Category Archives: Magazine

EDITOR’S NOTE: These Boots Were Made for Cover Shoots

M.L.T.S. Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Rosella Eleanor LaFevre checks in once a week to let you know what’s up with the magazine and addressing issues faced by motivated young women.

On Friday, we shot our cover girl for the fifth issue. It was one of those days when  everything went well and I felt the intense joy of doing the thing you feel like you were put on this earth to do.

Our fifth cover girl is fashion PR executive Rakia Reynolds. Check out her company Blue Skai Media on their website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Here’s a teaser shot from the shoot:

Rakia Reynolds. Shoes, her own. Photographed by Michelle Carvalho.

I can’t wait to share more photos of that fun, fun day with you.

What do you think of those fierce booties?



EDITOR’S NOTE: A Million Thanks to Bianca Crespo

M.L.T.S. Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Rosella Eleanor LaFevre checks in once a week to let you know what’s up with the magazine and addressing issues faced by motivated young women.


Honestly, I don’t even remember how we decided that she would join the team but I’ve been grateful for Bianca Crespo’s help ever since.

She dove into the work without hesitation. I quickly named her Managing Editor because that’s what she did: managed. Better than I could at times.

Bianca has been on board since our second issue, for which she shot a fashion editorial. Then, before the release of the third issue, she started as our Managing Editor.

Giving her the position of Managing Editor was the best decision I ever made. Bianca was always willing to do more than I asked of her. She brought writers on board and got great work out of them. She kept me on track when things were falling apart.

I am endlessly grateful to this brilliant young artist, this incredibly striking talent.

Last week we released our fourth issue, Bianca’s last issue as our managing editor. Check it out for her farewell letter (“California Dreams,” p. 5), interviews with fashion designer Ally Cruz (p. 12) and photographer Jeani Grady (p. 24), the essay she got Janet Iafrate to write about living with ectodermal displasia (p. 9), the analysis of the recent crop of TV shows featuring women in their 20’s that she got Jennie Burd to write for us (p. 25) and the first-hand accounts from three student volunteers that she commissioned for us (p. 36).

As for the blog content this week, we’ve got another installment of Cary Carr’s Love Smudged column on tomorrow, Crosby Rothey’s second Friday Finds column, and various round-ups throughout the week, including five recipes using crescent rolls later today. Enjoy and as always, feel free to comment and let us know how we’re doing!

Issue 4 is LIVE!

Today we launched issue 4 of M.L.T.S. Magazine. Karen Gross, a caberet performer, singer and comedienne, is our fourth cover girl. Also in this issue, we have essays on living (and loving) with PMDD, why age is irrelevant, and why we won’t intern for no money if we’ve already got work experience. We’ve got interviews with Kelapo Coconut Oil entrepreneur Erin Meagher, fashion designer Ally Cruz, and photographer Jeani Grady. We’ve got a feature on the importance of volunteering, with three first-hand accounts and a a ton of ideas to get you starting helping a great cause. There’s also an in-depth analysis of Girls and other TV shows about young women that debuted this past year. And let’s not forget the excerpt from Calixte: A Novel.

Read it on here. Buy a PDF download ($1.99) or a hard copy ($12) on here. Enjoy!

Write for Us! We Pay in Kisses and Clips

Hey there, writers!

M.L.T.S. Magazine is looking for talented journalists to commit to contributing weekly or biweekly columns to be published on the magazine’s blog. Writers will also be able to write for the quarterly magazine.

In case you’re just discovering us, M.L.T.S. is daily blog and quarterly magazine that publishes lifestyle, education and career topics for young women who are ambitious and actively pursuing their goals.

Weekly columns fall under one of the following categories: Most Informed (news), Most Stylish, Most Beautiful, Most Loved, Most Entertaining (movies, TV, music, books) and Most Valuable (education & careers).

Previous and current columns include Full Body Detail (covered health and wellness), My Busiest Year (about the writer juggling all her commitments) and My Pleasure (about sex and relationships).

