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8 in 2018

We are midway into year 3 as Nouveau Exposure Magazine and we have seen so many people making moves that sometimes it is impossible to feature them all. So this month we decided to bring you our 8 in 2018 list. Here is a list of individuals or groups you should be following and/or supporting whether by social media or their business. Let the countdown begin!!!

 

[source: instagram]
#8 Darlyshia Menzie 

For those of you who are faithful Nouveau followers, you may recall Darlyshia wrote a few inspirational pieces some time ago. Well, she has taken her gift of encouragement to another platform and in 2017 released her first book, At the End of Me: A Journey of Identity and Self-esteem. She has been seen at various events and conferences sharing as God graces her to do so. If you want to hear the transparent and encouraging words from this young woman of God do yourself a favor and follow her on social media (@theferventservant) or check out her website www.ferventservant.life

 

#7 Simone Yael #6 Olamide Giwa

[source: instagram]
[source: instagram]
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simone and Olamide are besties who have known each other since their college days at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. While they live hundreds of miles from each other now, their journeys happen to be on the rise at the same time. Talk about soul sisters! Simone is located in the area of St. Louis, MO and has embarked on the world of fashion. She is the founder and executive director of Creator. the brand as well as a designer/stylist. Keep an eye out for her work. While you’re keeping an eye our for Simone…be sure to catch her bestie, Olamide, as well. She ventured to the west coast world of Los Angeles, CA nearly several years ago and this talented woman is a dancer, hair stylist and model. She was recently blessed with the opportunity to serve as a hairstylist to Solange.  Solange displayed her braids in a 2017 issue of the Evening Standard Magazine. Who know what 2018 holds for these two gal pals?! Follow them both on social media (@heysimoneyael and @_lamilam_ ).

 

 

[source: leaharmwood.com]
#5 Leah Armwood

Leah Armwood is a Chicago native who has survived a life of abuse since her childhood and broken relationship after broken relationship as a young woman. She was gifted to express herself through poetry and song writing between the ages of 7 and 9. That gift has brought her to her present where she has endeavored on a journey to have a career in the gospel music industry. But it doesn’t stop there. She will be releasing her book this year titled “The Weight Is Over.” A testimony like Leah’s is one that should be read far and wide. Be sure to keep up with her via her website, www.leaharmwood.com

 

[source: instagram]
#4 Ti Nicole Danridge

Ti Nicole Danridge is another Chicago native. Go ChiTown! She has always shown a passion for theater and drama. She has been seen in countless performances and in the Midwest entertainment city of Chicago she was cast on an episode of Chicago P.D. playing Kayla in 2016 and in 2017 she acted, wrote, directed and produced a short film, Plow. In February this short film will be viewed at the Indie Night Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA. Follow her on social media (@blacktress_mommy) to keep up with all the excitement for her latest project and what else is in store for this woman on the move!

 

 

[source: facebook]
#3 Cameo Profit & 1 Way

Cameo Profit has an AMAZING testimony of overcoming a whirlwind of self-destruction, the abandonment of “friends” and finding God’s grace as he moved forward for a fresh start. God’s hand never left him through all that he has endured and his testimony rings through the lyrics of his music performed by the group he leads, One Way. They have one project under their belt and will be releasing their new project this year titled Resurrected. Revived. Reloaded. Do yourself a favor and follow this group. Their first project, Speak to Your Day was wonderful and we eagerly anticipate their return. 

 

 

[source: facebook]
#2 LXW Chicago

We have featured LXW Chicago in the past but this group has moved on to do so much more since our last mention of them, we thought it was only fair to suggest you follow them in 2018 so you won’t miss anything! This youthful and anointed group of singers is spreading the love and welcoming dancers to join their ministry. They have been hosting a weekly radio show and it is broadcast through their Facebook account as well for a live feed where you can interact with the hosts and their guest. Catch the train while you can because they are going places!

 

#1 Theresa Mosley

[source: facebook]

Theresa Mosley has been awarded our number one spot! Why? She owns the first black owned cosmetology school in Grand Rapids, MI (Mosley School of Cosmetology) because of God and she doesn’t hesitate to share her testimony with anyone. She wants the world to know how much God has blessed her and she is fully aware that without God ordaining every step and every choice she would not be where she is today. Theresa has gone from searching for a way to make a living and attending undergrad to using her gift of doing hair to make extra money on the side. Little did she know, God had a plan. She eventually became licensed to be a hair stylist, made thousands upon thousands before age 30 only for life circumstances to cause all of that financial gain to go away.  She didn’t let that stop her. She kept the faith and believed God for his promises to her. Theresa eventually obtained a degree in business and became credentialed to teach cosmetology classes. While she held a dream of opening her own school she did not have experience teaching. While volunteering at her church putting her business degree skills in action she was offered a position at a school in Grand Rapids where she would gain experience teaching and learn the ropes from the owner of the school. God had different plans. At the same time she was offered a position from her church by her pastor. After praying she accepted the position at the church. We are sure you have heard the saying delay is not denial, and Theresa learned it’s not denial at all. God began to move her towards her current blessing of not only opening her own school, but being able to purchase the school she was once offered employment. Talk about God ordained!!! 

