Pamper Yourself with Pinky Up!

bailey piece of cake pinky up

With the exception of a short time in the nineties, I am a lifetime tea drinker. My mother made me tea and toast on the first day of kindergarten and I would rather go to Argo than Starbucks.  Oolong Tea takes me back to the Chinese restaurant in Youngstown, Ohio where we ate before they had a food court in the mall.  I even got the ultimate tea experience and that was Holiday Tea at the Drake Hotel.

That is why I got so excited about the Pinky Up collection from True Brands. One of the best things we can do for ourselves as busy women, is to pamper ourselves. What is more elegant than enjoying a cup of tea and cookies. The teas are treats in themselves with flavors like Tirasmu, Candied Apple, and Peaches and Cream. But the pieces come in contemporary designs as well. I also found out that infused tea has a richer flavor than a tea bag. The Bailey also has an infuser that is included with its special mug.  The bamboo lid keeps the tea warm and also serves as a coaster. They also have other matching accessories with each piece. I love my “Easy as a Piece of Cake ‘ tea towel.


Here is the PinkyUp display at the Tru Brands booth at the International Housewares Show a few months ago.  Love the little tea containers and fun flavors.

a piece of cake tea towel

Make a mess? Simple clean up is easy with the matching tea towel. It can also be used as a dishtowel as well.

 Want to order or learn more go to

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Good Enough to Clean You From Head to Toe.. and Beyond

stop the water while using me

A few days ago was Earth Day. Some might think that this was a throw back to the tree hugging seventies. On the contrary, taking care of Mother Earth isn’t an old concept. All over the world fresh water is becoming harder and harder to conserve. Most of it is being wasted in kitchens and bathrooms.

This is why STOP the WATER WHILE USING ME was developed. It combines ecology with beauty . The products are all natural as well. No chemicals and no animal testing. They are made in Germany and encourage all of how important it is to save water.

I can’t stop talking about the Lemon Honey Bar Soap.  It has that fresh citrusy smell that just boosts your mood. I usually don’t like bar soaps. I am a shower gel girl at heart. The sudsier the better. This soap is totally different. I actually enjoyed the way it made my skin feel and the best part is that I could use it head to toe. It can be used on all of your body parts. The coconut oil smooths the skin and the honey gives the skin that fresh and supple feeling.  Oh and while you are using the product, please make a donation.  But despite the name, you do need to use water . (How else are you going to get clean?)  The name just reminds people to be more cautious about water consumption. All donations go to GOOD WATER PROJECTS and DROP FOR CHANGE.  Both programs are good since they try to get fresh drinking water to third world countries.

You can get the soap and other products online and in many hotels.


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For A BossLady’s Busy Day- Triple Threat Color Stick


It’s hard being a lady boss. Especially when you are an actress , influencer, and blogger. If  I was a little bit younger, it would be easier. (Hey wouldn’t we all like that) But sometimes we don’t know what our purpose and passion are until later in life. Then we focus and set course for the dreams we might have abandoned for the house and kids, or maybe life had a different plan.

I love the concept of Thrive Causemetics . They are a company that definitely believes in the power of sisterhood. Sales from their products goes towards a woman in need. The best part is that it is vegan and no animals are used in testing. The turquoise color is so pretty and on the rim of my bronzer is the words, “Hello Gorgeous.” I love this because on of my favorite roles I did on stage was Fannie Brice in “Funny Girl.”

I love to use the Thrive Triple Threat Color Stick . My color is called Maggie. So many times I will go to the salon with a clean face and then after my hair appointment, I want to spruce up to show off my new do. (Plus to take those all important selfies) In the past, I would pack my purse with all of my cosmetics, they would spill, and then a mess. But that doesn’t happen anymore with the Triple Threat, with one color you can apply it with a brush on your eyes,lips, and cheeks. It saves space and can go in your desk, bag, or even clutch for that big night.

thrive triple threat

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Style is the Word at the International Housewares Show


One of the highlights of the year is the International Housewares Show . There are so many facets to this showcase of new gadgets and new products that is introduced to the  media and vendors. Retailers are always looking for new and exciting products for their customers. Popular culture is a very big buzz word as vendors want their customers to embrace such things as nostalgia, sports, and Disney. Even fashion has made its mark on this show as more vendors embrace bloggers and fashionistas with products that let girls just wanna have fun. A few of the companies that we talked with , did just that.


“It was an idea that I thought up with dealing with females and fashion.” BonNette Iocovozzi told me about their new line called “Camouflage Girl” with the Utica Cutlery Company.  “Traditionally , we have dealt more with males, but with more and more females wanting to express their style as well as an increase with gay males, I thought of the “Camouflage Girl” line. I love it with the its use of the colors of pink and purple. I think its fun and flirty.


“When you think spring, you think pastels and Mother’s Day and tea.” True Brands rep  Carlos De la Riva told me as he proudly displayed his tea and tea supplies line “Pinky Up” . To me it represented high tea and sophistication. It definitely had its feminine side and showed how much we all need to pamper ourselves once in a while. I loved it because I would rather drink tea than coffee. The teas are delicious by the way  in flavors like Tirasmu and Chai Latte.


True Brands not only caters to the girls, but to the men as well. They use sports and hunting designs for glassware and flasks. But they cater to the sophisticated man as well. “This set brings to mind , shaken not stirred, very James Bond and “Mad Men.” de la Riva also said. Sports and science fiction was also very big at the show. This would figure in a sports town like Chicago with our World Champion Cubs.


