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Hair Therapy Blog



September Newsletter


Class Is N Session is a innovative community initiative designed to provide school age students ages 5-18 with exposure and access to educational and social resources, while addressing pressing and fundamental needs, to prepare them for their best possible future. 

Class Is N Session believes that all children should have access and exposure to the educational and social resources that will help them cultivate their future.  To achieve this, since 2014, Class Is N Session has produced a series of classroom sessions that focus on three pillars : financial literacy, health & wellness, and STEM education.  Classroom sessions include lessons on coding, programming, structural engineering, agricultural engineering, stocks & trade, budgeting, business ownership, culinary arts, physical fitness and more! 

Beatrice Mann and Prince Issa

Beatrice Mann and Prince Issa

Class Is N Session was founded by Beatrice Mann. This year on Sunday, August 25th Issa and I were participants of thier 5th annual back to school drive held at Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club. Issa was a registered student and I was a registered volunteer. While Issa participated in the bouncy house, math and fitness classes, I donated my time to styling hair. Another stylist and I serviced children from 11 am - 3pm. Children that participated received a free #PerfectHeadTie.

If you would like to donate, or participate in the next Class Is N Session event please visit the official website by clicking here.


Depression in the African American Community

Depression is a neglected topic of discussion. I had personal conversations with a few people about therapy. These were the types of responses I heard.

  • The therapist isn’t going to tell me anything I don’t already know.

  • I have too much shit to do. I don’t have time to drive out of the way to see a therapist.

  • I think that you are smart and you can figure it out yourself.

  • I can’t go another day holding all these things inside. I need to go to therapy.

  • I went to therapy my therapist made me admit to myself that I was depressed.

All that were opposed to therapy were male. What does this mean? Does my small sample represent the perspective of many African American people? I took to a reputable site recommended by a therapist to find out.

Click here to read the article, “Why African Americans Avoid Psychotherapy”.

What therapy means to me

My first experience with therapy took place in 2012 while I was having my son. I was very sad. I couldn’t get over being a single mother. My brain was flooded with negative thoughts. I harbored resentment towards myself and my sons father.

I was unsure of what to expect during my first session of therapy. At the beginning of the session I was allowed to tell my story uninterrupted. I cried in every session during the first months. Eventually, I was encouraged to take a look at all of my relationships not just the one I was currently having trouble with.

We searched for the things that triggered my negative reactions. My homework was to track mood swings through a journal, recording both the cause and the affect of each swing and how often they occurred.

Lastly, I took a series of psychological tests. These tests determined my personality traits. They also determined what I was dispositioned to and how my brain processes information.

The best discovery from testing was learning that the speed at which I process information is advanced. The worst discovery was learning that I have a narcissistic trait. My ability to focus so deeply on my progress works well at school and in business but can be damaging in personal relationships.

Pivotal discoveries in therapy:

  1. Non-communication is my greatest trigger and yields the worst outcomes in my thoughts, actions and behavior.

  2. My inability to control reocurring negative thoughts kept me sad for long durations of time.

  3. My drive to create multiple projects such as videos and blogs are my distraction and public diary for my pain. Personal accomplishments and education is something that I can control. I sometimes bury myself in these personal missions to avoid repairing or confronting external toxic relationships.

Armed with this information my therapist recommended multiple exercises to help with cognitive remapping. Recommendations included:

  1. Knowing the outcome of a conversation before entering it, verses talking with no clear objective.

  2. Refrain from entering friendships and relationships with poor communicators. For example, a person that says, “When I get angry I shut down.” isn’t compatible with me.

Dr. Salazar gave me exercises that helped me eliminate reoccurring negative thoughts. She encouraged me to think about what prompts me to create new projects. She urged me to consider not turning every idea into a reality, instead, develop what is already important and currently in progress.

After much thought and many smaller attempts. I created a place called, Hair Therapy. The layout, feeling and concept of Hair Therapy started in early 2012 at my apartment. The name for the space was, The Underground. I found it difficult to get new clients to come to my apartment.

The Underground aka my apartment || 2012

The Underground aka my apartment || 2012

In 2013, for a more professional appeal I moved to a small studio. I named it, Candalada’s Salon. The studio was too small plus it didn't have the apartment look I envisioned. It had no windows! Six months in I came up with a strategy to upgrade and decided not to renew my lease.

Candalada’s Salon Studio aka Salon Plaza || 2013

Candalada’s Salon Studio aka Salon Plaza || 2013

After 12 months in the tiny studio on May 3rd, 2014, I opened, Hair Therapy. The name Hair Therapy itself is significant to me. The logo with one chair in the middle of the head shows hair on the mind yet also symbolizes how the commercializing of this hobby started with one chair. The vintage mahogany Koken chair.

Hair Therapy || 2015

Hair Therapy || 2015

The Hair Therapy logo exemplifies how focus can develop a thought into reality. The teal colors represent ovarian cancer awareness; which my mother was in remission from when I opened. I wanted people to get back into treating their hair before styling it. I figured placing Therapy in the company name would make my potential customers feel that rehab of hair was the priority.

Hair Therapy was my first business. By creating it I created the first work environment that allowed me to use all of my skills at one time. The gift I picked up naturally and the knowledge I retained from college. The type of clients that I attracted with the launch of Hair Therapy were seasoned professionals and CEO’s of tech companies and staffing agencies.

Although, I eventually became burned out and overwhelmed as a first time business owner with a team of one. I believe that behavioral therapy and the birth of my son enabled me to create the mental foundation Hair Therapy was built on.

The valuable exchanges of information and conversations with members of Hair Therapy inspired me to do things I never knew I was capable of. Despite the commercial space being gone the memories and the relationships continue to grow.

Hair Therapy Logo

Unfortunately, sometimes new occurrences can bring anyone back to therapy. For me the loss of my mother a year to the date has forced me to revisit counseling. I had to be honest with myself, recovery from this life altering event will require additional support.

I would like to share some of the African American and multicultural therapist that I know of and heard of. Starting first and foremast with Dr. Salazar the therapist that saved my mind in 2012! Ms.Crosby my current therapist, Mrs.Jackson a fellow Hair Therapy member, Mrs Mixon (recommendation from Hair Therapy member) and the Mecca Group LLC (recommendation from Hair Therapy member).

If you have insurance please don’t be afraid to use it. These recommendations range from Medicaid to PPO providers. If you are suffering from pre or postpartum, family issues, dysfunctional relationships, career stress or loss a loved one. There is therapist with the correct specialty that can help.


VA: Woodbridge Phycological Associates || Dr. Yorvska Salazar, PsyD, LPC, RPT-S

VA: Greater Prince William Healthcare Center || Patricia Crosby, LPC

VA: Mind Body Spirit || April Williams Jackson, LCSW (T) 703-568-1314

MD: A Mix Of Emotions LLC || Miranda Mixon, LCPC (T) 240-318-7464

DC: The Mecca Group LLC

African American Documentaries That Touched My Heart

Keifer Sykes : I didn’t know anything about Keifer or his journey before watching Chi-Town. The simplest words to describe this young man is strong and resilient.

I watched some of Chi-Town with Issa. Kids are impressionable, he was pretending to play basketball the rest of the day. The main take away I hope Issa grasped is the amount of practice and focus it takes to not only be good but competitive. Issa was so excited to hear to Keifer sent him blessings on Instagram.


Meek Mills: If you don’t know who Meek Mills is I am shocked. Especially since the Eagles entered the Super Bowl AND partied in the locker room after winning to his song Dreams and Nightmares ! I always wondered why Meek has a scream octave in most of his songs. After watching his story, which is broken into 5 episodes, I understand why he is always screaming all the time.

Free Meek is for anyone that wants to take a deeper look at how the judicial system is currently maintaining a leash on African American men if they get in trouble at any time in their life. You do not have to be a fan of rap music to appreciate this. If you are a parent or an African American you are a part of the target audience this documentary was created for.


Travis Scott: Travis Scott’s song Butterfly Effect had to play a minimum of a billion times last summer which was okay with me because I love Drake and the composition of the song. I never had a major interest in his story. After watching Free Meek my mind was on musical stories. This documentary isn’t much of a tear jerker, it is insightful.

I learned that Travis is a family man. His closeness with his family was depicted on screen. Producers showed endless home video comparing how similar Travis is to the younger version of himself. Mr.Scott’s current level of excitement for creation of music appears contagious, his attention to detail behind the scenes displays his role in the delivery of optics to his fans.


A Moving Independent Film


I viewed, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” at the E Street Cinema. This is a popular destination for viewing independent films.


Food: Local and Exclusive Experiences

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The Uncaged Chef’s : Capital Heights, MD

I thought The Uncaged Chefs pop-up carry out was for a limited time when I wrote about it back in the March Newsletter. The Uncaged Chefs pop-up has picked up in popularity and received local news coverage.

Left: Damian Brown

Left: Damian Brown

You still have chance to experience the food and unique recipes every Sunday form 11am-7pm in Capital Heights, Maryland at Rosebuds until further notice. The best way to keep up with this Sunday brunch carry-out is by following Chef Damian or The Uncaged Chefs on Instagram.

On some weeks they offer vegan options and even created a chicken sandwich to rival the viral Popeye’s chicken sandwich.

They offer meal prep and private chef services. For more information about those services visit their official website here.


Los Toltecos : Woodbridge, Virginia

If you need a break from Chiptole and crave food with more authentic Mexican spices Los Toltecos is a good local option. They also have four other locations, Chantilly, Fairfax, Sterling and Frederick.

Park Lane Tavern : Fredericksburg, VA

Park Lane Tavern had fried pickles on the menu, I was told the sauce served with the pickles was unique and amazing. I ordered vegetables. This was my first time receiving a plated whole carrot.

Crab & Balsamic portabellas. Marinated portabella mushrooms with fresh crabmeat, mozzarella and balsamic reduction. Served with char grilled asparagus and field greens .

Crab & Balsamic portabellas. Marinated portabella mushrooms with fresh crabmeat, mozzarella and balsamic reduction. Served with char grilled asparagus and field greens.

Earls Kitchen + Bar : Tysons Corner, Virginia

Damn! This food is seriously delicious!!!!! The vegan sushi Is the best sushi I have ever had. The seasoning and the flavor was remarkable. They have a great late night menu. This means even if you can’t make it until 10 pm there will still be some diverse and filling options available.

