Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sunday On A Boat

And just a few more photos from our Sunday boat outing on the Chicago river...

This was taken shortly before Chris drove us under the fountain for a brief little "shower."

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you have to see Chicago by boat if you ever get the chance. It just changes the entire feel of the city. Take an architecture boat tour, rent an electric boat or pontoon boat, or just jump on a kayak. You won't regret it.

And later Sunday afternoon was spent trying to tame the wild Harlow at the festival that was going on down our street, The Taste of Lincoln Avenue.

You can't really tell via photo, but this is his ornery look.

At one point on Sunday Chris left Harlow in the backyard for about ten seconds (something we do on a regular basis) and Harlow ran straight for the alley and into the festival. Luckily a guy grabbed the little devil just as he ran through the gate, headed straight toward the kabob stand. Har's usually too timid to be a runner, he typically doesn't go more than ten feet away from us, but when he got one whiff of the The Taste of Lincoln he said forget you guys and made a run for it.

And because it started to rain right when Rusted Root took the stage, we headed to my dad's favorite spot for blues in Chicago, Kingston Mines. While we watched the talented Chicago musicians sing the blues we munched on plated of fried everything- from okra, to shrimp, to mushrooms, it was all very good. And made me feel like absolute shit the next day. Can't say I was too surprised.

Anyway, it's currently after 12:30 a.m. and I'm exhausted. My improv team, The Sneak Around Bunch, had our first premier at the Second City tonight and I'm happy to report it was an absolute blast. But more on that tomorrow. Sleep is calling my name.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Talk Herbie To Me

It's basically August which we all know means Husker season is right around the corner. And so it's that time once again to start ordering your favorite tailgating tops. And thus I present to you the first official "Talk Herbie To Me" shirts and crop tops for both men and women. 

And yes, if you can't tell I am super excited with the way they turned out. I already know I will be living in mine because Husker season hasn't even started and I've already been wearing it around all the time just because it feels right.

Guess who else loves them? This good looking dude.

So here's what you need to know. The shirts are $19 + $5 shipping.

Chris is wearing a unisex XL t-shirt in the photo above. In the photo below I am wearing the racerback tank-top, size small.

In the photo below I am wearing the crop top style in size small. The tops run pretty true to size, if anything I would say the crop is just a little bit big.

This is a pre-order, so than means you need to get your orders in by 8/1 to ensure a delivery by the week of 8/18 (or sooner.) So just make it easy on everyone and order it now.

Trust me on this one, this is the shirt to have this season because it just screams fun. So order yours today and let's all start talking Herbie.

GBR friends, let's make this the best season yet. #talkherbietome

*Please send all questions to thedailytay@gmail.com. If you are sending a check by mail please email me for my PO box. Thanks so much!

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*this is an in-post advertisement

Make Your Kitchen Earthy

How To Give Your Kitchen An Earthy Feel 

Everyone likes to feel at home in their home – just standard really! But what elements really make a space earthy, relaxing, inviting and truly homey? Getting back to nature is what! It’s important to note though – before you try to renovate your entire home – that not everything has to change. Sometimes all it takes is picking the right zone and adding particular features to create that organic vibe. And as a high traffic and impact area, the kitchen is a great place to start – even just a couple of well-placed plants from Super A-Mart could be all you need!

Hues of Warmth

Colour may seem like the obvious choice, but it really does have the biggest impact when it comes to the overall atmosphere of your home. The walls are your earthy canvas, so neutrals are the way to go – but don’t feel like you have to use all brown to be earthy! Beiges and cream are perfect choices as you can dress them up with dark rustic features. Splashes of olive green, white, and even gold will also add impact and keep your kitchen away from the drab.

Material Finish

Natural materials mean a natural finish and therefore a natural ambience in your kitchen. Wood flooring is timeless, and if you’ve gone for the lighter approach in the walls and cabinetry, then be daring and go dark with this feature. Slate or stone tiles are also great as they will bring in the rustic. Natural materials can also be included in light fittings, such as recycled glass, or introduced in the simple fruit bowl by going wicker.

Natural Touches

How do you really get your earthy vibe on? Let some nature in! Let in as much natural light as possible; the less artificial light you have, the less artificial your kitchen will be. Chucking the heavy curtains and replacing them with wooden blinds is an easy idea. Also, plants are as back to nature as you can get, but pick something durable and easy to look after, particularly if the kids want to take charge. Bamboo plants are great for this, and they have the added advantage of looking very cool.

Added Extras

Details matter when it comes to kitchen themes, as majority of this space has to be filled up with so many essentials that the small elements can often be the biggest. A simple fruit bowl filled with bright, colourful fruit such as lemons is elegant and organic, and heavy items such as timber stumps for stools or stool-tops, can create more depth and warmth. A fish bowl can also be a great way to make a space more personable and natural.

Kitchens can be expensive and complicated places, so simple is better. When picking a theme, don’t overcomplicate it; chose items, colours and textures that immediately come to mind when thinking ‘earthy’, and roll with it. After all, nature and the outdoors are meant to invoke feelings of comfort, relaxation and freshness, and if you’re not feeling this vibe when you start re-designing, then your kitchen won’t be feeling it either!

The Weekend Stuff

Whenever my parents come to town it's a whirlwind of eating, drinking, and just a lot of fun. This weekend was no different. They've been having more fun than me since the 80s and they still are.  

The minute they got off the train and got to my house we jetted over to the J Parker for afternoon drinks before the place got too clubby. We had about one hour before before the music got too loud and the people got too pushy. I'm such a grandma I hate having drinks when I can't have a conversation. 

And fries should never be eaten with mayo. That's just gross. But why is it soooo good?

After a long night of bar hopping and eating too much on Friday evening we started Saturday off with some bloodys at Dunlays on Clark. And by "long night" I mean 11:00 p.m., my family likes to start early and end early. That's kinda how I prefer it, as well. Happy hours are always better than after hours. Now if only I could get late-nighter Chris on board with this idea as well...

And this fried egg sandwich at Dunlay's is to die. This crappy photo doesn't do it justice, but trust me on this one. If you ever go there you need to order this.

After a solid base of carbs and bloodys we headed up to Wrigleyville for the Cubs game.

You just can't go to a baseball game without getting a hot dog. For some reason encased meat just tastes better at a baseball stadium. Same goes for peanuts. I would never go somewhere and willingly buy peanuts and be happy about it, but at Wrigley I am.

And that concludes part one of weekend stuff.  I felt like I had too many photos for one post and because I'm proud of myself for being a big girl blogger and bringing out my fancy camera you better believe I'm posting all of them.

Happy Monday! woof.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Do What Makes You Happy

Today I'm sharing an informational post about something I don't usually talk about; cosmetic surgery. My thoughts on cosmetic surgery are pretty simple- if it makes you feel better about yourself well then who am I to judge? If a few nips and tucks make someone a happier person, well then so be it. There's plenty of other things to worry about in this world the way I figure it.

As for me personally, well I've just never had an interest in cosmetic surgery. Besides that one implant surgery... However ask me again in twenty years and I might give you a different answer.


Why cosmetic surgery is more commonplace than think These days, cosmetic surgery seems to be everywhere. This is probably because it can be applied to almost anything and anyone. It has various intensities and is therefore not nearly as intimidating as it was during its earlier days—days that consisted of only a few known procedures, all of which were considered extreme and unnecessary by those who had heard of them. During recent years, however, the idea has blossomed into something almost as commonplace as hair products or skin cream. Why might this be, you ask? Let us speculate.

More Knowledge

In the beginning, cosmetic surgery was a rather foreign concept to anyone who wasn’t either in the entertainment business or a practicing specialist. Nowadays, information regarding the effects, forms and degrees of treatment has been extended to just about anyone who wants to know. This has been achieved overtime through the rise of internet-based research, websites providing medical details of each and every procedure out there; intensive media coverage on the topic has also brought cosmetic surgery to commonplace – just pick up any tabloid and there will be at least one story about a celebrity’s decision to go under the knife. Whether people are curious or critical of it, there is a general acceptance of cosmetic surgery that wasn’t always present in our society, and this is largely due to the sharing of useful information. For example, Cosmos Clinic—a clinic founded by Dr Ajaka that specialises in plastic surgery—has a website dedicated to the distribution of the procedures it offers, along with detailed information on the nature of each.

Medical Purposes

Thanks to research and experience over time, people are now discovering the medical benefits of undergoing cosmetic treatment. Botox has been proven to reduce chronic migraines, for instance, and breast reduction has been known to minimise back trauma. Cosmetic surgery is even being used to correct deformities, warts, and common injuries - namely injuries that have resulted from work-related incidents (construction work, mining, fire fighting, etc.). The idea that this sort of treatment can be beneficial to one’s health gives the sceptics of plastic surgery a degree of comfort. Again, more knowledge equals less suspicion.

Guaranteed Improvements

Unlike exercise or dieting—both of which are highly beneficial, but will seldom result in a flawless body overnight—cosmetic surgery assures you of near-instant bodily enhancement, whether you are reducing your stomach size or erasing acne scars. The results of treatment are rapidly evolving to the point where, rather than being painfully obvious, it is almost completely unnoticeable to the untrained eye. In fact all that is obvious to those who encounter a treatment veteran is that there has been a vast improvement in their looks, not to mention an aura of confidence that wasn’t there before. To put it simply, improvements in cosmetic surgery have opened people up to the idea of further improvement in that particular style, a style that—like most things—has become less threatening the longer it has been around.

All in all, cosmetic surgery has risen in popularity for good reason. It is your classic rags-to-riches story. In other words, rather than being an overnight sensation, it has risen to the top, and in many ways this is a more effective method of gaining positive recognition.

*Comments turned off.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Coconut and Stripes

Introducing Meghan from Coconut and Stripes.

1. Let's start simple, how did you choose the name of your blog?

Well, if your kitchen cabinets and your closets are a window to your soul, then my soul is coconut flavored and striped. On a daily basis, you would probably find me using the following: coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flour, coconut butter... you get the idea. That's normal, right? Anyways, between my inability to stop purchasing anything and everything striped, and my cabinets full of coconut, I figured Coconuts + Stripes was pretty much a no-brainer.  

2. I understand you're leaving NY soon, what will you miss most?

There are a lot of tangible things that I miss already, like our friends, our favorite neighborhood restaurants, my yoga studio, my office and my colleagues, all those kinds of daily routines. But what's really been hard is leaving behind that feeling of being in the middle of everything. New York's energy is so unique, and every time you leave your apartment, there is this sense that you can go anywhere and do anything, and some kind of adventure awaits you. I think in other places, you have to be more deliberate about finding those adventures, because it usually involves making a plan and getting in a car to drive there. In New York, you can just walk a few blocks or hop on the subway a few stops and discover something new and amazing any day of the week. I lived there for 12 years, and still felt my heart skip a beat whenever I'd ride into the city and catch a glimpse of the skyline. It's a really special place.

3. On that same note, what are you most looking forward to about LA?

Three words: No. Polar. Vortexes. I really never thought I'd leave New York, but we started talking about it seriously back in January, when my boyfriend decided he was ready to take the leap and pursue comedy full-time. Somehow, he strategically began those conversations on days when the high was below zero (that's fahrenheit, people, not celsius), and I was much more amenable to the idea of bidding my coat and boots farewell forever. So the endless summer is certainly a huge draw, and along with that the proximity to nature and the beach and having a car to access all of it is going to be amazing. Oh, and of course, there's that puppy that i've been promised once we get settled... talk about a smart negotiating tactic to get your girlfriend to move across the country. I wrote a little more about what I'm excited about in this post a few weeks ago.

4. What's it like to spend a summer in France?

It was pretty incredible, but in a different way than we anticipated. Yes, it was stunningly beautiful (this is the village we stayed in), there was cheap wine everywhere, we gorged ourselves on macarons and steak frites, and we got a chance to travel around Europe, but there were times when it was more work than I had expected, especially since I apparently retained approximately 2% of the French I studied in high school and college. That being said, it was a particularly great experience to get us out of our comfort zone and take on a challenge together, so I'm really so happy we had the chance. Oh, and we totally fell in love with the dog we were there to take care of, and did I mention the cheap wine? Overall: it was awesome.

5. What has blogging taught you thus far?

I started blogging to document our move, our crazy summer travels, and all the fun new things that I'm sure we're going to discover in LA. So far, I've learned just how much I needed this creative outlet in my life. So much of what I do for fun outside of work is physical (I'm a running and yoga maniac), and it's been amazing to have something more cerebral to spend my free time on. I've also learned to take way more pictures than I used to, and use the blog as an excuse! But I'm so happy to have this record of one of my most life-changing summers, and look forward to adding more fun experiences as we get settled in LA. Oh, and probably lots of pictures of the beach. So there's that.

*Comments have been turned off, to say hello to Meghan click here.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Teeth

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So here's something you might not know about me: I am obsessed with teeth. I always have been. If there's a whitening product out there I have probably tried it, because as you can see in the photo above I'm also a coffee drinker. Coffee stains aren't great for white teeth. When I was in high school and college I was so obsessed with keeping my teeth white I refused to drink any sort of dark liquid, soda or coffee.

But then I came became an adult and realized coffee is just a must. There's no way around it. And so I'm always looking for a way to keep my teeth clean and white, which is where Truly Radiant comes into play.

Truly Radiant removes 100% more surface stains than other toothpastes while also smoothing surface imperfections and restoring shine. It's the only toothpaste with baking soda, peroxide, and active calcium.

After only seven days, I can actually see a noticable difference in the color of my teeth. But even more importantly, my teeth just feel better thanks to the Spinbrush. I feel like I'm the last person to finally get a Spinbrush!

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Like I said, I've tried every teeth whitening product, but I had never taken the plunge and bought a Spinbrush before. I've had countless dentists and even friends of mine that are in dental school tell me time and time again that a Spinbrush can reach places regular toothbrushes can't. They told me if I care about my teeth, I should purchase a high quality Spinbrush. And yet I never owned one.

Until now. And I am so glad I finally have one! It truly work wonders. My teeth actually feel stronger, cleaner, and whiter than ever before! Which makes sense because the Spinbrush removes 100% more plaque than a regular toothbrush.

For more information, check out Alison Sweeney's tips to bring out your inner radiance.

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