Monthly Archives: August 2012

What is Pinterest?

10 Tips for Pinterest Success by Terri Seymour

What is Pinterest? You guessed it. It is another social networking site that is exploding in popularity. Social networking sites are a dime a dozen but not all of them are worth the time and effort. So, when one comes along that looks promising and alive with potential, we need to get involved.

Pinterest uses a unique idea for the basis of their networking. Your page will be in the format of a push pin bulletin board. You can pin videos, images, photos, etc., to your pinboard and share it with your followers. Pinterest allows you to be creative in your pins and have a lot of fun with it.

If you are unfamiliar with Pinterest, below are ten tips to help you get started on your way to Pinterest success:

1. Connect with Twitter – You want to connect your Pinterest account with your Twitter account email. This will allow you to cross post with your Twitter account. You could connect it with Facebook but you would have to use your personal page account.

2. Complete Profile – Be sure to fill out your profile completely. They will ask if you want to make your profile invisible to the search engines. Be sure to choose “No”. You want the search engines to find you.

3. Follow Popular Users – When you follow someone, most of the time they will follow you back so it is important to get some of the most popular pinners linked to you. This will put your account in front of more people.

4. Neat and Simple – Keep your board, neat, clean and professional. You don’t want it to look like a cluttered mess. Pinterest is visual so you have to make your board appealing to the eye.

5. Relevant Keywords – Be sure to fill your pin descriptions with relevant keywords. Keep your descriptions brief, not long and drawn out but use as many keywords as possible.

6. Use Your Social Accounts – Be sure to put your Pinterest info on your Facebook, Twitter, etc., pages. Take advantage of these sites to guide people to your Pinterest account and stir up more interest.

7. Use Pinterest Buttons – The “Pin-It” button can easily be installed in your browser. Then you can easily pin images and info from other sites to your pinboard. There is also a “Pin-It” button you can use to invite people to pin images from your site to their pinboard. You can also add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to your blog and social pages to get more people to your Pinterest board.

8. Share Other People’s Images – You can use your board to share other interesting content with your followers, thus encouraging people to share your content. Try to use images and content that complement your content.

9. Pin More than Your Products – Don’t limit your pinning to pictures of your products. Pin tidbits of helpful information, tips, ideas and more. Stick to your topic of business but offer a wide variety of content. By offering answers and information you will attract more followers to your board.

10. Add Some Fun – Even though you are using your pinboard for business, it doesn’t mean you cannot add some fun and humor. Brighten someone’s day with a cheerful or inspirational quote or some good news. Be creative and make your board fun and interesting but never pin anything offensive or inappropriate.

Pinterest is a little different than the other social sites and is growing at a phenomenal rate. Be sure to hop on over there and see what the buzz is about. Sign up now and get your board up for all to see. It could do wonders for your online and/or offline business!

About the Author:
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business. Terri Seymour can help you make money online. Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at: ==>

Article Source: WAHM Articles



I Got the Victory

Because The Devil Is Defeated and God Be Praised
I Got The Victory, The Victory
Every Situation I Face I Win
I Got The Victory, The Victory
And Everything Works For My Good In The End
I Got The Victory, The Victory

Those are a few words from Tye Tribbett’s praise song entitled “Victory”

The dictionary’s definition of victory is “a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war.”

Victory must start with Praise, be consumed with Praise and the conclusion must be Praise.

When we know we are struggling with something and gain yet another step or jump over another hurdle in that struggle, that’s a victory. We must celebrate the small with the big. We assure victory by first having victory in your mind.

Proverbs 23:7 reads “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
If  we think we are defeated, we are. But if we change our attitude from defeat we begin to walk victorious, talk victorious.

To be victorious to me is to overcome an obstacle, to take yet another step. To stomp on the word NO. To stomp on the word FEAR.

One battle I thought I would never be victorious over was to love someone that did nothing to deserve my love. In fact they did everything in their power to tear me down and break my spirit.  How do you love someone that did everything in their power to hurt you? I struggled with this daily but the word said that I must love as Christ loved and that love covers a multitude of faults.

When I began to study I Corinthians 13 the Lord showed me what love really was and I was missing the mark big time. But I was in flesh and everything in the natural told me that you love when love is returned. If they don’t love you don’t love them. But that is how the world loves and that was part of my “old” man. Now that my mind is renewed and I am a new creature my character had to change.

