Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Ray of Hope Event - Recap

I had the opportunity to attend a great cultural event called the "Ray of Hope 2015" at Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville this past weekend. The event was a chance for locals to learn more about the country of Philippine, sample International Food, try Bhangra & Bollywood dancing and experience the beauty artistry of Henna Design.  This free to the public event was presented by AshaKiran an organization the provides confidential culturally sensitive services to persons of diaspora communities that face crisis situations.


 My mother and daughter joined me and we had a great time.  My daughter and I both received beautiful Henna designs by
  Maitri's Creations (a Henna/Mehndi artist), let loose by trying to dance and my daughter looked beautiful as she learned to wear a sari....


Check out some pics and vids from the event.... Enjoy!


Check out Miss Tia & I giving Bollywood & Bhangra dancing a try on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AsTheWindBlows

We were unable to stay and hear the Alabama A&M choir sing or the Award wining Author/Poet Chitra Divakaruni speak but I'm sure it was a great experience. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

#NHHExpo 2015 - Val's Views (Guest Blogger)


On Saturday, March 28, 2015, I had the pleasure of attending Visions Beauty Distributors’s 4th Annual Natural Hair & Health Expo in Birmingham, AL at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. This was the first time I was able to attend a natural hair event of this size so I was very excited to attend the event. The first thing I noticed was the sea of beautiful women attendees rocking their fros, locs, twist-outs, braids, and many other natural hairstyles. One of the highlights of the event for me is when random women were pulled from the audience and asked to share why they went natural. For their participation, they received full-size products from Design Essentials. (I wanted to kick myself for not volunteering!)
The Expo had so many vendors-from hair products to fashion accessories to health insurance. My husband called me while I was there and asked me to use some restraint in purchasing so I had to check myself. I was happy to see so many small businesses represented and I liked how many of the business owners had handmade their products. One of the booths I visited was Kayla Hill’s Natural Elements where I was given a sample of a Papaya Hair and Body Butter. I used the product on my skin and it worked great! It has a nice smell and it left my skin feeling moisturized, but not greasy. Kayla Hill owns a salon in Birmingham, AL and you can find her on Facebook by searching Natural Elements Kayla.


I’m a headband fanatic so I was too excited to stumble upon headband heaven at the Expo. There were many vendors selling headbands and headwraps, but the one that caught my eye was the booth by CutiCouture. The owner was very friendly and she gave me a great deal on 3 beautiful headbands. I’m actually rocking one of those headbands now as I type this article. You can find her headbands at the website, www.cuticouture.com ... she is also on Facebook (CutiCouture), Instagram (CutiCouture) and Twitter (CutiCoutoure).   The Runway Curls booth also drew my attention with beautiful models displaying extensions that mimic natural Check out her website, shop.runwaycurls.com, for more information.
The biggest highlight of the Expo was the celebrity guest panel. The moderator was Jamie Foster
Brown, publisher of Sister2Sister Magazine. The panelists included Traci Braxton (Reality TV Star and Recording Artist), Malinda Williams (Actress), Cynthia Bailey (Super Model, Reality TV Star, and Founder of the Bailey Agency), and Mushiya Tshikuka (Owner of The Damn Salon, Creator of Runway Curls, and Reality TV Star). All of the ladies shared how they overcome the trials of life and they focused on being positive and surrounding yourself with positive people. After the panel discussion, the ladies took pictures with their fans and I was able to get a picture with Cynthia Bailey.
Overall, the Expo was a great experience and I will attend next year! If you want to know more about my time at the Expo, check out my Twitter (@mrsvaluable) and my Instagram (imvalued) to see more pictures and videos I posted from the day.

Special Thanks to Taronda G. & Brainchild Associates for this Media invite!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring at Bonefish Grill - Sponsored

SPONSORED POST

The Fresh Fish Experts at Bonefish Grill are welcoming the Spring season in a big way by offering a $10 gift  valid March 21 through April 6

While you’re there, savor their new Fire + Ice Pre-Fixe menu featuring three innovatively generous courses starting at $19.90. Bonefish Grill features culinary forward and unique combinations on the three-course menu (from both land and sea) including Cold Water Lobster TailShrimp + Scallop Firepot and Grilled Lamb Chops to name a few. Each dish is served with a choice of fresh salad and perfectly finished with delectable DIY Doughnuts — a Bonefish Grill house specialty of croissant-like doughnut holes, tossed in cinnamon sugar that guests fill with sea salt caramel and chocolate sauce using mini squeezable bottles.

Get your $10 gift here: http://bonefi.sh/1ExSLAl


Sunday, March 22, 2015

B'ham Naturals.... Its Time!

