Wednesday, July 11, 2012 has begun

it's up! phase 2 of my journey to #beshameless. for regular updates follow me by clicking on the links below:
my tumblr/site:
facebook page
twitter: @mayasworld coming soon!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

the rebranding of Maya

this is turning out to be an eventful summer! in addition to the house hunting which is coming to a close, i've booked a bag of voice work! I've been hanging out with cool peeps, and enjoying the summer with the love of my life...KISSES!!!
AND i'm rebranding!!! what that means is i won't be here on frugal artist much :( i find it sad since this site is my longest running online presence. why am i rebranding? this whole shameless thing is taking over and i need a dedicated site to all things shameless...i'll do my best to keep you up-to-date with all my frugal happenings with the house move and all which means redecorating, shopping! being creative!!!
but back to shameless...i need to see if my brother can AND has the time to design some cool logos and stuff and then i need to design a simple straight forward wordpress site on all the shameless happenings. i need my own #hashtag too! any ideas?'s my latest and 2nd last video up on

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Big City Dreamin'

i moved here to nyc chasing dreams. my dreams happened to include love (my husband) and creating art. i've been living here for 2 years and dayum! this city is something specially. most new yorkers will tell you the same thing, "i have a love/hate relationship with new york". there have been times where i straight hated this town and everything in it. but the alternative? seriously? there is least not at this stage of my life. this city forces you to quit or succeed. take it or leave it. bottom line.
i can say as of late my whole disposition has changed drastically. maybe God is saying, "give this kid a break" but i'm finally getting one! maybe i always have and i just couldn't see it. but yeah...amazing things have transpired in these past 2 days (i will elaborate in the upcoming weeks). my life hasn't "changed" but my perception of life is a complete 180 from where it was even last year. maybe it's because i started believing and having faith again. for whatever reason i thought being 'mature' and responsible meant sacrificing what i love for what makes "sense". i tried that and was a miserable human being and it showed in ALL areas of my life. thanks to this whole #shameless campaign i'm back to my cooky cray-cray self. i'm really beginning not to give a damn what that stupid little inner voice thinks nor what others think for that matter! i care about responsibilities and priorities and even opinions of others but life is about living and dreaming and having fun and being free. i'm slowly but surely setting myself free from my own insecurities and mental limitations and it is SOOOOO liberating! it's so #shameless!!!
believe in yourself and just do it! if you quit something and feel great, then clearly that was the right move, but if you quit and are unhappy, i implore you to revisit those dreams. you probably simply need to try another tactic. there are multiple ways to end up at your destination. work harder, work smarter and just start thinking creatively and out the box :)

i love you guys! thanks for your encouraging words and support.

"our doubts are traitors and make up loose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt"-Shakespeare.
i'm so grateful to live in this cut throat city. 
nyc i love you for forcing me to hustle and grind it out. i wouldn't dream of having it any other way!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pretty Little Liars

man! what's up with YouTube's obsession with makeup and hair?! well it goes beyond YouTube. we are visual creatures. some people call it superficial and materialistic, but i believe at the root of it we are sophisticated animals...i mean, heck birds flaunt their feathers and so do we. the more outlandish the more "attractive". however positive or negative that attraction is. anyways...i'm taking notes of this obsession and thinking of creative ways to parlay and exploit this into my "shameless" study.
but i digress. MAKEUP! what better way to snag em than look your best?! here are my tips to trick those suckers :)

makeup used:
Face wash- Dr. Bronner's Organic Pure Castile, peppermint 
Moisturizer- Avalon Organics
Concealer- Rimmel (soft honey)
Primer- Tart
Foundation- Tart (warm walnut), love this line!!! all natural
Powder- Ruby Kisses $5, i bought this on 125th for my RuPaul drag face not wanting to spend $20+ and surprisingly this stuff  gets the job done! this brand is hypo-allergenic, non-comeogenic, and talc-free...SCORE
Eye brows- Lancome, but use whatever! my mom gave this to me so imma use it til it's gone :) i would totally go for a drugstore brand though
Eye primer- MAC (bamboo)
Eye shadow- MAC (arena and cork), cheap drugstore grey and black...i can't remember the brand but it was cheap!
Mascara- L'Oreal Voluminous
Lipstick- MAC (frost)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

