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Demetrius G. Rainer-Advocate/Speaker/Columnist

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Demetrius G. Rainer-Advocate | Speaker | Columnist

Demetrius G. Rainer, JD is a former Federal and State Criminal Defense Attorney that has been on both sides of the aisles in the courtroom, on one side defending citizens that had been charged with a crime and on the other as a defendant fighting for her life.
“Dee” as she is affectionately known, is an outspoken Criminal Justice Reform Advocate that focuses on collateral consequences of conviction and how they are hurdles to successful re-entry for returning citizens. Due to her being impacted by collateral consequences of conviction, Dee became Founder and Executive Director of My Meta Re-Entry Services.

Demetrius G. Rainer
Demetrius G. Rainer

Demetrius G. Rainer mission is to remove barriers for returning citizens, reduce recidivism, increase public safety and spur economic growth, by providing resources, information, wrap around services, advocacy and case management to returning citizens for successful reintegration.
Dee is an Executive Board Member for Scotland County Re-entry Council; 2019 Faces of Women Imprisoned Inaugural Co-short Member; Criminal Justice Reform Columnist for Hustle Mama Magazine; Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Renew Life Group, LAC an Outpatient Mental Health Center for Adolescents and Adults;

Dee’s life mission is to see that states repeal all collateral consequences of conviction so that “Time Served” really means “Time Served.”

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Demetrius G. Rainer, JD is Wanting to Have the Say So and Last Word…

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oh and…On a Mission to Ensure that the Letter of the Law is to the Letter and that their Words Mean Exactly What They Say

HMAG: What was life growing up like for you?
DGR: Life growing up for me was easy. I have two older siblings, a brother and a half-brother. Both my parents were teenagers when I was born, and I am sure they had their struggles but me and my brother didn’t suffer. My mom spoiled all of us, including my dad. My dad made sure we were well provided for and disciplined us when necessary. My dad’s only requirement was for me and my brothers to go to school, study hard and make good grades. My parents just celebrated 50 years of marriage.

HMAG: When did you realize what you wanted to do with your life?
DGR: I knew early that I wanted to be a lawyer. Maybe by the age of ten. I was drawn to legal shows on TV. I was always opinionated, inquisitive and had to have the last word.
HMAG: Were you a dreamer in your younger years?

DGR: Yes, I was a dreamer when I was growing up. I still am. I dreamed about being Diana Ross!! I Loved Her. I can’t tell you how many times growing up I watched Mahogany and Lady Sing the Blues. I also wanted to marry Billy D. Williams.

HMAG: What did you want most to be from those dreams? Is it what you are doing today?
DGR: As I stated earlier, I knew early that I wanted a career in the legal profession. So, I went to law school and began practicing law. As for my profession now, being the Founder of My Meta Re-Entry Services, (will be up and running soon) and being a Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, I was thrust into this role due to my being adversely affected by the Criminal Justice System. For almost a decade, I was a Federal and State Criminal Defense Lawyer. I also practiced Real Estate Law. However, after making some unwise decisions in my law practice, I was ultimately disbarred and charged with Money Laundering and Mortgage Fraud. I was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ultimately served 1 yr and tens days. I went from a successful up and coming defense and real estate lawyer to a defendant. I thought I would die. However, through this adversity, I had to reinvent myself. I had to think outside the box and do something different.

I became a Criminal Justice Reform Advocate more specifically focusing on Re-Entry services and collateral consequences of convictions because I have been adversely impacted by this system and collateral consequences of my conviction continue to hinder me, long after my release from imprisonment.

HMAG: What makes you do what you do?
DGR: What makes me do what I do, is because of my own personal experience and the experience of others that have been negatively impacted by the criminal justice system.

Don’t BE AFRAID TO REINVENT YOURSELF

HMAG: What do you hope for your legacy?
DGR: As for my legacy, I would like to change the Game in the arena that I am in. I would like to work effectively to change laws in the criminal justice reform arena. I want to be a trailblazer in the game. So, when you hear my name it will be synonymous with changing laws and getting things done in criminal justice reform.

HMAG: If you were able, what would you change about the world we live in?
DGR: If I could change one thing in this Nation, I would like to see this Nation become a Nation of second chances where time served really means time served.

“I would like to be remembered most as a servant. I live to serve others…I serve with a Servant’s Heart. I am guided by God and I ask God daily to guide me and allow me to be a blessing to others.”
Dee Rainer

HMAG: Who were some of your life influences?
DGR: Nelson Mandela. Why: This is a man that was sentenced to life imprisonment ultimately served 27 years in prison in a country that wanted his soul, his spirit, his mind and body, a country that wanted him dead…And within 4 years of his released he became the 1st democratically elected President of that Country!!! That is remarkable. He had an indomitable spirit, the will to press on and persevere. How can’t you admire a person like that?

White Shirts and White Blouses

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White Shirts and White Blouses

White shirts and white blouses are the cornerstone, of my wardrobe. In fact, I believe they should be the cornerstone of everyone’s wardrobe. Just like a White T-Shirt or Black Turtleneck they’re clean and focused, yet have an amazing opportunity for interpretation and diversity.

The White Shirts and White Blouses can display poise, femininity, strength, professionalism and an official stance, in many eyes. It’s a basic beginner piece and finishing touch, all at the same time.

Just like the Little Black Dress, white blouses and white shirts are an essential item in anyone’s wardrobe.  Yet unlike the black dress, it’s appropriate for a picnic, disco, date night, carnival, interview, black tie event and even a funeral. It goes with jeans, a classic pair of pants in ANY COLOR, a skirt and even as an under pinning with vest, jackets, overalls or the right Little Black Dress.

If you haven’t been hip to this idea, I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to change you mind.

TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS EXPECTED

It’s not all “Happy Go Lucky” with your white blouse. While there will be so many opportunities for you to wear it, there are so many obstacles out to get you.

STAINS:

a good stain fighting pen on hand is always helpful. Try to remain mindful so you don’t need the pen, but mistakes happen, so arm yourself accordingly!

COLOR TRANSFER OR BLEEDING :

Another form of stain, blue jeans, black leather and colored napkins can be out to get your white shirt. I find the best thing to do is just take a zen approach and know it may happen then be prepared to show your top some love afterwards.

CLEANING:

I always find it best to follow the cleaning instructions in any garment, but with white blouses and white shirts, we tend to panic. Spot cleaning is good (for stains) followed by regular cleaning as follow up.

YELLOWING FROM DRY CLEANING:

It’s just the way it is. Your white top will start to yellow, because of age, oxidation and chemical cleaning products, this is unavoidable.  Yellow happens very slowly and sometimes unnoticeable until you’re in a situation with a brand new white shirt; it’s like the tissue test for white teeth! Now you have a decision to make, ignore it (keep) or invest in a new shirt (toss).

NOW THAT YOU KNOW:

Now that we’ve gotten all the details out of the way, I urge you to make good investments, in this product. I’m my opinion, you can’t have too many. You can have so many types, fabrics and styles of white shirts, it’s mind boggling. Take this basic item and prepare to make it anything but basic. Think of different necklaces, pins, scarves you can wear with your white shirts and white blouses and experiment. You can essentially wear a different one everyday and make a statement .

ONE MORE THING: IT HAS TO FIT!

Now, this is a subject I’ve mentioned before, but it bares repeating for this important garment; it must fit well. If the blouse is too tight in the shoulders, squeezes your back, is too tight in the armholes or so oversized you feel swallowed, it’s not right. Make sure your top fits your body well. You should look and feel comfortable remember the fact that white highlights too many imperfections, to explain away.  Make sure it looks good across the bust and back and while oversized can be, fun make sure it looks like it was on purpose with the correct look in your bottom and accessories.

WAYS TO WEAR YOU SHIRT

WEAR IT: tucked in with a pin at the neck or collar
WEAR IT: untucked with a belt, scarf and skirt
WEAR IT: sleeves rolled up unbuttoned with another top underneath such as a lace tank or stripped top and jeans
WEAR IT: tucked with a large statement necklace and finish off with a classic pant or skirt
WEAR IT: completely clean no jewelry and an extravagant bottom, so the top is your support piece(Co-Star of the show)
WEAR IT: tied at the wait with a long flowy satin or sequins skirt.

Imagine these ideas with your basic white blouse/shirt, but then start to think how far you can go with a more elaborate top; one which is pleated, with an unusual neckline, such as a mandarin collar or bow, enormous sleeves or a grand bib detail. You’re white blouse can also be made of linen, lace, chiffon, knit or a mixture of several fabrics and details. You can even start to design your own blouse, by being creative with ties, ribbons, scissors, safety pins and/or trinkets; with these items you can be as basic or ornate as you wish!

It’s YOUR white blouse, make it express your unique style!♥️

Every Day is Different

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Every Day is Different

Sometimes you’re having a wonderful morning; the sun is shinning everything goes easy, your clothes look great and you are out the door with ease. Other days your alarm didn’t go off, your having a hard time getting that hair together and you just can’t figure out WHAT TO WEAR!Every Day is Different and a strong and solid wardrobe with proper options and big enthusiasm can help make this portion easier. Let me offer some help.

STAY READY

I am a VERY firm believer of a healthy wardrobe, meaning some clothes being stuck, in the dry cleaners or any event that pops up at the last minute doesn’t cause a complete melt down.  We recently had articles regarding “The Importance of Basics” and how “Accessories” can increase your wardrobe options. These concepts never go out of style and will keep you from be caught off guard, in any situation. Basic pieces in your wardrobe such as a clean white shirt or a favorite pair of grey pants, which can be paired back to items, in the closet or a great statement necklace can make all the difference in your morning, rain or shine, up easy or a hard time getting out the door.
Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; why wait until that morning to pull it together?  Laying your clothing out the night before make life so much easier!  Organizing your top, bottom, shoes and accessory is a time saver, less stress and lets you focus or more fun ideas. Maybe you can use your extra time to some experiment with hair and makeup.

