I went a bit “Rogue” Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I slayed the Red Carpet – and no one noticed me..

They say that women after a certain age become a bit invisible. I’m usually a pretty big personality ask anyone who knows me, but at the Star Wars World Premier – I was happy to be that older women, and invisible.

You might think, a short women carrying a very large RED LightSaber is hard to miss, I must say most just ignored me. Here are my three reasons why

  1. Most people may have thought I was an older talent agent and they were not going to ask who I was, or tell me where and what I could do.
  2. Maybe people thought I was an executives wife, and we have seen how that works out – (“Sources told Page Six another woman who was rudely splashed was Lisa ­Pevaroff-Cohn, the wife of Goldman bigwig Gary Cohn.” via “SiriusXM canned Bethenny Frankel’s show after meltdown” Page Six
  3. I’m invisible – women after a certain age are invisible, we go unnoticed, and people don’t pay much attention to us – even on the Red Carpet.

Seville Spain – Top 5 in 2 Days 2 See

Top 5 things to see and do in Seville

I had a quick 2 days to visit Seville, it was going to be such a quick trip I almost decided to just skip Seville and go straight to Barcelona…I’m so happy I took a stop in Seville Spain, and I suggest you do to.

Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville

Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville

Seville is one of the most exciting and beautiful areas of Spain.

Located on River Guadalquivir named after ‘Hispalis’ (Roman origin). Seville has so much to offer and the history an iconic representation of architectural relics by Moorish Almohad dynasty.  You can explore most of the city just walking around, and two days will allow you to get the vibe of the city, the taste of the cuisine, of the history and art.

This is the view from the Jewish Quarter looking at the Cathedral of Seville

This is the view from the Jewish Quarter looking at the Cathedral of Seville

Within a 5 minute walk of our hotel.

So easy to experience the taste of tapas from many of its outstanding restaurants. There are so many scattered around the city, flamenco is everywhere and you can catch some of the best flamenco shows to be seen in Spain. Horse drawn buggies crowd the streets hop in one to view the architecture everywhere you look will take your breath away landmarks, fountains, squares, gardens, and sculptures. We had 2 days and we really felt we were able to capture the feel and history of the city.

The Alcazar of Seville is a great spot to see and learn about the history of the kings, and royal families

The Alcazar of Seville is a great spot to see and learn about the history of the kings, and royal families

While planning to visit Seville, try to stay at the Hotel Alfonso.

Save up some extra money for one of the best & most interesting hotels in Europe. We booked the perfect room in Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Moorish style royal palace dating back to 1929. This exquisite hotel provides delicious and visually beautify traditional breakfast. From the lush garden view, private terraces and elegant Juliet balconies these hotel staples make your trip priceless.

Hotel Alfonso XIII is a historic hotel in Seville, Spain, located on Calle San Fernando.

Hotel Alfonso XIII is a historic hotel in Seville, Spain, located on Calle San Fernando.

Take the Hotel Tour.

My girlfriend Pam had stayed the year before and mentioned I should take the hotel tour, it’s free and there is so much to see just in the hotel. As you will see from the below photo our tour guide was the same one my friend had almost 2 years before us. Even if you are not able to stay at the hotel, do spare some time to enjoy a cocktail, grab breakfast in the garden or have a late lunch there, because they offer free hotel tour after 3 o’clock.

The Hotel Alfonso tour guide 3:00

The Hotel Alfonso tour guide 3:00

Start at the Real Alcazar.

Once in Seville, start your visit at Real Alcazar. It is a world heritage site, a royal palace originally constructed during Moorish Muslim reign. This place is an amazing depiction of Mudejar architecture, which beautifully blends Islamic architectural elements with local materials. Rising arches, decorative courtyards and amazing intricate details on the wall simply takes your breath away. Alcazar of Seville combines influences from Renaissance period, late Middle Ages, Baroque and Gothic culture.

