2009 - A Look Back

has been a great year for the Naturally Beautiful Hair Blog. I found a common bond, friendship, humor, joy, understanding, and a gained a wealth of knowledge because of this blog. It is a joy chatting with you all and exchanging stories and opinions. I am very proud of not only myself, but of you all for being so honest and open with your own experiences, questions, excitement and love of being naturally beautiful.

Here is to wishing you all a wonderful New Year. To remembering to be proud of our napps, curls, kinks, afro's, locs, twist, dreads, braids, cornrows and more. I hope your lives are filled with enrichment, family, friends and happiness. And here is to another successful, informative and fabulous year for the Naturally Beautiful Blog.

Little time off... :-)

Hello everyone,

I am taking a much needed couple of days off, and taking advantage of my holiday work break. Lots of Sleep, Exercise, Meditation & Self-reflection. I am thinking of you and this blog daily. I will be back before this week is over. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. Talk to you all soon!

~ Karen @ Naturally Beautiful Hair Blog ~

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

~ & Happy Holidays ~

For everyone that celebrated Hanukkah, I hope you had a wonderful celebration. And I also hope that everyone that celebrates Kwanzaa, will have a blessed celebration!!!
- From Karen & Family

Inspirational photo of the day

Another great find, from Theirry Baptiste on Facebook. Beautiful picture!

Time Flies

It seems that time really has run away from me. It's been 2 weeks since I have posted and what a hectic time it's been.

In all of the craziness, I have hardly had a moment to think about Christmas. Harry and Brad can't believe how uninteresting our Christmas tree is this year!! They think that I have turned from being a Christmas obsessed maniac to a Christmas Grinch! Not so, I keep on telling them...just lots of other great things I am trying to work through...

As from this Wednesday I will be taking one month away from the blog. I need some time to recharge and refresh...however, I am very much looking forward to continue to share my experiences, inspirations, travels etc. with you all in 2010 here on ABT!!!

Image - John Dolan photographer

Inspirational Quote of the Day

"Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice."
- Bethany Hamilton

Although I love the sugar and spice of little girls, i still think this is a cool quote. How about we say that we encourage and love every aspect of a young girls personality. Strenght, creativity, love and beauty. - Karen :-)

Natural Beauty Spotlight - Namaste Nubian

This weeks naturally beauty is a young lady that goes by the name of namaste.nubian on myspace. She take great photos and has a very earthy/organic beauty about her.

Miss thang!

I love this art work. These are actually six different drawings that I combined together for this post. I can not remember the artist name, but when I find it - I will update this post. I love it! Enjoy...

Giveaway Winners!!

On December fourth, I ask everyone to write in and tell us what their alter egos would be, if they had the opportunity to do a photo shoot. To read all the entries, go to bracelet giveaway. There were some cool entries, and here are the winners:

The prizes go to Honey & Nivia!! Whom ever, out of the two of you, emails me first (naturlhairbeauty@gmail.com), with their name, mailing address, and first choice of a bracelet design gets to choose the design they want. Thank you for entering the contest ladies.

I wonder what my alter ego would be if I could do a photo shoot. Hmmm.... ;-).

Free People model Jocelyn

As reported on Mane and Chic, the clothing Magazine Free People has been featuring a beautiful new model by the name of Jocelyn. To see the flip book, click here.

Featured Reader - Ms. Bar B

I love Barbara's (aka -Ms. Bar B) hair cut, and what a beautiful smile! Also, see a photo below of her and lovely daughter.

Dating Advice from Redbook

Dating Advice From Redbook:

4 Secrets to a Spectacular Relationship
By dating editor Nicole Yorio for Redbook

What do couples who describe their relationship as spectacular do differently than those who describe theirs as simply so-so? The differences are quite small, actually.

"When we look at happy couples, we see that great partnerships are not the result of hours of hard work," says relationship researcher Terri L. Orbuch, Ph.D., who followed 373 couples for over 22 years as part of a marriage study funded by the National Institutes of Health. "It's small changes in behavior and attitude that can transform your relationship." In her new book, "5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great," Orbuch shares the steps you can take to a spectacular relationship.

#1. Understand Each Other's Needs
"The main reason marriages break up is not conflict, communication problems, or physical incompatibility," Orbuch says. "It's frustration -- the day-to-day disappointment of the gap between what you expect and how your partner acts -- that is most damaging." To diffuse that frustration, share your expectations with each other. Maybe you desire more affection and he craves more relaxed couple time. "And be sure to check in with your partner once a year, as added pressures or life changes can create new expectations," Orbuch says.

#2. Show Him Some Love
Men whose partners give them affirmation -- those words and gestures that show they are appreciated, respected, and loved -- are twice as likely to describe themselves as happy in their relationship. And men may need affirmation more than women, Orbuch's research showed. "Women are constantly receiving flattery from friends and even strangers who say, 'Love your outfit!'" she says. "But men don't get that recognition." Can you imagine a passerby stopping your guy to compliment him on how well his tie matches his shirt? Not gonna happen -- which is why men rely on that attention from their mates. Luckily, there's another payoff to your flattery: He's more likely to return those loving deeds back to you.

#3. Take 10
A weekly date night is always recommended as a way to reconnect, but sometimes all you need is a few minutes. "I call this the 10-Minute Rule: Take 10 minutes a day to talk about anything, except for responsibilities or chores," Orbuch says. Throw out Mom's old advice about how an air of mystery keeps the flame alive: Orbuch's research showed that 98 percent of happy couples say they intimately understand their partners. And knowing your partner intimately isn't always about engaging in heavy conversations: Anything that helps you learn something new will bring you closer, Orbuch says. You can bond over why you think your dog is the smartest one on the block or which superpower you'd want most. You'll get to know each other's inner world and strengthen your bond of happiness.

