Apr 26, 2013

MESH Relationship Conference (via @CityChurchChi)

Earlier this week City Church Chicago hosted their 2nd annual MESH Relationship Conference 2013. The two day conference featured Pastors Keith and Sheila Gerald , Pastors Jeffrey and Amy Smith, along with City Church Chi's very own Pastors Kent and Alli Munsey.

I didn't attend Monday night and was highly doubtful about how things would go Tuesday night. After a little coaxing by a friend, coupled with my typical cancerian moody emo-ness, I decided the best place for me to be was receiving a nurturing word in the house of God.

Let me just say that I was blown away by the conference and messages I received. I know, I know... people may start bracing themselves thinking I'm about to start going on some holy rolling inspiration fest... but seriously, the message was great and I know so many people that could have benefited from being there. I decided that I could be a blessing to others and share some of the key points I received from Tuesday night's session.

Instead of having everything in a super long post, I've decided to break it up into 2 separate posts... let's be honest, folks barely read as is nowadays. On another note: We were treated to a completely different vibe during offering as can be seen in the below video. It was kinda funny to hear the song and played into the theme of the relationship conference. Enjoy the smooth tunes and look out for Part 1 and Part 2 next week.

Apr 25, 2013

Does Kendrick Perkins ever Smile?

I've had not so much a crush on, but an undeniable intrigue with Kendrick Perkins for quite a few years now. The 6'10" 270 lbs OKC Thunder player typically can be spotted on the court with a serious scowl that gives even Grumpy Cat a run for his money... but I've never really knew anything about him.

I figured that my "shitting sunshine and glitter" personality was drawn to the misery that is always on his face... like, there must be some way for me to spread some sunshine into his life. The force needs to be with him.

I was curious about what his voice actually sounded like because personality is SUCH a major factor in whether or not my crush prevails or dries up... well, after doing a little digging and finding this YouTube feature from 2010 it's safe to say the well has run dry.

I'm still intrigued by his look, but his voice makes me scrunch my face and cock my head to the side... similar to a dog trying to understand how someone that can barely formulate sentences can be paid millions of dollars... it really makes zero sense to me. Not to mention the location of his upper lip is highly debatable... but I digress. Take a look and see for yourself. What are your thoughts on him?

Who are Beyonce's Dancers?

I woke up at 4am this morning unable to sleep and decided that I wanted to know who Beyonce's dancers were. Yeah. Welcome to the world of randomness that is my mind. My boyfriend says that I suffer from "shiny ball syndrome" and I'd have to agree... but I'd probably be thinking about something else before I could lol.

Back to my story - - I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that going back to bed wasn't about to happen, so I pulled out my trusty iPhone and decided to google Beyonce's dancers. Everyone knows the one with the curly hair that's been with Beyonce forever (Ashley Everett) but who were the others? What was their life about? It was 4am and I just had to know lol...

Turns out Dance Spirit magazine just recently featured them this month!

The ladies range in age from 24-29 and have a wide variety of dance backgrounds - - one even having worked at McDonalds. Talk about an upgrade! From working the fries to strutting the stage with the Queen Bey! Yes, please. I love that Beyonce employs such a talented, diverse group of ladies. Check out a little bit about them below and click here for the full story here.

(L to R) Ashley Everett, Hajiba Fahmy, Sarah Burns and Hannah Douglass (photos by Erin Baiano)

Ashley Everett (Dance Captain)
24; Chico, CA
First Beyoncé job: The Beyoncé Experience tour, 2007
On being one of the original “Single Ladies”:
“I get recognized, and it’s so weird when I do. I’m like, ‘Really? You were paying attention to me?’ ”

Hajiba Fahmy
24; Paris, France
First Beyoncé job: A commercial filmed earlier this year
On the best part of working with Beyoncé: “She does everything well. Dancing, singing…she’s like nobody else. You have to be a woman before you’re a dancer in order to work with her. You have to know your essence.”

Sarah Burns
26; Perth, Australia
First Beyoncé job: “Revel Presents: Beyoncé Live,” 2012
On how she scored it: “I was living in L.A., went to an open audition and got the call from my agent that I had booked the job. Everything I’ve done with Beyoncé since then has been a direct booking.”

Hannah Douglass
25; Austin, TX
First Beyoncé job: “Revel Presents: Beyoncé Live,” 2012
On rehearsals: “You have to be ready for anything at any time. There are so many elements—the band, the dancers, the stage—and you don’t always have every piece of the puzzle at once. Your job is to be on your game and master your field.”

