ENDURING LIFE: The Alphabet of YOU Challenge!

Good Morning Unique Ones!

Welcome to Wednesday. Well another month is coming to an end and you know what? It’s been a while since I’ve done a challenge. So it’s time for a challenge.

My editor/sisterfriend came to me earlier this month about a very cool and creative challenge idea. When she introduced it to me, I was geeked and she asked if I could co-host the challenge with her…I was ecstatic!

Are you ready to hear about this awesome challenge? Here we go:

The ABCs of Y-O-U!
The ABCs of Y-O-U!


What does the challenge entail?

The challenge will run from August 1 to August 31 with Sundays off.

Starting August 1, you are to use a letter a day and come up with a word or several words that start with that letter and embody the awesomeness of you.

The creative outlet you use to express the letter of the day is up to you: you can write a story, write a blog post, create an image…whatever you choose!

The goal is to create 26 symbols, dedications that represent the awesomeness of you, love notes that you can come back to whenever you need affirmation of your worth!

Share your creations via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #abcyou!

Tell all of your friends and have them join in on the love fest!

Connect with @chicklitgurrl and @theenduringmind on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too.

@chicklitgurrl [Shonell Bacon]
Tw: @chicklitgurrl
IG: @chicklitgurrl

@theenduringmind [Pachet Spates]
Tw: @theenduringmind
IG: @the_enduringoptimist

Get ready unleash your creativity and embrace the various elements that make you…YOU!

Until next time, stay blessed and creative!




ENDURING LIFE: The Optimist Weekly- Week of July 28th, 2014

Good Morning Unique Ones!

Happy Monday and welcome to a new week. I am ready to get this week started with some inspiration and positive thinking with this week’s Optimist Weekly:

OptimistWeekly 7-28

Feel free to print out the weekly and post it in your planner, on your fridge or anywhere you will see it most.

Also, check out my FB page daily for inspirational tidbits and more tied to each day’s motivational word.

Have a safe, blessed and productive day and week, all. I’ll be back this week with new posts, including another feature from She Who Creates!

Until next time,



ENDURING MUSINGS: She Who Creates- Julie Holloway

Celebrating Innovative Sisterhood
Celebrating Innovative Sisterhood


Good Morning, Unique Ones! Happy Friday. Cheers to the weekend but first, let’s get the day started with some inspiration!

I’m back with the first of this month’s latest installment of She Who Creates. 

This week, I am excited to introduce everyone to another fellow creative mind. She’s a mother, wife and a hardworking entrepreneur!

Unique Ones, say hello to Julie Holloway:

Mother, Wife and Entrepreneur Julie Hollway!
Mother, Wife and Entrepreneur Julie Hollway!

I met Julie through our fellow mentor, Donna Smith Bellinger. After meeting with Julie at the celebration of her and her daughter (yes, her daughter is an entrepreneur too!) book releases, I knew that there was something special about her.

I purchased her first book, TEW: The Entrepreneur Within and to this day, I reference this book while on the road to entrepreneurship.

Julie’s creativity is contagious one that should be shared with the world!

Julie M. Holloway is a multi-passion creative author, graphic and web designer and artist based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. In 2011, she opened JMH Cre8ive Solutions, a full service boutique creative agency.  In November, 2011 she published a book titled The Entrepreneur Within You, new inspirational business anthology series featuring stories and experiences told by herself and 18 contributing authors. The second book in the TEW series will launch June, 2014. With an enormous heart and hunger for collaborating and assisting entrepreneurs carry through their creative vision, the business continues to flourish. Julie loves spending family time with her husband Darnell and children Jasmine & DJ and also loves to write, paint, travel, spend time outdoors and listen to music!

I couldn’t wait to find out what Julie had to say about finding her inspiration and how she’s able to not only balance work and life but also infuse creativity into her family life:

As a mother, what has been the hardest part about chasing your dreams?

I am a mother, a wife, an owner of a creative graphic arts company as well as a painter and an author. I grew up with the love of painting abstract and colorful works of art. After sixteen years of sitting in cubicles in corporate America, I taught myself graphic design. I have been growing our graphics business steadily for the past six years, now with the help of my husband and a great team. I live for creativity and am so glad that I found a way to make money while doing the things I love most. The hardest part about getting to this point was figuring out HOW to do it, and getting through the debilitating FEAR of the unknown. Once I got my plan together, and had a little courage coaching, I was good to go!

Julie and her beautiful family work and play creatively together!
Julie and her beautiful family work and play creatively together!

 How do you balance family and work?

