If you have not been exposed to Philadelphia’s burgeoning art world then you ain’t seen nothing! Ad Valorem is a collective of artists who are kick, pushing to get their work out to the portion of the public that has a true appreciation and desire to see honest, talented and hungry artists work. This is going to be a dope exhibition, with great music and dope people. I will be there! Come out!

Gyspy Lane Jewelry GiveAway!!

is Giving Away Hoops!  
14k gold filled wire has been hand forged and hammered 1/4 inch thick at the flattest part.. These modern day gypsy hoops are sturdy, lightweight and perfect to wear everyday! These classic beauties are sure to become one of your favorites. Now is the time to invest in a pair of quality hoops. 3 inch hoops for a 75 dollar value! Toss those tacky hoops you bought at Macy’s aside and go for the gold!! You wont be disappointed.
To qualify: Like Gyspy Lane Jewelry’s Facebook page and share the giveaway link then include your facebook name and email in the comment section below. Good luck!

Reflections on Motherhood – Deodat


How many children do you have? How old is your child?

1 daughter Simara and she is 17 months (when the heck did this happen?)
If you could tell your pre-baby self anything to prepare for motherhood, what would it be?
Everyone has said it. But I will repeat it. Sleep. A lot. Nap when you can. Because you will never experience sleep again. Sometimes it’s not even the baby waking you up but it’s the worry in the back of your mind that is going to keep you up. All of a sudden, you have this tiny person that is solely your responsibility and doesn’t even know it. Is she breathing? Did I hear her cry? Etc…
The times are definitely a-changing. The stay at home, betty crocker-esque archetype of motherhood is being redefined. In what ways do you think you are re-defining mother-hood?
I admire all betty croker-esque women as this is by far a tough job. I’m not sure if I’m redefining motherhood but I know that I’m making it ok to have someone else watch over your kids. I go to work, I do my best and go home and take care of my little family to the best of my abilities. Some days I cook. Some days, I let hubby know that we’re hungry and that he should probably get on it.
What has been your greatest challenge as a mother?
Letting go. Trying to adjust to the idea that I can’t do it all at the same time. If laundry is not done this week, it will get done next week. Dropping off Simara and hearing her cry when I leave and resisting the urge to run back and stay with her.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of motherhood?
The unconditional love that you get back. That little person wants to be around you, is always happy to see you, gives you kisses and hugs, mimics you just because you are their world. They ask nothing back. They don’t question your look of the day. They don’t care if you’re broke. They just want you.
What do you wish the most that your child cultivates and keeps in his/her adulthood?
Confidence. Nothing beats confidence in yourself. I have been natural for 4 months and dealing with post baby body issues. But no matter what I’m feeling in the morning, no matter what my hair is looking like, I put on a big smile and walk out and take on the world. I never realized how much confidence can be a determining factor in obtaining a job, building good relationships until I saw how the opposite affects people I know, people I meet. I am Haitian and the more I realize what that means, the more I keep my head up high. She is a descendant of fighters, of winners, she should always walk as such.
How do you maintain your sense of self against the constant demand for self- sacrifice and constant vigilance as a mother?
I get a pedicure. By myself. I find a sitter or sneak out of the house when hubby is doing something with her. Nothing beats the little massages to your deserving legs and the pretty toes that go along with it. Happy mommy, happy everybody.
Do you have anything to share to the anticipating or new mothers out there?
Enjoy every single moment and keep on laughing. They will eventually walk, so let them crawl. They will eventually speak, enjoy the babble. They will eventually feed themselves, enjoy feeding them. Enjoy every kiss. And when you’re not there to witness certain firsts, it’s ok. When you get to witness them, they will be first to you and you’re the only one who matters. You have incredible instincts that you never knew you had. Trust them and trust yourself. One day you will wake up and catch your baby before she rolls out of bed. One day, you will pick her up and cuddle her because you feel that she’s a little upset and needs some love. She isn’t speaking but you will just know. People (specially Caribean people) will tell you that your little milk (if you breastfeed) can’t possibly be enough. Nod and keep it going. And proof that there is an incredible bond between mothers… One day, you will need your mom and her advice badly. And you would pray, and think and work on a way to reach her. Your phone will ring and your mom, while at work in Haiti, will let you know that she was thinking about you and had to call you. 
 Love to see the daddy getting some play in this submission. What a gorgeous family you have Ms. Deodat Family.  It gets no sweeter.

