And, We’re Marching…

4 08 2009

Rich Central HS Band (BudBilliken.com)

Rich Central HS Band (BudBilliken.com)

I will be postponing this Saturday’s “A Little Service, A Little Brunch” because The Red Pump Project will be marching in the Bud Billiken Parade this Saturday! The historical parade celebrates its 80th anniversary this year and is the nation’s oldest and largest African-American parade. We are sooo honored and excited to be a part of this event! I can still remember marching as a child through my old neighborhood. The excitement as my mother brushed our hair, dressed us, and lined us up to march with the other kids. Started in 1929 as a way for the Chicago Defender to celebrate its’ paperboys, the parade has marked the unofficial back-to-school season for generations of African-Americans in Chicago since then.

If you’re in Chicago, the parade will travel south along M.L. King Drive beginning at Oakwood Blvd and ending at Washington Park. The city expects 1 million people to line the parade route and attend the post-parade picniv in Washington Park, so make sure that you are there in time to enjoy the festivities!

Head on over to my Examiner page to learn about the $300K in scholarship dollars to be awarded to Chicago students this year through the Chicago Defender charities. Family fun and college funding in one. Doesn’t get any better, folks!

-kb

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What A Weekend! BlogHer 2k9

27 07 2009

This weekend, I tried to keep up with the big girls and attend a couple of BlogHer events. Allow me to tip my hat to the ladies who attended the conference sessions, along with the pre- and post-parties. You all deserve some type of medal! On Friday evening, I joined bloggers at the Blogalicious/LUSH Experience in the LUSH Cosmetics section of Macy’s. The private event took place after store hours and was amazing! I am NOT exaggerating. There were drinks, desserts, and complimentary beauty treatments. Guests enjoyed arm massages, hand treatments, facials, pedicures, and more. I grabbed some pictures on my Blackberry (for Twitpic purposes).

Blogalicious Event

Blogalicious Event

LUSH Goodies

LUSH Goodies

Blogalicious is a conference for women bloggers of color. The inaugural conference will be held in Atlanta from October 9-11. You can learn more or sign up at www.blogaliciousweekend.com! At the end of the night, I walked away with some great goodies courtesy of LUSH. Huge thank you to my fairy Godbella, Afrobella, for inviting me to this great event. I had a blast!

Chicagonista/NY Metropolista Writers

Chicagonista/NY Metropolista Writers

On Saturday, I joined some of my Chicagonista gals for a sushi lunch celebrating the launch of our sister site, NY Metropolista. I must say that the founder of both sites, MJ Tam, is so amazing. She is not only sweet but she has a vision and is making it happen! MJ gathered us at Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge and we gabbed while dining on some amazing rolls! By the way, the food at Niu was delicious. I highly recommend the Sexy Mexican roll.

Pictured (Smiling L to R): Carol of NYCityMama.com, Jen of SecondCitySoiree.com, MJ

I didn’t register for the conference so I had no idea how busy BlogHer ground zero (the Sheraton) was. That was until I ventured over there post-sushi to meet up with my Red Pump Project co-founder, Luvvie. I found her gorging on Molly’s Cupcakes in the Brand About Town suite. This company identifies key influencers in the blogosphere and links them with companies and great campaigns. The Sheraton was buzzing with women, men, babies all moving in and out of sessions and gifting suites. It was incredible to watch. Did I mention that there were roughly 1500 bloggers in attendance? Let me tell you now…In case you haven’t figured it out by now, blogging is a huge business.

To end the weekend, I joined the Bright Pink ladies at BowlHer. In addition to bowling and having a blast, we were there spreading awareness about breast and ovarian cancer, Bright Pink, and the new text messaging campaign launching in October. A novel way to combine technology and healthcare, Bright Pink will launch the “Underwire Alert,” an alert system which will send women a monthly text message reminding them to conduct their monthly breast self-exam. How cool is that?

Me at BowlHer

Me at BowlHer

Whew…So, there you have it! My BlogHer experience in a nutshell! All in all, I had the opportunity to meet so many great bloggers and individuals, in general! I feel like I spend so much time talking to Twitter IDs and blog screennames, so it’s good to have that human connection. I’m still going through my business cards and checking out the bloggers that I met during the weekend because definitely want to keep in touch 🙂

While there were a significant number of “moms who blog” and not enough bloggers of color, I felt that everyone was there to learn, network, and mingle. Other than the few catty situations that I heard about, I thought BlogHer was very beneficial for attendees. Next year, the conference will be held in New York City. I’ve already marked the date on my calendar and am looking forward to being in attendance!

-kb





Sunday Funday! Bright Pink and Bears

21 07 2009
Bright Pink Gals

Bright Pink Gals

On Sunday, I spent my day walking around the city and checking out events held by two great organizations! First, I payed a visit to The 900 Shops on North Michigan Avenue. Bright Pink was hosting its charity shopping event, and I stopped by to grab some pictures and say “Hi!” From the giant sign out front to the smiling volunteer wearing a pink shirt, there was no mistaking the point of this day. DONATE…SHOP…SAVE…ENJOY!

Participating stores featured signs in the windows to highlight the deals AND also had a pink arrow leading patrons in. When I arrived, lululemon was hosting a free yoga class on the first floor while makeup artists beautified some faces under hot pink umbrellas.

Makeup and Yoga!

Makeup and Yoga!

DJ Rock City played a great mix of music including a MJ tribute, which still makes me light up. Guests made their way throughout the stores grabbing great deals and taking advantage of all the free treats. Williams-Sonoma had a run on their free pink cupcakes, and guests enjoyed free mini-manicures courtesy of the Mario Tricoci Hair Salon (amongst all the other goodies). Look at all those cute pink colors below!

