Todrick Hall Presents Twerk Du Soleil

source: todrickhall.com

source: todrickhall.com

I haven’t shared this with you but I am a massive Musical Theatre fan, in fact I love Musical films as well and I wish I actually lived in a Musical, imagine I’m just cycling through town then I randomly burst into song and rather than thinking I’m crazy the whole town joins in, magically knowing the melody, lyrics and choreography to my song!

 

A couple of years ago I watched a really funny video on YouTube of a young man singing his Mc Donald’s drive through order, not only was the video funny but the young man had a really good singing voice and the Mc Donald’s employee actually got the order correct!

 

That young man was Todrick Hall, and since then I have watched every single YouTube video that he has uploaded and one umm… odd one that was on someone’s channel featuring a duet called “I want you Black”…

 

Todrick has achieved so much in his career both on and off YT and even though I don’t want to be a famous star, Mr Hall inspires me, he is proof that if you are not “given” the opportunity to do what you want in life you can create your own opportunities.

Toddy Rockstar – as he is affectionately known has achieved so much including working with Beyoncé to choreograph “Blow”, writing the song for and starring in an amazing  Virgin America safety video and he also made Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2014.

 

So a couple of months ago I was very excited to hear that Todrick Hall was going on tour and coming to London, I bought two tickets to his show “Twerk du Soleil” immediately.

 

The show was on 24th August 2014 at the Leicester Square Theatre, I decided to go to the show in Fancy Dress if you’re familiar with Todrick’s work then the costume would make sense, I decided on a Disney meets Burlesque theme. I wore a large scarf to cover my cleavage all day I only took my scarf off for this photo.

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I went to the show with my good friend Antoinette as I knew she would appreciate Todrick’s madcap & camp brand of humour and hilarity as much as I do.

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We arrived at 17:00 in time for the 17:30 meet and greet but we were informed that the meet and greet would now be after the show…

 

So off we went to nearby Haagen Dazs Café to kill time until the show started.

(By the way their new Caramel Biscuit and Cream ice cream is AMAZING!!)

 

We were let into the theatre at around 19:00 and found our seats in the intimate space, the size of the theatre is more like a cinema auditorium but that was fine with us.

 

There was no opening act and the main show started at around 19:40 I know this because I was what’s app-ing my friend Dawn (Hi Dawn) at the time.

 

The performance was really good, high energy and a lot of fun, basically Todrick and cast recreated several of Todrick’s YT videos live on stage. I have only included short clips of the show because it wouldn’t have been fair or legal for me to record then upload an entire number, or the entire show.

This is supposed to be a playlist but it seems like it’s not playing properly in this post, you can watch all of the videos on youtube. 

 

They opened with the singing fast food orders, using audience members as the staff from Mc Donalds, Subway and Starbucks it was amazing to see how much Todrick’s fans “The Toddlerz” love him.

 

As much as I admire many people, I have never been one to fawn over celebrities or go crazy when I meet them, I think I’m just too calm for all of that.

 

There was a lot of audience participation in the show and Todrick wished a Happy Birthday and sang (collectively) to every single person in the audience that claimed it was their birthday on Sunday.

 

We also saw live versions of “Beauty and the Beat”, “Once Upon a Crime” and arguably Todrick’s most famous video, the “End of Time” flash mob performance which was the finale.  

 

 

 

I was slightly disappointed that we didn’t see “Spell Block Tango” or “All That Azz” which are “Chicago” parodies, as “Chicago” is one of my favourite musicals but we did see “Twerking in the Rain” which is so darn catchy!!!   

 

 

The show finished at about 20:40 and then we waited about 45 minutes for the meet and greet to begin, it was a small theatre so it was really hot while we were waiting but the crowd was mostly excitable youngsters and there were not many grumbles.

 

Todrick came across in the flesh as he does on his videos, he was really nice to all of the children in front of me in the queue, who were so excited to meet him, below is  a video of Todrick signing a poster for the young girl in front of me.

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I do wish the show had been a longer but I can appreciate that it is hard work to sing and dance live, plus I knew that several cast members were only in the London show so there is a limit to how much they could learn and remember in the couple days they had to rehearse before the show.

 

That’s it for my review, thanks for reading I’m off now to Twerk in the rain…

 

Luv Sian

 

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I’m Still Baking!

Hello Cakers Bakers & Beauties!