Free to Forgive

Bitter. Angry. Cold. Entitled. All words that infiltrate my thoughts when I think about some of the feelings we battle with when we harvest unforgiveness in our hearts.  I wonder how a moment of hurt could pierce the heart so deeply that it causes a person to shut down, reject love, adopt an unfamiliar character–change who they are, loose peace, paint on artificial happiness, and the list goes on. How could one person, or an encountered experience have enough power to destroy the person God has called each of us to be? I say “us” because I refuse to single you out knowing that I existed in a place of unforgiveness for a long time. Believe it or not, I was comfortable with it! Comfortable in a sense of no matter how much resentment, anxiety, and hurt tortured me, I still refused to let this hardened feeling go all because I felt like I deserved to carry it out full term–forever.  I felt entitled.  My determination to hold people accountable for what they did to me was my way of saying, “you did me wrong and I didn’t expect it, so I’m now authorized to deal with you the way I see fit.” I didn’t expect it! That’s the part that tends to smack us in the face…we trust, they fail.

This feeling of entitlement that I mentioned has nothing to do with the natural expectation that the people we love or simply encounter are supposed to treat us with love, respect, loyalty, courtesy, goodness, kindness, etc.…as they should. But it has everything to do with our belief that if people don’t treat us the right way, we should in return hold them hostage to our despising and sometimes murderous thoughts and actions. We keep ourselves bound by the spirit of rejection, hurt, and even depression. Let’s not forget all of this starts with a decision to hold on to toxicity, simply because our unforgiveness feels justified– justified due to someone else’s lack of good character or inability to meet our expectations. In some cases we carry resentment because we are secretly disappointed in ourselves for our own inability or unwillingness to properly assess the people we allow in our lives…our inability to see people for who they are and who God would have revealed them to be if we would have consulted him first. 

We often misread signals because we “feel” people are put in our lives for a reason. But this common phrase fails to mention that sometimes “the reason” is solely to destroy and delay us! Sometimes people are not sent by God but by the enemy himself. We forget that he too has a mission to knock us off every stepping stone God builds towards our purpose. We fail to guard our hearts with all diligence as the bible encourages us to do, we welcome people into positions they were never supposed to fill. What if the man you made the decision to be in a relationship with was only meant for you to give him a word to lead him to God?  What if the girl you decided to be best friends with was only someone you were supposed to give an encouraging word to and that’s it? What if the man you went on a date with was only a counterfeit sent to block you from the promise God was on His way to deliver to you–– your real husband?  What if the person who abused you was sent to kill you spiritually because you were called to do powerful works for God in the world? All these what-ifs serve as real life examples of how we can easily become a hostage to people who were misidentified or sent to distract us from discovering our true identity and divine purpose.

There are times when we have valid reasons to trust those we love, and then that trust is betrayed in the worst way. Or what about the times when strangers bring unexpected wrath into our paths? In those moments, we are required…commanded to cling onto God and his almighty power, his perfect love and his never-ending strength to forgive.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness, he fights for us in his perfect timing and our enemies become his. God’s love is so full and perfect that he will heal us if we open our hearts and remain rooted and grounded in him. He’ll deliver our enemies right in front of us for them to either see they’ve been defeated, or cause them to glorify the God we serve simply because our forgiveness shed light on their darkness.  Holding on to the pain caused by another person keeps us locked in a time capsule unable to grow, love in fullness or move on. We literally become stuck in a time zone…unable to tap into who God has called us to be and the blessings he has assigned to us.  Making the decision to forgive is about us and our relationship with God, not about focusing on who caused it. It’s about living in our rightful freedom and not allowing anyone to steal our peace and joy. It’s about forgiving others as God forgives our faulty messes. Forgiveness never dismisses the truth that has been revealed about the person who hurt us or replenishes a relationship, but it does give us permission to be let loose from their control and reconciled with the one who is faithful at winning our battles for us––God. It gives us permission to let go of hurt and grab desperately onto God’s love.  If there is any love left in you, which I believe there is, I admonish you to pull from that place where the Spirit of God lives, forgive, and be FREE!

Your Sis,

Jameela

Body Goals, Gyms can Go

WOW, can you believe it?  We are in a new year already!  Where has the time gone? Like most people, the new year brings many resolutions, and one of those is, “I’m going to the gym.”  The first couple of months of the new year all gyms across the world see an increase in membership.  After that time, the number of gym goers dwindles down to the regular members, with only a few of the new members still going.  

Are you tired of buying a gym membership and not following through?  Tired of paying for a gym membership year after year, to find yourself not going after a couple of months?  Are you paying for a gym membership month after month after month and telling yourself, “I’m going tomorrow.  I paid for this membership.” But you never go?  If your answer is YES, keep reading. Here are 3 ways to reach your goals WITHOUT a gym membership.

ONE.

Use social media.  How?, you may ask.  Glad you asked. Social media is a great way to connect with people that are like-minded, people who have been where you are, people who can encourage and motivate you to reach your goals.   The best part of connecting with people through online communities is – IT’S FREE.  Who doesn’t like getting something for free?  You can find advice, encouragement, motivation, recipes, suggested workouts, and a community of people who will not judge you if you fall down.  

TWO.

Workout to videos on YouTube or cable TV stations, which are free and can add variety to your workouts. Consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program.

Check out these two YouTube channels that can help you reach your goals:

  • LBX FitnessThis channel has 30-day workouts men and women can do in the privacy of their home. The trainer shows participants how to do modified and full versions of the exercises.  This is one of my favorite channels.
  • Tiffany Rothe WorkoutsTry any of the following videos: Fabulous Fat Burning Workout, Waist Shrinking Tummy Tightening Workout, and Sexy Upper Body Workout.  My personal favorite is the 10-minute Booty Shaking Waist Workout.

THREE.

Start a walking group.  

