Nov 24, 2011

Turkey Day Reflection

It's Thanksgiving Day 2011 and guess what? Millions of people are crawling out of the woodworks to spend time with friends and family... some begrudgingly lol... but today marks the one day (aside from Christmas) where people feel societal pressure to reflect and show others love. I'm of the mindset that we should approach each and every day with the "attitude of gratitude," but I don't mind the emphasis on Thanksgiving...

So, dissecting the word: Thanks-Giving....

I'm first thankful for having time! Time is one of the most precious, if not THE most precious commodities in the world. I mean, there's even a new movie  out about it lol. But seriously, I'm very thankful for God to have given me the time - - the 27 years I've had on this Earth. Within time I have seen that all things are possible. Broken hearts can heal. Sickness can turn into better health. People grow. Life just happens - - and none of it would be possible without time. Time is also mysterious because in a control freak, ocd, instant gratification world, it is one of the few things nobody has control over.

When I think about giving, I often reflect back to when I was younger and would give my TIME volunteering. Kinda crazy how what I find most precious (time), is what I'm most grateful to be able to GIVE. I am happy to give not only my time, but also my love and friendship because going through this world alone is a grim reality for some people. It's a cliche saying, but I feel extremely blessed to have the love and support of my friends and family, but to be able to GIVE that same love and support to them is amazeballs.

I have no plans to stuff my face or fall into a food coma this Thanksgiving. If anything I'll indulge in some delicious ham (because you can never have enough ham lol), but I'm eating to live, not living to eat lol.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and really spends their time, their precious time... doing exactly what they want with the people that matter most. Life is short and you never know when your time will be up. Live it to the fullest and with no regrets.

Nov 23, 2011

My Metra Struggles are real....

I love the metra. It's a million times better than the CTA and I have never felt safer... and seriously, I've had more than a few sketchtastic moments on the Blue Line (including a few weirdos on the #3 and #4). With that said, my metra struggles are real!

Having a social life, no matter how far away I live, is a priority of mine. Not referencing club events, but after work happy hours, hair events, just opportunities to be social in the city with friends - - I'm all about that! I think I got spoiled originally living in the South Loop... then moving to Oak Park I was still able hop on the e-way with ease. Now, I'm out in the burbs and everything is a challenge.

So, the downside? After about 7pm the metra train only runs once an hour. Couple that with nearly an hour long ride? Yeah... shit gets real! The positive? I can safely pass out on the train, though I do keep my iphone out of sight and my purse in a death grip.

As my husband and I continue our apartment search I'm debating on what area to call home. River North is high on my list, the South Loop will always be number one, but I've also started thinking about Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, and Oak Park. Damn, that's a lot of "parks" lol.. Nevertheless, I'm on a mission to reduce my metra struggles and revive my social life. I'd love to live within cab distance downtown and have the option of easy access on the e-way. I can't wait to see where we end up. My metra commute is for the birds.

Nov 22, 2011

@Hub51: Best Cocktail of my Life!!!

Two Words: Hub Punch!!! This is the BEST cocktail I have every had in my entire life - - and I've had a lot. The perfect blend of tequila and vodka, the "Hub Punch" features Grey Goose Le Citron, Cazadores Reposado Tequila, Licor 43, and Pomegranate.

Now, I'm well aware that most people would never contemplate mixing vodka and tequila, but this drink was insanely smooth and free of hints of either liquor. It had notes of orange and pomegranate, but not obnoxiously fruity either. Seriously - - the PERFECT COCKTAIL. What makes this even better? It's only $8 a glass or $32 for the pitcher.

Last week I celebrated my girlfriend's 30th birthday at Hub51 and it was my first time at the restaurant, but consider it love at first sip!

After losing count of how many drinks I had, it was time to "break the seal". Of course I took the obligatory "drunk in the bathroom" picture (which my hair was looking all kinds of awesome lol)... but guess what? Even the bathroom in this place was gorgeous. Individual stalls with solid wood doors and amazing lighting! I was in bathroom heaven.

My girlfriend did an awesome job putting together a menu for us and I think the Roasted Turkey Chopped Salad was what my dreams are made of. I wish I could comment on the other items, but the salad and hub punch were all that I had.... oh, and a bit of sushi, the Miso-Glazed Salmon Roll. The sushi was forgettable, but the salad was delicious and the Hub Punch was the essence of amazeballs! I wish I could spread that drink from coast to coast... package it up and sell it! *sigh* Oh, the memories... I need that cocktail in my life lol...

If you're on the hunt for the perfect place to dine downtown, please put Hub51 high on your list. You will not be disappointed.

Nov 21, 2011

@LovinMyTextures "Beautiful Textures" Product Launch (Chicago)

Last week I attended the @LovinMyTextures #BeautifulHair product launch for the "Beautiful Textures" line. The event was promoted as an "evening of coils, curls, & cocktails"... and it was just that.

