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2014 March/April Issue


ptimal Living

Celebrating our Christian Women in Business:

7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

Mrs. Debbie Jones • Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith • Dawn Fitch • Mrs. Jovon Gerald • Ms. Jae Henderson • Mrs. Danielle Pettiford • Dr. Payne-Gold

Con dence:

e One Quality Men Cannot Live Without In a Woman

Branding You!

e Wifey 101 Series plus Much More!


ptimal Living M A G A Z I N E

TABLE of CONTENTS 5 7 9 20 21 22 24 26 28 29 31

Publisher’s Perspective Purpose Driven Living Tips Feature Article Optimal Living Magazine Business Spotlight True Confessions of a Saved Man Wifey 101 Series Career & Leadership Insight Lifestyles Poetic Moments Spice of Life Recipes Time of Intercession



ptimal Living M A G A Z I N E

PUBLISHER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tanisha R. Hopson EDITORS LaKeta Lewis Mark McDonald GRAPHIC MEDIA DESIGN Kevin J. Hadden OUR CONTRIBUTORS DeLonda Adams Chanel Alexandria Alana B. Janita Colbert Christopher Evans Reginald B. Goodridge, Jr. Michelle Wilson

Optimal Living Magazine is published six times per year with a mission to encourage our readers to live the most abundant life possible, as it relates to their spirituality, purpose, finances, health/wellness and relationships. Advertisers who offer products, services and events in support of our mission are encouraged to contact our Advertisement Sales Department at: 1-888-876-1722 or Copyright 2008 – 2013. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, including photocopying, electronic retrieval of publication without written permission of the Publisher.


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e Publisher’s Perspective The Funny Thing About Your Assignment....


od has a special purpose for each and every one of us to do on this earth. is, I am sure of! Some of us have the gi of ministering in song, while others can dance as graceful as swans to the glory of God. Some of us are great orators and ministers of God's Word, while others carry the gi of faith and encouragement. No matter what your gis are, God has an assignment speci cally for you! However at times, the antagonist of ful lling your God ordained assignment is you. We can get so consumed by our own struggles and challenges that we drown out God's voice to lead, guide and direct our lives.

e more I prayed that prayer, the more I really meant it, and the more sensitive I became to the needs of others in my every day walk. Your assignment can come in any form throughout your day, or for any extended period of time in your life. For whatever reason, you might not recognize or value it because of the frustration of the assignment. At other times, your own thoughts and imaginations of "who you think you are" and "where you feel you ought to be at different stages of your life" can keep you from making a huge impact for God.

As we grow and mature in Christ, we must be willing to set the example. We are the body of Christ. When one hurts, we all hurt. When one bleeds, we all bleed. When one goes astray, we all need to pray. I hope our Women's History Month Issue will encourage you to discover your assignment and to do it well! With Warm Regards,

Tanisha R. Hopson Editor-In-Chief, Publisher Optimal Living Magazine

Recently, my morning prayers changed from what I wanted to see in my life to, "Father, please help me not to miss your will for my life today." Somewhere along my way, I wised up to the fact that, "is is the day the Lord has made and that I ought to be glad and rejoice in it!" If it wasn't for God, I wouldn't be here, so I should take pleasure in doing what He says, being where He needs me to be, and touching the lives that He desires for me to touch.

Ms. Hopson is available for speaking engagements! For more information, contact: Follow her on Facebook @ OptimalLivingMagazine and on Twitter @ Olmagazine Optimal Living Magazine


A national career development initiative for elementary and high school students launching in 2014 at....

Philadelphia, PA

Students learn about different career paths, character and ethics, interpersonal skills, and create resumes for internships and volunteer opportunities. Each student receives a Career Preparation Guide and Action Plan, which includes tips for parents. Contact us to request the Career Exploration Series™ at your school, or inquire about sponsorship and partnerships by calling (202) 904-1380, or email The Career Exploration Series is a program of Career Connect USA, a workforce development initiative by Washington, DC based KSG Strategic Consulting.


ptimal Living M A G A Z I N E

Purpose Driven Living Tips: By Michelle Wilson

Give And It Shall Be Given Unto You! "Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." ~ Luke 6:38


ave you ever wanted to prepare a particular dish, but simply didn't know how to make it? You weren't quite sure of the ingredients, or even how much of each one to use. As a resu lt, you de cide d to reference a recipe in order to make certain that everything turned out exactly right. Aer all, the purpose of a recipe is to provide accurate measurements of ingredients and how to effectively combine them to create something pleasing. In addition, the beautiful thing about a recipe is that it doesn't require any guesswork. It gives you a precise de nition of "good measure" which, if followed correctly, will bring you all that you were seeking. Unfortunately, there is no speci c recipe for giving. Other than

requiring we give back one-tenth of our earnings, the practice of giving is rather subjective. Giving extends far beyond mere money. For example, you can give of your time, your energy, your faith, your compassion, your gis, and your talents. However, if you give of them sparingly, then you will reap sparingly. You can't expect to always have blessings poured into your lap if you haven't given a good measure of yourself to others. Unlike a recipe, we can't calculate a cup of kindness, an ounce of love, a teaspoon of encouragement, a tablespoon of faith, or a pound of forgiveness. God's blessings for us are immeasurable; He expects us to utilize the same standard for one another. If we are indeed made in His image and are striving to be more like Him each day, then the task shouldn't be a challenging one. However, if you are coveting self, then the task may prove utterly impossible. So, how do you know if the measure you are using is good

enough? at's easy, take note of what comes back to you. Since your blessings are a mirror of your giving, be very generous. And, always make your giving a huge part of your living! Michelle Wilson

About the Writer MICHELLE WILSON ( is the author of the book, It's Already Done! is book takes readers through the intimate accounts of her being diagnosed with a series of life threatening conditions as a result of a severe allergic reaction. Yet through it all she maintained a strong relationship with God, which ultimately strengthened her faith and led to a greater understanding of His purpose for her life.

Optimal Living Magazine


Harvest Matters by Marsha Carroll

Learning To Live Below Your Means


oppose to relying on your credit card(s). As we see in Proverbs 22:7, the borrower is servant to the lender; do not allow yourself to become ensl ave d to cre dit c ard debt.

ccording to recent economic indicators, over 5 0 % of Ame r i c ans are spending more than they earn. e popular money adage reminds everyone to “live within your means”. However, in order to be scally responsible and nancially secure, living below your means is actually the best way to ensure a brighter future in terms of your nances. When you live within your means you are merely spending what you earn on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis, with no regard for what your economic situation can or will be in the future. If you enter the vicious cycle of spending what you have, you will never be rich and you certainly will not accumulate wealth. Living below your means will allow you to meet your expenses while still being able to establish that 'rainyday' fund, just in case of a nancial catastrophe such as job loss, health issues, or other unexpected expenses. Fo r t u n at e l y, l i k e m o s t o t h e r conundrums that relate to money, there are some simple steps that can be taken to alleviate such concerns. First, we are to look to the Word when trying to understand the dynamics of our money. In the Bible, we are reminded of the pitfalls of covetousness and we are also warned against earnestly seeking things we don't have (or cannot afford).Luke 12:15 as well as Hebrews 13:5 provides advice on how to decipher what we need (such as food, clothes, and shelter), as opposed to what we want (such as the new iPad, an overpriced handbag, or an expensive car).


