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EBONY STEELE radio & tv star SURVIVOR a LUX LUV conversation

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THE LUX LIST 2012

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SCENTS FOR THE SEASON

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012

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& THE LUX FALL ACCESSORY GUIDE

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U R B A N

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M A G A Z I N E

OCTOBER is Breast Cancer Awareness Month Schedule your Mammogram today! “URBAN is NOT a definition of race. It’s city dwelling. It’s a lifestyle. It’s STYLE, CULTURE and CONSCIENCE . . . It’s URBAN LUX MAGAZINE“


LUX

CONTENT

10 DIVERSITY CORNER

Working Americans share their views and show support for their candidate of choice.

THE LUX LIST

2012

26 FASHION - SIMPLY STYLISH

17

A brief glance at European fashions for men.

32 BEST OF LUX 2012 Celebrating the best of Atlanta.

THE LUX LIST 2012 Community leaders of Style, Culture, Conscience and Small Business.

36 LUX ESSENTIALS Stock your shelves with new fall scents.

38 LUX CUISINE Check out Mikki’s Vegan & Gluten Free Football Season Recipes.

40 LUX PULSE

Dancing Through The Storms; a story of survival.

42 LUX LUV

A one on one conversation with radio and television star Ebony Steele.

14 FALL ACCESSORY GUIDE

44 LUX DESTINATIONS Navigating travel websites. Plan the perfect trip.

No need to mourn for the days of summer, this season’s accessory trends are all the hauteness you need.

URBAN LUX MAGAZINE · October 2012 · Year 3 · URBAN LUXURY MEDIA, LLC. ©2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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October - November 2012 | UrbanLuxMagazine.com


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LENTHEUS CHANEY Publisher/Editor-in-Chief MONICA COMPTON Travel Editor KENNY J. GRACE Community Features Editor CARLTON POWELL Copy Editor JANSSEN ROBINSON Copy Editor IAN SMITH Finance Editor UrbanLuxMagazine.com

Join “THE LUX LIST”! Text the word LUX to 24587

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October - November 2012 | UrbanLuxMagazine.com


CONTRIBUTORS

Mikki Douglas entertainment reporter as well as the opportunity to write for

FOR LIFE, facilitates personal one-on-one

television and film. A graduate

plant-based, “flexi-vegan” nutrition & lifestyle coaching for optimizing health & weight loss. She also offers cooking classes, personal “health” chef services, preventative

wellness,

seminars

and

workshops, Lunch & Learns, Workplace & Executive Wellness Programs and Food Industry Education. PlanetMikki.com

Ish Holmes Ish Holmes is a fashion and advertising

photographer

based

Tianna Faulkner

Mikki Douglas, author of the book DIET

of Clark Atlanta University, she studied Mass Media Arts and her stories include features with Kandi Burruss, singer Monica, Rapper 50 Cent, actress Terri J. Vaughn, Keisha Knight Pulliam, Kim Fields, Lisa Wu Hartwell, “All things are possible for those Roger Bobb, and Big Boi. Tianna who believe.” Tianna Faulkner is also the former Ms. Black is a talented and driven writer Atlanta, Georgia 2005 and has with lots of stories to tell. Tianna covered politics, sports, and has been writing stories since community affairs. age five and dreams of being an

in Atlanta, GA. His work has been published in the pages and on the covers of Atlanta based magazines such as Urban Lux Magazine. He has worked with several Atlanta based Out, Frank Ski, DJ Scream, Rich Kid, and D. Woods just to name a few. His visual artwork crosses many disciplines within photography, but tends to have an emphasis on clean, natural style. IshHolmes.com.

Jasmin Moore Reigning from her hometown of Augusta, GA, Jasmin Moore moved to Atlanta to

Geri Miller

entertainers such as T.I., Future, Cash

Geri Miller is a mother, purveyor of healthy eats, an athlete and believer. Most importantly she is a survivor. Geri makes her writing debut in this issue of ULM as she shares her personal story of triumph and her vow to dance through the storms of life.

conquer her big city dreams. She embodies the quintessential Renaissance woman who has tackled all forms of art including drawing, painting, ceramics, and currently photography and design. She is sought after for her out of the box ideas and Vanity Fair, Elle, Urban Lux

Ashley L.Ferrell Ashley L. Ferrell is an Atlantabased lifestyle and fiction writer. Her versatile style is both witty and well-informed, and sometimes a little bit cheeky. You can find a

collection

of

her

words

myprettymind.tumblr.com.

at

Antonio Martez

attention to detail. JasminMoore.com.

Magazine and a host of other international lifestyle and fashion magazines. Antonio Martez Photography is based out of his White Space Studio on Miami Beach. AntonioMartezphoto.com. Antonio Martez is a 8 Time Award

Winning

International

Fashion, Beauty & Entertainment Photographer who has graced the pages of Vogue en Paris,

 UrbanLuxMagazine.com | 2012 October - November

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EDITOR’S

NOTE

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arly sunsets, sweaters and costume shopping all mark the inevitable return of fall. I must admit, I favor the heat of spring and summer months but also look forward to the festivities that come with the fall season. Great friends, family get-togethers and the holidays offer welcoming warmth to the briskness of the season. This is an exciting time of year as fall 2012 marks the four-year anniversary of the historic win of our nation’s first African American president. Urban Lux took to the streets of Atlanta to hear the concerns and issues on the minds of the voting public. Read what a couple of them had to say, page 10. Fall demands an update to your transitioning wardrobe so we give you a look at hot fall accessory trends for 2012 in our LUX LOOKS feature, page 14. We show the gentlemen how to spice up the season with bold colors in our fashion spread, page 26. Breast Cancer awareness is currently on the lips of many. I asked an amazing friend to share her personal story of survival. Geri Miller tells us how she is Dancing Through the Storms of Life, page 40. We also had a one on one conversation with survivor Ebony Steele who uses her voice in radio and television to raise awareness and raise money for breast cancer research, page 42. Our highlight this month is THE LUX LIST 2012, which is a celebration of community leaders in the areas of Style, Culture, Conscience, and Small Business. We profile five leaders who are making strides in their community; Kevin Edwards, Travis Hunter, Jimmy Jones, Tashawnya Menefee, and Amy Rader. Find out why they are THE LUX LIST 2012 honorees, pg 17. There is much more for you to explore in this issue including tasty tailgating treats, pg 38 and our favorite Atlanta hot spots. We shopped, tasted, visited, and decided that you must experience our top 10 BEST OF LUX, page 32. Happy fall and enjoy! LENTHEUS CHANEY Editor in Chief - Lentheus@urbanluxmagazine.com Photo: Ish Holmes

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DIVERSITY

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CORNER

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by: Carlton Powell

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veryone 18 years and older, who are eligible to vote, should vote regardless of your political party preference. You should exercise your right to vote. As a country, we have come a long way with respect to equality for all citizens in these United States of America. When the country was founded, in most states, only white men with real property (land and slaves) or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Unpropertied white men, almost all women, and all other people of color were denied the franchise. Today is not the day of the past. Many have petitioned, marched and fought for this equality, this right to vote. It would be nothing more than a travesty to not honor and acknowledge those who paved the way by not exercising your right to vote. This is why it should be your unwavering goal, November 6, 2012 to cast your vote for your candidates of choice for public and presidential office. In this issue, as we draw near to Election Day, we thought we would dedicate the Diversity Corner to exploring some of the issues and concerns that are on peoples minds. Additionally, two young men, who are average working Americans, have agreed to share their views and show support for their candidate of choice in the 2012 presidential election. Here is what they have to say‌

