OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2016
Stop the sILENCE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
that M A K E U P
Last against all odds
EVOLUTION Issue GROWING INTO YOUR GREATER SELF
DEIIR A SMITH-COLL AR D
Founder/Editor- In - Chief/Creative Director
JOSEPHIN E SLOAN Managing Editor
Social Media Contr ibutor
Beaut y Editor
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Khahelah Thornton Contr ibuting Wr iter
Jaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Nese Dixon
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DESIGN & PHOTOGR APHY Depictions of Life Photography & Design MAILING ADDRESS EMAIL Le Char me Magazine email@example.com 3 4 0 N. Sam Houston Pk w y E WEBSITE Ste. A10 0 G w w w.lechar memagazine.com Houston, Texas 77060
J U LY 2016 AU G U S T S E PT E M BE R FASHION & STYLE Fall Style Approved The UpCycle
CONTENTS ON THE COVER
Lau r e n Reed -w ill iam s Photography DeiIra Smith-Collard Makeup DeiIra Smith-Collard Hair Josie Sloan
BEAUTY & HAIR dupe that: Fall Edition
Prime Time Hair Evolution
LOVE & SEX Stop The Silence
HEALTH & FITNESS M eal R em i x Sat i sfy Your S w eet Toot h
LIFE & LIVING Becoming Her
SPIRITUALITY Made to Last
IN EVERY ISSUE KICKINâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; IT WITH KAY THE VENT
The Slamming Door Survivor from Day One manifesting greatness
Letter from the Editor
As the editor in chief for Le Charme Magazine, I strive the assure the content we bring you is thought provoking, entertaining and uplifting. What started as a small team is growing and evolving into something amazing. No matter how we change and grow we will remember that Le Charme Magazine was founded on the basis of unity, team work and sisterhood. It is our mission to bring beauty, passion and purpose in all that we do. In our evolution issue we have realized that we too are evolving. Thank you readers for your continued support. We will continue to follow through with our vision of empowerment. Keep reading, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll keep writing. EMAIL
Meet the team
Josie Sloan Managing Editor
Dalana Bryant Copy Editor
Kim Bob Contributor
India Henderson Beauty Editor
Chole Leviston Contributor
Brandee Nelson Contributor
Khahelah Thornton Contributor
LuLu Botello Contributor
approved By: Kree Owens I love everything about Fall, it is undoubtedly my favorite time of year. It is the perfect blend of summer and winter, not too cold but not too hot, in other words it’s just right. I live for the month’s of booties and layers, trendy jackets and deep bold colors. Nothing pleases me more than sitting on a bench, sipping a pumpkin spiced latte while wearing the hottest trends of the season. With my autumn obsession, it should be no surprise that each year the fall fashions hit the runway, I’m front row and center, pouring over pictures, reading any article or blog I can find, literally devouring everything. There were so many different
trends that caught my eye but I became completely overtaken by the use of velvet. Yes! I said it! Velvet. This is the very reason that I was so overtaken. When I think about velvet I think about old prom dresses, 70’s television pimps and JJ Evans when he was dressed to impress.(Which for me was never really impressive.) Now some of you reading this may say, a true fashionista can make anything fashionable, and you’re probably right, but I had no good things to say about velvet. NOTHING! So when I saw so many different trends flying off the runway, I knew I had found my new love. Velvet is truly a comeback kid.
Immediately I began to brainstorm on ways to incorporate this trend into my wardrobe, because unless you are Beyonce or Rihanna, that straight off the runway look might not be every DAY wearable. So here are some velvet runway styles, that you can make street chic.
Your velvet shoes will steal the show. Shoes are a subtle and unique way to add this look to any outfit, giving it a trendy vibe but vintage feel.
Velvety Layers will help transform any look. Instead of your leather bomber, change up your look with this velvet beauty for a touch of class and added sass!
Everybody loves a sexy little dress. This simple slip dress will steal the show with this smooth fabric and a pop of color.
Just like the velvet dress, the skirt is fun and flirty with chic vintage appeal.
With so many options to chose from, adding the beautiful velvety fabrics to your attire should be easy. Play with different styles, mix and match and have fun with this autumn trend.
Velvety Red Carpet Looks 2016
verb: reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.
Have you ever heard of a RE-fashionista? If you haven’t, it really is a real thing, I’m not making it up. I remember when I was a child I literally hated those dreaded thrift-shop excursions my mother dragged me on. It somehow seemed like literally the worse part of my Saturday and I could have come up with a million other ways to spend my day. But oh, how I’ve grown. Now when I walk into a thrift shop I see a world of possibilities. And it does’t stop there, My closet is full of jeans that I spent good money purchasing that were great when I bought them but now maybe not so much. So what do you do with old clothes of yesteryear? Well, you can donate them and someone like me will buy them for pennies and upcylce them into stylish and trendy current fashions!
Ideas to upcycle old jeans! Transform old jeans into Kim K inpired over the knee boots. To complete this look all you need is an old pair of jeans and boots, hot glue gun/sticks or e6000 glue, scissors, and some time and creativity.
With a little bit of sewing knowledge you can change thrifted or old jeans into a a cute little jacket.
Use an old bag for a template and a bit of needle and thread and you have a bag with a touch of swag!
Quick and Easy accessories can be made from your old jeans and leftover pieces from your previous upcycle projects.
