Category Archives: Boldly Blogging

“I’m not the ugly girl anymore”
Mar 25 2014

Sam and Hubby wedding picture
                Sam & Husband, Wedding ’13

I have to admit you make me think. I never considered myself to be “attractive” and got a lot of negative attention in high school, was never the “pretty girl”. But 2 yrs ago I met my husband and he is SO physically attractive I never thought he would have ever given me a second look, but as it turned out he chased ME, and for whatever reason finds me to be “the most beautiful female he’s ever met“. So all the jerks from high school can bite me haha. I’m not the ugly girl anymore :)

The above message was sent to me via facebook inbox by a girl I had attended high school with. This message saddened me initially as I tried to imagine how high school must have been for her being the “unattractive” girl. I thought about the envy she may have  felt towards “the pretty girl”, being invisible to her crush, and all the times she had looked in the mirror wanting to change because of it. I had to stop myself from pitting her, realizing her story wasn’t a story of defeat, but one of triumph! She has found a guy who’s eyes were not blind to her beauty, but instead saw her beauty with perfect vision.

Ladies, how often do we desire to change ourselves so that we can be the “pretty” girl, getting the attention from our crush? Shoot guys in genera! I know I have my moments! I mean what girl doesn’t like to be told ” you are beautiful?” The thing is we make too many changes for guys.  What if your red hair , your weight , or dark skin you changed is just what would have attracted your future husband to notice you?   You changed who you are for some temporary attention, jeopardizing permanent admiration.

Bold Beauties, stay true to YOU & the right guy will be true to you as well!

PS: Sam, I asked your husband what is the reason he finds you so beautiful &he answered:  ” In my eyes she shines. She has an amazing body, but the best thing about her is that she cares about me and actually shows it. To me that makes me love her. When I fell in love with her she seemed and still seems like the most beautiful woman in the world.  A woman that cares for her man  is a beautiful woman cause she shows love and that is a beautiful thing.  “. So now you know ;)
Boldly Blogging

Operation Warm Encouragements complete!
Mar 03 2017


A few months ago I shared this story on Facebook:

“One NYC winter day as I headed to volunteer I witnessed a homeless man wearing loose fitting, untied shoes with no socks on. My heart sunk and I cringed at the thought of how cold his feet must have been with the snow on the ground. It bothers me still as I admit this, but that day I did nothing. Nothing, but hurried into the subway to catch my train. Why? I still do not have an answer as to why I did absolutely NOTHING.
But I am doing something NOW and am asking that YOU help me!”

 I knew my efforts would not solve the deaths that occur each year due to hypothermia or the countless incidents of frostbite they experience, but with the help of others we could bring a little more warmth to their unfortunate situation.

With the help of others I was able to collect :
186 pairs of socks
21 hats
60 packs of hand and feet warmers
And 100 handwritten notes from the bully buster youth organization!

Myself and and 3 volunteers were able to pack 52 bags that included a few pairs of socks, a hat, hand and feet warmers and a warm encouraging card from the youth.

God always has a plan because I was able to distribute the bags twice this winter. Each time a day before the two largest snow storms this winter. As I sit here watching the snow fall to work towards the 36 inches we are expected to get, my heart is saddened. Truly saddened. I think about those who have no where to go and because of that will die due to hypothermia.
On this cold day, may we count our blessings and pray for those who are trying to stay warm without shelter.

Thank you all for your contributions!
#warmencouragements #homeless #bareboldbeautiful #bareboldandbeautiful #winterstorm #socksforthehomeless


Boldly Blogging

Jul 25 2016

No matter who it is, we all need a little self care. However, the truth is that many do not have the means to treat themselves to something as simple, but soothing as a manicure. So for those who do not have the means Nails of Love allots that treat! Myself, along with any volunteers I can gather together, go to our local soup kitchen and set  up shop.

The recipients are prompted to wish their hands first.

They are then given a hand massage by a volunteer while engaging in conversation.

