Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hanging at “New Year New You” Hosted by The Mane Source

Briana McCarthy of The Mane Source and me
What better way to start off the New Year than to realign your focus on personal lifestyle goals? Briana McCarthy and The Mane Sourcehosted, “New Year New You” last Saturday held at The Living Room Lounge, which featured a spectacular lineup of expert guests covering a wide range of lifestyle topics. Here are some of the tips that I found personally informative for anyone looking to start the New Year off right.

Dr. Kara Davis, author of Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss, came with straight talk about what we should and should not be doing with our bodies. She noted that many diseases can be prevented through diet, exercise, proper rest and eliminating stress. Sounds simple enough, but many of us still do not apply these principles to our life. Dr. Davis gave sound wisdom like resting your fork while eating. Don’t scarf down your food. Give your body time to digest the food. In order to not over eat, learn your body and don’t eat until you are full, but eat until you have satisfied your hunger. That makes a difference.
Renisha James, Renewed Fitness
Renisha James of Renewed Fitness, a personal trainer and ambassador of Black Girls RUN!, got our blood going as we moved around the room in a fun quiz exercise.  The questions she asked us to answer helped us to dispel myths, like “if you do weight training, you will look like a body-builder.” Renisha emphasized the most important aspect of fitness is to just get moving. Try to workout at least 30 min a day, 3-4 times a week. We recalled many of the excuses we use to not exercise and found that there really are no excuses. Oh, and ladies…your hair is not a good excuse either. We came up with solutions for that too! 
Tamika Martell-Price, Rachel Odem
and Briana McCarthy
Rachel Odem of Makeup by Rachel O gave an insightful presentation on skincare and makeup.  She demonstrated on her live model the various types of facial treatments and makeup options one can use to maintain fabulous skin. Of course, this sparked a lot of questions from the audience on their most pressing concerns. As a licensed esthetician and makeup artist, Rachel was able to give us a wide range of tips for common skincare problems along with pro makeup tips and tricks. One of the best things you can do for your skin is to exfoliate at least twice a week to get rid of dead skin, blackheads and to help with hyperpigmentation.
Professional wardrobe stylist, Tamika Martell-Price, founder of A-line Style Services was on hand to share her style insight. There are two things that I personally took to heart  from her presentation. One of the takeaways is to do a closet audit. Throw out or giveaway anything that is worn or doesn’t fit. Make a list of the key items that every woman should have to complete her wardrobe before you go shopping. Tamika was even gracious enough to give us a copy of her list. The next takeaway was that your clothes represent your personal brand especially if you are an aspiring entrepreneur.
The Double Saving Divas
Last but not least, we have the Double Saving Divas, Tai and Tarin Perry. You may have seen them from the hit show, TLC’s Extreme Couponing. They not only gave us some of their best couponing tips, but practical things that you can start doing right now to save money. Things such as, take advantage of store’s rewards programs like, CVS Pharmacy’s Extra Care Bucks to pay for purchases. Or, how about paying yourself first by taking the amount you earn from the first hour of work every day and putting it into savings. Find an accountability partner to help you stick to a budget. 
But wait, there’s more…
Will Williams, Director of Education and New Product Development at M&M Products Company was there to introduce a new natural hair product line Nothing But from Sofn’free GroHealthy. He very passionately gave us some of  his best tips on natural hair care. One minute at his booth and you will be all smiles from ear to ear, ready to try his products. And guess, what? We each walked away with a swag bag of full-sized product to try of both Nothing But and Beautiful Textures. Subscribe and watch for product reviews!
Now, I can’t end this post without talking about the food. Yes, the food…vegan soul food!!! I’m super excited about this because my experience with vegan has not always been pleasant. All I can say is that I had a second helping of the greens, macaroni and cheese and black-eyed pea fritters catered by Majani Catering. Yummy!
Congrats to Briana and her team on another fabulous event. I definitely left with a wealth of knowledge that I will be referring back to all year long. Here’s to the new you (and me) in 2012!
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“Wit Yo Nappy-Headed Self”

This is not my son…lol

So, I’m having a conlict with my husband. Our oldest son has my hair texture. What does that mean? It means that when he gets a hair cut the hair starts to grow back beaded up. My husband, who has hair that lays flat and has a loose curl pattern, is like “Ugh! It [our son’s hair] doesn’t lay down when I brush it” Stating, “You know yo’ hair is nappy when you go to the store and say give me the hardest brush you got.” LOL. Of course, we had a good laugh at that one. So then, we started talking about his childhood and the stigma of being “nappy-headed.” You see, the nappy-head little boy was the bad boy. He was the one who couldn’t sit still, was always acting up in class. “Oh, you talking about James, that little nappy-headed boy down the street.”

When, my husband sees my son’s hair start to bead up, it makes him want to go get the hair clippers and shave it off. The conflict is that I don’t want his head bald. When my husband gives him a mohawk, he cuts the sides practically bald. I’m like, “Bay, why do you have our son looking like Mr. T?” His reply,  “so that the hair won’t bead up as fast” He keeps going back to the stigmas of his childhood and he doesn’t want our son to be “that kid.” “Little boys, black men need to be clean cut.” Or, at least, that’s what society has told us in order to be something in life.

