Merry Christmas

Zipporah (our lovely Army soldier) is home for the Holidays and as you can see she was in charge of the tree. And she did a great job, the tree is beautiful thank you. We get to enjoy her company for 2 weeks, not enough time.

Smell Goods’98 is the name of the company but the name is just one indication of what this company has to offer.

Whether slathering on lotions, body moisturizer or butters, it’s all in the effort to find the ultimate product. The one that will be the end all, be all, product for beautiful radiant skin. That is only if you are not a “Product Junkie,” like so many of us self proclaimed, “Girly-girls tend to be. There is something alluring about that next wonder product, promising to take all your cares away, that always beckons us to at least give it a try. In my line of business this is not only what I enjoy doing (being on the constant hunt for little known beauty products) but I really am excited and pleasantly surprised when I do find that product produces what it’s promised.

Well ladies I had the pleasure of reviewing products that did just that, I'm talking about made good on what it promised and more. These products are infused with African inspired fragrances, with a focus on natural ingredience formulated to give your skin plenty of moisture, without the greasy feel. These products I reviewed, leave you body feeling well taken care of. Through the years I have not had been able to consistantly find body care products that have great scents along with the balance of all day moisture. It definitely seems to be an art that everyone does not possess in the industry. So for a up and coming company to have gotten two of the most important categories nailed (1. true moisture 2. long lasting, great fragrances), early in business is a definite plus. This company is founded by Itiel McVay and her husband.

BBMBS: Itiel(SG98) our audience likes finding out a bit about the company and it's owners so what are some of the reasons that you decided to go into body care product formulating industry?

SG98: When Smell Goods was established, initially we sold typical body oils and incense. People who wear body oils often purchase them from peddlers that can never be found again, or from merchants that dilute the body oil so much the true scent is lost. My husband had this idea of us becoming the source for consumers who enjoyed those types of goods, but with quality. A couple of years went by and I started to blend the body oils creating signature scents;I then decided to dip incense into the signature blends without the Dipropylene Glycol (DPG ) solvent. Thus giving consumers a "clean" fragrant atmosphere. The body care products came years later. I noticed that consumers would gravitate to the large bath and body mall retailers that sold great smelling, non-effective product. However, the products that were best for your skin did not have that same great aroma. Face it, most people love to smell good! We had the smell goods! So I took the time to research how to make natural products that would deliver on the fragrance. I decided to join craft groups with older women in the bath and body field, because I knew that I could learn from them.

BBMBS: Wow, I'll say your research is definately paying off. I personally tend to become a return customer to merchants that are passionate about their products. Just speaking with you from time to time our conversations have been about,constant learning and improving and I do agree that those are the companies that produce the best products, so we expect to see you around a long time.

BBMBS: Was there something that happened when you were new in business that let you know you were on the right path?

SM98: Yes, people started supporting and they still do till this day. I know that isn't miraculous, but it is significant when you are in business.

BBMBS: Definately, support/customers is what makes business happen.

BBMBS: What advice do you have for someone that may be thinking of starting their own business?

SG98: Outside of finding a niche and making sure the customer service skills are up to par, one should really take time to research and develop the product or service that they are offering. Take criticism and welcome feedback. Be persistent and patient. Listen to the experts, but follow your gut. Look at your customers as people not bags of money.

BBMBS: With the economy being as it is what is your, main focus in order to keep your business going strong?

SG98: With the economy being the way it is, my main focus is what it always has been, my customers. I put effort into gaining new customers, but I put a lot of my efforts into showing my customers that I appreciate them. They are really good at constantly sending referrals my way.

BBMBS: That is great because you and I both know that most people are only going to refer a friend if they enjoy the entire experience; the products and the customer service.

BBMBS: Where do you see Smell Goods’98 going in the near future… do we foresee a Smell Good’98 boutique or in main stream retail shops??

SG98: The future for Smell Goods '98™ holds endless possibilities. We are working towards many great things for consumers to lavish in. However, we will disclose as things develop.

BBMBS: Well we will surely be on the lookout waiting to see what wonderful things are happening for you as you keep developing Smell Goods'98 and it's great product line.

BBMBS: Tell us about the charities you are supporting through product sales. Were those “Stay Sweet Sugar Whip” products designed just for the benefit of charity?

SG98: I created the Stay Sweet Collection to enhance the inside, outside of girls and young ladies. The products in the Collection carry positive affirmations, these are words that I feel could of empowered me as a teen and that can empower girls today. I donate a percentage of sales from the Collection to several grass-root organizations that cater to the needs of girls and young ladies. I also offer the products as donations for empowerment events for girls.

Product Review

Essentials Balm Stick- Purple Rose: Use this product while experiencing a bad cold which truely dried out my lips, after two consitant days of use my lips we back to being kissably soft, that's what my husband told me, LOL.

