The Recap: Pipeline+ Black Beauty Fest

This Weekend I got the opportunity to attend the Black Beauty Fest at Victory Gardens Theater to celebrate Black History Month! It was a space for vendors, food, beauty and a special performance of The Black Monologues!

The Black Monologues are monologues about Black life and the perspective from a various group of black people and the struggles they have endured.

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The Black Beauty Fest portion featured vendors from all over that have a small business, guests were encouraged to shop and mingle with each other while celebrating Black Beauty!

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Vegan Wine from Sip and Share Winery!
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Products from Eden Body Works!

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Rashaunah, the founder of Chi-Town Naturals and I

After the day’s events, I was able to attend the show Pipeline written by Dominique Morisseau. The play depicts the story of a mom who is trying to take the best care of her son while being a single mom. It touches on how stress can take a toll on you and how complex co-parenting can be when the issues have never been dealt with. It also discusses how each parent’s issues cause trauma on the child and it never gets dealt with until something bad happens. great cast and great story!

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The playbill from Pipeline!

If you are in Chicago check out Pipeline, which is at VGT until March! Thank you to VGT and Black Bloggers Chicago for the opportunity!

Black Blogger Chicago Creator Danielle and I

Do you love theater? If so, tell me your favorite shows!

XOXO, Arella

The Recap: Currency of Confidence Podcast Taping

Have you ever wondered why people who are successful have confidence around themselves? It’s because they have figured “IT” out. Not the “IT” of getting rich quick or scheming but how to successfully grow their business and also confidently manage all the aspects, number one would be currency, that money, those coins.

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Lawyer bae, Ashley Nicole is letting everyone in on the gems she learned to help her grow her business,  Mobile General Counsel and lead others the information she has to help you not only manage the business side of creating a business but also being confident in who you are as a person. I had to opportunity to attend the live taping of Ashley Nicole’s podcast and I left with gems for days!
Let’s get into them!

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Ashley talking to her parents about how to raise confident Children!
  1. Being there for your children and showing them confidence allows them to understand how much they are worth. (These Gems came from Ashley Nicole’s parents who talked in depth about how confidence plays a big part in raising confident children)

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    The beautiful clothing from one of the vendors! House of Divahs!

2.  Check up on yourself and take care of your mental health! Let’s keep tabs on our mental health concerns and address them.  It’s okay sis, you have to take care of you FIRST.

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Pretty and Bossed shirt from the Pretty and Bossed Brand! LOOOVed this!

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3. Setting Goals and making plans help your business run smoothly which in turn make you confident in your business and hitting each goal you set! This gem was given from Kim Lewis who is the founder of a brand called, Curl Mix! Her story was so amazing!

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Myself and the lady of the Hour, Ashley Kirkwood, ESQ.

4.  Charmaine J, for Black Ink Chicago, discussed how confidence and honesty plays a huge role in maintaining her relationship with her boyfriend despite all the pressures and criticisms of being on Reality Tv!

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PaigesQuinn, unique art!

Ashley gave us information to move forward with and also left us with things to do to complete our “WORK”. In addition, Ashley is also available to help with legal advice, trademark questions etc! When you get a chance check out her Podcast for all of this and more!

Connect with Ashley Here:

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How are you working on your confidence in your life/ work this year? Let’s chat about it!

XOXO, Arella

More Life: Travel & Adventure Show 2019

One of my favorite times of the year has passed and that is Travel Show time! yay! Last year I had so much fun and learned a whole lot about  travel plans, destinations and travel tips and this year I learned even more!

I got to meet Angel from Angel’s Travel Lounge    who I talked to about my over packers syndrome here!  There he gave more great tips on packing, travel tech and how to make the most of your trips!

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Learning about the different parts and sights of Africa!

This year a couple places caught my eye! Palm Springs California stood out to me because of the beauty and Arizona also stood out as well!

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Angel and I 

If you’ve never been to to a Travel & Adventure Show please check it out in your city! Here is the schedule for the rest of the year! If you plan on going to the show, let me know!

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Some Amazing Goat cheese and Jam from Arizona!
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My mom asking a few questions to Angel after his seminar!
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Enjoyed learning about Guatemala and the exciting culture!
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Along with the Camel this is my favorite interactive part of the show, A live Scuba tank, where you can learn on the spot! Go Dive!

I’m so excited to budget in my travel this year and looking forward to exploring more travel destination  and going to this show helped me plan it out!

Are you setting aside a budget and time to travel this year? If so where?

XOXO,Arella 

 

Traveling Fashionista

As a travel AND fashion lover, it’s really hard for me to not want to take everything in my closet with me wherever I go. I suffer from overpacking syndrome really bad. Shoes are particularly hard for me to pack!   I usually never use all that I pack and have to lug a heavy AF suitcase back home. This is frustrating, to say the least, but I always feel better overpacking than underpacking right?  ( I know I am not alone in this)

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Needing some guidance I spoke with Travel expert, Angel Castellanos from Angel’s Travel Lounge. He has traveled to the most beautiful places in the world and has mastered the art of traveling smart, making the most of each travel adventure and how to pack like a pro.