It’s hard. Honestly. I have tried many different scenarios over the past few years. When I was working in corporate, and running my business, I had much more of a schedule. I worked harder in fewer hours. In my first two years as a full-time entrepreneur, I started a shirt line called They Sleep We Grind. The shirts are very sought after, because that’s what entrepreneurs do. Well, at the end of my second year full-time, my husband said, enough is enough. You are hardly enjoying time for yourself, you are not exercising, and you are working when you should be hanging with the family. So he, the planner that he is, helped me to devise a plan, and a schedule. I work Monday through Friday now from 9am-6pm; no weekends unless it’s a dire emergency that is going to have a good ROI. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go to the gym from 8:30-10:30. So on some of those days, I might sneak in a few extra work hours at night, but not many. I have taken up my painting again, so I find things to do at night that I simply love, and only do them for ME. That makes me feel so much more balanced!

What inspired you to chase your dreams?

I was inspired by all of my clients. The experiences that I have endured in living in the corporate world gave me strengths that I never knew I had. Both personally and professionally, good and bad experiences have built me into the business person that I am today. When I faced quitting my job 2.5 years ago, I had to pull from strength that may not have even existed yet.  What inspired me, was to see that others were already doing this. I had to really look around, talk to others and find out how they were doing it. Once I heard enough I knew it was my time. I was inspired to chase after my dreams feverishly, because I could not bear to work in the corporate environment that I was in any longer. I was sick, not eating, and literally dreaming of driving off a cliff on the way to work so that I would not have to END UP at work. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but it’s the truth. That is how badly I wanted to escape and do my own thing; expand my creative business. My only way to go at that point in my life was up!


 What’s your favorite “me-time” activity?

I love to sit on my bed with my Nook, a few books, my journals and Super Soul Sunday! Secondly, I love to work in my art studio and paint. That is my ultimate release. Third, my favorite places are Starbucks and LA Fitness, because there I can fall into my own little world, away from the business!

What’s the best advice your mother gave you?

I always remember her saying “everything happens for a reason, just believe” and I love that quote to this day. My parents encouraged us so much throughout our lives, and still do. I know that whatever I desire to try, to experience, to learn in my life, that my parents will support me, even if the rest of the world thinks I am crazy. The day I told them I was quitting my job, in corporate America, I sat in McDonald’s with them. We were having lunch across the street from my office and they encouraged me to go for it. I will never forget that day. It gave me so much hope.

 What advice can you give mothers out there who are looking to start a business or pursue their passions?

I would tell them to stay empowered and connected to other entrepreneurs. My sense of empowerment comes from so many areas. Being that I am a very visual person, it comes from things that I see every day. From browsing online, to visiting the library, to hanging out at the gym, or at Starbucks, I always have things to take “away” and bring back to my work. I am very empowered by hearing others’ stories of success, trials and tribulations. I enjoy learning from both men and women who have had successful businesses, some, much longer than I have. I truly enjoy engaging online with colleagues, family and friends where we share many commonalities, and diverse experiences. My latest dose of empowerment comes from watching Shark Tank, Super Soul Sunday and some of the other shows on the OWN Network and I am hardly a TV person! I just really enjoy positive energy that I can channel back to my creativity and my own daily goals. Most recently, I have been invited to speak on a few panels with other entrepreneurs and it has been the most rewarding and empowering experiences to date, to be able to also share my story. I feel that if mothers see success and hope for their future, that it is possible for them to attain it. However, they must put in the work, establish that team and surround themselves with the resources they need. We can all do anything that we want to do; and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

vectorstock_1516931-[Converted]2 (1)

For more on Julie Holloway, TEW and more, check out these links below:

Are you a creative, entrepreneurial woman? Share your story and your business with me for a chance to be featured in future installments of She Who Creates. Send an email to SUBJECT: She Who Creates 

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!



ENDURING BEAUTY: Dear Natural Hair (Open Letter #4)

DearNaturalHair 4


Dear Natural Hair,

Just a few months ago, I had no idea how to approach you. I feared you. I questioned you and I fought against you. We still fight but now only over how to style you . In the beginning, I had no idea how to handle you and even though I am still treading water with you,  feel accomplished that I am learning how certain products and conditions affect you.

You react well to coconut oil and conditioner brings out hints of a curl pattern.

The growth this coming, now that I am consuming more water and taking my vitamins again.  Growth excites me, especially after I gave you a side part and just a week later, the hair was growing back.

Back to black!
Back to black!

Low manipulation is a must for us. There have been many times where I have found my hands in or gravitating toward you- to counter that, protective styling via wigs was immediately implemented.

