Me: IN FOCUS January 2010

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:IN FOCUS JANUARY 2010 $4.99

New Year, New You LET`S DO LAUNCH!

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SPOTLIGHT ON

CHICAGO PLUS SIZE MODEL

LAUREN KOENIG

STYLE ME. ENTERTAIN ME. INFORM ME. INDULGE ME. INSPIRE ME. EMPOWER ME. www.meinfocusmag.com


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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

CONTENTS

ME: IN FOCUS

Bian “Bee” Li Shares Her Thoughts

What’s Inside This Month

Who We Are

Let’s Do Launch: Inside Our Launch Party 4

Dear Readers,

Ogi Merzier and Jessica Kim: Winners of the First Annual Me: in focus Awards 5

This month is not only the start of a new year, but also a new decade. It's also the exciting first edition of a new and improved Me: in focus. Thank you for welcoming us into your lives. We look forward to introducing you to our growing community of fabulous Chicago women - entrepreneurial, savvy and compassionate. Every woman has a story and by sharing these stories we hope to help you discover who you are, and not what you should be.

More Fashion Show Fun 6 Model Mashup: Meet the Models 8 Behind the Scenes 11 New Fit You: Fun Ways to Keep Your New Year`s Resolution 12 New Year New You: Where Are You Headed in 2010? 15 The Layers of Lauren: Getting to Know Our Model Role Model 16 Beauty Blog: Jessica Mazik 22 Health in Focus: Empower Yourself, Protect Your Body 24 Studio Space: Introducing Me: in focus Studios 26

That is what Me: in focus is all about focusing on what matters to you and all the many sides of you. Style Me, Entertain Me, Inform Me, Indulge Me, Inspire Me, Empower Me. As I always say, with each issue we hope to not only open more minds, but also more hearts. It's time to make history Herstory too.

e e B

Be Good.

ON THE COVER Lauren Koenig Lauren dazzles in this completely unretouched version of our cover shot. We wanted to show you that even without airbrushing, women can look beautiful. Photography by Rod Roberts

Monthly Mentions: Our Favorite Eats, Treats and More 29 Calendar: A Random and Lighthearted Look at This Month 30 The Buzz: Women in the Media 31 World Beat: Journey to Rajasthan 32 A Different Perspective: The Chicago Botanic Garden in Winter 35

FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Bian Li MANAGER SPONSORSHIP & EVENTS Christine Nicholls DESIGN DIRECTOR Diana Dittmer CREATIVE CONSULTANT Ricardo Ford OFFICE MANAGER Arlene Gutierrez CONTRIBUTORS Iya Bakare Kerry Sayers Olivia St. Clair MANY THANKS TO OUR PAST CONTRIBUTORS Mary Click Charbel Nasser Kay Choi Phyllis Li Erin McGann CONTACT Advertising adsales@meinfocusmag.com christine@meinfocusmag.com Content editor@meinfocusmag.com Subscriptions subscribe@meinfocusmag.com Submissions submissions@meinfocusmag.com General Inquiries info@meinfocusmag.com info@meinfocusstudios.com www.meinfocusmag.com

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Copyright 2010 Me: in focus/The LB Group LLC. All Rights Reserved. All text, images, graphics and other materials in this publication and the website are subject to the copyright and other intellectual property rights of Me: in focus/The LB Group LLC and other respective contributors, affiliates and/or submitters.These materials may not be reproduced, distributed, modified or reposted to other publications or websites without the express written permission of Me: in focus/The LB Group LLC or other respective copyright holders. The photos on the following pages of this issue, unless otherwise credited, are copyrighted property of The LB Group LLC and express written permission must be granted for any usage:. Any photos not noted above, and not specifically credited, are obtained from publicly shared/open license sources and/or databases. The marks appearing in this publication and/or the website including, but not limited to: (i) The LB Group LLC; and (ii) Me: in focus and its respective logos, images, emblems, phrases, slogans, designs, and mottos; are trademarks of The LB Group LLC, its brands and affiliates. The information contained herein is designed to be as contextual and factual as possible, per our best efforts and the information and/or resources available and/or provided to us at the time. We reserve the right, however, to make changes at any time, without notice, in the editing of the publication therein for clarity, brevity, content, and purpose. Some links and/or contact information provided in this publication may lead to websites and/ or establishments/businesses by independent third party owners. The information presented therein is the sole responsibility of those independent third party owners. The LB Group LLC and Me: in focus have no control or responsibility for the content of independent sites and/or nature of third party establishments/businesses and we provide these links and/or contact information to our readers solely for their convenience.