Everyone loves to be young and heart and everyone loves Disney. “It isn’t just for kids anymore. Disney reaches across the generations and it brings back the innocence of childhood. That’s why Disney is so popular.” Matthew Cermack pointed out to us as he proudly took us on a quick tour of R2 Zrike Brands booth. Jen loved this because one of her favorite cartoons is “Frozen”. As you can see, Disney is very popular. Even the hottest stars have done voices for the Mouse.


Tony Thai of Primeware couldn’t wait to show me his wine fashion line. It’s a purse that holds a bottle of wine. Wow, its something that Olivia Pope needs. Right fellow gladiators?


 We ended our trip to the world of style with this gorgeous display courtesy of the folks of  10 Strawberry Street. Loved it . Of course , there was the usual parade of kitchen utensils , personal care innovations, and cleaning products there as well. The greatest thing about the International Housewares Show is that there is something for everyone.

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Almost Like Being at Home-Ann Sather

ann sather exterior

Being a small town girl, one of the biggest obstacles of the holidays is finding a decent place to eat. Most restaurants don’t serve food that is good and wholesome. They would rather serve food that is showy and in small servings. Sometimes you just have to break down and get back to basics. Holidays are one of those times. We all grew up with traditions that we hold onto .Any one who has moved away from home can relate and appreciate a place that brings back those memories.

Ann Sather is one of those places. It has become a Chicago holiday tradition. Families eat there, couples, or just a group of friends sharing the day. Even an everyday meal at Ann Sather’s is a celebration. But be warned, you will be taking food home. There is plenty for everyone … including the dog. And also forget about the diet, everything is homemade.

In my home growing up,  we always had ham for Easter.  That is what is so great about Ann Sather , no matter your holiday tradition . I chose the ham dinner and I was not disappointed.  The ham was not salty, but tender. The asparagus was crisp and it was followed with mashed potatoes and gravy and a yummy peach compote.  Before the meal was a homemade vegetable soup that was a harvest of fresh vegetables. I am not a soup lover, but even I enjoyed it.


Ann Sather’s is also known for their baked goods. This includes their world famous cinnamon rolls . The rolls are mounds of heavenly gooeyness and cinnamon flavor. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this one. We also got to try the delectable breads and don’t you dare go away without dessert. We chose the luscious apple and a taste of the South, pecan pie.


Forget paying River North prices, the dinners are about twenty dollars . You can also get the food to take home as well.  The Belmont location is the only place that serves holiday dinners. Everyone gets into the holiday spirit here as well. Here is our hostess, Clara, who was more than “Hoppy” to greet us and tell us about the specials.


Ann Sather’s is open daily . They open at seven am to serve a hearty breakfast to get you going. Unfortunately, they are only open until three Mon thru Fri and four on the weekends.  Make sure to come hungry.  Happy Easter from Chitownconnections.

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Give A Boost of Moisture to Your Skin

neutrogena hydro boost gel

This year, I am all about keeping my skin moist and supple. Winter has taken its final bow and spring is here. As a blogger and an actress, it is important to take care of my skin and also remove all of the residue. I have used a lot of cleansers and skin care lines through the years.  My favorite drug store cleanser is the brand new gel cleanser from Neutrogena. It cleanses and removes the makeup. It also doesn’t dry out your skin.

I can feel the cleanser working because it lathers up from a gel to a foam .  It removes all the toxins and impurities. The best part is that it contains the new Hydro gel formula . Hyaluronic acid means that it not only moisturizes , it seals in the moisture and locks it in. It is also the perfect way to guarantee yourself a clean slate in the morning before you put on your makeup. I also feel cleansed at the end of the day when I take off my makeup.

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A Great Catch at Bulldog-All You Can Eat Fish on Fridays

fish dinner

Birthdays are always a great time to celebrate all of the blessings of the past year and look toward the future. I have to admit that I wasn’ t thrilled about my birthday being on a Friday during Lent. That would scratch out all of my plans for any burgers or steaks. Face it, this country gal loves her meat.

Instead I decided to go to one of my favorite neighborhood watering holes. Like my daddy used to say “The best kind of food is bar food.”  One of my family’s favorite dining treats was getting fish on Saturday nights. Well that kind of family dining is back. Some time ago, we got a chance to try some of the meals . This past Friday, we had a chance to try some more of the great dishes. Since it was Friday, we decided to order the all you can eat fish.The best news of all is that the fish and chips dinner is only 9.99. Every night of the week, they have a special where you can get a meal for a reasonable price. Other nights , include burgers, wings, and chicken tenders. All you need to get this great deal is to purchase a beverage.

It was my birthday , so the most logical choice was a cocktail. The drink was a winner  called a flirtini. I wonder if it was the same drink that was featured on “Sex and the City” . The drink was pure pineapple passion mixed with a splash of raspberry.  I love a fruity drink and the Bacardi Fusion had that tropical feel. We also munched on the hummus and guacamole platter while we waited for the fish to come.


The fish was crispy and the portions were huge. Bulldog’s famous cole slaw came in a large bowl. With everything, we actually filled up. Hey! since it’s my birthday, I had to have dessert.  I chose the Baked Brownie Bottom Pie. The bottom of the pan is filled with chocolatey brownie covered with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Want to take Lent out in the right way? Then make your way to the Bulldog Ale House after you attend Good Friday services. The Bulldog is located on Sheridan Road and is a popular place for Loyola students and families.

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