Rock The Vote

I am very glad the holidays are over. I find it to be a very hectic time, as many of you do.

As you all know, January 8, 2008 was the first of 50 presidential primaries. This year, we, the voters, have many choices in both parties. (Please make the right choice 🙂 )

Being a relatively new US citizen, I am still excited about the voting process. I vote pretty much every election. We all need to be engaged in our local politics as well as national politics. Some people say, “Oh I do not like all that political stuff.” But what they do not realize that government affects all of us, even if they do not care. God forbid, a law is passed that they do not like.

All that said, REGISTER TO VOTE TODAY!!!!

You can register online @ Rock The Vote caters to a younger demographic, so the site is a good way to learn about election issues.

Rock The Vote

You can also refer to Declare Yourself – State By State Info. This site gives you information about your state’s primary and general election voter registration deadlines. This website has a plethora of voting information and you can also register to vote.

Declare Yourself

And my favorite resource is C-SPAN. C-SPAN airs many campaign speeches and events, so you can be apart of the process. Please note: If you do not have cable, do not fear because C-SPAN airs programming online. WooHoo!!


See you at the polls,

Mix Maven

Remembering Dr. Donda West

Image Source


From Yahoo! News

By JACOB ADELMAN, Associated Press Writer Sun Nov 11, 6:49 PM ET

LOS ANGELES – Donda West, mother of Kanye West and former chairwoman of Chicago State University’s English department, has died, a spokesman for the rapper said. She was 58.

Donda West died Saturday night in Los Angeles, said the spokesman, who asked for anonymity because not all family members had been notified.

“The family respectfully asks for privacy during this time of grief,” the spokesman said.

A cause of death has not been released.

Donda West was known for the strong bond she shared with her son, by whose side she was often seen at parties and award shows.

Kanye West, 30, often spoke of his close relationship with his mother, who raised him alone after her husband left when Kanye was 3.

She was the inspiration for the song, “Hey Mama,” on Kanye West’s 2005 album “Late Registration,” in which he sings: “Hey Mama, I wanna scream so loud for you, cuz I’m so proud of you … I appreciate what you allowed for me. I just want you to be proud of me.”

Donda West frequently defended her son against critics who accused him of penning misogynistic lyrics and other purported transgressions.

“I support my baby,” she said in a Chicago Sun-Times interview. “He is telling how he feels and he is speaking the truth as he sees it.”

In May, she published the book “Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Star,” in which she paid homage to her famous son.

Donda West served as chief executive of West Brands LLC, the parent company of her son’s business enterprises, and as chairwoman of the Kanye West Foundation, an educational nonprofit that works to decrease dropout rates and improve literacy.

Kanye West told the Associated Press in August that he and his mother worked together to devise the foundation’s first program, “Loop Dreams,” which helps public school students get involved in music.

“Me and my mother were discussing ways to give back and came up with the concept,” he said.

Donda West worked in higher education for 31 years, before leaving academia in 2004 to help manage her son’s career, according to a biography on the Kanye West Foundation’s Web site.

She began working at Chicago State University in 1980 and eventually chaired the school’s English department, according to the site. She started her teaching career in the early 1970s as an instructor at Brown College in Atlanta.

Kanye West’s writing partner Rhymefest lamented Donda West’s death Sunday in an appearance on Chicago radio station WCGI.

“She was everyone’s mom,” Rhymefest said. “A spirit never dies, a spirit lasts forever.”

~ End of Article

Listen to Dr. Donda West talking about her book, “Raising Kanye” HERE.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Kanye and his family at this difficult time.

Glossy Monday Variety ~ 10/22/2007

Happy Monday Glossy Ones!

I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend.  We have been having a wonderfully warm fall thus far.  So grateful for sunny skies!


I have been hearing this song on the radio, but always missed who it was singing it.  I would have never guessed it was Trey Songz!  “Can’t Help But Wait” has a nice groove to it and I can’t wait to see the continuation of the story line.

 GOD’S MERCY by Kari West from “Dare To Trust, Dare To Hope Again”

When tears are the only language you know, God hears.

