American Womankind Magazine: Review 2.0

My love affair with American Womankind magazine has not abated. I opened Issue 7 (February – April 2016) of the magazine and thumbed through its entirety, as is my habit. That first look was all it took for me to renew my subscription right away.

This magazine continues to deliver.  It is an exultation of color.  Charis Tsevis, who does the cover illustrations, created a stunning portrait of a woman of color. She could be Caribbean, which was a focus of this issue.  The colors capture vibrancy and excitement, not hinting at some of the darker parts of Caribbean history, except maybe in her gaze.

A number of articles in this issue resonated with me.  But, first…the art.  The art of Shari Erickson, whose tropical paintings are placed throughout the magazine, draw me into the island vibe.  When Erickson first visited the Caribbean, she said she had been led “to a world without grays.”  Her tropics are just as lush as we would want them to be.  Who even remembers gray?  Interestingly, Erickson’s studio is in Appalachia.  Her artistic process and the things that move her are fascinating.

The next thing that captured my imagination is the work of artist, Jason deCaires Taylor, whose work appears, not in a conventional museum, but in the Museo Subacuatico de Arte in Cancún, Mexico.  His central themes are water pollution, ocean acidity, and over-fishing. I had seen some of this artist’s work before; but the presentation in Womankind tells me what his mission is: “to prove that we can revivify nature if we only try.” The artist makes his point with this underwater installation of sculptures.

See how the sculptures changed over time when claimed by the sea and its creatures.

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Sculptures in the National Marine Park of Cancun. (Photo from American Womankind magazine)

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Closeup of the underwater sculpture (Photo from American Womankind magazine)

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Ocean effects on sculptures over time (Photo from American Womankind magazine)

I don’t relate only to the eye candy, though.  One of the things I like best about the magazine is that it is introduces under-represented, but not insignificant, bits of history.   Did you know Jamaica had a “Warrior Queen”?  Read about Queen Nanny.  Then move on to “The Story of White Gold,” and the impact of sugar on 12 million slaves.  These were not subjects in any of my history books.

Another item that caught my interest is historical, artistic, and design focused.  There are eight of the most stunning pages of fashion I have ever seen.  Here, we are introduced to Vlisco, a Dutch textile designer who invented a wax printing process for the production of African textile prints. These designs go back 170 years.  You will be as enthralled as I was if you appreciate great textiles.

While I have focused on highlights that particularly captivated me, there are many more thought-provoking articles that round out American Womankind’s on-going themes that include happiness; ideas to change your life; money and consumerism; and society.  For the full experience, you have to buy your own copy!

Author, Cheryl


Gratitude in the Best of Times and the Worst of Times

Here we are at the beginning of another year. Often, whether we want to or not, we reflect on the year that just passed. We can either be happy about it or sad about it — whatever. But, as we go into 2016, we can decide to tip the attitude scale away from negativity and toward positivity.

How we look at a bad experience (or a loss) changes when we focus on the good that might come from it.

I’ve been thinking about certain women who had something in common with me. I started with a woman I knew as Mrs. Carter. She was the mother of my oldest friend, and my mother’s BFF.  Mrs. Carter was also the first person I’d known with Stage 4 cancer.  You see, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 when Mrs. Carter was in her seventh, and final year, of her battle with ovarian cancer.  We went through chemotherapy at the same time. Because of this experience, we related to each other in a way that only cancer patients can understand. Mrs. Carter was my touchstone for how to live graciously with a chronic disease.

Fast forward to 2015… I knew three more women who were Stage 4. Two had metastatic breast cancer; and one, a close friend, had squamous cell oral cancer. All of them died this year. Before you think, ‘Damn, this post is by Debbie Downer,’ just bear with me.  I have to put my chatty, witty posts about great food and travels and my occasional witty rants on pause for a bit.  Sometimes bad stuff will remind us of things for which we should be grateful.

My gratitude is not “Thank God it’s not me at Stage 4.” It’s gratitude for being witness to the grace these women had as they faced our common adversary, Cancer, to the end.

Ever since I was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been referred by friends to other women going through the same illness. That’s how I met Rhonda and Lisa: we all had tennis and breast cancer in common. Rhonda and Lisa never met, but each came into my life on the same day for the same purpose — through mutual friends, who wanted to introduce one breast cancer survivor to another.