The 4th annual Natural Hair & Health Expo 2015 is coming! Birmingham is the place to be Saturday March 28th.  This event produced by Visions Beauty Distributors and sponsored by Design Essentials  is a must for the ladies of Alabama.  Last year I had a fabulous time getting tips, meeting celebrities, laughing with curl friends and shopping the unique vendors. ( Last year's re-cap click here) 2015's expo line-up of guests and classes makes this years'  event a must attend.

Local personality, Ebony Steele (KISS FM), will host the event that will have Cynthia Bailey (model/reality star) , Traci Braxton (recording artist), Malinda Williams(actress) and Mushiya Tshikuka (The Damn Salon/Reality Star) on the main stage for the Sister 2 Sister Women's Empowerment Panel.  The magazine's publisher, Jamie Foster Brown, will be the moderator of a conversation that engulfs the audience as they hold no punches discussing life, love and success.

This year blogger and friend, Valecia Williams, will be covering the event... she will be live tweeting and recapping all the fun.  Make sure you follow her on twitter (@MrsValUable) and say hello at the expo. One of my favs Kinky Curly Beauty will be teaching a class "Natural Hair Educational" .... she is the Queen of Updos and Natural Hair Care in Birmingham. Guest blogger, Valecia, had the pleasure of being styled by the diva and she was simply impressed. (Check out her pics here)

The 4th Annual Natural Hair and Health Expo 2015 runs:

When: March 28, 2015 10AM- 6PM
Location: Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (North Exhibition Hall) 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd
Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/20004E26BD5A6D8E
More Infowww.naturalhairandhealthexpo.com

There will also be Live Styling Events, Hands on Demonstrations, Health/Beauty Resources and more! Make sure you stay social by using and following the hashtags #EXPO15 #NHHEXPO

What are you looking forward to most at the Expo? 




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Shea Moisture has done it Again!

My love affair with Shea Moisture began in February of 2011. (click here) Each new item in the line would  bring a new experience for my strands that caressed and protected them.  I still was missing one thing... my holy grail... my must have staple.... a Leave-in Conditioner! Yes, they offered products that could be used as a leave-in but they did not have a dedicated one. But now they do... The Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil leave-in per their website its: A reparative leave-in conditioner that softens and detangles hair. Nourishes, moisturizes and supports elasticity so hair resists breakage when detangling. Conditioners provide a protective layer that improves the appearance of split ends. Peppermint oil stimulates the scalp for an invigorating experience.

I was extremely excited to give it a try.... My expectations were high, I am very picky and ... No DISAPPOINTMENT HERE!!! The scent was pleasant, the consistency was thin but not watery and the penetration was immediate. The weather was unseasonably cold and the leave-in kept my hair moisturized through all the winds and chills. I used it on wet hair styling as well as dry and the results where the same... Amazing! I have been a fan of the Cantu leave-in forever  which is thicker than this one but I believe this one gave me at least one additional day of moisture. Detangling my hair was a breeze and having the additional benefits of Jamaican Black Castor oil is a huge bonus. I will continue to give the Shea Moisture a try in the coming months to see how it handles the summer weather. So for now I am going to give it a 9.5 out of 10 but say the jury is still out ... We will see this summer if it will become my number one.

A 9.5 is very high for me so I must share this leave-in with you! Enter my giveaway below (via the rafflecopter) to try it for yourself. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's one of styling vids I did using the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil leave-in, extra virgin unrefined coconut oil and shea butter.  Visit my Facebook page to see a few more (click here)

Let me know what you guys think! 

video


Monday, February 16, 2015

Romantic Staycation in Huntsville

Huntsville is full of wonderful ways to savor the time with the one you love on a fabulous date night.  You can enjoy the beauty parks, museums, gardens, restaurants, plays...the list goes on.  We decided to let the romance fly at the Four Points Sheraton at the Huntsville Airport.  They had an amazing Valentine's Day package that my husband and I couldn't pass up.  The "Romance, Drink & Dine with your Valentine" offered a early check in/late check out, 4 course dinner, breakfast in bed & a room with special treats and surprises.

I have severe airborne allergies so I gave the hotel a call to make sure they could accommodate me before I reserved a room. The Director of Food and Beverages, Anthony Walls, assured me that I would be in great hands and although I wouldn't be able to dine in The Grill restaurant, I would have an amazing dining experience in my room. He was correct! Guest services reserved my room, a King Deluxe, and I was excited to see what Four Points had to offer.


