2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Jacqueline Carroll Interviewed by Elizabeth McCann

In connection with our 5th Annual LUNAFEST Film Festival event, which took place earlier this month, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It features interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the entertainment industry.

Follow updates to the Q & A Interview Series campaign and find out about new JLLB activities at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach. For more information about the traveling LUNAFEST Film Festival, which highlights women filmmakers and their short films, visithttps://www.jllb.org/support/lunafest/.

 For our seventh and last interview in the series, JLLB President Elizabeth McCann will be interviewing Jacqueline Carroll, who is the Head of Sales at Thunder Studios here in Long Beach.

 Elizabeth, who is a second generation native of Long Beach, joined the Junior League of Long Beach in 2009 to reengage in community involvement after years of leadership in other service organizations in Long Beach. One of a number of highlights in Elizabeth’s league career has been her Advocacy work on JLLB’s Public Affairs Committee — specifically, serving as both Junior and Senior Delegates for the Junior League of California’s State Public Affairs Committee (CalSPAC). Her other key roles in JLLB have included working in the Fund Development areas for the league and holding the Board of Directors position of Treasurer in a prior year to her current position as President.

 Outside of the league, Elizabeth is a Nonprofit Fundraising Leader who works with organizations in the Southern California area. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and American Studies and her Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern California.


 Photo caption, from left: Elizabeth and Jacqueline both participated in a video shoot to discuss these questions on camera last month at Thunder Studios.


 Elizabeth McCann (EM): What was your first job in the entertainment industry?

Jacqueline Carroll (JC): My first job in the industry was at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). I worked there for about five years and I decided to take a different route. I realized that I wasn’t going to be an agent – I just didn’t have it in me – so I started looking around and a friend told me about Thunder Studios.

 EM: What does your typical day look like?

 JC: A typical day for me here starts off with lots of emails, which are mostly inquires from clients who are looking for production space, or from clients who are already in on a project. It’s not just sales – I do a lot of operations as well. We’re kind of a small team here at Thunder and we all wear many hats.

 EM: What are some of your favorite projects here at the Studios?

 JC: I would say Nine Eleven is a favorite project that we just started filming last month. It’s our first co-production as a studio and it stars Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Luis Guzman, Wood Harris, and Olga Fonda. We have branched out to do our own thing, and to take control of our destiny, as the CEO says.

 EM: How has the studio grown over the years?

 JC: It became Thunder Studios in 2013. Previously, it was a third-party rental company and we were only renting out to production companies that had jobs. When Rodric David took over, he decided to branch off in a couple of different directions. We started our own production company in-house to take advantage of the fact that we have this huge studio and now we are also bidding jobs to clients and creative agencies.

 In addition, we launched a digital media platform and are getting more involved in digital content, with two stages that are dedicated to YouTube creators. So if you sign up with our multi-channel network (MCN), then you’re able to come in and take advantage of all of the resources that our facility has to offer.

 EM: What are the key aspects of your job that you enjoy the most?

JC: I just love working with different people, whether they’re with our own in-house production company or with a third party. It’s also that I like being part of something major. I didn’t really have an appreciation for commercials until I started working here and didn’t see all of the work that went into them before they were made: You have about seven days to make 30 seconds of television and a brand has probably given you $1 million to $2 million for it, so it has to be great.

EM: What qualities do you attribute to your success?

 JC: I would say that I’m diligent and relentless. And I’m also a master networker – I can’t stress that enough. It’s getting out there and meeting people, and always being gracious and cordial and keeping those opportunities open.  I think that’s very important for anything you’re going to do, especially in entertainment.  I think this is one of the key components that makes me good at what I do.

EM: Who would you say has inspired you the most?

JC: My grandmother, who was a professor at USC for four years, was a huge inspiration to me. In entertainment though, it’s really anybody who goes after what they want. And if they don’t give up, and they do it in a positive way, then that’s an inspiration to me.

EM: What words of advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

JC: We’re at this threshold where we’re about to enter into a different way of life, so for women, there is still a bit of a battle. But it’s being relentless. You have to believe in yourself, and rely on yourself, and know that the things that you have to offer up are worthy and valuable. If you believe in what you’re doing, then I don’t think anything can stop you – I think it’s mostly relying on who you are and not giving up.

