Archive of ‘Inspiring Stories’ category

Motivation Monday: Birmingham artist offers African-American themed Christmas wrapping paper

Curly Contessa wrapping paper was created by Birmingham graphic artist Kristin Farmer. It features watercolor images of five women with natural hair. Farmer created the images. (Photo credit: Special)

Curly Contessa wrapping paper was created by Birmingham graphic artist Kristin Farmer. It features watercolor images of five women with natural hair. Farmer created the images. (Photo credit: Special)

By Chanda Temple

Birmingham graphic designer and watercolor artist Kristin Farmer has launched a holiday wrapping paper line that embraces girls with curls.

Known as Curly Contessa, the wrapping paper features five watercolor images of African-American women with natural hair. Farmer, who’s natural, painted the women. She included herself in one of the images.

Farmer rolled out the wrapping paper this month. And already, consumer interest has been rolling in for her.

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Motivation Monday: How burgers, bundt cakes and broken pieces made my birthday

Burgers, bundt cakes and broken pieces are a good combo for a birthday.

Burgers, bundt cakes and broken pieces are a good combo for a birthday.

By Chanda Temple

For the last few years, I’ve treated my birthday like any other day.

No fanfare. No cake. No song and dance.

While friends offered to take me out, I dismissed the invites, saying, “Thank you. You are so sweet, but I’m working on my birthday.” It wasn’t that I dreaded getting older, it was just that I looked at my birthday as another day. No biggie.

This year, I took a different approach. I saw my birthday as the big deal it was. I welcomed it with open arms. That move has been the best decision I’ve made so far in 2017.

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Winning is what happens when you have hope and faith

Ramsay High School Coach Reuben Nelson (Photo: Via Facebook)

Ramsay High School Coach Rueben Nelson Jr.  (Photo: Via Facebook)

By Chanda Temple 

After a 36-year absence, varsity football returned to Birmingham’s Ramsay High School in 2012.

But the stats looked bleak. Ramsay won only one game that year. One.

Coach Rueben Nelson Jr. never let the losses discourage him, though. He knew greater things were coming.

“It was rough, but we kept going,” Nelson said. “I would always tell them (the team) to keep working, keep working, keep working.”

And work, they did.

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Stop waiting for everything to be so dang perfect

 

Hard word takes dedication.

Hard word takes dedication.

 

 

By Chanda Temple

As women, we feel the need to have everything perfect. And if it’s not perfect, we won’t proceed. That even comes down to our blogs. If our websites are not perfect, if our photos are not perfect, if our products are not perfect, yada, yada, yada, we won’t launch it. We’ll keep it close to the vest and wait until it’s perfect before we share it with others.

Well, stop trying to make everything so dang perfect. “Sometimes, good is good enough,” a woman said on a blogging webinar I tuned in to tonight. ‘’The most important thing is to act.”

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Motivation Monday: Don’t whine for it. Grind for it.

In life, there will be disappointments, some of which will make you feel like crying. But the best way to bounce back is to dry those tears, pick yourself up and figure out a new way to make your flop fly. Don't whine for it. Grind for it.

In life, there will be disappointments, some of which will make you feel like crying. But the best way to bounce back is to dry those tears, pick yourself up and figure out a new way to get to your happy. It will be hard to start again. But know this: You must. When you feel like stopping, remember why you started. It wasn’t to fall flat and hang low with the pigeons. It was to soar and fly high with the eagles. This, you can do.   (Image by Dustin Iskandar via Flickr)

 

 

 

Are you ready to jump?

Fear is the best motivator. Do it scared.

Fear is the best motivator. Do it scared. Your gift will make room for you.

 

By Chanda Temple 

A few days ago, a friend was at a crossroads as he debated what to do next in his career.

He wanted to play it safe by staying in his current position instead of branching out and starting his own business. Unsure of what to do, another friend suggested he watch a popular video by talk show host and Family Feud game show host Steve Harvey. In it, Harvey challenges his Family Feud audience to jump off the cliff of life into their destiny when they are contemplating a major move.