Optimal Living Magazine

In order to prosper in our nances, we must develop a relationship of boundaries with the money we have. As we have mentioned many times before in this space, you must have a budget or a plan that clearly lays out how much you earn in relation to your expenses. In addition to your tithe, you should also put yourself in your budget as a necessary “expense”. By doing so, you will make savings a part of your lifestyle. Do not allow yourself to depend on savings to pay your bills or for frivolous spending. Instead, as much as possible, try to lower your expenditures to ensure t hat you w i l l not d r ai n you r emergency funds, just to keep up with the lifestyle that you truly cannot maintain. Another step towards living below your means is to get into the habit of using cash as much as possible, as

Finally, manage your budget and spending with utmost strictness to ensure you do not develop a reliance on Pay-Day Lenders. Also known as 'predatory lenders', pay-day loans consist of no credit checks and an advance of money you have yet to earn. Due to high default rates, many people become trapped in the seemingly never ending cycle of trying to repay the loans and the interest, while still trying to catch up on expenses that lured them into taking out the loan in the rst place. Although Pay-day lenders are outlawed in 11 states nationwide, such institutions are prominent in poor and minority communities. Don't allow yourself to become a casualty of the economy ; seek counsel from a nancial professional in order to master living below your means.

Marsha Carroll About the Writer Ms. Marsha Carroll is a freelance writer based in Princeton, NJ. Please feel free to write Ms. Carroll @ if you have any questions about debt elimination and/or basic ways to save money.

Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back! “Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe remember you can achieve. ~ Mary Kay Ashe Mrs. Debbie Amanda Jones Co-host and producer at “Time of Refreshing” TV Show e Time of Refreshing Christian/Gospel Television Show airs on the Christian Television Network (CTN) in Southwest (SW) Florida. e purpose of the show is to be a launching pad for those who are gied and anointed in singing, praise dancing, spoken word, book writing and almost any other ability used for the purpose of liing and exalting the name of Jesus Christ. e show airs three times every week, twice locally in SW Florida and once national throughout the country. I'm Debbie Amanda Jones, known on air as“DIVA” Dee (Divine, Inspirational, Virtuous and Anointed). OLM: What inspired you to get into the television business? Debbie Jones: My husband James Cleveland Jones and I started out on radio several years ago as a result of an opened door by God. We came to the SW Florida area in 2006 aer my husband retired from the US Air Force. Our desire was to be close to family aer having been gone for such a long time. Aer arriving here, we were both surprised to nd that there was no gospel music being played on the airwave in this area. My husband had made a connection with one of the members on the worship team at our church who just happened to be the manager for the Christian TV network. James asked Paul Lodato if he had any contacts with any of the radio station managers in order to talk with them about possibly playing some gospel music on the airwaves. Well, the only name that Paul had was for 89.5 Praise FM under the management of Arnie Coones. My husband James had a purpose now, he was determined to talk with this station manager and convince him to play gospel music over the airwaves here in SW Florida. Getting an appointment to sit with the manager was not as easy as we thought it would be. At one point, we both became discouraged and thought that maybe it just wasn't in the plans for us to get gospel music on the radio here. Aer much prayer and persistence, there was nally a meeting. At the end of the meeting, not only was there going to be gospel music played here in SW Florida, but the manager offered us our own Radio show. e manager offered to give as much training as was needed to make this happen, wow look at God!!! We were on the airwaves there for a couple of years then the station was sold. At that point, we moved to another station that foreclosed about a year aer we got there. While at the second station, the management called a meeting for all on air personalities and we were told that this would be our last week on air. at meeting was on a Wednesday night, the very next evening, we received a call from the manager of the Christian Television Network saying that “God told him to give us a television show.” Wow, television was not even in my thought process, but God had different plans! We gladly accepted the gi of television and we have been on air ever since. OLM: Is there something that keeps you grounded and focused to press forward in making your business a success? At the end of the day, how do you de ne success? Debbie Jones: One of the things that keep us grounded is that we know that it was God who gave us this opportunity. It wasn't because of anything special we did, but it was all because of Him opening a door for us. During those times when we started to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, we would just remind ourselves that our being on tv had Optimal Living Magazine


Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

nothing to do with us but everything to do with Him. We have been commissioned to spread the good news of Jesus and we want to let the whole world know about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So success for me would be me knowing that I'm taking full advantage of the opportunities God has given us. the Christian Television Network saying that “God told him to give us a television show.” Wow, television was not even in my thought process, but God had different plans! We gladly accepted the gi of television and we have been on air ever since. OLM: Is there something that keeps you grounded and focused to press forward in making your business a success? At the end of the day, how do you de ne success? Debbie Jones: One of the things that keep us grounded is that we know that it was God who gave us this opportunity. It wasn't because of anything special we did, but it was all because of Him opening a door for us. During those times when we started to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, we would just remind ourselves that our being on tv had nothing to do with us but everything to do with Him. We have been commissioned to spread the good news of Jesus and we want to let the whole world know about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So success for me would be me knowing that I'm taking full advantage of the opportunities God has given us. OLM: How long have you been in the television business? Debbie Jones: We have been in the broadcast business since 2009, but it feels like we've only just started. OLM: How do you give back to your community? Debbie Jones: One great bene t that goes along with being on radio or tv is the opportunity to be very active in the community. We really enjoy hosting local events. ere are so many different community projects we have been a part of; parades, musicals, police and re department events, Diversity day with the local colleges and so much more. It's such a blessing to be able to help to keep the community informed about what's going on. e right information is so vital to having a healthy community. I am a rm believer that we receive blessings for the purpose of blessing others. When we give back to others, it makes more room for us to receive more from the father. Give and it will be given to you; good measure, press down, shaken together and running over, shall men give unto you. OLM: What scripture best describes you, your life? Debbie Jones: e scripture that best describes me and my life is Phillipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengths me.” When man said no, Jesus said yes and I know that in Him there are no limits. OLM: What tips would you give a person thinking about entrepreneurship? Debbie Jones: To anyone who is thinking about doing their own thing, just know that you have to work twice as hard when you work for yourself than you do when you work for someone else. So you can't be afraid of hard work. You also have to be a self-motivator. ere will be times when you are the only person who sees what's in your future. ere might be many days when there will be no one to encourage you. You have to believe in You! Don't be afraid of failure; the vast majority of people who have prosperous businesses have failed time and time again. Pick yourself up and press on. You've got to go through it to get to it. OLM: How can our readers get in contact with you? Debbie Jones: If you'd like to contact us please go to and click the contact us tab. You can leave your information and we will get back with you ASAP. We would love to have you as a guest on the show. Facebook: Twitter: James C. Jones @TORefreshing Email: 10