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As I gear up for the Chicago stop of the Travel and Adventure show I am looking forward to learning all I can this go round about how to make my 2019 travels that much better.  To see how much fun I had last year look here!  Angel gave me some top-notch tips that will help me live my best travel life!

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Tip #1 Packing light doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the fashion.  (As you pack you don’t have to take your whole closet but that doesn’t mean you can’t still look fly! Carefully plan the outfits )

Tip #2 Flexibility and versatility are keys to proper packing. ( Depending on your trip you have to pack clothing that matches your trip, being versatile provides more options for successful looks.)

This is just a SMALL portion of what Angel will discuss in person but for reference, you can also check out his great article about packing! (Don’t say I never gave you anything)  check out Angel’s talk at the Travel Adventure show as it stops into Chicago this weekend, January 12th and 13th.

Because I love you all so much I have a code for you to purchase tickets with! (Save thy coins)  Code: CHIPR19 will save you $$$. tickets! 

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Where are you traveling this year? I wanna know! 

XOXO, Arella

 

The Next:Chicago Talent Season 2

When executive producer, Calynn M. Lawrence reached out to me and asked me to be a part of Season 2 of Chicago Talent I was totally excited. I was excited because it always amazes me when people find me on Instagram! I know its a great tool to market yourself and your brand but it always blows my mind when it actually serves its purpose! 

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Chicago Talent isn’t a typical reality show, Chicago Talent is focused on the day to day hustle and bustle of rising creatives in Chicago! Events, projects, writings etc are all that Chicago Talent is all about, showcasing those who are on the come up and looking for that big break while still maintaining!46439127_772766239762365_923308275175260160_n Showing exclusively on Facebook, Here. You can get to know the cast and crew and see what is next! I am so thankful for this opportunity and what is to come!

If you are in the Chicago area and would like to attend the premiere party please shoot me an email, arellaswan@gmail.com! 

XOXO, ARELLA

DIY:Christmas & Cocoa

Every year I spend Christmas Eve with my grandmother and this year was no different except it was just here and I. Usually it’s my two to other cousins but this year I had my grandmother all to myself!

We usually bake something to eat for the Christmas Festivities but this year I wanted to try a Hot Chocolate bar. Needless to say, it was a hit! I got items from Trader Joes, Dollar Tree, and Marshalls and it was extremely affordable! 20181225_10094020181224_194350

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Cinnamon and, candy canes all from Dollar Tree. In the glass bowls, I crushed up some green candy canes for toppings. I also put honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the glass bowls as well. I didn’t do the typical marshmallows because I don’t eat them. (I’m Pescatarian) 20181224_194341Mugs from Dollar Tree20181224_194338

Organic Hot Cocoa mix from Trader Joes!

The decor was some leftover garland from last year and some unused ornaments. The snowman bowl was a gift and came right in handy for this “project”.

What traditions do you celebrate this time of year?

XOXO, ARELLA

The Recap: Step up Step out and Shine

When I saw my twitter cousin, Africa Miranda was coming back to Chicago for her book tour I knew I had to go! Africa has always been a kind, beautiful spirit every time I encountered her whether it be online or In real life.  If you are new to the force that is Africa you can find out more here! (You are welcome)

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The event took place at the UIC Forum and was hosted by the Chance Program at UIC which allows students to have numerous opportunities to grow their passions  WHILE in school. The hosts were current students and they had so many great questions for Africa on her book and just overall gems.

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If you have ever been to Africa’s events, page or site you know how beautifully curated it is, so her event was no different.  Bright colors, fresh flowers, and just an overall great atmosphere!

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Event Takeaways:

1. Everything will not be perfect AND that’s okay. Africa talked about always wanting and making things perfect and once she realized that things won’t always work how you want it to you have to keep it moving!

2. Do not let people put their own self-doubts on you.  (You shouldn’t travel alone, work that job, cut your hair etc.) Follow your own path!

3. Step out of your comfort zone. You ever wonder why shit don’t shake? Because you are comfortable! Step out and Do it, whatever it is!

4. Everyone has a story, don’t be afraid to share yours! Africa wrote her book to share her story and help others so they won’t go through the stuff that she did. Also, a lot of times people are afraid to be transparent because of judgment, however without being open, you don’t heal!

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Africa Inspires me not only because she literally does everything I want to do and she does it well, but she also inspires me because in her book she is real about her journey. No fluffy sugar-coated writing but truth and wisdom. That is appreciated. If you want to purchase Step up, Step Out and Shine you can go here.

What ways are you being transparent in your life? Tell me and let’s talk about it!

XOXO, Arella