I would have totally missed this stunning African inspired fashion spread in the New York Times style section were it not for one of my fave blogs, Fly. Liya Kebede is just so, so stunning.

This photo took my breath away. Love the makeup, and I want those earrings! It takes a bold woman to pull those off, but I think I’m up for the job.

Run, don’t walk to your nearest Target. When I was there last weekend wandering the curly hair aisle (what, don’t you bellas just naturally wind up in that aisle every time you’re in there?) I made a fabulous discovery. Behold, Organix Soft & Silky Vanilla Silk Conditioner.

It’s made with Tahitian vanilla bean oils, and smells exactly like what I think Heaven must smell like. Best of all, it came with a little tag that said TRY ME FREE. Yes, there’s a rebate on your $6.99 purchase! I was already excited to try it, and now that I’ve been using it for a week I’m thinking about getting more. I love it. I’m pretty sure I just love it because it’s a good conditioner and smells great, but the free factor will make you fall in love all the quicker.

One random thing readers have been asking me to write about — food. Well I’ll have you know I’ve become quite the cook. I might share some recipes soon, but for now, I’ll start with my favorite food website. Hungry Girl!

Hungry Girl does awesome food reviews — they will introduce you to all kinds of new stuff. If you’re like me and you tend to eat a frozen microwave meal in your sad little cubicle every day at lunch, the e mail newsletter is a must. Hungry Girl introduced me to my beloved Kashi frozen meals, so that should say it all right there.

They also have great recipe swap ideas, one of which I use ALL the time. Kellog’s Fiber One Cereal when ground up into dust, makes a great bread crumb substitute, and is pretty delicious. I made some delicious baked chicken yesterday with this stuff, trust me.

I’m super excited about Ludacris returning to reprise his role on Law & Order SVU. I’m much, much less excited about Star Jones playing a consulting lawyer on the show. I’ll still watch, though.

What are your thoughts on the new Joss Stone?

Joss Stone 2.0 has abandoned the lovable hippie chick image that drew me to her in the first place. Now she’s embarrassing herself at award shows, rocking a pink version of Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” hairstyle as a rebellious statement about her image, and wearing dresses one of Austin Powers’ jumpoffs might wear. Fashion wise, she’s on the fast track to becoming the new Teena Marie. But I must say I am kind of digging her new song. (sound quality is better on this version). Maybe it’s the Raphael Saddiq influence. I love me some Raphael Saddiq!

And finally, this last link is going to be strictly personal.

Today is my birthday, and my present is a trip to New York! By the time you read this, I’m already gone. I’m booked solid with college friends to catch up with, and it’s freezing. But still, we’re so excited. The last time I went to New York, I was a bratty 12 year old. And my husband has never been!

March 8, turning 28. I feel pretty good to be where I’m at, and I’m psyched for our mini-vacation. But every birthday, I miss being with my family in Trinidad. See, we’re all Pisces. My sister Petal’s on the 3rd, my dad’s on the 6th, I’m the 8th, brother Clint’s the 10th, and Aunty Opal brings up the rear on March 18th. So when I was growing up, March 3 – 10 was Birthday Week complete with four different kinds of cake in the fridge, parties every other day, and a generally fun atmosphere.

It’s still my birthday and I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday, but I’ll be thinking of my people at home as well. Especially my mom. I was a C section baby and a rebellious teenager. But I came through everything OK, and I know I make her proud. That feels amazing.

I think this song by Sizzla Kalonji says it all.

I love you, mom. And dad. And brothers and sister. Thanks for always being there for me. Even though I’m far away, we’re still celebrating together.

Today is International Women’s Day, bellas! Take some time out to show your sisters some love.