Optimal Living Magazine

Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith Founder of I Choose My Best Life, based in Anniston, Alabama Dr. Dalton-Smith is the founder of “I Choose My Best Life”. rough this organization she speaks nationally to help people to eliminate limiting emotions and see their options in life. I Choose My Best Life is a movement to renew hope in a generation where depression, stress, and fear are peaking. OLM: Dr. Dalton-Smith, who inspired you to start your business or been established as a non-pro t organization? Dr. Dalton-Smith: I was inspired by a large study in 2008 which asked people how they viewed their lives. is study showed a staggering 55% of us deemed our lives as difficult and/or struggling. People are miserable. Marriages are failing. Suicide is on the rise. Kids are turning to anything that gives them a sense of freedom. Many have come to the belief, this is as good as it get. But that is not everyone's nal answer. It is certainly not mine. I believe, I CHOOSE MY BEST LIFE. OLM: At the end of the day, how do you de ne success? Dr. Dalton-Smith: I de ne success by the sense of purpose I feel in the work I do. I stay focused on the higher calling upon my life and the great need for the work that I do. OLM: How long have you been in business? Dr. Dalton-Smith: I received my medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1999 and have been actively practicing medicine. Since then, I founded I Choose My Best Life in 2013. OLM: How do you give back to your community or the people that you serve? How do people bene t from your services? Dr. Dalton-Smith: I am active on the board of Sav-A-Life ; a ministry sharing the choices of adoption and life to women facing an unexpected pregnancy. We also provide post-abortion counseling to those affected by the shame and guilt that can be present years aer this decision. I also volunteer my services to children's church groups as a speaker for their events. I speak professionally at various churches, colleges, conferences, and business sharing the message of I Choose My Best Life. OLM: Why is it so important for you to give back to the people you serve? Dr. Dalton-Smith: Giving back to others is at the foundation of I Choose My Best Life. Its mission is to renew hope, equip with life giving information, to impart truth, as well as bring healing and wholeness through the choice available to us daily. OLM: What scripture best describes you, your life? Dr. Dalton-Smith: I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. ~ Deuteronomy 30:19 OLM: What tips would you give a person thinking about entrepreneurship? Dr. Dalton-Smith: “If you grab hold of a dream bigger than you, be sure you grab hold of the Dream Giver rst. Without Him, your dream is sure to fall victim to debilitating doubt, immobilizing fear, undermining uncertainty, and insurmountable obstacles.” ~ Saundra Dalton-Smith M.D. Optimal Living Magazine


Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

OLM: How can our readers get in contact with you? Websites: or Email: Phone: (256) 236-5631 Fax: (256) 236-5637

Ms. Dawn Fitch, Owner Pooka Pure and Simple, based in Newark, New Jersey Ms. Dawn Fitch is the president of Pooka Pure & Simple, a line of natural bath and body products currently based out of Newark, New Jersey. Her line of products offers mists, polishes, deodorants, mists, soaps and more made of oils from different nuts and vegetables, shea and cocoa butters, fruit powders, seeds and a lot more. OLM: What or who inspired you to start your business or been established as a non-pro t organization? Dawn Fitch: I started the company 11 years ago when I got sick. Drs. couldn't nd anything wrong but I was still feeling bad so I decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle! I changed what I ate and started reading my food labels then one day I turned over one of my lotion bottles and was alarmed at the ingredients, so since I didn't want those ingredients going into my system I started creating my own body products. at's how Pooka was born! OLM: Is there something that keeps you grounded and focused to press forward in making your business a success? At the end of the day, how do you de ne success? Dawn Fitch: My family, friends and my faith keep me grounded. Everyone has been so supportive of the Pooka journey and they keep me going. I know that GOD has put me on this path and I know that HE keeps me going. When times get hard, I just focus on that. GOD is writing the story, I'm just enjoying the ride. HE's never let me down and has always provided for me, so I'm already successful :-). OLM: How long have you been in business? Dawn Fitch: Pooka is 13 years old. OLM: How do you give back to your community or the people that you serve? How do people bene t from your services? Dawn Fitch: It's important to me to educate our community on healthier living and the bene ts of entrepreneurship. In 2005 I wrote my book entitled, "Moving rough Opened Doors". e book details the blessings that we've received and the journey of starting a business. I like to use the book as a motivational tool for seminars that I give at juvenile detention centers and schools to educate the youth about alternative career routes and using their talents to create their own entrepreneurial endeavors. In 2002, PookaGiveBack was created. It's a division of Pooka that focuses on donating products to worthy causes including Planned Parenthood, Children's Restoration Network, Hudson Perinatal Consortium and Emergency Shelters for Battered Women and Children. Pooka also developed a "Relaxation Seminar" teaching the health bene ts 12

Optimal Living Magazine

Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

relaxation and aromatherapy. e seminar has been taught to the elderly at various senior citizen homes and women's conferences. In 2011, I co-created “Beauty that Cares”; a collection of workshops geared towards teaching young girls about the empowerment of starting their own beauty businesses and hands-on creation of their own natural products. Aer each workshop, a portion of the handmade products are donated to various women's shelters. In 2011, “Beauty at Cares” workshops were incorporated into the Girl Scouts curriculum. OLM: Why is it so important for you to give back to the people you serve? Dawn Fitch: We are a Christian business; we know that GOD is the CEO, and we know that our faith requires us to take care of each other. Faith without works is dead. It's so important to appreciate the blessings you receive and pass them on to the next person. We have to be positive examples for each other and our youth and let them know the possibilities that life holds for them. OLM: What scripture best describes you, your life? Dawn Fitch: Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. OLM: What tips would you give a person thinking about entrepreneurship? Dawn Fitch: I think you need faith in order to know and to believe your business is going to make it. Perseverance for when it seems like its taking forever and support; it's hard to make it alone :-) On the business side, start your business on the right track; you aren't too small. 1. Go to your local college or university and visit their small business department. I'm pretty sure they all have one. e appointments are usually free, and they will help you register your business, set up your business entity, and le any paper work you need. 2. Keep good records, even if you aren't ready for an accountant. Make sure you use Quickbooks, or excel spreadsheets to keep track of your nances. 3. Protect yourself and your ideas. Get your trademarks done early so that when your business takes off there are no issues. OLM: How can our reader get in contact with you? Website: Retail Location: 87 Halsey Street, Newark New Jersey Facebook:

Mrs. Danielle Pettiford Couples Academy, Atlanta Georgia Couples Academy is a relationship-based organization dedicated to placing couples on the path to ful llment. e main objectives are to join forces with local and national churches to teach classes that educate, and create couples' challenges that strengthen and provide a community that offers counseling that repairs and plan collaborative events that entertain. We offer our services to couples that are in committed courtships, engaged, or married. OLM: What or who inspired you to start your business or been established as a non-pro t organization? Optimal Living Magazine


Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

Danielle Pettiford: Couples Academy is a labor of love that was de nitely birthed as a result of wanting to discover true love and passion in my own marriage. I knew that it was possible, but could not nd one really happy couple in my circle when I looked 360 degrees around me. at sparked a desire within my husband and me to make a difference and to be the difference. OLM: Is there something that keeps you grounded and focused to press forward in making your business a success? At the end of the day, how do you de ne success? Danielle Pettiford: When I see how Couples Academy is equipping couples who once seemed hopeless to keep going, or make changes that have major impact in their marriages, I know that I'm doing the right thing. Success to me is doing something that you love and are passionate about even when that thing is not all about you; but is actually impacting other lives in a major way.