Green Dragon :  Vegan roll with avocado, yam, mango, cucumber, sriracha

Green Dragon : Vegan roll with avocado, yam, mango, cucumber, sriracha

Salmon and Jasmine Rice

Salmon and Jasmine Rice

Impossible Burger

Impossible Burger

Susheria : Georgetown, Washington D.C.

Located right next to the AMC in Georgetown. I had vegan sushi with asparagus, avocado and cucumbers. Issa ate vegan dish with tofu. He said it taste good. My friend said her red wine was great.


Harriman’s Piedmont Grill at The Salamander Resort : Middleburg, Virginia

I had lunch in the formal dining area, beverages on the outside patio and dessert in the living room style lounge. The place is an experience, carve out some extra time when visiting to see the horses and life size chess board outside.

Lounge Area

Lounge Area

Fat Tomato : Berlin, New Jersey

Located around the corner from Diggerland USA. The Fat Tomato is the perfect place to grab a bite before hitting the highway. The place is clean, the service is good and the food is great. Stop by if you are ever in the area.

Fried Mozzarella

Fried Mozzarella

Pesto Pizza

Pesto Pizza

Buffalo Shrimp

Buffalo Shrimp

Tuesday Is The Absolute Best Day To Go Out

Tuesday is my Saturday. Why? Because it is the most economical day of the week. Originally, I started enjoying Tuesdays by going to the $5 movies at AMC last summer. This summer I expanded my activities list.


Pirates Cove in Lorton, Virginia offered Two-For-Tuesdays (buy one admission, get one free), making the entry fee $5.75 dollars for Issa and I..





Issa and I had a great time playing Top Golf for the first time at near the National Harbor. We went on a Saturday. The wait was long and the cost was premium. Next time we visit will definitely be on a Tuesday.

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Kid Friendly Activities

NoVa Maker Faire

This year marks our second year in attendance to the Maker Faire hosted at George Mason University. If you have kids or know kids that love science or art this event is all about showing children how things work and how to create. Attendees receive hands on experience with robots, an introduction to programming and 3D printing.

Art made of cardboard.

Art made of cardboard.

Issa’s handmade square globe.

Issa’s handmade square globe.

Learning about robots.

Learning about robots.

Cirque du Soleil Volta - Tysons Corner, VA

This touring show will be here until the end of September. It was my first time attending one of these shows. I absolutely loved it. The stunts were literally unbelievable. The musical talent was prevalent showcasing, vocals, violins and guitar. Volta incorporates, BMX, gymnastics ring routines, trampoline acts, unicycles and roller-skates!

Buy tickets here.

Buy tickets here.


Diggerland USA - BErlin, NJ


This small construction themed park is a blast. Experiences include joy rides or operating machinery hands on. I also saw outdoor rock climbing. We went on a day where there happened to also be a BMX bike show. What a treat!

Diggerland USA Playground

Diggerland USA Playground




The number one question I hear is:

How do you get you sons hair to look so good? What are you doing?

I started Issa’s locs on May 3rd 2016. The Hair Therapy anniversary. I two strand twisted whatever hair was on his head. Every week I palm rolled it with Barry Fletcher loc-set -serum. His hair was short. Before I knew it, hair was always in his face. I created the Mickey Mouse hair style to keep hair out of his eyes.

May 2106 || Photo  @NikkRichPhoto

May 2106 || Photo @NikkRichPhoto

May 2017 || Mickey Mouse Hairstyle

May 2017 || Mickey Mouse Hairstyle

April 2019

April 2019

I’ve always been diligent about keeping his hair clean. He has never sat under the dryer in his life. He would melt under there. Since his hair is air dried I need hours for it to set. I do it early in the morning on the same day of any special event.

Kids are crazy, in just one night of sleep they can manage to make it look like no one ever tried to do their hair in their life. I never take the risk of doing it the night before for special occasions.

Pictured below 2016,2017,2018.

A few months ago Issa had an unreasonable amount of sand thrown in his hair by another child while playing at the National Harbor. After several washes I couldn’t get the sand out. Determined to get it out I washed it everyday for a week. All that washing brought out a lot of lint.

After viewing various Youtube videos I came across the hack of using velcro to remove lint. I removed as much as I could. I decided to cut his locs in the front because they looked really uneven and weak at some spots. I also cut his locs straight across in the back. I didn’t measure, looked like around an inch.

Although initially I was divested. I am sure his hair will continue to grow and looks fine. I like to keep it styled in an updo because it doesn’t show that the front is shorter than the back when it is pulled up. He likes to wear it down because he says styles take too long!

This year was also was Issa’s first time getting a steam treatment and laser treatment. Steam to keeps his scalp healthy. Laser treatment stimulates his follicles.

Loc Maintenance Tips

  • Wash your hair often (do not exceed three weeks at a time)

  • Try not to use pony tail holders if you don’t have to. I believe they weakened my sons hair.

  • Air dry when possible

  • Use watery or liquid conditioner. Conditioner gets stuck in locs.

  • Use Barry Fletcher Loc-Set- Serum it is literally the best gel in the world

  • Don’t be pressed to color your locs

  • Don’t style your hair too tight or in the beginning stages

  • Enjoy letting your hair down the when you are at home

  • Tie your locs with a silk scarf at night

  • Oil seals moisture it doesn’t create it, adding oil to dry hair creates more dryness (use water)

June 2019  Post Sand Debacle , Velcro Lint Removal, Hair Cut, Steam treatment, Laser Treatment

June 2019
Post Sand Debacle , Velcro Lint Removal, Hair Cut, Steam treatment, Laser Treatment

Hair with no product in it

Hair with no product in it

Ponytail with no product in it

Ponytail with no product in it

igrow laser treatment

igrow laser treatment

2019 || Air Dried Re-Twist with Barry Fletcher Loc Set Serum

2019 || Air Dried Re-Twist with Barry Fletcher Loc Set Serum


I can’t stress the importance of trimming enough. It is the single most powerful thing you can do. Trims and haircuts keep hair looking fresh and sharp. It also reduces the tangles and knots that occur after split ends really get out of control.

  • If you wear your hair curly it is tough to determine how to trim your hair. Use your best judgement.

  • If you do occasionally straighten your hair that is the best time to request a precision cut. Do not exceed more than 3 months without trimming your hair or your childs hair.

  • Skipped trims may lead to needing a serious haircut by the time you make it back to your stylist.

Natural Blow Out

Natural Blow Out

Formal Styling

Formal Styling


I never considered one until my former partner made one for me. It reduced so much hassle, I loved that it was removable. I haven’t made it into to the 360 wigs or the hair that cost 500 plus. I’m going to leave that to Tamar Braxton and the ladies that make upwards of 100k a year. This wig article is for the average girl on a budget trying to not look a mess.

The bang look has always worked for me. It is a great way to completely avoid having a cheesy part. This is a Bobby Boss wig and it belonged to my mother. If you have a wig with a bad part it just screams look at me and my fake hair.


Going blue. I love colored hair. I am not about to glue ANYTHING to my forehead. I have not found, made or purchased any wig that I like that much. I made this wig two years ago for a photoshoot. It is actually a little bit too tight. I threw a black scarf on and went to the movies. The part is one of those non flexible parts with no option to move it around but the real reason I covered it is the hair is blue to the roots. That look was way to much for me on chill day. The black scarf visually toned the look down.


In need of a new look I wanted to try hair I never purchased before. I decided on Bloom Bundle the mannequins deep side part looked promising.


I was really in a bind, I made this wig on a stocking cap! I thought I had a wig cap at home but I didn't. I was leaving early in the morning. My options were to make the wig with what I have or to wear my own hair. I am currently growing out my undercut so I am not comfortable showing my hair during this in-between stage. I sewed the closure on the cap first, sew a few tracks around the perimeter and glued the rest. I left the wig to dry overnight.


After wearing this hair I can say it looked ok and it was inexpensive but it was itchy on my skin.

Hitting the sale rack in the back of Beauty 4 U is my go to move for wigs and discount hair. I skip all the new arrivals and head to the back to see what is on clearance. I bought this wig for 25 dollars. The plan was to brush it a little and put some mousse on it. OMG I don’t know what I was thinking. Brushing it made the hair big as ever. I wore it with confidence. I figured if Chaka Khan could do it so could I.


This wig didn’t have a deep part. I had about two inches of lace from ear to ear. I would not get a wig like this in the future. I really like having a part. Without one I feel like I look like a lion.



I am all about making my own clip-ins but sometimes I just don’t have the time. Once again I was cutting it close. 5 hours until the event start time. Leaving me 3 hrs to get supplies and do my hair from start to finish, one hour for make-up and the rest of time to get dressed and travel to the event.

The hair is fine but one pack just isn’t enough to cover the whole head. I styled my hair half up and barely had enough to make the bun in the front but made it work. A few days later I tried to wear it all down but my real hair and cornrows were visible :(. I would recommend two packs if you desire to cover your entire head.



I received a tremendous amount of compliments on this hair. The style, the look and the install technique. I took my time. My objective was a flawless part and for the hair to look real. I installed this hair twice. I liked it so much I wore it for two weeks, took it out and did it again the same exact way.




If you tried Fenty make-up and didn’t like it because it was too matte or you couldn’t find your color please go back and try again. I personally loved the shade 420. I had to use really moisturizing primer and sometimes mix the foundation with Kat Von D for more coverage.

She has answered my prayers with this foundation. It is thicker covers better and doesn’t have my face looking dry.I am so excited that she released this line. Her make up is the only make up that doesn’t cause me to get additional acne.

My favorite look was using all of Rihanna’s products and not trying to combine it with any other foundation. I used the hydrating foundation in 420 and for concealer I used hydrating foundation 385. I used her Morocco eye palette. It was a simple look but I looked like myself and I felt pretty.

Fenty on Fenty || Issa and Mommy

Fenty on Fenty || Issa and Mommy

Thank You For Reading !!!!!

May Newsletter


The Story of Daria Finley The Most Inspiring Client I Ever Met

I hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about Daria. To add some context to the story during our off air discussion Daria shared that she currently holds a leadership role at a government agency. She was able to attend The School of the Blind in Richmond because employees donated over 600 hours of their time. Some of which she didn’t even know. Allowing her to have six months to learn and adapt to her new lifestyle.

