For all intents and purposes, its already winter here in Chicago. Seriously guys, I try my best not to think about it. This year I was so EXCITED about Fall. About the changing leaves, the new crisp smell in the air, carving pumpkins and snuggling under a blanket. But I swear, Fall went by in a WEEK. I heard on the radio today that it could either rain or snow later on…
…not gonna lie – I shed a tear.
Along with some slight nostalgia, I’m embracing the new cold weather. Why? Because of S’mores Martinis of course. No – you didn’t hear me wrong! If it’s going to be COLD, then I deserve to have a drink that not only warms me on the inside, but reminds me of those long, lost camping days with my family. Sticky, darkened (in my case, charred) marshmallows over a fire, laughter and smiles.
This is a fairly easy recipe. You just mix, shake and pour. But of course I had to add some chocolate and crumbled graham crackers to the rim of the glass. And my signature charred marshmallow. Lol.
4 ounces Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka
2 ounces Trader Vic’s Chocolate Liqueur
2-3 ounces Cream or Almond Milk (whichever you prefer)
Graham crackers for rimming glass
1 bar Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate
In the process of making this drink I learned that the cream/almond milk is a MUST if you don’t want to die from a sugar overdose. The sweet Marshmallow Vodka with the sweet chocolate liqueur was too much for me before I added almond milk. Next time I’ll know to purchase cream instead.
I also learned that I ALWAYS purchase too many ingredients. Lol.
If you’re interested in rimming your glass, follow the directions below:
1. Melt your chocolate in a double-broiler (or create a double broiler like I did using a oven safe bowl and placing it over a pot with boiling water). You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave, but ensure that you only leave it in their a few seconds – you don’t want it runny.
2. Crumble up your graham crackers into small pieces with clean hands and place them in a bowl larger than the rim of your martini glass.
3. Dip the rim of your martini glass evenly into the melted chocolate, then dip it into the graham crackers. And viola! Chocolate/Graham Cracker rimmed glasses. Make sure to place them into the fridge to harden the chocolate so it doesn’t drip all the way down the glass. And remember – have fun! These don’t have to be perfect :)
And now you’re all done! Mix your drink, pour and enjoy! Don’t mind my darkened marshmallows – its just how I prefer them. Hehe
Can’t think of fun, easy snacks for your Halloween Party? Grab that leftover chocolate, those marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and a few skewer sticks and make some these bad babies!
It’s been TOO long since I’ve posted. My new plan *crosses fingers* ss that I write at least 3 blog posts a week and have one new video every Tuesday. Some of the blog posts may be simply sharing new fav items, an outfit, hair styles, recipes, ect. I feel like we’ve have this blog for a minute, but that I never really divulge anything about myself. So that’s going to end!
Today I share my love of Marley Twists. I’ve been wearing this style off and off for the past year (once I discovered their awesomeness AFTER Senegalese twists). They’re comfortable, easy to install, they look natural and of course – they’re inexpensive. C’mon ya’ll – I was ALL on on-board after figuring that out! Haha.
Also, if you haven’t already, follow me on Instagram, @MsTBennett.
Do you love Marley Twists as much as I do?
Are you looking for a new Skin Care System?
Check out ToccaraRenee’s experience with the Skin Care line DermOrganic.
I’m back for my second video EVER! Haul starts at 1:43 :)
The International Natural Hair Meetup Day
Nationally sponsored by Natural Girls Rock
Locally Sponsored by Whole Foods Market – Arizona Stores
Natural hair meetups are events designed to share information, techniques, inspiration and products to aid individuals in their natural hair journey. This annual one day event allows women across the country to meet in their own communities to network and receive education on natural hair. This day is so amazing because women across the country are participating in meetups on the same day.
Saturday May 18th, 2013, I had the chance to experience this event that showcased natural hair on a large scale in Phoenix, Arizona. The Event was located at Mijana Restuarant in Tempe, Arizona. I was in awe of the amount of beauty that graced the room. While there were a few men in attendance , this event showcased multifaceted women of color who came to embrace their natural coils. The Hosts, Desniege Joseph – NubianGlamRock Entertainment, LLC and Crystal Williams-Jackson – ESLFriedRice, Natural This, Natural That; did an amazing job facilitating an event that was educational, fun and overall very beneficial for Phoenix area naturals.
The FIRST natural hair wars featured the work of local natural hair stylists and gave us a peak at just how fabulous the valley stylist really are! I must say for me this was vital as I have been here for a little over a year and finding the right stylist has been a journey in itself. I was blessed to meet the owner of HairLoks by Arlette, Arlette Pender! Ladies if you are in the valley and looking for consultation please give them a call.
One of the many highlights of the event for me was my ability to be able to contribute to the House of Miracles. House of Miracles, Inc. (HOMI) has been a 501© (3) nonprofit organization since November 2001. The facility is a subsidiary of HOMI and has opened its doors as a “Peaceful Living House.” This event allowed us to be able to donate new or gently used hair products to women and children who may be in need. In return, those who donated were given raffle tickets with a chance to win prizes.
