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Since becoming a mother to a son, I need feminism more than ever

Since becoming a mother to a son, I need feminism more than ever


Since becoming a mother to a son, I need feminism more than ever

My feminism started at home, following a rapid discovery of what I did not want for myself.

I often viewed the tasks relegated to women in my family as disempowering and self-sacrificial. The concept of fairness was practically moot: Why should I do the dishes, sweep, and mop daily when my brother gets to keep playing video games and watching TV? I saw how women were treated in relationships, and I quickly learned that boys and girls are seen differently in this world.  I then molded my own life around the version of reality I came to prefer: Women are equal to men and we deserve for our labor to be honored and shared.

Now, as I enter my mid-twenties and my son is about to celebrate his first year on earth, I ponder how feminism will influence my child. How I will instill these lifelong lessons that begin in the home?

When we become mothers, our focus quickly shifts to be all about the child. We think less about ourselves, our friends, our hobbies, and our relationships (some of us become single mothers, and that’s a whole other story altogether). It’s as if we are altered versions of ourselves; parts of our identities go on the back burner while child rearing remains at the forefront of our minds.

But I will maintain and prioritize the identity of “feminist,” for my son and for myself.

Silhouette of pregnant woman
Viviana Sepulveda Turpie / EyeEm / Getty Images

Months before my son even arrived, I began worrying, “What can I teach a boy?” I thought about what the world could stand to gain or lose from someone assigned male at birth—yet another boy who will become a man in a male-dominated, unequal, increasingly violent world for women, femme individuals, and gender nonconforming folks. Recent legislation blocking abortion and birth control access, as well as anti-LGBTQ sentiments from bigots who are emboldened by Trump made me intensely uneasy.  Still, despite out society’s flaws and our world’s ills, I was full of positivity. I was bringing in a new soul who would experience life with guidance from me and my partner.

I felt small in the grander scope, but within my scope, I knew I had the power to mold my son into a person who welcomes a feminist future.

A boy with demonstrators at 2018 Women's March
Ebet Roberts/Getty Images

My son is the center of my universe, but I want to be careful not to center him here. Instead, we me must focus on how we raise boys, and how we can insist on doing things differently than our parents. Most of the badass women I am thankful to know had mothers who were hard on them—like, really, really hard on them. My mother, too, held me accountable for my actions if I failed to meet my responsibilities. Meanwhile, my brother was more easily forgiven if he messed up. I was responsible for my own safety. And if my mom wasn’t around, I was responsible for my brother’s safety, too. I had to learn to take care of my family and our home. He did not.

This resulted in my mother instilling a sense of responsibility in me, and not in my brother.

Admittedly, I am still in the thick of it as I learn to be a mother—and a mother to a son—during this first year of parenthood. But I know that both my son and I desperately need feminism because, to be frank, boys need to learn how to do shit for themselves. They should not expect girls to perform labor for them, emotionally or physically.

There are far too many men who continue to rely on women for their day-to-day basic needs. We need to raise our sons to both value and learn how to complete household chores, daily cooking, and other seemingly menial tasks typically relegated to women or whoever “mom” is. And that’s just scratching the surface of what we need to teach our sons. That’s only part of why I need feminism more now that I am raising a little boy. Our gender-obsessed and gender-divided society must change into a more equal and just one, and part of that work starts, as always, in the home.

The post Since becoming a mother to a son, I need feminism more than ever appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Watch Exclusive ‘Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again’ Video: Becoming Donna

Watch Exclusive 'Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again' Video: Becoming Donna

Coming off supporting roles in the historical drama Darkest Hours and the action comedy Baby Driver, who would expect Lily James to burst into song in her next feature?

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Hugh Grant Gets Candid About Becoming A Father And Finally Marrying At 57

After starring in a number of romantic comedies and falling in love on-screen, Hugh Grant has finally found romance off-screen and is happier than ever. The 57-year-old British actor exchanged vows with Anna Eberstein last month, and Grant says he regrets not getting married sooner.

During a recent appearance on The Today Show, the Notting Hill star joked, “You don’t think I’m too young?” He went on to say that it’s “really nice” being married, and he can’t pretend it isn’t. Grant also said he is lucky to have such a great wife, and he loves her.

On May 25th – two months after Eberstein gave birth to their third child – she and Grant exchanged vows in London. The couple also has a five-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. Grant is also the father of a 6-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son with receptionist Tinglan Hong.

It’s not easy having five kids under the age of seven, and Grant told Savannah Guthrie that traveling poses some serious challenges. He said it is “unspeakable,” and you go through the dilemma of deciding if you actually travel with them or make an excuse, so they go with their mom or nanny.

Grant’s ex, Elizabeth Hurley, accidentally revealed back in March that Eberstein had given birth. When talking to E! News, she said that Grant is a great guy and she sees and speaks to him a lot. “He’s now a father of five, he has five kids, and he’s a great dad,” said Hurley.

Two days later, during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, she confirmed Grant and Eberstein’s baby news by saying they had another one, and he was “over 50 when he spawned them all.”

The Austin Powers star also said that she and Grant have been friends for 31 years, and he is still her “best friend in the whole world.” Hurley and Grant were together for 13 years, and they split in 2000.

As for his latest project, Grant recently starred as Jeremy Thorpe in the three-part Amazon series A Very English Scandal. Thorpe was a member of the British Parliament during the 1960s who went on trial for allegedly plotting to kill his former lover.

