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How To Make Your Trip To New York City Absolutely Amazing

by Jennifer Wieland
Five great tips to make your trip to New York City absolutely amazing!

Five great tips to make your trip to New York City absolutely amazing!

If you’ve decided to travel to New York City soon, it’s important to think and act strategically. Doing so will help ensure that you have fun, save money, and leave the city feeling enriched and rejuvenated. Here are five techniques you can implement to ensure that your trip to the Big Apple is incredible:

1. Book Everything In Advance.

One great way to make your trip to NYC absolutely amazing is by booking everything in advance. This strategy will enable you to save money while also avoiding the frustrations that tend to transpire when you wait until the last minute to book your hotel, flight, etc. There are several websites that make booking simple and strategic, including This website empowers you to compare and contrast the pricings of several companies so you can make a cost-effective decision.Five great tips to make your trip to New York City absolutely amazing!

2. Take A Bus Tour.

Another great way to make your trip to NYC phenomenal is by taking a bus tour. These tours enable you to enjoy the sight-seeing process and familiarize yourself with the history of the city without the hassles that come with walking. NYC bus tours companies like Go New York Tours are pleased to provide clients with a wide range of package options that will enable them to enjoy local attractions. This company also offers clients discounts for purchasing their packages via Internet.

3. Make Health A Must.

In addition to taking a bus tour, remember to make health a must while you travel. This step is important because many people throw wellness out of the window while on vacation and then find themselves feeling and looking horrible during and after the trip. Avoid this negative outcome by implementing health strategies that will help you look good and feel great throughout your traveling experience. One technique you can employ to make it happen is booking a hotel that features a gym. In this setting, you can keep yourself lean and trim by using great equipment like the treadmill, elliptical, cycling machines, and whatever else they feature.

Another great way to stay healthy while on vacation is finding restaurants that feature delicious, nutritious foods. An example would be vegan restaurants that enable you to avoid the typically high fat content of animal products. You can also pack healthy snacks for your plane flight to avoid fattening foods like sodium-rich peanuts.

4. Go With A Group.

If you really want to have an amazing time on your trip to New York City, be sure to go with a group. This technique will empower you to save money on your hotel and flight while also ensuring that you can share your experience with people you love.

5. Research All Service Providers.

One final strategy you should employ to ensure that you have a fabulous time in NYC is researching all service providers. Doing business with reputable retailers is a great way to avoid scams, poor customer service, and other realities that tend to transpire when you utilize the products and services of a sketchy company. There are several strategies you can employ to ensure that you’re purchasing your services and products from ethical companies. One is to check each company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. If the company does not have a BBB rating, be sure to carefully read the online reviews left about them.


If you’re planning to travel to NYC soon and want to have a fabulous time, now is the time to implement techniques which ensure that you can. You can utilize some or all of the travelling tips outlined in this quick reference guide to ensure that your trip to the Big Apple is absolutely amazing!






Enjoy Central Park with a Unique Perspective

by Jennifer Wieland
Enjoy Central Park with a Unique Perspective - Central Park Bike Tours

Enjoy Central Park with a Unique Perspective - Central Park Bike Tours

If you’re planning a visit to New York City, you’ll probably be making a stop at Central Park. This amazing National Historic Landmark is one of the most visited urban parks in the entire United States; and for good reason. It is spread out over 843 acres, there’s an abundance of activities to enjoy, and the scenery is beautiful. There is so much to do and see; this amazing park has always had year-round appeal.

Make a Stop at one of the Visitor’s Centers

There are several visitor’s centers throughout the park, including the Dairy Visitor Center and Gift Shop as well as the Columbus Circle Information Kiosk in Merchants’ Gate Plaza. You’ll be able to pick up maps, guides, and get more information on upcoming events.

What to See in Central Park

A popular spot for visitors is the Central Park Zoo. In the courtyard, you’ll find the sea lion pool, and surrounding the pool are benches where you can relax and take in the beauty of the perennial garden. You’ll also find Belvedere Castle, a miniature castle that was built in 1869 and now overlooks the Great Lawn as well as the reservoir and the Ramble.

Of course, you’ll also want to see the Conservatory Garden, Bethesda Fountain, Sheep Meadow, Shakespeare Garden, the Carousel, Strawberry Fields, and Wollman Rink.

