Thursday, October 18, 2012

Support the Cause- Reduce the Risk!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I try to really reflect on my life and the choices I make to help reduce my chances of facing breast cancer in my future.  My mother, maternal aunt and mother-n-law are survivors and I use their strength to not fear it but work to find answers and minimize any risk that I can control.  Every year I try and support  research for a cure by purchasing items and making donations and I will share some of them with you but this year Im also trying to step up preventing within myself.

This year one of my favorite beauty stores, Ulta,  offered a variety of items to purchase with proceeds being donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. They call their promotion "Donate with a Kiss" and I love it.  I purchased a reusable cup for $5 and an EOS lip balm & lotion pod set for $5.99 . I plan to return and get a beautiful kiss pink umbrella before the month is over for $10.  I also  wondered into Panera Bread and they had an amazingly good Cherry/Vanilla bagel in the shape of the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon for purchase with donations being made to the Breast Cancer Research of Alabama.  I am so addicted to this bagel and depend too heavily on "supporting the cause" when I keep making return visits to get one LOL! Another purchase that I have made is one that has become a tradition for me, every year Payless Shoes has an item that you can buy for $2 that supports the cause and this year its a bracelet and the bracelet also comes with a coupon to use on a future purchase!

Not only will I support the research by making purchases and donations, I have decided to take a step in my life to reduce risk.  Studies have shown links from traditional deodorant and breast cancer so I have decided to stop using aluminum containing deodorant and make my own! I used a recipe of 2 parts shea butter and 1 part baking soda and a few drops of tea tree oil. I used an old container and it worked great.  I melted the shea butter in the microwave and then mixed in the other ingredients. I poured the liquid into the container and then placed it in the freezer for 30 minutes.  I removed it and kept it in my bathroom where it has remained solid without any concerns.

I am loving this deodorant and will give a more extensive review in a future post but I will say this has been a great experience so far...I smell good...

Remember that one of the best ways to stop the deaths from breast cancer is to beat it so please  do self exams, get a mammogram,  exercise, make healthy food choices and be aware of what you put in and on your body. Check out the website of the American Cancer Society for great information.  Also if you know someone who has recently being diagnosed or supporting a survivor, my mom has shared her experiences and some great resources in a book, My life after Cancer, that you can purchase online today!
Has Cancer effected your life? What changes will you make in your life to reduce risks? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hey Fran I want long nails too...Hey

Earlier this week I introduced you guys to the new blogger/vlogger (well new to me) that I have been enjoying Francheska of HeyFranHey on Youtube.  I promised to share some of her tips that I have been using so here's a couple....

Posted on her instagram page..she displayed a photograph of her nails and a note that she had done an coconut oil message to achieve the length and strength.  I shared the photo with my daughter and we decided to give it a try. Weekly I massaged my nails with Organic unrefined Coconut Oil and then I polished them with a nail color.  The first week I began to see growth and I was amazed but not completely sold...It has been 3 weeks and I have seen a big difference.

Day 1

Week 3
I was so surprised that without using any form of growth enhancing polish or treatment that simply applying coconut oil to my nail beds once a week had produced such a difference.  It makes me think that if I eat healthy I will see even more. Tia also had great results but her need to bit her nails has been a bit counterproductive LOL!  She is still working on them and I will share her nails when I update in a couple of weeks.

Will you join this challenge? Share your results on my facebook page and let me know what you think.

Another tip or challenge that I have been inspired to try is using the oil cleansing method for my face and using cold compress Q-tips to improve the darkness under my eyes.  I have recently started these challenges so I don't have photos to share currently but I will say that I have been pleasantly surprised and feel extremely optimistic.  Check out the video below that motivated me to change the way I approach my face.

Here's a link to the video for the oil cleansing method

Let me know what you think? Is this something you would try?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wisdom at any age?

It is very easy to dismiss information or advice from someone younger and I am guilty of doing just that.  I normally lean towards wisdom coming with age and experience but I have recently confronted myself with the notion that my age discrimination needed to be a thing of the past. I had overcame it in the area of natural hair but that was about it. However my eyes opened to the children not only being our future but our present when I stumbled on the YouTube channel called  "HeyFranHey".

