Vyne Reader Spotlight: Keesha Kai Hampton

Name: Keesha Kai Hampton

Hometown: Chicago (South Side baby!)

Current City (if different): Atlanta

Roles you play in life: Daughter of Eric and Deborah, Sister of Khari, Doctor of Optometry and Independent Practice Owner, Soror to the Phenomenal Women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Hobbies: I LOVE movies, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends

Education: Doctorate of Optometry, New England College of Optometry (Boston, MA), B.A. in Chemistry from Emory University (Atlanta, GA)

What is the last movie you saw?: Wall Street

What is your favorite TV show?: I’m a reality TV junkie! (Guilty pleasure for sure)

Shuffle your iPod – what’s the first song that comes up?: Probably something by Jay-Z or MJB (I own every song they have)

What is your favorite travel destination?: Anywhere warm and with a beach!

What beauty product can’t you live without?: I never really wore much makeup in the past, but ever since I’ve gone natural I’ve dabbled more into make-up. My favs are Clinique High Impact Mascara and NARS lip-gloss in Sandpiper. They compliment my afro puff beautifully!

Finish this sentence, “To feel more centered I…”: sit in my “quiet place” and meditate on how truly blessed I am.

Who is your celebrity fashion inspiration?:  There really isn’t one celebrity or person I’m inspired by. If it looks good, I like it!

What is your favorite restaurant?: Way too many to name!

What words do you live by?: There are no mistakes in life, just lessons and blessings


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How To Live, Look and Eat Like You’re Loaded (Even When You’re Not)

Contrary to what the media is saying, many of us feel like we’re still in the middle of a recession. Luckily there are many ways to do the things you love to do without spending a lot to do them. So here are some tips for you to live, look, and eat like you’re loaded, even if you’re not.

Live Like You’re Loaded
It seems like deals sites are popping up all over the place. Sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, HalfOffDepot and Zozi have daily or weekly local deals whereby if there are enough people interested in a deal, it will “unlock” the deal for all to take advantage of. We’ve seen (and purchased) deals for gym memberships, restaurants, clothing stores and even spas.
The Good: Amazing deals on places you may have wanted to try but haven’t. We’ve seen 50% off high-end gyms or yoga studios, major discounts on restaurants, and amazing deals on spa services.
The Flip Side: Check out the fine print. Sometimes you have only a certain period of time to use the deals or have a minimum required purchase. Also, with services or offers requiring an appointment, make sure to reserve your spot quickly. People have complained that they’ve had to wait months to use deals they’ve bought on these sites.

Look Like You’re Loaded

We’ve told you this before, but just in case you’re still sleeping on these deals, these are MUST dos:
Use Rent the Runway or Avelle (formerly Bag, Borrow or Steal) if you want to rent fab designer items (dresses and jewelry with RTR, bags, jewelry, sunglasses and watches with Avelle) for just a fraction of the price. Check out Gilt Groupe, HauteLook, RueLaLa and BBOSPrivateSale for daily deals on designer fashions, shoes, home goods and even travel. We have found some amazing deals on these sites!
The Good: Fab clothes, shoes, etc for a fraction of the price.
The Flip Side: With Rent the Runway and Avelle, you’re paying for the wear, so you can’t wear the items again unless you pay for them. For the other sites mentioned, check out the return policy. It’s hard to purchase things online when you don’t know the fit, so make sure that if it doesn’t work for you, you can send it back (and know the penalties for doing so).

Eat Like You’re Loaded

Once you check out these sites, you’ll never want to pay full price for restaurants again. There are many sites that have deals for restaurants in many cities including ones we already mentioned like Groupon, HalfOffDepot and LivingSocial. But there are also sites that cater only to restaurants like DiningPerks, Restaurant.com and BlackBoardEats. Something else to check out is Restaurant Week. Most cities have a week (o,r in many cases, extended up to a month) where many restaurants will offer prix fixe lunches and dinners for a set fee (Usually around $25-$35).
The Good: You can check out restaurants that you may have saved for a special occasion or thought were out of your price range for a fraction of the price. At the very least, you can save some money on a good meal.
The Flip Side: Check out the fine print. Some of the deals have restrictions, so make sure you look at all of the details before making a purchase. Also, in the case of Restaurant Week, there are usually only certain menu items included. Make sure you know that there is something on the special menu you’ll like before going or else you may be stuck with something you don’t want or paying full price for a decent meal.

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What to Wear to a Fall Wedding

We’ve all been there – we have numerous dresses that we could pull out of our closet for a warm summer wedding and then we have a friend who decides to get married in the middle of fall. Not to worry, there are many options to keep your style quotient high without looking too bundled up.

