EVENTS

The power of technology gathered 40 Classy Living Society members from Atlanta, Dallas, Tennessee, California, and Houston for a fun Saturday evening of laughter, wine sipping, sisterhood and art expression!  Hosted by CLS and facilitated by BE Creative Arts Center, the ladies painted for a cause via Zoom video on August 29.  “Release, Relax, Rejuvenate” was the painting of choice.  Wearing their artist hats, the ladies each painted their own rendering of RR&R – a sister girlfriend enjoying a leisurely soak, wine glass in hand, in a clawfoot bathtub overflowing with bubbles.  BE Creative Arts Center made it possible for each lady to create her own vision at home.  Upon advance registration, each artist received a “Paint Party to Go” packet containing a pre-drawn canvas, paints, brushes, and all of the supplies needed to create, create, create!

BE! Creative Arts Center is a Black woman-owned business in the Atlanta area that provides a creative way to have a party.  They provide mobile and virtual dance and paint parties for adults and children looking to have fun, express themselves creatively, socialize, and build relationships on location or via Zoom video.

The evening’s activities were for a worthy cause – a CLS fundraiser to raise money for the Homeless Population.  For each registration, CLS donated dollars to this worthy cause and collected a total of $1,100 to donate!  

A night of sisterhood bonding, socializing, wine, laughter, and a beautiful painting for each lady to hang on her wall – and all in the name of community service! 

 

Website link:

BE! Creative Arts Center

 

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The spotlight’s on our Oh So Classy member Jeanette Whipple!

She’s part of a core group of ladies who’ve decided to engage with Classy Living Society on the highest membership level…the Oh So Classy level.

Jeanette is originally from Paterson, New Jersey. She’s lived in Georgia for the past 20 years, so she definitely calls the Peach State her home. Jeanette’s been happily married to the love of her life for 12 beautiful years, and even though she has no children, she does have a lovely pet Shih Tzu named Jada. Jeanette served in the Armed Forces for seven years and is now a U.S. Armed Forces veteran who served in the Gulf War. We thank Jeanette for her service to this country. She is the youngest of a fantastic family of six.

Jeanette has had a remarkable career in the Information Technology (IT) industry for over 30 years, and she recently achieved a dream of hers by becoming an entrepreneur. She established a Real Estate Investing LLC.

Jeanette has an extreme love for travel. Her adventures have taken her to Spain, London, Aruba, Barbados, Rome, Cabo San Lucas, Grand Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Puerta Vallarta, Acapulco, Cozumel, Cancun, Bahamas, Hawaii, St. Thomas and many other exciting destinations.

Along with amazing travel comes amazing cuisine! Some of the most memorable dishes she’s savored abroad include Keri-Keri (a main dish in Aruba), Stoba (a fantastic stew), Conch Stew, Paella, Kabsa (a mixed rice dish originally from Saudi Arabia), Chicken Tikka Masala (a dish of chunks of roasted marinated chicken in a spiced curry that’s popular in the United Kingdom), and Flying Fish with Cou Cou (the national dish of Barbados).

Jeanette also enjoys exercising and doing some serious shopping.

Jeanette was asked why she joined Classy Living Society?
She said she joined CLS because she wanted to be part of an organization whose focus is to support and generously give back to the community in various ways. Jeanette also wanted to meet and connect with other women from diverse backgrounds. She wanted to engage with women with varying goals and expansive aspirations, along with being involved with a group that knew how to have fun always with a purpose in mind. Jeanette says that CLS checked all of the boxes for her, and she hasn’t been disappointed. She is delighted to be a member and looks forward to many more years of membership and service.

Become an Oh So Classy member today.
https://cls-volunteer.org/become-a-member/

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POLKA DOTS & TENNIS SHOES FOR A CAUSE – GET ON THE BUS TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA!

On August 1, Classy Living Society members and their guests boarded a luxury chartered motorcoach and traveled to Savannah, Georgia for the day!  What better way to bring in the month of August than a summer day trip to a beautiful place!

