Dec 26, 2011

Have you been cuffed?

Winter is officially here and cuffing season is in mid-swing. Even though the weather has been mild for the most part, the urge to get cuffed has not disappeared.

Folks that didn't want to cuff someone prior to Christmas (for fear of shelling out dough on a gift for someone that would only last a few months), Christmas is over and NYE is on the horizon... a fun introductory holiday to spend with your latest cuffing victim!! What's better than a cute outfit, drinks, and lip locking your new boo?

For those that aren't aware, Cuffing Season officially lasts from November to March, so if you haven't found a cuff-mate don't fear -- you have a little time left. But I'd urge you to have your cuddle buddy in place by mid January so you can prepare for the winter freeze that is February in Chicago.

I was a little rusty on my Cuffing Season etiquette, so I found the below video to give myself a refresher. Remember, "it's cold outside and everyone needs a cuff buddy" lol.

Dec 25, 2011

Ho Ho Ho...

Merry Christmas!!! Just looked up and realized that I haven't blogged in weeks. It's pretty funny because I've had numerous blog posts running through my mind (a few I'm still on the fence about whether or not I can get away with writing lol), but my life has felt like a soap opera lately... one big shenanigan, if you will. My girlfriend @ladyla83 and I have even coined our festivities "Shenanigans in the City." What do these shenanigans include? Many nights of being lost in the sauce lol...

This year Christmas is feeling a lot like any other day of the year. Not sure if that's due to the deployment and being in the midst of an apartment hunt, or because I'm grown and clearly don't believe in the magic of Santa lol. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to wrapping up the final week of the year and my vacation to the Dominican Republic in 10 days :) Yay for fun in the sun!

My intention is to put the pieces of my life back together and crank out a few blog posts before 2011 comes to an end.... and for anyone that cares, Tuesday is my half birthday :) so I may need to be in these streets to celebrate.

Dec 12, 2011

Brazilian Blowout Results on Natural Hair (Chicago)

Last year I wrote numerous posts raving about my experience getting the Brazilian Blowout on my natural, African American hair. It had been well over a year since my last treatment, mainly due to military life and all the moving, but I finally received my third treatment over the weekend.

The search to find a salon carrying the official Brazilian Blowout line was rather difficult, so when a girlfriend referred me to stylist Danyel Nicole I was in heaven. Danyel works at Lakshmi Hair Salon, a neighborhood spot nestled in East Pilsen.

My main  motivation for seeking out Danyel Nicole was 1) She used the official Brazilian Blowout product line and 2) She's familiar with black hair care, as a number of her clients are natural and 3) I was referred to her by a friend whose hair judgment I trust.

The actual Brazilian Blowout? I loved my results - - as I expected. Again, this was my third time getting the treatment done, and all three times have been using the original Brazilian Blowout formula - - NOT the "Zero" line they just released.. but the Original with the "trace amounts of formaldehyde". I wanted to stick with what I knew had already worked well for me. The only difference I noticed this time around were a few fumes, which I NEVER experienced with the lovely Kim @ Apricot Lounge Salon in Scottsdale, AZ. I had read some reviews where people complained about fumes, but my prior two times that never happened to me. This time I did sense a few, but didn't realize what it was until after the fact. It took a while to make the connection lol... Now, the fumes weren't something that overpowered me or really alarmed me, but in the sake of being honest with my readers I DID experience them for the first time, this third time. I believe this was due to Danyel Nicole's technique, or lack thereof if you will.

In comparison to the previous treatments I received, Kim took her time and worked her way through my hair. She wasn't overbooked or working under the gun, and therefore was able to really be neat with her application. On the other hand, I think Danyel Nicole provided me with the same overall amazeballs results, but her technique seemed a bit rushed and not as neat. I want to really phrase that carefully because she didn't have stuff all over the place or things dripping in my eye lol... not at all. She just worked really fast and I think slightly rushing through may have caused some of the fumes. With that said, I would still recommend Danyel as a stylist.