Essentials deodorant powder- Fresh Vanilla: Works ALL day.

Scrub A Dub sea salt polish: With this product you do not have to use ANY lotion/ body moisturizers when you are done showering.

Fragrance oils: I have the chance to try; Blissful, potpourri, royal citrus of which the favorite on my skin was the Blissful.

Whip Cream body lotion- Shiloh: Clean fresh scent but best of all, all day moisture.

Stay Sweet Collection
(A portion of the proceeds for this product line goes to help charities)

Stay Sweet Sugar Whips, body wash -Bammin' Banana(positive affirmation for that scent is, "Saving myself for UNCONDITIONAL love!"): I used this product before I noticed the name of it, "Oh, this smells sooo... good." I couldn't put my finger on what the scent exactly was... "was it fruit or was it floral, that I was smelling? But what I did know was that it met my preferences of being fresh and clean. This is a energizing smell, perfect for waking you up while taking your morning shower and the fragrance lasted all day.

BBMSB Recommends that you give Smell Goods'98 a try and you'll be sure to start your New Year off with a bang when it comes to bath & body care products.

Brace Yourself For Up and Coming Jewelry Designer Myisha Croom-Turner

We scheduled an early interview after we both dropped our children off at school which meant around 9:30am worked best for us to meet. Myisha who is the designer behind the wonderful chunky jewelry designs sold at the“Brace Yourself Boutique.” She is the brand behind the jewelry, every bit of what I would think bohemian style would be. She has a confident yet calm demeanor with a friendly upbeat personality. Something like a girlfriend you have known for years would be like, just hanging out discussing life. As I drove to her home in Fontana, I myself have only been living in Southern California for 2 years, so even with the availablity of mapquest I felt more comfortable about having Myisha instruct me as I got closer to her exit. When she opened the door I was greeted with a friendly hug. I stepped into her beautifully decorated home with walls painted in a soothing blue color, that I will describe as a “Tiffany” blue with a hint of grey, I love the color. This was the prelude for the tone of our visit. She had told me she enjoyed coffee as do I and she lead the way to through the kitchen where the family room was located also and with coffee in hand we began having great conversation instead of just a interview. We ended up talking for hours about many aspects of business, then I finally remembered to ask the "interview" questions. And here is what she had to say:

Where did you first get the idea to start your business?

It was really organic the way my business began. I was a new Mom and looking for a way to earn extra income due to the increased expenses of having a child :-) I'd always loved accessorizing, and decided to start making my own pieces, and possibly making them for others. I started wearing my creations at work and co-workers began asking me to design jewelry for them. That was in 2000. I didn't officially put a name to my business, or obtain licensing for Brace Yourself Boutique until 2007 when I decided to become a small business owner.

On your website you said your goal was to create timeless and funky jewelry that transcends changing trends. How do you judge if you are meeting that goal?

I judge if I am meeting my goal by speaking with my clients. I don't always have time to talk on the phone, but I like to think that I'm very "email" accesible. I try very hard to follow up regularly, and make sure that my clients are satisfied with their purchases to ensure they are getting multiple usage out of their baubles. My goal is to create jewlery that people can wear anytime of the day or night. Whether it be on date night with their partner, shopping with the girls, or on a Sunday afternoon at the local grocery market. I love receiving feedback from my clients...good, or bad. My clients are who keep me in business, and if I don't know how they truly feel about my collections or products, then I'm not being true to my mission which is to create pieces that are timeless and always stylish for them.

You first created “Brace Yourself Boutique” in 2007. Why did you choose this name?

Honestly, Brace Yourself (I added the Boutique when I opened my online store) was chosen because my initial idea and focus was to create ONLY bracelets. Hence the name Brace Yourself. However, over the years I began receiving request for other items, so my business grew and evolved which I am truly happy about. So now since I have many other business ideas and ventures (Sip n' Shop, Farmer's Market 09') the name Brace Yourself has taken on a new meaning for me. It now represents my declaration to express myself, and my creativity in whatever outlet that may be for me. Skies the limited, so Brace Yourself!

November 2007 you created the event called “Sip n Shop” Girls Night Out. Why?

I created Sip n' Shop for several reasons. First, because I live in a developing community with a shortage of events for the community and I wanted to create something for working moms, single moms, and hardworking women to do that was an alternative to the club. Next, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to present women business owners to the my community where they could expose their wares and services to a target market. Last but certainly not least, it's an opportunity for me to donate a portion of the proceeds to organizations that benefit children.

WoW! A new collection every 2-3 months, where do you get your ideas and how do you keep creativity flowing?

I get my ideas from just about anywhere and everywhere. I love fashion, home decor, various music genres, travel, art...the list goes on and on, so I draw tons of inspiration from my loves and from other designers as well. I work hard to produce seasonal collections to give women the opportunity to change jewelry with their clothing every couple of months or so.

