Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number!

I’m a few years away from being forty, a mom of two, and my husband and I are eight months away from our tenth wedding anniversary. I think it’s safe to say that I’m seasoned with noteworthy life experiences, and for the most part, I’ve settled into who I am confidently. But that doesn’t mean that I’m unwilling, too old or too set in my ways to embrace change (or a little fun).

We planned a five day getaway to Grand Bahama Island, Freeport, Bahamas with my brother, his girlfriend, and my cousin and his wife. My anticipation for the trip grew daily in the months leading up  to the trip. Between feeling my way through this new blogger-life and work-life balance stress, I NEEDED THIS TRIP!

We aren’t new to traveling. My husband and I travel with groups of friends regularly, and it’s always a good time. This trip was a little different because I was traveling with my brother (his girlfriend) and male cousin (and his wife), and both couples are a decade younger than us! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a damn good time. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was concerned about how things would play out being a generation older than the other couples. We automatically claimed our roles as the elders of the group, along with a list of things that “we” do  (or don’t do) while on vacation. You know, in true old people fashion.

Y’all, this was the best destination vacation trip I’ve been on to-date! The island was crazy, sexy, cool. The people where friendly and welcoming. Our travel group was lit! And I learned three valuable lessons from this trip!

Always, always, always be that girl!

Photo by: CreateHer Stock

I’m mindful about keeping it sexy and spicy at home, but when it comes to vacation all I want to do is relax! I pack books and loungewear for all vacations. The girls reminded me that even while relaxing, I should to be sexy and spicy for my man. A vacation without the children is the perfect scenario for taking a few additional minutes to oil up from head to toe, throw on a face and prance around scantily clad all day and into the night.

Don’t put so much focus on age appropriateness (especially while on vacation) and relaxation that you miss the opportunity to be reminded of the girl you were when you were younger, and playful undivided attention from your man.

Seek out the fun you want to have and make it happen!

Photo by: Shebatty

We wanted to experience night life on the island. We asked around, googled a few spots, then called a taxi! While out, we twerked, drank more drinks and took more shots than we should have, and did a damn good job of being hype-men for whomever we pleased. With  five days blocked out, there was plenty of time for sleeping in and nap time.

Let your hair down, order the extra drink, take the shot and dance like nobody is looking! What happens on vacation stays there…well kind of, social media has blurred those lines a little. But, there is no crime in wilding out every once in a while.

Expect the unexpected (and still have fun)!

Photo by: CreateHer Stock

When we finally arrived to our destination, all I wanted to do was freshen up and lay down for hot second, but, of course, our room wasn’t ready. Then, a few days into the trip, someone came down with a stomach virus. Inconvenient? Yes, but we didn’t allow those moments to ruin the entire trip.

Hurry up and wait is definitely a thing during travel. Flight delays, long lines, getting sick, and hotel rooms not being available until check-in are inevitable, so make the best of it. In most cases, your significant other is the only person you might inconvenience on a trip. The rest of the group will find their way and make the best of the situation. Yes, everyone will wish you well with hopes of you getting well or ready soon, but the show will go on. When things are more under control or you start feeling better,  hop on the party train and enjoy your time.

 

Hair Extravaganza at The Texas Intern’l Hair & Trade Show

I attended my first Texas Hair Shows’ International Hair Show, the Texas International Hair and Trade Show, this year. And I have to admit that I must have been living under a rock for the last sixteen years, because the show was amazing! I’ve attended hair expos in the past, so I had a general idea of what to expect as far as the set up, vendor booths, and class breakouts. But I had absolutely no clue what to expect nor what I was in store for during the America’s Next Top Stylist Competition/Hair Battle and other competitions!

favorite finds

From classes, to live demos,  to vendors, if you have any interest in the beauty industry there was something there to benefit you. The exhibition hall hosted a variety of vendors, a main stage, and Barber’s Island; a stage set exclusively for barbers to showcase their work live on stage! The vendors ranged from hair & body product manufacturers to jewelry and fashion. Mocca Cosmetics and Pretty Girl Pillow were in the house. I also spotted all natural, organic and handmade products from Like Second Nature and Unique & Natural!

let’s get it started

As the vendors shut down for the night, the crowd shifted to the ballroom of the convention center and the mood changed drastically. The lights were low, the music was bumping, and the stage was set center to two large projection screens. K104’s Dede McGuire of DeDe in the Morning and actor/model, heartthrob, Christian Keyes opened the show and introduced the opening act, Dooney da Barber.

