PRE TTY WOMEN
HUSTLE FEBRUARY 2021 ISSUE
THE LOVE ISSUE
5 WAYS TO KEEP THE LOVE IN YOUR MARRIAGE
SISTERHOOD GOALS IN HOLLYWOOD
SELF REFLECTION LEADS TO SELF LOVE
CARLA R. CANNON Activator, Cultivator, Catalyst and Trailblazer
MEET THE BUCKNERS PWH Power Couple
13 40 76
EMPOWERED LOVE Staying empowered during a relationship
MEN WHO HUSTLE The story of a survivor
SOUNDTRACK OF LOVE Tunes to set the mood this Valentine's Day
PWH FEATURE: Carla R. Cannon, The Trailblazer!
Author Contact Mrsotukwu@gmail.com IG: @Tammieo55 Publisher Contact Timbond@truevinepublishing.org
Retired Sergeant First Class Author’s Book; Addresses Challenges, Struggles, and Mental Health in the Military
Tammie L. Otukwu, a native resident of Nashville, TN, is a U.S. Army Retiree, Life Coach, Wife, Mother, and Grandmother. She has never met a challenge that she has not conquered, and now she has written a book to inspire others to do the same. Otukwu’s book, War After the Military, chronicles her life story of overcoming homelessness, disability, and rising through the ranks of the U.S. Army as an African-American woman. The book will bring readers laughter, tears, as well as comfort in knowing that no matter what challenges they face in life, they can always overcome them with faith and determination. According to Otukwu, “my life is proof that you can achieve anything if you never give up.” War After the Military was published in early 2020 and is available for purchase on the author’s website www.TamieOtukwu.com and through all eBook distributors.
SELFREFLECTION LEADS TO SELF-LOVE Whiskey Girl Following Whiskey Girl has allowed me to discover a multitude of things about myself. I had the opportunity to sit and chat with her previously when the world was open. This woman has the ability to make you reflect and see parts of yourself that you would miss if you did not know where to look. Because February is a month dedicated to love, I wanted to share one of the things I turn to when I take the time to truly exercise self-care and build self-love. I introduce you to Whiskey Girl. She is sharing self-love tips and also a beautiful letter for self-love. Awakening Self-Love with A Letter The main obstacle on the path toward self-love is SELF. Our interdependence, co-dependence, loneliness, and unhealed traumas have molded us into the people we are today who seek love and validation from the opinions and acceptance of others. While external validation is important, internal validation is the soil out of which self-love grows. When we experience the rejection of others, we sometimes tend to ruminate insecurities or mistakes that may have led to the rejection. A few less than desirable qualities or personality traits may scare someone out of our lives, but it should never scare us away from ourselves. Peace with self and love of self does not come from the fickle opinions and emotions of others. It comes from the ability to sit with the deepest ugly while vowing to continue loving anyway. Self-love is the passionate love letter we write ourselves in our heads and starts with selfcompassion. Despite your flaws, it is your duty to love yourself.
BY CHANDRA GORE
Journaling Exercise : Write down a list of your insecurities and less than desirable personality traits. Next, write a love letter to yourself, expressing all the ways you plan to love and nurture yourself into healing IN SPITE of those flaws. It is time for us to start speaking to ourselves the way we would to our dearest loved ones. The same love and passion we pour into romantic relationships we should pour into ourselves! We all want to fix ourselves and change and grow; none of us are perfect. It is important to remember that imperfection does not make us unworthy of love. Love of self lies dormant in our hearts; we simply have to awaken it. The journey starts with selfcompassion for flaws, shame, and past mistakes and speaking love into our own ears.
See the next page for my self-love letter: About Whiskey Girl Whiskey Girl is a Washington, DC-based writer/poet, mental health advocate, creative brand consultant, and single mother of 2 with a full-time professional career in the mental health field. More than a drink of choice and ratchet alter ego, the Whiskey Girl persona represents survival and is a metaphor for the many adults who defer to unhealthy coping mechanisms to battle their depression and traumas. Healing is not pretty, and by embracing the ugly darkness of hard truth in writing and performance, Whiskey strives to be a light to remind others that the only way around pain is through. For more healing content, follow Whiskey Girl on social media or visit: Whiskeyandpoetry.com |wgbnetwork.com| Patreon.com/WhiskeyGirlDC
You are going to waste away forever waiting on them to love you Waiting on them to appreciate what it is that you have to offerThey are going to scoff at your transparency Laugh at your sensitivities They are going to want what they want, and they do not want you They want uncomplicated, not unhinged They want sexy and coy someone worth it to chase after Not you, not your basket full of damage and disaster Baby girl They do not want you But I do... Come out here to me, bring me your broken and your bitter You don’t have to whisper of your worth I’m sold. I am your highest bidder I am invested in your flaws. I forgive all of your mistakes I am the one thanking God that He made you this way I have your poster on my wall. I am so much more than your biggest fan I’ve lost my voice from countless times cheering you on from the stands I wear your jersey. Your smile is tattooed on my chest I vow to be the one to always love you best you are enough for me Imperfectly complete I love you a million times as wide as the gap in between your crooked teeth Multiplied by the count of every single stretch mark Add in every stupid decision + every unnecessary broken heart The math would still not equal the amount of air that fills my lungs when I see you I breathe you. You are life to me I want to prop a mirror up, watch with eyes wide open as you sleep I want to move inside each of your steps, fall in sync with you I am madly in love with you I am finally ready to shout it to the rooftops You know that pain you’ve been surviving with I can make it stop I want you and all the blemishes on your skinI want you outside of those jeans you can’t quite get your hips to fit in I want you after days without a shower, no deodorant I want you even when you are exhausted and spent Beaten down by life, distracted by sex and drugs You never have to fret or worry that you are unworthy of love When they reject you and ridicule all that you are Remember you forever reside in my sky, the shiniest of all the stars You are the sun, plus the moon and all of the fucking planets I couldn’t have made a better you even if I planned it You are more than everything; you are my enough And there’s nothing you can do to mess this up Baby, I got you, so relax Live your life abundantly I am the only person in this world who has the power to truly set you free And I love you unconditionally Sincerely, Me
Proverbial Wisdom LET YOUR WORDS SPEAK
MEET THE BUCKNERS PWHPOWER COUPLE WRITTEN BY L RENEE CHUBB
The pandemic has definitely been a challenge for relationships in general during the pandemic. While love was in the air, so were businesses, especially those run by power couples. For 23-year career cosmetologist Kweli Buckner and her husband Ben, brand specialist and marketing ninja, running a business together in the middle of a pandemic takes a special type of mindset and relationship. While for some of us, the thought of being quarantined at home with our bae brought extra excitement for a normal routine of flix and chill. However, for others who live and work together, it can be a challenge. Whether you have been married for a decade or just moved in together, it is extremely easy to get swept up in the chaos of it all. Add kids in the mix, and we’re talking DefCon level toxicity. But does it have to be?
The Buckers knew that when the orders were handed down in Ohio, they had to quickly act to keep their bond intact without losing their individuality. It’s quite hard when there’s literally nowhere to “run.” It was a pleasure to sit down with this couple making history and boss moves in Columbus, Ohio, and hear how they have been preparing for their second Valentine’s Day in quarantine.
Q: Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me today, Buckers. I don’t want to waste any time. Let’s get right into it. What do you define as a power couple?
A: I think the term is a bit convoluted. When you think of power couples, most people’s mind immediately goes to Beyonce and Jay-Z or Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes at the height of their relationship. The little guys don’t often get that accolade. First, let me start by commending you for making this about an average couple trying to make it while maintaining their integrity. That’s the foundation of any power couple. I define a power couple as not necessarily one joined by marriage, but one in which all respect, admiration, teamwork, and encouragement exists. You fight equally hard, and you play equally harder. Push one another to be better, and embrace what is not perfect. That’s my definition of a power couple. Q: How have you managed to keep the love alive during quarantine? A: We have definitely had to be creative, that’s for sure! We found out that it was really the simple things that kept us happiest and mentally stimulated. When we tried to do something “extra,” it just wasn’t the same as doing it in a normal setting. Instead of trying to do Facebook lives on a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace, we opted to sit with no technology on and read to each other. When the kids are around, while not exactly R rated, we have fun as a family. One of the things that Ben and I love to do is cook together. I’m the Master Chef, and he’s the Sous Chef with the knife skills. Don’t let him convince you otherwise! Q: I know that Ben is a brand specialist, and you are a licensed cosmetologist. How in the world do you two work together, and how long have you been doing it?
A: It’s actually a pretty funny but short story. Ben has always been my rock and my fiercest supporter and cheerleader. A couple of years ago, as things started happening for me in my salon career, Ben found himself as a brand strategist, helping me in his official capacity more than I was. He was so good at his job. It was just a natural progression for him to do so, and it helps that he loves his wife! Since then, he’s managed all of my branding and marketing, and we’ve been in business together for two years with much success. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Q: How does your working together help you complement each other in different areas of your life? A: The transition was pretty seamless since we had been friends for more than ten years before deciding to pursue a relationship. Our natural-born hustler spirits were magnetically drawn to each other. We realized we were both literally the other person. We complement each other in all areas of our life. I’m the visionary and worker bee, and my wife is the executor. We’re unstoppable! Q: What are the habits that you two feel power couples need to possess? A: Always be willing to look yourself in the mirror. Self-evaluating is the ultimate foundation that can help break down communication barriers and allow for more open dialogue. It’s so much easier to approach your partner with an issue or concern you know they might not want to hear when you know they are going to keep a level head about it merely because they know you and the place you are coming from is of good intentions. The best piece of advice I can tell you to flat out ignore is this. Yes! ALWAYS be willing to reinvent the wheel. If you notice something is not working, change it. Try something else. Eventually, you will figure out what works for your relationship. The key is to communicate and not give up. Q: Ben, what are the seven most important things in a relationship? A: God, love, make time for and be present during communication, discussion of expectations, and compromise. Remember to continue to go on dates and be intentional about intimacy. It’s easy to get in the habit of not doing something just as easy as it is to get in the habit of doing it.
Q: Kweli, what do power couples do differently than everyone else? A: Power couples make room for each other to flourish in their purposes in life with trust, support, and love. There’s no jealousy. There’s no worry of infidelity. There’s no competition. It’s just healthy love and support. Q: Has quarantine affected your business in any way? A: Quarantine has definitely affected business for Kweli due to spacing in the salon and having to service one client at a time. It doesn’t leave room for utilizing time wisely. The facility she houses her business in doesn’t allow walk-ins, so her employees attempting to build clientele have struggled, causing them to reevaluate their careers. Ben has been impacted due to client sales slowing down based on lack of business revenue. It’s been rough, but we are hopeful for the future, and we aren’t quitters. We’ve come too far to turn back now. Q: On a positive note, tell me what your favorite quotes of all time are? A: Ben’s favorite quote is, “If it is to be, then it’s up to me,” stated by former city council Ben Espy. Mine happens to be, “No one makes it to the top without having served first,” whose source is unknown. Q: As we close up this pre-Valentine’s Day interview special, what advice do you have for couples who want to achieve power status? A: Be able to recognize each other’s greatness as well as each other’s faults and figure out how to complement each other so that both of you are strong at all times. Always have each other’s back, keep your business off social media and grind like it’s nobody’s business. A power couple is formed when two people with the same common goals, beliefs, work, and life ethic come together and empower and embrace each other. A significant part of that is also how the rest of us see them. Bring out the best in each other, preserve some sense of mystery, and collaborate and communicate well. The rest will follow and develop with time, patience and consistency. As I mentioned in the beginning, power couple status is mostly determined by public perception. We all know that unless the internet says you’ve made it, it’s not true! (Wink) Until next time Pretty Hustlers!
