Thursday, January 30, 2014

FUN (& free) Events!

Going with the theme this week of finding JOY in the middle of winter, there are some FUN & FREE events that will be sure to cheer you up :)

I know most of you know the Detroit Public Library and have witnessed its beauty on Woodward, but do you know the history of the building? Do you know about the art or the architecture? Do you know that the library is celebrating is 150th year?! Isn't that incredible? To celebrate, the library is giving FREE tours to all Detroiters. The tours happen the first Saturday of every month from 1:00 - 2:00pm. Be sure to show up early for a spot.

I also know that you guys all know about Belle Isle (obviously!), but too often Detroiters think of Belle Isle as a summer spot which is not true! Just a few nights ago, I had a great walk with my dog along Sunset Point. I am not going to lie, it was brutally cold, but it is still beautiful (even from the warm car!) There were lots of Detroiters parked along the shore, just to gaze at the river, take a moment to appreciate nature, and to find a quiet moment of peace.

Finally, if you have a few dollars to spare the ice skating rink at Campus Martius Park is open weeknights until 9pm and weekends to midnight. Adults skate for $7 and kids for $6, if not don't forget about the DIA which is FREE to all Detroit residents and free to the public on Fridays!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Inspiration

Sometimes happiness in the winter time can be really simple. Sometimes we don't need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff or dance around (though that helps!) or do things that will help us escape it all. Sometimes all we need is something small to inspire joy. This morning I was feeling really down about the winter and stumbled upon these pictures and I couldn't help but smile :) 

Another simple, free, and inspiring tool for joy in the winter is MUSIC. Here is a beautiful winter song that has been getting me by for a few weeks now...enjoy...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Beat the Winter Blues!

Hello everyone! Can you believe that this is the last week of January? I don't know about you guys, but over here at ECHO some of us are getting the winter blues. It has been almost a month since the holiday season and things do not seem to be getting closer to spring here here in Detriot. With the winter in full swing, we think its time for some tips on how to beat the winter blues!

Yes, you read that right: light. It helps us feel happier and healthier. With all of these grey days, it is important to get as much light as possible (especially in the morning). Open your blinds, turn on all the lights, buy a fun new lamp (the Salvatioin Army on Fort St. has everything 1/2 off on Saturdays!), sit back and soak in the rays. Light is a natural remedy for happiness and revitilizing energy.

We know it can be tough to run outside in this weather, but there are many things you can do inside for FREE to stay active. If you have access to a computer, there are many YouTube channels that have full workout videos that you can do without leaving your home. (Here's my favorite: You can also do a few jumping jacks, run in place, or simply climb up and down the stairs a few times. The more we exercise, the more we create circulation and endorphins in the body which results in a happier, fuller, winter day. Even if you touch your toes during a commercial break, just stretching those muscles is a great way to keep your body and mind in a positive place!

You can change your winter blues right from the supermarket! There are a lot of affordable foods that will directly affect our mood through healthy vitimins and nutrients!
           -Vitimin D - Milk, OJ, fortified cereals, cod liver oil, 
            and mushrooms
           -Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Tuna, salmon, sardines, 
           fortified eggs, and Fish Oil supplements
           -B Complex - Cheese, green leafy veggies, eggs, 
            milk, beans
           -Carbs - (balanced with veggies please!) Not enough
            carbs in your diet can affect serotonin levels and 
            your mood; the middle of winter is not the best time
            to go on a low carb diet (but make sure you are not 
            eating too many carbs!)
We know it can be hard to stay positive during the cold winter months, but we hope these tips will help! Please leave a comment in the box below if you have any suggestions on how to stay happy and healthy in January!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's JOB FAIR time

Hello everybody! There is something BIG coming to Detroit next week and we want you all to know about it! Yes, it is a JOB FAIR and it is absolutely FREE to attend. Get your resumes ready and iron that collared shirt because its time to get out there and meet some employers! Before you start printing up those resumes, REGISTER ONLINE FIRST. Again, it is free, but you must register online!

