at first, especially when they are beyond your control. When a debilitating nerve injury left Carol Laube – a professional violinist of 35 years – questioning her career’s future, she relied on Ball State University’s online master’s degree programs to help her turn a longtime passion into a new career. “I knew that I loved teaching and ‘coaching’ my violin students, and I wanted to do something I loved as much as music—and that was baseball,” says Laube, who today is an assistant baseball coach at Galena High School in Reno, Nevada. Hoping to coach the sport she loved, she began looking for an athletic coaching education program and chose Ball State University’s because it required an internship, while other programs did not. Laube needed real experience. “Not having an athletic background where my degrees are concerned, it has given me a wonderful base of knowledge to draw from on a variety of subjects from motor function to marketing,” says Laube, who earned violin performance degrees from Rice University, DePaul University, and the University of Nevada, Reno. Her musical résumé includes a three-year tour of the U.S. and Asia with the Mantovani Orchestra and six years with the Lawrence Welk Show in Branson, Missouri.

While Laube’s career change is a unique example, it does bring to light the possibility of required education in order to succeed in a new career. For some, the thought of going back to school could deter them from achieving their dreams. Laube added a master’s degree in athletic coaching education to her violin performance degrees in the summer of 2018. The program’s online format was ideal for her schedule, since she has continued to work as associate concertmaster in the Reno Philharmonic and principal second in the Reno Chamber Orchestra. Because she also conducts two youth orchestras and teaches students in her own private studio, she appreciated the fact that assignments, exams, and professors were accessible at all hours. Ball State online students are naturally busy and driven to pursue goals that will improve their lives. With more than 70 programs offered 100 percent online, adult students are able to create study schedules that fit perfectly into their lives, as opposed to the set hours required in a traditional classroom setting. In addition to never having to worry about being late to class, our online students have a full support team readily available, from application to graduation. A career change doesn’t happen overnight, but Ball State Online can help you achieve your goals a little quicker than simply going it alone. Visit online/hope to learn more about our online degrees, certificates, and licenses. WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 29



Yes Sisters Who Brunch


Yes Sisters! Who Brunch The first Yes Sisters Who Brunch brings women together and inspires them to EVOLVE!



/ Yes Sisters Who Brunch



/ Jordan Lee Dooley

Full Bloom In




/ Jordan Lee Dooley

Motivational social media star, author and podcaster shares her secrets to becoming unstuck, and how to bloom where you are planted Winter’s freezing temperatures and pure white snow before spring’s blooming flowers is symbolic of our own lives. It represents a time where we’ve already been frigid watered and stripped down to our core. Now, we blossom. And yet, sometimes when we begin to sprout, aiming for our fullest potential, we get stuck. We notice that there is still more blossoming that needs to be done, but we feel like we’re in a rut that may be stunting our growth. Jordan Lee Dooley knows a little bit about this. On her blog and across all of her platforms, she speaks to those of us who are just that—stuck. In addition to seeking counsel—those people who pour into you, help you see things in a new way—there’s a need to “take inventory of the thoughts that you’re having and think, ‘How might I shift my perspective? How can I look at this in a different light?’” she said. Exploring these options can sometimes give us so much clarity, Dooley says, instead of getting “stuck” in this cycle of sameness— the same ol’ perspective, same ol’ advice from the same ol’ person. Open your eyes, ears, heart and mind to the possibilities of not being too hyper-focused on one thing. The journey to becoming unstuck for Dooley began when she was concentrated on her major, career, job path and fully in the midst of a what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life season as a twenty-something. (Can any one relate?) It was her mom that encouraged and, in a way, gave her permission to test her creative side. Dooley was so “hyper-focused” on pursuing health administration that she thought she had to pursue because, well, she thought she had to. She wasn’t really getting excited about it anymore and her mom simply said something that rattled her thinking. “She was like, ‘So don’t!’ and I was like, ‘What?’” She laughs and remembers thinking How can it be that simple? Her mom continued to remind her of when she was 5 years old and how creative she was. Dooley says that’s a solid place to start when you’re feeling stuck. What were you into at that age? An age where there’s not a care in the world, especially not a care for what society thinks; you were merely pursing what felt joyous. “You would draw, you’d write short stories, you’d create—even if none of those become a career, allow yourself to enjoy some things,” Dooley says her mom told her. “So when I started trying those things, that’s when I started to become

