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Magazine‌ is the publication that celebrates the diversity and talent that surrounds us daily from a positive perspective. Featuring the best of the best via the arts,entertainment, luxury, lifestyle of professionals and more. Reaching various consumers across the country and overseas, our editorial content, promotion, and brand extensions communicate this ideal to the masses. For interviews, advertising or additional questions or comments: or

Contributing Writers: Kisha Green Merecal Smith Charlotte "Charlee" Gumbi GVS Michael Snell Jasmine Bourdeau Katherine Bouglai #Cwspeaks BPT

Contributing Photos: Jowhari Trahan Urban Tymes Cover Photo Courtesy of Miss DC USA Kara McCullough

U.S. & Internationally Loved! 4/ Urban Tymes Magazine

A Special Thanks those that contributed to this special issue: Venues


The Mint Museum 2730 Randolph Road Charlotte, NC 28207 (704) 337-2000

Matisa JenkinsStyles By Matisa 129 N Poplar Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 704-271-4397

The Wadsworth Estate 400 S Summit Ave, Charlotte, NC 28208 704-332-3050


Bridal & Men’s Boutiques Paige and Elliot Bridal Boutique 16610 Old Statesville Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078 Dar-Lynn Bridal and Formal Wear 12605-B East Independence Blvd Matthews, NC 28105 704-847-2116 The House of LeMond 3010 Monroe Rd. Suite 103 Charlotte, North Carolina (704) 712-9531 Sterling Shoe Shines 3010 Monroe Rd. Suite 103 Charlotte, North Carolina AlphaMale Nailcare for Men 3010 Monroe Rd. Suite 103 Charlotte, North Carolina (704) 280-2540

Adrienne Deese Krystin Simpson Matisa Jenkins Lawanda White LeMond Crayton-Hart Sterling Kalim Green

Photography Silvio Suarez

Cake Vendors Nona's Sweets Bakery 1520 Overland Park Lane, Charlotte NC 704-717-6144 Cake Makin' Sisters 9545 Pinnacle Drive Charlotte NC 28262 cakemakinsisters@gmail FB: @cakemakinsisters ¡ (704) 455-0030

Wedding Planner Alexis Alexander Wedding & Event Planner since 2003

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When I thought of an issue noting the wedding season, I had an idea, but I needed more than the idea. When I presented the idea to our guest editors Tanganyika Watts , Teka Rose and Alexis Alexander, let’s just say the idea became a dream, then the dream became reality. Each of them brought so much to this issue of Urban Tymes. From identifying key individuals to be a part of this, to even coordinating the venues that we shot at and styling of our models. This issue was truly a team effort. No one person taking the glory, but the culmination of ideas and creativity to produce one of the best issues we’ve produced in years. And isn’t that what relationships are about? To work together through all adversity and become stronger, more connected and elevating each other to the next level? Growing and solidifying a bond to stand the test of time?

Simp ly Am azin


These three ladies are truly amazing. I can’t thank them enough for working with me on this beautiful project. Our goal, to share with you weddings in all their wonder!

This month’s contributing writers….…..


Latise Howie

Bianca Warren

Kisha Green

Asha Sims

Teka Rose

Jasmine Bourdeau

Alexis Alexander Dani Cook Carey Digsby

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Guest photographer :

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This Man’s Soul Anthony Hamilton

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Wedding Fashion that will Sweep you off your feet!

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Essentials Teka’s Take: Wedding vs Marriage - pg 14



#OURVOICES featuring Angelia Scott-Dunbar pg- 18


Marriage: Covenant, Convenience or Cop -out? pg- 24 Intimacy & Marriage pg-26


A Positive Beauty: Asha Sims pg-28

Urbanity Before they say..I Do Pastor Fredrick Brown and Aiesha Dewitt- pg 32 Ezra & Jasmine – pg 34 The work of your Wedding Planner- pg 40 Fashion & Style- pg 58 Joy Randall- MUA Extraordinaire! pg 61



The Blended Family: Making it Work! pg-23

Ideal Wedding Venues! - pg 62 Literary Treasures with Kisha Green: featuring Shaun Sinclair-pg 68 Top 5 with Kisha Green- pg 70 Music Food & Wine Tyme Cake Makin’ Sisters- pg 80 Nona Sweets- pg 84

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Teka’s Take


s the most ungirly girl I know, I’d be remiss to act as if I don’t geek out about wedding stuff. It’s a day we all think of at some point in our lives whether as something we never want, or as most “little girls” a day where we cannot wait to be the STAR of our own show. Nearly seventeen years of marriage and I still geeked out over the beautiful wedding gowns, belts, shoes and accessories at Paige and Elliot Bridal Boutique as we selected dresses for this months issue. A die hard sweatpants and hoodie, boots and jeans girl- and I MELT at the first sight of tulle, lace and bedazzled things….ESPECIALLY Tiaras. Cause I’m a self-proclaimed Your Princess’ favorite Princess (thanks Mom).

Grooms are typically more casual about the approach and some are as simple as “whatever she wants”…some are not. As of late, Grooms have taken more of an interest in what is actually their special day as well…who’d have thunk it? We won’t discuss the Grooms that have The book, that’s a whole other conversation and I refuse to go there today. Either way, the wedding becomes the primary focus of all those involved and those that never wanted to be. Cue the Parents-in-law-to-be, the friend that is sick and tired of paying for bridesmaid stuff or the people who are just over other people’s weddings. Somewhere in the big business, we lose sight of the very reason we’re gathered here today…MARRIAGE.

I digress… Its easy for Brides-to-be to do the very same thing once that question has been popped and some lucky (or unlucky) man has chosen you to be his forever lady. Some gals even have the audacity to already have “THE BOOK” ready and set to go, Groom be damned. They have planned their wedding years ago and they will have it no matter what. Some Brides, begin planning immediately, cause lets face it- weddings are big business nowadays. Some love to plan with their future husbands and some just want to surround themselves in love and could care less about venues, dresses, bridal parties and reject the pomp and circumstance of a traditional wedding.

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In all the hustle and bustle of being a Bride/Groomzilla, people become angrier, uglier versions of themselves when things start to not go as planned. I’ve witnessed brides have total, toddler meltdowns because the flowers they ordered didn’t come in- cussing out mama, daddy, their future husband and of course the florist. We must remember, first and foremost we are human beings. Which means nothing will ever be perfect because we are indeed fallible. When things go wrong on your special day (and it will), or not quite as planned during the planning stages of the wedding…it will all be okay. The prize is marrying your best friend, the person you love and adore most in the whole universe. Not that Aunt Bertha wants you to wear her baby blue bonnet from ’56

as your something blue for your ultra chic and modern wedding gala affair. Your family may make demands of what they thought you should have or do, friends or your pastor has their input. Don’t allow these things to distract or stress you during this time. While they will always be important people in your life, you are about to select a lifetime of the only person whose opinions are a factor in your life- your spouse. Sit down and plan your day with them, your wants and what you can afford. Let everything else fall into place. Nothing else matters. Also don’t get in your own way with outlandish flights of fancy or un-

honor that. With extreme exception to abusive situations- if they cant “fix-it” –forget it. I will not act as if wedding planning isn’t or cannot be a fun and elating experience; it is and can very well go off without a hitch that is great if it does happen that way for you. But if it doesn’t, remain cool, calm and collected. Relax. Relate. Release and let that ish roll off your back and keep it moving. You’re trying to get married!

realistic expectations. Its not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage. Yes, the wedding being everything you want no matter what type of wedding you want, courthouse or Private Island would be great; but what’s even greater is having a lasting marriage full of love and happiness. Deciding what you see your future actually being with your future partner, pre-marital counseling to help ensure you are the most ideal match for each other. How many children, you want/don’t want. Where you’ll live as you age, if the other is okay with your elderly parents moving in are important details to sit down about. Discuss deal-breakers, compromise and again…NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. Marriage is a sacred union, whether you’re spiritual or not. It’s a commitment to remain dedicated to the one you will share vows with, and despite statistics, society and everything you do all you can do that is humanly possible to

and everyone helped (or didn’t) and for all intents and purposes, things have gone smoothly. We’ve had growing pains for sure, any real life couple will, and if you are not growing, what are you doing. With growth comes change, sometimes on the same scale, sometime on two totally different planets. Point is, come together and hash it out to reach a compromise. And while our wedding was interesting to say the least, it cannot hold a candle to our seventeen years as husband and wife. But for fun, I’ll run down the wedding woes real quick…wrong dress was delivered (8 sizes too big), I got sick, lost my voice (until just before the vows), our mothers fell out minutes before I walked down the aisle resulting in me crying, which resulted in all my bridesmaids crying because I was upset, the church got rained in.

