May 29, 2009

Nail Art

My mother is a firm believer that your mani and pedi should match. She's a bit old school and has been rocking her OPI shade of red since I can I know she would be irked by my latest creation (the last time she saw my nails she told me that they looked a little "ghetto" lol...)

But I was recently inspired by my favorite makeup artist Lauren to try this out. Sorry Mom...this is the closest I can come to having matching shades. lol...

May 27, 2009

My Black is Beautiful

Saturday, May 30th the My Black is Beautiful tour will be rolling into Chicago. This free event will feature a celebrity discussion panel moderated by actress Tasha Smith (panelists include Angela Bassett, Michaela Angela Davis, Daphne Valerius and Troi Tyler), keynote speech by actress A.J. Johnson, and performances by Lalah Hathaway and Eric Roberson. There will also be various "conversation rooms" where topics such as financial management, self-esteem/inner beauty and health/wellness will be discussed. For those looking to get pampered:

~ makeovers will be provided by the Cover Girl Queen makeup studio
~ facials and skin analysis by the Olay Skin is In Studio
~ basic salon services by the Pantene HAIRmony Salon
~ color consultation by the Clairol Beautiful Collection

Other event features include:

~ healthy, beautiful smile challenge with Creast-Pro Healthy
~ style challenge by Tampax
~ spoken word in the Let it Flow Lounge by Always
~ yoga classes and health screenings in the Healthy & Wellness pavillion

Door open at 11am and the event runs until 7pm. While the event is free registration is required. Please click here to register or visit:

After the event I will be a hosting a "keep the conversation going" dinner at Leona's on Taylor St. This is a way to keep the spirit of sisterhood alive and converse about the various topics of the event. If you'd like to attend please shoot me an email.


My Black is Beautiful Tour 2009
UIC Forum - Main Hall
725 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago, IL 60608

1419 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607
*4 blocks west of Racine

Shop & Share - 1 day left

If you shop at any Jewel-Osco store in Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin on May 25th, May 26th or May 27th, 5% of your total purchase (excluding tax) will be donated to ARFhouse Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter. Just hand the signed slip to your cashier and help ARFhouse Chicago raise money to help homeless pets.

Founded in 2006, ARFhouse Chicago is a no-kill animal shelter. The organization is 100% volunteer run and affiliated with ARFhouse in Sherman, Texas - the 3rd largest no-kill sanctuary in the United States. While monetary donations are always appreciated (ARFhouse is a 501(c)(3) status organization and all donations are tax deductible) you can always help in other ways - - adoption, donating supplies, volunteering your time as a dog walker, or even sponsoring a pet.

If you're planning on doing some grocery shopping please go on the days listed and help out this cause that's very near and dear to my heart! It's a great way to support a charity and not have to go out of your way - - simply print out a form and take it with you... and please feel free to pass this along to everyone you know!

If you'd like more information on ARFhouse Chicago click here.

For a copy of the flyer click here.

Here are a few of the wonderful dogs your donations will be helping out:






May 21, 2009

Back in Action

It feels like it's been forever since I sat myself down and wrote a blog. Even my housewives blog was fairly mediocre and that took me over a week to post! I will blame my lack of blog writing on the fact our condo is under construction and my pc has been relocated to the kitchen. On top of having no air circulation, it literally looks like we've been quarantined in our place! I think we have 2-3 more weeks of construction and I can't wait for it to be completed. On a positive note, the construction has required me to be out of the condo from 8a-4p, therefore yours truly has been more than on time to work as of late! I actually like getting out of the house and to work with plenty of time to spare and more notably, it has made for more enjoyable bus rides. I'm not stressed out about how many times we stop, how late we're running, or how quickly I'll have to get from the stop up to my office! I don't know if the "early bird catches the worm", but you sure as hell aren't stressed out about time.

To catch everyone up, last Thursday I did a little club hopping with Sexy and the Chi and had a pretty good time. We started our night off at Griffin Lounge (formerly Climax) and was met with tons of *crickets* and *tumbleweed*. I must say that I love the layout of this venue and know that once people figure out the dj is good, the ac stays on (no sweated out hair) and the staff is friendly it'll fill up in no time. While enjoying a drink we eyed a really tall guy (swag completely off) and I was smiling his direction. Bad move...he mistook my "talking shit about you while keeping a friendly smile on my face" as an invitation to come over and chill out. Since there were only about 30 people in the place it wasn't like we could play his ass to the left w/o looking stuck up so we talked to him. Long story short, he said that Religion was down the street and was better so we decided to be adventurous (though we drove our own car...we aren't stupid) and went to Religion.

