Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Michael & Janet

Beautiful photo tribute to the relationship between brother and sister, Michael & Janet Jackson. For more pics visit the Essence website here

Still can't believe it...






Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson: Curtain Call


So tired. So much to say/write. But I can't. Right now I'm glued to my TV as I realise I am witnessing history. So many poignant MJ memories:

- Watching Thriller for the first time at my friend Mandy's house and being equally in awe of his brilliance as I was petrified of the werewolfs and zombies jumping around the screen. 

- Learning the routine from start to finish with my brother and performing it in front of my mum and my aunt. 

- Hearing the Thriller album for the first time and thinking it's the most perfect and complete album I have ever heard in my life. 

- Queuing up from the crack of dawn to see Michael perform at Wembley Stadium only to have someone come out and announce that he won't be showing up as he is unwell (ironically I was planning to see him again next month). 

- Watching my four year old shock out to 'Don't Stop Til You Get Enough' and it warming my heart. 

I truly believe that it was the stress of the planned 02 shows that caused Michael to have a heart attack. But didn't he always say he wanted to die on stage? I guess the fact he died mere hours after rehearsing for his comeback tour means in some way he did. Now all we are left with is the music and his legacy. And I plan to dig deep into his back catalogue tmrw in way of celebration. Look out for your girl moon-walking and hee hee-ing down the street. 

RIP Michael Joseph Jackson: August 1958 - June 2009 xxx

Mine and Richie's favourite ever Michael Jackson song


Monday, 22 June 2009

A Belated 'Happy Father's Day'


Hey folks, how did you spend your Father's Day? I had quite a manic one. I didn’t arrive home until at 5am that morning following my cousin's 40th birthday party shenanigans. Surviving on only four hours sleep, I cooked the family a slap up meal before falling asleep at just after 8pm (lightweight). My Daddy lives in Jamaica so I wasn’t able to spend the day with him. So I’m dedicating my favourite father themed song to my Pops, Rich, and all the other Dads out there who play an active role in parenting. Check out the extremely syrupy and over-sentimental 'Daddy's Home' by Cliff Richard. Altogether now, awwwww. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Canada's Got Talent, Eh!




My Canadian cousin is gonna get mad at me for saying this, but I’ve never considered Canada to be a formidable force in music. Sure we’ve been exposed to the likes of Bryan Adams, Alanis Morisette and err, Snow, but I’d be pretty hard pressed to think of any other Canadian singers/rappers who have really made their mark on the world stage. Until now that is. Who would've thunk that the two main artists creating a buzz on the scene right now both hail from the land of maple syrup.  

Melanie Fiona

First up is Melanie Fiona, a stunning soul chanteuse of Guyanese heritage, born and raised in inner city Toronto. A couple of months ago I would continuously hear her debut single 'Give it to me Right' being played on BBC 1-Xtra and would find myself humming along. Rich refers to her as a 'Black Duffy', and I kinda hear where he is coming from with that. But I quite like the juxtaposition of her soulful vocals with the slightly alternative Carlos Santana-esq musical accompaniment. Mel is signed to Island Records and will release her debut album later this month. 




Drake


Next up is the rapper-slash-singer, Drake. I’ll admit I’m not as bowled over by Drake* as Melanie Fiona, but the rest of the hip hop world appears to be. Over the last month or so his name has been all the all over the social networking sites like the piggy flu pandemic. I naturally assumed that he was from the US, my guess being maybe one of the boroughs in NY. But I was wrong. Turns out that young Drake is also from Toronto. According to Wilki he is a mere 22 years young and initially started out as an actor before catching the music bug. A few mix tapes and guest appearances later, and Drake is now working with everybody from Kanye to Lil Wayne and Jay Z.  

I stand duly humbled folks. Never let it be said that Canada doesn’t have talent. If there are any Canadians out there reading this, please feel free to set the record straight. Is there a hotbed of talent out there that just doesn't receive the recognition? Are you tired of being overshadowed by your American cousins? Could you throttle Snow for going world-wide with that 'Licky boom boom down' nonsense?


* I now get the hype. I've heard the Drake track 'Best I Ever Had' a few times now and absolutely love it. 

Saturday, 6 June 2009

What am I Using Now?



