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Publisher Adryana Nicoleta

Editor-in-chief Ojay Milah

editors Allyson Deese Leanne Haynes Ijeoma Osadebe Deanna Proach Angela McClain

Contributing writers Sharon Fox Brandie Kekoa Augusta Marquis Trina Sims Ellenore Angelidis Mindy Crary Tracy Shawn Amanda Ramsay Joy Hardin

Contributing Websites


Grafx Passion

photography In The Moment Portraiture BecKaL’s Photography Follow WEmag on Twitter! Find us on facebook!

Woman’s Essence Magazine


Editor’s note The Making of a Success Story

“Woman’s Essence 1st Anniversary Issue” There was a time success stories were told from the grass-to-grace point of view, of one man singularly rising from the gutter to sit upon a throne. At least this was how I knew it until I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

In Outliers, the concept of one tree not being able to make a forest was given a new meaning. I came to realize that every successful person and venture was made possible by a multitude of people and events working together. No one person ever achieved greatness all by themself. Every success story is a ‘community’ effort. Take the Oprah’s, Mary Kay Ash’s and Maya Angelou’s for instance; even though they had a ‘grassy’ experience while growing, they were able to amount to greatness because someone believed in them, and with nature working for them. That someone may not have been the whole planet, just an individual was okay.

The above is the nature of success and the fate of every successful woman or man. Same is the experience of Woman’s Essence magazine. The founders had the dream but without the help of a number of contributors, past and present, and readers, the magazine wouldn’t have made it a year this August. This is why WE are not just celebrating us, WE are also celebrating you. A multitude of Editorials cannot say how much gratitude WE feel for you. It is because of you that WE are here; with your support WE made it a year. WE Love You All

Ojay Milah Editor-in-chief Your comments, letters and Suggestions are most welcome. Write to





Business & Career

The First Step Toward Greater Financial Wealth

10 Special Feature

Alycia Cooper Success Is a Laughing Matter 14 Eat Your Cake and Have It

Dianna BelleroseFire and Ice Doreen McGettiganBristol Boyz Stomp Eugenia O’NealJessamine

60 Food & Drinks

18 Fashion Trends: Beauty and the Boutique 22 Beauty Tips: Summer Must Haves 24 Jewelry: The Gospel of Jewelry Design by Pinay

Special Anniversary Recipes - Honey Glazed Cornish Hens - Spanish Cheesecake - Black Cow Milkshake - Light Strawberry Flower Cake

26 Special MEN Feature

64 Partners & Sponsors

18 Fashion & Beauty


56 Women Who Love To Write

Looking for Mr. Right?

32 Cover Story - Interview Alpha Borriboonratana - Passionate About Family And Make-up

42 Health & Fitness

How Healthy Self-Esteem Promotes Healthy Weight



46 Love & Relationships 46 Relationships: How to Escape a Bad Date 48 Weddings: Celebrating the First Year 50 Parenting: - Artist and Parent: An Interview with Lillian Loponen - Finding Inspiration




Cover S to r y

Patricia Freeman

Educator as Fashion Designer

Cover Story


Alpha Borriboonratana

Passionate About Family And Make-up


Business & Career

The First Step

Toward Greater Financial Wealth by Mindy Crary


hen people think about accumulating greater financial wealth, they usually think of beating the stock market, making millions from an invention or building a very successful entrepreneurial dream. The problem with this is that the dream starts at the END of a financial accumulation process, and one never consi-ders the small, incremental steps needed to attain greater wealth. This ignores the importance of getting financial clear and organized even when you don’t feel like you have anything worth paying attention to! Financial Organization Doesn’t Have To Be Laborious I believe that it’s possible to overhaul and improve your financial organization system in a month to six weeks; that if you do a little bit at a time, eventually you’ll have a system that only needs an hour monthly at most to maintain, AND you’ll be able to lay your hands on any potentially significant financial document within moments of needing it. 8

Think of it this way: are you treating your finances like they are a beat up old junker of a car and ignoring basic maintenance? Are you feeling unwilling to put the slightest effort into keeping it clean or organized? Does the back seat look like a trash bin? OR: are you treating your finances like an Alfa Romeo? Are you keeping them clean, organized, spotless and feel excited to stay current with upkeep because you’re so proud?

Unlike cars, your money CAN change its form into something more rewarding than it currently is. If you start treating your money like it’s already important– even if you don’t have as much as you want–you’ll be surprised at the changes that come about. Organizational Tools To Get The Job Done I think half the fun of getting organized is going to the office supply store and choosing the file storage I like best! I’m not going to constrain you by giving you a specific product, but I’ll show you mine and explain why I chose it. First Thing To Buy: 3 Standing Files This is an expanding file with specific features: • At least 12 tabs so I can label them by month and I don’t have to get TOO obsessive and have a category for every single bill I pay (like my mother used to do) • Portable – I can file and organize while I watch TV • Separate – from other filing so I KNOW this is financial stuff • Stands Up by itself so I can use both hands to organize paper (I clip back the flap cover so it doesn’t get in the way as I work) You’re going to need two of these; one for monthly documents and the other for annual and ongoing history/ statements—so the second one you get will maintain documents year over year, whereas the former will simply be a holding place for the rest. Seconds Thing To Buy: 2 physical “In” Boxes You’ll need a place to park two sets of documents: regular monthly bills and “ongoing” documents.

But What About Paperless? I admit, I am half in, half out of the paperless world. If I get a physical bill, I hang onto it, even if I pay it online. I download almost all statements every three months— it’s rare for me to get snail mail statements anymore! Therefore, MOST of my stuff is filed on my computer, and I scan periodically to get the rest there. HOWEVER: I don’t scan every week, and so I need a receptacle to store paper until it gets to the scanner. That way, things don’t pile up just because I haven’t gotten around to scanning for a few months. If you DON’T have an autofeed scanner—if you have to place every single piece of paper face down on the scanner, instead of just loading multiple sheets into a feeder—STAY WITH A PAPER SYSTEM FOR NOW. Next Steps One of your inboxes and one of your standing files will be to store bills as you pay them every month. The other inbox and standing file will be to store anything that is not a bill—statements and health insurance data that comes through the mail. In the coming weeks I’ll be helping you become more financial organized by giving you small, incremental steps over 6 weeks; read more about this week’s steps here. I’ll be going into much more detail about what each file and inbox holds and how to process your mail and paperwork. But for now, your takeaway should be this: the first step in becoming more organized and aware is to have the proper tools!


Special Feature

Alycia Cooper Success Is a Laughing Matter

by Augusta Marquis


Comedienne and actress, Alycia Cooper, a lady with, enthusiasm and dynamism has paved a way for herself in the comedy chain. “All my life, I had been told that I was funny and I think I will give it a try”, She opens up to WOMAN’S ESSENCE on how she’s been able to make it so far.

How did you get into comedy, as a career or hobby?

What is your connection with politics to comedy?

In the mid 90’s, as an avid viewer of HBO’s Def Jam. It was the first time I saw comics, all different, from all over the country and all very funny. I couldn’t believe how hard these acts were making me laugh. Even more impressive was the fact that they all made it look so effortless, as if the jokes were coming off the top of their heads.

