Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock- Are you out of Time? by Nancy Collins

We’re now in the middle of August, and before you know it the temperatures will become cooler.  From the onset of 2017 you’ve had great plans.  You renewed your gym membership, yet stopped going after 2 weeks.  The spring cleaning in your home has been completed, but no one can tell.  Because it’s looking like a storage space again.  Several dating apps have been downloaded onto your phone, and yet all men are dogs.  Well don’t give up now.  There’s still 4 more full months before you enter into 2018.  You still have time to accomplish some great things.

So what you’ve gained weight instead of losing it.  You are not alone!  So what your home is a replica of a tornado.  At least you know where everything is located!  Do not let any mishaps, or the success of others; deter you from getting started today.  Those same persons whom you may be admiring, has (more than likely) put in some long days & nights.  If you were to be honest with yourself, you just made up your mind; to become serious about your pursuits. 

So therefore you’re not going to be as far along as they are.  Calm down.  Take an inventory of where you’re at.  Make note of where you want to be.  Start researching on how to get there.  Stop telling yourself that you know what steps to take, in order to reach your goal.  Because if you did, you would already be there!  You’ve tried several methods, and that’s why you’re still stuck.  So find those persons who are successful in what you’re trying to do, and take notes!  Connect on social media, use the search engine, watch YouTube videos, do something to make this year; one of your best years yet! 

Four months, four full months for you to buckle down and become serious.  Pick up the pace!  Stop carousing the internet and get down to business!!  Whatever it takes, whatever you need to make your dreams into a reality, DO IT!!  It doesn’t matter who laughed at your ideas.  Work your ideas and laugh all the way to the bank.  This has been your source of encouragement.  If you don’t make the next four months work for you, then it’s a huge possibility that you didn’t want it to work for you.  Sounds harsh?  Well it’s much harsher to realize, that year after year someone else, is living your dreams.

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Are you given yourself a chance for change? by Shanikqa Canty

Here is a deep thought today, have you given yourself a chance to change?  Often times, we try to make ourselves comfortable in situation that we know are bound to change.    Maybe just the thought of being attached to “something” or “someone” makes life easier for some reason. But when you are on a journey of growth you will never be comfortable.

You can become content…YES! Every day we are growing and changing! And people, places, and opportunities that serve us no purpose can’t go with us. So, why are we holding on to these things that serve no purpose?

  I know it’s hard…some of us don’t like change…but sometimes change is a good thing. Why, change allows us to grow emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  I know that’s a saying a lot of us hear at times but it is true! I feel that if we don’t give ourselves room for change in our life.

 We aren’t really living. Life is about a journey of ever constant growing and moving forward. No need to become stuck where you are, especially if you aren’t operating in your hearts desires. Give yourself a chance for change to take place in your life! And I can guarantee you. You will love it! Be mindful of the changes but watch and see!!

Author Bio

shanikqaShanikqa N. Canty is a young 20+ year old originally from Brooklyn, New York and now resides in Orlando, Florida. Canty is a Amazon 2x Best Selling Author, Writer and Creative Clarity Coach. This past spring of 2016 God laid it on Shanikqa’s heart to become the Visionary Founder of the Success 4 Singles Network. Canty is also a certified life coach and public speaker through the American Union of NLP. Shanikqa’s passion is assuring men and women (young or old) to rise out of the ashes and to tell their story. 




Saying Farwell to President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama

Saying farewell to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama is bitter sweet.  It’s been eight great years with our first African American President and first family.   President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama gave us eight years of commitment, dedication, and hope that we needed as a country.  I must say they are the best that has come forth for the people of all races and ethnicities.

I remember the 2008 election like it was yesterday, tears streaming down my face and jumping for joy for such a historic moment.  Watching them both over these last eight years has been life changing because they kept going higher and ignored those trying to bring them down.

