Thursday, June 27, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Promotes

The Starving Artist Event!

If you're an artist needing to share your passion with others and put your talents on the map, this event is for you!

This Saturday--

Mark your calendars for Chicago Artists Coalition's one-of-a-kind Starving Artistevent to be held on Saturday, June 29

Celebrated local artists and chefs are paired to collaborate and inspire one another, creating a festive night of artistic and edible delights.   
This year features an all-star list of participants and partners including: 

Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice // Andrea Morris of Cocomori // Benjamin Newbyof Hennessy Black // Bill Kim of BellyQ and Urban Belly // Furniture designersBladon Conner & Aaron Pahmier // Chrissy Camba of Bar Pastoral // ArtistClaire Ashley // Artist Cody Hudson // Erick Williams of MK // Fabio Viviano of Top Chef and Siena Tavern // Jared Wentworth of Longman and Eagle // HATCH Projects artist Jordan Martins // Mamas Nuts // Artist Sabina Ott // BOLT Residency artist Stacia Yeapanis // Artist Theaster Gates // Zoe Schor of Ada Street // plus a Taco Battle featuring Antique Taco vs. Big Star
Purchase tickets before June 15 for early bird pricing:
$50 artists and arts administrators
$100 general admission
$150 Secret Society (includes gift bag and a Collectors Circle membership)
All proceeds benefit Chicago Artists Coalition's mission and programs, including a portion of ticket sales to fund a second year of the Maker Grant for individual artists. 

Visit our website for more information. Advance tickets can be purchased by phone (312-491-8888) or by emailing 
Online tickets will go on sale in May.
Saturday, June 29
7pm - Midnight
Chicago Artists Coalition, 217 N. Carpenter Street, Chicago IL 60607

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 6 Gifts Michael Jackson Left Us--

Sadly, today marks the 4th anniversary of Michael Jackson's death.  He's a favorite around here, so we find it important to do our part in keeping his legacy alive.  Despite the civil trial of his passing now in full swing, we want to note some on the great things he left us with before his untimely departure.

1.  Amazing music
For many people alive today, Michael Jackson's music is part of the soundtrack of their life.  Starting his career with his brothers in the 60s, and later as a solo artist, MJ gave us some of the best songs we'll ever hear during his 30+ years in the business.  Here are some favorites:


Remember the Time


Man in the Mirror

I Want You Back

Working Day and Night

Smooth Criminal


You Rock My World

I Like (The Way You Love Me)

I'll Be There

2.  Trailblazing dance moves
Michael danced like no one we'd ever seen.  With a mixture of influences from Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr., and James Brown, Michael was bound to be something special.  He not only gave us the Moonwalk, but revolutionized dancing in general.  You can see his influence in dancers today like Usher and Chris Brown.  

3. Innovative fashion
MJ was snazzy.  He dressed for the audience, wearing sparkly socks with high-water pants so we'd watch his feet.  He made aviator sunglasses extra cool, loved sequence, looked smooth in hats, and donned some pretty fancy suits.  Here are some of our favorite MJ looks

4.  Footwear technology
Jackson was not only an entertainer, he was also a patent holder.  The shoes he wore in the Smooth Criminal video, allowing him to do his famous lean, were patented.  This guy was innovative in so many ways.

5.  A passion for giving
He was the ultimate giver.  He took care of his family, and always took time to care for his fans.  Michael visited hospitals on his off-days, traveled the world donating money, and was always willing to give his time to help the world be a better place.  His music encouraging us to start with ourselves to make the world better was more than just entertainment.

6.  Love
In encouraging us to make the world better and take care of each other, Michael Jackson always promoted love.  His music talked about love for the human race, but also love in relationships, too.  

Michael Jackson still lives on in the hearts and playlists of many.  He won't be forgotten, and has given us quite a bit to enjoy.

Rest is Peace Michael.  We miss you.

Monday, June 24, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Congratulates

2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks!!

After playing a series filled with nail-biters and overtime games, the Blackhawks brought the Cup home to Chicago in a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins deserve praise too-- after a great series and taking the pride of their city to another level.  Congrats to the City of Boston.  You guys made it through a lot this year and did well in the finals.

Go Hawks!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Announces

Words Scar Becomes a Community Program!

Not too long ago, we  got to attend the exhibit introducing "Words Scar." to the world, and got up close with the photographer/Master Mind--Nikki B.  Her exhibit shined light on the power words have on our youth and community as a whole.  This journey through photographs put a lot of things in perspective and called for greater attention to bullying.

Now, we are so proud to announce the transformation of an amazing photography exhibit into a community program.  Nikki is putting the camera in the hands of the youth--teaching them about visual art, and enriching their lives all at once.

Find out more about the program and its partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, straight from the woman behind the movement.

