Womanista Exclusive: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Pro Lindsay Arnold Dishes on David Ross, Her Diet and Married Life

Earlier this month, I got a chance to catch up with Dancing With the Stars pro, Lindsay Arnold for an exclusive feature with Womanista! In my first interview, we dished about the show and the controversies following this season. In my second interview, we explore more of the lighter side of performing, along with family life, wellness routines and more.

While you’re at it, check out Lindsay Arnold’s Womanista Approved Influencer picks, where the Utah native outlines her favorite things from beauty to entertainment to fitness and more, that you must have!

Womanista Exclusive: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Pro Lindsay Arnold Dishes on David Ross, Her Diet and Married Life

As one of the youngest professional dancers in Dancing With the Stars history, Lindsay Arnold is conquering the dance world and showing no signs of slowing down with every step, swing and cha-cha.
With a little more than half a million followers on social media and dancing her way victoriously to the title of top five finalists for three consecutive seasons, Arnold is clearly one to watch.
In her fifth season as a pro, the 23-year-old is hitting the dance floor this spring with former Chicago Cubs player, David Ross. But as she tells Womanista in an exclusive sit down, practice doesn’t come easy as there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes with travel and rehearsal time.
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Womanista Exclusive: Lindsay Arnold Reveals Who Might Be Partner David Ross’ Competition on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

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Last week, I had the honor and privilege to chat with Dancing With the Stars pro, Lindsay Arnold for an exclusive interview with Womanista! She is such an incredibly easy-going, friendly and bubbly person—it was a lot of fun to write up and showcase her bright personality. If you are watching the hot ABC show every Monday night, you will have noticed that the 23-year old is burning up the dance floor this season with former Chicago Cubs player, David Ross. The two are sensational and really setting a bar for the season’s competitors. I’m rooting for both of them and cannot wait to see how the rest of this 24th season unravels.

In our exclusive, Lindsay dished not just on the show, its competitors and her rituals before every performance, but shared what her World Series-winning partner really means to her. Check out the first interview in our Lindsay Arnold exclusive, only at Womanista! (Also, check out her Womanista Approved Influencer picks, where the Utah native outlines her favorite things from beauty to entertainment to fitness and more, that you must have!)

Womanista Exclusive: Lindsay Arnold Reveals Who Might Be Partner David Ross’ Competition on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

With its 24th season well underway, Dancing with the Stars is on fire and one dancer burning up the ballroom this year is none other than bubbly and congenial Utah-native, Lindsay Arnold.
Last week, Arnold and her partner, former Chicago Cubs player, David Ross hit the dance floor for the show’s first-ever Vegas night, full of 11 Sin City-inspired routines that included everything from the samba to the foxtrot.
While the pair performed a sexy “Magic Mike Live” number as a jazz routine much to Ross’ apprehension, Arnold, ever the encouraging teacher with a heart as glittery as the Mirrorball, knew he had it in the bag. The two earned 31 points that night — his highest of the season and an accolade she is incredibly proud of.
“That is truly my favorite part of being on the show — the rewarding moments where I see how much my student has learned,” Arnold said. “It means a lot that I have had such incredible partners who respect me as a coach and trust me to be their teacher.”
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“One Is Not Born a Woman, But Becomes One…”

“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” — Michelle Obama

Happy International Women’s Day to all the fearless, kindhearted young girls and women who work hard to empower others and inspire change! No matter who you are, where you are in life or who you are with, never forget how strong, capable, beautiful and important you are. You deserve better and you definitely deserve to know you are worth more than what you believe.

Acclaimed French writer and novelist, Simone de Beauvoir’s words are inspiring as she shares, “One is not born a woman, but becomes one.” It is hard to be a grown-up, but it is even harder to be a women in today’s world. Left, right and center, women are taken advantage of by those in power, hurt by those who choose to lie, and left behind due to a society’s insecurity. de Bouvier made note that while we are not born anything in this life, we only come into our own when we meet with circumstances that arm us through stronger knowledge of the world around us and the relationships we form. Everything we are at this moment is the upshot of the choices we make, whether good or bad. We don’t just create our own values and morals based on what we feel empowers us — we create our identities and who we are at this very instant in existence.

