Dear Single Bitter Sistas

All single women aren’t bitter and all married women aren’t content. Mocha

Listen………
As a married woman of almost 10 years, I know I am going to step on some toes. But there are some things that need to be said. First and foremost, I have never loved a man the way I love my husband. He is the most fascinating man I have ever met. My thoughts are in no way a reflection of where I am in  my marriage but it is an observation. An observation of urban culture’s assessment on a woman’s happiness based upon whether she can “keep a man” or if she has a husband.

Dear “Single Bitter Sistas”,


Karate chop the next person that calls you that in the THOTE. No not throat. THOTE! I am so sick and TIED of reading this foolery in the comment sections of every urban blog. I’m so tired of seeing men stoop low to this ignant phrase every time an intelligent conversation can’t be had. I’m so tired of women throwing around “at least I got a husband”……Ok Sis. And what do you have to do or put up with to keep him around. Oh. Too far? See I told you guys I was going to start stepping on toes.

A few of my closest friends are single and living their ABSOLUTE best life. Glowing left and right! Taking their vitamins, eating healthy, booty poking, stacking money.

But according to some of you guys, this life is not enough if a man isn’t included. And I beg to differ. Marriage is one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. God really showed out when he blessed me with my amazing family! The lies I would be telling if I told you we haven’t had our trying times; but we prosper and always remember what God has destined for us. See you aren’t reading the thoughts of a married woman who’s had a rough relationship and she’s warning single women against marriage. Absolutely NOT!  But you are reading the thoughts of a secure married woman. A secure married woman who doesn’t have to one up somebody by reminding the next person “I got my ring, where’s yours?”

And can we cut to the chase? Some of these “husbands” need to be thrown away. Jesus needs to be a Hefty Extra Strong 33 gallon trash bag in some of your lives. There are some women out here who have aged 15 years stressed out about what their “husbands” could care less about taking them through. These same women are usually the main ones bragging to the next woman about her man trying to convince somebody other than herself she made the right decision. Hurt people Hurt people. Happy wives are too busy being happy to judge the next Sista. Yep I said that too!

Marriages are beautiful when they are healthy and stable and BOTH parties are committed to respect and loyalty. But a marriage isn’t something you can get off the shelf for $79.99. Finding the one destined for you takes time. So let these sistas take their time! This is their life and their business. And if they have observed the trashy way of the world and what a lot of women are suffering through just to stay married and decide against it…….That’s their business too!

And to my single Sistas. There are some amazing marriages because there are some really amazing men and women out here. That doesn’t mean they are without hardships. But not all married women are long suffering and “putting up” for the sake of. We aren’t all chasing down side chicks and giving our husbands a pass for impregnating the dental hygienist. A lot of us have healthy self-esteem and boundaries and our husbands LOVE that about us! You don’t have to lose who you are once you become a wife. And not all husbands require that of us along with being self-absorbed serial cheaters. There are some men out here who really cherish their wives  and kiss the earth she walks upon.

So to all of my Sistas. Let’s stop the separatism based upon relationship status. Let’s continue to lift each other up. We are our Sista’s Keeper! And to my “Single Bitter” Sistas. You betta keep slaying Sis! Keep discovering yourself. Keep thriving. We see you Sis and they do too.  Keep Glowing. Go Sis!

xoMocha

 

Glow Sis Glow: Tyra Powers

Painting from the Inside Out

Our next Glow Sis Glow feature, Tyra Powers,  is a phenomenal woman whose  artwork is like a mirror to her soul. We are so excited to share her story with you. Journey into her celebratory world of art and be inspired!

They say art is the journey of a free soul. Tell us about your journey and how it inspired such amazing pieces.

My journey began at the age of 6 when I first began to draw. From that moment, I knew I wanted to continue to create. I always enjoyed seeing other people happy, so I decided to paint a style representing celebratory artwork. Growing up as an introvert,  it was hard for me to build relationships with people. I soon began using my art as a way to connect. I decided to create bright and vibrant pieces not only to assist with my own happiness, but to bring a smile to other people’s faces.

 

We are in love with the art on your Instagram page @just_tyra_. How has social media assisted you on your journey of entrepreneurship? Have you faced in obstacles along the road?

