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Surviving Trauma:Karli’s story



moody tongue brewery akira fall fashion show





































Welcome to the Winter 2013 issue of HALFSTACK readers! Thank you so much for your continued support and loyalty. We are all working extremely hard to bring you content that is amazing and relevant! As this issue goes live, we are just a week shy of Christmas Eve and are knee deep in holiday celebrations from all cultures. Chicago is such a diverse city and instead of focusing on the idealogy of Christmas, my goal was to focus more on the aspect of what the holidays really mean

editor’s letter

to us as people. As I grow older and now that I have children, the idea of giving has completely changed for me. While many of you out there may not be at the same point in your lives, the idea still lingers in your mind. What do the holidays truly mean? Well, to me it is about family, relationships and giving with conscience. I am teaching my kids that this time of the year is not really about the gifts, rather the time we get to share with one another and the opportunity we have to give to others less fortunate than us. With this in mind, the direction of this issue began to develop. Often times we, as a society, focus on the material (and while I’m not discounting that completely - gifts on a budget are always fun), my hopes were to take this issue


beyond your typical holiday gift guide. Rather, we are doing what we do best and pushing the limitations. We are showcasing a slew of brands, companies and artists who are on a mission to do good with what they create and sell. We are showcasing brands like One-P Apparel (athletic-wear), who provides low-income schools and organizations with athletic apparel, throughout the city of Chicago. We also will introduce you to The Lunchbox Fund who is helping to feed hungry children all


over the world and Eco-Vessel who is doing business with the state of our earth in mind. We are also giving you VIP access to one of Chicago’s latest brewery concepts: Moody Tongue Brewery - that is bringing some great opportunity to Chicago’s creative Pilsen area. Not all the content is so “heavy” - we still have our fun fashion pieces, great music showcases and of course beauty roundups. Yet, we are also focusing on something we can all give ourselves this holiday season: good health. We get so caught up on making “New Years Resolutions” that we forget the best way to stay healthy is to maintain good decisions throughout the season. All of us at HALFSTACK thought we could help you out by showcasing some great fitness options, super foods and give you an insiders view of Pound4Pound Fitness, where we shot our most recent fashion editorial. Finally, we are sharing a story that is all together striking, empowering and inspiring about one woman’s plight after being disfigured by an acid attack. Karli’s story truly shows that nothing in life is ever guaranteed, but that you have the power to make the best of it. We hope that you can be inspired by her and each of the stories in this issue this holiday season. Give with conscience dear readers and remember each of us can truly make a difference in this world if we just try. -Happy Holidays



jennifer veguilla eic & creative dir. @ chicLezan

mariana quaranta fashion director @ missmarc40


kate roth fashion director @ halfstackmag


dwight bejec director of comm.

sophia sanchez digital content

director & editor

& social media strategy

stephanie battista lead photographer & Jr. Art Director


meet the

jennifer pontrelli sales & promotions director

teresa espinoza fashion editor

& promotions asst


cheyenne hendricks blogger intern


kenny muzzey bloggr & online event photographer

KALI KOLLER Graphic Designer & Creative business owner

DANIELLE HAZEKAMP Beauty know it all, fashion diva to the max.


Fashionista & blogger

STELLA ESTRELLA Beauty queen, mommy, fashionista & blogger.

JEROME THOMAS Music lover & Proud Daddy!

JUSTIN WILHOIT Nutiritionist, trainer & Health Nut!

SAMMY Sithiphong Creative visionary and Graphic Designer



Style enthusiast & talented fashion designer

JAMIE L. BREEDEN Momma, talented photographer & graphic designer

Heather Blazek Writer & Designer Extraordinaire

KATE BESENJAK Vintage love & Graphic Designer

















PHOTOGRAPHY BY: STEPHANIE BATTISTA Drown Your Taste Buds with Moody Tongue Brewery By: Sophia Sanchez Layout: Kali Koller Who doesn’t love a delicious brew after a long, exhausting day at the office? That cold, refreshing rich flavor that seems to wrap you up from the inside out. An oxymoron of sorts.... My point? A great beer has the ability to make you feel warm and fuzzy. All smiles. A truly great beer however, is hard to come by. Every new brewery that pops up claims to have that sincerely satisfying and magnificent drink. And don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good beers out there.


I’m not a complete snob in that I’m impossible to please. Quite the contrary, I’ve tasted a lot of delightfully pleasing beers in my day, but I can count on just one hand the number of times I’ve tasted a beer that I was completely blown away by. If you think about it, the process of brewing has been in place for thousands of years with the first traces of beer dating back almost 5,000 years. And without boring you to tears, you have your malt, hops, yeast and water; with the occasional taste of coffee, chocolate or fruits making an appearance. That being said, it’s not difficult to understand why beer can often taste similar to those brews from their neighboring breweries. Halfstack Magazine had the enjoyment of connecting with Brew Master and Professional

Chef, Jared Rouben of Pilsen’s Moody Tongue Brewery. If the name rings a bell, then you sir, are correct. Jared Rouben has trained and worked with with some of the world’s greatest in both the culinary and brewing fields; including having studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, the Siebel Institute in Chicago and Doemens Academy for Brewing in Munich. Long story short... This guy knows his shit. Rouben started his journey as a professional chef working in Napa Valley’s, The Martini House, a Michelin Star restaurant. All the while, his fascination and respect grew for the brewing community. His time spent at the Culinary Institute of America, he started a beer club in which he began to see the similarities between cooking, baking and brewing. “There was so much opportunity with beer and food pairing,” he exclaims and just couldn’t ignore his desire to explore the brewing world further. After having worked at some of the countries most respected and reputable dining establishments, he dove head first into brewing spending time at Rock Bottom Brewery and working his way to Brew Master for Goose Island. Now he’s joined forces with his cousin Jeremy Cohn, as they prepare to open Moody Tongue Brewery in Pilsen in early 2014. Dare I ask... What will make this new Chicago brewery any different from the rest? “I’m not trying to change or revolutionize what we’ve been doing for thousands of years. With my culinary brewing style however, the goal is to look at brewing from a culinary perspective. Infusing the flavors of various fruits, herbs, etc into each beer.” Certainly culinary brewing is not a new concept. In fact, it’s become quite the fad. Restaurants and breweries showcasing new beers flavored with apricots, hazelnuts, and coffee; you see it in beer bars everyday.

“As brewers we are using malt, hops, yeast and water. Any additional ingredient needs to be well thought out. But having spent time in kitchens, I understand how to get the best of whatever additional ingredients, whether that’s cheese, chocolate, coffee, or anything else I decide to use in my beer.” Hmmm... Are you convinced? The concept seems pretty straight forward, but in case you need “Brewing for Dummies,” I asked, “what exactly is culinary brewing?” “Culinary Brewing is when you take culinary techniques and methodologies and apply it to the brewing process aside from your standard brewing ingredients. Some of those techniques can be anything from dehydrating blueberries to intensify the flavor, to macerating cherries to not only bring color to the beer but to bring flavor aromatics as well.” Being a bit of a food snob as well, the more Rouben and I spoke, the more fascinated I became. Culinary brewing... The joining of food and beer. Quite honestly, two favorites among most of the population. The brewery itself however hasn’t opened yet, so I find myself having to take Rouben’s word for it. There’s no guarantee that Rouben’s brews will be as amazing as I envision. And with salivating glands, like one of Pavlov’s dogs after hearing the infamous bell, Rouben certainly had me intrigued. And as I continued to ask questions, he asked something very clear and concise of me... and I’m happy to oblige. “If you write about anything, write about this.... With Culinary Brewing they talk about this new technique, this new style. I want to be very clear about one thing. I use ingredients like chocolates, and cherries, but for me what’s most important is the flavor, not the taste.” Huh?



“It’s really important that I bring up the difference between the two. With taste you are talking about five things really; sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami. With flavor, there are thousands of different words. Think cherries. The taste of cherry is sweet. The flavor of cherry is cherry itself.” I have to say, at this point, I kind of had an “aha” moment. I was literally and metaphorically blown away! For the most part, I consider myself a somewhat wellinformed beer enthusiast, but until that moment, I’d never really delved quite that deep into the tastes and flavors I was experiencing. To drive this home a little bit, my favorite beer is an American Blonde Ale. I enjoy the light bodied beer because it has touches of sweetness with mild citrus accents. I like the sweetness. It tastes good. But I can’t tell you for the life of me if that sweetness is driven by honey or berries or anything else. I have no idea what I’m tasting, all I know is that I like it. “With Moody Tongue Brewery, with Culinary Brewing, I’m more interested in getting the flavor versus taste. So If I’m going to incorporate a fruit, I’m not going to make a very sweet beer. I have no interest in the sweetness factor. I’m more interested in the flavor. If I put a cherry in a beer, you as the consumer will know that it’s cherry your tasting and not just sweetness. Does that make sense?”

Does it ever! And if this alone isn’t reason enough for you to jump on the bandwagon for this culinary brewing style, then I’m happy to dub you ‘out of your damned mind.’ If this makes me a geek, then I’ll proudly wear the title. I am supremely excited, as is the rest of Chicago, as we anticipate the opening of the long awaited Moody Tongue Brewery and what it will do to our dancing taste buds. What styles of beer can we expect to see once the brewery finally opens? At the base form, before any other ingredients are added, we’ll see Belgian Goldens, Belgian Pales, Milk Stouts, Belgian Doubles and anything else with rich flavors that has the ability to create a base for when adding ingredients. “That’s something you’ll hear me talk about all the time... Layers of flavors... layers of aromatics. This is ultimately the goal. And it all has to balance. Which by no means is an easy feat. But these are the kinds of beers you want to have more than one of. Anyone can make something that is coined ‘unique.’ It’s the brewers that can make a beer that you want more than one of where the real challenge lies.” Well there you have it. Professional Chef and Brew Master, Jared Rouben is kicking ass and taking names all over the place... Moody Tongue Brewery is slated to open in early 2014 and Moody Tongue Brews will proudly be served in Restaurants and


Beer Bars all over Chicago. Rouben has set the bar pretty high but there is no shortage of faith that Rouben and his Moody Tongue Brews will far surpass Chicago’s expectations. No pressure..... “In Moody Tongue beers and within Culinary Brewing, you are actually going to taste the flavor of whatever ingredient we incorporate. Otherwise, I wouldn’t put it in. Everything has to have a reason and my sole reason is tasting the flavor. Not sweetness, not bitterness... Truly the flavor of apricot, the flavor of blueberries, flavor of cherries, the flavor of chocolate. This is what makes my culinary education so valuable.”

Stay in touch with the ongoing at Moody Tongue Brewery and expected open dates on Facebook at and on their website at



Fit for Foodies &

the Holidays!

“These restaurants put the wow factor in everything they serve,” - Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer

Just in time for the holidays, OpenTable has announced their 2013 Diner’s Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants in the United States! Chosen by the members and reviewers of OpenTable themselves, these awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews and over 15,000 restaurants in all of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. From creative and culinary ingenuity, edible works of art, festive ambiances and featuring some of the world’s most gifted Chef’s, this list honors some of the best restaurants around. Spanning 26 states the list includes Barley Swine in Austin, Texas, Fore Street in Portland, Maine, Heidi’s, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Castagna in Portland, Oregon and the list goes on and on. Our very own Chicago graces the list 9 times with restaurants like Acadia, goosefoot, iNG Restaurant, Kabocha and others. Whether you are looking for something new and delicious to experience in your own town or planning a trip to one of these amazing cities, be sure to check out a Top 100 Fit for Foodie restaurant to help make your taste buds dance! Let OpenTable take the work out of your holiday party planning and gather your loved ones and friends at one of these fine establishments.


The complete list may also be viewed at 2013 Diners’ Choice Award Winners for the Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants in the U.S. a(MUSE.) – Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Acadia – Chicago, Illinois All Spice – San Mateo, California Altura – Seattle, Washington Art Café 26 – Williamsburg, Virginia Autre Monde – Berwyn, Illinois Aviary – Portland, Oregon Bar Lola – Portland, Maine Barley Swine – Austin, Texas Beast – Portland, Oregon Beast and Bottle – Denver, Colorado Belly and Trumpet – Dallas, Texas Benu – San Francisco, California Bibou – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Bink’s Midtown – Phoenix, Arizona Binkley’s Restaurant – Cave Creek, Arizona Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pocantico Hills, New York BOCA – Cincinnati, Ohio The Bocuse Restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America – Hyde Park, New York Canyon Kitchen – Sapphire, North Carolina Carpe Vino – Auburn, California Cascina Spinasse – Seattle, Washington Castagna – Portland, Oregon Chalkboard – Healdsburg, California Commis – Oakland, California Craigie on Main – Cambridge, Massachusetts


Crossroads – Los Angeles, California Crudo – Phoenix, Arizona Cúrate – Asheville, North Carolina Driftwood – Dallas, Texas The Farm and Fisherman – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant – Forestville, California Feast – New York, New York FIG – Charleston, South Carolina Fishing With Dynamite – Manhattan Beach, California Five Bistro – St. Louis, Missouri Forage – Salt Lake City, Utah Fore Street – Portland, Maine Frances – San Francisco, California Girasol – Studio City, California Girl & the Goat – Chicago, Illinois goosefoot – Chicago, Illinois Gracie’s – Providence, Rhode Island Grove – Grand Rapids, Michigan The Grove – Delray Beach, Florida Gwynnett St. – Brooklyn, New York Heidi’s – Minneapolis, Minnesota Highlands Bar & Grill – Birmingham, Alabama How To Cook A Wolf – Seattle, Washington Hugo’s Restaurant – Portland, Maine Husk – Nashville, Tennessee iNG Restaurant – Chicago, Illinois ink. – Los Angeles, California IRON at Marcus Pointe – Pensacola, Florida Juno – Chicago, Illinois Kabocha – Chicago, Illinois Le Pigeon – Portland, Oregon Lenoir Restaurant – Austin, Texas Little Fish – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Maison – Lancaster, Pennsylvania Manresa – Los Gatos, California Moto Restaurant – Chicago, Illinois n/naka – Los Angeles, California


Natural Selection – Portland, Oregon Niche – Clayton, Missouri The North Fork Table & Inn – Southold, New York o ya – Boston, Massachusetts Old Major – Denver, Colorado Papilles – Los Angeles, California The Pass – Houston, Texas Piccolo – Minneapolis, Minnesota The Pickled Heron – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Playground – Santa Ana, California Poppy – Seattle, Washington Posh – Scottsdale, Arizona Primo – Rockland, Maine The Pullman – Glenwood Springs, Colorado The Restaurant at Meadowood – Saint Helena, California Restaurant Alma – Minneapolis, Minnesota Roe – Portland, Oregon Root – New Orleans, Louisiana Saison – San Francisco, California Sbraga – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Serpico – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Seven Sows Bourbon and Larder – Asheville, North Carolina ShinBay – Scottsdale, Arizona Shorebreak Lodge – Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Sir and Star at the Olema – Olema, California The Smoking Goat Restaurant – San Diego, California Sons & Daughters – San Francisco, California Spur Gastropub – Seattle, Washington The Squeaky Bean – Denver, Colorado Staple & Fancy Mercantile – Seattle, Washington Takashi – Chicago, Illinois Tilth – Seattle, Washington Uptown Billiards Club – Portland, Oregon Vedge – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Vernick Food & Drink – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Vetri – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Woodfire Grill – Atlanta, Georgia



Feedie: The Best Way to Share Your Food WRITTEN BY: CHEYENNE HENDRICKS LAYOUT BY: JENNIFER VEGUILLA Celebrity chef Mario Batali and Topaz PageGreen (founder of the Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a daily meal for orphaned and vulnerable schoolchildren in South Africa) have joined forces to launch the first-ever philanthropy app for foodies: Feedie. Food fuels a child’s focus, willpower, and potential. Feedie aims to capture a fraction of the capital made from restaurants around the nation and use it to feed hungry children, keeping their bodies nourished and minds focused on their education. Feedie allows users to extend the goodness of food beyond taste, texture, and Instagrammability. This gives all you culinary connoisseur out there the unique opportunity to share your food (not just on instagram, but literally!). The app taps into existing foodie behavior and current technology, inspiring foodies to leverage their passion for sharing photos of food to share actual food with those in need. Here is how it works: • • • • •

Open the Feedie App Select a participating restaurant Check In Take a photo of your meal Share it to Twitter or Facebook

And Voila! The restaurant instantly makes a donation to The Lunchbox Fund. Feedie users or “Feedies” can locate participating restaurants using the app’s map feature and are easily able to make an instant donation to the fund by simply snapping a photo of their meal and posting via the Feedie app. Feedie also has additional features for its foodies. They can share their favorite restaurants and

pictures as well as share with social media websites through the app. Currently there are no foodie apps using their power for the good of others. The Lunchbox Fund will be the first to utilize this powerful sub-culture and harness its energy for good, allowing foodies a one-of-akind opportunity share their food – literally. Feedie has been awarded a Favorite Website Award and selected by Google for a Think Insights Showcase. Feedie has been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, Vogue, Huffington Post, LA Times and Mashable. And participating restaurants in areas such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, South Africa, and London. Currently there are over 75 restaurants listed as Feedie partners, and an additional 100 globally have expressed their interest in partnering. Feedie partners and participating restaurants include Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Todd English, Peter Tempelhoff, among many others. So the next time you see an enticing meal placed before you, and you just can’t resist the urge to make the artfully done plate of delectable food into a photographic masterpiece, remember Feedie, and let that snapshot feed a hungry child. With one click of a button not only will you become the envy of the town’s food lovers, but also you will have made a donation to a worthy cause. It’s never been easier to feed a child in need.





HALFSTACK’S Bookshelf By: Sophia Sanchez Layout: Kali Koller



get back in the kitchen

‘Tis the season for heating some hot cocoa, picking out your favorite book and curling up for a cozy night of reading. Sounds heavenly…… And while I normally scour the bookshelves of my local bookstore to share with you quality read, I’m going a little unconventional this time around! This issue, I share with you everything from raunchy to nostalgia all in one fell swoop!

By: Jason Bailin

Stop right there! Before you hassle me with statements like, “Who curls up for a cozy night in to read a cookbook?,” I will rebuttal with “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!” A fellow Chicagoan and an expert Home Chef, Bailin shares with you his collection of favorite recipes in this shameless sequel to his first release… “GET IN THE KITCHEN, BIT@ HES!” This ain’t your grandma’s cookbook and with recipes like “Braise my Butt, Lamb” and “Munch on My Meat, Marsala” you’re sure to get your fix of delectable eats while “gaffe-ing” at the sheer audacity of his ‘lack of tact!’ From raunchy to offensive and everything in between, Bailin shows no shame, which is why we’ve grown to love him so much! This cookbook ain’t for the faint of heart…. don’t say I didn’t warn you!

halfstack’s Bookshelf


halfstack’s Bookshelf


1990S COLORING BOOK By: James Grange

All That & A Box of Crayons HOLY BLAST FROM THE PAST! This coloring book pretty much sums up my entire childhood and teenage existence! Can you say, "Da Bomb"?! From 'rad' movies to 'off-the-hook fashions', this coloring book will have you reliving your fondest memories. It really is 'All That & a Bag of Chips'! From the Cory + Topanga love affair, Trapper Keepers, Discmans, Lucky Slammers & Boy Band Feuds on TRL, this coloring book is sure to keep you entertained for hours, just like the careless child you wish you still were! "Whoomp, There It Is!”


halfstack’s Bookshelf


the art of getting started By: Lee Crutchley All you creatives out there who find it difficult to get those creative juices flowing from time to time…. Lee Crutchley has the answer. I could certainly go on a tangent about how great this book is to help find inspiration ←- said in snooty, yet terrible French accent…. But I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves! “If you’re feeling stuck, help is on the way. In this creative and handson guide, illustrator Lee Crutchley presents fun and empowering ways to get those creative juices flowing. Whether it’s perfectionism, procrastination, or plain old fear that’s holding you back, get ready to get inspired.”


Out of Print: areadersdream BY: SOPHIA SANCHEZ

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” - Walter Conkrite Technology has seemed to become a double-edged sword. The kinds of successes the world has seen through technology is staggering in comparison to where we were just 20 years ago. And as the world continues to achieve the unthinkable through these technological advances, so does the human populations’ need for constant stimulation. Where we once turned to books, newspapers and magazines to help stimulate our minds... we now turn to cell phones, texting, video and computer games. The simple and soothing act of reading is just shy of becoming an anomaly. It’s a scary thought to think that the generations of the ‘not so distant’ future could grow up in a world where reading was simply obsolete. A forgotten pastime. What good is reading a book when you can just watch the movie? Why pick up the newspaper when media gossip can be sent directly to your phone via SMS? Now more than ever, do we need to instill in all generations alike, the importance of reading not only from a mental health standpoint but for the sheer love of being transported into worlds you’d only ever dreamed of visiting. With every turn of the page, a new adventure


lies in the balance..... Out of Print has stepped out of the wood work as a trendy and exciting clothing and accessories company that celebrates the very importance of reading. Featuring iconic and often out of print book covers on t-shirts, sweatshirts, totes and more, Out of Print has branded themselves as a company that commemorates the world’s greatest stories through fashion. And understanding that with each new generation, a love for reading continues to slip away like a descending tide, Founders Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc couldn’t sit idly by. Joining forces with Books for Africa, Out of Print fights to instill a passion for books through every purchase made. Books for Africa, a non-profit organization, works to provide reading materials to communities where books aren’t readily available; materials proved crucial in the fight to increase literacy. For every purchase made, Out of Print customers make possible a donation to Books for Africa. To date, over 600,000 books have been donated to communities in need through this partnership. When asked why he felt it was important for children and adults alike to keep reading, Co-Founder Todd Lawton’s mes-

sage was undeniably a powerful one.... “We’ve always tried to emphasize the impact reading has on us as individuals, as well as the power it has to help build communities. This is the reason we so often work with schools, non-profits and libraries; because it’s important to fundraise and bring awareness to issues ranging from book banning to adult illiteracy. Reading sparks the imagination and starts conversations. It is the direct connection to improving lives and ending they cycle of poverty. The transformative power of reading is undeniable.” Transforming our favorite books into pieces of wearable art, Out of Print continues to work closely with artists, authors and publishers to license the extraordinary content that ends up on their collections. From literary classics like The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice, to childhood favorites like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, each product is treated just enough to give that perfectly cozy, soft and inviting feeling, like that of a well-read book. So throw on your favorite Out of Print tee, grab your favorite novel, curl up in front the fire and let yourself be carried into a world anew....


We’ve always tried to emphasize the impact reading has on us as individuals, as well as the power it has to help build communities.






your girlfriends favorite designer 40




Surviving trauma and coming out stronger on the other end PHOTOGRAPHY BY: LAURA LOPEZ 42


Amazing story about girl attacked with acid Written by: Kim Manning Layout by: Kali Koller In the spring of 2006, Karli Butler’s life changed forever. At the time, she was pursuing her master’s degree in Multicultural Communications in Chicago, with aspirations of traveling the world and making an impact on those around her. Everything changed on May 25, 2006. This would be the day that she was brutally attacked, which was the second incident within roughly a two month span. During the first incident, Karli was captured in the parking garage of her condo building, but was luckily able to escape without tremendous physical damage. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case in May. While walking down a residential street in Skokie, a northern suburb that hugs the city of Chicago, Butler was approached by two attackers who held her at gun point and assaulted her with commercial grade acid. The attack landed her in the Intensive Care Burn Unit at the University of Chicago Hospital. This is where she spent six and a half weeks before going home to continue rehabilitation. Karli suffered thirddegree, fullthickness burns on 30 percent of her body, including her face, torso, arms and upper thighs. Her injuries have required more than a dozen reconstructive surgeries. ”I was mortified. I was scared for my life, and even though I was in denial I knew that my life was going to be forever changed, Karli Butler says. “The month after the May attack was a blur of pain, sickness, fear, and loss. I woke up from my first surgery with my head completely shaven and I remember accidentally seeing my reflection in a mirror and it was ghastly. I didn’t recognize myself. I immediately burst into tears and spiraled into a depression.”

The traumatic experience left Karli coping with her identity, seeking answers as to why someone would do such a horrific thing and most importantly, how she could move past this. “A part of me died. I literally woke up as a new person, a burn survivor, and that was a very difficult transition for me,” she says. When Karli was in the hospital, she recalls asking doctors how long it would take them to “fix” her and when she would be able to leave. “My doctors knew that they couldn’t tell me how injured I really was without scaring me, so they told me that I’d only be there for two weeks. Those two weeks came and went and I still needed a host of other surgeries,” she recalls. ” I had totally unrealistic expectations about how I would look once all of the surgeries were complete.” The recovery process was long and arduous, but step by step she was able to cope. During her attack, Karli’s face was severely burned, leaving major scars on the most emotionally sensitive parts of the body. “I remember my family members removing all of the mirrors in my room and surrounding areas because every time I looked at myself it was an emotional setback,” she says. “Having them remove the mirrors was actually a blessing because I became more focused on feeling better than looking better. I actually feel ashamed for how superficial I was. This journey has helped me to realize that I had put too much stock in my outer appearance, so I’m glad that I have been able to work on my inner beauty.” It was a long road ahead, and Karli’s self esteem, perseverance and happiness was at stake. Not only was she suffering physically, her mental health was challenged as well. Karli was always fearful. She was scared that another attack was on its way, as detectives were nervous of her safety and cautioned her to stay on the downlow as much as possible. As she experienced two attacks, it was never certain if they would come back again. “I suffered from PTSD and had nightmares every night about someone trying to kill me, she says. “As a result, I was totally shut off from the rest of the world. That isolation made me feel lonely, lost, and scared. It also made me want my boyfriend’s company even more, even though there was lots of speculation about him being the cause of all of the drama. It was just a difficult time and I’m so thankful that I was able to get through it.”


“This journey has helped me to realize that I had put too much stock in my outer appearance, so I’m glad that I have been able to work on my inner beauty.” 44

As time went on, Karli began to heal physically, emotionally and mentally. While she was still going through medical treatments, her life began to slowly but surely fall back into place. Even one year later, she was undergoing surgeries. The treatments continued as she began to settle down and regain her life. “I was happy to be home and be back with my family, but I was very angry and resentful. I was angry that everyone else got to move on with their lives. They got to go back to work and go back to enjoying their social lives, but not me,” she says. “I was miserable and sad. I hated that I had to take so much pain medication just to feel somewhat normal and I was upset that my scars were taking so long to heal. I had to wear a face mask, as well as fullbody compression garments every day--Imagine

wearing panty hose that are two sizes too small all over your body” By 2007, Karli’s case was in trial and her attackers were found guilty of the crime and were sentenced to jail. It was found that her exboyfriend was in trouble with individuals who lashed out at Karli in attempt to have revenge on him. She completely cut ties with her boyfriend and a slight sense of relief set in. “It’s hard to enjoy life when you’re living in fear and in constant pain, so I had to be creative in dealing with it. I hated that I was lashing out on the people who loved me the most and I noticed that I just wasn’t myself, so one day I woke up and decided that I didn’t want to live like that anymore. That was the day that if forgave my attackers, but I also forgave myself,”


she says. “I kept blaming myself for things that were out of my control, so it felt good to just let it all go. That’s when my life started improving. I went back to the basics.” By getting back to the basics, Karli took to good ole fashioned exercise. Karli and a friend of hers began to run regularly together, and by the spring of 2008 he suggested they sign up for the Chicago Marathon. While it was a challenging feat in itself, training for the marathon allowed Karli to take the opportunity to focus her energy on something positive. The pain was good pain. The growth was success. “As I gained confidence running longer distances, I noticed something. My head got clearer and I could actually see a future for myself. I enjoyed the runs because it gave me time to spend time with myself. My runs also allowed me to inflict pain unto myself on my own terms,” she says. “It might sound sadistic, but I was finally in control of mybody. I was pushing myself to the point of passing out. I loved sweating and the burn that I would feel in my legs and lungs. It was a different kind of burn and I enjoyed it.” It was after her marathon training that Karli was able to build herself back up from the rubble. “This simple process of exercising and setting goals helped me regain my self confidence and get control of my life.”

with House Representative Susana Mendoza and friend and fellow acid attack survivor, Esperanza Medina to pass the Illinois House Bill 2193, which requires those buying commercialgrade hydrochloric or sulfuric acid to show photo identification and have their information entered into a statewide database. “Essie and I agreed that we wouldn’t want this to ever happen to anyone else, so if there was something we could do to help prevent it, then we’ve fulfilled our purpose,” Karli said. Karli’s story is not one that she tells for herself, but rather for anyone else who may experience a traumatic life change. Her positivity is hard to resist and it makes you rethink your viewpoint on life. It’s hard to be negative about life when someone who experienced something so horrible isn’t. “The process of picking up the pieces and moving forward is hard, but it is possible. I also want to encourage people to expand their idea of beauty, in particular women. Since my attack, many people have told me that despite my scars and all that I’ve been through that I’m still beautiful,” she says. “It’s very kind and I’m very humbled by their compliment, but I have learned that it’s my experiences and my ability to overcome that makes me feel more beautiful. This is true for all women. It’s their ability to overcome their past, their struggles, and their fears that builds character and makes them more beautiful. If I can get one person to truly feel and believe this, then my work is done.”

Karli’s experience isn’t one she would ever wish on another person. In fact, she worked


“The process of picking up the pieces and moving forward is hard, but it is possible”


Whatever religious or spiritual affiliation, most of us believe we were put on this Earth for a reason. Along the way things may happen that we question—things that cause pain, suffering or heartbreak. The difference between those who wallow in search of reasoning and those who decide to move on is often happiness. No matter what life throws at us, we choose the path that brings us to the next destination in life. “Before my attack I knew that I wanted to travel the world. I was in graduate school pursuing my master’s degree in Multicultural Communication when I was attacked, so I was devastated when I had to put my studies on hold,” Karli says. Luckily for Karli, she was able to regain control of her life and she eventually earned her MA in Organizational and Multicultural Communication.


While her educational goals remained the same, her overall life and career goals took an unexpected turn. “I now want to travel the globe to help raise awareness about the devastating effects of acid attacks, as well as share my story of survival with other burn survivors and survivors of violence,” she says. “Who knew I’d get invited to travel to Ghana to do work with burn survivors? Who knew that I’d be featured in an international art documentary about acid attack survivors? I never imagined that I would be here giving interviews about my life as a burn survivor and my advocacy work, but I am, so I’ve learned to embrace it and really appreciate it. I have tried to run away, but I’m happy to finally be walking in my purpose. I’m so thankful. I finally understand that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”


Horoscopes Winter 2013 By Madame Stella LAYOUT BY: SAMMY Sithiphong

Sagittarius Nov 22-Dec 21 Always having your birthday around the holidays tend to be a bummer for you; but this year will be different. Instead of having your friends and family forget your birthday, this season they will be surprising you with gifts, outings and more! Also make sure to remember to always see the glass as half full and don’t be a scrooge or else you will be discouraging your loved ones from doing something special with you! Just smile and expect the best, then the best will come to you. Lucky Numbers: 11, 25, 34, 4, 22

Capricorn Dec 22-Jan 19 You are probably wondering when your wishes will be answered? The signs are all in front you, notice them! Take that leap of faith at taking a new job, go on that date with that new guy/girl, perhaps you want to go on that trip that you have been dreaming about-Go for it!! Take that step forward and don’t look back! You will not regret it. Lucky Numbers: 7, 12, 21, 31, 41

Aquarius Jan 20-Feb 18 You are probably wondering when your wishes will be answered? The signs are all in front you, notice them! Take that leap of faith at taking a new job, go on that date with that new guy/girl, perhaps you want to go on that trip that you have been dreaming about-Go for it!! Take that step forward and don’t look back! You will not regret it. Lucky Numbers: 7, 12, 21, 31, 41

Pisces Feb 19-Mar 20 You are known as the sweetheart of the horoscopes signs, but that doesn’t mean that you should be taken advantage of. Stand up for yourself and stop letting people walk all over you. Learn to appreciate yourself more and remember it is OK to say NO! People will not hate you for saying no, so do not worry about that. Lucky Numbers: 4, 15, 20, 30, 42

Aries Mar 21-Apr 19 For all of you single Aries peeps out there, this is going to be a HOT winter season for you! Say yes to that guy/girl who asks you out, but remember not to double book the same day (you will be tempted to do so). Married Aries, you and your loved one will be spending a lot of time indoors (hint, hint), so love is definitely in the air for you. Showcase your love for your partner, do romantic gestures such as cooking a romantic meal! Whoever said that winter had to be cold? Lucky Numbers: 5, 17, 25, 31, 40


Taurus Apr 20-May 20 Busy, busy, busy; life is currently a whirlwind. Try slowing down a bit, at least on the weekends and take some time for yourself. If you continue with your current hectic schedule, you will wear yourself out. Make it a point to at least schedule a few hours to relax; read a book, watch a movie or just plain sleep. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to get back on that busy life track. Lucky Numbers: 8, 13, 27, 35, 43

Gemini May 21-Jun 20 Prepare yourself for BIG happenings in the next few months! Changes with life, family and work will be occurring and you will have to make major decisions concerning each one. The sun is definitely shinning on you and be ready to embrace these upcoming changes! Lucky Numbers: 6, 9, 26, 32, 50

Cancer Jun 21-Jul 22 You are optimistic about life right now. There are changes stirring in your life that will benefit you in the future regarding your career. Take chances and go with your dreams, you will be achieving those profession goals you had in mind all these years. Lucky Numbers: 14, 9, 11, 28, 36

Leo Jul 23-Aug 22 Something has happened these past months that have made you lose confidence in yourself. Rediscover yourself by visiting loved ones, spending time on your favorite hobbies, and attending events that would assist in empowering your spirit. Get rid of the bad aura and find who you are again. Life will get brighter, don’t lose sight and try to stay positive throughout the holidays. Lucky Numbers: 1, 10, 20, 39, 44

Virgo Aug 23-Sept 22 Single Virgo’s, stop getting hurt dating the wrong people. You are a romantic at heart and have been on the look-out for your soul mate; unfortunately you are looking for him/her at all the wrong places. Don’t worry, he/she will come; soon. Married Virgo’s, stop fighting with your significant other! Life is NOT greener on the side, you married he/she for a reason, stop and remember that reason. Do not give up on them. Lucky Numbers: 5, 12, 29, 38, 49

Libra Sept 23-Oct 22 Finances have been weighing heavy lately! Try to find ways to skim those bills. You can cancel channels and save moola on your cable bill, you can lower your thermostat from 72 to 69; there are many ways to save money. Don’t stress too much and become more proactive with cost-saving activities such as couponing! At the start of the new year (2013) expect more money, but continue with the money saving actions. Lucky Numbers: 7, 17, 24, 33, 51

Scorpio Oct 23-Nov 21 These winter months there is a good chance that you’ll change jobs, start or end a relationship, or even create a whole new chapter in your life. It is time to put all that energy into this new episode of your life because it will be successful. Keep the energy positive Scorpio, you are in for a treat! Lucky Numbers: 9, 16, 19, 20, 35




Deniro Far

//\\//\\/ 52




For every great story, there must be a beginning, a middle and an end. Every character, every face, has a different background vital in telling their part of the story. The characters come and go, just like the scenes in a play. But, it’s up to the writer to claim the perfect ending to their story. The main character of this story is Qushawan Farrar, better known by his stage name, Deniro Farrar. Coming from a very humble beginning, Farrar was born into a big family located in the rough part of Charlotte, North Carolina. His story began without the most important character in every child’s life; a father. But as we all know, the show must go on. Farrar was raised by his mother and he was most certainly not alone in this world, with his eight brothers and sisters running around. His little brother, Big Tookie, received an early dismissal in this story when he landed himself in prison. A big hit for Farrar; Big Tookie was someone he was very close to and could always count on to be there for him. A few run-ins with the law himself, Farrar had to find a better path in life. While believing there was more to life than what he could see, Farrar looked towards music as his way out. He followed his passion for music and worked hard to perfect his craft. Linking up with other artists outside of the ordinary hip hop box, he distinguished himself by creating a new, progressive sound that resonated in the ears of writers and industry “insiders” such as Eric McLellan, Director of A&R for Sire Records/Warner Bros. The middle of every story is the meat and bones to any good story..... After a life full of surprises, ups and downs, and drugs and



prison, it was his new Manager, Meko Yohannes of DOP Group that helped him finalize a deal with VICE Records/Warner Bros. The Charlotte Rapper had officially signed his first deal! And after creating his own cult following via the internet over the past few years, releasing various projects and collaborating with other indie favorites, Farrar is now working on the official debut EP, which will drop in 2014. How did a person who starts at the bottom get signed?