#4. Focus on the Good
The best way to make your relationship better is to work at fixing what's wrong, right? Nope. "The most effective way to boost fun and passion is to add positive elements to your marriage," Orbuch says. "That positive energy makes us feel good and motivates us to keep going in that direction." This doesn't mean that you can't feel -- or talk about -- anything negative, but "pretend you are weighing your interactions on a scale," she says. "If you want a happier relationship, the positive side needs to far outweigh the bad." The more you honor the love and joy in your bond, the sooner you'll transform your partnership into one that is truly great.

- Source

My Art Portfolio - "Wah's Loc's"

Old sketch from 2008, titled "Wah's Loc's", inspired by professional model Wahidah Fowler.

**Please do not use or copy my art work without my permission. If you would like to share this story or art on your blog or website, please email me at the above email address. Thanks!

Inspirational Photos

These photos, with India Arie, catch my eye every time I see them. Just beautiful!

Christmas Wish List

These heart design breakfast cups and saucers by Nina Campbell are definitely something to add to the Christmas wish list. In fact Nina has an entire range of heart printed china on her website.

PS. Sorry I haven't been here much this week...things are pretty hectic around here at the moment.

Wooden Bracelet Giveaway!!

It's time for another Naturally Beautiful Hair Giveaway!! Up for grabs are two wood carved bracelets. There will be two winners, just in time to get yourself or someone else a Christmas gift. Look below to see how to win:

Altered Ego photo shoots are really popular now. After The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Nene (and the other cast mates) aired the photos from their altered ego photo shoot, tons of other celebs and everyday people started showing off their own photographs. If you could do an Alter Ego photo shot, what would be your two personalities and why?? Be as dramatic, descriptive or as silly as you wanna be. Look below at these alter ego photos from Ciara and Tisha Campbell, as examples. Please submit your entry in the comment box for this post!!

The two winners will be chosen on December 12th at 9 pm. After two winners are chosen the following Monday, whom ever contacts me first will be able to chose what design they want, first. Good luck with your entries!!! And check back on December 14th to see who won.

Your Stamp of Approval

Wouldn't it be cool if you could go into your local post office and pick out a stamp that actually represents you? Just a thought...

My Art Portfolio - "Curly Afro"

- Artwork by Karen B.

I love to sketch, and have always loved creating art. So I hope to be able to share my sketches with you all over time. It will encourage me to sketch more often.
If you would like to share your art on this blog, send me an email at naturalhairbeauty@gmail.com.

**Please do not use or copy my art work without my permission. If you would like to share this story or art on your blog or website, please email me at the above email address. Thanks!

Jewelry by Rocquelle

I love my new necklace!! The front of it is cute with the pearl and chain combination. It's dressy enough to wear to work, but would also be cute with a cocktail dress. I also love the back, with the animal print ribbon. Just a touch of naughty and nice! Great combination... ;-).

This necklace was created by a Jewelry designer by the name of Rocquelle. Here is more about Rocquelle, her contact information and where you can see more about her and her jewelry line.

I am a 24 year old fashionista, stylist, closet auditor, crafty d.i.y.er (my made up word, lol) and philanthropist from Houston, TX. When I am not working in the fashion arena, you will find me in the schools as an Community Outreach Associate for Girl Scouts, or spending time with my family and my awesome Babe! After experimenting with creating jewelry and accessories from a variety of sources to rave reviews, I decided to turn my hobby into a business venture, Eclectically Feminine Jewelry and Accessories! I love all things feminine (I am very much a girly-girl) and lovely,especially pearls, which is evident in my eclectic yet feminine designs.

Rocquelle also creates custom pieces. So if you have something in mind, email her the details of what you want. You can read more about her at Eclectically Feminine or you can email her at eclecticallyfeminine@gmail.com.

New Bits at Black & Spiro

We've finally received our delivery of Megan Park cushions in at Black & Spiro along with some of our other lovely cushions {top image}. I thought I would take a couple of photos of some other bits which we just received in last week. The little Antique brass mirror is one of my favourite things in the shop at the moment and the colourful ginger jar lamp bases are divine!!

For all enquiries, please email us info@blackandspiro.com.au

Inspirational quote of the day

(Art work - "Canyon" by Alex Kozik)

"Don't just count your years, make your years count!"
- Ernest Meyers

Ashgrove House

Images above and below you may be able to spot the floor in the sun room to the left which we had painted in a green and white stripe. We will be doing some beautiful white cane pieces upholstered in lovely bright fabrics in this area in the New Year.

Here are some photos of a job I finished off this morning for a lovely, lovely client at Ashgrove. The brief was to create an area which was fresh, bright, colourful and family friendly. This is what I created.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!

Black & Spiro Today

I love the new painting we have just received into the shop by Diana Favell...thought you would love to see a photo of it. It's so big and gorgeous!!

Inspirational photo of the day

Beautiful photo from Twist & Curves - hair model shown in a previous post.

How much is that doggie in the window?

I brought Ned into work today in an attempt to cheer myself up. His favourite spot in the entire store was sitting in the front window next to our beautiful new curtains watching the traffic and passers-by. I couldn't resist snapping this photo above.