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As a very young bride, I was clueless about weddings, traditions and everything else…but I knew I wanted to marry my husband. We planned together

You read right, I wanted an outdoor wedding and decided no in case of rain, and the church decided to have roof work done and walla! Rain, inside the church. (Mom said I’m not allowed to curse out a pastor…) My bridal party got shot at outside of King Richards the night before for my bachelorette party, why would we go there you ask? I’m still asking myself that to this day as I have never once set foot in that place (ever) we didn’t that night either. My hair was ruined, running in the rain from the gunplay and the hairdresser failed to show up as promised. Luckily my mom is a cosmetologist and my best friend knows a thing or two about hair so I was saved. The pastor (not mine) DESTROYED my name a billion times through the ceremony, even after my husband corrected him and he had it written in his notes. I’m not even sure if we’re married on a count of that. Once was all said and done, we got pulled over in the wrong side of South Carolina with a car

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full of wedding gifts…luckily I refused t take off my gorgeous gown (the right one), so we were let off with a warning. There’s more, but you’ll have to discuss with your friends and families on this one and share your funny wedding fails and successes. Whatever you do, pray for the best and hope it doesn’t suck. If you’re engaged, congrats! Remember what and who is important during this time and most importantly, LOVE LOVE!!! Happy Anniversary Chris! (June 4, 2017) ~ Teka Rose

Urban Tymes Contributing Writer Social: FB: IG: @ImTekaRose | Twitter: @TekaRose

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Angelia Scott-Dunbar By Carey Digsby

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The bio of Angelia Scott-Dunbar is an inspirational one but talking to this wonderful sister gave way to many more layers to be shared. Born and raised in Arkansas, she notes that her father was a heavy influence on her life. Even during our interview she gave acknowledgement to her parents’ involvement in her life, and even stated that when her father went through his trial with cancer, it gave Angelia the strength and encouragement to face that same challenge as well! Yes one can see the successes she’s had in the real estate industry, from the creation of her own mortgage company “Serenity Mortgage,” to the very successful company, “Dezmond Homes.” But with any accomplishment, there’s bound to be set backs. She proudly shares how she overcame domestic violence, attempted murder, kidnapping, ousted from a real estate company that she was part owner and her latest challenge, cancer. Yet through it all, Angelia remains steadfast in faith, and her believe that others can come out of the dark times and become successful! Angelia, I’ve read in your bio that everyone rants and raves about your entrepreneurial spirit. It seem as your faith truly leads and guides your walk in business. Yes, and that’s correct, because I come from a background where my family, meaning my mother and my father were heavily rooted into the word of God and into church. So I didn’t have options growing up, and actually I thank God today when I didn’t before, that those options I didn’t have caused me to be where I am right now in my faith. And that faith has carried me through so many obstacles and so many trials and tribulations

“Slaying with Broken Pieces” was noted to be one of your recognized achievements. What prompted you to say “I’m going to put pen to pad and write this?” Because I realized that I was saved for a reason. My book was written because for so long I was held a victim of my own story, a victim of my own life. I knew what I’ve gone through, but I was afraid to open up and publicly share and expose. Because you have to expose who you are, and when you think about helping someone else and blessing someone else, it means you’ve got to be open and expose. Exposure is something we all are afraid of because it shows our weakness. People only see out good side, at least that’s what they think, but that good side was created because of my bad side, and what I had to go through. So when I put that pen to paper, I really was not free from what I was free from! Yes I was set fee from being kidnapped, free from domestic abuse, set free from being a single parent twice. I was set from being divorced twice, set free from starting a business then being put out of the business because they couldn’t control who I was as a woman and couldn’t define me. So when I look at being set free from all that, I was still what…locked up in captivity? Because I was afraid to go tell the next person, “you can overcome that, I did!” But I didn’t even tell you what I went through. So when I say I had to write Slaying With My Broken Pieces, people had to know I had a voice, and I had to start using my voice because so many people have gone through what I’ve went through, but were afraid to tell it/ They are afraid to try to step out and become successful, try to step out and become free. So I realized, I’m taking back my power.

. Because of my faith, I’ve been able to overcome so many things that the average person couldn’t withstand. They can’t understand how you could go from being kidnapped, being beaten and being broken. Being rejected and being told what you could be and what you couldn’t be, could have, couldn’t have, who you are going to be, and how you said no: I know what God created me to be! People cannot understand how I stand firm after everything that I have gone through, and my faith has really bought me full circle, it’s steadily defining me daily. Its helping me build who I am so I can go out, inspire and bless so many other people who need just an ounce of what I have when it comes to faith.

So by you writing this, you had to heal yourself before you can be an example and heal others as well. That’s amazing! From “victim to Victor” is your mantra, and that has been the catalyst for your non company, Life Changing Community Development Corporation.

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Yes! Life Changing Community Development Corporation was established to help other people that are less fortunate, because I was a single parent I like to help other single parents. As you’ll see in my book, I was a single parent working three jobs, and I worked three jobs to take care of my child who was nine months old when I moved from Arkansas to Dallas. In doing so it required me to give up all freedoms to keep

my son off welfare, to show him you can work hard and not be in the streets and not sell drugs. I didn’t have to sell my body when people came and propositioned me and said “I can give you more money” I didn’t do that! I tell people when I made it out, I showed them that I didn’t do all that to get to where I am, I just had to keep working hard. I was a victim, but I became a Victor, because I was able to stand firm on my faith, and what was already rooted and embedded in me, and I knew what I wanted. So I sow back into other single parents, and show them that you can come out of it. Let me help you, let me mentor you; give you a piece of hope. They day someone believed in me, they didn’t believe in someone else, so therefore that why I am where I am. Someone believed in me, so I’m believing in other people, so I sow seeds into them. I give back to the community by feeding the homeless, because I could have been homeless, but I wasn’t. I was so close to being homeless that people didn’t even know. There were times I didn’t even have toilet tissue, I was taking tissue from my job. It’s time to tell people the real struggle, because I did what I had to do not to be in

“It’s all possible, if you believe in yourself.”

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the streets, not to sell my body, not to sell my soul, and not to be on welfare. Because I knew it was just a moment in time before I came out. I’m a cancer survivor, so I give money to those that need help with dealing with cancer. I went through that, and God saved me from that as well. There’s no area in my life that I can’t inspire someone else because I’ve gone through it for a reason. That’s to show you that it’s possible to overcome it. We have to change our mindset, and choose to live what we are going through. When I say choose to live, I mean choose to live above the thought of what the situation is. I’m so passionate about it because so many people just need hope. People are left hopeless because people don’t believe you can be recover from whatever. It takes a lot to stand firm on your faith and be exposed! It’s the only way you can have that testimony, if you’ve gone through that test!

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Blended Family Making it Work By Carey Digsby

When I met my wife Renee back in 1995, we both were coming out of relationships where we gave so much, yet the return in those relationships were “bearable.” Both of us had children and during the time of our “courtship” we did not jump and introduce our children to each other immediately. We grew to know each other, then shared with each other our desire to be committed, and then work toward joining our family together. I can still remember the comment she made to me after we started dating each other. She said: “God told my aunt that you were the one I’m going to marry.” I looked at her puzzled, not because I doubted her saying it, but the fact that I didn’t really know her aunt at that time. Now when we see each other, we talk about almost everything.

my wife and I on how we raised them, telling Kierian at times on what to do and how to do it, “or else mama and daddy is going to get you!” Their experiences in sports passed down to their younger sibling, and both being so protective of him. Even now, with CJ married with his own child and Marquis busy running fitness facilities, they both still check on their brother and make sure he’s on the correct path.