How To Condition Your Hair While in Twists, Braids & Extensions!

around the way curls, havana twists natural hair
Photo courtesy of Taren Guy
 I met Alwina Oyewoleturner a couple weeks back at the Curls Night Out Event here in NYC. She was extremely sweet and really cool.  I couldn’t stop starring at her hair so I asked her to e-mail us what her regimen was for maintaining her Havana Twists and to my surprise she did it! This is a great summertime look so ladies, if your hair is thick enough it should be on your list of ‘styles to try’. I don’t think my thin strands could pull it off but that’s probably why I admired them so much.
Antoinette asked me to share what I do while my hair is in twists or braids (extensions) for an extended period of time. Currently, my hair is in Havana twists. In the last couple of years, especially since I transitioned in 2009, I keep a very simple regimen to maintain my hair in braids and the scalp clean.
I used to use SeaBreeze astringent (not the one for the face) but a more general astringent that can be used on the scalp as well as the face/body. This helps to kill any bacteria, etc. from growing especially since you can’t really wash your braids like you do your hair. And then I used to use Dr. Hobbs’ Soothing Braid/Twist Spray, which is really hard to find, on my scalp to relax the itching and also condition my scalp.
Since finding the above products has been a challenge, I’ve changed the products with the same concept in mind. I make my own mixture of Dessert Essence’s Kinder to Skin Tea Tree Oil (8%) and Thayer’s Lavender/Aloe Vera Witch Hazel with water in a spray bottle. Tea Tree Oil has antibacterial properties and the witch hazel gently cleanses, tones and moisturizes your scalp and then water for moisture. After this I spray, African Royale BRX Braid & Extension Sheen Spray, which also has tea tree oil, silk amino acids, oils/extracts, etc. to condition your hair while in twists/braids (extensions).
I generally spray my hair with both products twice a day and if not, then at least in the morning to prepare my hair to handle the environment.
If my hair is not in extensions, my regimen is slightly different. I would use the tea tree oil/witch hazel/water mix, Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Hold & Shine moisture mist, Shea Moisture organic African black soap dandruff & dry scalp elixir and the raw Shea butter reconstructive elixir to seal it all in. Lately, in place of the reconstructive elixir I have been using Carol’s Daughter Tui Oil hair spray, which has a great smell.
The goal is to add water when the hair dry, cleanse an antibacterial agent, moisturize and seal with an oil. 
To wash my hair with/without extensions, I use whatever shampoo or cleansing conditioner is available. Right now I am using Carol’s Daughter Monoi Hair Repair Shampoo and Loreal’s Evercream Cleansing Conditioner.
It doesn’t get more detailed than that. Her regimen explanation was the bomb. Shanti and I need to step our game up. SMH. Seriously though #BOOM! Her hair was the ish and she’s at every natural hair event in NYC so she’s well researched and in the know.
How Beautiful Are Those Havana Twists???

For the Vain and Hair Obsessed

natural hair, wash and go, around the way curls, african print hair bows, shanti
I posted this on the Curl’s Best Friend Facebook Group nearly a year ago. I think it still rings true.
So I have been thinking. I find myself obsessing over other women on youtube and hair blogs who are obsessing over their hair which then inspires me to find new and improved ways to obsess over MY hair. A couple days ago, I felt a bit overwhelmed and guilty. My excitement and inspiration comes from limp, lifeless, meaningless hair. I started having contempt over the women on these blogs and youtube who obviously spend HOURS and HOURS primping, talking, and investing in themselves and only themselves. But then I stopped. I realized that yes, we are all material girls tripping over strands of protein but in so many ways this is deeper than vanity, it is more complex than trivial. It is healing. It is liberating. It is indeed exciting.
When one is weighed down with lack of self esteem the scope of  her possibilities, opportunities and success is narrowed. When one conceals, censors and cowers she is creating an image of herself that society will only reflect back to her in a negative way. So more than just hair, this group and those blogs are about change. It is about changing the reflection we see of ourselves that causes frustration and the neurotic habit of feigning to look a bit more “proper” ,”conservative”, “put together”, “and “uniform”. We are recreating the ways in which we see ourselves and in effect recreating the way others see us while all the while looking fierce, chic, bold, sexy, sleek and feminine. Carry on ladies- unapologetically. –Shanti

You A Bad Girl And Your Friends Bad Too!!

    Tashana & The Besties

Do you have a best friend or best friends that you love to death? Celebrate your friendship by submitting your favorite pictures of you and your ace boon coons. It doesn’t matter if they are natural, man, old, young, related or not. All that matters is your desire to rep for the ones you love!

Submit pictures 


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