May 28, 2015

Do singles get jealous of their married friends?



By Tatianah Green 

You never know how good you have it until someone brings it to your attention. The biggest congratulations of the day went to one of my coworkers, who with his wife are having another baby. I was more than excited for them, especially since the baby is due in a few months. It reminded me that I'm again single, not married and with no children. My teammates, two of which are getting married this year, gave him kudos. I thought: I have an announcement too...I...have a radio show! *cue tumbleweed* 

Umm yeah, so I didn't try to outshine my coworker's moment, but I too wanted to have something like what they have one day. In that moment I was tempted to have self pity about where I am in this season of my life. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves no matter what because God ordains our steps and even in the times when everyone seems to be winning and you’re not winning rewards like theirs, just remember to stay in your lane and commit to finishing your race. 

Later on in the day he mentioned that June was coming up and that I have just a short time til my next trip to Texas. That led to talking about the other places I'll be travelling to this year and he actually said he was jealous of me. ME? But I want what you have! A growing family, how nice would that be, but I started to see that we both wanted similar things from each other's lives.

Do you know how blessed you really are in this season? Perhaps you’re in the middle of the process or you’ve made great strides in life at this point. My fellow beloved singles, we have much to be grateful for in this life that other folks don’t get to have anymore. This is why I emphasize living out your life fully and embrace this season because 1) tomorrow is not guaranteed and 2) you’re single freedoms are not either. What are single freedoms? Things you can do while single that it’s a challenge to accomplish in a committed relationship: coming home late at any hour you decide to, cooking what you want for you, serving in community or other countries more often, be more flexible with events and plans, etc. Those are just a few examples, but there is so much more.

Singles, join me for an incredible summer. I need and you may need to also throw all the negative notions of being single in the warmer months and enjoy your life. Take time away from technology, try new things, go new places, challenge your fears, meet your vision board goals let God lead you to the lessons needed for the next season.
“Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed.” Proverbs 23:17-18 NLT
No matter where you are right now, there’s someone out there who would trade everything they had to have what you have. Contentment is a gift we should take with the Lord’s presence daily. Being thankful, grateful and faithful in what you have now is a mature response to the temptation to get jealous or envy others. There’s just no need. You will get your time to shine. In the meantime, be present and alert for God’s next directions for your life as we approach a new month.

For further reading: Master the art of not comparing | Is it April yet?

May 20, 2015

Fashion for bloggers: Summer looks from Rent the Runway


By Tatianah Green
This summer has plenty of opportunities for my fellow bloggers to enjoy. From invite-only exclusive events, to networking opportunities and blogging conferences, ladies of the digital world can stay up to date without spending too much or having anxiety about wearing an outfit over an over again to events. I recently tried Rent the Runway, the not-your-average retail store in which you rent designer clothing to accessories at a fraction of its retail cost. I wanted to share a few selections with you for this upcoming season. Sizes vary by designer, but overall they carry a nice range of garments from sizes 0-22.

For the events you cover:
Jumpsuits and rompers came back this year so you can stand out in this wide-legged piece by Trina Turk. I personally tried this number on in the newest Rent the Runway store in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. This look was roomy yet stylish; it was my second favorite piece on my visit. For $65 to rent (Retail price $348) you can turn heads in the Diana Jumpsuit while you get the story. Note: I had to cinch mine in the back because the size was too big. When you order online, you have the option of ordering the item in another size "just in case" for free!

The site was limited on plus size options for jumpsuits, but I did find this black piece by Eloquii. For $50 to rent ($120 retail) you can keep it chic in this belted jumpsuit and accessorize with bold shoes and statement necklace. Did I mention they have those for rent too? Jumpsuits are the unexpected choice for a summer event because most would expect you to wear something short in the warmer months.


For networking events:
Depending on your personal branding and style, you want to be true to yourself and also come off as professional. Blogging is a business to be taken seriously and from fellow bloggers to national corporations, you want to look you best. For this kind of event, I chose a dress that can be worn for outdoor or indoor events. First up is the Trudy Dress by Carmen Marc Valvo (sizes 14W-22W). This lovely piece at $85 to rent compliments multiple skin tones. The next dress is the Woven Garden Dress by Erin erinfetherston (sizes 0-12). For $65 you can rent this beauty and leave a lasting style mark wherever you go.



For the special occasions:
I look forward to attending the Black Weblog Awards and blogger prom this June at the Blogging While Brown Conference in Austin,Texas, so I had the pleasure of looking for dresses that would best reflect the occasion without going too black tie formal. You can dress in the high end designers like this ML Monique Lhuillier gown. For only $80 ($698 retail) you can rent this gorgeous pink gown reminiscent of what Kerry Washington would wear on the red carpet. The Give Me a Smooch dress comes in sizes 0-14 and are available in several petite, regular, and long sizes. I also loved this Shimmering Blush Gown by Badgley Mischka (sizes 16-22). For $90 ($620 retail) you can rent this beauty and shine like the blogging star you are. This dress is elegant and got great reviews for its fit and comfort.



