Putting Yourself First
In this issue...
Putting Yourself in First Place
Featured Author - Stylicia A. Bowden
Defining Moment
Ask Tina
Putting Yourself First
Self Care - 101
Remember YOU Matter
Dazzle Yourself First
In First Place
       For women throughout the world who seek to
        find a place to unite, the search is over.
August  2012
FMSF Hands
When was the last time you gave yourself FIRST priority. The women in this month's, The Journey, have done just that. Our phenomenal sister friends will enlighten you with their stories of declines and triumphs, epiphanies and inspirations, and their hopes and dreams as they worked toward putting themselves first. They will also share helpful tips to put yourself first. The stories they share are lessons learned while they were on their self-journey to being happy in their own skin. Join us as we take this journey of putting You in First Place.
Erica D. Kelly
Editor in Chief
Special Thanks to SHAKEOLOGY
Shakeology Ad
Tropical Breeze
Tropical Shake Recipe
1 cup Coconut Milk
1/2 cup strawberries
1 orange peeled and divided into segments
1/2 banana




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


Mexican Taco Style

Turkey Wrap

Turkey Taco

Prep time 10 Min 

Total time 20 Min 

Servings 4 Calories 390


1/2 cup ProgressoŽ chicken broth  

 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup) 
 1 small red or green bell pepper, diced (1/2 cup)
 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn  
 1/2 lb ground turkey breast
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup salsa 
1/4 cup chopped 
fresh cilantro 
8 flour tortillas (8 to 10 inch), warmed* 
Sour cream, if desired 
Step 1 In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat broth to boiling over high heat. Cook onion, bell pepper and corn in broth 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Reduce heat to medium-high.
* Step 2 Stir in turkey and garlic. Cook 2 min, stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa. Cook about 5 min, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in cilantro.
* Step 3 Spoon slightly less than 1/2 cup turkey mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up tortilla. Serve with sour cream.
Expert Tips
Speed preparation time by using already- chopped garlic in jars, and look for bags of frozen chopped onions - no tears!
To warm tortillas, heat them in a hot ungreased skillet or griddle for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
Or wrap desired number of tortillas tightly in foil and heat in 250°F oven for 15 minutes. 
Or place 2 tortillas at a time between dampened microwavable paper towels or sheets of microwavable plastic wrap and microwave on High for 15 to 20 secs until warm.
Zumba in the Park
Saturday, Sept 8th
For My Sister Friends has teamed up with
DJ Chris Love  & Healing in Hand Massage Therapy to bring you a morning of Fitness & Fun! So ditch the ordinary and join the party! 
Zumba in the Park
North Jersey Edition
(Location TBA)
September 8, 2012
9:00am - 11:00am
Click HERE for details and registration.
Epiphany Mobile Spa
Epiph Pic
Are you always putting everyone else's needs above your own?

 Would you like someone to take care 
of You for once? 
visit us online or call 
(646) 369-6861 today!

"Bringing the luxury of a spa to the comforts of Your home!"

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 Friends On A Journey
2013 Retreat
Stay tuned for more information on our 2013 Sister Friends Retreat!!
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.

August 9, 2012
8:00 -  9:00pm EST
Natural Products
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Give natural products a try, your hair and skin will thank you... 
and so will your wallet!
Upcoming Workshops
Bury Some Things
Bury Some Things - CA
 September 15, 2012
Monrovia Com.Center
119 West Palm Avenue
Monrovia, CA
Bury Some Things - PA
October 6, 2012
1043 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA
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!
1st Plc




Stylicia A. Bowden


 If I could travel back in a time machine I would go back to the age of hip hop and listen to Queen Latifah bellow out "Oooooh, ladies first , ladies first". As I sit here listening to my thoughts I am faced with the reality of how profound these words are to me. The words "ladies first" is a concept many women have not yet embraced, instead they devote more time to their family and friends while they put their needs on the back burner. There is a sense of guilt when we put our dreams and desires first. However, when I began to put myself first I was able to accomplish more in my life and be a help to others.

