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Friday, November 21, 2014

Train to maintain

In the fitness industry there is a lot of talk about goals:  What event are you training for? Are you looking to lose 15 pounds? Are you trying to get stronger? What is it ultimately that you are looking to achieve? The responses, of course, are numerous, and each person has their own list of items they'd like to check off. In many cases, they are very specific; for example: mastered the Scorpion pose - done; 5 dead hang pull ups - got 'em; lost 10 pounds - I hope they never come back...

Once the items are checked off the list, for many, another list merely comes to the forefront, usually building off of the previous one; however, for some there comes a point where the drive to workout becomes less about marking items off the checklist and more about maintaining the goods that are already in place. It's when this occurs that the athlete has moved officially into "maintenance mode".
For some the idea of maintenance mode may seem to go against the main purpose of athletic training.  Arguably, maintenance is a goal within itself. It keeps athletes working hard to continue to stay strong, to keep moving, to retain healthy habits that have already been established, and all without the added pressure (whether external or internal) to up their training. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the idea of "train to maintain", there is still something to be said for continually pressing on to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Choose the maintenance method(s) that make you look and feel your best, and surround yourself with others who share in your passion to live a healthy lifestyle. There will be bumps along the way no matter what fitness route you choose, but never forget to celebrate the high moments that happen along the way. Maybe they are moments that were never a part of the original goal list, but those accomplishments are still to be recognized because they occurred as a result of a lot of hard work.

Some (Okay, One) Movies to See This Weekend, November 21, 2014

This weekend is light on quantity for new releases. The only one you're guaranteed to see in every theater is the latest in the Hunger Games series, so let's talk a little about that.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers: Peter Craig, Danny Strong, Suzanne Collins
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is one of the best science fiction adventure movies of my generation, and possibly the best sci-fi/adventure sequel since The Empire Strikes Back. The first film in the series of adaptations of Suzanne Collins's young adult dystopian books was good, if overly attached to straight translation and in love with unnecessary shaky cam cinematography. But the sequel expands and enlivens the universe, raises the stakes to revolutionary levels, and it makes you feel what's going on in these tortured survivors' heads as they are dragged into a prefabricated and deadly media circus to pay for their deceit in the first film. It has as much discussion of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the insane demands we make of our warriors as it does visceral, popcorn-chomping fun.

And now, with the third (of four) release upon us, we'll see if returning director Francis Lawrence can recapture some of the magic of the second. It looks impressive and huge, which is to be expected for what is now a billion dollar franchise, but also for a story about a full-on revolution in the futuristic Panem. Whether the filmmakers have been able to coax a workable dramatic structure from only using half of a book, I'm not sure. But after their last effort, I am more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The returning cast includes Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence as possibly the best protagonist in modern franchise filmmaking. All the trailers have shown a further cracked Katniss being required by her revolutionary admirers to take up arms against the oppressive government, and nobody, including newcomers Julianne Moore and Natalie Dormer, and the revolution's mastermind, Philip Seymour Hoffman – in, sadly, one of his final screen appearances – think she can do anything beyond being almost catatonic. That will be a fascinating arc to see unfold, and hopefully it will be relatively resolved by the end of Mockingjay – Part I.

And if we need to wait a year for the movie to feel complete, oh well. We still get half a sci-fi action film with some huge thrills.

Nailing it with Nailtini and Sally Hansen

Nail polish, nail art and nail wraps have really been seeing their glory days the last couple of years. I remember my days of going to the salon to get my nails "did" when I was a young lady living on my own before kids and relationships entered the picture. When all I had to worry about was me. Now, I'm lucky if I can get 10 minutes alone in the bathroom to paint my nails. Never in a million years would I have guessed how nails would be taking the spotlight in the beauty industry like they are today.

It's always interesting to see what the trends are when it comes to DIY beauty. As people have less to spend, but still want to look and feel good, they are choosing to take the salon home and complete manis on their own. Brands like Nailtini and Sally Hansen are doing a great job of giving people affordable options in fashion forward colors and providing them with edgy and trend forward techniques.

Nailtini is taking DIY to a whole 'nother level with their "cocktail" mixing kits and their latest "Laquer Cabinet" program. This is a subscription based program that stocks monthly limited-edition lacquer collections curated by top nail and beauty experts, plus two empty mini bottles for you to try your own hand at lacquer mixology. What an ingenious idea to add to the cult of DIY beauty. It's fresh and fun and perfect for the cosmo city-girl on the go who doesn't always have time to stop at the drug store to pick up the latest on trend colors. Yet, it is still creative enough to allow you to experiment on your own. Nailtini is the only line of nail lacquer developed to maximize the creativity of the user by "cocktailing" different shades. I gave the set a try and it's a definite must try. The polishes coat beautifully and the colors are vibrant. These shades are inherently thick and opaque. You can check out Nailtini HERE.

Now, Sally Hansen is a tried and true nail polish brand. Yet, I am loving their recent push to highlight trend styles and colors in their product lines. The matte/shiny nail combo was a huge trend on the runways for this year. A fresh take on the traditional French manicure, created by layering a slightly darker matte pink shade on top of a glossy one. Subtle and classy. Sally Hansen has a great new clear coat that dries matte to create a velvety finish. Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat with Complete Salon Manicure in Almost Almond, creates a flattering nude matte shade which is right in line with the trends seen on the runway. The color coats well after just two coats and the matte finish is definitely a badass take on the classy mani.