Bloodmates BY AUTHORJaden
WHAT ROLE CAN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS PLAY IN PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS? WRITTEN BY BONNIE JEAN ALFORD Over the years, I have had many friends tell me they couldn’t hire me because I was their friend, and they keep personal separate from business. This attitude bothered me greatly and ultimately put a wedge between us. It isn’t that I have a problem with not being hired; it was the reason. If someone said that another proposal was better priced or a better fit for their needs, then fine, don’t hire me. I would want them to do what is best for them and their business. To not hire me simply because we are friends, however, communicates a different message altogether. You see, my business and my personal self are intertwined. They have to be; I don’t walk into my home office, a Zoom meeting, or a coffee shop gathering leaving a part of me behind. I step into the moment as the whole of me, not just a business part. I bring with me all the strengths and weaknesses that make me who I am meant to be, not who others would have me be. I carry my insecurities and struggles and dreams and hopes and skills and so much more, just like everyone else. The people I do business with, the people I trust with my personal existence, should have overlap. In fact, some of my best clients are my dearest friends – or we become that. No matter the type of relationship with another person, there should be trust. If you are my friend and couldn’t trust me with business because we are friends, then you must not trust me very much as your friend. All relationships at their core should have some kind of trust. Yes, of course, this shifts with the type of relationship, and it grows over time. While I trust others until they give me a reason not to, deep trust has always been difficult due to my personal background, which is why, for me, business is personal .
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Happy New Year! Many blessings to come. #beYOU #beBOLD #beBEAUTIFUL #beyourBRAND
Ask The Identity Guru TM Bonniejean Alford answers questions related to branding, identity, and professional success. Send questions to email@example.com
Latasha Wesley Presents
Are you a Christian African-American Woman
She Is Strong Chronicles Of A Praying Woman
whose life has been impacted by the power of
prayer? Here's the opportunity to share your story
in this powerful anthology centered around faith, deliverance and overcoming! There has never been a greater time than right now to renew your strength. Are you ready to make an impact? Currently Seeking Co-Authors: She Is Strong-The Book (latashawesley.com)
Staying Empowered During a by LR Wilson
February...the month of love! Many of us look forward to February 14 th , also known as Valentine's Day! Why do we look forward to this day? Well, we know that most of us look forward to receiving gifts from our significant others to showcase their love for us on this day. With that said, we must stay empowered in our relationships! Yes, please give and receive gifts if you so desire. However, the key is not to lose yourself and your independence while in a relationship. Keep loving yourself and pampering yourself. Allow yourself to feel all that you deserve from within. Once you're able to do this, you will have mastered empowerment within your relationship. There is nothing more gratifying and empowering than loving YOU, SIS! Happy Valentine's Day to YOU!
Shante’ is your average around the way girl from Atlanta, Georgia, with a big heart and even bigger secrets. In this fiery,
passionate piece of art, you will savor in the light and darkness of love, lies, scandal, and the many ways it affects the heart, hell even your brain at times. Women, as you read this, you will empathize with the frank and unapologetic grapple of an imperfect woman. You’ll also witness a damaged adolescent battle between what she knows to be right and what feels oh so good to her soul. So open up and indulge Will Shante’ come out of this struggle with the one her heart can’t beat without or is practical always best?
Victoria Goodwin AUTHOR
SAVING YOURSELF By Rosie Basquin
The culture of sex often falters the idea of saving yourself, and being sexually promiscuous is the new “it” thing to do. Society deems sex as a form of liberation and self-discovery. However, questions such as “how will you know what you like or what you don’t like?” or “how will you experience true pleasure if you have never been with anyone else?” undermines one’s decision to remain abstinent. The long noted law of sex being a sacred act between only nuptials has since been replaced with snares and upward noses, deeming virgins or celibate individuals as prude. Choosing abstinence is more of an inconvenience or silly mindset than a sacred spiritual vow for personal reasons, which tests one’s self-discipline and strong will.
Deciding to save yourself for marriage or begin celibacy in a sexually driven culture requires much endurance and self-regard, and it can truly test one’s faith and the very vow made to oneself. However, there is mastery and beauty in saving oneself. You have mastered the flesh and lustful desires in order to stay grounded and truly connect within. Connect with oneself and with others before letting them enter your sacred garden, unlocking all the doors to their guarded heart before allowing the flood gates to open and unleashing the beast.
Sex is normal, sex is great, sex is necessary, but sex is also just that, sex. There is so much more to offer in a human connection, but these days it has been relinquished down to just a simple act that “means nothing.” Sex means everything! It is not some simple act, like going to the grocery store or enjoying a walk down the street.
It transfers energies and connects on a deeper soul level. Itâ€™s letting that person enter parts of you hidden from the rest of the world. Whether you decide to share that gift with the world or hold it close is a personal decision, but it is a decision that should be made with intent and purpose. To those who have embarked on the journey of saving yourself or decided to make that choice, you are choosing that path for the long haul. It is not a short sprint, a choice to be made with haste; it must be deliberate and well thought out. It will take you on a marathon of loops and whorls, highs and lows, good and bad. You will be tested, you will be challenged, but you will stand in your truth. It is easy to grow weary, but do not stop to drink poison just because you are thirsty. You can and will succeed. Choosing abstinence allows for in-depth exploration of oneâ€™s mind between two individuals, and that is where true intimacy begins. Pouring into oneâ€™s soul and planting seeds of trust, desires, and dreams allow for a strong foundation that will grow and produce much fruit to provide sustenance to last a lifetime. Although the journey may be trying at times, the very end is rewarding. Do not let go of the hope that your day will come when you can share that moment with someone. Patience is a virtue, and you can truly understand your partner by waiting to get into the physical stuff and focus on building genuine friendship. Enjoy a platonic relationship, for when the troubles come, and the winds start to roar, your planted tree will be able to withstand the rain.
Khadijah Lockhart Resume & Cover Letter Advisor
LEVELS TO THIS By Jacquelyn Randle
"playing field is more of a maze than a straight shot to the finish line..."
any have asked how the dating scene is, and collectively, it’s a tossup. Between the addition of countless dating apps, safety precautions being at an all-time high, and a shift in beliefs about how to date and how it works now, the playing field is more of a maze than a straight shot to the finish line, so simply put “it’s complicated.” Traditionally, women (well, girls) are taught to date one man at a time in the hopes of that being your “happily ever after” moment. If it works, then it works, and if it doesn’t, then you start the process over after whatever healing is needed. Many single women are currently adopting the method of dating multiple men and may the best suitor win.
I can say that I’ve done both with the bulk of my dating history being serious relationships lasting for years, but it’s been far from perfect. It’s more like the below cycle: 1. Meet someone and hit it off 2. Make it official 3. Years later, it comes to an end for whatever reason 4. Healing and growth 5. Choosing to date and finally jumping back on the scene. Many reflection sessions later, I’ve been able to pull the lessons out of each serious relationship and apply them to my overall dating life. I’ve watched both my male and female friends navigate the dating world and taken note.
This brings me to the more modern idea of dating multiple people at a time. Now, this is a two-for-one thing because the “dating levels” are heavily applied and need to be made clear when you are operating with someone. First, there is “just talking.” This is the scoping-things-out stage and feels more like the friend zone. There are simple dates, flirting, and maybe sex if the vibe is there. This is where you are deciphering if they are worth your time and energy in a serious manner.
Second comes “dating.” Wait, wasn’t that what we were doing? No, not at all. These dates are more intimate and frequent, but there may still be other players on the board. (Confusing, I know, right?)This is why clarity is super important throughout the entire process. Third, we have “dating exclusively.” This is where all the other players on the board have been cut off, and it is just you and that one person. Are you a couple yet? Not at all. You guys are only giving each other your full attention to see if it’s worth the investment. Finally, we have a “relationship.” Now all the other players have been removed, and it’s clear what you are working towards together. Agreements are on the table regarding how the relationship will operate and what each other’s expectations are. Now you can skip step three and jump right to four but may miss some key information. I can say that I do miss the older version of dating. It was much easier to navigate, but I appreciate the clarity and slower pace of the modern method. In a world where everything seems so fast, the one thing you or I don’t want to rush is a relationship. Am I saying drag it out for years with someone? Of course not. But do take your time to get to know a person. Realizing that every man you date isn’t going to be Prince Charming and operate as such is necessary, though. All in all, do what’s best for you but know that there are levels to dating now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jacquelyn Randle FB@CEReflectionsInc IG@ce_reflectionsinc
e l b a l i a v N ow A
Brandon Sims has it all. The brain that produces million-dollar ideas, the charming personality to get what he wants, and the looks to seduce any willing bachelorette. According to his mother, the only thing that’s missing is a wife and kids, and the more time he spends with his personal assistant, Calliope, the more he agrees with her. Calliope represents everything he wants in a woman – educated, ambitious, and so damn sexy. The easiest thing for him to do would be to marry the woman of his dreams, but the hard part is convincing Calliope to cross the solid boundaries she’s set up to see that she is that woman. Calliope Matthews has given ten years of her life to Brandon as his personal assistant and never once expressed her true feelings for the man who’s the hottest thing in her city. Together, they make a formidable team in the business world, and Calliope knows they could be just as impressive in other positions, but she isn’t interested in becoming another notch on the infamous playboy’s belt. Now, after a string of bad dates and on the cusp of making a crucial reproductive decision, she’s considering the cost of telling him everything and changing their relationship from professional to personal. Books are available for purchase at www.pennedbylove.com
SISTERHOOD GOALS IN HOLLYWOOD WITH TISHA CAMPBELL AND TICHINA ARNOLD By C. Scott
Tisha and Tichina on stage at the 2020 Soul Train Awards (Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.)
he 2020 Soul Train Awards aired this past November. The show was phenomenally produced with musical acts, star power, previews of upcoming cinematic features, and more. The star-studded awards show featured H.E.R., Monica, Brandy, Babyface, Lucky Daye, Jazmine Sullivan, Cee-Lo Green, and many more. This event was hosted by the famous friendship duo of Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold, and it was the sisterhood goals for me! The coined Black Girl Magic on display between Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold was admirable. The long-time friend duo was better than ever. Their heartfelt and comedic presence among one another was motivating to see on the screen.
