Apr 29, 2011

Natural Hair Segment on WLTX News19

I helped put together a segment about natural hair that will air on WLTX News 19 tonight @ 5p Eastern!

Janelle Beauty, a natural hair and body product line, will be speaking about their Diva Smooth treatment along with the other products they have to help care for your hair.

Feel free to watch the live broadcast online via www.wltx.com at 5 pm Eastern (click the "watch live" link at the top of the page) and you can even live tweet during the show!

Please send tweets to @WLTX using the hashtags #NaturalHair #FriendsAtFive

You can also tweet me: @sixtwentyseven along with Janelle Beauty: @janellebeauty 

Apr 28, 2011

Cell Phone Intervention

It was like pulling teeth to get me to ditch my sidekick pre-2008, but I made the switch to my blackberry and it was heaven ever since....

That is until I stepped foot into the newsroom and realized my 2008 blackberry (yes, I haven't upgraded by phone in over 3 years) lacked the speed and updated technology I needed to be truly connected in today's society.

It's almost embarrassing to admit because my trusty blackberry has been with me through thick and thin.... but I need a cell phone intervention asap. I've been debating which phone I should get - - I desperately want to stick with a blackberry, but the brand needs to step it up. iPhones and Androids are taking over and I'm hoping my beloved blackberry and QWERTY keyboard can get back into the race. The revamped Sidekick 4G has me feeling a bit nostalgic... but my husband makes fun of me every time the commercial comes on.

My question to the blogosphere is what phones are you using? Have anyone tested the new sidekick? Should I wait for the iPhone 5? Will RIM ever revamp their blackberries? lol...

Apr 26, 2011

Normal Gets You Nowhere

I adore Kelly Cutrone and her brutally honest personality. Her first book "If You Have to Cry, Go Outside" was a New York Times bestseller, sitting on the top for eleven weeks. Her follow-up, "Normal Gets You Nowhere" is set to launch May 3rd, but get a sneak peek by checking out the video below!

From Normal Gets You Nowhere:

On Being Normal:
The truth of the matter is history is full of successful, world-changing people who did not fit in and were definitely not normal. It’s time we started seeing words like “kooky,” “abnormal,” “crazy,” “eccentric,” and “freak” as what they are: character differentiation.As you have your own Divine revelations and nurture your own intuition, I want you to share them with the world. And don’t retreat or feel bad if no one gets it at first. Because, let’s face it, you can only hope they don’t get it. This will give you an edge, otherwise known as a patent or a trademark opportunity. In commerce, in literature and in life, normal gets you nowhere.

On Sex:
How tragic that we lavish money on our daughters’ educations and on after-school activities from cheerleading and Chinese brush painting to field hockey and dance; we encourage them to excel academically and to find fulfilling careers; we send them to Paris and Israel to study culture; yet we spend no time or money teaching them how to have great, healthy adult sex lives. In this book I provide the ten rules of the Kella-Sutra. Make a list of your fantasies – most guys I’ve dated would have been beyond happy if I’d come up with a list of things I wanted to do and try with them.  Learn to be sensual, not just sexual. And don’t fake your orgasms. If you love someone enough, you can occasionally choose to offer up a shag without getting any result for yourself, but I don’t recommend this as a ritual occurrence. You can’t tell a guy he rocked you out or fake an orgasm to make him feel good. We don’t tell people who can’t carry a tune that they’re great singers, so why would we encourage bad habits and abilities in bed?

On Relationships:
  • If you are sleeping with a married man, you’re helping him stay married. A married man will never leave his wife for you and the truth is, even if a guy tells you he’s separated, divorced, or about to get a divorce, it doesn’t hurt to do a little digging around.
  • Just because you’re great lovers doesn’t mean you’re going to live happily ever after.  News flash: there is a huge difference between being great lovers and being partners.
  • Figure out the reasons you want a relationship.  And if you are going to be the person who attempts to be the breadwinner in the relationship, you’re going to need some checks and balances.  Who is doing what and how is each partner contributing to the relationship?  One of the great things about making my own money is that I’ve always been able to sleep with who I wanted, not who I thought would take me shopping.

On Friends (or what it means to truly be a friend in our culture of 5000 friends on Facebook):
  • Establish your No Matter What Club – a group of people who are progressive, open, fearless, and courageous enough to agree to truly be there for one another, no matter what.  Lack of friends has been linked to higher rates of viral disease, cancer, and even death.  Most of us are too quick to call people friends, too quick to say “I love you” and too quick to write people off forever.
  • When we see people in pain, whether it’s from depression, heartbreak, or drugs and alcohol, we tend to back off, reverting to responses like “I can’t deal with her.”  But if your friend is struggling and you bail on her, then it doesn’t matter what you tell yourself: You are not a real friend.  Friends who are lost or overextended are really just crying out for help, and they need our friendship more than ever.