Sally Hansen’s award-winning Complete Salon Manicure collection infuses trend-setting shades with an expert quality formula to deliver salon-caliber results. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure delivers seven salon manicure steps in one bottle. Chip resistant strength joins gel-quality shine. Must-have color meets nourishing benefits. Plus, a built-in base and top coat, it’s everything you need to achieve a professional manicure at home. What more could you ask for?

Both these brands are definitely nailing it in the beauty department! Check them out and sidestep that salon price tag for an attainable do it yourself option!
Jen - Editor in chief

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bad Cops: The Seven Five Documentary Shares NYPD Corruption

Corruption is unfortunately everywhere. Even people meant to keep the peace and uphold the law challenge our trust because we’ve experienced otherwise. In 1992, several New York police officers were arrested, exposing a widespread ring of corruption in Brooklyn’s 75th precinct. Showing at DOC NYC, Tiller Russell’s documentary The Seven Five recounts rogue cop Micheal Dowd and his posse’s story and delves into why they would do it.
The Seven Five To say being a police officer is a hard job is an understatement. Cops rarely see people at their best and need to do things others are not willing to do. In the 1980’s, Brooklyn’s 75th precinct was one of the deadliest in the country, leading in drug wars and cop shootings. For many, being a cop is a calling. For Michael Dowd, it was a job, a poorly paid one he didn’t want to do and in one of the worst places to be a cop. One cop in the documentary wonders who he burned to get sent there. Dowd felt it didn’t make sense for a cop who risked his life for $36,000 a year somewhere he was despised not to take dirty money. Dowd and his partner stole from everyone and everything. They started taking drugs and money from busts. They took security payments from drug lords. Eventually they set up their own cocaine ring on Long Island.
Micheal Dowd testifies in 1993 “I consider myself a cop and a gangster,” former police officer Michael Dowd says. Russell’s expertly pieces together old news and surveillance footage while revolving around Michael Dowd’s interview. The sold out premiere reunited not only the corrupt police officers for the first time in twenty years but put the face to face with the whistleblowers. Russell described it as “the strangest high school reunion.”
The Seven Five could have been filmed here with some recent bad cop stories in the news. Breaches of power like this story cause us to look askance at people in power. As hard as it is at times, we need to remember we would not have darkness without light; for every bad cop there is a good cop.

Mrs. Prindables - A holiday treat

The dropping temps have arrived and with them come early morning blankets of snow. That can only mean one thing in Chicago, the holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving is merely a week away. Have you started planning yet? Have you already begun your grocery store excursions, goose egg hunts for that one weird ingredient in your grandmother's recipe? Are you thinking of your four course meal prep and all that it entails?

Well, I've got a little secret to share with all you type-a Thanksgiving preppers out there. Dessert doesn't have to be complicated to taste good! It's ok to cheat every once in a while, especially if it means you aren't driving yourself crazy to find the very last package of pecans at the grocery store. So, here we are with a week to go. How about you side step the elaborate desserts and opp to check out Mrs. Prindable's? Beautiful, elaborate and delectable confections that are indulgent in just the right way.

Mrs. Prindable's takes creating tasty things to eat, to the next level of culinary artistry. Mrs. Prindable’s conceives and composes the smoothest, most decadent caramel you will ever taste. Caramel apples are by far my favorite fall treat. I didn't know real caramel until I tried a Mrs. Prindable's caramel apple. My store bought plastic wrapped caramel apple was in the minor leagues. With unrivaled expertise, developed over more than 25 years, we transform the finest, purest cream butter, sugar and natural vanilla into a memorable sensory experience.

That purple packaged introduced me to a new world of taste and I had to share it with all of you as a perfect Thanksgiving addition to your dessert menu. They have a wide variety of options, not just caramel apples, but chocolates and gift baskets as well. Their large apples are the perfect center piece for your dessert table this year. Take my advice, give yourself a break Thanksgiving preppers and order one of these and you won't be sorry. You can even share some holiday cheer with reindeer topped apples. I tried out the Milk Chocolate Walnut Pecan with my family and we were in sweet heaven. The sweet chocolate and caramel mixed with the saltiness of the pecans and walnuts combined with the crisp apple bite, created a masterpiece in your mouth! You can order by 11/24 and still have them arrive in time for Thanksgiving!You can check out Mrs. Prindable's here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Looks for Less for him: Artistic Creations

Art, in its literal form, was a huge trend in menswear. Everything from splatters of paint to strokes of color, covered menswear on the fall runways. This trend lends itself a bit more to the casual end of the menswear spectrum however it does so in such an effortless fun way. Don’t feel you have to wear a rainbow of color, instead opt for pieces that incorporate just a few colors.