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nova says:
March 8, 2007, 8:39 am
Happy Birthday.
Anne says:
March 8, 2007, 9:26 am
Joss Stone is a fool,she is on the fast track to alienating everyone who enjoyed her music in first place,her new look,her bad attitude,her drug taking..not cool,not clever Her new work is more media hype than substance,the song lyrics are very poor,being covered up with nice production
davina e says:
March 8, 2007, 9:31 am
Afrobella we share the same Birthday so I am really happy to wish you and me a Happy Birthday... enjoy your time in New York
pets says:
March 8, 2007, 10:28 am
Happy Birthday again to my "baby" sister Afrobella! Enjoy NY & the shopping, shows, foods & friends..and of course hubby! Take loads of pics..talk to you soon. Hugs me
sunsail says:
March 8, 2007, 11:26 am
Happy Birthday, Bella!!!
Coffy says:
March 8, 2007, 12:04 pm
Happy Birthday Bella,tear New York up.
Lteefaw says:
March 8, 2007, 12:04 pm
Niki says:
March 8, 2007, 12:12 pm
Enjoy your birthday Bella! You deserve a bit of a holiday, so party it up! About Joss Stone--people forget the girl is like 19 years old. I think she is falling into the trap that singers have to be "edgy" to be taken seriously by the public. I like the song she has with Common better than this one and she is a talent, but I think it is always dangerous crafting an 'image' for a 16 year old girl that may not even be who she really is or will become (see Britney Spears). There has to be a balance--people make fun of squeaky clean, non-threatening artists but turn around and tsk-tsk those living on the edge while at the same time giving them props for being "gritty". Hoefully this is just a phase.
Niki says:
March 8, 2007, 12:12 pm
That's supposed to say "hopefully" LOL
BlackHoney says:
March 8, 2007, 1:00 pm
Happy Birthday Bella.
JOYEBB says:
March 8, 2007, 1:21 pm
Happy Birthday, Bella, and davina e. My mother's birthday is today as well! Thanks for the links. They all sound really interesting--going to check them out, now. Keep doing what you're doing!
tanisha says:
March 8, 2007, 1:33 pm
Happy Birthday Bella from one fishy to another.
Miss O. says:
March 8, 2007, 1:34 pm
happy b-day!
Zoe says:
March 8, 2007, 1:54 pm
a very happy birthday to you! i also first learned about liya kebede's beautiful ny times spread over at fly. you both have fantastic blogs! enjoy new york! bring back lots of goodies to tell us about!
olufunke says:
March 8, 2007, 2:18 pm
happy birthday bella! i'm a fellow pisces, as is my boyfriend, and also, my closest girlfriend. enjoy new york! peace.
JUstMYwOrD says:
March 8, 2007, 2:58 pm
Afrobella!!! Just started reading your blogs about a month agao, but I like your style!!! Happy 28th Birthday! Live it up in NYC girl!!!
Adrianna says:
March 8, 2007, 3:34 pm
Happy B day Afrobella!!! I wish you only the best! I hope you enjoy my state of NY It's so much fun!!
Anita Grant says:
March 8, 2007, 4:02 pm
Happy Birthday Bella!
berrybrowne says:
March 8, 2007, 4:08 pm
Happy Birthday! Thanks for the link to the "afrocentric" spread - absolutely gorgeous! now all i have to do is figure out how to adapt those styles for my real life. also - don't know if elton john's aida is still playing on broadway, but if it is, it's worth any price during your trip to nyc.
James says:
March 8, 2007, 4:32 pm
I love your site. I'll definitely be back for more.
Toya says:
March 8, 2007, 4:34 pm
Happy, happy birthday! Enjoy!!!
Nichelle says:
March 8, 2007, 4:35 pm
Happy Birthday Bella!
Rosalinda says:
March 8, 2007, 5:02 pm
Happy Birthday babes =]
KamikaK says:
March 8, 2007, 5:19 pm
Happy Birthday Bella! Didn't you know? Us March babies get a whole month to celebrate. I'm on the 19th and it's nice to know I'm in such good company. Have fun in NY.
jerseybred says:
March 8, 2007, 5:48 pm
Happy B-Day, have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this song, now I have to go call my mommy
julia_claudine_deveraux says:
March 8, 2007, 5:49 pm
Happy Birfday Bella!!! May always your b-day wishes come true! That photo of Liya is stunning! WOW! Joss Stone is overrated! I despise her voice and her new wardrobe choices makes it no better.
Neosoulbeauty says:
March 8, 2007, 6:36 pm
Happy Birthday to ya, Happy Birthday to ya, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to ya!! Much love, Bella! May God bless with you lots of love, years to come, peace. tranquility and serenity. Welcome to the big apple and yes it's freezing out here!! Luckily it wasn't that bad today! Where will you be staying at?