Grab a Bite

When you’re ready to grab something to eat, Central Park has 3 full service restaurants as well as several cafes and concession stands, and numerous concession carts throughout the park. At the Loeb Boathouse you can relax and dine with a beautiful view overlooking the lake. The Tavern on the Green offers everything from a Veggie Burger to Organic Scottish Salmon. Another great place to satisfy your hunger is Le Pain Quotidien. They serve a variety of bakery goods as well as organic beverages, salads, and homemade breads. They have a 30 seat dining room, 100 seat open terrace, and a takeout window if you want to grab a bite to take with you.

Take a Tour

While there is certainly an abundance of fun things to do, if you want to make the most out of your visit, be sure to sign up for a guided tour. A company like Bike Rental Central Park offers a variety of Central Park bike tours. With a bike tour, you’ll be able to experience Central Park in a way that you never could on foot. These tours are open for adults as well as children, so you can bring your whole family.

You’ll have an experienced guide to take you to some of the best spots in the park. You’ll be able to see wildlife, classic architecture, famous locations where Hollywood movies were filmed, the Olmsted designed waterfall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Obelisk, and the loch, as well as possible celebrity sightings.

See Central Park by Bike

Of course, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can forego a guided tour and simply rent a bike. With a bike, you’ll be able to take in more of the great sites in the park. However, you choose to see Central Park, it should be one of your must-see stops on your itinerary when you visit New York City.

A visit to Central Park is certainly an experience you won’t want to miss. This vast park can take days to explore by foot, but with a bicycle tour or bike rental, you’ll be able to make the most of your visit.






Chicago Open Air Festival – Music, Craft Beer, Gourmet Man Food

by Jennifer Wieland
#ChicagoOpenAir music festival will feature live music performances by more than 40 rock bands, #GourmetManFood and craft beers. #ad
Thank you to Chicago Open Air for sponsoring today’s post!

#ChicagoOpenAir music festival will feature live music performances by more than 40 rock bands, #GourmetManFood and craft beers. #ad

Summer is a time for getting outside, enjoying beautiful weather and having fun! This weekend the first ever Chicago Open Air Festival will be taking place at Toyota Park. This is a music festival that sets itself apart from the rest by combining rocking music with craft beer and gourmet man food!

Chicago Open Air Festival Basics

Chicago Open Air will feature live music performances by more than 40 rock bands. The festival will also include Gourmet Man Food featuring local and regional cuisine, a craft beer village highlighting top brews from the region, other entertainment and fan experiences, and will be hosted by Jose Mangin from SiriusXM.

Who’s Going to be on Stage?

Chicago Open Air has a spectacular music lineup ready to go for the three-day music festival! The festival will take place July 15, 16 and 17 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, just outside Chicago. Rammstein will kick off the festival weekend with a headlining performance on Friday—the group’s only 2016 U.S. performance and first Chicago show since 2012. Saturday will be headlined by Chicago’s own Disturbed, who have recently returned from a 4-year hiatus. Global rock juggernauts Slipknot will close out Chicago Open Air on Sunday.

Disturbed says, “It is long overdue that one of the greatest rock cities in the world has a festival of its own. We are honored and excited to be one of the headliners at the inaugural Open Air festival in our hometown of Chicago.”

Chicago Open Air will feature performances by over 40 bands, including Rammstein, Disturbed, Slipknot, Chevelle, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Ministry, Breaking Benjamin, Marilyn Manson, Of Mice & Men, and many more.

#ChicagoOpenAir music festival will feature live music performances by more than 40 rock bands, #GourmetManFood and craft beers. #ad

What is Gourmet Man Food?

Gourmet Man Food from top Chicago restaurants and food trucks will be on hand to tempt festival goers with their delicious creations! The food selections these restaurants and trucks are going to be offering is enough to keep any music fan rocking out all weekend long!

#ChicagoOpenAir music festival will feature live music performances by more than 40 rock bands, #GourmetManFood and craft beers. #ad

Chicago Open Air will feature selections from Chicago-area favorites such as:

  • Bruges Brothers (Braised Oxtail Poutine, Currywurst, Comeback Fish and Chips)
  • Chicago Doghouse (Rattlesnake and Rabbit Sausage, Smoked Alligator Sausage, The Midway Monster Hot Dog)
  • Crème Of The Crop Food Truck (Grown Up Mac & Cheese, Strawberry Chicken Wrap, Tater Skins)
  • Dia De Los Tamales (Cuban Tamale, Spicy Black Bean and Corn Tamale, The Chicago Beef)
  • Dinky’s Donuts (Salted Caramel and Cocoa, Gingerbread, Powdered sugar, Cinnamon, Ancho Mamma’s Chile, Dinky’s “bruschetta”: a savory blend of Italian herbs and spices.)
  • International Spud Station (The Spudnik, Apollo-Mash, Nebula Chips)
  • Kuma’s Corner (Led Zeppelin Burger, Iron Maiden Burger)
  • Pizano’s (Chicago deep dish)
  • The Happy Lobster (Happy Lobster Roll, The Angry Lobster Roll, Fried Lobster Mac And Cheese Bites)
  • Yum Dum (Kimcheesy Fries, Braised Pork Belly Baos).