On Work and Business
As you follow your intuition and pursue your dreams, you must be very careful about who you do business with.  Doing business with people is no different than moving to a big city.  You can’t just see every man as a potential boyfriend; you also have to see him as someone who could be dangerous to you at night. And if you open your own company, you should be aware that all those who pass through your doors, whether visitors, clients, messengers, or employees, are not just a potential boon to your business – they are also a potential menace.

On the Law:
Get a crash course in law – know what the labor laws are in each city before you draw your first paycheck.  Remember – the law is not about the truth.  Lawyers don’t care about the truth; they just want to win, and bill as many hours as possible.

On Giving Back (or what it means to represent the Divine Mother in this world aka being a woman who knows how to get shit done):
  • Become proactive to stop the suffering of humanity.  The tools you need are already inside you, just waiting for you to call on them. Most people want Divine beings to do the spiritual work for them – that’s why they give their religious institutions money, so their priests and rabbis can do the work for them.
  • If you have the time to go out to a bar with your friends four times a week, you can go to a soup kitchen at least once.  I believe that in order to have a balanced life, you have to do something every week for other people in your community – that making a difference should be on a par with making love or making money.
  • All of the things you are doing for other people, you’re actually doing for yourself.  Life is like a bank account.  Random acts of kindness, telling the truth, being loving, showing up for yourself and others- these are all deposits.  If we give more than we take, we progress.  If we take more than we give, we regress.

On Life:
Stop fearing death and celebrate the ultimate transition it is.  All of us are sparks, and the whole global universe is a fireworks show.  How does your spark manifest in the world?  Is it progressive or effective?  And what will it leave on this earth when it has moved on?

For more information on Kelly Cutrone visit her site.

Apr 25, 2011

Life Without Cable Pt. 2

My journey to living a cable free life hit a major snag - - NBA Playoffs!! My husband is a sport's freak and every game has turned into a "must watch" event. An even bigger problem is that there seems to be a game on every night of the week which is making the task of sharing a TV quite taxing.

A few nights ago I "banished" him to watch a game on our "no longer connected to a digital cable box" TV. Watching TV that lacked HD was like stepping into a time machine... a really bad time machine back to the 90s lol.. and he would NOT stop complaining. I seriously thought we were going to have to go out and grab another digital receiver, even it it lacked a DVR, just so he would stop running his mouth lol... but we had a talk about how we were both going to need to make sacrifices - - I gave up a bunch of reality shows that are not must-watch for me, and he's learning that every single game isn't life or death (though Bulls games are not up for discussion).

Like I previously shared, we got rid of one of our DVR boxes and managed to cut our cable/internet service by $68, so whenever I find myself getting frustrated that I'm watching yet another layup or free throw I try to remind myself that we have an extra $ each month that we didn't have before. It helps... kinda lol.

I know that life without cable is possible, and I'm really pleased with the amount of shows available online and via Netflix, but seriously - - I'm a TV person!! Even if I'm watching CNN or HGTV (because I watch more than reality shows) having a TV is a must for me.

For those that gave up cable or cut back on their selection of channels, how long did it take you? I'm definitely going to need baby steps.

Apr 24, 2011

Easter Update + Small/Cool 2011 Contest

Happy Easter! I hope everyone enjoyed their day. It was a bit last minute, but I managed to snag a nice ham from the store for dinner. After feasting the hubs and I watched 127 hours (pretty blah movie), a lot of basketball, and lounged around the house. One of my favorite things to do is relax on the couch enjoying the daytime sun. If you can get a nap in it's even better! The sun has a way of putting me at peace... the best is falling asleep in the car during a long daytime ride.

Lately I've been feeling nostalgic and missing life in Chicago. There's nothing better than "summertime Chi" so I can't wait to be back in June to visit friends and family. In the meantime, Liz's clean and streamlined 360 sq ft downtown apartment is giving me my Chi-town fix. It's an entrant in the Teeny-Tiny division of Apartment Therapy's Small/Cool 2011 Contest. I keep staring at the shot of her view trying to figure out what side of town she's on. I swear I know that building in the background - - looks like the South Loop!

Like Liz's space? Give her your vote by clicking here.




