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Sheila Kelley


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Courtesy of S Factor

Negotiate a Better Salary Reduce Your Risks

Follow Your Dreams




Editor-in-Chief Katelyn Gendron Copy Editor Jeanne Wroblewski Art Director Leonardo Pilares Director of Photography Denise Smith Columnists Crystal Senter Brown Brenda’s Child Erin Corriveau Katelyn Gendron Kristina Chapell Michelle Perry Higgins Contributing Writers Lamara Hunter Emily Thurlow Jennifer Sawyer

Š2013 Lioness Magazine is the first online magazine geared toward female entrepreneurs. We deliver sharp and compelling information on a variety of topics that are relevant to female entrepreneurs and professionals. Our mission is to elevate, educate and support female professionals. We celebrate the unique challenges and achievements of women in business. We believe women are multi-dimensional creations who flourish, personally and professionally, when they take time to nurture their spirits.

welcome to editor’s letter Katelyn Gendron



It is with great excitement that I welcome you to Lioness Magazine and the first edition of 2013. This particular issue opens its digital binding not solely to the New Year but also a new era in the young history of this great publication as I humbly take the reigns as Editor-in-Chief from Natasha Clark. I first met Natasha in 2007 working in western Massachusetts as a reporter fresh out of college. I was green, although foolishly that wasn’t something I’d ever admit, and in spite of myself, Natasha taught me the importance feminine strength and leadership within the workplace. Her courage to establish this magazine for female entrepreneurs and her unwavering faith in my abilities has helped to mold me into the dedicated writer and passionate editor I am today. Not only has she taught me to “aspire to inspire” but also “to step out of my comfort zone because

that’s how you’ll grow.” Her words are simple, yet powerful, and provide mottos that I plan to live by when leading this publication into the future. It is only fitting that another woman, like Natasha, who is creating her own niche for the empowerment of young women graces our cover this month. Actress Sheila Kelley, a 4th Wave Feminist, has hurdled over traditional gender barriers and created an unconventional ideology that allows Feminine Movement on a stripper pole to build a woman’s confidence and tap into her Erotic Creature. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical when Natasha asked me to interview Sheila but the strength of her convictions and her dedication to the women embracing her ideals was inspiring. Sheila, too, aspires to inspire, and I encourage you all to do the same.




Betty & Coretta debuts next month

Lifetime will celebrate Black History Month in February with an impressive trio of world premiere movies featuring major award-winning casts, including “Betty & Coretta,” starring Golden Globe Award-winner and Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do with It?) and starring and executive produced by nine-time Grammy-winning recording artist Mary J. Blige

Betty & Coretta tells the dual real-life stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Blige), wives respectively of Dr. Martin Luther King (Malik Yoba, New York Undercover) and Malcolm X (Lindsay Owen Pierre, The Killing Yard), as they create an unbreakable life-long bond after their husbands’ tragic assassinations. Kicking off Lifetime’s Black History Month celebration, “Betty & Coretta” will premiere Saturday, February 2, at 8:00pm ET/PT.

(L to R) Angela Bassett (“Coretta Scott King”) and Mary J. Blige (“Betty Shabazz”) star in the Lifetime Original Movie, Betty & Coretta, premiering Saturday, February 2, at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime. Photo by Jan Thijs. Copyright 2012.



– The Lipstick Chronicles –

Chicken Soup

for the Dating Soul… Kristina Chapell is a single gal in her thirties making her way in the world. Passionate, savvy, and stylish; Kristina is a social relationship builder. You can often find her on Facebook and Twitter keeping up with the latest news and always supporting causes she is passionate about such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Link to Libraries, and The Businews Channel.



n past articles I shared some of my interesting dating stories – blind dates from and even my one-night stand recently but this article is dedicated to my friends and their dating experiences; well sort of. This all started around Thanksgiving when I was in Atlanta with my best girlfriends for a “Friendsgiving.” One Sunday afternoon at the bar we were sitting around drinking, eating wings and other bad food, and watching football. “K” was sharing her dating stories inbetween touchdowns. She recently signed up for and was talking about the many guys she has been dating. As usual, or so I feel, the stories were nothing but pure hysteria and we were all laughing. I am not sure why but “A” all of the sudden decided she should join too and before you know it, she had her own dating stories to tell. In fact every time I called her she was on a date – lunchtime, mid-day coffee, and even dinner or drinks. Nothing like getting a lot of free meals! And providing me and the girls with a lot of stories; this was definitely the best part.