When darkness envelops your way, God sees.

When pain forces you off course, God stabilizes.

When loss wears you down, God comforts.

When grief suspends your progress and saps hope, God remains.


I just wanted to give my two cents on this issue since I am a puppy fan (my puppy will be one next month!).  I certainly understand that there was a contract signed stating that Iggy should be returned to the organization if he did not work out with Ellen and Portia.  At the same time, I think Mutts and Moms went about it the wrong way.  I see nothing wrong with Iggy going to Ellen’s hairdresser and having Mutts and Moms check out their home.  It kinda feels like Mutts and Moms was looking to make an example out of this situation.  In my opinion, it’s better to just do good than to follow the rules.


If it were up to me, this site would be called Purses, Pumps and Gloss.  I am addicted to purses like Mix and Sen are addicted to shoes.  I got a really neat storage organizer from Ikea and I have it filled with purses already.  So, from time to time, I will share a purse that has grabbed my attention.

My Mom recently got a new Coach purse, and while I had seen it on the website, it really didn’t grab me until I saw my Mom’s in person.

The Bleecker Signature Duffle is so sharp in person.  I love the leather on it.


I love the Steve Madden Lezlie pump.  It comes in so many colors, so you are bound to find one you really like.  The all black (above) is from (where there are 16 color combinations) and the Burgundy (below) is from (where there are four color combinations).


By Karen Jacobs Thu Oct 11, 6:59 PM ET

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Lipsticks tested by a U.S. consumer rights group found that more than half contained lead and some popular brands including Cover Girl, L’Oreal and Christian Dior had more lead than others, the group said on Thursday.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said tests on 33 brand-name red lipsticks by the Bodycote Testing Group in Santa Fe Spring, California, found that 61 percent had detectable lead levels of 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm).

Lipstick, like candy, is ingested. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of public health, environmental and women’s groups, said the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick.

One-third of the lipsticks tested contained an amount of lead that exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy — a standard established to protect children from ingesting lead, the group said. Thirty-nine percent of the lipsticks tested had no discernible lead, it said.

“It’s critical that manufacturers reformulate their product,” said Stacy Malkan, a co-founder of the coalition. “It’s possible to make lipsticks without lead, and all companies should be doing that.”

Lead can cause learning, language and behavioral problems such as reduced school performance and increased aggression. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure, the group said in its statement. Lead has also been linked to infertility and miscarriage, it said.

Procter & Gamble Co‘s makes Cover Girl brand and France‘s L’Oreal is one of the largest cosmetic companies in the world.

Over the last three months, more than 20 million toys made in China have been recalled, mostly due to the use of lead paint.

The coalition said that some less expensive brands it had tested, such as Revlon, had no detectable levels of lead, while the more expensive Dior Addict brand had higher levels than some other brands.

The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association trade group said in a statement that lead was a naturally occurring element that was not intentionally added to cosmetics.

The FDA has “set strict limits for lead levels allowed in the colors used in lipsticks, and actually analyze most of these to ensure they are followed,” the association’s statement said. “The products identified in the (CSC) report meet these standards.”

L’Oreal’s U.S. arm said its products are reviewed and tested by a safety team that includes toxicologists, pharmacists and doctors.

“All the brands of the L’Oreal Group are in full compliance with FDA regulations” as well as safety requirements in international markets, L’Oreal USA said in a statement.

P&G said in a statement that the quantity of lead a consumer might be exposed to from its lip product “is hundreds of times less than the amount that she would get from eating, breathing and drinking water.”

“Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure,” said Dr. Mark Mitchell, president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice.


I went out of town recently and saw LaShell Griffin in a play and WOW– she can sing, sing, sing.  This is the title track from her first cd, Free.  Great CD – I love this song and “Get Away.”  LaShell is the winner of Oprah’s Pop Star competition.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 

~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Have a Wonderful Week!

~ Joy

Glossy Monday Variety

Happy Monday Glossy Ones! 