I love writing and talking about political subjects. I have become more politically savvy and observational. I have also become a better student of history, government, elections, things I only once marginally cared about. It is not enough for me to hear a fact; I must also research it for myself, then, make it hilarious.

My first time ever was in the bar of ‘Days Inn Motel’ in Camp Springs, I was all dressed up and I thought that I was ready but I forgot to bring an act. I had no jokes. No prepared material. Because I didn’t think anyone on Def Jam had prepared any jokes. It was a disaster and I did try again but crashed and burned two more times. In 2000, while working at BET, a co-worker named Darice Rollins told me that she was producing a show in 4 days called, “The next big thing,” and she had me booked to perform stand-up: on national television. So, after work, I bought a book called, “The Comedy Bible,” by Judy Carter, read the first few chapters, and crafted an act. When Friday came, I debuted on BET’s “Oh Drama” to several million viewers and I’ve been doing stand up ever since. In the beginning, comedy was just a hobby. I would work a 12 hour day, then do comedy at night. But I decided in 2008, to become a full-time comic.

How appreciated were your works outside USA? I’ve toured overseas to perform for troops, they’ve always been wonderful, appreciative and gracious. I’ve received commemorative coins, plaques, pins, pens, shirts, hats, etc. from the various military bases where I’ve performed.

What instigated your being a ghost writer? When I perform, most comics come up to me after and compliment me on my writing ability. Word gets around when you’re a really skilled and gifted writer. I can write for anyone, if the price is right.

In what way has your acting career helped with you being a comedian? Actually, it’s the other way around. I started acting at the age of 5. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to do it. Stand-up comedy gave me confidence that acting never could. It’s easy for me now to audition in a room full of strangers.


Being a comedian, actress, writer, coupled with other obligations, how do you multi task? I was 11 years in before I got a reputable manager. My manager managed some of the biggest names in the business. He saw me rip a room one night in ‘The Comedy Store’ in Los Angeles. After the show, he approached me with Bob Sumner of Def Jam fame, and Robi Reed. Three of them complimented me that night. I was the only woman on the line-up, and the only one they approached. I signed with Arthur and our plan now is to take over the world. I also hired a close friend from college to be my assistant/ road manager. She was an attorney named Desiree Marcano, she quit her job to join ‘Team Alycia’, now we either swim, or end up eating potted meat out of the back of a mini-van that we live in.

When you are on stage, what is your driving force? Since taking comedy serious in 2000 my driving force is not to ‘bomb’, I may have bombed five times. Yet, bombing is a necessary evil in this business, fortunately, I think I’ve been blessed with a “sense” of humor, to know what will and won’t work. My other driving force is to make enough money, since leaving my first career, I financially leaned on my Parents and I hope to pay them back. 12

How has the support of your fans helped in your act? My fans support is everything. I have fans that come to every show that I do. It’s humbling. They are my twitter and facebook friends some of them have even become real friends. I thank God for them, because without them, this career choice of mine wouldn’t be possible.

Finally, do you feel fulfilled? Not yet; until I become a household name, and can go by one word: Alycia.

One can’t help but notice how big Alycia’s dream was after she watched HBO’s Def Jam in the mid 90’s, considering the already existing big names. Notwithstanding, She watched it, went for it, and now she’s creating an impact.

You can Check out Alycia here:


Eat Your Cake and Have It by Brandie Kekoa



t a party I attended recently I had a chance to see these darling little cupcake creations by Kyla Kelly with “Cakies Cupcakes”. These stylish and savory treats put the “icing on the cake” to the party’s décor. I had a chance to catch up with Kyla later in the evening to ask her a few questions and get to know the artist in Cakies’ sugar sweet center. Tell me a little about yourself and how Cakies got started.

My name is Kyla Kelly “Ky” for short. I’m about to celebrate my twentieth birthday and am all about making my years count. Amazingly, Cakies began as a fun little hobby. During my free times, I made cupcake after cupcake. I’ll be the first to admit the first batch were not pretty. After much practice on recipes and décor, I am proud to say now that Cakies is top notch.

Give us a little insight on Cakies.

Cakies is a company that runs on full girl power from top to bottom. It is a company for anyone who wants to wow a crowd. I think we’re so different from other bakeries because Cakies is always on the lookout to finding new ways of producing show stoppers. From over the top decorations to savory one of a kind flavors, Cakies believes in finding something small and “ordinary” and making it magnificent.

Which is your favorite Cakies cupcake?

My absolute favorite cupcake has to be Cakies Mint chocolate chip. Chocolate on chocolate with that green mint frosting I am lucky if any of them actually makes it to the box.

What’s your view about women in business?

I love seeing women work hard and take charge of the economy. If I had one piece of advice for the young, it would be get an education, because we can always use more women in the business world. I strive to be an independent career woman. I have always believed women should strive to be the very best in whatever they do. I don’t believe that women can do everything that men can, I believe we can do it better if we put our heart to it.

You mentioned something about Cakies being fashion for food?

Cakies believes in making a statement. When our cakes are in the room, much like a fashionista you’ll know. Cakies are perfected from head to toe, inside and out. Much of our baking, like fashion is based on presentation and first impressions. Call on Cakies when you need to turn heads at your fashion show, special event, or party. With Cakies, the customer’s freedom to participate in the creation process insures your cakes will be a perfect complement and representation of your unique style.

Is Cakies all you do?

When I am not in the kitchen you can find this girl hitting the books in the Library. I major in Emergency Medical Science with a minor in Fire Technology. As you can see Ky, as she is called for short, is a very industrious woman, who is set out on carving out a name for herself in the cupcake industry.




Fashion & Beauty

Beauty and the Boutique by Brandie Kekoa

Photography by InTheMomentPortraiture


would it be to get your hair done, Howbuy awesome your hair products, accessories, clothes and

purses all in one shop? As a hairstylist, I always thought that would be the coolest idea. Guess what? I found it! Bella Capelli Boutique and Salon owned by Carol Spears.

When I walked in this quaint little salon and boutique located in Temecula California, the ambience was welcoming, spacious and nicely put together. Carol took time out of her busy schedule to sit down and talk to me about the benefits of running both a salon and boutique. Carol has lived in Temecula since 1996. This well established salon has been in operation for over 20 years and Carol has been the proud owner since 2006. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. Reason Carol went into this industry is because she loves playing a role in making women feel more beautiful than they already are. Her goal she says is to help each client achieve the look they love and then help them to maintain it at home. “Customer service is of the utmost importance to me,” she tells me.

