Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beauty from the Inside Out: Absolutely Bananas

This week on Beauty from the Inside Out, we’re going Bananas!!
Black Hair Media described concisely the health benefits of this ubiquitous tropical fruit.  Bananas contain potassium, iron, and B Vitamins (including B6 and B12).  Bananas have a great deal of health benefits for such ailments as anemia, depression, cramping, constipation and diarrhea.  Bananas also promote healthy bones, teeth, regulation of blood pressure, kidney health, improved nerve function, and stress relief. 
Further, a good banana mask for your hair works wonders on frizz.  Consider.
Today, we’re making Banana Ice Cream!  Don’t say, “Well, I don’t have an ice cream maker”, because you don’t need one!  I don’t think that calling this an ice cream is at all a misnomer, though this recipe contains no dairy.  A creaminess of the fruit’s texture takes place when blending frozen bananas.  Completely vegan, this recipe is one more reason to keep and freeze over ripened bananas.

The world of food blogging is very much in line with fashion blogging when it comes to developing trends, “hotness vs. hot mess” systematically applies across these two worlds.  The minute The Kitchen published this ‘how to’, headlines and post titles across the food blogo sphere were amazed by the tale.  Everyone made One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream!  Google it, you’ll see. However, you won’t have to; this recipe is as easy as it gets.  All you need are frozen bananas and either a food processor or a high powered blender. That’s it! I added toasted pecans and a tablespoon of peanut butter just to complicate things a little, but neither is necessary to make this recipe work.
Imagine making this for kids, or kids at heart, they’ll go Bananas!  Just make sure you make enough for sharing.  You’ll love it to!
THIS is absolutely the cleverest recipe I’ve ever made!  It’s like magic!

Absolutely BANANAS, Banana (& Peanut Butter) Ice Cream!

     Yield:  2 Servings.  Feel free to multiply this recipe out. It’s as flexible as they come.
The Method: The Ingredients

4 frozen ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter (optional)
1/3 cup of toasted pecans (optional)

The Madness: Assembly
To toast the pecans:  Place your pecans in a small dry pan on the stove under medium high heat. Stir or shake the pan occasionally for 4 minutes. The nuts will become toasted and fragrant.   Set aside to cool. 
On to the magic; I keep an arsenal of frozen bananas as thickeners and flavoring for smoothies; therefore, my bananas were frozen whole. Peel and slice the bananas into rounds.  
You can use unfrozen bananas; however, make sure to slice and freeze them until completely frozen. About 2 hours. 
Place the banana slices into your food processor. BLEND the bananas, be sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  As the frozen mixture starts to blend, you’ll see the ice cream start to take shape.
The mix goes from a bowl of frozen bananas to banana ice cream in NO TIME!

Just as the mixture starts to resemble thick ice cream add the peanut butter.
Continue to blend to desired consistency.  

Garnish with toasted pecans, or enjoy immediately.  If your mixture is a little thin, feel free to place into the airtight freezer container to firm up just a bit.  Frozen leftovers keep well too; but, don’t worry, you won’t have any!
Let me know what you think, right here at The Lajule Chronicles, where beauty starts from the inside out!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

In the Know: Papa's Declarations- The Male Prospective

In the tradition of the great David Letterman, I’ve decided to compile a list. My list consists of various opinions (some popular, some not) of mine.

  1. People should have to get a license to have a kid.
  2. Men are for the most part just as sensitive as women but have a more difficult time processing it because of societal pressure.
  3. Polygamy is more morally sound than a man not married to several women and reproducing with them.
  4. Most humans are illogical.
  5. Modern technology has dumbed many of us down.
  6. Religious zealots are the most insecure people that I’ve ever met.
  7. Spelling and grammar matter.
  8. Truth is subjective and facts change.
  9. People generally operate from four fears (being belittled, being abandoned, being dominated, being ignored)
  10. Women are socialized to hate each other.
  11. Women who crave diamonds make me cringe. Diamonds are not a scarce as they would like for us to believe….and there are many gems that are more beautiful/unique and scarce.
  12. People who call others “haters” for criticizing something lack emotional range and critical thinking skills.
  13. Instead of focusing on how smart kids are, we should think about HOW they’re smart.
  14. A man knows what type of woman he would marry even if he doesn’t consciously know it.
  15. They lip-synch on American Idol
  16. Condoms don’t totally protect you from EVERY STD.
  17. Not everyone that doesn’t like you is jealous of you.
  18. Music is energy.
  19. Rationalization is more addictive than crack.
  20. You teach people how to treat you. They will only do what you allow.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

