Page 1


winter 2012

what matters most!


and Rejoice:


Creating Intentional Peace

HERNANDEZ: Actress Turned Activist Bronx beauty on a mission bigger than fame IS COLLEGE WORTH THE PRICE?

Eco-Friendly Make-up

Weighing the costs of higher education in America

The lowdown on the new wave of natural makeup

Organize Your Life!

Tips for managing your time in 2012


all new design all new digital issue all new attitude

what matters most!


winter 2012 features Cover story 18 April Lee Hernandez: Actress turned Activist Bronx beauty on a mission bigger than fame

20 The Girl Blue Project: BEGIN YOUR DAY WITH HOPE!

Changing the lives of Los Angeles girls and teens

22 Why Occupy?

Why women are choosing to participate in the Occupy movement around the country

24 Relax and Rejoice:

 reating Intentional Peace C How to increase your peace throughout the winter

26 Organize Your Life! Tips for managing your time in 2012

Lifestyle • Faith • Career & Money Entertainment • Health • Style


so much



Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

living intentionally this winter season Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012



8  LOOKS WE LOVE: celebrity make-up artist Ashunta Sheriff 10 Eco-Friendly Make-up The lowdown on the new wave of natural makeup 12  “Haute” Winter Wonders Tiny treasures just for you, after the holiday hustle and bustle

entertainment 42 THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS Author Rebecca Skloots’ book investigates the incredible story of a woman whose “immortal cells” live decades after her death 44 COZY WINTER READING 45

13 Cute Coats That Won’t Break the Bank 14 Winter Hats for Hair on the Go Pretty hats warm your ears in style 15 Glitz & Glamour -- with an Eclectic Flair! Add unique jewelry statements for the winter season 16 And the Scarf Goes On The infinity scarf gives new length to a fashion staple

money 28 START THE NEW YEAR WITH A NEW FINANCIAL PLAN Tips to help you get your finances on track in 2012 30 5 WAYS TO MAKE A FRESH START WITH YOUR MONEY 32 CAREER JOCELYN ALLEN: How GM’s Director of Regional, Grassroots, and Diversity Communications keeps her balance 34 IS COLLEGE WORTH THE PRICE? Weighing the costs of higher education in America


36  Marriage Matters Men: The Things We Love About Them 38 S  ingle-Minded Relating In Our Relationships 40  Family Embrace Your Uniqueness. Tips for teaching self-acceptance to your kids 2

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

Music Reviews Adele: Breaking the mold with the voice of an angel

46 W  inter Decology Achieving winter’s landscape look at home -- while staying warm

health & wellness 48 FLU DEFENSE: Build A Healthy Immune System 50 YOUR FIT AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! Fight the post holiday bloat and winter blahs with realistic fitness goals 52 CELEBRITY CHEF MAXCEL HARDY’S WINTER MENU FAVES From the kitchen to the table, easy meals to keep your winter season delicious and fun! 55 Eating Healthy Through (and After) the Holidays Steps for creating a realistic game plan for trimmer eating this season 57 W  inter Traveling: Summer in South Africa. A journey to legendary leader Nelson Mandela’s homeland

in every issue 4

Hope Mail


Publisher’s Page

58 expect the best!

hope mail & Social Media We asked our staff, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers, “What’s your favorite thing about winter?” Here are their responses:

Staff: “Watching Masterpiece Theatre movies on DVD, with my husband, to help make the long nights go by!” Susan Shipe, Blogger “The change in spirit. People are cheerful and looking forward to holidays. The weather requests that you envelope yourself in your winter’s best!” Stephanie Benoit, Contributor “Knowing that Christmas is coming. Having more time to stay inside and reflect and prepare for the next season. Snow (when I don’t have to shovel it and before the traffic destroys its beauty); inside warmth and comfort foods.” Denise Patrick, Director of Communications “Christmas, ice skating and hot chocolate.” Akia Jordan, External Communications Specialist “My favorite thing about winter is the way the sunset looks through bare tree branches.” Alanna Klapp, Social Media Manager “I love the extra opportunities to spend time with family I don’t get to see during other parts of the year.” Alison Storm, Contributor “Waking up in the morning, looking outside my window as 4

the snow falls, having the street covered in a thick blanket of snow and knowing that this will be a day that school is canceled and I can snuggle in my quilt, drink hot chocolate and decide that this is my ‘lazy day.’ Receiving gifts on Christmas is also awesome!!! These are my favorite things about winter.” Queen Esquijarosa, Marketing Intern “I love sitting by the fireplace, reading a book, drinking hot cocoa and cuddling. ” Monique Farmer, Contributor

From facebook: DIANE STRICKER It seems that in the winter everything is at peace. I love curling up with a good book or magazine with the fire going and just feeling like it’s okay. ANGELA MCCLAIN Drinking hot drinks. When you walk in the fresh cold air, it wakes you up! CYNTHIA WILSON Nash Hot cocoa and apple cider, wearing warm soft sweaters and scarfs... BRENDA RODGERS - Triple Braided The excuse to relax and stay home! KIM’S CLOSET LIFESTYLE-TELEVISION Winter for me is Hope. When I feel stripped of my last ounce of

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


passion - just like the leaves from the trees - I am reminded that the trees and the flowers always bloom again - and that I need to just hang on, fertilize my soul and my passion will be re-energized and bloom again too. SHEILA MORGAN MCCRAY The feeling of change in the air, it’s what life is all about. PEGGY HOEFL My favorite thing about winter is that it ends in the spring. Let it happen quickly OH LORD! SARAH HENDRIX Hearing my kids get so excited about “SNOW!” as if it’s the first time they’ve ever seen it!

what matters most!


Contributors Sandra Bailey, Reina Berger, Valorie Burton, Saundra Dalton-Smith M.D, Ginger Dean, Claire Dorsey, Leann Frank, Jacq Gregg, Toni Hamilton,

From Kathleen Smith (@srkbear): Cold weather, snow, hot chocolate & snuggling under a warm blanket while watching TV with husband. Vera Langa (@VeraLanga): Favorite thing about winter is the sound of silence created by the acoustic layers of fresh fallen snow. Libby Blair (@Just_Libby): Snow days where the world stops and I’m allowed to stay home and read a book and no one expects anyone to be anywhere.

Winter Vol. 7 No. 1

Maxcel Hardy, Elizabeth Herron, Kennisha Hill, Alanna Klapp, Daresha Kyi, Ashlie Kyles, Dr. Jeanelle Marshawn Lanham, Elysha Lenkin, Paris Love, J.A. Morton, Denise Patrick, Lisa M. Pitt, Lynn Sexton, Bethany Schneider, Alison Storm, Nadya Vlassof, Kathryn Whitbourne, Kirsten White WEB MANAGER Jerry Simon

Marketing Interns Rachel Kwong, Queen Esquijarosa, Meghan Gomes, Raquel Toro, Victoria Vendlinger Advertising Sales Christine Chang, Kelli Collins HR/Administrative Assistant Shelley Taylor HOPE FOR WOMEN MAGAZINE LLC P.O. Box 3241, Muncie, Indiana 47307 Advertising 800-936-2214 ext. 701


Administrative 800-936-2214






WOMEN LLC COPYRIGHT 2012 COVER CREDITS: Photography by Kenneth Gabrielsen Makeup by Joanna Rodriquez


Hair by Stephanie Fashion courtesy of Dillard’s

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


publisher’s page

our pink pursuit

Before I get started, let me say “Happy 2012!” to each and every one of you! I’m sure your resolutions have been made -- and your goals are all in place! (Smile.) Let me confess: one of my goals for this year is to become more organized -- and GET BALANCE in my life. I have come to realize that I just don’t like being over-burdened by too much “busy-ness.” I’m ready to relax…and rejoice…and just enjoy the moment – and focus more on ME! Because I truly believe to do all that I’ve been called to do, I have to find a balanced and peaceful center. So that’s what I’m aiming for! And that’s exactly what we’d like to inspire and encourage each of you to do in this issue. We want you to experience true contentment and peace! Often when we’re just so busy -- just going, doing, and being -- life can become overwhelming. We miss some of the small blessings we’ve been given; we forget about the necessary things in life. Well, at least, that’s what happens to me – how about you? Sound familiar? What’s the antidote for that? We call it, “Intentional Peace.” In other words – actively making it a point to create a more calm, centered, and balanced space for you – in your life! And it will probably be different for each of us; for some it might be accomplished by sitting quietly and doing nothing…for others, relaxing in a warm bath…for someone else, taking long walks and admiring the nature around you (and hopefully there is nature SOMEWHERE around you – if not, make it part of your intention for 2012 to find and incorporate more nature into your life! See more about why in our feature article, “Relax and Rejoice: Creating Intentional Peace,” on page 24).

Our Tea Garden fabric (featured) is one of two patterns that help fund our cause. Ten percent of net proceeds from product sales support the Foundation and other breast cancer projects and services.

So putting this issue together, we really wanted to inspire you to find your peace – and, at the same time, encourage you to discover what really matters to you. In other words: What’s your passion? This month’s cover story on April Lee Hernandez (page 18) is a perfect example of the impact we can make when we find our own peace – and commit to a God-given passion…and perhaps, even find a mission! As you read, you’ll also discover why women around our nation have found the passion to participate in the Occupy Movement (page22). We hope you’ll find illuminating information through our articles on eco-friendly make-up (page10) – and user-friendly tips to help you get your finances on track this year (page 28). And of course, lots of other vital information, like building a healthy immune system (page48). 6

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

© 2012 Vera Bradley Designs, Inc.

So... sit back, and relax – and enjoy our Winter Issue!

Photographer: Rebecca Shehorn • Website: • Stylist: Savannah Norris • Make-up Artist: Darcie Watson Hair: LaShonda Upchurch • Clothing: Niche, 8Fifteen, Minx, IndySwank • Location: Nestle Inn, 637 North East Street Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012



Looks We Love




Celebrity Make-up Artist Ashunta Sheriff

HOPE: Can you tell us how you got your start in the field of makeup? ASHUNTA: I started at MAC, and from there I realized there was more to makeup then just retail. MAC would do runway shows, artist tours -and it opened my eyes to a new world of makeup that I didn’t knew even existed. HOPE: What is one makeup item you feel every woman should have? ASHUNTA: Every woman should have a great foundation that truly matches their complexion. Having flawless, even, and smooth skin is the template to everything else

Step Then I use an eye primer -- I love NYX…it’s super inexpensive, and works well to keep eye makeup on for hours.

HOPE: You work with Alicia Keys frequently. You completed her makeup for her album cover for “Element of Freedom” -- which was so beautiful! Can you tell us how to achieve the same look and what products you used? This look is perfect because it is natural and appropriate for all ages.


Step I started by applying Smashbox Photo Finish Primer so makeup can go on smooth and even. Then I used Mary Kay Tinted Moisturizer in Bronze 1 and mixed it with part of Beige 2. I’m a firm believer in customizing your foundations so you get the perfect match.


I love Benefits Hula Step Bronzer for that sculpted look. I use the bronzer on the cheekbones, jaw line, and down the sides of the nose. I also make sure I use the 3 technique when applying starting from the temple, the sweeping down to the cheekbones and finishing at the jaw line. Then I connect both sides together.


I add NARS orgasm Step blush on apples of cheeks and sweep up towards the ears.


I always set makeup with Step my personal concoction, which I call Beauty Water (it is in development).

HOPE: What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on thus far?


Then I used a gold Step and copper loose pigment from Naked Cosmetics. I applied a medium liquid liner with Make Up For Ever Black liquid liner. Then I used 2 pairs of Jamaal Buster’s lashes in Daddy’s Little Girl, I apply with Black Duo Glue.


Step I added Dior Gold highlighting pen on the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose, as well as the brow bone and inner corner of the eyes.


Step I completed the look with OCD lip paint in beige, and I added Dior Addict gloss in 526, a beautiful peachy shimmer gloss.

ASHUNTA: I’ve had so many -- but recently, I went to Italy with Marisa Tomei for a TV show. We had such an amazing time. The food was out of this world, and working with her was a pleasure. HOPE: What advice can you give those aspiring makeup artists out there? ASHUNTA: My advice to all aspiring makeup artists is to assist as much as you can with a professional in this industry. A lot of artists always feel that just because they have talent and creativity that is all you need to be successful. There is set etiquette, having a proper kit, knowing how to be humble, and professional behavior in a work environment. We have a lot of fun working -- however we work hard, too. You have to be open to criticism, and not take it personal. You have to understand that you are there to provide a service to the client -- so never take anything personal. Just do your best to provide amazing service. — By Toni Hamilton Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


The lowdown on the new wave of natural makeup


Recently, environmental awareness has even found its way to the make-up counter.

Bare Minerals Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 Each compact offers two different color choices to blend together or wear on their own. And the best part? It boasts anti-aging benefits for the eyes.

Let’s talk about make-up.

t’s safe to say that one of the most popular trends to emerge in the last few years is the “Green” movement. At one point or another, you have undoubtedly encountered the phrase “going green” -- either in a magazine, on television, or in political promises.

You know, the stuff we use to hide the circles under our eyes… lengthen our lashes…and make our lips stand out? In other words -- the stuff many of us would rather be caught dead than seen without? When purchasing mascara or lipstick, many consumers forget to consider the chemicals and hard to pronounce additives found inside these products. Some of the ingredients include: parabens (which mimic the estrogen hormone and could potentially lead to breast cancer), phthalates (which could cause infertility), petrochemicals (potentially neurotoxic – adversely affecting the brain), and FD&C colors (carcinogenic coal tar byproducts). Fun stuff…not!

Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick These moisturizing lipsticks are full of anti-oxidants like resveratrol, and are free of synthetic dyes or fragrances. Credit info:  Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick, $24,


Hope For Women Women Magazine Magazine | Winter | Winter 2012 2012


• Our skin absorbs 65 percent of what we apply to it. • 33 percent of the ingredients used in common personal care products have been linked to cancer causing material. • 45 percent of ingredients in our personal care products are harmful to reproductive organs. • 60 percent of ingredients in our product are linked to hormonal disruption.