home hunting

David and i have been looking for a love nest on and off for a year. last week we decided to go full throttle and finally get us a home. the challenge...we live in NYC! how to afford!!! well we've been saving week-after-week, month-after-month and finally have enough for a down payment!!!! the only thing left...what's available in our budget? on father's day we found our dream home out in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and we're Harlemites! the apartments were gorgeous! indoor pool, gym, spacious living space, all new amenities, the works! however walking from the train to the apartment i questioned my safety at night. so we went on a midnight car ride last night to peep the hood and let me tell you! it was damn scary!!! i'm not sure what's more scary, the unfamiliarity of the neighbourhood and/or it being secluded and too damn quiet...but damn! it's like finding a diamond and tossing it back. or we buy and invest knowing the neighbourhood should be popping in like 5-10 years? which means having my body guard pick me up at night until i'm familiar and feel comfortable enough to walk by myself OR keep looking...there are of course sacrifices that must be made, but what are we willing to sacrifice? i was talking to a familiar dog owner here in Harlem and he was saying how much these neighbourhoods have transform over the years. how these boarded up brownstones which either sold for $1 or were abandoned are now worth millions. the people that were able to see past the "ghettoness" of this hood are now reaping the rewards. do we brave it, take a risk in buying this property or wait for hopefully another opportunity? what am i willing to sacrifice? i definitely am not trying to buy a shoe box in Williamsburg but the alternative? ARGH!!! anyways! RENT SUCKS PEEPS!!! save your funds! buy a home! what we pay on rent is such a waste! no tax credits! no investments! just straight leeching!
$1,000/month on rent for 1 year = $12,000
$12,000 x 5 years = $60,000!!!!
that's a 20% down payment on a $300,000 home! WTH?!!!
it looks exactly like these!
but in the hood!
in any event, you'll soon be getting a glimpse into the new crib and watch me create magic :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

all you need is love

i was fortunate to attend the wedding of Raye aka itsmyrayeraye and Eric Boyce's wedding two weeks ago. such a cute and intimate wedding! these two love birds remind me of the hubs and i 3 years ago. a new york city hall wedding with those closest and me snapping away in the background :) you don't need to have a crazy over the top wedding to get married. and you definitely don't need to be rolling in dough. all you need is love.

i edited the photos in both color and this slight black and white sepia tone and to my surprise we all loved the latter. i'm all about color but there's just something about this quality that makes it so timeless.

Raye styled it up in this cute strapless dress with floral embellishments, glitter pumps, red lipstick, black liner for days and turned it out!
to process these images i used Nelly Nero's Black and White Set action, Classic Black followed by Lucky Dip with minor adjustments to the sepia tone.

CONGRATS BEAUITFULS!!! the rest of the photos will be up on the site early next week fingers crossed :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Real Talk (Take it to the Streets)

#shameless video up! now some peeps think i'm uber confident to walk up to strangers and maybe i am but that doesn't mean i don't feel awkward and scared! cause i do! but then i think, "hey, this guy is asking me for a minute of my time so why not ask him a minute of his?" but as i said, do the thing that scares you. because the more you do it the more confident you become. AND great content for my viewers :) i better be super woman by the time this year is up!!!

Where to Stay in NYC

it's summer and i'm sure all you tourist will be invading us again. but where to stay you ask? and at prices that won't break your bank? check out these hotels and hostels:
The Pod is super cute!!! They have 2 locations and they're both located on the east side! You're close to the 6 train which makes travel convenient. Minutes away from Times Square and a train ride away from Union Square.

The Jane Hotel is located right in the heart of the Meat Packing District. This means you have the beautiful view of the High Line and if you like clubbing you're surrounded by them.

The cool thing with Air BnB is individuals are putting their homes up. You can rent a couch, bed, or bedroom depending on your budget. The great thing is this can allow for versatility around the city. Stay a couple nights in Manhattan, then head out to Brooklyn.
This was the first hostel I stayed at years ago. Located on the Upper West Side by Columbia University. You literally only have a bed. The bathrooms are communal and there's an option of shared "dorm" room style or your own private room. I suggest private.

now that you have options for stay here in NYC, come out and visit me!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Curly Girls Run the World!

or at least the internet and hair care!

I make one video on curly hair and my inbox has been exploding with followers everywhere! too bad i didn't make a career as a curly hair expert! Thanks guys for all the support. My YouTube channel however isn't a curly hair channel nor is this blog. For extensive, in-depth knowledge I recommend Long Hair Don't CareAround the Way Curls, Hey Fran Hey, and La Coco Bella to name a few. It's always good to see what others are doing but most importantly it's key to listen to your hair. And what works for one may not work for you, so continue to experiment and listen to your curls.
As with every other curly I've gone through great lengths to find out what works for me and I'm still on the search. But yes I am a recent convert and love the Shea Moisture line although I'm opening to looking for another conditioner. I found the one I used doesn't have as much slip as I'd like. BUT I LOVE that Parnevu deep conditioner. So far, that's the only deep treatment I've used that leaves my hair feeling soft and moisturized and I've been using it for the last 3 years!
But to answer your questions...
1) When I go to bed I put my hair in either a pineapple ponytail much like this photo here but not so "wide":
if it's later in the week and my curls are all over the place i'll do a brush out and sleep with my hair in a high bun and wear it out all frizzy Diana Ross styles the following morning and thereafter. frizzy, unruly curls can work if you WERK-it-out! and yes, i do sleep with a satin pillow case as well.