It’s been 20 years and our families have truly blended. From our family unit we’ve supported and loved not just Renee’s family and my family, but also the families from our prior relationships. We all attend events for the kids, visit each other for cookouts, chat of FaceBook and so much more. Is it odd, not at all! An old African proverb states “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go toDuring our time of being boyfriend and girlfriend, we gether.” That is so true. Without each individual in did a lot together, and brought both our sons into our family contributing, loving, scolding and praying, the mix as well. From me travelling to Stanley NC to none of us could be where we are today. When I see Marquis at a school Fun day, to Renee’s visits see Renee’s family, her brothers and sister, I see to watch CJ play football on Saturday, our goal was my brothers and sister, not “in-laws.” When Renee to make this not just our relationship, but to let our sees my family, they see not just my wife, but their sons know that “we” will be a strong family. When family member that they can talk to and help in any Renee and I became engaged, we included the way. boys in on what our wedding plans were, even to the point when CJ’s mother informed us that her That is the true blessing, of a blended family. And brother was getting married the same week we believe it or not, it works! initially planned, we moved our date to accommodate him and ensure that CJ would be a part of our marriage as well. I still remember the day I took the boys to be fitted for their tuxedos, watching them The Digsby’s circa 2012 talk and getting measured resonated in my spirit that they are now truly brothers. Both of them have had their “challenges” in life, but our goal was to treat both of them the same, and let them know that we would always be there if they needed us. After our union, my wife and I were blessed in 1999 with the birth of our son Kierian. Kierian became the catalyst, the glue for CJ and Marquis as brothers. To hear the three of them in a room talking about

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Covenant, Convenience, or Cop-Out?

By Dani Cook

up appearances, please their pastors, or weren’t willing to take a downgrade in their lifestyle…


So, they stayed married.




I’m not sure they’re much different… minus the $35K weddings, choreographed groomsmen dancing (in hops of going viral), and the incessant Facebook posts to let everyone know just how big your venue is, how many karats the ring has, and what island you’re going to on the honeymoon…

Any of those sound familiar? Have you seen something similar as you scroll down you’re timeline? I have. And then people wonder why they’re not happy. When I was growing up, marriage was something you aspired to have… You wanted to find a partner, settle down, and live ever after. No, I didn’t say “happily ever after” because most of the marriages I witnessed were dysfunctional as hell. Nobody was happy but they either needed to keep

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Because those things MUST mean happiness, right? You’re reading this and already saying, nope. That doesn’t mean anything. Many of you are thinking about marriage and what you’d like it to be and you picture things like marrying your best friend, raising your family, and growing old together.

And yet, you know every character on RHOA and thrive off the lies, drama, and rachetness. (yes, they are characters lol) Here’s a little food for thought…

If we live in a world where 60% of all marriages fail, people fear love, and most are afraid to trust… Don’t you think it requires a little preparation? Some intentional action to get ready for a longterm mate might be a good idea, right? I mean, if you want it to last anyway. Now, about that… (if you’re easily offended turn the page now) Most of you don’t want marriage. You just don’t want to be alone.

Now, is this about watching RHOA? No. Of course not. But it is about living with intention and being willing to be uncomfortable, pushing yourself to grow, and doing the work that allows the relationship you so badly desire to FIND YOU. It’s about being willing to fail at fake-tionships in order to have a real-lationship. It’s about coming face-to-face with the man or woman in the mirror and being truthful about what you see. Are you the marrying kind? Have you done your work to walk into a relationship open, vulnerable, and trusting? Can you go months without sex or dating anyone but yourself and be happy? Content?

You don’t have to tell me… those answers The idea of spending the rest of your life are for you. Be honest with yourself and with YOU isn’t a pleasant thought… It then, if you don’t like the outcome… makes you uncomfortable, restless, and dissatisfied. Change it. And my love, if you don’t want to be alone with you, who do you think does?

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Only you have the power to do that.


By Asha W. Sims, LPC, RYT Where is the passion? What happened to the fire? Where is the sex drive? This is where many couples begin to have issues in their relationships. All that we did to enter the relationship may cease once we get into the relationship and we become comfortable. Actually, this is where the work begins!

lationships begin and ends with sex. Author Dr. Shariata Shah says, “A physical level of intimacy is natural and is necessary between a couple, to show a level of comfort and affection.” Therefore, the longer a couple goes without physical intimacy; the more it affects the connection with each other, regardless of why they are not having sex. Not receiving the necEstablishing a relationship is not the hard part, essary affection needed to maintain a relationbut keeping a relationship thriving is the work! ship can lead to possible infidelity. Oftentimes, It is imperative to continue to have fun, be the partner that was betrayed by infidelity never creative, explore sensual behaviors, and create even knew their partner/spouse even felt the sexual intimacy. If these types of behaviors or way they did. displays of affection were never a part of your If one is having issues with intimacy in their rerelationship, then we must address the deeper lationship it could be due to several reasons roots of lack of intimacy and communication in such as the following: the relationship. Intimacy is described as a 1. Emotional Discord close and usually affectionate loving relationIf there is an excessive amount of emoship that is often expressed as an act or exprestional discord it can shut down your sex sion such as sexual intercourse and amorously drive, particularly women. For a male, if familiar acts. they feel antagonized or unappreciated, he may withdraw sexually as well. PhysLack of intimacy will affect the dynamics of a ical and emotional exhaustion can cause relationship. Sexual affection is a deeper form a lack of energy, which affects the libido. of intimacy allowing a couple to exchange energy through sexual acts of pleasure. Besides be2. Body Image ing a form of procreation, it is a form of How one feels about their selves’ affects communication with couples. If there is a lack of their level of sensuality. Low selfintimacy, there is a lack of communication! esteem or negative body image can afMany experts say that a happy and healthy refect how you perceive desirability lead-

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ing to shame, guilt, and or depression, which in turn lower the desire to be intimate. 3. Lack of Non-Sexual Affection Couples must make sure they still incorporate foreplay before sexual intimacy. Hug your mate, rub their back, kiss their forehead, hold their hands. Humans require human touch. Touch is a natural and normal part of a relationship and is expected. 4. Sexual Trauma Sexual abuse is becoming more common in our society for both men and women. If it is not communicated with a partner, or not addressed it can lead to other issues including lack of intimacy.

to feelings of shame or guilt. This leaves the person not desiring sex due to feeling its negative associations of past or current behaviors. In conclusions, there are no simple solutions for lack of intimacy in relationships but it does require communication. If you wish to bring more intimacy and improve sexual relations, it is important to be able to express your needs, desires, and expectations. These factors are critical in having an orgasmic, blissful, satisfying and delicious relationship!

Asha W. Sims, LPC, RYT Holistic Wellness Practitioner/ Sensual Arts Educator

5. Shame Regarding Sex Some individuals have been involved in sexual acts that goes against personal values, comfort level or religious beliefs that may lead To learn more about this and other areas of

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Asha Sims

By Jasmine Bourdeau

Adages like: it just doesn't feel right or trust your gut are accepted truths, but seldom recognized are their connection to energy work. Reiki, a form of energy work, moves weak and blocked energy that creates physical or emotional imbalances. Reiki and other methods of energy work implore us to be self-aware by listening to what our bodies are trying to tell us. Once we fall in tune with energy and vibrational frequencies can we be open to self-healing.

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Asha Sims, holistic practitioner, centers her health and healing around energy work. As a former mental health practitioner she can attest to stark differences between holistic and modern medicine. For one, using energy work has proven to be faster and a more significant healing method for her mental health clients. Asha recalls serving a woman with bipolar who after sessions with Asha, was able to stop taking medicine and have fewer bipolar episodes. Asha is able to use reiki to move the energy from an energy center called the root chakra to activate healing within. The root chakra, located at the base of the spine, controls stability and safety. When the root chakra is blocked it can result in anxiety or lack of trust. When Sims embraced energy work, she began to understand the impact our 7 different chakras has on health and wellness; she saw a greater success rate and closed cases more readily. With Asha’s calm demeanor and inviting spirit one could imagine that stress and strife skipped over her like skipping rocks on ponds named Tranquility. On the contrary, Asha has attributed her success to her surviving torrential waters. “Life has awakened me and I don't regret any of it.” Energy work found Asha in a time when she realized she was being verbally abused by her spouse and knew she had to make changes. Leaving houses, cars and several businesses behind, she left what seemed to be comfortable living for a road of healing and recovery. It is no coincidence that after a divorce Asha dropped several pants sizes, “half the illnesses we deal with comes from mental stuff that we hold that begin to manifest in our body.” Once she began the journey of healing by letting go of situations that stunted her wellness, her body’s natural response was to let go of the weight. Sims’s life change was not for the faint of heart, as a result, she struggled to pay rent and secure services, but it was from the love and generosity of sisterhood that allowed her to recover from difficult times. Sims does not regret the hard times because it allowed her to be firm in who she is and tells others, “If you don’t feel you cannot heal.” Confronting trapped emotions forces their release. “Healing ain't pretty but when you come to

