Grease and Moisture and Moisture and Grease

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

After taking out my box braids I made sure my hair was really moisturized. My curls weren’t dry because I applied grease to them every other day, but the air here in New Mexico is, and I don’t trust it. So for extra moisture this is what I did:



Alba Botanic Un-Petroleum Plant Powered Multi-Purpose Jelly includes vegetarian ingredients with no animal testing, petrolatum, mineral oil, paraffin, artificial colors or fragrances parabens or phthalates.

This product is really made for dry skin on the body but I didn’t like the heavy castor oil smell so I applied it to my hair instead and I love it! It is super ultra moisturizing and I could not have asked for a more thick greasy product for my dry tresses

I purchased this at Whole Foods for about $6.00. It’s a new staple.


At the theatre enjoying a musical tribute for The Carpenters.


Friday, April 4th, 2014

I am taking out my box braids. It’s time. I don’t have plans to get them done again but I soon will because I don’t want to leave my hair unprotected too long.

As I was taking my braids out I didn’t notice any growth. It should have grown at least an inch since February. That’s not a lot but still. I think it should be much longer.

I know I should have patience. They say it is a virtue.


Throwback Thursday

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Today I decided to participate in Throwback Thursday and post a few pictures of me from when I competed in pageants and had a perm. I haven’t seen these photos in a while. They made me smile when I saw them again so I wanted to share. Enjoy!

Head Shot

Head Shot


Ms. New York 2006

Ms. New York 2006


Cover story

I made the cover on the Brooklyn Spectator newspaper


With my Soror Sheryl Lee Ralph at Delta's National Convention in Philadelphia

With my Soror Sheryl Lee Ralph at Delta’s
National Convention in Philadelphia


Muhammad Mosque No. 7' in Harlem presented their Sister-to-Sister Winter Pageant. I made an appearance as a visiting Queen and speaker to the girls.

Muhammad Mosque No. 7′ in Harlem presented their Sister-to-Sister Winter Pageant. I made an appearance as a visiting Queen and speaker to the girls.


Ms. Liberty America 2007-National Winner

Ms. Liberty America 2007-National Winner


Ms. Liberty America 2007

Ms. Liberty America 2007


Ms. Liberty America 2007

Ms. Liberty America 2007


Ms. Liberty America 2007

Ms. Liberty America 2007


With Miss USA 1993, Kenya Moore and star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta

With Miss USA 1993, Kenya Moore and star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta


With Super Model Carol Alt

With Super Model Carol Alt


With Elvis on Hollywood Blvd.

With Elvis on Hollywood Blvd.


Spotlight in Today's Black Woman magazine

Spotlight in Today’s Black Woman magazine


Feature story in the African American News in Dallas, TX

Feature story in the African American News and Issues in Houston, TX


Diamonds and Pearls

Diamonds and Pearls


Ms. Outstanding Woman of Achievemant 2008

Ms. Outstanding Woman of Achievement 2008

This is a very very small portion of photos I took and appearances I made. I am so glad as an adult, I spent five years of my life in pageantry. I had wonderful experiences and will always be grateful to them. I am not sure if there is another pageant in me but, hey, you never know.

Powerhouse Herbs: Four Backyard Plants Protect Against Disease

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Mother Nature’s most potent healing herbs are already on most spice racks or growing nearby, often right outside the door.

Herbs, respected for their healing properties for millennia, have been widely used by traditional healers with great success. Now clinical science supports their medicinal qualities.

Pharmaceutical companies routinely extract active ingredients from herbs for common medications, including the potent pain reliever codeine, derived from Papaver somniferum; the head-clearing antihistamines ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, from Ephedra sinica; and taxol, the chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat several types of cancer, including breast cancer, from Taxus brevifolia. These are among the findings according to Leslie Taylor, a naturopath and herbalist headquartered in Milam County, Texas, and author of The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs.

Even among an abundance of healing herbs, some stand out as nature’s “superherbs” that provide an array of medical properties, according to Rosemary Gladstar, of Barre, Vermont, the renowned author of Herbal Remedies for Vibrant Health and related works. Two of these, she notes, are widely considered nuisance weeds.