Let the evolution begin...
The evolution of putting myself in first place started with me exiting a relationship where I lost myself in someone who had no intentions of committing to me. I was heartbroken but God used this low point in my life to wake me up. I realized I had a history of putting others needs before my own needs. The light bulb in my head clicked last year when I decided to start a personal journey to discover my self-worth and embrace my authenticity. For the first time in my life I was putting myself in first place and I began to feel an ultimate bliss. 
So ladies, as you read this, understand putting yourself first is the best therapy you can give yourself. While you begin to put yourself in first place erase the guilt, those deep feelings of regret, and relish in the ambiance of loving yourself first. Give yourself permission to put yourself in first place!
WHO IS STYLICIA?  Stylicia A. Bowden

One word describes this poet and author....Determination!

Ms. Bowden was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, where she started creative writing at the young age of eight years old. She wrote poems, plays,  short stories and songs throughout her childhood. Creative writing was a way to express her thoughts and emotions freely without judgment from the outside world. As she grew, writing became a language she often used to translate internal feelings on paper. After spending nine years in the military she was able to use her traveling experiences to develop her writing skills; before exiting the U.S. Navy she went on to complete four self published poetic literary works: The Princess Within: The Soul Of A Woman, Soulseeker, All About Him: The Experience, and The Writer's Block: The Sound Of The Spoken Word. 
Since her career has taken flight Stylicia has produced two spoken word albums entitled "The Sound Of The Spoken Word" and "The Anthology Of My Soul," and hosted her own poetry show in Charleston, SC entitled "A Night Of Poetic Elegance" for two consecutive years. Ms. Bowden's poetic work has been featured on Essence "My Black Is Beautiful" website and in Essence Magazine. 
Stylicia's ultimate desire is to continue to allow her poetic gift to make room for her God given artistry to bring her in the company of other like minded individuals. Her passion for her artistry allows her to continue to set standards and break barriers in her poetic genre.

For more information on Ms. Bowden: www.styliciabowden.com


Being Positive with Yourself

T. Renee Richardson 


Staying positive mentally can be challenging. Of course the brain will work more efficiently when provided solid nutrition. The brain is an organ of the body (not some magical thing called "mind"), and so functions on the same nutrition as the rest of the body. Try to maintain a healthy diet and notice your attitude and thoughts before and after eating.

Grammar is also important. How do you phrase things? How do you speak to and about yourself? Do you state what isn't, rather than what is, or how things shouldn't be? These are manifestations of a negative attitude. Learn to rephrase using positive affirmations. Positively state what is, what you want, and it will be.

The spirit must also be positive. Take time for yourself to be fully quiet. Centering ourselves is the best favor that we can do to stay positive. When we are quiet we can reach our inner spiritual selves and listen. Be quiet and receive. Overall, staying positive is a moment-to-moment activity. Do it and you've done it.


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. www.psychic-services.com.


Tara Jackson 

Have you ever experienced a defining moment in your life? A time when you mentally wake up and say to yourself, "It is time for me to live." That happened to me earlier this year and a phenomenal woman emerged.

Hitting the milestone of being between 30 and 40 really can take its toll on a woman's mind, body and spirit. Add on hormonal balance/imbalance and you can truly feel as if you are over the edge. It took me having a cancer scare to wake up. My mind began to race on how I had to beat the cancer if I did have it. I thought like so many other women that face similar or various other situations. I had to live because of my children; not myself but my children... 
I chose to live for me.

Waking up January 3, 2012 was a true defining moment in my life. I do not know if it was the alcohol from the midnight shots or if God had spoken to me himself. But I do know in that defining moment of opening my eyes I was going to live my life for myself. When I looked at phenomenal woman in the mirror, I realized she was no stranger but she was me. She was no longer the out-spoken, go getter, naive Southern skinny girl with a bright smile and pigtails. Now she was the phenomenal woman she always wanted to be. She was a confident woman. She was a sophisticated woman who decided to live her life on her terms. She has loved those who did not love her back but in the end, she made it through trials and tribulations with her head held high.

