I Stand #WithMalala

“There’s a moment when you have to decide whether to be silent or stand up.” – Malala Yousafzai

Such wise words from such a brave, but youthful spirit.  If you haven’t yet seen the film, “He Named Me Malala” — make that a priority — the payoffs are huge. We had the honor of screening the film at Blogalicious Weekend 2015 last month and had the experience of being moved to tears, laughter and to a place of inspiration and gratitude…all by the powerful story of this young woman and her father.



Eighteen year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has as her personal mission to “enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities.” Something that so many of us take for granted. As my own 6th grader is coming into her own at school – middle school to be exact! – by making friends, playing the saxophone in the performance band, rolling her eyes at her math homework, and having spent the last 3 days at Outdoor School – it’s impossible to imagine her being denied any and all of those experiences simply because she’s a girl.



And yet.

Malala’s Story

Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, ran a school in Swat Valley near her childhood home in Pakistan. His passion for education influenced Malala’s zest for learning and she looked forward to attending school every day, but the opportunity was stripped from her by the Taliban military. In 2009, the military’s hold on Swat intensified, deepening Malala’s fears that her school would be attacked or bombed.

Think about that for a second.

Death threats. Bombs. All to keep girls from learning.  It’s truly inconceivable in a place where we will most likely have a woman presidential candidate very soon.  In her zealousness to see change, Malala began to speak out against the Taliban’s harsh control with the support of her father, who’d seen several of his friends killed for doing the same thing. Despite their fear, they continued to shed light on the Taliban’s acts of terrorism, first through blogging for the BBC Urdu blog and then in a documentary made for The New York Times.



On October 9, 2012, as Malala and her friends were travelling home from school, a masked gunman entered their school bus and asked for Malala by name. She was shot with a single bullet which went through her head, neck and shoulder. Two of her friends were also injured in the attack. Malala miraculously recovered and is destined to help girls like her around the world receive the education they deserve.


A couple of weeks ago, I had the surreal experience of joining in on a phone call with Malala herself to hear first-hand about her passion for education equality for girls and the wisdom that she had to share about what her young life has taught her. She was humble and thoughtful and soft-spoken, but there was no mistaking her strength and conviction for her cause. Truly a memorable experience!


The International Day of the Girl Child

In celebration of International Day of the Girl Child on October 11th, we’re urged to continuously create a world free of discrimination for young women and girls. The UN Women Organization breaks down the horrors of being a girl child worldwide. From the website:

  • Worldwide, more than 700 million women were married as children (below 18 years of age). More than one in three—or some 250 million—were married before 15. And child brides are often unable to effectively negotiate safe sex, leaving them vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy [1].
  • Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, anadolescent girl dies as a result of violence [2].
  • In emergencies, adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to sexual violence, and in some cases, are abducted and exploited for sexual purposes by armed groups [3].
  • Nearly half (44 per cent) of adolescent girls worldwide aged 15 to 19 think a husband or partner is justified in hitting or beating his wife or partner under certain circumstances [4].


What You Can Do

Getting involved and advancing this important cause that impacts all of us is easy.

See the Film.  Find the theatre nearest you that is showing the documentary, HERE.

Talk About the Issue with Your Daughter(s). There is even a downloadable Parent Discussion Guide, written by Elena Sonnino – part of our Blogalicious Family!

Share, Share, Share. Write your own blog post on the issue. Share your thoughts on social media. All of the handles, and hashtags and links you need are right here:


I stand #WithMalala. For my daughters. For your daughters. For all of us.

I Stand #WithMalala  | Be Blogalicious


Breast Cancer & Fall Fun :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

Breast Cancer & Fall Fun

Learn about what breast self-exams can do for you. Then, finish it off with fun fall activities you can enjoy with your entire family.




Breast Cancer & You

Every October, women celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month in droves with donations, marches and wearing pink. They remember those whose lives were claimed by the disease and honor those who are now survivors. While this month is partly filled with festivities and pride, the mission of it all is to encourage women to get screened for breast cancer.