Find out more about Jacqueline Carroll below.




This interview was edited by Lynda Miller, Public Relations Chair of the Junior League of Long Beach. She transferred from the Los Angeles league to Long Beach in 2012 to continue working in the community after a career change. When she’s not doing JLLB activities, Lynda is a PR, Sales & Fundraising Consultant who specializes in helping companies gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndamiller1

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Jann Goldsby Interviewed by Janice Merriweather

In connection with our 5th Annual LUNAFEST Film Festival event, which took place earlier this month, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It features interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the entertainment industry.

 Follow the Q & A Interview Series at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach to find out when the next interview will be posted. For more information about the traveling LUNAFEST Film Festival, which highlights women filmmakers and their short films, visitwww.jllb.org/lunafest.

 For our sixth interview in the series, JLLB Sustainer Janice Merriweather will be interviewing Jann Goldsby, who is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter working on the set of the TV show Switched at Birth.

 Janice joined the Junior League of Long Beach in 1988 when she was encouraged to do so by a Past President of the Junior League of Los Angeles. “She explained to me the Junior League’s mission as a training organization that helps develop the potential of women. Thus, after training and working on various projects and fundraisers in the league, a member would have exceptional skills to take that training out into the community and make a difference where she saw a need,” said Janice, who herself became a President of JLLB and served in this position during the 1995 – 1996 year.

 After nearly three decades of service in the league, she is still active as a Sustainer. Janice’s numerous accomplishments with JLLB include her role as co-chair of the organization’s 80th Anniversary Celebration Committee, which raised $30,000 for The Children’s Dental Clinic, the Junior League of Long Beach’s first project after its founding in 1931. Janice also produced a historical video that gives viewers a comprehensive overview of JLLB’s contributions to the community over the years.https://www.jllb.org/about/our-history/

 Janice is a recently retired General Manager/Executor for an aviation pioneer and cattle rancher with offices in Long Beach and Beverly Hills. She has served for several years on Casa Youth Shelter’s Board and as a Board Trustee member in Los Alamitos; as a member of Phoenix, a support group for the Long Beach Museum of Art; and as a member of The Links of Orange County, an international, non-profit organization of women committed to educational and civic programs. She has also served as a member and mentor in Cameo, an auxiliary of the Assistance League of Long Beach.


Caption for photo above: From left, Janice and Jann also discussed these interview questions on camera during a video shoot held last month at Thunder Studios in Long Beach.


 Janice Merriweather (JM): What is your current job/title and what was your first job in the entertainment industry?

Jann Goldsby (JG): My current job title is American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter on the set of the TV show Switched At Birth (SAB). My first theatrical interpreting experience came from ASL interpreting off-Broadway shows in New York City.

JM: What does your typical day look like?

JG: A typical day at Switched at Birth or any other film/TV production usually starts with the make-up and hair people.  At SAB, while in the make-up trailer, I will often run lines with the actor until he or she is called to set for rehearsal where at that time I will often speak the actor’s lines for the director…who is hearing and does not know the language. I will often cue the actor during the actual filming and interpret when the director has specific notes to give. I am also there to facilitate the social banter on the set as well. 

JM: What are the key aspects of your job and the qualities that you believe make you successful?

JG: Whenever possible, I will leave any questions regarding Deaf culture and language up to the actor to give a response.  When anybody on the set wants to know a sign I will direct them to the actor.  There is often a “family” feeling on the set after many months and years, and so I will often answer some questions regarding culture and language when it is necessary or the actor isn’t available at that moment, but it’s always in an effort to create more awareness and sensitivity to the Deaf community. This job requires having no ego. I’m just there to facilitate conversation and make it go as smoothly as possible.

JM: What is your favorite part of the job?

JG: My favorite part of the job is…just being there (smile). I love the creative aspect of the atmosphere. Also, if I’m there, then it means that an actor who is deaf has work!  And while forming friendships is a wonderful by-product of my work, again, it means there is a production that has been willing to showcase an actor who is deaf

JM: Who or what inspires you?

JG: In my particular job I am mostly inspired by the actor who is deaf.  I am always fascinated to see how they will interpret the script and thus their character.  And when I am witness to a hearing director who has never worked with an actor who is deaf before and has himself or herself become more aware and inspired from it, that is also very gratifying.

