Teen Wellness Workshop at Ballou High School

This week I served as a guest speaker for the female teen wellness two day workshop at Ballou High School!  I was contacted by health educator Charlotte Hager of Unity Health Care to speak  with the girls from 9th to 12th grade.  She facilitates a comprehensive health and wellness workshop aimed specifically at the needs and interests of the teenagers.  I went during my lunch break to meet with Charlotte and talk to the girls.  During my presentation, I addressed a range of topics from my personal journey, self-esteem, goal setting, peer pressure, and communication.  The critical element of my speech and interaction was to make the connection to the importance of education and the processes of achieving goals. 

Here is why:

Ballou has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates and number of births by teen mothers in Washington, DC.  The goal is to get the students graduated and to their next opportunity baby-free, if possible.  Additionally, research and studies have shown that the number one protective factor for teen pregnancy prevention is an adult who is invested in the teen, serving in a mentor role. 

Teen pregnancy in DC:

In DC, teens can self-consent to confidential services from age 12 and older. This means they can access: http://www.dcregs.org/Gateway/RuleHome.aspx?RuleNumber=22-B600

  • Pregnancy tests
  • ALL birth control methods (from birth control pills to an IUD)
  • STD testing and treatment
  • Alcohol and substance abuse counseling and treatment

11th and 12th grade girls 

9th and 10th grade girls

And to my surprise- I inspired their case worker to rock her natural hair! 

Woooo Hooooo!!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Charlotte Hager for inviting me to speak and to the girls of Ballou High School. 

For more info: 

The curriculum for the workshops at Ballou: 

http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/555?task=view

XO,

Mel

Be Yours!

Location:

Highland Park

All the single ladies (All the single ladies)

All the single ladies (All the single ladies)

Now put your hands up!

Ok Ok I'm putting my hands down....

I believe Valentine's Day is just like any other day.  The only difference is you wait longer for a table at a restaurant and you may feel a little down if you are dateless.  But don't fret! 

Here are five ways to beat your Valentine's Day blues:

1.  Treat yourself to something special- since you are not spending your moolah on some dude, you might as well spend it on YOU!

2.  Make it Ladies Night- round up your unattached amigas and paint the town Pink! Who know who you'll meet.

3.  Plan a Party- invite your friends over and serve some signature cocktails and tapas.  To kick it up a notch, create a theme like "Red Lips only" - my fav by the way.

4.  Create your zen- go to a yoga class, meditate, or go to a spa to relax and get a massage.

5.  Book a trip and leave!- there's nothing like spending the day on a beach.

So instead of waiting to receive a conversation heart printed with the message "Be Mine" - Be Yours!

XOXO,

Mel

FYI:   Indulging (just a little) on dark chocolate is good for the heart- your heart!  

Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two to three times a week can lower your blood pressure.  It improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots. 

Photos by:  Maleknaz

Suit: Vintage

Shoes:  Melissa by Vivienne Westwood

Lipstick:  MAC Ruby Wood and Morange 

Chrisette Michele talks music and natural hair

Dark and Lovely invited me to stop by their booth at the 1st annual Bennett Career Institute  & C. Allan Systems First Annual Celebrity Beauty Weekend with guest artist Chrisette Michele and it went a little something like this...

No shrinkage makes us HAPPY!

The End

Special Thanks to: AriJazmin (video and photos) 

Check out Dark and Lovely on Facebook and Instagram

Abrazos,

Mel

In Black y Blanco

Location:  Highland Park

My favorite thing to wear this winter is a crisp suit. I normally wear them to work but I decided to switch it up and rock it with comfy sneakers in my fav color combo, black y blanco.

Photos by: Maleznaz

Blazer: Koton

Shirt:  Forever21

Pants:  Zara

Sunglasses: Chanel

Sneakers:  Converse Jack Purcell

It's Brick outside! As a New Yorker would say

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With the temperature rapidly dropping and already experiencing our first winter storm, I was filled with nostalgia for this beautiful fall day.  

