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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ericka says:
October 14, 2008, 12:08 pm
I heart Andrea too...I think she is absolutely FABULOUS..fabulous I say! She is one of my biggest inspirations!!! I remember when I first found her blog, and I was TRULY excited to see another woman of color blogging about design and such! Yay for Andrea!!!
E-Fresh says:
October 14, 2008, 1:00 pm
I am going to be a fan of the new category. You know how I love lists. Nice post.
Yolanda says:
October 14, 2008, 1:28 pm
I absolutely love "5 things I'm loving this week"! Love, Love, Love!!! Keep it coming Bella... Just enough information to keep us interested and hungry for more. The variety in subject matter is like reading a fave magazine. Mas, mucho mucho mas por favor. A P.R. Sister/Fan..
edessedesigns says:
October 14, 2008, 3:39 pm
Yes, Yes, Yes on Andrea from Fly. I absolutely LOVE her blog and her webisodes! She is such a wealth of inspiration! She's a superstar in the making--I'm glad I caught her early on!
ChocolateOrchid says:
October 14, 2008, 4:09 pm
Great post! I love lists, also! I'm also feelin' Wyatt Cenac. He's hilarious and a great addition to the Daily Show!
gina says:
October 14, 2008, 4:26 pm
You're making me miss my Trini second mum, who moved to AZ; I used to love having her pelau and roti! *sigh* I need to write her, see if I can come visit!
sandra says:
October 14, 2008, 9:33 pm
This is why I love this website. I find posts which reflect so many of my issues; I've too had a problem finding a pink lipstick which looks good on my skin. Thanks so much for the resource Afrobella.
Shell says:
October 14, 2008, 11:00 pm
I dig the 5 I'm loving this week list. I so enjoy Andrea's webisodes a lot.
Jewelryrockstar says:
October 15, 2008, 2:22 am
I am totally with you on Wyatt Cenac. I love him. Loved the bit he did on the stock market going up and down. He was in Robber Baron Attire one minute, and a barrel ( a barrel, haven't seen that since old black and white movies) the next it was hilarious. LMAO hilarious.
nikki j says:
October 15, 2008, 8:39 am
Hi Bella! MMM pelau. My mother in law used to make THE BEST pelau in the world. Slightly sweet and savory. I miss her!
Ings says:
October 15, 2008, 10:47 am
Hi ! I read your blog a lot (and love it) but I rarely comment. I had a question about the pelau (I'm Haitian so any Caribbean food is a-ok with me). Although cookin gis one of my favorite activities, I don't always have the time to cook everything - can you make this dish in a slow cooker? Would that ruin it or would you have to change anything? Thanks !!
ayo says:
October 15, 2008, 12:04 pm
Andrea @ FLY is 3xfresh! Love her. Love her simple insane funked out perspective. Wyatt is hilarious as well.
Bronze Trinity says:
October 15, 2008, 12:44 pm
I like Wyatt too. He's really funny and he's the type of guy I would love to date.
andrea says:
October 15, 2008, 2:34 pm
Patrice!! I love your lists and I am so honored to be a part of this one. Thank you so much for always supporting Fly. And to all the lovely ladies who left comments, a BIG warm thanks to you for the kind words and the support as well. There are days when I have uncertainty about the site, reading comments like these always inspire me to push on. So thank you, thank you thank you. Andrea
Wes says:
October 15, 2008, 2:35 pm
I'm gonna try that Pelau... and soon!
heyhey says:
October 15, 2008, 3:28 pm
Five things: -Loaf of bread -A container of milk -A stick of butter (All you old school Sesame Streeters know) -Seeing Esperanza Spalding tonight -Watching the Debate on tivo afterwards. That's good, if sometimes frustrating, TV, folks.
