Monday, December 19, 2011

VH1 Divas!

Last night my cousin and I headed to the VH1 Divas concert in NYC. We were wowed by great performances: Jill Scott, Mary J Blige, Ledisi (whose voice I've grown to love -- not the screaming part but her incredible range), Jennifer Hudson and more.
As Common walked by me, I was so tempted to reach out and touch, but I didn't want security to throw me out into the bitter cold so I restrained myself. Common is too sexy for himself. I have to admit that I joined the Common fan club late, because although I've always known how talented he is, I didn't fall in such deep like until "Just Wright". I think his humble demeanor makes him extra sexy!
Highlights for me: Chaka Khan (who I want to be my momma or my aunt), BoyzIIMen, who haven't lost their swag at all, and my girl Marsha Ambrosius, who did her thang on the Back2Life medley.

Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples and Erykah Badu (this outfit works on you Erykah!)
(VH1 image)

Jill Scott - AMAZING! - She is the epitome of soul !
(VH1 Image)

Mary J WORKED this white dress, as her hubby looked on in admiration just a few feet away from us.
(VH1 Image)

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this outfit Mary!
(VH1 Image) 
My cousin and I after the show

Special thanks to Michele Cranford and Tashana for organizing everything for us -- we had so much fun!!

The show airs tonight at 9pm on VH1- you should check it out.

Just1Touch Holiday Appreciation Party

Left to Right: Robert Chisone, Thalia, Sir William, me, Robert Ballatt

The Massage Mogul, Robert Ballatt, and the Just1Touch crew hosted an all weekend Client Appreciation/ Holiday Party. My intention was to show up for my hour-long massage, sip a martini or two and head home relaxed with chi in tact. Instead I ended up bruised and sore from the pole dancing classes which were being offered at the party, I ate snacks and other goodies which my hips don't need, and ended up with a slight headache from 3, or was it 4 martinis?
So although I enjoyed my massage, after that party, I think I need to schedule another one!

 Here's Rob waiting for the candidate to slide down the pole...
he doesn't look like he really wanted to volunteer (side eye)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stick Fly Play on Broadway!

Since I'm a huge Alicia Keys fan, you know I had to go see "Stick Fly" on Broadway. I missed opening night (tear), and I found out about the "Meet and Greet" too late (major groan) BUT I finally made it to Cort Theatre to catch the play.
It wasn't quite what I was expecting to be honest. I didn't look into it prior to going; I just heard "Alicia Keys" and I bought tickets! So I was expecting a musical more than a play (which is my fault because all over Twitter it IS called @stickflyplay ! Shame on me but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
I don't want to give away anything so you'll just have to go see for yourself!
What I WILL say is
               that you'll laugh...
                        maybe cry at some point...
                                       Mekhi Phifer is SEXY at any angle AND did a great job, especially since this is his Broadway debut! (He was my personal fave, obvious reasons aside, and I really liked Ruben Santiago-Hudson, whose expressions alone speak volumes, and Rosie Benton as well).

Alicia Keys is the Producer/Composer of this play (it was all original music). I recommend as a must-see! The great news is they have a special now on tickets, BOGO on Broadway honey! So you buy a ticket at full price and you get the 2nd for $9.99! It's part of the theatre's 99th anniversary celebration of its first production in 1912! I'd take advantage of that if I were you! If my behind didn't rush to buy tickets, then I'd be bogo-ing it up too!
One more thing, traffic is HORRENDOUS in NYC so please consider that in your travels, that way you don't spend your time crying on 48th street for fear of being locked out of the theatre!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Things I considered selling my cooch for...

An Hermes Birkin Bag
I'd like one in tan or turquoise blue...
oh what the heck, I'd take both colors ($10,000 each)
 You'd be able to spend the night for this...
But since it IS a recession, I'd settle for a Marc Jacobs satchel,
which is only a little over $1000.
No, you won't even get past the living room for this...

To satisfy my lust for gadgets, I want an ipad
I don't need it, I just want it !
It starts around $500... 
BUT if I have to cut back, (sighs and rolls eyes) I'd take a Nook Color
which is only around $200

And while I'm shopping for gadgets, I might as well pick up one of these babies
($1500 and up)

When I saw these, I think I had an ______
...Brian Atwood pumps $350
(suppressing squeal!) I think I just______ again.