unstuck. It didn’t turn into a career right away; it didn’t lead to this full-time income immediately, but it started to shift my perspective to be like, ‘Oh, maybe I’m not as stuck as I think.’” Yes, mom’s permission for some is the golden ticket, but other times, we merely have to give ourselves permission to take the first step out of our comfortable box in order to plant roots in something new, regardless of how scary it is. Taking those leaps, or small steps, of faith can lead to a magical encounter with a undiscovered side of our selves that opens doors to untapped talents and untapped opportunities. Luckily, we’re the recipients of Dooley’s leap of faith in a very tangible way; she didn’t keep these gifts bottled up, she’s sharing them with a growing community of over 230,000 Instagram followers. She’s a motivational speaker, writer for her namesake blog and the host of SHE Podcast, a personal development podcast for the everyday woman, which she created. Dooley chooses relatable content (from feeling overwhelmed to tips on buying your first house) that she’s extracted directly from the language of her audience of young women. She provides palpable steps on how to tackle life’s curveballs. “The point of my content is to not share every inch of my life, it’s to actually to solve a problem. There would be plenty of stories that would be funny for people to read, interesting for people to read… but I always have to ask, ‘Why?’” She continues to say that if her content is not giving a clear answer to that question, then at some point her readers and listeners will lose interest. She sets out to lie out clear, easily accessible tips and steps that have a direct correlation with said problem. One thing Dooley hopes her audience receives while consuming her platform is to work hard. “It’s interesting because I think we’re struggling to figure out strategies to reach our goals and work hard because it’s almost being replaced by this pressure to prove,” she says. “It’s so easy to become a generation or a group of women, regardless of where we land, that spends more energy on how things look on the outside that we lose those key disciplines on the inside.” Dooley challenges us to continue to have that outstanding work ethic, but she circles back to that “Why?” question again. Are you working hard to prove something to yourself or someone else? Are you working hard to create a perfect façade on social media? What’s your why? WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 33


/ Jordan Lee Dooley

“It’s so easy in our culture for that ‘why’ to become so blurry,” she says, “and I think if we don’t take the time to examine it, we miss the point completely and we overlook things.” She wants women to receive her encouragement to not shy away from hard work (get out of bed early, go work out, chase your dreams! Get it, girl!), but, Dooley says, “It should be because you’re truly stewarding the gifts and the opportunities that you’ve been given…It’s so critical to know what lane you’re running in and to make adjustments when necessary. “ An extension of her brand, SoulScripts, is a shop (and movement) where she sells motivating mugs, journals, beanies and sweatshirts embroidered with an important message: Your brokenness is welcome here. She wants you to wear the merchandise proudly; allow others to feel welcome into your community—whatever that looks like, wherever it may be. Starting in her college sorority house’s storage closet, her and her sisters would be surrounded by pizza and packing peanuts shipping the mugs Dooley had made around the world. This would not only create a safe space for her and her peers to vent, dive deeper into conversation, but create a space to bring that brokenness and what it entailed, without judgment. She started writing, processing and sharing the connections she was making from those candid sessions to Facebook, and it went viral. Since, it’s expanded into a brand and a community tagging #YBIWH on their photos, a percentage of every sale goes to women in crisis and creates employment opportunities to college women attempting to pay for their education. This, amongst her blog, podcast and social following, hasn’t had the most linear path, but she set out on a journey to find her ‘why’. She took that first step. You can even say she’s fulfilling her purpose by planting one seed at a time. “In my nature, I want to plant those seeds, cover them in dirt and walk away,” Dooley says. “But this means I’m going to have to come back and check on [the seeds] when it’s hot out, when it’s exhausting, when it doesn’t seem cool… It takes some watering.” Her next seed she’s planting? A book, that’s been in the process for two years, sprouted earlier this year. Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You Were Made to Do delves into more of her story along with tangible advice on how you can continue to become the woman you’re blossoming into. With that, she hopes to plant the seeds of intentionally in this next generation. “When you really go for it, when you believe 34 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019