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The volunteers gave each other massages because their hands were hunting from giving massages to the recipients. But not once did a volunteer ask for a break.


Recipients are then able to pick a color and given a professional level manicure (some of the volunteer are actually licensed manicurist).

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I was challenged. One recipient said ” I don’t think you can do anything for these hands” After talking to him about 30 minutes trying to convince him to let me try, he did. I worked HARD on these nails, put some good ol’ elbow grease in it. Well, all that work paid off! Look at the before and after! In addition he explained that his hands had been so cramped from working so much and the hand massage loosened them up greatly.

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                               Before                                                                                                               After



    The smiles, sincere gratitude and conversation with all the recipients truly, truly, make it all worth it!

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IMG_20160723_105041 (1)      IMG_20160723_105452       IMG_20160723_112411

Thank you to each and every volunteer who gave of themselves to give to others.

Boldly Blogging

May 24 2016

Anti bully

       On April 25th founder, Shakia was invited to Norwich Tech High School to address bullying amongst the freshmen girls. Read what she has to say regarding the opportunity

” I was asked to come speak to the female students of Norwich Tech High School again. However, this time it was to only the freshmen. This class reportedly was having difficulty with bullying. As I began to prepare my speech I thought to myself “what could I say to these bullies that they hadn’t heard before? What could I say that would make them realize that bullying is hurtful, bullying is harmful, bullying is deadly.” Then I realized that that is giving the bullies too much power. If at the end of my talk the bully doesn’t buy what I’m selling then their victims continually are subject to bullying. The victim never had a say. So, on that day, I decided to speak to the ones who have the real power; power they often give away. I spoke to the victims. I spoke to the victims and explained that they should not BEG, BLAME or BOW OUT. For those who heard the speech knows what that meant. Unknown to me, the assistant principal was sitting in on my talk. After she came up to me, shook my hand and stated “Wow. That was dynamic. You are a dynamic speaker and I love how you framed your speech. ”


Boldly Blogging

Pamper My Pretty: The Self Esteem Expo
Apr 28 2016


Last year this event was a closed event. However, after an attendee told me last year  “This was so empowering, you must do this again, but open it up to more women” and overhearing a young attendee exclaim, ” this is the best day of my life!” I knew this expo was  NEEDED again.  The theme of the expo was Uplift.Inspire.Empower.  I wanted the attendees walking away having been Uplifted through the self esteem activities, Inspired by witnessing all the women business owners & Empowered by all the compliments and confidence that was poured into them.

This was a day to be remembered, let me walk you through it…


Welcome to The Pamper My Pretty:

The Self Esteem Expo 2016

Who wouldn’t want to walk into a place and be greeted by these great smiles?

IMG_2956Attendees went to Kia to purchase tickets in person IMG_2955

Attendees went to Harold (aka My Daddy) & Annie with advanced tickets


Would you believe that ladies were lined up at 10:00 am to receive a free swag bag? That’s two hours before the expo was set to start!


Featured Swag Bag Items

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Product vendors were Ready, Set & Prepared to introduce and sell new products to attendees 

(all product vendors not featured below)

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    Welcome to the Beauty Bar: How May We Pamper You?

The Beauty Bar specialist worked their magic at pampering the already pretty attendees. The Beauty Bar Specialist are committed to their craft as well as making sure their clients are happy.

BBS Vanessa  IMG_2925 BBS Tandi PMP BBS- Make Up 

PMP- BBS Manicurist BBS Ve 2 untitled 5 BBS Chelsea

BBS Karin BBS DeAndrea  Face painting Henna 3 




Look at those smiles!

If you had just gotten pampered & knew you looked good, you’d smile too!

                   .Hair.                                 .Make-Up.                     .Nails.                       .Body Painting.                

 After photos 3 After photos untitled 8 IMG_2919 


Henna 4

Showing off our moves! 

DJ Lady J kept the music spinning & had us all dancing!

