With Love, From Me To You

So today’s the day that heart-shaped sentiment will be shoved down our collective throat. Millions of dollars worth of flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears will be purchased and delivered. All of the television shows will have some kind of theme of romance.

Valentine’s Day again. Yuck.

Despite the commercial nature of February 14, I hope today is a beautiful day for you regardless of how you spend it.

I’m a big believer in also being my own Valentine, so better believe that I’m psyched to see what red and pink heart shaped gift boxes go on sale at Sephora tomorrow!

To me, Valentine’s is a great day to recognize the people you hold dear who you maybe don’t tell every day. It’s a wonderful time to stop, appreciate, and let someone know how much they mean to you. Today, it’s your day.

It occurs to me — you all know so much about me, but I know very little about most of you. Partially inspired by the homegirl Nichelle, I want to get to know all about you today. So lurkers, come on out and introduce yourself!

I want to know where you’re from, what you do, how did you discover Afrobella, and how do you feel about my site? Tell me what you love about it, what you don’t like about it, what you’d like to see more or less of.

This is the first V-Day I’m having with you bellas, and I just want to wish each and every one of you a happy day. I get endless love from you on a daily basis, and that means the world to me. There are so many days that I find myself exhausted, bereft of ideas, and not wanting to write my name much less anything else. But I persevere, and my reward is an inbox overflowing with comments from you all – beautiful, intelligent women of all ethnicities, from all over the world. Oh, and some afrofellas, too!

You keep me afloat on my weightiest days, and I love you for that.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Comments

  1. Well I’ll be first I guess! I discovered Afrobella on one of those days of supreme procrastination. I was browsing the links on concrete loop I think, discovered the site and fell instantly in love! I’d been toying with the idea of going natural and it inspired me to finally take the plunge.

    Anyway, about me. I was born in the beautiful country of Ghana in West Africa, the first black African nation to gain independence from colonial rule baby! Lol. Anyway, I moved to London, England when I was seven and I’ve been here ever since apart from 3 years living in Atlanta/ Iowa for college. I’m back in London now but will be moving back to Atlanta when I finish this degree (English and Lingusitics). I feel I have said too much already so I’ll stop :)

  2. Good morning bellas! first let me say, I absolutely adore this website! lets see.. I am a 23 year old woman, born in Nigeria, where i spent the first half of my life before migrating to the states. I currently work for a non-profit organization in baltimore, maryland-which also caters to the needs of baltimore city youths. I discovered this site when i was browsing “cake and ice cream”..and I have been hooked ever since! I contemplated going natural for over 3 months, i stopped relaxing my hair in november, and went in for the big chop in january..I was fearless yall! :) I must say, this has been an amazing journey thus far- mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Seeing other natural bellas sharing tips about hair and makeup, in addition to discussing music, and politics (and anything else) on this site has helped me be even more confident in who I am as a natural sista. Keep up the great work afrobella! HAPPY LOVE DAY EVERYONE!!

  3. Happy Valentines Day! Love your site — I found you through Ebony Mommy and my recent quest to go natural/wear dreads. My baby dreads are quite fierce looking if I do say so myself! I’m originally from California, and now live in Mississippi with my husband and two year old daughter. I currently do payroll/scheduling at our state’s teaching hospital, but hope to go back to school this fall and start working on my PhD.

    I love the variety of your site – makeup, music, hair, shout outs to the afrobellas among us – it’s a great mix that works. Keep up the good work.

  4. Thanks for the love, Bella! I was browsing on Concrete Loop and the name of your site just jumped out at me. Your mix of beauty, music, and social commentary is a winning combination that encouraged me to come out of my lurkdom. I am from St. Louis, MO, 31 years old, single (but in a relationship), no kids. I love lipglosses and lipsticks and I am a perfume and scent addict! Contemplating going natural and I love ging to the different sites for product and hairstyle recommendations for when I do make the journey. V-Day is too commercialized and fake, so me and my honey don’t celebrate it–I get lots of love all year around from him! We usually get each other a card and leave it at that. Keep up the good work!