The performance was followed by the presentation of the Ultimate Groomer Award. Diana Fowlks crowned, or better you could say cloaked, Marcus (Tipp) Mitchell  with an Ultimate Groomer bomber jacket! Up next were the Souljahs Steppers. These young men killed their performance, and had a cheering squad like no other!

Our hosts for the evening were the beautiful Michelle Barber, and Glynn Jackson. Glynn kept me in stitches with quick-witted, comical antics throughout the night. The battle was a fist-pumping, edge of your seat, you betta work, yaaasssss type of production. The pressure was on, as the contestants were first critiqued by Tracy Jones, Anita Hawkins, and KC Fox. Then judged by a host of industry giants: Zerlene Rogers, Keya Neal, Dave Raye, Hair Majesty, and Texas T.

I’ve seen hair battles on TV before, but being in the room and feeling the energy of this show was amazing. I loved every minute of it!

There were twelve creative and innovative competitors with industry experience ranging from five to twenty-plus years, all competing for a Grand Prize of five thousand dollars! Each stylist showcased their skills through themed performances ranging from African Safari’s to The Great Gatsby. I had a great time the entire time, and as the millennials would say, “It was LIT AF!”

This year’s Grand Prize winner was Toni Ancher from Spoil ‘Em Rotten salon in Waco, Texas. Toni’s Toy Story Hair Tale brought down the house! It was colorful, had insane energy, and she showed off her skills from natural to fantasy hairstyles.  Toni left us in awe -she shut it down!

Loc Love

Sunday night’s festivities were fun, fully of energy and long, but I couldn’t miss Monday’s Loc Competition and I didn’t.  All five contestants had dope loc-styles. I’m always delighted to see locs on a platform showcasing their versatility and beauty.

Beautiful Braids

And while everyone isn’t quite ready for the commitment required for locs, we can all get down with braids and corn rows! The braid competition was fit for a queen, the styles were majestic mixed with some ‘around the way’ vibes.

I also had the opportunity to see the Fantasy Hair Competition and the Cosmetology School Competition. Another display of talent and innovation that left me wowed.

All I can say is that I’m kicking myself for all the other shows that I missed. This may have been my first time attending the Texas International Hair Show, but it will not be my last! Follow Texas Hair Shows on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what’s happening next!

Wheels Up!

We are slightly into the second half of 2017 and I have no complaints. God had blessed me, my family and friends alike. Phone calls report good news, goals reached, and the squad is stepping out on faith with blessing two -fold. I made a conscious decision to grab the bull by the horns this year and go to it. 
As with all things, when there are ups there will be downs. I did go through a couple of months of feeling stuck in a rut, and experienced some emotions that I can’t say I’ve ever felt before.
Have you ever felt like running to the edge of a cliff and screaming until the sound disappeared? That’s where I was at. However, in the midst of my disparity I was comforted, because I knew that I was in a state of growth and this was yet another storm that I would have to overcome. 
I am blessed to have mentors who pour into me. I also have a praying mother, and a therapist who doesn’t mince words with me. So seeking council is never an issue. 
I allowed myself time to experience the emotions I was feeling at the time. I took some time to clear my mind, and took some time for selfcare. I’m in a much better place, and happy to be moving forward.
Work-life balance for momprenuers is a juggling act, it’s a lot of work, requires sacrifices, but it’s what we thrive on, and we would not trade our passions for the world. And in the same breath, all the hard work, and time and attention we put into everything and everyone else is deserving of coming full circle for us . And by full circle I mean VACATION! 

We’ve had this vacation planned for months and I am elated that the time has finally come. Hubby and I burned rubber getting our girls to their grandparents house. My plans include late nights and “Did we sleep through breakfast?” mornings. You can definitely call me an Island Gal for the next couple days, and I can’t wait to tour the city with my new Sony a6000! 


And I got my people with me! 


This weekend is going to be one for the books. To stay up to date with my vacation, follow me on social media (links available at the bottom of the Home page)!