If I have the time and my hair is really hurting with split ends and dryness as it is now (i need to trim asap!) I'll twist my hair and sleep with a cap. 
i feel sorry for men married to curlies that take care...this cap is so not hot. marry someone who loves you cap and all :) thanks boo bear!

now if i do twist it overnight i use a leave-in conditioner, which of late has been Shea Moisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothy. I have in the past used the line Olive Oil which was my swear by product that you can read all about here in this blog entry. this Shea stuff is perfect for "style". the next day you simply unravel and rock the twist out as is or separate the curls for a more natural look .
now when i plan to wash my hair, the night before i'll use Vatika. this is super oily and greasy! so beware. this isn't the type of oil i'd just put in my hair and go. it's purpose for me is to moisturize my hair before i strip it the next day with shampoo. the thing about most oils is it usually just sits on top of the hair shaft not moisturizing . i think the exception is Moroccan oil, however it's pricey! you really need something to soften the hair cuticle before you use an oil, which i didn't discuss in my video because i only do this other extra step if i have time and i try to keep my videos short, BUT i use  IC Leave-in Hair & Scalp treatment, and then the Vatika so the hair can absorb the nutrients of the great oils fused in with Vatika. 
empty! gotta get me more :)

"did you untwist your hair before diffusing?" NO!
i did not twist my hair only to untwist it before drying...leave your hair alone...the first twist i did naturally unravelled when i was diffusing. the second, 2 strand twist will need to be "untwisted" once dry. this method will leave you with looser curls. i used large sections when twisting my hair simply because i want the process to be over and done with, but if you want that "perfect" curl then use smaller sections. the smaller the section the more defined the curls :)

this is what my hair looks like when i DON'T twist and simply put styling product and air dry...not very special and rather flat looking

my hair unravelled on a 2 strand twist out...DEFINITION FOR DAYS!!!

2) Products Used if you didn't catch me name dropping:

i live in NY and buy them on 125th and you can find the Shea Moisture line at Duane Reade and Target to name a few...for other countries i have no clue. you can call or email them to find out: or even buy online :)
i bought Parnevu here on 125th and i have no idea where else you can find it besides online. and Vatika i bought in Little India out in Queens, NY. again, i don't know where else to buy it so Google.

read the ingredients in your cosmetics and hair products and do your homework here: 

to read more about my hair journey, in the search bar enter "curly". it gets interesting :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012


have i been hiding under a rock? i guess so cause i just discovered the awesomeness that is sound cloud. since making these YouTube videos i've been scouring the net for original, royalty free music and was on cloud 9 when i found some of these ridiculously talented producers. the best part of this is it's either free or like $1-2 per track! AND you're helping artist get their work heard! and there are dope peeps here! i most recently featured the amazing sounds of Viral Groove in my Ultimate Curly Hair Tutorial and love these other track right here:
  i've worked with the chill vibes of Clear Blue... and of course my first find Tinush who has that fun, quirky quality similar to my persona: and this play list right here is great when i edit photos for hours and days on end...2hrs and this dude mixes everything i love, hiphop, orchestra, electronica, jazz...not originally produced but definitely wicked skills and brilliance in mixing

peep these tracks and get on sound cloud!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Ultimate Curly Hair Tutorial

and where exactly have you been missy?! hummmm?
excuses aside, sometimes i just don't wanna blog.  but yeah....
what i love about this #shameless challenge is that i'm forcing myself to learn and do things i'd rather not do. me and final cut pro aka fcpx are getting close these days and we're understanding one another more. i'm really excited to start working on my documentary now that i've learned all these cute tricks AND i have a better understanding for quick vids which will really help out when i start to edit my teaser trailer :) but yeah...more on that soon!
NOW for all you curlies...Maya present's: The Ultimate Curly Hair Tutorial!!! i keep getting harassed about my hair and apparently if you have curly hair and a YouTube channel you better make at least one video address the most noticeable thing in the shot. i went through great lengths to bring this to you so appreciate :)
some photos from instagram :)
and the video uploaded:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Portrait of a Painter

not only was i celebrating my birthday in tdot last week, but i scheduled a few shoots with some talented peeps. one shoot in particular was with the brilliant painter John Viljoen. i met John YEARS back as a model for his painting classes. and no i was not nude :) this time around however the roles were reversed and he was my model in this series, Portrait of a Painter. Oh! and his lovely model would be Mina :) gorge!!!
thanks to wedding photography, i've learned the art of documentary photography. yes you can go for that one epic shot, but it's also quite interesting to communicate a story through several shots. John wanted me to do the latter with our session. an image by itself may say very little but the minute you pair it beside another a story begins to develop. it usually takes me some time to choose images that best communicate a'll evolve but here it is so far:
my fav photoshop actions are these by Red Leaf Boutique. i learned photography on an old skool Nikon FE film slr, which is why i'm in LOVE with these actions...they give it that film quality i oh so miss.
with RL actions above, and without below
these actions are a pretty penny for someone as "frugal" as me but they're well worth it. i only wish they had them for Light Room. sad face :(

