Monthly Archives: July 2010

Woman to Watch: Claire Babineaux-Fontenot

Occupation: Senior Vice President and Chief Tax Officer, Wal-Mart

Hometown: Opelousas, LA

Currently Living In: Bentonville, AR

Birthday: April 26

Bachelor’s from University of Louisiana at Lafayette,  JD  from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge

Career Path: Started with Wal-Mart in 2004 as Vice President of Audit and Tax Policy, and became SVP and Chief Tax Officer in 2006. Prior to working for Wal-Mart, she worked in tax and general commercial litigation for law firm Adams & Reese, and also had worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP as Dispute Resolution Practice Group Leader for the Southwest Region. Also amongst her positions have been Assistant Secretary of the Office of Legal Affairs for the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Administrative Law Judge.

Credits Her Success to: Her parents who were the son and daughter of Louisiana sharecroppers

Quotable: “My God and my family come first.  I am grateful to have worked in environments that compliment those priorities.”

Accolades: Top 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America and one of the Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business by Black Enterprise Magazine

Family: Husband Barry and two children, Barry Jr. and Sydney


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Six Item Wardrobe

In a time where the economy is weak and people continue to look for ways to simplify their life, it’s not surprising that “shopping diets” are springing up all over. Last month the NY Times did a story about these “diets” and featured one woman who went 31 days with only wearing six items from her closet (excluding accessories, shoes and underwear). The crazy thing is, people didn’t notice – not even her husband!

Sites like Six Items or Less and The Great American Apparel Diet (which asks you to go shopping free for a year!) are dedicated to similar challenges. Which prompted us to ask, could you go a full year without shopping? And, if you could only wear six items in your closet for a month, what would they be? Here are six of our choices:

Black Pants
like this shown in this Calvin Klein Suit

Black Blazer like this shown in this Calvin Klein Suit

Crisp Button Down Shirt (preferably white or a bright color) like this Classic Button Down white shirt from The Limited

Dark Wash Jeans like these Trouser Cut jeans by Banana Republic

Black Dress like this Tahari Seamed Ponte Knit Sheath dress

Good t-shirt (preferably white or a bright color) like this Yellow Jersey T-shirt from the Gap

Take the poll:

Also, tell us what your six items picks would be!


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Let Nature Take Its Course

Chances are, everyone at some point in their adult life, has felt drained for one reason or another. You know that feeling you get when you’re just not on your “A” game? Maybe your job is really busting your hump or perhaps you’re in a relationship that is stressful or maybe your personal “to-do list” is just not getting done. Whatever it is that takes you off balance, getting back on can often be a difficult thing to do.  Generally when it happens to me I use a variety of techniques to counteract it and last weekend I discovered another, less obvious but equally effective, way to get refueled.

It only took a trip to Longwood Botanical Gardens with a few great girlfriends to recharge my battery. If you’re thinking “how can walking through a massive garden recharge anyone’s battery” trust me, it can. We started out by having a yummy brunch at a local diner, then we proceeded to the botanical garden. The weather was magnificent, sunny and not a cloud in the sky. We walked and talked and walked some more. But what really made the experience a “battery recharger” was the stimulation of all our senses.

Our sight was stimulated by the vibrant colors of all the unusual flowers in the garden and the sound of the wind blowing through the trees coupled with the running waterfall, instantly put us all in a place of calm. As we walked we found ourselves taking in the texture of our environment by touching the petals of these beautiful plants. When we entered the conservatory we were treated to a display of the most fragrant plants and flowers that contribute to modern day perfumery. And finally we indulged our taste buds by stopping in the café nestled quietly above a field of playful waterfalls and treating ourselves to peach and raspberry ice cream.

By the time we hopped back in the car to start our journey back home it was obvious that the trip rejuvenated all of us. Something about breathing in that fresh air and stimulating all our senses brought about a feeling of balance and newfound energy. It was a dose of aromatherapy, color therapy and aerobic exercise all in one. We all couldn’t stop talking about what projects and unfinished tasks we were going to tackle once we got back home.

So the next time you’re feeling drained and off your “A” game, try taking a time out to walk a botanical garden and let nature naturally take it’s course….

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Woman to Watch: Esi Eggleston Bracey

Occupation: VP and General Manager of Global Cosmetics Innovation, Branding and Operations for Proctor & Gamble

Cosmetic Trail Blazer: Esi made history when she joined Procter & Gamble in 1991 as she was one of the youngest employees to become general manager. She is now in charge of over 1,000 employees and is responsible for P&G’s popular CoverGirl and Max Factor brands, which have garnered over $2 billion in retail sales worldwide.

History Maker: First female African-American to attain her position at P&G. She said this of her “first” status, “If my role inspires people to appreciate our unique gifts, then I’m making a difference, and that means a lot to me.”

Mentors in Her Life: Gina Drosos, who taught her that P&G’s greatest asset is its people, and Susan Arnold, who taught her to value her unique gifts and encouraged her to use her talents to drive business.

Diversity in Action: Esi helped expand the definition of all-American beauty by signing diverse personalities such as Queen Latifah, Ellen DeGeneres and Drew Barrymore to be spokeswomen for CoverGirl, and she is most pleased that she can help women feel great on the inside.

Awards and Recognition: Ad Age 2009 Women to Watch, CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) Board of Directors, Black Enterprise 75 most powerful women in business 2010, Governing board of Baltimore School for the Arts

Quotable: “Be Yourself, Love What You Do, and Make a Difference”

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Drink To Your Health

We’ve all heard that “you are what you eat” but did you know that you’re also what you drink? Check out some of our favorite beverages that are not only amazing “ickiness busters” but also good at protecting your body and preventing illnesses.

Santa Cruz Organic Lemon Ginger Echinacea
This juice is strong, yet mighty. If you’re feeling bad, whatever your ailment, drink a glass of this and you will feel it working. Here are some health benefits of the ingredients:
Lemon: Helps with digestion, great for the skin, aids in weight loss, fights throat infections, helps control high blood pressure and acts as a blood purifier.

Ginger: One of the most antioxidant rich plant foods, aids in nausea and digestion, helps with pain relief, and may help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

Echinacea: An immune system protector, the Echinacea plant helps to treat colds and flu, urinary track infections, ear infections, sinusitis, and skin infections.

Healthy Cocktail
Our good friend, Erica Ash is one of the most health-conscious people we know. As an actress, her body is her livelihood and she does all she can to keep it in tip-top shape. This Healthy Cocktail is one of her favorite drinks to have in the morning (and we can attest – it is good and refreshing!). You can find the recipe here. Here are some of the health benefits of a few of the ingredients:

Aloe Vera Juice: Improved circulation, regulates blood circulation, strengthens immune system, heals internal tissue damage, and helps to detoxify your colon.

Green+ Powder: From their website: “One serving of Greens Plus delivers more essential vitamins, trace minerals, live enzymes and high-ORAC antioxidants than 5 full servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, and provides every vibrant color in the dietary food spectrum, as recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture.”

Spinach: Strengthens bones, helps control cancer, protects from heart disease, prevents memory loss, and prevents cataracts.

Good Belly Probiotic Juice

Good Belly Probiotic Juice:  Good belly is a yummy juice drink that improves digestion and supports your immune system. Want to know how probiotics work? Check out this video.

Our Favorite Natural Juice Blend

Whether you go to your local juice bar or make the juice at home, this is one is packed with goodness. This is the mixture: beet, apple, orange, kale and carrot (you can add ginger too for a little kick). It sounds crazy, but if you’re worried about the kale and/or beet, don’t worry, you won’t even taste it. Here are benefits of some of the ingredients:

Beet: An anti-carcinogen, beets are known as a natural treatment for cancers including leukemia, stomach and colon cancer. Beets also normalize blood pressure and cleanses blood.

Carrot: Helps protect vision (especially night vision), regulates blood sugar, promotes lung health, improves long term coughs, and is good for your spleen and stomach.

Kale: Helps with detoxification, aids in regularity, fights cancer, boosts the immune system, protects vision and improves bone health.

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Cheers: A Healthy Cocktail

By Erica Ash

1 cup Organic Apple Juice

3/4 cup Aloe Vera Juice

1 1/2 tbs Greens+ Powder

1/2 frozen banana

Handful of fresh, raw spinach

Handful of other fruit (pears, mango, blueberries are all good!)

Blend this all together in a blender and pour in a fun glass. Enjoy!

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Warm Weather Work Dresses

The heatwave has been hitting a lot of the country and we know that many of you have been feeling it! Since most of us can’t wear bathing suits to work, here are some dresses to help you keep cool during the dog days of summer:

1. Charcoal Sheath Dress, Banana Republic
2. Superfine Cotton Emmaleigh Dress, J Crew
3. Flutter Sleeve Tie Waist Silk, Calvin Klein
4. Contrast Dress, The Limited
5. Matte Jersey Marot Dress, J Crew
6. Flutter Sleeve Abstract Print, Jessica Simpson
7. Cap Sleeve Stud Collar Ponte Knit, Macy’s
8. Fluttery Silk Chiffon Chemise, White House|Black Market
9. Sheath Dress, The Limited

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