I have known women who have been cheated on, I have seen women who have been disrespected in the workplace, and I have seen women struggle to get where they want to be. But what is holding you back? If things are horrible and circumstances point to desolation, heartbreak and a continuous stream of failure, what makes you think you deserve the life you are leading right now? You are your own person and no one can take that away from you. Be bold for change and know you are worth more than you give yourself credit for.

While women should be celebrated every day and honored with respect by each and every one of us, today is the one day we take out as a familial unit in the world to celebrate women and the amazing progress, change and impact we have each made in this world. When speaking from the heart, I can say I’ve been blessed in my life with an abundance of inspiring female role models, from my two grandmothers, my mother and sister, to my amazing friends and remarkable team of Womanistas.

Some are mistaken and think today is just for women, but it’s quite the contrary. Though we honor women, the bright, intellectual male is also one who understands that an equal society benefits both men and women, and that toxic ideas of masculinity and sexism hurt all of us. I have seen a positive attitude of feminism from my father every day who raises my sister and I to be strong-willed and defiant in the face of adversity, and in past instances with my best friend, who held his mother, sister and grandmother to great reverence. The support from these two intellectual men alone and how they honor the women in their life with such love, respect and trust raises hope that as a society, we can and will do better when it comes to gender disparity. 

As a society when we work together, we enhance each other and open up dialogue for positive attitudes and increased action. So here’s to the strong women: may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them. Amen. 

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.” — Melinda Gates

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Top: H&M
Jacket: “Neelam Jacket” by Wilfred Free from Aritiza
Jewelry: Dogeared
Lipstick: Bobbi Brown, Luxe Lip Color in “Red Berry”

Travel Guide: 24 Hours in South Bend

South Bend is a blossoming Midwestern city that offers just about everything for the thriving millennial. As someone who has had the privilege of visiting this great metropolitan more often than usual, it’s unmistakable that this northern Indiana city has it all.

As a city that changes noticeably with every season and flourishes with a congenial beauty, South Bend is a busy metropolitan featuring places that excel in culture and history, novel spots that serve unique food and drinks, and crowds that are warm and friendly. While it’s recommended you spend a lengthy amount of time in this charming Midwestern municipality, we share some popular ideas to check out when you have got just 24 hours to spare in the Bend.

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Autism 101: Effective Ways to Help Your Child Communicate and Thrive

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One of the most humbling parts about my job is getting to know people through their profession. A little before New Year’s Eve, I had the pleasure of chatting with Christine Guth of the Asperger Autism Group of Goshen for an assignment on autism. As someone who was not very familiar with the developmental disability prior to this interview, I was really blown away by Guth’s knowledge. The community leader with more than 10 years of experience not only lends support to parents and their children on the autism spectrum, but is a remarkable individual whose very insight derives from being a mother to two children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, in addition to being the wife to her husband also on the spectrum.

She is a testament to good character and as someone who gained quite a bit of knowledge on the subject, it is evident how appreciated she is when helping parents and children prosper through this condition. While I have had my fair share of thoroughly researched articles that broaden the dialogue on awareness, this is definitely one of my favorites. I was very pleased to see how this particular piece turned out as Guth shared tips with Womanista readers this past January to help make life a bit easier at home.

