Read Smoke!

Read Smoke!
My latest book, "Smoke: poems of love, longing and ecstasy" is available for purchase on Amazon in e-book and paperback. Click book for link.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Wedding Dress of the Week

Full A-line gown with a sweetheart neckline by Kirstie Kelly Bridal Couture accented with a vintage-inspired, short sleeved lace overlay and lady like fitted waiste. Very elegant and memorable. For more information visit the designer's site.

Fly Alert: Jovani Cocktail Dress

Perfect year round cocktail dress for the woman who wants to be remembered after the clock strikes twelve. The origami detail on the back of this dress is so striking and unforgettable. This would make a great evening go-to as it is appropriate for formals, after-five's, and evening weddings. Purchase at select Jovani retailers.

Friday, January 4, 2008

"Ain't Misbehavin'" starring Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis

2008 appears to be the year for Blacks on Broadway. Already The Color Purple still reigns supreme on Broadway and Debbie Allen's bringing an all star line-up for "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in April. Now former Idol stars Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis will star in an off-Broadway national tour of "Ain't Misbehavin'". The musical comedy is set to the incredible music of "Fats" Waller with the exuberant backdrop of 1930's Harlem. This show, which originally debuted on the Great White Way in 1978, is considered a musical theater classic. Specific tour dates will be announced at a later date. See it if you can.

Style Icon of the Month: Michelle Obama

Who is Michelle Obama? An attorney, community activist mother of two and wife of Sen. Barack Obama, candidate for the 2008 Democratic Party nomination for U.S. President. She attended Princeton University where she graduated in 1985 cum laude and in 1988 she received her JD from Harvard Law School. Following law school she was an associate at the Chicago branch of law firm Sidley Austin, where she met Barack. She was his summer advisor. Since then, she has held several public sector positions in Chicago, including most recently, VP of Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. She was listed as “25 of the World’s Most Inspiring Women” by Essence Magazine in 2006 and as “10 of the World’s Best Dressed Women” by Vanity fair in 2007.

Why is she fly?
Behind every great man is a great woman and no one currently exemplifies this maxim like Michelle Obama. She has the mind of a CEO, the statuesque silhouette of a model, and the grace of our grandmothers. Her campaign style usually consists of classic business seperates, muted colors, tailored lines, and every ensemble is created around one fabulous center piece, like the black and white tweed blazer she wore on Oprah. Michelle style doesn’t scream for pop-star attention (like Judy Giuliani) nor is her look stiff and contrived like most lady hopefuls. The truth is, she is not your typical candidate’s wife. Michelle very well may be Barack Obama’s greatest political asset, a supportive wife who looks the part and can deliver just as fiery a stump speech as he. We are constantly wowed by Sen. Obama’s devotion to correcting the ills that face our country, but it is Michelle’s quiet conviction, her determined mien, as she sits with perfect posture just over his shoulder, that has compelled many devoted fans to place America’s future in this couple’s hands.

Monday, December 31, 2007

She said what??? (The Daily Black Woman Quote)

"I am so glad that I have matured and I have stopped choking the mess out of people. "

-Ellin La Var, entrepreneur and celeb stylist on WE TV's Hair Trauma. Said to Tacara, the diva, of ANTM fame.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

At-home Beauty Treatments For the New Year

Hey Divas,

It's my birthday today and the first one that I can honestly say I feel older. Also, I'm using my wish to ask God for a miracle. Dealing with tragedy over the holidays is pretty rough. Nevertheless, I'll be going to a nice restaurant with my family today and having a bit of bubbly tonight. I'm keeping it low-key this year.

Now to you. Tomorrow is New Years Eve, right? As promised, I'm going to provide you with tips to have the dewiest skin, softest feet, and prettiest hands come new years... and all of these treatments can be done right at home.


Go into the New Years soft as a baby and glowing. If you haven't already, start with getting rid of excess body hair. I love NADS and the reason why is because its all natural, it's not too too painful, it does a complete job and the bonus... it also acts as an exfoliant. The sugary/citrus mixture adheres to the top layer of skin cells and removes dead skin, so it's a wonderful way to begin the beauty process.

Okay, this evening you'll want to take a hot, steamy shower (steam, remember, is good), allow your pores to get nice and open, and exfoliate. I suggest you two products. First, I love good ol' St. Ives Body Scrub. Why? Because it's just the right consistency to really remove dead skin and leave the skin smoothe. The trend for a lot of beauty makers is to combine an exfoliant with a moisturizing base (like a lot of the sugar scrubs) and the problem here is that while you get added moisture, you loose some of the product's exfoliating capacity. Also, the granules of St. Ives are just the right size, small and round, therefore capable of moving with ease over your skin. Exfoliants that use larger crystals can be a bit too harsh and they don't do as good of a job covering the skin.