Social Media has assisted me on the journey of entrepreneurship by allowing me to come in contact and network with so many people outside of Maryland. I’ve participated in shows in New York, California and even had my artwork published in an Art Hip Hop book by Paul Stewart. I will continue to place my work across various social media platforms in order to reach as many people as I can. I face obstacles everyday but I strive to learn how to overcome and push past any issues that may temporarily hinder me. 

We see so many artists, graphic designers, etc. offering services of all kinds on all platforms. In your Bio on Instagram, you make it quite clear  “No Logos or Clothing Designs.” Is there a story behind this?

I do not service logos or clothing designs because I simply prefer to work on my craft before I commit to these services. I still feel as though I’m finding my style with the completion of each and every painting. In addition to painting with both acrylic and oil paint I take the time out to draw and I’m always interested in  learning new forms of art  which takes a tremendous amount of time. I’m also focusing on creating my own Sip and Paint classes as well therefore as visual artist with my own set of goals I decided not to participate in the creation of logos and clothing designs at this time. I do follow  many  great graphic designers on social media  that I refer clients to who are interested in these services.  

Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we are all about being inspired by the sharing of others journey. Who inspires you and Why? 

I don’t have a specific person that inspires me. I’m grateful that I had such wonderful parents and siblings that taught me to be inspired by life. I’m inspired by so many people who fight against the odds everyday. I’m inspired by people who are told they can’t do it but never give up. I’m inspired by people who don’t fit typical beauty standards and deal with negativity and hate but yet still continue. I’m inspired by persistence, motivation and dedication. 

As an artist, can you think of a quote that empowered you on your journey? 

“It took me 4 years to paint like Raphael, but a life time to paint like a child.” This quote by Pablo Picasso has baffled me but it also empowers me. I’m so empowered by this quote because I think the results of painting the opposite of the way you are taught are astounding. It gave me new insight and introduced a new meaning to the word “Art”. I would like for people to never give up. In a world where there are so many reasons to just to stop living your dreams I encourage you not to. Each and everyday you wake up is another chance and it’s your duty to keep yourself motivated towards whatever dream you have.  I’m consumed by thoughts of creating new ways to experience art and the many quotes by Pablo Picasso has influenced and sparked a new interest in my definition of art.

Are there any future projects our readers should be looking out for? How can our readers contact you for more information?

Yes! I have some exciting new projects coming up such as live paintings and paint classes. I’m always doodling or working on new ideas and I can’t wait to share that with my supporters. I’m excited and I look forward to building a personal connection  with everyone that believes in me. Stay in contact with me by following me on Instagram: just_tyra_.  Check my website at www.tyrapowersart.com to stay updated on all my future events and don’t forget check out my blog.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! Do you have any final words of inspiration?

I would like for people to never give up. In a world where there are so many reasons to just to stop living your dreams I encourage you not to. Each and everyday you wake up is another chance and it’s your duty to keep yourself motivated towards whatever dream you have. 

Self-Care: Protecting Your Peace

“The best things in life are free” 

Whether it was your grandmother who shared this tidbit of wisdom or whether you learned it in the music of Sam Cooke or Luther and Janet; this saying, is one that has been touted as an invaluable life lesson.  I partly agree.  I say partly because during my experience on this journey called life, I have realized that one of my “best things” was not free at all.  In fact, the one thing that I have found to be a very valuable part of who I am and who I help my children grow to be, was very expensive and has taken years for me to receive and protect.

 

What is it? My peace.

 

 You see, I wasn’t born into it as part of lineage.  It wasn’t a nice, sweet sixteen gift all bedazzled with bows and glitter.  It wasn’t a part of the here’s how to survive adulthood package that came at age 21. (I’m still waiting on this one.) Nor, was it wrapped snugly in the blankets of my children as they entered the world announcing my stardom and continuance into motherhood.  I mean, my kids are cute or whateva, but no gift of peace.  You see, it took years, tears, heartaches, heartbreaks, setbacks and setups for me to come to the realization that there will always be things that I cannot control.  Even more, I had to understand that in the end of all things, what will be will be.  What was for me would be for me.

 

Lightbulb!  The time that I spent worrying and stressing was unnecessary and as I found out, did not change any situation or any person.  Sis, when I came to this understanding….. WOW!!!   It is as if time stopped and instantly I was on the banks of the Pacific ocean sipping rum and laughing at all of Kofi Siriboe’s jokes. (Let me be great!)  In that moment, I experienced that thing that calmed storm waters.  The thing that gives comfort during trials.  The one thing that makes you smile while navigating the unknown.  The thing that one man endured torture and died for so that I could experience it.  Peace. Yassssss!!!!