1. The Look: Givenchy Fall 2014 -  The look for less: 2. Dip-dye colorblock Hoodie Sweatshirt - Armani Exchange 3. Vanishing Elephant Digital Print Wave Button 3. A question of snake Sweatshirt - Topman 4. Vanishing Elephant Digital Print Wave Button-down shirt - Urban Outfitters 5. Dripping Paint Girl Tee - Urban Outfitters

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Art is Life: Conversation with Eric W. Stephenson

It was a cool, beautiful evening when I arrived at the National Elks Lounge located in Diversey, near the Brown line section.  Lost, yet hopeful; I asked two people if they could help me find the National Elks Lounge because I had a report to turn in as soon as possible and that it was very imperative that I arrive to the event promptly.  Hence, they helped me find my way to the exhibition because I had no idea about the five W’s and one how of unknown journey I was taking.   After revisiting the same street twice, wondering if I should keep looking for the address- or better yet, go home and watch television and catch some sleep; I decided that quitting was not an option.

Besides, I left my warm and cozy residence because I wanted to get out of the house and eat, drink a nice glass (or cup) of champagne and have a good time, along with observing excellent artwork.  If I wanted to be bored and repine about not “having a good time”, I would have stayed home, clipping my toenails and reading a romance novel due to boredom and kicking myself in the tail for not taking a chance and… live a little.

Ten, perhaps twenty minutes later, I found the exhibition, standing tall and beautiful; overshadowing a few buildings on the side and behind the establishment. I must admit, I was impressed when I first entered the place. Servers were serving food and wine to the guests.  The music was playing in the background, moving and smiling while playing their tunes. The one thing, however, did puzzle me watching two topless female models, posing various positions in front of guests and make-up artists, probably wondering when the event would end and when they can receive their paycheck, so they can go home and rest a while.

Yet, I played it off as I continued my search for Mr. Stephenson, the president of the Chicago Sculpture International and interviewee for the evening. Finally, one of the board members was kind enough to introduce me to Mr. Stephenson, a tall, elegant man with distinguished looks and a humble, quiet demeanor that makes me proud and honored enough to be in his presence for the time being.

“Shall we sit down?”  I asked, moving towards a vacant table.

He shrugged his shoulders and replied: “Sure.”  Afterwards, I began asking Mr. Stephenson how long the exhibition has begun, he said: “We’ve been around for ten years now. Our main mission is to display art by using trees for the world to observe,” he affirmed, explaining the conception of his artistry and the importance and essence of it as well. Although Mr. Stephenson believes in the beauty and creativity of art, he says that art does not always have to be so “serious”, sort to speak. Thank God for humor.  “When I judge other’s work, I look for creativity and craftsmanship. Even though one does not always have to be known as a professional artist, it does not hurt to put a little fun into one’s artwork, either,” he declared, light-heartedly.   In the midst of the interview, another server placed more plates of food onto the table, anticipating a response from us.  ‘The food is delicious,’ I told the waitress, smiling.

She nodded and left me to complete my conference with Mr. Stephenson.

At last, his publicist, Ms. Di Meo, had arrived to the exhibition. Once entering the establishment; we greeted, shook hands and sat down.  Generous and quite patient, might I add; when I asked him what is his conception of art, Mr. Stephenson added: “My definition of art pertains to one’s fascination with beauty and originality of it all. For example, when I think of artists such as Picasso and Rodin, I think about how original and fascinating their art was and how they took chances to make sure the masses would not only come to know and admire their work but that they’d make certain that their work receives the respect that they’d so desired,” he concluded. “That is what I call real art.”

For more information on upcoming events and Mr. Eric W. Stephenson, go to www.chicagosculpture.org.

Written By: Dana Rettig - Out and About/Culture Blogger

Ministry of Supply ROOF Runway Show

Temperatures have been dropping fast over the past few weeks, but that didn't stop the last rooftop runway show of the year from taking place at ROOF on theWit this past Wednesday. With a fully extended ceiling, ROOF is one of Chicago's premiere event spaces no matter what the season.

This month's runway show featured mens clothing line, Ministry of Supply. In a world where quality has begun to overrule quantity, Ministry of Supply focuses on creating technologically advanced clothing, for the everyday.

The Ministry of Supply Mission:
We believe clothing should be an extension of your body, equipping you to realize your limitless potential. We are empathetic inventors, using research based design, to create purposeful products engineered to help you achieve your life’s work.

While Ministry of Supply is currently exclusively sold online, a pop-up-shop in the lobby of theWit gave guests the opportunity to shop a selection of clothing and accessories in person. The Ministry of Supply store also features a collection of "If We Made" items, including Harry's razors for men.

A fun detail of the evening; all of the gentlemen who modeled Ministry of Supply on the runway currently work as busers and bartenders at theWhit. The crowd was alive with supportive cheers as each one took their turn down the platform. It was certainly a fun, fashion-filled evening, the perfect finale to a year of runways at ROOF.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Macy's On State Street 107th Annual Great Tree Lighting

It just wouldn't be Christmas in Chicago without a stroll past the holiday window displays that decorate Macy's at 111 N. State St.  This year's windows capture "The Journey of a Christmas Wish", combining traditional artistry with gorgeous visual elements that follow Macy's heroine, Virginia's imagination as she mails her wish list to Santa.  