Despite having careers in Hollywood and even auditioning for similar roles, the two built a friendship that has lasted over the years. They encouraged one another along the way and helped to guide each other into their careers. It’s pleasing to see two talented women in their own right in a world full of competition. They mirror true squad goals in real life and on-screen. It’s a huge motivating factor to see women breaking the glass ceiling and pushing past stereotypes. With ongoing reality show beef between women in power, we must visualize healthy friendships. No cattiness. No backstabbing. No rumors. It’s pure friendship. The duo is securing the bag not only separately but collectively. They are displaying pure boss moves.
The two are the definition of Pretty Women Hustling. Over the years, I’ve gained insight into what healthy friendships could be and how Pretty Women can truly Hustle together. I’ve narrowed it down to three simple rules: Be Authentic. If you’re true to yourself, then your friendship will also follow to flourish. Be Patient. You can’t meet someone today and expect to have strong chemistry like Tichina and Tisha. Real bonds build over time, so be patient. Be Supportive. Whether it’s a listening ear to support with career advice, home life, or parenting, be the support that you wish to receive. Help each other secure the bag to fulfill your goals.
Although there are only three, they are the most powerful items to focus on in friendships. Not every person is similar in friendships, but if you have foundational aspects to build from, then an airtight bond can prosper. There’s a “Tisha” out there for every “Tichina,” and we should embrace that positive bond for ourselves. An old African proverb states, “Hold a true friend with both hands.” No truer statement! Cherish the bonds, memories, advice, fun times, and more as you do life with your friends. You can achieve a bond in friendship in real life like the Hollywood duo of Tisha and Tichina while you showcase that Pretty Women can Hustle in Sisterhood.
(Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.)
STAY In &
GET AWAY Written by: LR Wilson
5 THINGS COUPLES CAN DO TO STAY SAFE AT HOME... AND HAVE FUN
We're all just kind of fed up with quarantining, social distancing, wearing masks, forced teaching modules, and everything in-between as it pertains to the "new norm." Although many changes came about during COVID, one thing that has not changed is spending quality time with your significant other. Yes, I understand that you may have been quarantining together already, and you're over it, but I'm here to give you 5 Things Couples Can Do To Stay Safe At Home and have fun!
1) Plan a meal and get in the kitchen together to cook it! This can be challenging but also rewarding. You get to spend this time together, enjoying each other, and the best thing ever is the food that was made with love! 2) Plan a movie night. These are always fun! Theaters are closed right now, so you're saving money, and you get to make all your own movie treats. Hit up Dollar Tree for the best movie candy boxes! Pop some popcorn, make some nachos, and yes, adult beverage me, please! 3) Spa Night is another big hit! Take turns with your significant other doing facials and massages. Yes, guys do facials too! Massages are the bomb! Get a nice eucalyptus body oil for the massage, and it's on! 4) Game Night! Pull out the games and get a competition going. Prizes must be part of this as well. Throw in a 10 minute back, foot, or neck massage for the winner. You're going to love where this leads to! 5) Karaoke Night ! For all my singers and non-singers, this is a hilarious way to get your five minutes of fame! Bust out your favorite jams and sing loud and proud. Go all out and blast your music from a portable speaker if you don't have a Karaoke machine. Where there's a will, there's a way to party! There you have it! "Stay In and Getaway" tips for couples to stay safe at home during the pandemic.
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Quarantine Edition Written by: J. Robinson
TOP 5 DATE NIGHT IDEAS FOR VALENTINEâ€™S NIGHT DURING A PANDEMIC
Valentineâ€™s Day is one of the most celebrated holidays for couples. A special day to go all out and treat your boo thang. Normally, you would go out and splurge on flowers, candy, and gifts. On the other hand, you may splurge on yourself and find the sexiest dress, lingerie, or other tantalizing wear for the evening. Unfortunately, all that has changed thanks to the rage of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we can still do a bit of celebrating with our Boo thangs, quarantine style. I have researched online and asked around for the best quarantine date nights ideas. Grab a pen and take notes. You may find something that fits you.
1.Cook Together I know, cooking may not have been on the top of your list, but you gotta eat right? Instead of ordering in, why not choose a recipe for a dish you have never had before and tackle it…together. Take your time shopping for the food, find a nice wine, and play some music while working together to make this wonderful meal. While the food is cooking, get dressed in your sexiest attire, make sure the table is set for two, and add a few candles to set the mood. Cooking together does a few things: opens communication, allows you to bond and work as a team, and allows you both to experience something new together. 2. Private party for 2 Turn your bedroom into a private strip club. Turn the lights down, play some sexy grooves to set the mood, light a few candles and allow the music to take over. Note: It is a good idea to come up with some sort of routine ahead of time. This way, you won’t get “stage fright” and end up NOT following through. With the help of YouTube, you can find a few dance moves to fit your mood. Also, if you still get butterflies when your boo is around, you will definitely get a little nervous. To work around that, come up with a theme or an alter-ego for the evening. Find a sexy outfit that fits your theme, such as a sexy nurse, sexy school teacher, dominatrix, etc. Go all out and play that role. Make sure your music, outfit, and ambiance all match for your private party. 3. Play a Game No, I’m not talking about video or board games. Well, not regular board games. I’m talking about a sexy scavenger hunt or an adult-themed game that will really get you in the mood. There are an array of games available for adults. Many require drinks, whip cream, and your sexy imagination. However, make sure the kids are either asleep or out of the house so the two of you can really enjoy this sexy bonding time. Here are a few games I fancy: Climaxxx, Sexopoly, or Sex Mate. These are just a few games that will literally get something started and have you both enjoying the night. You can find these and more at www.LetsGetFlirty.com
4. Play 20 Questions while enjoying a bottle of wine Grab a bottle and ask each other questions that could either take you down memory lane or spark interest in a new activity. Of course, since it’s Valentine’s Day, you may want to keep the questions on a sexy note. Ask questions like: What do you think when you see a cucumber? What turns you on about me? What goes on in your head when I nibble on your ear? Make the questions general but suggestive enough to spark a good convo, have a few laughs, and get a few things started. 5. In-Home Boudoir Shoot Grab your smartphone or camera and take a few pics together. No, I’m not talking selfies. I’m talking those sexy, lip biting, make you feel something pics. Set your camera up and set the mood with low lighting, sexy music, and candles. Make sure your timer is set on your camera, and allow your bodies to move in sync together for each erotic position. This will do two things: 1. Make you giggle a bit because you are trying to “get sexy,” and 2. allow you to open up to your boo and follow their lead. With your bodies moving in sync, there should be no talking. Gaze into each other’s eyes and allow your bodies to move to the music while your camera captures each erotic movement. Did someone say, “Tantric 4-Play?” Now, get your thoughts together and think about how many of these ideas you will tackle and enjoy each moment. The point is to bond, enjoy each other’s company, and make memories together. You can find games www.LetsGetFlirty.com Enjoy your Valentine’s… XO, J. Robinson Dope Chic
IG: @Poeticbluez Facebook: Poeticbluez firstname.lastname@example.org
e l b a l i a v N ow A Poeticbluez is a collection of poems that will feel very familiar to those who have experienced love, relationships and pain. This book is positive and relatable. It is guaranteed to touch you and offer a type of comfort that allows you to heal and love again.
Books are available for purchase at WWW.POETICBLUEZ.COM
The First BY NATASHIA HAGANS
The first kiss I became infatuated with you The first time you brushed the hair off my eyebrow I swore I could never love another like you The first time you hugged me I knew I would love you for an eternity The first time you told me you loved me I became obsessed with every word from there The first time you fed me strawberries while lying in bed I knew my heart could never grow cold for you The first time you smelled my morning breath and squirmed I giggled inside because I knew you were the one The first time I told you my darkest secrets in ballads, and you didnâ€™t flinch It was then I knew I would write you a love letter from the soul The first time I saw a twinkle in your eyes when I sang melodies to you while cooking for you I knew you were my appetite for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Donâ€™t ask me why; I just knew that the first time I saw you, it would be you You make my heartbeat flutter Like two tweeting birds meeting for the first time In the sky, we have flew
aftermath of buying:
the bluprint TO
From tackling personal decisions to reaching important milestones, being in the real estate and financial industry for many years, I have the expertise and experience needed to guide many on the path of success. Iâ€™m fueled by my commitment to excellence and went the extra mile to make sure this book satisfies your purpose and possibilities. https://bit.ly/Aftermathofbuying
LOVE ETERNAL BY BONNIE JEAN ALFORD
Our hearts beat as one Each breath we take in The other exhales The air provides sustenance for our souls We need it to strengthen us For the time ahead Promises great turmoil Together, we will step into it bravely Hand in hand Even if only emotionally at times We will carry each other Through the darkness, Emerging into the daylight united Best friends deeply bound Creating a secure foundation For a shared future as true partners I searched so long to find you My darling home In you I trust that all will work out You can trust I will ever remain at your side Our essence combined as one We love with a passion Previously unknown to either of us This love unfolded first from our minds, Giving meaning to life itself Yet, we maintain an eagerness In our devotion to one another Patience will not win As we know what glory awaits My body a gift to you and you alone Faithful in this I will remain So long as you do the same We may have all the time in the world But we have no guarantee of tomorrow Each day we must make the choice to love To live every beautiful moment entwined In the ecstasy of our love eternal
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Empowered is by LR Wilson
Who said being empowered isn't sexy? Not me, Sis! Here are five steps to show how sexy your empowerment is for Valentine's Day! Step 1: Buy that sexy lingerie you wanted, Sis! Even if it's just for you to take selfies in, BUY IT! Step 2: Blast your favorite song. Yes! Blast your favorite song and sing along. Who cares if you can't sing. This is YOUR JAM! Step 3: Get up and dance! Whenever you feel like dancing, no matter where you are, BUST A MOVE! Dancing releases endorphins and lowers stress. Dance your heart out! Step 4: Dress up! We've all been confined for a long time due to COVID. Dress up, put on your face, fix your hair, and look FABULOUS! Step 5: LOVE YOU! After you've done Steps 1 - 4, the final step is to LOVE YOU! No matter what comes your way, remember that you are worthy of love. Start by LOVING YOU!
Sacred Lily Holistic Care, LLC
Marlena Thomas Life Insurance Specialist (936) 463-8338
Be Prepared Helping one family at a time gain more knowledge about their life insurance needs.
CAN I GET YOUR NUMBER BY NATASHIA HAGANS
Can I get your number, chocolate drop? You fine as wine The way you walk The way you talk The way you work The way you think The way you treat a lady It makes me think Can I get your number? I wanna drink the finest wine with you I wanna walk hand in hand with you I wanna stay up late and talk to you I wanna send you a hot plate just as you get off work, boo I donâ€™t know how you think yet Iâ€™d like to get your number and pick your brain like an in love fool I see how you treat ladies with no abuse I find your mannerisms true All I want is your number Your digits So I can call you over and over So you can be my booSo I ask again Can I get that number so I can be that ying to your yang?
MEN WHO HUSTLE SPOTLIGHT
Shamontae L. Johnson is a native of Ripley, Mississippi. He currently lives in Georgetown, Kentucky as the Production Group Leader at SMC with Toyota. He is the author of 3 books Overcoming The Identity Crisis, Survivor , and Evolution . He is currently working on his fourth book UNSTUCK!!! His endeavor is to encourage and empower people by reminding them to know who they are. If he could have a motto it would be “No matter what life throws your way, keep on moving!”