(L to R) Amandy Fernandez, Tanesha “KSYN” Cason, Kim Gingras and Kimmie Gipson (photos by Erin Baiano)

Amandy Fernandez
29; NYC
First Beyoncé job: “Run the World (Girls)” music video, 2011
On getting to know Beyoncé: “I helped workshop for the ‘Revel’ show [Beyoncé’s first performance  after giving birth to baby Blue Ivy] with Beyoncé and two other dancers. It was just the four of us, so I got to do a lot of dancing with her. She’s a sweetheart. She’s down-to-earth and really nice.”

Tanesha “KSYN” Cason
29; Bronx, NY
First Beyoncé job: The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
On her favorite Beyoncé routine: “ ‘Diva.’ It’s the perfect blend of hood and sexy choreography with a bit of acting.”

Kim Gingras
27; Montreal, Canada
First Beyoncé job: The 2013 Super Bowl halftime show
How she got the job: “When I saw Beyoncé’s ad about the Super Bowl show, I said, ‘This is it.’ I’m a strong believer in positive thinking and visualization. I listened to her songs over and over and pictured myself with her onstage.”

Kimmie Gipson
29; Plainfield, NJ
First Beyoncé job: I Am…World Tour, 2009
On taking the stage each night: “I anticipate the moment when the lights go out and everybody starts to yell. It sends chills all through my body and my nerves turn to excitement. We all hear it onstage, we all feel it, and then we’re like, ‘Let’s do it.’ It’s so powerful.”

See them in action!!!

Apr 24, 2013

I don't care, I love it (via @iconapop)

I think this is my official song of summer...

You're on a different road, I'm in the milky way
You want me down on earth, but I am up in space
You're so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch
You're from the 70's, but I'm a 90's bitch

Apr 22, 2013

Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 4

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the awesomeness that was Daenerys Targaryen in last night's episode of Game of Thrones!!

(Sidebar: I'm just now learning that Khaleesi isn't her actual name, but instead means "Queen" in Dothraki lol)

Khaleesi pretty much owned folks in episode 4 and I loved every minute of it. My boyfriend called it last week that she probably spoke the language and was going to take out that prick of a king dude... whoever he was. I didn't bother learning his name, but it doesn't mattered because her dragon made him toast.

Who else watched last night? I can't wait to see how this all plays out!

Apr 19, 2013

Elbow Rooom with @ChipWade

Chip Wade was always one of my favorite contractors on Curb Appeal (with John Gidding), so I'm excited to see him coming into his own on Elbow Room. The series has its season 2 premiere Saturday, April 20th @ 9a/8a Central, and will feature more stunning remodels. For those early to rise, be sure to tune in tomorrow morning and eat your breakfast while watching some great makeovers.

A few of my favorite remodels from season 1:

Apr 18, 2013

Thick Neck, Wherefore art thou?

Color me surprised when a few days ago I woke up and realized I no longer had my heart yearn for The Rock. I seriously lost my mojo for all things Dwayne Johnson and my life force is in an eternal state of crickets.

Could it be that I've grown tired of thick necks? Probably not lol... but it feels like a drought since I've found myself crush-less. I mean, The Rock has pretty much made me swoon for years, so I feel a bit lost. What is a girl to do?

I need a new crush. Who makes your heart skip a beat?

Apr 17, 2013

Idiot's Guide to Game of Thrones

Admittedly I wasn't that into "Game of Thrones" during the first two seasons. I watched here and there, but was by no means a full fledged fan. Enter Season 3 - - I've been hooked, but found myself asking my boyfriend "who's that?" far too many times.

In an effort to up my knowledge on the back story (and annoy him less lol), I found the "Idiot's Guide to Game of Thrones" put together by the Screen Junkies.

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights @ 8p on HBO. Do yourself a favor and watch it!

Apr 16, 2013

Playing in my Hair

Let it be known my cat Misty is pretty freaking weird. Last night I was taking out my sew-in and to my surprise, I looked down and saw her rolling around in it. This little feline was playing all up in and throughout that hair... and seemed to be enjoying every second of it. That is until Smudge came in towards the end and gave her a nasty surprise....

Apr 12, 2013

Satin Bonnets Don't Belong in Public

Back in November I wrote a post called "How to Wear a Satin Bonnet in Public" and the key to that conundrum was that you don't actually have the bonnet visible. Many women seemed to have missed the memo because I'm constantly inundated with obscene sights of bonnets in daylight, in public. It's a mess.