Another grand tradition for Chicagoans kicking off Christmas is the Great Tree lighting on the 7th floor in Macy's Walnut Room.  Standing 45 feet tall and decorated with over 6,000 LED lights and 3,000 ornaments, this year's tree was lite by some very special guests.  On Saturday, November 8th, Television/Radio host and producer, Ryan Seacrest and Macy's sponsored Make-A-Wish child counted down the much anticipated lighting of the tree.

After being serenaded by carolers, Walnut Room guests enjoyed an intimate performance by American Idol 9th season winner, Lee DeWyze.  DeWyze finished his three song set with a moving rendition of Hallelujah, right before the tree was lit.  A Chicago native himself, DeWayze shared that he has fond memories of the Macy's Great Tree lighting and that it was a great honor to be performing at this year's ceremony.

New to this year's activities is Macy's Holiday Arcade, located on the 7th floor, this shop features specialty toys and stocking stuffers.  Families and children are also invited to visit Macy's SantaLand and Holiday Lane on the 5th floor through Christmas Eve.  

Make this year's holidays special by sharing the magic of Macy's with the people you love!  The Great Tree will be available for viewing through January 11th, 2015.

Beauty Test Kitchen - Cosmetics Roundup

Hey readers!

Happy Monday ya'll. I just wanted to share our latest episode of Halfstack Beauty Test Kitchen. In this episode I am sharing a round up of beauty products I have been testing out. These are all products that I thought would be helpful to you all depending on your needs. The products range from lash and eye brow conditioners, tinted brow gel, a new primer I've been testing, an amazing under eye concealer, to a bronzer.

I've been battling some hormonal stress related issues and to be honest, my body has been reacting in a scary way. I know I laugh about it a bit in the video, because honestly, what else can I do?! I'd rather laugh it off then worry about it and make the stress worse :)! So, yeah I've been losing my hair. In particular it has affected my head and my eyebrows. I think that surprised me the most. As a latina, I've had thick eye brows my whole life, so when all of sudden I'm losing my eye brow hair, I kind of freaked out a bit. So, I've been trying to balance out and destress as this is all related to my hormonal issues. Now, when I find something that I notice a great deal of difference from, I need to share it. Of course, I have to start internally - diet, health and exercise, but anything that helps extra that I can do, is something I am all for.

So, that is where Revitalash comes into play. We shared this brand back in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, but I finally got my hands on some product and it is working wonders. The brand was launched by Dr. Brinkenhoff (an ophthalmologist for 30 years) and was inspired by his wife Gayle who lost her battle to cancer last year. He wanted to create products that would help her feel revitalized and that were inspired by her. From that comes a line of products could help meet the aspirations of others seeking to enhance their natural beauty, build their confidence. All in all, a great brand with a heart. Through philanthropic endeavors – Athena Cosmetics is a proud supporter of breast cancer research and education – and a commitment to the environment – all packaging now bears the Eco-coalition logo earned for being 100% recyclable – the company proudly continues its focus on responsible and compassionate business practices.

So, I gave the eyebrow conditioner a try and I am really happy with the results over the last couple of weeks. My brows are looking healthier and fuller and not nearly as sparse as they have been. I use it in the morning and at a night. I also use the tinted eye brow gel after I fill in my brows. Great products, with a great message. They also carry products for your eye lashes.

The next set of products come from Jane Iredale. This is a brand that isn't just about cosmetics, but that also combines skincare. They are a mineral based line. The active light under-eye concealer creates a soft-focus effect on your skin. It conceals and brightens and has ingredients that help to nourish and depuff your skin under your eyes. The quad bronzer is a great 4 in 1 tool that you can use on your cheeks, lips and eyes. You can use the darker shades for contouring and lighter colors for an all over radiance.

Finally, let's talk about Sugar's "I Dream of Sugar" all over face palette. This is a kit that has some beautiful shimmery colors for winter. It's compact and perfect to just throw in your bag or as a companion kit for traveling when you don't want to bring a ton of makeup along, but still want necessities. The shadow colors are a bit light, but when applied wet, the pigmentation is quite a bit darker.

I hope you enjoyed this roundup! If you like what you see, please take a minute and subscribe to our YOUTUBE Channel! Let us know if there is anything you are interested in hearing more about!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Today feels like a…

Have you ever noticed how each weekday has a distinct feel to it? This is partly because of the planet governing the day. Each day of the week is governed by a planet or a luminary (moon and sun), therefore each day contains a special energy and feel to its accordance to the overruling planet.

We have talked about the planets and the moon in previous articles and how they influence our lives, personalities or attitudes and how they also shape our ways of thinking and acting.  This is especially true towards how we relate to many situations and emotions that we face in our lives. Now it’s time for us to know how the planets control our days and give us whatever positive or negative waves that can affect our emotions. We’ll explore the days of the week from an astrological perspective, and tap into the symbolism of days with a little help from the galaxy. We can use astrological meaning of days to enhance our progress every day of the week. We can even plan our days according to its governmental planet. For example, Wednesday is a great day to work on correspondence as it is ruled by Mercury, a planet incredibly attuned to clear communication.

Learning the planetary personalities and each meaning of days is important. A fabulous flow of energy can be created when we work with the planetary attributes rather than blindly moving through our week. We will discover a secret weapon for success and productivity by knowing the astrological meaning of days because we are working with the cosmic orbits, not against them.