“A” told me about the emails. Some liked her upper half and commented because she was well endowed they would make a perfect match. Yeah … And others were similar but there were a few good ones too, or so she thought. Some of the good ones (based on their e-mails) turned out to be interesting instead. Some spent the majority of the time telling her about all of their exes while one or two told her they disliked football and even more so disliked her favorite college football team. That right there did it for “A”, she is a diehard football girl and loves her college team; never tell her you don’t like them. “A” called me one afternoon and said “I have decided to write down all of my dating experiences.” I just started laughing and she said, “I know you do the same, don’t you?” And as we know, I do write it down but she is right to want to write it down. Our dating experiences are funny and entertaining. Yes, some are heartbreaking but most first or second dates are nothing more than crazy and funny. And then it hit me, well not quite hit me but when I was driving home from work one day I had this overwhelming feeling we should start a book and name it Chicken Soup for the Dating Soul. The Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been around for years and we have seen them come in many forms but never one about dating stories; and not the lovey dovey stories but the funny ones about our first or second dates.

We have all, men and women alike, have had those “I can’t believe the date I just went on” moments and wouldn’t it be funny to share them with each other? Instead of curling up on the couch with cocoa in front of the fire place with a love story, why not curl up with a book about the funny dating stories of others? Why long for a good love story when you can laugh your behind off and burn a few calories at the experiences of others? Dating, whether via online or being set-up by friends, colleagues, or even family, is nervewrecking. It can be scary but it can also be lighthearted and funny, if we allow it. Often times we don’t find it funny until we tell our friends about it, and as usual, perspective is everything because this is when we are able laugh at what really happen. With that said, I vote we all started writing down or journaling our dating experiences and hold on to them because one day, “A” and I are going to write Chicken Soup for the Dating Soul and we will need your help. Well, if “A” keeps dating the way she is, she could probably fill the book herself, but I promise we will share and have more than just her stories in there. So my friends I urge you all to go out, date, and write every funny, crazy, and interesting experience down. I will come calling for them soon. ~ xoxo KC



Sheila Kelley Courtesy of S Factor

Sheila Kelley Courtesy of S Factor

‘S Factor’ awakens Erotic Creature within heila Kelley’s journey to reclaim her feminine sexual identity began as many do with a first offense to her young self. She was 7 and innocently sunbathing without a shirt alongside two male friends age 7 and 8, when their mother scolded her for exposing herself. Kelley was called “a naughty little girl” and was forced to return home. The aforementioned offense and others throughout her lifetime led Kelley to an awaking in 1989 while portraying a stripper in the film, “Dancing at the Blue Iguana.” She discovered that the movement of erotic dance and even the pole itself were symbols

of the global “4th Wave Feminist,” allowing her to awaken what she calls her “Erotic Creature” and, in turn, establish her business, the S Factor. “What I found about myself was my own sexuality. It was the most amazing moment because I found a soulful side of myself through movement and when the film [wrapped] I lost that side of myself. So I said, ‘Screw this!’ and I put a pole in my husband’s office in 1999 and our relationship went wow!” Kelley recalled. Erotic dance and the intimacy it provided

Continued on page 13 LIONESS JANUARY 2013


Sheila Kelley Courtesy of S Factor

S Factor awakens Erotic Creature within with her husband, actor Richard Schiff, was just the precursor to a larger revelation, however; Kelley began to gain confidence and combat the emotional ramifications of those previous offenses to her Erotic Creature. She also started to teach her method of Fluid Feminine Movement to other women in her neighborhood, while also sharing her process to cultivate her femininity. “It started with five women in my husband’s office [and has expanded to seven studios throughout the United States],” Kelley recalled. “These women started to release their sexuality in their everyday lives and come in [to class] with some makeup and pumps on and their lives started changing and I realized, ‘I’m really on to something here.’” What Kelley realized was that she was developing “a way of life, not a pole dancing class.” Subsequently, Kelley branded the S Factor – a strip tease inspired workout to help women connect with their feminine power – and