 

What an amazing space to exist, breathe and grow in!  To be in a place where no matter what goes on around me or to me, nothing could disrupt me or my peace.  My sister, if you have not found this place of serene being… Your shaded spot on the beach (with someone other than Kofi); I urge you to stop, relate and release!  Let go of everything that you cannot control. Release relationships and situationships that you have allowed to haze your spirit.  Love people where they are and keep moving!

 

 

 

Today, CHOOSE to accept the gift of Peace. Understand its Power.  Realize its Importance. Grow in its Presence.  But most of all… Protect It!
Go Sis!

 

Kenyatta Stubbs is a mompreneur, motivator and lover of all things life, music, love and laughter. She finds joy in inspiring others, through blogging and social media, as they find and enjoy their journey to peace, health and wellness.  She is building a brand, pursuing her purpose and embracing every experience along the way.  You can follow her on IG @yaddamusik.

Glow Sis Glow: Megan Grandberry

All’s Fair in Love & Thrifting

Our Motto? Uplifting the tribe one ‘Go Sis’ at a time. We believe in the active effort of encouraging one another through praise, gratitude, and respect. We believe in giving our flowers to the living. Our first feature for our Glow Sis Glow Spotlight is Ms. Megan Grandberry. May you take her story and Be Inspired!

We all have a story that gives us a unique perspective. Tell us your story that fuels your passion?

My passion comes from my love of wanting my outfit to say who I am without having to speak while looking fly on a dime. I’m a very outgoing, creative, and energetic soul. I like to be unique because it shines light on who you really are. My mother is the reason I began thrifting. I soon learned it’s not how much you spend on clothes, it’s how you wear them. My mother is my biggest inspiration.  I’ve always witnessed people from all colors admire her many styles which influenced me to do the same.

How would you describe your journey as a small business owner?

The journey hasn’t been easy but I will say it has gotten better. Knowing your audience is key. Once you have that down packed the rest will fall in line. Patience is the most important thing I’ve struggled with and learned about during my journey. Starting out I had a lot of what–ifs (supporters, success, earnings, etc.). I also had to realize everyone won’t support you but that doesn’t mean your dreams must stop. Sometimes I use to feel you can have the best plan but you’re stuck in a world full of naysayers. Although you can’t go based off others’ opinion, sometimes it does become challenging to rise above it all. As time progressed I learned to turn negativity into motivation. Before I knew it, I was on the path to success.

“Even in the midst of tragedy there’s always glory”

Can you tell us about a time in your life where you faced a major obstacle that turned into a lesson well learned?

Recently I was involved in a car accident where I lost my car and broke my ankle which left me immobile until November. Not being able to work, travel, and expand my brand how I’d normally like hasn’t been easy since I’m “bedridden.”  However, this accident has taught me life is short and to live out everyday as if it were your last.  Everyday I take the time I used to cry and complain about and use it towards something that helps promotes my brand. Even in the midst of tragedy there’s always glory. Sometimes you have to go through rain to see the sunshine. I thank God everyday for throwing this curveball. I think he’s testing how bad I want to become successful.

 

 Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we thrive on inspiration from others. Tell us some of your favorite women and how their stories inspire you.

Aside from my sister and mother, I’m in love with Oprah and Rihanna! In addition to my love of fashion, I am currently in school for Broadcast Journalism. Oprah’s story is one like no other. She turned her tragedy into triumph and is now one of the top richest black women in the world. Simply because of hard work and determination she set the bar and is the phenomenal media mogul she is today. My favorite quote by her is “Being human means you will make mistakes. And you will make mistakes, because failure is God’s way of moving you in another direction.”

I love Rihanna because she came from a small island where not many would get the opportunity she received. She reminds me of myself because I too came from a small town where making it big is slim to none. I love her diversity through music but mainly fashion. Of course she too set the bar of following your dreams and sticking to being yourself no matter where you come from. My favorite quote from her is “When I am putting looks together, I dare myself to make something work. I always look for the most interesting silhouette or something that’s a little off, but I have to figure it out. I have to make it me. I think that’s the thrill in fashion.”

 I LOVE quotes. Do you have a favorite quote or saying that empowers you? If so, how do you apply this quote to your journey?

