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Michelle Obama

The Important Work Meghan Markle Was Doing While Pregnant {New Photos}

Source: Instagram/SussexRoyal

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, was quite busy making history while pregnant with her first child, son Archie, with husband Prince Harry.

The American Royal, starting at 5-months pregnant, became the first ever “guest editor’ of British Vogue, for its coveted September issue, the most important edition in magazines’ yearly calendar.

Rather than be the cover model, the former Suits star chose to instead spotlight the work of 15 change maker women who are doing big things for other women in the world including Jane Goodall (who was interviewed by her husband) and former US First Lady Michelle Obama (interviewed by Meghan), Laverne Cox, Greta Thunberg, Jacinda Ardern, Adwoa Aboah and Jameela Jamil, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi and others shot by legendary photographer Peter Lindbergh.

She also started working on a line of women’s wear with designer Misha Nonoo that will benefit her patronage project called Smart Works, an organization that provides job training and clothing for underprivileged women.

The group gives client one-on-one interview prep and an interview outfit. Once they land the job, the women can come back and collect 5 additional pieces of clothing to get them thru their first paycheck!

Love Love it!!

Source: Instagram/SussexRoyal

“The reason why I was drawn to Smart Works is that it reframed the idea of charity as community…..it’s a network of women supporting and empowering other women in their professional pursuits,” Markle wrote in the magazine of her interest in that organization.

Yesterday, the Duchess released via the @SussexRoyal Instagram page a series of behind the scenes photo from her work with the organization, helping women select pieces of clothing for their job while herself donned a fierce tweed Gucci suit.

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Spotlight on: Smart Works We are proud to be supporting a very special initiative this autumn for @SmartWorksCharity! After quiet visits to Smartworks over the last year, The Duchess was moved by the impactful work being done by this non profit organisation that helps women into the workforce, equipping them with both the skills and clothes they need to feel job-ready. Throughout her visits she noticed that while the donations were plentiful, they were also notably a combination of mismatched items and colours which weren’t always the right stylistic choices or sizes that didn’t necessarily “suit” the job at hand: to make a woman feel confident and inspired as she walked into her job interview. As a result, launching this autumn, The Duchess will be supporting a collective to help equip the women of Smart Works with the key workwear essentials they need as they enter into the workplace. This initiative is supported by four generous brands who share the vision to empower the women of Smart Works to look and feel 💯 as they bravely venture in to what can often be a daunting environment for those who have been out of the job market. The brands have come together to work towards this united force for good, “[reframing] the idea of charity as community,” as The Duchess writes in a piece for this month’s British Vogue. They will follow the 1:1 model where an item from the collection purchased is an item shared with a woman of Smart Works because “not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story; it reminds us we are in it together.” For more information on how you can be part of another woman’s success story visit @smartworkscharity. Special thanks to: @JohnLewisandPartners, @MarksandSpencer, @MishaNonoo, @InsideJigsaw for supporting this very special organisation. And to find out more, read the September issue of @BritishVogue and stay tuned for more exciting updates this autumn. Photo©️SussexRoyal

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Source: Instagram/SussexRoyal
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Secrets to Getting Free Audible Books This Summer {My Picks}

How I fake staying sharp and cultured by “reading” Classics and new best sellers with an Audible membership and get free titles in the process

As a work from home mom, sometimes my days include traveling to client events, chauffeuring kids to sporting events, waiting, waiting and doing more waiting.

I like to fill in these times by listening to podcasts and recently learned I could listen to Michelle Obama‘s record-shattering best selling book “Becoming” versus read the hardback book someone got me as a gift.

The best thing: it was free and part of two complimentary titles I received with a trial membership.

I could have canceled after the trial was over, but am hooked. I decided to keep it and have a long list of other audio books I plan to “read”.

It’s perfect for people like me who have every intention to read books but never get around to it.

A popular post on this blog is 11 Books on my Bookshelf that I have every intention of reading but never make time to.

A monthly Audible membership and books on tape solve this problem.

You get two free titles with your monthly subscription which amounts to less than the cost of one book so it pays for itself quickly each month and forces you to keep it up.

I love crossing them off my list. SIGN UP For a FREE MONTH and enjoy your TWO FREE TITLES!