The Black Bridal Experience Fashion Show

Our Weddings Magazine is a bridal lifestyle magazine that excluIsively promotes the Black bride and the Black groom. Its Publisher, Ivy McCain (BLI Publishing) saw a need for the uplifting of Black love and marriageafter hearing several youth state that Black people don’t get married. McQuain immediately began working to create a vehicle to remind the world that Black marriages and Black love is real and a staple in the community across the world. She put out a call to action and created a team of industry professionals to help her execute the vision from the very first issue. Janean Wadley, editor and owner of Forever Yes Weddings, and Shellye Lyons, social media director and owner of Your Media Girl have worked tirelessly since day one. Our Weddings Magazine initially released a sneak peak issue in Southern Dallas County Magazine in its June 2014 issue and later debuted full independent issues in June 2015.

Our Weddings exclusively showcases Black love and community, which sets it apart from the rest. Our Weddings is providing tangible proof that our daughters and sons have every right to  vision love and nuputals on grand scale. They are disapproving the stereotype that “Black people don’t get married” and that, Black people, as any other socio-economical class are more than a troth of baby mamas and baby daddies.

Not only does Our Weddings exclusively showcase Black couples and weddings, it promotes Black designers, event planners, and vendors within the wedding industry.  Our Weddings celebrated its one year anniversary in June 2016 by hosting its contributors to brides-to-be at the Hilton Inn in Duncanville. This year McQuain and her team decided to make the event larger and highlight more Black wedding vendors; thus The Black Bridal Experience, a two-day showcase of designer wedding fashion, wedding planners, and vendors. The extravaganza was held at the Manderley in DeSoto, Texas and was on Friday, June 23 through Saturday, June 24.

I had the pleasure The Black Bridal Experience Fashion Show. It was exquisite and oh-so fabulous! Backstage prep filled me with excitement and anticipation for the show to start. Once the show started, I fell in love with being in love all over again. By the time the show was over,  I’d decided on a 10 year vowel renewal, picked a location, decided on my dress, bridesmaids and junior bride dresses! Wadley did an amazing job ensuring everything ran smoothly and everyone was well taken care of.

Designs by @masterpiece_boutique_ , @thefashionopera@faith.diva, @martaruizdesigns, @whiteweddingworkroom, and @pantorabridal from Brooklyn, New York. ripped the runway.The gowns featured in this show were the embodiment of Queening and absolutely stunning.

Backstage Preperations

Hair whipping and face painting are a must for the runway.

Designers busy fitting the best look on each model, ensuring perfection and adding finishing touches  up until the very last second – it’s a beautiful storm to stand back and watch.

As the dust begins to settle, attention is given to even the slightest details and there’s just enough time snap a few pictures before showtime!

Showtime

The room was was dim, with the spotlight  focused on the runway. We sat in anticipation for the show to start, and when it did the room filled with ooh’s and ahh’s. The ladies moved strategically,  and with grace and elegance.

The after party!

Following the show designer @stephengoudeau displayed four breath taking gowns in the courtyard, and VIP guests spoke one-on-one with the designers while enjoying light hor d’evour’s and cocktails.

More details about The Black Bridal Experience weekend will be in the next issue of Our Weddings Magazine. If you are a bride, know a bride, or are dreaming of being a bride and find yourself coming up short on  wedding inspiration that speaks to your inner Queen, then subscribe to Our Weddings Magazine and be sure to follow on Instagram and Facebook!

Meet Me at The Show -The Texas International Hair & Trade Show!

There is a buzz around town, and it’s all about The Texas International Hair & Trade Show! All stylists and beauty industry lovers are welcomed! 2017 marks its 17th annual production. The show is Sunday and Monday, June 25 – 26, with a kick-off party Saturday, June 24th, that you do not want to miss!

Party of the year!

The TEXAS INTERNATIONAL HAIR SHOW Kickoff Party is going down at Akoi Lounge 13465 Inwood Rd (directly across from the Galleria Mall). A-list stylists, barbers, makeup artistS, fashion designers, models, socialites, and bloggers will be in the building for this birthday bash, meet and greet, kick-off party!

Birthday bash?  Yass! Miss “Success Anyone?” herself, Cratina Webb (Girl Talk Salon and Spa’s CEO, and Texas Hair Show director) is the birthday girl, so you know it’s going to be a  Gemini/Cancer TAKE OVER!

After the show is the…You know the rest, but after this party, ‘gon-on to the house and rest up, because Sunday and Monday are both full of events, competitions, and the latest and greatest in International Hair!