ZOYA Nail Color in Pink

ZOYA Nail Color in shades of pink

Afterwards, I mosied on along to Erie Park for the Taste of River North. Bear Necessities, a great pediatric cancer foundation here, had a booth at the riverside festival. While children played on the hill and live bands entertained the crowds, we volunteered at the booth signing up people to help Bear Necessities’ programs. During my shift, I worked alongside two gents, one an intern and the other was a great volunteer like myself!

BN Table!

BN Table!

All in all, I had a great day seeing the city and meeting new people. Another summer Sunday Funday entered in the books 🙂

How were your weekends?

-kb





KB’s Journey: Meetup Success!

22 06 2009

Hey, folks! How was your weekend???

I had a BLAST here in Chicago. The weather is finally heating up, and there are so many events to attend 🙂

On Saturday, The Red Pump Project hosted a meetup/fundraiser at the lovely Three Peas Art Lounge. The event was designed to raise funds for the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project AND welcome the beautiful Afrobella to Chicago. Let me just tell you all that we had a ball mixing and mingling for a great cause.

Afrobella and KB

Afrobella and KB

It was great meeting so many bloggers in town for Blogging While Brown, talking to CWAP board members/staff, and telling folks about The Red Pump Project. We were pretty amazed when Rev. Rae Lewis-Thornton, renowned AIDS activist, stopped by our event and chatted with our guests. Our raffle winners walked away with some great gifts, including condom cases from Just In Case, Inc, a delicious chocolate mousse cake (donated by a bakery), some great jewelry, and an AKIRA gift certificate. Yay!

At the end of the night, we’d raised over $500 for CWAP, and emptied an undocumented number of wine bottles. 🙂 Thanks to the 50+ people who escaped the heat for an evening of cool conversation and cold drinks! We had FUN!

I didn’t take that many pics personally, but I threw in a few below!

CIMG0833 Luvvie, along with CWAP staff

CIMG0848 Blogging beauties!

CIMG0839 Crowd shot!

-kb





Goodwill (Dress) Hunting

15 06 2009

This weekend, my sister and I drove down to Alton, IL to watch our aunt and uncle renew their vows in honor of their 25th wedding anniversary. The ceremony was beautiful and we had a great time getting reacquainted with our mother’s hometown. Yesterday, we decided to do some exploring and check out some of the shops.

Across the street from our hotel was a Goodwill store. While we went in there just to look around and possibly shop, we ended up falling in love with one particular section of the store…The wedding gowns!

CIMG0815I don’t know if it was the nuptial theme of the weekend, but we spent more time fawning and feigning over those gowns than anything else in the store! When many women dream of walking down the aisle, they never think of walking down the aisle in a stranger’s dress! But, with times the way that they are, and the growing recycle/reuse movement, there is a growing number of women who have no issue purchasing a second-hand gown.

The first thing we noticed in the section was that some of the gowns in the store were very, hmm…let’s say dated. There were definitely some poofy sleeves and crazy necklines. The second thing we noticed, and the most important thing, were the amazing trains and beading on a few of those gowns. So intricately designed…and at such GREAT bargains! Of course, any one who purchased a gown would need to have it worked on (i.e., altering, cleaning, etc). That is with the exception of one gown…

There was a gorgeous Cinderella dress that was my size and absolutely beautiful. I tried it on and was borderline obsessed with it. My sister almost bought it for me! It would have definitely been my reception gown.

I'm Cinderella!

So beautiful and only $125!

Here are some more pics from our excursion:

CIMG0817

CIMG0818

Another Gown

We didn’t buy any wedding gowns, but at the end of the day, my sister snagged four dresses (including the silk Banana Republic dress below), two wrap sweaters, and a pair of sunglasses for about $34. Whoo hoo!!!

CIMG0820

All purchases at Goodwill stores benefit the job training and other programs supported by Goodwill Industries. You can find your nearest Goodwill store by visiting www.goodwill.org!





June-time Is Here!

1 06 2009
Summertime Chicago!

Summertime Chicago!

Hey, guys…I’ve missed you all so much! It’s been over a week since my last entry, but I had to rearrange and reorder my life! Lol. My TFG staycation gave me time to work on plans for The Red Pump Project, plan for some new ventures, AND start cleaning out my closets! A new season is upon us, and like they say in church, “You have to get your house in order!”

I’m actually really excited that we’ve reached June. It means that we’ve made it halfway through the year! It’s never too late to start giving or to start volunteering. Don’t think about it…Just do it! Whether it’s participating in a charity softball tournament or planting flowers in a community garden, the outdoor volunteer opportunities increase!

As a firm believer in sunlight and sunbathing, you can rest assured that I will be on the lookout for plenty of “golden” opportunities to have fun while giving. As I come across great outdoor activities, I will definitely add them here on the blog. Have a great June 1st…Summer officially arrives in 20 days! Start the countdown now 🙂

-kb





Happy Birthday, TFG!!!

15 05 2009

cupcake-candle

OMG…I’m such a bad blog mommy! The Fabulous Giver officially was “born” one year ago on May 13th! I’m so happy that I’ve been able to share these events and my journey with you guys! I’m very grateful for each of you who takes the time to read my blog, retweet an entry, or tell your friends to check me out! 

Seriously, you all keep me working and trying to build my vision. I plan on really turning things up a notch in this new year. So, be on the lookout for a site redesign, interviews with some AMAZING individuals, events, vlogs, and MORE! 

Again, THANK YOU for all of your support and please continue to spread the word about The Fabulous Giver!

-kb