Here are the steps (pun, intended).

  1. Create and post flyers to announce your meeting (or use social media to reach out).  Include time, location and a telephone number if you don’t mind taking calls.
  2. Get organized at your first meeting. Discuss how often to walk, time of day, days of the week to meet, location route, distance, and amount of time the group will spend per walk.
  3. Maintain your group’s momentum.  As the group leader, encourage the group to have a motivational meeting at least once a month
  4. Enjoy yourself.   The camaraderie you experience in a walking group can help you stay on track with walking for fitness.

Home Exercises

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Complete four times with no rest in between. (If you need to, please rest). After doing 25 high knees, standing in place go right into 25 jumping jacks.

25 jumping jacks

25 standing squats

25 high knees standing in place

 

Tuesday/Thursday

Complete five times with a 30-second rest between sets.  After completing your pushups take a 30-60 second rest and start again from the top. 

45 seconds fast jump rope

25 bicycle crunches (left elbow to right knee, right elbow to left knee = 1)

20 pushups (can be done on your knees or feet)

You can also buy a jump rope, 3-5 pounds (or higher) dumbbells, ankle or wrist weights to add to the video or suggested workouts above for more resistance. 

Now do you see how you can reach your goals without buying a gym membership? You can do this!

Zhivi Williams has over 30 years of experience in fitness. She is the founder of LBX Fitness and author of Who Needs a Gym? Her motto is “Transforming the body starts by renovating the mind.”  Follow her on her website at www.lbxfitness.com and on all social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube – at LBX Fitness.

911…Who’s Saving You?

If your 2017 has been anything like mine, I ran out of the year like a woman with her hair on fire. Now that the year has gotten underway, I don’t know about you, but I am living my BEST life this year! What is the BEST life you say? Your best life is living the life that God has for you. Your best life is the life without and limits that we often place on ourselves because of our past.

As women we are the first ones up in the morning, and the last ones to lay down. By the time we get to ourselves we have nothing left! It would be great if we could wake up tomorrow and already living where we want to live, have the things that we want to have and already making the moves we’ve promised ourselves we would make.

It takes WORK to live your best life! In order to live your best life, you will need a YES, a NO, and a RIGHT NOW. You need to say YES to God’s will for your life! This will be the hardest part. If you can do this, the rest will be easy. When you say yes to God you are openly acknowledging that his will is what’s best for you. You are getting out of the driver’s seat. Ultimately, you are allowing God to lead you and relinquishing your life over to him and trusting that he will get you where you have to go.

You need to say YES to yourself. Saying yes means that you are pulling yourself from the back burner and moving your desires, ideas, hopes and dreams to the front. You are making yourself a priority. Now I know, you have children, maybe grandchildren, and a husband. But let’s put our own oxygen mask on before you worry about putting on someone else’s.

After you have said YES to God and YES to yourself you need to say NO. To who? TO EVERYONE ELSE! We have to learn to say no to the responsibilities and obligations that others try to pass on to us. No, I can’t go to your event. No, I can’t take you to the store. I’m helping ME! Don’t deny yourself so you can feel better about yourself. Now that doesn’t mean we should be rude, offensive, or even dismissive to others. But we should look at the ratio of time we give others in comparison to the time we spend on ourselves. If we spend all of our time helping someone else with their dream when will we have the time, passion, patience or resources to see our dream into fruition?

Once we’ve gotten those out of the way then we can get to work. When will we write out our dreams and goals: RIGHT NOW. When will we put what God told us to do into practice: RIGHT NOW. When will we start the business plan: RIGHT NOW. it won’t happen overnight. It takes time, energy, effort, and patience. If you don’t live your life, it won’t get lived because no one else can live it for you. If you’re scared, so what; do it anyway. Feel like it’s too big, great. It probably is too big and that’s why you will need God’s help. How will you do it? Glad you asked, let me tell you:

 

  1. Spend time in prayer and ask God what his will is for you. When he tells you, write it down.
  2. Pray daily over the plan he gave you for your life. Seek him for how and when.
  3. Give yourself deadlines, this will help you stay on task.
  4. Pray about who you should and shouldn’t share your plans with, some will be encouragers and some will be investors. But be careful of those that are leeches, they only want to siphon the good and leave you with the rest.

It’s your time! 2018 is your year to live! You will love your family more, serve your church more, and love yourself more!

Corner Prayer:

Lord, thank you for bringing me into a new year! Thank you for what you have for me this year. Lord, help me to let go of the things that held me back, disappointed me, or didn’t go my way last year. Lord, renew my passion for the things that you promised me. Help me to seek you in a new way so that I can live my best life. The abundant life that Jesus came to give me. Help me to be a better mother, a better wife, and a better kingdom woman. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Womens Health: Cervical Cancer Awareness

It’s time to get back to some health education! January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month so let’s take some time to learn a little about cervical cancer facts, symptoms, causes and how to prevent it.

What is Cancer?

  • Cancer is a disease that allows the cells in your body to grow more than they normally would.

How is the Type of Cancer Determined?

  • The type of cancer is always named according to the body part that it starts in, even if it spreads to other areas.
    • If one has cervical cancer and it spreads to the lungs, she would say, “I was diagnosed with cervical cancer with metastasis (spread) to the lungs.” This person does not actually have lung cancer.

Facts and Stats:

  • All sexually active women are at risk for cervical cancer
  • Most cervical cancers are seen in women over 30 years of age
  • About 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,000 die from cervical cancer each year.