The attire of the day was polka dots, polka dots, and more polka dots!  The ladies were asked to rock their polka dots in whichever way they chose – sunglasses, tops, dresses, skirts, pants, hats and so on!  Each lady kept it casual in their favorite pair of sneakers/tennis shoes as well.

The ladies arrived bright and early to board the bus.  When they arrived at their seats, they each found a surprise gift awaiting them, a bag of goodies which included a CLS branded polka dot mask – to ensure the ladies were equipped to follow mask mandates and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The masks were custom made by 14-year-old Mia, owner and operator of Mia’s Masks in Moreno Valley, California.  Mia volunteers her time to create and donate masks for senior citizens.  Be sure to click the link below to read the May 14, 2020 Classy Chronicles article about Mia and other young people making a difference in their communities during the pandemic: Young Community Heroes of COVID-19

The bus rolled away from their meeting spot promptly at 6:30 a.m.  CLS was on the move!  As they headed to their destination, Founder LaShanda Pitts opened the day with an introduction to the most important part of the trip – the giveback mission.  Each day tripper brought swimsuits to be donated to underserved children ages 2-10 who are attending the Salvation Army’s summer day camp programs.  

Statistics show that children adorned with new swimsuits are more likely to feel included among peers, are more eager to acquire swimming skills, and attend pools and beaches with their friends and families with pride and confidence.  CLS came to the rescue by collecting and donating over 100 swimsuits for boys and girls!  Hooray!

The Salvation Army Summer Day Camp provides youth with a safe, structured, and enjoyable environment during the summer months. While running, jumping, and playing, kids will meet new friends, have fun, and learn about God through Bible studies and Vacation Bible School programs. Click on the link at the end of this article for more information about this worthwhile program for the children.

Let the games begin!  The ladies broke off into teams, and using their own personal items, each team was charged with the task of dressing a doll for the annual CLS Red Dress Gala. Comedian Lady Q hosted the game and, as usual, she had the ladies rolling in the aisle with laughter.  Speaking of the aisle…the ladies had the bus rocking and rolling on the road as they danced and sang up and down the aisle.  The best way to let your hair down!

The fan down game – led by member Agnes Jamison – was also loads of fun and congratulations goes out to the winner, member Sylvia Webb!  Finally, a pit stop game!  As the bus stopped at a gas station for a break, a lively scavenger hunt ensued.  Each gamer was given a list of things to find during the stop and the one with the most finds was crowned the winner – congratulations to Cherret Callam.  The scavenger hunt game is always a popular get on the bus game for CLS as it involves interacting with people at the stop.  This time was no different – the people at the stop were quite intrigued by the crazy bunch of ladies who were all wearing polka dots!  “Who are you?” Hilarious!

Soon, the bus arrived in Savannah and the first stop was Sorry Charlie’s Oyster Bar & Cocktails, famous for their Frosé cocktail – a delicious frozen rosé drink that is always popular for CLS members on trips to Savannah.  Oh, and yes, there was food!  Sorry Charlie’s laid out a socially distanced, delectable brunch of fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, mac n’ cheese, collard greens, roasted chicken, blue crab pasta and shrimp and grits.  Yum!  During the brunch, the ladies continued to laugh, take photos, dance and have a great time!  

Stuffed and happy after indulging in brunch foods and Frosé drinks, the ladies were off to paint the town with polka dots!  The remainder of the afternoon was dedicated to exploring Savannah; taking in Savannah’s delicious custom fare (pralines from River Street Sweets anyone?), plus shopping, sightseeing, people watching, visits to rooftop bars and soaking up the sun.  It was a hot, hot day! 

Back on the bus for the ride back to Atlanta, the uproarious fun continued!  More dancing, more singing, more laughter!  Who says you can’t have a good time while wearing masks and socially distancing!  Everyone gets in on the fun – even the bus driver had a great time; he declared that he is going to be CLS’s “forever” bus driver!  CLS’s women in business members who were present were also provided an opportunity to speak to the ladies about their offerings.

