Debra-inspiration: of Art and Curly Halos

Hey Beauts!

It’s another Friday! How quickly did the weekend get here?! It has been a somewhat weird week over here, but I am learning, as one does in this interesting arrangement called life, that we can fully control nothing. Before I go off on a long rant and attempt some philosophical undertaking, I shall jump right into my reason for being here today! Two words, Debra. Cartwright.

I am admirer of the arts in all its forms, really. I think that the ability to express the intangible in ways that appeal to various senses is a great gift that was bestowed upon humanity. I love it, I love it!

I found out about Debra’s work from the girls over at nik-nak. It did not take much to convince me to stalk her and her illustrations. The art speaks for itself. It really does. It is with so much fan girl excitement that I give you Debra, her art, and her hair for your ogling! Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: Chi-chi Agbim

We wanna meet you! Where are you from? What is one random fact about you?

Hi! I’m from Annapolis Maryland. I learned to sail around 10 but I’m terrible at it. I do love fishing though. So much.

Let’s get right into it. Your art… how did it begin?

I’ve always drawn. Usually cartoons and paper dolls for my little sister and cousins. My mother noticed and put me in after school art class.

What do you love the most about what you do?

The ability to express myself through imagery. It’s nice to be able to get out my emotions visually.

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What do you like the least? What are your challenges?

Never thinking I am good enough. I’d say about 90% of what I post I go “well this sucks but, I want to track my progress so I’ll put it up”. I’m my biggest critic.

What are the things that inspire you?

Entrepreneurs, black women, our history.

What is the best compliment that you have received?

This lady once told me my paintings inspire her daughter to feel beautiful.  That really hit home.

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Now, your hurr! How long have you worn your hair natural?

About 2 and a half years!

Are you a less-is-more girl with your hair or do you go all out?

Less is more for sure. I’m a minimalist from my painting to my hair products.

Shrinkage- do you fight it or embrace it?

Depends on what I feel that day. I like to let my hair do whatever it wants for the most part, so shrinking doesn’t bother me, but I’ll twist it when it gets too dry.

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Photo Credit: Chi-Chi Agbim

What’s your regimen like?

On Washday
Depends on how dirty it is. I try to stay away from shampoos unless necessary. For shampoo I’ll use mixed chicks or devacurl no poo. Then I continue with my regular routine. Finger detangle in four sections with Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner, add some Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, then some Olive oil Eco Styler gel and out the door.

Morning routine
I do the routine above about every four days (minus the shampoo). If it looks dry I’ll spritz it with some water, my hair loves water.

Night time routine
I just sleep on a satin pillowcase and fluff in the morning

Go-to hair style?

Wash and go

Hair product or step that no woman should ever skip?

Detangling with Hello Hydration! Love that stuff

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Two absolute hair DON’TS

Comb or brush when dry (unless you’re teasing it for a music festival ;) Blow dry from wet! (I’m so against direct heat) I really don’t do anything to my hair that feels like its straining it. I feel bad for my curls lol.

If you had one hair regret, it would be…

I didn’t go natural sooner!

Two things your hair cannot do without?

Hello Hydration and water.

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Share your favourite styling tip/secret?

A lot of times to look fancy I’ll roll the back up into a French chignon and twist the top ends into a hair sculpture with 500 bobby pins. It looks sleek but it only takes 15 minutes and is really just an organized mess.

Greatest discovery in your hair journey that totally changed your hair game.

My hair hates oils! I know they are everywhere but they start to clog my scalp and face pores and just sits on top of my hair. My hair loves butters and water though.

Any hair challenges or bad habits you’re trying to break?

I need to get up the courage to get a trim! I’m terrified of beauty salons, which is crazy because I was so dependent on them about 3 years ago. I love having control of my hair now and I don’t want to give it up.

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One of the things that drew me to your illustrations is the representation of hair. Is this something you do consciously?

Most definitely. I love fashion illustrations and noticed the majority of them never showed natural hair, same with media representation of beauty standards. My work was to combat these facts. Create the images you want to see.

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Photo Credit: Chi-Chi Agbim

Where can we follow your work? Where can we buy your work?

Facebook, Instagram, my website and my shop.