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DIVERSITY

CORNER

Sean C. Mallett – Project Manager When President Obama was elected, I honestly thought the change from the Bush era would bring unity that is more widespread across parties and race but through consistent left wing heretic, this has proven the opposite and we have more adversity than before. Just look at the current state of congress, they cannot agree on anything! While there is no doubt the condition of America was in dismay when Obama was elected, the continuous excuse of blaming the previous Administration is now archaic. The time for investigation and planning the path forward has lapsed and the effort was blundered, which is why I have lost my belief in the Obama Administration. I do not believe that Obama took the simple phrase of “measure twice and cut once” into consideration when throwing a trillion dollars at the delicate state of the economy, and how do you even justify a trillion dollars anyway? Why were there no economic models run or alternative plans if the first stimulus did not provide an economic boost? Overall, I feel the stimulus, which was the biggest economic recovery plan ever, was spread too far and wide that in many different programs it was absorbed into existing budgets. The tax cuts were not strong and public enough to overcome most Americans prevailing fears of losing a job, their homes, or years of retirement savings. Unlike most moderate conservatives, I honestly do believe that Obama does care about America but his experience is lacking and that has become evident to me based on his recent record.

One area that I am familiar with is the recent strive for Green Energy Initiatives, which has primarily been based on the creation of multiple government entities that have and continue to work in silos and are not collaborating with each other to share ideas. We need to have public and private partnerships established within the government to make the Green Energy Initiatives succeed. What I believe we need right now in America is an experienced “Business Man” in the office not one whose entire career has resided in politics / government, but one that has a positive track record in a capitalist system. For some reason, I keep asking myself why was America settled? What was America built on? The answer is (other than religion), the settlers wanted to wipe out poverty, encourage private enterprise, and vigorously embrace the newly emergent capitalist system.

Why I am not voting for Obama: - He began his career in politics and I do not trust career politicians. - Unemployment, According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, The current U.S. unemployment rate is 9%. Since Obama took office, it has never been lower than 8%, with a high of 10.1% in October 2011.  - I do not believe in big government, too much governing creates more tension within the American public and we need to utilize private business more. - Tax Hikes, why do we punish individuals who have taken risk and worked hard to be where they are today and raise their taxes? This money could be put back into private businesses to create more jobs rather than to the government.

Essentially, they were leaving behind big government and higher taxes, which create inflation and are a direct threat to private enterprise and a capitalistic society. For these reasons, Romney / Ryan will see my vote in November. While I know social issues are important especially since I have many friends with varying lifestyles, these political challenges are taking a back seat right now as Obama has continuously tried to change too much without dedicated focus on areas that needs the upmost attention at this exact moment in time. It baffles me to why he started campaigning prematurely for the 2012 election rather than concentrating on the most important aspect at hand, being president! My question to Obama is if he wants higher taxes on certain Americans, then why doesn’t he take the initiative and tax himself to set the example.

Why I am voting for Romney: - He has been an effective owner of businesses both large and small, maintaining those that were profitable and closing those that were not. - He has never been elected to federal office before. That is a plus in itself these days for me. - He cannot make any more mistakes than what have occurred so far in the administrations of both parties. - He is more moderate than the Bush Administration.

continued on page 12

 UrbanLuxMagazine.com | 2012 October - November

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DIVERSITY

CORNER continued from page 11

Kial Sankaran – Electrical Engineer

In terms of the presidential race, I strongly support Barack Obama over Mitt Romney for a variety of reasons. Part of the reason why would be where I was raised and by whom. I grew up just north of Seattle, WA, which is a very liberal part of the country. There are various areas around the city one can go, and be surrounded by hippies. Honest to goodness hippies. Therefore, I had liberal teachers, liberal friends, and liberal neighbors. There were liberals everywhere. As far as my upbringing, I grew up with both my parents heavily involved in my life. My father immigrated to this country in the 60’s from India where he settled down and raised a family. Looking back, it is hard to completely classify my parents as liberal, but they were definitely to the left of the line.

And the simple fact of the matter is the Republicans look out for the rich and big business more than the middle class and poor. Giving an extra $100,000 to a person who already makes $5 million is not really my concern. I am in the middle class, and as a rule, Democrats look out for the middle class more than Republicans do.

Another aspect, which helped lead me to the left, is I grew up without much of a religious influence. We never went to church and religion was never really brought up. My father grew up in a Hindu family, but this never translated to me. To this day, I never really knew what my mother believed.

On top of that, I think Obama has done a good job and I would like to see what he could do with four more years. He inherited a horrible situation and yet people are crying for his head because he was not able to work a miracle and prevent an economic recession that no one could have prevented. He is unfairly blamed. I also believe we are back on the rise and things are better off than 4 years ago.

Based on my upbringing, I started on the liberal side of the coin and have not changed since. As I grew older, I became less idealistic and have moved closer to the middle on many issues. I am very liberal on social issues, probably in large part due to not being religious, and I would consider myself more moderate on economic and world issues.

Therefore, while I am not opposed to voting Republican, I usually vote Democrat. They line up with my ideals more and the new Republican Party scares me tremendously. I would not vote for an extreme liberal either. Give me a candidate towards the middle, and maybe just slightly to the left.” Here are 6 issues and the candidates’ stance on them...

As such, I cannot really see myself voting for Romney. I really believe he is much more of a moderate than what he is actually projecting, but the extreme right wing scares the bejeezus out of me. Moreover, he actually nominated an extreme right wing conservative for vice president. I can understand the appeal of wanting to get rid of all forms of welfare and put more money in my own pocket. However, a quote out there says, “You can judge a society by how it treats its weakest members.” This has been attributed to many individuals, but since I am Indian, I will say Gandhi said it. I understand why people are upset when they hear about people not working and living off welfare. And yes, there is abuse of the welfare system and some reform is necessary, but the amount of good welfare programs do is tremendous. For every abuser, there are many people trying to work hard and make a better life for themselves. I have been very fortunate in my life in terms of the breaks I have received. I have a good job where I make good money. Sure, I would like some more - who would not? However, if I can indirectly help a small child get something to eat, well I am fine with that.

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Photo: Getty Images

DEBT

OBAMA: Fourth-straight year of trillion-dollar deficits is projected. Won approval to raise debt limit to avoid default. Calls for tackling the debt with a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. Central to Obama’s plan is to let Bushera tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000. ROMNEY: Defended 2008 bailout of financial institutions as a necessary step to avoid the system’s collapse, opposed the auto bailout. Would cap federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product by end of first term, down from 23.5 percent now, with largely unspecified spending cuts. Favors constitutional balanced budget amendment.

