Friday

A Model You Shows What A Little Love Can Do

Thanks so much for spreading joy and love across the miles.
The Lewis girls, Kayla, Katrina, Kimberly, expressed tremendous joy and gratitude for the support you showed their family.

The three youngest girls got together last Sunday after spending the morning planning what they would buy, then it was off to Target. The oldest girl Kadija, didn't make this first excursion as she has begun working to earn some extra income.

They were all smiles as they spoke about how their prayers had been answered. Their mom on the other hand was moved to tears, because while for most school girls their age, shopping for books, a pair of shoes, a crop top and bootleg jeans this year was a given, for the Lewis girls, it was a blessing.

Thank you all for being a blessing!

Love,

Nina Shay and Patricia Sadler
A Model You

Thursday

HOW WE DID WITH OUR LEWIS FAMILY PROJECT

Dear Family and Friends:

It is with pleasure that I bring you this update. Together we achieved something truly remarkable. You responded to my request for help and we raised $1,000.00 in merchandise gift cards, as well as two full boxes of school supplies for the Lewis family girls.

Your donations have been received by the family and they have scheduled a shopping excursion to take place this weekend. My hope is to capture photographs to show you the excitement, I heard in their voices after they received these gifts.

We are truly blessed because of your generosity-you, because you gave of yourself, me-because I followed God's spirit in my heart, and the Lewis family, because they now know there are people out there who really care about their well being and the advancement of their futures.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My mom is assisting me with seeing to it the girls receive and make good use of your donations, and she would like to thank you as well.

We will be forwarding individual acknowledgements to each and every one of you. Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions. In the meantime, keep letting your light shine!!!

Love,

Nina Shay
LIFE AND STYLE TODAY
Readers Health Note

For those who like to drink cold water, this note is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine . Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

Shared by Belinda Grimes
Life and Style Today
Still Haven’t Gotten Your Mother’s Day Gift?

If procrastination was a crime, some of us would be sentenced to one or more life terms. I declare that old adage "a woman's work is never done" is soooo true! Hey, I know a lot of you were looking for me to give you the update on some fabulous must-have gift ideas for Mother’s Day but between the "P" factor and the fact that girlfriend (moi, of course) doesn't have a maid, a nanny or a stand-in for my jobs, I just couldn't find time to get all my shopping done.
If you’re anything like me, in which case I’ll pray for you, you still haven’t picked up your Mother’s gift yet. But have no fear, I've got your last minute "Latest and Greatest Mother's Day Gift Ideas" right here.
What’s Hot For Mom Right Now!

Nearly Nude Undergarments
Note: These beauties are the latest body essentials for those summer dresses or tops that Mom can’t wear a bra with but still needs that extra lift and support for. She'll love that they’re specifically designed with low fronts for even the lowest cut top and they are engineered to pull her in, lift her up and upgrade her cleavage like never before.
FYI: Fits up to size 16DD and it's made of 93% polyamide, 7% elastine.
Where To Find It:
West: Shop Intuition http://www.shopintuition.com/
Price Range: $54.00


Kitson Sneaker Shoes
Note: Kitson sneaker shoes are the ultimate in style. Not only will Mom find them comfortable to wear out for a day of shopping, running errands on the weekend or to work on Casual Fridays but she'll love the fact that they're fun, oh so fashionable and they’ve never met a khakis, jean, or capris they didn’t like.

Where To Find It:
Everywhere: Loehmann’s http://www.loehmanns.com/
Price Range: $35.00-$60.00
*I just got a great camouflage pair at Loehmann's for $16.99
Vixen Swimsuit Cover-Ups
Note: Just what Mom's swimsuit ordered, a good cover-up that does the job and won’t scream "I'm trying to hide something I don’t want you to see". Vixen has a style for everybody and a multitude of colors, designs and lengths for all her cover-up needs.

