Oct 12, 2011

Getting To The Good Stuff In You

After 20 plus years of watching Oprah here in Chicago ...  I admit, I had become a tad bit immune. Once an avid AM Chicago watcher, I hung in with Oprah well into her 2006 season before giving up and tiring. By the time O had shut down Michigan Avenue, I was simply annoyed. I kept saying to my mom after each "last this, and last that", "Is it over yet?????!!!!"


As a blogger, it is my pleasure to expose my incredible readership to things that encourage healthier living, and trust me, signing up will do just that.

I worked through some very difficult times using Iyanla Vanzant's In the Meantime: Finding Yourself and the Love You Want

Oprah has exposed us, once again, to growth and progression. I am so excited!

This clip is from today, which is Day 2, Letting Go Of Anger. Today's class was just as moving as yesterday's The False Power Of Ego... so tune in, sign up, get working on you right now!!

Watch live streaming video from oprahslifeclass at livestream.com

Oct 5, 2011

POOCH LOVE!

YUP, OCTOBER IS "Adopt A Shelter Dog Month"!

                                                      Cousin Gabs with PAWS

My beautiful pooch pooch was ALMOST a shelter dog, thankfully Chicago's Finest will go to any lengths to save a life ... even four-legged lives. My angel was bait in a pit-bull fight. Someone phoned 911 and CPD (Chicago's Police Department) went in, rescued her and placed her in a cell. My co-workers rallied me over to see her and she jumped rich into my arms!



DO YOU have a POOCH???

If not, go save a life today!

Also, if you are in Chicago, support PAWS . Their Fur Ball this year is 11-11-11 and is a black-tie event for you and the four-legged loved one in your life. Take fuzz out on the town!!!

Oct 1, 2011

JUST DO IT!

Listen to internet radio with Event Diva on Blog Talk Radio

Twitter introduces us to so many wonderful people. Conversations and Cocktails Erika & Robin's show today is so important! "NO TO EXCUSES"

ENJOY ~

Sep 28, 2011

Rae, who showed up???




While there was limited mainstream media, the message was STILL loud and clear!

Especially share this with your youth!

WRAP IT UP!!!

Sep 23, 2011

HOW DO WE SAVE THE KIDS!!

I have quite a NICE blogroll if I do say so myself!

Today I was reading Tom Valenti over at "Just Appease Me" and was very impressed to see he, as counsel and an officer of the court like me, had Conflict Resolution covered!!

I sat for hours watching the other linked videos that handled the subject and was happy that people are recognizing alternatives to violence.

I also noticed how Black culture, and the hip/hop culture, has tremendously influenced today's youth ... I suppose that is a whole 'nutha topic we must explore ... MANY of these messages were raps!

As a result of recent altercations and events around the globe, I began to ponder ...

In the U.S., is today's aggression result of:

* the Black communities continued struggles

* today's youth emulating what they appreciate about Black culture i.e. gestures, language, clothing

* trying to be tough, cool, relevant

* classism

* juvenile behavior

* influx of cartel cultures in urban communities

* economic disparities

* failure to properly educate students in preschool and middle-school before issues arise

* failure to hold parents accountable

* inability to reach populations that are most at risk because many of them are not even in the school system

* failure to teach accountability for actions

* glorifying violence

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I don't know ... these are simply thoughts off the top of my head ... whatever the case, my recommendation is that we all put our heads together AND FIGURE THIS OUT!!!


Aug 18, 2011

Six Brown Chicks "Chasing The High"

I enjoy all of the Six Brown Chicks episodes, and NOT just because Gina B is a good friend ~

I try to share my favorites with you!

This was a goody. I still have the same high for my guy that I have had since I was 5 years old!!!

Jul 27, 2011

Ten Tips and Tricks to get your kids to eat more vegetables





I fell in love the second I suspected I had a pea in the pod.

I did not particularly care what the sex would be, what color, fat or how tall ...

My main concern, and it still is - is for health, character and ability to love.

So, from the second I was aware, I began to change my 'tude, the things I ingested and was adamant about safety, seat-belts, and industrial responsibilities to our eco-sphere.

Yup, one zygote started ALL that!!!

Well, the cards were on our side and 15 years ago, I managed to bring someone into this world who is pretty darn healthy - and let me tell ya ... there were NO organic food markets back then.  I simply went to markets that I knew went straight to local farms. My other blessing was that my little tyke's pediatrician was from Italy and never prescribed any antibiotics for my brood. She was authentically nature-based before it became trendy and I am forever grateful for this stroke of good fortune.

