September, 2012

Happy 10 Year Anniversary!

The traditional gifts to celebrate a 10-year anniversary are aluminum or tin. And for some reason, the modern gift is still tin. Tin doesn’t seem to be a worthy metal to celebrate a decade, but maybe I’ll get myself a new reusable aluminum water container – a can of wine sounds better.

I should clarify that I am not celebrating a 10-year wedding anniversary. I did recently get engaged so see me in 10-11 years for that.  I’m celebrating 10 years of being clean of the creamy crack.  That’s right, ten years ago was the last time I had the pleasure of picking scabs out of my matted hair.

My decision to stop relaxing my hair wasn’t deep or profound.  I guess it was more about time and money.  I was an undergrad student in Atlanta and the stylist had the same process with both natural and relaxed clients- wash, condition, blow dry and straighten.  I figured I could save a step, save some money and have the same fab result.  So, I asked to go natural, and she basically said “No.”

Ummmm, I’m sorry what?

I was disappointed and confused. But, I figured ‘she’s the professional,’ so I kept schmearing  on the crack.

Then one day I just got tired of it and figured, ‘I’ll go at it alone.’  So I had my one last appointment and that was that.  The following eight months were… uh… interesting.  For some reason I thought my Gold’n Hot would produce sufficient heat to make my new growth silky smooth.  I spent a number of those months with my hair snatched back in a ponytail.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I made an appointment with my old stylist explaining that I was growing out my relaxer. I went for an appointment and we agreed to cut off the relaxed hair at the next appointment.   Yes, finally! I was so jazzed!  I was so ready… so much so that I showed up to my appointment early.  Not early like an hour early but a week early.  She squeezed me in and the result was an adorable cut.  In traditional terms, I cut off my relaxer but in modern terms it was my big chop (BC).

I didn’t have the curls or ringlets I imagined.  In fact as my hair grew, I discovered 2 distinct different patterns.  I will say that for almost 8 1/2 years after that, 95% of the time I wore my hair straight.  It looked nice but wasn’t growing like I thought it should and was damaged even though I was going to a professional.  Last year, while back in Atlanta at the Sweet Auburn Festival with my mom and a girlfriend, I stumbled upon a Miss Jessie booth. I talked to one of the promoters, who was giving out samples, about wanting to wear my hair natural but not knowing what to do.  She recommended calling a salon and asking for a finger style.

Of course that’s not what I did.  Instead, I became a YouTube and Google junkie.  I spent hours looking at styling videos, product review videos, and reading blogs.  I looked up ingredients –ones to avoid, ones I should use.  Then I had my “ah-ha moment”- “I have curly hair.”  Actually, I have coily hair but nonetheless,  it’s more than black or African-American or textured hair.  It was then I realized there is a care that needs to be taken when combing, styling, and maintaining moisture. A care that’s needed because of the structure of my strands and not because of my skin color (Did mention that the woman at the festival promoting Miss Jessie’s, was Caucasian?)

Seventeen months later, I continue to experiment with styling and products.  I am still trying to perfect a routine with products that really work for me.  But I am pleased that my hair is fuller, shinier and longer.   My hair is a work in progress but so am I.

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Football Cupcakes and FAMU/DSU game

Saturday was the first day of fall and what a beautiful way to start the season.  I am anticipating my SAD (seasonal affective disorder) to kick in- so dramatic- and I was going to write about that, but maybe I’ll do that at a later date.

I was invited by my friend Karimah to a Florida A&M University versus Delware State University game, with tailgating before.  I love to support the HBCUs, being a two-time HBCU grad.  To contribute to the festivites, I decided to make football cupcakes.  I turned to my tried and true Foodgawker and found a site called Thursday Night Baking that had a recipe for chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  You can find it here.


Football cupcake


The cupcakes were so yummy!  Only thing I may change for the next time is the baking time.  I used two different pans, one lighter than the other, and the bottoms of the lighter pan cakes were just beginning to burn :-/.  So I will check at 18 minutes instead of going the full 20.


Football cupcakes


The weather was perfect, tailgating was great, FAMU won the game and the cupcakes were delicious.  What more can a greedy girl ask for.  Check out pics from the game below.