Once the treatment was done she blew my hair out using a technique with all of these round brushes. I had seen it on TV before, but thought it would tangle my hair. Well, it probably would if I was doing it lol... but Danyel worked her way through my hair with those brushes and the body I had was AMAZEBALLS!!! I would seriously go back to her for a regular wash/blowout ANY time. My hair was doing thangs. Yes, THANGS!! I had what Tyra Banks calls wind in the hair... when you walk and create your own wind. It was next level amazing.

If you talk to me in person about the Brazilian Blowout I may border on sounding like an infomercial lol, but the treatment really is that good. Example: Saturday night I ended up going out with friends to dinner, a bar, and then passing out on my girlfriend's couch. Any other time I would have woken up to a shrunken ball of yarn (aka my fro lol) but with the Brazilian Blowout I woke up with smooth, frizz free strands and was once again reminded of how much I love the treatment. Another reason why I love it? I can get my idea of blown out perfection using a round brush, no flat iron! Even my "after" pic below was using round brushes. Salon Fresh!

If you're interested in booking a consultation with Danyel you can reach her via phone (312-404-0853) or email. She's having a  $199 Brazilian Blowout special until the end of the year. Tell her I sent you :) No, seriously... tell her I sent you lol... I'm all about that referral life.

Arizona Folks: I still live for Kim Allison and the Apricot Lounge Salon. If you're in the valley, please book an appointment with Kim ASAP as her hands were dipped in the fountains of the Gods at Mt. Olympus lol... she's really that good! Salon #: 480-947-3833

Getting the treatment applied. You can see my hair in its natural state.

Blown out and getting treatment sealed in via flat iron

Finished product!!! Blow out with round brushes... 

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email!

Dec 7, 2011

Design Talk Webisode 2: Top Ten Tips for Renters

Interior designer Niki McNeil, and her design enthusiast bestie Tricea, are back for the 2nd webisode of Design Talk! This month the ladies are dishing their top 10 tips for renters... a topic idea yours truly suggested via twitter. One must love the power of social media. I'm very excited for this month's webisode and think it's full of great tips. In particular, I love their suggestion to paint! I think all too often renters are intimidated by the idea of painting their walls (if the landlord allows it) and their sugestion of doing the trim as well was awesome.

Since my husband and I have been on the apartment hunt, I've come across many rentals that were lacking. If there was great light, the interior was dated. Great floors, but appliances are from the 1900s lol... Location is amazing, but the carpet looks like death. Unless you have a $$$$ budget, most renters will be faced with having to find a place that has some potential and doing the work. I know that nobody wants to invest a ton of money and work into a rental property, but as Tricea said, your home should come up and greet you when you walk through the door. We spend so much time in our homes and making the space a reflection of our personalities and a true oasis of relaxation should be high on everyone's list.

I'm going to continue my rental search with an open-mind and eye for design. I'll also be sure to ask the landlord/property manager their rules on light fixtures being changed, walls being painted, and especially the trim!! My father-in-law is an electrician so it'd be nice to put him to work. I have chandellier dreams bouncing around my mind lol.

Sidebar: Peep the background of the video!! Niki's room is GORGEOUS. I need to hire her to design my space :) (once I get a space that is lol....)

So, what do you think of Design Talk? As a renter, did your favorite tip to transform a rental into your own space make their list?

Dec 5, 2011

Watch The Throne...

Last week my girlfriend and I headed to see 'Ye and Jay-Z in concert. It was amazeballs. Kanye West + A hometown crowd? "Y'all n*ggas ain't ready!"

To say that I enjoyed myself would be a gross understatement. The concert was bananas!!! If it's headed to your city please grab some tickets because you don't want to miss it. 3 hrs of non-stop performances from both Kanye and Jay-Z, 40+ songs, drinks, good times...

We ended our nights with one of our favorite spots - - Bijan's Bistro!! I think we were feeling inspired by the concert, but we dined on one of our favs: Escargot! Only Lontier and I eat escargot at 2am like it's nothing lol....

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