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

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

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, ... 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,, 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!

Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan with Pesto Spaghetti and Green Beans

  When life gets busy, we all crave a hearty and delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Today, we bring you a simple and budg...