Plantain (Plantago major): Commonly used externally for poultices, open wounds, blood poisoning and bee stings, it also helps relieve a wider variety of skin irritations. According to a Plaintainstudy published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, this common “weed” fortifies the liver and reduces inflammation, which may reduce the risk for many kinds of chronic diseases. At least one study, published in the journal Planta Medica, suggests that plantain can enhance the immune system to help fight cancer and infectious diseases. “Plantain is considered a survival herb because of its high nutritional value,” advises Gladstar, who founded the California School of Herbal Studies, in Sonoma County, in 1978. A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry confirms it’s an excellent source of alpha-tocopherol, a natural form of vitamin E and beta carotene that can be used in salads for those that don’t mind its bitter taste.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Like plantain, dandelion is one of the most powerful medicinal herbs on the planet. “Dandelion is revered wherever you travel, except in the United States, where it is considered noxious,” observes Gladstar. Americans should reconsider their obsession with eradication. Dandelion root is an effective treatment against several types ofDandelion cancer, including often-fatal pancreatic and colorectal cancers and melanoma, even those that have proven resistant to chemotherapy and other conventional treatments, according to several studies from the University of Windsor, in England. Traditionally part of a detoxification diet, it’s also used to treat digestive ailments, reduce swelling and inflammation and stop internal and external bleeding.


Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Turmeric gives curry powder its vibrant yellow color. “Curcumin, turmeric’s most important active ingredient, is a wealth of health, backed by substantial scientific evidence that upholds its benefits,” says Jan McBarron, a medical and naturopathic doctor in TurmericColumbus, Georgia, author of Curcumin: The 21st Century Cure and co-host of “The Duke and the Doctor” radio show. Several human and animal studies have shown that curcumin can be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, both in prevention and to slow or even stop its progress. One Australian study showed that curcumin helps rid the body of heavy metals that may be an underlying cause of the memory-robbing disease. Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that curcumin helped dissolve the plaques and tangles of brain material characteristic to Alzheimer’s. Curcumin is also known to be effective in lessening depression and preventing heart disease, some types of cancer and diabetes, says McBarron.


Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Primarily used for its considerable anti-inflammatory properties, ginger makes a delicious and healing tea and an enticing spice in a variety of dishes. This herbalGinger powerhouse has at least 477 active ingredients, according to Beyond Aspirin, by Thomas M. Newmark and Paul Schulick. Considerable research confirms ginger’s effectiveness against a variety of digestive problems, including nausea from both morning sickness and chemotherapy. Research from Florida’s University of Miami also confirms its usefulness in reducing knee pain. “Ginger is a good-tasting herb to treat any type of bacterial, fungal of viral infection,” says Linda Mix, a retired registered nurse in Rogersville, Tennesse, and author of Herbs for Life! The health benefits of these four vital herbs are easily accessed by growing them in a home garden or pot or via extracted supplements.

About the Author:

Kathleen Barnes is a natural health advocate, author and publisher. Her most recent title is 10 Best Ways to Manage Stress. Learn more at

 As seen in

Drawstring Ponytail

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Look what I found!


My old drawstring ponytail!


I haven’t seen this in years and frankly I thought I lost it or threw it away. When I had my hair permed I used to wear this all the time especially at work. Now if I put this piece on it would look silly next to my natural curls. The two textures just wouldn’t work. I don’t want to wear it anyway. I wouldn’t feel comfortable. I am completely in love with my natural hair, dryness and all!


Right wear it belongs!



Jimi Hendrix Forever

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

I was very pleased to learn that there is a United States postal stamp featuring rock legend, Jimi Hendrix, called the Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp. I have been a fan since high school and when I was a book publicist in New York I had the opportunity to work with his adopted sister, Janie Hendrix, on a book she put together that told a story behind every song Jimi wrote.

Janie is good people. When I needed a recommendation for another job she provided it with no problem. It was very impressive to list Jimi Hendrix’s sister as a reference. Everyone liked it. Too bad the people at the company that hired me were complete insecure nuts. Karma is real. But hey, I digressed, back to Jimi.


The stamp went on sale Wednesday, March 13 and features an illustration of the musician playing a guitar.

The stamp was revealed at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas before a Jimi Hendrix celebration concert.

Also in the news about Jimi Hendrix is his new biopic titled Jimi: All Is by My Side which stars Andre Benjamin (aka Outkast’s Andre 3000) in the lead role.