To say you love someone is to love despite what they do. To love like Christ loved.
That is true, unconditional love. When Nicole started to look at the person as Christ did and that he loved me in spite of me, it was much easier to love. Because I was a mess and he still loved me.

At times I don’t dot all my I’s and cross all my t’s concerning that unconditional love  but I can honestly say that I am not how I used to be. And that my friend is a VICTORY.

A true champion for God knows they are victorious over the battles they are facing. They meditate and apply the word of God in battle. We must know that our true and only weapon in battle is the word of God. It is the final authority in everything.


Nicole Cleveland is an author, speaker and founder of Breathe Again Magazine


Don’t Give Up – Don’t Quit


An early photograph shows a bright-eyed three year-old with shiny hair parted neatly to the side and her legs crossed primly at the ankles. Like any other three-year old growing up in the 1950’s, Linda VanDeusen had a zest for life and a curiosity about the world around her. Her father, whose own education had been disrupted by World War II, taught Linda and her siblings to read when they were very young and was constantly, in Linda’s words, “trying to figure out how his kids could be better than he was.”

Linda was on her way to that goal until, after a seemingly routine case of Chicken Pox, her parents began to notice that something was wrong. “I began to limp. My hands began to curl under, my arms became spastic, and my back would arch,” Linda remembers. Linda knows now that she was born with the genetic code for a disease called Dystonia musculorum deformams. “Until I got Chicken Pox, my immune system had been fighting the Dystonia, but when I got sick, my body had to choose whether to fight the Chicken Pox or fight the Dystonia. I guess it chose the Chicken Pox.”

Because Dystonia was an unknown disease at the time, rounds and rounds of testing revealed nothing to Linda’s doctors. “They concluded that it must be an emotional disorder, and that I was trying to get attention,” Linda recounts. Thus began a two-year period of weekly drives to Pittsburgh, 50 miles away from her hometown, where Linda would spend an hour with a psychiatrist. Her doctor eventually convinced Linda’s parents that treatment would be more effective if she was inpatient, and at the age of eight, Linda was admitted to the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Linda’s case continued to mystify her doctor. Doctors know now that the body uses a chemical called Dopamine to help connect the neural pathways in the brain with the neural pathways in the muscles. Linda’s body only produced Dopamine while she slept, and when the day’s supply of Dopamine was gone, her body couldn’t replenish its supply. Without Dopamine, Linda’s muscles would not respond. “At breakfast time I could feed myself and move almost normally, but by lunch time my body had used up its Dopamine, and I would be unable even to lift my fork.” The fact that Linda’s ability to perform simple tasks came and went only further solidified her doctor’s theory that Linda’s problems were mental and not physical. Some of the hardest times, Linda remembers, were when she would sit there with a tray of food in front of her and no ability to get the food to her mouth. “Because the nurses thought I was capable of feeding myself, they wouldn’t feed me and eventually would take the food away,” uneaten by the hungry little girl trapped in a body that wouldn’t cooperate. Linda eventually lost even her ability to talk above a whisper.

She remembers “one good day when I was there. I woke up that morning and I could walk, I could talk, I could feed myself.” It was glorious. “And then I woke up the next morning, and I couldn’t do anything again. If I had known it was just going to be that one day,” she confides wistfully, “I would have done a lot more.” Linda’s one good day further reinforced her doctor’s diagnosis.

She was transferred to the Home for Crippled Children in Pittsburgh where she remembers a “nurse with purple hair. She was so mean, I wished her dead,” confides Linda. “The doctors were always telling me it was in my head and that I could do better. It would make me angry.” Two years later, she was transferred to a children’s mental institution where they tried different methods to motivate her to do things. Linda remembers most vividly the “ice water treatment. If I wasn’t doing what they wanted me to do, they’d throw ice water on me.” She also remembers the mean girl who would drag her around by the hair in her wheelchair.

