Monday, December 31, 2007

A look back at 2007...The Year in Review...

2007 wound up being one of my strongest years wise. Thanks for all of your love and support family! Enjoy the recap!


I recieve a call from one of the producer's regarding MFC Paris, I am told that a decision has been made and my role has changed and I am no longer going to Paris. I am enroute to the hospital to visit my dad, who is recovering from a heart attack. Needless to say I am not pleased with this news at all. As a matter of fact I am absolutely livid.


My birthday comes and goes without any fan fare. I am still pissed off about not going to Paris.


3/6 - Queen Latifah's Curvation clothing line makes it's debut at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC. The show is an overwhelming success and they score an invite to show in the tents in the spring of 2008.

I leave the Mandarin Oriental to head over to the Hammerstein Ballroom for BET's Rip The Runway taping. The show is a hot ass mess backstage and confirms for me that I am probably getting too old for this sort of thing.

3/11 - GMWA fashion benefit with Sharon "Magic" Jordan at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel.


4/7 - The Links fashion show at Chelsea Piers. This show is REAL old school, ya'll...I do this show with Miss Angellika and we have a "ki-ki" the entire time!

4/8 - I have to be at the Waldorf Astoria at the crack of dawn, to do a show for a modeling expo with LuSierra and Douglas Says. The show is a trip and I have a lot of fun "showing em' how it should be done".

4/13 - I fly out to Los Angeles for the first round of Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance castings in Los Angeles. I arrive in LA with a TOTAL attitude (long story) and the 5 days that I am in LA are a total particular...I having MAJOR food issues with the food in the hotel I am staying in and wind up being either sick to my stomach or hungry most of the time I am there.

4/18 - I am all to ready to leave LA and head out to Chicago for the 2nd round of FAT Chance castings....Alas...the nightmare continues to thrive....I wind up in a hotel that hadn't seen repairs and/or renovations since the Lincoln Administration was running things in the White House and to top it off...MY bed has BEDBUGS!!!!! The next night I am moved to The W Hotel and manage to finally get some restful sleep. The best part of my trip is that I got to see and hang out with my girl Julia & her hubby Perry....they find the bedbug situation both frightening and hilarious and they lift my spirits for the rest of the trip.

4/20 - We leave Chicago and head to Dallas, Texas for the last round of castings, as luck would have it...the car that I am taking to the airport has the world's SLOWEST driver on the planet at the wheel and we TOTALLY miss our flight. We wind up sitting in O'Hare for HOURS and finally manage to catch the last plane out. We arrive in Dallas at 1am and the airport is deserted. Things cannot get much worse....I think. I say a SERIOUS prayer that night and the next morning...I awake and I am absolutely invigorated. I put on my orange Douglas Says Wrap Dress and come down stairs a new person. When I enter the ballroom, Dallas, Texas shows me SO MUCH love that I am overwhelmed and nearly brought to tears. I am a rock star for the next few days. I also get to introduce Mo'Nique to Dallas and get the crowd all amped up for her entrance.

With my food issues from LA firmly behind me, I happily order lunch from the hotel during our lunch break....I order the Shrimp Caesar Salad and a pasta dish. I am hungry and my lips are smacking for my the time it arrives I am ravenous and ready to pounce. I lift up the cover to my salad and I swear to GOD....There are SIX - SEVEN RAW ASS SHRIMP ON TOP OF MY SALAD!!!!! People!!!! I KNOW what cooked shrimp look like...I eat them all the time!!! they're supposed to be nice and pink and yummy. These shrimp were GRAY & BLACK WITH THE SHELLS STILL ON !!!!! I kid you not....They literally took six shrimp out the box, knocked off the ice and put em on top of my damn salad. I was finished after that and I couldn't WAIT to get my behind back home so I could finally get something to eat!

4/23 - I am up early packing to head back home. In parking lot of the hotel a bunch of ladies bum rush me in the parking lot for autographs & pictures, Oxygen's Noelle Llewellyn is watching and officially declares to the world that I am officially a "Rock Star". I am in the airport headed to my gate when my phone rings and it's Mo' telling me that she has to find a way to bring me to Paris. I smile openly in the airport. It's now official....I am headed to Paris.


5/25 - I guest host a program (as a favor for a friend) for the students of P.S. 5 in Brooklyn. I enjoy the children but the show is an unorganized mess and I am dismayed to find more children in the band then there were parents in the audience. Unfortunately, later on this same friend makes me regret ever knowing him.

5/31 - I fly out from JFK to Paris - first class! I manage to pick up a bug in the airport, get sick on the plane (fever, chills, sweats, etc) unable to eat anything and I wind up sleeping for 3/4 of the flight wrapped up in blankets, trying to "sweat" it out. Thank goodness for those seats that recline to a full horizontal position! Unfortunately, this trip causes me to miss my niece Jennifer's prom. I'm bummed.


6/1 - I am feeling much better by the time I arrive in Paris and am anxious to meet the final 5 contestants for the first time. We rehearse for hours and for some....into the wee hours of the morning. The money exchange rate is heinous! I am still having food issues in Gay Paree (they eat a LOT of pork and obviously no turkey at all). I am eating a lot of bread, salad, fruit, cheese & the occasional piece of chicken when I can get it.

6/2 - The big day has finally arrived, after much primping, posing, rehearsing etc. The format of the show has changed from a "beauty pageant" to more of a "runway show" format but the show goes off with out a hitch anyway. By the time we wrap taping it's late and every place to eat is basically closed. My co-horts and I wind up driving all over Paris because we heard there was a McDonald's open all night nearby. We get stopped at a DUI Checkpoint (which takes forever and scares the hell out of me cuz they make our driver take a breathalyzer test on the spot and I can't understand what anyone is saying....but it ALL SOUNDS HARSH to me) but finally make it there....and I have what has to be THE BEST FILET OF FISH AND FRENCH FRIES THAT I HAVE EVER EATEN!!!! For real.

6/3 - I return from Paris and I am glad to be home.

6/14 - I attend the opening of Monif C.'s boutique opening in Manhattan, the big girls are out in full force and the opening is a huge success and from there, I hightail it over to Radio City spend the evening with Mo'Nique & Jill Scott!

6/15 - I return to Radio City to hang with Mo' again and this time Chaka Khan is on the bill as well!

6/21 - Tonight is the night of my late BFF's daughter's prom. I am meeting her to do her makeup for her prom. Miss Naia looks beautiful when I am finished with her and she looks so much like her mama it scares me.

6/23 - I attend my niece's baby shower in the Bronx, it's er...interesting....the uh...guests are STILL arriving at 11pm, when I am ABOUT TO LEAVE??? WTF??? (lol..I thought baby showers were generally supposed to be held while the sun is still up?) Then I head back down to midtown to catch my homegirl Eda's surprise birthday party. I have a ball until my knees decide it's time for me to go home.


7/6 - I am a guest speaker at the Diva in Me Conference in Toledo, OH.

7/14 - I do the Mothership Connection Show on MNN for Just Raymona. It is a MAGNIFICENT summer day, the show is live and I get the feeling that nothing good will come from me doing this.

7/20 - I travel to Atlanta, GA to be a guest judge at Full Figured & Fabulous, a plus model competition. The show is good but I decide that I really don't care for the city of Atlanta at all.

7/21 - The Mo'Nique's FAT Chance Paris casting special airs on Oxygen.

7/28 - Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance Paris debuts on Oxygen. I decide not to hold a screening party this year (to keep my face from being cracked...again) and watch it at home with my parents. My mom and I crack open two bottles of Reisling and we are completely drunk by the time my face comes on the They LOVE my segment but not the rest of the show. They don't like the change in format.


8/19 - I fly out to Cincinnati, OH to begin filming an episode of MADE for MTV. My clothing designer backs out on me at the last minute and I am forced to pull wardrobe from my own closet.

8/23 - I fly from Cincinnati to NY where I have a 7 hour lay over before I fly to Guyana with Walter Greene to participate in Guyana's first fashion week. It's a beautiful show but a logistical nightmare. On the plus side...President Bharret Jagdeo is smitten with The Runway Diva.

8/27 - On the day before I return to the states, I go hiking in the flip flops.

8/28 - I fly from Guyana to New York and then onto Cincinnati to resume filming for MADE. There are a TON of flies that snuck on board and I am a cranky pain and tired.


9/1 - I FINALLY return to New York from Cincinnati - It's official...I am exhausted.

9/8 - Back to Cincinnati to resume filming on MADE along with a suitcase full of clothing supplied by Monif C.

9/20 - I attend the Essence Speed Dating Event at Negril West. It's interesting, but the place is actually kinda small and dark to be condusive to speed dating.

9/21 - Art of Curves event at The Westside Loft.

9/23 - Mustard Seed Fundraiser at the Hilton Hotel in NYC. We showcase clothing for Curvation - The line is magnificent and the Plus models steal the show as always.

I have dinner with Mary Moore of So Much Moore Communications immediately following the Mustard Seed Benefit. By the end of dinner I have a new publicist!