“What first impressed and attracted me to Deniro Farrar, were his brutally honest lyrics and his ability to display an unconventional amount of passion through music, both on record and live on stage,” said Eric McLellan, Director of A&R, Sire Records/Warner Bros. “Deniro had what I thought were interesting songs, a unique voice and delivery, a charismatic and confident personality and major star quality.” With three of his five mix tapes dropping this last year, Farrar’s buzz has gotten increasingly stronger. Opening for notable stars such as Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar, Farrar is bound for big success. And not forgetting about his past, Farrar has started the “Free Toon” Movement. Paying homage to his little brother, Farrar started the movement to support his brother until he’s free. Farrar, aka LEADER OF CULT RAP, has been pushed forward since being signed; doing shows all over the USA and tapping into Canada including CMJ Festival, A3C Festival,

/\\//\\// Toronto, and Cervantes Masterpiece with To Gotti and The Rap League.

But Farrar’s story doesn’t end here. Farrar has taken the wheel and is now the driver on the road to living his life. What will he do now? Plan to see and hear a lot more of him. He’s signed with a big label, and will continue to do big shows and festivals all over the nation. This is just the beginning of the saga known as Deniro Farrar, Leader of Cult Rap.

Deniro Online



Winter Top

Article by: Jerome Thomas Layout by: Jamie Breeden

The 'white chocolate' of the rap game is back. “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” is here. Eminem has sold more than 32.2 million albums since 2000. This makes him the top selling artist of the decade in the USA. Here's another one... Miss Britney Spears' album, “Britney Jean,” is now available, as of December 3rd, the day after her 32nd birthday. With leading single “Work Bitch,” this album will have her signature upbeat dance sound.

Childish Gambino's “Because the Internet” released on December 10th. Glassnote Records wanted to push back its release to 2014, according to Gambino, because "it's not a holiday record and I'm not a big artist.” His response to that was, "If it wasn't gonna be released then, I was gonna release it myself. What's the point of waiting?” Christmas is here and that mean's CHRISTMAS TUNES! Jewel is bringing “Let It Snow: A Holiday Collection.” The album includes ten traditional holiday songs with two originals recorded for the album, titled "It's Christmastime" and "Blue Crystal Glow." “Bapitzed” is 4th studio album by American rock band Daughtry. The band worked with many other songwriters and musicians on the album. Some like Martin Johnson of Boys Like Girls, Sam Hollander, Blair Daly, Espionage, Rock Mafia, Ali Tamposi, The Monsters and the Strangerz, Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down. They say “focus on one goal,” well focus on One Direction. The British Invasion is here with their third studio album “Midnight Memories.” They release in Australia, Canada, Franc, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and USA on 25th. "Midnight Memories" has became the fastest selling pre-order album release in Amazon's fifteen-year history. Who is Danielle Bradbery? She won the 4th season of NBC's The Voice in 2013, becoming the youngest contestant to come in first place. Her debut studio album, Danielle Bradbery, released on November 25, 2013, featuring top 20 country hit "The Heart of Dixie". A new face to in the Hip-Hop game is Sammy Adams. “Homecoming” is his lastest album. He already has 7 songs on Youtube with over a million hits. His song titled "L.A. Story" features American singer Mike Posner, while being produced by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. .

“Fading West” is the ninth studio album by the alternative rock band Switchfoot, scheduled to release on January 14, 2014. It is also the title of an accompanying film/documentary, which will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the band and follow them to their surfing destinations.



Article by: Jerome Thomas Layout by: Jamie Breeden

If you want to give someone a great gift, give the gift of experience. If you need some “Clarity,” Zedd is here to “Stay the Night” on December 30th & 31st. Headlining at the Aragon Ballroom, don't forget your dancing shoes! The Rock is in the building. Jay-Z. The Magna Carter Tour will be selling out the United Center on January 9th. And knowing Jay-Z, he won't be traveling alone. But you'll need to be there to find out! If you like country music then “Listen Here.” Keith Urban, Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch will all be at the United Center on January 10th. Please note: There will be sexy cowgirls in the building for this show! Want to surprise your sweetie with a perfect Valentine's Day surprise? Justin Timberlake will be performing at the United Center on February 16th and 17th.

Paul Simon and Sting on stage together at the United Center on February

25th. Plan on seeing two of the world's best entertainers so get your tickets ASAP. What comes to mind when you think of a mechanical bull? Kings of Leon's, “Mechanical Bull” Tour. Taking place on March 8th, this will be one ride you don't want to miss. Tickets start at $63 at

David Garrett at the Chicago Theatre on March 15th will bring the first

heatwave of the year. If everyone does the 'sun dance,' we're in for a lovely spring!








A JOURNEY WITH J.LO Article by: Heather Davis Layout by: Jamie Breeden

O n O c t o b e r 3 , C h i e f C r e a t i v e O ffi c e r o f N U V O t v , t h e o n l y E n g l i s h - l a n g u a g e n e t w o r k f o r L a t i n o s , J e n n i f e r L o p e z , k i c k e d o ff h e r own reality show, A Step Away, documenting the professional dancers t h a t a c c o m p a n i e d h e r o n h e r fi r s t w o r l d t o u r . C a m e r a s t a g g e d a l o n g a s J . L o a n d h e r d a n c e c r e w t r a v e l e d a c r o s s fi v e continents and 66 cities. These 11 dancers, all of which are highly experienced, have performed alongside superstars like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. T h i s s i x - w e e k r e a l i t y s e r i e s f o l l o w e d t h e l i v e s o f e a c h d a n c e r, a s w e l l a s t h e i r s u p e r v i s i n g c h o r e o g r a p h e r, A . K . A . J. L o’ s c u r r e n t b o y t o y , B e a u “Casper” Smar t, taking you behind the scenes of what it’s like to tour with the Latina icon, as well as digging into the struggles they face while on the road. Each dancer played a unique role on Lopez’s team, like Gilber t S a l d i v a r, h e r d a n c e c a p t a i n w h o h a s d a n c e d w i t h t h e s t a r f o r n e a r l y 1 2 y e a r s , a n d t h r e e - y e a r v e t e r a n , Te r a P e r e z , w h o p l a y s t h e r o l e o f back-up dance captain. T h e f u l l c a s t i n c l u d e d S m a r t , S a l v i d a r, P e r e z , C a t R e n d i c , C h a s e B e n z , G e o r g e J o n e s J r. , J i m m y S m i t h , J o h n S i l v e r, J o s e H e r n a n d e z , K h a s a n B r a i l s f o r d , L a k e S m i t s , a n d S h a n n o n H o l t z a p ff e l . A S t e p A w a y ’ s f u l l fi r s t s e a s o n , i n c l u d i n g a “ W h e r e A r e T h e y N o w ? ” special, is available for free viewing on 58












for him & her

this winter's beauty products


Written by: Danielle Hazekamp Layout by: Kali Koller

Don’t you just hate the feeling of dry, cracked skin during those winter months? With the cold weather already in full swing, many people find themselves afraid and embarrassed to pull off those hats and scarves only to reveal dry, itchy and flaky skin and scalps! Lucky for you, I’ve put together a list of great products that will help prevent and treat all those winter skin blues and blunders! And most exciting, these products translate well in use by both men and women!


OUIDAD OMEGA-3 REPLENISHING TREATMENT When it comes to hair, it doesn’t matter if you have long, short, curly or straight hair, dry, brittle and dull hair is something we can all suffer from. And it’s important to take extra precautions during the cold weather months to keep your hair healthy and protected from all of the harsh elements! Using a hair conditioning treatment will help! Ouidad Omega 3 Replenishing Treatments works by restoring and deeply hydrating your hair. And it’s easy to use! Simply use 1 to 3 times a week in place of your regular conditioner. After just once use, I instantly felt the difference in my hair. This treatment can also be used as an intensive treatment by applying heat with a diffuser for 25 minutes. $36.00

GOLD SYSTEM Created by Oprah’s personal stylist, Andre Walker, the Gold System is a line of hair care products for women and men who want to be able to wear their hair naturally or straight but have trouble because of frizz, uncontrollable curls and/ or heat damage. The Gold System set contains a moisture and sulfate free shampoo, ultimate moisture conditioner, a kinks styling crème, and straight styling crème. Together these products help restore moisture back into the hair as well as protect it from any heat damage from the use of heat tools.

2 $78.00



ZIMS CRACK CREME Dry skin is not only embarrassing, but uncomfortable and often times painful. Especially during winter, our hands can be extra susceptible to roughness. ZIM’s Crack Creme provides instant relief and immediately softens your hands! It can be used on any part of the body typically affected by dryness such as knees, elbows and feet. A great tip to keep your feet feeling silky soft: apply a generous amount of the crème to your feet and then throw on a pair of socks to bed. Voila! You’ll wake up with ultra smooth footsies! $6.99

BOOTS NO. 7 LIFT & LUMINATE DAY AND NIGHT SERUM During the winter you keep most of your skin covered, however most of the time our faces are exposed to the cold. It is important for you to hydrate your skin and that is why Boots No. 7 Lift & Luminate Day & Night Serum is perfect for the winter. And as an added bonus, it also reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. These serums come in a set of two, one for the day and one for the night. The day serum is formulated with many different vitamins and antioxidants to protect the skin from damage as well as repairing the skin’s elasticity for a smooth finish. For night the serum is formulated with an exfoliant that will help revitalize and even your skin tone. This also acts as an intense moisturizer that will hydrate and replenish your skin. After just a few uses, the product will leave your skin glowing! $24.99




WHEN MASKS Just like our bodies, our skin needs a big drink of water! When Face Masks provide just that! Having created a line of 3D face masks that contain liquid nutrients, these masks help to transfer everything you need right to your skin. You simply apply a “sheet” to your face and leave on for 30 minutes. You then remove and move about the rest of your day. No mess. No fuss. With nothing to wash off afterward, you simply massage any excess product into your skin and off you go! There are 5 different types of masks, each one targeting a different area and need. For the winter, I would recommend The Last Choice as this one is designed to moisturize severely dry skin. for more info to purchase $28.00



Don’t forget to keep those lips hydrated, as they are equally as important and susceptible to discomfort! Chapped lips are one of the most common ailments we all suffer from when it’s cold out! Check out ASAP Hydrating Lip Balm + SPF 15! Formulated with special extracts, this lip balm deeply hydrates, soothes and heals, while also protecting them from the harshness of the sun! Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean the sun can’t do any damage! $15.00



According to The American Academy of Dermatology, 1 out of every 9 people between the ages of 25 and 44 have consulted a doctor for help with their acne. Yup, you heard right! Adult Acne! More often than not, adult acne is caused by the same factors found in teenage acne: excessive oil or change in hormones. And for those of us extra cursed, acne is hereditary. If your parents suffered from adult acne, chances are you will too. Have no fear, Founder of Zendy Beauty, Dr. Vish Banthia has some simple tips to help with adult acne. First it is all about cleansing your face. One is to wash your face twice a day (make sure not to exceed over 2xs a day) with warm water and a mild soap made for acne. 66

made for acne treatment. Always be sure to remove any makeup before you go to bed as well. I’m guilty of skipping this step from time to time, as I’m sure I’m not the only one. Sometimes it’s just too late and I’m too tired and I just don’t feel like going through the steps! If you are a frequent makeup ‘wearer,’ make sure to throw away any old makeup that looks for smells different from when you first purchased it. Typically, most liquid and cream foundations, in addition to powders should be tossed after two years. And make sure those makeup applicators stay clean! Whether you use sponges or brushes, always remember to wash them regularly. I recommend once every two weeks with a brush cleaner and baby shampoo. This will help get rid of any bacteria and/or product buildup that is lurking around. Now that we have covered how to cleanse, it is time to discuss tips on handling acne. Most importantly, NEVER pop those pimples! Popping pimples causes the infected area to push further into the skin. And DON’T touch your face if you can help it. Avoiding touching your face helps to minimize the spread of bacteria which will alleviate clogged or irritated pores. And if you can’t avoid touching your face for any reason, be sure to wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. Sometimes however, washing your face with an acne cleanser just isn’t enough. If that doesn’t seem to help keep your skin clear, a toner, or spot treatment. may need to be added to your skincare regimen. Most major skin care brands, whethera department store brand or a specialty or drug store brand, have toners and spot treaters.


Look for key ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alphahydroxy acid, sulfur, and retinol when shopping for these products. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are used for acne treatment because they help the skin’s ‘shed rate,’ therefore clearing pores and reducing bacteria count. Alphahydroxy acid stimulates skin causing exfoliation of the top layer of the skin, providing a smoother texture. Sulfur brings out the excess oil from clogged pores. And last but not least:, retinol, which is proven to improve cell renewal by bringing newer and younger cells to the skins surface. The down side? Some of these key ingredients are notorious for also drying out your skin. To help counteract the dry skin effect caused by your acne treatments, find a good moisturizer. If you are prone to acne, look for a moisturizer that is oil free and noncomedogenic. These kinds of moisturizers will help keep those pores clean! Always remember to follow the directions listed on any new product you begin using. They are there for a reason! If you find that after all these tips and tricks you STILL aren’t seeing results (give it a good two weeks), you’ll benefit from a trip to your dermatologist’s office. Sometimes overthecounter cleansers and creams just aren’t strong enough. Don’t have a regular derm? Do your research before just visiting a doc. Ask a friend or family, or turn to the web to find a derm that can help. Most often that not, they’ll prescribe a medicated topical cream or maybe even an antibiotic. This should help to do the trick.


And if you’ve suffered long enough from acne, then you’ll be no stranger to the scars acne can leave behind. There are tons of options available to help treat those nasty scars. Of course they range from expensive to affordable, and by affordable, I mean under $100 per treatment. However, depending on the severity of your scarring, there are a multitude of options to go with. Chemical peels, laser treatments and microdermabrasion.

Choosing the right treatment


2 3

Chemical peels consists of a chemical solution that is mixed for you and is applied to your clean face. It is then left on your skin for about 10 minutes it is then washed off and neutralized with a solution so that the skin cannot continue to burn. Yes I said burn, a chemical peel while on can have a sting. Laser skin resurfacing is exactly what you think it is. A doctor will uses a laser to send a pulsating beams of light at the scars removing the damaged skin one layer at a time.

Microdermabrasion is where a diamond tipped wand is gently moved across the skin to exfoliate. The treatment lasts about a half hour and has no recovery time unlike some other treatments.

Whether you want to know more about treatments or have any questions, always ask a dermatologist or a licensed esthetician. They are the experts when it comes to skin and will know how to help you. And don’t e afraid to ask a sales person for help when shopping for new products! That’s what they are there for and will be more than happy to help! I can’t tell you how many times I have asked a sales person for help and 8 out of 10 times I am happy with their recommendations.