LaJule Chronicles: Thoughts of a Fashionista

Right now, my mind is blown a little bit.  I've been thinking about this all week.   For the last several months, I have been committing to do some more reading.  I have committed to reading books that feed me and help to recharge and refocus my thinking a bit.  It was just time for a recharge. The really peculiar thing about it is have no idea why I’m surprised by the revelation that I've gotten during this time.  It’s not like I've never read this one particular book before, nor is it like this is something new to me…but over the last few weeks, it’s like the light bulb went off and everything (why all of those tears were shed, why I've been feeling pulled in a particular direction, why certain people have come into my life, why some have left and why others have come and stayed there) just makes sense to me now.  I’m sure you have felt that way too…when you were just looking for something new and some answers to some questions that you've had for a long time.  Well, let me tell you, if you are in that same place as I am right now, this one is a pretty good read. 

This book has so much meat and information, and it’s actually pretty entertaining.  If you are anything like me, I know you love a good read with a little bit of drama too—even as much as your Thursday night Scandal fix or your favorite day time soap opera!  I’ll tell you a little about what’s in this book without spoiling the whole story.   If you've read it, you will remember the story of a man who was loved and respected by many people who ended up taking another man’s wife for his own.  (You know that husband wanted to lay hands on him right).  Then you may also remember that person who is jealous of someone like you and tried to set his “friend” up for a fall? Or you may remember the part about the person that struggled with self-esteem all his life.  Oh yeah, let me tell you, in fact I just remembered! You should have read that part about girl who this guy fell in love with and she totally betrayed him and sold him out for some money! Maybe you remember yourself in that same situation.  Better yet, you should read the part about when a man who was willing to be killed and died so that he could save other people he loved more than life itself.  Man, for real, once you start to understand really what’s going on, it’s truly a really good story book.   There are sooo many other things there too.  For example, if you want to know how to run your business, how to make more money and how to lose it all, how to stay in good health, how you should love and how someone should love you, how to lead your family, and more, it’s all right there,  all in one place.

You are probably like, ok, LaShana, what’s the name of this book and where can I get it? Well, you probably already have access to it right now, It’s called the Bible.  “What? The Bible” you ask? Yep, I said that. I have never been someone that has been considered to be a “bible thumper”, a “scholar” or anything close to that, but it blows my mind how many things we deal with on a day to day basis  is talked about and is very apparent and obvious. 

So why is this something that has been on my mind lately? I really don’t know. I think it’s because when I've found that when people think about it like that, it becomes relatable. It becomes easier for people to accept.   I’ve run across people who are not turned off by the traditional idea of a “bible study” is or that “old school” idea of how to learn it.  When people consider “reading the Bible” they think of some “chore” or something that is “boring”, but when you really get into it… but trust me, it is something that is totally different! It is full of so much action!

The thing that really blows my mind is the fact that people still don’t believe it’s true.  I’m not here to attack anyone, nor am I here to question anything that you believe or you don’t believe.  What I am saying is the same things that we actually deal with in life, hear about, and have even personally experienced ourselves, it is all right there. That, you can’t dispute. The drama and the lessons like what is described all in this book has been going on since forever.   People have made movies, written books; have taught classes on various subjects all with the same underlying story lines. That you can’t dispute; nor can you dispute the results people get on a daily basis from what is taught. Seriously, it’s like reading a juicy book that is non-fiction!

When you see someone who has struggled with self-esteem issues all their life is lifted up, or when someone is falsely accused of a crime is redeemed, or even when someone is in jail and prospers…it’s going to be hard for you to tell me that you don’t know someone who has been in those situations, or maybe those people are you. 

So, you may ask, LaShana, where is all of this coming from? Well friend, I say all of this to say, beauty is something that comes from the inside out.  It’s not just something that you can just dress up or camouflage and fake to make look pretty.  You really have to feed your mind, spirit, body and soul.  I don’t know what you have experienced in the past, or if you have had successes or failures with other sources you have tapped into, but all I know is,  if you have been looking for a good book lately to get your hands on, or just a source of where you can get little bit of direction on how you can actually improve your life, get out of debt, regain your confidence, find love that is uncompromising, then take a look, and let me know what you think.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
 xoxo, LaJule 

Beauty from the Inside Out

Roasted Sweet Potato with Pecan “Candied” Compound Butter

Health and Beauty start from the inside out is what we’re dishing on Bon Appégeechee with The Lajule Chronicles. Welcome to easy additions to your meal plan that don’t sacrifice flavor, won’t stress your budget, and will be having you looking forward to healthy, beautiful, and inspirational recipes!

