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Wedding saga part 1

Hello strangers. I'm back for good now. I have been super busy in the last few months with major changes. In order of timeline:

  • Qualified as solicitor. Whhohhhooo
  • Moved to Dubai with be with the hubby to be
  • Got married!!!!! (With all the stress and planning that goes into it, the wedding took over my life)

We chose to get married in the Ivory Coast as with the traditional wedding. More for Arif than for me it was very important that we get married in home country. It beat getting married anywhere else so I threw myself in. The wedding took place over two days (if you take into consideration the pre-wedding ceremonies over the last two years we are at 4 ceremonies now). This means multiple anniversaries per year so no complaint here.

I will try to put in some hair related articles in between the wedding ones so please bear with me. :)

The most important thing for me was to have an organic wedding, let the surroundings act as decoration and not have the a-typical west African wedding which can be lacking in personality and be overly generic. I was lucky enough after a lot of research to work with some amazing people and for those of you not familiar with the Ivory Coast, you will be enamoured with the place and in West Africa by the time I am done.

The most important factors for me in terms of the day were as follows:

  1. Dress(es) I had two wedding gowns
  2. Hair (there is a growing natural hair movement in the Ivory Coast as shown by groups such as Nappys de Babi (naturals of Abidjan).

So lets start with the dress. The morning dress was a breeze to find. I found it on my first day of searching with my mother, sister and aunt. The dress was the Antoinette by Ian Stuart. It went against everything I thought I would go for. I started my search wanting something that was more typical, tight with a mermaid tail. I tried numerous dresses with that design but found them all just ok. They fit was perfect, my waist looked tint but they just lacked a certain oommmpphh. I came out for a last walk around the shop, saw The Dress which was the opposite of everything I had looked for and just thought what the hell. When I tried it on…. Lets say I knew. I had a greater sense of certainty with that dress than I've had with a lot of other things in my life so if that's not love I don't know what is! I had the dress amended slightly (I always need something out of the ordinary!). So the dress has a romantic falling sleeve while the original is a strapless dress.


Now for the second dress. Firstly why did I need two dresses… Well for those of you who are Africans you know that our weddings can be rather grandiose affairs. The traditional wedding had over 500 people (did I mention you know maybe 30% of that number very well!!). The hubby wanted a large number of people and I wanted an intimate gathering so we compromised. An open ceremony in the morning where all were invited and in the evening a small wedding for just 150 of our closest friends and family. So I needed two dresses of course. The second dress was another dream dress. It was perfect for the evening and one I designed based on a dress I tried on in NYC.

Getting this dress was as hard as the first was easy. It took over a year to find someone who would accept to do it due to its intricate details. And when they did begin the work they majorly messed it up. I felt like I was going crazy trying to explain to my Lebanese designers whose shop is in Dubai but whose tailor lives in Lebanon. Anyway look below at the many trials and tribulations and the final perfect piece.

First failed dress


Second failed dress. How hard is it to copy?!?!?

Needless to say I was sssssoooo exited. Two beautiful dresses. I could not have done with only one and I feel so blessed and lucky to have been able to get the two. One may be sold (the Ian Stuart) but the second stays in my wardrobe forever. I WILL find another occasion to which I can wear it.

Tune in for more wedding prep tales. Xo



Interview with Yashi Brown

I have been very fortunate to have Yashi Brown grant me this interview. It's been a while in coming and I have posted it later than planned. Yashi is absolutely gorgeous. And with good reason, as a younger Jackson family member she definitely comes equipped with beauty and talent. Her mother Remy is my favourite Jackson and is to this day absolutely gorgeous. Anyway peep below for the interview and please follow her on Facebook and in her endeavours. The work she does is amazing and something that I can relate to in my personal life. Xo

Some people know you as one of the Jackson Family's younger members, others as an artist and mental health advocate. Can you give us a quick background of yourself?

I guess you can say that I'm a little bit of both :) I first think of my self as a poetess/ writer which also includes songwriting. I'm also a passionate and very active mental health advocate. Last but not least and if anything first, I'm the 7th of 25 (as we call us) 2nd generation Jackson Family grandkids.

Where do you gain your inspiration for your writing?

