Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bad-ass Bloggers (BaBs): Meet Cheris of Chocolate Orchid

I decided to reach out to one of my favorite Bloggers to see if she'd consent to be Bad-ass Blogger for March. I was tickled pink when she agreed, and I couldn't wait to introduce y'all because like her blog, Chocolate Orchid...she is multifaceted, unique, beautiful and DOPE!!

Cheris, your blog has the tagline, "the intersection of healthy eating, natural hair, and thoughts on life in general.". A lot of bloggers feel that not sticking to a particular box is a hindrance (I've never quite gotten that belief, between you, me and everyone who reads this!). Have you found it difficult to blog about a eclectic mix of subjects and still engage your readers?

Great questions. I've meditated on this often and continue to come up with the same answer. "I have to do me." And "me" would find that a bit constricting. Let me explain: I can remember when I first went natural, I was so gong-ho about "natural hair". It was a major topic online and in-person. Since then, I still love my hair and natural hair but I've grown weary talking about it as often.

Simply speaking, life is not just about natural hair. It's not just about healthy eating. Its about a multitude of things and balancing them, understanding and accepting them. And then living your best life with all of that.

Miss Moon, I honestly just go with what's in my spirit, put it out there and hopefully people will connect with it. And surprisingly they still do. I doubt that I will stay in a particular box. Lol.

One of my favorite features of your blog is your Monday “Good News” Affirmations. How important have affirmations been to your spiritual development?

Oh gosh. Extremely. I strongly believe that what you think and speak is a conduit of what your life will be and is. For me, the affirmations and quotes help drill in this fact. And keeps me centered & focused on thinking and speaking positive things because that's what I want out of life.

Your hair is absolutely gorgeous!!!! What are you present product staples?

Thanks Hon! Loaded question. I am currently working on using up all the products that I've purchased and quite probably will purchase some carefully picked products from new (to me) product lines to try. Oh, my present product staples?... Lol. Yes, I still can get side-tracked and sometimes caught up in pj-ism. Lol.

Leave in: MOP Organice leave-in conditioner. Love this stuff. It has never let me down.
Butters: Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Buttercreme.
Oil/sealant: any good oil or oil mix.
Shampoo: love Jane Carter Solutions Hydrating Invigorating Shampoo.
Co-wash conditioners: Herbal Essences Totally Twisted.

The following are favorites that I always come back to in the midst of trying other things. Not sure if they qualify as staples or not. Deep conditioner: Hairveda SitriNillah Moisturizing Deep conditioner. Styling products: Darcy's Botanicals Madigascar Vanilla styling creme, Jane Carter's Twist and Lock.

Another favorite of Chocolate Orchid is your vast array of healthy recipes. I am presently working very hard to get smaller and ultimately be healthier. From smoothies to sammies everything to share with your readers are super yummy and healthy. What's a new favorite recipe of yours? What advice would you share will me and the readers of Miss Moon's Musings on how to implement more healthful foods in our lives?

Definitely my new fav is my Avocado Port Sammich. It's basically mashed up avocado used as a spread on top of a slice of sprouted bread like, Ezekiel brand. Next comes the baby spinach. Then I top that with some portabello mushrooms, red onions, bell peppers(red/green) that's been sauteed in Olive oil with 2 to 3 cloves of garlic. What can I say? I love garlic. I usually finish it with some Sun Fire salt. Himalyan Pink salt is another favorite of mine, but I believe Sea salt may be just as fine.

As far as implementing more healthy foods, I think the best thing to do is to add and gradually take away. Maybe start by adding salads, fruits and/or green smoothies. Be open to experiment with veggie or vegan dishes. Then take away or reduce the not-so-good, like coffee, cigarettes, pizza, chips or any other processed foods.

By the way, I'm not a full-fledged vegetarian or vegan. I practice being a vegan but I'm definitely not 100%. At this present moment, I can't foresee me ever becoming 100% but you never know. And I do remain open to the idea. What I do do is, mostly eat a vegan, non-processed diet. If I do have some processed food, I don't beat myself up about it. I accept it and move on. And yes, I do still enjoy lamb and a few other meats every once in a while. But I always buy grassfed, humanely treated, minimally processed, no hormones, antibiotics or other added crap. And am super-elated when I find a restaurant who does the same.

I do believe that you have to listen to your body and do and take note of what makes "your" body feel its absolute best. We are all individuals, uniquely crafted by God. I would never expect anyone or everyone to be exactly the same as me and would never want that.