DUPE By: India Henderson
veryone loves a deal, right? I am the bargain queen. However, when it comes to cosmetics, I find myself splurging more than saving. If I see a product that I like, I buy it. Then one day it came to me. If I use the same tactics that I use when I bargain shop for other things and apply that when I shop for cosmetics, I could save so much money. So, I decided to do some research that would help my readers
save BIG on cosmetics. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gathered some of my favorite Fall lip colors and searched for colors that are duplicates by other brands that are less expensive. I will warn you that textures, finishes, or even the wear may be different but the colors are right on!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick – Trust Issues $20
NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick Vintage $7
Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick – Melted Nude $21
Makeup Revolution Lip Lava Forgiven $5
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Damned $20
Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick – Unicorn Blood $18
LA Splash Smitten Lip Tint Mousse – Ravenclaw $12
BH Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick Lust $8
BEAUTY Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint Manbun $20
Buxom Whipped Liquid Lipstick – Centerfold $21
City Color Creamy Lips Chocolate Merlot $5
NYX Lip Lingerie – Ruffle Trim $7
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick – Vintage $20
Lime Crime Velvetine – Salem $20
Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip – Zipper $6
Colourpop Ulta Matte Lip Limbo $6
Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick – Melted Berry $21
Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick Melted Chihuahua $21
ELF Cosmetics Matte Lip Color Berry Sorbet $3
Colourpop Lippie Stix – Brink $5
I’ve provided you with alternatives to some of my favorite Fall lip colors. Don’t be surprised if you find that the less expensive brand works better than the ones you’ve spent so much money on. Give some of these a try and let us know what you think. Send your review and photos of you wearing our recommended colors to firstname.lastname@example.org Come back and check out our next issue for another edition of “Dupe That” As Always…..Stay Pretty!
10 perfect face primers By: India Henderson
for the ideal
Are you a lover of lingerie? Allow me to introduce to you a product that does for you skin what lingerie does for your body. It smoothes, flatters, conceals, and holds things in place, so that everything you put on top of it immediately looks better. Whether your mission is to minimize the appearance of pores, mattify skin, blur wrinkles, or even out skin tone, primers do this whilst locking in moisture and creating a perfect base for your makeup. Many women skip this step to save time in the morning, but a primer is the difference between your makeup sliding off mid-day and it remaining flawless until the end of the day. Now, wouldn’t you agree that it’s worth that extra minute? Primers also create a barrier between the face and makeup to prevent irritation, damage, and to ensure a smooth application. Select a primer that is best for your skin type and needs. Once you have the right product, apply the primer after your moisturizer. Like with many beauty products, there are so many to choose from when it comes to picking a great primer. From tinted formulas to glow-enhancers and everything in-between, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when presented with your options. Read our editor’s review of 10 of the best primers to try.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil $42 The first primer oil on the market has tremendous shoes to fill. It’s going to take some hard work to duplicate this. This primer is definitely a musthave for dry skin. It’s derived from a blend of 15 essential plant oils to provide cells with a significant amount of moisture. Apply a few drops prior to or even add it to your foundation application for a dewy finish that’s oh-so-flawless.
Milani Prime Perfection Hydrating Pore Minimizing Face Primer $10 Milani’s newest addition has made its mark as a new favorite. It’s oil-free, vegan formula practically erases fine lines and wrinkles.
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer $52 Hourglass primer comes in on the higher end of the pricing scale, but with all that it has to offer, you’ll be proud of the investment. If you’re looking to conceal redness, reduce pores, hide wrinkles, or achieve the smoothest complexion possible, this product does it all. It’s a lightweight primer with a strong hold, and has been enhanced with SPF15 to protect against the sun’s rays.
MAC Prep& Prime Fix+ $22
This multi-use product was our beauty editor’s favorite for years. Infused with vitamins, minerals, green tea, chamomile, and cucumber, a few spritzes and your skin will look and feel energized. Use it as a primer before your makeup or spray it on after you makeup to give a more natural look and ensure the longest wear. It can
Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer $31
Benefit has made it clear, they are the porefessionals, and it’s only right that you consult them when it comes to pores. This vitamin E enriched primer protects the skin from environmental stress and minimizes imperfections to create a flawless complexion.
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance $32 The name tells all. This primer was created to give luminous, youthful looking skin. Infused with a pearl tint to blur imperfections and cast a soft dewy glow that makes your skin look good enough to skin makeup altogether.
Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer $30
This primer originally came in a flesh color that made it difficult for every skin tone to use. However, it has been revamped and now comes in a clear color. It has a powdery, velvet finish and glides on very smooth. This primer is great for sensitive skin due to its silicon base. It creates an even layer for foundation to adhere to causing your foundation to last longer and wear better.
YSL Touché Éclat Blur Primer $52 This is definitely one of our higher priced recommendations but if we say it’s good, IT’S GREAT!! One pump of this and the look of skin immediately improves. It diminishes the look of pores, creates a smooth skin texture, evens out skin tone, and give a luminous glow.