Thank you to Debra! Are you guys in love yet?! No? Ok, here’s more for you to appreciate:

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Ok. Ok. To view more of Debra’s work, visit her website. I hope this has put some sunshine into your hearts this Friday and has got you magically more excited for the promising weekend! Until next time, beauts.

 – MeeMee

xx.

 

Hair Lately

I’m at this point where I don’t really know what to do with my hair, but I’ll work it out.

Having long established that I like to deal with my hair dry and stretched, my greatest challenge now is to figure out how to keep it so for like 3 days at least. In other words, I REALLY need to learn how to cornrow and flat twist. Anyhoo… Here’s what I’ve been up to since I took out the Nazuri Curls.

I really can’t remember how I wore my hair on Monday morning lol. Maybe I wore the struggle flat twists I was given over the weekend? Can’t remember.

Tuesday, I tried to convince my hair into some kind of updo lol. Plenty tuck in here, tuck in there action at the back, with twists in front.

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On Tuesday night, I braided and twisted my hair with a combo of the Curls Creme Brûlée Lotion and the Curls Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste. Fine, my hair was super dry so I applied a bit of product (like 2 oz for the whole head) because I thought my thirsty hair would drink it all in before morning. Nope. I loosened all the senrenren on Wednesday morning to damp hair with zero definition, shrinking right before my eyes. Plan B? A puff.

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Thursday? I had a better updo, I think. Similar to Monday’s but it needed less bobby pins. It was more like fold and pin. IMG_8259

On Friday, I went with le shrunken fro. I was so tired on Thursday that I slept off without twisting my hair at night. I woke up with serious bed head and I didn’t even bother trying to detangle. I spritzed the hair, rubbed a little conditioner, raised it with my Afro pik in many places and patted down for shape. This resulted in a lot of tanglesssss my days.

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Still, your girl had no time over the weekend. NO time. It wasn’t being lazy, I just had to make a mental list of all the things demanding my energy and hair had to have a few seats. This is one of the times I say it’s just hair. Sure, I’m going to take time out soon and treat my hair to a nice relaxing spa day, but when you have a lot to do, it’s totally okay to do less. Your hair won’t fall off, lol.

I simply got in the shower and after wetting my hair, I saturated it with Hello Hydration. I detangled with my fingers and a wide tooth comb, chunky twisting each section as I went. Then I rinsed with cold water, but not entirely, leaving some of the conditioner in. Standing in front of the mirror after this co-wash shower, I applied slight dabs of my Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey pomade to each section to seal in the moisture. I untwisted the loose twists (loose because of the washing) smoothed the pomade in & loosely twisted back.

About an hour later, my mom helped me thread (I didn’t know she had such skills lol :) ) For the sections that were too wet, I blotted them with paper towels. She’s a busy woman but I hope we can make this a regular thing ( ._.) I wore the thread till Monday morning.

See. The way Lagos traffic is set up, 10 minutes can make all the difference in the world. I wake up at 5am and I’m out the house most days, by 6. I refuse to wake up at 4:30 because of hair. And I can’t afford to stay till 6:30 either. So I do my best to leave the house early, and then I do my hair in the bathroom at work before 8 or before anyone else gets there. So. I’m not ashamed to be out in the morning with rods in my hair or a scarf tied in a funny way. Not sorry at all. No time.

My hair was dry, and super stretched. Loved it, loved it! Threading is nice o, but I don’t know how I feel about wrapping my head every weekend, because I’m rarely home. I don’t have that many scarves, and my head tying game is really not that strong.

You know, the next time I straighten my hair I think I’m just going to thread and give myself time to air dry in advance. I arranged it into my best style yet, and I really liked it.

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This work or professional styling thing, I’ll figure it out. Yes I will. :)

In other news, my phone fell on Saturday and though there are no signs of breakage, my main camera has stopped working. The front one still works but what’s going on with the main? Where there is life, there is hope, abi? On the bright side of things, I’m getting my blogging mojo back!

I want to know what you’ve been up to lately with your hair, anything in particular you’re dealing with, talk to meeeeee. 

Love,

AB,

xx

Blending, Blended- More About Faking It With Nazuri Curls

Hi guys!

Eku Tuesday!