 Chicago, Illinois 



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

After renting here for almost a year, the views from my apartment still thrill me every day. In the morning, it sparkles as light bounces off Lake Michigan and pours in from the east. In the evening, I love watching the city light up from the quiet charm of my 7th floor hideaway. My space is simple, clean, and filled personal mementos and pictures of the people and places I love. It's small, but with the big windows and use of space, it never feels that way. The wood, steel, greys and blues help blur the lines between inside and out; I often feel like the park and lake are my own private balcony. But what I love most of all is that that the first thing my sister said when she saw it was, "Liz, it's so YOU!". 

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

I'm plagued by expensive taste with a budget that doesn't necessarily match, so it was challenging for me fill my small space with pieces that I really loved but could also afford. I ended up making (gas pipe shelves were my first big DIY project, and from that point forward, I was hooked), repurposing and finding a lot of things secondhand. By necessity, I quickly learned how to draw, paint, build, reupholster, and navigate Home Depot, and I think the whole apartment feels more like me because of it. The other biggest challenging was rethinking the space so that it suited my needs. When I moved in the setup was very different, and there were two enormous closets that dwarfed my already minimal wardrobe. After a lot of rearranging, I ended up converting one into a dressing/vanity area, and the other into an office/storage space. I worked hard to maximize every square inch, and I'm constantly getting rid of things so that it feels airy and open, not cluttered.

Apr 23, 2011

Male Facial Hair: Take it or Leave it?

Every military family can relate to the joy that spreads across the household when your spouse takes leave!! No PT, no crazy schedule, no demanding "Uncle Sam" butting into your relationship. You get a specific period of time that is undisturbed and strictly for you to do whatever you like! Military leave is somewhat like Christmas and a vacation rolled into one.

One of the more shallow things I love about my husband taking leave is his ability to grow out a devastatingly gorgeous beard. Yes, I love my man with facial hair and whether you'd like to admit it or not, most women find it appealing to be with a man that at least has the option of growing facial hair. Due to my husband's military career he isn't allowed to grow his beard out, ever! However, taking leave equals being able to let it grow wild!

Currently he's on a mission to "grow an Opie" ---->

For those that don't know, Opie is a character from "Sons of Anarchy" that has a sick beard. He rocks his hair uber thick and looks the part of a bad biker.

When it comes to facial hair on your man what do you prefer? Clean shaven or hairy and rugged?

Apr 21, 2011

Life Without Cable Pt. 1

So, I made the first step - - I called the cable company and renegotiated our monthly bill, along with returning one of the two DVR boxes we had. Currently we only have cable on one TV in addition to our internet and were able to drop our bill by about $60 each month. It was a pain in the ass dealing with the Time Warner Cable rep... we were literally on the phone for an hour... but I got the bill lower, we still have cable, and I'm a happy camper.

In 3 months the DVR special promotion we have will be over and I'll consider calling back in for a new deal or saying adios to DVR altogether. Most of the shows I record are available online so DVR isn't an absolute MUST, but giving up cable cold-turkey would have been very dramatic for me.... baby steps!

On another note, my husband and I are doing well with one TV. We're learning to compromise, I guess I should say that I am learning to compromise more and not be a TV hog. Yes, I have the TV on lock lol... but my clench is slowly loosening up. I've also given up a few shows that I no longer have the time or desire to watch: Braxton Family Values  - - had to go. I can't handle another reality show lol. In all honesty I only need Bravo, HGTV, and the Travel Channel to survive.

Apr 20, 2011

Sean's Start from Scratch

I know I've been going on and on about all of the homes I love, but Sean's Providence, Rhode Island condo is one of my new favs!! Now, this may come as a surprise because it's not full of the glamorous sparkle and shine that I love so much, but in terms of a clean, modern space that works for a couple it is awesome. I could easily see my husband and I living in this condo - - the TV is substantial with nice placement, and I absolutely LOVE the dining room. Black furniture with chrome accents is probably my favorite. The orange paint provides the right pop of color and they tied it into the dining room by placing it in the bookcase... very clever! The bedroom is on the more simple side and I would like to see that dressed up a bit, but I remember seeing that headboard in IKEA a while back and being a fan. I also could do more in the kitchen... but in terms of their dining/living space I was in heaven.

Sean's space is an entry in the Apartment Therapy Small/Cool 2011 Contest (Small Division). To vote for him click here.




 Providence, Rhode Island



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

I love how open and bright it is. My wife and I love hosting our friends and family for parties and dinner. We think our orange (Dragons Breath) fireplace is the best, it's original, an attention- getter, and is always complimented on when people come over (It also makes a great focal point with the TV mounted above the fireplace.) The "groovy" round domed skylight in the master bedroom is fun to look up at when laying in bed also. 

