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femmes INTERNATIONAL

Mirela Sula & Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk 50 Inspiring Voices of Migrant Women: From Struggle to Success

Points of View: Leigh Allen, Erika Ervin Ashley Berges & Noor Saadeh

The Amazing STELLA BIDA

Globally Inspired

House of Dasha Be INSPIRED - Truth from Elizabeth Marie Whiting

h spring 2018


FROM 3906

I believe each day gives us something; a few minutes of afternoon light casting intricate shadows on a dining room wall, or a delicious Pesto because the basil got knee-high. Maybe some things broke my heart....... I write about them all. My name is Becca. I live in Dallas but I left my heart in Florence, Italy. I'd like to thank you for reading.

From3906.blogspot.com


femmes INTERNATIONAL

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Spring 2018

FEATURES

08

SPOTLIGHT

20

LIFESTYLE

28

IN THE KNOW

40

BE INSPIRED

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On the Cover 50 Migrant Women Share their Stories of Inspiration & Motivation Shown: Tania Arrayales Rodriguez, Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk, Mirela Sula, Quynh Chau Stone 5

Photo of House of Dasha Fashions


PR ~ STRATEGIC MARKETING ~ BUSINESS CONSULTING ~ EVENT PRESS


Why Not Me? By Leigh Allen Why Not Me? This has been my approach to almost everything in life; sports, fitness, and my career. I believe if someone else can do it, I should be able to do it as well. Having an unconventional approach to college, my decision was to take evening classes when I was a junior in high school, so I could begin my career path early. However, being very shy growing up, entering the corporate world was a big challenge for me. The men in the office would stop by my desk and tell me a joke just to see my face turn red! I decided then that I needed to make a change, so I enrolled in a public speaking class, one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. And, I survived it!

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Getting a head start on my career created even more challenges. Being younger, and female, it was hard to be taken seriously. I felt I had to set myself apart and be the best at everything. With every promotion, or move in the company, my immediately thought was how to get to the next level and no one had to tell me. I asked. I observed people in a similar desired role and befriended them, hoping for a recommendation when the time came. I knew that if they could do it, I could as well. Being the analytical type, whether people, processes or things it was important to know how something is made and how it works. I listen before I speak; always analyzing first. This has helped me many times in sales and customer service. If you’re in a difficult situation with a customer: pause. No matter how much you want to speak, pausing will always work to your advantage. Men like to be combative and defend their words or actions. That’s never a good idea. The customer is always right but sometimes they need a moment to reflect on what they’ve just said so they can respond calmly and realistically. I climbed the ladder quickly, getting a Master’s Degree along the way, always setting myself apart. I was up against men raising families. There were house payments, children, two car payments and wives that didn’t work. I had heard it all. Then there was me. Single, with no children. Did a man deserve the job any more than I did just because they have more a stake? After all, if they could do the job, so could I. That was my belief anyway. After 20 years in the corporate world, I decided to take a break. That lasted less than a month. During the interview process for my next job, I challenged them. I had been in the industry for a long time and had done my homework. I had more questions for them than they did for me. That’s when I realized men like to talk about their organization and about themselves. Just ask! When the offer came, I was super brave. I told them I needed more money because I was worth more than their offer. They went back to the table twice before I accepted the job. It was a nice victory! Later, I found out that I was making more money than my peers because I negotiated well, and they didn’t. They were all men. They weren’t happy. I’ve been in many uncomfortable situations throughout my career. Sometimes I spoke out and sometimes I didn’t. I regret the times I didn’t, just because they were male, or I thought it would cost me my job. After all, if they can do it, so can I, and we all deserve the same level of respect! Leigh Allen, #whynotme

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From Struggle to Success: The Path of Migrant Women As publishers of multiple magazines, Rossi Rob, a media agency, is always supportive of all women making a difference in the world. Many say we should not do this because other publications are competitors. They are, and they are not. If we are to evolve it is up to each of us to support, inspire and motivate each other by sharing our diversity, individual stories of success and failure, knowledge, and experience. Working toward a common goal with a central vision requires teamwork and all of us desiring to uplift the fairer sex need to work together in a very supportive manner for the greater good. The ability to achieve objectives demands teamwork and working together toward the common vision. Recently in Dallas, Mirela Sula, publisher of Global Woman Magazine in London launched her new book, "50 Inspiring Voices of Migrant Women: From Struggle to Success�, a compilation book with inspiring tales of women who against all odds attained uncommon results in the personal lives, as well as their businesses and endeavors and femmes INTERNATIONAL Magazine is proud to share these outstanding voices. Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk, Co-Founder/President of The Memnosyne Institute & The JPTFoundation from Dallas, Texas was invited to interview and write profiles of five outstanding ladies for the USA portion of the book. All migrant women who are remarkable, Nina Vaca-Humrichouse, Tania Arrayales Rodriguez, Pam Eudaric, Quynh Chau Stone and Tessa Mugica will inspire anyone who reads their stories. Meet these femmeTASTIC women and please read "50 Inspiring Voices of Migrant Women: From Struggle to Success�.


