Amdur Productions Announces Brand New May Art Market At The Daley Plaza

The May Art Market May 6-7, 2016 takes place at the Daley Center, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL on the Friday and Saturday from 8am-6pm before Mother's Day. If you are looking for last minute Mother's Day gifts, this is the art market for you! Find mom the perfect pair of earrings, a beautiful necklace, a painting that you know mom would love, or a sculpture to add to moms collection. This Friday and Saturday show is set in Chicago's famous Daley Plaza in the "Loop", the heart of downtown Chicago. More than 500,000 people live in, work in, and visit this dense area every day. Standing 50 ft. tall, the Chicago "Picasso" located in Daley Plaza is one of the most famous sculptures in Chicago. This show is free admission.

Shelly Lawler
 Rahmon Olugunna                                                  

"We are pleased to have the May Art Market in Daley Plaza.  The Art Market is an example of a wonderful new amenities that serves the needs of our large employment base but also acknowledge that over 15,000 people live in the Loop." says, Michael Edwards, President & CEO, Chicago Loop Alliance.

Children can also enjoy the youth art tent where they will be able to make clay masterpieces to take home. Enjoy free souvenir photos to take home with you as well!

For more than thirty years, Amdur Productions has crafted and curated a selection of the country's most prestigious juried art festivals, including the Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival, Gold Coast Art Fair, and Port Clinton Art Festival. Founded by Amy Amdur in 1983, Amdur Productions attracts thousands of guests to explore and enjoy a showcase of artists' work in a free and fun environment. Several of Amdur Productions' festivals have been selected as Sunshine Artist magazine's top 100 best fine art and design shows.

In addition to festivals, Amdur Productions produces city-wide food and music events. For more information, please visit, call 847-926-4300, or email us at Looking for additional information about a specific festival? Find them online at visit their social channels: FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Pinterest.

May PBS: Janis Joplin & The Highwaymen on American Masters

The 30th anniversary season of American Masters continues this May on PBS with two new music documentaries about Janis Joplin (May 3) and country music supergroup The Highwaymen (May 27), featuring Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.

American Masters -- Janis: Little Girl Blue  **Never-Before-Seen Extended Film Cut**  will be aired Tuesday, May 3, at 8 p.m. EST on PBS (check local listings).  

Observe Janis Joplin's life through intimate letters and rare footage in the first in-depth celebration of the iconic rock singer. Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil, West of Memphis) presents a portrait of a complicated and driven artist. Chan Marshall (also known as Cat Power) narrates. Oscar-winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Going Clear) is one of the film's producers. The broadcast features a never-before-seen extended film cut with additional archival performance footage and new interviews with Joplin's sister Laura Joplin and musicians influenced by Janis: Alecia Moore (a.k.a. Pink), Juliette LewisMelissa Etheridge and Marshall, who performs "A Woman Left Lonely" from Joplin's final studio album Pearl in tribute. 2016 marks the 45th anniversary of Pearl, which was released January 11, 1971.

American Masters -- The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End
Discover the story behind the pioneering outlaw country music supergroup that featured Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, told through vintage performances and new interviews about life on the road and in the studio.  

Give home accents a facelift with tips from upcycling expert

 After a long winter, spring is finally here – a great excuse to liven up spaces with a fresh twist on ho-hum home accents. From art décor to organization, now is the perfect time for your readers to jumpstart those fun, resourceful DIY projects they’re always pinning but forever putting off.
The Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds™ campaign recently teamed up with upcycling aficionado and blogger Dinah Wulf from DIY Inspired to craft five non-intimidating ways to transform living areas using common household items and some paper and packaging magic:
Coffee Filter Paper Flowers
  1. Shoebox Lid Wall Art – Use the lid of a shoebox as a paint canvas. Spray the lid with primer and then paint the lid in the color of choice. Use stencils to create unique artwork.
  2. Drawer Organization – Cut the bottoms of food boxes so they are approximately two and a half inches high. Wrap each bottom with decorative paper and use them inside drawers for organization. Use different-sized boxes to organize pencils, pens and paper clips.
  3. DIY Map Lampshade – Paper maps are great for upcycling home décor accents like lampshades. Cut the map to the desired shape and size, and use decoupage medium to cover the shade.
  4. Coffee Filter Paper Flowers – Pinch the center of a coffee filter upwards to create a bunch. One by one, add three more until one full bunch has four coffee filters. Use a child-sized hair band to tie the “stem” together. Cut out flower petals out of old book pages and glue them to the flower, then use a dowel rod to create a sturdy stem.
  5. DIY Napkin Rings – Cardboard tubes should never be thrown away! Cut a tube into two-inch-thick pieces. Paint them your favorite color, then glue a shell or a flower on top for spring.