Rocking "Swizzle" unit by Glance in a 1B
Rocking “Swizzle” unit by Glance in a 1B

Using the wigs keeps my hands away from you and aids in reminding me to take care of you more and more.

The wigs are always fun and refreshing; however; I have had a strong desire to put some braids/twists in again! Having a twa kind of deterred me from styling you but after watching THIS inspiring video, I decided to try my hand at some twists.

And you know what?

I did it!

It took me about 5 hours and 4 packs of hair :)
It took me about 5 hours and 4 packs of hair :)

We have a long way to go on our journey together and I can honestly say that I am learning patience from you. I’m not concerned with your length, it’s really about your health and learning what works for you. I want you to be healthy and strong. The length will come and the length will go (if and when I get scissor happy). Nonetheless, these last 30 days have been filled with delightful revelations and growth. What more could a woman ask for?

Here’s to another fruitful 30 days.

Until next time,




ENDURING MUSINGS: She Who Creates- Makasha Dorsey

Celebrating Innovative Sisterhood
Celebrating Innovative Sisterhood

Good Day Unique Ones! Happy Friday and welcome to another installment of She Who Creates!

Before I get into this feature, I want to thank everyone who shared and viewed my very first SWC feature. I hope you’re ready to meet another hardworking and inspirational woman because I am ready to share her and her talents with all of you.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Makasha Dorsey!



I met Makasha a few years ago when we both attended an online writing workshop. After reading the synopsis from one of her books, I was blown away at her gift of storytelling. During the workshop, Makasha and I networked and extended our friendship. In doing so, I learned that Makasha was not only a great writer but she was also a wife, mother, blogger and PR genius!

Makasha works hard every day, balance work and family in such an inspiring way so I knew that I wanted to feature her for SWC.

Here’s a little rundown about Makasha and what she does.

Makasha Dorsey is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and publishing industry publicist.  Originally published in 2006, her first novel “The Church House” will be re-released in June 2014 as “First Family Secrets” and is the first book in The Church House series. In addition to writing full length literary works, Makasha likes to challenge her creativity by writing shorts stories and personal essays. She published her first short story My Best Friend’s Brother in early 2012 and is a contributor to Surfacing … Phenomenal Women on Passion, Politics, and Purpose (2006, Outskirts Press) and The Motherhood Diaries (2013, Strebor Books). She blogs about being a writer, mother, wife, woman and Christian over at a wife in progress and has written for Absolute Write, The Midwest Book Review, The Daily Times Leader, and ModVive Magazine.

Makasha's first novel making its debut this month, "First Family Secrets."
Makasha’s first novel making its debut this month, “First Family Secrets.”

In May, I reached out to Makasha to find out how she balances her work and family life  and found out what she does when she’s not being supermom:

As a mother, what has been the hardest part about chasing your dreams?

The hardest part has been making sure that I don’t leave my boys behind while chasing my dreams.

How do you balance family and work?

We live a listed life. This means we set our priorities and then manage ourselves accordingly. I learned a while ago that time cannot be managed so my efforts to manage myself, and how I respected time, became important.

What inspired you to chase your dreams?

I’ve always been a “go getter” but becoming a mother made me aware of what I should and shouldn’t go get. In other the words my pursuits became deliberate ones as motherhood gave me focus. Some dreams are just that—dreams. Everything should not be pursued. But those dreams that inspire me to plan and act become goals.

What’s your favorite “me-time” activity?

I read, paint, craft and meditate for me time. However, I decidedly let go of the hours I was spending in me time. One day while I was taking a 4-hour bubble bath and it occurred to me that I would die one day. I didn’t want to look back over my life and only see me—in a bubble bath, at the spa or somewhere having me time alone. I wanted my memories to be of me living, enjoying time with the people I love and inspiring them to be everything they were born to be.

What’s the best advice your mother gave you?

The best advice my mother gave me is to do what is right but not to do it for the sake of being right. Doing what is right relies on my desire to please God by being of help to others.

What advice can you give mothers out there who are looking to start a business or pursue their passions?

In Dune Frank Herbert wrote, “A plan depends on as much upon execution as it does concept.” I see so many people with plans that either fail to act, fear to act or fumble the act. If a mother wants to start a business, she should put together a good plan that can be executed with the support of a good team.

Planning and priorities is key to chasing your dreams with a family. Thanks to Makasha’s words and inspiration, I have been able to let go of some of those extra dreams and focus on the ones that really mean the most to me.

For more Makasha, click on the links below:

Twitter: @makasha

Facebook: /makashadorsey

Instagram: @makashad

Pinterest: @makasha

Until next time, stay blessed and creative!