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The Amazing STELLA BIDA

1.You began your professional career as an IT engineer. Can you tell us a little about your background and how you start your journey as an entrepreneur? I always love to say that my journey as an entrepreneur started since I was a child! I have always been attracted by finding solutions where everyone would see problems. For example, automating repetitive tasks has without any doubt been the reason for which I have decided to study IT engineering. I have started my career in Brussels about 10 years ago, working as a consultant for international companies mainly in the banking sector. After a couple of years as an employee, I have decided to start my full entrepreneur journey by creating my own consultancy company. I was looking for a way to be able to control my own growth. Throughout the years, I have started other businesses in different industries, such as people empowerment, event management, business strategizing or the hair & beauty industry.

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2. As a woman what were the challenges that you faced? The first challenge as a woman has been to be taken seriously. Working in a male environment, I always had as priority to keep the focus on my results. The objective has been to show that I deserved to be respected for the added value I brought to projects. This has been the key to my success during my career and as an entrepreneur. My main accomplishment with regards to this attitude has been to be selected as one of the top 50 leaders in an international bank I worked for, being one of the few women selected from the IT department. The recognition empowered me to be myself and not be afraid to be proud of myself. I truly believe that women and men can work together to create positive synergies. The second main challenge as a woman has been to find support from women. Most of the people who have been able to support me during my success have been men. Sisterhood has been a huge lack during my career and as an entrepreneur. But I am happy to see that there are more and more safe environments building up across the world for women to empower each other. This has helped me building the success I want, by meeting women I have been inspired from. 3. What has been your greatest achievement as an entrepreneur? My greatest achievement as an entrepreneur has been and still is to impact people. This has been the most beautiful achievement for me! When people tell me that I have impacted them, that my message has empowered them to be the best they can, I feel that I have accomplished my objective. It is the best fulfilment I get as an entrepreneur. I am still on my quest to empower the maximum of people to go towards the type of success they have for their life, no matter how they define it. 4.What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership? Without any doubt, I would focus on two things: confidence and daring to take risks. Leadership does require do be confident about the choices we make for the results we want. And risks are necessary to be taken to have the best results. All the best choices I have taken so far have resulted from confidence and the ability to take risks. I believe that if women had faith in themselves, their leadership abilities would highly benefit to the society.

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5.What woman inspires you and why? It would incomplete to focus only on a single name, as I have found so many women across the world who have had a considerable impact on the person I am today. So many of them have been such an inspiration! If I had to choose, I would say Oprah Winfrey. Without knowing much from her, I remember during my early ages around 7 years old, being very attracted by her talk shows. At that age I could already see the authenticity, power and wisdom Oprah could provide. I could spend hours watching her TV shows. Growing up, I understood where she has been able to take all of her passion and energy. The story of her life is one of those which remind me that the struggles encountered in life are the fuel of the impact we can have on other people’s lives. As I want to impact people, I have understood how important it is to transform pain into the energy which keeps me up and strong. I am so thankful for the beautiful women and stories I have listened to so far, reminding me each time of that. 6. How do we as women steward power well? I believe that women have the ability to use power as a complementary tool to support their leadership. The positive aspect about it is that in situations of conflict, I see that women are oriented towards pacific solutions. Women should be trusted and appointed to more powerful positions and work together with men: they tend to look for solutions with benefits for the development of families, communities and society as a whole. I believe that bringing women in front of the scene would even enhance the power and advantages men bring to the society with their own conception of power. Both men and women power are necessary for a balanced world. 7.What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you? For now, women across the world are having more and more the awareness on the fact that they can transform their dreams into a reality. I am happy to see that women are standing up to show and talk about their success stories, so that others can see how real their own success can be. Great role models are being revealed! Despite the efforts which are being done, I am afraid that the number of role models revealed will not be enough to impact all women across the world tomorrow. I think that the biggest challenge for the next generation of women will be to find role models they can look up to, identify themselves to and say “I want to be like her! If she has done it, why can’t I?”. That sentence, I have said it myself and it changed my life. It has been a trigger! If there are more women from the current generation who are able to speak up and have the courage to build confidence, then the next generation will have enough women to be inspired from! 18


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CAROL BARNES in·dom·i·ta·ble adjective

impossible to subdue or defeat. "a woman of indomitable spirit"

When asked, “Who is Carol Barnes?”, she answered with a quote from Maya Anglou: “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” And Carol Barnes is all that and more; a loving wife and mother of 2 beautiful daughters, a retired government employee and now a successful entrepreneur. Born and raised in Mississippi, Barnes is an alumnus of CTU, where she received her BS in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She worked as a police officer for the City of Dallas, where she stated that she learned so much from the streets during her time on patrol but decided to trade in her gun and badge for a pen and paper. She went to work for the Federal government and recently retired after over 29 years of traveling around the world as an elected official for the union. She specializes in EEOC, Labor Relations and Federal grievances. She is also certified in Conflict Resolution, Arbitration, Mediation. But writing was always something Carol enjoyed, and she finally decided it was time to be serious and to take it to a new level. She is now the author of three books which are available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble; I Won’t Apologize, I Did It On Purpose!, Is There Order In the House, Financial Guide to Estate Planning, and Euroclydon, I’m Still Here, written by K’Ceva


Barnes. Each publication will leave you doing a self-innerview to see where you are in your spiritual walk with the Lord. Barnes travels nationally as an Inspirational Speaker encouraging women to become better versions of themselves. Take the plunge and be who you are meant to be! Inspired to promote reading in under-served communities, Barnes started Tomorrow’s Purpose, a 501 (c)(3), non-profit organization which assists youngsters in using their imaginations while honing their reading and writing skills. The first book was published in 2017 and Barnes expects more in the future. Being inducted into the Who’s Who in Black Dallas, 2017 which recognizes black owned businesses and organizations that are doing great things in the community, was a great honor for Carol, as she was recognized for the fine works she is doing with Tomorrow’s Purpose, and her commitment to the advancement of literacy in our youth. Our children are our future, and eventually they will rise-up and lead the way, so we must educate them at an early age to understand the importance of education. In union with Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist, Barnes states: “I believe we are here on the planet earth to live, grow up and do what we can do to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.” Carol and husband Kevin share a strong bond, a sense of giving back and sharing and it is not more evident than on their media-outlet radio talk and tv show, MY BETTER HALF with KEVIN & K’CEVA on www.powerplayradionetwork.com, which airs every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm. They utilize their platform to promote their business as well as others small businesses in the community and individuals who have a story to tell, which can help other to stand up and move forward. Contact Carol at www.tomorrowspurpose.org or carolb@tomorrowspurpose.org


I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. You and your husband did a great shoot of me for the Youth Leadership council. I ended up receiving a scholarship from that group. I also learned a lot of lighting techniques from your husband that I still use. Alexander Geringer, Student at The University of Texas at Austin Thank you so very much for sponsoring Texas Leadership and taking the beautiful photos of the kids! Each one tells a story! Mary Sloan Peter did a fabulous job on Senior photos for my daughter when 3 other professional photographers could not make her happy. Excellent work and wonderful output and quality! A. Reed

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Life is Grand founder Lauren Wulz's husband used to write affirmations on her bathroom mirror. She could not take them with her. So, drawing on the Power of Affirmations, Power Penny (TM) designs are inspirations and affirmations of what you want more of in your life, or what you want more of out in the world. Each is made with love and handcrafted using copper for its known healing properties, and natural crystals and gemstones. Our mission is to provide meaningful gifts that raise awareness of or give a voice to compassionate organizations and individuals who are helping change the world, one heart at a time, promoting spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. Our inspirational jewelry is designed to help people manifest the very things they want more of in their life, and our belief in the Law of Attraction leads us to want to continuously give and celebrate those compassionate heroes that are giving so freely of themselves. A portion of our proceeds is given to organizations we believe are helping make Life Grand for others.

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A place where women from all walks of life come to be restored into their own power with inspiration by creating a place where her power is Refreshed, Refined, Harnessed, Accepted and Celebrated. We have created a platform where women come together to form a bond not easily broken as we uplift women as a whole in Spirit, Mind, Heart, Body, Walk (Legacy), and Gratitude. Come and be transformed. We promise this is your place of Power.

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½ medium red onion 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 5 to 6 cups watermelon, cut into chunks Salt Freshly ground black pepper Fresh mint leaves Black sesame seeds (optional)

Watermelon and Red Onion Salad Make a dressing by whisking together the olive oil with the vinegar. Set aside. (To increase the recipe, follow the ratio of 1 tablespoon vinegar to 3 tablespoons olive oil.)

Peel one half of the onion and slice it very thin. In a small bowl, cover the onion slices with cold water and allow them to sit for about 20 minutes, changing the water several times. Drain then pat the onions dry. Return them to their bowl and pour the dressing over them, stirring to coat. Set aside. Place the watermelon chunks in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the onions and gently toss together. Tear fresh mint leaves over the salad and toss again. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.............just for fun!

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Macaroni Salad Soak the onion in a bowl of cold water, changing the water frequently while you prepare the other salad ingredients. Before adding them to the pasta, drain the slices on paper towels. Shuck, wash and dry the ear of corn. Cut the kernels off the cob. In a small saucepan, heat the oil and cook the corn kernels until they take on some color, then remove the pan from the heat to cool. Drain and rinse the pimentos. Lay them out on a paper towel to dry.Whisk together the mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until smooth. Season to taste with freshly ground white pepper. Set aside. Place the green peas in a bowl to begin to thaw. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt. When the water is boiling, drop the pasta and stir. Time the pasta to cook to al dente according to package instructions. Don't overcook. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Season with salt, add the green peas and gently toss. Allow the pasta to cool down. Don’t worry if the peas are still frozen; they’ll absorb the heat from the pasta. Once the pasta has cooled, add the drained onion, corn, pimentos, and lemon-mayonnaise, mixing to combine and distribute the dressing. Season the pasta with paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and additional salt if needed.Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and gently toss once more. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

1/2 of a large, sweet yellow onion, chopped 1 ear of corn 1 teaspoon extra light olive oil 1/2 cups mayonnaise 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained and divided Freshly ground white pepper 1 four-ounce jar of sliced pimentos 1 cup frozen green peas 1 lb. macaroni or farfalle (bow-tie) pasta Kosher salt 3/4 teaspoons paprika Freshly ground cayenne pepper Freshly ground black pepper

Peel and roughly chop the onion.