Where To Find It:
Vixen Swimwear
Everywhere: Saks Fifth Avenue http://www.saks.com/
East: Water Water Everywhere
The Wear with Anything Blouse
Note: This is the perfect summer blouse to coordinate with anything in Mom's closet. If she has a pink, blue, grey, white, red, fuchsia, blue denim or green pair of pants or skirt, this is the top for it. The printed silk fabric in multi vibrant floral patterns with v-neck, shirring, racer style back, & full lining is that one piece every woman needs.
FYI: It’s 26 inches long and 100% Silk Charmeuse
Where to Find It:
West: Shop Intuition http://www.shopintuition.com/
Price Range: $95.00


Other Places To Find These and Other Mother’s Day Gifts
nordstrom.com
neimanmarcus.com
sylverwear.com
pink.com
saks.com

Tuesday

Health and Money Talk
A Little Food for Thought

A short time ago, Rolonda Watts and I were talking about the latest fashions on her radio show "The Ro Show" and the darnedest styles that people like to revive, although they should be dead and buried, never to be seen again.

For a moment during our conversation we reflected on shopping at the dollar store. I happened to be telling Ro about a new trend in bags called the "Market Bags". They're the ones that come in the red, white and blue stripe, usually with two handles and you could fit anything in the world in them and they would actually hold up (I think the names for them are Rice Bags). I joked that if you didn't want to pay $100 for the latest versions, you could save $99 dollars by picking up one at the dollar stores. That was not the fashionable option though.

Anyway, she and I got a good laugh out of that. We've all browsed through our local Family Tree, 99 Cent Depot, Family Dollar or Dollar Store, picking up little things for school parties, back to school items and kitchen supplies. Some have even admitted to buying their office party $10-grab-bag gifts there-lol.

Hey in this day and in the "you know who" age of high food, gas and health care prices, it would be great to save or in this case spend a buck or two on some much needed items, but it's important to remember along with those Big Discounts sometimes come Big Risks.

The fact is, some of these bargains end up not being smart shopping at all. Instead they have been found to be down right dangerous and ultimately very costly.
Unfortunately, most problem-prone dollar stores products are those that offer the biggest discounts. Take these five items for example:

1) Batteries
Most dollars store battery brands are made with carbon zinc-a far more inferior option than the ones you buy at the hardware or drugstore according to Tom Merritt, Executive Editor for electronics review site CNET2. Chances are you'll go through a pack of the dollar stores bought brand much sooner, negating your initial savings. Instead spend the money to purchase the alkaline batteries with less shelf time from another store.

2) Toothpaste
You might not give a second thought to what's in the tubes of toothpaste you're buying, but you should. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that many of the imported toothpastes typically found at dollar stores and other discount outlets contained the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol (DEG), most commonly used as a thickener in antifreeze (Ugh!). To date the agency has identified more than 20 hazardous brands, including several counterfeit tubes that look like Colgate.

Bye the way, Rita Chappelle, a spokeswoman for the FDA reports; repeated brushing with DEG can cause liver and kidney damage and other gastrointenstinal problems.

3) Electrical Products
Holiday lights and extension cords should never be purchased from dollar stores. The reason is: Often times in these cheaper made products the wiring is undersized (meaning more current goes through than the device can handle), according to Consumer Reports. They may have a substandard insulation. At best, they make for faulty products that short out very easily. At their worst, the cords can overheat, melt, shock you or even start a fire.

4) Kid's Jewelry
The problem with them is very similar to those experienced by many toy makers last year who were being questioned, even sued over sales of products which were found to contain lead.

Many of the dollar stores toys are believed to be unsafe. Especially items that contain metal. Basically, none of these products can be guaranteed safe. So although the necklaces and rings and other items, are easy and cheap for Halloween or birthday gift bags, they should be avoided for the safety of your child.

5) Vitamins
These vitamins can be dicey, says FDA spokesperson, Tod Marks, because the FDA considers multivitamins a dietary supplement, there's significantly less oversight when it comes to their composition and effects on the body than there is for prescription medications. In a 2004 analysis, Consumer Reports found that half of the dollar stores vitamin brands it studied contained less of the nutrients claimed on the label, or failed to dissolve properly when ingested. Funny enough there were no such findings in similar investigations of major brand names according to Marks.

While all of the claims mentioned were not made by myself, nor do I have any evidence to support them, it seems like common sense-101 to me and who knows better than us to follow our intuition.