9/26 - I am a guest presenter at the African American Literary Awards at the Alhambra Ballroom in NYC. The dinner rolls are like rocks. I secure an invite to Freddie Jackson's birthday party the following week.

9/29 - The Fat Girl Flea Market has it's annual sale at the GLBT Center in Greenwich Village.


10/1 - I attend Freddie Jackson's Birthday Party at Melba's in Harlem. I have a ball!

10/3 - I attend the Tupac Assassination Private Screening with my monster.

10/5 - I make an appearance at the Lane Bryant Bra Fit event in Brooklyn. They drop the ball on the publicity on the event and the turnout is low. I shoot uptown to drag my homie Muzette with me up to the Bronx to check out Mo'Nique at The Paradise Theater. We get free Apple Bottoms jeans & tops to take home as presents!

10/7 - Mary Moore is ON FIRE!!! I attend Ebony Fashion Fair at The Apollo Theater with my sister. My sister and I have a good time, but I wasn't real happy with the show.

10/12 - I come down with a bad cold and miss the Flawless Calendar Event at Prey Lounge in NYC.

10/18 - Curvation supplies me with clothing for the last 10 days of my MADE shoot. While enroute back home to my apartment I am physically assaulted by a crazy person on the bus and I use all of the strength in the universe to keep from kicking his *ss, going to jail and missing my flight back to Cincinnati. I call my monster who prepares to jump in cab and meet my bus, shortly after homie gets off quickly. I love New York....I really do.

10/19 - I fly back to Cincinnati for the final shooting days of MADE.

10/24 - I head from Cincinnati to LA for the final shooting of the Torrid Model Search on MADE. I am officially ready to have this be over.

10/29 - I return to NYC from LA just in time to do an interview on The Thermal Soundwaves Radio Show with Kev Lawrence. Kev decides to ask me my bra size on air. I rise to the challenge.

10/30 - PrivacyWear launch at The PrivacyWear showroom on Broadway. I reconnect with Grace Henriquez of MTV at this party.

10/31 - I make an appearance on The El & Syl Radio Show.


11/3 - I am down in Fort Lauderdale, FL for the Linda Scott 1426 "Oh What A Night" fashion event. I have an absolute ball and they treat me like a queen...Thanks Linda & Jerry!

11/5 - The issue of Jet Magazine with my photo (with Audrey Smaltz) goes on sale. The issues sell out throughout the United States in a record 15 minutes and INSTANTLY becomes a collectors item! (okay...that last part was my imagination TOTALLY running away with me...sorry.)

11/8 - I attend the Fats Domino Benefit Concert at Pink Elephant. I get an emergency call and have to leave early.

11/9 - The African American Women in Cinema Festival begins in NY City. I attend the opening festivities with my girl Timikal Bobo from Oxygen. The festival kicks off with an appearance and Q&A with director Kasi Lemmons and a screening of her movie "Talk To Me", (which I saw on the flight back to NYC from LA but enjoyed it so much I wanted to see it again).

11/12 - Urban Mainstream Magazine interview.

11/12 - The festival ends with a brunch and awards ceremony at The Cinema Restaurant. The honoree for the festival is actress Tasha Smith (Why did I get Married?), she a very nice woman. I head out to New Jersey for a rehearsal of The Erotica Monologues.

11/14 - I attend Lil' Mo's Birthday party with my girl Muzette and get to hang out with Theresa "Sparkle" Randolph and Miki Howard. I am wearing my black convertible dress by Monif C., I look good but I fight with that damn dress all night!

11/15 - I have my first photo shoot in several years with Luke Jones and get the sexiest head shot I have ever taken. The response to this picture is overwhelming! (and I ain't lying here ya'll). Check it out:

11/16 - I am honored to be the "Guest Seductress" (i.e. for "The Erotica Monologues" in Brooklyn, NY.

11/18 - Interview with Shawna Renee on the Cocoa Mode Show on XM Radio. I meet with the contestants of the upcoming Miss Full Figured 2008 pageant.

11/19 - Mary Moore and I attend the AUDELCO Awards at Aaron Davis Hall in NYC. I meet actor Russell Hornsby (Lincoln Heights, photo below) in the hallway and want to give him some on sight!

11/28 - My friend Jacqueline & I attend a charity event at The Chevrolet of Harlem Dealership and shoot downtown to attend WE Entertainment's "Rock The Vote in 08' Party" in the Meat packing district. We get turned around and wind up looking for Little West 12th St for nearly 40 minutes!!

11/30 - I tape my first segment with Better.TV it goes over really well and I am asked to return to do another segment on the spot.


12/2 - I am supposed to co-host The Miss Full Figured 2008 Pageant for the second year in a row in New York. The other co-host is a no-show so I wind up hosting the entire event. It's fun.

12/3 - I attend a taping of the Tyra Banks show with my girlfriend Viki. I enjoy myself and I loved seeing Miss Tyra but the freezing temperatures in that studio made me vow that I would never do it again.

12/4 - I meet with Fallon Sinclair of IPM Models to discuss the possiblity of me coming on board with her agency as a booker.

12/5 - I have my 2nd & 3rd tapings with Better.TV! I meet Chef Rocco DiSpirito (who is taping a segment after mine) and have a blast making him blush by telling him what a CUTIE he is!!!

I also meet Project Runway hairstylist Donyale on set and make a brand new friend!!!

12/7 - It's my mama's birthday! I cook dinner for her.

12/9 - I attend The Curvesity Awards at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Queens to watch my best friend, Gwen DeVoe accept her lifetime achievement award. You GO Girl!

12/12 - I attend the Goddess/Model Service Holiday party at Celsius in Bryant Park. The event is FAB but even with the heat lamps under the tents....brrr....the room is very er...chilly.

12/13 - I am a guest at the annual Harlem Christmas Tree lighting at the Harlem State Office Building on 125th street. The weather is GOD AWFUL (It's sleeting) but the event is alive with the holiday spirit. FOX 5 Newscaster Mike Woods TOTALLY botches up my title during my introduction and I have to take the mic from him to fix it!!!

I leave the party to attend the wake of actor/theatrical producer Leonard Parker who I have known since I was 14 years old.

12/15 - I attend Chef Syncere's birthday party at NY Perks in Brooklyn. The Mac & Cheese is SLAMMIN'.

12/18 - I attend Grammy Winning producer Brian Michael Cox's 30th Birthday party at The W Hotel.....
Mary cannot attend so I drag Jacqueline with me and she helps me navigate the red carpet lovely. Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) is the guest DJ:

and American Idol semi finalist Jared Cotter is in the house.

I meet Paul Shaffer from The David Letterman show on the way out and I am totally amped up!

AND I run into Colin Farrell in the lobby as the paparazzi are driving him out of the hotel. I actually feel sorry for him because they (the paparazzi) were literally ALL OVER him like vultures, he doesn't get to stay long enough for a drink or anything. I manage to get a snapshot of him right before his car pulls off:

12/23 - As an early Christmas present, I get a small article on how I am spending my holiday on AOL Black Voices Blog: and my "official" title is now "Reality TV Personality"...This cracks me up! But it makes me proud to see my picture up there anyway!

12/25 - Merry Christmas! I get up early to go over to my sister's house and have breakfast (Pancakes!!! YAY!!!) with my family. She doesn't answer my initial call in the morning so I detour and make stops to see my dad, my surrogate dad and my cousin Emma who was baking sweet potato pie and hit a sista off with 2 slices!!! Finally I reach my sister and head to the Bronx where my family was waiting for me. I watched my nephew's lose their minds and wear themselves out playing on their new Wii. That evening I rush home to head up to Woodbury Commons with my neighbor Glenda, her niece Amani & her sister for the Black Friday Sales! We leave our block at approximately 10:45pm. It's a 45 minute ride. We get stuck in traffic for 4 hours between exits 15 & 16 on the thruway...the outlet was off exit 16!!! We arrive at the Nike Outlet at 5am. Never again.

12/29 - I am doing end of the year cleaning with my monster when I manage to trip over a garbage bag, fall flat on my face (Literally), my glasses get smashed into my face and I bust up my ribs on the way down. Fortunately the glasses didn't shatter so I wind up with cuts & bruises on my nose, a scratched up hand, banged up ribs and a black eye. My monster is playing records (remember those?) and has his back turned to me as I nearly topple over the turntable trying to break my fall....this mofo has the NERVE (for a second ya'll) to prepare to roll his eyes at me for making his record he realizes that I actually hurt myself. I think my pride has been hurt more than anything else and I am mortified at my face in the mirror. My glasses now sit at a rather jaunty angle on my face. It ain't cute. Later on this evening I have to join my mom, stepdad, sister, brother in law & cousin for dinner at Dallas BBQ's. My face hurts.

12/31 - It's official! I am now the new booker over at IPM Models. Fallon and I get the word that the Curvation line has been discontinued by the new owners...we are BOTH totally bummed out at this news.

I am looking forward to an absolutely FABULOUS 08!

SHOUT OUT TO MARY MOORE FOR DOING THE DAMN THING! Let's continue to do BIG things in the new year mama! Thanks for everything.


Peace, Blessings and much success in the coming new year Fam!