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Vintage Shopping in Brooklyn

finally some time! i spent my memorial day yesterday sleeping in and biking around the city. i took my under developed muscles and hubby and biked down to Williamsburg.
this bike weighs a ton! great for getting a winter body back into shape :)
we biked through Times Square...gross i know but this was beautiful. i think this was at Toys R Us

i finally checked out Beacon's Closet...i've never been there until yesterday. the place is massive but i couldn't really get into my shopping zone knowing that David was sitting there waiting for me.
i died when i spotted these. mint condition reebok hightops for $10 never been worn!!! size 10 and i'm an 8...BOOOOOO!!! 
shopping with a straight man is just mean...poor him :) David escorted me to Buffalo Exchange (i'm so lucky to have a patient husband) and i scored the cutest sweater ever!!! YAA!!! (i know it's summer but still! too cute) and it was $9 bucks!
and i scored these uber cute glasses...tres tetris-slash-lego. i had spotted them here in the city from the street vendors but passed...i saw them again and had to buy them. $8.50!
i spent under $20 on this kiddy, cute, fun look! woot woot!

Friday, May 25, 2012

the real progress report

wowzers! i'm gonna fall back some. uploading that last video made me realize i need to prioritize my life. making videos every week is killing my personal and work life.  i'm gonna stick to a video every other week as i stated in my very first video, which will allow me to blog more, create stuff, and hopefully i can catch up. since i'll be making a video every other week i hope i can invest more time in filming and editing and delivery fun, quality videos :) so for those that want regular updates in between...ya'll gotta visit me hur! editing and uploading videos when i really should be spending time with family or editing my yeah...i'm still #shameless :)

maybe i'll even get some sleep

i have equated being on the road to being on my laptop...geesh!

lots of fun stuff coming!!! i'm trying really hard to get that video up today but it may be late :(
working on immigration stuff...

Monday, May 21, 2012


well happy belated birthday to me! yesterday i celebrated the epic day with my traditional bowl off and BBQ '80s style!

we bowled at Danforth Bowl...such a nook! this place was the real deal. there are only 6 lanes and you have to keep score on paper. no! the lame part is they're only open Sunday's until 5pm. who goes bowling 2 in the afternoon? me and my cool crew, that who :)
back to my mama's crib for some sun and grilled food!
my brother, Meghan, and Jackie taking in the sun :)

My homies Cat and Jamie embracing their inner 80s...yay to them for living it up!
Thank you guys for making this birthday laid back and fun! The trip back home to be around good family and friends was well worth it.
that would be me channeling my inner late 80s Vanessa Williams-slash-Whitney Houston meet work out gear.

I realize I haven't been on my 10 tweets, 4 blogs, 3 tumbles and IG pics but damn those roaming charges! I'll have to make up for my tardiness when I cross the boarder. I'm hoping I can get that video up tomorrow but there's a possibility that may be late too. EEKS! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

to drive or not to drive?

for the time being my travels have been restricted to roadtrips. i have no clue what brought it on but my left ear has been all jacked for the last several months...doctors are baffled. anyways, that's another blog post...thankfully home is an 8hr drive away.
we started our trek at 5:30am. it's so quiet and beautiful in NYC at this hour :)
somewhere south of Syracuse. 
we're driving the stupid gas guzzler dodge nitro. i'm not big on 4x4's especially this one. 6am and it's cold out and the heat decided to spit out cold a/c air even while it was off...argh!!! and once it got hot outside at around 11am the heat decided to work. not cute!
and the cry baby that is Jackie finally gets to stretch her legs out while breaking the law. 

and yes i hooked me and my girl up with a pretty lilac paint job while David manned the wheel :)

a flight from NY to TO usually cost around $350/person plus $100 each way for the pooch. that would be $900. although the flight is only 1hr, getting to the airport takes another 1hr, and since Toronto is an international flight we have to arrive 2hrs ahead, plus customs, who like to pick on me, plus picking up any checked luggage, plus driving from the airport home...that's about 5hrs. driving directly from NYC is 8hrs..7 if we decide to speed demon it out.  the extra 3hrs and spending $250 on the car rental and around $160 on gas with a grand total of $410 versus $900? yup i'll keep my $490 in my savings account thank you very much.