Didn't I tell you Cheris was AWESOME!?!?!?

Be sure to visit Cheris at:

If you'd like to featured in a future BaBs posting, or want to suggest a BaB for me to profile, please click here to contact Miss Moon's Musings.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DOPE: "Sky Ain't a Ceiling" by Jill Scott

This is simply put: beautiful!

You say life's been hard on you.
Well brother I got news; it's hard on me too.
We seem to face the same old issues.
Some are just surface, some are deep some deep down in the tissue.
And I know slavery has played its part, word.
Being separated and subjugated and that passes to the brain of a child
So I want to step off what was, and and start with the right now
You say "the world just don't understand"
But I ain't the world my love, I'm your woman.
And I know how deep it really goes
Trying to tread on a dream when the water feels low.
Ohh, if our ancestors could walk, barefoot, afraid in the dark, for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
I know we can do this, come on let's start.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Wanna Go Shopping With...Shingai Shoniwa

From the first time ever seeing the music video "Never Forget You", I've been a sucker for the UK group Noisettes and their frontwoman, Shingai Shoniwa.

Shingai (whose name means ‘persevere’ in the Zimbabwean language Shona) has an amazing voice and an equally amazing sense of style. I've collected a few of my favorite looks for your visual enjoyment.

Yellow is definitely Shingai's color!!!! Look at how it makes her skin just glow!

Casual Chic... you know I love it!!!!

Bathing Beauty!!!!

Love it from the pop of pink to that adorable clutch!!!

This is an outfit with some chutzpah.... not for the feint of heart!!

Who tops your list for celebrity you'd most like to go shopping with?!?!? Leave a comment and you may see your pick in an upcoming edition of "I Wanna Go Shopping With..."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

Many of us have been there: you meet someone, there's a spark, there's electricity, there's (you THINK) a connection... you exchange numbers and head home knowing that you will be hooking up with your new Mr. or Ms. Right soon. A few days pass, then a week,then a few weeks.... and nothing. It sucks!

Do you shrug and say, "Guess it wasn't meant to be!", or do YOU pick up the phone and call (I am choosing not to mention a third choice, which is key the mother-effer's car! lol) to find out what's up?

This week's choice for Music Therapy with Miss Moon is precisely about someone doing the latter (Not the whole "key the car" bit). Special shout out to my homegirl Jay for introducing me to this fantastic song.... "Hey Eugene" by Pink Martini!!

Hey Eugene
Do you remember me?
I'm that chick you danced with two times through the Rufus album Friday night at that party
On avenue A:
Where your skinhead friend passed out for several hours on the bathroom floor
And you told me you weren't that drunk
And that I was your favorite Salsa dancer
You had ever come across in New York city

I said hello, Eugene?
Are you there, Eugene?

Hey Eugene
Then we kissed
Once we lugged your friend into the elevator and went to write my number on a soggy paper towel
And the car went down
And when we had finished making out we noticed that your skinhead friend was gone.
Long gone
And you looked into my bloodshot eyes and said, "Is it too soon if I call you Sunday?"

I said hello, Eugene?
Are you there, Eugene?

I said hello (hello), Eugene (Eugene)
Eugene (Eugene)
Eugene (oh yeah)

I said hello (hello), Eugene
Are you there, Eugene (tell me are you there)

I said hello (hello), Eugene (Eugene)
Eugene (Eugene)
Eugene (tell me oh)

I said hello (hello), Eugene (Eugene)
Does any of this ring a bell Eugene?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Be Blessed: And Fall in Love... With Yourself!!!

“ The greatest magnifying glasses in the world are a man's own eyes when they look upon his own person.”
~ Alexander Pope

" Self-love is the foundation of our loving practice. Without it our other efforts to love fail. Giving ourselves love we provide our inner being with the opportunity to have the unconditional love we may have always longed to receive from someone else."
~ bell hooks

Many of you who know me, and those that read my blog know that I have a deep love and admiration for Cree Summer. I've considered her a HUGE shero of mine since I was very young, and as an adult... I continue to look up to her tremendously.