NEW CLOTHES HYPE

While I love new clothing, I also love having items that can be pulled out of the closet, properly accessorized and go. With this in mind, think of your wardrobe as part of a functional concept meaning, hair, shoes, nails, handbags and even the right attitude can help you get it together.

Make sure you have several accessories ideas for each outfit/dress. Make it your business to have a couple of necklaces, bracelets, shoes and/or hairstyles for one outfit. This process will help you remain prepared, not only does it help you organize it helps you think, in a way that offers the opportunity for future outfits and the best “Put Together” possible.

WE LOVE A SELFIE

We’ve become a society full of picture takers. I can’t speak for others but most of the pictures in my phone will never be published or posted. These are the pictures I use to remember details of places and things; so why can’t you use the same exercise, on your clothing? You can photograph items, on the bed or floor adding in jewelry, belts, shoes or put them on and take pictures. Create your own catalog, which can offer a opportunity to refer to when your feeling “not” as motivated, going on

a business trip, out on a date or attending a wedding, meeting someone you want to impress, trying out a new color/silhouette or need to feel sexy.

PREPARATION IS GOOD

The more effort you can put in upfront the more you create a window of opportunity that can be pulled together quickly and with confidence. How great is it to know exactly how that blouse will look with those pants instead of “Gee, I hope that will look good together.”

Preparing removes doubt, builds confidence and allows for less effort when it’s time to wear the outfit (e.g.-I realized the long black beaded necklace looks better with that top than the short pearls.)

“SHE’’S ALWAYS PULLED TOGETHER”
“Wow, she always looked great.” and “She’s always so pulled together!” is just what everyone can say about YOU, when you display the right intent and focus in your wardrobe. It’s all  in your effort and visual goal.  By utilizing the ideas I’ve mentioned, use social media to offer you inspiration, excitement and realize while everyday is different there is no reason you can’t maintain your same cynosure. You hold the power to make everyday work, for you.

HAPPY OUTFIT!♥️

Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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Too many times, we find ourselves apologizing for things, and for what, half of the times we do not even know. Not just because it seems right, but also our conscious and inner being doesn’t want the stress from arguing to prove a point. Today’s society seemed to have stopped taking accountability for their actions, and instead of owning their faults, they find a guinea pig and a way around being guilty of an activity that they partook in.

I, too, am guilty of the same. My spirit is so big, and my heart is so loving that I also tend to apologize quickly. To a point, I think the reason I apologize is in part because of my upbringing, whether it is something as far as not returning a call, answering a call, and keeping an appointment. One thing everyone knows “I Am A Woman Of My Word!” I do not say it unless I mean it. I do not accuse unless I have facts. I do not make an appointment unless I am sure it fits into my schedule. Yes, I, too, believe in “Fake It Until You Make It,” but I also am a firm believer that if you have nothing in life, you should at least have your word!

I wrote this piece to say to all those quick apologetic people who tend to apologize for being too kind; for being too good-hearted; for being a person guilty of giving the benefit of the doubt – don’t be sorry. Today, I want you to be Unapologetically. You! The beautiful spirit that God created. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same morals and way of thinking, but there is no need to apologize for everything. Yes, pick your battles and act accordingly, but there is no longer a need to apologize for being you.

There is truth in owning your faults and taking accountability for your actions and sometimes apologizing and meeting the other person in the middle, but you should not find yourself apologizing for everything you do. God created each of us differently for a reason. Yes, we can learn from others, and in no shape or form am I suggesting that you should change because of other people’s actions. I am merely saying, “Be You!” If today you choose not to apologize and that person decides that you are wrong for not doing so, although they know in their heart and spirit you are right, let them go. God does not remove people because He knows they are right; He removes them because He knows they are wrong. God knows your heart, and indeed, that is all that matters. Sometimes we have to allow people to lose us to see their wrongdoings. Sometimes we have to walk away to lessen the burden of the load we carry for others. Sometimes we have to be the one who says, “I Am Not Apologizing, Because I Did Nothing Wrong.”

Wedding Photo Vibes

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It’s Here! The Day Most Women Dream Of! Your wedding day is easily one of the most photographed days of your life. Traditionally, most people hire one photographer, because the great photos are usually of the bride. Honestly, if your photographer is good, he or she will know to schedule accordingly, so that you can capture those memorable moments of both the groom and bride. Yes!

 

It is important to catch those moments before the bride, but I think it is equally important to capture those memorable moments with the groom and his guys as well. Your photographer will likely have thousands of candids of the two of you as you tie the knot, cut the cake, and dance the night away. But before you walk down the aisle and hear the first click of the shutter, it’s a good idea to have a consultation with your photographer to ensure that every pose you want to be included will be there—because, after all, you only have one shot at your wedding day. Here are 16 poses you’ll want to photograph for your wedding:

1.   Getting Make-Up Done:   Every moment before “I Do” is essential, and catching you getting glammed up is important too.

2.   Putting On Your Dress:    This is true when the magic begins. If you are lucky enough to have your mother present, this is true when the tears start to flow.

3.   The Men Sharing A Laugh:   As they sit around waiting, reminiscing and joking before they start to get dressed.

4.   Time To Get Suited Up:   All women want to see those special shots of them getting dressed, but they also secretly want to see how their groom looked, so it is also important to get pictures of the guys getting dressed.

5.   Putting Your Veil On All queens wear a crown, so it is fitting to get that right shot of you putting on your veil, as you prepare to go from Miss to Mrs.

6.   Let’s Toast To That:  It is essential to capture the shots of the bride and her ladies having a glass of champagne and saying a prayer, as well as the groom and his men, taking a shot of whiskey and a few puffs from a cigar.

7.   Bridal Portrait:  Time to take some candid moment of the future Mrs.


8.   Wedding Party Photos:   Let’s have some jokes, silly photos, and classic memories with the special people you chose to be a part of your special day.

9.   The First Look:  I am not a fan of the first look unless it is still a hidden moment, where we can capture the picture of both of us standing on opposite sides of the door. Most people like it, because it gives them a moment together, away from the crowd, and a moment to get most emotions out.

10.   The First Walk:   After you have said the I Do’s, he has kissed his bride and the nerves have settled, have the photographer take a picture
of you two from behind…. the new couple taking their first walk.

11.   Best Man/Maid of Honor Toast:   This moment is not just for photos, but it is vital to get this on videotape. If you did not hire a videographer, then hope someone videotapes it. Childhood stories, many jokes, and so much more.

12. The First Dance: This moment is so beautiful, between the shared looks, the smiles, the kiss, and the hold, so much sentiment is shared between the newly married couple. At this moment, no one else is in the room but them, well so it seems when you look at the happy couple.

13. You and Mom:  Mothers hold their babies safe through their life, but these photos show how proud they are of the man and woman their child has become and how happy they are of the person they chose to share their life with.

14. Cutting the Cake:  Make sure the photographer takes a few pictures of the cake before the couple stands beside it; a few with the couple and of course, a few when they feed each other.

15.   Throwing the Bouquet:   From the throwing of the bouquet to the removal and catching of the garter. The inner stripper seems to come out of the groom when it’s his time. 16.   Thank You From Bride & Groom:   As they stand to give their final thank you, and they share a few kisses. No better way to end the day, but with some more candid pictures of the newly married couple.

The Creative Mind

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Mental health for women vector

Creative Mind

We have all heard stories and witnessed the unraveling of creative people living wild, uncontrollable lives of madness, being genius, and yet still selfish with the thoughts that go on inside their heads. The ‘artistic temperament’ has now entered the cultural mainstream. While their work may be admired, creative people are sometimes dismissed as non-recognizable and non-relatable. In some circles, the term “creative” is tinged with contempt. That is far from real. A creative mind is sometimes misunderstood as anti-social and weird, but a person living with a creative mind seems to have the most fun.

The upside to having a creative mind is that you are always entertained because most times, your brain never sleeps and is also active with thoughts and ideas. When you have a creative mind, your wheels are still turning. You never get a rest from the commotion inside of your mind. Unlike most people, who work a nine to five job, you are unable to stop thinking about work once your head hits the pillow at night. You are inspired to create at odd hours. You wake up in the middle of the night with ideas on your mind. You do not get well-needed breaks during holidays and birthdays. You work through celebrations. Even if you have stepped away from your pencil or paintbrush to spend time with your loved ones, your mind is elsewhere. You are never fully present because you are always thinking, always planning. To me, the best part is being visual with conversations. I still have my coworkers dying with laughter, because we could have a chat or a joke, and within seconds, I respond via email with the visual aspect to that conversation and joke. They are always amazed at how I came up with that so quick or so precise. In my head, there is never a dull moment.

Now, the downside to a creative mind is that sometimes you may tend to think deeper into things, analyze more than usual and/or you are never satisfied with a project, until it comes across just right, wherein you give the person reading and/or watching, the feel of being in the shoes of the creative mind. When you have a creative mind, you are never satisfied. You never think you are doing enough. You push yourself towards the brink of exhaustion. You criticize yourself even when you are trying your hardest. You could get a million compliments on your work and will ignore them to dwell on the one negative comment. Yes, the creative mind is always striving for better.

As for me, my creative mind has taken me many places. I can travel the world and never get on a plane. My creativity started me out and has continued with my love of the arts, writing, and dancing. Still, I sometimes tend to think that I missed my calling and probably should have been in marketing, which was what I majored in high school, but had so many jobs, that I diverted away from it. Life teaches us lessons, and although I may not have followed my dreams of being a dancer and marketing, I still have had the opportunity to do so. With regards to dancing, the many years that I took, I can now teach a young woman or man the skills of perfecting the art of dancing and give criticism and compliment from the director’s eye. With marketing, I can entertain those around me with my visual aspects of the conversation, and I have been blessed to land the opportunity to write for this great magazine and contribute monthly to the meat of the meal when preparing the magazine’s content. I also self-teach myself in whatever field or hobby that I take on, and I am proud to say that I use my many skills to help others.