NYX Pore Filler $14
This is truly a magical agent. It’s lightweight and airy texture feels as if there’s nothing on your face. It minimizes pores and increases your makeup longevity. At this price, this is definitely a great way to create an airbrushed effect for those
Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector $36 Becca is well known for their skin perfector collection of luminizers that gives skin a luminous glow and highlight like no other. The Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector proves that they are just as good at preventing shine as they are at adding it. With this primer, oily skin is a thing of the past. One pea size drop is all you need as this product excels at providing an immediate matte effect that lasts throughout the day and minimizes the appearance of pores. The mattifying effect of this product works so well, that if your skin type is not oily to very oil, you may experience an uncomfortable dryness. The thing that we really like about this product is that it can be used as a pre-foundation primer, as well as over the makeup if touch ups are needed later in the day. (Works best if only use it over liquid or cream foundations)
Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment $38 We’ve added this product as a bonus!! This is a must-have for anyone with acne-prone skin. This is a primer that contains salicylic acid, an extra benefit for acneprone skin that most primers don’t provide. The formula contains a very helpful mix of repairing and soothing ingredients plus silicone that provides texture-enhancing benefits. This isn’t the primer that’s best for shine control, but it’s definitely great for textured skin. Like lingerie, primers have been around for years. They were mostly found in the professional kits of Hollywood makeup artist. Now they are mainstream and easily accessible for everyone to achieve flawless skin. Just as you would grab your favorite body shaper before putting on that cute little dress, take that extra minute to grab your primer and make sure your skin is properly dressed!
volution is defined as the gradual development of something from a simple to a more complex form. Let’s be real for a second. This will work for a hair battle or hair show, but not for everyday wear. The evolution of hairstyles over decades’ past has gone from yeah I’m not wearing that to I just had my hair like that, and can’t wait to do it again. From Beehives to Bantu knots lets go back in time and recap the decades to see just how evolved our hairstyles truly are. 60’s & 70’s The sixties were the beginning for hair style trends due to the development of rock and roll. It was then as it is now for woman and teen girls to keep up with the times. The “Beehive” was a popular hair style of the early sixties. The main appearance was an up do, but throughout the decade and years to come, it changed to a teased section of hair located at the crown and hair combed over it for coverage. The “Chin Length Cut” was popular in the mid-sixties. It is much similar to our “Bob” today with the exception of it has way more volume and no movement. Long straight styles came into play toward the end of the sixties and the beginning of the seventies during the hippie revolution. Keep in mind this was the time of living care free, so spending time on your hair to tease and spray it down, just wasn’t as important
By: Josie Sloan
as promoting world love and peace. In the early seventies, a part was added to the long and straight style. The long and straight evolve again when the “Wings” hair style became popular by the cast of the original Charlies Angels. The hair was cut in layers, long or short. The hair surrounding the face, was curled backwards to resemble wings. Of course we will end the trend sitting decade with the afro. The afro represented the first time that mainstream black women wore their natural hair. 80’s & 90’s The “punk era” or the 1980’s brought on the big hair and Aquanet. Okay so Aquanet is not a hair style but it was very influential product of the 80’s. Aquanet has been rumored to be the cause of the hole in the ozone layer. Just kidding. Aquanet gave you that all day hold for those side ponytails, large feathered bangs, or just to give extreme height to our teased hair. The eighties weren’t all bad. We had the sisters of Salt and Pepper that introduced us to the asymmetrical bob. The Asymmetrical Bob was about four different lengths with about 3 different textures. I know it sounds crazy, but they made it look good. The only issue
Hair was trying to grow your hair back with those different lengths. Finally, everyone can have “good hair” with the introduction of the Jheri Curl. Yeah right, the Jheri curl is a variation of the relaxer to “relax you curl pattern”, and a cold rod perm which was the chemical process to curl hair. I mean a double whammy with the chemicals. Not to mention the curl activator. You had to slather all over your hair to prevent from looking like a poodle at the end of the day. Also it was just overall messy. It got on your clothes, hands, and furniture. As horrible as it sounds this style would not go out without a fight. It started in the 1970’s, became popular in the 1980’s, and stayed around until the 1990’s. The 90’s was more tailored to hair accessories, cuts, and color. You could see the hair scrunchie worn by teenage R&B singer Brandy Norwood to keep her braids in a high pony tail. Butterfly clips or hair jewelry was popular for accessorizing braids and two strand cornrow twist. The Olsen twins and Drew Barrymore made the flip a very popular hairstyle of the 90’s. It was the basic bob curled up instead of curled down. Award winning singer song writer Toni Braxton and actress Angela Bassett, had all of us going to the hair salon to get our hair cut in a short taper. Some of us were not allowed to follow all trends. Coloring our hair was a huge no-no, but we could easily purchase hair mascara and wear streaks like singers Pink, Gwen Stephanie and Christina Aguilera. 2000’s & Current The 2000’s hair styles were a continuation of the 90’s. The late great Aaliyah was an artist we lost way before her time. Even though her style was introduced to us in the 90’s, it became popular in the 2000’s. The bone straight long hair with the long side part bang covering the eye, was her signature look, and every teenager and grown women wanted it. Hair accessories played a major role in creating different hairstyles such as up do’s and or half bun hairstyles. Coloring made its mark but in a pushing the envelope sort of way. Two tone definitive color dye jobs, such
as extreme highlights with the contrasts of blonde hair with black highlights. To the chunking method where the hair color looked as defined as piano keys. Healthy hair promotion is the key in the 2010’s. Tamed flowing locks, or wavy tresses with natural hair coloring is a must. I do believe that some trends will never go away, just reintroduced to include a modern twist. Take the “beehive” this same hair style has been worn by Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Taylor Swift. It may not have been as tall or big, but the concept was there. The asymmetrical bob has been reintroduced celebrities such as Rihanna with not as many textures and maybe two lengths. The reintroduction of the old too new is Evolution.
