Expect the Unexpected

Give me a microphone and you have given me the key to my soul gift.

I’m always grateful and thrilled to be asked to speak… especially at women’s conferences. Last week I had the honor and privilege to speak at the Women In Financial Services [WIFS] Conference in Lombard, Illinois.


Every time I travel to a new city I always expect the unexpected to happen; and it does!

Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit and explore! I just love the hustle and bustle of the city, the diversity of people, the different cultures and the never ending opportunities to explore and indulge in all the city has to offer.

On this trip I didn’t get to make it into the city, but I loved exploring and hanging out in the suburb, Lombard. The conference was held at the Westin Hotel and what a beautiful place to stay with superb service! The color purple was sprinkled throughout the hotel just to remind you that YOU ARE ROYALTY! – I loved it.




Right next door to the hotel was convenient shopping at the Yorktown Center. I so appreciated that shopping, fine dining and entertainment options were in walking distance; especially since the “city” was at least 45 minutes away from the hotel.


It was such a special treat to spend an evening with a dear friend and client while I was in Lombard. We decided to try cuisine we had never tried before and this was a big deal for me as I’m not overly adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. I mentioned to my friend Cynthia that on the drive to the hotel from the airport that I saw a sign advertising Brazilian food that piqued my interest. And so, we navigated our way to the Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse.  


What an exquisite place to dine! I must admit I was a bit shocked and curious when we did not receive menus upon being seated. I had never been to a restaurant that had a “process” for dining instead of a menu to select from. I was intrigued to see how this would unfold and I wondered “how much is this going to cost and what did I get myself into?”

The “process” was to indulge in the scrumptious offerings on the salad bar first and then the servers would bring out 15 different kinds of meats along with side dishes. They had one of the best salad bars I’ve experienced thus far. A few of my favorites were the fresh balls of mozzarella cheese drizzled with Italian seasonings and extra virgin olive oil, the big tire size round of fresh Parmesan cheese where you could carve out as much as you wanted, the perfectly cooked, bright green asparagus spears, the succulent sun-dried tomatoes and the variety of baby greens.


Once we were done with our salad bar spread (all you can eat) we were instructed to turn over these little cards to suggest and request that we were ready for them to bring on the meat and side dishes! And boy let me tell you – did they bring the meat for sure!


When the servers got the green light to bring on the meat – they came to our tables with 15 types of Brazilian styled grilled meats along with house mashed potatoes, fried plantains and fried polenta! Server after server came to our table with select cuts of chicken, lamb, pork, beef and sausage. They even made sure we got the cuts of meat we preferred and whether it was well-done, medium or just how we liked it. I’m not a big fan of beef, so I opted for the chicken breast wrapped in bacon and the Parmesan cheese crusted pork loin.


The meat service was spectacular and a little overwhelming. The meat just kept coming and coming until we said “stop” – no more! What perfect bite size pieces they were; cooked to perfection and just enough for you to sample all 15 (filet mignon, prime rib, pork ribs, chicken legs, lamb chops and more) if you wanted to. This was my first time trying fried plantains and they were delicious; although they wouldn’t be something I could eat a lot of.

We didn’t have any room for dessert, but, they offered a nice variety of desserts to include Creme Brulee, Brazilian ice cream, cheesecake, tres leches cake and flan. Chama Gaucha was definitely a dining experience and the ambiance was warm, friendly and classy! I will definitely go back again and suggest you try it for yourself.


So… my friend and I were still wondering how much this fancy flair was going to cost us! We laughed and joked how they just reeled us right in… but, we were so glad we said yes to the process! The food was delicious! The cost was more than I expected, but well worth it especially if you are a meat lover. Essentially it’s a buffet and the per person rate was $49.00. I wasn’t expecting to spend that much on dinner, but the experience was worth it.

The next time you see Chama Gaucha in a city you’re visiting… say yes to the process and savor every delectable bite!

Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse

Known for outstanding service, the authentic “churrascaria” offers more than 12 flavorful cuts of meat including lamb, pork, chicken and beef on skewers carved table side by gauchos. In addition to several cuts of meat, the continuous service includes a trip to the fresh and bountiful salad bar followed by a basket of traditional, mouthwatering pao de queijo (cheese bread). Fried plantains, buttery garlic mashed potatoes and fried polenta are served family style. An excellent, extensive wine list and authentic Brazilian cocktails complement the unlimited fare.

At our restaurant we are proud to bring you all the tradition behind the unique and original Brazilian way of serving meat. Food doesn’t stop arriving until you’ve had enough. Whether it’s a cocktail reception, class reunion, corporate picnic, magnificent wedding reception, or any occasion we can create a great event fueled by our passion for perfection.{info from website]

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my friend Cynthia at Chama Gaucha, but it was time for me to take the stage and do my thing the next day. I absolutely love to speak, inspire and empower others with my voice and my message. I was born for this and it’s undeniable. Give me a microphone and you’ve given me the key to my soul’s greatest gift!