My passion for cooking started in my Grandmother and Mother’s kitchens and watching Julia Child on PBS.  My love of fashion started with Elsa Klensch on CNN, and my Mother never letting me leave the house without earrings or lip gloss.  My journey and history unite the two on a new website I call Bon Appégeechee. Our world and kitchens are very different places now.  Let’s dish and bring them closer, with each recipe, here on The Lajule Chronicles.  If you have any food related questions or recipes you’d like to see featured on The Lajule Chronicles, feel free to email me here at The Lajule Chronicles.   

This week, we’re talking Beauty from the Inside Out with the gorgeous Sweet Potato.
A piece of Food History and trivia for you, we’re talking Sweet Potatoes, not Yams.  Food Historian and author of the African Culinary Diaspora, Dr. Jessica Harris explains in this article for the New York Times that the mix-up of referring to sweet potatoes as yams began when African slaves in the Caribbean took to calling the local tubers nyami, the Senegalese word for "to eat."  Yams are long hairy tubers, that if you saw them in your local grocery store, you would definitely stop referring to them as the taut sometimes bronze, red, or orange skinned sweet potatoes.

As a healthy addition to your eating habits, sweet potatoes are a “Super Beauty Food”.  They are an excellent source of the following Vitamins:

Beta-carotene or vitamin A as an important antioxidant

The heart healthy Vitamin B6

Vitamin C is not only as an antioxidant, but also shown to support the growth of collagen.  Collagen is a protein known to smooth out wrinkles, giving the glow and appearance of a fuller younger appearance.

Sweet potatoes, in addition to being rich in A and C is also packed with Vitamin E. Vitamins A, C, and E are most often used as supplements in beauty creams and aids.  Each of these vitamins promotes healthy, radiant complexion and vibrant hair.

On review, it’s the Sweet potato that should be the spokesperson for cosmetic and hair care commercials.  I can see it; the glamor glitterati would hail the sweet potato as the new Chiquita Banana!

Growing up, there wasn’t a Sunday meal that didn’t include candied sweet potatoes.  Ok, maybe not when we ate spaghetti with meat sauce, but I’m sure there were always some leftovers in the refrigerator just in case.  I’ve taken candied sweet potatoes; traditionally boiled or roasted in white sugar, cinnamon, a touch of vanilla, and butter and made a dish we can eat any time or day of the week.  This roasted sweet potato is a satisfying lunch with a salad, or it can be a complimenting side to grilled or roasted meats for dinner.  

The treat of this recipe, is that we get all of the “candied” flavor and satisfaction from a dressed up compound butter that tastes just as decadent without indulging in all of the sugars and fats in the traditional version of candied sweet potato. A little goes a long way!  Bonus: You can get double duty out of the compound butter by using it on toasts, bagels, or pancakes.  It keeps well in the refrigerator for weeks.

xo, Bon Appégeechee

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecan “Candied” Compound Butter

Yield: 3 servings

The Method: Ingredients for Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 medium Sweet Potatoes
3 slices of aluminum foil
1 baking sheet
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

The Method: Ingredients for “Candied” Pecan Compound Butter

8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup of chopped pecans, toasted
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
pinch of paprika
1/2 tablespoon of molasses
1 tablespoon of brown sugar

The Madness: Assembly of Roasted Sweet Potatoes & “Candied” Pecan Compound Butter  

Preheat your oven to 350˚

Under cold water, wash your sweet potatoes.  Dry the potatoes well using a paper or clean kitchen towel. Set them aside. 

To make the compound butter, be sure to use softened butter.  Allow it to sit on a dish off it itself as you go about your day until you’re ready to mix it.

To toast the pecans:  Place your pecans in a small dry pan on the stove under medium high heat. Stir or shake the pan occasionally for 4 minutes. The nuts will become toasted and fragrant.   Set aside to cool.  We don’t want to put warm pecans into the softened butter.  Once the pecans have cooled, we’re ready to make the compound butter.