MEN WHO HUSTLE SPOTLIGHT
1. When did you realize you had a passion for writing? I knew I was going to be an author because I had such a strong passion to write even as a child. 2. How would you describe your writing style? My writing style is very inspirational and prophetic. I have â€œmoodsâ€? to write and small phrases will drop in my spirit and God will birth a whole chapter. 3. As an author of 3 books, what do you hope readers will gain from your work? What I expect readers to gain is encouragement, empowerment, wisdom and knowledge. 4. What is next for you as an author? To continue writing to help uplift every person in every way!
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SELFLOVE/SELF CARE PLAYLIST
Love Myself by Hailee Steinfield I Got the Juice by Janelle Monáe Moment By KYLE Just Do You by India.Arie BROWN SKIN GIRL by Beyoncé feat. Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid Pretty Girl Rock by Keri Hilson Girls Get Your Money by Ciara Golden by Jill Scott Superwoman by Alicia Keys I by Andra Day Flawless by Beyonce feat. Nicki Minaj Do It by Chloe X Halle All About That Bass By Meghan Trainor Diva by Beyoncé Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E.) by Jhené Aiko Best Life by Cardi B feat. Chance the Rapper Only Girl (In the World) by Rihanna
N’spired Designz by Vicki
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Kerry Packa's First Sports Day BY KEROUNICA WRIGHT
It's Sports Day! Children are grouped into
compete against each other for points. The team with the most points is the winner.There are many exciting and competitive
bulla eating, three-legged race and many more. There's even an adult race at the end. Kerry
awaiting the day she's on the blue team and is the cheer lead. If Kerry Packa wins the sprints, not only will she be crowned sports champion but she will put an end to a feud between herself and Tasha who is the lead for the red team. Tasha and friends have been giving Kerry Packa a hard time at school. However, things do not go according to plan. Kerry Packa finds herself making a decision from the heart.Kerry Packa's First Sports Day is a story of how a young girl showed the condition of her heart.
Kerounica Wright (@kerrypackabooks) https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKwright
ACTIVATOR, CULTIVATOR, CATALYST AND TRAILBLAZER Activator, Cultivator, Catalyst and Trailblazer are a few words that describe young mogul in the making, Carla R. Cannon. She is a 9x International Best-Selling Author & Entrepreneur on a mission to unlock, unleash and activate women into their purpose from the pulpit to the marketplace authentically and unapologetically with a spirit of excellence. Carla currently owns and operates Carla R. Cannon Enterprises, LLC, where she, alongside her staff, works diligently to equip, empower and educate purpose-driven individuals on how to live their dream life without restraints. Whether it’s through live events hosted via her ministry platform, Women of Standard Network, books she writes, or online trainings, Carla is committed to spreading the love of Jesus in the midst of doing what she calls “Kingdom Business” Carla enjoys teaching emerging and established entrepreneurs from her signature training course: How to Package Your Brilliance to Bankroll Your Business! Carla is committed to the advancement of others and is always humbled and honored at any opportunity to share her gift to help others emerge into their life purpose. Whether she has an audience of 1 or 1,000, Carla’s energy is magnetic, her presence is radiant, and her heart is filled with the love of Jesus, ready to share it with all she meets! If you are ready to get unlocked, unleashed, and activated, continue reading to get a close look into the life of Carla R. Cannon, The Trailblazer!
What is something about Carla people can’t find online? People may not know that I really enjoy spending time alone. I am 60% extroverted and 40% introverted. Yes, I am a social butterfly. However, life experiences have taught me the importance of becoming comfortable with your own company. I’ve learned to love and hang out with ME! What inspired your start in entrepreneurship? My mom has been my greatest inspiration. As a kid, I always ranked top of my class when it came to fundraisers. Growing up, I watched her succeed in selling Home Interior design, sell clothes out of the trunk of her car, set up at flea markets, etc. Today, she has had her own boutique for over 20 years. I truly believe watching her daily grind instilled a strong work ethic that I have now passed on to my daughter. You have led hundreds of women in their journey of finding their purpose and monetizing it. What lesson do you hope each woman takes away from your sessions? It is always my hope and prayer that women know that they are enough. Making money, impacting lives, and all of that is great, but if you don’t know who you are as a person, as a woman, then you’ll find yourself freeing everyone else while you remain in bondage. You are the CEO of Carla R. Cannon Enterprises. What services are you currently offering? My company is comprised of four entities: 1. Cannon Coaching & Consulting where I offer 1-on-1 coaching, teaching women how to UNLOCK their perspective, UNLEASH their potential, and ACTIVATE them into purpose. 2. Cannon Publishing where I serve as a Writing Coach and assist aspiring authors on how to package their manuscript through strategic storytelling to get their message out to the masses. 3. Trailblazers University is where I provide self-study coaching programs and e-courses designed to equip leaders and influencers on the go! I also teach women how to become certified life coaches. 4. Women of Standard Network is a community-based brand where our mission is to bridge the gap among women by providing a safe place online to foster healthy relationships among women through authentic sisterhood.
What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far? Honestly, giving birth to my daughter, Patience, has been my greatest blessing and accomplishment. Through her, I discovered my voice, and my life purpose was established. December 11, 2002, was the best day of my entire life.
"Yes, I am a social butterfly. However, life experiences have taught me the importance of becoming comfortable with your own company." CARLA R. CANNON, THE TRAILBLAZER
As with any career, you have highs and lows. Please describe some moments and how you made it through? I am very transparent when it comes to my personal and professional journey. Nothing has been given to me. I’ve literally had to fight to break poor mindsets, bad habits, limiting beliefs, and more to evolve into the woman I am today; and I am yet still growing. There have been many times where I have fallen on my face, made poor decisions, allowed my compassion to override my discernment, pushed away the right people while embracing the wrong ones. If you name it, I’ve done it. But here’s what I’ve learned. The greatest lessons aren’t experienced on the mountaintop. They are experienced in the valley, in the wilderness. If you can press through your darkest moments when everything within you wants to give up, you can overcome anything! What tips do you have for a young woman in ministry during this pandemic? What are some ways she can still continue to reach her audience? Our voice as women is one of the greatest blessings God has given us. I encourage every woman to use her voice and share her story. It is indeed a fact that we overcome by one another’s testimony, but how can we overcome if we keep it all to ourselves due to guilt and shame? I encourage all women to do their inner work; face the hard stuff because it is impossible to conquer what you are unwilling to confront. Once you do that, go out and help a young girl or another woman do the same. This is how we break generational cycles worldwide!
What advice do you have for churches wanting to stay consistent and grow during this pandemic? I encourage every ministry leader to step out of the box; matter of fact, GET RID OF IT! I believe that many of us in the body of Christ have gotten comfortable and grown complacent, and that is one lesson I believe this pandemic came to teach us. Our ministries, businesses, etc., must always be fresh, and we must ask God to breathe on us and what He has called us to do daily. The world is changing, and I believe there is a way for us as believers to step outside of our bubble without compromising. But we can definitely no longer play it safe. On a personal note, what does self-care currently look like for you? To me, self-care is giving attention to every part of who you are on a daily basis. Your emotional well-being matters. Your spiritual condition matters. Your physical strength (or the lack thereof) matters. Your mindset matters. Every part of us matters. Self-care is beyond getting a massage or going for a walk. Although those things are good, we must be sure to give every part of who we are the attention that is needed and deal with inner wounds that hold us captive from evolving into who God has destined us to be. Yes, we should get plenty of rest, drink water and minimize our calorie intake. But guess what else? We must also pull the carpet back and reveal all the things we have pretended doesn’t exist in our lives, such as unforgiveness, resentment, jealousy, laziness, poor mindsets, and more. Selfcare embodies so much more than what we have expressed. That is why my mission is to help women heal internally and build healthy ministries and businesses.
I uncover this topic deeply in my newest book, Life After Betrayal: How to Heal, Forgive & Move On . This resource isn’t about what people think it’s about. It’s about overcoming all of the ways we betray ourselves as women and how to (1) break the cycle, (2) snatch back our power, and (3) commit to healing the things that hurt us even if it happened years ago. It’s never too late to heal for real and experience divine joy Jesus died to give us all. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” So yes, taking care of your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health are various areas in which self-care is needed. It goes beyond a good foot massage. Sometimes, we need a good detox session to peel back the layers of past hurts we have hidden in our hearts that hinder us in ways we could never imagine. What is your secret to balancing ministry, Business, and family life? My secret is keeping Christ at the center and making Him a priority in my life. It’s God first, then everything, and everyone else. Anytime I step outside of that, everything falls apart. Prayer is key in my life, and although I am not perfect, my number one goal daily is to hear God more clearly than I did yesterday. Bonus: What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles? Pretty is symbolic of the true essence of femininity that only women can carry. Hustle is someone who refuses to quit and has a strong work ethic where no matter what, they refuse to stop until they see what God said manifests in their life.
CONNECT WITH CARLA R. CANNON ONLINE Website: www.CarlaCannon.com Social media handles: FB|IG|Clubhouse|Twitter|You Tube: @CarlaRCannon
VALENTINE’S DAY PLAYLIST
for Couples Boo’d Up by Ella Mai How Deep Is Your Love by PJ Morton All of Me by John Legend Why I Love You by MAJOR. My First Love by Avant feat. Keke Wyatt On Bended Knee by Boys II Men Best Part by H.E.R. New Flame by Chris Brown feat. Usher, Rick Ross Something New by Summer Walker Exchange by Bryson Tiller You Don’t Know by Tank feat. Wale Everything by Ella Mai Not Another Love Song by Ella Mai Whoa by Snoh Aalegra CPR by Summer Walker What You Know Bout Love by Pop Smoke Love Galore by SZA
Spotlight A U T H O R
Paula (P.C.) Campbell wears multiple hats as an Author, Motivational, Speaker, Certified Life Coach, Director & Chairwoman of The Hope Project Indianapolis, and owner of Empowered by P.C. (a company based solely on empowerment)! She has also launched Simply Published, LLC to offer publishing services to aspiring authors. Paula has mentored, coached, led groups consisting of dozens of women & children, and held the role of keynote speaker at multiple events. She shares an empowering perspective and stands firm in her mission leave every woman she encounters with a bit of joy. Head on over to her Facebook pages! Empowered by PC Simply Published, LLC
P au la (P .C .) C am pb el l
y t u a e B Reign Bar & e u q i t u o B REIGN IN YOUR SKIN, REIGN IN ROYALTY! Reign Beauty Bar and Boutique is a one-stop shop to grab must-have items such as accessories, cosmetic products, apparel and more! We provide skin care, hair care, lash services, nail services and makeup services to name a few. Reign Beauty Bar and Boutique also supports local businesses by providing advertisements for their services in our shop. We continue to help our local communities with all things beauty! Visit www.ReignBeautyBar.co to view our services, price list and products! Location: 878 S Grove Street, Upper Right, Ypsilanti, MI 48198
GHOSTWRITING EDITING TYPING FORMATTING INTERIOR
DESIGN PROOFREADING BLOG
W W W . P E N N E D B Y L O V E . C O M
Spotlight A U T H O R
Dr. Aginah M. Muhammad
1. Describe Aginah in five words The five words that I would use to describe myself are: Resilient: I have experienced a few adversities in my life, but I have bounced back, each and every time. Loyal: I am very supportive of those I care about. The allegiance that I have to close family and friends is unquestionable, particularly to those who may need someone they can rely on. Authentic: I am very transparent. I donâ€™t mind sharing my life experiences with others, especially if it will help someone else overcome their own trials and tribulations. I also donâ€™t sugarcoat or try to portray myself to be something that I am not. I think that is what people appreciate most about me. Compassionate: I am genuinely concerned about the well-being of others. I will often try to find a way to help those who are in need. Ambitious: I am determined to succeed no matter what endeavor I undertake. I aspire to do all things with a spirit of excellence. If anyone tells me that I canâ€™t accomplish a goal, it simply motivates me to work twice as hard. 2. At what moment did you realize you had a gift for writing? When I was a young girl, I used to write letters to my parents to express myself. I felt that it was much easier to write a letter than to verbally convey some of the very deep and important messages that needed to be shared. My parents were very serious and no-nonsense. Once I realized that I could get my point across to them in a way that yielded the results that I was seeking, I knew that I had a gift for writing!