Conclusion

As the excellent quote says, “Pay It Forward.” I truly believe God has not blessed me with so many great stories, opportunities, and skills to keep it to myself. He is using me to teach and to empower, and I welcome every old and new face that I encounter. No complaints here, I love it! To those of you raising children, never stop them from their life interest, allow them to explore. You will be amazed at what their inner creative mind is thinking. Give them that white sheet or blank canvas and will enable them to paint their picture.

Author Barbie Scott

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Author Barbie Scott

A “Hood Romance Author” is how she likes to be described. Hustle Mama Magazine introduces to you, Barbie Scott. A California based writer who is using her God-given talents to the fullest.

Get to Know Barbie Scott

Barbie Scott
Barbie Scott

Growing up in a Trap has been bittersweet for this young author. However, it was a life lesson. Overcoming her suspenseful life in a gang, Barbie Scott has taken a more positive turn. “Barbie Scott, you have been through so much you need to write a book!” Those are the words Barbie normally from people that knew her stories (or better known these days as her truth). In 2016, Barbie was introduced to the ‘Authors Game.’ Adjusting her crown, The Queen began to write a very anticipating book series entitled ‘Trap Girl’ that reflects on her own life. The self-published author has written over 30 novels in such a short time and has over 20 published on Amazon. She has also sold thousands of copies street-wide from the trunk of her car. Her motto is “From Bricks 2 Books,” and she’s blessed to say she has made it this far and has become so passionate about her craft. Now stepping into film, she recently shot a sizzle for “Trap Girl,” in hopes of being picked up as a television series. The book game is no more accessible than the rap game and the TV/movie industry. It starts with a manuscript, but the hard work comes with creativity and drives to make these publishers recognize your skill.

“Street Chic With A Vision!”

HMM:   Tell us a little about your most recent book? What is the title, and what and who inspired you for this story line?

BS:   My most recent book is titled “A Boss Got Me In My Feelings, But A Savage Got My Heart” It’s a story about a girl who’s abandoned by her mother and went from foster home to jail. When she was released, she meets a young guy who takes her in. This guy is cocky, a true savage but lovable. Anyhow! He takes her in and provides for her. He has dreams of becoming a rapper, but he’s so consumed with his mother’s drug addiction he puts his life on hold. After some time, the girl “Lyric” becomes a stylist and lands a gig for a major producer. She sleeps with the producer to get Royal Kane a deal but then regrets it. I don’t want to give up any more of the book, loll. The story is inspired by life experiences as far as how people let fame change them. That’s what happens in this book with money and fame – Royal changes.

HMM:    Are you independently published? Yes? No? If no, please advise who are you published by?
BS: Yes, I am both. Miss Shan publishes me at Shan Presents, and I am also an independent author as well. I believe in the great words by Malcolm X, “By Any Means Necessary!”

HMM:   Where were you born, and where do you currently live?
BS:   I was born in the heart of Los Angeles, California (South Central). I currently live in Los Angeles, California. Although American born, the majority of my family is from Cuba.

HMM:     What was life like growing up for you? What kind of family did you grow up in?
BS:    Life growing up was rough only because of the violence I had to escape. Other than that, I had a crazy but dope family. My grandmother is a full-blooded Cuban, so we spoke Spanish around my home. Spanish was the first language I learned. My family is very close. At a very young age, I was caught up in a gang, and I was also raised in the Trap. Nothing to be proud of, but I’m proud of my accomplishments. I did not let my past life deter me from becoming a positive role model.

“From Bricks to Books!”

HMM:    How old were you when you knew this was your calling and what you were possibly going to do for the rest of your life?
BS:   When I was in junior high, I always wrote poems. I didn’t expect to become a writer professionally. About the age of 24, I picked up a pen and began writing my first book. Everyone that knew me always encouraged it. So finally, I gave it a shot. At the time I was an avid reader, I knew what would excite readers. When I got to about chapter 7, I tossed it to the side. Years later I picked it back up, only this time I used a laptop. I completed it. I got discouraged due to editing issues, and I almost quit (again). One of my friends checked the hell out of me and said: “You better write something else, but you better not give up!” So, I started writing “Trap Girl,” which is my best and favorite book written. I found another editor, and since then, I have not stopped.

HMM:   Are you involved with any workshops, and as an author, how do you help others accomplish their dreams, and what advice do you have for new upcoming aspired writers?
BS:   I’m not in any workshops or anything, but I do consultations via Facebook or Instagram. I want to tell any writer that’s up and coming never to give up. Make every story you write, whether its fiction or real, as realistic as possible. The goal is to capture your readers and make them feel like they are in the character’s shoes. Another thing, especially for male authors, no matter what, there should always be some love story in your novel. Remember, women are your biggest supporters, and women love a damn good love story. I am speaking as an author, a reader, and, most importantly, a woman.

HMM:      What books have you written? Have any been done as a playwright? BS: I’ve written tons of books, but my favorites are the “Trap Girl” series, there are five parts to the series. I’m also in love with “Me, U & Hennessy” and “Stealing The Plugs Heart.” “Trap Girl” is being pitched for a television series. I’m praying it gets picked up. So far, I only shot a sizzle reel. It’s going to be dropping soon. Another message for authors, “never be afraid to invest in yourself.” I took every dollar I had to my name and shot the sizzle. I spent $12,000.00 for 10 minutes. I don’t worry about the money, because if I put my heart and soul into it (which I normally do), I believe one day it will pay off. “Believe in your craft.”

HMM:     Would you consider yourself a driven person? What makes you a “Powerhouse”? What is the source of your strength?
BS:    The source of my strength is my life; my past life motivates me. The crazy thing is most people do not realize that your past can either make you or break you. I chose to allow my past to drive me to be who I am today and become better tomorrow.

“Turn Your Pain Into Your Greatest Purpose!”

Barbie Scott
Barbie Scott

HMM:    Are you currently working on any new books?
BS:     Of course, my pen does not stop! By 2020, I’ll have about 60 books. Loll. I’m working on a novel now called “A Hot girl Summer” that comes out in September, and I’m releasing “Heartbreak In The Hood” on or about August 10, 2019. HMM: What can we expect from you in the future?
BS:   TV shows and movies on the big screen and Netflix, whatever I can get my hands on, and whoever is willing to give this street-chic a shot.

HMM: How can they purchase a copy of this book?
BS: All my books are available on www.amazon.com, and for paperbacks, visit www.authorbarbiescott.com .

To follow Ms. Scott, see her social contact information below:

Website: authorbarbiescott.com
Twitter: autbarbiescott
Instagram: @authorbarbiescott
Facebook: Author Barbie Scott

Art Prodigy Tyler Gordon

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THE PAINTING PRODIGY WHO IS MAKING A BIG SPASH

PAINTING PRODIGY MAKING A BIG SPLASH – TYLER GORDON, a San Jose, California born, 13-year old young man, who has impressive painting skills and is making a name for himself around town.

In fifth grade, while many of us were running around on playgrounds, Tyler Gordon (“Tyler”) of San Jose, California, had just discovered his endless supply of painting talent. Tyler, who is now 13, paints black, white and gray portraits of celebrities he finds on television, or of people who want a portrait of themselves. He has painted Kevin Durant, Jay-Z, Beyonce, the Beatles, Oprah, and many more famous people. “His paintings are shadows and negative space,” said Nicole Kindle (“Kindle”), his mother.


He has sold dozens of paintings, started a Facebook page to promote his art, and has also appeared on Steve Harvey’s show, “Little Big Shots.” A budding entrepreneur, Tyler also promotes his art on other social media platforms,

June 2019, Tyler was at San Jose’s Juneteenth celebration at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, where he live-painted for several hours, fueled only by a bologna sandwich. He sold more than 40 paintings that day, he said.

Tyler’s living room in San Jose is filled with his painting supplies and the art he has made. He paints many free-art from images from tv or movies, and then there are some he paints while sitting on a stool. Lately, he said he’s been at it for about four hours every day, to fulfill the orders that have come pouring in since he appeared on “Little Big Shots” and at the Juneteenth festival. Despite Tyler’s accomplishments, his mom said that he is still a normal kid who plays outside most of the time, thinks he’s Superman, and always has to finish his homework.

“His school comes first,” Kindle said. “If I see a grade slipping, that’s a priority; the painting will have to wait.” Kindle was the one who encouraged Tyler to start painting, and she instantly recognized his talent. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” Kindle said on Oli Pettigrew’s TV show, “Right This Minute.” “I’ve been painting, and she instantly recognized his talent. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” Kindle said on Oli Pettigrew’s TV show, “Right This Minute.” “I’ve been pushing, trying to get him everything he needs.” Tyler’s accomplishments come despite life-changing hardships. For a while, he was in a wheelchair after breaking his hips, and he is nearly deaf, Kindle said. On Steve Harvey’s show, Tyler got a big surprise when one of his heroes, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, appeared in a video. “Keep inspiring,” Durant told Tyler. And undoubtedly, Tyler will.

Hustle Mama Magazine takes pride in featuring kids of “Our Future” and this month, we feature 13-year old Tyler Gordon. Here is his story.

“I love painting because it keeps me calm and makes me happy!”

HMM: What was life like growing up for you? What kind of family did you grow up in?
TG: Life growing up for me is excellent. My family is very close. I’m growing up in a fun family. When not in school, my family gets together to play games, go to the beach, church, and every Tuesday, my family has a movie night. Another thing I like to do is help feed the less fortunate.

HMM: How do you maintain your integrity in an otherwise very competitive and
scrupulous industry?
TG: I stay true to who I am. My mom taught me always to be humble and treat the janitor with the same respect that you treat the CEO with.

HMM: At such a young age, what makes you a POWERHOUSE? What is the source of your strength?
TG: I paint from my soul, from deep down. I guess you can say that I paint my feelings. I put some of me in every piece I do. My style of painting, as well as my speed, sets me apart from the other artist. When I did my first painting, which unbeknownst to my mom (I had it in me), I shocked her by the fact that I could paint, let alone the fact that I finished it in approximately 20 minutes.

“I love painting because it keeps me calm and makes me happy!”