As I’m both a broke journalism student and the sole force behind M.L.T.S., I can’t pay my writers yet. The perks of the job include:

  • Clips to bolster your portfolio
  • Occasional freebies
  • In-roads to people you might not otherwise meet
  • My undying gratitude and respect

To apply, please send your column idea, along with a resume and at least one writing sample. I’m accepting applications at

Then again, if you’re just looking to contribute once or twice and can’t commit to a whole column, you can contribute to the following columns:

  • Confessions: Have something you need to get off your chest? Write it up (anywhere between 300 – 700 words works for us) and send it to us. It can be about anything and you can write it anonymously. Our chief concern with installments for this column? Brutal honesty and evocative, exciting prose. Submit a full piece or a pitch and a writing sample to us via email.
  • Love Lessons: Each of these short essays (100 – 250 words) focuses on a single thing that can make or break a relationship. Examples: “Vulnerability is Key” and “Shared Interests Aren’t Everything.” Focus on clarity and being concise. If interested in sharing a Love Lesson, please include the full text in your email.

We’ll be launching these multi-authored columns within the next week and will probably come up with a few others. If you have submissions for either, email them to us at Be sure to include the name of the column you’re hoping to contribute to in the subject line of your email. Thanks, lovelies!

Straighting: An Excerpt

In our third issue, we shared the following excerpt from the upcoming memoir, Straightling. I had the honor of reading it before the masses got the chance. To those of you who have yet to read it, I say this: Prepare yourself. On page one, a young Etler takes your hand and she doesn’t let go. You won’t be able to put Straightling down and you sure as hell won’t root this hard for anyone ever again.

Here’s the excerpt:

The UFO light over the backseat is on. Everyone but me is deep into writing something. God only knows what they could have to say, after being locked in a cage for the world’s longest Wednesday. But they’re all into it.

I look out the window as we approach, then slip under, the highway-green signs. Then we pass a blue one that says, “Thank you for visiting Virginia!” Without knowing it, I’m talking.

“Where’re we going?”

Sandy’s moon face rises from her legal pad.

“To my house, your new host-home. In Maryland.”

Her mom’s looking at me, but she doesn’t say anything. Neither do I.

After a while, Sandy’s pen makes that quick shrrrrip noise, a dug-in line saying The End! to her writing. She slaps her pad to the floor and turns to face me. This girl would never make it in the smoking pit. She belongs in, like, the math club.

“Cyndy, meet my parents. Dad—” he lifts his fingers off the steering wheel and twinkles them at me—“and Mom.”

“Hi, Cyndy,” she says with a watery smile.

“You can call them ‘Dad C.’ and ‘Mom C.’ So. Tell me about your first day as a Straightling.”

There are no streetlights where we are now. The dome light’s still on, so I can see my reflection in the window. The right side of my lip does the best Billy Idol sneer.

“As a what?” I say to my own face.

“I’m over here, Cyndy. Behind you.”

She’s waiting for me to turn and look at her. So are her parents. And the guys have all stopped writing. I turn away from the window and look at her icky chin.

“As a Straightling. You know, ‘Here at Straight, feel great! Nine to nine, feel fine!’”

She’s singing. She’s singing this song-thing that the whole beast sang, after eating. And she’s hand-signaling, too—one arm cuts through the air on “Straight;” she flashes nine fingers, twice, for “nine to nine.” She friggin hugs herself for “feel fine.”

In three days, I’ll be sucking a Marlboro hard, and inhaling Bridgeport through my nose. But maybe I’ll keep this one from Zarzozas. I don’t think it’s their kind of song.

When she stops singing I’m supposed to say something, but I have no idea what. Then Sandy talks again.

“Why are you at Straight, Cyndy?”

“Man, I don’t know!”

I get all that out before her brother speaks.

“Druggie word!”

Sharp, he says it. I whip my head around, like, What?

And he goes, “Tell her not to look at me! Tell her no druggie words!”

Then Sandy takes over.

“You can’t look at boy phasers, Cyndy. Or other newcomer girls, either, except when they’re talking in group. But we’ll get to that later. And don’t use druggie words from your past.”

“Man, what are you talk—”

“Don’t use that word, I said!”

There’s two boys right behind me, totally listening to me get told. Fuckin, if we were in the pit right now, I’d be telling this chick what she could do with her fucking words. But here, in a Caravan, twelve hours from anywhere and sitting next to her mom? I do what I did with Jacque, before I grew balls: press into a corner, shut up, and try to hide. But Sandy’s not fooled.

“I asked you why you’re at Straight, Cyndy.”

It would be too weird to say nothing, when there’s six people listening. Plus, it seems like her next step’ll be to give me a spanking.

“I—I don’t know. My mother brought me.”

“Why did your mother bring you?”

“I don’t know!”

“Well, Straight is a drug rehab, Cyndy. Kids aren’t brought here for having tea parties and going to church. What did you do to make your mother bring you to Straight?”

