Dishing The Dirt On Grey’s

In 2005 Shonda Rhimes began her meteoric rise with a television show, It introduced the world to a group of young interns. Not only that, it made unknown actors a household name. Grey’s Anatomy took its cuesfrom shows like ER and set the tone for shows to come. We watched Meredith fall in love, Alex mature, and Cristina become the world class surgeon she is today.

 

In her new book How To Save A Life, The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, Lynette Rice takes us down memory lane. As a long time Grey’s or should I say Shondaland fan I was anxious to red this book. These characters have become a part of my life. I’ve actually met with two of the actors that made up the tapestry known as Grey’s Anatomy. Rice leads us on a wonderful journey with interviews, experts from episodes, and the music used. Famous musicians like Isaac Slade tell how their song not only became a hit but a symbol of Grey’s.

 

All the dirt is here too, Through the years Grey’s has had its share of scandals. Rice examines those exits that have made headlines and gets to the source. Rice also pinpoints the most trying patients to come through the doors of Seattle Grace and later Grey Sloan.

 

So whether you’re a student if television or a fan, you will love How To Save A Life. My only critique is why just Grey’s? Just think of the juicy tidbits that would come out of Private Practice, How To Get Away With Murder, or Scandal!

 

If you have a Grey’s Anatomy fan on your Christmas or Hanukkah list this year this book is the perfect gift for them. Find How To Save A Life, The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy at Barnes and Noble, Target, and Amazon.

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Mini Is Big

Summer has arrived, school is out, and everyone needs things they can do as a family, with friends or even on their own. There’s a new fun trend for all ages collecting mini toys such as Mini Brands food and toys, Disney Doorables, World’s Smallest Toys, Cats Vs. Pickles and so many more.

There’s so many varieties of minis to collect. Its’s exciting opening each on because you never know what surprise waits inside! Anyone can enjoy it. You can even find collectors on Tik Tok and Instagram, they’ll even swap or sell minis with you. Its definitely a fun activity no matter the season or the weather. Find your mini collectibles atv Target, Five Below, Walmart and more.

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Mullen’s “A Taste To Take You Back”

It seems everyone is into nostalgia, people want to look back on happier times. Whether its old dishes or classic recipes we want to capture the best part of our childhoods.

While Chicago has many cuisines to try, sometimes you just want simple homestyle food. I recently tried Mullen’s Applesauce and it instantly transported me back to my late mother’s kitchen. Apparently Jim Mullen thought the same way when he created Mullen’s applesauce, it has the cinnamony flavor that reminds me of iron kettles on a crisp fall day cooking apple butter. The chunks of apple complete the picture. Mullen’s only uses all natural ingredients , is gluten free and have no fear its kosher for those latkes.

Mullen’s is truly a success story Jim Mullen took an almost fatal shooting and made it into something positive a delicious thriving business! Try the applesauce known as “Apple pie without the crust today find it in Jewel, Mariano’s and more.

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Chitownstarconnections Christmas Gift Guide

“We need a little Christmas” proclaims a song from the musical “Mame” If there was ever a year we needed it, it would be 2020. Have no fear we have some great holiday ideas. So put on some Christmas music, pour some eggnog and lets do some gifting!
 
Cindy Battisti has taken her love of theatre and especially opera and created some unique pieces of jewelry. Each piece tells the story of these great selections of music, she also has pieces for Hanukkah and Christmas.
 
Spa Treat lets you pamper yourself with it’s products. Don’t we all need a little pampering right now! Check them out at spatreatoffical.com
 
California Gummy Bears is a relativity new company. They’re made from real fruit and are quite delicious. Find them at cagummybear.com
 
Flights in Stilettos lets us look ahead to beaches and pools again’ Each towel is a work of art’ What makes these glam girl towels special is they’re not terry cloth they’re 100% micro fabric making them easier to pack and dry quicker. Get yours at kinyattagray.com
Skineez has all the ways to take care of your body they even have a holiday bundle perfect for that last minute gift.
 
One of the best gifts you can give someone is the gift of good health. Shannon Jackson the people’s nurse, has pulled together the Wellness Box. It’s designed to let the recipient to take care of themselves. I loved the self love book to remind me to eat right and drink plenty of water.   
 
