Posts Categorized: Chai’s Picks

July 8, 2011

On The Night Stand

It’s Summer, which for me means nothing more than the anticipation of reading countless books, after books….after books. Wait, what? Is that you calling me a nerd, bibliophile etc.?

Yes, well. I am that indeed! Compared to the Winter months were I’m known to canoodle under the blankets and read for hours at a time, during the Summer you’ll find me outdoors, flipping through a page turner while at a coffee shop, at the local garden or in between train rides here in NYC. It’s an absolute must for me to have a to-read book on deck, and because it’s Summer many publishers adhere to the Beach Reading fanatics.

Here are just a few picks that I’m currently reading/will read again/or on the wish list

  1. The Best of Simple: Picked this up while visiting the Schomburg Museum in Harlem a while back, and loved reading every minute of these short stories by Langston Hughes. You’ll meet Jess B. Semple, a ‘character’ if there ever was one who is anything but simple.  It’s a lighthearted read that will make you smile as Jess takes you through the ups/downs of his many love affairs, money woes and life in the bustling city of Harlem, NYC
  2. 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter: This one really is a no brainer if you’re interested in a fun, hysterical, keep you up all night because it’s JUST that good and juicy…type read. I’ve mentioned this gem on the blog before, and now that’s officially out in PB, I will continue my devout adoration. Seriously, the worst part about reading this book is the anticipation of waiting for something new from Ernessa…*fingers crossed.*
  3. Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon:  This was a highly rated suggestion from just about everybody in my book circle for many years, yet I always bypassed…until now. Granted it took me several chapters to get into the crux of the story, yet after that was secure I was able to appreciate the almost magical world Zafon creates for his audience. It’s captivating because there is Love seeping from every page, the sentences are crafted so beautifully…you’re almost tempted to stop, take note and refer back. In a nutshell…this one’s for the Book Lovers, & the journeys they take to ensure their passion is sustained & carried on through the generations. Loved it!
  4. Silver Sparrow, by Tayari Jones: Picked this up at the bookstore (yes, I still BUY books;) while on lunch break several weeks ago and could not wait to dig in. As someone who has mysteries hidden behind every nook in her own family, I related to this coming of age story centered around two sisters growing up in the late 60’s. Both are of the same age, live in the same town…yet have never met. The one thing they do have in common is their father, a man who knowingly married each of their mothers while ignoring the inevitable consequences for all those involved. Tayari is a wonderful writer, and connects with the reader without preaching tales of morality…which I appreciated. Great read no matter the season.

*On the to-be-read list*

Any (if not all) books from the Octavia Butler collection. It’s difficult for me to admit, but I have yet to read any of her works & jumped (squealed really…) at the chance to participate in the Octavia Butler Book Club being hosted by Racialicious. First up is Wild Seed, which I’m anxious to get started on for my next trip to Florida in a few days.

*Reading anything page-turner-ish? What’s on your Night Stand? Head over to the FB page and let me know to win a copy of SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones!!*

July 6, 2011

Are You Ready For a Natural Hair Pool Party?!

These days if you haven’t been to a natural hair meetup in your area, you are truly missing out on the opportunity to learn & become inspired by beautiful women. Many are now being hosted & sponsored by some of our favorite names as well! Natural Selection along with Naturally Curly are putting on the sweetest event here in NYC, a natural hair POOL PARTAY!!

Honestly, I think this is too precious and luxurious! Gift bags, demos, cocktails (a bar-side POOL) featuring some of the top brands in the game! If you haven’t guessed, I will be there…swimsuit ready & hopefully sippin a cocktail poolside;)!

Deets can be found by clicking link up top, PLUS…save $5 at checkout after entering coupon code “POOL.” If you’re planning on attending, hope to see you there!

June 29, 2011

Huetiful Steamer POP-UP Store + 15% Discount!!

I’m excited for this event & will be sure to check it out this coming weekend! I’ve been vying for the Huetiful Steamer for AGES now, and to have the opportunity to not only try it out, but get an AMAZING discount is just right up my alley.

The Pop Up Store will be going down in BK’s own Karen’s Body Beautiful. Please click here for directions & to RSVP. To peep an amazing review of the steamer check out Natural Selection!

If you’re planning on attending, hope to see you there!

June 18, 2011

I’ve been Shellacked!

