Be Stay Live 2022 Women’s Empowerment Makeover: WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE

Rochelle Gaston Malone the Author, Entrepreneur, Minister, Multiple Sclerosis Advocate, and Talk Show Host will host THE WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE on Saturday, March 12, 2022.
Rochelle Gaston Malone is a Faith-Life coach, known as the Empowerment Champion, who uses writing and speaking to minister empowerment.
Ms. Malone is the great-granddaughter of the late Dr. A.G. Gaston, Sr.
She is the founder and executive director of MSFace2Face, a 501c3 non-profit organization that is committed to eradicating “MS Poverty.”
The WOMAN EMPOWERED CONFERENCE dynamic speaker lineup and details will be shared soon.
Save The Date!

Birmingham Zoo to Open for Labor Day First Responders and Healthcare Workers Receive Discounted Admission

In celebration of the Labor Day holiday, the Birmingham Zoo will be open on Monday, September 7 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Zoo will be offering a discounted admission of $8 to First Responders and Healthcare Workers (with valid ID/badge) and up to four (4) guests at $8 each from Saturday, September 5 until Monday, September 7. Discounted admission tickets will only be sold onsite at the Zoo’s front entrance ticket booths.

The Birmingham Zoo is incredibly grateful for all our first responders and healthcare workers who have been working tirelessly through the Covid-19 pandemic. The Zoo is a fun and relaxing place where frontline workers can enjoy time with their friends and family while connecting to wildlife and the natural world. “We want First Responders and Healthcare workers to know their Birmingham Zoo supports them. We are thankful for the sacrifices they make, every day, and especially during this pandemic,” said Birmingham Zoo President & CEO, Chris Pfefferkorn. “They are true heroes whose dedication, commitment, and courage deserve our deepest gratitude and admiration.“

Labor Day at the Zoo offers something for everyone to enjoy! Visitors can take a ride on the Red Diamond Express Train* and spin on the Protective Life Carousel* at Children’s Zoo (*Additional cost). Daily activities, rides, and animal encounters at the Zoo are weather dependent.

The Red Diamond Express train and Protective Life carousel are operating from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and tickets are available for purchase onsite and online at The Zoo’s main Gift Shop is open for guests to purchase their favorite specialty items. The Predator and South America/Primate buildings are open for visitors to see indoor animal habitats in these areas as they travel the one-way path through the Zoo.

All guests and members of the Zoo are required to follow our health and safety guidelines, including face coverings for individuals over the age of six (6), in accordance with the State of Alabama ordinance mandating the wearing of face coverings in public places. For the health and safety of our staff, guests, and animals, the Birmingham Zoo will continue to monitor and evaluate our operations and modify our procedures as needed.

The Pixel Room Birmingham: #SelfieMuseum and Fun Experience

Something innovative has come to Birmingham!  Last week, I went to The Pixel Room, Selfie Museum.  Only two words can describe this place, very cool!

I didn’t know what to expect upon visiting the new local attraction.  A mutual contact sent me the invite and honestly, anything with the word selfie attached to it is must-see for any blogger!

Most fashion and lifestyle influencers are constantly snapping photos and having a special location to stage pictures heightens the experience.

Upon entering the museum, I was greeted by a variety of displays.  Almost every room was the replica of a movie set.

There’s a selfie room for everyone depending on your individual taste.  Guests can take photos at either the Dynamic Disco Room, Lemonade Stand, House of Colors, etc.

Experience it for yourself, there’s so much fun happening at The Pixel Room, Selfie Museum!  Visit the Grande River Outlets for leisure shopping and take some memorable selfies.

And of course, they are taking COVID-19 Precautions.

The Pixel Room Birmingham

Selfie Museum
Selfie Museum
Selfie Museum
Selfie Museum
Selfie Museum



BLOOM readers, I would like to introduce Arlene Henderson.  Motivational Speaker, Author, Empowerment Coach, and Blogger, Arlene has blazed the Birmingham, Alabama community.

With her warm personality, she imparts wisdom to those around her; striving to be a light in a world filled with darkness!

BLOOM SPOTLIGHT:  Arlene Henderson

  • When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?

When it comes to a “successful” relationship I think first about Barak & Michelle Obama. Together they managed to lead with strength, grace, and dignity during their eight years in the White House as the first African American First Family. This is something that I will treasure forever. The Obamas were real friends. They enjoyed life. They expressed love while encouraging all of us to take the high road when faced with adversity. The couple was often criticized for being President and First Lady which is what I believe they were always destined to be.

  • What is the number one way we can make a difference in our community?

We can make a difference in our community by communicating with each other. The bible tells us to seek wisdom and get an understanding of all that we do. We cannot do that unless we have an open and honest conversation. We will never conquer hard topics until we address them head-on. It is time to talk about the big elephant in the room. We all love our country but we must do the hard work for the love to shine through. This also requires us to listen to each other even when it is a topic we don’t really want to discuss. Its time to do some deep cleaning/communicating of our hearts and minds to make a difference.

  • What has helped you get to where you are and what advice would you give to others on the same path?

My path has been very rocky, so my first piece of advice would be to get a clear understanding of who you are through God’s word. Establishing a personal relationship with God and staying connected to him will help when life comes at you from all directions. If you do not know who you are, you will end up trying to be something that was not purposed for your life.

My advice to others on the same path would be to get connected with like-minded people who are willing to help and encourage you along the way. You will need someone to journey with you in life if you are going to ever accomplish something great. I do not mean great in the monetary sense, but great in the sense of what did you to do help or inspire others. Think about what legacy are you leaving?

  • Do you have a specific experience where you wish you had done things differently?

Absolutely. I wish I would have taken time to be focused on what I wanted out of life for me. Instead of trying to be what the person I was with at the time wanted me to be. I feel like I lost my identity at such a young age in a relationship and it has taken over two decades for me to find my true self. Sharing all my challenging experiences helped me find my strength and my voice.

  • What advice would you give to your 20-, 25-, or 30-year-old self? And please place where you were at the time, and what you were doing.

I would not go back to my twenties even if I had the chance. I was so naive and gullible to life and people. I trusted everyone and was hurt by so many. I thought that if I were the best friend and girlfriend then that would make people love me. I was so wrong. I was looking for something in other people instead of finding it in myself first. It was a case of the blind leading the blind. But I was so blind and immature I thought everyone had it together but me. I would tell my 20-, 25-, or 30-year-old self, to learn to love yourself. Unconditional love will only be found in you through Jesus Christ. I would advise that it cannot be purchased or manipulated into being something it is not. Slow down and plan for your future. Be prepared for your future – mentally, physically, and financially.

  • How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Or, do you have a favorite failure of yours?

Failure has humbled me. Failure has made me grow up. Failure has taught me that I cannot leave anything to happen by chance. It has taught me that I am responsible for my own happiness and wellbeing. I must be connected to good and healthy people but I cannot require more from them than I require from myself.

All of this has taught me that I can do things that I once dreamed of. My failures taught me to believe in me and stop counting myself out. Why not me is the question I as now!

Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often? I have scripture and quote.

One of my favorite scriptures is: Psalms 46:5 “God is within her, she will not fall, God will help her at the break of day.”

Break of day means everything is new each morning. So, if I can make it through the midnight, I know morning restores me to full capacity to start all over again.

And my quote is “Hear My Cry, We Are Better Together”. Every great movement begins with a sound. I want to be a sound that is everlasting, long after I am gone.

Follow Arlene Henderson and learn more about her platform on social media:  FacebookInstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn.


Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Launches When Resilience Speaks: A Community Response to COVID-19

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has launched an online community participation project for people across all generations to share their views and experiences during the COVID-19 crisis. Called “When Resilience Speaks: A Community Response to COVID-19,” youth and adults can share their stories by virtually any medium including videos, social posts, telephone, email and through the BCRI website.
This participatory project seeks to attract people of all ages, races, and backgrounds to share their perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly how it is transforming their everyday lives and how it compares with other historic events during the past 100 years. Stories collected through When Resilience Speaks will be shared with the community in real-time and could form the nucleus of an exhibition to be curated and exhibited in the BCRI at a future date.
The first question to the public is “How is the COVID-19 pandemic changing our community?” People can give their answers by:
BCRI President and CEO Andrea L. Taylor said the Institute has a great tradition of collecting oral histories about the experiences of activists and eyewitnesses to history here, as in exhibits such as “Foot Soldiers” and “Voices of Alabama,” which document history through the voices of the people who lived it.
“We believe this moment of social and economic upheaval is exactly the right time to gauge where we are as a society. We want the perspectives of people who have already lived through other crises, and the voices of young people who have such valuable input and new ideas about next steps,” she said. “The physical doors of our Institute may be closed right now, but we’re throwing open the doors to community dialog that technology affords us. It’s a key part of our mission to engage the public in meaningful dialog, and future generations will have the benefit of our having it documented as well.”
Taylor said “When Resilience Speaks” gets its name from the resilience shown by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and other human rights struggles, and that similar resilience will be needed by the present generation to cope with crises like COVID-19. She also added that the BCRI consulted with a clinical psychologist on the efficacy of the project and to help frame social questions posed by the effort. Plans are also in development for the BCRI’s Legacy Youth Leadership Program to interview Civil Rights Foot Soldiers about their perspectives on this and other issues as well, she said.
About the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI). An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, the BCRI is a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding of the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham that changed our world. Celebrating its 27th anniversary, BCRI reaches more than 150,000 individuals each year through teacher education (including curriculum development and teacher training), group tours, outreach programs (school and community), award-winning after-school and public programs, exhibitions, and extensive archival collections. For more information, visit