“I mean, I took off. To get away from her husband.”

“Oh, I get it. You were a church-going tea-party runaway. And Saturday nights you read the Bible at an old-folks home, right?”

“No, I didn’t say—”

Sandy is laughing, and so’s her brother. And the two kids behind me. Even her mom’s cough is covering up a laugh.

“If you were brought to Straight, you’re a fuckup. Sorry Mom and Dad, but it’s true. You’re a runaway, and runaways do disgusting things in disgusting places. So let me ask you again, Cyndy. Why. Are. You. At. Straight.”

Nobody’s laughing anymore. They got quiet at fuckup. It’d be easier if they were still laughing, so it wasn’t up to me to fill this entire van.

“We’re waiting.”

“I—I really don’t know what I’m doing here!”

I had no idea I started crying. But I suddenly am.

“My mother just brought me here. And I’m not a druggie, and I only drank once. I didn’t even like it—it made me sick! I was just trying to get away….”

“So you’re admitting you overdosed on alcohol.”

“Man—I mean, I’m not! I’m not anything! And you’ll see, in a couple days! They told me three days. They’re gonna see I’m not a druggie, and I’ll be outta here.”

I’m full-on, snot-river crying now. I don’t even care what those backseat boys think. But they’re laughing at me. They all are. The parents and everybody.

“I’m not! I’m not a drug addict! Are you listening to me? I just had to get away from him! I just left!”

It’s like we’re on separate TV screens in a department store window. Me, and then all of them. It’s two different shows, and they don’t make sense next to each other. I’m begging them to understand; they’re smiling and rosy. I must be going crazy.

“Okay, Cyndy,” Sandy goes. “Welcome to Straight.”

Cyndy Drew Etler will self-publish her memoir, Straightling, about her experiences in a teen boot camp in January. For now, go to, sign up for the newsletter and read another excerpt.

Q&A with Jenny Potter

If you’ve ever watched the Winter Olympics, you’ve likely dreamed of winning a gold medal. Female hockey player Jenny Potter has earned three! CANDICE MONHOLLAN talks to her about life on and off the ice.

Jenny Potter has won several medals playing ice hockey.

Jenny Potter has spent the majority of her life playing the game she loves: ice hockey. She has participated in four Olympics, eight International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships and a 4 Nations Cup and earned five gold medals, seven silver and one bronze, as well as a Frozen Four title with the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

She is one of three women to become an unofficial member (women aren’t recognized by the IIHF) of the Triple Gold Club, having won an Olympic gold, the Clarkson Cup, and a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships.

The mother of two, the 32-year-old Minnesota native continues her hockey career today with the Minnesota Whitecaps of the Western Women’s Hockey League, one of two major women’s hockey leagues. Potter talks here about her life in the sport and how it all started with football.

Candice Monhollan: You don’t hear much about women participating in football. Why that sport for you?

Jenny Potter: Well, I really liked the aggressiveness of the sport. I was a tomboy growing up. I convinced my parents to let me play tackle football in fifth grade.

CM: What was it like playing with boys in football?

JP: I was a very shy kid and it was hard for me to fit in sometimes, but the boys were nice for the most part – probably because I hit harder than most of them and they were a little scared of me.

CM: How did the switch from football to hockey start?

JP: In eighth grade, the boys were getting too big, so that is when I made the switch to hockey. At least in hockey I could skate to avoid the hits.

CM: Is there any player you try to model your game after?

JP: There are so many good players. I just try to emulate the ones that are complete players – the ones that work hard, play defense, and play offense. The players that aren’t too flashy but do the right play.

CM: When you began your hockey career, did you ever make it a goal to play for Team USA in the Olympics?

JP: I dreamed of going to the Olympics in swimming, but soon realized that wasn’t going to happen, so I made it my dream and goal to go to the Olympics [for hockey] in 1998.

CM: Did you ever envision hockey becoming such a big part of your life like it has?

JP: No, I guess I never really thought too far ahead. I just kept playing and I guess I am still playing because I’m not sure what I really want to do since hockey is all I’ve ever known.

CM: You’ve participated in numerous international tournaments. Is there any game or moment in a game that stands out as one of your favorite memories?

JP: I think winning the gold medal in the Olympics is my favorite memory and that one is hard to top. I think also winning the Frozen Four in Duluth was another memorable moment.

CM: What has it been like playing hockey while trying to raise two children?

JP: Very challenging, but I have a really supportive family, so they have made it possible for me to keep playing.