October - November 2012 | UrbanLuxMagazine.com


DIVERSITY

ECONOMY

OBAMA: Term marked by high unemployment, a deep recession that began in previous administration and in gradual recovery. Responded to recession with a roughly $800 billion stimulus plan. Continued implementation of Wall Street and auto industry bailouts begun under George W. Bush. Proposes tax breaks for U.S. manufacturers producing domestically or banishing jobs from abroad, and tax penalties for U.S. companies outsourcing jobs. ROMNEY: Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth. Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. Proposes repeal of the law toughening financial-industry regulations after the meltdown in that sector, and the law tightening accounting regulations in response to corporate scandals. ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT OBAMA: Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas drilling overall. Achieved historic increases in fuel economy standards that will save money at the pump while raising the cost of new vehicles. Achieved first-ever regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming and on toxic mercury pollution from power plants. Spent heavily on green energy and has embraced nuclear power as a clean source. Failed to persuade a Democratic Congress to pass limits he promised on carbon emissions. ROMNEY: Supports opening the Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves to drilling, as well as Western lands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska. Wants to reduce obstacles to coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy development, and accelerate drilling permits in areas where exploration has already been approved for developers with good safety records. Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown.

HEALTH CARE

OBAMA: Achieved landmark overhaul putting U.S. on path to universal coverage now that Supreme Court has upheld the law’s mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance. Under the law, insurers will be banned from denying coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidize premiums, people without work-based insurance will have access to new markets, small business gets help for offering insurance, and Medicaid will expand. ROMNEY: Promises to work for repeal of the law modeled largely after his universal health care achievement in Massachusetts because he says states, not Washington, should drive policy on the uninsured. Proposes to guarantee that people who are “continuously covered” for a certain period be protected against losing insurance if they get

CORNER

sick, leave their job and need another policy. Would expand individual tax-advantaged medical savings accounts and let savings be used for insurance premiums as well as personal medical costs.

SOCIAL SECURITY

OBAMA: Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems. In 2011, proposed a new measure of inflation that would reduce annual increases in Social Security benefits. The proposal would reduce the long-term financing shortfall by about 25 percent, according to the Social Security actuaries. ROMNEY: Protect the status quo for people 55 and over but, for the next generation of retirees, raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increases in benefits for wealthier recipients.

TAXES

OBAMA: Wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay 30 percent of their income at minimum. Supports extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone making under $200,000, or $250,000 for couples. However, in 2010, agreed to a two-year extension of the lower rates for all. Wants to let the top two tax rates go back up 3 to 4 percentage points to 39.6 percent and 36 percent, and raise rates on capital gains and dividends for the wealthy. Health care law provides for tax on highest-value health insurance plans. Together with Congress, built a first-term record of significant tax cuts, some temporary. ROMNEY: Keep Bush-era tax cuts for all incomes and drop all tax rates further, by 20 percent, bringing the top rate, for example, down to 28 percent from 35 percent and the lowest rate to 8 percent instead of 10 percent. Curtail deductions, credits, and exemptions for the wealthiest. End Alternative Minimum Tax for individuals; eliminate capital gains tax for families making below $200,000 and cut corporate tax to 25 percent from 35 percent. Does not specify which tax breaks or programs he would curtail to help cover costs.

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lease be encouraged to get out and vote November 6, 2012 for the candidate you feel will lead in steering this country in the right direction and one who represents your values and beliefs. To obtain additional information, and facts on the issues and where the presidential candidates stand, please visit their websites. Obama – Biden http://www.barackobama.com/ Romney – Ryan http://www.mittromney.com/

 UrbanLuxMagazine.com | 2012 October - November

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LUX

LOOKS CATWALK Giorgio Armani Fall 2012 RTW Photo: Olivier Claisse

FALL

ACCESSORY GUIDE

No need to mourn for the days of summer, this season’s accessory trends are all the hauteness you need.

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ich, moody hues. Bold animal prints. Creamy leather. Metal mania. It’s a recipe for your prettiest fall yet. Atop your list of fashion must-haves should be the season’s hottest accessories. Whether you’re complementing runway inspired frocks or letting your accessories carry the look, we’ve got you covered. Make your point loud and clear with statement pieces worthy of front and center wardrobe status. by: Ashley L. Ferrell

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October - November 2012 | UrbanLuxMagazine.com


LUX

LOOKS

MEL BOTERI

ALEXIS BITTAR

BOWENS BERGERON

Forest Green Croc-Effect Cynthia Tote - $696 melboteri.com

Alexis Bittar Ring, - $195 Alexisbittar.com

Handcrafted exotic wood handbag. - $750 bowensbergeron.com

CHARLOTTE OLYMPIA

REED KRAKOFF

STUART WEITZMAN

Bonnie Boot - $1,295 Charlotteolympia.com

Mini Atlantique - $1,815 Reedkrakoff.com

Uprise - $475 Stuartweitzman.com

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THE LUX LIST

2012 COMMUNITY LEADERS OF STYLE, CULTURE, CONSCIENCE and SMALL BUSINESS

 UrbanLuxMagazine.com | 2012 October - November

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LUX LIST HONOREE

Photo: Alex Martinez

AMY RADER An Artist Living Her Dream by: Tianna Faulkner

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raphic and visual artist Amy Rader of Rader Designs is at the top of her game. For more than a decade, she has been the name behind some of Atlanta’s most recognizable visuals in nightclubs, restaurants, boutiques, and salons. Years of hard work and determination have definitely paid off for the small town girl who decided to pursue her dreams. Born in Alabama and raised in Dalton, Georgia, Rader saw big things for herself. As a small child and throughout high school, she realized how creative she was. “I’ve always had the mysterious artist’s eye, the ability to see what most don’t,” she said. Rader produced hundreds of pieces in high school exploring every media that she could get her hands on. She was later awarded a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Atlanta. “I never looked back,” she said. “Living in a small town didn’t expose me to careers in art.” After graduation from the Art Institute with the Best Portfolio and an internship at J. Walter, one of Atlanta’s top ad agencies, Rader’s journey as an artist was on the rise.

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STYLE

With a wide range of skills including logo design, print design, digital wall murals, signage, business cards, posters, and more she considers herself very blessed. Her future goals include designing fabric prints and collaborating with clothing designers to create wearable works of art, designing more digital mural walls, printing on fabric, and creating more custom art pieces. Her advice to young artists today is to try to find something that they enjoy working in and where they can learn, grow, and develop. Rader said she wanted to make a living at being an artist. She was not money driven. “I was so determined and willing to take on any job, including non glamorous work and charity work to pay my dues, get the experience, and to make contacts. “I always knew I was meant to do something,” she said. “There were other family members that were creative, but no one pursued it for a living,” she added. “I was obsessed with art and very determined.” For more information, visit www.behance.net/raderdesigns or contact Robyn Ware at 770-940-7659.

Early on in her career, she observed her employers and professionals in the business and absorbed all of the information and knowledge that she could, from big advertising firms to small interactive agencies. “I’ve been blessed to have some really stellar mentors that taught me lessons in design and in life that contributed to my successes,” she said. Her most current and recently completed projects include artwork, promotional design, and signage for Viande Rouge, a prime steakhouse in Johns Creek, digital wall murals for Atlanta nightclubs Reign and Vanquish Lounge, illustration work for AmeriCorps, and a wall mural for “A Night to remember,” an event with Judy Mauldin. She is most especially proud of her first collection “Aura: The Ensemble Series,” where she collaborated with her longtime friends photographer Alex Martinez and fashion designer Bill Hallman to create 12 limited edition works of art through fashion, photography, and technology. “I called it an ensemble because it’s bringing together a group,” she says. I wanted to do something that we could work on together using photography, painting, and a collage of different things.” The Aura Series was recently featured at the Emerging Art Scene Gallery in Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill, with pieces ranging from $800 to $1400. Rader also has artwork that will be featured in a traveling museum and in a book. To stay busy and to keep her name fresh in the business, Rader has marketed herself to small business owners, working on brand development and design. Years of working for others, Rader now works for herself. Her clients include Bill Hallman, Market Boutique, Kolo Collection, The Final Four, and the RuMM Salon. She has even worked in the corporate sector for pharmaceutical companies and for trade shows.