Arriving safely back to the Atlanta area, the bus trip to Savannah owed the ladies nothing!  CLS bus trips are always moving caravans of festivities, sisterhood and giving back and this time was no different…it was another successful occasion of celebrating the cause!

Important Links:

Mia’s Masks

Salvation Army Summer Day Camp

Sorry Charlie’s Oyster Bar & Cocktails

Photography:  EnPhocus Photography

 

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When it comes to reaching out…

Classy Living Society’s new REACH membership level is designed to connect and unite  members who live outside of the state of Georgia. Our focus has been, and will continue to be, providing a unique sisterhood bonding experience for our members by offering exclusive, one-of-a-kind perks and opportunities that will empower women to produce positive change.  As a successful volunteer organization, CLS is committed to impacting communities around the world and transforming lives through dedicated service to those in need. CLS’s REACH level membership is currently being offered in lieu of our “stand-alone” societies, in order to promote a more comprehensive and first-rate experience for our out-of-state members. 

If you’d like to join CLS on the volunteer journey and you live outside of Georgia, choosing the REACH membership level is easy!  Simply select REACH and read the amazing details about your level. If you want to make a difference…make a lasting impact…give back to those who need a hand up and be part of a unique sisterhood…the REACH membership tier provides the perfect opportunity for you to do so … from wherever you live!

$14 (monthly) – REACH (outside of Georgia)

*$50 admin fee – one time processing fee to cover the cost of the online on-boarding process, branded CLS t-shirt for volunteering.  A portion of the admin fee will go towards supporting young women on their collegiate journey. We are aware and understand that formal education is only one stepping stone towards establishing professional success and meeting career goals, and is certainly not the only manner in which one may be successful in business. However, we also understand that sisterhood cultivated in a collegiate environment is equally pivotal to shaping future leaders. Helping young, aspiring women of color reach beyond themselves and grow into successful, and philanthropic women is a cause we are passionate about. With your support, an education-focused nonprofit will receive a donation in your name. Your giving begins today!

Learn more at: https://cls-volunteer.org/become-a-member/

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Oh So Classy Member Spotlight

Classy Living Society is proud to highlight our Oh So Classy member Lady Q!  Lady Q is a member of one of our highest membership tiers and shares an elite status with other members on this Oh So Classy level.  

Her  motto “Laughter is Healing, My Purpose, My Passion” truly comes through as she dazzles audiences around the country with her special form of comedy.  She was awarded the PrazyeFactor People’s Choice Awards in 2014 and 2018, for Best Christian Comedian. She was also an Honoree for the Community Service Award, given by the Gospel Choice Awards in July, 2019.  Lady Q has also served as Classy Living Society’s Mistress of Ceremony at numerous Red Dress Galas, CLS’s annual fundraiser.  As a native of Charleston, SC, and now living in Atlanta, Georgia, Lady Q has been making people laugh for many years.  As a stand-up comedian, she brings her own brand of humor to events, from weddings to birthday parties and everything in between.  Lady Q doesn’t hesitate to share her own take on everyday life events and makes it her mission to bring joy to her audience. She definitely sees the humor in life and her glass is always full of what makes us smile.  

She’s the mother of two amazing young adults who’ve supported her journey without fail. They understand her mission and have never left her side. Starting out as a youth pastor and former preschool teacher, Lady Q was led to her destiny after speaking at her church. She was so well received that she knew she had found her true calling.  After her “One Woman Show” in 2008, she was well on her way to becoming the well known and sought after comedian she is today.  She is currently busy with bookings and clings to her heart of service to others. Lady Q has been noted to say, “There is so much joy in making people laugh and being relatable.  I always tell people that comedians have the privilege of saying what other people think.”  Lady Q is living life to the fullest, as she enjoys traveling the world and bringing individuals together through laughter. We look forward to hearing more from this fabulously spirited Oh So Classy lady and know that she’ll continue to combine her love of God with her love of laughter!!

