Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicago, Charlotte and Cali in 3 Weeks

Finally, it's the end of October. *Whew!*  Happy birthday to my brother Aaron, who made his grand entrance some 30-eh years ago, just as Dad was about to take me trick-or-treating. I ended up doing the candy hunt with the next door neighbors. The next morning, I had a brand spanking new baby brother.

I love you, Aar-Bear!
circa 1982

What a crazy-busy month full of wonderful moments. First stop, Chicago, where I had the pleasure of sharing an hour with one of my fave bloggers, the lovely Patrice, aka Afrobella. Ta-dahhhh!

Chicago - October 12, 2011
Back in August, Bella held a sweet giveaway on her blog, offering up her Asus netbook to one of her longtime readers and (gasp) she picked me. Since I was headed to Chicago anyway for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Conference, we agreed to meet in-person. On her recommendation, we visited the Chi Bakery, which is an unassuming little place in the middle of a quiet block... but aren't unassuming little places often the most fun? By the way, the lemon cupcakes and red velvet cookies melted into oblivion in my mouth. Very nice treats! We chatted for about an hour, and I must say -- Patrice is just as kind and professional IRL as she is in on her blog, and I respect and admire her approach toward developing her personal brand. Bella, thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me and for the wonderful gifts.

The weather was unseasonably warm that week in Chicago. No offense to all my NYC buddies, but the Chicago skyline is so impressive. My coworkers and I took a water taxi to the Sears Tower and took pics at the top:

Then my sweet hubs whisked me away for a long weekend in Charlotte, NC. We visited the Jerald Melberg Gallery to view the works of NC native artist Romare Bearden. You might remember seeing some of his art on the Cosby Show. They're selling his originals, including one for $1.8 million, you know, just in case you have a little art money to spare. His collages are bold and beautiful.

We also visited the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, NC, about 40 minutes from downtown Charlotte, soul food restaurant Mert's Heart and Soul (it was soooo good!), and of course how could we pass up a stop at IKEA.

Last stop for the month of October -- Anaheim, CA, for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Conference. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time for sightseeing in Anaheim, but the weather was beautiful and the people I met around town were friendly. I look forward to going back with Charles so we can take a drive down the coastline.

Went for a jog beneath the palm trees at sunrise...

I also experienced Lush for the first time at the Anaheim Gardenwalk outdoor mall. Based on some reviews I've seen around the net, I'm a bit skeptical on the hair products, but decided to pick up the Godiva shampoo bar and the Wiccy Magic Muscles massage bar for the hubster. It contains cinnamon and smells just right for the fall/winter season. And my husband really, really likes it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Artsy Blog: Alisa Burke

Not much time to blog right now, but wanted to give a quick plug for an artist blog I came across recently. I think I posted about it on FB already:

She has a lot of painting and no-sew projects (YES! because I do not know how to sew... yet). 

Why carve, taking the risk of bleeding on the pumpkin, when you could simply paint the pumpkin? And in an ikat or Missoni print, maybe you can bring it inside and enjoy it through Thanksgiving. Check out her blog for more cool ideas.