in it before anyone else does, when you really chase your big God-given dreams, 99 percent of your life won’t be Insta-worthy. But it will be worth it.” Her caption reads this under an Instagram picture as she’s smiling in the passenger seat with “frizzy” hair, laptop propped open parked at a gas station mid road trip. She wants to shatter this generation’s thinking of fake internet self versus true self; it should be one genuine story on display that uses social media for good. “So, how can we look at media as an opportunity to use all of these things as tools rather than as trophies?” she asks. Now, she challenges you (again). What are those unseen seeds that need to be planted? Maybe they need to support what is being seen so they’ll actually keep you on a path of purpose instead of just trying to keep up with this pressure to prove. And occasionally we need a reminder, just as Dooley’s friend reminds her, “Sometimes it’s OK to grow slow.” In this season right before springtime, we should start thinking about planting new seeds in our journeys. And when we do, we have to tend to them, love on them, water them and make sure to assist them in their growth. Not only as individuals, but as women who want to bloom— fully, intentionally and wholeheartedly. Jordan Ligons is a writer and editor trying to live her best life in Los Angeles, CA. She has a passion for empowering women and believes everyone has a story to tell. @jordanligons

We long for clarity, but perhaps true purpose requires closeness with God. JORDAN LEE DOOLEY



/ Holiday Gift Guide



Must-have items for everyone on your list BY: SYDNI ELLIS


You’ve made your list. Checked it twice. Made a budget. Collected coupons and mapped out sales. Basically, the only thing left to do is actually go out and buy presents! Why is this last step so hard? Giving gifts during the holidays is supposed to be special. It’s a way you show your friends and family that you care. But it can be stressful trying to find the perfect present for everyone on your list – especially when you are trying not to over-spend. This year, we can help! Follow our holiday gift guide for easy, wonderful gifts, so you can spend more time at home watching your favorite Christmas movies.



/ Holiday Gift Guide


Men are hard to shop for. It’s like a universal truth. When shopping for them, the secret is to think like a woman: they all love new shoes (yes, really). Visit Finish Line for the newest sneakers, jackets and sports accessories. Right now, we love the Men’s Air Jordan Retro 12 Basketball Shoes ($190 from Finish Line), featuring black leather and suede with gold details. These shoes were inspired by the ones worn by Michael Jordan during his fifth NBA Championship – so don’t be surprised if your hubby starts acting extra sporty after he opens these!




Need to get a gift for someone who has everything? Or maybe you just need to bring something to the office holiday party. Either way, you can’t go wrong with some tasty popcorn from Just Pop In! This Indianapolis-based popcorn shop sells delicious gourmet treats. Some of their best flavors include: Indy Style, made with sweet caramel corn and sharp yellow cheddar; Bloody Mary, made with over 10 spices and seasonings like peppers, horseradish and citrus sea salts; and Campfire Crunch, which is a blend of marshmallows, graham cracker pieces and white chocolate vanilla popcorn with a milk chocolate drizzle. WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 37


/ Holiday Gift Guide


Every woman would love a new makeup bag! It’s the perfect way to keep your bathroom counter organized. For Christmas, get your bestie a beautiful new Vera Bradley cosmetics bag in its newest pattern: Indiana Rose! This purple floral pattern is almost as lovely as the wonderful state it’s named after, and features three zippered pockets and a makeup brush holder with plastic covering. You’ll love this so much, you’ll want to get an extra for yourself.



