Monthly Archives: June 2010

Hitting Snooze On Your Biological Clock

Turning version 3.4 (34 years old) has brought with it a variety of interesting insights.  For one, we have waaaay more flat shoes in our closets, we all need our sleep, we don’t mind if a night out with the girls ends before midnight, etc. One other major insight we’ve had as of late is that the topic of having children seems to creep into more conversations than not. Something about being “version 3.4” prompts everyone (even random people) to ask, “When are you going to start having some babies?” It’s as if the alarm on your biological clock is ringing loud enough for everyone else to hear it. When you couple that with the alarmingly low marriage rates for successful women of color (black women in particular), what you get are women finding ways to hit the snooze button on the biological clock while we figure out a “plan B” to make this whole baby thing happen before our eggs…<gasp!> run out…<more gasp!>.  Plan B can be anything from freezing your eggs or applying for adoption to asking a male friend that you trust if he would be interested in having a baby with you if both of you are still unmarried and childless by a certain age.

So Vyne readers, we want to hear from you. If you’re in your thirtysomethings and want to have kids but haven’t yet, are you working on your plan B? If so, what is it?


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Stir Up Your Spirit

No matter what religious denomination you are, taking time out of your day to connect with your spirit is a must. Your spirit is that divinely quiet part of you that allows you to remain calm in the face of adversity, that keeps you hopeful and positive about the future, that drives you to take care of yourself and that allows you to love yourself and others. When your spirit is out of whack it throws everything else in your life off balance. With the busy lives that today’s women lead, it’s no wonder we often neglect the daily care and feeding of our spirit. Let’s change that starting today, shall we? Here are a few quick and effective ways to care for your spirit daily.

1)   Get a Partner – I have a dear friend who sends me Joel Osteen’s morning word newsletter each day via email. While I could certainly sign up for it myself, there’s something special about receiving it from her each morning and knowing that we’re both starting the day with a spiritual reflection.

2)   Meditate – Meditating doesn’t have to take hours. You can simply wake up 30 minutes before you normally do and gaze out the window as the sun comes up. The point is to just spend time in deliberate silence, appreciating the moment and taking it in before you start your day. You’d be surprised how well you’ll handle the rest of your day when you start off in a calm state.

3)   Extra, Extra, Read all About It – A great book to help you get back in touch with your spirit through stillness is Eckhart Tolle’s “Stillness Speaks”. Just reading the book makes you feel a sense of spiritual balance.

4)   Ritualize Quiet Moments– The Secret Daily Teachings is a fantastic way to get a quick positive thought to meditate on or to just start your day off right.

5)    Affirmations – Try making up your own affirmations about what you want for your life, how you want to feel, etc. Write them on colored index cards (you can even frame them) and post them in places you’ll see every morning. For instance, your bathroom mirror, the mirror on your dresser, or on your nightstand, etc.

Are you stirring up your spirit each day? If so, let us know how.

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Spotlight On: Helene Gayle, MD

Photo Courtesy of Pacific Northwest Magazine

Born: 1955 in Buffalo, NY
In a Few Words: Humanitarian,expert in HIV/AIDS research and prevention

Occupation: President and CEO of CARE USA (one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations), chair of the Obama Administration’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

Education: BA in psychology – Barnard College, MPH – Johns Hopkins University, MD – University of Pennsylvania

Accolades: “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” Newsweek’s top 10 “Women in Leadership” and the Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch,” as well as one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans” and the “100 Most Influential Georgians”

Family: Born the third of five children to mother, Marietta, and father, Jacob. Marietta was a psychiatric social worker and Jacob was an entrepreneur. Helene never married.

Career Highlights: Led international AIDS research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Director of the HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health division at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (including managing a $1.5 billion portfolio of programs), U.S. Public Health Service (retired as a Rear Admiral/Assistant Surgeon General), consultant to international agencies (including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and UNAID).

Blogging: Check out some of her posts on including this post on how empowering women is the best way to end poverty.

Quotable: “I don’t regret having placed a high priority on a career that enables me to make a contribution to humankind. At some point there may be reasons why I would want to shift those priorities. In the meantime…my life [is] very full.” Ebony Magazine

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Filed under Phenomenal Women, Wellness

Summer’s Sassiest Swimsuits

Summer is officially here and we all feel the heat! Check out these sassy, sophisticated swimsuits to get you ready for that beach vacation or sitting by the pool.

1. Magic Suit by Miraclesuit ‘Yves’ Pebble Dot One Piece
2. Miraclesuit Swimsuit, Escape One Piece
3. Vintage Splatter-Print Bikini
4. Old Navy Women’s Halter Swimsuit
5. Halter-neck One Piece
6. Miraclesuit Sanibel One Piece
7. Profile by Gottex Plus Size Swimsuit, Tribal One Piece
8. Diane von Furstenberg Carmen Tropical Swimsuit
9. Michael Kors Belted Swimsuit
10. White Fold-over Bikini

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Vyne Reader Spotlight: Erica Ash

Name: Erica Ash

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Roles you play in life: I am the daughter of Diann and Donald Ash; Sister to Adrienne, Donald and Derrick Ash; girlfriend to Jarrod Bible;  Founder and CEO of The Deviled Angel Inc.;  Founder of the comedic advice column The Deviled Angel; comedic TV actress (MADtv; The Big Gay Sketch Show); Theater Actress (The Lion King as Nala); Spamalot (Lady of the Lake); World Traveler and Life Lover!