Everywhere and everything within our concious and subcious minds then interpreting through the powerful world of emotion. As a writer you're a middle-man or woman, an observer of life, pastlife, afterlife and everything inbetween. Any place I can reach and feel with all six and yet to be discovered senses is where I gain inspiration! Lol.

You advocate issues of mental health. Where does that passion stem from and how does it manifest itself?

This passion stems from my personal challeges in coping with Bipolar Disorder. At a young age I was forced into the darkest depths this existence can bring. The severe on and off bipolar depression was such a difficult battle that I always said if I was able to find balance and get back to living a healthy and happy existence I would HAVE to tell others like myself. That's how it all began.

How long have you been natural for?

I've now been natural since New Year's Day of 2012! It was a complete and very welcomed accident to say the least.

What does natural hair mean to you?

Natural hair means confidence and being comfortable in your own skin and with women it doesn't get anymore daring than with our hair. It also means letting go of our idea of what society with-in and outiside our culture assumes “beauty” to be. Namely with un-african american hair. It's so interesting to me how I get more compliments on my hair from all nationalities pretty much across the board than ever before.

What is your natural hair regime?

Wow this one I had to learn the hard way. Silk bonnet, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize and remain untangled!!! I also don't where my afro everyday. Sometimes I'll give it a break and pull it back just straight conditioning it for a week to make sure it stays strong and healthy.

What tips can you give our readers about their hair regime?

Conditioning and moisurizing is the most important thing to remember. Keep your hair untangeled and be concious of the types of combs and brushes you're using. We're no longer dealing with relaxed hair, pressed, or human hair extentions and I had to learn this the hard way. Spend the money on combs and brushes that protect natural hair textures.

What protective styles do you use if any?

I'll again losely tie my hair back for a few days with a deep condition.

Who are the most inspirational people /groups in your life?

The people who inspire me the most are my mother and father for simply always being by my side through the rough emotional and mental challenges thoughout my younger years and adulthood. I always had a place to fall. Also my faith in God and daily prayer is what gets me through.

Where can readers read your work and find out more about you?

Right now I'll be republishing my book with Motivaitonal Press which should be available online and in stores end of September and beginning of October. In the meantime check out my website www.yashibrown.com and facebook page /yashibrown for any new updated poems. (website currently under reconstruction)



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December in Dubai

Nothing quiet beats having a warm and sunny Xmas break. I have been enjoying Dubai over the last few days. And the best thing has the weather. Getting ready to go out in the evenings without a jacket and scarf is bloody great…

Getting ready for the NY with my new purchases:

Tom ford lipstick. In this case Black Orchid. I love Mr Ford. Out of his 20 or so lipstick collection I can wear a good third which is almost impossible with my skin tone when I deal with other main stream make up brands.

New Arabic perfume oils. I have decided to start wearing scent oils so that by mixing them with my normal perfume. Again Mr Ford's new fragrances and their gorgeous packaging had me spending more money than the husband was happy with. My collection is steadily growing. ;) .

I was at the Dubai Marina walk yesterday and came accross this cute necklace. I have decided to incorporate it into my NY outfit so not have to change my top. I can't wait to show you the end result.

Happy New Years celebrations guys. I hope to be way more productive in the new year.


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Reader comment: pick n’ drop

This is our new section. I will endeavour to answer reader questions I new posts as it allows me to answer more information and start discussions with other readers. Here is the first one from Jennifer. ;)

If you have big Afro but long thick hair and you want to do pick and drop,what needs to be done? Do you relax it? How long do you relax it for?

Hey honey. I would NEVER advocate relaxing your hair. Especially to do something as temporary as the hairstyle that is pick n drop. If you have long hair, your hair will most probably not be the good for the style as it suits shorter hair. See here for my previous review about it.

What you can do:

If push comes to shoves you could blow dry your hair straight. It's better than relaxing but I would not recommend it as your hair is exposed and unless you take very good care of it may become dry/break.

If you are going for extensions that look like natural hair then leaving your natural hair out will not be the end of the work but again the main thing will be Moisture Moisture Moisture. That defeats the purpose as protective styling is often about taking a break from the hardcore hair care regime.

This is a great example of the pick and drop which compliments natural hair.

So I would advise you t go for a normal box braid or yarn braids. There are some great styles out there and they are back in vogue.


(Source: Hungryabagal. Photo and make up by Kata and Santi) I have major girl crush on Yagazie. ;)


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