Hugh Grant’s latest project, A Very English Scandal is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

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You probably work with project managers, but what they do might be a little mysterious because it varies by company. A common, enduring methodology in the profession is agile scrum, which promotes teamwork, improves communication, and increases the predictability of projects.

Employers love hiring project managers who know how agile scrum works, so it’s an excellent skill to learn if you’d like to launch a new career in project management—or just add to your skillset to run any team project better.

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With ‘Becoming,’ Michelle Obama Marks a New Beginning

With six months to go until the Nov. 13 release of Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated memoir, she posted the book’s gorgeous cover on Twitter Thursday, baring her glowing right shoulder, fanning excitement, and lighting a fire under the pre-order numbers for Becoming. It’s already listed on Amazon as the No. 1 bestseller.

Just days ago, in announcing her and her husband’s deal with Netflix to produce content that promotes greater empathy and understanding between people, Mrs. Obama lauded the power of storytelling. Not yet available even for review, the book certainly commanded a powerful price. The Obamas’ joint 2017 deal with Penguin Random House was a record-breaker. Officially concealed, it was reported by the Financial Times to be in excess of $ 65 million.

While a POTUS memoir is expected to follow, it’s ladies-first time for M.O. According to its website (becomingmichelleobama.com), her book is “a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling.” While there is a vast archive of material written about her, this will be the first time she is telling her own story, her own way.

We think we already know it, having watched her move and grow during more than a dozen years under the constant glare of social and traditional media. But much of what was written about her in the early years just after her husband entered public life was speculative because as the mother of two young girls, with a corporate executive job in Chicago, and a spouse mostly living in Washington, D.C. as a senator, she wasn’t carving out time to give many interviews. Nor was she apologizing for it.

[Read Black Enterprise‘s exclusive interview with former President Barack Obama]

In declining an invitation to speak at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit in those days, the then Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center noted that, as a virtual single parent, her off-hours were fully committed to her daughters.

When their father ran for and then became President of the United States, while she was clearly his primary ally, confidante, and champion, there was something in her carriage that made me wonder how she really felt. There was no precedent for what they were about to do. This was his dream, not hers.

Except for her time away at Princeton as an undergrad and then Harvard Law School, she had only lived in Chicago, her hometown. There was no reason to believe she wanted to leave her friends, her job, and her dream house—a six-bedroom Georgian revival mansion with a wine cellar in Hyde Park (purchased thanks to his own status as a bestselling author). Not even for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.’s fully staffed 55,000 square feet.

Maybe I was just projecting. After all, our backgrounds were more alike than different. She was born 11 months before me, in the same year. We both grew up in black neighborhoods in major cities, married smart men who respected and believed in us, worked, had two children, were close to our families and committed to our communities.

michelle obama book

Young Michelle Obama with her mother and brother. (Twitter)

We are both Capricorns—goats—said to be responsible, disciplined, natural leaders who will learn from their mistakes. Capricorns are also stubborn know-it-alls who like family, tradition, music, and understated status. What do we dislike? “Almost everything at some point,” according to astrology-zodiac-signs.com.

I loathe politics and distrust virtually all politicians. I have often wondered if, with a certain glaring exception, FLOTUS didn’t feel similarly. At the very least, she had to be more than a bit distrusting when first transitioning into her new life and role. She and I didn’t grow up watching Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X lead; we grew up watching their widows and fatherless children do their best to carry on. She must have feared for POTUS’s safety. Didn’t we all?

“Writing Becoming has been a deeply personal experience,” she Tweeted alongside her smiling image on the book’s cover. “I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice.”

michelle obama book

(Twitter)

That voice has become one of the most sought after and trusted of any race or gender in the world and it will be fascinating to hear it (she is recording the audiobook herself) as she finally has her own say.

There are at least as many questions about her life as she has admirers. All of them won’t be answered here, but it’s only her first memoir. There will no doubt be others. After all, she’s only 54, and the book is called Becoming, already hinting at more to come. Finally free to pursue her own dreams, with daughters Malia at Harvard and Sasha due to leave the nest next year, in a sense, she’s only just beginning.

The post With ‘Becoming,’ Michelle Obama Marks a New Beginning appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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New Legal Filing Accuses Ciara’s Ex-Future Of Becoming An Absentee Dad

Ciara has filed court papers against her ex Future – this time claiming that he’s becoming an absentee dad.

In new documents obtained by TMZ, the singer claims Future is missing too many scheduled visits with his three-year-old son, Future Jr.

Ciara said her ex only has made just 37 percent of his scheduled visits, and many of those are at the last-minute. She also alleges that during the elder’s trips to his native Georgia with their son, the boy spends most of his time with elderly relatives, and she rarely gets to FaceTime her son to make sure he’s okay.

Ciara, who also has baby daughter Sienna Princess with husband Russell Wilson, further claims that little Future has health issues stemming from all the cross-country travel with his father, and that it’s causing him to have emotional breakdowns at school.

She’s seeking mediation with Future, so they can hammer out a better schedule for their son’s travel and for the sake of his health, TMZ reports.