“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself, and only in the process of fixing myself did I know who I really was.”-Sade Andria Zabala. I live by this because it’s a true story for me. I had to actually get to a low point to really understand who I was. Once I went through hell, finding my purpose became clear.

We want to hear more about you. Are there any future projects our readers should be looking out for? How can our readers contact you for more information?

 

October 7, 2017 at FAMU Grand Ball Room I will be hosting my first debut fashion show (A Thrifted World) . For more info readers can follow me on:

Instagram: @thriftedhands_

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thriftedhands

Email: thriftedhands@hotmail.com

 

Here at Twisted. Curly. Cool. we use our stories to motivate our community. Do you have any final words of inspiration?

In life there are no such things as good or bad times. Everything is either a lesson or a blessing!

For that one person who doesn’t support you the next person will.

 

Beautiful Darkness: The Journey of Overcoming Infant Loss

DISCLAIMER:  This is a healing post by a guest contributor to encourage those who may have lost a child. Please be advised this post contains sensitive pictures and details the emotional experience of loss. -Mocha Morris

“This baby has been dead for at least three hours.” 

Who would’ve thought from the day my child was pronounced dead to today, his second birthday, that I would’ve taken control of my depression. I’m Lola Staxx and here’s my experience.

The Trip 

August 12, 2015, I woke up in a pool of blood. I was panicked. I ran and woke up my parents and my husband, Mark, so that they could take me to the hospital. I told my baby, Kasen, “everything is going to be OK. Mommy will make sure you’re safe.” I had a total of 6 miscarriages before Kasen, so everyone was on edge making sure the doctors were paying attention to me. I was  so scared yet, so excited to finally meet my baby boy.

Tragedy 

I began to bleed heavier. I asked Mark to tell the nurse I think something is wrong. The nurse walked in, shoved a towel between my legs and stated, “That’s normal.” I took her word. It was my first child so I didn’t know what was “normal” and what wasn’t. Twenty minutes passed and another nurse came in to check my vitals and immediately calls for back up. A team of nurses came in and started vigorously looking for a heartbeat. I knew something was not right when the nurses began to flip me in different positions looking for a heartbeat.

Card provided by an Officer expressing his condolences

At that very moment, I knew I lost him. The charge nurse broke my water and began scratching Kasen’s scalp hoping for him to move. No success. The charge nurse called the on-call doctor. The doctor arrived and began to inspect me. Then, he turned to the charge nurse and stated “This baby has been dead for at least three hours!” They were monitoring my heartbeat opposed to his. Everyone around me began to lose it. My father started to cry and it hurts me to see him cry. The last time I remember my dad shedding a tear was the day my brother passed on my birthday a few years prior. To see him and my mother that distraught broke my heart.

 

There was an Officer who was so sweet to my husband and me. He brought us food and gave us a card expressing his condolences. A few nurses cried as well. I had to be strong for everyone so I remained calm and quiet. Crying in that moment was not an option for me. My husband looked out the window crying and my parents decided to leave because they didn’t want to stress me any further with their tears. Once my sister Mocha Morris arrived, I couldn’t be stronger any longer. She embraced me and I began to cry for hours.

Dad bathing and dressing Kasen.

I lost so much blood that a c-section, epidural, and any other medicine were out of the question. My chance of survival was 10%. After giving birth to him I was still in love. He was so handsome to me. We bathed him and dressed him. My day shift nurse was so amazing. She persuaded me to take photos of him. The hardest part was saying goodbye. I chose the funeral home Willie Watkins to get my son. They recently buried my cousin whom I considered an uncle while I was in the hospital, so I was comfortable with them. Yet, the pain continued. The funeral home came to the hospital three days in a row attempting to pick up my son only to find out the hospital misplaced him.  It was one of my worst experiences to date.

Postpartum Depression

I fell completely off the face of the earth. I disabled all my social media. I stopped answering phone calls. I stopped going around family, especially my mother’s side of the family. There were so many new and healthy babies and mines was the only one dead. I didn’t want to torture myself by pretending to be happy for them when in fact I was envious. I became dark, mean, and rude. It was a point to where I became suicidal. I sent a mass text message telling everyone that I loved them and I wanted to be with my son. My mom and sister called distraught on  three way begging me not to do it because there would be brighter days. I was so tired of those generic statements. Everyone seemed to be putting a time limit on my grieving and I felt alone. I felt that I couldn’t talk to anyone because I felt as if no one genuinely cared, or at least cared anymore.