Early detection can be life saving and is something you can do at home. The National Breast Cancer Organization provides guidance on how to perform a breast self-exam and how to create an Early Detection Plan. You can also find and debunk myths about breast cancer on the website, such as mammograms spreading breast cancer or it being contagious. (Read more common myths here.)

What are some symptoms and signs of breast cancer?

According to the National Breast Cancer Organization, some symptoms and signs of the disease are:

  • a change in how the breast or nipple feels
  • a change in the breast or nipple appearance
  • any clear or bloody nipple discharge

A breast self-exam will tell you if you have any of these symptoms. It is recommended that adult women of all ages perform a breast self-exam once a month. Johns Hopkins Medical center states,

“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

You can perform your breast self-exam in the shower, in front of a mirror or when lying down. Learn more about self-exams, early detection and the importance of mammograms here.

Have your completed your breast self-exam this month?



Source: National Breast Cancer Organization.


Fall Fun for Kids, Adults & Otherwise

To put it plainly, the fall season is fun. We found over 100 fun things to do with your kids, friends or just because.

Of Southern Melle‘s 101 fun things to do this fall list, we’ve rounded up 5 of our favorites:

  1. Go on a hayride
  2. Make caramel apples
  3. Jump in leaf piles and take lots of photos!
  4. Start your Christmas shopping early
  5. Volunteer to babysit for a single mom


The Dating Divas compiled a list of 50 fun fall date ideas that your spouse is bound to enjoy! Here’s our top 5 from their list:

  1. Go to the pumpkin patch
  2. Go Halloween costume shopping
  3. Go to a football game
  4. Make a cozy fort for 2
  5. Have a spa night


Lastly, we’re including 5 things to do with kids during the fall from Rattles & Heels. Our favorite suggestion? Museums! Check it out:


Lets face it, some fall days are just too cold to bear doing outdoor activities even if we planned to. On those brisk fall days, check out a new exhibit at one of your favorite museums or explore the activities at your local children’s museum. Many museums have play rooms where the kids can learn through play and even make a few friends in the process.



What are your favorite activities to do during the fall?



Breast Cancer & Fall | Be Blogalicious

Blog Tip: How to Create New Content

Create New Content

Starting a blog is easy. Keeping up with blogging can be challenging without a solid plan. More than anything else, it is important to create legible, quality content. Doing so creates trust with your readers and increases your chances of having your hard work shared.




So, what does it mean to create and plan your content?

The concept is simple and this is how you do it.

Give yourself a quick blog audit. Write down 3-5 of your most read blog posts. There’s a reason why your readers love those posts and it’s up to you to find out why and recreate that greatness. From there, pull ideas from those previously written posts and create new content. For example, one of your most read blog posts might be about a time you traveled to Maui. We’d imagine that you included great photos, a list of your favorite local restaurants or cool historical landmarks. Consider writing a sub-post about how to choose nice backdrops for vacation photos. Or delicious must eat meals while vacationing in a particular region. Or price points of those cool, historial landmarks.

Once you’ve selected new content from your existing content, pull out a calendar and schedule them for the month. Decide the days you’ll write about specific things, the platforms you’ll share them on and specific times to do both things.

This little trick makes creating new content easier as well as ensuring that your dashboard is filled with it. Eliminate blogger stress and give your readers something fresh to read because that’s why they come to you! Be sure to engage with your people as well — ask them what they enjoy about your posts, what they’d like to see more of and how you can enhance their experience.


How do you create new content for your blog?

Better Business & Happiness :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

Better Business & Happiness


In order to run a better business, we must have the tools. In this week’s round up, we’re sharing a few must have business tools and how you can use them for your business. We’re also chatting about how running a better you is the most important thing you can do for your life and business, too. Check it out.


Better Business: Amazon to Shopify. 