I noticed that for a fairly new indie designer you are making moves. You have you jewelry being sold in boutiques even in Texas how did you make that happen?

I am thrilled to have my wares in a few boutiques! Well I definitely don't take my business lightly, and if I see a great fit/opportunity for my jewelry to be in a certain boutique, I contact the owner or buyer ASAP and set up a meet. I've literally drove to various boutiques (door to door style) and asked owners if they would be interested in carrying my jewelry. That's how I sold to my first boutique in Claremont, Ca. The other two businesses contacted me. The boutique in Texas saw my wares on myspace, and the other was a referral from a client. It's all about working hard to make sure your product is where YOU want it to be. Networking is key (myspace, facebook, etsy, indie fabulous, sip n' shop, etc.), blogging to promote your business, believing in your product, and most importantly remaining timely and professional in all aspects of the business. I also recomment participating in local events, fairs, and trade shows. Many of my clients and newsletter subscribers are people I've met participating in fairs, and various shows throughout California.

Myisha Croom-Turner
Brace Yourself Boutique
Receive 15% off by using the code: THANKS08 at checkout.

Creating Wearable Art and gaining a following for her bohemian style. Go to her online Boutique, but be aware the pieces are very enticing you just may find something you can't live without.

Helping You Nurture Your Natural Beauty

We love to showcase women in business, here at BBMBS and today we are interviewing, Sheya L. Chisenga, founder of Nurturing Beauty, Bath and Body products. We had the pleasure of conducting a product review for a couple of her body products. Our first impression of her company was the beautiful little chinese take out box that the products we placed in, oh so carefully. When the products arrived, the way they are packaged play a big part in feeling "nurtured," upon opening the box I found a green chinese take-out box and before even opening it, the pleasant, fragrant smell of goodness started to penetrate the air. I had found inside two products to be reviewed.

Nurturing Beauty
1). Mango Souffle- As described on the website: A light whipped body cream drenched with avocado oil, shea butter and mango butter.

I had never tried a souffle body cream before, so I was very interested in trying it out. Visually the souffle is fluffy, like a whip topping used on desserts. And the mango fragrance reminded me of my visits to Jamaica, waves of fresh ocean breeze. I've tried product that claim to have shea butter in them but none of them felt as moisturizing as this, maybe it is the mix of the avocado oil along with the she butter that makes this product a quality buy.

2). Body and Hair Gloss, Cupcakes- multi-purpose product Some suggested uses: eliminating rough dry areas on your body and great as a hot oil treatment for hair.

For me this product was best used after your bath/ shower. I found that a little went a long way, after towel drying I would squirt two pumps of the oil into the palms of my hands and massaged it into my skin and the oil retained the moisture all day. And as for use on my hair I found it to be a bit heavy, but when used on my daughters it worked fine. The oils penetrait the hair follicle leaving her hair smooth and soft to the touch, not oily. I would recommend using this product in coarse and dry hair types. And for normal to dry skin types, this provides great body moisturizing benefits.

BBMBS: We are always fascinated with how women in business get their first idea to start their business. Can you tell us a bit of how this came about?
SHEYA: It has been always I dream of mine to have my own business, but I really didn’t know what. I knew I wanted to help people feel great about themselves and with a lot of prayer I realize that I love natural products and realize I can create my own line. Through a lot of research, taking classes and Faith, I step out on my dream.

BBMBS: In business we understand that things don't always go smoothly. Who/ what inspires you to keep going in your efforts of building your business?
What inspires me is that I want to be able to have my own schedule, the freedom to use my creativity and passion to really help people feel great about themselves. The most important for me is one day I will have a children and I want to be able to have the freedom to be at home with them.

BBMBS: What does the Nuturing Beauty line, plan to produce in the coming years?
SHEYA: My plan is to create a complete line of Natural Products for the whole family that includes the face, body, hair and home.

BBMBS: What are your top selling products? And why do you think these products are at the top of the list?
SHEYA: Soufflés and soaps, People love how the soufflés moistures without filling oily or sticky and the fragrance not to light or not to heavy. Our Natural soaps leave your body with a very clean feel but most of the customers who suffer with some type of second condition (eczema, rashes) the flare ups have been very minimal since they have started using the natural soaps

BBMBS: We noticed you offer your products for wholesale. Where are some upcoming events our boutique owners can attend to see your products showcased?
SHEYA:I will be in Pittsburg, CA at a Breast Cancer Education Event.

BBMBS: What is your most valuable beauty secret?
SHEYA: To cleanse, tone, exfoliate (twice a week) and moisture. You must exfoliate your skin it leaves the skin looking refreshed and brighter, as you are revealing the younger skin underneath.

