Surrogate Mother: An Act of Kindness

Working Mom: A profile of an unconventional rebel
Q & A with Gabrielle Ngumezi

Gabrielle Ngumezi is a twenty-seven year old Bay Area native and she has had quite a journey becoming a wife and mother. After 6 years of marriage and giving birth to her first child, she and her husband recently decided to give the gift of life to an infertile family. Unbeknown to her religious extended family members, Gabrielle became a gestational surrogate mother to a same-sex couple from Europe and gave birth on June 22, 2014. I spoke with Gabrielle about making those tough decisions to become a surrogate with the disapproval of close family members and some friends.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: I’m a leasing consultant. I’ve been doing that for about a year. I hopped around quite a bit trying to decide what I want to do. I’ve been a stay at home mom for about a year and a half once my daughter was born. Prior to that, I worked in a group home with emotionally disturbed girls.

Q: What kind of things have you learned juggling the role of being a mother and a wife?
A: Family’s first. My family trumps any and everything. They are a top priority. I have learned that you have to become responsible. I can no longer get bored at a job and quit because I’m tired of my job, I hate my boss, or because I did not like the company of the people I work with. “You have to keep going no matter what. You have to stay strong for your family, especially for your children because they see everything you do.”

Q: We recently learned that you became a surrogate mother—Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
A: I became a surrogate a year ago. I’ve always wanted to adopt a child, provide temporary foster care, or help a family who couldn’t have a child of their own. There are two main types of surrogacy, traditional and gestational. Becoming a donor was never an option because it’s too close to home. I chose to become a gestational surrogate where “I am just the carrier, it’s just my uterus. It’s not my egg it’s not my husband’s sperm. So it’s not our child.” I began that journey hopping to carry only one child and later found out that I was pregnant with twins. The twins are were born this past summer, and they are happy healthy babies; the family is from Europe and that’s where they are now.

Related: General Compensation for a surrogate mother

Q: Do you have emotional connection to the twins?
A: No I don’t. I don’t look at it like I gave up my children. I gave the children back to their parents. I was the incubator. I was the oven— I baked these babies for their parents. There was never a thought or feeling like, “ Oh, I want theses babies” it was a beautiful miracle that I helped to create.

Q: How did you make the decision to be a surrogate?
A: I was just doing the research on foster care and adopting. When I worked in the group home I was close to taking in one of the girls for temporary foster care. I was going to keep her for about six  to nine months. While her mother got her things together. My husband was all for it. During my research— because I had to get license to become a foster parent, I came across surrogacy and I fell in love with the idea of being a blessing to someone else.

Related: General requirements of a surrogate mother

Q: What was the biggest issue with your in-laws?
A: It was a combination of being Christian and their biblical beliefs. Some cultures feel shamed, “How do I explain my daughter in-law being pregnant with someone else’s child?” and I understand that. My mother was ok with it initially, until I disclosed that it was for a same-sex couple. That’s when the bible verses and the damnation came. I’ve always been a free spirit in a sense. I don’t judge. I don’t think that two men and two women can’t have the same quality of love for a child.  My mom and my family know me once my mind is made up, this is what I’m gong to do. I’m sorry you don’t agree, but hopefully you come around and they did. My in-laws on the other hand, didn’t know I was pregnant when I was pregnant. We told them what we were planning to do. They expressed their disapproval and we left it at that. After I had the Twins, weeks later they found out and at that point, it was very liberating.

Q: Would you be a surrogate again?
A: I would be a surrogate again if it weren’t for that family aspect. Things are slowly coming together on my side of the family, but a little faster than my in-laws. In their eyes, my actions  were defiant against  cultural and traditional values, which plays a huge part in their “idea” of what it is to be a mother and a wife. Giving up my body for nine months for someone else is not something that is acceptable to everyone. But I would defiantly do it again if given the opportunity. It was a great experience. No matter what people may think, live your life to the fullest.

For more details on Gabrielle’s surrogacy journey check our YouTube channel

By: Angelisa Ross
Editor & Social Media Manager, Workingmomin20s
Videography by: Antone Harrison
Tangible Productions


Top 10 Thanksgiving Recipes for the Holidays

#1: Sausage, Cranberry, and Apple Stuffing


  • 1 loaf sour dough bread, cubed (about 10 cups)
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 (12 oz) Jones Dairy Farm All Natural Pork Sausage Rolls
  • 1/2 cup shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped and divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup chardonnay wine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

**Get complete Instruction by Donna on The Slow Roasted Italian

#2. Sweet Cinnamon Candy Yams with Marshmallows
Candy YamsIngredients:
  • Yams (Sweet Potato, Red)
  • Brown Sugar
  • White Sugar
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Cinnamon and/or Nutmeg
  • Mini Marshmallows for Topping