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As you know, I recently took down my sew-in weave with Nazuri Curls extensions. This last time, I didn’t actually wear the weave to “switch up my look”. That’s one of the things I like about extensions, though. Currently eyeing a purple and grey wig on Shop Zlanche, but where will I wear it to? Christmas is coming, maybe I should look foreign for Christmas? JK JK. Seriously though. As soon as I can get my makeup skills to match such exotic hair, I’ll be good to go. Lagos get ready! Def can’t wear it to work, so- weekends. Anyway, back to the post.

I was saying that I didn’t put on my Nazuri Curls to look different this time. I was effectively protective styling, but in a manner pretty close to my own hair- so close that I really didn’t know what to answer when people asked “Is this your hair?” “This really can’t be your natural hair right?” It was like people were convinced it was so natural, but they didn’t want to believe because of how thick or full it looked. I always wanted to add “but my hair is pretty close to this!” after I smiled and said no. Because people gotta know that African hair can flourish and prosper.

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With blogger boos Titi & Sandra :)

To successfully fake it with extensions, your options are as follows:

Plan A: sacrifice a West African twin chameleon (amongst other things) to TY Bello, the Chief Priestess of the blending gods. If you don’t know where to find a chameleon or TY Bello, then listen to Plan B! :-P Continue reading

Hairspiration!: Jensine

Hey beauts! Happy Friyay!!! If you aren’t already, I hope today’s hairspiration will put you in the right mood for the weekend!

Hello! Tell us about you, girl!

My name is Jensine, aka Jungle Naps on Youtube. I live in California with my handsome husband and one very curious kitty. I’m a cycling instructor and I love to whip my students into shape! You can often find me yelling, “Sprint like you stole something!” during class.

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Have you always been natural?

I went natural at the age of 17. Almost by mistake really. I was going off to college in a nondiverse part of California. With no car and no motivation to keep up with a relaxer and high maintenance press and curl, I put my hair in box braids for 5 years. Looking back on it now, I’m so proud of myself. But I still had a looong way to go. I had no idea how to properly detangle or wash my hair in its natural state between braiding. Flash forward to 3 years ago, I came across natural hair tutorials online. I literally thought, “If they can do it, why am I paying all this money to braid my hair?” I wanted to embrace my natural beauty and leave behind the pressure of what society expected me to look like. I am so lucky that I had such a great support system. My friends and family embraced my wild and free hair with open arms.

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Tell us about your hair!

My hair is definitely a free spirit. A good hair day never happens the same way twice. If I had to officially categorize it though, I have 4C hair. My parents are both from Haiti, deep in the country, hence the name Jungle Naps. It has low porosity, so I usually deep condition under a hooded dryer.

How do you care for your hair? Do you have a regimen? Any staple products?

I’m always switching up my regimen. Currently to effectively cleanse my hair, I use Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Milk Shampoo. It smells divine and it’s free of harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens. I follow that up with a deep conditioning treatment under my hooded dryer for 3060 min. I alternate between: Giovanni Smooth as Silk, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist, and Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle. I like to mix my conditioner with Jamaican Black Castor oil. It literally gives my hair life! Afterwards, I apply my leave in (As I am Leave In Conditioner) and detangle with a denman brush. For styling, I love using Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie for twist
outs and bantu knot outs. It gives my style hold while keeping it moisturized. Plus what’s not to like, when you smell like a tropical paradise afterwards.

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What are the things your hair cannot do without?

Water and aloe vera juice! I spray it on my hair every night before bed. Oh and shout out to my silk scarf! Can’t live without that one either.

What have you realised your hair doesn’t like at all at all?

Oh this is an easy one! My hair hates tight buns. I used to shoot for the “laid edges look,” but that left me with some balding spots around my hairline. Lesson learned.

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How do you like to wear your hair? Usual hairstyles? Favourite style? Protective styling?

Twist outs and buns with a nice flat twist to frame my face are the usual for me. If I really want to get real fancy, I’ll do a curl former set.

How do you feel about shrinkage?

I love it and hate it. On the one hand, it’s part of what makes natural hair so beautiful. On the other hand, sometimes, I’d like to have a little more control over when it will happens.

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Have you received any negativity from others towards your hair? How did/do you deal?

Nope, no negativity allowed in my section! Haha but seriously. I went natural to make myself happy so no one can tell me how I should present myself. I find that those that feel the need to be negative are usually projecting their own insecurities on you. I just keep shining bright and come back with my hair wilder and bigger than before.