More of Nurturing Beauty at:

Things We Cherish

From time to time I do a self analysis and think about who I am and why. The this time I was going through my closet, getting rid of a few things and I came upon a purse that I chose from my mothers things after she passed away. As I held the purse I thought about how fashion forward she was. I know I get my love of fashion from her. The way she took the time to care about her appearance even after she was diagnosed with inopperable cancer, was remarkable. This was a example to me of her strength. Even when I would take her to chemo she dressed well and took the time to put on her perfume. While a chemo she would encourage the other patients to have faith and stay strong. When she became physically weak and couldn't dress herself, she had us dress her in what she had told us to. Sometimes I thought it wasn't important with all the things we were going through. But now what I have realized is that keeping her appearance up even with her bald head, which she wore proudly, she was showing me how to not give up even if they say it's over. I am proud to be my mothers daughter, she was strong and oppinionated, which sometimes resulted in conflict between us but I come to understand that her love was the motivation behind it all. I miss everything about my mother. She was a person that did not give up easy. The pink leather purse represents to me not just her fashion sense but her ability to be herself no matter what, I only hope that I am as strong as she was. She was the leader in her family, her sibblings aways looked to her for her advice.
I am working to be a source of strength to my sibblings and children. There are very few things that I hold dear and this pink leather purse serves as a reminder to me to live the best life I can.

What do you hold dear and why?

In The Business of Cosmetics

Fugly Lab is a cometics company
founded by Onamia Chun pictured here.

How was the concept for Fugly Lab born?

Necessity is the mother of invention: I bought thousands of dollars worth of products because it was celebrity endorsed, promised amazing results, or was pressured by a beauty technician. In the end, some products worked well, others did not. The result was drawers full of barely used products.

Some companies and department stores would give samples, but they either required a purchase or filling out a long survey. Finally, when given the sample (usually an overstocked item) it was too pink or too beige for us ethnic beauties. The customer was never given the freedom to only try the product she wanted.

Instead complaining about my frustration, I decided to start my own company which gave women of color complete control to try the new products they wanted without all the fuss. That is our tagline: Select. Sample Simple. I also keep the prices affordable because there is no point in pay $50 for a sample.

How did you end up in a career in the makeup industry?

I would just say I enjoy buying products and as a result I have learned about the industry.

What is the best part of being the CEO of your own online store?

As a mother of three, I enjoy the flexibility and freedom of my own online store. My children and my husband are my biggest priorities. Since I am the boss, I have the freedom to make my own schedule or even take a day off as needed to just be a mom. I like that I can have my own projects but still attend PTA meetings, field trips, baseball games, and ballet practice.

How do you decide what products you will offer your clients?

First, the product must be phenomenal. Period. Second, the product should be designed specifically for women of color or appropriate for use by women of color. I will not carry products that make black women look ashy or asian women look oily. I prefer more natural and organic products because I want my great-grandchildren to be able to enjoy this earth as much as I do.

What are some of your favorite products from the current selections?

My favorite products:

Hair: Curls Soufflé: I use it almost everyday. It tames my curls and eliminates frizz.

Body: FizzyHabit bath bombs (vanilla scent): Words do not give justice to this product. Everyone just needs to try it.

Makeup: mark. Hookups: As an on-the-go mother, it is nice to have lip gloss and mascara within easy reach. Even as a mother, I want to look great all the time; I just need a quick and convenient way to get it done. I keep a hookup in the diaper bag, one in my purse, and one in my car.

What is your number one beauty secret?

SUN BLOCK! I remember my mom constantly nagging me to wear sun block. Now that I have children, I have become the sun block nag. I have it in the car, in all the bathrooms, in the beach bag, on my vanity, etc. Plus, my mom does not have any wrinkles so the “proof is in the pudding.”

Women of color are blessed with more melanin in our skin than our ivory beauties; nevertheless, I do not take the blessing as a free pass to skip the sun block step in my beauty regime. I want my skin to look great when I am 70. I wear makeup because I like it; not because I have to wear it. There is a huge difference.

What was the best part creating Fugly Lab?

The best part is I have a legal and tax deductible way to feed my product junkie addiction. A close second, is helping women of color find the perfect products for them without spending a ton of money to do it.

With the current economy, women shoppers have to be savvy about how they spend their hard earned money. Women still want to be pretty and able to experiment with new looks even on a tight budget. Fugly Lab meets this need for women of color.

What’s next for Fugly Lab?

Our goal is to open a retail store in Los Angeles by late 2009. In addition, I am constantly on the hunt for new brands and products. I welcome any suggestions from readers.


1). Lacquer On The Run: Nicole by O.P.I With it's twist on cap is great to keep in the purse for touch ups if you are as rough on your hands as I. O.P.I products are known for their long lasting chip resistant ability, so if you aren't abnormally rough with your hands I believe long lasting would apply to the Nicole, Nic's Stick.