JANUARY 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 3


LET’S DO: LAUNCH!

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

Lori Sapio

} Inside Our Launch Party!

Before the party catwalk within our office and studio loft space in the Ravenswood area of Chicago.

ON DECEMBER 12, 2009, we held our Me: in focus magazine and studios launch party and awards presentation.

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Thanks so much to all our supporters who braved the cold and joined us in our new studio loft space for a fantastic evening featuring local entrepreneurs and businesses. We celebrated the best of 2009 and presented our first annual Me: in focus Award winners to two amazing Chicago women who truly embody our values of entrepreneurship and empowerment. We topped off the night with a fashion show that featured real, beautiful Chicago women and local boutiques. Check out these next few pages and see for yourself!

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...AND THE WINNERS ARE:

Left: Ogi Merzier Right: Jessica Kim

Congratulations to Ogi Merzier and Jessica Kim, Winners of the First Annual Me: in focus Awards! THEIR NOMINATORS TELL WHY THEY DESERVE TO WIN

Ogi is so inspiring! She continues to believe in herself and her abilities more and more each passing day. She has survived several personal tragedies...now she owns Fashion Fusion Vintage on Halsted and several on-line vintage e-tiques. She is also a fashion designer/stylist and has worked with several celebrities. She is great for Chicago and great to work for!

- Kelly Harkin STAY TUNED WHAT THEY WON! Both ladies won a cover story and photo spread in an upcoming issue.

As we share their amazing and inspirational stories with you soon.

Jessica Kim is the Founder/CEO of BabbaCo, an innovative baby products company that creates “simple. functional. super cute.” solutions for everyday parenting. BabbaCo’s philosophy is to empower moms as they go through their major transition of parenthood. Her ultimate vision is to create a successful company to be used for greater good. [Jessica] embodies what it means to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. She would inspire other women in such an overwhelming time in a woman’s life when their individuality, sense of worth, balance and abilities are challenged.

- Kathy Im

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MORE FASHION SHOW FUN:

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MaryAnn Marsh Xiao Feng

Kimberly Lewis

MODEL

MASHUP

Lita Rouse

Tiffanie Craddock Shanika Brown

Ruby Ross MEET THE MODELS Beautiful women come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Meet the lovely ladies who strutted our catwalk.

Maria Martinez

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BEHIND THE SCENES:

Owner and Founder Bee Li (fourth from left) on the catwalk with the models after the show.

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MAKEUP BY SUE DEVITT BEAUTY

TO SEE BEE’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH SUE DEVITT, FOUNDER OF SUE DEVITT BEAUTY, Check out our website www.meinfocusmag.com

Makeup Artist Alex Albrecht of Sue Devitt Beauty

HAIR BY SPOIL ME HAIR SALON Adel (left), Owner of Spoil Me Hair Salon and assistant working on a model

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THANK YOU:

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To All of the Chicago Area Businesses that Helped Make Our Event a Huge Success!

THE BODY SHOP 773 935 9645 www.thebodyshop-usa.com

H2O+ 800 242 2284 www.h2oplus.com

CONNECT 773 360 1520 www.connect-chicago.com

LANE BRYANT 773 755 0217 www.lanebryant.com

CRE8SHUNS BY LILIAN 773 342 2738 www.cre8shuns.com

LONGEVITY SPA 312 266 8765 www.lipodoc.com www.longevityspa.net

DIBA SHOES 314 373 1280 www.bronxshoes.com

MGD 64 www.mgd.com

ENZEE 630 530 2965 www.enzeeboutique.com FLOWER FETISH 773 988 8688 773 987 7088 appts. www.flower-fetish.com FOX’S 773 281 0700 www.foxs.com

NUEVO LEON BAKERY 312 243 5977 PIERRE’S BAKERY 773 252 8888 www.pierres-bakery.com SPOIL ME HAIR SALON 773 883 8944 www.spoilmehairsalon.net SUE DEVITT BEAUTY 888 870 1150 www.suedevittbeauty.com

www.meinfocusmag.com

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NEW FIT YOU:

BE A FLIRTY GIRL Flirty Girl Fitness is a women's only fitness and lifestyle facility in the West Loop that offers fun and entertaining classes, such as Flirty Flight Club and Sexy Strip. A much appreciated alternative to your regular gym. www.flirtygirlfitness.com

FUN WAYS TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION!

