our July FAB Woman of the Month!

Victoria Moran of Los Angeles, CA is this month’s FAB Woman of the Month and we were SUPER excited that this busy wife, mother, loyal girlfriend, and psychotherapist was able to squeeze us into her schedule to share pieces of her journey, inspirations, lessons learned, and a few laughs. She has been recognized nationally in her field and is currently completing a pre-doctoral internship at Stanford University as one of the final requirements of her clinical psychology doctoral program at Pepperdine University in an effort to pursue her “calling” in transmute trauma while juggling family, friends, and fun, making her truly FABULOUS. Click here to read the full interview in it’s entirety…

Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most?

Harriet Tubman, hands down is my biggest influence. She did not have any extraordinary characteristics like extreme wealth or resources like perfect health. What set her apart was her dogged persistence, as well as her extraordinary courage. Harriet Tubman did not rest once she attained her own freedom, rather she kept on facing danger – she kept on returning to the South to free more slaves. More of her sisters and brothers (both metaphorically and literally).

Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?

My circumstances of having faced my mortality at 39 years old, recently married (for 2 years), and with a 1-year old child largely determined my present trajectory. I had a lot of time on my hands as I underwent multiple surgeries for my breast cancer diagnosis, as well as for my disposition of having the breast cancer gene (BRCA1). I used that time while I was going through 16 chemotherapy treatments to study for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). It was a welcomed distraction from being so sick that I had to crawl at times because I could not walk. Also, while undergoing chemotherapy and recovering from multiple surgeries the question loomed “WHAT NOW?” I had literally been given a second chance at life… As a sophomore in college at Howard University, I was the recipient of fabulous psychotherapy when my mother (also a BRCA1 breast cancer survivor) was diagnosed with cancer. Years later my circumstances inspired my own Harriet Tubman moment, “going back into the danger” by deciding to do what was done for me (transmute trauma), both in 1989 when my mother was diagnosed, and in 2009 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being a doctoral student and psychotherapist at Stanford University is very much a “full circle” moment for me.

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As a woman pursuing a career in psychology, what has surprised you the most? 

I need to address the intersection of being an African-American woman before I can fully answer that question.  I would have thought that there would be more African-American female Clinical Psychologists (at present). We need more women of color (not just African Americans). The multi-cultural realities due to globalization necessitate a diversity of voices at the table. I see clients from Valenzuela, Russia, Yemen, Tunisia, Mongolia, Japan, Australia, France, England, India, China, Iran, Argentina, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt, Mexico, and of course the United States. We need practitioners with increasing cultural sensitivities to be present at the table to transmute the trauma of students that may have lived and are continuing to live a “global existence.”

How has your personal journey impacted you as a business woman?

I was my mother’s primary caretaker during and in the aftermath of her being diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2000 – 2001. I was known for my “sense of calm” when I was working in Corporate America as a Regional Software Manager. The yelling (which sometime included profanity; more often than not) and the pressures to attain certain financial benchmarks paled in what ego strength it took to be by my mother’s bedside as she faced her mortality. Nothing has ever been as difficult – including undergoing 7 major surgeries/ 16 chemotherapy treatments in my personal journey towards health. Being my mother’s primary caretaker tempered me in ways that I could not imagine. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer (in 2009), I can still remember hugging my physician Dr. Dhir (that was wearing a camel colored cashmere sweater); and telling her that I was grateful for this “gift in embryo.” When she looked at me quizzically – I said “problems are gifts in embryo.” When I am faced with problems, I still express gratitude and ask “what is the opportunity in disguise” that this problem is bringing me. So many people in the public sphere solely delineate problems. If you are an individual that can go pass simply delineating the problem; and also concurrently outline a solution – you will be valued. I try not to voice my discontent until I can speak in a voice that is solution/remedy oriented.  In that way, you will become a voice that is sought after verses a voice that is shunned.

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Are you finding that women’s mental health issues are changing/have changed over the years due to more and more women becoming business owners, executives, heads of households, political leaders, etc.?