Now, when I want to glow on with my bad self... I follow the St. Ives with Sunshine Spa's Herbal Salt Scrub. It contains mineral rich dead sea salt with a healing blend of oils including almond, safflower, grapeseed and avocado, as well as Vitamin E. Now I first learned of this product in a spa in Africa. I went in to have a "dead sea salt scrub" and this is what they massaged into my damp skin. After rinsing it off, my skin was so soft and radiant for days. I remember flying home the next day, crossing and uncrossing my bare legs as I admired their natural sheen. So, imagine my delight when I discovered this spa product in the beauty isle of Whole Foods! Today, it is part of my Sunday beauty ritual.

To use at home, while your in the shower turn off the water and pat skin drywith a wet cloth until it's damp. Then take a good amount of the salt scrub and massage into your body in a circular motion. This process should take about five minutes. Do a thorough job. Rinse off and allow your skin to AIR DRY. This is really important. You will notice the glow and intense moisture immediately. I promise.

After the shower, moisturize skin with a liberal amount of Johnson&Johnson's Baby Oil Gel. I like to use this at night because when applied to damp skin, it makes it baby soft and tender. Trust me on this one.


We don't want to bring in the New Years looking tired, dull, or parched. So make preparations this evening to have a dewy face tomorrow. I like to exfoliate the face with a mild, natural alpha hydroxy. Combine lemon juice, a few red crushed grapes (tartaric acid) with some sugar. Smoothe over face and rub gently. Let it sit for about ten minutes and then rinse. The citric acids in lemon in combination with the mechanical exfoliation of the sugar crystals work remove any dull, dead skin cells from the top layer of the face. The thing about facials is that your face always looks better the next day, so do this now!

I also like using Queen Helene's Grape Seed Extract Mask the day before a big event because it does a marvelous job with the pores.

The next step to having a wonderful face tomorrow is to drink lots of water and cup's of jamal (yerba mate) today and cleanse the body of toxins, excess water, and SALT which will surely make you look puffy tomorrow. Holiday cuisine is usually salty.

The final step to being fresh faced tomorrow is to sleep well tonight.


For smoothe hands the best thing to do is to rub hands together with the Sunshine Spa dea sea salt scrub or another moisture rich exfoliant for about five minutes and rinse. If you don't have time to get a mani/pedi, be sure to push back your cuticles and shape nails. No hang nails on New Years! Polish them with a color that pops or sparkles. Your nails want to celebrate too!

Here are some of my favorite colors, and they can all be purchased at your local drugstore!

~Milani Glitzy Stilleto, a sparkly pink for the girly girls

~Milani Glitzy Stars, a clear polish with silver and irridescent sparkle (very New Years appropriate)

~Loreal Pro Manicure Nail Polish, Breaking Curfew (as you will be), a sumptuous, sophisticated and deep plum. Loreal also makes a special mistake-proof brush that leaves you with professional-looking results.

And don't forget to brush on Milani's top-coat nail polish. It's as shiny as the one they use in the nail salon.


Remember the scene in Boomerang with Murphy's character looks at his date's feet the next morning (Lela Rochon) and cringes. Well because you may very well be in that situation New Years morning (I know some of my divas are naughty), don't let your crusty feet be the deal breaker.

Having said that, I will now suggest that you slather your feet in plain, sugar free, yogurt.... yes I said it, yogurt, for about twenty minutes this evening. Yogurt contains enzymes that penetrate calluses and rough spots. As a former dancer, I have searched far and wide for rough feet cures.

The best way to do this treatment is to buy a tub of yogurt and dump it into a plastic bag, like a shopping bag. Then sit down with both feet in the bag. It feels kind of gross, I should warn you. When you're done, wipe your feet, tie the bag up and discard.

Rinse off the yogurt, and then with St. Ives exfoliant and a foot smoother (those rough paddles you scrub your feet with), go to work.

Finally, rub them down with the same sunshine spa dead sea salt scrub and then send me a thank you letter at Seriously. You'll want to. Rub them in Johnson and Johnson's Baby Oil Gel and sleep in sweat socks. You know the routine.

flyness and funk,

SPOTLIGHT: Jocelyn Jee, Black Hair in the Rain

She's a comedian out of the UK.

Tacky Christmas Yards

Thanks to Bloggers "Blogs of Note" I stumbled upon this site, What a wonderful idea, putting festive Americans on blast for creating nativity/winter wonderland scenes with poor taste. Take a look at some of the fiercetrocities.

She said what??? (The Daily Black Woman Quote)

"The older I grow the more I see the influence of my family on my life. I didn't always see it. It was up to our parents to see that we had our education in a town that hadn't yet realized what racial prejudice was but actually knew and practiced it on occasion. "
-Katherine Dunham