 JM: What advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

JG: My advice to anybody who wants to be an ASL interpreter on a set is to leave your ego at the door!  The job is in no way about “you.”  The interpreter is an extra body on an already crowded set so to be able to deftly navigate yourself well on said set is a plus!

Find out more about Jann Goldsby below.


This interview was edited by Lynda Miller, Public Relations Chair of the Junior League of Long Beach. She transferred from the Los Angeles league to Long Beach in 2012 to continue doing community work after a career change. When she’s not doing JLLB activities, Lynda is a PR, Sales & Fundraising Consultant who specializes in helping companies gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndamiller1

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Anna Schumacher Interviewed by Alex Weiss

2016 JLLB LUNAFEST® Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series – Anna Schumacher Interviewed by Alex Weiss

 In honor of the upcoming April 10th LUNAFEST event, a film festival highlighting women filmmakers, the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB) has created the LUNAFEST Women in Entertainment Q & A Interview Series. It will feature interviews pairing JLLB members making a difference in the Long Beach community with women making a difference in the industry.

 Follow the Q & A Interview Series at twitter.com/JL_LongBeach to find out when the next interviews will be posted. For more information about LUNAFEST, visit www.jllb.org/lunafest.

 For our third interview, JLLB Vice President of Fund Development Alex Weiss will be interviewing filmmaker Anna Schumacher, who directed, wrote and appeared as an actress in Finding June, which will be screened at LUNAFEST. The short fiction film explores communication’s role in understanding one another through the eyes of a deaf women who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

 Anna will be participating in the Q & A filmmakers’ panel taking place directly after the screening. The panel will be moderated by JLLB President-Elect Virginia Zart.

 Alex joined the Junior League of Long Beach in 2010 and for the past six years has had roles including Chair of Community Impact Programs, Vice President overseeing Community Programs and Advocacy, and now most recently, Vice President of Fund Development. Alex has always known that an innate part of herself has the need to give back to the community to make a difference and foster change. Professionally, Alex is the Corporate & Community Partnerships Manager for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and leads fundraising and corporate support for the western United States.

 Alex Weiss (AW): What is your current job/title (along with top projects in your career) and what was your first job in the entertainment industry?

Anna Schumacher (AS): Technically, I’m an American Sign Language interpreter by day, and an artist by night. I came to L.A. at the encouragement of a Deaf Studies teacher of mine from Berkeley City College to connect with Deaf West Theatre. At Deaf West I worked with the production team and quickly became immersed in the community. As I settled into L.A., I found more and more work as an interpreter, learning as I went and loving the language more and more. Through this I met an actor on the television show Switched at Birth, which became my Hollywood industry gig. As an artistic ensemble member of the theater and art production company cARTel: Collaborative Arts LA, I was also spreading my wings from theater actor to director, writer, and even clowning. I did my first film in the spring of 2013, about a year after I moved to L.A.

 AW: What does your typical day look like?

AS: It varies, though it certainly always starts with walking three whiny puppies earlier than I’d like! Freelance interpreting means on any given day I could be working in a school, court, or doctors’ office. This work takes me all over town with all kinds of folks. I make time every day to connect with me, via yoga and writing. I have an almost daily habit of reviewing previous writing exercises to re-write and re-imagine. My favorite days are when production is imminent and I’m in producer mode, tying up loose ends by scouting, making shot lists, and getting notes from those I send my work to.

 AW: What are three key aspects of your job (e.g., producing, developing relationships) and what are three qualities that are key to being successful in it (e.g., persistence, flexibility)? 

 AS: For this question I’ll call my job filmmaking as it’s a piece of what makes me tick. Three aspects of this work are candor, tenacity, belief. The people who succeed respect the time and talents of their team and believe in the work being made, full stop. They aren’t above sending email after email asking for help when they need it.

 AW: What is your favorite part of the job?

AS: Watching a project you love take tangible shape is humbling and empowering — two of the best feelings there are.

 AW: Who or what inspires you creatively?