Walking toward on of the gardens - Reales Alcázares de Sevilla" or "Royal Alcazars

Walking toward on of the gardens – Reales Alcázares de Sevilla” or “Royal Alcazars

There are ten major zones of in the Alcazar of Seville, each of which signifies art forms from different cultures. There are hidden courtyards, baths, tropical gardens, walkways and patios which simply have to be seen.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary -Built on the site of a grand Almohad Mosque, Seville's cathedral was built to demonstrate the city's power and wealth

The Cathedral of Saint Mary -Built on the site of a grand Almohad Mosque, Seville’s cathedral was built to demonstrate the city’s power and wealth

 Seville's Cathedral at night

Seville’s Cathedral at night

The Cathedral is beautiful night and day.

Once done with Alcazar of Seville (which will take a bit of time), walk across the street and visit the Seville Cathedral. Also known as Cathedral of Saint Mary with majestic appeal and bell tower. It is the third-largest church in the world, which depicts city’s wealth during Reconquista years in 1248. You won’t be able to explore this cathedral in one day as it has eighty chapels and five hundred masses. Since we were short on time we just did some of the highlights and then spent time reading more about it online. The inside of this cathedral is a never-ending chronicle, of gothic arches, sculptures of archangels, stain glass artwork on windows, cross vaults on ceilings and so much more.

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Food, shopping, tapas, and more in the Jewish Quarter.

Just around the bend back towards the Alcazar is an area known as the Jewish Quarter. Here you will find many interesting gift shops, restaurants, and some other hidden off the beaten path sights. Enjoy the area and you can find great little places that serve tapas, so grab a bite and enjoy.

Little shops around the town

Little shops around the town

Great Shopping.

The main shopping area of Seville is also filled with history, restaurants, shops, and more tapas. At night you can find lots of spots to sit and take in the view of the Cathedral while enjoying some of the best sangria you may ever have.

The heart of Seville's shopping district is Calle Sierpes

The heart of Seville’s shopping district is Calle Sierpes

You can also catch many Flamenco shows; many change each night so even if you go back to the same place you may see different dancers.A short carriage ride away from Seville cathedral is Casa de Pilatos, an Andalusian style palace which is now a permanent residence of Medinaceli Dukes.

La Casa de Pilatos is an Andalusian palace in Seville, Spain

La Casa de Pilatos is an Andalusian palace in Seville, Spain

"Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. ... The structure consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms"

“Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. … The structure consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms”

"The Plaza de España is a plaza in the Parque de María Luisa, in Seville, Spain, built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929"

“The Plaza de España is a plaza in the Parque de María Luisa, in Seville, Spain, built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929″Seville is also known for serene towns located on its outskirts. Do not forget to visit Triana, a small town located across the bridge. The sight of sunset on stone pavements and a wonderful food market nearby will fulfill your travel appetite.

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Food’s from Barcelona – 3 to try and enjoy

cover barcelona food

I will be posting more about my food adventures in Spain, but until then here is a quick look at some of them…

Found at a restaurant on the Beach of Barcelona

Found at a restaurant on the Beach of Barcelona

Love them

A very nice way to get started

Barcelona – in 4 Hours you can do it

Casa Mila - La Pedrea entrence to parking garage design

Casa Mila – La Pedrea entrence to parking garage design

4 Hours to see the top sights in Barcelona.

With only 4 hours to show my partner Barcelona I had to choose wisely because, there is no doubt it is the most culturally rich city in Spain. Our goal was to get a grand overview, and create the excitement of “I want to see and experience more” so we could plan to come back again and again to this city.

Grab a free map and set your day

Map our your day, pick the sites you want to see.

Map our your day, pick the sites you want to see.

Circle the top spots you want to see

It has vivid landscape, one that is reminiscent of both, Catalan Art and Islamic Architecture that have resulted in a beautiful and diverse culture, filled with tradition and architecture.  While visiting Barcelona, chart out a route which to include certain spots, sights, landmarks. These spots are no doubt an iconic representation of Barcelona. Just a sample and a quick look at the landmarks will show you why this city is so beautiful, unique, and deserves more than four hours.  I knew we had a lot of ground to cover, and would have to miss some of my favorite spots, but I made the decision to go, see, and do as much as we could. Knowing there would be much more ahead for us.