I was browsing the tube for videos to inspire me with maybe a new hairstyle, technique or maybe even make me laugh and i stumbled upon her channel.  I normally look for videos that have people who have the same hair texture as my daughter or myself, she didn't but something drew me to watch.  The first video introduced herself and what she planned for the channel and I was intrigued.  She was vegetarian (vegan I believe) and currently I was looking for a great source to get information for my daughter who has embraced a vegetarian lifestyle.  Something about her seemed humble and knowledgeable and I watched all of her remaining videos and was extremely impressed. I visited her Facebook page and became a fan and viewed her blog and gave it an once over, she seemed to be the real deal. Daily her Facebook page has become a place I go to look for recipes for meals, hair treatments and beauty tips as well as resources because she shares other blogs and reading sources to encourage "get knowledge from multiple sources" mantra. She doesn't claim to be an expert but the information she gives is from personal experience and research.

HeyFranHey is my new "thing" and it should be yours too....Tia tried a few vegetarian dishes inspired from articles on the site (we did modify some lol), I am currently using a few of her beauty tips (I will share some this week) and the both of us have been moved to care more for our overall health. Organic choices and meatless dishes are making their way into my life slowly and I am continually encourage by her videos, her blog and the new blogs I am introduced to weekly.

Fran may not be young enough to my daughter, old enough to be my peer but her spirit seems humble,sweet, open and knowledgeable enough to be added to my list of resources.

 Check her out and tell me what you think? Were you inspired by anything she shared? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fall Fro Fashion Week '12

Its that time again...Time to see  the must haves for the Fall hair and wardrobe season.  Atlanta is the place to be the last week in September and this season Tarin is bringing the "Glitz, Glam & Glitter"

Events are planned throughout the week beginning September 24-30
 Check out the info below and get ready for a great time!

Check out the videos & get excited!

Get your tickets, check out the schedule events & reserve your hotel room by visiting the official website

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Become your hair crush!

I know its been a while since I made a post and I am truly sorry! So to try and make up for it I have decided to do a contest.  This should be a fun one that can get everyone's creative juices flowing. The contest is currently going on now until Monday August 27th.

You need to submit a photo of yourself re-creating a hair look of a celebrity that inspires you to my facebook page, Instagram (with me tagged @mslawanda) or via email and I will post to both sites and the picture that gets the most likes will win......A $25 Target Gift Card...

Ms Diana Ross
Now you don't need to look like the celebrity ( as you will see in my submissions) but you need to be inspired by the star. Photos need to be submitted with a split screen so that we can see the inspired look. You can use  free apps like PicFrame if you like.

I cant wait to see your photos so please submit and share with your friends!
Ms Elle Varner 

What do you think of my celebrity inspired looks? Leave a comment and tell me what you think..Have fun with this one!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

TOO BIG but still small..Vloggers Divide

I was browsing my YouTube subscriptions and I came across videos upon videos responding to a rant from one of my favorite Vloggers ..Taren916. My first thought was why is someone messing with my girl (even though we have never met)...So I went to her channel and saw the controversy starting video..

The video began with my full support of "my girl" but then she lost me..I have always seen YouTube as a great platform for people to showcase themselves and, if wanted, get opportunities to capitalize on their success BUT..its built on being a grass root forum.  Her snubbing the small business owner and classifying herself as top tier was out of bounds for me.  I understand that you need to give yourself value but YouTube is about the small business, the unknown and giving the normally unappreciated areas of society a voice.  I watch YouTube vids to see people who look like me, care about what matters to me and not make me feel as if they are using me. Small business is the core of America and you should never be "too big" to support others.

  Trust me I know some of the people I subscribe to may get paid or free products (I get products too) but I skip the ads at the bottom as soon as I can for a reason..I think Taren would have done better discussing her concerns with compensation in a forum for vloggers..there is a reason advertising meetings are done behind close doors..Although you know McDonalds adds music to their commercials to make you remember to get a snack pack for $1.99 they don't leak out the memos describing the planning details..Its like R&B  Kem vs R.Kelly..they both want to get you in bed but at least Kem will romance you and give you something to lie to yourself about!

This video was a rant and I know she has a good heart and was probably overwhelmed but there is a reason I have always said "I would like to be rich but not famous".  I will continue to subscribe to her channel and wish her much success but I hope she remembers that small business is what has launched her..she is small business...

                         (Response from another YouTube Vlogger that I subscribe to..CoilyHeadChick)

What do you think? Share your thoughts!

Friday, June 29, 2012

MsLawanda vs Alabama Heat

The summer has official began and my hair is feeling the burn.  The temperature is 90 degrees or more daily  but this week we are feeling the heat with chart topping 109 degrees! The moisture is being strangled out of my strands having them desperate for water like I reside in the Sahara desert. I knew I needed to take action so I put on my mixtress apron and set out to answer the S.O.S. from my desperate kinks.