Additional Gourmet Man Food vendors from around the country will include:

  • Cheeze Louise (Salmon Grilled Cheese Melt or Bowl, Meat Lover’s Grilled Cheese, Fried Chicken Mac N Cheese Bowl)
  • Cravin’ Cajun (Spicy Shrimp Po-Boy, Gator Critter Fritters, The Soft Shell Crab Sandwich)
  • Master of Patties (The Brekky Burger, The Muffaletta Burger, The Beef Wellington)
  • Pie Baby Wood-Fired Pizza (Your choice of Pie Baby signature pizzas: Cheese Baby/Pep Baby/Meat Baby, Meatball Sub, Freshly prepared house salads)

Drinks Anyone?

Since music festivals are long and outdoors during the sunny days of the year it’s important to be able to grab some drinks on hand. Whether you are looking to stay hydrated, need pick me up to keeping going all weekend long or are looking for an adult beverage to loosen you up you will be able to find just what you’re looking for at Chicago Open Air.

#ChicagoOpenAir music festival will feature live music performances by more than 40 rock bands, #GourmetManFood and craft beers. #ad

  • Headbangers Beer Hall

    This unique METAL themed bar is a 100×80 dive bar experience complete with Marshall amplifiers lining the back wall, a unique jukebox playing heavy metal music, rocker pinball machines, Chicago favorite Kuma’s Corner serving their signature metal themed burgers just next door, and more that will give fans a dark, heavy metal, craft beer and cocktail experience all on site at Chicago Open Air. The Headbangers Beer Hall will feature national and regional craft beers and artist inspired beverages including: Goose Island (Chicago — 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Four Star Pils), Half Acre Beer Company (Chicago — Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, Vallejo IPA, Pony Pilsner), Iron Maiden’s TROOPER Beer, Lagunitas (Petaluma, CA — IPA, A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’), Motörhead Wine, Surly (Minneapolis — Surly Hell Lager, Surly Furious IPA), Two Brothers Brewing (Chicago — seasonals TBA), and more to be announced. Look for unique experiences throughout the weekend with members of bands at the bar, as well as former MTV Headbangers Ball host and Cathouse founder Riki Rachtman playing some of his favorite songs and guest bartending during the weekend.

  • Monster Energy Experience/Sampling

    Monster Energy will be keeping all fans fueled up and ready to rock by offering free sampling on their Monster Energy viewing deck. Enjoy Monster Energy drinks from one of the best seats in the house. Make sure to check back throughout the festival for a schedule of Monster Energy’s interactive artist experiences.
    #monsterenergy #monstermusic

  • Jack Daniel’s Experience

    “Taste of Tennessee” invites visitors to come out and tour the nation’s oldest registered distillery from outside the Jack Daniel’s Hollow. Visitors get to see (and smell) whiskey dripping slowly through charcoal and the new oak barrels used in maturing Tennessee’s finest whiskey. The Jack Daniel’s Experience is open to all fans, 21 years old and up, for tours free of charge. Stop by the Jack Daniel’s Experience for interactive engagements throughout the weekend.
    Instagram: @jackdaniels_us
    #jackdaniels #BornToMakeWhiskey

#ChicagoOpenAir music festival will feature live music performances by more than 40 rock bands, #GourmetManFood and craft beers. #ad

Looking for Even More to Do?

  • The Music Experience

    The Music Experience features all the elements that are involved in making music in a professional band setting. The interactive exhibit features guitars, basses, amps, drums, keyboards and electronic gear that are used by today’s most popular bands. The Music Experience has autograph signings and artist interactions throughout the day. Check Facebook and Instagram for the latest info on who will be hanging out at The Music Experience.
    Instagram: @tmexp

  • Keep Golf Metal

    Keep Golf Metal is a movement that encourages festival attendees to play a 9 hole putt putt course with PGA level golf clubs provided by Rife Putters and MasterFit Custom Golf Clubs. Keep Golf Metal also has apparel that features designs that fuse the rock and golf worlds together.