I think that generations (of women) living completely different lives than their mothers/grandmothers is a story as old as time. I was in first grade when the miniseries “Roots” played on television to U.S. audiences that sat mesmerized nightly.  My parents, brother, and myself cried when they held the baby up to the stars.  That very action let you know that the next generation was the “hope and the dream” of the slave(s); even though our ancestors may not know the exact trajectory of our journey(s).  When I am at the library and I see the sun rise the next morning (having stayed up all night studying), I rest knowing that my maternal grandmother is in heaven rejoicing in me hurdling myself towards opportunities that were not laid before her. We would think it is child abuse (in the U.S.) to take a child out of school at 13 years old to clean homes (my maternal grandmother’s personal narrative).  Hopefully (in the same vein), we will recognize the institutional racism and or sexism only to have a handful of women in corporate settings, educational settings, political settings, etc.  My hope is that my 8-year old daughter will not continue my trajectory of having to be one of the “only” women of color in her respective setting(s).  If she is however, I will inoculate her to what it is like to be one of the “only” in a setting like Valerie Jarrett (whom my daughter just heard speak 5/2017 at Spelman College’s graduation), Michelle Obama, Mae Jemison, and so many others.

Our (my daughter and my) theme for 2017 is BNP: “Bold not Perfect” and “Brave not Perfect.”  So many women want to wait until the things are “perfect” – until they are “not afraid.”  I continually encourage my clients/ daughter/ myself to “do it anyway!”  I cite the books: Confidence Code, Getting to 50/50, Daring Greatly, Aint I a Woman, Womanist and Mujerista Psychologies: Voices of Fire, Acts of Courage; as references in my encouragement.

I also find that many of my female clients (across various settings) tend to blame themselves which is different from being “self-reflective.” The men on a whole blame their “contextual circumstances.”  Part of my work with my female clients, by in large, is to help them “contextualize” their circumstances…affirm the personal as well as the professional circumstances that have allowed for their success, as well as to accept the inherent awe that they are thriving where the air is rare even if doing so means to always have to be ready (conceptually ready) to reach for an oxygen mask.

What are 3 guiding principals that have helped you along the way?

  1. I always try to do my best. I convey this by how hard I am willing to work, as well as by explicitly stating that “I am trying my best.”  Often, I find women expect others to see that they are working their hardest/creatively focused without explicitly stating so.  Men, on the other hand, often explicitly state the work that they are doing.  I have learned over time, to both try my hardest and to explicitly state my efforts.
  2. I try to have a 1:1 relationship between what I say and what I do. In short, I try to be authentic.  In a world filled with people content with being an echo, you will stand out BOTH if you have the courage to be yourself, as well as the strength to have a LINEAR relationship between your intentions and your actions.
  3. Be a team player and don’t be afraid to take credit for what you do.  This also involves THANKING people continuously for their input.  Often I find people equate weakness with sharing the limelight.  It is quite the opposite – it shows that you are grounded in who you are and knowledgeable in what you represent when you can literally and metaphorically share the limelight.  It is a sign of a weak and or novice leader when the dialogue revolves exclusively around “ME and I.”

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How do you balance the demands of your professional life (work/career) and your personal life (family and self-care)?

To be a wife and mother AND be present in any capacity while taking full-time classes and maintaining a full-time therapy/assessment practice does not always result in “balance.”  I make a conscience effort to counter my tremendously busy seasons at work with days where I completely unplug, work from bed in my pajamas, and spend deliberate time with my family like weekly date nights with my husband and stay-cations.  This may be heresy to admit in public, but I think that balance is over-rated. I believe that living in alignment is a better sought after goal.  I am not living a balanced life if I pull an all-nighter once a week for the duration of my doctoral program (which I did weekly while I was taking FT classes 2011 – 2015).  However, I am living an exuberant life that is in ALIGNMENT with my goals.  When my father retired he was one of 250 people in the U.S. that owned a multi-vendor automobile dealership.  To do so, I grew up in an opulently beautiful home that often my Dad was “absent” from.  He exuberantly lived his life because it was in alignment with his goals.  I asked him once if he was going to “take off” on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.  My Dad laughed and exclaimed that being a black man that is the owner of his own auto dealership is exactly what MLK, Jr. would have wanted.