2). Just Enough Color: Anna Sui Lip Rough
I love lip gloss and this one has just enough color to enhance your lips without being to shiny or oily feeling. The petite lip compact with the rose embosed lid was an indicator of the fragrance that was infused in the gloss. I love to recieve many types of flowers, and roses is one of them but I don't care for my perfumes or any products I wear on my body to have rose as the front running scent.This product would not be a good fit for my make-up bag, but for those of you that don't mind the rose scent, I say the color and gloss is good and the moisture is just enough.

3). Creamy Luxury: Dermetologica, essential cleansing solution
Cleansing my face is a daily ritual and my skin is normal, not oily or dry and even though this would seem to be the perfect balance, I tend to need moisture after a facial cleansing. With this product I went with out putting on a moisturizer after it's use just to see how it turned out and I did not feel extra dry like other products I have used in the past.

4). Body Moisturizing: The Fizzy Habit The fizz reminds us of that of an alka-seltzer and it last about as long with the soak in the tub comes a great balance of moisturizers, not oily, not heavy, leaving the skin with a even amount of softness and sheen. I enjoy taking baths and finding great soaking aids and the fizz is on my list of great soaks.

Artistic makeup for day

Day 2 with my false lashes (experiment), as ruff as I sleep that's a miracle,
Thanks Michelle.

I've turned into a minimalist during the day, half the time no make up at all unless I am out on business or a day time date with my husband. Although I'm a stern believer in skin care and a absolute lover COLOR on my face, I have some how reached a plateau with the many different looks I was able to create through my years of doing hair and makeup for the public, I still have found it a bit boring getting creative with my own face... maybe because I haven't made any changes...nose job...eyebrow lift, etc.(and I don't have any plans for this in the future, although nothing is out of the question). So for the past few months I have been open to new experiences with my fashion and makeup. I was in a beauty supply store and a women asked if she could give me a flyer, I took it and found out that she was a make-up artist.
Looking at her own makeup inspired me to make an appointment with her. She is not afraid of bright color and I have grown timid on that front when it comes to applying such color to my own face.

Her color choices here are nice and bright, giving a tropical feeling of fun and flirty.
My experience with this artist was pleasant and inspiring, Michelle Lee is her name and helping women get beautifully blended looks is her thing. Michelle says, she absolutely enjoys what she does and invites you to give her a call if you need some advice on how to acheive the look you desire.

As you can see experimenting with color even when it comes to her hair is not off limits.

Need some advice Call or Email Michelle Lee:
(951)796-9062 OR

What is you opinion on color, is it for you? We want to know what YOU think.

Product Review

I recieved a package yesterday from my networking friend Onamia from over at Fugly Lab, this package contained 2 products for REVIEW.

1). Dermalogica: essential cleansing solution

I believe GREAT skin starts with basic skin care. My basic regimen is cleanse, tone then moisturize. So putting this product into my daily routine is simply a matter of switching what I am currently using out with this product.

2). NIC'S STICKS by O.P.I (Nicole)

The color is called; Stick with me-NS 002 (it's a creamy white color- I like)
Paint & Go nail lacquer. This will be a conscious effort because lately I have gotten addicted to letting the nail tech do my hands and feet. I use to only get Pedicures. On my bi-weekly trip to my nail tech I will request that she uses this on me instead of the nail polishes.

I will be using this with a base coat and then testing it without it also.
I will be posting my results of both products with pictures at a later date.

Meanwhile please check out Fugly Lab for many other products and brands. Most I believe are in trial size, so that we can try them at a cost effective price point (and not having to commit to the large bottle at full price just to find out if you like it or not). Stop over and purchase those products that you have been wanting to try.

Mind Body Spirit

I joined this network last week in order to keep me motivated in my endless endeavor to loose weight. As you all know I do enjoy food a little to much. I'm only making this post as a way of keeping me true to my ultimate goal of shedding the pounds. Through my years of trying and failing in this area, I have learned one thing about me and that is....I have to loose weight through portion control and conscious eating, I tend to eat when I am happy -it's my way of celebrating, and unfortunately I eat when I'm upset. So knowing these things about myself I'm committed to exchanging those habits for new one like getting on my treadmill instead. Don't worry I'm well aware of the fact that this is not going to be easy, but I believe that by posting it for the world to see, that you wonderful people will help keep me on point toward my goal.

And I found an interesting article you should take a look at, it had stated that, " The founding father of medicine, the Greek philosopher Hippocrates recommended exercise as treatment for mental illness more than 400 years BC. He described walking as “man’s best medicine”. Walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, dancing, bowling, in fact whatever exercise you enjoy increases the bodies hormones endomorphines which increase our feeling of well being. Great for the mind and the body – a double whammy!" Read More Here.