HMM: Who are some of your earlier influences?
TG: My earliest influence is my mom. She paints good too. She also started painting at a young age. I like her style, it’s like mine, although the truth is I get it from her. I’m also influenced by Floyd Norman, Basquiat, and Bob Ross.

HMM: You have painted many celebrities from Kevin Durant, Jay-Z, Beyonce, the Beatles, Oprah, and many more famous people. Who is someone you would love to paint and sell a portrait to?
TG: I would love to sell a portrait to Former President, Barack Obama.

HMM: What advice would you offer to kids with a “DREAM”?
TG: I would say, “Never stop going after your dream!” I know, first hand, with determination, it will come true. I’m living my dream right now.

To follow Tyler Gordon, see his contact information below:

Facebook: Tyler Gordon Young Artist
Instagram: Official_tylergordon

Meal of the Week (Turkey Lasagna Rolls with Salad and Muffin Melts)

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Meal of the Week: Turkey Lasagna Rolls w/ Salad

Here’s a fun way to enjoy lasagna but in a more individualized manner that will help keep calorie count low and in turn, help keep you focused on healthy nutrition. Even though portion size and ingredients are a tad different than usual, that in no way sacrifices flavor or taste. If the meal is prepared as outlined below, you should have enough leftovers to make some tasty muffin melts that you’ll enjoy for work the next day. Those who desire a vegetarian/meat-less version simply do without the lean ground turkey and opt for an alternative of your liking.

Equipment Needed

– colander

– large pot for water/pasta

– large skillet for meat

– medium size stovetop pot

– large mixing bowl

– large oven pan

– parchment paper

– aluminum foil

Ingredients (Makes 4-6 servings)

1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey

One box lasagna

One jar Marinara sauce

1 cup diced spinach

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup cottage cheese (small curd)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

One tablespoon oregano

Two tablespoons olive oil

Two tablespoons minced garlic

One egg

salt and pepper

For Leftover Muffin Melts

– whole wheat English muffins

 

Directions

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1. You will need to boil a large pot of water (with optional dashes salt) to cook the lasagna al dente for about eight minutes. When that’s finished carefully remove and drain using a colander.

2. While the water is boiling if you’re planning to use lean ground turkey (or, any other meat) for this meal you can start cooking this next. Open the container and empty the contents into a stove top pan, add some salt and pepper to taste, and on medium heat start dicing the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until desired wellness is achieved.

3. While the meat and lasagna noodles are cooking, you can carefully dice the spinach leaves into small pieces using a sharp knife until you have a cup worth. In a separate small stove top pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the 2 tablespoons minced garlic and the cup of diced spinach on low heat stir for a few minutes.

4. In a large mixing bowl add the egg, 1 cup Ricotta cheese, oregano, 3/4 cup cottage cheese, the garlic/spinach mixture, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese along with pinches of salt and pepper. Mix together well w, ith a fork.

5. Right about now the meat and lasagna should be about done cooking. The ower meat to a simmer and add the entire bottle of marinara sauce and mix well. You will have a nice, tasty meat mixture now.

6. Use a large piece of parchment paper and get ready to make the lasagna rolls. Simply lay out 1 entire noodle on the parchment paper and use a spoon to spread the cheese mixture evenly and thinly across one entire side. Then carefully roll the lasagna up from one end to the other.

7. Before you place the lasagna roll in your oven pan, spoon some of the meat sauce mixture across the bottom of the pan to give it a thin coating. Then you can place the lasagna rolls side by side but not touching. Continue to repeat this process until you finish all the lasagna rolls you plan to cook. You may have to use two separate oven-safe pans depending on how many rolls you plan to make.

8. Once all the lasagna rolls are prepared and arranged in the pan, spoon the remaining sauce over each one of the rolls. Then mix the remaining parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle on top of all the rolls.

9. Cover the pan(s) with a piece of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.

10. Finally, while the lasagna is cooking you can prepare the type of salad you plan to serve with the meal. Once everything is done, serve appropriate portions and enjoy.

 

Leftover Meal Idea: Muffin Melts

If you are unfortunately left without any leftover lasagna rolls but still have some of the meat sauce mixture, here’s a chance to make some delicious muffin melts. These taste very similar to Subway meatball sandwiches if you prepare the sauce with meat as described above. All you will need to purchase extra is some whole wheat English muffins, If you don’t want to use those, or just want to use what you have on hand, you can always opt for a tortilla, pita bread, toast, or even a large piece of lettuce to use as a wrap. Simply spread the desired meat sauce mixture onto one side of the bread, sprinkle some shredded cheese and parmesan cheese on top, and cover with the other piece of bread. Wrap in a piece of aluminum foil until ready to be taken out and re-heated for a tasty lunch.

Navigating Work-Life Balance

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1. Learn to say ‘no’

If you want a better work-life balance, learn to say ‘no’. This one of the most important things you can do to prevent work from taking over your life. Whether you work set or flexible hours, you will probably be asked to do extra work at some point. If you keep taking on extra work, you’ll become the reliable one; you’ll end up doing so much that work that it’ll be so much harder to get that work-life balance. Don’t automatically answer ‘yes’ when someone asks you to do more work; be prepared not to give in to people’s demands and requests. Of course, turn people down politely and simply let them know you have other things to do.

2. Keep work at work

Learn how to keep everything work-related at work. Once your working hours are over, that’s it, you can forget about everything to do with work until your working hours start again. Put yourself in a different frame of mind once your working hours are over. Now it’s your time to do what you want. You should also try to remain out of contact – when you’re relaxing at home, you don’t want to be constantly checking our emails, for example. Put your phone away and keep all work-related stuff away. Make colleagues wait for a reply, so long as you’re still reliable and do intend to reply. Make yourself available during working hours only. Of course, some jobs require more flexibility and require you to do some work outside of designated working hours; with any job, it’s important to not let work-related stuff overflow into your non-working hours.

3. Remember you’re not perfect

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to please everyone all the time. There’s only a set amount of time in the day. You haven’t got enough time to satisfy everyone who wants something from you. Realize that you’re not going to please everyone all the time. If someone wants your time for whatever reason, don’t be afraid to turn them down and let someone else take over. Once you realize you can’t do everything people ask of you, you’ll find it easier to concentrate more on the things you want to do for yourself.

4. Cut down on time-wasting activities

Think of things you do that are pointless and just a waste of time. Think of how much time you spend doing those things each day. You might be surprised to realize that a lot of the stuff you do during a typical day doesn’t serve a purpose. One of the most common time-wasting habits is checking social media sites. People also waste loads of time on the Internet looking at different sites. If you have any time-wasting activities that you can do without, cut down on the amount of time you spend on them.

LANDING THAT JOB BEFORE GRADUATION

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First-year college students should already be thinking about the jobs they want when they graduate. That’s because the best job offers earned are when students select their targets early on and spend the next few years doing everything they can to impress the employers that have those jobs.

Of course, some students will not be clear about their career direction during the first year of college. For them, it will take more time and a strong effort to research the possibilities. However, that does not mean that these students should take their time. The sooner they select a general career direction; they can choose a major and begin to develop a plan that will move them closer to their goals in a step by step fashion.

Students should think about the circles of a target. The “bull’s eye” is the group of jobs they would consider the most desirable or ideal. The next ring is of related tasks that are also highly desirable. The third circle is jobs that would also be of great interest. The fourth circle would be good jobs that may not be as closely related to their personal preferences. Opportunities outside of the target become less desirable, the further away they get.

With a target, students can develop a plan of activities and performance that is most likely to lead them to the target area. Their plan should include their majors, the courses they choose, their classroom performance, their campus activities, work experiences, community activities, and leisure activities. By building a list of accomplishments and expertise in these areas, they will have the components of a strong resumé and some excellent job-related skills.

Students without a target and a plan are taking their chances with their career outcomes. If they don’t know where they want to go, their chases of going someplace where they don’t want to go will increase dramatically. That’s why students should think about their strengths, capabilities, past performance, and the things they enjoy. Using that information, students can research career directions that will utilize their characteristics. They can change directions if necessary.

Other things are just as important as grades. Employers love to learn about student performance in their campus activities, part-time, and summer jobs, and anyways, they can demonstrate their capabilities to get things done well. By participating, leading, succeeding, and accomplishing, students set themselves apart and give employers good reasons to want to learn more.

Students who fail to put themselves out there and get involved both on and off-campus will severely limit the number of employers that take an interest in them. Employers prefer candidates who are active, committed, and productive. It is a lesson that too many students seem to miss while they are still in college.

Students who ignore this advice and fail to participate, work or volunteer will have little chance of accomplishing the things that the best employers want, need, and expect. Since the best job offers earned are from their activities and performance during the sophomore, junior, and senior years, no student will receive an exceptional job offer by sitting back and ignoring the expectations of their target employers.

10 Career Changing Myths

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Myth #1: You can’t make a living doing something you enjoy

It is a well-known, age-old career myth the belief that you can’t have a career that allows you a comfortable living doing something that you are good at and enjoy. It is an outdated concept, which stems from the times of our forefathers. Yes, of course, you need to earn to provide for yourself and your family. Fear and a reluctance to step outside your comfort zone for your passion can prevent you from reaching your potential and earning a living doing what you love. You don’t have to sacrifice on happiness to make a living; you have to be willing to think creatively about what you’re good at, how you can earn from it, and be prepared to put in the work. If you enjoy what you do, it won’t feel like work!

If you find yourself buying into this myth, think about what you’ll regret more following your passion or giving in to your fears! By no means am I suggesting that you give up on a job that pays to follow your dreams without thinking it through, planning, or getting the necessary advice? Instead, what I’m saying, is that with motivation, creativity, focus, and dedication (as well as sound advice and judgment), you can turn what you enjoy into a career.