By Reina Berger

Eco-Friendly Make-up



Those unsettling figures are enough to give anyone a reason to pause at the makeup counter! But, years ago -- before our beauty products were a terrifying blend of chemicals -- they were made with natural, earth-friendly ingredients. That was when women relied on their creative sides – using items like flowers, herbs, minerals, and roots to create color for lips, eyes, and cheeks. The ingredients used today are anything but natural -- and more importantly, they are largely hidden from view. The FDA doesn’t regulate make-up with the same intensity that it regulates food, which means that cosmetics manufacturers are not obligated to include a list of

your pores, and has UVA/UVB protection built into it. It is also free of those scary chemicals listed above, so you won’t have to worry about absorbing toxic ingredients into your body.

Korres Zea Mays Blush For that perfect, flirty, flushed look, choose from four different all-natural shades. what’s inside. This leaves consumers in the dark -- and has contributed to an increasing interest in eco-friendly mineral make-up. Of course, mineral make-up, like any other product, comes with its pros and cons. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Most brands of 100% natural mineral make-up do not use synthetic colorants. This means the selection of shades in natural makeups may not be as extensive as other brands. This can especially cause challenges for people with darker skin tones. Also, one of the ingredients often found in mineral make-up is bismuth oxychloride. It has received some bad press recently for potentially causing skin irritation and acne flare-ups. The application can also be a mess. Since it comes in a loose powder form, it can easily spill – become a nuisance as it creates a mess on your counter top or in your make-up bag.

Ole Henriksen Rub n’ Buff Salt Scrub This all-natural scrub combines powerful exfoliation with a soothing, relaxing aroma and feel.

But now, onto the good news! For starters, mineral make-up is great for your skin. It’s light, won’t clog

Also, in hot weather, you don’t have to check your face to see if your foundation is melting off -- since the powder is dry, and not water-based. Additionally, mineral make-up has a longer shelf life than regular make-up (around two years), so it makes for a pretty good investment as well. As for the mess – some companies are now using “spill-proof” packaging and makeup jars to avoid spills. It seems like the pros outweigh the cons in considering whether to try natural mineral makeup. But before you throw away all your make-up and go on a green shopping spree, make sure to do further research as well. It’s still hard to tell whether or not mineral make-up is here to stay, but it might be something worth trying out! Featured on www. Reina Berger is a freelance writer who enjoys reading, writing short stories, and traveling. Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation

This organic, lightweight liquid foundation goes on white and adjusts to your individual skin color. No time wasted on picking out the right shade!

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012



Cute Coats


That Won’t Break The Bank

“Haute” Winter Wonders

by Elysha Lenkin

Tiny Treasures Just For You, After The Holiday Hustle And Bustle

With the cold weather showing it’s windy face, it’s time to get serious about our warming wardrobes – specifically, our winter coats. Not to be taken lightly, this purchase is an absolute essential for the bitter breeze. A fabulous winter coat works wonders -- especially when it double-duties, offering both warmth and style.

By Kirsten White

If you’re ready to make a true statement in outerwear, you’ll want to think pink! Patagonia has a standout trench in magenta that’ll protect you from winter’s worst elements. Stay simple in dark denim and a sharp handbag, keeping the coat as the focal point. If you’d prefer to get down with a full-length quilted coat, then try this one by Garnet Hill. The urban silhouette and heavy lining breathe new life into cozy chic. Winter never looked so good!


fter the holidays, have fun bargain shopping for wondrous gifts for yourself! These “haute” beauty and home décor winter treasures will extend your holiday spirit beyond the mistletoe and “Auld Lang Syne.”

Lip sticks, Stains, and Gloss

Change your makeup with the season! As the environment and weather changes around us, so does our wardrobe – so it makes sense that the content of our makeup bags will too! A change in lip color always make a clear statement -- so what’s the hue to shoot for this winter? Wine-colored lipsticks and lip stains are the way to go! Merlot-colored lipsticks are guaranteed to be a hit -- giving off a sophisticated sass that’s perfect for the winter season.

Eye color

Your eye color this season should make a dramatic yet sophisticated statement. Gemstone shades are beautiful this time of year; try gorgeous, sultry, and chic combinations of gold, ruby, and emerald tones! Lancôme’s Hypnôse color palette is an affordable and dazzling collection of hues -- and a perfect addition to your makeup bag.


Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Be sure to keep yourself looking “polished” this season! Nudes, deep blues, and rich wine-colored shades are contrasting palettes of color that each make a statement! Essie Nail-Polish in Very Structured, $8, Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Blue Tuxedo, $22, and CND Dark Amethyst Nail-Polish, $8 will add unexpected flair to your fingernails this winter!


YumYumCandle makes the most delicious smelling candles -- without harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients! This candle collection —cashmere, mango colada and lavender vanilla can all be found in their Classic collection—is beautiful, eco-friendly…and most of all, yummy to your nose! $11-$13

Don’t let the cold weather turn you blue unless it involves outerwear! This down coat by Coldwater Creek will layer you in style, with oversized cuffs. If you’d rather turn to teal, try a H&M cloak that’s gently flared for A-line appeal. Say bye-bye to the “safezone” of black, charcoal, and navy, and hello to this season’s hottest trend – color! Bold tones and vibrant hues are brightening up winter’s dark days. And while a great coat is surely an investment piece, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s the latest crop of cool weather coats that fit the “bill” -without costing you too many of them!

an extra dose of color, tie on a printed scarf. Tulle Clothing offers another yellow option in the coat department. The overlap collar is lovely in its own right. Add a floral dress, opaque tights and t-strap heels to complete the vintage feel.

If color is the name of the game, then a red coat is a definite “do.” Both chic and elegant, a scarlet coat turns any ensemble into a classic sensation. This doublebreasted number from Zara is a fresh take on the navy peacoat. Team it with a pair of wide bottom trousers and cropped sweater to keep the look streamlined. This tailored coat at Asos features gold buttons and a minimal design. It nods softly to the mod era while maintaining a totally contemporary feel. Another antidote to grey skies is a sunny marigold topper. This melton coat by BB Dakota hits the perfect balance of modern and classic. The gold buttons will never go out of style, while the sleek fit will flatter most figures. For Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012



Winter Hats


for Hair on the Go

Glitz & Glamour

By: Alanna Klapp

Pretty hats

warm your ears in style rundown of styles and trends…try them on and find the one that’s most comfortable and flattering for you!


tylish winter hats update your winter wardrobe and keep your ears warm Winter hats, a stylish and functional accessory, are a necessity for the cold winter months. They’re also the solution for a bad hair day. Lauren Ward, owner of the boutique Zelio NOTO (based in Ohio and online at, suggests “lots of pretty hats, for hair on the go,” as one of her key winter style tips. Whether you prefer faux fur or cable knits, there’s a hat out there for you. One hat in a pretty neutral -- or print -- can update your winter wardrobe…while keeping your ears warm in frigid temperatures. Here’s a 14

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

VISOR/NEWSBOY Visor and newsboy hats are huge right now, in a variety of colors and fabrics. Belted styles with buttons abound, or try one with a built-in bow for a twist. EARFLAP The earflap hat, chic and stylish with a playful feel, comes in a variety of looks, including textured, deconstructed knits, and fun stripes.

SKULL/BEANIE The classic skull and beanie style hat is always stylish and warm, in chunky cable knits.

CUFFED FAUX FUR HATS A cuffed faux fur hat is the perfect way to keep warm and feel glamorous. Don’t be afraid to try an animal print. The neutral colors will go well with outfits already in your wardrobe.


with an Eclectic Flair! By: Sandra Bailey

on’t let the cold weather bring you down! This season, designers have added a splash of fun to accessories. Unique trends in jewelry are bringing in new colors, patterns, and textures…and also revamping some classic favorites. From the runway to your jewelry box, we’ll tell you how to get designer favorites for under $100. Creativity conquers all! Put away your traditional necklaces and try on over-embellished neckwear. Create your own masterpiece! Try fabric designs, handmade stones, and recycled material pieces that cover the entire neckline. Mother Earth! This season we’ve seen exotic birds, regal elephants, and various animal skin and fur inspired jewelry take center stage. You can partake in this trend with a beautiful tribal inspired bracelet or cocktail ring adorned with a stunning animal print.


unique jewelry statements for the winter season

This summer, fringe took over handbags and clothing -- and now it’s taking over earrings! Long fringe and ruby-inspired drop earrings, as seen on the runway of Oscar de la Renta, are HOT! Think vibrantly colored beads, jewels, and tassels with this trend. For years we have let bracelets accent our wrist with delicate and dainty pieces -- but this season that’s changing. The chunky bracelet is taking over for winter! Give your wrist a boost with thick and heavy bracelets and cuffs. The key: find a unique fit and design in bold and beautiful metals.

HEADWRAPS If you’re just not the hat-wearing type, try a winter headwrap. It will accomplish the same purpose as a hat as it adds style and warmth. Choose from shearling, cable knits, or faux fur, and look for details like flower pins and sequins to brighten your winter wardrobe. Alanna Klapp is a freelance writer and the Social Media Manager for Hope for Women Magazine. She blogs at The Chipper Writer (www. and contributes to the only Cleveland Browns blog written by women, Bitter Orange & Brown (www. She has contributed for AOL/Patch, guest hosted for The Writing Show, and been a writers conference guest speaker on how to “Jumpstart Your Writing Life.”

Pins and brooches are no longer for the subtle! Large, bold statement pins and brooches are the way to go. Use these pieces to add a splash of elegance to your Sunday suit -- or edginess to your casual outfit. Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012




The Infinity Scarf

gives new length to a fashion staple

the water of this trend, this mixed print infinity scarf at Nordstrom is an absolute must. The on-trend plaid and stripes mix together seamlessly…as they are literally sewn together in perfection. Remember the snood – part scarf, part hood? We don’t like the name either -- but the proper execution of this garment makes for a strong statement. We like the SNO Jacquard snood at Topshop. It slips on like an infinity scarf, then pulls over your head as a hood…a chic solution to staying warm!

d T n he S A carf Goes On

Elysha Lenkin is a stylist, journalist, and blogger for major brands, retail stores, magazines, and websites. Visit her at:


By Elysha Lenkin


No fancy knotting required – just slip it on and go! Also packing the punch as an instant outfit-maker, the infinity scarf elevates any ensemble to head-turning status. Double the loop to create a chunky knit feel, or drape it loose for a flattering cowl-neck. Whether cozy or chic -- this scarf provides options. And who doesn’t love that? Here’s our round up of the season’s hottest infinity scarves. There’s no ignoring the chunky knit this season. Warm, cozy, and ideal for winter, this trend makes bundling up fun. The knit-orious infinity scarf at Dillard’s will lavishly layer on top of your sweater dress, oversized cardigan, or thickly-woven top. That’s right, ladies -- we’re layering this baby…for all out chunkiness.

ith the temperature dipping down into oh-so cold territory, winter accessories have never looked (or felt!) so good. Trending now is the infinity scarf -- also known as the circle or eternity scarf -- which has swiftly become a favorite among the stylish set.

Since we are always looking to brighten up our winter wardrobes, we found quite a delight in the soft infinity scarf by Lori’s Shoes. Wrapping up in this tangerine dream provides the perfect pop of color that somber winter outfits (and moods!) might need. Bonus points for “bringing it” in this color -- since tangerine (or orange) is Pantone’s color of 2012!

Its simple construction as a continuous loop makes it a fuss-free essential.

Mixing prints is also a big story this winter. Stripes with polka dots and florals? Yes please! For those ready to test

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


April Hernandez-Castillo

Actress Turned Activist


Bronx beauty on a mission bigger than fame Hernandez was living in LA, shooting Freedom Writers opposite Oscar-winner Hilary Swank when God pulled her out of fame’s grip.“I always say God literally plucked me out of the most important moment of my life of becoming a super star,” explains Hernandez.“He knew how bad I wanted to be a super star. Here I am five years later preaching the Gospel.” The jarring contrast between her Hollywood life and her new-found faith was difficult to handle at first.“I didn’t understand how to be a Christian in the Hollywood world,” says Hernandez -- who admits it’s something she still struggles with at times.“I just know I’m a daughter of God who happens to be an actor.” She’s held major television roles on the Emmy-award winning series ER, Law & Order, and 30 Rock. Most recently she received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her roll on Showtime’s drama Dexter. But despite her lengthy, impressive resume Hernandez says there are many, many roles she’s turned down because they don’t fit her faith.“There’s so much pressure in this world we call Hollywood to be a certain way,” shares Hernandez. “It’s so easy to get caught up in it.” But she credits her incredible team for helping her select meaningful roles that don’t force her to compromise her values. Finding Her Voice While working on Freedom Writers Hernandez discovered another talent: public speaking. Often listed as the number one fear among people, Hernandez says she’s tapped into her ability to communicate to a live audience. She’s using this gift to speak about her encounter with domestic violence, and encourage women who have been through, or who are currently dealing with, similar struggles.

Photography by Kenneth Gabrielsen

By Alison Storm


Dexter Star uses difficult past to help other victims of domestic violence


t’s not just her acting ability, affinity for public speaking, or good looks April Hernandez-Castillo is thanking God for—it’s also her petite stature.“I feel like God made me short for a reason,” jokes the Bronx-based actress who will turn 32 in late January.“I really think it’s because I’m short that the kids think I’m very young.” The “kids” Hernandez is referring to are the un-churched Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

and incarcerated teens she and her husband of nearly five years minister to regularly as certified youth cha plains. A Christian in Hollywood She’s been a Christian only slightly longer than she’s been a wife. As a 27-yearold on the brink of becoming a household name,

Hernandez says she grew up in a loving home where violence was not accepted. But a boyfriend she dated while in her late-teens became emotionally and physically abusive.“There were severe beatings,” Hernandez says.“He was emotionally draining me all the time and I no longer loved myself at that moment of my life.” Eventually she made the choice to leave -- and now she sees the experience as an opportunity to reach other hurting women.“Domestic violence is not racist. It doesn’t care about your financial situation. It can happen to anybody,” she says.“I believe it had to happen [to me] because now I’m making my mess into my message.”

