Tuesday, June 19, 2012


She is a trendsetter, knows how to make a statement, and creative beyond measure. Who am I talking about? Fashion Designer Jasmine Elder of JIBRI brings amazing and out of the box fashion to Plus Size Women. We love her bold prints and unique designs. I was able to talk to Jessica about JIBRI and see some of her  designs that will turn heads on any woman that wears them. You’re in store for a great interview…

What made you become a fashion designer? Why the name JIBRI?
I've been creating my own garments since I was a kid so 
I think that is something that has always been a part of me. When I was in high school, I’d stay up every night making some crazy overly costumed get up (Dresses made from pennies-skirts covered in rhinestones etc). I was basically a club kid in Georgia (which was hilarious on so many levels).  I met a friend who had her clothes custom made by this designer named JIBRI MANN. I was immediately drawn to him. He taught me to really construct a garment. He taught me to make patterns--He taught me so many things including the fact that it was necessary that I never ever stop dreaming big dreams. (Corny I know…but that’s exactly what he’d say).  A whirlwind of events (including fashion study in NY and Europe) lead me back to my sewing machine after an almost 10 year break and I started the line aptly named, JIBRI.

How does your fashion line stand out of the ordinary?
The main stand out point is that JIBRI is dedicated to plus size women only.

Jasmine, I see in your clothing line you use very daring lines and bold prints. How do you come up with such appealing designs for plus size women?  
JIBRI is designed for the strong yet feminine curvy woman. This woman is also confident. She deserves bold prints and vibrant colors because she is bold and vibrant. I don’t water down the design because of the size of my consumer.

Do you feel there is a lack of designers catering to curvy women?
 I'm actually really impressed that designers are starting to expand to plus sizes. Plus sized clothing is definitely a lot "sexier" than it used to be, but it's still a void in fashionable pieces that say "chic". I’m eager to see the industry embrace and appreciate fabulous fit and quality construction. Overall, the industry is growing at an astonishing rate and that makes me happy.
What or who has inspired you in fashion?
I’m heavily influenced by music, art, vintage cinema, underground culture
& iconic female figures. I’m also a travel junkie so I pick up inspiration from different parts of the world all the time.

What should every woman have in her wardrobe to make her feel fabulous?
A signature haircut, a lip color that mesmerizes, a classic trench coat (this creates glamour regardless of what’s underneath), a pair of shoes that creates crowd frenzy and at least one dress that makes her smile every time she looks at it.
What do you see in the future for JIBRI?
I hope to be able to solidify JIBRI as a globally recognizable boutique
brand for the glamorous, sophisticated and highly fashionable curvy woman.
Describe your fashion line in 3 words?
Elegant, chic & classic

Thank you so much Jasmine…


Natural beauties Wendy and Jess take healthy living to another level. You won’t find these ladies on television karate chopping but chopping up tasty veggies. Wendy and Jess are creating heavenly dishes that will have you eating and feeling better. I was able to catch up with the two ladies of Food Heaven Made Easy and ask them questions about the show, natural hair, and personal style. Check out what the ladies have to say. I’m sure you will enjoy!

Why did you start the show Food Heaven Made Easy?
The rates of obesity and obesity related diseases, such as diabetes, are running ramped our communities. We’ve done lots of work surrounding nutrition and we noticed that folks don’t always feel empowered to make healthy eating choices.  A lot of reservations came from budget constraints and lack of knowledge regarding healthy cooking. We created Food Heaven as a platform to show folks of the Diaspora that healthy eating is attainable for everyone.
Do you feel that your show will make a difference in the black community?
Yes. We have been so grateful to already have amazing fans that watch each episode!  We get emails and comments everyday from people saying how much they appreciate the show or how they tried the recipe and loved it. It’s great to know that show is really inspiring folks and making a difference in their eating habits.
What are some easy steps you can do to eat healthy?
We recently did a post on 5 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget. Be sure to check those out on our site! Below are 3 bonus steps that can be easily incorporated into your daily regimen.
Plant-Based Diet
The majority of your diet should be plant based. This includes veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and grains.
Make sure to eat balanced meals that include lots of veggies, lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Portion Control
Portion sizes have increased significantly over the past few decades. Try eating on a smaller plate to ensure you are consuming less at each meal.