For the ladies The messy (textured) hair look – I feel like we haven’t seen this look since the 90’s and now twenty years later, it is back. When I see this trend, I cannot help but think Kate Moss in a Calvin Klein ad. That simple just ‘wash and go’ look. I would recommend doing just that and if you want a little oomph, sleep with you hair in pigtails. Then in the morning take out and pick through with your fingers and finish with a texturizing spray. The cat eye - I feel like this just keeps returning as a trend. It returned on the catwalk for fall with designers putting their own twist on it. Whether it is making the lines thicker, using glitter or using color, you cannot go wrong with whichever way you wear it. This is the opportunity to make it your own. Not sure how to do a cat eye, no worries they are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest. Dark Bold Lips - I love a good bold lip so I am very excited to see this on the runway for fall. The key is to the find the right color and shade to compliment your skin tone and comfort level. The best piece of advice I can give you if you want to rock this trend is to play down your eyes. I am not saying that you can’t wear anything on your eye. I would recommend wearing a light neutral shadow with some eyeliner and please don’t forget to line your lips with a wax based liner as sometimes darker colors can bleed. Minimal makeup - For all of your ladies who don’t wear makeup, you are already rocking this fall trend. If you do wear makeup and want to rock this trend, have no fear, this is possible. I would recommend applying a no shine foundation, set it with some powder, and sweep a touch of blush on your cheeks. Finish the look with a couple of coats of mascara and some nude lipstick or clear balm. Easy, right? Pony Tail - I know you are thinking a pony tail is a pony tail. Well this fall the low pony is back. It is very easy to do. It is all about the defined part whether it be down the middle or to the side. I know you all love this trend as much as I do, because sometimes we just don’t feel like doing our hair! Metallic - This trend is hitting fall in a big way. Not only is it being worn on the eyes, but is being rocked on nails as well! For the eyes, it is all about the metallic element with colors


such as plum, turquoise and crimson. However the basic neutral colors like bronze, gold and silver are okay if that is what you are comfortable with. For nails, it isn’t limited to a color so go wild and rock a color that screams you! Voluminous Curls - Big curls are in and I love it. This trend is perfect and can be worn on any hair length and type. If you have curly, congratulations, you don’t have to put much effort into this look. For girls like myself with pin straight hair, we have to work to get our hair this way. It might take a while but it is doable. If you have straight hair, start off by applying mousse to clean wet hair. Blow dry your hair completely, and I mean completely. Then set your hair with hot rollers. A little tip I can offer is that it is best if you also spray each section with a heat thermal spray. Before letting the rollers out, be sure that they are completely cooled off. When taking out the rollers be sure to not brush your hair but comb through it with your fingers. Finish with your favorite hair spray. Strong brows - As I mentioned before, the 90’s are back this fall and strong brows are it! Rocking this trend is easy. It’s all about filling them in! There are a ton of products out there for brows. It is all about what you prefer. Whichever product you choose to use just be sure to comb your brows before applying any makeup to them.

Matte nails - Remember this trend a couple of years ago, well it has made its return. There are no specific colors that are being associated with this trend, so you can wear it whichever ever way you want. Not sure about it or don’t want to have to spend money on new nail polish colors, simply just pick up a matte top coat. It will take any nail polish and turn into a matte finish. Braids - What can I say they are everywhere. There is no right or wrong way to wear a braid. Sport a side braid, messy braid or the milkmaid braid, wear the braid any way you want!

For the MEN

The side part comb over - When I think of this trend I think: old man. The side part comb over was huge on the runway. I know you guys probably don’t play with your hair like us girls do, but if you are feeling daring and want to rock a new look this is the way to go. To style simply add some hair gel to wet hair, part to the side and comb over. The slicked back look - Whenever I see this style I think GQ. This time this trend is appearing with a twist: Instead of all your hair being slicked back it is about the top being slicked back and the sides shaved. Styling is easy as well, make sure to use a good hair gel and spray to ensure that hair will stay in place. Clean Face - With Duck Dynasty being such a hit you would think the grizzly look would be in but it isn’t. The clean shave was all over the runway for fall. You guys just have it so easy. To enhance on this trend, I would recommend using a good aftershave and moisturize. Messy hair look - This trend is probably the easiest one to rock for men. Like women, this year, the messy hair look is in. To achieve this look simply apply hair paste and go nuts. Spray with hair spray for extra reinforcement. Long with middle part aka the grunge look - I will say it again the 90’s are back. When I think of this look I see Kurt Cobain. That long, shoulder-length hair with the part down the middle. No products needed, just make sure to wash it and brush it every once in a while.

Shaved look - There is something sexy about a guy you can pull off this trend. This is the easiest and low maintenance look. If you are going to rock this trend, make sure to keep your scalp moisturized! Beard - Now I know I mentioned that the clean shave is in but so is the beard. When I say beard I am talking about a nice well groomed beard. In order to do this make sure to keep the beard well-conditioned and trimmed. Bold Brows - Like women, this look is in for men except for the filling in part. In order to rock this trend just simply comb. I recommend dipping your brow comb in lotion prior to combing through your brows. This will help to keep them in place. And be sure to tweeze as needed. Layered Boy Cut - Another look from the 90’s. Except this one reminds me of Luke Perry in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. No products are really needed if the cut is done right. Simply comb your hair forward and go. Straight Blow Back - This trend isn’t for everyone. It take a man with patience to achieve this look. Can’t picture what it looks like? Think Justin Bieber. I know what you are thinking, why would I want to have the same hair cut as J Beebs, but Justin Timberlake has also been known to sport this and who wouldn’t want to look like J.T? In order to achieve this look one must stand there with a blow dryer and blow dry the hair straight up while also using an anti-frizz product.



HAVE YOU NOTICED A DIFFERENCE AT THE BLOOMINGDALES ON MICHIGAN AVE? As of September, they have acquired one of the largest and fastest growing brands out of the UK, makeup brand Illamasqua, pronounced “illa-mass-ka.” I had the pleasure of attending Illamasqua’s makeup artist beauty showdown. Besides watching their Key US and UK makeup artists do what they do best, I also got the opportunity to sit with the man behind the brand, founder Julian Kynaston. After sitting down with Julian and learning more about the brand, how it started, what it stands for, and where it is going I can see why it is such a fast growing brand. I instantly became a fan of the brand and of course the makeup. I guarantee after reading this that you will too will be a fan. 72


After starting up his own marketing agency, Propaganda back in 1993, Julian decided that he wanted to tap into another business. Now he didn’t want just start any old business as he wanted to create a consumer brand built on his values. As well as something that was going to be hard to sell, something that was one of the worse market to get into. After sending 3 different people out to the market to research Julian’s criteria, they all came back with the same thing….makeup. Within their findings it was determined that there are only 2 ways to launch a brand, 25 years of slow climbing growth or 200 million pounds, which translates to $318,304,000 in US dollars for cost of television and press globally. Now Julian only had 10 million pounds and wanted to do this in 4 years. The one thing they knew what they had to create new and couldn’t play with major makeup companies. One of the first things that they did was they didn’t want to have a celebrity endorsement.

Let’s face it we know people know that they don’t really wear what they are advertising and if they want to buy something according to Julian “they can buy can it themselves when they hard earned cash.” Another thing is that they don’t believe in dictating the latest trend like other brands that are in the market. They believe in creating collections that are inspirations so that the consumer can translate it in their own way. They want the consumer to seek out their own judgment on the product. When it came to money typically companies puts half of their invested money into marketing and the other half into the product. Well Julian put no money to marketing and instead all of the money went towards the product. Since there was no money for marketing the brand relies solely on their consumers truly buying the product and saying it was good, because of this the brand has gone viral. Making Illamasqua becoming the fast growing makeup company on the planet and found only at the best retailers in the world.



Julian couldn’t say enough on how Illamasqua stands for individuality and seeing the beauty in everyone. He wants to empower women to wear their makeup bolder and men to start wearing makeup again. Modern society has frowned upon men who wear makeup. Nowadays it is very rare to see a man wear makeup. When actually long ago men did wear makeup to fight, to attract women. Back then it was the manly thing to do and would love to see society changes it look. In fact, he believes in changing the world into a better place. When watching the news one night he came across a story about a young couple named Rob and Sophie who were beaten for looking different. That beating actually killed Sophie and that was when Julian wanted to support and that is how the development of S.O.P.H.I.E was started. S.O.P.H.I.E short for Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance educates young people in schools about understanding and awareness of subcultures. With the help of S.O.P.H.I.E a law has been pasted that any person who is assaulted based on their appearance is considered a hate crime.


The Illamasqua brand offers a ton of different products and according to Julian one more product than what is sold at MAC. He believes in their product and if there is ever something wrong they will take care of it. Believe they have. A well-known UK blogger slayer their eye shadows, stating that they were overly pressed. Instead of ignoring this, Julian went to Germany where the products is made, found the problem and solved. He doesn’t believe in dying if something is wrong but instead of handling it.



One thing that I totally agree and love about the brand is that they don’t believe in hiring the best sales people.

THEY LOOK FOR THE BEST EDUCATORS, SOMEONE WHO CAN INSPIRE THE CUSTOMER TO USE THE PRODUCT AND NOT RUSH THEM OUT OF THE CHAIR AND SELL THEM SOMETHING. Another thing I love is that in their flagship store in London, they offer a variety of makeup classes for their consumer ranging from bridal, retro glamour, to perfecting skin coverage. As of right now the classes are only in London, believe me I asked and begged for there to be some offered here in the states. I was though happy to hear that they have on Sundays, Beauty School Drop In at the Illamasqua counter. The Makeup Beauty School Drop In is a 10 to 15 minute lesson on a makeup technique. Do know of any other makeup brands that offer that, I don’t.








For a long time Kristin Cavallari was the young girl on MTV hits “The Hills” and “Laguna beach.” Those days are long gone! Today, Kristin Cavallari finds herself a businesswoman, mom and wife living here in Chicago. Halfstack Magazine joined Kristin at the long awaited Akira Fall Fashion show, “Supersonic Boom.” We had a front row seat to an evening filled with fall fashion by one of the most well known clothing brands in Chicago. At first glance, Kristin Cavallari seems every bit the celebrity that I thought she would be; beautiful and fashion savvy. After sitting down with her prior to the Akira Fall Fashion Show, it was easy to see why she was so successful in an industry filled with celebrity designers. Kristin Cavallari is the real deal; she knows her collection inside and out. She has created a brand out of her own personal style that the masses love, including this shoe lover as well. HALFSTACK MAGAZINE (HM): So what made you want to coordinate with Akira? KRISTIN CAVALLARI (KC): They asked me to host this fashion show and I was honored because it’s the biggest fashion show in Chicago. To have my shoes on the runway is a dream come true for me, this is what it’s all about. And they’re going to start carrying my shoes, which is great! They’re a huge store in Chicago so


I’m really excited about it! It was really refreshing to hear Kristin so enthusiastic about working with Akira, one of Chicago’s own. Being the shoe addict that I am, I was incredibly excited to be able to sit down with Kristin Cavallari and learn more about her shoe line with Chinese Laundry. I was curious about her level of adoration for shoes. My adoration is a over a hundred deep and counting. I was sure hers was far beyond that. In order to come up with a concept for a shoe line you really have to have a certain level of love for them. HM: I’m a huge shoe addict, I have a ton of shoes and I had a chance to look at your Fall/Winter collection. I love it! Do you consider yourself a shoe addict and be honest how many shoes do you own? KC: I do consider myself a shoe addict! That’s why I wanted a shoe line. How many shoes do I have? I have a lot! We live here, we have a house in Nashville and then I have an apartment in L.A., so I have shoes all over the place, so…it’s a lot! With so many shoe brands out there it would be easy for collaborations such as Kristin’s to get lost in the shuffle. But it doesn’t! That’s because of the quality, style and comfort of the shoes. My first hand take on her shoes? Gorgeous! They’re extremely comfortable and chic.

LACEE ($149.95)

ALLURE ($169.95)

HM: There’s a ton of options in your collection for the Fall/Winter. What’s your favorite out of the collection? KC: I like the Rayland bootie! It’s a little bootie that comes in cognac and black. You can really wear it with everything and it’s the perfect fall/ winter shoe. Anybody can wear it; it’s really comfortable too. And I’m not just saying that! She’s really not. I tried out my personal favorite from her line, the Allure Booties and on top of looking amazing they felt amazing as well. There are a variety of booties and pumps available in her fall collection that will work seamlessly from season to season. Along with designing shoes in for Chinese Laundry, Kristin has also done collaborations with Junk Food for the NFL. But undoubtedly her most important role is that of mom and wife. HM: You have so much going on, how do you balance being a mom, wife, and businesswoman? KC: I’m very lucky, because with the shoes and jewelry, I can make my own hours. I can work while Cam is sleeping or after he goes to bed. I feel very blessed in that sense. And Jay is extremely supportive. We have a great team going on. It helps that Camden is such a great baby, he’s amazing. With the shoe line being such a huge success I was curious to know more about her future in the fashion industry. HM: What are the chances of seeing an everyday Kristen Cavallari clothing line? KC: I don’t know, I think if I was going to do something with clothes I would probably start with the NFL stuff.

That, I did have a ton of fun of doing and I would love to actually do it and sell it. So we’ll see. Right now I don’t have any plans to start a clothing line. I would probably do purses before that so we’ll see! HM: Is there anything that you haven’t done career wise that you still want to do? KC: There’s a ton of stuff I haven’t done that I still want to do. Obviously the shoes and the jewelry I love and I want to continue doing that. I would love to host something in the fashion world. I don’t know what it is but it would just be really fun to host. I want to keep acting a little bit too. I just did a few episodes of “The League”, which I loved because I could just pop in and out when I needed to. It’s nothing that’s going to keep in L.A. But my main priority is being a mom and a wife. Don’t be surprised to see Kristin continuing to grow within the fashion industry. Her collaboration with Chinese Laundry is only the start of what is sure to be a growing brand. After our interview it was off to see the long awaited Akira Fall Fashion Show, “Supersonic Boom”. I had a front row seat to see their amazing show that has been the talk of the town ever since Akira began putting the show together. Models graced the runway in some of the hottest styles for fall along with shoes from Chinese Laundry by Kristin Cavallari’s fall collection. The styling was impeccable and the shoes were a perfect compliment to the Akira collection. Akira showed a wide variety of pieces from gorgeous party dresses and separates as well as an amazing menswear line filled with suiting for evening, jackets and separates. Take a look at the Kristin Cavallari


for Chinese Laundry Fall line along with some of my favorite Akira looks from the runway. You can purchase shoes from the Chinese Laundry by Kristin Cavallari line at, and at Akira footwear stores. All pieces from the Akira runway show can be found at and at Akira stores.



uncompromising quality


This past year, Chicago’s highend fashion community got a lot cheekier with the opening of Ted Baker London’s flagship store in the Midwest in the heart of the shopping district on 1009 North Rush Street. For the last 25 years, Ted Baker has showcased mens and womenswear collections of uncompromising quality and brilliance all over the world, and now, Chicago finally gets its taste of Ted… and they’ve been celebrating it all year long! In 1987, fashion designer Ted Baker began establishing a name for himself in Glasgow in becoming what he describes as a “shirt specialist” around town, crafting men’s shirts with an immense passion for creating something beautiful, practical, and durable. Following a very inspirational fishing trip, Baker decided to think big; within a year he would be branding his own name and opening up stores in various places throughout the United Kingdom. With a focus on quality, an eye for detail, and a quirky sense of humor, Baker’s fashions became high in demand among the isles of Britain


and soon all over Europe. In 1995, the Ted Baker brand broke out onto the global fashion scene even further with the release of its very first women’s line, Ted Baker Woman. Today, Ted Baker London is a favorite among celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood and has proven to be one of the fastest growing UK based brands with 185 stores throughout thirteen countries in the world. Despite the immense success and notoriety, Baker’s initial ideal has never wavered. It simply grows. In December of 2012, Ted Baker Chicago officially opened to the public at its Rush street location. At the official launch party in February of 2013, the cheeky spirit of the Ted Baker team was unmistakable as a little bit of London was brought to Chicago for the celebration. The English-themed bash was complete with freeflowing gin cocktails and doubledecker buses, which transported guests to an even swankier after party at Public House in River

“Baker decided to think big; within a year he would be branding his own name and opening up stores in various places throughout the United Kingdom.�



North. Ted Baker kept the festivities going in May with another fabulous fete to celebrate the brand’s 25th birthday. This event featured a 25% discount to all attendees as well as a chance to win a trip to where everything Ted Baker began: the Scottish Highlands. As recently as October, the Chicago store invited the public through its doors yet again for a shopping event featuring food, cocktails, and live musical entertainment. So why does this remarkable brand concentrate so much on throwing fabulous parties rather than just selling great clothes? Well, from the very beginning Ted Baker decided that even its marketing strategy would not be conventional. It is apparent even when you walk through the door of any of their 185 stores worldwide and are greeted by a Ted Baker associate that this is a brand that believes in becoming a part of its community and truly connecting with its consumers. As a result of a rather unique and casual marketing strategy, Ted Baker relies heavily on word of mouth and frankly it is paying off. Store by store, cities all over the world are getting a taste of Ted and finally our very own Chicago is one of those dapper elite.


Gifts that

By: Kate Roth

give back Everyone enjoys the holiday season. Not only receiving gifts but also, getting gifts for others. Well, why not reconsider some gift options you thought to buy or possibly asked for? We have listed the next six items in our gifting guide that when you purchase a simple accessory you will be also benefiting a charity or someone in need. Take a llook at these fantastic items.

warby parker Prescription eyewaer can get pretty expensive. Warby Parker is a brand that creates stylish lenses but at a reasonable prices. They have teamed up with VisionSpring, and for every pair of glasses that is sold another is donated to someone in need.