How did Carol come up with the idea of having both a salon and a boutique? “I love to shop,” she says. “I thought it would be nice to offer the client something more to add to their experience without breaking the bank.” Carol is big on offering her clients’ major savings. “If I save they save. I want to afford everyone the opportunity to shop here.” Among her regular customers are stylists. There are quite a number of items you can find trending in Bella Capelli. Thanks to Carol who does her best to stock current trends, you can find accessories such as short neckla-ces, bracelets, and bangles. As for clothes, high waist shorts, fitted jeans and lace. After spending a few hours with Carol I can understand why her salon stations are full and the atmosphere welcoming and fun. She is genuine, sweet, and humble, and I must mention that she takes pride in giving back to the community through various charities. Wondering how you can see more from her or shop at Bella Capelli? You don’t have to worry that you don’t live in the area, Carol is in the process of setting up an online store, but in the meantime you can check her our at: 19



Summer Must Haves by Brandie Kekoa


went in to my all time favorite store Sophra, looking for a basic foundation and mascara. I ended up coming out with eye shadow, blusher, face wash, toner, lotion, nail polish and shampoo. First off, I had no business buying shampoo because I am a hairstylist and have tons of shampoo floating all around my salon. I must say, the I absolutely loved the items I purchased, and I definitely think that they should be must haves for the summer. One of the most important purchases is something they should have called “ash away”. With the dry summer weather, we can all be victims of ashy (dry skin) days so we must have a lotion or body whip on hand to save us from any embarrassing ashy moments.


Papaya Passion Punch body lotion by Philosophy has become one of my new favorites. It has a fresh tropical sent of Papaya punch and a non-greasy feel. Shea Butter, natural Olive and Macadamia Nut oils help soften skin and aid in moisture retention, while antioxidants help soothe and protect skin against environmental attack.

Umbrian Clay skin care set by Fresh. It is a skincare set that includes everything you need to cleanse, treat, and moisturize normal to oily skin. I am a stickler when it comes to things that I put on my face but I saw that this was an exclusive item, also at a reduced price. This skincare set includes all the essentials needed to cleanse, treat, and moisturize normal to oily skin. It calls upon the detoxifying benefits of Umbrian Clay, Fresh’s proprietary ingredient whose uniquely high-mineral content works to neutralize acidity on the skin, purifying and clarifying the complexion. The gentle daily cleanser removes impurities and makeup while toning and hydrating the complexion. Loved it!

Buxom color Choreography Eyeshadow It is a five shade palette of vivid colors. It is a versatile palette that offers a range of finishes from matte to shimmer in a multitude of alluring shades, including a vivid pop of color. You can mix and match the creamy, rich, blendable shadows. Doing your makeup in the morning has never been so exciting!

Gradual Tan Plus Firming 4 In 1 Tan, Tone, Firm & Moisturize by St.Tropez. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! It is a moisturizing, firming, and toning self-tanner that reveals a beachperfect body all year round. It gives you a gradual tan plus firming that combines anti-aging skin care benefits with a healthy touch of bronze to help moisturize, firm, tone, and provide naturally looking tanned skin. It activates the cells and improves the tone and firmness of even problem areas. The easily absorbed lotion provides 24-hour moisture and a protective anti-oxidant barrier to reinforce skin’s natural defenses.

Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss. It is a high shine lip gloss that gives you those kissable luscious looking lips. Formulated with Hyaluronic Acid for moisture and highly reflective pearl for reflective shine, your lips will be primed to pucker perfection.


The Gospel of Jewelry Design by Pinay

by Brandie Kekoa


ethzaida L. Brown is a Filipino born citizen who currently lives in California. Most of her friends call her “Beth or Chai”. She completed her Bachelor of Secondary Education in Villaba State University, Philippines. A lover of different languages, Beth has taught English to Korean children for almost 3 years back in her country and learned to speak, read and write Korean. In this interview she tells WOMAN’S ESSENCE about her love for Jewelry and how she started her own outfit – Pinay Jewelry. The world that we live in has grown from where one would have only one specialty and that is the story of this young woman, who is a teacher and also a jewelry designer, one might say, designing jewelry is very distant to teaching in fact they don’t seem to have any kind of correlation, but when God gave Beth the talent of Jewelry he was very sure that she was going to put it to use. “I never thought of designing as a part of my stepping stone towards success, but I believe God has directed me to this path for a good reason. I believe that whatever piece of jewelry I make, it’s His idea and not mine, and I know it’s the best. When I design, I simply listen to His music. It gives me more inspiration to create perfect jewelry combos, I love doing it again and again” she said. 24

At the beginning of her jewelry career, as everyone would be, she did not know anything about jewelry making “My mother-in-law let me use all her jewelry making tools and beads, so I explored and tried to make my own jewelry. I was so happy when I made my first few designs”. When married to a family that loves you they would treat you as one of their own blood and would let you use their stuffs without any kind of restrictions. “My husband and sisterin-law contributed a lot, I must say, I am so lucky to have them in my life as a part of my family and for letting me discover this talent that God has given me” said Beth. She is a very humble woman who does not take any credit for what she is doing but thanks God for all the ideas he has given her. “It’s God’s idea and not mine. I am only

putting His idea to be visible to the human eyes, and I do believe that everything I make is unique”. Although, she has looked at other people’s designs, but hers are distinct “I cannot make the same way as they do no matter how beautiful and adorable their designs are, simply because God is giving me the knowledge to make perfect jewelry, and also because I have different materials, beads, and gemstones”. She does not really have a trademark for her jewelries, but for a fact all she knows is that each make is different based on the kind of beaded jewelry, woven and strung. She also makes cell phone charms/zipper pulls and she likes putting charms in most bracelets and necklaces off which she has some FengShui (JADE) too.

Also for the Men you do not have to feel sad that nothing has been said in your direction, she told me herself, “I do make jewelry for men, mostly from wooden beads and cords for bracelets. I also make beaded hemp necklaces, bracelets and chokers for men”. So ladies if you want your man to look good and gorgeous, with a style that is distinct and unique, you know who to call. She is very much hooked onto jewelry making, name embroidery with beads and even designing fabric purses and she has been making jewelry for almost a year now, with the support of my family, husband and his family. If you are already hooked on Pinay Jewelry, which is expected, and would like to own a design, you can do so by visiting and search for pinay jewelry. You can also visit and like her page on Facebook: jfashionbybbrown.

Malena Lopez-Maggi


Looking for Mr. Right?

by Brandie Kekoa


I am amongst the very few that are married in my group of friends. As a hair artist and salon owner, I deal with women daily on a large scale and hear about horror story dates. So what’s the problem? Is it us women? Are the standards that women have today too high? Well, unfortunately it may be a mix, I don’t know. What I do believe is that there are good men out there, I found seven very eligible bachelors in seven days. I wanted to feature average everyday Joes. I didn’t want to do a typical eligible bachelor feature that only had men with high profile careers because, “real talk”, nine times out of ten we won’t get that type of man. I asked each of these guys to answer a few simple questions.

Gregory Ryan Baker – Age 34 happiness to others around me. I think that Owns a company with his brother– So Cal Training, which works with youth soccer players, helping athletes develop into great people and the best soccer players they can be. As for fun, he says he enjoys playing all kinds of sports, a total sucker for golf. An avid traveler, he also likes to travel to different parts of the country.

Are you looking for love for the future, or just to date? In the future, I see myself raising a family of my own, hoping to find a woman with similar goals. In our business, I work with children every day and I would like to think that I would make a good father someday.

I am confident about who I am and what I want. Making people laugh has always been something everybody in my family is good at. What is your idea of a first date? It would be nice to go on a date with a girl who enjoys being active, even on a first date. Someone who isn’t so worried about getting all dolled up because they are just enjoying the activity or sport we are doing together. Ideally, we would be able to learn a lot about each other while having fun.