b o B m i K WITH
Love & Relationships The theme for this quarter is Evolution. The definition of evolution is the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form. So, it’s befitting that the topic chosen is about metamorphosis. In the process of becoming all God ordained us to be, we should always be evolving, going forward and progressing. I guarantee you, that today, you are not the same person you were ten years ago, and ten years from now you will not be the person you are today. We are always in a state of “Becoming” which, by definition, is the process of coming to be something. Our trials and tribulations are the process. The question is who are we? Think about a butterfly. It doesn’t start off a beautiful creature. It actually starts as something completely different. It gives me hope when I think about how a butterfly begins its life. The bible says in Ecclesiastes “better is the end of a thing than the beginning”; This truth can be applied in any area of our lives.
circumstances Cocoon- Large silken envelope, which a caterpillar forms about itself and passes the pupa stage, a protective covering. As I write trying to put all the words in my head in some kind of order, God is showing me a caterpillar inside a cocoon. I can identify with a caterpillar. We all should be able to. When a caterpillar is inside of its cocoon, it’s secluded from everything and everyone. It is cut off from the world. It’s alone in a dark, lonely place. However, it’s only temporary. It’s a process called metamorphosis. During the process, it’s growing and maturing. In order to get its wings, it is a process that has to be endured.
All Christians should be able to identify with the process. In biblical terms, we call it the perfecting of the saints, which is a slow and gradual process. Just like caterpillars, we move slowly at first,hardly making progress and barely being noticed.This is the larva stage for caterpillars; it strengthens the caterpillar and prepares it for the Metamorphosis- A striking alteration cocoon. The whole purpose for the in appearance, character or cocoon is for it to receive its wings.
What a beautiful reward for so much hard work. When a butterfly comes out of its cocoon, it comes out flying. It’s not timid or hesitant; it’s beautiful, graceful and confident. In the cocoon, we are fully covered, we are resting, and we are protected. However, it is hard for us as women to just rest, we wear so many hats. We are mothers, daughters, wives, teachers, nurses, etc. Also, we don’t like to be alone or sit still for too long because we are busy. As women our plates are always full. We always have something going on. That’s why God isolates us; we can’t bring anyone else with us in our cocoon. Our cocoons are tailor made to fit us, and we are not coming out of that protective covering until the metamorphic process is through. God calls us to seclusion to bring us to another level, just like he did with Jesus in the wilderness, and right after he came out, he began his ministry. A lot of times we discover our purpose during the worst times in our life. I titled this article ‘Becoming her’ because we all have a vision for our life and who we want to be. Our triumphs, struggles and pain are designed to help us grow and continue to become better versions of ourselves. And that, my friend, is who “Her” is. Her is me. Her is you. “HER” is the woman you want to be. Who you are called to be? Unfortunately, we have to go
through that uncomfortable metamorphic stage to get to our version of “HER”. Becoming “HER” is all about becoming the woman you see yourself as. Fulfilling your destiny and operating in your purpose. Becoming her is about you reaching your maximum potential, becoming the highest form of yourself, while simultaneously using your God given gifts, talents and abilities. I advise and implore you to embrace the process. Don’t allow anything or anyone to stunt or stagnate your growth. Remember, everyone is not supposed to be privy to your journey. There are many paths along our journey and no short cuts. If you are like me, you don’t want to be wandering around the desert for forty years trying to get to the Promised Land. My hope, my desire and my prayer for you as well as for myself is that we don’t keep repeating past mistakes. I hope we learn the lesson and past the test the first time so we can be promoted and move on. Last but not least, I will end with an old African American proverb. Each one, Teach one. If you can help your fellow sister in her process of becoming “HER” its even more rewarding. Be a blessing ladies, and you will be blessed! Independent Woman, Kim Bob your distance from people who exhibit these behaviors. If you are going through a betrayal of your own or know someone who is going through one. Be a support to them. Don’t allow the trauma from
By: LuLu Botello
By: Lulu Botello
To the woman sitting in her car for just a moment longer because she doesn’t know what awaits her in her home. To the woman hiding In her room because she awaits the beating when her husband gets home. To the woman who fears leaving her home because she has nowhere to run. To the woman crying in her sleep because she feels worthless and defeated. To the woman who flinches when her husband tries to hold her close. To the woman in life a threatening position everywhere. To the woman suffering in silence.
You are not alone. Nor do you have to explain why you stay. No one should have to live with someone who is physically and mentally abusive. So break free of your silence and find solid ground to stand on. Using your voice can impact those who may be enduring your same circumstances.
be abused.There are resources available to help end the cycle. Seek help from county resources, local church,outreach programs or family. Use your strength to push through the fear. There is no time like the present. Dialing 911 may seem like a useless tool, however it shows record or red flag for danger. You can also take your first step by using your rights to obtain a restraining order. Consider building a safety net. Money, a place to stay, and security will be at the top of the list.
At times, you may seem to ask yourself who, what, when, why, and how over and over again. Who can you trust to help you? What steps will you take to be free? When is the best time? Why do you stay? How can you find Ask yourself “Why do I stay?” Abuse happiness again? can strip you of your confidence It can be a vicious cycle of worth and self love. It teaches you blame, but no one deserves to your life as it is, is the best you can
have. Unfortunately, women learn they don’t deserve more, but I’m proud to say you are WORTH IT! Freedom will lead to happiness and safety. It will allow you to find yourself again and gain your life back. Find a third party for therapy because you need to release, forgive yourself, and move forward! Take control of your life again. You are the only one that can do this. You are enough! Feeling complete will heal that pain when you find true self love. STOP THE SILENCE! I am a survivor of 18 year domestic violence. Don’t just exist, start LIVING!
