In honor of Chinese New Year, Friday Girl TV was invited to cover the launch of Sakiri Vodka at Fusion 19 in conjunction with 19th Hole Magazine and the New Times Culture Education Center/Shen Yun Performing Arts Center. It was a fabulous event and the location was very posh and glamorous. The drinks made with Sakiri Vodka were yummy! We enjoyed bringing in the year of the Rabbit with great drinks, mini bites, a fashion show and a wonderful performance.

Lovely live art installation

October Rose and DJ Sugar Cut who provided the great tunes.

Just lounging...looking fabulous!

Lovely ladies in kimonos from Nakato Japanese Restaurant

October Rose and 2010 Miss United States Jessica Black

Red Velvet and Green Tea Cheesecakes

Ashia R. Sims, Producer and October Rose

 

In celebration of Black History Month, Mega Growth, a product of Strength of Nature™ and Nicole Garner, Founder of The Garner Circle PR, are joining forces to visit Metro Atlanta high schools to promote “Personal Growth”, a high school lecture series throughout February empowering young women for success personally, academically and in their future careers.

The “Personal Growth High School Series” will promote financial and professional independence, as well as tools to build character and self-esteem. The premise of this high school lecture series is founded upon honoring the past by preparing the present for their future. “It is critical to invest in the lives and ambitions of our youth; especially, during the economic changes our country is undergoing,” says Garner. Mega Growth Beauty Brand Ambassadors and Nicole Garner, Founder of The Garner Circle PR, are proud to be leaders in this community outreach initiative.

Personal Growth Series Dates & Location:
Hapeville Charter High School – February 8, 2011
Millergrove High School- February 15, 2011
Tri Cities High School – February 22, 2011
Columbia High School – February 28, 2011

 

Confessions of A Frugalista

By: Veronica Mobley

There’s this notion that secrets are harmless as long as the other person doesn’t find out. Well of course that all changes when you’re BUSTED! Keeping financial secrets from a spouse can be devastating to your relationship. We all know that the common cause of most marriages that end in divorce is related to finances.

It’s been said, marriages are much like business partnerships. And if this is the case, there should be complete disclosure in terms of all financial matters.

Here are 3 Common Areas of Financial Secrecy:

ü  Control- Normally if one person has control of the money, at some point there will be back lash from the other. This tends to prompt the use of secret accounts and credit cards. The person that’s resorted to hiding the money usually feels the need to do so after experiencing a sense of isolation and lack of flexibility from their partner.

ü  Frivolous Splurging and Undisclosed Debt- This area causes much friction. It’s difficult to develop a healthy financial plan as a couple when one or both of you is hiding a poor spending habit or even worse debt.

ü  Separate Accounts- Often times, couples secretly choose to keep separate accounts such as; checking/saving accounts, credit cards, investment holdings, and stashed cash

Veronica Mobley, is a Financial Advisor and premier catalyst for Women’s Economic Empowerment. She enjoys designing unique Financial plans, enlightening books and time with family.www.sassysuccess.blogspot.com

 

Valerie Jennings, C.E.O. Jennings Social Media Marketing

This week’s Woman 2 Watch, Valerie Jennings, is C.E.O. of Jennings Social Media Marketing and has taken the world of social media by storm! Jennings is a full service company that utilizes the art of online storytelling with the science of measuring quantifiable results. Read below to find out more about this Woman 2 Watch.
FG: Why did you feel it was important to start Jennings Social Media Marketing?