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

  • Many women don’t have symptoms. Those that do experience vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain/pressure.

Cause of Cervical Cancer:

  • Human papilloma virus (HPV) almost exclusively causes cervical cancer
    • HPV is a virus that is passed from person to person during sexual intercourse.
    • There are many types of HPV, with a handful that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
    • About 70 percent of sexually active individuals will have HPV in their lifetime; however, before it can cause abnormal pap smears or cancer, most women’s immune systems will fight off the virus to clear it from the body, just like a cold.
  • Other things that can increase the risk of cervical cancer
    • Smoking cigarettes
    • Having several sexual partners
    • Having health problems that decrease your immune system’s ability to fight viruses, like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Prevention of Cervical Cancer

  • Start young! Get your children vaccinated with the HPV vaccination
    • The vaccine protects from the types of HPV that most commonly cause cervical and vaginal cancers.
      • It can be given to girls and women, ages 9-26
      • It’s best given before becoming sexually active
      • There is great controversy about giving this vaccine as some parents believe that it will lead their children to believe they can become sexually active. I advise that you speak to your children about the topic and discuss your expectations. All in all, if a vaccination can prevent future cancer for your child, why not give it to her?
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit your sexual partners and use condoms
  • Get your normally scheduled pap smears (a cervical swab that tests for cells that can lead to cervical cancer) on time and follow up as recommended if you have an abnormal pap.
    • Many of the cervical cancers that I see are in women who haven’t had a GYN visit in 15-20 years.

Speaking of pap smears, are you a person that dreads your annual exams due to pap smears? No worries! They are no longer recommended every year! Checkout the current guidelines!

  • Starting getting pap smears at age 21, Continue every 3 years, until age 30, then every 5 years with HPV testing or you may continue every 3 years with just a pap smear alone.
  • Stop after having a hysterectomy if it is done for benign reasons (can’t be done for cancer or abnormal pap smears) or at the age of 65 if the last 3 paps were negative.

I hope this information finds you better informed. If I had to provide two take home points they would be: 1. Get your pap smears done on time! 2. Get your children the HPV vaccination! If there were a vaccine that could prevent breast, lung or colon cancer, etc, everyone would jump on it! Let’s work towards moving past our fear of the HPV vaccination and protect our youth from cervical cancer!

Until Next Time,

Dr. Jay

Mentoring: The Time is Now

2017 was the year many of us broke free, made momentum, and defined new trends of success within our families and our spheres of influence. When I look back from this new space I occupy this year, I realize that I’m grateful for the struggles I’ve endured because they’ve led me to appreciate my successes in ways that I never would have if I didn’t have obstacles to overcome. I’m sure you can say the same. Looking around at the women I call friends, I’m amazed at the accomplishments we’ve made. Some graduated as first generation college students. Some kicked addictions. Some stepped out on faith and opened new businesses, and others decided to persist until they saw their first six figure salary or a doctorate in hand.

What did you accomplish? I dare you to identify one thing you overcame, one success that surprised you, one moment that you questioned would ever come. Titus 2:4-5 encourages us to mentor others as women of God, and even though we’ve all found talking about our accomplishments to be rewarding, I’ve found that talking about who you’ve brought along to learn from your accomplishments is even more rewarding. Mentorship spreads hope and makes the accomplishments we achieve appear even more attainable in the eyes of those who lead lives much like our younger selves.

November 2017 brought news that shocked many of us across the world with the revelation that slave auctions in Libya are still active today, and many were shaken because the new knowledge brought a sense of hopelessness for how to fix the problem along with it for the average person. Would you be surprised to know that slavery is alive and active in the United States as well? Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, in which perpetrators use force, fraud, or coercion to manipulate and establish control over individuals who are exploited for profit. Here in Las Vegas, I meet girls and women who have been recruited, coerced, and forced into selling their bodies from small towns throughout the United States and beyond, and it’s scary to realize that modern day slavery has the potential to affect the women we call daughter, sister, niece, friend.

Lenore Jean-Baptiste is the Project Coordinator for Power ON!, a program in Las Vegas that provides youth that have been sex trafficked or are at high-risk to sex trafficking, mentorship by pairing them with community trained mentors. Lenore notes:

“Anyone that is trying to reach any level of success needs a mentor because mentors are the bridges to an individual’s next phase in life…Mentorship is vital to the community because it serves as an intervention piece that empowers a youth that has a life filled with problems, to living a life filled with promise.”

In honor of Anti Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Mentoring Awareness Month this January, let’s choose to mentor a younger sister(s) in our communities by consistently visiting a school to provide assistance, volunteering in a mentorship program, connecting with the youth in your church, or incorporating an internship program in your business. Mentoring matters. After all, could you imagine the possibilities that now define your life had it not been for someone that spoke into you, listened to you, or showed you the way during your time in need? Choose to pay it forward. Become the mentor you needed when you were in high school, when you nursed addictions, when you wondered if you would ever pay the bills. It matters. The quality of our world and the next generation of leaders depend on it.

Issa Bae Slay

We have something for the guys and girls this issue. Let’s be real, this special day is not only for the ladies. I’m sure, there are just as many men who feel left out when it comes to what to wear on this whirlwind day of love.

Casual Valentine– Meeting a friend or classmate for an early dinner or appetizers? This look is perfect for you. Dressing casual does not mean look boring,  bring your flare in a laid back manner.

 

  • Men- Don’t be afraid of mixing color or patterns!
  • Ladies- Bomber jackets are the bomb.com and add a level of coolness to anything.