  5. I DISCOVERED AFROBELLA JUST SUFING THE NET AND LURKING AT OTHER BLOGS, WHICH TO ME WERE VERY HYPERCRITICAL PLACES. THE MAJORITY OF BLOGS THAT I VISITED WERE CENTERED AROUNG BLACKS BUT THE COMMENT SECTION WAS JUST TOO NEGATIVE FOR ME, I SWEAR TO THIS DAY I CANT UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE ” E-FIGHT” ON THE NET AND SOME OF THE NAME CALLING AND EVERYTHING WAS JUST ASININE,RIDICULOUS, TOMFOOLERY. SERIOUSLY… I HAD HAD ENOUGH UNTIL I STUMBLED ACROSS THIS SITE, WHICH GAVE ME THE GOSSIP BUT WAS INSIGHTFUL AS WELL. PLUS PEOPLE IN THIS COMMENT SECTION ARE INTELLIGENT AND KNOW HOW TO SPEAK THERE MIND WITHOUT USING A GANG OF CURSE WORDS TO GET THEIR POINT ACROSS. I AM A PERSON WHO LOVES, LIVES AND BREATHES FASHION, I JUST WISH THAT I COULD AFFORD EVERYTHING THAT I LIKE, BUT IN DUE TIME. IM STUDYING TO BECOME AN INTERIOR DESIGNER BUT HAVE BEEN TOYING WITH THE IDEA OF FASHION DESIGN SINCE I LOVE IT SOOO VERY MUCH, I’M AN ARIES SO IM PASSIONATE ABOUT THINGS THAT MEAN ALOT TO ME, SOME PEOPLE CALL IT PUSHY, I JUST CALL IT GOING FOR THE GOLD!!!!

  6. Hi, I love your site, I’m Nigerian, just moved to the DC area from Ft lauderdale Fl, and I absolutely love your site. I’ve been natural for about a year and a half and i’m loving the experience. I absolutely love my hair and have not felt this beautiful in a long time. Thanks for all your tips they have been very helpful.

  7. Hi:

    I’m not sure really how I happened upon Afrobella (probably via The Modest Goddess blog), but I love this blog and religious check it out. I’m 28 years old, born in St. Louis, MO and raised in E. St. Louis, IL. I currently live in Brooklyn, NY and have been rocking my hair natural for 4 years now. I am a fashion designer/ stylist and love to travel (Afrobella, I’m about to bounce on your country in less than 24 hrs for Carnival for the 2nd time :D). Keep up the great work with your blog and I will be here lurking and reading :)

  8. Well, since you’re calling out the lurkers I guess I must respond. I found your spot from a link at Soul Spin. I’ve been natural almost my entire life. There was a year and a half of perming during high school. I’m 29, married, with two kids. I love your site because of your honest commentary and critiques. I love the advice on makeup and hair products. This site has been a big help for combing my hair and my daughter’s hair also. Oh yeah, I’m originally from FL, now live in Houston Texas, and in two weeks I’ll be moving to California. Love ya!!!

  9. I came across your site via a link on nappturality. Oh the joy, the romance, the fantasy, the commentary, the political insights, the inclusiveness. It’s like shopping at your fave makeup stall, reading the gossip columns,rummaging through the archives, eating that yummy chocolate cake. hmm. it’s like that shot of caffeine mid morning. oh and did i mention how pampered i feel after a visit. Yes afrobella your site does it for me, educates me and opens up a whole new world.

    I like everything really. I enjoy how much you include all women of beauty – young and old -er. Since I suppose I am middle aged I really appreciate this. What would i like more of? I really dont know. You’re doing a marvellous job. Maybe we could have more talk about food and style (but ignore this if you already do cos i’m fairly new to the site).

    I was born and bred in London.