You can find Lady Q on these platforms:

comedianladyqlaughter.com

Twitter: Lady Q Laughter (@LaughterQ)

Email: ladyqlaughter@gmail.com

Phone: (1) 678 516 6889

Facebook: Comedian Lady Q

 

 

 

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Written by New Member, Tyra Smith

Ladies, the 7th Annual Red Dress Gala is steadily approaching and Classy Living Society kicked off its 2020 VIP package of events in celebration of the Gala this past weekend. My experience thus far as a new member of Classy Living Society has been nothing but exceptional. When I first became a member, I was told that when Classy Living Society hosts an event, they do it big!  I must say, the first of the events in the line-up of the Red Dress Gala VIP events proved this statement to be true!

The fantastic debut event was the VIP Summer Soiree – a fabulous Yellow & White Champagne Bar and Winery Brunch day trip. When I arrived at our designated meeting location, it was a beautiful sight to see.  Everyone looked amazing in various shades of yellow and white!  After we said our good mornings, we boarded our private luxury motorcoach and each of us were handed a perfectly chilled cocktail as we stepped inside.  When we arrived at our seats, we were surprised by a lovely gift:  a burlap tote filled with goodies – a branded bottle of water, beautiful yellow fan and delicious snacks! This was truly VIP treatment and as a new member, I was thoroughly impressed.  Most importantly, I felt special and proud to be part of something so beautiful.

At 10:00 a.m., we promptly took to the highway. Our drive was only 45 minutes, but we used the time as an opportunity to make introductions, showcase members’ businesses, listen to great music, laugh, and of course, enjoy plenty of refills on those cocktails!  Our destination was a surprise, so it was somewhat of an adventure for us. 

Shortly afterward, we arrived at the beautiful Montaluce Winery located in Dahlonega, Georgia. We exited the bus and did a group photoshoot in front of the Winery and Restaurant. Other guests of the winery noticed us as we walked by and complimented us on how beautiful we were in our yellow and white. Some even asked, “Who are you?” “We’re the ladies of Classy Living Society,” someone replied. After the group photo, we entered the building and were led to an exquisite outdoor patio area where the view was simply breathtaking. One of my favorite moments of the entire experience was how elegant and beautiful our table setting was. Once again, it was VIP status, and the CLS Events Team did an outstanding job. Each setting was personalized with our names and there were beautiful and vividly colored flowers decorating the table.  Glasses of sparkling champagne awaited us.

We were served quickly and we ordered and enjoyed a number of fantastic wines offered by the winery. Everything was delicious! As we were finishing our meals, we were each treated to individual professional photos with the beautiful North Georgia Mountains and the vineyards as a backdrop. 

Afterwards, we headed to our next destination, which was close by. We arrived minutes later at the rustic and serene Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery. Here we broke off into groups, or individually, to explore, relax, and enjoy the tasting rooms, live music, food, and wine pairings or simply a glass of wine and soak in the scenic views.

After this amazing visit came to an end, we all boarded the bus and headed back to Atlanta. Just because we were headed back home did not mean the fun was over! This was indeed the definition of a “Party Bus”. We played games, listened to more music, danced in the aisle, and partied until we arrived back in Atlanta.

Everything about this day was beautiful! The Summer Soiree, the ladies of Classy Living Society in their yellow and white, the Scenic North Georgia Mountains, and most importantly, the sisterhood and celebration of the day made for a memorable experience. As a new member who joined early this year, this was my first of many events shared with CLS, and I excitedly look forward to the next. 

Classy Living Society’s Red Dress Gala VIP experience is something that you won’t ever want to miss!

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On Saturday, June 26, Classy Living Society hosted the Beautiful Survivor Picnic as CLS members and guests honored all women – the Beautiful Survivors.