Be Healthy and Blessed.

Nina

Saturday



Hello Loved Ones,

Today the "California Howard Clan" celebrated Theo's first 200 Meter Race win. He came in 1st in the Midget/200 Meter Race against 8 other runners. He also placed 2nd in the hurdle jump and 2nd in the 400 Meter Race. This was a tremendous feat considering this was his 2nd track meet, and last Saturday, though he demonstrated a great deal of courage by participating in the hurdles, he fell coming off his first jump. We should let you know though, that he popped up in a matter of seconds to catch up to the 3rd runner. He also ran in the 800 and 200 meter races where he placed 6 and 7th. We knew he was just testing the waters and would come back faster and stronger on the next go-round. We are extremely proud of our little athlete!


Thursday

FEBRUARY RECAP
BLACK HOLLYWOOD HONORS ITS OWN
by Nina Shay

Each year, amid the OSCAR buzz in Tinseltown, Black Hollywood nests around two highly anticipated events to celebrate their own. The purpose is to recognize and reward the many works that often times go unnoticed in the elite world of entertainment.

February 14th, 2008, the 39th Annual NAACP Image Awards kicked off OSCAR week as it suited up to pay homage to its leading men and women of Hollywood. Billed as “the nation’s premier event celebrating the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice”, the Image Awards is reminiscent of the Screen Actor's Guild Awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, Oscars and Grammy's all rolled up into one.

As usual, the star-studded event did not disappoint. As most predicted, The Great Debaters won “Outstanding Motion Picture”. The film’s star, Oscar winner, Denzel Washington, took home “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture”. Newcomers, Jurnee Smollett and Denzel Whitaker nabbed Outstanding Actress and Outstanding Supporting Actor for their roles in The Great Debaters. Also among the many nominees were: Forest Whitaker, Don Cheatle and Taraji Henson for Talk to Me. Award Recipients included: Aretha Franklin (Vanguard Award), Ruby Dee (Chairman Award), Vanessa Williams for Outstanding Supporting Actress for Ugly Betty and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy went to Janet Jackson for Why Did I Get Married?

The second “hot ticket” in town took place on February 20th when Black Enterprise Magazine hosted its salute to the 25 Top Money Makers in Hollywood at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Although the event is more of a party than an award show, the evening served to remind us of the significance of honoring the “best in the business” while acknowledging the "unsung heroes" who play an important role in our lives. Highlights of the evening included yet another special presentation to veteran actress, Ruby Dee and special film recognition for American Gangster and Bucket List. Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Tyler Perry, Byron Allen, Queen Latifa were among those recognized and a who’s who in Black Hollywood were there to mix, mingle and congratulate!

Tuesday

Celebrating Black History Month!

Mark Your Calendars:

Super Tuesday February 5, 2008 + Other Dates: www.votesmart.org/elections
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day February 7, 2008 http://www.blackaidsday.org/
Pan African Film Festival Los Angeles February 7-18, 2008 http://www.paff.org/




Love Ya!
Nina


Thursday

What a perfect time to introduce to you a FABULOUS line of jewelry by my girl Sylver Logan Sharp, and her mother, Paula Potts, two amazingly talented women and wonderful friends of mine.

For a long time their beautifully handcrafted jewelry collection "Sylverwear" was an inside secret known only to us friends, family and to many of Sylver's industry friends including Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Roberta Flack, Chaka Kahn, Nile Rodgers, Linda Dano, Erica Slezak and cast members on ABC's "One Life To Live".


Although Sylver likes to pull out her beautiful bags of tricks and place her BREATHTAKING pieces around your neck, in your ears or on your arms herself, she is now ready to share her exclusive collections with the world through her amazing "Clarity in Color" jewelry collection on her new online catalogue at http://www.sylverwear.com/!

Check out her exclusive designs and the Celebrities Photo Gallery page, and don't mind me she loves me so much she stuck my photo in there too LOL! And I love her back! Oh yeah, did I mention the fact that girlfriend is the female lead singer of the group CHIC with CRAZY, RIDICULOUS vocal talent, and she's also got an amazing solo hit song out called "Don't Give Up (On You)", that everybody's buying up? Well you'll find that out soon enough and you will absolutely fall in love too and just in time for Valentine's Day!