One thing that Chris said to me when we first started dating, when discussing my affection for Cree was that there's a part of her inside of me. At the time, I thought that it was the most preposterous thing he could've said to me (I also most likely thought he was trying to get some! LOL). But in reading Shakti Gawain's Reflections in the Light: Daily Thoughts and Affirmations  and in doing this exercise, I could really see the Cree... in me! That really brought home the truth of this, which is why I share this with you today -

When we fall in love with someone, we are also falling in love with aspects of ourselves that we see reflected in that person. We may feel that our loved one has qualities that we don't have, but those qualities exist in us too and are as yet undiscovered or undeveloped.

Today, think of each person you love and imagine him or her as a mirror reflecting your own beauty and lovability. The more you can love yourself through these reflections, the more you can truly love and appreciate others.

I am falling in love with myself

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Little [LES NUBIANS] for a Saturday Night

Happy Saturday, Everybody!!! This video is causing me to LONG for summer in the worst way, even though we're barely in Spring! LOL

I think its the beautiful natural hair, dope jewelry and the smooth tunes that is causing my mind to conjure images of street fairs, summer concerts, picnics at the beach with a boom box... everything that makes summer in Brooklyn the BEST!!!!! I hope that "Veuillez Veiller Sur Vos Reves" by Les Nubians featuring John Banzai has the same effect on you! Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

:::drools::: Jada Pinkett Smith-style for Plus Size Fashionistas

I think Jada is the bees knees.... Dope actress, Wicked (Wisdom) singer, Beautiful wife and Mama to children that make my biological clock go on overdrive! LOL

I also admire Jada for her tremendous sense of style. A lot of people aren't feeling her approaches to fashion (or her daughter's, but that's another blog!), but many of her looks are some I could totally see myself rocking if I was a skinny minnie like her. But I decided, "Why not now?" LOL

So, I scoured the internet for pictures of Jada and stumbled across a look that made me long for summer and dancing at a rooftop party under the stars!!!

Here's my look for plus size fashionistas, inspired by Jada's ensemble:

Tunic: Changes Boutique Sequin Tunic ($97.00, SimplyBe)
Shoes: Apepazza Ios ($179.00, Zappos)

Now, between you and me... I am not daring enough to leave  it at that.... that tunic is a little too short for me, and I am not blessed with killer legs like Jada!

If you're something like me (i.e., chicken..LOL!), you could definitely accentuate this look one of two ways:

You can go the all shades of grey route -

Jeans: Source of Wisdom Virtual Stretch Grey Skinny Jean ($52.00, Torrid)

Or, you could be more daring, and show a little bit of leg (But not as much as Jada) -

Shorts: Black Soft Shorts ($38.00, Torrid)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Miss Moon's Musings About: The Loss of a Lady...

Today, the world regrettably says a fond farewell to Dame Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away at age 79.

I could write about her life, her marriages, her career and the scandals and gossip peppered in between... but I rather show Elizabeth in one of her finest film moments.

Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE
(February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011)
Rest in Peace!!!

D-I-Y Nappturaliciously: Mixtress Magic - Delightful Deep Conditioning Treatments

One of my favorite ways to pamper my curls is to apply a good deep conditioning treatment. I've spent oodles of dollars over the past few years on many different brands (some of which I've discussed here), but I've never made my own treatment. Which, frankly, is kind of like only taking a loved one out to dinner, but never making a home-cooked meal.

And just like I would research the best recipes to cook the best meal imaginable for my loved ones, I searched the net for some easy to make at home hair recipes containing ingredients you may already have in your kitchen!!! Some of these recipes work wonderfully as a pre-poo treatment as well! Enjoy!

Sesame and Coconut Protein Conditioner

Recipe Courtesy of Styles 101

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp light sesame oil
2 eggs
2 tbsp coconut milk
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp coconut oil


Mix ingredients in bowl, apply to hair before shampoo. Let sit for 20 minutes or longer. Rinse thoroughly, then shampoo.

Papaya-Coconut Hair Drench

Recipe Courtesy of Bright Hub


1 Fresh Papaya
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. Honey
2 tsp. jojoba, olive, or coconut oil (your preference)


Mash one fresh papaya and add 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Add 2 teaspoons of honey and your preferred oil. Mix all ingredients well and apply to the hair. Rinse well with warm water after 15 minutes. If your hair is not dry, leave out the oil. The papaya, honey, and coconut milk mixture is nourishing and shine enhancing on its own.