I decided to give my hair a much needed deep conditioning (DC) and sit under my heat cap to help penetrate the curls. I gathered a few ingredients and went to mixing.  Here's what I grabbed and why:

  •  Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Masque~ I truly like this product, its gives me results immediately and its a staple 
  • TRESemme' Split End Remedy Conditioner~ I had a free sample that I received from Walmart and although I have no idea if it will send my split ends a packing I know it will provide great slip for detangling on my tender head
  • Coconut Oil~ This is my favorite oil, it is amazing for sealing in moisture and helping my hair to reach its goal of strong hair
  • Amyla Oil~ This is one of the oils I purchased on my trip to the Indian store and although its a bit strong I like the way it seems to be helping my hair with growth and retention
  • Bed Head Moisture Maniac Conditioner~ I just had a small amount left in the bottle (about a tablespoon) so i added it to get rid of the bottle 
I mixed the conditioners together first and added each oil one at a time making sure the mixture stayed creamy.  Then I sectioned my hair in fours and began apply from root to tip separating each curl as I coated. My detangling was a breeze and the shine was amazing and instant.  I did this conditioning on dry hair (like a pre-poo) just damping my hair with my spritz bottle of water & Aloe Vera gel.  I placed a plastic cap (a target bag~recycling) on my hair and sat under my hair cap for 45 minutes. I finished the process by using As I Am Coconut  Cleansing cream to wash my hair, Koils by Nature leave in and twisted my hair into an updo with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.

I intend to DC every week to combat this heat, what are you doing to make sure your kinks, coils and curls are not dying of moisture starvation?

Share your thought and comments! I enjoy reading them all.

Monday, June 4, 2012

No Indian in my family..but maybe in my hair?

Still on a journey to improve the health of my hair, I made a trip to the local Indian import store after reading a  post from one of my favorite mixtress Lola Zabeth.  The post described an Ayurvedic Cream (here) that intrigued me with ingredients that would improve the health of my hair by strengthening it, reducing hair loss and most importantly keeping away the gray! It was a journey in itself to find an Indian market but when I found one they shared the location of another. Cool!

Entering the market I was overwhelmed by the smells, the lack of English labels and the stares from the clerk who was trying to figure out why I was there. I asked the gentleman where the hair care items were and he directed me to an area that contained 5 shelves with a variety of items for health & beauty. I wasn't familiar with many of the products ( of course) but I did see some that made me feel a bit more confident.  Mahabhringraj Oil was the first item I tried to find, I couldn't pronounce it but I did write it down and showed the clerk who had no clue. (I also visited the other import market in my area and they didn't have it either.) Well the best part of making your own hair products is making it your own so I  changed a few ingredients and got ready to put my apron on.

 I had Shea Butter at home so I first created my version of Shealoe butter by whipping some Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Gel together. I then added some almond oil and some infused coconut oil to the mix. After mixing for a while to get a smooth consistency I added some Amla Oil also.  Now lets talk about Amla is STRONG!  I will not add it to a butter again because of the scent but I will keep it for deep conditioners that I can rinse out.  I loved this butter! It was amazing in my hair, I did 2 strand twists on wet hair and the butter helped to keep the moisture in my hair and it was so soft and manageable. Because of the Aloe Vera Gel it must be refrigerated but its still great when the butter becomes solid.  Its great to style hair, place on your ends and to use for your finger tips when taking down a prepared hair style.

Have you tried some great hair mixes? Share them! Will you try this butter receipe? Where do you find your ingredients? Leave a comment and let's talk!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hard work pays off- NNHMD Huntsville Part 4

Sponsors were a huge part of the success of The Queen in Me meetup. I have attended a few natural hair events in the past and one of  my favorite things is discovering what will be in the "Swag Bags".  I was determined to get the kinky, coily & curly ladies of Huntsville a variety of amazing products to discover or re-discover for their hair.  I offered the attendees three forms of Swag Bags; The first was the NNHMD Swag Bag....this bag was filled with items provided by the National Natural Hair Meet-up Day committee, it had items from Hair Rules, Blue Magic, Black Queen, Shea Moisture, Eden Bodyworks, Beautiful Texture, Jane Carter & Nothing But...(I also included local sponsors JessiCurl, Mozeke, Curl Max, Goody & a hair wrap from Classy Beauty Supply)...