She taught me how to mash basic dinners and to use as little processed baby food as possible.

THAT was a chore in the beginning, but it soon became part of our routine and lil Bub went directly from breast milk to mashed organic as possible diet that included little to no processed baby food.

This was such a HUGE help when it came time to feed a 3 year old broccoli. It was LOVE instead of repulsion.

SO, my ten tips to get kids to eating veggies??

1) START EARLY
eat them so your breast milk has the flavor. once they are old enough, feed it to them. don't ask, just do it.

2) EAT THEM ALL THE TIME
who says asparagus isn't a breakfast food???

3) LEARN TO SEASON
once taste-buds become defined, palates are seeking flavor. don't be afraid to spice.

4) PUT VEGGIES IN EVERYTHING
smoothies, bread, rice, pancakes, crepes

5) LATE BLOOMING?
add veggies to meatloaf, baked potatoes, mask in foods that the kids already enjoy

6) DISCUSS
have frank discussions (or eat hotdogs Chicago-style - which is a SALAD on a hotdog) about health, energy, best practices to living right

7) BE A ROLE MODEL
healthy eating is as healthy eating does

8) INCLUDE ALL MEMBERS, yes the dog
when choosing the best diets, include everyone, even the family pets

9) EXPERIMENT
new recipes are fun

10) VLOG
do a video about it and post it. when your family sees how much fun can be had, they will jump on the bandwagon!


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

Jul 11, 2011

Ten Reasons To Visit Virginia Beach!


Yes, it is summer.

No one leaves Chicago in the summer because it is just too awesome!

Our beaches made the "Best Beach" lists, we even have palm trees (that disappear by October), so why would I be writing about Virginia Beach?

Well, historically it is a MUST SEE region! A vacation hot spot that resonates with the American researcher and the fun-loving All-American!

"Virginia Beach" is SO very frequently mentioned in movies, who wouldn't want to know why?

As someone who has only been as far east as the Carolina's - and an hour layover in NYC- the Atlantic Ocean appears SO attractive! 

How about loving volley ball? It could just be a rumor, but I have heard "Virginia Beach" "Volleyball" and "tourney" in one, if not many conversations.

The seafood. (do I need to expound on this one, at all??)

It just might be fun to drive! Quite a few avenues that predate our existence would certainly prove fun en route to Virginia Beach's gorgeous destinations.

Wouldn't it be fun to network and connect yourself with the fabulous folk who defend us in Norfolk and inviting them to chill with ya on Virginia Beach!

The seafood. (driving this one home).

Be around to understand exactly what a boardwalk is....

There is also buzz about the art gallery. How grand to be able to uplift your community from within?

Of course a gargantuan reason for traveling to Virginia Beach would be to attend a beach party...

and finally, well of course! The seafood!

Enriching scenery coupled with the desire to be a world-class traveler might propel one's desires to achieve greatness by experiencing the ultimate vacation spot.  Beach homes are equally as attractive to the entire "fun festival" because they go with nostalgia, housing someone who has desire to learn, apropos only to a fraction of what the average person would be seeking to experience are awesome and attractive plans.  

Tournaments and Music Performances appear to be in abundance SO, I am one who thinks that Virginia Beach is a destination that could encompass a family outing, gals/guys vacations, couples and, or, a lone trip to endearment with just yourself!






I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

Jun 26, 2011

The Mafia Hairdresser




"Mafia Hairdresser" by Jon-David is 1980's personified. Hugely fascinated by all things mob related, I thoroughly enjoyed this read.


Having survived the 80's, I was delighted by Mafia Hairdresser's tales of L.A., jeopardy and fast living!


A few months back I was able to attend a book-signing and mingle with Jon-David and our friends.






I was happy I purchased this book and am sure you will be too!


                                               me and The Mafia Hairdresser ~ Jon-David

Jun 22, 2011

Ten Time-Saving Tips To Make Your Life As A Busy Mom Easier!



Motherhood is consuming. Single motherhood is all-consuming. I've raised my children and attempted to be their Wonder Woman since birth. My divorce was not until the boys were about 5 and 7, but I was quickly learning that being proficient at timing and utilizing skills to make short-cuts without letting anything at all suffer was key to our survival. There is SO much to the idea of having things in place, so, needless to say, in order for your family unit to survive and PROSPER, one must become proficient in wizardry.

Casting time-spells is by no stretch of the imagination easy.

My boys are now 15 and 18, so technology was NOT on my side!

I have noticed, however, that while technology has stretched to zones I never thought possible, the older your children are, the more time you need! WHY?! Well because you have AGED!