Treat the special lady in your life – your mom, grandmother or sister – with a gift that is sweet and heartfelt: a cake from the local Cake Bake Shop! This adorable local shop sells amazing cakes and gifts. The Mint Chocolate Chip Cake is a must have ($75 for a 6-inch), as it features three layers of Valrhona French chocolate cake filled with mint chocolate chip buttercream and Belgian chocolate ganache, and topped with mint buttercream and a large pink silk peony. In fact, this cake was featured on amazing Oprah Winfrey’s famous “O” list! Complete the gift with the gorgeous Handblown Glass Cake Dome ($175), featuring a handblown glass dome top and a white stand with a pretty ruffled edge. It’ll transform any cake into a work of art.


Finally, don’t forget a gift for the most important person on the list: you! Treat yourself to something nice, girl, because you deserve it. I personally love buying myself new jewelry – you don’t need a man to do it for you! Anything from local shop, Heidi J Hale Designs, is a good choice. I especially love the Lauren Freshwater Pearl-Wrapped Earrings ($54). These teardrop-shaped earrings feature freshwater pearls wrapped in gold-filled wire and attached all along the two-inch drop. These are elegant and classy – and go with any outfit you own! Sydni Ellis grew up in the great state of Texas, where the iced tea can never be too sweet and everyone does their makeup before going to the grocery store. She has her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and she loves talking about her passions: writing, shopping and reading murder mysteries. Follow her on Twitter @sydnimellis to see her latest stories on fashion, entertainment, travel, lifestyle and local events and to see 500+ pictures of her two blonde babies.





/ Winter Getaway


girlfriends 24 Fun-Filled Hours in Greenville, South Carolina BY LINDSEY HOLDER

TIPS ON WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO IN GREENVILLE After the bustle, stress and hurriedness of the holidays, how does a quick girls getaway to the most charming city in the country with your best gal pal sound? (Answer: amazing!) Get bundled up as we head to the picturesque city of Greenville, South Carolina! This destination has been featured in national media outlets, such as Travel and Leisure, Bravo and Southern Living, as well as included on the list of “Best Small Cities in the U.S.” by Condè Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. From start to finish, find out where to stay, what to do, where to get pampered, which treats to splurge on and, of course, where to go for some delicious Italian food must-haves!

Stay: Pack your bags and get ready to have them bellhopped to your room—at The Westin Poinsett hotel. This historical, four-diamond hotel, opened in 1924 and is a Greenville landmark. This luxurious hotel stands out due to its classic aesthetic and southern hospitality. Upon check-in, you are greeted by the smell of freshly baked cookies from their restaurant and swept away with their dreamy views of the downtown scene. Complimentary music can be enjoyed Tuesday through Sunday nights in their piano bar while sipping a hot toddy. And here’s an inside secret scoop for you—they offer their best rates of the year during the winter. Begin your morning steps from your room at the hotel’s scrumptious Spoonbread Restaurant. Their breakfast buffet will make you swoon with its large variety of traditional southern fare, including the tastiest local homemade grits. This restaurant is also known for their “High Tea” offered several times a year. Spa: Let’s get pampered! Enjoy a relaxing and friendly atmosphere at the charming, modern boutique spa 40 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019

Organic Tan Face and Body. This fullservice day spa specializes in facial treatments, which include essential oils and warm towels. Their specialty is the Deluxe Hydrafacial that helps you achieve younger, smoother and more radiant skin. Enjoy their braid bar for a fun look that day or get fresh mani with your best friend in matching shades from their nail bar. Snacks & Shopping: For the perfect way to have a snack and peruse at the same time, head to M. Judson’s, adjacent to the hotel. This well-known modern bookstore is guilty of having specialty books from local authors, events year-round and a pimento cheese spread to make your


