Archive for November, 2010

November 30, 2010

Is It My Fault?

by Vonda Howard

Dear Vonda,

I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years and we just got engaged two months ago.  He is a wonderful provider for our two children and will be a great husband.  Last week, we got into a very heated argument and things went really far south: there was name calling, throwing things and even a bit of violence.  I got so frustrated with all of it, I hauled off and slapped him, but was not ready for his response.  Vonda, before I knew it, I was on the ground and he was punching me!  I screamed for him to stop, but I think he blacked out or something!  I now am sporting a black eye and a swollen lip.  He doesn’t have even a scratch or red mark from my slap.  I haven’t even gone to work because I don’t want to have to explain any of it.  Luckily, our kids are young and don’t ask a lot of questions about what happened to mommy’s face.  He has been super apologetic and clingy since it happened.

Vonda, I have heard women say that if I hit him first then I deserve what I got…is that true?  I don’t know whether to blame myself for slapping him or to be truly afraid of him.  Was it my fault?  Did I bring these injuries on myself?  Should I leave him?


Is It My Fault

Dear Is It My Fault,

Let’s be clear on this…NO, it IS NOT your fault.  I have heard some women say that and it disgusts me every time.  Although I agree that neither one of you should be putting your hands on the other, there is no way he as a man should ever use violence against you.  No matter how big or small you are, a man will always have the harder fist, hand, foot, whatever than you as the woman.  Like you said, he doesn’t have a scratch from your smack.  The perfect example of this is the whole Rihanna/Chris Brown craziness.  I actually heard women jump to his side and say that she deserved the vicious beating she got.  WHAT??  Funny thing is, I heard this from women!  The men I talked to all agreed that Chris Brown was in the wrong! Why do we as women make excuses for the actions of men and start to blame ourselves when they mess up?  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT THAT HE GAVE YOU A BLACK EYE AND SWOLLEN LIP! Is it a stripper’s fault when she gets raped?  Is it a bank teller’s fault when she gets robbed?  Give me a break!

Let’s put this into perspective, what would you say to your daughter if this happened to her?  Would you tell her it was her fault and she got what she deserved? What if it was your son that did the beating?  Think about those things and you’ll know what’s right.

In my opinion, there is NEVER a good reason for a man to strike a woman…ever.  Unless she is posing a serious risk to his life at that moment, he needs to excuse himself from the situation.   It takes a real man to walk away.  That is what I was was taught and it’s what I teach my daughter.  I also teach them (both my son and daughter) that physical violence is the end of the relationship.  Period.  If you two can’t have a adult disagreement without resulting to violence, then you not only don’t need to be anywhere near an altar, but you need to either end the relationship, or RUN to a qualified counselor.  Honey, if he can “black out” like that and hurt you the way he did, whose to say that he won’t do it again not only on you, but on the kids?

Now, like I said, YOU had no right to put your hands on him either!  You should be able to express your frustrations and anger without lashing out.  I truly suggest that you either cancel or postpone this wedding and seek counseling immediately.

ABUSE IS NEVER OKAY. If you or someone you know is being abused please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224 for support. You can also visit

About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this and you may get featured!

November 29, 2010

Skinny Does Not Equal Healthy

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™



Christina Hendricks: Classy & Curvy

Over the Thanksgiving weekend several interesting conversations were held by the women in my family regarding their current weight, wanting to loose weight and just a general disdain for being overweight. It was amazing to me because (1) I can relate to some of the things they were saying – yes, men have body image issues too – and (2) no one seemed focused on what really mattered: being healthy.

I know the media bombards you with images of super skinny women and men with abs that only Photoshop can give but the true measure of your beauty is not provided by the scale that most of society uses. I submit that there are probably more healthy “fat” people than there are “skinny” people in the world. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that even at my current weight of 330 pounds I’m healthier than most of my friends because I don’t smoke, I exercise and I watch what I eat.

You do not have to be a size 0 to be healthy. Be happy with the body you have and treat it like the temple that it is and you will be doing a lot better than most. Even if there are some things about yourself you’d like to change, don’t do so because of what society says you should look like. Do it because you want to live a longer, healthier life and you want to look and feel better for your own sake.