Womanista | Autism 101: Effective Ways to Help Your Child Communicate and Thrive

If you have a child on the autism spectrum, you might find yourself wondering how to effectively improve their communication and life skills. While early intervention is the key in treating autism, a condition that affects one in 68 children in the U.S., it’s hard to prepare yourself for what’s to come if you’re unsure on how best to help them.
Described as a “developmental disability” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism causes substantial social, communication, and behavioral challenges, and is 4.5 times more common in boys than girls. But since the condition varies from person to person, it can be hard to get the “right” advice and relief. Thankfully, there are tried and tested tips to help make life easier thanks to support groups across the country.
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Bar Guide: South Bend, Indiana

South Bend is the type of Midwestern city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re all dressed up or aiming for something more casual, this northern Indiana city’s growing nightlife has it all. You might not think it, but it’s definitely one that’s been thriving in recent years.

In addition to being a growing metropolitan city rich in history and a firm foodie scene, one of South Bend’s finest assets is its bar scene, thriving with some of the best pubs and dive bars in and around the city. From places that excel in serving their drinks straight up, to novel spots that throw in dancing or fantastic bar eats, we share some of the best bars in South Bend.

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Bar Guide: Elkhart County, Indiana

There’s a lot to love about Indiana, but there’s even more to love about the heartiness and innovation of its northern regions. From small businesses making big waves with delicious restaurants and decadent dessert spots that capture our undivided attention, there’s no denying that with a fall chill in the air, it’s the perfect time to start warming up and hitting our favorite cocktail and bar spots.

Thanks to the beautiful charm of small towns like Goshen, Elkhart and Middlebury, it’s time to skip the metropolitan jungles of this beautiful state and tap into some of our favorite cities in northern Indiana that serve novel and classic drinks for those looking to indulge in a spot rich in history, arts and a vibrant foodie culture that is burgeoning.

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Reflections in the ‘Bend’

During a very serene and introspective moment last week in snowy old South Bend, I had the opportunity to reflect on my life in a quiet, barren city. As previously mentioned on his birthday, the winter season tends to be a hard one for me. Where do all the memories go when a relationship breaks? Why is it easier for some and not others? More importantly, how did he manage to forget in an instant? I wish he could tell me. Incessant thoughts worth six years are cast into words as nothing, yet become immense distractions that keep you wide awake wondering where it all went wrong.

This month has been interesting and in some ways, emotional. I don’t really know what to say except there are aching moments when I miss him still and it gets hard knowing in this great big place, he sleeps soundly without a single toss and turn. While I had been up north that week to meet up with family, I got a chance to walk the lone chilly sidewalks and really catch a glimpse of my place in this great big world—or in this case, state.

While watching It’s A Wonderful Life tonight (also known as, one of my all-time favorite films), I thought back to that moment in South Bend as I walked beautifully dusted sidewalks. If I never loved who I did and the way I did, I don’t think I could be who I am today, where I am today. In every understanding of my own life, I can proudly say now that I am content with myself and who I am because in every ounce of pain felt from these past six years and more so in these last two, I know who I am and my purpose in this world now. We don’t always get the dream house, but we get pretty close. And if I happen to tread a Kathleen Kelly kind of life sans Joe Fox (“I am a lone reed”), that’s alright because it’s better to be alone than in a relationship that makes you feel alone. Relationships have shown me that you don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life. As long as you are content with yourself and are true to that person you see in a window’s reflection, you are never completely alone.

Call it a holiday miracle or what you will, but those wintry streets opened my eyes and made me realize I have never felt more at home than I am when I am in Indiana. I have always loved this state and continue to, even though sometimes and especially in the past two years, memories sneak up and cast a shadow of doubt on my worth. These thoughts force you into a train of thinking falsified by fear and doubt, and make you think you don’t belong anywhere, especially where your heart feels more at peace. But those thoughts are nothing compared to what you truly feel deep down in your gut and the world you build for yourself. As I’ve lived my hardest in these past two years by working off my gut, living my truth and driving forth from passion, I don’t think I’ve ever belonged more in one place than I do today. Whether in Indy or South Bend, Goshen or Muncie, my soul in some odd way just feels a consistent concord no matter where I am in Indiana.

