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About a month ago, an acquaintance rescued me from my fast swelling natural hair as we enjoyed a free outdoor concert with our fellow local naturals. She has dreads down to her arse and I have free flowing kinky curly shoulder length hair. So, how did she rescue me? She took off her Tomoka's hair twist and tied it around my hair. Now, you're probably wondering how a hair accessory that could hold dreads almost as tall as me could also secure about a three-quarters less hair. It's the ultra flexible copper wire! Not only does the flexibility make these a feasible option for almost any hair length and thickness, they won't damage natural hair. I do have to be careful with the tiny hooked ends of the wire to avoid snagging my hair, but this is a minor issue. So, far I've worn it as a headband and loved it. It's so lightweight and non-headache inducing unlike traditional headbands. The hair twists can be worn in almost any style imaginable, from headband to ponytail holder. Mimi Fleming, the owner and designer of Tomoka's Twists, has crafted such a nice variety of hair accessories that you'll find one for any and every occasion. 

Ms. Fleming is also a gracious business woman. After a couple of visits to the website and discovering her shop was still out of stock of the design I was most interested in, she took the time to find out exactly what I wanted and contacted me when it was available. Small business owners take note of excellent customer service. And I'm not mad at her for having such an in demand product. Even in a recession, I find her prices fairly reasonable. Considering the amount of ponytail holders I go through annually and that I could wear my "curly girl" hair twist EVERY.DAY, the $16 price tag was worth it. 

So, all my natural hair havin', dread lock wearin', curly 'fro pickin' beauties, click over to Tomoka's Twists and support a brown girl and handcrafting artisan. 

 
 
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Corinne is back and she brought grown and sexy with her. Yes, there's been talk of this whole album being some sort of lament over the tragic loss of her husband, musician Jason Rae, nearly two years ago.  However, I hear more than sorrow. I definitely hear a woman who has loved and lost in a big way, but more importantly I hear a woman. The Sea has such maturity and range. Bailey Rae shows so much vulnerability on this album. She challenged herself vocally which is so refreshing and is a testament to where she is as an artist: uninhibited.

Immediate standouts/ faves for me are:
* I'd Do It All Again. She clearly expresses her unwavering love for her husband despite any shortcomings. It's beautiful and heart-breaking. This is where she shines vocally and just puts her soul on display.

* Closer. Corinne tries on some straight R&B here and she wears it well, like a sexy little black dress. The lyrics, the vocals....everything's on point. I've already played this song like two dozen times.

* Are You Here. Psychedelic and soulful. The track reminds me of the Beatles or Jefferson Airplane. She questions the lingering presence of her husband.

* Love's On Its Way. Another glorious ballad that invokes so much emotion. It verges on being anthemic.

* The Blackest Lily. Rock/ Funk tinged and featuring drummer ?uestlove of The Roots, it's that "I really shouldn't hook up with you but I kinda can't help myself" song.

 
Now let me make it clear that this entire album is bliss. I'm completely loving this new sound she's serving up. It's a beautiful blend of sweet and sultry . Fledgling and up-and-coming artists, please take note. This is how you grow and evolve.

 
 
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Who's Alice? Alice is a new website that allows you to shop for household essentials with always free shipping and even allows you to setup reminders for when to restock. You can setup a free account and add products to the "My Products" section. This is nice so that once you find your fave brand and quantities, you won't have to do a search every time. And setting up an account does not obligate you to make a purchase or using the reminder feature. The site itself is very easy to navigate. The really nice part is that shipping is free. You do have to purchase a minimum of six items which I don't think is unreasonable. If you're going to add to your carbon footprint, make it count. I do find that, after some browsing, some items are cheaper than my local grocery or drugstore, even with me being a coupon queen. Alice does not accept manufacturer coupons but does seem to consistently offer discounts on random items.

The reason I tried Alice is because I got a $5 gc from Swagbucks and figured why not? I was low on Borax and washing soda and was so surprised they had it. I live in a small metropolitan and I've only found washing soda in one grocery store which doesn't allow for much price competition. I was even more surprised to see two of my items less expensive than where I usually shop, even after a coupon.

My package arrived on the estimated arrival date which is the date I guessed anyway. My order was processed promptly and, upon receipt, I can say it's well packed. I don't know that I'll use the reminder service or the upcoming autoship, but who knows. I just need them to carry more of the all natural products I use like Dr. Bronner's. Although, I'm almost certain I'll use Alice again.