Domestic Violence Awareness She took her message to the streets of her Bronx neighborhood in October 2011 for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She organized “The Love Walk,” after, she says, God gave her the vision for it.“I felt an impression on my heart,” explains Hernandez.“I saw hundreds of people in purple just walking. I felt it was God telling me ‘all it takes is the first step.’ Walking in love is so much more powerful than walking in hate.” And organizing the event required Hernandez to walk in faith. When she first got the idea she had $50 in her bank account and no experience organizing charity events.“All I knew was God spoke and I took the biggest leap of faith ever in my life,” she says.“Someone once told me you have everything you need right in your hands. I did not understand the phrase at first. Then I realized what they were talking about. I had heart, faith, and determination like never before.” Around 140 people turned out including Rita Smith, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.“As we marched I just felt so free and full of joy because we were walking for so many women, children, and men who are unable to leave their relationship, or never made it out alive,” says Hernandez. “We concluded with releasing purple balloons into the sky -- it was absolutely magical.” She and her husband also produced a documentary on domestic violence, which is expected to release in 2012. The film features victims’ stories: women from all walks of life Hernandez has encountered over the years -including business women, entertainers, and achievers, who open up in front of the camera.“There’s so much freedom in being able to speak,” Hernandez says.“You’re letting go of this bondage.” And she hopes hearing their stories will help other victims let go of fear. The Next Act While Hernandez knows God will continue using her struggles and stardom to reach the hurting and lost, she’s waiting for Him to reveal His full plan for her life. Inspired by Laurie Beth Jones’ bestselling book Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership, Hernandez says she was challenged to develop a personal mission statement. “I’m still working on it,” she admits.“But I definitely know it is to be a light.” And she definitely is a bright one— even if she is “a little short.” Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


The Girl Blue



T By Claire Dorsey

“We Must Invest In Our Children. They Deserve Better. We Know Better. Make Time. Do Better.”

hese words appear on the website of The Girl Blue Project. Intimidating words that may put you on the defensive. But Marlow Wyatt, the founder and director of The Girl Blue Project, a spiritually based non-profit organization in Los Angeles, has been on the offensive for the past ten years -- investing in empowering teenaged girls…and spreading the word that we need to shift how we grow our daughters. Each summer Marlow chooses, through an application and interview process, a group of young women to participate in the seven-week program. She handpicks her staff of working artists to aid the girls in building a safe community among themselves, and learning healthy ways to express themselves and come to terms with some of the life challenges they face. The cost to participate? Not money…not talent. Just the willingness to do the work. Marlow Wyatt cajoles and barters to create a safe place for her 14- to18-year-old girls. She shops for teachers with personalities that will draw the girls in -- people who will tell them the cold, hard truth.“Every class is teaching [the girls] about life,” she says,“encouraging each of them to decide what kind of person she wants to be.” A decision, Marlow assures, their parents can’t make for them.

WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES INSPIRED YOU TO START THE GIRL BLUE PROJECT? It breaks my heart the problems in our community: a 16-year-old girl who is a straight A student but cannot read; a 14-year-old girl takes responsibility for making sure her mother’s rent is paid while her mother goes in and out of rehab. We place them in adult circumstances and then 20

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are outraged with the choices they make. Why do we expect our children to know things they haven’t been taught? Educating our children has to go deeper than reading, writing and arithmetic. We have to take responsibility for the values we instill in our children. We teach them not to be happy with what they have, who they are. We teach them to allow someone or something outside of him-or-herself to determine their worth. Our lives are only what we make them worth. So, how do we grow self-love in our daughters rather than have them focusing on outward appearances, what people think? I made a decision to be proactive rather than reactive: to talk with girls about what to do -- rather than what not to do. I knew what I was willing to do to start Girl Blue. I went door-to-door rather than going after grants. If I spent time raising money to match prospective grants, nothing would get done. I went to the owners of a building that hadn’t been in use and got them to rent space to me for a nominal fee. I felt a week wasn’t enough time to get down to the nitty-gritty. I needed at least six weeks. I was able to convince working artists to give Girl Blue what added up to less than one day— three hours a week for seven weeks.

feature Why the arts? Girl Blue isn’t set up to discipline children. We are here to teach them discipline. Our children normally get to see only the end result of the success of, say, artists, celebrities, and sports figures -- not the work it takes to get to that success. The arts are about discipline, commitment— what it takes to have anything in life. “Creative” equals “no time to do bad things.” The girls come in with nose rings, tattoos and wild hair color, are attitudinal—we don’t care. We care about their insides. Their economic backgrounds are diverse but their issues are the same. A lot of them lack the basic skills needed to fill out the program’s required application. Some want to label the girls in the program “at risk.” With the way we portray women in the media, all teen girls are at risk!

my own woundedness.

What’s a typical day like for the girls?

Parents are usually the problem. They are trying to gain information about their children. I get drained by the parent issues. The situations they place their children in. I see girls having to drop out of the program to watch a younger sister who has gained the interest of their mother’s boyfriend. Sisters who have to take time away from the program to go to court to fight to stay together . . . . The hardest thing to swallow is that parents don’t donate to Girl blue after their child completes the program.

Structure is set in stone for Girl Blue. The day starts with yoga at 8 a.m. Lateness is not tolerated. The expectations you set are what the kids take on. Everybody takes the same class at the same time. In addition to yoga, dance, voice, acting and creative writing, there are classes in money management, women’s health (Planned Parenthood does HIV testing) and nutrition. Self-assessment, which I teach, is a daily class. The girls keep two journals—a regular journal and a gratitude journal. I want to encourage them to think about how great their lives are and to help them to dig deeper, to get to the heart of why they do what they do. There is lots of crying. I don’t pretend to relate to the girls but I do cry with them, for them -- and for

The program is all-inclusive: exploring the interior and exterior without boundaries. The focus of Girl Blue is learning about oneself. No one is graded or judged for what she knows. No end result is required. What you put into the program is what you get out. This is a metaphor for life. The girls get to witness each other’s weaknesses and strengths and with this their community is built for the time they are in the program. A lot doesn’t sink in until after they leave. And they want to give back. They are eager to come back and they are allowed return as mentors, to talk about their experiences and mistakes.

What are some of the challenges you face?

How do you keep balanced and focused? Look, I am working on a God level, trusting God to guide me in leading the girls. While the girls start their day with yoga, I am in meditation and prayer. Even though I have a lesson plan, I seek guidance each morning for what to teach. My prayer: Give me the right words to say, the right lesson to teach. Help me to be a good leader. When I am connected on a spiritual level, I know when I am right. At the end of the day, I come home, wash the day off, and think about what the next day should be.

What drives you to continue? “The girls” make me a better person. I have to be a better person for them. Witnessing their lives makes me grateful for my own. I also keep a gratitude journal. I get up to 100 entries a day. I live in the same apartment. I still drive my same Volkswagen, but I get to express myself creatively every day. And for this I am truly grateful. Claire Dorsey mothers her 13-year-old daughter while working for a financial firm and creating a multimedia performance piece on her struggle to speak authentically. Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012




By: Alanna Klapp

Why women are choosing to participate in the Occupy movement around the country. In 2011 alone, the world watched Arab Spring, earthquakes, wars, and extreme weather events. Middleclass Americans struggle with an unemployment rate that hovers around nine percent and foreclosure on their homes, while corporations continue to report record-breaking profits and bonuses. The gap between the wealthy and everyone else seems to grow wider every quarter.

Today’s world moves at a frenetic pace, with a constant barrage of information and scary news from the Internet, 24-hour broadcasts, and social media.

People all over the United States and the world have protested in the Occupy movement that began on Wall Street September 17, 2011. The Canadian activist group Adbusters initiated the protests in July 2011 with a suggestion via their email list. According to Wikipedia, Adbusters wrote on their website:“Beginning from one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America.” The organization also states on their website that OWS was inspired by the Tahrir Square uprising in Egypt. On their Facebook page, with 119,009 “Likes” at this writing, the movement is called “a continuance of the Arab Spring.”

The protesters stand against economic and social inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money on politics from lobbyists and the financial sector. The now-famous slogan,“We are the 99%,” invokes their anger over the disparity in wealth between the richest one percent and the rest of the United States. The first protest, held in Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street financial district, 22

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resulted in more “Occupy” protests across the country -- and around the globe.

The protesters are diverse in age, political orientation, religious beliefs, race, and gender. Jeanie Rose, a New York-based artist and mother, said,“I am heartened and hopeful that what has started at Occupy Wall Street will have an impact on the discourse. When I went down there, it was pretty small, only 4 square blocks, maybe, but it’s in the tradition of the green, the town commons (and every culture has had that space), the market square where people have come. At Occupy Wall Street, it’s filled with a hope – a hope to change the corruption and the greed that has grown since the Reagan era. It was exciting. Everyone there wants to talk. My daughter was talking to people. It’s a very inclusive space, welcoming families and people of all backgrounds.” Among the diverse group of protesters are women, many of them mothers, who occupy their various cities for similar reasons: to make the world a better place for their children, to speak out against social and economic injustice, and to be more actively involved in their communities. In Florida, J.A. Jones, a writer and mother of two, was thrilled to discover Occupy Tampa.“I believe we have to speak out, and voice our dissatisfaction at the gradual, ongoing erosion of the “American Dream.” If one percent of the country owns all the wealth, there is no way for

feature this country to ever repair itself, or leave anything worthwhile to 99% of our children. We have to change things, for our children.” When asked why she has attended and supported the Occupy Wall Street protests, Juliana Frances Kelly of New York City is passionate about her belief in the movement.“I’m an actor, writer, doll maker, and a mom. I support the OWS movement because I think it’s deeply patriotic. We are a country that was founded because some brave folks rejected the imbalance in power. I feel that the best moments in American history have always been when we have acted on the belief that we are a better, stronger place when all children are valued enough to be given good educations and safe places to live. I am deeply grateful for the OWS movement, for the fact that people are standing up, and that people are refusing to be overwhelmed, to fall into apathy and despair.” Indeed, Americans have seemed apathetic until this year. Rose adds,“I don’t want to see violence in the streets, but I feel like we’ve become a country where they keep passing laws that are protecting the interests of corporations and the very wealthy -- and we keep taking it. I’ve been an activist since I was about15; I’ve been on many marches, and protests, and I feel like we’ve become more complacent. Maybe it’s the isolation because of computers, but I feel like the idea of marches and protests, we haven’t seen that in the last 25 years.” Kelly also recalls the transformational power of historical movements – like the labor movement --to change our world for the better.“I am also a union member – AFL-CIO. When I was in high school I had a part-time job in a nursing home– where I had the amazing experience of speaking with some residents who had worked in factories as children. The world has a long way to go with protecting the rights of children – but the unions in this country have helped protect families

and communities in so many ways -- by creating things like ‘weekends,’ for example!” In 2008, with President Obama’s election, the county’s spirits seemed much higher, and more hopeful. However, it’s questionable how much really changed. Financial institutions with questionable practices weren’t held accountable, and received bailout money from the government. Corporations reported record profits and top executives continued to receive millions in bonuses -- while the unemployment rate and job creation continued to stagnate. Celeste A-Re, a cultural worker located in D.C., said,“I jokingly refer to myself as “Itinerant Worker 99” – because ever since 2007, I’ve been up and down the east coast trying to stay employed. My most pressing issue is social and economic justice…yes, I’m upset about what’s happened with finance and banking in the country and how there seems to be a co-opting of the government and politicians. The special interests and lobbyists have bought everything; the corporations are in control.” While not a solution to the entire problem, Bank of America backed down from its proposed five-dollar monthly debit card usage fee -- due to massive customer backlash and the organization of Bank Transfer Day on November 5th. It has been one example of how people can change things for the better when they make their voices heard. “What I’m hoping will come out of this is that people will come away with concrete solutions to take back to their communities,” shares Celeste. Rose added,“I hope it does spur a social movement. The idea of ‘we are the 99%’ is changing our culture.” Alanna Klapp is a freelance writer who blogs about writing at The Chipper Writer ( and contributes to the only Cleveland Browns blog written by women, Bitter Orange & Brown ( She has contributed for AOL/Patch, guest hosted for The Writing Show, and spoken at a writers conference on how to “Jumpstart Your Writing Life.” Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Relax and Rejoice

Creating Intentional Peace

HOw to increase your peace through the winter by Leann Frank

feature Lauren Sabato from New Jersey finds her peace through painting.“It is a great way to disconnect from reality and center yourself,” she says. Others can enjoy her talent as well.“Your finished artwork makes a great gift.” If you are looking for a new hobby this winter, consider things that you can do at home. Check out these great resources to get you started: • Baking / Cake Decorating: Be inspired by great cake ideas at; also check out Cake Decorating at Home by Zoe Clark.

• Calligraphy – Find a variety of styles at www., or open up Calligraphy: A Course in Hand Lettering by Mayanne Grebenstein to follow directions as you go. • Knitting – Surf over to to watch video tutorials, or teach yourself by reading Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book by Vogue Knitting Magazine Editors.

here is something about the winter months that can bring out the “busy” in us! Whether we are baking goodies for loved ones…navigating through overwhelming superstores or cute boutiques…or arranging or attending celebrations and events…we do it all in the spirit of the season. Often, with so much time spent “doing,” “going,”“attending,”“arranging,” and “accomplishing,” it seems hard to find time to focus on you.

One of the first things we tend to do 24

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Before you take the plunge, set the mood with sound. In acclaimed author, researcher, and natural healing advocate Dr. Andrew Weil’s latest book, Spontaneous Happiness, Weil discusses our “nature-deficit disorder” – our removal from the input of nature and natural surroundings that are hardwired into our biological make-up. Weil examines how fundamental nature is to our health and wellbeing, and among other things, draws attention to our natural affinity and sensitivity to the sounds of nature.

• Beading – Find tools, how-to guides and a list of jewelry events at, then take a look at Beading Basics by Carole Rodgers for great visual instructions.


Finding peace after the holidays is over still requires balancing everything else -- and taking care of yourself. You might already be thinking,“Taking care of myself – when did I last do that?” …because it might have been difficult to do even before the holidays!

a restful asleep. Other aromas to look for include sandalwood, rosemary, and juniper.

• Poetry – Be inspired by the poets at www., and learn the art of interpretation with the book How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch. • Scrapbooking – Visit for supplies and idea galleries; read Start Scrapbooking: Your Essential Guide to Recording Memories by Wendy Smedley to discover why scrapbooking is more than just a hobby!

when life gets busy is stop doing what makes us happy. Remember your favorite activity before you went to college, got married, started the career, had kids? Chances are you never really meant to stop. So -- now is the time to start discovering – and doing what you love again… to intentionally create peace in your life this winter.