OLM: How long has Couples Academy been in business? Danielle Pettiford: I've been dealing with relationship based events for over 10 years. Couples Academy is the rebranding of an old idea with the intentions and ability to take it national and international. We launched Couples Academy brand in Atlanta approximately 1 year ago. We are working on 2014 calendar and are astounded by the growth in such a short amount of time. OLM: How do you give back to your community or the people that you serve? How do people bene t from your services? Danielle Pettiford: Couples Academy's main focus is couples. We believe if you have two strong partners, you'll have strong parents and therefore a strong family. We offer many free events throughout the year that allow couples to come and gain the tools they need to strengthen their relationships. OLM: Why is it so important for you to give back to the people you served? Danielle Pettiford: It's important to me to give back in this area because I like many grew up in a broken home. For my parents, there was not lighthouse or beacon of light to run to during troubled times. In those days, people dealt with issues they best way they could or not at all. e divorce le me and my family broken. God has blessed me tremendously in my own marriage. I give him all the credit and I feel obligated to share what he has instilled in me. OLM: What scripture best describes you, your life?

Danielle Pettiford: And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. Habakkuk 2:2 OLM: What tips would you give a person thinking about entrepreneurship? Danielle Pettiford: 1. Make God the CEO. As long as you give your works to God, he said he'll bless it. 2. Write your idea down and do it. Too much thinking and no doing can lead to complacency, get started. 3. Stick to it and ignore the naysayers. It's going to get hard and folks will want you to be “normal”, but you're not normal your exceptional...keep going. 4. Fail forward. ings are not always going to go as planned. Failures are meant to teach you what not to do next time. ey were never meant to be a reason to quit! Learn from failures and keep going until you reach your destiny. OLM: How can people get in contact with Couples Academy? Websites: Facebook: Email:


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Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

Mrs. Jovon Gerald G.I.R.L. Inc , Got the Intelligence to Rule my Life Meridian Public Charter School, Washington, DC Got the Intelligence to Rule My Life (G.I.R.L) is a non-pro t mentoring organization that serves young girls (ages 10-16) whose parents are/were incarcerated or absent in their lives. G.I.R.L. seeks to empower young girls by addressing issues such as, but not limited to, positive body images, healthy nutrition, education for personal development, and dealing with the incarceration of family members. OLM: What or who inspired you to start your business or been established as a non-pro t organization? Jovon Gerald: I have experienced some of the same emotions and burden of some of these young girls when I was their age. Young girls that I have taught or mentored inspired me to start my non-pro t. OLM: Is there something that keeps you grounded and focused to press forward in making your business a success? At the end of the day, how do you de ne success? Jovon Gerald: As an educator in the Metropolitan area, I always considered it an obligation to instill a love for the learning process in all of my students regardless of any adversities they may be faced with. Although I have faced many challenges along this road to success, I've been successful in rising above them. I pride myself in creating a caring environment in which I can be open and honest in outlining expectation as well as holding them accountable in meeting those expectations. roughout my career as an educator, I mentored and tutored young girls as part of my personal commitment to empowering and enriching the next generation of leaders. As the founder of G.I.R.L., I'm committed to the mission statement and will stand behind the purpose. OLM: How do you de ne success? Jovon Gerald: I will de ne success as a driven goal to accomplishment. Success will happen if you know who you are and keep God rst. OLM: How long have you been in business? Jovon Gerald: My non-pro t has been around since 2011. OLM: How do you give back to your community or the people that you serve? How do people bene t from your services? Jovon Gerald: G.I.R.L is a nonpro t mentoring organization that serves young girls (ages 10 – 16) whose parents are/were incarcerated or absent in the community. G.I.R.L seeks to help eliminate de cits associated with absent of a parent while helping to improve the essence of the “whole female.” (G.I.R.L is open to any young girl in the D.C. metro area) e purposes of G.I.R.L are as follows: · Breaking the “potential” cycle of incarceration passed from parent to child · Decreasing emotional/social isolation from families and friends by providing a nurturing environment for growth and development · Mentoring through one-on-one support groups · Building positive/healthy self esteem

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Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

· Arranging prison visitation for incarcerated parent(s) · Networking with organizations with similar vision · Providing educational support through tutoring and referrals to resource agencies · Community services · G.I.R.L Retreats

OLM: Why is it so important for you to give back to the people you serve? Jovon Gerald: Giving back to my community is valuable in itself, but helping others also offers many bene ts in your community. It's a domino effect, you help someone and in return that person helps someone. It's eye-opening to realize that doing even small things can have a big impact on others. People are eventually responsible for their success and failure, but you only succeed if you share the reward with others in your community. At the end of the day, ask yourself: “Am I making a difference in the lives of others?” OLM: What scripture best describes you, your life? Jovon Gerald: Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. en you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 OLM: What tips would you give a person thinking about entrepreneurship? Jovon Gerald: Be persistent and driven. Never stop even if you feel like quitting, you should never stop and never stop learning. OLM: How can people get in contact with you? Phone: 202-500-1297 Email: Website:

Mrs. Shaunna Payne Gold Gold Doctoral Consulting, located in Bowie, Maryland As an academic simpli er, GDC shis graduate students from confusion to completion with strategic, yet simple road maps to success. Our services include one-on-one consulting packages, monthly group teleseminars, and online downloadable tools. It's our goal to see doctoral students to the completion of their studies. OLM: What or who inspired you to start your business or been established as a non-pro t organization? Dr. Gold: Ebony Mitchell Sparkes, a James Madison University classmate and sorority sister, inspired me to start my own business. I was moved by how she could handle a business and a family as a mother of three children. I gured, if she could do it, I could too. OLM: What keeps you grounded and focused to press forward in making your business a success? At the end of the day, how do you de ne success? 16

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Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

