Girlfriends' Vacation
In this issue...
Travel - Good for the Soul
Girls Trip 101
Sister Friends on the High Seas
Sister/Friends' Vacation - A POEM
Ask Tina
The Ultimate Stay-Cation!
Something About the Carribean
Tara's Top 10 Travel Tips
Girlfriends' Weekend
       For women throughout the world who seek to
        find a place to unite, the search is over.
July 2012
FMSF Hands
Welcome to
For My Sister Friends 

Welcome to the first newsletter of For My Sister Friends, JOURNEY. We are glad to share with you stories from your fellow sister friends that focus on friendship, family, and just loving life. Each month we will present you with a different topic. Are you ready for the journey?


The July newsletter is all about Girlfriends' Vacation. We are sure you have taken the time to travel with your sister friends to a place where there were no kids or significant others. Or, you just spent time at a local coffee shop talking about girl stuff. Whatever you chose as your Girlfriends' Vacation, it was probably the 'me time' you truly needed.


We invite all of our old, new, and future sister-friends to share in our mission to connect and support one another and in our vision to be healthier and happier without fear. Take this journey of health and wellness, support and growth, enlightenment and prosperity, with For My Sister Friends as I am, as you are, as we are...sister-friends.


Erica D. Kelly

Editor in Chief

Special Thanks to SHAKEOLOGY
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Grilled Tropical

Fruit Kabobs

Yields: 1 large or 2 small kabobs per serving

135 cal, 2 g fat, 31.8 g carbs, 0.6 g protein, 3 mg sodium, 4 WW points


C. packed brown sugar, dark-variety 


2 tbsp regular butter
1 tsp ginger root, finely chopped (or more to taste)
1 oz rum, dark-variety or vanilla extract
medium pineapple, cut into large chunks
2 large mango(es), cut into large cubes
2 large banana(s), cut into large pieces

Preheat grill to medium-high or heat a grill pan over high heat. Combine sugar, butter, ginger and rum in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until well-combined, about 2 to 3 minutes; set aside. Thread fruit onto 8 ten-inch or 16 six-inch metal or wooden skewers (make sure to soak wooden skewers in water for about 20 minutes to prevent charring); brush with sugar mixture. Place kabobs on grill or grill pan; cook until grill marks show on bottom side of fruit, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn kabobs; grill until marks appear on other side, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve hot, room temperature or chilled.

Now Available in
Vegan Chocolate!
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Honey Berry Banana
Chocolate Shake Recipe
1/2 banana
1 tsp. honey
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup skim milk




Blend all ingredients well (add 1/4 cup of ice for a cool treat)!

Banana Berry & Buttermilk Ice Pops




1 cups low-fat buttermilk

1 banana

1 cups fresh or frozen berries

cup honey or agave syrup



Puree ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Pour mixture intoice pop molds and freeze.

Makes 10 pops (75 calories each).

Zumba in the Park
Saturday, July 21st
For My Sister Friends has teamed up with
Blue Diva Zumba and DJ Chris Love to bring you a morning of Fitness & Fun! So ditch the ordinary and join the party! 
Zumba in the Park
Skytop Area 
Watchung Reservation Scotch Plains, NJ  
Saturday, July 21, 2012
9:00am - 11:00am
Click HERE for details and registration.
*One Spot Left*
Sister Friends On A Journey
Remember ME **Retreat ** 
Montego Bay, JA
August 15-19, 2012
Join us in Jamaica and get your stuff back! 
Sister Friend Chat
Lets talk about it! 
The 60-Minute Sister Friend Chat is a monthly interactive call that brings women from around the country together in one "place" to discuss it all.

July 19, 2012
8:00 -  9:00pm EST
Upcoming Workshops
Bury Some Things
Register Today!
Bury Some Things - CA
 September 15, 2012
Monrovia Com.Center
119 West Palm Avenue
Monrovia, CA
Coming Soon!
 Bury Some Things Philadelphia, PA
Date TBA
Want More Tina?
More Tina
Check out the Tina C. Hines website for more about Tina and the new, flexible  Journey Programs designed just for YOU!