PWH sits with Dr. Aginah Muhammad, author of Women Who Preserve: A Collection of Women Personal Stories.
Spotlight A U T H O R
Dr. Aginah M. Muhammad
3. How would you describe your specific writing style? I would describe my writing style as narrative writing. My style of writing is designed to impart information that will convey a story that is complete with the background of the characters, conflict, setting, and resolution. I want readers to follow along closely and feel as if they are experiencing the story for themselves. 4. In your debut book, Women Who Preserve: A Collection of Women Personal Stories, tell us what readers can expect from your chapter? Readers can expect a very transparent story about my journey of discovering the importance of living life on my own terms and finding the path of happiness. I walk the readers through the difficult decision of ending an 11-year marriage while raising three children, balancing a new career, and gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to persevere with power and grace. 5. What do you hope women gain from your personal story? I hope women will gain the courage to make the challenging decisions that will ultimately result in their happiness, even if it is unpopular. I want women to believe that they can also overcome extraordinary obstacles and still come out standing...and...persevere with power and grace.
6. Aside from being an author, you are an educator and coach. What is next for Dr. Aginah? I plan to continue to release content through my podcast, LITE (Lead. Inspire. Transform. Empower.) It Up! I also plan to do more speaking engagements this year, whether it’s panel discussions or keynotes—I want to share my message with others. I also plan to work on another book project that will be released later in 2021. Bonus: How would you define a “Pretty Woman Who Hustles”? I would define a “Pretty Woman Who Hustles” as an ambitious, empowered, motivated, goal-oriented woman, willing to put in the hard work to achieve her goals while balancing her personal and professional life.
5 TIPS TO KEEPING THE LOVE FLOWING WITHIN YOUR MARRIAGE Written by: Latrina C
Hey Girlfriend! It’s your Mental Health Professional, Latrina C. It’s no secret by now. We are living under these unpredictable conditions. Now more than ever, I can’t stress enough, it’s very important to put yourself and your family first. Also, now more than ever, marriages are being tested. I recently read that the divorce rate is currently at 50%. This is something that we can change if we put more into our marriages. This unseen force has shaken up the world and most of our households. We are being tested in all areas of our lives. At this point in life, nothing is promised or guaranteed. With that being said, we have to be more mindful and aware of our foundations. One of the key areas in marriage is communication. See, marriage has taken on a whole new image and perspective. Marriage is and always will be secret, special. It’s a soul tie. Over the last 20 years, the value of marriage has changed. Marriage is not easy; it requires work from both individuals for it to work.
5 TIPS TO KEEP THE LOVE FLOWING
My husband and I have been tested in all areas of our marriage. We worked together as a team. We utilized the values that we place within our marriage from the beginning. We took advantage of our quarantine time and supported one another, even as times got rough. Here are a few suggestions that might have a positive impact on your marriage.
1. Start with you. Many people don’t realize that being in a committed relationship or marriage is hard work for both individuals. Yes, this is your commitment. Fulfill it; you only get out what you put in. I feel like this is where we leave room for confusion. Marriage is a lot of work; do your part. 2. Stop complaining and start communicating effectively. This will help with personal validation. You must be able to listen in order to hear and learn. Become a good listener. When he talks, give him your undivided attention. Learn to listen without responding. It’s important to learn your partner’s love language. This will help with communication. I learned the hard way. Learn your partner’s communication style by being attentive. Start with creating a non-judgmental environment to express what you want and vice versa. 3. Give each other space and room to breathe. This is a part of healthy selfcare. Create the space for your alone time by meditating, doing yoga, etc. This is detrimental to your mental health, and if your mental health is unhealthy, it will be hard to focus on your marriage. Be ok with seeking other resources if you are not able to have moments of peace. This is personal; your space is personal.
5 TIPS TO KEEP THE LOVE FLOWING 4. Stick to the routine. Continue to support each other. Share household duties, children activities/homework, etc. This is why communication is needed. Stick to the plan. If you don’t have a plan, create one. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. Lay your foundation together.It takes a partnership. Actually, it takes a village. So be on one accord with your mate. Things will run smoother. 5. Make time for date night. Plan special quality time together. Utilize this time together to just enjoy being in love. Compliment each other while giving good old TLC (tender, love, and care). Keep it spicy and romantic. Buy little gifts here and there. Write a love note. People like to feel wanted and needed, but we also have to remember our significant other needs the same attention. Make eye contact. Get sexual! Sex is also very important as an intimate connecting piece in marriage. Be ok with trying new things. In a marriage, it takes both parties to participate in order for things to work. Marriage is keeping GOD in the center as the head of the relationship. This is a choice. Choose wisely. It will take active, consistent work to keep the fire burning. Sometimes we need to start over and light a new match; that is ok. People change and grow throughout life. Grow with your partner through love and support.
Trina Tips (During Quarantine, let’s stay healthy) Do a social media check out once a week. Take a mental break for your own peace and sanity. Remember, you become your thoughts. Try to do a mind sweep. Apply daily self-care in your everyday life. Spend some time alone. Sit in full peace. There are simple things around the house you can do, such as take a bubble bath, light a candle, or play some relaxing music. Find an inexpensive hobby. Think of things you that you have wanted to do and you put on hold. Let’s make good use of our time at home. For example, paint your room or complete a DIY project. Exercise! Make good use of the space you are in. For example, walk up and down the stairs for ten minutes. Do some jumping jacks or watch a YouTube workout video. Journal this experience. Write your goals down and create a plan for the next 3, 6, and 9 months. Set an alarm reminder for these small activities.
The 5 LOVE LANGUAGES in which you can express your love for your spouse/partner are: Words of Affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. We thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build us up. Motivate and inspire your partners; speak their language. Quality Time: Whether it’s spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time. This is key. This will strengthen your marriage and secure your bond. Receiving Gifts: Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else’s love and affection for you. Give gifts from the heart; it is not about the money but the thought behind the gift. Acts of Service: When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved. Honestly, treat your spouse the way you want to be treated. Physical Touch: Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. This is my love language. I love physical affection. This speaks to my spirit. I enjoy back rubs. My hubby understands this is my love point.
Your Favorite Children's Books... ALL IN ONE PLACE
Author Avalon Brown
B U S I N E S S
Kristina Peck grew up in Central New York. Kristina has multiple talents with interests in Italian cooking, crafting, journaling, and reading anything by Stephen King. By trade, she served as a nurse but always longed to be her own boss. Her boss dreams were due to her wanting to spend more time at home with her husband and young son. In mid-2016, Kristina got a feel for boss life with Avon. She quickly rose to National Leadership status and now mentors 70+ female representatives with Avon. Kristina is very ambitious and always searches to learn more. Her ambitions led her to the network known as Pretty Women Hustle in June of 2020. Kristinaâ€™s dedication led her to be appointed as the Executive Director of the Pretty Women Hustle Network in July of 2020. She found her love for Marketing and Social Media Management while working for Pretty Women Hustle. While there, she has taken on several marketing clients. She decided to take a leap and launch her own business. In late 2020, Kristina blossomed her entrepreneurial gifts into her new brand of KP Marketing. She continues her role as Executive Director of Pretty Women Hustle, where her work is centered around marketing for the company. Kristina currently resides in Concord, NC, with her husband and son. She is continuing to reach for the stars and to live without limits.
KRISTINA PECK Meet Kristina Peck, marketing professional and the Executive Director of PWH
K r is t in a P e c k 1. Describe KP Marketing in five words? Innovative, progressive, dynamic, influential, and creative. 2. At what moment did you realize you have a passion for marketing and branding women in business? When I started working for the Pretty Women Hustle Network in 2020, I started creating graphics for our group, and it was kind of addictive. I loved creating color palettes, design concepts, etc. I knewI loved it, but I didn’t realize I had a passion for it until recently. Sometimes when we really enjoy doing something, we don’t make a career out of it. We just consider it our “silly side hustle.” We’re too busy actually enjoying what we do and don’t focus on turning it into something bigger. It wasn’t until I sat down and scrolled through my design studios that I realized my passion had been in front of me for quite some time. That I was good at what I did, and I would be stupid not to jump into starting my own business. 3. What are your top 3 marketing tips for utilizing Facebook for small businesses? Active business pages: Make sure you’re posting consistently! Even when you think people aren’t watching, they are! Posting content: Utilize the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you should be posting things that aren’t “salesy.” These posts should be relatable and fun! The other 20% is for you to promote your business. People don’t want to be plastered with business spam all day. Including relatable content like sharing your family, favorite recipes, etc., breaks up the “spam” and allows people to become connected to you. Once someone is connected and relatable to you, they trust you. And once they trust you, they’re more likely to support your business.
Updated Page: Keep your page up to date. There should always be contact info, a website listed, and a description. People don’t want to have to search for ways to contact you or search for what your company is about.
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4. What key components make a great logo? Choosing the right color and typography are huge. Colors directly impact our emotions. When we “like” a logo or “dislike” a logo, it usually has nothing to do with design per se, but everything to do with the aesthetic (colors, font, etc.). Bright colors give off a positive, fun vibe, while darker colors have a more serious tone. Curly fonts give off a “fun” vibe, while bold, strong fonts give off a “serious “ vibe. Your logo is like the spokesperson for your brand. If you are fun, vibrant, and loud, your logo should say those things without actually saying it! Remember, your brand is YOUR STORY. Make sure you’re telling it right!
5. What is on KP Marketing’s vision board for 2021? In 2021, I, of course, want to increase my client base, but I really want to gain more knowledge. My goal is to continue taking college courses online as much as I can to learn as much as I can. Whatever knowledge I gain, I want to share in any way possible. 6. You have a marketing academy launching this month. Tell us about that? Yes! I’m really excited about it! My academy will consist of free and paid courses. My paid courses contain interactive activities, assignments, and meetings like an actual college course. My free classes are a little less inclusive but still offer valuable information, especially if you’re just starting out. I’m hoping my courses help small business owners gain some insight on branding and marketing. Bonus: What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles? A pretty woman who hustles is secure in herself and her business. She’s powerful enough to know her own worth and the worth of her business pan. She’s a show stopper-not just physically, but mentally. Her expansive knowledge and subtle attitude always grabs the attention of everyone in the room. She is a force to be reckoned with.
