Her full name is Peggy Aura Arlene Grell, but longtime Afrobella readers know and love her as my Mama Bella. I’ve blogged about her and featured her advice so many times — click here to read my first interview with her from 2006, her tips on making your neck look younger, her tips on false lashes (she wears them EVERY DAY and has been since 1986), the post I wrote for her as a Mother’s Day present on what I’ve learned from her, and the 5 things I’ve inherited from my mom. We have many differences but we have even more similarities. Peggy Grell is a force of nature unto herself and I wouldn’t be Afrobella if I wasn’t her daughter, I can tell you that with confidence.

Today my mother turned 75, and she woke up in time for the sunrise. I just spoke with her on FaceTime, at her beautiful villa at Tobago’s Coco Reef resort. “I saw the orange peeking from behind the curtains and just had to enjoy that moment,” she said. To wake up and enjoy the sunrise at age 75 is a blessing. Mama Bella didn’t want to discuss her age initially, but she said she realizes that even to BE this age is an honor. And she looks AMAZING at age 75. Look at her! Tell me if I’m wrong.


I had to ask my mom her 5 BEST health and beauty tips for women who want to grow up to look as great as she does at this age. And as she always does (and always will), she gave it to me straight, no chaser. Here are Mama Bella’s best beauty and health tips for life!

1  – “Obey your doctor and always take your medication on time. Just obey your doctor in general. Even if he tells you to give up something you love and you don’t want to do it. You want to be around for a long time, listen to your doctor.”

2 – “No matter WHAT – no matter how tired you are – clean off ALL your makeup at night. Even if you’re too tired to put on a night cream afterwards, just clean off the makeup. To me it keeps your face looking as good as it possibly can.”

3 – “Don’t overeat. Know your limits. Know what food does to your body, and know what is enough and right for you.”

4 – “Find your happiness. Surround yourself with the things that make you happy and lift you up. When I surround myself with my fresh flowers and my favorite perfumes, it lifts my spirits. Flower arranging gives me tremendous pleasure, you have no idea.” (At this point my dad interjected to say “got that, Patrice? Flowers and perfume equal happiness.” Got it, Dad!)

5 – “Finally, be kind to everybody, even the people who are pulling on you and want things from you all the time. Even them. Jesus said “Give and it will be given to you.”  When I give and live life in a spirit of giving, it gives me a measure of satisfaction from deep within that nothing else can replace.”

Always such sage advice, from a life lived by example.

A bonus tip from Mama Bella, she’s LOVING the L’Oreal Miracle Blur I recently gifted her with and has been using it every day. “It makes the makeup go on smoother and last longer,” she says. I agree! It’s one of my fave products.

One more thing I’ve learned from my mom that continues to carry me through – “Beauty Is as Beauty Does.” That’s what she’s always impressed upon me. Live your life in beauty. Walk in beauty, spread beauty and love and carry yourself like royalty. There’s a confidence and inner peace that radiates from women who live life that way.


Thank you for being. Thank you for bringing me into the world. Thank you for inspiring me and molding me into the woman I am today. Thank you for sharing such wonderful advice with me and Afrobella readers! I love you Mom!! Happy happy birthday!




Jeanne says:
September 23, 2014, 1:41 pm
Have an absolutely wonderful birthday Peggy! It looks like the day has started out fantastic. Thinking of you! Jeanne and Jim
Marsha says:
September 23, 2014, 1:48 pm
Happy birthday Mama Bella!!! What a great gift it is to celebrate a milestone birthday in beauty, wisdom and love.
Nola girl says:
September 23, 2014, 3:12 pm
happy Birthday Mama Bella! Thanks you again for sharing her words of wisdom!
WhatUNeedIs says:
September 23, 2014, 5:10 pm
Fabulous Birthday to Mama Bella! You look spectacular and your wisdom is so appreciated. I am renewed! P.S. Love your precious Afrobella! I know now where she gets her beauty and kindness from. Thank you.
Vanessa P. says:
September 23, 2014, 5:46 pm
Thanks for sharing your Mom with us - lovely advice!
Ashley says:
September 23, 2014, 6:51 pm
Wow. Your mom is STUNNING! That is all.
pets says:
September 23, 2014, 10:37 pm
MamaBella, Happy Birthday! Lovely post Ms. Afrobella! Hugs and love
Winston Joseph says:
September 24, 2014, 6:20 am
A lady of grace and charm with a great heart let us honor her today and tell her how God is good to have her looking that good at 75
Wonderlusting says:
October 2, 2014, 2:51 pm
What wonderful advice and a great role model to have in life.
Rebecca says:
October 3, 2014, 6:23 am
I'm late I know - but happy birthday! she is killing it for 75
Davida says:
October 13, 2014, 10:01 am
What a blessing to embrace beauty in such a magnificent way! Your mom is absolutely stunning at 75!