VJ: I wanted to demonstrate how a female-owned company could provide young women professionals, seeking mentorship opportunities, the chance to be a part of an evolving company. We continue to shape new, young, female leaders, who leave Jennings to implement change elsewhere and contribute to the Internet in a very positive way. When we (Jennings) address the opportunities that may effect change, we begin with passion, which each individual has, and evolve it.
FG: What were some of the challenges you faced in starting your own business?
VJ: Jealousy, anger, revenge, growing pains and little money for women who start their own companies.
FG: What are some of the common misconceptions people have about marketing via social media?
VJ: That it will not work in “their” industry. That if they do it, the Web is not right for their company. This is a market opportunity for Jennings. We love what we do and create new systems everywhere.
FG: What is the most challenging part of your job?
VJ: The stress of not having any problems. Just kidding.
FG: What do you consider to be some of the major highlights of your career thus far?
VJ: Media coverage regarding our systems, processes and success.
FG: What is a spiritual mantra or philosophy that you live by?
VJ: The universe provides, protects, informs us regularly and will continuously inspire Jennings to grow, prosper and enjoy living without future problems created by us.
FG: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
VJ: Don’t quit, be brave, honor your commitments, enjoy prosperity and live young-heartedly.
FG: What would you tell your younger-self if you knew then what you know now?
VJ: Don’t lie.
Finish this sentence….
FG: Women should stop complaining _____________ and ______________
VJ: Women should stop complaining about themselves and start doing more for their health, style, mental abilities and family.
FG: If your life came with a soundtrack, what would be the top three songs?
VJ: Shakira: “Loba,” Prince: “U Got The Look” and Alicia Keys: “Fallin’.”
FG: What project(s) do you have coming up?
VJ: Videos, Twitter and Facebook updates for clients regarding promotions; SEO for websites; e-newsletters and PR.
This is normal – I love it.
For more information on Valerie Jennings and Jennings Social Media call 816.221.1040:
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/jenningspr
Twitter @valeriejennings http://twitter.com/valeriejennings
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Kansas-City-MO/Jennings-Social-Media-Marketing/110273478991626?ref=ts
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/MichelleJPRA
www.jenningssocialmedia.com
valerie@jenningssocialmedia.com
 

With help of our friends at Van Gogh Vodka and Ron Abuelo Rum, October made some wonderfully sweet and yummy hot buttered rum featuring caramel vodka and rum as the highlights. This is a great drink to make during those cold winter months when you need something rich to drink. It has very simple ingredients so it’s a great recipe for bartending experts and non bartenders alike. Below is the recipe. Cheers!

HOT CARAMEL BUTTERED RUM

3 oz Ron Abuelo Añejo
1 oz Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
2 Tbsp stick Unsalted Butter, softened
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
Cinnamon Stick

Add all ingredients (excluding rum and vodka) into a hot drinking cup or mug. Mix the ingredients together until they are well combined and have formed a batter. Add Ron Abuelo Añejo rum and Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka. Pour in hot water (1 cup or more to personal taste) and stir vigorously until the mixture has dissolved. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

 

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of thirteen books. Check out this talk given at Ted Women about the attributes of getting more sleep. Found out how it might just be okay for women to “sleep” their way to the top! What do you think?

 

Nia Long, star of the upcoming film MOOZ-LUM, hit up a private media screening of the indie film at the Eventi Hotel in New York City. TV/radio personality FREE moderated the post-screening discussion which featured MOOZ-LUM writer/director Qasim “Q” Basir and producer Dana OffenbachEvan Ross, Danny Glover, Roger Guenveur Smith and Dorian Missick also star in the film which opens in theaters February 11, 2011. For more information, visit www.moozlumthemovie.com. In the meantime, check out these pics…

Producer Dana Offenbach, Actress Nia Long and Writer/Director Qasim Basir

TV/Radio Personality Free & Actress Nia Long

Jerry Barrow

Photos by Stephen Knight

 

Valerie Ramsey

An activist for healthy living no matter what the age, Valerie Ramsey is THE Woman 2 Watch! She’s a 70-year-old runway model, anti-aging expert, author, motivational speaker and is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the out. She’s aged gracefully, beautifully and healthly and wants others to be able to do the same! Read below to find out more…

FG: You began modeling at age 63, after many years of being a stay at home mom, what gave you the courage to embark on a new career?
VR: I always knew that when our 6 children were grown, I wanted to have a great career in the second half of my life. When I was 53, my husband and I moved from the east coast out to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula in California, where I went to work for the incomparable Pebble Beach Resorts. Since I had very little experience, my first job was in the pro shop, but over a period of 4 years I quickly moved into the marketing dept and eventually attained the position of Public Relations & Media Manager – a post I held for another 11 yrs. One day, when I was out on the golf course overseeing a photo shoot, the producer was quite insistent that I should be “doing something with my looks.” Although I resisted at first, eventually I let him take some photos, which he sent off to a San Francisco agency. Much to my amazement, they recruited me. It was the last thing I was expecting, and although I had serious reservations about a modeling career at age 63, my instinct told me that this could be fun, and I decided to go for it, (although I never gave up my position at Pebble Beach). Somehow I managed to do both.

FG: What lead you to being represented by the prestigious Ford Modeling agency?
VR: Model Scouts in Calgary Ford Models photos, and they signed me.