A person is a success if they get up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another one bites the dust....

I almost forgot to mention this one ya'll...I was down at Con Edison the other day paying my bill and as I was leaving I happened to look across the street and saw that "Wimp's" know the bakery on 125th St that had those gigantic "Cornbread Layer Cakes" in the windows for YEARS is now OUT OF BUSINESS! I was truly shocked to see this and I haven't heard a thing about what happened here...but I can only speculate that the closing was either due to the recent expansion (they opened up a second floor as sort of a lounge space) that never really took off or the rent was raised to some ridiculous amount of money.

I will assume that it's the latter, since that seems to be happening all over Harlem.

Sigh...who's gonna be next?

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Darren!

Today is my oldest nephew Darren's 21st birthday! I tried to call him today but like most 21 year olds....he was in the wind as soon as the sun came My first baby is all grown up and has a baby of his own and it scares the HELL OUT OF ME!!!!!

Here's a shot of us one Easter Sunday MANY years ago (and in case you're wondering...yes...that is a Pouf dress I am

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday that I held him in my arms when my sister first brought him home from the hospital.....Since he was my first know Christmas was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS for him EVERY his siblings began to arrive...then I had to seriously "slow my roll" lol...All he had to do was blink at the tv set and I made sure he had it! Aunty spent all her dough buying him gifts...just to watch him go bonkers on Christmas morning!!!

I know...I spoiled him rotten.

But he was my first.....

Sigh....I am getting so old....

Anyway...before I get a little ferklempt...Happy Birthday Nephew!

Love always...


Oh by the way...did I say my nephew is kinda foine? Homeboy is about 6'2", nice build with hazel eyes and a gorgeous smile? Oh yeah...the Quinn gene did him well...he's a cutie (and I ain't just saying it because I love him!)

"Character, not circumstances, makes the man."

Brian Michael Cox's 30th Birthday Party!

Oooohhh Family!

Last night I attended the 30th birthday party for Grammy Award winning producer Brian Michael Cox. My publicist called me about the party and I had to "google" him because I had no idea of who he was....well Mr. Man's list of credits are quite extensive, he's got THREE Grammy awards AND he's written and produced for some of the best in the business...from Jagged Edge to Mariah Carey & Mary J. Blige!! You KNOW I can't WAIT to work with him!

The event was being held at The W Hotel at 17th Street & Park Avenue South and the evening was to be hosted by Russell Simmons with Q-Tip as the guest DJ. So I was kinda amped up to be attending. Since Mary couldn't attend the event with me and I HATE going to events alone...I asked my friend Jacqueline if she'd accompany me....and with a promise of an abundance of Margarita' happily obliged.

We arrived at The W at nearly 10pm (the event began at 9:00), took the elevator to the 2nd floor, checked our coats and entered the ballroom. The press area was to my immediate right when I walked in the door but because I'm a punk (yeah...I said it) and am still new to the whole "walk & wave" thing and I still don't think that people know who I am (lol...I know Mia!! I'm being silly!) I decided to watch the OTHER red carpet arrivals for a while....The first person I ran into was Former Vibe Fashion Editor-at-Large Beverly Smith...Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

I haven't seen Miss Bevvie in a minute, so we chatted for a moment before I began checking out the red carpet.

On the red carpet I saw a really nice looking brother who I KNEW I knew but I just couldn't remember where I'd seen him....he was really cute though. He was followed by a duo who called themselves "Black Buddafly"...I am not sure if they were singers or not but they sure enjoyed posing for the cameras. After a few minutes of watching I decided I was thirsty and Jacqueline and I headed into the main room in pursuit of Margarita's...and the first person I scoped out was guest DJ...Q-Tip...who for some strange reason felt the need to wear a winter ski The party was sponsored by W Hotels, Men's Vogue Magazine, Jose Cuervo Platino & SESAC. After we got our drinks....we both decided to try the signature drink of the evening....The Platino, it was supposed to be similar to a margarita but it had grapefruit juice in it...and after a few sips we both declared it to be interesting but not interesting enough to keep...I turned on my camera and made my way to the DJ booth.

I waited a few moments for him to actually SEE me before I approached him and I politely asked him if he'd mind if I took his picture...he said yes but he looked so forlorn that I had to ask him "What is THAT face about??? What is wrong with you tonight?" He smiled and apologized because he was coming down with a cold and wasn't feeling too hot. Anyway I took my photo and he was nice enough to pose with me too!

At that point we headed to the EMPTY bar at the far side of the room for new drinks...a margarita for Jacqueline and a glass of bubbly for me! We hung out in the "reserved" area and then I spotted the young man I saw on the red carpet with the face that I couldn't place. I signaled for him to come over and asked him why he looked so familiar to turns out that I recognized him from American Idol Season 6...he was a top 24 finalist and his name was Jared Cotter...I remember him because he's a cutie and he sang "Let's Get It On" during one show. He was also friendly and kind enough to take a very special self portrait with The Runway Diva.

Now you know if I'm drinking...I gotta be eating too...not a good look for me to be stumbling home drunk after drinking on an empty stomach! The food was delicious too! Steak on bamboo sticks marinated in God only knows what...but it was GOOD!!! Crab cakes galore, mini BLT's (I wasn't supposed to...but I HAD to try one...and it was really yummy!...brought back many pork memories for

As the night went on, everyone was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the birthday boy! Meanwhile Miss Jacqueline made it her business to make sure that I got those photo ops so she went to find out who was handling this and returned shortly with Osayamen Asemota (my contact for the evening) in tow...she thanked me for coming and quickly put my behind on that red carpet in front of those photographers...once I was "in" the was fine.

The Birthday boy arrived close to midnight with his entourage in full swing! He was dressed to the nines as well....I met the young man who designed his clothing...although his name escapes me...his clothing (including the outfit HE was wearing) had a sort of Ozwald Boateng feel to it...and I absolutely LOVED it! Brian took the mic, thanked everyone for coming and then DEMANDED that we all get down and party! At this point Q-Tip began pulling records from the back of the crate (Engine, engine number 9, on the NY transit line, if my train rolls off the track...pick it up, pick it up, pick it up!!!!) and the party was on and poppin' with Brian leading the way on the dance floor! Now you know I pretty much have retired my dance shoes but I couldn't resist getting my dance on in my own little space on the I managed to make my way over to Brian, introduced myself to him, sent greetings from Mary Moore, took a few photos and decided to call it and evening.

After about 4th glass of champagne...I noticed the caterers bringing out Red Velvet Cupcakes w/cream cheese frosting and Brian's initials on them (BMC). I grabbed a cupcake...but decided that I wanted to eat it later and headed to the kitchen to get some foil to wrap it in....I asked for the foil and then headed to the bathroom while I was waiting for someone to find me some. Well when I got back to the kitchen, the cutie in the back had put THREE cupcakes in a lovely box for me!

We finished our drinks and began making our way to the coat check when I nearly crashed into a little white took one look at him and realized immediately it was Paul Shaffer, the musical director for The David Letterman Show! I introduced myself and told him he HAD to take a pic with me...and he did...happily!

Well, just when I thought my evening couldn't get any better, as Jacqueline and I entered the lobby I ran right into Colin Farrell...with his CUTE self....I was thisclose to getting him to take a pic with me but the paparazzi drove him out of the I ran to his car and managed to snap a photo right before he drove will have to do until I see him again....and I WILL see him again ya'll

By the time I got home it was well after 1:00am but I had a great time and so did Jacqueline. know...I never did see Russell Simmons....

Thanks for the invite Brian and Happy 30th Birthday!

“Love life, engage in it, give it all you've got. Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it”

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Chef Syncere!!!

Last Saturday, I attended a birthday party for my publicist's hubby....Chef Syncere. The party was held at NY Perks in Brooklyn and the birthday boy himself was catering (Chef Syncere has a restaurant right next door ya'll!). I have had the pleasure of dining on his cooking and I made sure I was good and hungry when I got there! I brought Miss Jacqueline along (cuz you know I hate attending functions alone...) and she brought her appetite too!

We got there at around 9:30pm and almost immediately ran into the birthday boy at the door (he was going back and forth trying to enjoy his party AND keep his business running at the same time...whew!) who pointed us in the direction of his wife AND the! I found my publicist, Mary Moore, Cynthia Horner and a special added surprise of seeing Jamie Foster-Brown too!

Quite a few folks had already arrived when we got there but there was still enough space to move around. We found some seats at the to the buffet...which by the way was lovely! We ordered drinks and chatted and I tried to er...pretend like I wasn't really interested in lasted for Oh...maybe 10 minutes and then I announced to Jacque...."Okay, I'm starving...i'm gonna go for hungry?" Miss Lady said she wasn't and I was off to take on the buffet by myself. As I worked my way up and down those serving trays...I saw that the Chef had outdone himself...there was a full spread of fried chicken, Jerk Chicken, BBQ Meatballs, Fried Fish, Mac & Cheese (which was EXCELLENT!), rice & peas and steamed crab legs (didn't touch those though...way too messy to fool around with in a bar!)...the only thing that was missing for me was Potato Salad!!! (You just can't have fried chicken without it!!).