This year’s Summer titles list includes:

Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

“Narrator Cassandra Campbell serves up a bushel of Carolina accents in this debut novel by nature writer Delia Owens. Campbell’s accents give the mix of classes and regions in the story the same realistic detail Owens provides for the marsh…. Prepare to be enchanted and haunted.” (AudioFile)

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Sing, Unburied Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

“While the magical element is new in Ward’s fiction, her allusiveness, anchored in her interest in the politics of race, has been pointing in this direction all along. It takes a touch of the spiritual to speak across chasms of age, class, and color. … The signal characteristic of Ward’s prose is its lyricism. ‘I’m a failed poet,’ she has said. The length and music of Ward’s sentences owe much to her love of catalogues, extended similes, imagistic fragments, and emphasis by way of repetition. … The effect, intensified by use of the present tense, can be hypnotic.” — The New Yorker

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

City of Girls by Blair Brown

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person.

Named a most anticipated book of 2019 by Oprah.com, Real SimpleBuzzfeedCosmopolitanGoodReadsPureWowVultureThe Millions, and more.

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Becoming” by Michelle Obama

“Obama writes with a refreshing candor, as though her keen awareness of her celebrity is matched only by her eagerness to shed the exhausting veneer that helped enable her husband’s political rise. ‘My husband is making his own adjustments to life after the White House, catching his own breath,’ she writes at the end of the preface. ‘And here I am, in this new place, with a lot I want to say.’” — The Atlantic

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Getting Things Done: the art of stress-free productivity” by David Allen (I own the book version too)

David Allen reads an all-new edition of his popular self-help classic for managing work-life balance in the 21st century – now updated for the new challenges facing individuals and organizations in today’s rapidly changing world.

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Though Thomas’s story is heartbreakingly topical, its greatest strength is in its authentic depiction of a teenage girl, her loving family, and her attempts to reconcile what she knows to be true about their lives with the way those lives are depicted — and completely undervalued — by society at large.” — Publishers Weekly

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

Emma” by Jane Austen (a classic)

” What a delightful way to enjoy a Jane Austen story! This dramatized version alternates between dialogue and Emma Thompson’s narration over music. I thought the narrators were all excellent, and the sound effects and music really pulled me into the world of Emma. If you are an Austen fan, be aware that this is not a word for word reading. Rather, it is a new way to enjoy a familiar story. ” – Reader Reviewer

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

“Heavy: An American Memoir” by Kiese Laymon

Heavy is a dark book, and the trauma that Laymon orbits is almost like a black hole; its shape is circular. Even when he finally tries to have an honest conversation with his mother (at a casino, of all places) about the things he’s experienced, the harms that befell him, it’s still impossible for either one to understand the other without blame.” — The Nation

GET IT FREE WITH YOUR AUDIBLE TRIAL

OR EXPLORE THOUSANDS OF OTHER TITLES!

GET YOUR FREE MONTH HERE!

How to Get Free Titles on Audible this Summerinfographic
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The Hate Meghan Markle Gets

This week, I was in awe to see all of the British and American press making a big deal over the fact that Serena Williams, Amal Clooney and Gayle King threw Meghan Markle a baby shower which some are estimating cost close to a $500,000, when you consider the security and private jet to NYC from the UK and back.

Some are discussing whether it was too lavish.

My thoughts: first, no one knows if that estimated number of the cost is entirely accurate.

Second: So what?

I’ve been covering celebrity baby showers for as long as this blog has existed, which is over 10 years, and I do not recall anytime that news and gossip outlets discussed the cost of a celebrity baby shower.

Granted, I do understand that baby showers are uncommon among the British, so any shower at any cost may seem exorbitant. However, Kensington Palace had to come out and state that Markle paid for the cost of travel and her stay herself.

They may have pointed out how lavish they were but none reported on the cost, to my recollection.

Let’s take a look at other celeb showers because, what does one expect from people who are rich and/or wealthy and have resources and funds to throw lavish affairs?

For example, Cardi B‘s shower featured a 16-foot topiary floral wall, room entrance ways that resembled a 6-car subway train, and several rooms draped in 26,000 pink and white flowers.

Vanessa Bryant and Kobe Bryant‘s shower featured a floral wall.

In June 2016, Nicky Hilton had a baby shower at The Towers at the top of  the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. 