/ Winter Getaway

besties jealous that they didn’t partake on the getaway. Satisfy that sweet tooth with a chocolate mousse cupcake while browsing the shelves. (The red velvet is a personal favorite.) Afterward, you go outdoor ice skating on Main Street or simply watch the ice skaters as you finish your treats. For a nostalgic experience—and to find a gift for your little ones—head to the famous O.P. Taylors, a classic toy store. If it’s sweets you are looking for, pop by the classic Mast General Store for some old-fashioned confectionery. These can be found in the rows of candy barrels hidden in the back. Don’t forget to snack on their complementary fresh popcorn while you shop! When you step outside later, be sure to walk through downtown, take in the beautiful views from the Liberty Bridge and enjoy the artistic storefronts along the Reedy River. Be sure to catch the local trolley and head to Fashion Row for the trendiest boutiques in this beautiful city. Cocktail Hour: After a long day of shopping, it’s cocktail time! Head straight to Hall’s ChopHouse, where their Signature 434 Cocktail awaits! Orange-chilled vodka infused with pineapple will take your taste buds to the next level.

Dinner: A few steps away from Hall’s is Jianna. The inviting, garlic aroma will guide you up their intricate stairs to the second floor of this modern Italian and oyster bar, which overlooks Falls Park. Get ready for an authentic Italian experience! Their pasta is homemade, and you can watch it being prepared from your table. Their menu includes many seasonal dishes. If their gnocchi and short ribs are available, then save your last bread bites to sop up any sauce leftovers. Leave room for delightful desserts, such as their pumpkin mousse and chocolate cannoli. Theatre time: End the day with an art show at the Greenville Theatre. This is the Upstate’s oldest and largest producing playhouse. Featuring plays, concerts and Broadway musicals, you will enjoy the intimate setting and local actors a few feet away. I hope you enjoy your 24-hour getaway of winter fun with your best girlfriend by your side! Lindsey Holder is a small-business and beauty expert. She owns an upscale modern spa, is a practicing esthetician and podcaster. You can connect and learn more about her on the gram at @lindseyrholder and

Uniquely designed jewelry made with genuine sea glass from Hawaii’s coasts


(From left) Hand carved sterling silver waves and bezel bracelets; hand carved double sterling silver waves surround this brilliant lavender neodymium sea glass (changes to blue when under florescent light) necklace; hand carved sterling silver wave necklace with deep teal sea glass; 14k gold necklace has splashing waves that surround this stunning white marble genuine sea glass; coiled turquoise sea glass dangle from these urchin patterned earrings; various hand carved and bezel sterling silver rings.


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* Custom orders with our/your sea glass welcome. We occasionally use sea glass from around the world for colors that aren’t found in Hawaii. All jewelry made with sterling silver and 14k gold.


/ Melissa Joan Hart

The Hart OF THE HOLIDAYS An Interview with Melissa Joan Hart BY: SYDNI ELLIS

THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS MORE MAGICAL WHEN THIS ACTRESS IS INVOLVED A baker, a toy shop owner and a kidnapping waitress know how to bring the spirit of Christmas to the masses. At least, Melissa Joan Hart does! That’s because this feisty, blonde-haired beauty has played all of those characters and more in seven heart-warming holiday movies over the past 33 years. Her latest is Christmas Reservations, where Hart plays Holly, an event coordinator at a family-owned lodge. Over gingerbread cookies and classic winter activities, Hart brings her witty one-liners and unlimited charm to the small screen once again. 42 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019

As a long-time fan (yes, I still have my Sabrina the Teenage Witch Barbie doll from the ‘90s—don’t judge!), I jumped at the chance to talk to this award-winning actress, producer and director. She shared with me about her love of making holiday movies, her favorite Christmas traditions and how she brings hope to women during this time of year. “People love the feel-good nature of these movies, and they are so well received,” explained Hart. “Plus, they are the only