I love dancing & I love to see other people dancing. I witnessed a few attendees wanting to dance on the dance floor, but were too shy. Soooooo, I went over to them and guided them to the dance floor. The once shy attendees eventually out danced me!   

Dancing 2

Dancing 3

Beauty Bench:

My Beauty Is….

Write one word that defines your beauty



IMG_2961 signing


Kiss Of Beauty Wall:

Who made you feel beautiful today?

Pink= Beauty Bar Specialist

Yellow=  Work Shop Facilitator

Orange= Product Vendor

1. Choose a color post it. 2. Apply Lipstick 3. give them a kiss of thanks on the post-it!

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 beauty wall ADD 9

 Vision Board Workshop

W/ Marcela Lee:

1 of 5 Self Esteem Workshops offered 

                        V Board 3 v board round table V Board 5 v board


You had to be IN IT to WIN IT

There were so many raffles at the Expo that my volunteers had to get an additional 6ft table to display them all


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ADD 3 Raffles


And after your inner & outer has been pampered what else is there to do?


 PMP Sign Photo Taking photo taking 3 pmp instagram   photo taking 2 IMG_2972 photo taking 4  ADD 8

I worked SO hard at putting this expo together.I deprived myself of sleep, social functions and looking cute-lol. I was the epitome of  a 1 woman show. My greatest hope was for attendees to attend the PMP Expo and  leave with a  balanced self esteem. Not attributing the boost in their confidence to the external change they had experienced through the beauty bar pampering or to the internal boost they experienced from the workshops; but to both. Let me tell you, my hope was not only met, but exceeded. There were women who traveled from other states and cities to experience this Self Esteem Expo. I have received text, emails and calls from vendors and attendees explaining  how the PMP EXPO was an experience that is indescribable, unforgettable and LIFE CHANGING! During the Expo attendees kept asking ” when are you hosting the next PMP Expo?”  As I walked around the room I was so proud because God had allowed me, lil ol’ me  to put together an event that brought forth magic. To have a group of women, under one roof, be so selfless, encouraging and sincere was nothing short of magic.


smiles 5   Smiles 3 Smiles 4 IMG_2942 IMG_2947 pmp you are beau IMG_2909 Smiles 2

Photo Credit;

Harold and La Chale (Instagram: @Coveringz)



”  I attended one of the most inspirational events ever. The look on the women’s faces of pure enjoyment was priceless. I thoroughly enjoyed this event and can’t want until the expo next year. ” -Annie, Volunteer

” I was able to cultivate relationships with other vendors, which in turn create business opportunities for us all to grow and expand our knowledge.” – Lucinda, Vendor

“ It brought me so much joy to know the music I played was bringing happiness to all the women involved. I always strive to bring happiness and empowerment to woman of all ages and backgrounds. I will be happy to be a part of it again- DJ Lady J, DJ

“My attending this expo did me a world of good. This 63 year old came alive to the music I danced to, got real daring and had my makeup done and ended with my nails being painted. Shakia thank you for waking the young woman who still exist within this wonderful body of wisdom.”-Luanna, attendee

 “I attended the PMP Self-esteem expo and was blessed beyond measures! It was an amazing and inspiring event on so many levels.” – Victoria, Attendee

“It was a gorgeous and  empowering experience that encouraged me to love my inner beauty.  Love It!”- Lakeisha, Attendee

“The workshops helped me feel beautiful inside and being pampered by the masterful artists was certainly a treat. It was exactly what I needed.”- Bobby,  Volunteer

“I got to see firsthand the impact that this event had on participants. Many felt comfortable communicating hardships because they knew that they were in a safe space of caring people”  – Lea, Workshop Facilitator

“As soon as I walked into the room where the expo was being held, I was AMAZED! I walked out of there feeling really good! I really wish I was there the minute the event started. I CANNOT wait till the next PMP Expo!”- Alba, Attendee

“The seminar was great and touching. The event was packed with networking and great products and services. – Shell, Attendee

