Being an entrepreneur, reality star, wife, and recording artist may be too much to handle for some women, but Kandi Burruss is one bad mother-of-two that makes it look like a piece of cake.
Kandi sang her way into our hearts in the 90's and has continued to solidify her legacy over the years, in both business and entertainment. Now the mommy mogul is forging her own path in a new lane. It was recently announced that the RHOA starwill be featured in the upcoming faith-based film, Never Heard, alongside David Banner, Romeo Miller, Robin Givens, and Karrueche Tran.
I was somewhat nervous to sit down and talk to the esteemed entrepreneur, but through her warm conversation, I soon found that conversing with her was like catching up with an old friend. Kandi and I chatted about her latest role, motherhood, and how she practices self-care.
In Never Heard, Kandi, who was raised by a once-single mother, and was a single mother herself, plays Tara, a drug-addicted single mother of two troublesome drug dealing sons. Although the character is pretty much the complete opposite of the Atlanta-based socialite in reality, Kandi jumped at the chance to play the role. "It was an amazing thing because I always wanted to get a part where I can really show my skills as an actress, because when you're a music artist or whatever, or you're on reality TV, people tend to want to typecast you in roles, or either they just want you to come on and play yourself or something. I really wanted something that I could show people my skills and when this part came to my agent and he was like, 'You can do this.' And I was like, oh my God. I couldn't wait to do it."
IMDBNever Heard (2018)
"I couldn't wait for them to turn me and transform me into someone totally different than what people were expecting to see."
Although this role called for a major transformation, Kandi shared that there were actually some ways that she could relate to the character. Although she has never personally had a problem with substance abuse, the former Xscape singer shared that she grew up with friends and family that weren't as fortunate. The role was one that was easy to master because she's a witness to how large of an impact a single-parent household can have on the entire community. "The whole point of the movie is trying to show how not having the child's father in their lives, how it can affect things, and how it's a reaction on everybody."
"The mother, raising the kids alone, she had nobody else helping her raise those boys. And just that whole story is like, we've seen it many, many times in a lot of different families and in communities that we know. And so, it was easy for me to reach into people that I have known growing up and kind of like pull from them and just kind of just put it into the character."
Kandi explained that like many of the characters in the film, she's had to rely on her faith to get her through some tough times. She shared that one of the most important values she tries to instill in her daughter is a consistent faith in God.
Kandi said that since she's been so blessed in her life, it's important that her children know she didn't do it all alone. She explained, "I feel like it's definitely God's favor in my life that has allowed me to accomplish so many things and be able to push through adversity and just stay focused in life and take situations that may not have been always the best and make it better and that comes with faith."
When it comes to motherhood, she pointed out that faith in God and communication are key components in mastering effective parenting. When asked about the most important lesson about motherhood that she's learned over the years, Kandi had this to say: "Just having great communication with your kid. I feel like my daughter, and I have to use her as an example, obviously Ace is too small. Kayla, she's grown, she's 22. Riley is 16, Ace is 2. And I just feel like communication is just the best is the thing."
"Especially when you have daughters, and plus we have a blended family. It's all about education and making sure everybody is heard."
The singer continued, "We sit down, we talk, we make it make sense. I'm a realist, so I feel like, I try to not to deal with situations in a way that I feel like it should be, but in the way life really is. That's all I can really, you know, preach to people - just really communicate with your kids. And don't let them learn things from their friends on the street. They have [to] have real conversations with you."
As a mother, entrepreneur, recording artist, and now actress, it's hard to imagine how Kandi finds some alone time. Kandi expressed that like most entrepreneurs, she's definitely a member of #TeamNoSleep. Although she's constantly juggling a multitude of personal and professional projects, there are a few hours out of the month delegated for self-care that are non-negotiable for the entertainer.
Along with regularly scheduled trips to the nail salon, the Kandi Koated Nights host shared that even moguls need to unwind with a little Netflix & Chill every now and then. She told xoNecole, "My 'woosah' moment is catching up on my favorite shows. It's just simple stuff like, I have DVR on my favorite TV shows and sometimes I just have to have a moment where I just chill and just watch and just chill. That's it. It's nothing extra about it, it's no special thing. It's maybe not a big deal for anybody else, or anything somebody else would want to do, but it's just like my moment to myself where I just get to chill."
Kandi reminds us all that self-care doesn't necessarily have to mean an expensive spa day or hours of meditation. #KandiTaughtMe that sometimes true alignment can come from putting my phone on DND, binge-watching this season of Grey's Anatomy, and not feeling guilty about it one bit.
To keep up with Kandi, be sure to follow her on Instagram. Check out the trailer for Kandi's new movie, Never Heard below!
Official Trailer - "NEVER HEARD" Starring David Banner, Romeo Miller, Karrueche Tran, Robin Given..www.youtube.com
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Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
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.
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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.
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Featured image by Justin Lambert/Getty Images