ATWB Swag Bag
            The 2nd choice was an As The Wind Blows (ATWB) local sponsored Swag Bag that contained amazing products from Naptural Roots Magazine, Full size & sample items from Shea Moisture, Ampro Gel, CoCo Curls, Mozeke Products, Curl Max, Miss Jessie's, Beautiful Textures, Goody, JessiCurl, The Vbar, Kynx Hair Care, Classy Beauty Supply & Eden Bodyworks.  The final choice was a mini Swag Bag and it contained an assortment of items from my local sponsors...about 7-9 items. These bags were overflowing in SWAG!

Another aspect to the NNHMD- Huntsville event was the GIVEAWAYS!  The Sponsors were amazing to us locally and nationally. We had a variety of great items  making the raffle tickets a hot commodity. Locally we were showered with items from The Style Bar ($20 Gift Card) & 2 hand crafted earrings from I'ME by J. Thomas as well as items from Curlkit, TGIN, Karens Body Beautiful, Curl Max, Shea Moisture, 4Naturals, Black Hair 101 & Nubien Heritage.  We had some special items from Afrodeliks Designs,  Ruby Redd Cheeks, ChariT's  Inspirations and an exclusive from Naptural Roots Magazine. The table was overflowing with goodies!

The Queen in Me NNHMD- Huntsville event was more than just giveaways and bags, it was a chance to socialize with other naturals in the community , learn something new and have a lot of fun.  We played games, watched hair demonstrations, enjoyed food & drinks, learned about African hair wraps, had our face painted, asked some amazing questions to our panel and we crowned our 1st 'Queen in Me" Queen! Actually 3 beautiful women received crowns but Dwaynia  won top honors. Four women were in the running but there were no losers...4th place won some great earrings from ChariT's Inspirations.

I enjoyed this event so much and although it was a lot of  work and I had the flu for 4 days after the event, I would do it all again!  Actually I will host this annual  event again next year as well as a special 2 year anniversary party for my blog Saturday February 23. So save the date, tell your friends and THANK YOU Huntsville Naturals, Sponsors, Guests, Family & Friends for making The Queen in Me - National Natural Hair Meet-up Day Huntsville an event to remember!

We missed a lot of the attendees but here's about half of us!
To view more pictures from the event please click here to be directed to Kimberly Michaels Photography, here for some coverage by Radar Magazine & some pics here from Tarika's FB page The Pursuit of Nappiness.  We are also featured on the blog of CurlPlease and in Saturday's May 26th edition of the Madison County Record Newspaper.

What was your favorite part of the event? What are your friends saying? Leave a comment, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Without you no Queen in Me - Part 3 Recap

Dublin Park (meeting rooms) was the venue for my first natural hair event and it was great.  It was large enough to accommodate everyone but small enough to make the atmosphere feel cozy.  There were a few hiccups with the venue, chairs and tables not being set up and the space not being cool enough, but overall I am glad I chose it.  My panel of Q & A guests was another decision I am truly happy that I made.  The first person I added to my panel was Orlando to represent a stylist perspective but next I wanted someone with a Facebook presence and someone that had documented their own natural hair journey in a public way.  The first person that came to mind was Tarika from the Pursuit of Nappiness.  I had seen photos of her at many events and had the opportunity to meet her in Atlanta at Fro Fashion Week.  I learned she had a Huntsville past so I reached out and without hesitation she accepted.  Tarika helped get the word out about my event and made herself available to me for advise or any help needed to make the event happen.  I thank you Tarika for making time for The Queen in Me event and traveling to Alabama to let my attendees have a chance to learn from you and also see the beauty you have inside & out.  

The last piece of the panel puzzle was a YouTube representation. and this was the hardest for me.  My budget was very small so I couldn't afford travel accommodations or fees so I needed to have the prospective guest live within a few hours distance. I first reached out to one of my favorite bloggers/vlogger LexiWithTheCurls but she was unavailable.  I reached out to about five other talented women but no luck so just when I had decided I would just have to do double duty as host and panelist  my cousin Tawana answered my S.O.S. She suggested I add Ja'Lissa ,one half of the YouTube duo 4Mysisterz. Ja'lissa lived here in Huntsville and when I reached out she said Yes! She worked out well on the panel and the three of them did their best to provide the attendees with answers to their many questions.  A big thanks to you Ja'Lissa for agreeing to be on the panel, taking lots of pictures with everyone and bringing sunshine to the event with an amazing smile and personality.  

My vision of The Queen in Me natural hair event became complete when I was introduced to Daba.  She is the owner of Nissi Braids at 1305 Pulaski Pike in Huntsville and agreed to attend my event and share with the attendees about her country and how to create African Hair wraps.  She did an amazing job and we truly built a bond. I felt an authentic African presence was a must and she exceeded my expectations! A millions thank yous to you, Daba!