Here are the details: 

9:00AM - 3:00PM
Doubletree Hotel (Detroit/Dearborn) 

5801 Southfield Expressway
Detroit, Michigan 48228
Call for information at: 734-956-4550 or E-mail:

Hired in Detroit Job Fair will target experienced candidates, veterans, interns, blue-collar workers, college graduates and entry-level job seekers for several positions in Wayne County, Oakland County and Macomb County. Candidates should prepare to interview with recruiters onsite, bring 50 resume copies and dress for success. Manufacturing, Production, Industrial, General Labor, Customer Services, Retail, Management, Restaurant, Accounting, Banking, Office Support, Clerical, Data Entry, Call Center, Installation, Technical, Machining, Electrical, Mortgage, Financial Planning, Insurance, Education, Truck Driving, Real Estate, Nursing, Rehabilitation, Human Services, and other career fields. For more information visit our website at and click "Job Fair Registration". Hired in Detroit Job Fair is "Free" for all job seekers to attend. 

If you need help registering, please let us know and we would love to help you!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MOVE Towards Your Dreams

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today we are focusing on our DREAMS. Do you know your dream or passion? Do you have goals and what do you do to achieve them? We believe in dreams here at ECHO. Dreams give us hope to push forward, dreams help us wake up in the morning and go to sleep in peace at night. 

There are many ways to identify your dreams:
journaling, personality tests, recalling childhood memories, realizing your first love as a kid, asking friends or family members, or forgetting about it until something happens in life and then stick with that...some of these are great and really work, but does anyone see a potential problem with this? . . .

We cannot find our passion by thinking about it. We find our passion through doing, because our dreams live in our hearts, not our heads. 

So in order to find your dreams, try to TAKE ACTION. Do something different. Take a dance class, or walk a different way home, or go to a town meeting, or write down your story, or run a marathon, or paint a picture. Do something with vigor and all of your attention and focus. Practice passion in the simplest of tasks like washing dishes or walking the dog. Even if you don't discover what is in your heart today, or tomorrow, or this month--practicing passion through action will create the possibility for something to enter your life (and heart!). 

Here at ECHO we've created what we call an "Action Plan." At first glance, it might seem that this plan helps with getting that "perfect" job or ideal life free from barriers and stumbling blocks. Yes, of course we want all of you to be self sufficient and happy--but we also want to practice this idea of ACTION and goal setting. We like to start with small baby steps--like making it on time to your appointments or paying your bills before they are due. The Action Plan helps to break down these goals into manageable chunks (all of which can be practiced with PASSION!) which will eventually grow into discovering what is really in your heart.

Quit talking and start doing. Stop thinking and start moving. Get up because your dream awaits. 

We believe in you!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Natural Ways to Stay Healthy!

Hello everybody! With the weather changing from cold to warm to rain to snow to sun to clouds (you get the picture), it is really important that we stay healthy. Did you know that when the temperature fluctuates, we are all more likely to get sick? It's true.

We've compiled a list of make-it-yourself remedies for cold, flu, and overall wellness so you don't catch any uninvited virus visitors! Unlike most over the counter cold medication, all of the remedies are made from natural foods and thus are not harmful to your body. Feel free to use these remedies multiple times a day for the best results!

1. Ginger Tea
You can find ginger root at any grocery store or Eastern Market. Using a spoon, grate the brown skin off of the ginger, and cut a few thick slices. Next, put the slices in a pot of water and bring to a boil. (Breathe in the steam over the pot for extra sinus relief!) Allow the water to boil with the ginger for at least 10 minutes. Strain the ginger out of the tea and drink, drink, drink! If you are feeling bold, consume the ginger slice raw for extra benefits (although it will be quite spicy!).

2. Honey & Cinnamon
Mix 1 teaspoon of honey plus 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and enjoy. Consume up to 2 times a day for best results!

3. Garlic
Warn your family and your friends! Expect some serious garlic breath--however garlic has incredible healing properties! Mince 2 to 3 cloves of garlic extra fine and put the pieces in a a small glass of water. Stir it up and drink it as fast as you can! We promise you will be on your way to feeling better!

4. Super Power Drink
Here we go: Peel 1 orange, 1 lb. of carrots, 1 apple (or lemon), and 4 cloves of garlic. Mix in a blender (or if you don't have a blender you can finely chop all of the ingredients and put it in a pot and cook!) (Just remember, that when talking about cold/flu remedies RAW food is much better than cooked food! Raw food has more nutrients and goodies to help your immune system out, so the more raw the better!)

5. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon a day. That's it. It will work wonders and ward off all little creatures out of your system. Don't say we didn't warn you about the taste though...but which is more important? 1 tough spoonful or 1 week sick in bed?

6. Homemade Cough Syrup
4 Tablespoons of honey, 4 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 4 Tablespoons of water.
Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a jar or container. I save all of my old peanut butter jars or salsa jars and simply remove the labels. You can store the mixture in the fridge so it with thicken like cough syrup. Rememb
er to swirl/mix before each use because the cayenne pepper probably float to the bottom!