/ Melissa Joan Hart

real television movies being made any longer, and I am lucky enough to have the relationships to produce and direct as well as star in them when I find time in my schedule.” Her first holiday movie was Christmas Snow in 1986, alongside Sid Caesar and Katherine Helmond. Twenty years later, she starred alongside Mario Lopez and Markie Post for Holiday in Handcuffs (a personal favorite!) In 2014, Lifetime let her produce, direct and star in Santa Con, and as she says, “I was really hooked.” From there, she has made four holiday movies in four years: Broadcasting Christmas, A Very Merry Toy Store, A Very Nutty Christmas and Christmas Reservations. Christmas Reservations takes place at the Treeline Ski Resort, where Hart’s character Holly works hard to plan every event and keep all the guests happy. Everything is going smoothly this Christmas until Holly’s college sweetheart (played by Ricardo Chavira) shows up, now widowed with two children, and Holly must deal with her unresolved feelings. “The movie plays into the idea that everyone has reservations, and they are usually stumbling blocks that keep us from the things we want and love,” said Hart. “My character in the movie, Holly, has reservations about love—especially when she runs into an ex-flame in the hotel she manages with her father. But each character in the movie is struggling with something real under the surface, while almost all finding love and peace at the same time, of course.” Unlike Holly, Hart is very happy with her love life. She has been married to Mark Wilkerson since 2003, and has three sons: Mason, Braydon and Tucker. In December, she loves spending time with the men in her life and making the holidays as special for her kids as it was for her. Growing up in New York with her mother, stepfather, six sisters and a brother made for a wildly entertaining life. But it was never more fun than at Christmastime, which Hart said is always filled with family traditions. One of her favorites happens to be the same tradition my own family has: “As a little girl, my favorite was waiting at the top of the stairs with my many sisters and brother and running down the stairs once Mom and Dad had done a check to be sure Santa was gone,” Hart explained. “That anticipation was the most wonderful delight, so I passed it on to our boys. Plus, it gives Mom and Dad time to set up the camera to catch their faces when they see the gifts under the tree.”

But while Christmas morning might be full of fun, we can all agree that the days leading up to the 25th can be a little (okay, a lot) stressful. “Pace yourself and don’t feel the pressure to get it all done,” said Hart. When your to-do list is longer than Santa’s—cards, shopping, wrapping, decorating, finding a tacky sweater, planning travel or making room for visitors—and you still have everyday stuff to worry about, Hart encourages every woman to give themselves a break. Take shortcuts when you can— and don’t be afraid to let the rest go. “Some of my secrets to surviving the season include, first of all, praying,” said Hart. “I pray for a peaceful season and it helps me remember the reason for the season and spend a little more time with my family. Speaking of family, my husband is the toughest to shop for. So, we take a date night in December and get a sitter and then hit the mall for dinner and shopping. First, we look around together at all the places we both like, and then we separate and shop for each other. That way we both get what we want, but it’s also a bit of a surprise still on Christmas morning. Another tip that helps me tackle my list is to pay a local kid or babysitter to do some wrapping for you. And I always make sure to appreciate the little moments, like letting the kids stamp the cards and make the cookies.” In addition to the new Christmas movies she is working on for Lifetime next year, you can also see many projects that Hart has been directing or guest starring in. For example, the Thanksgiving episode of “Goldbergs” on ABC, a few episodes of “Young Sheldon” and two new Netflix shows called “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia” and “The Big Show Show.” Whether you are watching her on TV or following her real-life moments on social media, Hart’s charming relate-ableness shines through no matter what. Unwind with a glass of wine and Christmas Reservations or follow her lead by going on a Christmas date with your own husband; either way, with a little Hart, your holidays are sure to be amazing. Christmas Reservations is now streaming at Sydni Ellis grew up in the great state of Texas, where the iced tea can never be too sweet and everyone does their makeup before going to the grocery store. She has her master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and she loves talking about her passions: writing, shopping and reading murder mysteries. Follow her on Twitter @sydnimellis to see her latest stories on fashion, entertainment, travel, lifestyle and local eventsand to see 500+ pictures of her two blonde babies. WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 43