So people I'm at it again. And after I get a handle on portion control my husband and myself will continue to provide you with "Resturant Reviews," I will be eating more of their wonderful salads (got to still watch the ingredience they put in the dressings)

What are some of the things you are doing to stay fit or GET FIT?

All Around Foodie

Polpette di Granchio

Salmone al Finocchio

Rack of Lamb

Cheese Cake

Creme Brulee

Espresso, Mmmmmmmmmm Good!

Located on the famous CA Highway 101 and across the street from the ocean, Vilgilucci’s Seafood and Steakhouse is the ideal destination for couples looking for that unique dining adventure. From the time you enter the front door you are transported away to the Italian coast. From the distinctive Italian accents of the staff, the Mediterranean décor, and a detailed menu- you will be convinced you are back in the old country.
To enjoy the full experience be sure to start at the bar. Vilgilucci’s has an extensive wine selection and full liquor bar. All tables offer stunning views of the ocean. We started the evening with lobster bisque and crab cakes. For dinner we shared the Salmone al Finnochio and Rack of Lamb with a succulent lobster tail. We finished the evening with Crème Brulee and espressos.
Moderately priced and with a professional staff , you will find your evening at Vilgilucci’s to more than whet your appetite for the fine Italian dining you have been missing.

Reservations recommended. Valet parking offered.

Vilgilucci’s Seafood and Steakhouse
3878 Carlsbad Blvd 92009

Beauty Balance

Try Something New or Different

I'm all about changing your look from time to time to keep you looking fresh and stylish. Trying something totally new every once in a while is worth doing, just to get a different perspective of who you could present to the world, "You from a different perspective."

With me being a certified cosmetologist also having worked in the retail business of beauty, trying new things comes easy to me for the most part, when it’s pertaining to fashion or beauty. This post is for the ladies that have had the same look for.....let's just say way to long. Changing your look can translate into a make-over or a make-under depending on the time of year or the occasion. But some of us tend to get stuck (as I am writing this a commercial comes to mind, it’s the one with the phrase, "I've fallen and I can't get up", LOL -smile). Well ladies I'm here to give you a hand, think about this.... Life is about change, from the day we are born, we grow and develop as we are exposed to more and more things.
I didn't care for the eyebrows, but I was letting someone new do my makeup at the MAC counter, surprisingly I like the color on me....on those drama filled, dates with my husband he also likes different looks.

Change is good even if it’s just trying on a new color of eye shadow, you may look in the mirror and say, “this is not for me.” Also going and trying on a pair of shoes you wouldn't normally choose for yourself, may reveal that your leg actually looks slimmer in an open toed, 4" heel. All I'm saying is, “go on, try it” never know when you see the way it looks, it just may inspire a whole new you. O.K., I'll admit your life may not turn into a "Cinderella" story but you just may learn something about yourself that inspires other changes that make you a better person. Outer change can give you new perspective and inspire inner change (mind, body, spirit).

I myself have tried something recently that taught me a little more about me. I sat for 8 hours in order to get long (mid-back) individual braids. The 8 hours were rough even with small breaks. I chose to try these braids out, after seeing a young lady in a nail shop. Ooohh...her hair was beautiful, so I asked, "who did your hair," it was the young ladies sister. So I made the arrangements for her to come over and braid my hair in the same manner.

Well after 8 hours the braides were beautiful and the process was not to painful, really not at all, but a few hours later the braids seemed to tighten up and my scalp became tender to the touch....I took some tylenol and tried to get some sleep, it was a rough night. It took 2 days for the pain to go away. I’m proud to say that the braids were worth every penny of the $130.00 ( a deal, I’m telling you, this braider’s work is beautifully done- every part is a triangular one). After the initial 8 hour process and the pain subsided, I enjoyed the hair style for a whole month (I know some of you out there would have stretched them out for a quarter of a year- we’ll cover that in another post, LOL).

For 30 days I did not have to style my hair, but I found that I enjoy styling my hair most days (although I have some bad hair days) and I found that I enjoy wearing it in different styles throughout the month. I learned several things I really don’t like sitting that long and the painful first two days is just something I not willing to go through again, any time soon. After all the praise of how beautifully done the braids were (and there were), I learned that braids are not for me.

What are some of the new beauty or fashion things that may change your style; you have tried or are willing to try? And what did you learn or hope to find out?

I'm Still Dating My Spouse, what about you?

We are inviting all MARRIED COUPLES to join our dynamic, fun and touching group. My husband and I have formed the network over at Ning and our group is called, what else,

Still Dating My Spouse.” To our surprise it’s a rapidly growing network it is a place where you can get tips, ideas and advice. Open to Everyone that is Married. We are working on having lasting, meaningful relationships with our spouses. Discussions on life, love, happiness, children, extended family and strengthening our bond.