So, hoping to shed some light on this major issue, my beautiful tabbycat Misty wanted to show ladies how to truly rock a satin bonnet - - at home.

And if you do need a real refresher, visit my post and take note that there's nothing better than throwing a beanie over your satin bonnet. I get that you might be "saving" your hairstyle for a special event (which isn't running to the grocery store), but taking the extra effort to look more "done up" with your satin bonnet in public is much appreciated.

As you can see in the picture to the right, I have no issues rocking a beanie... and guess what? My satin bonnet was under there! What do you know! It's actually possible to be in public, hair protected, and still look good. *snaps for the kid* lol... but seriously, I'm always throwing on my bonnet and beanie if I want my hair to air dry, or even let my flat twists "set" for going out later... just cover up that wretched bonnet. It kills my eyes.

Apr 11, 2013

'The Tequila Tales' Event Recap

The Tequila Tales ChicagoLast night proved to be an amazeballs time as I ventured out to Red Kiva for another round of The Tequila Tales. The monthly relationship-based chat is hosted by Chrishon (formerly of Three Peas, everyone's favorite South Loop art gallery - - currently writing the blog Love Cork Screw ) and moderated by Isaac Paul and Dr. Candice.

As expected, the crowd took a little bit of warming up to let their guard down, but by the 2nd and 3rd drink, people were getting vocal and the groove had been set. I live tweeted the event using the hashtag of the night #TheTequilaTales and there were a few priceless quotes. Check them out here. So, what were my biggest take aways from the night?

1) A lot of people are in denial about being in the "friend zone" - - (i.e. you want them, but they don't want you.) It's important to remember that platonic male/female relationships are healthy, normal, and quite possible to have. A great point was made that if you're rich in friendships and have that balance, the loneliness and desire to be with anyone to quench that thirst (aka desperation) can usually be resolved.

The Tequila Tales Chicago
With Isaac Paul and Chrishon
2) Many women put a price tag on their life force. Let's just keep it all the way real -- many women put a price tag on their life force. All of a sudden they need to eat at X restaurant, Y amount of times, for Z dollars. Give me a break. This mentality takes the focus off the quality of person you're actually spending time with and instead focuses on trivial things. If you want to go to a nice dinner so badly there's no shame in taking yourself.. but try and be open to the idea that successful dates can come in many shapes, sizes, and locales! You may grab burgers and beer in a dive bar and have a ball.

3) S-Banging - Meant to be said as one word, SBanging was the funny hybrid (Smashing + Banging) one chick blurted out in a rush. It was pretty funny and might become a new saying I'll use. I'd love to give her credit... thanks random girl! Overall, I had a ball... and I'm not just saying that because I downed 2 of my signature Hennessy cocktails lol... The conversation was lively and it was nice to be out doing something different.

To stay connected for upcoming events be sure to follow The Tequila Tales on Facebook and Twitter.

Apr 8, 2013

Flats Twists on Sew-In Weaves

I'm low maintenance when it comes to my natural hair and rocking my sew-in is not much different. I like to take the styling concepts I've learned with my curls and apply them to my leave-out and weave. So far flat twists have become a staple in my word. They're relatively easy to do, take almost no time, and can be a great option for the gym or going out.

Flat Twists on my Natural Hair
Typically, I'll style my natural hair in 2 flat twists (above) as a quick, go-to style. The picture above shows the way my flat twists look on my natural hair, no weave.

Flat Twists blended with my Weave
The idea of wearing a straight weave can seem like an invitation to OD on heat, but I actually have been using less heat than when my hair is w/out the weave. I wash my hair about once a week, following up with a quick blow dry on the leave out... letting the weave hair air dry. Once that is done, I'll take a flat iron to my leave out. Voila! I'm done. When I'm going to bed or the gym, I'll do 2 flat twists (above picture) and braid the bottom portion to help the hair not unravel.

2 Flat Twists pulled back - - very hippie lol
Like I said before, I'm low maintenance. My goal with the weave was to give the majority of my hair a break from styling, add some length and fullness, and ditch the curls for a while. I'm not someone that really has the  patience to come up with super edgy looks to rock with my weave, so I keep it simple. The above picture is an example of how I style my leave out blended with the weave for a look that requires no additional heat be placed on my hair. I actually have an inner hippie that loves this type of thing so it works for me. 

