Monthly Archives: September 2009

Black Women and Interracial Dating/Marriage: Necessity or Choice?

untitled237888Article after article has continued to explore the increasing numbers of black women who remain unmarried. The reasons for the dwindling statistics range from choice to self-professed “pickiness.” Perhaps the most controversial reason is the notion that there are not enough eligible, “good on paper,” quality black men. However debatable that notion is, the result is what appears to be the resurgence of conversation amongst circles of black women about opening their dating experiences, and ultimately their marriage options, to men of different races. If the sports industry is any reflection, one can infer that black men clearly have let go of any hang-ups they have about opening their dating experiences to women of different races. So why shouldn’t black women do the same? The question is, are black women opening their dating experiences to men of other races out of necessity (lack of good, quality black men) or choice (conscious decision to be open)? Ladies, we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think…necessity or choice?


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Easy Entertaining: Gourmet Potluck

droke0320_potluck01_food_500We’re both huge fans of potlucks. Not only are they a way to avoid having to cook an entire meal while entertaining, but they are also a great way to enjoy your friends’ culinary expertise! Do you have a few friends who are great cooks? Do you want a way to partake of their delectables? Have an “iron chef” dinner party! Here’s the skinny:

  1. Select a few friends who like to cook and are good at it (you may want to limit it to the number of courses you want to eat).
  2. Every month, select a special ingredient that can be included in each course (sometimes dessert doesn’t count, but all main and side dishes should have the ingredient). Ideas: shallots, prosciutto, orange, etc.
  3. Assign someone to cook each course/dish and rotate each month.
  4. You can even rotate who hosts each dinner.
  5. ENJOY!

You would be surprised how creative and excited people get about their dishes. This is not only a great money saving way to enjoy a divine meal but it also allows people to put all their focus on one dish instead of three or four!

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The Perfect Black Trench

Black TrenchesA black trench coat is a classic essential piece of a fall wardrobe. As the weather changes there is nothing better to cover you up without making you sweat during the seasonal transition. Here are several options for you to choose from, no matter what your budget:

Under $100
1. Women’s Belted Trench Coat – Old Navy, $49.50
2. DKNY A-Line Trench – Macy’s, $99.98

Under $200
3. Classic Trenchcoat – Banana Republic, $198
4. Double-Breasted Trench – White House|Black Market, $178

Under $300
5. Icon Trench – J Crew, $298
6. The Perfect Trench Coat – Ann Taylor, $225

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Spotlight On: Dr. Lisa Masterson

Dr. Lisa Masterson

Dr. Lisa Masterson

You’ve heard of Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, now meet, Dr. Lisa Masterson, specialist in obstetrics, gynecology, infertility, adolescent gynecology and family planning. Currently starring as the only female doctor on the hit spin-off show, The Doctors, Dr. Lisa Masterson is anything but your typical OB/GYN. 

Lisa’s interests and talents have stretched globally to bring awareness to women of all walks of life. She credits her mother and her grandmother as her inspiration. Her grandmother, Mattie Ruth Smith, is a native of Louisiana and was the eldest of twelve children. Her grandmother’s passion for education led her to become a schoolteacher in black schools throughout the state. Lisa’s mother, La V’onne Smith, also had a passion for education and began her career as a professor at the University of Washington. It’s no surprise that her passion for education soon developed into a passion for working with the community. She served in the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and eventually went on to become director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) office in San Diego. It was then that Lisa’s education began to take off. She attended The Bishop’s School, a well-respected private school in La Jolla, CA known for it’s rigorous academic curriculum.

Upon graduating from The Bishop’s School, Lisa went on to attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. After graduating she moved back to CA to attend Medical School at the University of Southern California. Tragedy struck during Lisa’s first year as an Obstetrics and Gynecology intern at USC/County Hospital in 1993. Lisa’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Only a year later, Ms. La V’onne Smith passed away having left an indelible imprint on her daughter’s life and the communities she served.

Lisa says of her mother, “Because of [her] strength and independence as a woman, she was, and is, my governing inspiration.  As a private person, she gave us all the encouragement and nourishment a mother could give.  As a public figure, she was a major participant in the equal rights movement which has always been foremost in my life.”

It is likely the legacy of her mother that has propelled Lisa to excel in her field.  She has appeared on such shows as  The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Anderson Copper 360 and The Tyra Banks Show to name a few. Currently she can be seen co-hosting the new syndicated series “The Doctors”, the runaway hit spin-off from Dr. Phil McGraw and Jay McGraw. On the show Lisa and her co-hosts investigate and discuss controversial medical topics, busts medical myths and answer burning questions from viewers who are too afraid to ask their own doctors.

Apart from being on staff at Cedars-Sinai, St. John’s and UCLA/Santa Monica and running her own unconventional practice in Santa Monica , it is Dr. Masterson’s work abroad that is most remarkable. Her passion to provide global medical relief to underdeveloped regions led her to create the Maternal Fetal Care International (MFCI), a charitable organization dedicated to helping mothers and their children. MFCI brings volunteer physicians, medical supplies, equipment and training to enhance the level of medical care decrease the mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. She is currently creating the first OB/GYN residency program in Eritrea, Africa, and has started birthing clinics in Kenya and India. Dr. Lisa Masterson may not be a household name yet, but she is certainly well on her way.