In short, Amazon webstores are migrating to Shopify in 2016. That means if you have an Amazon store for your blog or otherwise, you’ll soon be able to transition to Shopify, which is one of the most popular used eCommerce platforms in the game right now. Amazon hasn’t been that successful in their webstore strategy, so the company is happy to partner with someone who is. Michael Guta at Small Biz Trends penned a thorough write up on what’s to be expected. Here’s a quick point to get your minds ticking.

Come July 2016, Amazon’s Webstore will be no more.


With less than a year to go, the small and medium-sized businesses the platform was designed for will have to find another eCommerce solution.


The company first made the announcement it would be discontinuing the servicein March 2015. Since that time, it has passed the mantle on to Shopify, making it the preferred Amazon Webstore migration partner.


What do you think about this migration?



Better Business: Content Marketing Strategy. 

Fall is here and with it comes the hopes and nopes of content marketing. Writer Access shared 3 tips to win at seasonal content marketing and here they are:

1. Fit the brand to the season, not the season to your brand.

2. The season should be the context for your content, not the theme of it.

3. Stay on top of your timetable.


Read the full article for an in-depth meaning on each tip. How do you win at seasonal content marketing?


Close-up of happy parents and daughter among autumn leaves.


Better Business: Bench! 

Entrepreneurship is fun until the tough work has to be done, such as bookkeeping. Companies like Bench exist to make those not so glamourous moments bearable at the least, so you can get back to creating, promoting and building genuine relationships. Jess Eddy, a UX Consultant, hates bookkeeping, but praises Bench for handling it for her. She says:


When you’re running a small business, there’s tons of other things to be doing besides organizing receipts and reconciling expenses. I’d rather be doing those things and I look forward to doing those things without having to think about bookkeeping now that Bench is in my life.


Our co-founder, Stacey, loves Bench, too. Take a moment to see what Bench is all about and get your [bookkeeping] life, entrepreneur.



Better You = Better Business. 

Running a business requires so much personal labor and often times, the last person or thing to be cared for is you. Self-care jumps out the window. Your relationships seem a bit off. Your business is constantly on your mind and before you know it, you’re a mad person. We can relate (and so can the people at Real Simple), but know that there is hope! Real Simple thought about the person behind the business and created a list of 10 ways to be happier. Check out our top 3 favorites from the list:

6. Buy some happiness.

7. Don’t insist on the best.

8. Exercise to boost energy.

Read the list and come back and tell us your favorites. Which ones will you implement today?



Better Business & Happiness | Be Blogalicious

#BYOE15: PJ Power Hour Shout Out

PJ Power Hour Shout Out

A few Empire Builders joined us for PJ Power Hour during Blogalicious Weekend. We had an intimate conversation with the help of two sweet shops, The Best of Luck and Popped! Republic. We’re taking a second to shout them out for their amazing treats and presence at #BYOE15! The community loved them and should add them to their personal snack collection . (Seriously, who doesn’t love ice cream and pop corn?)


About The Best of Luck:

The Best of Luck Candy & Ice Cream is a premium candy and ice cream parlor located in the heart of Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor. Offering bulk candy by the pound– with unusual, vintage, and hard-to-find varieties– we encourage customers to mix and match to create their own delicious assortment! We carry old-fashioned candy bars, specialty chocolates and truffles, gourmet pretzels, freshly popped popcorn, hot coffee from local roaster Zeke’s Coffee, fun gifts, tasty soft drinks, and more– plus fresh, cold, hand-scooped ice cream and milkshakes by local creamery Taharka Brothers!




Grab the Raven’s Football Bucket for your dad or a the Iconic Candy Lovers Dream for your best friend.


About Popped! Republic:

Washington D.C.’s popcorn revolution went mobile in May 2012.

This is when the very first Popped! Republic® food truck rolled into the Nation’s Capital – delivering the tastiest, hot air-popped popcorn in bold flavors with a D.C. twist.