This confident woman began to do more without any regrets. Of dating more, expressing what my needs are and not wanting for anything. I began to date myself by taking myself out to the movies, going to the spa, shopping, dining at finer restaurants and being comfortable with the looks and stares. I love this person in this skin. With 35 fast approaching, I can say I gladly welcome it. I am ready to take the bull by the horns and enjoy this ride because in my defining moment I realized I am a PHENOMENAL WOMAN.
 Tara Jackson: Phenomenal Woman!
Tina C. Hines,
Life Transformation Specialist


" How do you form a 'healthy habit'?"
Tina Says...  Forming a healthy habit is done by repeatedly performing an action and including positive thinking It has been proven that it takes 21 days to form a habit. A healthy habit is an essential part of our life. They help us to reach specific goals, stay focused along the way and keep on pushing when the going gets tough. As Dr. Andrew Weil says, anything you do with repetition and emotion will become your reality. If you're not satisfied with your current experience, examine your healthy habit and start to make a transition to create your reality.

To transition your bad habit to a healthy habit, avoid trying to overcome a challenge too fast. You are more likely to give up early in the game when you do not immediately see the healthy habit. Take on the challenge of spending 21 days putting forth the effort to achieve your personal goals. The key to a healthy habit is putting things into action and doing. When you choose to form a healthy habit to improve your life, adding a dose of positive thinking and positive affirmations, will help you reach your personal goals. As you prepare to create a healthy  habit, consider these five points:  
  • Be clear on your intentions and add a dose of positive thinking.
  • Write down your intentions and use positive affirmations.
  • Identify your personal goals and why you want to achieve it.
  • Create diversions to help you stay on track.
  • Celebrate each milestone.
Take a moment to identify a few personal goals you would like to reach in 2012. Spend the next 21 days of positive thinking and create your healthy habit.
Do YOU have a question for Tina? Click HERE to submit 
your question and you may be featured in our next 
newsletter, website, facebook or twitter!


Tara Dalley 


Picture it.....Brooklyn, NY 2000....(something)

I am packing, filling boxes with 12+ years of memories and items I've accumulated over time. Today, I have to move out of the only home I knew. The home I've built and dreamt about for as long as I could remember. You see, I damaged my finances almost to the point of financial ruin all for the sake of others and I am here sitting on the kitchen floor crying (yes the ugly cry) and reeling from the fear of what my next steps would be. I looked around and remembered all of the fun times and memories and the pain of the thoughts are almost too much to bear. This place represented my freedom and young adult life and I have to walk away from it all although I hate to admit it; it didn't quite feel like mine anymore. Like my home that is. So much energy is here and I know most of it is not mine.

I looked around and thought, I have to pack these dishes. The same dishes that held mountains of food, given freely to those in need even when I didn't have it to give, or even eat myself that day, but I am here packing this box.... alone. Oh, I can't forget to wrap those dishes with the sheets and quilts. No money for bubble wrap, but these sheets gave countless people warmth and comfort over the years, from friends and family who were jobless and homeless, to brothers in between baby mommas and relationships... packing this one.... alone as well. Damn! I made this box too heavy, now I have to unpack it and lift it....again... alone. 

I packed and moved those boxes with the help of two people. Two people helped me move that day... Two people out of the masses which I had to beg and barter their services by giving those items (TV, electronics, etc.) that I couldn't afford to store. Plus I had no money to move. No one to call and even borrow a dollar or dime, an escalade nor a pick-up truck. I had to laugh at myself when I thought "Who does the bank borrow from if they are in need?" I had at least 10 people come by over the course of that week, friends and family alike. It was business as usual, me in the kitchen everyone piled on the sofa or in my bed and when the music stopped I got a hug and "I'll call you when you get settled. Where are you going again BTW?"....SMH

I'm not saying you can't help people, but to what extend do you help? Do you help to the detriment of your own life, your own existence? Now I will be the first to say, I love my team and they love me, they are good people. People will take from you as long as you are willing to give. I shudder to think how much further I would get in life if I decided to "go hard" for myself first but I cannot neglect the fact that it was easier to be immersed in everyone else's life than my own. Iyanla
Vanzant said it best, "Always make sure your cup is full, anything that runs over is what you give to others but no matter what, your cup should always be full. You won't be able to help anyone if you are not at your best."       