Here are a few more things to note: 
  • They encourage stuntin' for the 'gram! Take all the pics you want. You can even upload them in your rental review to help other ladies out with how it looks and feels on the customer.
  • They ship to hotels, so yes you can send your order to the conference hotel and then ship it in the UPS packaging they enclose when you’re done! 
  • They take care of dry cleaning and it’s best to pay the small fee to insure your rentals. 
  • You can also rent outerwear, jewelry and handbags. 
  • You can rent the items for 4 or 8 days. 
  • For more information and how you can get styled in their stores, go to renttherunway.com and start the search for your perfect looks this summer.

Have you tried Rent the Runway before? Let me know at @TforTrendsettaSee more of my Fashion blog posts at BlackLoveForum.com.

May 14, 2015

You're experiences are not in vain


By Tatianah Green

I had a random moment in which I added up the number of months that I've had a boyfriend or considered myself to be in a relationship. To my surprise the number came to a little over 62 months, which equals 5.16 years of life. I have over 5 years of experience being someone's girlfriend, partner, boo, babe, but not wife. 

This would be the part where I say I regret some of those relationships, or the amount of time that I stayed when I really should have left. This could be the part where I say I've wasted valuable time in my youth where I could have gotten to know myself as a single or not just enter a relationship because the guy was nice or it seemed like a good idea. I could say those things and sit at the table with resentment, condemnation, shame and hurt, but I won’t.

One of my friends said I have a “PhD in singleness” and to be honest, I didn’t know how to feel about that. In the process of allowing the Lord to reveal my purpose, I have had mixed feelings about what I am supposed to be right now. If you’re like me, you tend to over think and wonder what is going to happen next, when, were, etc. This present time can be a mystery for some, and others it’s prime time, game time, the time. But I was reminded this week, that regardless of where I am right now in life, I have something significant to contribute to others, and that my experiences are valid today.

I was able to relate to my sister going through what I have experienced in past relationships and the encouragement just flowed. I knew her feelings because I was there and God gave me His grace to get through it. That in itself revealed purpose in that moment, that our conversation was more than just small talk or catching up. I realized that I have so much potential to impact people today then to get caught up in wondering what I will do in the future. It's an honor when God uses you, and it's more glorifying when He uses what you've gone through to minister to someone else. Your experiences, the good, bad and yes the ugly, are all for God's hands to mold into a beautiful story; beauty for ashes (see video below).

Side notes: We need each other to survive; putting on an air of perfection or false sense of self doesn't help people to access your heart where your empathy is. Deep down we all have it [empathy] but there may be other elements in there like pride, jealousy or fear that give you this need to portray that you have it all together. I personally would have a harder time going to someone like that than a person who was open about what they have been through AND got through by God's grace. Don't allow your flesh to eclipse God's light within you. Get free, stay free, and help free others. 


May 8, 2015

What motherhood taught me about true love



By Winnie Caldwell

Winnie and her son Sidney

"Girl, this pregnancy test says I'm pregnant! Ha!" I laughed to my best friend on the phone. I was 16 years old, in high school, without a care that my life was about to dramatically change. I took another pregnancy test. "Oh my God! Girl, I'm pregnant!" I cried out. 

My new life was becoming a reality after that confirmation. I didn't cry because I didn't want a child. I have always wanted a family. But I wanted a family that was put together from God, not me. Especially not a 16 year old me, only Lord knows the foolishness I believed love to be. I thought love was: 

-A boy showing me attention even though it was mainly him controlling me 

-Literally fighting for him to stay in my life 

-An "Us against the world mentality" meaning putting him before everyone even God
I soon learned that this wasn't of God and that I deserved better. Even though my pregnancy wasn't planned by me, it was foreseen by God. God knew when I'd meet the man who'd be the father of my child. God also knew how I'd respond. God knew these things were only a set up for my testimony for you. I wouldn't be able to genuinely, minister to young women reading this without true experience. I wouldn't know the sacrifices mothers make without experiencing them. It's one thing to be empathetic but you don't truly know the sacrifices until you're the one making decisions.

Almost 10 years later, I am a single mother. Having my son, I have learned what true love is. Ironic right? We know the popular scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV:

"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."

My son showed me these things in a matter of nine years. No matter what kind of day I'm having, he's patient and kind to me. Sometimes as mothers, we aren't perfect, though my son keeps no record of that! At the age of two, he was protective of me. I laugh and smile because if there was anyone in my presence he didn't like, without talking, I'd know to wrap that conversation up.

