Monday, March 31, 2014

#MsLawandaBham - Hair Expo Recap

Birmingham, Alabama was the place to be this weekend for the 3rd annual Visions Natural Hair & Health Expo. My assistant, Precious and I hopped in her new car and hit the road to check out the show.  The BJCC was the location and thanks to Brainchild Associates, the line had nothing to do with us.  Everywhere you looked there was beautiful natural hair ladies! Locs, twists outs, hues of color and personality everywhere.  After checking in as press we began  to explore the expo and it's vendors.  Design Essentials the title sponsor offered a variety of classes, specials on their products and was an amazing MC of the main stage.  The main attraction for me was the Curls & Conversation with panel guests Mahogany Knots-vlogger, Mahogany Curls- vlogger, Evelyn Ngugi and Deshonica Kerrie -Master Stylist Design Essentials. The ladies looked amazing with Mahogany Knots & Evelyn showcasing that color is nothing to be afraid of with their beautiful green & purple highlights. The panel discussed topics from "Is natural hair a trend" to "Is natural hair acceptable in Corporate America". The crowd was very engaged as they interacted with the panel and the host Birmingham Radio Personality Tasha Simone.

After the discussion I had the opportunity to take a few private moments with YouTube Vlogger Mahogany Knots &'s Social Media Manager Evelyn.  Although Kiki (MahoganyKnots) has a fab channel discussing natural hair among other things, I wanted to talk with her about our shared interest in Geneaology. Recently she participated in a 23andme project and I had to ask her how she viewed the experience. We discussed how it was great to find the general area your ancestors originated but she like me needed to know more. We shared a few tips on getting past the "stuck phase" and I hope to reconnect with her again to share my large family tree. is a great resource for us kinky curly ladies and I was grateful to ask Evelyn a few questions.  I wanted to know how the site was able to balance the information.  Basically how do you have enough content for women with more kinky than curly hair and vice versa. Evelyn shared that the company is made of women of many different ethnic backgrounds and the editors understand that women of color may be unaware that curly hair is shared amongst many races and that the information can be the same. They work very hard to spread the word and make it a informative place for all us Curly Girls.  As Social Media Manager, Evelyn is very aware of the balance and has a practice of sharing content that is shared with her as her guide for balance.  Unknown by most, me included, is a small business with a big empact. The company is located in Austin,Texas.....Yes Texas and a warehouse of about 20 people is where this powerhouse of insight is located.

After my interviews with those inspiring ladies it was time to enjoy some of the artistry and creativity by the Design Essential stylists. A parade of tresses grace the stage....there was Curly to straight , sew-ins and weaves and traffic stopping colors and cuts.  The last event I attended was the Celebrity Love & Relationship panel with actors, Lamman Rucker & Tanya Wright, Demetria Lucas - author and star of Bravo's Blood Sweat & Heels and Mahogany Curls Jessica Bailey also joined to share their advice on Love & Relationships.  Essence Magazine's beautiful Relationship Editor, Charreah Jackson was the moderator for this candid and fun conversation. I expected to have a one on one with Demetria Lucas. It with such a high demand for her, this one would have to wait for another time.

This was my first time attending the Birmingham expo. It is definitely smaller than the World Hair show I've attended in the past in Atlanta but it was a great way to spend an afternoon.  Surprisingly the expo was shared with larger and known companies liked Miss Jessie's, Camille Rose & Coco Curls but the local companies had a great opportunity to find new customers and share their products.

Heres a few more pictures from the expo:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Move over Wisconsin...Alabama has the cheese!


Alabama has a decedent and creamy secret they are ready to share... For 25 years they have been the home of some amazing Goat cheese! In Elkmont, AL the Belle Chèvre creamery has been supplying the country with their extrodianary spreads in stores like Macys & Whole Foods with not many realizing it's made here in Alabama.  Well the secret is out and Huntsville was the first stop in an amazing tour to put the cheese on the cracker.

 Huntsville's Mayor, Tommy Battle was in attendance to wish Huntsville's own Tasia Malaskasis and the Belle Chévre crew a successful and safe trip as they traveled the country on a tour with Whole Foods in a custom Airstream trailer.   Downtown Huntsville Inc. was a great hosts as those in attendance got a chance to sample delicious cheese cake made with Clinton Row's newest occupant.  The Belle Chèvre crew and the cute baby goat, Valentine will share their adventures on a website, Belle's Big Big Adventure,  that offers an interactive look at their travels. 

My mother, Ms Josie, joined me to sample the cheese and we were both pleasantly surprised.  I can't wait for the grand opening of the flag ship store in Huntsville later in April.  So move over Wisconsin, Alabama is bringing the cheese!

Are you a fan of Goat Cheese? Did you know Belle Chèvre was here?


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Curls & Conversation- Get Ready Bham!

*Press Release*
The 3rd Annual Visions Natural Hair & Health Expo is taking place Saturday, March 29th at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Conference, Curls & Conversation will convene top beauty insiders and hair care experts to allow everyday women the opportunity to share their common curly-haired experiences; get solutions to their naturally curly hair challenges; and get recommendations from the award-winning line of Design Essentials® Natural.