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S.J. Clarkson to Direct ‘Star Trek 4,’ Becoming Franchise’s First Female Director

S.J. Clarkson to Direct 'Star Trek 4,' Becoming Franchise's First Female Director

Last summer, Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, was a huge success for Warner Bros. and DC. Recently, Ava DuVernay signed on to direct superhero adventure New Gods for DC and Cathy Yan was chosen to direct an untitled girl gang movie for DC that may be Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Currently, Captain Marvel is filming, under the direction of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Women are finally, increasingly, landing high-profile jobs directing big-budget movies. The…

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Rapper Jim Jones Talks About Becoming A Minority Football Team Owner [Video]

After leaving his mark in the world of hip-hop and fashion, rapper Jim Jones has ventured into sports business, announcing that he is a part owner of an American Arena League (AAL) football team.

In a statement, Jones, who has always had a passion for sports, said he is “grateful” for the opportunity to become the part of Richmond Roughriders and is “looking forward to taking the Roughriders to the top. Hopefully, this will inspire the youth to pursue positive activities, especially through sports.”

Gregg Fornario, the general manager and fellow co-owner of Richmond Roughriders, said the Harlem rapper will help the team expand its brand. “The Richmond Roughriders partnership with Jim Jones enables us to bring so much more to the table in regards to introducing the high impact sport of Indoor football to the hip-hop culture, allowing us to build the Richmond Roughriders brand not just in our community but nationwide.”

During an exclusive interview with Black Enterprise, Jones opened up about his plans for the AAL team and his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s #TakeAKnee protest. The Roc Nation recording artist also talked about his investment in the cannabis industry and other business ventures throughout his career:

 

 

 

The post Rapper Jim Jones Talks About Becoming A Minority Football Team Owner [Video] appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Here’s why #AgingLikeAPresident is becoming the next big hashtag for moms

by

Becky Vieira

posted in Parenting

We all age. Some of us are just doing it faster than others. The physical signs of it appear more quickly and pronounced due to exhaustion and stress. This is often the case with mothers. 

Mothers age very, very quickly.

It’s become common knowledge that those who’ve held the office of President of the United States of America are among what appears to be the most rapid agers. Countless photo essays have compiled before and after images former presidents. And they are indeed drastically different.

Pop culture has adopted the term “aging like a president” to define this phenomenon. You begin a journey filled with exuberance and a glow of excitement. But, over time, it wears you down. Sleepless nights. Worry. Fear and stress, everything begins to show on your face.

Mom is aging like a president in comparison photos

I say that’s something to be proud of. A badge of honor, showing the world what we’re made of and have endured. And for those of us moms who have been aging this way since our kids were born, I say we wear it with pride. 

I look different since my son was born. Older, perhaps. Definitely more tired. But I think there is a glow of love and happiness that wasn’t there before. I love it.

I’ll admit, the rapid disintegration of my youth is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed. Sometimes I curse the new wrinkles on my face, or the bags under my eyes. Then I remember how I earned them. And I smile my mom-smile — the one that now has extra crinkles around the eyes.

It’s time to embrace it. I’m claiming the hashtag #AgingLikeAPresident for all moms. Forget #momlife, this says it all. 

I’ve started using the hashtag on my mom life Instagram account, and others have been embracing it. And sharing their own photos and stories.

“I keep my coffee cup on a high shelf. I was trying to use the bathroom and I heard, “uh oh! Uh oh!” My son apparently can reach the shelf now. The first time, ever, and I’m in another room. He spilled it all over himself, the couch, rug, across the house. Thankfully my coffee is never hot. And that’s just one example of why I’ve aged 10 years in the last 18 months. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.” — Melissa Robles

Mom with one kid and mom after two kids

“In this moment, every wrinkle, gray hair and emotional scar feels like it’s worth it. These little guys depend on me and I don’t want to let them down.” —Marilu Livermore

Mom when pregnant compared to mom after children

“The before picture was a few hours before labor started, so I thought I looked awfully exhausted when that picture was taken. Now, with a 17-month old son, I think I look like a supermodel on that picture!! But hey, my son can’t tell I look older; I’m still his awesome mommy!” —Natalia Jiménez

“I’ve earned these bags under my eyes, every wrinkle on my face and gray hair on my head being a new mother!” —Toni Paolillo

“Before” me had no idea what lay ahead, complicated labour, emergency c section, a tiny 5lb 7 baby with reflux, tongue tie and trouble breastfeeding. Followed by postnatal depression. And even though all that may have #agedmelikeapresident “after” me had never felt so loved in my life. —Rhiannon Connon

Show us what you’ve earned, moms. We can’t wait to see how hard you’ve all worked to be officially #AgingLikeAPresident.

For more mom moments, follow me on Instagram at Witty Otter.

What do you think? Has parenthood prematurely aged you?

Images by Becky Vieira

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Good Girls, Retta, Mae Whitman, Christina HendricksGood Girls is finally here and its stars couldn’t be more relieved.
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Watch Tesla’s Model X set a new quarter-mile record, becoming the world’s fastest SUV

Tesla Model X

While lightning fast 0-60 times certainly make sense for cars like the Model S and the company’s next-gen Roadster, Tesla over the past few years has made a point of boasting about acceleration on vehicles not typically associated with impressive power. Indeed, it’s probably fair to say that Tesla almost has an unhealthy obsession with raw acceleration. Case in point: Elon Musk, when revealing the Tesla Semi a few months back, boasted that the company’s new truck can go from 0-60 MPH in just 5 seconds and from 0-60 MPH in 20 seconds while hauling 80,000 pounds. Is this terribly important? Not exactly, but it sure does keep things interesting.