Any possible techniques I have learned to be in bed sleeping by 11:30 I will now share with you:

1 - when the week begins, make sure you have started a huge hearty meal that will serve a few lunch and dinner slots and last a few days. Continue adding new side dishes to that one meal, and by day 3 be able to morph said meal into something new (i.e. soup, tuna or chicken salad, sandwich fare, or something that will be great on a salad)

2 - when tackling laundry, never stop, keep going until you run out of detergent.

3 - don't assign chores. Make it a necessary part of their living and breathing to assure it gets done. (i.e. if you don't take out the garbage you don't eat)

4 - ONLY grocery shop with FULL meal making in mind. No - " We need this or we need that" Think menu. Think in group categorically.

5 - if possible, buy toiletries in bulk via the internet or huge warehouse. its cheaper and most convenient.

6 - opening one those multiple online bill paying accounts was one of my best ideas. using your bank's online service also is a huge time-saver.

7 - scheduling your doctor's and kid's doctor's appointments in the same vicinity or physician's group is a time-saver - also going on the same day to avoid taking mass time off for not fun things is a plus.

8 - don't read email everyday. if you receive email via your smartphone delete unwanted crap, pick one day of the month where you go through unnecessary email while flagging important email - address those right away.

9 - drink PLENTY of water. being dehydrated slows you physically and mentally

10 - take time to watch the sun rise and set, it reminds you of why you are doing all of this in the first place!!!



I may be busy, but I thoroughly LOVE my life and everyone in it!!

Making sure you are in love with your life is what it is all about ~ CHEERS!


I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Jun 21, 2011

The Art of Crunching with Kellogg’s



Kellogg’s FiberPlus Cereals are YUM! That is important when you are trying to stay fit and still have FUN!

Healthy, after-all, is also a state of mind. It’s action and reaction. It’s eating right AND exercise.

Taking charge of your life and physical presence can be fun and delicious with the variety of tastiness Kellogg’s has presented us with!

Rich in flavor, these cereals are full of more good stuff than I expected: whole grain wheat, sugar, rice, chickory root and being certified Kosher Dairy in the Berry Yogurt Crunch made me smile! (The Cinnamon Crunch is Kosher/Parve too!)

My teen son and I begin our days just before sunrise. We have full schedules and often breakfast is a glass of pomegranate juice. I have begun to tire from all my attempts to find healthy that tastes good.

Having choices like Kellogg’s Cinnamon Oat Crunch  and Kellogg’s Berry Yogurt Crunch really helps the battle.



These two cereals are excellent ideas when getting to the start of a wild and crazy day!

The tiny round O’s of oat crunch are so cinnemony! They actually make the perfect treat in a bowl with Almond or Coconut milk ~ or on the go in a baggy!

The flakes and yogurt pearls in the Berry Yogurt Crunch are surprisingly sweet while providing the need I have for a lot going on in my palate. I seem to enjoy different amazing textures while eating, and this provides a zest in my mouth that wakes me up and gets me going.



I try to do at least twenty minutes of yoga in the morning before eating. I stretch until the kinks are out. This, I find, helps me to handle the day’s stressors. Knowing that I had a choice of these cereals waiting for me encourages me to be thorough and quick so that I can treat myself!

Only one gram of fat, with 1.5 in the Cinnamon Crunch,  is a huge plus as well. There is more sodium than I’d like, and 12g of sugar (7 in the Crunch) but eating this in a small proportion at the start of your day - after a good, solid workout makes this a replenishing meal that I say thumbs up to.

My son and my father also found themselves smitten.



The 6 hour football workouts my teen is enduring this summer call for such fortified, fiber filled yumms. My 80 year old father picks him up and takes him everyday and he swears these two new boxes in the house made him feel perky while satisfying his belly. He snacks voraciously for a Granpa.

If you run and out and try these, let us know what you think!



Disclosure: This is a paid post sponsored by Kellogg’s. I received one box of Berry Yogurt
Crunch and one box of Cinnamon Oat Crunch to review. My opinions are, as always, my own.

Jun 8, 2011

Chicagonista & Chickens




MJ's Nikon is the STUFF!!! This video really captures how much fun we had and the awe of our great city Chicago, even though it was about 45 degrees!


Melissa's book can be found here! CHICKEN IN THE CAR and the car won't go: Nearly 200 ways to enjoy Chicagoland with tweens and teens 

Jun 2, 2011

Cadillac & Me ~ Sublime!