1. Draped One-Shoulder Dress

2. Vestiges Dress

3. Shoshanna One-Shoulder Beaded Dress

4. Patra Beaded Crinkled Satin Dress

5. MARC BY MARC JACOBS “Rope Stripe” Jacquard Strapless Dress

6. Halston Heritage

7. Purple Elie Tahari “Pamela” Belted Ruffle Dress

8. BCBGMAXAZRIA Dress, One Shoulder

9. BCBGMAXAZRIA Dress, One Shoulder Printed

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Keesha and Kailei’s Hair Essentials

We all know that a black woman’s hair is one of the most time consuming and important things to maintain. In the spirit of sharing, we thought we’d reveal some of the items that keep our tresses in tip-top shape:

1. Jane Carter Solution Nourish and Shine
2. Aveda Brilliant Shampoo and Conditioner
3. V05 Normal/Dry Hair Treatment
4. Moroccan Oil
5. A Goody Wide Tooth Comb


1. Pantene Relaxed and Natural Moisturizing Shampoo
2. Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Nourishing Conditioner
3. Aveda Brilliant Humectant Pomade
4. Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll
5. Chi Turbo Mini 3/4″ Ceramic Flat Iron

Tell us: what are some of your hair essentials?

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Woman to Watch: Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola

Birthplace: Kenya, East Africa

Occupations: Business Consultant on doing business in Africa (various sectors), Chemist, Educator

Education: Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Lehigh University), Degrees in Biochemistry (East Stroudsburg University) and Food Science and Technology (Kenya Polytechnic University).

Previous Jobs/Roles:

– President of The USA-Kenya Chamber of Commerce

– Asst. Professor of Biochemistry at Villanova University, Lehigh University and Shippensburg University

– VP of Research and development & Co-owner of Advent Business Group (Naturaz Hair Care products)

– COO of Avoglobal Ltd (Consulting company)

– Advisor, various groups addressing HIV/AIDS stigma, education, intervention in both Kenya and Philadelphia

Proudest Moment: Nine years ago she finally allowed herself to “let go and let God.” Since then she has been blessed with a wonderful husband, children, career, friends and family.

Family Life: Christine has two sons: Christian (6 years old) and Camayo (3 years old).  She’s married to Charles Ochola, an environmental engineer working with Tube City IMS. They met while in elementary school in Kenya.

A Balanced Life: Despite Christine’s busy schedule, some of her hobbies and interests include walking, dancing (especially African traditional dance), organic farming, hanging out with her children, talking to friends and family, and meeting new people.

Fun Fact: She has an innate desire to go skydiving (though she says her husband thinks she’s crazy!)

Boards/Committees: Advisory board of the Philadelphia-based World Health Care Infrastructures, board of the Logiri Women’s group (of Wimagak village in Kenya), member of the business committee of the Philadelphia Mayor’s commission on African and Caribbean Affairs, advisory board of the Center for International Business Education and Research at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, and is the senior outreach liaison and advisor for the Great lakes Region (East Africa) Health and Environmental Affairs division of FirstSource Worldwide.

Quotable: “REMEMBER To Give Yourself The Chance To Attain Your Maximal Potential”

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Live Your Life in HD!

By Keesha Boyd

HD or high definition. The difference between a “decent television picture” and a “vibrant, alive, detailed, sharp, crisp, stand-out, visually awing image.” Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to go out and buy a high definition television. I am, however, asking how many of you are living a “decent television picture” type of life versus living your life in HD?

Here’s how you can tell. If you find yourself tumbling your way through your nine to five week, rejoicing as you get past hump day only to make it to the weekend and simply do the same mundane things you did the previous weekend then you’re probably not living in HD. If you can’t think of the last time you made a real big impact on someone or something, or if answering the question “tell us something unique about you” stresses you out because you can’t think of anything, chances are, you’re not living your life in HD.  And finally, if you have ever felt like you’re just existing, or worse, living with your “decent television picture” life on “mute” or in “black and white”, then you know you’re not living your life in HD.

We all have the capacity to live a life in HD…a life full of vibrant color, authenticity, and special details. A life in HD is a life that is a “stand-out, visually awing image” of everything that is uniquely you. It’s a life that makes you and everyone around you feel like your “television” is on, not in black and white and definitely not on mute.

If you’re ready to start living your life in bold HD, then here are a few tips to get you started:

1)   Do Good…Feel Good –If you’re spending the majority of your day doing something that you don’t really enjoy (e.g. your job) then it’s increasingly important that you try to balance that time out by doing at least one thing each day that brings you some enjoyment. Whether that’s taking in a movie, spending time with someone you enjoy, volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about, taking a walk through a museum, reading a good book, exercising….the list is endless. Know what it is that makes you feel good and be sure you’re spending time each week doing that thing. You’d be amazed how much it will replenish your “color” throughout the week.