ON THE COVER Artist: Amy Rader Model: Autumn Turpin Fashion Designer: Bill Hallman - billhallman.com Photographer: Alex Martinez - amphotosite.com

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LUX LIST HONOREE

Photo: Ish Holmes

TRAVIS HUNTER Author Writes and Directs His First Film by: Tianna Faulkner

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ravis Hunter is a man with many talents. Since childhood, the South Carolina native turned Atlanta resident has always been a lover of the written word and has managed to turn his passion into a successful career. His first novel, “The Hearts of Men,” was self-published in 1999. A lot of work is involved in self-publishing,” he said. “You wear a lot of hats.” After attending a book expo in Chicago, little did he know his life was about to change.

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All of this, the book writing, and now filmmaking started off with a little idea about the books he was reading. “I couldn’t find a book with positive black men so I decided to write my own,” he said. “I like all my books for different reasons at different times.” He chose to do a story on the book “Dark Child” because it had the most action, twists, and turns. “My other books are more relationship based,” he said.

Expos are where publishers go to meet authors and seek out new competition claims Hunter, whose motivation was to learn everything about the book industry and make money at the same time. Book author Eric Jerome Dickey, a friend of his, referred him, and introduced him to the who’s who at the expo. After three or four months of being self published, his first book was later picked up by publishing company Random House. “It is always gratifying to have your book validated through a publisher,” he said. Eleven books later, including a series of teen books, Hunter has written and directed his first film, based on his 2009 novel “Dark Child.”

Hunter is an army veteran who studied psychology. He attended Clark Atlanta University, but ended up getting his degree from Georgia State University and says that getting his degree was not in vain. “I’ve always been intrigued by why we do what we do and by what drives people,” he said. “My psychology degree is put to use on a daily basis in my books, and with mentoring at risk youth through my non profit organization The Hearts of Men Foundation, Inc.” Hunter’s organization offers creative writing courses for youth, teaching them the writing process for short films, full-length features, and novels. He also works with at risk teens, exposing them to different aspects of society. “It’s always been in me to try to help the next man,” he said. “That’s my mentality.”

“This has been an awesome experience,” he said. “This new experience and new avenue of creating was great.” Hunter was encouraged to make the book into a film by actress Yolanda Ross, who read his book “Dark Child” and then passed it on to an HBO executive.

Hunter says the new title as film writer and director does not faze him. “It’s just work,” he said. “I enjoy the process of doing it more than the finished product.” Hunter is also a single father, who like any other parent, wants what is best for his son. “He’s happy and proud of me,” he said. “I teach him everything about life everyday.”

“Everything was a challenge,” he said, but explained that writing and directing the film on his own was a way of opening up to another form of entertainment. “I enjoyed this like anything else that I’ve done.” Hunter got his cast and crew together, and began work on the 24-minute film in June of this year. The sold out movie premiered in July at the Midtown Art Cinema and has gotten great feedback ever since. He has completed the script for the full-length film of “Dark Child” and is currently in negotiations with two major companies who want to release the film. He is also working on the script for another movie based on another one of his books, “Married, but Still Looking.” He is also working on two novels, a sequel to “Married, but Still Looking,” and “The Last Laugh,” a book for teens about bullying.

His advice to young writers today is to write something everyday and to learn the craft. “If you’re going to be a writer, you have to be a reader,” he said. “It is a lot of work.” Ten years from now Hunter wants to be writing films and books, he wants to grow his foundation, and wants his books to be known worldwide. For more information about Travis Hunter, his books, or his film “Dark Child,” visit www.travishunter.com.

When asked about his opinion of black films today, Hunter feels that black comedies are the most successful films. “Hollywood puts us up as the joke race,” he said. “I think personally that we’re better than that.” “I don’t think there is anything wrong with what’s out there today,” he said. “I just think there needs to be more diversity.” “We (as blacks) can always have humor,” he said, explaining that it is hard to find black films without it being a comedy. “That’s my challenge,” he said. (to make more serious and successful black films). Hunter has been invited to several black film festivals across the country, including festivals in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and the Urban Media Festival, which will take place in Atlanta October 2012. “I’m just going to see where it goes,” he said.  UrbanLuxMagazine.com | 2012 October - November

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LUX LIST HONOREE

Photo: Ish Holmes

TASHAWNYA MENEFEE

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hat does it mean to give back, and why do individuals find it important to share their wealth and knowledge to increase humanity for the well-being of others? by: Kenny j. Grace

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ashawnya Menefee, an Information Technology Project Manager, saw an urgent need in the community when she discovered an alarmingly rise of HIV/AIDS statistics of youths in urban areas. After spending 7 years at the CDC – Center for Disease Control in the Tuberculosis and HIV departments, Ms. Menefee saw firsthand at what this disease was doing to the communities, and she immediately wanted to be a part of the solution. Ms. Menefee founded SHOW ME THE WAY FOUNDATION, INC. in 2005, a non-profit organization in Atlanta, GA, because she wanted to give back and make sure the kids stayed abreast to things that were going on in their communities as it relates to health and wellness. The foundation educates over 5,000 students each year, concentrating on safe sex and HIV/AIDS education; “60% of my income goes to SHOW ME THE WAY FOUNDATION, because I am passionate about it,” says Menefee!

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to girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 17. The curriculum in these programs focus on, but not limited to, educating youth about HIV/AIDs awareness, the importance of abstinence and not being pressured to have sex, the risks of how your dress / attire can lead to having sex, and how to deal with emotions and anger. “The one thing that we do differently than other organizations is that once the students get involved with our Programs, they go back to their schools and educate their peers,” says Menefee. These programs are open to all youth affected/infected with HIV/AIDS. As a part of SMTWF ongoing fundraiser programs, Campaign Red was introduced in 2006 as a charitable fashion gala – “Runway Red.” This has grown into a brand and standard for youth fashion in Metro Atlanta. This annual charity event is organized around corporate sponsors to create exposure and raise funding for children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. “When the kids walk in the fashion show, they walk away with self-esteem like no other,” says Menefee.

Following the footsteps of her grandfather, who is also a community leader, Ms. Menefee realized during her teenage years that younger girls always looked up to her. She would have conversations with them about bullying, boys, sex, and the importance of staying in school. Because Ms. Menefee could identify with these concerns due to her childhood struggles, she stated, “If I ever got an opportunity to give back, then I would;” hence the inception of SHOW ME THE WAY FOUNDATION.

photo: Ai Factor of Decatur

SHOW ME THE WAY FOUNDATION, INC. (SMTWF) provides mentoring and positive group activities for youth affected/infected with HIV/AIDS and other terminal health issues. Ms. Menefee, President of SMTWF, says, “Our goal is to instill confidence, perseverance, leadership, and practical knowledge by uplifting spirits and providing positive guidance and advice to the youth served by our foundation.” The foundation has partnered with the Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Fulton county schools, as well as the Atlanta Public school system to embrace SMTWF; “they like SMTWF’s style of humanizing the kids about safe sex education,” says Menefee. Each year, SMTWF embark on a county-by-county tour to the Middle and High schools to discuss the foundation and its programs. They formalize a peprally gym assembly approach by bringing in guest speakers, Hip Hop figures and use “cool trends of today” to attract the students and get them involved.