Are you facing any hair challenges right now or bad habits you’re trying to break?

My challenge lies in developing the proper trim regimen. When I lax on trimming, my ends start breaking, but if I over trim, I don’t see much length retention. I’m experimenting to get it just right.

Do you have any hair goals short or long term?

Yes! I’m trying to grow my hair down to waist length (stretched). I’m almost at bra strap length currently.

Any last words to anyone considering to go natural or a new natural?

If you’re not sure if you want to go natural, in the words of Nike, Just Do It! It will be the best decision you’ve ever made for yourself. If you’re newly natural, just know that there’s a steep learning curve. You’ll spend many wash days confused as to why a certain product hasn’t worked. You’ll even grimace after more than a few failed Youtube tutorials. Just know that you’ll find your way.

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You can connect with me on:
Youtube | Jungle Naps https://www.youtube.com/user/junglenaps
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/junglenaps
Instagram https://instagram.com/jungle_naps
Twitter https://twitter.com/JungleNaps

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

– MeeMee

xx.

Weave Off!

Hello people!

Long time no see! How is the going going? ^_^

My Tuesday started off on a slightly wonky note but I’m positive that it will end well. :)

I took my Nazuri Curls extensions down on Friday night, after wearing them for six weeks. 



I was ready to go even longer but I had really missed my hair. The extensions weren’t so much different from my own coils- let’s just say they are kinda close to what my hair would look like if it were a little longer and if I had a magic shrinkage defying product. I’ll do a post this week about how I tried my best to make the faux hair look as real as possible. So blending information and maintenance, you want to come back for this :P Seriously, I learnt more about manipulating this hair than I did when I wore it last year. Anyhoo, till then, remember that you can get 10% off your Nazuri Curls purchases if you use our special discount code: KINKANDI. Valid till October 12. :)

So. On Friday, I decided that I was going to take my ass to a salon on Saturday. Why? I have been sooo so busy, I have not been able to have any free days to myself, even on weekends. My wakabouting is just too much. I was determined that Sunday would be an easy day, and I did not want to do hair on Sunday. Washing my hair is really not a problem. It’s drying time that takes so long. I prefer to style my hair dry and stretched, so if I leave it to airdry in twists, it could be damp till Sunday night. So I decided that just this once, I’d go to a salon.

I got to the salon in the morning, because I had somewhere else to go. When I don’t have time to waste, I like to go with the tested and trusted. I don’t try new things, or new people. The only place I’ve had my hair washed at since I went natural, is the Nature’s Gentle Touch Hair Institute. I know, I know- their products are greenwashed, with mineral oil very present- but I was there in February and I really enjoyed it. My hair was nice and soft, and the blow-out was so bouncy. The creative updo Ruth styled me was pretty cute and lasted for like 5 days- so I thought I’d try them again. My first visit was on the house, so I called in advance to get a quote. The man I spoke to on the phone told me it would cost 4k to wash and do a simple style- not too bad, right?

Except that I did not get the memo. As a salon that does just real hair, no extensions, I didn’t know they put “virgin hair” in its own category. Also, I was aware that they don’t let people use other brands at the institute but it didn’t click that this meant that you should also bring their stuff if you have it. I have the Herbalblend line they use there, gathering dust in my house. Sigh. My stylist for the day, let’s call her T, informed me that because my hair is “long” (har-har-har) “virgin” hair, I was going to pay 5,500 to wash and dry. Wash/ simple style to hold body till I get to proper styling. Apparently if I brought my own products, I would have spent 4,000. And if my hair was relaxed, I’d have paid 2K pere. Just great. I got there an hour 30 minutes later than I had planned (it was raining and I was super tired) and they were already filling up so I was like whatever, mehn.

T must have thought I was being a bitch lol because I was NOT pleased. She shampooed okay, but I felt she was a little stingy with the deep conditioning treatment. I went with it, though. Time to blow my hair out, she was being a little rough with the comb attachment and I gave her a couple side-eyes through the mirror. Of course she was having a hard time putting a comb through my hair, when she had put so little leave-in/moisturiser in all this hair. At some point, I had to tell her she was being rough. And she was like “No, I’m not… What did I do? It’s because your hair is natural.” I told her I do my hair myself, so I know what I’m saying. Like you guys, I was there simply because my experience with Ruth was so amazing so you can understand my disappointment. I’m really bad at blowing my hair out myself (hand coordination not great!) so it pained me to see her give me a struggle blow out. It did. I touched the sections she had done and my hair was crazy dry. I didn’t say anything. Until…

Her: YOU HAVE DRY HAIR

Me: NO, I DO NOT HAVE DRY HAIR

Her: Yes, you do. I even used the moisturiser.