I made my way back to my seat and as soon as Miss Jacqueline saw that Mac & Cheese on my plate....she was off and running! As we ate, drank and chatted...I took a moment to check out the restaurant. I had heard of NY Perks...I get their emails ALL THE TIME...but since it's in Brooklyn...and I am without a vehicle at present..well you know...It's BROOKLYN!!! Anyway, the restaurant is laid out nicely and it's more long than wide...there are wide screen TV's in the front and back bars and comfy seating...AND an outdoor seating space...if it were located in Manhattan...heck, I'd be there all the time!

By the time we finished eating, it had begun to get crowded and we decided to find seats closer to the dance floor so we could watch the festivities. The DJ was beginning to get warmed up and we found seats next to Mary and watched folks get their dance on. There was one young woman in particular...a juicy girl...wearing a purple & lavender swirl print blouse...Baby...Miss Lady was WORKING IT OUT!!! She was giving us the ENTIRE Beyonce "Get Me Bodied" Choreography and home girl threw in a few full splits just for good measure! I couldn't stop looking at her...just the THOUGHT of doing a full split causes me

As we talked and took photographs, I noticed that Miss Mary was drinking what appeared to be a glass of I don't get to see her drink too often, cuz she's always driving but I think she had this particular night off. She told me she was drinking a white wine which I loudly announced "WHAT??? That ain't no drink!!!"...if you're gonna LEAST drink something that HAS some alcohol IN it!!! I suggested she have one of my faves...which I have totally rechristened as "The Runway Diva"...Malibu, OJ & Cranberry Juice with a twist of lime...very fruity and tasty...can sneak up on you though! Jacque brought one back for her and she LOVED it!

I finally got up and danced for a minute when the DJ pulled out "Hot" By Soho...did my thing for about 5 to 7 minutes and that was We hung out for a while longer when "The Chef" took a break and finally joined us....and then after we found out that MARY FORGOT TO ORDER A BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!! LOL...we headed back to the city!

Good food, Good Music and Good Company....who could ask for more!

Happy Birthday Syncere!

"Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of 'you' to the world.”

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Very Model Christmas Indeed!

I attended the annual Christmas party for Goddess/Model Service Agency. MY invitation got lost in the I wound up attending with my home girl Mia Amber. The event was held under the tents in Bryant Park at a restaurant called Celsius which was adjacent to the Bryant Park Skating Rink. I didn't see as many familiar faces as I thought I would but It was a beautiful setting with lots of wonderful food and most of all LOTS of my favorite champagne...Veuve Clicqot.

I was going to write something about the er...frigid temperatures under the tents...EVEN with the heat lamps lol....but it isn't worth the effort it would take to write it.

Enjoy the slideshow family!


"Things don't just happen...they happen just."

Harlem Christmas Tree Lighting 2007

Hey Ya'll!

Last night I attended the annual Christmas Tree lighting in Harlem. I almost didn't attend because the weather was so darn crappy (rain & sleet) but after my publicist called and told me the traffic was bad due to the weather and she wasn't going to make it...I decided to just go anyway...since it wasn't that far away from me at most maybe 6-7 blocks away.

I arrived at the Harlem State Office Building on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd at around 5:15pm and ran right into my girl Rasheeda Wallace (The Queen of Street Soul) who was also attending. After passing through the metal detectors we took the elevator up to the second floor. I suppose we were a bit early because there were only a few people in the Art Gallery. Miss Rasheeda knows some of everyone so we wound up sitting and waiting in the offices of the building manager, Mr. Willie Walker. We were just getting comfortable when the doors opened and in walked Dr. Bob Lee of WBLS who was also on hand for the event. Dr. Bob Lee tried to convince me where we first met and tried to bet me $500 bucks that I was to say...I didn't take THAT bet! (Lol...we met at the reception for Ebony Fashion Fair at The Alhambra Ballroom Bob!) And let me tell you about Miss Rasheeda!!! Girlfriend can work the hell out of a she left the office and came back like 10 minutes later with EVERYBODY'S business cards!! (You GO Girl!) Shortly after some conversation and chit the doors walked the host for the evening...Mike Woods...the Weather Authority AND resident cutie on Good Day New York.

Rasheeda and I headed to the main room where folks gathered and made speeches,African drummers performed, invited guests celebrated the holidays with a song, the Vy Higginson Gospel Choir performed as did a group of dancers/singers from the Impact Repertory Theater....I enjoyed them very much! Santa worked the room spreading good cheer and all was well until Mike Woods introduced me as the er...SECOND Original Runway Diva! lol...

Now family...ya'll KNOW you know my voice came from the back of the room..."HOLD UP??? Did you just say SECOND??? SECOND???? and at that point I took the stage, took the mic and politely corrected him on my title!!! I quickly forgave him, said a few words of holiday cheer and sent them all to my that this would never happen again! He was very apologetic and VERY CUTE Ya'll!! Mmm-Hmmm... This was his fourth year hosting this event and it was clear that he was having a great time! After the program and some photo ops...there was a countdown and all the children (and headed to the window to watch the tree light up! Hot Chocolate and doughnut bites were provided by Dunkin Donuts and although the weather kept us from actually being outside (Jesus is REAL Ya'll...cuz you KNOW I didn't want to stand out in the cold!) The event was wonderful anyway!

Special thanks to Keith Forest, Mary Moore, Rasheeda Wallace & Dr. Bob know why!

On another note...I had to leave the party and head over to a wake for Mr. Leonard Parker, who passed away earlier this week. I have known Mr. Parker since I was 14 years old and most recently we worked together on a show he was producing called "Reflections of Time". I was very saddened to hear of his passing.

My condolences go out to the Parker family at this time.

"Ask your children two questions this Christmas. First: "What do you want to give to others for Christmas?" Second: "What do you want for Christmas?" The first fosters generosity of heart and an outward focus. The second can breed selfishness if not tempered by the first."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Runway Diva Debuts on BETTER.TV

Happy Holidays Family!

I just finished shooting 3 segments on Better.TV! Better.TV is a new broadband network owned by Meredith Corp.

I did my initial segment with them a few weeks ago and something just "clicked". They asked me back immediately to do a second one and then a third one...there's talk in the air about a recurring role and a sista is VERY excited ya'll!!!

Anywhooo...the segments I shot will air on the following dates:

My first interview will air on December 14th.

The scarf segment will air on December 18th.

The segment on the Miss Full Figured 2008 Pageant will air on December 19th.

As yet they don't have a station affiliate in the NYC area yet BUT can watch my episodes online at

Thanks family for your continued support! And please don't forget to SPREAD THE WORD!!!


ps - for my friends outside of the NYC area, I am attaching a list of station affiliates and/or cities and air times where you can watch the shows live on your TV's....enjoy and always....let me know your thoughts!

Station/Affiliate Market Group Time Period














Happy Holidays to you and your families and thanks for your continued support!

"He who does not tire, tires adversity."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The 2007 Curvesity Awards

Feliz Navidad Family!

I had the pleasure of attending an event called "The Curvesity Awards 2007" the other night. I was in attendance because my home skillet and BFF Gwen "Diva" DeVoe (Also known as "The Mogul") was receiving a lifetime achievement award for her 19 years as a pioneer in the plus sized industry. I was on hand for the early years of DSE (DeVoe Signature Events) and I am so very proud of all that she has accomplished since the beginning! I couldn't think of a more deserving recipient if I I'm not gonna! (Try..that is.)

Anyway, the event was held at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Queens and hosted by Sonia & Josephine..the founders of Curvesity Entertainment. Well after much wandering around in the wilderness that is known as finally arrived at the venue with my suitcase in tow. We had been trying to surprise The Mogul by bringing back some faces she hadn't seen in a very long time to do a fashion presentation. Well, if you know Miss Diva at already know it is next to impossible to surprise her with ANYTHING!!! But we did our best and I think we actually "got" her a couple of Anyway, as soon as I got there I made my way to the dressing room area, which was packed with a ton of models....there were a bunch of familiar faces from DSE and Models that I recognized from the tri-state area. In the back of the room was a new group of models out of Chicago, Illinois....I think they called themselves "Exclusive Models" or something like that...also on hand to dress the ladies of DSE was NY based designer Robert E. Knight..who brought his mom along to check out the show. Robert and I go WAAAAYYYYY back to MY early days as a plus sized model and I am glad to see he is finally doing "Big Things" it?). Holding down the backstage for DSE of course was the always reliable Linda "The Dancing Machine" Mann...I hadn't seen Linda for a minute and was glad we found a moment to get caught up in between the madness! Also backstage preparing for the show were my girls Talina, Mia Amber, Shante Gordon, Elizabeth Seifu (who was absolutely KILLING it on the GO Girl!!!), Jeannie Ferguson (who also showcased fashions from her company BGU), Sharon Jones (who looks as if she has lost an ENTIRE person from her body...she so skinny now!!!), Maddy Figueroa-Jones and her husband photographer Luke Jones, and some newbies as well...Tiffany, Shante & Jazmin...whew....I know I am forgetting a whole bunch of ya'll please forgive me! In was like a big ole reunion for me and I was glad to see all my friends doing well and thriving!