With Khahelah Thornton
Dear deferredheartache, OUCH! Wow. Well let me start by asking what would do you normally in this situation? If you were dating a man and found out he was into other men, what would you do? While I firmly believe in second chances, I don’t believe in people trying to hide their past. If a man or woman decided to date the same sex and then for some reason decide they want to be heterosexual they should be honest with the people they interact with in a sexual manner. Non-disclosure is the same as lying. Some people are okay with dating bisexual, bicurious or those previously identified as homosexual but when you choose to hide this information you are taking the choice away from the person you are with to make an informed decision as to whether this is a situation they care to get involved in. Honesty is the best policy. While I can’t tell you to leave the love of your life, just think if he can hide something so important about his past from you what other secrets is he harboring? What future secrets will he keep from you? If you are not bothered about his past and feel like you can trust him then marry him. If his secret past bothers you and you don’t trust him then it just may be time to call it quits. Whatever you decide, never make a decision you can’t live with. I wish you the best! Kaye, I really need your help. I’m engaged to get married to the love of my life. During my 38 years of living I have never met a man that treats me the way my fiancé does. He is literally my everything. We’ve been dating for two years and our wedding date is two months away. My man was in prison for eight years prior to meeting me and a few weeks ago I was informed by a reliable source that while my man was in prison he engaged in some homosexual acts. The news of hearing this is truly devastating. What do I do? #deferredheartache
Questions for Kaye?
Do you have a question for Kaye, let us know email@example.com
By: DeiIra Smith-Collard
butterfly is a miraculous creature of beauty. It’s fluttering wings gliding through the air, knowing and fulfilling it’s majestic purpose is something that usually leaves a lasting impression on anyone it passes. Do you believe that something as small as the whiffle of a butterfly’s wing can impact a change so great that it completely alters the course of one’s life? It is my belief that small actions create big impact and after meeting Lauren Reed-Williams I know this to be true. Small in stature, Lauren Reed-Williams doesn’t take up much space, but she is immediately noticed in a room full of people. At first glance you will see her outer beauty, but as she speaks you will realize that the alluring glow radiates from the inside out. Lauren is the founder of Mom’s of Diversity, a non-profit
organization founded on the desire to help the homeless, assist in mentoring young women, and providing assistance to underprivileged families. It is a noble cause that she doesn’t take lightly. My first question to Lauren was why, why do you want to give back. She takes a small pause before answering and then simply states “Everybody needs a push, and you never know what can help a person. Helping makes me happy, it makes me feel good inside”. She recalls telling her mother at the age of 5, when I grow up I’m going to help these homeless people. When she sees a need she fills it. Mom’s of diversity
FEATURE started in November 16, 2014, with a clothing drive after seeing a need for school aged kids at a bus stop one cold morning. Within 24 hours she had secured a donation location, enlisted people to help and had started receiving guarantees of donations. Her desire compels her to take action. As we continue to talk, I attempt to shift the conversation to the how, because there is always a how. How did you arrive HERE? Even the most generous of people don’t always sacrifice their time and effort with no return, but Lauren gives whole-heartedly. For this type of passion to give there has to be a spark, something that lights the fire of charity within you and catapults you to do even though the odds may be stacked against you. Not wanting to make her uncomfortable, but unable to stop myself I asked the question, I want to know that deep personal change that took her from arm candy model and video vixen to the woman who quietly steps back and helps others. See, before she was the founder of Mom’s of Diversity, Lauren ReedWilliams could be found in videos, on a runway, or dating unnamed NBA stars (She wouldn’t name names no matter how I tried!), and the person sitting in front of me was a long way from who she used to be. But every butterfly is a caterpillar before it can ever become a butterfly. In January of 2011, Lauren began her evolution. One late night or should I say early morning, Lauren was driving home, pleased with her life and as she
would put it “feeling herself” when she received her wake up call. Driving down I-45 somewhere in the area of 610 her car, hits a pothole. Now for most people this is no big deal, you hit a pothole curse at it and keep it moving, however this bump causes Lauren’s car to swerve and she lost control. The car spiraled, flipped off the freeway and landed on the freeway beneath her into oncoming traffic. Being completely alone and with no help, Lauren called 911 herself just before someone stopped to help her. Not realizing at first the true extent of her injuries and near death experience, she shrugged it off and attempted to go to work that evening. After repeatedly being told that wasn’t going to happen, Lauren finally started to settle and saw that her shoulder and arm was completely damaged. The gravity of what happened started to set in for her. She had flipped off of the freeway into oncoming traffic, and was injured by the glass and debris from her wrecked car. For all intents in purposes she realized “I shouldn’t be here” after an accident of that magnitude. Lauren explains at this moment in the quiet realization of her mortality she could hear God speak. “Lauren get it together, I saved you for a reason, do it”. Four surgeries later, she emerged ready and willing to work. Humbled by her experience, she remembers
the five year old that simply wanted to help and does just that. Mom’s of diversity has expanded. She has a team of women with her same passion and what started as a clothing drive has extended to school supplies drives with multiple drop off locations, prom dress donations, and the newest addition, The Butterfly Brunch; a motivational movement to inspire and empower young ladies ages 12-17. Lauren has taken her experience and turned it into drive and motivation allowing her achieve her vision. She is continually evolving much like the butterfly, and manifesting her greatness.