Egg Salad with Tarragon 6 cage-free eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped fine 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar ½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt Several grinds of black pepper Several fresh tarragon leaves, torn

Place the chopped eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir the mixture into the eggs. Add the tarragon and mix once more. Refrigerate if not eaten right away but allow the egg salad to warm up a bit before serving.

Egg Salad for Daddy 6 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar Several grinds of black pepper Several fresh tarragon leaves, torn Mix all of the ingredients together.

Eat whenever you wish. 30


Lemon Fusilli Salad 6 small lemons 8 ounces fusilli salt & pepper a large sprig of rosemary a couple sprigs of parsley 3 to 4 tablespoons of great olive oil Trim the ends off of 5 of the lemons. Slice the lemons thinly and remove any seeds. Place the slices in a bowl large enough to later hold the pasta.

Remove the rosemary leaves and the parsley leaves from their stems. Chop each and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon or more of salt. Drop the fusilli and stir to quickly bring it back to a boil. Cook according to package instructions but only until al dente. Drain. Add the fusilli to the bowl of lemons, tossing to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the remaining lemon in half and remove any visible seeds. Squeeze the juice from one lemon half over the pasta and stir. Cut the other half in two and set aside. Throw in the herbs, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and gently toss again until the herbs are distributed and the pasta is coated. Allow the fusilli to cool a little before refrigerating. It may be served chilled or at room temperature. If you'd like, serve with a little more olive oil and a wedge of lemon to squeeze. Serves two dinner portions Add peas or asparagus, even pine nuts and Parmigiano but I find the lemon only version the most refreshing.}

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Seeing is Believing! By Robin Roberson

Your face is a part of you that everyone sees and recognizes, so it is important to keep it looking fresh and youthful. Of course, we cannot fight age all together, but there are several skin-care type procedures that push back the years and help diminish any unwanted dark spots or blemishes. One way to improve your appearance is to undergo a facial chemical peel, which is used to treat photo aging, wrinkles, scarring, acne, precancerous lesions, and discoloration. A facial chemical peel causes injury to the skin, but promotes new skin to grow, giving you an improved more youthful appearance.

and do not injure your skin. Light peels to deep peels; progressively injure your skin more, depending on the condition of the skin being treated, and the desired final look. After the facial chemical peel, your skin may require some down time in order to recover. If you experienced a light to medium peel, you will endure very limited side effects, but with a deeper peel, healing may take weeks. For me seeing is believing. So Tiffany Young, Licensed Esthetician/ Skin Care Specialist at Balise Salon in McKinney, Texas set out to prove to me that peels can make a difference.

The procedure can be done in less than an hour, depending on the size of the area that needs treatment. There are different kinds of peels, and each one is performed differently. Very light peels penetrate only the dead skin cells on top of the epidermis

Facial chemical peels have been proven to be a safe and effective method to achieve the desired look. In fact, they have been used for hundreds of years and have a safe record if used with the proper hands. The procedure however, is not

for everyone, and if you are seriously 34


considering undergoing with a facial chemical peel, be aware of the potential side effects that can arise due to your general health, susceptibility to scarring, and or skin diseases. A skin care aesthetician will be able to best decide if the procedure is right for you. Safety is always the first thing that should be considered and understanding the effects that such a treatment can cause will help you make the right decision.

moisturizer all of which I love and am continuing to use from PCA SKIN® I must admit that I was disappointed after a few days as my face did not peel at all. I wanted to look like an alligator that peels layers of skin to reveal fresh new skin. But alas, I have very resilient skin. However, I did flake and from compliments I received my skin obviously benefitted from the effects of the peel, even though I did not shed. I flaked and sloughed some skin off, but my color and tone definitely changed for the better, as proved by the compliments I received. Thanks Tiffany!!

For mine Tiffany used a PCA SKIN® peel. For some people with very resilient skin a series of 6 may be required, as it may take time to undo years of damage. 85% of visible aging can be attributed to external factors, such as sun exposure which is the case with my skin after years of summers on the beach. Sun damage causes the breakdown of the skin’s support structure leading to fine lines and wrinkles. When treating visible aging, it is important to use products that treat existing damage and prevent future damage.

The cost of a facial chemical peel ranges from a hundred to a thousand dollars. It all depends on the depth of the peel and how many are required to achieve the look that you desire. You will be able to notice the success of the peel after the first treatment and be able to better estimate how many more are needed and what the costs there will be overall. Results will generally last months to years with good sun protection, depending on the depth of the peel. The deeper the peel, the longer lasting are the effects. While professional treatments are just as important for the health of your skin, doing your part on a daily basis to improve and maintain the results of those treatments is key. You must cleanse, correct, hydrate and protect.