Due to the success of the SMTWF programs, the foundation received an award from Barack and Michelle Obama in 2010 for being a part of their initiative – “Getting Kids Involved,” and demonstrating the importance of how to give back to the community. Raising a teenage daughter, Ms. Menefee wanted her child to know the importance of giving back and that her mom left her a legacy!

Two of SMTWF’s most popular Programs – “SHE Girls” and “Holla Back Boys” are eight-week course programs that are offered

To learn more about SHOW ME THE WAY FOUNDATION and its programs, please visit showmethewayfoundation.org.

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LUX LIST HONOREES

Photo: Jasmin Moore

JIMMY JONES & KEVIN EDWARDS

We Rule The Night! by: Tianna Faulkner

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ounder Kevin Edwards and Business Partner Jimmy Jones of KCE BARS currently own and operate Indigo Lounge, Red Ultra Lounge, and most recently acquired Aurum Lounge.

Edwards, an accountant by trade, worked in the Mayor’s office during Bill Campbell’s term in the early 90’s and was in the real estate business. Edwards got started in the restaurant/lounge business in 2008 and invested in a club in New Orleans called Club Hush. This club would be his first club located in the French Quarters on Decatur Street. After a period of slow growth, Edwards soon discovered that New Orleans was a very different market than Atlanta. Edwards moved back to Atlanta and embarked on his next venture, Indigo Bar. This project came with some major obstacles to overcome. Edwards says his credit was ruined when he was dealing in real estate and had to figure out how he was going to open up Indigo Bar without any credit. “The only thing I had was my word and the trust of the property owner. Indigo Bar had no bank financing when it opened.” While Edwards was working to open Indigo Bar, Jimmy Jones was busy running his business and promoting parties. Jones owns TonightAtlanta.com, one of the largest email marketing companies in Atlanta, which he has been managing over six years. Jones has been a promoter for over ten years, which included organizing the after party for the 2011 Peachtree Village International Film Festival.

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Edwards is passionate about expanding his brand. He quickly realized that with the product and brand that they have at KCE Bars they didn’t have to settle for just one bar and so Edwards made it his personal goal to have ten. In less than a year, KCE Bars has grown three of the hottest spots in Atlanta. The goal is to double that number next year. Edwards says you have to start somewhere, but once you understand the concept, then dreams can become reality. In addition to expandingthe business, Edwards and Jones says that they would like to take KCE Bars public. “We have a brand and we have a formula that has been successful,” said Edwards. “We think that we can take it to the next level and become a publicly traded company.” Edwards said the experience at a KCE Bars venue is very personable, where they strive to create an inviting atmosphere of warmth and familiarity. Edwards and Jones want people to come into their club expecting to have fun and an overall great experience. “The life expectancy of a club in Atlanta is two maybe three years. We’re focused on longevity. Promoters that do business with us are always satisfied and want to come back. We consider them family too,” said Edwards. Their formula of success is to create a family environment for the clients and the people that they work with: Team Indigo, Team Aurum, Team Red, etc. “You’re only as strong as the people around you,” said Jones. The two men are also concerned and involved citizens, who give back to the communities throughout Metro Atlanta. This year Team Indigo went out to district two in Atlanta and donated 300 book bags to needy children in southwest Atlanta. They have also reached out to Historically Black Colleges and Universities to host fundraisers at their businesses, where they have donated a percentage of sales from the clubs to the schools. They also work closely with non-profit organizations who want to utilize their venues. “Our goal is to be the Kings of the Night,” said Edwards.

Photo: Jasmin Moore

Jones and Edwards met with the opening of Atlanta’s Indigo Bar. After the opening of the bar, Edwards offered Jones a partnership. “I never even really knew what it took before I met Kevin to own and operate your own facility,” said Jones. Edward’s real estate/ club owning and accounting experience combined with Jones’ marketing experience made for a great team.

“There’s really no aspect of the Atlanta night life that we don’t touch and in order to rule, you have to be a household name that’s really what we’ve been fortunate enough to experience. We want to be on the forefront of implementing our strategy to where more and more doors continue to open up for us because we do good business,” said Jones. Fore more information visit KCEBars.com

“It was just a good marriage of two good business people experienced in both of our fields,” said Jones. Jones goes on to say that, the two had very similar ideas about business and that they meshed well early on in their partnership.  UrbanLuxMagazine.com | 2012 October - November

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SIMPLY STYLISH by:

If anything can be determined from a brief glance at European fashions for men, it’s that simplicity reigns supreme. Effortless polish is achieved with ease, due mainly to the construction of the clothing, the materials used and the preference for classic colors. While the uncomplicated approach almost always renders a stylish outfit, this shouldn’t be mistaken for being boring. European men will add a small personal touch to their ensembles, lending a sense of individuality to even the most simple, unassuming getup. A pop of color does the trick, as does an accessory of choice. Embracing a trend is one way to add variety to the mix; many designers, such as Giorgio Armani, take chances from season to season by reshaping classic pieces in an effort to shake things up a bit. This is just another way to make the most of the European sense of style - pair the timeless with the time-sensitive for a remarkably fashion-forward look. Model: Justice King Photographer: Antonio Martez Wardrobe Stylist: Orlando Humphreys Location: Rocky Mount, North Carolina

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Antonio Martez


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Lumberjack Wool Overcoat; Print Scarf; Fitted Black Executive Button Shirt; Slim Fit Winter Grey Jeans; Faux Fur Hat – H&M


Exclusive Men’s Wear from Lux Boutique Miami

Model: Lloyd Dickenson Photographer: Antonio Martez Wardrobe Stylist: Michael Marshall Location: White Space Studios - Miami

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Exclusive Men’s Wear from Lux Boutique Miami

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Exclusive Men’s Wear from Lux Boutique Miami

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2 6 2 Ed g e w oo d Av enue Atlanta, GA 30303 thespanishharlem.com 4 0 4 - 4 2 0 - 0 0 7 7

photo by: Ish Holmes

“Fervet olla, vivit amicitia: While the pot boils, friendship endures.� ~Latin Proverb


CELEBRATING THE BEST OF ATLANTA by: Ashley L. Ferrell

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tlanta, a vibrant hub of history, style and culture, is also home to a bounty of successful boutique business brands. Whether city mainstays or newbies on the scene, the appeal is evident: these establishments are making a mark. So it only makes sense that we spread the word. Here’s to saluting our favorite enterprises and all their endeavors.

BEST FOOTWEAR BOUTIQUE

BEST CUSTOM CLOTHIER

EPITOME - If Judy Jetson opened a footwear boutique, it would look like this. From the backlit shelves, mod seating, glossy stark white walls and floors to its meticulously curated shoe collection, Epitome is high on style in every way possible. Selections include designer staples for the ladies and gents, as well as rare sneaker classics such as Nike Dunk and Air Max. Could this be the future of shoe shopping?