In light of that, it’s no surprise that the Model X — Tesla’s crossover SUV — also features jaw-dropping acceleration. If you opt for the Model X P100D, you can go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 2.9 seconds flat, an incredibly impressive time for an SUV. When it comes to quarter-mile times, the Tesla Model X is no slouch either.

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Watch Tesla’s Model X set a new quarter-mile record, becoming the world’s fastest SUV originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 27 Feb 2018 at 20:00:41 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Michelle Obama memoir ‘Becoming’ set for publication in November

(Reuters) – Michelle Obama’s forthcoming memoir, “Becoming,” is set for worldwide release on Nov. 13, at which time the former first lady will embark on a global tour to promote the book, publisher Penguin Random House said on Sunday.
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Darren Criss and Edgar Ramírez on Becoming Andrew Cunanan and Gianni Versace for American Crime Story

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Learn the secrets to becoming a full-time freelancer by taking these online classes

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Don’t get us wrong. It can be hard to kickstart a professional freelancing career. Which is why you might need a little boost in the right directionThis set of online courses dedicated to professional freelancing offers some great tips and inspiration and is a good place to start.

Separately, these 11 courses would typically cost about $ 2,200, but you can get the whole bundle for only $ 29 for a limited time. Here’s a glimpse of the useful skills you’ll learn on your way to becoming a well-paid freelancer: Read more…

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Becoming a mom made me a mean wife

by

Joanna Venditti

posted in Life

The day my husband Mike threw his back out, we had made plans. We were going plant some trees in our backyard for some much needed privacy. But when I got that call from Mike while I was out grocery shopping last Saturday morning, everything changed.

He ended up having to go to the hospital to see if his injury from lifting way too much wood at once without bending his knees had done permanent damage. It hadn’t, but he was sent home with strict instructions to rest. The gardening would have to wait.

When we returned from the emergency room I jumped into action, making sure Mike was comfortable on the couch, while I did parental double duty. He kept apologizing, and I kept reassuring him that it was no big deal. We would just take it slow and count our blessings. I meant it, too.

Later that evening, when the work of parenting our four kids and caring for my husband was taking its toll, I began to think:  Two years ago I would have been pissed off. I would have been annoyed plans changed and that he hurt himself.

You see, two years ago our marriage was in trouble, and we knew it. We were in the trenches with four young kids and what started as a romance filled with compassion, had rotted away to unfounded anger.

marriage

We were exhausted and spread thin, and started blaming each other.

In the midst of the diapers, the cooking, the crying, the bedtimes, the sleepless nights, the mess, and the expense, we forgot how to be kind to each other. On that fateful day almost two years ago, Mike and I were really honest with each other and admitted we were at war.

We realized that two things had to change to turn our marriage around.

family of six

First, we had to start dating each other again.

Four kids is a lot, and it was hard to find quality alone time together where we could just share and listen to one another.

You can read more about why I started dating my husband again here.

Second, we had to remember to be kind to one another.

This may be such a simple task, but we had turned on each other and it was time to start showing some compassion. This small gesture has had a huge impact on our relationship. It has stopped us from having many fights, and turned the atmosphere in our home into a calm, relaxing place.

I am saddened to think that I once used to be so annoyed and angry, but am so thankful that Mike and I were able to acknowledge what the problem was and to remember the kindness in our relationship.

For all the details on how our weekend unfolded, head to my blog, Nesting Story. Don’t forget to follow our family’s journey by liking Nesting Story on Facebook.

Photos by Sarah Martin Photography and Blue Bird Creative

This post was originally published in May, 2017

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Trump gets 1st medical checkup since becoming president

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump received his first medical checkup as president at Walter Reed military hospital on Friday, undergoing a physical examination amid suggestions in a recent book and by his detractors that he’s mentally unfit.
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The Art of Becoming Santa Claus

What goes into becoming Saint Nick? It takes more than just a red suit and white beard to don the title of Santa Claus. Every year, those that want to perfect the art of being Santa travel to Midland, Michigan, to attend the world’s oldest and longest running Santa school. The Charles W. Howard Santa School has graduated thousands of Kris Kringles over its 80 years, teaching everything from beard grooming to caroling to child psychology.


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‘I, Tonya’: Margot Robbie on Becoming Tonya Harding

Tonya Harding is still best known as the woman who maybe, possibly, potentially played a part – for the record, she denies it – in her figure-skating rival Nancy Kerrigan getting hit in the knee just before the 1994 Olympics. Margot Robbie knows this – the Australian actress spent months studying the sad backstory of Harding's life in preparation for the biopic I, Tonya, and she

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: ‘I, Tonya’: Margot Robbie on Becoming Tonya Harding

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Meghan Markle just took a big step towards becoming a member of the royal family

Do we hear wedding bells?

prince harry and meghan markle wedding

From the editors of People
Words by Monique Jessen

Meghan Markle arrived in London this week, and there’s only one place she’s staying — with Prince Harry at the palace.

Markle, who reportedly just wrapped her last season on Suits, has already semi-immersed herself into London life during many under-the-radar trips to the capital. And she is now preparing for a more permanent move across the pond.

‘Harry has made no secret of the fact that he wants to marry her,’ a source tells People. ‘She is the one.’

During the last year, Markle has been spotted walking around Prince Harry’s neighbourhood in Kensington, carrying Whole Foods shopping bags (the health food store is a short stroll from Harry’s cottage), picking up flowers and visiting a spa in Soho on the eve of Pippa Middleton’s wedding. But it was an invite to Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen last month that is most indicative of how serious things are between the two.