“I had the privilege of volunteering to oversee the “My Beauty Is…” bench, where ladies would define their beauty in one word. I had the opportunity to connect, relate and hear others define their beauty. This experience has made a difference in my life as well as others.” – Deshanda, Volunteer

“I am so impressed with the organization of the event. It was really a great event to be part of. I really loved the energy in the room.  I have shared the event with so many people on how to do an expo and have excitement in the room.” – Lorraine, Product Vendor

“It was a great opportunity and just a good time. I would definitely do it again.” – Chelsea, Beauty Bar Specialist

“This unique event was a great opportunity to learn about yourself as well as learn about local women-run businesses – I took probably 5 business cards home!” -Kathie, Volunteer

“The looks on everyone’s faces and the positive comments  I heard from people I serviced were heartwarming. I can’t wait until next year.” –Sitarah, Beauty Bar Specialist

“It was great being surrounded by women who wanted to support a great cause.” –Yasmine, Attendee


Boldly Blogging

Novembers Bold Beauty: Surgical Beauty
Nov 09 2015

 BBM Michelle

I have had 15 surgeries, a brain tumor, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in my brain and a condition called Hydrocephalus.  Growing up, I really struggled with loving and accepting my body because of the scars those operations left me with. When I first got my scars, I was quite young so they didn’t bother me. That was  until I wore a bikini for the first time and my friends noticed my scars. I got so upset I asked my parents for plastic surgery – I was 10 years old.

As I got older, more problems started to arise in changing rooms, during PE lessons and in the dormitories (I went to a boarding school). I remember when I was 15 y/o, I was walking with a friend  past a door and she exclaimed, “freak, I’m fat”. Interestingly enough I had always thought this girl was gorgeous and it made me sad that she couldn’t realize that. It was in that moment, I decided I never wanted to be that girl. I didn’t want to be the person who constantly insulted themselves and couldn’t see their own beauty. I decided that I couldn’t change my scars and that I needed to accept them before anyone else was going to. So I made a decision to stop complaining about how I looked.

It was easier to change the things I was saying than what I was thinking so that is how I started. In changing what I was saying, I started noticing the beauty in my body. If you are struggling with appearance understand that your body is a vehicle to allow you to do the things that you want to do in life. Whenever I have been hospitalized, I usually can’t walk for months, and for me that’s where my appreciation for my body was born. Every morning, that I can put my feet on the floor – I am grateful, because for many months and in many instances, even that wasn’t possible.

Be appreciated for what your body allows you to do – and never let your body limit your mind.

Check out Michelles journey here:


Boldly Blogging

It’s not me- It’s you- A break up letter to Make Up
Jul 06 2015

Dear Make Up,
This is the last time I plan to interact with you in any way for a long, long time. As soon as it hit me how much of negative influence you are, I didn’t even have to think for more than an instant about deciding to end things. I know this is a shock. I’ve known you since I was about 10 years old and treated you like my savior, my saving grace. You could make me feel pretty when I didn’t think I was and you were fun to play with before going out or other special occasions. When you were gone, I used to hate myself because I felt incomplete without you. I didn’t even think people would take me seriously without you or would worse, judge me, when you and I weren’t together.  To say I felt incomplete without you would be accurate. I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that you’re toxic. I was a slave to setting aside time for you. I was dependent on you, I felt I could not be without you. I thought you were improving my confidence, but you did nothing. You made me a fake-self, distant from my natural state.Try not to take it personally. You, in essence, aren’t bad. For some, you might be a positive influence and really help someone. But the problem is that you easily suck girls in to think they need you to feel good about themselves. The unhealthy relationship we had was the main problem.I was nervous to be without you, I’m not going to lie. Each day, though, it got a little easier. Now, I have never felt so independent, confident, self-assured, and free. Let’s not even talk about how much extra free time I’m now enjoying. I think I’m more beautiful on my own anyway. I smile brighter, my eyes shine brighter, and my cheeks are rosier without you. Don’t come running back because you can’t fool me again. I hate to be a heart breaker, but this must be done.
Sorry, makeup, it’s not me- it’s you. 
Maura has decided to break up with make up by going make up free for one year, so I decided to ask her to put it in writing! You can follow her journey day by day via Instagram @makeuplessmaura. I am rooting for you Maura as you get to know, embrace & share your natural beauty!
Boldly Blogging