With all of this hair and travel talk you would be forgiven for thinking that I’m not baking anymore,  I am ALWAYS baking…lol

I just don’t always remember to take photos or blog about everything I cook, life has been so hectic lately…Arghhhh!

This weekend I remembered to take a few pics before everything got eaten and it was too late…

Friday night I made a pizza from scratch, we used to get a takeaway every Friday but it’s a waste of money and most of the time it doesn’t even taste that nice. We live 3 minutes away from an amazing Italian deli so I was able to pick up authentic ingredients on my way home from work.

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My Mum also asked me to make her a Banoffee Pie, these requests come about every couple of months and it’s a bother dragging my pie tin around London, so I bought a stack of disposable pie tins from Lakeland, I’ll leave the stack at my Parents’ house so I can just rock up and bake on demand. I made the base with crushed biscuits, butter oats and sunflower seeds, it had a fantastic texture…Yummy!

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I forget to take a pic when it was whole, sorry!

Last week my dear friend CeCe had her 4th baby, I wasn’t able to attend the baby shower as it was the day before my birthday and I was in Vegas so I promised myself I would go and see her while the little bubba was still tiny. I decided to make my own “congratulations it’s a girl” gift, I saw some gorgeous baby socks with a touch of sparkle, one foot has “little” on the sole and the other one has “princess” on the sole, so adorable. I made a balloon bouquet from assorted pink balloons in my decorations box, pink hydrangeas from my garden and the first lily that bloomed in my garden this summer.

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I actually made 12 cupcakes because I wanted to try different toppings and piping effects.

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Then I picked the best 6 to bring to CeCe and her family of 6 (including CeCe and partner.)

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For some reason I decided to be “clever” and I cycled from London Bridge to Croydon on my “new” bicycle to deliver this gift package. I got into a spot of trouble along my way and every single cupcake got flipped upside-down! Luckily nothing else got damaged including me, the balloons and my beloved bike!

CeCe loved her gifts and the cupcakes were still delicious!

Thanks for reading.

Luv

Sian

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Queen Nzingha Lectures- Featuring Crystal Afro & Kandace Chimbiri

Hello My Cakers Bakers and Beauties!

This one is for the Londoners or those that can travel to London easily…

For about the last six months I have been attending the Queen Nzingha Lectures at Birkberk college University of London.

The lectures are organised by A National Association of Black Saturday Schools www.nabss.org.uk  and www.blackhistorywalks.co.ukproduction.

This is the description of the lectures from the Black History Walks website.

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Queen Nzinga was an African Queen who fought against the European invasion of southern Africa (Congo/Angola).

The Queen Nzinga lecture series features African/Caribbean female academics / holders of expert knowledge, speaking on topics of their choice on a monthly basis. The Nzinga lecture series provides a regular platform for women of African descent to highlight important issues in  an academic setting. 

I have really been enjoying these FREE lectures and have learned so much more about my history and culture. On Saturday 12th April the Queen Nzingha lecture was entitled:

African Hair Police : Death and Discrimination on your head

Obviously that caught my attention and I was even more excited to hear that UK Natural Hair Blogger Crystal Afro was one of the Queens  speaking at this lecture. The other Queen was Kandace Chimbiri, the founder of Golden Destiny publishing house and author of the book “Secrets Of The Afro Comb“.

The Lecture was opened by Tony Warner who talked about how hair texture and curl patterns were also used along with skin tone to discriminate and segregate people of colour around the world by their oppressors.

Tony’s introduction really brought the topic into context and as always I learned a bit more about Black History. Tony’s introduction covered:

  • The Pencil Test
  • The Haarfarbentel ‘racial value’ test
  • Africans in Germany during World War 2
  • Genocide by sex. Australia vs Brazil
  • How and why African hair became devalued
  • Hair vs skin as a tool of discrimination

Tony then introduced Ms Chimbiri who gave us an amazing audio-visual talk which linked the seemingly unrelated topics of colonialism in Southern Africa, World War 1,The Stolen Generation, Hitler’s Germany, the Black Power movement, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Lupita Nyongo and everyday life for women of African descent in England in the present day.

We had a short break and were able to actually look at a genuine historical artefact the “Haarfarbentafel” owned by UCL Museums and Collections this rare Haarfarbentafel (hair colour chart) which was manufactured in the early 20th century as a ‘standard’ scale for hair hierarchy, people were killed if their hair did match up to the samples in the “right” end of the scale. Looking at this object both fascinated and disgusted simultaneously.