Give me a description of your ideal woman? That would be an athletic girl who is not constantly concerned with her outside appearance. I don’t always need to see makeup on her face for her to look good. A woman who has strong morals and cares about family. Lastly, she must be kind and What would you giving, I wouldn’t enjoy spending time with consider makes a woman who is selfish since I am certainly you a “good not like that. catch”? I feel that I am Where do you see yourself 5 years a hard worker. from now? I do not stop In time, I see my brother and me expandtrying to get ing our business. I will be looki n a rush and better as an all I would hope that any woman I grow to round person trust would be patient, helping our relationship to grow also. and bringing


Kevin F. Law Sr. - Age 47 Director of Environmental Services for the State Hospital System of Hawaii specifically Maui County. For fun he enjoys a day at the softball park playing softball. Also likes comedy movies (Harlem Nights), and anything that’s goofy. Are you looking for love for the future, or just to date? I am looking for love for the future. I always have been since 18 years old. I do see myself settled down with the right female, because being single is lonely at times and I want to share my life with someone. What would you consider makes you a “good catch”? I’m just a person who likes to communicate (not over talking a woman) and feel the chemistry, if any, with a female whom I’m interested in, a southern-born man who believes in making sure his mother is loved.

Give me a description of your ideal woman? This one is hard due to the fact that I don’t think I have an ideal woman. It just has to be someone on the same page as I am with love and peace of mind. I’m not stuck on creed, color, or race. I’m stuck on real love for loving a person for who they are.

What is your idea of a first date? A perfect date for me is simple: just a comedy movie to see if a woman is comfortable and able to laugh easily, then a quaint dinner (not extravagant), just something where you can hear each other conversation.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? In five years I see myself still here at my present job looking to open my own cleaning business, because in 9 years I can retire from the State Government System with free medical for life.

Amos Mack - Age 40 A divorced father of one child, an Ironworker by trade and volunteer Fireman/Emt. Also into stand-up comedy for fun, and likes social dancing like salsa and swing. Are you looking for love for the future, or just to date? I am dating and looking for love for the future. I think that’s what most of us do.

Give me a description of your ideal woman? Someone attractive (not like a Kardasian or jersey shore), fit, open, honest, sincere woman that likes playful banter.

What would you consider makes you a “good catch”? I’m funny, loyal, kind and sincere. I’m easy to talk to and a good conversationalist.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? In five years, I would like to turn my hobbies into careers; become a firefighter and perform stand up on a larger scale.

What is your idea of a first date? I like the idea of a weekend late lunch or an early dinner. Then some type of fun activity and see how that goes. 28

Tyrone Davis - Age 44 Fire Captain, Disc Jockey, music producer, personal trainer, spin instructor, and reality TV personality. For fun, he likes scuba diving, dancing, laughing, mountain biking, swimming, playing piano, writing poetry, stimulating dialogue, eating, cycling, reading, learning, go karts, white water rafting, kayaking, photography, basketball, yoga, speaking Spanish, living. What would you consider makes you a “good catch”? It will definitely be my commitment to happiness, vulnerability, authenticity, and ability to maximize every opportunity to live fully. What is your idea of a first date? I love lots of laughter, some vulnerability (not overly guarded), doing something interactive and having fun.

switch”, willing to deal with her stuff, secure, supportive, feminine, athletic, and loving with a pretty smile that radiates from within. Oh, and does not mind cooking.

Give me a description of your ideal woman? She has to be self-pride and confidence, somewhat independent. She knows when to turn on the “soft

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? I see myself as happy and in a loving relationship with a beautiful woman.

Shay Mcguckin - Age 36 Works in one of the local casinos in Temecula California, likes the outdoors. Favorite activities are surfing, snowboarding, and going to San Diego Padres and San Diego Charger games. He’s been single for a little over a year now and says he’s ready to be with the one person that is good for him. What would you consider makes you a “good catch”? I’m fun, a good communicator (and listener). I have become more focused on what I really want out of a partner and the effort that it takes.

woman who enjoys going to the beach for dinner or will just as easily stay at home and hang out. She needs to be confident with herself; active and funny. Oh yeah, she also has to like dogs.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What is your idea of Kid, two dogs, and a wife that a first date? My ideal perfect date would can make me laugh or get hot be great connection and in the drop of a dime. If she doesn’t want to start a family laughing. then she and I can become Give me a description of global travelers. It’s a big world out there. your ideal woman? We need to be on the same wavelength. I like a 29



Cover Story


Borriboonratana Passionate About Family And Make-up by Ojay Milah

Jessica Fajardo Photography



I’ve always been (and still am) intrigued by the sky and the stars. I still have a great love for the sky because it’s so limitless just like our dreams



comes from a lineage that has always gone in search for the best. At age two, her parents moved to the United States from Philippines in search of the ‘American Dream’. Same spirit led Alpha to abandon the banking industry with all its cash flow to pursue her own dream. Today Alpha solely runs her hair and makeup business, Sweet Fuss, while still strongly holding her own ground at the home front as a wife and mother.

With Love from the Philippines It was in the Philippines where it all be- Having a military background meant a legan. Alpha and her twin sister, Omega with vel of strict discipline. “My parents were strict.” whom she share the most amazing relation- For Alpha, this instilled in her a mix of resiship that can only happen through concep- lience, optimism, creative, loyal, honest, and tion, were born into a military family. Being loving spirit. They were also very supportive raised in a military family means they moved in all of Alpha and her sister’s endeavors. “My around a lot. And so at age mom had my sister and I two, the family moved to “In the process, the constant take a variety of classes like the United States. ice skating, dance, clarinet moving taught me the important skills of adapting and piano.” Long torn from her to new and different country of birth, with a Any wonder her pasituations and people.” visit when she was 8 years rents would turn out to be old, Alpha has learned to her role models? “They adapt. “In the process, the constant moving were immigrants from the Phili-ppines and taught me the important skills of adapting I’ve watched them work hard to attain the to new and different situations and people.” ‘American dream’. They inspire me to keep When the family settled in Vallejo, in North- working for my goals and to believe that hard ern California, Alpha was very involved with work really does pay off.” school and extracurricular activities, “especially band, colorguard, and dance.”


Discovering Alpha Alpha had that feeling we sometimes have of not doing enough and wanting to do something greater. She’s always shot for the moon, for a while thinking she was going to end up an astronaut. “I’ve always been (and still am) intrigued by the sky and the stars. I still have a great love for the sky because it’s so limitless just like our dreams.” Once the moon was her target, astronomy her dream, now client satisfaction is. “The most rewarding thing about being a makeup and hair artist is making my clients look as fabulous as they feel.” A former banker, after graduating from San Jose State University in 2005 where she studied Radio and Television Journalism, she thought she was doing fine. “I loved working with my clients and co-workers but I felt like I was meant

to do more.” One day, she had to give an answer to the question of what she loved doing. “Tony, my husband asked me, “What do you really love to do?” Hair and makeup was her answer. “I’ve always loved makeup and hair designing, so I knew right away that it would be the field that I wanted to pursue.” With the support of her husband Alpha attend Paul Mitchell, earned her cosmetology license and started Sweet Fuss Hair and Makeup Artistry in 2008. From banking to makeup, apparently there’s more to success than a fat bank account.

