New Pip Boydell Paintings

Just in case you missed out the first time round, I thought I'd let you know that we have 4 new beautiful paintings in store by Pip Boydell.  The middle orchid is sold however, the 4 surrounding it are all currently available.  It will be a first in best dressed situation...

Natural Hair Couple Doll for Dinah!!

One of my favorite projects that I have done since startingthe Natural Girls United! Natural Hair Doll's project - is creating a couple doll set, for Dinah and herFiance. Dinah wanted to find a ethnic doll that matched her hair, skin tone andfeatures. She also wanted to find a African American Ken doll that closelyresembled her Husband-to-be. Working together, we choose a beautiful ethnicbarbie doll with a curly Afro puff ponytail from my collection and a handsomeKen doll.  Both dolls will make a great addition to her wedding decor. Iam so excited for the couple and very honored to be able to help with makingher big day even more special!

"I have just brought one for these beautiful dolls formyself as representative of me on my wedding day- multicolored Afro.Keep up the good work!" -  Dinah 

Link of the Day!

Source: Swaggbook

Chanel Brisbane 2011

Last night Brad and I attended the glamorous Chanel party/parade at Old Government House.  We were greeted by a man in a white golf buggy who drove us down to the lawned section where a fabulous white painted platform had been installed.  There were so many people we knew and it really was such a lovely party.  My favourite champange, Perrier Jouet flowed on and on throughout the night.  Unfortunately the photos I snapped on my i-phone didn't really turn out very well but you can see that we had a wonderful vantage point.  Our seats were front row at the end of the catwalk...AMAZING!!

Oh and here I am just before we left.   I wore black of course.  My eyes look red and very tired...obviously a sign of absolute's been a big year!  I can't wait for the holidays!

Thanks Chanel for inviting us to your beautiful party.  We had a fabulous time and dinner with FF and Mr FF afterwards was fab too!!


Panel Of Beauty Experts - First Date Tips!

I was asked to be a part of a Panel Of Beauty Experts to give tips on First Dates.  To See more go to Expert Panel: Beauty Tips for a First Date on Online Dating Sites.

Link Of The Day!

Source: Enza

Parties, Weddings, Installations...

Over the weekend I met a reader from New York at a party for my soon-to-be cousin-in-law.  She said that one of the things she loves about me is that I always let my readers know when I am going away from the blog or not going to post for a few days.  Well, I must apologise to her and to you as I seem to have been missing in action since last Wednesday with no such notice of absence.  I'm unsure where all of those days have gone to...

So, what have I been up to you might ask?  Well, I won't delve into every single detail however, here's a snapshot of a beautiful bedroom I just finished for a lovely teenage girl.  It was an absolute delight working with her and her mum.  I think she is the most polite, effervescent and happy teenager I have ever met. 

The day we installed the furniture into her room, I took her some dahlias from my garden which we arranged on her antique bedside table I found for her.  On the other side of the lovely upholstered antique French bed we placed a Stuart Membery chest of drawers.  I love the mix of furniture we chose for her room and I must admit I found it very hard parting with the antique bed.  However, I know she will cherish it and that makes me very happy!! 

I wish I got some better photos...I seem to be always saying that but I'm always in such a hurry.

This week is a very big and exciting week for my family as this Saturday my cousin is getting married to his beautiful fiance Phoebe at the most divine property in northern NSW.  We have family flying in from Canada, Sweden, New York, Holland and interstate.  Everyone is coming together which is just so exciting.  I have been given the lovely job of arranging the flowers for the tables.  I am using  the beautiful dahlias and zinnias from our garden which is very exciting.  I can't believe how many flowers we have.  It's quite amazing and so thrilling to be able to use my own flowers for my cousin's wedding.

Oh and tomorrow night is Chanel.  As an update to my post from the other week, Chanel called today to ask for Brad's last name.  Maybe they read my post!!xx


Link of the Day!

Gorgeous Picture!! Source: 18°15'N, 77°30'W

Fold & Tuck Hair Style Tutorial

Tutorial for Fold & Tuck Natural Hair Style.

Beautiful HB

Receiving my digital copy of the December issue of House Beautiful this morning was like a breath of fresh air.  I loved this house above in particular.  Absolutely beautiful...


