We Lied…We Are Back!

19 Oct

Gemini Magazine Special Edition 2012: Asia Monet


Well, no, not entirely. During an afternoon chat with plus model Asia Monet, the subject of doing a special edition of Gemini for October popped up. Why you ask? Mainly to celebrate a dear friend and long time supporter of the magazine, and secretly I kind of missed the late nights staring at a computer screen. Any who, a few weeks later, the Special Edition 2012 was born and it is here for you to enjoy. So while we are not entirely back the way we teased you in the title of this post, we are here for a short time to spread a little inspiration.  Enjoy! [Click here to check it out]

~Sommer J.


8 Aug



It is something to find a voice and share it with complete strangers. It is even more extraordinary to find a voice and know it has made a difference in the lives of complete strangers, but as they say all good things must come to an end and in this case that would be my voice.

I was so ready to create a publication that spoke to the millions of women out there who wanted more from the gigantic machine that is media, but I was not quite ready for the energy, the tears, the heartache and the love. Gemini became something so much more to me than I had ever expected.

Thank you to those who supported the publication via private conversations, interviews, emails, phone calls, advertisements, written pieces, and most importantly your skills. I will not dare call anyone out for fear of leaving someone out accidentally, but you know who you are. From the bottom of my heart I thank you and am truly blessed to have had you as a part of Gemini.

So long ladies and gents! Never stop pushing for that thing you want. Never stop thinking, learning, and growing. That is life at its best, really…enjoy it while you can, when you can.

With Love,

Sommer J

42% of 1st-3rd Grade Girls Want to be Thin…

28 Jun

And (to add to that) 81% of ten year olds are afraid of getting fat. Considering I have a fifth grader who just happens to be a girl, that scares me. She has watched me carefully sculpt a healthier routine and way of eating, but how she feels about her weight still sits in the back of my mind with every day that passes. She is tall and lanky, by far way more skinny than I ever was when I was her age (I wore a size 16-18), but knowing the images she is bombarded with on a daily basis has me worried.

Gemini Magazine was started because I hated seeing all of the skinny, perfectly smooth faces and bodies in every magazine on the rack, but I also kept in mind the millions of little girls and boys left to stare at their glossy pages too.  At the check out counter, while we fuss over our wallets and groceries, the children are left to stare at perfect faces and bodies on brightly colored glossy covers. We seldom think about the impact that has, but the masterminds behind Missrepresentation.org have it at the forefront of theirs.

MissRepresentation.org is a call-to-action campaign with the mission to empower women and girls to challenge labels (and their limitations) in order to realize their potential and transform our culture for the better.  Their latest endeavor is the Keep It Real Campaign which asks the major publication players to use at least one non-photoshopped image in every issue.

I cannot say that I am not in favor of Photoshop, because that would be lying. What I am not in favor of is the body manipulation that some publications green light. Publishing is a business, yes, but it is also an influencer. We should take that more seriously, and I personally pledge that Gemini Magazine will do just that.

Join MissRepresentation.org in making the larger publications accountable for their photoshopping actions.  Forty-two percent of girls from first through third grade wanting to be thin is forty-two percent too many.

For more information on the (3) day campaign, click here to visit Miss Representation on Facebook.

GO VOTE! (Please)

28 Jun

Very rarely do we ask our readers to do anything. Our job is not to beg and plead for anything. Our job is to give you all of the information we think is key to living your life (not that we would ever tell you how to live it…we aren’t your mother, after all), and we take that seriously. We also take $250,000 seriously.

Chase and Livingsocial got together with an inspired project–err, mission.  Their mission is to grant a small business with $250,000, and to a small business that could go a long way.

Operating any business can be tricky when finances are called to order, however, operating a business that relies on advertising dollars, marketing, and distribution can be even trickier. (Clearing throat) Thus the plea for your vote. It literally only takes about 15-20 seconds (Instructions are below). We have until Saturday (June 30th) to get 237 more votes and we are hoping you will be one.

(1) Go to: http://missionsmallbusiness.com/
(2) Login via Facebook
(3) Search for GEMINI MAGAZINE
(4) Vote for us!

Happy Voting!

It’s Here! It’s Here!

2 Jun

It has been a long and slow process for the first half of 2012, but finally it’s here. Gemini Magazine is back. We can’t say we are back in a big way (just yet), but we can say that we are making positive changes with planned issue for this year.  This issue showcases the story of a plus model, Brittany Jemison, who dropped over 100 pounds and healed her inner self along the way. Our job as a publication is to inspire and inform the reader, and the journey of our cover girl will do just that.