Myth #2: It’s a tough economy

I’m not asking that you disbelieve news sources. When reports tell you that unemployment figures are rising, that businesses are downsizing or that there’s a slow economic recovery, this may be true, the critical thing to remember is that this is not a complete picture. There are always businesses that do well, even in the worst of economic situations. The economy is changing, how we progress through jobs is different, and hiring practices have changed. What makes it difficult to succeed is not necessarily the externally facing challenges, but that we are slow to change and adapt to changing circumstances. If we hold on to old behaviors and practices, we’ll keep getting the same (or worse) results. Old ways do work, and there’s no point in re-inventing the wheel when you don’t need to, but adaptation (like getting the snow chains on your tires when necessary) is key to being more effective in a world that is rapidly changing.

I challenge you to think about what you want to do and to make a list of all then how you can tap into that market.  It may not always be straightforward, but only when you make an effort to consider how it might be possible, can you work toward actual outcomes. You’d be surprised at the leads and opportunities you can generate when you change your mindset and approach things differently.

Myth #3: Changing careers is too risky

It’s true, one of the riskiest things you can do is to pursue the unknown or what is unfamiliar to you. Changing careers can also bring into question your sense of identity. Most of us have come to define ourselves by using what we do to earn a living as a point of reference. If what you do for a living isn’t what you enjoy or are passionate about, then you’re at risk of having a misaligned sense of identity the fear that outweighs this, is the fear of attempting a change, not succeeding, and losing a point of reference, and losing a sense of identity altogether.

If the longing for a career change is there and you do your research, get the right advice, and make considered decisions (without over-thinking things), then you minimize the risk. It should be your aim to reduce and take calculated risks.

Myth #4: Always have a backup plan

The emphasis here is on ‘ALWAYS.’ Of course, at times, it can be prudent and smart to have a backup plan. While it’s grown up and responsible, know that it’s not always possible to have a backup plan. It’s also important to realize that if you spend too much time focusing on your backup plan, it decreases the level of commitment to anything else and leaves you with less energy to focus on anything else. Decide what it is that you want, and commit to it, and do as much as you can to avoid the almost inevitable ‘what-ifs’ that leave nagging regrets.

Myth #5: There’s a perfect job out there for everyone

Yes, you’ve heard this one before, and maybe you’ve wondered when you would come across that job that’s perfect for you, and matches your personality, skills, and interests, and pays well. Perhaps you’ve wondered what this job would be.

So, is there a perfect job out there waiting for you? The answer is, thankfully, NO!  Are you surprised?  It’s a ‘thankful’ no because there are more jobs out there than you can imagine that would fantastic for you. The problem tends to be knowing what that perfect job is, or not being on the lookout for it and missing the opportunity.

If you want a change, start looking and working toward one. Keep your eyes open, ask others to keep their ears to the ground, and look beyond the obvious.

Myth #6: The right thing to do is to ask, “what is the best thing to do?”

We’ve all done it. It’s what we consider to be rule 1 when making most decisions. The logical thing to do is to weigh up the pros and cons and to evaluate. Something I learned is that we often don’t know what the best thing is to do, so we can spend an endless amount of time agonizing and conjecturing. Instead, it’s better to ask three things: What’s the best possible outcome? What’s the worst possible outcome? What’s the most likely outcome? It is the same decision-making technique used by top earners and high achievers! When you’ve considered these questions, it becomes easier to weigh up outcomes and make a decision. If you like, you can preface the above with ‘what do I want to do?’

Myth #7: If you don’t like your job, you’re in the wrong career path

It’s normal to think that if you aren’t enjoying your job that it may not be right for you, or that your career path may not be the best (for you). While being unhappy in a job is a reason to re-examine your situation, it may not be a reason to revisit your career choice. What I would encourage you to do is look at the context in which you’re working, as well. Think about how things would change if you were in the same job, but there was a different boss, organizational culture, or division of tasks. What you need to do is to figure out what the real cause of your discontent is. It can be challenging to figure this out on your own, so it’s useful to have a sounding board in the form of a trusted advisor/coach or mentor.

Myth #8: You need a mission statement

There’s a lot of talk about knowing what your purpose and mission are. It is what gives us some form of guidance, helps to keep us on track, and steers us forward. If you can’t identify yours or aren’t quite sure, don’t let this fool you into thinking that you’re destined never to reach your full potential or find your right career path. If you spend too much time pondering what your purpose and mission is, you may become so distracted by that, that you may miss out on actually pursuing it! A more useful place to start is with thinking about what you enjoy, and assessing what you like.

Myth #9: Expect a career epiphany

Several people keep thinking that they need to figure out what it is that they want to do, and expect that one day, this will suddenly occur to them. If you are one of these, unfortunately, in most instances, this does not happen. It would be great if it did, and it was somehow open to us what the next step was, but instead, we have the career path of discovery, where details unfold in time, and we have to make the best possible choices we can along with that journey. My advice thinks of what you want, and learn from others to make informed decisions which give you a short-cut to where you want to be.

Myth #10: If you ignore it, (i.e., unhappiness in your career), it will go away

A critical reminder you can only ignore something that pesters for so long! At first, it may be easy to overlook the feeling of discontent and focus on something else, but you can only push it aside for so long. Eventually, you will have to give in and re-assess your position. Bear in mind some of the myths I’ve highlighted. Think about what you want, your commitment. Are you willing to succumb to change if that’s what’s required? If you are, and you’re eager to learn from others and utilize the wealth of expertise that is available to help make job, career, and life decisions, then there’ll be no stopping you!

Good luck! I hope that you find career contentment and success!

The Novel Corona Virus is Changing Everything

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By March 1, 2020, between 1,043 and 9,484 people in the U.S. may have already been infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus, far more than the number that had been publicly reported, according to a new Cedars-Sinai study.

“This suggests that the opportunity window to contain the epidemic of COVID-19 in its early stage is closing,” the researchers stated in their paper, which is posted online on a forum where physicians and researchers share information.

The range of possible patients is significantly higher than the number of confirmed and presumptive U.S. cases reported by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which stood at 164 as of March 7. Some news media on March 8 were reporting more than 500 total cases. [Editor’s note: as of its March 9 update, the CDC put the total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. at 423, including both confirmed and presumptive positive cases.]

Cedars-Sinai investigators, who led the study, said they chose “very conservative” methods to estimate the number of coronavirus cases. “This makes our current estimation likely to be an underestimation of the true number of infected individuals in the U.S.,” they wrote.

Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and Dean of the medical faculty at Cedars-Sinai, added: “Cedars-Sinai is committed to the global efforts to combat COVID-19 and we believe that early dissemination of this study and the free sharing of the code that underlies the model will help in those efforts.”

To arrive at infection estimates for their new study, the researchers modeled only COVID-19 coronavirus cases “imported” directly to the U.S. from the area of Wuhan, China, before Jan. 23, when the Chinese government locked down the city, and they assumed the lockdown stopped all outbound traffic. Potential cases arriving in the U.S. from other parts of China, or other heavily affected countries such as South Korea, Italy or Iran, were not included in the estimate.

The scale of the COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S. was calculated based on air traffic data between Wuhan and the U.S., totals of confirmed cases publicly released by the CDC and transmission dynamics as estimated from previous research. The study took into account the identification and quarantine of individual domestic cases in the U.S. Among other considerations, the research team assumed the imported cases were no longer spreading infection.

Based on all these assumptions and methods, the investigators estimated the total number of people in the U.S. infected with coronavirus as of March 1 to be between 1,043 and 9,484. The first figure assumed current preventive procedures — such as quarantines and screening international travelers at airports — had reduced as much as 25% of the transmissibility in unidentified cases. The second figure assumed no intervention procedures had been undertaken to reduce the transmissibility.

The disparity between the lowest and highest estimates has important implications for controlling the COVID-19 epidemic, said Dermot P. McGovern, MD, Ph.D., professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai and senior author of the new study.

“Our model suggests that even moderately effective population interventions to reduce transmission can have a profound impact on the scale of the epidemic,” McGovern explained. “This finding supports the role of public health interventions in controlling this disease.”

But slowing transmission is not an easy task, given that most COVID-19 cases appear to be mild or even asymptomatic, the researchers noted, which can make it difficult to identify infected individuals who may be spreading the virus.

Despite these obstacles, McGovern said, it may still be possible to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak through steps already suggested by public health experts. These include promoting social distancing and personal hygiene and restricting large-scale gatherings for occasions such as sporting events.

Additionally, performing mass screening for infected individuals, while expensive and logistically challenging, also would potentially help to control the epidemic, said McGovern, who also is director of Translational Research in the Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai.

Dalin Li, Ph.D., the new study’s first author and co-corresponding author with McGovern, said the research team is releasing the just-completed study data online before the full review has been accepted in a journal due to the urgency of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are making the results public before peer review as it will be important for timely and informed public health decision-making. We are also making the model available to the research community so that others can build upon it,” said Li, a research scientist in the Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute.

The other co-authors of the study were Jonathan Braun, MD, Ph.D., professor of Medicine, and research operations associate Gregory Botwin from the Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai; and Jun Lv, Weihua Cao, and Liming Li, all from Peking University Health Science Center in Beijing.

Funding: Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the F. Widjaja Foundation.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Dalin Li, Jun Lv, Gregory Botwin, Jonathan Braun, Weihua Cao, Liming Li, Dermot P.B. McGovern. Estimating the scale of COVID-19 Epidemic in the United States: Simulations Based on Air Traffic directly from Wuhan, China. submitted to MedRxiv, 2020 DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.06.20031880 

Great Black Music

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TOPPING THE CHARTS:

  1. The Colleagues f. Freddie Gibbs
  2. D. Smoke f. Davion Farris
  3. Doja Cat
  4. Yo Gotti
  5. Luh Soldier f. Young Dolph
  6. YBN Nahmir
  7. Calboy
  8. H.E.R. f. Pop Smoke, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie & Chris Brown
  9. Gary Clark Jr. & The Roots
  10. K-Trap
  11. Lil Nas X f. Nas
  12. H.E.R.
  13. Lou The Human
  14. Justin Bieber f. Kehlani
  15. Drake & Future
  16. Kiana V. f. Billy Davis

READ MORE

Collection Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1938

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About this Collection

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves.  These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration, later renamed Work Projects Administration (WPA).  At the conclusion of the Slave Narrative project, a set of edited transcripts was assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. In 2000-2001, with major support from the Citigroup Foundation, the Library digitized the narratives from the microfilm edition and scanned from the originals 500 photographs, including more than 200 that had never been microfilmed or made publicly available.  This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs divisions of the Library of Congress. 