Get the Most Out Of Tax Returns with These 5 Websites to Save Money through Amazon

With tax season coming to an end April 18, everyone is looking for new ways save a little more money over the next year or how to best maximize tax return money. Amazon is the ultimate online shopping outlet, bringing approximately 5 million retailers together that stock a variety of popular products. Now the Amazon shopping experience has been upgraded by sites that help customers save even more money and make the most of their tax returns. These top 5 websites offer the best deals on Amazon:

1.       Snagshout: Snagshout, a new social deals website, provides a unique experience to consumers by offering deep discounts on a wide range of Amazon products for purchase, use and review. Most products are offered at a 30-90% discount in exchange for honest product reviews. To purchase an item listed on Snagshout, consumers are given a discount code to purchase the product directly from the brand’s Amazon listing.
2.       EbatesEbates pays members cash back every time they shop and provides them with some of the best coupons and deals available on Amazon. Customers can join Ebates for free and receive up to seven percent cash back on purchases through Amazon. Every quarter, Ebates sends cash back in the form of a check or PayPal payment. With more than 10,000 coupons to be offered, there are deals and products for everyone.
3.       Slickdeals: Slickdeals is dedicated to sharing, rating and reviewing deals and coupons. Relying primarily on user generated content, user ratings and comments help catapult the best deals to the website’s front page for quick and easy access to savings and deals on Amazon. Customers are able to receive Amazon’s daily deals, sift through coupons in all categories and save up to 50 percent with Amazon deals and more.  
4.       CamelCamelCamel: CamelCamelCamel is a free Amazon price tracker that shows the price and sale rank history for over 18 million Amazon products, making it one of the best ways to visualize an item's past performance. When products’ prices drop, CamelCamelCamel alerts customers via email and Twitter, helping to determine the perfect time to spend and save.
5.       Woot!: Woot!, the original “one day, one deal” website, offers customers multiple deals and other short-term sales for a variety of mainstream consumer goods including wine, toys and clothing on Amazon.

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Submissions Now Open for the 2016 She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase in Nashville


Women from all musical genres are encouraged to submit an entry to perform

Singer-songwriter Bryce Hitchcock performs during the 2015 Summer NAMM Showcase at The Listening Room Cafe in Nashville, Tenn.
The Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN) returns to Nashville for its third annual She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase, taking place on Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 8:30 – 11:00 p.m. at The Listening Room Cafe. Submissions are now open for women in music of all genres to enter for a chance to perform. Click here to submit.

“We’re excited to come back to Nashville for the third year in a row. One of my favorite aspects of our Showcases is to go through the submissions we receive. There are so many talented women out there, and I’m proud to provide them with an opportunity to perform in front of industry pros and fans,”said WiMN Founder, Laura B. Whitmore.

The She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase takes place on Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 8:30 – 11:00 p.m. during the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Tenn., at The Listening Room Cafe on 217 2nd Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37201, a short walk from the Music City Center, and is sponsored by 108 Rock Star Guitars. An optional $5 pre-sale or $7 door donation is requested. This showcase is open to all ages.

Artists interested in performing must submit an entry by May 3, 2016. Performers will be announced by May 13, 2016.

The WiMN also recently announced the official 2016 She Rocks ASCAP Expo Showcase, taking placeFriday, April 29 from 9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. at the Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill in Hollywood during the ASCAP Expo. Now in its third year, the official Showcase will feature Divinity Roxx, Anjali Ray, Maddy Vance, and Facing West. This free showcase will feature drink specials and giveaways.