  10. i think i found your site while searching for websites that catered to natural hair. i have to tell you that i absolutely love your site and i find myself checking the site a few times a day for updates. i have to admit i was really excited when i realized that we have that we share the same birthday. well here is a little about myself. i am 25 years old soon to be 26. i was born and raised in Cleveland, OH and still live currently. i am currently a fulltime grade student working on my masters in Community Counseling. i have been natural for my whole life my mom never believed in giving me a perm so i used to get my hair pressed everyother week, until the end of my junior year in college when I got tired of the hot comb and flat iron. so eversince 2002 i have been embracing my natural curly texture. afrobella your site is so inspiring from you hair & beauty advice to your range of commentaries on entertainment to political topics. there is nothing that i can think of that i would like to see more of on your site. you already have a nice mixture of everything. keep up the good work

  11. hello to you mis afrobella, well I discovered this wonderfull website through I like her style and I can honestly say it was love at first click.lol.I really love your site it’s refreshing and inspiring for all women not just women of color ya feel me. About myself I am a 23 year old women, I live sunny cal-i-for-na-yay ,Inglewood cali to be more exact I was born and raised in cali, my whole family was born in kingston,JA, I love your site personally because your like the only caribbean blogsite that I like or really know about. I work for a media company who specializes in infomercials. I just want to say I love your site because I can honestly say that I learn something new from ur site every single day, I think it’s great, ur great. I’m great were all great. Have a wonderfull day gurl!!!keep that inspiration commin.

  12. I discovered your site while on ‘I Like Her Style’ site and I was automatically hooked! I love your site, and that your a Caribbean woman like myself, I’m from St. Andrews,Jamaica. I’m a full time student, a tutor, and a model wanna-be! My hair is natural also, and I appreciate how you share your views and knowledge of the subject. Also you touch on every topic, there’s always something new and it keeps me coming back! Your site is wonderful and also enjoy your day!

    ~Olivia

  13. I love your site. Been reading it for a few weeks. I arrived via Google, looking for more natural hair websites. I’ve been natural just over 10 years. I’m always looking for more advice concerning my hair and I love looking and reading about natural styles. I’m a graphic designer from Detroit and I have your site hooked up to my Blackberry so I don’t miss an update!

  14. Happy V-Day Bellas!
    My-eureka moment happened while browsing concrete loop’s link listing to other blogs; it was definitely love at first sight. I frequently check here for updates.
    The way you express yourself really hits home for me. You’re real and honest with your opinions and you think about what you type. That makes it easier to trust your judgment.
    I’ve recently loc’d my natural and I was being discouraged by many, but also praised by many…after years of “creamy crack” this took balls.
    Additionally, either I was finding it difficult to acquire many of the wonderful products for my type 4a hair or “tings were tuff” no dosh. H-e double hockey sticks I didn’t even know what my hair type was before Afrobella.com.
    Not finding some of the products would have manifested as my only complaint but you have given me :D Anita Grant.
    Oh yeah, I’m eighteen, Bahamian and currently working on my Bachelor’s in History.
    I am sometimes overwhelmed by all the love here; I can’t think of anything that needs to be changed as you are doing a wonderful job. That was a mouthful but thank you.

    I love me some Afrobella.com! Don’t you bellas?
    Keep on keeping on Ms Patrice/Afro Bella, still waiting on those T-shirts and other goodies. :) All Shades of Beautiful.

  15. Hello fellow Afrobellas! I too found the link for this amazing website and have been hooked ever since. Hailing from the Bronx, NY, I just recently went natural myself and I love it. So having a place to come to that discusses great products for natural hair is a godsend. Your product recommendations are so detailed, descriptive, and enjoyable to read. Already I have a long list of products I need to check out.

    Thank youuu!

  16. I don’t even remember how I found your site; probably someone posted a link at Crunk & Disorderly. I’m mostly a lurker but I check in daily. It’s a breath of fresh, reaffirming air every day. I love everything about your site, especially that you recommend so many small businesses selling natural products owned by black women–if you’ve recommended it, I’ve patronized it! I haven’t been disappointed yet. I’m a photographer, writer, and editor, with a real love/hate relationship with my natural hair! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Brava, Afrobella, for all the beauty you bring into the world.

  17. HI Bellas!!
    I am a 29 year old African Anerican actress living in New York City.
    I love this site, but I can’t remember how I found it. I’m sure i was searching for info on natural haircare as I am in transition. About 6 months so far…
    Please keep up the good work!!

  18. Greetings!

    I think I stumbled onto this blog via a link at nappturality a few weeks ago. I really enjoy the look and info of this site. I’ve been natural for 10 years but I never stop wanting to learn about new products I think my hair will like. I always look forward to seeing who the Afrobella of The Week is. Keep up the good work!