Unwrap the butter into a medium bowl.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, molasses, and brown sugar to the butter. Mix until well combined.  Your butter will take on a rich caramel color.  Add your toasted pecans to the butter. Fold in the pecans until they are well incorporated into the butter.  Butter is made!
To complete the sweet potatoes, tear off three sheets of aluminum foil, about 5” each.  You want just enough foil to wrap around the sweet potatoes with a little overhang to make sure that you’re potatoes are securely wrapped.  Place the sheets of foil down the length of a dry baking sheet.  Place one sweet potato in the center of each piece of foil.  Using a fork, carefully poke six or so holes into each sweet potato. This allows the sweet potatoes to steam through as they roast, and the kosher salt to further season the sweet potato.  Now drizzle the tablespoon of extra virgin olive over each potato. Rub or brush the olive oil all over the sweet potatoes.  Season the outsides of each sweet potato with the kosher salt.   
Bringing up the sides of each foil packet, securely wrap each sweet potato into its own foiled package.  Place the entire baking sheet into your preheated oven.  Roast the potatoes 1 hour – 1:15.  The sweet potato is done when you can pierce a fork into the potato without resistance.  Be careful as you remove the baking sheet from the oven, and open each potato, there will be steam.  Slice down the center your potato creating a wedge for your compound butter to melt and flavor the sweet potato from the inside.

xo, Bon Appégeeechee

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In the Know...:What's your emotional IQ?

Papa Robbbie? Who is that you may ask, well, let me tell you...He is  the tower of power, the  man of the hour...220 lbs of screamin' steel with mass appeal...the ladies pet, the men's regret, what you see is  is what you get and what you don't see is better yet, the reflection of perfection the number one selection...that's who he is.  Native of Charleston, SC and fellow Gamecock (yes, don't hate :)., he is a husband, a father, a force to rekon with on the microphone, and a man of much intellect.  So get ready because  he is going to bring you food for thought each week. So get ready to be educated, laugh, and fuss right along with him when you read his upcoming posts in the LaJule Chronicles.

What's Your Emotional IQ (EQ...Emotional Quotient) ??

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others.
If you have a high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life. 

Emotional intelligence consists of four attributes:
       Self-awareness -- You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your  thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.

        Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.

        Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.

        Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

Ok, after reading that information most people start going inward and thinking about their own EQs or the lack thereof. Let's be honest with ourselves. Many of us lack impulse control (this takes some of us more time than others). In our brains, the frontal lobe governs the ability to recognize future consequences resulting from current actions. Our frontal lobe helps us to suppress socially unacceptable responses. In most humans, the frontal lobe isn't fully developed until about age 25. Think about that...that explains a whole lot for some of us.

As I frequent the world of social media, I can see people WELL over the age of 25 with very low EQs and I wonder what in the blue hell is going on? Is technology actually making some of us regress? Or is technology just allowing us to see how pervasive low EQs are. Please don't confuse EQ with IQ. There are many people with high IQs who have low EQs.

What is your emotional intelligence? The higher the EQ, the more successful the person.
Let the journey to self-development begin!!

Papa Robbie is an educator, reggae artist, husband, father, and full time narcissist.

The LaJule Chronicles: What to Expect

What's going on's LaShana here and I'm super excited about this blog.  Let me tell you, this is going to be a place where we get down and dirty about what is REALLY going on with fashion, hair, makeup, and defining you style...But we are also going to give you some valuable information regarding your health and wellness, a little bit of motivation and even have a little debate and discussion from time to time.  You are actually  going to get some of the "juice" from someone who is actually pretty private...yes, I said it, but because I love you guys, here you go.  SO, get ready to get the 411 on what's going on behind the scenes of just about everything. I have the honor of collaborating with some very well respected people who are also going to open up and share their prospective on just about any topic imaginable. I look forward to your comments and feed back on the posts.  This is going to be a fun ride and I'm glad that I can be here with you. Smooches xoxo.

Lipstick and Locks: What's really going on with your hair?

Hello Dolls! My name is Denika Virden, guest blogger, and  proud owner and operator of DeVine Styles By: Denika.  My passion for doing hair begun at the early age of 12 years old, in which I found myself in her mother’s kitchen doing her relatives & friend’s hair while enjoying making others look and feel DeVine. I joke and love to call myself a “kitchen-tician” (beautician), because of where my passion for the hair industry all began.  I continued in later years of life doing hair in my own kitchen. Even when I  was in hair school, I found herself working a full time job, taking care of her husband and two children and making “ends meet” by being at home stylist. With the Lord's blessings,  I have become a hard working stylist that is very protective of her client's hair. I specializes in healthy hair If you choose to be a natural Bella or a relaxed Beauty I have your back! One of my favorite questions to ask new clients and people that I meet ,"is do you want pretty hair or healthy hair?" Your answer should always be healthy!  Anyone can make your hair pretty only a true lover of hair can make it beautiful and healthy. I love to see beautiful women rocking there natural hair with banging fros and hot to death braid styles.Please don't let me forget my relaxed loves that have it going on with their short cuts , Hot colors and flowing wraps. I love you all and would to help my DeVine Divas stand out in a crowd.   So if you want to feel simply DeVine come see me at DeVine Styles By: Denika Where every styling experience is catered to with one on one attention that you and your hair requires!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hotness or Hot Mess? :Shoes