To fill out the submission form and for official rules and regulations, visit

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Guest Post: Female Entrepreneurship Breeds Limitless Opportunity

 By Danielle Tate 

Three years ago Sheryl Sandberg challenged women to “lean in,” but we are leaning into the wrong career path if our goal is power and happiness. While the concepts from her book are valid, they should be applied beyond the realm of corporate America to female entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is a better pathway to control and happiness for women. Applying many of Sandberg’s initiatives to the entrepreneurial world, instead of Corporate America, will yield faster and more rewarding results for women in every nation. I enjoyed my time working for a large corporate company for two years, but it wasn’t until I became an entrepreneur that I felt the power and freedom of controlling my company, my career, and most importantly, my life. With almost a decade as a female founder under my belt, I have watched my working peers make tough decisions as they juggle their family and careers. I have also watched my stay-at-home peers raise their children and wonder what they will do as their children grow older and need them less. Both examples support why entrepreneurship is an ideal vehicle to create and achieve success as a woman.

Women are needed in top positions in all companies, but there are far fewer obstacles and stigmas to overcome when you are the CEO of your own company. For example, if you founded your own company, there is no chance of your gender negatively influencing your authority to run the company and make tough decisions. Also, your business ideas will be taken seriously from the get-go, and you can comfortably state them in a direct fashion without fear of unwarranted criticism. Female entrepreneurs will still need to handle tremendous responsibility and pressure to succeed, and “lean in” as one should, but the work they do is for themselves and therefore the stress and hurdles are well worth ultimately controlling their paycheck, working hours, and definition of success.

Female entrepreneurs have more control over their job security and fulfillment than their corporate peers, which leads to higher levels of happiness. A study from the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor U.S. Report, found that not only are women business owners ranked twice as happy as their non-entrepreneur, non-business-owner counterparts, they also have a higher level of well-being over that of men entrepreneurs. Taking a hard look at my peers, as an entrepreneur and mother, I am grateful for the flexibility in my life. Entrepreneurship is the great equalizer that allows women to have control, determine how much they make, make decisions about their working hours, and have power. Taking control of your life and job through entrepreneurship is quite possibly the best way to foster happiness as a woman.

Sandberg makes an excellent point that women shouldn’t limit their professional aspirations in anticipation of balancing a family. I agree, but the way the world of business is structured oftentimes creates cognitive dissonance in working women. For example, even Sandberg revealed that she worried she would lose her job and credibility by taking maternity leave. In her book, Lean In, she shared “When my son arrived, I wanted to take the three months of maternity leave Google offered, but I worried that my job would not be there when I returned.” I do not believe Sandberg would have experienced the same anxiety if she had founded her own company. When I took two months maternity leave after the birth of my son I had concerns about my company, which is smaller than Google, but experienced zero worry about being replaced during my absence.

To be sure, there are plenty of challenges and stresses facing entrepreneurs. They are responsible for the success of their companies, their paychecks, and their employees in an ever-changing market. They face the task of balancing the needs of their companies and families. Entrepreneurs also face social and ethical responsibilities that come with engaging in the process of continuous innovation and adaptation, and will need examine various levels of accountability with every new product iteration created. 

Yet despite the challenges, being a female founder gives women the power to make their own rules and choices with less guilt or anxiety. The company they are pouring so many of their resources into is something they can pass on to their children. Women entrepreneurs are building a future of opportunities for themselves and their families, instead of just building a bank account. Women need to realize that they have the opportunity and ability to engineer their own future. They do not have to climb the corporate ladder or “jungle gym” to be successful. More and more women are shattering the glass ceilings of “big business,” but if women build their own businesses, they can omit a ceiling of any material and then hire more women to grow with them.

Women Need More Sleep Than Men

Michael Asaly has lived in Orange Country for over thirty-five years.  Twenty of these years have been spent in medical and related sciences at major universities, including more than twelve years at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Over the years Michael has seen an increase in the number of people who suffer from sleep disorders each night.  One of the major sleep disorders being sleep apnea, which has become a significant health issue in the US.  In fact, recent statistics show that over 50 million Americans now suffer from sleep apnea each night. 