Most people think you MUST put heat on your hair daily when rocking a straight weave, but that's not the case. There are plenty of ways to have fun with a weave, while still taking care of your leave out.

Apr 5, 2013

Charlie leaves @girlsHBO. Hearts Break.

It's official. Charlie, the only legit male eye candy on HBO's 'GIRLS' has jumped ship, and we can all thank Hannah for his departure. I actually should use their real names, but I'm so wrapped up in GIRLS it feels like I know these people in real life lol...

So yeah, Hannah and Charlie started bumping heads and Charlie decided to leave the show. This is coming on the heels of him and Marnie finally working things out, so I'm sitting over here all crickets and screw faced wondering what's going to happen with her story line.

Is anyone else a little bit sad that his luscious locks won't be viewable next season? I mean, I was actually considering joining Marnie and having his brown babies lol... though they would've been a bit browner than what she could produce. Oh, Charlie... please don't leave me (I mean, US) like this. Can we try to work it out? I'm shedding electronic tears.


Fashion Fix: @Forever21 Cutout Geo Dress

The temps are warming up and my legs are ready to start frolicking in skirts and dresses! I headed to Forever21 today to see if they had any new stuff, and I was pretty happy to snag this Cutout Geo Dress for $24.80.

My life force does a little dance whenever I snag something cute from Forever21, and this dress is MUCH better in person. The site does the fit no justice. My rack is a DDD/G cup (depends on my weight) and a size Large fit just fine. I'm not stingy with deals, so I wanted to share this with my blog family - - plus keeping it 100 everyone in the world shops at Forever21, so it's not like you're buying something unique lol.

Anyways, Happy Spring and Happy Shopping! Time to clean those closets out and get new gear in there.

Apr 4, 2013

Sew-In Weave for Natural Hair (aka Protective Styling)

Instead of just spring cleaning my house, I decided it was time to spring clean my hair life force! I was craving a break from the daily styling of my curls - - something every natural can relate to at one time or another, and decided to go straight. While I wish my hair was long enough to rock a high messy bun (a la Curly  Nikki), it's not lol... so my ever so talented girlfriend Alicia hooked me up with a dope sew-in.

Most people know that I'm super low maintenance when it comes to my natural curls, and whenever I rock a sew-in it's more of the same. This was my first time getting bone straight hair, but the front section of my hair (aka "leave out") takes heat extremely well. Basically blending wouldn't be a major issue. Let's be honest - - there's nothing worse than being the chick with the bad weave.

I don't ever keep a weave in for a long time. I'm talking maybe 6-7 weeks at the absolute longest... therefore it wasn't crucial for me to get the best hair. I opted for a mid-range ($99/pack) brand: Outre Velvet Natural Yaki in 1B, 12 inches.

Outre Remi Velvet Natural Yaki
What I liked best about this brand was 1) it was available at the beauty supply 2) the texture was very similar to that of my flat ironed hair. It didn't look super silky, but you could actually see the texture of the hair and the luster was low and 3) It was 10% off.

I should also mention that I used Dark and Lovely Fade Resistant Rich Conditioning Color in Natural Black #372. I had highlights and didn't want to run the risk of turning my hair green using a rinse. I also wanted to make sure my weave matched and blending/color issues didn't rain on my hair parade. This did the trick and was a near perfect match. I will, however, point out that in the past few weeks the color has started to fade a bit on my tips. Don't know if it's just because of the sun, washing or what... but it's not as intense as it was initially. Still, the weave blends w/o major issues.

Blend, baby... BLEND!!!

I'm probably one of the only people irked by the term "protective styling" (it just sounds like it sucks all of the life force fun out of hair care...), but this is a great option to give myself a break from daily styling, and let my hair chill out.

For anyone in the Chicago-area interested in getting a sew-in done by Alicia, contact her via email at Ali_Ivy@yahoo.com. Tell her I sent you :)

Apr 3, 2013

@TheTequilaTales: Are you Ready for a Relationship?

Join in for another lively discussion as The Tequila Tales hosts their April discussion topic: Are you Ready for a Relationship? This free event takes place Wednesday, April 10th @ 7pm at Red Kiva in the West Loop. You can RSVP by clicking the flyer below.

The room fills up fast, so be sure to get there early and grab your seat! I'll be venturing out for this one, so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there. Don't be scared to chime in and keep the conversation going on twitter using the hash tag #TheTequilaTales.

RSVP by Clicking the Flyer

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