/ Books You’ve Always Wanted to Read




We’ve all been there. No matter how many times we tell ourselves we’re going to read through our TBR (to be read) pile before getting new books, us readers know we are, in reality, only kidding ourselves. No matter how many books await, more books get added to the list. But that’s the life of a reader. So, why not share some books that have been on that list for a bit? Here are a few titles— some old, some new—that I’ve always wanted to read. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood With the sequel officially out, I really want to read this. The bits and pieces of the book I’ve read don’t really count. And no, I haven’t watched the series because I always like to read the book first. 44 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis I’ve read a lot of Lewis, but I haven’t read this one its entirety. I know this is one that will hit deep and sometimes we need those. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont As a writer and creative, this one has been on my list a long time. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros I don’t know how I haven’t ready anything of Sandra yet, but this is the one I want to read first! The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison I know, there’s no excuse for this. I could talk a lot about all the reasons why I need to read the following books as well, but as newer releases, I think it’s safe to say that when everyone else talks about them, you can’t help but want to read them too. There’s a mix of genres and styles, so I hope you find something new to add to your TBR! • • • •

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

• • • •

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates Sabrina and Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Happy reading! Jamie Lapeyrolerie is a writer, traveler and works in publishing. She is passionate about books and stories and how they encourage and change people’s lives. She loves all things J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, exploring Colorado, her cat, Max, and wandering through bookstores. You can find her writing about all things bookish and travel adventures at and around social @musingsofjamie.

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/ Our Favorite Holiday Rom-Coms



Hope’s movie night picks for the season BY: BRIANA ROOKE

The holiday season is upon us, and life is a flurry of activities with shopping, celebrating, giving and end-of-the-year deadlines. What better way to unwind and relax than by spending some snowy evenings cuddled up and watching classic romantic comedies? This holiday season, Hope has compiled a list of our favorite rom-coms in order to inspire your holiday movie nights and warm your hearts. Serendipity, 2001 This film is an oftenforgotten hidden gem, but it is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit! It follows the stories of Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) as they meet one Christmas Eve night and sparks fly between them. Though the evening quickly ends, the pair swears they’ll find each other again if true love really does exist. What follows is a romp through time and space, love and holiday cheer, as the two discover whether “serendipity” can truly happen. Last Holiday, 2006 Get ready to laugh, cry and generally feel some Christmas joy! This movie, starring the reigning royal Queen Latifah, tells the story of Georgia Byrd, a saleswoman who discovers that she has a terminal illness and sets off on the trip of a lifetime to a world-class resort in Europe. While posing as a millionaire and bringing light into the lives of all those around her, Georgia discovers what it means to truly live, and finds love along the way in her long-time crush Sean (LL Cool J). 46 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM WINTER 2019

Love Actually, 2003 Does it get any more classic than this British holiday rom-com? Whether it’s the scene where Mark (Andrew Lincoln) brings his boombox and sign that says “To me, you are perfect” to Juliet’s (Keira Knightley) door; or when author Jamie (Colin Firth) proposes to his housekeeper Aurélia (Lúcia Moniz) in Portuguese and she accepts him in English; or when newly-elected Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) embarks on a frantic Christmas Eve door-to-door search for the woman of his dreams, this movie is full of good feels! White Christmas, 1954 This movie could hardly get less iconic, with Bing Crosby crooning his world-renowned song “White Christmas,” and Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen delighting audiences with their sister-act song and dance routine to “Sisters.” One of the first movies to be shot in VistaVision and colorized by Technicolor, this movie is truly a historical hit. It tells the story of Bob Wallace (Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye), two army buddies who make it big in show business, as they join forces with a struggling sister act and simultaneously save a bankrupt inn, all on Christmas Eve! You’ll be sure to tap your foot along to brilliant songs as you watch this holiday classic.


