Redefining BEAUTY

Larisa Gawlik is currently interning as a public relations and marketing intern at a theatre in Houston. She hopes this opportunity turns into a career. She hopes to eventually move to New York to further pursue PR and marketing for theatre!

You are #redefiningBEAUTY. Keep pursuing your dreams. We are cheering you all the way.


 “Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.” – Tony Robbins

Every year right before Christmas, students dread the reality of finals. Around this time, the internet is filled with countless memes that project  the harsh reality of finals. You go from binge watching Dexter on Netflix all semester to trying to figure out what classes you’re currently taking. I get it, we’ve all been there. As an Academic Coach, I’ve had countless students send me emails over the past few weeks panicking over finals. Although finals can be a bit overwhelming, I can assure you that this too shall pass. Here are some tips that can help you successfully make it through finals:

  1. Be Aware: It is important you acknowledge where you are right now. Be mindful of your thoughts, emotions and actions. Thanksgiving break can create a false belief that school is over. Combat that belief by staying in your present reality and making attainable goals.
  2. Make Attainable Goals: You have only a few weeks before the semester is over. Set realistic goals for yourself everyday. A common mistake students make is believing they will eventually get the work done, which results in pulling an all-nighter the day before the final exam. In some cases, you will get the work “done” at the expense of your sleep and sanity. However, it is much more beneficial to study effectively than to wait till the last minute to pull an all-nighter.
  3. Set Boundaries: Tell your loved ones what your goals are and set boundaries. If your phone is a distraction, turn it off and throw it to the other side of the room. Do whatever it takes to make sure you are eliminating any physical or mental distraction.
  4. Take Care of Yourself: It is easy to forget about your needs when you’re focused on your grades. You must always remember that you are #1 priority. Be sure to take 10-15 minute breaks every hour. Also, stay active and eat as healthy as possible.  Make sure you’re getting enough sleep to promote optimal performance.
  5.  Repeat Positive Affirmations: In order to succeed, you must first believe that you will succeed! Don’t spend time worrying about what could go wrong. Instead, focus on what will go right! Your mind is one of the most powerful tools you have. Use it to attract the positive things you want in your life.

I hope these tips help you through these next two weeks. I believe in your GREATNESS!

Much love,


“When you react, you let others control you. When you respond, you are in control.” ― Bohdi Sanders

A man once said to me, “You must be emotional.” Now my immediate thought was “No, I am not emotional!” Like most women, I was very quick to insist that I was definitely not emotional. I did this because I associated emotional with weakness and instability. However, the reality is I am emotional. I feel everything deeply. Whether I am happy, sad, excited or surprised, I tend to display a significant amount of emotion. In fact, most of our lives are filled with emotions. The dictionary defines “emotions” as  a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. See Oxford Dictionary. 

In my Mediation Class, I learned that contrary to our beliefs, most of our decisions are made from an emotional state rather than a logical state of mind. Human beings are made to be emotional. Even the most logical and rational of us still use emotions as we navigate through different situations daily. Emotions are very powerful. This is why we need to accept and learn to control our emotions. Just like a fire, emotions can either help us walk in the right path or negatively impact our lives/our relationships.

“Emotions are very powerful. This is why we need to accept and learn to control our emotions.”

With this knowledge, I am focused on learning how to control my emotions. Here are some things I have learned thus far:

  1. Emotions are beautiful: I love the fact that I feel everything deeply because it reminds me of my humanity. It allows me to love another person with reckless abandon.
  2. Your emotions belong to you: You are allowed to feel whatever you feel in that moment. I am a masters student that works 2-3 jobs. I cry a LOT! If you need to laugh, cry, yell or whatever, make sure you release those feelings!
  3. Embrace the moment and then let it go: When you feel negative emotions, be sure to not use it to harm another individual. And once the moment passes, do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. See Ephesians 4:26
  4. Never React, Always Respond: You should be the only one in control of your emotions! Never allow external forces to control how you feel. We are not guaranteed a life without sorrow, however, we have to power to choose our response.