I finally made my way over to Robert and found that he had NOT brought the dress that I was supposed to wear in the which I breathed a sigh of relief and decided to just check out the show from the audience. I changed into my "standby" dress...i.e. my black wrap dress from Douglas Says...and headed out into the main room to catch the first fashion segment. The first segments featured Curvesity Models and The Exclusive Models from Chicago. I was actually enjoying myself until someone sent a chick out on the runway dressed as "Little Bo Peep"....complete with a staff ya'll....this is strictly my own personal opinion....but I think as a "F.A.T." (as in Fabulous & Thick) Rule...we don't EVER want to give folks a reason to clown us...they do that to us enough on a day to day basis...I am not real big on giving them even more ammunition...hence my dislike for that particular outfit...I just didn't understand how anyone would have thought that was a cool outfit to put in a show.

And in the words of Forrest Gump...That's all I have to say about that.

There were also comedians, singers, raffles and other honorees being awarded and even Melle Mel was in attendance to present an award to one of his friends. As I scanned the room I saw Raqui of Large & In Charge Magazine, El from The El & Syl Radio Show and even some of my new friends from MySpace! Finally the moment I had waited for was upon was time for the fashion tribute to Diva...Tonya "T-Boogie" Giddens, who was responsible for producing the show and getting us all together (Thanks Boogie!), got a little "ferklempt" for a moment and then took the stage and spoke some very heartfelt words about the mogul that had us all going....Awwwwww!

The show opened with Miss Talina entering the room in her "Skinny Models Off The Runway..." T-Shirt and a can of fragrance...which she accented the room with as she walked the runway...."Can you smell it??? It's the scent of FASHION in the air!" took me wayyyyyyyyyyyyy back to my days of modeling in New Jersey!

But I digress....the show was off and running after that and the Models of DSE really did their thing and showed em' how it should be done! Diva was perched in the front row looking absolutely exquisite in a pewter colored beaded gown with matching girl's hair was FRIED, DYED AND LAID to the and her face was BEAT FOR THE BLOOD!!! (Nice work Miss Tara!) She was sitting next to Miss Teri Thornton who worked the door for DSE for years...I am proud to say that Miss Teri looked phenomenal as well and I was so very glad to see her back on the scene. Diva would have peed if she had seen some of the other chicks who were scheduled to appear but had to back out at the last minute...chicks like Lineth, who came up from Florida for the rehearsals and Tracey Lassiter who took a breather from her two children to stop thru!

The fashion segment wrapped up with the models walking the runway in their SMOTR T-Shirts and then The Mogul walked the runway before accepting her award. She thanked her long time supporters and fans and then graciously worked the room and posed for pictures. Then it was up to the hotel room to change into travel clothes and head back to the city!

I hitched a ride with Gwen & her better half Al and got home and went right to was going off of maybe 6 hours sleep in two days!

Boogie! You did and exceptional job and no worries...The Mogul was quite happy!

Sonia & Josephine....nicely done...thanks for honoring my girl!

Love Ya!

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The 2008 Miss Full Figured Beauty Pageant

Happy Holidays Family!

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of hosting the Miss Full Figured 2008 Beauty Pageant at the Holiday Inn on 57th Street in Manhattan. This is the third year that I have hosted this pageant and I gotta tell you...I always have a ball doing it. For those of you who aren't "in the know" lol...The pageant is the brainchild of New Jersey Diva, Miss Theresa Randolph of JT Productions and she has been sponsoring this event for the past 19 years.

I love these sort of events because they are so very necessary in the plus size community. We desperately need a forum where we can look and feel beautiful and we can come together and celebrate in our uniqueness. So needless to say...I have come to look forward to participating each time.

Alas, it was in my plans to arrive fairly early so that we could possibly have a run through but me being me...of course it was not to I arrived around 4pm to find the dj arriving at the same time and just beginning to set up. I headed to the back and greeted the contestants & the production staff. I had to chase down about 4 bios from contestants and then try to get myself together for the tentative 6pm start time.

I decided to go to the front of the house so that I could check out the layout of the room and the length of the runway. The first person I saw was Eda Francois, who was participating as a judge for the competition. Miss Lady was flawless as always and we chatted a moment before I had to head backstage to get ready. I was in search of my publicist...Mary Moore and as I was looking for her I also ran into designer, Tyrone Chablis and holding it down in the make up area was MFC Season 1 finalist...Miss Alicia Mitchell.

I talked to Miss Theresa backstage for a moment and found that she had revised our start time from 6pm to 6:30pm because of the traffic delays due to the rainstorm we were having. I then retrieved my dress from designer Lonie Cisco (who was also in charge of the backstage area) and proceeded to change. My dress was a low cut sparkly gold number with a deep split and a train in the back. One look at that dress and I somehow KNEW that train was gonna be the "bane of my existence" time passed quickly and after some confusion about my introduction...I took the stage to begin the show.

Baby! From the minute I took the runway...I was tripping all over that damn train on the dress!!! and making jokes about it to boot. I decided to ignore it and proceeded to introduce my judges for the evening...Jamie Foster-Brown (Editor in Chief of Sista2Sista Magazine), Grammy nominated R&B recording artist, Miki Howard, Doctor Dolores Boyce, Wilhelmina Plus Model Annivia, Max Szadek (Executive Director of Divabetic), Miss Eda Francois ....I gotta tell you...this was a pretty impressive bunch of judges this year and they all had a ball making their entrances on the runway.

The first segment was the "Daywear" segment and the ladies got all done up in suits and hats...came out and introduced themselves then walked the runway....and I entertained myself by talking to the audience as the judges tallied their scores and the ladies changed into their for the Q&A segment. It was around this time that I noticed that my cohost for the evening, Mr. Kyle Abercrombie was MIA (Kyle....shout a sista out and let me know you are okay). No one had recieved word about his whereabouts and everyone was worried. By the time the ladies took the stage for the question and answer segment...(In ANOTHER dress by Lonie changed into a beautiful black number that I could handle without tripping on)....I realized that I'd be flying solo on this one.

The contestants took the stage all dressed in red for their question and answer segments and it went off without a hitch. They (the contestants) presented themselves beautifully and most spoke eloquently. As the ladies headed back to change clothing for the final segments...I decided to head out into the audience and see what the judges thought of what they had seen so far....they ALL admitted that the ladies had done well and made it very hard for them to predict a clear winner and several of them stood out in front of the pack!

I had a couple of friends attend the show and I was pleased to see as I looked out into the audience that they were enjoying themselves immensely! I returned to the stage after a brief intermission and went straight into the evening wear segment. This segment is pretty much my favorite one...I love to see big & beautiful sister get all glammed up and "purty" for this segment....and they didn't disappoint me girls looked good and represented themselves well!

After the final evening wear segment, the judges were escorted out of the ballroom to a sequestered area where the scores could be tallied and a new winner would be announced. As the judges left the room, Miss Theresa took the stage and opened up the "audience participation segment" where she always invites potential "Runway Divas" (both male & female) to walk the runway, if they liked....this part of the show always cracks me up and folks tend to lose their mind at the thought of strutting the runway and just show

Anyway, after a lengthy deliberation (I guess it really WAS hard ya'll) the judges returned and the winner was announced....The New Miss Full Figured 2008 was Miss Yvonne Forbes, who was on her third try as a contestant. Congrats Yvonne! Yvonne joined me later on in the week as she interviewed with me on a segment on Better.TV ( I wish you well Yvonne...represent!

Once the winner was announced, I changed into leather pants and brand new Nike's and scooped up my friends and Miss Eda and we headed to a local pub for a late night bite and a few cocktails! (No one could afford to eat or drink ANYTHING at the Holiday Inn...where a glass of HOUSE CHARDONNAY WAS $12 DOLLARS!!!!)

Thanks Theresa & Jackie for inviting me back...I had a ball...I always do!

Jacqueline & Clooney....thanks for the means a lot!

Love Ya Fam!

“No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.”

Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Birthday Mama!!

Greetings Family!

Today is my mom's birthday! And I wanted to send her a very special Happy Birthday from her first born! (Even though I know she probably won't get on the computer to check it

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My mom is my hero and I don't even think SHE knows how much influence she has on my life. She had me at 16 and looking back I can see how it would have been SO very easy for her to dump me off on a relative and continue to live her life. But she chose to be responsible and provide a good stable foundation in which I could thrive and be the best ME I could be. I will never forget that. She gave up her dreams to raise me and my siblings...(Few 16 year old mothers are willing to do that today). I try to live my life as a testimony to her...I never want any thing that I do in this life to embarrass her...EVER. Keeping those thoughts in my head when I come to crossroads in my life have helped me to make some very interesting decisions in my life.

My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader, as long as I can remember she has been there for me, be it, track meets, musical performances, graduations, plays, PTA meetings....It didn't matter....if it involved me...she was there and I will never, ever forget that.