In addition to traditional favorites like America’s Favorite, Capitol Caramel™, Congressional Cheddar™, K Street Kettle Korn™ and White House White Cheddar™, we offer a constantly changing selection of specialty flavors.




Stock up on your favorite Popped! Republic flavors! 


If you enjoyed the PJ Power Hour at #BYOE15, tweet Popped! Republic and The Best of Luck a special thanks, Blogalicious style.

PJ Power Hour Shout Out | Be Blogalicious

Thank You, Kikkoman!

Kikkoman was one of our Blogalicious sponsors at #BYOE15 and the response from our community has been great! Thank you, Kikkoman, for showing up and connecting with all of us on a deeper level. Here’s a quick roundup of  #BYOE15 Empire Builders who loved what Kikkoman had to offer.

“Kikkoman also had some soy sauce ice cream in their suite. It sounds strange but so good!” — I’m Not the Nanny blog




“And then Kikkoman was there.  You know the soy sauce people?  I was like, what the heck!  Soy and blogs, do they even mix?  But then they hit me up free soy sauce ice cream (tasted kinda like coffee) and some soy chocolate milk which was pretty awesome.  The people at the suite were pretty awesome too so I’ll accept it as normal.” — Uncle Walter’s Rants blog


“I even gotten to meet the founder who created the Blogalicious. I even met the Chef of Kikkoman Soy Sauce through a dinner sweepstake!” — In the Mix Bakery blog


“Thanks for the ice cream !! ” — @avshawPR



“Soy sauce and brown sugar ice cream? It’s sooo delicious! ” — @laflowers



“Enjoying Chef Helen’s sriracha spiced popcorn in the suite ” — @NaturallyGlamTV



“A little brought us amigas together tonight… Love! ” — Cristy Clavijo-Kish

“Not only were our minds fed with awesome speakers and content – but our tummies were blessed as well! Maryland lump crab cakes, beef short ribs, salmon and let’s not forget the desserts – mini-pineapple upside down cakes, peach cobbler and the brown-sugar/soy-sauce flavored ice-cream suite sponsored by Kikkoman (I know what you’re thinking, but it tasted much better than you think!)” — Finer Women Rising blog


Most importantly, Kikkoman brought us together!


Wonderful evening making new friends at the Kikkoman dinner at#BYOE15 #justaddkikkoman” — Piera Jolly of @TheJollyMom



To learn more about Kikkoman, visit KikkomanUSA.com, where you will find their creed story, recipes, food services, products and more. You can also find more Blogalicious + Kikkoman stories on social media with hashtags #JustAddKikkoman and #BYOE15.


Thank You, Kikkoman | Be Blogalicious

The Emmy’s, Marriage & More :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

The Emmy’s, Marriage & More



Before 2015’s last quarter approaches, it’s a must that we talk about this year’s Emmy’s, a little more #BYOE15 fun and how to build an empire while nurturing your marriage. Get into this week’s roundup and share your favorite moments with us, too.


The Emmy’s & why you [should] care. Viola Davis made history at the 67th prime time Emmy Awards when she won an Emmy for best actress in a drama, a first for an African-American. It was obvious that the How to Get Away with Murder star was taken aback when her name was called. Thankfully, that didn’t stop her from delivering a speech worthy of a lifetime of replays. In less than five minutes, Davis highlighted the plight of actresses of color [in Hollywood], paid homage to Harriet Tubman, whom she’s rumored to portray in a future film, and reminded us how important sisterhood is as she thanked several other amazing Black actresses worthy of an Emmy.

In case you missed it, watch it below:


Another first went to Regina King on her first Emmy nomination and win! In true King fashion, she was humble, funny, beautiful and inspiring. We’ve been fans of this long time actress since 227, but to see her own the role as Aliyah Shadeed in ABC’s American Crime made us proud to no end. We’ve got her acceptance speech, too:


Play Time is Over Conference 2015. We’re conference people, but even more, we’re tribe-supporting people. We want to congratulate our friend Cheryl Wood on her upcoming women in business conference, Play Time Is Over 2015 (#PTIO2015)! To add to this excitement, our friends Lamar & Ronnie Tyler will be speaking on Nurturing Your Marriage While Building an Empire. Register for #PTIO2015 HERE!