We won’t keep you long so sit back, enjoy the read and keep an eye out for our next adventure. This month we will be announcing a joint campaign with Naturally Me and the Honey Bun Boutique to get you up and moving. Until then, read and re-read our first issue of 2012 and let us know how we did!  (Click the cover to read)

GEMINI Is Back: Change Is Good

4 May

Model Brittany Jemison, Styled by Faithe Dennis and Crystal Smith, Hair and Makeup by Kortney Moffett of Dull to Diva and Photography by James Lewis of Noire 3000.

Change is a good thing. Often times we run from it when in all actuality our lives would be so much more fulfilled if we ran toward it. We have been missing in action for quite some time and while it hurt to be away for so long, it feels good to know that we did a little changing too. When there is growth there is change and vision becomes transformed as well. Happily, we can say the GEMINI vision has been tweaked a bit.

The vision for the publication has always been to inform plus size women on how to improve their life through simple solutions. Luckily, for those who enjoy that type of material, we are keeping with that tradition, but our latest vision is to take a step beyond the fashion, the parties, and the pretty pictures and provide a comfortable place for women to voice their opinions and concerns and learn about something a little deeper. Clothing is important (especially for those of us who may want to go outside in something more than our birthday suit) and we get it. Fashion shows are fun and exciting, we get that too, but without physical/mental/spiritual health the fun stuff is all for naught.

Over the next few months, you will hear us reference change being good quite a bit because we believe that nothing great can come from being stagnant. We are so proud to celebrate our return with our cover girl Brittany Jemison who has lost over 100 pounds. She had the courage to step out of her norm and do something different and boy look at her now!  We can not wait for you to get to know her and we hope you love her as much as we do. We invite you to grow and transform with us. Reach out there and do something you have never done. Get lost on your way home from work or eat a food you have never tried. Step out of your norm as we step out of ours and let’s learn together.

Coming Soon: National Women’s Health Week

1 May

As women, we know it’s hard to take a week out of your life to do anything–so when we ask you to take a week out of your life for this we are not asking lightly.  We have all heard the stories about women who lost their lives or who had to come back fighting from an illness that could have been prevented. We have seen the news blurbs in the paper or floating on the internet about this health scare and that.  We have all urged our mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, and friends to get one symptom (or several) checked out just to be on the safe side. Well, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health is taking it one step further and dedicating an entire week to us and our health.

National Women’s Health Week kicks off on Mother’s Day (how appropriate), May 13, 2012 and is celebrated through May 19, 2012.  The focus of the week long celebration is to empower women to make their health numero uno (not second, third, or not at all).

Mark your calendars, set your iPhone or Droid alarms and get ready.  Don’t fret though–we will be sure to remind you to take the week to take care of you. It’s hard, we know, but leaving the dishes in the sink for an extra 15 minutes to take a brisk walk or taking your lunch hour to get a quick check up from the doc will help to keep a preventable illness at bay.

For more information on National Women’s Health Week and so much more and if you are as serious about this (as we know you are), visit http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw/check-up-day/#pledge and take the Checkup Day Pledge (NWHW Checkup Day, May 14, 2012).


10 Apr

Photo Credits:
Stylist: Spry Lee Scott
Makeup Artist: Tara Taylor
Hair Stylist: Aliza Williams
Photographer: Lucas Pictures
Picture Editor: Poetic Image

Ok, so what–we are a little bias when it comes to Christina Mendez. It could be her candidness during an interview, or it could be her 24/7 grind–we aren’t sure which, but anyway you slice it we just love her.

If it seemed like she had been missing in action, you can attribute that to her new bundle of joy, Cailey Christine. Although, being a mom for the second time around did not stop her for long. Three months after the birth of her baby girl, Christina hit the ground running with high-profile features on Good Morning America and Rachael Ray modeling for Modern Family’s star Sofia Vergara’s Kmart Fashion segment, BET’s Rip the Runway, New Jersey Full Figured Fashion Week, Rocawear.com, Qristyl Frazier’s Epitome Collection, WABC (NY) speaking on behalf of Autism Speaks, and numerous commercials. Did we mention that she was ranked #3 on Oddee’s list of “10 Incredibly Hot Women Who Are Larger Than A Size 12”?

“I’m a strong believer in fate/faith and I am so happy that the industry has welcomed me back after my hiatus. My goal as a plus size model will always be to continue to diversify my resume with brands and campaigns that truly embrace what I have to offer,” says Mendez.

Even with all of that going on, Christina never strays too far from the still shot. “Working with the amazing styling team I was fortunate enough to partner up with, these new photos definitely show my versatility.” Luckily for you, she loves us enough to share her latest looks (and they are smoking hot might we add).

If you don’t know much about this positive powerhouse, you’ll get to learn more in an upcoming issue of Gemini Magazine (shhhh…we haven’t told her yet). Until then, enjoy the view!

Week 7: Go Meatless

10 Oct

For a little over a year, I chose to leave the meat off my plate.  I attempted the meatless feat a few years before I decided to actually get up off my ass and make a move–therefore my idea of a meatless lifestyle was skewed a bit.  Instead of amping up on more vegg than carb, I went the opposite way.  At the end of the journey, I did feel much much better. I felt as though I had more energy and just an overall brighter lighter feeling.  Unfortunately, watching co-workers chow down on a McDonald’s burger and fries daily wore me down and I broke my 365+ run with a cheeseburger happy meal.

While on this recent journey to live better (and lose a little), there have been plenty of days (and weeks) where I have just sworn off meat.   Recently, as of yesterday, I have resigned myself to really incorporating the vegetarian lifestyle into my daily existence more regularly. With the reocurring meat recalls (and some fruit and veggie too), it is more important than ever for us to pay attention to not only what we eat, but also where our food comes from.

Typically, when people hear the word ‘vegetarian’ they cower at the thought of nothing but spinach and beans, but the truth of the matter is that there are different types of vegetarians.

  • Vegan diets exclude meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products — and foods that contain these products.
  • Lacto-vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter, are allowed in a lacto-vegetarian diet.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets exclude meat, fish and poultry, but allow eggs and dairy products.
  • Semivegetarian diet (aka flexitarian) — which is primarily a plant-based diet but includes meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and fish on occasion or in small quantities.

-information quoted from the Mayo Clinic

Listen to Doc Oz enough and you will get the message that most of us don’t get the vitamins we need via our nutrition. Most of that is because we tend to eat crappy foods, but making the switch to a meat free life (for even only a few days) can give you a boost in the essentials category (not to mention your wallet).  Some key essentials for everyday function(and extra activity) can all be found at your local farmers market or in the produce aisle.

PROTEIN–beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, tempeh, chickpeas, peas. Many other common foods, like whole grain bread, greens, potatoes, and corn, also add to protein intake.

IRON–dried fruits, baked potatoes, mushrooms, cashews, dried beans, spinach, chard, tofu, tempeh, bulgur, and iron-fortified foods (such as cereals, instant oatmeal, and veggie “meats”). To boost the amount of iron absorbed at a meal, eat foods containing vitamin C, like citrus fruit or juices, tomatoes, or broccoli.

CALCIUM–broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, tofu prepared with calcium, low-fat dairy products, fortified soymilk, and fortified orange juice.

B12–to be on the safe side, taking a B12 supplement (non-animal derived) would be best in this case. Most foods (unless fortified) don’t carry an adequate amount of B12 for an adult.

OMEGA-3–fish (of course), nuts, grains, eggs, and so on. The best course of action for getting the proper amount of Omega-3 is to pay close attention to which foods are enriched with it.

Eating one meal or every meal with out meat is as simple or as complicated as you make it. So…who’s ready?


Carnivore No MoreThis week, we will go a full (24) hours without meat. You pick the day and plan it well. Remember, don’t over do it on the carbs. Doughnuts and candy bars don’t count as a non-meat meal or snack (sorry). Be sure to take a good look at your labels. You will be surprised how much animal is in a non-meat food. 

RememberRock out your workout this week for 3 days (minimum), and chug that water!  If you are sick of plain H2O, spice it up with some fresh fruit or bubbles.

Week 6: Shed It Meal Plan Style

3 Oct

Yup, it’s that time.  It’s time to set up a meal plan and show this weight who’s boss.  It…is…time…for…a…plan!  Grrrrrrr. After I got the hang of the working out thing, I decided it was time to tackle food.  It was a scary thought, but once  a plan was in place has been a walk in the park (most days).

Here are the basics of what should be entering the body:

CARBS—hmmm…they are good for you—the complex ones are, but the simple carbs suck big time.  They are simple so the body doesn’t break them down as they do complex ones and it’s basically blasted into sugar and turned into fat.  Also, incase you were unaware—carbs (complex or not) take 6 hours to turn into fat (I know! Makes everything so clear now right?!) so it’s best to eat them earlier in the day and not at all at night (complex ones from veggies are ok).

