Sunday, November 29, 2009

Finally Starting to Love My Hair

As you all may remember, I began growing my hair natural in January of this year. I was taking a serious chance since I had done this once before and failed terribly. My junior year of college I decided to grow my hair out natural since I rarely got relaxers. It was a total failure because I had no direction. There weren't all of these natural hair care forums that there are now, and none of my friends were natural so...I just grew it out. No cutting off of the relaxed hair, no change of routine, nothing. It was a m e s s!

This time I started growing my hair out in January. My last relaxer was November, and I just didn't feel like getting another one. I had started getting relaxers only about 3 times a year, so I figured why not try it again? Long Hair Care Forum became my best friend! I've never spoken a word on there (chronic lurker mode in full effect), but I learned so much from those ladies. In May I had my first quasi-big chop. I was too much of a punk to get it all chopped off, so I just had the stylist cut off 4-5 inches. I bought a few lacefront wigs, and got all of my hair supplies. The whole Organic Olive Oil line was extremely good to me! I co-washed with the conditioner once a week, deep conditioned with a cholesterol conditioner once a week and washed with the shampoo once a week. That may seem like a lot, but for my hair it wasn't. My hair is super oily at the base and dry at the ends. I would braid my hair up underneath and go. My hair was so healthy that I didn't need a trim for the next 4 months! My hair was growing, but it was growing even. Never experienced that!

Now I find myself looking for styles to wear in the next few months. If I continue to treat my hair right, I suspect I will happily wear it out by April. I want to get a little more length (like 3 inches) before doing so. Then I'll start simply bunning until I reach my goal length.

Here's my hair now. I lurve it!

So loving my hair. This was pre-trim, but I actually didn't have to cut much off. Yay! Hopefully I will report back in April with about 3 more inches of growth to this length.

Have any natural hair care tips you'd like to share? Please do! I'm always looking for new products to try out!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Makeup Look

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Dark

Indianwood paint pot - all over lid
MAC Pigment in Mega-Rich - bottom lid
MAC E/S in Off The Page - middle of bottom lid out to the right corner
MAC E/S in Passionate - Crease
MAC E/S in Rule - on top of Passion to blend it out & in inner corner
MAC E/S in Shroom - Eyebrow bone
MAC E/S in Handwritten - Outter V

MAC Sheertone Blush in Blushbaby

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Raisin
MAC Dazzleglass in Get Rich Quick


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NRW: Audra "my hair so fly" chanell's Mac N Cheese

***Note from the recipe owner*** I used Cracker Barrel's vermont white, sharp and mild cheddars, cream cheese, and Parmesan for my last batch-use cheeses you like.

The purpose of the cream cheese, and I also use sour cream, is to aid with binding and creaming-sort of what cream cheese does for cheese cake and it also happens to be a cheese so thats a plus. I dont really "measure" so eyeball for the consistency you want before layering.

Makes a large aluminum pan or deep 9 x 12.

  • Box of elbow Or ready cut noodles
  • Butter
  • Philly cream cheese
  • 3 tbs sour cream
  • 2-3 blocks of cracker barrel cheese-your choice (shred them)
  • 1-2 cups Parmesan (grated)
  • Milk
  • One egg ( pour to cover layers)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Topping like crumbled bacon if you'd like.
  1. Mix 1 egg with about 3 cups of milk (may have you add more if it doesn't cover the last layer of cheese)
  2. Boil noodles, drain, add butter, sour cream, and cream cheese to hot noodles and mix til melted
  3. Start layering: Buttered cream cheese noodles, Shredded cheese, Pat of butter in corners if a large deep 9x12
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper continue layers til cheese layer and leave 2" at top pour milk over layers,
  5. Cover with foil, bake on 350 for 40 mins
  6. Remove foil to brown the top then add crumbled bacon


Saturday, November 21, 2009

So I saw New Moon...

and I loved it! That's huge considering I thought Twilight pretty much sucked. The only reason I keep watching it is because I loved the book so much that I'll watch a piece of crap movie just to get a little feel of what the book gave me. I went to the midnight showing over in Cleveland Park at this movie theatre I'd never been to before. Its screen is HUGE!!!! Old school seating, but IMAX size screen. It's pretty cool.

