Courtesy of Spicy Mari

Relationship Expert Spicy Mari On How To Spice Up Our Self-Care Game

"It's important to fill up your love cup first, before feeling you have the abundance to pour love into other people."

Finding Balance

In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.

When growing up, we have so many examples of what a relationship looks like. We see how our parent(s) act when they are in love, we watch TV sitcom couples like Martin and Gina, and we even get front row seats to see our friends go through their romantic relationships. So, when it is our turn to pick our partner, we assume we have everything figured out. But when it comes to love, sometimes we need a bit of help. That is where Magnetic Matchmaker and Relationship Expert, Spicy Mari comes in to help guide you towards your purpose-mate.

Spicy Mari is the CEO and founder of The Spicy Life. The Spicy Life is a relationship consulting firm where she teaches the S.P.I.C.Y. (Self, Passion, Intimacy, Communication and learning to say "Yes,") Fundamentals to her clients in order for them to form and maintain healthy fulfilling relationships. Spicy has mastered the power behind deep connections through a B.A. in Communications from the University of California-Berkeley, an M.A. in Communication from USC, and a dating certification from the International Dating Coach Association. Spicy currently has an upcoming e-course where she is providing a six-week program of her proven S.P.I.C.Y. method.

Courtesy of Spicy Mari

What we all have to remember is that, when you are in a relationship, loving our partners does not mean we should forget about loving ourselves. When we commit to living our lives focused on our dreams and our "why", we attract the right person who will support us along the way. Spicy is a true believer in self-love. She understands how prioritizing self-love within your daily routine is the best way to find that balance.

In this installment of Finding Balance, we talk to Spicy Mari about the power of affirmations, healthy relationships, and the importance of recharging to ultimately find balance.

xoNecole: What is your WHY?

Spicy Mari: My mission in life is to restore the family unit. I believe I was put on this earth to educate and empower women and men in order to have healthy relationships. I want to break generational curses as well. I come from an upbringing where I witnessed my mother being married multiple times. I saw how it affected how she perceived her value. So at an early age, I began to study and research the fundamentals that you need in order to be successful in relationships. Now, I can teach that to the masses. Connecting with your purpose-mate has the ability to help you achieve self-actualization.

At what point in your life did you understand the importance of pressing pause and finding balance in both your personal and professional life?

I learned about pressing pause early on because I saw the ramifications of not filling up my cup. It's important to fill up your love cup first before feeling you have the abundance to pour love into other people. It was during college where I really started to prioritize self-care. If I don't do it for myself, nobody else will. But when I first started my business, I threw myself in there full throttle.

At a moment, I started to notice my hair was breaking off, skin was bad, and I gained extra weight. I couldn't even recognize myself. That was when I realized that I was pouring into others and stopped pouring into myself. So now when things get crazy with work, I have to remind myself to apply those self-care practices that I educate to my clients. Every now and then I say to myself, "Spicy go take a walk (laughs)."

What is a typical day/week in your life?

My weeks are crazy. The one thing I do like about my weeks is that they are consistent… but with craziness (laughs). So I always start my morning working out and saying my affirmations. I set my intentions for the day. After that, I have my client consultations and perform screening processes for potential clients to see if they are ready for the program. Then, I record for my podcast, editing, and a couple more client sessions.

Throughout the day, I am still connecting with my team and answering any emergency calls my current clients may have and need advice from me. I have made my husband and I dinner sometime in there too (laughs). But my day usually doesn't end until midnight.

"I started to notice my hair was breaking off, skin was bad, and I gained extra weight. I couldn't even recognize myself. That was when I realized that I was pouring into others and stopped pouring into myself. So now when things get crazy with work, I have to remind myself to apply those self-care practices that I educate to my clients."

Courtesy of Spicy Mari

Do you practice any types of self-care? What does that look like for you?

My favorite self-care practice is hiking. I LOVE to hike. Whenever I have energy to burn or I am feeling stressed, I am taking myself on a hike. I like to do it myself because that is my time to pray, talk to God, and regroup. After my hikes, I always feel recharged and ready to take on the next thing.

What advice do you have for busy women who feel like they don’t have time for self-care?

I like to affirm myself throughout the day. So in-between clients, I tell myself how amazing I am, how gifted I am, and remind myself that God gave me this task because he knew that I would be able to handle it. So having that conversation with yourself, whether it's an affirmation or an actual dialogue for two minutes, helps you be able to control your thoughts throughout the day. When you are able to control your thoughts, you have a better handle on your emotions. Once you have mastered that, you can show up for others better.

