Big Brands + Local Boutiques Unite With A Fashion Show, To Raise Awareness For Children’s Program.


Big brands + local boutiques unite with a fashion show to benefit children’s program.  The Cape Fear Volunteer Center sponsored the 2nd annual Heart of the Matter fashion show to raise awareness levels and money for the Big Buddy Program, which supports 325  at children in the local Wilmington NC community.

The event brought together a talented model cast that walked the runway flawlessly and worked diligently to make this event successful.

Model Cast Partners
Karlie Moss
Viviana Urena
Flavia DeSousa
Kelli Derengowski
Miriam Urena
Jennifer Basker
Jordon Roghelia
Dana Hurt
Kelsey Sanders
Alexandria Seabrook
Katie Diggs
Shaneikwa Jones
Rebecca Bell
Angeli`a Fonville
Jesse Holman
Alex Pugh
Jonathan Ward
Sarah Dorsey
Jeremiah Conway
Lindsey Carrier
Vernell Dyson
Dianna Dames
Elissa Riley
Skylar Davis
Matt Saul
Kathi Montgomery
Kenzie Hansley
Haila Moss
Luis Romero

Highlights from the show…

Event Photographers
Mark Steelman
Byrds View Photography and Videography
Bruce AlleyCat Evans
Christopher Newkirk 


Event Hair & Makeup
Bangz Hair Salon & Spa

Margaret Parr, Primary
Brittany Carter
Pamela Anderson
Yoshie Brown
Shania Ward


Event Leadership
Annie Anthony, Directot CFVC
Faith Priore, Event Intern CFVC
Donna George, Stylist

Don Jewel, Event DJ
Ashlea Kosikowski, Host

Collaboration / Mentions
Shinita Williams, Planning
Mark Steelman, Planning
Backstage Direction, Alison Sessoms

Beach & Boots Dancers
Song, Jeremiah Conway

Aqua Fedora
Charlotte Russe
Coastal Gypsy
Island Passage
Old Navy

Special thanks to over 30 Volunteers! You were wonderful.

The Heart of the Matter show was a successful, fun fashion show. Thanks to all who participated, purchased tickets and attended the event. Congrats! United we can make a difference.

Thanks for your help.

Happy trails
Donna George

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Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger AwardMy appreciation to Helen Elizabeth, Good Woman for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I stumbled upon her blog from The Commons and quickly realized her writing gift would keep me coming back for more of the story. Her blog is honest, fresh and sprinkled with nuggets of wisdom. I can tell you the Good Woman enjoys inspiring life quotes, has 2 dogs, and likes basketball and football, especially the Green Bay Packers. Oh, and did I mention her first career was teaching for 11 years, that alone merits an award?

I’m happy to accept this nomination and excited to be a part of the Blogging University and the blogging community.

The rules are:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs
  • Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know

My 7 facts:

  1. I have 7 dogs who live in our home like family. Let me introduce you to Mercy & Grace, my 2 Yorkies, Cole, a black Pomeranian, and Rizzo, Lizzie, Layla and Noel, our family of miniature Aussies. They hate Fridays – bath day:{. There is a story behind each dog, believe me, I just didn’t get up one day and say, “let’s get 7 dogs”.
  2. I am secretly a Mermaid. I feel most comfortable close to the sea.
  3. I traveled as a retail executive for 30 years from Philly to Alabama every week for a Junior Retail Fashion store called Body Central based out of Jacksonville, FL. It was a life career that taught me life lessons Beyond Extraordinary Days. It’s a long story, but a good one I hope to write about one day.
  4. My favorite writers are Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Nicholas Sparks. I live in Wilmywood, better known as Hollywood in the East, where many TV series are made like One Tree Hill, Under the Dome, Revolution, Dawson’s Creek, Sleepy Hollow and etc. Movies like The Conjuring, Hunger Games, Fire Starter, Cape Fear, Iron Man etc.
  5. I launched a fashion blog 12/13 called True to you. It was a self-hosted fashion blog a web developer built for me, lots of work. It was cyber attacked by terrorists in Turkey and the server took it down. The developer cleaned it up, put it back up, 3 days later it was gone again, now I blog at WordPress and let them host.
  6. I love bridges, especially the ones in Alabama.
  7. I taught ballet for 5 years.

The 15 blogs I nominate are:

1. Another cup of coffee

2. Walk in the sunlight

3. Lightwalkers Blog

4. Qi Beauty Social

5. FloorDeBoor

6. The light inside of me

7. Brand New Day! Brand New Blog!

8. Stephieopolis

9. Living Intentionally Simple

10. It’s Dolly, Darling

11. Crazy in Catmint

12. Finding My Inner Zen

13. Finding Myself Through Writing

14. Live the life you love

15. Badfish Out of Water

I hope you will accept my nomination and continue to enrich the blogging community with your unique view of the world. I have enjoyed reading all your blogs, especially the About Pages. I look forward to reading more in the future.

Donna George

Winter White Out, Snow Day

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but look at what they can do when they stick together.

Feels like a “White Wanderlust” ? The “snow angels” making doggy prints.

A fun, playful snow day in the Smoky Mountains.

Happy trails,
Donna George

Express Yourself

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Express Yourself.”

dailypost photo challenge, seagull on beach

In response to the dailypost photo challenge to “express yourself” through a photo (without getting too personal), I decided to share three ways, I find inspiration, all in the same photo.

This was not an easy task! I love all things sparkly, shiny, and pretty, like sequins, bangles, and red shoes, but on this occasion, nature trumps.

Ocean     Seagulls     Flowers 

Oh, did I mention why? 

The Ocean and I go way back, all the way back, to the beginning. I’m secretly a mermaid, but don’t tell anyone.

The Seagulls are amazing, beautiful birds with a curious nature, who hang close to people.

And Flowers. Nothing brightens a space like flowers. They’re colorful, delicate and smell incredible. What’s not to love about flowers?

Donna George

Simple Beach Day In January



A beach day is always a “happy day”. Took some photos today, you might enjoy.

I am looking forward to summer, how about you? 

A day at the beach restores the soul

I hope you can have one soon.

Happy trails

Donna George 

5 Desires Of Every Heart


A heart being used as a symbol of love. Photo ...

We all have desires in our heart that keep us pressing forward to the next day. For some of us, they are upfront for all the world to see, screaming through our body language, waiting to be embraced by others. And for others, it might be buried in the clutter, long forgotten and removed.

Most of the treasures in our heart are not so different from others. In fact, I think we all are similar in our needs to be satisfied and feel validated. The physical conditions of the heart is known by medical experts, but the desires of the heart can only be felt and are more complex to understand. There are thousands of metaphors about this epic organ that have stood the test of time. You have probably heard many of them and wrestled with them first hand. Some of my favorites spoken to me during my hard decision-making times and the ones I still ask myself are:

Should I follow my heart or my head?

  • Oh, but they have a big heart.
  • Home is where the heart is.
  • My heart feels so heavy.
  • I should speak from the heart.
  • I poured out my heart to someone.
  • I have a weak spot in my heart for that person or a cause that draws me.
  • My head is saying this, but my heart says something else.

Sand heart

We’ve all heard these clichés and use them when the situations seems right to make us feel better about our decisions, as if our brain operates out of our heart. We all know the brain is where we make decisions, but the “happy place” dwells in the heart. So we strive to continue to keep the connection between the two places in alignment through agreement.

Any list of “heart” expression can quickly highlight aspects of human relationships and personalities: attitudes, social behavior, fear, love, acceptance, rejection, and the list goes on and on. The messages of the heart are not yet understood by leading top professionals today, but there is agreement among the group that the HEAD & HEART work together in unity for a persons well-being. This is clear in the damage that stress, anxiety, depression can do to the human heart. The pharmaceutical world is getting rich on this factoid, just look at the millions of people who are taking drugs daily for heart sickness that’s not physical. 

The great news is that just as the negative in our life beats up our heart, the positive emotions repairs it and keeps it healthy. We are humans not robots! The heart feels stuff, intangible things like love, kindness, laughter and joy. Did you know that when you are laughing and happy your arteries respond more productively as compared to being stressed out where the arteries constrict? This is a great reason to laugh more and look for funny movies and upbeat influencers to be around in your life. When the heart is at peace and happy, the body seems to regulate at a higher endurance. Scheduling stress free time is necessary and proven that we need it.

Since I began my journey writing, I have discovered many things about myself and about others. Having the time to stop and listen to the trials of others, I have noticed patterns that seems to bother everyone on some level. Every heart has deep needs and probably not so different from some of your very own. I decided to make a list, here is the top 5 desires.

1. The need to feel loved by someone. To be happy and fulfilled with healthy relationships.

2. Approval and acceptance by others, at least someone. Trying to escape loneliness.

3. Recognition or acknowledgment of moving in the right direction for improvement. A positive encourager or friend.

4. The idea of HOPE and the belief it exists for them, no matter how small the amount.

5. The belief that there is a God up there who can hear their prayers and watch over them. Faith.

I believe Helen Keller understood the heart matter and she left us this quote.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt by the heart” 

What are the desires of your heart? Do you know anymore; are you living them out loud? 