Since we met dude there we didn't have to pay... which was a beautiful thing since this club managed to have even FEWER people than Griffin Lounge. We looked at each other and kind of sighed and chuckled at the same time. When clubs are free you can be adventurous and hop around. We sat in the VIP (which meant nothing since there were no people there) and drank our free drinks, vowing to stay at least 20 mins just to be polite. lol. After we downed our drinks it was time to leave and we made our way to Butterfly Social Club.

At this point in the night I was just thrilled to be in a spot that actually had people, but walking into Butterfly Social Club I instantly loved the vibe. The club was small but able to comfortably fit the crowd. The DJ was nice and the fact that there was no cover put a huge smile on my face.Topping my experience off were great shots of patron and watching Purple Rain (one of my favorite movies) get screened on the wall!! I would recommend this spot to anyone that is looking for a laid back, hip hop spot on a Thursday night and wants to be around the 25-32yo crowd.

Thursday Night Spots:

Griffin Lounge
326 W. Chicago Ave.

720 N. Wells

Butterfly Social Club
722 W. Grand Ave.

May 14, 2009

New Housewives on the block

(Pictured L-R) Jacqueline, Dina, Danielle, Caroline, and Teresa

In the 4th installment of the "Housewives" series, we find ourselves in New Jersey and a fly on the wall in the lives of 5 new women:

1. Teresa Giudice - The mother of 3 adorable girls that spends money like we aren't in a recession, and is a definite "stage mom" in training.

2. Jacqueline Laurita - The level-headed peace maker of the group. She is married to the brother of Dina and Caroline Manzo and friends with both Teresa and Danielle.

3. Dina Manzo - Her sister is Caroline (sister-in-law is Jacqueline) and they're married to about keeping it in the family. She has a teenage daughter and seems to enjoy living the fabulous life.

4. Caroline Manzo - She is my favorite character and definitely an "old school, Italian mother" as she says. She's all about her kids, husband, and being the best wife/mother that she can be. She assists her husband running "The Brownstone" one of New Jersey's premier event facilities and is also the sister to Dina.

5. Danielle Staub - The definite wild card of the season, on the first episode we meet Danielle as she prepares to finally meet the guy she's been having a 2 year internet fling with. She says that the "phone sex was amazing" and mentions that she met the man on a site for millionaire men. She brags about being the first person in New Jersey to have an American Express Black Card (she's divorced now so I wonder if that card left along with her husband)

Catch episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey at 9p on Bravo!!!

May 13, 2009

First Fridays Chicago - June Boat Cruise

The summer is quickly approaching and to change things up a bit First Fridays Chicago will be hosting their June event on the Odyssey Cruise Boat @ Navy Pier. The party starts at 11p with the boat sailing until 3am. There will be a VIP Ciroc & Don Julio hosted cocktail party on the rooftop deck (only 25 tickets left) as well as a comedy show.

I have never done a boat cruise in Chicago so I'm not sure if the event will be a hit or if you'll look around at 130a and realize you're stranded in the middle of Lake Michigan with a boatload of women! lol... (every woman's nightmare)

General admission tickets are currently $35 (going to $45 after 12p 5/14)

VIP tickets are currently $50 (going to $60 after 12p 5/14)

To find out more information visit the First Fridays Chicago website here.

Part-Time Hustlers

This is a repost from a blog I follow and love, A belle in Brooklyn. The idea of a side piece, mistress, whatever you wanna call it - has been around since the beginning of time. I think Belle does an awesome job of looking at it from a different perspective. Take a look and feel free to see the original post here.

Part-time Hustlers

As you might know, I'm obsessed with HBO. Any movie that comes on and almost any dramatic series produced (except Deadwood), I'll watch just because I know it'll be good. It's not TV. It's HBO.