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It’s so hard to say, ‘Goodbye,’ again

Lywanda Lynn Barnes Brown was a beloved daughter, wife, mother, sister, cousin, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. member, University of Alabama graduate and friend. (Photo by Chanda Temple)

Lywanda Lynn Barnes Brown was a beloved daughter, wife, mother, sister, cousin, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. member, University of Alabama graduate and friend. (Photo by Chanda Temple)

 

By Chanda Temple 

My sorority sisters and I recently gathered to celebrate our membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., which we joined 25 years ago while students at the University of Alabama.

It was good to see so many sorors and recall our time when we became “sisters” in DST.  But one thing missing during our reunion was our No. 21, our tail dog, Lywanda Lynn Brown Barnes. She died in 2010, shortly after giving birth to her third child. Her death was a shock to us all. We loved her so.

As we planned our reunion earlier this year, there were discussions on how we’d remember Lynn. Would we release balloons, put flowers on her grave, include a tribute on our T-shirts, something else? It was decided that one of the things we’d do would be to put flowers on her grave. Sorors ordered a beautiful bouquet of red roses and violets, taking them to every event we attended that weekend. On the last day of our reunion, I volunteered to place the arrangement on her grave.

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Hello, October!

OK, folks. We are at the start of a new month. In fact, this is the last quarter of 2016. For all those times you said, "2016 is gonna be my year because I'm gonna ...," did you really do what you promised yourself you would do? Well, it's not too late. I challenge you to dust off those ideas or revisit whatever it is you want to do and go for it - now. There's still time. The only thing stopping you is you. And when you get to a point when you feel like quitting or nothing is working out, remember this: "Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end." Here's to your happy ending.

OK, folks. We are at the start of a new month. In fact, this is the last quarter of 2016. For all those times you said, “2016 is gonna be my year because I’m gonna …,” did you really do what you promised yourself you would do? Well, it’s not too late. I challenge you to dust off those ideas or revisit whatever it is you want to do and go for it – now. There’s still time. The only thing stopping you is you. And when you get to a point when you feel like quitting or nothing is working out, remember this: “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” Here’s to your happy ending.

 

 

Let your work, not your words, speak for you.

There are people always interested in what you do and ready to criticize you for working long hours or so much. It happens to me - a lot. When they ask me about my work, I keep it moving. I say, "Yes, I work long hours. Yes, I work hard. Yes, I love what I do.'' Then, I get back to work. I know my goals and what I want to accomplish in life. Those naysayers are not on my list, so I don't let their comments take me off course. So, if you are getting feedback that you work too hard, ignore the naysayers. They are not going where you are and that's to the top.

There are people always interested in what you do and ready to criticize you for working long hours or so much. It happens to me – a lot. When they ask me about my work, I keep it moving. I say, “Yes, I work long hours. Yes, I work hard. Yes, I love what I do.” Then, I get back to work. I know my goals and what I want to accomplish in life. Those naysayers are not on my list, so I don’t let their comments take me off course. So, if you are getting feedback that you work too hard, ignore the naysayers. They are not going where you are and that’s to the top.

Being bold is the best payoff

Being bold is what gets you noticed. But you know what? It's hard to step out, stand up and get noticed. It's easier to take the road of the less resistance and just sit back in the cut for things to happen. But "sitting back'' is the lazy way out. Nothing happens. Things remain the same. Action is what brings about change. So, if you've been thinking about doing something to bri

Being bold is what gets you noticed. But you know what? It’s hard to take that first step to get to your next, especially if you are shy. It’s much easier to just sit back in the cut for things to happen. But “sitting back” is not an option. Nothing happens. And when nothing happens, your drive remains dormant and will eventually die. Action is what brings about change. So, if you’ve been thinking about doing something, anything, just do it. Be bold and go for it. The worse that can happen is that someone tells you no or you fail. But that’s OK. You just get up and keep going until someone says, “Yes.” Because, one day, someone will. 

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