It’s safe to say that I’ve been slightly enamored with the care & color of my nails lately. With a busy schedule mixed with school, work, blogging and tiny remnants of a social life, I recently turned to reinventing my mood by indulging in a myriad of nail colors. At this point, the polish collections is seriously reaching epic proportions.

But while visiting the fam in Florida for a few days, I stumbled into a local nail salon which was offering an incredible sale: 20% off all services, including the newly popular Shellac manicure!  Like a moth to a flame…

What is Shellac?  Apart from being a savior to those prone to nicks and scratches minutes after leaving a nail salon, Shellac offers you two weeks worth of manicure bliss, with zero chipping, quick drying time when applied & a cost effective alternative to the other popular Calgel set.

I was definitely skeptical at first, but was blown away after my nail technician began to quickly buff my newly vamped nails with alcohol swabs, leaving it with the glossiest finish. No more than five minutes after the last of the top-coat was applied, my nails were 100% dry, and felt free of smudges, annoying air bubbles, with the benefit of smoother ridges.

Who it’s ideal for:

  • if you delve in work that requires a ton of lifting, leaving nails brittle and chip prone – Shellac is a great alternative
  • you’re a no fuss person who’s tire of seeing chipped nails and having flyaway hairs caught in the ridges of your nails
  • if you’re curious, and love the idea of a having more options when it comes to the care of your nails

What’s the process like?

Very simple! Shellac is similar to a regular lacquer polish in that you apply a base coat + nail coat + top coat. In order to achive the quick drying time, a UV light is used immediately after each coat of base/nail/top coat are applied. This helps to seal in the color, which resembles more of a gel like finish than a paint one.

The main downside I found to the Shellac, is the lack of color choices. Much of the selection (which is roughly about 30 shades) is pretty monotone, and lacking on the adventurous tip. The system itself is still picking up steam in the nail care world, so hopefully we’ll see a more diverse array of colors in the future!

So far, I’m very happy with the process. Because of the discount I spent about $25. The average cost does range across the board, but if you’re looking to find a Shellac Salon in your area, click here.

If you’ve recently tried Shellac, please share your experiences! I’ll be actively searching for a new salon once back in NYC, and definitely recommend you give it a shot this Summer!

June 7, 2011

Thieves, Bandits & a small Riot

A few weeks ago on a day when the world was apparently supposed to end….roughly around 6pm EST., I decided to trek out to SOHO to enjoy the festivities over at the annual BUST Craftacular event. This was my first go at a crafts fair, and while the venue was hawter than all get OUT…I came away with a bag-full of goodies. Enough to make me smile & share a few with you guys.

I’ve always loved headbands with bold colors and patterns & was instantly drawn to this one. The Designer is Michelle Courtois, who’s based out in Brooklyn, NY.

It’s growing more difficult to find a head-tie to support the thickness of my hair, in the past I’ve broken more than a few cheapies. This one, also from Courtois Designs, fits almost effortlessly around any high or low bun I’m trying to create. LOVE.IT.

Spotted this cute printed turban as I was exhausted and about to flee the fair. Theif & Bandit has been on my Etsy Fav list for a few months now, and I was thrilled to walk by their table which was filled with pops of color & cool finds. I snagged this turban in hopes of wearing it during the Summer.

I’m late to the turban trend, but think it’s a #win#win for gals like me who’s agita grows two fold when excess in heat & hair mix.

This cute piece found on Miss Riot’s Shop, love the colors!


To check out pics from the event, & to learn more about the vendors present click here. Are you guys fans of hair accessories? Where do you score your finds?

February 3, 2011

Natural Hair After Work Mixer

Here’s another great opportunity to co-mingle with fellow natural haired ladies, swap product secrets & shop for some of your favorite hair goodies while at the Karen’s Body Beautiful Spa in Brooklyn, New York.

Karen along with SumKindaWndrful from Youtube have teamed up to host a Natural Hair After Work Mixer! If you’re in the area do stop by, it’s sure to be good times. Z from Leave In The Kinks will also be on hand dishing out her gorgeous new “I Love Your Hair” cards.

To RSVP to the event, click here.

When: Friday, February 18th,

Time: 5pm – 8pm

Where: Karen’s Body Beautiful Spa, 436 Myrtle Ave Brooklyn, NY