We arrived at the hotel at about 4pm and received our keys to room 610. I was nervous about staying
at a hotel connected to the airport and when I opened the room door our view was of the runway with an airplane in sight. Was this going to be a big mistake? I didn't have much time to dedicate to this
concern because the room was so full of Valentine's Day love and romance. There was rose petals and  candy on the bed, a beautiful card from the Sales Manager- Peggy, a basket with champagne, flutes, candy, Bath and Body Works Shower gel ... they even placed a cute candy basket in the bathroom. The room it self was pleasant with a king size bed, desk, chair to relax and in room safe. The ambieance was great, my only complaint was the size of the bathroom. For a plus size diva like myself, getting in and out the bathroom with the large sink was a bit of a problem. 

The Grill offered a choice of 6:30 or 8:00pm dinner times and we chose the later.  Our dinner was great and we enjoyed it while watching the Allstar Weekend Skills contests on the 32 inch tv in the room. The night went smoothly with us forgetting we had a runway outside because we didn't hear a peep!  There were a few hiccups in the morning with breakfast arriving late but I would wait even longer for that amazing frittata... I wish I had reserved my room earlier because I really wanted to get a suite but I still enjoyed my time at the Four Points Sheraton at Huntsville airport. The package was more than I expected, the food was very good and free Dasani water is always a plus. I would definitely stay again and recommend you visit as well. Check some of our pics from Valentine's Day in the Flipagram below!

video


Do you visit hotels locally? Would a package like this encourage you to try a "staycation"?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Yes, Yes, Yes.... Scripted TV!

Photo Credit: https://plus.google.com/+tvfanatic/posts
I must admit that I became addicted to 'reality tv" just like the next American,  I admit I didn't really appreciate a good scripted show for awhile.....but I have gone into recovery and I know crave non ratchet, un- sensationalized quality programming. I still have some "reality tv" in my life but the shows and my need to watch them live have tremendously diminished.

I will begin reviewing tv shows here on my blog and tweeting live during some of my favorites every week.  Join me and share some of your favorites too! I am also a big Netflix & Amazon Prime girl so tagalong as I rediscover some past greats.

Are you addicted to Reality TV?


Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Holidays from Bone Fish Grill

The holidays is a great time to enjoy family &  friends,  a meal  is one way to get everyone together. Here's a holiday treat for all my readers... http://bit.ly/12hXY3i

While you’re there, savor their decadent dishes from their new Colossal Winter Menu featuring favorites like Lobster Stuffed Shrimp with a creamy lobster and shrimp Imperial stuffing, succulent King Crab Legs, and Whole Grilled Mediterranean Branzino stuffed with citrus and served with a Mediterranean sofrito and arugula almond grains salad. To embrace the season and all its frost, sip one of Bonefish Grill’s Winter cocktails including the Cold Snap Blackberry Frost served in a glass made entirely of ice, mixed with freshly muddled blackberries, blood orange liqueur, vodka and fresh lemon juice or the winter-time favorite Winter White Cosmo, mixed with St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, white cranberry juice and fresh lime.


I am deadly allergic to seafood but you guys enjoy for me! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

8-week Skin Challenge- Dermera Skin Care

Turning 40 has been an adventure. I was expecting to do some crazy things, check items off my bucket list and be renewed but instead I have been falling apart. One area that has been bothering me is my face. I haven't been able to find a skin care line that makes me feel comfortable going bare faced out and about. I don't really wear much make up but my uneven skin tone, dark under eyes and overall appearance of my skin has made me subconscious about not wearing concealer and at least a little powder. I know my diet also has an effect on my skin and overall health so I know this challenge is more than simply washing my face.

The system I am going to use for this challenge is Dermera 3 Step Treatment by BrockBeauty. The kit includes a cleanser, an astringent & a complexion serum.  The contents are natural and promise to cleanse, refresh and renew. I will use it twice daily along with drinking at least 64 ounces of water and reducing fatty foods from my diet.  The Dermera Skin Care website offers a free custom skin care regimen and I will share their suggestions for me also on an upcoming post.

I would love for you guys to try this challenge with me, so 2 lucky winners will win a 3 step kit of
their own.  If you are looking for a skin care system and would like to give Dermera a try, leave a comment below,  tweet me @mslawanda or leave a message on my Facebook page telling me why you want to do the challenge.  I will select a winner from those comments. I am beginning week one Sunday September 14th and I am excited to see an improvement in my skin.


Do you have a favorite skin care line? Have you tried Dermera? Please share your thoughts!


* I will also being using Yes To Cucumbers Eye Cream 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Huntsville Restaurant Week 2014 - Huntsville/Madison County CVB Giveaway!

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