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B U S I N E S S PWH sits down with Cynthia Roberson as she shares her the story of her entrepreneurial journey.
CYNTHIA ROBERSON My name is Cynthia Roberson, and I was born and raised in Marion, Alabama. I started doing hair at the age of 10. By age 12, I was making money from it. My mom and dad had three girls and a boy. Let me just say my mom wasn’t good at doing her girls’ hair. This is what got me into styling hair. I also grew up watching my sweet grandmother, Mary Woods, pressing women’s hair. In 2008, after having my first son, I decided to go to cosmetology school. I completed my program in 2009 and would later pass my state board examination. The following year, my son’s father and I got married. We have been blessed with a 10-year union and three beautiful children. He’s my rock and biggest supporter! At first, I would do everything I could not to do hair. It had me very busy at a young age. However, I truly believe it’s my purpose and calling from God. I’m very passionate about it. I walked away from a very high paying job back in 2014 to continue entrepreneurship as a stylist. In 2015, my sons pushed me to open my own salon, and I did! Although this journey has been filled with ups and downs, I have been extremely successful.
After our daughter’s birth in 2017, I had the idea to create my hair care line. My daughter’s hair coils very tightly. Once it lost moisture, her curls and coils would become very dry and hard to detangle. I had no idea why her hair would go from being very soft to extremely dry in just a couple of days. In an effort to provide the proper care for my daughter’s hair texture, I began to research the ingredients that I used on her hair. Shockingly, I discovered that many of the products I used on her hair contained alcohol, which is not healthy for many African-American textures. I knew that if I created a product that focused on retaining moisture, wash days would be a lot easier on us both. As a result, I created Hair Shaft Hair Care, a vegan hair care line. I am proud to say that it has proven to work miracles for my daughter’s hair after consistent use, and I am confident it will do the same for yours. If you are struggling with dry, brittle hair, consider using the Hair Shaft Hair Care System. Currently, this line contains shampoo, leave-in conditioner, blossom oil, and edge control.
Cynthia Roberson 1. Who is Cynthia in one sentence? Cynthia is “PRETTY,” smart, and definitely a hustler at heart. 2. At what moment did you realize you had a gift for hair? I realized I had a gift for hair again at age 12. The way my mother, sisters and other family members faces used to light up with joy after I did their hair made my heart melt. I love seeing women feel good about themselves. I knew that hair is truly a woman’s glory. 3. You started a product line for hair that coils, what inspired Hair Shaft Hair Care? My beautiful daughter inspired my hair care line. I wanted something chemical free as well as something that would add moisture and leave her beautiful coils moistured for longer than a couple of hours. I also wanted something that would make detangling a lot easier. Hair Shaft tackles all these things leaving her coils looking and feeling beautiful. This vegan hair care line definitely gets the job done for her and many others. 4. What do you hope women experience when entering your salon? I want the women who enter my salon to feel welcome and they can entrust me with their hair care needs. I want them to leave feeling satisfied and educated on their needs when it come to their hair. I treat all clients like they are celebrities 5. What is next for Cynthia Roberson in the hair care industry? Well, you can expect more vegan hair products from me. I’m just going to continue to get my products out to others so that they too can enjoy the chemicals free products Bonus: What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles? A woman who is pretty darn good at her hustle! Never giving up on her dreams all while being pretty and feeling pretty.
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e l l E e i r r She Poetry Healing brokenness with the use of words...
Sherrie Elle @sherrie_ellepoetry www.sherriepoetry.com
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SINGLE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY? By Rosie Basquin
I get it. Seeing happy couples and cute date nights down your social feed has your mind longing for companionship. Longing for what could have been or what should be. It may not be easy seeing all that love shoved in your face, but you are not alone. Navigating Valentine’s Day as a single just needs a new perspective. This lovers’ day sanctioned as the time to express imminent love and unwavering appreciation isn’t reserved for just couples! You can put your own spin on Valentine’s Day and make it your own. Embrace the cards you have been dealt, squeeze those sour lemons, and make the best out of your situation. The mind is very powerful, and what you feed into it is what it will produce. The best way to manifest your blessings is to already live in the moment and the mindset that you have already been blessed. Empower yourself and your singleness by emphasizing your self-love on V-day. Make Valentine’s Day everything you dreamed of for yourself. When you do for yourself, you can know what to expect from others, and you won’t settle for anything less than peace, love, and nourishment to the soul. Take the pity out of singleness. You are whole and complete the way you are.
Single doesn’t have to mean lonely. Surround yourself with a few close family or friends who share the same notions as you. Make it a group activity to pour love into one another; share cards, gifts, or assorted chocolatey treats. Pick the extra-bright blush roses and strongly scented candles, and opt for a movie night in with your BFF. Dress for the ambiance of the day with bright pinks and sultry reds and set the mood for a celebration of love and happiness. Romance yourself, and get into the habit of being complete and in love with yourself first. Keep in mind that what looks pretty in pictures isn’t always so dandy in true light. Take heed and do what you would like done for yourself. Watch how your life can change when you begin pouring into your own cup instead of spilling your sweet nectar onto those who won’t savor the taste.
SAVON SPEAKS IS MAKING MOVES THROUGH INSPIRATIONAL PODCAST ‘SAVONSPEAKS’ AND PENS FIRST BOOK Savon Holt is the creator and founder of the platform SavonSpeaks
Patrice: Your vibe is so vibrant, warm, and embracing to women all over! What led you to be an empowerment for women? Savon: What led me to become an empowerment to women is knowing that there are women out there who have had to jump the same hurdles as me. And to know that there are some women who just don’t have the energy to even jump, to take that leap to get out of whatever unwanted situation they are in. Patrice: As a motivational speaker, what do you hope to achieve in your journey? Savon: As a motivational speaker, I hope to achieve the goal of positively changing mindsets. The goal is to inspire, empower, and motivate someone who is ready to receive help. I want to be an influencer and use that ability to bring forth positivity. As women, we have it hard as it is. We take on so much responsibility that we forget about what makes us happy. So, the goal is getting women to love themselves first and live a purposeful life. Patrice: Your show/podcast Savon Speaks is very empowering for women to come onto your platform and share their success stories. What was the inspiration for creating your platform? Savon: I wanted women to know what Savon Speaks is about. From there, I created Women Winning Wednesday’s, which is my podcast and show. My featured guests discuss their journey to success. They share with their blueprint on how they overcome adversity and life setbacks on their journey to success. We talk about things such as troubled marriages, loss of a child, domestic violence, surviving sickle cell disease, molestation, rape, etc., that they overcome and how they pushed through.
Many of the women I have interviewed are businesswomen, authors, nurses, or have a successful career in general. My show and podcast is set to be a blueprint for other women who are going through or have been through similar hardships but are stagnant in life because of their past traumas. So, Savon Speaks WWW is to help empower, inspire, and motivate women to see that they can do it too. Patrice: Does your platform have an ideal message for women you are speaking to? Savon: The ideal message is letting other women know you are not alone! Often, we go through things in life thinking no one understands us or that we are alone in this walk. The truth is there is always someone going through worse, so let’s not focus on why those things happen or why things are happening that we feel are not in our favor. Let’s focus on what we can do to fix it so our future is brighter and happier. Patrice: Because your podcast is so rich and filled with positivity and empowerment, what is next for this platform in the new year? Savon: The next step is to evolve. I want people to be able to listen to my podcast all over the world. I plan on making Savon Speaks WWW show and podcast international for people to listen and view. Patrice: What are some of your expectations of being a life coach? Savon: My expectations as a life coach are helping my clients reach and achieve goals that they feel are impossible for them to do on their own and leaving them with the skills and techniques to do it on their own. I look at it, just like my nursing career.
SAVON SPEAKS IS MAKING MOVES
When patients are admitted, we are already starting their discharge planning. I apply the same method to my life coaching. When a client joins my BeComing H.E.R Coaching Academy, I am already planning their end result/goal. As their coach, my job is to build a meaningful relationship with them, provide a nojudgment zone, have my clients best interests at heart, challenge them, support and brainstorm with them, help them reach their goals, motivate, empower, hold them accountable, and help them surface that hidden gem within them. Patrice: As a life coach, what message do you want others to know? Savon: As a life coach, I would like others to know they are not alone. One of the biggest steps anyone can take is taking a step towards getting help. Patrice: Not only are you a podcaster, a motivational speaker, a licensed nurse, and a femalepreneur, but you are a new author as well! We spoke briefly last year about your new book project, My Truth, and now that it has manifested, what can readers expect from reading your debut book? Savon: Readers can expect to get a glimpse of my journey. Past to present. My book, My Truth, is a memoir that is intended to be used as motivation to inspire another person. It is to let them know that if I could do it, so can you. Those limiting beliefs will have you miss out on so many blessings in life that you well deserve. Patrice: Now that you are a part of the Authorâ€™s Club, how does it feel to be a newly published author? Savon: I can honestly say it feels great to know that I can reach someone with my story from my living room. Lol. Even if it just reaches one person and that person gets inspired and motivated, I feel like it was worth the late nights and reliving my past events to write my story.
Patrice: When is your book set to be released? Savon: My book will be released on February 5, 2021. People will have the chance to preorder beginning on January 22, 2021. I just wanted to make sure it was perfect and that the timing was right. It can be purchased on Amazon and on my website at www.SavonSpeaks.com. Patrice: How hard was it for you to write your personal memoir and for readers to see the pain you been through? Savon: It was tough because I had to really sit and think about the timeframes. Those events happened so long ago, and I had suppressed the memories of them. Suppressing it was my survival mechanism. But writing my book forced me to deal with some of those issues head-on. It was another self-discovery moment for me. So I would say it was bittersweet in a sense, but I am proud of myself. I got through another challenge. Patrice: The pandemic is still going on in the new year, hurting small businesses and causing mental destruction among the nation. Has COVID-19 affected your business as an entrepreneur at all? Savon: I am still fairly new to the game. However, so far, I have been truly blessed during these trying times. I can honestly say things are going well. I just count my blessings! My business is going well, and I have a lot of support. I have landed a columnist position at Rochester Women Online, which allows me to continually expand my platform. Iâ€™m thankful for every opportunity. Patrice: What can we expect from Savon Speaks this year? Savon: You can expect more quality and greatness this year. I definitely will be putting my skills to use. For my podcast and show, you can expect more great and empowering interviews. You can expect to see me doing more speaking engagements.