Kim Kardashian had what looks like a dozen cherry blossom trees in her baby shower venue for baby Chicago and her sister Kylie Jenner had an elaborate outdoor baby shower for baby Stormi.

Khloe Kardashian had tons of pink roses, topiary and florals at her shower.

Here are some snaps from baby showers Other celebs had:

Ciara

Naya Riviera

Adrienne Bosh

Tia Mowry Hardrict

Tamera Mowry-Housley

Jessica Simpson

Andy Cohen

Honestly, I think this young woman is getting more criticism than her predecessor non-royal wife, Duchess Catherine, Kate Middleton.

It reminds me of the criticism Michelle Obama received to the cost of her clothing, hullabaloo which was not similarly made over the cost of Barabara or Nancy Bush or Hillary Clinton‘s First Lady clothing prior.

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The Meghan Markle Effect: My Faves Of Her Influential Looks

So the over and under is that Meghan Markle, the brand new Duchess of Sussex is a taste maker and trend setter.

Several fashion outlets reported last year that whenever the mom-to-be was  seen out wearing one of the up and coming designers’ clothing the former Suits star likes to wear they sell out quickly after. It’s called “The Meghan Markle Effect.

It is similar to the Kate Middleton effect before her and the Michelle Obama effect over on this side of the pond.

As Elle UK reported,

In August, Meghan stepped out in London for a charity performance of Hamilton in a black tuxedo dress by Judith and Charles, which resulted in a 800 per cent increase in the UK for the style. Similarly, her recent white sleeveless Maggie Marilyn tuxedo dress worn during her royal tour of New Zealand resulted in a 74 per cent surge in searches for the brand.

E! did a rundown on some of Markle’s most impactful & influential outfits since she married Prince Harry last Spring. A lot of it is pretty straight laced but a mixture of structured jackets, A-line dresses, mixed with solids and patterns, which I like. Her taste and style these days are a bit straight laced yet still very very chic but I guess since she is a Royal now, it’s best to stick to the script and the less over-the top and more non-descript!

But I love conservative leaning looks anyway. Here are my faves.

The Club Monaco trench coat over an all black everything look with some lace up Stuart Weitzman Veruka boots that she wore during a stop in New Zealand last October is fire!

While catching a Wimbledon match in July with sis-in-law Kate Middleton, she donned a crisp pin striped Ralph Lauren shirt with Wide Leg silk pants! Cute! Cute!!

Finally, this burgundy peplum top over black cropped skinny  pants and black Sarah Flint Jay Pump platform shoes are chic, stylish yet relatable and comfy.

I don’t think sis can go wrong and there is a multi-million and maybe billion dollar/pound fashion industry that is banking on  it too!

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Michelle Obama Had A Miscarriage, IVF at Age 34, Memoir Reveals

Michelle Obama reveals in her upcoming new book that at age 34, she and President Barack Obama went through the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process when they couldn’t’ conceive through traditional means.

Inside her memoir, “Becoming“, to be released this upcoming Tuesday (pre-order yours today), she opens up in a way she couldn’t before when she was married to the leader of the Free World and she really goes in deep and personal.

In an advance copy given to the Washington Post, she revealed how she had to give herself the necessary shots when her husband was off fulfilling his duties in the state Legislature.

“I felt lost and alone, and I felt like I failed,” she told Robin Roberts in an interview that ran Friday on Good Morning America. “I didn’t know how common miscarriages were, because we don’t talk about them. We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”

Of those who had a miscarriage, 37% felt they had a lost a child, 47% felt guilty, 41% reported feeling that they had done something wrong, 41% felt alone, and 28% felt ashamed, according to a 2015 study CNN cited.

In opening up this way, the former First Lady is showing to the world that she is no different from other women who have suffered in silence. She also pointed at the social stigma of miscarriage and blamed it for why more women do not open up about their loss.

“The biological clock is real because egg production is limited. I realize that now because at 34 and 35, we had to do IVF.” she shared.  “I think it’s the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies and how they work and how they don’t work.”

The former law firm attorney looks to want to inspire and encourage others because her struggles, they came out on top and with two beautiful children to boot.

“Too many young couples who struggle…think there is something wrong with them,” she added during the interview, saying she wants them to realize people like her and her husband, who are considered couple goals have dealt with it.