Look at your children as blessings. The relationship may not have worked out with the father of your child(ren), but look at the beautiful relationship God granted you with your child(ren)! It's a blessing! Remember there are many women who can give birth. The fact that God trusted in you to raise a child of God means you are a special child of God. Don't take that gift for granted. I am very thankful for my son. Without him I may not be here on this earth today. Before I had my son I was not faithful to God. Though the day I knew I was raising a child of God, I decided to make a change in myself. Forever I am thankful.

Enjoy motherhood, in whatever light God grants you with. Don't come down too hard on yourself. We are not perfect. And our children don't expect us to be. I remember I didn't know how I'd get a bill paid and that made me question myself as a mother. Silly right?? But I allowed the enemy to get in my head and make me lose sight of every amazing thing I'd done as a mother. Thank God for His grace because soon I shook that enemy off of my back and God's will was done and that bill was paid! Glory to God.


God compares His love to that of a mother for her child (Isaiah 49:15), because as the Creator of all men and women, He knows that a mother's love is the closest thing on earth to His own Divine. There is an old saying that God created mothers because He wanted to show Himself to little children through them. 

I'll leave you with this prayer to repeat to yourself everyday. Enjoy your Mother's Day. 

"God, thank you for this glorious day. Thank you for waking me and my child(ren) on this day. We will have an amazing day. We will accept the riches you have blessed us with. We thank you for blessings seen and unseen Lord. Protect us and cover us as we are servants of you Lord. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen."
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Winnie E. Caldwell — I’m a dreamer and a doer. I use my testimonies as different pieces of advice to share through my writing. I dream to publish my very own magazine that will not only keep my readers inspired but also informed. As a St. Louis, MO native, I definitely have that ‘Show Me’ state mentality. I don’t tell too much in advance, but when I show the end result, I show out. If I would be any animal, I would say I am a Chameleon. 


The most interesting compliment I have received is that someone told me I was unflappable, which means to show calmness in a crisis. For that I am proud. I have grown from being nervous when I interviewed celebrities such as actress Malinda Williams, and radio host Special K to now having great communication with highly influential persons such as celebrity MUA Alexandra Butler, actor Jay Ellis, radio host Gary (with the tea) and more! 

To experience this bright spirit everyone loves, visit my faith based blog for entrepreneurs, thewirehangerbywinnie.com where the motto is “Hang Up Your Problems & Move On To Better.” 

May 6, 2015

Fashion: Spring Is The Season Of The Lady


By Tatianah Green


"Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady." -Edith Head
Spring/Summer looks by designer Tracy Reese


May is here and I haven’t been this excited for spring fashion in a long time! I’m officially calling this the unofficial “Season of the Lady.” Yes, we can be ladies at work, home, dates, church, and on the go. Season of the Lady means embracing your feminine side, enjoying being a woman who can be soft yet strong, meek but noticed, lovely both outside and within. I’m sharing a few of my favorite pieces for this season for the lady in all women.



May 1, 2015

Fall in love with "FIRST" the series


By Tatianah Green


Source: Instagram
In honor of the first of the month of May, I wanted to share this video with you about a show I've fallen for since the "first" episode. It's called "FIRST," a scripted romantic dramedy series on YouTube with the talented Issa Rae as Executive Producer. 

Written, created and starring Jahmela Biggs, the show centers primarily on the rekindling relationship of Robin and Charles who knew each other since middle school. If you like romantic films such as "Love Jones" and "Love and Basketball," then be sure to check out this series. 

Here are 5 reasons to check out the series FIRST:

1) A realistic, modern view on Black Love. Finally! It's hard to find that on TV, so the Internet is buzzing with programs that feed the need for genuine stories (scripted or real) about Black Love. I say Black Love is important because we need healthy examples of love in our communities. There are some faith elements in this show, but it's more open to include all audiences so just keep that in mind. The series explores a love story and its highs, lows, and swoon-worthy moments.

2) Creative arts are alive and online. Taking a look at the cast and crew behind this series you'll see that there are a lot of passionate and creative people making this series, now in season 2, happen. From the direction by Desmond Faison to the amazing music selections by Philippe Pierre, you can appreciate the quality and effort put into each episode. This is not to neglect the acting and script that display a beautifully human story. Every episode leaves people wanting more and leaving positive feedback in the comments. 

3) "When something is on your heart to do, move forward in faith and work your butt off." -Jahmela Biggs. Seeing this group of individuals put their dreams and goals into action is inspiring and it will do the same for you. Create your own avenue and keep pushing towards the vision you have and let God take you even further with your faith.