/ Our Favorite Holiday Rom-Coms

Best Man Holiday, 2013 If you haven’t seen this follow-up to the 1999 movie The Best Man, then you need to head to your local library today! This movie will make you laugh, cry and value what is truly important this holiday season. It follows a group of longtime friends who reunite for Christmas after fourteen years, and, as with any reunion, they remember old love connections, long-time feuds and deep friendships. Whether it’s Harper’s (Taye Diggs) struggle to write a biography about his friend Lance (Morris Chesnut), the discovery of Mia’s (Monica Calhoun) struggle with cancer, or Q’s (Terrence Howard) ongoing flirtation with Shelby (Melissa De Sousa), this movie is a romp through good times and bad, and a reminder of the importance of friendships. The Princess Switch, 2018 This list would be remiss without a modern, cheesy-ascan-be Christmas rom-com! We’re all suckers for Hallmarkesque holiday romance movies, and this film is no exception! Starring Vanessa Hudgens (in not one, but two main roles!), this story follows Stacy DeNovo, a baker in Chicago, as she travels to Belgravia and meets her lookalike, the Duchess Margaret Delacourt. Antics ensue as the two switch places and learn about each other’s lives, while simultaneously falling for men they never imagined meeting. This movie is fun for the whole family, and it will certainly get you in the Christmas spirit!

Last Christmas, 2019 We know, we know, this movie technically isn’t a classic holiday rom-com. However, we’re sure it soon will be! The film was released this November, and it stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding as a very unlikely couple—Kate, a cynical woman who has been burned by life one too many times, and Tom, a cheerful, saintly man who can seemingly do no wrong. As the two meet and begin to fall for each other at a tiny Christmas store (where we get to see actress Michelle Yeoh shine!), Kate begins to learn the truth about life and herself: that life can hold hope after all, and that maybe the Christmas spirit isn’t truly dead. Though these are just a few classics on a long list of wonderful holiday rom-coms, we hope they will brighten your spirit and bring a smile to your face this holiday season! Briana Rooke realizes the impact that media have on their audiences, particularly people in the audiences who find themselves underrepresented in society, and she seeks to analyze media in a way that lets those voices be heard. When she’s not interning at Hope for Women or scrutinizing media, Briana enjoys reading classic books like Les Misérables, drinking blueberry tea, and cuddling with her black cat, Selina. She believes that someday stories will truly save the world.

heartwarming fun Christmas season

“No one captures the of the

quite like


Krista has good reason to dislike Christmas. Can planning the town’s holiday celebration help her rediscover the magic of the season?


WINTER 2019 HOPEFORWOMENMAG.COM 47 Available Wherever Books and eBooks Are Sold

SECTION HEAD / Section subject ENTERTAINMENT / Holiday Music Playlist (Staff)

FROM OUR DEAREST COLLABORATERS A List of Treasured Holiday Songs by Our Favorite Publishers BY BRIANA ROOKE


Day after day, year after year, these wonderful people tirelessly collaborate with Hope in order to help us create the best magazine possible! We’re so thankful for our relationship with these individuals--what we do wouldn’t be possible without them! For our winter issue, we asked these amazing people to tell us their favorite Christmas songs: Angela Guzman Editor and Publicist at HarperCollins My favorite one is NSYNC's "This Christmas." This one never gets old. Katie Dodillet Director of Public Relations at Tyndale I love the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” because I think it tells of our Savior’s birth in such a lovely way. This song evokes a vision of this little baby, born into a big world, and goes on to tell us why He matters so greatly to us all. I sang this song as a duet with my Mom on Christmas Eve church as a young girl. It’s the Christmas song that I find myself humming while I wrap presents, bake cookies and do my Christmas shopping.

Cynthia Ruchti Literary Agent at Books & Such Literary Management One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Still, Still, Still,” especially the version by the Piano Guys. It was originally an Austrian Christmas lullaby. In a way, it is still a lullaby for me, quieting my heart to consider the wonder and to rest in the truest joy of Christmas--Jesus. Anne Van Solkema Publicity & Marketing Assistant at Revell How about “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Bublé!

What are some of YOUR favorite Christmas songs? Find us on Instagram @hopemag or tag #hopeforwomenmagazine and let us know!



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