Lisa was already in Stage 4 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. We met for lunch through a tennis friend. Lisa was in good spirits when we met, but admitted her own doubts about whether she’d reach her 50th birthday. She told me about the extravaganza 50th birthday party she’d hosted that year when she turned 49. Lisa hung on most of the next year. She almost made it to 50, but died a few months shy of her birthday.

Rhonda and I met for dinner through another mutual friend on the same day I met Lisa. Rhonda was a Stage 2 survivor, who’d had the same diagnosis as I. But, Rhonda chose to treat the cancer only with surgery and forego the rest of the treatment protocol of chemo, radiation, and five years of a hormone drug. After she healed from her mastectomy, Rhonda quit her job with a Florida newspaper and became a freelance writer. She pursued her dream to live abroad for at least a year, starting in Costa Rica.

Kim Lisa Rhonda and Zee at True Food Kitchen 2014

Rhonda (in striped shirt)

Rhonda’s sabbatical was cut short last January when pain sent her to the hospital. The doctor diagnosed her with metastatic breast cancer. Every time I thought about Rhonda, my thoughts would turn inward and I wondered if I’d be going down this same path one day. What scared Rhonda was scaring me, too, only I wasn’t living with it.

Rhonda wrote a couple of poignant pieces about her diagnosis and living with metastatic cancer here and here. Her theme was the strength of surrender. Rhonda’s own words were her guidepost for living.

Rhonda and I stayed in touch and followed each other’s blogs. From time to time, she would reach out to me for health advice.

In 2015, Rhonda became a certified life coach, and she enjoyed spending lots of time with family and her boyfriend. She was also present for every life milestone achieved by her loved ones. Rhonda continued freelancing for on-line publications, sometimes inciting controversy. She had a classy way of shutting down ugly comments from fools. And, among other things I learned about Rhonda, she was fearless when it came to her convictions.

My sister and I ran into Rhonda at the BlogHer15 conference in New York. I remember Rhonda’s response to a loud, boisterous group of women in the middle of the lobby. Even as she flinched at their behavior, she said, “Hashtag (#)nohometraining.” That’s a quick wit.

BlogHer15 with Rhonda Swan

Rhonda (in orange)

Rhonda and I were last in touch right after Thanksgiving. She told me about a spiritual conference for women she was organizing in Hartford, Connecticut for January 2016. She also shared news about her medical treatment. She said, “The Tamoxifen stopped working unfortunately and cancer in my liver got worse. Not exactly the best news but the doctor has another hormone drug she wants to try. I’m speaking its success into existence!”

I reflected on Rhonda’s message and noted that she literally continued to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. I told her I hoped she’d find a successful alternative treatment. I made a mental note to offer help with her spiritual conference.

Rhonda died right before Christmas, less than a month later.

I only knew Rhonda a short time, but I’m grateful for what she reminded me — a cancer survivor — about life. Stay in the moment and cherish each one. Show grace when things appear to not be in your favor. Truly keep living.

 

This post is dedicated to Rhonda Swan — journalist, author, blogger, life coach, and awesome spirit.

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Christmas Spirit in Amish Country

If you live near Pennsylvania Amish country as I do, the National Christmas Center Family Attraction and Museum in Paradise, PA, is a perfect way to kick off the Christmas season.  A self-guided tour through this museum delivers history, culture, tradition, fantasy and faith to showcase Christmas throughout the world.

When you enter the museum, you see life-sized vignettes of American family celebrations of the holiday.  The cultural reference points include jolly Santa, children trying to sneak a peek at Santa, children tearing open presents with delight, and the traditional Christmas tree topped with a star.  These images — part of our national consciousness — actually date from mid-20th century American Christmas celebrations.  You (or your parents) might be catapulted back to these very familiar moments.

In the corridor leading to the museum proper, you are treated to an exhibit of the history of Santa Claus.  Santa is derived from St. Nicholas, a Turkish bishop known for giving gifts to the poor.  St. Nicholas was depicted wearing his bishop’s miter, a tall conical hat.

St. Nicholas

As the legend of St Nicholas evolved to Santa Claus, the clothing and depiction changed, too.  Some images are of an ugly, gnome-like creature, while others are both ugly and disturbing on many levels. Dare we say the forebears of Santa — the beloved icon — looked creepy?  The Dutch, the Belgians, and the English all added or subtracted elements over the course of Santa’s evolution. You will be fascinated with both the images and the history.

