Houston, we have a love problem. But luckily, powerhouse producer Will Packer is here to hopefully help you solve it. The ever-popular dating series Ready To Love is back in full force only this time, they're raising the stakes in a whole new way. Hosted by Thomas "Nephew Tommy" Miles, these Houston hopefuls will be tasked with finding love this season in a love bubble, aka a beautiful lush resort to wean off all distractions. Each week, the tables continue to turn as the men and women trade the power to eliminate those they deem not ready to love. In the end, only three couples will remain. Whew, chile.
Let's take a look at the eligible singles we met last night, starting with...
Courtesy of OWN
The Ladies of 'Ready To Love: Last Resort' (Season 3)
Joy, 38, Management Consultant:
First of all: YESSS HAIR. Joy is the whole package, if she does say so herself. (And she did.) She's educated, good around the kitchen, and enterprising. She's not one to deal with dating games so whoever she matches with has to come all the way real and ready to secure her heart. Because it's abundantly clear that she's ready for something long-lasting. "I'm ready to love because the timing of my healing says so." OK, sis.
Adrianna, 31, Realtor:
This former Houston Texans cheerleader wants you to know that she's more than just a pretty face. And I for one don't blame her, that stigma is beyond old and outdated. She's ready to find someone who recognizes and values her as something special as well as an equal partner, not just a trophy wife. "I'm a hopeless romantic and I'm very ready to love. I'm past due." Same sis, same.
Alisha, 38, Clinic Manager:
Now Alisha is probably going to be one of my favorites and I'll tell you why. Sis' confidence is on 100 and I'm totally here for it. Admitting to dealing with low self-esteem stemming from her size, Alisha vows to never settle for less in a man ever again. She's also looking for some eye candy that can match her fly, aesthetically speaking. And while good looks never hurt, I hope she gets to go beyond the surface-level with these men. Because as a wise woman once told me, "You can dress up ugly, but you can't paint over stupid." Or narcissism or, disrespectfulness.
Danielle, 40, Oil & Gas Project Coordinator:
As a someone who grew up with a single mother, Danielle's story touched me for a myriad of reasons. Now that her daughter is older, she's finally ready to find love for herself. But she has to learn how to be brave and open up her heart to someone other than her own child.
Denice, 38, Track & Field Coach:
This athletic, brown-skinned beauty has been single for four years and feels as if she's now ready to find true love. The only problem is she has to work on how she comes across to men, let her friends tell it. The real challenge, however, will come in learning how to open herself up enough in order to allow love in. Been there sis, been there.
Nyya, 42, Salon Owner:
Now whoever deals with Nyya needs to know that they're dealing with a woman who's ready for both marriage and a family. After previously suffering miscarriages in her past, her 'ticking clock' is calling all the shots now. So Mr. Right better come with all the good vibes and energy. "I want to be everything that he needs and he has to be everything that I need." I know that's right.
Shay, 40, Private Chef & Caterer:
This hard-working woman is looking for a man who's all soul food, eye candy be damned. She wants someone who will pursue her, make her feel special, and treat her right regardless of how he looks on the outside. We already know looks can be deceiving so I can't say I don't feel sis on this.
Symone, 37, Attorney:
This boss woman is finally ready to take off her lawyer heels and sink it to some sensitive slippers. She's looking for someone who will allow the space to be vulnerable, soft and taken care of. And seeing as how Black women aren't traditionally given that, her quest is one I can't wait to see unfold. (But first, she has to want to see you naked. Well, not really. But kinda.)
Wynter, 40, Small Biz Consultant:
This fun-loving, entrepreneurial queen is ready to find her King. But first she'll have to deal with healing the emotional scars from her previous marriage in order to trust her intuition to steer her the right way. You got this girl, we're rooting for you.
The Men of 'Ready To Love: Last Resort' (Season 3)
Khalfani, 38, Personal Trainer:
This chiseled bachelor is tired of "looking for love in all the wrong places." So hopefully he can find someone who matches his fly and is just as much a catch as he is. "For all you ladies that say I'm a snack--I'm not a snack, I'm a whole meal." OK, then sir.
