May 31, 2012

@thekickback Opening @ Taste of Chicago 2012

I was introduced to the Chicago band "The Kickback" last week at an event up North. They're pretty awesome in person and I shot a quick video of them performing one of their songs.

They'll be opening up for the Taste of Chicago this year which is HUGE! Catch them for free on the Bud Light Stage (Balbo & Columbus Dr.) July 11th from 6:40p - 8p. In the meantime check them out below.

Follow the band on Twitter or Facebook.

May 30, 2012

DIY Chain Camera Strap (via @apairandaspare)


A few weeks ago I came across this amazeballs DIY Chain Camera Strap featured on A Pair and A Spare. This chain is dope and a great way to dress up your camera - - especially for summer trips and photo shoots. It seemed relatively easy to create and I may give this a try once I buy a nicer camera. For step by step directions check out the original post.

May 29, 2012

Comfort Revolution by @BALIintimates

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of winning the Bali Intimates contest fellow Chicago blogger The Sassy Peach hosted. The only thing better than winning free stuff is having that free stuff be useful! The prize included 2 of Bali's new Comfort Revolution Wirefree bras featuring the smart sizes technology. I'm a 36DDD/DD (depends on my weight) and I was hesitant to receive a wireless bra. I was hopeful, but let's keep it real - - bra shopping is a huge pain and I typically strike out. 

When my package came in the mail I was super excited. Every time I receive things in the mail it feels like Christmas lol. Included in the package was a nice note from The Bali Team (it's really nice to receive handwritten notes) along with 2 bras in a Medium. Me, a medium? Lol.... I was definitely skeptical but after trying on the bra I felt reassured. After wearing it for a day I was sold. 

For me, this is not a daily bra that'd I wear to work. This isn't even a bra I'd wear to workout in. I was on the hunt for the perfect casual wear bra that provides a moderate level of support and could be worn around the house. Bali's Comfort Revolution Wirefree bra is exactly that. I have enough support with a matched level of comfort to have this be the ideal casual bra for me... and I have huge boobs and a difficult time finding bras so I feel like it should be a huge stamp of approval coming from me lol.

May 27, 2012

Corporate X Album release party

When my girlfriend told me we'd be stopping by an album release party last night I had no clue what to expect. As long as it wasn't for a rapper I was pretty much game lol, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear the melodic sounds of Corporate X. Comprised of guitarist Casper Xavier and singer Christine DeLeon, listeners were treated to songs from their new album, The X Project, in addition to a few cover songs.

Casper Xavier and Christine DeLeon

I know artists hate being compared to other artists, but for the sake of painting a picture for readers they had a very "Florence and the Machine" sound. Live music is always a great thing, so I urge everyone to get out there this summer and bless their ears and eyes to a live performance.

The X Project is available for download on iTunes for $5.94 - - a steal!

May 21, 2012

Single Ladies: Season 2 Trailer

Last week I signed the petition to end "Basketball Wives" and I don't plan on watching anymore negative, female foolishness disguised as "reality tv". Out with the old and in with the new - - VH1 is back with the second season of "Single Ladies," an hour-long scripted drama I don't mind watching. I was sad at the departure of lead actress Stacey Dash, but just viewed the season 2 trailer and it looks like it'll be good. I'm all about supporting black actresses that are actually putting their skills to work.

Do you plan on watching?

Summer is Here

Well, technically speaking summer isn't here yet but this past weekend in Chicago felt amazeballs! The heat was in full effect and so were the NATO protesters. I braved the streets to see a real life protest, managed to meet one of my favorite bloggers and go into check-in overload via Yelp! All in all, it was a great weekend.

2012 NATO Protest

Samantha Irby of Bitches Gotta Eat

Fell in love with MAC's "Ruby Woo" - - my 3rd red shade by MAC

May 18, 2012

Inside the world of @Simone_Vivian

A year ago I blogged about personal stylist and published author Julia Miles-Davis of Simone Vivian LLC. Recently Ayanna Cobham, a student at American University, was able to sit down with Julia and pick her brain on all things fashion and how she got her start.