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the other side you feel like a whole different person.” She educated herself on holistic therapies that help to bring awareness to the things we speak, put in our bodies, and tell ourselves. Asha listens to her body’s vibrations and leans on “If it doesn't feel good don't do it!” Too often our decisions and actions are based on pleasing others even when our gut is being oppositional. These teachings become a lifestyle. Unfortunately the services needed to achieve this lifestyle are not recognized by modern medicine, and as a result, are not covered by insurance. In a healthcare system motivated by profit, Asha finds a way to heal and not steal. Sims’s service in the community reflects her commitment to love and serving others. “My reward is knowing that I’m helping people to see life differently, not dependent- taking back over self. I Am. That's what we have to go back to.” Admittedly, Sims knows that healing is not easy. It is a process that includes letting go of hindering emotions of fear, guilt, trauma and pain. Asha is a walking testament to all treatments she provides including: reiki, yoga, and supporting others through therapy. Our conditioning allows us to find comfort in labels and diagnoses. Asha urges us not to become disillusioned, “Don't become dependent on diagnosis. Don't agree with titles or school labels which are there in place to make money- they (healing) are deeper than that” Asha’s reluctance to lean on labels is challenged by modern medicine that believes without a diagnosis there can be no cure. Asha has proven this belief to be inaccurate and limiting. The whole body must be in harmony which is achieved when energy blocks are clear and awareness of self is at the foreground. A firm grounding makes it hard for others to sway us or knock us down. This grounding is found at the base of still waters; by nurturing our innate gifts and through self-awareness we find success. Asha Sims proclaims, “Success is being in love and at peace with yourself.”

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For any marriage, there must first be a strong foundation. One with basic principles, goals and understanding between both individuals‌‌ Urban Tymes had the pleasure to talk to two couples that shared what they have shared, accomplished and their deep rooted faith in God to lead their relationships to the next step: marriage!

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Pastor Frederick Brown and Aiesha Dewitt UT: So how did you both meet? PB: Aiesha has been a member at my church for around 5 years. I knew of her prior because of our family and friendships with her family.

UT: They say that the best spouse is one that shares your heart and your values. Do you agree?

AD: This is definitely true and is one of the defining statements of our relationship. I'm amazed at how our family values and life UT: So, were here any difficulties or goals are united. Our heart and compassion concerns with thee two of you dating? for others are a match. Our desires, personalities are so connected. There has PB: Yes. There is a significant age difference between the two of us so naturally that been nothing but peace and we plan to keep it that way. was a concern in terms of people being receptive to our relationship. We both were UT: Please share something she does to totally fine with it but we were also wise make you smile: enough to know that our relationship involves so many because of my position. To my surprise our church and naturally our PB: I would say all she has to do is just walk in the room. It makes dark places light families were overwhelmingly supportive again. and feel that it is the will of God. For that I am thankful. The people that were UT: Words of wisdom for couples afraid to challenged with it really don't matter anytry marriage again: way. We are extremely happy. UT: How important or easy is it not to romance, but to court? PB: Anyone that says this is easy is obviously not human. Your flesh is not saved. Only your spirit. Your spirit helps bring your flesh into subjection but it's a task. You have to establish boundaries and romance in a proper way.

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PB: Unfortunately this is not my first marriage but I made a decision to not allow the failures of my corrected past to keep me from a quality life and marriage. There is nothing we can do about the past but bury it and keep it moving. My tomorrow looks better than my yesterday. Get healed, forgive others as well as yourself, and get your trust back. Don't judge the future based on the past, get up and find that divine connection!

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When I was told the this beautiful story of Ezra and Jasmine, there was really a stillness that occurred within me. Today’s society relationships are tested daily, even with those of us that have been in for years. The tiniest of things can cause a couple to be at odds. Greater challenges can take a couple to the brink and beyond. Yet to hear the story of this amazing couple, it encourages and reinforces the holy institution of marriage. Also, how they met, and fell in love, is nothing short of an inspirational love story destined for Lifetime and big screen!

cided to do it. I felt like something told me to not only text Jasmine but to ask her that. Jasmine: My response was yes and no. We spoke on the phone about it and I explained that we as people will always experience a feeling of emptiness if we are not working in our purpose with passion. Monetary value may be present however internal fulfillment will be absent. Ezra: Honestly I felt like Jesus himself was slapping me in the face with wisdom lol.

But if anything, it is a testament of what love truly is, and how with care, can flourish to become a blessed union between two devoted souls.

Jasmine: Shortly thereafter I visited Charlotte and hung out with Ezra and his E-Group (friends from church). I was a current student at South Carolina State University studying for my Master's in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling, CW: Your story is..well truly amazing! How did and Army ROTC Cadet so I was there on a the two of you meet? thanksgiving break. We prepared care packages for the homeless, and celebrated "friendsgiving" Ezra: It was a Saturday In August of 2015. We together. Ezra and I both have a deep and were attending a training event for the company genuine love for God, and wanted to share it we worked for. It's a Global company so you only which resulted in the creation of our own ministry. know who you know. Right before leaving JasAddicted To God Ministries ,Our mission is to mine was introduced to my group by a member of show the love of Christ in practical and tangible our team. ways. Jasmine: The next day was Sunday and was my first day attending elevation church. As I was leaving church I noticed the very guy (Ezra) I seen yesterday for the first time, I was seeing again at church. I was preparing to leave walking to my car and something said no turn around and to speak Ezra: I remember her stopping me saying "hey didn't I meet you yesterday?" Lol. Of course I confirmed. It was weird for me because the church isn't exactly small either, so it was weird for me that we ran into each other 2 days in a row.

CW: Ok, so how did you know that He/She was the one you knew you were destined to share your life with? Ezra: Honestly throughout our friendship she impressed me with her willingness and eagerness for self development. I've never seen that in a women before. Her heart for giving freely and lovingly was something new for me to see in a women also. So I just paid attention until it was certain in my heart and I just went for it.

Jasmine: I did not know Ezra was the man God destined for me to spend my life with. I did know the dynamic of our friendship made it very easy Jasmine: That Sunday Pastor Steven Furtick to see god blessing us with each other. Which is gave away his latest book to all first time guests my reasoning for saying I feel like god sent me which was "Crash The Chatterbox". Ezra and I my husband but I wasn't necessarily sure. All I exchanged numbers planning to discuss the knew was we were very much alike in the realm book, but never got around to it. Instead one eve- of man and spirit. ning months later he texted me the question "Do you ever feel empty"? CW: Guys, the proposal that was shown of FB Ezra: Yeah, that was a funny day too. I actually live was beautiful. Please, you have to share with was on my way home and my friend told me to our readers your thoughts that very day! pray about how I was feeling. When I finally de-

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“God is and will always be the forefront of our home”.

Jasmine: I was initially confused when Ezra told me he was going to give me my Christmas gift in front of the family but nevertheless I was excited to see what it was. When he revealed the painting I was still very perplexed yet overwhelmed by gratitude. I never though I would get to experience the blessing of having someone god appointed me to do life with. His words were heart striking and sincere. Our friendship was built upon our love for Christ and the message of the portrait couldn't have been more fitting. Ezra: I was super nervous! She's extremely smart and she pays attention very well. So I knew I had do something to throw her off. That's where the paining of us came in. Truthfully I got the painting because the ring wasn't suppose to arrive until New Years. I begged them to ship it sooner so it could arrive by Christmas but they said there was nothing they could do about it. 2 days before Christmas the ring had arrive at my house! My family and I were all super excited. I was pressed for time so I ended up speaking to her family about it the night before. They were confused. Lol. They couldn't understand how I

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would be asking her if we were only friends. They understood by the end of the conversation. The day of the proposal I told her I had a photographer come to take family pics. When we got out there we took a few pics but then I gave her the painting in front of everyone. When she turned around after showing everyone the painting, I was on one knee.

CW: Awww! Alright, serious question time: With so much going on today and how the sanctity of marriage even questioned, how important was it to you both to do it this way? I mean, You didn’t date, kiss, no intimacy whatsoever. Jasmine: If it weren't being done this way it wouldn't have been done at all. I specifically told god if I was destined to have a significant other he had to send him and make it known to me that he came for god himself. By becoming friends but more importantly having the opportunity to do ministry together made transparency key. All faults, insecurities, and things that would make each other afraid to expose became our

foundation of our friendship. We became each others best friend and became a intricate part to each others spiritual and personal development. I would encourage and challenge everyone to establish a friendship first free of kissing, dating, and intimacy. Ezra: I'd agree. For me I figured, well if the only difference between a friendship and a relationship is intimacy and God say sex is for marriage. To me that means I can find the one I'm suppose to be with for the rest of life just by being friends with them. So I stuck to it. Finding my other half through any scenario outside of this one wasn't a option. The fact that we were only friends so no kissing, dating or anything. Helped us learn each other in ways we'd otherwise be distracted.