Rasheed, 37, Luxury Car Broker/Concierge:
Having been married previously for 10 years, this divorced father is "ready for a new love of my life so we can go out and conquer the world." He's gonna have to work on his game a little bit but as long as he plays his gentleman card right, the chips should fall in favor of him. But we'll see.
Bryan, 35, Education Consultant:
"What makes me sexy is my confidence, when I walk into the room--I know who I am." C'mon then! Y'all know I love my brown-skinned, bearded men. This passionate man has a heart for the kids and a heart for loving his woman through her growth and positive evolution. He knows he's ready for love now, thanks in part to his three-year-old daughter. (Cue the awws and oohs.) We'll be keeping our eyes on him for sure.
David, 36, Chemical Operator:
As a proud southern girl, it's something about a country boy that's good with his hands that just does something to my spirit. But this handyman has to put some hands on his heart first before he can be open enough to trust and love hard again. I hope he's ready to do that internal work, but only time will tell.
Anthony, 38, Student Support Manager:
Listen, this former football professional has all the energy for everyone there at that resort and then some. After finally finding the balance of being career-driven for so long, he's now looking for someone who's full of self-love and someone with whom he can share all of his self-love with as well. Turn up then, Anthony.
Edwin, 39, Chef:
We love a good meal and this professional chef in the city looks like he has plenty to offer. He wants someone fun and spontaneous. But having only been in three serious relationships in his life, I'll be curious to see if a long-term commitment is something he's fully ready to entertain.
Jay, 43, Luxury Real Estate Broker:
Though this previously married bachelor had to learn the hard way concerning who he really wanted to be, he's now ready to share his newfound confidence with an equally yoked partner. But she'll have a lot to prove since his parents are the pinnacle of relationship goals for him. I hope you're ready, sis.
Kristoper, 41, Radio Personality:
This public figure and social activist has to learn how to decipher people's true intentions and let his guard down if he's truly dedicated to finding true love. But seeing as how he loves melanin-rich women, I don't think he'll have that hard of a time attracting the right sista to him. But it remains to be seen, so we can only hope.
Raymond, 52, Professional Guitarist:
Although he has five kids (yes, FIVE children), this brother is dedicated to finding and spending the rest of his life with the right woman. She has to be someone secure in herself and their relationship because anything less than that is liable to make him 'choke.'
Samuel, 36, Visual Artist:
Though this artistic soul has been dealt and dished out his fair share of love turmoil, he's committed to being with one woman and showing up for her in every area. And while his time may be split between being there for his son and daughter, he knows that he'll have to be fully present in order to receive a love that's all-encompassing. "I deserve to be able to love and be loved wholly." Whew, say that!
We can't wait to see if and how these singles find true love at the end of it all.
Ready To Love: Last Resort airs every Friday at 9/8c only on the OWN network. And to keep up with the conversation, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @ownTv.
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Featured image courtesy of OWN
In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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It’s always a good time to start saving. Whether you have a few bucks or hundreds to set aside every payday, putting away a little amount of funds over time can lead to financial security later down the road.
As life would have it, there’s always something that we’re striving to obtain that may take a little more than the everyday cost to cover. No matter if you’re saving up for the deposit to your big girl apartment, putting money aside for a girls' trip, or simply wanting to start a new financial discipline, establishing a savings account dedicated to our financial goals can help keep track of your progress and ensure that funds are aside for when you need them the most.
While spending money is fun in the moment, committing to the habit of making regular contributions to our savings account is a practice that will delight your future self. And setting realistic savings goals is the best place to start. “One of the easiest ways to set realistic savings goals is to start by knowing how much money you're bringing in,” Dr. Melody Wright, P.D. AFC, tells xoNecole. “That's going to be how much income you have and how much money is actually going out in the form of expenses. Based on what you have left when you subtract your expenses from your income will determine how much to put into savings.”
