In xoNecole's Our First Year series, we take an in-depth look at love and relationships between married couples with an emphasis on what their first year of marriage was like.
For Carjie and Kerwin Scott, "Make Me Better" by Fabolous comes to mind. We all know those lyrics, "I'm a movement by myself, but I'm a force when we're together." This sentiment speaks truth for how Carjie and Kerwin have been there for each other since the year 2012. One night at an Alpha Phi Alpha BBQ on campus, these two locked eyes in a crowded room. While neither Carjie and Kerwin wanted to attend the BBQ in the first place, they had no idea that they would meet their future partner/best friend that in layman's terms would "make them better". Carjie wasn't looking for anything at the time, but was open to the handsome guy she waved to, who later walked her to her car. After Carjie and her now-husband Kerwin exchanged numbers, they naturally spent every day together after that.
Eight years of marriage and two beautiful children later, Dr. Carjie and Dr. Kerwin Scott realized that they complement each other in the best ways when it comes to love. Kerwin mentions, "I wanted us to support each other enough where we can still reach the goals we had before we even met." Even in marriage, Carjie and Kerwin worked hard to turn their individual dreams into reality. They trusted each other where they may be able to handle things on their own, but they provided that support for one another to make it to the top. Carjie and Kerwin understood the value that each other brought to the table and used their love for each other to take them to higher levels and new heights.
In this installment of "Our First Year", xoNecole was able to sit down with Carjie and Kerwin to talk more about building a life together, taking risks, and believing in each other to reach their full potential.
Courtesy of Dr. Carjie Scott
How We Met
Kerwin: One of my frat brothers was having a BBQ. I was playing cards and I saw Carjie and her friend walk in. I thought to myself, 'Man, she looks good.' I was trying to see if she was there with somebody. So I was looking at her and she waved at me. It made me nervous, so I gave her a head nod (laughs). I told myself that before she leaves I would approach her and talk to her. When she was leaving, I walked up to her and asked her if I could walk her to her car. We talked a little. I was honest with her about what I wanted to do in my life and what I was looking for at the time. She reciprocated and we exchanged numbers.
Carjie: My friend had just crossed Delta and she invited me to the Alpha BBQ. I didn't want to go at first because I'm not in a sorority, but I went to support my friend. So I was sitting on the couch and I saw him looking at me. I waved at him and he didn't wave back at me. I thought to myself, 'Fine whatever. I'm trying to be nice and he doesn't want to speak back. I didn't even want to be here in the first place, so I'm ready to go.' [laughs] My friend and I are walking out and that's when Kerwin walks up saying that he would walk me to my car.
Carjie: I thought he was a handsome guy. He had on his glasses and looked like he was smart. When we finally talked and he told me everything that he wanted to do in his life, I found myself wanting to learn more. I wasn't really expecting anything. So even if we didn't get together, I thought we could at least be good friends.
Kerwin: I thought she was different. Honestly, when I walked her to her car, I noticed her big blue truck. At the time, I was looking for someone that was different. Someone that could take me outside of my comfort zone. That's what intrigued me and made me want to get to know her more. The way she carried herself, how she wasn't like the other girls I was used to, and that big blue truck.
Courtesy fo Dr. Carjie Scott
"I thought she was different. At the time, I was looking for someone that was different. Someone that could take me outside of my comfort zone. That's what intrigued me and made me want to get to know her more."
Carjie: I can be a tough nut to crack. I love that he has earned my trust and that he is patient with me. Together, we have become this purpose-led couple who inspires others to be successful in areas that you usually do not see black people in. More than anything else, he brings out the best in me. I couldn't picture my life without him. It's as simple as that.
Kerwin: When we first started dating, I liked that she had been through a lot in her life and she was willing to share that with me. That's important to me because if you are able to be upfront about things, it helps build trust. It showed me that she was at least committed to seeing how things could go with us. From the conversations that we had, I knew that I had to be better personally. When you're single, you can do certain things and there aren't huge consequences. When you add someone into your life, there comes that new level of responsibility. So with her, I felt that she was it and there wouldn't be anyone better.
Carjie: I didn't have any fears. I saw how I could bring value into his life and we started off as really good friends. I thought he was a super cool guy and thought that if it went there, I already trusted him. I knew he wouldn't betray me or do anything to intentionally hurt me. Don't get me wrong, no relationship is perfect. We do get on each other's nerves and stuff. But with him, I wouldn't say I was fearful. Any fears that I may have had, I would cast them to God because that has always been my foundation.
Kerwin: I felt like now that I told her all this stuff about what I wanted to do, I had to make it happen. I was fearful with the thought of, 'Could I get there?' The last thing I wanted to do was bring her into a relationship and the respect for me is lost. But I think in the end, pushing myself and her allowing me to fall, helped me combat that fear. She reassured me that we are going to get to where we needed to be and I'm so appreciative of that.
Courtesy of Dr. Carjie Scott
"Together, we have become this purpose-led couple who inspires others to be successful in areas that you usually do not see black people in. More than anything else, he brings out the best in me. I couldn't picture my life without him. It's as simple as that."