While this song did not get much radio play in my area, I always loved it.  Beyonce’s “A Woman Like Me” is from the “Pink Panther” soundtrack.  Can any of you relate to the message?


  1. Boost Your Energy
  2. Reach out to Friends
  3. Rid Yourself of a Nagging Task
  4. Create a Calmer Environment
  5. Lay the Groundwork for some Future Fun
  6. Do a Good Deed
  7. Act Happy

~ By Gretchen Rubin – See each step with full details at The Happiness Project.


Maybelline “shiny*licious” in Grape-Full

Ounces/Price/Location = 0.38 ounces for $3.48 at Target (Clearance Price; Regular Price is $4.99 at Target);  Image is from, where the regular price is $5.79, current sale price is $4.99.

Applicator = Fuzzy Angled “Doe Foot” applicator with hole in the middle – gloss is squeezed through this opening.

Sticky? = Yes (Hubby agrees)

Shimmer? = Yes

Coverage = Very Sheer – Grape-Full provides very little color (Hubby agrees! LOL!)

Purchase A Second Tube? = No

Try Different Colors? = Maybe

Thoughts = shiny*licious is just that – SHINE Lots and lots of shine!  But Grape-Full does not provide any color.  I would recommend this gloss to wear over a lipstick to boost the shine.  I used it over my M.A.C. “Lure” lipstick and it pops!


I was so disheartened to hear about Juanita Bynum being abused by her husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks, III.  On Friday, he turned himself in to police.  There is no excuse for this type of behavior!

Pictures have also surfaced of Amy Winehouse appearing to be abused.  Reports say she was fighting with her husband, but Amy has publicly denied that her husband abused her.  The pictures of them are hard to view!

Ladies, and Men too – there is no plausible reason for abuse of any kind to be tolerated.  If you find yourself in any of the above situations, PLEASE get help.  It is never too late!


I love when our urban designers work it out for us curvy ones.  🙂  Rocawear has some really sharp outfits that go up to 3X/24 in size.  I can see myself in each and every outfit! LOL!


I am an avid reader!  I love a good book, but even more so, I love a good sale on books. 

While in Dollar Tree – you can find some real gems in their book section every now and then – I see Lies and the Lying Liars who tell Themby Al Franken.  Looked like an interesting read, why not, it’s just $1.00.  My, my, my – I implore all of you to get this book.  Eye opening and hilarious, the end result is pure gold.  If I was a conservative, I would not like Al very much! LOL!

Mix Maven and I went to Border’s last week and I picked up Yeah, I Said Itby Wanda Skyes for a whopping $1.00.  Wanda started off her book talking about politics – I thought I had picked up Al Franken by mistake!  I could hear Wanda talking as I read, which made it all the more funnier.  I laughed out loud through most of the book, but there are times when Wanda goes over the top.  In those instances, remember the title of the book!

I also picked up a book that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.  Bullsh*t or Fertilizerby Pierre Bennu was on sale for $1.99 and I am all for a “Portable Pep Talk” (that’s the subtitle).  It is a small book – 83 pages – but it is a great read!  Very encouraging, but not all preachy, this book should be on everyone’s shelf…or in their bag or desk for a quick pick-me-up!


Don’t assume that people know how to love and choose to be evil instead.

Some of us haven’t seen the alternative.

Be that alternative.

~  From “Bullsh*it or Fertilizer” by Pierre Bennu, 2003

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.

~ Isaiah 7:9 NIV

Have a Wonderful Week!

~ J.R.

Our 100th Post

The Ladies of Pumps and Gloss are proud to celebrate our 100th Post!

We could not be more excited about the support we have received from our Friends – You, the readers, have embraced us from day one and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for reading, commenting on our posts and adding us to your blogrolls.

Thank You!

Stay tuned for more interesting topics and contest giveaways!

The Ladies of Pumps and Gloss

Mix Maven, Joyful Radiance and Sensual Element


As a youngster, I watched the Iran-Contra hearings on television. I have always been captivated by government and politics. My dream as a child was to major in Political Science and/or law. Then I realized that I love color and needed to be very creative.