What’s even scarier is that over 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea go undiagnosed. OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea), which represents the great majority of the cases, when left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems; it is associated with type 2 diabetes and depression; and is a factor in many traffic accidents and accidents with heavy machinery, owing to the persistent drowsiness suffered by many OSA patients before the disease is recognized and treated.

In 2012, Michael combined his years of knowledge and experience, and founded Practical Sleep Solutions, with a mission to help the millions who suffer each night with sleep apnea.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael.

Faten Abdallah (FA: How many hours are actually required when it comes to sleep for women? men? children?   Who actually needs more sleep and why?
Michael Asaly (MA): An average adult needs between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep per night. But many people can function with 6 hours' sleep, and there are also some who need 9 hours or more.  The amount of sleep needed to function well really varies from individual to individual, and is determined genetically and hereditarily.  The biggest, most dramatic change in our deep sleep and satisfaction with sleep takes place as we move from adolescence into young adulthood when slow-wave deep sleep is replaced by stage II middle sleep which is less restorative

Sleep is broadly split into two big categories: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when we’re dreaming, and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep moves through several, progressively deeper stages:

Stage I: a light doze, not very restorative
Stage II: middle sleep, restorative
Stage III: slow-wave deep sleep, the most restorative of all

Here's a breakdown of ages and the amount of recommended sleep:

Older adults, 65+ years: 7-8 hours
Adults, 26-64 years: 7-9 hours
Young adults, 18-25 years: 7-9 hours
Teenagers, 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
School-age children, 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
Preschool children, 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
Infants, 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
Newborns, 0-3 months: 14-17 hours

FA: What are the benefits of getting enough sleep?  What happens when a person doesn't get enough sleep?
MA: Just like food and water, you need sleep to survive and thrive!  Good sleep = good health and getting a full night's rest can help you steer clear of major heart conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.  

In my 20 years of experience, one of the best immune boosters comes from having a proper night's sleep.  A full 8 hours is recommend for optimal immune system function.   Recent statistics share that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic and that there are 50 million Americans who suffer from chronic sleep apnea, which leads to stress in everyday life.  A full night's sleep without wake-up interruptions or snoring is one of the best immune system boosters out there!

If you're not getting enough sleep you can also be prone to:

Lack of alertness: Even missing as little as 1.5 hours can have an impact, research shows.
Impaired memory: Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think and to remember and process information.
Relationship stress: It can make you feel moody, and you can become more likely to have conflicts with others.
Quality of life: You may become less likely to participate in normal daily activities or to exercise.
Greater likelihood for car accidents: Drowsy driving accounts for thousands of crashes, injuries and fatalities each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Lower sex drive: Your libido drops the more tired you are.

FA: What are some tips when having a hard time sleeping?  Can insomnia be prevented?
MA: Combat snoring

About 37 million American adults snore regularly. It certainly disturbs a bed partner's sleep, but "sawing logs" can disrupt the snorer's sleep, too, leading to more daytime sleepiness, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Some simple tips may help you keep it under control, like sleeping on your side instead of your back, avoiding alcohol before bed and even losing weight.  One fool proof solution is a simple free sleep quiz.  Which helps diagnose those with Sleep Apnea with an easy and cost effective solution being an APAP Machine from Practical Sleep Solutions.

Reserve the bed for sleep and sex only

Reading in bed or watching TV is a form of relaxation, right? Yes...and no. A page-turner, a mystery or any other book that demands your emotional and intellectual attention may be more distracting than relaxing. Opt for lighter reading before bed, and keep it to the couch or your favorite comfy chair.  That way you keep your bed only for the good things, like sleep and sex.

Get some sunlight first thing in the morning

There's nothing quite like bright light to trigger your brain to stay awake and alert. Getting some natural light -- you'll want to aim for about 15 minutes -- first thing in the morning can help night owls reset their biological clocks and ease into sleep a little earlier.