FiIGS Ties have created a “threads for threads” program. With that being said when a tie is purchased a school uniform is provided to an underprivileged child in Africa. These ties run from $105-$130 made with great quality fabrics and is well worth the gift you would be giving for two.

krochet kids

three Each hat is unique in it’s own way. They are signed by the one who creates it giving you that feeling of comfort. These knotted hats are not just any knotted hat, Krochet Kids International provides jobs, education, and mentorships to woman in Northern Uganda. and Peru.



GIV Mobile is using what we as consumers us on a regular day basis by donating 8% of monthly “Unlimited Everything” plans, or $50 dollars annually, to up to three non-profit charities. You don’t even have to do a thing, just use and operate your phone and you will be giving back!

five MAC

Nicki Minaj collaborated with MAC cosmetic brand to create VIVA GLAM. VIVA GLAM includes two lipsticks as well as two glosses that when purchased every cent will be donated toward helping people affected by HIV/AIDS.

six TOMS

A lot of us are aware of TOMS, but needless to say for every pair of shoes purchased a pair is donated to someone in need. It is a great concept and will continue to be. TOMS is branching out and now creating boots.


Gifting for the guys Trunk Club



All imagines come from these websites.

So here is a great option for the guys! Trunk Club is a men’s clothing company that is your personal stylist. By doing interviews with you and understanding your wants and needs they ship a box of goodies your way! This would be great to give for a gift because the stylist at Trunk Club can help you out with just a few questions. $150


Zig-Zag French corkscrew

The Zig Zag French corkscrew is always a great thing to have lying around the house.! These corkscrews have a very unique vintage design from them. They are made from the same molds from the 1920’s in France. $48

three SwipeTie


iphone case opener

I don’t think there is a better IPhone case out there! This IPhone case opener has a built in bottle opener to help you along on the go. Who wouldn’t want this case? $40


Get ready for the SwipeTie! This tie is not just any ordinary tie. The SwipeTie is made with materials with unique micro fiber in the integrated inner tip of the tie itself. They are designed to remove fingerprints/smudges on our everyday technology. $39.95


wondermade marshmallows Do I really have to say more? Bourbon an Guinness flavored marshmallows? I have already order my two boxes and they are on their way! Checkout Wondermade website for other flavors!


Gifting for the girls


Polaroid z2300 10mp digital instant print camera


All imagines come from these websites.

This camera is great! Super fun and brings us back to our childhood., well some of us. The Polaroid Z2300 is designed to still print out those instant photos for you all while you can edit the images and upload them to your social media right there on the spot. This camera also still has that vintage feel that we once remember. $180

An initial pendant is a great gift to give someone. There are so many that you can choose from out there. But check out this Rebecca one. Rebecca is an Italian jewelry designer. You wont find any stores here in the US, which makes this piece even more special. $99


Rebecca Initial pendant

three Cards against humanity

OK, Lets be honest, this game can really be a gift for guys or girls. Cards Against Humanity is a fun way to keep the party rolling. and it will entertain everyone! Think Apples-to-Apples but adult version. $25



This item gets a little on the pricey side for a scarf. But trust me any girl would love to receive a nice scarf for the holidays .This Diane Von Furstenberg ‘Hanover’ scarf is a classic and can be worn for many years down the road. $165


diane von furstenberg ‘Hanover’ model scarf

L’aventura stripe ipad folio


This Kate Spade New York IPad folio case is a great gift for anyone! It’s has that sleek sophisticated, vibe that Kate Spade extrudes in all her designs. Find different kinds of cases on her website. $85



Ryka Footwear: Layout By: Jamie Breeden By: Teresa Espinoza

Athletic Footwear for the

Stylish, functional active apparel and footwear is hard to find. Not only is it hard to find but also expensive. Finding a brand that meets both the function and the fashion can be a difficult task. Particularly with footwear. Think about how long you’ve had your running shoes? I typically find two pairs I really love and alternate between the two for at least a year before replacing. We put a lot of wear and tear on our active apparel and footwear especially. This is why it’s so important to find a brand that is reliable and functional. But of course, as women we have to have the style aspect covered as well! Meet Ryka! Ryka is an athletic apparel and footwear brand that is dedicated and designed for the active woman. Ryka takes care of the issue between performance and style, meeting both needs seamlessly. Ryka was founded over 25 years ago with their singular focus being to provide a solution to women’s athletic footwear. As a shoe aficionado, style is a big determining factor when purchasing athletic shoes. However, without comfort and functionality, style becomes null. Ryka shoes are designed with women in mind and its visible in each shoe. The engineering of each shoe is to provide support based on the consumers personal needs. Whether its running, walking or training, each shoe has its own design made to give women the most out of their workout. What makes these shoes so special? Ryka shoes are custom made based on each need. Running shoes for example have different upper materials and structure based on the amount of support each runner requires. Ryka has a shoe for just about every type of need from running, to training all the way to hydro sports!


The Hydro Sport $64.99

The Fit Pro $84.99

The Precision $74.99

Maven The Constant $74.99

The Hydro Sport

The hydro sport is a hybrid water shoe. Its special design is made to dry quickly and contains a webbing brace for mid-foot support. This particular shoe has a drainage system in the mid-sole and out-sole. This is the shoe for you if you do water sports or any type of water fitness.

The Fit Pro

This shoe strikes the perfect balance of style and function. The Fit Pro is a training shoe that is designed for serious fitness. This shoe is lightweight and very comfortable. Its dual density mid-sole has an N-Gage high rebound foam. This means that the shoe has unbelievable cushioning for those who do boot camp classes or interval training.

The Precision

This is my personal favorite. If you’re like me, you not only wear your shoes to the gym but out for errands. This training shoe has a lightweight design and can be used for a variety of fitness activities. It has a mid-foot brace and x-ray bracing system that provides essential support. I absolutely love this shoe and is my favorite from the collection!

The Enhance 2

Not everyone does intense training. Some prefer getting a workout in other fun ways such as dance. The Enhance 2 is the perfect shoe for these people. It’s a mid-height shoe that features supportive and breathable upper and dual-density mid-soles. Like the fit pro, this one offers cushioning and support.

The Downbeat

The Downbeat $79.99

This shoe blends the gym and street style aspect. Definitely plays more upon the fashion aspect. It’s designed as a dance shoe as well. However, this one has a low profile platform. It still provides the same cushioning along with the lightweight features. It’s has more ankle support than the Enhance 2 and also has a mid-foot strap.

The Constant

The Enhance 2 $85.00

More of a walker than a runner? This shoe is for you. It’s made for the athletic walker. The design is sleek and lightweight. It also has high breathability and as always, offers the cushion and flexibility needed for your walk. Ryka footwear has something for every athletic aficionado. You can find more information as well as purchase Ryka footwear at



WTF? An Examination of Star’s Modas


First Victim [A.K.A Star): The Twerking Queen formally known as Miley Cyrus

Let me start by saying...

“OH MY GOSH, SHE’S TAKING A PICTURE WITHOUT STICKING OUT HER TONGUE LIKE A DOG IN HEAT!!” It is incredibly shocking especially since it recently has been her signature move other than busting out a foam finger and twerking like an electrocuted prostitute. Oh Miley, we all miss those Hannah Montana days, where you were just an annoying little tween fed with a silver spoon. If only we could all go back in time and forget that MTV VMA performance!!

PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Gavan/Getty Images



Did she decide to wear her window curtains and bed sheets as her gown for a premiere? I would imagine with being the main star of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo she could afford more? At least cover that nono spot Rooney! Seriously, there WILL be a wardrobe malfunction and that doesn’t include the ala Janet Jackson Nipple display! Our advice at WTF is to actually try to look good! Someone literally has to try to look this horrible and boring while encouraging people to cover their eyes or else see her hoo-ha!! Definitely an attention grabber for all the wrong reasons; not good, not good at all!!!!

PHOTO CREDIT: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images


THIRD STAR: Michael Jackson, oopsss… I mean Corey Feldman

(yes he’s still alive; Feldman, not Jackson)

Come on now! If someone is going to copy Jackson’s 80’s look they should at least wear a glove that actually FITS! I want to rip off that ill-fitting glove and slap some sense into him!! It seems like all of the washed up 80’s actors are always trying to be on the worst dressed lists so they can actually make it on TV again. They are soo desperate to get some attention that they actually belittle themselves more in order to achieve some camera time… Kind of reminds me of the Kardashians.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bobby Bank/WireImage


FOURTH STAR: Jaden Smith or his body double that just escaped from the mental asylum?

Coming from Hollywood royalty, we’d have to assume he owns many pairs of MATCHING shoes! Maybe he’s trying to speak to the masses by setting a new trend? I would imagine his clean cut and well respected dad telling him, “No son, we don’t wear our straightjackets in public. Well Mr Will Smith, the secret is out. Looks like his straightjacket even comes with a pair of black bloomers, matching mini apron and a full size BIB! Now he won’t look entirely insane since he is equipped with his oversized bib to catch any messes he makes!! Stepping out on your own could be scary…but Jaden is prepared to take the task even to an Ender’s Game movie premiere!! Look daddy at what I can do!!! PHOTO CREDIT: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic


FIFTH STAR: Queen Elizabeth the 1st and the Abdominal Snowman’s love child; Lady Gaga

I hate to admit it but if this suit were on ANYONE else, it would be a beauty… but since it is on Lady Gaga, it is creepy. It isn’t just the 10 inch pearl heel wedges that are as safe as swimming with 2,000 piranhas, or the dried up hay that is called hair on her head…it really is ALL of it together! I don’t know if I should admire her getup or run away screaming since she is going to the nearest village to drain all the young virgins of their blood, Elizabeth Bathory style!! Yep, definitely draining virgin’s blood to keep young forever is the look Gaga is going for!!

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Zimmerman/WireImage



{Jenny Veguilla} Designer, Creative Director, Entrepreneur From the New Girls Clothing Line “Bella + Sophia” We all know one of those individuals who literally does EVERYTHING!! From taking care of the kids to working full time, volunteering in the community and keeping their entrepreneurial spirit in tow, these kinds of people do it all! And I’m here to share one such lady with you today! Jenny Veguilla is a modern day Super Woman, without the tights and swimsuit. Editor in Chief here at Halfstack Magazine, she does everything from being a mom, teaching, writing, volunteering as a Girl Scout Leader and now, design! On our way home from the Halfstack Magazine Beauty Bar Event, cohosted by the Johnathan Breitung Salon & Luxury Spa (if you missed it, it was a blast! Make sure you catch the next one!), I had a chance to pick Jenny’s brain to get some insider information for all of you! Jenny wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Instead, she grew up in a single mother household with her mom and her younger brother. Her family grew up poor with her mother dating many not-so-worthy men, in addition to having drug addicts and gang members in her family, making life anything but easy. Despite having had an unconventional upbringing with constant moving around, she was the first in her family to graduate from High School and go on to attend college! She attended the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago for Fashion Design, then attended the Illinois Institute of Art Schaumburg for Fashion Merchandising and received her BA in Marketing. But this wasn’t enough for Jenny. She decided to obtain her MBA in Small Business & Entrepreneurship with her sole intention of becoming a Professor and small business owner. And after many years in the corporate world, Jenny still wasn’t satisfied. She now runs this Magazine, teaches at a local college and is now launching her clothing line that is inspired by her two daughters Bella (5) and Sophia (1 year). For the past 8 months she has been sourcing, designing, producing and coding to take Bella+Sophia from dream to reality. A dream which started when she was just a young girl growing up in the ghetto’s of Chicago. Fashion was never attainable to her, but she’s always known that if she aimed high, nothing was out of reach. It doesn’t just stop with fashion. Giving back has always been a part of this dream as well. Jenny has teamed up with 360



Youth Services (, an organization that is near and dear to her. Having used their counseling services when she was young, it was because of their efforts that Jenny can honestly say her life was forever changed. Through Bella + Sophia Childrenswear, Jenny plans to help make a difference in the lives of other Chicago youth for which a portion of her proceeds will go to this organization. But every new clothing line faces many challenges: competition (there are tons), creating brand awareness, and TIME is a major issue for Jenny (since she is running HALFSTACK, working as a teacher and is a mommy)!! But her advice is “if you want to make it work, you need to figure it out.” Many designers these days feel that just drawing pictures is all it takes to make the clothing magically appear. And outside of heart, you also need the skills.... Drafting, sewing, and being business-savvy. You need to be prepared to do the things you’d never expected and learn to do them well. This is what makes a successful business. So what’s next for this Chicago gal? “In the next 3 years, my goal is to grow large enough outsource the ‘cut and sew’ portion of my product so that my clothes can be placed into retailers nationwide.” Currently you can buy her items at her etsy shop; https:// or at her website which is Also make sure to like her brand on Facebook at or at Twitter at chiclezan. So, when you are run ragged from chasing the kiddos around or from getting reamed by your managers at work, remember that you too can be a superwoman/man! “Too many people are afraid or get stuck in a mundane life because they think they are doing what is right. If you ever wish to grow-then you must take risks here and there; nothing that will put your life in danger, but risks to make you a better person. If you want something, don’t be afraid to go for it. Yes, you may fail, we all fail, but the point is to get back up, learn from your mistakes, and try again. I’d rather fail than regret not ever giving my dreams the chance to blossom” Jenny Veguilla.

Inspiring and always positive, I cannot wait to see the next stages for Bella+Sophia and also for the Renaissance woman herself, Jenny Veguilla!




Paperie your go-to boutique for whimsical paper goods BEAUTIFUL EXECUTION OF HIGH-END PAPER GOODS WITH AN AFFORDABLE PRICE TAG

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Each year millions sit in front of their TV’s and watch some of the most beautiful women in the world work the runway for one night. Arguably one of the most creative and fun shows to watch, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show has housed the likes of Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and many more. Super models strut the runway in some super fun pieces that step outside your ordinary bras and panties! Of course who can forget, the legendary angel wings. Some of the most creative and feminine pieces from the fashion show are from the Victoria’s Secret PINK collection. This year, model Elsa Hosk was one of the gorgeous girls to grace the runway in Victoria’s Secret PINK. Halfstack Magazine caught up with this Swedish native at the Water Tower Place Victoria’s Secret PINK store where she hosted a viewing party on December 10th, just hours before the show aired. So first of all, welcome to Chicago! How has Chicago been treating you? “I love Chicago! I always say it feels like New York. Its such a cool city!” This is your second time in Chicago now right?


“Yes! It’s my second time here. The first time we actually did an event with Matt Forte. It was really cool!” So how do you like this cold weather? Are you used to it? “I’m Swedish actually, so I’m used to it. I love it!” That’s awesome. In learning a little more about you, we found out that your education was really important to you, putting education before modeling from a young age. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? “ I finished school before I started full time modeling. In Sweden education is really important. I think as a model it’s always nice to have something to fall back on because you really don’t know how long your career is going to be. So for me that was really important. After that I moved to New York.” How was that transition from being a student in Sweden to model in New York? “It was different! But I was prepared for it. I always wanted to live in New York. I came on my 16th birthday and met this big photogra-

photography by: kenny muzzey pher. I was there for one day and I was just like ‘wow’! “

just love that part of it.” So you really get to be a whole different character in an aspect right?

We also hear that you were a basketball player when you were younger. How was the transition from basketball player and student to model?

“Exactly. Like with Victoria’s Secret PINK. You learn about the PINK girl and try to really portray that in photos. It’s a little bit like acting in a sense.”

“Yeah! You know it just wasn’t for me because I was doing modeling, being a full time student and then doing modeling as well. It was just a lot! So I had to make a choice between modeling or basketball. I just love modeling; it was my dream profession so I chose that.”

If you weren’t modeling what would you be doing?

Do you ever miss basketball?

“I think all the current angels are just gorgeous. They’re all amazing. I look at them for inspiration and the hard work and dedication that goes into being a Victoria’s Secret angel.”

“I do! Every time I see a basketball I just want to start playing! I watch a lot of games and try to go to as many as I can. I go watch the Knicks a lot!” Maybe you can go catch a Chicago Bulls game sometime here in Chicago! “That would be awesome! I’d love that.” Was there any one thing that made you want to become a model? “I think it was the idea of transforming into someone different than normal. You know, I’m a very down to earth girl. I don’t wear fancy clothes; I don’t wear a lot of make up or do my hair. When you’re on set though, you just become this different person, you feel so amazing and you really create something beautiful. I

“I really love interior design. Or even furniture design!” Do you have an all time favorite angel?