Ladene says:
October 15, 2008, 3:52 pm
i saw the video, at the end when they were talking about Michelle and many black women apparently having a big 'tukus'(sp?). i was speechless. SMH.
adigs says:
October 15, 2008, 5:25 pm
Just dropping by to let you know I am a fan! If you get a chance, check me out on Blogger at where we discuss music, life and nostalgia! Peace! a.digs
Bella Noire says:
October 15, 2008, 7:19 pm
In Kenya we spell it pilau. I'm going to try the Trini recipe.
puff says:
October 15, 2008, 9:20 pm
great post 'bella! this plus my cheesecake brownie made my not so good day a little better. and i'm definitely trying the pelau recipe this weekend. right now i'm loving these con air flexi rods i bought over the weekend - i took my senegalese twists out at the end of last week and used the rollers to try a new style i found called the curly fro, and i've been getting compliments on my soft swirly hair : )
tracey in Ohio says:
October 16, 2008, 10:03 am
Five things I'm loving: -Wyatt Cenac - he is completely nuts. Fits right in J. Daily; -A huge lime green citrine stone ring w/gold & silver band I found @ 2nd hand shop for a whopping $12.Looks so good on me I haven't taken off in over a week -"Lincoln Park After Dark" nail laquer from OPI -David Alan Grier on "Chocolate News." He still cracks me up!; and finally -this Blog. Afro Bella gives out so much good info & so many great leads to so many other great blogs. Love, love love!!! :-D
Niki says:
October 16, 2008, 10:41 am
5 things I'm loving right now: 1. I ever need a reason to blow off some steam and get my silly on, Fresh & the Crunksters are guaranteed to put a smile on my face. I am so grateful that I have my own office at work because I would have surely gotten fired laughing at all the comments! 2. Black Girls Like Us--Tia & Toya are my "friends in the head". I would really love to meet these chicks one day because they sound like my kind of folks. Random, funny, spiritual, boy-crazy & real. 3."Indian Summer"-We have been having some fantastic weather in my neck of the woods (St. Louis, MO)! Today is the first fall-feeling day we have had in awhile. Temps last week were almost 80. 4.Robin Thicke, Raphael Saadiq & Eric Benet's new albums--You need them in your life! 5.Peep-toe boots for fall
summer says:
October 16, 2008, 2:57 pm
i'm a daily show fanatic -- i don't miss an episode. wyatt is hit or miss with me. i think he's at his best with segments like the one you highlight - interviewing people while simultaneously highlighting their ridiculousness. But in one on one reports with Jon Stewart, he often falls flat. In other news, Afrobella, please, please, please check out this post over on msnbc: It's about Uncontrollable Hair Syndrome, and though the authors don't seem to be connecting it to Afro hair, several of the commenters did. It's infuriating. Share my pain.
LBellatrix says:
October 17, 2008, 10:30 am
Heyhey, OMG!!! Thank you for taking me back in time with that Sesame Street clip! Why did I think it was a white boy, though? So glad to see it was a black girl WITH a 'fro walking to the store BY HERSELF to buy just ONE STICK of butter just like I did back in those days. (Okay, now I'm getting mad...remembering how things USED to be for little kids...I was going to check out Summer's link but instead I'm moving on...) Bella, I am LOVING that Advanced Style blog. Kind of reminds me of The Sartorialist, which is one of my favorites. Kinda-sorta related but only when it comes to the age of the bloggers: Have you checked out Margaret and Helen's blog? Helen is 82 and she is NOT HOLDING BACK on this election cycle!
heyhey says:
October 18, 2008, 4:03 pm
@LBellatrix: Glad someone else remembered it! Decades later that old S.Street makes me smile. And, shoot, with money as tight as it is, we might go back to buying just one stick of butter, lol.
Donice Correia says:
June 2, 2012, 9:46 am
Valana Minerals Mineral Bliss Lipstick is repackaged makeup. This woman is reselling mineral makeup that she's buying from a real manufacturer and charging innocent people high prices under false pretenses that she is actually formulating them herself. I wasted $15 on Valana Minerals lipstick buying it consistently thinking that I was supporting a WOC business only to find out from the blogosphere that she is not making her makeup and is reselling Essential Wholesales makeup products and passing them off as her own. The Vegan Lipstick base from Essential Wholesale IS Valana Minerals Mineral Bliss Lipstick. This is infuriating. I will never buy from valana Minerals again.
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