I’ve found a clever way to mix drinks with Mix It Fresh. Pour in your libration, mix it with soda or juice and you have the perfect cocktail. Find it at mixitfresh.com


Everybody wants them. They are one of the hottest this year. They’re Squishmallows! Our favorite is Baby Yoda also known as the Child and most recently Grogu. Squishmallows come in many varieties like Star Wars characters, food and animals. They are available at many retail stores including Walgreens, Costco and Walmart as well as online at Squishmallows.com
 
Have a baby boomer on your list? Here is the perfect gift. David L. Pierce wrote a wonderful capsule of every episode of the 60s sitcom Bewitched. “The Bewitched History Book” not only highlights all eight seasons of this spell binding show, it also points out what was going on at the time. Get your copy on Amazon and the publisher website bearmanomedia.com
 
Want a book that inspires, teaches and entertains the gladiator on your list? Scandal star Columbus Short penned his autobiography “Short Stories” find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


For your foodie friends, they might enjoy a fun story about a chef who opens a diner in  a foreign country. Craig Carlson tells his tale in “Let Them Eat Pancakes” available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. 


 
Kinyatta E. Gray, designer, spins a tale about heaven. She’s a girl with a lot of heart but won’t stop until she gets what she wants. Find “From Section * to CEO on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.


 
Chicago has a rich theatre history that reaches all the way to Hollywood and New York. Mark Larson brings you the biggest theatres in town in a book for all theatre lovers “Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theatre” get yours at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
 
 
 
 
 
 











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Fall In Love With Hint

Being on lockdown forever, I have been taught a few lessons. One is that hydration is the key to feeling good and being healthy.Despite fruit punches, sparkling waters, and sodas, water is still the best way to stay hydrated and cleanse the system at the same time.

I am not a water drinker. I will slice fruit in it but only if the water is iced cold. I will also drink SmartWater if it is cold as well. But if you get down to it, I don’t like tap water because of all the nasty chemicals in it. I will try to avoid it also because of the bland taste. But recently that all changed …

Say hello to HINT.  This fascinated me because it was a bottled water that had a fruit flavor infused into it. I always buy infused water at the grocery store. Looking at the bottle , I thought I would give it a try. The fruit flavor was not overpowering, but killed that bland taste. Hint also has a rainbow of flavors from a tangy lemon to a hint of peppermint. My personal favorites are the pear and pineapple. Just recently, they introduced a clementine flavor which I got a chance to try also. It was also delicious .

HINT satisfies the pickiest of water drinkers and it is great for the whole family. You can find it in the grocery stores and can order it online as well at drinkhint.com and amazon.

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Pamper Your Skin With Lumoir

 

While everyone is worried about their physical welll being, some of us have decided to  tqke care of our inner well being. You need to take care of you , and a big part of that is self love.Being quarantined has wreaked pure hell on my skin between the stress and my rosacea returning. With aging, also comes dry skin . I can’t stress keeping hydrated is so important, but drinking water doesn’t solve all your problems. You need to take care of you…all of you.

 

I have discovered my own personal treat. Lumoir has come out with a great skin cleanser. It is the perfect start for that skin regimen. It smells so great with the green tea and the cleanser helps with the redness. It is gentle on the skin and it is a “spa” in a bottle. Don’t we all need a little pampering right now? The aloe vera helps the skin to bounce back and the cleanser feels so soft on your skin. Just a tiny bit of cleanser goes a long , long way. You will feel pampered and when you look good, you feel good. The bonus is that the cleanser is cruelty free, no animals were used in testing.

Lumoir cleanser is 48.00 and can be ordered through their web site www.lumoir.com  Give your skin a treat today.

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Step Into Spring At Eddie V’s

 

Spring is an awakening, we wake up from our state of hibernation and the year really begins. Chicagoans sit indoors during those bitter cold snowy months forcing themselves out for Restaurant week and that’s about it,. On the average, restaurant attendance drops in the winter because people need time to recover after the holidays both physically and emotionally.

A few days ago we were given a treat. We were given a sneak preview of the spring menu at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood just off the mag mile. We were treated like royalty showered with some great dishes and a cocktail that gave you the feel of the tropics. Eddie V’s prides themselves on their meats and seafood and we were treated to a little of everything.

Our meal started with a sweet Mango mule. Pieces of fresh Mango garnished the cocktail Goslings ginger beer and Tito’s vodka. It was a delicious and refreshing start to our adventure. Our taste buds were tempted with a South African Lobster Tempura. The Fuji Apple salad was perfect introduction to spring. The lettuce was sprinkled with chunks of apples, golden beets, walnuts, blue cheese( Jen’s favorite part) and a apple cider vinaigrette. It was the perfect blend of deliciousness.

I felt like I was in as we dove into the entrees that Chef Jose prepared to us. The prime steak tataki was so tender. I loved the shiitake and oyster mushroom it took me to a another level of delectable. The Misoyaki halibut had a bit of spice to it, the Shittakes gave the Miso broth body and the sugar snap peas completed the dish perfectly. The other feature was the flavorful crispy brussel sprouts in a zippy Korean barbeque glaze and toasted peanuts. We finished with a tender lamp chop with a delicious veal port cherry reduction.

We ended our culinary with two scrumptious desserts. A divine key lime pie that transported to the sunshine state with every bite and if you want to go north the warm blackberry cobbler topped with a scope of vanilla ice cream melts in your mouth. The blackberries took both Jen and I to childhood fishing trips where we picked them.

All these spring menu items are available now at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood visit them at 521 N Rush St in the basement of the Gwen Hotel and give your taste buds the ride of their life!

Many thanks to Chef Gonzalez and the amazing staff for a great evening filled with delicious food and fun.

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Celebrate Good Times At Pizzeria Due

Pizza is a Chicago tradition. There isn’t anything more historical than the deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Due! Pizzeria Uno may be the original but Due carries on Ike Sewell’s grand recipe very well.

On a cold Chicago afternoon we entered the restaurant, looking at the walls we were surrounded by history and you could smell the delicious aroma of pizza through out the Victorian mansion.

Diners are given many choices from their extensive men. Vegans can enjoy sandwiches, salads and even a veggie pizza. Gluten free? They’ve got you covered, and new to their menu a vegan cheese pizza. Delish! Everything is made with care and the freshest ingredients. You definitely won’t go away hungry. On our visit we tried Due’s meatball sandwich it had a garlicy homemade flavor that paired perfectly with their marinara sauce, the sandwich was covered in sauce and gooey cheese. It was so filling I had some left for lunch the next day. it was definitely a delicious winner in my book.

There’s plenty for everyone with a salad bowl, lettuce sprinkled with a savory wine vinegar and olive oil dressing. Next was pizza! We decided to try the thin crust since we’d previously sampled the deep dish, the true winner was the Windy City Works. It was a supreme pizza with that tasty crust. Our lunch ended with a large slice of Chicago cheesecake. Yum!

Did you know you can introduce visitors and newcomers to the deliciousness of Uno and Due? How you ask? Planning your next meeting or maybe a party? Become a superhero with catering from Uno or Due. Want details just ask for Howard!

Pizzeria Due is located at 619 N Wabash Ave, steps from the mag mile. Go grab a piece of Chicago history today.

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A New Year A New You

The beginning of the new year is the perfect time for a change, it allows us to make decisions and start fresh. We all become that bold, fearless woman, we feel invincible like nothing is impossible and we have 365 days to get it right.

With this motivation, I headed to Lakeview and Sine Qua Non Salon. These gals know hair and have been voted Chicago’s best hair salon in 2019 by The Chicago Reader. I knew they were serious about when I saw the antique blow dryers mounted on the wall. This salon actually had a drink menu. Tea, water, wine and beer are served to ensure a relaxing and pleasant experience.

With glass in hand, I was escorted to a chair to get my new cut, my fresh start. My stylist Angela was fun and friendly, every one at Sine Qua was! She was knowledgeable and willing to ask my opinion. With the help of her teacher, Lo they sculpted the new me, my new style makes me younger and thinner. I was so happy with my new bob! My hair went from being dead to alive! I owe it all to Angela and all the gals at Sine Qua Non Salon.


Don’t mess around with an amateur salon go to the best and be treated like royalty, go to Sine Qua Non Salon at 3417 N Lincoln Ave in Lakeview right across from the Paulina brown line stop.

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Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar Brings Texas Size Fun To Rosemont

Arriving from the lone star state is Rosemont’s newest night spot, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar. This new bar is the chain’s only location outside of Texas. Located near the Fashion Outlets of Chicago and Donald Stephens Convention Center. Pete’s can be found in the Parkway Bank Park Entertainment District alongside the Sugar Factory, Hofbrauhaus Chicago, and Kings. Braving the cold, Jen and I hopped on the Blue line to sneak a peek at this place.

As we entered the bar, it was filled with laughter and music. It was obvious we’d be in for a good time. Two piano players allowed guests to request songs. They banged out the best of today and of course some great classics, heck you might even hear some of your favorite tv themes too. Patrons were included in the show transforming into performers.

Bartenders are also stars here. They serve up some of the most delectable drinks you’ll ever drink! No pretentious wines or bitter whiskeys here. Rums and fruit juices are mixed together and topped with a little rubber ducky. If you really want to celebrate, you can order a Schooner! Fruit and alcohol swim around in a large glass big enough to share with up to five friends who will no doubt be very happy. Its truly a party in a glass! I tried a few of their regular cocktails and my favorite was the Dragon Punch made with Bacardi Dragonberry, Peach Schnapps, and Strawberry Pucker combined with cranberry, pineapple, and orange juice, topped off with 7 up and a rubber ducky. Yum!

Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar is approximately 18 minutes from downtown Chicago. If you don’t drive hop on the Metra, the CTA blue line, or grab a Lyft. When you want a guaranteed good time you can’t go wrong with Pete’s. Check out their website for more info. https://www.petesduelingpianobar.com/location-rosemont.html

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