Can I Touch Your Hair? by Drea Camille

"So I decided to write animpromptu blog article about my encounters of being a natural beauty in aEuro-centric society. I have not always been a natural beauty, but being anAfrican-American woman” other non-ethnic cultures are “intrigued by the textureand hairstyles of African-Americans. At first, I use to be offended becausesome people wanted to ask a million questions about my hair and even go to theextent of wanting to touch my hair.
I remember asking one of mycohort members in graduate school about their fascination about thekinky/tightly coiled texture of people of color hair. She gave me the most realestand sincere answers ever; she wasn’t taught about the various texture of hairand thought it was best to ask. “Close mouths don’t get fed!” Amen to thatquote. So back to the topic - I educated my cohort member, but ended up gettingsome valuable knowledge from her as well. I remember her telling me that shehas “bad hair” because it was coarse, curly and tangled. I’m thinking tomyself, wow here I am complaining about my hair and she was having similarissues like me. When she told me that it took her 4-6 hours to straighten herhair, I gained a deeper appreciation for my hair at the moment. During thistime, I was in a relaxed state of mind and complaining about bringing mybreakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hair salon and hearing the “hoodratchronicles”. LOL! So, ladies and gentlemen, not all non-ethnic people’s hair isstraight and easily manageable. They too have various hair issues as well. Idon’t think I could handle washing my hair daily, de-tangling it for hours andpossible straightening my hair for another 4 hours. That’s not what’s up!
Since moving back to the New England, many people admire my natural state, especiallynon-ethnic people. I receive many compliments from them about my natural hair.I don’t take offense to this because honestly, I am a beautiful woman whoembraces my natural state to the fullest and appreciate those who recognizetrue and natural beauty. I don’t feel compelled to straighten my hair just toplease society and to assimilate. If you can’t accept me for who I am, than youare missing out on an amazing, loving, and gifted person.  This blog article goes out to all my naturalBeauties, Princesses, and Queens out there.Another shout out to those who want to become more educated to our naturalstate and are open to asking genuine questions." written by Guest Writer, Drea Camille
To see more of Drea, go to  - TwitterFacebookTumblr

I ❤ This shoe!

Source: stilettosnob

Guest # 3 - Paul Hunt

One of Brisbane's finest couture fashion designers, Paul Hunt was only too happy to be involved in our Summer Vignette photo shoot.  Paul has long been a wonderful customer and supporter of Black & Spiro and we were so thrilled to have him in our Summer Vignette.  He certainly is one stylish lad. 

Here's what Paul had to say about Christmas...

What has been your most memorable Christmas?
There have been so many! One was at home in Glen Innes before I moved to Brisbane. After lunch we all lay on the floor listening to old records of Monty Python- we laughed and laughed.

What is a Christmas tradition in your family?
When we are all together the roast lunch is always a must to our Christmas.

Where are you celebrating Christmas this year?
With my loved one.

What are you giving for Christmas this year?
Who knows???? Haven't had time to think yet.

What do you hope to receive for Christmas this year?
Well a puppy would be nice but I know that's not practical. So maybe a gold fish for starters!!!!

What does Christmas mean to you?
It means being with loved ones. Oh and holidays :-)

Hope you get that gorgeous puppy Paul!!  Happy Holidays and thanks for being part of our Summer Vignette!!

PS.  If you haven't already visited our online store, here's the 

New Dolls For Sale!

New Ethnic Natural Hair Barbie Dolls for Sale at Natural Girl's United! (formally Curls, Afro Puffs, Wavy Hair, Bun Mohawk, Dreadlocks, TWA, Braids, Cornrows and More!!

Natural Beauty of the Week! Jaye Kennedy

Natural Beauty of the Week - Jaye Kennedy, tells us about her natural hair experience: 

Journey: I had relaxed hair just about all of my life up until mysecond year of college. I rocked the wrap, weaves, roller sets, twistees - youname it and I probably had it done. I grew up in a salon that my Uncle ownedand became very close with the stylists there, so I changed hairstyles the way I changed clothes.  Myhair was past my shoulders and layed on my back. But when I went away toschool I noticed it was thinning. The hard water there was so harshon my hair! I'm kind of a renegade, so one day I just started chopping offpieces of my hair until it was shaved in the back and had nolonger than an inch all around.  This took place November2006 and I haven't looked back since.

I had NO FEARS about going back to my natural texture. Ialways figured that if I didn't like it, I could always get a relaxer again. Mytrain of thought was always "It's just hair! It'll grow back!" Ican't say the same about my sorority sisters that watched me chop off chunks ofhair everyday though. They weren't as convinced as I was to say the least.

Products: Three products I absolutely can't live without are: TripleSilk Therapeutic Conditioner -it detangles, opens up my pores and keeps mycurls looking great. Murray’sBees Wax-sometimes my edges need a little help with staying undercontrol. A Banana Clip-they are the perfect tool to use when tryingto get a mohawk effect. They are pretty hard to come by these days though.