 

 

After 5 Valentine– After 5 takes some planning! Maybe this is not the outfit you wore to work, but it’s definitely what you could make a quick change into after work.

 

  • Men- wearing a man’s scarf is super-hot right now! Wear it with a slim fitting shirt. Remove your suit jacket, add the vest and you are set to go.
  • Ladies- If you are pressed for time, black pants, a blouse, and a cute pair of heels are the easiest route to go.

 

 

 

Be Mine Valentine – What more can we say?

 

  • Men- take the time to pay attention to every detail, including your cologne. On this particular night, go for something light and not overwhelming.
  • Ladies- There is nothing classier than a woman who is a minimalist. Let the outfit make the statement, and the accessories and make up compliment it.

 

 

Saving Yourself

Have you ever thought about giving cheerfully to yourself? Change the way you think about saving and realize that it’s okay to give to yourself.

Sometimes the things we learn in church concerning money can have a negative impression on how money is viewed. Let’s review a couple of statements you may have heard. Money doesn’t buy happiness! For the love of money is the root of all evil! How do these statements make you feel when you read them? For real, take the time to think of what each statement means to you. Personally, they put me in the mindframe that money is evil and the demise of society, as we know it. On the other hand, one is encouraged to give cheerfully.  The Bible tells us, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:7). Let’s explore how financial stability can actually enhance your mood and establish ways to reward yourself, as well as the importance of creating and continuing a tradition of financial literacy amongst your family and friends.

Evidence suggests that a myriad of factors are more vital to our sense of personal and life satisfaction than money. But evidence has also been mounting that our economic situation — especially our level of economic security — does indeed have a lot to do with the degree of happiness we experience in our lives. Now, some interesting new research sheds additional light on the role our financial situation plays in how happy we are.

According to noted mathematical economist, Christian Bayer, and his colleague, Falko Juessen, having more money is indeed related to happiness, but not in the way anyone might first suppose. Money may not be the key to happiness, but our level of financial security does affect our emotional and psychological well-being. It appears that we’re most satisfied with our lives when we have some confidence that our level of financial comfort will increase steadily over time and that we won’t have to kill ourselves to maintain that increased comfort level.

Planning to splurge or setting a goal amount of funds to save can create happiness. Research literature reveals that we experience the strongest positive emotional response when we make progress on our most difficult goals. Psychology today states, “Progress on our goals leads to more positive emotions and more satisfaction with life.” It increases our well-being. In turn, positive emotions contribute to our motivation to act. This is a win-win situation if we can “just get started.” Verywell.com says that Goals matter. Setting the right goals, having a plan to reach those goals, and following through on what is required to reach or maintain those goals, can make the difference between having a happy, fulfilled life or not having a life at all.  

Pay it forward to the next. Once you save to save yourself, share it with anyone that will listen, especially if you have children or relatives that are close enough to see you go through the process and start a new tradition. Expound upon one of the golden rules about giving and CHEERFULLY SAVE YOURSELF!

BE_you_T_Ful Brows

Welcome Back Beauties!

Let’s say a little prayer before we get started. Why!? Because this subject is a sensitive one. What I will share with you is a very much needed aspect of our beauty regimen, yet it is often discounted as a cheap trick. When it’s not overlooked, let’s say, uuhhmm (clears throat) it can be handled with much disrespect and lack of care. What in the world are you talking about, you might ask? The Infamous Eyebrow!!! (dun dun dun).

Whilst everything we do when it comes to making up our faces can be regarded as a form of artistic expression, of particular note is the infamous eyebrow. There are feather brows, ponytail brows, squiggly brows colored/glitter brows, brow extensions, brow stamps/stencils…and on and on!! Our eyebrows come in different shapes, textures, colors and thicknesses, naturally. They change after years of waxing, plucking, threading and razors.  As we age, they can become thin, turn color, or be completely non-existent.

For daily use to help our small furry friends out, there are many items – powder, wax, dye, pencils, wiz, pomade, etc. Some of us use too many products, some too few, and others, none at all. This is a personal preference, of course. My concern lies in whether or not brow grooming is performed to the features of our face and eye shape. Eyebrows are NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL!! Let me repeat, Eyebrows are NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL.

As I have expressed in this column in the past, we all have different shaped faces, different shaped eyelids and guess what? Different shaped eyebrows. Whoa!… (gasps and bucks eyes here). Before any aesthetic treatment is applied to the brows, they must be the most complimentary to our face and appropriate to the eye shape that we all have been uniquely and individually blessed with. We must also remember that eyebrows are sisters, not twins. Just ask yourself this question, is any body part, eye, ear, leg, foot the exact same as the other? Ummmm, NO. So your eyebrows should not be. That does not mean they should look like lopsided distant cousins, but they should be very close in appearance once you’ve had them done.

Can you tell you how much I love the eyebrow?! And I’m always looking…lol.  Eyebrows have the ability to transport us from one era in time to another. They frame the face and can complete a makeup look (or look like something is missing). An eyebrow can bring us to complete horror or extreme laughter.

I’ll use myself as an example. I have been guilty of many beauty trends like the extremely thin eyebrow and the “overdone” eyebrow,  meaning my eyebrows didn’t meet in the middle and/or the tail of my eyebrow went all the way down to the corner or my eyes. I’ve had them too large or too dark for my small, hooded eyes. Forgive me!!  There are some trends that are better than others. I have changed eyebrow color based on the look I was creating. If it was a more natural look, I used more of a natural pencil color.  For a more creative look, I would use a darker color. Some looks are about personal preference. I absolutely never use black, ebony or granite on myself.  Granted, I have seen those colors work well on others. I have personally used all forms of eyebrow filler except dye. I must say that I am in love with eyebrow pencils. L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer is one of my most absolute favorites, and it is affordably priced.