While work has given me immense strength and has been a helpful toll in fulfilling voids felt by loss, I have learned so much more about my heart and its honesty than I ever imagined. Every moment lived through this beating chest has taught me how important every step I take is to my life and the lives of others. I have been through rough patches along this path, but have learned every good thing you do with your whole heart, every ounce of love you put forth, it all makes a difference no matter how hard it is to see at first. While he might be moving on and is happier than can be, I have come to accept that nothing is ever conceived in vain even if things go awry. I have loved with my whole heart and still do, and I will not regret that even as I walk lonely sidewalks in a hushed city.

Tonight I count my blessings for that which I had, that which I have, that which I will receive and that which God has prepared me for. These past few years have proven to me that living an honest life built off love, passion and self-trust is a great way to understand your worth and reiterate that no heart is ever broken in vain. It might have been hard to understand during those months of crying to sleep and trying so hard to fathom why something so internal, so deep within you, a piece of your identity, could be shattered almost instantly as if there was no barrier to begin with. But over the course of time, if that broken heart was sincere and truthful, it grows stronger and allows you to see right through who you are to help you figure out your purpose and meaning.

I miss him. I love him. Some nights will be hard. Some days in northern Indiana will be harder, but I have come to accept that now because God doesn’t give you what you can’t handle.

“All you take with you is that which you’ve given away.”

#HBD: 6 Wishes

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Winter tends to be a hard season for me. While I have been blessed in this past year to really dive deep into work and solidify my career as a writer—my utmost desired passion—things start to slow down as the new year approaches and memories start to creep in. Most times and in the tune of Talking Heads, these memories can’t wait though. As I skate through this season with my head held up, time gains on me and creates thin ice along the way, revealing memories that have lain dormant for months. Yet, lately they have begun to push at the door of my reality and send me in a tailspin that takes nights of mourning into my pillow to just get over. But letting that grief out doesn’t work, and it’s as if all that progress from months ago and just letting go has been lost all thanks to a season that beams as bright as it twinkles.

It’s a season governed by reclusiveness, where activities are fed to dormancy and our life becomes still, indwelling and most often silent. Like many others though, I think a lot during this season about my life, the people in it and the people who are no longer with us. Since the start of winter, I have stilled my soul, quieted my mind to the important bits that matter to my living, but every time I come up for air from this abyss, I find myself hitting a slope deeper into darkness all because I think about him.

B. (more…)

Roman à Clef: September 2016

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With the heat soaking through the ceramic to her cold fingertips, she held the hot mug of black tea firmly in her hands. In some way, the warmth calmed her nerves as she watched him focus his gaze out the window. Though they had been meeting every month since what he shared with her in April, she was nervous to see him again. Especially after their argument during the peak of summer about his message.

He turned his head and smiled faintly. While she wouldn’t have known the other side of it, his visit that included pounding down her door in July was more for the painful void felt in his bones, than the arduous hunger he had for every part of her in May.

“You’re wearing the scarf,” he said softly.

She looked down at her chest, nervously adjusting the scarf as if to cover her breasts and smiled. “Yeah, it’s one of my favorites — Redneck Riviera,” she said through a scoff.

“Redneck Riviera,” he laughed. “Dangerous, but it was worth it. You look nice.”

She nodded her head as if to hurriedly agree. “Are you alright?”

“Did I ever tell you about that trip?” he asked.

“To the shores last year?” she replied. (more…)

Desserts Guide: Goshen, Indiana

Earlier this April, I made my first trip up to Goshen thanks in part to my dad’s work. Though my initial trip was short, it was incredibly sweet and very memorable. While I’ve had the chance to better explore it this summer, there is so much to see in this beautiful northern city and I absolutely love it! This past month, I had a chance to share some of my favorite restaurants from my visits over the last few months from a kind, warm place aptly called “Maple City” (Canadian connection, eh?) and one that shares my birthday digits—46528—boom, kismet! But today, I want to share some of my favorite dessert spots that I’ve been frequenting since the spring. Check them out at The Hudsucker!

