Turkey Day Travel Tips

If you’re like many Americans, you’ll be traveling to be with your family on Thanksgiving. Because I will be one of those millions at the airport on Wednesday, I thought that I would offer some advice to make your traveling experience less aggravating as possible.

Since 2007 has been one of the worst years in airline travel for various reasons, it is in your best interest to pack patience because you’ll need it. I traveled several times this year and none of my experiences were pleasant. There was always something causing a delay whether it was the weather or a computer glitch, it just seemed like the airline Gods were frowning down on passengers consistently.

So here are a few tips that I hope will help ease your traveling woes:

1. Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to take off during the security checkpoint.

2. Empty the loose change from all of your pockets to speed up the security check process.

3. Bring a good book or magazine (too bad there isn’t a BGG magazine…yet!) to help pass the time.

4. Subscribe to an airport Internet service (typically no more than $8.99/month) for your laptop. That way you can always have BGG at your fingertips!

5. Bring healthy snacks to munch on while you wait. Remember, everything sold at airports is ridiculously higher than neighborhood drugstores, etc.

6. Be sure to fully charge your iPod or MP3 player the night before your trip. It will help you relax and tune out annoying passengers.

7. Don’t check your bags if at all possible. This will save you a lot of time and in some cases, your belongings. With the insurgence of bags being checked due to the 311 rule, (liquids no larger than 3 oz. in a clear plastic bag) more bags have been lost a result.

Lovely Leg Wear

A few months ago, I stressed the fact that I love a great pair of tights. Ever since high school, I have always received compliments on my sometimes unique, but always fabulously fashionable leg wear.

Now that the air is getting nippy, it’s really wise to cover our gorgeous gams in style. Tights can range in style from opaqueness to texture. Whether worn with a cute skirt or dress, they can immediately add sophistication to your look. Keep in mind that tights look best when paired with mid-calf leather boots or this season’s booties or Mary Janes.

Also, a thick pair of tights can be worn as an alternative to thermals under your pants to add a layer of warmth during the winter months.

So head to your local department store and stock up on a few pair of trendy tights. In fact, while you’re there, pick up a pair or two for some of the fashionable BGs in your life and use them as cool stocking stuffers for the holiday season.
This pair is from Nordstrom: Available at www.nordstrom.com for $18

This pair is from JC Penny: www.jcpenny.com for $10

DKNY tights from Nordstrom: www.nordstrom.com for $12.50

Donna Karan silk blend tights from Nordstrom: www.nordstrom.com for $60

Ring in the Season with Style!

Nothing spruces up one’s look for the holiday season like an elegant cocktail ring. They are the perfect accessories to complement this season’s fashions. I must admit, I haven’t always been a fan of costume jewelry, but I’ve started to explore this trend in recent weeks.

I’ve learned that the key to looking chic and not gaudy is to keep your overall look minimal. For example, wear a beautiful onyx ring with a nice black turtleneck dress and stud earrings. It will add that extra flair that will make you look stylish and pulled together. If you aren’t a fan of onyx, there is an infinite variety of gemstones and styles that will suit your taste.

The benefit of purchasing cocktail rings is that they can make you look glamorous without breaking the bank. Of course, there are always exceptions, but generally you can find a great cocktail ring for $100 or less.

Trust me, flaunting fabulous fingers will get you noticed!

Check out some of my favorites.

Ariella Collection Oversize Cushion Cut Ring for $78 at Nordstrom

Kenneth Jay Lane Crystal Headlight Ring for $150 at Nordstrm

Xhilaration® Gold Ring with Large Pink Stone for $8.99 at Target

Xhilaration® Mod Square Fashion Ring – White/ Black for $8.09 at Target

Kenneth Jay Lane Pavé Ball Ring for $98 at Nordstrom

Helping Fellow BGs Worldwide!

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a launch/fundraising event held by the Batonga Foundation in New York City. The organization is a US-based non-profit charitable organization that gives girls a secondary school and higher education so they can take the lead in changing Africa. Their mission is being implemented by granting scholarships, building secondary schools, mentoring, advocating education awareness, etc.

