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GUARDED

Remembering that night, our first night The room illuminated by candles Rose petals adorned the floor Loves notes posted in every empty space Baby, you are my everything, and I smile because of you Your reaction touched my heart to the core Your overwhelming tears tore down the walls that guarded my heart I Love You was all wanted to shout Terrified at what you would think, I kept it to myself As the evening progressed. the passion consumed every ounce of that room Enjoying how every inch of you filled me Your hands in mine, your lips on my lips Never let me go is what ran through my mind But the night had to end A quiet drive on the way to your home only to have you say the words I waited for all night I Love You Baby!       Author: Jacqueline Rodriguez Email: jc2065.jr37@g...

FIRST DATE FASHION IDEAS

You’ve met a wonderful guy online and your first date is coming up, but you still don’t know what to wear? This sounds way too familiar, and if that’s the case with you, don’t worry because you’re at the right place! Here are some useful first date fashion ideas, as well as some general tips on how to pick a venue where your date is going to take place, so check them out and accomplish your goal like a true fashionista! First of all – pick your first date venue Speaking of first dates, there’s one essential task you need to tackle before you make a decision on what to wear. Of course, we’re talking about the venue your first date is going to take place. The fact is that your overall outfit depends on it, so make sure to determine where you’re going to meet for the first time. Possibilities...

FATHERLESS DAUGHTERS: A SOCIAL AND SELF-LOVE ISSUE

My father did not take care of me while growing up. Finally seeing him after more than 10 years for the first time as an adult, trying to implement a healthy daughter-father relationship (something I dreamed of) reinforced the deep feeling of abandonment I thought it would silence. Then, I have decided to distance myself from him, from the situation. When I have decided to put self-care at the center of my philosophy, I healed. This situation will always affect me, but I am not hurt by it anymore. Moreover, I don’t consider myself a victim; I consider myself more than anything else as privileged to have been brought up with people who cared, to have been nurtured by love and a great amount of unconditional support. I eventually came to the point where I am conscious that being fatherless a...

A COLLECTION OF POEMS

November 21st, 2016                                                                                                  11:22 PM   My whole life I’ve been told To sit down Stay out of sight Women are to be seen not heard Trophy wives and soccer moms All for appearances And nothing more But I am not just a shiny thing To place up on your shelf I am a queen Born to rule So you can either rule by my side As my king Or be my subject Either way I am to be respected Not subjected.       February 14th, 2017                                                                                                    3:15 AM   If you are Under the illusion That I need you Don’t be. I am fire. I am self-sustaining And self-loving I do not need you And I never will I was better...

SMALL WAYS TO GET YOUR SH*T TOGETHER

Getting your act together – it seems as if it should be easy enough and it can be when you get that first rush of motivation. You have a list of goals you wish to accomplish, your dream board made and your sleeves rolled up. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, it’s 10 p.m. and you’ve spent the majority of the day rewarding yourself with long Netflix breaks for every menial task you’ve managed to mark off your list. Believe it or not, it’s possible to break the trend of perpetual laziness by taking these small steps to really get your act together: Your memory isn’t reliable, so keep track of your life. Planners aren’t merely for the struggling college student. When you have a multitude of bills and appointments to keep up with along with your daily to-...

TRUE SELF-CARE: IT’S NOT ALL WINE AND CHOCOLATE

It’s official. Our society has screwed up self-care. Don’t believe me? Do a quick Pinterest search. You’ll be inundated with perfectly staged, beautifully filtered photos of organic hand-poured soy candles, impeccably decorated acai bowls and robe-clad women sipping bubbly at a lavish spa day. Of course, I want an eight hour spa day followed by a glass of champagne. That sounds lovely.  But let’s call a spade a spade. First of all, that’s often unrealistic due to resources – both time and money – and second of all, that’s not self-care. That’s a retreat. That’s a relaxing day. That’s an escape. Albeit nice, true self-care is not red wine and chocolate. True self-care is making the conscious choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. True self-care is establishing simpl...

LEARNING TO SAY ‘NO’

All my life, I’ve tried to keep my friends close to me all the time by never saying no to them. if they needed me to help them do something mischievous or even illegal, I would giggle when I want to say no, but I would still say yes, no matter how dangerous that deed was. Growing up, you realize that living to please people isn’t worth it because people keep you around when you are beneficial to them. Not only was I submissive when it came to my friends, but my partners too. Anything they wanted to do, I would be down for it even when I really wasn’t. When people are so used to you agreeing to anything they say, you start to find yourself living your life the way that they want you to. Your daily routines sometimes depend on your peers – you want to avail yourself for them so that th...

LIVING WITH ANXIETY & TOOLS: THERAPIST, YOGA, WRITING.

Anxiety. The seven letter word that bounces around my head on a weekly basis. I don’t know when it got here, but it’s definitely here to stay. Some days my anxiety takes a vacation and it’s no where in sight. Other days anxiety curls up next to me in bed and squeezes its arms tightly around me. You know the feeling. Chest tightening, heart racing, stomach squeezing. Your mind is running on a hamster wheel which is only making the above symptoms worse. I know my triggers now. I just get careless. I see task after task falling down like Tetris blocks into place. Eventually, all of the blocks reach the top and it’s game over. Cue all of the dreaded anxiety symptoms. There are a few things I’ve found that have helped me manage stress and in turn manage my anxiety....

HOW A POST-IT NOTE CHANGED MY LIFE

It was a Wednesday, mid-winter, gray afternoon and as per normal I was at my desk plugging away. As V.P. of Marketing at a major media company in NYC, it looked like I had achieved my career goals, but on the inside my soul felt as gray as the afternoon. I kind of felt guilty about it too, and this added to my heaviness. I took a deep breath in and sighed it out, and then of course my computer decided to crash. I called Joe, our computer tech, and headed out to grab lunch while he revived my computer. When I got back — Joe was gone, the computer was up and running (thanks Joe!) and there was a pink post-it note on my computer screen that said “You are the most organized person I’ve ever seen.” I was kind of surprised. Wasn’t everyone this organized? I didn’t think it was a big deal, ...

WHAT A BOUDOIR PHOTO SHOOT TAUGHT ME ABOUT MY BODY

For the last five or six years, I have wanted to be a nude model for an artist or art class. I’ve dreamed of my rubinesque body being sketched or (if I was really lucky) painted. When I lived in Chicago, I reached out to dozens of art schools, workshops and even individual professors, offering my services. I never got a response. Since then, I’ve periodically perused Craigslist to see if anyone was hiring nude models, but that always brought up really creepy posts. I’d been passively hoping for an opportunity to come up when I stumbled upon Anessa Charlotte’s Intagram. I saw that Anessa did a boudoir photoshoot with someone else I follow on Instagram, Stephanie Sheldon. Her shoot was very tasteful and modest. Stephanie is the founder and owner of multiple local companies; so I was very imp...

PENT-UP CREATIVITY

My fingers glide across the keyboard making a slight melody of words. This is the only music that I ever learned how to make. The strumming of letters and the painting of words dance around me, like they just escaped. The freedom, the airy flowing freedom makes them so much lighter that they can float and fly and I feel completely ashamed as the monster that managed their captivity. Knowing they are locked up, I just kept saying I would get to them tomorrow; or the next day or the next month. Time has always been our enemy. I spent my morning balancing a spreadsheet, then made lunch for my kids, cleaned the kitchen, attempted laundry, picked up another kid from school then started dinner. My creativity would get buried inside the mundane, everyday life tasks. It is the list of things I hav...

IT’S NOT REALLY ABOUT THE MATCHING TOWELS (BUT IT ALSO KIND OF IS)

When you hit your mid-thirties, you realize a lot of things. Hopefully a lot of good and useful things, like, cleaning the kitchen before going to bed is always a good idea, as is making your bed and having clean sheets and towels on hand. You know that getting a latte everyday seems a bit frivolous, but it’s your money and your life, and it brings you joy. And things that bring joy are things you hold close. Sometimes the best choice is to buy three of the same shirts in different colors if you love it. To spend a bit more money on the sweater or shoes… To assert yourself at work, because you’re the only one who 100% cares about your future. To spend time with the people that matter most, and stop making so much effort to “stay in touch” with people who don’t make the same effort. W...

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