The Seven-Day Week

The Babylonians marked time with lunar months. They proscribed some activities during several days of the month, particularly the

first -- the first visible crescent,
seventh -- the waxing half moon,
fourteenth -- the full moon,
nineteenth -- dedicated to an offended goddess,
twenty-first -- the waning half moon,
twenty-eighth -- the last visible crescent,
twenty-ninth -- the invisible moon, and
thirtieth (possibly) -- the invisible moon.

The major periods are seven days long. This seven-day period was later regularized and disassociated from the lunar month to become our seven-day week.

The Naming of the Days

The Greeks named the days of the week after the sun, the moon and the five known planets. These in turn were named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the Theon hemerai "days of the Gods". The Romans substituted their equivalent gods for the Greek gods, Mars, Mercury, Jove (Jupiter), Venus, and Saturn. (The two pantheons are very similar.) The Germanic peoples generally substituted roughly similar gods for the Roman gods, Tiu (Twia), Woden, Thor, Freya (Fria), but did not substitute Saturn.

Sunday — Sun's day
Old English sunnandæg "day of the sun"
Germanic sunnon-dagaz "day of the sun"
Latin dies solis "day of the sun"
Ancient Greek hemera heli(o)u, "day of the sun"

Monday -- Moon's day
Old English mon(an)dæg "day of the moon"
Latin dies lunae "day of the moon"
Ancient Greek hemera selenes "day of the moon"

Tuesday— Tiu's day
Old English tiwesdæg "Tiw's (Tiu's) day"
Latin dies Martis "day of Mars"
Ancient Greek hemera Areos "day of Ares"
Tiu (Twia) is the English/Germanic god of war and the sky. He is identified with the Norse god Tyr. Mars is the Roman god of war and Ares is the Greek god of war.
Wednesday -- Woden's day
Old English wodnesdæg "Woden's day"
Latin dies Mercurii "day of Mercury"
Ancient Greek hemera Hermu "day of Hermes"

Wednesday — Woden's day
Woden is the chief Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic god. Woden is the leader of the Wild Hunt. Woden is from wod "violently insane" + -en "headship". He is identified with the Norse Odin.
Mercury is the Roman god of commerce, travel, thievery, eloquence and science. He is the messenger of the other gods. Hermes is the Greek god of commerce, invention, cunning and theft. He is the messenger and herald of the other gods. He serves as patron of travelers, rogues and as the conductor of the dead to Hades.

Thursday — Thor's day
Old Norse thorsdagr "Thor's day"
Old English thunresdæg "thunder's day"
Latin dies Jovis "day of Jupiter"
Ancient Greek hemera Dios "day of Zeus".
Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is represented as riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer Miölnir. He is the defender of the Aesir and destined to kill or be killed by the Midgard Serpent. Jupiter (Jove) is the supreme Roman god and patron of the Roman state. He is noted for creating thunder and lightning. Zeus is Greek god of the heavens and the supreme Greek god.

Friday — Freya's day
Old English frigedæg "Freya's day"
Latin dies Veneris "Venus's day"
Ancient Greek hemera Aphrodites "day of Aphrodite"
Freo is identical with freo, meaning free. It is from the Germanic frijaz meaning "beloved, belonging to the loved ones, not in bondage, free".
Freya (Fria) is the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). She is similar to the Norse god Freya. She is leader of the Valkyries and one of the Vanir. She is confused in Germany with FriggFrigg (Frigga) is the Teutonic goddess of clouds, the sky, and conjugal (married) love. She is similar to Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and the heavens and the wife of Odin. She is one of the Aesir. She is confused in Germany with Freya.
Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
Aphrodite (Cytherea) is the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

Saturday — Saturn's day
Old English sæter(nes)dæg "Saturn's day"
Latin dies Saturni "day of Saturn"
Ancient Greek hemera Khronu "day of Cronus"
Saturn is the Roman and Italic god of agriculture and the consort of Ops. He is believed to have ruled the earth during an age of happiness and virtue.
Cronus (Kronos, Cronos) is the Greek god (Titan) who ruled the universe until dethroned by Zeus.

How does the governor planets of the days can affect us?


Monday is governed by moon, so we are dealing with emotions, moods, intuition and the shadowy side of life. Many people report Monday as the most challenging day of the week. It’s the day that we need more meditation, dream analysis, rest, quiet time, reflection, and sleep. It is a day for spending more time with family members inside the house. It is mirroring day for reflecting our feelings


Mars is the governor of Tuesday and it’s an aggressive planet. Tuesday is a driving force in the workweek. It will bring on a sense of productivity, competition, effectiveness, determination and completion. With these kinds of energies in the forefront, Tuesday is the perfect day for finishing long overdue tasks. Conversely, Tuesday is also a great day to start new projects depending on the moon’s phase. It is good for building strategies at work or in a career, acting on new ideas, starting new projects, cleaning out clutter, exercising, finishing to-do lists. It is also a good day or catching up and dealing with managers or to attend interviews for work. We have to stay calm. Any kind of stress or rude conversation will inspire us to be very aggressive. We may drive our car very fast today and get speeding tickets on Tuesdays.