My siblings and I grew up poor and on "Welly" lol...but my mama always made sure that we never FELT poor. We always had food, family, clothing, shelter, music and lots of love at our house. She was (is) a great cook and she wore out her Red covered Betty Crocker cookbook by trying most, if not all of the recipes in that book!

When I got a scholarship to private school in first journey to school went from a 5 minute one (my previous school was right next door) to an hour long bus ride downtown. I had to be up at around 6am and I remember quite a few times sharing a cup of coffee (well...SHE had coffee...I had milk with a SPLASH of coffee in with my mom in the morning before everyone else got up.

Birthdays were special and she always made us a "Kitty Kat" cake with licorice whiskers that she got out of one of her cookbooks...or pancakes with smiley faces for breakfast! As moms go...mine was pretty darn cool.

My mom was a Diva before I even knew the word existed. She rocked platinum blonde wigs and afros before the trend was popular. AND she was quite the looker...I loved dragging my mom to my private school and showing her off...I knew she was always gonna be the most beautiful woman in the room and she was!

As I got older and much more active...I took my mom everywhere with me....My girl went to parties, bus rides, ski name it we did it...and we had a blast! Btw...the bottom photo is of me and my mom at an event at The Celebrity Club in Harlem (It's now where the Harlem Children's Zone sits) in was 16 years old! The top photo is from hmmm...I think 1967...which would have made me er...SIX!!!! (I was a big 6 year old wasn't I?)

So I decided to take this moment to let the world know how much I love my mom and my goal is to make enough money to allow her to live in ways that she's probably never even dreamed of. This is why I am constantly on her to take better care of herself and just hang in there until it happens....and TRUST ME ON THIS:


So once I finish with this blog I am going up to her place to cook her dinner (Smothered Pork Chops and a Lemon Garlic Chicken Dish)...she thinks she's slick...I told her to pull ONE thing out of the freezer and I would cook it....Miss Thing took it upon herself to take out TWO things!!! lol...but it's cool.

She's my mom and it's her birthday....she can have whatever she wants!

Happy Birthday Mama!

I love you with all of my heart!

Enjoy your day!


"The commonest fallacy among women is that simply having children makes one a mother—which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician."

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Boogie!!!!

Hey Family!

Today is my baby brother's 41st birthday!!!! I wasn't able to reach him by phone and I wanted to send a very special birthday greeting. I know he keeps up with my blogs so Boogie (lol...I know he hates that childhood nickname!) Happy Birthday and know that your big sis is thinking of you on your very special day!

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(That's me holding my baby brother at my birthday party circa 1968..I think)

Love You!

Sharon (and to all you nosy folks, I never got a nickname...just

One last thing...I just ran into my seventh grade spanish teacher while I was waiting for the bus. His name is Mr. Hopkins and he taught me (well attempted to teach me) spanish at Arthur A. Schomburg Intermediate School 201 (I.S. 201) in Harlem in 1974 & 1975. He still looks the same to me...just older and his hair is white....but here's the "ke-ke" ya'll: He's STILL got all his damn hair!!!! AND it's an Al Sharpton sort of way...ya know?

LOL...I flunked every spanish class that I took after I left him and after all these years I still can't speak a lick of spanish!

But it was great to see him though!

"Don't talk about it....BE about it!"

Sunday, December 2, 2007

New Interview in the Dec 07 issue of Plus Model Magazine

Happy Holidays Family!!

More good news from The ORIGINAL Runway Diva Family!!!!

Be sure to check out the December 2007 issue of Plus Model Magazine featuring the beautiful and talented Chenese Lewis on the cover.

The "Exclusive" interview I gave to Madeline Figueroa-Jones is all about my MTV "Made" experience and is chock full of advice to aspiring plus sized models everywhere.

Click on the link below to read RIGHT NOW!!!

Thanks as always for your continued support family!

“Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight”

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finally! An article About Guyana Fashion Week 2007

Okay family!

If you TRULY know me then you must know that I "google" myself to see what (if anything) folks are writing about me. I was dismayed at the lack of coverage on Guyana Fashion Week, So I kept "Googling" for the last few months and actually managed to find a flattering article WITH a photo! KNOW I put the paragraph about Moi in BOLD LETTERING!


GWF final night: Graceful, cute, daring, sizzling
By Iana Seales
Saturday, September 1st 2007

Like a cool breeze blowing on a hot August evening, the graceful designs of Pat Coates kicked off what was a glamorous and statement-filled finale of the inaugural Guyana Fashion Weekend (GFW).

Willowy models floated across the catwalk in pieces so heavenly it set the tone for an evening of timeless displays, although not all the collections could claim that blissful appeal.

If fashion is defined as sexy, daring and wickedly stylish, then the opening night set the tone, with designers such as Olympia Small-Sonaram and Vashti Harlequin feeding us designs so tasty it made the food at Buddy's International Hotel seem less appetizing. But in keeping with traditions everywhere, they saved the best for last, which made the finale a night of triumphs.

Sticking to her established territory and obvious obsession with light colours, Coates opened with a series of chic shirts and skirts, offering a fresh new taste in short, long and cuff sleeves, as well as slender dresses that accentuate curves and compliment a figure that has very few. Known for minor details in cuts, she delivered many well-tailored pieces that all looked as though they belonged in the glossy pages of a top fashion magazine. It would be a sweeter reality, however, if the designer challenged Guyanese women to start a fashion purity craze by stepping out in her pieces.

There was one off-white shirt-skirt in particular that looked like a mixture of silk and linen and just stood out. It was the perfect fit on the petite model, but was so good that maybe it would look just as perfect on any woman. If one word sums up Coates's collection it's quality, because that is exactly what she dished out in her collection of cream, gold, white and off-white pieces.

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But shortly after taking us into a dream, compliments of Coates, the organizers changed the atmosphere and shifted gears to a steaming hot, bewitching collection from Nadine and Nikisha Telford who were the break-out designers of the event - new, but gifted and certainly up and coming. With a touch of sex appeal and gothic flavour mixed with some innocence, the sisters spiced up the rather ordinary looking runway.

Cute and daring

Under their Climax label, they offered cute little puff pants, daring corset tops, pencil skirts and midriff jackets, in addition to playful jersey dresses and hooded tunics. And as if the clothes were not hot enough, they stacked up on big platform shoes, wedge slippers and chunks and chunks of accessories. A few of the models working it for the Telford sisters sported huge handbags and stylish clutch purses. At first it seemed like a music video shoot for one of the US rappers, maybe 50 cent or Ludacris, but as the pieces kept coming it got more interesting and the feel of something greater started to emerge.

Climax had a sort of Baby Phat/ Rockawear appeal to it, but with a Caribbean flava with richer colours and cooler fabrics. The pieces which can be considered hip were mainly spandex and silk. It will probably take a few more showings and additional exposure for the Telford sisters to stamp their approval as the youngest, hottest, hippest designers out of Guyana, but they are on their way. Shabeau Magazine presented them with an award for best new designers and have committed to featuring their line offering them an entire year of free advertising, which means the Caribbean is about to get a little hotter with every new Shabeau issue.

Sizzling collection

By the time the programme was nearing an end, Dereck Moore's sizzling collection of silk and georgette dresses, shirts and blouses had claimed bragging rights on the catwalk, and Sonia Noel was preparing to set off a finale so big and breathtaking that tongues were wagging long after the show had wrapped up. Moore who continues to re-invent himself with chic pieces that celebrate femininity in the way it should be - loud and proud, went for a mature look and revealed his take on how a classy woman who is fashion conscious dresses.

His collection was a mix of black, fuchsia, azure and white, often fused into one. Moore's plus-sized pieces made big look hot, something many designers who do not often venture to cut pieces beyond a size six cannot do. What was particularly good about his collection was the classic touch it had, and the potential to survive scrutiny from critics locally, regionally and we dare say, internationally.

Ruffles and roses

Who begins showing a collection with a chic two-piece, tailored white pants suit that looks like it has been ripped off the back of a model in a Parisian fashion show? Why Sonia Noel of course. And from the minute her first piece hit the stage the tempo was set for a grand finale. It started off with a parade of gorgeous white pieces, pants, skirts and dresses that carried her signature look of ruffles and roses. Then Noel mixed things up with tangerine, cream, black and gold pieces - some cascading off curves with the splendour of water tumbling down falls. And she also gave us sexy, 'in,' daring new looks that combined tube dresses and body-hugging skirts.

Noel incorporated matching hats and handbags into her collection of linen, spandex, cotton and silk pieces. Every look she presented had a sense of totality to it - a particular skill of hers that sets her apart from the crowd. Her designs showed class, an eye for detail, some amount of boldness and a creative flair that stands out every time.

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Plus-sizes and sexy bald-headed models

As the night progressed and the designs kept coming some amount of boredom stepped in given that some of the pieces on show failed to ignite interest, but during such moments the audience was able to see who has modelling in their blood and who was merely walking the catwalk, because when the clothes are not interesting, the models at least should be.

Sharon Quinn, a hot plus-sized model out of New York literally stole the show every time she took the stage. Whether it was her playful smile or inviting stare or the sexy sway of her hips, Quinn worked it. The crowd couldn't get enough of her and the designers recognizing as much used her for nearly every collection.