The Volumes

The published volumes containing edited slave narratives are arranged alphabetically by the state in which the interviews took place and thereunder by the surname of the informant.  Administrative files for the project are bound at the beginning of Volume 1.  These files detail the instructions and other information supplied to field workers as well as subjects of concern to state directors of the Federal Writers’ Project.

Vol. 1

Vol. 2, Arkansas

READ MORE HERE

SLAVERY and THE COURTS – The Original US Economics

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Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 contains just over a hundred pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States. The documents, most from the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, comprise an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments, accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter, and other works of historical importance. Of the cases presented here, most took place in America and a few in Great Britain. Among the voices heard are those of some of the defendants and plaintiffs themselves as well as those of abolitionists, presidents, politicians, slave owners, fugitive and free territory slaves, lawyers and judges, and justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Notable names include John Quincy Adams, Roger B. Taney, John C. Calhoun, Salmon P. Chase, Dred Scott, William H. Seward, Prudence Crandall, Theodore Parker, Jonathan Walker, Daniel Drayton, Castner Hanway, Francis Scott Key, William L. Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Denmark Vesey, and John Brown. 

About this Collection

This collection consists of 105 library books and manuscripts, totaling approximately 8,700 pages drawn principally from the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, with a few from the General Collections. The selection was guided in large part by the entries in Slavery in the Courtroom: An Annotated Bibliography of American Cases by Paul Finkelman (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1985), which was based on research in the Library collections. The documents comprise an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments, accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter, and other works of historical importance. Most of the items date from the nineteenth century. They include materials associated with the Dred Scott case and the abolitionist activities of John Brown, John Quincy Adams, and William Lloyd Garrison. Eighteenth-century cases include Somerset v. Stewart, decided in England a few years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which “underscored the great tension created by slavery in Anglo-American Law.” (Finkelman, p. 6) 

Some of the items presented here, such as the report of the trial of Castner Hanway in 1851, are the only primary source on their subjects. All but one of the items is available both as online images and as searchable text; the exception is an unpublished handwritten slavery code for the District of Columbia, which is available as images only.

View also the Browse Lists for Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, and The Congressional Globe for more debates on slavery:

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909, contains many relevant pamphlets.

Correspondence, Between the Hon. F. H. Elmore, one of the South Carolina Delegation in Congress, and James G. Birney

The Dangers of Extending Slavery; and, The Contest and the Crisis: Two Speeches of William H. Seward

An Examination of the Case of Dred Scott Against Sandford, in the Supreme Court of the United States …

Fillmore and Sumner. A letter from William Lloyd Garrison …

History of American abolitionism; its four great epochs …

The Immediate Issue: A Speech of Wendell Phillips at the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society at Boston

The Slavery Question. Dred Scott Decision: To the Free Voters of Ohio

The American Memory Today in History archives include the following related accounts:

May 21, 1796: Reverdy Johnson and his role in the Dred Scott Case.

September 3, 1838: Frederick Douglass’s escape from slavery.

March 9, 1841: Joseph Cinqué, leader of the Amistad mutiny.

September 20, 1850: Congress abolishes the D.C. slave trade.

October 16, 1859: John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry.

December 6, 1864: Salmon P. Chase.

July 28, 1868: Fourteenth Amendment makes former slaves citizens.

The American Treasures of the Library of Congress presents an online version of particularly important items in the Library’s collections.  READ MORE HERE

Great Black Movies

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HIDDEN FIGURES

Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder. It is loosely based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly about black female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race. The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and other missions. The film also features Octavia Spencer as NASA supervisor and mathematician Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monáe as NASA engineer Mary Jackson, with Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, and Mahershala Ali in supporting roles. (Source: Wikipedia)

 

SELMA

Selma is a 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel,[5][6] Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Lewis. The film stars actors David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Tim Roth as George Wallace, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, and Common as Bevel.

Selma premiered at the American Film Institute Festival on November 11, 2014, began a limited US release on December 25, and expanded into wide theatrical release on January 9, 2015, two months before the 50th anniversary of the march. The film was re-released on March 20, 2015 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the historical march.

Selma received critical acclaim, with particular praise given to DuVernay’s direction and Oyelowo’s performance, though it was met with some criticism for its historical inaccuracies, largely centered on the perceived vilification of Johnson and the omission of several prominent Jewish civil rights leaders. The film was nominated for Best Picture and won Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards. It also received four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director and Best Actor and won for Best Original Song. (Source: Wikipedia)

 

MALCOLM X

Malcolm X, sometimes stylized as X, is a 1992 American epic biographical drama film about the African-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee, the film stars Denzel Washington in the title role, as well as Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr., and Delroy Lindo. Lee has a supporting role, while Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and future South Africa president Nelson Mandela make cameo appearances. This is the second of four film collaborations between Washington and Lee.

The film dramatizes key events in Malcolm X’s life: his criminal career, his incarceration, his conversion to Islam, his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam and his later falling out with the organization, his marriage to Betty X, his pilgrimage to Mecca and reevaluation of his views concerning whites, and his assassination on February 21, 1965. Defining childhood incidents, including his father’s death, his mother’s mental illness, and his experiences with racism are dramatized in flashbacks.

Malcolm X’s screenplay, co-credited to Lee and Arnold Perl, is mainly based on Alex Haley’s 1965 book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Haley collaborated with Malcolm X on the work beginning in 1963 and completed it after Malcolm X’s death. (READ MORE)

 

Other Suggestion:

THE HELP is now on AMAZON Prime: CLICK HERE

Sometimes, it’s not what you know, but WHO!

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EDUCATION OF COLORED CHILDREN

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community. During the period of segregation in the United States prior to the Civil Rights Act, the overwhelming majority of higher education institutions were predominantly white and completely disqualified or limited African-American enrollment.[1][2] For a century after the end of slavery in the United States in 1865, most colleges and universities in the Southern United States prohibited all African Americans from attending, while institutions in other parts of the country regularly employed quotas to limit admissions of blacks.[3] 

There are 101 HBCUs in the United States, including both public and private institutions (down from the 121 institutions that existed during the 1930s).[4] Of these remaining HBCU institutions in the United States, 27 offer doctoral programs, 52 offer master’s programs, 83 offer bachelor’s degree programs, and 38 offer associate degrees.

 

A LOOK AT HBCUs

Historically Black Colleges & Universities (from Wikipedia)

 

PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS 

Most HBCUs were established in the South after the American Civil War, often with the assistance of religious missionary organizations based in the northern United States. HBCUs established prior to the American Civil War include Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in 1837 and Lincoln University in 1854. Wilberforce University was also established prior to the American Civil War; it was founded in 1856 via a collaboration between the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Ohio and the Methodist Episcopal Church (the latter a predominantly white denomination). Wilberforce was the third college to be established in the state of Ohio. 

After the end of the Civil War, Shaw University, founded in 1865, was the first HBCU to be established in the South. The year 1865 also saw the foundation of Storer College (1865–1955) in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Storer’s former campus and buildings have since been incorporated into Harper’s Ferry National Park. 

PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

In 1862, the federal government’s Morrill Act provided for land grant colleges in each state. Some educational institutions established under the Morrill Act in the North and West were open to blacks. But 17 states, mostly in the South, required their systems to be segregated and generally excluded black students from their land grant colleges. In response, Congress passed the second Morrill Act of 1890, also known as the Agricultural College Act of 1890, requiring states to establish a separate land grant college for blacks if blacks were being excluded from the existing land grant college. Many of the HBCUs were founded by states to satisfy the Second Morrill Act. These land grant schools continue to receive annual federal funding for their research, extension, and outreach activities. (Read More)

 

 

DISCOVER SOME OF OUR FAVORITE RESOURCEFUL THINGS

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With the dawn of a new decade, we wanted to do something extremely different for Black History Month 2020. We took to the internet and social media to be able to catalog and share our traffic with some of the most comprehensive, the most honored, and the most research-rich sites that we came across when looking for content related to Black History Education and Archives. Please enjoy some of the collections below:

ONE HISTORY

onehistory.org is an exceptional resource and has several links to African American resources and also exhibits from the Library of Congress.

AFRICAN- AMERICAN ODYSSEY

African-American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship 

This Special Presentation of the Library of Congress exhibition, The African-American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the Library’s incomparable African-American collections. The presentation was not only a highlight of what is on view in this major black history exhibition, but also a glimpse into the Library’s vast African-American collections. Both include a wide array of important and rare books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings. 

The exhibition The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the incomparable African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displaying more than 240 items including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings, this is the largest black history exhibit ever held at the library, and the first exhibition of any kind to feature presentations in all three of the Library’s buildings. 

The major presentation in the Jefferson Building, The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, explores black America’s quest for equality from the early national period through the twentieth century. The Library’s materials, gathered over the two hundred years of its existence, tell the story of the African American experience through nine chronological periods that document the courage and determination of blacks, faced with adverse circumstances, who overcame immense odds to fully participate in all aspects of American society. The exhibit includes the work of abolitionists in the first half of the nineteenth century, depictions of the long journey following the Civil War towards equality in employment, education, and politics, strategies used to secure the vote, recognition of outstanding black leaders, and the contributions of sports figures, black soldiers, artists, actors, writers and others in the fight against segregation and discrimination. 

The items in this exhibit attest to the drama and achievement of this remarkable story. Although they give a comprehensive, rich picture of more than 200 years of African American struggle and achievement, they represent only a rivulet of the collections the Library of Congress holds in this essential part of American history. 