Continued on page 15



The world has to change one woman at a time.” – Kelley

Sheila Kelley Courtesy of S Factor

Kelley’s ultimate goal “is to create a culture of the feminine so that we’re bonded so tight that no one can break us.” – Kelley

S Factor awakens Erotic Creature within

Sheila Kelley Courtesy of S Factor

later opened S Factor studios and penning a book, “The S Factor: Strip Workouts for Every Woman.” Her next book is due for release this year. Kelley was quick to note that celebrity endorsements from Eva Longoria, LeAnn Rimes, Rita Wilson and Apolo Ohno, as well as appearances on “The View,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “20/20” also helped to propel her message to wider audiences. “I am a feminist, proudly a feminist. My field is a new field and the knowledge is huge. I knew I was breaking a rule by putting women on a pole outside of a strip club,” Kelley said, noting that mutual understanding from celebrities and others within the feminist movement have propelled her to grow the S Factor. “The business is a forum for the 4th Wave [of Feminism] to have a voice and I’m not going to stop now. My voice is getting stronger. The world has to change one woman at a time,” she said.

Kelley’s ultimate goal “is to create a culture of the feminine so that we’re bonded so tight that no one can break us.” Her next step, she said, is to continue the S Factor’s “Redefining Sexy: Believe in Your Beauty” campaign with such videos as “Cancer Warrior” and “Is Motherhood Sexy?” These two videos allow real women to explore their sexuality while using Feminine Movement to redefine beauty as cancer survivors and mothers. “When the feminine steps into herself completely and realizes her genius she will elevate every living creature around her. When the masculine men finally stop feeling threatened by the female globally, that’s what the future is. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the 2nd Wave Feminism, without them shattering the false world of the ‘50s. The 3rd Wave of Feminism never [got off the ground] so the 4th Wave of Feminism is going to save the fucking planet!”




Reason for starting I started Divorce 2 Dating because there was nothing out there that would holistically help individuals going through a divorce or bad break-up. Going through a divorce is one of the most devastating events that you can experience. It affects every aspect of your life. I wanted to provide individuals a "safe place" that they could come and find whatever help that they were in need of.

How do you define success? I was married at 18 and divorced by the time I was 33. I had two children and no education. I had to go back to school, support my babies and strive. As hard as it was, I did it. I always knew that I wanted to own my own business and make a difference. What I experienced going through my divorce, and watching other's going through it, motivated me to help. I didn't want anyone to feel that they were alone during this time. Believe it or not, often times you find more understanding and compassion from strangers who have been where you are. To see them help one another is a huge success for me.

Sheila Hall-Blagg is the founder of This month she shares her entrepreneurial story In Her Own Words.

Biggest Success? Making it this far. I have spoken with many individuals who have said that unless I do [a certain thing], I will never make it. I am still here! I may not be where I want to be (yet), but I'm still in the game. The emails that I've received from members thanking me for what we are doing, for helping them move forward, or let go, whatever their situation may be.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Finding a Backer for my company. I have spoken with many who only want to take it from me, but no one that wants to join in with me. I am very passionate about what I am doing. I know the good that it can bring, and that's where I want it to stay. It has been a trying year to say the least! We were featured on America Now as a website to go to. When we found out about that we are so excited.

Who is your most important role model? This is going to sound like such a cliché, but Oprah Winfrey. Our upbringing is somewhat similar with the abuse physically, sexually and mentally. She said she always knew that she would be someone who would make a difference, and she has. I am also dyslexic, so dealing with the normal every day things can be a little more difficult for me, but I refuse to give in, or give up. I get asked how I do it, and I tell them, “I still run the same race as you. I just get to the finish line a little differently.”