Another face that kept showing up on the catwalk was that of the reigning Miss Guyana Universe, Melessa Payne who was rocking a sexy bald-headed style with three long braids. Payne whose height, slender frame and well-toned complexion resembles that of former international model, Alec Wek, had a presence very few of the models could boast of. There was something simple yet appealing about her, and she stood out in every piece she strutted down the catwalk in.

Sensual and hand-painted designs

Sanola Forte and Rhonda Dunbar were among the new names on the big stage, and of the two, Forte made quite a statement with her Bumblee collection of flowing, knee and ankle-length dresses mixed with skirts and blouses. Using silk, drill and cotton the young designer focused on a more sensual look and pulled it off. Dunbar, on the other hand, showed a mostly grey collection that had a dated look and the styles all seemed overly emphasized. But she also showed promise which means that by this time next year she is likely to mature into a classier designer.

Undeniably Lou-Ann Jackson and Andrea Braithwaite rocked the stage with their signature hand-painted pieces that showed originality in its truest form. They offered form-fitting pants and skirt-suits to dresses and flowing tunics. The natural fabrics used by both women gave their designs appeal, and their clothing has come to embody the essence of cool, classy and comfortable. Jackson treated us to quite a feast when she outfitted the male models in stylish pants and shirts that left uncovered some of those interesting body parts they are allowed to show on stage.

The overseas designers, Donna Dove and Dominique Laroche brought a different kind of fashion that revealed their passion for unconventional clothing - mostly hand-painted designs of male pants and shirts as well as dresses and skirts. It is as if Laroche's collection said, 'Wearable Art.' Both collections were impressive and beautiful with Laroche going for a more strange stage presentation outfitting his models in black net veils.

Guyana Fashion Weekend 2008 has quite a name to live up to, but given the pool of talent locally it promises to be one heck of a show.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving & My Black Friday Story

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Family!!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday! I spent the night before cooking AND sipping on Pinot Grigio and then a bottle of Prosecco while I was doing it. I was so drunk by the time I got to the turkey...I had to go take a nap before I could put it in the oven...LMAO!! Anyway, the next day after finishing up the cooking for my house...I walked across town to the east side to make my "stop off's" before heading to my sister's house, where everyone was gathering. 1st stop was on the block that I grew up on to see Mr. Brock, who has been like a surrogate dad to me ever since I can remember (his son Tommy and I were thicker than thieves most of our lives). I found out that he'd be leaving out shortly to have dinner with one of his grandson's and his family. We talked for a moment then he wrapped me up some fried chicken that he had made earlier (Dad's a widow now and all of his children are either grown or deceased), I gave him a kiss and headed further east.

My next stop was to my cousin Steve's mom's house...his mom Emma makes some of the BEST POTATO SALAD ever!!!! I knew I couldn't pass her house without getting some. She was waiting for me too!!! Fixed me a lovely plate...with LOTS of Potato Salad!!!She gave me a slice of sweet potato pie too!!! (Which I managed to lose...long story). I chatted with my cousin Lorraine and her son Joshua for a little while and then I had to keep it moving cuz it was getting dark already.

I was supposed to make one last stop to holla at my boy Shawn who was having dinner nearby but the hour was getting late and I decided to just head on into the Bronx (Please forgive me Shawn) before my mom's started blowing up my phone. I made it to 176th Street and even braved flights of steps necessary to get to her block! I had a sweet potato cheesecake that I had ordered from Eileen's Cheesecake Co. and I was ready to celebrate with my fam. My sister and her children had a lavish spread and lots of dessert and er...cocktails? I hung out with my nieces & nephews for a long as I could get them to stay in the long and then hung out with my mom, my sis & my step dad. We drank Polka Dot Riesling, listened to music and talked about old times.

At around 8:30pm I ventured even FURTHER in the Bronx to stop by and say hello to my home girls Eda & Becky, Brutus (their dog) and their roomies! They had a rather lavish spread laid out as well and I couldn't eat another for the shrimp that Dede had prepared...couldn't turn those down. I hung with them until about 9:30pm and then I announced that I needed to leave in order to get back home because my neighbor was gonna check out the Midnight Madness Black Friday Run at Woodbury Commons.

I got home, dropped of my bags, checked on my monster and headed back downstairs to my neighbor Glenda's house. We left NYC at approximately 11:15pm to head usually takes about 45 minutes to get there...the ride was cool and the convo was great....we needed to get off at exit 16 on the NYS Thruway and all was well....

Until we passed exit 15.

As we passed the exit before ours AND the last rest stop before our exit, I noticed a flashing sign that said "Slow Down - Heavy Traffic Ahead". Didn't really pay it too much mind...I'm figuring traffic's gonna be slow because EVERYONE is going to try and catch the sales....

Well baby, "slow" was a genuine understatement....we were trapped in that friggin traffic for HOURS!!!! I have never in my life seen so many people pull over their cars and run in to the forests to pee!!!

Well, needless to say, AFTER we got off on our exit...there was STILL another hour wait to get through traffic getting in and out of the parking lots.

Time on my watch when I finally reached the Nike Outlet: 5 AM.


Although I did managed to snag some sneaks and boots for me and my boo....I will NEVER do that dumb sh*t again. Never Ever. Ever.

It was almost 11am the next day when we got back to Harlem.

And I am still looking for my damn sweet potato pie! It literally just disappeared.

Happy Holidays!

Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My MADE Diaries & Life After Made on MTV!

Happy Holidays Family!

By now I know that most if not ALL of my friends and family have already checked me out on MTV's MADE. So now I am free to post my thoughts AND my "scrapbook" of photos from the er....THREE MONTH SHOOT!!!! I had to watch the show twice to process everything and I thought the end result was absolutely phenomenal!!!!

It all began with a phone call......I got a phone call from my manager Greg saying "I just got a call from MTV, they want you to come in and audition for a show that they're casting". So I went in the next day and interviewed with Tori the casting producer for MADE (the show I was auditioning for). She taped me talking and clowning around for what seemed like forever and then told me that the next step was that she had to show it to the execs and she'd get back to us with the results. We left the offices feeling good...because it was a really good audition and it just "felt right" ya know?

Well, I got another call from Greg the next day...."They LOVED the tape and they LOVED YOU....But.....(and somehow I just knew there'd be a but ya'll) But what? I asked.... BUT they want you to wear a wig. There was dead silence on my end of the phone....I had to really pray on this one ya'll because I'm the one who is always saying to never compromise yourself at the expense of others....and that's pretty much how I live. But I also knew that this would be a REALLY GOOD look for me if I got it right. So after much hemming & hawing and discussing it with my loved ones...I decided that the benefits from doing this show pretty much outweighed the drawbacks. So I went back retaped my audition with a wig and that was pretty much soon as that interview was over I got down in the lobby of their building and "Flipped my wig" literally. I took it off so fast it made your head spin..AND it had to be 90 degrees out that day....hell! YOU try wearing a wig in 90 degree heat!!!! NOT FUN!.

To make a long story short....I booked the gig and found out that we'd be shooting the bulk of the storyline in Cincinnati, OH where the young lady was located. They'd shown me a short clip of her audition tape so that I could get a feel for what I was working with.

I didn't think she was an ogre or in actuality she reminded me quite a bit of myself when I was her age. (Total Jockette - Popular but definitely NOT a girly-girl). But I thought she was pretty immediately....I just knew she was hiding herself under all of those sweats and tee-shirts she'd become comfortable in....I knew it could be done...but I also knew it would be on her and her level of commitment and focus on her goal to get the job done.

The first few weeks of shooting were the craziest weeks ever....I would be in Cincinnati for 5 days and then I needed to fly to Guyana for 5 days for Fashion Week and the BACK to Cincinnati for another 5 days of I arrived in Cincinnati with like A HUNDRED BAGS!!!! was ridiculous. I got to my hotel and got settled in for a moment before I headed out to meet Krystine. I came downstairs and met the "crew" lol...there was only two of them...producers, Michael Isabell & Anne Alvergue, who were also married to one another. We hit it off immediately and after a quick briefing we drove to meet Krystine.

Our first meeting occurred at a thrift store called "Plato's Closet". This is where I met Krystine and her sisters for the very first time. I am sure I must have been a sight to them at 6 ft tall, Giraffe print long dress, with matching yellow accessories....I am sure they didn't know WHAT to make of my big Over the following 5 days, I learned about Krystine's personal style (er...she thought she was into this whole "Rocker Chick" thing but she really hadn't found her niche at that point). After going through her closets and talking to her for a while, I knew we BOTH had our work cut out for us. I gave her some basic model tips, some pumps and some things to chew on while I was away in Guyana stressing that It was all on her to be committed to "Krystine...The Model Project" while I was away...i.e. I could "want it for her" all day long but in the end...She had to want it more!