While their relationship has been moving along very quickly behind the scenes (they even chose their first Christmas tree together last December), the first public show of affection between the royal couple was at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September, when the two walked hand-in-hand into the wheelchair tennis event. A few days later, Harry was photographed kissing Markle when he joined her and her mother, Doria Ragland, in a private box during the event’s closing ceremony.

On Markle’s part, she has not shied away from expressing her feelings towards Harry, telling Vanity Fair in their October issue: ‘We’re two people who are really happy and in love.’

Hinting at the pressures they might one day face, she said: ‘I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.’

Markle will live with Harry at his two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, where staff already know Markle. In a similar fashion, Prince William and Kate Middleton lived together at St. Andrews university and then at a secluded farmhouse in North Wales briefly before they wed in April 2011. There has been speculation that one day Harry will move into Apartment 1 at the palace which has 21 rooms and is currently the home of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

While Meghan prepares to say goodbye to her chic one-bedroom apartment in Toronto (including potentially relocating her beloved dogs Bogart and Guy), Harry has been making subtle changes at home in order to make it more girlfriend-friendly. ‘It’s not a question of if she’s moving in,’ says the insider, ‘it’s just a matter of when.’

The post Meghan Markle just took a big step towards becoming a member of the royal family appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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How Audiobooks Are Becoming an Art Form Unto Themselves

Hillary Clinton’s publisher just released a victory lap press release about her new book this week. According to Simon and Schuster, What Happened sold an impressive 300,000 copies in its first week of publication.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast – Books

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Buy 2 Get 1 Free on fiction and non-fiction at booksamillion.com — Shop Today!

How Audiobooks Are Becoming an Art Form Unto Themselves

Hillary Clinton’s publisher just released a victory lap press release about her new book this week. According to Simon and Schuster, What Happened sold an impressive 300,000 copies in its first week of publication.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast – Books

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Buy 2 Get 1 Free on fiction and non-fiction at booksamillion.com — Shop Today!

How Becoming a Beautiful, Bald Bella Gave Life to a New Business

On Episode 2 of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, Ehdra – the “Beautiful Bald Bella” Frazier from Atlanta, pitched her product, Dome Essentials. Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with Frazier after the show for an exclusive one-on-one conversation.

 

(Image: Facebook/Ehdra Beautifulbaldbella Frazier)

 

Brandon Andrews: Tell us the Dome Essentials story.

Ehdra “The Beautiful Bald Bella” Frazier:  My experience is in marketing, small business development and business administration. I’ve worked alongside pastors, CEO’s and visionary leaders in the corporate and nonprofit communities for over 25 years. In 2012, I decided it was time to stop helping everyone else achieve their visions and dreams and start a new journey of my own.

I had just turned 50 and felt it was time to do some new things in my “Round 2.” So I made the big chop (cut off all my hair) gave myself a big 50th birthday celebration, recorded a single, and started packing in preparation to relocate to a big city. The decision to move to Atlanta to be near my oldest daughter and two grandchildren seemed like a great fit. While living in Atlanta, I began to notice that wearing my bald head was not an issue as it was up north. It was welcomed and I was admired. I felt comfortable sporting my bald head and was surprised at how many women and men began to acknowledge my look; commenting on the confidence and boldness I exuded.

I wore hair pieces, wigs, hats, and scarves since middle school. Many could not tell the difference between my hair and the “doos” I sported. No one ever told me, but I now believe I had female pattern baldness (or alopecia) around the edges of my head. My hair was so thin and fine that I could not wear many popular styles most of my life. So when India Aire’s song, “I am not my hair,” first came out, my response was, “I am not my hair, but it sure helps!”

 

I began to notice that the things which used to stress me were no longer issues like: going swimming, riding in a car with the windows down, sitting comfortably on the couch and having my hair push up, doing modern dance with a scarf to hold my hair on tight, and the worst, riding a roller coaster (which I loved the most).  I began to notice that my stress levels were reduced significantly as a result of not looking over my shoulder or being concerned about my hair.  I never realized how much stress I was under until then.  I felt a new calling emerge. I was already encouraging by nature; but even more so now. It became my mission to stop every person I met to proclaim: “You are rocking that beautiful dome!” So I began calling women, Beautiful Bald Bellas, and men, Beautiful Bald Beaus. The name stuck so I was branded the original, Beautiful Bald Bella.

Unsuccessful in locating a natural shave system, void of toxins and damaging chemicals, God gave me the blueprint to create my own. In the spring of 2015, while living in the lower level of my daughter’s home, and unable to find work, I had a dream (a Noah experience, I call it). I saw a complete business model for an all-natural shave system, the manufacturing, reselling, marketing, branding, packaging, shipping and delivering processes and all the people involved in the entire process. I even saw Mr. Steve Harvey in this dream, along with some other dome centered items; and in the late summer of 2016, Dome Essentials Inc. was born. I had found my new purpose.

A prototype for The Dome Essentials natural shave system was completed in less than a month. Many men and women in Ohio and Georgia sampled and tested the product. I was ecstatic at the results. The system includes: The Shave Oil—which softens stubble and prepares the scalp for the shave; The Astringent—nourishes the scalp and deposits essential nutrients into the skin, as well as soothes, repairs, and cleans the pores after the shave; and the After Shave Cream—which conditions and protects the scalp.