I must end this post with a thanks to my husband for dealing with me, attending the event and working hard to help me get everything in place.  I know that this consumed me and I appreciate your understanding and patience.  I want to thank my mother for not letting me quit and believing in me and this event from the beginning, my friends for not deleting me on Facebook and twitter for the months of updates about the event, my teenage wonderful volunteers; My daughter Tia and her friends Kortessa, Kashya & the unexpected bonus Jurney and my son Jalen for manning the Swap table and being a great sport!

Tomorrow I will conclude this 4 part post with the thanks to the Fabulous sponsors and the details of The Queen in Me - NNHMD Huntsville event!

It truly takes a village and I am grateful that mine is vast and strong! Leave your comments, I enjoy them all!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Queen in Me Recap Part 2

Finding sponsors wasn't the only concern I had for making The Queen in Me a success, I needed a venue, a photographer, caterer, a stylist, a make-up artist , a panel and someone to teach the attendees to create African Hair wraps.  I have lived in Madison for only 5 years so I didn't have many connections but I did have friends on Facebook that did.  I sent out a rescue me call and life vests were thrown from everywhere.

The best referral was Kimberly Michaels. Kimberly and I had never met but she was a friend of a friend. I spoke with her originally about doing photography but she provided a lot more than pictures. I am a strong supporter of small business and Kimberly had two that would work perfectly for this event, Kimberly Michaels Photography & Alma's Grace. Over the course of three months, Kimberly would allow me to bounce planning ideas, rants of frustration and fear of failure with her.  She survived my numerous emails, changes of menus and attempts of total meltdown. I'm not thanking her just because she  became a friend but because she was also an amazing photographer and caterer.  Every photo that I wanted & needed she got without hesitation, her demeanor was amazing and the attendees wanted to mingle with her. The food was perfect and she balanced both jobs seamlessly.  I have found my event photographer and caterer, If you need one you should look her up too!

There are not enough words to describe how much Orlando Petty, my stylist has meant to me during the planning and execution of this event. I meet Orlando because he was a friend of my sons but I asked him to participate because I knew he had talent.  Orlando is an up & coming stylist with a passion for hair and  hunger to be creative and successful.  I harassed him throughout this planning adventure and although I tried to fire him he came to The Queen in Me event and knocked our socks off.  He was amazing as a demonstrator and as a guest on my Q&A panel. Orlando helped me get the word out, he knows everyone, and my ticket sells begin to soar! I thank you Orlando and I wish you amazing success!  I know the women of Huntsville will be reaching out to him to care for their hair and you should also. Find Orlando at MOD Salon...7095-b HWY 72 Huntsville, AL 35806 and check their website for prices and more info!

Finally for this post, I want to introduce and thank Sharetta Keith of R.D. Make-up Artistry for agreeing to attend my event and provide the ladies of Huntsville a taste of African tribal artwork on their faces. My friend Val was kind enough to share my need of a MUA on her facebook page and Sharetta answered the call.  She invited me to her home and we clicked right away. She created a beautiful design on my face & she shared her plans to do the same for my attendees. I left her home excited and ready to share the vision of The Queen in Me with everyone.  Sharetta is also a natural hair mixtress and was kind enough to share one of her creations with me, I will share that with you in the very near future. The designs Sharetta created for the ladies and gentlemen at the event were  beautiful! Each person  took turns getting  beautiful artwork displayed on their facial canvases. I thank you Sharetta for not just doing a service but creating a room full of masterpieces! Please check out R.D. Makeup Artistry for all you MUA services, you won't regret it!

Did you enjoy the hair demonstration & artwork? Let me know what you think of this aspect of the event! Please leave your comments below. I will continue with part 3 of The Queen in Me -NNHMD event recap tomorrow! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Queen in Me...And you!

There is one word to describe The Queen in Me Natural Hair Meet-up Day event and its WOW! I was so amazed and touched by all the beautiful kinky, coily and curly ladies that came out to support my first meet-up.  I had an amazing time and the love I felt from everyone that attended was even more astounding!  There were aspects of the event I wished I did better but overall I enjoyed every minute.  I am going to try and share the experience, thank a lot of people and showcase some companies & people that make networking within the natural hair community a pleasure.