HIDEOKI BESPOKE - Ever wondered how some people have a style all their own? I’ll share their secret. Hideoki Bespoke, an exclusive, appointment only atelier that crafts custom, high quality pieces for the city’s fashionable elite. With a team of designers so talented (think Mychael Knight of Project Runway fame) it can put any Parisian couture house to shame, this can change your style forever.

252 Pharr Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 Epitomeatl.com

By appointment only. 678.825.3470 Hideokibespoke.com

BEST WOMENS BOUTIQUE

BEST MENS BOUTIQUE

BOUCHIC BOUTIQUE + LOUNGE - Cosmopolitan meets Southern sensibilities is the thought behind this trendy Glenwood Park boutique and lounge. Forever buzzing with trunk shows and fusion events, bouchic’s bright and airy loft space is decked out with the latest in designer (both wellknown and indie) fashion and accessories.

MODA 404 - For the alpha male and his compadres, alike, Moda 404 is a quintessential menswear boutique. Stocked with a bevy of designer exclusives and hard-to-find styles, you’ll upgrade your swag just by walking through the door. Be sure to pick up a Moods of Norway blazer and a pair of Duckie Brown saddle shoes, your closet will thank you.

453 Bill Kennedy Way SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (in the ENSO building) Bouchicatl.com

3145 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta, GA 30305 (Buckhead Commons Shopping Center) Moda404.com continued on page 34

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2012 continued from page 34

BEST CAR WASH & BISTRO

BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH

BEST FRUITCUP STAND

AUTO SPA BISTRO - How many places can you order a hand wash, buff and Bugatti burger all without the requisite side-eye glance? I can name one. Auto Spa Bistro serves up premium car detailing services outside and upscale bar fare inside its comfy lounge. Its membership package even includes VIP privileges. You’ll never look at car washes the same.

BUCKHEAD BOTTLE BAR - If you’ve never been to this trendy brunch bistro, the first thing you’ll want to do is try everything, and then a little bit more. It’s that good. Chef Jason Ellis, a Hell’s Kitchen season seven alum, fuses Southern comforts with European influence, creating a menu that is simply put, amazing. Open for brunch, lunch, dinner and late night nosh, faves include the salmon croquettes and truffle mac and cheese.

LOTTAFRUTTA - This eclectic fruit house and market may look like it belongs in a Caribbean beach town, but it calls Old Fourth Ward home. Its menu specialties include Cuban-inspired grilled sandwiches, exotic fruit smoothies and heavenly, fresh-cut fruit cups. You may not live near the tropics, but at least you can eat like it.

348 14th St., Atlanta, GA 30318 Autospabistro.com

590-A Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 Lottafrutta.com

268 E. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, GA 30305 Buckheadbottlebarandbistro.com

BEST PIZZA & KARAOKE

BEST FOOD TRUCK

BEST BOOT CAMP

NANCY’S PIZZA BUCKHEAD - A Chicago original, now an Atlanta classic, Nancy’s Pizza is home to the best deep dish pie this side of the Mason Dixon Line. Stocked with all the goodies you’d expect from a pizzeria, menu signatures include Uncle Tony’s Special and A Lot’ A Meat pizzas. Come for the food. Stay for the live jazz (Fridays, 7 p.m. - 12 p.m.) and their famous karaoke challenge (Thursdays 8 p.m. - 1 a.m. & Saturdays 9 p.m. - 1 a.m.).

The Healthy Nut FOOD TRUCK - If you spot this citrus-colored truck roaming the streets, you may want to follow it, flag it or GPS-track its location. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on the light and tasty treats the Healthy Nut is so famous for. After your meal, sign up for their bootcamp-esque Fit Club for customized fitness instruction and wellness inspiration. Being a health nut, never tasted so good.

BOOT CAMP FOR A CAUSE - This is not your runof-the-mill kettlebells and sprints in the park at dawn. Boot Camp for a Cause (BC4C) is out to do your body and the community some good. Led by volunteer fitness pros, BC4C offers training sessions four mornings a week at Piedmont Park. In turn, donating all of its proceeds to local causes such as Project Open Hand, Everybody Wins and Trees Atlanta.

The streets of Atlanta Thehealthynuttruck.com

Piedmont Park Bc4c.com

3167 Peachtree Rd. NE, Ste. D, Atlanta, GA 30305 Nancysbuckhead.com

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LUX

ESSENTIALS

POTION FOR WOMAN A fall must have for her with notes that feature bergamot, violet, blackberry, rose, jasmine, lily of the valley, rhubarb, black and white musk, black amber, patchouli and vanilla. @DeanandDan

KOKORICO Jean Paul Gaultier returnes with the launch of Kokorico By Night, a new mens fragrance that features warm notes of bergamot, rhubarb, cocoa bean and tonka bean. @ JPGaultier

FALL SCENTS

Stock your shelves with these fall scents as you transition your wardrobe. All new fall launches available at a fragrance bar near you! by: Lentheus Chaney

BOND 007 In the year that marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond, the world’s first male fragrance dedicated to the legendary British spy is born: James Bond 007. The essence of a true icon, James Bond 007 fragrance is a classic and masculine scent with a fresh, sophisticated twist. @007

COCO NOIR COCO NOIR marks a return to Oriental fragrances for the House of Chanel. Striking top notes of Grapefruit and Bergamot accentuate the floral accord, with Rose and Jasmine, while Indonesian Patchouli and Sandalwood notes add warmth. @CHANEL

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FAN DI FENDI POUR HOMME Fendi delivers a new woody aromatic fragrance for him with sentual notes of bergamot, mandarin, pink pepper, basil, cardamom, geranium, atlas cedar, leather, patchouli and tonka bean. @Fendi


LUX

CUISINE

FEED YOUR HOME TEAM RIGHT

by: Mikki Douglas

WITH FOOTBALL SEASON UPON US, more and more of us will be eating bar food & processed snack foods at home; and along with raising our voices cheering for the team, we will also be raising our blood pressure, cholesterol, waist line, heartburn levels and risk of heart attack. I’m here to tell you all that’s not necessary. You can have taste and health food at the same time. Not possible you say? You haven’t tried my recipes. Born from my LOVE of food, I have cleaned up some of you and your man’s favorites. So, if you love your man, yourself, your friends and family, try whipping up these easy and darn tasty ‘bar food’ style plant-based recipes at your next football get together and watch everyone cheer for you as well! Check out Mikki’s Vegan & Gluten Free Football Season Recipes.

THE MIKKI MELT 2 slices per melt of Rudi’s Gluten Free Multi-grain bread (freezer section at Kroger and Whole Foods) 1/2 organic onion, finely sliced 2 tbsp Soy free Earth Balance “buttery” spread 1 Amy’s gluten free Bistro Burger per person 1/4 cup Daiya Mozzarella or Cheddar “cheese” or Daiya “wedge”2 thin slices organic garlic powder organic extra virgin olive oil In a stainless steel frying pan, add earth balance and onions on HIGH heat. Sauté until browned and caramelized, set aside. In same pan add drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sauté bistro burger on medium high heat until browned. Place one slice of Daiya or a few sprinkles of Daiya shreds on the Rudi’s bread, add bistro burger patty, and add onions, and another slice or sprinkles of Daiya. Sprinkle garlic powder inside sandwich and close. Turn pan on medium high, add drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tsp earth balance, once melted, add sandwich to pan. Weigh down with another heavy pot or sandwich press if you have once. Once side 1 is browned, flip over and weigh down. Once “cheese” is melted, about 5 minutes, remove and slice.