Enjoy these great pictures from the announcement event, too!

1.  What made you decide, or know you had to turn this into something even bigger than the exhibit?
I've always done things's just in me. I have never been satisfied with being good or doing good...but I give my BEST all the time! After the Exhibition I wasn't sure if it was a success. I kinda got down on myself, but then I took a moment to read all the encouraging words people wrote for me in these little cute books my bf made. I remember sitting on a plane to ATL reading each note and it was then through their words that I experienced the power of words. It was then that I knew "Words Scar." was appreciated and needed. I mean so many people wrote in those books. People I knew, and those I didnt. But the fact that they took the time to express how they felt was amazing. I cried that day. lol

2. What were the first steps you took to develop the program?  
I was in San Diego when I developed my first program, "Words Scar." Workshop.  After speaking with a friend (Fellow Providence St. Mel Graduate) she encouraged me to do something more with it, maybe a workshop. The light bulbs went off and I spent a week in Cali creating "The Words Scar." Workshop.

3. How did Chicago Public Schools (CPS) get involved?
I shared the "Word Life" Art Therapy Program with a few of my friends that work in CPS as teachers or principals. Then finally, I worked up the nerve to ask one person, for access to their network.  So in short, I knew the right person, that knew the right person, that turned out to really be THE RIGHT PERSON. 

4. What is your vision for the program?
My vision is to enrich the lives of Chicago inner city youth by introducing them to Art (Photography) as a method of self expression.  My goal is to FREE them of the pain, hurt, and hopelessness that seem inevitable for many and replace it with joy, laughter, HOPE, Big Dreams and Drive to accomplish them.  At the end of the day, I just want to give our youth another option, a FRESH perspective on life. Teach them that speaking and thinking positive is more than a action, it leads to results.

5. What can the neighborhood expect from this program, and how soon?
The neighborhood can expect CHANGE!! Kids walking around their community with a purpose now, with cameras, capturing the essence of their hood, their community and life.  I pray that the neighborhood and community leaders support these kids as they learn to use their creativity to self express instead of a gun to kill.

6. What will set this apart from other community programs?
The partnership is with the Inter-Faith Division of CPS. I appreciate the opportunity to work with these churches and Pastors. I know that their committment to God along with my Faith in God will bring about CHANGE in our Chicago Youth.

7. What else can we expect from Words Scar? (as if this isn't amazing enough :))
Expect nothing from me and everything from GOD. I'm still in awe at where I am in life. SO Expect God to do some SUPERNATURAL STUFF with and through Words Scar!!! I pray for more supporters, more kids to join the movement, that the MOVEMENT becomes just that-- a MOVEMENT.

8.  What do you want people to know about Words Scar, CPS, and their partnership?
I want people to know: 1. God did it!!! 2. This is an initiative that will move our kids from hopeless thinking to Dreams of Achieving Greatness despite their surroundings, economic stature, race, upbringing and etc. Art isn't just making a mess and splashing paint here or there or snapping a photo. Art is FREEDOM with a purpose!! It's the only place that your not judged but critized. And constructive criticim has always been does nothing but make you and your craft/gift better. This sense of FREEDOM is what Chicago kids need right now. They walk around with so many emotions, so many thoughts with no one to talk to. No one to help them process these emotions. Art, is that place where you are free to let go, to tell your story with no interruptions. I don't expect them all to become photographers, but I expect God to use my gift to simply free Chicago kids of the burdens they carry.  I want to see Chicago youth learning the fundamentals of photogrpahy and then taking the photos that capture their essence, their feelings, their needs, their thoughts, their ideas. Through art they can just simply BE!!! 

I want Chicago Youth to KNOW and SEE the MIRACLES in our city. Rappers, Singers, and Athletes aren't the only ones that made it. Here in Chicago are a number of great entrepreneurs and professionals that weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouth but THEY MADE IT.  When our kids have access to these types of people it encourages them, it gives them a tangible reference. Unlike the videos and reality TV Shows that glorify money and power, but never show what it really takes to get there and stay there, Words Scar will.

Life is about sharing your story so that someone else can be inspired to keep pushing...and "Words Scar." is a creative way of doing just that.  Speaking the unspoken truth of many! 

What an amazing program and movement!  We are so excited to support Words Scar, and hope you will, too.

Join the Movement TODAY!! Nikki is still looking for kids, parents, adults, teachers, etc. that want to share their stories.

*Tuesday Tops will return next week.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 Things My Daddy Taught Me~

Happy Father's Day!  I am so thankful for my Daddy.  He is the most amazing man I know--not just as a father, but as an individual.  Last year, I shared the top 5 things he's taught me.  I'm sharing them again, and hope they are as inspirational to you as they are to me.  

