CONTEST: Enter to Win a runDisney Race Vacation from GoGo squeeZ

Calling all Disney fans!

GoGo squeeZ is hosting an epic sweepstakes that you don’t want to miss. As the official applesauce of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland, GoGo squeeze is giving applicants the chance to win a 4-night vacation for four to a runDisney race of the winner’s choice!

If you’re not familiar with runDisney, it’s a race series that encourages families to get active by running through Disney theme parks. The races vary from marathons and half-marathons to 10Ks, 5Ks and Kids Races, but all will leave you with lasting magical memories.

Since GoGo squeeZ is one of the healthiest and most convenient snacks on the market, it’s the perfect partnership. My kids are obsessed with the all-natural applesauces and have been for years. It’s always a favorite when I pack it in my daughter’s lunch box.


The winning package includes hotel accommodations, theme park tickets, two entries to the runDisney race, and more!

To enter, simply head over to GoGo squeeZ now until January 15th to fill out a form for a chance to win!

Run over to the site NOW because the contest closes on Sunday (1/15/2017) at 11:59pm EDT.

Have you ever participated in a runDisney race? 

Tracee Ellis Ross and Donald Glover Win Big at Golden Globes

Last night’s 74th Annual Golden Globes turned out to be a glorious and quite groundbreaking evening for us brown girls and guys.

In case you missed it, Tracee Ellis Ross, our favorite sitcom mom won Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for her role as Rainbow Johnson on the hit ABC show, “Black-ish.” It was a tough category because Issa Rae, the most popular awkward black girl on the planet, was also up for the award for her work on the breakout HBO show, “Insecure.” Although Issa didn’t snag the top honor, we’re thrilled that there were two women of color nominated and that Tracee ultimately took it home—the first African-American woman to do so in that category since Debbie Allen won in 1983 for her portrayal on “Fame.”

Via Issa Rae's Instagram

Issa Rae (R) and Tracee Ellis Ross at a post-Golden Globes party in Los Angeles, CA on January 9, 2017. Photo via Issa Rae’s Instagram

And she wasn’t the only BG to leave the stage with the shiny golden globe. Powerhouse actress Viola Davis dazzled in her yellow Michael Kors dress as she accepted the award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for “Fences.” Not only did she win, but BGs Naomie Harris (“Moonlight) and Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”) were also nominated in this coveted category as well. Kerry Washington was also a contender for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television award her portrayal of attorney and academic Anita Hill on HBO’s “Confirmation.” Although the mom of two didn’t take the trophy, she still stunned in a gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana gown.


Actress Viola Davis at the 74th Annual Golden Globes award ceremony in Los Angeles, CA on January 9, 2017. Photo via @Phillyfilmsociety’s Instagram

The night was also a success for our brown guys too. “Atlanta’s” front man, Donald Glover who produces, writes and stars in the critically acclaimed FX series scored two wins: Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. The latter category also had Anthony Anderson in the running for his work on “Black-ish.” Sterling K. Brown and Courtney B. Vance were also winners for their outstanding performances as attorneys Christopher Darden and Johnnie Cochran on the remarkable FX miniseries “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” which won Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

Via @Childishnews Instagram

Donald Glover at the 74th Annual Golden Globes in Los Angeles, CA on January 9, 2017. Photo via @Childishnews Instagram

Last but not least, one of the year’s most buzzed about films, “Moonlight,” took home the most prestigious award of the night, Best Motion Picture – Drama.

While I haven’t seen “Fences” or “Hidden Figures,” yet, I can confidently say that all of the other winners and nominees were well deserved!

For the complete list of winners and nominees, click here.

What was your favorite win of the night?

Stylish Duds for Your Disney Family Vacation

In less than a month, my family and I will be heading back to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I’m still in a bit of a shock to have received the coveted invitation a second time, but my gratitude and excitement are slowly surpassing my disbelief.