The key natural ingredients include: Aloe Vera, Tea Tree, Shea Butter 100% pure, natural oils, organic essential oils (which are used to clean the skin, control irritation, and improve circulation are among a few of their benefits); vitamins E and D for healthier skin, and other good stuff. The Dome Essentials natural shave system is a faster, cleaner, healthier shave experience!

 

Does your scalp need special care? How does it differ from other parts of the body?  

 

Yes, all scalp skin is thick, has several layers to protect the brain, and unlike the rest of the body, the scalp has extra oil glands. Additionally, most people have an abundance of hair for added protection, but it can create a problem for the scalp when we add chemical overload, shampoo goo, conditioners with little or no healthy ingredients, and other products that can clog the pores and cause dandruff and disease to the skin. Many people neglect the scalp all together and focus solely on the hair.

 

How was your experience pitching on Funderdome? How did you prepare for your pitch?

 

My experience being on the set of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome was amazing.  The staff treated me like a rock star!  Mr. Harvey was such a gentleman and is a hoot on stage.  He kept the dialogue entertaining and intriguing. A bit too intriguing in my case.  I laughed so hard during my segment, trying not to blush, that I couldn’t complete my product pitch.

(Ehdra – the Beautiful Bald Bella and Steve Harvey on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. Image: ABC/Lisa Rose)

 

For me, this was my opportunity to jump head first into deep waters. To win or lose was not the top focus for me. Just being showcased on national television and given the opportunity to share my product was a blessing. Then to have it re-run two weeks later was more than I could have asked for. It gave me a double boost of sales!

 

STEVE HARVEY’S FUNDERDOME - "Episode 106" - Aspiring inventors hoping to win over a live studio audience to fund their ideas, products or companies include: a drying system for wet dogs, a natural shave system for bald heads and a convenient cup holder that's also a throw pillow, on an all-new episode of the seed-funding competition reality series, "Steve Harvey's FUNDERDOME," airing on SUNDAY, JUNE 18 (9:00-10:00 p.m.), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose) EHDRA FRAZIER (DOME ESSENTIALS), STEVE HARVEY, MARLON RHODEMAN (TRI BOW TIE) (L-R: Frazier, Steve Harvey, and Marlon Rhodeman. Image: ABC)

 

 

 

What role has faith played in starting and growing your business? 

 

Have you heard Ericka Campbell’s song: I love God, you don’t love God? What’s wrong wit chu? I really do love Jesus and trust God to fulfill every promise in His Word to us.  So I pray and thank God every day for this new vision and for using me to carry it out for Him. He provides every resource. He opens every door. I try to pray before every major decision and step I take. God’s way is so much better than mine. He knows what’s ahead and I try to listen closely for cues and notes from Him to get everything done.

 

Give us a post-show update. How do you plan to grow your business in 2017?    

Since the show aired, business has done well! Dome Essentials was invited to be listed on Amazon Exclusives, one of the largest retailers on the planet. Having Dome Essentials highlighted under the Funderdome banner gave us the extra push we needed.

I believe in the philosophy, if you build it, they will come! So, I have established a customer service call center in preparation for the ABUNDANCE of business we will receive, and have a blue print for our manufacturing and production facility already in the works. I’m getting my team ready!

Next steps are to manufacture the Dome Essentials natural shave system in volume, create inventory to expand, present to select resellers, and begin production on the additional items in the line. I have a special addition to the line coming in 2018, which is very exciting and I can’t wait to launch it.

What do entrepreneurs like you need to be successful? How can shows like Funderdome help?   

 

I encourage every entrepreneur to pay attention to every connection. Every person you meet has a purpose. Every conversation or meeting is not by chance, it has a purpose. You need a team or a TRIBE to manage a business and be successful in creating a legacy. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to do anything meaningful in life! Every one of us has a gift or gifts to make a positive impact on the world; and each of us needs the other’s gift or gifts to make it work. We need each other.  So, find your tribe!

 

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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Love Them and Lead Them: Tools to Assist You in Becoming an Influential Leader

leader

Before you became an entrepreneur, did you ever work for someone who didn’t know how to be a leader? I’m sure you did—we all have.

Incompetent or abusive leaders are a problem, both for their employees and for their organizations. A leader’s lack of people skills can result in high employee absenteeism and turnover, lower sales, poor customer service, infighting among employees and departments, and the determination by employees to do the minimum amount of work necessary to get their paychecks.

Bad or incompetent leaders come in all varieties. Some are domineering, some are lazy, and some are just plain dumb. On the other hand, great leaders exhibit a variety of positive qualities. They are decisive, empathetic, fair-minded, and loyal to the people who work for them. In this article, I’m going to focus on a simple axiom that encompasses what every leader needs to understand. And, to be honest, this has been my greatest challenge in being a good leader. It’s this:

 

To lead them, you need to love them.

 

By “love them,” I don’t mean you should date your employees. In fact, that’s a very bad idea and will land you in legal trouble—so don’t do it. What I’m talking about is getting to know your people and valuing what makes them unique. They won’t follow you if they don’t believe you respect them, understand them, and can help them get what they want.

 

Your People Want to You to Be a Great Leader

 

Here’s a secret: Your employees want you to be an effective and inspiring leader. They don’t want you to be wishy-washy, vague, hard to communicate with, or too willing to follow every little change in the winds of business. Neither do they want to you to be overbearing, moody, personally offensive, or a micro-manager. Think back to when you were an employee at a job. I’ll bet you wanted certain things from your boss.