 AS: I think a lot in pictures. An example I often use: sometimes I’m out and maybe it’s raining. I’ve forgotten a jacket so I’m feeling bemused, and then I see a woman at a bus stop with a plastic bag full of socks and a cat on a neon green leash. (I live in Hollywood!) What a scene. So I think, whose socks are those? Who is this woman? Who walks their cat anyway? And then my mind goes. Like the non-Spanish speaker watching a telenovela, I begin to imagine the life I’m seeing. It’s so cool to know that I can literally look at the world around me, pause longer than most do, and be inspired to write a scene, a life, a story.

 AW: What advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry or do what you do?

AS: Please do what moves you, and be kind while you do it, but without apology. As women we are conditioned to say sorry, or even to question ourselves and our ability. People will push back, they’ll require more from you. It can feel bleak out there, but I believe that if you embrace your true self, you can be a formidable player and make your mark. Or to say it another way, and to paraphrase fellow filmmaker Meg Smaker: Regardless of anatomy, if you’re embracing your femme self, you’re being a badass extraordinaire.

Find out more about Anna Schumacher below.


This interview was edited by Rachael Rifkin, a Public Relations member of the Junior League of Long Beach. She has been in the league since January of 2012 because she believes in positive community programs. When she’s not doing JLLB activities, she’s a ghostwriter/personal historian who blogs about the traits we inherit and the qualities we find only in ourselves.

Preventing Human Trafficking Through Self Esteem

Preventing Human Trafficking Through Self Esteem

Why is self-esteem so important?  There are many reasons, and this post will highlight one of them, human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion against a human being (man, woman or child) to exploit them.  It is a $150 billion global industry (although it exists in every community, even your own) and is a growing crime.  In terms of profits, it has surpassed the selling of illegal weapons and is expected to surpass the illegal drug trade. Gangs and other criminals (perpetrators are men, women and young adults) are increasingly using human trafficking as a means to make money.

What does this have to do with self-esteem you might ask?  Well, a lot.  Here is an example.  A man walks around the mall to recruit young girls to work for him.  He knows the best candidates are the girls who need reassurance they are pretty and loved.  If he walks up to a young girl and tells her she is pretty, he can tell by her reaction if she is a good fit.

If the girl drops her head in shame or comments that she is not pretty, chances are she has low self-esteem.  It will be easy for him to convince her through coercion to come with him.  All he has to do is talk up to her about how pretty she is, how he will buy her new clothes, get her hair and nails done and this will make her feel good and more inclined to go with him.

If she looks at him, says thank you and walks away, then that is not someone he is going to want to recruit; she doesn’t need him or his compliments.  Someone with confidence and high self-esteem feels good about themself, respects and loves themself for who they are and values their own opinion of themself, not someone else’s.

Unfortunately, the girls who go with this man are unaware of his intentions, they like the attention.  At first he may treat her well and set up the situation so she feels he has done a lot for her.  Then one day he may ask her to do something in return.  And this something may not be what the girl wants to do, but she does it because she feels she owes him and she has little respect for herself.  He controls her and she is now faced with a situation she has no idea how to escape.  She may be physically threatened and/or mentally threatened by him to a point where she is trapped and has no hope of escaping the nightmare she is now lives.

Learn to love, value and respect yourself for who you are, it might one day save your life.

Virginia Zart, President-Elect Junior League of Long Beach

Especially Me!

Studies indicate that up to 62% of girls are insecure about themselves. As many as seven in ten girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way. The Junior League of Long Beach is pleased to announce our upcoming Especially Me! event dedicated to addressing these very issues.

Our 2015 event was a HUGE success, with rave reviews from the fifth grade girls in attendance, and there was a waiting list for additional girls who wanted to attend. Especially Me! is designed to teach girls the skills they need to be happy and confident, to make good decisions, to be assertive, to express themselves, and to have a strong sense of self. The goal of the course is to instill the idea in each girl that she is unique and special and that she can take control of her own life. Topics covered include self-esteem, body awareness, puberty, nutrition, positive body image, mass media misrepresentations, decision-making, assertiveness, and goal setting.

The Junior League of Long Beach is an organization of women volunteers dedicated to issues that affect the children of our community. We have organized seven Especially Me! courses during the last four school years, and the positive feedback from the girls and the participating schools indicates that there is a strong need for programs such as this.