The Haararbentafel

The Haararbentafel

Crystal Afro spoke next and she first challenged us to come up with a list of 5 well known celebrated British women of African Descent first from different decades in history then in 2014  once we had shouted out our answers she then asked the same question but added “with natural hair”, we actually could not come up with 5 well known and celebrated “Black British” women with natural hair, if you can please add your list in the comments below, and by well known I mean the average person on the street would know who the women are.

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Crystal explained that when she first decided to stop chemically straightening her hair, she struggled to find examples of well known Black British women who didn’t chemically straighten their hair, in fact even the Sisters on the internet who were going through their “Natural Hair Journeys” were almost exclusively American. That was one of the reasons that Crystal set up her blog The United Kinkdom. In fact The United Kinkdom was my best source of support and knowledge in my first days of going natural and I still follow the blog today.

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Crystal delivered her part of the lecture with intellectual style and aplomb, unlike a few of the Natural Hair Bloggers I’ve met, Crystal is not style over substance, she cares deeply about the health not just the looks of our Sisters and takes her passion for natural hair beyond the scalp . Crystal actually stayed for almost two hours after the talk and had one-on-one conversations with every single one of the ladies in the audience who wanted to speak with her, I might sound a bit like a fan and I guess in a way I am, I really support what Crystal is trying to do and it helps that she is so sweet and humble as well.

After the Lecture we watched an exclusive ten minute  advance preview  of the new film from Toyin Agbetu “Beauty Is”  and then we had extended Q and A  with Ms Chimbiri, Crystal and Mr Agbetu on the Panel.

The Panel from  L-R Ms Chimbiri, Crystal Afro, Mr Agbetu

The Panel from L-R Ms Chimbiri, Crystal Afro, Mr Agbetu

The Q and A was mainly about hair of course and the panellists were all asked some quite confrontational and challenging questions by members of the audience, but they all  answered the questions honestly, tactfully and professionally even though they still put some people in their place when they were asking questions that showed they were not listening properly to some of the information that had been shared earlier. Crystal even admitted that she cried for 2 weeks when she first went natural and I think that type of information is important to share because not everyone is immediately  in love with their natural hair when they big chop, but you wouldn’t know that from the way that most Naturalistas present themselves and their hair stories. I certainly was not in love with my TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) in the beginning and that is why there are no photos of me with my hair like that. I wish I had taken the pics then because it would have been nice to look back on them, but oh well I do not have a time machine…

Here is a clip from the Q and A session please forgive the quality of pics and video in this post, I was using my phone:

Thanks for reading

Luv

Sian

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Are You a MANE Diva?! (Review)

Hello My Naturalistas!

Today I’m sharing something a little different…

A WEAVE review! Yes I said it, I got a weave.

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Although my protective style challenge is now over and I was rocking my ‘fro all over the streets of Paris a couple of weeks ago, I have fancied a change for a while and wanted to get a weave that was close to my natural texture for 3 reasons:

  •  I rarely use heat on my hair so I couldn’t blend my hair a straight weave.
  • I still want to wear hair that looks like it could have grown out of my head, instead of an Asian or European texture.
  • I love Afro hair and I want to rock a BAA (Big Ass Afro) but I’m still a few years away from that with my own hair.

I had my eye on some hair from the USA but it was sooo expensive and I have been stung with those customs charges in the past adding an extra £100.00 to an already ridiculously expensive bundle of hair.

I decided to stick to my principles of  supporting UK businesses and discovered that Mane Divas based in Essex,  UK provide NHA (No Heat Alternative) extensions especially suited to women with natural hair.

I chose the Afro Kinky Curly texture which is a tight coil that can be defined or picked/fluffed out to achieve a full billowing Afro.

The website has a lot of advice regarding the hair and I was also able to contact the Divas themselves to get advice on how many bundles to buy and what lengths. I was going to buy 12″ and 14″ like I used to when buying straight extensions but I was advised to get 2 bundles of 14 as this texture has a lot of shrinkage.