Dr. Gold: My family keeps me grounded. My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years. We have a 3-year old son Trai (Charles Adam Gold III) and another son, Kendrick on the way in June. All three of them keep me grounded, because I can take a call from a client, while making a sippy cup. At the end of the day, their opinions are the only ones that truly matter. OLM: How long have you been in business? How do you give back to your community or the people that you serve? How do people bene t from your services? Dr. Gold: I've been forming my organization for about 2 years. Many of the doctoral students I serve are learning that time is money when it comes to higher education in general, but terminal degrees speci cally. Given that doctoral students must continue to pay for “research credits” beyond the coursework until the completion of the degree, it is my job to simply the process so that students save both time and money. OLM: Why is it so important for you to give back to the people you serve? Dr. Gold: I am a rst generation college student who persisted to the doctorate, so clearly I had to learn by making a lot of mistakes. It's my hope that others will not have to stumble through graduate school, but actually enjoy the process. OLM: What scripture best describes you, your life? Dr. Gold: “I would have fainted if I did not see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 OLM: What tips would you give a person thinking about entrepreneurship? Dr. Gold: My philosophy is to think, plan, and do. But of the three, “Do” more than anything else. As my organization has continued to unfold, I've learned that baby steps are all it takes to make progress toward the big vision for your organization/business. As my business mentor says, “Sometimes you have to build the plane as you y.” OLM: How can people get in contact with you? Email: Facebook: Run Doc Run Twitter: @golddoctorsnote Phone: (540) 246-2731

Ms. Jae Henderson Author & Owner, “I'm a Good Woman” Book Series, based in Memphis, Tennessee “I ' m A G o o d Wo m a n” i s a mu l t i - f a c e t e d e nt i t y. It f e at u r e s, I'm a Good Woman novelty products, and I'm A Good Woman Literary Series. e overall purpose is to encourage and empower women to be who God has called them to be in every aspect of their lives.

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Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

OLM: What or who inspired you to start your business or been established as a non-pro t organization? Jae Henderson: e decline of morals in America made me want to encourage women to live a life of virtue and remind them that the world's treasures are eeting, but the treasures of the Lord are everlasting. It saddens me to see so many young ladies think showing their body instead of their intelligence is the way to be successful. A lot of this, as well as other unladylike ungodly behaviors, is promoted within what is now considered entertainment. erefore, I decided to create visuals and alternative forms of entertainment through I'm A Good Woman. Especially, the literary series. It now contains an inspirational romance trilogy: “Someday”, “Someday, Too” and “Forever and a Day”. Each one offers entertaining, positive messages within realistic situations. I have soul-stirring messages for singles with prayers and scriptures they can use to help them get through those lonely times when we begin to wonder if Mr. Righteous will ever nd us. I'm proud to say that they have been welcomed warmly by readers. OLM: Is there something that keeps you grounded and focused to press forward in making your business a success? Jae Henderson: My faith and my family. My mother and grandparents raised me with strong Christian values. Because of this, as I grew up, I was oen considered the good girl by others. ere was a time in my life that I tried to shed that label and do what everyone else was doing because it looked like fun. I felt like I was missing out. I quickly learned that what they were doing wasn't fun and what I was missing was all of the guilt, pain, and unnecessary drama that can come with living an unsaved life. Besides, my spirit was restless because I wasn't being who I was called to be. I have so much peace when I'm doing God's will and part of that is promoting I'm A Good Woman and bringing the messages He gives me to the masses. OLM: At the end of the day, how do you de ne success? Jae Henderson: Success is me looking in the mirror and feeling good about myself and what I have accomplished because I have used my talents to encourage others to reach their full potential spiritually, nancially, emotionally, and physically. OLM: How long have you been in business? Jae Henderson: I'm A Good Woman started in 2005 with novelty products like t-shirts, tank tops and mugs featuring the name. e website was launched in 2009 to showcase men and women who are pursuing their passion and purpose in order to motivate others. I wanted to create a feeling of “If they can do it, I can do it too.” I published the rst novel in the “I'm A Good Woman Literary Series”, “Someday,” in 2010. OLM: Why is it so important for you to give back to the people you serve? Jae Henderson: One of my favorite sayings is To whom much is given, much is required. I realize that by sharing my testimony and the testimony of others I am encouraging and empowering other women to work hard to accomplish their own goals and dreams. We are all so blessed! OLM: What scripture best describes you, your life? Jae Henderson: Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O (wo)man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. OLM: What tips would you give a person thinking about entrepreneurship? Jae Henderson: Pray, do your research, formulate a plan and work hard. Before you move, it is important to ask God if entrepreneurship is His will for you. He will give you con rmation. However, it is not wise to start a business without nding out what operating that type of business will require and if the market will be able to sustain it and make it grow. 18

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Celebrating our Christian Women in Business: 7 Leading Christian Women in Business Who Give Back!

Read books, utilize online resources, and talk to people who are experienced in the industry. Use the knowledge you gain to put together a plan to succeed. î ˘en, work hard to implement it. No business will be successful without hard work and dedication. I have never worked harder for anyone that I do for myself. However, it is extremely rewarding. I know for a fact that if God leads you to it, He'll de nitely bring you through it. 10. How can people get in contact with you? Websites:, Facebook: imagoodwoman Twitter: jae_henderson Instagram: jaehendersonauthor

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Optimal Living Business Spotlight INTRODUCING PLEXUS SLIM! Are you having trouble losing weight and keeping it off? Well, you're not alone. Most people, who start a diet of any kind, give up within the rst 30 days. I have dealt with the same dilemmas until I started using Plexus Slim. Plexus Slim is the most-natural way to lose weight and inches by burning fat, not muscle. Plexus Slim also helps keep your blood sugar, cholesterol and lipids at healthy levels. In addition, Plexus Slim helps reduce binge eating and increases your willpower over food. is product is one of the most-natural, healthy solutions to help you lose weight for the long term. Simply pour into a bottle of water 30 minutes before a meal, drink, and experience the results heart healthy results that your body will eventually thank you for later. · · · · · · · · · · ·

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True Confessions of a Saved Man by Reginald B. Goodridge, Jr.

Confidence: The One Quality Men Cannot Live Without In a Woman fo o d w i l l b e b e tte r t han you imagined. When you're in the hospital and you don't know what's wrong with your baby, you know you want the con dent nurse practitioner to tell you your baby will be ne aer she administers a simple drug. When you got on a plane for the rst time though terri ed of heights, you know you felt better when that con dent airline attendant looked you in the eye and assured you that you would be landing in 2 hours without any incident.


et's be honest, every woman is beautiful in her own way. And even if the girl next door is not Beyonce', she can get a Mary Kay makeover to look like a diva for a day. is unfortunately means beauty can be manufactured, but what about what's inside? It means nothing to be drop-dead-gorgeous if you have very little to contribute to a conversation. And maybe a woman has the intellect to hold a conversation aer her beauty becomes commonplace, but doesn't have t he p ois e, char a c te r, or con dence everyone needs for a positive self image; what then? For me, con dence is the de ning character for a woman. She doesn't have to be highly educated or experienced, but she should be wise and rm in all her doings. Her words should command respect because simply put, she does what she says and she means what she says. It's more than being trusted and more than being respected, it's about knowing who she is, where she is in

life, and the conviction to move forward in all her aspirations. When I was in college, I remember asking several female classmates what they would be aer graduation. Some of my classmates talked about becoming doctors and never even made it to nursing school. Some chased business degrees and never even became secretaries. But a few, a select few spoke their dreams into reality, not knowing how to achieve their goals, but kept on pressing and eventually became the scientists, publishers, and the image consultants they believed they would be. Some people, especially men, may be intimidated by a con dent woman, but let's stay honest a little bit longer; every one hopes their mother, sister, or daughter will possess such qualities. Con dent women make everyone feel better. When you're at a family gathering, you know you want your con dent aunt who stayed up all night cooking to tell you the