  • f.y.e. Fan Experience

    f.y.e. will be hosting the ultimate fan and artist interactive experiences throughout the festival. f.y.e. is the only place at the festival to get all your favorite band’s music — and maybe even get to meet your favorite Chicago Open Air performers. Check back for updates on artist meet and greet and autograph signing sessions.
    Instagram: @officalFYEmusic

  • Dyin 2 Live / Fxck Cancer

    The F C Cancer Foundation’s mission is to fight cancer by raising awareness and to educate about early cancer detection, ultimately putting an end to late stage cancer diagnosis. The Dyin 2 Live wish granting program looks to enrich the lives of those fighting cancer by offering them an experience that will bring joy, hope, inspiration, and courage into their lives. In doing this, the program hopes it can help give the cancer fighter a chance to forget, even if it’s only for a day, what they are battling. The hope is that it can be used as a source of inspiration to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour.
    Facebook: or
    Instagram: @FxckCancer and @Dyin2LiveDreams

  • Take Me Home Animal Rescue

    Take Me Home is a not for profit, volunteer based foundation that has been saving the lives of homeless animals since 2001. Many families living in low-income areas cannot afford medical care, basic vaccinations, or spay/neuter surgeries for their companion animals. The donations raised help us to fund mobile veterinary hospitals to travel into these under-served areas to provide free spay and neuter, vaccinations, microchipping and administer medical care for animals in desperate need. Take Me Home also supports local animal charities. Come by the booth to help out our furry friends by buying a shirt, signed merchandise, and entering a raffle. Danny Wimmer, Founder, DWP, said, “DWP is proud to support various charities, giving them a national platform to promote their messages. We are particularly fond of Take Me Home, which advocates for animal adoption. I hope everyone stops by their booth and supports their fundraising efforts to help animals in need.” For more information, please visit:

#ChicagoOpenAir music festival will feature live music performances by more than 40 rock bands, #GourmetManFood and craft beers. #ad


Grab your tickets at the Chicago Open Air Festival website!

Festival doors open at 11:00 AM each day and the show ends at 11:30 PM on Friday, 11:00 PM on Saturday, and 10:00 PM on Sunday.

For more information on Chicago Open Air, visit or visit them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to check out all of the fun!



Seas the Day – Go Boating

by Jennifer Wieland
Seas the Day - Go Boating This Summer


Summer seems to always fly by in the blink of an eye! One minute you’re planning a ton of different things to do over the summer before the kids get out of school and it’s like the next minute you’re wondering how it was that you didn’t manage to get through nearly enough fun memory makers with the kids and you’re back to school shopping. This year I am planning to seas the day and taking the kids out for some boating fun!

Water is a happy place for my three youngest kids! Since each of them have sensory issues it almost seems like water soothes them and they connect it with it on another level. It’s one of the few things that makes them want to put down electronics and just play like the kids that they are. They regularly swim all year, love bumper boats, the splash pad and like taking the water taxis in the city. Living in the Chicago suburbs it’s just a short drive for us to reach Lake Michigan and with my parent’s having a vacation home near Lake Delton in Wisconsin a boating trip is a must. This year I’m planning on taking the kids out boating one afternoon so that they can see the open waters and fell the wind blowing through their hair and the occasional mist of water

Seas the Day - Go Boating This Summer #DiscoverBoating

Some fun and interesting boating stats from the 2015 Discover Boating Survey conducted by Wakefield Research

  • 82% of Americans say being around water is relaxing.
  • 72% of Americans feel healthier after spending time on the water.
  • Top 5 boating activities Americans want to do this summer: Relax on a boat with friends, take a sunset cruise, go fishing, watch fireworks from a boat, and go waterskiing, wakeboarding or wakesurfing.
  • 84% of parents think their kids would be more likely to unplug on a boat trip versus a road trip.
  • 88% of American parents feel that their kids need to get more involved in outdoor activities this summer, like boating.
  • Americans rank their favorite celebrity boat mates as Taylor Swift, Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres and Robert Downey, Jr.

Seas the Day - Go Boating This Summer #DiscoverBoating

Since I need to learn all that I can so that we have the best time on our boat outing I’m going to be visiting Discover Boating’s website. Discover Boating is a national, nonprofit program on behalf of the US recreational boating industry aimed to help people get on the water to experience the fun of boating. For those looking to get their feet wet, is an unbiased online resource packed with easy, interactive features on all things boating, including a boat selector tool, get on the water tab where you can find rentals, classes and charters, cost comparison tool, renting options, youth boating programs, education courses – even nautical lingo and how-to videos.