Check out What Ellen had to say about body image and being healthy:

November 22, 2010

Real Thanksgiving: A Fat Guy’s Guide to Living Graciously

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™

thanksgiving fam

It’s that time of year again! It seems that everyone is gearing up in preparation for Christmas and Thanksgiving festivities. Before I go on my rant, let me be clear: I have nothing against celebrating any of these or any other holidays! If it’s your thing, hey, more power to you! Now, with that mentioned, I’ll continue.

Why I’m not a fan of Christmas and Thanksgiving

Again, I have nothing against the idea behind these and other holiday (holy days?) traditions. My thing is, how is it that the idea behind the day is only a one time thing. What I mean is, why is it that we focus all our Thanksgiving on a single day in November instead of all year round? The same goes for Christmas. Shouldn’t people be celebrating the birth of Jesus every day of their lives? Doesn’t it make better sense to show the one you love how much they mean to you every day and not just on February 14th?

I know there are some of you out there that go out of your way to live thankfully, love wholeheartedly and give graciously all the time. Awesome! Keep up the great work and continue to lead by example. Still, I know a few people that I only hear from a few weeks before a major holiday so that their “on my mind” when it’s time to make my gift list. Needless to say, they gets nada! 🙂 But seriously, who does that?! I try to instill in my kids the importance of being helpful and thankful on a daily basis – and, more importantly, to do so without needing something in return.

I know some of you may be thinking it’s easier said than done. Well, here are a few suggestions that I’ve been thinking about or have been using over the years.

Real Thanksgiving Tips

  • Discuss the real reason for the season: Take time to research and share the true meaning of Christmas and Thanksgiving (Or Hanukah, or Kwanza, etc.) with family and friends and help them understand that these ideals are meant to be practiced everyday, not just during the holidays.
  • Create a Gratitude or Thanksgiving Calendar: I’m working on this one now. I am writing down 365 reasons why I should be thankful that will go on a calendar. Each day I will have a reason and/or affirmation why I should be grateful that I can contemplate (and share!) throughout the day!
  • Develop your own traditions: You don’t have to celebrate only the holidays that are listed on the calendar. Get with family and friends and create your own special day (or week, or month) to really focus in on what matters. Then remember to take what you learned and shared and apply it to your every day lives.
  • Volunteer to feed the homeless: This is something I’d like to begin doing this year as well. You want to learn about gratitude and humility while helping those in need then this is a great way to do it. Again, don’t just do it during the holidays; volunteer whenever you can.

Those are a few of the ideas I came up with for living graciously everyday. If you can think of any others feel free to share them in the comments; I’m very interested in what you come up with! 🙂

November 20, 2010

When to Mend?

by Donya B

Broken hearted

In my time here, we’ve looked at relationships from every sort of angle, even the final cut.  But what about the possibility of a sequel?  It may not have gone right the first time, but who’s to say it can’t be fixed and work right the next time?  Where is it written that you can never go back?  I had an X who said he never took steps backward, yet we dated three different times in our lives because he was certain that I was the one he “shouldn’t have let go”.  I’ve seen marriages reconcile after years of separation.  I’ve known people who’ve remarried their former spouses because they had changed.   So there is plenty of proof out there that what was wrong can be righted.  But when is it worth it?

Some break-ups need to stay broken.  Abusive relationships, for example, should not on any grounds be rekindled.  The mental damage alone can never be salved and will always linger, even if the offender “has changed”.    Some say unfaithful relationships shouldn’t be fixed.  If he cheated on you before, he’ll cheat on you again… Yes, that is quite valid, but is it always true?  If she cheated with you, she’ll cheat on you…  So is that to say someone who has fidelity issues never deserves a second chance?  Can a behavior like that be retrained?  My guess would be that it can, depending on the nature of the retraining.  Caveat:  if one of you is still married and the other is not the spouse, then no… let’s not try to work that out.

Then there are those relationships that just plain fell apart.  The little things built up and became one BIG thing and everything just exploded.  You couldn’t stand the way he chewed… Her bra hanging on the doorknob drove you nuts… The way he’d finish your sentences annoyed you to no end…  If she sided with your mother one more time, you were going to lose it… And that damn toilet seat!! Enough is enough!  Gotta shake this spot now and leave it shook!