It’s great that she is using this opportunity to commiserate with those who have lost and struggled with infertility.

Watch bits of the interview here and she talks about miscarriage about 1:08

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Monica Brown is Our 2018 Posh Style Mom Icon!

It’s been a minute since we proclaimed a celebrity mom as a fashion style icon. After stalking Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum singer Monica Brown’s Instagram page and various presses sightings of the fabulous singer, the editors at Bellyitch have determined that the mom to stylish three is deserving to be our 2018 honoree!

For those unfamiliar, this recognition is given to a celebrity mom, usually one who has more than one child, who also has displayed effortless style, not necessarily created by a stylist, who inspires others and Monica is it!

We love the R&B recording artist’s  Instagram posts which are reminiscent of what you’d  see on any “it” Fashion Grammer or Style Blogger’s feed.

Monica’s fashion aesthetic consists of lots of bold colors, thigh high boots and chic dusters. She isn’t afraid to switch up her hair color from crimson, to pitch black to platinum. The mom of three, including 4-year old daughter Laiyah, 9-year old son Romelo and 12-year son Rocko,  has worn down her hair bone straight, in a croute pixie cut or intertwined in waist-length faux locs.

Her page is bright and totally themed out, similar to other influencers out there! See it HERE!

Ms. Brown can do no wrong in our book. The Atlanta-based philanthropist is married to NBA player Shannon Brown since 2010 when the two wed in a secret ceremony. Monica is also step mom to Shannon’s son Shannon Brown, Jr. from a previous relationship. Laiyah is the couple’s only child together as Rocko and Romelo’s dad is Monica’s ex, actor and rapper Rodney Hill, Jr also known as Rocko

The last time we named someone this honor was 2017 and it was given to philanthropist and end ex model Helen Lasichanh, Pharrell’s wife. Before her, the honor was given to Kourtney Kardashian in 2015. Before her, in 2014, Jennifer Hudson, who was the fourth mom to a single child to get the award. Before her, P!nk got it in 2012. And former First Lady Michelle Obama was dubbed an icon in 2011. Other designees include, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly RipaVictoria BeckhamTichina Arnold and  Christina Milian.

Here is a quick rundown of some of ourm fave looks Monica has rocked over the years as shared in her super fly Insta!

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The Garden…..

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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Every step you take I’m taking with you ……

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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Monica Denise Brown➕

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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I still go up for you every night 🖤

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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Wherever you go , make sure your happy follows 🖤

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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❤️M.B.❤️

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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Let Love lead you ❤️

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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Street Symphony 🖤

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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Still Standing …..

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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Today was a good day ……

A post shared by Monica 🖤 (@monicabrown) on

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Get Khloe Kardashian’s $3000 Satin Maternity Look for $50

Not just Chrissy Teigen, but Khloe Kardashian is another hard working expecting mom. The first-time mom-to-be has wrapped a busy promotional calendar for her E! TV show Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian which just returned to the air last month.

She gave several interviews during that time and we spotted some pretty cute ones we’d like to cop, like the navy satin Cushnie et Ochs Black Pyramid Pencil Dress cut out dress she wore on an appearance of Jimmy Kimmel Live about a month ago.

The label is a fave of stars like Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, Teigen and Michelle Obama and is known for its intricate cut outs and asymmetrical lines.

The Good American Apparel co-founder draped a similar color  trench jacket by Galvan which retails for $1,175.  The dress goes for $1,695.

If you want a much less costlier version and don’t mind getting it shipped from Amazon, you can pick up a similar dress by Hello MIZ. Their Women’s Cold Shoulder Knee Length Fitted Maternity dress starts at $19.99 and has gotten great reviews from customers who bought the dress!

And Amie Finery has a similar Cut Out Cold Shoulder Dress that isn’t just for pregnant women but comes in a loose fitting A-line so it could accommodate them too. That dress too starts at about $20 bucks! Add an Open Front Cape Trench Duster coat by HaoDuoYi which retails $26.94 and you’ve recreated Khloe’s  nearly $3,000 look for about $50! 

Score!

But if you insist on copping the original, the line has pieces that start about $250! Totally doable!

