Thursday, September 27, 2007

Healthy Snacking

You know that time at work between breakfast and lunch when you just want something to munch on? Instead of walking to the nearest vending machine in your office for one of the dreaded C’s – cookies, cakes, chips or candy, grab a handful of raw almonds. Eating nuts, especially almonds will stave off hunger in between meals. On a weekly basis, I buy a container of raw almonds to eat at my desk for $2 from the nut and fruit stand near my job. These stands are on almost every corner in midtown Manhattan. Even though I have no idea where these street vendors get their produce or nuts, I like the price and the taste so I have no complaints!

If you don’t have a nut and fruit stand vendor near your work, pick some up from your local Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Be sure to get the natural or roasted kind because they are packed with more nutrients than the salted ones. In fact, the sweet and tasty treat is the most nutrient-dense tree-nut. According to the USDA, one ounce of almonds (about 23) contains 160 calories and only 1 gram of saturated fat. The same handful is also an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, a good source of protein and potassium and has no cholesterol.

So the next time you want to binge on junk, consider almonds because they taste great and are healthy.

Blue Diamond is one of the most popular brands for almonds. I get them from Duane Reade drugstores, but I'm sure they're across the country in stores like Walgreen's, CVS and supermarkets in your city. They cost about $3 for a can.

I found this cute almond gift bag online. It would make a great gift for someone who enjoys snacking or better yet, for yourself!

Available for: $7.95

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Give Your Thumbs a Rest!

Remember doodling love letters on plain, “unpretty” (I know it’s not a word, but TLC made it one :-) white notebook paper to the cute boy in your 6th grade class? I remember my first elementary school crush – Corey Brown. He was short, (ok, we were all short since we were only in the 4th grade!) with a caramel complexion with piercing dark brown eyes. I thought he was so cute and nobody could tell me that we weren’t going to get married and have 2 children – twins to be exact! I would spend my weekends writing love notes to him, but I could never muster enough courage to give them to him on Monday. Ok, I can go on and on about CB (my nickname for him) but you get the point.

Just because we’re big girls now doesn’t mean that we have to stop writing lovely letters to those special beaus in our lives. In this instant messaging, texting, and emailing technological world, grabbing a pen and actually writing our thoughts can be extremely refreshing. Stationery can be used not only to send sappy love letters to your significant other, but they can also brighten the day of your great aunt down south who wishes you’d call her more. Also, many human resource managers will tell you that they’re more inclined to hire someone whose skills parallel another prospective candidate’s simply because they sent a personalized note thanking them for the interview.

I believe that writing notes is an art form. Every BG should have her own personal collection of note cards, envelopes and paper for a variety of reasons, who knows…sending that pretty-in-pink thank you note, just might land you your dream job!

Take a look at some of the cute and feminine sets that I’ve come across.

Available at for: $40 (a box of 25)

Available at for: $66 ( a box of 25)

Available at for: $15.95 (box of 25)

Available at for: $24.95 (box of 40)

Available at for: $24.95 (box of 40)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Top Fall Fashion Must-Haves

My Top Fall Fashion Must-Haves

Fall is definitely my second favorite season, with summer being my first choice. Walking down the street and having the cool breeze hit my perfectly moisturized skin while admiring the brightly-colored leaves change shades just puts a pep in my step and a smile to my face. I must admit, Mother Nature isn’t the only reason why I love fall; it’s fashion! To me, the clothes suitable for fall weather are the absolute most fashionable of all the other seasons. You can throw on a cute cropped coat and ankle boots and look super polished and chic. You can also dress up some of your much loved summer items by layering and adding a pair of tights to the mix to make it fall-friendly.

Check out my picks for the must-haves of the season!

Skinny-jeans aren't out just yet, but why not change it up a bit and rock some super wide-legged jeans? The ones like our fellow brown girl Eva Mendes are wearing are incredibly flattering and forgiving.