The event was hosted by the beautiful Liya Kebede (supermodel), Vanessa Redgrave (actress), Donna Karan (we fashion-savvy BGs already know who she is) and Angelique Kidjo (singer) at the vast, Bohen Foundation. It was great attending a spectacular event that raised funds for the education of our young and less fortunate BGs in Africa.

It’s important for all BGs around the world to give back. There are a myriad of national and international charities, foundations and mentoring opportunities where we can either donate our time or money. If we don’t give back to our communities, who will?

For more information on Batonga visit: www.batongafoundation.org

For information on becoming a mentor in your area visit: www.mentoring.org

Get to Steppin’

I try to eat foods that are good for me, but that isn’t always as easy it seems. Especially, due to my unyielding craving for sugary candies like gummi bears, sour watermelon slices and Skittles. So when I feel that I’m beginning to pack on a few unwanted pounds, I put my foot down – literally and hit the pavement.

Walking is my favorite form of exercise because it’s relaxing and allows me to shed pounds while taking in the scenery. Because I live in New York, which is the preeminent walking city, it’s easy for me to keep my weight down because we walk everywhere!

If I need to go to the store – I walk; if I want to go out to dinner – I walk. So for those of you who don’t live in pedestrian-friendly cities like me, get out of your cars and start walking. Maybe you can take a walk to your local drugstore, doctor’s office or your child’s school instead of driving. Or, grab your beau and suggest a romantic walk in the park. Whatever you decide, walking can get your heart pumping.

With the holiday season upon us, walking can definitely be an effective weapon against those pesky pounds that are sure to sneak up from eating all those delicious dishes at Big Momma’s house.

Breathtaking Brows!

Having well-groomed brows is essential to looking chic and polished. Great brows can enhance your face and complement your makeup instantly. As I wrote before, your eyes are the windows into your soul. Why not make them as gorgeous as possible? Your eyebrows actually frame your face and when they’re improperly groomed your entire look can falter as a result.

You can achieve a nice arched brow through various methods such as: tweezing, threading or waxing. I prefer tweezing because it’s the easiest and I can do it at home. Plus, it seems to last longer than waxing. I cannot comment on the threading process because I’ve never tried it, but some of my BG friends have and they’ve said that it’s a great alternative to tweezing and waxing.

So once you achieve your desired arch, you should add brow powder to define them even more. Makeup artists always stress the importance of brow powder because it gives you a more natural appearance as opposed to other products. So ladies, if you’re guilty of filling in your brows with pencils, please stop now! Rocking the Foxy Brown barely-there-drawn-on brows is not a good look.

Here are a few products that will help you get eye-catching brows!

These award-winning Tweezerman tweezers are a must-have in all the makeup artists’ beauty bags. You can find them in a variety of colors at: wwww.tweezerman.com for $20

I came across this cute LORAC brow pack and feel in love immediately. It has two different powder colors so you can get that perfect blend, as well as wax to help keep your brows in place.

Available at Sephora: www.sephora.com for $22

Cultural Treasure

All the blogs and magazines that represent and cater to the African-American demographic owe all of their success to one publication – Ebony magazine. This trailblazing magazine paved the way for all of our voices to be heard. Founded by the late, self-made entrepreneur John H. Johnson back in 1945, the magazine has successfully documented all aspects of African-American life from the civil rights movement to the latest fashions. Ebony has informed and enlightened us whether we read at the beauty shop, at our grandparent’s house or at the doctor’s office. Throughout the years it has consistently been there reporting our news and entertainment.

Creative Director, Harriette Cole.

Over 60 years since it’s debut, Ebony is still thriving and even better than ever. Under the creative direction of media-savvy, Harriette Cole (who was appointed Creative Director in early 2007), the magazine has made major improvements artistically. The new look and feel of Ebony is sleek, current and cutting-edge, but still packed with all the photos and stories that BGs (and guys) like me have always enjoyed about the magazine. Ebony has always had a strong presence on newsstands, but now it’s even more eye-catching and I’ve definitely taken notice.

Be sure to check out the latest issue (also a Collector’s Edition) featuring the living musical legend himself – Michael Jackson. Say what you will about Mike, but there’s no denying that he helped pioneer the music that we hear today.

Ebony magazine and Michael Jackson, two powerhouses; you just can’t get any bigger than that!

Visit www.ebonyjet.com for behind-the-scenes at the MJ photo shoot.