Testimony 

I’ve had many dark days. It’s hard for me to talk about my feelings ,so I went through a lot of my pain alone. I had a friend to tell me that I could vent to her and I did so in raw form. But, it was too much for her to handle. She stopped talking to me for weeks. I knew then that I have to go through this alone. I had so many talks from family saying how I’ve changed and they wanted the old me back. I didn’t know who that was anymore. So, I began to quietly work on who I’ve become. I began working on my business and my mental wellness.

My first time holding baby Kasen, August 13, 2015

It’s OK to have a set back as long as you fight to get back up. My advice is don’t seek empathy or sympathy because you will most likely be disappointed. That is the emotion that I felt when a person who had not lost a child would say “It will be OK.” Granted, I’ve fought through my suicidal moments and I’m blessed to be here, but I avoid the conversation because they cannot relate to my struggle. Plus, I would rather them not speak on it. I fought through the darkness without seeking professional help. Let me say this, everyone is different and there is nothing wrong with going to a professional. For me, I knew how bad off I was and I did not want to be on  medication with a possible side effect making it worse. I started to acknowledge the source of my anger and hurt and told myself daily that I had plenty of reasons to be proud of myself. I became spiritual and began working on my business and my goals.

Letting Go 

Do you believe in being addicted to hurt? Sometimes when everything around us seems to crumble and an opportunity presents itself to make us happy, we tend to push that away because we’re caught up in basking in our misery. That was me for a short while. I started to slowly go to small events that I could handle. I joined groups, started a business, and I began to write. You have to let go in order to prosper. Holding on to the loss aides your sadness. Your baby is your guardian angel. Once you’ve accepted that, your healing will begin.

Keeping the Memory Alive 

Kasen Walker Holifield My son that I carry in my heart

I will never forget my baby. He has been my screen saver for two years. Every year on his birthday, August 13th, I send him balloons. Kasen knows that I did all I could to save him including visiting the hospital 3 times within 7 days of that final time because I felt something wasn’t right. In reality, he saved me. Whenever I’m down and I feel as if I can’t go anymore, I listen to the strong heartbeat he once had inside of a bear gifted to me as a baby shower present. It is his heartbeat that pushes me to be strong.

If you recently lost a child and you need an outlet, I am here for you. I’m not perfect, but I am solid.

Lola Staxx

Kasen’s Mom 💙

 

Lola Staxx is a Brand Curator, Snapchat personality, and Barber. She assists small businesses by implementing planned programs to create meaningful brands with defined purpose. If you would like to contact  Lola Staxx, she can be reached by email talktostaxx@gmail.com.

The Top Five Ridiculous Fitness Fads That Need to Go

You already know what time it is. The weather is getting warmer. Some of us have been working hard on our #summerbody, some of us got a little sidetracked. But that’s ok. Usually this time of year we check in on those New Year’s resolutions we set a while back. How close are you to your goals?

The great thing about deadlines, is that if you don’t reach them by the date on your calendar, all you need to do is simply move the date. Weight loss and overall health is found in consistent effort. But it seems that every year, many of us get suckered into the allure of quick results. Super-charged weight loss is never enduring, and it could even be dangerous. A healthy body is what we’re after. Keep this forever in your mind. I’ve compiled a list of the fads to avoid this season.

Waist trainers. I see a lot of women sporting these at the gym and even (clutch the pearls!) grocery store. There’s only two ways to train your waist, ab workouts and diet. Just don’t do it.

Slimming teas. While made of natural ingredients, abusing these teas is most unnatural. Most teas contain an ingredient called Senna. It is a plant that when ingested, it helps with constipation and to clear the bowels. Common side effects are cramps, diarrhea and abdominal pain. When taken at high doses or for prolonged periods, the bowels can cease to function normally altogether.

Master Cleanse a.k.a. Cayenne and Lemon. Blame it on Beyoncé. Ok, before you stone me to death, let me clarify. The singer used this to cleanse her body somewhere circa 2005-06 around the time she was filming Dreamgirls. Somehow, this got misconstrued as a replacement for actual food. The detox benefits are great, but it is not a long-term solution to weight loss.

 

Extreme dieting. No one has ever survived a crash diet and lived to tell the tale. They either rebound, gaining the weight back and then some, or do serious damage to their organs. Our bodies need good fuel to walk, dance, jump and function properly. Cutting calories back so far that they can’t sustain your activity can lead to fainting, menstrual issues, and brain function loss. We need colorful vegetables, good fats and lean protein to live.