Carjie: I consider myself a big risk-taker. Kerwin and I have been through situations that probably would have broken other marriages. When we met, we went from 0-180 miles per hour. When we got married, I was three months pregnant. We bought a house three months after we got married and a year after that we left that house so that Kerwin could attend medical school out of state. When we left that house, we moved into a tiny apartment in Tennessee where Kerwin's program was. It was just a lot of adjustments we had to work through. Sometimes things can affect your marriage where you may grow resentment towards each other. But we grew and continued to lean on each other nevertheless. We just figured it out together and it allowed us to overcome a lot of challenges.
Kerwin: During that time, things were moving so fast for us. There were times where I would leave in the morning and I wouldn't see her until the next morning. Whether I never came home from school or she was busy with her job or her degree. We didn't have time to argue about the small stuff. We had to learn how to put the small stuff on the back burner until we could deal with it. I feel like that helped keep things stable at the time.
"Sometimes things can affect your marriage where you may grow resentment towards each other. But we grew and continued to lean on each other nevertheless. We just figured it out together and it allowed us to overcome a lot of challenges."
Kerwin: The biggest lesson I've learned is that you have to be cautious and guard your relationship. Everyone does not have the best intentions and it can really be harmful to your relationship giving the outside world complete access to it. Being mindful of that protects you from a lot of negativity.
Carjie: The biggest lesson for me is to trust the process and appreciate what you have right now. To try not to move so fast so you do not miss the blessing that is right in front of you.
Featured image courtesy of Dr. Carjie and Dr. Kerwin Scott
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Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
If you haven’t scrolled upon Olivia McDowell's TikTok famous dinner parties, you may need to reconfigure your "For You Page."
What began as a passion for hosting aesthetically themed meals for her closest friends has quickly become a viral sensation. With an astonishing 12 million viewers, women describe Olivia’s picturesque dinner parties as the “dream girls' night,” complete with classy cocktails, beautiful table settings, elegant outfits, and, most importantly, food plated to perfection.
Seemingly reigniting the feminine urge to host fancy dinner parties, Olivia has perfected the finer details. Overlooking the skyline in her beautiful NYC apartment, she never fails to make her signature handmade pasta dishes while simultaneously looking effortlessly chic in the wardrobe of dreams while doing so.
Replying to @nara0630 what should the theme of my next dinner party be? #minivlog #nycliving #dinnerpartyideas #caviarinnewyork
What I love most about hosting intimate dinners for close friends are the connections and relationships that form over food. They don't require a caviar budget with a high-rise apartment, it just takes determination and a little creativity. Watching Olivia’s journey inspires viewers to be a part of a community of positive and uplifting women who share common interests and tastes in food, fashion, and decor. Simply stated, she’s raising the bar of friendship goals.
If you’re aspiring to host a holiday-themed dinner party this season, check out the four tips that will guide you along the way.
Choose Your Theme
Replying to @emz.life.tsv what was your fav part? 🤍 hope this gives you some inspiration to host a fancy friendsgiving too! #hostingtip #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Set the ambiance with a thoughtful theme, which will indeed be your guiding light for less stress during the planning process. Establishing a theme sets the tone for everything else to fall in place, such as menus, table design, and presentation. For example, a holiday-inspired dinner party is a perfect occasion for elegant all-white decor paired with draped table cloths, pillar candles lit atop luxe holders, floating floral arrangements, and, for a personal touch, handwritten place settings.
Utilizing free resources such as Canva for menu templates and creating a “Dinner Party” moodboard via Pinterest is perfect for gathering dinner inspiration for themes, decor, and recipes for the special occasion.
Simplify the Menu
How to host your own pasta making dinner party — part 1: pasta making from scratch 🤍 Hosting dinner parties has become my favorite thing to do this year. More goes into it than you expect, the prep, planning, guestlist, tablescape, etc. but it’s always worth it in the end. What do you guys want to see next? #hostingtips #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Don’t overcomplicate the menu. A simple dinner party formula to use as your guide to making sure your guests leave full of food and joy is appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. As a starter, assemble an aesthetic spread that your guest can nibble on while awaiting the main course with starters such as bread, cheese, jam, nuts, and fruit. A simple salad will do, complete with a light dressing right before your entree. For a main dish, pasta recipes always go a long way and also allows your guests to interact with one another, which leads to McDowell's third dinner party hosting tip.
Include an Interactive Element
Replying to @itstai.tv 🖤 #girlhood
To break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another, introduce interactive elements to the evening. Moments of interaction allow everyone to connect, like capturing content for social media or memorializing the essence of the night through fun Polaroids. Olivia also encourages her guests to participate in the pasta-making dinner process as a group, or if hosting a brunch, her friends indulge in building their own coffee bar as an opportunity for forming connections and conversation starters. Group board or card games are also great for laughs and healthy competition to help get the vibes flowing.
Don’t Forget the Dress code
Replying to @samantha_mendiz when all of your friends are the main character 🖤🥂 #dinnerparty #nycfashion
Tis’ the season for glamour and sparkles, so why not go all out with a super chic dress code? You can’t have a picture-perfect holiday dinner party without the coordinating attire to match. When planning, make sure to make the required attire specific yet broad enough for a range of personalities and preferences to comfortably partake while looking stunning doing so.
Featured image by Justin Lambert/Getty Images