Daria bought the house that we interviewed in after she became unsighted and brought a trusted friend to help describe the house to her. The sounds that you hear in the background are her mother and her mother’s nurse. Her mom has been diagnosed with dementia and Daria employs a full-time nurse to assist her. She also assists in being a caretaker for her mom who has recently lost her leg and is recovering from such a drastic life change.

Daria is calm and positive. Issa was the producer of this interview, warning that if I sit too close he couldn’t see the top go my hair. He said the most valuable thing he learned is how a blind person counts money.

After the interview Daria went to Home Depot to buy a birdhouse for her garden so she can enjoy the sounds of birds outside of the window. She reminded me that healing is a process that takes far longer than acceptance.

To keep informed of her upcoming projects and the next show date for her one-woman show, “Lights Out” or to follow her on social media visit her website.

Movie Reviews and Recommendations

The ratings below reflect how good the movie is for the genre it’s in. I am using a scale of 1-5. Five (5) representing excellence, three (3) okay and one (1) trash. The category legend is as follows:

(S) Superhero

(L) Love or Comedy

(ST) Story/Biopic

(A) Action/Thriller or Mystery

Clicking the title of the movie will redirect you to the trailer for the movie.

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM (A) : Rating 4.5 - The movie was full of action. The directors used the most creative ways to kill people on screen since the movie “Final Destination”. Some of the fighting scenes dragged on and seemed to be going in slow motion towards the middle and the end. I was a fan of the dry humor used throughout the movie. I was not a fan of some of the corny lines in really important parts of the movie as well as obvious green screen work in the desert scenes. The high table they reference in the movie reminds me of our current government. Just seeing Halle Berry’s cute face honestly makes everything worth it. How can one person be beautiful for 30 plus years? The bonus is she isn’t in a prissy role and she was dressed to kill.

THE HUSTLE (C) : Rating 4 - Pure comedic relief. I am talking pure nonsense to fullest but not over the top. The sets in the movies are phenomenal: the house overlooking the ocean, vaulted ceilings, marble floors; the fashion was truly luxurious. Anne Hathaway was giving us an extension of her wardrobe from her “Devil Wears Prada” days. The deepest part of the movie was the moment they took to show that stereotypical beauty just sometimes isn’t enough. It doesn’t capture every person’s heart.

THE INTRUDER (A) : Rating 4.2 - I know! How many times can they make a movie like this?! The answer is infinity, but they did a good job. It was nice to see some familiar faces from TV on screen. I loved the music in the transitional scenes and the scary music throughout the movie. I don’t know who dressed Megan however, they made sure she was extra sexy in every scene, even when she was just supposed to be home chilling in oversized clothes they managed to show some bra straps or something. Just hearing Tank in the background of the first love scene…I wanted to scream. Let me focus — it was a thriller — Denis Quaid (Charlie) was crazy and there was proper illustration of plot development. Everyone can relate to the real life issues around text versus calling.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (S) : Rating 5 - The rating for this should be the surprised face emoji. They covered EVERYTHING; there is NOTHING else left to say. THE END. I will be so annoyed if they try to find another way to go any further with this storyline. I had so many emotions, similar to how I felt in the war scene during “Aqua Man” and the war scenes in Season,8 Episode 3 of “Game of Thrones”. You can’t help but be on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen and how it applies to whatever demands you currently are battling in life. It’s long as shit but it doesn’t feel long when you are watching it. So just catch an early show (like 6pm or 7pm) and eat a full meal before you go so you are not distracted. You will miss out if you go to the concession stand in the middle of this movie.

SHAZAM! (S) : Rating 4 - Admittedly I didn't want to go and see this. This was a Prince Issa selection. The movie had more layers than I expected. The deepest moments explored the relationships that children have with their parents and parental figures. Underlying questions: What shapes the acceptance of a failed relationship with a parent and how does one make room for new relationships? What makes a good sibling and why is team work necessary? What are there challenges of having a physical disability? How to deal with bullies in school? Seeing these issues addressed in conjunction with humor and some real violence leads me to the conclusion that it is a good pre-teen movie. Also, look out for surprise cameos. I can’t believe I liked this movie.

LITTLE (C) : Rating 4.3 - This movie was undeniably funny. Anyone with a job will enjoy it because so many people have bosses that can not manage their expectations. My favorite aspect of the movie were the kid actors because they reminded me of being young. Since I watch so many shows and listen to music non-stop, I liked seeing the guy from “This Is Us” and Luke James. Regina Hall was a great tyrant lol. However, I didn’t care for her fashion in the movie. Her car though! I’ll take the car.

ASBURY PARK RIOT REDEMPTION AND ROCK AND ROLL (ST) : Rating 4 - This limited release documentary had an exclusive one day viewing, Wednesday May 22, 2019, at 7pm . For reasons unknown the volume in some parts of the movie were very loud. In the documentary they used the word Asbury Park a minimum of a million times. Those were the only two things that bothered me. The story about the history of Asbury Park and the division of the neighborhoods, basically the East and the West. They reflected on how musicians of both races bonded through practicing and later birthed a new style of music. Bruce Springsteen and various other legendary musicians narrated the story. Bruce told the story of how the original band members of the E Band came to be. They showed the impact of the riots which was devastating. The most hurtful fact I learned was about the history of Chicken Beach, a beach for colored families where sewage let out. The most inspiring thing I learned about was the Lakehouse Academy Music Academy and its students, currently located in Asbury Park.

The Water Experiment: Purified Water vs. Spring Water

How much do you really know about water? Do you just buy what is on sale? I learned some things. Let me show you what I found.

Exploring The St. James: An Elaborate All Inclusive Facility in Springfield, Virginia

Have you been to the St. James ? If not make your way there. They have something for everyone. This brand new huge facility is only 15 minutes away from Woodbridge. In addition to a spa, basketball, swimming pool and soccer field it houses Super Awesome and Amazing , a space where children can play by the hour, host birthdays or enjoy an indoor waterpark.

Dining at the St. James: Vim& Victor

Vim and Victor is at the front of the St. James. You do not have to be a member to dine there. The space has the cafe to the right and the restautrant to the left. You can immediately place orders for pre-made food, pastries and Grab & Go options, you can request to be seated and dine-in on the restaurant side. The windows are ceiling to floor, offering lots of light.

Private Chef Carol

chef carol

Excited to announce that my cousin, has moved here from Brooklyn, New York and brought her culinary talents with her. She is a Guyanese native and can cook South American and Caribbean food, as well as American cuisine. She is available for hosting private dinner parties and special events. We are a blessed family since we get to taste her prototype recipes. These are some items she whipped up to celebrate my little cousin’s birthday early May. Follow her new chef page on IG @yumcaterer.

Wait, there is more! Look at these mouth-watering custom milkshake glasses Chef Carol made for a kid party this past Memorial Day.

New Founding Farmers at Reston Station

You may have been to Founding Farmers in DC. The food is good, however, there is a lot of traffic heading that way and parking is terrible. The newest location in Reston validates parking if your stay doesn’t exceed three hours and offers valet parking for under five dollars! It also has beautiful displays of unique art installations all around the restaurant. My favorite was the wall of flowers. Special thank you to Hair Therapy Member Mrs. Jackson for this lunch date invite.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap Full Review & Update

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In January 2018 Newsletter I wrote an article about how Dr. Bronner soap saved my face that experience included a select few Dr. Bronner soaps. Since then, I have been using the castile soap for my body wash. I have had a chance to try them ALL and this is what I think.

Peppermint: It is tingly and refreshing until it hits your private parts. Your butt and crotch will literally be on fire. A little too much for me.

Unscented: Just feels like nothing is happening. Somehow the lack of scent bothers me. This is one is probably is perfect for babies but I used it on myself and I felt so blah. Am I clean? I’m not sure …NEXT!

Lavender: Lavender is my sister’s favorite. It smells amazing but I found its moisturizing properties to be lacking.

Almond: The only soap of all of them that also works on my face and body. It is just the perfect balance for me. It doesn’t leave me extremely dry and the scent is mild.

Citrus: Citrus comes in travel size at Target. I found myself mixing it with the Tea Tree sugar soap as my secret ingredient for bad break outs or sometimes just using a drop of it after my everyday almond wash. I feel like it is not strong enough alone.

Tea Tree: I thought it was cool until I discovered almond. It was the second one I ever tried. It was much milder than Eucalyptus. I was content with it not making my skin feel dry until I found almond which offered me more moisture.

Rose: Smells good but it is thin as water. Just flies out the bottle! The big bottle was down within the week because I could not get it together.

Eucalyptus: So powerful all I can say is DILUTE or you will be dry as a chip. Probably a good one for boys that play in mud and if you sweat a lot in the gym.

One day at The Natural Grocery store next to Paul Mitchell in Woodbridge, I saw the Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner on the shelf. Not sure how great it is but until that day I only saw it on the Dr. Bronner website.


Candalada’s Most Simply Amazing Best Purchases

I know I’m not Oprah, but I still went ahead and compiled a list of Simply Amazing Best Purchases. The list is eclectic.

1. Baby Brush


I bought this brush years ago, it is old and worn out but you can get a brand new one at Beauty 4 U. I am aware they have the toothbrush method and other styles new mini brushes. This particular brush has just been a lifesaver for me. It Is great for when I need brush my undercut and the front of my hair. I love it.

2. Timberlands: Femmes


I was not sure about this sneaker Timberland combo. I feel like they did their research and questioned, “How do we appeal to all the ladies that are 30 and up and get them to wear Timberlands again?” and this is what they came up with. The “Femmes”. On first sight I thought it was cute. When I tried them on the soft sole on the inside felt so nice on my feet. Growing up I owned one pair of the original Timberlands also known as the “Butters”. They were so heavy and clunky for my skinny little legs. In high school I was a fan of the field boot. I had several colors. I liked the round front and they were much lighter but the sole was still hard. The soft sole retained the plush feeling all winter. I didn’t slip and fall and my foot was protected. I will be getting another pair next winter. I ended up doing construction work in these they look good considering what I put them through.

3. Tech21 Drop Protection iPhone Max case


The Tech 21 cast was a gift from a friend. I had an Otter Box, it was so big and clunky. I had a Lifeproof and no one could hear anything I was saying. This Tech21 case looks super simple, like it could possibly be a five dollar holla case. This case saved my life when I ever so recklessly left my phone on my lap and got out of the car. I watched my phone do the slow motion fall to the ground and of course land face first. I was positive that I would pick it up and see a cracked screen but my phone was undamaged thank to my case.