Methi Hair Mask

Recipe Courtesy of Fat Free Kitchen


8 oz. Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds
Distilled Water


Grind fenugreek (methi) seeds soaked in water overnight. Massage this paste on scalp and hair and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with a mild shampoo. This paste is good for all types of hair problems, viz. dandruffs, falling hair, thinning of hair, baldness, split hair, etc.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

maniCURATIVE: Essie's Resort 2010 Collection - Turquoise & Caicos

cu·ra·tive (kyr-tv) adj.
1. Serving or tending to cure.
2. Of or relating to the cure of disease.

ma·ni·cu·ra·tive (mn-kyr-tv) n.
1. A cosmetic treatment of the fingernails, designed to lift your spirits and cure what ails you.
2. The newest from Miss Moon's Musings, dedicated to nail polish color.

I've been silently stalking this color since last year, concealing my drool whenever I'd spot it on some of my favorite bloggers. Primarily because rocking blue nails is not so daring and unique for me.

I gave in a few weeks ago, when I spotted the shade at a Duane Reade in Manhattan (Okay, why is it that some DR's are GREAT for cosmetics, and others are completely whack!?!?!?) and I scooped it up in record speed!!!!! Seeing as this past Sunday marked the Spring Equinox, I thought it was a fitting occasion to try out the new color for the week!!

Step One: Fill the Gap! Smoothing Base Coat
Step Two: Essie Resort 2010 Collection - Turquoise and Caicos (#720)
Step Three: No Chips Ahead Chip Free Top Coat

I am not a card-carrying member of "Team Essie", btw.... I've been using Fill the Gap! for months now and its the dopest base coat I've ever used!! I'm trying out No Chips Ahead for the first time, hoping that it will work just as well.

Here are the results:

Here's the just applied & drying (haven't cleaned it up!) color. I must say that this color is unlike any shade of blue I've worn before... and frankly, I'm LOVING IT!!! I am digging that the color is this vibrant by natural light only!

To get this color, I used two coats of color and two coats of top coat... I am thinking for now on, I will only use a single coat of the top coat, as I did experience some slight bubbling along the surface of my nails... which is a major drag. Only time will tell if I experience any chips. I will be sure to post an update.

For a Miss Moon's Musing Video Extra to this post, be sure to check out my YouTube channel!!! Are you in dire need of a maniCURATIVE?!?!? What's YOUR go-to color for Spring?

Yummm! Scintillating, Scrumptious Salads!!!

A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I had a ridiculously amazing side salad from The Spot in Brooklyn. On paper, it sounds completely bland and boring (we forgot to pick salad dressings): spinach tossed in light lemon juice and olive oil. But the taste was EXTRAORDINARY.... so much so, that I actually put down my cajun fries in favor of the salad (And some of y'all know I loves my cajun fries!). After eating that, I've been on a quest for green ever since. I have assembled a loverly listing of salads that are not too difficult to make at home, delicious, AND best of all.... super good for you!

Herb Salad with Feta, Roasted Red Peppers, and Toasted Nuts

Recipe Courtesy of


1 5-ounce container herb salad mix
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers from jar
1/2 cup walnut halves or pecan halves, toasted
1 10.5-ounce jar feta cheese in oil with herbs and spices
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Combine herb salad mix, chopped roasted red peppers, and toasted walnuts in large bowl. Drain feta cheese, reserving oil-and-spice mixture from jar. Sprinkle feta cheese over salad. Whisk 3 tablespoons reserved oil-and- spice mixture with red wine vinegar in small bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat thoroughly. Season salad to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide salad among plates and serve.

Grilled Chicken and Rice Salad

Recipe Courtesy of Fitness Magazine


1 recipe Thyme Vinaigrette*
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs
1 cup loose-pack frozen French-cut green beans
2 cups cooked brown rice and wild rice blend, chilled
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 green onion, sliced
Lettuce leaves (optional)


Prepare Thyme Vinaigrette*. Brush chicken with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette; set aside the remaining vinaigrette until ready to serve.

Grill chicken on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink, turning once halfway through grilling. (Or broil on the unheated rack of a broiler pan 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once halfway through broiling.) Cut chicken into bite-size strips.

Meanwhile, rinse green beans with cool water for 30 seconds; drain well. In a large bowl toss together beans, cooked rice, artichoke hearts, cabbage, carrot, and green onion. Pour the remaining vinaigrette over rice mixture; toss to gently coat.

If desired, arrange lettuce leaves on 4 dinner plates. Top with the rice mixture and chicken.