The show

Celebrity guests include: Christian Keyes, K104’s Dede in the Morning Show team, Big Bad D, Tracy Jones, Zerlene Rogers and more…..

  • Education! Color classes, natural hair classes, barber classes, nail classes, and business classes! Learn how to start and or grow your business.
  • Live demos from the most sought after, influential stylists in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.
  • Vendors! Get in on the cool fashion finds your stylist rocks.
  • THE HAIR BATTLE! It’s live and the absolute most  exciting part of the show!

This WILL be the greatest show in TIHTS history!

YOU ARE WELCOMED!

Cleary, the show’s main focus is bringing the latest, most innovated products and techniques to professionals (and y’all already have those tickets purchased, I’m sure). However, the general public is welcomed as well! Now, we aren’t privy to everything, but we are welcomed to enjoy,  all  show events and competitions. So, if you have hair, had hair, love hair and the industry in general, GET YOUR TICKET TODAY! Pull your best and most comfy outfit out, whip your hair, and beat your face, cause we are in that thang y’all!

contact info

Tickets are available through EventBrite. Find out more about TIHTS via Facebook (FB Texas Hair Show Media Group), InstagramTwitter, email INFO@TEXASHAIRSHOWS.COM or TEXASHAIRSHOWS.COM, or by phone at 903-926-7211 or 972-322-6996!

Photo Gallery

Enjoy a peek of what’s in store from last year’s shows!

 

Pretty Girl Pillow

Pretty Girl Pillow, curated and founded by Ashley Turner in April 2017. Yes, girl April! Yes, girl it’s only June, but, when God puts a fabulous, innovative new product on your heart you do what He says, and get it on the market!

it was all a dream

Pretty Girl Pillow is literally a dream come true for its founder and curator, Ashley Turner. The inspiration came in a dream. Like most of us, Ashley has grown tired of spending so much money on maintenance just to end up having time, money, and efforts wasted by the next day from sleeping on traditional pillows.

out with the old

Traditional pillows smash, cause breakage, and absorb oils from the hair. They damage eyelash extensions, decrease extensions or tabs. Pretty Girl Pillow is a custom shaped satin covered cushion that preserves your pretty while you sleep. Get a full night’s sleep without compromising your hair, eyelash extensions, or comfort level.

in with the new

The PGP has a satin cover which is designed to accommodate your neck and shoulder areas. The pillow’s design props you up so you’re not resting on the bed allowing you to get a full night’s rest. PGP is a custom, handmade, U-shaped pillow. It has a removable cover, and washable assembly (wash on cold, dry on low).

It is a little bigger than a travel pillow, but still small enough to travel with, and comes with a tote for storage. You can sleep on either side of it, and it’s made to accommodate side and back sleepers. It can also be manipulated to your desires.

It comes in six colors: Serenity (Teal), Tangy (Coral), Royalty (Purple), Fiyah (Red), Candi (Pink), and Stormy (Black), and retails for $39.99.

Within one month of her visionary dream, Pretty Girl Pillow had been designed and on the assembly line. In less than two months, PGP launched and is now available for purchase -no games played, and no time wasted.

love it

I love the feel of satin against my skin, and the texture and weight of the pillow are heavenly. As a naturalista, loc wearer, the pillow helps to preserve moisture by not stripping and absorbing all the oils from my hair. It also helps in preventing lint from getting stuck in my locs.

I spend a lot of time lounging at home, and use my PGP throughout the day as well. I usually walk in and immediately throw my hair into a ponytail, or throw on my bonnet. Sexy, right? With my PGP I’m able to leave my hair down and uncovered while relaxing. PGP takes snuggling up with a good book up a notch. It’s a great head rest, and allows me to be comfy and cute. I’ve caught my husband lounging with my PGP more times than he’ll want me to disclose.

While we’re on the topic of husbands and significant others, here is a little nugget for those of you who may be curious. Yes, girl you can use it for THAT too! It’s designed to accommodate your neck and shoulder area, won’t smash your hair, and won’t damage your lashes. Got it? No? Then I’ll be blunt. Use it during sex, it’s great (thank Ashley later)!

Another one of my best experiences with PGP happened the night I had my hair rolled on perm-rods. I had over sixty rollers in my hair, and the plan was to wear them overnight. PGP came through! Of course, the bottom row of rollers were a pain, but this was my first experience sleeping in perm-rods that didn’t end with me getting little to no sleep.