Love You All,
Nina

Tuesday

Hello Ladies,

Friday, February 1, 2008, is National Wear Red Day—a day when Americans nationwide will take women's health to heart by wearing red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness.

The Heart Truth is: "Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You Wear—It's the #1 Killer of Women."

The statistics are alarming: Heart disease is the #1 killer of women.
One in 4 women dies of heart disease; 1 in 30 dies of breast cancer.

The good news is that both men and women can lower their risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent by leading a healthy lifestyle. Join the national awareness movement by wearing red on February 1, and encourage your family, friends, and coworkers to do the same.

Anyone can participate by showing off a favorite red dress, shirt, or tie, or Red Dress Pin.
The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other partner organizations.

The campaign launched the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wakeup call to American women.
For tools and materials to help you promote Heart Truth activities, especially National Wear Red Day, visit www.hearttruth.gov.

Monday

HEALTH NOTE
COULD YOUR LIFESTYLE BE CAUSING YOU CANCER?

DID YOU KNOW there are at least 10 things we do or don’t, do depending on your take of it, that could make a sizeable difference in how susceptible we are to developing certain types of cancer?

Here’s a quick quiz to see how cancer free you’re living. I hope you pass-I didn’t.

DO YOU SLEEP IN TOTAL DARKNESS?

Melatonin (a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in inverse proportion to the amount of light received by the retina, important in the regulation of biorhythms) which is produced in the brain when you sleep, is said to lower the risk of certain cancers. Sleeping at least 7 hours decreases your chances of developing breast cancer.

DO YOU DRINK GREEN TEA?
Green Tea is known to have a protective effect against certain cancers. It’s also used as an adjuvant treatment for those already diagnosed with cancer.

IS YOUR BMI (BODY MASS INDEX) 25 OR LOWER?
A recently published finding from the Nurses' Health Study in Boston found that post-menopausal women just 44 pounds overweight double their risk of breast cancer. Further, "There seems to be an even stronger association with greater degrees of obesity," according to Harvard University endocrinologist, JoAnn Manson, M.D., one of the heads of the study. FYI-A BMI of 25 or lower has proven to aid in warding off certain cancers.

DO YOU EAT 5 OR MORE PORTIONS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES DAILY?
Increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables from the usual one to two (that most people get), to 5 to nine is likely to decrease your chances of developing certain cancer by half according to national studies including those conducted by the Nurses Health Study in Boston.

DO YOU AVOID ANTIBIOTICS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE?
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed a direct connection between the excessive use of antibiotics and an increase in breast cancer. Although they can be lifesaving, antibiotics do not treat the common cold which is normally due to virus and should not be used unless taken for a bacterial infection.

DO YOU AVOID DRYCLEANING AND OPT FOR WASHING YOUR CLOTHES?

For many years now, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has declared, that Perchloroethylene (perc), a chemical commonly used by dry cleaners, has been proven to elevate the risk of certain cancers, especially in those working in such establishments. Wet cleaning or liquid C02 cleaning is the recommended method.

DO YOU PRIMARILY USE STAINLESS STEEL OR CERAMIC COOKWARE AND DISCARD YOUR ANY DAMAGED NON-STICK COOKWARE?
The chemical Perflouroctanoic Acid (PFOA) used to make non-stick cookware is reported by the Environmental Protection Agency, to be a human carcinogen. It is best to use stainless steel or ceramic cookware. If you’re using non-stick (Teflon) make sure to throw them away at the first sign of damage. Also, be aware that companies use the same coating for microwaveable popcorn.

DO YOU HAVE AN ACTIVE SEX LIFE? Studies including one done by a Melbourne research team have concluded that an active sex life (preferably with a monogamous partner), is said to make for a healthier person and reduces the risk of breast cancer in women and men.