The Queen in Me Natural Hair Event was part of the 1st Annual National Natural Hair Meet-up Day (NNHMD)...Huntsville was one of the 50 cities that participated and one of the 25 sponsored cities.  I contributed to NNHMD as a volunteer committee member and although it was a lot of work it brought a beautiful concept to my adopted home of Huntsville.  I had the pleasure of meeting and working with some beautiful and talented women on the committee which  lead to some friendships that will last forever.  The founder and creator of NNHMD, Adeea Rodgers, pulled together women from different areas of the country to collaborate on  ideas that would make the vision of a meet-up day across the country on one specific day a reality.  Although I won't continue as a committee member, I believe this concept is an amazing one and any chance to share the love of natural hair on a large scale is one that I wish much success. I thank NNHMD for the support and will watch as it grows.
Maris, Marcia, Haley, Myself & Holly

Renata, Adeea, Lydia, Darice & Marsha

Finding local sponsors was a scary prospect for me when I began planning this meet-up.  I wasn't sure if anyone would want to participate in helping me, if anyone would come and if I could pull it off.  I was blessed to stumble into A's Beauty Supply on University Dr in Huntsville...I thought i was at another (won't name) supply store but luckily the owner Daniel didn't hold it against me. I introduced myself as a natural hair blogger hosting my first event in Madison and that I felt working together to make this event a success would be equally beneficial.  I gave some details (the ones I had) and he said......"Wow, sure Im interested and will sponsor!"....I almost passed out right there. I was so pumped and excited and the sponsors started coming in!

126 University Drive Huntsville
I want to thank Daniel Suh for sponsoring my event, believing in the concept and working hard to support the Huntsville community.  A's will soon be Classy Beauty Supply at 126 University Drive in Huntsville and I ask that you bring your support to his store. The new location is amazing, its big and welcoming and Daniel and his staff care about providing us natural hair ladies with the products we want and need.  If you attended my event you received a hair wrap and a 15% off coupon provided by Classy Beauty Supply so use it and let him know that I sent you!

I will continue with my recap of The Queen in Me soon...Part 1 of 4

Did you participate in NNHMD in your area? How did you feel about the concept? Please leave your comments!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Still Standing..Health journey continues

Healthy me, healthy hair... well my goal to have a healthy body has had many twists and turns, ups and downs and some complete epic failures.  I've started workout programs, diets and cleansers with each falling short of my ultimate goal of losing a lot of weight and improving the strength and health of my hair. However, I have learned some valuable lessons from each unsuccessful plan...I get back up when I'm knocked down! I have lost a total of 10 pounds so far and although its not where I expected to be at this point in the journey, I am proud of this accomplishment.  I recently tried the Master Cleanse, a cleanse with the  purpose of ridding the body of toxins and waste buildup. My goal was to cleanse for 14 days but 5 would be the outcome.  I surprised myself with the level of willpower I obtained during this process of fasting. I realize that the mind is truly a powerful tool and that if you separate and meditate you can push yourself further than you ever thought you could.

 I've decided to keep my eye on the prize and take one day at a time with my weight.  I want to set daily goals instead of weekly or monthly.  I will practice controlling aspects of my mine daily and challenge myself to gain more control of the things that occur in my life.  I am loving myself daily, protecting my tresses and showing my children through my perseverance that only I control my level of success or failure.

I am continuing to decrease my calorie intake, increase my consumption of fruits & vegetables, reduce fast foods, get the water in and move my body! I am going to resume my deep conditioning regimen and pamper by strands every chance I get. Stress is another area of concern but I planned to give myself relaxation and acceptance, the rest I will give to GOD!  

Thanks for sharing my journey and I will show my results from my trip to the local Indian import store on the next post.

How is your healthy life, strong hair & weight loss journey going? Please leave a comment so we can support and encourage each other! Thanks for reading

Monday, April 9, 2012

#NNHMD is coming!

Saturday May 19, 2012 is the date to remember! It's marks the first annual National Natural Hair Meet-up Day across the United States. I have the pleasure of being on the committee and I must say that working with these women has been a pleasure. I am blessed to be amongst women with so much passion, love and creativity especially about natural hair. If you are natural, transitioning or curious about natural hair then come mingle, learn and have just a great time with your local event. To find your local event, go to

 The National Natural Hair Meetup Day is an annual one-day event which will be held this year on May 19, 2012. Its purpose is to allow the opportunity for women across the United States and Canada to meet in their own communities while networking, sharing and meeting (virtually) other women across the country participating in meetups on the same day. Natural hair meetups are events designed to share information, techniques, inspiration and products to aid individuals in their natural hair journey.  The purpose of the event is; to build community within the natural hair community, expand natural hair meetups into newer and/or smaller markets across the United States as, well as allow people interested in hosting meetups the opportunity to gain experience, tips and best practices from more experienced meetup hosts and organizers During and as a result of National Natural Hair Meetup Day, attendees will be able to:

  • Meet other naturals in their area 
  • Gain exposure to natural hair product lines and companies 
  • Learn the process of planning and executing a natural hair meetup (event hosts) 
  • Meet natural hair and beauty bloggers and Youtube vloggers 
  • Network with other natural hair meetup organizers (event hosts) 
  • Discover resources, techniques, products and people that can serve as inspiration and information for the natural hair care journey.