FG: What are some of the challenges you faced in changing careers?
VR: Transitioning from being a stay-at-home mother of 6 in a New York suburb, to PR/Media Manager and later to being represented by 4 modeling agencies in San Francisco and New York, was a major change for me. Going to work in a corporate environment meant that I had to be computer-savvy and know a fair amount about the hospitality industry. You would assume that I would encounter ageism, but that was never an issue – not even when I started modeling. I think much of the reason for that is because of my own personal attitude – I never think about “age” at all or consider myself very different from any of the young people that I associate with in the work place. Of course, when you’re modeling and you’re the only one out on the runway with silver hair, that’s a little different! And obviously age matters when it comes to what the advertising world is looking for when they hire models. But as far as working with the girls (and guys) themselves – I honestly am not conscious of my age. Another major challenge I faced was when, at age 58, I took on the Public Relations position at Pebble Beach. On the very first week of my new position, while overseeing a large photo shoot for a car commercial, I broke my foot & sprained my ankle. The next day I was told by my doctor that he had just found that I had uterine cancer and he scheduled surgery for the following week. The day after that I got diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition. All of these events, one on top of the other and coming at me when they did, presented a real turning point in my life. Faced with the choice between giving up on my great new job when I hadn’t even gotten started yet, or saying, “No! I’m going to get past this and make the second half of my life as great as I possibly can!” I chose the latter and never looked back. A world of wonderful opportunities came to me as a result of that decision, including being recruited as a model and later writing Gracefully with my daughter, Heather Hummel.

FG: How did your friends and family first react when you announced you were going back to work?
VR: When I started working at Pebble Beach Resorts, my friends and family were thrilled – particularly the golfers! My friends who didn’t work admired my courage in taking on a job at what was truly an entry level position, and then having the determination to work my way up to a great career from there. When I started modeling at 63, they were even more surprised – but no moreso than I! Now they find me a source of inspiration, and my children and 8 grandchildren are very proud. It’s wonderful to be a positive role model for your children, even after they’ve grown up, and to be one for your grandchildren as well. As for Wally, my husband of 50 years, I never could have done any of this without his support and encouragement. He has been an enthusiastic cheer leader since Day One and loves everything I’m doing.

FG: What is the most challenging part of your job?
VR:
Every new thing I’ve taken on from raising a large family (I, myself, was on an only child who went to boarding school at age 7, so I didn’t have much experience there!) to PR at Pebble Beach, and then to modeling, writing, being a guest on numerous national and international TV shows, being a keynote speaker for the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society plus doing many other motivational speeches as well, and now leading workshops – all of these have called on me to expand my knowledge, confidence and courage and to be the best I can be in ways that I haven’t tested before. Each one has been a new learning experience. One of my favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt. She said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” I LOVE that!!!

FG: In addition to modeling you are also the author of a book, Gracefully Looking & Being Your Best at Any Age. Why did you feel you wanted to write this book?
VR: When I was signed by Ford, a newspaper article appeared about this 63 year old woman who became a model. It was quickly picked up by the national newswires and started appearing in major newspapers all over the country. As the story spread, I soon began receiving e-mails from women everywhere telling me that they found so much hope and inspiration from what I had achieved in my life. One of my daughters, Heather Hummel, is a writer, and when I read her some of these beautiful e-mails, it was her belief that we had the material for a book. She put together a proposal which was quickly accepted by a wonderful literary agency in New York City, and soon after that Gracefully was picked up by McGraw Hill. We now have a second book in the works!

FG: How many of your business decisions are based on know how vs. your intuition?
VR: It’s got to be a combination, but if one has to take precedence over the other, I would say that it’s got to be intuition. If your gut instinct tells you that something feels right, if it’s something that excites you and you want to do it, (even though you may be a little frightened at the challenge) then do it. Any new skills you may need in addition to the basic ones that you already bring to the table, can be learned. By the same token, if something doesn’t feel right to you, even though you may have all of the necessary requirements to do it, don’t take it on. There is a reason we were given those feelings of either happy anticipation or dread in our tummies!

FG: What do you consider to be some of the major highlights of your career thus far?
VR: There have been quite a few: first and foremost, of course, would be the beautiful family that my husband and I raised together. They are all happy, loving, successful human beings who give much to the world in everything they do, and those who have children of their own are extraordinarily good parents. After that (and there is nothing more important than our family) I would say: My first big media trip to New York for Pebble Beach Resorts, My first big modeling job, which was in the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, My first TV appearance on CNN in New York – followed by 3 appearances on the Today Show, Fox News and many others. My first big speaking engagement at the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Being a presenter at the Canadian Association of Retired People in Toronto. Going to Paris as an ambassador for You Go Girls Travel, The day Gracefully came out And now…. The first Gracefully – Mind, Body, Spirit Workshop coming up in Monterey, CA on Oct 16th

FG: What is a spiritual mantra or philosophy that you live by?
VR: One of them is “Change the way you look at things, and things change”
Live well and laugh often – and to that I would add, Love with all of your heart. Never stop learning, Express gratitude, This moment, right now, is life.