“I’ve always loved makeup and hair designing, so I knew right away that it would be the field that I wanted to pursue.”

From Banking to Something Sweet A one man business where she solely caters, to the needs of her clients, Alpha still enjoys the satisfaction that comes from working with people. “I do have an amazing group of hair & makeup artists that work alongside me when I have a big wedding party or event.” A star achiever, she’s still shooting for the moon. Since 2008, Sweet Fuss Hair and Makeup has served over 250 plus clients in various industries. “I’ve worked with clients in a variety of events - weddings, boudoir, fashion, lifestyle photo shoots, and commercial work.”


A typical day for Alpha at Sweet Fuss consists of responding to client inquiries and working on current clients that are booking their hair and makeup sessions. She also holds bridal trial sessions, and “there are also many days that I work on photo shoots, commercial work, and weddings.” Challenging? If she finds herself doing something other than Hair and Makeup, Alpha says “I’m not sure.” Away from a challenging life, the mother and entrepreneur still manages to give herself some ‘me time’. “I love to run, listen to music, and cook to ease my stress.” She finds inspiration through everyday life – the people, styles, and colors around me.


“Everyone knew about the proposal – my parents, my sister, my boss, my best friend, and his family.”


Finding and Keeping Love Banking may not have given Alpha the satisfaction that comes of a dream job, but it definitely gave her more than that; love. She was a new employee at her banking job and volunteered to help out at the company’s annual holiday party at The Queen Mary in Long Beach. This was where she met her husband and best friend. “My volunteer job that night was to sell raffle tickets to the attendees. And as I was standing at the entrance, I saw Tony (my husband) walk in. There was no assigned seating and as I finished selling raffle tickets I went to my seat. And it just so happened, that Tony was sitting at the table I was at.” They hit it off right away and as the saying goes, the rest is history. I’m sure by now you know the attraction was more than his good looks and great personality. Besides being handsome and having a great sense of humor, his name was what got them talking. “When I finally sat face to face with him, I noticed his very long last name. And that was how our conversation starter.” On their first anniversary as a couple, Tony would propose to Alpha, with both families knowing except a surprised Alpha. “I was happily surprised! Well, surprised is definitely an understatement. Everyone knew about the proposal – my parents, my sister, my boss, my best friend, and his family. “It was amazing how the proposal was such a wellkept secret. I was quite impressed.” They were

married on New Year’s Eve (December 31) 2008, an intimate wedding that took place at sunset in San Diego. Wedding over, a baby was right on the way. According to Alpha, all she and Toney both wanted was a healthy baby, the sex wasn’t an issue. The news of her pregnancy was surprising, same time gladdening. “We were shocked, but in a good way. We took several pregnancy tests just to make sure.” It turned out to be a boy. “Since my father never had a son, Tony and I asked him to name our baby boy. We wanted his name to be unique, so my dad came up with ‘Zyre’. We like the name but we tweaked it a bit and decided on ‘Zion’ which means a heavenly utopian place or heaven on earth.” With some years behind and a son, Alpha and Tony have managed to keep that initial flame burning, even with the past four years having its ups and downs like every normal marriages do. “Communication and compromise” has been crucial in keeping a healthy relationship; also having their son, Zion. “We try to make time for ourselves and each other.” So, your guess is as good as mine – lots of date nights. One of such romantic memories from their relationship was a Caribbean cruise. “We visited Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and my favorite island, St. Marteen.” The cruise was their pre-wedding honeymoon.


Motherhood and Career “As a business owner, I am the boss that runs everything from client follow-up, advertising and all that comes with the territory. There are times where it is challenging to step away from work because it really is non-stop.” How then does she do it without having to sacrifice family? “I’m learning that work can be separated from family time, it just takes some effort. When I’m working I’m focused on my craft. And when I get home, my attention goes all to my family.” Does that work or should every mother hold on tight to the tradition of being a stay-athome mom? “Throughout these 4 years, I’m getting better at walking that fine balance between motherhood and my career.” An effort that gets better with each day. It wasn’t always so at the beginning. “When I began my business, there were times I felt guilty for not being home for Zion as often as I would’ve liked. But I’ve learned that I do what I do for him and our family. And I can’t feel guilty when I’m trying to provide the best for my son”, one that is rooted in Sweet Fuss and its future successes. 40

“I work hard because of Zion. I want him to look at me and be proud. I also want Zion to see that success is possible through hard work, perseverance, and having a passion for what you do.” For this, motherhood seems to be a one-way street for Alpha. “A privilege, being a mother is a life-changing journey that I would not trade for the world.” Except maybe that involves giving Zion the best. “I want to nurture Zion’s skills and talents the same way my parents did for me, to provide him with the best tools that will give him a strong stepping stone to his future endeavors. I believe in praise, hopes, and following your dreams – and for Zion I want him to see that dreams are possible because I am living proof of it.” With a great personality, wonderful sense of humor and an ability to make friends easily, Alpha sees Zion becoming a well-rounded, successful young man. “I see him being well loved by his peers. I believe that he can become anything he dreams. And I will be his number one fan forever.”


Health & Fitness

How Healthy Self-Esteem

Promotes Healthy Weight by Tracy Shawn

of Woman’s Essence one-year anniversary, this article focuses on I nhowcelebration a woman’s health is tied to her self-esteem, a very important part of every

woman’s “essence.” The drive to be a woman of strength and power is greatly enhanced by taking care of one’s own physical health. And to increase overall physical health and weight-loss success, it’s imperative to nurture and build self-esteem. 42

According to Paul Hokemeyer, Ph.D, J.D ( “The more self-esteem a person has, the better able he or she is to make healthy food and exercise choices.” Conversely, low self-esteem often leads to unhealthy decisions: “I’ll never make it to my goal weight, so I might as well gobble down this whole bag of cookies.” The good news is that self-esteem is not static: You hold the power to change it for the better, and in so doing, also help yourself attain—and maintain—a healthier body and weight. 1. Concentrate on Health Rather Than Appearance. Marie Boyle Struble, Ph.D, R.D and Sara Long Roth, PhD, RD, note in their book Personal Nutrition ( that when people use weight as a measure of selfworth, they often subject themselves to diets that are too restrictive and exercise programs

that are too strenuous. With this mindset, slip-ups can cause self-esteem to plummet, which can lead to binges. Then, when people who haven’t built up healthy self-worth do get to their desired weight, they realize that they have the same life problems as before and often gain all—and sometimes more—of their weight back on. The solution is to focus on who you are as an overall person. Remind yourself of all the wonderful things you are: understanding mom, responsible professional, sympathetic friend, etc. Also, note that you are choosing the healthiest foods possible—not for looks—but for physical well-being. When you know that you are making decisions based on health, it’s easier to maintain them.


2. Trade Emotional Eating With Emotional Awareness. People often confuse emotions such as loneliness, sadness, stress and anger with hunger. Start to recognize when you reach for food due to emotions by keeping an “emotional” food journal, noting every time you want to eat when you’re not physically hungry, and taking the time to realize the reasons why. Once you do this, replace the act of emotional eating with healthy activities that increase self-esteem. For instance, if you find that you’re chomping down donuts out of loneliness, call a friend; if you’re crunching chips due to stress, take a five-minute walk around the block; if you’re consuming candy due to anger, get your hand out of the caramel bag and do some jumping jacks! Figure out what works—just make sure it’s something that’s readily available—and makes you feel even better about yourself than you did before.