A President who had such swagger and a impeccable speech style like no one that demanded your attention just with his presence.  You were eager to see what he had to say and he always had a positive outlook.   I will always remember them and what they stood for the people.  In President Obama’s farewell speech he said, “Yes We Can, Yes We Did”.

Even though tears will fall and hearts will be heavy to see them leave the White House.  I know their journey is not over, there is so much more that our 44th President will go on to pursue within their own destiny.  Because of these two inspiring man and woman of God we can use them as examples to our children when they talk about their dreams and aspirations in life.  The sacrifice the two of you made to serve this country will never be forgotten.  It was an amazing eight year journey that we all will treasure forever.  A few positives moments that you will leave etched in our hearts and minds.

  1. Powerful Black Couple who shared their love with the world.
  2. Dared us all to dream and walk in your purpose.
  3. Gave us hope for the impossible to be possible.
  4. Gave us examples for our daughters to accept their beauty in their skin they treasure.
  5. Shown our kids the importance of education.
  6. You both are inspirational and empowering.
  7. Change can happen if we believe in it and use our voice.
  8. Take the high road when naysayers are hitting below the belt.
  9. Positive role models for people of all ages.
  10. Our First Lady’s Elegance and genuine Beauty.
  11. The importance of healthy eating for our children to eliminate obesity.
  12. Our President’s Swagger.

To the President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama, thank you for giving us 8 years of service to this country.  You are greatly loved and appreciated.  You both have inspired, motivated, and empowered us to walk in purpose, stand in our truth, and gave hope to the little black girls and black boys to dream the impossible.  We love you and will miss you both.

obamasPhoto Credit: Getty Images



Featured Photo Credits: People Magazine



Approaching the New Year by Felecia Tucker

As the New Year approaches it’s time to take stock into the things that are important in our lives. How do we advent this new beginning? Aside from the norm, if we really take a conscious effort and do some earnest soul searching, can we really begin again in an area that deserves our attention? Can we find that one zone, vicinity, or section of our person that we can improve?

Where do we start in a world that is constantly changing and our feelings about it are impelling daily? Where do we begin to make our world better in a realm that often seems to dismiss the essence of who we are?  Is it family, physical health, mental health, academics, financial, or spiritual that needs some TLC? Only you can determine the area that needs your attention. In the end this change may utterly only affect you. Will you deem it worthy?

I move cautiously into the future and know that my belief goes beyond the surface of this world. I hold onto the knowing that my life may not impact the world or change the demise of this sphere but it may plant a seed in my family, neighbor, friend, or even a stranger. So I’m compelled to forge ahead ensuring that I put positive images and stories that will uplift a world that is full of negativity and I choose to exasperate the good in all things.

This is my plight, this is my choice, even if my return is diminutive. I will give thanks to God in all things. How will you proceed into tomorrow knowing what you know?  I pray that you are hopeful and steadfast and decide to make it a great New Year!


Author Felecia Tucker








Protest with a purpose by Toni Larue

If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.

~Lawrence J. Peter

Unity…seeing a group of people come together for a common goal. Weren’t we always told there is strength in numbers? It’s true! If people come together for the sake of liberty and justice for all, changes can be made. Protesting can a be a beautiful thing but it is important that when we come together for the purpose of invoking change, we protest with purpose.

Just like any goal, protesting can only accomplish great success when planned out. The Black community, in my opinion, suffers greatly from the lack of planning. Think about it…. You’re watching the news, or if you’re me, you’re watching YouTube and see a video titled “Another Black man Gunned Down by White Cop. You click on the video and you watch the commentary.  Your blood pressure is rising, face is getting hot and you don’t know if you want fight someone or cry.

After the video is finished you might share it with friends or talk about it among your co-workers. You find out if a local protest is happening in your area. You find one and you put it on everything that you’re going to make a difference this time.