This is very aggravating. Though, I know that he is not alone in these sentiments. Growing up if you were arguing with another little girl you could usually win the battle by ending off, “wit yo nappy-headed self.” We’re not children anymore, but these deep-rooted sentiments have carried over into adulthood. To this day, when a little Black baby is born everyone is waiting to see if the hair is going to “turn.” Mothers are still smothering their baby’s hair in mineral oil hoping prevent the inevitable.

I’m thankful that my husband and I can laugh about this. It does not hurt any more to think that there is a part of me that he would prefer different (or, at least, tamed). These sentiments are just a part of our culture and history that comes with the territory. I will not stand in the way of my husband training our son to be a man. I will however, give our son the balance of loving self that a mother gives. I believe that as more of us embrace our natural hair and define beauty on our on terms, those old stigmas will not be an issue anymore.

Share your thoughts…whatever they may be…

Is Marriage Out-of-Style? Reaction to Heidi Klum and Seal Split & Tavis Smiley Interview[Video]

Marriage has a special place in my heart. Being married with two children I can certainly relate to the difficulties of marriage. I will not judge Heidi Klum and Seal for desiring separate. There are times in a marriage when one might consider taking a break or “regrouping” so to speak. I was not even going to write about this until I saw Seal’s interview on the Tavis Smiley Show [below]. Seal’s response to the news of his separation was that they have a tremendous amount of love and respect for each which makes it easier to transition, and called it “another chapter in life.” That statement struck a cord in me.

From watching various interviews with Heidi and Seal over the years, there is no question that they have a deep love for each other and their children. Which begs the question, what’s the point? Where is your resiliency? What happened to commitment? Marriage is not a garment that you wear one day and then decide the next day that is “out of style.” However, with the number of divorces happening these days are we to conclude that the concept of marriage is outdated? Is one’s pursuit of personal dreams and personal happiness more important than staying in a committed marriage? One of the most difficult and yet most beautiful aspects of marriage is having to give part of yourself to another.

No one will ever know the real story behind why Heidi and Seal want to part ways. One can only hope that the these two poised and intelligent people would take this time apart to reevaluate their love. Perhaps like an old jacket, they will try on marriage again and see that it still “fits.”

What’s your reaction to Seal’s Tavis Smiley interview and his separation from Heidi?

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Taking Down Mini-Twists Without Damaging Your Hair

mini-twist roller set (view tutorial)

As many of you know, I love doing dry mini-twists (view tutorial). There is sooo much versatily in them. It almost gives you the feeling having loose straight hair (not that straight is better…lol). But all good things must come to an end. A good rule of thumb is to take down mini-twists after 3 weeks before the hair starts to loc. (I’m guilty of leaving mine in longer…) For me, taking them done is a process.  Here’s the thing, if it took me almost 8 hours to do them, it will take about half as long to take them down. There is no way I would have to time to do that all in one sitting. So, I wear my hair twisted and untwisted over the course of several days until all the hair is untwisted. I even untwist while sitting at my desk at work. Crazy? Maybe. Realistic? Yes! Here’s my process and pics.

The Takedown Technique

hair partially untwisted-love this…

First off, I get my jar of stiff herbal oil (not grease) and coat the twist from root to end. It is important that your fingers and hair are coated with oil to prevent breakage. You can use a liquid herbal oil, but I just find it more cumbersome. I would not, however, use a smoothie or butter creme for taking down mini-twists. I find that the wetness of these products gives me more tangles. If you want to nourish your strands as you take your hair down, mix oil and a little shea butter.

back view-I know there are
some twists that I missed. lol

Let Your Fingers Do the Work

Full Mini-twistout

I begin untwisting at the nape of the neck and work my way up along the edges and temple. I leave the front for last.  I start in the middle of the twist and poke my index finger in between the two strands and slide it down pulling the twist apart. Then I repeat that step at the top of the twist and slide the rest of the twist apart. Sometimes the twist does not pull apart easily. The hair that was shed during the course of time gets tangled into the hair forming a knot. Here’s the part where patience is a virtue. To save your hair, dab some more oil on the tangle and carefully remove each strand from the knot. Sometime rolling and unraveling the knot in between your index finger and thumb will loosen up the hair, making it easier to pull apart the strands. I do not use a comb.

After Care
If your hair and scalp is not too dirty, flaky or itchy, you can get away with wearing a mini-twistout for a few days. The crinkles that are formed are really pretty. I would recommend applying a light coating of your favorite hair lotion, milk, smoothie or creme to add moisture to the hair. Believe me, you hair is thirsty after being twisted for so long, especially if you did wash or apply water during that period. After removing mini-twists, really baby your hair and be kind to it. Follow up with an intense moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioning. If you like this post, you will also like our Facebook and Twitter Posts