Peace can come through doing what you love -- but sometimes you simply need to do nothing! Indulging in a warm bath is wonderful way to cleanse your body and mind; set the mood by lighting relaxing aromatherapy candles and dimming the lights. You can find a variety of candles at -- or opt for essential oils and oil warmers, available at Look for stress-relieving scents like bergamot, used to promote relaxation -- or calming lavender to induce

To create a nature-filled soundscape that brings a sense of calm and relaxation to your environment, choose CDs like Rain for Sleeping and Relaxation by Joe Baker, or Dreamsurf: Ocean Waves for Relaxation ( com). The tracks on these CDs will inspire a peaceful statement, or simply put you to sleep! As women, we often put everyone else’s needs, cares, and responsibilities before our own. By finding something that you love to do, and setting aside time to relax, you can find away to carve out some space for yourself after all the hubbub of the holidays. Take the time to celebrate your hard work -- and strive to intentionally incorporate a “spirit of peace” in your life -and surroundings -- throughout the winter! Leann Frank, a native of New Jersey, is a corporate woman by day and freelance writer by night. A newlywed and new homeowner, her passions include cooking, home decorating, poetry, and photography. Leann graduated Fordham University with a degree in English and joined the Hope for Women team in October 2011. Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012



rganize Your Life!

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” - Henry David Thoreau



he one thing you can never get back in life is your time. In 2012, you can choose to set realistic goals and learn to better manage your time — so you don’t feel like the hamster on the wheel!


Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

Learn to Say No It’s important to learn to say “no” — and not take on more than you can realistically handle. If you have to add another item to your list, honestly consider the amount of time you need to invest and the energy required, and plan accordingly to reduce unnecessary stress ad pressure. Remember that at some point you may have to turn something down – so learn not to feel guilty or resentful about having to say “no.”

Put Things in Their Place Get in the habit of always putting items back where they belong after use. This alone will save you time. It’s always better to put the item back where it belongs, than to lay it down and tell yourself that you’ll “come back to it one day” – because that day may be a very long time coming!

Build a Schedule Make the decision to sit down on Sunday and take time to plan your week. Life coach Jen Smith of recommends looking for tasks on your list that you can either “drop, delegate, or double up” on (make one trip to the supermarket rather than two by writing everything you need on a list before you go). It’s also vital to remember sure to schedule in your “you” time – because if you don’t take care of

feature number one, who else will? Schedule times where you will commit to turn off the phone and email alerts! This also means no television or instant messaging. There are 168 hours in a week – consider how you can utilize them wisely. Learn to identify and eliminate time wasters: telephone calls, emails, chat rooms, social media sites.

Establish Priorities After writing down your schedule, go back and determine the level of importance of each task or item: 1 = important, 5 = unimportant. If you find you have too many 1’s go back and reevaluate whether these tasks are actually that important! Still really overcommitted? Delegate if you have to: hire an intern or assistant. In the long run you will be happy that you did!

Practice Goal Setting Create a blueprint of your goals: write them down, and include a time frame. If you don’t write your goals down, you run risk of those “goals” remaining “dreams.” Use the SMART* method to ensure that your goals are:

• • • • •

Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time Bound

Set Specific Goals Your goals must be translucently clear -- and well defined. Consider this: if someone invited you to their home, but it was quite a distance away, and you’d never been there before, would you just get in you car and start driving without a clear set of directions

-- hoping and praying to get there somehow? Probably not! So don’t leave reaching your goals to chance either -- map them out! Ask yourself these five “W” questions: What do I want to accomplish? Why do I want to accomplish it? Who do I need to help me accomplish it? Where do I need to go or be to accomplish it? Which factors do I need to deal with first to accomplish it?

Set Time-Bound Goals Always have a target date for your goals. Having a deadline and a sense of urgency will help you focus your efforts, increase your chances of success and allocate achievement to a conceivable time in the future that keeps it “real” in your mind. also offers a neat “time management test” to discover how efficiently you are using your time,

Set Measurable Goals It’s vital to be able to measure your success? For example, if you’re a small business owner and want to market your business to new clients, you need to know 1.) how many new clients you desire to attract 2) how many you will you contact on a daily basis to reach that goal. Ask yourself these “H” questions: How much time will it take to accomplish this vs. how many days do I want to accomplish it in? How will I know when it’s accomplished?

Start planning now to manage your time more efficiently in 2012 – and organize your life!

Set Attainable Goals It’s okay to set challenging and bold goals -- as long as you have a plan of action. Don’t set yourself up for failure by creating goals that are not realistic; but don’t set goals that are so minimal that they really won’t impact the level of achievement you’re seeking. The key is to set goals for yourself that are both challenging and realistic.

Set Relevant Goals Your goals should echo the direction of your life or career path. If you’re scared of heights and hate cold weather you probably shouldn’t set a goal like, “Climbing Mt. Everest.” Your goals should align with you and your desired direction for your life. Remember: Stay focused! Rome wasn’t built in a day.

*The SMART method, also sometimes used as the S.M.AART method (with the additional “A” standing for “Action Oriented”) is an industryrecognized standard criteria for setting objectives for project management, personal development, and employee performance. Paris Love is a Productivity and Organizational Consultant serving overextended professionals in rejuvenating their quality of life. Paris has written articles for NAPO News, Star Lee Magazine, Baldwin Parent, San Diego Statement, Organizing A to Z, BrownSkin Magazine, Online Organizing and Home Base Quarterly. Catch Paris on A & E “Hoarders” where she helps a family in crisis. Her most recent book, Fifty Tips to Get You Organized in Ten Minutes or Less, along with more information on her life’s work and business can be found at or by calling 770-722-2748.

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012



Start The New Year With A New Financial Plan Tips to help you get your finances on track in 2012

by Ginger Dean


round this time of year, many people review their financial and make resolutions to improve and revise their financial strategies for the year. As we enter 2012, you may be thinking about jump-starting your financial planning. Here are some tips on how to create a financial plan you can stick with!

Create A Foundation: Discover Your Values What are your financial values? Do you want to get out -- or stay out – of debt? Would you like to travel more, or start/ramp up a hobby? Own a home? Start a business? Defining and incorporating these goals as you develop your financial plan will help you design a foundation of priorities to guide your planning and strategies. 28

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Visual your financial success via SMART Goals: • Specific: Start off by being specific in your goal. Clearly define what you are going to do. Include the what, why, and how. • Measurable: You must be able to measure your goal in order to manage it. For example, “I will pay an extra $200 towards my credit card” is better than “I want to be debt free.” • Attainable: Your goal must be attainable. In other words: you can’t possibly pay down $19,000 in debt when you only earn $15,000 for the year! • Realistic: A realistic goal is one that will stretch you to achieve it — without being almost impossible to meet. Completely cutting out all entertainment and eating out isn’t realistic for most. But starting by reducing the amount of money spent in this area is more realistic. • Timely: A timely goal will give you a clear target time frame to work towards. You may choose a week, a month, or a year -- just make sure the time frame is realistic.

Save $1000-$5000 For An Emergency Fund This is only to be used in emergencies, and may vary depending on your lifestyle and needs. So it’s OK if you need to save more like $2500. If you have a larger family and expenses, then $5000 may be a more comfortable number for your situation.

Pay Down Debt, Avoid Digging Deeper In Debt No Credit Needed ( recommends the Debt Snowball method, where you pay your smallest debt off first,” which is popular for both psychological and financial reasons. Pros of this method include: • Paying off entire accounts, quickly, is emotionally satisfying • Easy to setup, easy to follow • Plan can include or exclude first mortgage • Quickly eliminates smaller account balances Cons of this method include: • Paying off higher interest cards and loans first can actually save money over time • One must have the income to pay the minimum on all of their debts • Focusing primarily on one debt at a time could be discouraging • Does not differentiate between secured and unsecured debt

Save Towards Six Months of Living Expenses Once your debt has been paid off, work towards saving six months of living expenses. Most “personal finance experts” recommend a minimum of three -- but given the economic factors, let’s go with six.

Start Investing In Long Term Goals

Create A Will

This can include retirement, college education, owning a home, or anything that warrants a longer term investment of time and money. Consider carefully 1) whether or not it will be a worthy endeavor to save for your child’s college education -- and 2) whether you want to put your retirement ahead of your child’s college fund, based on these factors: •You have only one chance to fund retirement. • Your decision may contribute to your children learning to set their own priorities. • Success is not guaranteed by a piece of paper. • Your child might not graduate – but you’ll still be left with the bill. • Your child may need to support you during your golden years.

Make certain that you create a will, so that your affairs are in order upon your passing. This is a topic no one really wants to visit until it is too late­­— but doing this now will put your mind at ease.

For 2012, Take Your Financial Inventory Have you created a financial plan for 2012? If not, what has stopped you from creating one? If you do have one, have you considered the values and goals that drive your financial plan? You can start by taking your financial inventory with financial planner David Bach’s free worksheet, at Ginger Dean is the Founder and Editor in Chief of the awardwinning “Girls Just Wanna Have Funds,”™ http://www., empoweringwomen in personal finance. Her work has been seen on Business Insider, LifeHacker, Consumerist MSNBC, Essence Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC and Good Morning America. Follow her on Twitter@twitter. com/Gingerlatte,and on Facebook at pages/Girls-Just-Wanna-Have-Funds/195196803234.

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


money 5 Ways to Make a Fresh Start With Your Money

monthly purchase of a new $500 purse? The leased car? The house you can’t afford? You get the picture. If you’re going to get serious about cleaning up a financial mess, you’ve got to make some cuts somewhere.

By Rachel Cruze

4. Talk with someone.


anuary is all about fresh starts. That’s why it’s so hard to find an open treadmill at the gym this time of year. That’s why everyone seems to be talking about the new diet they want to try in 2012. Everything is fresh and new in January. But one area where a lot of people miss an opportunity for a fresh start is their personal finances. Year after year, many of us make the same old mistakes with our money—credit cards, car payments, too much mortgage. Nothing changes. So why not make 2012 the year you change your money habits? Here are several ways you can make a fresh start:


Budget. Stay with me here. I know, it’s the dreaded “B word.” But a budget is really not that bad, I promise. Making a budget that works for you might take a few tries, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have no trouble putting one together each month. Spend every dollar on paper, on purpose, before the month begins. Give every dollar a name. Basically, when you’re planning for the month ahead, you should be able to subtract your expenses (outgo) from your income to equal zero. When you’re done writing the budget, you shouldn’t have anything left over.

2. Dump debt.

This is where you need to get crazy. Make a debt snowball, listing your debts from smallest to largest, and attack that small debt with a vengeance. Sell stuff you don’t need. Pick a date in the future when you want to be completely out of debt, and go for it!


Sacrifice something. If you’re struggling with money, it’s time to prioritize. Something’s got to go. Is it the eating-out habit? The 30

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These simple rules will change your life!

If you’re married, you need to get your spouse on board. Be tactful. Don’t just tell them you’re making changes without their input. Both of you should sit down and make a plan to take control of your money. This is a team effort.


hese days most of us need some help managing our money. Mary Hunt’s simple

rules will move you from financial uncertainty to financial confidence so you step into the New Year on the right foot!

If you’re single, find a friend or accountability partner you can trust. This should be someone who will be honest with you and let you know when you’re making a mistake.

5. Don’t forget to have fun.

Yes, you can still have fun with money. Just budget for it! Make sure you set aside a little money each month to “blow.” Use it to go on a date, buy a new piece of clothing, or spend a night away. But, whatever you choose to do with your blow money, make sure it doesn’t blow up your budget. You need a mental breather every now and then, but don’t let it get you off track. If you’re serious about making a fresh start with your money, these tips should help. This time next year, you could be in an entirely different situation. Make 2012 the year you make a plan and get disciplined with your money! Growing up as Dave Ramsey’s kid, Rachel Cruze learned the basic principles of money at an early age. In the past year alone, Rachel has delivered those same principles, in a personal and passionate message of money and hope, to more than 100,000 teens and young adults across the country. To find out more about Rachel, visit

MARY HUNT is founder of Debt-Proof Living, an organization whose mission is to provide hope, help, and realistic solutions for people committed to financially responsible and debt-free living. Her books have sold more than a million copies, her syndicated daily newspaper column is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Everyday Cheapskate readers, and her articles appear in such magazines as Woman’s Day, Guideposts, Christianity Today, and Bottom Line.


Available wherever books are sold.

Learn more about Mary at Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


career How GM’s Director of Regional, Grassroots, and Diversity Communications keeps her balance.

Women at Work: Joycelyn Allen


s director of regional, grassroots, and diversity communications for General Motors (GM), Jocelyn Allen has a lot on her plate. She’s responsible for communications strategy for GM’s six regional officers in the U.S., as well as for facilitating diversity outreach to media and influencers in various communities. She explains how her faith helps her to handle frustration on and off the job. My grandmother used to say,“You can always catch more flies with honey than you can vinegar. And, I do think that when you have a team, folks are more apt to go out of their way for you, when you treat them with respect. I could probably get a lot of stuff done, by ruling with fear and being rude and yelling, but when it’s the end of the day, and something comes up, no one’s going to volunteer to stay and help if you do it that way. One of the guys who works for me comes to my office every morning and asks, “What can I do to help you today?” And, last week I asked him why and he said, “You have proven yourself to be a great leader; you fight for me, and look out for me, so why wouldn’t I do the same for you?”


Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

I do get frustrated at times. GM is a large company; we’ve downsized a lot, we move a lot faster than we used to, but not always as fast as I would like. I get frustrated that I can’t always implement the ideas I would like to implement. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions that don’t impact people in the most positive way. But that’s what you sign up for when you become a leader. But at the end of every day, if I have positively impacted my team, or removed a roadblock for them, then I’m happy. Frustration is not the biggest part of the job -- and doesn’t overshadow all the positive things I am able to do every day. I work through my frustrations by being very grounded in my faith. I don’t believe in coincidences. I am where I am right now for a reason. When a challenge comes, first I ask God for the strength and grace to deal with it -- and then I try to learn something from it. And then I keep it moving. I don’t let any situation be bigger than the power that is within me, which is God. One defining moment was when I lost my brother suddenly last year to a massive heart attack. We were very much alike; he was very driven, very successful. And then he had the heart attack and he was gone. It said to me, “You can’t sweat the small stuff.” So much that we get caught up about is temporary and gone the next day. But you got all worked up, got all mad. It worked itself out the next day and you’re still upset about it. I’ve learned to let stuff go. I’ve also learned to say “no.” And it’s not “no” with a long explanation. It’s just “No, I’m sorry I can’t,” with a smile. If you call yourself a believer, faith and fear can’t occupy the same space. You can’t worry about it and pray about it at the same time. Pick one! If I believe the God I serve is powerful, then how about I turn over some of that stuff to him? Trust me, it took a while to get to that -- and my brother’s death was a huge catalyst for it. But I don’t linger there anymore. As told to Denise Patrick. Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


education education. This paradox is profound -- and makes one wonder if going into debt is the only way to get ahead in America. “A young person should think about money and debt if they choose a college path. For me at that time, a college education did not seem worth it because I felt I would be in debt for the rest of my life,” says Bethany Fancher, a New York City based visual artist, who first went to college at 19, and left after one year at Hampshire University. At age 32, Fancher decided to return to college, and eventually earned her undergraduate degree. “It’s not college that doesn’t make sense, it’s the expense of it that doesn’t make sense.”