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

We basically had to start from scratch when we bought the condo. The walls were painted "dirty contractor's white" at best, the bathrooms needed major cleaning and re-doing and the kitchen was in much need of a makeover. We also took down an island/peninsula that separated the dining and living areas (since removing it has opened up the space greatly). 

Apr 19, 2011

Jenna's Cookie Cutter with Charm

Having lived in Arizona for quite a few years I can attest to the overabundance of cookie cutter rentals in the Tempe area. Home to ASU, Tempe is filled with standard apartments that lack that "homey" type of quality - - and not Homey like "what's up homes..." but lived in and comfortable lol.

Although Jenna's 620 sq ft Little Division space had a generic layout, she infused it with her personality by making small additions. A pretty wall paper made the most of her updated kitchen and switching out the chandelier added a feminine touch to the space. Jenna's space was simple, yet cute and not overdone. I think anyone could realistically recreate this look on any budget.

To vote for Jenna in Apartment Therapy's Small/Cool 2011 Contest click here!

Name: Jenna
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Division: Little
Square Feet: 620

What I Love About My Home
I loved being able to personalize a pretty standard "Cookie Cutter" apartment. Most apartments in my city lack the character I crave, so I worked with what I had! For example.. I love my modern kitchen, but being able to add wallpaper really helped give it some charm!

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home
The biggest challenge I faced was definitely budget. It took scouring thrift stores, religiously checking craigslist, and many trips to Ikea's As-Is section to furnish my apartment. Caught somewhere in between wanting my dream apartment and my reality of left over "dorm style" furniture and hand-me-downs, i tried to combine the best of both worlds. Another challenge would be lighting. With only two south facing windows (one in the bedroom, one in the living room) I get an extremely small amount of light, even during the day. I tried to help by adding some lighter and brighter pieces. Despite my challenges, I couldn't be happier with my space!

Apr 18, 2011


I was never someone to really "suffer" from allergies. I would get the occasional stuffy nose, but for the most part that was it. Let me just tell you that living in South Carolina is a whole different ball game. This state takes allergies to the next level! From what I've heard (and what my husband's doctor has said), most people experience allergy issues once they move to SC. With the Spring weather in full effect (and a mainly mild winter) I've had allergy ailments come out of nowhere and wreak havoc on my life.

We've all seen the commercials showing folks looking all crazy with red and watery eyes... well, itchy eyes are NOTHING to play with. I was a clueless as to what it was until it started hitting me, but about a month or so ago I couldn't keep my hands from rubbing my eyes. They itched beyond belief - - this nonstop, annoying, irritated feeling that despite how much I scratched and rubbed would not go away. There were nights I stayed awake rubbing my eyes, only to try using visine (barely worked) and fall asleep with a cold washcloth press on them. In addition to the itchy eyes I started experiencing itchy ears/throat. I was using q-tips at an alarming rate... but I have to admit it felt SO good to dig deep in my ears with those things. I know we're technically not supposed to use q-tips to clean our ears but it feels SO good.... especially when you're digging deep and hit that money spot! My god... Score one for the home team lol.

But back to the allergies lol - - I was tired of waking up with eyes that were fused together by discharge so I decided to give Allegra a try. I had originally bought it for my husband, but his doctor ended up putting him on different allergy meds so we had it lying around. Wow... this stuff did AMAZING things for me. I know it sounds a bit corny to go so hard for an allergy medicine, but I LOVE this stuff. If you're someone that doesn't necessarily suffer from allergies but are experiencing some issues I would recommend this. It's no longer prescription-only so you can get it OTC from any store. I only take 1 pill a day (they last 24 hrs) and I've had NO issues with it.

It feels wonderful being able to have my eyes function...

At a recent meet-up I attended someone suggested I try a neti pot for my allergies. I was wondering if anyone had used it before? If so, what did you think?

Apr 17, 2011

Bianca's Bright White Cottage

Even though Bianca's Cape Town apartment is far from small (982 sq ft) I think the layout is something everyone can relate to. It's a 1 bd + office, but closely resembles the standard 2 bedroom setup I've seen in many rentals.

My husband and I are living in a rental right now and I love the idea of stenciling on a headboard. Great way to get the look of a grounding headboard without the cost or heavy furniture to lift. Plus, it's as easy as painting over it when it's time to move!

Her designs are a good jumping off point and open the door to add your accents of colors however you'd like. Personally, I would love to see the addition of fresh flowers, touches of hot pink, and even some electric blue ikat designs.

To vote for Bianca click here.