**Get complete Instruction by Reyhan Sun on

#3. Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients
  • elbow macaroni
  • cups milk
  •  butter or margarine
  •  all-purpose flour
  • chopped onion
  • garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • pepper
  • shredded Emmentaler cheese or Cheddar or Swiss or Fontina
  •  tablespoons butter or margarine
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  •  fine bread crumbs, dry
  •  parsley, chopped (optional)

**Get complete Instruction By Jessica Knott on

#4 Southern Style Collard Greens
Collard GreensIngredients
  • Collard Greens, already chopped and rinsed for you!
  • Ham Hocks
  • Chicken Stock, boxes
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Butter
  • Seasoned Salt and pepper to taste

**Get complete Instruction By Dana on

 #5. Cajun Shrimp Casserole
Cajun Shrimp CasseroleIngredients
  • 2 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of shrimp soup**
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garnishes: quartered lemon slices, fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

**Get complete instruction by Elaine Jeansonne on

#6 Slow Cooked Honey Glazed Ham
Honey Glazed HamIngredients
  • 4 lbs. boneless ham, fully cooked
  • 12 oz. lemon lime soda
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon


**Get complete instruction by Jenn on  

 #7. Ultimate Pecan Pie
Pecan PieIngredient
  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 2 cups pecans (plus extras to line the top, if desired)




Get complete instructions by Grandma Ebright on 

#8 Pumpkin Pie Mini Tarts
Pumpkin PieIngredients
  • Tart Crust
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), chilled
  • 1 egg yolk (from a large egg)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Pumpkin Filling
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup milk

Get complete instructions by Paula on

#9. Apple Harvest Salad
Apple Harvest SaladIngredient
  • 3 c. lightly packed spinach or spring mix greens
  • ¼ c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 small or medium apple, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp. pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp. walnuts (halves or chopped)



For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tsp. minced shallot
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

Get complete instructions by Natalie on

#10 Brined and Roasted Turkey
  • 20 fresh sage leaves, half finely chopped
  • 2 cups kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (10–12-lb.) natural turkey (giblets and neck removed)
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 10 cloves of garlic 
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste



Get complete instructions by Vanessa Rees on 

Set the Table and Bring out your finest wine, dinner place settings, and celebrate with beloved friends and family,  thankful for another beautiful year.

By: Denise Williams
Email us:

Featured image photo credit: Pictures 

Working Moms In The 1920's Photo Shoot by www.calvinevansphotosh

Working Moms in 20s, 1920s Inspired Photo Shoot Video

Leading Lady: Founder of Workingmomin20s Movement, Mrs. Denise Ajayi Williams 

Co Star: Hayden Williams III, Founder & CEO Skyclinic Connect
Hayden IV, 3 year old Son

Working Moms in 20s  

Day 1: Ainsley House Museum

Day 2: Half Moon Bay, Beach

Day 3: Academy of Art Automobile Museum

Production Crew:
The Brand Factory Photographer: Calvin Evans
Photographer Asst: Leah Lang

Videography: Antone Harison
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Her Secret Hair: Ms. Helen Owens

(510) 910-0339

2complete LEAD STYLIST:
Portia  & Shamia

Vintage Wardrobe Stylist: Dawn Whitaker
Opium Vintage Wardrobe

Working Moms in 20s Production Asst: Angelissa Ross
Culture Choque

TOP 5 Best Designers for Spring/Summer 2015

Roberto Cavalli: Escape into the Wind

Roberto Cavalli’s Spring/ Summer 2015 collection was created in the true spirit of summer. The mixture of print and color creates free flowing pieces that suggest the feeling of escape. Animal prints used were contrasted by bold vibrant colors. With these looks, one can get on a flight to the Bahamas for vacation or just head to the beach with Bold colors, animal prints, stripes were explored through abstract shapes. The choices of when to show skin further supports freedom creating different ways to enjoy the hot summer weather/ breeze through long flowy gowns and other styles.

Photo Credit:


DOLCE & GABBANA’s tribute to Sicily, Italy

It was an ode to Sicily, Italy between 1516 and 1713.  Implementing a playful approach to synchronizing black, red, gold, and floral prints to create high waist shorts, embroided jackets, and bull fighting inspired capes. This mixture creates dark femininity with a hint of royalty. The use of lace adds a hint of sensuality that is perfectly married to a strong dark accent creating  a color pallet that is quit satisfying. Over all, the pieces were sophisticated and intriguiing and an amazing tribute to  Sicily.