4. Seventh Generation free and clear Dish Soap


I have used other natural soaps and with them it seemed like I had to use the entire bottle just to clean one dish. This soap cuts through grease and food with ease. I consider it a great natural replacement for Dawn lovers.

Hair Therapy Kids Model The Perfect Head Tie

PrinceIssa  and Little Miss Kennedie

PrinceIssa and Little Miss Kennedie

Preserving kid styles all summer long. To see more new images visit

Child Care for Children in Woodbridge and Maryland

Patrice Young

Patrice Young

April Newsletter


Exploring Lip Bar

I received two sticks of Lip Bar lipstick as gift on Valentine’s Day, shades, “Boy Trouble” and “Prom Queen”. I was not aware of the story behind brand before receiving the gift. To learn more about how the creator of Lip Bar went from working on Wall Street, to making a name for herself in the beauty industry click here.

Lip Bar: Boy Trouble

Lip Bar: Boy Trouble

Lip Bar: Prom Queen

Lip Bar: Prom Queen

Canadalada takes a trip to Hollywood


2735 Metro Plaza, Woodbridge, Virginia

Getting ready for the trip started with nails. I met with nail tech Mimi at Victory Nails in Woodbridge, Virginia. This place is not were you go for cheese and wine. It is a functional space and far from a spa. These powder ombre nails came to a total of $55 dollars. Easily $65-$75 dollars anywhere else.

Nail Tech: Mimi

Nail Tech: Mimi

Ombre Powdered Nails

Ombre Powdered Nails


2890 Garber Way, Woodbridge Virginia 22192

I went to visit my favorite barber Omar Lavender owner of Genesis Barber Shop. I love the vibe in the main shop across from Wawa. Omar has magical hands. My skin is very sensitive and dry. I get cut easily. He was the first to cut my hair and not burn my temples when I had a number one all around a few years ago.

I recently tried to cut my hair at home a few times. This caused a slight disaster on the left side of my head where I went too high :( He was able to make it look much better than the botch job I created.

Cut by Omar Lavender at Genesis Barbers in Woodbridge, Virginia

Cut by Omar Lavender at Genesis Barbers in Woodbridge, Virginia


Tysons Corner Center, Mr.Lee 703-448-6767

Do your clothes look like bags? Do you have the perfect outfit that ALMOST fits? Visit Mr.Lee at Tyson’s Corner Galleria. He is located in the back of the store called “The Shoe Shoppe” next to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. The name of his place is called, Tailor Craft. It is like a secret because it is not listed in the mall directory. Allow a few days for alterations they don’t do same day turn arounds.

A few years ago I took a dress that I bought for maybe $6 to Mr.Lee. He charged me $20 to take in the sides. I posted the picture on Instagram and I received such positive feedback. I received so many compliments every time I wore it. This was the beginning of my interest in tailored or custom clothing.


For the LA trip I purchased two dress options with the intent to alter, one silk and one velvet (velvet shown in video). The velvet dress had a faulty zipper and needed straps to fit best. Mr.Lee informed me that velvet is more expensive to alter because of its thickness and quoted me $160. The satin dress was quoted at $50 to take in the sides. I decided to go with he simpler less expensive option.

Satin Dress: Before Alterations

Satin Dress: Before Alterations

Behind the Scenes with celebrity MUA @TheMakeUpActivist

I was invited to LA through the Student Graduate Assembly at Shenandoah University. I serve on the board as a media advisor. Select graduate student Matthew Murray attended the 50th Annual NAACP Awards. The event was held at the Dolby Theater and the post celebrations at the Roosevelt Hotel. I am excited to share how I created the look of the evening. Beginning with make up.

Mel Hunter known as the MakeUpActivist and the “Queen of Clean” is known for her ability to enhance beauty for women of color without an ashy or chalky finished look. Her clients include a range of people from Erykah Badu to Snoop. Her beauty mentor is Kim Kimble. She humbly works with a team of her equally talented peers. She travels the world in her spare time wearing bright colors and taking images that make you want to jump into her Instagram page. Mel is charming and kind. She isn’t flashy and far from a diva. She dresses comfy when she is working, has amazing skin and the coolest hair styles. Aspiring MUA’s could benifit from tapping into her vibe.

The Final Look

Places to Eat in LA

Lunch: Whole Foods

Burbank on W and Olive (The one Downtown on 7th Street has the same amenities)

I had the best grocery store experience ever. It was a nice day, I listened to the music, sat on the patio and enjoyed food. They have TV’s at the bar to watch the games and other events. They offer a variety of drafts, wines and spirits.

Cashew and Veggies Lunch Special

Cashew and Veggies Lunch Special


Luna Grill Mediterranean Restaurant

4550 Van Nuys Blvd., Suite A3 Sherman Oaks,CA91403 (They have multiple locations)

Veggie Kabob

Veggie Kabob


Late Night: Norms

Not many vegan options but I made a way by ordering wheat toast and avocado with chamomile tea. The most fun item on the menu included exotic lemonade flavors. Norms allows you to try a different favor with every refill. Pictured below habanero-lime and cotton candy which was arguably the best flavor.

Snacks: Besitie’s Vegan Paradise

Home of the best vegan cookie I have ever eaten.

Dessert: Little Damage

I call it the Hair Therapy cone :)

I call it the Hair Therapy cone :)

Manhattan Creamery

I had the Beach Bum with banana foster filling recommended by the sales rep. They offer 28 filling flavors.

Brunch: Square One

Fountain Avenue location (walking distance from Bestie’s Paradise)

I had the 333 tea (chamomile, mint & rose hips ) to start.The veggie burger, which is made in house and had walnuts in it, with a glass of lemonade. Everything was perfection.

My friend had an omelette with spinach and mushrooms, he added salmon and opted for the fruit bowl verses a salad for a side. We were so occupied by the passion fruit and the kumquat which we never ate before. The kumquat was very sour.

Evening Date: LP

You can see the entire city. Such a chill place. Perfect place for a long conversation because the music is not too loud.

Local Eats


I had the veggie pies which I enjoyed. My friend had the lobster pies. He said the lobster was over powering and the veggie ones tasted better.


The tomato sauce was a cool change. This burger has no spicyness to it but it was still good.

Match Box Woodbridge, Virginia Veggie Burger

Match Box Woodbridge, Virginia Veggie Burger

Chipotle Secret Menu

The lady in front of me asked the man to put additional cilantro in her bowl. I thought about it and decided to try it. I asked them to add cilantro and squeezed lemon on my bowl, it turned it into an entirely different dish. I may be late with this discovery but I felt like I went a brief vacation when I ate this bowl.


Exploring Non -Dairy Ice Cream

From Wegman’s

From Wegman’s


Sandwiches Vanilla Bean: The sandwiches are small and taste like coconut. Nothing like vanilla. Not bad but they should be called coconut sandwiches.

Cookies N’ Cream: This is flavorless I wouldn’t buy it again.

Dipped Double Chocolate Delight: These were the best of the bunch. It really taste chocolaty.

Bananas Foster from Moms’s Organic

Bananas Foster from Moms’s Organic


After going to Cali and being turned on to banana foster I decided to give this a try. It was good. The chocolate taste somewhat dark it was on the verge of a slight coffee taste. I hate coffee but I still like this. I even went on to make a smoothie with it. Look forward to the smoothie recipe in next months newsletter.

WHY IS THERE BEAVER ANAL GLANDS IN ALMOND MILK??????????!!!!!!!!!!!! What “natural flavors’ Really Means

I was really disturbed to learn that there is any connection between alternative milk and a beavers ass. It was truly upsetting. This is very good article that I have found to help you get through the process of finding a good alternative milk, as well as develop and understanding of what “natural flavors” is code for. Be sure to read the labels of everything that you ingest and make sure that you are comfortable with what you are consuming.

Local Trainers and Health Specialist


This was a beautiful moment to watch. The person that works out the hardest with the most flexible person I know.

Have you been meaning to try yoga or wanting to get a trainer? There are still several weeks until beach time. Yoga can help with health issues, aches and pains. Working out can make you strong and sexy. OneWithebony offers private yoga sessions and public yoga classes. Vello offers personal training in gym and in home depending on your needs. Contact them today.

Remixing your hair style to fit your head and face shape

Loc Up-Do

The Problem: This was the first attempt at an updo. Notice the middle row is too high. In the back a roll was created using string to hold it together. Once finished I thought it had somewhat of a heavy look.

The remedy: Taking the style down, slanting each row a little more and reducing the distance of each row to the middle of the head verses the back. This changes took away that hill in the middle of her head. Switching the bun style to a simple bun made the style easy to follow and more elegant.

Long Bob to Short Bob

The problem: After Getting a hair cut the client didn’t feel much of a change. Even though her hair was three inches shorter.

The remedy: Going into a deeper angle and exposing the neck made the change more noticeable.

Also, this client was using Shea Moisture styling products which had too much emollients in it. I advised her to stop using those products and try something lighter.

How Serenity Jones Creates Candalada’s Signature Bob

Candalada hosts Hair Club at George Hampton Middle School

I was thrilled to donate my time to Hampton Middle School formerly known as Godwin. The school has several clubs to keep students engaged and occupied after school hours. They serve dinner to the students at 3:3pm then students break into specialized clubs. This club run buy Angela Jackson and contains 16 students. Their skills ranged from beginner to advanced.

During this session I learned why each student was interested in hair styling and what they planned to do once mastering the skill. I spoke about the value of customer service and patience. Why I think education is important and how I created a flexible lifestyle with no barriers which includes both creativity and education.


Street Art In LA

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CANDALADA’s Digital Hair Class

How to wash your hair at home and obtain salon clean results


When you go to the salon, your stylist uses several steps to get your hair clean and optimize final result, he or she will generally: 
1) Shampoo (cleansing shampoo) || Hair feels hard and very clean

2) Shampoo again (moisturizing shampoo) || Hair feels somewhat regular and clean

3) Condition (instant conditioner) || Hair feels slightly softer than usual

4) Deep Condition (using deep conditioner) || Hair feels like silk sheets

5) Select and use styling products based on the desired final outcome, usually using a leave-in first 

“Why don’t more people use a four step washing process at home? Do I really have to do all of this?”

The short answer; yes. Generally the average consumer purchases one shampoo and one conditioner. After surveying my clients, results showed my African American clients picked up moisturizing shampoo and moisturizing conditioner or deep conditioner. Zero percent of African American clients surveyed purchased a clarifying shampoo. This prompted me to create an article.