The movie made its U.S. debut also at South by Southwest on March 12 and the film was written and directed by 12 Years A Slave screenwriter, John Ridley, which he recently won an Academy award for. The film will be released nationwide this summer.



The book I publicized for Janie.


Janie and I with her husband Sheldon (of Earth, Wind & Fire) at CBGB’s in NY January 2004.

Vegetarian to Vegan

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

I have been a vegan for fourteen years. I went from omnivore to vegetarian to vegan. It took many years for me to finally reach my goal, and if I had more knowledge, I would have started eating vegan a lot earlier than I did. By doing that I probably would have avoided health issues like developing fibroids. Fibroids have everything in the world to do with your diet. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. So when I received an email about a new book titled Vegetarian to Vegan: Give Up Dairy. Give Up Eggs. For Good. (ISBN: 978-0-9764414-2-7; Price: $14.95) by well-loved public speaker, Sarah Taylor, I had to share the knowledge with you guys on Permed to Natural. The interview below with Taylor will explain the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan, how eating vegan can improve your health and provide a healthy atmosphere for the animals and planet.


What inspired you to write Vegetarian to Vegan? 

My first book was Vegan in 30 Days, and when I lectured around the US and Canada after the book was released, the most common question I got from the audience was, “I’ve been vegetarian for many years, and I just don’t see what’s wrong with eating _______.”  That blank could be low-fat cheese (it’s got calcium and it’s low-fat!) or yogurt (it’s got calcium and it’s full of probiotics!) or eggs (they’re the perfect protein!) or cage free eggs (no animals were hurt to provide these eggs!) and so on…  I realized that there was a huge amount of misinformation that needed to be corrected, so I wrote Vegetarian to Vegan in order explain exactly why it matters – for your health, the animals and the environment – to go fully vegan.

Why are you promoting veganism over vegetarianism? Aren’t they almost both the same? 

No, they are definitely not the same!  The vegan diet does not allow animal flesh or animal products, so vegans won’t eat dairy, eggs or honey, while vegetarians will.  The vegan diet (if not comprised of junky vegan food) is healthier for humans, better for animal welfare, and better for the environment.  These topics are what Vegetarian to Vegan covers in depth.


There are many people who may be curious about veganism but swear they cannot live without eating dairy, especially cheese. For those who say that how would you explain veganism to them?

I used to joke that my four foods groups were Swiss, Havarti, Cheddar and Chocolate, so I can relate to people who say they couldn’t live without dairy or cheese!  I’ll bet more than half of my calories each day came from dairy foods, especially cheese and frozen yogurt.  What I tell people who can’t imagine a life without dairy products is that once you clean out your taste buds and eat a healthy vegan diet for about a month, your taste buds will actually become more sensitive.  When this happens, foods that used to taste “just okay” will now explode on your taste buds.  That’s why you meet vegans who crow over Honeycrisp apples every fall, and can keenly taste the difference between organic and non-organic produce.  To us, these foods taste unbelievably fantastic because our taste buds haven’t been desensitized by tons of fatty, salty and sugary foods.  Once you eat a healthy vegan diet for about 30 days, your taste buds will change too, and you’ll likely find your old favorite foods too salty or sugary.  (Caveat: This won’t happen if you eat a lot of vegan junk food.  Vegan cookies, donuts, French fries, etc, will sabotage your taste buds, so it’s important to eat a healthy vegan diet!)

In your book you indicated eggs from cage-free, organic and even free-range chickens do not imply cruelty free. How is this possible? Please explain.

Our government has very limited standards for using the terms “cage free,” “free range” and “organic.”  For example, using “cage free” in an egg production facility only means that the hens aren’t in cages; yet most of these hens are still so crowded together in a massive warehouse that they suffer psychologically and become extremely aggressive.  In fact, on average, cannibalism is higher in “cage-free” facilities than it is in battery cage facilities because the stressed hens have greater access to each other.  In another example, “free-range” only requires that the hens have some access to the outdoors – this could include the five minutes they spend outdoors getting moved from the hatchery to the barn.  You cannot trust labels and stamps on packages.  The only way to know for sure that the hens are in a natural setting is to find a local farm where you go and pick up the eggs yourself.  If you’re concerned about hen welfare, this is truly the only way to know you are getting eggs from well-cared for hens.

You also wrote that animal protein from dairy products is linked to cancer. Please tell us about these findings.