I don't know about you, but I have a small obsession with shoes...I have to admit. Many times I find myself having to literally talk myself out of "not buying another pair" and just "walk away" (Don't judge know you have your weaknesses too *wink*). But with spring right around the corner, I am sooo into seeing what people are rocking this season.  By the way, if you are up for a trip to Paris Fashion Week...let me know :) What do you think? Hotness or Hot mess?
Balmain spr2013

Christian Dior Spr2013
Saint Laurent Spr2013
Mugler Spr2013
Jean Paul Gaultier Spr2013
Loewe Spr2013
Which ones do you absolutely love? or hate? Leave your comments below. These were a few that stood out to me.  I'd love to hear what you think. 

HauteStyle: Flash Backs...


Food, Film and Fashion have always held hands as intertwined creative forces. Today, we’re leaving food behind for the day, and talking Film and Fashion! The two entities are often a merged product of time, space, and inspiration.  So, color-block me verklempt to feel that the hottest designers are as excited as I am to gain fashion inspiration from the era that keeps on keepin’ on!

2013, as was 2010, 2011, and 2012 is back to the future to 1970’s fashion.  The 70’s are timeless.  Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Versace, Gucci, Rachel Roy, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, and one of my all-time favs, the incomparable DVF, Diane von Furstenberg have upgraded the Bohemian Oeuvre to premier levels of sophistication; the Disco Queen personifies Luxe; and the Lady Fox is timelessly Über Chic.  Sub-, Un-, or more often Consciously, designers have drawn inspiration from such fashion character icons of 1970’s cinema as Diane Keaton as Annie Hall, Diana Ross as Mahogany, Faye Dunnaway as Laura Mars, Pam Grier as Foxy Brown, and Jody Foster in Taxi Driver.  

There is something for everyone, every season! 

The correlation of 70’s color, confidence, freedom of movement, and glamour throughout the best collections is palpable. 

Who knew forty+ years ago that the 70’s were here to stay!  I did!
When you think of Annie Hall.  Wait, you HAVE seen Annie Hall, haven’t you?!  If you haven’t, immediately add it to your Netflix queue.  Know you will be blown away by the confidence of Diane Keaton’s ease in the “boyfriend look”.  Do as Annie does this upcoming season: think layering of blazers, vests, loose trousers, long skirts, brogue wedges, and boots.  Don’t forget Annie’s signature tie, and you’re well on your way. 

Pam Grier?  Exceptional.  What more can I say?!  Forever THE quintessential 70’s IT Girl!  THAT wardrobe with so much talent, body-ody-ody, attitude, and STYLE!  Never a wardrobe malfunction; Sista wore that Fro!  Grier’s versatility of style was uncompromising, confident, and secure.  Casually, Grier’s flared pants, midriff tops, billowy hair, and platform shoes aren’t at all dated.  Not today.

It may be that most women don’t think, “I wanna dress like a 14-year-old prostitute from the ‘70s” – HA!  However, it must be said that Jodie Foster’s look as Iris Steensma in “Taxi Driver” is a true inspiration.  Marc Jacobs has been bringing sexy back through the casual fire of crop tops, high-waist short shorts, platform sandals, and big floppy hat. 
Who doesn’t love a BIG floppy hat?!   Effortless glamour on a hot sultry day is what’s happening TODAY!

Diana Ross will forE-V-A and always be Mahogany! You are not allowed to call yourself a fashionista, or a diva if you have not seen this movie … at least twice.  As a part of the creative costume design team for this movie, Ms. Ross does the Damned thing.  The wardrobe in this movie is electric!  The ‘wider-the-better brimmed hats’, sleek hair, draping for days, juxtaposed color blocking, and fur accents! In the 70’s Ms. Ross was a revelation! In 2013 … You better WERK!!!!!

The Eyes of Laura Mars stars Faye Dunnaway as a New York fashion photographer.  There is intrigue, super natural phenomena, and one hell of a closet.  Faye embodied suspense, a darker side to allure.  In an on camera wardrobe of predominantly camel shades, Faye Dunaway is CHIC CHIC CHIC. Tory Burch brings it home this year with movement!

Right on!
Can you dig it?
We certainly dig it!
It’s all Groovy!

What do you do what that stuff you are finding in your closet that you haven't worn in forever, well I'm about to tell you...
Yes, you know that denim skirt that was in the back of the closet since 1995, well go ahead and dig it up...uh huh, I said that.  The infamous denim skirt and jacket has poked its head