Get your first glimpse of Gaudi with your first stop La Sagrada Familia

It’s a good idea to start at La Segrada Familia

I decided to start our quick city tour at La  Sagrada Familia. We jumped in a cab and went early to see this amazing work by Antoni Gaudi. Although we couldn’t spend time inside, I do suggest if you have more than four hours you don’t want to miss inside. A travel hint, try to book tours before you travel to Barcelona to save time and money. Once we saw the wonder of La Sagrada familia, I knew my partner would have a strong desire to see more of Gaudi. So we did jump in a quick cab ride up the road and took a stop at even went inside to see, La Pedrea – Casa Mila.  Commissioned in 1906 by a businessman you will be amazed by the way the light moves through the balconies and windows. You must go to the top and walk around, each detail is design with function in mind, but it’s the attention to style just looking at the chimneys, and skylights give you a look into the genius of Gaudi. There is information and more on the floor below and it’s worth a look at. I was in love with the massive iron gate that is on the main level and provides access to the garage and basement. To me it’s a living work of art, like a watercolor seen here.

Don’t miss some more of Gaudi’s work

From top of the roof to the parking garage - this is worth walking into and seeing..

From top of the roof to the parking garage – this is worth walking into and seeing..

All this can be seen in under an hour, we jumped in a cab – but you could walk up to Casa Batllo.  This is known as the house of bones, one you see it you will understand why. On our quick tour we did not have time to visit inside, but outside you will see 3 amazing properties all in a row. Each one beautiful and magnificent.  This street is the Passeig de Gracia you will find many of the top retails in the world along this street. From here you can walk up to Plaza Catalunya, along the way you have passed Diagonal Avenue.

Three main area’s are in the center of town

You might miss this if you walk too fast down the streets

You might miss this if you walk too fast down the streets

If you are mind mapping the city on foot, you are bound to come across the all famous Gothic Quarter. It stretches from Via Laietana to La Rambla and represents pure Catalan art movement. Seeing the imposing facade of Palace of Catalan called Seau Cathedral of Santa Eulalia will make you want to just stand there for few minutes because of its intricate, gripping details and beautiful stone magnetism.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain

Many sites to see while your around the Cathedral

While walking around the cathedral, you will also come across street musicians playing pure Catalan music within Gothic Quarter, just outside Catalan Palace.  You have some time to spend here and waling run into Paseo del born. Walking around you will see City Hall Square, Plaza del Ayuntmiento, there are the 3 neighborhoods the Raval, Gothic and Born.

Picasso thought of Barcelona as his home -

Picasso thought of Barcelona as his home –

Picasso’s first art show

In this quick tour you will not have time to stop inside and visit the Picasso Museum. but you can swing past where Picasso had his first art show,  Els Quatre Gats, literally meaning The Four Cats, derived from a Catalan proverb that suggests ‘only a few people.

It’s a bit or walking back and forth but you can make your way up to Las Ramlas and immerse yourself in diverse marketplace of La Bqueria. If you are hungry, you can grab a coffee a few steps ahead at Placa Reial, a famous square worldwide renowned for Gaudi’s famous lampposts.

The market place - amazing pick up a fresh snack..

The market place – amazing pick up a fresh snack..

We ate a quick snack and walked up to finish the day at a beautiful view of sunset at La Barceloneta, a magnificent beach the sight of which will own the day for you. Have a perfect dinner with your loved one beside a waterfront view. There are opportunities to enjoy nightlife as well. If you love clubbing, do not miss to try out bars near Hotel De Arts.

Take a walk out on the waterfront of Barcelona

Take a walk out on the waterfront of Barcelona

It can be done, and knowing you have just skimmed the service of what makes Barcelona one of the most interesting and amazing cities to visit in the world… What did I miss, could you do this in four hours?

Women making an “IMPACT”

“As a bullet whizzed past my cheek, the heat caused me to fall face first into the concrete” Isaiah Brooms spoke to the crowd – and we listened to each word, each breath of his story, this was his experience growing up in Chicago. This same man Isaiah was now in front of the crowd of over 400 women, and he is now a Chicago Public School teacher, a mentor, a youth minister, and role model Mr. Brooms  is telling us this, and thanking Tutoring Chicago and his first tutor Sarah.