Check out a blog post titled "Rejuvenation Time"

Glamorous Beauty

Prom 2008 For pictures of this transformation go to my alter ego at Dee Zynes for explanation of the beauty process.

There a those occasions where you just want to be glamorously gorgeous and for my daughter the occasions was senior prom. I look at this young woman and can't believe the time has passed so quickly. I don't want to let go.
Do you have a senior that is leaving the safety of your nest? Or do you have any make up tips you'd like to share? Let me hear from you :-)

Preserving Family Heritage

I am so into old black and white pictures of people, they inspire me ( this is a new found love). This picture is of my husbands great grandmother and it's a reminder of my own black history. Just looking at other peoples collections has now motivated me to start collecting photos of my own family. I've started asking all my relatives for any old black and white photos they may have so that I can make a copy of them to add to my small but growing personal collection.

The quilt above even with the tattered areas is a wonderfully peiced together part of family history. It is quilted with cotton fabrics in different florals, small plaids and some large solids. It is the work of my husbands great grandmother, Mary Madea Brooks ( pictured here). We had the 5ft by 7 ft quilt framed and the photograph of her restored and framed also.

What old family items do you hold dear, why?

Beautiful LOVE

As my friends know, I believe in taking time out to "Date My Spouse." I advocate this because it's easy to start taking one another for granted. The things we did to attract our spouses can easily be put on the list that’s titled “Not Important, once we have said, ‘‘I do.” But I say to you put your spouse on your daily “To Do List, just like a garden needs tending in order to grow and produce beautiful yummy fruit , nurture your relationship and fortify it with lot’s of love, tender kisses and care-full-ness. Don’t allow our jobs and or children to be the excuse to do nothing special for our spouses. We say things like, "I'm just to tired after work," or "My children need me," etc, etc. and these excuses just may be true but I know that if
you want a long and HAPPY marriage, “work –it” continually.
I had the pleasure of meeting a great person a few weeks ago, online her name is Itiel McVay, of Smell Good Spa. She is "Dating Her Spouse" and loving it, she posted one of her many dates on her blog at "Still Dating My Spouse" and another date recommendation that answered the question, “Is it important to actually go out to have a date?”
Itiel said, “No. Just last weekend my husband and I had date nights! On Friday, we went out and had a great time. You can read about that on Still Dating My Spouse ning. However, on Saturday we had date night at home. Our daughters (8 & 7) love seeing mommy and daddy date, so they are willing to get out of the way and go to bed. A few days leading up to our weekend, we planned to have our very own spa night on Saturday. We planned our menu for the scrub, and he went shopping. We did a pineapple and mango scrub with turbinado sugar. Blend the fruit in a blender and use about 1/2 cup of sugar. I mixed us a tropical mango and papaya fragrance massage oil. We had candles, incense, and soft music;We massaged each other with the scrub (shower off before massage with oil);We massaged each other with warm oil. Very relaxing and romantic.I make spa products for my business and I go to the spa, but my spa time with my husband was oo la la.”
Tell me about a Great date you and your spouse had, and or any suggestions for a date at home, products, or services we can purchase to aide us with this romantic date and why?
Happy Marriage
B. beautiful, mind, body, spirit

The Beauty Balance

Yes I am what you would call a mixer and matcher, I know, I know, to some of you out there, this is a definate no-no. But hear me out. From personal experience I found that it was easier for me to buy new skin care in separates, as they are needed, I just don't feel comfortable buying just because it's the latest line out or someone says I should buy everything (this is the budget conscious part of me shining through LOL:-)). I buy when I run out and find this to be the best time for me to try something new. On the pictures above you will find my skin care regemin to be strictly drug store at the moment, with a off-brand "Oil of Olay" want-a-be....It turns out to have been a valued investment (even though my husband bought me some MAC facial cleanser, I can't seem to through it away, but I don't care for it at's going today). I'm running out of pretty much everything for my facial skin care regimen, the timing seems to be perfect...Date Night is approaching and I will be going to see my makeup artist at our local MAC counter (Mayumi, she's the best)to get all dolled up and to see what's new. Again I'm not stuck on Name Brand anything.... I just like what works for me. I happen to love beautiful vibrant colors and MAC seems to draw my attention because in the color department it delivers exactly what you see. I will let you know how the MAC visit worked out in a future post.
I also had the pleasure to meet the owner of a new cosmetics line, Onamia Chun of "Fugly Lab" and will be trying out some of her make-up (coming soon).

What beauty products do you use and why?
"B. beautiful, mind, body, spirit.

Moms' In Business

I thank you for visiting my blog, I have had a pleasure of meeting some “up and coming” entrepreneurs and I will be featuring one today and I’d like you to visit her site,
Nana’s Baby , where you can purchase Great things for baby and read more about the lady, Angela Solomon, CEO/ mompreneur.

Where did you get the idea to start your business?