Is College Worth the Price?



Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


onventional wisdom promotes college education as a tool for upward mobility in America. My parents’ friends offer testimonies of how they worked over the summer and saved their earnings to pay college tuition. I attended a state university in the early 90s. The price my parents paid for my tuition and boarding equaled the price of a new car. Today, the cost of this same degree is equal to the price of a small house. This leaves young hopefuls and adults who are changing career paths wondering: is a college degree worth the price? According to the National Center for Education Statistics, for the 2009-2010 academic year, annual prices for undergraduate tuition, room and board were estimated to be $12,804 at public institutions, and $32,184 at private institutions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report conducted by Jill N. Lacey and Olivia Crosby saying that college graduates earn more money, experience less unemployment, and have more options than workers with a high school

Europeans have a tradition where high school graduates receive luggage. They are encouraged to travel and volunteer for a year before deciding how to chart their course. In America, we expect our young people to know what they want -- and how to pursue it -- once they turn 18 years of age. “I didn’t want to go to college at all from high school. I wanted to be on my own. I worked at a veterinarian’s office in high school and saved my money. Two days after I graduated I moved to Arizona to become a cow girl. I visited ranches and discovered that no one was willing to hire an 18-year-old girl from New Jersey. At the same time, I also realized that I didn’t want to be out herding and branding cattle with a bunch of old horny cow boys in the middle of the desert,” Fancher says. Although this experience did not lead her to the path of her dreams, it did lead her to massage school. After she graduated, she traveled the world, studied capoeira, worked, and pursued her craft -- before deciding

to attend Empire State College, a state university of New York located in Manhattan. For a young adult who is still “settling,” the college experience can be overwhelming. This can lead to excessive partying, substance abuse, late night spade tournaments, declaring a new major every other semester, and other costly consequences. Universities were once thought of as places where one could discover their passion. But with recent tuition spikes, a young person on a path of exploration is doomed to debt before they get out of the starting gate. “Be creative with how you want to educate yourself. Maybe apprentice or volunteer in a field of interest to see if you like it,” says Fancher. “I apprenticed with a veterinarian for two years in high school and decided I did not want to do that type of work.” Several weeks ago, as the chorus of disenfranchised voices started to come together across America, we lost a great genius. Steve Jobs came of age in the counter-culture of Northern California, during a time in our nation where young people engaged in self - reflection, imagination and experimentation. The 60’s encouraged the union of intellect and creativity -- so it’s no surprise that Jobs, a college dropout, was able to set his sight on a path that changed the world. In a commencement address Jobs gave in 2005, he shared that watching his working-class parents’ entire savings dwindle to pay for his college tuition was part of the reason he initially dropped out of college. But when he did begin taking classes again for enjoyment, he studied calligraphy – a seemingly impractical study… but one that he attributed to later inspiring Mac’s “multiple typefaces or

A January 2012 study released by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (based on 2009 and 2010 data from a Census Bureau Survey), concludes that there is a marked difference in employment rates between recent college graduates and those without a college degree. Statistics showed that unemployment among recent college graduates stood at 8.9 percent, while unemployment among those with a recent high school diploma was much greater, at 22.9 percent. Visit unemployment/ for more information on this study. proportionally spaced fonts.” While initially “scary,” Jobs’ felt dropping out was “one of the best decisions” he ever made – because of the freedom it gave him to discover a course of study that would actually feed his passion for designing computers. This is an especially inspiring piece of information, as today, many young people continue to drop out because they do not have the resources to finish. But if Jobs’ inspiring life can become a useful illustration for young learners wondering how to re-imagine their futures, and to create paths to a college career that do not lead to debt, then perhaps the price of a higher education will truly become worth it. Elizabeth Herron is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and resides in Harlem, New York City. She is a stage director and educator who works as a Teaching Artist for the Apollo Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, and Lincoln Center Institute.

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


marriage matters

Men: The Things We Love About Them by Kennisha Hill

Men often get bad raps for the things they don’t do right in relationships. It seems as if it’s easy for women to sit at a table, drink a cup of coffee, and sound off. In fact, I’m guilty of doing it. You know how it goes: our husband does something that causes immediate frustration -- and the first thing we do is call one of our girlfriends to tell her about it. I know I have! Prior to writing this, I did a quick experiment; I wanted to see if I could have a conversation with a girlfriend without the conversation “going there.” Unfortunately, the experiment was a failure: right before the call ended, our conversation turned to a marriage issue -- her husband being the guilty party. In the end, we BOTH failed the test: I caved in and joined the rant, complaining about my husband in the same way. Mission NOT accomplished. It seems like it’s easy for women to chat about the things that might drive us up the wall about our men. And it’s more than just in my community of women. On social media sites like Facebook, I often see these types of conversations from women. Social media has become one of the easiest ways to vent. And because it’s easy to hold on to things -- rather than discuss them with our husbands, or let them go – it becomes easy to create one big man-bashing party…even online. According to researcher and marriage counselor Dr. Scott Haltzman, it’s women who are most likely to want to leave their marriage when trouble hits. Studies indicate that wives initiate two-thirds to three-quarters of divorces and separations. Women are also more likely to voice their unhappiness; research shows that 80% of all household arguments begin with women’s complaints – and that women more readily criticize their husbands than vice 36

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versa (Haltzman,“Secrets of Married Men,” While Haltzman notes that 85% of the factors that determine whether a marriage will succeed or fail are rooted in the husband’s attitude and behavior (leading him to conclude that men should become marriage experts themselves) I personally believe we as wives can, and should, adjust our behavior as well. Many of the complaints we hear today were explored -- and I believe heightened -- by John Gray’s bestselling book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Knowing there are distinct differences in our behavior seems to gives us even more room to talk about what those differences are. The problem is, talking ends up in debating -- which in turn ends up in a steaming hot argument…and often with somebody sleeping on the couch. I remember being so upset that I told my husband, “You can have the bed, because I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.” Forget sending him there! And instead of “letting it go,” it’s easy to hold it against him, and bring it up in the next man-bashing conversation. But what type of damage do we do to our husbands by even joking about his shortcomings to our friends? I’ll never forget an incident that occurred when my husband and I were still newlyweds. I had a conversation with a girlfriend of mine about “stuff men do.” It was one of those,“he snores, leaves dirty socks around the house, and never cleans up after himself,” talks. My husband wasn’t home at the beginning of our conversation, so I felt like I could leisurely chat about the common things most wives can relate to. I was having one of those sister-girl moments -- we were laughing loudly, giving each other high-fives and all! -- so when he entered the house, I didn’t hear him come in. And, when he snuck into the living room, I froze -- and my eyes got big -- because I was having a good time talking about

those things that annoyed me about him! He gave me a sideways smile and walked into our bedroom. I brushed it off with my girlfriend, acting as if it was no big deal. After all, he didn’t care – and he was used to hearing me complain about it anyway! What was wrong with getting some sympathy from a friend -- who probably knew exactly what was going through? What was the harm in that? Well, later, I realized there was harm -- and he didn’t appreciate it. I felt guilty -- in fact, I felt bad… and wondered if he’d heard more of my rants and raves about him. But not only did I feel bad about it, as a Christian woman, I felt “convicted.” Most of the time, we don’t consider how powerful our words are. If we continue to rant and rave about all the things our husbands do wrong when we’re around other people, we’ll leave them with an impression I’m sure

we don’t want to leave them with about our husbands. Instead, we should each be grateful for the amazing partner God has planted in our life. We should practice lifting our men up, and showing the world how grateful we are to have them by our sides. Since realizing the harm my words had been doing, I have traded in the man-bashing party for a “what-I-lovemost-about-my-man” party. I encourage you to do the same! After asking our readers to write in and share what they love most about their men, here are what some of our Hope readers told us: “What I love about my husband is his calm, unflappable demeanor. No matter what happens, he has an inner peace and strength that everyone around him can sense. Over our 24 years of marriage, the Lord has used his confident manner to help me corral my emotions when life gets crazy.” — Susan Stilwell “He doesn’t try to fix the problem he just holds me and lets me know that he is there for me!! He supports me!! He works hard!! He truly loves me, and our boys!! The number one thing is that he LOVES God, and it is so evident… That’s what makes him great at all the other stuff!! I love him!!” —Britnee Grant “He’s extremely intimate and affectionate -- something I grew up with -- so I’m so used to hanging all over each other, and he doesn’t mind. :)” —Debra Stevens “I’ve been married to my husband for 26 yrs. He’s my best friend, my husband, and father to our two children. Communication is what makes us both strong!” —Deborah Larkin Latimer Kennisha Hill is a faith-based author, speaker, and journalist. You can visit her website at Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Relating in Relationships

The Power of Your Word Part one in a four-part series on building healthier relationships


by Jacq Gregg and J.A. Morton

elationships can be challenging. They require work. The success of any relationship depends on how we treat each other —if we want love, then we have to give love. If we want joy, then we have to give joy. If we want respect, then we have to give respect. If we want healthy communication – we have to know what it is, and how to establish it— to judge whether we’re getting it in return. Relationship success rests heavily in effective communication -- and how we use our words to communicate our needs and desires is key in creating healthy relationships. While not specifically about intimate relationships, in his wonderful book, The Four Agreements, author Don Miguel Ruiz gives us principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in all areas of our lives. The four agreements reveal profound and practical principles for guiding our behavior, meeting our authentic selves – and relating in relationships. In the first agreement, “Be Impeccable with Your Word,” Ruiz encourages us to use our word in the direction of love and truth. Ruiz reminds us that Christian scripture states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was 38

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God”(John 1:1). Your word has power; it is an affirmation that can enter the mind and change an entire belief, for better or for worse. In our relationships, we should be careful how we share our opinions with, and about, each other. We all have “stressful” days -- and in the heat of the moment, we can say things that do not come from a place of love and truth. As a result, feelings are hurt, an argument ensues, and damage is done. Dr. Douglas Weiss, Director of the Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, recommends pausing to consider how you use your words with the significant people in your life – whether you use your words to build up, encourage, or bring pleasure -- or to speak sarcastically, criticize, or tear down (, September 2009). As an experiment, he recommends writing down the positive words you speak on one side of a piece of paper, and the negative words on the other. Hope asked four single woman to share their thoughts and experiences about communication in relationships, using Ruiz’ first agreement, “Be Impeccable With Your Word” as a measuring tool. Their responses were honest, self-analytical, and refreshing! Stefanie Kelly, a New York-based chef, shared: “You have to have integrity with your word. For me, that really talks about the reality we create through the vibrations of the words we use. ”About the power of our words, she added: “I don’t think it’s good to sit around and affirm negativity around men or situations. So having integrity with your words, for me, means using your words in a strategic way. Know what to say, and when and when not to – in terms of your dealings.”

single-minded On the other hand, being “impeccable with your word” present myself in a relationship, I find I don’t get that also requires us to be honest with our own “self-talk” back. And there’s a lot of disappointment involved. So in and about our relationships. Dr. Margaret Paul has I’ve been struggling with whether or not I create that written extensively about the inherent dangers of disappointment, and whether there’s something that compromising values and beliefs – “giving up your self” I’m doing, where I’m not being impeccable with my for your relationship -- and cautions that word. I actually had a conversation it’s better to let go of a relationship than [recently] with somebody that I care Relationship to accommodate to the point of losing a lot about, and had assumed for integrity. She advises that, rather than a long time was being impeccable success rests telling others what to do, we speak up for with their word with me – about how heavily in effective ourselves in order to take “loving care” of they felt about me, and where they communication wanted our relationship to go. But… ourselves – and to “hear” ourselves speak from a place of self-intimacy and honesty almost as long as a year, I’ve had -- and how we (,“Why Don’t You a twinge of questioning that. And use our words Speak Up For Yourself?” September 2011). I guess that’s where I’ve not been to communicate impeccable with my word – because Carol Taylor, author and editor, supports rather than confront it, I kind of our needs and this idea of speaking with integrity as hoped that it wasn’t true. And that a vital form of self-care: “I always try to desires is key in if I didn’t confront it, that perhaps it communicate, now -- in my intimate wouldn’t be true. And I think part of creating healthy relationships, in particular, but in being impeccable with your word relationships. general, when I communicate with is being willing to go there -- even people -- I try to be straightforward when what you feel, what you think, from the get go. I try to be honest, I or what you see, is not what you want to see, try to be forthright, and I try to keep my word. And at and think.” this point in my life, if I need to say no, I say no. And I have no guilt about it. Because when you say no to Stefanie also believes that women can fail to speak someone, you’re actually saying yes to yourself and with integrity when they don’t know what they really to your own needs…if you don’t put yourself on the want. “We have to be true to ourselves about what we list, you’re spread too thin for everyone else. I cannot really want. I think that what happens with women is spread myself so thin that I have nothing left to give to that we feel that ‘at a certain age, I have to be doing this, myself.” and at a certain age I have to be doing that.’ And we say: ‘Oh, I wish I were married.’ But if you wished you were Rose Clarke, a health advocate and counselor, admits married, you wouldn’t [be with] married men. If you that this is exactly what happens to her in struggling wished you were married, then you would pick that guy to speak up for herself in relationships: “It’s not an who’s actually nice to you. But what happens is, [we’re] easy thing for me. I sort of feel like I’m the receptacle picking these incredibly unavailable [partners] and then for their [the man’s] wonderfulness. Like I’m there to talking about how we want to be in a relationship. Just sort of listen. So in a lot of ways I’m not able to express be honest…if you don’t want to deal with anybody at what I need when I need it. I’m so busy trying to show all, you should be honest about that.” them that I’m such a wonderful supportive person, that I may not be able to say to them when they’re Ultimately, as Ruiz’s The Four Agreements stresses, wrong. I think it’s been difficult because…they’re being impeccable with your word will create a clean attracted to me because I listen well…but it’s difficult and healthy foundation for interacting with others, as to challenge them by saying what I really mean.” well as assist you in reducing communication-based confusion. As Carol sums it up: “Honesty, integrity, Writer and journalist Theresa Jackson, a Louisiana open and honest communication, I think, really is the native, also admits to struggling in this area, and key – but I believe that’s something that we grow into.” wonders how it impacts whomever she is dating. “My struggle is, even though I do my best to be impeccable Jacq Gregg is a New York based writer. She has a passion with my word, and truthful about the way that I for running, hiking, writing, and working with kids. Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