Me: Maybe you should have used more moisturiser? *side-eye*

Now, I know nobody likes being told how to do their job but- I do not “have dry hair”. In fact, my hair was drier than it was when I came into the salon- 2 weeks since my last wash, oily with coconut oil. That Saturday, I remember thinking how surprising it was that my hair felt soft. Coconut oil prepoos nicely but it always leaves my hair crispy by the next morning. After our small exchange, she was quiet till we finished.

All the time I was just thinking I should have stayed home and washed my hair myself. The salon where I got the weave done, maybe I could work with someone in particular- maybe we could work out an understanding.

I don’t think she has much experience with natural hair because when we were finally through, she called someone else to come style my hair. A multi-bun updo was the first thing that came to mind but, the blow-out wasn’t a good enough stretch. I asked that they did 2 braids or flat twists. Maybe it’s because my hair wasn’t stretched enough, the results of that were also kind of “meh”.



Long story short, I’m going to have to get a hooded dryer to speed up the drying process when I style. Or in the alternative, I need to learn how to blow dry. Threading is not for me because it takes 2 or 3 days to dry and fully stretch.

On the bright side though, T gave me a decent trim. It was good, but I didn’t appreciate the over-combing of the sections and when she trimmed a section, she didn’t throw the hair off. She would let it fall back onto my head, which bothered me because, my hair likes to tangle and form complex knots. I protested and she said it didn’t matter because she would still comb it afterwards. No, aunty. Like ehn ehn.

You know how stylists can bully you at the salon? I didn’t feel bullied by T.  She was nice, well meaning, but nope, I do not want a repeat experience. It’s just, if I’m going to pay for someone else do my hair, I want it to be awesome. It should be two relaxing hours, not me tense and eyeballing you through the mirror. It’s like going to eat out (and being disappointed by the food) when there is rice at home.

In other news, my hair isn’t growing o. Who have I offended? It is still the same length it was in February and I am SO over it. I’ve been protective styling a lot so I’m tempted to say protective styling may be overrated. I’m really really bored with my hair right now, and I want to do something. Cut it? Color it? Cut and color? Go through a phase of styling and wearing it straight? Something has to change. :( Please if you know anywhere in Lagos that does amazing dye jobs, let me know in the comments, thank you! 

And one last thing- I bought a satin bonnet in June, at the Game store at The Palms. It is being produced by Lolavita Hair, I believe. This bonnet has stained my pillow cases. :( I really wonder why. I didn’t want to believe it until I stained my friends’ own and she pointed it out. Have you tried this bonnet and experienced the same thing? If they have other colours apart from black, maybe you’d want to try them because, proper proper stains.

I’m not at all crusty on this blessed Tuesday, no. This post has been one long rant lol- but the only thing not cooperating in my life right now, is my hair. Life is good, and I’m thankful for that. We are working on making Naturals in The City 12 much more fun than all the others, so please save the date- September 26! More details soon!

Alright beautifuls. I want to know how you’re doing, how your hair is doing, what you’re up to. If you have any questions about the Nazuri Curls, feel free to ask away, so I’d put that in the post.

Love,

AB,

xx

Go to NOLA and…

1. Just GO!

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If y’all (yes, y’all. Because, y’all need to know that I have just returned from the South!) are like me, then you suffer from sporadic wanderlust. Always have. And like me, the only vacations that you have had in your short life have been with family – so probably nothing too adventurous. I don’t remember when NOLA got on my bucket list, but it did and it is so worth it to shell out that flight and accommodation money and go, go, go! The below lists my top experiences in the last five days. Of course there are more things than listed to do, so make Lonely Planet your travel buddy and don’t be afraid to wander the neighborhoods with little to no tourist action!