SKATE OFF THE WEIGHT Whether it's ice skating at Millennium Park (burns 300 calories per hour!) or cross country skiing in Morton Arboretum, there are plenty of outdoor activities nearby to help you burn off the holiday pounds. www.millenniumpark.org www.mortonarb.org

WII FIT NINTENDO

GO GARDENING Spend a day exploring the stark and quiet beauty of the Chicago Botanic Garden in winter, a striking contrast to its summer landscape

SNOWED IN? Nintendo`s Wii Fit is a fantastic way to work out at home. There are many cool games like Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum that will pump you up and work up a sweat. www.wiifit.com

(see pg. 35).

www.chicago-botanic.org

LACKING MOTIVATION? While personal trainers may be costly, the results you achieve with one may make it worth the expense. Trainers like Stephanie Mansour, also a life coach, can help you get in shape while also motivating you to live your best. www.stepitupwithsteph.com

Cre8shuns by Lilian: Jewelry Inspired by the World ÂŽ

LILIAN CARTWRIGHT CREATES jewelry that is inspired by her worldly travels to Cambodia, Ghana, Chiang Mai, Belize, Istanbul, Moscow and more. Each necklace, bracelet, earring and stickpin is a one-of-a kind or limited edition piece. She studies the art of each culture and also identifies rare components that are then used in her unique pieces. www.cre8shuns.com

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WOMEN/ENTR EPRENEURS

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STYLE/ENTER TAIN/INFORM /INDULGE/INS PIRE/UNITE UNITE

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CHICAGOYOU NGWOMENS NETWORK www.meetup.com/chicagoyoungwomensnetwork JANUARY 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 13


New Year, New You WHERE ARE YOU HEADED IN 2010?

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{ } { } { } { } { } { } { } STYLE ME

ENTERTAIN ME

INFORM ME

SHOEDAZZLE Personal stylist + shoes delivered to your door. What could be better? www.shoedazzle.com

PAINT YOUR WALLS HAPPY Feel like hibernating? A fresh coat of bright paint is the perfect way to cheer you up.

GET OUT AND DANCE! Always wanted to learn Salsa? Put some sizzle in your step. Me: in focus Studios will be offering lessons soon! For more details visit: www.meinfocusstudios.com

A warm and fuzzy

RECYCLE YOUR XMAS TREE

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Kicking your tree to the curb? Recycle it instead! Contact the Department of Environment for locations nearest you. 312 774 7606

PAMPER YOURSELF Whether it`s taking a bubble bath at home or spending a blissful day at The Peninsula Hotel Spa, don’t forget to take time to focus on yourself.

INDULGE ME

INSPIRE ME

GIRLS NIGHT OUT Good friends, good food and good conversation. The melting pot combines all three in their Spa Night Event. www.themeltingpot.com

BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR Winter can be especially hard on our older neighbors. Even a quick check-in or an offer to do a household chore would be appreciated.

...start to 2010!

Tell us how you plan to make this new year your best ever. We may publish your story in a future issue! Email us at: submissions@meinfocusmag.com

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THE LAYERS OF LAUREN

Getting to know our model role model 16 ME: IN FOCUS JANUARY 2010

PHOTOGRAPHY Rod Roberts CLOTHING Alice Berry JEWELRY Jorie Bandauski HAIR & MAKEUP Jessica Mazik

www.rodrobertsphotos.com www.aliceberry.com www.jorieb.com www.jesselizabeth.com


INTRODUCTION Each month we spotlight one young woman who embodies the meaning of true beauty and whose story can serve as an inspiration to others. Beautiful both inside and out, these women are truly model role models.