Diet Pills. Remember what Nancy said? “Just say no” All things sold in a drug store are not necessarily healthy for you. Diet pills that promise rapid weight loss usually deliver the jitters due to the high caffeine content, light headedness and overload your liver with toxins. Do yourself a solid. Instead of the diet pill, get yourself a good multivitamin. It’s the one thing you can take every day that will actually balance out your body by giving you the nutrients you need but may not yet be getting from food. Throw in a fish oil pill while you’re at it, it promotes irresistibly soft skin, hair that is less prone to breakage, and supports your brain. Some even say it helps with PMS.

 

At the end of the day, it’s your body, your mahogany masterpiece.  Treat it well. Drink lots of water. Buy yourself a new cookbook or take a healthy cooking class. Move your body and get a little sweaty for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Do your squats. The booty will thank you for it. And if you aren’t already, mediate, journal or do anything that quiets the brain for a few minutes each day.

Erin Green-Astone is an entrepreneur, mom, wife and part-time blogger. She owns and operates glitteractive.com a website for women you are fun, fit and fierce.

The Glow Up Edition: Hair and Body Products for the Summer

Summer is here and now is the perfect time to re-examine your hair and skin care routine. With the warmer summer temperatures, a new set of beauty issues arise. With these recommended products, your hair and skin will continue to look flawless all summer long.

 Best Summer Hair Care Products

Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask ($79.50)

Infused with Argan oil and enriched with keratin, the Moroccanoil restorative mask helps hydrate dry, parched hair. The mask is infused with botanicals to strengthen and repair damaged hair for soft, gorgeous looking hair.

Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo ($26)

For most people, the hair tends to become oilier during the warmer temperatures. This convenient spray helps to eliminate oil and sweat from your hair and scalp. Just spray a little directly onto your scalp to cut down on oil production.

Dessange Paris Purifying Clay Balancing Pre-Shampoo Mask ($12)

This deep clarifying mask utilizes the powerful detoxing abilities of clay to stop the scalp from overproducing oil and absorb any existing oil or sweat on the scalp, perfect for the summer.

Shea Moisture Nourishing Hair Color ($14.49)

Get a vibrant hair color for the summer with Shea Moisture’s Nourishing hair color. It is an ammonia-free hair color system that will give your hair a softer, healthier appearance. The system works to moisturize the hair while depositing rich, pigmented color onto the hair.

Best Skin Care Products for the Summer

Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Dry Oil Body Spray ($12.99)

No one wants to be weighed down by oily lotions and skin moisturizers during the summer. Carol’s Daughter dry oil body spray is the perfect solution to keeping your skin soft and hydrated without making your skin feel too greasy in the heat.

Dove Clear Tone Antiperspirant/Deodorant ($4)

Women love Dove clear tone deodorant because it not only smells great but it also combats sweat and underarm discoloration. The perfect protection you need to stay fresh against the summer heat.

Ahava Softening Butter Dead Sea Salt Scrub ($26)

The trick to getting gorgeous summer-ready legs is to exfoliate away rough, dead skin. This creamy, buttery scrub contains mineral-rich salts, oils, and sugar to changes into a lotion when mixed with water. It will leave your legs soft, silky, and smooth to the touch.

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash ($11)

You need a good facial cleanser this summer to wash away dirt, sweat, and environmental pollutants. The newly formulated Cetaphil wash works great at cleansing the skin, removing clogged pores, and leaving the skin healthy and hydrated.

Don’t let the summer heat beat interrupt your beauty routine. Finding the best products for your hair and skin care needs and making a few changes to your beauty regimen is all it takes to stay on top of your beauty game this summer and all year long.

Issa Degree! Now What? 7 Tips for the College to Career Transition

She Believed She Could so She Did

 television dancing african american black people blackpeople GIF

Congratulations! You did it!

For some of us, a job offer was made before we walked across the stage this year. So proud of you! May you continue to flourish during your Blessing Season. But for many of us, we have the degree but aren’t necessarily prepared career wise. Well now is not the time to hit panic as you see your friends enjoy the fruit of their new found 60 hour work weeks. I am no career guru but I can offer you a few tips I have learned along the way to make your transition from college to career a little easier.