 

2. Stay in Faubourg Marigny

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This is a quiet, charming neighborhood that is close to the French Quarter and very pleasing to the senses. I went on a picture taking spree of the houses in this neighborhood. They reminded me of some houses in my village in Nigeria, sans mud walls. If these structures existed in Lagos, the inhabitants would get some serious side eyes from Lagosians. But alas, I find them absolutely gorgeous.

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3. Take a stroll on Royal Street

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Listen, save your transportation money for your airport trip and walk, walk, walk. It is a great way to burn the calories from all the eating. And trust me, if you like food, there will be a lot of eating. By walking, you get to discover hidden gems that you may not have heard of or read about in the guides. This is a great way to find something special about the city that you like for yourself. Ours was Royal street. We had no idea that there was a large art presence in this place. Music – oh yes,we were ready for tons! But the arts here is amazing! There are rows and rows of galleries on Royal street in the French Quarter and they have an open door policy. And air conditioning too.

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The gas-powered lamps were my fave

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4. Peek into Bourbon Street

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… and then run away! Lol. This place was too much for me abeg. All the doors to the bars and clubs on this street are open and blaring music into the little street that is Bourbon, pretty much all day. You can walk this street and drink at the same time, so yes, it can get stinky and disgusting. There is a bar here that has a reclined chair where one can sit and get shots thrown into your mouth by a very breastful bartender, who then shoves your head into her bosoms and motorboards your face. She spins you around and repeats. Shots, motorboard. And then when you walk a little further, you just might catch a woman flashing her boobs to some bead wielding individuals on a balcony, while they cheer and throw down beads for her. Yup, this is how you earn beads, innit. On Saturday night, you might find a couple of Christian missionaries wielding crosses, trying to chat and win souls for God.

5. Experience the phenomenon that is Windex Pete (“Google me”)

Windex Pete says I look like Angela Bassett. And then he proceeds to get comfy next to us, outside of the oldest bar in America (Lafitte’s). He claims to have met a bunch of celebrities and seems to have some proof of this. Windex Pete is something of a celebrity, if Google is anything to go by. He stands by his corner by the bar, with his washboard slung around his neck and plays “anything you want” for a fee, of course. After establishing that we were not giving him any money, he proceeded to give us an autographed photo of himself. Lol!

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6. Have a Killer Po-boy

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Oh yes, people, there is some serious seafood in this city. There are also these sandwiches called Po-boys. One evening, we went on a hunt for a place called ‘Killer Po-boys’. Literally a hole in a wall, this place is really hidden, with no sign anywhere outside. I think the hunt is part of the thrill so I will not give away the exact location. Let Google Maps guide you, and if you are lucky, you will meet a heavily bearded man outside the location where Google maps takes you and he will ask you, “what does your phone tell you?” And you will say, “my phone lies”. And he will chuckle and say, “show me your ID.”

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Jollof rice-wanna-be jambalaya

7. Catch the brass band kids on the street corner in Frenchmen

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These kids sound even better at night, when they bust out tunes like ‘Sexual Healing’ to a dancing crowd at the street corner. They know how good they are, which is why they have the balls to set up shop on a street that is filled with bars and restaurants offering sweet live music across genres. You might also find them at the end of Bourbon in the evening.

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8. View and buy local art at the artmarket on Frenchmen

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My attempt at photography at the artmarket

These guys begin to sell at 7 pm everyday of the week in this space that looks like a parking lot. There is so much art here and so much versatility. From electricians turned copper ring makers (if you know me, you know I spent all my time at this stall trying on rings), to architects turned musicians turned engineers turned painters, selling art that is a fusion of all these skills.

9. Follow a second line parade on Sunday

If you’re lucky, you’ll be in town on Super Sunday and catch the biggest second line parade with something of a “battle of the bands” going on. Otherwise, just follow the sound of New Orleans in a procession that is filled with dancing, stepping, club attires, and lots and lots of music. The history of second line is intriguing and you can read about it here.

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Caught up with him later in the day. He is a real Indian chief. He makes these costumes and believes that there is a spiritual meaning behind his costumes and the music that accompanies him.

