Aug 30, 2009

UFC 102: Jardine vs Silva

One of the most anticipated fights of UFC 102 was Jardine vs. Silva. I was not rooting for Jardine. Call me crazy but there's something very "Southern Clansmen ready to string you up to the back of his pickup" about him. Even after hearing his interviews and learning of his 1 black friend, fellow fighter Rashad Evans, I still didn't feel warm and fuzzy about him. I was team Silva all the way.

I glanced away for a second and had missed everything - - their fight was over before it even started. I had to rewind and witness the devastating left hook that caught Jardine sending him to the floor and then cringed as Silva unleashed multiple blows to his dome. On the flip side, one of the joys of having Silva win the fight included seeing his trademark throat slit. Gosh, something about the cocky swag he exudes as he walks up to the camera and does his signature throat slit sends a chill down my spine.

* The videos keep getting removed from youtube so I'll have to put together my own recap to share with my blog family...

You spent your $ on that?

While I was driving down the Dan Ryan last week with my boyfriend we eyed this monstrosity of a car (which my friend Kelly affectionately deemed an "Automotive Mullet"). I posted this on my facebook but thought I'd share with my blog family as well. I can't believe this man spent his $ on tricking out his car like this. Smh.

Much buzz was generated on my comments section. Some of the highlights:

- $10,000 rims for a car that is worth no more than $5,000 Got to love this shit! LOL

- Whoever is driving that is ugly. He had to do all that to get attention. That's just too much. LOL

- I can't imagine the type of job this dude has. Where in the hell can he pull up in this car and get taken seriously? Lol... I'm drawing a blank.

- I'm guessing street corner hustla, Pimp, rapper...

- He can't be a pimp cause his hoes cant get in the car, lol

- That's player though... lol Seriously, I need to know how he gets in that? Is there a step ladder involved?

Aug 26, 2009

Lexus Listening Lounge - Meet Hal Linton

Sophisticated. Haute. Timeless. Seductive. These are just a few of the words being used to describe the Lexus Luxury Awaits campaign. Recently launched with hopes of becoming the premiere lifestyle, fashion, and luxury destination for consumers young and old, last night marked the kick-off of the Lexus Listening Lounge. The Chicago crowd was treated to a night full of the lavish style Lexus is known for via the sleek sight of the new IS Convertible and soulful sounds of R&B crooners Hal Linton and Ryan Leslie.

A native of Barbados, Linton developed a love for music at an early age. After taking home four awards at the 2007 Barbados Music Awards (including song of the year for his hit single “Cardiac Arrest”) Linton ventured to New York with manager Teneille Doyle to continue developing his sound. Harboring the perfect mixture of charm, raw talent, and determination Linton caught the attention of Universal Motown President Sylvia Rhone and was signed to the label in October 2008. He has been featured in publications such as Essence and Vibe, more recently appearing as one of BET’s Rising Icons.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Linton after his soulful performance and getting to know the man that’s quickly becoming a star.

Ishea Brown: First off, great performance. I love your sound.

Hal Linton: Thank you

IB: How would you define your personal style?

HL: My personal style is definitely clean, minimalistic and accessorized.

IB: What are your must have accessories?

HL: Ray Bans and chains. I like to put stuff together, especially that means something. This chain has sand from my home country.

IB: Who are your top 3 style influences?

HL: I can’t say a person, but I love the Italian fashion. It’s almost like you stepped right off a yacht. It’s real breezy and easy going. It’s not restrictive at all. I love non restriction and for everything to fit.

IB: How would you say that your music influences your style?

HL: Well, my music is kind of fun, sexy and introspective in ways. A big thing for me when I perform music is I must feel comfortable. Comfort is always a major factor for me. I think the music makes me want to be comfortable. It makes me laidback and feel at ease. I think that influences my fashion for sure.

IB: Before you go on stage to perform are there any rituals that you do?

HL: I normally pace back and forth a lot. I just kind of psyche myself up; punch the air a little bit. It’s really like a prize fight in a lot of ways. In the new artist hustle no one knows you and you have to go up there and give them a good fight.

IB: If you weren’t singing what would you be doing?

HL: I’d definitely be doing film. I actually dropped out of film school to do music but I still have a very big love for film. It’s all kind of interconnected so I hope to get back there eventually.

IB: What’s the last movie you saw?

HL: Inglorious Basterds

IB: How was it?

HL: That was the most fantastic thing I’ve seen for the year. Tarantino did a movie, a real movie. I love Tarantino to death. I love the artsy, kind of pushing the envelope thing he does but this one was script. It was acting. It was plot. It was shot well and the story was beautiful, incredible.

IB: How does the Lexus Luxury Awaits campaign relate to your music and style?

HL: Come on, it’s Lexus! It’s sleek and it’s sexy. I think that’s a good reflection of what I’m trying to put out and what my music is about.