Mocha BellTRAVEL

Good For the Soul

Mocha Bell  

I made a promise to myself a long time ago to make myself as happy as I can since no one could do it better than me. A husband and child later, I am still living a happy life on my terms (with some compromises along the way) and that includes going on girlfriend vacations. If you can't live la vida loca, then what's the point right?


Every year I take girlfriend getaways. From Europe, to the islands, to local "girl I need a break or I will break" trips, I have laughed my way through great times. As a mother, I do a yearly mother's day trip with just the girls (because we moms need to remember we are actual human beings) and a summer getaway. We laugh, we rest, we embrace our individuality, and we enjoy each other's company.  We truly VACATION!  Any girlfriends who happen to be divas or party poopers are never allowed!


If I could give any tips to my women warriors about girlfriend getaways, it would be to:

  • Start a trip savings account. Even if its $20 a paycheck, that money will add up and when someone is ready to get out of dodge, you will be ready to put the money down and go! 
  • Not everyone is compatible when traveling. So make sure you invite the right girlfriend for the right vacation. If your girlfriend loves to party, don't take her to the middle of nowhere; if you have to have an itinerary and your friend is a free spirit, then you may have a problem. In the end you don't want to be miserable and neither do they. So prepare accordingly. 
  • Last but not least, remember when vacationing with girlfriends nothing will hardly be perfect. But make sure you vacation with a girlfriend(s) that you can have a great time with even if you get stuck in your hotel due to the monsoon going on outside of your door.

In the end, happiness is not an emotion, but a choice, so do you and getaway!


Mocha Bell lives la vida loca every chance she gets. She is an avid traveler, mother, wife and all around happiness warrior. For any travel tips or travel questions, email her at She will be starting a travel blog soon, so stay tuned!



Renee T. Richardson 


When I first looked at the subject matter for this month, I read "women leaving their husbands..." and immediately felt empowered by a Divine Sister Friend of mine. Let's call her SJ.  

She recently left her husband and corresponding emotionally abusive, demeaning relationship, and moved to a sweet cabin by a river. She'd had many transformational journeys before her most recent trip to Peru, but this one truly sealed the deal.


SJ went with a group into the jungle in Peru for a multi-day healing experience. Long story short, she stood up to the shaman in the middle of the jungle, and left the group to find her way back out of the jungle BY HERSELF that night.   Now that is empowered. 


Ladies, do whatever it is you need to do to find your inner bad ass. Let her out. The time is NOW. 


T. Renee Richardson, D.D., is a professional psychic and healer living and working in Hawaii. Her mission, and she has accepted it, is to provide enjoyable, empowering service to those ready, willing, and able to receive it.

Girls Trip - 1O1

 Hollie Chambers 


Imagine my surprise when I arrive to a meeting, sit, sip my coffee and turn to my girlfriend, who, I noticed immediately, was not in the same dismal mood I was in. With her Cheshire cat grin she asks,


"Did you get my email?"

My reply, "I'm lucky I'm in this room. What's up?"

Her: "You got your passport."

Me: "Yes."

Her: "You wanna go to Mexico?"

Me: "Are you kidding?"

Her: "You should have checked your email."

Me, in my head: "I'll entertain her until the meeting starts."


My very convincing girlfriend made an offer I could not ignore, refuse or stop thinking about. Within 30 minutes I had vacation days approved and a babysitter confirmed. Oh, did I mention the trip was in seven days, Memorial Day weekend? No, seriously, we would be on a plane the following Friday to Cancun, Mexico in seven days to the minute! If this was not a Higher Power's doing, I have no clue what it was.


My excitement and anxiety consumed me for the next three days following the announcement. I kept wondering what external forces were going to cause this trip to evolve into a daydream. By Thursday I packed and convinced myself it was not a dream. We were really going to Mexico.


The last time I went on a girl's trip, it did not end well. You must not discount the importance of two major factors involved in planning a successful girl's trip. First, you must pick the right girlfriends to travel with you. Second, everyone must understand the purpose of the trip beforehand.


It may seem a bit insensitive to recognize that not all of your girlfriends are prospective travel companions. But it could be careless not to. Keep in mind a vacation is an investment, financially and mentally. Your company may define the outcome.