  19. I’m a 27 year old woman of mexican/white heritage with curly hair in the 3A/3B range I found your site when looking through the links page @ sistasplace.com.
    I’m the mother of a gorgeous little boy who is six and stepmother to an 11 year old boy and a 16 year old girl. I was born in CA and moved back and forth between there and OR until I came here to Las vegas in ’97 and I have been here ever since.

    I enjoy music and poetry and reading the true histories of all people of color.
    Your site is a daily essential for me and will continue to be so,keep up the great work.

    Love and Blessings,Delma

  20. Feliz Dia de la amistad! I found your website through Crunk and Disorderly on a day that I didn’t want to finish my class readings. I’m a 24 year old graduate student in Toronto, Canada and I think your site is so sweet. I love that you’re a proud West Indian (I’m a hardcore Bajan thru my dad)- so I appreciate when you feature Caribbean artists and info. I love when you offer natural haircare tips and tricks, anything about fashion and beauty, and Afrobella of the week. I would like to see more entries about health and wellness though, as I find this component is a bit lacking but so important. Have a happy V day!

  21. I found your site looking for natural hair care!I love your site!! you are just Brilliant! I wish that I could have all Haitian women read your websites. Your blog is a must read for me everyday. Your opinions are dead on ranging from makeup, to politics. Did I say that I thought your blog was Brilliant!! I ‘m a 21 year old. I ‘m from Haiti, but been living in the USA for 5 years now! I have been going back in forth between perms and being natural .I’ve been natural since 2004 and I’m never going back to perms again. It’s not always easy cause my hair doesn’t seems to be growing at all and I’m running out of hairstyles to try since my hair is short and not growing!! I mean how many times can I do twists!

    Thanks you for all your advice and for you writing this amazing Blog

    Adrianna

  22. I found you through Brunsli’s bloglines, I love your site, I am a thirty something Londoner who adores natural hair, beauty, music and a good dose of Afrobella!

  23. A lurker who recently found your website. I’m in my 30s from metro Detroit, waiting for marriage and children, working full-time on my doctorate in education. Been natural all of six months (almost seven!) after being relaxed for close to 30 years. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it all! (Smile!) I like your style, afrobella, and the wonderful info on your website. I describe my emerging style as “bohemian glamour” (can’t claim originating the name, though!) and afrobella is a great site to help me develop my new style! Happy Valentines day to you and the Afrobella website!

  24. i found you through concrete loop, and loved your site. i’m what some of my family call a “coloured” girl, but i think of myself as olive, and living in australia, the product of south african parents so while not all of your darker skinned tips apply, i definitly appreciate the hair help!

    i love your relaxed approach to the site, the variety and the personal touches so thanks for the huge effort you put into afrobella!

  25. Bella,

    Unlike the others, I do not wear my hair naturally, but I do appreciate this blog. I appreciate the community and the information. In recent days, I have referred a friend to this blog because she wants to go natural, and I applaud that. I have even noticed natural-haired Black women in mainstream commercials, which is sending a great messages to Black women across the world. :D I found this blog via the “Shake Your Beauty” blog. Someone posted the blog url along with their comments. I have been hooked every since I saw the brown and green. I love the beauty stories and product recommendations. :D I like the fact that you are West Indian like myself. Jamaica, representin’! Growing up in the Midwest, we weren’t always represented. Oh yes, thanks for hippin’ everyone to Amy Winehouse. If you have not checked out James Morrison, please do. Anyhoo, Luv, Love, the Blog.

  26. Hi afrobella,

    I found your site on the sidebar list of links at Concreteloop (a guilty, mindless pleasure). I am 23 years old currently pursuing a law degree and hopefully a concurrent master’s in social work. I was natural for about a year and a half, before I started locs which I’ve been wearing for the past couple of years. I love wearing my hair in locs, and I don’t think I will ever go back to relaxed hair, I’m not sure if I’ll ever go back to loose hair as well I love my locs too much. Anywho, I really appreciate your site, because it recognizes and appreciates the diversity of black beauty! Which in my current environment doesn’t seem to be appreciated that much.