The Hudsucker | Desserts Guide: Goshen, Indiana

Goshen, Indiana may be a vibrant and artsy city with a bustling foodie scene of delightful restaurants, but these Hoosiers are real dessert lovers at heart. Sure, three square meals packed with innovation in gorgeous entertainment hubs are an incredible asset in charming tourists and inhabitants, but dessert and an affinity to the sweet life is where it’s at in this Midwestern community nicknamed “The Maple City.”
With autumn fast approaching and the leaves changing, there’s no better way to celebrate these last dog days of summer than by indulging in our favorite desserts in this bright and beautiful city. Between brownies and homemade ice cream, to chocolate chip cookies and gorgeous sugar cream pies, there’s no denying that we absolutely love dessert because truthfully, it’s the best part of any meal.
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location: elkhart, indiana

“Time takes all and gives all.”
Giordano Bruno

Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts about life and the circumstances we find ourselves in. You can learn a lot from your past and the choices you made when you aren’t so busy denying each and every one of them. But in life we have a horrible thing called “fear” and fear often permeates through every choice we make because of our incessant need to not be alone, to not live out a history, or live an ideal that promises happiness if we compromise ourselves. Yet, that is not how life works. Cowards always avoid difficulty and choose denial to steer through situations that are less than what they perceived for themselves. Such spineless attitudes that stem from a rose-colored perception is a sign of disbelief and broken faith. God help those who cannot help themselves.

Image Credit: Martinsky on Tumblr

Restaurant Guide: Goshen, Indiana

There’s a beautiful charm about small towns that captures the attention of everyone. With Indiana celebrating their bicentennial this year, it’s time to skip the urban jungles of this beautiful state and tap into what is one of the most “sweetest” cities in northern Indiana. Nicknamed “The Maple City” and known for its Amish country, Goshen, Indiana is rich in history, while booming with a vibrant arts and culture scene.

As one of my favorite cities and a spot I’ve been frequenting often, this central stop along the beautiful Heritage Trail is a magnet for creative minds who want a bit of wholesome Americana with a twist. From specialty boutiques to cozy cafés, Goshen is alive with a delicious restaurant scene that is not only one of a kind, but perfect for a night out on the town.

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Roman à Clef: May 2016

South Bend, Indiana

Whipping her hair in his face, she tossed her head back as she felt his warm chest heaving against her back. Removing his slender fingers gently from her inner thigh, he kissed her on the neck as she placed her hand on the back of his head, tangling her fingers in his dark combed hair. The two sat in the driver seat breathing heavily as they stared straight ahead at the empty parking lot.

“I should have opened the windows,” he smirked.

Holding the steering wheel of his dark SUV for support, she slid off his lap and into the passenger seat, grabbing her stuff off the vehicle’s floor.

“It’s not that stuffy in here,” she said with a grin as she buttoned the top of her dress. Turning to look at him, she placed her hand on the side of his face and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “I should get going—it’s a long drive back for me.”

“I’m sorry about earlier,” he said in a soft voice as he zipped up his pants. (more…)

Starbucks to Add a Spring in Your Step With Its Newest Menu

With spring officially here and warmer days ahead, Starbucks is celebrating the excitement of a new season in more ways than one — and we couldn’t be more happy!

Starbucks has been our go-to for years and this season, they are stepping up their game with a plethora of menu items we cannot wait to get a hold of.

After announcing its limited-edition pastel cups featuring whimsical illustrations inside blank white circles for the blossoming season, the Seattle-based coffeehouse just released a plethora of delicious new menu items, teas and a cold brew that is sure to satisfy your coffee and snack addiction this summer.

In honor of a new season and thanks to their consumers’ evolving tastes, Starbucks said in a press release that they are expanding their menu with new food items guaranteed to fuel the warmer days ahead.