Just as our Tuesday Tops premiered on Sunday for the Mothers, we are doing the same thing for the Dads.  Often, fathers get the short-end of the stick in comparison to moms, but there are plenty of wonderful dads out there who deserve recognition and appreciation beyond belief.  As a Daddy's Girl I can attest to the importance of having a great father in my life.

He's taught me more than this blog could ever hold, but I'm sharing a small sample today.

1.  Be a good decision-maker.
Many times, we think things are just happening to us, or the world is mad at us for some reason.  Daddy helped me realize, nothing is by accident.  The decisions you make in life, big and small, set the stage for what will and won't happen ahead.  When things are going well, you can look back and see the choices you made as the reason--same as when things are not going so well.

In Daddy's words, "We control our own destiny."  It's true there are many things beyond our control, but making the best decisions on the ones in your hands is essential.

2. The key to success is doing the things no one likes to do.
You don't want to hear this one as a kid, but as an adult, you realize how true it is.  Often, the difference between happy and successful people, and the unhappy strugglers is the ability to just suck it up and do what you have to for the end goal.  We all come across things we don't want to do--they take too long, they're too hard, no one else is doing them, you just don't feel like it--the list is endless.  This is the case for everyone, but the decision to do what you must no matter what is usually the difference-maker.  I take this lesson with me everyday.

3. Be good, be helpful.
Daddy still tells me "if you can help someone, help them".  He's so right, and why not?  A lot of times, it's easy to consider what's in it for you, but maybe the chance to help someone else is what's in it for you.  Do you really need more?  After all, what goes around, comes around, so there's really no need to worry.

*This is actually a bonus lesson:  Don't worry.  If you've planned and are doing what you are supposed to do, you don't have time to worry.  

4. Do not let your fears dictate your actions.
I keep this in mind so often, especially when a major decision needs to be made.  My Daddy has taught me about fear, and helped me realize, there's no need for it.  We all get scared from time to time, or frightened at the encounter of a surprise, but we cannot let fear of anything we face dictate what's necessary for us to do or achieve.  Fears are just roadblocks, and letting them stand in the way of our actions does nothing more than just hold us back.  When I think I may be facing fear, I remember it's just an illusion. 

5. Keep your word.
The importance of this one is immeasurable.  Your word is sometimes all you have as an adult, with the countless circumstances you'll encounter.  Whether it's at work or in a personal relationship, being trustworthy is what will precede and succeed everything you do.  It is easy to make promises, but it takes real effort to keep them.  I can't think of one thing my Daddy has told me which hasn't held up, and I want to be sure people can say the same about me.  To some, this seems to be quite difficult, which is hard to understand, but there is nothing like the truth.  We should all embrace it.

I hope you all enjoyed these lessons as much as I did sharing them.  I am blessed to know I have many more lessons ahead for Daddy to share with me, and am even more thankful to have the ones I do.

Daddy and I the day I was sworn in as an attorney.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there.  We need you.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Loves Chicago

Summer Festivals!

Festivals in Chicago are the foundation of "Summertime Chi".  These events bring neighborhoods together and put them on display for the rest of the City to see.  

Check out these great festivals for the summer.

Taste of Randolph
June 14-16, 2013 - Randolph St, West Loop

Taste of Summer Fashion Show
June 15, 2013 - 2010 S. Wabash

Gospel Festival
June 20-13, 2013 - Millennium Park

Chicago Latino Film Festival

Chicago SummerDance
June 27-September 15, 2013 - Spirit of Music Garden

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life & Festival of Life Health Awareness
July 4-7, 2013 - Union Park

Taste of Chicago
July 10-14, 2013 - Grant Park

Roscoe Village Burger Fest
July 13-14, 2013 - Belmont & Damen

Taste of River North
July 19-21, 2013 - Ward Park

Wicker Park Fest
July 27 - 28, 2013 - North Ave. & Milwaukee

Taste of Latin America
August 23-25, 2013 - 3600 W. Armitage

Taste of Greektown
August 24-25, 2013 - Halsted Street at Van Buren


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top Shopping Tips and Warnings, Part 1--

Shopping has changed over the years.  It's about more than brick and mortar establishments competing with one another.  They are competing with e-retailers, too.  All retailers are looking for their place in the market and are using various strategies to get your business.

Be sure you know what's real and what's not.  Shopping can obviously be fun, but always make sure you're being smart.  This is just part 1 of the list.  We'll share more in the weeks to come.  Stay tuned...

1.  Be careful with "$ off if you spend $" promotions.
Unless you are a regular shopper at a retail establishment, or are looking to buy quite a few things, be careful about the promotions to save a certain about when you spend a certain amount.  If you weren't going to spend that much--don't.  you don't have to spend more to get more off.  Don't let this promo make you don't what your budget won't.