What does it mean to be a Beautiful Survivor?  As we live, we experience hardships and trials – we endure heartbreak, illness, death, loss, financial problems and so on. But through it all, we are survivors – Beautiful Survivors! When we come out on the other side of our storms, we have a story to tell – a testimony.

All members were asked to bring a woman guest who is a Beautiful Survivor that inspires them – the Queen who has survived cancer, domestic violence, divorce, etc.  They were asked to choose a woman who uplifts and adjusts other women’s crowns as needed; a lady who encourages others to keep going – just by being the Beautiful Survivor they are.  Each member was also asked to bring a gift of love valued at $20 to present to their guest at the picnic.

The ladies were also asked to wear a special Beautiful Survivor tank top and to carry a Beautiful Survivor tote crafted specifically for CLS.

Get creative!  The ladies were also asked to put their heads together and come up with their best creative picnic setting – and they showed up and showed out!  Special congratulations to member Nameica Craig and her special guest Monique Hines for their outstanding picnic decor!  (You did that, Sisses!)  They are the winners of V.I.P. seating at the 2020 Red Dress Gala coming up in October.

The ladies enjoyed fun times celebrating the Beautiful Survivor in themselves and their guests.  In addition, they created lovely floral arrangements that were delivered to nurses at a local Atlanta hospital.  We love our essential workers!

The King Kabob food truck was on hand as well, providing the ladies with delicious and original versions of food on a stick.  Yum!

A sunny Saturday outdoors, beautiful picnic settings, sisterhood, laughter and love, great food and celebrating the Beautiful Survivor in all of us and all of you – now that’s Classy!

Congratulations! Best Picnic Decor Winners!

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Talk to people nowadays, and some will tell you they have been successful at sticking to their healthy eating and workout regimen … then there are others who have packed on the pounds during the quarantine!  Wheww!

Seems like a great time to discuss good clean, healthy eating with an expert!  On the evening of July 8, Personal Chef, Fitness Instructor and Natural Beauty & Wellness guru Candace Burney was Classy Living Society’s guest on its forum, CLS Talks.  Through Living Simply with Candace, Candace helps women embrace the sensuality of their strength, and helps us realize how strong and masterfully powerful we are.

In the CLS Talks session with Candace, she taught the virtual viewers on her Facebook Live how to turn the simplest ingredients into a dish to fall in love with.  She also talked about natural herbs and spices that pack a punch when it comes to ways to infuse tons of flavor in the dishes we prepare (simply of course!)  She also gave a few simple tricks to get children to eat more veggies – imagine that!  She demonstrated how to make and enjoy sweet treats without the guilt, and why it is so important (as well as easier and better) to eat fruits and veggies that are in season.

A wealth of knowledge was gained in the session and gave the ladies a lot to look forward to in their pursuit of health and wellness, particularly when it comes to eating simple, but making it delicious!
For more information on Candace Burney, visit her website by clicking here:  Living Simply with Candace
CLS Talks is an exciting virtual platform by which CLS will bring informative insights to support, among other things, women’s physical, relational and financial health.  The goal of CLS Talks is to educate the participants of these unique video sessions on important topics related to women’s health.
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Overhauling your financial and credit situation is a bit like losing weight; it will take time and there is no quick way to fix a credit score. The best advice for rebuilding your credit is to manage it responsibly over time.  Here are some tips to being well on your way to a more solid financial condition.

1. Setup Payment Reminders
Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit scores. You could also  consider enrolling in automatic payments through your credit card and loan providers to have payments automatically  debited from your bank account, but this only makes the minimum payment on your credit cards and does not help instill a sense of money management.

2. Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe
The first thing you need to do is stop using your credit cards. Use your credit report to make a list of all of your accounts and then go online or check recent statements to determine how much you owe on each account and what interest rate they are  charging you. Come up with a payment plan that puts most of your available budget for debt payments towards the highest interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts.