The sun has falling and you’ve met up with hundreds, if not thousands of people , gathered downtown to protest their disgust for the latest violence against Black men and demand change. It feels good and you feel like you’re doing your part. You stand out there for hours and one by one the crowd begins to disperse. Now you’re home reflecting and think…”Now What?!”

Too many times we’re left with the feeling, “Now What?!” Protesting is only effective when followed through. Ever hear the saying, “A goal is a dream without action”? Protesting is a part of the plan; it is not the entire plan.

Below are a few things you can do so you’re not left with the feeling, “Now what?”

Plan strategic “city specific” boycotts. City specific boycotts are boycotts that target a specific city

  • Attend your city council meetings. Engaging in city council meetings in a good way to let the leaders of your city know that you’re still fighting for your cause. Don’t let them forget your face or your movement
  • Continue to raise awareness even if it seems everyone has forgotten

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.

~Doug Larson

Author Bio:

Toni Larueauthor-Toni-Larue

Toni Larue is an author, entrepreneur and women’s empowerment advocate. She is the author of fiction novels, Abandoned Secrets (available now) and No Kissing (release date TBD), and the co-owner and COO of Team Jon Doe Management and Entertainment and Sounwave Music.


Something Better Awaits You-By Charlotte C. Martin

When a relationship has run its course, it to will come to an end.  Some of us might struggle with letting go of that special person in our life. One partner wants to keep trying to work at what’s wrong in the relationship while the other has let go.  As much as it hurts, it is unhealthy to stay in toxic relationships.  A relationship where there is fighting, arguments, and verbal abuse.  These are signs to get out of that relationship before things get worst.  No one can tell you when to leave; they can only suggest a place to escape the madness.

Anytime a man has to put you down or call you outside your name, there is a problem within him.  Many think the problem is you, but he is the problem.  No man can show you how much he loves you by putting his hands on you. Ok, maybe by hugging you and touching you can be a way to show you affection.  But, I am talking about the hitting that leaves marks on a female’s body.  This is physical abuse and it gets worst when we allow the abuse to continue.

Let’s look at some of the numbers that were given on abuse. According to a web site called love is www.respect.org , nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing a violent or abusive dating behaviors.  Girls and young women between the age 16 and 24 experiences the highest rate of intimate partner violence that is almost tripled the national average.  Some of the serious ramifications from this are eating disorders, risky sexual behaviors, and further domestic violence.

That is why it is important that we talk to our parents or adult about such things as this. This is a major issue that is affecting more and more people in our world each day.  It may seem hard to believe, but something better awaits you if you let go of the junk in your life first.

And yes I know some of us do not know what a healthy relationship look like based on past relationships that were bad.  If you as a person are not complete and whole, how can you want to be in a relationship that you know nothing of?  Yes, we all say we want a healthy relationship but do we really know what that means? What does it take to get a healthy relationship?

Everyone’s definition of a healthy relationship will be different.  However, if your definition is anything that involves verbal abuse or physical abuse then I am sorry we are not talking about the same definition of a healthy relationship. You as a person first should be whole within yourself. You have balance and standards in your life that you live by on day to day bases.  You believe in yourself and the goals you are working towards in life.

Meanwhile, we all heard this statement at some point in time in life, “you got to stand for something or you will die for anything”.  Well, this is you at this point in your life taking a stand for what you believe to be important. Sometimes we see certain people who we know and they are always talking about their relationship.  Take some time to talk with them; if it is real they will share what it took to get their relationship in a healthy statistics.

Growing up many of us might have come from a broken family where our father was not around in our lives or not around as much. So this can have an effect on our adult life if we do not see it for what it is and change it.

When you come from a happy home you will see love between mom and dad, it puts the idea in your mind that this is what love should look like.  If you come from a family where there is dysfunction and confusion in the family then you will have the mentally that this is the way life is supposed to be because of what you seen growing up as a child.   We do have control over what we allow in our lives today.  Maybe back in the “old days” when our parents were coming up things were different.

