Thursday, August 31, 2017

Introducing Jerl Ferguson - Simply Cindy's Newest Team Member

It's my pleasure and honor to introduce Jerl Ferguson, who joined my team as a Recruiter.

Jerl attended Roosevelt Jr. and Sr, high school, in Roosevelt, NY. He attended Consortium College in upstate New York. He's currently training in substance abuse under Rev. Anthony Bryant from Great Escape, in New York.  Jerl also works for Cota, Counsel on Thought and Action, and District Attorney Initiative, dealing with outreach, gang prevention, and domestic violence. 

He has seven brothers and five sisters. Jerl likes all sports including basketball, baseball, boxing, and stickball. He also likes the 60s, and the 70s Rock Pop and R&B music.

Please help me welcome Jerl to the Simply Cindy Blog team and to our blogging community!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sticky Notes!

‘Sticky Notes…Sticky Situations
Daily Dose of ?!?!’
Happy New School Year!

Well, it’s officially a new school year and students, administration, bus drivers, custodians, and even parents are back in session for another interesting, zany, crazy year!

New school parents are dropping off their little precious babies for the first time in PreK to the rising Seniors who are about to exit with tassels ready to be turned.The year can be full of surprises, good or challenging. There are so many ways to make your school year productive, energetic, and fluid if you are willing to follow these few tips.

1.      Meet your child’s teacher! No matter if they are in 2nd grade or 12th grade. Take the time to introduce yourself with your contact information and let your local educator know that you are concerned with your child's education. It speaks volumes!

2.     Let your child know that you are on one accord with her/his teacher and you will stay in constant contact even via social media if need be! Communication is very vital!

3.     Get to know the school. It may seem like a lot, but your child will be spending the majority of their educational career in that building. Get to know the Librarian, Administration Team, Custodians, Crossing Guards, Bus Drivers, any one that is part of the education team, you need to know the face, name, and position. Please understand, this is not to ‘make trouble’ but this is to build a positive and healthy relationship within the community.

4.     Support your child’s school. You may not be able to sell the candy bars or attend every PTA meeting due to work or prior engagements, but the school year begins in August and ends in June….throughout the year, your child and teacher should know that you support it one way or another. Don’t be afraid to show your beautiful face :)

5.     Plan! Plan! Plan! Get the school calendar and find out dates of upcoming events. This will help with the financial cost (those $5.00 dances can add up fast) and provide adequate time to participate without the frustration of scrounging up that $5.00 at the last moment. Trust me, it will be a great investment for the year.

Stay connected for more tips on having a great year and more!
Until next time, remember to get a daily dose of laughter & love.

Sticky Notes by Trinette Collier Greene
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday! Cindy

Dear Reader - I am the owner of Simply Cindy blog. Today, I didn't have a testimony from another to share so I decided to post one of my own past writings. Nothing will stop me from doing the Lord's work so if no one shares a testimony - I'll step in and share one of mine, never a problem; nothing will derail the mission.

The White Room

I had a dream that I’d like to share with you. I need you to use your imagination to visualize what I’m about the share.

Envision something like a child’s jungle gym. Visualize a leaning ladder to climb up on. In the center of this apparatus is a hanging cage that swings back and forth. On the side of that is a ledge/platform that you must jump to, from the cage, to walk through the door at the end of the ledge/platform.

Here’s my dream…..

The room is completely white. I couldn’t see anything but the apparatus and the door I was to get to on the other side of the room. The dream starts out with me on the ladder. Always afraid of heights, I was scared to climb up. Suddenly, two young men speed up the ladder past me with ease. They both made it seem really easy to do all the challenges to get to the other side and exit. As I’m watching them, I’m thinking to myself, I can do this! I “will” do this!

I climbed the ladder, jumped onto the swinging cage but fear over took me once again when I realized I had to jump from there to the ledge. I couldn’t see anything below me, everything was completely “white”. I was afraid I’d fall off and I didn’t know what the outcome would be. While sitting on this cage, I dozed off. I awoke as my body jerked, as I was losing my grip on the cage.

Still afraid to jump to the ledge, I hear the voice of the Lord speak to me. The Lord told me to put my feet down and stand. Afraid, I did what the Lord told me to do. I didn’t know what my feet would touch, if anything, but I knew I trusted the Lord so I did as I was told. Once I put my feet down, I stood on solid ground. I couldn’t see it but it was there all along.

The Lord showed me that things aren’t always what they seem to be and that if I trust Him, He won’t allow me to get hurt. Have Faith and Stand was my message! Stand and wait on Him! He will see me through. He’ll come right on time, He will deliver me. All I have to do is STAND and have faith because, with Faith, I can do all things through Him.

In my dream, it was reinforced to me that I must “Wait on the Lord”. “Stand”. I must always trust that God has me covered at all times and the He won’t allow the enemy to deceive me by making me believe one thing when it’s actually another. I must always see the supernatural through God’s eyes and remain faithful and He will continue to bless me to see things and people for what they really are.


Introducing Simply Cindy's Newest Team Member - Theo Abbott

It's my pleasure and honor to introduce Theo Abbott, who joined my team as a Contributing Sports Writer.