After the offer negotiating your way to a better salary

Your job search has finally paid off. After all the networking events, resume re-dos and mock and real interviews, you finally got an offer for the job you wanted. So now what? Do you just take it or do you dare negotiate?

"You should always negotiate a higher salary," says Vanessa Jackson, assistant director of career services at The Illinois Institute of Art Chicago. Jackson adds, "Hiring managers expect this so they do not offer the highest salary in their range."

Be polite. "Say, ‘Thank you very much for this opportunity. I am so excited to join your company.’ Then move into the negotiation," adds Shannon Delecki, assistant director of career services at The Art Institute of Michigan.

But before you ever get that offer, make sure you've done your research caution Jackson and Delecki. "Know the average salaries for the position and for the market," says Delecki. And this isn't a time to be modest about your potential value to the company. "Tell the com-

pany why you are worth more than you are being offered. Show them how you will contribute to the company's profits and help their bottom line," advises Delecki.

How much should you ask for? Jackson recommends anywhere from $3,000 - $5,000 above the company's offer. After thanking your future employer, you should say something like: "but I'm hoping to negotiate a salary closer to $XX."

There are times that companies may not be able to budge on the dollar amount. This could be an opportunity to negotiate other benefits like vacation time. "Ask the company whether they can be more flexible about vacation or PTO days," says Delecki.

And those extra benefits don't end there. Companies sometimes pick up the tab for day care, can offer flex time and even allow employees to work from home on certain days to defray commuting costs. "I've known people who negotiated immediate vesting in the company's 401(k)," observes Jackson. She also

stresses that the higher you are on the food chain the more perks you'll likely be able to negotiate. If you've just scored your first job, your new employer may not accommodate as many requests.

And speaking of requests, make sure yours don't sound like demands. If they do, you could negotiate your way right out of a job. The negotiation is a balancing act. You want a higher salary but you have to remember that you're looking to work with the person on the other end of the negotiation. So be gracious. "That's why it's important to say 'thank you' and 'I was looking for a salary closer to,'" says Jackson.

Finally, make sure you can live with and on your salary. Jackson counsels job seekers, "Know what you need to make to sustain your lifestyle." – BPT



MassMutual named as a 2012 Working Mother 100 Best Company

Working Mother Media has named Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) as a 2012 Working Mother 100 Best Company, and also recognized employee Ellen Rawson , Vice President and Senior Counsel at MassMutual, as one of this year's Working Mothers of the Year for representing the best in working motherhood.

This recognition was followed by an announcement last week by the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), part of the Working Mother network, that Elaine Sarsynski , executive vice president of MassMutual's Retirement Services Division and Chairman and CEO of MassMutual International, was named a Woman of Excellence in International Achievement.

For the 12th year, MassMutual has been named one of Working Mother's Top 100 Best Companies, with 93 percent of employees working flexibly and 32 percent female managers and executives. Working Mother also lauded lawyer Rawson, a mother of two, who in addition to being mother of two schoolaged daughters, was a MassMutual 2012 Leadership Excellence Award winner; Leadership Excellence Award recipients are chosen through a rigorous nomination and selection process and are honored for fostering personal achievement and excellence in employees while inspiring them to achieve the company's business goals.

Sarsynski also was honored by Working Mother Media and NAFE as a Woman of Excellence on an international level for her achievements and accomplishments in her career, the business and her community, helping to improve the dialogues among women across the globe. Sarsynski received her award on

Dec. 13, 2012. Several women at MassMutual in addition to Rawson and Sarsynski have been recognized for their outstanding achievements over the past several months.

"We congratulate all of the women who are receiving these distinguished awards for their exceptional work. This recognition reflects our firm commitment to building a workplace that welcomes and includes diversity in all its forms so that we can better understand and meet the needs of all the markets we serve, as well as attract and retain the best talent," said Roger Crandall , Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MassMutual. "We believe this commitment to diversity and inclusion makes us a better and more innovative company."