Ace of Spades Champagne - about $300 up...
After a long day of shopping (not to mention working hard for ma money) I think I deserve a glass!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Talk That Talk

SO I finally got my hands on Rihanna's 6th album: Talk That Talk and I love it! I think it's mostly because I just love Rihanna. She's like that crazy cool girlfriend who's been through a lot. Sometimes I think she lives such an exciting life: travelling, touring etc, and other times I feel she's really lonely, as she re-iterates on this album, she just needs love; we all do.
I bought the deluxe edition (cause I always feel I'll miss out on something if I don't). My fave tracks are:
Track #4: " Talk That Talk" (usually on repeat in my car with me wining hard in my seat! lol)
Track #7: "We All Want Love"
Track #8: "Drunk on Love"
Track #11: "Farewell"
Track #12: "Red Lipstick" - Deluxe Edition - (it speaks to my inner, uhm, alter ego)
Track #14: "Fool in Love" - Deluxe Edition

Why I love Rihanna?
Rihanna came from a little island, Barbados, to become an international success. She's an example of hope, (that you CAN make it no matter where you're from), fortitude (she rose above the Chris Brown altercation), hard work (she has been one of the top artists in the world for the past 5 years, she did a movie, she has perfumes out, she's a Covergirl spokeswoman and more), trendsetter (you can tell by all the hairstyles, haircolors, fashion and even tattoos that so many want to be like her)...

Why she makes me nervous?
I must admit she makes me nervous sometimes. I think she needs a break; time to re-group. She makes me think that she WILL break if she doesn't take a break cause it seems her life is spiralling outta control. She's so young and beautiful with a wide open road ahead of her full of possibilities. Then again, maybe that's all a part of the bad girl lifestyle and she's beating the iron while it's hot.

Whatever the case, I am rooting for her and I hope she has much continued success.
Image from

Friday, December 9, 2011

Date Chat with The Massage Mogul

The Massage Mogul, Robert Ballatt, has started a Date Chat series. With all his experience in the world of physical therapy and pamper parties, (and basically being around a LOT of women lol) he is extending efforts to matters of the heart.
There are many single ladies out there, as are single men, looking for that special someone. It's not even a matter of getting hitched (for those of you who break out into hives when the words "marriage" or "committment" arise) but simply for starters: the dating experience.
Rob has introduced this series to bridge that gap.

With The Massage Mogul at his "Conversation and Cocktails" Date Chat Event

WHAT?! lol

Of course, where there is Rob, there are massages. (I really don't think he knows how NOT to work!).
Rob, his work stations, and his Just1Touch staff, were at the lounge massaging attendees before the chat. What an after-work treat: drinks, great convo and massages!!

Rob and Rob (yes the other guy is Rob too) hard at work

Just by the turnout for the event, it is evident that this is a topic which women, AND men (yes the men were in full effect too) want to grasp...and hey it's a great way to meet people as well.
Robert's Date Chat Tour continues into 2012. Look for him in a city near you!
Rob on Twitter: @themassagemogul
Rob's Blog:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's the most wonderful tiiiiiime...

Christmas Tree Cake
~ courtesy Cakes Galore by Sheila
(Orange Chiffon on top tiers, Red Velvet on 3rd tier, Lemon Raspberry on bottom)

With just a little over two weeks to go, Christmas is almost here. ALREADY! Apart from the over-sensationalism of the holidays, I do enjoy the season. Most people are in a great mood and there's something about that time of year from Thanksgiving into the New Year that's just festive and fun!
A few of my friends are going crazy trying to find out-of-stock items for their kids, (really for their own gratification because some of the kids are too young to even care! lol) and you wouldn't think this country was experiencing a recession by the looks of Black Friday Sales but alas, that all ties into Christmas!
In the meantime I'm racking up on holiday invites and crossing them off one wine glass after the other.

I pray for everyone to enjoy the season.The shopping and the parties are fun, but remember to be thankful for what you have. There are SO MANY PEOPLE  who cannot afford the basics, much less to even think about shopping for presents.
Give, in whatever way you can. Donate food to a shelter, church, a neighbor you know might be in need. Donate coats or clothes: there are many organizations out there who do the legwork and the donations actually get to people in need. Donate money if you can afford to, or your time by volunteering. It doesn't take much to make a difference.
Celebrate life with loved ones; family, friends, whomever. The hustle and bustle of life can tear us apart and break us down if we allow it. At the end of the day, the bills and all the other things we stress about are inconsequential (please don't interpret this as "Mandy said don't pay my bill and buy _____" --raised eyebrow-- you know exactly what I mean!).
Hug your children, tell your spouse you love them and mean it, spend quality time with your girlfriends, your homies, yourself!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hair Rules in the House of Mikko!