By way of North Carolina Julia Miles-Davis, owner of Simone Vivian LLC, is the district’s best-kept secret in the world of fashion and image consulting. We recently sat down to discuss her dynamic personality and intriguing life story, but by the end it was her effortlessly chic style that made me apply for an internship.

 Personal shopper, closet editor, wife and super glam mom to a 15-month old, it's safe to say Miles-Davis is wearing many hats. When the door first opened, there stood a beautiful 5’9” woman in cut off shorts, a plaid shirt around her waist, a loose t-shirt and draped in jewelry.  “I just came from a play group with my son” she says as she welcomed me into her home.  If you were to see her closet, you would see her clothing coordinated by category; all blouses together, all pants, skirts…then by color.  All hangers are hung properly with matching hangers, “which makes everything look neat and easy to see.”

Julia Miles-Davis

When I asked her to explain her style she described it as “on trend.”  Julia is both feminine and edgy and she has her style down to a science.  Not only is she fashionable (I love the Christian Louboutin platform sandals she wore for the interview) she also has the brains to back it up.   Julia attended Howard University, studied at the London College of Fashion and founded her own image-consulting agency by the time she turned 25.

Last year, Julia published her first book, “Mani Pedi (Success is Defined By You),” which is currently available at Barnes and Noble books stores.  “It’s been quite a whirlwind,” she said, “I can hardly believe I’ve done it all.  I’m very familiar with humble beginnings and also a firm believer that nobody starts as the CEO.  I started working retail at Neiman Marcus on the sales floor, folding tees and hanging dresses.  Between starting fitting rooms for customers and my internships is where I found my passion as an image consultant.”  Only time can tell you what is next for this fashionista who can conquer all that life throws at her.  One cannot help but admire this chick’s drive and goal to expand and conquer.  The best part of my job she says is that I’m never bored.  My clients and I have great relationships; after all I am conducting my business in their bedrooms.

In addition to Ayanna's interview, I was able to pick Julia's brain about a few more things:

Q. What has the last year been like for you since publishing your book? Have you seen a growth in your business?
Since publishing my book "Mani Pedi: Success is Defined by You", I've had a book signings, my most recent last month at Grambling State University. I have definitely seen growth in my business since it's inception. I went from a one person business in AZ to a business with several employees and interns. My clientele has also increased from AZ only to now including clients in AZ, CA, FL, and NY. 

Q. Are you still living in Arizona or have you permanently relocated to DC? How do the two markets differ in terms of fashion?
Simone Vivian has permanently relocated to DC. AZ and DC differ a lot since the fashion in DC is more conservative than in AZ. This is because DC is a work first place rather than AZ, which is a vacation/retirement place. 

Q. What are your 5 essential items for Summer?
The five essential items for this summer are floral print, neon colors, denim, platform sandals, and a great pair of shades. 

Q. How do you balance being a new mom and business woman?
Balancing motherhood and being a business woman is a mission for sure. Technology has played a key role in staying connected and accessible to my clients. Without my Ipad3 or blackberry I would be lost. Since relocating my office hours are much earlier in the morning and much later into the night. I try my best to make it work because it's my goal to be both a great mom and a great business woman. 

Q. What does Simone Vivian have in store for the rest of 2012? Any plans to write a follow-up book?
Simone Vivian wants to make a huge splash in the DMV and expand it's services. Since our event at Tory Burch in Scottsdale, we've started a new service and that's hosting and styling fashion shows. Our next event we are planning this fall will be with Bloomingdales. As far as another book, I will have to wait for the right time. My top priority is to make a fashion footprint in the here. 

For more information on Simone Vivian LLC: Twitter and Website or check out their YouTube channel.

May 16, 2012

@NoirCPA: Inspiring and Supporting Black Accounting Professionals

The eBaby of blogger and CPA Lontier Hicks, Noir CPA launched last month with hopes to not only inspire and support black accounting professionals across the country, but serve as a resource to educate and increase accounting as a profession of choice in the black community. Recently I was able to chat with Hicks (who just so happens to be one of my best friends) and find out the wonderful things she has in store for the site.