Theo is the Program/Operations Manager at Kuoni Destination Management. He has over 15 years of extensive event planning & management, marketing, and brand experience. 

Theo grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina with Trinidadian roots. He has lived in Washington DC for the last 18 years with a love and enthusiasm for all that the area offers. Theo has also had the opportunity to travel around the world which gives him a global perspective. He has a true passion for many sports and regularly attends sporting events in the DC area and beyond. Theo is a huge Washington Redskins football fan who goes to games all the time. He enjoys watching football, basketball, tennis, soccer, boxing, swimming, gymnastics, volleyball, and track and field among other sports.

Theo is a graduate of Wake Forest University. He has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Marketing with a minor in Sociology. Theo looks forward to sharing his unique sports perspective via writings in Theo’s Sports Corner.

Please help me welcome Theo to the Simply Cindy Blog team and to our blogging community!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Emmanuel Barbee!


Emmanuel is a professional blogger, blogtalkradio host, an upcoming social entrepreneur and a new urban author of "The Solution For Black America: Reclaiming, Rebuilding, And Restoring The Urban Ghettos In America" second edition available on Amazon. His book is an autobiography about his experience growing up in the inner city of Chicago.

He wrote this book for three reasons. One - to raise awareness about the genocide which is taking place in our inner cities in America.

Another is to promote his virtual organization the Grass Roots Community Activist Movement. GRCAM will become a nonprofit and also a for profit service based business. It will have three main components: a social service component, a spiritual component, and a political component. Their focus is on providing goods and services to the low income African American community and working directly with single black mothers, single black fathers, and low income two parent families within the communities and cities they will serve.

Lastly, he wrote his book in order to generate capital/seed money so that he can hire thirty qualified individuals to assist him in the daily operation of his business. Emmanuel wants to make Chicago a model first before they expand to 10 other cities within 10 states. Once they're established in America he plans on having African Immigrants in America to assist him in setting up chapters in 10 countries in Africa.

Their mission is to end urban violence, poverty, structural inequality, institutionalized racism, and police brutality within the communities and cities they will serve if given a chance. His organization is open to all law abiding citizens, all racial groups, and undiscovered artist. This is his contribution back to his community and throughout the African Diaspora.

Emmanuel's Author Page on Amazon:

Friday, August 25, 2017

Mindset Matters

Leadership and Mindset is a time when one learns how to develop and grow. Leadership requires a certain type of character. Everyone is not a well-developed leader. I have found that leaders are developed through education and lived experiences.

In becoming a great leader self-development is one of the greatest points that you grow into and are able to be proactive in all of your determinations, encounters, and accomplishments. When an individual takes action to be proactive, he/she is no longer in a waiting area for success, it begins to happen. An individual takes steps into living an essential lifestyle by starting with the mindset to go out and make things happen. You may not achieve every goal you set, but as you develop a daily plan on achievable tasks, you are guaranteed to live a lifestyle of purpose.

Taking time to make a commitment to learn and educate your own success plan is the first step on the path to living your life by your own design. The key is a self-development mind.

Taking steps of a leadership begins with awareness of who you are and what are your values, beliefs and your purpose. You have to know who you are and what you want. Take time to remind yourself other people’s opinions of you are not who you represent as an individual of purpose.

When you seek true satisfaction you cannot manifest by chasing someone else’s dreams but collaborating is very rewarding when you understand your role and not pursue or desire to live someone else life.

Developing a mindset with a firm sense of whom you are, you can start planning, designing and pursuing your own identified goals and objectives. The experiences you have in life and business can have meaning, only if you truly comprehend them. The pathway to understanding can come only once you've attained some level of self-knowledge and fulfillment that comes directly from the positioning your mind on your own journey.

The mindset is key to the leader in you and community to which one lives. Leadership is the outcome of a life lead by example.

Mindset Matters by Cassandra Williams
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday! Wendy


Unapologetically living on PURPOSE with God's grace and embracing my New Rhythm after brain sugery! 

Last September on Labor Day, I was out with friends and out of no where, I got a really strange headache on the left side of my head...including my eye. At first I was like it's just to hot as we were on a rooftop... then I briefly questioned if I got a bad drink. After hanging out for a little bit longer I decided to go home, not telling my friends why, just saying I was going to spend time with my kids.

Once I got home, I washed up and got in the bed... totally in pain (I have a very high pain tolerance). Having the hardest time falling asleep, after two hours I gave in and took a 800 mg ibuprofen, which to my dismay, did absolutely nothing. This is when I KNEW something was really wrong, but I did not know what. The next morning on Tuesday I went to see my doctor. 

I had just lost my mom in June and for the first time, I had high blood pressure as a result of that stress. My pressure was high so my doctor associated the headache with that and gave me a shot (Cocktail) to reduce my pressure. He did advise me that if I didn't feel better to go to the Emergency Room. Bear with me, you can only understand the BLESSING if you understand the journey! On Wednesday, I drove myself to the Emergency Room where my blood pressure was over 200 so they triaged me as STROKE STATUS and got me in a bed right away. I got a "cocktail", had a CT Scan which revealed NOTHING, was monitored for a few hours, then sent home with a prescription.