Mercury is the governor of Wednesday and the messenger of the heavens. It facilitates clear communication, and carries new information to our awareness in extremely precise and effective ways. Mercury brings with it higher levels of perception. It is a good day for communication of course, catching up on emails, thank you notes, letters, phone calls and correspondence. Wednesday is a good day to sign contracts (that is, if Mercury is not in a retrograde). Mercury is a beneficent aid in creating energy for short travel, short terms of studies/courses and orientations. We need to work quickly on Wednesday so we can catch up with friends at dinner and socializing.


Jupiter is the governor of Thursday and it is the biggest planet in our solar system. That’s why Thursday is the most productive day of the week in business. Jupiter is the planet of enterprise and expansion. It is an extremely optimistic planetary energy and can be felt all through the day when we attune to it. A very good day for socializing (thirsty Thursday!), networking and marketing oneself or endeavors. Working with financial tasks such as the stock market or even checkbook balancing will lead to positive results in the long term when done on Thursdays while ruminating in Jupiter’s energy. It is the day for spiritual, religious/philosophy readings and studies. It is a good day to start to plan for immigration or traveling. We will feel generosity around us.


Venus is the governor of Friday. The traditional end-of-the-work week, Venus is about love, connection, belonging, comfort, sensuality and passion. Friday is a feel-good day, replete with the energy of friendliness and kindness. Interestingly, Friday is also the most popular (romantic) date night. The best tasks and events for Fridays should include romance. Fridays is perfect for expressing your love amidst friends and family. This is a great day for pleasure and appreciation. Trips to places that make you feel indulged, luxurious or pampered are perfection (like a spa, salons, movie theaters, jewelry stores) but also attending art galleries or music concerts are perfect on this day.


Saturn is the governor of Saturday. It can be a stern energy and a real taskmaster too. This makes Saturday one of the most advantageous days of week because opportunity for productivity and completing tasks is optimal. Unlike Thursday/Jupiter however, Saturn isn't as jovial when working to get a job done. In fact, Saturdays are best put to use when we thoroughly plan for prevention or preparation for the future. Preparing for the week ahead on Saturday will align our Saturn energies and bring about satisfactory results for each consecutive day in the upcoming week. Best tasks for Saturday: housework, preparation for upcoming events, academic tasks like studying and homework (ick), catching up on a backlog of work. We can feel a little bit of an emotional challenge on Saturdays. Sometimes these days bring on a need to be alone.


The Sun is the governor of Sunday and throughout time, the sun shines brightly on our Sundays with clarity, vitality and a sense of well-being. This day is optimal for soaking up some social-warmth by being with family, friends and neighbors. It's also a perfect day to catch up on our rest and relaxation. The sun is all about radiance, sharing, expressing, expanding and growth. The sun is also about provision, as it insures the continuation of life as we know it. Therefore, the best tasks for Sunday include: rest, relaxing, having fun with loved ones, gardening, grocery shopping, cooking and worship for the purpose of illumination. We feel more generosity towards our friends and family.

When we talk about the planets, meanings of the day and the horoscope we very much need the time to analyze and calculate lots of data. We need numbers most certainly and that’s what we will talk about it on the up coming article. So prepare your calculators and stay tuned. Make it a great week.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Style Seat Comes To Chicago

When I moved to Chicago, I knew nobody.  I had no idea what neighborhood I lived in, let alone where the grocery store was.  Yet, the first fear that ran through my mind was, "Where am I going to get my hair done now?!".

My search would have been so much easier with the latest beauty guru finder, Style Seat.  One of the largest online marketplaces for booking beauty and wellness services, Style Seat makes it possible for you to search local service providers in more than 15,000 cities.  From manicures and pedicures to facials and haircuts, there is a wide range of services available.

With the launch of their mobile application two months ago, Style Seat is now right at your finger tips!  Whether you are on vacation, looking for the best massage in town, or squeezing in a lunch break mani, it is so easy to search and book a service.

My favorite part is that each service provider profile features a portfolio of their work, as well as their services, prices and hours.  Easier than looking for your soul mate on Tinder, Style Seat can help you find the perfect match for your beauty needs.    

On Wednesday, November 5th, Style Seat set up shop in the Belt Room at Soho House Chicago.  Guests were invited to meet Style Seat CEO, Melody McCloskey and sample services with top nail artists.   It was lovely to meet the Style Seat team, as well as enjoy a manicure with my new found friend, Meaha. 

You can search service providers and find out more about Style Seat at www.styleseat.com.  Stay beautiful, Chicago!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Interstellar Review: Bad Habits Get In the Way of Greatness


Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway

When I walked out of the theater after Interstellar ended, a woman commented loudly, “Maybe they'll have translators waiting for us to explain to us what that meant.” Either she wasn't paying attention or she doesn't have working ears, because Interstellar is a movie that fails the old “show don't tell” test at every turn. How anyone could walk out of a theater confused by a movie so burdened by over explanation is astonishing to me. Director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception) has a habit of holding his audience's hands, not allowing his evocative visuals and stellar casts to do the heavy lifting they could. Maybe he isn't sure of the strength of his visual acumen or maybe he doesn't believe in his audience, but either way the result is preventing the audience from being able to make up their own minds about his movies. They tell us exactly the filmmaker's intent, an often suffocating one-way street that takes out a lot of the fun, and sometimes the longevity, from his films.