Elaine Sarsynski acknowledged as NAFE Woman of Excellence. (Photo courtesy of MassMutual)

Jae Junkunc , Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management: Banker & Tradesman Women of FIRE In recognition that more and more women are rising to the top of the businesses and institutions in the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector, Banker & Tradesman shines a light on their achievements to inspire others. Junkunc was honored for achieving excellence and making a difference through innovation, hard work, teambuilding, philanthropy, mentoring and leadership.

Lorie Valle - Yanez, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer: Uptown Professional Top 100 and Tri-State Diversity Council Women of Power and Influence The editors and publishers of Uptown Professional recognize the top 100 influential executives from innovators, influencers, trailblazers and pioneers across the country. Valle-Yanez was honored for spearheading an enterprisewide diversity strategy and multi-year game plan for MassMutual to drive diversity and inclusion into the corporate culture and operations. Valle-Yanez also was selected by the Tri-State Diversity Council for the third year in a row as a Woman of Power and Influence for her sustained record of accomplishments and contributions to the field of Diversity & Inclusion throughout the scope of her career and exhibiting a commitment to the highest ethical standards and professional excellence.

The following female MassMutual employees have been recognized: Betsy Ward , Chief Enterprise Risk Officer: Diversity Journal's 2012 Women Worth Watching Diversity Journal celebrates the achievements and personalities of leading women executives in its Women Worth Watching速 Issue for their initiative and success. Ward was honored for inclusion in the 2012 issue for her distinguished career in financial services.



How Liability Insurance Reduces Your Risks By James Wilson

There are different kinds of liability insurance. These include Business Liability Insurance, General Liability Insurance, Fleet Insurance, PI Insurance, etc. If you are employing staff for your business it is mandatory by law to cover them against any kind of accident or injury at work. In many instances this may also include self-employed contractors. As an employer it is important that you should have an insurance cover that will pay when the employee gets injured, killed or falls ill when at work. In most nations across the globe Employers Liability Insurance is mandatory by law. Benefits of Employers Liability Insurance

In the event any employee suffers from any injury or dies at work, the employer’s liability insurance will pay the employee’s family. Having such a kind of insurance policy reduces the employer’s risk against huge claims from employees. Not having such a policy is detrimental to your business interests since accidents are quite frequent and despite all the precautions and safety measures, are unavoidable. In the UK, there are many businesses that are still not covered for under the employer’s liability insurance. With raising awareness amongst workers worldwide, this can prove very costly for such businesses.

Arranging for Employers Liability Insurance

Employers Liability Insurance is normally arranged when applying for business insurance. Quite often, many business owners do not realize that business insurance incorporates different types of insurance that is relevant to the business. It may include: Employers Liability Insurance, General Liability Insurance, Building Insurance or Property Insurance and Motor Vehicle Insurance. Cost of Insurance

The cost of any insurance is based on the claims experience of the country and also and the perceived risk. This is normally determined by the insurance companies themselves. Within the same industry, the costs may vary between employees belonging to different categories. For instance, the cost of insurance for those working on scaffoldings and roof tops is higher when compared to painters or fitters. Similarly, the cost of insurance for those working inside an office is lower when compared to those who are working in the field. Finally, the Liability Insurance must cover all the employees in the organization. Some employer’s insurance requires the exact details about the number of permanent and temporary employees.



Setting up a home office that fuels productivity One of the biggest mistakes businesspeople make is assuming that working from home will automatically result in a higher level of productivity. Unless you carefully construct your home office environment, you may find that working from home is less productive than you anticipated.

Staples, the world's largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions, offers the following tips for setting up your home office to help maximize your productivity.

The ideal working environment Home office setup is an exercise in knowing yourself. Before you make any decisions, make a list of the things you need to spur productivity. Some people can work at a desk in a common area of the house with the television running in the background. Others want a closed-door environment where distractions are minimized. For some people, a home office is a place to finish up work from a regular day job. For others, a home office is a primary workspace where they spend eight or more hours of the day. Before you start rearranging the furniture, decide what you need as an absolute minimum to encourage you to use the space as intended.

The right office furniture, equipment and supplies Once you have decided whether you're going to segregate an area of the living room, convert a spare bedroom or set yourself up in the basement or garage, you should start thinking about-home office furniture.-The type of office furniture you pick and the way you organize your space will significantly impact your productivity.