Hobbies: traveling, working out, hiking, cooking, writing,

Education: BA (English,Sociology) Emory University

What is the last movie you saw?: Sex in the City 2 (liked the 1st one better)

What is your favorite TV show?:
Housewives of New York and Atlanta (guilty pleasure)

Shuffle your iPod – what’s the first song that comes up?:
“Danke” by Xavier Naidoo (German Artist)

What is your favorite travel destination?:
Lately the South of France (San Tropez/Monte Carlo/Cannes/Monaco) …it was BEAUTIFUL!

What beauty product can’t you live without?:
A good moisturizing face cream (Avalon Organics or Sola Vie right now)

Finish this sentence, “To feel more centered I…”:
P-R-A-Y!!  (And go to church on Sunday)  Yay God!

Who is your celebrity fashion inspiration?
:  I honestly don’t have one.  I like to march to the beat of my own drummer.

What is your favorite restaurant?:
Katana (FABULOUS sushi and that’s where I met my man!)

What words do you live by?:
You’re closer to the top than the bottom…PRESS ON!!

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Fake Out Foods

Getting in shape is not just about getting plenty of exercise, its also about choosing the right foods to eat. But what happens when you have a hankering for chocolate because it’s that time of the month or a taste for something salty that only chips will satisfy? You can easily sabotage all of your workout efforts by giving in to your cravings. Never fear, we’ve prepared a list of “fake out foods” to satisfy your cravings without sabotaging your workout efforts.

Chocolate AttackChocolate Cheerios are fantastic for satisfying the chocolate attack. They even make the milk chocolaty!

Meal Replacement – If you’re looking for a quick “meal” during the day and you don’t want to get tempted by co-workers to pig out, just find your local Starbuck’s and order the Vivanno Chocolate Banana Smoothie. It has a whole banana, cocoa, 2% milk and 17g of Protein. You can even ask for an extra scoop of protein. They have strawberry banana as well but the chocolate banana is our favorite. Another meal replacement we like is AdvantEdge Carb Control Protein Shake in Vanilla or Chocolate Fudge.

Ice Cream Hankering – Sometimes a girl just wants to curl up on the couch with a pint of Haagen Dazs and watch a movie. But since it’s so incredibly tasty…I mean fattening…here’s an alternative: Real frozen Yogurt! And we’re not talking TCBY. We mean the all natural, cream yumminess of real frozen yogurt that you can get from Red Mango (multiple locations), Phileo (in Philadelphia), Sweet Endings (in Philadelphia), Pinkberry (multiple locations), Berry Berry (Dallas). We prefer it more creamy than icy and Red Mango seems to have the creamiest version. You can also add all types of fun toppings like fresh fruit, granola, cereal, etc.

Sweet Tooth – If you have a sweet tooth, try eating Sensible Foods crunchy dried fruit. It’s simply pieces of berries, apples, apricots, etc. dried until their crunchy. They’re super sweet and will quickly satisfy your sweet tooth.

Cookie Monster – If you love a good cookie every now and then you should really try the 100 Calorie pack version of Lorna Doones cookies and Oreo cookies. They’re almost as good as the real thing with way less fat and none of the guilt!

Salt/Savory – We’re not really into potato chips but when ever we do have a taste for something salty we like to go old school. Simply pop some popcorn in a pot on the stove (yes on the stove!) with olive oil instead of butter or regular oil. Then finish it off with a sprinkle of kosher salt. For a fancier touch, you can add a couple drops of truffle oil.

Flavored Water – Sometimes, plain old water just doesn’t sound thirst quenching enough. Instead of reaching for something artificially flavored, try filling a pitcher with slices of oranges and lemons; add water and place in the fridge. Don’t peel the fruit before slicing it as the oil from the skins of the fruit will help to flavor the water. What you end up with is mildly flavored, refreshing water and it looks great in a clear glass pitcher for serving to guests.

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Filed under Food and Drink, Uncategorized, Wellness

What Will Be Your Summer ‘Do?

We’re days away from the official start of summer and what better way to get ready than changing up your ‘do? We both did a hair transformation for the summer and we encourage you to do the same. Whether you drastically cut your tresses or just get some bang action or layers going, treat yourself to a fresh look for the season.

So tell us – which ‘do is most likely to be yours this summer?

Photo credits: Dawn Richard, Janet Jackson, Tracey Ferguson, Oprah, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Obama, Keri Hilson

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