 Maria, an Especially Me! participant said, “I think this class is great. I have very low self-esteem. I’ve always thought I was ugly. I’ve always thought I was fat and never ‘perfect.’ It was never easy, especially when my mom and dad said I had bad skin and I was ugly. That always brought me down. I can start building my self esteem again.”

 Trained Junior League members facilitate the sessions, which are taught in an interactive format. The girls attend the course by themselves, as we have found they are sometimes more comfortable discussing sensitive issues outside the presence of their parents or guardians. In addition, we are happy to answer questions or provide additional information regarding the content of the classes at any time.

 This year, Especially Me! will take place on January 30, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Washington Middle School, 1450 Cedar Ave., Long Beach. Enclosed you will find a flyer and consent form.

 In order for the girls to be registered for the course, please email or mail dated and signed parent permission slips, the child’s name and school to the contact below by January 15th. You are welcome to scan the permission slips/releases and email them back to us instead. We will accept girls on a first come, first served basis until all of our 100 spaces are full. Once the consent form has been received, you will receive a confirmation letter that will include more information on drop off, pick up, and other logistics.

 If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email us at community@jllb.org or contact us by phone at 562-989-6400.

Upcoming Free Bullying Prevention Event for 5-8th Graders in Long Beach, CA — Saturday, October 17!


The Junior League of Long Beach is hosting the first FREE Confidence & Me: A Toolkit for Empowering to-be Teens! of the year on Saturday October 17, 2015 from 9:30am to 2:00pm at Lindbergh Middle School in Long Beach, California.  This workshop will be part of the month long community discussion on Bullying.  All 5th-8th graders and their caregivers are encouraged to attend!

The workshop will include a screening of the documentary film Bully (2011).  Following the movie will be lunch and an empowering activity led by Power of One Self Defense of Long Beach.  During the afternoon, the adults and students will be separated into different groups to learn more about bullying and how to empower students to stand-up and change the culture of bullying in our community.

RSVP is required and the event attendance will be capped.  Please contact community@jllb.org or click “Confidence & Me” for more information!

The Junior League of Long Beach is building upon the success of Especially Me! and expanding to working with community partners in Long Beach to combat bullying through character development and life skills programs for 5th-8th graders and their caregivers that encourage relationship building and respect for self and others.

Confidence & Me FREE half-day workshops are held around Long Beach four times a year and include activities around:

  • Self-esteem
  • Anti-bullying (including cyber bullying)
  • Leadership Skills
  • Communication Skills Training
  • Conflict Management Strategies
  • Decision Making/Goal Setting
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices

If you are interested in hosting a Confidence & Me for your school or organization, or would like more information, please contact community@jllb.org or vist “Confidence & Me.”

Please click the following link for the Confidence & Me Flyer with RSVP Info. We ask you to please share this with anyone you know who would benefit in participating and/or attending.

Go, Slow, Whoa: Your Guide to Healthy Foods and Friends


Some of you may or may not be aware that this blog is a product of the Junior League of Long Beach (JLLB).  This international women’s volunteer organization has its roots in many children’s advocacy issues over its history so it is natural that a cornerstone of JLLB’s work would be children’s physical health specifically healthy eating.  One of JLLB’s flagship events is Kids in the Kitchen, in partnership with Long Beach Health Department’s Healthy Active Long Beach, a program teaching children and their families healthy eating and living.  You can see where the overlap is in what The Confidence Post aims to address in healthy mind, body and soul.  We understand that leadership, self-esteem, and character development can only flourish in an healthy individual.

That being said as I and my volunteer partners begin to plan JLLB’s Kids in the Kitchen 2015-2016 schedule, I began to think about how similar the concept of healthy attitudes towards foods that we teach kids mirrors healthy attitudes towards relationships.  If you have children or are around children, you have heard the concept of always foods vs. sometimes foods.  I have attached some charts in case you have not heard of these concepts and would like more information (Sesame Street Anytime & Sometimes Foods).  But I specifically found the description from the website Kids Health compelling in the comparison of healthy foods v. healthy relationships (source http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healty/food/go_slow_whoa.html#).