As a teenager, I acquired a strong affinity for Canadian sketch comedies on CBC (that is how I learned about the Canadian government), PBS, NPR, and C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network.) Man o man, do I love the C-SPAN or the SPAN, our term of endearment. My dad and I would watch C-SPAN on the weekends. I was quite miffed when I learned that there was a C-SPAN 3, but the station was not on the local cable channel listings. I am glad Mr. Maven likes C-SPAN as well. When on road trips, we find ourselves listening to C-SPAN on XM between the 2 Amy Winehouse CDs, India Arie, Lemar, Terri Walker and Musiq. One time, we listened to a great program with African-American historian, John Hope Franklin being interviewed by Brian Lamb, CEO and founder of C-SPAN. That was 3 hours well-spent. He told a fascinating story about meeting W.E.B. DuBois. DuBois did not even bother to look up from eating to acknowledge him. He recounted the story later to him and DuBois did not remember meeting him. It goes on…. watch for the rest of the story.

W.E.B. DuBois - Source: Hope Franklin - Source: Lamb - Founder and CEO of C-SPAN - Source: 994/000029907/

C-SPAN is great because the programming is varied: from Senate and House committee hearings, to legislation sessions, symposiums, conferences, lectures, and my favorite Prime Minister Questions. (That is some funny stuff to view.) I love the book fairs. We saw Al Franken get into it with Bill O’Reilly. On the SPAN, We “met” Molly Ivins (RIP), heard Dr. Mae Jemison, Dr. Cornell West, Rep. Keith Ellison et al speak the truth, noticed that someone’s lawyers last names had my first and last names.

Tavis Smiley, the King of Verbosity, hosts a wonderful all-day State of the Black Union conference each February. The panelists include Black leaders in academia, politics, religion, law, entertainment, and activism. The purpose of the sessions is to create real solutions for problems plaguing the African-American community. Check out Smiley’s The Covenant with Black America and The Covenant in Action.

Interesting to say the least!

I implore in you in these trying times we need to be an aware and educated electorate. We need to stop listening to menial sound bytes and begin to read and learn for ourselves. We must stop confusing being affable with competence.

Live Triumphantly,

Mix Maven

Update on Tony Thompson


Roughly three weeks after his demise, a medical examiner has ruled that former lead singer of the R&B group Hi-Five, Tony Thompson, died accidentally while “huffing” Freon.

Thompson, 31, was found dead near an air-conditioning unit outside an East Waco apartment complex on June 1.

According to The Waco Tribune, Dr. Reade A. Quinton, a medical examiner at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, determined that Thompson died from “toxic effects of chlorodifluoromethane,” or inhaling a toxic amount of Freon.

Thompson’s autopsy report showed that he had a history of “Freon huffing.” No alcohol or illegal drugs were found in his system. However, the autopsy showed Thompson’s blood stream had a small amount of methadone, a synthetic narcotic used to treat drug addiction.

Thompson and Hi-Five enjoyed national success in the 90’s with hits like “She’s Playing Hard To Get” and “I Like The Way.” After the group disbanded Thompson pursued a solo career and released an album in1994. He would restart Hi-Five with new singers in 2005 and had reportedly been working on another solo project.

Remembering Tony Thompson, Lead Singer of Hi Five


Tony Thompson, a member of the 1990s R&B group Hi Five, was found dead Friday night of an apparent drug overdose, friends told the Waco Tribune-Herald. He was 31.

Thompson’s body was discovered at around 10 p.m. outside of an apartment complex in his native Waco, Texas.

Immediately following the signing of Hi Five to Jive Records in 1990, the group found success with their multi-platinum self-titled debut album, which featured the hit singles “I Like the Way (The Kissing Game),” “I Can’t Wait Another Minute,” and “Just Another Girlfriend.”

Two years later, the group scored with hits “She’s Playing Hard to Get” and “Quality Time.”

Thompson, who grew up in Oklahoma City, released a solo album, “Sexsational,” in 1995 following the breakup of Hi Five during the previous year. He reformed the band with four new members – including his little brother – in 2006 and released their album “The Return” on his own record label, N’Depth.