This was my first time at the WIFS Conference and I loved it. They took such great care of their speakers, the sessions were insightful, the exhibitor opportunity was fruitful and yes they fed us good too!



Food. Food. And more food! And all of it was spectacular! – This chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup was to die for.

I had an engaging and powerful moment with the participants during my talk on Friday. I spoke about “Illuminate Your Brand, Master Your Message and Make More Money.” The women who attended this conference are in the financial services and insurance industry; an industry that is not too familiar to me. But, it didn’t matter; the message still applied because if you’re selling anything you’ve got to be able to sell yourself first. 


No matter what you’re selling – The money is in your message! When you master your message you WILL make more money! I shared valuable tips and strategies on how to be your clients’ only solution and how to stand out and be different to increase your dollar signs!

You can learn and apply these tips too! Order your copy of Brand Like A BOSSLady and The Billboard Brand.www.bossladyofbranding.com 


I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love and operate in my gifts of greatness! We all have them and so do you! – Do you know what your gifts of greatness are? I encourage you to discover (remember) what they are, say HELL yes to them and show up, shine and do your damn thing no matter what! – Need help discovering your gifts? Contact me and let’s unleash them!

I always expect the unexpected when I travel to different cities. I expect something powerful to happen in one way or another. Even if it is just ONE thing…

ONE THING: Every time I go out to speak, I’m in expectation for ONE powerful thing to happen. A contact. A lead. A download. An affirmation. A confirmation. An open door. Something. One thing is expected to happen and it does. When I spoke in California earlier this year, I KNEW the one thing when it occurred and it confirmed my decision to move in a new direction. This time in Chicago, it was 12:00 and my car was expected to pick me up to take me to the airport at 12:30. While waiting to use the computer, a woman was hurrying to finish so I could use it. I told her to take her time.

Meanwhile, a potential client and I were chatting and I could tell this woman on the computer was listening in. The potential client left and this “woman” and I started talking about the organization I spoke for. The conversation continued right down the lane of my sweet spot and 5 minutes before I left I asked her what was her “role” in the organization and she said President Elect. Unknowingly, I shared one major solution she was looking for and provided some tips. She said, “we need you Catrice, took my card and said, I’ll be in touch.”

In this ONE moment with this one woman was the ONE thing. I expected it and it happened, now let’s see what’s next! – You gotta show up for the ONE thing to happen! This is one of my favorite parts of traveling – the unexpected! 

The Catriceology tagline perfectly describes how I choose to live my life – “show up, shine and do the damn thing!” – that’s it.. just be you, shine like the star you are and do your thing like no body else can do it. The world is waiting for you to unleash your significance and be ALL you are destined to be! AND with no permission, approval or regret!

I was grateful to have the opportunity to showcase my books during the event. My book, Unleash Your Significance was a hit! – I sold ALL of the books I took with me. Women loved the idea of unleashing their greatness and fulfilling their destiny and they said YES to it!


Well that’s a wrap! #wifsconf2016 is over for me. As a first time speaker, vendor and attendee, it was a fantastic experience and opportunity to serve and share my gift with the world! Doesn’t feel like work when you do what you love! Time to kick up my feet catch this flight home.

hmmmm…. I wonder where my Chucks will land next! – I’m open to the opportunities to speak, travel, connect, inspire and indulge where ever they end up! I absolutely LOVE every minute of my destiny intention to Speak. Travel. Write and Indulge in Life! I’m walking in my greatness and fulfilling my destiny! – Whoohoo!


Stay tuned in! Follow my blog for the next adventure and if you need a dynamic, refreshing and real speaker to helps people get results… I’d love to speak at your next conference or event. Click HERE for booking information and to download my media kit.

I can’t wait to meet you in person! Let’s make it happen!


Remarkable! Real! and Rebelliously Refreshing! Catrice rocks the stage with an undeniable powerful presence. Innovative workshops. Captivating keynotes. Her messages are energizing, exciting and experiential. Catrice will have your audience engaged, inspired, and empowered to Show UP, SHINE and Do the Damn Thing!



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Enjoyed reading this post. Sounds like you had a comprehensive experience — One that allowed you to see Chicago from a suburban angle.

    Chicago’s suburbs are exciting, and they have plenty of things to experience. They even have restaurants we don’t have access to in the city. Sounds like a wonderful experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catriceology says:

    Yes, Robin! I did enjoy myself for sure. This experience has inspired me to continue to explore and try new foods. I can’t wait to explore more of Chicago!


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