As I’ve stated, everything here is largely my opinion and my personal preference, but I will add that I get quite a few compliments on my eyebrows. And some days I only fill them in, put on eyeliner and maybe add a strip lash.   With that said, I hope you will consider my opinions the next time you stand before the mirror to handle your eyebrows.

Here are a few tips for filling in brows and photos for one of my latest looks below.

1.  Brush with a spoolie brush prior to applying anything to them.

2. If the hairs in your eyebrows are long, you may need to trim them.

3. Use a firm angled brush for applying eyebrow defining concealer.  (Any other firm brush that you like is okay, as long as you have a steady hand). This is for use under the brow, and should match your skin color as closely as possible, especially if you aren’t wearing any other makeup. When applying a full face, the concealer color you use can be up to 2 shades lighter on your brow bone area.

 

Always remember to be a girl with hope, a lady with faith and a woman in love with the Lord!

Jason Fredericks: Life Goes On

Jason and Kevin Fredericks [source: Facebook]
I first learned about Jason Fredericks from viewing videos on YouTube such as “How To Shout In A Black Church” by the comedic group known as the Playmakers (consisting of Jason, his brother Kevin and their friend Anthony Davis).  Later on I became more acquainted with his individual style of comedy through a Periscope line up that he, Kevin and their friends Cheryce Thompson and Sheri Anderson would do when Periscope was a huge craze and Facebook/Instagram Live were ideas for the future. You may know him from social media as well or if you have ever conducted any scheduling for Kevonstage, chances are you have communicated with Jason. Jason Fredericks is much more than a comedian, a writer, a businessman and the brother of Kevonstage. He is a husband, father, basketball coach and a cancer survivor.

On July 12, 2017 Jason took to social media asking for prayer stating “I’m going in for a biopsy today. They are checking for a cancer in my bone marrow called Multiple Myeloma. If you see this post stop and say a quick prayer for your boy. Thank you. I appreciate it.” Twelve days later he shared an update that there was cancer found in his plasma and it was attacking his bones. He had stage three cancer and was looking at six months of chemotherapy treatments and a possible bone marrow transplant. But let’s rewind a bit and go behind the social media updates and find out exactly how things unfolded.

For months upon months Jason suffered from back pain. He sought professional assistance for his back pain from the chiropractor and massage therapist. He went to appointment after appointment and finally relief was occurring after a year. As life would have it, Jason and his son, Julian a.k.a. JuJu, were involved in a car accident. Due to complaints of headaches from his son they made a trip to the emergency room to be examined, as a precaution. He went to get a quick check up because of a car accident, but that quickly changed. After medical examination for both Jason and his son the doctor advised that Julian was well but expressed concern with Jason’s X-rays. Jason’s bones appeared as bones of a man sixty years of age or older. The doctor could see that Jason was not an elder gentleman but 37 years of age and wanted to do more examination on him. After additional X-rays and an MRI the doctor advised Jason that they needed to admit him to the hospital. At this point Jason grew curious of what was happening and asked the doctor if the situation was truly serious enough where hospital admission was necessary.

Jason receiving his treatment (photo courtesy of Jason Fredericks)

At that moment, in front of his son, Jason learned that the back trouble he was experiencing for over a year was due to his bones eroding and he could have cancer. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and unknown to him at the time, he was admitted to the oncology floor of the facility.

When asked about his initial reaction to his diagnosis Jason thought about his health practices and actions over the years. He stated “I questioned why it had to happen to me and I didn’t know how to deal with it.” Multiple Myeloma is not typically a form of cancer that young adults are diagnosed with, but more commonly diagnosed to older individuals. Jason, just as many others, was living his life with an understanding that life is what it is and he would do everything he could to make the best of it and eventually, one day when he is old God would take him on to heaven. With this bombshell announcement in his life he was now open to a new outlook on life.

Everyone handles things differently and when it came to how to handle this news he made a decision to share with his followers and friends via social media. It was not for attention. “I didn’t want it to be one of those things where something happened to me and later down the road people say it came out of the blue,” said Jason. He knew from the onset that there would be a testimony and from the moment he began to share on social media, in regards to his medical diagnosis, he received much more encouragement, testimonies and prayers than he anticipated and for that he is grateful.

Jason has pulled from his faith and scripture to help get him through this new journey. One scripture he referenced during the interview was Luke 22:42 when Jesus prayed for God to take the cup from him just before he was crucified and in his next breath a prayer of acceptance that if it was God’s will, so be it. Jason has grown to see Multiple Myeloma as his cross to bare and he will try his best to work through it. 

“It [cancer] has strengthened a lot my relationships with my family. It has put a lot of things in perspective of what matters and what doesn’t matter,”said Jason. His time with his wife, children and other family hold more value than it did before because he treats each moment as if it may be the last time that he can have with them. Not because he doesn’t believe he won’t live a long life, but because immortality is more of a reality to him now than it was before he received his diagnosis.

“I don’t understand why it had to happen to me, but I thank God for giving me the strength to endure everything that’s been going on with me.” While Jason wouldn’t choose to go through life with this experience, for whatever reason he is and he wants God to get the glory.