To donate to Momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of Diversity Contact Lauren Reed-Williams e: firstname.lastname@example.org p: (832) 643-2919 f: @momsofdiversity
By Jaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Nese Dixon
Iam fascinated by butterflies. As a child, we ran around my grandmother’s yard chasing them down. Our hope was to have one touch us. Because we heard it was good luck. So imagine, about ten kids of various ages playing kickball in the backyard when suddenly someone would spot a butterfly. It was over! We’d push and pull and climb our way over, under and even plow through each other, literally, trying to catch the poor, helpless yet beautiful butterfly. Never stopping to consider how a butterfly became a butterfly. I am sure that if I knew then what I know now I would have lost all fascination with them. To think they start as squirmy, hairy caterpillars. The thought makes my skin crawl now. They inch and inch and inch through life. They inch and eat, hoping to not encounter kids like us. Kids ready to experiment. This article is not about me, nor is it about butterflies, it is about you. I write it hoping you would consider for a moment how your life may resemble that of a butterfly. You see, butterflies evolve or they morph by transitioning through four distinct stages. I am not a science teacher so you’ll have to Google
the rest. But know this, each stage is the foundation for the next. Even the placement of the eggs, which turn into the larva, is important. They go from egg, to larva, to pupa to the beautiful butterflies we see. I see this process mirrored in the lives of humans too. We have to transition or morph into our full stage of beauty. We do not merely wake up one day and we are a butterfly. Not without transitioning or evolving through each stage. I have always been a writer. I wrote
In my love for butterflies we once had butterfly bushes planted near our porch. And during, what we called butterfly season, we would have rows and rows of pupaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hanging. They hung from the I would liken this to the larva stage. handrails, the sides of our wooden They eat and grow. Caterpillars steps. They hung from the porch have one primary aim and that is end tables. to eat and grow in preparation for For about two weeks we would watch them. In the beginning it is the pupa stage. I was like a caterpillar. I was taking hard to see them inside. And over in everything I could to learn about days the exterior became more writing. I read books, I wrote lyrics, and more translucent, revealing I wrote poetry. I did anything and the beauty within. on anything with blank space. The backs of envelopes. The backs of my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important documents. I would find a pencil and within minutes I had a poem or a short story.
everything to feed my hunger for I am sure you wondering, why is she learning and to produce better writing about butterflies and why am I still reading it? Those are great writing. But somewhere along the way I questions. So I will throw a couple got stuck. When the caterpillar back at you. enters the pupa it is closed off from When in your life have you tried to the world. Have you ever seen a jump stages? You tried to go from butterfly in this stage? It is amazing. being a caterpillar to a butterfly.
You tried to bulldoze forward without experiencing the time you needed to grow into your new space in life. Or, when in your life have you found yourself stuck? You kept trying to get situations and circumstances to work in your favor but you found it not working. You tried to push and pull instead of regrouping by withdrawing from the world, for a season, so that you could mature. Withdraw so that you could evolve and experience your life through new eyes and new understanding. I, sadly, have been defined by wanting to jump in and finding myself stuck. I found myself eager to get things moving and rushing where life was begging me to withdraw and regroup. We are not that different from butterflies. We too are beautiful. We too are experiencing life stage by stage. However, if I were a betting woman Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d bet the majority of us fight the stages instead of using them to our advantage. I am still fascinated by butterflies. Nearly every gift I receive, every journal and most items I own have a butterfly somewhere. But now I see them for much more than their external beauty. To me, as a woman who has experienced many seasons in life, I see them with fresh eyes, glowing with respect and admiration. But every once and a while you just might catch me still chasing a butterfly or two hoping that it will touch me. Hoping that I will never lose my fascination with their beauty.
By: Lulu Botello
SURVIVOR FROM DAY ONE
Silence. Pounding heartbeat. Breathe. No. No. No.what are they talking about.
My doctor’s voice echoes to the nurse, Mass #1 mass #2 mass #3 and 4. Breathe Lulu. Twenty minutes later outside my doctor’s Clinic i held my breath for fear of screaming at what would be the worst day of my life. What started out as a infection on my right breast ended up being stage 2 breast cancer on the left breast and lymph nodes. I joked with the tech saying LADY you are looking at the wrong BOOB. I’m having problems with the right one. It was no joke.
I’m having a biopsy and then i’ll deal with it. Control Lulu. Get control. My questions were simple, I’m going to be 50 this year, will I have boobs to fill the red sexy dress I’m planning on wearing? The doctor answer was direct. Not likely. Your tumors are representing all characteristics of cancer. She walks away and i said damn Iforgot to ask if I’ll have hair. My mechanism is and has always been to bring laughter into a serious situation. A week later I had a MRI and they discovered 10 tumors, 4 large and 6 various sizes. Doctor order bi lateral mastectomy immediately.
