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)!

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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!

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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.

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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

 

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Greatness Within -10 Shades Of Success

I attended the 4th Annual 10 Shades of Success Gala in Dallas TX. 10 Shades of Success was founded by Dallas’ own Meko Krout and Karen Michelle, whose mission, through 10  Shades of Success, is to bring forth influential, empowering and successful women; utilizing their involvement in the community to generate awareness towards charitable initiatives. The vision is to become one of the most successful, leading example women organizations within the Dallas sector to raise a generous amount of funds to donate to a non-profit organization and impact the message of charity.

Photo by: Nikki G Productions

Getting the call

I received notification of tickets being available for me in the eleventh hour.  My allergies and sinuses were out of control, and, to be honest, I just haven’t been in the best headspace lately. Doubt and insecurities set in and my original thought was to pass. But, if you know me, then you know that I never pass on an opportunity to get full-on glam. Plus, this year has been Godspeed, so I knew there had to be a reason the opportunity became available for me, so I decided to rest as long as I could and take full advantage of it. My friend, Jaquithia, Let’s Start Giving Foundation, served as my plus one -shout out to her for showing up and showing out on such short notice.

 

The honorees

10 Shades of Success has created a platform of inclusion. Representation matters, even for adults. We see women receive awards and recognition all the time, and we sit on our hands in anticipation of honorees that represent us. There is always usually that one ‘fly in the glass of milk’, and we are grateful for her, but there is still a disproportionate number of women of color completely overlooked. There is a force of women of color who are out on the front lines, sacrificing themselves and time with their families to serve the (our) community, and they, just like everyone else, deserve recognition. There were ten honorees: Dr. Omai Karathrobei Kofi, Tristen Paige, Dr. Estrelita Bruce, Elizabeth Navarrette Savage, LaToya Jones, KJ Bland, Dr. Faith Oliver, Dr. Stacia Henderson Alexander, Jocelyn Ja’Net Willis, and Lady Jade. Each left a nugget of inspiration and motivation upon accepting their award.  

Photo by: BandRi TV

keynote betta’ say that!

Dr. Regina Spellmon, the keynote speaker, delivered a powerful message of steadfastness when faced with obstacles and oppression.  She explained the importance of perseverance, because trouble doesn’t last always! It touched me beyond words, I held back the ugly cry. Before speaking, she told us that she purposely removed all the scriptures she’d originally wrote down to use within her delivery, and let me tell you, we would have had CHURCH up in that building if she hadn’t. We almost had it anyway, honey she did not come to play with us!  

well entertained

 Letitica Owens and Fred Thomas win-hands down as the host and hostess with the mostest. How often do you have hosts who make you laugh to the point of tears, promote selfie taking, AND perform? The DJ turned it out! I’m learning that when DJ Dr. Mack is on the 1’s and 2’s my seat better have strong legs, or it’s gonna be empty, because he knows how to rock a house.  

black excellence, opulence

Style and grace, an overwhelming theme for the night. I felt proud and honored to be amongst such poised women in my community. Tangible, down to earth women who pour their strength and love into my community. The night was nothing short of Black Excellence, and I have heard that next year’s 10 Shades of Success will be a 3-day event! I cannot wait, but until then, I will tap into the greatness in me that I was so eloquently reminded has been with me since conception!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date Night Creepin’

My husband and I couldn’t let Spring Bring pass by without a date night. If you’re a parent,  then you know how easily plans can change.

The children were slotted to be with my parents, so we made plans for a date night with a ‘lil swag’. My plan was to come home from work and get casually cute. We’d head out to Trinity Grove, hold hands and walk around until the vibe lead us to a spot. We’d have dinner, a couple of drinks; and I’d twirl my fingers through my hair,  laugh, and childishly giggle at my husband’s corny jokes. I’d close out dinner with some freakish fantasy promise to my husband, then we’d take the scenic route home and have loud, mind blowing sex until we both fell out.

[INSERT REALITY] The children are dropped off at my parents. The baby gets sick and within a half an hour of being dropped off, I receive a text to be on standby because I may need to pick her up. Now my heart is heavy and I’m dealing with conflicting emotions. Should I just go get my daughter ,or continue putting effort into making time to be alone with my husband, at the risk of having your plans interrupted by a trip to the ER. I was determined to have date night with my boo, so I didn’t mention the text to him.

By the time I got off work he’d texted me letting me know he was hitting the gym, and would meet me at home a little later. I took advantage of the alone time and grabbed a nap. My husband woke me up with a loud yelp. Bragging about how he’d skipped the gym, and, instead, delighted himself in dessert and four Long Island Ice Teas at the bar. It took a few seconds for me to realize exactly what he’d said and what was going on, just enough time for my phone to ring -you guessed it! My parents are on the line, and I can hear my baby sulking and crying in the background. They’re explaining to me that she won’t eat anything and just wants to be held. So I did what any caring and loving parent would do.  I asked if she was she bleeding, had a fever, and did they have any form of medicine for comfort. Then suggested giving her a popsicle to calm her down. The popsicle suggestion worked, so I told them to call me back if things got worse and she wasn’t able to get comfortable.

The girls and I went out of town the first five days of the break. So my husband and I hadn’t really seen one another and we were looking forward to date night. Time alone and away from the house is something we really needed, so we took a chance and went for it. We stayed close to home since the baby was sick, and I decided to be daring. I had not one, but two Coconut mojitos -my new favorite drink. It’s just the right combination of sweet and tangy, with a splash of refreshment for me. We both also decided to try items off the menu that we hadn’t had before. To switch things up a little, you know.