I suffered through Wednesday, through Sunday. I was worried and confused about what was happening... knowing for sure that this was much more than high blood pressure or a headache. I felt like my left eye was being pulled out of its socket so I went back to the emergency room on Monday, September 12th. On this visit I saw a different doctor who did another CT Scan; this time with CONTRAST and found an acute aneurysm on my primary left brain artery!

I was whisked off to Emory... scared and completely confused, they were waiting for me! The testing, scanning, and medication began immediately. The aneurysm was so large that the risk was higher to remove it than it was to remove my artery. The catch was that removing the artery could cause me to stroke out or die! I laid under observation and medication to stroke out or die for several days. I had an awful reaction to morphine and that delayed the surgery a few days so I confined to wait on either a stroke or to die, but I KNEW that neither of those were God's plan for me.

My surgery was on September 20th, my daughter's birthday... I've never been that scared! Surgery lasted eight hours and I was in so much pain, but so grateful to be alive and see my family not have to bury another loved one in less than three months. My daughter's still had their mother, my husband his wife, father his daughter and sisters their sister.

They said recovery was going to be long, at least a year, as I also lost use of my left eye. I struggled for a few months but to God be the glory for his Grace and Mercy on me. I was of the mindset that He speared me so I had work to do. I pushed myself daily, challenging myself to get back to normal and then I realize that my normal was a new rhythm. Today I still have a long way to go, the side effects of brain surgery is real but I have nothing to complain about. My ANEURYSM to Ah New Rhythm journey continues as I remain committed to empowering myself and those that I am blessed with the opportunity to share with!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Introducing Simply Cindy's Newest Team Member - Patricia Hughes

It's my pleasure and honor to introduce Patricia Hughes, who joined my team as a Contributing Writer.

"Beautiful Custom Designed an affordable price!"

Patricia Hughes, born in Chicago IL, is a Professional Cake Designer and owns her own business "Pat's Pastry Palace" which services the Chicagoland area's Event Planner's, Catering Companies and the general public by providing beautiful custom designed cakes.

Patricia has been designing cakes for the last seven years with most of her business stemming from social media, repeated customers and referrals. She is a self-taught Cake Designer that has never taken a class outside of her Food & Sanitation Licence, she has a passion for baking, art, and design.

As a Graduate of East Aurora HS, after graduation, Patricia entered the Corporate world as an Executive Assistant and after 25 years she was laid off and decided not to return, instead, she launched her Cake Design business, became successful at doing so and hasn't looked back!

Take a peek at the website:

You'll find valuable information there along with some great examples of her work! You can also become a Fan of "Pat's Pastry Palace" on Facebook so feel free to visit and hit the "Like" button! Oh, and always remember to "Keep Calm.....and eat Cake!"

Patricia Hughes
Pat's Pastry Palace

Please help me welcome Patricia to the Simply Cindy Blog team and to our blogging community!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Angie


Angie Redmond is a figurative and portrait artist from Chicago, IL. She received her Masters of the Science degree in Digital Art from Knowledge Systems Institute in Skokie, IL and a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Studio Art (emphasizing in oil painting) from Albion College in Albion MI. 

It was during her final year of college where she met the professor who she credits for helping her develop her style of painting; Michael Dixon. Her pieces are representational, expressive, and contain both oil paintings and drawings.

Angie uses her personal experiences to focus her artwork on various social issues within a culture. For example, the subject of natural African American hair is a reoccurring theme within her art. Having natural hair herself, she's faced a lot of ridicule and negative views towards her coils. Drawing from those experiences, Angie creates paintings and drawings to celebrate natural hair for its unique distinctiveness and beauty.

It's the thick texture and vibrant colors of the oil paint and the love for the complexity of humanity that keeps the brush in her hand! She uses her personal narrative to honor her race and celebrate all of the human spirits.

Her artwork has been shown nationally in various museums, galleries, and universities ranging from Chicago, New York City, and Miami. She was a finalist in the first Rush Philanthropies Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. She also exhibited artwork in the 2015 Museum of Science and Industry Black Creativity and was voted winner of the Ultimate Painting Chicago Live Painting Competition.

Angie's inspired by people and the elements of life. Whenever she sees a person with their natural hair proudly on display or the various deep expressions given by individuals going through everyday life, she immediately envisions the beauty of their image on canvas. She is also inspired by her cousin, Rob Juice (a professional Jazz Entertainer). "He always encourages me and gives me creative ideas for my art." She's also inspired by the artwork of Kara Walker, Beverly McIver, Jenny Saville, Kehinde Wiley, and Michael Dixon.

What’s next for Angie? She's working on completing her new series entitled, “Never A Bad Hair Day”. This series is celebrating the natural hair movement and will be displayed at Albion College in Albion, MI in November 2017. She is also developing her own workshop where she will teach art lovers how to paint.

