Pizzeria Uno and Due is All About the Passion Behind the Pizza

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There is no doubt in my mind that Chicago is a pizza town. That is unfortunate for someone who is trying to lose weight and is too big for Los Angeles. We have tried so many pizzas and there are so many different kinds. Well today, we were fortunate enough to get to dine at one of the biggest Chicago icons, Pizzeria Uno and Dos. Now what makes this pizza place different from every other deep dish pizza place in town? It is where the original deep dish pizza was originated. We chowed on this heavenly delight along with other dishes with only the one person who has made pizza his life’s work, Howard McHale. Howard is the sales director for the Pizzeria Uno franchise.

Howard is the go to person for when you want to know anything about pizza. He not only sells the brand and sets up events, he is a pizza ambassador”. Uno’s is the iconic brand that people have to have when they visit the Windy City. Celebrities like Vince Vaughn , Amy Schumer, the Bulls, and Patti Labelle have sat in the famous booths and enjoyed that scrumptious deep dish pizza. But what is the story behind Chicago’s biggest icon? According to Howard, Ric Riccardo had originally opened the restaurant known as Pizzeria Uno in 1943. He originally wanted to open Chicago’s first Tex Mex restaurant. But then he tried it and decided to open a pizzeria instead. (It didn’t appeal to him) Him and Ike Sewell decided that pizza deserved to be more than an appetizer, so the Chicago deep dish was born. And today , we thank them for that. It is a pie that is a pizza and is loaded with fresh ingredients and when in Rome, we had to try the king , “The Uno.” This was a treat for Jen since her family came here from Sicily. All Italian dinners start with salad, and that was our starting point.  It was so healthy with the fresh lettuce, cherry tomatoes, onions with the homemade wine vinegar dressing sprinkled on top. The party kept going with wings and their special shrimp and crab  dip I like meaty wings and the sauce didn’t burn my mouth. They were baked and not fried, healthy. Now the “Uno” has all the good stuff in it. It is meaty and to me a pizza isn’t a pizza without mushrooms, onion and peppers. And it is a pie with a thick crust and the filling is the veggies and meats. The dinner ended with another little piece of heaven, their cheesecake. It is the piece de resistance of the meal. Thick cheesecake with whipped creme drizzled in either strawberry or chocolate. Oh and definitely plan on leftovers. You can also find the Uno pizzas in the grocery store and they have made it their mission to spread the gospel of “pizza”. They have several other stores including ones in the DFW airport and Schaumberg. They also participate in a great program called Pizza for Patriots. They sent a slice of home to our fighting troops to remind them of what they are fighting for. But if you want to visit the home of the “original” deep dish , go to 29 East Ohio Street and prepare for a pizza-rific meal.

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The Uno is a meal in itself. You come to Chicago , you go to Unos.

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A Fairytale With a Very Happy Ending ..Fairytale Brownies

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There isn’t a better cure all than chocolate. It heals a broken heart or allows someone a way to show love. Haven’t we all had a day the boss chewed us out or did badly on a test? The one thing that can make the bad go away is in candy, ice cream, or brownies. Valentines Day is coming up and nothing says love more than brownies , especially if they are from the Fairytale Brownie company . Chocolate, caramel, toffee, white chocolate and cool chocolate mint are some of the treats you can eat .

 Friendship , love, and childhood is the basis of this company that is located in Arizona. They are one of the leading online cookie companies in the world. David Kravetz and Eileen Spitalny have been friends since childhood and in 1992, they decided to make their dream come true. The two spent many hours in a friend’s kitchen perfecting their recipes.But don’t think that Fairytale Brownies are just for Valentines Day. They help us celebrate … they thank a client for a good job… they congratulate someone on births or marriages. They just make people make feel good. So be a good gal pal and give some brownie love to your friend for Valentines. (Or just treat yourself after that breakup)

The best part is that your purchase helps to build a playground for some special kids. They are students at the Arizona Autism Charter School and Fairytale is pairing with Kaboom to build this wonderful playground. You can also donate after your purchase or even write a check . Make it out to  Fairytale Brownies Playground Project and mail to Fairytale Brownies attn: Alyssa Andrews 4610 E Cotton Center Blvd. Ste 100 , Phoneix Az. 85040

Bring the joys of childhood to these special kids

http://www.brownies.com/

kids-smiles

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Simply Eden Products Are Paradise For Your Skin

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Athena Steadman stands outside her store where she makes the most amazing soaps and lotions.