Lauren Koenig Age 27 Size 12

Q: You began modeling last year and entered a tough industry in a tough economy. Why did you do so and what have you learned from it? A: Sometimes, a series of unfortunate events can lead to something great! Having suffered from weight management and overtraining issues for over a decade, I finally discovered in 2008 that these issues were caused by severe food allergies. I immediately made the necessary lifestyle changes in order to improve my health and let my body recover. I began losing the excess weight that my body retained over those years and for the first time in

my life I felt healthy. In January of 2009, I was laid off for the second time in three years, most recently from a job as a web manager for a culinary company. Feeling empowered by the improvement of my health, as well as the support of my grandmother, I gained the confidence and time needed to purse a new career in plussize modeling. Over the past year, my experience as an aspiring plus-size model has taught me that this industry is like any other, and has definitely taken a hit with today’s economy. I gained a significant amount of patience and professionalism, but most importantly, I learned how to take

my inner self-confidence and project it outward. Q: What is your personal beauty routine? Any secrets you would like to share? A: Growing up, I missed the memo about hydration and staying out of the sun! Fortunately, I learned a few years ago about the importance of skincare in looking youthful and have been diligently exercising good practices ever since. I follow my beauty regime twice a day and I never skip it! By day, I wash with Cetaphil cleanser, followed by Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free toner, a

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LAUREN`S OWN ROLE MODEL My personal role model is my best friend Nata. She currently lives in London, but is originally from Azerbaijan. We lived together when we attended Ball State University. Meeting her was the best thing that ever happened to me. She is an extremely poised and educated woman who always knew what she stood for and what she believed in. She always held her head up high and always made things happen. Her ability to project such inner beauty outward really had an effect on who I am today. Being around a confident woman who strived to be the best person she could was contagious. I can say that I wouldn’t be the ‘Lauren’ I am today had I never met her at such an important point in my life.

touch of acne cream and finally Eucerin moisturizer SPF 30. At night, I apply Neaclear Liquid Oxygen astringent and Eucerin oil-free Anti-wrinkle Sensitive Skin Cream. I keep Sally Hansen’s Overnight Lip Recovery next to my nightstand and it goes on every night, along with my eye cream! A few of my beauty secrets: 1. Never wear SPF lotion at night – it will clog your pores. 2. Always use an oil-free moisturizer. They are hard to come by but oil is unnecessary before menopause. 3. A light sweep of toothpaste over the

lips will temporarily dry them and hold your lip liner on longer, which will prevent it from feathering. 4. Disposable buff-puffs are great to exfoliate with once a week at most. 5. Dark lipstick will make your teeth look whiter. 6. Cut your makeup remover pads into halves or fourths. This will save you a few extra bucks and prevent you from wasting them. 7. Don’t condition your roots if you like volume. 8. There are very few shampoos and conditioners I would put on my hair. Biotera

and Ion are the only two products that I believe that won`t strip your color plus it’s cheaper at Sally’s and in bulk. 9. Apply any acne cream with the palm of your hand, not your fingers, in sweeping motions. This helps get the cream deep into your skin. This is my dermatologist’s secret! My cosmetic must-haves: 1. Listerine pre-brush whitening mouthwash: Nothing is sexier than a white smile. 2. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer: This really helps your makeup stay put when it’s warm and you’re on the go. 3. Smashbox DNA Mascara: I’ve tried so

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many mascaras but this one is incredible! 4. MAC Paint: This really keeps your eye makeup ON! This is superior to any other eye base in the world. It doesn’t move until you wash it off and it really makes the pigment in your eye makeup burst! And the best part, absolutely NO creasing. 5. Batiste Dry Shampoo: I never leave home without it. This is a lifesaver, especially for blondes. Can we say ‘revive?’ 6. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Never Fail lip color: I love a dark lipstick that doesn’t come off until you tell it to.

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Q: You mention that you would like to become an advocate and public speaker on issues related to self esteem and positive body image. What’s your message? A: For many, body image and self-esteem are solidified at a very young age. It’s an extremely sensitive and important topic during adolescence and I believe that it’s not addressed in the correct manner. I don’t think we’re doing all we can to help young children love themselves. I want to reach out to youth and counsel them on inner beauty and confidence. After all, beauty starts from within and works its

way out. The peace we have with ourselves on the inside will show on the outside. I understand that I will never be perfect in everyone’s eyes. However, every day I strive to be “the best Lauren I can be.” I do this by rejecting negativity, humbly accepting compliments and by welcoming constructive criticism into my life. I once heard, “Don’t look at the person holding the lantern - look at the light.” I believe in this and want to practice what I preach. If one can learn to be the best person they can be, not only will selfacceptance follow, but your inner light will also shine and help inspire others.


accepts herself.” I love to say that “Yes, I am a plus-model - this is what we consider plus today. The shock value is unprecedented because on a scale from one to 10, I’m a 12!” Q: What are some important words of wisdom you can give to aspiring young models?