A toast for good luck


DSU halftime show



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UYS 2012 Wrap-up

It was beautiful this past weekend in Philadelphia with the ideal conditions to inspire young brown girls to feel beautiful, brave and brilliant.  A sea of brown faces, of all hues, took over the campus of Philadelphia University (and some of William Penn Charter School) for the third annual Uniquely You Summit.


UYS 2012 Closing day

UYS 2012

UYS 2012 Expo









From sitting in the back of Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts, I think UYS achieved their mission ‘to help black girls uniquely define, discover and become who they are.’™ The girls had a LONG weekend, but two days is a minuscule sacrifice compared to the assaults they face the other 363 days of the year.


UYS swag and past presenters


Highlights from the weekend are hip-hop legend and pioneer MC Lyte giving a little herstory about women and hip-hop and DJ Beverly Bond, founder and president of Black Girls Rock! leading the girls in reciting the UYS oath.  But let me tell you, when Walt Anderson, finalist from Making the Band 2, came out to perform “You are Uniquely You”, girls were screaming in true boy band mania fashion.


Walt Anderson singing “You are Uniquely You”


Congratulations to the UYS founder Shaleah Lache Sutton and the committee for another successful event!

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On Repeat- Awkward Black Girl S2, E4

‘On Repeat’ will be a series about songs, videos, clips, etc. I can’t get enough of and thus play over and over and over.  You get it I’m sure.

To start, a new episode of Awkward Black Girl was released on September 13!

I honestly cannot get enough of this popular web series.  This is the second season.  I must admit, the last episode wasn’t quite is hilarious as most others.  But episode 4 “The Search” is back at the inappropriateness, awkwardness and random dancing that made season 1 such a hit.  I love it.  ABG causes me to guffaw to the point of causing upper respiratory irritation.

Check out the lastest episode.

What are your penny thought about ABG?

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Pet Peeve- Wheelchair Walkers

A few years ago I started a list of pet peeves.  I was saving them to publish a book, perhaps coffee table book like the ones sold at Urban Outfitters.  You know something really classy.  But in the mean-in-between, I’ll start a series here.

First up is a request from my friend Max- Fred Flintstone wheelchair walkers.

These are individuals that are seated in wheelchairs but use their legs to propel themselves.  The motion may be either kicking backwards or digging feet into ground to pull them forward.  Last week a patient was kicking himself backwards down the hospital hall steady looking at his phone.

Growing up, there were wheelchairs in the lobby of my church.  While our moms were in choir practice, my friend and I would roll around in the chairs, maybe race each other, you know silly kids’ stuff  Then one day a lady told us it was bad luck to sit in a wheelchair when you didn’t need one.   From then on, I have steered my fanny clear and have thankfully not needed one.

I have been under the impression that the people in wheelchairs are those that either incapable of walking or those that have difficulty walking.  But if you are kicking and pedaling like Fred and Barney racing to a plate of fried pterodactyl wings, it would seem you may be more capable than most.  Why not, heaven forbid, use your hands to roll yourself as intended in the design of the wheelchair?

This is meant as no disrespect to those that are wheelchair-bound.  I work in the healthcare field with a population where a  number of individuals are in wheelchairs.  I think that is why wheelchair walkers bother me even more.  Like the old saying goes- If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.  So if you can, get up, move around because there are plenty of folks that wish they could.

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Castor Oil Challenge Fall 2012

I was browsing through a natural site I like, Kinky Curly Coily Me!, and noticed she has a castor oil challenge, so I signed up (why not).

Castor oil is a triglyceride, comprised of fatty acids, 90% of which is ricinoleic acid.  Ricinoleic acid is a humectant, which means that it helps to pull moisture out of the atmosphere and into the skin and hair.  It has analgesic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.  Castor oil is used as a home remedy for a number of ailments from arthritis and constipation to acne and ringworm.  Also, ricinoleic acid protects the scalp and hair from infections that can cause hair loss.

photo credit: pmarkham via photo pin cc

Castor oil is pretty viscous, so previously I was only using it sparingly on my edges.  But with this challenge I will use on my scalp, to seal my ends and possibly in other treatments.  Below is my starting length. Here’s hoping for noticeable growth at the end of the challenge.

If you are interested in joining me and many others, stop by  This is not exclusive to naturals, but for all who are looking for healthy hair growth.


Let me know if you are in too!




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