inspiration

“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”

How to Reach Success Using Creative Visualization

If you want to succeed, you have to believe you can. You might think about being successful and reaching your goals all the time, but our life and the circumstances we find ourselves in often have another plan for us every single day. In case you didn’t know, what you usually think up is what you ultimately become. It might sound a little daunting, but with the way the universe is, whatever you choose to concentrate on is what you have the power to attract. Meaning, the more you visualize a goal, the more you can accomplish it.

Regarded as a powerful technique to help you transform your life, creative visualization is a key component in helping you use your imagination and dreams to affect more positive changes in your life. It might sound a lot like Aladdin rubbing a magic lamp and making a wish, but it is a natural process that pushes us to become the architect of our lives as we attract success and prosperity in our lives.

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Here’s to the Ones Who Dream: Essential Life Lessons From ‘La La Land’

Bursting onto the big-screen with a high note of retro glamour, glitz and style, La La Land is one of the most daring original movie musicals in a long time. In addition to vibrantly illustrating stylized trimmings of Hollywood musicals from the ‘40s and ‘50s blended with an ardent Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers flair, it’s no wonder this breathtaking, heartfelt homage to silver screen classics is one of the best films of 2016.

Winner of seven Golden Globes, recipient of 11 BAFTA nominations and soon to be the expected winner at the 89th Annual Academy Awards for Best Picture, La La Land is not just any musical though with beautiful costumes and twirling. It’s a luscious and vivacious look into the world of dreamers who power through reality to accept change.

Following the lives of two dreamers, La La Land is quick to highlight its character-based plot with two artists and their respective dreams. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz pianist hoping to open his own jazz club, while Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress attending audition after audition. Drawn together by their common desire to do what they love, the two begin a love affair complete with song and dance that’s reminiscent of Astaire and Rogers dancing “Cheek to Cheek.” But as they each find success, their decisions begin to fray at the fragile fabric of their relationship and threaten to rip them apart.

In his multicolored and impassioned third feature, director, Damien Chazelle portrays love at its finest. But the 31-year-old filmmaker also asks young, driven millennials who dream beyond the norm, is it possible to have it all?

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Letter from the Editor: The Power of Initiative

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I am amazed at how quickly time has been passing. To believe it’s now September and there are three more full months ahead is truly unbelievable. This year has definitely seen its vicissitudes on a global scale and has been hard for plenty of us. But while it started out relatively rough for me, I’ve learned in the months since, a lot about myself and what it means to have a strong faith in the work I do.

It might sound repetitive, but it is not easy to mend a broken heart. I have been trying for months to find some sort of way to get out of this tangled web of heartache that sometimes still lingers through parts of me. Yet through it, I dove further into work — writing, to be more exact. I love writing and not only has it been an appreciated form of catharsis, but I’ve found my steady focus on work as a means of helping understand my purpose in this world, while healing this scarred part of me.

If a broken heart has taught me anything, it’s that I never want to live a life of stagnancy. There are some times in our life when we run pretty stagnant and wonder what more could we be doing to fulfill our lives. Meaning and purpose can be hard to decipher when we’re so unsure of where to head or how to get there. However, this past year has shown me that by following your gut and working hard, you can unleash your passion simply by taking initiative.

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Womanista: November 2016

womanista-logo01What a month November was! I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving with their family and friends. As we approach a new year, Womanista has been undergoing some changes as we integrate our newest partner, Skinny Mom to the Womanista family with a brand new look to our website! Be sure to check it out at Womanista.com.

In the meantime, catch up on all the latest from computer tricks to make you more productive, to styling that baby bump for winter and getting a head start on all that holiday shopping with Oprah. Plus, we explore the cutest and trendiest baby names of 2016! Did your baby’s name make the list? As it goes, here is a complete list of my contributions to the women’s lifestyle website for the month of November.