This website describes the quite popular concept of foods to eat anytime v. sometimes as “Go, Slow and Whoa” foods.  The foods break down as follows:

Go: Foods that are the healthiest. These foods are good enough for you to eat almost anytime

Slow: Foods that are largely not bad for you. They are the “sometimes” foods. They aren’t off limits, but shouldn’t be eaten everyday.

Whoa: Foods that are the least healthy. They would likely cause obesity and subsequent health issues if they were eaten everyday. These are the treat foods (YUMMY!), live a little foods, or once in a while foods.

Now the charts I have attached breakdown what foods are in what groups and that is not the focus of this blog post so I don’t want to go on too much more about the website’s description and concerns around these foods.  What I wanted to bring to your attention is how easily we can apply this concept to healthy relationships.  Our guilt-free guide to who is called, emailed, texted, sent cards (my favorite), taken to lunch/coffee/happy hour everyday and when to indulge in that sinful gossip session with an ex-coworker.

The more I looked at the idea of go, slow, or whoa relationships, the better I felt about the place I had in my life for all my extraordinary, wonderful and simple relationships.  Because at the end of the day, they all have a piece of me so I need to be cognizant of how much to commitment to and who deserves what.  So using the model from the Kids Health website, here is how I see healthy relationships:

Go: Relationships that are the foundation of who I am…my husband, my son, my parents my sisters, brother, brothers-in-laws, sister-in-law and my nieces (God, I love them!). I don’t talk to anyone everyday (other than my son) because I find it exhausting but if I did these are the people I would turn to. I believe in the good in them and because of that, they are completely healthy for me. They make me who I am therefore I need them around regularly to provide perspective and grounding. For you, it might not be your family. It might be friends you have known forever. These are the people that you can’t and shouldn’t go without connecting with because these people love you, the real you that nobody else does. They know you and love you without judgment. These are the healthiest relationships in their purest form.

Slow: This is where I depart largely from the healthy eating concept because these people in my life are not remotely less healthy for me. I am fortunate enough to have amazing (mostly) women in my life that because of proximity or busy schedule can only be “sometimes” friends. Not that we wouldn’t be there for each other in a moment’s notice, but where we have found connection is our occasional text, call, card or meal/drink. Because we have built our friendships on the sometimes” level, we couldn’t talk every day and have the same dynamic. I cherish these friendships in big and small ways contribute to the woman I am so I would never try to make them into “anytime” or “Go” friends because the act of trying would invalidate our friendship. So there these incredible people exist, I talk to them sometimes and those short shots of their optimism,humor, wisdom, intellect inspire me and bring me health and happiness.

Whoa: These are my Facebook friends, school friends, neighbors, ex-coworkers, etc. These are my chocolate chip cookies and chili cheese fries. There is nothing wrong with connecting from time to time but these relationships lack the depth or substance that sustains a healthy friendship. It has nothing to do with who these people are or anything about them at all except how they fit into my life at any given time. They may have been a fantastic friend in a different season but as we grow and change into the women and men we were meant to be, some friends move into the “whoa” category. There are only so many times you can hear about that “one time in college that we…” or “nice weather” before it is time to move on.

The reason these concepts are important is that no category is without its importance.  The people you place in each category can and should change as you grow and mature.  The reason you see them as a “Go” “Slow” or “Whoa” has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you.  You have set your priorities…that friend that doesn’t call you very often is probably because you haven’t invested where she is in this season of her life.  Even though, your “Go” friend has recently been your “Slow” friend doesn’t mean that friendship doesn’t need the appropriate care to keep it flourishing.  One size does not fit all friendships…be open to how to meet a relationship where it is with the investment it needs to grow.

Lastly like “Whoa” food, if all you do is surround yourself with friends that do not love you for who you are, judge you, bring you down, constantly bring negativity into your life you will become mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy.  Food and relationships are exactly the same in that way.  Feed your mind and soul like you could get diabetes or heart disease if you didn’t…healthy eating and relationships aren’t that much different.

Please check out the following links for additional information:



-Cheryl L.

Hanging On To Hair


Strange as it sounds, yes, I’ve been hanging on to my hair.  My story may seem vain at first glance, but please ladies, hear me out.