Angie wrote a children’s book that focuses on natural hair that she's working on finishing the illustrations for and getting published. Along with her paintings on canvas, she also has hand-painted clutches that she will be selling on Etsy. She's building her brand by starting a YouTube channel that focuses on her journey of building her art career.

Finally, Angie's searching for gallery representation nationally and internationally. She would love to show her paintings in Paris. Her favorite quote is “Impossible is Nothing” because it reminds her that anything she wants out of life, she can make it happen with prayer and hard work and that's exactly what she intends to do!

Angie's artwork is available for purchase by sending an inquiry email to All prospective buyers can visit her website to view more artwork. Prints may be purchased through and Follow Angie on social media to see what she's up to with her talent as a figurative artist.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Humbly Yours

Thank YOU, ABBA FATHER for another chance; for the opportunity to reach another. Thank YOU for growing me through and never letting me go! Speak LORD – YOUR servant -daughter is listening! Please use this pen to grow, edify and strengthen another as YOU grow, edify and strengthen me. And we will continue to give YOU all the Glory, all the Honour, and all the Praise, In the Mighty Name LORD JESUS! 

In all honesty, I have been a little apprehensive about this week’s submission. When I accepted this assignment from GOD through Cindy, my greatest concern was that I didn’t want to ‘get in the way’ of the message. Another was that ‘my’ feelings of the moment might not let me see that I am (standing in the way of the message). Then GOD reminded me that HE is using my story to assist in pulling someone else forward. That did not actually relieve my anxiety. But it did bring me face-to-face with the root of my ‘issue.’ My Fear.

Marianne Williamson addresses that topic with decisive firmness in the first lines of her poem entitled “Our Deepest Fear.” The first time I heard the poem was not when Nelson Mandela recited it at his inaugural address in 1994, but in a movie about a little girl winning a bunch of spelling bees. In the poem, Ms. Williamson identifies first, what our greatest fear is not. And for me she is correct. I don’t feel ‘in”-adequate. My son (and several others) can attest to that. When someone has said to me, “You’re a great mom,” I will quickly correct them with, “No – I’m just adequate.” But then I read the “Our Deepest Fear.” And it begs the question, “who am I NOT to be Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented and Fabulous? I read those words and I had to check myself, “As a matter of fact, Valerie – who are you NOT to be!?” I remind people every day that we are, according to 1Peter 2:9, a Royal Priesthood, a Chosen Generation. I am set apart for greatness and great things! Not by my power or my strength but by GOD’s Spirit! HE said so and I believe that! HE Promised!

Recently I was on my way home from work and this man randomly glanced back at me and said, “Hello Black woman.” I smiled because I like the way he called me what I am. But then he stopped and turned to me again and said, “Do not ever lose that strength I see in your eyes.” Then he crossed the street and walked away. “Wow”, I thought to myself, “Strength? In my eyes?” That comment gelled in my heart and mind with the words of the poem and another reading from ‘The Anointing of a Virtuous Woman’ – by Rev. Dr. Haile Lindsay. It is based on Proverbs 31 and inspired by the lives of the most significant women in his life. Day 6 talks about ‘What a Virtuous Woman Wears.’ Verse 25 of Proverbs 31 says that “…Strength and Honor are her clothing…”

Now - I am 99 & ¾ percent certain that I have never seen that gentleman before. Neither have I had the pleasure of meeting Marianne Williamson. But I am grateful to GOD the FATHER that HE took the words of Mr. Random-Guy-on-the-Street, Ms. Williamson, and Rev. Lindsay, bound them together with HIS WORD and used it to remind me that I have NOTHING to fear.

Even, as the Apostle James describes in James 1:4, when I “…fall into various trials…” Broken promises? Count it Joy! You don’t know it yet, but you’re getting Stronger! Broken Relationship? Count it Joy – You’re getting Wiser!

I know that while you are going through the pain of your current ‘issue,’ it doesn’t feel good, but this is when Patience is having “her perfect work.” You will discover that as Patience is working in and on you, your faith muscles are growing. And as you (we) are being perfected, strengthened and restored, you will begin, again, to “… like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m looking in the mirror!” (thank you Mary J.)!!

As I am growing and with each new victory won, I am recognizing the Light, the Power, the Strength that HE is revealing in me and through my testimony! Come grow with me! We are, after All, MORE than Conquerors! And the only fearful thing about us is that we are “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!”

And by the way – We don’t look Nothin’ like what we’ve been through!

Humbly Yours by Valerie Crawford
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday! Connie

For most of my life, my mother was a highly functioning alcoholic. She owned a home, kept a job and paid her bills. She even maintained a beautiful yard. But inside her neat and tidy home, she unleashed her anger, her hurt and her disappointments on me. Her name calling was a regular part of my day. She told me what I couldn’t do and what I wouldn’t be. Once I was in high school, I usually had to find a way to get myself to work and to meetings and practices. My mother acted as if she wanted me to fail.

When I completed college and law school and received a job offer several states away, I took it. I had no desire to stay close to my mother, physically or relationally.

Once I was a fully independent adult, I confronted my mother about all the awful things she had said to me. She didn’t exactly apologize. She said that if she did it, she must have been drinking.