Nov. 30, 2016: Give the Gift of Memorable Experiences This Holiday Season | Today, an increasing number of people have started to gift experiences or their time as holiday gifts. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 28, 2016: 6 Easy Computer Tricks to Make Your Workday More Productive | There is no denying that a sizeable chunk of our day revolves around computers. Whether we work from home or in an office… {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 27, 2016: 25 Empowering Quotes from Brilliantly Inspiring Women | In a rapidly evolving culture that measures likeability and talent, we often overlook the importance of inspiration in our daily lives. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 23, 2016: The Best of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2016 | Shopping season is in full, festive swing this year and what better way to find the perfect, most inspired gift for that special someone than by turning to Oprah Winfrey for a little help. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 22, 2016: Reduce Travel Stress With 6 Easy Airport Hacks | Air travel can make even the most seasoned travelers tired, treading a weariness we most often associate only with the DMV. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 21, 2016: The Trendiest Baby Names of 2016 | If you’re expecting in the next few months, there’s no doubt you are currently looking for the perfect and most unique name for your little one. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 19, 2016: The Mom-to-Be’s Guide to Styling a Baby Bump for Fall and Winter | From temperature fluctuations to mood swings, looking for good maternity clothes doesn’t have to be stressful. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 15, 2016: The Thanksgiving Party Guide You Need for Easy Planning and Festive Memories | All the prep that goes into planning your Thanksgiving party every year can be a bit scary. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 14, 2016: Warm Fruit Crisps and Crumbles for Every Taste and Occasion | No matter the season, stone fruits are a beloved ingredient in so many delicious baked goods. From pies to pastries, we try our hardest… {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 11, 2016: 10 Impressively Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Appetizers | Thanksgiving is in two weeks and as you scramble to prepare the best menu of recent years, you need to consider the power of an appetizer. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 4, 2016: Easy Recipes for Quick and Tasty Microwave Meals | When you think of a microwave, you might look back to those college days of reheating home cooked meals or those small frozen dinners that helped you to pull an all-nighter. {CONTINUE READING…}

Nov. 2, 2016: The Most Memorable CMA Moments of the Past 50 Years | After months of waiting, it’s finally here and we are so excited! Grab those cocktails, because tonight marks the 50th Annual CMA Awards celebrating half a century… {CONTINUE READING…}

Womanista: September 2016

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September has come and gone, but Womanista, the official authority on fabulous presented some amazing content that will definitely have you bookmarking articles to read now and later. From all the parenting and pregnancy advice you’ll need (complete with interviews with experts), to how to stay on fleek with your fashion, to the best recipes for your weekend in, to even tips and tricks for your home and garden — last month featured it all. Without further adieu, here is a complete list of my contributions to the women’s lifestyle website for the month of September.