2012 Embrace Your Uniqueness

Tips for teaching self-acceptance to your kids


By Dr. Jeanelle Marshawn Lanham & J.A. Morton

hen most people think of beauty, or being beautiful, they think of the dictionary’s definitions: “delighting the senses”… “exciting aesthetic pleasure”… “highly enjoyable” … “pleasing to the eyes” (Merriam-Webster). All of these may have something to do with physical beauty — but none of them hold the final say on what real beauty is. In truth, each and every one of us has our own unique beauty; it’s what makes us stand out from the crowd. In a culture that is fast becoming obsessed with uniform images of false beauty, learning to embrace our uniqueness – and teaching our children to do the same — can be challenging. But it’s the key to walking in complete confidence, wholeness, and self-acceptance – and instilling that same sense of confidence in our children. Starting from childhood, as girls we are taught to focus on how we look; we spend time combing our hair, “dressing pretty” and adorning ourselves. We are taught to cover ourselves up with make-up — never exposing our natural beauty. This trend of “covering” and “re-making” goes one step further, when later in life, more and more women (and now men) find themselves seduced to maintain beauty and youth by going “under the knife” – investing in plastic surgery. 40

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A recent CNN report states that despite the ongoing recession, Americans spent over $10 billion in cosmetic surgery in 2009 alone. (Taking its cue from the growing obsession with cosmetic surgery, the FX TV series “Nip/Tuck” aired from 2003 to 2010 as the poster child for the most negative qualities of the proliferating industry.) This is an enormous amount of money -- all spent on changing parts of our bodies that we aren’t pleased with! At the same time, this kind of growing trend sends the message to our impressionable youngsters that what we are born with -- or how we look naturally -- isn’t good enough. But in reality, it’s this -- and other similar messages -- that aren’t good enough. They’re not good enough for grown women as we journey toward health and wholeness -- or for our young girls…who are already dealing with the ups and downs of becoming women. The Media Awareness Network (, reports that one study has shown that while 72 percent of girls rate themselves as having confidence in themselves at sixth grade, only 55 percent of girls still feel that way by tenth grade. Another study of 400 teens revealed that girls watching TV commercials with underweight models became unhappy with their appearance and lost self-confidence in themselves,

family while those girls spending the most amount of time on their appearance lost the most self-confidence. According to the Social Issues Research Center (, advances in technology and media have created an ever more image-obsessed culture – causing us to conform to uniform and unrealistic standards of beauty witnessed on TV, in magazines, and on billboards. While the current media “ideal” exploits a “thinness” image attainable by less than five percent of the population, the parade of images inundating us hold up rarified models that seem more real, normal, and achievable than they actually are. SIRC points out that we often see these images of so-called “beautiful people” with more frequency than we see family members! But encouraging the notion that beauty is solely based on what someone looks like is not only false – it’s harmful to sense of self-worth. Plus, more recent research shows that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. According to recent studies at the University of Wisconsin, research shows that how we really see beauty involves more than initial perceptions of whether someone “looks good” or not. Studies revealed that participants perceived beauty differently in those they had familiarity with, versus how they perceived beauty in strangers. Researchers Dr. Kevin Kniffin and David Sloan Wilson said the results showed that “non-physical traits” — such as how much the person was “liked, respected, and contributed to shared goals” — had very large impact on whether or not the participant found them attractive…a component of “beauty” that’s “invisible” to strangers. The researchers hoped their results would help people reconsider the value of plastic surgery – and recommending instead, “If you want to enhance your physical attractiveness, become a valuable social partner.”

release unrealistic and superficial standards – realizing that keeping up with the trends and comparing ourselves to others doesn’t help us — it actually hurts us. When you begin to embrace who you are right now, you’ll begin to see a change in your life. You’ll release stress, and begin to feel lighter; your health will improve, as will as your spirit. You’ll start to feel better about you — about life. When you have an attitude of self-acceptance, your confidence grows. You may even become more willing to step out, take chances, and share what you have to offer with the world! As a culture, as women, as parents, teachers, role models — it’s time we begin to do things differently. It’s time we embraced our uniqueness, and refuse to be labeled, defined, or put into cookie— cutter boxes of beauty norms. And we must teach the young women in our life to do the same. Every woman is beautiful – so let’s teach our girls to see the natural, unique beauty within them…as we honor the natural, unique beauty we have in ourselves! Dr. Jeanelle Marshawn-Lanham counsels families, teens and parents, and for more than 20 years has helped teenagers discover, accept, and love who they are.

Here are some tips to feeling more confident, embracing your uniqueness, and modeling self-acceptance for the young people in your life this year: Discover your values. Ask yourself what really matters to you, and why. Discover your passions. What excites you? What makes you feel alive, and brings you true joy? Discover a physical exercise you love. Walking, zumba, dancing, yoga…you have to enjoy it to make it a regular part of your lifestyle – not a chore! Discover something about yourself you really love – and spoil it. Even if it’s only your right pinky toe. Buy it a ring! Start small – everyone has something about them they can find to pamper. Don’t wait on anyone else to make you feel valued – value yourself. Discover how you can treat yourself better. Again, start small. Don’t feel guilty – you deserve it. Find a way to carve out “me time” – somewhere, somehow, away from the crowd. It’s time to discover you again!

Hopefully, as we mature, we learn to Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


entertainment BOOK REVIEW

The Couples Devotional You Have Been Looking For

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Author Rebecca Skloots’ book investigates the incredible story of a woman whose “immortal cells” live decades after her death

Draw Close Helps Couples Connect with Their Spouse and Keep God at the Center

by Daresha Kyi

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a passionate and compassionate tour de force of scientific journalism, meticulously detailing the incredible journey of cancer patient Henrietta Lacks’“immortal” cells…and her family’s struggle to make peace with a truth hidden from them for decades. While the premise of this astounding book by Rebecca Skloots sounds like science fiction, not only is it true -- but the impact of HeLa cells (as they were named) have changed the course of modern medicine during this century. In 1951 Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with a particularly virulent form of cervical cancer that raged through her body like wildfire, and quickly covered her internal organs -- including her liver, intestine, heart, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder -- with tumors. Hers was a very painful passing, but before she died her doctor took samples of her cervical tumor -- without her permission or knowledge -- and gave them to a researcher named George Gey. Gey succeeded in growing cells from the tumor in a Petri dish -- a feat that scientists had been trying to accomplish for decades (at the time, human cells would always perish after a few hours in culture). Lack’s cancer cells (which Gey named HeLa after her, taking the first two letters of her first and last name) miraculously doubled every 24 hours…and soon proved to be virtually indestructible. HeLa were the first immortal human cells ever grown in a lab, and were integral to the development of so many medical advancements that they are considered one of 42

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

Nothing brings a couple closer quite like sharing a regular devotional time. Now Willard F. Harley, Jr., the bestselling author of His Needs, Her Needs, joins forces with his wife, Joyce, to bring readers devotions to help them increase their intimacy with God and each other.

the most important medical developments of the 21st century. Eventually a global, multi-million dollar industry formed around their production and distribution. In a perfect world, Henrietta’s husband -- and the five children she left behind -- would have enjoyed a considerable inheritance from her unique legacy; but they never received a penny, and often couldn’t afford the life saving medicines her cells helped create. They didn’t even know the HeLa cells existed until 25 years after her death, when her name was published in a medical journal.

Perfect for newlyweds as well as those who have been married for decades.

Her daughter, Deborah, took the revelation particularly hard. Decades after Debra had learned about the HeLa cells, Skloots -- a young, agnostic, half-Jewish woman -- contacted her; suspicious and still hurt, Henrietta’s daughter refused to speak with the journalist for over a year. But eventually Skloots forms a deep, personal bond with Henrietta’s deeply religious, middle-aged daughter, by promising to tell her mother’s story in full detail, sharing everything she learns. It is a life-altering deal for both women, and a fascinating journey for the reader. As Skloots writes, “I was a science journalist who referred to all things supernatural as ‘woo-woo stuff:’ Deborah believed Henrietta’s spirit lived on in her cells, controlling the life of anyone who crossed its path. Including me.”

His Needs, Her Needs You will discover that an outstanding marriage can be more than a dream— it can be your reality.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an astonishing story of racism, poverty, and greed…the use and misuse of medical authority…and some of the greatest scientific advances and injustices of the 20th century. As Skloots writes, “The Lackses challenged everything I thought I knew about faith, science, journalism, and race. Ultimately, this book is the result.” Daresha Kyi has produced, directed, and written for film and television for over twenty years, producing segments for Comedy Central, AMC, The Style Network, PBS, RAVE HDTV, among others -- and has been a co-host and correspondent on Oxygen TV’s “She Commerce” online shopping show. A graduate of NYU and the American Film Institute, she’s received numerous film & television grants and awards.



Available Wherever Books Are Sold Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


entertainment BOOK REVIEW

Cozy Winter Reads by Kathryn Whitbourne

Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the rough road of doubt By Andrea Palpant Dilley (Zondervan, Feb. 2012)

“During my junior year of college, I took a butter knife and scraped the Christian fish decal off the back bumper of my Plymouth hatchback.” So provocatively begins Dilley’s memoir on losing her faith and finding it. The child of missionary parents who spent her first six years in Kenya, Dilley admits that her parents weren’t overly zealous, nor was their church super-conservative. She walked away from faith for reasons that are not quite clear – mainly, it seems, to see what life is like on the other side. Her rebellion by worldly standards is fairly tame – listening to secular music, drinking liquor, reading existential books, and “keeping the law but not the spirit” symbolized by her purity ring. After a dissatisfying few years in the wilderness, she returns to her childhood faith and church, realizing that she may never have all the answers to the questions, but that God is best experienced in acts of love towards others. Her future husband says her questions are important because they help people think honestly about their views. While much of the self-examination Dilley goes through may give readers “over a certain age” a sense that they’ve seen, done, read, or heard this before, 20-somethings will appreciate this book for its honest exploration of doubts Christians may face about their faith.

God’s Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom (Baker Books, January 2012) Have you ever prayed something like, “God, if you want me to take that job, please make it rain tomorrow?” If so, you’re on the wrong track. Here, the authors lay out the dangers of expecting a special sign (aka “putting out a fleece”), like Gideon did in the Bible. Using Psalm 23 as a guide, Packer and Nystrom explain the concepts of guidance and decisionmaking in a sound Biblical way that is often lacking in many Christian how-to books. Questions at the back of each chapter make this a good book to study in a small-group setting.

Coming Home By Stacy Hawkins Adams (Zondervan, March 2012)

Hospital executive Dayna Wilson is getting dressed for an event, when who should up at her house but her ex-husband Brent -- the one who cheated on her with her close friend that he eventually married. He says he wants to ask forgiveness. He also tells her he’s never stopped loving her -- and asks her to have dinner with him and his new wife, because he has something he wants to discuss. Although Dayna has a budding romance with a V.P. at the hospital, she finds herself still drawn to Brent in ways she does not fully understand. This novel explores themes of forgiveness in a faith-filled atmosphere, and is a refreshing take on a contemporary African-American Christian woman. Other characters, such as her remote preacher father, her friend who is involved with a married man, and Dayna’s boyfriend – who happens to be Caucasian, and who doesn’t want her have any connection with Brent -- make this a compelling story, and a good beginning to a planned series. 44

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Breaking the Mold with the Voice of an Angel

entertainment MUSIC REVIEW


By Lynn Sexton

t takes an extraordinary woman to defy an industry, create several multiplatinum records, and tirelessly tour more than one continent. Throw in a few Grammys, some magazine covers, and legions of fans, and call it a day’s work for worldwide singing sensation Adele…who, mind you, is only 23-years-old. Born in England, Adele knew that singing was her calling from the moment she got a microphone in her hand. From putting on concerts in her living room for her mother and her friends, to enrolling in a performing arts school for her secondary education, Adele’s talent and voice carried her on a path that she was more than happy to follow. But what exactly is it about Adele that makes her so remarkable in the current crop of female singers? For one, she doesn’t shy from letting people – her fans, the press, and listeners of her music in general – into her music and into her heart….something that makes her disarmingly relatable. Adele’s music springs forth from her heart and soul, accompanied by her powerful lyrics – poetic and passionate spinnings of heartbreak, love, loss and other very human experiences -- combined to give Adele’s music a unique and soul-stirring quality. Another thing that sets her apart is her confidence, and her willingness to stand up for herself -- just the way she is. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Adele -- who sports a beautifully fuller-figured body type -- says that she doesn’t pay much attention to what others say about her weight. The singer has shared that she doesn’t “like going to the gym,” and that what she does like is “eating fine foods and drinking nice wine” – personal truths that she won’t be pressured to change for anyone else. However, that doesn’t mean that she’s completely free from insecurities. But to combat these, Adele says that she doesn’t surround herself with anyone who “points them out” to her. In order to keep

up her confidence, she focuses instead on putting her energy into her music, and giving her all to her art, and to those who support her -- and she ignores the pressures of obsessing about “something as petty as what I look like.” Adele is very vocal in her gratitude, and keeps a regular blog on her official webpage to interact with fans, and to let them know the goings-on in her life. This additional peek into her life is just one other way the singer connects with others, and it is this connection that drives her career and her passion. Her debut album, 19, was penned as an honest glimpse into the entry of adulthood. Her follow-up album, 21, was just as genuine and brave, this time delving into personal moments of heartache and lost love. These incredibly emotional and raw songs give Adele a depth and integrity that other artists in her genre don’t quite have. The singer-songwriter strives to let her fans know that, at the end of the day, she’s just a normal young woman -- who struggles with intense stage fright, breakups, and other entirely human issues. Adele maintains her authenticity by refusing to buy into the superficial belief that, in order to be successful in this industry, you must sell your body, and you must look, act, think a certain way. She does her own thing, and she does it well. Strong, confident, and poised – not to mention blessed with that voice – Adele is clearly one of the most talented and deserving artists to appear on the music scene in years. Lynn Sexton is a Michigan based writer who enjoys reading, exploring, and earning new things. Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Winter Decology

Achieving winter’s landscape look at home—while staying warm By: Ashlie Kyles

feeling of serenity. With the charm and romance of the winter season, it’s no wonder why the winter months make us feel the coziest. To stay true to a rustic winter theme, your palettes will be best enhanced by colors such as silver, green, burgundy, brown -- and other natural colors that mimic the essence of a snowy forest. For the contemporary winter room, however, pair white and silver with a rich icy color like winter blue, turquoise, or eggplant. Since it’s not sensible to paint a room every season, accenting a white room with these colors will prove most effective.