Each bundle of 14″ costs £75.00 and p&p starts from £4.99 for recorded delivery . I think the price is very reasonable considering it’s Afro kinky virgin, human hair and the company are in UK so the shipping is much cheaper than if the hair were coming from the USA or China. In addition 3% of Mane Diva’s profits are donated to The Sickle Cell Society which I think is fantastic.

One of the best things about buying from Mane Divas is the customer service, they are quick to respond to any questions or queries, I don’t need to try to figure out the time difference if I need to call them and English is their first language so no worries about their being a language barrier and having a misunderstanding. Trina was particularly helpful to me as I bombarded her with about 50 questions before actually buying the hair!

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You can purchase the hair by clicking here.

As you can see the hair comes packaged in a lovely sleek box and each bundle is tied up with a pink ribbon.

The bundles measured 7-8 inches un-stretched but they were 14 inches once I stretched the coils out which is how all non-straight extensions are measured.

The hair comes in a natural colour which is a dark brown, roughly colour 2 but it looks lighter in bright sunlight almost around colour 4.

I was worried that it wouldn’t blend with my hair which is dyed black, but it looks fine and as the hair is not chemically treated prior to purchase it can be dyed or coloured, I will be colouring mine later on after I’ve worn it in it’s virgin state for a while.

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I only needed 1 and a half bundles for a full weave with my entire perimeter left out in order to enable me to wear the hair up in high buns and puffs, plus my edges are fragile like many women so I don’t like to canerow my edges and add  tracks as the stress is too much for my hairline. In the pictures I’ve intentionally exposed my tracks so you can see my leave out, when I wear the hair down it’s so full and fluffy that I don’t need to blend my edges, so I keep my leave out in twists, 2-strand at the back/side and flat twisted across the front. Since my sides are getting pretty long I gather them into a loose bunch with the hair in the back and tuck my ends away.

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When I first saw the bundles I thought the hair would be too curly to blend with my natural hair but it was fine, the hair is really versatile and you can manipulate your leave out to blend with the extensions if you want to. The extensions are not an exact match for my varied curl patterns but obviously an exact match is impossible as like most human beings I have several curl patterns all over my head. As my leave out is minimal I had no issues with blending. The hair is very soft and clean when it arrives but I co-washed it and let it air-dry prior to installation anyway.

The wefts are strong and thick, but my stylist didn’t have trouble sewing the tracks in as she sewed over the weft not through it. I  have not experienced shedding even though I did not seal the second weft that was cut. I have also not experienced any matting which is very common in Afro-textured extensions but this is because I made sure that my tracks were not sewn too close together and I finger detangle daily, obviously once I run a comb through it there will be some shedding which is normal, my real hair sheds and this hair behaves just like my natural hair.  I remember wearing straight weaves back in the day and hair falling out all over the place it was awful!

I have been wearing this hair for a week and I flippin’ love it! On Mothers Day (30th March) I was with my Mum for over an hour before she asked me if I’d dyed my hair, I said no and only then did she ask me if I had “hair” in my hair! I admitted it but my Mum still insisted on coming and looking for the tracks… lol!

My Mum really likes the style on me and trust me my Mum HATES weave!

This hair is not low-maintenance hair, you cannot just get up, shake it out and go but that is just like real highly-textured natural hair that grows out of our scalps. You do need to keep this hair moisturised and detangled, I literally treat this hair like my own natural hair which also means that my leave out and my braids underneath are not neglected.

I moisturise both my hair and the tracks at least once per day, I use Mane Divas Milk Moist or my own water spritz mix. Every couple of days I apply castor oil to my scalp (only) with an applicator bottle and I lightly finger-detangle every night before putting the hair into 2-4 chunky twists and covering with a satin bonnet.  I don’t do anything to my leave out except moisturise it, I don’t undo my twists unless I’m wearing my hair up as I’m trying to avoid over- manipulation of my precious strands.

If I wear my hair up, or back in one,my natural hair blends effortlessly  into the extensions as illustrated by by ponytail/puff below:

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I highly recommend this hair to anyone who wants to add length, thickness or volume to their natural hair or someone who wants to try out a natural texture before taking the plunge. Mane Divas also offer kinky-curly extensions which are a looser curl and various straight textures, if you don’t want to commit to a sew-in weave you can also purchase clips-ins from Mane Divas.

I haven’t washed my hair yet but when I do I’ll do a post on how easy or hard it was to wash the hair by myself. I’m also going to add highlights then colour the hair to see how the hair holds up.