How are you and your family planning to make the most out of summer by enjoying the water?




Humana Healthier Choices Options at Taste of Chicago

by Jennifer Wieland
Humana Healthier Choices Options at Taste of Chicago #TasteofChi #HealthierChoices
The information and Taste tickets have been provided by Humana so that I could try some of the Humana Healthier Choices and share my thoughts and information about these items. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Humana.


Taste of Chicago is a staple of summer in Chicago. If you aren’t familiar with Taste of Chicago it’s like the biggest, baddest picnic you can go to. Food greats from all over the Chicagoland area sell food items so that you can get a true taste of what Chicago has to offer the foodies of the world. Don’t worry if you’re trying to eat healthier Humana has you covered. The Humana Healthier Choice options at Taste of Chicago will keep you looking swimsuit fab or keep your health on track all while getting to enjoy a great summer event in Chicago.

When you arrive at The Taste of Chicago you first head to a ticket booth and purchase strips of tickets. These strips of tickets work in place of cash at the vendor booths. Most booths offer multiple food items and you can often get regular and taste portion sizes. This year The Taste of Chicago runs from July 6th-10th in Grant Park.

Humana Healthier Choices Options at Taste of Chicago #TasteofChi #HealthierChoices

About Humana Healthier Choices Options (full list of menu items at the end of the email):

  • This year’s program features 75 healthy food options – the most in the program’s history – from 29 Chicago restaurants that meet nutritional criteria.
  • The Humana Healthier Choices will be identified by a new logo for 2016 – a green “H” with a circular arrow around it – which can be found on the menu boards at participating restaurant booths.
  • The Humana Healthier Choices list of items will be handed out at the Humana tent and can be downloaded at the Taste of Chicago website, via and through the newly established Taste of Chicago app.
  •  For the second consecutive year, the 2016 list will also spotlight 49 vegetarian options – nearly two-thirds of the list – to cater to a larger sampling of health-conscious attendees.
  • The program is also promoting six gluten-free items from the restaurant, Dia De Los Tamales, to accommodate the evolution of changing dietary restrictions and preferences.
  • All of the restaurants participating in the 2016 Taste of Chicago were invited to submit their menu items for consideration for the Humana Healthier Choices program.
  • For an item to be considered, restaurants must submit nutritional details including calories, sodium content, saturated fat and the list of ingredients.
  • A panel of five top Chicago-area physicians with expertise in diet and nutrition collaboratively judged each item to assure that nutritional values were met.

Humana Healthier Choices Options at Taste of Chicago #TasteofChi #HealthierChoices

Humana Healthier Choices Rewards Program:

  • After receiving a free Humana Healthier Choices Tag, which comes with a lanyard for a hands-free and convenient experience, participants can collect stamps by sampling any Humana Healthier Choices food item or participating in healthy activities at the Humana tent.
  • Once Taste-goers receive six stamps, they can drop off their badge at the Humana tent to be entered into random prize drawings, donated by the Taste of Chicago restaurants.
  • Prize winners will be announced on the evening of July 10.
  • On social media, Taste-goers are encouraged to join the conversation and share their Humana Healthier Choices food items on Instagram, mentioning @Humana, #TasteofChi and #HealthierChoices. 

Humana’s HappIEST Hour: Mocktail Challenge for Charity

Humana, along with WXRT-FM,  will host a healthy mocktail challenge between Catherine De Orio, host of WTTW-TV’s “Check, Please!,” and WXRT DJ Mary Dixon, who will defend her title as the winner of the healthy salsa challenge Humana hosted at the 2015 Taste of Chicago. The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, and include recipes filled with ingredients that provide healthier alternatives to common drinks. The panel of guest judges will include Chicago Bears alum Jay Hilgenberg and Jeff Joniak, WXRT DJ Johnny Mars and Supreme Lobster & Seafood Co.’s Carl Galvan. Following the event, Humana will award a donation to the winner’s charity of choice.

Humana Tent at Taste of Chicago

Take a break from the July heat by enjoying a shaded seating area in the Humana tent, which will feature basic ways of staying healthy, including jumping rope, hula hooping and dancing, as well as a photo booth and prize wheels. The tent will be located on Columbus Drive between Jackson Blvd and the Buckingham Fountain.