CW: You made a profound and impactful statement….. “It feels as if I just made God himself proud” How important was that for you? Ezra: It felt like I was taking a leap of faith. The same feeling I felt when I made the decision to follow God and the same feeling again when we started the ministry. It felt like that. I'm not sure if I've felt a better feeling. I know I haven't. Jasmine: It was a very profound statement to say" I feel as if I made God himself proud." None of our friendship flowed through direct consciousness. We didn't go into a friendship expecting a relationship, we focused on flowing with God's direction, and walking by faith. The proposal was no different, for Ezra to feel as if he made God proud himself by asking made me feel as if I too made God proud by saying yes to obedience. Yes to furthering our ministry through marriage and yes to allowing for God to lead our lives even when his plans differ from our own. CW: When you raise your children, will you share with them how the two of you stood on faith and did it? Jasmine: When we have children we will share with them how we stood on faith. We will share the stories of what life looks like when you try to do it your way and when you try to do it God's way. God is and will always be the forefront of our home. Ezra: Yeah we're going share it! lol it's important that they know forever takes time. I'm 37/ Urban Tymes Magazine

looking forward to teaching them. Many many years down the line when we choose to have them. Lol. CW: That’s great to hear from you both that you will share that with them. It’s so important to show our children a positive side to life, especially when you are finding your helpmate! What words of encouragement could you give to other couples? Jasmine: I'd encourage all women of different age groups to find who you are in Christ first before attempting to find yourself in man. Chase God and he will bless you with someone who's equipped to carry the burden of the blessing. Friendships are the most beneficial when you let them be just that! Ezra: I'd encourage the same. Men work on becoming a man before seeking a women & women let them grow up before you take them as your man. Attraction is deceptive because you don't need help to create it and it doesn't take much to create. If you aren't striving to be the best you can be, you'll meet someone that isn't striving the be the best they can be. If you want your "forever" partner. God, personal development & friendship in my opinion, is your best bet in finding them!

The Ballantyne is set amidst shopping, dining and retail conveniences and the Ballantyne Corporate Park, all in the lovely Ballantyne Community. Our convenient location is 18 miles from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and downtown Charlotte. SouthPark Mall, located within 9 miles north of The Ballantyne is home to the regions premier shopping destination with over 100 shops such as Neiman Marcus, Tiffany and Nordstrom. Charlotte, North Carolina is an exciting and diverse city offering many cultural and recreational venues. Popular for guests and groups, you can experience an afternoon of thrilling whitewater rafting, kayaking, canopy tours, zip lines and rock climbing at the US National Whitewater Center open year-round, a heart-pounding drive around Charlotte Motor Speedway, or Broadway performances by Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Regardless of your interest, The Ballantyne has something to satisfy your appetite for adventure, food, shopping, celebrating and relaxing.

10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy Charlotte, North Carolina Call (704) 248-4000 38/ Urban Tymes Magazine


TIP #1 Tip for the Bride: Start your wedding day with a good meal. Most brides don't get to enjoy the meal served at the reception because of walking around, thanking everyone, the dances, and other things. While food may be the last thing on your mind on your wedding day, it's nonetheless important that you start the day with some healthy and filling. You’ll still get in that dress, no worries! It's going to be a long (and wonderful) day and you’ll need your energy for the day (and later that night!)

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By Alexis Alexander


hen couples get engaged they usually celebrate then call their family and friends to share the exciting news. Shortly thereafter, a bride goes shopping for her wedding dress- major mistake! Often times, brides will purchase a dress without thinking things through, such as; “what type of wedding do we desire, should we have an indoor church ceremony or an intimate garden ceremony, or should we dress in traditional attire or more modern chic wear?” If a couple later decides on a beach wedding off the coast of Jamaica, then that recently purchased expensive Cinderella style gown with matching cathedral veil will definitely be too much and way too hot for Jamaica. Although a lot of women have ideals of their dream wedding, few know the best way to make those dreams a reality. Enter… the wedding planner. After announcing the upcoming nuptials to loves ones, a wedding planner should be the next person contacted. Wedding professionals will know those specifically minute details that some couples don’t know to consider. As a wedding planner, my role is to take a couple’s vision and convert it into a reality, all while staying within a predetermined budget that works best for the bride and groom. My goal is to take the stress away from the bride and groom so they can focus on the more important things like the marriage, honeymoon or new home. A good wedding planner knows how to make a dream come alive and ensure every detail is taken care of. A great wedding planner does it all under budget. During the engagement, a planner

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will become a bride’s new BFF as they will work closely together managing every detail. They should also be onsite during the rehearsal and the wedding day to ensure all is flowing just as the couple desired. For those brides who do not desire a “total hands-on” approach, a wedding consultant is more ideal. As with any consultant, this is a professional expert that will guide and advise couples along their wedding planning process. A consultant is also great for those couples who have already started planning and may have hit a stumbling block or uncertainty; taking heed to recommendations will ease the load. Considering all the expenses that go into preparing weddings, honeymoons and starting a new life together, couples look for ways to cut corners in savings. With all the excitement that weddings bring, some chose to take on all the planning themselves while soliciting the help of girlfriends and family. Some women enjoy the planning of events; some decide to do as much as possible as a way to save money. However, there is one role that a bride needs someone else to do on her behalf - the imperative role of a wedding director. A director is vital the week and day of the wedding. This professional ensures all vendors are in place and everything is going according to plan. This is the person that guides the bridal party and maintains the flow of the ceremony as well as the reception. On the wedding day the bride and groom should enjoy their day, celebrate with guests and feel their moment. There is no time for a bride to figure out why the caterer is running behind schedule or why cousin Bernice is not on the guest list. Allow the right wedding professionals to assist in creating the perfect wedding for you!

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URBANITY On this special day, she is a vision of loveliness. He is handsome and dapper. Stylish and classy Edgy and exciting An exclusive look inside!

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One thread for the needle, one love for the heart.

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Model: Lawanda White Dress: Dar-Lynn’s Bridal & Formal Wear Styled by: Tangi Watts MakeUp: Silvio Suarez

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When in love, a cliff becomes a meadow

Model: Adrienne Deese Dress: Paige & Elliott Bridal Boutique Styled by: Alexis Alexander, Teka Rose MakeUp Credit: Silvio Suarez

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Model: Matisa Jenkins & LeMond Crayton-Hart Hair/MakeUp : Matisa JenkinsDress: Paige & Elliott Bridal Boutique Bride styled by: Alexis Alexander, Teka Rose Groom styled by The House of LeMond

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She is beautiful; she has love, understands; she respects herself and others; everyone likes, loves and honors her; she is a goddess. ~African Proverb

Model: Krystin Simpson & Sterling Kalim Green Hair/MakeUp: Matisa Jenkins- Styles By Matisa Dress: Paige & Elliott Bridal Boutique Bride styled by: Alexis Alexander, Teka Rose Groom styled by The House of LeMond

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Paige and Elliott Bridal Boutique is the dream collaboration of husband and wife, Erin “Paige” and Jonathan “Elliott” Padgett. At Paige and Elliott, they have shown they are more than just the dress. Their consultants have multifaceted backgrounds in the wedding industry, including wedding planning, event design, venue coordination and fashion advising – so they know a thing or two about how important the wedding dress choice is to an overall cohesive day. Boutique Manager extraordinaire, Candace Primm made the Urban Tymes teams experience just as personal detailed as a bride-to-be; further proof that at Paige and Elliott, the consultants know the industry and are ready to help you find a gown that fits your style. They were able to ease us effortlessly through the process of choosing and trying on dresses. Beautiful, original gowns are available in all shape and styles, with perfectly placed

12605-B East Independence Blvd., Matthews, NC 28105 704-847-2116

accessories to adorn every bride type. Sample gowns in store range from size 6 to size 24. Most dresses can be ordered from size 00 to size 28 depending on the designer. Paige and Elliot is the go-to boutique for your special event and the only problem you'll find is which dress you want to say yes to! Shop Info: website: Address: 16610 Old Statesville Rd B Huntersville, NC 28078 Phone: (704) 491-2197 Hours: Sunday Closed Monday Closed Tuesday 12–7PM Wednesday 9AM–5PM Thursday 9AM–5PM Friday AM–5PM Saturday 9AM–5PM

you won’t find in a 100-mile radius. Their alluring catalogue coupled with a familyoriented atmosphere, has attracted generations to shop their exclusive styles.