The second picture is the view from the balcony. The screen actually goes out even further than that. Anywho...

I felt like such a teenage goober! Not only did I rush there to get in line early (I got there at 10:24 to be exact), but I even grinned and bared it when it started to pour! Thank God these two sweet ladies in front of me invited me to share their huge umbrella. Very kind of them. Can I just tell you all how I felt like such a pedophile watching New Moon? I mean, I thought Jacob was cute before because he is an adorable little boy, but honey? Huuunnnneeeeyyyyy! When that boy chopped off his hair and got all buff??? Lawd Jesus save my soul. Whew! I was suddenly all "Heeeeyyyyyy Jacob, how YOU doin???". Craziness. Whew, moving along...

I thought the acting in this movie was much much MUCH better than it was in Twilight. Everyone seemed more comfortable in their roles, like they really understood who their character was, and who their character was in relation to the other characters in the movie. Even the makeup and hair in this movie was a heck of a lot better! Well, except Jasper. His hair was a bit of a mess. I have no clue what they did to it or why, but can we just say yuck?

I still think the books are 10x better than the movies, but this movie made up for the hugely flawed Twilight. The one gripe I had, besides Jaspers flawed hair of course, was the flawed Edward! I LOVE Edward, and always will (team Edward All.The.Way.), but... why does Edward sound totally hard and ripped in the book only to be scrawny and sickly looking the movie? While Edward isn't suppose to be as big as Jacob, he is suppose to be a little more ripped. I would hope to see a more solid, sexy Edward in the next installment, Eclipse, but I know they are already filming and I've seen Robert Pattinson...he's not ripped...le sigh.

I give New Moon (3.5 smileys lol) out of 5. Not bad. Not bad at all.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Change Gon' Come

There been times that I thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will
~Sam Cooke
I could feel it in the air. It was like something switched, and in September my faith grew stronger.

As of November 12, 2009 I became deeply apart of the chronically unemployed statistics. Being unemployed is completely life changing, not just monetarily either. It changed the way I saw myself. My self esteem dipped, and the bubbly person that I was went into hiding. Mainly that was because I didn't know how I was going to pay the bills next month, or the month after that, but I held on to my faith.

And then there's makeup. GOD, makeup is such a huge part of my life. It's my craft, it's my addiction, it's my sunshiney place when everything else seems dim and dismal...But I could no longer afford it. Because I could no longer afford it, I could no longer go out on makeup jobs because I couldn't afford to buy the palettes I so desperately need, or the money it costs to get from point a to point b. That could've been depressing, but again, I held on to my faith. I reminded myself that this was just a road I had to travel and one day I will be able to afford to buy more makeup than should be legal!

I started to lose myself some days. I would wake up and wonder hello, is this really me, is this who I am? Days would go buy where I wouldn't run a comb through my hair or put on a touch of makeup. My husbands lucky that i showered! With no place to go and nothing to do, all of that kind of seems pointless. I'm the girl that likes to go out to happy hour, or to the movies with a friend just because it's wednesday. I like to go buy accessories, and plan weekend getaways. All of that stopped. That part of my life was put on pause, and that part of me paused with it. I became this very mundane person, completely uninteresting without much to say because I didn't do anything.

Then a couple of weeks ago I saw a light at the end of a long, dark, creepy, tunnel. My friend Nikki alerted me to the fact that her job was hiring for a myriad of positions about a month ago. I gave her my resume to forward, but heard nothing. Then two weeks ago they called and I got my hopes up. They did a preliminary interview, then invited me in for an interview. Great! I went in, nervous because I hadn't interviewed for anything in a year, but determined to get this job! So I walk in with as much confidence as I can muster's busted!! They had me take a data entry test and a microsoft office test. Let me say that I am a visual person. I need images, pictures, something! Can I just tell you how they had the nerve not to have one single picture with the program??? Just gonna ask me situational microsoft issues, and have me pick an answer from multiple choice. I looked very much so like my cat at this point. Ears going forward, then out to the sides, then one ear going back while the other was going forward. Can we say confuzzled? I laughed at that test. I just started guessing and picking C a lot.