To find out more about Hal Linton visit his myspace or facebook page.

Aug 21, 2009

Shop & Share

Previously I blogged about the Shop & Share event ARFhouse Chicago had in May and I'm pleased to say that they're Shop & Share fundraiser is back again. If you shop at any Jewel-Osco store in Illinois, Wisconsin or Indiana August 24th-26th, 7% of your purchase will be donated to ARFhouse Chicago, a no-kill animal shelther. Animals are close to my heart and ARFhouse mainly caters to rescuing pitbull mixes. Labor day weekend is quickly approaching so you can use this coupon when you stock up on food/drinks or even if you go to pick up back-too-school supplies... every little bit helps. Simply print the coupon and take it with you to your local Jewel-Osco.

For more information on ARFhouse Chicago no-kill animal shelter click here.

Aug 19, 2009

Race for the Cure

Ready to do your part in helping to raise money for breast cancer research? Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure will be hitting Chicago's Grant Park on Saturday, Sept. 26th. In addition to the usual 5k walk/run and 1 mile fun walk, they have introduced a new 10k run. For the running challenged, 1k = 0.62 miles making the 5k walk/run 3.1 miles and the 10k run 6.2 miles. I've personally always wanted to participate in a marathon and these 1k/5k/10k races are a great way to start. Registration is open to all and available online thru midnight, Sept. 20th. Unlike previous years the registration fee covers all fees associated to the race and any funds you raise outside of that are able to be donated. For more Race for the Cure information visit the website.

Aug 16, 2009

Chicago Meet-Up

The Black Girl with Long Hair blog hosted their first meet-up yesterday at Market in the West Loop. Aside from the seemingly clueless space cadet of a hostess they had manning the front of the restaurant, we had a great time. I enjoyed the conversation and meeting other Chicago naturals. The event was photographed by Norman Baldwin Jr and one of my favorite pics he took showcased all the wonderful textures of natural hair we have!!! It was just a beautiful time.

F*ck Me Pumps

These delightfully, suede fuchsia darling gems are the newest addition to my shoe collection. Words cannot describe how excited I was when I tried them on. They're perfection!!! I hadn't been into Aldo Shoes for quite some some time but was pleasantly surprised at the selection they had. With Fall quickly approaching I'm eager to start my hunt for the perfect cognac, distressed leather boots...but in the meantime I'll be enjoying my new F*ck Me Pumps! :)

*These are not yet available online and can only be found in stores*

Aug 14, 2009

In the mood for some Gypsy Jazz?

I had no clue what genre of music this was until I had the pleasure of hearing Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan play on the plaza at my job the other. Gypsy jazz has its roots in 1930s France when it was started by famed guitarist Jean "Django" Reinhardt. He blended the dark, chromatic flavor typical of Gypsy music with the swing sound that was popular at the time. I found their performance to be entertaining and their musical talent refreshing... seeing real musicians completely manhandle (in a good way) their instruments was really cool!

To find out more about ALfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan, as well as performance times, click here.

** Please excuse the quality of the video. I shot it outside with my blackberry... and be forewarned that the volume is on charge lol... you may need to turn it down a few notches **

Aug 13, 2009

8/15 Chicago Meet-Up @ Market

One of my favorite natural hair care blogs (Black Girl with Long Hair) will be hosting their Chicago meet-up this Saturday, August 15th @ Market in the West Loop. They're switching things up a bit with a brunch event from 11a-1p and it's sure to be a good time. Come out and meet the lovely ladies that run the blog (one is my old college roommate Shari!!!) and exchange tips and products while enjoying drinks (mimosas anyone) and a great sense of sisterhood. I'm looking forward to meeting other naturals in the Chicago area.

Saturday, August 15th, 2009
11AM - 1PM

Market Restaurant
1113 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607

Aug 12, 2009

Berry Chill - Cool treat or Big let down?

Yesterday I found myself hit that point in the middle of the day when you're desperately in need of a sugar fix and unsure of what to eat. My first thought was ice cream, but I wanted to save my waistline the pain of enduring the excessive calories. I remembered that there was a Berry Chill in my building and had heard the name mentioned a lot. Now, I've never been a fan of frozen yogurt but figured that it was the healthy alternative in satisfying my craving and being health conscious. Touting themselves as "Yogurt Couture", Berry Chill is the latest addition to the frozen yogurt market and is quickly becoming a household name. I walked in the store and was greeted by a friendly face behind the counter. She explained to me how the process worked: 1) pick the size you'd like 2) pick a yogurt flavor - - original or one of the three featured flavors (changes every month) 3) Pick up to 3 toppings. Easy enough. I sampled the original and passion fruit flavors. The texture was similar to that of sherbet ice cream but more like the end result if sherbet ice cream and Italian ice had a baby. Yes... that baby would be called Berry Chill. I added 3 toppings - - sprinkles, mini m&m's, and fresh strawberries - - and was ready to devour my tasty treat. About 2 minutes into eating my Berry Chill it dawned on me "this tastes like cold Yoplait yogurt." I started to wonder what "yogurt couture" really was after all? I give Berry Chill credit for removing all artificial chemicals from their products, opting to replace them with live active cultures, and making their treat lactose free... but I'm an ice cream girl. I like the texture of ice cream... the taste as it encompasses my throat - - overwhelming my mouth with its wonderful delights!!! I've decided to put Berry Chill on pause and just give in to my ice cream craving (it strikes about once a month). If you're someone that enjoys frozen yogurt then knock yourself out! If you're a health nut... Berry Chill is perfect for you. Night owl? Berry Chill is open until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights!