Interstellar suffers this problem more acutely than many of his other films. Whereas Inception was a movie built like a multilayered puzzle, with completely fictional rules that needed explaining, Interstellar takes place in a possible future for the world we live in, much of it well researched by Nolan and his screenwriter brother Jonathan. The concepts of relativity, space flight, global warming, wormholes, the effects of loneliness, and parenthood are explicated ad nauseam. It's a shame, too, because Nolan, through the use of the camera and his actors, especially conflicted protagonist Matthew McConaughey, makes the emotional effects – emotion being the thing cinema does best – tangible. When McConaughey explains his decision to go on the humanity-saving mission to Anne Hathaway's scientist-astronaut, he makes platitudes about how parenthood is all about making your children feel safe. This was made abundantly clear in his loving – and occasionally truth obfuscating – interactions with his children in the hour or so the (nearly three hour long) movie spends on a dying Earth. We don't need the movie to tell us this, because we're already hard-wired to understand visual stimuli, particularly the kind related to self-preservation. The same goes for Nolan hammering us with information about why the Earth is ravaged by climate change and how it works – we get it with the dust storms, the dying crops, the people dying of lung infections.

And unfortunately, the worst of it is in the space scenes, including a planet on which spending an hour equals seven years in Earth time. The initial mention of it is fine to make sure the audience understands the stakes, but the hemming and hawing McConaughey and company do once they land is exhausting and undercuts the thrill of seeing the existential danger facing them. This continues time and again, all the way through the climax, which takes place in what looks like a box covered in puke green plaid wrapping paper – go see the movie and you won't be able to unsee that description – a scene that could be done in complete silence and it would still be fairly clear, but with more subtlety and, heaven forbid, some ambiguity.

But I mean it when I say go see
Interstellar, because, for all its faults and distrust in the audience's ability to stick with it, it remains thrilling and emotionally satisfying – from a full range of emotions. I mentioned earlier how the first hour takes place on Earth, and despite the qualms with explanation, it's not boring. McConaughey's character, Cooper, is a man stuck in a bad situation trying to make the best of it. He's a former pilot and engineer pushed by circumstances into farming, which the conventional wisdom of The People says is the only truly noble occupation in a world where a harshly warming planet makes every morsel necessary – other occupations and ambitions must be put aside to ensure a survival that still isn't likely. He lost his wife because of that deemphasis on grander plans, and he sees things getting worse. His son is locked into a life of farming, too, because of mediocre test scores. His daughter, Murph (played by Mackenzie Foy as a child and Jessica Chastain as an adult), is clearly brilliant and driven to be in charge of her fate. The connection between father and daughter is the crux of the film, and the scene when McConaughey must say goodbye to Murph after deciding to embark on the adventure at the cost of possibly never seeing her again is a doozy, packed with the weight of Steven Spielberg's best – it makes sense, given that Spielberg was originally slated to be Interstellar's director. I got a lump in my throat, which is rare for me in a movie, and even rarer for a Nolan film, given his emphasis on the brain in lieu of the heart.

Interstellar is a solid adventure film despite its flaws, but its disappointment lies in how close it is to being a great one. The bones are in place for sublimity, but its constant insecure – whether that insecurity is linked to Nolan's belief in himself or the audience, I'm not 100 percent on – insistence on explaining itself shoots itself in the foot.

Some Movies Out This Weekend, November 14, 2014

There are some big ones opening this weekend, folks. There's the off kilter romance, the decades later comedy sequel, the dramatic feature film directing debut by one of our least dramatic media figures, and another dramatic turn – zany makeup and all – from a guy best known for being America's dumb boss. And that's not even everything. As usual, there's so much to see this weekend at the movies.

Beyond the Lights
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover

From a surface glance, this looks like an case of Lifetime's influence stretching to a wide Hollywood release. But for every moment that could be an overwrought mess – in the trailer, at least – it is underplayed. There doesn't seem to be much over acting going on in this enterprise, which is a sign of a good cast.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays a pop star in the Rihanna/Britney Spears mold, with a domineering stage mom played by Minnie Driver. In a bout of depression, she tries to commit suicide, but before she can jump from her hotel balcony, a police officer, played by Parker, grabs her. Then they fall in love.

This sounds dreadful on paper, but there's something going on in this short preview that's enticing. The mismatched couple, the means by which they met, and ideas about duty and ethics are present. That doesn't mean the movie will explore these themes, or explore them well, but it's ripe for drama.

Dumb and Dumber To
Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Writers: Sean Anders, Mike Cerrone, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, John Morris, Bennett Yellin
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle

The sequel I've been clamoring for since I was five years old is finally here. Harry (Daniels) and Lloyd (Carrey) reunite 20 years after their last adventure to Aspen, “California,” which formed the basis for one of the most re-watched movies of my life. Turns out Harry has a daughter he never knew about, and she might be able to help him out with a kidney. He and Lloyd, who is “hot for [Harry's] daughter,” try to find her.