Proverbs 31:30 teaches us, " is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." Having said all this, the true road to con dence in a woman or anyone for that matter lies in Christ Jesus. Arming yourself with the word of God and trusting and believing that you can do all things in Jesus, that is con dence. Reginald B. Goodridge, Jr. About the Writer Mr. Reginald B. Goodridge, Jr. is a Christian and an entrepreneur with a passion for travel, exploration, and the developing the world. Reginald has spent much of his life traveling and living in diverse cultures across the globe, including the United States, West Africa, and Greater China. Reginald currently operates several corporations in Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, Taiwan, and China and is actively involved in economic development and sustainability of underprivileged peoples in Africa.

Optimal Living Magazine


e Wifey 101 Series: By Delonda Adams

Proverbs 31: 5 Key Character Traits of an Excellent Wife Gazing back to the days of being a newly wedded wife, I can remember that I was far from excellent. e words virtuous, Proverbs 31 and excellent were far from my mind. Many women today still have re s e r v at i ons ab out b e i ng or becoming a Proverbs 31 woman. If you were to read Proverbs 31:10-31 in Hebrew you will nd that each verse begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So this woman is spelled out literally from A-Z. If one desires to be an excellent wife they can look at this beautiful description of an excellent wife to glean from. ere are ve character traits that make up an excellent wife and we will explore each one in detail. Balanced: An excellent wife maintains a healthy balance in her life by having her priorities aligned. Today we see that many wives struggle because they have no balance and wives are putting everything and everyone else before God. We must make sure that our priorities come in the proper order; God, you, husband, children, home, then everything else. e word of God tells us to let all things be done i n d e c e nt ly and i n ord e r ( 1 Corinthians 14:40). When we attain or restore order in our lives, we will start to see more clearly. We also realize that we are in a place of blessing when we align ourselves properly. Good: Proverbs 31 tells us that her husband’s heart trusts her (Proverbs 31:11). e reason that the husband’s heart safely trusts her is 22

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She creates an atmosphere of peace in the home. Her husband is anxiously waiting to get home to her and not dreading the moment when he walks through the door. She exercises patience in her marriage and knows that everyone has their own walk with the Lord, and that includes her husband. She knows her role as a wife and it is not to play the part of the Holy Spirit.

because she is a good wife, and it even goes further to say that she does him good and not evil all the days of her life. is woman is not perfect, but by the grace of God she walks in spirit. She makes sure that her husband and children know that they are loved, not only by her words, but by her actions. She can do this well because of her loving relationship with Our Heavenly Father. She makes sure that her ultimate source of joy is God. When we try and make our husband and children our ultimate sources of joy we tend to either smother them and/or overwhelm the relationship with loy expectations—neither is good. Make sure to give yourself, husband and children the space needed to plug into the Source of our joy.

By being a virtuous woman, she puts her virtue into action and demonstrates kindness. is verse is the perfect example of seeing goodness in action: Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love. In honor, giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality (Romans 12:9-13) God is faithful to us, and He expects that from us in our relationship with Him and others. e excellent wife

e Wifey 101 Series: Proverbs 31: 5 Key Character Traits of an Excellent Wife

is faithful to her husband and to her position God has given her as a wife and mother. She is a powerful woman and knows that she can be even more powerful by exercising some constraint and knows that real strength and beauty comes from a gentle and quiet spirit. An excellent wife has self-control. She does not act strictly based on her emotions, she considers her family and does not just spend money like crazy, and she does not rant to her friends and family and uncover her husband (revealing his secrets and faults). is wife is so good that her husband sees no need to think that the grass is greener on the other side. She walks in the Fruit of the Spirit and produces amazing fruit. Resourceful: If you take a good look at the Proverbs 31 woman, you will see that she is very resourceful. is woman was considering elds, planting vineyards. She was a wholesaler to merchants, and she was making a pro t. e excellent wife contributes to the household by making wise choices with the money that her husband brings in and from that she creates a pro t and has her own business of making and selling linen garments and selling sashes. Her home has multiple streams of income and this is a blessing because it helps in difficult times. As a wife consider what gis and talents God has placed within you and see how you can create another source of


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revenue running through your home. Nothing is set in stone these days. With the rising trend of companies having no loyalty to their employees, a wise woman has a backup plan and does not leave the full burden on her husband. We can do something, and when tough time comes, we can see why this woman laughs at the times to come. She uses the money wisely and does not squander all the pro ts because she knows hard times will come. God has given us the power to get wealth. Trust God, get wisdom, and don’t sit on your gis.

her home and she has a natural instinct to nurture and protect. Your home is your domain and you have no time for idleness. A wife watches over her home in spiritual warfare, making sure that her home is lled with peace and love, making sure that her home is stocked with food and toiletries, making sure that her family is ready in case of emergency. She is a true woman warrior! She prays and watches and her husband sees all that she does for them and he is honored to protect, serve, provide and love her like Christ loves the church.

Strong: She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. An excellent wife knows that she must be strong for the tasks ahead of her in taking care of her husband, children, home and other obligations. erefore she must take care of herself both spiritually and physically. If we do not take care of ourselves, then how can we take care of our husbands, children and those we minister to? We must keep ourselves refreshed in God’s Word, prayer, and fasting. Also, we must not forget ourselves physically. Eating the right foods, exercising, and pampering ourselves are usually the last thing on our list. Although we must not obsess over these activities, we must not neglect them either.

Because of these ve character traits, her children rise up and bless her and a husband sticks out his chest and says, “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” My prayer is that you are encouraged to make your marriage last, be a blessing to your husband and children, help in hard economic times and keep a calm spirit throughout your home.

Watchman: e excellent wife is a woman warrior! She watches over the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. She knows that her husband is king but she also knows that she is queen of

DeLonda Adams About the Writer Mrs. DeLonda Adams is married to her husband Sean of 10 years and together they parent two great children, Sean Jr. and Sherry. She is the founder of Proverbs 31 Mama Ministries ( an innovative women's ministry. She unpacks the Word of God with relevance and simplicity. Her southern accent and inviting presence instantly engages and provides a sense of familiarity and realness. She has authored a curriculum, and hosted successful online and offline studies. Her latest project, Forgetting My Past, was released in 2012.