4) A sweet surprise for you in the video. Whether you're a fan of the show or just hearing about it, be sure to check out this video below and catch up with the episodes before the next one premiers on Wednesday, May 6th! 

5) Support Black Love and works in the media. Be sure to support in any way that you can; I plan on signing up to be a monthly patron so that shows like these continue. Just a couple of dollars a month can help. Learn more about the Patreon campaign here


Follow the series on social media:
Twitter: @firstseriestv
Instagram: firstseriestv
Facebook: facebook.com/firstseriestv


April 29, 2015

Don't get distracted: loving God's way in the midst of injustice


By Tatianah Green

A young man named Freddie Gray died due to police brutality. The way he died was undeserving and cruel. He died while in the hands of people who were supposed to protect his rights but violated them instead. "It's even difficult to understand why officers arrested Gray in the first place," as seen in a post by The Atlantic. They also happened to not look like him, yet have the same rights as Gray, or so we thought.  

These protests in Baltimore are nothing new. This outrage towards police from all peoples has been going on a consistent basis for some time now. The main target it seems in this season are Black men. There are so many theories as to why it's happening, but in my opinion we have to begin to fight back in an overlooked way. I want to encourage you to not respond in the way that's expected...the way that will distract you. 

"A scroll through the Baltimore Police Department's Twitter feed Tuesday offers a tour of the mayhem the city is experiencing -- looting, vandalism, blazes, attacks on police and firefighters, marauding "groups of criminals" stoking the havoc. But not a mention of the investigation in the past four days." -CNN

I'll spend one paragraph on this point and move forward. A mother in Baltimore is getting high praises for finding her young son amongst a rioting crowd and hitting him with her hands to get him to go with her (presumably home). I don't understand why this needs all the attention that it got. She's his mom, she didn't want him there, he looked like he was under 18 and she didn't want her son to be a victim to violence, let alone at the hands of police. Most parents of a teenager would do what they have to do to get his attention, but very few call it abuse. To those people who do call it abuse I say you are getting distracted as well. Was it abuse what the police did to Freddie Gray? Did you feel the emotions and adrenaline in that mother's mind and body in that moment? Please focus on the real issue here and not just one water cooler moment in the story. 

We need answers, accountability and justice. But it's hard to get when you are misunderstood and under-represented in the country you were born in and raised to honor and serve. This is one reason why I could never be a humanist. I cannot put my full confidence in man (human beings) who in their own mind and abuse of power tried to define my people as "less than human" because of physical differences. That was in earlier centuries, but not too far from today, in which African Americans are getting called "thugs" which has been a code word for a more derogatory term.

We still live in this mentality in places all over the world and it's sad. I believe in God because He doesn't care what I look like, He made me and He sees my heart; my everything is valuable to Him. He won't use or disrespect me, nor enslave me. The Lord is freedom and salvation, and regardless of what He looks like (for those who argue that Jesus is white--i.e. FOX News), it doesn't matter either because what He did on the cross trumps what He looks like. And even in that ridiculous debate lie the seeds of distraction that grow and block the witness of the Good News to people based on what seems to only matter to other human beings. 

We have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture in all things. I'm tired of seeing our cities and people serve as experiments for the government as repeated history. Blacks and other minorities have been guinea pigs for health to economic policies in this country since the beginning of its history and it hasn't stopped. Next week it could be someone else in the headlines, but we can't restart as if the anger truly subsided. It hasn't...and we need help. We have to fight with truth and the love of God, an underestimated force to be reckoned with in this day and time. His love is the best thing for the worst circumstances. And though we live in wicked times, we have assurance that this is not our final resting place. God's kind of love is what we need to exemplify when we get distracted by the consistent chaos in this world. 

We have this violence going on in America, and Christians are being persecuted in areas like the Middle East and Africa. Thousands if not more have been displaced by the earthquakes in Nepal. There are devastating, heartbreaking events occurring every day. YET, God sees it all, and in His sovereignty, is responding and calling for us to respond in His way. Loving, giving, praying, healing in ways that confound the wise of this world. God's kind of love looks like trusting Him, not man or your emotions to handle a situation; it's loving our enemies like in Matthew 5 because they are in need of a new heart like we did before we knew Christ; it's applying faith and godly wisdom to everyday interactions with people. In the midst of all of this hurt and pain we are still called to love as God loves. 

It's speaking life into our neighbors and looking out for them again; it's serving in the communities we live in and taking looking after one another in the places we call home. It's chipping away at the idol of ignorance one act of love at a time. It's not looking at the world through the edited lens of the mass media but with God's perspective. Nothing is new to Him, trust that the Lord has a plan even in all of this. My brothers and sisters, don't get distracted. Remember Freddie and the countless others and in turn love your enemies, not with your capacity, but with the amazing, saving, consistently powerful love of God.