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How to Co-Parent Like an Adult and Make Life Way Easier Without the Crazy

Relationships are hard, but divorce can be much harder. As an ugly beast filled with a wide-range of emotions and a dose of bitterness, divorce can present some frustrating challenges for couples — like co-parenting.

While both parents are often caught in a cycle of retaliation due to the mental and emotional harm each has inflicted on the other due to doubt, irreconcilable differences or infidelity, they often don’t understand how their actions can actually affect their child’s life.

A report from CBS News found children living in single-parents homes marred by divorce were not only twice as likely to develop serious psychiatric illnesses and addictions later in life, but were more likely to feel insecure, unloved and unimportant.

Though divorce might be the only solution for some couples, there are several ways to effectively co-parent without life getting crazy. We might look towards celebrities as models who undergo starry steps for ‘conscious uncoupling,’ but the key is to be effective role models to your children in the most hostile of relationships for the betterment of their positive environment.

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5 Reasons People Stay in Bad Relationships, According to Science

We’ve all seen the situation and it baffles you to the core: a spouse cheats on their partner, yet they remain the happy quintessential couple on your sunny neighborhood block. All looks normal on their relationship horizon, but a month or two later pass, and you hear they are heading on vacation, moving to a new home, or what is subjectively worse — have a baby with the intent to “save” their marriage.

Yikes. What could possibly pressure someone to want to stay in a relationship so deceitful after years of emotional abuse and distrust? Well, for one, you should know that it isn’t easy. While many reach a point of no return and cut ties, that’s not the case for everyone — and if you must know, weakness or strength does not come into play. It should be noted with great veneration that all relationships are hard and none are textbook.

While divorce can empower spouses to create opportunities for your family to do the right thing, staying in a bad marriage is a real adversity that harms mental and emotional health. Though staying in a relationship can be seen as puzzling, psychologists prove that there is real, scientific motive couples stay in bad relationships.

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6 Trendy Alternatives to ModCloth You Must Check out This Spring

Last Friday, Walmart announced in a press release that they had recently acquired trendy online retailer, ModCloth as part of their marketing tactic to take on online giant, Amazon.

While ModCloth will remain a stand-alone online merchant, independent designers who currently sell their exclusive collections on ModCloth will gain the chance to expand their reach as per the release.

It might seem odd for some customers to understand Walmart’s motives, but in recent years they have been working hard to attract younger and more affluent shoppers. But alas, like every sort of merging of businesses, this might prove a bit challenging for the American giant as customers of indie seller ModCloth are not too happy about the recent acquisition.

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5 Romantic Spring Date Ideas Guaranteed to Blossom Your Relationship

After being curled up on the couch for months with Netflix and cozy blankets, we are happy to announce that spring has almost sprung. And with a new season of color and life comes ample opportunity to crawl out of our place of hibernation and soak in the beauty of a fresh new season.

Aside from shedding our sweaters, boots and scarves, the weather beckons for us to really start living again—and with that renewal of life comes time for couples to revel in warm weather. After all, flowers aren’t the only things that blossom!

Whether you two have weathered through the seasons together or are celebrating April showers and May flowers for the first time, these date ideas will add a much needed spring in your romantic step.

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6 Surprising Reasons You Should Take a Nap Every Day

In an age of immediacy and promptness, naps have a pretty bad reputation. For years, many have seen them as way out of a high stakes project or a continuous form of lethargy, but news flash: napping isn’t just for children anymore. And if we are being honest, kids are definitely benefiting from naps.

Whether you’re sleep deprived or just looking for a way to relax during the day, research suggests the rhetoric built around napping is kind of old-fashioned. In fact, numerous studies boost an array of benefits for napping every day that include helping to boost your memory, reduce stress, and enhance your productivity.

In case you hadn’t noticed post-Daylight Saving Time because you might be a tad tired, today is National Napping Day! If you are feeling a bit groggy from losing that extra hour of sleep that winter so warmly provided, we outline a few benefits of why napping is so awesome and help you on your way to an afternoon siesta.

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