Let me breakdown the niceties of girlfriends. You have your religious girlfriends. You have girlfriends that are inexperienced travelers.You have angry unfriendly girlfriends and you have unpredictable girlfriends.


If you're going on a spiritual pilgrimage, all of the girlfriends described above are potential travel companions. However, there is that last girlfriend we all have in our squad. If you don't, you need to get more friends. She's the one that you know for sure is non-judgmental, fun and has an innate ability to alter her behavior to fit any situation. This is the girlfriend you bring on a girl's trip involving alcohol, dancing, shenanigans, with the potential for hedonistic activities. They are independent, no babysitting. They don't care what you are doing, as long as you're safe and having fun. They love to party, which attracts men, and most importantly, they respect your privacy; point being, know your friends. It will ensure a successful, clandestine and pleasurable experience.


Our journey to Playa Del Carmen was rejuvenating. We arrived at an incredible picturesque all-inclusive resort. Check-in went smooth. We had our own junior suite with a Jacuzzi and balcony. We immediately changed into our bathing suits, checked out the scenery and planned our evening over an early dinner. I wish I could share a few more details, but that would break "Girl Trip Cypher." Let's just say the rest of the trip was filled with lounging by the pool and beach, margaritas, Malibu bay breezes, reading, journaling, jet skiing, spa treatments, shopping, dancing, laughing, and room service.


Who knew a week could change the course of a summer. I had the time of my life in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico with my girlfriends. We all had the right state of mind. We enjoyed our investment by doing our own thing and managed to meet up in between to catch-up. The Higher Power put an opportunity in our path and we followed it to Mexico.


If you're confused about which one of your girlfriends to bring on a girl's trip, ask yourself two questions, 1) what is the purpose of the trip? Then ask yourself, 2) which girlfriend should accompany me based on the purpose? Remember, it's your trip too.

See you next time Sister/Friends.


Ms. Hollie loves anything that involves laughter, music, and dancing.
She's a passionate pleasure seeker, as well as a sister, sister/friend
and mother of two intelligent, handsome young men.

Cassietta JeffersonSister Friends

on the High Seas

 Cassietta Jefferson 

In the summer of 2010, I boarded the Carnival Victory with my sisters, and a few husbands in tow, unsure of what the next week would bring. I was expecting a few days of sun, some good food, and a chance to catch up on my reading. What I got was a seven day adventure with my sister friends. My life's philosophy has always been to work hard, and play harder! This would be the first time I would truly be able to live this philosophy.

We began our adventure with deck party designed to allow everyone time to get to know each other, and to become acclimated to our floating accommodations. Now, it wouldn't be an adventure if we didn't try new things. For us, however, the adventure wasn't in trying new things, but in trying them together. We enjoyed dinner and entertainment each evening, as well as shopping, swimming, jet skiing, and yes, partying together in a completely relaxing environment. While I did enjoy all of the activities at the different ports of call, what I enjoyed most was the time spent getting to know my sisters.

We were able to share, unguarded and unashamed, feeling supported and accepted in our small circle of sister friends. I was able to be completely transparent, unapologetic, and unafraid of negativity. I knew that where ever my foot touched, my sisters had my back. In seven short days, this amazing group of women taught me to be myself, all the time, and not to take myself so seriously!

I will always have fond memories of Festival at Sea 2010. I walked away from my Caribbean adventure with a new found awareness of who I was, and a few new sister friends
Cassietta Jefferson ~ The Best in Contemporary Christian Literature

Sister/Friends Vacation

 Maya Angelou Drew  


Are you boggled down and tired with day to day duties?  Running late to work, deadlines are due and today your boss is moody? 

The dog ate part of your favorites shoes that you had 

planned to wear;  A snail moves faster than your child 

as they give you that blank morning stare.


She replies "I don't wear those sandals I want to wear my 

Dora boots." You explain that it's middles of July 

three times but she still doesn't compute. 

Fixing breakfast, dropping the kids of for school and 

taking care of others;  Actively being an exceptional 

employee, a sister/friend, wife, and mother? 