But in the darkness of the mental institution, salvation came to Linda in a most unlikely way. Thirteen years-old now, doctors discovered that her hip was dislocated. They performed surgery and transferred Linda to the third floor to recover. In a body cast, the same nurse and nurse’s aide cared for Linda each night during the evening shift. “They were different from the nurses I’d had before. They were kind and patient with me. They told me about Jesus and presented the opportunity for me to ask Jesus to be my Savior. Of course I took it!” she says, with a lilt in her voice. “They would read the Bible to me every night and tell me, ’Linda, God is with you, and He will take care of you.’ I believed, even though I didn’t completely understand what it meant.” Linda’s surgery failed, and several months’ later doctors performed a second surgery. Back in a body cast and back on the third floor, Linda says, “I liked it ‘cause it was safe and I had those two nice nurses. They told me more about Jesus, gave me a Bible, and read to me. I couldn’t understand why they were so nice to me and others were so mean.”

Several years passed, and Linda approached her sixteenth birthday. “The doctors decided I wasn’t going to change, and I was getting too old to stay there.” They transferred her to Torrance State Hospital, an institution for the mentally ill. “I was put on a geriatric ward at the ripe old age of 16. It was a mixed ward with male and female patients, the next youngest female being 65 years-old.” There she met Beth Warner, a nurse who was a born-again Christian. She would feed Linda in the evenings, and on Monday’s, bath day, Beth would tuck food into her pockets to give to Linda while they were alone getting her bath. “I loved Mondays, because I would get milk.”

Where were her parents during this time? “They would visit when they could. Dad brought me a radio, and he always made sure it was on a talk show. That’s where I learned my current events. And he always made sure I had books. He was a carpenter, and he fashioned a special stand for my books. I would turn the pages with my tongue.”

Shortly after Linda was placed in the mental institution, her mother was involved in a serious car accident. She suffered from terrible headaches and consulted a neurologist about the possibility of surgery. Linda’s mother declined surgery, telling the doctor that she had a seriously ill daughter who was not doing well. She pulled out a picture of Linda and showed it to him. Her neurologist said a startling thing, “Bring her here. I want to see her.” This doctor had read about one case of Dystonia while he was in medical school, and he wondered if Linda’s physical manifestations might be symptoms of the disease that the medical community knew so little about.


Now eighteen years old, Linda remembers, “I had this serious talk with God. I said, ‘God, I can’t live this way anymore. It’s got to change or I’m going to die.” Five months later, Linda was admitted to Johns Hopkins hospital as a research patient. Within two days time, doctors had an accurate diagnosis for the first time in Linda’s life. On a medication called L-Dopa, she quickly regained her ability to brush her teeth, open a carton of milk, get dressed, and, eventually, walk and talk again.

The battle wasn’t over for Linda, though. Doctors knew that the levels of medication Linda was on were too high to maintain indefinitely, and that eventually they would stop working. They gave Linda two options — stay on medication and gradually lose the abilities she had so recently gained, or undergo a life-threatening surgery. Doctors gave her an 80% chance that she might die on the operating table. Linda’s fledgling faith was put to the test once again. She reasoned, “God didn’t bring me this far to let me die now. There’s a purpose for my life, and I haven’t met it, because I haven’t even lived yet.” The most frightening part for Linda wasn’t the surgery, but the fact that she would have to discontinue the very medications that had restored her ability to move, and, especially, to feed herself. “I was scared that nobody would feed me!” she remembers with a note of panic in her voice. “My doctor said, ‘I will come and feed you every meal. I will not let you be hungry.’ And you know what?” she states, shaking her head in amazement, “He did. Three meals a day until I had surgery.”

Her doctor told her she would need two surgeries, one on each lobe of her brain. They would require her to be awake during both, in order to give them feedback. The first surgery did nothing. During the second surgery one month later, the results were instantaneous. “I could talk. I could move my arms and legs. The surgery was a success!” Linda began eight months of rehab and, thirteen years after she had been wheeled into the first hospital, she walked out under her own power. “I knew I had a purpose in life.”

She remembers the emotions of re-entering a world that was so different from the one she had left. “All of a sudden, I was thrown out into a world that I didn’t know how to live in. I was 19 years old and was expected to act like a 19 year-old. I didn’t know how a 19 year-old acted. I had been living with kids and old people!” She entered a rehab center and began to learn some life skills. “I wasn’t real grounded in the Bible, either,” Linda remembers, “But I knew God was real in my life. I could see all that He had done for me.”