I went to this event and I just HAVE to share with you before everything falls outta my brain. The House of Mikko teamed with Hair Rules to create this super fun night of networking, sipping on Qream and talking about what we ladies talk about most...sorry fellas, you guys fall somewhere after shoes, pocketbooks and HAIR!

Now MOST of us women (if not all of us) spend the MOST time on our hair! I know I do ! Whether it's Team Natural like me, relaxed, dreadlocks, long, pixie, whatever, HAIR seems to be a common thread!

I figured this was some sort of hair event, but what I was pleasantly surprised to see were all the fabulous hairstyles (majority natural) under one roof! (Ok let me interject by saying it's not that I haven't seen an abundance of natural hair and all sorts of styles in my lifetime, it's just that for the past 2 - 3 years I have ditched my relaxer and gone back to my natural roots and lately I feel like more people are also taking the "natural" approach so it seems to be the trend).

We had the pleasure of watching celebrity stylist, Anthony Dickey, "bang" out about three makeovers in an hour (what every woman NEEDS in her life: to be in and out of the salon in record time and step out with great hair!). Anthony has styled my girl, Alicia Keys; one of the stars of my FAVE series Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker; Andre 3000 (yes that coif doesn't come naturally) and more.

Here is Anthony with one of the makeover winners

Already cut and blow drying...


and voila!

This event was to launch a new app coming out in January 2012 called "I Love Your Hair". This new app will be the gateway to hairstyles, access to stylists, tips and even just sharing your stories, whatever. Please note: IT'S FOR ALL TYPES OF HAIR! (they didn't mention lacefronts but lacefronts need love too...) It's for all types of hair! Kinky, curly, fros, long, short, wavy, you name it. THAT is the beauty of it!
Anyway here are some pics from the event, remember to go to to sign up!

This is Tika (I hope I spelled it right)

 Tika has this phenomenal head of hair and it's all contained (for the most part) in her headwrap!
Yes that's her hair you're seeing there!

This is her sister, Cipriana (who has an uncanny resemblance to my cousin Sacha)

Cipriana told me it once took her 8 HOURS to blow dry her hair straight! I couldn't IMAGINE EVERRRRR going through that! I hated the 4 hours it took to braid my hair once for a trip to Miami! It was fun in the sun at the time but I haven't done it since!
I wish I had taken a picture of Cipriana and her sister together...they are tall, were dressed funky, very model-like and striking with that height and hair. You can check out Cipriana's blog, Urban Bush Babes for more on her and natural hair etc.

Here I am with Sukari,
who was not only a makeover winner but also on her natural hair journey...
and what a great start: haircut and tips from Anthony Dickey himself!

I just loved her attitude! :)

The sweet and lovely Kai - co-founder of I Love Your Hair App, pictured here with moi... 

And here I am with Anthony Dickey
(wondering if I could get squeezed in to have MY tresses done!)
Hair Rules
828 9th Ave #2
New York, NY

Grammy Noms: YAYS AND NAYS!

So the Grammys Nominations are in, and I am so ready for the big night Feb 12th 8pm CBS. No I'm not up for a Grammy (yet!), but I'm working on it OK????
Anyway, while I'm very happy for the nominees (I KNOW it takes a lot of work to get THERE) I have to throw in my 2 cents on those who made it, and those who didn't quite make the cut...this year.

The Ins:

ADELE: Without a doubt, she was going to be in the forefront for Grammy nods. If they didn't nominate "21", the Recording Academy would be Rolling in Deep Sh*t! This is by far one of the BEST records EVER!! Her voice, the lyrics, the heartwrenching or floor stomping music. Adele even has gangsters bopping to her music. This was a no-brainer!

Katy Perry: She won me over with "Fireworks" - I thought at first the song was kinda froo froo or popcorny or something, but the lyrics are great and the tune is catchy (besides this is one of my cousins anthem so Katy gets love from me on this song...Dear Katy, please don't show up to the awards with cheese on your head again because I will remember why you annoy me).

