#SaturdaySwag: Great Gifts for Dad!!!

#SaturdaySwag: Great Gifts for Dad!!!

Fathers are such a gift! They are our providers, protectors, and our knights in shining armor.   It’s time to show the Dad’s some love!  Here are a few ideas for your Dad or prominent male figure!

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#FridayFunday: 8 Steakhouses Dad Will Enjoy!!!

#FridayFunday: 8 Steakhouses Dad Will Enjoy!!!

My dad is a meat and potatoes kinda guy!  As I was putting together this list, I had him in mind.  He likes a great steak with full and hearty side dishes.  Here are 8 Chicago Steakhouses that your dad is sure to enjoy!

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#WellnessWeds: The Benefits of Himalayan Salt

#WellnessWeds: The Benefits of Himalayan Salt

I first discovered Himalayan salt when I was looking for detox bath recipes.  I found that adding it to my detox baths helped me to sleep better and made my skin softer.    Then I was introduced to another benefit of Himalayan salt when I went to a Korean Bath Spa and enjoyed an hour in a salt cave.  My skin felt amazing after that experience. I wanted to learn more about Himalayan salt and why it was suddenly so popular.  I found that Himalayan salt has many benefits that go far beyond relaxing the body and relieving stress. 

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#TransformationTuesday: Meal Planning on a Budget

#TransformationTuesday: Meal Planning on a Budget

IT’S COSTS MORE TO EAT RIGHT!!!

Have you ever said this before?  I know I have but I’m learning that with some time management, organization and planning it doesn’t have to be that way.   I’m a list maker, planner loving; post it not making kind of girl. I literally plan and schedule my entire life. So why was I so reckless about planning meals?  Quite simply, I’m tired!!! LOL…After working and juggling so much, who has to the time to plan a meal?  By the time I get home, I’m spending time with the kids, writing, managing blogs, bills and household chores. Meal planning just wasn’t a priority....UNTIL I realized how much money I was spending on food!!! I have three kids (ages 15, 13 and 11), so food disappears frequently in the bodies of these growing kids.  I spend my weekends running around so as a result, we tend to eat out a lot. It all adds up.  I’m really trying to cut my expenses so I can spend my money on experiences such as travel, so I had to make the time to research and figure this meal planning thing out.

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#SelfCare Sunday: Get Some R&R (Rest & Rejuvination)

#SelfCare Sunday: Get Some R&R (Rest & Rejuvination)

We are a society that is built on staying busy and productive.  We are often told to get as much done during a day as possible and we are masters at multi-tasking. We are a society obsessed with busyness...  Sometimes the best thing you can do for your well-being is to slow down and be still.  When was the last time you were just still?  When do you allow yourself to rest your mind, body and spirit?    Resting recharges the body, giving you the energy you need to complete your daily tasks. How productive can you be when you are exhausted or when your mind is cluttered?   Our bodies and minds need rest to be able to think clearly.   Rest doesn’t always mean sleep either.  It is anything that allows you to replenish and rejuvenate.

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#SaturdaySwag: Gifts for the Graduate!

#SaturdaySwag: Gifts for the Graduate!

Graduation is such an exciting time in a young person’s life.  The completion of one goal and the beginning of achieving another is a reason to celebrate! The sky’s the limit for the student who puts in hard work and dedication.  Here are a few ideas for the graduate in your life!

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#FridayFunday: Festival Season In Chicago! (Free Download!)

#FridayFunday: Festival Season In Chicago! (Free Download!)

Festival Season in Chicago is upon us! It’s the time of year when your weekends are filled with food, music and plenty of fun for the entire family. The city hosts several large festivals throughout the summer; Gospel Fest, Blues Fest, Jazz Fest, and the Taste of Chicago just to name a few but the real gems are found at your local neighborhood festivals. Chicago is a city with plenty of diverse neighborhoods and attending local festivals allows you to immerse yourself in different cultures while enjoying beautiful summer days in Chicago. 

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#TransformationTuesday: Create a Workout Plan that Works!

#TransformationTuesday: Create a Workout Plan that Works!

Single mom of three, income stretched to the max, overscheduled, full time job, owner and manager of two blogs…but I need to take better care of myself.  How?  I’ve known that I needed to take better care of myself for a long time but I’ve always struggled with how to make time to do it and to do it in a way that doesn’t break the bank.

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#SelfCareSunday: Journaling-A Daily Excercise in Self-Care

#SelfCareSunday: Journaling-A Daily Excercise in Self-Care

I write every single day, several times a day.  Running two websites/blogs keeps my pen in constant motion. However, I have found that the most important writing I do, no one will ever see. They are the words I write in my journal.  I’ve kept journals since I was a teen but it wasn’t until I was an adult in my 20s that I realized the value in writing for myself every day.  I journal every night before I go to bed on during the day sometimes on the weekend.   Journaling gives me the necessary time and space to just be alone with my thoughts and feelings and put them down on paper.  I am a firm believer in the power of the written word and the healing power of journaling.