2)   Don’t Blend In – What do the clothes that you wear each day say about you? Do they say, “I’m here, I’m me, I’m loving my shape and dressing it beautifully” or do they say “please don’t look at me, I just threw this on”? How you appear to the world is also what you will attract. Take an interest in yourself through your wardrobe and the world will take an interest and “tune in” to you. Need some tips on how to style yourself, check out this article.

3)   Know What You Stand For and Stand For It – Is there a cause that you’re passionate about? If so, don’t sit on the sidelines for it anymore, get in the fight. If you don’t have a cause that you’re passionate about yet, give it some thought. Having a cause to fight for, volunteer your time with and feel passionate about adds a “vibrant special detail” to your life.

4)   Sharpen Yourself – Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Maybe a new language or a new skill? If so, then go ahead and “sharpen your picture” by learning to do that new thing. Or, if you feel like you have some introspection to do in order to “sharpen your picture” then perhaps it’s time to look into getting a therapist for a while to help you get yourself back on track. There are plenty of ways to “sharpen your picture”, figure out what it takes for you and then begin to do whatever it is, as soon as you can.

5)   Surround Yourself With Beauty – When you look around your home, is it a “visually awing image” of who you are? Does it feel like a beautiful oasis that you can marvel at and that revives you? When you walk in does it feel warm and comforting? If not, figure out what visually stimulates you or what you find beautiful, and add it to your home. It can be a particular color palette,  a great piece of art or a soothing scent like lavender or simply clearing out the clutter in your home (for feng shui tips click here). For as much time as you spend in your home it should be filled with your version of beauty so that you can soak it up while you’re there and share it with the world when you’re out.

Are you living your life in HD? If so, share your tips here with us!

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Top Five Fruits To Eat Now

By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

We all know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well it turns out its not just an apple, its fruit in general that keeps one healthy, energized, and fit 4 life.

How much fruit are you getting daily? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that last year about one-third of U.S. adults consumed fruit or fruit juice at least twice a day. That’s down slightly from more than 34% in 2000 and is also less than half of what is recommended.  Here is just a short list of the benefits of fruit so you can get a sense of what you’re missing out on if you’re not eating fruit regularly:

1. Slows down aging process, 2. Weight loss, 3. Increases energy, 4. Lowers cholesterol, 5. Lowers blood pressure

Best Way to Eat Fruit

The best way 2 eat fruit is raw.  The way fruit grows is the way it should be eaten. When ripe, fruit is at its height of potency providing the most benefits.  Fruit juice is high in sugar and true it does provide vitamins and minerals but you miss out on the skin and pulp, which helps every body function.  Diced fruit is usually not as fresh as whole fruit.  Always remember this when it comes to any kind of food, “the fresher the better!”

Top Five Fruits

All fruits are good for. But I compiled a short list of the best fruits and what they do specifically, so you can go shopping today!

1. Wild Mixed Berries – (blue, rasp, straw, black, cran, goji, coffee, noni, acai, etc.) Berries as a whole are nutritional powerhouses. They can help joint health, heart health, cancer prevention, muscular degeneration along with a host of other benefits from their plethora of antioxidants and nutrients.

2. Kiwifruit – Kiwis are an often an overlooked fruit, as they almost taste too good to be so healthy!  They have twice the vitamin C of oranges, and are one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet.  They are very high in fiber and potassium for a healthy heart.  Kiwis have been shown to not only prevent oxidative DNA damage, but they have been shown to help stimulate the repair of the cellular damage that has occurred.

3. Cherries – Cherries are loaded with antioxidant compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer. They contain a wonderful ingredient called quercetin, an anti-cancer compound.  They also contain ellagic acid, like raspberries, a powerful anti-tumor compound that causes cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells, with no change to healthy cells. It is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial.

4. Pomegranates – Enjoy either the fresh seeds and pulp, or even indulge in a few ounces of juice everyday as this will help lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and help slow aging.  Pomegranates are also shown to help prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, help prevent blood clotting, slow the growth of prostate cancer, and improve erectile dysfunction.

5. Red Delicious Apple – This apple has the most antioxidants of any apple, mainly due to its deep red color.  Apples, like cherries, also contain quercetin, which is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that may help prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Apples are also high in pectin, a great soluble shown to help lower LDL cholesterol.  Apples are also high in boron, which may help prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.

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