Born in New York, raised in the same house by the same parents – that’s where the similarities end.

Fast forward … and stay-at-home mom Red has a crisis and turns to her older sister, Black, for help. How will she ever get through this? Black tells her to take a deep breath, and together, they’ll get through it. As the pragmatic race-car-driving executive who knows the right track when she sees it, Black sees the crisis for what it is – a catalyst that will force her sister to take her ostrich head out of the sand.

Black helps Red get in the driver’s seat, put her hands on the wheel, and take control of her life – instead of her life controlling her. That’s what sisters are for, right?

Black then turned her sister's crisis into a brand, a business, and a best-selling book, What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired, and the rest is history.

Launched at Neiman Marcus (with a window display and mannequins that looked like us!), the book is a three-month memoir filled with candid sisterly banter, tackling everything from money to relationships, planning to priorities. Readers tell us they feel like they’re eavesdropping on our conversations.

But the Red & Black story doesn’t end there.

The book had been intended as a sitcom, but along the way took various detours that became passion projects. As we saw how our messages were making a difference in people’s lives, we realized that was our purpose.

Now, we’re sharing all we’ve learned – the tips and tools, the mistakes and successes, and so much more – on this site in a whole new way, just for you.

We hope you’ll become part of the Red & Black community as we all journey to take control of our lives and live it to the fullest.

Warm and fuzzy? Yes, and proud of it, too. After graduating with a degree in Theater Arts, Tina Pennington (aka “Red”) met an Englishman, fell in love, and traveled the world. His career took them everywhere, with stints in the Netherlands, England, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, until they moved to Texas in the early 2000s.

With two red-headed children, Sawyer and Natasha, and one red labradoodle, Red had the picture-perfect suburban life. That was until … her husband got fired. What had seemed like a fairy tale life soon unraveled to reveal something far from it.

Years later, it ended up having a happy ending, as Red says, “It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

If you think today’s politics are ugly … let’s talk about a man who named himself “dictator for life” of the Roman empire, and is then assassinated by a group of senators, including his best friend. (However, there’s a “pretty” part – Cleopatra was his mistress.) Food trivia and leadership lessons aside, the fact July is named after him is the perfect excuse to rerun one of Red’s favorite Banter Bites

Quick! If someone says "Julius Caesar," what comes to mind?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Almost everyone has heard of Julius Caesar, but how many of us really know much about him, or at least that's what Red starts to wonder when she receives the usual flippant, but still accurate, reply from her sister, after feeling very proud that she knew that July was named after the famous Roman.

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Pragmatic and blunt? Yes, with more than a hint of sarcasm. Unlike her sister, Mandy Williams (aka “Black”) is all business. With an MBA in International Finance from NYU and London Business School, Black was a driven executive who retired from the male-dominated oil and gas industry before she was 40. Boredom quickly set in, so she began racing Porsches, then Ferraris, and became the first woman to race the road course at Indianapolis.

Living in Texas, Black has been involved with the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation for decades and has raised over $1 million.

Black often says, “You have two choices in life – you can be the passenger along for the ride, or the driver and steer where you want to go.”