Whatever your preferences are, investing money up front in the style of office furniture that makes you comfortable will naturally lead to greater productivity. At the very least, this ensures that you won't be tempted to relocate to the bedroom instead of working at your desk.



Likewise, an upfront investment in office supplies and equipment will help you get your work done faster and avoid distractions.

The cost of outfitting a home office A basic home office setup can cost you under $500 if you already have a computer that you can relocate to your new space. There are a number functional-office furniture options-that look expensive but are actually quite affordable, especially if you are willing to put the furniture together yourself. A printer and a phone with voicemail can round out a basic home office setup.

A more advanced home office setup would include a fax machine and a photocopier. Fortunately, there are 3-in-1 office machines that combine a-printer, fax and copier all in one-piece of equipment for under $300, saving you money and space. Keep in mind, however, that a machine that does many things often offers fewer features for each specific function. For example, if your work at home requires more than the occasional photocopy, it can be more efficient to buy a dedicated copy machine that has special functionality to handle a heavier workload.

Don't forget to set aside money in your home office budget for office supplies. From paper to paper clips, you will have to buy all of the little things that you took for granted when you worked for an employer.-A home office is sometimes considered the holy grail for people who work. Who wouldn't want a comfortable home oasis where commuting is a foreign concept and the work just gets done? To achieve home office nirvana, make a plan that is specifically designed to meet your individual needs and choose the right home office furniture, equipment and supplies to make your plan a reality. – BPT

EVENT TO BENEFIT WESTERN MASS WOMEN TO TAKE PLACE FEBRUARY 8th Renowned Nutrition and Healthy Living Expert to Give Keynote Address

Springfield, MA – The American Heart Association is proud to announce it will host its fourth annual Western Massachusetts Go Red For Women Luncheon on Friday, February 8, 2013. Over 300 women are expected to attend the luncheon taking place at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.

The benefit luncheon will kick off with registration at 9:30 a.m. followed by educational breakout sessions, inspiring survivor stories and educational keynote speaker, Dr. Ann. Ann G. Kulze, MD is a renowned authority on nutrition, healthy living and disease prevention. Best known as the founder and CEO of the wellness education firm, Just Wellness, Dr. Ann is also the author of several books including her best-selling, award winning Eat Right for Life series. As a family physician, wife, and mother of four, Dr. Ann will bring her one-of-a-kind “real world” nutrition and wellness expertise to the Go Red Luncheon. Today, one in three females in the United States have some form of cardiovascular disease, but only 21% of women view heart disease as a health threat. And although cardiovascular disease claims the lives of more than 460,000 women nationally each year causing almost one death per minute – it is preventable through education and research. The Go Red For Women luncheon is designed to empower women with the information, education and awareness needed to help reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.

Assisting in the corporate and community leadership role of the Go Red Luncheon are TD Bank executives, Maria Goncalves and Ilda Panetta. The co-chairs will provide recruitment for the fund raising event to benefit the western Massachusetts community in this significant initiative. -more-

The Go Red For Women movement challenges women to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. Furthermore, the movement plays a leading role in providing women with the tools they need to lead heart-healthy lives. Since it’s inception in 2004, close to 1.2 million women have signed up for the Go Red For Women Movement and statistics show that 96% of women registered achieved at least one health behavior change.

The Western Massachusetts Go Red For Women Luncheon is locally sponsored by Yankee Candle, TD Bank, Firmenich, Takasago, Peter Pan Bus Lines, First American Insurance, Florence Savings Bank, and MassMutual. Media sponsors include WWLP-TV 22, Mix 93.1, The Republican, El Pueblo Latino, WEIB, The Advocate, Lioness Magazine and Western MA Women Magazine. Go Red For Women is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck.