Lesson Learned. Just say no... and God Bless the '80s for that slogan. It was more prevalent now than it has ever been. 

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

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

Dawn loban SELF CARE - 101

Dawn N. Loban  

Naturally, I am a nurturer and a caregiver. My kindergarten report states "Dawn loves to care for the

other children," so over the years I have accepted that I am wired this way. Even my work reflects this because my jobs have been in a supportive role, "taking care" of people all day.

Some may say, "Ok, what's the problem?" The problem was I did not take care of Me. I was never a priority for me. Somehow, I thought if I took care of others, they would take care of me. Wrong! This was reflected in past relationships, friendships and family drama. I was miserable, and two defining moments identified the problem:

I was complaining to a very close girlfriend on the phone and she said, "You are not happy. You need to figure out what makes you happy." I was stunned. What was she talking about? We debated, I got off the phone but her comments still resonated days later.

Another defining moment was turning 40. Change had to happen. I was grateful for my forty years, but I knew the next forty had to be better. I thought about death and the coffin. I asked myself, "what do you want to do before you're put in the box?" The search started. I began to make myself a priority through small changes. I do not claim to have figured it all out but below are some strategies I use that may
work for you:

Journaling - I got to know myself in a way that I did not think was possible. A relationship began with this person and I fell in love with her - the entire being including all her insecurities, weaknesses, and
frailties. I accepted them all and realized how beautiful I am on the inside and out.

Healthy Eating - As I expressed my frustrations through journaling, the emotional eating eased. I cut down on carbs, sugar and processed foods and released 20 pounds. Most importantly, I am happier when I smile and see my inner glow.

Forgiveness - I forgave myself and other people that I felt wronged me. I was unaware of how damaging anger, bitterness and resentment can be. Once released, I felt better.

Self-Esteem Lists -I have a very long commute. I decided to list things I did for myself the previous day. Each day I would look for small things to fill my list. For example, using my guest towels (Insanity: leaving my best towels for other people), matching my underwear (not easy, my bra size is above 42DDD), taking relaxing baths (rarely take them), exercising, facials, etc.

These tips helped me focus and make tough decisions. Practicing my strategies consistently, keeps me at my best. At the end of the day, I know I did all I could to take care of me. And I love it!  


Dawn is currently looking for a new career and lives in 
Plainfield, NJ with her husband and two schnauzers.  



Erica D. Kelly


Women are major culprits for placing themselves last or at the very bottom of their "To Do" list. By nature most women are nurturing and caring beings; so we instinctively tend to others before we tend to ourselves. "Self-sacrifice" seems to be our daily mantra.  There's nothing wrong with taking care of others but we do that best when we first take care of ourselves. Balance and prioritizing are key. There's nothing wrong with making "you" a priority and placing yourself at the top of the list occasionally. But make sure YOU are on the list!


Prioritizing gives a sense of accomplishment and that what we do matters. We function and cope better mentally, emotionally, and physically when we prioritize. The question then becomes, "Are you a priority on your to do list?" Better yet, "Are you even on your to do list?" Here's what I want you to do:

  • Add yourself to that list and make you a regular part of that list. Do something for "you". Allot a reasonable amount of time to relax and enjoy time with yourself (you are worthy of at least 30-minutes from your day).
  • Take an energizing walk around your neighborhood. You may run into a fellow neighbor and "sister-friend" with whom you can re-connect and trade-off the latest recipes! Perhaps you'll even meet a new sister-friend!
  • How about going to the Nail Salon for a "mani/pedi" and try that new eye-popping color that's in this season! You've been planning to use that Spa Gift Certificate you've had buried in your bag for...how long now?
  • Who'd like to be the first for a change to lie down on the clean and freshly laid linen you placed on the bed? Go ahead and light that new lemon-spice scented candle you've set aside one too many times. Let it take you adrift to that mental paradise as it permeates throughout the room.
  • Try www.livingsocial.com  and www.groupon.com for great deals on new & exciting or even old & familiar activities. 
Come on ladies, its okay to take that walk and RE-ENERGIZE, go to that nail salon or spa and REVITALIZE, lie down on that freshly made bed and RELAX, and do whatever it is that makes you PUT YOURSELF FIRST! 