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Career and Leadership Insight by Chanel Alexandria

Branding You!


environments, partnerships, and resources needed to propel you along the way. is means active and conscious selection of words, social settings, affiliations, attitude and consumption (not only what you buy, but what you read, listen to, and eat). When building your brand, you must not only focus on making your rst impression count, but ensuring that all elements of your pro le support the lasting impression you want to leave.

ow long does it take to make “a rst impression?” We oen hear 30 seconds, sometimes 17, and recently even lower! However, in the context of branding, I'd say you have three seconds tops, and that's before you even open your mouth to speak. Why? Because we use an entire setting to process the assumptions that generate our impressions. ink about it, whether going to a sports outing, church service, black tie gala, or Walmart, there are already a core set of ideas that you have about how others will speak, dress, and conduct themselves before you even walk in the door. Simply put, branding is any method that communicates your values and aspirations. is is why you must think of branding in terms of the big picture, knowing that your brand speaks for you. So with that in mind, what are YOU currently saying? Clients are oen surprised to learn that our rst order of business is assessment, re ection, and analysis to create a strategic image plan. e reality is how could you truly promote yourself without knowing who you are and how you want to go about sharing your message with others? Is your brand intelligent, inquisitive, and intriguing, or busted, disguste d, and t ire d?? More importantly, do you desire the former, yet communicate the latter without even knowing it? So, how do you make impressions that accurately re ect your brand while building foundations for successful relationships? Here are ve keys to help you unlock the 24

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brand of YOU: Master Your Brand Take the time to learn more about you. What experiences have shaped your choices? What do you bring to the table and where are you going in life? en, spend some serious time considering what elements of your life strengthen or sabotage the accomplishment of your goals. Don't like what you see? Do the homework. If that means therapy, a branding coach, prayer and fasting, or a combination thereof, carve out the time, invest the resources, and be prepared to make a few tough choices. is will pay big dividends as you begin walking con dently with awareness of who you are, accompanied by sharp focus on who you're becoming. Breathe Life into Your Brand As you spend time really honing in on what you're all about? You can begin to align your life with the

Looking to make a career move? is concept is especially important during interviews. Too oen, one creates a dream resume that indicates consummate professional, then show up late, disheveled with a jelly stain, and unprepared to discuss basic pr i n c ipl e s of t h e r m you ' re attempting to woo. On paper, they've laid out all the major components of their brand, yet within the rst three seconds they've undermined their credibility before even taking a seat. Now the question becomes, what else on the resume may not be as good as it seems? You Are Tailor-Made. Show It! If nothing else, always embrace the fact that you are one of a kind. Regardless of your body shape, income, education, or any other selfperceived limitation, don't be afraid to stand out by complementing your skills with your style. It's time to purge your closet as you assess every piece to determine if it is the size, style, and swag which represents your current brand. Now is the time to donate! Trust me, having fewer pieces that look amazing and wardrobe-well is better than endless

Career and Leadership Insight: Branding You! choices that leave you frustrated as you attempt to drop a few pounds or await a trendy comeback. Again, there's only one you, and the look of your brand should communicate the same. Shhh….. Be Quiet Recall that branding is a form of communication and mostly all communication theories include the presence of noise. Plain and simple, noise is anything that takes away from the ability of others to properly interpret your brand. If you're wearing earrings that jingle during your presentation and the audience is too distracted to hear your million dollar idea, noise has just interfered. If you're seeking to whet your palette by exploring cuisine at a posh new restaurant, yet invite a friend who is loud, rude, and constantly complaining about prices and portion sizes, you brought noise with you. In both scenarios it's your choice, but if your goals include an outstanding presentation or learning

more about new cultures, such decisions may take away from your ability to convey your worth and connect with new experiences.

should be a note to self as you create synergy with more likeminded acquaintances that re ect your new direction.

Don't Be Afraid To Re-Brand As Oen As Needed ere's an old saying, “it's not important what others call you, but inste ad w hat you answer to.” erefore, when you decide to change your name, you can change your game. at can mean a new career, educational pursuit, or even the audacity to 'pop your collar' by wearing bold red lipstick, or bright green socks with your standard blue suit. If you reach a point in your life where you've determined a need to re-brand, not only get moving, but fully own your new brand along the way. Dress the part, speak the language, and walk the walk. If you're at lunch catching up with an old friend, don't get distracted with yesteryear conversation. If the person is only capable of “remembering when,” perhaps this

In essence, proper branding helps create a cycle of success: con dence inside, leads to competent outside, while competence outside, reinforces con dence inside. Remember, your brand is their command; so be sure to create one that speaks volumes ....every time! Chanel Alexandria About the Writer Chanel-Alexandria, “e R.E.G.A.L Diva” is the President and CEO of Polished to Perfection, a boutique rm dedicated to working with organizations and executives who want to convey excellence with civility, style, and charm…..every time. She is a graduate of the Emily Post business etiquette trainer program and board member of the Association of Image Consultants International – DC Chapter and Image Impact International

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Lifestyles Best Business Wear Practices for Today’s Christian Woman Stylish. Powerful. Christian IYou've heard the sayings, “Dress for the job you want!”, and “When you look good, you feel good!” As Christian women, we want to honor God by being modest in our dress, but it doesn't mean we have to compromise the style. e old adages are true, we do feel and perform better when we feel good about the clothes we are in. e Rules. Heels in the office should be no higher than 3” and not open toed. e hem of a skirt or dress really should be under your knee. e Tips. Plan Ahead. Plan your out t a day ahead. Allowing for the extra time, you can explore all your closet's possibilities. ink Dual Purpose. Choose items in mind with the desire to wear the same out t to church. I have become a tried and true fan of the line, Joe Fresh. Joe Fresh stays up to date with the latest trends and effectively covers all age groups. e line steadily maintains classy chic looks while charging a fraction of the cost. Check out these four Joe Fresh looks that will take you from your 9 to 5 and beyond.