This event is also a virtual party! Interact with other kinky, curly and loc wearing sisters live via twitter using the hashtag #NNHMD and on NNHMD's facebook wall.  For more information or to start making connections now check out the Facebook page: or follow on twitter:

What city are you representing? Share your thoughts, I would love to read them!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My trip to get my ends clipped!

As many of you know, I have a love/hate relationship with stylists working on my natural hair because of my previous experiences.  I avoided getting my ends trimmed for over 18 months and now my hair is paying the price.  I decided to try Salon Prestige in Huntsville and I made a  video to share...

I can't wait to play in my hair and not have strands everywhere! Have you found a stylist that you trust? Share your experiences!

Leave a comment..I enjoy reading them!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Small Business Spotlight

Small business is the core of America and I love to support them! I look for businesses that offer true passion for their product or craft, a great reputation and a creative edge. Today I would like to showcase 3 women. The first is Samantha Hill-Bartley.

Samantha and I crossed paths when I saw a beautiful logo design for NNHMD. I had been looking for a graphic designer for a year with little success. I had a vision in my head of what I wanted the look to be but everyone wanted to change it.  Samantha was different, she listened, she sketched & she produce exactly what I wanted & more. Located in South Carolina, we did all of our work together via corresponding messages & one phone call.  If I wanted to change a small detail she was open to every opinion and worked hard to make sure I was happy.  Samantha created my banner logo for this blog as well as my logo to the left! As a new designer, her passion is strong, her work ethic is superb and she has a great spirit.  Her designs are economically priced so if you need any graphic work done she is the first person to contact! Send Samantha an email at and let her bring to life your vision.

Next up is Ms. Josie Thomas. Josie is a minister, author, breast cancer survivor and my mother. I want to showcase her because she has decided to share her breast cancer journey with the world in a new self published book called "My life after Cancer".  This book is intended to help those recently diagnosed by giving answers to many of the questions no one answers, encouragement for survivors with spiritual guidance and shared experiences and women who have concern about breast cancer by sharing research on prevention. If you or someone you love has battled cancer or you want to support a breast cancer survivor who has fought the beast and won, this is the right purchase for you.  Visit Minister Josie's website today and purchase your copy! A percentage of the book sales will be donated to support breast cancer research.

Finally I would like to ask for some support for my next small business owner today! I blogged about The VBar lady before in my recap of  Fro Fashion Week, but today I want you guys to help me support her get onto the shelves of Walmart stores. Her passion for women & their health is shown in her product the V-Bar.  Its an organic feminine hygiene bar soap that helps reduce and/or eliminate many infections like yeast infections. She is participating in a campaign to launch the V-Bar in Walmart stores and we can help! Simply click the link and vote for her via Facebook or mobile phone text.  She works tirelessly to protect our feminine health so lets support her too! As the VBar lady says "Gotta keep the Pocketbook Clean" Visit to get your bar today but click the link below to vote.
Vote in Get On The Shelf

Do you look for ways to support small businesses? Share them! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

NNHMD History in the Making!

National Natural Hair Meet-up Day is a great event debuting this year around the country on May 19, 2012. The concept is simple but so profound, events all across the U.S. will be held on the same date by natural hair coordinators that have registered with the NNHMD. It's a great way to spread education, products and fun with natural hair ladies, transitioners and curious lookers! I will be hosting an event here in Madison, Alabama(Huntsville area) with others in cities like Detroit, Nashville, LA, Dallas just to name a few. The website offers a search tool to locate meet-ups in your area, a place to add your local event to participate & for sponsors looking to be a part of history to join in. Check out my video for the NNHMD...

For those planning to attend my event, tickets will be on sale beginning March 17, 2012 on Eventbrite. Check out the website for more details! I will also give more details soon about the great sponsors for the local event & our fabulous guest panel.
This is history in the making! Don't miss these events, Team Natural Hair will be on center stage all over the USA!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Young Divas need to shine too!