St. Nicholas - Dutch tradition

Creepy Santa 1

Creepy Santa 2

European Santas

One of my favorite exhibits was the crêches (nativity scenes).  I love these because they demonstrate that Christianity is celebrated all over the world with each culture injecting their own race, nationality, and heritage into their understanding and depiction of the story.  Indeed, it is easy to see the manifestation of God’s gift to the whole world through these crêches.

Kenya Creche

Kenyan Nativity Scene

Guatemala Creche

Guatemalan Nativity Scene

Columbia Creche

Colombian Nativity Scene

Ireland Creche

Irish Nativity Scene

I was taken back to an era when a Woolworths 5&10 store was the nerve center of a community. Lancaster, Pennsylvania was the home of the original Woolworth’s.  The museum has a replica of the store’s Christmas section.  You can walk around the space like a shopper and marvel at the cost of trinkets, decorations and gifts from back in the day.

Woolworths - Lancaster

In the museum proper, we find Bob Cratchet and Tiny Tim from Charles Dickens’s, A Christmas Carol.

Dickens's booksdickens' christmas carol

From there, you can wander through one “country” after another, approaching a front door, looking in a window, and being transported to Christmas celebrations in other times and places.  There are a variety of Christmas trees, decorations and depictions of Santa and other figures important to the season.  Vignettes are captivating, inviting you to return for another look to see what you may have missed.  Be warned, this could take you into serious visual overload!  The wonderfully curated vignettes match sounds — music, animals, Christmas carols, or spoken word — with the scene.

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Dutch home at Christmas

Dutch Santa

Dutch Santa

British Santa

British Santa

Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia – St. Lucy’s Day is celebrated in Scandinavian countries during Advent.

Moving on, you find Tudor Town and delight in the animals’ storybook Christmas.  As you move through this exhibit, you can read the story and see the characters in charming vignettes—pure fantasy.  Your inner child will approve.

Tudor Towne entrance

tudor towne scene 1

While all the fun and delight of Christmas is great, it’s easy to forget the point of the celebration. The next several rooms set the stage for Christ’s birth, beginning with “O Holy Night,” a life-size panorama of the desert and the travelers at night.  You begin to quiet inside, letting the images seep into you.

O Holy Night

After “O Holy Night,” you are back in daylight experiencing a walk through Bethlehem and the market place.

Middle East market scene

You look inside the type of dwelling Mary and Joseph would have called home; and realize they were in the Middle East.  Think about it in light of current events.  I did.  The curator did a fantastic job of making this transition and leading us into “the Holy Land.”  The mystery and wonder begin to envelope you.  You remember the Christmas story as it unfolds in front of you: the angel appearing to a shepherd; the good news heralded by horn; and Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the manger.  The tour doesn’t end here, but the Christmas story does.  You have reached the apex.

Heralding the birth

Winding down, you are shown gifts and ornaments from different cultures arranged as if in a small boutique.  There were lovely things, odd things, some you would expect, and some you wouldn’t.  Two displays, in particular, struck me as almost heretical for today’s consumer.

Did you know that cartons of cigarettes were popular gifts in the ’50s?  And, did you ever see an advertisement for the gift of a gun?

“To give or receive a Winchester Rifle or Shotgun affords pleasure and satisfaction.  At Christmas time or at any season, a man, a woman, or a boy who enjoys life will appreciate a Winchester as a gift.”

Seriously, Santa?

Sinister Santa Ads for Guns

Santa and Cigarette Ads

The National Christmas Center Family Attraction & Museum has something for everyone and is worthy of an annual pilgrimage, if you can make it.  It is open most months of the year, and now…well, ’tis the season! You can enjoy the museum with or without kids—though the teachable moments with kids are numerous.  You will experience nostalgia, hope, and the realization that there are common bonds among all peoples.

National Christmas Center

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

 

Author – Cheryl


On the Paris Attacks

I had already written a three-part series on “Getting Around Europe” based on my recent travels to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, when Paris was attacked by terrorists. I decided the timing was wrong for publishing these posts. They might seem frivolous in the face of world-wide shock, and the suffering of those living through this ordeal and those who lost loved ones.

Then, I thought of what I’m trying to share in my posts — that travel is a good thing, and there are many marvelous places in the world. Paris happens to be one of them. No acts of terrorism can change that.