  1. Honesty. No one wants a boss who doesn’t tell the truth, whether it’s good or bad. To do their jobs well, your employees need reliable, valid information. Ideally, they should get it in real time, and not in dribbles from memos you send to their inboxes. Your employees want to know when they’ve made mistakes and how to get back on track. You owe them this, every day.
  2. Empathy. Everyone makes mistakes. You’ve probably had the experience of messing up on the job and having your boss yell at you—perhaps even in front of your co-workers. Did this make you want to work harder for the company? I’ll bet it didn’t. Your employees must get the message that you’re not a machine and neither are they, and that human beings have feelings that can either motivate them to succeed or discourage them. In order to be an effective leader you must let your employees know that while you have high standards, you value your employees as people.
  3. Vision. Your employees want to know why they’re doing what they’re doing. Yes, they’re earning a paycheck, but that’s never at the top of the list of reasons why people love their jobs. What people look for—and what you must provide—is a greater context for why you’re in business. Author Simon Sinek says, “If you hire people because they need a job, they will work for your money, but if you hire people that believe in what you do they will work with blood sweat and tears.” Effective leaders know how to influence followers with vision.

 

Every business exists to solve a problem for its customers.

 

Restaurants feed people. Shoe companies protect their customers’ feet. Toy companies provide happiness. Homebuilders provide safe and comfortable shelter.
What does your company do to make the lives of your customers better? And more importantly, why do you do it? In my own company, Texas Black Expo Inc., the answer is easy: We provide programs and training to develop startup businesses, expand existing businesses, and inspire other to start.

Why? We believe that everyone should be empowered to choose their own destiny. I would like to think that everyone who works with us knows what we’re trying to do, and I do my very best to communicate our vision at every opportunity.

Succeeding in business is as much about creating good relationships as it is about the numbers and data. The stronger your relationships with those following you, the stronger their desire to help you succeed.

 

Being Ready for Leadership

 

Most people can’t become effective leaders overnight. Leadership skills can take time to develop. There must be an awareness of the unique skills required when you hold a position of leadership. Too many would-be leaders think that by just working hard they can become leaders. Nothing is further from the truth. Too often, such people focus on their own skill sets. They concentrate on getting an M.B.A. or their ability to make financial projections. They assume these things will make them successful leaders because people want to follow successful people, right?

Not exactly. Leadership is its own breed. It has very little to do with technical skills and much more to do with people skills. If you don’t have the people skills, you won’t be an effective leader. It takes time to develop leadership skills. One common pitfall to avoid is trying to assert your leadership before you’re ready, or before the organization is ready. This is another lesson I have had to learn the hard way. Here’s an example of someone who was not ready for leadership. John was new to the company and the CEO took a liking to him. She told him that he had the potential to one day be the CEO himself. He got pumped. He was fired up. The following week at the annual sales conference, John started spouting off about what he’d do if he were in charge of a certain division within the company. Pretty soon the buzz was that this loudmouth kid was an arrogant you-know-what.

Guess what? John damaged his leadership prospects in that company. All because he wasn’t ready to lead, and worse, he violated the Love Them and Lead Them recommended order for creating leadership success:

  1. Create a magnetic brand. Put something with value behind your leadership.
  2. Understand the psychology of amazing leaders. Learn the skills.
  3. Communicate and connect effectively. Have empathy for those around you.
  4. Build phenomenal influence. Remember that trust is a precious commodity.

Many leaders fall into leadership by accident, and sometimes they simply get baptized by fire. In the example above, the new executive just got a little ahead of himself because he was excited that a bigwig noticed his “potential.” Remember, potential means nothing if you don’t follow up with the right approach, attitude, and work ethic.

You can be the most successful person in the room, but if no one on your team likes or respects you, or more importantly, listens to you, you’re not going to be leading anybody.
Leadership is not about getting people to do what you want them to do. It’s about showing them what they want to do and giving them the tools to do it.

 

 

 

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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Is Supporting Legal Pot Becoming Politically Viable in D.C.?

It's no longer political suicide, or so it seems, to embrace legalizing marijuana. At least among the younger generation of prominent Democrats, though there seems to be cracks in the dam amongst Republicans too.

The latest evolution on the issue was on display this week as New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker – a former mayor of Newark who is a young, affable guy rumored to be

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Is Supporting Legal Pot Becoming Politically Viable in D.C.?

Rolling Stone Latest Politics News

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Watch Out, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Is Becoming A Magazine

Oh Goop, where do we begin? The purveyor of vaginal eggs, leaf-scented perfume and $ 275 shower heads has left our brains spinning from fact-checking its dubious medical claims.

And now, all that Goopiness is spreading to a newsstand near you. 

Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site inked a deal with Conde Nast that includes quarterly print issues of Goop, Women’s Wear Daily reports. 

The magazine, which reportedly grew out of a conversation between Paltrow and Anna Wintour, will feature typical Goop content on topics like health, cooking, style, design, wellness and travel. The first issue debuts in September. 

This is great news for those of us who like to ogle extravagant gift guides on paper, but as always, be prepared to take Goop’s health suggestions with a grain of salt (and NOT an iodine supplement).