So I'm watching re-runs of House of Sadam and it's at the part where after like 25 years of marriage, Sadam decides to take on a second "wife." Not sure how official she is, but she's not boss lady, doesn't produce an heir, and no one really respects her. But she does get to pal around with the fearless leader, spend his dough and have all access to fly ish and sex.

When all the shit hits the fan and the Americans invade Iraq, the wife gives up her house and has to flee in the night. She gets out the country with a bankroll, but worries constantly that people are looking for the family and because their money was ill-gotten if it will be seized. The second wife/side chick? She doesn't have Sadam (neither does wife 1), but she does have a bankroll of her own, no one to answer to and she aint worried about a thing. She's safe and off everybody's radar.

I noted a similar set-up during my re-read of The Coldest Winter Ever. When Papa Santiaga gets popped, the feds seize the family house, the cars, the money, essentially everything. The family's broken up and of the six members only 2 end up okay. But the side piece is chillin. She has dough and no headache. Her man is gone but she's 22 and pretty. She'll be just fine.

So this got me to thinking about the benefits of the side piece. And when I say SP, I don't mean a jump off, I mean a mistress type. And before anyone goes crazy, I don't advocate for taking this position (if for no other reason than karma, to avoid drama, and its a slippery slope to heartache and headache), but a lot of women happily play that position. A lot. So I just want to examine why.

Here's the deal. Often when we think of the other woman, we think of some unfortunate chick who couldn't get a man of her own. We're told we should want a whole man, to be the only one because that's what any self-respecting woman should want. But I'm thinking there's more to the side-piece phenomenon than a woman with low self esteem. Maybe what we Belle readers (because we're all super self-respecting and would never, ever settle for any man... Insert sarcasm now) call a whore, is really a smart chick who figured out how to get the benefits of a relationship without the obligations of one.

Ride with for a few minutes more. I'm going somewhere with this.

I was watching Grey Gardens a couple weekends back (still can't get a blog going on that. It brought up a lot of ish and I'm way late on it now) and there's a scene with Little Edie explaining to her married suitor why she only dates married men: she wants to be an actress and he'll let her work, ie she can have his company when he can spare it one night per week and she gets the freedom, unlike a wife, to do as she pleases

Like Chris Rock's take on OJ's alleged killing spree, 'I don't condone it, but I understand.' Being the side hustle works well for a particular segment of women who aren't so worried about having kids and families. This position doesn't give you full benefits, of course (part-time work generally doesn't), but there are some. Like actresses who bartend or waitress so they can free up their schedule at a moments notice to go for an audition, the side hustle has its perks. And side work, when managed properly, can come without a full day's headaches.

Let's be clear: sometimes a relationship is a headache or mind-numbingly mundane. (I can make a good argument that good relationships should be relatively boring. Excitement typically comes with a degree of drama, which is bad for stability.) Relationships also mean a degree of obligation— putting out when you don't feel like it, attending events you rather die than sit through, listening to conversations about feelings and other yawn-inducing topics that bore you almost to death. You like have to answer the phone, have to call back in a timely manner, have to check-in, not because you're a child, but out of respect for your partner. You have to communicate constantly, you have to compromise, you have to be considerate, you have to put the "we" before the "I." And frankly, all that can be taxing. I get how a self-respecting woman would say 'no thank you' and just stick around for the good parts.

Sure a side-piece has it's lows. You're not committed (or if you have sense, you shouldn't be) and neither is he to you. You can get laid off with no notice since there's no contract (only a marriage lisence is binding really), but you can also legitimately carry more than one "job" to protect yourself against an untimely firing.Yeah, you'll probably spend holidays alone and it's doubtful anyone's coming by to nurse you back to health when you're sick. But that's kinda the worst of it.

And is that such a bad trade-off for freedom if that's what you ultimately want?

Like I said, I don't condone it, but I get it.

May 12, 2009

Hell on Heels

For some reason I forgot (blame my selective memory) that these shoes KILL the back of my ankles whenever I wear them. I put them on pause for a few months and was itching to rock them again. Well, needless to say the shit hurt. I look like tiny people have been sawing their tiny knives at the back of my ankles all day long. Looks like I'll be putting these shoes back on time out.

May 11, 2009

Shop & Share

If you shop at any Jewel-Osco store in Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin on May 25th, May 26th or May 27th, 5% of your total purchase (excluding tax) will be donated to ARFhouse Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter. Just hand the signed slip to your cashier and help ARFhouse Chicago raise money to help homeless pets.

Founded in 2006, ARFhouse Chicago is a no-kill animal shelter. The organization is 100% volunteer run and affiliated with ARFhouse in Sherman, Texas - the 3rd largest no-kill sanctuary in the United States. While monetary donations are always appreciated (ARFhouse is a 501(c)(3) status organization and all donations are tax deductible) you can always help in other ways - - adoption, donating supplies, volunteering your time as a dog walker, or even sponsoring a pet.

If you're planning on doing some grocery shopping please go on the days listed and help out this cause that's very near and dear to my heart! It's a great way to support a charity and not have to go out of your way - - simply print out a form and take it with you... and please feel free to pass this along to everyone you know!

If you'd like more information on ARFhouse Chicago click here.

For a copy of the flyer click here.

Here are a few of the wonderful dogs your donations will be helping out:






May 8, 2009

Thursday is the New Friday

I started the evening with after work drinks with my partner in crime, The Ladybug Files. I was initially shocked at how quickly the weather had turned cloudy and rainy but we still made our way to Flat Water. This was my first time visiting Flat Water and though I had heard many great things, I was turned off at the fact that the hostess told us the entire bar was reserved, as well as all the dinner tables and other empty seats in there.


You mean to tell me that there are 20 people TOPS in here yet you can't seat us?

I felt as if we had drifted back into the 1930s and were getting played.

We shook it off and continued our night at Crimson Lounge. Thursday they feature their $3 glasses of champagne, beer and house chardonnay and merlot. 12 glasses of champagne, 2 cheese/meat appetizer plates, and 5 hours later, we were ready to venture out into the wonderful city.

I was definitely taken aback by the large amount of bums roaming the streets. It was unnerving the number of sketchtastic people we saw sleeping on benches, on the ground, at the bus stop, in front of restaurants.

State St. bum - he was actually shaking and looked like he was about to levitate

Lake St. bum - he was getting GREAT sleep

After the clusterfuck of bums on the street, we ventured onto the red line to whisk us away to the South Loop. I'm not a fan of the train... at least not the subway. I like being above ground and not feeling like I'm trapped. I've officially deemed the Red Line a death trap.

I heard about Tantrum having a re-opening so we headed there. I never knew of this club before but it was a nice blend of part loft, part lounge. We threw back a few drinks, I attempted to learn how to step, and when the clock struck 2a it was time to head home. We walked the short distance to Jewel and stocked up on goodies and then made our way home. I ended the night eating ramen, downing ginger ale, and watching a Paul Mooney comedy special from 2007. It was a fun night.

May 7, 2009

My First Video

Anyone that knows me can attest to the fact that I'm obsessed with taking pictures. From a young age, my Aunt had me cheesing for the camera (she's a photographer) so capturing life's many memories has always been second nature to me. Last year my bff, K. Dot, came to Scottsdale to celebrate her 24th bday (as well as be fly during Superbowl Weekend). In honor of that I put together this video montage (my first and last time creating a video - - it was a lot of fun to do but I seriously had no clue what I was getting myself into) This video always makes me smile and I wanted to share it with my blog family. I hope you enjoy...

May 6, 2009

Cinco de Drinko

Last night I celebrated Cinco de Mayo with 2 girlfriends and a pitcher of strawberry mango margarita @ La Cantina Grill in the South Loop. I had never been to this restaurant before but thought it was a cute, neighborhood spot and would definitely come back. In addition to the drinks that were freely flowing, they had a band keeping the crowd entertained. I liked the feel of the live music and took a quick video. Please ignore me towards the end as I zoom in on the Margarita prices. lol... Tequila gets me distracted!

La Cantina Grill
1911 s. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

May 4, 2009

My Weekend...


For those of you familiar with my "CTA Adventures" you've come accustomed to hearing some outlandish stories of what I encounter while riding the Chicago public transportation. After a long day at work I was thrilled to head home and get some stuff done before heading out to First Fridays event @ The Hotel Sax. Well, little did I know I was about to endure the ride from hell. There were 3 little girls on the bus that began to wreak havoc. I searched for their parents only to realize that the older man sitting in front of me was trying his best to not claim the kids.