I met up with my friend Ari in DC (13th and U St. NW to be exact) and we took advantage of an unseasonable warm afternoon to take some pics.  She scoped out this spot and just started snapping away.... 

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Ya'll know I love a jumping picture! 

Featured: Refinery 29!

Ok so I'm going to cut to the chase and say that I was SUPER elated when I received an email requesting to be featured on Refinery 29- one of my absolute favorite sites.  I experienced a lot of different emotions that day because to think the night before I was surfing the site searching for a new handbag and the perfect party look for an upcoming event and now I'm one of the editor's picks! 

A huge Thank You to editor Holly E. Thomas and photographer Kate Warren for capturing such ahhhmazing moments. It was a blast working with the both of you. Check out the full interview HERE

But WAIT!!!  Here are some outtakes....

Hugs,

Mel

Luv & Learn Your Hair Tour Hosted by Taren Guy - DC visit

I attended the Luv & Learn Your Hair event held at the Midtown Partyplex.  It was founded and hosted by the one and only natural hair vlogger Taren Guy!  It started off with raffle prizes and awesome gift bags by Motions, to a hair style demonstration, and concluded with a panel discussion with Yolanda Renee of Etc Blog Mag, hair care expert Jennifer Rose, and vlogger Kirsten Walker.  Everyone spoke candidly about their personal hair journey including the triumphs and struggles.  The discussion was an even balance of inspiration and education - which definitely represented Taren's mission.  Check out the pics! 

xoxo,

Mel

P.S. Please be sure to check out her upcoming dates in a town near you!

Taren Guy

 

Coco of Cacao Culture

The panel

Fashion Facebook Contest featuring ME!

It's DC Fashion Week! 

In celebration, I was given an assignment: Create a chic outfit only using the Louis at 14th theme colors: Pink, Green, Purple, Black and White (all colors did not have to be used). So, who wore it best?

"LIKE" the picture to vote -  http://bit.ly/LouisFashion You can vote for as many people as you'd like! The person with the most "Likes" by Monday, October 7 wins a $350 Four Seasons Gift Card.  A special Thanks to the folks at Design Army for selecting me to participate in this super fun contest.

Woooooo Hoooo! *My fingers are crossed*

Now let's VOTE!

Hugs,

Mel

DC Family Weekend - More like #TBT

Sometimes Skype and FaceTime are not enough when you miss little sister and nieces - so I convinced her to come visit! We couldn't have planned it better.  The weather was absolutely beautiful so we headed out and enjoyed every bit of it.....

Meet Zoë

Meet Sanai

We had a picnic by the Jefferson Memorial

 Zoë was up to something..

 Uncle Sheldon came and Zoë started a handstand contest! 

Sanai was showing her skills...

 

 and Uncle Sheldon got a "A" for effort! 

Xoxo,

Mel

P.S. For those who inquired about my nieces hair care regimen, here it is:

Sanai

Wash: Dark and Lovely Au Naturale anti shrinkage shampoo

Condition:  Dark and Lovely Au Naturale anti shrinkage conditioner

Style: Dark and Lovely Curl Defining Creme Glaze

Zoë

Wash: Dark and Lovely Au Naturale anti shrinkage shampoo

Condition:  Dark and Lovely Au Naturale anti shrinkage conditioner

Style: Shea Moisture Curl Organic coconut & hibiscus curl enhancing smoothie

 

**Hair was air dried

 

YES Zara YES!!!!

So I probably shouldn't have been shopping this weekend but I can NEVER resist the urge to just "walk" into Zara.  It is one of my favorite stores because you are bound to find something super cute and inexpensive.  While "walking" around Zara (with a pair of new pants in my hand) I saw this t-shirt and literally said YEEEES out loud.  She is definitely rockin' her rizos!!! This t-shirt definitely made me proud.  Looks like I will stopping by more often...