#BYOE15 Social Media RoundUp. Blogalicious Weekend was great this year, but don’t take our word for it. Check out our recent compilation post highlighting some of our community’s favorite moments. Catch up here!



TAKE THE SURVEY! What you think matters to us. Please take a moment to give us your #BYOE15 feedback in this survey. It will be closed on Friday, so if you haven’t shared your thoughts with us by now, do it as soon as possible. TAKE THE SURVEY!



The Emmy’s, Marriage & More | Be Blogalicious

#BYOE15 Social Media Buzz + Round Up

#BYOE15 Social Media Buzz + Round Up

#BYOE15 Highlights :: Blogalicious Weekly Round Up

#BYOE15: Blogalicious Highlights



So, was Blogalicious Weekend the place to be, or was it the place to be? We already know the answer to that, and like you, we’re still gleaming with excitement and passion on what #BYOE15 truly was. For this week’s round up, we’re going to highlight a few fun things that went down in Baltimore. Share your favorites with us, too.


All-Star Empire Building Panel. Talk about an all-star panel! Blogalicious co-founder Stacey Ferguson (@justicefergie) moderated a live panel with guests (from l to r) Natasha Eubanks of The YBF (@theybf), Ana Flores of Latin Bloggers Connect (@anaflores), Paul C. Brunson of Brunson Holdings (@PaulCBrunson) and Mahisha Dellinger, CEO of @frizzfreeCURLS. Each panelist shared stories on how they began their empires, advice on how to stay focused and what to do when the going gets tough. Like most of #BYOE15 happenings, you just had to be there.



Blogalicious Shirts. We were a force in our #BYOE15 shirts! Like last year, we partnered with Tees in the Trap to bring you three custom shirts suitable for every empire-building personality. In case you missed them, we still have a limited amount in stock in the Blogalicious Store! Grab some for you and your tribe!




Perfect Pitch Finalists. The #BYOE15 stage was used for many things last weekend; one being the Wells Fargo Perfect Pitch III contest. Finalists Vicki Sylvain, Sonia Kang and Rhonesha Byng confidently owned the stage as they presented their business’ missions, achievements and needs for the $5,000 grand prize. Each woman’s story was inspiring and a true testament of courage and faith. Congratulations to you all for making it to the finalist round.



Remember Why You Started. Our goal was to load Blogalicious Weekend with actionable tools, education and resources to help you build and grow successful empires. We hope that you’re able to take what you need from that training and turn profits in your blog business. Right now, your brain may be on #BYOE15 overload. Take a moment to breathe and remember why you started this venture in the first place. Write down your reason that makes it all worth it and forge the entrepreneurial journey with confidence. You got this!



#BYOE15 Blogalicious Highlights | Weekly Round Up

Meet Team Blogalicious

In just 3 days, the Blogalicious community will (re)unite in Baltimore’s Marriot hotel to learn the latest and greatest strategies on how to build successful empires. We’ve jampacked your inboxes and news feeds with our awesome speakers, their sessions, our sponsors and where to eat good local food. The one thing we haven’t officially introduced you to yet is our team, affectionately known as #TeamBlogalicious.

While it is easy to get stuck behind our devices, we don’t want that to stop you from connecting with us. So, take a moment to Meet Team Blogalicious — learn who we are, what we love to do and where you can find us in this fun team interview.


Meet Team Blogalicious




Name one thing you wish you knew about entrepreneurship before you started.


I wish I knew it was possible to invest more (too much) in other brands than your own. When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I found myself believing in my clients’ projects more than my own. I cared more about representing my client and neglected my business goals.