SAVON SPEAKS IS MAKING MOVES
Patrice: Any final thoughts? Savon: For any woman out there who wants to do something meaningful for themselves, do it. You don’t need permission to be GREAT! You are all the validation you need. Stop being afraid to take chances. Success is the result of failure, so don’t be afraid to fall. Just get back up and find another route to your success. Grow where you are planted. Be your authentic self and watch how much easier life can be. Make 2021 be about self-love. It’s okay to be selfish when it’s about your needs being first. Turn your pain into your purpose. Let the pain you experience be the reason you want change in your life. Opportunities don’t just come knocking at your door; you have to go after them. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t focus on why things have happened to you because we can’t change the past. However, you can do what you can to change things. You are responsible for your own happiness. Write down your goals and then plan to execute them. You got this!
EMBRACING YOUR SOUNDTRACK OF LOVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY Written by C. Scott L.O.V.E. Most of us who have lived a little have had the pleasure of being in love. It’s an amazing state of being that propels you into new emotions, thinking, and a sense of togetherness. I’ve fallen both in and out of love. However, music has remained one constant throughout my journey of love. Whether it’s new love, wedding bliss, love for family, or even the inevitable heartbreak, it’s all love, and music helps to guide you through it. Even in my singleness, I still indulge in blasting my favorite love songs from time to time. Yes, that may involve a bottle of wine, liquor, and the occasional tear or two. Despite being single, I still believe in the power of and opportunity for love. I know it will happen. When and where is the longstanding question, but nonetheless, I’m hopeful. So while I work on enjoying my singleness and being open to love, here are my top 10 love songs. These are perfect for Valentine’s Day, a wedding day, or just a romantic slow grind in the living room. The point is to enjoy the art of love in all of its forms.
Donny Hathaway: Love, Love, Love “Each time I try to find someone to take your place It was all in vain, no their lips were never quite the same, no baby. When I was kissing someone new deep inside I was missing you. Aw baby, you make me fall in love with you now I don’t know just what I’m gonna do. Aw honey, I looked out into empty space, and all I saw was your sweet face…” WHAT! It’s the lyrics and dope melody for me that simply give me hope for the future.
King: Hey “Hey, I know how it will end ‘cuz it’s already been told Happily after only happens in fairytales, daydreams, or never But I wished hard on the stars Now here you are (That’s where you are) Shining through the sky, light in my dark Even stars burn out, but you held the spark Now here you are to stay (Here in my heart you’ll stay).” Just beautiful, and it’ll definitely give you a good glide down the aisle.
Anthony Hamilton: The Point Of It All “I can’t stay away from you too long Even if I do, I always call. Checking on you, make sure you are okay. Be the one to brighten up your day, yeah-yeah. And the point of it all is I love you, yeah. You know I love you baby, oh.” Oh, so simple and down to the principle of it all: I Love You!
Anita Baker: You Bring Me Joy “So I’d say to you….” Can we talk for a while?”. You’d say, “It’s alright.” When you love me, I smile. I feel your heart, and you feel mine. You bring me joy.” It all comes down to being joyful in love. Not vicious, violent, or jealous. Just pure joy to bring a smile to your face.
Vivian Green: Ain’t Nothing But Love “Shoulda known when I looked into those eyes. That I was gonna be freed. From the bondage of those who never loved me. And I shoulda known when you simply touched my hand. That you would understand. All of my wants and all of my needs. You were sent along to love me.” I just feel like standing outside with open arms while the sun beams on my face. This song makes my heart smile.
Jazmine Sullivan: Let It Burn “How you ever felt warm on a cold, cold night? That’s how it get you when you least expect it, and you can’t reject it. That crazy little tingling feeling pain in your chest, yes (that’s love).” Yes, that crazy love feeling may be scary at first, but it’s a beautiful thing. Embrace it and groove to Jazmine because ‘Issa Bop
John Legend: So High “Baby, since the day you came into my life. You made me realize that we were born to fly. You showed me every day new possibilities. You proved my fantasies, what love could really be.” Whew! I just want to go for a walk in the clouds after hearing this one. It makes you want to cherish love at its finest hour.
Ed Sheeran: Thinking Out Loud “And darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70. And baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23. And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways. Maybe just the touch of a hand. Oh me, I fall in love with you every single day. And I just wanna tell you I am.” Ha! You thought it was only going to be R & B, didn’t you? I love ALL love songs, and this one speaks volumes. It’s all about unconditional love.
Jill Scott: The Way “Made me some breakfast, toast. Two scrambled eggs, grits. Grabbed my keys, grabbed my purse. Grabbed my jacket, off to work. Beaming all the way down third. Is it the way you love me, baby? Is it the way you love me, baby?” Griiiiiiits. Mmmm hmmm that beautiful morning after that makes you want to walk on the moon. Yea! It’s the way.
Kindred The Family Soul: Stars “So many times you could have walked away. But I didn’t have to say a word to convince you to stay. ’Cause you know it, and I know this thing is real. So we continue to learn, and our love grows deeper still.” Not only is this song deep and true, but ‘Kindred’ is an actual married couple who share their world of love with us in song.
Every day, but especially on Valentine’s Day, zone out on some great love songs to capture your own memories, feelings, and acts of empathy. If you can’t verbalize it, then at least cue it up on the radio. We need more love today with our given circumstances throughout the world. So just be. Let love reside. Show love and also walk in it. Love is in all that we do and are. It exists within us and is needed for us to grow. Nurture it to fully experience it in your life.
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5 WOMEN SHARE WHAT SELF-LOVE MEANS TO THEM Self-love, also defined as “love of self” or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage,” has been conceptualized both as a basic human necessity. Displaying and understanding how self-love can equate to higher self-esteem and higher self-confidence can help you grow, accept criticism, and communicate more effectively. Establishing a great relationship with yourself starts with finding and understanding self-love. I reached out to 5 phenomenal women and asked them to share.
Comedienne and Entrepreneur Nik Snow defines selflove as “taking care of oneself, mind, body, and soul. Being present and honoring all the corky things about oneself. Celebrating and honoring one’s journey no matter how hard one’s life has been and knowing who you are innately and cherishing yourself. That is my recipe and definition of and for self-love.” She also explains how to maintain love for yourself.
PAGE FOUR| JOURNEY
By Chandra Gore
She states, “This is going to sound hilarious, but hey, I do perform Stand Up Comedy, so here it goes... I laugh so hard at all the crazy choices I made before I became aware of my true self. Laughter keeps me aligned with the love I have for myself. Almost daily, I look in the mirror and say, “I am kind. I am amazing. I deserve all the universe has for me. I am in alignment and will do my best to love myself and spread love today! So being the change I wish to see along with cracking up at myself daily sparks my continued self-love.” She suggests the following book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. “The book takes you on a journey of forgetting who you think you’re supposed to be and embracing who you are. That book helped me tremendously, and I highly encourage anyone feeling less than love for themselves to read it. When we truly accept who we are, we begin a journey of acceptance, which then leads to being a bit more kind to self, which then turns into self-love. Then I’d leave them with this old but oh so true saying, ‘If you don’t love yourself, why should anyone else?’ Let’s get to loving ourselves! We owe it to ourselves!” Follow Nik Snow on Instagram: www.instagram.com/whoisniksnow
Mindset and Life Coach Karena Calhoun shares with us how she defines self-love. Coach Karena defines self-love as “embracing and appreciating our authentic self. Before we can do that, however, we must first know our true selves. We must reject the ‘best version’ of ourselves, which has been shaped by the world’s voice and the world’s experiences.” She also maintains self-love by ensuring, first and foremost, that she is nurturing her mind, body, and soul. She also states that “we tend to love what we nurture.” Her advice for someone who does not have self-love is to first find out who you are, the authentic you. “There are multi-layers of other people’s influences stacked on top of the real you. Once you’re able to pull back each layer and place it in its rightful place, then you’re able to see yourself as who you truly are in this world. That’s where self-love, selfembracement, and self-appreciation begins. Your authentic self is waiting to finally meet you.”
Naj, the self-love advocate and coach, defines self-love as the unconditional and unwavering love and respect that you have for yourself. It is so deep and solid that you ONLY choose actions, thoughts, and connections that uplift, inspire, empower, encourage, and awaken the best version of YOU! It’s YOU choosing YOU no matter what! It’s you owning your own happiness! She shares with us that maintaining love for yourself is a personal choice. One in which you must consciously make an effort to do throughout the day. Each day!
You can find Coach Karena on linktr.ee/coachkarena
Your journey is YOUR journey! Embrace the highs and lows of life! They build character and strengthen you. Stop allowing the opinions of others to control or influence how you think, act, and feel about yourself. Their approval is not needed! Allow yourself to make mistakes. You’re human beings, for God’s sake! No one is perfect!
Erica Alcox defines self-love as “the courage and honesty to be present for yourself. You call yourself out on all your foolishness and how you project your traumas onto others while sabotaging yourself, then you encourage yourself to know you still have value as you heal yourself.” She maintains the self-love for herself with professional and personal therapy. Going to a trusted licensed professional helps her work her way through destructive patterns so she can deprogram and reprogram. Then, making a habit of giving herself grace as she forms new and healthier patterns that facilitate a happier life provides her with a more peaceful state of being. The advice she shares for someone who does not have self-love is to look for the light switch. “Tell yourself you are important, and you are worthy of happiness. Even if you don’t believe it just yet, keep saying it to help you move closer to believing it because it is indeed TRUE. Regardless of what has happened TO you, you are worthy.” Follow her on social media or visit her online at Geechiegurl.com.
Put yourself first! ALWAYS! If you don’t take the time to cater to your own needs, wants, and desires, how can you cater to anyone else’s? You cannot pour from an empty cup! Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy. If you don’t like something about yourself or your life, change it. You are the author of your life. You control the narrative.
Be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Remember, this is your first time doing this thing called life. There are no handbooks nor guidelines for this. We are all figuring it out as we go along. Her advice for someone who does not have self-love is to take some time to get to the root of the issue. Who told you that you were not lovable? Who told you that you were not enough? Most often, how we think, feel, and act results from the relationships and experiences we’ve had in our early childhood. Explore your options regarding therapy. You cannot conquer what you will not face. Journal. Write down what you are feeling and thinking. Ask yourself, why am I feeling this way? Why am I thinking this way?
Your thoughts become words, words become actions, and actions become habits! Research positive affirmations. Look yourself in the mirror every day, multiple times per day if necessary, and tell yourself these words: I AM BEAUTIFUL. I AM RESILIENT. I AM POWERFUL. I AM LOVABLE. I AM LOVE. I AM ENOUGH! Say it loudly! Say it boldly! Say these things to yourself until you believe it, and watch how your perception of life begins to shift! Your cup is always half full. You are the author of your life. You control the narrative. Stay down. It’s a marathon ☺ You can find Naj on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/najiyyah-cheeseboro-69830481/ Creative Director Tijania Goodwin defines self-love as the techniques you utilize to pour back into yourself. These are the things that make you happy and help you gain self-awareness of who you are as an individual. She maintains love for herself by doing things that bring her joy. She loves to write, so she will journal to reflect on the emotions she may be feeling at that time. She also meditates and prays, which keeps her grounded. She does not surround herself with toxic people and is learning how to say NO. She believes these are two of the best ways to pour into herself. She goes on to state, “I truly learn how to understand who I am and how to be good to myself when practicing self-love.” The advice she would give to someone who does not have self-love is to take the time to shift the way that you think. You cannot be good for others if you are not good to yourself. It is time to show up as the best version of yourself! You can find out more about Tijania on Instagram.com/thetijaniaexperience | Instagram.com/purposelybossinup |Facebook.com/tij.goodwin
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BLACK LOVE DURING CORONA Are your DMs dry? Is your timeline slow? Has the pandemic halted any type of love life you had?