FA: What are some medical/alternative solutions in aiding sleep?

MA: Recent statistics share that over 50 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea.  My company, Practical Sleep Solutions, is a California based company that provides effective and affordable at home sleep solutions for those who suffer each night.  The process is made simple and affordable without the need for insurance.  As with most classified high-risk conditions, patients are expected to pay more for their life insurance premiums if they are diagnosed with sleep apnea.  This coupled with a long and painful process through the insurance system has resulted in patients taking their sleep issues into their own hands.

Practical Sleep Solutions is the one stop solution to sleep apnea and a perfect night’s sleep!  Our patients are offered a FREE online sleep quiz.  The next step is for patients to purchase an in home sleep test machine.  The recorded data from this machine is then scored and reviewed by a Practical Sleep technician and board certified sleep doctor.  If a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnea they can then purchase a top of the line APAP machine that provides a comfortable and easy at home solution for a full night of restful sleep.    

You can find more information on Practical Sleep Solutions: 


Business Interview with Jamie Bennett of The Lifestyle Group

Before Jamie Bennett started The LifeStyle Group in 2013, Jamie reflected on her two decades of corporate experience to determine how she could best use her expertise to help change people’s lives. 

 When she considered how she could best serve others in her business, her mind kept gravitating to some of the most stressful years of her life: the years she spent working for an investment bank. She worked late nights and early mornings and regularly had dinner at her desk. Although it was difficult, the company she worked for did its best to make sure her colleagues and her were taken care of – They offered town cars to take them home late at night. They offered catered dinners that were delivered to their desks during late night sessions. That company taught Jamie the art of delegating tasks and the importance of hiring the right people to do the work. 

 Here’s what you should know about Jamie, she's not a college kid looking for extra money. She's not a bored housewife looking for a way to spend her  afternoons. Jamie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Spelman College and a MBA from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. She is a business woman focused on executing at a high level. She manages your life so that you can live it. Jamie and her team  anticipate your needs and she ensure that all assignments are efficiently completed with the goal of exceeding your standards. 

I had the privilege of interviewing Jamie.

Faten Abdallah (FA):  Have people become busier?  Why?
 Jamie Bennett (JB): Yes, I believe so.  The prevalence of cell phones, along with the growth of social media literally gives us the ability to be plugged in non-stop. We can check our e-mail from our phone, plan a vacation and conduct our banking business via our phones.  If you haven't figured out how to step away from it every once in a while you will find yourself being "on" 24/7.
FA: There are 24 hours in a day, how can we "do it all"?
 JB:  The only way that I know to "do it all" in 24 hours is to become a rockstar at delegating.  There are core tasks in your life that can only be done by you, everything else has to be moved off your plate. Hiring help is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself!! Release any guilt that you feel with delegating tasks, we don't judge our clients, ever.  We are the solution in helping you live your very best life.
FA: What inspired you to start The Lifestyle Group?
JB: After 21 years, I reached a point in my career in Corporate America where I wasn't happy or fulfilled.  I allowed myself to begin the journey of figuring out what's next. As I began to consider entrepreneurship, I went through the list of things that I couldn't do well enough to have a business doing, like cooking and sewing, lol.  I then begin to pray about the competencies that I were passionate about and that could be monetized.  I reflected on my time working for an Investment Bank and how they provided an opportunity for you to delegate many personal task. I believed that there was an opportunity for that philosophy to be applied to people's personal lives.
FA: What have clients gained from using your services?
JB: Clients have gained peace of mind and the ability to be present in their lives.  Instead of spending time in the grocery store, they are able to be at their child's sporting event. Instead of worrying about the details of an event and the behind the scenes madness, they are able to enjoy their guest and being a host.
I really want people to make time to open their mind to the concept of applying outsourcing to their personal lives.  It will require a shift in mindset, but it is life changing and an investment worth making.  I always say, "Superwoman is a fictitious character, she was never supposed to be your role model."

Visit  website,, on facebook https:\\\WeManageLife, on instagram - thelifestylestrategist and on twitter @ceojb.


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