Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Black Girls RUN! 2014 Preserve the Sexy Tour: Chicago recap

A group of dedicated women arrived early to City Point Loft over the weekend to Preserve the Sexy with Black Girls RUN! The Preserve the Sexy Tour is a one-day workshop for female runners of all levels to expand their knowledge of running.



The group was welcomed by BGR! Co-founder, Toni Carey before diving into the day’s workshops. First, we learned about proper running form with Newton Running Chicago including foot strike and shoe types.



We practiced a few running drills, then hit the pavement to try out Newton Running shoes.



Next, we covered the importance of stretching in our fitness routine while actively learning foam and stick rolling best practices.



For me, the highlight of the day was the BGR! Fitness Party. We were led in several African dances with origins in various regions of the continent. I loved this so much! There was a lot of side to side motion using the muscles on the outer thigh that don't get worked very hard in running.



The Preserve the Sexy tour is still on the road. Check the website to find a city near you and join the fun!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dark and Lovely® & Black Girls RUN! team up for the Preserve the Sexy Tour


Dark and Lovely® and Black Girls RUN! will team up this weekend for the Preserve the Sexy Tour, which hits Chicago on Saturday, July 26th!

This conference is open to runners of all levels, from beginners to veterans. The tour will feature fun, informative sessions including coaching on running anatomy, form, and muscle assessments from experts, and concludes with a celebratory fitness party! Dark and Lovely will also be offering product sampling and raffles. Black Girls RUN! Co-founders Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey will also be in attendance.

I was a Black Girls RUN! Chicago Ambassador between 2011 and 2013 so the group holds a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to Preserve the Sexy with Chicago this weekend! Get all the details about the Dark and Lovely and Black Girls RUN! partnership and the Preserve the Sexy Tour here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Giveaway: Dark and Lovely® Au Naturale Anti-Breakage Collection


photo credit: Dark and Lovely

On Sunday, June 29, Dark and Lovely Au Naturale and Everyday People hosted the hottest Style Suite & Brunch at Chicago hotspot Untitled. In their exclusive Style Suite, Dark and Lovely® celebrated its breakthrough Au Naturale Anti-Shrinkage and Au Naturale Anti-Breakage lines: a range of treatment and styling products designed to address the unique needs of naturally curly hair textures. Guests gathered tips and tricks on caring for gorgeous natural curls from SoftSheen-Carson Director of Education Mezei Jefferson as beautiful models showed off some amazing styles. Attendees were also treated to one-on-one hair consultations from the Dark and Lovely Style Squad, sipped on a signature cocktail, rocked to tunes from DJ Rich Knight, mingled with Everyday People hosts Chef RoblĂ©, Saada and DJ Moma and enjoyed a musical performance by Tweet.

Now, Chicago Ethnic Hair Care readers have a chance to try the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale collections. Enter to win full size products from the Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Anti-Breakage collection. Find out how after the jump.

Monday, June 16, 2014

What’s Blooming on Harrision 2014 - My first art fair


My first art fair was a success! I prepared for 5 weeks. I worked on my art before work, after work, and on the weekends. Any free time I had was spent painting, sealing, and gluing.


In the beginning, I had no idea about how much inventory to make, how many bags to buy, how much change to bring. I read a lot of blogs with great suggestions on how to have a successful fair that were extremely helpful. I was thrilled with how my booth design turned out! There was more traffic in my booth than I expected. I got a lot of compliments on the use of color (I love color)! I met a few other artists who were kind and helpful. Two friends stopped by and hung out in my booth for a while. It was a fun day! I definitely made enough items to sell – more than I needed. I posted my remaining inventory in my Etsy shop. I made back the cost of my booth, and I was happy with that.


I applied for another fair at the end of June, and I was accepted! I will have a booth at the Proksa Park Art Fair in Berwyn, IL June 28 and 29. This is the first year for this fair. I’m happy that all my booth design prep is done and I have inventory to start with for this fair. There will be less prep time involved. Though I can’t resist the temptation to add a few new pieces!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

2014 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge mini recap


This post is way past due! I finished the 2014 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Chicago a little over a week ago. This was my company's first year being involved with this race. I had know idea what huge participation the has. Over 20,000 runners finished 3.5 miles in Grant Park. The route is a little unusual. Most of it is partially underground on Lower Wacker Drive. There are a few out and back turns, and the finish line isn't visible until you turn a corner. From there, it's only about a tenth of a mile to finish.



I ran with a coworker who is much faster than I. She slowed down for me, but I still finished faster than I thought I would in 44:44. Post race, most companies had there own tent where employees could refuel. It was fun to break out of my cubicle a little early and run an evening race!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Retro Fitness takes on the Midwest

Retro Fitness in Carol Stream, Illinois held its Grand Opening April 26 with plenty of music, food, and of course fitness.





I particpated in (and lost) a fitness challenge. Thirty seconds of crunches followed by 30 seconds of step ups. Whoever racked up the most won a 3 month membership! I forgot my individual totals, but my score was 46 overall.


The Retro On Demand feature is now available. My camera didn't pick up the image very well, but individuals or groups can choose a workout and a guided program with an instructor leads your workout.



I spoke with Retro Fitness CEO Eric Casuburi. What a nice guy! I watched his episode of Undercover Boss - so it was neato to meet him in person. What an inspirational entrepreneurial story. Eric shared some of the exciting techinical updates coming to their treadmills - integration with fitness trackers like the Nike+ fuelband. Disreagard my hair, it deflated after the fitness challenge.



Retro Fitness has grown from a few gyms in the Northeast to now over 100 with plans to open more locations in suburban Chicago as well as expand into the St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri areas. If you're nearby, drop in the Carol Stream location to check it out for yourself!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

May events: craft workshop, art fair & race


May will be an exciting month! First, I'm hosting another crafting workshop at Local Goods Chicago. Sign up here! Next, my first craft fair is May 17 in Oak Park, Illinois. What's Blooming on Harrison is a juried fair - meaning a group of people decide who can particapte based on submissions of their work. I'm so happy my submission was accepted! I'm working like crazy to make some fun, new jewelry.

Then, May 22 I'm running the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Chicago. All runners must be part of a corporate team to participate in the 3.5 mile race. This is the first year my company has participated, and our entry fees are comped- score! Can't wait to experience this race!