Lottabody Styling Products for Natural and Relaxed Hair

[disclaim]I received these products complimentary from Cocotique for testing purposes. I was not paid to create this post or the videos included in the post. My thoughts are my own; we keep it real at Naturally Glam. [/disclaim]

Lottabody has been a staple hair care product for several years; its practically synonymous with term setting lotion. It was the go-to product for set styles and wraps, whether you were at the salon or doing your own hair at home. Once I decided to wear my naturally textured hair, I thought I would have no use for setting lotion. But I was sadly mistaken, as I found out while filming an episode of the ‘In the Salon’ series for Naturally Glam TV. Nerissa Allen was the featured hair stylist, and she used setting lotion to style her model’s hair to our surprise.

While attending the World Natural Hair Show in Atlanta earlier this year, I discovered that the Lottabody brand got a facelift. Not only was the packaging totally different, but the line had expanded to include several different products for styling both natural and relaxed hair. The classic concentrated setting lotion was now available in a ready-to-use formula, and healthy oils were a part of their formula. My mom being the product junkie that she is, purchased a few of the new products to try.

I was fortunate to be contacted by the wonderful folks at Cocotique, and invited to try out their July beauty box which featured four full-sized Lottabody products. I was very excited about the opportunity to not only test out the products, but to also share it with my readers and viewers. The Cocotique box included the Style Me setting lotion, Moisturize Me curl & style milk, Love Me styling cream, and Control Me edge control gel. I absolutely loved the results that I received from using all of the products, and these have earned a spot in my product rotation.

Have you tried these products yet? If so, which was your favorite? If not, which do you think you’d like to try? I’d love to hear about it.

 

5 Wealth Building Steps You Can Start Today

This post, 5 Wealth-Building Steps You Can Start Today, is part of Generation One Blog Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and to join us as we tell the world how we are creating generational wealth, CLICK HERE!

Generation_ONE_AdBanner_728x90

With the 2007 recession, the housing crisis and soaring unemployment rates leaving Black America’s wallet trapped in the crosshairs of the United States’ financial crisis, the lack of generational wealth in the African American community has never been in sharper focus. In my own household, my husband and I definitely felt the impact when he lost his job in 2010. We were already planning to sell our home of 8 years, but there was an urgency to do it quickly to avoid foreclosure. It was painful, because my husband was one of the few people in his family who actually owned their home. To have to sell it, and go back to renting, felt like defeat.

We begin to ask ourselves, why is there a lack of generational wealth in our families? Generation One takes a hard look at the numbers, giving historical context to early wealth creation in the Black community and tapping the expertise of the nation’s top financial experts to weigh in not only on how Blacks fell behind, but surefire strategies families can implement to begin building a strong financial legacy for generations to come.

The film was released on July 14, 2015, and stars David Anderson (Founder, Empowerment Radio Network), Dr. Julianne Malveaux (Founder and President, Economic Education), Lawrence Watkins (Founder & CEO, Great Black Speakers), Dr. Boyce Watkins (Founder, FinancialJuneteenth.com), Deborah Owens (The Wealth Coach), and Patrice Washington (Author – Real Money Answers). Watch the trailer HERE!GenerationONE_Flyer_Back_FINAL

 

 

 

When I received the DVD in the mail, I purposely left it out on my coffee table on my way out the door headed to work so Mr. Blakes would see it.  A couple of hours later, I got the text “Where did this DVD come from?” Got ’em! We talked about the film, and I mentioned plans to have a screening at our home – a watch party if you will. Let’s bring family and friends together, and watch this film. Unfortunately not everyone could attend, so we’ll have to plan another one soon. The film really touched home for all of us, who have first hand seen the results of generational lack of wealth in our own families, and the urgency to help change that, starting with us.

Generation One Home Screening

Here are the 5 wealth-building steps I learned from Generation One that Mr. Blakes and I will be focusing on in our own family.

  1. Have an emergency fund. Our goal is to save the equivalent of 3 months of our salaries; then 6 months. We already have an auto-save program through our bank that we use, which transfers $1 from our checking account into our savings account every time we use our bank debit cards to make a purchase. In addition, we will set up an automatic transfer in addition to that to help us reach that goal.
  2. Pay off debt. This has long been a goal of ours, and we’ve actually paid off several credit cards already. We still have two credit cards with significant balances, one personal loan, several student loans, and a car loan to go. It sounds overwhelming when you think about it, and this can make you feel like it’s pointless. But instead, think long-term. Those credit cards that we paid off – at one point it seemed like it would never happen, but it did. In 5 years, 10 years even, by making sacrifices now you will have freedom later.
  3. Home ownership. This one is tough for us. We’ve owned a home before, and remember the headache that it was with maintenance and upkeep. We also remember the struggle to sell when it came time to move on. But we see the financial benefits of home ownership as well, and would love to own again and possibly have investment property as well. The real estate market has definitely improved, and there are so many home ownership programs available.
  4. Retirement plan. We are both fortunate to have employers that provide retirement plans that they pay into along with us. We both take advantage of those programs, and our goal is to work with a financial counselor to see what other retirement options are available that we can take advantage of. If your employer offers a retirement plan that they will pay into as well, you may want to consider that.
  5. College savings fund. My step-daughter is already college age, so we are a little late on that one. But for my readers, take advantage of college savings fund programs through your employer or start one on your own. Chose a college or university that is within your means so that you mounding up student loans doesn’t have to be the only option.

Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are co-founders of BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com. They wrote and directed Generation One to give African American families the tools and strategies they need to begin building wealth for their families TODAY. The Tylers know this film has the power to change lives. You can grab your copy HERE!

 

Tupelo Honey Cafe Opens in Virginia Beach | Restaurant Review

Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_24

Made-from-scratch Southern cuisine makes its way to Hampton Roads this summer with the opening of Tupelo Honey Cafe in Virginia Beach’s Town Center July 13. Located at the corner of Main St. and Constitution Dr., the 233-seat, 7289 square foot casual dining venue with patio will offer a creative, inviting atmosphere accented by commissioned works by Virginia artists and woodworkers. Since opening its first location nearly 15 years ago, Asheville-based Tupelo Honey Cafe and executive chef Brian Sonoskus have developed an eclectic menu of traditional and modern Southern plates that will be available for lunch and dinner seven days a week including weekend brunch, happy hours and ‘moonrise’ late night brunches.Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_04  Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_22
Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_05 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_06
“Capturing the spirit and energy of each new city is of utmost importance to us,” said owner Steve Frabitore. “Virginia’s rich arts scene and distinguished military history will be palpable in the restaurant through works by artists Chris Beck, Karen Eide, Sam Hundley, Larry Riggold, Juan Suarez and Simone Wilson.” Taking in the decor, I appreciated how they capture the essence of Hampton Roads, and gave the restaurant an comfortable feel, like visiting family or friends.Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_02
Featured pieces include a World War II sailor’s uniform made from tin sourced from the childhood home of General Clay; a relief made from found objects with a “Feed Your Inner South” theme; a sculpted driftwood wall harvested from the banks of the Chesapeake Bay; and art panels highlighting naval insignia.
Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_03

Tupelo Honey Cafe currently operates 10 privately owned locations in the Southeast offering the same inspired interpretations of Southern food that made the original restaurant a pioneer in Asheville’s thriving food scene. Known for farm-fresh dishes, Tupelo Honey Cafe’s Virginia Beach venue will offer Southern small plates created for sharing including country ham wontons, fried green tomatoes and pork-packed Appalachian egg rolls. Customizable supper plates, like buttermilk fried chicken and beef and bacon meatloaf, will be served alongside a choice of 16 scratch-made sides from baked macaroni and cheese to quinoa with fresh blueberries, lemon and feta.Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_16 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_01
Diners at brunch will find perennial favorite sweet potato pancakes and authentic country breakfasts to pair with a house-made Bloody Mary while mid-day eaters can sample sandwiches and other specialties. Hand-crafted sodas, signature cocktails, regional beer, sustainable wine and Southern sweet tea complete the lively dining experience. Enjoy happy hour specials on select small plates, craft beer and cocktails every Monday through Thursday. Or satisfy your breakfast-for-dinner craving during ‘moonrise brunch’ Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. until midnight to nosh on biscuit sliders or sweet potato-bacon hash alongside D.I.Y. Old Fashioneds, Champagne cocktails and other monthly themed sippers.

Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_21 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_17 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_13 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_15 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_12

During the pre-opening VIP, Mr. Blakes and I stuffed ourselves with several of these dishes. Not one complaint. Even though as a rule we don’t eat chicken or pork, rules are made to be broken. We had both. Starting with an appetizer, we selected the signature meatloaf and chicken tacos to try, and we also got to try the Appalachian egg rolls stuffed with bbq pork. For drinks, we had both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. Blame it on the alcohol, because I have no idea what the official name was. But Mr. Blakes had a mojito, my drink had lavender-infused vodka in it. And that’s about all I can remember. Don’t judge us. We were eating and drinking so fast, it’s all a blur now. You all know this isn’t one of those type of blogs.Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_14 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_11 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_09 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_10

Before our entrees, we each got our own complimentary scratch-made biscuit served along with blueberry jam and Tupelo honey. Literally the blueberries were almost still in tact, and the honey was perfection, and the restaurant’s namesake. Mr. Blakes ordered the herb-crusted catch of the day, which was mahi mahi. I opted for the burger with Brussel sprout slaw. Both were cooked to perfection. For the grand finale, we selected the homemade banana pudding for our dessert to share. It was the best banana pudding I’ve ever had in my entire life. I have no regrets about saying that, and the grandmothers who’s feelings might get hurt. The truth hurts sometimes. I’ve had dreams about eating it several times since then. If you want to give me a gift, give me Tupelo Honey banana pudding. Seriously.

Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_08 Tupelo-Honey_Cafe_07

I said this on Instagram, and I’ll say it again. I don’t get too excited about soul food or southern cuisine restaurants, because that’s the food I grew up on. I can make mac and cheese, and fried chicken in my sleep. But I’m always intrigued by those spots that add a modern, cultural twist to the classics, and do it well. Tupelo Honey Cafe has earned the top spot on my list of restaurants at Virginia Beach Town Center. As long as the service and food quality remain as top notch as it was during the pre-opening, I’ll be a loyal customer. We are looking forward to checking out the outdoor patio space next time we visit.

Upon opening this July, lunch and dinner will be available Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch will also be served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, reservations and menus, visit tupelohoneycafe.com.

Le Mu Eats | Restaurant Review

Thanks to an invite from fellow Hampton Roads blogger Heather of Bake Create Love for hosting a meet up for the Hampton Roads. We met up at the Le Mu Eats pop-up over in Hampton, VA for brunch. Le Mu Eats is a “fusion concept hosted by Chef Sav; combining his Laotian heritage with his classical culinary training.” The pop-up takes place on Sundays from 4pm-9pm for dinner, and each week the menu changes and is posted online.11406257_645475715586859_2527469719903280785_o

This particular Sunday, the menu was based off of some classic breakfast dishes. Mr. Blakes and I tried several things on the menu. I won’t bore you with a bunch of fancy culinary terms for how good the food was. Because this is Naturally Glam, where we keep it real and just get right to it. Bottom line is – the food is extremely fresh, extremely good, and extremely priced right. If you live on the Peninsula, you really have no excuse for not checking on Le Mu Eats. If you live on the Southside, don’t let the HRBT traffic stop you. It’s worth getting stuck in traffic at least once a month. Trust me.

Starting with the appetizers, we both had the watermelon salad. For drinks, I had the Thai tea, and Mr. Blakes had the Thai coffee. I wasn’t sure about the combo of watermelon with feta, but the salty and sweet was on point. For the entree, it was no question that I was getting the shrimp and grits. Perfection, and the curry grits was a nice twist. Mr. Blakes had the country fried steak, and didn’t really say much but mmmmm. We opted for one dessert to share, and Mr. Blakes picked the french toast option. Score. Period.

Le Mu Eats_0236 Le Mu Eats_1 Le Mu Eats_0246 Le Mu Eats_0250 Le Mu Eats_0251 Le Mu Eats_0256

When you visit Le Mu Eats, be sure to tell them you heard about it here on Naturally Glam!

How to Spruce Up Your Patio

spruce up patio, outdoor space

This is what my patio has looked like for the last two years. Sad, right. Once we decided to downsize and sell our house, I always demanded to have an outdoor space. I was a landscaping diva at our house, and I wanted to have some space where I could continue that once we transitioned to apartment living. But CLEARLY that didn’t happen as you can see. Funny how life shakes you up, and awakens you to your surroundings. Even though I see my patio everyday when I come home, I had stopped seeing in. Then one day, it hit me. I decided to finally tackle this project. Of course, I had to share it with the Naturally Glam Fam, and hopefully give you some ideas on how to spruce up your patio.

plants and potting soil, miracle grow creeping jenny Spruce Up Patio_13 shrub in pot, flowering plant in pot, chinese privet flowering plant in potFirst things first, I had to clean and sweep the patio. It was clear that we had not done this is quite a while. Then I decided which pots I wanted to keep, and which had to go. Once I knew how many pots I had to work with, I headed to Home Depot to pick up some plants and shrubs. I really enjoyed planting these planters; it was so relaxing. Want to know the quickest tip on how to spruce up your patio? Add plants!

Once the planters were in place, it was clear that I needed a new cushion for my loveseat. So I headed to Amazon and decided on this beautiful damask printed cushion. I also picked up this Roman style solar lantern as well. Since our patio gets a lot of sunlight, it can power the lantern to give off some light in the evening for a few hours.

outdoor space, loveseat, damask seat cushion, solar lantern, planter outdoor space, loveseat, damask seat cushion, solar lantern, planter solar lantern solar lantern at night

I feel so refreshed now. It makes me want to spend more time outdoors, especially now that it is Summertime. I hope this has given you some ideas on how to spruce up your patio! For more details, you can check out my video where I go into more detail about the plants and shrubs I used and the whole process.

Do you have an outdoor space that needs some help? Or do you have a green thumb? Tell us about it in the comments below. We’d love to hear about it.