Next up was the interview. I interviewed with 3 ladies, and I could tell that one of them didn't really care for me. She wasn't mean, or nasty, just had that oh no, not you, not my department! look. Ok, fine, whatever, I stumbled on one question, but kept it moving. Leaving the interview I felt ok. My mom asked me how it went, and I told her I thought it went ok, but you never know with these things. Then I im'd my bff because I was going into Chick-fil-a. Let me tell yu, this place was in Silver Spring, so I was uber excited! I always loved working there and it wuld be great to get back there. Anyway, I left and headed home.

4 days later, I got an email telling me that they had chosen someone else. Le sigh. Back to the drawing board.

So I was going about my business reaching out to as many businesses as I could when my phone rings. "Hello may I speak to..." "Heeeyyy Jennifer!!!" Isn't that shameful? I wanted that job so much I had already memorized the HR ladies name and voice! Anyway, she told me that they had another position become available and she thought about me. Squeeeeeeeeee!!!! Praise.God. Unfortunately we had to go through the same HR questions, but whatever, I was down. Then she invited me to come in that Thursday for the interview. This time, I had more confidence! I shook off the igginess that I felt the first time and rolled with it. I even paid more attention on the microsoft test, although nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, will ever stop me from being blown that they have no visuals on that thing! Do you know my friend had to retake that God awful test when THEY offered HER a promotion? I was like GTFOH! But I digress.

I walked into the interview room and who was in there but the same hiring manager that had interviewed me the first time. I mean, she knew who was coming, so that let me know that she didn't hate me. She must've liked me a little to take a second chance on me right? Anyway, she let me know that there would be someone else joining us. What do you know, it was one of the ladies that was at the first interview! Not the one that didn't like me though lol. Anyway, once again, the interview goes ok, but when Jennifer walked me out she asked me how it went, and I told her you never know! Dude, I hate that question! It's like, even when you think you did perfectly, you find out later that you sucked! So, whatever, anywho...

Friday morning came and so did a phone call..."we would like for interview for another position." Wait...what?......wait.......huh??? I just knew this was the phone call where they were going to say "we would like to offer you the position" but yeah, no, that wasn't it. Hmph. Bah hum bug. However, I didn't get too down because 1) They weren't gonna make me go in to interview me again; they were gonna interview me over the phone instead 2) That meant no testing and 3) That obviously meant that they wanted me, but were just trying to find the right fit for me. Love it! So that Monday while on my school's campus I scrambled to find a quiet room to do the interview in because as the day wore on, I kinda sorta maybe probably absolutely forgot about it. Don't wonder how, just go with it. So there were three of them on the phone, the questions were shorter, and it was over in 10 minutes *blink* *blink*. Hmmm, ok, sure...

Wednesday I got the call that they were going forward with checking my references, woohoo!!!!

That was a mess! One of my references didn't call them until MONDAY, another gave an excellent reference, and I had to scramble to find references I was still in contact with for them to call. It all worked out though because on Tuesday I got a call that said


As of Monday, November 23, 2009 I will be a working woman again. Praise Jesus! Can you believe I will be working in the very area I told God I would like to work in again? This is definitely a shout in praise to Jesus moment.

I would like to take this time out to say thank you. Thank you to my husband and parents for loving me and sustaining me through this crazy time! Your prayers and love have truly lifted me. Thank you to my friends for paying for me whenever we went out, and to the bff for being willing to buy your girl a lacefront wig because mine was super ragedy and just ugh! Hey, that's what friends are for lol. Thank you to my readers and internet friends for keeping me in your prayers. We've never met, but you thought about me enough to pray for me. That's love. I appreciate all of you and pray that I am able to pay you back 10 fold.