Joe Fresh: Sold at JCPenney Stores or at Bold Print Pencil Skirt- $39, Print Western Silk Shirt - $49, Color Block Shi Dress - $39, Slim Print Pant - $23 Long Sleeve Button Front Shirt - $29, Trench coat - $49

Pencil skirts always up the ante. If you've got one already in your closet, update it with a printed blouse. Shi dresses are great for work and church because of the loose t shape. Add a pair of tights, with layered necklaces and you're good to go. On the days, when you're feeling inspired by menswear, opt for a slim tting pant with a muted print. Add a crisp white button up. You will feel like you're in the Ivy League! Oen times, we forget the outer layer of out ts is just as important. Trench coats are a classic staple that seal the deal. Janita Colbert About the Writer Janita Colbert is a proud Alexandria, VA native and the Lifestyles Editor for Optimal Living Magazine! She is currently residing in Greensboro, NC ful lling her career in both the furniture and fashion industry. A graduate of New York City’s prestigious, Parsons School of Design, Janita has over 10 years experience in fashion consulting, personally shopping and styling clients for events and personal life. A member of Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Washington, DC, Janita has an unwavering faith in the Lord! For tips on where to snag stylish looks for your budget, email Janita at: 26

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Oh Cranberry! - The Wonder Fruit e healthy food revolution has introduced many of us into a new way of thinking and eating. is new organic foods approach to health has many people removing chips, cookies and cakes from their diet and replacing them with apples, bananas and oranges. In the midst of such a wide selection of fruit at the local supermarket there is one fruit that is gaining a strong reputation as a healer—cranberries. is tiny red bitter fruit can yield amazingly sweet results. It is common knowledge that cranberries can assist in the prevention of urinary tract infections but, new research have revealed that cranberries can do a lot more. Cranberries are now under watch and being studied by scientist. ey are nding that the proanthocyanidins (PAC's) found in cranberries act as a barrier to bacteria that can aide in the prevention of UTI's and stomach ulcers. In addition to this researchers are nding that cranberries have anti- cancer bene ts that are extended to cancer of the breast, colon, lungs and prostate. Several of the anti-oxidants in cranberries avonoids have the ability to neutralize streptococcus, which is a bacteria found in the throat and on the skin. Streptococcus is known to cause strep throat, necrotizing fasciitis esh eating bacteria and blood poisoning. WebMD has noted that drinking cranberry juice can increase the amount of salicylic acid in the body which helps to reduce fever, swelling and blood clots. From this fruit the body can also gain liver and cardiovascular protection. is wonder fruit has found a supplemental use into the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome CFS and type 2 Diabetes. In determining what form of cranberry one should include into their diet, supplemental or dietary both forms will deliver a positive change. In addition to the healing capabilities and the anti-oxidant properties, cranberries are loaded with vitamins C, K , E and ber and phosphorous. Anyone looking to improve their dental hygiene, strengthen their bones, prevent bone density loss, activate the body's enzyme's, prevent constipation, clean out their digestive tract, and increase weight loss results should consider adding this tiny tart that yields so many sweet results. So the next time you are in the produce section of the supermarket looking for apples, bananas, and oranges don't forget to add the cranberries in your shopping cart. Even though this fruit is a little bitter it can make your body berry berry happy. Lisa S. DuBois About the Writer Lisa S. DuBois is published author, writer and cosmetology instructor. She resides in Philadelphia PA. She is a member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church and works within the communications ministry. Lisa is the owner of Shear Praise Hair Salon. Her third book—Natural Beauty, Hair, Skin and Nails for the Woman of Color will be released July 2014. /

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Poetic Moments “You Are Next In Line For A Miracle" by Alana B.

I know what you mean sistah. I feel just what you say, Stay in line for your miracle it might just come today. Miracles surely happen, regardless of what others believe, I am living proof of miracles oh yes I am indeed. e line may be long, as may be the wait, Miracles come when you need em', they don't go by date. e line may be crowded because others are waiting too, But don't get discouraged because they won't get the miracle meant for you. Stay right there in line, continue as you are, Regardless of what you do, don't go too far. Remember your space in line, and don't ever be dismayed, Don't give up your place in line, you'll be happy that you stayed. Remember the miracle will come not in your time, but in God's time So whatever you do don't turn away, stay in line! We walk in trust and faith and we are because He lives, Stay in line for your blessing, cause that's what a miracle is!

Ms. Alana B. is a mother, daughter, friend, and, as she describes herself, “inspirational instrument”. Since 2000, this woman of God has self-published two books, Inspire Me Volumes 1 and 2, which were both treasures to her readers. She also took her poetry to another level by enlisting a group of friends and reciting her poetry over sounds of nature. e CD is available through her producer, Romero Wyatt. You can order your CD by emailing Alana is currently working on a third collection of poetry to share with her readers. 28

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e Spices of Life Recipes: Candied Walnut, Pear, and Leafy Green Salad - Lemon Pepper Salmon



·1/3 cup sugar ·2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted ·Cooking spray ·1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided ·2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar ·1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard ·3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ·1 tablespoon capers, chopped ·4 cups torn green leaf lettuce ·4 cups chopped romaine lettuce ·4 cups chopped radicchio ·1 ripe red Anjou pear, thinly sliced ·1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 1 minute). Continue cooking 1 minute or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat; carefully stir in nuts to coat evenly. Spread nuts on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; separate nuts quickly. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside until cool; break into small pieces. 2. Combine vinegar and mustard, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in capers. 3. Combine lettuces and radicchio; top with pear and candied walnuts. Drizzle dressing evenly over salad; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Optimal Living Magazine


e Spices of Life Recipes: Lemon Pepper Salmon

Ingredients: • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil • 4 - 8 oz pieces of salmon llet, skinless • 1 tablespoon lemon-pepper seasoning • Salt • Black Pepper • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter • 2 lemons, halved • 1/3 cup of water

Preparation: 1. Sprinkle both sides of salmon llets generously with lemon pepper seasoning. 2. Heat nonstick skillet on high until it’s HOT. Once it’s hot, put olive oil in the pan, along with


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garlic and shallot, and saute. 3. Put the salmon in the pan and cook on high until about an inch is cooked (look at the side of the llet, probably about 5 minutes depending on the heat of your stove). Flip the salmon, turn the heat down to medium high and cook for 3-5 minutes. You’re going to have to experiment to decide how well done you like your salmon. Take the salmon out of the pan and let it rest. It will continue to cook at bit. 4. Add butter to the pan, let it melt, and then squeezed in the juice of a whole lemon. I poured the butter over the salmon.

A Time of Intercession

Father God in the name Jesus, we come to you thanking you for this day. We li Your name on high and come humbly before Your throne of grace with thanksgiving in our hearts. We ask that you bless, protect, and pour Your favor upon our families, children, spouses, and friends. Father, we pray for divine intervention in all areas of our lives. Where there is sickness, we pray for wellness; where there is brokenness, we pray for wholeness; where there is grief, we pray for Your comfort; where there is loss, we pray for restoration. We pray that Your loving kindness will be felt throughout this land. We pray that lost souls would be restored to You from the east, west, north, and south. Father, we trust You with everything concerning us and thank You that as we speak Your Word, it will not return void. We thank You that wherever we go and whatever we do, Your favor goes with us. e effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much. erefore, we believe we receive what we pray for right now. In Jesus' name, Amen!

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Optimal Living Magazine is the premiere Christian lifestyle magazine encouraging readers to live the most abundant life possible as it relates to their finances, spiritual wellness, purpose, careers, and relationships!


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Optimal Living Magazine 2014 March/April Issue  

Optimal Living Magazine honors 7 Christian Women in Business Who Give Back! Discover ways to properly present yourself through our Career &...

Optimal Living Magazine 2014 March/April Issue  

Optimal Living Magazine honors 7 Christian Women in Business Who Give Back! Discover ways to properly present yourself through our Career &...