In my life, my tragedies, my heartbreaks, my failures, I always held the memory of the slamming screen door from my childhood. The voices of my parents to stay inside, the safe spot. That day i wanted to run like hell to Merry Christmas. I spent Christmas in that secure safe spot. I was lost in fear. the hospital and just told myself God loves me. He will not leave me. He I came home and sat in silence. has carried me before. But why am Worse i had to tell my family soon but I on this roller coaster ride? My mind not until I got control of myself. I re- screaming with doubt, Defeat, and member talking to my sister and saying
most important loss of control. Single mom. 3 kids. Failed marriage. Rides to school, workout schedule, teaching schedule, day to day. I was in the best shape of my life. Mentally and physically. I was trying to help others challenge themselves and then I realized I needed to listen to what I had been preaching all along. This is it. I could not do anything except follow orders and accept that I have cancer. That ugly nasty disease that we all ignore. The death sentence. Accept it Lulu. Just accept. And that is what I did. I vowed to never speak of the negative and take every moment as power. It is a death sentence but you are still alive! Speak life into existence. You are surrounded by people that support you but you are really alone. The loss of the breast didn’t hit me because the first thing they talk about is reconstructive surgery. Ironic because first you have to go thru the ugly stage. I made jokes about my one headlight. About my bald head and rubbing it in disbelief. Accept it lulu. I repeat every moment. Accept. Surgery and the physical limitations of my arm stopped me from the high energy physical workouts I had been doing 3 times a day. Chemotherapy put me into sleeping beauty mode for three days after each treatment. I was run down and again cancer called the shots. But it didn’t stop my voice. I have been on chemo since March but had to stop four times due to infections and a blood clot. I spent my fiftieth birthday in the hospital with a blood clot. No red dress. I look back at the day I was told about my cancer and can honestly say I have cried a few times out of frustration but learned to accept what plan God has for me. I’m the chosen one. I can help others who are not strong enough to get up after the biggest blow to the gut. Im taking every day as it comes. I may have cancer but dammit cancer does not have me. I thank god for what I have learned about myself. Most of all for giving me strength to keep going. I thank my mother for always teaching me to walk in faith for now I do not see what the future holds but I have faith that I will cherish every step I take. I have a long road ahead of me. Radiation next. I see people moving forward, this is hard but I will cheer them on because my comeback will be fierce.
The most important thing is to say this out loud. I AM A SURVIVOR.from day 1! A few things that need be done if this happens to you are: ● Knowledge: Go to a good website (MD Anderson, American Cancer Society, etc and get the facts! Don’t Google! ● Advocate: get an advocate thru your insurance that will help you know what is covered. Do not wait on this ● Assistance: accept help. You will need to have someone by your side because honestly it isn’t easy to listen to what you are going to go thru. ● Prepare: mentally prepare yourself for the physical setback. Plan your rest days, delegate what needs to be done to make life easier for everyone. ● Attitude: check your Attitude. It is key. Channel all your emotions into having a I’m going to kick you azz attitude! This is what gets you thru the battle. Claim your victory My manifesto! It is what it is...I am a beautiful disaster....perfectly imperfect...it took a while to grow the confidence to say “this is who I am”...take it or leave it...repeat after me...no doubt, no fear, it is not the size of your body, if not the size of your heart and soul...who controls the wall you build to block out negative? You do! What you give out you will receive... Rule #1...kill them with your smile Rule #2...caress with your words Rule #3...act like a lady Never go down thinking you can’t get up. Use your fierce determination. You are Fuego (the fire). Today this is a body that is loved, adored, and cherished by the only person whose opinion matters — ME.”
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WITH Khahelah Thornton
6 Figure Fairytale I recently met a guy that I was interested in getting to know until his everyday conversation become more like a bragging session. He bragged about making six figures a year, paying one of his exâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rent, giving another ex a monthly allowance and giving money to the mother of yet another ex. At some point one of his exâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moving out of town and he went out of his way to maintain their relationship by flying to see her or by flying her to see him. To listen to this guy brag, you would never think he would hesitate to pick up a $25 tab from a lunch we shared or ask me to fly him to visit me. This same guy has a cracked phone screen yet insists heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waiting on a financial settlement before he purchases a new phone.
Phone a Real Friend I recently asked a friend whom I talk to on a daily basis for a ride to a rental car place while my car was in the shop being repaired, she agreed with no hesitation. The day before she was to pick me up she informed me that her husband who was out of town suggested I call a taxi or uber to take me to the rental car place so that I would not have to be fishing for a ride. WoW. Had I known she needed permission from her husband to give me a ride I would have phoned another friend.
Health & Fitness
Healthy Meal Remix By: Josie Sloan
Spaghetti Evolution or Revolution
You can go into any household and I bet they have their own spaghetti recipe. Peggy Hill from King of the Hill made her famous Spa Peggy and Meatballs. Spaghetti is a meal that is cheap, you can feed a lot of people with, and an easy meal to prepare for your loved ones. Although diabetics and/ or those of us who choose to live a low carb life style, have to find an alternate to the bleached flour pasta. Of course you can use whole grain pasta, but for diabetics, that can be just as bad. So instead use spaghetti squash or zoodles. Both of these are great options for diabetics or if you just choose to live the low carb life style. Spaghetti squash is a yellow skinny pumpkin shaped squash. Once it is cooked it strings up like spaghetti. Zoodles is basically zucchini cut on a pasta machine or cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. View the directions on how to cook both below along with a sauce.