This is your third year as an angel now. What is the best advice the other models have given you? “My first year in the show I got advice from Adriana Lima. She said, “Just have fun!” and I love that. I think if you’re having fun it shines through. At the end of the day you can’t be concerned with the way you look, you just have to have fun with it!” Learn more about Elsa Hosk and Victoria’s Secret PINK by visiting , following VS PINK on and





In our amazing city, we are lucky enough to have a ‘real’ winter. And while many of us cringe at the mere thought of the cold and snowy winters in Chicago, there are others across the country that only dream of experiencing a winter wonderland. And whether you look forward to a winter in Chicago or go into hibernation, one thing we can’t deny. Our winter wardrobe is in full effect come December! Of course it’s also the holiday season full of family ‘get-togethers,’ parties and celebrations and there is no better time to update your wardrobe with all of the holiday essentials. So take some time out of your hectic holiday and winter schedules and treat yourselves to one of these hot winter trends. If you can’t stay warm enough this season, let one of these trends keep you sizzling! This season remember to “Dress to Impress!” The classic celebratory metallic makes its entrance into the winter season along with the not so ‘winter typical,’ pretty pastel. On the men’s side, you’ll find luxe velvet fabrics and burgandy hues. From party dresses to suit jackets and winter boots to scarves, there are a variety of items that will find their way into your closet this season. And there is no need to spend all that holiday money to update your wardrobe. While some of the designer looks go upwards of thousands of dollars, the looks I’ve put together for you are only a fraction of the cost. Take a look at the winter trend spectrum along with the looks for less I’ve found to snatch that designer style!







Milly By Michelle Smith F/W 2013 Runway

Three Dots Long Sleeve Sequin Front Sweatshirt

Nothing screams winter and holiday season like a little shine! Metallics and the winter are simple compliments of each other and it’s the best time to wear them. The trend can be difficult to master. After all no one wants to look like a piece of wrapped foil running around. If you’re weary of trying this trend opt for one metallic piece to spice up your wardrobe. My suggestion? Try pairing a chic metallic pencil skirt with a comfy sweater to really balance out the look. If you want to go the classic route, always remember a metallic dress works perfectly to ring in the New Year in style.




FOREVER 21 Eye-Catching Metallic Jeggings







DESIGNER LOOK: 3.1 Phillip Lim Ora Runway Over-theknee-buckle-back boot

What’s a trend forecast without a shoe forecast? Knee high boots are the “it” shoe for the season. Personally, I couldn’t be more excited. These kickers are certainly not for the faint of heart. They’re easy to go “Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman” on you if you don’t know how to war them properly! Go for suede boot with a mid-heel. Anything with sheen will cheapen the look entirely. The no fail way to take these babies out for a spin is to wear them over leggings or with dark denim. These will be sure to keep you warm and looking amazing throughout the winter season. MACY’S JESSICA SIMPSON AUDREY OVER-THE-KNEE-Boot





guess Women’s igal over-theknee-boots




PASTE L DESIGNER LOOK: CHOIES.COM Light Green Long line Wool Coat

Simone Rocha F/W Runway 2013

$51.99 ASOS.COM ASOS Trapeze Button Front Coat

$169.08 Pastels are most prominent as a spring trend but this time around they make an appearance for winter. Not everyone is a fan of pastels but during winter they hit the perfect note of femininity. Coats are perhaps the best way to use the pastel trend for winter. Pink was the most notable pastel to grace the runways. However, it was done with the silhouette of the season, an oversized menswear coat. The androgyny of the coat offset the pastel tone perfectly; A little femininity with a dose of attitude!

NEW YORK & CO. Eva Mendes CollectionMilano One-Button Coat



JESSICA SIMPSON Faux Shearling Collar Tweed Coat






Capes aren’t just for super heroes, they’re a big trend for winter too! Various designers showcased capes as part of their Fall/Winter collections. They make great additions in your wardrobe particularly when you grow tired of your typical coat. The great thing about capes is their versatility. You can make them as edgy or as feminine as you like. ASOS.COM ASOS Biker Cape Coat


H&M CAPE $59.95

ZARA Checked Studio Cape


BOOHOO.COM Millie Toggled Hooded Cape




DESIGNER LOOK: Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2013 RTW

CHOIES.COM Metallic Dot Dress with Bead Shirt Collar


This trends trend lends This lendsitself itselffrom fromaatime timeperiod periodwhere where religiouspainting paintingand andarchitecture architecturewere wereshowcased showcasedon religious on clothing. It’swith filledgold’s, with gold’s, lace, religious clothing. It’s filled lace, religious paintings paintings royal reds. It becomes a very romantic and royaland reds. It becomes a very romantic and bold and bold look. You can pull this look off easily byone look. You can pull this look off easily by mimicking one of Dolce & Gabbana’s dresses of mimicking Dolce & Gabbana’s red dresses for a red fraction of the for aThrow fraction Throw on a pair of gold price! onofa the pairprice! of gold chandelier earrings and chandelier earrings and you themuch runway you have the runway lookhave for so less!look for so much less! FOREVER21.COM Luxe Baroque Chandelier Earrings


RIVERISLAND.COM Black Floral Angel Print Cropped Boxy T-shirt



RIVERISLAND.COM Black Lace Pencil Skirt




—PRI NT— Prints can be difficult to wear, particularly when you are a guy and have no idea what goes with what. No problem. This winter you’ll have a much easier time with prints. It’s all about combining prints. Try combining no more than two different prints in one outfit. Anymore than that and you might go overboard.

DESIGNER LOOK: Libertine F/W 2013 RTW

ASOS.COM ASOS Bomber with Printed Sleeves


ZARA Combined Jacquard Sweater



FOREVER21 Classic Fit Southwestern Style Shirt


URBAN OUTFITTERS Dickies Camo Stretch Skinny Pant



SCARF Accessories are always a great way to add dimension to your outfit. A statement scarf is just the right accessory for the cold Chicago weather this winter. Mix it up and go with bold colors if you want an extra pop to your outfit. If you’re more of a basics kind of guy, grey tones were huge trends this Fall/Winter! Don’t be afraid to go big either. Thicker, chunky knits give a much edgier feel than your typical scarf.

DESIGNER LOOK: Viktor & Rolf Fall 2013 RTW

URBAN OUTFITTERS Double Cable-Knit Eternity Scarf

NORDSTROM John W. Nordstrom Cashmere Scarf


$98.50 TOPMAN Black and Grey Checked Scarf


H&M Tube Scarf in Dark Grey




—RED— ASOS.COM ASOS Skinny Fit Suit Jacket in Burgundy


DESIGNER LOOK: Louis Vuitton F/W 2013 Menswear

Red hues go hand in hand with the winter and Holiday season. This time around burgundy makes an appearance as a trend for men. It’s a great color that is universally flattering on all men. The best part is that the color looks great for both day and evening. Try switching out your typical office jacket for a burgundy one. For a casual look, opt for burgundy chinos. ASOS.COM Dockers Alpha Khaki Chinos Slim Fit in Red


RIVERISLAND.COM TOPMAN Burgundy/Wine Mini Quilted Raglan Bomber Jacket



Red Textured Coated Panel Sweater




DESIGNER LOOK: Moschino F/W 2013 Menswear

H&M Velvet Blazer in Dark Blue

$39.95 Velvet is one of those fabrics that in coldfabrics weather. Velvetwork is oneonly of those thatThis works winter, it’s one of the This biggest trends only in cold weather. winter, it’s in menswear. Put off by the mere idea one of the biggest trends in menswear. of velvet? Don’t be! It’s a great way to Put off by the mere idea of velvet? Don’t give outfit a more luxe feel.outfit This be! It’syour a great way to give your holiday season go for a slim fit blazer a more luxe feel. This holiday season or navy. works foror go in fora aburgundy slim fit blazer in a Itburgundy both Itday or evening. toevening. go for a navy. works for bothWant day or more casual look but still try the Want to go for a more casual lookvelvet but my bomber jacket stilltrend? try theCheck velvetout trend? Check out my option! bomber jacket option!

ASOS.COM ASOS Slim Fit Blazer in Cut and Sew Velvet


ASOS.COM ASOS.COM River Island Blazer in Black Velvet

ASOS Velvet Bomber Jacket




HOODED With the cold weather in full effect, it’s essential to have a coat for every occasion. This winter, hooded coats strike the perfect balance for your everyday and evening wardrobe. Both practical and functional, hooded coats are a great option for men that hate stuffy coats but still want to look put together. DESIGNER LOOK: Maison Martin Margiela F/W 2013 Menswear



TOPMAN Selected Homme ‘Miles’ coat


ZARA Hooded Duffel Coat with Detailing

$169.00 MACY’S GUESS Coats, Wool Four-Pocket Hooded Coat




Really quick, let’s look up the definition of classic rock. “Classic rock: The best musical genre of all. Other types of Rock & Roll are alright, but this is the best!” Okay, maybe that was according to Urban Dictionary. In all seriousness, when YOU think of classic rock, what comes to mind? Maybe you think of bands like Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, or Led Zeppelin.. You think of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video…. Or you simply think of the decades of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. Last year, renowned blues rocker, Joe Bonamassa, decided to take his own passion for classic rock and turn it into a revolutionary lifestyle concept. Co-founding the company, Tribut Apparel, alongside Roy Weisman under the J&R Adventures record label, they created a brand where social media meets music, fashion, and art all at once. A true American brand of apparel and accessories, paying tribute to the roots of music, created by the fans, for the fans.


“After 20 years in the Joe Bonamassa business, we noticed that there was an underserved category of passionate classic-rock consumers whose heart, soul and love of music alone could provide enough inspiration to drive a new merchandising concept that connects the merchant with its consumer on a social level first and foremost,” said Weisman. “The consumer connection continues to be the core of our business model which allows Tribut Apparel to be an authentic social merchant in today’s online world. With this in mind, we are thrilled to be unveiling our first seasonal collection in addition to our everyday general merchandising of licensed and inspired apparel.” While Venezuelan-born street artist, Manuel Oliver, is the lead designer, Tribut’s products are heavily merchandised through voting and design contests held on their Facebook page ( This past October, Tribut launched their first collection for men and women, ranging from $19-$89, unveiling topics like, “Faces,” “Royalty Free,” “FARM,”

Written By: Heather Davis Layout By: Jennifer Veguilla “Big Mess,” “Only Listen To…,” and “Sustainable Sounds.” Modern and edgy, these tees, hoodies, and jackets feature cool designs, inspired by multiple forms of art, like graphic design, mixed media, and screen-printing. “T-shirts are [a form of] communication – an urban language…and music is the element that influences us all,” said Oliver, on Tribut Apparel’s website. The brand also carries iconic, nostalgic apparel, which the brand believes best represents the classic rock and blues music genres, as well as sports and pop culture in previous generations. Cue the Van Halen, Heart, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, and Animal House apparel! Love what you see? Tribut Apparel can be found online at, and be sure to follow them on Facebook to become part of their social media revolution!

The consumer connection continues to be the core of our business model which allows Tribut Apparel to be an authentic social merchant.



Apparel Written by: Jennifer Pontrelli


he age of the millennial is upon us. All over social media and popular culture outlets the world grieves the loathsome fate that awaits today’s esteemed graduates of our institutions of higher learning once they receive their degree and embark on a new venture somewhere out there‌ in the real world. More than five years ago, it was an exciting endeavor with promising prospects: employment, health insurance, 401Ks, the enlightenment of true adulthood. Today things are slightly less promising to say the least. The never-ending paradoxes of employment only with work experience and unpaid internships plague many an entry-level applicant, leaving most disillusioned rather than enlightened. The silver lining in this precarious situation is that the twenty-somethings are not simply sitting around, waiting for things to get better. Instead they are evolving, innovating, and proving to the world that when a dream job does not exist, necessary steps WILL be made to create it. In 2009, Roy Uy found himself in this very position. Freshly graduated from university with a degree in Physical Education and


Pictured is Roy Uy of One-P Apparel

Health, Roy embarked on a hunt for a teaching job in the Chicago metropolitan area that would come up short at every possible turn. For a while, it seemed as though Roy’s career in teaching and advocating health and wellness would never take off and he worried that he would never do what he always dreamed that he would do. However, an unexpected calling at the implausible intersection where fashion and sports collide would inspire Roy to found a company called One-P Apparel and prompt him to find a new way to fulfill his dream on unconventional terms. Roy Uy never thought he would be a businessman. Even with a familial background rife with rather successful Filipino businessmen, Roy had always found his calling in health, fitness, and education. “I loved the competitive nature of fitness, not just with others but within yourself to achieve your own goals- to get better, stronger, faster,” Uy says of his passion. He realized that this was something he wanted to instill in children to hopefully impact young lives towards healthier, happier living. “Teaching youth about physical fitness goes beyond the classroom, it’s about promoting a lifestyle,” Uy intonates with conviction on his website. In 2009, Uy graduated from North Park University with a degree in Physical Education and Health ready to change some lives, but for a while the only life that would change would be his own. Just one year after the country experienced a dramatic crash in economy and employment, Uy found himself immersed in a hopeless environment for job searching. After sending out resume after resume to no avail, Uy settled for work in the food service industry to get by. “I just couldn’t get anything, the economy was dismal” and “Uy says,” but then something clicked and I knew I wanted to create something… a new, innovative sports apparel line.” So Roy started talking to some people about becoming a businessman. The idea behind the business that would become One-P Apparel was the perfect amalgamation of Uy’s general passions in life: health and exercise awareness, apparel that aids in achieving fitness goals, and the opportunity to give back and make a difference in the Chicago-area community. Inspired heavily by the people who founded TOMS, a shoe company that devotes portions of sales profits to providing resources such as shoes and eye care to impoverished communities all around the world, Uy knew that however much he made in this endeavor, he wanted to use some of it to provide aid to struggling Chicago-area sports and education programs. The idea of giving back and operating with purpose was what inspired the company name, One-P. With a general business-plan in mind, Uy


“I just couldn’t get anything, the economy was dismal” and “Uy says,” but then something clicked and I knew I wanted to create something- a new, innovative sports apparel line.”

began consulting friend involved in the sports and fitness community. What void could his business possibly fill in the sports and fitness industry? The issue posed a daunting query in the face of multimillion dollar outfitter giants such as Nike and Under Armour, however the answer soon became clear to Uy in custom compression sportswear. Compression material is a spandex-like material used in sportswear to create form-fitting garments that have numerous benefits to athletes of all different disciplines. The compression aspect helps to keep muscle fibers tighter and aids in increasing blood flow to the muscles to help the athlete move and perform better. What Uy realized in talking with athletes was that companies like Nike and Under Armour made great compression shirts, but aspects such as options for sleeve length were severely limited and body length was often lacking resulting in annoying restrictions to the apparel. “They just didn’t meet specific enough needs and the more I asked the more I noticed there was a pattern of problems,” Uy says. With an absolution to meet those needs with his own line, Uy pitched the idea to create compression wear with customizable options for sleeves to some baseball buddies. The pitch was met with firm enthusiasm and One-P Apparel began to take shape. Along with businessman, Roy Uy also never thought he would be a fashion designer. However, with such an innovative idea in mind, Uy took to his friends in the fashion


industry to learn how to design clothes. “I learned how to make a pattern, it was pretty wild,” Uy remarks with a laugh. After some intensive research on how to create clothes out of tech material, Uy began working on crafting a prototype… then on another prototype, which would end up being a prototype to the prototype and even that did not end up being the official prototype. “It was kind of hilarious, we just made prototype after prototype. So much sewing and washing,” he says “It was amazing to me how much you have to think of… and to find the solutions for.” Eventually, through trial and error, ad nauseam, Uy and his crack team of designers would produce a fine model of the shirt they so passionately worked on, finally giving One-P its star product. Roy Uy never thought he would be a salesman, however now armed with a product he was immensely proud of he soon took advantage of the numerous entrepreneurial resources around Chicago to spread the word. With help from involvement in World Business Chicago, an organization devoted to promoting private sector business growth in and around Chicago, Uy secured a small business grant from beverage conveyor Miller Coors. He also made contact with a venture capitalist that helped to provide not only funds, but also invaluable advice for running a successful business. As opportunities began to flourish, Uy concentrated on hitting the pavement and getting the product into the hands of as many coaches, players, trainers, and athletes as possible. “I wanted to get out




Photography by Stephanie Battista MODELED BY: ANNA DIRIGO & RYAN DARBY


one-p apparel


there and physically put the product in their hands,” he explains, “and in the process I’m learning all sorts of weird stuff like what coaches are looking for and even what time of year they order gear.” Never one to back down from an important learning experience, Uy also utilized the project-funding website Kickstarter. In June of 2013, Roy unveiled his product line, including the custom compression, hoodies, and hats, to the general public at fabulous debut party at Moonshine in Wicker Park. One day later the official One-P Apparel Kickstarter webpage was launched. Unfortunately, this was one opportunity that just would not pan out. “It was interesting for both good and bad reasons,” he says, “Mostly I learned how important it is to get the right group of people together.” Today that group of people is working positively towards coming together. Along with Roy, the One-P team currently consists of two fashion designers, an accountant, a “team mom,” and an evolving assortment of passionate and inspiring people. “We’re restructuring all the time, but it’s always good, always for the better,” he remarks. With a few minor setbacks, the One-P team finds only new focus and drive. While Roy originally thought it would be advantageous to include hoodies, hats, and other athletic accessories in the product line, the team has decided not to spread itself too thin too soon. Instead they will continue to focus on their bread and butter: custom compression shirts, which have been received with enthusiasm and appreciation in the Chicago athlete scene. “An important thing about compression shirts is that athletes want them to feel like they are a natural part of them,” says Justin Stone, founder of a Chicago travel baseball team called Elite Baseball, “The One-P shirts are light and don’t feel like an extra ‘layer’ when performing in them.” There are a number of things that Roy Uy thought he would never end up doing in his life, but one thing was always for sure: he was going to make a difference. Despite many rounds of holdups, tough learning experiences, failures, and successes Uy impressively maintains his original pledge to set aside profits from One-P to give to underprivileged athletic programs and schools to help instill health and wellness in young children. Out of personal and professional disappointment and without even a hint of that classic millennial characteristic of disillusionment, Roy Uy continues to find ways to innovate, evolve, and fulfill his one true purpose by forging One-P Apparel into the future and beyond.