*Thyme Vinaigrette: In a screw-top jar combine 1/4 cup white wine vinegar; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 2 tablespoons water; 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese; 2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme; 1 clove garlic, minced; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and shake well.

Green Goddess Salad

Recipe Courtesy of Eating Well


1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, sorrel and/or chives
2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar, or white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon anchovy paste, or minced anchovy fillet
8 cups bite-size pieces green leaf lettuce
12 ounces peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, (21-25 per pound; see Ingredient note)
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
1 cup rinsed and chopped canned artichoke hearts
1/2 cup chopped celery


Puree avocado, buttermilk, herbs, vinegar and anchovy in a blender until smooth.
Divide lettuce among 4 plates. Top with shrimp, cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, artichoke hearts and celery. Drizzle the dressing over the salads.

Spinach Salad with Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables

Recipe courtesy Danny Boome, Food Network


1 small orange bell pepper, seeded and quartered
2 large Portobello mushroom caps, stemmed, sliced
1 small summer squash, cut on bias
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and quartered
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese, diced
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup packed basil leaves


Place all vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well making sure each vegetable gets covered with oil. Place a grill pan over medium heat. Once heated, place your vegetables on grill and cook accordingly: grill mushrooms about 5 minutes per side; peppers and squash about 3 minutes per side.

Once all the vegetables are grilled place them in a large serving bowl to slightly cool. Dice and add feta cheese, pitted olives, spinach and basil leaves. Gently toss to mix well and drizzle more oil, to taste, if necessary and serve.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

Happy Monday, y'all! This week's choice for Music Therapy with Miss Moon serves as a reminder that when you look within and truly reflect on everything you have that brings you joy... you'll realize just how rich and full your life is.

I will let Amel Larrieux articulate it better than I could ever.... I hope you all will enjoy, "All I Got"

Got these feet
In these shoes
They walked a mile or two,
Got these legs
They've done work
That's left them black and blue,
Got these hips
They are wide
But they know how to move,
Got these hands
To lift the weak
Or slap down a racist fool

This is all I
This is all I got

Got this place
I call my home
But it's no Taj Mahal,
Got these pockets
They ain't full grown
But I won't steal from no one,
Got this heart
Well it's been broke
But it's still beating strong,
Got this song
It ain't much
But it helps me carry on

This is all I
This is all I got

Got a will
That lifts me up
When my body can't
Got a way
Of getting' through
With no helping hands
Got a mind
That lends me strength
So I ain't afraid to stand
Got a love
So deep in me
Can't be stopped by any man

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Be Blessed: And Go Outside!

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.
~ William Wordsworth

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
~ Khalil Gibran

For every person who has ever lived there has come, at last, a spring he will never see. Glory then in the springs that are yours.
~ Pam Brown

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to the weekends, my formula is usually "Miss Moon + Hubby-to-be + Bed + Netflix .... and repeat next day", with a sprinkling of chores, hair maintenance, etc. And usually sometime around Sunday I think to myself, "Where the hell did the weekend go?!?!?!"

During the winter, I had the excuse of bad weather... but now that it's getting warmer and milder here in NYC, I really have no choice.... I need to get up off my arse on the weekends and do SOMETHING. And you know? I've discovered that by going outside and not being cooped up in the crib that my weekends are better, fuller and last longer. And most important, I'M better as a result: I end up getting loads of exercise, I end up having a blast, and I end up discovering some great shop, or great restaurant, or experience a great moment. Who wouldn't want that?!?!?

Even the University of Essex recently proved this in a study discussing the impact of spending time outside on mental health.

Take a moment to walk around your neighborhood. Leave the car keys and the metrocard home and let instinct guide you... you will never know who or what you will discover. Invite a friend to join you and talk about the sights and sounds you encounter, or enjoy some solitary time to yourself, and use this journey to reflect and "check in" on yourself(a mini walking meditation, if you will!).

If you are blessed to live near a park, or beach... spend some time walking amongst the trees. Bring a picnic basket and a blanket and make a lovely afternoon of it! Even if its window shopping and lunch with a really good friend. Leave the confines of your everyday space and be open to the world around you.

" This week I will go outside and see what the world has to offer me!"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Little [EDDIE PALMIERI] for a Saturday Night

I am in a very special kinda mood tonight... one that can only be satisfied with a little Eddie Palmieri. I hope you all will enjoy "La Malanga"