6 posts from May 2012


A Family Story, Part II

Me + 4 kidsFrom r to l: Mike, Ryan, Jasmine & Kiki

I was 11 when I left my mother’s home.  Before then, my older sister  would come check on my little brother and I, making sure we had food.  And when I left, moving between 4 different foster homes until landing at the last one at age 14, it was me who who looked after me, me who did for myself.  

So family, is for me an interesting word.  What is family if it does not offer the protection and nurturing it should?  And who decides what you owe anyone, especially when not anyone feels they owe you?  

At 16, I started working, first fast food - you know what it was, Mickey D's - then retail, even bartending.  I was blessed to meet a gentleman or two along the way, who truly helped me.  But family never took care of Marlo.  And Marlo did take care of family, even at 17 driving to different Foster Homes, visiting my nieces and nephews, always helping them, loving them, taking them out to amusement parks and to have fun.  I did for my mother; she could always count on me, I would always look after her.  Her house is paid for and furnished by me, and she could always count on me to give her money.   

But none of these things brings family together - if anything, it only tears them apart...


My glamorous girls...

Photo+1Me with Francheska & Francis

Having spent my teenage years in Foster Care, I am very passionate about working with young girls in the system, and offering them support and opportunities they may otherwise not have.  I do this through my Glam It Up Campaign through which some of my Glam It Up girls participated in the ATL Celebrity Kids Fashion Show.  Four young ladies became models for a day to promote empowerment and wellness for children. 

The girls were beautiful and poised and they absolutely shined as they modeled beautiful dresses by designer Jayne Finne, of the Melissa Jayne Boutique.  Thank you Miss Finne, for letting these young ladies sparkle in your pretty dresses!


Thank you, Caitlyn, Francheska, Tamara, Francis, Thakia and all the young ladies for beings such lovely models and doing such a great job!  You give to me more than I could ever give to you...


A Wonderful Mother's Day

  PhotoDaniel, Emma & Me


I had the best experience the other day.  With the help of the Frank and Wanda morning show, I was able to make two mothers very happy.  You often hear people say how rewarding it is to give, and I experience that joy every time.  It makes me grateful to be able to give and reminds me of my many blessings. 

We asked for women to tell us their stories and why they should win a beautiful handbag from me. We heard from mothers with special needs children, being role models by going to school full time, yet being devoted mothers and great wives.  Their husbands appreciating and admiring them. 

There were single mothers tending to sick children, unable to finish their own education, unable to take out time for a date, always taking care of others.  There were single mothers, struggling with their own illness, troubled children, never even having the time to cope, barely able to see their way through. 

There were magnificent women, strong women, devoted women, women finding strength when all of their resources are failing them.  I was so inspired and moved,  grateful that they would share their stories with me.  I want to thank you, all of you mothers, for all that you do for your families and all that you do to remind me everyday of the gifts we all have.  Thank you for allowing me to share a little piece of me with you.  I hope I made you smile...


Cinderella's Shoes

  Cinderella ShoesVia Instagram


These were my first pair of Louboutins.  A present, from a gentleman friend.  I had until then, mostly worn Stuart Weitzman.  Louboutins were still a dream.  But then he came with my golden slippers, and with them, a door to a new life.  He wanted me to look beautiful for our date that evening.  He wanted me, like Cinderella, to feel transformed.  So he bought these for me and life was never the same.  I will always love them, my first Louboutins, for they represent the future I did not yet know I had...


A Family Story, in 3 Parts

TerrellVia AP

 The stories all have the same plot lines.  They may start with a lottery win, a professional sports contract, a platform in entertainment.  One person creates for themselves the opportunity.  One person makes sacrifices and works very hard for opportunity to come their way.   One person carries the weight, the pressure, the expectations, yet everyone feels they deserve the spoils.  The one who is working, struggling, and sacrificing, they want the opportunity so that they can share.  But simple math does get in the way. 

If only one person is earning and one person is dividing, giving as much if not more than they receive, eventually there is nothing left to divide.  The stories teach us that all money can come to an end.  All resources can be drained. 

I choose not to be that story. But that's only the beginning.  What happens after you make that decision, and how those around you react, is what comes next.  I will tell that story in 3 parts...




I am taking some time away again, and enjoying some great quiet moments.  It reminded me of something I read once by Patrick Suskind, but told my own way...

Sometimes people seek out solitude monks, priests, adventurers. They retreat to the woods, remote islands; maybe high in the mountains swaying in the breeze. They do this to be nearer to God or to please God. Or they wait months, years, for their solitude to be broken by some divine message, bringing them to enlightenment.

My solitude is of a different kind.  Sometimes I withdraw solely for my own pleasure, only to be near to myself. No longer distracted by anything on the outside, I bask in my own existence and find it splendid. I lay quietly, hardly breathing, my heart hardly beating but yet I am as alive and intensely  as ever, as intensely as if I were listening to great music and dancing...

I wish all of you a beautiful moment of solitude.