Women from all walks of life are encouraged to attend the Western Massachusetts Go Red For Women Luncheon and learn how to take charge of their heart health. For more information on sponsorship or to purchase tickets, call Go Red For Women Luncheon Director Traci Heath at 413735-2109 or go to Find out more about the Go Red For Women movement and heart healthy living at or call 1-888-MYHEART. About the American Heart Association The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

About Go Red For Women Go Red For Women is part of the American Heart Association’s solution to help save women’s lives. With one out of three women still dying from heart disease, we are committed to fighting this No. 1 killer, which is largely preventable., a premiere source of information and education, connects millions of women of all ages and gives them tangible resources to turn personal choices into lifesaving actions. We encourage women and the men who love them to embrace the cause. For more information, please visit or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278). The movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s and Merck & Co., Inc.



Tuxedo Blazer/Bebe Nautical long-hem top/Forever 21 Gold & Coral Cuff/Macy’s Ring/Banana Republic Over-Sized Clutch/Gucci Ankle Skinny Jeans/Old Navy Wedges/Nine West

Ahead Meet Tanesha Awasthi, a girl with curves. Tanesha has been inspiring

women to put their best foot forward since she launched her blog of the

same name. This month the beauty

takes us on a fashion tour of some of her best daytime looks.



curves ahead

Blouse: Thrifted Belt: Thrifted Clutch: Vintage Louis Vuitton Skirt: Forever 21 Peep Toe Wedges: Steve Madden

Floral dress (worn as skirt): Forever 21 Top: BCBG Ring: Forever 21 Bangles: Street Vendor, New Delhi, India Belt: Banana Republic Handbag: Michael Kors Peep Toe Pumps: Glint via Nordstrom



curves ahead

Open Front Cardi-Blazer: Forever 21 Turtle Neck: Banana Republic Necklace: Vintage, Thrifted Black Stone Ring: Aldo Watch: Michael Kors Handbag: Michael Kors Belt: Express Cropped Trousers: Vintage, Thrifted Embellished Flats: Sam Edelman

Top: BCBG Bangles: Flea Market Find Brown Stone Ring: Forever 21 Clutch: Gucci Midi Length Skirt: Forever 21 T-Strap Heels: Nine West



curves ahead

Evan Picone Dress thanks to Burlington Coat Factory / Thrifted Shawl / Antique Earrings / Gloves thanks to Burlington Coat Factory / Tights thanks to Burlington Coat Factory / Enzo Angiolini Pumps via Nordstrom

Hat & Scarf thanks to Nine West / Target Cardigan / H&M Belt / Antique & Forever 21 Rings / Michael Kors Bag / 7 for all Mankind Skinnies via TJ Maxx / Sam Edelman Booties via Nordstrom

Jacket thanks to Marina Rinaldi, Zara Blouse, Earrings thanks to By Boe, BCBG Bag, Forever 21+ Skinnies, Sam Edelman Pumps, MAC Lippy in ‘Rebel’

From Girl Scouts to Senators? Majority of female senators were Scouts

On a historic day for the nation and the Girl Scouts of the USA, five new women were inaugurated into the United States Senate on January 3, bringing the total number of female senators to 20, the largest proportion in history. Of the 20 women now serving in the Senate, 14, or 70 percent, are Girl Scout alumnae.

Anna Maria Chavez

Anna Maria Chavez, the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA, said, "For 100 years, Girl Scouts has been at the forefront of creating positive social change for girls, developing young women of courage and character who are today advancing into leadership roles in our society. Through Girl Scouting these women learned that there was nothing they couldn't accomplish through hard work, commitment and dedication. Today, 14 of our alumnae have entered one of the most powerful legislative bodies in the world, clearly demonstrating that the core principles on which Girl Scouting was founded are alive and well in the 21st Century. We are seeing the impact that Girl Scouting can have in the life of a young woman. I am so proud of our alumnae today, and look forward to the great things they will accomplish as national leaders and role models in the United States Senate."

– Money with Michelle –

Four New Year’s resolutions you can’t afford not to keep

Financial expert Michelle Perry Higgins says that when it comes to personal finance, we can make New Year’s resolutions that actually stick. “The problem with keeping them is that it’s easy to fall back into familiar patterns,” she says. “Finance is the lifeblood of the household, so I advise strategies that I know my clients can easily achieve.” Higgins shares her top four New Year’s resolutions that she believes nearly everyone can accomplish.