Ok, I'm totally obsessed with cropped coats, jackets, etc. If I see a cute coat or jacket, I must buy it. Plus, in the fall your coat is the first thing that people see, so it's okay to splurge on one great-looking coat for the season. This Soia & Kyo flare and plaid coat is to do for!

Available at Nordstrom's: $325

Every BG needs to own several pairs of tights. They can immediately update summer baby doll dresses and minis to look weather-appropriate. Whether you like ribbed, opaque or designs, you're sure to find the right kind of tights for you!

Available at department stores nationwide.

Since most fall fashions are on the dark side, pairing a fun and punchy-colored scarf in a yellow or baby blue hue adds panache to your ensemble. Look at how it instantly adds flair to the timeless beauty, Iman's outfit. I have one that reminds me of sunshine and makes me happy; plus, I get tons of compliments whenever I wear it. The bonus is that I only paid $10 for it.

Ask any BG or fashionista what's the color of the it bags this season and she'll tell you, "METALLIC!" Gold and silver bags are all the rage for fall. It doesn't matter if you're carrying a clutch, tote, satchel or hobo, the metallic will definitely dazzle. This one is the Francesco Biasa "Sharla" Convertible Tote and it is fabulous!

Available at Nordstrom's: $490.00

What girl doesn't love shoes and boots? You can't be a BGG and not have an intense fervor for footwear! Ankle boots are the style of boots to get right now. I've never particularly liked this style before, but for some reason I am now a fan.

Available at Nine West: $79

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday is Beauty Day!

We all have our own personal red-carpet moments in life, that’s why LORAC has released its new limited edition showstopper palette. I was so excited when I came across this super cute makeup kit. The colors are very complementary to brown-skinned girls. The best part is that it comes in a sleek, glittering beaded box along with a durable black drawstring bag. You’ll be sure to grab everyone’s attention with shimmering eye shadows in pale beige, peach tan, golden brown and a smoldering smoky black. The golden pink rose-colored blush alone is worth the purchase; it makes my skin look dewy with a nice natural-looking glow!

Available at Sephora: $35

BGG girls are always on the go; why not carry your delicious beauty finds in these must-have metallic maroon cosmetic bags? These fabulous bags can hold all of your prized beauty products – from makeup brushes to your plethora of lip-glosses. These roomy bags are sure to keep your pretty products in tact.

Available at Sephora: $14-$38

When my mother-in-law came to visit this summer, she asked me to take her to Carol’s Daughter because she had heard so much about the products in magazines and on television. I obliged and took her to her flagship store in Ft. Greene (a neighborhood in Brooklyn). She loved the intoxicating scents of the products and ended up leaving with several items. In the midst of her frantic shopping excursion she bought me a few things, including the popular and yummy Mango Body Butter. If you haven’t tried this fabulous shea and cocoa butter-based delight, do so as soon as possible; your skin will thank you for it.

Available at Carol's Daughter: $25

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Welcome to Brown Girl Gumbo!

Welcome to Brown Girl Gumbo also known as BGG. This site is the one-stop shop for everything chic brown girls (like me) love – beauty, fashion, lifestyle, nesting, arts & culture and celebrity.

I will bring you the latest in all the above categories. Whether it’s the hottest new lip gloss or the opening of a new restaurant, I will take you there. Each day I will highlight one of BGG's 6 categories. For example, today I will focus on what’s going on in the world of entertainment through pictures. So sit back and enjoy my Top Celebrity Photos of the Week!

Rapper/actress Eve looking casual and chic at a launch party event in Los Angeles, CA.

Rapper Nelly with singer/actress Ashanti at the "Resident Evil 3" movie premiere in Las Vegas.

The always on-point actress Kerry Washington at the Chanel boutique in Los Angeles, California.

Promotional photo of one of my favorite singers, Alicia Keys from her upcoming new album.

Singer/actress Beyonce Knowles sporting a new darker-do at Diddy's fragrance launch in NYC.