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10. Allow your inner bourgeois to dine at GW Fins

This is one of those restaurants with a dress code and little plated portions. Apparently, men have to wear collared shirts (or polo t-shirts). If you come without a collar, they give you a polo t-shirt to wear. Lol! BUT, the seafood here is great! It’s their specialty and they do it oh so well. So if you get tired of the fried seafood that is flying everywhere in every other restaurant in the city, and your palette wants sea food with popping flavours and none of that fried crust, this place will fix you up (and drain your wallet) real nice.

11. Find Tulane University and take in the campus

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Beaded tree seen on the Tulane campus

The St. Charles streetcar can take you here from Canal street. But if there is construction, just hop on a bus. It is an absolutely beautiful campus, with grand buildings, some of which resemble castles. The residential buildings in this neighbourhood are a sight to see as well.

12. Go to Treme

Treme is the oldest African-American settlement in the United States. There is SO much history here and walking leisurely around this community, you will find hidden gems in the locals and spots that no travel guide can lead you to.

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Brass band playing at mass. St. Augustine catholic church. The first church where free people of colour could worship.

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13. Take a day trip to a plantation on River Road

Not getting to do this is my only regret from this trip. Planning ahead would have helped a lot. But these plantations look picturesque and the tours promise some sort of reenactment that I was really looking forward to.

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White Linen Night

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Supreme Court of Louisiana

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LOL! This is juju

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LOVE ME ONLY!

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St. Louis Cathedral.

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Jackson Square

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The other side of St. Louis cathedral. I saw the shadow before the statue and I thought this was an apparition!

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How cute?

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Surprising fireworks that went on for 20 minutes.

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Little Souvenirs from the Frenchmarket

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New Orleans is a city with a lot of history. We went into the jazz archives at Tulane and happened to eavesdrop on a conversation that included Captain Joseph Jones’ grandson-in-law. He had brought some historical documents from the Jones’ house (names of the boys that lived in the Colored Waif home for boys, where Louis Armstrong learnt to play) which he had carried around with him for years. He said it has been difficult to get anyone interested in doing much about this piece of history. It is a tourist destination for very good reason. But one need not do the stereotypical. It is really easy to make New Orleans your own and love it for yourself. So, if you have been on the fence about visiting, I suggest you take the plunge and add it to your list. And then go!

– MeeMee

  xx.

 

Hey Monday!

Hello Monday! Hello guys!

How pumped are you to face the new week? I hope you’re ready to get it, whatever IT may be! :)

I’m excited. Probably because I woke up on the right side of the bed. Or because I’m looking forward to being in Port Harcourt this weekend with my girls girls. Or. Is it because I had a really good weekend? I’m in such high spirits and I wonder if sharing this with you is going to be contagious or just annoying lol. MeeMee has been in Nola since Thursday and I’m also super excited about this trip. New Orleans is waaayyyy up on my travel wishlist, so the fact that she is there, it’s like I am there in spirit. ^_^

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On Saturday morning, I was at the Breakfast Roundtable for Young Professionals and it was so good. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I had heard about it on the radio, seen it on Twitter, been referred to it by a colleague so I thought what the hey, just register. I may share some thinking points from it during the week. Big thanks thanks to everyone who made it happen!

Speaking of putting things together, we are working towards Naturals in The City 12. Please save the date: September 26. This one’s going to be different (wink, wink) , you want to be there! We’ll have all the deets announced soon. If you’d like to be a vendor or sponsor at the meet-up, it’s not too early to email nn@naturalnigerian.com for more info :)

Finally. Could you, please, pretty please make a contribution to Kamara Talks? She may not remember this, but I met Kamara’s mom at ‘The Great Kinky Hair Christmas Affair’ in 2013. She was selling smoothies (Wild & Fresh) at the event, and kind of starting out with her locs. We spoke for like all of 5 minutes but she was really nice, and she made an impression. I’ve kind of stalked followed her since then on Instagram, following her culinary adventures. Now, she needs help to get her baby girl the speech therapy she needs. Please click the link here, read Kamara’s story and I hope you are moved to make a donation, anything you can afford. Little drops of water DO make a mighty ocean. God will bless you as you do so!

P.S. If you like the blog, share it with someone! :) We are on Twitter (@thekinkandixx), Instagram and Snapchat (@thekinkandi) and on Facebook too. Subscribe by email so you don’t miss a post, or keep up with us AND your other favourite blogs on Bloglovin!

Have a great week lovers!

Love,

AB,

xx