Advice for others: My advice to someone who is scared to embrace their naturalhair is simply this: If you don't like it, you can always go back to what youhad before. You only live life once. Why not try something new, you might loveit! Some people may not be as bold as I was and start from scratch bycutting all of their hair off but you can always wear braids or rock sew-insuntil you achieve your desired length. After all, it is just hair. It'll growback!

First Dahlias Flowering

Earlier in the year I was so impressed by the pretty Dahlias one of my clients had flowering in her garden, I decided to plant some in our garden for this Summer.  About 4 1/2 weeks ago we planted 60 Dahlia Bulbs and this week I cut my very first bunch.  My Mum and my Grandmother and Aunty came over yesterday afternoon and each of them picked their own large bunch to take home.  It really is such a joy to be able to give flowers from my garden to my family and friends.  I can't wait for the Asters and Zinnias to flower in the week ahead...

Interview with Natural Jael

Name: NaturalJael

Q: What is your hair story? 
A: Did you use water and grease inyour hair when you were a child? Well, my mom was sealing in the moisture beforesealing was called sealing. LOL. I appreciate my mom for not putting chemicalsin my hair at an early age. My hair has been an inch long and that was the truemeaning of wash and go. I actually used to call it “dry washing”. LOL! Afterabout seven months, I relaxed my hair again out of ignorance. I honestly didn’tknow what to do with my hair. My earliest memories were just water and greaseand I wasn’t feeling that any more. I wasn’t big on styles and hair salons. Ithink I have always known that I would eventually wear my natural hair, I justthought I would be in my 40’s. Now here I am back to water and well oil,instead of grease.

Q: What kind of hair styles have yourocked, before embracing your natural hair?
A: I was the typical black girl with relaxed hair – long and straight.Although, I wore rod sets, braids, updos and the occasional quick weave, sothere wasn’t anything unique about it. Although in 8th grade, I hadmy natural hair rocking a shaved asymmetric hairdo. Picture day was flamingmess. LOL!

Q: When and why did you decide to startwearing your hair naturally?
 A: This quote by Arnold Glasow sums up my journey in 12 little words: “Parentscan tell but never teach, unless they practice what they preach.” It wasbecause of my daughter, I began my transition. I watched her hair morph intolifeless strands from relaxers, no balding spots or sores – just limp, lifelesshair. I made the decision not to relax her hair and to keep it braided. I

nowknow, this was the start of her transition. After a year with braids, shestarted to wear her natural texture and that is when the teasing began. Kidscan be so cruel and the constant teasing from the other kids devastated mydaughter. As a parent, one of the hardest responsibilities that come with thejob is to see your child hurting. Now comes the time to pick up the pieces. Allof the teasing and name-calling was because her hair did not look like theirhair – anymore. I constantly told her that she was smart and beautiful, notjust beautiful on the outside, but a beautiful person. I explained, as best Icould, that God made us perfect. Our hair is exactly how it is suppose to be.If he wanted us to have straight hair, He would have given it to us. But Hedidn’t. So be happy with what you have. There I was with long flowing relaxedhair, giving encouragement to my daughter – who was natural with short tightlycoiled hair. That did not make me feel good. As a parent, there are two thingsthat I have to remind myself of: children will usually do as you do and hardlyever do what you say. I feel like I should be the best example for my children– if not me, then who? Now, feeling extremely hypocritical, I came to a pivotalpoint and a decision needed to be made. Either I stay relaxed and relax herhair again or she stays natural and I transition. Now, four years into mynatural hair journey, we have no regrets.

Q: Did you have any big fears aboutgoing back to your natural texture?
A: Yes. My biggest fear was trying to figure out if my husband was going tolike it. He married the girl that went to the salon often, that had longrelaxed hair and I didn’t know how he would feel about natural textured hair.

Q: What are three products you can'tlive without for nurturing/styling your hair?
 A: Currently, Hydrothermal Naturals has my complete attention and throw in alittle olive oil and I am good to go. However, I can not forget my heat cap. Ilove the results of my weekly deep conditioning.

Q: What would you say to someone who'sthinking about embracing their natural hair, but scared about being rejected invarious parts of their lives?
 A: [Insert her name], you know, in life there comes a time when we all willcome to the cross hairs of making decisions. (Hand gesturing – do I or don’t I)During this time, you must take these seven steps:
1.       Knowexactly why you are going natural and wanting to wear your natural hair.
2.       Havea plan that will guide you through your transition.
3.       Setgoals to help you stay focused and take action to keep your plan real.
4.       Becomea life learner of natural hair.
5.       Makea commitment to keep an open mind about your natural hair.
6.       Createa regimen and make it a priority, make it important.
7.       Bepatient. I know this is easier said than done but it will help keep anxietydown.
8.       Don’tfret, your hair is growing J.
These stepsare important because they are the building blocks of your mental transition – which is an integralelement for a successful transitional journey. Think about these steps and Iwould love to speak with you more once you have thought about the answers andhave taken action.