Unexpected bills, flat tires, no baby-sitter, and the car 

won't start; Dealing with issues in your relationships, 

trying to balance the matters of the heart.


It essential to take some "Me Time" from the normal hustle 
and bustle; To let "Calgon" truly take you a way 
when  all your feathers have been rustled.


A time to let your hair down, sip on exotic drinks, a time to talk 
and laugh; To have spa day, pamper yourself, to get in 
the Jacuzzi and take a candle lit bath. (alone). 

We need that time to share your dreams, a time to get or 

give advice; A time to have fun, free from obligation, 

and to create memorable moments in your life.


You're entitled! Lay away a getaway, in the next state over 

or relax by one of the seven seas; Hit the road or the airport 

with your besties, surround yourself with good company.


You'll be glad you took the time, and return refreshed with a magical glow of elation; What are you waiting for?!?! "Start planning your Sister/Friends' next vacation!" 

Maya Angelou Drew is an administrative assistant by day and a poetry writer by night. She has a gift for creating a poem with ease using her broad, witty and creative imagination. When you read the sleeve of Maya's heart, her prayer is that her poems make you smile and bless your life. To read more of Maya's poetry pieces, visit Maya's Poetry on Purpose at

Tina C. Hines is a
Life Transformation Specialist, Founder and President of For My Sister Friends, an organization dedicated to empowering women.


" I often want to go on vacation but I never seem to have a travel partner. What should I do when I am ready to get away and rejuvenate?"
Tina Says...   Something I have learned from past experiences, if you wait on others to do something you want to do, you will probably miss a window of opportunity. Therefore, I encourage you to pack your bags, grab your passport and head to the airport.

There are a variety of travel agencies that offer travel packages for singles. This is your opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, travel to a fabulous destination and meet new people; perhaps a future travel buddy.

If you are the adventurous type and want to really travel alone, go to a destination you have visited before (with others) and enjoy the time alone. You may view the destination with new eyes and see something you may have missed on previous visits. Remember, you are going away to rejuvenate.

Every now and again we need to get away. We will not always have someone to join us on the adventure. Therefore, don't allow others to prevent you from taking time for yourself. You receive paid vacation time from work and I encourage you to use it for more than a doctors appointment or to stay home and clean the house. Take your 'me time'. But most importantly, remember to rejuvenate.
Do YOU have a question for Tina? Click HERE to submit 
your question and you may be featured in our next 
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Kimberly Lorjuste 

I'm known as the "planner" in my circle of friends. And you can bet that my wheels are always spinning thinking of new and exciting things to do with the girls. Because most of my sister-friends and I are busy with life, we aren't always able to coordinate our schedules for weekend or week-long getaways. So, for the workaholic, wife-a-holic, mom-a-holic, sister-friend-a-holic (and all of the above like me), here is my idea of a perfect stay-cation with the girls!

The ultimate stay-cation almost always includes a trip to the spa. If you have never been or have reservations about the cost, trust is WORTH the investment. Every woman should experience a day at the spa in her lifetime. It is both relaxing and rejuvenating-once you go, I'm sure you'll be hooked.


When planning out the day, I typically book our spa appointments for early morning. Services include anything from pedicures to facials to massages. Spas are wonderful because in between services, you're allowed to relax in the waiting area with your girlfriends eating cheese and crackers and sipping on cucumber water or tea while you relax with a rose petal foot bath as your cares slowly drift away. Some spas will also offer you the option of a light lunch for your party. Afterwards, plan to head out for a nice afternoon of wine tasting. Explore whatever vintage delights your nearest (or farthest) vineyard has to offer. Finally, end the day with dinner at that ritzy restaurant you've always wanted to try but came up with every excuse not to. You and your girls will have an amazing time and you can head home reenergized-ready to tackle any task life throws your way...until your next ultimate stay-cation! 


Kimberly Lorjuste, wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. 

Something About the Carribean

Tara Dalley  

There is something about the Caribbean that does something to the spirit. Whenever you go to your island of choice you feel beautiful and sexy, you might even be lucky and get a special visit from God (or Dexter and shade intended). But somehow I always walk away with something, a renewed sense of self.