AppleDiva says:
March 8, 2007, 7:00 pm
First of all Happy Birthday, Bella!!! :D
AppleDiva says:
March 8, 2007, 7:01 pm
Ok, I find Joss Stone to be quite boring. She has a great voice, but I am not keen on the songs.
Nana says:
March 8, 2007, 8:00 pm
Happy birthday Bella! Hope you have a great time in NYC. This Sizzla song is my jam! Along with "Be Strong". This is exactly what I needed right now.
natashamck says:
March 8, 2007, 8:01 pm
HAAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope you have a fabulous time in NYC...
michael says:
March 8, 2007, 8:52 pm
Happy Birthday...love your site by the way : )
Teri says:
March 8, 2007, 8:57 pm
Happy b-day!! Did you know that Sizzla is featured on an up and coming Caribbean diva's album. Her name is KK Alese and she's from the Cayman Islands...I love her sound...very neo-soul with a reggae twist...or is it the other way around? Check out the audio on youtube...just type KKAlese or Sizzla - the song is called, "If you love her" I LOVE it.
pam says:
March 9, 2007, 1:07 am
Happy Birthday Bella. Hope you mini-vaca was wonderful, albeit COLD.
Dahls says:
March 9, 2007, 3:04 am
Happy birthday bella!!!!!
Jay says:
March 9, 2007, 8:04 am
I don't believe it!!! We were both born on the exact same day 28 years ago! COOL! Hope you had an absolutely fabulous day yesterday and enjoy New York. I've always wanted to visit NY, so I await your stories with glee!
Raycal says:
March 9, 2007, 10:52 am
Happy Birthday Afrobella!!!! It's a sad day when you have to whore it up, just to sell albums...
Dj says:
March 9, 2007, 11:06 am
hey bella have you seen Amy Winehouse's video on VH1? Liya Kebede is so beautiful. I love her skin! Sizzla is the man!! Great post as usual bella.
Dj says:
March 9, 2007, 11:09 am
p.s. happy birthday!! People born in March are the BEST!! I'm on the 24, can't wait. peace.
afrobella says:
March 9, 2007, 11:49 am
You guys are the GREATEST! I haven't had a chance to check the site until today -- yesterday they lost our luggage at LaGuardia and we waited for like three hours only to leave without the last suitcase. Luckily they delivered it last night. The birthday evening was spent bar hopping in the Village and already, I made some beauty discoveries to share when I return! Lots of laughing, purple hooter shots, and fun. Thank you all for your birthday wishes. I agree - we March babies are the best!
Neosoulbeauty says:
March 9, 2007, 12:58 pm
Your welcome, love!! Trust me, you will be doing a lot more bar hopping in the Village, Chelsea and all around..lol...Enjoy your stay here in NYC! Make sure to check out SOHO and Times Square and 34th street!!
Dad says:
March 9, 2007, 1:50 pm
I remember well being 28. It is a wonderful age to be. Enjoy every single day and savour the moments... they do not come back. Love you dearly and your mom and I are very, very proud of you. Dad
geoffrey philp says:
March 9, 2007, 2:05 pm
happy birthday!!!
mochachoc says:
March 9, 2007, 2:22 pm
happy birthday to you happy birthday to you happy birthday dear bellaaaaaaaaaaaaar happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!
nora says:
March 10, 2007, 8:45 am
Belated Happy Birth day Bella. May God bless you.
Anouk says:
March 10, 2007, 3:06 pm
Belated Happy Birthday from Holland, too! Hope you're enjoying your mini vacation to the fullest!
Ursula says:
March 11, 2007, 5:07 am
Happy Belated Birthday!
Coffy says:
March 12, 2007, 2:29 pm
hey Bella i found a thread on Liya, be forewarned it is long. enjoy,http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums/f52/liya-kebede-2257-2.html
Coffy says:
March 12, 2007, 9:59 pm
ok, this link will work promise, http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums/f52/liya-kebede-2257.html
LBellatrix says:
March 13, 2007, 2:52 pm
Happy belated birthday, Bella! *grooving to that new Joss Stone now* I don't care if the girl shaves her head and tattoos it, so long as she keeps singing stuff like this...
knitnbytch says:
March 15, 2007, 4:16 pm
happy 28th birthday bella!!!
Penni Brown says:
March 20, 2007, 1:58 pm
I LOVE LOVE LOVE that organix vanilla silk conditioner. It smells delicious. I had to plug it on my blog also. I want to go back to target and try the rest of the line. oops, my product junkie roots are showing... love your site. keep it up!


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