    Thanks and much love :)

  27. I love this site! I am a mama bella – 53 years old. Never to old to learn something new,I thoroughly enjoy reading the information and commentary that you give. I discovered your blog while looking for info about natural hair care. Keep up the good work!

  28. Love to you too Afrobella! I found the link to this site off of C&D. Your site is wonderful, it is always uplifiting or asking questions, having a real good discourse about a particular subject. The people you decide to highlight are great. I love this site.

  29. Happy Heart Day (even though it was yesterday) I’m a fellow Trini who found your site while browsing on Motowngirl.com. Currently, I live in Delaware (although I do make frequent trips to Miami). And, I luv this site!! Keep up the good work!!

  30. Hi, I lurk all the time and love your site b/c your such a thoughtful writer. I am 34 y.o., live in Los Angeles, and am a doctoral candidate/Adjunct Professor. I’ve also been natural for 10 years and love the fact you celebrate natural-haired sistas!

  31. I can’t remember how I came across your site…maybe through Light skinned girl? Anyway, I’m a White woman with a Black brother who sports cornrows and 2 Black kids from Haiti. My son is now buzzed down, but my daughter is all natural. I have a Black friend who keeps telling me it is inevitable…my daughter will want a perm soon…but I am sticking with my belief that she can grow up natural and love it. Sometimes I think my friend feels like I don’t get it cause I’m White, but I’m making an informed loving decision with full understanding of what it means for my Black daughter. I love reading a site from the Black perspective that shows my love for natural products and hair.

    Chewie

  32. I’m not sure how I found out about you but I love this blog. I have notifications sent to me so that I don’t miss the topics everyday.
    I will be sending you some of my products very soon to try out.
    Thanks!
    Raycal
    http://www.nightfirecandles.com

  33. I’m natural and can’t remember how I came across this blog. But I love your writing style and the topics you choose to highlight. I’ve also tried some of the products you’ve recommended and some of the products other bellas have recommended as well. I also like the intelligent discussions and the overall respect women on this blog give each other. Yes, we disagree but we there is no profanity and truly ugly e-fights like I see on other blogs. I also like how you give ‘shout outs’ to other blogs which I’ve also gone to check out. I like that you seem to geniunely want to share information and inform your readers about interesting things. I also like the other comments from other bellas. I may not agree with them but I LOVE to hear what others think. I wish more non-USA bellas would leave comments. It’s nice to get opinions from others who live outside of the USA. Your section of the rock bellas and the Opera diva was exceptional. I’ve bought new cds as a result. Again, I really do respect your opinions and recommendations. Bellas – I honestly go out and by the products some of you discuss. If I like them I recommend them to friends!

  34. Hey bellas! WEll I’m a 20 year old college student from Chicago (born and raised) now attending a liberal arts college in Minnesota. I discovered this site after I started getting into reading blogs as a past time.I think it was listed as one the sites on another site I was visiting and I decided to check it out.I really liked what you had to say and I loved the writing so I kept coming back. Thank you for your wonderful insight and honesty regarding life!

  35. I am a day late but happy Valentines day Bella. I think I came across your site while I was exploring the links of one of the other sites I used to visit (I think it was beauty N the beat). I am 23 yrs old and a recent college grad. I graduated in January with a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Psychology. I live in New York, Brooklyn to be exact but was born and raised in The Commonwealth of Dominica. I am a Napptural bella and was initially attracted to your site because you offered a point of view to being natural that I never got from any other site. You are a proud natural and an equally proud beauty junky. Your site offers information and ideas that are genuine and interesting. You truly rep for all the shades of beautiful, and I appreciate that. I love the fact that your site also includes issues that though they may not be beauty related are also relevant. The fact that you’re a fellow West Indian was just the icing on the cake.

  36. Two days late, but wanted to thank you, afrobella, for this site and your wonderful observations.

    I think that I came to this place via one of the perfume blogs (my current addition). I’ve been natural for a few years and have been working on refining care since I’ve been marathon training and need to be able to wash my hair frequently in the summer.

    Looking forward to hanging out here more often!

