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DODGING EROS: Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Reviews Campaign

Grown-Ups Getaway Giveaway Hello, Reading has been a brain escape for me since my dad used silly voices at bedtime to enac...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Snuggling at Home on a Snowy Weekend

Mother Nature's power + home as a safe haven + a stocked pantry + Robert Frost's poetry = Quality time spent with loved ones along with the consumption of delicious goodies 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Learning from the Best

They say that a picture says a thousand words. These images represent countless opportunities that the HSN American Dreams Academy offers (for free!) to its attendees to meet other entrepreneurs who share their hopes and fears, setbacks, triumphs, and hard lessons learned. #HSN #AmericanDreams #AmericanDreamsAcademy  

If the HSN American Dreams Academy invites you to attend one of their entrepreneur events, please accept.

Say yes to direct access to brilliant keynote speakers who are generous in sharing their time and expertise, camaraderie, information, encouragement, resources, and opportunities to learn, network, and grow offered in one convenient location.

Even if you’re painfully shy or experiencing setbacks or feeling unsure about how, or if, to keep going with your idea, please accept the chance to attend. A-listers from various professions, disciplines, and industries will educate and inspire.

Here are the people and organizations that made this HSN American Dreams Academy (in collaboration with the University of Tampa and Quirky.com) at American University in Washington, D.C. an awesome, enriching experience:

Carmen Bauza, Erin Borges, Chris Gassett, Daymond John, Jill KErnes, Lou Lentine, Linda McMahon, Dr. Kevin Moore, Steve Records, Lissa Regets, Kavita Shukla, Laurin Sydney, Dara Trujillo, Gina Waldhorn & Dr. Rebecca White (Go Hokies!)

Swag and guidance provided by:

FreshPapers, GoGo gift bags, Quirky.com & The Startup Club: #1 The Big Idea by J.J. Bamberg, Melanie Staggs & S. Taylor

Impressive entrepreneurs met, and business cards personally exchanged with:

Susan Castriata                       cuchinasafe.com
C. Lee Cawley                        HoldingHangers.com
Valeria Cole                            teadorabeauty.com
Sheila Donaldson                    TheNewNudes.com
Durango Dog Company
Tami Harrison                         seedvolagetech.com
Dr. Sherrie Massop                 SRMP Labs, LLC
Mari Matos                              Hillabeans.com
Sherrill W. Mosee                   minkeeblue.com
Angelyn Myers                       My “Buddy” Towel
Bret Newman                          SoundVerter
Ashley Powdar                       rubysampson.com
Quinn at Purse Paparrazzi
Camille Jeannine                     theasalicollective.com
Trenise Watson                       asilinaturals.com
Ann-Marie Watt                      refineful.com
Candace & Anthony Wiliams The Journey Pillow
and the charismatic young woman who invented a delicious (non-dairy?) whipped cream—available in Kroger & other stores; her picture is on the canister—that she let me taste it atop a scrumptious mini pie square, and the fabulous Spanish woman with her back supporter for wearing under clothes

Special thanks to Stacey, CEO of ybf Beauty, for moving bureaucratic mountains to help our fellow entrepreneur from the Caribbean, and for being the perfect test model for my @SwimMission #swimcap prototype during her WomensLeadership Facebook Live broadcast on Saturday 11/18.  

Oh, and the lunches from Bistro Box were delectable and very generously portioned.

Also, Amtrak’s MARC train made for an easy, comfortable, safe, and convenient affordable trek into D.C. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Timeless Truths

Inspired by life's simple pleasures during challenging times.

Friday, October 13, 2017

5 Strands for 5 Swim Skills Woven Bracelets

Coming soon!
5 strands for 5 swim skills woven bracelets

Can you execute the following 5 swim skills (that equal water competency) in sequence?*

  1. Step or jump into the water over your head.
  2. Return to the surface and float or tread water for 1 minute.
  3. Swim in a full circle and find an exit.
  4. Swim 25 yards to the exit, then... 
  5. Exit from the water without using the ladder. 
@SwimMission #Swimcap is inspired by statistics from the American Red Cross that state only about 60% of U.S. residents have mastered the 5 swim skills that equal water competency. That percentage is lower among black and brown people, who are also 2 to 3 times more likely to drown than their Anglo peers. [CDC]  

Once the challenges of inherited fear of the water, negative family attitudes toward swimming, cultural stereotypes, access to certified swim instruction and facilities have been addressed, protecting hair is the final obstacle for girls and women to overcome before they're able to learn to swim and to incorporate water sport into their lives. 