One day, when I was in my early 30’s, my mother was about to light into me and call me names. I told her that I would no longer stand for it. I told her that if she couldn’t have a conversation with me without calling me names, we would never talk again. She never called me names again. Our relationship remained strained. I forced myself to call her once a month and I visited once a year. I still lived hundreds of miles away. My mother adored my oldest daughter, and I think that’s one of the reasons my mother and I maintained a relationship.

Late in life, my mother was diagnosed with dementia and began living with my brother. I knew my brother was not taking good care of her, and he was isolating her from friends and relatives. Although I became her legal guardian, my brother refused to release her to me, and the authorities would not remove my mother from my brother’s home. I hired a private investigator for protection and kidnapped my mother from my brother’s home. My mother’s dementia had progressed to the point that she didn’t know who I was. Shortly after she came to live with me, she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Once she was on medication for dementia, she recognized me, but she forgot that she couldn’t insult me. I had to establish that our roles had reversed. With excellent medical care, my mother did very well for 18 months. She gained weight while she was on chemotherapy, and she reminded me that I needed to take care of her teeth. One night, I overheard her talking to my oldest daughter about some family business. My mother said, “I know Connie will take care of it.” It warmed my heart to know that she had confidence in me.

My mother seemed to have a conflicted relationship with the Lord. I took her to church a couple of times, but she was not interested. When my mother’s cancer spread to her brain, I asked her if she knew where she would spend eternity. She confirmed that Christ was her savior and that her sins were forgiven. The last few months of her life, she made a point of thanking me for everything I had done for her.

I played Motown music for my mother. Sometimes I would dance to the Supremes, the Temps and the Miracles while she watched with a big grin. She really lit up when I wore red dresses and twirled around her room.

My daughters and I wore red to my mother’s funeral. Taking care of her the last two years of her life was difficult because I had a teenager at home and I was working full time. But I’m glad we had those years of peace and reconciliation. I’m glad she appreciated what I did for her. I’m glad she smiled when I danced.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Letrise


Letrise Carter is the founder and creator of the 2017 Black Excellence Award for Sistah’s Place and business owner of Sistah’s Creative Media launched in February 2016. She has added to her talents published author outside of Chief Editor, freelance writer, and blogger. In 2017, Letrise has taken her platforms to another level by adding Blog Talk Radio Showcase to Sistah’s Place. She is the creator and editor for Maya’s Blog which showcase women expressing their thoughts on various topics.

Her Blog Talk Radio Show titled Sistah’s Place has awarded her opportunities to talk to not just indie artist and authors, but has given her exposure to speak with well-known actors and directors across the sector for African American men and women in the entertainment industry. Letrise is being sought after from agents for shows like Queen Sugar, award winning playwright directors, directors of indie film, and publicist for national best-selling authors, and so many more.

Besides adding Talk Radio Show, she has taken her online entertainment blog converted to an online magazine titled Sistah’s Place Real Talk Magazine that features guest writers and three new editors added to continue to highlight and showcase men and women in the African American community in entertainment, film, theater, music, literature, and small business.

Letrise’s dream has always been to write for film and television. She will be writing her first scripts for television/film with the guidance and direction of a good mentor right here in Chicago. She never imagined writing a book due to being afraid of exposing her creative thoughts to the world. However, through blogging and her interview showcases she was inspired to share her dreams with the world. We all have a story to share and you never know how your story will inspire someone else to follow their dreams.

Letrise Carter is walking into her purpose and allowing God to elevate her dreams and bring forth her vision as a writer with big dreams of writing/producing for film and television. All while running a media business inspired by two of her favorite women in media Cathy Hughes and Oprah Winfrey.

Letrise has taken the first steps of launching her first novella series Deceitful Secrets scheduled for release mid-August 2017 on Amazon. Letrise and her team will be working diligently to get her book in other book stores along with scheduled feature interviews, book signing, and book events are under way. She will be giving away signed copies during her promotional period August 2017 to October 2017. Sign up for her author e-blast to stay on top of what she has coming up with giveaways and appearances.

About Deceitful Secrets:
Secrets have a way of making its way to the surface in the present day. However, when those secrets involve a family member, they’re no longer just secrets instead they are Deceitful Secrets that you take to bed each night. Meet Taylor Jackson whose friendship with her husband’s brother Kelly goes deeper than the eyes. Will Devin find out about his wife’s past? Will Kelly keep his promise to carry their secret to his grave? How will Devin react if he finds out the truth? But wait Devin has some secrets of his own. What’s done in the dark has a way of making its way to the light… but at what costs? Who gets hurt? Deceitful Secrets is filled with drama, lies, and cover ups.

You are never too old to share your story with the world. Dreams require work, dedication, determination, and a big vision that Letrise is willing to do that will breathe life into her dreams.