Ashlee Laughlin, Executive Assistant (@AshleeLaughlin)





That it would be lonely. I am a people person so this is something I struggle with daily. I’m thankful for all the ways to connect with my team and my community and for my mastermind group and communities like One Woman Shop.  — Stacey Ferguson, Co-Founder of Blogalicious (@JusticeFergie)







One thing I wish I knew… and I mean really knew about entrepreneurship before I started is that you carry it with you always. It’s always on your mind, you even feel it emotionally. And it never stops; you’re always on the hustle. I thought I knew balance, but it seems I’m constantly learning and re-learning what that means as an entrepreneur.

— Cara Paige, Marketing Director (@CaraPaigePR)



What do your surroundings look like when you’re most productive?



Sitting in my bed with my laptop with just work material around me. Pandora is playing my ‘Let The Church Say Amen’ radio station or Tyrese’s Black Rose CD is on repeat.

— Pamela S. King, bLink Marketing Network Manager (@DatingMySpouse)






In my office with a candle lit, coffee and/or tea, a little jazz or R&B playing, and my phone in another room.

Jana Player Pauldin, Blogalicious Social Squad Coordinator





Rank your Top 3 favorite brands. Why are they your favorite?


Terrance Gaines Tech Advisor

1) Apple. I’m impressed by how they control all aspects of their ecosystem (hardware, software & and services) and their branding/marking is very personal and appeals to your emotions.

2) BMW. A company that has stayed on task after all these years when it comes to their brand and message – “The ultimate driving machine.”

3) UberThey did exactly what you’re supposed to do as a tech startup – Identify a problem/need, and create a product/brand built around solving that specific problem/need.

Terrance Gaines, Blogalicious Technology Advisor (@BrothaTech)



1) Humans of NY (HONY) –  This page gets me in my feelings every time. A daily reminder to never judge a book by its cover.

2) Tieks & Talenti is KILLING the social media marketing game. I’m in awe of their creativity and social strategy. Bucket list: I’d love to spend a day shadowing their community manager and learning a trick or two.

— Jazzy Jones, Operations & Logistics Manager (@JazzyJ0nez)




1) Sephora because they make women of all colors believe in beauty and self-care again. Their customer service is amazing and the place feels like Never Never Land. Plus, the variety is astounding.

2) Honda. My first car was a Honda Accord and it lasted for years! I don’t know what their engines are made of, but those cars will rock forever. Also, my local Honda dealership has a full kitchen, chef and computer lab inside while you wait for repairs. What better service can you get than that?!

3) Publix. Price wise, Publix racks up. But when you consider the cleanliness of the store, perfectly placed products, phenomenal customer service and the fact that they have almost everything you’ll ever need, the extra is worth it. Shopping truly is a pleasure there.

— Ariel C. Williams, Digital Media & Events Intern (@ArielSaysNow)


Fun Questions for #TeamBlogalicious


Music goes hand-in-hand with entrepreneurship! What’s your favorite song?

“‘Grown Woman’ by Beyonce!”Ashlee

“Ever! oooo this is a hard one. I’ll say Real Love by Mary J. Blige or Love Sponge by Buju Banton. Or Renee by Lost Boyz. Or…ok, I’ll stop!”Stacey

“‘Higher Ground’ by Stevie Wonder is my theme song.”Terrance

“‘Meet Me On The Moon’ by Phyllis Hyman” — Jana


You’re going to a social media conference. What’s the one thing you must bring?

“Phone, of course!”Cara

Travel phone charger!” — Pamela

“iPhone & charger. (I know that’s two but seriously, they go together)” — Jazzy

“Laptop.” — Ariel 


Name your favorite app.

“Instagram!” — Jazzy, Ashlee, Jana, and Ariel

“Evernote.” Terrance

“I live for Canva & Harvest!” — Cara



If you could design a t-shirt, what would it say?

“Boss Bae!” — Ariel 

“Checks or it didn’t happen!” — Jazzy

“Loving Me allows me to Love YOU” — Pamela

“Hire Me!” — Ashlee


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