Not only will we be visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando, but we’ll also be sailing on the newly renovated Disney Wonder for a cruise to the Bahamas for several nights. To get us ready for what will surely be one of our most memorable family experiences, I’ve decided that we should be decked out—Disney style.

If your family is attending the conference or planning an upcoming vacation to the House of Mouse (on land or sea), I’ve rounded up some of my favorite Disney duds for the entire family:


Minnie Mouse Raglan Pullover Sweater for Women available here, $49.99


babyGap | Disney Baby Mickey Mouse Graphic Tee available here, $30


Mickey Mouse Little Boys’ Toddler “Mickey Chill” 2-Pack Joggers available here, $17


Disney Minnie Stylish Girls Princess Tee Graphic T-Shirt available here, $7.97

GapKids | Disney Mickey Mouse embroidered girlfriend jeans

GapKids | Disney Mickey Mouse Embroidered Girlfriend Jeans available here $49.95


babyGap | Disney Baby Dumbo Graphic Drop-waist Dress available here, $39.95

Disney Mickey-Mouse-crew-sweatshirt

Gap | Disney Mickey Mouse Crew Sweatshirt for Men available here, $59.95



 Disney Mickey Mouse Neon Glow Short Sleeve Boys Graphic Tee T-Shirt available here, $7.97

Say Hello to Your New Favorite Style Control Gel: Carol’s Daughter Pracaxi Nectar

I’ve been covering new hair care products for over a decade. Needless to say, throughout the years I’ve reviewed countless shampoos, pomades, puddings, creams, conditioners and more. So, when something earns a spot in my tried and true rotation, it’s GOOD.

Enter: Carol’s Daughter new Pracaxi Nectar Style Control Gel. Infused with acai extract and natural oils, this miracle in a tube instantly awakens my daughter’s curls.


Carol’s Daughter Pracaxi Nectar Style Control Gel available here, $10.99

Although it’s formulated to reduce frizz and tame flyaways, it makes her dry hair super soft and moisturized—something that doesn’t happen with most gels. I don’t know about you, but in the past when I’ve used products that aim to “control,” I’ve been left with sticky and goopy concoctions that slick down hair making it hard and crunchy. Oh and let’s not forget that crusty white film that they create.

Well, this control gel defies the odds and manages to keep curls defined and hydrated. Plus, it smells so good! If you like tropical scents, this will become an instant fave. Coming in a little over $10 at Sally’s, you’ll want to stock up on this soon-to-be staple.

What’s your all-time favorite Carol’s Daughter product? 

Celebrity Facialist Shares Tips on Achieving Flawless Skin

Enviable skin? Yes please! And what better time than the start of the New Year to treat and pamper your skin like the special organ it is? But, don’t take it from me; I caught up with Shani Darden, the woman behind Kelly Rowland’s and Chrissy Teigen’s glowing complexions to get the deets on how to give your skin the TLC it needs to shine…not literally, but you get the point.

The highly sought-after facialist and Consulting Esthetician for Garnier SkinActive has been helping Hollywood’s elite achieve flawless skin for years and shows no signs of slowing down. The brunette beauty dished on teaming up with Garnier, what she’d tell her younger self about skin care and more!

Shani Darden is a skincare wizard who's worked her magic on Hollywood's elite. Courtesy of Shani Darden

Shani Darden is a skin wizard who’s worked her magic on Hollywood’s elite. Photo Courtesy of Shani Darden

Check out our Q&A below:

BGG: In a nutshell, how did you become one of the most sought after facialists in LA?

Shani Darden: I’m so lucky to have amazing clients that are generous enough to speak out about me!

BGG: Did you always know that you wanted to have a career in the skincare industry?

SD: I’ve been obsessed with skincare for as long as I can remember. I used to make face masks when I was little and begged my mom to take me to the dermatologist at an abnormally young age. 

BGG: Tell me about your partnership with Garnier.

