Friday, April 27, 2012


Ms. India's Arie's song I am not my hair was a huge popular song, I guess because finally someone was breave enough not only to sing we don't have to be a slave to conformity of our hair but she was living what she was singing about! We are Not our hair or are we?

It's a beautiful Friday morning and I wake up thinking of all the things I need to do.  Lately, I've been going through some sort of emotional battle as to what I should do to and with my hair.  I know you're thinking is it really that serious.  Well many of you know our hair is our glory! We spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on our hair.  I know at one time I was a slave to what we call creamy crack (perm cream) well I haven't permed my hair in over ten years. 

Here's my story; At one time I had locs they were long and beautiful but I began to get bored with them and could not decide whether I wanted to keep them or not.  It had taken me years to decide to finally loc my hair.  Everytime I saw someone with locs I would think how beautiful they were.  When I finally made the decision and started the locs it was a journey unlike any other.  I believe and this is nothing personal to anyone, but I don't think the begining stage is attractive on women especially on me. No matter what I wore or did I felt like the ugly ducking until my locs were long enough to put into a small ponytail. Now one would imagine that after lusting after other peoples locs one would not cut her hair after going thru the ugly stage, but noooooooooo not me.  What do I do I cut them!  I know i'm a lunatic.  Several family members and friends tried to talk me out of it but I didn't listen and that was a huge mistake.  I was sooooooooo miserable after I cut them I felt like someone had cut off my strength yes I'm thinking Sampson! lol

Well for some people nothing teaches them better than experience.  So here I go through the second go-round of locking my hair.  This time around I may trim them at some point or have them cut into a style but I think locs are my hair soulmate, like some women's hair soulmate is braids, or perm.  After so many years of perming my hair never had I felt so beautiful and such a connection as when I had my locs. 

Now as with anything in life everything is not for everyone. So going natural is not for everyone just as much as much as using a perm is not for everyone.  Whatever it is you choose to do, Be you! Be Beautiful!  Find your hair soulmate.

Whatever you decide you are not your hair!

Hugs and Blessings, Val

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I don't know about you, but all the information on vitamins, what's good for us and what's not is over whelming. What's a diva too do?  I try my best to eat right and exercise(cough cough).  Now while I may not be as diligent with exercising, I am a stickler for taking vitamins.  Despite the old adage "good black don't crack"  Neglecting my health is not an option. 

Often times we as women  give to everyone and everything until we are completely spent!  As we mature we are so drained and tired our health begins to fade!  That's unacceptable.  So in an effort to educate myself and hopefully you as well.  I've been researching the benefits of vitamins.

There are several vitamins that are considered great for the skin. Vitamins A, C and E they are all known as antioxidants.  Other vitamins that benefit the skin are the B complex vitamins, to ward off stress on the skin.

Vitamin A also know as retinol increases skin turnover, let's face it we all want to age gracefully and not end up looking like the crypt keeper! LOL Vitamin A encourages immature skin cells to mature and come to the surface as new, fresh skin cells, which is why it is used in many of the anti aging products on the market.  If you have dull, dry, drab looking skin it might be due to slow skin cell turnover.

So ladies get that Vitamin A working for you.

Here's a list of the top 10 foods with vitamin A

Liver - turkey liver provides the most vitamin A
Paprika, Red Pepper, Cayenne and Chili Powder all provide Vitamin A
Dried Herbs
Sweet Potato
Dark Leafy Greens
Dried Apricot

Let's get healthy inside and out!

Monday, April 23, 2012

You had it, You lost it, Now it's time to get it back!

I woke up this morning with soooooo much on my mind. I thought ok today is Marvelous Motivational Monday, what could I possibly share with my family, friends, viewers and the world today. I had nothing, zero, zilch! I was blank! So what do I do? I pull up you tube and search for music that would feed my mind and soul. Whhhhhhhhhha laa! (is that how you spell it?) lol anyway the creative juices started to flow.  Someone posted on fb a picture of one of my old Pastor's he was a great man and founder of a church I grew up in.  One of his most memorable messages was "You had it, You lost it, now You need to get it back".  I'm sure I've touched on this topic before but it is certainly work addressing again and maybe again down the line. 
At one time or another in our lives most of us have had dreams, great big lofty dreams.  Dreams to be successful in a particular career, dreams of being in love, dreams of owing a home, or a business, dreams of being a parent the list goes on and on.  Some where along the road called life events, people, circumstances either delayed those dreams or snatch them away all together.

So my motiviational word to you does not stop at you had a dream or that you lost the dream it is now it's time to get it back.  What do we need to do to reclaim our dreams? If  you've already reclaimed them then it's time to go a step further and makes those dreams a reality.