Actors, directors, and just plain celebrity watchers come to Park City every year to see the films , see who is who , and visit the special gifting suites at Sundance. One of the most popular ones is the Indie Lounge. Entrepreneurs bring their products to these lounges in the hopes they can give them to an influencer or celebrity who will share them on social media. I got the chance to get some really great products to try and these soaps and lotions are one of those.

Simply Eden products come from the unspoiled mountains in Utah. The founder of the company is Athena Steadman . A diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis caused her to leave a fast paced life to go back to the basics. This led her to realize that the regular soaps and lotions were too harsh for sensitive skin. She found out that goat’s milk had vitamins and minerals and natural fats. These products have the most amazing scents and make your skin feel as pampered as the most expensive boutiques and spas. I got to try some of these products which proved to be a Godsend in the arctic Chicago weather. Here are a few of my favorites.

I am a huge fan of Bath and Body Works products and also miss my late and lamented Victoria Secret Pear Glace products as well. I think that smells evoke memories and emotions. The goat milk that is used in the soaps comes from very well treated Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats. The milk is used to make the lotions and soaps. I am totally in love with the Grapefruit Peppermint and Poppyseed soap. It is so creamy, just needs to be a little bit more foamy.  I do love the light fragrance and the grapefruit smell does wonders for my depression from the winter weather.

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Picture the sunny pink grapefruit from Southern climes mixed with a refreshing peppermint. You have the Grapefruit Peppermint soap sprinkled with poppyseed and essential oils.

Another product has such a classy name and it is designed to make your skin feel pampered. I love slathering my skin with the Little Black Dress lotion . I picture the shops of Michigan Avenue and Rodeo, walking in a pair of Christian Laboutins swinging my Louis Vuitton in the kickiest black dress as I go to an event or on a date. It has a patchouli and musky scent with some sandalwood . And you can slather some on your man as well. This one is great for that Valentines love fest.

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Lavender has such a calming effect and that can be a wonderful thing in our modern crazy world. Lavender and Clay face soap marries the lavender with the skin and takes your stressed skin down a few notches while it cleanses and moisturizes your skin. The peppermint and lavender foot and body balm continues the de stressing process. I just feel better after I take a whiff of the lavender soap . Maybe I will get some to put in with my lingerie to pamper it as well. I am ending my review of Simply Eden with my absolute favorite and that is the Sweet Orange Chili Pepper body mousse. It reminds of the orange groves of Florida where I spent a large part of my childhood. It also reminds me of the bright future in California. And hurray its a citrus fest! It even contains real orange juice to give it that citrusy feel , with that little tang. Mix it with shea butter and cocoa butter to make your skin smooth and ease dry skin.

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Bulldog Alehouse – A Place to Just Hang Out For Good Times and Good Food

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There is a new place in town. It is a great place for that business meeting , to sit down and watch that championship game, and also the food and drinks are top notch. Bull Dog started in places like Carol Stream and Aurora and now slowly but surely, it is making its way into the Windy City. We got the chance to visit the newest Bulldog right down the street from us.

There was just so much food to choose from that one visit just won’t do it. The bar is well stocked with wines and brews. They even have some special cocktails that we will try when it gets warmer. But with so much to try , we decided to go with our server’s recommendation and munch on some starters. They range from the super spicy jalapeno poppers where the filling is actually in real jalapeno peppers to the loaded chicken nachos. When they say loaded, they mean it. These nachos are covered with cheese, sour creme, and fresh guacamole. (Everything is made in house) Chunks of chicken are thrown in to make it a taste experience. You can get them with or without the jalapenos. They also have wings with (count em) fourteen sauces. You can even get boneless wings and on Thursdays they are only 89 cents with a beverage. Their pizza is a winner too. I paired this food with a glass of Angry Orchard cider. Ciders are featured here too.

The entrees are meals in themselves. We tried the macaroni and cheese and I got to tell you , it is the best mac and cheese that we have tried in a while. The sauce had that cheesy flavor and the bread crumbs on top added to the dish. If you want, they will also add andoule sausage , chili , or chicken to the mac and cheese. But for the record, if you are purist , the mac and cheese will be the ultimate comfort food. Good to know with Lent coming up.

Burgers are works of art at Bulldog. The burgers are big and there is a wide variety of toppings that you can enjoy. You can put an egg and ham on a sandwich and put  it between two waffles. Cheese is the word with American, Swiss, and Goat cheese. You can even get a sandwich with a pear on it. Jen is such a purist that she had to order the American burger. It definitely made two meals.  I opted to try one of the salads and a wrap. Salads and wraps are stuffed with only the good stuff and the dressings are made right in the restaurant . The salads are filled with only good and natural things. I tried the goat on a date and there was plenty of grilled chicken and avocado in it. The bang bang shrimp wrap has a yummy chili sauce that had a little kick to it. I also had to have one of my faves and that is the reuben with curly fries. The sandwich was on toasted marble rye with a stack of corned beef.

The desserts we tried were scrumptious . The doughnuts came with homemade sauces that were rich and thick. The chocolate was my favorite . as well as the raspberry . I really liked the other dessert , the apple crumble. Slices of apple were put in layers and topped with ice cream and covered with a crumb crust. The apple crust reminded me of something that my mother made and it took me back home to Ohio. That is another feature of this place is with so many dishes, no matter if you come from California or Ohio, you will find something that reminds you of home and that is so important with so many transfers and students that come from different parts of the country. Bulldog is also a great place to go to with mom and dad when they say they want to take you and your new friends out. There are specials every night like dollar burger night and the all you can eat fish fry on Friday.There is also a 6.99 lunch menu and food for the kiddies as well.  With great food like this, Bulldog is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and we hope they will be around for quite a long time.

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Say Goodbye to Winter with the Midwest Rum Fest

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It has been a long winter and its time to celebrate. What is more festive than enjoying some yummy rum cocktails? Not only that , you would learn about the rum industry and how to make some of these drinks.

Be part of the 3nd Annual MidWest Rum Festival Returns To Chicago

April 8 / Logan Sqaure

TheRumLab.com is proud to celebrate the 3rd Annual MidWest Rum Festival on Saturday, April 8 at Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N Kedzie Blvd) in Chicago.

The USA is considered one of the most important countries in the entire rum industry. Before the American Revolution, rum was the most consumed spirit, and now experiencing a renaissance. The Rum Lab – program focused on becoming the Official Rum Expo throughout the northern USA. The RumLab team are the producers of the NY Rum Fest, Taste of Rum Puerto Rico, the official national rum fest along with the California Rum Festival. Each event attracts hundreds of attendees ranging from, trade, rum aficionados, tourists and locals.

The event is divided in two sessions from Noon – 5:30pm.

The Spirit Industry Session consist of a one hour program (Noon – 1pm) offering industry professional the opportunity to network with brand representatives, attend training seminars, taste a wide variety of rums and mingle with industry colleagues. Tickets: Early Bird: $25.00 / Week of event: $35.00.

The Rum Aficionado Grand Tasting Session consist of a four hour program (1:30pm – 5:30pm) offering the attendees the opportunity to taste new rums, attend brand seminars and mixology demos, as well as local artists booths. Tickets: Early Bird: $70.00 / Week of event: $90.00.

est speakers include:

  • Bryan Davis – Bryan Davis is most noteworthy for inventing and patenting the first process documented to successfully replicate the effects of barrel ageing of distilled spirits in a laboratory (the Davis method). He is also the founder of Lost Spirits an award winning distilled spirits manufacturing company which uses the technology to manufacture its products as well as license the technology to third parties.

  • Richard Seales – Richard Seales is the master distiller and blender at both Foursquare Distiller & R. L and is based out of Barbados.

  • Jerald O’Kennard – Jerald O’Kennard is a beverage contributor to CNBC, BusinessWeek TV, and BBC’s Radio International and is often quoted by the New York Times Business 2.0, Wall Street Journal, Men’s Journal, Reuters, and other national and international publications on the subjects of wines, beers, and spirits.

  • Nicholas Feris – Nicholas Feris started Seattle’s first rum society, The Rum Collective.

Tickets can be purchased at  http://www.midwestrumfest.com/buy-tickets/. For more information visit http://www.midwestrumfest.com/.

Here is a special link that lets people save 50%

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-midwest-rum-festival-chicago-tickets-30211044046?discount=CTC

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The Windy City is no match for Neutrogena-Hydro Boost for Extra Dry Skin

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Chicago is known for the cold and they don’t call it the Windy City for nothing. The wind makes the skin rough and turns it red. Unfortunately, it also makes the skin wrinkle and makes us look older. Add to it the stress of big city living, chemicals in the make up, and just today’s lifestyle. Add it all up and it adds up to wrinkles, turkey neck, and brown patches.

I love this gel cream because it goes on smooth under make up . It is the ultimate moisturizer and it has a nice fragrance. It can also be used when you aren’t wearing make up to nourish the skin on those no make up days. It doesn’t clog the pores. It isn’t greasy either like other creams. The secret is the purified hyaluronic acid. It is the same ingredient that is found in the skin that acts like a sponge. I also like the idea that the Hydro Gel was used as a primer that make up artists used on Kerry Washington at the Golden Globes this year. It makes the perfect base for a Red Carpet look or just to make you look like a star.

For more about Neutrogena go to http://www.neutrogena.com

2017 Weinstein Company And Netflix Golden Globes After Party - Arrivals

Kerry Washington always has that movie star look that makes her always at the top of the A list…Neutrogena helps her to get that look.

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Beauty is Perfection at EGA Salon and Spa – a review

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We all have busy lives. They involve luncheons, meetings, auditions,shopping, taking care of our families and a million other things. But sometimes with the kids, the job, and the significant other, we forget to treat ourselves. Thanks to a couple friends, I found a great place right in Lakeview  that not only makes you beautiful , they make you feel like a star.

With this blog and my acting career, you never know when you are going to be going to an event or hopping on a plane. So this is definitely the place to go when you have got a full plate and not much time. They treat you like a queen. EGA has many services, but I decided to try them out with one of their signature manicures. It was a pleasurable experience and I will definitely be back.

I walked in and was immediately greeted by none other than the owner, Erika Gonzalez Arandia. Erika is the perfect example of women empowerment . The salon  was her dream and the spa has only been on Halsted for eight months. Erika comes from Bolivia and has worked in Buenos Aires, La Paz , and New York before she came to Chicago . The spa- salon is truly her vision.  She was very hospitable and offered a large selection of beverages. I was quite excited to find out that Erika uses OPI for manicures and pedicures. There was so many to choose from, even some of the colors that I had. I finally found a shade of purple and prepared myself for the pampering. Pampering was the exact thing that I got. Erika is an expert at what she does and she makes the customer feel like they are old friends. I love the idea that i was made welcome and for once I could actually relax my wrist . No tenseness there. The mani was quick, my nails were completely dry with no smears, and Erika even helped me on with the coat so I would be free to just hold my drink and enjoy the beautiful sunshine .

Erika will welcome you as well. EGA also will travel to events, proms, and weddings as well. They take care of you from head to toe. Visit them today at 3009 N Halsted in Boystown. Call 773-975-HAIR.

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Erika was awesome and such a sweety . She will take care of you too. Thanks for the great manicure and the hospitality.

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The finished product and in less than a half hour…

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