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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This Video of a Woman Becoming a Sex Doll Is…Not Sexy

It’s kind of horrifying—and sort of NSFW.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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You’re Engaged, Now What? Six Steps to Take Right After Becoming Engaged

Congratulations on your engagement! This is such an exciting time in your life and you don’t want to be stressed out BUT you probably are. You’ve been waiting for him to propose and now that he has, everything is coming at you at high-speed. Many of my clients say that they had an idea of what they wanted their wedding to look like but once they got engaged, all of that went out the window. The engagement period really should be a time to celebrate this next step in your relationship, not a time to be consumed with planning and stress. Here are six planning steps to take within the first month of your engagement that will help take away some of that stress.

1. Pick a date or two. Picking a date gives you direction in the beginning. You may have a venue in mind that you’ve always wanted to be married in but they may be booked on your date. If you’re flexible you may find more success in booking a venue.

2. Sit down with your fiancé and put together a budget. You won’t know exactly what things cost immediately but come up with a number that you are comfortable with spending. If the average cost of a wedding in your city is $ 55,000 but you can only spend $ 30,000, that’s your number. Now is not the time to try to keep up with the Joneses.

3. Hire a wedding planner. It kills me when I hear people say that a friend of a friend or their aunt who “does events” is going to handle their wedding. There is so much more to planning a wedding than fluffing your dress right before you walk down the aisle. We’re here to ensure that you make it TO the aisle! Figure out what the most important things are that you are looking for in a planner and while you’re interviewing, keep those them in mind. Don’t hire someone based solely on their Instagram account or their pricing alone. Ask for references and talk to their previous clients. If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur. Trust me on this one.

4. Find a venue. Your venue will help you determine your guest list. If your dream venue can only hold 100 people but you have at least 200 that you want to invite, keep looking. This part takes a little bit of time because you have to make appointments to see each venue. Put together a list of 3 that you like and start there.

5. Make a guest list. I always tell my clients to make 3 lists. Your first consists of your family and friends who you would put into your lifeboat if you were on a sinking ship. You have limited space on this lifeboat so make those people count. Second, make a list of the people who you would add onto your boat if there were a few extra seats. These are cousins who you talk to at Christmas time and that’s it. You’d like to see them at your wedding but if they aren’t there, it won’t ruin your day. The final list consists of those coworkers who you see 40 hours a week and commiserate about work with but you wouldn’t pick up the phone to call them after 5:00pm. Remember that you have to feed each guest and that’s where a huge chunk of your budget will go. If you wouldn’t pay $ 100 for their meal, don’t invite them. Making a guest list should be taken that seriously.

6. Designate a wedding-free time-zone. As involved as your fiancé may be, he doesn’t want to talk about wedding details every day for the next year. No one wants to do that, not even you. There really isn’t a need to talk about your wedding every day during your engagement. That’s why you hire a planner to handle all of the little details so that your relationship doesn’t become all about your wedding. Remember that you still have to take care of your relationship.
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Workbook for Becoming Physically Fit

Workbook for Becoming Physically Fit


BECOMING PHYSICALLY FIT is a telecourse produced by the DALLAS TeleLearning of the LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications. This self-paced course is designed to encourage students to improve their personal physical fitness and obtain an overall healthier lifestyle. Students are asked to make behavioral, as well as physical changes to their lifestyle. The successful implementation of these changes serves to motivate students to maintain personal fitness, proper nutrition, and lifelong healthy lifestyle choices. For more information on the course, visit http://telelearning.dcccd.edu.
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Becoming King

Becoming King


“The history books may write it Reverend King was born in Atlanta, and then came to Montgomery, but we feel that he was born in Montgomery in the struggle here, and now he is moving to Atlanta for bigger responsibilities.” — Member of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, November 1959 Preacher — this simple term describes the twenty-five-year-old Ph.D. in theology who arrived in Montgomery, Alabama, to become the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1954. His name was Martin Luther King Jr., but where did this young minister come from? What did he believe, and what role would he play in the growing activism of the civil rights movement of the 1950s? In Becoming King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Making of a National Leader, author Troy Jackson chronicles King’s emergence and effectiveness as a civil rights leader by examining his relationship with the people of Montgomery, Alabama. Using the sharp lens of Montgomery’s struggle for racial equality to investigate King’s burgeoning leadership, Jackson explores King’s ability to connect with the educated and the unlettered, professionals and the working class. In particular, Jackson highlights King’s alliances with Jo Ann Robinson, a young English professor at Alabama State University; E. D. Nixon, a middle-aged Pullman porter and head of the local NAACP chapter; and Virginia Durr, a courageous white woman who bailed Rosa Parks out of jail after Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white person. Jackson offers nuanced portrayals of King’s relationships with these and other civil rights leaders in the community to illustrate King’s development within the community. Drawing on countless interviews and archival sources, Jackson compares King’s sermons and religious writings before, during, and after the Montgomery bus boycott. Jackson demonstrates how King’s voice and message evolved during his time in Montgomery, reflecting the shared struggles, challenges, experiences, and hopes of the people with whom he worked.

Price: $
Sold by Kobo Inc.

Workbook for Becoming Physically Fit

Workbook for Becoming Physically Fit


BECOMING PHYSICALLY FIT is a new telecourse produced by the DALLAS TeleLearning of the LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications. This self-paced course encourages you to improve your personal physical fitness and obtain an overall healthier lifestyle. You will be asked to make behavioral, as well as physical changes to your lifestyle. The successful implementation of these changes serves to motivate you to maintain personal fitness, proper nutrition, and lifelong healthy lifestyle choices. For more information on the course, visit http://telelearning.dcccd.edu.
List Price:
Price: