Valentine’s Day Date Night Prep

Prepping for Valentine’s Day can be a chore, but with the help of these date night essentials, you’ll be out the door and fully prepped in no time! These easy to apply, fast acting formulas will make your date night prep a breeze!

  • Curél Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer (; $10.99): No time to moisturize? Don’t sweat it. This in shower wet skin moisturizer is the ultimate time saver. Simply apply on wet skin with the water turned off, and feel instantly moisturized just moments later. When used daily, you can end dry skin for good!
  • Jergens Brilliance Flawless Effects Moisturizer (Amazon; $11.99): This skin-perfecting moisturizer will give you all the confidence to wear that little red dress this Valentine’s Day! Going a step further than hydration, this moisturizer instantly perfects skin by blurring imperfections and improving overall skin tone on the spot.
  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color in Pink Blink ($4.99; The perfect date night pink, with the ultimate perk- 60-second drying. Simply apply one coat, dry, and be on your way!
  • Josie Maran Vibrancy Paint Palate ($42.00; For the final touch, and ultimate ease, add some color to your look with this multipurpose palate. Each blendable shade is perfect for eyes, lips,

#Lifestyle How To Start A Budget When You Are In Debt: Financial Freedom

I’m going to let you into my secret about budgeting.  Budgeting doesn’t necessarily translate into restriction, you but when viewed from a different perspective it is freedom. Yes! Budget is freedom. Having a fancy dinner on weekends or take outs just for ease may be what you want now but it’s something you are doing unconsciously and may regret it at the end of the month. Budgeting gets you focused on what you want from life and helps your dream become reality.

Maybe the debt you are facing now could be something you feel isn’t even important now. The life-and-death situation was just in your head. But now you are left with debt. It’s something that is stressing you out.

Featured Photo from Marie Claire

Stressing out isn’t going to help you out. What you need is a clear plan of action on how to pay off your debt. That’s where budgeting comes in. It will help you save money to pay off your debt, and still enjoy the better things in life.

Your Earning

Start by listing all your income sources along with them the amount you earn. This includes; wages, alimony, child support or any other income you have. Once you have this list, it is clear that how much money you make in a month and that’s a target to start with. You must now plan accordingly.

Realistic Spending Plan

The second step is to list down the expenses that you cannot forego. These are the necessary items such as utilities, grocery (take a step down if necessary), transportation or parking to work, rent or mortgage, medication and so on. This is where you focus on the definite expenses that cannot be neglected and expenses such as cable TV and other particulars that must be let go. Now you know the amount of money you are spending. Just create a realistic spending plan that you follow until you are debt free.

This plan is totally based on priority; you must prioritize your spending. Here are some tips that cut down the niceties from your monthly spending. First of all, you should consider forgoing expensive drinks or planning out weekends for some time. Use your mobile phones for calls only and cut down the extra packages you use for entertainment. Pay with cash. Don’t use credit cards!

Finding the Buffer

If the amount of money earned is 20% more than your realistic spending plan than that’s an ideal situation. You have that buffer needed for saving. But if it is equal or unfortunately less than you’re earning. then you need to either cut down your necessities or find one more source of earning. Find a business you are passionate about. If capital is what’s stopping you, then you can always get a loan with bad credit. But before you consider investing, make sure your business is low risk and its something you are passionate about.


Saving is the most important step as this will help you pay off your debt. For saving, you need to create a separate account. Do not touch this account, except in extreme emergencies. Needing a new dress for an office party doesn’t count as an emergency.

I’ll be honest with you, if you do not focus on your saving, then you will keep using your credit line to deal with your debt. The debt would still be there five or six years later. Not a fancy situation. And once you have enough money in your saving account, start looking for a financial planner. Invest for your future.

Updated List of Spending and Saving

Create an excel sheet for your spending and saving. Update it on a periodic basis. This helps you check which category has more spending in a month. You can then balance it by cutting your expenses in some other area. This check and balance will help you maintain your savings. Learning to manage your monthly expenses takes time, patience and a lot of compromises. But do not lose patience. Be persistent and you will see results for yourself.

Debt that Fits Your Budget

Ideally, you need to lower your credit utilization ratio so that your credit score increases. This is going to automatically lower your debt. If your credit utilization ratio is 10%, then you need to lower it. For this, you need to note down your credit limit and divide it by the number 10. This is your target which you need to achieve. Pay of as much as you can to get to this number. For this, you need to budget again.

Making a budget has many benefits. It transforms stress into a feeling of empowerment. It helps reveal the money you are wasting and direct your priorities. Not only does it direct priorities but creates a habit of saving and makes a person sensible enough to think ahead of time. Plan for the future.

Collaborative Post


ESSENCE, the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women with a global brand reach of over 17 million, will partner with the City of New Orleans and the Urban League of Louisiana to launch The Pipeline: An Economic Inclusion Initiative.

The Pipeline is designed to increase the pool of Louisiana-based women and Black professionals pursuing careers and business opportunities in live events and technical production. This initiative will also create opportunities to connect existing production entrepreneurs to service contracts in the industry at both the corporate and governmental levels and give them access to networking, capital raising and opportunities for training and skills development. It will also include an internship program for youth who aspire for careers in media and live production and more.

In 2018, Essence Communications was acquired by Essence Ventures, an independent African-American owned company focused on merging content, community, and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color. As the brand celebrates its one-year anniversary of becoming 100% Black-owned again, ESSENCE is furthering its commitment to enabling sustainable opportunities for economic independence, social empowerment and wealth creation for Black women and their communities.

“Our Pipeline Initiative is so meaningful because we are establishing it in direct response to a critical void that we have identified while successfully building the ESSENCE Festival and other live experiential and content platforms for 25 years – the need for more Black professionals prepared to bid on large-scale live events and technical production,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence. “This effort speaks directly to ESSENCE’s mission of serving our audience in every way—especially by empowering them to own their economic security. It will allow us to become a conduit for Black businesses and entrepreneurs to help them source targeted opportunities in a space where we are underrepresented. We thank the City of New Orleans, the Urban League of Louisiana and each of our partners for their vision and support in this important endeavor.”

As part of ESSENCE’s partnership with the Urban League of Louisiana, the Pipeline Initiative will launch with information briefings that will target potential bidders in key Louisiana cities featuring RFP training and more. The sessions will be held in New Orleans (February 5th), Baton Rouge (February 6th), Shreveport (February 7th) and Monroe (February 8th). To register or for more information, visit

In addition to the City of New Orleans and the Urban League of Louisiana, the Pipeline Initiative will partner with several other key community and business organizations, including New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC), Louisiana Economic Development (LED) and the New Voices Fund. In 2020 and beyond, the Pipeline initiative will also partner with Louisiana academic institutions to launch the Essence Live Production Academy. The Academy will feature a collection of e-training and live training modules for small businesses and will be instructed by leading industry professionals with a focus on key areas of technical production – audio, lighting, staging and live event management. 

“I am very excited about the collaboration between ESSENCE, The Louisiana Urban League, and the City of New Orleans for The Pipeline economic initiative,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “It’s a great way to create opportunities for talented women and Black professionals in the live events and production fields. With New Orleans being a hub for live events, we are being intentional about bridging the gap between opportunity and those who may have not had previous access to those opportunities.”

“We are grateful to partner with ESSENCE and the City of New Orleans to support The Pipeline,” said Judy Reese Morse, President, and CEO of the Urban League of Louisiana. “Our mission speaks directly to the power and importance of economic self-reliance for those we serve. This innovative collaboration brings the business, non-profit and government sectors together to deliver access and capacity building for small business entrepreneurs to grow and compete. The Pipeline is adding seats to the table, and our small business owners will be ready to join in and participate.”


About Essence Communications Inc. 

Essence Communications is the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 17 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned, technology-driven company focused on merging content, community, and commerce to

5 Steps Towards Perfect Valentine’s Celebration

Life spins at warp speed, so it’s more important than ever to make time to show your loved one that you adore and cherish them. Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion.Sleepletics7199-BEDDING-CHALK.jpg

You know how you want to celebrate – just the two of you, spending a cozy night in, ending the evening with cuddling in bed, enjoying the sheer luxury of Celliant® Performance Sheets. More than beautiful and sleek to the touch, these sheets also show you care. Made with mineral-infused fibers that convert body heat into infrared light and reflect it back into the body’s muscle and tissue in a natural, safe way to promote a temporary increase in blood flow and local circulation. Just imagine how good you’ll both feel.  For a limited time, you can buy one set and get a second set half off with the promo code: LOVE at

Featured Photo from French Institute Alliance 

As to the important details that come before? Flowers, cards, dinner, chocolate and such that set the stage for that perfect time together? Not to worry, Sleepletics™ has scoured the country for what may be the best of the best in each category. Pick your favorite and enjoy the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever:


Flowers speak volumes — and never make a sound. Yet since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans they’ve represented love. Choose something classic or talk to the florist about a personalized arrangement. You can’t go wrong with flowers. Two top-of-the-line flower vendors are presented here:Session 2-009.JPG

The definitive symbol of romance, roses are the specialty at Ode à la Rose. Co-founded by two Frenchmen, the flowers are sourced from eco-friendly farms and arranged à la Parisienne. Colors range from the descriptive Snowball to Black Magic and many in between. Verifying your Valentine will like the flowers, you’ll be sent a photo of the bouquet before it leaves the workshop. Same-day delivery in NYC and Chicago, and next-day delivery to over 1,400 cities in the Northeast., 646-660-4351.

For something more offbeat, a bit rustic in style, contact Farmgirl Flowers of San Francisco, that ethically sources its blooms, 80 percent of them in the U.S. Listed in Architectural Digest’s 2018 “7 Best Local Flower Shops Across the Country with Beautiful Design,” each of its bouquets are one-of-a-kind, and most are delivered in owner Christina Stembel’s signature burlap wrap. Delivery is available to the lower 48.


A surprise is one of the most important elements of a Valentine card, and what better way to achieve that than to make it yourself or find one so unique it’s truly a keepsake. Two faves:

With Duco® Cement glue a pretty vintage key to the front of folded, white card stock, and surround it with the phrase, handwritten in red, “You hold the key to my heart.” Then write your personal message on the inside. Make it totally unforgettable by using a key that fits a new car’s ignition or a jewelry box containing a gift-wrapped trinket or two._DSC5545.jpg

You can find instructions for making sliceform kirigami cards online, but the easier thing to do is to buy a Lovepop® card. The intricate 3D paper sculptures, of which there are myriad formats, from a bouquet of flowers to a fluttering butterfly, are designed by naval engineers on software and then handcrafted. Either way, they are truly works of art., 888-687-9589.


The essence of the perfect Valentine’s dinner is to serve something that while exceptional, will definitely please your loved one such veggies for a vegetarian, or salmon if they like fish. Two easy-to-prepare meals that look gorgeous and taste incredible are:

Eggplant Florentine with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce & Toasted Ciabatta. Colorful and architectural in presentation, it’s completely vegan, yet so scrumptious meat lovers enjoy it just as much. The recipe can be found on

Steak au Poivre. Nothing is more refined than this dish, a renowned favorite of 5-star restaurants around the world. Fast prep gives you more time with your love, few ingredients mean less time in the kitchen. Find the recipe on


Chocolates have evolved enormously over the past few years. There are still plenty of extraordinary classics, but also a multitude of new ones using offbeat ingredients and looking more artistic than ever before. Two companies with choices galore that you should consider:

ROYCE’ has been making exquisite confections in Hokkaido, Japan, an ideal location with its cool climate and clean air, since 1983. Available in stores throughout the US, vdabannerbox-775x800.pngthe selection ranges from the unusual – Prafeuille Chocolate Maccha – to such straight shooters as Pure Chocolate Venezuela Bitter.  For store locations, visit They’re also a member of the World Cocoa Foundation, which promotes social and economic development as well as environmental stewardship in cocoa-growing communities.

MarieBelle, established in New York’s Nolita neighborhood by Maribel Lieberman in 2000, and singled out by Oprah as a “favorite thing,” suggests such items as champagne truffles and single-origin chocolate ganache for Valentine’s Day. Not only mouthwatering delicious, the chocolate’s packaging is tongue-in-cheek fun.


As noted, there’s only one choice when it comes to bed linens when you want to end Valentine’s Day on a high, Celliant Sheets. Not only elegant, available in sophisticatedSleepleticsTan.jpg blue, chalk, tan and light grey, but they are also an FDA- determined medical device and general wellness product that helps people fall asleep easily, stay asleep and wake up refreshed and energized. Could there be a lovelier way to start a new day? And, don’t forget the promo code: LOVE.

Make this Valentine’s day, and night, to remember with gifts of joy for your love’s body, mind, and spirit.

Angela Bassett Sparkles in Gismondi1754 Jewelry at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

Angela Bassett was seen on the red carpet at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.  She shines brightly pairing her Georges Chakra dress with Gismondi1754 Diamonds!


Ghiaccio Collection Ring

Ring, Diamonds ct 6.95

Retail: $46,750

Gismondi Ring

Ring, Pear Diamonds ct 2.44, Diamonds ct 4.03, Navette Diamonds 0.30

Retail: $40,150

Please credit jewelry to GISMONDI1754

Instagram: @Gismondi1754

Gown By: George Chakra @georgeschakraofficials

Styled By: Jennifer Austin @JLynnStyle18

About Gismondi 1754:

Seven Generations – One Passion. The excellence and expertise of the Genoa-based high-jewelry brand renowned for jewelry as art, Gismondi combines centuries of craftsmanship and rich history of design over seven generations. With meticulous attention to modernity and references to the artisans of the past, it is a perfect link; connecting the memory of the past and the radiant future. In Gismondi jewels, the manufacturing excellence of the family tradition combines beauty with passion and technology under the leadership of its youngest family descendent, Massimo Gismondi. Gismondi 1754 is sold in the US and globally at fine jewelers as well as in its signature stores in Portofino, Genoa, Capri, Milan, London, and St. Moritz.


After Back Yard Bird, Adeline Ziliox makes her second Couture Collection. The body as a showcase for our feelings, for our emotions, our soul, and the cloth, showcase itself for this body telling so many stories, lives, hopes, dreams. These clothes, like a carapace or an armor, hide the real ego but reveal its deepness. A warrior woman. This recurrent theme is an everlasting inspiration for the designer. These women who daily fight for their freedom, for their rights, their lives. These women are from the present and the past. Powerful women who shine with their grace, their femininity and fragility.

The shapes are structured, volume, oversize shoulders, like they carry the entire world.  The graphics design accentuate their own femininity, some technical matter like neoprene who met sometime chiffon or sometimes satin. Bolding mixing whose give to this collection his own style. Always the designer is passionate by motifs she has long worked printed form. This collection is the opportunity to create some motifs through embroidery. Autodidact, she practices intuitively, spontaneous and instinctively. Her embroidery is making in France in his workroom in Strasbourg, like all her collections. All the collection is 100% made in France.




Einstein told that the ether was a necessity for the physical laws.  Without the ether, the light couldn’t spread, and Space nor the Time couldn’t even exist. 

At the beginning of the century XX, amongst the most respected scientist minds, some of them still used this old word, Ether, for calling the essence which fills the empty Space. They thought that the ether was a real substance somewhere between the physical matter and the pure energy. Their deduction was that the light waves can move from one point to another in what seemed to be an empty space. And we know how important light is important for Patuna.

The ether surrounds the physical body like a precious box. It is considered as a part of it and disappears after the death.

Patuna delivers us an extravagant spring summer 2019 collection, with dresses who perfectly fit the feminine curves, made with satellite-materials around the body as an astral woman, fatal but still powerful.




You don’t always know what ‘s hidden behind a closed-door, yet even when you think you do, you always wonder if you are right. A closed-door is, more often than not, a mystery to all of us. We are humans and curiosity is, whether we like it or not, a human imperfection. And when that door has an arch and a keystone, intertwining to form a coherent symplexis, it becomes a mystical and wondrous gate, behind which imagination can run wild!  So, open it. If you dare.

Maria Aristidou’s Spring/Summer 2019 knit couture collection was quite the challenge.  Inspiration for the pattern came from a single vintage arched door found during a walk inside the old city walls of Nicosia. The simplicity of the door’s facade, together with the complexity of the engineering behind it, gave rise to a series of design trials that lead to this fine timeless pattern for the fabrics of SS 2019 collection.

Hand embroidery embellishments on a colorful pallet of luxurious knit fabrics made by the designer, capture the beauty and the essence of a woman.

Unexpected cuts on timeless classic designs with modern details are the signature of the designer’s Spring/Summer 2019 “Symplexis” collection.

Most Shopped Influencer Products of 2018 #LIKEtoKNOWit

LIKEtoKNOWit – today’s leading shopping app to search real products, styled by real people – took a look back and is excited to announce the “most shopped influencer products of 2018” as part of their 2018 LIKEtoKNOWit Awards!

Featured Photo from CREEPERS & CUPCAKES 

As many of you may know, LIKEtoKNOWit features fashion, fitness, home, family and beauty content.

See below for 2018’s most popular products!