Slavery–The Peculiar Institution

During the slave trade, millions of Africans became involuntary immigrants to the New World. Some African captives resisted enslavement by fleeing from slave forts on the West African coast. Others mutinied onboard slave-trading vessels or cast themselves into the ocean. In the New World, some ran away from their owners, ran out among the Indians, formed maroon societies, revolted, feigned sickness, or participated in work slowdowns. Some sought and succeeded in gaining liberty through various legal means such as “good service” to their masters, self-purchase, or military service. Still, others seemingly acquiesced and learned to survive in servitude. 

The European, American, and African slave traders engaged in the lucrative trade in humans, and the politicians and business people who supported them did not intend to put into motion a chain of events that would motivate the captives and their descendants to fight for full citizenship in the United States of America. But they did. When Thomas Jefferson penned the words, “All men are created equal,” he could not possibly have envisioned how his slaves and others would take his words. African Americans repeatedly questioned how their owners could consider themselves noble in their fight for independence from England while simultaneously believing that it was wrong for slaves to do the same. 

This exhibit explores the methods used by Africans and their American-born descendants to resist enslavement, as well as to demand emancipation and full participation in American society. The strategies vary, but the goal remained unchanged: freedom and equality. READ MORE HERE

 

Free Blacks in the Antebellum Period

Abolition, Anti-Slavery Movements, and the Rise of the Sectional Controversy

The Civil War

Carnival Vibes

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Carnival is a Western Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent.[2] The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide (or Pre-Lent). Carnival typically involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity.[3] Participants often indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol,[4] meat, and other foods that will be forgone during the g upcoming Lent. Traditionally, butter, milk, and other animal products were not consumed “excessively”; instead, their stock was fully exhausted as to reduce waste. Pancakes, donuts, and other desserts were prepared and eaten for a final time. During Lent, animal products are eaten less, and individuals can make a Lenten sacrifice, thus giving up a particular object or activity of desire. 

Other standard features of Carnival include mock battles such as food fights; expressions of social satire; mockery of authorities; costumes of the grotesque body that display exaggerated features such as large noses, bellies, mouths, phalli, or elements of animal bodies; abusive language and degrading acts; depictions of disease and gleeful death; and a general reversal of everyday rules and norms.[3][5] 

The term Carnival is traditionally used in areas with a large Catholic presence, as well as in Greece. In historically Evangelical Lutheran countries, the celebration is known as Fastelavn,[6][7] and in areas with a high concentration of Anglicans (Church of England/US Episcopal Church), Methodists, and other Protestants, pre-Lenten celebrations, along with penitential observances, occur on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras.[8] In Slavic Eastern Orthodox nations, Maslenitsa is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. In German-speaking Europe and the Netherlands, the Carnival season traditionally opens on 11/11 (often at 11:11 am). This dates back to celebrations before the Advent season or with harvest celebrations of St. Martin’s Day. 

Other common features of Carnival include mock battles such as food fights; expressions of social satire; mockery of authorities; costumes of the grotesque body that display exaggerated features such as large noses, bellies, mouths, phalli, or elements of animal bodies; abusive language and degrading acts; depictions of disease and gleeful death; and a general reversal of everyday rules and norms.

The term Carnival is traditionally used in areas with a large Catholic presence, as well as in Greece. In historically Evangelical Lutheran countries, the celebration is known as Fastelavn,[6][7] and in areas with a high concentration of Anglicans (Church of England/US Episcopal Church), Methodists, and other Protestants, pre-Lenten celebrations, along with penitential observances, occur on Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. 

The Netherlands, the Carnival season traditionally opens on 11/11 (often at 11:11 am). These dates back to celebrations before the Advent season or with harvest celebrations of St. Martin’s Day. READ MORE

 

 

Adversity – A Gift From God

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Hand holding rope at the hill

AdversityA Gift From God | BY DR. DEE CARROLL

www.DrDeeCarroll.com

While there are many others who exhibited patience while in the midst of adversity, the greatest example of patience in dealing with adversity, is Jesus Christ. He was rejected, spit upon, reviled, cast to the wolves; indeed, as it was said of Him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). Ultimately, he was nailed to a cross and crucified after suffering for the sins of all the world. Clearly, He suffered more than any of us will ever suffer at an extreme we will never know.

We know all too well our initial reaction when we are pummeled by the worst life has to offer. In contrast, look at the way He patiently dealt with what He was given: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). In other words, He knew His Father had not left Him alone. He trusted God with His suffering. And if you exercise patience, you can do the same—because God will never leave you alone either.

As you struggle with adversity—because you will; we all do—never forget God. He is an important part of the sublime arithmetic that allows you to face and transform adversity, to come out of it a better, stronger, more qualified soul. Focus on God, not your adversity. Find God in every part of your adversity because He will be there. In fact, chances are good He will use your adversity to display His glory as you depend on Him and exercise faith in Him.  And never forget that adversity may actually be a gift from God.  Know that every trial, every tribulation, and every other situation in life (including the good ones!) were literally gifts from God. I had always heard He had a sense of humor, but I didn’t really understand what that meant. I sure do now.

Now that you know a little more about adversity and how to handle it, you’ll recognize something you’ve probably always known: that God gives us much good. But I hope you also know that God also gives us the bad and the ugly because they are wake-up calls that bring us closer to Him. And as we draw closer to Him, we realize He can stop the bleeding and very literally protect us from some unseen disaster approaching over the next hill.

When you feel the weight of the world pressing down on your shoulders, when you are facing insurmountable odds, when you are staring tribulation in the face, it’s easy to feel alone. When you spend every shred of time and effort and energy taking care of everyone else—your children, your spouse, your aging parents—without a word of thanks, it’s easy to feel alone. When you work all day at an office and never seem to get anything done, only to go home to a sink full of dirty dishes and a pile of dirty laundry it’s easy to feel alone. When you lose a job, lose a spouse, lose a child, lose a piece of your heart, it’s easy to feel alone.  No, you are not alone. You will never be alone.

Today may be your turn to receive comfort from one who has walked a mile in your moccasins, far down the path ahead of you. Tomorrow it may be your turn to come back from your treacherous journey, stronger and better and more sure, to provide that comfort to someone else.  Know that you will never be alone.

Adversity—this one, the next one, and the one after that—will never be the end. It is the beginning. If you let it, it will make of you a magnificent creature, more than you ever could have accomplished on your own.  Patience is a virtue and exhibiting it during adversity is a gift that will keep on giving.

Looking Good While Traveling

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LOOKING GOOD WHILE TRAVELING

I recently went to a bloggers seminar and listened to so many people talk about the challenge of Looking Good While Traveling. What I’ve learned most is as always, “Preparation is Key”.
Lets discuss how to remain prepared.

USE WHAT YOU KNOW

Traveling is not the best time to breakout your new wears and see how that “new outfit goes over”. Since you’re traveling remember your clothing is new to whomever you’re going to be around as they don’t usually see you, in your day to day outfits. Even if they do see you in your usual garb, the new environment will be change enough. There is no need for you to be head to toe different, as well.

This is the time to focus on something that makes you feel confident yet comfortable. You are already going to be in unfamiliar surroundings, it would be best to have some sense of familiarity and norm in Travel.

DON’T OVER PACK

When I say this, I’m talking to myself! I’ve been Travel for over 30 years and still tend to over pack and pay for it, in the end.

If you’re like me, you’re going to shop, on your trip and find something else to wear. You need to remember the space you’ll need, in your luggage to accommodate your new items. Why do you think so many of this suitcases have that extra zip room? Try to be smart, think ahead and remain optimistic that you’ll find something you’ll want to bring back.

WHAT IF YOU FIND NOTHING?

Being smart in how you pack also means being smart in how you dress. Dark pants & skirts are your best options because they show less dirt in case of a mishap and they will work with more options of colorful tops and neutrals. You should be looking to bring more tops than bottoms because they offer versatility and weigh less. Black pants and skirts, dark denim or black jeans and an additional dark colored bottom, then you can go crazy with at least 3-5 colored tops AND a black or navy sweater. Using this formula will allow you to have great “Put Together ”, for your experience.

OUTSIDE ADVICE

I recently read another article on packing for Travel and it suggested a light weight black knit dress, a multi-colored scarf and metallic shoes. These are all items that can be easily dressed up or down, offer preparation for every occasions and shouldn’t take up too much space in your suitcase. Keep it in mind, when traveling these options check all the boxes; Ease, Versatility, Well Dressed and Lightweight.

AVOID WHITE

We had an amazing article on the options of white tops, but Travel and white are not the best pair. Unless you’re a Priestess or Running with The Bulls ask yourself if white is your best travel companion. Even if you are a Priestess who’ll be Running with the Bulls, consider the color white as options you might want to purchase, when you get to your destination. Even mishaps in your suitcase, such as lotion spills or color transfer from another garment are devastating when you have a limited back-up plan.

Think of coffee spills, sitting in the wrong spot, ketchup stains, dust/dirt and just living life. Even if you get through the entire day without a spot on your white top or pants, look at the inside neck or hem of the garment. This is not something you can get away with and look pristine for a second day, of your travel.

Instead opt for color and prints, things that can hide a coffee spill or gravy stain. I’m not suggesting you walk around with a stained shirt, on your journey but you can get a stain out in any hotel room sink, restaurant bathroom or Aunt Mamie’s house and it does not have to be totally perfect. Trust me, that white shirt won’t hold up quite as well under the same circumstances.

SHOW RULES APPLY

I’ve attended a few blogger seminars and they talk about taking pictures while they travel. The one thing I’ve heard consistently is that every detail of your outfit should be planned. I always stress this idea so I will only double down for travel. If you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. It helps you plan your space and sometimes, even your activities. Bloggers suggest planning down to the finite details, jewelry, cosmetics, belts and underwear.