ENDURING MUSINGS: 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling Right NOW!

Good Morning Unique Ones!

How’s the week been treating everyone so far? We are half way to the weekend and I am here with inspiration for the weekend.

Today’s musing is all about journaling!


Journaling is something beautiful. It’s releasing, inspiring, fun and cleansing. The days of the diary have evolved and we no longer fill the pages with complaints and negativity, instead, we line every page we can with our hopes, dreams, action plans and ideas.

If you’re new to journaling or you have thought about starting a journal, this post is for you. I have narrowed down the top five reasons why you need to go, grab a journal this weekend and get to writing:


I started writing in a journal as a little girl. I spent a lot of time by myself, so I was alone with my thoughts. I carried those thoughts and that loneliness into my adulthood and returned to journals to let go. I recalled moments of sadness, joy, frustration and loneliness.  Putting these thoughts and experiences down on paper allowed me to revisit them from a different and mature perspective.

When we revisit these moments in a different light, we are able to assess each situation and let it go.


I keep a journal just for my ideas and my dreams. I write them all down and I thumb through the list often for new ideas and inspirations.

If you have a dream in your head, I urge you to write it down. Write down every idea and dream that comes into your head. If you have ONE thing that you truly want to do, dedicate a journal to it and map it out.

Draft your business plans, design your clothing line and write that story.


Journaling allows us to write about everything including the things that fuel our hearts. From our family to our friends to our dreams.

When we write it down, something happens. Our thoughts manifest into dreams and dreams manifest into actions. When we are overflowing with so many ideas and dreams, we begin to notice  common thread that brings them all together.

And that common thread ultimately makes up our passion.



It wasn’t until I returned to journaling about a year or so ago, I noticed a change in my writing.  The negative rants diminished and I was writing more and more positive things.  Through journaling, I discovered my inner voice, The Enduring Optimist.

If you’re a blogger, writer or anyone who is trying to uncover who they are, in time, journaling reveals your inner voice. I believe that our inner voices are a little stronger and we hold back less when we speak from within.

When we journal, we do not have to hold back anything. We are open and honest with ourselves as we always should be.  We are
uncensored and unhinged on paper which leads to use following suit in our physical state.


Have a lot on your mind? Feel overwhelmed? Grab a journal, a pen and write out every single thought in your head.

Don’t worry about the order of things, just write, write, write until your hand cramps or when your brain finally exhales. Journaling allows us to sort through our thought patterns and navigate through our current states of mind.

An Optimist View: Do you journal? Why do you journal? Share your comments below and with me on my Facebook Page too!

Need a journal? Get an Introductory Optimist-Kit for just $9.95 with FREE SHIPPING! To order your Intro Kit click here.

Until next time, stay blessed and creative, all!



ENDURING FINDS: Awesome Journals

Good Morning Unique Ones!

Happy Friday ::doing the cabbage patch:: It’s the last day of the week and it has been a long one but I am thankful for the experiences I have endured through the week, including running the office by myself ::gasp::

I am back with some great finds.

I am a journal fanatic! I love a great notebook (Greenroom Eco CALL ME PLEASE!) and I’m always on the hunt for a new journal.

Journals are more just notebooks, I like to think of journals as the house for my fears, goals and future dreams. Journals become artifacts of our lives; therefore; they need to be preserved in the best state possible.

I have found some great foundations for us to check out at Etsy,com!

NOTE: Click on the picture for more information on how to purchase these great journals!

This dated prayer journal is beautiful. Keep track of your prayers and scriptures for future referencing.
For the multi-talented person in your life, this HUSTLE notepad will help them keep track of all their greatness and document their next moves.
As a newlywed, you know I loved this journal right? For the newly engaged, this journal would make a great gift to give to your soon to me Mr or Mrs. the day of the big day.
Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted a leather journal! They are beautiful, durable and simply amazing. They are worth every penny if you ask me.
Reflect on how AWESOME your week has been with this cool pad. Recalling those tiny wins and random acts of kindness is a sure fire way to keep you motivated into the next week.
Blank sketchbooks with this intricate binding. Yeah, I’m in love.

When journaling, remember to choose a journal that reflects you and one that is durable enough for you to carry in your book bag and/or purse if needed.

Our notebook/journal should be a sturdy foundation for our heaviest fears and wildest dreams.

Do you journals? Share your journal covers and notebooks with me on IG . Tag me (@the_enduringoptimist) and use the hashtag #journallove.

Until next time, have a great weekend and stay blessed!


Creating, inspiring and motivating one positive post at a time. New posts EVERY Wednesday and Friday!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,430 other followers