2012 resolution…#2

The Dana Owens Album

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Found a few common sense resolutions from an actress who strikes me as having…common sense, Queen Latifah.

USA Weekend ran an article about the 5’10, full figured, Cover Girl singer-actress-comedienne. Having seen the beauty in a few films convinced me that she was the real deal, a nobody who became a somebody. Latifah’s star was finally launched when she received an Oscar nomination for her role as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago. She was cast alongside Renee Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones who walked away with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar

Latifah, a young 41 (from my perspective, anyway), is comfortable in her own skin. ” ‘I accept that I’m me…I don’t have a choice! From the time I really accepted myself, everything got brighter. People were attracted to me for me.’ “ I don’t think I’d find her as charming, if she were a complainer. I like her because she’s a striking woman, cut from a different mold, who’s funny, can laugh at herself, but still takes herself seriously…and is nobody’s fool.

Persona (Queen Latifah album)

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My admiration for her jumped a few notches since learning that Latifah is also disciplined when it comes to taking care of her physical, and mental, well-being.
     ” ‘The first thing [I do] is to get on the treadmill for a mile,’ says Latifah, who has used a personal trainer for years. ‘Then it could be circuit training. Sometimes we’ll walk 3 or 4 miles outside, come in and do strength training. Sometimes it’s just yoga. Yoga’s great for calming your mind, loosening up, stretching and strengthening. And allowing you to feel pain and move through it. All things you need in life.’ “

Latifah is not without sin. Her favorite? Mac and cheese. “I know what to eat and what not to eat. But I just like doing what I want, you know? I’m rebellious like that!’ “ I also like that about her…a streak of the rebel.

With her signature, hearty laugh, Latifah confirms that her secret to a healthy body is…doing cardio…eating smaller potions…lots of water…no food 3 hours before bedtime…and lots of exercise. I’m also grateful that she has no use for plastic surgery. ” ‘What do you need to Botox your face for at age 25? Really? If you’re doing that at 25, what are you going to do at 50?’ “ Latifah only subscribed to having breast reduction surgery in 2003 to alleviate back pain. I can relate to that. Back pain, I mean. Not big boobs. 

In Latifah’s own words…

English: Dress worn by singer Queen Latifah in...

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Queenly tips for living the good life

Break bad habits: Latifah started smoking at 14 and has ‘fought against it my whole life.’ She has quit ‘several times,’ sometimes for years, only to light up again. Her mantra? ‘Be honest. Be aware. And absolutely try again. Don’t beat yourself up.’

Attract love: ‘You have to not seek it. You have to be it. Love yourself first. It will come to you naturally. You don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to be needy. Be open. And don’t judge the package it comes in.’

Do what you love: ‘If you’re passionate about it and it’s realistic, then you have to do it. Why wait? As long as you are breathing, you’ve got a chance to do something different.’

Embrace your age: Getting older is ‘a blessing. It means you’re still alive.’

Be realistic: ‘You gotta be honest with yourself, No. 1. If you like to eat sweets at night, then you’ve got to prepare for it. You have to plan. Instead of eating the whole thing, just eat some of it.’

Give back: ‘So many people need help. Sponsor a child instead of giving a gift, or donate to an organization on someone’s behalf. Or take your [old] clothes to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. When you give, you can’t imagine how it’s going to come back to you. It always does.’

I think I’ll be following some womanly advice throughout this next year…

…and all the years thereafter…

………hugmamma.  😉 

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“same sky,” empowering women

Economically empower a woman—you change her, her family, her community, her country… and eventually, the social & economic fabric of the entire world.

On Inside Edition last night, not a program I usually sit and watch, more like I glance at the screen as I’m walking through the living room. When something is of interest though, I’ll sit on the edge of the closest chair. If it’s worth watching, I may settle in for a few minutes. Mention of “Same Sky,” an organization that helps empower the women of Rwanda caught my eye. So I gave my full attention to the broadcast.

In 1994, 800,000 Rwandans were massacred. During this genocide, women were enslaved as sex victims. As a result they were inflicted with the HIV virus. Bearing children, these new mothers were unable to care for their offspring because they suffered the effects of the disease. Filmmaker Francine Le Franc was moved to help these women help themselves, and their families. Le Franc began “Same Sky,” a cooperative wherein the women learned to crochet. With their newfound skill, they were able to make beaded jewelry. The necessary tools are shipped from the U.S., and the finished pieces shipped back for sale in retail stores, and at home parties, and trunk shows. 100%of the proceeds are put back into the business, thereby enabling more women the opportunity to participate.

Le Franc decided “Same Sky” was a befitting name for the business venture, because ALL women live under the same sky. “They see the same stars and the same moon. Every woman. One dream.” TV host Deborah Norville remarked, “And they’re sold for a profit. This is not a charity operation.” Le Franc added “It’s a trade initiative, not an aid initiative. It’s a hand up, not a hand out.”

Check out the SAME SKY website for further information, and see familiar faces, like those below, who have joined in supporting the cause. The jewelry may be a little pricey for most of us, but for an extra special gift, they might just work. Nonetheless, we can join in celebrating the self-liberating, empowerment of these women of Rwanda…hugmamma.

Halle Berry in Seafoam     

Goldie Hawn in Butterscotch and Jade Green

Ben Affleck in Men's Wrap

Katie Couric in Clear Sky

Ann Curry in Caviar

Chelsea Clinton in Seafoam

Fran Dresher in Fire Red

Meryl Streep in Starry Night

Queen Latifah in Chocolate Brownie

Jesse Jackson in Men's Wrap

Joan Collins in Fire Red and Starry Night

Geena Davis in Sky Blue

Donna Karen in Fire Red (photo by Joe Kohen/Getty Images)