Q: As a plus-size model, did you have any challenges starting out in the industry? If so, how did you get past those challenges? A: Plus-size modeling does have a stigma in today’s society and it comes with many challenges. Although I think the mentality is slowly changing, it will be a long time before we really see a major difference. We must realize that as consumers, we hold the power. The fragile economy has really forced designers and retailers to open up other income-generating avenues by selling to the mainstream population. In the industry, I am considered a ‘small

plus-model’ or ‘full-figured,’ but I am still plus. I learned to not get frustrated when certain industry professionals do not want to work with a plus-size model. Instead, I take the frustration and channel the energy into something productive. I find someone who wants to shoot with a plussize model and produce photos that make people ask, “Wow, she’s a plus model?” I could easily introduce myself as just a model, but I always make sure to put “plus” in front of it because I love hearing people’s reactions to the “plus” part. I feel like my role instantly changes from saying “I’m a model” to “I’m a woman who

A: Many think modeling is an extremely self-indulgent industry, which couldn’t be further from the truth. In order to get a great photo, you need a great photographer, makeup artist, hair stylist, designer and lastly…model. Modeling is a collaborative effort for all to partake in. Once you realize that each photoshoot is a project, and that it’s NOT only about you, you will succeed. Pay your dues. Don’t be cocky – be confident. There is a fine line between the two. Practice makes perfect. Study your film. Hand written “thankyou” notes go a long way. Professionalism is extremely noticed and appreciated in the industry. Do not flake – ever. Get business cards and always carry them. Networking is key. Always follow up, twice. Reach out to others and never give up. Until you hear three “NOs,” keep trying. Respect yourself – think twice about what ‘type’ of shoot you want to partake in and how it will affect your career later on. Take matters into your own hands. Be the project manager and create shoots, submit to magazines, retailers, etc. Make sure everyone benefits from the project and appreciate those you are working with. You will have to shoot about 30+ times before you get paid - deal with it. Find your niche, whether it’s promotional, artistic, glamour, commercial, fashion, plus, etc. This will make it easier to market yourself. Finally, you ARE marketing a product – YOU. My number one piece of advice: Be “the best person you can be” and LOVE YOURSELF!

Love yourself JANUARY 2010 ME: IN FOCUS 21


BEAUTY BLOG: JESSICA MAZIK

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DURING THE WINTER MONTHS, we sometimes tend to overlook the details in our appearance. Jessica reminds us that looking good in January doesn’t have to be difficult. Moisturizer, lip gloss and well groomed eyebrows are the basics. To break free from the winter blahs, Jessica suggests creating a cateye look with your eyeliner to jazz it up.

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TO LEARN MORE Visit her website www.jesselizabeth.com Jessica is a Chicago based freelance makeup artist specializing in fashion

Jessica’s Picks for January

“I love NARS products”, Jessica states. See what all the fuss is about: www.nars.com

Benefit Cosmetics BAD gal series is available in plum, blue-violet, brown and black. www.benefitcosmetics.com

www.soniaroselli.com

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Jessica`s color palette for January: Silvery, Winter, Metallic, dabbled with warmer shades


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www.lorisapio.com

Full Service Photography for all of your Needs and Wants. Portraiture, Weddings, Children, Pets, Events and Boudoir.

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HEALTH: IN FOCUS BY IYA BAKARE

NOVEMBER 1, 1991 is a day Ida W. Byther-Smith will never forget. The world as she knew it changed when she learned she was HIV positive. “I felt like I was dealt the wrong deal,” says Ida. “I felt like God had let me down and I almost lost my mind.” Today, Ida is one of many living with HIV. According to the Center for Disease Control, recent statistics show that African-American women represented 17,507 of the AIDS cases reported in 2007 nationwide. From the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. in 1981 through 2007, an estimated 426,003 Black women have contracted the disease. In 1987, prior to her diagnosis, Ida suffered the loss of her mother and was still grieving from her death. The following year, Ida’s husband left her and their four children when he decided he didn’t want to stay married. She later learned her husband had extramarital affairs while they were married with both men and women. In 1996, after arriving home from church one night, Ida found her husband at her

doorstep asking for help after he was robbed and needed a place to stay. Separated but never divorced, she decided to allow her estranged husband to occupy the room of their youngest daughter who had left for college. After living with his wife for months, Ida’s husband died from complications of AIDS in May of 1996. “He died a very painful and slow death because he never sought out proper medical treatment,” admits Ida. “I used to ask him all the time to go to the doctor but he never wanted to go. I think he was ashamed of his condition but I hated the way he suffered.” Ida admits her health status remained a secret from many people at first, but when

We as women have a false sense of security with unprotected sex. We’re always at risk of disease, even when we’re married or in relationships.