So my Cadillac excursions were phenomenal! Really enjoyed pretending I was a high roller driving my Escalade down RUSH STREET CHICAGO on a Saturday night!

The 2011 Escalade with ONSTAR and the stitching and leather and entertainment and ..........

Can't say enough about it which I now know why it is the car choice for so many celebrities!

Now the CTS is a sedan. Four door with an engine that HUMS! I SO felt like Don Johnson from Miami Vice driving that remade Chevy Corvette! (It was made to look like a Ferrari).

The horsepower is 556 @ 6100 Torque 551 @ 3800. This is a WHOLE lotta car.

Sleek, sexy, clean and sharp. Driving this was an experience. Bose surround ... oh wow!







These images are my own and are of the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V. Luxury at its finest!



Jun 1, 2011

May 26, 2011

Mary Kay and ME!


I am a natural freak. I am always seeking preservative-free ways of living.

Once upon a time I was grossly overweight, splotchy skinned and miserable. I was ALWAYS tired and I never felt right. It took a journey, but once I found my way, I eliminated the bad things to the best of my ability. Our government does not always have our best interest at heart. Believe that we must take responsibility for the things we ingest. When  I began my journey, it was extremely difficult to find things that were not filled with chemicals and artificial agents.

Our world is toxic. The more effort you make to eradicate carcinogens as much as possible, the better you will live.

Companies are taking heed. I was SO happy to see Mary Kay jump on board with mineral based cosmetics.

My skin is SUPER sensitive to cosmetics. If there are too many preservatives I will swell. Eye shadows, foundations, blush. They must be almost all natural or I will look puffy and become itchy. These new Mary Kay items are GREAT.



I was given Mary Kay samples via Blogher. I used the silky caramel/caramel doux mineral eye color on the lower lid. I slightly brushed a hint of midnight star/nuit etilee on the inner lower lid ... just a hint. The upper outer lid I generously brushed sienna/terre de sienne. I also topped everything off with shy blush/pommettes rouges! How did I do???




I received these Mary Kay samples free via Blogher. I was not made to write or provide any untrue testimony. I used the products over a two week period. My sentiments are my own assessment and I was not paid to provide this post.

May 11, 2011

Jen does SOBCON 2011




I really LOVE Jen's videos ~ She needs her OWN SHOW (OWN Network are ya listening?) Keep up the great information Jen!!!


Great appearances from a googob of my pals! GMC, WiredPr aka Barb, Tim McDonald ....








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May 10, 2011

May 9, 2011

Come ride in the Escalade ....


Because I believe in General Motors and the changes they have made, I have been test driving different series of vehicles. Follow me as I try out the luxurious Cadillacs!

Today's video is a teaser for the incredible time I spent in the 2011 Escalade!!!
(Don't hate!)






I was not paid for these endorsements. I request the vehicles I like and am at liberty to give you my true assessment. This is the Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum.

May 4, 2011

Chicago Bears #32 Kahlil Bell and @JenChicago !!!





You NEVER know what Jen will be up to next!!!


                                                JENCHICAGO

Apr 16, 2011

Apr 13, 2011

Brand & Bloggers Summit 2011 July16th!!


Are you coming to Brands & Bloggers Midwest Media Moms here in Chicago July 16, 2011 DoubleTree Magnificent Mile???

We just completed our inaugural show!!! You can relive the EXCITING evening HERE:


Listen to internet radio with Bethkrosen on Blog Talk Radio



                                           Visit MidwestMomsMedia.com
                                        Register Today!

Apr 9, 2011

MAFIA HAIRDRESSER ~ Green Things and The Joseph Michael Salon





Love,


MafiaHairdresser & Houseonahillorg




MafiaHairdresser & The Joseph Michael Salon Presents:


                               GREEN CHICAGO

Mar 30, 2011

How You Keep Your Family Happy


Keeping a family happy starts from the beginning.

I recall the very moment I suspected that I was having a child. Immediately I was in love, talking, cooing and having intense life-changing conversations with my blastocyst. I was determined to bring someone happy into this world taking every detail seriously and with joy. Thankfully the stars aligned and I delivered an incredibly happy guy.

Keeping him that way, knock knock, has been relatively easy! Even-tempered and thoughtful, a bowl of broccoli has often brought a smile from him. He never fussed, never threw a tantrum and so I made it my specific job to assure that I would do whatever I could to teach him how to keep his perfect peace.

Life has thrown hail on our heads many a time. A bitter divorce, separation from his beloved older brother, pneumonia, being homeless when he was 5 years old, running the wrong way during a gang shoot-out, all could have negatively impacted my little shining star but it didn't. He learned early that happiness comes from within.