  37. hi bella! it’s kia. i’m 25 from washington dc. i’m single mom of one little precious boy (every time i think about it, i feel like Geppetto, Pinocchio’s dad ‘He’s a real boy!’ lol). i think i found you from another blog, can’t remember which one. anyway, glad i did. you are engaging and touch on many topics that are thought provoking…love you and your site! i appreciate the encouragement to go natural. i’m in the grow out phase, wearing braided styles, etc. until the next post ;)

  38. Erncy-Marie says:

    Bon-jour mon bellas avec les afros – let me stop butchering french now! Afrobella I heart your website – the information about beauty and hair the links the back in the jams and new artist you feature are awesome and as a political junkie I appreciate the sincere dialogue from Barrack Obama to Norbit and Eddie Murphy! Keep up the great work – as for me I am 32 years old soon-to-be grad student gettin a masters degree in child psychology (I lud the kids’)! I’ve been natural now for two years and will never go back to the perm – I don’t remeber how I found your site just really really glad I did!

  39. Well I am no lurker,just haven’t said a peep for a while.. As you well know-I found you thru Nappturality-my OTHER home. You are a delight and I love this site sooooooo much. It really fills in a hole that we were missing.. The product junkie in me thanks you…
    -D

  40. Hi Bella,
    Like you I am from the Caribbean (Guyana). Have been natural most of my life, except for 7 years while in college and law school. Reverted back slowly – grew it out and did updos while working as an atty. Did have moments when there was too much attention to my texture in the workplace. Whatever. My inspiration is my mother, who has been natural for 99% of her 70+ years. Found your site while looking for conditioning products for my baby’s gloriously thick hair – haven’t yet found products for babies that are tear-free. Any thoughts?

  41. LBellatrix says:

    Three days late but what the hey…

    I think I discovered your blog from Brunsli’s site. I’ve been cyber-blabbing about natural nappy hair since 1999, when I first discovered hair discussion forums after four years of being natural. I had a site up for a hot second (Hair Food for Thought) but took it down because I was too much of a perfectionist. Thankfully I’m finally starting to get a handle on that trait.

    Born and raised in the Midwest, I’ve been a writer since the age of 9. Sadly, most of my publications have been technical (software manuals etc.). I’m currently less than three months away from receiving an MFA in creative writing, and four months away from my 42nd birthday.

    I love your site because, as someone said above, you’re never too old to learn new things, and I often learn new things here. Plus, I appreciate hearing your views on both the frivolous (makeup and hair) and the not-so-frivolous (politics, beauty images, and BLACK FOLKS’ hair, lol).

  42. I stumbled upon your site, much to my delight, through a series of clicks; can’t even remember from where. I was drawn first by the yummy colours!!! And then by your honest, earnest, exciting posts. By coincidence, at the time I found Afrobella, I was almost two years into transitioning (thro braids) and now have locs.

    Your site is now one of a few I visit daily, and that i miss when i don’t visit. What touches me most is that you are so honest and forthright and have no airs.

    I’ve learnt lots about hair care from you. I don’t wear make up but I still love to read those posts. And your posts are so diverse and inelligent, its impossible not to get hooked. My all time favourite was the one about your parents with the picture of them dancing. Beautiful!

    Oh and I’m 27 and from Kenya in East Africa.

  43. Shonquayshah says:

    thanx afrobella for being our “experimental beauty reporter” i think it’s great that you made a blog about doing something that you obviously love! i was never a “girly-girl” however, i do like to look nice and i have sang the “nappy headed blues” for most of my life and am now in the transitioning process in embracing the “real me” and trying to discover my “real and unique” beauty. i also think it’s great that you cover not only hair and makeup, but skincare as well as “smell good” perfume, etc and give your honest opinions on who’s doing it well and who needs help! you’ve got great links and i really love the ask afrobella section. also, thanks for letting me know about the garnier fructis, i got some of the fortifying shampoo & conditioner as well as some of the soft curl cream and it made my hair (unprocessed AND processed) so soft and managable! and it didn’t cost that much AND i found it at Target!

    i have not used relaxer in almost a year and i am going to do the big chop this summer!

    p.s. don’t stop, just keep doing what ur doing and getting better….love the afrobella jams and youtube videos as well…you have broadened my musical tastes a bit! thanx again!

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