Expo for Today’s Black Woman

 

state farm

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attend the Chicago Expo for Today’s Black Woman.  What a great time and what a well put together Expo.  The Expo has been held here in Chicago for many years (I am not quite sure of the exact number).  No matter how many years the Expo has been around they are still on the cutting edge of what is going on in our society and they make the weekend enjoyable and tiring (in a good way).

I spent my entire Saturday afternoon at the Expo and let’s say I could have left broke and tired.  The vendors were awesome.  You could purchase everything at the Expo from popcorn to purses and everything in between.  There were hundreds, may thousands of people in attendance and there was something to do for everyone.

Some of the highlights for me were the celebrities intermingled with the crowd.  There was Leon at a booth signing autographs, Sheryl Lee Ralph, the original DreamGirl!  working her booth, taking photos and selling t-shirts.  I was able to catch a panel discussion with the hilarious and talented Kym Whitley who and shared the panel with a local Chicago lifestyle blogger Swa-Rai.  There were even performances by Kelly Price and Tony Terry.

Despite all of these things, what would an Expo be without the participation of companies that make you feel and live better.  My employer, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System hosted a booth as well as the University of Chicago, several other clinics.  There were mobile on-site wellness clinics and rapid HIV testing available.  There was also an education pavilion with a host of schools providing information on everything such as seminary and advanced degrees.

This was my first time attending the EXPO in a few years, however it will bot be my last.  I am so pleased at the caliber of booths and presenters as well as how well the space was laid out.  I could have had a little more space within the aisles because it did get crowded and there were several bottlenecks of people. I would have also loved to see local small restaurants or chefs able to provide food service for the event instead of the well known and overpriced chains that were there.

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Overall, I enjoyed myself and will make plans to attend again next year.  I appreciate the effort that went into making this year’s Expo a success and look forward to what the organizers will do in the future to outdo what they did this year.  If the Expo comes to a city near you make it your business to be in attendance.

 

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Perfect Weekend Getaway

I am sure that we all think of it during our work week.  Where can we run off to and spend a great weekend.  A place where can we go to get away from it all, the daily grind the hustle the demands.  Here are two of my top picks.

If you live in the Midwest like I do, there are some wonderful places that are a short car ride away.  There is Indianapolis, Indiana, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Dells or the small cities with wineries in Southern Michigan.  You could also do a staycation in your own backyard.  Living in Chicago, it is easy to book a rom in the downtown area or in one of the suburbs that has a lot of things going on.

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The point is that there are endless options.  It is up to you to choose which option is best for you and your budget.  For ultimate relaxation, there is nothing like a trip to the winery, the tasting of the various varieties of the wine and then going to have a good meal is a great way to relax for the weekend.  If you go to the Michigan area, there are casinos and shopping nearby that can add to the weekend relaxation.  What is a weekend getaway without a little retail therapy?

michigan wine

If you want to go a little farther, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, has great bed and breakfasts and hotel resorts.  There are little shops, quaint restaurants, lake front activities and many other activities that can promote your relaxation. This town is great for horseback riding and they have excellent spas.

Lake-Geneva

You can also do an at home staycation.  Put your favorite movies in your Netflix queue.  Grab your favorite snacks.  Relax on the couch with your favorite snack and blanket and binge watch all of the movies you love or those who you have been waiting to see.  Light some candles around the bathtub and take your latest leisurely reading with you.  Cook breakfast in bed for yourself and just enjoy being in your own space.

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I believe that everyone needs not only mental health days but some time to recharge and recalibrate from the daily demands of adulating and real life.  These are some suggestions for those in the Midwest.  For those who live in other areas, do a little research on what areas provide the best weekend getaways for you. Take some time for yourself and do not forget to Relax, Release, Rest!!!

Stay Fabulous and Stay Blessed!

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