Having a dream is the easy part, turning those dreams into a reality is something entirely different but many a successful people can testify to the fact that they've accomplished their dreams. 

But wait! let me back track for a second, when was the last time you've had a great dream? What did you dream of?  Is that dream attainable? What would you need to obtain the dream?  Take a minute or two or three and ask yourself those questions.

Age, Race, Sex none of those things matters to a dream. No matter what your station is in life you can always dream. In fact, dreams at times are the only things keeping us from falling all to pieces.

The beautiful thing about dreams is that you can be, go, say and do whatever you choose to do.   find a quiet peaceful place, close your eyes, breathe nice and deep allow your body to relax.  Go ahead and dream.  You had it! You lost it...................... Hello Dream welcome back!

Hugs and Blessings, Val

Friday, April 20, 2012


Let's just cut right to the chase! Are you happy with the image you see in the mirror?  There is soooooo much mixed information regarding women's body image.  The fashion industry for years would have us believe that to be beautiful you needed to look like a candidate for feed the children.  On top of that we needed to have straight hair and blue eyes (clutch the pearls) oh no she didn't! Yes I said it. LOL as time goes on things are changing.  We still have a ways to go but I can see a lot more women in the fashion industry that resemble me an African American woman than we would have seen years ago.  What is even more beautiful is we are seeing more and more woman embrace their natural beauty from head to toe.  Now don't get me wrong, I love make up just as much as the next diva, but make up or not if you're not comfortable in your own natural skin makeup won't change a thing.

Recently there was a story on aol news stating that African American women had more confidence in their bodies than our counterparts well duh!  There's an old expression that says don't nothing want a bone but a dog!  What we were naturally born with, people are paying top dollar to have. Lips full of collegen, booty implants, breast implants, etc.

So if you are not happy with your body image you need to do something to change that. No one or nothing can make you feel better about your body. I've shared my story of having gastric bypass surgery, part of the reason was I was so unhappy with my body and my image, the bigger reason however was I didn't want my parents to loose another child due to a heart attach which is how we lost my only sister at the tender age of 40.

At the time of my surgery I was exactly 100lbs over weight that was ridiculous! At 5'4 I had no business walking around with all that extra weight and I was miserable, tired and in pain physcially, emotionally and mentally.

We all sang and swayed when Michael J. encouraged us to change the world by starting with the Man in the mirror.

Today I am healthy and definitely happier. I like the woman I see in the mirror and when I don't I do what I feel I need to change things until I am happy.

In this second stage of my life, I am very happy with my body. I love my natural hair, my full lips, the curve of my hips. I'm not starving myself so I can look like a starving woman from a third world country wearing juicy couture!

Val's Fashion Friday Fav!  Ladies if you don't want or can't afford to buy retail store brand makeup there is a great lower cost makeup line called Milani. You can find the brand in your local cvs, walgreens and walmart stores. It's beautiful makeup at a fraction of the cost of designer name brand makeup.

Hugs and Blessings, Val

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Before I begin let me make my disclaimer I am  not an excercise guru of any kind, nor am I a doctor or even a personal trainer.  I am just a woman on a journey and I would love to take everyone with me.  So I share as much of myself as possible.  I don't know much about yoga, but I have heard some good things about it in fact enough good things that I've been considering trying it.  Back in 2005 just before I moved to Virginia, I was in a serious car accident.  A driver ran a stop sign and it my car.  It hit my car so hard, it made my little car jump the curb and wedged into the hedges of a home.  The fire department had to cut me out of the vehicle.  Now the good news and believe it or not there is some good news to it!  I am still here. The not so good news is that I sustained several herniated disc which causes me pain and stiffness in my upper shoulders, neck and back.  The doctors told me there was nothing that could be done, it's something I will have to live with it. So I have really thought about trying it. 

I read a great article from Heart and Soul magazine that list some of the benefits of Yoga.  No matter what you choose to do studies have confirmed that people who exercise tend to live longer.  Excercise has not only caused people to loose weight but it has also helped people who are on medications become free of medication.

So ladies it's time to find our stride, with some sort of exercise be it, walking, running, zumba, weight training etc.  A healthy body is a happy, sexy body!
Hugs and Blessings, Val

Monday, April 16, 2012

Do You REALLY Know How Blessed You Are?

One day last week I was watching tv, the show was about a real murder mystery only it wasn't such a mystery.  The story was about a Father of a young woman from another country who felt she had dishonored her family  and religious belief.  The Father sat in his truck and waited for his daughter who was no longer living with the family.  When she came outside of a government building he knew she was in he drove his truck hitting her as well as her aunt.  The Aunt, his sister-in-law sustained injuries but his daughter unfortunately, died.  Not only was I horrified and saddened by the story it made me think and appreciate how blessed I was to be born and live in the United States.  I could not even begin to think what it would be like to be apart of a family or a culture that does not allow me to be who I am and want to be.