But today, I dare you to search for happiness and fulfillment in your life to make you happy and whole.  Know what you want out of life then you will know what you want from someone else in due time. You are worth more than you know, but first you got to know this inside of you.


Charlotte Martin


Reclaiming My Space By Felicia Malone

In the space movie, Gravity, Sandra Bullock plays an astronaut who floats alone in space after an accident separates her from the space station she is working on. She is left alone, forced to face everything she ran away from while trying to find her way home.

Man, allegory! We all need our space – literally and figuratively.

I started my initial blog, Talulazoeapple,  in 2007 to document my move to Dallas, Texas. I was seeking some wide open spaces, room to make my big mistakes. *cue Dixie Chicks* During my time there, I finished graduate school, published my first novel and made some new friends. Check,, check, and check!

I ran out of goals.

Everyone around me was married or getting married and having kids. Marriage and kids – those are the goals that involve participation of another person. Kinda, hard to fit that on a scheduler. Dallas, which was once a vast frontier to explore, had begun to feel cold and empty. I was floating in it – aimlessly. I packed up and moved to Indiana. My brother invited me to live with him until I decided where I wanted to be.

Bullock’s character,having lost all crew members and her ship destroyed,  begins to give up. George Clooney’s character, who had drifted off into space, sacrificially, to save her, re-appears. It is only her imagination but he encourages her to fight to live.


A really good friend died from brain cancer. I found out he was sick the night before I drove across the country from Dallas to Indianapolis. Within six months, he had passed away.

Ironically, he had a nickname for me – Gravity. I called him ‘Light,’ affectionately. Nerdy, I know, but it worked for us. He was smart, like really smart. I felt that I could trust his advice because he really knew God’s word and he wanted nothing from me but friendship. He wanted me to succeed. He was my George Clooney. Always had an encouraging word. His spirit was a shining light. When he passed away, there was a void in my life. With everyone busy with their families and lives, who was left to encourage me?

I was never meant to stay in Dallas. It was a journey that I needed to experience to grow into the woman I need to be to live my destiny. I have learned that I can succeed on my own. I have the power to shape my life through conscious choices and strong faith to get me through the rough patches. I was never meant to stay with my brother forever – just a makeshift spacecraft to get me back to where I need to be. I know that I need a place to call my own.

When Sandra Bullock finds the resolve to re-enter earth’s atmosphere, it seems that Murphy’s law is also in full throttle. Knowing the path to take and being certain of your destination does not mean the absence of obstacles. It just means you must use the intelligence and resources God has provided to get you to where you need to be.

Life is meant to be lived – according to God’s purpose with some happiness along the way. Getting to that place will take everything you are made of. Don’t worry. You are well-equipped.

Author Felicia Malone




Where does your imagination take You?- Letrise Carter

Where does your imagination take you?  My imagination takes me on an escape to an island where I am pampered, relaxing with a tropical drink, great weather, and a beautiful man by my side.  My imagination takes me away to an exquisite island where you see many gorgeous men with great bodies walking along the beach.  Beautiful eye candy is we would call it and they can cater to my every need.  We all deserve to be pampered and catered to since we work hard all year long.  We are always helping everyone, but at times we forget to take care of us.  It’s okay to allow your imagination to carry you away to some place beautiful where the focus is solely on you.

When it’s raining outside and the weather is chilly, one can’t help but to focus on someplace that is not too hot and exotic.  A place where you are not thinking about work, house chores, bills, or the issues of the world on your shoulders.  It’s a place to let go, just relax, and revive you.  Everyone needs to escape at least 3 times a year and escaping in your mind on a rainy Saturday does not count.

Where does your imagination take you?  Its take me away to writers desk where I can step into the mind of my creative muse.

Sometimes when is completely quiet, I imagine that I am writing my first movie as it’s playing for me scene by scene in my imagination movie reel.  I find that it’s okay to have a creative imagination because it unleashes a special gift and talent.  It takes me to a spa salon where I am receiving the most relaxing and therapeutic massage treatment that my entire body smiles for the act of kindness.