Bianca Warren For 32 years, Dar-Lynn’s undoubtedly has The true meaning of capturing the beauty in a continued to evolve while offering the best bride is exemplified through a dress at superior quality Charlotte’s timeless elegance Dar-Lynn’s Bridal & Formal Wear. Servicing the scene has to offer. Charlotte area, Dar-Lynn’s illustrate their swank selection with an array of handpicked designers

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Your Style Game…..


The House of LeMond 3010 Monroe Road Charlotte NC 28205 54/ Urban Tymes Magazine

(704) 712-9531 https://

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TIP #2 Tip for the Groom: Your beautiful bride is doing a lot for the wedding, it’s her dream wedding! Nine times out of she is about to overload. The solution:. Give her a night to relax and cook her dinner, do the dishes run some errands and constantly remind her that your union together is worth the stress. Step in and be the buffer for questions and calls that may come in for her. There’s no better time to show her that you are her knight in shining armor!

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Wedding season is just around the corner, and we are sure the invitations are piling up. However if you are the type that is used to putting on his “wedding suit” regardless of who is getting married, receiving a dress code to turn up in beach formal can be confusing! And lets be honest, annoying. To help you to avoid blowing away your hard earned cash on or turning up inappropriately dressed, here is a go-to-guide to ace every wedding dress code.

Is “black tie optional” is it really optional? Invitation lingo: Formal (Black Tie Optional) What To Wear: Put on the same suit you’d put on for an important meeting at the office this time of the year. Your 9-5 staple suit in gray, navy, brown or black is likely your best bet here. Pair with a proper dress shirt and a nice patterned tie if you’re looking to dress up. You can wear a tux if you fancy it, but as the dress code says, it’s optional. Invitation lingo: Semi-formal / Cocktail Attire What To Wear: See above. However feel free to take a few liberties, loafers can be worn, you can always lose the tie. Invitation lingo: Black tie. What To Wear: As black and white as it gets, there is no getting around this one. Black tie is black tie. TUXEDO. BOW TIE. & PATENT LEATHER SHOES. If the invite calls for creative black tie, you can throw in a different color and a pocket square, however if it does not stick to a black tie or a classic ivory. Shop the range of tuxedo suits at today for something to wear this summer!

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For the same price as it would cost you to hire out a tux of two over the summer, you could own a tuxedo that you only send to the dry cleaner and save a ton of money on hiring.

Invitation lingo: Casual/ Dressy Casual What To Wear: First things first, do NOT wear jeans to a wedding – EVER. Casual doesn’t call for a tux, yes, but you still want to honour the occasion for the two people spending A LOT of money on a wedding. Opt for creams, khaki’s, and slim tailoring paired with a button up shirt or a polo shirt that isn’t an obnoxious hue or tint. Finish off your look with some polished loafers or desert suede boots. Dressy Casual is slightly different; just add a blazer or vest to your ensemble, and potentially some socks and dress shoes. You can find the best summer suits for casual weddings at! Look out for the cream suits as well as the khaki 2-piece suit, if you see something that isn’t on the shop you can always order this is the beauty of shopping bespoke, at the price of an off-the-rack suit.

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Invitation lingo: Festive Attire What To Wear: HAVE FUN. That olive green suit you’ve been holding back or the jazzy tie you haven’t had an occasion for! Shop at for the best ‘fun’ suits. Its time to pull the trigger on something edgy, uncommon coloured tailoring, snazzy socks, and a pocket square that packs an equal amount of jazz. We would even push for a pair of smart sneakers if the wedding is looking to have an easygoing Vibe. Invitation lingo: Beach formal What To Wear: This one speaks for itself; you’re going to the beach! Wear the most relaxed suit you own, pastels, khakhi, beige, tan, olive! You can even opt for a nice linen suit, try the summer suits at for a pastel suit or a light linen suit! Fact – You can roll up a suit and see minimal wrinkling! Leave the ties and socks behind, but not the shoes, formal = footwear (yes even if sand is involved).

Matron of Honor Duties Before wedding: ● You will plan the bride’s shower party and bachelorette party. ● Assist the bride in the selection of wedding dresses of the bride and all bridesmaids. ● Help with the arrangement of wedding accessories of the bride. Help make sure that the bride has a dress post wedding to change into. During wedding: ● Remind the bridesmaids of their tasks. ● You will be by the bride’s side. Holding the bride’s bouquet, and if the ring bearer is not available, you need to hold the ring until the exchanging begins. ● Adjusting the veil and dress of the bride whenever necessary.(Especially during wedding and for pictures) ● Work with the Best man to collect the gifts of the guests. ● Give a wedding speech to the bride and groom. After wedding: ● Work to help return any borrow stuff, like rental gowns, tables and chairs.

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Flawless Makeup Art is the brand that represents the professional makeup artistry of Joy Nichelle Randall. She is an award winning, professional makeup artist, and cosmetologist. Her career spanning over 12 years experience in the beauty and fashion industry. Joy works with a wide spectrum of clients ranging from celebrities to everyday women. Her resume includes NASCAR Productions, The Color Purple Broadway, 2012 , and The David Letterman Show, just to name a few. She started her career with MAC Cosmetics in 2005, and moved on to companies such as L’Oreal and Urban Decay. She is now a full time freelance artist under her own brand. Joy’s theory is it doesn’t matter what product you use, it’s the artist who makes it look good!

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Urban Tymes at


Museum! ceiling views of the terrace, gardens, park, and sunlit or starry skies, hosts private events after any special occasion, The Mint Museum offers 6 p.m. and during some daytime hours. At Mint an unparalleled experience unavailable anywhere else in the Charlotte region at its two Museum Uptown, you can enjoy beautiful cityscape views, breathtaking architecture, and dynamic locations.Urban Tymes chose stunning works of art. Both are excellent venues Charlotte's Historic Mint Museum Randolph for our special June Bridal Edition. We were able to for your special day, and priced within reason. take part in our region’s rich history inside the unique cultural treasure surrounded by a serene For more information or to check availability, please visit: park setting. Every setting has classically romantic element in this location that formerly, housed Charlotte's very own U.S Mint Call 704.337.2132 Treasury...hence the name. Models posed or email Tom Martin, Interim Director Special primarily The Nancy A. and J. Mason Wallace atrium, featuring natural vegetation and floor-to- Events


Whether it’s a wedding, a corporate event, or

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Embracing beauty and Charm……

The Wadsworth Estate

By Latise Howie


estled in Charlotte’s historic Wesley Heights neighborhood, is a remarkable nostalgic mansion, located at 400 Summit Ave. The Wadsworth Estate is the perfect place to celebrate some of life’s most beautiful occurrences. This home, built in 1911, has been masterfully restored to capture the grandeur of the time. George Pierce Wadsworth was a prominent business man in the Charlotte area, who owned a successful carriage making company. Upon arrival, one can’t help but marvel at the beautifully manicured landscape, which features tastefully designed floral arrays, a beautiful Elizabethan fountain, and one of Mr. Wadsworth’s original carriages. Every part of this estate is reminiscent of a kinder, gentler, wrinkle in time. Whether it’s the rocking chairs that align the striking porch and entry way, or, the stunning foyer which lead to impressive ballrooms and meeting areas, this home allows it’s patrons to relax and enjoy a beautiful reminder of Charlotte’s history.

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400 S Summit Ave Charlotte, North Carolina (704) 332-3050

The current owner of the Wadsworth Estate, has a history of her own. Judge Shirley Fulton was the first African American female judge in Charlotte, NC. Judge Fulton has not only restored the home to mimic the historical time period, she has also incorporated her own modern flair. She has taken the servants quarters and turned it into an extraordinary carriage house or detached event hall. This space features a separate kitchen and room for up to 100 guests. She has also redesigned the rear of the home and added beautiful gardens, cushioned benches and rocking chairs along a shaded, tree-lined walk way.The patio is perfect for listening to jazz or roasting marshmallows by the fire pit, on a warm summer night. Judge Fulton loves for her guest to feel free to unwind and stay a while, so in addition to a meeting space, the Wadsworth Estate is also home to a cozy Bed and Breakfast. Each room in this magnificent home is unique in every way. Judge Fulton has designed every part of

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her home, with the comfort of her guest in mind. Just imagine a couple being married at the sprawling estate. They can entertain guest in the Carriage House at the reception, then retire to the B and B to begin their new lives together. The next day, they can discuss all the possibilities of their new union, in the peace and tranquility of the Wadsworth Estate’s pastel blue sun room. They could even reminisce about their first date, in the library or sitting room, where the men of 1911 would often retire, for an after dinner cigar. This home is filled with the legacy of the past and all the possibilities of the future. The romantic elegance of the Wadsworth Estate is a reflection of all that Charlotte has to offer. Not only is it a picture-perfect setting for weddings, it can also be a seamless retreat or an impeccable space for an upscale social event. This home offers text book class and sophistication, to all who desire a taste of history, accented with modern style.