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ENJOY this football season and enjoy it with your loved ones without adding a bunch of blubber or health issues! For recipes, tips, articles, events, cooking class, to sign up for her ‘NewBetter’ or for more information and recipes within her book, Diet for Life, please visit planetmikki.com.

October - November 2012 | UrbanLuxMagazine.com

CLEAN & CHEESY SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP 1 cup Daiya Vegan Mozzarella shreds or 1 Daiya Pepper Jack Wedge, diced 6 cups organic baby spinach leaves 2 jars of un-marinated artichoke hearts (in water) 4 tsp garlic powder or 4 garlic cloves, minced and sautéed 1 tbsp organic dried minced onion 1 tbsp soy free earth balance 1 tbsp organic olive oil 1 tsp sea salt Preheat oven to 400. Preheat large skillet, on med-high heat; add olive oil, spinach, garlic and earth balance, sauté until wilted. Add chopped artichokes, sea salt and dried onions. Mix in and remove from heat. Mix in vegan cheese shreds. Place in baking dish. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until cheese has melted. Serve with Ezekiel bread, toasted and cut into triangles, Mary’s gone Crackers Seed Crackers or Organic Corn Chips.


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LUX

PULSE

DANCING THROUGH THE STORM by: Geri Miller

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t wasn’t the thought of being bald, losing my eyelashes or eyebrows that got to me. It was the initial thought of having to tell my daughter Brooke that I’d been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Wait “I can’t die yet.” I have too many unfulfilled dreams and vision inside of me, too many women in shelters to speak to, homeless people to feed, women to encourage about eating healthily, working out and pursuing their dreams. I have to go to Paris. I have to see Brooke finish high school, college, fulfill her dreams. I have more dancing to do. I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend and a believer. You’ve promised me so much God. With no history of breast cancer in my family, being diagnosed with this disease that I knew nothing about was simply devastating and unbelievable.

How I will tell her? Will she be able to handle it? What about my mom and dad, my sisters and brothers….OMG! What will people think about me? I eat healthy and I work out! Now after working for 25 years completely healthy with full benefits, I just got laid off. How will I pay the medical bills? I asked God again; don’t you think I have been through enough? I reminded Him daily about the divorce that could have easily left me insane, challenges of raising a child, my failed relationships and broken engagement. The basic principle of life of that I know to be true is that trials and tribulations exclude no one.

Breast Cancer?...Me?…Are you Serious? This must be a mistake. I just ran a half marathon for my friend’s 40th birthday. I am training for the Peachtree Road Race. I just ate a bowl of seaweed salad, walked up and ran down Stone Mountain….(twice). We just celebrated Brooke’s sweet 16th birthday and launched her jewelry business.

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”YOU’RE A STRONG GIRL”


LUX

PULSE

The Power of Family and Friends.

Instead I went into my own private little world. I did not answer my phone for hours. I sat in restaurant and for the first time probably ever in my life, I lost my appetite as tears of fear and disbelief rolled down my face uncontrollably. Hours later I finally made it home to friends waiting for me in my driveway. They built a bridge and a tower of love around me that night and literally refused to leave until I put them out.

A daughter’s love Telling Brooke was the hardest task ever. Thankfully, she was away for a week at a leadership conference. I decided to let her enjoy the week away and told her on the drive back. That was the longest drive ever! She cried in my arms for 4 hours. Who knew that the restless seed that I carried for nine months would carry me through years of life’s most challenging assignments. Brooke along with my family, faith and friends has been my strength, my rock, my reason for refusing to accept defeat. Brooke would come in my room every morning, with gratitude and excitement….”Oh Goody Mommy, you made it! God allowed you to see another day.” My spirit would jump with determination despite fatigue. She wrote songs for me…my favorite being, “You’re a Strong Girl” Every time I listen to the song, tears of joy and strength overtake me . The song literally strengthens my mind. Poems and letters of encouragement were healing to my soul. She told me that God chose me for this assignment because He knows that I am a “Strong Girl” and he chooses the hardest battles for the strongest people. I know this has been probably a challenging task for her but God really does choose the strongest people for the hardest battle. She’s a strong girl.

Let the dance begin Through consistent prayer, it was finally confirmed within my spirit with resounding Peace that “God trusts me with this assignment”. I immediately decided to dance my way to victory! Since it was confirmed that Stage II Breast Cancer was not an ending but actually the beginning of the best days of my life, I decided to celebrate the victorious outcome before I start the assignment. What was intended to be a small victory party turned out to be an outpouring of love and support from the most

Photo: Sonuia Reed

June 29, 2011. The phone call that changed my meaning of life---- “Miss Miller, I am sorry to inform you, the results are positive.” I drove straight through a red traffic light. It was approximately 4:00 pm but I couldn’t see anything. My phone began to continuously ring. My friends expected for me to give them the good news that the results were negative.

amazing support group ever! I am still in awe of the love and support that I receive. The night of my victory party, my friends and family wrote cards of encouragements so that I could read them during my treatment. There is healing in the power of love and support. I knew this would be an amazing victory journey and I would never stop dancing! My daughter wanted to go with me to my first chemotherapy appointment. Reluctantly, I allowed her to go. My oncologist explained in explicit details the intense 14 day cycle treatment plan, 3 different types of chemotherapy drugs to be taken for 8 months. The side effects would include mouth and hand sores, nausea, vomiting, susceptibility to infections, hair loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss and the list goes on. Brooke decided that she did not want me to experience any of the side effects so she prayed sincerely and declared that I would have none of the side effects that the oncologists listed. Because of her faith, after 8 months of chemotherapy, I had none of the side effects and I did not lose one strand of hair. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer or know someone who has, take heart as I am a living testimony that what used to be dismal death sentence, no longer is. In the last 40 years, scientist have learned more about why and how breast cancer develops and have made tremendous strides in diagnosis and treatment. Research has led to better treatments, a lower chance of death from the disease and an improved quality of life for millions of breast cancer survivors, including women with recurrent breast cancer. We all need healing in some area of our lives. Healing begins in the mind. Surround yourself with positive people, think positive and refuse to be defeated. Exercise, limit your sugar intake, be good to yourself and even better to others. Most importantly, never forget to smile, laugh and dance your way to victory.