When the cold weather arrives, it’s nice to add extra warmth and comfort to our lives. For bedding, try warmer fabrics like brushed cotton or jersey knit. For other pieces, pull out soft cushions, pillows, and throws. These items in suede, velvet, silk or satin are popular. And don’t forget the floors: to avoid the unpleasant chill of a hard floor, utilize decorative throw rugs. The winter season is all about coziness, and following these tips will be conducive for Glacier National Park snuggling!

specifically defines

Here’s a word to the wise: shop winter ecology as for winter fabrics in the spring cology is a branch the study of the when they are on sale to save of biology that deals specifically money. Also, Better Homes and inter-relationships with the relationship between living Gardens has suggested saving organisms and their environment. between living Glacier National Park specifically defines old wool sweaters to fashion into things and their winter ecology as the study of the inter- pillow bands as an added touch of style. You can even sew them relationships between living things winter environment. into blankets or seat cushions. and their winter environment. So, this concept inspired me to find trendy ways Re-purposing these items as decorations can help save we can adapt to the winter weather in our homes. For the sake of biology, let’s money -- and the environment! call our efforts winter decology. With fragrant oils or lighted candles, we can get as close to real winter There are ways to achieve winter’s look scents as is possible. Vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, and berry are great aromas that are warm and wintry. The candles can be clustered on a of frosted beauty, and maintain the plate, or floated for a more romantic look. If you do not have a fireplace, privileged warmth of the indoors. This lighting candles can be beneficial -- but be sure to keep them away from look is dominated by natural elements places where they may be a fire hazard. -- employing elegant colors and soft textures that are topped with a subtle 46

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

A great thing about accessories is that they can be easily and

Image details: All by Designers Guild and available to order from Kevin Kelly Interiors.

inexpensively transitioned in or out of our homes as the seasons change. For example, we can clear out bright summer artwork for black and white pictures instead. The key is to keep winter decorations more neutral and natural -- so that you can enjoy them past the Christmas holiday…which may also save money. Use materials like branches, pinecones, pebbles and stones, which can easily be found in your own backyard. Display them in glass vases or white pottery for an enchanted forest theme. Glass, mirrors, and crystals add sparkle and can be indicative of ice.

to the senses. By sight, we are able to incorporate rich winter colors. By touch, we are able to invoke the feeling of warmth and comfort. And by smell, we are able to recapture the many aromas of the season. Now, all that’s left to do is to put on a favorite album -- and have a cozy, festive dinner with the family! Ashlie Kyles loves books, crafts and inspiring women. She has over ten years of decorating experience and is the founder of Bella Ministries Group, a women’s empowerment network. Currently, she resides in the Atlanta area working towards her B.A. in Religion/Ministry.

Success in winter decorating is all about appealing Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


health & wellness

health & wellness

Flu Defense Build a Healthy Immune System Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith


e are officially in the middle of the flu season! From early fall to mid-spring, the number of diagnosed cases of the influenza virus begins to rise. In any given year, ten to twenty percent of the population will become infected with the flu. While the symptoms for the flu are The best defense very similar to the common cold, the two diseases are the result of different against the viruses. Both result in respiratory common cold illnesses -- which present with fever, body aches, and cough. The common and the flu is a cold, however, tends to have more healthy immune sinus involvement, with a stuffy or system! runny nose, and is much milder than the flu. The flu is more likely to result in a progression to pneumonia or bronchitis, which increases the mortality rate of this virus.

12 Steps You Can Take to Keep the Flu Away in 2012 1. Enjoy Aerobic Exercise. Moderate aerobic exercise increases blood flow and circulation throughout the body -- which allows your infection-fighting cells easy access to the places they need to defend! Strenuous exercise, however, has been shown to release stress hormones -- and can blunt immune response.

2. Try Probiotics. There are good bacteria inside your intestines that help your body make T cells (a type of diseasefighting cells). You can increase the amount of good bacteria 48

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

in your intestines by drinking kefir, eating yogurt, or taking a supplement with lactobacillus, and/ or bifidobacterium.

3. Limit Alcohol. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can blunt your immune system, and lead to an increase in infections.

4. Increase Zinc. Zinc is a trace element that is required for immune cells to function properly. You can increase zinc by adding nuts, beans, fortified cereals, and lean meats to your diet. A half-cup of cashews contains almost a full day’s supply of zinc.

5. Cook With Garlic. Garlic has been shown to have some infectionfighting properties, so the next time you make chili or soup this winter, add some garlic to your ingredients for an extra immune boost!

6. Laugh More. Laughter is natural stress-relief -- and stress has a negative effect on the immune system. Anything you can do that decreases tension and stress is a healthy change.

7. Get Adequate Rest. The amount of functioning T cells in the body has been shown to decrease in people who are sleep-deprived. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep a day will help keep your cell-count optimized. The more T cells you have fighting on your behalf, the better chances you have to fight off invading viruses!

8. Avoid High Fat Foods. High fat diets weaken the immune system, and cause your immune cells to be less effective at recognizing and attacking viruses. A low fat diet is not just for heart health – it’s also beneficial for your immune system.

9. Stay Hydrated. Immune cells need adequate circulation. Dehydration decreases the ability of your disease-fighting cell to quickly reach their target. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks can be tasty treats, but water is always the best first defense.

10. Limit Overuse of Antibiotics. Your immune system works best when it gets some on-the-jobtraining. Do not run to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle! Give

yourself 48 hours to allow your body a chance to fight back. If you’re not improving, or if you develop a high fever, then make a doctor’s appointment. 11. Snack on Fruits and Vegetables. A diet high in antioxidants helps keep your immune system strong. Try to eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. Some great choices include blueberries, strawberries, spinach, beets, peppers, red cabbage, and pineapple. 12. Flu Shot. The flu shot will only protect you from the specific strands of the flu virus within the shot, but it is an added boost of protection for those more prone to getting complications from the flu -- specifically children, the elderly, and those with chronic medical problems. To learn more about the flu, visit:, or Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been actively practicing medicine since 1999. A committed Christian passionate about helping others experience freedom in Christ, Dr. Dalton-Smith has been published in national medical journals and written on the mind, body, spirit connection.

Have a happy and healthy 2012! Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Winter 2012

health & wellness

Your Fit and Happy New Year!


Fight the post holiday bloat and winter blahs with realistic fitness goals By Lisa M Pitt


inter can be hard on the body. Outside, the colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours have sent most of the comfortable warmth indoors. Add to this after-holiday bulge from all the delectable treats -- and winter becomes a great time to pile on pounds! Resolutions to “do better in the New Year” are upon you – so it’s time to implement your winter fitness regime! Of course, making up your mind is just the beginning. Sustaining consistency and enthusiasm are difficult. So where do you find the motivation after all the sugar-glazed pound cakes and buttered roasted turkeys? Choose a goal that suits your fitness level. Perhaps it is to walk around the block – or up and down the stairs outside your home for a specific


Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

amount of time. Maybe it can start with a single pull up -- or a mile on the elliptical at the gym. Your choices for what type of exercise and where you can exercise are endless! The most important thing is that you make a commitment to yourself to follow through; if it helps, trying sharing your goals in a group, or with somebody who has similar aspirations. While it’s always hard to carve out time to exercise – and post holidays the “umph” may just not be there -- according to the Women’s Health Training Guide, it’s important to treat exercise like a very important appointment. That means you look at your list of things to do and schedule a time to work out at the top of that list. The key to fitness is to be consistent. One way to build consistency is to prioritize exercise goals -- and continually work towards them. No doubt, fitting in any exercise during the holidays was probably tough. But starting 2012 with a manageable and realistic set of goals that aren’t too overwhelming are your best bet to overcoming the winter fitness “ughs.” Pair this with gentle self-reminders that you don’t want to be caught waiting until the warmer months to get back into your fitness plan! You don’t want to rue the time wasted during these chillier months -- so crank up your exercise engine now. Finally, a nutritious diet has a profound impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. While you can forgive yourself for choosing the “not so healthy” over the “healthier” food options during holiday dinners and celebrations, now it’s best to recall the sobering facts about obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites that there are more Americans overweight today than ever before. More than half the adult population in the U.S. is

overweight, and the figure for overweight children and teens has doubled in the past decade (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: Data Accomplishments, 2010).

schedule it into your activities…and make it a priority – like drinking more water, getting more rest, cutting down stress -- and ingesting less junk food, soda, high fat foods and sugar.

A major culprit in our populations’ increasing obesity is poor eating habits. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the average diet for adults in America contains 49% carbohydrates, 15-16% protein, 34% fat, and 2-3% alcohol. notes one UC Berkeley study that found nearly 30% -- one third -- of the American diet comes from junk food and soft drinks (Peyman, 2011).

Make 2012 your best fitness year ever: start with realistic goals…and get stronger by being consistent!

Winter may fill your front lawn with snow, your guest room with lingering relatives, and your kitchen with left-over fattening foods -- but you still have control over your body. Set a fitness goal…

In her work as a fitness instructor, Lisa M. Pitt has designed workout programs for all fitness levels; a mother of three young children, she is an advocate for good nutrition, exercise, and anti-aging skin techniques. Lisa received her MBA from University of California, and Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University. She enjoys athletic training, dance and competitive sports. You can find her videos, and tips on health, diet, fitness, and anti-aging at Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Celebrity Chef Maxcel Hardy’s Winter Menu Faves

By Reina Berger


Any tips for someone who is preparing for a big holiday party?

food. I love trying new things, and finding new ingredients to work with.

Keep it simple, don’t try to over-do it. It’s better to do easy, cool things that are flavorful and look good. Maybe do a nice lamb, or a fish -- and do lots of different appetizers -- instead of tackling big entrees.

Do you travel? Is it reflected in the dishes you prepare?

From the kitchen to the table, easy meals to keep your WINTER season delicious and fun!

Are there any surprising ingredients you like to cook with in the winter?

Bringing over twelve years of culinary experience to the table, awardwinning Chef Maxcel Hardy’s clients have included the Prince of Dubai, the former Prime Minster of the Turks and Caicos, actor Jamie Foxx, NBA star Dennis Rodman, and New York Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire. Hope chatted with Chef Max to discover his recommendations for adding stressfree flavor and flare to your holiday menu planning.

Pumpkin & Bacon Bisque

Do you have a special list of ingredients that you use in the winter?

I tend to use pumpkin, squash, carrots…heavy wintry stuff. A variety of fruits and vegetables, winter harvest potatoes, beets, pumpkin, cinnamon, and lots of different nuts.

What are your favorite winter dishes?

I have several. Squash soup, braised short rib, and roasted duck with cherry glaze, just to name a few. 52

health & wellness

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

Winter squash. I know, it’s a winter vegetable, but you’d be surprised. People tend to shy away from it; they don’t know how to use it, and prefer keeping it as a decoration -- but it makes for great soups and stews…and it’s a nice addition to rice and risotto.

Where do you find inspiration for your recipes? I watch a lot of cooking shows and read a lot about

Do you gravitate towards comfort foods when the temperature drops?

Oh, definitely. As soon as it gets colder than 50 degrees, I bring out the chili. I also love making stews and soups: they warm you up, they’re easy to make -- just throw the ingredients in a crock-pot, and you’re good to go.

What do you like to prepare for holiday parties?

For Thanksgiving I keep it more traditional. It’s hard to venture off with that one, everybody expects the cranberry sauce, the stuffing, the usual suspects. But with the turkey you can change it up and do a fried version, or a smoked turkey. For New Years I like to spice it up and have fun with it, make lamb chops, crab cakes, and turnovers. I’m a big fan of celebrating that holiday.

I do travel all over the country, several times a month. In LA, my cooking’s got a healthy vibe to it; in Florida, it’s got a Caribbean feel, with a Latin influence. In New York, it’s party time, lots of appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. In the Caribbean it’s all about lobster and conch shell. We asked Chef Max to share some of his signature winter menu favorites – so try your hand at this flavorful Pumpkin & Bacon Bisque – or his ready-forthe-New Year “Chef Max’s Signature Crab Cakes” … with a spicy and mouthwatering Grilled Winter Corn Relish!

Ingredients: 4 slices of bacon 1 medium sweet onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 tbsp of fresh ginger, minced pumpkin spice Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 5 cups of chicken stock 4 medium pumpkin, cleaned, and large-diced 1 cup of heavy cream 2 tbsp of cilantro diced Directions: In a large sautee pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with slotted spatula to a paper towellined plate, and reserve the bacon fat. Crumble the bacon when cool.

mixture in a food mill, food processor or blender. Return the puree to the stockpot, add the chicken stock and pumpkin spice, and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the cream and simmer for 5 more minutes, lowering the heat if necessary so it doesn’t boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat stockpot over medium heat, sautee onion, garlic, roasted pumpkin* in the bacon fat. Puree the

Divide soup among 6 soup bowls and serve immediately. Garnish soup with chopped cilantro and crumbled bacon.