The Science Behind Hair Washing


The PH of hair changes as soon as it hits the water; shampooing and conditioning changes the PH levels also. Imagine yourself diving to the bottom of the ocean. With the appropriate gear you can make it back to surface unharmed. Without the right gear you may never come back. The goal is to get your hair to come back being cleaner and softer than when you started.

These PH charts can give you a visual summary of the PH Balance Scale and where each head of hair falls on the scale. As you can see water moves your hair up the scale and all the efforts you make during the washing process bring you back down.

perfect scale.jpeg

Digressing for a moment, this chart focuses more on the affects of color and chemical services by presenting a diagram of the cuticle next to the chart. Hair appears frizzy and uncontrollable when the cuticle is not closed or is damaged and fried. Once it is truly damaged it cannot be saved and must be cut off.

Difference between clarifying shampoo and moisturizing shampoo

When choosing product it is important to READ the bottles because they mean what they say. The purpose of clarifying shampoo is to remove most of the old product, pollution and world elements in your hair. When you use heavy styling products like butter, starting with a cleansing shampoo is really a must. However, if you have been using products on the lighter side, you can skip the cleansing shampoo from time to time.

Moisturizing shampoo removes what is left behind and was not removed by clarifying shampoo. It contains less aggressive cleaning agents.

Difference between instant conditioning and deep conditioning 

The difference between regular conditioner, aka instant conditioner, and deep conditioner is deep conditioner usually has ingredient lists containing more oils and premium ingredients. It is made to sit on the hair and be processed with heat and/or time. That is why it cost more. 

If you do not have time to sit and use it properly do not put it on your hair. Rinsing deep conditioner right away is actually wasting your money, you will not get the best results. When you’re in a rush: moisture shampoo, instant condition and go to Step 2 and Step 3.

Instant conditioner gets your hair soft, but nothing compares to deep conditioner paired with heat and/or time. A deep conditioner in your hair with a plastic cap processed at room temperature for 45 mins, under the dryer for 20 mins or under the steamer or 20 mins will always feel softer and smoother than when you put your conditioner in and rinse it right out in a few minutes.

Reminder: When you use a cleansing shampoo, you have to do ALL of the steps of the wash process or your hair will just be a hard mess!

After you wash your hair, pick the leave- in of your choice do not use too much, then use whatever products you want to style your hair. 

My go to styling routines after hair is washed, clean, and wet/damp

For twists/twist outs I use Carol’s Daughters Healthy Hair Butter only, no leave in, nothing because the butter is so heavy my hair does not need anything else. I like a tiny bit of the honey on the ends, but I only use it if I have it already. My hair will be fabulous with or without the honey.

For up-do’s I use a leave in and my favorite is Kinky Curly (just a drop). I brush it into a ponytail and the put gel on the outsides (Cream of Nature Gel with the red top) and tie it down (with a perfect head tie) . I style what is left into a bun to the best of my abilities or use fake hair for the bun. 

For old hair that I do not have time to do over. I wet it. I try to wash it as much as possible using only water I do not add new product. I apply something to the edges, and do an up-do for the day just until I can get home to do it right. The purpose of wetting the hair is because when it is stiff and dry I can’t comb or brush it.

For Straightening 
DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME...PLEASE. I have tried to explain the process but most people just turn the flat iron to the top temp, burn their hair, refuse to do the recommended small sections, and try to use cheaper products than suggested, so I give up on sharing the trade secret and science of it.


1.Kinky Curly……the line that houses the best cleansing shampoo on the market, available in Target.


2. Deva Curl ...Below is my sister’s absolute favorite shampoo, conditioner and styling product. She uses One Decadence Shampoo, Conditioner and the coconut cream styler. Online it says these products are at Target and Walmart but I have NEVER seen it on the shelf. I suggest ordering it. Nikky is very linear. She does not use things from a bunch of different lines. After months of usage I have determined this line doesn’t moisturize enough for me. I find that it works best on Hispanic clients or clients with loose curls.


2.Carol’s Daughter’s….My hair does not care about Carols Daughter or Shea Moisture shampoo or conditioner anymore. I have been using the products for 10 years and my hair is just plain tired of it. When I did use CD, I used the black vanilla shampoo/conditioner, available in Target.


The Butter is the BEST I have ever seen on the market! The honey is a replacement for traditional hair grease and adds shine. Honey is in Target but the butter can only be found online! It is a top seller and NOTHING is better for a twist out.


3. Shea Moisture… When I used Shea Moisture I used these specifically.  Available in Target. I literally do not use ANY of the styling products from Shea Moisture. 


4. Mielle Organics They have recently released a shampoo and conditioner for the Honey & Pomegranate line. I was introduced to this line by discovering the leave in first. My overall review for Mielle Organics is below.

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2016-2018 Best Deep Conditioners 

TGIN, Shea Moisture strengthen, grow and restore leave -in.I use this as a deep conditioner, process with heat and rinse out. Revive and Repair is Nikky's fave. Manuka Honey Intensive Hydration Masque, I discovered this masque in 2018 long after using the others.

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Leave-In's / Detangler 

Unlike most people, I use leave in as a deep conditioner with heat, or leave it in for a few and rinse most of it out because they all make my hair flaky. I love the way some of them detangle.

Top Choice: 

The word co -wash drives me crazy, I don’t know why, but this mixture is fire. Instructions say it is used as a cleaning conditioner. I just use it as a coditioner with my favorite shampoo. I’ve never been a fan of washing hair with only conditioner. My hair is instantly combable with this product, so it’s pretty amazing.

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Other Styling Products 
Karen Body Beautiful has an entire line of things.  I did not have a chance to try them all, but I fell in love with this one product called hair blossom moisture mist. It is basically a water mist but it has stuff in it that makes the hair so silky soft and easy to comb. 

Barry Fletcher Loc Set Serum the best loc serum in the world. Dries shiny and hold hair for weeks. For even better results use liquid moisture oil on the scalp.

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  • To recap, my old favorite (Shampoo & Conditioner) no longer work for my hair, but may work for you 

  • Always use a cleansing shampoo when hair is dirty

  • DO NOT waste expensive deep conditioner by rinsing it right out

  • Everything does not have to come from the same line. If it does great mainly because of the convenience of getting all your product in one place, but if it does not that is okay. What works is more important than what is convenient. 

  • Just because a line has one fire product does not mean all their products will work for your hair

These are just recommendations; not the law. Now that you understand the process or science to it and now know a few of the best products out, you may develop your own really good hair system. 


Deva Curl, Shea Moisture, Mielle Products, Kinky Curly

After the video I was able to try the Mielle line in its entirety. This was the result of Mielle shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, curl custard.

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How I saved my feet using vinegar

Did you ever feel like you didn’t need the scraper when getting a pedicure until they started using it? Do your feet feel disturbingly dry? There is hope.

When I receive a pedicure a pomace stone scrub is standard. During the summer of 2018 they used the tool that resembled a grater on my foot for the first time. My foot was smooth for the first few days and then it started to feel like it was peeling and flaking. I tried scrubbing it at home and it seemed to grate my already damaged skin. To make matters worse I stepped on a piece of glass at home, so I had a dry foot, very rough heels and a cut!

I remember that my aunt said using vinegar on her feet has been the best at home treatment she ever tried. Desperate for relief I pulled out my favorite “Braggs Apple Cider” and poured it into a basin. Then I put a little room temperature water in the basin. Next, I boiled some water in a kettle and added the piping hot water to the basin.

I let my feet soak until the water became cold. With a regular pumice stone I rubbed away all the dead skin being careful not to be too rough. I dried my feet with a cloth, covered them in Vaseline and put my socks on.

I am too embarrassed to show what my foot looked like before the treatment, so this is my foot after the treatment. The cut on the bottom of my foot looks like it was never there. The redness and extra skin from stepping on the glass was gone. There was still a tiny bit of dryness but nothing compared to the overly dry, ripped, textured skin I had the hour prior.

I did this vinegar treatment in December, it is now March. My feet, the heels especially, still feel and look fine. I will never let them grate my feet again! Lesson learned.

Reduced redness, removed several layers of skin

Reduced redness, removed several layers of skin

Both bottoms look the same can’t tell which on was punctured

Both bottoms look the same can’t tell which on was punctured

Textured grated ash is removed.

Textured grated ash is removed.

Moisturized on the coldest December evening

Moisturized on the coldest December evening


Erykah Badu and Candalada


Before: No hair added After: Kinky hair added

Before: No hair added After: Kinky hair added

Before : Previous Highlights

Before : Previous Highlights

After : Deposited Red Violet

After : Deposited Red Violet


FOOD: Alert New Pop Up Carry-Out!

Do not miss out on this. Follow them on Instagram and look at my video review. March 17th, 2019 is the next one. Do not expect sexy, it is a carry out and the food is good.

food flyer

Tikka: New Indian place in the mall

The food was good and they even have the correct oven to make the naan in. The naan is always made to order and will take at least 4 minutes to bake after ordered.

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Trader Joe’s cereal

Trader Joe’s cereal

This cereal did not taste that good in the milk. It was tolerable as a dry snack.

This cereal did not taste that good in the milk. It was tolerable as a dry snack.

This was good. It is really hard to mess up ginger ale.

This was good. It is really hard to mess up ginger ale.

This muffin tasted like cardboard. The chocolate was the only thing that could have made it somewhat enjoyable if it didn’t already taste like cardboard.

This muffin tasted like cardboard. The chocolate was the only thing that could have made it somewhat enjoyable if it didn’t already taste like cardboard.

These made my stomach hurt. I won’t buy them again.

These made my stomach hurt. I won’t buy them again.


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If you read last month’s newsletter then you know the drill. The ratings below reflect how good the movie is for the genre it’s in. I am using a scale of 1-5. Five (5) representing excellence, three (3) okay and one (1) trash. The category legend is as follows:

(S) Superhero

(L) Love or Comedy

(ST) Story/Biopic

(A) Action/Thriller or Mystery

Greta (A): Rating 3 - Umm can you say weird? If you are looking for a slight thriller this will do. If you want to be scared shitless this won’t do it. Greta is all the way crazy. None of the graphics are cheesy or problematic. It took creators too long to tell the story.