Q: How can we keep up with you and yourjourney i.e. blog, twitter, facebook, fotki, tumblr, personal orprofessional website? (Optional)
 A: You can join me at:
A: I tweetseveral times a day – so follow me:
A: I postregularly:

Brooklyn Jackson's Natural Hair Journey

My Natural Hair Journey
By Brooklyn Jackson

“I am not my hair, I am not the skin, I am not yourexpectations, no, I am not my hair, I am not the skin, I am the soul that liveswithin” lyrics by India Arie. As for myself I am my hair, and it has createdmemorable chapters in my life. My hair is truly my crown, my life, my glory,and I wouldn’t change any of the trial and tribulations we shared together. Thememories I had with my tresses taught me a lot about myself. My natural hairjourney started out liberating, after that it became stressful, then I startedto appreciate it, and finally it helped me develop confidence. 

It all started my seventh grade year when I decided totransition my relaxer to my natural hair texture. I wore cornrows for the rest of theschool year to help the transitioning process move quicker. Around the middleof summertime I made the choice to finally eliminate my relaxed ends. This wasa huge change in my life and it took time to get use to. After the big chop, itmade me feel like a brand new person and as if a weight was lifted off myshoulders. This was one decision I knew I would never regret.

The first day of my eighth grade year, I felt as if I gaineda fresh start and that made me feel very positive. Many students recognized mychange in attitude. They constantly asked me questions on why I made thatdrastic move.
The students didn’t quite understand why I would go natural whenI could chemically process my hair to be straight. I didn’t care of what theythought or thought I should do. I felt proud to represent as the only AfricanAmerican girl in my grade to rock an afro. Toward the middle of my eighth gradeyear, I received bad news from my dermatologist that I had a scalp infection.The medicines required to heal my scalp suggested I wear a scarf to schooleveryday. It was an embarrassing process and I was annoyed by dumb questions.But once my scalp was better I decided to go through the rest of the yearwearing protective styles.

I was finally done with middle school, and was excited tostart my freshman year of high school. I started my year out with individualbraids, so I could add growth to my hair. My hair was kind of uneven and I wasstarting to feel impatient. By the second semester I decided to straighten itfor the first time since seventh grade. I received compliments and soon becameobsessed with my new look. Having my hair straight made me realize how much Imissed my relaxer. After that point I constantly would keep my hair straight.The more and more I continued to put heat on my hair, the more my curls becamedamaged. I was starting to feel as if I was loosing grip of the person I wasborn to be. I had to talk to my mother to know if putting chemicals back intomy hair would be a good or bad decision. She would stress that it was extremelyunhealthy. At that point I was stuck between whom to believe, either my friendsor my family.

For my sophomore year of high school, I wanted a new stylethat didn’t involve a lot of work. I had developed stress because my hair washard to manage and that made me build frustration as well. I was at the pointto where I needed a break, so I decided to try dreads. I wanted my hair to looksimilar to neo-soul artist, Goapele. I was determined to reach this goal, whileknowing the consequences. I knew once my hair was in dreaded form, I couldn’tgo back. I was willing to take the risk though. The beginning stage was rockyand I wasn’t in love with it. It was starting to look a wild tangled mess andit was hard transforming my hair to appear decent. I tried to remember my goal,but the process was difficult. I was starting to miss all the versatilityoptions I use to have. The option to wear it in curls, braids, twists, or haveit straightened. I wasn’t enjoying the obligation to one style. I was missingmy form of expression. So I finally decided to take my dreads out before theybecame dreaded. I felt relieved and proud of my decision. I realized it was tooearly in life to make a permanent choice, like dreads. I was still in the trialand error journey in my life but this little experience made me appreciate mynatural hair.