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“Wash and Wear” Hair

mineral_indulgence_model_4_6ve2Hair, a black woman’s crowning glory… simultaneously a gift and a curse depending on the day. Whether you’re rocking a natural in a short coif , long locks or you’re sporting a perm that bounces and behaves (on most days), chances are you put a great deal of time, money and effort into your hair.

If you’re a woman with a perm, the hair woes can be particularly daunting. It only takes a month of too much heat styling, blow drying or missed nightly wrapping rituals for your hair to start showing signs of wear and tear. Likewise, you can probably recall countless times when you wanted to work out but stopped yourself because you just got a perm or knew you wouldn’t have enough time to whip your hair back into shape after the workout. Our personal fav is waking up in the morning for work only to discover that it is not only raining but humid, all the ingredients for a great hair day (insert sarcasm here).

Keeping your permed hair in shape can often feel like a part-time job. So how about taking a break on the weekends and trying out “wash and wear” hair? A friend of mine recently introduced me to Kenra products. I was a skeptic at first, convinced that my curl pattern was long gone. To my surprise, it actually worked! So if you’re in need of a “fuss-free weekend do” try the routine below:

Step 1: Wash and condition your hair with Kenra Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner

Step 2: Towel dry your hair to get most of the moisture out

Step 3: Liberally apply Kenra Daily Leave-In Conditioner (you’ll know you applied enough when you start to see it lathering all over your head)

Step 4: Liberally apply Kenra Joiwhip Mousse (or Volume Mousse if you can’t locate the Joiwhip) from the roots to the tips of your hair (apply more than you think you need and be sure to shake the bottle well so that the mousse produces stiff peaks when dispensed — your hair should be saturated)

Step 5: Begin scrunching your hair to coax out the curl pattern. Let it begin to dry then scrunch some more.

Step 6: If you want a tighter wave, feel free to double strand twist your hair in sections until the product dries a bit more, then uncoil your hair before it dries completely.

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Our Favorite iPhone Applications

iPhone DesktopAs a long-time user (Kailei) and a new user (Keesha), neither of us can get enough of our iPhones. Not only can we access email, surf the web, listen to our music, and — oh yeah– make phone calls, but there are also a ton of applications for just about any use you can think of. Here are a few of our favorites (and all except the Scrabble app are free!):
1. NY Subway Map: Just like it sounds – a map of the New York subway system.

2. HopStop: Gives you subway/train, bus, walking and taxi directions from most major cities (including New York, San Francisco, DC, Chicago and London).

3. Urbanspoon: Restaurant finder that can give you restaurant options near you using your internal GPS. The coolest feature: shake your phone to get it to randomly select a restaurant for you.

4. myLite: Turns your iPhone screen into a flashlight.

Social Networking

5. Facebook: Keep up with the best features from Facebook with a great user interface.  You can even upload and post pictures.

6. TweetDeck: Tweet, keep up with those you follow, and organize your Twitter friends in groups.  You can even manage multiple Twitter accounts.

7. Amazon Kindle: Turns your iPhone into a book reader. You can purchase books from Amazon and read it on your phone. Even better, you can “sample” any book Amazon carries (usually the first chapter).

8. iHeartRadio: Listen to numerous radio stations from all over the country. Not all are available, but if you are a fan of V103 or WGCI in Chicago, Power 105.1 in NY, Hot 92.3 in LA, or WDAS or Power99 in Philly – you’re in luck!

9. Pandora: The most intelligent internet radio we’ve seen. Just like, you can create a station around your favorite artist or song and manage your list of stations.

10. Shazam: Have you ever heard a song on the radio and not know who sings it? Launch Shazam and put your iPhone to the speaker and it will tell you the artist and album.

11. NY Times: Check out latest headlines from and browse pictures and sections. Once you download the content, you can browse the information even without a signal. It has been a little buggy lately, but when it works, it’s a good user experience.

12. AP Mobile News Network: Gives you access to local and national news as well as weather. Sign up for news alerts and they will text you with breaking news right as it happens (you can find out even before it hits the Facebook and Twitter!).

13. OK, not exactly “news,” but this is a snapshot of some of the most popular sections of Vogue’s Some of the best features: pictures from fashion industry parties and the latest fashion shows.

14. Scrabble: Plays just like the board game and you can even sync to another player’s iPhone through wifi and play against them in real time.

15.Cubes Lite: Fun cube crashing game to pass the time away. Reminiscent of Tetris

16. Bowl Lite: Skee Ball for the iPhone. Cheesy electric music helps you get that authentic arcade experience.

Tell us: What are your favorite iPhone or other smartphone applications?


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Handbag Must Have Colors: Charcoal and Wine

Charcoal and Wine BagsTwo of the most popular colors this season are charcoal and wine. Whether worn together in one outfit or subtly introduced as a shoe or accessory color, you will see these two all over the place. One simple way to weave these colors into your wardrobe is through a hot handbag. Here are some we have our eyes on:
1. Tano Saught-After 4303
2. Pelham Studded Hobo
3. Gianni Chiarini Glazed Leather Hobo
4. Fossil Large Foldover Hobo
5. Dautore 2601 Hobo
6. Kenneth Cole New York Raise the Bar Portfolio Clutch
7. Juicy Couture “The Queens Garden” Bag
8. Elliott Lucca “Maxfield” Drawstring Bucket Bag

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