3. Set Realistic Goals. Mayo Clinic ( states that healthy weight loss should be slow and steady at 1 to 2 pounds a week, and that a natural part of behavioral change is learning to deal with relapses. Most any success in life comes with setbacks, including weight loss. To make sure setbacks do not become permanent roadblocks, remind yourself to view mistakes as learning experiences. Everyone has them—and no one is perfect; even the strongest, most powerful women need to give themselves a break!


Love & Relationships

How to Escape a Bad Date D

ating is made of both good and bad experiences. When things don’t go as planned, having a suitable coping strategy can save you a lot of headaches. Learn a few tricks on how to deal with bad dates.

The dating scene is not always a positive experience. Memorable or not, bad dates can be draining and a can bring about a variety of headache-inducing consequences. In such scenarios, knowing how to artfully make an escape can prove invaluable. Try some of the following techniques to end things when needed: • Try being honest If your date is a really nice guy yet you fail to feel a connection with, explaining the situation nicely and sweetening things up with a few genuine compliments might be the best way to avoid awkward feelings and still manage to gracefully leave without bruising his ego too much. • Use your sense of humor Bad dates tend to be the most memorable ones , so at the very least you’ll have something fun to share with friends if you stay a little. This simple thought can make it easier to go through a series of uninteresting conversations. • Emphasize your differences Sometimes going for the honest, respectful route isn’t going to be a good technique, especially if your date is ignoring your attempts to back off. Ensuring your date you don’t have the quality he’s looking for can be a fairly quick route to success as the lack of compatibility will become more obvious. 46

• Cut the date short Whether you do this by faking an emergency with a friend or simply asking for check early on, acting quickly will save you and him a lot of frustration. This is one of the clearest signs a second date will not be in order and makes you both avoid wasting too much time. • Don’t agree to a second date Perhaps the worst thing you can do if you genuinely don’t feel the connection to someone is agreeing to go on a second date out of pity. Such behavior doesn’t do anyone a favor and prolongs the inevitable unnecessarily, so make sure to be as clear as possible on how things really are. • Just leave If you feel insulted, threatened in any way or unsafe, you don’t need any excuse to leave. Simply get away from any potentially threatening situation as quickly as possible without looking back. Always put safety first and avoid getting intimidated.



Celebrating the First Year by Trina Sims


ow! Can you believe it’s been a year! All the planning, prepping pinning and tucking… Smiling and crying… Loving and laughing….. And after the declaration of vows, saying, “I DO” and exchange of wedding rings, too! You are finally here Mr. & Mrs. One Year. Time waits for no couple, so it’s been told. One of the most magical moments in time has come and gone, all in the blink of an eye. All you can seem to remember is walking down the aisle or perhaps saying your vows. Now with a year of marriage under your wing, you began to know how the sparkle remains gleam. So much has happened at one time, and while you tried to make sure you get every bit of detail into the just so rightly planned out timeline, you should be very excited to celebrate your One Year Anniversary as husband and wife. But who would have ever thought that the time would go so fast? Not you, right? Well, this too is the start of even more planning and prepping moments to come, like planning for your One Year Anniversary. It can be as simple or extravagant as you desire. 48

Since a lot has happened in the year of planning and during the year itself, it is time to relax, unwind and enjoy, so get your celebrate on! So what are some good things to do? Plan for a little get away. Hello…., something simple, with a touch of elegance and loads of romance, like a trip to an island, or even make your own island in your private space. Perhaps, you and your bridal party members are really close as a group of friends; you may consider planning a mini-vacation for all. Either way, plan it and make it happen….it has been well worth the wait. If you are planning to make your One Year Anniversary, the honeymoon you could not enjoy at the time, this would be the perfect moment to do just that! And if that is the case, by all means, please leave the bridal party members at home!

Maybe getting away is not on the top of your list and you just want to relax and spend time in the company of your own home, then make your get away there. Prepare a special dinner and watch your favorite date night movie, and for dessert, unwrap the top tier of your wedding cake and enjoy all the sweetness you remember from the very first bite, now that’s a treat! (Side Bar, depending on the goodness of the cake and if you wrapped it right, this is worth the treat…) Celebrating for some, can mean sharing in the exchanging of gifts. While this may not be necessary for all, it can be traditional in the sense for some. And really, who doesn’t like anniversary gifts or any gifts for that matter? The first year anniversary of anything is always a cause to celebrate, as least I think so. So remember celebrating your One Year Anniversary can be as simple or as extravagant as you like, do it to your style and taste. While the most important thing to remember honestly, is the reason why you are celebrating. This celebration and every one to come after is for your union in marriage for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till the Lord brings you home safe and sound in His loving arms forever. And so with that being said, at the end of the day, you know me… “It’s Your One Year Anniversary… Make It Your Own”. Congratulations, WE Magazine! It’s been amazing to be a part of the team for the last couple of months. I look forward to many more. Happy Anniversary from Weddings & Events by Trina


Artist and Parent: An Interview with Lillian Loponen by Amanda Ramsay


had the pleasure of sitting down with Lillian Loponen for an interview in the late fall of 2010 to discuss some aspects of being both a parent and an artist. Her candid discussion led to some knowledge being passed from her to me and I share it with you now; but first, a little about Lillian. Artists @ Work, an artist collective in the far north of Canada’s Yukon, calls her work: “A quiet power, a softly spoken understanding between herself and Canada’s Yukon.” Music Yukon says, “Her love of the natural world and her distinct style portrays the Yukon in a mysterious, timeless way.”


Having gone through the hectic life of a parent with three children, it’s hard to imagine she had the time to be an artist: “I had the luxury of being an at-home mom. Not many parents have that luxury today,” she admitted. Through the years of sharing her parenting duties with her art she, had a very specific message to parents and artists alike, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

As a new mom, and later as the mom of three, Lillian remembers naptime as her art time and setting up her studio in her bedroom. Her passion is evident, “I’d put them to bed early... [my artwork] was just this need, I needed to do this.” “The boys knew, when the door was closed Mom was painting; and it was my time, temporarily,” she chuckles. “If there was something that was urgent then I would switch my channels from being an artist to being a mom, and then switch it back.” She sagely adds, “it was a matter of having the two roles and the ability to multitask.” A self-defined ‘TaxiMom’, the family only had one car for a time and the home was a busy, but art-filled home. Each of her sons has pursued art successfully; “They all have [a] strong passion to do something with what is in their soul.”

So what’s her secret? I asked her what she could share with other moms who have that same passion to do something with what is in their soul. “I know being a parent is very tiring, especially if you’re the primary caretaker at home... but it’s amazing how that tiredness goes away because you’re immersed in whichever art discipline it is. It’s so satisfying afterwards, it’s worth it,” she says. Because? “It also becomes a part of the child because they recognize [you] in terms of individuality, aside from being a mother or a parent.” Being the naive new parent I was in 2010, I asked her, “At what point did you say, ‘this is going to work?’” Being the experienced artist and parent, she said, “I don’t think there was any point where I said [that], I just did it.”