1. Become a Smarter Shopper. “Before you go to the supermarket or the big-box store, make a list of what you need and only buy those things,” Ms. Higgins says. By sticking to your list, she says you can avoid purchasing things that waste money. “You’ll be amazed how much you’ll save.” She also says to be wary of certain coupon offers. “It’s only a bargain if you already use the item in the coupon.” 2. Start a Rainy Day Fund. Ms. Higgins has a simple solution for putting money aside for unforeseen circumstances. “Most banks have the ability to take a fixed percentage of your direct deposit and allocate that to a savings account. You probably won’t miss a 5% deduction, but it will pile up quickly.” She recommends that the account not be linked to your regular checking account and that you do not get an ATM card issued. “It will grow faster if you don’t have easy access to it,” she says. 3. Contribute to a Retirement Savings Plan. If you’re not already enrolled in some type of retirement plan, Ms. Higgins strongly advises you do so. “You may be missing out on matching funds from your employer,” she says. “That’s like leaving money on the table. Find out how much your company will match if you contribute to your retirement saving plan, such as a 401(k) plan.” She advises saving at least the percentage that your employer matches. 4. Enhance Your Financial Knowledge. According to Ms. Higgins, taking a few minutes each day to read the financial section of the newspaper could change your money outlook for the better. “A little exposure to the financial world can yield big dividends,” she says. With the wealth of information available on the Internet, she says that the task is even easier. “The better understanding you have about the financial world, the more control you will have over improving your own outcomes.” Ms. Higgins says that you can’t get where you want to be if you don’t know where you’re going. “It’s important to sit down at least twice a year to review your goals and measure how far you have come.” Most importantly, she cautions to not be overwhelmed by your finances. “Take baby steps to move in the right direction.” Do you have a financial question for Michelle? Submit it at

Michelle Perry Higgins is a financial planner and principal of California Financial Advisors in San Ramon, California. Higgins specializes in wealth management, and has built a successful practice advising executive professionals into retirement. Her passion for financial management has helped hundreds of individuals better understand investing and financial planning. For more information please visit



Open yourself to pursuing your dreams By Adebola A. Oni

I have seen and heard a lot of people giving excuses for their inability to act out their dreams. The truth of the matter is that there is hardly anybody existing on this earth that does not have a dream or an object of desire. But the unfortunate thing is that the majority put up reasons why they can’t or won’t live their dreams.

When a dream comes to our mind, the first thing we do is ask ourselves where the resources to achieve the dream will come from. Some people even doubt if they have the abilities to carry out such a dream. Another crippling question most ask is, “What if I fail?” This is the most debilitating of all the reasons people don’t achieve much in life. They tend to focus more on the impeding failure than success! Once this question comes to mind, you will start thinking of people who will



mock you when you fail and this will stop you from even taking a step.

How many times have we heard the words, “No pain, No gain?” It is always frightening to take risks and try new things but those who try are those who succeed. If the Wright brothers had been crippled by the fear of failure, we would not have had the airplane today. Other technological advancements also wouldn’t have been possible if the thought of failure had dominated the mind of their architects.

One truth about failures/mistakes is that we will keep making them as long as we are still humans. Your decision not to act is a greater mistake because you never can tell what you would have become if you had acted on your dreams. Mistakes make one grow in wisdom, experience and character. In order words, you will become wiser for just having tried.

Rick Warren, the author of “Purpose Driven Life,” writes, “I could have taken a hundred gift and ability tests as a young man and would never have discovered that I was gifted at teaching, because I had never done it! It was only after I began accepting opportunities to speak that I saw the results, received confirmation from others and realized God has gifted me to do this.” So anytime a dream comes to your mind, instead of asking what if you fail, the question should be: “What if I don’t try?” Will you be able to imagine all the opportunities you will lose? Unless you are willing to risk getting involved, you are not going to know what you are good at.

The road to success is never mistake-free, but then neither is the road to failure. The choice is yours.

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