I got more than a little bit excited when I was tagged by Ondo Lady to do a beauty post. Unbeknown to many, buying, trying and lusting after beauty products used to be one of my favourite pastimes. My fascination started when I was a kid. Whenever I could get the opportunity to have a nose round my mum’s bedroom I’d rummage through her make up bag and plaster my lips with her fire engine red Fashion Fair lipstick and orangey brown loose face powder (speaking of which, Fashion Fair have seriously upgraded their range, check them out). Then I'd top it off with a spritz of her Giorgio Beverly Hills perfume. Next I would take a bath, and douse myself in mum’s treasured Jean Nate after bath splash (wow that took me back, had to resort to Googling it as I’d forgotten the name). Now who remembers the green liquid with the pungent perfumey smell? To me the product sums up the gloriously decadent 80’s. I would use it and instantly feel all glamorous and sophisticated like the iconic Alexis Colby. My penchant for luxury beauty items would occasionally get me into trouble though. I can recall when I was probably around 13, my mum sent me down the road to buy shampoo. Now ordinarily she’d buy a cheapo brand like Vosene spefically catered towards European hair that cost a couple of quid. But I’d since discovered products for black hair in mags like Essence and Ebony so took it upon myself to use £3.99 of her £5 to buy a shampoo by Dax. Funny that, I thought she’d be appreciative of the gesture. But lord did I feel her wrath when I got back home and received a thorough cussing. And trust me, my mum was/is no shouter. So me being me decided to get a job (working for my mum ironically) so I’d be able to buy my own damn products. Then years later I got the upgrade - a Saturday job in Superdrug in Lewisham. Wa-hay! Believe me when I say I thought I had died and ascended to beauty heaven. These days I’m not as obsessive as I used to be, but still have my favourites. Check out my current hot list:

Hair

Shampoo - Organic Root Stimulator Uplifting Shampoo - I’ve been using this for a few years now and it really works for me. Leaves your scalp feeling squeaky clean, and it’s not drying either.

Conditioner - Organic Root Stimulator - Hair Mayonnaise - Every black woman should have a jar of this in their bathroom. I’ve got natural hair so my hair has a tendency to get really dry and needs regular deep conditioning. For best results, I leave it on for a few hours and when I wash off my hair feels super soft and tangle free.

Styling products – Carol’s Daughter - Hair Milk. I read about this product on the fabulous Afrobella blog. As Carol’s Daughter is no longer available in the UK I had to ask my friend to cop me a bottle when she went to New York last year. Trust me ladies, it’s worth the hype. My hair absorbs moisture like crazy, but Hair Milk leaves my hair feeling silky smooth for days. 

Body

Cleanse – Raddox Shower Gel 
Moisturise – I used to be hopelessly devoted to Palmers Cocoa Butter, but as my local beauty supply store are getting too outrageous with their prices (I really am my mother’s daughter, right?), I’ve now made a switch to the worthy and much cheaper Queen Helene’s Cocoa and Mango Butter. Smells good enough to eat too, yum. 

Deodorant – Really not that fussed about brands, but at the moment I’m using Palmolive Soft and Gentle Aromatherapy Sensual: Jasmine and Rose Orchid extract. 

Sun care – "None at the mo but I guess I should get on it" - ditto! 

Face

Cleanse – I used to be able to use anything on my face until around the age of 19 when my skin became hyper sensitive. So as you can imagine, once I find a product that works, I use it for a long time. At the moment that product is Neutrogena Visibly Clear: Gentle Exfoliating Wash.

Moisturise – Dermatological E-45 Cream

Mask - Again, likely to cause a break out, so I don’t use. 

Lip Balm - Shevelle, my beauty Ed buddy always winces when I say this, but for me good old fashioned Vaseline does the trick. 

Makeup 

Primer – MAC Studio Fix powder NW45
Eye Shadow – Don’t really wear eye shadow anymore. Takes too much time. 
Eyeliner - Revlon
Lip gloss – Shev blessed me with a beautiful gloss recently called Candy Shop Mocha Mania. Gorgeous finish, stays on forever and smells like coffee too. Mmmm. 
Mascara – No preference for any particular brand. 
Nail Polish - I’m impatient so tend to buy Rimmel’s 60 Seconds polish. 

I tag Disney Rollergirl, K Hart, Kwana Writes, Adenike's World and Waltzing Matilda

I'd also love to hear about your favourite beauty buys and beauty stories. 

The Cocoa Diaries feautured on The Musings of Ondo Lady


Hey folks, wow am I seriously behind on my postings or what? Earlier on in the week I was featured on the wonderful The Musings of Ondo Lady blog, and interviewed by Ronke about The Cocoa Diaries. The interview was quite a defining moment for me, as it was my first official interview as a blogger, yay. If you’ve yet to check it out give it a read and let me know what you think. Click here.

And once again, thanks Ronke. 

About Me

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.