Swag Bag Sponsors
Phoenix naturals also received a “swag bag” with an array of sample products from nationwide sponsors.
This event was exactly what the “valley” needed, allowing women of color who share the common bond of natural hair to meet in a safe and friendly environment. I look forward to next year’s International Natural Hair Meet up day in 2014.
Curly Deviants Stay tuned for this weeks “unbagging” Video where I reveal some of the amazing products found in my SWAG BAG!
On the heels of removing my Havana Twists I decided to give Senegalese Twists another try since I’d like them so much the first time. You can find the original post on my Senegalese twists HERE. THIS time, however, I did them much smaller. I’ve already seen a difference in how the ends are much more easily staying together. *fistpump*
Just wanted to share my new look!
Upkeep is fairly simple.
- I spritz my hair at night with my water, castor oil and Oyin Hair Dew mixture
- Tie down with a silk scarf
- Sleep like a baby
Do you like Senegalese Twists?
“One Good thing about music, when it hits you- you feel no pain” – Bob Marley
Good music has a way of moving your soul. First it will sit there, and then gradually every bit of your body begins to sway in a familiar direction. The soulful sounds of Elle Winston did just that for me! Her artistry fuses Jazz, Soul and Blues to birth a majestic flow of ballads and toe tapping sessions.
It’s my pleasure to introduce our readers to Lauren “Elle” Winston…..
When I first heard your music I became captivated. Your vibe took a hold of me instantly. Your versatility is apparent as I heard the gentleness of Goapele, the edge of Tracey Chatman and constant whispers of Phyllis Hyman. What were some of your music influences growing up; and with that what messages are you trying to convey in your music today?
So many influences!!! It’s hard to name a few. I have definitely been influenced by singers like Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan, Celine, Whitney, Mariah, Ella – all the big voices, but also really inspired by Tracy Chapman, Corinne Bailey Rae, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Marley, Fiona Apple, etc. List goes on and on…!!!
In my music I try to convey truth, soulfulness and beauty. I think there is something so affectionate about the sweet spots in a voice, the spots where it floats and soars and I try to find those in my own voice and use them. Perhaps that’s the classical singer in me talking. ;) Ultimately, I’m trying to convey intimacy – I’m trying to connect.
I must say that I’m extremely disappointed that I missed you while you were growing and maturing your craft in Arizona. How has your time in Arizona played a significant part in your growth as a musician?
Though I’m originally from Indiana, Arizona is really my home base. My family and friends are mostly there and the roots of my music making are definitely there. I studied music at Arizona State University, so obviously that was a big part of my growth as a singer, but also getting to play with musicians in multiple bands was priceless for me. It helped me be less afraid to perform and helped me better understand the needs of the instrumentalists I play with, etc. Priceless!
That experience was so surreal. I had seen Gil perform once at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix (with my Mom) before my band was able to open for him. At that first performance, I remember being in awe of his stage presence. He was funny and witty – so sharp and intelligent and obviously on top of all THAT – he played his ass off. He always had an interesting band too – he played with a harmonica player that first time I saw him and I remember thinking “I should do that!” Lol He was such an inspiring person and he gave so many gifts. To this day, opening up for him aside, it was such a privilege to get to see him perform before he passed.
Who else would you love to work with? (I would personally love to hear you collaborate with Allen Stone or Norwegian Musician Bernhoft.)
Hands down – I want to work with THE ROOTS – all of them! I love their musicianship, their spirit, their style, their commitment, everything. Also – right up there with The Roots is Gary Clark Jr. – he’s a phenomenal songwriter and guitar player, I think we could do something amazing together. I’ll see what I can do on those Allen Stone and Bernhoft collabs though! ;)
In addition to being a talented artist, you are active and vocal in regards to social issues as well. Can you elaborate on your passion for women’s issues; from both a women’s and an artist’s perspective.
For me, being a woman and an artist are not things that I necessarily separate – so I really only have one perspective on it and that is that I adamantly reject any and all methods of social violence against women and girls, period! It is such an overwhelming issue, the scope of violence is so large, but there are SO many women working and fighting and loving, that change and progress is inevitable. It takes time and I may not see all the change I’d like to in my lifetime, but I believe in the power of women and girls – and in the power of men and boys as allies.
Over the past few weeks I have grooved to your music and noticed a substantial amount of growth since the release of, Who said it was simple? , to your new EP entitled, Uncertainty. Tell us about your progression as an individual and how that marked a turning point for you as an artist.
I’ve definitely grown a lot working on this project. I found myself being more honest and vulnerable and making an effort to go places that I was worried I shouldn’t go. I wasn’t sure people would understand me, and it seems that has been the opposite of reactions – so that’s been lovely. Who Said It Was Simple?, was about getting over a hump – the hump of making my first musical offering. It was hard! Lol Uncertainty on the other hand, was about exploring more and with a little experience under my belt, I felt I had some tools to do that with fewer reservations.
Uncertainty, in my opinion felt very intimate on many levels. My personal favorites were, “My Black” and “Sister.” I felt a strong connection to both records on a personal level. Give us a little background on how those tracks came to life.