“An important thing about compression shirts is that athletes want them to feel like they are a natural part of them,� says Justin Stone



“I loved the competitive nature of fitness, not just with others but within yourself to achieve your own goals- to get better, stronger, faster,� -Roy Uy







for bookings visit us online:

DON’T JUST GET FIT CHANGE YOUR LIFE Justin Wilhoit is a certified L1 CrossFit Trainer, CrossFit Football Trainer, CrossFit Movement and Mobility Trainer, USAW Sports Performance Coach. Justin is currently pursuing his Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T) at Northern Illinois University. To learn more about booking training sessions, nutrition plans & other fitness related quesions contact him at:




Pound 4 Pound,

Pound 4 Pound…. A term used throughout the fight world to describe the best fighters in their respective weight classes… The. Best. Around. Let’s face it. We live in the second most unhealthy nation in the world, as reported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Weighing in at a whopping 32% obesity rate across the nation, it becomes clear why we can’t drive a quarter of a mile without coming across a McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, and a Pizza Hut - All on the same block. What is even more disconcerting is our own fear in taking control of our health. We are at the peak of the digital age. We have more information than we will ever know what to do with and with every article published about the newest fad in ‘shaping up,’ that fear to take control grows just a little bit more. We all have our own reasons for being afraid of taking that next step. For some it comes down to embarrassment. Embarrassment of what people will say when they see that horrifying number on the scale. Embarrassment of looking ‘stupid’ trying to figure out how to properly use the dozens of workout machines at the gym. Or maybe it just comes down to personal shame and a fear of failing. Whatever the reason,


what most people don’t realize is that we all start in the same place. It’s a learning process, an educational journey in understanding your body, knowing what you are capable of and then taking control to ensure you are never embarrassed, ashamed or afraid of failing again. Gym owners Danny DeKing and Ryan Darby sat down with me to discuss their personal journeys in attaining a love for health and nutrition and how they suddenly found themselves partners and owners of Pound 4 Pound Fitness in small-town, Elburn, Illinois. DeKing, a fitness proponent all his life, participated in a variety of sports growing up, including football and boxing. Upon joining the United States Navy following his High School career, he was appointed Command Fitness Leader in which he was responsible for the fitness of his units. After 6 years of service, this military veteran returned state-side to train with Don Beebe’s, House of Speed and other various fitness facilities before landing on the decision to open his own gym.

the best around Written by:

Photography by:

Sophia Sanchez Stephanie Battista Darby’s journey however, strums a different tune…. Never really having had an interest in sports and fitness growing up, it wasn’t until Darby was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin smoking incessantly and managing a stressful day-to-day as best he could. Wanting to find a release for his anxiety, he began exercising at a local club. It was then that his life was seemingly changed forever. Through exercise he was able to quit smoking indefinitely, found a healthy outlet for his stress and from there his love for fitness and nutrition grew. How did two guys living in different states come to be great friends and business partners? Darby, an Illinois native, returned to Elburn after residing in Wisconsin for 5 years. On a whim, he joined a free boxing class that DeKing instructed and as Darby puts it, “the rest was just history.” With DeKing’s fitness background and Darby’s marketing background, the two joined forces and as of April 2012, Pound 4 Pound Fitness has been changing the lives of everyone who walks through the doors.

Every gym claims to have the “answer” to all of our fitness needs. The second you walk into any corporate gym you are hounded with questions about who you are, what you are looking for and how much you can afford to spend. Intimidating factor at its highest, what could possibly make Pound 4 Pound Fitness any different than all the rest?! Without hesitation, DeKing was quick to respond enthusiastically, “First and foremost, we are not a corporate gym. We are independently owned and above all else the individual needs of our clients are most important. An elite training and specialty gym, we are a 24/7 facility with general memberships. Most gyms cannot specialize in multiple facets of fitness as well as supporting general memberships, unless they are a corporate-style facility or franchise. We offer adult and youth boxing classes, TRX courses, have a 1000 foot athletic turf that we use and affiliate with Don Beebe’s, House of Speed, offer personal training, bootcamps, unique workout equipment and much more. We have everything from athletic training, to group training, to individual and general gym memberships. We offer


Meet the t Owner

Danny DeKing just about everything and if we don’t have something you need, we’ll find a way to get it to you. Offering their client base a variety of fitness regimens to choose from, every trainer and employee contains vast knowledge of the various modalities offered in addition to body mechanics, kinesiology and much more. Continued education being a forerunner in setting them apart from the competition, DeKing was



ryan darby quick to advocate, “We don’t have a pool, we don’t offer tanning, we don’t do the bells and whistles. Where we set ourselves apart is through our knowledge base and training ability. When we opened, we went after some of the top trainers in this area, and as far as we are concerned, the state. We have ambulance background, fire service, training and certifications in all areas of fitness. Each trainer has a background in boxing, TRX, and individual certifications. We continue our


bers, but believe in impacting the community. Sponsoring many organizations, one of the biggest impacts has been to the Elburn Lions Club. “They have provided us with many opportunities to help various charity services, volunteer services, and have a direct connection with our community and surrounding areas. Most of our donations or sponsorships revolve around fitness such as 5K’s or local athletic teams. Many of these contribute to the fight against breast cancer and childhood obesity. We want to spread the word of how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle.” So stop making excuses. Take control today and don’t wait another day. Let the men of Pound 4 Pound Fitness help you revolutionize not only the way you see yourself, but the way you feel about yourself. Join today and take their Body by Visalus: 90 Day Challenge. A workout and nutritional program that has proved to be highly successful among the owners as well as many of their members. From the moment you walk through the door of Pound 4 Pound Fitness, this small-town gym is far from archetypal. Between the tire flipping, steel chains, and trainers and clients alike flexed and propped in Human Flags, this fitness facility is your one-stop-shop to getting fit. The checkered neon green and black splashed over every inch of space is just the cherry on top in defining the tone of this powerful, energetic and charismatic facility, one which is highly representative of DeKing’s & Darby’s own personalities. At just $20 a month with no sign up or cancellation fees, there is absolutely no better gym around. It really is “all in the name.”

Trainer Zack stavinsky education constantly through conventions, certification courses such as kettle bell classes, medicine ball training, etc. Again, the fact that we specialize in a little bit of everything and firmly believe in what we sell to our clients is what makes our members trust us wholeheartedly. It’s a great feeling.” And it doesn’t stop there. DeKing and Darby not only believe in their ability to change the lives of their mem-

“Ryan and I have always been big boxing and MMA fans and I, myself, have competed for some time now. The term Pound 4 Pound is used throughout the fight world to describe the best fighters in their respective weight classes. This describes our gym perfectly. The best around.” Pound 4 Pound Fitness 21 S. Main St. Suite B Elburn, IL 60119 (630) 809-2394







ound 4 Pound





Thousands of books have been written about nutrition, food, and various diets. In a Google search of the word nutrition a daunting 138,000,000 results appear in .25 seconds. How did anyone survive before all these books and websites were created? I’m not sure, but the amount of misleading information about nutrition is mindboggling and sad. Books are great to learn from, but many that I have reviewed (below left) are just plain overkill, especially for the general public. Many authors and self proclaimed specialists claim to hold the secret formula or best way to eat and what foods to consume and avoid. Yes, there are good ones and bad ones, some who truly want to help and those who are just chasing the buck. Choose your resources wisely! Some of my favorite nutrition authors are (bottom right): Dr. Thomas Incledon (, Robb Wolf (, and Mark Sisson ( ).


How you fuel your body each day should be viewed as a - way of life - to have the most impact and sustainability for the long-term. If your mentality is anything other than this, you will likely struggle with body weight, fatigue, mood swings, athletic or other performance related issues, multiple health/biomarker issues, increased stress, problems sleeping, joint inflammation, potential allergies, and so on. Sorry, but a “cleanse” or “juice concoction” is not going to do you any justice. If it were that easy, everyone would be fasting and drinking juice all day. Your long-term wellness is absolutely attainable, just takes consistent conscious effort. I don’t know this by reading all these books and floundering through hundreds of websites, rather I have learned the most through experience and trial and error. If you have never played around with the types of food you put in your body each day, I strongly urge you to give it a shot. Test and re-test, take grains completely out of your life for a month and replace with lots of vegetables and some fruit – see what happens! How do I accomplish this? Well, I don’t have the magic pill/potion/ solution (because they don’t exist) for you and making a life changing habit won’t come easy. However, I do have some guidelines that have worked well for me and many that I have coached over the last 5 years. I know these basic guidelines work because my athletes/clients have told me things like, “I have never felt better, should have started this years ago”. One of my favorites, “It’s like I have energy all day and I don’t even need coffee or red bull”. Other side-effects include: frequent smiling, walking taller, positive feedback, and becoming the


role model for many people in your life. Watch out world, your attitudes will become noticeably more positive and a “can do” mentality will likely be forged. Everyone has the power within themselves to maintain an active lifestyle and feed and water themselves correctly. If this is an afterthought, you already have one foot in the grave. Take a gander at these simple guidelines that will propel your health and your life towards positive change that will last your lifetime and beyond!

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” - Thomas A. Edison


Food Basics – Lets Fuel Up! 1. Drink more water, please! How much? Drink half your body weight in ounces everyday and you will feel like a champ ole sport! 2. Keep your meals simple and consistent. Each meal should have the basic macronutrients: protein (lean meat, eggs – the whole thing, yolk and white), carbohydrates (lots of veggies and some fruit), and fat (olive oil, avocados, nuts). Aim for three meals a day at minimum. I don’t care if you’re not hungry or don’t like eating early in the morning. Your body needs fuel, feed it right and have a better life. 3. Buy fresh every few days instead of a bunch of boxed, processed, fake ass food all at once. Real food spoils. If you have food that doesn’t spoil for weeks or months, guess what, it’s not food its mostly chemicals. Bonus: fresh whole foods will hydrate you and give you all the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive! 4. Pack a lunch, it should contain a meal and two snacks, and bring it to work every day. Plan what you eat or plan to fail. This will eliminate excuses, put you in the driver seat towards super wellness, and when you are stuck in a late meeting or traffic you have some delicious fresh snacks that you handpicked. 5. Enjoy the holiday season. I love the holiday season and I’m sure you do as well. Thanksgiving – eat, eat, eat, but please don’t judge yourself. Remember, Thanksgiving is one day, don’t turn it into a week. Apply this to other holidays as well, but if each week has 2-3 “holidays” you might want to recalibrate your holiday meter. But…I don’t have the time! Bullshit! On average American’s spend 2.8 hours per day watching TV ( and 31 minutes on Facebook ( The best part, you don’t have to stop these leisure activities, just cut them in half. Now, you should have time to prepare meals for tomorrow and workout! But…isn’t there an easier way like super-foods or supplementation? I am asked this question often; generally they are a waste of time, effort, and money. NO, there are no shortcuts, plain and simple. The above are shortcuts that many would take and use to “super-food” and “supplement” their way through lack of proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise. If you have been locked in for the last 6 months eating real whole foods matched with an active lifestyle, then you may qualify for super-food and supplementation – you earned it. That said; get busy on 1-5. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it! Have an enjoyable and safe holiday season!


The Hoola Hoop Story By: Cheyenne Hendricks


Am I the only one who watched Peter Pan and thought it would be so cool not to have to grow up? I liked being a kid. Bike riding, roller skating, and hoola hooping were my favorite pass times! What kid doesn’t love the sweet exhilaration of accomplishing his or her first cart wheel? I was so proud and happy when I was finally able to make my hula hoop stay on for five minutes straight! These precious moments were the ones we, as children, wished would never end. Yet, somewhere on this tumultuous trail into adulthood, these activities became increasingly less important. Today, we see exercising as a chore. It’s all about calories, scheduled training sessions, and visits to the gym. Why? Why has our play time turned into working out? I remember exercise being a fun adventure! I was always giggling and excited to run outside at the crack of dawn. Yet, now we see physical fitness as work. Somewhere along the lines we laid down our jump ropes and climbed onto a stair master instead. Society’s outlook on exercise has changed to see it as a requirement. In my mind that’s equal to having to pay the rent. It’s not something I look forward to. It’s just another mundane routine that I have to do. Well, we’re tired of it! It’s time we got our play time back!


Welcome to Hoopnotica. This international dance/fitness phenomenon is on a mission to re-introduce the element of playfulness into physical fitness with expressive, fun new forms of movement! Release all of your grown up stress, and let Hoopnotica engage your mind, body, and soul! They believe that the best way to train your body is to first engage your mind. They offer the thrilling “OMG I did it!” moments you had in childhood. These personal accomplishments through motivational products and curricula will stimulate your mind while toning your body. We’re all still kids at heart, so let’s show it by getting mad hoola hoop skills. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you won’t remember how to hoola hoop. Just get an adult sized hoop, and bam! You’re on your way to fantasic cardio/core conditioning work out. And it’s not just child’s play any more! Celebrities like Beyonce, Kelly Osbourne, and the First Lady herself are joining Hoopnotica and swinging their hips for health. It’s the holiday season, and Alvin isn’t the only one who wants a Hoola Hoop for Christmas! Get a smaller waist, tighter tummy, and toned body just from playing! Hooping is a high cardio, low impact workout that blasts fat and trims fat from arms, hips, thighs, and of course, the waist. With this super fun, easy way to incorporate fitness into a busy lifestyle without a pricey gym membership. You can get a hoop, join a class, or order an instructional DVD all before dinner time. At the rate of burning seven calories a minute, hooping puts a whole new spin on fitness. The Hoopnotica Hoops come in a fun variety of cute patterns and travel hoops, so you won’t have to stop hooping while on the go. They have kids hoops, mini hoops, black light hoops and more. You can have more fun than you’ve ever had in a gym just by rhythmically swaying your hips. This fitness craze is reaching new heights, so join the movement!


Health Connect 5 Diets in 5 Weeks Which one ACTUALLY Worked? Written By: Stella Quimby

Don’t you ever just get tired of trying out all the latest weight loss fads and just simply giving up since they DON’T work? I know I am; always!! Being the resident chunker here at Half Stack I decided to become a Guinea pig and try out 5 different diets that are currently popular for a week each (yes making this experiment 5 weeks long)! So I am trying them for 5 days each (hey give me free weekends OK) then letting you all know the results. The 5 that I tried (in order) are; Paleo, Gluten-Free, Juicing, Mediterranean Diet, and the Vegan diet. Now may the best diet win!



What is it?

This is a diet inspired by our ancestors, the Cavemen. Basically whatever they ate, we can eat, but on the other hand, what they didn’t eat, we cannot eat either; which is a bummer since they were around WAY before us!

What does it entail?

You can eat anything you could hunt or find (well in their terms at least). That means meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies (sometimes regional fruit) and seeds are on the menu. Sadly you are unable to eat any sort of dairy products, pasta, cereal, sugar, candy, processed foods or even rice are NOT on the menu!

A Normal Paleo Day for Me: Breakfast: Eggs cooked with bacon grease Bacon

Lunch: Grilled chicken on a spinach salad Lemon used as a dressing Dinner: Grilled Fish and Shrimp Side romaine and spinach salad Lemon used as dressing Snacks: Handful of Almonds Carrots



Overall Experience?

My gosh was this DIFFICULT!!! It was very hard to get into the mindset that I had to consume meat at every meal. The eggs cooked with bacon grease were delicious if you didn’t think about all that grease entering your body and I wasn’t very hungry; overall it was a very filling diet. I was left out from family dinners since my family wanted to consume dairy and rice products and for the occasional outing with friends, you literally had to hold your hand down from grabbing at the bread basket or martini!! Also all the grass-fed meat (which is recommended)can make this diet very pricey! Definitely not a long-term diet.


I lost 5 lbs in 5 days!! Very successful especially since I didn’t touch fruits (which is what they recommend on Paleo if you are TRYING to lose weight). I wasn’t very hungry, but at the same time really missed my rice and fruit. Great diet to use to lose weight quickly!!

Ratings: **** 4 stars

2 Gulten Free

What is it?

It is a diet that EXCLUDES anything that contains gluten. In case you may not know, gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.

What does it entail?

In this diet you are able to eat beans, seeds, nuts in their natural unprocessed form, eggs, fruits, vegetables, most dairy products, fresh meats and fish (nothing processed). Rice, corn, soy, quinoa and anything that states it is gluten free on the label is good to go!

A Normal Gluten-Free Day for Me: Breakfast: Poached eggs Banana smoothie Gluten-free bread

Lunch: Grilled chicken with Brown Rice Spinach Side Salad with Ranch Dressing Dinner: Grilled Steak with Baked Potato (with sour cream) Grilled Veggies Gluten-Free French Bread with butter Snacks: Celery sticks Apples with Almond Butter Sauce

Overall Experience?

This wasn’t that hard to follow especially since it was following the strict Paleo diet. My only real complain was that the darn gluten-free bread products tasted like cardboard (super expensive too) and they literally left your mouth dry as if you really have eaten cardboard!


I lost 2.5 lbs in 5 days which is pretty good! I just don’t see this as a long-term diet since it is very restrictive and you don’t lose as much quickly as you would the Paleo diet.