SD: I teamed up with Garnier because the brand’s skincare philosophy aligns very closely with my own — simple and accessible skincare that really works. 

BGG: I know your skincare philosophy is “less is more,” can you elaborate?

SD: People don’t need to use too many products or always try the next “big thing.” Once you find a skincare routine that works, stick to it.

BGG: You’ve worked with some of the most notable and undeniably beautiful women in Hollywood. What are the top three things women can do/use at home to attain enviable complexions?

SD: 1)Use retinol. Retinol helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, boosts collagen in the skin, and helps make skin look younger and tighter. It also has amazing acne-fighting properties and helps alleviate discoloration. My Retinol Reform is a great option – it’s effective, yet gentle enough for almost all skin types. 

2) Exfoliate weekly. I recommend using a light, at-home chemical exfoliant weekly to help get rid of dead cells on the surface of your skin and give you an amazing glow. 

3) Incorporate an at-home microcurrent device into your routine. This helps improve facial contour, tone skin, and reduce wrinkles to make you look more youthful instantly. 

BGG: I know that you have extensive experience working with severe acne sufferers. If you could give them one bit of advice what would it be?

SD: Don’t pick! When you pick at pimples, you can push bacteria deeper into the skin and cause scarring. Avoid the temptation. 

BGG: What are the top three skin care offenses we should ditch in 2017?

SD: 1) Using the wrong products for your skin type. Talk to your skincare professional to get on a routine that’s right for you. 

2) Not washing off your makeup off at the end of the night. This leaves bacteria on your skin that can clog pores and cause acne.

3) Skipping sunscreen. The single most important thing you can do for your skin is protect it from the sun. 

BGG: What is the single most important skincare product every woman should be using no matter the season?

SD: Sunscreen. Never leave the house without first applying an SPF 30. 

BGG: What would you tell your 17-year-old self about skin care?

SD: If you lay in the sun now, you’ll have brown spots on your face by the time you turn 30. You won’t like them and they won’t all go away. Take care of your skin now, so it will stay amazing as you age!

How do you plan to take better care of your skin? More facials? More sunscreen? Please share!

Ring in the New Year with These Dazzling Beauty Buys

Still debating whether you’re going to ring in the New Year on your couch or at a festive gathering amongst friends? Hopefully, the following beauty goodies will make you lean toward the latter. But, of course there’s no rule against getting dolled and celebrating New Year’s Eve solo. Either way, make sure your lips are primed for your significant other or the unmistakable beauty staring back at you in the mirror when the clock strikes midnight.

Check out some of my top New Year’s Eve beauty picks:


Clinique High Impact™ Custom Black Kajal available here, $17


Want to amp up your peeper game this NYE? This blackened-blue liner glides on effortlessly and transforms eyes into dramatic windows of the soul. Plus, if you get sentimental as the ball in Times Square drops, don’t worry—your perfected cat-eye won’t smudge or smear.

Urban Decay Full Spectrum Eye Shadow Palette available here, $39

Urban Decay Full Spectrum Eye Shadow Palette available here, $39

Nothing calls for drama like NYE and this eye shadow palette delivers. With a variety of deep seductive hues, you’re sure to find  a dark shimmery shade to create a smoldering look to close out 2016.

Your Je Ne Sais Quoi Complexion Perfection Face Palette available here, $42

IT Cosmetics Your Je Ne Sais Quoi Complexion Perfection Face Palette available here, $42

Thinking of tapping into your inner J-Lo? If so, this highlighting palette has your covered. Infused with an anti-aging formula, the shimmery flecks of the matte bronzer, luminizer and blush will accentuate your best features while giving you an instant glow. What better time than NYE to take your makeup up a notch and dazzle?

jane iredale Lip Fixation available here, $32

jane iredale Lip Fixation available here, $32

You’ll be able sip champagne all night long without a single smear with this lip stain and gloss combo. Plus, the ultra-hydrating formula will leave your lips moisturized and kissable down to the last second.