Q. Where did the idea for Noir CPA start? 
I was thinking how my previous blog 3 Letters, 1 Day at a Time about my CPA exam journey fell to the wayside. I had the itch to blog again but didn't want to pick up where I left off. I then saw a video called the Vanishing Black CPA which discussed the very low representation of blacks in the accounting industry. I'm aware of many initiatives out there that address this issue but for whatever reason on that day I was driven to provide my own contribution to the cause. I figured I could use my knowledge and experiences to help others with faces like mine. I'm not aware of any personal blogs that cater to that audience so I felt it was my calling.
Q. Who is Noir CPA for and is there any cost to join?
Noir CPA is for black accounting majors, professionals and those sitting for the CPA exam. There is no cost to join - - it's free.99!
 Q. How do you plan on infusing your unique persona into what can seem like a stuffy world of numbers? 
By maintaining my authentic voice no matter what. Yes, I'm a CPA but that hasn't prevented me from being the silly, ball of energy that I've always been. I don't even think it's possible because of my DNA to be stuffy and my posts will reflect that. I also showcase blogs/websites that reflect my interests in the 'Study Break' and 'Outside Your 9-5' areas. There's so much more to accounting than crunching numbers and I hope to demonstrate that along the way.
Q. What does the site feature?
The site features a forum called Noir Cafe where visitors can discuss topics pertaining to school, careers, and the CPA exam I feature job listings from simply hired which then take you to my own personal job board where visitors can perform customized job and internship searches. Employers can also post their own jobs. Through 6/19/12 companies can use the discount code SPRING to receive 30% off each job listing. Regular price is $49 for 60 days. The inspiration corner has inspirational quotes which will change regularly. And of course there will be regular blog posts geared towards my audience's interest and needs.

 Q. Any upcoming events or networking opportunities?
Right now I'm focused on providing meaningful content for my readers and building a solid community that we all can benefit from. In the future, however, i would love to organize networking opportunities and workshops as well as perform some speaking engagements to high-schoolers at my alma mater and in black communities.

To learn more about Noir CPA visit the site and follow them on twitter!

May 15, 2012

@AptTherapy New Video Series

One of my favorite sites,, is introducing readers to a new weekly video series. With hopes of bringing blog posts to life, the site will feature weekly videos discussing everything from DIY projects to interior design, apartment features, and everything that readers have come to love about the site. I'm hooked on all things interior and am looking forward to watching the weekly videos.

For design lovers, be sure to also check out blogger and designer @NikiMcNeill and her "Design Talk" web series - - another one of my favs!

May 14, 2012

Stories from the Bottom of the Glass

What do you get when you bring together "six of the best damn live lit performers" in Chicago? Stories from the Bottom of the Glass! Come out and listen to stories of "drunken mistakes" while enjoying complimentary Wild Onion Brewery beer. The event takes place this Friday, May 18th @ 7p in Bridgeport at The SMALL Showroom (aka Co-Prosperity Sphere Gallery). Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $10. Performers include:

Samantha Irby of Bitches Gotta Eat
Samantha Irby, Writer of Bitches Gotta Eat (one of my favorite blogs!!!)
Keith Ecker, Host/Producer of Essay Fiesta
Ian Belknap, Overlord of Write Club
JH Palmer, Contributor to Gaper's Block
Shannon Cason, Winner of the Moth Chicago GrandSlam
Dana Norris, Host/Producer of Story Club and writer of Bad with Men

To join the event via Facebook click here

When: Friday, May 18th @ 7p
Where: The SMALL Showroom (3219 S. Morgan St. Chicago, IL 60608)
Cost: Free (suggested donation of $10)

May 1, 2012

@tgiFRESHchicago presents "Ciroc de Mayo"

May is officially here and the city is starting to buzz with hot events! Kicking off the month in an exclusive way, @tgiFRESHchicago is hosting their "Ciroc de Mayo" celebration on May 4th. The party goes from 10p - 4a, but you must RSVP in order to have the location revealed. Sounds will be provided by DJs Jay-Illa, E Seals, and Boi Jeanius. Click here to RSVP.

Tip: Early birds can enjoy the Ciroc hosted bar! Don't snooze on this opportunity to throw back some drinks on THEIR dime lol. Don't be ashamed to party on a budget.

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