Thanks for Reading

Luv

Sian

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*I bought this hair with my own money, prices correct at time of writing this post.

Product Review: Heavenly Hair and Scalp Intensive Treatment Shampoo & Conditioner + Hair Cream

Hello Naturalistas!

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I was given these products to review, but as usual my review is completely honest. Please remember everyone’s hair is different and just because a product may or may not have worked for my hair it doesn’t mean that your hair will react in the same way to the product/s.

I have decided to use a version of the “Evelyn from the Internets” rating system from now on, hair products will get a rating of Afro Puffs  “0” being awful and “10” being amazing. Body/Skin Products will get a rating of Skin Cells between 0 and 10 same as for hair products.

The Shampoo

The shampoo is paraben and sulphate free which is fantastic. It smells really really nice like Pink Fruitella, if you don’t know what that smells like, it smells sweet but not sickly with a strong smell of wild berries. The shampoo is a medium consistency and slightly creamy, it did lather up a lot which worried me but, it did not leave my hair feeling stripped when I rinsed it out  although my hair did feel nice and clean.

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium, Organic Aloe Vera, Mint Essential Oil, Sulphur, Wild Berries Essential Oil, Argan Oil, Glycerine, Castor OilJojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Moringa.

I’m confused about the listing of Sodium, I’m sure it doesn’t contain PURE Sodium, obliviously it’s a sodium compound but which one?

Cost: £15.00

Rating: 7 Afro Puffs

The Conditioner

The conditioner is quite thick and creamy and again smells gorgeous with a fresh mint scent with a hint of citrus. The conditioner is quite thick and creamy but it did not have enough slip for my liking. I used this conditioner as directed, which is to apply it to clean towel blotted hair and wear a plastic cap for 15-20 mins, you are then instructed to wash out 50% of the conditioner. I found it difficult to know how much 50% was but I did my best each time. The conditioner did leave my hair feeling soft and strengthened but don’t try to use it to detangle, the bottle is too small and as I said it does not have much slip at all. when my hair was dry there was not an obvious visible conditioner residue but I preferred to rise the conditioner out completely (because of that dubious sodium). All in all I think this is a good moisture treatment and you should use it for your deep conditioning treatments, it works even better if you use heat over the top of your plastic cap.

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium, Organic Aloe Vera, Cinnamon, Lime Essential Oil, Shea Butter Essential Oil, Argan Oil, Glycerin, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Moringa

Cost: £15.00

Rating: 7 Afro Puffs

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The Hair Cream

Unsurprisingly this cream smells nice, it has a nice subtle herbal scent and a very thick, buttery consistency if you turn the tub upside down no product will fall out of the tub, it has flecks of Moringa in it but they do disappear when you apply the cream. I’m not really  sure of exactly what a “hair cream” is for, this particular cream claims to stimulate hair growth, I did not notice increased hair growth when I used it but maybe it is geared towards people who are experiencing issue in that area which I am not. I used it as directed,  applied it to my scalp and gently massaged it in. I don’t normally oil my scalp on a regular basis so it did feel nice on my scalp and it had a slight pleasant tingle. I also used this product to seal my ends when doing the LOC method and it did help my hair to retain moisture. If you use Shea Butter in your hair regimen this is like a super boosted Shea Butter, you could use it the same way you use Shea but it has added natural ingredients that are good for your hair/scalp.

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Vera, Mint, Wild Berries Essential Oil, Shea Butter, Moringa, Argan oil, Glycerine, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil.

Cost: £15.00

Rating: 6 Afro Puffs

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I was given this product range to review a few months ago, but being the PJ that I am, I wanted to use up some other products first and I also wanted to use theses products exclusively for a few wash days to make sure I gave them a fair chance, after all you can’t tell much about a product after only one use. All of this range has plain packaging which is fine by me but some people like fancier label and whatnot. One thing I love about this range is that it’s a BBGBB (another Evelyn phrase) meaning Black Girl Beauty Brand but I added an extra B for British, June -the lady who sells these products from her salon is located in Brixton, South London and her mobile number and landline number for the salon is printed on the products so if you have any questions about using the products you can call/text/WhatsApp June and she always gets back to you. The products are made in UK and not tested on animals so smiles all round!

Heavenly Hair and Scalp Website.

Thanks for reading

Luv

Sian

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