Nicki Minaj and J Cole - yes, I root for Nicki because she is bada**. To earn her place in the rap game among her top MALE counterparts and she's from Trini? Nuff said!  I saw JCole in concert and he is smooth and seems humble. He gets a nod from me. Either one of them could take Best New Artist for me.

Rihanna, Bruno, the list goes on...all good, mostly obvious contenders....

The Surprises?:

Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse - I don't know why this comes as a surprise since the crooner and the late great jazzy singer did a fab job on their duet.
Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera: you can NOT listen to "Moves Like Jagger" without grooving - sorry! Either you have no music in your soul or something stuck up your
Kanye West: You know if they didn't nominate Kanye he would've pummeled Taylor Swift with her own grammy then blown up the buiiildiiiiing! (Kanye voice)
Sorry Taylor, you were NOT nominated this year for your OWN safety. Don't worry girl, you can rock your frock and curls some other time...who needs a stupid Grammy anyway? (yeah right!)
Beyonce: "4"...ok the major shocker...Beyonce did not get a nod for this album (she did get a nod on the duet with Andre 3000 for "Party"). Listen people people people! Beyonce will be quite alright shining those she already has, while rubbing her 3/6/8th mth's okay for OTHER ARTISTS to get a chance!

The Outs:

There ARE many artists who have great music out there but weren't nominated; artists like Jill Scott, Anthony David and so many more. Artists with QUALITY MUSIC...I'm talking real intruments, they ARE the songwriters, less advertising behind them etc. Those whose music don't always get radioplay (sometimes I think it's Drake radio - Hot Drake, 105 point Drake...)... but they have an incredible fan base nonetheless because they are just THAT good!
Every once in an eclipse, an "underdog" will be nominated AND/OR awarded (kudos again Esperanza Spalding) and give hope to great music everywhere!

So I have quite a few who I'm rooting for. I hope Adele makes a clean sweep! I'll do another post with my Grammy predictions some other time.
For a complete list of nominees, click here:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Handle With Care"

This is a beautiful excerpt from a book I'm currently reading: "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult.

"Things break all the time. Glass, and dishes, and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence, and fever....

...Promises break.
Hearts break."

French Nails

I tried a new spot that I found via LivingSocial, French Nails.
They did a fantastic job, not only with the care they put into the mani/pedi, but also the massages!! They massaged my calves and feet until I almost fell asleep! The hot stone and warm towel too?! They even massage your shoulders while your nails dry! RE-LAX-ING! (And all for $25! SHUT UP! I know right?)

With the holidays and all (and also a change from my typical "french") I opted for this glittery purple. I like that it's festive. The lady looked a bit surprised when I said I wanted the color on my feet too (I guess nobody over the age of twelve does that) but hey, they're my nails and I'll sparkle if I want to!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving met me chilling with one of my cousins in the wee hours of the morning. I should've been resting in preparations for the feast du jour, but I would trade sleep anyday for moments like those! (What life is all about!)
I thoroughly enjoyed the time with my family.
Here are a few pics from our weekend:

My cousin and I at the skating rink 

Out to dinner after iceskating

headed out to the ice...
"red and black lumberjack" ~ Biggie

This says it all !

So how'd I spend my weekend? Cooking, eating, drinking (lots of Moscato), laughing, having fun, very grateful...I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday as well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I've come a long way baby!

There was once a time when Thanksgiving for me looked like this...
I could barely cook and was the least interested, but I wanted to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving for my husband. With no idea how to start, I headed to the grocery and that's when I discovered Thanksgiving in a can: GLORY! (Glory Hallelujah is more like it!)

I picked up everything I could along the lines of Thanksgiving: mustard greens (which I had never had before; when I did ? "bleh" - didn't taste right to me), candied yams (which was a little soggy but reminded me of sweet potatoes so I could work with it -- later I found out that here in the US it's pretty much the same thing), baked beans, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing...honey you couldn't tell me nuthin'! I baked a chicken and voila! (Yes everything, except the chicken, was out of a can or a box).
(1) Open cans/ packages
(2) Follow directions (which was pretty much heating everything up).
(3) Done!
All this prepping the night before and waking up before God did, just to cook? Crazy talk!!
Of course my meal didn't compare to his mother's and grandmother's cooking but he was a good sport about it - rest his soul (and in case you're wondering, no he did not pass away from my cooking :)

His family is from "down South" so you KNOW eeeeeverything was not only good but made from scratch):
The glazed ham with pineapples
The turkey with the "real" stuffing (yes giblets and all - I thought I would barf when I found out giblets were in there though)
The collard greens (which were cleaned and seasoned and you have to know exaaaaaaactly how to cook them so they don't taste bitter?)
The mac and cheese (with about 5 cheeses!)
Sweet potato pies that everyone was asking grandma to make (what did she put in there? CRACK?)
Food that made my arteries cringe but sooooooooooo yummy!!