Professionally applied peel solutions exfoliate dead skin cells and help healthy skin cells rise to the surface. These treatments allow deeper layers of fresh and untouched skin to be revealed. The result of such treatments can even skin tone, clear acne, improve the appearance of aging skin and make dull complexions glow. Peels are safe for all skin types, and a certified professional is trained to identify what treatment combination is safe for each person’s skin in order for patients to reap the greatest benefits. Professional peels are increasingly effective with pre- and post-treatment care, balancing your skin before the peel and nurturing it after the treatment. With Tiffany I

Tiffany Young Licensed Esthetician, Skinsolutions Skinsolutions.com tiffany@gmail.com Mobile 214-620-1170

received a care kit with cleanser, balm and 35


The Face of the House of Dasha

QuIANA McDaniel owner of The House of Dasha says, “I have always had a passion for  fashion — from sewing my own designs at an early age to creating amazing looks for my friends. It was  only natural for me to build my own fashion brand.”  The House of Dasha is a women’s contemporary clothing store where fashion turns heads. They have  both a physical location and an e‐commerce site offering clothing for women sizes small to 3X and strive  to have each ‘Dasha Doll’ look and feel runway ready.  According to Quiana, “We are the women’s clothing store known for highlighting women’s curves 

in ways they could have never imagined! We pride ourselves on making women look and feel  beautiful in their own skin.”  (972) 748-2699 


How do I Set Boundaries? by Ashley Berges

It’s odd how we feel bad about not giving in

Think about it in terms of healthy

to another person’s demands. We wonder if

boundaries: When we are able to walk over

we’re being too demanding in having our

someone’s boundaries in the beginning of a

own way. However in order to meet

relationship, we walk over them entirely.

someone who is a good fit, in order to find a

When we let others demolish our personal

relationship that will last, you’ve got to stand

boundaries and we’re no longer our own

up for yourself. Say yes when you want to

person. Having no personal boundaries

and no when you don’t. Pleasing people and

doesn’t make for a healthy relationship, it

giving in when it negatively affects you isn’t

makes

a good life strategy.

combination.

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for

a

master

and

servant


Think back to the last time the words “send

a particular guy: He asked once and she

me a pic” showed up on your phone in the

didn’t send anything; he asked again, she

form of a text message. You just met a

responded with emoticons laughing; he

possible new love interest on a dating app,

asked again, she sent a picture of an

online, or in real life. In this situation they

unattractive woman in a g-string; and the

don’t want your pearly whites to fill the

last time she finally said no more.

phone screen, they want to see it all and In the beginning, in order to get the first date

then store it on their phone. I’ve had clients

or second date, you may feel compelled to

come into my office and talk about this exact

go against your values slightly to please

situation happening to them.

another person, however it usually doesn’t They were out with friends for brunch at

benefit you in the end. Don’t cower to

Komali, Breadwinners, or Nick and Sam’s

another person’s whims to make them like

Grill when they received this particular text

you. When we do, 90 percent of the time,

request. A few of my clients were working at

the person moves on anyway to another

their

and

person that he or she can do this to. The

immediately started darting their eyes

remaining ten percent find themselves in a

around their cubicle to make sure no one

relationship and even a marriage where

was looking—almost like they had already

feeling unhappy and powerless is the

done something wrong. They became

mainstay. In order to find true love, you have

fidgety, stressed, disappointed, annoyed,

to be willing to make decisions for your

and uncomfortable. None of my clients

authentic self. I’ve made choices in my past

wanted to send a picture; however some of

that got me the “it” guy but the “it” guy

them regrettably sent one anyway.

didn’t make me happy. Apparently he wasn’t

office,

received

the

text,

“it” for me. I found that all of my clients except one were Ashley Berges is a Dallas-based life coach, family therapist, and syndicated radio talk show host of Perspectives with Ashley Berges, which can be heard on 570 AM KLIF and 660AM KKSY. She has written three books; her most recent is The 10-Day Challenge to Live Your True Life. Visit her website at www.ashleyberges.com.

internally divided on what to do. Do they acquiesce to what’s being asked, (to people please), say no, or avoid the person and their texts all together? One client told me about 41


The Day After the Year By Elizabeth Marie Whiting

I wasn’t quite sure how yesterday was going to pan out. Wednesday I was dealing with horrible stomach pains. I knew it was just my subconscious working through the sexual assault that occurred almost a year ago t minus one day.

Today I woke as I have over the past 365 days and contemplated the day. See, since that night I struggled daily with something related to it for months and months. At first it was all I could do to heal. I felt horrible for about 3 months as the shock and violence left upon my body healed. I tried to be normal…do family things, keep up with my caregiving duties and then come back to my room and hide in my bed.

Yesterday, I wasn’t very hospitable to my mother as we shopped at Costco. I listened to her talk about how cold it was and how much her back hurt. Part of me just wanted to say…you’ll live…crap happens and so does winter. But I just walked beside her mobile grocery cart grabbing the items she wanted. Once she was settled in her home filled to the brim with more stuff then a one-person household can ever use. I departed.

Then I began to accept the ordeal. Accept that it happened and that I am at choice. I began to take pictures of myself in the morning as I woke. I especially loved the pictures with the sun on my body. I just kept snapping pictures. Some not so beautiful and others took even my breath away. I made sure I took pictures of me in my sleep wear, bathrobe or naked. I rarely had makeup on in these pictures…I wanted to be me without any mask. I made sure to take pictures of every part of my body.