How do you find balance with:


I try to stress the notion with my clients that just because you get into a relationship or start dating, does not mean you leave your friends to the wayside. The same mindset we have for dating our romantic partners, we should still be dating our friends. So for me, with balancing my friendships, I have a shared calendar with my friends.

My friends and I put scheduled events/make reservations to certain restaurants. We also started a book club to hold each other accountable and to check in. My friend group and I make sure that when we are checking in, we are still pouring into each other and sharing any best practices that could help our group in everyday life.


I'm not going to lie, this is actually something that is very challenging for me. I am an alpha woman and we tend to have this strong masculine mindset. Being married to an alpha man, I have had to learn to sit in my feminine. So when my laptop is closed, I have to give my partner that level of attention that makes him feel happy or loved.

I also try to make sure I check in on him daily and I am not talking about the "how was your day" check-in. I am talking about those intimate conversations where we can talk about family, relationship goals, and affirming him on how much he means to me. I like our balance where my husband brings security and I bring the passion/romance.

"I am an alpha woman and we tend to have this strong masculine mindset. Being married to an alpha man, I have had to learn to sit in my feminine. I like our balance where my husband brings security and I bring the passion/romance."

Courtesy of Spicy Mari


Health has always been a top priority for me. I try to work out 4-5 times a week. But now that I am expecting a baby boy, it has been a lot harder to work out, OK? (Laughs) I have been challenging myself to put workout time on my calendar. I also work with my personal trainer and abundance mindset coach to push me and encourage me to keep going, even when I am not feeling my best.

Wow you’re expecting? Congratulations! When it comes to preparing for motherhood, what types of self-care practices have become more important for you than before?

Now this may sound unorthodox, but I believe sex is a part of self-care (laughs). There are so many health benefits to the female orgasm. I don't think us women incorporate that enough into our self-care regimen. I mean sex is how we got pregnant in the first place (laughs). But to continue having sex and keeping that part of my marriage alive during my pregnancy is a must.

I hear that! Now when it comes to self-care for your child, how do you plan on teaching your son the importance of self-care?

One thing that I think is important to know is who we are, what we want, and what we have to offer. Being clear on that will help my son in relationships, career, and friendships. But another thing I am super excited to teach my son is his cultural background. I am Black and Mexican and his father is Jamaican. So with the self-love component, I want my son to be proud of his heritage. That confidence in your culture really helped me growing up, so I know it will help him too.

Honestly, what does success and happiness mean to you?

Happiness for me is a state of peace. Happiness is knowing that I set myself on a path where I have set my intentions and I am still proud of myself, even if I don't hit the mark. Success is hitting the mark (laughs). Success is blowing ish out of the park. When you set goals for yourself and you make that checklist, I find success in being able to check those things off that list. So it is not necessarily those long-term goals. But even those short-term goals that help you see things come into fruition, which guide you towards your long-term goals.

To learn more about Spicy Mari, follow her on instagram @spicymari. You can also listen to The Spicy Life Podcast, here.

Featured image courtesy of Spicy Mari

You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

To be or not to be, that’s the big question regarding relationships these days – and whether or not to remain monogamous. Especially as we walk into this new awakening of what it means to be in an ethically or consensual nonmonogamous relationship. By no means are the concepts of nonmonogamy new, so when I say 'new awakening,' I simply mean in a “what comes around, goes around” way, people are realizing that the options are limitless. And, based on our personal needs in relationships they can, in fact, be customized to meet those needs.

Keep reading...Show less

Lizzo has never been the one to shy away from being her authentic self whether anyone likes it or not. But at the end of the day, she is human. The “Juice” singer has faced a lot of pushback for her body positivity social media posts but in the same vein has been celebrated for it. Like her social media posts, her music is also often related to women’s empowerment and honoring the inner bad bitch.

Keep reading...Show less

I think we all know what it feels like to have our favorite sex toy fail us in one way or another, particularly the conundrum of having it die mid-use. But even then, there has never been a part of me that considered using random objects around my house. Instinctively, I was aware that stimulating my coochie with a makeshift dildo would not be the answer to my problem. But, instead, further exacerbate an already frustrating situation…making it…uncomfortable, to say the least.

Keep reading...Show less

Gabourey Sidibe is in the midst of wedding planning after her beau Brandon Frankel popped the question in 2020. The Empire actress made the exciting announcement on Instagram in November 2020 and now she is spilling the deets to Brides magazine about her upcoming wedding. "It cannot be a traditional wedding. Really, it can't be. I don't want anything done the 'traditional' way," she said. "Our relationship is very much on our terms and I want it to be fun, like a true party."

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts