Nyasha's update: London Expat

Nyasha (our friend we met in India)writes:

I can’t believe its been almost 3 years since we met in India, it feels like just yesterday. That night was such a powerful evening, meeting you and Gene. I never imagined that sharing my story of leaving NY to move to Mumbai to volunteer with an NGO and church would encourage so many women to take steps of faith and purse their dreams and purposes.

3 years later, my journey of faith and international service is still going. After serving in the slums of India and working with girls who were rescued from sex trafficking, I had the desire to get a masters in International Development Studies (with a focus on Violence and Conflict). My aim was to gain a deeper understanding of some of the systemic issues behind poverty and violence in developing countries with hopes to be equipped to serve countries at a greater level. Well I applied to SOAS, University of London and was accepted! I left India and went straight to London to complete my 1 year masters.


Beach Bums.

Hola Chicas!

Checking in again from our fabulous family vacation to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with our stay sponsored by @Airbnb! 

Rio: The View Through Their Eyes

poolside breakfast courtesy of our chef and baby whisperer, Beth

Thank you @Airbnb for helping sponsor our stay at this beautiful Brazilian penthouse!  Check out the view from days 1 and 2:

Legally Obligated to Stunt.

Thank you @Airbnb for helping sponsor our stay at this beautiful Brazilian penthouse!  

Hola Chicas,

You know that moment somewhere between the dream you were having and halfway opening your eyes, where you can’t tell if you’re asleep or awake and you don’t know what’s real and what’s lucid illusion? When you can’t tell if you’re in a dream that feels real, or if you’re living out your dreams? That feeling? Let me tell you about it.

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you know that travelling isn’t new for me and the fam. We took our first international trip in 2008 and have left the country no less than twice a year, every year, since then. But one thing I haven’t done is shared the original inspiration that inspired us.


CurlyNikki In Forbes

How to CUBA

Hola Chicas!

I don't usually share how I put these trips together because (1) there's no formula, and (2) I have a flare for the dramatic. But as this epicness comes to a close, I thought I'd do y'all a solid and provide you with a how-to manual of sorts.

Obviously there are other ways to get to and 'do' Cuba both legally and illegally (i.e. Mexico or Canada, groups, cruises), but I visited Cuba both legally and on my own terms.  I didn't get herded around in large groups, or have to pretend to be doing anything.  So if you're like me, do it like this.  

Afro Cubans: We Are Many

Hola chicas!

Yesterday we spent some time in old Havana with some new friends. I first learned of Gloria Rolando on Afro Cuba Web after some creative Google searching. I reached out on FB and received a response within 24 hours! She was interested in meeting me and sharing a bit about herself with the CN fam. She's a renowned filmmaker and documentarian who works to piece together Afro-Cuban history and produce positive images of black Cubans.

She maintains that Africans have made substantial contributions to Cuban culture and that she feels a responsibility to show that Afro-Cubans are more than 'rumba dancing and cigar smoking (which are well-worn stereotypes). Since Gloria and her family believe that there's not been an appreciation for the fullness of the African contribution to Cuban history,--


The View from Havana

Got the last two internet cards in a 5 mile radius so I could share a few pics.  Love y'all, talk soon!

Unspoiled: Life Without Limits

As of now, we've been here for less than 24 hours and one experience sums up our whole entire situation --


CurlyNikki in Cuba


Hola Chicas,

Story time--


From Jerusalem to the West Bank: Humans Without Borders

Re-posting in light of recent events

Hola Chicas, 

So I hated to do it, but we spent the whole of Tuesday on one of those cattle drives tourist trips that require that you get on a bus, off a bus, on a bus, off a bus, listen to a story, eat at the pre-selected restaurant where your tour guide already made a kickback deal for you to eat crappy felafel, look at the same souvenir crap made out of plastic and wonder which relative gets which piece of crap... which of course is made in China. But the point is that when you're in Israel, you simply must visit a few major locations and this annoying ass tour allowed us to visit all of them in one day. So that's what we did...we saw Jerusalem and it was wonderful.  I hope that you decide to visit the Holy City one day as well.  When and if you do, remember that while you're looking at all of these beautiful ancient sights, the West Bank is actually behind you and it's full of Palestinians.  On Monday, we went to Jerusalem too, but then we kept going and actually crossed the infamous fortified wall into the West Bank and met real life Palestinians.

Read On!>>>

Israel. #TheOuttakes


Congrats ladies! And thanks to everyone for participating! More giveaways to come! xoxo

Happier than a camel on Wednesday, tho...

Just touched down in the States! And while I'm currently dranking in all this good Boogie love, I thought I'd post a few pics that didn't make the previous posts.  Also,  HennaSooq and I kinda dropped the ball on the giveaway situation... there were supposed to be many more... and so there shall be :)  I'll be giving away more stuff this week, to include a second year long supply of Red Raj (!!!!),  3 henna gloss bars, 5 handmade shampoo bars and a Basics of Body Art Kit.  Stay tuned!

Oh yes, but today (along with the announcement of the previous winners), I'm giving away some Dead Sea Mud... direct from the Dead Sea!


More Pics and Deets!>>>

Meet Miss Israel-- Breakfast with Titi! (and a giveaway)

Meet Yityish "Titi" Aynaw, the first Ethiopian-born Jew to win the Miss Israel competition (2013).  After losing both of her parents at a young age, she and her brother moved to Israel from Ethiopia at 12. In Israel, she was raised by her grandmother, and upon finishing high school, served in the Israeli army where she was made an officer. In the same year that she was crowned the first Black, Miss Israel, she also started college! #BossTho

I had the honor of sitting down with her for breakfast on Friday.  She shared a little bit about everything and I thought I’d share it with you.

Read On>>>

The African Refugee Development Center in Israel and How You Can Help.

**giveaway, below!**

Oscar (spokesperson and asylum seeker from the Congo), Naomi (from USA), Sumia (translator and asylum seeker from Sudan), Solomon (director and asylum seeker from Eritrea) #YallTheRealMVPs

When I'm planning these international excursions, the first thing I do is search for and reach out to naturals in the area.  Other than a strong desire to turn up with #OurPeople, it's just damn smart to roll with folks that know how to navigate whatever new and strange city you might find yourself in. 

The second thing I do is find the real MVPs.  The people who, despite a lack of media attention and sufficient funds, choose to fight the good fight, providing resources and solutions for #OurPeople in the struggle.  #FergusonWorldWideTho

Read On!>>>

Tel Aviv Livin' (and a Giveaway!)

#TouchDown #Israel

So I think Einstein once said that, "we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."  This is why remembering to remember is so important! #LevelUp 
"If you think of your life, the world, as a mirror, as a reflection of your beliefs (and thoughts and attitudes), and you find yourself surrounded by angry, dramaful, ratchet-ass circumstances, then what needs the fixin'? If it's just a reflection, then isn't it you that needs an adjustment?
Stand in front of a mirror and frown, or better yet, serve your resting bitch face (used to be my go-to). If you decided that you wanted to see a smile in that mirror instead, you wouldn't try to change the face in the mirror (your reflection), you'd change the one on this side of the mirror. The world works the same way, we've just come to believe the opposite-- that circumstances dictate our mood. Lies. Garbage (with a french accent). Your mood, your beliefs dictate the circumstances. This is how I live my life and besides the tremendous peace it serves up all day, my circumstances, my reflection, the world around me is pretty dope too. Effortlessly so." --excerpt from my post, Why I'm So Damn Happy
So rather than worrying about or attempting to manipulate a situation that was clearly beyond our control (the owner of the bomb-ass penthouse cancelling our reservation just hours before our flight, rendering us homeless-ish), we chose to take control of the only thing we could-- our response to the situation.  And we chose happiness and enjoyed our long layover together in Newark.  And then, IT happened. #NeedNothing #ManifestErrything

Dr. Daddy checked his email and there sat a request for a professional reference.  This was not a rare occurrence-- he gets tons, but this one was special.  This request came from a student he hadn't heard from in years, who was not only from Israel, but still had many connects there.  And after a short email interchange and a long but smooth flight, we found ourselves in Tel Aviv having lunch with one of his friends who manages rental properties.  And now, we ain't homeless no mo'! 

the digs

Curly Cultural Mission: Israel (and a Giveaway!)

Hey hey,

For the last five years I've been working with women overseas to tell the stories of curlies around the world. Together we've raised the profile of several non-profit organizations and educated folks (myself included!) in the process. I've partied with Jamaican curlies living in Tokyo, have been welcomed into ethnic neighborhoods in Rio De Janeiro, walked with Lions in South Africa and survived a bomb threat** in India. 

**okay so my scary ass saw an unattended duffel bag and freaked out.

And even though these curls didn't make it to the moon (yet), they have made it to the promised land. 



 Hola Chicas!

I've been going so incredibly hard in the Lou-

Read On!>>>

Mumbai #TheOuttakes

As the sun sets on our Indian adventure, I wanted to take a moment to thank you guys for coming along with me.  Your support, hilarious comments, engagement and prayers were felt and sincerely appreciated.  I also want to take a moment to thank the sponsors, Romwe and HennaSooq.  There aren't a lot of brands that support these types of initiatives (including some of your favorites) and these are two that put their money where their mouth is.  I hope you will support them.  So before we leave, check out what we left out--

Read On!>>>

Real G's...

and the winner is... Saundra Irving! Congrats, chica! Email me your address to [email protected]

I Wasn't Ready #FromMumbaitoPakistan

The winners are!
Jackie W- $100 Romwe giftcard
Tieasha- Year's supply of Hennasooq's Red Raj
Congrats!  Email me your mailing address to [email protected] using what you won as the subject line! Thanks!
when you riding with a crew and you ready to go home, but they heading to another spot... #HelpMeSomebody

Since we didn't anticipate the decadence of our second spot, we ended up ringing in the New Year, alone,  from one of our big-ass windows. 

 Hubby says my silhouette looked like the scarecrow from the Wiz #ItDoesTho

We popped a complimentary bottle of champagne (which hubby was mixing with Hennessy for some reason-- not I tho, #BrownWillBringYouDown), listened to T.I. go in on "About the Money" #MissMeWitIt and let our eyeballs feast on the spectacle-- 5 independent firework shows, spotlights, candle-lit lanterns and hella people on the street. So instead of heading to the club (to be subjected to lame house music), we simply got fresh, and stepped just outside the hotel doors onto the waterfront to #GoUp with the locals. #AsRealAsItGets


I woke up on the first day of 2015 with a mission… to do absolutely nothing.  Not even blog... and I love y'all more than Kanye loves Kanye, so you know I was tired. We knew we had scheduled a brief street food tour with Reality Tours that evening, so the plan was to chill all day in our hotel-house, get a little culture and then turn-up that night with our new friend Nyasha.   She was coming down for drinks with an associate and then planned to hook up with us later that evening so we could hit these streets.  Oh, and because she lives 40 minutes away, we invited her to crash with us! #SleepOver #NoNewFriends #OneNewFriend

That WAS the plan.

Read On!>>>

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