How To Set Realistic Saving Goals
Setting savings goals can feel like a daunting task, depending on how much you seek to put aside and how much cash flow you’re currently working with. That’s why when it comes to creating your savings plan, Dr. Wright says to consider what you can mentally manage first.
“Let's say you have a goal to save $10,000. For a lot of people, that large amount is going to overwhelm them because they're only going to be focused on saving that $10,000,” she explains. Instead of allowing the big, end-goal numbers to fluster you, breaking the amount down into your first $500 or $1,000 and tracking your progress from there can make the goal feel more manageable.
There are various options for savings accounts, and having the right clarity on what separates a traditional savings account and a high-yield savings account is an important distinction to make to ensure you’re getting the best return on your savings. “Whenever you're thinking about opening a savings account, you want to make sure that it has no minimums, has little to no fees, and is FDIC insured,” she says.
The FDIC provides deposit insurance to protect your money in the event of a bank failure, allowing your deposits to be automatically insured to at least $250,000 at each FDIC-insured bank.
Traditional savings accounts, commonly found in brick-and-mortar banks, typically offer an average annual percentage yield (APY) of around 0.30%. In contrast, high-yield savings accounts, depending on the type, can yield significantly higher returns, sometimes over 15 times more, with rates reaching as high as 5%. The key factor is that the higher the APY, the more money your funds will earn while they sit in the account. This increase in earnings is attributed to the power of compounding, where the money in the account generates returns and begins to work for you.
What is a Roth IRA?
The mention of a Roth IRA is a common term in financial planning discussions. A Roth IRA is a type of individual retirement account with distinct features. “IRAs come in different flavors,” Dr. Wright explains. “Two of the main flavors that you'll see are traditional IRAs and a Roth IRA. With a traditional IRA, you're putting money in that hasn't been taxed. However, when it's time to take that money out, you're going to get taxed on that money.”
Unlike a Traditional IRA, contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars, meaning they are not tax-deductible. However, qualified withdrawals, including earnings, are tax-free in retirement. Roth IRAs provide tax advantages, flexibility, and a unique approach to retirement savings within the framework of individual financial planning.
It’s important to note that there are stipulations when it comes to setting up a Roth IRA, which is why the traditional option is available. Roth IRAs come with certain income limits, and based on whether you are married or single, if you make over a certain amount, you won’t be able to invest in a Roth IRA.
Organizing sinking funds for short-term savings goals involves establishing a systematic approach. Sinking funds are useful for saving towards specific objectives like a trip or wardrobe revamping. The key to effective organization lies in the planning process.
“You want to set the sinking funds up based on priority and how soon you'll need that money,” she says. “Once I establish which fund I’m going to need to use first, then I start to put more money into it. When you think about it, you want to prioritize them based on how soon you'll need that money and how much money you'll need to be saving.”
Consider categorizing sinking funds, determining contribution amounts, and creating a dedicated account for each fund. This structured approach ensures that funds are allocated appropriately, making it easier to track progress and meet short-term financial goals.
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs Around Money
For those feeling intimidated or overwhelmed by the prospect of planning their savings accounts, one thing to keep in mind is that even taking the first step towards saving is a commendable one. Whether you’ve had a savings account that you’ve had to use, or starting from scratch, Dr. Wright reminds us that saving is something you can start and restart anytime.
“A lot of times, we feel like we have to put a lot of thought into it, but the idea is that you want to start saving as early as possible and as much as you can,” she says. “If all you can save is $5 or $20, start saving that because as you continue to save those amounts, they’re going to build, and it’s going to be earning money for you.”
Dr. Wright often tells her clients to “prepare for famine while they're feasting,” because we don't know what tomorrow is going to bring us. “When life is good, and that money is flowing in, you want to make sure that you're putting some money aside for those times when that money is not as abundant or when those seasons are a little bit drier so you can have that to fall back on.”
She continues, “The goal is for you to start putting money in that savings account and not touching it unless you have a true need so that money can grow for you.”
Remember, financial planning is a journey, and progress is more important than perfection. Happy saving!
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