What do you hope to inspire in others?

To live a life without limitations! BNP: Bold not perfect, and Brave not perfect. “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway!”  Also if you want to do something “cutting edge” you may not have any role models.  Do it anyway!!!

People thought I was crazy to start an ambitious doctoral journey (still bald from my cancer treatments when I took the GRE and not yet done with my required surgeries for being a BRCA1 breast cancer survivor.  I did it anyway.  There are some that thought I was crazy for marrying in 2007, after my first relationship ended in such a disastrous way in 2000.  I got married anyway.  Some thought a 75-100% travel schedule as a Regional Software Sales manager was crazy; especially traveling to territories that were predominantly white male enclaves.  I did it anyway and posted record sales results.

In short, utilize your fear to energize you!  Don’t run from your fear.  Each and every time I ran away due to fear; not towards something in spite of my fear I regretted it. Do it anyway.  Just like Harriet Tubman went on to lead slaves to freedom, again and again and again as an ordinary citizen.  Each of us in our ordinariness is still equipped to do extraordinary things!

What does living a FABULOUS life mean to you?

Living a FABULOUS life means that I am living a life that has choices.  That enables me to rest, to savor, and to serve others: while exponentially growing.  Living a FABULOUS life means that I ENERGIZE with my attentions, and I TRANSFORM with my intentions, Living a FABULOUS life means that I look at problems as “opportunities/ gifts in embryo form.”  Living a FABULOUS life means that I am willing to live BOLDLY not perfectly.  And that I am willing to live BRAVELY not perfectly.  Living a FABULOUS life means that I am willing to have my life serve as a template for success in which others can follow.

Run Towards The Fear – Vickie Moran

Leave questions and comments below.  If you want to get in touch with our FAB Woman of the Month, let us know!

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Mixology: Our Favorite DIY Summer Cocktails

I must share the love of these refreshing cocktails that are simply FAB!  Not only are they pretty but they taste DELISH.  Super simple to make…and let’s be real, if you’re crazy busy like me, then this is criteria #1, and they taste waaaaay better then those powder-based or pre-mixed drinks at the store.  Add 1, 2, or all of these easy-to-make drinks to your spirit survival list this summer and impress your guests, create a signature drink for your next shindig, or unwind alone or with Bae after a long day.  And of course, if you’ll be taking your cool creations on the road to the beach, music festival, picnic or whatever, we’ve got the PERFECT drinkware for you!  Let us know your favs…I’ll be making a few of these with my girls at our next “wine”down. Cheers!

1. Pineapple Rum Punch

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You may already have your go-to party punch favs but here’s another quick and easy refreshing one that you can quickly whip up on a hot day or for family and friends. You’ll need 3 cups of chilled Canada Dry® Ginger Ale, 3 cups of pineapple juice, 1 cup of Malibu Rum and fresh pineapple chunks (optional) for garnish.  Simply add the ginger ale, pineapple juice and rum over ice and serve with skewers of fresh pineapple chunks as garnish.

2. Pink Grapefruit Mojito

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It’s no secret that a glass of wine, preferably a nice Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir, will probably always be my drink of choice.  But when it comes to cocktails, my favs tend to be well-made mojitos are slight variations.  I discovered this recipe about a year ago on Pinch of Yum and this puckery perfection with limes, mint and of course, yummy pink grapefruit juice sweetened with honey remains in heavy rotation. I think you’ll love it!

3. Bourbon Mint Lemonade

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You don’t have to be a whiskey drinker to LOVE this yummy adult lemonade. AND it only requires 3 ingredients: bourbon, mint and Simply Lemonade juice drink.  Mix up a pitcher for your next summer BBQ or girls night in for a light and refreshing cocktail.