Like so many others, I’ve always struggled with self image and confidence. After decades of makeup experiments and style flops, my hair was the only area that I actually loved (sad but true). Even more so when I was pregnant and even post baby, I was always complimented on my hair. It was long, thick and fortunately I was able to style it decently. As a grown woman, I allowed my hair to define me.  No, it wasn’t naturally luxurious or glamorous, it took loads of time and work.  But it was work that I had time for prior to the birth of my daughter. Shortly after her arrival, it became clear that I wouldn’t have that kind of extra time for a while. I wasn’t able to wash it as often, let alone style it. And as my daughter became an active toddler, my hair was tossed in a bun daily, which had me wondering why I was hanging on to this hair?

As my mom style finally began to define itself (relaxed tees, jeans and flats), I realized that my long, luxurious locks were a thing of the past. Not only that, but my strands were holding me back. I hated that I couldn’t just toss up my hair and roll out the door (at the pace of my kiddo). And after my daughter expressed anxiety over losing her hair during her first trim, my mind was made up. I couldn’t allow her to view hair, makeup, or clothing as an important piece of who a woman is. I want her to see them for who they are and not how long their hair is. I know, she’s only 3 and maybe too young to fully get it.  But, she definitely imitates others and is very curious, so it can’t hurt.

The woman I was 3 years ago has definitely evolved since becoming a mom, and my hair was such a small part of that big transition.  The change as a whole was so much more than I ever expected.  The pre-baby me would have laughed at the thought of staying in on Saturday nights or skipping a shower. I would have snagged the 4 inch stilettos instead of the memory foam flats at the shoe store. After losing the 8 inches of hair, I feel free, comfortable and more momish than before.  Proof that change is good, ladies.

-Kristin S.

Daily Affirmations

I like my whole house

A few years back, a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video of an adorable young girl named Jessica chanting and singing into the mirror about everything she likes about her life. The video is titled “Jessica’s ‘Daily Affirmations’” and was all over social media. Many of you probably saw it. This 4-year-old girl captured our hearts because she was so fearless in proclaiming how much she liked her haircut, her pajamas, her family … the list goes on and on. Every once in a while, the video pops up somewhere again and I watch it, and every time I am left with a smile on my face.

I recently noticed that someone had made a “10 years later” version of the video, where Jessica is now 14 and complaining about everything, including her haircut, her pajamas, and her family. It made me chuckle (I remember those 14-year-old feelings), but also made me realize that the 14-year-old me tends to have a stronger presence than the 4-year-old me in my daily thoughts, and that just will not fly.

We all need to work a little harder at keeping our inner 4-year-old alive and well. I don’t know that we all need to go stand in front of the mirror and sing about all the awesome things in our lives (although it does sound really fun), but we should at least write them down and remind ourselves. And, after we write those things down, we should share it with a friend. Because feeling awesome about things in our lives is something we need to celebrate. Jessica celebrates a lot within a 50 second video on YouTube, so imagine what we can each celebrate just by taking a couple of minutes and thinking about (or singing about) what we love about ourselves and our lives. I am starting my list today, and making a point to keep that list growing. I hope you will do the same!

If you haven’t seen the video, or want to watch it again for inspiration, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

“I love my whole house!”

-Allison A

What Beauty Really Is.


The Today Show posted a very cool article this week that inspired me to look within to think more about what is beautiful, and how society and media defines beauty. The Today show piece starts with “Madeline Stuart isn’t your average model. The 18-year-old with Down syndrome is breaking down barriers in the fashion world, fighting to prove that disabilities shouldn’t stop someone from chasing their dreams.” Please take a few moments to read the following article. She captures inner beauty’: Teen model with Down syndrome lands new campaign.

The article goes on to share, “‘For years Madeline has fought against the struggles, both internal and external, that go along with Down syndrome,” the company wrote on its website. ‘Through dance, swimming and cheerleading, she has worked to strengthen her heart and body. And through her modeling career, she has forced many to reconsider the conventional standards of beauty.'” I am so thrilled to see this in the news. I am thrilled because as a woman, and through my younger self’s voice, I know the true struggles that we can inflict upon ourselves trying to conform to what we think others believe is beautiful. Huge kudos to Madeline, everMaya, and the Today Show for doing your part to break down these stereotypes and empowering us all to define what is beauty. Strength, being goal oriented, uniqueness, fearlessness, confidence and drive are all beautiful…. that is the face of beauty.