Toys don't bring it, lollipops don't bring it, nor do coins or new shoes. Of course he gleans average teen collectibles ... you know shoes, baseball hats, those wrist thingys, t-shirts and music ... he is a normal boy, but "Joy cometh in the morning" has been our lead theme and maintaining happiness is important because it affects health and mental stability.

It is quite an art to be a healthier, happier, you! The balance of good eating, proper rest and exercise and keeping an enlightened frame of mind might, on occasion, be hit or miss, yet it must also be considered art.  Knowing when to heighten your concern about an issue and being able to calm down in a rational way takes practice and restraint.

Keeping your family happy is also keeping a happy self. Having "ahha" moments should go hand and hand with having "wow", "I can handle that" and "WHATEVER" moments too. Our tomorrows are borrowed so we should make every second count in a thoughtful, meaningful, loving manner. We should embrace the catastrophes with as much grace as we do our delights. It is a challenge but one that is solid and worth its own weight.


“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Farm Rich blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Mar 28, 2011

What Is My Favorite Thing About Easter??


Spring is here! YAY! Well, okay, technically Spring is here, the thermometer just has not realized it yet, here in the Midwest.


My grass has just a smidgen of green sprouts, but I know it is on its way ... isn't it?? It has to surface at some point, and even if it doesn't, I will sing its praises anyway ! 


Why? Because Spring and Easter go together "like peas and carrots" as Forrest Gump would say! So many rows and rows of goodies, treats, and neats decorate the aisles. Bunnies and baskets, candy and toys. I noticed all of the commotion right after St. Patty's Day. The difference is huge because now is the reign of the peeps! Those marshmellowy treats have now taken on most holidays but are most visible at Easter-time. I too fall easy victim to the sugary delicacy. Meltey and gooey, leaving a glaze around our mouths. 






Of course the jelly beans, bellys and Starbursts must accompany any easter holiday because who can resist them? The thought of all the Easter pleasures is already giving me a tummy ache!  


The chocolate Easter eggs, beautiful lillys and linens, all bring a smile to my face. The holiness of the holiday is often obscured as we give way to commercial dissecting of humans and their consumerist needs.


Throughout the years of my celebrating Easter, it has been embraced year to year quite differently.


My early year reflections include ham and mashed potatoes, sparkling grape juice, a Spring frock and brand new patent leather shoes.


I grew fond of rainbow colors and the pleats, but those "Mary Janes" ... they were not something I longed for. Those shoes always, always hurt my feet! 






Yes, when I was little, Easter Sunday's were spent at my uncle's home surrounded by so many family members it was often insane. The tradition I recall is trying to find a spot - somewhere - anywhere, where I could be comfortable listening to Judy Garland and the gang belt out Follow the Yellow Brick Road. It seems as if The Wizard of Oz was always showing during Easter Holidays of the 70's, playing on my fear of tornadoes and rolling through meadows in itchy grasslands.


Once I had my own family, I tried like we who celebrate do, to make it memorable and successful and of course, a delight. Many years I tried too hard, and had us booked from sun up to sun down with church, traipsing through parks looking for treats, and visiting everyone we could think of . After realizing less is more, we began to find that being able to eat and enjoy was far more important. Yes, you see traveling from one place to the next might seem as if you'd be fed more than once, yet often times, we'd be running so much that we'd miss everyone's meal-time and end up at a drive-thru - YUCK! 


Now that my son is a teen, the favorite thing about Easter is being alive to enjoy another holiday! Many of my elders have passed on. I am thankful I still have my parents, and am old enough to know that life is promised no one.  As we make our way each day, the next second can certainly be our last. 


My mom just stopped making my 15 year old his very own basket filled with chocolate, eggs, and toys. Last year he received a card and money. This year might be one of new traditions. Maybe a drive along the lake and brunch! We might fit in some other celebration. Or maybe, just maybe I will find a nice pair of Mary Janes that fit!




“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hop blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

Mar 27, 2011

Bocce, Bowling & Beverages!


What could be more fun then gaming with your tweeps!!!

Pinstripes is a hot spot where you can meet new Twitter pals and mingle with Chicagolands finest in social media.

Ga'head, JOIN THE FUN hosted by pal Mitch of @Refigeration and Northeast Cooling!


Date & Time

Thursday, March 31 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm (CDT)
Add to Calendar

Location

Pinstripes
1150 Willow Road
Northbrook, IL 60062





















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