* Cook’s Note: To roast pumpkin, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut whole pumpkin in half, and then cut each half into several pieces. Discard seeds (or reserve for another use). Place pumpkin on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender, but not falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool, peel away skin, and dice. Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


health & wellness Chef Max Signature Crab Cakes

Eating Healthy Through (and After) the Holidays

Ingredients: 1 pound jumbo crabmeat 1/3 cup Panko Bread crumbles Sweet onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper, fire roasted 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 egg 1/4 cup of cilantro 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 1/4lemon, juiced 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced 1/4 celery, finely chopped 1 teaspoon salt Dash of cayenne pepper Flour, for dusting 1/2 cup olive oil Grilled winter corn relish (see recipe below)


Directions: Heat large skillet over medium heat; sauté onions, peppers, garlic, and celery for three minutes (to tender). In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and oil and crabmeat. Once all ingredients are mixed together fold in crabmeat. Shape into patties and dust with flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with grilled corn relish.

Grilled Corn Relish Ingredients: 2 ears winter corn 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 cup vine ripe tomato, chopped 1/2 cup sweet piquante peppers, chopped 1/2 small red onion, chopped 1/4 cup finely cucumber, chopped 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 red jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/4 lime juice

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

“Eating healthy during the holidays” is a phrase food-lovers often cringe at. If the thought of munching on carrot sticks while others are enjoying holiday cookies and endless treats before -- and after -- the New Year is a bummer, now is the time to “tweak” the menu for the remainder of winter…and still enjoy a few post-New Year goodies. No need to sacrifice favorite seasonal eats -- or your favorite pair of jeans. By having a game plan you can put into play before and after the holidays – that’s both health-minded and realistic -- you can enjoy even the leftover treats…and maybe even look better in that little black dress you wore on New Year’s Eve! Here are a few tips for creating a healthy game plan that you can stick to throughout the holiday season (and in the weeks after when temptation lingers).

What you eat your food ON is just as important as the food you eat. Directions: Preheat a grill to medium-high. Brush the corn with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with the cumin; salt and pepper to taste. Grill until golden and toasted on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes, and turning as needed. Combine all ingredients and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Slice the corn kernels off the cobs and toss with the relish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For more on Chef Maxcel Hardy’s delectable dining adventures, visit



We all know that super sized burgers and fries weren’t around 20 years ago. But did you know that the plates we eat off of at home have also gone super-sized? Even if you think you are eating healthy home cooked meals you still need to be conscious of how much you are eating. The American Dietetic Association ( encourages the use of smaller plates when eating at a holiday buffet line. Rather than using regular sized plates, use the salad plate or hors d’oeuvres plate at any buffets you attend instead.

Change the way you think about “sides.”

An easy way to understand how much of certain foods should be on your plate is to follow the USDA’s new “My Plate” program. According to the My Plate program half of your plate should consist of fruits and veggies. That means that our conventional way of thinking of a meal (meat as the main dish and fruits and veggies as the side) should be reversed. To make sure I balance my meal the nutritious way, I fill my plate with fruit and vegetable options first and then serve myself some of the “main dish” and other sides. (More information about the My Plate program is available at

“Exercise” doesn’t necessarily mean “the gym.”

Often our first reaction to an extra slice of pumpkin pie is a solemn promise that tomorrow we’ll hit the gym for an intense workout. But often driving to the gym, running for an hour, stretching, showering, and driving home doesn’t fit into our schedules. The USDA recommends we select physical activities we enjoy and will be able to do regularly. That means that as long as you are striving to be active every day, you don’t necessarily have to carve out gym time. Whether it’s taking the stairs at work, parking your car further away, or gathering the family for a walk, remember that all the little bits of exercise you can fit into your day add up to a big difference. From family gatherings to neighborhood cookie swaps, use these guidelines to inspire yourself, your friends, and your family to enjoy a healthy holiday and post-holiday season. Remember that the success of a healthier lifestyle is dependent on choosing realistic everyday changes. Go ahead and have that slice of pumpkin pie. Just remember to use a smaller plate, fill it with plenty of fruits and veggies, and add more “walking” to the stores to catch those after New Year sales…because every bit of physical activity counts! Bethany Schneider began writing as a food writer for a web-television company. She has since written for various blogs and print. In addition to writing and eating healthy, Bethany also works with children and practices photography. Visit her blog at

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Experience God in a New Way

Winter Traveling: Summer in South Africa


By Kathryn Whitbourne

Bestselling author Ann Spangler reveals the richness of God’s character and love found in his names.

A journey to legendary leader Nelson Mandela’s homeland

The Names of God Bible restores more than Yahweh Elohim had formed all the wild animals and all the birds 10,000 occurrences of original Hebrew out of the ground. Then he brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called each creature became its names of God—such as Yahweh, El Shadday, name. So the man named all the domestic animals, all the birds, and all wild animals. EltheBut Elyon, and Adonay. the man found no helper who was right for him. So Yahweh 19



Yahweh Elohim Gen. 3:1

Elohim caused him to fall into a deep sleep. While the man was sleeping, Yahweh Elohim took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the �lesh at that place. 22 Then Yahweh Elohim formed a woman from the rib that he had taken from the man. He brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

Yahweh Elohim Gen. 3:1

“This is now bone of my bones an

Names of God Reading Paths

ere both naked, but they weren’t ashamed of it.

Names of God Reading Paths lead readers to the next reference thePromise name so they can pray the names of God The First Sin and the of First throughout Scripture. 1


The snake was more clever than all the wild animals Yahweh Elohim had made. He asked the woman, “Did Elohim really say, ‘You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman answered the snake, “We’re allowed to eat the fruit from any tree in the garden 3 except the tree in the middle of the garden. Elohim said, ‘You must never eat it or touch it. If you do, you will die!’ ” 4 “You certainly won’t die!” the snake told the woman. 5 “Elohim knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened. You’ll be like Elohim, knowing good and evil.” 6 The woman saw that the tree had fruit that was good to eat, nice to look at, and desirable for making someone wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then their eyes were opened, and they both realized that they were naked. They sewed �ig leaves together and made clothes for themselves. 8 In the cool of the evening, the man and his wife heard Yahweh Elohim walking around in the garden. So they hid from Yahweh Elohim among the trees in the garden. 9 Yahweh Elohim called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” 11 Elohim asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man answered, “That woman, the one you gave me, gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then Yahweh Elohim asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The snake deceived me, and I ate,” the woman answered. 14 So Yahweh Elohim said to the snake, “Because you have done this,

Open the door to a more intimate relationship with God • Experience God more deeply through his names

• Discover the Hebrew names of God within the biblical text

Also Available in Black and Mahogany Duravella

n 56

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

• Encounter God through prayer, promises, and devotional readings

You are cursed more than all the wild or domestic animals. You will crawl on your belly. You will be the lowest of animals as long as you live. 15 I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel.”

Available wherever books are sold.


ince my college days, when I participated in a very small way in the in the anti-apartheid movement, I have always been fascinated by South Africa. After Nelson Mandela became president in 1994, I put South Africa atop my list of places to visit “some day.” It remained there for years, never becoming a reality because it was too expensive and too far away. But at long last I found myself with unexpected free time that needed to be put to good use, and the finances to travel. With three other friends, I booked a tour package through South African Airways. Because it was off-season (early December), we were able to get a decent rate – around $2,500 for airfare from Washington, DC, hotel for seven nights, tours, breakfast every day, three dinners and air transfer between Cape Town and Johannesburg. December marks the beginning of summer in that part of the world, so it was fairly warm, in the high 60s. Cape Town itself is beautiful, a modern European-style city, complete with a very large waterfront complex (the Victoria and Albert Waterfront) filled with stores, restaurants and

hotels. Overlooking the city is Table Mountain, a flat-topped mountain where you can take cable cars to the peak. Winding roads hug the coastline. One highlight was seeing the enormous colony of African penguins on Boulders Beach. Starting with just two pairs of penguins, the population has multiplied to more than 3,000 birds. African penguins are smaller than the Antarctic varieties and communicate with a braying noise that gives them the unflattering nickname of “jackass penguins.” These were so used to being photographed, they just stood there patiently and waited while I fumbled with my camera settings, ready for their close-up. Another highlight was visiting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held captive for nearly 30 years. Robben Island is 45 minutes from Cape Town, across very rough waters -- and was a leper colony before becoming a prison for political dissidents. In fact, our tour guide was a former prisoner himself, and explained in detail how the prisoners were separated by race, and “coloreds” and Indians were given slightly more food than blacks. The prisoners were put to work in a quarry with no protection from the continuous wind and sand that stung the eyes. “That is why,” said the guide, “you always see Nelson Mandela with sunglasses on.” His eyesight was permanently damaged in Robben Island. After a few days in Cape Town we flew to Johannesburg and then drove three hours to a lodge near Pilanesberg Game Reserve. After rising at 5 a.m., we drove in an open vehicle to the park where the guide was able to track elephants, lions, zebras, wildebeests, springboks and other game in the tall grass. It was so exciting to see a pride of lionesses and cubs lying peacefully in the grass just a few feet way from our vehicle. It was baby-making season and lots of baby elephants, baby wildebeests, and baby warthogs frolicked cutely about. After seeing the animals in their natural habitat, a zoo seemed banal. But appearances are deceiving; the government actually imported game animals into Pilanesberg to create the game reserve. After our whirlwind trip, it was time for the 17-hour flight back to the U.S. Seventeen hours in coach is not much fun, to put it mildly. But South Africa was well worth the visit and I would love to make the trip again in the future. Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Expect the Best — by Being Your Best! Valorie Burton

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”  - Oscar Wilde Not being at ease with yourself — just as you are —is exhausting.  You might not even realize the amount of energy that is drained by trying to keep up appearances... attempting to be perfect...pleasing other people…and trying to make yourself fit in situations that simply are 

wardrobe. Out with the suits (which I’d thought made me look more mature and credible in my 20s) and in with a more relaxed, fun look!  In reality, I could probably have come up with a happy medium, back then, that would have been more relaxed…yet still professional. Get creative: assemble a wardrobe that makes you feel good -- even when your choices are restricted for professional reasons.

The notion of “being yourself,” can sometimes feel a little vague. Here are five practical strategies that will help you be yourself, maximize your best you, and expect the best -- that will come as a result!

There is nothing more authentic than living out your values. When your actions don’t line up with your beliefs, inner turmoil is sure to follow.  Do what is right …and you’ll have a sense of peace about your decisions and actions. 

1.   Say what you need to say.

Most of the time, when we are uncomfortable in our own skin, it’s because we haven’t given ourselves permission to be human. In other words: give yourself permission to be imperfect!  When you relax a little and avoid being overcritical of yourself—you’ll enjoy yourself (and your life) more.  Begin to value the journey as much— if not more -- than the destination. Learn to embrace the fact that there will be bumps along the road. Just don’t let them keep you from reaching your destination!

Do you beat around the bush -- too afraid to speak up? Have you found yourself telling a “little lie” to avoid embarrassment or to avoid telling the truth?  These are clear signs that you are not being you.  To remedy this, try to identify at least one situation in which you have not said what you needed to say.  Then, find an opportunity to approach the person involved — and say it!  Authenticity means being forthright; don’t waste precious energy pretending all is well…when it isn’t.

2.  Wear what makes you feel your best.

This may seem superficial, but it’s not. Clothing is a language all its own.  What does yours say about you? Is the message you “wear” consistent with who you really are?  When I transitioned from running a public relations firm focusing on corporate clients, to my current work in personal and spiritual growth, I changed my daily 58

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

With tenderness, raw honesty, and the most beautiful picture of grace I’ve ever read, this book is a must-read. —Lysa TerKeurst,

New York Times bestselling author of Made to Crave

In Grace for the Good Girl, Girl Emily Freeman invites you to release your tight hold on that familiar, try-hard life and lean your weight heavy into the love of Jesus. She encourages you to move from your own impossible expectations toward the God who has graciously, miraculously, and lovingly found you.

3.  Do what you know is right.   

“If you struggle with trying so hard, being so good, and hoping so much for joy and grace in the mundane, savor this book.” — —M DM, author of Thin Places: A Memoir

4.  Give yourself permission to be imperfect. 

“Emily Freeman [is] one of those rare writers: profoundly biblical, lyrical, transparent— memorable. Her emancipating words on these pages offer the needed keys to all the good girls longing to take wing—and soar home to God’s heart.” —A V, New York Times bestselling author of One Thousand Gifts

5.  Breathe.

Anytime you feel yourself getting anxious—feeling tempted to step away from just being you — take a deep breath. Become conscious of your breath; breathe deeply, and allow yourself to get centered again. It’s such a simple concept but it will take time to master…just like being yourself. Cherish the process of learning to “be yourself” -- and when you reach the destination, you will no longer have to “expect the best”… you will be your best! A Certified Personal and Executive Coach, Valorie Burton has served hundreds of clients in over 40 states and eight countries. She is founder of The Coaching and Positive Psychology (CAPP) Institute, and is author of six books, including Listen to Your Life, and What’s Really Holding You Back? Learn more about her at

Read her blog posts and get to know Emily at AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD

© Alexa’s Photography

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012


Coming up in our Spring Issue:

Celebrating Seven Years of Hope for Women Magazine!

Connect with Hope! You don’t have to wait to stay in the loop with Hope.

Join us to “Celebrate Your Life’s Journey”…as we celebrate seven years of Hope for Women Magazine! Do you believe • LinifetheCycles: so-called “seven- Follow “hopemag” on Twitter for a look at what happens behind the scenes at Hope. Our editors and social media team tweet their favorite books, splurges, lineups and more.

year cycle” in our lives?

We’ll investigate the myths, facts, and spiritual principles of the seven-year cycle.

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 The Science Behind Meditation. What it does,

reen Eating! Eating • Ghealthily just got easier! Own Sexy. • DMaintaining  efining Your personal values

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how it works, and why more and more doctors are prescribing it for their patients.

and enjoying healthy intimacy in today’s world.


• Your Financial Blind Spot • Gardening for Great Health • Relating in Relationships, Part Two

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Hope for Women Magazine in our Spring 2012 Issue! 60

Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

God has big plans for you. Discover them one day at a time.

The NIV Once-A-Day Bible Collection delivers a 365-Day reading plan with devotional thoughts to keep your faith energized. Whether you read through the year or miss a few days, it’s an easy way to devote time to the Word. It’s perfect for those with the not-so-perfect schedule. Visit for more information or your favorite local bookseller to see what God has in-store for you.


Hope For Women Magazine | Winter 2012

Hope Winter 2012  

Winter 2012 with the lovely April Lee Hernandez-Castillo