Terence Lester: Going Beyond the Walls

Terence Lester
[source: Facebook]
“I would tell anybody, to this day there are a lot of people doing philanthropic work. Is your heart in it? Can you do it when nobody is there? Can you do it when nobody shows up? Can you do it when you are only affecting one?” These are the things that drive Terence Lester to go on for his organization Love Beyond Walls day after day. His desire is to make sure that he is leaving a legacy that not only his children, but others will follow. He has witnessed people waste their lives being distracted by bad relationships, failed obstacles and other challenges. Terence is determined not to allow anything to distract him from striving on a daily basis to do all that he can to contribute to humanity.

In 2013 Terence Lester accepted the challenge to sleep on the streets and experience life like the homeless in his city during the Christmas holiday season. He took to social media sharing a gofundme campaign to raise money to launch his now flourishing organization, Love Beyond Walls. Love Beyond Walls is a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, GA and it was founded by Terence to be an aid to those who have ended up on the streets for reasons anywhere from job loss to runaways.

So exactly how does Love Beyond Walls operate? Well, some years ago, Terence met with mentors and he learned that every organization or company focuses on data. He wanted to do something where his measures of data were not focused on the number of volunteers or donations but his success was about reaching one person and making a difference in their life. Every life is important. While speaking Terence referenced the scripture Matthew 18:12 when Jesus mentions a shepherd who will leave 99 sheep to search for one. That is Terence’s focus today, reach one, and he believes that if his measure marks were not different from other organizations he would have quit a long time ago.

#HireMark [source: Instagram]
This was recently proven through a campaign that was led by Terence and Love Beyond Walls using the hashtag #HireMark. Love Beyond Walls has helped a ton of people over the years. Mark’s story was that he was adopted as a child, ended up in corporate America and became homeless. Terence promised Mark that if he went the distance that he would do the same in return to get him employed. Terence wanted to show Mark the power of collective support and how many people would be able to identify with Mark’s story. Mark was involved with volunteering with Love Beyond Walls and in turn they kept Terence’s promise. They helped Mark gather all of his identification documents, connect with family, and moved forward with the campaign. It was launched using the hashtag and Terence stood with Mark wearing a sign with the words “Hire Mark” painted on giant boards hanging over his shoulders. Mark was recently hired back into corporate America, moved into a housing space and open a bank account in less than a month from the campaign launching thanks to social media and word of mouth. This was a successful outreach for one but it affected thousands. That’s the magic of Love Beyond Walls.

Love Beyond Walls
Map18
[source: Love Beyond Walls Website]
Love Beyond Walls is gearing up for it’s next campaign known as MAP18 (March Against Poverty 2018). You may recall seeing Terence in the media during MAP16 when he walked from Atlanta to our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. This year Terence will begin walking on March 3rd from the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN. Terence should arrive in Memphis by April 4th. The day he is set to arrive will be the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.  The focus this year is to bring attention to poverty and racial division in honor of Dr. King and two of the triple evils that Dr. King marched for during his life. This is a way to bring people together in a non-violent way. They have the endorsement of the NAACP as well as the SCLC. Terence believes this march will be one of the most historic campaigns that Love Beyond Walls has participated in.  The campaign will be turned into a documentary film on racial reconciliation. “It will be creating the moral courage that we need,” said Terence. He believes this is something that america desperately needs. If you would like to learn more about MAP18 or Love Beyond Walls and how you can help visit their social media (@lovebeyondwalls) and website.

 

Crystal Perkins Trusting God with Goals

A little over 2 years ago I was scrolling through my timeline on Facebook and came across a video of a young woman sharing her testimony of God answering her prayers and blessing her family with a vehicle from a total stranger. That woman was none other than the Faithful Chics founder and owner, Crystal Perkins. After watching that video I was encouraged as a woman of faith and an entrepreneur and began following her and her brand. So, when she accepted our invitation to be interviewed for this issue of Nouveau Exposure I was ecstatic. If you aren’t following her, you need to! She truly is a faith filled chic and involves God in every aspect of her life.

– Only God Can Do It –

Crystal’s testimony of God bringing her through trials and tribulations may sound a bit cliche,` but it is the truth. Several years ago she had lost her father and grandfather and her family began experiencing hardship after hardship from losing employment to losing their home. On top of that her marriage was on the verge of divorce. Crystal and her husband have known each other since 9th grade but married life wasn’t coming to them as the union they hoped it would. Things were rocky. One day she was driving and talking to God and she heard God speaking to her saying he was going to restore everything that she lost and what he required of her was not to give up and to share her testimony with everyone she came in contact with. At the time she couldn’t see it happening because she and her husband were a dark space in their lives. In Spite of that, she pulled over immediately and called her husband to share with him what God had given her saying, “We can not give up, God wants to use all of this for his glory.” They made the choice to fight for their marriage.

Their fight wasn’t physical or mental, it was spiritual. Counseling sessions didn’t really work for them. They realized that they had to find themselves in Christ before they could work on healing their marriage. As they learned to pray with each other and open up the line of communication between them by offering vulnerability they began to see a change in their marriage. These changes taking place in their individual lives and their marriage was the foundation for God to begin to bless them and open doors that he had promised.

– Faithful God –

Faithful Chics Boutique Arkansas Location

Crystal eventually began Faithful Chics while working as a counselor for those who were blind or visually impaired. Her days typically consisted of her having her time with God, going to work, coming home to prepare dinner, spending quality time with her daughter and husband and as they shut down for the night she was working on anything related to Faithful Chics from design and planning to packaging and shipping. While her days and nights were long and full, she loved her job and she loved her business/ministry.