Follow her on Social media and visit her websites:

Online Magazine:

Author website:

Business media:

Blog Talk Radio:

Subscribe to Author E-blast:

Social Media:

Twitter: @AuthorLetrise


Instagram: @Letrisec

Friday, August 11, 2017

Beverly's Beatitudes

Welcome to Beverly’s Beatitudes, where being Godly is the Attitude! I am so happy for the opportunity to sow seeds of LOVE, HOPE, GRACE AND FAITH, that will UPLIFT, ENCOURAGE, MOTIVATE and RE-CREATE a new YOU!

Let me start by introducing the Purpose and Meaning of Beatitude. Jesus Christ gave us the Eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, recorded for all posterity in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus offers us a way of life that promises eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven. The message of Jesus is one of humility, charity, and brotherly love. He teaches transformation of the inner person. Jesus presents the Beatitudes in a positive sense, virtues in life which will ultimately lead to reward. Love becomes the motivation for the Christian. While the Beatitudes of Jesus provide a way of life that promises salvation, they also provide peace in the midst of our trials and tribulations on this earth. 

In contrast, The Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai, in the Old Testament Book of Exodus, related a series of "Thou shalt not" phrases, evils one must avoid in daily life on earth; which seemed to be a heavy or harsh judgment or declaration that came down like a hammer. When Jesus came on the scene He offered up Mercy, and Grace, and a softer tone, which were a little less edgy and more loving, supporting and encouraging, that would Uplift us and give us Hope!

So let me ask... Have you ever had a time in your life where people, things, situations or circumstances were rough, harsh or seemed to be coming down on you like a hammer, for whatever reason, deserving or not? Can you remember what that felt like, and the anger, pain, shame, or blame it caused or that you endured at that time? Can you take a QUICK glimpse back at those memories or moments in your life that seemed deadening, horrid, or down right hopeless? {Now make sure you take a HEALTHY glimpse back, lol, because I don’t want anyone to get stuck in the past!} Sometimes when we look back and see things, it stirs up old feelings and emotions and we find ourselves right back there tapping into those old feelings and emotions and mindset. Before you know it you are tangled up, back in that moment and have opened up that old door and a new found anger.

Ok, now let’s come back, lol, how was it? How did it make you feel? If you got caught up in it then ask God to continue to show you, YOU! To expose and deliver what you thought was gone and now you see may have been lying dormant on the inside. Repent and ask God to close every door that you may have opened, known or unknown, willingly or unwillingly. Now if that wasn’t the case for you, then give God the praise for your testimony and for delivering you out of the hand of the enemy in that area of your life! Either way, God has His hand on us all, and all of our struggles and accomplishments are a process.

I said all of this to say, God has brought us all from somewhere, from gross to GREAT! From failure to FULLNESS! From lost to FOUND! We should all have something to be grateful and thankful for! I just want to encourage you today, NO MATTER what you are going through right now, GOD has NOT turned HIS face from YOU! HE knows the plans that HE has for YOU and ME! No matter what any of us are going through right now, let’s stop and give HIM a praise! Let’s stop and thank HIM! Let’s stop and ask for forgiveness! Let’s just STOP, take a moment with HIM and then GO in Peace! Let’s not get distracted by the attitudes or words of others that are not speaking life, edifying, encouraging, and motivating us in a POSITIVE, PEACEFUL and PRODUCTIVE way! Get yourself a positive circle of people or friends and an accountability partner to help you get in, over and through all that GOD has DESTINED for you; and remember, IT’S NOT OVER! YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN! THE WORK GOD STARTED IN YOU HE WILL COMPLETE! STAY FOCUSED ON FAITH AND FAVOR IN LOVE!


"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

Beverly's Beatitudes by Beverly Branch
Contributing Writer

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Raise 'Em and Praise Him - Testimony Tuesday! Dexter

My name is Dexter and I'm not much of a talker but I wanted to share my testimony.

God blessed me to have four ministers in my family. My wife is a Cancer survivor and  I have 3 daughters that are in the ministry. I have 10 children, 8 girls, 2 sons.

God gave me the talent to play the guitar and I've been blessed to travel across the country, spreading the news about His greatness! He keeps opening doors for me, even when I don't deserve it; HE IS AN AWESOME GOD!

He delivered me from cigarettes and drugs. I'm 29 years free, no treatment required. God did it all at one time! He opened doors for me on my job where I beat out a lot of qualified people to become a lead person for the entire shift! God is showing me that if you TITHE the 10%, He will stretch the 90%! If I had 10,000 tongues I could tell it all, but like I stated, I'm not a talker.

Keep the FAITH ALWAYS, Psalms 91/92

Monday, August 7, 2017

Introducing Simply Cindy's Newest Team Member - Cassandra Williams-Herbert

It's my pleasure and honor to introduce Cassandra Williams-Herbert, who joined my team as a Contributing Writer.

In 2004, Cassandra became the Founder and Executive Director of a non-profit organization that started in her home called POW-WOW Inc. (People Often Wonder What? or Why?). This became a support group for the people in her community to help guide them in the goal/career direction, conflict resolution, team affectedness, and most important, living an essential lifestyle. This movement helped Cassandra achieve all that she could, and it began to show individuals just what it takes to reach their goals and desires in life. She then started support group sessions, workshops, conferences, and vision board socials. She also developed a workshop called “Dream Builder”. 

