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Keeping It Cool with Summer Fashion

Presented by PureLove Boutique
Interested in what you see visit PureLove Boutique 




Photography by Strongtower Graphics and Design

From the Desks of the Fashion Police

 by Eric Jovan & Da Bambz

While we understand that Clear Shoes are convenient, jazzy and can be paired with pretty much anything, there are definitely stipulations when it comes to wearing them. Join Eric Jovan & Da Bambz as they shed light on what’s a delight and what’s not right as it pertains to rocking clear shoes! 

Eric Jovan Don’ts:

Da Bambz Don'ts

Eric Jovan Do’s:

1. Get
2. A
3. Pedicure! You’re welcome

Da Bambz Do's

Do you have a comment or topic you would like  to discuss? Email amberly@nspireu.org or eric@nspireu.org


Drinks On You!

 by Da Bambz
Woman Drinking Juice.jpg

Big Mouth!

 by Al Weeden
big mouth.png

Hi, my name is Al…and I am a talker. Yes I admit it, I’m a talker. I’ve never been to a therapy session, but it is widely known that the first step toward recovery is admitting that you have a problem. I guess you could say I’ve been in denial about this for years. See, I never really thought of it that way. My career has been in broadcasting, primarily radio, but some television as well. And in broadcasting you are typically deleting or as we say, cutting words to make time. Time is critical in broadcasting. Whether you’re trying to talk into the intro of a song (hit the post) or you need to stop talking before a stop set (those dreaded commercials). Sometimes talking can cause problems during a broadcast.

So why am I concerned about talking rather than writing about what this column will be? Well, over the years I’ve been approached about writing a column or article for various area publications. I always replied with, “I don’t have anything to say or what would I write about, no one wants to hear from me?” My career has been primarily been about cutting words, not writing long form. I’ve mainly written short concise sentences to produce copy/script for commercials or on-air content. Using phrases or slang in some instances to get the point across…still makes me wonder, why would someone want me to write a column? 


A little about my background, my father was a Methodist minister and maybe that has something to do with it. As a kid people would tell me, “I love to hear your daddy preach, but when he finishes he still be talking about other stuff rather than letting us outta church…we be trying to get to the restaurant to get in line.” Even my mother could talk a lot. She was heavily involved in her church and community groups. I would shake my head sometimes when she was asked to give remarks, because I knew she could go on and on, Mae Jane could talk for sure…still makes me wonder, why would someone want me to write a column?

I think it’s time I share a little secret with you. Most talkers are great ad-libbers, that’s someone who can talk on command without prepared notes. To do this you need to possess knowledge and a broad view about various topics in life, society or the world. In broadcasting, especially during a live show, things just don’t time out right. So you have to ad-lib to help out, it’s called “stretching.” You ad-lib to correct something that’s gone haywire, say a song cuts off too early, a story runs long or short, maybe you hit a button and nothing happens, which causes silence! (DEAD AIR in radio or going to BLACK in television.) The ability to ad-lib allows you flexibility and time to get things back on track. I think that’s why I suffer from talking so much. I have always prided myself in the absorption of mindless facts or trivial things that I can regurgitate at any given time. I love remembering significant world event dates, historical facts, and my favorite, sports statistics…still makes me wonder, why would someone want me to write a column?

I feel I may have fallen on the answer, all of this would cause someone to ask me about writing a column? I’ve always possessed a cosmopolitan view in life. I embrace all art forms, musical genres and I listen open-minded to differing political views without judgement. I feel I should be able to talk with any one person about any one thing, at any given time and do it intelligently. Each time I am tasked to interview someone, I throw my all into it and that’s what I hope to accomplish with this column. When Candace Houston, CEO of NspireU, asked if we would be interested in contributing a piece for this magazine, I immediately said YES! 

In this space I hope to share with you informative, entertaining and insightful viewpoints about life. Some of it may be funny, thought-provoking, serious and even surprising. But most of all, it will be honest. I guess I really did have something to say after all these years, geez that wasn’t too bad after all…

Hi my name is Al…and I’m a talker.


Do you have a comment or topic you would like Al to discuss? Drop a line to him at al@nspireu.org


Is This Really What I Want

 by Red Byrd

One of the things I have had time to really think about during this quarantine is, do I really want to be in a serious relationship? Let’s back up…every girl dreams about the fairytale wedding that leads to the fairytale house, fairytale family and fairytale life. Yes, I dreamed of all of those things, and even experienced some of it. However, here I am quarantined alone. 


Honestly, as a child I spent much of my time alone and in the last few years I have discovered that I am quite okay with that.  So when I say “alone” I’m speaking of the absence of companionship. Before the quarantine I was constantly on the go working so it was great being able to go without having to report where, coming home, shedding clothes, removing the makeup and wigs, jumping in the shower and going straight to sleep. These days, although I do wonder what it would be like to have someone to sit on the patio with at night and chat while listening to music, or to share the food I cook at 2 am when I can’t sleep, LOL, I still have to ask myself do I want that constantly, or just every now and then?


I have been married, divorced, and have wonderful kids. I own a successful business and have wonderful friends so there is no lack of love. Being alone is really not a problem for me as I am an introvert by nature. Now back to these “quarantine feelings.” I feel like I’m thinking the same way that men think. Wanting a friend with benefits, or a relationship that works when it’s convenient for me. If so, is there really anything wrong with that? To me, that’s the dating process, which most people don’t do anymore. They meet, test the product and services and jump into a deep relationship before getting to know each other. I like the idea of being friends, hanging out a few nights a week, having a phone or text conversation daily while still having that time to myself. It would be great to know ahead of time if they are worth the extra effort to stay shaved, fold up the clothes that normally sit at the foot of the bed for 2 weeks, and adjust my schedule to accommodate theirs. Don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate for happy healthy relationships. The thing is, I’m not easily turned on, but very easily turned off. I get bored with food and people so when I think about the possibility of a relationship, that person needs to really come with it! The other side to that coin is that I will give that same energy in return. Yes, there will be times when one has to step up and give more than the other, but let’s make sure it’s reciprocal. 

