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

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! 


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!


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:
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...

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!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Retail Therapy- Happy Hour Pop Up Shop

I have to admit, I have a thing for retail therapy! Boutiques are the best because they have limited supplies of items making it very unlikely to find another fashionista in Huntsville rocking your finds. Well here's a twist on the traditional boutique, a"Mobile Boutique". Pretty Particular is a mobile, personal shopping and styling boutique that specializes in dress shopping for social, professional, formal, and bridal events. The owner, Dwaynia has a great eye for fashion and style and will be hosting an event this weekend

Make sure to RSVP, because space is limited and fills up fast! Don't miss your chance to have that amazing piece for your next event!

Share your purchases from the Happy Hour Shopping event with me! Use the hashtag #SummerInHSV so I can check them out! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sounds and Sights- Smooth Jazz at the Three Caves

The Land Trust of North Alabama is a not for profit, member driven organization that works to preserve the wildlife, rivers and historic sites of North Alabama. Friday I attended the Smooth Jazz Concert featuring Warren Hill that helped to raise funds and it was amazing. As a fan of Warren Hill, I expected to have a great time but I had no clue how in love I would fall with the scenery. Huntsville has an gem in the Three Caves! This former lime stone quarry was an amazing stage for the sounds of Warren Hill's enticing sax and only got better as the night sky went dark and the lights that surrounded us accompanied the band. I had the pleasure of speaking with Dennis Keim, one of the members of the committee that had the foresight to see this diamond in the ruff. " We were able to see the potential in this place but we could never imagine this", Keim shared admiring the beautiful mountains and all the people in attendance at the event. Dennis a photographer and blogger ( had many memories of the area and is a strong supporter of the Land Trust and the city of Huntsville.

There are 2 remaining concerts in the series and you can't let the summer end without attending at least one of them! Tickets are still available and I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night then with smooth jazz and supporting an organization that supports us!

Special thanks to the Land Trust of North Alabama's Marketing Director, Cathie Mayne and all the volunteers that made this event happen.  To purchase tickets or become a member of the Land Trust please visit their  website

August 9th - Marion Meadows & August 23rd The Claire Lynch Band

Let's share the summer! Use the hastag #SummerInHSV and #MslawandaHSV to keep in touch.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Get Ready to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry! (Guest Blogger)

Have you ever wanted to try out multiple restaurants in one night? Are you interested in meeting fellow food lovers? Well I am, so I decided to check out the Homegrown Huntsville’s Dine & Dash event!

My friends and I met with the Dine & Dash group at Meza Luna in Jones Valley.  The menu was a mix between Greek, Italian, and Soulful Southern cuisine.  We dined on fresh tomatoes, fried bacon, field peas, corn, and fried okra. It  sent our taste buds into frenzy, the best dish of the evening!

Our chariot awaited us, actually a trolley, where our hosts shared information on other Homegrown Huntsville events, hilarious family stories and simply a fun atmosphere.  The next stop was Straight to Ale.

This portion of the event brought the experience of the newest crave in the city "Food Trucks"!  On –N- On food truck was the food host, with Straight to Ale providing us the beer. Nothing stood out for me on this stop (Meza set the bar high), but we still enjoyed ourselves. 

The third stop was Brix, known for their "happy hour"and events,  they had the drinks flowing.  My favorite hands down were the Cosmo Ritas, and all I can say is ...... oh those Cosmo Ritas!  We were then introduced to shrimp and spinach tacos with homemade sriracha. Yummy!  I didn't want to leave, but we hopped on the trolley for more jokes and crazy conversations until we arrived at our final spot, Anaheim Chili.

 The white chili and Texas chili combination was hearty, spicy, and downright delicious. The
Yellowhammer beer was a great accompaniment and a final wrap up for the night. So if food, libations, and new adventures are what you seek - don’t delay, dash over to Homegrown Huntsville to sign up for future Dine & Dash events!

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