Tag Archives: Women

PMS in Your 30’s…a Doozy!


Somewhere around “version 2.8” of myself and the current “version 3.4” of myself, I noticed something. It only took numerous “out of the blue” attitudes, senseless arguments with that “special person in my life” and several of my “last nerves” to realize….I have raging PMS!

Dinner with some girlfriends a few weeks ago celebrating April birthdays, revealed that thankfully, I’m not alone. Turns out that each of us well dressed, smart, sensible women have at least three days out of the month when the simple things can get on, in, around and basically all up and through our last nerve. Causing us to have a decreased ability to filter virtually anything we say during this time period. Likewise, patience seems to take a complete hiatus, as does anything reminiscent of a calm, reasonable reaction. You know what I’m talking about ladies. Those instances when that co-worker of yours who usually jokes with you suddenly ticks you off with their humor? Or when you’ve decided that now is the time for you to tell that man friend of yours how mad you are about what he did a month ago? Or maybe you’re on your couch, curled up with some Haagen  Dazs crying for the “fifty-leventh” time over “fill in the blank” movie.

What ever your story is, if you haven’t yet made the connection between your wild mood swings and your menstrual cycle, let this serve as your wake up call. PMS is real and according to WebMD, 3 out of 4 women suffer from it. A total of 8% of women have the severe form of PMS known as PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder). Generally, PMS flares up during the time of ovulation. As if breaking into your 30’s isn’t traumatic enough, PMS is said to be at it’s highest in your late 20’s to early 30’s (oh joy).

Well, we’re all about solutions here at The Vyne and while we can’t “solve” PMS, we did do a little research to compile a few tips to at least help you manage your PMS better.

Tips For Managing Your PMS

1)  iPeriod – Shout out to my aunt for telling me about the iPhone app called  iPeriod. You enter the days when your cycle starts and after two cycles it actually keeps track of your cycle, ovulation, potential PMS days, etc. If you know it’s coming, perhaps you can be more prepared…or at least let others know to be prepared!

2)   Radio Silence – Okay, so completely disconnecting from people is clearly not a healthy option, however, there’s nothing wrong with making a conscious decision to limit your amount of general conversations for a few days.

3)   Calcium and B6 – According to WebMD, calcium and vitamin B6 are helpful in curbing the symptoms of PMS.

4)   Workout – Getting your heart pumping releases endorphins, which make your mind/body feel naturally happy.

5)   Table Your Decisions – It’s usually a good idea not to make major decisions when you’re emotional. Since PMS is all about emotions, try to avoid scheduling meetings during this time that may require you to make major decisions and definitely refrain from having “the talk” with your man while you’re in the throws of PMS….outcome will not be good ladies.

6)   Aromatherapy – I’m a huge fan of aromatherapy. Lavender is a great scent for evoking calmness and tranquility. Try keeping some lavender room spray handy in your office at work and in your home. Spray it in the air and take deep cleansing breaths.

If you have other effective tips for managing PMS, do share with us!

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10 Signs You’re Officially In Your Flirty Thirties


Flirty 30It seems like forever ago when we were first eligible to check the 25-35 age box. After we threw our “flirty thirty” birthday party in New York, I remember us thinking we didn’t feel any different now that we were “older.” But ever since turning the big 3-3 we came to the realization that several elements about life change once you hit your flirty thirties:
 
1. A Night In with the Girls Beats a Sweaty Club Any Day – In the twenties it was all about the sweat box club. But in the flirty thirties, there’s something about chatting it up with your girls over a good bottle of wine, home cooked cuisine and your comfy clothes that you just can’t beat.
 
2. Ability to Fake Anything Declines Dramatically– This goes for enduring the annoying co-worker or incompetent boss to the friend you’ve just frankly outgrown or man you’re not really feeling.
 
3. PMS Kicks in Like Jackie Chan – Who knew the thirties brought with it a rush of unnecessary hormones in the form of three to four days worth of downright agitation, crankiness or crying for no apparent reason?   
 
4. Feeling Your Independent Streak – The thirties seem to invigorate your desire for independence. You may find yourself traveling for vacation solo or moving to a new place without the safety net of friends and family.
 
5. Desire to Try New Things – Whether you’ve actually gone through with it or not, there’s no denying that there’s an urge to try things you’ve never done before in your thirties. So far our list includes joining a rowing team, running a half marathon, taking up bikram yoga and doing the master cleanse. Thirty
 
6. Random New Aches and Pains – When you were in your twenties it was nothing to break out in a sprint up a flight of stairs. In your thirties….not so much. Of course staying in shape has a lot to do with this but if you’ve ever had a knee randomly give out on you while walking or heard your bones crack while performing routine tasks then you know what we mean.
 
7. Opting for Flats Instead of Heels – There’s something about wearing cheap heels in your twenties that does a number on your feet by the time you hit 30. We still love our heels but nowadays there’s usually a pair of cute flats stuffed in a bag close by.
 