Inevitably, some people will think the world is too unsafe and unpredictable for them to leave home. Or, they might think Paris is particularly unsafe because 2015 opened with the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack and closes with more of the same. Some of my sister’s friends know she is going to Paris in the spring and asked her to reconsider. She won’t, and I don’t blame her.  Unless there is a State Department warning or alert, we would not hesitate to return to Paris. These terrorist attacks could happen anywhere.

Cheryl and I talked about the relative danger here in the U.S.  Do we tell kids and teachers not to go to school because there might be a mass shooting? Do we decide to work from home because our office building might get bombed? Do we forego Bible study at our church in case someone in our group will open fire on the rest of us?  Do we stop training for, and running, marathons because they might end in bedlam and carnage? Terrorism and hate crimes have happened here, too.

You can’t stop moving, living, or experiencing regions and cultures because of these frightening events. There’s a reason why they are called acts of terrorism. When dealing with adversity, resilience trumps all.

Resilience is already evident in Paris. The people there are determined to press forward in the act of living, even though they’ve been asked to remain indoors. They mourn and stand vigil in various places around the city. And, eventually, Parisiens will regain their trademark joie de vivre. They know that if they give in and give up, then terrorists win after all.

Playing in a park near La Tour Eiffel

I’ll publish my first post in the series Wednesday, November 18.

Vive la France!

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Aging: It Doesn’t Have to be Straight Downhill

Aging — it happens every minute of our lives and starts at birth.  Aging — it  can neither be denied nor held at bay, not even with alluring products and superfoods that claim “anti-aging” magic. In developed countries, we’re living longer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going well.

Let’s aim for living and aging well.

I wonder all the time how well will I age, and what kind of old person will I be?  From observing people around me — and remembering the people I no longer see — I figure that how well anyone gets on down this road is partly in their control, and partly a crapshoot (including the vagaries of the gene pool).

My parents aged differently, although my father had quite a long run. He was house-bound and no longer driving his car the last two years of his life. When Daddy was having a rough time, he’d chuckle and recite this poem:

The Golden Years are here at last

I cannot see, I cannot pee

I cannot chew, I cannot screw

My memory shrinks, my hearing stinks

No sense of smell, I look like hell

The Golden Years are here at last

The Golden Years can kiss my ass

(Original version by Kimers)

My mother, on the other hand —  “Ms. Daisy” —  is still vibrant in her late 80s, having adventures of her own. I also know a certain nonagenarian, who’s closer to 100 years of age than not, who recently went on a Panama Canal cruise with his younger girlfriend. My three siblings and I share this gene pool and it’s not clear yet how things will go for us. It seems that I’m the one with some kind of weakness, having had major surgeries of the back, abdomen, and breast at a fairly young age. But, so far so good for us all.

American culture glorifies youth, who often act like older people are just in the way; that they have an expiration date or a shelf life. I saw as much in trite comments about former President Jimmy Carter on Twitter after his cancer diagnosis was announced. A few comments were along the lines of: “He’s had a long life, no need to be sad” and “It’s gotta happen sometime,” etc.  This former President continues to add value to this world into his nineties. He is a treasure, plain and simple. We should all strive to be fractionally as productive. (And Mr. Carter is a lifelong tennis player, too.)

Don’t underestimate old folk or write them off.  I was in my 20s when I faced an unlikely opponent in a tennis tournament. She walked slowly onto the court wearing surgical stockings and a thin sweater, like she had a chill. She carried only her racquet, not a tournament bag full of gear like the rest of us. To me, she looked old as hell. I thought: ‘I’ve got this.  I’ll overpower that old lady and run every ball down.’ Old Lady had a different notion. She planted herself in the region of the court called “No Man’s Land” to return my serves and ground strokes. (Few people have the skills to play an entire match there.) Old Lady took all my balls on the rise and yanked me from corner to corner. Hardly moving from that area the whole match — and certainly not breaking a sweat — Old Lady ended it with ruthless efficiency. I was running balls down all right, many of which were out of reach.

This is how I looked.

Puppet_1_

Old Lady waxed me with wisdom.

The other aspect of aging is accepting and feeling positive about physical changes you cannot help without surgery. I’m not a fan of plastic surgery because I don’t want to have “puppet-face.” Besides, it’s a waste of money; gravity wins over time.  Speaking of which, looking down in a mirror revealed to me gravity’s effects on my face and neck. I was, like, damn….  Anyway, there are a lot of things to come to terms with as time marches on. I’ll embrace the aging process because I’m happy to be here, and I’m still me. There’s always some wise person to remind us that growing old beats the alternative.