Photo Credit:

Emporio Amani

For these looks, you can expect to see the use of Pewter, metallic, shades of blue, white, and stripes to create blazers, shorts, and pleated high waist pants. Very practical looks that can be worn in the office or in a relaxed setting.  The change of looks can occur with a new pair of shoes. Although navy blue is a dark Color for the summer it’s mixture with plaid, stripes and white causes it to have breath. Royal blue and grey.


Photo Credit:


Moshcino, entices the imagination, by bringing to life, Barbie. What would she look like in live form? Every lady in the house was brought to their youths through his expression of bright pinks, blues, polka dots, and a lot of attitude. Moshino, explores different ways he could glorify the mother of all things girly and pink. Not for the average woman, but for the bold socialite who wants to make a splash and leave and impression.

Photo Credit:


The contrast in shapes exudes power, strong sensuality, and influence. The V-necks and Long flowy luxurious pants suggest effortless sensuality. His pieces can be worn right off the runway to a boardroom, date night or any event.  He had very practical pieces that could bring out the goddess in any woman. He was successful in bringing Ready-to-wear pieces to the masses; creating sheik futuristic pieces with a sensual twist, exploring sensuality from different angles. His exploration of colors within structure and boundaries lines was refreshing and inspiring. His pieces are my favorites for the 2015 spring /summer look.


Written & Illustrated By:
Olutola Afolayan, WMin20s High Fashion Editor
@IMVCoutoure: Isimey Vintage

Consult with Our Top Branding Experts

Fashion Week: New York, Milan, London, & Paris

You Are a Brand

page contents


From now until the day you leave this earth you will create either a cyber or a paper trail that will tell the story of your life. What you wear, how you act, and what you do all contribute to the image you create of yourself.

What you wear, how you act, and what you do all contribute to the image you create of yourself. From twerking on stage, to anacondas and nude pictures, are celebrities tarnishing the unspoken “Leave something to the imagination” image of women?

You are a brand.A brand is created by the image you project to the world. With the level of technology these days, it’s very easy to find out both private and public information about almost anyone.

Prime example of this happened earlier this week, when a number of celebrity nude photos surfaced on the Internet. Regardless if the photos were a branding strategy or completely accidental, influencers like Meagan Good, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian, had their brands exposed to the world.

Believe it or not, people are going to develop an opinion about your character based on the type of image you project. Nude photos or any kind of controversial activity viewed by society could have a negative effect on your image and could ultimately limit future endeavors.

As people are scrolling down your Instagram or looking over your resume, it is likely that they are forming an opinion about your character based on what you’ve presented to the world. In Beyonce’s hit song “Flawless”, she sampled the voice of a woman named Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Adichie is a successful Nigerian writer.For some spectators, Adichie’s work was completely unknown until the song “Flawless” premiered and even then many people still don’t recognize her. However, when Miley Cyrus’ began “Twerking” on the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013 it became a national trending topic almost instantly.

Why is that?Women like Sheryl Sandberg, Indra Nooyi, and Oprah Winfrey have all worked hard to protect their image and the results catapulted them into iconic success.

These same successful women didn’t share their bodies with the world, nor did they perform numerous publicity stunts like Nicki Minaj “Anaconda” music video to remain relevant in the public eye.

They achieved greatness based on their intellectual contributions and by maintaining a tasteful image. So, How are you currently branding yourself?


By: Angelissa Ross

Cultur Choque Consignment

Inspiring you to look and be your best because,
“Life is what you DRESS it.”



My take on pigment (skin color) race

Beauty in Many Shades I identify with white 
I identify with brown
I identify with red
I identify with black
I identify with yellow

If we all were birth from the same place, our bloodlines have mixed
I love Marilyn Monroe just as much as I love Warren Buffet & Steve Jobs
I love Beyonce’ just as much as I love Shakira & Incubus

I think Oprah is just as amazing as Marissa Mayer
They are all heroes and the greatest of our time
I do not believe that one would have gotten as far without the help, support, or contribution from others

I think the land of Egypt is the best representation of history, therefore I believe that the Egyptians people are beautiful.
I love the Islamic race because they respect and maintain history
I love Christianity because they accept adaptation and change
I love Buddhism because it intrigues me and carries the unknown teachings
I love Hinduism because it secures and respects the faith of animals

I delight in collaboration of cultures because it teaches you to listen and learn
I celebrate the image of perfection the parliament represents, it teaches the value of nepotism
I celebrate the art and creativity of the people of Dubai
I envy the beauty of geisha girls and their ability to remain poise and emblematic

So you see no race is different to me. Just like the feline, we are all the same specie we just come in variation of styles.

Does my writing reflect the color I am, the pigment of my skin?
If not, then it should not matter
It should not separate us
It should allow us to celebrate our differences
And oneness in the eyes of God

I identify with white
I identify with brown
I identify with red
I identify with black
I identify with yellow

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