Humana Healthier Choices Options at Taste of Chicago #TasteofChi #HealthierChoices 

Humana Healthier Choices for Taste of Chicago 2016

(vegan options noted by a V)

Appetizers/Starters – Less than 320 calories, 300 mg sodium and 2 g saturated fat

·         Taste Portion of Seaweed Salad (V) – Arami

·         Taste Portion of Buta Hara – Arami

·         Taste Portion of Veggie Burger (V) – Beat Kitchen

·         Taste Portion of Mustard Fried Catfish – BJ’s Market

·         Taste Portion of Grilled Chicken Taco – Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill

·         Taste Portion of Chicken Sambussa – Demera Ethiopian Restaurant 

·         Taste Portion of Vegetarian Messob Misir Wat and Tikle Gomen (V) – Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

·         Taste Portion of Doner Box – Doner Men

·         Chili Lime Watermelon (V) – Farmer’s Fridge

·         Taste Portion of Chili Lime Watermelon (V) – Farmer’s Fridge

·         Taste Portion of Avocado Toast (V) – Farmer’s Fridge

·         Taste Portion of Chicken Sandwich (without cheese) – Gino’s Steaks Truck

·         Ginger Garlic Wings – Iyanze

·         Taste Portion of Chap Chae (V) – Jin Ju

·         Taste Portion of Chicken Tacos – La Cocinita

·         Taste Portion of Malnati Salad (V) – Lou Malnati’s

·         Taste Portion of Cauliflower Salad (V) – nana

·         Taste Portion of Avocado Fries (V) – nana

·         Celtic Corn on the Cob (V) – O’Brien’s Restaurant

·         Sweet Potato Potato Salad (V) – Pork & Mindy’s

·         Taste Portion of Bao to the Pork – Pork & Mindy’s

·         Taste Portion of Pulled Chicken Slider – Pork chop

·         Taste Portion of Reverse Coney (V) – Taco in a Bag

Main Dishes – Less than 500 calories, 500 mg sodium and 4 g saturated fat

·         Veggie Burger (V) – Beat Kitchen

·         Mustard Fried Catfish – BJ’s Market

·         Grilled Steak Taco – Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill

·         Grilled Chicken Taco – Carbón Live Fire Mexican Grill

·         Taste Portion of Smoked Alligator – Chicago’s Dog House

·         Taste Portion of Smoked Rattlesnake with Rabbit – Chicago’s Dog House

·         Taste Portion of Chicken Sambussa – Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

·         Vegetarian Messob Misir Wat and Tikle Gomen (V) – Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

·         Donër Box – Donër Men

·         Avocado Toast (V) – Farmer’s Fridge

·         Chicken Sandwich (without cheese) – Gino’s Steaks Truck

·         Vegetarian Greens and Plantains (V) – Iyanze

·         Jerk Chicken – Iyanze

·         Chap Chae (V) – Jin Ju

·         Chicken Ke-Bob Curry Rice with Vegetables – Kasia Deli

·         Black Bean & Cheese Arepa with Salsa Verde – La Cocinita

·         Chicken Taco – La Cocinita

·         Malnati Salad (V) – Lou Malnati’s

·         Avocado Fries (V) – nana

·         Cauliflower Salad (V) – nana

·         Pulled Chicken Sandwich – Pork chop

·         Taste Portion of Grilled Chicken Satay – Star of Siam

·         Taste Portion of Pot Stickers – Star of Siam

·         Taste Portion of Pad Thai Noodles – Star of Siam

·         Reverse Coney (V) – Taco in a Bag

·         Taste Portion of Grilled Cheese (V) – The Fat Shallot

·         Taste Portion of Plantain and Jollof (V) – Vee Vee’s African Restaurant

Desserts – Less than 320 calories, 300 mg sodium and 2 g saturated fat

·         Taste Portion of Lemon Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato

·         Lemon Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato

·         Taste Portion of Blood Orange Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato

·         Blood Orange Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato

·         Taste Portion of Pineapple Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato

·         Pineapple Sorbet (V) – Caffe Gelato

·         Taste Portion of Peanut Butter Brownie (V) – Caffe Gelato

·         Dinky Donut (2) (V) – Dinky Donuts

·         Italian Lemon Ice (V) – Franco’s Ristorante

·         Taste Portion of Italian Lemon Ice (V) – Franco’s Ristorante

·         Italian Watermelon Ice (V) – Franco’s Ristorante

·         Taste Portion of Italian Watermelon Ice (V) – Franco’s Ristorante

·         Lemon-Lime Paleta (V) – La Mexicana

·         Mango Paleta (V) – La Mexicana

·         Strawberry Paleta (V) – La Mexicana

·         Taste Portion of Strawberry Paleta (V) – La Mexicana

·         Watermelon Paleta (V) – La Mexicana

·         Taste Portion of Watermelon Paleta (V) – La Mexicana

·         Southern Red Velvet Morsel of Love (V) – Ms. Tittle’s Cupcake

·         Mango Sorbet (V) – Star of Siam

·         Chocolate Dipped Strawberry (V) – The Fudge Pot

·         Frozen Mango Kefir (V) – The Lifeway Kefir Shop

·         Taste Portion of Mango Kefir (V) – The Lifeway Kefir Shop

·         Frozen Original Kefir (V) – The Lifeway Kefir Shop

·         Taste Portion of Original Kefir (V) – The Lifeway Kefir Shop

The following six items, provided by the restaurant Dia De Los Tamales, do not meet the Humana Healthier Choices nutrition criteria but provide options for Taste-goers with gluten-free dietary restrictions

·         Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Tamale with Cuban Fricase

·         Taste Portion of Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Tamale with Cuban Fricase

·         Spicy Black Bean & Corn Tamale with Salsa Roja (V)

·         Taste Portion of Spicy Black Bean & Corn Tamale with Salsa Roja (V)

·         Buffalo Chicken Tamale with Blue Cheese, Shredded Carrot and Celery

·         Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Tamale with Red Pepper Crema (V)




St. Louis – My Five Favorite Things to Do

by Jennifer Wieland
St. Louis - My Five Favorite Things to Do #FunnestFamily


I bet for a lot of people out there St. Louis has never popped into your head as a must visit place when planning your family vacations. Not there is anything wrong with St. Louis but more often than not I think people plan trips to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Orlando when thinking about family fun. Oh sure, sometimes other locations in the United States might pop into your head but is St. Louis one of them? If it’s not it should be because St. Louis is a vacation spot that guarantees family fun with great things to do.

Living in the Chicagoland area most of my life I have been to St. Louis. It’s a pretty standard road trip that most people here do at least once. My first time was as a kid with my parents. It was so much fun and we made so many fabulous memories on that trip that I actually remember more about that trip than I do about some pricey well-known trips that we went on. I’m such a fan of St. Louis that I’m going to let you in on a little secret…. Are you ready? It’s where my husband and I went for our honeymoon. Not surprisingly to me it’s on my list of places to take the kids this summer as well.

I know what your thinking? What could possibly make St. Louis so great? St. Louis is a city that is rich in history, food and culture so it has options that will appeal to everyone in your family. 

St. Louis - My Five Favorite Things to Do #FunnestFamily

My Five Favorite Things to Do in St. Louis

Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tours & Gifts

I bet you’re thinking how is this a family thing and I bet you did this on your honeymoon. Actually we had planned on making this a stop on our honeymoon but honestly, it was our honeymoon and there just wasn’t time. Nope, this is one of my all-time favorite vacation memories from my childhood! My parents wanted to go which was odd to us as kids because neither of my parents were drinkers. We did the tour and my parents found it fascinating, my siblings and I were mildly interested… and then we saw the horses! Clydesdale horses are an awesome sight to behold and will have children and adults oohing and aahing alike. I picked out a stuffed Clydesdale horse in the gift shop and that toy spent years with me!

Meramec Caverns

The Meramec Caverns are so fascinating! The tours are interesting and educational. You’re budding geologists or kids in general will find it interesting and bring all that science stuff from school to life. With ties to the Civil War and a famous outlaw the tour is definitely a must while visiting St. Louis. The temperature is cool inside though since they are caverns so bring a jacket. 

The Cathedral Basilica

Catholic or not anyone can appreciate the beauty of architecture and one of the largest mosaic collections in the western hemisphere. The beauty, detail and design that make the heart of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis will leave you breathless. This is one of those places that anyone who is a fan of art and design will appreciate and love. 

Endangered Wolf Center

There are zoos all over this country and while they interesting and educational the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis focuses on specific species of animals form around the world that are facing extinction. They strive to help preserve and grow the numbers for these animals and to educate the world about them. With the ability to “adopt” a wolf or a pack it’s a great way to teach kids about endangered animals and to let them help save a species.

The Gateway Arch

Driving to St. Louis from Chicago as a kid I remember how excited I was when my siblings and I kept asking are we there yet, are we there yet every so often to have my parents point to the Gateway Arch from across the river and say yes. Seeing the Gateway Arch from there was absolutely amazing but then we went there and I remember standing below and looking up with my mouth hanging open. Then it got even better! We went up into the arch! This is definitely a must and with its 50th anniversary they’ve been working on making it even better!