FG: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
VR:
We can only experience life fully in this moment. Once it has passed, we may not have another chance, Life is full of the most incredible opportunities. Keep your eyes and ears open, listen to your instincts, and don’t be afraid to “Look around the corner to see what’s next!”Give back to the world as much as you can and the world will be good to you.

Finish this sentence….
FG: Women should stop complaining about______ and start doing _____________

VR: Women should stop complaining about (whatever is making then dissatisfied) and start with at least one positive step towards making a change

FG: If your life came with a soundtrack, what would be the top three songs?
VR:
It’s a Wonderful World – Luis Armstrong, Come Fly with Me – Frank Sinatra, Luis Miguel, New York, New York – Frank Sinatra

FG: What project(s) do you have coming up?
VR: Heather Hummel & I are launching a series of Gracefully – Mind, Body, Spirit workshops which we plan to take nationally. We are thrilled that the American Heart Association is partnering with us in the western regional states, and hopefully across the country going forward. Heather and I also have a second book in the works

For more information on or to contact Valerie please contact her managing partner, Marc Paulhus at Marc.outsidethebox@gmail.com or via phone at 831-521-1884. Valerie can also be reached via email at val@valerieramsey.com or by visiting www.valerieramsey.com

 

This past weekend, Friday Girl had the pleasure of attending the launch of Pink Kitty Cabaret, a fabulous burlesque and dance show created by Andrea Kelly. Andrea Kelly is a dancer and choreographer who has extensive experience through working with her ex-husband, R&B star R. Kelly with his tours, videos and performances. Her choreography is a theatrical fusion of African, Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, and Belly Dancing. Elements of her dance show her inspirations of Bob Fosse, Alvin Ailey, Tina Turner, Solid Gold, and street Hip-Hop.

The show was thoroughly enjoyable. Andrea Kelly has assembled a great group of young dancers who will definitely benefit from her wonderful quality of movement and tutelage. We look forward to seeing her dance company, Andrea Kelly Dance Theater grow and flourish.

Photos by Derwin Bing

Here’s a fabulous video showing some of Andrea Kelly’s great choreography.

If you have an opportunity to go see the Pink Kitty Cabaret, take it. You will enjoy it.

 

Melissa Wardy, Founder Pigtail Pals

Pigtail Pals, created by Woman 2 Watch Melissa Wardy, is a premium t-shirt company for young girls that offers distinctive designs on stylish, premium tees. Pigtail Pals goal is to create clothing that depicts girls in ambitious and adventurous roles. Pigtail Pals encourage girls to Redefine Girly by inspiring girls to be smart, daring, and adventurous. Read below to find out more about this stay-at-home mom who wants better options for her pre-school daughter when it comes to clothes.

FG: What made you want to start Pigtail Pals?

MW: I created Pigtail Pals because it is my belief girls should grow up with and be exposed to empowering messages from the time they are tiny. My line of apparel is in response to what I felt was lacking from the girls marketplace. It is nearly impossible to find girl clothing that depicts girls doing the smart, daring, and adventurous things. Yet for boys, this is the default. My daughter is named after Amelia Earhart, and I couldn’t find anything with a cute plane on it unless I went into the boy’s department. All I could find on the girls’ side was pink and slogans about being sweet, pretty, and someone’s princess. Something seemed off, so I started paying more attention to messaging kids receive from toys, media, and apparel. It didn’t take me long at all to see that girls were being shortchanged and things needed to become more balanced.  The A Ha! moment came during a playgroup when my daughter was about nine months old. One of the moms asked why I never have her dressed in Disney Princess gear. I replied that I didn’t think I’d encourage a love of princesses with her, that I didn’t want to teach her to wish upon a star for a prince. I’d rather she get into a rocket ship and find that star on her own. Then I complained I couldn’t find anything like that on a shirt for girls. A Ha! I jumped up and shouted that I had to go, raced home, filled a notebook full of ideas and sketches, and the rest is history.