When I returned from Guyana...cranky with a busted knee (see my Guyana fashion week blog). I didn't see much improvement from when I had left her last week so I had to turn up the heat on my training. The hardest things in the world was going to be teaching her how to be a all times and being comfortable in her own skin. I taught her the 3 "P's"...Poise, Posture & Personality and told her that this would be the lynchpin in her training....she had to think those 3 P's throughout our weeks together...she had to live it, eat it, sleep it and breathe it...or it would never take hold. Then we went to downtown Cincinnati to meet her new personal trainer, Rocco Castellano. Rocco is a trip ya'll....I liked him almost immediately! I recognized his last name immediately (Cuz a sista reads ya'll) and we chatted about it for a moment...(I swear I had a "Sopranos" moment during our He has this real NY vibe about him and he has a sarcastic sense of humor that I absolutely love!!! Over the next few weeks we worked constantly on her walk, her self confidence and learning how to "Fill up her model bag of tricks" addition to her training with Rocco. We set her up with Salsa dance classes, Pole dancing classes, voguing classes and of course...runway training with The Runway Diva!

We had lots of activities crammed into my time in Cincinnati that didn't make the final edit...Like:

Our trip to a real vintage thrift store where we met fashion stylist extraordinare, aptly named..."Hollywood" and he got Krystine to start looking at fashion from another mindset as well as teaching US how to change a blah outfit into something fashionable by doing something as simple as turning a dress backwards and trying it from that angle (Don't laugh ya' actually worked and it would have NEVER crossed my mind to do that in a million years!). This vintage store was fabulous ya'll and I don't usually check out vintage stores because there is usually nothing in my size...(we all know that FAT girls don't give away the really fly stuff cuz...those in the know...already know that TRULY classic pieces NEVER go out of style!!!). Anyway, I was impressed because there were quite a few FABU things in my size and that made it a joy for me to shop....I gotta go back because Hollywood told me that REAL Gems are keep upstairs and it's by appointment only. I copped a really fly mink beret from you know a sista is gonna go back as soon as I can!

We also got the pleasure of hanging out together a few times and we wound up at a Gay Club in Downtown Cincinnati....cuz EVERY BIG GIRL NEEDS A GAY MALE FRIEND....TRUST me when I tell you this! They will NEVER let you step out of your house looking anything BUT fabulous!

That scene in itself was hilarious because I just KNEW that Krystine had never been to a gay bar before...and it would be interesting to see how she'd react if someone hit on her. As it turns out the whole scene was cool and they loved her on site....and there was this one chick in particular who was positively DROOLING when she saw Krystine! She proceeded to follow her all night long...She handled it well but it was the funniest thing in the world to me watching Krys run from this chick all night!!!! But we had a blast anyway...and my girl held her own all night long. She even danced with a group of people for a while...And more importantly...she made a new friend, named N8 (pronounced..."Nate"...get it?) I was very proud of her...She seemed to be moving along nicely.

So you can only imagine my frustration when weeks later...I saw that Krystine wasn't where she needed to be as a model or where she was supposed to be weight wise. I realized that old girl was giving me the okey doke and wasn't applying herself like she should have been. I personally had begun to voice my opinion that she didn't really want the goal as badly as she said and most of the time she was going through the motions....after weeks of training, talking and rehearsing....I still wasn't seeing any thing close to a plus sized model.

And then I got pissed off.

It came down to us finally having to have a "sit down" so that I could figure out what was REALLY happening here. I knew she was competitive as hell and I just didn't understand why she wasn't applying a winning effort here. Well, our "Sit Down" turned out to be a nearly two hour, tear filled conversation...that was absolutely imperative to her turning things around. We talked about her dreams, her family, her pain and her need to please everybody. The last thing being her trying to please EVERYONE....she had nothing left for Krystine. Krystine was never pleased. Once I got her around to seeing that and accepting herself AS was smooth sailing after that. By the time I got back to girl was ON FIRE!!!! She was looking good, feeling good and committed to being in "Model Mode" most of the time. I was really pleased with what I was seeing as we got closer to the competition.

I fell in love with her family....they are very close knit and I LOVE That! It's how I grew up. They have a magnificent home (they really do ya'll!), a cute little dog named Hercules, 2 cats and her dad, made sure to have an ice cold beer waiting for me after taping wrapped for the day. And her mom, Mary...was just a joy to be cried a lot. I gave her sisters my own personal nicknames based on what I saw in them or something they either said or did. Her oldest sister Elizabeth was christened "Soccer Mom", middle sister Michelle, was christened "Waffle Girl" (lol...she knows why!) and baby sis Kathleen was christened "Mascara Girl" and Krystine....well...I didn't really give her an "official" nickname but I called her "mama" most of the time! I even had an opportunity to meet Krystine's Uncle Jim...he was a blast as well. I met a lot of KK's friends and family and I think I tripped most of them out with my "disappearing-reappearing wig" act.

I think the highlight of my time in Cincinnati was taking my rental car and driving to Kentucky in search of a "Joe's Crab Shack"! I had been seeing those commercials in NY about the sweet, sticky, garlic crab legs and I was determined to have some. So on a whim I went and I must tell you....Those were the best crab legs I have had in a long time!!! I had that sticky sauce all over my hands and I was licking it off like I was in heaven. I know I must have been a sight like that. My crab came with parslied, garlic potatoes and ear of freshly steamed corn on the cob!!!! OMIGOD!!! I thought I had died and gone to heaven...I was so into my crab legs that I didn't see the waitress approaching me. She rolled up on me in mid lick and said "Aren't you that woman from FAT Chance?" I just laughed and said "yes, but if you tell anyone that you saw me licking my hands...I'mma hafta kill you!"...she hadn't walked away good before I resumed diving into my food. It was so good that I allowed the waitress to con me into leaving her a REALLY BIG TIP! (The bill was only like 20 bucks!). So good that "Team Kauffman" (Anne, Michael, Rocco, Krystine & myself) had our last dinner in Cincinnati back there....complete with the most AMAZING desserts!

Finally, it was time for us to leave the city of Cincinnati...where they eat spaghetti with chili & cheese on head out to the West Coast where the forest fires where still raging. We arrived at the madness called LAX in the early afternoon. We headed straight for the car rental place and the line was RIDICULOUS!!! It was like waiting to ride in Disneyland to get a car. When I finally got to the window....I was told there'd be a wait until a car would be available. Which was fine...didn't really bother me too much. I never travel with wig on and this time it worked in my favor. A sister called me over to her counter and asked "Are you still working with Mo'Nique?" I told her the show was on hiatus but yes, I was still working with her...meanwhile she was typing in her computer the whole time. When we finished chatting, she said "You can go pick up your car now". I walked to the lot and home girl had hooked me up with a white convertible!!!! Now I know that probably doesn't sound like much to most of you all....but I HAVE NEVER DRIVEN A CONVERTIBLE BEFORE AND I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO DRIVE ONE!!!!!!!! So needless, to say I was Giddy when I pulled up front. Anne, Mike & KK got their SUV and I followed them to our hotel. We spent the next days with KK as she finished her various steps in the makeover process. Krystine got new eyelashes (Fierce!!!)that took like 2 hours to apply, she got her brows waxed and she got a "fake tan" wasn't really feeling THAT idea until I saw it. We shot on Rodeo Drive the night before the competition and it was fabulous...I knew in my soul that my girl was ready!

Ummm...the next morning...I got a monthly "visitor" and was an absolute crank box. Anne was in her sixth month of pregnancy AND her laptop had been stolen from her hotel the night before to she wasn't in the best of moods either. I had to go back to my room and say a brief prayer to get through the day because I knew it would be a long one. She had a makeup artist come by the morning of the competition and by the time I got back to her room...Mama's face was "Beat for the Gods!!!" I mean she was DONE! We got outside the Galleria Mall and BABY!!! There were a million sisters out there on that line...they had been lining up since 3am. There were women of all ages, the youngest contestant on line was 13..and I didn't have the heart to tell her she was too young....but she was already a beautiful juicy girl at 13! I also ran into the ALWAYS DONE Sara Barrios (Mo'Nique's FAT Chance - Season 2 Top 10 finalist)and her beautiful mom. There were beautiful women in all shapes, sizes and nationalities. Different looks and different could tell who came there to also saw a man on the line too....although he looked a little crazy to me and I don't know how he made it to the final line without anyone stopping him....but he did. We were outside on that line for AT LEAST 2 hours before we got inside...but I gotta girl definitely stood out from the pack. We got to chat outside with David Hasselhoff and his daughter Haley...they were good sports about the whole shooting thing.

We got inside and their was STILL at least another hour wait before she could walk. I was surprised that quite a few folks recognized me and without my wig. But photographer Michael Anthony was running the show with his mohawk and energetic personality. We also found at that American Idol finalist LaKisha Jones, was one of the celebrity judges. The Torrid folks went out of their way to make ALL of the ladies feel special that day and that's mad cool ya'll.

So if you saw the show then you already know the results...Krystine made it into the top 10 was here goal. So now it's up to you all...go to the Torrid Website ( and place your vote for my girl Krystine Kauffman to become the new face of Torrid!

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Check out what we COULDN'T fit into the final edit on "Life After Made":

And if you DIDN'T catch the show on can catch it here...Enjoy!