NRW: Blackberry-Cornmeal Muffins

  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour 
  • ½ cup fine-ground yellow cornmeal 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 to 2 containers (6 ounces each) fresh blackberries (frozen worked fine too)

1. Preheat oven to 375°... make sure the temp is correct of the berries will sink to the bottom of the cake. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and melted butter; pour over flour mixture, whisking to combine.
2. Fill each lined cup with a scant ¼ cup batter. Top batter with blackberries (3 to 4 berries per cup), then sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
3. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until evenly browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are baked, but will keep up to 2 days at room temperature in airtight containers.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Russian Roulette

So as most of you know, Rihanna has out a controversial new song called Russian Roulette. Listening to the reasons it's controversial I've tried oh so very hard to just straight up hate it, but...I can't!!! My inner Rihanna rebels. Let's face it, there is very little Rihanna can do wrong in my eyes. She is my Beyonce. I love her style, and I dig her music. She is so *forgive this cornball moment* swaggerific *cornball moment over...maybe* she doesn't even have to try. She Le sigh. Lurve her. Can't help it. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Thing is, I think that anyone that has been in a dangerous relationship can feel this song. The relationship didn't have to be physically dangerous, it could've been simply emotionally dangerous. I'm in one of those relationships right now...with my husband. There is very little I could imagine not doing for him. The difference is that I've matured over the years so I know better than to love someone more than I love myself, but I do believe that everyday I am growing to love him as much as I love myself. I'm 98% there. At the end of the day, this song, this album, is Rihanna's story to tell. She's an artist. She should be allowed to tell her story. She is not here to raise our children, or even to be their role models. Understood that some children make her their role model, but maybe if mommy and daddy were more involved those would be the people their kids would look up to. Even if they do look up to mom and dad, isn't it important that mom and dad know what their kids are listening to, and explain to them what's right or wrong about a song? Maybe this can be a gateway for them to talk about love, obsession, or suicide. Point is, Rihanna is an artist doing what artists should - expressing herself for herself with the added bonus of having fans listen. Without further ado, here's Rihanna's Russian Roulette video:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Since You're Getting NRW on Friday...

Here are two recipes for you to work with. Sorry for the delay, school is kicking my butt!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
  • 1 pkg (2 layer size) of spice cake mix 
  • 1 pkg(3.4oz) of Jello-O vanilla flavor Instant pudding 
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin 
  • 1 pkg of Philidephia cream cheese(or any cream cheese), Softened 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 4 eggS

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare cake batter as directed. Add dry pudding mix and pumpkin; mix well.
  3. Spoon mixture into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
  4. Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Blend in sugar & 1 egg; spoon over batter. Swirl gently with small spoon. Bake 18-21 minutes(more like 25 but keep checking at 20 minutes) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely.
Thank you Bambamgotchatwice for the following recipe!

Chocolate Toffee Bites

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 Cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 Cup cold butter, cut into pieces 
  • 1 Cup whole pecans, toasted (or 1 Cup ground almonds) 
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar 
  • 2/3 Cup butter 
  • 2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9*13in pan with parchment paper
2) Mix the flour, 1 Cup brown sugar, and cold butter cut into pieces until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs by cutting the butter into the flour and sugar
3) Pour mixture into prepared pan (mixture will be very dry), and press down evenly, then sprinkle nuts evenly over mixture and set aside
4) In a small saucepan melt butter and 1/2 Cup brown sugar stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil
5) Let mixture boil for one minute then pour evenly over nuts in prepared pan
6) Bake for 18-20min until topping starts to bubble
7) Remove from oven and evenly sprinkle chocolate chips on top while pan is still hot
8) Let stand for 3-5 min then spread the chocolate evenly to cover entire pan
9) Place in fridge to cool then cut into squares



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not Interested in Playing God

The fall of 2002 was one of the scariest times of my life. I was away in college in Charlotte, NC while my family was here in DC going about their everyday life. One Tuesday I spoke to my mom, as usual, but this particular evening she carried "worriation" in her voice. "There's someone going around killing people at gas stations you know...". Gas stations? Seriously? Have gas prices jumped and they're pissed off about it? Darn Bush lol. However, I soon learned this was no laughing matter. My family and friends back home were frightened, paralyzed with fear, afraid to leave their homes. The gunmen who rode around in this white van didn't seem to have any real rhyme or reason. They weren't attacking a specific gender, race, class, or anything. Just innocent people.

And then I had to go home for fall break.