2.  Full priced items on sale racks.
Although this is usually a mistake by a shopper who changed their mind, you still want to be vigilant and not get to excited about an item clearly marked at full price, but sitting on the sale rack.  It's not a trick by the retailer, but be careful getting your hopes up.  Ask a sales associate first.
3.   Know when to shop.
Shop at department stores on Thursday evenings.  Markdowns are made on Thursdays and you'll have the first pick of the price cuts.  Also, learn how your favorite stores mark their items down.  For example, when Target marks something down and the price ends in a 9, it will be reduced again.  If it ends in a 4 or 8--that's it.  It's on clearance, go ahead an buy.  Thanks to Thrifty and Thriving for this Target tip.   

4.  Work those accessories.
You don't always have to buy something new.  Just find something new in your closet.  Break outfits and wear things with other things you haven't worn them with before.  If you are skeptical or hesitant to go bold with your outfits, get into accessories.   Accessories brighten up your look.  You can wear neutral colors and spruce things up with a necklace, bracelets, hat, earrings, rings, or whatever fits your mood best.

Stay tuned for more tips.  We've got a lot more where these came from to help you when you shop.

Don't forget to check out the Cheap Girl's Guide to the Champagne Life for tons of tips on living like a star without breaking your bank!

Monday, June 10, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Community

Action Magazine's 3rd Annual Skate & Greek Step Show--

Get your step routines ready, and your roller skates out of the bag!  

PR favorite Official Anais PR and Action Magazine are sponsoring this great community event, filled with fun, informational workshops, and featuring Austin Maxfield from Style Network's Chicagolicious!  Sign up your fraternity or sorority to step is this fun event! 

There are opportunities for small business owners to purchase vendor tables/space as well. 

The vendor fee is $25 for one portion of the event(expo) and $50 if they would like to participate in both. The workshop expo will be held at The Harvey Community Center(9-4p.m.) and the Greek Step Show portion is at the Tinley Park Roller Rink ( 5-7p.m.) 

Here is the eventbrite link:

Sign up now!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Cares

**Don't forget!

Imerman Angels 3rd Annual Golf Outing!

Imerman Angels is one of our favorite charities and their mission is so necessary in the tough task of fighting cancer.  This event will not only be a blast, but helpful to continuing the mision of the organization.  

What does Imerman Angels do?

Imerman Angels carefully matches and individually pairs a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel).  Cancer caregivers (spouses, parents, children and other family and friends of fighters) also receive 1-on-1 connections with other caregivers and survivors. These 1-on-1 relationships inspire hope and offer the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from someone who is uniquely familiar with the experience.

The service is absolutely free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world.  Imerman Angels is a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Visit for information on how to support or join the network of cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.

For more info and to get tickets, click here!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 5 Tips for Surviving Bar Review--

It's the time of year when new law school graduates go into oblivion and begin studying for the bar.  Your celebration of completing law school came to a hault when you realized it was time for your bar review course.

We know you are limited on time...well, we hope you are, so here's 5 quick tips for surviving this time in your life.

1.  Remember, it'll go by quickly.
It may not seem like it now, but these 10 weeks will fly by.  Once you get past the halfway mark, you'll find the time moving quicker and quicker.  Keep pushing.

2.  Keep your head up.
As much as you keep your head in your review books, and eyes on flashcards, make sure you keep the right attitude.  This test can make you feel horrible, but you can't let it.  Know you are where you are for a reason, and be sure to stay positive no matter what.

3.  Keep pushing.
Gotta reiterate this one.  You'll have tough days.  You'll be studying 8-12 hours per day, and often in frustration.  Keep pushing.  Do more questions, write more essays.  The cliche about this being a marathon, not a sprint is SO true.  The more content you review, the more prepared you'll be.  Don't get up.  Take the test; don't let it take you.

4.  Manage your time properly.  
It might take a little time to get into a routine, but as you do, make sure you build in time to get away from the test.  Honestly, it won't (and shouldn't) be much, but you have to take time to recharge your batteries.  Find out what helps you relax and implement it into your schedule.  You'll need the balance.

5.  Think about what's next.  
Yes, we're telling you to stay focused on the test and make it your #1 priority.  You must.  However, you need to take your time away here and there (see #4) and also think about what you'll be doing when this test is a thing of the past.  It will be, we promise.  Don't get overwhelmed with thinking about interviews or job-hunting.  Those things can be stressful enough.  Consider a vacation when you're done, a massage, something to treat yourself after such a rigorous journey.  You'll deserve it.

Once you are done with your test, interviews and informationals can come back to mind.  When they do, be sure to check out What to Wear for Informational Interviews by one of our Fashion Law friends, Whitney Wears.  You might encounter one during bar review, but be sure to keep it as informal and relaxed as possible.  Checking out Whitney's fashion tips should be perfect for easing the mind.  

Best of luck.  Now, back to studying!

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