CM: I read that you continued to skate even into your ninth month of pregnancy. What was that like?

JP: I didn’t actually skate into my ninth month, but I did compete and train up until my fifth month. After that I did running and swimming to stay in shape. I would say it was difficult because my balance was a little off.

CM: Have you ever thought about what you might do once you retire from playing?

JP: I have a lot lately but still try to figure it out. My kids keep me pretty busy and I like staying home with them.

CM: Can you talk a little about Potter’s Pure Hockey?

JP: My husband, Rob, actually had started it – I just helped name it after a few years. It’s a summer program – eight weeks – for elite hockey players. We have groups with pro guys, NHL draft picks, college, and top high school boys and girls. It is an intense program for those serious about making huge gains in their hockey development.

CM: What is the turnout like playing in the WWHL?

JP: I think it’s a start and has a long way to go. There were years that were really competitive and good and some not as much. I think only time will tell what will happen to it.

CM: Is there anything you think can or should be done to help promote women’s hockey?

JP: My dad and I came up with a proposal to help raise the level of women’s hockey internationally, but they went with a different plan. I think the focus really needs to be to help other countries raise their level, otherwise you don’t have much of a market and it’s really only between Canada and the United States.

CM: Is there any advice you’d like to give girls who want to pursue hockey as a career?

JP: I would say pick a school where you are going to get a great education first, then find a hockey program that fits in well with that.

Culinary Dreams Come True

Within a year of graduating from culinary school and after a bad car accident, Lila Jai Colello launched Brûlée Bakery. By TORI MARCHIONY

Photo courtesy of Lila Jai Colello

Chef Lila Jai Colello is a 34-year-old entrepreneur based on the Main Line. A graduate of the pastry program at the French Culinary Institute in New York City and the 2010 James Beard Scholarship recipient (a really big deal in the culinary world), Chef Lila has spent the past year developing and launching her new internet-based business called Brûlée Bakery.

Following her third car accident, Colello found herself unable to work the long shifts required in the restaurant industry following her graduation from pastry school. With a sudden need to create her own hours coupled with a steadfast unwillingness to rest on her laurels while she healed from her injuries, she decided that there was no better time than the present to make her dreams of owning a bakery a reality. From her home office in Upper Darby, Colello has spent the past nine months working tirelessly on her business plan and on getting her website up-and-running. “The biggest challenge right now is that I’m the person doing everything- marketing, sales, baking etc. It’s hard to be the one person for everything. Regardless of how I’m feeling it still has to get done,” she said. 

Even though she’s operating a one-woman ship and feels like it’s “a very slow-moving process,” Colello has managed the impressive feat of getting her business up and running within a year after graduating from culinary school. She currently hosts a stand at the Overbrook farmers’ market each week as well as one at the Clover Market in Ardmore, while still taking orders from private clients. “Seeing the same people wanting to try new things from me is really exciting,” she says of her experience selling her creations so far. Though outdoor markets and online sales are fine for now, Chef Lila ultimately has bigger dreams in mind. “I would like a brick-and-mortar location. I want to provide an experience for people where they come into a warm environment and have great coffee and pastry pairings. I want to be a staple of the community where I’m participating in various fundraisers and where people can hear Brûlée Bakery and know what it is and who’s behind it,” she said. 

Colello said she believes the most important quality for any young professional is ambition. “You need to know that you’re never going to give up on yourself no matter what comes up. There’s most likely going to be some kind of hiccup along the way, but you can’t take no for an answer.  Know who you are and know that you can do anything that anyone else can do regardless of what gender you are.” For Colello, the back injuries that she sustained from the car accident, as well as the financial burden of launching a business, have been the primary challenges. Balancing physical therapy with baking, menu planning and website designing has kept her busy, but undeterred. 

Clearly unafraid of adversity, Collelo feels that she has what it takes to make her bakery stand out enough to become the kind of community staple she dreams of, even in a tough economic climate and a carb-conscious neighborhood. Her elite training in French pastry and knack for creating unique flavors combine with her use of wholesome ingredients to entice a wide range of consumers. “I use organic ingredients from local farms exclusively and work whole-wheat flour into all of my pastries in order to make recipes more nutritious,” she said. In addition to health-benefits, she makes it a point to buy local in order to make her business as eco-friendly as possible. “I’m committed to employing the most sustainable practices I can find, whether it comes in the form of buying local or composting waste, or even just recycling, in order to best support both local and global communities.” •

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