Fun Fact: Berry Chill uses a temperature sensitive spoon! It's kinda neat to see your green spoon turn purple when it gets cold lol.. reminds me of the mood rings/lipstick that I had back in the day :)

Aug 9, 2009

Kardashians Take Chicago

August 16th Kourtney and Khloe take Miami premieres on E! but before they conquer Miami the sisters will take Chicago. For all of those yearning to get a sneak peak at the scintillating shenanigans the girls have in store for viewers, the premiere taking place at Enclave will be a must attend event. To rsvp for free cover before 11p click here. The doors open at 9p and due to the popularity of the Keeping up with the Kardashian series, the built in fan base is sure to follow the sisters as they not only set sail on their new adventure in Miami but this fun event at Enclave! Get there early as it's expected to be a packed house.

Aug 6, 2009

Adventures on the CTA - Blue Line "Hi Miss Lady" Edition

Oh, the joys of the CTA! In addition to the occasional smell of piss, rambling crackheads, wild children and erratic drivers you sometimes get the guy that "insists on trying to get at you even though you're wearing an ipod, sunglasses, reading something and giving off the body language that says kick mf'ing rocks"... That's what I experienced this morning.

I noticed this random guy take the seat in front of me and sit sideways, knowing good and well he was about to attempt a conversation. He started talking to me and I couldn't make out what he was saying due to wearing my ipod. I continued to ignore him. The next thing I know I was hit with multiple 8 counts of spirit fingers and I had no choice but to look up.

Random Guy: Hi, how are you?

Me: I'm fine. (put earphones back in)

Random Guy: I was actually trying to talk to you

Me: (take earphones out) I usually like to listen to music while I'm on my way to work (put earphones back in)

Random Guy: So, you're headed to work?

Me: (take earphones out) Yes

Random Guy: What's your name?

Me: Ishea

Random Guy: So, let me give you my information

Me: No thank you. I have a boyfriend.

Random Guy: We can't be friends?

Me: I'm not actively seeking out any new friends

Random Guy: I sought YOU out.

Me: (blank stare followed by a laugh) No thank you.

Random Guy: Why don't you take off your sunglasses. I want to see your eyes.

Me: Ummm... no, I'm good. (put earphones back in)

At this point I wanted to go left on this dude but was slightly nervous he may yank my shades off lol. What's more aggravating is that he proceeded to remain seated inches from my face, pull out his discover card (yes, he was trying to stunt on me lol - - FAIL) and whip out his cell phone like he was making shit happen. *insert eyeroll here* Body language speaks volumes and it would be nice if every once in a while men got a freaking clue and left you the hell alone. I must also add that this is the 2nd time I've been hit with the 8 count of spirit fingers while riding the blue line. Just a sidebar for men everywhere - - women have NO issues making eye contact and shooting a smile when they're interested. If I'm avoiding the sight of you like the pubonic plague then take a hint and keep it moving - - please!!!

Aug 5, 2009

Why I can't see "The Ugly Truth"

The moment my eyes locked onto the deliciousness that is Gerard Butler in the movie 300, the image of his oozing sex appeal was burned into my psyche. It's hard to explain my love for all things ancient Greek/Roman/Egyptian, but Butler's portrayal of Leonidas, the Spartan King embodied all the things I love in a man - - muscular build, confident swag, passionate - - the list goes on and on.

With the recent release of the romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth" which stars Butler as Mike Chadway, a boisterous TV personality who dishes on what men really think of women, I've found myself hesitant to see the movie. While it does seem entertaining and I'm all for romantic comedies, I'm scared this new role could ruin my image of Butler. I don't want the goofy, guy's guy that throws back beer and acts like an ass. I want King Leonidas - - Spartan warrior... full of intense passion and great one liners to be how I remember him.
Katherine Heigl was great in Knocked Up and I'm sure she delivers in this movie, but Butler isn't the romantic comedy type. I know actors hate being type cast but if it were up to me I'd keep him running around in briefs, fighting for his country, and looking fine. There have to be some more warrior type movies that can get passed his way... any excuse for him to grow that beard back out! Man, that beard and those abs did things to me... good things! Until the news comes that he's signed on for another epic warrior tale I'll keep 300 on my DVR and in heavy rotation.