What made me start Nana's Baby was a concept for toys and clothes after my daughter Madison Mabel was born. I felt that there is a need for both multicultural toys and clothes on the market. Toys and clothes that speak to US as fashion forward moms; socially, politically aware moms.

Why did you choose baby industry?

I chose the baby industry b/c that's where I could make the greatest impact. In our clothes, i think babies/toddler are cutie pies, who are a style staple for fashion. Why not put cute hip hop inspired art meets baby on them? My shirts are light, playful and not to mention as soft as a baby's bottom.

How long have you been in business?

I have been in business since Summer 2006.

For, all the moms out there that are thinking about start their own business, what do you think would be helpful for them to know?

I would like mompreneurs to know that starting a business can be trying at times but its very much worth it if what u do is your passion! I really believe in the clothes I have on the market and toys I will be bringing to market.

What was a fond memory of your grandma, since you said she inspired the name of your company?

I have so many fond memories of my Nana Mabel. I spent summers with her and my grandpa. They were old fashioned, strict but very loving. It was refreshing to look at the slow-ness but pure happiness through their eyes. I remember my Nana telling me stories about her grandfather, who was a freed slave who started a cesspool business in VA so the entrepreneurial spirit is in my blood. I also remember a lot of hugs, kisses, reading stories, holding hands. My grandma was one of the strongest people I ever met, who never bit her tongue. Her famous saying was 'there's nothing to it but to do it.

I thought I was the only one who thought that the clothing available for children now, are styles that are to grown up especially for girls, what's your opinion?

I fully agree with you that the clothes of today for girls look like corner fashion. I really have to go through the racks to pick and choose what is appropriate and what isn't. I have a 12 year old, who is developing and I try to buy things that won't draw looks and stares at her body and really the same for my 4 year old. I want to great clothes that are indicative of yesterday fashion but with today's flair and hip-ness. I really think it's possible!!

Can we get a little peak at what the future holds for us (customers), in the Nana’s baby design world?

I really think global when I think of Nana's Baby. I will have our toys on the markets and evolved into learning toys for older children. I would also like shirts, pants, dresses etc.. that add that "remix on tradition."

Thanks for talking to us here at "B. beautiful, mind, body, spirit.

We Hope for continued success in your business.

Be Blessed.

Are you a WAHM or do you know one the is in the business of Beauty or Fashion, email me at

My Own Little Garden Fairies

My Girls love to dress up and I think these are great springtime pictures......Happy Easter.

The Adventures Of Kel and Rhyn


My little imaginative, actresses, artists, adventurous ladies in training. My world is never can get hectic but never boring, LOL. I've been giving the girls painting lessons and they are learning more about patients because of the drying time in between colors- they love to mix every color in one big blob. I know that can also be artistic but I want them to see the difference in their work when they don't blend all the colors together. And after this lesson if they still choose to blend all the colors, then that will be fine. After explaining to them over and over that in order for them to not end up with a picture that is a solid mass of grey swirls, I decided to take charge of the creative process by only allowing them a few colors to paint with to start. I made sure they understood how to clean their brushes in between paint colors.I painted with them so they would see that a painting does not have to be finished in 5 minutes. I plan to give them more colors each session, once the girls understand the basics. And I find that when we talked about what they were wanting to paint before hand that they seemed more focused.

Class is in session :-)

Is there any craft that you enjoyed teaching your child and if so what was the extra lesson your child learned?

I love Flowers

It's funny because although I really love many different types of flowers. I find that I don't choose to purchase roses for myself and my husband says he doesn't buy roses for me either ( he buys flowers for me, but mostly a variety of other lovely gifts) he says, every husband tends to buy roses when they purchase flowers for their wives, he always wants to be different- Thank God (smile). Well I was shopping at Super Target and these red roses just seem to be calling my name, they are now placed in a small round vase by my bed. I had watched something on Fine Living or one of those networks, about how to make roses open up and it worked. I think I want a rose bush, because these turned out to be so beautiful. I once heard someone say, "Give me my flowers while I live." And I so agree. I guess since spring has now sprung that is why I've took the time to smell the roses, LOL.
ENJOY EVERY DAY & B. beautiful, mind, body, spirit.

It's Our Anniversary

My husband is my inspiration, he encourages me to grow through doing what I enjoy and helps me when I need it.

He's a hard worker, last spring we laid sod. But I must admit he did most, all of the heavy lifting- he's a gentleman.

We are growing in a new way together and I'm excited for the years to come. Each of us brings to our marriage more of what the other was in need of. This year we are in the mist of learning how to work with each others strengths and helping the other strengthen their weakness. I always have appreciated him but have now learned to express it, outwardly.
We aren't going out to celebrate tonight, but we will celebrate with dinner at home with our children.
Here's to all the wonderful, inspiring and generous husbands out there.


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