But then he calls you a week later just to see how you’re doing.  You listen to the message five times before deciding not to call him back.  You spot her across the grocery store, and linger around even though you’ve got what you need, just to be able to see her.  What’s making you hold on?  Is it the memories of all the good times?  Is it all the things you planned to do together?  Is it the emptiness you feel when you’re sitting at home alone?  If you break it down and realize you’re not pining for that person, but a person to fill that space, then no, it’s not worth mending.  But if your mind is filled with that person, and only that person, you know you want to make it work.  So do it.  You won’t know until you try whether or not your feelings are just yours or if she’s on the same wavelength, but too proud to say.

“Send her roses, just because… If it’s violins she loves, let them play… If you need her so much more, why don’t you say? Maybe she has it in her mind that she’s just wasting her time.  Ask her to stay, find one hundred ways!” – James Ingram


Ms. De

About Donya:

Donya Vaughn is a So Cal native, collegiate of San Diego State University and graduate of the University of Life, mastering in “Wow, That Was Harder Than It Needed To Be”. Known to her close friends as “The Walking Encyclopedia”, Donya prides herself in being helpful, knowledgeable and ready to serve. She uses these traits along with unwavering optimism and Christian good spirit regularly as owner and consultant of As You Like… Wedding & Event Services.

November 19, 2010

Ready to Party: Glamorous Holiday Makeup Looks

by Elegance Makeup: Looks By Uhuru

Holiday makeup should be glamorous with color and sparkle. Here are a few holiday prep tips for achieving your perfect holiday look.

~ Elegance Makeup ~


Silver-Gold Eyes

Try adding a touch of silver or gold on your eyelids. Apply the shiny silver or gold at the base of the lid, then apply a thin layer of black to the perimeter of the eye along the lash line and smudge. Go back with the silver or the gold to create a gradation.


MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Eye Shadow Duo


Lots of Lashes

What better way to amp up your look than with long, lush lashes. You can either achieve this through the use of mascara or false lashes. Double coat mascara & apply natural to bold dramatic lashes for that red carpet stand out flutter!


Cover Girl Lash Blast

Revlon Fantasy Lengths False Eyelashes

MAC Studio Fix Lash Mascara


Bold Lips

Bold or red lips are always chic and look especially festive during the holidays. Whether you go red or not, lip stains are also a must if you want a bold lip color to last and it won’t rub off during holiday parties. You want to choose a color that flatters your skin tone. Use cherry for pale complexions, coral for olive, or either color for dark skin. The goal is to look pulled-together, not overdone.


Lipstick Queen Medieval Lipstick

Mark Kissink Lip Tintmarker

Revlon Colorstay Lipstick


Blushed Cheeks

The holidays are great for a rouge cheek with a dose of the right blush. Try these shades for your skin tone.

Fair Skin – when applied with a light hand , hot pinks give fair skin a beautiful, natural look

Medium Skin – Coral looks gorgeous on all skin tones, particularly on warm, medium complexions

Dark Skin – Use shades with bold, true pigments, such as really vibrant orange or fuchsia


NARS Highlighting/Bronzing Blush Duo

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge


Glittery Eyes and Lips

Glitter is what is going on this season. For a fun holiday look, mix glitter with a deep blue or burgundy eye liner. A smoky eye is always nice, and glitter sticks to cream so you won’t have to worry about it coming off. Thick, noticeable glitter in place of more traditional shimmer gives the look an edge.


Cover Girl Smoky Shadow Blast

Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder


Shiny, Nude Lips

A natural-looking pout is definitely practical and can be sexy too, especially if you add lip liner and high-shine. Lining with a lip-tone color gives fullness to the mouth. Holiday makeup should feel glamorous and playful! A shiny lip will enhance an everyday look in seconds. Nude, glossy lips go with everything. It is an effortless look that can take the bare faced beauty to full-on glamour instantly. On the catwalk you may find nude lips paired with polished make-up and sleek hair, or chic waves and subtle shimmer to give it a beach vibe. For a party look, pale, glossy lips are excellent with smoky eyes or with high-color on cheeks and eyes.


L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick

Revlon Color Burst Lipstick

Whether you’re going for subtle holiday hostess or bold vibrant diva, any of these are sure to give you your star worthy holiday makeup look that will surely get you noticed!

Have your own tried and true holiday makeup tips? Share them in the comments below.


About the Author:

For over 14 years, Chicago native Uhuru Freeman has been a face of many artistic and creative ventures such as dancer, singer, competitive beauty model & more.  Uhuru is the founder of Elegance Makeup where she’s made it her mission to not only enhance one’s beauty from the inside out, but to encourage and teach beauty from within. Visit Elegance Makeup at for more information or to book your very own elegant experience.

November 16, 2010

Tortured Beauty

by Vonda Howard

Dear Vonda,

Can you please explain something to me?  Why is it that women are so jealous?  I can honestly say that I have never really had good relationships with women.  I will admit that I have always been a very attractive person, as a child and now, but I am also very friendly and humble.  Every time I get close to a female and attempt a friendship, things always go south.  So, I decided to just focus on having guy friends.  Now, I get flack on that side too from their wives, and girlfriends!

Vonda, I am NOTHING but friends with these guys.  There is no hanky-panky at all.  Some of the guys have told me that their women have an issue when I hang out with them and want to get them to tell me to stay back!  What?  So, here’s the question:  Should I jeopardize really good friendships for a few jealous chicks?

Tortured Beauty

Dear Tortured Beauty,

I have actually heard this from a lot of women before.  In fact, I’m one of them.  There is nothing wrong with having platonic male friendships, I actually think guys are more fun to deal with.  No,w on the other side, I do still have very close girlfriends.  The fact that you don’t concerns me.  You should still be able to maintain relationships with your female counterparts on some level!  This is a case of “what or WHO is the common denominator in this equation?”.  You need to really look back at each of the failed relationships and try to honestly figure out what you might have done (or not done) to contribute to its demise.  Once you do that, you may actually figure out what the problem is.

Now, as far as the girlfriends of you buddies…you have to fall back on that one.  Like I said before, I have guy friends that I consider some of my best friends, but I always…always remain respectful to their wives and girlfriends.  Have you made an effort to really get to know them on some level?  Are you awkward around them?  When you call for the guys do you speak to them also?  From your description of yourself, you say there is some humility there, but proclaiming how attractive you are in the second sentence of your letter says otherwise.  Maybe they are picking up on a little of that too.  I  say if you really care about these friendships, make yourself known to these women and let them see that you aren’t after their guys!

Good luck!


About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this and you may get featured!

November 15, 2010

Weight Just a Doggone Minute!

by M Stagg | The Voluptua Project™
Surprised Woman

You're probably not the size you perceive yourself to be...

Hey TVP Fam!

I just watched an interesting video posted by fellow Twitterer @Alareya of a young British woman with a bit of a body image challenge. Watch the video and then come back and tell us what you think in the comments. I’d wager a lot of us have the same outlook about our bodies as the woman in the video.!/Alareya/status/3985335105101824


Video by: How to Look Good Naked

November 9, 2010

Tired of My Hot Mama!

by Vonda Howard

Hey Vonda,

Okay so, what am I supposed to do?  My mom lost her job about a year ago and has since came to stay with me.  Vonda, it all started off just fine, but can you tell me when my mom became so wild?  She smokes weed on our back porch, she goes out to clubs and stays out all times of night, she has had I don’t know how many boyfriends and to top it all off, she wears clothes that are at least two sizes too small!

Now, I don’t have any problem with my mom having a good time and enjoying her empty nest, but I have a 16 year old in the house and this is setting a very bad example for her.  I have approached her about her behavior and she just tells me to “mind my own business”.

Vonda, I would hate to have to put her out on the street because she is my mother, but how much longer am I supposed to take this?

Tired of My Hot Mama

Dear Tired of My Hot Mama,

Although I took a moment to chuckle at this letter, I can sympathize with what you are going through.  One one side, I understand that your mom wants to live her life to the fullest now that she does not have any more kids to take care of.  However, you have to think about YOUR daughter.

Frankly, your mom is blatantly disrespecting you and your home.  You are dead on my attempting to check her on her behavior.  The last thing you need is her bopping around the house half dressed, doing illegal drugs and being sexually promiscuous.  Take the time to really talk with her (your mom), and let her know that that is YOUR house and if her behavior doesn’t change or stop all together, that she will have to find someone else to live with.  Remember, like her, you are a mom too.   Good luck!


About the Author: Vonda Howard is the author of the new hot book series, The D-Cup Divas™, a graphic designer of her own graphic design firm, Cupcake Creative Studio, mom to two, wife to her one and only and a domestic goddess (not really…LOL). She does not profess to be an expert, but just that one opinionated girlfriend you go to for the straight nitty-gritty. So just relax and enjoy. ;o) Do you have a question? Send it to this and you may get featured!

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