The singer had recently moved back to Waco from Dallas and was working on new material at the time of his death.

Speaking of Thompson’s new material, if you go to his MySpace page ( you can hear what he was working. One song that stands out is the incredibly groovealicious “Come Over.”

~ End of Article

Go to VH1 to see Hi Five’s video collection. Loved “I Like The Way (The Kissing Game) ” and “Never Should Have Let You Go.”

“I Wanna Love Like That” was the jam! We LOVED Tony! May he rest in peace.

Remembering Yolanda Denise King

The Ladies of Pumps and Gloss were saddened to hear about the passing of Yolanda Denise King.  Let us keep her family in our prayers.

From Yahoo! News:

Daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. dies

By ERRIN HAINES, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA – Yolanda King, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s eldest child who pursued her father’s dream of racial harmony through drama and motivational speaking, collapsed and died after making a speech. She was 51.

King died late Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., said Steve Klein, a spokesman for the King Center. The family did not know the cause of death, but relatives think it might have been a heart problem, he said. “She was an actress, author, producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence, who was known and loved for her motivational and inspirational contributions to society,” the King family said in a statement.Former Mayor Andrew Young, a lieutenant of her father’s who has remained close to the family, said Yolanda King had just spoken at an event for the American Heart Association.  She was helping the association raise awareness, especially among blacks, about strokes.

Young said she was going to her brother Dexter’s home when she collapsed in the doorway.

Her death came less than a year and a half after her mother, Coretta Scott King, died in January 2006.

Yolanda King, who lived in California, was an actress, ran a production company and appeared in numerous films, including “Ghosts of Mississippi.” She played Rosa Parks in the 1978 miniseries “King.”

“Yolanda was lovely. She wore the mantle of princess, and she wore it with dignity and charm,” said the Rev. Joseph Lowery, one of her father’s close aides in the civil rights movement. He added she was “thoroughly committed to the movement and found her own means of expressing that commitment through drama.”President Bush and first lady Laura Bush said their thoughts were with King’s family, White House press secretary Tony Snow said.“She devoted her life to furthering human rights and peace, and was a seasoned and respected actress who used her talents to champion social change and equal rights,” Snow said.The Rev.  Al Sharpton called Yolanda King was a “torch bearer for her parents and a committed activist in her own right.”Yolanda King founded and led Higher Ground Productions, billed as a “gateway for inner peace, unity and global transformation.” On her company’s Web site, she described her mission as encouraging personal growth and positive social change.

The flag at The King Center, where she was a board member, flew at half-staff on Wednesday.

Yolanda Denise King — nicknamed Yoki by the family — was born Nov. 17, 1955, in Montgomery, Ala., where her father was then preaching. Her brother Martin III was born in 1957; brother Dexter in 1961; and sister Bernice in 1963.

She was born just two weeks before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus there, leading to the Montgomery bus boycott spearheaded by her father.

She was just 10 weeks old when the King family home was bombed in Jan. 30, 1956, as her father attended a boycott rally. Neither she nor her mother was injured when the device exploded on the front porch.

She was 7 when her father mentioned her and her siblings in his 1963 speech at the March on Washington: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

She was 12 when her father was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968.

Yolanda King was the most visible of the four children during this year’s Martin Luther King Day in January, the first since her mother’s death.

When asked by The Associated Press at that event how she was dealing with the loss of her mother, she responded: “I connected with her spirit so strongly. I am in direct contact with her spirit, and that has given me so much peace and so much strength.”

At her father’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, she performed a series of solo skits that told stories including a girl’s first ride on a desegregated bus and a college student’s recollection of the 1963 campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Ala.

She also urged the audience to be a force for peace and love, and to use the King holiday each year to ask tough questions about their own beliefs about prejudice.

“We must keep reaching across the table and, in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, feed each other,” she said.

Funeral arrangements would be announced later, the family said in a brief statement.



On the Net:

Higher Ground Productions:

Up and Coming

We will be launching  the weblog soon.  Look out for more details.