Cassandra earned a Master’s degree of Arts in Theology Practical from Bible Faith Seminary College (Leadership Training) and two Associate degrees of Arts/General Education from Johnston Community College, along with numerous certifications and training. Cassandra Williams-Herbert became a motivational speaker and educator from Clayton, North Carolina. She is a Master Life Coach in Self Awareness and Personal Development (Handle your Business Girl Empowerment Zone).

She also serves as a Certified Recovery Coach with Recovery Coach Academy; Co-Author with EYG group; Vision Board Strategist and Level 2 W.R.A.P. Facilitator of the (Wellness Recovery Action Planning) program, developed by Mary Ellen Copeland and L2 Learn and Lead simulcast events featuring John C Maxwell and his team members Linda Kaplan Thaler, Tim Sanders.

Cassandra believes and lives by her powerful speeches “The Power of the Letter E” and “The Y in You”. Although we all have big dreams and goals she was given the opportunity to give back to the community agency (Community Action of Johnston- Lee- Harnett Co.) that opened the doors to one of her greatest passions, speaking to individuals about designing their Life Plan, sharing her own personal experiences in designing and pursuing living a life of her own dreams. One of the best topics she speaks on is - “It Matters What You Think” - that’s because she knows firsthand that mindset is key and essential to your growth.

On top of the many things Cassandra has accomplished in life, one of the biggest moments in her life was when she became a Self-Published Author of “The Directional Organizer.” Creating this tool helped a vast number of individuals build an organized space/atmosphere for their peace of mind. She also wrote and produced her first skit called “Sweet Potatoes” featuring Julie McKnight, McKnight Boys, and other cast members. Cassandra was birthed with many gifts and talents as an individual who not only touches people through her motivational speeches but also through her skilled freehand nail art and signature line of crafts.

Cassandra Williams-Herbert is also a wife and mother.

Please help me welcome Cassandra to the Simply Cindy Blog team and to our blogging community!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Cindy's Featured Artist of the Week - Trinette


Trinette, a native of Los Angeles, California is a nationally renewed educator, entrepreneur, and author.

She received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia and her M.Ed. in Curriculum Instruction from Coppin State University. She is currently an educator with the Atlanta Public Schools system.

In 2013, Trinette became a published author debuting her award-winning book Woman On Fire. In 2016, she added to her success the release of her second book entitled Sticky Note: Volume 1. Her latest book is titled - 
Sticky Notes...They Said What?!?! ©™  Trinette is also a certified relationship coach and has coined the title of “Inspirationalist”.

She is the owner of Trinette L. Collier, LLC which provides workshops and ideas for groups and individuals. She is a member of Strong Tower Christian Life Ministries. Trinette resides in Atlanta and enjoys being with her family, husband, and friends. She loves helping others, learning, spoken word, music, and danc
ing! She's also a Contributing Writer for Simply Cindy Blog.

Facebook: I Am Trinette L. Collier
Twitter: @Trinette Collier
Instagram: Trinette Collier

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Humbly Yours - by Valerie Crawford, Contributing Writer

LORD allow me to decrease and YOU to increase and receive all the Glory here on these pages. Let the words that flow from and through this writing serve to provide strength, peace, and hope for another. Edify and strengthen them and me and we will continue to give YOU all the Honor and all the Glory and all the Praise, in the Matchless Name LORD JESUS.

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River … 5(b) As I was with Moses so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:1, 2, 5(b)

A couple of weeks ago, as I was preparing for work, I heard the tear-jerking news of 15-year-old Jason Lockhart, who was hit in the face by a baseball and had been placed on life-support. I have been following his progress ever since I heard his story. My heart went out to the family of this young man in an extremely personal way. 

My youngest son David is a baseball player and has held a ball in his hand since – forever. When he discovered that there was a thing called “Little League” he would not stop asking until we found a team for him to play on. He loves baseball. David has played Little League, high school, and travel baseball. But when he was a Junior in high school, something happened that rocked our family to the core.

On David’s 17th birthday, I was home helping my other son, Daniel get ready for prom. I was beginning to wonder what was taking David so long. He had a ball game in Baltimore, MD but was supposed to be on his way home to get ready for prom. Certainly, that coach knew how important prom was! He needed to get those boys back home so they could get ready. They were teetering dangerously close to being late to pick up their dates.

Then my phone rang. It was David’s Dad. “Hey – I’m here at the school picking David up. We’re on our way, but I need to let you know, he’s had a little accident.” I remember a long pause – the kind that comes anytime someone mentions the words “accident” and “your child” in the same sentence. I started blinking really hard and really fast and I declare, I felt the top of my head pop off and flip over!

“What? What do you mean – accident? Is he okay?”

“He’s fine”, Dad said, “but he took a ball to the face and he has a black eye, but I knew I couldn’t bring him home like this without warning you first.”