One of her coworkers shared a word with her that God revealed to them that her ministry was growing so fast and she was going to have to make a decision soon about pursuing it full time. After some time God began to reveal those same things to her and before she knew it she found herself at work one day hearing the voice of the Lord say that she could not return to work the next day. With tears in her eyes and an obedient spirit she began packing her personal items and went to let her boss know that she would not be returning after the day was over. She received her confirmation during that conversation. Her boss let her know that at the time when Crystal began working for the organization they were losing faith in God and it was ignited seeing Crystal’s faith in action and witnessing her relationship with God. While Crystal thought her assignment was having the job to be there for her clients and the favor of being able to grow and operate her business while working, for her boss it was to inspire them to renew their faith in God.

The next morning after leaving her job she logged into her website for Faithful Chics and said “Here I am God.” Two weeks later she received a call from a new outlet mall in her area in Arkansas. They found her company on the internet, loved her brand and wanted to offer her space at the mall. She opened a kiosk located outdoors during early fall of 2015. She prayed to God for an indoor location due to the weather changing and God allowed her to have her first indoor location by November of 2015. Later her company left indoor location at the mall for her own storefront location by January of 2016 known as the Faithful Chics Boutique. Crystal remembers thinking “If I would have stayed at my job, I would have missed out on all of this.”

Her ministry and business began growing and thriving. Faithful chics boutique was not your average store. Part of the policy to open the store was to pray and worship before the doors opened. The boutique became a sanctuary for customers. They were welcome to come there and be free to talk about their struggles, be emotional, pray, worship and more. Crystal was witnessing the promise God gave her from years prior coming to past.

-On to the Next –

When it comes to what God has in store for the Perkins family you should always be waiting for more. By spring of 2017 Crystal announced via social media that God had given them the assignment of uprooting from Arkansas and moving to Georgia. It wasn’t a real surprise to Crystal for God to have them do this. God had already shown her in visions that a move was going to occur and as she put it, “Every time he [God] gives me a vision about something, it happens.”

 

Perkins Family

 

Because of her faith and obedience she was ready to move. She admits that it was hard to leave family and let go of the boutique. She prayed and prayed for God to make a way for the store to remain open. It wasn’t for the financial benefit of having a physical store versus an online presence and pop up shops but for the customers who loved the environment of the store and all that it offered as a sanctuary to them. Finally God answered her saying if she could not let go of the boutique then it had become an idol to her. After that she stopped trying find ways to keep it open and followed God’s instruction. It was an emotional process leaving everything that they knew, but she and her family came to terms with separating from everything they loved about Arkansas to establish residency in the Atlanta, Georgia.

 

The transition itself was easy. Crystal has experienced God’s provision for the vision over and over. He hasn’t failed her yet and she doesn’t doubt for one second that he will. While they don’t have a physical store in Georgia at this time God has provided for them in other areas from blessing them with their place of residence to their ministry and business continuing to thrive. At this time their residence is the operating site for Faithful Chics but they are bursting at the seams and currently praying for the best location to launch their boutique in a new city. She believes a physical location is in their future within the next six months to a year. In the meantime Crystal has launched a new opportunity for individuals to become licensed to sell Faithful Chics apparel. Along with the licensing they will be receiving one one one coaching sessions with Crystal and tools to help them become successful entrepreneurs. She and her staff received and reviewed over 200 applications and recently contacted the first group that was selected for this experience. Be on the look out, you may have a licensed seller in your area to see for all of your Faithful Chic Apparel.

 

Crystal has not allowed herself to be defined only by the label of her company Faithful Chics. She is branching out and becoming a serial entrepreneur by launching her latest business, God and Goals. God and Goals is a consulting company founded by Crystal to show other entrepreneurs how to move forward in business with hard work, perseverance and faith. She didn’t start doing this out of thin air. She began doing faith and purpose consultations a couple of years ago. But God began to pour into her and show her how to develop God and Goals. Her desire is to teach others to keep God at the forefront, pray over their business and seek God with decision making. God and Goals is the tool to allow her to accomplish that desire. There are services for the general public to sign up to receive and membership perks as well. Services not only involve consultations, but also include branding and marketing assistance, workshops, brand audits, and access to apply for scholarships and grants.

 

There is a special customer that Crystal has been serving lately and that is her beautiful daughter. Crystal’s daughter Kennedy (8 years old) has already come to her parents on her own with a business plan and a mission. She has witnessed her parents apply faith and hard work for their businesses and she is taking notes for her own endeavors. It will not come easy. Her parents are teaching her to that the development of a brand and business takes time. She recently did chores to earn funds to have a logo created and moving on to the next step. Talk about legacy!

– Penny For Your Thoughts –

Crystal did share a few words of wisdom with us for someone who may be going back and forth with making the decision to launch a business. “There is never a perfect time. The right time is when God confirms that it’s the right time.” She has learned from experience that life is never going to stop and when God gives a vision and confirms it, it is time to fulfill it. “You need to literally drop everything and be obedient. I obey God flat out. I don’t try to negotiate with God. I do it.”  if you only take one thing away from reading this, Crystal hopes that it’s to make sure that your dreams/goals are aligned with God’s will. Remember in all the hustle and bustle of making business decisions to keep God at the forefront of all decision making. And last but not least, stay humble.Increase, influence, prosperity comes in stay hungry, don’t get so comfortable that you feel like you have reached the final level of success. You should never stop growing, never stop grinding and never stop working hard.