As many of you know, I was recently selected as the lifestyle editor for Slay Magazine and I’ve been on cloud nine ever since. When I learned that the launch party for Slay was approaching, I simply could not miss it. My best friend, Sarah, came along and we had an AWESOME time. The launch party was the reason for the trip, but we ended up partaking in a few other exciting events. Read on to get deets on our wonderful weekend in Dallas!
Slay Mag’s launch party took place on Friday October 23rd at Lofty Spaces (Dallas, TX). Despite the rainy weather and flash flood warnings, the turnout was amazing. Slay Magazine has definitely created a buzz! Kudos to Slay’s CEO, Tarsha Towers, for bringing her vision to the masses. Though we arrived late due to a flight delay, Sarah and I got there in time to enjoy great performances, vendors, and the atmosphere of excitement that could be felt throughout the venue. I am HYPED to be a part of the Slay team, and I am certain that big things are on the horizon. Subscribe to Slay Magazine at www.theslaymagazine.com to be a part of the Slay movement!
The words “boot camp “and “great weekend” are typically not spoken in the same breath, but in this instance they were. We had the opportunity to attend the Walk that Walk Boot Camp sponsored by the Weekley Dream Talent Agency and blogger, Fly Socialite! This class was so much more comprehensive than any modeling class that I’ve attended. It was absolutely worth the investment. The boot camp included a runway clinic, make-up tutorial, and the opportunity to have headshots taken. In addition, the comradery among the models in attendance was great. I would recommend this class to any model committed to perfecting her craft-experienced and aspiring.
This AMAZING fashion show was the first of two events that I would cover for Slay Magazine on Saturday night. We thoroughly enjoyed the show from beginning to end. I was surprised to learn that this was the first year for the show. It was so well orchestrated—perfect venue, wonderful emcee, talented designers, beautiful models who absolutely SERVED on the runway. There was not one dull moment. Check out coverage on Facebook.com/theslaymagazine for pictures of the SLAY-TASTIC designs that graced the runway.
One of the highlights of my weekend in Dallas was having the opportunity to meet blogger and fashionista Mardi Hunter. I had been following this gorgeous diva on social media for a while. So you could imagine my excitement while covering the launch party for Mardi’s online radio show, Simply Raw Radio. The celebration was a 20’s themed celebration, and the costumes in the room were nothing less than fierce. I wish the ladies of Simply Raw Radio many, many years of success. Catch the show on Mondays, 8pm-10pm, at www.thaafterparty.com/side-b-shows.
We had the pleasure of staying at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. It was a wonderful experience. The room was comfy and clean. The staff was polite and very helpful. We enjoyed our stay there, and will definitely be returning. I’m one who likes to stick with a good thing when I find it!
Sarah and I traveled from one event to the next using Uber. We had a total of eight rides with Uber during our weekend in Dallas, and we have no complaints. All of the drivers were prompt in arriving and friendly. Our last ride was an absolutely classy experience. I wish that I could recall the driver’s name, but he drove a very nice Cadillac. The driver opened the doors for us and helped us with loading our luggage into his the car. He was very personable and polite. Uber should be proud of the drivers who represent the company so well in Dallas.
This was my first visit to Dallas, but it will not be my last. I look forward to many more great events, many more stays at the Sheraton, and many more Uber rides in this beautiful city.
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According to MoGeSu: Books should draw us in. The characters should feel familiar. The story should be relatable. You should be able to clearly envision the virtual picture.
Romance author MoGeSu, pen name of Monica Sumter, has found writing to be her passion. The Columbia, SC native rose from being an overstressed and overworked employee of a wireless company to entertaining readers with her exhilarating writing style. She’s the mom of an active teen daughter. She’s a daughter who adores her mom. She’s relatable. She’s inspiring. Read on to meet MoGeSu and find out about her premier novel, Dreams Really Do Come True.
AC: First, let’s talk about your pen name, MoGeSu. It’s unique. How did you come up with it?
MS: The idea was originally used by my sister. It’s the combination of the first two letters of my first, middle, and last names.
AC: I’m excited to discuss your new novel, Dreams Really Do Come True, but let’s start from the beginning. When did you become determined to make writing a career?
MS: My writing career started at a point when I lost my job at a wireless company. I had been there for five years. The work was very stressful. Oddly, when the job ended I found myself feeling happy about it. It was during this time that my urge to write became stronger. I would put it off, but woke up one night and I just had to write. I couldn’t stop writing. It may have happened this way because the stress of my job had been removed, and I was in a better frame of mind to think and be creative.
AC: As women, we wear many hats. How do you juggle your work and family responsibilities while still making time to write?
MS: I have two flexible part-time jobs that allow me to work from home. The flexibility allows me to keep up with my daughter’s hectic schedule (she’s very active in dance) as well as remain dedicated to my writing.
AC: Does it feel like work when you are writing?
MS: No, it does not. I get joy out of writing. I can write for hours, sometimes writing until the sun comes up.
AC: Your advice for women trying to make that transition from simply existing to living their passion?
MS: I would say that they should pay attention to what makes them smile. They should make time for those things that do not feel like work. Writing is a joy for me. It makes me smile.
AC: Who is your greatest inspiration?