Emotional Intelligence is important in becoming a better version of yourself. When you learn to control your emotions, you give yourself an opportunity to excel in your professional and personal life. I challenge you to acknowledge your emotions and then determine the best response in each situation. Remember, you are ALWAYS in control of your emotions!

Much Love,


“Eventually, I decided my passion was greater than my fear of failing. I acknowledged my fear but I did not let it hold me captive.”- Deborah Queen

Have you ever had a dream so big it seemed almost impossible?

When I discovered I was selected as Miss Nigeria, I simply sat there looking at the letter in shock. There was no way this was happening. I could not actually believe they picked me. My heart raced and I panicked. I was bombarded with the what-ifs. What if they mistakenly sent me a letter? What if I cannot afford to get to DC? What if the judges don’t believe in Redefining BEAUTY Movement? After praying and talking to my family and friends, I realized that this is the moment I had hoped for 5 years. Eventually, I decided my passion was greater than my fear of failing. I acknowledged my fear but I did not let it hold me captive. My dream was actually happening and I decided to passionately dive in. So hello world! I am Deborah Queen, your Miss Nigeria 2016 and here is why I want to become the next Miss Africa USA!

I aspire to become the next Miss Africa USA because I am a proud African woman who believes in diplomacy and I would like to promote my platform “Redefining BEAUTY”. To me, BEAUTY stands for Becoming Educated Artistic and Understanding Towards Yourself”.  At the age of 17, I developed this platform to encourage myself as well as other young women to dream and actively pursue their passions. I have held several workshops at Texas State, Houston and Dallas where I further explain the concept of Redefining BEAUTY.

After holding a number of workshops, I began writing my first book on Redefining BEAUTY which will be published next year. As a young African woman, I have dealt with my share of negativity towards my skin, sense of beauty and being accepted as a woman of color. I am redefining beauty by pursing my educational career at Texas State University where I anticipate graduating May 2017 with a Masters in Legal Studies, Paralegal Certificate and Mediation Certificate. Also, I promote creativity through coaching, teaching dance and art. Lastly, I have been able to embrace myself wholeheartedly and I am becoming everything God created me to be.

Through this platform, I firmly believe I can inspire a generation of powerful women who will influence the world. I envisioned sharing Redefining BEAUTY on a national platform and I believe the Miss Africa USA pageant is the perfect opportunity! What better place to talk about BEAUTY than at a beauty pageant!

So what are you waiting for? Join the redefining BEAUTY Movement today!

Want to support?

Please consider investing in my vision!


Much Love,


The Redefining BEAUTY Movement: Becoming Educated Artistic and Understanding Towards Yourself. What is Redefining BEAUTY? It a movement that encourages women to deviate from societies perverted view of beauty by “Becoming Educated Artistic and Understanding Towards Yourself.” It… Read More

Becoming Educated Artistic Understanding Towards Yourself

If you follow me on snapchat, you’ve probably heard this phrase before. It has been a year since I started my #teamgetabootyordietrying challenge and I am definitely on my way to building a booty that fits my body. Recently, I have received comments from many friends and random people who wanted to know what I have been doing to get my booty right and tight. I decided to provide some information on what exercises I include in my  workout. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a certified trainer.

Here are some of the exercises I practice to develop my booty:

1. Squats:


2. Donkey Kicks:

Donkey kicks-jamie-watling

3. Fire Hydrant:

fire hydrant

4. Dead-lifts:


5. Plank kick back:


6. Chair Step Up:

chair 1

7. Reverse Lunges

reverse lunges

For each of these exercises, I did the following reps based on the level I was most comfortable with. I am a huge fan of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). I only take 5-10 secs breaks in between sets and 30 seconds between each round.

Beginner: 3 sets of 10 reps (On each leg)

Intermediate: 4 sets of 12 reps (On each leg)

Advanced: 4 sets of 15 reps (On each leg)

STRETCH once you complete workout.

I hope this helps you get an idea of what my booty workouts entail. I am currently working on providing a thorough list on my total body workout. Stay tuned for more! If you are on the #teamgetabootyordietrying, let me know what exercises you practice in your workout routine!

Much love,



“Develop the capacity to accept delay without accepting passivity.”

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