I went to the liquor store and bought my favorite Irish Cream liqueur and settled in thinking that I would spike my Chai tea to stay double warm and maybe if things got really rough in my thoughts, I’d be too tipsy to care and just plop into bed.

And as I looked upon these pictures I would tell my body how beautiful it is. How strong it is for enduring such hardships from the moment it was birthed. That it was incredible to accept the assignment as my soul requested. I began to fall in love with the temple of my soul.

My night was blessed with an amazing distraction. A new friend from my acting class out of the blue found me on FB and we spent the night texting back and forth. The distraction was so welcome. I for the first time in so long just had fun and played unabashed in the sandbox of life; played without any filters-just put out whatever was on my heart and soul. While I was a bit tipsy I smiled as I went to bed.

Today, these are some of my day after pictures; just some and from just a bit ago. Well, some from this morning while breath

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taking aren't for FB public consumption. Maybe someday I’ll write my book title it 365 days the journey to the soul and be brave with those pictures too.

body is beautiful, my sexuality is a gift and the world isn’t as cruel as we humans want to paint it. I have such an affinity for me, by body, my soul, my heart. While the sexual assault was tragic on so many levels, the gift it has given me is a loving empowerment that I could have never found without the courage of two souls to put to action the agreement of our soul story (more on that concept some day).

I placed all the photos from today in a folder named: The Day After the Year. I will refer back to these pictures if a moment arises that I desire to be a victim. I will look back on these pictures and see what a goddess, an empowered beautiful woman is. I will know from these pictures that my body is mine, my

Owner/Artist/Innovator at Elizabeth Marie Fine Art

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Do You Know the First Sign of Heart Disease? By Dr. Donna Barsky, PharmD

Most cardiologists say heart disease cannot be reversed, but some heart issues are driven by alcoholism for years. It’s well documented alcoholism causes a type of malnutrition that affects the heart. Physicians have attributed cardiovascular disease to smoking, eating habits, weight problems, high-cholesterol, high blood pressure, and bad genetics. Even now, scientists are discovering that free radicals, Omega-6 fatty acids, high homocysteine levels, circulating immune complexes in the blood, and overall systemic inflammation play fundamental roles in the onset of heart disease.

professional. You’ll want to run a detox program for a minimum of 30 days and up to 12-24 months -depending on the state of your health and how much damage you are trying to repair.

Dean Ornish. MD describes patients waiting to undergo a heart transplant -- those with the worst possible damage -- who enrolled in his program while on the transplant list. Some of them improved so much, they no longer needed a transplant. “Our studies show that with significant lifestyle changes, blood flow to the heart and its ability to pump normally improve in less than a month, and the frequency of chest pains fell by 90% in that time,” Ornish says. “Within a year on our program, even severely blocked arteries in the heart became less blocked, and there was even more reversal after 5 years.” “Just making moderate changes in your diet may be enough to prevent heart disease, but it won’t be enough to reverse it,” Ornish says.

The Anatomy of the Heart. Once we understand the underlying basis of medical treatments used to correct heart disease, we can make informed decisions as to which of those alternative health treatments and medications make sense for your heart disease symptoms and what alternatives might work to improve your cardiovascular health.

Secrets of the Heart. Learn to take the mystery out of a doctor's diagnosis so you know what your doctor is analyzing when looking at your heart. Arm yourself with some basic diagnostic knowledge so you’re not at the mercy of the medical mystique with the results of your next physical.

Heart Problems and Alternative Health Solutions. Although many problems with the heart may seem to be biomechanical in nature and beyond the purview of nutrition and supplements, that's not necessarily true. Some natural health remedies you will learn about concerning heart disease are how: • Magnesium supplementation (Glycinate form) can change the shape and condition of heart valves-500mg at night. • B vitamins can help rebuild the heart, especially ones that include B6, B12, and Methylfolate. Use twice daily. • CoQ10 can reenergize every single cell in the heart and can literally remold the size and shape of the heart after the onset of congestive heart failure. Use 100mg twice daily or 200mg daily in the morning. For congestive heart failure, start with 180mg daily and increase to 360mg over

Diet may be the biggest thing you'd change to try to reverse heart disease, walking at least half an hour a day, or for an hour three times a week. Yoga, meditation, and stress reduction are also parts of his program. Naturally reversing heart disease and alternative medicine can help heal even the arrest health conditions, once you get to the root of the problem in the first place. For detoxification using the nutritionals listed below, start by doubling the maintenance dosage, then tripling it if needed, and even quadrupling it -- until you notice benefits, or as recommended by your health 44


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three weeks. Significant relief from symptoms may take a few weeks to months. Proper dental care can reduce the incidence of periodontal disease, which reduces the chances of an acute coronary event. L-Carnitine, an amino acid may increase energy available to the heart muscle cells of congestive heart failure patients by supporting free fatty acid metabolism. Aim for 500mg twice daily. L-Arginine is another amino acid that improves blood flow to the heart by stimulating endothelial cell releasing factor, thereby inhibiting a chain of complex reactions that might otherwise cause plaque to form in the arteries and stifle blood flow to the heart. Use 2–4 grams before bedtime. Biotin is a vitamin used for preventing and treating biotin deficiency associated with pregnancy, long-term tube feeding, malnutrition, and rapid weight loss. It is also used orally for hair loss, brittle nails, skin rash in infants, diabetes, and mild depression. How does it work? Biotin is an important component of enzymes in the body that break down certain substances like fats, carbohydrates, and others. Take 3 mg daily (3000mcg). Probiotics twice daily will help rebuild the immune system. The use of Omega-3 fatty acids can help in reversing heart damage caused by nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs). Use 1200mg twice daily. Proteolytic enzymes can provide nutritional support for your body as it works to clean out the coronary arteries and repair damage to epicardial tissue surrounding the heart in different activity units for each type of enzyme. For the above formula, that would be: Protease enzymes -- 300,000 HUT (Hemoglobin Units, Tyrosine basis). Vascular Problems: Clogged Arteries, High Blood Pressure, & Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - Get a deeper understanding about your body's systems so that you can communicate with your doctor and actively participate in your treatment.

healthy diet and hydration can assist your blood in protecting your overall health. What Blood Is Made of and How that Affects Your Health. It's important to examine the composition of blood and how that determines its functionality. When your doctor tests your blood, they are primarily looking at components like hematocrit, albumin, platelet, and white cell counts. Knowing what your levels mean will empower you to be an active participate in any treatment and give you access to a world of alternatives your doctor is unlikely to inform you about. “What is the first sign of heart disease?” The answer is, “Sudden Death!” The reason I wrote this article is, my late nephew discovered he had heart disease from years of drinking without the benefit of proper nutrition. My note to him when I sent this information 18 months ago: Chris, If you decide to take on this mission, you can repair your heart. You have had so many years of drinking, that your body is completely depleted of all nutrition. Therefore, there is no way your body can function for any length of time without you being serious about living past 40 years old. Typically, if you give up now, you will succumb to constant alcohol and hence, heart disease. But you do have a choice! Not anyone can make this choice, only you! To live or die is your decision! We are only here to help. Please, choose to live! Stop drinking yourself into an early grave and take this information to heart because we love you, but are powerless to help unless you help yourself. Love, Donna, Mike and the kids. He didn’t take me seriously and we lost him 10 days before his 37th birthday in September 2017. If you want to improve your heart and live a fruitful and healthy life, follow the Ornish diet and the previous information. Allow us to help you find the pathway to the rest of your life. We are only here to help.

The Functions of Blood and How It Maintains Health. The cardiovascular system has only one purpose - to move blood through the body. That makes blood pretty important. Learn the role of blood, from transporting nutrients to removing waste, and how a proper heart

TexasStar Pharmacy, 3033 W. Parker Rd., #100, Plano, TX 75023 972-519-8475 or fax 972-519-8477 45


Alopecia: Hair today. Gone tomorrow. By Noor Saadeh

When I look in the mirror I see my brother. Now, my brother is a handsome guy, but does not a pretty gal make. My brother has alopecia universalis. In fact, my dad, by brother and my brother's younger son all share this condition. And now I've joined their ranks. Alopecia Universalis or Alopecia Areata Universalis is a medical condition involving rapid loss of all hair, eyebrows and eyelashes; in fact all hair that covers any part of the body. It is the most severe form of alopecia areata, with an incidence of .0005% (lucky me). Alopecia Universalis can occur at any age, and is currently believed to be an autoimmune disorder. That makes sense since I am host to a number of autoimmune disorders. It seems to be more prevalent with recessive genes. So much for old blue eyes. It all started gradually. During my pregnancy, a friend noticed a small bald patch while cutting my hair. I thought nothing of it at the time. After delivery though, my hair developed a smooth and hairless, areata pattern that zigzagged around my head. I also lost one eyebrow and looked quite lopsided for a bit. Although my hair was much thinner, the bald spots fortunately were easily camouflaged. Weekly steroid injections worked to fill in my eyebrow but I could not conceive of bearing with those shots all over my head! For a long time no one was really the wiser except my family. Down the road though I finally suffered that rapid fallout that signals alopecia universalis and within a very short time, all my hair was gone. It's amazing what eyebrows and eyelashes do for the face! I could never understand why women pluck their brows to pencil thin lines when those bushy caterpillars add so much character! I look positively whitewashed now! And, as mentioned before, resemble my brother far too much. (I know. I have issues.) On the plus side, and there is always a silver lining to any story, I joke that from the neck down, Allah has given me a permanent wax job. Surely none of us would miss that monthly, weekly, daily (ugh) grind of waxing, shaving, etc. For that I am extremely grateful! However, I do pine away for the hair on my head and the character my bushy brows gave to my face. My scarf also comes in so handy. And yes, although it's easier to disguise my lack of hair on a daily basis, there are times when I want to display my tresses at home for hubby and certainly at special occasions such as weddings and parties. You have to understand covered Muslim women. When we get together privately we love to see and exclaim over one another’s hair. When friends or family clamor around, expecting to see those shining, straight goldilocks that should rightfully accompany my blue eyes, neither putting them off or explaining the situation is ever an easy solution.


Plus, cancer victims get the media recognition and the sympathy- as well they should. Companies all over the world take the donated locks of generous women to make wigs for women after chemo treatment takes their hair. Fashionable scarves, wigs and other accessories are readily available as are the passing glances of solidarity and hugs of sympathy. The hairless, chemo patient is seen as a brave warrior in the fight against a horrible disease. Those with alopecia disorder go about their lives quietly with little to no recognition - or not. I remember well the catcalls of "Hey, Kojack" lobbed at my brother. I do have stylish wigs that I can wear on those special occasions. As I look in the mirror, I remember my dad with his many caps and hairpieces. Today we are much more accepting of and even celebrating baldness. Countless movie actors and other entertainers proudly shear their locks for the sake of style and fashion. But I know the going could not have been easy for my dad and brother who both lost their all their hair at the tender and very sensitive age of eight. There is no standard treatment for alopecia universalis. Allegedly, spontaneous regrowth is always a possibility, even for those with 100% hair loss over many years. In June 2014, it was reported that a 25-year-old man with almost no hair on his body grew a full head of hair, and eyebrows, eyelashes, facial, armpit and other hair, following 8 months of treatment. But I am not holding my breath. We are all given tests by our Creator and this is surely a simple, albeit cosmetic one that touches my ego. I address it here only in the hopes of spreading a little awareness and sympathy for that other hairless sister you might encounter. I found an amazing picture of a woman who entire head was tattooed with a gorgeous henna design. I saved that picture for quite some time until I had the courage to try it. With the loving push of my bestie, I took the plunge! O0h la la, I was suddenly an exotic fashion statement! I heartily encourage our dear sisters suffering hair loss from chemo treatments or alopecia to give it a try. You will look and feel femmeTASTIC! For anyone interested‌I would highly recommend to google ‘henna’ in your area or on Facebook. The Indo/Pakistani women are masterful at this art.


Move Inward to Move Forward By Erika Ervin This sweet and beautiful woman informed me she recently tried a very popular exercise and nutrition program but had no success. This was not her first try. She then told me that she thinks in may be her and she was considering counseling. I see this all too often, People jumping into nutrition, fitness, personal development and business programs without the success they were hoping for. But they skipped a VERY important step before jumping all in, they forgot to do the work on their selves. You see, as a society we have evolved momentously over the past 5000 years and like lightening over the last 200 years. But this is the problem, we are evolving and forgetting to practice involution. (the inner evolution). This is why I teach people to slow down. Once they do, they have the clarity to understand that they must take the time to work on themselves or all this is for nothing. All those fancy programs, trainers, conferences etc. will NOT yield the results unless you do this step first. Slow down, find clarity, follow the steps I’ve created for you to understand your being on another level. A level that allows you to connect with your purpose and passion on a deeper level. I teach involution. Evolution has completely surpassed our involution which is why we seem overwhelmed, lost and like a hamster in its wheel. Going nowhere quickly. Throughout the year I hold several virtual and destination events to help you live a life of effortless abundance. I want you to join us. If you identify with even one sentence in the article, click on the link below. Take a step inward and forward with me to finally see the results you want in life.


Living in the Moment By Christina Castle Many people are so concerned with adding days to their life that they forget to add life to their days. I am a firm believer in living life, that there is a huge difference between living and simply existing. There are many reasons to live in the moment, but first it’s important to note that even that term does not mean the same thing to everyone. For me living life in the present is part of living life to the fullest. The two are not exactly synonyms, but they are closely related. You cannot live life to the fullest if you do not even slow down and live in the moment. If you have ever found yourself at home thinking about what you need to do at work, or at work thinking about things happening in your personal life, you know how distracting it is. Living in the moment means you are totally immersed in an experience. It can mean getting up early to enjoy the beauty of the sunrise, going for a bike ride instead of watching television, or taking an adventurous vacation. Take notice of the world around you. Realize the small things you see every day can bring happiness to even the most boring day. The past is history. The future is a mystery. The only time we really have is now‌just this moment. Think back on the events in your life that you vividly remember. Those are the events where you were living in the moment. Even though years have passed, you can still remember the details: Your wedding day, the time you won the spelling bee or first place in a sporting event, got elected to a position you wanted or helped someone you did not know. Living in the moment is easy during special times in your life. However, most days don't contain special events, and unless you learn to live in the moment, worry, fear, resentments or other distractions will rob you of your life. Wayne Dyer in his many books talks about the compulsion some people have of always wanting more before they can be happy - more money, a better house, a fancier car, a better spouse, etc. Steve Strauss, a professional speaker and personal coach suggests that you ask yourself ‌ "What if this is as good as it gets?" Steve said, "When I let go of requiring that the future be any certain way - Poof! Suddenly I became content with what I had now." There are many reasons to enjoy life, many adventures to embrace. But part of being able to enjoy life to the fullest is to master the skill of living in the moment. Give it a try and see what you experience. It might surprise you! Christina Castle is a freelance writer who lives in Dallas, TX.

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Spring 2018  

femmeTASTIC 3rd year Anniversary issue. By, for and about women.

Spring 2018  

femmeTASTIC 3rd year Anniversary issue. By, for and about women.

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