It’s healthy for you to mentally and emotionally revive your spirit with a special treat called “getaway weekend” or a “getaway week”.  There are four months left in the year 2015, it’s time to take your imagination of escape to someplace special a reality.  Have you utilize your imagination today?  Where did it take you?

Have you unleashed your creative imagination?  What are you doing to tap into your special gifts and purpose?

Simone Carter’s Journey to graduation from Loyola University

Simone Carter graduated from Loyola University Chicago on May 12, 2016 from The School of Communication with degree in Advertising & Public Relations. The journey to completing this great milestone has been long but truly worth the accomplished goal.

Simone’s journey with education started after graduation from Dunwoody High School in Dunwoody, Georgia in May 2009. The high school graduation tests in Georgia was a struggle for her on the math portion. However, with a determined mother and mentors Simone did not allow the frustrations of the Georgia Graduation tests to stop her push toward her goals.  Simone has always been determined and focuses on going off to college just as her mother had the pleasure of being a 1st generation graduate, she wanted to keep the legacy going.  Plus, the importance about education was stressed by her mom Letrise Carter and teachers. She was doing college for her not anyone else so it made her journey better.    It was during her Senior year of high school that Simone wanted to become a nurse and work with babies and expecting moms.  Her journey would start at Sanford Brown College in Dunwoody, Georgia and then onto Georgia Perimeter College after discovering the non-accredation that Sanford Brown College held when she inquired looking into four year university.  Still, she seem to struggle with math and science which made her search out what it was she wanted to study that would lead to a career. It would be a afternoon power walk with her mother that they discuss relocating back to the Chicago western suburbs as she looked at schools in Illinois.

Since relocating back to western suburbs of Chicago, she has attended four educational institutions. The first being the College of DuPage where she focused on completing her general studies prior to transferring to Aurora University where she was interested in studying nursing.  Though, Simone was struggling with finding what she wanted to do, she changed her major to something that she truly enjoys and that was Communication.  This changed sparked her to investigate her current schools program offerings which lead her to Benedictine University where she would study Communications.  This program was too generic and Simone was driven by finding out what it was in the field of communication that she wanted to do.  It was an internship at the Benedictine Art Gallery as a Public Relations Coordinator that sparked her interest in Loyola University because the program was not offered at her current school.  Simone transferred to Loyola University for the Fall 2014 school where she would major in Advertising & Public Relations in the School of Communications.  She finally found her school that would train, teach, and influence her craft.

simone by herself-5.12

It was a long journey to self-discovery and purpose, but it was worth it. Sit back and enjoy a Q&A from our college graduate Simone Carter.

MBS: Why did you move around to multiple schools?

Simone: I didnt’ feel like those school made me feel at home. I didn’t feel they made me feel like I reached my goals. I had a purpose,but the other schools were not offering me the various resources and support to figure out what I was destined to do. I didn’t feel a need to stay. 

MBS: When did you realize what you wanted to get your degree in?

Simone: I honestly didn’t fully figure out what I desired to do until I got to Loyola University Chicago and was in my internship. Yes, I had declared my major as Advertising and public relations but I’ didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do till I got my web design internship. It was that very moment I discovered what I desired to do and felt confident in what I was getting my degree in. I honestly selected advertising and public relations because it gave me the opportunity to utilize my voice. I know I want to be a field that allowed me to speak to a large audience and I knew I wanted to be creative in my approach. 

MBS: What was the reason you choose Loyola University?

Simone: I choose Loyola University because they offered opportunities that my previous schools did not offer.  I felt at home and I truly had the support team with my advisor (Dr. Cooper-Gibson) and friends. 

MBS: What barriers and frustrations did you deal with at Loyola University?

Simone: Honestly, at Loyola University Chicago I dealt with frustration, but in the end it was a great eye opener. I faced racial discrimination and people who didn’t share my vision. All of which helped me become stronger and ready to share my vision even more.

MBS: How did you handle not quitting?

Simone: Quitting was not even an option for me. Even though there were many moments I desired to give up. My mother and God were my strength through college. I had a praying mother who refused to let me give up. 

MBS: What kept you from transferring to another school when times get tuff and frustrating?

Simone: Honestly, my mother lol. Besides my mother, the fact that I was ready to go to the next chapter in my life .  I knew God did not bring me this far for nothing. There was a reason I came to the point and place in my journey. We all have a season and I was in mine. 

MBS: Did you have mentors that supported you and encouraged you during this journey?

Simone: My mother and advisor were my mentors. 

MBS: How does it feel to complete such a milestone as graduating from a top university like Loyola University Chicago?

Simone: Honestly, it feels great. I don’t think it will completely  hit me until August. I do feel like I walked out a stronger person. 

MBS: What advice would you give to another young African American student?

Simone: My advice that I would give to other young African American students would be to never give up. You need to knOw that God will reveal to you in time your purpose and gifts. You need to know that it won’t be on your time or anyone else’s time so be patient and listen for his voice. 

Simone’s journey may have taken her from 2009 to 2016, but it was a journey to discover who she is as not just a college student but to develop, grow, and mature into a beautiful and talented young woman. There is power within you when you discover who you are and who you belong to.  It was a journey where she realized her purpose and her passion.  Having to tap into who she is helped to shaped her voice, her gifts, and her talents so that she may have a positive impact and influence on others.  Remember that you can get through anything during your college journey by faith, prayer, your support team, love,  understanding, and knowing the power in your voice.  Congrats to Simone Carter and her friends on an amazing milestone achieved.

group picture-simone

How to Identify Your Soul mate?

This blog  was inspired by a sermon that I watched earlier this year that talked about 5 Keys to your Soul mate by Pastor Toure Roberts of One Church International.  I was inspired as I reviewed over my notes to write about “Soul mates” because for those who are single, the question always comes up in group discussions.

The sermon was powerful and allowed me to reflect on past relationships where I thought I found my soul mate.  Many of the examples that were given throughout the sermon I could relate to  and had a few “light bulb” moments as I examined my past relationships.  Examining the past prepares you for your present and future so that you don’t make the same mistakes as well is ensure you learned the lesson that was a part of your journey on purpose.  It’s given me a better assessment of what I should be looking for in a Soul mate and how to identify him when he is presented before me.  We all want to find our Soul mate and live happily ever after!  Most importantly, to grow with someone that is your equal and compliments your purpose!  It’s the woman who was taken from his rib to complete each other’s purpose in life.

What are soul mates?  This is defined as two people who have connected spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The pastor’s definition summarized is that a soul mate is a person that God has chosen for you to complete each other’s purpose. Soul mates compliment one another’s goals, dreams, and most important their purpose.

How do you know that you have found your soul mate?  There are 5 Keys to your Soul mates:

  1. Chemistry
  2. Connection/Draw
  3. Wholeness
  4. Devine Confirmation
  5. Sense of Purpose

As we have learned over our adult lives, you can have chemistry with anyone and that does not make those people your soul mates.  When you meet that special person, there is chemistry between the two of you that is unexplainable.  It’s not sexual or physical attraction but more so a spiritual connection that draws you to his/her spirit.  That person you have this chemistry and are drawn to must be whole just as you should be whole.  Wholeness will qualify the chemistry and connection that you have with your soul mate.

Meanwhile, you must receive a word from God that gives you your Devine confirmation that this person is your soul mate.  Lastly, the person must have a sense of purpose knowing who they are is extremely important.  You don’t want to wake up and realize your purpose and you are in the wrong relationship.  I want someone who knows who they are and is in full pursuit of their purpose, their dreams, and living each day whole!

Have you found your Soul mate?