8. Knowing When to Say When – It’s no coincidence that your thirties is characterized by bold moves whether in your career or your personal life. There’s something about this period that makes you feel more inclined to be decisive about when to put a period to a situation, change course and feel good about moving on.
 
9. Sleep is a Necessity, Not Optional – Once upon a time four hours of sleep and a shot of “no doze” or a strong cup of Quick Trip coffee was all we needed to get through the day. Such is soooo not the case anymore. Siesta anyone?
 
10. Coming Into Your Own – If the twenties are about transition then the thirties are truly a time of coming into your own. Understanding yourself as a woman and feeling grounded in who you are is a sure sign that you’re officially in your flirty thirties.
 
Do you have other signs to add to this list? Post a comment to let us know.

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Oprah’s Project O Bracelet


Project O Bracelet: Photo Courtesy of Oprah.com

Project O Bracelet: Photo Courtesy of Oprah.com

Oprah does it again! It’s clear that Oprah’s giving spirit knows no bounds. This week we came across Project O Bracelet and just knew that The Vyne Readers would be interested in helping out. Project O Bracelet is an initiative led by O Magazine in partnership with Fair Winds Trading. Think of them as bracelets with a back story. The bracelets are made by women in East Africa who have suffered through some of life’s most horrific challenges. Making these bracelets gives the women the opportunity to earn 12 times the average daily wage in their countries. The project launched in 2007 and has given the women of Africa the opportunity to transform their lives for themselves and their families. The latest editions of the O Bracelet is particularly unique as it brings together the handy work of women from Rwanda and women still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. Each bracelet is handcrafted in Rwanda and New Orleans. They are designed with two distinct parts, a beautifully woven disk and an equally beautiful band, to represent the two groups of women coming together. Take a look at these fabulous treasures and consider supporting the cause by purchasing the braceletes.

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Spotlight On: Soledad O’Brien


15786_Soledad-O_Brien“I define myself as multiracial. Definitions are important to other people. They make no difference to my life. I think my parents were sort of like. You’re a black girl. You’re a light skinned black girl – that’s what you are, and I don’t know if it was ever a really big issue…” – Soledad O’Brien

 She was the investigative force behind CNN’s much talked about series, Black in America and Latino in America. Next to Roland Martin, she is usually the most outspoken journalist on CNN, often not afraid to say the tough things. Award winning journalist, Soledad O’Brien is no shrinking violet.

 She was born Maria de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien in Long Island New York to Edward and Estella O’Brien. Both of her parents are immigrants, her mother a black Cuban and her father, a white Australian. As the fifth of six children, Soledad had the great fortune to be born into a family that valued education. Her mother was a French and English teacher and her father a mechanical engineering professor. Clearly it was the example they set that led to them raising six children, all of whom graduated from Harvard. Soledad’s sibling’s professions range from law professor and corporate attorney to eye surgeon and anesthesiologist. Soledad attended Smithtown High School East in Smithtown, NY and was often faced with the race question. She says of her middle school days:

“…when I was 13 I’d be stopped in the hallway, with a question: “If you’re a n—–, why don’t you have big lips? [or]…“Why is your name so weird?” People would apologize for asking me if I was black. I didn’t know how to take the apology. I just ignored them and pushed forward with a quest to become a typical Long Island teenager. I chopped off the end of my name and had people call me Solie, which I spelled with a heart over the “i” in true Long Island high-school-girl fashion. But my hair would never “wing” like Farrah Fawcett’s.

Despite the challenges, Soledad went on to attend Harvard University in the footsteps of her siblings. She did not immediately graduate, choosing instead to postpone her degree in favor of pursuing her journalism career. She started out as an associate producer and writer for an NBC affiliate in Boston. She went on to join NBC news in New York as a field producer for the Nightly News and Today. It wasn’t long before she became on-air talent for an NBC affiliate in San Francisco, the Discovery Channel and eventually began anchoring the weekend morning show on MSNBC. She continued writing and contributing reports for the Today Show and NBC Nightly News. In 2000, the same year that she was named one of People magazines “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”; Soledad completed her studies at Harvard and received her Bachelor of Arts.

 Soledad’s career trajectory and accolades are beyond impressive. Since joining CNN she has covered some of the most significant stories of our time, from Hurricane Katrina to the 2008 Presidential election. Her most recent success has come from her special investigative reporting series, Black in America  and Latino in America. As a mother and wife with a successful career, Soledad continues to demonstrate for women the world over that the sky is the limit.

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Spotlight On: Dr. Lisa Masterson


Dr. Lisa Masterson

Dr. Lisa Masterson

You’ve heard of Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, now meet, Dr. Lisa Masterson, specialist in obstetrics, gynecology, infertility, adolescent gynecology and family planning. Currently starring as the only female doctor on the hit spin-off show, The Doctors, Dr. Lisa Masterson is anything but your typical OB/GYN. 