This photo of tennis teammates makes my point for living and aging well. (Teammates ranged in age from a few thirty-somethings to one septagenarian, featured below. To say this team was “selective” is an understatement. Everybody kicked butt!)

Teammates from the Maryland State Champions 2015, 3.5 18 & over women's team

Vicious Vollies / Prince George’s County – Maryland State Champions 2015, 3.5 18 & over women’s team – Photo courtesy of Tinya Coles-Cieply

Taking an example from a certain President and a certain tennis teammate, this is how I want to be in my Senior Years:

  • Helpful and an inspiration to others
  • Still an athlete, playing USTA league matches in every age category from 18 & over  to Super Seniors (ages 65-85)
  • Not dependent on meds
  • Still traveling
  • Full of joy
  • Hanging with friends (young and old)

How do you see yourself in your Senior Years?

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American Womankind: A Magazine Review

Making its debut in Spring 2015, American Womankind was a delightful surprise, speaking to a hunger I didn’t know I had.  I needed smart, engaging, and thought-provoking writing every bit as much as I craved visual pleasure. Womankind has both.

Born in Australia, Womankind intrigued and seduced me at the cover, a butterfly encrusted portrait of Simone de Beauvoir, the French feminist philosopher and long-time companion of Jean Paul Sartre, French existential philosopher.  Composed of thousands of tiny butterflies in varying colors and patterns, the portrait hints at the theme of the spring publication.  If you think about the life cycle of a butterfly, you can imagine the process of transformation that is part of all life.  Like butterflies, we are in the process of becoming.  What will we become?  What roads will we travel to get there?  With what will we identify?

womankind covers

Womankind invites you— without carping—to examine the life you lead, to learn something about women in history whose stories you may not have heard before, and to live more mindfully on the planet.  There’s both strength and delicacy in the delivery of essays like: “The Celebrity Machine,” Cooking As Meditation,” and “The One Story That’s Changing Your Life,” framed with startling art, photography and graphics that relate to the articles.

Womankind’s well-written essays explore topics and people in a way I haven’t encountered before— and in a format that invites my curiosity and engagement.  Fresh perspectives from artists and writers, concerned with different aspects of the same topic, were paired in such a way as to resonate with my own thinking.  I was not just informed, but enlightened; affirmed, as well as supported.  I feel that my ability to look at myself individually and as a member of society is respected by this magazine.  The lack of advertising invites me to see myself as something more than a consumer.  Finally, the magazine inspires as it celebrates women in every aspect of life through art, prose, and poetry.

My second issue of American Womankind arrived with Frida Kahlo, the Mexican revolutionary artist and wife of artist Diego Rivera, on the cover.  This time, the portrait was composed of a miniature garden of brightly colored flowers.  Again, I was struck by the quality of the content. One essay, “Frontier wars,” by Todd Miller, explored the impact of immigration laws on ordinary people who just want to do ordinary things like take their children to visit grandparents. Regardless of politics, one can’t help but be touched by this human interest piece.

If you’re looking for an intelligent, though -provoking, and visually-engaging magazine, try American Womankind, available at some Barnes & Noble locations, or at womankindmag.com.

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Author – Cheryl

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Bloggers, Inspiration, and the Big Apple

Attending a blogger conference in 2015 was on my to-do list. I did some research and found BlogHer15 — a conference that supports women bloggers. It would be in July at the New York Hilton. My sister, Cheryl, and I go to New York every summer, so this was perfect for the geography and my hotel points. As always, we balanced our activities. We bookended the conference with hang-out time in the City and with family.

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First things first:  BlogHer15’s theme was “Experts Among Us.” I had no idea what to expect. Blogging has become quite an industry. I was excited to dive deeper into our blogging venture and share the experience with Cheryl.

SheKnowsMedia masterfully rolled out the BlogHer keynote speakers and workshops in the months leading up to the conference. I was uncertain how I would fit in with established bloggers because this blog is young, and yet-to-be-monetized. Cheryl was apprehensive about the social and networking aspects of the conference. I  hoped the conference would kickstart relationships with other bloggers.