There is an entire book written about this called The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell.  To summarize, he found in multiple studies that animal protein (he used casein, which is the protein found in highest quantities in dairy products) but not plant protein, was correlated with liver cancer in multiple studies.  Many other studies link dairy products with breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers. I summarize all these findings in Vegetarian to Vegan.

How can a vegetarian change to a vegan diet?

Essentially, there are two ways a vegetarian can change to a vegan diet: quickly or slowly!  For those who want to change quickly, I always suggest watching or reading something shocking, like the video Earthlings, or the book Diet for a New America (or better yet, as many books and videos as they can stand in a short period of time.)  The reason for this is that many people will find that when their system is “shocked” by the realities shown in graphic photos or videos, they can no longer pretend that “it can’t be that bad” and will no longer need any willpower to make a drastic change. 

For people who prefer to take a gradual route, I wrote Vegan in 30 Days to help them slowly take foods out of their diet, and also learn to cope with non-vegan situations.  I strongly believe a lot of people don’t stick with the vegan diet simply because they are not prepared; they face their first birthday as a vegan, and didn’t think to tell people that they would not like a regular cake or ice cream, so when people buy them one, they feel bad and eat it.  Then they throw in the towel because they feel they failed at the diet.  Or the waiter at the restaurant brings out their burrito with cheese, even though they asked to have it without, and because they are too shy to speak up, they just eat it anyway.  Then they give up on the vegan diet because they feel they failed.  Vegan in 30 Days covers all these situations like eating out, entertaining, being entertained and traveling that people need to think ahead of time about how they want to handle the situation.  If you know ahead of time how you will handle it, you’ll be successful, and be motivated to move forward.   Another way to take it slowly is to just try new items over time, and you’ll learn just how easy it is to do without.  Many people are shocked to find that veggie pizza without cheese is really fantastic, or that scrambled tofu is even better than scrambled eggs!  I can make a grilled cheese sandwich that even my dad can’t tell is vegan.  I think many people assume the alternatives won’t taste good, so they hesitate to try. 

Should everyone seriously consider becoming a vegan? If so, why? If not, why?

In my opinion, yes.  I can’t know what’s right for everyone, but I do know that it’s an extremely healthy diet, it’s the most compassionate diet for the animals, and it’s the kindest diet for our planet. 

Why is a vegan diet extremely healthy?

The vegan diet (assuming one is not eating too many french fries and vegan cookies) is low in calories, low in fat and has no cholesterol, while at the same time, it is packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and water. When people argue that they need to eat meat for protein, for example, what they are forgetting is that the meat comes not only with protein but also with lots of calories, fat and cholesterol. Beans, on the other hand, are packed with protein as well but have no fat to speak of, no cholesterol, tons of fiber and are relatively low in calories. Similarly, people argue that they need dairy products for their calcium, but they are forgetting that the dairy products usually come with tons of fat and cholesterol as well as calories, and animal proteins – especially casein, the protein found in the highest quantities in dairy products – has been highly linked with cancer. Spinach is also very high in calcium, but has no fat to speak of, no cholesterol, tons of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients, and is also very low in calories. The vegan choices are almost always healthier!

What do you want readers to take with them after reading Vegetarian to Vegan?

I believe a lot of vegetarians (and omnivores) are playing the game, “It can’t be that bad…”  As in, “Non-fat dairy can’t be that bad for my health” or “Factory Farms can’t be that bad for the hens” or “My dairy product intake can’t be that bad for the environment.”  I’d really like vegetarians to come face to face with the reality of what dairy and eggs do to their health, the animals and the environment.  Only then can they make a truly informed decision about whether to stay vegetarian or go vegan.

Where can we find you on the World Wide Web?

Facebook – The Vegan Next Door

Wildlife in My Neighborhood!

Monday, March 10th, 2014

One of the best things about living in New Mexico is that I get to see wildlife almost on a regular. To me a roadrunner is wildlife. I see them all of the time. I’ve also seen coyotes, a baby bear and a wild boar since I’ve been hear. But when I saw a golden eagle and buffalo grazing, not too far from the neighborhood, I then knew I was living in a pretty cool place. All of this wildlife stuff may not be cool for most but I enjoy it. I always have. This is a big difference from Brooklyn, New York. Enjoy the pics below.