Like the divine appointment that led Linda’s mother to her neurologist, God was orchestrating another divine appointment for the next chapter of Linda’s life. Her doctor asked her to accompany him to New York for the International Dystonia Convention. There would be doctors from all over the world who were seeking to learn more about Dystonia. There would also be patients who had the disease. He wanted Linda to be one of them. “The doctor was in meetings all day, and there was no place for me to go,” Linda remembers, “so my doctor introduced me to this very nice family whose adult son also had Dystonia. They said they would watch out for me.” That son was John Van Deusen.

Over the course of the convention, John and Linda got to know each other. Dystonia had robbed John of his ability to speak, so he communicated with his parents through sign language. That wasn’t a problem for Linda. “When I was in the rehab center, there were many deaf patients. They helped me learn sign language, so when I was able to communicate with John and read his signs, he was stunned.” They talked for five hours, and then left with a promise to write each other. “We found love through the mail,” Linda grins. ”The mailman was our Cupid.”

Meanwhile life at home was increasingly difficult. “I couldn’t get into high school, because I had a business school degree from the rehab center, but I couldn’t find a job, because I didn’t have a high school diploma.” Meanwhile John was attending the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School in Columbia. He became Linda’s advocate and secured a place for her at the school. Since most students were local, the campus virtually closed up on the weekends. “John’s parents started taking me home on the weekends,” Linda recounts. It was there that her faith really began to grow. Dynamic believers, John and his family didn’t just model Christian principles, they lived the Christian life. They demonstrated patience and grace to Linda. “I had a lot to learn,” she states, “I wasn’t always tactful!” As she learned to love their son, she also learned what it meant to love their Savior. John proposed on Linda’s birthday. The year was 1976.

As I listened to Linda’s story in her home in Columbia, South Carolina, I asked her, “Where was God during those dark days when you were institutionalized?” Her answer? “There was one person in every place that gave me hope.” She believes God placed them there to demonstrate His love. “Why aren’t you bitter, Linda?” I asked. “Bitter?!” she snorted as if I had proposed something preposterous, “What good would that do? Does it serve any purpose? Would it change anything? It will only make me angry and people not like me. Bitterness only hurts yourself.”

And where, I asked her, did she get her ‘can do’ attitude? “From my father,” she replied. “He would never let us give up. He would never let us say, ‘I can’t.’ He wouldn’t even let us say, ‘I’ll try,’ because that would give us an out. When you replied to his requests, you’d say, ‘I’ll do my best.’ That’s where that came from.” Linda hasn’t given up. She graduated from the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School, received an AA in Medical Technology from Midlands Technical College, a BA in Biology from Columbia College, and a MED in Rehab Counseling from the University of South Carolina. She worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the State of South Carolina until her retirement ten years ago. Today she works for her church and trains dogs in her spare time.

What advice would you give, I asked her, to people who are struggling? She replied immediately, “Don’t give up. Don’t quit. You don’t know what you can do if you don’t try. Do your best, and God will do the rest.”


Lori Hatcher

 Contributing Writer –  Reach Out Columbia Magazine

Author of “Be Not Weary”

Member, Palmetto Christian Writers’ Network



Women Leaders & Entrepreneurs Summit and Business Expo

Nicole with speaker Francine Humphrey and event hosts,Lilisa Williams and Angelavette Williams.


On Saturday, August 25, speaker, writer, women’s empowerment expert and Pastor, Francine Humphrey and I got in my vehicle to drive over 5 hours to Newark, New Jersey ( at 3am ) . Surviving off 2 hours of sleep I was determined to make it to the Women Leaders & Entrepreneurs Summit and Business Expo hosted by author Lilisa Williams and Angelavette Williams.

The theme for the event was Releasing Your Power, Aspiration & Innovation.

WBLS announcer Liz Black was the host (and boy was she a hoot). The women in the room came in anticipation for information and that’s exactly what they received.

Francine did an excellent job. She was funny, inspiring and on point. She reminded us to be a product of our business, don’t care what others think and be mindful of our brand. What you do, where you go and how you look is all tied to your brand. I am so proud of her and what she has set out to do in this chapter of her life.