4. Peach Moscato Wine Slushies

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Just grab a bottle of your favorite sweet dessert wine, some fresh peaches (or your favorite fruit), powdered sugar and boom…you will have a SUPER refreshing cocktail! An added bonus is that you can make it ahead of time, freeze it, and have cool drinks ready to go in no time.  Make it a virgin by using sparkling white grape juice.  Click here to get the full recipe from Divas Can Cook.

5. Skinny Lime Margaritas 

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First things first…you only need 4 main ingredients to make this margarita on the rocks and guess what, there is no Triple Sec or processed sugar! If you’re like me and you love margaritas but hate how sugary and processed they tend to be, then you’ll love that this cocktail only includes natural ingredients: 1 mint, 1/2 cup lime juice, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 shot of tequila + 1 cup water, ice and salt (to rim the glass if you like).  Simply combine everything starting with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (add more if you like it sweeter).  Then whisk together and pour over ice into two glasses. Garnish with fresh mint and salt the rims (optional).  Perfect for Taco Tuesdays and only about 100 calories per serving.

6. Strawberry Rosé Sangria

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If it’s summertime, then you must have Sangria on your cocktail list! This sangria recipe from Jennifer Meyering has a little bit of a twist because it includes lemon-lime soda and vodka in addition to your favorite bottle of rosé wine which makes a light, refreshing, fruity drink that’s not too sweet. I love it!

7. Pineapple Coconut Mojito

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This island treat includes 2 tbsp lime juice, 1/2 cup La Croix lime sparkling water, one 6-oz can pineapple juice, 4 oz Rum and a 1/2 cup coconut water.  Add the lime to the coconut juice then add the other ingredients and shake it all up.  That’s it!  You can give yourself a mini-vacation anytime. Serves 2.

Betrayal By Poetry

We love supporting local artists and this past weekend, we were SUPER excited to support our beloved Eric Byrd of Story Byrd Productions in the debut of his first stage play, Betrayal By Poetry.  Eric’s vibrant poems and the 6 member cast that brought his words to life took us on an AWESOME ride of highs and lows with laugh-out-loud comedy as well as tender moments that made us reflect and think.  Remember, you heard it from us first…we predict that not only will Eric Byrd and Story Byrd Productions produce many more FAB projects in the future, but we also predict that we’ll see a second round of Betrayal By Poetry coming to a theatre near you so DON’T MISS OUT.

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As a sponsor of the event, all ticket holders got to walk away with two thank you notes from our popular Thanks Shirt Notecard and Hey Thanks Notecard sets.  We appreciate all of the FAB feedback and LOVE we received for these sweet notes.  We were thrilled that we could share some FABULOSITY with guests in support of a great event.  #thankful #weknewhimwhen

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Met Gala Hairstyle Crushes

As always, when it comes to FAB fashion, this year’s Met Gala did not disappoint!  So much style inspiration in the forever-fashionable NYC but let’s not forget the hair.  These artful dos had me screaming yaaaaaaaas!

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Zendaya. Yes, of course her Dolce & Gabbana gown is beautiful but let’s keep it completely real…it’s the compliment of her big voluptuous natural hair that makes her style aesthetic eye-catching perfection.

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Thandie Newton.  With creole earrings, smoky eye make-up perfection and a flower adorned headpiece, this FAB mother of three keeps your attention from head to toe.

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Cara Delevingne amped up the buzz-cut she’s rocking for her role in Life in a Year with metallic silver paint for a dramatic futuristic look that makes her an elegant sci-fi fashion fantasy come true.

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Lala Anthony.  You know how you always want to look fierce on the day that you run into your ex no matter how long it’s been?  Well even though this fashion statement is all about Lala looking simply FAB and being “Unbreakable” (as described in her Instagram photo above), we still have two words… MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

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Rita Ora. I’ll admit that her beautiful bling drew me in close but it was her edgy textured hair that became the conversation piece.  LOVE this brilliant hair design by César DeLeön Ramirez.

the FAB Team

Black Girl Magic: 20 FAB Coachella Looks

If it’s spring, then it’s time for Coachella 2017!  Every year thousands head to the small desert town, Indio, for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and we’re no different.  Even though this modern day Woodstock features some of the world’s top bands and music artists, we are all about the fashion.  From bold expressions of style to the coolest carefree get-ups, here are some FAB looks we loved.

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the FAB Team

FABULOSITY…

We’re celebrating Black Poetry Day with a FAB poem created for us by Writer/Poet/Artist Eric D. Byrd of Story Byrd Productions about FABULOSITY of course. Check it out…

Fabulosity can be in many forms.

Mixed matched or uniformed.

Fashion forward or slightly worn.

Vintage pieces or fabrics torn.

Even FADS were once FAB.

The next big thing you gotta have.

And that’s just the fashion sense.

Not to mention the present tense.

Of feeling fabulous in fabulousness.

A state of mind of awesomeness.

Fabulosity in all regards, personally speaking and afar.

We marvel at the superb notion,

that “fabulous” is just fashion focus.

Fabulosity can bring many meanings.

It’s more than the visual that your seeing.

It’s the beauty inside of us that’s living and breathing.

 

Fashion + Charity @ NYFW 2016

We LOVE fashion so naturally NYFW is one of the most anticipated times of the year!  What we love even more is GIVING BACK and supporting social causes.  Check out FIVE FAB initiatives from NYFW that thrilled us with fashion and PURPOSE.

Jeans for Refugees by Johny Dar

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Who doesn’t love a good pair of jeans?  What if your prized denim could work overtime by also doing something good for a great cause… well Jeans for Refugees have created a FAB way to do just that. One hundred celebrities donated a pair of jeans to be hand painted by Johny Dar and then auctioned online at catawiki.com/JeansForRefugees where the proceeds will be donated to the International Rescue Committee  to help refugees around the world. Photo credit: Getty

ACL: Celebrate the Imperfections

In honor of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, ACL PR & Marketing hosted an inaugural pop-up installation featuring fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands that embody the beaches of Brazil to “celebrate imperfections.”  As firm believers that we are all FAB by Design, we absolutely relate to this event that celebrates imperfections during a week that is all about fashion and beauty. Jordana Guimaraes, the founder of ACL Fashion Week, believes that “the Paralympic athletes are the most inspirational because they’ve taken what is considered to be a deficiency and turned it into a strength, making them a stronger person.”

 

Charity Day 2016

During the heart of NYFW on September 12th there was an equally busy effort going on in NYC that included dozens of celebrities and spotlights but had absolutely nothing to do with fashion, and that was Charity Day 2016.  Every year Cantor Fitzgerald and the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund commemorate the more than 650 friends, colleagues and employees of their firm who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 by distributing 100% of their global revenues on Charity Day to the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and dozens of charities around the world.  This year, Charity Day raised about $12 million and this event has raised approximately $137 million since it’s inception. Needless to say, what they’ve done to turn such a tragic event into an effort that will positively impact so many people around the globe is simply AMAZING.

 

KARMA for a cure® by Margaux

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Designer Margaux, winner of the 2014 Neiman Marcus Women Who Make Noise Style Contest, allowed us to escape into a world of travel & leisure with her Chasing Sunsets 2017 Collection held aboard a 160ft yacht during NYFW all while giving back. 10% of her proceeds are donated to cancer research and environmental causes in honor of her father Freddy, who lost his battle with cancer in 2015. Photo credit: Instagram @karmaforacure.

 

Rising Stars of New York Fashion

This 7th Annual NYFW Fashion for Charity Event hosted by Supermodel Georgie Badiel benefits her foundation that focuses on empowering young women and girls through water.  The FAB event held at the DL Rooftop in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side featured collections by Ferret Campos Designs, Olga Parkers Jewelry, and Peter Curti who showcased two collections, Unity Vintage Jeans Co. and his recently launched women’s evening wear brand, House of Peter James.  Every dollar that is contributed to the Georgie Badiel Foundation goes to digging wells, water treatment facilities and education for women and children in Burkina Faso.

the FAB Team