Cold Pursuit (A): Rating 4.3 - I know we are supposed to be boycotting all his movies. Its already yanked out of theaters perhaps because of the scandal, but not the quality of the movie. The story was serious, but there was some dry comedy in how the creators did the screen play. The most interesting characters to me were the Indians.

Isn’t It Romantic (L): Rating 4 - This movies is funny. The cheesy musical at the end is over the top. Feel free to leave the movie as soon as the movie is over. They mistook the movie for a prince song and did not want to end it.

Captain Marvel (S):Rating 4 -There are many things about this movie that is entertaining. The only thing that could make it better is if the leading character was a stronger actor. Physically if she had sexier legs like super woman and talent wise she used a lot of the same facial expressions. It was refreshing that there was no romance added to the story. She was not dependent or longing for any man. In my opinion, the underlying message was to free your mind.

Her supporting cast was good, you know Samuel Jackson’s humor never gets old. The character that stole my heart was her best friend’s daughter. The time period they chose to hold the movie in was a pleasant surprise.

A Madea Family Funeral (L): Rating 4 - The language in this was wild. Some of the scenes were too long, making it seem like a play as usual. The scandal within the movie was good. There were some very attractive new women on screen that I haven’t seen before. Unfortunately, there was a man snoring to the top of his lungs from beginning to end when I was watching this movie. I complained about it and received a free movie ticket as an apology!


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The FRYE Festival scandal is something else. If you haven’t heard about it please watch FRYE Festival on Netflix. The biggest party to never happen. It. is. beyond entertaining and interesting. Hulu had their own documentary. I watched both, but if you only have time for one the Netflix version is the one.

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Good Girls will have you cracking up. Regular moms that really get themselves tangled up in street life. It seems so real and relatable.


Game of Thrones is coming back April 14th!!! Man get ready. I tried to watch the show years ago. Two episodes in I couldn’t take it seeing a brother and sister kissing. This year I decided to tough it out. I watched 7 seasons! I am so so ready for April 14th. The story line is twisted and intricate. The evil villians are truly evil, the do gooders are hopeless romantics and the conflicted ….well they are conflicted. There is someone for everyone to relate to.


Is a series an over commitment because the episodes are too long? Okay fine. These are some sitcom recommendations:

  1. This Is Us- Tear jerking show about family issues, cancer, death, being over weight, adoption and raising kids.

    -ABC Network

  2. A Million Little Things - Tear jerker about infidelity, suicide, friendship, and cancer.

    -ABC Network

  3. Grownish- Takes place in a college setting. Leading actress is beyond beautiful. This show touches on every issue we ever had in college, from dating, classes, sex, studying and gender roles. It’s a spin off from Blackish, which I ironically have never watched.



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The InCommunities team is excited to bring you a new opportunity to make a long lasting impact within your local community with the introduction of the IAD Homeless Elevation Program (IHELP)!

What is the IHELP Program?

The IHELP program is aimed at helping four local Washington, D.C. and Northern VA based homeless organizations with monthly food, clothing, and monetary donations. Each month, we will be collecting a specific donation item based on the needs of our beneficiary organizations.

When will this be taking place?

They will start collecting donations this Monday, March 4th.

 How can I contribute?

Donations for March (3/4-4/1)

Food, Jelly, Pancake Mix

Clothing, Blankets, Coats (all sizes)

 Which organizations are we benefitting?

DC Coalition for the Homeless, Washington, D.C. - Link

So Others Might Eat (SOME), Washington, D.C. - Link

McKenna Center, Washington, D.C. - Link

Cornerstones, Fairfax, VA - Link


Product lines are expanding and here are some new items that I have spotted. I also noticed advertising show casing imperfections which I thought was cool. Check it out.

This models smile lines are visible and her skin looks real.

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Notice her hair is perfect, but she has one small tooth.

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I have noticed an expansion of Camilla Rose. Kinky Curly has new products and Curls released a luxury line.

TGIN has bottles with white labels. Not sure if they are relabeling and discontinuing old products or if this a part of their expansion. Look at how similar this new white labels are to my old fav Honey Miracle Mask.

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There is a price drop on Kinky Curly come clean shampoo. They have left the $11.99 price mark and have reduced their price down to $9.99. This is most likely to compete with Shea Moisture.

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February Newsletter




There are many movies that came out in the past 365 and I have seen many of them! If you have not made your way to the theater and you need some help deciding what to watch, let me help you. Personally, I do not think it is possible to compare a thriller to a love movie. The ratings below reflect how good the movie is for the genre it’s in. I am using a scale of 1-5. Five (5) representing excellence, three (3) okay and one (1) trash. The category legend is as follows:

(S) Superhero

(L) Love or Comedy

(ST) Story/Biopic

(A) Action/Thriller or Mystery

Disclaimer: I believe your current emotional state affects the way a movie is received. For example, if someone is in love with you they may tend to enjoy a love movie more than a person who is experiencing a recent break up or a person that doesn’t even believe in love. For myself, I found that movies that depict a funeral or references to cancer affect me more than most movies and may have tainted my review process.

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Clicking the title of the movie will redirect you to the trailer for the movie.

MISS BALA (A) : Rating 4 - Of all of the movies listed, MISS BALA is the movie that I watched in a DOLBY theater. The leather reclining seats that slightly vibrated at every explosion and gun shot added a special touch. In my opinion (IMO), the lead character had an odd face. Seems irrelevant but, I do think there was a reason for that. Despite the drugs, money and danger, my biggest concern was how the romantic elements would unfold. The movie was full of action and offered a decent story line.

SERENITY (A) : Rating 3 - This is more of a mystery. The creators were on some other stuff when they made it this. After watching, you will think about the power of the mind and the consequences of decisions.

ESCAPE ROOM (A) : Rating 3.5 - The graphics in this movie are great. The evolution of the most shy character was very interesting. I know for sure that I would not have escaped. The chances of me going to any type of escape room now is about ZERO percent.This movie is highly entertaining.

THE UPSIDE (L) : Rating 5 - The reason I love this movie is because of how well it was written. There were layers to the comedy and seriousness. I was deeply engaged. The film touches on socio-economic trends, physical disabiliites, love, and trust. A must see.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (ST) :Rating 5 - Sharon (Regina King) was the glue of this movie. There is a lot of music in the transition scenes and, I am not sure why, but that bothered me. It was probably there to help you think about what you just saw and have time to process your feelings as they switch scenes. I appreciated the artistry but still wanted the scenes to be shorter. The love that Tiff and Fonny shared is unbreakable. This movie is based on the book, “If Beale Street Could Talk” written in 1974 by James Baldwin.


VENOM (S) : Rating 3 - Made me laugh. This is not for kids at all. I didn’t know what to expect from this movie. Venom himself was pretty vulgar and kind of scary to look at.

AQUAMAN (S) : Rating 2 - The character of Aquaman is sexy and relatable however, his supporting members ruined it for me.The villain could not act all. I don’t know how he was cast for his part. The costumes were odd and I disliked Aquaman’s lovers hair. Her hair was terrible a red wig with an awkward looking part. Their on-screen chemistry wasn’t impressive either. Aqaman’s journey was the most meaningful to me. My biggest take away was comparing my current state to part of Aquaman’s journey.

BUMBLEBEE (S) : Rating 3 - Kid -friendly. This movie had a lot of character development. So if you are looking for lots of combat action, this isn’t the flick for that. I feel like I know more about Bumblebee, but ultimately I’m ready to get back to the entire team of Transformers.

SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (S) : Rating 5 - Family-friendly. This movie is fire for several reasons. Excessive art expression. Miles is relatable to African-American children; his clothes, shoes, hair and music selection are a true depiction of many teens. I appreciated his relationship with his father. The comic words throughout the movie were cool. Exploring the multiple dimensions was a creative way to include several time periods, nationalities and characters.

ROBIN HOOD (S) : Rating 3.5 - Jamie Foxx was a Moorish commander. That is not something that you see everyday. It was action packed. The star Taron Eagerton was charming at times. It just had that predictable feeling for the duration of the movie.

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (L) : Rating 5 -I was so amused. Although it was a cartoon, I didn’t feel like I was suffering through another kid movie. Explaining the internet isn’t easy. but the creators did a great job illustrating it. One of my favorite scenes was the comment room.

WHITNEY (ST) : Rating 4.5 - This is the only documentary on the list. What I enjoyed most was seeing video clips of Whitney that have never been seen before. Topics covered in this documentary included sexual abuse, sexual preference, embezzlement and training to be one of the biggest stars in the world.

NIGHT SCHOOL (L) : Rating 3 - The movie offers similar banter to “Girls Trip”. If you hate that type of comedy, then you won’t like “Night School”. Straight silliness from beginning to end. I heard many people say they didn’t like it. I don’t know what they were expecting. An old guy goes back to school…what exactly where they expecting?

NOBODY’S FOOL (L) : Rating 4 - This movie was so cute and funny. Danica (Tika Sumpter) the lead character was so uptight and she reminded me of myself. The movie focuses on her love life and work life. The main sex scene in this movie alone makes it worth the look. Tika Sumpters hair and make up was flawless. Movie touches on alcoholism and being catfished.

SECOND ACT (L) : Rating 4 - Mya (J-Lo,) the main character. basically works at Walmart and finagled her way into a high profile job. She struggled between her new lifestyle and her old life. Discovery of personal secrets make up the majority of the story line. J-Lo looked so beautiful in this movie. Super fit. All single mothers should look at this.

SUPERFLY (A) : Rating 4 - Personally, I fell in love with the main character Priest. He is so stylish and full of knowledge. Once I fall in love, I start getting stressed out wondering if and when he will die! The movie is a bit long but if you are looking for an around the way movie, with some elements of street life and the consequences, that is not low budget or poorly shot, then this is a great place to start. The original Superfly was made in 1972 featuring music by Curtis Mayfield . Click here to see the original trailer.

WHITE BOY RICK (ST) : Rating 4.5 - I sat in the chair and blinked for 10 minutes after this movie was over. Based on the true story of Richard Wershe Jr., the youngest informant in FBI in history. The movie illustrates how he was lured into a life of drug dealing, then abandoned. The story is set in Detroit during the 1980’s crack epidemic.

FIRST MAN (L) : Rating 4.5 - Based on the book, “First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong”. This movie is serious and long. Even though most of the attention is on the main character, I was paying attention to his wife. The visuals were good but it was one of those movies with funerals that made me want to close my eyes. But, in order to receive the entire message, I had to keep looking. The main character is the definition of determination.