"I can't wait to get yall to yo mama" he said as the girls began to get out of control.

Moments like this make you cling to the "it takes a village to raise a child" theory and want to personally kick all of their asses.

So, I was able to grab my phone and video tape this girl spazzing out. Yes, she screamed non-stop for over 1 min... in addition to all the other nonsense her and her sisters were doing on the bus. This is just a little taste of what my life is like having to ride the #3 bus... so for all of you out there that think I'm exaggerating with the stories I write about... please know that this is all very true (unfortunately).

After that bus ride from hell, I made it home and proceeded to get ready for the rest of my night. My BFF's sister was in town visiting so we headed to First Fridays at Hotel Sax to show her a good time. I must say that Hotel Sax is lovely. I had only been to Crimson and never explored the rest of the hotel so I was extremely pleased with what I saw. On top of that, Don Julio tequila made a special appearance in my life that night as I kicked back a few tequila sunrises... and the way into any girl's heart - - free drinks - - were provided by Ciroc, whom sponsored a VIP lounge, that contributed a few tasty beverages (lol) to my night's festivities.

Ladies, if you were not there I must tell you that the men were out!!! And I mean that every man must have called up his 4 best friends because they were in packs of 5. The ratio truly was 5:1 and I had a smile on my face the entire night. What's better than a night of great music, wonderful drinks, your friends and tons of eye candy!!! I can think of no better way to spend my Friday night.

After the event ended we were still in party mode and headed over to a spot relatively new to me (but a favorite for the group I was with) called Betty's Blue Star lounge. I loved the mixed crowd and the bar/lounge feel of the place... though it was definitely more bar.

After we closed that club down it was time to head home.

Sidebar: Can I just say that I'm very proud of myself for realizing my limit and cutting myself off. I actually turned down 2 shots of patron and instead drank a bottle of water while we were at Betty's. Looks like I'm finally starting to grow up!


I started my day with 2 packs of ramen noodles! Mmmm... they were so good and definitely hit the spot. I was off to a baby shower for my boyfriend's sister and it was really lovely. His mother did an amazing job setting everything up and definitely set the bar high for the next baby shower I go to.

After, it was time to watch the game. Though I was exhausted from the night before we made our way to 10Pin and sat at the bar as we watched the Bulls get smashed by the Celtics. Now, nobody really expected for the Bulls to win. I mean, even if they played at 100% it still wouldn't have been enough to clinch a win.. but I think they put on a great show this series and gained a few new fans, won some fans back over and made people believe in them. They should be a great time within the next few years. I'm keeping my eye on them.

There were a few other things going on Saturday night but I chose to head home and get some sleep. My hair was looking a mess (3 too many bobby pins than should be allowed), my nails were a disaster (only 6 nails had polish) and you know, there are just certain times when you need to not step out looking below standards. lol.


I woke up Sunday morning feeling revived from my night's rest and very happy that I chose to stay in. I headed to LA Fitness and got in a good run and did some intense weight training. After it was time for brunch. Sexy and the Chi and I headed to Nookie's in Lincoln Park for some great food and then continued on for a day of shopping!!! I discovered the MAC pro store (the only pro store in the midwest) and fell in love with Michael, the amazing artist that helped us. I was ecstatic to find my favorite product, Select Tint with SPF 15, was still in stock. **it was actually discontinued a few months ago and they still have some in stock** I ended up buying 2 bottles. They last about a year and have a shelf life of 2 years so I feel like my makeup game will not suffer for the next 730 days. I enjoyed the rest of the day just running errands and taking in the spring weather. I'm excited about the summer (not the humidity) but the city in the spring/summer is absolutely gorgeous!!!

View of the South Loop from Lake Shore Dr.

I love the Gold Coast area

The most adorable t-shirts for kids that I saw in Lincoln Park

We didn't eat here but they had a lovely patio

I love the greenery

Weekend Haunts

Hotel Sax
333 N. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60654

Betty's Blue Star Lounge
1600 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

330 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Nookie's Restaurant
1746 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60614

MAC Pro Store
910 W. Armitage
Chicago, IL 60614

May 1, 2009

Return of the Uni-brow

Last night after we finished up at Carnivale we headed to Griffin Lounge for the Al B Sure album preview party hosted by Uptown Magazine, Chicago Defender newspaper and Hidden Beach Recording.