Headshots & Handshakes Networking Event hosted by FAB Females About Business

FAB Females About Business Birmingham Chapter will host it’s annual Headshots & Handshakes event on Saturday, April 25th.  

This is a networking event targeted towards professional women in business, interns, emerging professionals, and seasoned womenpreneurs.

Hot Topic Chat Sessions will be hosted by the following panelist:

 Tonda Thomas – Event Strategist
 Ronda Robinson-McKenzie – Brand Strategist
 Kimberly West – Image Consultant & Fashion Stylist
Tye Miles, Certified Personal and Business Coach
 Caryn Terradas, Social Media Strategist
 Khaia Wheeler, Radio Personality

Professional Photographer, Tracy Hill Riggs and Professional MUA Takaya Cunningham Maddox will be onsite to update professional photos for business.

Females About Business (FAB) and other select organizations will have informational booths set-up, which will allow each business to showcase their services and/or goods to all guests attending the event.

Click here to purchase a ticket:  Eventbrite


BLOOM readers, today I would like to introduce Rochelle Gaston Malone.  Rochelle is a teacher, author, mother, motivational speaker, and Birmingham native.  She utilizes her extensive education and wealth of personal experience to create renewed attitudes with her clients.

I interviewed Rochelle and learned more about this dynamic woman of empowerment and purpose.  She is also the granddaughter of prominent businessman A.G. Gaston.

BLOOM SPOTLIGHT:  Rochelle Gaston Malone


·       When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person who comes to mind and why? 

 When I think of the word successful, the first person that comes to my mind is Dr. A. G. Gaston. This civil rights icon accomplished the impossible during impossible circumstances. As an entrepreneur and philanthropist, he established relationships, not competitions, changed lives for the better and create wealth. I believe that he knew the key to success, and it was displayed through his accomplishments and his life which was founded on filling the needs of others. Dr. A. G. Gaston was my grandfather.

·       What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a TED talk on something outside of your main area of expertise? 

 I would speak about legacy. The importance of understanding the process of how to leave a legacy when building one. It’s impacting how each of our lives is intentionally designed to empower others by providing the foundation for our future.

·       What is the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve made? It could be an investment of money, time, energy, or other resources. How did you decide to make the investment?

 The most worthwhile investment I’ve made is launching my Talk Show, Casual Conversations, a component of my ministry. I made the decision to make this investment when I stopped running from my calling to minister and change my perspective of what that would look like.

·       Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often? 

 Oh, wow, quotes are what drive me. With that said, there are so many quotes that come to my mind. Each season of my life seems to be empowered by different ones, however, the one I would say that remains consistent is “You must be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gundi. I believe this speaks to the purpose of my being, making the necessary personal change so that I have what it takes to empower others to do the same, an agent of change here on earth.

·       What advice would you give to your 20-, 25-, or 30-year-old self? And please place where you were at the time, and what you were doing. 

The advice that I’d give my younger self, would be to the 20-year-old me, who was a sophomore in college desperate to establish a relationship with her father because of her need for validation of her being enough. Rochelle, you are more than enough. It’s not the expectations, actions or rejection from others that validate you. Your validation was given to you before you formed in your mother’s womb. You were born with greatness in your DNA. The very essence of what makes you more than enough is already on the inside of you. Don’t allow anyone’s lack of identification of who you are and lack of awareness in your level of greatness direct your thoughts toward yourself to be anything but the truth of who and how God made you, fearfully and wonderfully in the likeness of Christ.

·       How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Or, do you have a favorite failure of yours? 

 The failure or shall I say failures that have set me up for later success are my failed marriages. It was from the growth during my recovery from these failures that I gained the strength and the motivation I needed to become empowered by life and empowered by faith. I believe, and I quote myself: “In order to know your greatness, you must first embrace your identity, know who you are, and then you will be able to choose who you become.” “A loss is not a failure but the door of opportunity to your next victory” because “It’s the response to former losses that create future victories” and “It’s the “I” in fight that makes it what it is and brings it all together, but It’s the strength behind the hand within the glove that creates the power of the punch.” “Your success and the success of those assigned to your life is all about choice.”

·       What do you believe is true, even though you can’t prove it? 

I actually don’t believe anything is true unless it can be proven. Even when we are faced with life-altering circumstances that change our realities as we’ve come to know them, the better days ahead may not be visible which can lead one to think it can’t be proven. In actuality, the evidence was provided as we were brought through the previous circumstances that had no relation to the present, but it was a part of the strengthening, shaping and molding process that proves this life-altering circumstance will also pass and better can be “Again”.

Follow Rochelle Gaston Malone and learn more about her talk show Casual Conversations on social media:  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Talk of Alabama Fashion Segment: Closet Organization and Budget-Friendly Products under $25

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Talk of Alabama:  ABC 3340 and share budget-friendly closet organization tips.

Kimberly West, Style Expert

One way to boost your overall mood is with an organized closet.  There are so many benefits to managing your clothing and accessories:

  1. Save money on your wardrobe without re-buying the same items.
  2. Reduce the clutter with visually seen items.
  3. You will dress better because items are at your fingertips.
  4. It creates more space in your home.

Organizing your closet can be overwhelming but with the right set of tools, this can be a fun project!  Grab your best girlfriends or Fashion Stylist and start sorting those shirts and accessories.

While on-air, I showcased products that can be purchased from Target and Amazon.  The list included non slip hangers, cascading hooks, plastic baskets, over-the-door hook, shoe bag, and wall-mounted jewelry canvas.


Budget-Friendly Solutions
Nonslip Hangers


Click on the link to view the segment: Talk of Alabama | Closet Organization | Kim West


The Magic City #DEBBHAM Experience: Le Diner en Blanc Birmingham 2019

Wonder. Wow. Whimsy.  All three words are used to describe last week’s Le Diner en Blanc Birmingham.  This was the inaugural year for the event to be hosted in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Magic City (another name for Birmingham) has emerged from its traditional roots and becoming an innovative, sophisticated mecca.

Therefore, it’s only fitting that such an event had its turn with tastemakers and professionals residing in the Birmingham area.

Hosts for the exclusive all-white picnic were Jasmine and Lynda Allen, owners of Destination Birmingham which is a local event management firm.

DEB Ambassador & Group Leader 2019:

Le Diner en Blanc Timeline:


6:30 p.m. – Guests were asked to meet at various locations in the downtown area.  From there they walked to the final event spot.  To everyone’s surprise, the beautiful all-white picnic took place at 20th Street North near the Regions-Harber Plaza and Cathedral Church of The Advent.

7:30 p.m. – After the place-settings were established and beverages picked up, the official napkin wave began which signified that dinner had started.

Various activities took place in-between dinner that included lighting the sparklers and posing in front of a beautiful floral backdrop.

9:00 p.m. – The upbeat music and artistic paintings showcased for Le Diner en Blanc Birmingham members and guests ensured that everyone had a wonderful time!


11:30 p.m. – Oh yes, and the after-party took place at The Tutwiler Bar and Grille.

jusqu’à l’année prochaine translate until next year!

Photos are from Instagram

David Yurman Renaissance Collection at Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham

Saks Fifth Avenue is known for hosting a jewelry showcase at the Birmingham location.  The store featured David Yurman’s Renaissance Collection.

The designer is known for his timeless bracelets but this particular collection showcased mixed metals, colored stones, and interchangeable accents.

One of the associates at Saks explained the history behind David Yurman’s designs and inspiration.  She stated that certain pieces from his collection are inspiration from his wife and their travels.  I found that to be fascinating due to the detailing in those particular pieces.

David Yurman’s jewelry collection offers a variety of pieces that can be incorporated in any wardrobe!