The keynote speaker was the super charged and phenomenal, Dr. Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant, Multi-media Psychologist/Lecturer Speaker, Writer and author of The Best Kind of Loving.

She was so inspiring and full of wisdom. She was too, too funny. (did I say funny?)
“What you say becomes your day” she told us.She spoke to who we really are on the inside, not that junk we think, but the real stuff, We are so much greater than what we think. We are powerful. Dr. Grant left us with the 7 Ups.Think Up – Speak Up – Start Up – Step Up – Hold Up – Hang Up & Stand Up
Grab Dr. Grant’s book today.

Nicole & Keynote Speaker, Dr. Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant

All of the speakers were amazing.

Lois Greene, Vice President, Ambulatory Services with Newark Beth Israel Medical Center left us with the 3 C’s – Choice, Chances & Changes – In life it’s what we do with the choices we make, how we respond to the changes and we must make sure we take chances.

Nicole Upton, motivational speaker and real estate broker from The Potter’s House in Texas gave us valuable information about being a business owner and the importance of networking, talking to people and being friendly.

Pam Knight, mentor, business coach and client business / attraction expert spoke on gaining government contracts and told us two things we must stop – Stop networking with the same broke people and Stop chasing clients.

Mary Anne Kochut, consultant, life coach and speaker taught on self-empowerment. This woman is fierce. She is a two time cancer survivor and is adamant in helping women learn how to work with one another.

Ms. Boss herself, AKA Audrey Bell Kearney – Show Host, Author & entrepreneur was funny, down to earth and super informed. She shared simple marketing strategies to take our businesses to the next

Can’t wait until next year!


What’s Your Excuse?

A few days ago I was sitting in our living room watching the Olympics with the family. My youngest daughter is intrigued by the runners because she loves to run, and I must admit, she is very fast.

As I was watching double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius, I could not help but get excited. This was a man that never gave up. Despite his disability, he never gave up. He may not have won the race, but to me it was so much bigger than winning a gold medal. This man gave hope to the hopeless. He gave his all without any excuses. In reality he had a valid excuse to not run. Did he use it? Nope. He just kept training.

What is your excuse for not doing what God has called you to do?

Your excuse may be valid.
Yes, it’s a fact that your husband walked away.
Yes, it’s a fact that you lost your job.
It may even be a fact that you are broke, busted and disgusted, but what do you do now?

Do you keep using excuses and never push forward or do you say, “I may have a valid excuse for not doing what I said I would do, but enough is enough. It is MY time!!” You are not alone, I used to be the excuse Queen (and still make a few, I just don’t make them as much). Take some time, step back and ask yourself, is it an excuse or is it fear. Most times, my issue was fear.

But I had to meditate on 2 Timothy 1:7 — For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)

If you need to use that scripture to conquer your excuses/fears, feel free to do so.

Click below to watch a video of Oscar Pistorius running.

From Brokenness to Greatness

Sometimes, stepping into greatness actually requires taking a big leap; and that’s just what authoress & entrepreneur LaTersa Blakely talks about in her debut book, FROM BROKENNESS TO GREATNESS.

Mrs. Blakely strategically shares her childhood insecurities which crept into her young adult journey and landed her in the last place she’d ever expected; the Psych Ward and she says, “If you heal the little girl, there will be no broken women.” Readers are greeted with, “Your life can be whatever you want it to be,if you invest the time, effort and energy into making it a reality,” in the introduction. LaTersa goes on to say that her desire for this book is to help broken women and girls.

From wanting to be liked by everyone, thinking that she’s being taken advantage of by all men, and to a stank attitude, LaTersa came out & built the credibility to expertly offer herself as a guide for those who fight with similar or the same things. I enjoyed reading FROM BROKENNESS TO GREATNESS because I’ve been where LaTersa has been so I understand the courage it takes to publicly bare oneself as well as the sensational feeling offreeing your soul.

FROM BROKENNESS TO GREATNESS is a cheerful read, filled with self-evaluation nuggets, self-love assignments,and quotes which have daily inspired LaTersa Blakely. Go ahead, engage yourself in her story; learn& grow from it.

Reviewed by:

Larie of My Heart Speaks…™ & Resident Book Reviewer for Breathe Again Magazine