When I entered my junior year of high school, I promisedmyself I would embrace my naturalness. I became more and more interested inlearning how to obtain healthy hair. I was also interested in learning how todo my own hair. I would research products that were healthy and good for myhair type. I soon realized I wasn’t the only person who transitioned from arelaxer. There was a whole community out there devoted to people who wanted tolearn how to care for their natural hair. This included many websites, and theannual natural hair show hosted in AtlantaGeorgia. It was as if I had beenexposed to a brand new culture or something. I had come to a point where I waspractically obsessed and was my number one topic. I took the responsibility tocare for my own hair involving shampooing, conditioning, blow drying, andstyling. I was even confident to rock my afro again. Students and teachersloved my hair; the compliments boosted my confidence even more. It made me feelachieved and proud of how far I came in my journey.
Once I finished junior year and summer came, I decided I wasgoing to rock my curls for most of the time. Overlooking my journey I began togain interest in cosmetology. My love for hair could be shared with others. Iwant to make other people fall in love with their hair like I did. I also wantto give people satisfaction and healthy hair. I developed inspiration and nowmy goal is to become a hair guru like Derek J, and Ursula Stephens.

It’s finally my senior year of high school and myrelationship with my hair is rocky. Since I had a slight obsession withstraightening my hair in the past, I’m suffering from heat damage. So my planis to transition, so I can have more new growth then go through a second BC.Everyone makes mistakes and I just want to give myself another shot atobtaining healthy hair. Overall my journey was relieving, frustrating, then I wasthankful, and lastly I could hold my head high. All these stages helped mebuild as a person. This could also be looked at as a journey to a new me. Tothis day I still have days where I love my hair, and days where I hate my hair.But all in all, I never gave up and I've been five years strong. I am excitedto experience many more years to add to my memories, including the result of myBC. 

Golden Soap's & Akwa Tee's!

Golden Soap's & Akwa Tee's  are family owned business. They make and sell handcrafted goods. "Our fresh and luxurious natural liquid soaps contain simple, plant-based ingredients used in West Africa for centuries and come from the same sustainable resources that have existed for ages."

One of favorite products of theirs is the Reflection Natural Deodorant.  It is a solid cream deodorant that is easy to apply. It last all day, does not smear on  your clothes, and  has a very light scent.  I love it. It is one of the best deodorants that I have tried.  To see more about this families products and their company - go to Golden Soaps.comAkwa Tee'sFacebook.

Giveaway Winner!! Lilla Rose Hair Clip

The winner of the Lilla Rose Hair Clip is Michelle!!  Congratulations.  Michelle won by a direct email contest entry to the giveaway host -  Cathy Thomas. Michelle - I hope you love your new hair clip. And thank you to everyone that participated.

Inspirational Photo of the Day

Guest # 2 - Joshua Jones

My second guest over in our Summer Vignette is the very chic Joshua Jones.  Josh, as we like to call him, is the General Manager and Buyer for Brisbane's top fashion Emporium, Jean Brown {}. 

He always looks so groovy and stylish and is one of the nicest people you would ever wish to meet.  Oh and did I mention he used to be the State Manager for Ralph Lauren...

Here's what Josh had to say about Christmas;

What has been your most memorable Christmas?
I think childhood memories of Christmas are my favourites! My grandparents had a house in Tasmania when I was a child. Most of the extended family would try and make it down there to have a large joint Christmas. Because we were all catching up after a big year it became a whole celebration rather than just Christmas, and would take up the entire month! My grandmother was quite the cook and with my mum and all her sisters in the kitchen, it was the place to be - especially waiting for a fresh, raspberry-filled sponge cake!

What is a Christmas tradition in your family?
Presents in the morning and then everyone pitches in to get the Lunch ready! Lunch normally goes for a good 4 hours and then a few quiet drinks after clean up. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some reflective drinks at the end of a long day. Then we normally get family rivalry back on, and bring out the board games!

Where are you celebrating Christmas this year?
I will be starting in Samford this year to see my partner’s parents then off to Maleny to have lunch and a sleep over at my family’s. A country Christmas all round!

What are you giving for Christmas this year?
I like to find individual items, such as antiques and quirky one off pieces. A few bits and bobs from Black and Spiro never go astray! And handmade cards and wrapping paper always set things off and add that personal touch.

What do you hope to receive for Christmas this year?
An orange box is always nice! Honesty, I don’t mind. It is always the thought that counts, and some of my most treasured gifts received are the ones I would never expect.

What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas is a time when I can really catch up with my family as a whole. It really means laughing, relaxing, watching my nieces and nephews grow up, pretend to be a kid again and eating lots! 

A huge thank you to you Josh for being apart of our Christmas/Summer photo shoot.  You looked so cool on that gorgeous vintage bike!!  Oh and I loved your orange shorts and your YSL tote bag didn't go unnoticed!!xx

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

PS.  Here's the website for our online store  just in case you haven't already visited!!

Beyond Cute Shoes!

These make me soo happy... lol.  I want one of each please!
Source: The Artista & Stilettosnob