Lanier Islands 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway Buford, GA 30518 770-945-8787 The Lanier Islands are just 45 minutes from northeast Atlanta, Lanier Islands is Georgia’s most visited lakeside destination. It boasts to be perfect for for family vacations, romantic escapes, business conferences, weddings and more. The resort is on 1,500 scenic acres, and 38,000 acres of water surface to explore, stone accents blended with rustic wrought iron embellishments, and over 14 wedding venues and locations throughout the 1,500-acre resort for both ceremonies and receptions. You can have a ceremony in a wooded lakeside hideaway or along beautiful lakeside shores, the Islands gives many options for your dream wedding! From access to a luxury yacht, to receptions in one of their grand ballrooms or any other unique reception sites.

Grey Horse Vineyards 12285 Elk Run Church Rd, Midland, VA 22728 Grey Horse Vineyards is the ideal location to host your next event. Whether you are looking for the picture perfect vineyard wedding, small cozy rehearsal dinner, or large reception, we want to make your special day perfect. We are a destination winery in Virginia's Piedmont Region. Our tasting room features a large, stone, wood burning fireplace. We offer our guest the comfort and piece of mind of a large screened and covered deck. We also offer a more formal banquet room. All of our spaces overlook our vineyard and the surrounding woodlands. We are located on 35 acres in Fauquier County, close to Northern Virginia, Washington D.C, and Fredericksburg. Special Events: General Inquiries: 65/ Urban Tymes Magazine

Best Man Duties Before wedding: ● Assist the groom and be his adviser before and during the wedding. ● Help the groom choose and rent (or buy) wedding formalwear, and coordinate the other groomsmen's rentals. Assist the groom should there be groomsmen from out of town. ● Organize the bachelor party. Get a consensus from the groomsmen on what to do. They will help the cost to put together such an event. ● Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner with the bride and groom and all the other attendants. This is your chance to figure out how you're supposed to walk down that aisle. Day of wedding: ● Make sure you have the wedding ring for the groom ● Attend to the groom with his clothing. Communicate with the groomsmen to ensure they are on time for the wedding and remember where they stand during the wedding. ● Sign the marriage license as a witness after the ceremony, along with the maid of honor. ● Give the officiant a sealed envelope with his or her fee just after the ceremony. ● You will escort the Matron or Maid of honor in when the bridal party is announced at reception. ● Give the first toast to the bride and groom at the reception. This is the most important duty of the Best man! ● Coordinate with the Matron of Honor to collect any gift envelopes guests bring to the reception. The two of you will make sure that they are sent to the home or wherever the newlyweds wish. ● The vehicle the newlyweds leave in, work with the wedding party to get it decorated. Or drive the couple to the wedding-night hotel or airport after the reception, or hire a limo or driver to get them to their appointed destination.

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Putting Power to Pen: Shaun Sinclair


With Kisha Green

Literary Treasures

An Interview With

Shaun Sinclair is the founder and owner of Pen 2 Pen Publishing. His company's motto, "Putting Power into the Pen" is also its mission statement, as Mr. Sinclair rediscovered his gift of penmanship while incarcerated. He strives to use his success as motivation for others to triumph over adversity, and gives back to his community through the Sinclair Literary Scholarship, which awards worthy high school students for literary achievement. Mr. Sinclair is a member of the Soaring As Eagles community outreach ministry, an organization dedicated to helping youth by providing them with life skills training, mentorship, one on-one tutoring, and

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activities designed to broaden their horizons. A passionate advocate for social change, Mr. Sinclair is a motivational speaker with the unique ability to effectively address diverse audiences, speaking truth to power. KG: When did you decide to write professionally? SS: I began writing as therapy but when the plot of a book I had submitted for publication was “borrowed�, and the book went on to sell millions, my professional literary career was born.

The works of Shaun Sinclair: Flame in Lust Forbidden & Skin Deep

SS: Keep the big picture in mind and don’t focus on the money right away. A successful literary career is a JOURNEY.

KG: What is one word to best describe your writing style? SS: Detailed. KG: What is your favorite genre? Why? SS: It constantly changes between Crime Fiction and Political Thrillers. Overall I love a great story. Crime fiction written really well excites me because getting over on the system is the American way. I can live vicariously through those stories. Political Thrillers because despite my dazzling wit and charm, savvy

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ambition, and political intelligence… I will NEVER be in politics. Lol. However, I am very intrigued by the big deals above and below board. I can relive those experiences in those books. KG: What is your greatest literary accomplishment? SS: Releasing my first novel, Forbidden. At that moment, I accomplished my dream. KG: What advice would you give an aspiring author?

KG: Who is the target audience for readers of your work? SS: Women of a certain age who are in touch with their femininity, and the men who desire them, primarily. My books are versatile enough to convert new readers, yet totally capture the hearts of avid readers. KG: Describe Gangsterotica SS: It’s a perfect blend of Crime Fiction and Erotica. Gangsterotica is what happens when the streets meet the sheets! For more info on Shaun visit,

These are some buzz worthy books! Each month Kisha Greenbrings further enlightenment to reading by featuring 5 phenomenal books plus one extra (1 will always be a nonfiction or one children's book) for you to learn more about and add to your personal library! June’s Top 5 ● Supreme & Justice by Ernest Morris ● Camouflaged Bitterness by Brittany Jenkins ● Heartfelt Haikus by Wendy Urena ● Bell Bottom High by B.J. Williams ● College Life 202 by J.B. Vamble Reading is truly Necessary!



With Kisha Green!

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Author Latise M. Howie

The Chronicles Trilogy 73/ Urban Tymes Magazine


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By Teka Rose Photography by Silvio Suarez 75/ Urban Tymes Magazine

Queen City native Anthony Hamilton is one Charlottean that requires no introduction in any forum. The multi-talented, Grammy Award winning artist who’s shown the world what it means to have soul with every song sung, blessed Urban Tymes with a moment of his one rainy Sunday afternoon. An organic, downto-earth brother- Anthony Hamilton is steeped in deep, soulful goodness and his passion for music is evident, raw and as real as it gets. One could easily become entranced in his aura of positivity and infectious laugh. His powerful voice is a strong, gritty contrast to his soft spoken demeanor. As we readied for his photo shoot; Anthony brightened everyone’s day with his signature southern charm and shared with us his insight on love, life and a closer look into his latest album “What I’m Feelin”. Urban Tymes: You’ve worked seamlessly in nearly every music genre out there: R&B, Hip Hop, Blues, Jazz, and so on – not sure if anything is left, but is there one genre you haven’t touched that you’d like to venture into?

I think when you connect with something- you love it, you’ll rock with it and I think being consistent with that. It’s raw. Its truth….amen! **y’all, only Anthony Hamilton can make the word Amen sound sexy! How does someone even do that! ** Ok-carry on. UT: Your music invokes emotion, it literally makes me want to be honest and tell whomever exactly what I’m feeling- do you feel your emotions are transferred through your music to your fans/listeners? AH: Yes, a lot of it, and there’s a part of me that’s held onto as well. That Aquarius part of me- the introverted part of me that is social, but loves to be alone. When I’m alone and it quiet…It’s beautiful. UT: You mentioned that aspiring artists get out what they put into their careers, would you say the same for relationships?