My SwimMission swim cap is designed to protect all hair types from the damaging effects of being saturated in chlorinated, salt or fresh water, especially very thick, curly, long high-maintenance hair--braids and locks, too. 

The need to protect their hair health and appearance keeps too many girls and women from accessing the water safety, medical and mental health, physical fitness benefits, fun and employment opportunities that having strong swim skills offers.  

My SwimMission swim cap is prevention-over-cure hair care for swimmers.  

*Don't swim alone or where swimming is prohibited or dangerous. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Down on One Knee

For me, as an African-American woman whose ancestors were enslaved in this self-proclaimed land of the free, loving the United States of America often feels like staying in a relationship with a mostly good man who shows potential for greatness despite his many flaws, weaknesses, and numerous past mistakes.

While being constantly prodded to step up, stand out, lead, dominate, win, conquer, he struggles to overcome his disappointments, failures, and setbacks that make it hard for him to move through life as his best, most ethical self. He needs some more time to mature before he’s willing to commit to a life-long relationship of equally yoked partners whose union nurtures and serves the best interests of the united individuals, their extended families and their various communities of friendship, work, faith, study, recreation, etc.

Like the long-suffering girlfriend of many years who slides from presumptive anticipation (Emancipation Proclamation) to optimistic patience (Reconstruction) to subtle hints and compromises (Booker T. Washington’s strategy), then to less-than-subtle suggestions (W.E.B. DuBois’s strategy), explicit demands (1950s – 60s Civil Rights Movement) that escalate before ultimatums and threats lead to volatile conflicts (shouting matches and riots) as the norm, this African-American woman, observing herself from the outside looking in, keeps investing her energy, talents, time, and love into the well-being of the U.S.A. even when it doesn’t reciprocate.

Even when it disrespects, dishonors, abuses, and dismisses her, she just works harder to use her achievements to demonstrate her worthiness to receive equal access to all human and civil rights along with all of the protections, rights, and privileges of her full-fledged citizenship, already paid for multiple times in the blood and toil and suffering of her enslaved ancestors.

After waiting for a proposal, she makes one of her own: Let’s get engaged with local, state, and federal law enforcement to eliminate racial and other biases in policing https://trustandjustice.org/resources/intervention/implicit-bias while keeping everyone’s safety as the top priority.

When the country makes promises, then breaks those promises, then excuses itself from being responsible for this habit of betrayal by shifting the blame, and refusing to hold itself accountable for breaking faith again and again and again over the course of multiple generations, she still believes in the potential for a U.S.A. that practices the highest ideals of what it preaches. It’s a 21st-century version of Jacob, Rachel, Leah, and their uncle, Laban, where Jacob represents oppressed black people. Rachel is a symbol of oppressed people’s ultimate freedom to live, love, and prosper. Leah represents the bait-and-switch of not delivering what was originally offered and accepted. Uncle Laban equals Uncle Sam, who isn’t evil, but is always looking for ways to get disproportionately more for himself than he gives to Jacob in exchange for Jacob’s labor. Jacob received what he had rightly earned after 14* years. Black people are still waiting one-hundred fifty-two years after the end of the U.S. Civil War.

A true love of country that is healthy abides and endures, sacrifices and forgives because it is freely given. It can’t be coerced or mandated or legislated. It can’t be bought with money.
My love for the U.S.A. is a grown-up love. The country’s strengths and weaknesses, beauty and ugliness, shady past and future possibilities inspire a commitment to invest myself in its success. The fundamental element of that success is to achieve the reality of ending the attitude of perpetual open season on people who embody otherness.

One day, the spirit of the Declaration of Independence will apply as if written with these words: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all human beings are created equal… One day, every reference to man/men will unquestionably translate to human/humans.

In 1857 Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Professional athletes and others are joining the #TakeAKnee campaign to amplify the voices of demand for social justice for all of us.

*Some scholarly debate exists about the details, but ultimately, Jacob was scammed into working twice as long as the original agreement.