How I ended up at the event is actually an interesting story - - one of my girlfriends (and co-workers) was originally scheduled to be a hair model, but couldn't make it so she recommended me. I was surprised to get the call @ 3p asking if I could be a hair model for the event which began at 6p. Super excited for the opportunity to network with fellow natural hair enthusiasts, I was able to pull some strings at work and get to the event by 5p.

Since this whole thing was so last minute my hair wasn't necessarily "Clean & Fresh" like they wanted (I had just worked out lol...), but fab hairstylist Kimberly Walker (@KimmyGotSoul) was able to work some magic and salvage my hair.
So, it's clear that by no means am I a model nor do I have a model body - - so I was slightly, umm... what's the word - - hesitant to rock the size medium tank with the company name for the event. I have a 36DDD rack and was like, umm.. this logo is about to be all kinds of stretched out lol. But you know what, I sucked it up, rocked the tank with a smile, and was thrilled to put my normal clothes back on to get some decent photos lol.

Tank top aside, I had a wonderful time at the event being introduced to the new product line catered to mixed texture hair (curly, wavy, kinky-coily, frizzy), along with seeing a bunch of familiar (and some new) faces. I walked away with a gift bag with a few products to try:

DJ Niena Drake 
1. Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner
2. Tangle Taming Leave-In Conditioner
3. Curly to Straight Flat Iron Silkener
4. Curl Control Defining Pudding

First thoughts? I did get the opportunity to try the Curly to Straight Flat Iron Silkener when I was blowing out my hair - - and this stuff was pretty good! It's an oil so you have to be sure to start off with a smaller amount and gradually increase, but it left my hair amazingly smooth and soft. It can feel like the natural hair market is flooded with new products every day, but I'm genuinely excited to try the rest of the products.

 Vlogger @MsVaughnTV 

Blogger and Vlogger @MeechyMonroe (MsVaughnTV's sister)

Blogger and Stylist @TheSassyPeach

Blogger @TheManeSource

Hair Stylist @KimmyGotSoul

Nov 15, 2011

Nail Art: LBD for your Nails

Source has been featuring 31 Days of Nail Polish Ideas on their daily beauty blog, Girls in the Beauty Department.

This black with gold studs design seems relatively simple, but is actually the perfect way to treat your nails to a holiday style "LBD." My favorite colors are black and gold and I think this manicure is the perfect way to keep it simple, yet add some edge to your nails. I'll for sure be giving this a try.

What's your go-to holiday nail look?

Nov 14, 2011

How many pours does it take to get to the bottom of a delicious bottle of Moscato?

This weekend I decided to answer a question that had long plagued my brain - - how many glasses can one get from a bottle of wine! I've never polished off an entire bottle of wine in one sitting, so I was clueless about how much bang you really got for your buck.

By no means am I a wine expert. For most of my life I actually loathed wine and only drank red during catholic church lol. Last year I discovered Riesling, and earlier this year Moscato made its way into my heart. I found this bottle of Barefoot for under $6 at Target on Saturday night, and since my only goal was to stay in all weekend it was the perfect time to do my "research."

I decided to watch "American Horror" while I worked my way through the bottle, and I'm not sure that was a good thing. Wow... that is one crazy show. The wine definitely didn't help me understand the dizzying plot, but I digress.... after all was said and done I was able to get 5 very heavy-handed pours out of this bottle. That's about $1/glass average and absolutely amazeballs by my standards. I feel like wine is the way to go.

What's your wine of choice? Better yet, has anyone been watching "American Horror Story?" If so, please explain to me the plot... I'm so freaking lost and that bottle of wine did nothing to help me lol.

Nov 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

As an Air Force wife I know firsthand the level of dedication, sacrifice, and stress military families go through... all too often having nobody understand or even care. Today I want to wish a very happy Veteran's Day to all of the amazing troops (past and present) risking their lives every day, as well as the families that support them.

The military experience, though not for the faint of heart, is a great one full of opportunities to learn and grow along the way. There's nobody I'd rather go through this with than the love of my life, my husband. It's kind of funny that he's working on Veteran's Day, but most troops are working while we're out living our lives - - enjoy the freedom we have because it does come with a price!

Nov 10, 2011

@tgiFRESHchicago: Black Friday "So So Fresh Edition"

Do you have your "day after Thanksgiving" plans yet? Once you're done braving the mall, or a fierce session of online shopping, come out and enjoy the sounds of Jermaine Dupri. He'll be the guest DJ at TGIFreshFridays - - the monthly event hosted by So Chi Promotional Group and Royalte Inc.

Why I love their events so much? It's once a month so there is no burn out, the steady line up of fresh DJs they bring in, and best of all? $40 "open bar" wristband!!! Of course there's a slight catch - - the open bar is typically only between 9p to midnight... but for anyone that likes to have more than 3 drinks this is a great deal.