Sept. 30, 2016: The Best Fall Flowers for Your Garden | Spring and summer aren’t the only seasons with pretty flowers! Though the leaves are changing color and the temperatures are perfect for that sweater weather, autumn… {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 28, 2016: 6 Ways to Improve Battery Life on Your iPhone | If you own an iPhone, it’s safe to say that it might just be an essential extension of your active social circle. As an effective companion helping us accomplish tasks and stay updated, iPhones are… {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 27, 2016: Creative DIY Wall Art Tutorials to Brighten Up Your Space | When it comes to decorating our homes, those big, blank, windowless walls are the absolute perfect canvas for creative décor ideas. {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 26, 2016: The 8 Most Haunted Spots to Check Out in Nashville | When we think of Nashville, we’re often thinking about delicious BBQ, the shopping on Broadway and of course, our favorite — country music! {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 24, 2016: 10 Delicious Weekend Breakfast Recipes You Must Try | Next to a healthy refreshing and Instagram-worthy smoothie bowl, avocado toast might just be our favorite breakfast ever. {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 23, 2016: 4 Benefits of Infant Massage Therapy | There’s nothing better than a massage to loosen up those tense muscles from a long, hard day. But if you think you’re the only one who benefits from the luxury of massages, think again. {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 20, 2016: 7 Tips for Eating Out With a Toddler | We’ve all witnessed that table at a restaurant — kids standing on chairs, refusing to use their indoor voices and exchanging bread rolls at each other’s faces. {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 19, 2016: 7 Foods in Your Pantry That Will Never Expire | Do you ever feel a little confused by the expiration dates on all your favorite foods? Well, you’re certainly not alone. Between the “best if used by” labels and sell-before recommended… {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 16, 2016: The Hottest Hair Color Trends of Fall 2016 | Between the crunch of leaves and the aroma of pumpkin spice everything in the air, a new season is upon us that begs to brighten up our style… {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 15, 2016: 5 Dream Vacation Destinations for Book Lovers | Considered a welcomed escape from the everyday life, reading is a magical experience. Like a blooming garden carried in our pocket or purse, reading unleashes a world we relate to through circumstances… {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 9, 2016: Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy Back Pain | While carrying your bundle of joy around for nine months is a welcomed part of motherhood, the back pain complete with stiffness, soreness and ache… {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 6, 2016: Your Essential Fall Fun To-Do List | Fall is upon us, Womanistas! Synonymous with falling leaves, crisp air, pumpkins, football games, sweater weather, and of course the famed, Pumpkin Spice Latte… {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 5, 2016: 6 Reasons to Delay Your Baby’s First Bath | When babies are born, they’re covered in a cheesy looking film that screams, “Clean me!” However, just like there are important procedures to consider in those initial hours of their birth, it’s important to…. {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 4, 2016: 7 of the Best Nuts for Your Skin and Health | Next to fruits and granola bars, nuts are the most underrated nutritious snack. Accounting for less than eight percent of our daily antioxidant intake, studies report… {CONTINUE READING…}

Sept. 2, 2016: Get to Know Forbes’ 10 Most Powerful Women in Business | We are continually inspired by the rise of the girl boss movement. From media to technology, to automotive and publications, more and more women today are confidently climbing… {CONTINUE READING…}

Womanista: August 2016

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What a month August has been! While I’m excited for the month ahead, I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic with regards to the season. Not only is fall upon us, but this is a particularly sentimental season for me. It always has been, especially since 2009. That said, it was just last year when I first joined Womanista (mid-September, give or take) and since, have contributed more than 150 articles over a span of 12 months. It’s been pretty awesome and something that’s kept me incredibly busy while juggling school, my day job and The Hudsucker.

As we head into autumn and pumpkin spice season, Womanista, the official authority of fabulous presented amazing content that not only broke records and news, but published some phenomenal informative pieces featuring the expertise of doctors, specialists and many more. From how you can help your toddler adjust to a new baby, to food that helps settle an upset stomach, to the Olympics that enamored all of us, to the most important tips you need to keep in mind when buying a new home, and to how sudden changes can improve your life—this month featured it all. To keep you up to date with the latest, bookmark some of these pieces that might pique your interest for future reading. Without further adieu, here is a complete list of my contributions to the women’s lifestyle website for the month of August.

Aug. 28, 2016: 13 Desserts for Your Football Kickoff Party | The preseason is ending and the final cuts have been made, which points to one sure and sweet thing: the NFL season is about to begin! {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 25, 2016: Olympic Families’ Best Moments at Rio 2016 | The Olympics were not just an emotional time for nations around the world hoping to taste a bit of victory, but it was a mega event of nerves, heart and tears for the numerous families of U.S. athletes…  {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 25, 2016: What You Need to Know About B12 Deficiency | No matter where we are and what we eat this summer, whether it be fair food or amusement park desserts, it’s important we provide our body with vitamins… {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 23, 2016: Helping Your Toddler Adjust to a New Baby | Announcing to family and friends that you’re expecting once again will always bring around greetings and wishes of love and enthusiasm! {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 22, 2016: 6 Foods to Help Settle an Upset Stomach | It’s been a beautiful sunny summer so far but between the road trips, state fairs and backyard barbecues, you might be eating a ton of yummy food that also leaves your stomach a little unsettled. {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 22, 2016: Toothpaste 101 – Fluoride vs. Fluoride-Free | Although modern dentistry has come a long way, there is still a lot to know about when it comes to maintaining healthy oral hygiene — especially the kind of toothpaste we’re using. {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 19, 2016: The Olympic Athletes You Should Be Following on Instagram | It’s official — the 2016 Summer Olympics are in full swing and we have never been more thrilled! {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 18, 2016: 5 Tips for Buying a New Home | If HGTV has taught us anything, it’s that buying a home is one of the most important chapters in your life. {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 15, 2016: How Sudden Changes Could Be The Key to Improving Your Life | No matter how big or small disruptions may be, change is not one of the most welcomed aspects to our lives… {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 10, 2016: 5 Reasons Not to Ignore Ovulation Pain | Ovulation might be one of the most critical parts of reproduction, but it’s also known as a source of pain for many. {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 8, 2016: 8 Tips for Couples Enjoying Their First Vacation Together | Heading out on that first trip with your partner is an exciting milestone in any relationship! {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 7, 2016: What to Do With Your Wedding Gown After the Big Day | When we find that perfect wedding gown, there’s no denying we have a real world, soul-to-soul connection with it. {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 5, 2016: 5 Signs You’re Not Ready for Marriage | Between all the reality TV centered around love, those couples that overshare on social media and Bruno Mars serenading all of us with a marriage proposal, there’s no denying… {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 4, 2016: Everything You Need to Know About Face Mapping | Have you ever wondered why our face breaks out in certain zones? No matter what our nighttime beauty routine is or what food we eat, that blemish… {CONTINUE READING…}

Aug. 1, 2016: How to Avoid Unhealthy Workplace Snacking | Between donuts in the break room to ‘Taco Tuesdays’ in the lunchroom, one of the worst places to stick to your diet is at the office. {CONTINUE READING…}

Celebrating Our 4th Anniversary at The Hudsucker!

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Happy birthday to The Hudsucker! I can’t believe it’s been four years already. Kind of lost for words, really—so bear with me. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I’m so proud of our team (and my friends) for believing in this vision. Who would have thought this intrepid venture stemmed from a broken heart, right? That’s always something I can’t believe because it brought such happiness to everyone around me while I was working through the motions of a broken heart. I think that’s the way to channel your pain in the best way possible—by working through something you love doing and turning it into something good for everyone else too. It’s funny because months ago, I was told by a halfwit bungle to stop writing about our mutual love on my own blog here, but the truth of the matter is, as blind and naive as she’s always been, The Hudsucker was because of him. And I will always love him and think of him no matter what.

It feels like just yesterday that one of my best friends, Katherine and I were texting about this “idea” swimming in my head. (Thank you and I will never forget the that moment!) We get to do really cool, fulfilling stuff every day, interview amazing people and it’s because of writers who are so passionate about writing, sharing information and of course, readers like you. If I can borrow my own words from a past post, “With all the success our little digital magazine has met since 2012, I’ve met with some comments by friends and acquaintances that we’re really “lucky.” However, I don’t believe luck alone has helped us in this journey. Luck has merely climbed aboard and shown us more success, but luck alone? Nah. From everything I have seen with this team, hard work is the driving force to every ounce of success we’ve met with. The thing about life is, if you know exactly what you want out of it, you need to be fully determined and relentless in your pursuit. Working hard for what you want is paramount and I promise you, it will drive you to where you need to be and where you should be.”

Thank you to our team! Thank you to our readers! Thank you to everyone who supports us and continues to! Thank you to the agencies we work with! We are all truly blessed. Thank you, thank you!

If you like what you read here at my blog, I promise you will enjoy The Hudsucker, so check us out!

The Hudsucker | Celebrating Our 4th Anniversary

Time really does fly when you’re having fun! As we celebrate another milestone and turn four years old today, have you ever wondered who the faces are behind The Hudsucker? With a diverse team from all over North America, get to know who we are by reading questionnaires filled out by each of our writers. You never know what you might just find out!

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