3. Payment History Tips
Contributing 35% to a FICO Score calculation, this category has the greatest effect on improving your scores, but past problems like missed or late payments are not easily fixed. Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments, even if only a
few days late, and collections can have a major negative impact on your FICO Score. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer you pay your bills on time after being late, the more your FICO Scores should increase.  Older credit problems count for less, so poor credit performance won’t haunt you forever. Be aware that paying off a
collection account will not remove it from your credit report.  It will stay on your report for seven years.

4. Amounts Owed Tips
This category contributes 30% to a FICO Score’s calculation and can be easier to clean up than payment history, but that requires financial discipline and understanding the tips below:
• Keep balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit”. High outstanding debt can affect a credit score.
• Pay off debt rather than moving it around. The most effective way to improve your credit scores in this area is by paying  down your revolving (credit cards) debt. In fact, owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your scores.
• Don’t open a number of new credit cards that you don’t need, just to increase your available credit. This approach could  backfire and actually lower your credit scores.

5. Types of Credit Use Tips
• Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Don’t open accounts just to have a better credit mix – it probably won’t raise your credit score.
• Have credit cards – but manage them responsibly. In general, having credit cards and installment loans (and paying timely payments) will rebuild your credit scores. Someone with no credit cards, for example, tends to be higher risk than someone who has managed credit cards responsibly.
• Note that closing an account doesn’t make it go away. A closed account will still show up on your credit report, and may  be considered by a score.

6. Check Your Credit Report
Repairing your credit score begins with your credit report. If you haven’t already, request a free copy of your credit report and check it for inaccuracies. Check to make sure that there are no late payments incorrectly listed for any of your accounts  and that the amounts owed for each of your open accounts is correct. If you find errors on any of your reports, dispute them  with the credit bureau.

7. How to Dispute Inaccuracies on your Credit Report
First, tell the credit bureau what information you believe is inaccurate. The credit bureau must investigate the item(s) in  question – usually within 30 days – unless they consider your dispute frivolous. Include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should:
• Clearly identify each item in your report you dispute.
• State the facts and explain why you dispute the information.
• Request deletion or correction. Second, write to the appropriate creditor or other information provider, explaining that you are disputing the information provided to the bureau.

Again, include copies of documents that support your position. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider again reports the same information to a bureau, it must include a notice of your dispute. Request that the provider copy you on correspondence they send to the bureau. Expect this process to take between 30 and 90 days.

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On Wednesday, June 24, in honor of Survivor Awareness Month, Classy Living Society will be honoring a beautiful survivor.  The definition of a survivor is a person who copes with a bad situation who is determined to live through that affliction. This month is a celebration for women who have survived cancer, domestic violence, illnesses, tragedies, or any other situation.

The members of Classy Living Society are bringing awareness to support Beautiful Survivors in our lives and Beautiful Survivors everywhere by honoring them for their tenacity. They have encouraged us to keep going and we love them.

Members chose someone who is a survivor that they know and love – mother, sister, daughter, cousin, friend, or co-worker, and honored them by wearing the color lavender.  In doing so, CLS raised awareness in our communities and honored all survivors on social media by showing the world that life after illness, trying situations or tragedy can be fruitful, rewarding and even inspiring.

Using the hashtags #NationalCoalitionforCancerSurvivorship #ClassyLivingSociety#BeautifulSurvivor#SisterhoodMagic, members posted photos of themselves wearing the color lavender, or a photo of them and their beautiful survivor on their social media timelines.

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Welcome to the NEW Classy Chronicles!

Formerly, the Classy Chronicles was the official online digital magazine of Classy Living Society. The newly revamped Classy Chronicles is now a platform housed on the Classy Living Society website! Through easy-to-navigate dropdown menus, the Classy Chronicles provides an outlet to many subjects of interest at the click of a mouse – articles and features that highlight people who are doing amazing things in the community, health and wellness, work-life balance, beauty and fashion and more!

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