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#SaturdaySwag: "Patio Pimpin": Summer Entertaining Essentials!

#SaturdaySwag: "Patio Pimpin": Summer Entertaining Essentials!

Memorial Day Weekend kicks off Summer Entertaining and BBQ season.   My friends and I like to call it “Patio Pimpin”.  It’s the time of year where you gather with friends on beautiful summer days and nights to eat, drink and chill, usually at home in the backyard or patio.  I’ve compiled a list of my Patio Pimpin essentials to help you and your friends plan the perfect holiday cookout!

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#FridayFunday: Memorial Day In Chicago

#FridayFunday: Memorial Day In Chicago

Memorial Day weekend kicks off Summer in Chicago! There are plenty of events happening all around the city and surrounding suburbs to help you and your family enjoy the long holiday weekend! Here are a few of my faves!

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#WellnessWednesday: Stay Hydrated with Detox Waters

#WellnessWednesday: Stay Hydrated with Detox Waters

But what if you aren’t a fan of water?  I discovered detox waters as a way to ensure I’m getting my daily dose of H2O.  Detox water is an infused water recipe that rids your body of toxins and improves overall health.  Some detox waters have beneficial ingredients.  Healthy ingredients that is full of much needed vitamins and nutrients that make you healthier.

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#TransformationTuesday: 8 Ways To Develop a Healthy Relationship With Food

#TransformationTuesday: 8 Ways To Develop a Healthy Relationship With Food

This week for #TransformationTuesday, we are talking about food. I’m pleased to introduce, Nieta from CleanCheating.com. Nieta is a Food/Fitness Blogger and former caterer.  Her fitness journey began in 2006 when she joined Weight Watchers and lost 60 lbs.  After a series of life events, she eventually gained all but 13lbs back, it was then that she made some lifestyle changes and began to live healthier. Her approach to fitness and food is extremely practical and easy to incorporate into a busy lifestyle.   Follow her and learn more about her wellness journey on simplycleancheating.com. She has a wealth of wonderful information, fitness tips and great tasting recipes!  Thank you Nieta for your contribution to “The Sum of Many Things”! 

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#SelfCareSunday: Activated Charcoal-The Ultimate Detox

#SelfCareSunday: Activated Charcoal-The Ultimate Detox

Charcoal…I’m sure you think of the little squares you use when you are getting ready to barbeque but Activated charcoal is different.  Barbecue charcoal is loaded with toxins and chemicals.  Activated charcoal is derived from coconut shells, wood or peat.   Activated Charcoal is used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them.    Think of it like a magnet, binding to toxins and flushing them out.  In addition to being a safe treatment for the removal of toxins in the system, activated charcoal can also be deodorizing and disinfecting.  Activated Charcoal is considered to be the ultimate detoxifier.

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#SaturdaySwag: The "Glow Up"-Skin Care for Summer!

#SaturdaySwag: The "Glow Up"-Skin Care for Summer!

Summer is just around the corner and that means we show more skin! It’s important to maintain that summer glow in the healthiest way possible. It’s possible to make that melanin pop as long as you maintain a healthy skincare routine! Here are a few of my favorites to keep my melanin poppin!

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#WellnessWednesday: Oil Diffusing

#WellnessWednesday: Oil Diffusing

Aromatherapy is the practice of using natural oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being.   The aroma of essential oils is widely believed to improve brain function and when absorbed through the skin and bloodstream, they can promote whole body healing.  It’s a form of alternative medicine that works for pain relief, mood enhancement and increased memory.  Our sense of smell is a powerful thing.  Essential oils can purify the air, dispel odors, relax the mind and body, enhance your immune system, clear your mind and bring oxygen to the brain, improving memory and health.  An easy way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is by using a diffuser. 

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#TransformationTuesday: Grocery Shopping on a Budget (Guest Post)

#TransformationTuesday: Grocery Shopping on a Budget (Guest Post)

This week, I partnered with my fellow Blogging Sister, Dana Harrell, Founder of La Curlista.  She started blogging in 2013 as a natural hair blogger and now blogs about hair, fashion, lifestyle, and all things in-between. This week, Dana is talking about how to shop for healthly ingredients on a budget!   Thank you Dana for helping us shop better, smarter and healthier!

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#SelfCareSunday: The Benefits of Bentonite Clay

#SelfCareSunday: The Benefits of Bentonite Clay

I discovered Bentonite Clay when I was researching ways to restore my hair after heat damage but I learned that Bentonite clay has amazing benefits for your body.   Bentonite Clay is composed of ash made from volcanos.  It is a healing clay that cleanses and detoxes the body. It is also used to defend against illnesses as well.  Bentonite Clay helps to get rid of the toxins in your body and increase immunity and reduce inflammation.  The Clay has minerals that when ingested are absorbed into the body.

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