GREEN BOOK (L) : Rating 5 - This film was fire! Dr. Don Shirley is an African-American pianist that takes a tour in the south. His hired security is an Italian man named Tony Lip. The movies explores racism, music, friendship, sexuality and love. It is well balanced. Dr. Don Shirley displays poise, tact and elegance on-screen. His internal conflicts, mixed with the worlds’ biases, create a story worth watching.

A STAR IS BORN (L) : Rating 4.5 - The music was blasting me out of the theater. Really intriguing to see Lady Gaga without her costumes and heavy make-up. Brady Cooper was believable in his role as Jack. Jack was a drunk rock star and his inability to resolve what drove him to drink was disturbing to both the love of his life and all that surrounded him. In the mist of this chaos…a star was born. The song “Shallow” was my son’s immediate favorite. He requested for me to play it and it evoked emotions which led him to cry openly and talk to me about missing his grandma about a month after seeing the film.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (ST) : Rating 5 - The story of the British rock band Queen. It follows the lead singer Freddie Mercury and shows how he influenced the band. The movie takes us through the make-ups, the breaks-ups and the creation of the musical hits. Watching this movie will remind you, if you don’t already know, how dope Queen is. You will realize you know so many of their songs and albums, even if you never purchased them, because they have tons of iconic tracks under their belt.

WIDOWS (A) : Rating 4.5 - When the movie picked up I was on the edge of my seat. After I watched, “Set it Off” many years ago, any movie with a group of at least four women doing something dangerous has to be watched. Veronica (Viola Davis) does not disappoint. The scary guys in this movie really are scary considering theses women have no one they could turn to for help or protection.

BAD TIMES AT EL ROYALE (A) : Rating 5 - This movie was all over the place. I was surprised several times an did not know what to expect. My favorite character was Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo). Basically a bunch of people end up in a creepy hotel. Each character has a different back story and freedom becomes a common goal for them all.

PEPPERMINT (A) : Rating 3.5 - There is not other way to say it. She really kicked some people ass in this film. Her organized anger makes you feel like you can do it also. This film has the vibe of the movie Enough. She has no team to help her and has figure things out alone. Her only mission is justice and to protect the innocent. This film satisfies the me against the world take justice into your own hands concept.

ACRIMONY (A) : Rating 3 - Would I be this crazy if this happened to me? That is a question you may ask yourself after watching Melinda (Taraji P. Henson) snap relentlessly. I could see why some people said the couldn’t take it and it was too much. If recently had a break up watch it so she can carry out the rage you feel inside. If you are looking for a great movie for the evening skip this.

A LITTLE LATE : 2016 -2017

THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US: Rating 5 - I started watching this movie last year and I was too impatient that night. I opted to watch a comedy instead. Last week on a cold winter night, I decided it was time to try again. I’m too much of an Idris Elba fan to let any of his films slip through the cracks.

This is a story about survival and love! It was beautiful.

TV movies



Love By The 10th Date was fun for me. Pure comedic relief. Lifetime movie.


I never knew it could be so hard to watch someone play the role of MJ. Although that was a struggle for me. I couldn’t stop watching because I wanted to hear the commentary of the security guards perspective of the final years with Michael. Lifetime movie.


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The movie Confirmation recalls the events that took place in the 90’s with Anita Hill and her supervisor (Clarence Thomas). She was sexually harassed at work and endured a series of grueling hearings involving the incidents when her former supervisor Thomas decided to obtain appointment as a Supreme Court Justice.

Sometimes, I learn from movies. I did not know anything about this prior to watching the movie. After watching the movie, I went online and looked up “Anita Hill” the character Kerry Washington played to see her actual testimony. It was heart breaking. She was so brave.

confirmation movie 2016

This movie was hard for me to watch. The main character suffered from the same type of cancer as my mother.I found the story to be touching. Topics included siblings with different perspectives, dishonesty and questionable medical testing.

What bothered me most after watching this movie was the unsafe feeling in my heart. How much is being done to protect cancer patients and their families from experiencing similar situations as the Lacks’ family? Why is this okay?




noun (1)

\ ˈrāp  \

Definition of rape

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1: unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person's will or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception — compare SEXUAL ASSAULTSTATUTORY RAPE

2: an outrageous violation

3: an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force

Rape is one of the most uncomfortable subjects. Ignoring that it happens and not discussing it can’t help victims of rape. There are black and white examples of rape however thorough personal experience and discussion I have learned that a fake “grey area” has been created protecting many rapist in the U.S. around the world.


If you are walking home dragged into and alley and a man you do not know has sex with you against your will near a dumpster that is considered rape to anyone that hears the story.


You just met a cute guy a few weeks ago. Thus far you have been on a date or two and text often. He invites you over and you arrive at 10 P.M. You decided to watch a Netflix crime show in his bed. He leans in to give you a kiss which you enjoy but then he attempts to pull your pants down and you say, “No, I am not ready for all of the that.” You have spent the past 11 months with no sexual activity in an attempt to spiritually cleanse. After you pull away, he pins your hand down, rips your pants off anyway and forces his was inside of you. Tears come down the side of your face. He keeps kissing you and when it is over he lays there and goes to sleep. You are stiff and frozen, you never fall asleep, you don’t leave but you don’t take the chance to kill him while he is sleeping either. You are upset but feel it is your fault because you came to his house willingly so that means you must have sent the wrong message.

First, Why doesn't no mean anything? Having to skip foreplay to shove it in because you know you don’t have consent but still desire to conquer the victim should be enough to know what happened was wrong. Right?

Many women are violated then take no action against their attacker when they know them. When did the factor of being ex lovers or potential lovers turn into a pass for having sex with a women whether she desires you are not?

Speaking first with my peers before looking at the numbers each women I spoke with about the subject had at least one experience that she felt was not acceptable. They felt powerless to stop it, filed no report and the attacker suffered no consequence.

I visited the national sexual violence resource center website to get up to date statistics on rape in relation to lovers these were my findings.

Sexual Assault in the United States

  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (a)

  • In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)

  • 51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance (a)

  • 52.4% of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger (a)

  • Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (o)

  • 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and nine percent are male (m)

  • In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator (j)

  • Eight percent of rapes occur while the victim is at work (c)

Cost & Impact of Sexual Assault

  • The lifetime cost of rape per victim is $122,461 (n)

  • Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime ($127 billion), followed by assault ($93 billion), murder ($71 billion), and drunk driving, including fatalities ($61 billion) (j)

  • 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a)

  • Health care is 16% higher for women who were sexually abused as children and 36% higher for women who were physically and sexually abused as children (k)

If you would like to learn more about how to educate yourself or others on sexual violence. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) aims to provide a variety of eLearning modules to educate and support you in your efforts to prevent and respond to sexual Violence.



The short answer is YES! Hair Therapy member Tonya L. found BumbleBee for her son’s birthday party! As a woman always behind the scenes, I got the scoop from him myself. The costumes are self-made. Some other character he has are Iron Man and Batman. Contact information below:

Heroes For Hire, LLC


5 StAr Event HOSTING @ THE RiTz Carlton

Do you have your own company or a special event on the way? I had the pleasure of attending the Star Gala at the Ritz Carlton in Crystal City. If you opt to host your company event or special event here, this is what you can expect.



New to our area, but not new to the world, Red Mango is here! Recommended to me by Hair Therapy member Dr. Groff and tried the same day. When I walked into Red Mango I was offered a SPK. “WTF is an SPK?” I thought to myself. I politely asked and was informed it Is Spinach, Pineapple juice and Kale. For years, I haven’t been able to try any of these green juices primarily because I don’t like kale that much and figured mushing it up would make it worse. This SPK was great. I actually ordered a life sized one. Offering smoothies, juices and a flex-atarian menu, Red Mango is here to give Tropical Smoothie a run for their money! And, they might win! With no added sugars to their drinks and the walk around the counter to hand it you service left a good first impression for me.

Food-wise, Issa tried the fanciest peanut butter and fruit sandwich and I tried the flatbread. He didn’t care for the fruits and requested the next time we get the sandwich with bananas inside. My flatbread was bland because I asked for it with pesto on the side. So after Googling exactly what is in pesto, I added it to my sandwich and it tasted much better.


Detroit has a pizza style? Let’s blame the reason why I didn’t know that on me being from NY where Italian and Chicago are the only other styles I’ve ever heard about. I had to try this. The tag line DAMN GOOD really caught my eye. Found in Food Lion in Dillingham Square.

Cooked in 25 mins in the pan it was packed in and it was good! The fontina cheese… yum. The bread base wan’t like any home cooked pizza I have had before. I was afraid it would be weird but it was not. I am a bread lover. If you are on a diet or do not eat the crust on your regular pizza, skip this.

To learn more about the company click here. You may be in for another shocker on the website. They have Milawakee style pizza :)

January Newsletter


Are you having trouble losing weight?


I saw this video online by Dr. Amy Lee and I thought it was great. Even if you do not buy the pills she tries to sell towards the end of the video still take notes about her findings on how the digestive system works. She speaks about foods that are marketed as healthy but very dangerous for the body. CLICK PICTURE BELOW TO SEE VIDEO ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS.


Photo by Kevin Marable

Photo by Kevin Marable

Prior to the passing of my mom, when she could still stand, we spent afternoons going through her closet. She would tell me who she wanted to give items to and why. We would listen to Prince and I would do silly dances but in the back of my head I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I was preparing for life without her. I had already been scared everyday for about a year, wondering how I would go on or what life would be like. What does life feel like without the safety net of a responsible mother?

The day it happened I knew it was the day (Sept 2nd, 2018). My son was sick and he is never sick. He was in bed and it was almost noon. I went downstairs to see her and the nurse said it wouldn’t be long. Some of my family members joined me. It was pretty quiet before we decided to play some musical selections. Her finger twitched when we played, “I will always love you” by, Whitney Houston. So we played it again. By the end of the second time she was gone. Her chest rose and fell one last time and I could not believe my eyes. I wanted to rip my eyes out. Instead I cried quietly. My father called during those last minutes. It is amazing how he can feel my heartbreak from states away. I mumbled it’s happening and dropped the phone on the floor to hold her hand.