The only way I have ever gotten around this city is by metro. Metro is my best friend here. However, that fall...that fall???? Metro was my enemy. I was scared to leave the house to go visit friends because I didn't know if I would make it to my destination, or make it back home. My parents feared for my life, I feared for was a mess! Trust and believe me when I say I stayed prayed up. You could find me on the metro or bus rocking back and forth with my eyes closed having a deep conversation with Jesus and his whole brigade begging to be able to keep my life.

Some time a couple of weeks later they captured the two men that were terrorizing the DMV - John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. Today, John Allen Muhammad is set to be executed.

The Death Penalty. I've never been a fan, and oddly enough, John Allen Muhammad doesn't make me one. When we talk about killing a killer, I feel like we are playing God just a little too much. The world I live in is the one Jesus left us with - the world of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. If God can forgive John Allen Muhammad, who am I not to? It's not like I'm far removed from the situation. You ask me about it now and even today I can feel the anxiety I felt then. My blood runs cold, and my hands start sweating. I felt like I was having a panic attack everyday that they were out there terrorizing our area. However, no matter how heinous his crime, that does not make me God.

I know a lot of people aren't a fan of it, but I would just lock him up for life. Some will say "he can't be rehabilitated" but I invite those people to join me in reality. 1) You're not GOD so get off your high horse and stop saying who can be changed and who can't. God saved a wretch like you, didn't he? 2) God doesn't see murder as being any worse a sin as being a liar. Both kill. Check yourself 3) Umm, did you really think that prison rehabilitated anyone? The ones that come out changed are those that had a change of heart and decided to work on themselves. You know as well as I do that even though our prisons are suppose to be about transformation and rehabilitation, they aren't, AT ALL.

I would never tell someone what to believe. Wait, we're talking about me so scratch that, yes I would. However, the death penalty makes my blood boil. I think everyone should pay for the crimes they commit, absolutely, but taking someones life is not the answer. It's not. My spirit tells me it isn't right, and that's enough for me.

At 9pm when John Allen Muhammad is set to be executed, I will be in class. I will be in class, saying a prayer for him that he found salvation before he took his last breath. I will also say a prayer for the US, that we find some dignity, humanity, humbleness, and maybe step our morality game up a bit. You don't correct a murderers wrong doings by bloodying your own hands.

Matthew 5:7 & 5:38-39, James 4:12, Romans 12:17-21, and John 8:7

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NRW: Pecan Crusted Bourbon Chicken

Because I'm in a happy hour state of mind :~)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans  
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs 
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter, melted  
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard  
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 2 2/3 tablespoons bourbon whiskey 
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce  
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes 
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  1. Stir together the pecans, bread crumbs, and 2 tablespoons of clarified butter. Spread the mixture out on a plate. Press the chicken breasts into the mixture to coat on both sides.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of clarified butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the coated chicken breasts in the pan, and fry on both sides for about 2 minutes each. 
  3. place the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until done. 
  4. In a small saucepan, whisk together the Dijon mustard, brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then remove from the burner, and whisk in the 3/4 cup of unsalted butter one piece at a time. Do not return to the heat. 
  5. Arrange the chicken breasts on a large serving plate. Pour the sauce over the chicken, and sprinkle with green onion.


Monday, November 2, 2009

We've been blogged!

As most of you know, I exchanged vows with the love of my life on 6.20.09. Our photographer was Michael Clark of Michael Clark Photographics in Baltimore. I contacted Michael after releasing the photographer I had originally hired. He didn't return phone calls and he disappeared for 2 months...2 MONTHS!!!! So yeah, I contacted Michael and he was a God send. He soon met us at our ceremony/reception site - The Capitol Hill Club - and it was like we had known him our whole lives. On our big day I felt like Michael was a friend, and I was extremely comfortable around him which made everything go much smoother. So well all know that I'm enamored with him, but imagine my surprise when I got a message on facebook from my girl Karima telling me she was stalking his blog (lmao) and saw that we were the feature. Yaaaayyyy! Geeked? Absolutely! In everyday life I know that it's not such a big deal if your wedding was blogged, but in the life of a knottie, it means A LOT! So, run! Go check it out now!