DO YOU MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS WASH THEIR HANDS AFTER PLAYING ON WOODEN OUTDOOR PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT? The arsenic chemical CCA used in more than 90 percent of all wooden playground equipment before it was banned in 2003, has been shown to cause cancer. A study showed that 1 in 500 people will develop cancer from the arsenic they absorb from these types of structures.

DO YOU EXERCISE AT LEAST 30 MINUTES PER DAY?
Studies recorded by the American Cancer Society have shown that daily exercise, in conjunction with other good habits, such as proper dieting, lowers the risk of certain cancers in most everyone.

I have to tell you it was very interesting researching these claims. A follow-up will need to be done on many of them because there is so many more pertinent pieces of information out there, some of which are as amusing as they are educational. In the meantime, to borrow a few words from the late Biggie Smalls, "If you don’t know, now you know". Please don't wait for anyone or any life-threatening occurrence to make that decision for you. Make the choice NOW to make the difference in YOUR life!

Love You All
Nina Shay

P.S. Thank you so much for your responses to my last blog. Some people emailed comments and others posted them here. I learned a lot and was enlightened, to say the least. I found out quite a few of you had similiar emergency room experiences, which got me to thinking; We are our greatest resource and we should use each other more often. Imagine being used in a positive way :)

Thursday

Health Note

Hello Ladies,

Here's a little food for thought for all you mothers. I personally know that every one of you is attentive to your children whether they are adolescent or grown, but from my own experience I know that there are times when our work, our health and or other issues render us a little less alert and it's at those times when others can take advantage of us.

That's why I want to share my story about my emergency room experience with my son the other night. Thank the Lord he is fine, but he was complaining two days ago about having chest pain. Now I LOVE this little boy to death, however he can give Denzel a run for his money in the theatrics department, looks too, for that matter, so after a little doubling over and whining, I took him to the urgent care center in my neighborhood.

After the paper work was done, the doctor arrived and asked Theodore questions, like how long have you had this pain (to which Theo answered since yesterday and I had been told today), did you get hit, hurt, are you allergic to anything, and so on. Theodore answered the best he could, then the doctor says well "if there is no known reason why, it could just be .........................".

It was as if he was saying, he's probably fine. At that moment, I felt the need to ask what he thought it could be that we weren't seeing or aware of. He named a few things and said "we could take a chest x-ray and maybe check his blood". So I said "maybe we should" rather than go home not knowing anymore than when we came. He returned to let me know that everything checked out fine.

Then it dawned on me that he hadn't checked Theo's eyes, ears or throat, you know-the basic things doctors do with kids. So I asked if he did those things (for those of you who know me, I did this in as much of a nice and non-threatening way as I could :). He said "yeah I do, I guess I should check them ha?". Right now I'm thinking (?). So he does and then he says "this right eardrum is bulging out, it looks infected, he should be complaining", but Theo had not been and said it wasn't bothering him then.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics (amoxicillin). "Good thing we looked" he said. Again I'm like (?). The nurse came in and handed me the prescription and one pill for Theo to take that night, but for some reason my intuition told me not to give it to me, so I didn't and she made me sign that I was refusing the medicine.

My reasoning was, for one, Theo hasn't taken antibiotics that I know of and I didn't want to run the risk of him possibly having a bad reaction to it and I honestly didn't want to put that in his system if I didn't have to and judging from the doctors lack of common sense, I thought I'd wait and have our regular physician (someone we obvisouly know and trust) check him out. The next day I took Theo to his doctor and explained everything. The doctor examined his ears looking for infection and said Theo's ears were perfectly fine. To satisfy us both he checked again and said nothing was wrong with his ears, and as for the the chest pain it could be a muscular contraction from a little physical activity or growing pains and if it had been anything alarming there would be other systems.............

As I sit here writing this post I am reminded that I should at least make the Urgent Care Center aware of this. Mind you, the doctor will bill me independently of the Center as it's done these days and I will let him know too. I just don't like the idea of feeling like a late night trip to Emergency Room might afford you an examination from a seemingly ER-Temp, making bogus diagnosis'.

So I just want to remind you to ask questions, watch carefully and DO give second thought to what the doctors and nurses say.

Stay Healthy
Love you All