Afterwards, I immediately went upstairs and put on my headphones to drown out the commotion of what was to follow. All the articles I read recommended not to watch when the funeral home comes to remove the body. I spent the rest of the day very close to my sister. We slept in the same bed watching tv and looking at videos and pictures of her on our phones. My aunt was kind enough to take my son for the night. She informed me the next day he spent the entire night throwing up but she wanted me to have some respite so she didn’t call.

I woke up the next day (Sept 3rd, 2018) absent from emotion. My brain lost all the vivid images and dreams of the future and replaced them with to-do list. Cleaning, organizing and reading every document she ever owned was my primary focus. I spent 8-11 hours a day cleaning. I started gathering all of my mothers things from every single part of the house, sorting and organizing them. As the days continued, I donated bag after bag of items to the thrift store.

My sister and I planned her memorial with input from our grandfather. It took place on Sept 16th, 2018. The memorial was held at a golf club and immediately followed by a catered brunch. I expected 65 guest and 120 people attended. When it was over I felt relief. When I returned home I continued to clean. I threw away the once beautiful flowers that were shriveled in vases and washed the dishes.

When there was nothing left to clean I started researching the total cost of repairs and upgrades. It took a week of quotes and questions before I could really understand what was highest on the list of priorities. The most prominent danger indoors was electricity. The sockets were weak and shorting and some lights didn’t work. I have never been a home improvement kind of girl but these quotes will make anyone at least try to evaluate what they are really willing to pay for and what they can handle on their own.

After reading a quote for $22,000 I decided there had to be a better way. I asked myself what would my mother do if this was a task assigned to her? She would set an objective everyday. She would meet the objective everyday. She would complete each task and make it look easy but her diligence and willingness to wake up early would be the key.

My mom was the queen of unfinished home improvement projects but the way she approached her professional work was better than the average person. She was the master of simplicity, she really understood money and she was extremely organized.

I decided to treat the responsibility like a job. I spent 10-14 hours a day moving things. The objective was to update the main level and the kitchen. Every article about homes made it clear that the, “Kitchen is King” or “The Heart of The Home”. The house was built in 1982 and had no structural upgrades since then. In order to have the home improved every room being worked on had to be as clear as possible. Emptying the first level was step one. It was tiring and required at least a million trips upstairs.

My cousin and friend assisted me with the demolition of the kitchen and carpet removal. I was referred to a female contractor that gave me a deal on the floors. I spent hours in Home Depot collecting information and advice about appliances. My mom’s friends assisted me with purchasing affordable cabinets and I abandoned the idea of custom cabinets. I installed the cabinets myself. I accepted that I needed help holding the uppers up after I attempted to install an upper alone and I dropped it.

After several weeks of focusing and receiving help from friends I saw major progress. I became more comfortable with the drill. Towards the end I began, painting the trim, stairs and front door. I stained the banister to match the floor and started fixing little things that I could handle.

In black and white this seems like such a victorious and triumphant linaear story. There was a lot of fighting and disagreements with family and former friends. Relationships I valued turned to fragile despair. Despite the feuding, I had on blinders and wanted to finish the job. I processed almost zero emotions although I knew a breakdown happen at anytime. In conversations I said exactly what I was thinking but I did not feel any mushy emotions, neutral and angry was all I had available.

The day after Thanksgiving noticed I lost a bracelet that was very important to me. I used it to keep myself aligned. My father gave it to me as a graduation gift in 2006. The first indication that I was wearing down emotionally was the outburst I had about the bracelet while looking for it late one night. I was already looking for weeks. I cried yelled and screamed. I went outside in a robe and Timbs frantically looking through my trunk. I thought to myself, “How is it that I haven’t cried about my mom but I am crying about a bracelet? Or am I really crying about my mom and I think I am crying about a bracelet?”

By the time Christmas was approaching and I wasn’t completely finished however, the renovations looked good enough to take a break and prepare for holiday visitors. Trying to drill holes while someone is trying to bake a cake wouldn’t work. I put the tools away and prepared to take a few days off from the 20th to New Years.

During these rest days I realized I was so tired of going through everything alone. As in without a life partner. The person I love revealed that they didn’t love me back. Like and best and had no plans for a future that involved me. I was disappointed to hear this and I spent the days between Christmas and New Years doing nothing. I cried the entire break. I was focused on nothing. I felt like nothing. I completely lost momentum. I suddenly became sad about everything. It was uncontrollable. I missed at least 50 Merry Christmas text. I spent the day in the dark. I didn’t go to see my family on Christmas. By 8 p.m. I decided to go to the movies with my son. The movies is the only place where no one can see me. I do not have to speak but I can still be entertained. The screen is so large and the sound is so robust it is hard to think of anything but the story in front of you.

What was I going to do? Where was my energy and enthusiasm? Why did everything that was so important suddenly not matter anymore. How was I going to motivate myself to finish the things that I told my mom I would take care of? What if I die to? Then what? Do I even have enough in place to think that I can even take this time out to be sad? The answer was no.

I did a bunch of manual labor and turned myself into a fake contractor but I didn’t do much self-care. You couldn’t pay me to have a positive thought. I thought what would my mom do? First of all she would never feel like me because she isn’t emotional enough to even get like this. She would read something about the topic she is having trouble with. Back in the day she was a librarian. She has a healthy collection of books.

I went under my bed and pulled out two books, “Becoming” by Michelle Obama and “9 steps to Financial Freedom” by Suze Orman. My grandfather bought “Becoming” for me during his Thanksgiving visit and the finance book was my mother’s. I randomly wrote a journal entry about the day about my feelings. I read 13 pages of each book and took some notes. The very first page of my mom’s book had scribble in it about the best pizza in New York. In the pages she highlighted key words. I felt a calmness come over me. I was not cured, I was still pissed about my bracelet, missing my mother and crushed about my love but something positive was happening.

I told myself: I don’t have the power to recover lost items. It is okay to miss my mom and it is okay to cry. If someone doesn’t love me I still have to love myself and it doesn’t mean something is wrong with me. Sounds so simple, but all were hard to accept. Reading though the days gave me something else to think about. I thought about what I was learning about Michelle Obama and more about the blue print and principles my mother followed and less about my worries of the future and unrequited love.

I spend most days listening to my son tell me about his dreams and helping him with his homework. I try to get him to speak about his emotions and I encourage him to practice his music. I go to bed earlier and when I can’t sleep I listen to music. I made a recent effort to not fight with my body, my mind or others. When I am tired I sleep and when I have energy I work. I understood why reading the books were calming. books can not yell at you or judge you. They only inform you or force you to think. I found this to be the most best way to spend alone time.

I always known thoughts, success and survival are directly connected. This Is why people that believe in themselves make it despite talent sometimes. What happens when you stop believing and the comments seep into you? You break! it doesn’t happen to me often but when it does it is a challenge to recover from. A friend and I came up with a saying called “Block The Noise”. Noise can come from yourself thinking the worst things or someone speaking to you. Blocking the noise is HARD. Especially if you are the noise!

This is my truth only 4 months into a life of forever without my mother.

Candalada / Shelly B

Candalada / Shelly B


Put briefly cancer scares me. It has changed the way I shop, the way I eat. The more people I speak to the more people I discover have it. It is becoming as common as a cold. I don't know what the call to action is. I just support excessive check ups and asking an unlimited amount of questions during doctor visits.




Heat and serve great with Naan

Heat and serve great with Naan

Located at Mom’s Grocery Store in Woodbridge, VA

Located at Mom’s Grocery Store in Woodbridge, VA

Salsa’s Mex Grill at Potomac Mills Mall (across from Popeyes) : Plantains: crispy and sweet

Salsa’s Mex Grill at Potomac Mills Mall (across from Popeyes) : Plantains: crispy and sweet

Salsa’s Mex Grill at Potomac Mills Mall: Veggie Quesadilla : Full of flavor and spicy

Salsa’s Mex Grill at Potomac Mills Mall: Veggie Quesadilla : Full of flavor and spicy

WTF Walmart

Caucasian products, left. African American products, right.

Caucasian products, left. African American products, right.

Walmart Woodbridge products for Caucasian hair have no additional security , products for African American hair have extra surveillance and cases. I encourage them walk across the street to Target 🎯 to see what a layout looks like. The cameras in Target are placed in the ceiling and evenly distributed. In the lotion, ethnic, Caucasian and beauty product aisle.

Target: beauty product layout

Target: beauty product layout

Target: African American hair products and lotion

Target: African American hair products and lotion

What I saw in Walmart was heartbreaking.I don’t care how much is stolen that is not what shopping should look like. This is why online shopping will eventually destroy the in store experience. Especially for those who are tired of being discriminated against when they go into the store.

The Walmart beauty section is cased in with cameras on every aisle, with visible monitoring screens and items must be paid for before leaving the beauty section of the store.

Notice in the picture below. The camera is directly on top of Vaseline and cocoa butter products.

Walmart: Lotion Display

Walmart: Lotion Display


Click to picture to learn more about Prince Issa. How he used art to cope with grief.

December Newsletter


THE PERECT GIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10-14-18 candalada hair tie-044.JPG

the black one comes in rectangle and square shaped. Preserve your hair styles by sleeping in pure silk.

Square shaped for full coverage.

Square shaped for full coverage.

Now offering faster shipping.

10-14-18 candalada hair tie-047.JPG

Quick Veggie Friendly Food

Located at Potomac Mills Mall. The best part of the meal was the shake. They also offer different seasoning options for the fries.

Hummus Wrap, French Fries and Strawberry Mango Shake

Hummus Wrap, French Fries and Strawberry Mango Shake


Chipotle, & Pizza concept. Select your own ingredients.Tons of sauce and topping choices. The BBQ sauce seems better than the traditional red sauce in my opinion. The raspberry lemonade is sugary and delicious.



If you are not into attending bars or smoking hooka you may miss out on this food! It worth getting an order to go. Everything taste good however the really well seasoned green beans and the cornbread is out of this world! The wings or cajun shrimp if you eat meat. Babylon is located on Golansky Blvd in Woodbridge, Virgini.


November Newsletter



Available in purple.

This month Hair Therapy released The Perfect Head Tie in two colors!!!!! Magenta and Purple. Both have special meaning calling attention to cancer awareness and special release dates tied to the people in Candalada’s life. November 5th , marking the 6Oth birthday of my dad. November 10th marking the birthday of my extremely supportive aunty Roxxane.


NikkRich announced her first photo book Counter Point at the event. The book is currently available online.