I remember “over packing” for a trip to Greece. My idea was to be prepared and make sure I looked “Cute & Sexy” all of the time. While I think I achieved, this idea I know I could have done just as much with less. I packed 2 or 3 dresses for each day when one would have been enough. I packed too many shoes , one of the heaviest items you can pack; when I should have been more practical and stuck to 2 pair. I also had the idea to wear these amazing bracelets with one dress, but when it came time to wear the dress I couldn’t find the bracelets, in my bag. Ironically they were in the bag the whole time, I just packed so many things, that I couldn’t locate them in the suitcase. UGH! I took my clothing more seriously, than my experience! On top of everything else, we had a great deal of trek from city to city with no valet help. My bag was so heavy that when I had to carry it up a very tall flight of steps because the escalator was broken, I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

Okay, okay this isn’t about me or my inability to pack smart but I wanted to share my mishaps and what could go wrong. Don’t be “That Girl” in Greece or any other place for that matter. Ultimately, traveling is meant to grow your experience and soul, not your wardrobe.

HOW TO ORGANIZE

Small bags are very helpful. I find small plastic bags best. Small plastic bags (be it a box of them from the supermarket or sturdy travel options from packing kits) they can be used over and over again, they keep things clean/dry and you can see exactly what’s in them for easy placement.

Use the bags for jewelry and small accessories. You can even use the plastic bags for your underwear, if you choose. You can place the bag in the center of each outfit you’ve decided upon while folding it, in the suitcase.

I know what you’re thinking:
“I had to find time to read this article, how am I supposed to have time for this type of packing?” It’s not as time consuming as you may think and like everything else gets easier every time you do it.

Since you’ve planned ahead, take it a step further and remove your items from the suitcase, upon your arrival and lay them out in your room, so that it’s ready to jump in the day of wear. Even if all you can do lay is it out over a couch, table or chair it’s better than stuck inside the bag.

As I always say, being prepared is always a good idea; in the end it should offer you help for your excursion and not another headache.

HAPPY TRAVEL!♥️

Chantel

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CHANTEL

(THE VOICE)

 

By: Cecile Anthony-Bryan

 

Chantel Cofie, best known as “Chantel,” has already managed to hit an extraordinary level of maturity and complexity with her appealing music at the tender age of 22. This charismatic Australian singer, songwriter, musician, and actress creates beautiful songs that are inspired by the green energy of pop and the soulfulness of R&B.  Her dynamic vocal style is very emotional and direct, echoing the work of artists such as Beyonce’, Usher, or Rihanna, to mention a few. Chantel’s passion for Music started at a very early age. “She could sing before she could even talk,” her dad fondly recalls. 

 

Around the family home, Chantel was introduced to the great soul and R&B classics, always singing Mary J Blige, Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Mario Winans, Luther Vandross and Marvin Gaye, which prominently impacted her approach to Music. Ever since the early age of 9, Chantel had determined her ultimate dream – using her God-given talent of singing to connect with a global audience and bring joyfulness and happiness to her listeners. 

At the age of 15, Chantel was awarded a scholarship to ‘The McDonald College,’ Australia’s leading academic and performing arts school. There, she further developed her musicianship and performance techniques. In 2016, Chantel flew across the world to perform on the prestigious stage of the Premier Program, held in Orlando, Florida, where she was awarded “Top Vocalist” and “Most Outstanding Performer.” 

 

Chantel had already appeared on Disney Channel Australia and New Zealand the previous year when she performed “The Smart Cookie” on “BF Chefs,” a show about three girls who love to spend time together as best friends while enjoyably cooking quick and healthy snacks. The show was a success, allowing Chantel to expose her work to a whole new audience. 

In late 2017, Chantel entered the first global competition app, MEGASTAR, in which she placed 1st worldwide in the debut round of the app. She concluded, placing 1st in the Fame Points competition, landing herself an invitation to have a mentoring session with Usher in Los Angeles. Usher and Chantel spoke all things Music, and he has inspired her vision further. 

“I overthink, overlove, over feel and overstress…but it’s all in the beauty of being creative!” 

Following the likes of Quincy Jones, John Mayer, Lalah Hathaway, and Charlie Puth, this young rising star has most recently been accepted into the prestigious Berklee College of Music at Boston, Massachusetts. Find out more and let the music tell you the rest of this wonderful story! 

 

HMM: WHAT WAS LIFE LIKE GROWING UP FOR YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD? 

CC:  Music was ALWAYS a huge part of my childhood. I was always in the school assembly performances, plays, and musicals. I grew up with my brother and later, my two younger sisters from my dad’s side. It’s funny, though; a lot of the time, I feel like I grew up so quickly, and individual factors forced me to mature a lot faster. Looking back, I wish I enjoyed certain childhood moments a little more.

HMM: HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU KNEW THIS WAS YOUR CALLING AND WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO DO FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? 

CC: Great question. It’s not something I physically thought about, like “this is what I want to do from now on,” it was just a given. I was always singing. It’s not something that I knew from a specific age – it’s almost like it was embedded in me from birth.

HMM: WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BE WHAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN AS A PROFESSION TODAY? WHO WERE SOME OF YOUR EARLIEST INFLUENCES? 

CC: What I currently do for work today is not my long-term profession at all. Being an international recording artist, musician, and actress is my ultimate goal. I’m known for my tangents in conversations, so a little side story…After high school, I went straight into university and studied Law then changed to Biomedical Science. By the end of my first year, I burnt out and lost the passion for my subjects. I worked in the aviation industry for different airlines between the university and then I decided to move to London. Shortly after, I started singing on cruise ships around the Pacific Islands, which brought me back to Australia, and now I work here in my hometown…all while recording Music, sending demos, working with incredible producers and performing worldwide. So, I would say my current 9-5 job is to assist by means of living/daily affairs and but my profession?? Oh, that’s Music, baby! It’s a 24/7 commitment & dedication.

“If the love does not feel like 90s R&B, I don’t want it!” 

HMM: HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR INTEGRITY IN AN OTHERWISE VERY COMPETITIVE AND SCRUPULOUS INDUSTRY? 

CC: Keeping God and family values at the forefront of what I do. Also, I try to stay as authentic to myself as possible. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by what others are putting out and what they are subsequently perceived to be. Especially with social media, as a woman, there are lots of external pressures, and you have to block it out and stick to your energy and your grind. Also, being genuinely supportive of other artists in the industry is so important. Yes, it’s a competitive industry, but we need to push each other to strive upwards and be happy for each other’s success.

HMM: HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE? 

CC: It is tough. I have so many aspirations that require full dedication. If it were up to me, I’d do music 25/8, but you also have to work to survive in the meantime. Because of my dedication to Music, I missed a lot of parties, going out with friends and general late nights out socializing – an activity one usually does as a teenager. I chose Music instead, so yes, work-life balance may not have always been perfect, but the feeling I get when singing? You can’t trade that for any party. The music is the party. 

HMM: WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A DRIVEN PERSON? WHAT MAKES YOU A POWERHOUSE? WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR STRENGTH?

CC: Yes, I am driven by my love for singing, Music, and being all-around creative. The hardships I’ve gone through in life thus far are what have strengthened me as an individual. It’s those moments in life you have to learn from yourself, that no one else can teach you or tell you. 

HMM: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO HAS A “DREAM”? 

CC: If there was no concept of money and you were doing what you classify as your “dream,” would you still be doing it? Would it still fulfill your happiness? Ask yourself these questions, and if your answers are all genuinely yes, you’re on the right track! Make sure you’re perusing your dreams for the right reasons because, in the end, all you’re left with is your legacy…what did you leave behind? Did it have creative, positive impacts in this world? These are the great rewards of dreams, knowing you’ve changed even one person’s life for the better. 

“Verily, with every hardship, there is ease!”

HMM: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR OTHER VENTURES? WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO IN THE FUTURE? 

CC: I would have loved to be signed by a label that truly understands my vision, and I know theirs, so together, we successfully achieve new heights. Original Music is on the way!! Acting is a part of my future as well. I have a profound love for acting. As a kid, I was always in commercials, and I was a lead actress on a Disney Channel series in Australia and New Zealand for four years. Now I want to position myself into film/screen (a/k/the movies you go into the cinema to watch with bags full of popcorn with your friends after watching the trailer a million times because you were waiting for the movie you’re now watching to come out hahaha). 

This Australian beauty loves traveling, seeing the world and soothing the world through Music, so if you are interested in CONTACT INFO:

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/theonechantel

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theonechantel 

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6t8fmwdwx68puCi2VRrOnw

Organizing as a Professional Organizer

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10 Things I Have Learned About Organizing As A Professional Organizer

1. No client or space is the same. My clients come to me for different reasons, and each of their cases is different. No house is the same, so no space is the same.

2. Clutter attracts clutter. Many of my clients have a space that seems to accumulate stuff and clutter. The reason is that that specific space does not have a particular use, so it just attracts confusion that does not have a home.

3. Lack of time management causes clutter. It is tough to control the amount of clutter when one cannot manage time. Without scheduling time to do tasks, things get out of control, and clutter piles up.

4. The inability to make a decision causes clutter. I have clients who have a tough time making decisions when it comes to what to do with specific items. This causes nothing to be done with the issue, and clutter again accumulates. The same can be said for paper and emails.

5. Shopaholics are usually trying to replace something in their lives. They are missing, and clutter is the result. I have many clients with unopened boxes from Amazon, QVC, and various other stores. Once the items are purchased, the “high” from purchasing is gone, and when it arrives, there is no interest in it.

6. Space gets messier before it gets better during the organizing process. For many clients, the process of organizing is very stressful, and they become very anxious when their items are spread out, and many of them visible for the first time. It gets worse before it gets better is a very true statement in organizing.|

7. Frequent purging is the key to maintaining the space and conquering the clutter. The best way to keep all the clutter from coming back is to purge often. Some clients do well with one new item in, one out. This is especially true when it comes to clothes.

8. Having countless containers does not make you organized. A system is needed, and most often, a behavioral change is required to be organized. It takes time and effort to accomplish the organized space.

9. The paper needs to be tackled consistently, or it will get out of hand quite quickly. The trash can, recycle bin, and a shredder should be your friend when it comes to bringing the paper in your home. When you have your mail, try to eliminate what can be tossed or shredded before you bring it in your home.

10. To-do lists will never be accomplished unless they are scheduled. To get that infamous to-do list completely, you will need to put it on your calendar, just like a doctor’s appointment.

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