Finding Inspiration by Ellenore Angelidis


question I get with some frequency is: “How do you do it?” It is usually followed by some more specifics: “have a demanding job and raise three kids” “have a two parent working house and be involved in so many activities” or “have a job, a teenager and a toddler.” The honest answer is I don’t really know. There are enablers but it’s a fluid and personal process. For me, what makes it possible continuously changes as my life unfolds and I evolve. One key constant remains the inspiration I draw from people who demonstrate through their lives what is possible.

When I was 39, my dad completed a project he had to wait to retirement to find the time to do. It was the story of his childhood to share with his four daughters and at the time two grandkids. Many of the players within his story inspired me. I was named after my father’s mother (and in a bit of cosmic humor look just like my mother’s side of the family). Her story was of particular interest to me. In my father’s accounting, events that happened to my grandmother when she was 39 are pivotal to the family. 52

My father is Dutch. His family live in Indonesia, a former Dutch colony, when he was born and during his early years. My grandmother was the same age I was reading it when she was forced to flee Indonesia with her five children. Her children ranged in age from 13 to an infant. She ended up in Australia and had to make a new life for herself as a single parent. She needed to learn a new language and raise her kids, three boys and two small daughters, in a foreign country. And do it all while dealing with the unthinkable.

Her husband, my grandfather, was captured by the Japanese and was likely dead or in a concentration camp. My grandmother lived a rather sheltered life up to that point. She was a stay at home mother. And as was common in that place and time, she had help around the house for the kids, the cooking and the cleaning. In violent series of events, she was thrust into a harsh reality. She lived in a foriegn place with no husband and no means of support with five anxious offspring. I thought about how that compared to my life at 39. I also recently had to move to a new city with my two boys, four and eight, without their father. He stayed behind because of his work for the first year. I had a different job to learn, a home to settle in and kids to adjust into a new place and new school. Their father came out every 10-14 days for a long weekend. I struggled as a single parent to keep it all going when my husband was away. It was often lonely and hard. I found my life was reduced to splitting time between trying to “get it” at my job, which was quite demanding, and parenting my two boys. There was little time for anything else. I felt stressed and stretched most of the time. When I thought about what it must have been like for my grandmother, I can only see the chasm between what she faced and what I had to manage. I don’t know how I would have found the strength to get up each day and the face the horrors of what might be happening to my husband (if he was alive) and the uncertain future for myself and my kids. I don’t know how I would have provided for my children who needed me to be both parents to them as our lives took this unexpected, terrible turn. But my grandmother did it somehow. Her five children retained a special closeness to her even though she was not always as easy woman. They were willing to go the extra mile for her until she died in her nineties. I believe the bonds she forged by being their rock through what is beyond comprehension left an indelible, lifelong impression. Below is a picture of my grandmother and her five kids.





Dianna Bellerose Fire and Ice About the author:

Diana Bellerose was born and raised in Eastern Europe. She grew up in a working class family. As a little girl she spent most of her childhood with her grandparents. Presently, she lives with her husband, daughter and their two dogs and cat in Seattle, WA. She finished Edmonds Community College in May 2004. Later on, she found passion for writing about family and the obstacles they face in their lives. She enjoys gardening, photography, drawing, exploring other cultures, visiting interesting places, languages, and yoga in her free time. She is currently working on her second fiction novel.

Synopsis: Fire and Ice In Fire and Ice, Nancy, a kindhearted woman, mar-

ries her high school sweetheart, Tom. Their marriage is wrecked from the beginning by Tom’s controlling mother, and soon, Tom’s drunken rages and abuse toward Nancy. In America, Tom and Nancy and their daughter, Jen, start a new life.

Young Jen is now the referee of all their fights. As the Great Recession tests their mettle, Nancy discovers that for years Tom has been sending all of their “savings” to his parents. Now middle-aged, Nancy realizes that she must leave Tom and start all over again with neither a career nor savings.

Book Review: “Fire and Ice by Dianna Bellerose is heart touching story, brilliantly written which will touch women’s souls for years to come. The main characters Nancy and Tom will rivet you to their story of love and betrayal. It is a truly universal tale everyone could relate to from generations to come. It can teach you how to cope with obstacles in a relationship to learning what your limits are and how to find your true identity as a wonderful divine human being, unique to what your purpose in life is. By the end of the book, you will be amazed how much you will learn about life and what true love is. Truly inspiring story and very captivating which will make you want more with every passing page, striking, a new classic has been born, which will leave a lasting impression in the people’s life and help them see that life is a never ending journey full of surprises and how love and dedication could achieve everything no matter how unattainable it might seem. Everyone has the power to overcome life’s never ending twists, turns and limitations. No matter what, anything and everything is possible to get what you want from life.” 57

Doreen McGettigan Bristol Boyz Stomp About the author:

Doreen’s brother’s death shattered her and this drove her into writing and learning, this kept her from the feelings associated with her loss and the unraveling of her family. She joined a Homicide Survivors Group and became very active Pennsylvania’s NOVA (Network of Victim Assistance), as an advocate, Board member and Speaker. She has also become a champion for the elderly who sometimes have trouble admitting that they have been bullied or victimized. The author has written for several Philadelphia area newspapers and is an active member of The Press Club, the Chamber of Commerce and several Writers Groups including “Hot Pens” in Newtown Square, Pa. The publication of her book, BRISTOL BOYS STOMP, has raised much dust among the murderers and their families, politicians and her family also. Doreen met (online) and married the love of her life and soul mate, John, who insisted she finish her book. They were married five years ago on a beach in New Jersey.

Synopsis: Bristol Boyz Stomp ‘ROAD RAGE’ is what all the news shows and newspa-

pers called it. To me, that sounded like a disease, an affliction that can make you kill. In April of 1999, my younger brother, David, passed away. Passed away sounds so gentle, even normal? David’s death was neither, it was brutal murder. You will meet and fall in love with David, the victim. He was a handsome soft -spoken gentle giant with a great musical talent. He was also a husband and Daddy. The reader will agonize with the family as they spend seventy-

two-hours in the intensive care unit watching Dave slip away. They prayed for miracles and discussed organ donation while still trying to figure out exactly what happened that night. The family will take you along on their frustrating journey navigating the justice system and learning to deal with the media. You will become infuriated with the judge, the evil skirt and sneaker wearing district attorney who was only interested in winning an election, the defense lawyers and the murderer’s family’s lack of empathy or compassion. The reader will agonize with the author as she struggles to share her story of grief, depression and defeat.

Book Review: “The untimely death of someone we love is a horrible thing to face. When that death comes at the hand of people we know and have been around, that makes it even more difficult to deal with. Doreen McGettigan describes just such a situation as she shares about the death of her brother in “Bristol Boyz Stomp.” The town of Bristol, Pennsylvania is a relatively small town and Doreen and her family had grown up in and around that area for the majority of their lives. When one night, the unthinkable happens and her brother is beaten to death as he was driving home from band practice, their view of the world is challenged entirely. This book is taken entirely from Doreen’s perspective and she is very honest with her feelings and her perspective throughout this book. I really appreciated that honesty and how she openly admits how she was feeling at the various moments throughout the trial and the sentencing and just the aftermath of finding a way to pick up the pieces and keep going with her life. This is a very well written book that provides a glimpse into the justice system as well as a look at how a situation like this can captivate and divide a small town where everyone knows both the victim and the perpetrators. While the situation described is horrible, this book was a eye-opener to the aftermath of a situation like this and helped me to see and understand better how far reaching the impact can be. This book is a great read.” ~Kristi Burchfiel – author of applicable Bible studies and Devotionals 58

Eugenia O’Neal Jessamine About the author:

Eugenia O’Neal is a writer from the British Virgin Islands whose latest book, Jessamine, is available from all major ebooksellers. Her previous books include the novels Dido’s Prize and Just an Affair and the non-fictional, From the Field to the Legislature: A History of Women in the Virgin Islands. A few of her short stories have been published in “The Caribbean Writer” and other regional publications. Eugenia holds a Master of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. Her thesis, a comparison of the status of women in Britain with women in the Virgin Islands, became the foundation for her first book, From the Field to the Legislature which was published by Greenwood Press in 2001. Eugenia has worked in the fields of journalism, HIV/AIDS education, women’s rights, foreign affairs, public relations and city management. Her next book, The Water of Sunlight, will be published in October.

Synopsis: Jessamine Jessamine tells the story of Grace Hylton, an African-

American, who arrives on the Caribbean island of St. Crescens full of doubts about her husband’s political aspirations, doubts about her marriage and doubts about the wisdom of relocating. Her native-born husband, Julian, has lived most of his adult life in the States but has come back to St. Crescens, determined to pull his country out of the cauldron of corruption, nepotism and crime into which the leading political dynasty has taken it.

An architect by training, Julian buys and restores Jessamine, an old Great House. What the Hyltons don’t know is that Jessamine is home to the ghost of Arabella Adams who lived there as a governess during the late 1800s. Jessamine is told from the alternating viewpoints of the two women – both foreigners, both married to local men. An old injustice binds them across the century that separates them, but can Grace discover its roots before St. Crescens is plunged into violence and chaos?

Book Review: “A wonderful story about political conflict, corruption and racism. Grace not only faces moving to a small island after living in America but she has to come to terms with the small-minded community. Even though Grace is black, she is an outsider and seen as different by the wives of her husband’s political party associates and friends. Even Julian’s grandmother is rude to Grace initially until Grace starts to uncover the family history. Jessamine was owned by the island’s British administrator in the 1800’s and the house has a history of its own. Grace is frightened she has become unwell, when she first moves in feeling cold, thinking she is imagining a voice and suffering from sudden headaches. Once Grace comes to terms that the house ghost is trying to communicate with her, she embarks on a mission to not only find out the family history but also what happened to her invisible companion and her family. When Grace starts to turn up certain information, it brings the past into the present. A gripping read. 4* “ ~By Jane Hanbury


Food & Drinks

Special Anniversary Recipes

Recipes by Sharon Fox

Honey Glazed Cornish Hens Ingredients: Glaze


Combine glaze in1/2 cup honey gredients. 2 tablespoons orPreheat the oven to ange juice 400°F. 2 tablespoons fresh Rinse hens and blot lemon juice dry. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons balsalt and pepper. samic vinegar Using about a third 3 tablespoons cum- of the glaze, brush in seed, toasted both sides of hen and crushed halves. 3 tablespoons olive Place, skin side oil down, on a baking 1/2 teaspoon salt sheet with low sides. 1/2 teaspoon freshly Place in oven and ground pepper roast 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 4 Cornish hens, split 375°F, brush hens in half again with half the Salt and pepper remaining glaze and roast 5 minutes. Turn hens over and roast 10 minutes.


Brush with remaining glaze and roast until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes more.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8 (or 4 hungry adults).

S panish

C heesecake Make filling and bake:


1 cookie crumb crust recipe, made with finely ground graham crackers. 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened 4 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup sugar

For Topping:

16 oz sour cream 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla Make cookie crumb crust as directed in separate recipe. Preheat oven to 350ยบF.

Blanche the broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in salted boiling wBeat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions. Put spring-form pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in a baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Let stand in baking pan on a rack 5 minutes. Leave oven on.

Make topping:

Stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Drop spoonfuls of topping around edge of cake and spread gently over center, smoothing evenly. Bake cake with topping 10 minutes. Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in spring-form pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side from pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving. Cheesecake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days.

Black Cow Milkshake Ingredients

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt 2 teaspoons of chocolate syrup 1 heavy splash of cherry syrup 1 can/bottle of Root Beer


Fill a mug with the ice cream or frozen yogurt, add the chocolate syrup and the cherry syrup, fill the glass with root beer.


Recipes by Joy Hardin

Light Strawberry Flower Cake 62


Cake: 2 strawberry box cake mixes 2 (12 oz.) cans or 3 cups diet or regular red soda Icing: 12 oz. light Cool Whip 2 (1.4 oz.) sugar free vanilla pudding mixes 1 1/2 cup skim milk Red or pink food coloring


• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cake

pans. Beat cake mix and soda together until smooth and creamy. • Divide the batter into four 8 or 9 inch cake pans. If you don’t have four cake pans, divide the batter in half setting aside one half of the batter. Pour divided cake batter into two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. • Bake according to instructions on box. • While cake is baking, mix together pudding mix, milk, Cool Whip, and food coloring. Slowly beat or whisk whipped topping until all of the ingredients are just combined. (Be careful not to over mix). Add as much food


• I baked the layers the day before and wrapped them individually in plastic wrap until I was ready to assemble the cake. This made the cake even moister than it would have been if I had served it the same day it was baked. • I placed a piece of wax paper under the cake and used the paper to turn the cake while icing it.

coloring you need in order to get the color you desire. Chill in fridge until ready to use. • Allow the cakes to completely cool before removing from pan or you may end up with a yummy mistake like I did! Once cooled, dump onto cooling rack. • Regrease and flour pans and bake the rest of the batter dividing it into the 2 pans. Since this is a three layer cake you will have one layer left over. One option is to make cupcakes instead of the fourth layer or make a four layer cake. You may need to prepare more icing than the recipe calls for. • Bake layers/cupcakes according to box instructions. Allow to cool. Once the layers are completely cooled begin assembling the cake. • Spread a layer of icing on top of the bottom layer. Place the second layer on top of the bottom layer. Spread a layer of icing on the second layer and place the third layer on top. Cover the cake with icing. The nice thing about whipped icing is that unlike buttercream it doesn’t need to be smooth to look good. The messier, the better. Decorate with strawberries and sprinkles. This made it much easier to decorate and maneuver the cake. After decorating the cake I tore the wax paper so that it couldn’t be seen. Per Serving: Calories: approx. 325 using regular soda 300 using diet soda Fat: 5 grams Buon Appetito!


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Woman's Essence Magazine August  

A magazine for and about WOMEN the strong independent / business woman, the loving and devoted wife, the irreplaceable mother

Woman's Essence Magazine August  

A magazine for and about WOMEN the strong independent / business woman, the loving and devoted wife, the irreplaceable mother