FRUITS—we need them, we love them but they do have one slight issue—they are usually filled with sugar, although natural (bananas being the highest) that can make things tricky sometimes.  3-5 servings a day are great, but beware of chugging down the servings via juices.  The nutrients in the fruit is best when it’s in its natural state.  Similar to the carb thing, it’s best not to eat fruit after 2pm.

VEGGIES—again…we need them and we kinda love them.  There isn’t much too awful to say about veggies.  Be careful not to choke too many gas producing veggies or else you are liable to blow. Try to keep a nice balance. Also, be careful not to chug them down too often, unless you combine them in a super smoothie like a Salad in a Glass or mixed with other fruits.  V8 is not the best option for veg drinking–sorry to break it to ya.  Cooking veggies is fine, but the most punch is packed in the veg when it isn’t cooked TOO much. Try steaming or just chomping raw.

DAIRY—some people can, and some people can’t with the dairy.  The most important thing to do is to get between 2-3 servings a day through various types.  Lower fat is best!  Almond milk is a-maz-ing, especially the chocolate ones (my vice). They taste nutty at first but once you get use to it (which doesn’t take long) it’s a good substitute when you want to give the dairy a rest.

MEAT/BEANS—ahhh, protein.  It is the necessary part of life.  Protein comes in many forms, but most of us get what we need from the meat we eat.  The best type of meat to eat is lean meats and meats that aren’t pumped full of drugs.  Legumes are also a fab way to sneak in some protein when meat isn’t on the top of the list. Sneaking proteins in your smoothies are awesome too if you don’t feel like chewing on a side of beef (sometimes you just get sick of eating dead animals, you know?).

DRINKS—drinking water is a major important part in the living healthy thing.  Being dehydrated is common, but putting water in the body balances things out.  So drinking about 10-12 glasses per day is a good way to keep the body on track (especially when you are sweating it out).  Not every drink HAS to be water, but if it isn’t water—make sure it isn’t diet soda (if it can be helped). The chemicals and the effects of diet soda can cause problems in the future (from what I’ve read).  Smoothies, juices, teas and sparkling drinks are wonderful substitutes—just be careful about the added sugars.

Whew! That was a ton of info, I know, but you can do it.  Just be mindful of what you are eating and make sure it is more ‘good’ for you than ‘not-so good’ for you.


EAT & LOGThis week our only focus will be adopting a new way of eating, and logging everything.  No, you don’t have to do it for the rest of your life, but why not give it a try?  There have been a lot of things said about the long line of diets out there on the market, but (for the most part) they all have something in common (the new ones anyway): lower carb intake, lower salt intake, and lower sugar intake.  Up the lean proteins, fruits and veggies and what’s left is the way we were MEANT to eat.


Calories in vs. Calories out is the name of the game pretty much.  My basic calorie plan is for a 1500+ cal day.  Yours may be different.  But the daily meal plan below is a guideline: 

BREAKFAST:  (475) cals; Suggestions: Lean protein, low fat dairy, fruit serving, veg serving, carb. In order to not feel totally hungry later in the day—eating a higher cal breakfast chocked full of protein (and some fiber) will help tremendously. 

MORNING SNACK: (100) cals; Suggestions:  fruit serving, veg serving, carb, lean protein, low fat dairy.  It’s always good to eat a light snack between lunch and breakfast.  It keeps you from going overboard later in the day.

LUNCH:  (425) cals; Suggestions: lean protein, veg serving, fruit serving low fat dairy, carb.  This meal should be able to carry you over to later in the evening when dinner goes down.  This should be the last meal of the day that would include a carb or anything with added sugar. 

AFTERNOON SNACK: (100) cals; Suggestions: fruit serving (if snack is before 2pm), low fat dairy, veg serving, lean protein. Some times an afternoon snack is not necessary, but sometimes it just is.  Listen to the body.

DINNER:  (400) cals; Suggestions: lean protein, veg serving.

*NOTE: Try not to eat fruit after 2pm.  Good for you carbs: whole grain bread, oatmeal, whole wheat and veggie wraps, brown rice, whole grain pasta, sweet potato (to name a few).  Try to stay away from too much red meat.  If at all possible, stick with poultry and fish or just good ol’ veggies.  If you  have red meat, make it as lean as possible.