FG: Part of Pigtail Pals mission is to redefine “girly” what does that mean exactly and how do you feel Pigtail Pals is helping to change that image?

MW: “Redefine Girly” means we need to change the way we think about our girls. Girls are smart, daring, and adventurous. So much of what is being sold to girls is stereotyped, limiting, hyper-girly and sexualized. I refuse to raise my daughter with these messages. I think our girls deserve better, and I want to encourage them to define for themselves who they will be in this world.
Pigtail Pals follows the belief “You can’t be what you can’t see.” All of our designs show girls doing things that typically fall outside of the socialized gender norms they are sold in childhood. For the little girls, they see themselves, in bold color, as pilots, race car drivers, astronauts, fire fighters, etc. For the bigger girls, they love the play on words that gives a new definition to an old stereotype. “Act like a lady…” is under our design of a female movie director. “Drive like a girl…” under our race car champ. The other half of Pigtail Pals is using my blog and social media pages to teach parents about media literacy, sexualization, commodification, and age compression. I inspire creative play and also take companies and retailers to task who are merchandising harmful products to our kids.

FG: What are some of the common misconceptions you think young women have about being women?

MW: Many young women today think that womanhood is a competition or game where sexuality is something you put on display in order to beat out other women and win approval and validation from outside sources. This concept doesn’t make someone a woman. There is a very narrow, manufactured ideal of what women in this country should look like, and it excludes a large majority of gorgeous women who fall outside of it. Being a woman means having agency. Sexiness isn’t a look, it is a feeling. I hope as more young women come into their own they realize that being a sexy, desirable woman means being confident and self-loving from the inside. Being a woman means recognizing your own worth, beauty, and talents, and sharing it with the world.  As a woman, it is one thing to hear, “Oh, you look gorgeous.” It is entirely different to be able to say, “I feel gorgeous.”

FG: What is the most challenging part of your job?

MW: I’m am a work-at-home mom with two small kids, so the most challenging part of my job is striking balance between the demands of caring for my little kids and home and trying to single-handedly run a successful small business. I am determined to do both jobs quite well, it just seems I never have enough time for either.

FG: What can mothers do to help change the way women are perceived in society?

MW: Mothers can be better women. They can be confident, well informed, outspoken, engaged, and caring. They can knock off the Fat Talk and gossip and demonstrate sisterhood towards each other. As women we need to be authentic to be the best versions of ourselves. Mothers can make decisions that demonstrate respect towards themselves, thereby creating a legacy for their daughters.

FG: How many of your business decisions are based on know how vs. your intuition?

MW: It depends on the decision. Product development and advertising are know how, it comes down to dollars and cents. Collaborations and risks are intuition, but I know what is right for my business because so much of it comes from my heart.

FG: What do you consider to be some of the major highlights of your career thus far?

MW: Definitely meeting experts and thought leaders in my field, and having them all know me and my work within the first two years of business. That’s the power of social media, forged stronger with face to face meetings and constant support of each other’s work. To have some of my idols tell me I wrote a great blog post or am doing a great job teaching parents about sexualization in new ways…well that just sends me right over the moon.
By far, the greatest reward I get is when I receive emails from parents that say “You have opened my eyes and I have changed the way I parent.” That blows me away and makes every late night working and every sacrifice worth it.

FG: What is a spiritual mantra or philosophy that you live by?

MW: Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. –Chinese proverb

FG: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

MW: The biggest messes usually have the simplest solutions.

FG: What would you tell your younger-self if you knew then what you know now?

MW: Every decision you are making is right and is leading you to a place of contentment and joy. And wear less patterns.

Finish this sentence….

FG: Women should stop complaining about______ and start doing _____________

MW: dieting and start doing things that honor and strengthen the gift of the healthy body they live in.

FG: If your life came with a soundtrack, what would be the top three songs?

MW: “Closer To Free” by BoDeans, “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison, and anything by the Indigo Girls.

FG: What project(s) do you have coming up?

MW: I just launched color tees for our original designs, in February I’m launching a second line of designs for girls that include bugs and dinos and pirates. The company is going to market in February 2011, and I hope to expand the baby line and toy options. I’m also writing a book for parents of young girls on how to work media literacy and empowerment into their parenting. 2011 is going to be a BIG year for Pigtail Pals!
For more information on Melissa Wardy and Pigtail Pals please visit the website: www.pigtailpals.com and blog: http://blog.pigtailpals.com. You can also join in on our conversations with their parent community on Facebook (Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly) and Twitter (@PigtailPals).

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