A coffee & A compliment…
Jan 05 2015

Image credit

A couple of months ago I was in Wal-Mart getting some pictures printed. As I waited in line a red headed lady with pale milky skin waited behind me. For those who don’t know I looove red hair and freckles! I think the combination is so BEA-U-tiful! Any who, I wrote all that to explain why I immediately wanted to photograph her for my photo blog . Then she spoke and the words that she spoke made me realize not only did I WANT to, but I HAD to meet her. “Hey, can I get you a coffee?” She asked the Wal-Mart employee. If you would have seen that employees face you would think she had asked her ” Hey can I get you a million dollars?” I mean the employee was soooo relived, so grateful, but not shocked. It’s as if the red headed beauty always ask her to get her a coffee.  Then , in a nonchalant way the red headed beauty stated ” your hair looks really pretty today.” I wanted to scream! In my Facebook group Barely Beautiful  . I always encourage the members to compliment one another. I believe it is our words that will uplift a ladies self esteem, if not for a lifetime, for that moment. It is sometimes difficult to motivate ladies o compliment one another over the computer so let’s not even mention in person. How often do we tell another lady ” I really like your hair style.”  “You have such pretty eyes.” ” You have such a great shaped nose.” I know the nose one seems a little awkward, but we do notice nose shapes. If that wasn’t the case ladies wouldn’t go into plastic surgeons office during their consultation visits with a ripped out picture of some model saying ” I want my nose to look like this.”  So yes we notice when a lady has a nice nose, lips, eyes and so on and so on. We think it, but why don’t we say it? Well, as I stood in line waiting to check out that was not the case. The red headed beauty shared her thoughts and the way the employees face reacted, showed that she received it well.

Ladies, I challenge you the next time you think ” wow she has such great ___________” allow your thoughts to be spoken, speaking confidence into a ladies life.

PS: I got the picture of the red headed beauty! You can see it here >>>(Red Headed Beauty)

Boldly Blogging

3 Reasons to go BARE on your first date!
Nov 11 2014

As ladies we take a lot of pride in our looks, especially when it comes to dating & even more specifically on a first date. We fret over what to wear: wanting to look appealing, but not overly sexualized. We want every hair to be in place and if God really loved us we would have our best hair day of the month on that day.  Oh, and of course we want our skin to appear flawless, eyes popping & lashes so long that every blink will send a slight fanned breeze. But,  what if I said focus on your outfit and take some time on your hair, but ditch that make up? Some of your eyes may have opened up an inch more in disbelief of what you just read. It might sound foolish, but my hope is the following 3 reasons will convince you to BARE it all when going out on your first date!

Date Destination?

& the conditions surrounding it

                                                                                                Photo Credit
In my idea world when a guy takes me out on a first date it is somewhat of a  surprise.  I love when a guy plans a date & keeps some mystery to it.  I also love when guys think out of the box & plans a not so typical date. Yep, you know what I’m talking about: dinner & a movie.  So me loving to be all surprised and stuff should have my game face ready. And for some reason I don’t see a made up face being the go to game face. A made up face is a face that is ready to take on any weather climate, water activity and or facial gear. God forbid I would have to go underwater on our unplanned snorkeling adventure, that it would drizzle or be ridiculously hot during our surprise hiking trip, or for our spontaneous paint ball war that I will have to wear a facial mask that may smear my lip stick right off! So if you are anticipating an unplanned adventure on your first date, then you better come with your face just as carefree as you will be!

Beauty Credit!

What’s being complimented?