This past weekend was fabulous, my Auntie and Uncle along with two of my cousins came for a visit from New York.  They came down on Saturday and left Sunday.  Although it was a short visit I was so happy to see them and spend time with them.  The only drawback to the visit was unfortunately my Auntie got was very sick.  She believed it was from something she ate when she stopped at a rest stop on her way down to VA.  Sunday morning she was feeling much better.  Something she said really resonated with me.  She said I feel much better, thank God I don't feel like this all the time.

We began to talked about my Dad and how very sick he is and how with all of his ailments, he is still here with us and he doesn't complain.  My dad has been very sick for the past few years. last March he was so sick we really didn't think he would make it out of the hospital, but thanks be to God he survived.

Every day I watch him slowly move through the house with an oxygen tube he has to have 24 hours a day.  He also has to do a breathing treatment 3 times a day and he has to have dialysis 3 days a week.  My Father is my hero.  He worked for the EMS/FDNY for 40 years and retired 6 months after 9/11.   A man who was once tall, healthy and strong, is now a shell of his former self due to his illnesses.   When he comes home from dialysis he is so week he can barely walk and needs help doing something as simple as taking his coat or jacket off!

Seeing my dad weak and suffering hurts me to my heart, but it also makes me appreciate a lot of things and reminds me of how blessed I am.  I'm blessed to still have him here with us.  He could have been one of the many who was lost in that tragedy of 911.

Everyday of our life is not always sunshine and rainbows, however if we really examine our lives we will see that we are truly blessed. Sometimes you have to learn to appreciate even the smallest things in life to the greatest things.  Being healthy and free from illness and ailments is a BLESSING.  Being able to open your refrigerator and pantry and find something to eat is a blessing.  To have family and friends who love and support you is a blessing.

To walking into your closet and having a choice of what you want to wear is a BLESSING.  To enjoy going to work or even having a job to go to is a blessing. 

If you have a roof over your head and are not sleeping outdoors in a cardboard box you are BLESSED!

Yes there are plenty of things to complain and whine about, but there are just as many things to give thanks for.  So take some time each day to appreciate how BLESSED You Are!

Hugs and Blessings, Val

Friday, April 13, 2012

FASHION FRIDAY To Wear or NOT to Wear (What's your Brand/Style) Part II

Ok my lovely ladybugs, time to pick up where we left off. This time of the year is reserved for bare arms, legs and back. A pedicure is a necessary not a whim. Which I might add, ashy, crusty feet with chipped and missing polish is NOT sexy. You can't afford the luxury of a pedicure, then do it yourself.  If you can't keep polish on then filed, lotioned feet with clear polish toes can't be beat! Whatever you choose there is no excuse.

However I digress! I LOVE a sundress and my fav is a maxi dress, they are free flowing, ultra chic and tre'fab lol that's my version of french!  Anywho, you can dress a sundress up or you can play it down, smooth and casual.  I also like that anyone with any shape can wear a sun dress.

Now with that being said let's address something else of great importance, although anyone can wear a sundress, not all dresses are the same just as not all bodies are the same.  Ladies no matter your size the right Undergarments is crucial!!!!!!!! I cannot stress that enough!

If your bra size is a 49 triple J then you might want to stay away from strapless or spaghetti strap dresses with no support, however if you are like me a standing member of the itty bitty titty committee, then strapless may work for you. This is not said to offend anyone, I say this with love.  We have to be realistic and honest. The reality is everyone is not shaped the same way so we all cannot wear the same things. 

Whatever you choose don't just buy it because it looks good on the mannequin or because your neice ten years your junior has the same dress and she looks O'so cute in it.  Fashion has changed so much over the years and for the better in most cases. Even if you are a full figured woman or just very curvy there is a Sundress out there for you.  No longer are full figured women subjected to wearing large sheets of material we use to call MooMoo's so there is NO EXCUSE!

Ladies embrace your curves, what better way to celebrate our beauty and curves than a lovely sundress, short or long. Show those long sexy legs and feet in some sassy, sexy sandals.

As the old saying goes, because it's made in your size doesn't mean you have to buy it and wear it!

Stay true to you and wear what compliments you!

Since we are addressing fashion information, I'd like to add to fashion friday's some fab products that we can all enjoy.  If you have any recommendations, please feel free to share.  My first recommendation is

CoverGirl Queen collection (Blastflipstick), these are fabulous and allows you to have several different looks.

Hugs and Blessings, Val