AH: Yes, you get what you put in…if its balanced- sometimes one can put in too much (more than the other) and it’s not reciprocated and it should be balanced. That doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, just that they may not be ready to receive what you have to give at that UT: You are the embodiment of what R&B Soul time. And I think it’s important to be traveling at sounds like- but you are clearly a fan of hip hop the same speed or close to it. In a perfect (and you’ve collaborated in this genre more world, you get exactly back what you’ve put in. than any other) - what is that connecting factor for you? UT: You shared “What I’m Feelin” is your truth in regards to some the things you’ve gone AH: Hip Hop has an urgency and a temperathrough since your “Back to Love” album, do ment that suits me, that explains who I am. Its you feel fans have embraced and accepted this street, southern, church, blues, country and truth? rock, I’m all of that and Hip Hop has all of those elements with a beat…something like a “struttin AH: Yea, my fans been rocking with me for a brother” and I connect with it and it’s an exten- long time, pretty solid. You still have some who sion of my expression. Hip Hop has been soni- doubt- but the majority of them, I have some cally one of the best things I’ve heard in my life, loyal fans that love on me…and I love on them it’s so creative. back. Anthony Hamilton: I’ve done a Reggae song that was pretty big in London called “Everybody”, but I’d love to do more Reggae. It’s dear to my heart…more Country and Blues as well.

UT: You have managed to not alter or change your sound toward fads music, but remain a mainstay in the industry- is that by your own design?

UT: Your bio mentions a quote from you about people getting into relationships and sabotaging them because of a fear of creating the unknown, the beautiful, the peace and a place where you can let go, being able to totally let AH: I think being raw, being organic is not real- go is something I look forward to doing.” When ly compromising to my decision to write it how I you recorded majority of “What I’m Feelin’ feel it. I think it sets well with peoples spirit and working again with Engineer Bruce Irvine and

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Mark Batson, who produced some of your biggest hits including “Charlene”; Did you feel as if you were returning to a familiar place to “heal/purge” and get back to a place that was comfortable to you? AH: There’s a soul connection there. A musical connection there and we all three get it. And when I’m not on, they know and vice versa. We can take a mistake and turn into music and there’s not a waste there. We create a magic because we’re not afraid to be in that moment and embrace it. UT: NPR stated after your tiny desk concert that: Watching you perform; you get the hunch that it's harder for you to keep the soul inside than it is to actually unleash it. Do you ever feel there is/was a time, where you held back on “your sound”? AH: oh yea, - usually on albums- when you’re live you get to pour it all out there. There are

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sometimes, when I feel like I’m sounding too grown. Where in such a youthful age of sound with things being very melodic in music now and I come through with some macho, grand daddy sound- it could be too much for some.

UT: Besides growing up singing in the church and the voice that is obviously homegrown in the church, you come off very spiritual and have collaborated with John P. Kee and J. Moss. How do you feel about hip hop artists like Lecrae trying to break that same mold in their genre? AH: I think it’s necessary and they should break it – I think all molds should be broken and reinvented, in some way. I love what Lecrae has done he’s one of my gospel/inspirational hip hop artists, and Canton Jones.

UT: The Hamiltones have somewhat addressed some political issues and made light of them but was able to shed light on current issues. Would you care to share your thoughts or concerns on the current climate of our country? AH: I think the climate is a little unbalanced, almost a desperate time for a lot of things we all are fighting for individuality and justice as a collective - and no one is really hearing the people who have a need. The takers are still in control. It’s a heavy time right now, but there’s still time to smile.

UT: How do you feel being dubbed as an “artist’s artist? AH: That lets me know that my peers respect me and what I’m doing. UT: You just wrapped a show for the mamas at Barclay Arena with Tyrese, Brandy (who was just in town this weekend) and now you have something for the papas coming up with Tamar Braxton – tell me what fans can expect at this show.

AH: We’re celebrating the fathers who don’t get recognition, I have to go out and champion UT: You can be spotted at any given time navi- the fathers -there are a lot of them that are out gating through Charlotte – how have you main- here taking care of their kids and you’ve got to tained such a humbleness about yourself with give it up for them. all of your successes? UT: How would you describe yourself in the AH: All the blessings…I know my fans are here studio, verses out of the studio? to just love on me

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AH: Inside, I have a deeper focus without being too serious, and outside, I’m relaxing and enjoying life. But I do the same in the studio as well, so it’s pretty balanced

AH: I have a passion for producing other artists which I’m in the process of doing. I’d love to take The Hamiltones to the next level, and I have a Country artist as well.

UT: What is something, if anything- fans do not Words aren't enough to describe the magniknow about Anthony Hamilton? tude of Anthony Hamilton’s persona, musical ability and talent into one article. He definitely AH: I love cooking, and furniture shopping…it’s deserves more of a novel to cover his accoman aphrodisiac… I'm big on interior design. plishments, work ethic and accolades on how he has changed the sound of R&B itself and UT: I'm certain you are aware of local artists turned Soul on its head. He’s given and shown feeling a sense of “they can’t get on in respect to the amazing talents that has come Charlotte, or unless they leave Charlotte- as before him and gives regard for new talents on

Mark Sparks advised you to do the same back the block. in the early 90’s- would you advise the same to serious artists? Needless to say, our tyme Anthony Hamilton was well spent. His amazingly humble persona AH: Mark Sparks took me to New York- and I is evident from start to finish and it’s obvious think now with more access to the music being why he’s adored by so many. The soul in in Charlotte- it could happen. A lot of people in Anthony’s music is a direct reflection of his music have moved back: myself, Fantasia, character and it’s conveyed in all of his work. Sunshine Anderson, Special Ed…. there are a An artist’s artist, Anthony Hamilton is the Soul lot of people living here that really do this for a of the QC. living. It’s a matter of being exposed. UT: Anything you’d like to add? 79/ Urban Tymes Magazine

Food&Wine Tyme

‘ The Perfect Mix Something our clients always point out that sets us apart from the competition is our ability to make cakes that not only look beautiful but taste just as good. One thing that makes Cake Makin’ Sisters unique specifically for wedding cakes is our Rent-ACake option. We have come up with a way to cut cost without compromising quality in taste or Cake Makin’ Sisters is a local cakery serving presentation. Brides and grooms enjoy the freedom to get as creative as their imaginations allow while Harrisburg, Concord, Charlotte and surrounding cutting the cost of a tradition Cut-N-Serve almost in areas for 10 years. Owners and sisters Tori & Mia have gained notoriety for our ability to provide a half. Cake Makin’ Sisters offers our clients 12 delivery diverse clientele with just the right combinacious flavor options including traditional wedding tion of exceptional product and service. We attribute flavors and less conventional flavors like our top our growing success to “the perfect mix of a strong selling Mia’s Banana Pudding and Key Lime Pie. spiritual foundation and a pinch of destiny.” We Wedding cakes have always been one of the most have a passion for creating customized cakes and important elements at the reception. Today, the sky is the limit when it comes to helping a couple cupcakes that make every event unforgettably choose the perfect cake to compliment themes, sweeter one delicious bite at a time. colors, details, and personalities. Our goal is to exceed those expectations every time. Cake Makin’ Sisters was started in 2009 and was born from the idea that the best way to work is to love what you do. It is that philosophy and our commitment to quality, value, and integrity of self, product, and service to their clients and communities that has helped to build a lasting brand.

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Year after year we have been and engage our clients in efforts to determined to meet the challenges of stay on top! owning and running a small business. 9545 Pinnacle Drive We’ve learned that one of the tricks is Charlotte NC 28262 to know when and how to reinvent ourselves by creating ways to stay cakemakinsisters@gmail relevant while keeping clients happy FB: @cakemakinsisters in the constantly changing and 704-455-0030 growing world of cake baking and decorating. We constantly study the industry, meet the competition, 81/ Urban Tymes Magazine

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Nona's Sweets Bakery café is a family owned and operated bakery café We have been located in the heart of the university area since 2004. We have become a part of our community and appreciate those who have helped us grow. The word "nona" means grandmother in Italian, and we wanted to pay tribute to our nonas and name the bakery after them. So these are our grandma's sweets. Many of the recipes we use today have been passed on by generations of grandmothers, for you to enjoy. Nona's Sweets Bakery specializes in wedding cakes, cupcakes, grooms cakes, all types of celebration cakes We also offer cookies, bars, truffles, and mini bites for your sweets table

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We love to work with our clients and really listen to what their vision is and make a beautiful and delicious centerpiece. You and your guests will love the taste and the look of your one of a kind creation by Nona's Sweets Bakery. Is there an opportunity to also talk about our café component The official name is Nona's Sweets and Papa's Eats We serve breakfast, lunch and also cater to business

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The Voice of the Indie Artists‌. Worldwide

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Urban Tymes June: The Wedding Issue  

The Ultimate Wedding Guide! We have had so much fun compiling wedding venues, bakeries, planning tips, bridal boutiques and some very heart...

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