DON’T FORGET To care about your gynecological health. Make sure to visit your doctor for your PAP test screening.

she fell ill in 2000, Ida couldn’t keep quiet much longer. During this time, she was officially diagnosed with AIDS. “You’re as sick as your secret,” comments Ida. After she went public with her health status, Ida decided to help educate others not only about AIDS, but about the important precautionary measures against the disease. “Ignorance will kill you,” she says. “We as women have a false sense of security with unprotected sex; we’re always at risk of disease, even when we’re married or in relationships.” In an effort to give back to the community, Ida started Joray House, a nonprofit organization named after her mother and brother in 2004. The organization gives assistance to homeless men with HIV. “People ask me why I am doing this for men, but they don’t understand I am also doing this for the women they may come across and possibly infect,” Ida says. When she has an opportunity to take a break from her work, the 60-year-old admits she enjoys traveling. “This is the only life you have, so you better live it now,” she says.

FROM HIV TO HPV Last month on December 1 we brought attention to World Aids Day. Continuing this issue, we wanted to bring you a personal story of a local woman who is empowering others in the fight against this disease. This month we encourage you to be proactive about your health as it`s Cervical Health Awareness month.

AIDS IS A GLOBAL ISSUE To read more about Bee`s personal experience working on AIDS awareness campaigns in Africa, visit: www.meinfocusmag.com

January is Cervical Health Awareness month. For information and resources on how to raise awareness in your community about Cervical Cancer and HPV Disease, please visit www.nccc-online.org

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To learn more about how you can join the cause of AIDS awareness and prevention locally, please visit Aids Foundation of Chicago at www.aidschicago.org


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S\t\u\d\i\o SPACE 26 ME: IN FOCUS JANUARY 2010


One example of an event hosted in our studio space during the Ravenswood Art Walk.

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ME: IN FOCUS STUDIO SPACE Our 2,500 sq. ft open loft space is perfect for a variety of creative purposes including: photoshoots, exhibitions, classes and workshops. Our studio space offers a full-length catwalk, perfect for any fashion show. Other facilities include full DJ setup, free parking and a private conference room. For space rental and other inquiries, contact info@meinfocusstudios.com

Me: in focus Studios is the interactive extension of Me: in focus Magazine, the place where we bring our content to life.

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MONTHLY MENTIONS: WE PICK OUR FAVORITE EATS, TREATS & MORE!

MONTANE ANTI-FREEZE DOWN JACKET Perfect for the active woman, this ultra lightweight down jacket designed for female backpackers will certainly keep you comfortably warm during Chicago's brutal winters. Unlike normal bulky winter jackets, it has a sleek, feminine design, complete with a cinchable waist and even comes with its own dry bag. www.montane.co.uk

HOT CHOCOLATE

Montane Anti-Freeze Down Women’s Jacket $200

HALF THE SKY

Hot Chocolate offers many decadent varieties of this classic winter comfort. Perfect for any choco-holic, owner Mindy Segal also offers packaged mixes to take home to enjoy on those cold winter nights. 1747 N. Damen Ave., Chicago 773 489 1747 www.hotchocolatechicago.com

Half the Sky lays out an agenda for the world's women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute. Through this book, authors Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn urge you to join this powerful worldwide movement to turn oppression into opportunity. www.halftheskymovement.org MATSUYA This Lakeview gem offers yummy sushi at very affordable prices. The reason why we love it so much? They deliver for those late nights at the office. 3469 N. Clark St., Chicago 773 248 2677 www.grubhub.com

HEMA`S KITCHEN A longstanding favorite in Devon, Hema Potla's restaurant cooks up delicious Indian fare at reasonable prices. Nothing like exotic spices and bold flavors to warm up from the cold. 2439 W. Devon Ave., Chicago 773 338 1627 www.hemaskitchen.com

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A LIGHTHEARTED, CUTE AND RANDOM WAY OF LOOKING AT THE MONTH

SUN

MON

SOUPS

DID YOU KNOW THAT JANUARY IS THE OFFICIAL MONTH OF:

HOBBIES

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y p p a Hw e N ar! Ye

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CALENDAR:

TUES

BLOOD DONORS

WED

THURS

FRI 1

SAT 2

BUT DON’T TRY

m o r F of all at ! s u us e: in foc M e h t l l A t in bes 10! 20 BOTH AT THE

SAME TIME! ;-)

3

4

Festival of Sleep

5

6

8

7

Bean Day

Bubble Bath Day

Cuddle Day

10

3 17

11

12

13

14

1 15

2 16

4 18

5 19

6 20

7 21

8 22

9 23

15 29

16 30

Cheese Day

Martin Luther King Day

10 24

Chicago Music Awards

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Chinese New Year at Navy Pier

31 Backwards Day

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12 26

13 27

Squirrel Appreciation Day

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Chocolate Cake Day


THE BUZZ: PROFILES NEWS

NETWORK WOMAN

UNTIMELY PASSING

BLASIAN BEAUTY

PROJECT PING

OLYMPIC HOPEFULS

It'll be interesting to see how Diane Sawyer`s transition from Good Morning America to the evening slot will do for ABC World News ratings. For the first time in history, two of the three network anchors are women. Go us!

The sad and untimely death of Brittany Murphy, 32, was a shock. She was an underrated talent that shined in all her performances. Her last film, Abandoned, is set to be released sometime this year.

Half African-American and half Chinese, 20 year old Lou Jing shot to fame and controversy over her biracial background during a singing competition in China. She rose above the fray with dignity and class and hopes to use her newfound stardom to bridge cultures.

We're rooting for talented Chicago designer Ping Wu as she competes in Season 7 of Project Runway! Chicago Pride!

We're looking forward to cheering on alpine skier Lindsay Vonn and the other women athletes next month during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

MUSIC

MOVIES

RISING STAR

BOOYAH FOR BULLOCK

CELTIC WOMAN

Her kick-ass Na'vi character in Avatar, Neytiri, may be 10 feet tall, blue and completely CGI, but the actress Zoe Salda単a is very much real. With the success of Avatar, rising star Zoe is one to watch in Hollywood this year.

2009 was a stellar year at the box office for Sandra Bullock with two Golden Globe Best Actress nominations for her two top grossing films, The Proposal and The Blind Side. We love the versatile Sandra for being a smart girl's actress and hope she takes home some hardware this year.

This group of five women charm us again with their angelic harmonies and natural beauty in their latest album Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart, to be released January 26.

THE BUZZ: SITES LOCAL BLOGS WE LIKE

www.thebudgetbabe.com

www.nbcchicago.com

www.chickflickreviews.net

http://hoo-dee-hoo.com

www.apartmenttherapy.com/chicago

www.urbanmarvel.blogspot.com

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WORLD BEAT

INCREDIBLE INDIA SENSORY OVERLOAD GREAT THAR DESERT SHADOWS ON THE DUNES

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CAMEL TREKKING FORTS AND TEMPLES SUN A PHOTOGRAPHER’S DREAM

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Featured as CNN Travel’s Photo of the Day

All photographs by Bian Li of Me: in focus Studios

RICH PAST


:JOURNEY TO RAJASTHAN

FOR MORE SPECTACULAR PHOTOS Check out: www.meinfocusstudios.com

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I HELD MY BREATH as we rode over dune over dune in India’s Great Thar Desert. Looking out into the vast golden expanse of desert before me, I marveled at the ripples and the shadows in the sand. Never ending, never the same. Calmness. Then chaos. Exposed to the elements. Here now, then gone as our camels stepped over their fine, fragile lines. We were looking for a place to camp for the night. Dune over dune over dune. The golden desert was now turning fiery, burnt

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orange as the sun slowly set ahead of us. Nura, our camel guide, had found the spot. “Tonight, we rest here.” He grabbed the rope around our camels’ necks and pulled us towards a dune as the wind came across us, changing the formation of the ripples as it blew onto the sand. I saw my chance. “Stop please, Nura.” He halted the camels before they went any further. Snap. I had managed to capture stillness in that one split second. The camels stepped forward. And just like that, it was gone.


A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

All photographs by Bian Li of Me: in focus Studios

THE CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN IN WINTER

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WHAT’S YOUR FOCUS THIS YEAR?

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Photographer: Bian Li www.meinfocusstudios.com

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