Hosted by Birmingham's Tasha Simone of Hot 107.7 FM, the conversation will center on topics such as: whether natural hair is a trend or a movement;transitioning from relaxed to naturalsaving time with managing and styling naturally curly tresseshaving healthy hair while maintaining a healthy life;natural hair images in the media; and dealing with reactions to your naturally curly hair. 
Featured top beauty insiders leading the conversation include: 
  • Jessica Bailey from MahoganyCurls™, who has captured the curly YouTube world with more than 22 million viewers and has recently been featured in JetLuckyEbony and ESSENCE magazines for her inspirational styling tutorials for naturally curly hair.
  • Kiki Stephens from MahoganyKnots, who loves to bring her humor as well as her expertise to the curly world stage with more than 4.5 million viewers on YouTube.
  • Deshonica Kerrie, Master Design Essentials® Natural Hairstylist, who'll share how she helps clients lead a healthy life while embracing their natural textures and achieving head-turning styles.
  • Evelyn Ngugi from, a social media superstar who also runs the online talk forum, CurlTalk.
In addition to dialogue, educators will be on hand to walk attendees through the complete Design Essentials® Natural collection, introduce the line's newest products, address attendees hair concerns and questions, and provide style tips using some of time-savings product picks within the hair care line.
For those unable to attend this event live, will provide insights shared from the chat; interviews with participating beauty insiders; and video and photo snapshots from the entire Visions Natural Hair & Health Expo to online audiences.  To access this information visit or visit them on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

WHAT: Design Essentials Natural & Kick-off Curls & Conversation 2014 Tour @ Visions Natural Hair & Health Expo, Birmingham 
WHENMarch 29, 2014
WHERE: Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex North Exhibition Hall, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203
TIME11:00am - 12:30pm CST
HASHTAGS: #Curls&Conversations #DECurlsConvo #DesignEssentialsNatural

Photo courtesy of Brainchild Associates
Author and star of Bravo's "Blood, Sweat and Heels" Demetria Lucas has just been added bringing no-holds-barred conversation about love, sex, relationships and natural hair! Known for her candid and often controversial stances when it comes to black women finding love, Lucas has become known as the "Black Carrie Bradshaw," for her smooth transition from her former career as Relationship Editor for ESSENCE magazine and authorship of "A Belle In Brooklyn" into her new role on Bravo's highest-debuting show yet.

We'd love to have you come out to the Celebrity Love & Relationships Panel at 2pmwhere Demetria joins acclaimed actor Lamman Rucker, known for his roles in Tyler Perry's "Meet the Browns" and "Why Did I Get Married"; blog icon Jessica Bailey of MahoganyCurls; and current ESSENCE Magazine Relationship Editor Charreah Jackson who will serve as the panel moderator.

To learn more about the Curls & Conversation 2014 National Tour and for upcoming Tour dates, visit

Monday, March 17, 2014

Huntsville CVB no Luck needed!

The Huntsville St. Patrick's Day Parade was great. I enjoyed the festivities with my mom, 2 children and hundreds of the fabulous Irish & non Irish parade goers.  There was a variety of groups, schools and businesses showcased as they marched through the Downtown streets.  We positioned ourselves across from Harrison Brothers Hardware and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Our second stop was the Huntsville-Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau to attend their 10th Birthday Party & big secret reveal.  The CVB had activities for the kids such as face painting, a sand box and even a chalking station. The community seemed to have an amazing time meeting new people, eating popcorn and simply enjoying the celebration. 

The big announcement began at 2pm with President of the CVB, Judy Ryals, announcing the new slogan "We got space" and introducing a few speakers including Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle & my mayor, Madison's Troy Trulock. After a few stories about the 10 year journey & the people who helped make the success possible they revealed the newest edition to the center- The Rocket City Selfie! So cool, you can now mark your visit to Huntsville/Madison county with a digital snapshot. The Rocket City Selfie is taken in front of a green screen and you chose what background from the area to choice. Then you simply email it to yourself, what a great idea!


 During the event, I kicked off my new giveaway - #MslawandaHSV, with the 1st prize being a Huntsville tee sponsored by the CVB! Yay..anyone who took a picture with and posted it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag was entered into a random drawing to win!  So let's announce the winner! Selected from Instagram @jaactkey is my 1st winner!


I truly enjoy getting out and meeting the citizens of Huntsville & the giveaways will continue until the end of the summer!

I created a Flipagram with some photos from the day..Check it out!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Only Horse Lovers need Apply - Youth Summer Camp

Summer is fast approaching and finding things for our children to do that is fun and educational can be challenging.  Dr. D. Williams founder of the Huntsville Black Rodeo has a great program, the Huntsville Stables 2014 Horse Lovers Camp, that is looking for students who eat, sleep and breathe horses.   This program is designed to improve riding skills, horsemanship, horse knowledge and care as well as core educational classes of math, reading & science.

 The six week program begins June 2, 2014 at Alabama A&M University and students have the option to bring their own horses or use the ones at the stable.  Dr. Williams' passion for Agriculture and horses was evident as we spoke about the camp.  He shared that college scholarships are available in the areas of Agriculture and Rodeo but are often over looked by children of color. He doesn't want to simple teach our children to ride horses but to understand how to care for them in all aspects.  Students who successful complete the camp will have an opportunity to compete in 2015's  Huntsville Black Rodeo.

Spaces are limited for this camp and the cost is $150 per week.  Sign your horse lover up today and you may have the next Cowgirl/Cowboy, Agriculture Engineer or simply a very educated and passionate horse lover.  For more information please contact Dr. D. Williams at

I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the horses and one caught my attention.  Her name is Scarlet
and she is on #TeamNaturalHair sporting  fabulous braids that she will have taken down later for an amazing braid out LOL...

He doesn't refer to himself as Dr. Williams simple D. Williams but I love the Dr.  He is humble and you quickly find yourself feeling like you are have a conversation with an old friend.  Your children will have a great opportunity to learn and have an amazing time at this camp. 

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