Name: Bianca
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Division: International
Square Feet: 982

What I Love About My Home
My husband and I lovingly renovated our cottage from a dark and gloomy fixer-upper into a light and charming first nest. As our first major project together since our wedding our little home has grown with us over the past year and it really is our very own work of art.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home
Our biggest challenge is probably a little different to other small home dwellers as our cottage is double the size of our previous 1 bedroom apartment. With the opportunity to furnish new spaces our toughest challenge was to make final decisions on what new items to buy as they were likely to be items we'll keep for many years. The pressure to make these decisions before we moved in resulted in a few mistakes but a year later we're finally living with pieces of furniture that we love!

Apr 16, 2011

Review: DevaCurl No Poo + One Condition

Back when I got my ends trimmed @ Flo Hair Studio they used DevaCurl's No Poo and One Condition on my hair. I remember loving the smell and feel of the products, so I was excited to see they were the next thing NaturallyCurly.com sent me to review.

Please watch the video for a complete review of both products.

Kara's Mix & Match Mini Home

A few years ago I found myself searching for an apartment in Hyde Park, yet only able to find studios that worked for my budget. I know that many of us want the location and don't mind sacrificing on the space, but I was horrified to see how crazy small most apartments were.

Real estate in New York comes at a premium so Kara took her 180 sq ft piece of the concrete jungle and made it home. The functional space is an entrant in the Apartment Therapy Small/Cool 2010 Contest (Teeny-Tiny Division) and should inspire anyone facing an uber small space that it can still be comfy and cozy.

To vote for Kara click here.




 New York, New York 



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

I'm in love with bright colors and mixing and matching prints. I designed the apartment to attract the eye to little spaces. My favorite spot is the outdoor zen garden, a sweet place to chill and observe life in the Lower East Side. For extra seating, I've hung a swinging hammock chair which can be clipped into the (very sturdy!) ceiling when I have extra guests. The nook is the most relaxing spot, perfect for reading books in the sun. Finally, the wallpapered kitchen cabinets and closet add so much life and depth. An art-filled space with a downtown vibe, this apartment is a beautiful escape from city life. 

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

Umm..SPACE of course! 180 sq ft (including outdoor zen garden) makes every inch count. With the help of a few handy-men in my life, I created custom everything: queen ottoman bed (tons of storage underneath), plush corner benches in the sunning nook, bathroom shelving storage, and above-bed clothing rack (great for planning outfits while laying in bed). Under and Up! 

Apr 15, 2011

Nail Art: DIY Louboutin Nails

Every girl loves Louboutins, but most of us don't have it in the budget to buy them. The next best thing is rocking your nails out and treating them to the oh so envied red bottoms. Give your nails a designer touch with this DIY Louboutin nail design I spotted on 2BD.

I'm a fan of a nude nail because it's a clean look that works for any profession. The pop of red underneath your nail is a way to add life to your mani and make it fun for after hours.

To create this look 2BD used: Sally Hansen's "Cafe Au Lait" and Essie's "Really Red" - - both available at Walgreens or Ulta.

Could you live without Cable?

I'm always fascinated when I meet people that say they don't watch much TV. I don't know why I find them to be so interesting... probably because I'm GLUED to the television constantly watching all the latest shows. Still, it makes me wonder if it's really worth the expense. My husband and I have been looking for ways to scale back and save $ and looking at our bills, outside of the "Big 3" (Rent/Mortgage, Transportation, & Food) our cable/internet bill is pretty high.

Time Warner is a crook in my opinion because not only do they charge you a fee each month for their DVR service, but they charge the fee for EACH DVR box you have. That was a new one to me... I was assuming we would get charged a flat rate, but if you have 2 DVR boxes in your house they you're paying the $10 DVR fee twice. On top of that you have to pay a monthly fee for the remotes, channels, and all the other shit they throw at you. I don't even want to say how much our bill is each month because it's crazy high.

Last night while my husband and I were watching Sons of Anarchy (a show he sucked me into watching and now I'm a fan) we started debating whether or not we should get rid of our cable. *GASP* Yes, me... the self-admitted reality TV freak is actually considering saying adieu to our box. I have to admit that it would be hard to walk away from a DVR, but it may be nice to just have basic cable and a basic price. If Bravo, Oxygen, and HGTV all come thru on basic cable I think I'll be okay with scaling back.

So, my question to everyone is do you have cable? If so, how much do you pay (if you don't mind sharing), and could you live without it?

Our Netflix membership has been so amazeballs that it's quickly replacing movies and even possibly TV in our lives... I wish we had gotten a membership sooner!!

Powered by Blogger.
Designed By Boutique-Website-Design