OATMEAL IS BETTER THAN NO MEAL

 2016 congratulations graduation congrats happy graduation GIF

Entry-Level

I get it. You have loans and you clearly need to pay them back. That entry level starting salary was NEVER a part of the plan. But sometimes those entry level positions can unlock doors to salaries, promotions, and references you would have never imagined. There may be a bit of a sacrifice in the beginning. But as the saying goes, It gets greater later. With the right game plan, make your entry-level position work for you.

Recent Graduate Positions

There are quite a few companies and agencies who offer internships and positions specifically for people who have recently graduate within the past 1 to 2 years. For example, our federal government offers a Recent Graduate Program. When searching for jobs make sure to check out programs specifically for recent graduates.

Volunteering within your degree field

“Sis, didn’t you just say oatmeal is better than no meal?” Hear me out. Some of you interned every summer during your collegiate career. Unfortunately, there are others who did not take advantage of internship opportunities. You are now considered a recent graduate with NO EXPERIENCE. I am not saying you will have to volunteer 40 hours of your time. But gaining experience needed within your field at 5 or even 10 hours a week looks A LOT better than no experience at all. I would suggest Volunteer Match as a great way to start. Type in a job title you are comfortable committing your time doing and you will see results closely related within you area. Some organizations offer remote positions as well.

SUCCESS IS THE SUM OF SMALL EFFORTS REPEATED DAILY

Professional Development

If you know you aren’t proficient in Microsoft Access or Excel, enroll in a class to master it. If your job field requires you to use a certain software you aren’t familiar with, LEARN IT! Professional development doesn’t have to start on the job. Never stop adding value to what you have to offer.

Graduate School

I tread lightly on the suggestion of graduate school. I do not believe in adding more debt. But I do believe in enhancing your chances of getting the career of your dreams. A Master’s degree and better is needed in some job fields. One way to alleviate cost is to work for a College who offers their graduate programs to their employees for free. There are also other companies who offer tuition reimbursement.

IT’S NOT WHO YOU KNOW, IT’S WHO KNOWS YOU

Identity black girls black girl blackbirdsblackgirlmagic black girl magic GIF

Join a Professional Organization

It is very important to join a professional organization related to your degree and/or career choice. Most professional organizations offer recent grad and/or student rates at a substantial discount compared to regular annual fees. I would suggest CareerOneStop as a great way to find professional organizations tailored to your career choice.

Alumni Organizations

I would also suggest joining your local alumni chapter. You will be quite surprised the amount of support you will receive from people who have something so sacred in common with you. Majority of Alumni Organizations offer discounts for recent graduates as well.

Honorable Mention: A great way to network and meet people with interest similar to yours and keep you plugged in career wise is an awesome website called Meet-Up. Meet-Up offers various groups for people with similar interest.

Note: It is imperative that we do not pay fees and collect emails month to month. STAY ACTIVE! Try to make time for the monthly meetings. If there is a community service event or workshop…GO! 

IF NOT ME, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

Jasmyn Lawson, Editor african american black people blackpeople africanamerican GIF

A small nugget of advice for all: NEVER STOP THE HUSTLE! Companies merge, restructure, and layoff EVERY YEAR! Never become complacent at any company or position. Always have a back up plan to the back up plan. Continue to network and build an arsenal of professional connections.  Continue personal & professional development to perfect your skills. Now go claim your Blessings! Go Sis!

 

For my Sistas: Mother’s Day Edition

“EVERYTHING I AM, YOU HELPED ME TO BE”

Being a mom has to be one of the most rewarding roles in my life. Having one boy and one girl gives me insight into both worlds.  With motherhood comes great responsibility. Hubby and I believe it is our responsibility to show our children “It’s possible”. There is no better way to do this than by example. I humbly serve as their blueprint.  I am so blessed to have positive male energy in my life especially my incredible husband and 6 year old son. But on Mother’s Day, I am always reflective of the fascinating women God chose for me.

I have an amazing tribe of women which includes sisters, aunts, friends, cousins, etc. But their are 4 amazing women in particular: my Grandmother (Mimi), my Mom, my Daughter, and my Sister.  These special ladies have always made it clear that I can never fall short as long as they are by my side. I can talk to my MiMi about anything and I live by her words of wisdom. My mom is the definition of ride or die. I can sell 2 legged dogs on the side of MLK and she’s going to make a sales pitch to her friends to buy one.