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E BONY ST EEL E by: Lentheus Chaney

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bony Steele is quite possibly one of the most prolific personalities in entertainment today. She is a current co-host of the nationally-syndicated, hit radio program The Rickey Smiley Morning Show. She is best known for her “Ain’t Nobody Saying Nothin’” and “Da Bizness” segments on the popular radio broadcast. As a member of the Rickey Smiley team, she contributes to Dish Nation, a nightly entertainment news show that features four different radio hosts from across the nation. It aired for six weeks on FOX during the summer of 2011 and premiered a new season on September 10th on FOX. The talents of this on-air personality do not stop with her hosting duties on radio and television. Steele has appeared on stage alongside Anna Maria Horsford and Roz Ryan (of Amen fame) in the theatrical production, Butterfly Confessions; she portrayed one of the Murderesses in a production of Chicago; and transitioned from stage to film with the stage play turned video, The Job. Steele has recorded numerous voiceovers for major brands such as Wal-Mart, Verizon and the SyFy Channel, to name a few. Her voiceover work carries over to appearances for prank call CDs by Rickey Smiley and Roy Wood, Jr. As a five-year breast cancer survivor, her most important work is her most personal. When Steele was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2007, she joined Susan G. Komen for the Cure as a Circle of Promise National Ambassador. Since then, she has starred in PSAs for Susan G. Komen produced for the Gospel Music Channel and General Mills as their Pink Together Ambassador. She makes numerous, national appearances for the organizations and headlines her own yearly breast cancer charity event, Eye Candy: Bare Chest for Breast Cancer featuring male models. I sat down with the beautiful Ms. Steele for a LUX LUV conversation about her new show, a day in the life of Ebony and how she uses her diagnosis as a vehicle to spread awareness. Lentheus: What’s has been the response since your new show Dish Nation aired? Ebony: All of the feedback has been positive. In one of the markets someone said that they loved the show but hate that it replaced the Simpsons. The feedback has been that it’s one of the best places you can get entertainment news on TV, get it quickly and from people that you know and love because you already hear us on the radio.

LUX

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Lentheus: What’s a typical morning like for you? Ebony: Early…I start hitting the snooze at about 3:45am. I am out the door by 4:40am and have to arrive at the station early for the hair and makeup piece for Dish Nation. We start shooting at 5:30, thirty minutes before the radio show starts. It’s fast paced and I love it because I get to learn at the same time. Lentheus: Tell me something that most people would not know about you. Ebony: Something people would not know is that I am very sensitive. On the show I keep Ricky and the guys in line but I have a sensitive side to me that people may not know about. The other thing is that I eat chicken just about every single day of the week. I know that may sound stereotypical but I love my chicken. Lentheus: How did you get involved with the Circle of promise? Ebony: I am sometimes embarrassed to say that when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I had only been at the Rickey Smiley show for six weeks. I really had to pray and meditate on if I would be public with my diagnosis or just go through it myself and get through the chemo. Making the announcement on the air was one of the best things I could have ever done because I received support that I had not even thought about. After making the announcement on the air, the next day Crystal King, Marketing Director for Circle of Promise, was at the station with a basket for me. It was the first sign for me that I didn’t have to go through this alone. Crystal and I became friends as she got me involved on the speaking circuit. Circle of Promise is an arm of the Susan G Komen foundation that reaches out to the African American and Latino community. Lentheus: How did you come up with the idea of Eye Candy: Bare Chest for Breast Cancer? Ebony: When you want to attract women to a cause, what better way to do it than to have nice looking men involved? The Eye Candy portion was actually something I started early on in my radio career in Birmingham. It wasn’t for charity at that time. It was just an all male runway show. What I did was tweak it a little bit after I was diagnosed. I wanted to keep the concept. Since it attracted women and I wanted women to be aware about breast cancer, I changed it to Eye Candy: Bare Chest for Breast Cancer. Lentheus: What’s next for Ebony Steele? Ebony: I am open to whatever opportunities God has in mind for me! I am constantly reviewing projects and prayerfully waiting for the next assignment. In the meantime, I love working with children through my dance academies in Atlanta and Birmingham. I truly believe the arts are a great method to train our youth to think creatively and build positive selfesteem.

Lentheus: What do you like most about your job? Ebony: What I like most about my job is that I get to go to my job and just be me. The fact that I am actually Ebony Steele at work and Ebony Steele when I am not at work makes it exciting for me. I can express myself, express my options, disagree with my counterparts on air and just be me. It’s a double edged Learn more and get involved at CircleofPromise.org and sword because if people like you, they like you but if they don’t EbonySteele.com. like you, you can’t say they don’t like the product...they just don’t like you.  UrbanLuxMagazine.com | 2012 October - November

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LUX

DESTINATIONS

NAVIGATING TRAVEL SITES by: Monica Compton

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October - November 2012 | UrbanLuxMagazine.com


LUX

DESTINATIONS

what you see is not always what you get. If you’ve never been to the city and have no benchmark for comparison, how do you know which hotels are what they say they are? I’ve heard many people depend on guest comments, but even these are subjective and what may be a priority for someone else may not be a priority for you. I’ve found the best way to navigate through a travel website is to first decide what your most important needs are. Do you need to be located downtown and close to mass transit? Are you looking for a hotel with a full-service business center? Does your travel schedule make 24-hour room service a must? Once you prioritize your needs, next look at your wants. A fitness center and pool might be an added bonus. Or being close to a dining and shopping district might satisfy your quest for a leisure element.

S

ome call their beds “heavenly,” others detail the spaciousness of the room. Some boast about the view of the skyline while others relish in the luxury of their pool. The pictures are gleaming with sparkling furniture and high-end bedding. You can’t wait to snuggle under that bright white duvet or take a dip in the bubbling hot tub. And the price? Remarkable. Outstanding. A steel for this area of town. Without hesitation, you click the purchase button and pat yourself on the back for getting the best hotel deal across the Internet. Fast forward a month and you’re now standing in the hotel’s lobby which is cluttered with racks of tourism brochures, a front desk that is understaffed and no bell assistance for your week’s worth of luggage. The room is so small the wardrobe butts up against the bed which is anything but heavenly. The air conditioning unit is blasting hot air and there’s a hair in the bathtub. And that view? A brick wall. While travel websites are the easiest and least expensive way to book hotel rooms, I’ve learned that

Now it’s time to navigate. It might feel overwhelming to know which travel website best fits your needs, but in reality, they are all really quite similar. All are searchable by location and can be filtered from least expensive to most expensive. The more costly the property, the more stars it will have. However, these stars are arbitrary ratings given by the travel site and are not related to official ranking systems such as the AAA Diamond Rating Process and the Forbes Travel Guide Star Ratings (formerly Mobil Star Ratings). For these reasons, I don’t pay particular attention to the stars. I’ve stayed at a hotel in downtown San Francisco that was rated three stars and cost $89.00 per night and it was just as good as any hotel that was rated four stars by AAA. I feel the same about guest comments. While I do scan them, I am more interested to see if the positive responses outweigh the negative. One bad review doesn’t detract me from booking a property that otherwise fits all my needs. Once I’ve found my price point, I read the list of amenities to determine if it matches the needs of my trip. Since the majority of my travel is business related, location is usually my first priority. After that I make sure the hotel has a full-service restaurant, not just a continental breakfast in the morning. These types of properties are categorized as “limited service” and I’ve found this limitation can carry over into other service areas of the hotel. The most important tip: call the hotel. If the phone rings five or more times with no answer, hang up and don’t book it. You want service, not delays. Even with all these guidelines, I sometimes still book a hotel that is less than what the website says. And because the hotels make you pay for the room upfront on a non-refundable basis, there’s not much chance of making a change. The good news is, the more you navigate these websites the more experience you’ll have in picking a winner. You’ll be looking out a window with a beautiful skyline view and putting your head down in a truly heavenly bed. Monica Compton has 20 years experience in the travel industry, both domestic and internationally. Contact her with your travel questions at mcompton@pinnacleprod.com.

 UrbanLuxMagazine.com | 2012 October - November

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THE LUX LIST 2012  

Early sunsets, sweaters and costume shopping all mark the inevitable return of fall. I must admit, I favor the heat of spring and summer mo...

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