In the spirit of Twitter, wherein I have to rein my thoughts into 140 characters, I’m starting a brand new category on Afrobella. I tend to be a longwinded writer — even a simple product review can turn into a 1,000 word post. So I thought I’d get my reviews and impressions out faster if I limited myself. Shorter, quicker, better? We’ll see. 5 Things could be anything — things I love, things I hate, things that annoy, things that are amazing, things I want to drink, things I want to buy. Whatever comes to mind.

This week: things I love!

1 – Wyatt Cenac. As the latest correspondent to join The Daily Show, he’s bringing a fresh, funny approach to the hot button topics of this election cycle. This dude is totally out of the box, and his approach to race can be described as Chapelle-esque. Yeah, I’m that impressed.

His Senior Citizens Watch the Debate skit made me LOL even as it incited anger in me. (You’ll need to watch it all the way through to see the part that caused my mouth to hang open in infuriated shock).

As furious as the discussion of Michelle Obama’s tokhes made me, I think what Wyatt Cenac’s doing on The Daily Show is brilliant. By exposing the ugliness and ignorance and making us laugh about it, comedians like him are pushing the discussion on race ever forward.

ps: Dave Chappelle, your fans miss you. Now’s a great time to do a stand up special. Or a tour. Something, man, give us something. There’s so much material for you right now!

2 — Good old fashioned Trini pelau. Looking for a cheap dinner with exotic island flavor that can either feed a whole dinner party or yield enough leftovers for three days of leftovers? You can’t go wrong with a pot of pelau. It’s a Trinidadian home cooking staple — chicken, rice, and pigeon peas made to stick to the ribs and nurture the spirit. As Trini Gourmet says, it is our definitive one-pot meal.

I tried following her Coconut Chicken Pelau recipe this week, and had to extempo a little when I realized coconut milk and cream of coconut are two different things. Whoops! Trini Gourmet has two great pelau recipes — the second is Bertie’s Trinidad Pelau, her dad’s recipe. Karen of Chookooloonks has a great recipe too. I made a big pot of pelau Sunday, and we got at least two nights of leftovers out of it. Serve with a little side salad for variety. Good, affordable eats for these economic times.

3 — Valana Mineral Bliss lipsticks. I had been looking forever for the perfect pink lipstick. My lips are a darker shade — almost the color of a dark red grape. So pink has been a tough color for me to pull off — too often pink lipstick gives me an opaque clown mouth. (OMG the Softlips Rose was THE WORST on me). Nobody wants that. Valana’s Lemonade Bliss is that sheer pink I’ve always dreamed of wearing, but could never find. Valerie of Valana Minerals took the color seriously!

I worked on that formula for six months. I’m really proud of the Lemonade color. Before I started formulating I never used any type of pink gloss, lipstick, blush or eye color. It always looked horrible on me and makeup artists would say things like, ‘dark skinned ladies should avoid pink.’ They always blamed it on my dark skin. Now that I formulate and understand color I realized it was their pinks that were the problem. The Lemonade color actually has a blue base. Crazy, I know but it’s true and that along with a few other secret tricks means that ladies like me can use pink blush, eye color and lip color and still look great!

The lipstick is intended to deposit quite a bit of color without feeling heavy. Typically, for lipstick to show up on me I have to pile it on even though it looks dark in the tube. This is different in that the color transfer is pretty rich. But for customers that like a heavier, creamy feel our Sparkie Lips gloss couples nicely. And it’s all vegan AND natural.” $14.95 a tube, but you can get samples (that last an amazingly long time) for cheaper. And best of all IMO, Valana is a small company, made by a woman of color specifically for the skin tones of women of color. I said it before, I’ll say it again — Valana rocks!

4 — Advanced Style. I just discovered this website of stylish elderly people via Boing Boing, and I am hooked. It’s a photoblog that reveals the personal style of the mature and wizened. If I could grow old with an inch of the panache of this lady, I will be happy.

Advanced Style takes photo submissions, so best believe I’m about to start taking photos of the very fashionable elderly Haitian people I see around downtown. There’s this one man who waits for the jitney, and once I saw him wearing a three piece suit. Lime green. Shoes and hat to match. Oui, papa.

5 — Andrea, because she’s so Fly! I really have met such an amazing sisterhood through blogging, and I gotta show mad love to the beautiful and super talented Andrea of Fly. She’s taken her blog to the next level by doing webisodes that are eclectic in interest, but warm and familiar just like she is herself. They kind of remind me of a funkier version of CBS’ Sunday Morning ( as if they would ever go to the Punk Rock flea market).

Click here to view her latest, on the Brown Betty Dessert Boutique in Philadelphia. I need one of those cupcakes, stat!

And that’s it, bellas and fellas – 5 things I’m loving this week. Have you seen or bought or heard anything new you’re loving? Share with me!

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