Picture it...Anguilla, 2000 (and something)...

It's August Monday and I am at the biggest beach party in the Caribbean. Rum punch is flowing, jerk chicken is grilling and I can only believe that this is what heaven is like. The people are beautiful, mingling, enjoying the sights and sounds when all of a sudden when I think I might catch a nose bleed from all the fun and good vibes, I stop. I walk calmly into the surf and center my mind on the smell of sea water mixed with coconut and still my heart to commit to memory the feeling of the warm water quietly rolling over my feet...and now in this moment I can barely remember what had me so stressed this past year. In that moment the scale finally tipped in the opposite direction of all the pains I may have had. Nothing mattered just that amazing feeling that everything was, is and will be alright. I came out of that water with the past behind me and my face to the light and I smiled.....God's here.


 Tara K. Dalley is a part time Human Resource Associate,

part time comedian, full time lover, friend and believer....a woman. 

Tara's Top 10 Travel Tips 

  1. I don't care how fine he is or how much he "loves you"....Don't go off alone with him. (write it on a bar napkin and keep it in your purse)
  2. Jerk chicken does not help you soak up the alcohol. It will only make your upchuck reflex hurt more. (Just say some point)
  3. Always wear sunscreen and shades. I got 2nd degree burns on my face and burned corneas in January. Apparently, melanin does not protect you from everything....Who knew (shrugs)
  4. Try it even if you can't pronounce it. (ask what it is AFTER it went down)
  5. Tipping is very important, do it. (It's hard to be in the service industry)
  6. Do something you've never done before. (Watch out for the flesh eating bacteria though.)
  7. Pictures, pictures and more pictures....You'll thank yourself later. Memory is not always enough.
  8. Make sure you check in with the folks back home. They worry sometimes....
  9. Listen to your body, if you need a nap take me, you'll thank me later.
  10. Be grateful for that feeling, that moment and God will bless that time. We sometimes find our greatest selves in those moments.
Jasmine Hall-Ratliff
I'm in the center, Girlfriend's Weekend in Chicago, and 6 months pregnant!

Girlfriend's Weekend

Jasmine Hall-Ratliff  

I have 2 college girlfriends that I've done girlfriend weekends with for several years. I don't even remember how it started--we decided to get together one summer for a weekend and it evolved into an annual thing. Since we were spread out we usually chose a central location or a place where one of us lived, so we wouldn't have to get a hotel. The last few years we've created themes around our weekends: one summer we met in New York to see the Sex & the City movie, so we made the whole weekend about New York fabulousness. The summer I was pregnant we were in Chicago, where the theme was 'Brazil' because we decided to get Brazilian waxes--I have no idea how that theme came about!


Those weekends were always rejuvenating for all of us. We would talk about whatever was going on in our lives--men, careers, family, dreams, fears, everything! Before the New York trip my husband and I were on the mend from some marital troubles and my girlfriends were my sympathetic ears to listen and shoulders to cry on. Another summer one of us was debating quitting her job and going to graduate school so we provided counsel--funny thing about that is she ended up getting accepted into an international business program and her studies included a trip to the real Brazil!


We're still trying to plan this year's trip, after taking a hiatus last year due to graduate school and my other girlfriend having a baby. But we're determined to keep it going, regardless of family and career because we need these weekends!!


Jasmine Hall Ratliff is a mom, daughter, sister and girlfriend to many.

 She spends her days working in philanthropy and nights

spending time with her family and reading.

Later Sister Friends!

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Thanks for subscribing to the For My Sister Friends Monthly Newsletter JOURNEY. We hope the stories, advice, resources and tips in this issue inspire you to make a transition in your life in order to live healthier and happier. We are all Sisters and Friends on a Journey. 


~Be Inspired & Inspire Someone~


Ready for our next issue?

Our August issue will be themed: "Putting Yourself First." We are currently accepting article submissions highlighting the importance and essence of this topic. Inspiring stories of personal experience, triumph, how to's, do's & don'ts, and tips & tricks are welcome. Submissions due on or before FRIDAY JULY 13, 2012 Subject Line Should read: "Putting Yourself First