*sigh* Al B Sure ... where do I even begin! Well, first off he informed the crowd that he had lost 35lbs (he was still a little heavy), his uni-brow was in full effect (he can't get that thing threaded??) and his "thank you" speech was hilarious. I wish I could've taped it so everyone could experience it first hand (and I could submit it to YBF lol)

Al B Sure: First off, I want to thank everyone for coming out. I really appreciate the support and love from the fans and it means so much to me. Thank you George Daniels, you've supported me since I was 18 (makes me wonder how old George is because ABS isn't young) blah blah blah

Crowd: Cheers/Claps

Al B Sure: Secondly, I just want to say that it's very hard when you have family problems that you have to deal with on the internet. I don't care what anyone says, I love my kids. Please pray for my family because there are evil forces around my kids.


Cue an image of Diddy and his "No Bitch Ass Ness" t-shirt. I think it's safe to say that someone has a slight issue with their child (Quincy who looks like Al B Sure cloned himself) claiming Diddy as his "real father" and crediting him with having raised him. It was sad to see this aging star reaching out to a spotty crowd of semi-fans and pouring out his soul (or at least his contempt for Diddy) I think he needed a hug... or maybe Diddy should give him a legitimate record deal.

Between the slowly forming bald spot, uni-brow, and hater ass remarks I didn't know what to think. Add into the mix George Daniels hosting the event and having the audacity to "lean wit it, rock wit it" and C-Walk... well, I was officially done. lol...

Other things that made me laugh:

- The 6'8" glamazon that was dancing in a 1-shoulder top and liquid leggings. For a sec I thought she was Biana from Top Model. lol...

- George Daniels calling Twitter, twEEter. He was like, "I see all you TWEETERS out there". *blank stare*

- The older lady that obviously missed her calling as a groupie in the late 80s and was trying to make up for lost time last night

- The man in the jean fit (ewww) acting like a male groupie.

The highlight of the night was making use of the backdrop and having a mini photo opt with The Sassy Peach.

Dining Out for Life

Last night I joined the ladies of the Red Pump Project and headed over to Carnivale to participate in Dining Out for Life. About 30 restaurants in the Chicagoland area participated in the event that was designed to raise money for AIDS organizations.

In our defense, this was the 3rd picture we were taking and the cameraman said "do something different".... therefore everyone looks like they're on something else. We were not a cohesive picture taking group. lol

The Bulls vs Celtics game had the majority of us on the edge of our seats (and in most cases standing by the bar screaming wildly at the TV). I don't understand why they have consistently gone into OT, Double OT and even Triple OT during this series. OT shouldn't be this standard... I've now come to expect them to have a seemingly never ending game. Once they went into Triple OT I chucked the deuce to the game and went to sit down and put my order in. It wasn't long before all the screams, cheers and jeers from the bar area had me feeling guilty for being a "fair weather fan" and with drink in hand, I was making my way back towards the bar. Nothing like some great basketball to torture yourself. I was thrilled when the Bulls won and finally able to take a permanent seat at the table and enjoy our meal.

Sidebar: I need to write a blog on my issues with the Bulls basketball organization as a whole. Does anyone else feel like they're watching the most random team in the history of random ass teams? It's literally like someone went into LA Fitness and grabbed the guys that were hooping, gave them some jerseys and called them "The Bulls".... and on another note, does anyone else think that Rajon Rondo looks like "Bat Boy" from the Weekly World News tabloid? Just look at the picture below and tell me they weren't separated at birth!!! I'm just saying....

Getting back to the restaurant, Carnivale had a great feel to it. The restaurant describes itself as "...Latino flavors with the spice of life... as explosive and passionate as the people themselves." I enjoyed the vibrant colors, friendly staff, and the food/drinks. One of the features I loved were the lighted wine racks, which were built into the walls many feet above the seats. Not sure if they had real bottles of wine in there but it was very nice on the eyes.

Wine Racks

Colorful ceiling and Oversized lamps
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