The thoughts of kisses on the neck from behind, rolling over and placing my hand on strong arms in the middle of the night, laughing and dancing to music playing through our phones are grand. I also want to know if he bathes at least once a day, cleans his house, respects his mother, can cook at least a little bit, how he handles finances, and does he have good table manners. Like if he smacks, talks with food in his mouth, puts too much food in his mouth, east really fast, blows his nose at the table or leans over he table while eating, I can’t see myself breaking bread with him again. And most important, I need to know if he honors God and believes in Jesus Christ, this is THE deal breaker!


At this stage in life some would say I don’t have a lot of time to spend on getting to know someone. I totally disagree. I will take all the time that I need because what I don’t have time for is investing in someone, developing feelings, finding out they are not worthy of my investment and then having to repeat. Nah Suh, that’s not in my plan. A little birdie told me that it’s time for me to find a friend to spend time with and see where it goes. I think I’m ready to take that step. It won’t be easy being that we are on lockdown right now and I can’t get out but in the meantime, I will perfect my list of what I’m looking for in a man so that when the question is presented, I will have specific answers. Oh yeah, that’s another thing, if they don’t ask that question they are probably not concerned about your wants.


I have decided to chronicle this journey so we can share thoughts. I’ll keep you notified of when I post updates.


1. Everyone cannot rock clear shoes- and that is ok! While we cannot control the feet God

    gave us, we can control what we cover them with~ be mindful of what works for you! 

2. If your toes look crammed into closed toes clear shoes- 10 times out of 10 - it's because

    they are crammed into closed toe clear shoes! Please let it go sis, those are not the

    shoes for you.

3. If your feet sweat- CLEAR SHOES ARE NOT FOR YOU!!!! I prefer you not walk around 

    looking like a sauna by the toes!

I get it, many times we make decisions that fail. We also develop relationships and friendships that fail. We lose jobs, opportunities and loved ones. We fall ill and failure seems to be the thing we relate to most. Or do we? 


I have learned that life is indeed 10% what happens and 90% how you react to what happens. For me, that means it is all in your perspective as well as how you allow things to affect you. Have you ever sat back and analyzed a situation that seems extremely bad but once you took the time to truly evaluate things, you realized that what happened was for your good, saved you from certain situations or was what needed to happen so that you could see that there is better for you? Many of us look at things from the surface and decide about how detrimental it is. But consider the infamous saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover”- because one must dive into the book to find out what happens and how or why things transpire, as well as how things end. That is a lot of how life works- before you decide how bad something is, dive into it and analyze it. You would be amazed at the clarity, peace and understanding you get from things. To do this affectively, one must remain calm and think before reacting. That was one of my toughest battles- thinking BEFORE I reacted. I had it backwards for years! I learned that reacting before processing did not take me far. I had to find a means that allowed me to funnel though my thoughts and emotions but also see that all things are not always for my downfall- even when on the surface, it looks to be that way.


One thing I can say for certain- for every bad thing that happens- at least 2 great things follow. One of those great things is a lesson learned and the other is the ability to conquer the situation in a way that is be-fitting to me. Those times I felt like “Why Me?” turned into those times of “Why not me?” I can handle this! Those times of “I cannot believe he/she did that to me” turned into “I am so grateful I saw this person’s true colors.” Because the one thing we all desire is to have real people in our corner, right?  Those times of “How can I get through this” turned into “One Day at a time I will get through this.” Those simple shifts in my mentality changed my life tremendously. 


Give yourself what you want others to give you, in good times and bad, and watch how your life begins to fall into place. When you focus on “self” you become the most important thing you want to protect and all things surrounding will comply and march to the beat of your drum because they know you won’t have it any other way. Do not allow what you cannot control to control you. Trust that sometimes a reroute is best for your well-being. It starts with YOU! YOU GOT THE JUICE! SO …. Drink it!!


Do you have a comment or topic you would like  to discuss? Email amberly@nspireu.org 

Do you have a comment or topic you would like  to discuss? Email info@nspireu.org

1. What Eric Jovan said! 

2. Just because the shoes are clear and match the outfit does not mean your toes and heels

   are worthy of wearing them- make sure you are looking good from head to TOE-

   emphasis on Toe! 

3. Make sure the shoes fit comfortably and completely- last thing we want is your shoe to 

    fit like Cinderella's step sister. Clear shoes tell it all!

1. Ummm ma’am, it’s clear that those clear heels don’t go with every look so please     

    stop trying to force it!
2. If your feet have been in hiding all year please bronze them, tan them, color them with a marker or

    something. Do not walk around having people think you are wearing socks.
3. Listen here…if it’s the last pair on the shelf and it’s not your size don’t do it because   

    remember.....we can see EVERYTHING! Just order them and be patient.

Color Tanks

High temps call for lightweight styles you can mix and match. A bright colored tank top is essential for summer travel. Looks great with white jeans, denim shorts, or layer with a cardigan for changing temperatures.

Colorful Maxi Dress

A colorful maxi dress yields comfort and style all in one. Easy to slip on and go. Dress up or down.

Striped Maxi Dress

Get into the flow of this floor length maxi dress!   The wrap style and side split makes a flattering look.  This maxi dress is a style staple for the season!


Lightweight jumpsuits and rompers are great for keeping it cute and casual. Pair with your favorite flats or add a bright colored heel for a pop of color