Tutoring Chicago

From Tutoring Chicago Facebook page

Isaiah is pitching to the crowd, almost Shark Tank style as he and six other finalist are presenting for the 2016 grant award from Impact 100 Chicago. A group of women in Chicago who each donate $1,000 each to empower change. This is an all women, all volunteer group of women, who put their own money, time, effort, and resources to seek out nonprofits that are making a difference, empowering, and changing the lives of so many.

These grants are not taking lightly, each application and applicant is looked over and vetted with a rigorous review, four-step process, and close look at how the funds will be used.

From RefugeeOne Facebook page -

From RefugeeOne Facebook page –

Each of the presentations were so moving, I wanted to get up and volunteer  my own time and money to help each one. The crowd heard from Refugee One, a very poised young lady who survived the worst situation over in her birth country of Sudan was welcomed with open arms when she finally arrived to Chicago. A heart moving story of how she now has hope for a future because of this group was eye opening.

Another presentation was for a program which supports low-income students so they can continue their education, One Million Degrees and they walked away with on of the four awarded with $100,000 grant’s so they can continue to support their efforts.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.41.47 PMHere are the links to all of the organizations that were selected to present – in my heart all of these are amazing and sharing your support will continue to impact change for the better here in Chicago, and around the world. Next year you can bet that I will be supporting Impact 100 Chicago, and maybe you should also.

Chicago Women in Trades

One Million Degrees

The Chicago Debate Commission

Refugee One

Family Rescue Inc

 

Action Chicago

 

 

BAM! Getting Better – Bolder – With Age

You made it happen.  THANK YOU to 150 of the most creative, friendly, and fun women who spent 2 days in Las Vegas at BAM.

What is BAM? Watch this

Together we were able to learn, laugh, mix and mingle with new friends and old, but the greatest accomplishment was we were able to open the minds of major consumer brands, who brought sponsorship dollars to our conference. We also got to spend a few days in the sun!

Our midlife attendees had the confidence to prove that using the connectivity of social media, combined with real in-person relationship building, is beneficial to brands – even if they have spent their marketing dollars elsewhere in the past.

Our results were more than we could have promised, (we trended on Twitter nationally  both days) the connections between attendees was life changing, and the engagement for the brands proved that midlife women are powerful voices for brands to work with.

Marketing to midlife women is priceless. We respect, appreciate, and are willing to build relationships with brands that in return understand us, and we are truly ready to engage, listen and adapt.

Below are blog snippets from just a few of the wonderful women who attended. Each blog post is worth a read if you truly want to understand the heart, soul, and power of this amazing group. BAM!

Sponsors we thank – BAM Recap

 

What will I wear? Because I love to eat on Vacation

I recently had a quick few days in Las Vegas for a conference. I wanted to travel with a simple easy wardrobe that I could mix and match. I looked to pack a few pieces that could be dressy, casual, easy to layer, and items that I didn’t have to worry about wrinkles.

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Love this simple pop of bright pink top – you can dress it up or down. Here I have it with a simple pair of jeans, faded black.

This silky black top can be worn for a nice dinner, off to a show, in a club. It gives you a lot of room to enjoy the food you may want to try in the restaurant. If you spill on it no worries, to make sure it’s wrinkle free when you arrive just hang it in the bathroom, and boom it’s ready to wear.

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A great silky black top, with a dark dressy pair of jeans. Gold jewelry.

Love this simple clean look, with a pop of color in the red jeans. This black top is easy to layer and again you can dress it up or down. Looks very classy with the silver chain.

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This is a great look to walk around the town. You can layer it up when your get a chill, and strip it down if you get hot walking in the warm Vegas air.

white shirt, black jeans, business look.

This is a great clean and classy look – I paired it with a black blazer and it was ready for business. A crisp white shirt, dark jeans, and high heals.