MS: My mom is my greatest inspiration. I look to her when things are down or if I feel at all defeated. When I think about how hard she has worked over the years, I have no choice but to keep moving. All of my life, I have witnessed my mom being a hard worker. When I think about her and all that she has done, I have no choice but to keep moving. She definitely inspires me.
AC: What influences your writing?
MS: I have always been a huge romantic. As little girls we’re taught to fantasize about growing up to meet that knight in shining armor and getting married. My affinity for the romance genre is rooted in that. I admire other romance and urban fictions writers. Zane and Eric Jerome Dickey are among my favorites. I especially find Eric Jerome Dickey’s style of writing to be refreshing. He is not afraid to spotlight non-traditional relationships, and is great at showing that love is different for everyone.
AC: Tell us about your novel, Dreams Really Do Come True.
MS: I wrote Dreams Really Do Come True in 2006 and published it this year (2015). The main character is a young lady who is in a complicated relationship, but she tries to make it right. In the meantime, she has dreams about a man who has all of the qualities that she desires. She and her friends go on a trip and she meets that man of her dreams. Unfortunately, their relationship begins at a tumultuous time in his life. What ensues is lots of romance as well as suspense. It’s a story that people can relate to and a plot that will draw you in until the end. Both women and men enjoy Dreams Really Do Come True. I have had fans tell me that they become so invested in the story line that they will read the book more than once because they find themselves missing the characters.
AC: Is any part of your book based on your own life?
MS: People ask me that question all of the time, but no. It’s all from my imagination.
AC: How can we purchase a copy of Dreams Really Do Come True?
MS: The book can be purchased on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/mogesu.
AC: Will there be a follow-up to Dreams Really Do Come True?
MS: I have been motivated by readers and their love of the characters, so, yes, I will be writing a follow-up to Dreams Really Do Come True.
AC: Do you have any upcoming events or appearances?
MS: In December, I will be having a blow-out birthday party that will also be a celebration of my fans and supporters. I will release details about the party soon.
I would like to thank MoGeSu for speaking with me for this interview. It was an absolute pleasure! I am excited for this author and all that is on the horizon for her. Let’s support great talent. Go to her author page (via the link above) and purchase your copy of Dreams Really Do Come True.
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It seems that the term role model has become a bad word. “Parents shouldn’t expect teachers to be role models.” “Your child should not look up to celebrities as role models”. “I am not a role model”. These are all phrases that I have been hearing more and more, but I still believe in role models. Here’s the thing. We have to understand that no one is perfect, and human beings are complicated. You will never be inspired by 100% of any one person’s actions or character traits. We are all flawed. We all make mistakes. A role model is not someone who you should seek to become, but someone whose experiences and accomplishments can serve as direction and inspiration for you. We should understand this, and make sure that our children understand this.
Why are people so resistant to being role models? It’s a lofty title to hold. It takes a special person to willingly offer direction to someone else. It’s noble. Some are hesitant to offer themselves as role models because, frankly, they don’t feel worthy. It’s great to be honest about your limitations, but we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. You may be in a situation where you’re still figuring out one area of life, but you may have had an accomplishment that can be that beacon of hope for someone else. Role models don’t have it all figured out. No one does.
I am inspired by many people, some famous, some not so famous. Do they have flaws? Yes, but it’s their ability to achieve despite obstacles that I am inspired by. Here are a few of my role models.
What are your thoughts on role models? Are you ok with being a role model? I look forward to your comments.
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“Serena Williams looks like a man.” I have said that if I heard or read it one more time, I would scream. While reading a Facebook post that was intended to celebrate the tennis pro, a commenter wrote “she’s too muscular…looks like a man”. I screamed and then I sat down to write this post. It’s a criticism that she receives a lot and I just don’t get it. A few things come to mind whenever someone says that Serena Williams looks like a man:
What sort of men have you been around?
I’m being silly, but when I see photos of Serena Williams “man” is nowhere in mind. I see a beautiful, perfectly toned, uber-talented athlete.
I guess I want to look like a man because I would kill to have her physique.
I’ve been on the fitness rollercoaster for many years. I do the New Year’s resolution every year and fall off by March. Sometimes I manage to make it to summer. Anyway, over the past 2 years I have made a vision board as motivation. Guess who’s one of the ladies posted on the vision board as inspiration? You got it! Serena Williams. I know that I would never be shaped exactly like her, but if I could get to my own level of prime health and fitness, I would be happy. I’ll get there one of these days. When I do get there, I’m sure that I’ll feel anything but manly.
What’s so wrong with a woman’s body having definition?
I guess it’s why so many women are afraid of weights in the gym. They’re afraid of bulking up. They’re afraid that they’ll look like men. We can’t be afraid of weights. There are too many benefits that women can experience from weight training. I’m no fitness expert, but I’ve heard it enough from fitness trainers and other health experts: our bodies do not bulk up in the same way as men’s bodies.
Ok. Now that I’ve vented on this post, I can just glance past remarks about Serena looking like a man with the understanding that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’ll continue to see her as the all-around powerhouse that she is. She rocks and I’m inspired.
What are your thoughts on women and fitness? Can we become too toned?
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Antoinette C. is a blogger who delights in all things that foster unity and growth in women. After all, if the woman is happy and fulfilled, so is her family and community. Through Truly Charmed, Antoinette will introduce you to women who have inspired her, and who will, hopefully, do the same for you! Here's to your charmed life!