Aug 4, 2009

Roof @ The Wit Hotel- - Worth the wait?

Situated in Chicago's downtown loop area, Roof is located on the 27th floor of The Wit hotel and has quickly become one of Chicago's must-see rooftops. Stellar views of the city, a luxurious modern decor, and great atmosphere are a few things you'll be sure to enjoy at Roof. However, you must first brave the extreme line - - wait times often reaching 2-3 hrs - - before you can get a ticket and granted entrance to this illustrious spot.

If you decide to go I urge you get there before 8pm. I must really stress this because arriving after 8p will guarantee you a spot in the line... oftentimes lasting 2-3 hrs, and that's not an exaggeration. Making matters worse is the random eye sore building between The Wit hotel and Harold Washington College. Behind the rusting iron fence you'll spot multiple rats, yes RATS running amuck. I'm still baffled as to why the high end hotel has not yet done something about this. Hell, put up a mural against the fence... anything to not be forced to watch city rats go ballistic. I've been to Roof at The Wit about 3 times and EACH time seen NUMEROUS rats, once even managing to snap a pic.

If you're able to stomach the rats, harassment from local bums (the security does a pretty good job of keeping them away) and mind-numbing wait in line, there's a lot in store for you at the 27th floor. Upon receiving a ticket you're directed through the hotel lobby to the elevators. The express elevator takes you to Roof and finally you're on your way to enjoying a wonderful night full of drinks, great atmosphere and even better views.

**Update** At first I was thrilled to find this diamond jewel of a place but now I'm sad to report that someone in the hood must have gotten the memo because the crowd after 11p is NOT what's up. This isn't a club and shouldn't be treated as such so I urge everyone to categorize Roof as an after work lounge... be sure to leave by 10p.

Aug 3, 2009

Product Review - Carol's Daughter Body Jelly

During a conversation a co-worker mentioned having bought a jar of Carol's Daughter Body Jelly and being disappointed with the results. More than happy to take it off her hands, I was thrilled when she offered to give it to me. I've heard mixed reviews for Carol's Daughter products... the biggest complaint being the fact that since having gone mainstream - - being carried in Macy's, etc - - the ingredients used have changed and thus the overall quality... but free is free.

After using the body jelly daily for nearly a week I'm pleased with the results. I've never been one to stress over the ingredients in my products but the body jelly is 100% natural, containing no petroleum, paraben, mineral oil or artificial color. I didn't even realize that I had given up using my typical go-to mix of vaseline and lotion, instead opting for a body full of body jelly after my shower. This stuff isn't for everyone, but if you're already someone that chooses to slather yourself in products I say go for it!

Carol's Daughter products can be found at many Sephora, Macy's, Dillard's and select salon and retail stores. To find the location nearest you click here.

Gap Jeans: Born to Fit

I was invited by Luvvie of Awesomely Luvvie to attend her "Gap Jeans: Born to Fit" event this past Saturday. The idea of getting a free pair of jeans definitely was the luring factor to attend, but I couldn't fight my curiosity to see how Gap had stepped up their jean making skills. I'm 5'2" and have hips, thighs and a butt so I've never gravitated towards Gap jeans. I need something with not only a nice amount of stretch (at least 2% spandex) but a "short" length. To my delight Gap supplied Luvvie with their sexy boot, real straight, and always skinny jeans in sizes 0-12. After eying the different styles I set my sights on the "real straight" line of jeans. I hit the jackpot when I tried on my first pair and they fit like a glove. The true test of a pair of jeans is when I'm sliding them around my thighs/hips/butt - - the stretch is a must! I was elated when they glided over and I didn't have to bounce around, struggling to get them to fit. On top of the nice stretch and wash of the jeans they are extremely soft (98% cotton, 2% spandex). Some of the pros of the "real straight" jeans are:

~ contoured waistband eliminates the gap most people get in the back
~ designed to lift and flatter your butt
~ premium stretch denim retains its shape

While I didn't try on the other 2 styles of jeans I did pay attention to what the ladies had to say. The "sexy boot" was really long. I don't know if Gap only sent long lengths, but this line is definitely for the 5'4" and up crowd. As for the "always skinny" these run a bit small and are basically leggings in jean form. I think that for women with any curve whatsoever... and still desires a skinny jean look, go for the "real straight" because you'll feel ridiculous trying to squeeze into the "always skinny". I suggest everyone to take a chance on Gap Jeans - - try on a pair because you'll be pleasantly surprised. They've done a good job and we, the consumer, can reap the benefits.
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