Apparently, the catcher had gunned the ball to stop the runner at second base and David, at shortstop, was covering second base (oh, yes – Mommy knows baseball, too). That ball, which was traveling at about 60 miles an hour, tipped off of David’s glove and hit him in the face between his nose and his right eye. I recall my father once explaining to me that the windows at the top of the Washington Monument are sealed shut because if someone got it in their head to drop a penny (or a pebble) from the window, the speed/motion of that object could crack the concrete below. That said, anything traveling at 60+ miles an hour, and certainly a professional grade baseball, is going to leave a mark. 

Instead of the “black eye” David’s Dad told me that he was bringing home to me, I opened my door to orbital fractures, a broken nose, and a possible concussion! 

I took one look at my son and almost screamed. I couldn’t though because as soon as he saw me, David did what a real man is allowed to do when he gets to the safety of his Mother’s arms. He let his guard down and cried. And I did what any real baseball Mom would do to try and let him know everything was going to be okay. I asked him, “Did you tag the boy out? No? Okay – let’s get some ice and clean you up. You can’t cry anymore – it will make your headache worse.”

I called my health plan and the on-call doctor allowed him to go to the prom where his brother and girlfriend kept a close eye on him and immediately after, we spent the rest of the night in urgent care completing X-rays, MRI’s and CT-scans. The rest of the weekend 
 indeed, the rest of the following week, I kept peeking in his room, making sure he was breathing; whispering his name to make sure he would stir for me. With every deep breath and every slight motion my son made, I had to thank GOD again. The ball “tipped the glove.” And that slowed it down – just enough.

Monday morning we started the intense doctor appointments. He had to see an Ear-Nose-and-Throat Specialist, an Ophthalmologist, and a Surgeon. They had to make sure that the orbital bones surrounding his eye had not shattered 
 which would require reconstructive surgery; they had to make sure that the socket had not been displaced which would require reattachment surgery.

Now, of course, I had been praying since before I heard “little accident.” But when we went on Monday and they had all the specialists lined up, I looked at my son and said, “You know Mom is always praying for you, right?” When he replied "Yes." I told him, "Okay – good. Now it’s time for you to pray for yourself.”

It is good, so good to have prayer warriors that will stand in the gap with and sometimes for you. But it is so important to have your own relationship with the FATHER.

I wasn’t there, but I can imagine that even though Joshua was a fighter, it had to be a bit overwhelming when Moses died. His leader – was gone. The one he had followed out of Egypt – was gone. The one who had trained him and encouraged him and had gone to GOD on his behalf and gotten results – was gone. And I wasn’t there, but I can imagine how comforting and what a relief it must have been when GOD the FATHER told Joshua, “Yes – Moses is gone, but the same way I was with him, I will be with you also!” How reassuring and encouraging it must have been when GOD kept HIS promise to be with Joshua and rolled the waters of the Jordan River back, just as HE had for Moses.

David knows Mom can get a prayer through. He'd seen the results of her prayers answered. But now it was time for his own relationship with the FATHER to be tapped. Of course, I was praying for my baby. I was praying hard. But I couldn’t pray the concerns that were in my son’s mind. It was time for David to KNOW GOD for himself. It was time for David to recognize for himself that GOD not only knows how many hairs are on his head, but that HE has numbered each one. David needed to realize that, not only can GOD call him by name, but that HE recognizes his ‘voice.’ My son needed to come to the reassuring realization that, “The same way I am with your mother, I am also with you, David.”

In the days following my son’s accident, we got several call-backs from each doctor’s office. Each call was similar to the previous one: “No surgery will be necessary.” When that last office called and I shared the news with my child, I watched that familiar expression of “a Peace that passes all understanding” come over my son’s face. And I couldn’t resist asking him, “How does it feel to get a personal response to your own request from GOD?” He just smiled and shook his head. And I smiled, too. He had no words, but I understood. What do you say when you find out that GOD really does recognize your voice? Nothing. You just smile and shake your head in awe … or dance … or take a lap. My David had learned that the same way that GOD was with Moses (and Mom) HE is also with him … because HE promised.

**Let’s not forget to remain in the gap for Jason and his family. Because contrary to what some may think – baseball is a contact sport!**

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Introducing Simply Cindy's Newest Team Member - Traci A. Fonville

It's my pleasure and honor to introduce Traci A. Fonville, who joined my team as a Contributing Writer.

Traci A. Fonville was born in Bethpage, New York and was raised in Amityville, Long Island. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts in 1986 from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia. She is currently the Deputy Commissioner of Human Services for the Town of Babylon and has served her community in this capacity for the past eight years.

In 2011, Traci obtained certification as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and in 2013, she became a Registered Yoga Teacher.

Additionally, Traci is a Brand Ambassador for It Works, a company specializing in health and wellness products such as nutritional supplements, weight loss products, and skin care.
She is also a Wellness Advocate with doTERRA Essential Oils which she shares with her yoga students. Traci has been married to her husband Kelvin for 26 years and they have two children, Brandon (22) and Sydni (12). Traci looks forward to bringing yoga, health and wellness programs to her community.

Traci will write with her own creative style and flow on Health and Nutrition. Please help me welcome Traci to the Simply Cindy Blog team and to our blogging community!