English: Love Heart symbol

February, the month of love is on the horizon, how will you share the love? 


Donna George 🙂

Dear Readers, 3 Surprising Ways To Be Happier Everyday

life quote, small things

It’s Winter, gloomy, cold outside and the sky turns dark way too early. This is not exactly the kind of stuff that propels you toward the “pursuit of happiness”. I can share three simple tips that can help brighten your day, by offering you something to try. I promise, its super easy.

1. Wake up and be grateful, you’re alive, breathing and able to start over. Renew anything you desire, just by acknowledging it. Say it out loud so your ears can hear what your mind is declaring.


2. Find a quote about life you love, one that will inspire you to think bigger than yourself. Place it somewhere you will see it right away when you wake up. After you read the quote a few times, it will become a sticky note in your head. Make a decision to commit to work towards the goal of your quote. You can choose a quote for different specific life applications, like a quote that relates to work, fashion, friendships or family, but get started with a general one. This is one of my personal favorites…

Life quote

3. Woe girl, ease up on your expectations! When your expectations are too high, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. And when this happens we can’t enjoy the good surprises life brings. There are only 24 hours in a day. Worrying about the “What If’s” of tomorrow, takes the fun out of today. Just do more of what makes you happy!

We all want to be happier, yet many of us find it challenging to achieve and even harder to maintain. Happiness has little to do with money, but more to do with the way we spend our lives and more to do with people around us.

Ultimately, it’s up to us to focus our attention on the beauty of life instead of the problems. Show a little gratitude, be intentional with your thoughts, and find a peaceful flow. You are smiling already :). I knew you had it in you, why else would you be reading a blog about “Beyond Extraordinary Days”?

just smileHappy Trails,

Donna George

Body Central Retail Headquarters Closes; All Stores Closings

Sharing an updated post from January 2015 to honor the memory of a retail fashion brand we all loved… And miss.

Hugs and goodbyes

Sad goodbyes at Body Central headquarters

The company was started by The Rosenbaum family in 1972 as Body Shop, with its first store in the Rosevelt Mall. After years of success, the company went public in 2010 with 5 million shares at $13 a share. As the company success grew, so did stock prices, rising to $30.69 in 2012.

The company sales began to decrease in 2013 and never recovered from the downward turn, and now the doors are sadly closed.

You may be wondering why I am posting this story on my blog…

I worked for Body Central 30 years, it’s part of my legacy. A position that never felt like a job. Instead, it seemed like an extension of a huge family that will forever impact my life. As a new leadership regime took over, the great fall out began.

For me, it was 2/22/13.

Watching from a distance I saw “the great exodus” of tenure associates followed by declining sales results and a negative atmosphere in the organization. A difficult position for a brand that thrived on integrity and healthy unity.

There are many lessons in this story that could benefit other corporate headquarters, board members and executives. I wish every CEO would investigate for themselves what caused this once successful brand to collapse. There is much to be learned and avoided.

  • For what it’s worth – my two cents
    Board members should periodically seek face time with field executives, especially when sales are declining. Don’t be completely reliant on CEO’s and CFO’s viewpoints, particularly if these executives are new and unproven to the brand. (I could write a book on this subject).
  • CEO’s could benefit from the same advice. Get out of your offices and get to know the organization! Being constantly surrounded with two or three executives and their influences is deadly. Be proactive and see for yourself. Travel alone occasionally.
  • CFO’s should keep their focus on margins, profits and bottom lines.

Where there is smoke, rest assured there is a fire

A great company is formed where great workplaces are built through day by day relationships that employees experience. It’s not about programs, checklist or even benefits. The defining principle is TRUST and through these relationships, trust develops.

In a great workplace you will find:

Trust for the people you work for.

A sense of pride and excellence in the work performed.

Enjoy the people they work with and feel part of a team

The Rosenbaum’s were extraordinary role models and I’m grateful for the positive influence they contributed to my life and many others. On the anniversary of Body Central’s closing, I look back and remember a legacy that will live on forever.

jerrold Rosenbaum. Donna George

Jerrold Rosenbaum, Founder of Body Central

Executive team









bc 4

BC 5



BC 6


mountain house meeting



Body Central 1

Cruise photo

New Store Opening Photo



Happy Trails
Donna George