My sister is  my best friend. She gets me! We can talk about how institutional racism affects asset wealth within the black community or rap our favorite  2 Chainz verse LITERALLY 3 minutes later.   But, it is my 5 year old daughter who I look to for support the most. I am her first role model as a woman. She will first view the world through my eyes.  As she grows older, she will begin to develop opinions of her own. So I strive to be a woman she is proud of and an example of who she can aspire to be!

With all of that being said, I say Happy Mother’s Day Tribe! And for those who have an influential presence in someone’s life, this day is for you as well. We honor our ancestors and those influential around us for the wisdom, sweat, and tears poured into us. We love you! We adore you! We aspire to be you! There were times you felt you had nothing.  Yet you still managed to give your children EVERYTHING.  For that, you are appreciated and celebrated.

Even if you haven’t given birth, don’t minimize the difference you have made in someone’s life. Whether you are an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, administrator, coach, counselor, or volunteer with an organization; we appreciate your efforts in molding and shaping a young person’s life. 
 Sistas, during this celebration of you, take time to reflect upon what you have accomplished. But also remember there is always room for growth even as a Mother. Continue to pass along wisdom through guidance as your children’s reference point. Continue influencing, encouraging, and nurturing your children. Speak life and prosperity over your children. Be conscious of not passing along insecurities the world transferred to you. Love them for who they are and not who you want them to be. 
This Mother’s Day is for you. You are worthy of celebration. You did it. You are doing it! Day by Day. Step by Step. Minute by Minute. Happy Mother’s Day Sis! You are appreciated.
With Love,
Mocha

 

Tribe Sista of the Month: Kamille Bundy

Tribe Sista of the Month: Kamille Bundy, Founder of Young Mothers INC.

“Make sure you are passionate about your cause. It is not easy to give yourself so freely and expect nothing in return.” – Kamille Bundy

I Love You Makeover Event Kamille Bundy Executive Director & Founder Young Mothers INC

As a Clark Atlanta University student, Kamille Bundy was far from home.  She was 19 and pregnant and unsure of her next steps. It was at this moment that she began walking the path destined for her to uplift, encourage, and inspire others.

Kamille left Atlanta, Ga at 19 years old and made the decision to move back home with her mom. Unfortunately, the relationship between mother and daughter soon deteriorated.

“When my daughter was 2 years old, my mother kicked us out of the house,” Kamille disclosed. “I felt I had no solid support system. No one was there to really help me transition into motherhood.” Kamille continued.

 

Kamille Bundy, founder & executive director Young Mothers Inc.
I Love You Makeover Event

Kamille explained that it was this emptiness that led her into a relationship with an old high school friend who was 2 years her junior.

“The relationship was not only physically abusive but emotionally abusive as well,” she stated. Kamille decided it was her time to put the broken pieces of her life back together. When her daughter turned 4 years old, Kamille received a job as a government contractor.

With the opportunity of a new job and consistent income, Kamille was finally able to find stability. She began to find her inner peace finally. With resources of her own, she started to reflect on the beginning of her journey as a young mother with no support system and no resources. “I knew how it felt not to have a  support system, so I knew it was time for me to give back and help others.”

“Google Search: How to Start A Non-Profit”

In 2011, the concept of Young Mothers INC. was formulated, but the idea wasn’t implemented until 2013. “I tried to ask around and partner with larger organizations, but I wasn’t really getting any call backs. So I started with a simple Google search of ‘how to start a nonprofit,’ and the rest was history,” Kamille explained.

Young Mothers INC., is a nonprofit organization that provides a multitude of services in the Metro DC area.  “You don’t have to be a mother to receive our services,” Kamille clarified. “We offer programs for those who wish to attain a GED. If you want to build your resume, we offer resume and interview training workshops. We also assist clients with how to dress properly for interviews. If you are interested in starting a business, we have a mentorship program to assist with that as well.  Our goal is to help women in need transition to next stage in their life where ever that may be.”

I Love You Makeover Event

Young Mothers INC., provides the following programs: Education and Career Enhancement program, Mother’s and Women’s Empowerment Program, Referral and Resource Program, and a Business Mentor Program to help young female professionals start a business. Young Mothers Inc., also has licensed counselors to assist women to learn more about this dynamic organization. Please contact us by clicking the following link: Contact Young Mothers Inc.

We honor Kamille Bundy for seeing the opportunity to give so much of herself even when there were times she thought she had so little to offer. May you continue to use your light to bless others. You are appreciated!