Ratings: *** 3 stars


3 Juicing

What is it?

It is juicing only using vegetables and fruit!

What does it entail?

You drink vegetable and fruit juice with the occasional fresh fruit/vegetable that is not juiced! Very simple...or is it?

A Normal Juicing Day for Me: Breakfast: Mango/Kiwi Juice Fresh cup of Strawberries Lunch: Kale/Apple/Blueberry Juice Cup of Carrots Dinner: Pineapple/Mango/Carrot Juice Cup of Spinach and radishes with lemon Snacks: Tomato/Carrot Juice

Overall Experience?

This by far was the HARDEST diet of all 5!! I was STARVING and was shaking towards the end of my 2nd day and I honestly could not continue with this diet by mid-third day! Whoever said that this diet gives you energy was definitely CHEATING on this diet, no way I felt more energized or refreshed; only hungry!


I lost 5 lbs in 3 days which makes sense since I was starving myself!

Ratings: * 1 star

4 Mediterranean

What is it?

This diet is based on the traditional eating/cooking style of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

What does it entail?

This diet emphasizes eating lots of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. No butter, instead you use olive oil for all cooking. No salt, instead use herbs and spices to flavor foods, also limit red meat to no more than a few times a month! Fish and poultry are eaten at least 2x’s a week and you CAN drink red wine in moderation (add smiley face).

A Normal Mediterranean Diet Day for Me:

Breakfast: Fresh cut Mango and Pineapple Slice of Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter Cup of Tea Lunch: Spaghetti with a little parmesan cheese Romaine Lettuce salad with Olive Oil Slide of Whole Grain Bread


Dinner: Grilled Fish with Vegetables Sautéed in Olive Oil Cup of Fresh Berries Slide of French Bread with Olive Oil Cup of Red Wine Snacks: Med Size Banana Cup of Carrots Roasted Almonds

Overall Experience?

I was happy with this diet! It’s definitely one that a person can do long-term and still keep their sanity. I especially enjoyed that you are able to enjoy whole grains and even treat yourself to a cup of wine! You were also able to eat a small piece of dark chocolate at least 2x’s a week which totally brought a smile to my face! I want to move to the Mediterranean now after trying this diet!


I lost 2 lbs in 5 days which is a normal weight loss. If you lose a drastic amount of weight immediately, experts state that it is unhealthy and not long-term. I was happy losing those 2 lbs especially since I was not deprived from my favorite foods all week long. This is a healthy, well-rounded, long-term eating plan (I won’t even call it diet).

Ratings: ***** 5 stars

5 Vegan

What is it?

It is one step further than eating like a vegetarian, who eliminated meat, fish, poultry from their diets; vegans also exclude dairy and eggs! So if it comes or contains any animal in it, it is not to go on your plate!

What does it entail?

No animal products (including dairy and eggs) should be consumed whatsoever! Also, cooking on a pan that has been used to cook any animal products before is also banned from this diet.

A Normal Vegan Day for Me: Breakfast: Vegan scrambled eggs Diced Potatoes with onions and peppers Slice of Sprouted Whole Grains Toast Cup of Almond Milk Lunch: Cup of Vegan Chili Romaine Lettuce Salad with Olive Oil Cup of Berries Dinner: Boca Burger with Whole Grain Buns Kale Chips Cup of Pineapple & Mango Snacks: Roasted Almonds Med Size Banana


Overall Experience?

CHALLENGING!! As a carnivore, I completely missed my meat!! I was never hungry in this diet and I DID feel more energized (unlike that darn Juicing diet), but I did miss my meat! The vegan scrambled eggs were not very tasty but the vegan chili was. Vegan type foods such as the Boca burger, are a hit or miss, some are delicious while others are not.


I lost 3 lbs in 5 days which surprised me since I felt that I was constantly eating in this diet. This can be a long-term diet (lifestyle change) for somebody who wants to stop consuming animal products; sadly I am not one of those peeps!

Ratings: **** 4 stars

THE WINNERS The Mediterranean Diet The Vegan Diet Paleo

THE LOSERS Gluten-Free Diet Juicing

The Ending Testimony The Juicing diet was rated very low also due to the fact that I gained those 5 lbs almost immediately! After my first bite of real food the lbs were back in their usual place. The other diets the lbs kept of longer, even after my junkfood filled weekends, I was able to keep off most of the weight. I know that everyone is different therefore my recommendations are solely based on my experience on each diet. Hope my experience helped you all decide which diet you are willing to try!! Good luck!!





Images from


ECO VESSEL Written by: Cheyenne Hendricks

Y’all know I’m from Texas. And it’s no secret that the Lone Star State can get sweltering hot! In the summer Texans are always looking for ways to stay cool, and in the winter, boy are we in a desperate search for warmth! To us, sixty degrees is freezing! So I can attest first hand that the best thing to help in extreme heat or cold is a beverage to counteract the external temperature! Winter is here, and all over America icy temperatures are settling in. No one wants to go out into freezing weather without a nice hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate! And who wants to pour that heated-to-perfection, made-in-Heaven, caffeine infused life savor into a thermos only to have it cool down by the time you arrive at work? Well, fret no more America, there is now a healthy vessel to keep your drinks at the perfect temperature. The Eco Vessel is a healthy alternative to the typical aluminum thermos used for coffee, tea, or iced drinks. The Eco Vessel has a variety of choices for safe, long lasting storage of your favorite drink! The Eco Vessel company is based in Boulder, Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Their products are developed from safe, sturdy, sustainable materials while offering innovation and practicality. Their complete product line provides options for everyone from toddlers to adults. You can feel secure knowing Eco Vessel water bottles and food storage containers are made of high quality, non-leaching materials and are designed for your safety, ease of use, and convenience. All of the Eco Vessel products are BPA and phthalate free, recyclable, and environmentally friendly. Treat yourself and your family to the stylish, eco-friendly water bottles and food storage products at Eco Vessel.

comfortable flip spout makes it easy to drink when you’re on on the go - the Aqua Vessel portable, stainless steal water filtration bottle is an excellent choice for those who want a lightweight option for camping, traveling, hiking or whenever you want clear, clean tasting water. And the Eco Vessel Vue is a simple, elegant glass bottle which has a double layer of glass for hot and cold drinks. It is guaranteed not to leak and has an easy to use flip top lid. Their products are made from materials like glass and stainless steal to ensure your safety from the potential health effects of leaching. Not only does this benefit you health wise, but let’s face it. Aluminum containers can make drinks taste like you’re licking the inside of a tin can (yuck!) Also, the Eco Vessel is very aesthetically pleasing. They have a lovely,fluid shape with a “waist” that makes it a bit easier to hold than a straight bottle. The Eco Vessel has a smooth finish with nicely polished seams and a sturdy strap to hold the top onto the bottle and serve as a way to carry the bottle. It’s got a dual top –you can open the larger lid to easily fill with hot or iced beverages, and there’s also a smaller drinking lid that will let you sip from it without the unfortunate inconvenience of wearing your drink! -Come on, you know you’ve had that happen- There is also a removable, fitted strainer atop the Eco Vessel to better accommodate tea enthusiasts. A very happy customer once described how she made piping hot tea at four in the afternoon, and it stayed so hot that she drank it at ten that night, and it was as hot as if she had just pulled it from the stove. Now, especially in the north, I know this is a huge attribute! Keep your drinks hot all day as you brave this winter weather. After the winter is over, you will still be using this nifty little vessel to keep your drinks icy and cold throughout those hot summer work days. It’s the universal vessel for portable beverage storage!

They have a wide range of products which help keep you healthy and hydrated! For instance, the Aqua Vessel which offers both TriMax Insulation and filtration. It has multiple intricate features (Miraguard AntiMicrobial Technology and Microbial Filter) which eliminate 99.9% of harmful bacteria, reduces chemicals, and improves water’s taste. The convenient,




We have all seen the commercial with superfit and superactive Shaun T jumping around telling you that all you need is 25 minutes, 5 times a week to look like him! Well, yes I fell for it; does it work? Let me answer that now. I have his Insanity workout DVD’ s and this is literally a condensed version of insanity in 25 minutes so I wasn’t overly pleased that I paid for a WHOLE NEW workout DVD set when I could have just shortened the Insanity DVD’s. What does this new T25 consist of? It has different DVD’s called ALPHA and BETA (I am imagining just to set it apart from Insanity, but it consists of the same workouts) along with GAMMA workouts (really they are called that). On a few days you are recommended to do 2 workouts, so it is 50 minutes NOT the advertised 25 minutes. Another thing that sets it apart from its predecessor Insanity is that this one comes with a strength band that is used in the workouts, which I believe is the best part of T25.


You do sweat in this workout...a lot and you are ALWAYS moving around; definitely not a workout for beginners! I did lose inches, especially off my waist and it is effective, but for someone who already has Insanity and other Shaun T workouts, there are TONS of repetitive moves that make you wish you save your $$$ and just alternated the DVD’s you already had on hand. For those of you who DO NOT have Insanity at home, Go and Get the Focus T25 workout DVD set! It is worth it and you WILL see results!!


Does T25 Really Work? BY: STELLA QUIMBY


the making of champions Written by: Sophia Sanchez Layout by: Jennifer Veguilla Now is the time to get in shape! Not tomorrow, not next Monday and certainly not after the New Year! A sure fire way to make sure you never reach your fitness goals is by putting off for tomorrow, what you can start doing today. That New Year’s resolution you vowed to uphold in 2012 and then again in 2013? What makes you think 2014 will be any different? That’s the problem with society today. We are constantly running in procrastination mode. Trying to play catch up; living reactively instead of proactively. But what people don’t understand is that the way you fuel your body today is going to certainly impact how your body runs tomorrow. And with so many choices available to help each and every one of us achieve our best in physical fitness, there really is no excuse to hold off any longer.


We hear a lot of speculation about all of the information that scours the internet about diets, fitness fads and exercise routines. In this issue of Halfstack Magazine, I set out to find the best of the best. And I sat down with Dre Williams, Owner and Co-Founder of MOC CrossFit based in Portland, Oregon. I’ll be honest, I’m one of many who scoffs at the mere mention of the word CrossFit, but after picking Dre’s brain, perhaps I’ve been quick to judge. Just maybe it’s not the approach or methodologies behind CrossFit that leave a bitter taste in my mouth, but the way we approach the sport without first doing our homework. As with anything else in life, do your due diligence and determine if CrossFit is for you! You decide!

ing in shape, it just seemed like the right direction for my life. I was always told to find something you love to do, find a way to get paid for it, and never work a day in your life! I live by that, and now, I go to “work” and never feel like I don’t want to be there. I change lives, and I change bodies, what else would I or could I be doing? I used to be a teacher, and as satisfying as that was for me to help students fulfill their potential, I was always bound by the rules and regulations of how I was allowed to teach; with what I do now, there are no rules, it’s simply, get the message across, and if they can’t take the message, i.e. the truth, then they are simply not ready for this step in their life.

HSM: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background. Have you always been passionate about fitness?

Dre Williams: CrossFit is just such a passionate community! The program is not re-inventing the wheel, they do movements all human bodies should be able to do at some point in time, however, they just need the right coaching, and modifications to get them there. Does everyone need to know how to do

Dre Williams: I have always been passionate about fitness, being a collegiate track athlete and always being drawn to the idea of stay-

HSM: Why CrossFit?

a muscle up? NO!! GOD no. But you should be able to lift objects off the ground and move them with relative ease, and doing these functional motions in a varied workout program allow the body to see the progress and success desired! That is why CrossFit is so popular. When the client stops focusing on the societal norms and structure of what “you” should look like, and the “average” person, the client is then able to have fun focusing on goals like getting their first pull up, or doing a pushup as recommended, or better yet lifting their grandchild or playing with their children outside without getting winded or hurt. CrossFit has a persona that is NOT CrossFit. Because of the “Games,” CrossFit has become this intense fat burning monster that few are reluctant to attempt, but like any program and with any trainer, you have to do your work to find the good ones. CrossFit is like any busi-

ness, their goal is to make profit. If CrossFit wants to pop up all over the world, that is GREAT for CrossFit HQ, now the real task is finding out who is truly educated beyond the CrossFit modalities. Those are the truly successful CrossFit gyms, and that is why I chose CrossFit; in life it rings true, in CrossFit the strongest shall survive and inherit the earth, it is just my job to make sure everyone I come across is Strong as Shit! HSM: Why should people come to your gym? What do you have to offer that other gym’s don’t? Dre Williams: Not only do I offer out my gym at rates that CrossFit was founded on, I offer a scalable program that will keep you moving from the moment the class starts. A lot of gyms have the Warm Up, and the Workout Of the Day (WOD). For us there is a warm up tailored to the strength movements of the WOD, a strength and skill portion, and the finally the WOD. After the WOD we bring our members through a light stretching sequence to prevent injury and lower the

soreness throughout the remainder of the week. Our members love the personal touch we add, and I make it a point to know EVERYONE’S name…we are at 80+ members and I can honestly say I know all of their names and stories/goals. HSM: Why did you decide to go into business for yourself? Dre Williams: I calculated up the amount of training sold at the outrageous prices the corporate gyms charge and I felt it was ridiculous. We weren’t allowed to train the clients in an in-group fashion, it was seen as double dipping. And personally I feel as though my members get better results from training in a group. It’s no longer just me holding them accountable, it is their fellow man holding them accountable to making it to class, to pushing themselves, etc. Once again, its beating a dead horse, but I get to do things outside of the box, so to speak, and I love it! If it fails, then I don’t do it again, if it is successful, great!!! Find a way to consistently maintain that sense of success.


HSM: Is your gym affordable to the everyday client? Dre Williams: My gym is very much affordable to the everyday client. The average membership at any gym is roughly $40/ month. You add in drive time, the cost for supplements and/or personal training at least 2x/month; you are looking at over $200/month. With my CrossFit, you get nutritional advice, supplement support and discounts on some of the CLEANEST supplements on the market in Isagenix; as well as getting group training and in some cases small group training. Our rates range from $100-$120/month. If someone was to come to class 3x/week, for a month, you are looking at a GRAND TOTAL of $8.33 - $9.75 per class. Last I checked, that rate is right along the lines of what the local community center charges at roughly $5.00/day to use their equipment, not including potential trainer assistance. Literally, for the cost of a cup of coffee and a morning Danish, you could be going to CrossFit, but I get it, the coffee and Danish are much more convenient.

is a sad reality that our world lives in and it just isn’t the average Joe walking down the street. The government has attempted to raise what the estimated weight and body fat percentage is considered obese. Military and law enforcement are consistently lowering physical readiness tests to insure candidates pass. Our society has lowered the bar and it is human tendency to reach only high enough to survive, not to surpass expectancy. It’s too difficult, it just isn’t convenient. HSM: What advice can you give to someone who may be struggling with finding a gym or fitness program that is right for them?

HSM: What is the #1 reason, in your opinion, why people struggle with taking control of their fitness and nutritional health?

Dre Williams: Keep looking and keep plugging away. Even if you get discouraged, continue to search for what works for you. You are already lapping the individuals on the couch just by admitting you want to take control. Any fitness is good fitness. I’m not the type of CrossFitter that raises myself on a pedestal and says “It’s CrossFit or nothing.” No, I firmly believe that CrossFit is NOT for everyone right away. But at some point it may be the direction you want to go when inspired. But until then, just keep moving.

Dre Williams: Convenience. It is easier to let it go, to not hold yourself accountable and to tell yourself, “You know what, I’m happy with this.” The real issue is that they’re not happy with it. They are lying to themselves and hoping they believe it at some point. It

MOC CrossFit, which stands for Making of Champions CrossFit isn’t just another CrossFit gym. Dre has not only built a successful practice, but one that is driven by the individual success of his clients. For me, and I’m sure I can vouch on the behalf


“In CrossFit, the strongest shall survive and inherit the earth. It is my job to make sure everyone I come across is Strong as Shit!�




of many, a gym owner can talk all the game and all the praise he/ she wants. It’s finding the people who are truly passionate about what they do, who want to make a difference in people’s lives in a healthy and positive approach, that are the real experts. Not just the people whom are concerned with making a paycheck. Having founded the business with his lovely wife Jennifer Dadigan Williams whom Dre had nothing but amazing things to say about, and his partner Kevin Hughes, whom he referred to as a ‘saint with a very vulgar tongue,’ it’s easy to see why MOC CrossFit is such a success. The ebb and flow you’ll find among these three is apparent in just their communication. So…. If you find yourself living in Portland, would like to learn more about CrossFit, or HELL, want to convince Dre and his team to expand their operation to the greatest city in the world - Chicago - Hit up Dre today! “In CrossFit, the strongest shall survive and inherit the earth. It is my job to make sure everyone I come across is Strong as Shit!”

Twitter @MOCCrossFit Facebook:










Stocking stuffers


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season just warms our hearts. While we genuinely believe that this time of the year is more about family and relationships rather than gift giving, it is still a kind gesture to show someone you care with a carefully selected holiday gift!









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Halfstack Magazine Winter 2013 Issue  

We are the latest in indie lifestyle magazines focused on and dedicated to attainability & showcasing the local creative talent & retail env...

Halfstack Magazine Winter 2013 Issue  

We are the latest in indie lifestyle magazines focused on and dedicated to attainability & showcasing the local creative talent & retail env...