I love this look, it’s amazing that jeans with these big rips can actually be considered dressy. This is my casual  travel look when I fly, I layer a soft gray sweater over this, and also carry and wear my big gray poncho – pictured below. I wear my easy gray slip on shoes for going through the TSA lines, easy to slip my shoes on and off.

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This photo was taken on a recent trip to NYC not Las Vegas, but I wanted to include it because you can see I have my gray poncho on. It’s like a big warm blanket perfect to travel on a plane with.

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Have a Happy Day – and learn about WEDAY

MJ Tam and I had a chance to attend the Kick-Off for WeDay Chicago. Hearing from the celebrities who have donated their time and talents for the big event, was so inspiring. I was very impressed by Henry Winkler who seems to be one of the most giving people, talent in the business, and he kinda liked my cell phone selfie light.

 

“WE Day empowers change at home. WE make this change through WE Day, a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. This change is sustained all year round through the WE Schools program which nurtures compassion in young people and gives them the tools to create transformative social change”

Henry Winkler with MJ Tam takes a selfie, Mr. Winkler gives so much of his time to help others.

Henry Winkler with MJ Tam takes a selfie, Henry spends his time and talents as he contributes to various causes to help others.

With MJ Tam and Two-time Emmy Award winner, multi-platinum recording artist, and giving celebrity Paul Abdul

With MJ Tam and Two-time Emmy Award winner, multi-platinum recording artist, and giving celebrity Paul Abdul

Off To A Conference for Midlife Women #BAMC16

Marketing Zeus: The Purchasing Power of Women

Eating Las Vegas

Food , Food, Food, and more food. Make sure you come to Las Vegas hungry, because the selection of food you will find is truly amazing. What makes the Las Vegas food scene different from Chicago, LA, New York is the condensed strip 4.1 mile area where all the hotels and casinos, shops, restaurants, attractions can be found.

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Las Vegas has more than 330 restaurants on the world-famous strip. What used to be known as the land of buffets and diners, Las Vegas has discovered that the way to a man or woman’s cash can also be found through the taste buds. Today variety of cuisine, talent of innovative chefs, and clients looking for cuisine that’s artsy and daring.

The rise of the celebrity and world-famous chefs makes Las Vegas a go to location to launch a spot for one of their top-notch restaurants.

  • Mario Batalia
  • Wolfgang Puck
  • Bouchon by Chef Thomas Keller
  • Mesa Grill by Chef Bobby Flay
  • Mr. Chow by Restaurateur Mr. Chow
  • Giada by Giada De Laurentiis
  • Table 10 by Emeril Lagasse
  • Heritage Steak by Tom Colicchio

Go to Las Vegas where it’s easy to get into these restaurants, parking is easy, and when you walk out you have a whole world that never sleeps. When you visit LA you need to travel in a car, or limo to try a selection of food from these different chefs, in NYC you could walk,  to find the vast selection of selections and choices as you do walking up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

FullSizeRender (6)I have taken a food tour in the past and being on a guided tour is where you get the history, the great gossip, background stories, fun facts, you can meet some of the chefs,  and taste an amazing selection of food. If you have the time I suggest a food tour, and now they have many to choose from.

IMG_0707This past trip, I had limited time so I decided to sample some small bites, and big flavors in a few of my past favorite restaurants. I choose them based on the location to where I was staying, the location of where the restaurant was based on shopping, site seeing,  and going to get a good meal.

The portions are big, the cost is reasonable, and the atmosphere is outstanding so get ready to enjoy your meal, and after you’ll be perfectly placed to continue your night with friends, as well as the best people watching, lounges and late-night entertainment.

Where I ate this time

  1. MICHAEL MINA – Seafood and american cuisine. The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, adjacent to Café Bellagio.
  2. Wolfgang Puck- CUT Las Vegas The Grand Canal Shoppes
  3. The Country Club – Wynn 19th hole
  4. The Palm –  Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace
  5. LAVO Italian Restaurant – entry of Palazzo
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A traveling “Cirque du Soleil has constantly sought to evoke the imagination, invoke the senses and provoke the emotions of people around the world” spotted at the NADA convention in Las Vegas