Lisa’s interests and talents have stretched globally to bring awareness to women of all walks of life. She credits her mother and her grandmother as her inspiration. Her grandmother, Mattie Ruth Smith, is a native of Louisiana and was the eldest of twelve children. Her grandmother’s passion for education led her to become a schoolteacher in black schools throughout the state. Lisa’s mother, La V’onne Smith, also had a passion for education and began her career as a professor at the University of Washington. It’s no surprise that her passion for education soon developed into a passion for working with the community. She served in the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and eventually went on to become director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office in San Diego. It was then that Lisa’s education began to take off. She attended The Bishop’s School, a well-respected private school in La Jolla, CA known for it’s rigorous academic curriculum.

Upon graduating from The Bishop’s School, Lisa went on to attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. After graduating she moved back to CA to attend Medical School at the University of Southern California. Tragedy struck during Lisa’s first year as an Obstetrics and Gynecology intern at USC/County Hospital in 1993. Lisa’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Only a year later, Ms. La V’onne Smith passed away having left an indelible imprint on her daughter’s life and the communities she served.

Lisa says of her mother, “Because of [her] strength and independence as a woman, she was, and is, my governing inspiration.  As a private person, she gave us all the encouragement and nourishment a mother could give.  As a public figure, she was a major participant in the equal rights movement which has always been foremost in my life.”

It is likely the legacy of her mother that has propelled Lisa to excel in her field.  She has appeared on such shows as  The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Anderson Copper 360 and The Tyra Banks Show to name a few. Currently she can be seen co-hosting the new syndicated series “The Doctors”, the runaway hit spin-off from Dr. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw. On the show Lisa and her co-hosts investigate and discuss controversial medical topics, busts medical myths and answer burning questions from viewers who are too afraid to ask their own doctors.

Apart from being on staff at Cedars-Sinai, St. John’s and UCLA/Santa Monica and running her own unconventional practice in Santa Monica , it is Dr. Masterson’s work abroad that is most remarkable. Her passion to provide global medical relief to underdeveloped regions led her to create the Maternal Fetal Care International (MFCI), a charitable organization dedicated to helping mothers and their children. MFCI brings volunteer physicians, medical supplies, equipment and training to enhance the level of medical care decrease the mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. She is currently creating the first OB/GYN residency program in Eritrea, Africa, and has started birthing clinics in Kenya and India. Dr. Lisa Masterson may not be a household name yet, but she is certainly well on her way.

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All the Single Ladies: Dating Lessons Learned


DatingBy Keesha Boyd

It seems like every time I’m on the phone or out to eat with my single girlfriends the conversation almost inevitably turns into a discussion about the plight of dating. Not that we don’t also discuss politics, work, pop culture, etc. But at some point we find ourselves swapping those good ol’ entertaining “single stories.” I’ve heard stories ranging from men with weird dining habits that surfaced during the date and men announcing their fascination with dating women of color, to men whose idea of a date is laying up on your couch with his feet kicked up on your coffee table. Then there’s the ever popular man who just flat out lies about his status, job, interest in you, or that girl who keeps blowing up his cell phone, etc. Regardless of the experience, single ladies the world over continue to brave the dating scene in hopes of finding “Mr. Right…for me.” Whether the scene is the internet, a speed dating session, or an organized singles meet up, women continue to explore all possibilities. Although I’ve yet to venture into “internet” dating, several of my friends have and much to my surprise they have experienced positive outcomes. But by and large , they are still kissing the same amount of “internet” frogs as the next girl, despite the tedious up front profile process.

All of these fascinating, heart-breaking, funny and appalling stories (including my own) that get swapped over wine and appetizers, could probably yield some great advice for another single lady. So here goes Vyne readers! Let’s start a “dating lessons learned” list for all single women to benefit from. Sure you have your self-help books out there, but how about sharing some REAL advice, from REAL women, based on REAL experiences from our dating lives?  Post your advice and lessons learned in the comments section below. Let’s hear it ladies!

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The Vyne Reader Spotlight: Karissa George


Karissa George

Karissa George

Name: Karissa George

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Roles you play in life: Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Mother, Dog Lover, Director of Human Resources and Diversity for John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods.
Hobbies: Trying new meal and dessert recipes and exploring new cultures through international travel.
Education: Emory University and Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University
What is the last movie you saw?: Time Traveler’s Wife (Thumbs Down)
What is your favorite TV show?: Oprah
Shuffle your iPod – what’s the first song that comes up?: Stevie Wonder – “If it’s magic”
What is your favorite travel destination?: South Africa
What beauty product can’t you live without?: Prescriptives Virtual Skin accompanied by Virtual Matte Oil Control Pressed Powder. Coverage that you cannot feel is the key to my beauty selections.
Finish this sentence, “To feel more centered I…”: Take long outdoor walks and focus on the simplicity and beauty of nature as a reminder of what God made and what He is capable of doing.
Who is your celebrity fashion inspiration?: Hair style and fashion icon Victoria Beckham
What is your favorite restaurant?: Inside of this Emory educated woman who loves a medium steak from Rathbun’s Steak House or the butter fish from Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion, there is a Southern bred girl who equally enjoys a Friday visit to Atlanta’s own JJ’s Rib Shack.
What words do you live by?: Always do your best because you never know when you are making a first impression.

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