7. Steam
To clear out your sinuses and lungs, we suggest simply boiling a pot of water on the stove and put a clean towel over your head and the pot (be careful to keep it away from the burner!) Allow the water to come to a boil and inhale the steam. This is a great opportunity to relax and think positive thoughts. They say that most of our sickness can be related to how we feel about ourselves inside--the more positive thoughts, the more better you will feel! Also, try running the shower very hot and closing the bathroom door. Steam will begin to fill the room, and again, breathe deeply. If either of these options do not work for you, try a blowdryer. Plug in your blowdryer at high heat and direct the air towards your face (not too close!). Breathe in the hot air and again, relax.

8. Citrus Fruits/Vitamin C
We're sure you've heard it before, but Vitamin C is very important if you are feeling sick! You can get Vitamin C through citrus fruits, tablets, and even orange juice.

This is the most important step out of all. Stay hydrated. Keep drinking even when you don't want to. It will flush out your system and rejuvenate you. We promise.

10. Try an Old Wives Tale
Why not?! It might just work! It is said if you leave a chopped onion in your room at night while you sleep, it will clear your sinuses and make you feel better by morning! Please leave a comment below if you or anyone you know has tried this before! We are SO curious!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Community Connections: Free Breakfast!

We have some BIG news coming your way this morning! (No, we are not referring to the fact that it is already snowing here...again)
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The Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan is hosting their 19th annual "People's Breakfast" in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, January 20th! 

The breakfast is FREE TO THE PUBLIC! 
Please call 313-831-5122 or email to register! 

You MUST REGISTER in order to get your free breakfast! If you need help, please let us know and we would love to help connect you with the Urban League.

Monday, January 20, 2014 at 8am
208 Mack Ave. Detroit, MI 48201
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Remember: getting involved in your community can connect you to a wide array of opportunities! Who knows who will be at this breakfast? A new friend, a new contact, a new business partner, a new employer...the possibilities are endless when you put yourself out there! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Inspiration: The Broken Pot

Today we want to share a little story with you for some inspiration and cheer on this cold January morning!

The Story of the Broken Pot
           A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on an end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. 

          For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his masters house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts." the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house." 

We hope today that we all can recognize our "cracks" or flaws as qualities that help us grow stronger. When an employer asks you, "What are your strengths? What are your skills?" Think back to this story. Instead of judging yourself for your barriers, think, how did I grow from them? What kind of flowers or seeds did I sow along the way? Wishing you all lots of hope today :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Safety Tips for Extreme Weather

With the below freezing temperature in the past few weeks, we thought we would give you some practical safety tips for extreme cold! 

1. Wear a Hat
Did you know that 50% of our body heat is lost through our heads when we don't wear hats? Wear a hat. You can find one at your local Dollar Store or Party Store for under $5. We can't stress this enough, wear a hat. 

2. Mittens are Warmer than Gloves
Mittens allow all of your fingers to stay together generating their own body heat. This is a way better alternative than each individual finger freezing because of a glove. Invest in mittens, or make your own out of an old sweater or sweat pants!

3. Rubber Boots
If you can't afford winter boots in this weather, go buy a pair of rubber boots (rain boots, goulashes). They are much cheaper and better insulated than sneakers or any other kind of shoe. You can find rubber boots for cheap at Meijer, WalMart, and some Dollar Stores. Layer a piece of fleece or fabric around your sock for extra warmth in the toe area!

4. Plastic Bag Insulator
If you do not own water proof shoes or if you need extra warmth, a great insulator is a simple plastic bag. Before putting on your boot, wrap the plastic bag around your sock tying it securely around your leg. Then, slip in your foot into the boot and you are ready for the cold! 

5. Warm Rice
A cheap alternative to hand and foot warmers is RICE (or dried beans). Take a piece of fabric (a cut up old t-shirt or sock) and fill it with rice. Before you leave the house, microwave the pouch for 20-30 seconds and then tie off to secure and place into boots or mittens. 

Do you have any tips or tricks that got you through a Detroit winter? We'd love to hear them! Please leave a comment below! 

Friday, January 10, 2014


Welcome to the ECHO Program! Thanks for stopping by :)

We will be posting weekly on Tips & Tricks, Motivation & Inspiration, and Community Connections.

Please feel free to ask us questions in the comment box below or call us at (855) 363-ECHO (3246) or (313) 674-5077.

Thanks and have a great day!