I don’t know how you and your spouse entertain yourselves while out. But me and mine take pleasure in drumming up the love stories of other couples and families that we see while out. I’m a lightweight, so I was good an tipsy by the time I finished my first drink. I may have embarrassed my love and myself a time or two by the time I finished the second drink.

Long story short, dinner was great and we had a wonderful time. We made it home and crashed until my parents called us early the next morning.  We weren’t able to have a lavish night on the town, but we were able to spend a few hours of quality time together and it was great while it lasted (especially the sleep)!

What risks have you taken, as a parent, to ensure quality time with your spouse?

 

Best Friend

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Photo by Le_Choyce Photography

I’m no expert,  I can’t sprawl off what percentage of people settle into adulthood in their mid-thirties. But, I do find myself settling into adulthood now,  in my mid-thirties. The journey hasn’t been pleasant or comfortable for me the entire time, but I’ve learned so much about myself.  I knew that I’d settled into adulthood when I was able to appreciate myself as a whole. That means that I’ve come to a place in life where I can embrace my flaws,  weaknesses and strengths, and not feel as though I  to have to prove anything other than those personal truths as facts for ME.

While it’s easy to look at others and pick apart their situation,  it’s not easy to look within and pick yourself apart. I owe my ability to do that to my best friend (BFB). My BFB is an intelligent person, quick witted, physically and mentally strong, self aware, humorous, and gentle. BFB is dependable and trustworthy as well.

I have to be honest and say that it took some time for BFB and myself to finally make it click, over time we have and I’m happy for that. I learned a lot about myself in the midst of learning BFB. I’ve lost the need to feel in control of BFB’s emotions, reactions, and perspective on things, taken a step back and allow BFB to just be. Stepping back is easy, but it took time to (and I can admit that at times I still struggle with) not forcing my expectations on BFB.

It’s ok for us to be different, it’s great that our differences compliment each other so well.

And, as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve turned into “THAT WOMEN” the one who is completely content socializing, traveling, or just everyday being with BFB. I have been known to refer to BFB as my own personal personal person. (I mean, how more grand can life be….a personal person, come on!!)
Yes, I’m talking about my homie, my love, lover, ace, friend, my best friend, my HUSBAND!

In my defense, I’m not attached at the hip with BFB, we both enjoy life as the individuals we are. But like the song says “I’m a movement by myself. But, I’m a force when we’re together.” 😆 Married life, it’s the best thing since fried chicken. (For me)

I don’t say all this with the intent of painting the perfect lil blue sky, sunny day, never a cloudy day picture. There are definitely daily annoyances that occur (in any relationship between 2 or more people living together) in our marriage. We pick our battles. I mean -is him putting the spoon for the maccaroni and cheese in the green beans REALLY worth it? On the occasion that I’m just in a “not up for it today” mood, I try to bring it up in as a joking a way as I can. 😇

Marriage is something that has to be worked at on a daily basis. It takes time and effort from both parties to learn how to live in a cohesive and loving environment. Once you figure it out, life gets good!

I may not have a long list of girlfriends to call on, like back in High School. But, I have a guy who is my shoulder to lean and cry on, my personal comedian, chef, driver, travel planner, lover, companion, praying partner and most of all, he’s my best friend!

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Carried a key…Karaoke

My travel day seemed to take forever, it was wonderful to finally land in Punta Cana.

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We had to sit idle on the runway for maybe 15 minutes. Afterwards we were escorted off the plane and shuttled off to Customs.

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Image the horror that consumed me while standing in line to clear customs, when I realized that I had no cash on hand. Luckily, I’ve traveled enough to know that I had to remain as calm as possible. Becoming frantic in that situation would only have made things worse. But, not having cash actually helped me get through customs with a breeze.  I got to skip past all the lines and was escorted to the Currency Exchange Station.

My next challenge was finding the travel booth with the information for my shuttle ride to the resort. I, again, found myself in a panic. The employees at the airport spoke very little English, add a heavy accent to that and….yeah, I got nothing.

I felt a better when I realized that, even though I don’t speak Spanish, there were people strategically place throughout the air port to ensure we got to the right place.

There were two stops before mine on the shuttle ride to the resort. By the time we got to the Hard Rock I was tired and couldn’t find much excitement. I’m lying, I was excited at the thought of ordering room service, a drink, and laying down for a while.

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The resort was massive and beautiful. My roommates met me in the lobby and took me on a brief tour of the main building. There were bars, clubs, a mini mall, and a variety of eateries to enjoy.

The day of traveling had me pretty beat, my roommates (who arrived about 3 hours before me) were feeling good from cocktails but ready for some rest as well.

We ordered a light meal from room service, took naps, showered and headed out for more drinks and more fun.

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We found ourselves at the Sun (Karaoke) Bar and I was introduced to a drink made with honey, red wine, rum, and herbs. It’s called Mamajuana…. and Mama is one smooth tasting bad girl! After my first three shots I decided to make Mama my drink for the night.

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After my 8th or 10th shot (like seriously, I lost count) the hostess shoved a microphone in my hand and I found myself belting out the lyrics to ‘Someone Like You’, then doubled as the hype man for my fellow karaoke singers.

We had a good time that night!