Fast forward a few years later and guess who is prepping the night before and waking up in the wee hours of the morning to prepare this Feast?
I still don't know how to cook Collard Greens (I haven't tried), and I ain't messin' with giblets but I LOVE that my son REQUESTS my lamb, and my sweet potato casserole as some of his faves for T/giving. I love that I now really COOK for my family and friends, and I'm not dumping everything out of a can. (Hey I'm not knocking it if YOU do, we all gotta start somewhere! lol)
Have a Happy Safe Thanksgiving and I wish you plenty of food and wine!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Countdown to "gobble" day

Thanksgiving is a few days away and this year I'm the chef! :) I'm SO looking forward to family time and sharing the day with friends as well.
Recently I went to a PRE-Thanksgiving dinner, hosted by my friend, Sheila (owner of Cakes Galore by Sheila). The food was delish as usual but the highlight for me was the cake.
Yes, this is cake!
(the "stuffing/croutons" is cake and other candy)

I already know Sheila is beyond talented with her creations, never failing to wow us time and again with unbelievable cakes and cookies and all sorts of goodies...but THIS literally "takes the cake" for me.
And because I know you're probably still doubting this is cake, here it is sliced...

(And  she just haaaaaaad to slice it like an actual turkey...)
Still shaking your head?

Here's the cake (red velvet at the bottom and vanilla on top) cut for you to see.

Cool right? (If you'd like to place an order with Sheila, call Cakes Galore: 732-675-2132).

Anyway, I'm off to find a "kiss the cook" apron....hey any excuse to get some kisses!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sexiest Men Alive!

Recently People Magazine generated some buzz when they named Bradley Cooper "Sexiest Man Alive 2011". Now Bradley certainly is sexy, but many women, myself included, don't regard him the sexiEST!
For my "under a rock dwellers", this is Bradley Cooper:

Yummm I know...

Gulp!..he has SOMETHING going for him, but I can't quite put my finger on it...hmmm

So I wanted to know what other people thought and here are the candidates WE came up with (in no particular order):
1. IDRIS "the only chocolate bar I wanna o.d. on" ELBA (this is a personal fave but other people mentioned him too so he tops our list.

Those lips and that hot accent?
(Hey boo, call me!)

2. Next up we have Portuguese hottie: Cristiano Ronaldo 

Incentive for watching soccer

3. Laz "make-you-wanna-jump-more-than-the-broom" Alonso 

I LOVE Paula Patton, but show of hands...
who else wanted to push her little preppy ass off that bridge (Jumping the Broom) ?

Poof Be Gone Paula!
4. Pooch "Derwin" Hall

When you look like this, you're forgiven for a name like Pooch

5. Jason "transport me anywhere you want" Statham

Sorry one pic just wouldn't do

6. My friend, Erica, said ANY ONE OF THEM from the movie "Fast Five"

I totally agree...
(Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Tyrese)

...and we did not forget Luda was in that movie too...
with his fine movie star rapping rude self

7. Keston Karter: the model from Long Island via Trinidad. When I posted this pic on my facebook page, women went "CRAY" lol...I fear for his life if those savages were to ever meet him...he DEFINITELY gets a shout-out on this list!

8. Denzel: you don't need to even mention a last name. He was actually People Magazine's choice for "Sexiest Man Alive 1996" but many women still swoon after him so he makes our list today.

And last but certainly not least, Trey "I wanna lick ice-cream off your abs" Songz!! I've seen this man in concert a few times and LET ME TELL YOU!!!! With that voice, and them abs ???? When he rips off that t-shirt in one fell swoop?? (it has to be a cheap and probably perforated t-shirt because he rips it off with too much ease) but anyway, "Mr Riffs and Rips" KNOWS what he is doing cause lawwwwwdddd PPD right huurrrrrrrr (Personal Pannie Droppa).

On that note this concludes our list for today. (Ladies, I know most of you have to now get yourselves a roll of papertowels) but if you think of other sexy men we can always have another list...we KNOW there are plenty of them out there!