Could be good, right? I sure hope so. I really do love the original. It was one of those movies I snuck my way into watching with my older cousins when I shouldn't have been allowed, and it has stuck with me, probably because I watch it about once a year. But I have seen the trailers too many times. It's one of those weird situations where, if you go to the movies enough, you get stuck with that one film whose preview you see before everything. I can't get that “na na na na” song out of my head, no matter how many times I plead with my brain. And sadly, the trailers all seem to be the same jokes as the first movie, but said in different locations. But I'm holding out hope the rest of the movie has new material to offer.

Director: Bennett Miller
Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo

Bennett Miller has made two of the best films of the last 10 years. Capote may mostly be remembered for Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar-winning inhabitation of Truman Capote, but there is some astonishing, austere filmmaking on Miller's part that opens the film up to being more than an acting showcase. Same thing with Moneyball, based on a book about the least cinematic part of baseball: the analytics. Miller made a movie about mindfulness, fatherhood, and outside-the-box thinking that is one of my favorite sports movies.

And now here we are with his third non-documentary, a based-on-a-true-story drama about an mentally unstable multimillionaire John du Pont and his unhinged foray into funding a wrestling team in the 1990s. Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo play brothers, with Tatum being the Foxcatcher Wrestling top prospect and Ruffalo his trainer. There's some disturbing stuff on display in the trailer, and Carrel is in a neat transition in his career where he's developing into a pure character actor rather than a comedic heavy hitter. I'm very excited for this one.

Director: Jon Stewart
Writer: Jon Stewart
Starring: Gael García Bernal, Kim Bodnia, Dimitri Leonidas

In a roundabout way, Rosewater is responsible for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – if Stewart hadn't been off shooting this movie last summer, Oliver would not have filled in at the Daily Show desk and likely wouldn't have been offered the HBO gig, which is one of the best and most unexpected places for investigative journalism in television – so I am already eternally thankful for its existence.

Now, whether Stewart has the chops to direct a movie, let alone one not in his comedic wheelhouse, I can't be sure. But he has brought with him Gael García Bernal, whose turns in The Motorcycle Diaries, Y Tu Mamá También, and The Crime of Father Amaro, among others, have made him one of the strongest actors of his generation. Rosewater's story – a journalist is kidnapped while covering the failed Iranian “Green Revolution” and held by government forces because of trumped up charges he may be a spy – is a harrowing one. We'll see if the king of late night satire can make this work.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Goofball History, Great Music: Gruff Rhys at Schubas

Former Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys is shy. He's unassuming. He has a quiet voice with a Welsh accent. He is not an authority figure.

This is why his entrance on the Schubas stage is funny.

“My name is Gruff, I'm in charge of your safety tonight,” he says to the crowd's delight.

He tells us he has a “safety demo” to play before the show can start. There's a large screen with a projector set up behind him. Soon a PBS-style travel show begins, talking about some crazy theories about Rhys's homeland and the folklore about their “accomplishments.”

The myth goes something like this: long before Columbus and things that rhyme with 1492, a Welsh prince named Madoc sailed the ocean blue. He and his followers made their way into the American interior, where they eventually became assimilated into American Indian tribes, leading to some of the most prosperous times for Plains Indians. In the late 1700s, following the American Revolution, a Welshman named John Evans went in search of Madoc's people and he led a wacky adventurous life. This part is true. Rhys is fascinated by it, so he built his new album and tour, appropriately entitled American Interior, around what amounts to a hilarious, Monty Python-style vacation slide show.

That slide show is something else. Rhys has commissioned the construction of a John Evans puppet to act as our visual guide through the American interior, and Rhys and his crew have spent their time here in the States taking pictures of this bemused looking felt doll in famous American locales. Sometimes he narrowly avoids being eaten by alligators. At others he is being arrested by a modern St. Louis police officer, framed and shot like an episode of Cops.

The neat trick Rhys pulls off is that, despite the inherent silliness of the slideshow and puppet, his songs depicting the same events have a deep melancholy. Evans was a bewitching man with an insane dream, chasing the ghosts of a myth. He talked his way out of an assassination attempt, and even, according to Rhys – what do you think I am, some kind of historian who fact checks? – Evans accidentally annexed a third of the United States that had been under Spanish control. His picaresque journey across America is embedded in our DNA, informing what we'd later call Manifest Destiny and our expansion to the Pacific. In fact, Evans's maps and plans were even used by Lewis and Clark on the early part of their expedition.

But Evans is also a uproariously misguided individual. It was goofy, even as far back as the 1790s, to assume there was a secret high society of white Native Americans who spoke Welsh, and to continue the search even after contracting Malaria. Per Rhys, he had a wildly optimistic view of humanity, going so far as to ask politely that a fort of soldiers abandon their fort because the territory didn't belong to them. And it worked!

Rhys has a loving sympathy for this unique eccentric, and his passion is contagious. We are all prone, anxiously awaiting the next bit of bizarro history, and moved to dancing by the skiffle-indebted songs. An hour and a half into the performance, he gets to Evans's death at age 29, and quips, “Now I'm ready to start the show.”

We laugh, thinking it's really the end of the concert, but he goes into some non-Evans songs, a couple Super Furry Animals numbers, and even ends on a request from the crowd.

Gruff Rhys's new solo album, American Interior, is available now. He is on North American tour through the end of month.