Pre-sale tickets are only $16 and on sale until 11/18. Hop on this now because the regular price is sure to sky rocket as the event nears. Come work off those Turkey Day calories and enjoy some good times.

Please note that an RSVP is required for entry in addition to purchasing a ticket. This event is sure to sell out and an RSVP does not guarantee entrance into the club. 

Purchase Tickets Here

Nov 9, 2011

Hot Fashion from Iggy Azalea's "My World" Video

By no means am I proclaiming Iggy Azalea as the next "big thing" in the world of female rappers, but after watching her "My World" video, I need to give her stylist props! I'm absolutely loving the fashion she's rocking and actually think she's a pretty cute girl... Almost too cute to be rapping about her "Pu$$y" and what not lol... but to each their own. Those black/white stripe wedges, black leather studded vest, leopard print wedges, Dalmatian dot skirt, and hot pink dress (which Forever21 has a version of - - not yet on the site, but in store)... give me all that PLEASE!

I'm not someone to jump on the "white girls can't be rappers" bandwagon, and after watching a few of her videos I kinda like her style. I think it satisfies my nasty, "Three 6 Mafia" loving side. Oh, you didn't know? I'm OBSESSED with Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat. Actually, most people who know me already are aware of that gem and have been privy to hear me go ape shit crazy rapping their songs lol...

Sidebar: A few months back I was at the club with LadyLaLaCPA and the DJ played a 30 min Three 6 Mafia set!!! Oh-Em-Gee! That is unheard of - - especially in Chicago clubs. I think that may have been the best 30 minutes of my life in terms of club moments.

If a rap career doesn't pan out, the Australian looker could easily be a model. What do you think?

Nov 8, 2011

Summer's Lincoln Park Gem

Summer and Josh added a classic touch to their 1800s historical charmer. The Lincoln Park 1 bedroom is gorgeous and a smart mix of classic pieces, pops of color, and fun patterns. Not to mention their effective use of window space! The curved seating is genius!

The chandellier is amazeballs, but I would have added an area rug to ground the living room space, as well as opted for a different wall treatment. Not a huge fan of the wall paper. Still, Summer and Josh have a Lincoln Park stunner. They've successfully inspired me to continue my apartment hunt.

Nov 7, 2011

#EDENTressTalk Event Recap

Saturday night I headed to the "Treasure our Tresses" event hosted by EDEN Body Works in the South Loop. It felt great to be back in my old stomping ground... though I don't consider anything South of Cermak the real South Loop lol... but I digress.

Before the event I debated what to do with my hair. In hindsight I should have probably rocked a twist out, but I really wanted to have straight hair (after dealing with a shrunken fro the night before), so I worked a little magic with my curlformers and voila! My hair was super cute and ready to go. Of course it wouldn't be my life if my hair didn't sweat out halfway through the event lol... but I did manage to snap a hot before pic lol... (see left). 

Sexyandthechi, Meghan, YngSuburbanMom, and Me
I must always capture the way I start a night off because I sweat SO much and am sure to ruin a style. The plus of all this? I was in a room surrounded by women with natural hair so EVERYONE could relate!!! I still explained my glisten (i.e. sweaty situation that had me feeling like a cross between a grease ball and an oil slick lol), but as my hair got bigger and bigger, I didn't feel too embarrased.

I got to the event a little before 730p, meeting up with 2 of my co-workers (Meghan & fellow blogger Young Suburban Mom) as well as one of my bff's Sexyandthechi! For some reason my arms have been bugging me out in pics lately. No clue what to do with them lol...  please excuse my awkward, dead stiff arm pose lol...

Although The Mane Source and Natural Chica were hosting, the room was full of recognizable faces from the web. Bloggers and Vloggers like Afrobella, sisters MeechyMonroe and MsVaughnTV, and In Her Shoes were in attendance - - but I nearly lost my mind when I saw my hair inspiration Michi Chassagne!!!!

Michi and I
 A few weeks ago I posted a photo of Michi and her fabulous hair as my "hair inspiration" du jour. When I saw her in person I had a bit of a fan moment because it was cool to see someone I liked virtually in person. The icing on the cake? Her personality is out of this world! She's so friendly and personable. I was a sweat box by the time we took our pic, so please excuse my glisten! lol... damn, it was hot in there.

I'm big on first impressions and believe that a person's energy either works with mine or it doesn't... she was a home run! Both of her girlfriends at the event with her were darling as well. So awesome to meet folks and have them be fab in person.

The best part of the event? Getting a "bloggers bag" containing the entire line of products!!! Score. I used the oil as soon as I got home and I must say I'm already loving it. It's giving Carol's Daughter "Lisa's Hair Elixir" a run for its money. That oil is amazeballs.

After the event we headed to Devon Seafood Grill for their happy hour, only to find out they don't do it Saturday night lol. Still, we ordered food, drinks, and gabbed about everything ladies do! It was a nice night...

Did you attend the #EDENTressTalk event? Have you tried EDEN Body Works products before?

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