Caring for your natural hair may include your favorite products, treatments, vitamins and trimming but you must not forget your nighttime routine. Placing your beautiful tresses in a silk scarf or satin bonnet is a ritual for most of us but for many especially children this can be challenging. Waking up to your scarf on the floor and your hair in an unplanned mohawk is never cute.  The company Silky Wraps hopes to be your solution.  I had the opportunity to chose a product from their beautiful line to try and review, so I selected a Girls sleep bonnet.  My daughter is too old for this particular bonnet so I solicited my friend Precious and her beautiful six year old daughter  Autumn to give it a try. After a week of trying the bonnet, I asked Precious a few questions about their experience....

Mslawanda... Do you normally have your daughter sleep in a bonnet?
   Precious... I normally do not put bonnets on my daughters' hair, I use scarves for her hair.
Mslawanda... What if any difficulties have you had with bedtime sleep scarves or bonnets?
   Precious...They would normally slide or fall off her head & mess up her hairstyle or cause frizzy hair.
Mslawanda... Would you recommend this bonnet? Why or why not?
   Precious... I would recommend this mainly because of the satin inside and the tie ribbon to keep it secure on my daughter's head. This is a very good feature that allows you to adjust the comfort level. I also enjoy the colors and designs.
Mslawanda... Any other comments, questions or suggestions?
   Precious... The 1st night i didnt tie the bonnet tight enough and it fell off during the night so I had to play with the ribbon to find the right comfort level for my daughter. It can get tight so be careful. Tying the ribbon to the side is also good to avoid it being in her face. Autumn loves the bonnet,  it stays on her head and she even wants to wear it in the shower!

I want to support the young divas in our lives so I reached out to one of my fellow bloggers, The Sistah Chick, of Our Natural kids and together we will offer you a chance to win a fabulous prize! There will be two winners. One will win a brand new Silky Wrap bonnet & the other a full size 3 piece Curly Q set (cleansing cream, moisturizer & gel). Use the rafflecopter below to enter! Don't forget to check out Silky Wraps's website for other bonnets and wraps  and Our Natural kids at  for info to help all the young divas in your life!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yum Yum - CoCo Curls

I had the pleasure of meeting the owner/creator of CoCo Curls, Jeannell at the Spring Fro Fashion week and I truly felt her passion for her product.  I was excited to try her Moisturizing styling cream but hoped I wouldn't be disappointed.  My hair really loves butters & creams so I was looking for something to set this product apart from the others. Jeannell recommended the product be applied to wet hair, so that's what I did.

I decided to co-wash my hair and use a leave-in conditioner before applying the CoCo Curls cream.  Using about a dime size amount of the product, on each section, I  put my wet hair in three strand twists. I let my hair dry overnight with a silk scarf wrapped around it and a satin bonnet on top.  In the morning i put the cream on my finger tips and un-twisted them.

My hair was shiny, the curls were well defined & wow the smell was just plain - YUMMY!  I loved the way my curls looked & felt.  These results weren't surprising for me, so I needed more.  The test would come at Days 3&4 of my twist out.  Would my curls stay defined? Would I retain moisture? This would be the way for CoCo Curls to move to the top of my list.  Day 2 was a repeat of the original (great), Day 3 I separated more and rocked bigger hair & then Day 4.... my hair was beautiful! I didn't leave my curls in the spirals they had formed from the original twist out I created a soft fro and CoCo Curls was there for the ride. I was truly impressed. I spritzed my hair with a little aloe vera spritzer and rubbed the moisturizing styler on my hands rubbing it through my hair. This cream did not fail.

Next up, trying CoCo Curls on my daughter's (Tia) hair.  Tia has always had very straight hair so getting her hair to be define can be challenging. She tends to also have a lot of frizz so I will be watching for this also.  Tia loved the coffee blend fragrance as I applied it to her previously washed, deep conditioned and leave-in coated hair. I decided to put her hair in flat twists, some going to the side with the majority going to the back. I weighed down the twists using flexi-rods on the ends (like BlackOnyx) and let them dry overnight.  I also applied the CoCo Curls to my fingertips to un-twist them in the morning and she loved it.

I really love this cream and was impressed that it produced great results on each day that I wore the twist out. The most surprising for me was the definition and shine my daughter achieved without frizz.  I will give the CoCo Curls Moisturizing Styling Cream a 9 out of 10 and think you should give it a try! Make sure to support her by checking out her website and following on twitter @CoCo_Curls

Have you tried CoCo Curls? What do you think of the results Tia & I achieved?

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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