Written by Renee’ Chubb
Join the club. The year 2020 certainly started with a promise that we were going to do it big despite all that was going on in the country. This was our year to start a business, shoot our shot at our crush, or take that trip back to the motherland.
As the author, I, Renee’ Chubb, am 45 years old with a 26-year-old son and ten years into my second marriage. I clearly don’t date. However, I can tell you, as someone who has friends in the same situation as Joelle, I can empathize with all this insanity. The changes, the isolation that must be maddening. Dating is already complicated without adding a global pandemic with nationwide toilet paper shortages to the foray.
In November, Joelle Renae’s love life ceased to exist, and unfortunately, she was one of many. For this 30-year-old salon owner in Gahanna, Ohio, it was a sobering feeling:
“And the leper in whom the plague is...he shall dwell alone. Outside the camp shall his habitation be.” Leviticus, 13:46
Much like the meticulous clip of her hair shears, she was used to her life going in many directions. She packed in dates between work, being a single mother, and following her dreams of owning and operating a hair salon, planning to walk down the aisle with a long-term equal and perhaps grow her family in the next few years. As COVID-19 ravaged the country, her future plans began to deteriorate like a score of others. “This virus has postponed a relationship I was hoping would happen,” Joelle says. “I feel like half my life is gone, and time is running out.”
I’ve often heard comparisons of love to war. I can’t say that my past heartache disagrees much. Much isolation, quarantine, and cough could mean the end of a relationship in 2021. It’s real out here!
PAGE FOUR| JOURNEY
So I sat down with Joelle and had a real conversation about trying to navigate the dating scene in the middle of a pandemic. Here’s a 100% word for word, transcribed version of our conversation.
Q: Have you been dating lately, and if so, how is it going? A: “It’s been extremely difficult. I’m a new business owner, a single mom of two daughters, and we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. My prospects are severely limited these days. There’s nowhere to go. My family is high risk, including a business partner. Not only that. I could not in good conscience date a guy who is reckless with his life and acting as if it’s business as usual. It’s not. I’m not even sure if it will ever be again. The bottom line is, I cannot be selfish. Since I was a little girl, my family and my business that I have dreamed about and finally have come to fruition means more to me than anything. My babies come first. I’ve been strictly dating online.” Q: With dating online, even pre-COVID-19, it was a challenge. Catfish has lasted 12 seasons and is still rolling. Are you a stalker/serial killer/rapist/child abuser, etc.? Right? And now we have a new HIV-test. COVID-19. On top of that, your political designation, because let me tell you, it’s real in these streets. How hard is it to discipline yourself, not to fall for an online fantasy in the middle of a pandemic? Are we all living in “LIFE AFTER LOCK UP” and don’t know it? *checks notes* A: “You’re hilarious! I like it! Thanks for putting it into that perspective for folks who fail to realize that not just single mothers like myself, but single fathers, have essentially been isolated for what, an entire year now? Humans need interaction and affection, and love. It’s in EVERY single person’s DNA, regardless of political affiliation, race, or if they are Steelers Fans. It’s only natural that we gravitate to someone and want to build a connection outside of a computer screen. Intimacy involves touching. Bonds are formed and maintained by physical and not just emotional contact. This is a whole new experience for many of us millennials, and we’re not exactly sure if we’re ready for the “Weird Science” lifestyle. Count me out!” Q: Have you met someone online or otherwise that turned you off because they thought that the virus was a hoax? A: “Unfortunately, yes. To make matters worse, he was in the nursing profession. Let me be REAL clear. I’m not here to bash front-line workers. They do a hell of a job, they keep us safe, and they are necessary... those that abide by the oath they took and aren’t into conspiracy theories.”
Q: Have you changed anything about your standards because of the scarcity of quality? A: “No. Not at all. I’ve only rearranged them to make them work for the current situation we are in. The pandemic helps me weed out the bad actors and those who don’t have good intentions. I’m a single mother and niece/sister/friend/ and entrepreneur. I cannot be bothered with people who are not taking this pandemic seriously and are being reckless with their lives. That’s not fair to the high-risk individuals and employees I care about, for something that may or may not work.” Q: What do you think the future holds for dating in the Black Community? A: “I’m afraid to say I don’t even know. There is so much violence and uncertainty. We’re (Black people) fighting three pandemics: white supremacy, COVID-19, and police injustice. Things will never be normal again. The world is awakened to things we have been screaming from bullhorns for centuries. I do want to say I love how we have come together and started circulating more dollars in the Black community. I hope that continues, and I hope Black people keep buying up land, businesses, and property. As you have always said, it’s time we make generational wealth the norm and not the exception. That’s what my hope is for the future of the Black community.” Q: Any advice for single women in the middle of a pandemic and need the natural human interaction we all crave from the opposite sex? A: “Continue to use social media to engage, just be cautious and careful. Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy if you don’t know how to use it properly. FaceTime is a great way to communicate, as well as Skype and Facebook Messenger. You just have to be creative while staying safe. That’s all we can do.” Q: What does your 2021 look like? A: “ I have faith that our ancestors did not bring us this far to have been the ones to survive this virus [and] fail the mission that is clearly our destined path. My 2021 is about growth. I’ll be 30 this year and focusing on my business, continuing to keep my romantic options open; most importantly, stay Black, beautiful, and proud! ”
I truly hope that Joelle and all my brothers and sisters pull through these times with a much better appreciation for the little things. More so, that they find the love, happiness, and peace we ALL deserve. With that being said, I want to take a moment to remind all my Pretty Hustlers out there, our moment in time is upon us. Some of you have searched your whole life, wandering aimlessly from this project to that woman/man to this job to this state. Pay attention to your gut. Some of us, as women, have been blatantly ignoring what is right in our faces. STOP IT. It’s there for a reason. “God will send you the man you deserve when you are ready for him.” Many of you think YOU are the catch, and you approach each relationship as such because you saw a meme on Facebook that told you so. Now, all of a sudden, you know your worth. It’s not going to be an easy road ahead. One thing is for sure, and two things are for certain. I trust Black women to get us back to the foundation of what it truly means to be a King and Queen among a court of jesters.
CHILDREN'S AFFIRMATIONS SERIES
This book is the first in a children's affirmations series, written to empower children to be their own cheerleaders. From it, will come lessons on how to deflect the untruths thrown their way by others or even themselves. They will learn to build selfconfidence, as well as understand how to talk to and about themselves with positivity. Once children believe, they can achieve! With this book, her goal is to inspire young readers to become the best versions of themselves. Dr. Deven, her husband, and two children reside happily in Birmingham, Alabama. To learn more about Dr. Deven, book an Author talk, or purchase a signed copy of the book, please visit her website at: www.drdevencreates.com
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Baby, it’s cold outside, so that means that it’s cuffing season! Those cold winter nights are best spent snuggled up with your partner, spouse, friend with benefits, or whatever you choose to call them. Cuffing is a must for most, so why not have fun while flaunting your sexiness. February is also the month of love so let’s explore some seasonal trends to turn up the heat. Founder and CEO, Jada DurantWright, has given us the boss girl boutique known as Ladii Parts, LLC . Her fashionable yet sexy lingerie apparel is where dainty meets daring. Whether the occasion is in celebration of a happy anniversary, date night, or just a cozy night in, she has you covered. Your unforgettable night of cuffing will be spent wisely if wearing the right lingerie or sleepwear.
Ladii Parts has available items in the following collections: Lingerie and Hosiery Bra and Panty Fashion Pajamas and Loungewear Playtime Sunglasses Slippers and Slides Handbags and Travel When deciding whether to cuff or not, it’s helpful to have some bomb lingerie waiting at home for the final decision. Ladii Parts has several styles and sizes to choose from to help you decide. Being comfortable is usually the way to go when planning your sexy escapade, and these are my must-have items. It’s the flexibility for me, so enjoy these sexy styles:
HOW TO HAVE A SEXY CUFFING SEASON WITH JADA DURANTWRIGHT OF LADII PARTS LLC WRITTEN BY CHAUNDRA SCOTT
Aside from these dope styles, Jada Durant-Wright has made major Pretty Women Hustle moves in order to offer your favorite cuffing season apparel. Here are the details from this phenomenal woman in business: What inspired you to become a business owner? “Honestly, I’ve always known that I wanted to own a boutique. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to carry, but it was always a plan. The freedom of entrepreneurship always excited me, so once I made a plan for action, there was no stopping me.” How is your brand positively impacting all women and especially women of color? “I believe that representation matters. Just seeing another woman and/or a woman of color out here doing it is empowering for others. Standing up and standing out while bringing the next generation with her is truly a Boss Move as well. Some women may not envision the entire legacy behind entrepreneurship, but I just want to be an inspiration to dream big and go for it. Success is going after your dream and pushing for greatness, and all women can achieve this standard.”
What lingerie or loungewear is best for those cold, winter nights? “For loungewear, I would suggest any style of onesies. They are trendy right now for many reasons. They’re super comfortable, stylish and they transition so well from lounge to sleep. My go-to lingerie in winter is always a sexy short satin slip.” Jada Durant-Wright is empowering all of us to strive greater with our Black Girl Magic. She is also inspiring her immediate family through her vision. Ladii Parts, LLC also has a sister brand, Little Ladii Things, that is run by Jada’s two daughters and niece. Wow! Black Girls truly rock even further when they see the example represented right before their own eyes. So as you prepare for this month of love, do it sexy, do it safely, and make it last for a lifetime of love. Connect with Jada Durant-Wright on social media as @ladii.parts. Support Little Ladii Things on social media as @little.ladii.things. Purchase your hot and sexy new lingerie apparel online at https://ladiip.com/. For business inquiries, please contact Ladii Parts LLC by email at email@example.com
Writer, C. Scott, is a mother of one, author, social worker, early literacy interventionist, and entrepreneur. Follow her on Instagram as @curls_coils and @mysweettealife.
Photos courtesy of Ladii Parts, LLC.
How can women flaunt their winter sexiness? “I believe the key to winter sexiness is simplicity. When out and about, consider wearing a nice pair of shades or other fashion accessories, a comfy 2-piece set, a sleek hairstyle of your choosing, and a ‘gooood’ gloss. Cap the night with your hair down and a dainty piece of lingerie. It’s simple.”
What tips do you have for displaying sex appeal? “Confidence! Just own who you are, and you will ooze sex appeal.”
Our February issue is all about LOVE. This issue features Carla C. Cannon who is an Activator,Cultivator,Catalyst, and Trailblazer.
Published on Feb 9, 2021
Our February issue is all about LOVE. This issue features Carla C. Cannon who is an Activator,Cultivator,Catalyst, and Trailblazer.