Erica D. Kelly is an accomplished writer and proud 
Editor of the For My Sister Friends Newsletter JOURNEY.
beautifro 2



Rosalyn Byers


In my early twenties, I owned a small boutique called Dazzle New York Fashions in Melbourne FL. To save money, I lived in the back of my store and my life was going quite well. I would get up a few hours early to hit the gym before opening the store. At night, I would get dolled up, go out on the town to market my business and have fun. I had the life any young lady would be happy to have; no children, money, popularity, dazzling clothes and plenty of male friends to cater to all my needs.


It all changed when my mom, sister (and her baby) came to live with me. My space suddenly became over crowded. The time set aside to exercise transitioned to family taxi duty. In addition to the changes, I had to rent a house to shelter everyone and my fun single life came to an end. After a few months passed, hardship hit me like a ton of bricks. The rent was due on both places and bills were coming in faster than the money. I became stressed and depressed because I put everyone else's needs ahead of my own.


Eventually, the family returned to North Carolina.  Remember my boutique? Well, I had thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise that I liquidated for pennies. After everyone left, I was left with no business to run, no apartment, no money, no fun. Ultimately, I too moved back to North Carolina to live with my brother because I had nothing left. The happy world that I had created was gone.


Now that I am older and wiser, I realized there were a few lessons learned from this experience: never put anyone first before myself or business again; no one will be there to give you anything when you are broke; do not sacrifice your time or business or your needs before anyone, and I mean anyone and do you first, everything else will fall in place.


Rosalyn Byers is a mom, entrepreneur and President/CEO of Beautifro All Natural Products. To learn more about her products, please visit 


First Place

I'm In First Place

Tina C. Hines


Have you ever wanted to put yourself in first place to satisfy your emotional needs but often felt 
second or third (behind family and friends) was fine? As a spouse, parent, daughter and friend, you 
are the person your loved ones call because they know you will get the job done. But, what would happen if your focus was placed on your emotional needs and physical needs? What would happen if you put yourself in first place? Actually that sounds nice, "I come first!" 
You are not the only woman who felt it was okay to be in second or third place when it comes to your loved ones; However, today feel inspired to put You in first place. Spend time satisfying your emotional needs and your physical needs by doing activities you enjoy. Experience a new hobby; just do nothing. The key is pressing the pause button (or stop button if you are really determined) for your loved ones and press play for you. 
Don't be surprised when others join you for the race. They want to experience what you are experiencing - First Place. Now you are the leader of the First Place Club and your loved ones have recognized that you are taking care of you first. This First Place Club you have started is for anyone who is tired of placing their emotional needs and physical needs behind the needs of others. 
When you and your loved ones begin to recognize the changes that occur when you put yourself first, you will wonder what took you so long to get here. 
You are running a race. Guess who is in first place... YOU!! 


 Tina C. Hines is a Life Transformation Specialist and the President of For My Sister Friends. For more information on Tina visit www.tinachines.com.   

Later Sister Friends! 

We aspire change, growth, self-empowerment and the betterment of self. With putting yourself first, we know it is not always easy to make the transition. However, we hope after reading some of the stories of your sister friends you will feel inspired. The change does not occur overnight. However, in time the change will happen and it will feel good to put yourself first.

We welcome you, our sister friends, to join us by sharing one of your stories in a one of our future newsletters. The Journey is about you, me and the rest of our sister friends. As we prepare for the children to return to school, the September issue of The Journey will focus on "Back To School." If you have a story to share about preparing your children or yourself for the new school year, be inspired to share it in our newsletter. To submit your article, visit www.formysisterfriends.org and complete the contact us section.
      ~Be Inspired & Inspire Someone~

Ready for our next issue?

Our September issue will be themed: "Back to School." Tell your Sister Friends how you get back into the school groove during this time of year. We are looking for how to's on getting the kids back on track, tips and tricks for organizing and scheduling, and YOUR Inspiring stories of returning to school, whether you finally got that Diploma, Masters Degree, continuing education, or began studying for a career change. Submissions due on or before FRIDAY AUGUST 17, 2012 Subject Line Should read: "Back to School"