You Will Need 3-4 medium to large zucchini 1 24 oz. jar of Marinara Sauce 1 lb. Ground Turkey 1 Tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning 1/2 tsp Oregano 1/4 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes
Let’s Get Started
In a large skillet, add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and bring to medium heat. Add ground turkey and brown the meat. Meanwhile, use a spiralizer to create the noodle affect with my zucchini. If you do not have one just slice off ribbons using your vegetable peeler. Cut the stem and a small portion of the bottom off and began the shave off your ribbons. You can use the meat and the skin. The skin at color and texture which will give your noodles added flavor. Spread the zucchini on cookie sheet cover with paper towels. Sprinkle some salt and let them sit for 20-30 minutes to let the moisture escape. Zucchini hold a lot of water. This will prevent your noodles from being soggy and slimy. While waiting for the zoodles, add a jar of your favorite Marinara Sauce to the browned turkey and let simmer over low – medium heat. Add Italian Seasoning, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes to incorporate all the spices together. Cook the zoodles by sautéing them in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook until that are hot and soft enough to eat. Don’t cook too long or they will get that limp noodle feeling. Drain the excess water that cooked out of the zoodles using a strainer. Place them on a plate and cover them with your sauce.
Health & Fitness For Spaghetti Squash Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then cut the squash in half first by scoring with your knife, and then cutting along the scores. With a spoon remove all of the seeds. You will need to use a little elbow grease because it is not cooked yet so it will be a difficult task. Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil on the squash and lightly season it with salt and pepper. Place the two halves cut-side down on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Cook for at least 45 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Use a fork to pull the spaghetti-like strands from the squash. Pull the strands into a bowl and top with your marinara sauce and enjoy!
The Miracle Morning The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) Paperback: 170 pages Publisher: Hal Elrod Language: English ISBN-10: 0979019710 ISBN-13: 978-0979019715 www.amazon.com
f you’ve ever had the feeling that everything in life was all topsy turvy, and you just weren’t living up to your full potential, then the Miracle Morning is the book for you. It seemed that this book just dropped in my lap when I felt the most disconnected. Recommended by my friend as well as Amazon, I thought I would give it a try. I’m all for self enlightenment, but if you’ve ever read any self-help book, sometimes you just get lost in the mundane repetition that they all seem to repeat. However, with The Miracle Morning, I stumbled upon a book that is actually relatable and actionable. All of the actions of The Miracle Morn-
ing seem like common sense methods that we all would use, but we don’t. Hal Elrod assembles a great tool he calls SAVERS to help jump start your day and assist you in jumpstarting your morning. Follow-through is the key, there is no miracle to it, just doing the work and constantly continuing your self development. “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development” I highlighted this to always remember to constantly develop and evolve into the best possible version of myself.
Health & Fitness
recipe courtesy www.lemontreedwelling.com
BANANA MAPLE YOGURT PARFAIT A healthy spin to satisfy your sweet tooth
Ingredients 1 c. plain Greek yogurt (substitute vanilla for additional sweetness)
Âž c. Banana Bread Granola 1 banana, sliced 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
Directions 1.Layer ingredients in a parfait dish or stemless wine glass. *Amounts can be altered according to taste!
Calories per serving:
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Last By: Dana Pittman
watched “42” this weekend. The movie is based on a few years in Jackie Robinson’s life as the first Black man to enter Major League Baseball. It was amazing. Mr. Robinson said “God built me to last” when confronted with the impending challenges. This thought triggered a few memories….
The Cost of Fear
For much of my professional career I found myself being the only female and mostly the only person of color. Around lunch tables, dinner parties and the like it was always…interesting. People were kind. People smiled. Yet I always felt like I had something to prove. I had to show I belonged. I had to show I was worth their time and efforts. I know most of it was my fault. Not the looks and comments. But my feelings of having to out work my feelings. I was angry. I was hurt. I was disgusted. I wanted them to get to know me because if they knew me they’d see who I am (instead of was). But fear descended like a thick fog.
Fear Masked as Courage In response, I resolved to wear them down. Armed with my fear masked as courage I donned my best suit and went in. Not realizing the impending danger ahead.
Spirituality Unlike Mr. Robinson I don’t believe I audacity to know he belonged on the understood the challenges awaiting field. me. I am learning daily how audacity and I arrived early. I stayed late. I’d be fear can’t coexist. Yet for a while I was kind. I’d be helpful. I’d pretend not to willing to relinquish me in pursuit of my noticed the subtle nuances. I did this career, financial security and even until I began to question…doubt… recognition. whether I actually belonged. Risking it all to prove a point to people A hollowness was settling over my heart. I was losing myself. Days began to bleed together. Something had to change.
In the end, I reached the end of me. No more pushing. No more pretending. I reached the end of trying to be the me I thought I had to be…the cost was too high. I had reached the point of no return.
who probably can’t recall my name.
Time has revealed that what I sought I had–acceptance. He did it and offered it to me with no strings attached. He has taken residence in my heart and is slowly helping me relinquish the past feelings that fear feeds upon. He has held me close as we’ve weathered many storms and dark nights to realize what He has provided is enough. And I hope you know this too.
Growth and time reveal old hurts but in the midst we can always find God’s love and grace. Gone are the days of chasing approval of men (and women). Instead I lean into the One who sought me first. And now my heart’s desire is to be transformed daily into the image of There is a fine, sturdy bridge connecting Christ. these truths. I had to have the audacity Ridding myself of fear, I don new gear. to be who He created me to be. He showed me I too was “built to last”. Because in Him we (YOU and I) too are And it did not require me to be a bull in made to last. a china shop. I realized I did not need to belong. Not in the way I thought. Not in a way which compromised everything I was. There is no integrity in it. I resolved if I was going to feel the heat then I’d rather be ablaze for something I believed in.
Audacity is about having the guts to go all out knowing the odds may be stacked against you. In 42, the odds were against Mr. Robinson. He was pressured from his team, opponents, the fans. Yet he and his wife had the
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