                                                                                               Photo Credit

How many times have you been dressed in your best, hair freshly done & make up painted on to perfection? You step outside demanding all eyes on you because your are so confident in your overall look that you are expecting the compliments to come flooding in. But Let me ask you this: ” Do you ever wonder what exactly a person is complementing when they say you look beautiful?” Are they complimenting your beautiful outfit? Beautiful hair? Or beautiful make-up? Well, it could be a combination of it all. However, how much credit does YOUR God given beauty get? I charge you to not let the distraction of make-up take the credit for your beauty! Bare that face and when your date looks at you and says ” Wow you are beautiful” you can smile in confidence that he is indeed complimenting you and nothing else.

PS: When baring your face first his interest is in you and not a misleading perfected face. No pressure the next time you see him to keep that perfection up!


Time to Self Empower.
                                                 Woman Lifting Weights ca. 2002 Liberty State Park, New Jersey, USA
                                                                                                          Photo Credit

Remember earlier when we explored all the hassle we go through to get ready for a first date? Imagine after getting dressed and styling your hair you wash & moisturize your face, look in the mirror, smile and head out on your date! How freeing and empowering is that? Free yourself, Empower yourself and own your bare beauty!

Boldly Blogging

Miss Black NC Bullied on Weight & Hair
Oct 23 2014


“I was bullied as a kid because of my weight and hair things of that nature. So I wanted to help other young girls who suffer with self esteem issues .”

My first interaction with Ashley was in my facebook group Barely Beautiful. She posted a photo of her self wearing her crown with the caption “I AM MISS BLACK NC USA TALENTED TEEN 2014, and I am bold and beautiful!!!” She then went on to comment: My platform is Promoting bea-U-ty through individuality, not looks.  The title of her platform & the word “teen” in her title immediately intrigued me. I mean really, how many teens are focused on inner beauty? It seems that the younger generation is caught up in this whirl wind of money, clothes and make-up. What’s inner beauty again ? Seems to be the question.  Well I know one 16 y/o who can answer that question.

The name of my platform is Beauty. I chose this platform because as a kid I was bullied and I was insecure with my self. I want to encourage inner beauty and not outter beauty. The judges loved my platform because a lot of them could relate to it . My platform has helped my self esteem grow. I’ve became more of a lady. I define my beauty as BOLD and beautiful. Some encouraging words to ladies struggling to embrace their beauty: God made you the way you are and you should just embrace it! Everyone is beautiful and beauty comes from the inside not the outside. Look in the mirror and say no, be happy, be you, and be beautiful.- Ashley

What wise words from such an young lady. No matter the age we all seem to struggle with completely loving our self. However, Ashley is proof that no matter what the age it is never too early or late to take steps to love our self!



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A nose job & A dance
Sep 16 2014


Image Credit:


While working on a presentation at the public library one day, an elderly lady began speaking to me. She asked  ” Are you in high school? I laughed and responded ” No mam”. That one question led to her telling me about her famous scrap book , deceased husband & her nose job. She shared with me that she had a nose job done because she had inherited her fathers “large nose.” She recalled as  a child her classmates being so cruel to her and the boys…well they  were the worse. She shared with me that after she had her nose job she was finally asked to dance by her crush.  As she spoke of this crush she blushed. It was as though she was feeling those butterflies all over again. She stated she was so flattered and did not hesitate to take him up on his offer.

As they danced he asked her in a curious tone ” Where is your sister?” She replied ” I don’t have a sister.” ” Yes, she looks just like you. The only difference is she has a bigger nose.” He replied.  She stopped dancing and in her sassiest voice said  ” That girl with the big nose is me! If I  was not good enough for you to dance with when I had a big nose, I am not good enough to dance with you with my smaller nose.”

She said he called her numerous times asking her out on dates, but she tastefully declined.

How many of us would have that courage? I mean really. We’re crushing on a guy, but he doesn’t even look our way. Then after we change our look and are FINALLY noticed we “put him in his place” Uhhhhh….I may have to soak up all the compliments before doing so. lol

Ladies, should we give a guy the pleasure of getting to know us after we have changed what was once deemed as a “flaw” by them?

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