Sprinkle of Jesus founder Dana Chanel is at the top of everyone's Explore page - whether it be promoting one of her CurlBible products or creating cute TikToks with bae-siness partner, her husband Prince Donnell. When you think of #RelationshipGoals, you think of going on Instagram Live together and giving status updates of your relationship while planning out your next joint YouTube video and island-themed baecations. For the serial entrepreneurs, love and relationships are all held up by the foundation of communication, respect and faith. The Philly-based millennial power couple evolved from a private message to a marriage built on profit and prosperity. "You helped make our first million dollars. I praise God for giving me the ability to fire my husband's boss," she praised her hubby in an Instagram post.
Their multiple business endeavors across the financial- and faith-based enterprises include Jumping Jack Taxes, which aligns with their mission of building generational wealth while expanding to affiliates encouraged to jumpstart their own virtual tax services. Who would have thought that Donnell sliding in the DMs for mentorship and business advice would later lead to a Philly-bred marriage with a focus on building generational wealth while embarking on a journey of mental, emotional and spiritual strength? The best friends, lovers and business partners have shown all of social media and beyond that love and faith can coexist.
During an exclusive interview with xoNecole, the coupleprenuer opened up about gender roles, self-love and mental health.
Ready, Set, Go.
"Not gonna lie, I wasn't ready at all. I was a 20-year-old dude who just started my career as a personal banker with my life, accident and health insurance license and making $60,000 per year," Donnell admits to xoNecole about his mental preparation for a serious relationship. "I moved into my own apartment, got my own car and I had a few extra dollars on my check every two weeks after bills. To be honest, I felt like I made it."
After living what he thought in his mind was his best life with having his friends in and out of his apartment everyday and a fair share of friendships with various women, he soon came to realize that his life would change after meeting his wife with whom he shared the same alma mater, Community College of Philadelphia. "I remember her third time visiting my apartment and she threw out all of the liquor bottles on the top of my fridge and forced me to go food shopping because I would eat out everyday and she wanted me to start saving money. It was clear that she was different from the majority of women I've dated," added Donnell.
He admits that he wasn't ashamed of not "being ready" for a relationship when it presented itself to him while arguing pointedly that no one between the ages of 20-25 years of age is actually ready for what life has to give them. "We don't have enough experience. Social media places a ton of pressure on millennials to be this perfect person who is rich, has a business, drives a luxury car and seems to have their life in order. Man, that's for movies. As long as you're making a conscious decision to improve your life each day and your partner is supporting you through that journey, that's what truly matters," he advises.
"I'm 25-years-old today," Donnell continues, "and although I run a company that generates over ten times the amount of my yearly income at the bank and have all of these 'luxury items,' it still hasn't made me fully ready for my marriage. Everyday is a new learning experience to become a better man and to love my wife like Christ loves the church."
Courtesy of Dana Chanel/Prince Donnell
"We don't have enough experience. Social media places a ton of pressure on millennials to be this perfect person who is rich, has a business, drives a luxury car and seems to have their life in order. Man, that's for movies. As long as you're making a conscious decision to improve your life each day and your partner is supporting you through that journey, that's what truly matters."
Self-Love and Loving Each Other
As Donnell touches on loving one another and opens up about the practicality of readiness for a romantic relationship, Dana Chanel brings our attention to the importance of self-love and catering to one's self. Chanel agrees that self-love is a responsibility of one's own self, but there's additional work that needs to be done. "It is so important that if you're gonna decide to do life with someone that they honor, encourage and motivate you to continue to evolve as you guys get older," she says. "Never be afraid to join a journey with your spouse if you know it's important to them, ain't nothing like someone screaming in your ear."
Dana tells xoNecole that after getting married to Donnell, she gained twenty pounds of happy weight, but rather than being degrading or condescending, Donnell took it upon himself to encourage his wife and be her biggest support system. "Don saw I was irritated and disappointed in how lazy I had become with myself. So instead of just watching me embark on my own self-love fitness journey, he joined me at the gym [twice] a day, he intermediate fasted with me and encouraged me by being by my side," Chanel shares. "It's so much easier to self-love when your partner isn't just a bystander but is hype about you loving yourself."
This Isn’t Just a Man’s World
When it comes to the roles of gender in marriage, oftentimes the man is expected to be the breadwinner and the woman to be a docile housekeeper and child bearer. In the 21st century, the power couple has proven to the world that they can do it all as not only man and woman - but as equals. As the two began to step into their partnership, they've respected each other in business and romance. "I praise God every single day for blessing me with a husband that doesn't put me in a box as a woman and is my PARTNER!" Dana praises the equality and respect in her relationship with Donnell. "Listen, we are hardworking women. We grind and are just as emotionally and mentally exhausted after a long day of work, so we work together around the house. I cook, he does dishes, he does laundry, I do bathrooms. He doesn't just assume or force me into a duty we could do together. He respects the other roles I play in life as a CEO, a sister, a friend and alleviates pressure."
In their relationship, Dana and Donnell make it a point to uplift and encourage one another while providing emotional and mental support for one another in rough times. We live in a society where women aren't subjected to stand behind their man, but beside them. "When he is weak, I have to put on my cape and be superwoman," Dana adds.
"Something that is important though is [to not] be afraid to ask your spouse to help you out," she further advises. "We make it look really easy when we're struggling to do it all. Your relationship is about providing your spouse the best possible circumstance to grow and flourish, not feel burdened by obligation. Y'all are doing life together, remember that. Don't wait for a nervous breakdown before you ask for help. Ain't no gender roles, we're gonna do whatever necessary to be aware enough to spot each other's weaknesses and be an extraordinary family no matter what position we gotta play."
Courtesy of Dana Chanel/Prince Donnell
"I praise God every single day for blessing me with a husband that doesn't put me in a box as a woman and is my PARTNER! We grind and are just as emotionally and mentally exhausted after a long day of work, so we work together around the house. I cook, he does dishes, he does laundry, I do bathrooms. He doesn't just assume or force me into a duty we could do together. He respects the other roles I play in life as a CEO, a sister, a friend and alleviates pressure."
Faith, God and Hustle
Aside from holding one another accountable and being a stable support system, faith and a relationship with God serves as the foundation for the metaphorical house that is their aspirational marriage. "Faith is the foundation of our marriage. As a husband, I can't properly lead my family without the Holy Spirit's wisdom and guidance. Especially during those times when things get tough," says Donnell. In times of COVID-19, couples and friendships are deteriorating, but yet they find a way to communicate through Christ and keep a healthy relationship afloat.
"Faith is a superpower we all possess but don't fully tap into because we can't see the results right away - but faith isn't enough to make a relationship [or] marriage last," he continues. "It requires that other word called 'work' that people are afraid of. These 'relationship goals' couples look real good on social media and these marriages look like fairy tales on television. But what happens when it hits the fan?"
For more of Dana and Prince, follow them on Instagram @danachanel and @princedonnell.
Featured image via Dana Chanel/Instagram
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images