If you'd like to know more insider tips, want a critique of a site you've created or if you are interested in starting a blog or website yourself but do not have the time, patience, bandwidth, know-how or ability to get it done, let me set it up for you and train you on how to keep it going with my "Do-It-For" you consulting service, Visit my Personal Consulting Site and Book a spot today! 

Now Instagram Stalking…. The Beautiful Tika Sumpter

tika sumpter stalking

Now stalking…. Tika Sumpter, actress, producer and star of the Sundance film Southside with You which took home $3 Million over its debut weekend, after costing just $1.3M to make and being in only 813 theaters across the country.

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Sumpter, who played then Michelle Robinson and future First Lady Mrs. Obama, is a natural and has gotten great reviews. The first time mom-to-be also has been active on social media sharing insights into her maternity looks and behind-the-scenes look at her film promo rounds.

dsadf

Sumpter looks to be about 6-7 months along and has never publicly announced who the father is to her child. She is very private. So…we’re just going to share what we loved best while scoping her Instagram account:

Tika Sumpter   tikasumpter  • Instagram photos and videos11

The Haves and Have Nots  star also recently covered Rolling Out and Chicago Splash magazines and looked gorgeous and radiant on each.

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photos: courtesy Rolling Out Dewayne Rogers Chicago Splash

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Thank you @abc7dc for having us! @parkersawyers #southsidewithyou #GMW

A photo posted by Tika Sumpter (@tikasumpter) on

 

Us. Always smiling. #Southsidewithyou @parkersawyers Hair| @pleasant_xperience Makeup| @mjfaces A photo posted by Tika Sumpter (@tikasumpter) on

 

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How the Star who Plays Michelle Obama in a New Movie Hid her Pregnancy

tika sumpter
Tika Sumpter, the actress who plays Michelle Obama in an upcoming  movie (Southside with You) about her first date with the future president Barack Obama, is pregnant.

While getting honorarily inducted in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at the organization’s 2016 International Convention (Boulé) on Saturday, July 9, Sumpter revealed her bump in a white sheath dress, thus unofficially announcing her pregnancy.

The Haves and the Have Nots star shared a photo of herself with some leaders of the oldest black sorority in the US. Shortly after, she trended on several social media platforms as news of her pregnancy spread.





  Before then, the Gossip Girl alum was quite creative hiding her growing belly from her fans and followers on social media by doing what all celeb women usually do: Only share above the belly photos of themselves. She also used careful hand placement and tent dresses to shield the news before she was ready to reveal it. 

Full of love. #birthday #Cabo A photo posted by Tika Sumpter (@tikasumpter) on

Malibu dreaming. #BTS photo shoot fun…thank you team @jasonbolden @kimblehaircare team, @mjfaces #southsidewithyou

A photo posted by Tika Sumpter (@tikasumpter) on

She has not shared who her baby’s father is or given any clue as to whom she is in a reationship with so…I guess it’s none of our business. We can talk about her Southside movie.

The movie, which was a hit during the Sundance festival, takes a sneak peek into The Obamas’ first date when a young Michelle was hesitant to go on a date with a young Summer Associate and a community organizer whom she supervised at their law firm. Parker Sawyers plays the future President.

The twosome ended up on daylong date on a hot summer day in 1989 that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago to a screening of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing to the site of their first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor.

The movie is executive produced by John Legend’s Get Lifted Productions. The movie opens August 26th.

Watch the trailer for the movie:

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Ciara stuns at the White House State Dinner

For a while now rumors circulated whether Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was dating our very own Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum singer-model-actress Ciara.

All doubt was erased when the “I Bet” singer wowed in a stunning champagne colored custom Walter Mendez dress while attending this Tuesday, April 28th State Dinner at the White House in honor of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe.

This was the first time the two appeared in public together after being coy about their relationship. Wilson had teased that he would take his grandmother, then said he’d take them both but in the end, he told reporters grandmom was “back at home in Virginia.”

Future who? Oh yeah, her ex and father to her son, Future Zahir Wilburn, who she gave birth to last May. And way to go Ciara on bouncing back!

Back to the look! I think it was the perfect way she arched her back and looked so statuesque or maybe the flawless nude make up and  perfect sleek “snatched to the gawds” hair.

Not sure, but its an A++.

Oh yeah and of course, First Lady Michelle Obama looked fab wearing Japanese designer Tadishi Shoji

photo: Getty

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