Ran into the one other blogger I personally knew: Rhonda Swan of soul-searching.com

Ran into the one other blogger I knew: Rhonda Swan, journalist and blogger – http://www.soul-searching.com

I don’t know how many bloggers attended BlogHer15, but it seemed like easily a thousand. BlogHer15 was a professional, unexpectedly balanced production. It doesn’t mean the conference was perfect because I saw some missed opportunities to help bloggers connect with others in their blogging genre. Nevertheless, there was plenty of substance there for everyone.

Why BlogHer15 impressed and inspired me:

  • Attendees were diverse in sexual orientation, race, generation, and geography. (I thought attendees would skew heavily toward millennials, but GenX and Boomers were in the house, too.)
  • Presenters and Keynote speakers were similarly diverse. To name a few, we had Ava DuVernay (award-winning director of “Selma”), Christy Turlington Burns (former super-model and founder of “Every Mother Counts”), Soledad O’Brien (journalist and philanthropist), and Gwyneth Paltrow (fellow blogger, actress, and author).
  • Social issues had a platform at keynote sessions. The founders of BlackLivesMatter, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, kicked off the conference on the first night with a conversation moderated by Essence magazine’s editor-in-chief. Christy Turlington Burns hosted a keynote session on maternal mortality and introduced us to Ancient Song Doula Services. (We learned the shocking statistic that the United States is the only developed nation in which maternal mortality is actually on the rise!)  There was also a screening of the documentary about Pakistani teenager activist, Malala Yousafzai, co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. (The Taliban nearly murdered her for activism in women and education issues.)
  • Sponsors were diverse:  financial, food, personal care products, household products, baby products, technology, and health and wellness. One of my favorite sponsors was Jet, the shopping club that boxed up the swag we picked up at the Expo, and delivered it to our homes. Other favorites were WordPress (their “Happiness Engineers” provided technical help with blogs), and Depends, which hosted yoga classes early each morning. All sponsors gave away swag.  Swag, swag, everywhere!
  • Sessions and workshops had something for everyone. For the most part, we chose well and gained great information. Attending sessions was like a moveable feast. Some presenters reinforced what matters:  quality content and writing, integrity, and passion. We learned that a blog’s value is not solely based on analytics and social media fans and followers; being able to connect influential people to brands is valued, too.  Speaking of social media, I went to a session that made me sigh, and then exclaim….”What?! I need to add another one? Twitter??!” Ahhh…the time suck of social media. But, it was clear I could no longer avoid Twitter. Bloggers were expected to punctuate conference happenings with tweets. (I don’t have a single damn tweet, but you can now follow me, anyway  @kalison0515.)
  • “Experts Among Us” wasn’t only about the luminaries among presenters and keynote speakers; it was about blogger attendees, too. We were asked what was our expertise.  I gave this some thought. I’m expert in personal transformation. I had a life-changing event and made lifestyle changes that, seven years later, are still evolving in a positive way. This kind of change is difficult to start, let alone maintain. People ask me for advice all the time. I’m claiming this expertise!

We were in great company with many accomplished women.

Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O’Brien

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Gwyneth Paltrow

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Ava DuVernay

Last, but not least, a few words about The Big Apple and how Cheryl and I enjoyed the City.

Flower District - seriously green space in a non-park environment.

Flower District – green space in a non-park environment.

Before we checked into the conference, we had a mission on the Upper East Side. That mission was to hit the two Roundabout designer consignment stores.  After we scored some very cool items at the semi-annual sale, we enjoyed a long walk back to the hotel.

Cheryl nonchalantly photo-bombed the sculpture. Rude.

Cheryl nonchalantly photo-bombed the sculpture.

We dined in Harlem at Barawine (Lenox & 120th) — delicious! We walked a few blocks from there to the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park where we saw a jazz singer and her trio, followed by Classical Theatre of Harlem‘s production of  Shakespeare’s, “The Tempest.” I hadn’t seen the play before and agreed with reviews that the acting was superb. Classical Theatre of Harlem produces a play each summer at Marcus Garvey Park that attendees can see for free!

Our final highlight in NY was brunch at Cocotte in SoHo with my nephew / Cheryl’s son, David. I had the fluffiest, most divine (and expensive) scrambled eggs, potatoes, and peach bellinis ever! True French cuisine is worth it (as an occasional treat).

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Cocotte – SoHo

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Kim, David, and Cheryl

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K&C – sister bloggers on the loose!

And, I’ll close with a final image from New York….

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