What foods are great to help make your hair grow?
Foods with B vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin E all work together to maintain healthy hair. Good sources for B vitamins include whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh and beans. You can get vitamin A from carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, collards, pumpkins, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, and eggs. Vitamin E is found naturally in wheat germ oil, Sunflower oil, Safflower oil, nuts (like almonds and hazelnuts), avocadoes and green leafy veggies. The moral of this story: If you eat a well balanced-plant based diet you are sure to get the proper nutrients to promote hair growth.
How long have you both been natural?
Jess: For about 7 years.
Wendy: It’s been 3 years.
Name you favorite hair care product and why?
Jess: Devachan one conditioner. It’s the only thing I use. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my hair. I don’t have the patience to experience with a bunch of hair products, so when I find something I like, I stick to it.
Wendy: Jojoba oil because it's so flexible! I use it for my skin, hair, and home. It leaves my hair super moisturized, my skin glowing, and serves as a great base for burning my essential oils.
On the show I love your chemistry and style… Describe your personal style?
Jess: I like to experiment with bright colors and patterns, but at the same time, I am a big fan of keeping it basic. I buy 80 percent of my clothes from the thrift stores (read: goodwill!), and sometimes I cop a couple of pieces from Forever 21, HM and Target (or ‘round the way stores like Conway and Pretty Girl….stop sleepin’!) I also love having clothing swaps with friends to exchange what I’m no longer feeling and cash in on new treasures.
Wendy: Well I don't really go clothing shopping due to lack of funds, but usually I'll just recycle the clothes I already have and cut em up into something that looks totally different. I'm also a fan of clothing swaps and consider them a great way to get free funky clothing, and bond with my sister friends. When I do have some money to splurge, I'll go to small boutiques in the city, or support independent fashionistas that are doing their thing. I also hit up H&M and Forever for some basics. Lastly, I can't leave my house with some big earrings on. 
What should every woman have in her closet to make her feel beautiful?
Jess: Clothes (and shoes) that make you feel comfortable. I feel the most confident when I am comfortable in what I am rocking.
Wendy: Comfortable underwear! It's really annoying when I'm wearing panties that I can barely walk in because they give constant wedgies. Underwear that compliments your body in a sexy and comfortable way is a thumbs up in my book.

Finish the statement… In the future Jess and Wendy will be
…shining superstars! We're both working towards expanding the show and making this a movement that includes visual media and personal community interaction and organizing around food sustainability. One of the greatest things about our show is that we are able to be ourselves and do things that we want to do. When working for other people or organizations, you don’t really have that flexibility. We see our show as a step towards our personal and professional independence.

 Check them out!!!     http://www.foodheavenmadeeasy.com/

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Must have products for flawless summer skin!

Summer is here and on those hot days we all tend to show off more skin. Many people are telling me my skin looks flawless and smooth. I realized I have changed up my skin care routine and I want to share with you the products that make my skin summer ready.

First you must purchase a body brush and bath pouf.
 Both body tools are great for exfoliation.

Tree Hut : Shea Sugar Body Scrub works wonderful to reveal fabulous new skin. Try using this sugar scrub once a week or when necessary.
Nivea: Touch of Cashmere Body Wash has Hydra IQ that helps the skin to maintain moisture. More moisture softer skin. Use this body wash for some months and watch your skin transform.

Nivea: Essentially Enriched Daily Lotion is great to combine with the body wash. I love this lotion because its perfect. The lotion s not too greasy and not to watery. Your skin will be hydrated and shine with health.

Yes to: cucumbers products are great for the face. Yes To  has a trio package that gives you a nice sample of the cucumber skin care line. I find these products to be refreshing and give my face just the right amount of moisture without feeling greasy.

Alba Botanica: Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser is one of the best alpha hydroxy cleansers. You get a nice tingle with great results. Your skin will start to transform within a week. Use this product if you hate scrubbing with products like St. Ives Apricot Scrub. This cleanser is guaranteed to reveal new  skin.

Shea Moisture...Perfect for Natural Hair!

A year ago while waiting for my nephew to be born I cut off my locks. Eleven years of beautiful long locks I cut off to have a new beginning. I never really knew what type of texture of hair I had until I cut my hair. I found out my hair is a soft and curly texture. The problem with my hair is the dryness and the out of control frizzing. I have tried so many product within my year of hair growth. Two months ago I was in Target looking for some new hair care products. There was a sale on Shea Moisture products. I decide to get all the products for thick curly hair. I took all the product home and used them the next day. I must say I think I've found a winner! Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie will give your hair defined curls with shine. The Hold and Shine Moisture Mist keeps away the frizzies. Im now happy to say I love my curly fro...thanks to Shea Moisture. Their products are all natural, affordable, and work great on natural hair. Look for Shea Moisture Products in Target.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In transition of abuse

Dear Mamas,

It's been almost a year since my last post on my blog. I am in transition of a former life I once knew. My therapist told me to write and so I will do this for healing...

Abuse...It comes in many forms and from different people. Many times it comes from a person you love. Abuse can be very settle and sometimes very disturbing. As a child abuse can be learned to accept as a way a life. Patterns of shutting down and accepting abuse are learned early. I never really thought that for my self until I went into therapy. Anytime abuse came my way in my relationship I would be quiet and shut down. After coming out of an abusive relationship I often wondered did I mess up my life. When your in love you make bad choices that can affect your life in the future. I'm not ashamed to talk about my abuse. I'm not ashamed to say I learn to accept this behaviour as a child. I don't blame or point the finger at the abuser and I damn for sure don't say its my fault. No one deserves to be abused. Most women that get in abusive relationships never think their life would consist of punches or being verbally demeaned everyday. I received a lot of verbal abuse that at times can hurt way more than a hit. Verbal abuse can get in your mind and destroy you. When I write to you  I hope it will help another person that may be in abusive relationship. I hope I can help the abuser that doesn't know how to stop hurting others. My transition has been one of the hardest things I ever experienced in my life. I lost a lot of people and things in my life. I know at the end of all of this I will gain my power back. You can give up your power to another person and fold up in a corner and die. I choose to live and never allow no one in my life to destroy me with fists or words. One great decision can diminish a million bad choices.

So Blaque Beauty Mama is back...and I have a story to tell.

                                                                                                               A woman in transition