The phrase “My Black” came to me from a poem I’d heard at a reading – how cliché! Ha! True story! I remember connecting with that phrase, and thinking about my blackness as something that was individual, it was mine and it was unique to me/my experience and when I got the track from Kevan Aaron, I knew that I had to use that line and somehow turn that into a story about my identity.
Sisters came more generally from being in New York and encountering a lot of hard women. I remember smiling at women, even little girls and their faces being completely stoic as if they were looking through me. Maybe that is just a NY thing, but it triggered something for me and so I wrote Sisters from being urked by that.
Let’s talk natural hair! We here at Curly Deviants are in love with your crown. How long have you been natural, tell us a little bit about your journey.
Ooo!! I’ve been natural overall for about 10 years. It’s been great and challenging. I always talk to my friends and sisters about this relationship that my hair and I have. If I’m pulling her too tight, she’s fussy, if I’m not sleeping with something on my head at night, she’s pissed! Lol I love my hair because there are literally NO styles that I can’t wear or wear a version of. The versatility is the greatest part. The challenge comes in being consistent with maintenance and things like that.
Photos By Jai Lovehall
What are your go to products and some of your favorite styles?
I use Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream daily. That stuff is amazing when it comes to detangling my hair. I also do a deep condition with it from time to time. I also like the TREsemme Naturals Moisture Shampoo and Moisture Conditioner. If I’m not using those I use the Relaxed and Natural Shampoo and Conditioner by Pantene. I wear a medium afro- wash and go style, a pompadour (classic up-do) or two French braids (Tracee Ellis Ross style). I also do a twist-out at least once a month.
You are currently based in New York, how has being in the concrete jungle influenced your natural hair journey if any?
Being in New York has actually helped my hair a lot. Though NY is a bit smoggy at times, the climate is so much moister than Arizona. In Arizona, it was a BATTLE keeping my hair even reasonably moisturized, it was just so dry. Here, it takes fewer products to make that happen and I find that I wear my hair out (afro) much more often. It actually keeps my ears warm in the winter. Haha!
Image is a big deal within the music industry. What response have you received in the industry, in regard to your natural coils? What would you say to an artist who is toying with the idea of making a change such as the “BIG CHOP?”
I get nothing but great feedback about my hair from people when I perform. It may sound odd, but I’m usually one of the few women they see performing with natural hair – obviously many wear wigs, extensions, relaxers. This is not to say that those are somehow bad, it just means that when people see me, they are often excited, surprised or puzzled – “How did you do that with your hair?”
If someone is thinking about going natural – JUST DO IT! There’s such exploration and adventure in it and that is something we all benefit from.
Is there anything you would like to add to better acquaint the Readers of Curly Deviants, with Elle Winston. What awesome things can we expect from you this year!? Upcoming shows/appearances?
This year, I hope to perform a lot and keep writing – maybe even an album at some point – we’ll see! Yikes – I’m likely putting my foot in my mouth! :-)
Show your Support & Let ELLE WINSTON know how much you LOVE her Vibe!
I recently had the chance to stop in one of my favorite stores in Phoenix, Arizona ” La Grande Orange Grocery” and picked up what looked like a motivation book but turned out to be a journal. Not just any Journal but one that would allow me to actively participate with others around me, allowing me to consciously appreciate not only myself but allow me to do a favor for another.
Follow me on Instagram to keep up with my GOOD DEEDS of the DAY
- Who wants to YouTube how to make yogurt cheese using a sieve and cheese cloth, while attempting to make yogurt cheese using a sieve and cheese cloth. Nah, I’m good.
- I can’t Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and follow all those steps at the same time…. HELLO!!!
- Sadly, we all can’t be Martha Stewart. (*bubble bursts*) However, there are times when the recipes that seem really difficult, aren’t that difficult at all.
What you need:
- 2 containers refrigerated crescent rolls
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast/tenderloin
- 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup broccoli, steamed
- 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Philadelphia cooking cream (optional, can sub for 1/2 cup mayonnaise)
- 1 tsp dill
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper
What to do:
- Set your oven to 375°.
- Add all ingredients and spices, except egg white and crescent roll dough, into a bowl and mix.
- Open both containers of crescent roll dough, unroll but do not separate them. Place them side by side on a cookie sheet. Press all perforated lines and ends together to make one full sheet of dough. Make sure all seams are pressed to ensure dough does not leak out.
- Add chicken broccoli filling into the center of the dough.
- Along the 2 outside edges of the dough, cut dough into strips about 2 inches in width from end to end towards the center. It will resemble a fringe on each side.
- Fold up the front end, and then began crossing/overlapping strips by taking one fringe strip from one side and crossing it over the filling, then taking the opposite side fringe strip and crossing it over. Before you reach the back-end fold up the back in to secure the filling and cross the remaining strips over. Discard any excess strips or dough.
- Egg wash the dough with the egg white.
- Bake for 25-28 mins or until the top is golden brown.
What are some of your cooking stipulations?