Mischo Beauty Nail Lacquer in “Good Kisser” available here, $18


Don’t let your lips get all of the shine. As you toast in the New Year, this luxurious lacquer lets your tips get some much-needed attention too!

Do you have plans to stay in or go out this New Year’s Eve?

A Year in Review: My Best Moments of 2016

While many are counting down the days for 2016 to officially end, I’m still savoring every moment. Sure, it hasn’t been the best year for some, but I’ve learned to never rush the days away and cherish the time I have on earth. There will always be ups and downs, but that’s what life’s all about. If we dwell on the disappointments and losses, we rob ourselves of our joyful experiences. Of course it’s not always easy, but focusing on the positive aspects of my life brings me peace. That’s why I’m reflecting on my best moments of the year.

Check them out below:


My sister (far left) and cousins at the W Hotel in New Orleans, LA.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Cousins’ Trip to New Orleans

Gumbo is and will always be synonymous with the Big Easy. Since it’s one of my favorite dishes and a big part of my blog’s name, I had to take a trip to the place where the delicious soup originated. This year, I finally made it happen and with great company: my sister and two cousins. We laughed until our stomachs hurt, ate endless bowls of gumbo, and took in the sights of the French Quarter. I’ll cherish those fun times for years to come.


My daughter, Ava, being taken up, up and away at Epcot Center in Orlando.

When You Wish Upon a Star: Attending Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration

Being invited to one of the most coveted conferences in the blogosphere was by far one of my best highlights. It was an honor and privilege to attend the House of Mouse with my hubby and kids in tow. The four-day excursion was not only one of my most memorable moments this year, but one of the top events of my entire life. Learning all about Disney with likeminded bloggers coupled with experiencing the parks with my family for the first time was priceless. Plus, it took place over Mother’s Day weekend—that’s going to be a difficult gift to top!


Me channeling my inner Janet Jackson for Halloween.

Ms. Jackson If You’re Nasty

Now that I have children, Halloween has become a pretty big deal in my home. From Paw Patrol costumes to putting together scary witch getups, dressing up on that final October day is the best part of fall for my family. In fact, this year my daughter insisted that I dress up as something other than my boring go-to cat costume. I obliged and created a DIY Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation ensemble. It was exciting putting the look together—plus, it was cool to pay homage to such an iconic entertainer. Stepping outside of my comfort zone led to a night of fun that I won’t soon forget.


My hubby and I soaking up the sun in Miami.

Mini Miami Getaway

My hubby and I live in New York City, arguably the best city in the world. While we love being in such a bustling metropolis, sometimes you just need to get away. Since none of our families live nearby, we rarely have date nights. So, when the opportunity came for us to take a quick trip to Miami we took full advantage. My mother-in-law watched the kiddies while we watched ocean waves. My husband and I had the chance to simply enjoy each other’s company sans kids and it was great.


Me with my younger cousin having a bit of filter fun at our aunt’s wedding.

Epic Family Weekend

My aunt has been widowed since I was nine years old. But, for as long as I can remember she’s always wanted to get remarried. Her dream came true this year and our entire family celebrated with an extended weekend of festivities. Family I hadn’t seen in years converged in Chicago to witness my aunt’s wedded bliss. Over the course of the weekend, we danced, ate amazing food and made lasting memories that will go down in our family history book.


My hubby and kids at the National Harbor in Washington, D.C.

Trips to the DMV

They say home is where the heart is. Ever since my sister moved to Silver Spring, MD back in 2008, the DMV area has become my east coast home away from home. My family and I travel there a couple times a year and 2016 was no different. We always have a great time being driven around (a luxury in NYC), dining out, visiting the zoo, museums or catching a movie. When we visited in November, we saw “Trolls” and it clearly left an impression on my son—he has watched clips from it everyday since we saw it!

What were some of your most memorable moments of the year?