I use my PGP every night. So much so, that it also serves as a decorative pillow on my bed when not in use, and my children know that when I say, “Go get my pillow.”  that I want my PGP.

The Launch!

The Pretty Girl Pillow launch party took place on June 3rd 2017 at The Beauty Lab Salon in Arlington Texas. Light hors d’oeuvres were served. Terelyn Freeney kept the cocktails rolling, and we mingled and grooved to the sounds formulated by Dallas DJ’s, DJ Madd Scientist and DJ 50 Grand.

Being in the house for the PGP launch came with perks! Upon entry, guests received tickets that landed grand prizes in the laps of two lucky winners. Angela Bell won a Pretty Girl Pillow, and Zerontrea McCullough won 6 months of credit repair from BK Credit Consultants.

Lady Jade was also in the building, showing support, and mixing and mingling it up with the crowd.

Pretty Girl Pillow will definitely pique your interest when you see it online, but seeing, touching, feeling, and experiencing Pretty Girl Pillow in person is unmatched.

Bonnets were being ditched left and right, and Pretty Girl Pillows were flying off the shelf.

Great product, grand prizes, good music and good company are always a great time. If you missed the launch party, do not fret! Pretty Girl Pillow is available at www.prettygirlpillow.com and you can stay in-the-know with Pretty Girl Pillow on Instagram @prettygirlpillow.

Photo Gallery

 

 

Arlington’s International Folk Art Festive Weekend

The University of Arlington hosted the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market at Arlington July 16- July 17, 2017, a charity event benefiting the International Folk Art Alliance. This event was a cultural enthusiast’s dream! The IFAM featured goods from artists from around the wold, most alongside the artist responsible for creating them! From Friday night’s All White Soiree to Saturday’s action packed family friendly day of fun -this event, and it’s featured artists, is one to stay ‘in the know’ about.

The Artists

It was a pleasure to meet and speak with some of the artists about their works and the inspiration behind them. Many of the artists’ craftsmanship was handed down to them through generations. There were assistants or family members of the artists who also had first hand experiences and involvement with the creations we admired.

Roots of South Sudan

The Roots project was founded in 2009 by South Sudanese Human Rights Activists, Anyieth D’Wol. ROOTS of South Sudan is a independent, women-led project located in Juba, South Sudan that consists of 55 members (women), from 15 Sudanese tribes. Pictured above is Pam McKulka, Anyith’s mother-in-kaw, adorned in a Dinka corset. These beaded corsets are worn by young women in the tribe, who are announcing their readiness for candidates for marriage.  This piece was crafted by Mary Padar. Read more about her and the other Women’s Stories HERE.

Muhayo Aliyeva

 

Muhayo Aliyeva is the founder, photo & fashion artist of Bibi Hanum who has been designing since 2006. There’s a 32-step intensive, handwoven process involved in creating the beautiful Ikat fabric that served as her fashion inspiration. She explained the wow factor of seeing a pattern go from being a drawing to a beautiful creation.

Amna Shariff

Amna Shariff has been handcrafting jewelry for over a decade. Her inspirations for becoming a designer were to learn a craft that she could do with her own hands, and to revive the use of silver jewelry in Pakistan. She recalled her grandmother and the women in that generation having a lot of silver jewelry, but noticing that they wore more gold.

Anna learned the traditional techniques of working with silver, and included a more contemporary look to her designs for ease of wear. She also told me that she absolutely loves being a designer and looks forward to designing for years to come!

Candra Day

Candra Day spoke about handmade scarves from Kyrgyzstan, by artist Aidai who has been making scarves for about 15 years. The  textile is made of handwoven silk, and wool felt. The material is felted together, which means there is no stitching involved at all!

 

The Soiree

Attendees of Friday night’s all white Soiree enjoyed the rhythmic, soothing sounds of live music, cocktails, and delicious cuisine bites by an on-site Chef. It was a typical, nearly summer, hot and humid night in Texas, but guests cooled down with popsicles from Max Frut. It was a grand time!

 

Family fun for everyone

In addition to the Folk Art, Saturday was action packed with a host of performances from various traditions across the globe. Some of the entertainment included the following.

African Drumming with Baba Kwasi
Neenah and Miabella from The Flying Carpet
Hoa Dao Lion and Dragon Dance
Miyagi-Ryu Nosho-Kai Dance School

 

Photo Gallery