Enter the #FunnestFamily Contest

Now are you ready for some St. Louis fun with your family? How about a chance to win a St. Louis getaway with your family? Then it’s time for you to enter the #FunnestFamily Contest! Your family could win a weekend of nonstop fun in St. Louis. To Enter, share your family’s funnest picture or video with #FunnestFamily on Instagram, Twitter or the Explore St. Louis Facebook page. Contest ends 6/30/16. One entry per person. For more information on prizing, view the official rules and regulations.



Hard Rock World Burger Tour

by Jennifer Wieland
Hard Rock World Burger Tour
This information has been provided to me by Hard Rock International

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

I am an all American girl and love a great burger! There are sad burgers, then there are decent burgers and then you have the over the top, knock your socks off, mouth-watering creations that make you moan when you bite into it! Could you imagine a whole burger menu of that level of crazy goodness? Guess what? You don’t have to imagine it. Nope, all you need to do is visit your local Hard Rock Cafe and order from their special, limited edition Hard Rock World Burger Tour menu. 

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

·         Hard Rock Cafe locations in North America are celebrating the start of burger season with a menu showcasing international Local Legendary™ Burgers

·         The limited-time World Burger Tour menu is available Sunday, May 1 through Thursday, June 30, 2016

·         This year, Hard Rock is also offering a literal World Burger Tour, a travel package that takes the most adventurous burger enthusiasts on the road (and the skies) to sample offerings from the World Burger Tour menu at Hard Rock Cafe locations in London, Athens, Buenos Aires and Seattle!

·      Hard Rock World Burger Tour

Backstage Burger Pass

Hard Rock gives chefs at their cafes the freedom to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that captures the flavors of their city. This year more than 160 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team with fan favorites selected to headline the World Burger Tour menu. Throughout May and June, Hard Rock Cafe menus* will feature the following World Burger Tour offerings:

·         English Breakfast Burger (London, England) – a Certified Angus Beef® patty topped with sliced ham, a sausage patty, a fried egg, a Portobello mushroom, arugula and garlic aioli and served with a side of baked beans

·         Java Lava Burger (Seattle, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty grilled and dressed in a house-made espresso rub and topped with lava sauce, crunchy java onions, bacon, melted Cheddar cheese and garnished with a fried jalapeño

·         Tandoori Chicken Burger (Mumbai, India) – a dark meat chicken patty seasoned with aromatic spices and fresh herbs, topped with mint mayonnaise and served with a side of cucumber

·         Jamaican Jerk Burger (Montego Bay, Jamaica) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayonnaise

·         ATOMIC! Burger (Las Vegas, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with Atomic beer-battered peppers, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, garlic chipotle ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise

·         Tango Salsa Burger (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with andouille sausage, Monterey Jack cheese, chips de batata, a fried egg, salsa criolla and garlic aioli

·         Greek Burger (Athens, Greece) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with arugula, feta cheese and a tomato slice

·         Aloha Burger (Honolulu, United States) – a Certified Angus Beef patty topped with SPAM, Monterey Jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring with sweet soy glaze, guacamole and pico de gallo


 Kicked Up Cocktails to Pair with Your Burger

Hard Rock Cafe has created cocktails that perfectly compliment World Burger Tour offerings. Served in Hard Rock’s iconic mason jars, adult guests can order with the suggested pairing or mix it up with any other burger from the limited-time menu. New cocktails include: 

·         All Jacked Up – created to balance the Jamaican Jerk Burger’s spicy flair, this cocktail features a mix of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, PJ, Orgeat and lime juice, garnished with orange and pineapple wedges and a cherry

·         Crisp Sipper – inspired by the Aloha Burger’s sweet and savory taste, this cocktail features a mix of Hendrick’s gin, Monin Cucumber, lemon, orange and raspberry, topped with tonic and garnished with rosemary and thyme

·         MelonPalooza – designed to complement the fresh flavors of the Greek Burger, this cocktail features a mix of Midori Melon Liqueur, Malibu Rum, Hard Rock’s house-made sour mix and PJ, garnished with slices of pineapple and strawberry

·         Sweet & Fiery – inspired by the ATOMIC! Burger’s spicy flavor, this cocktail features a mix of Absolut Peppar Vodka, Canton Ginger Liquor, Blue Curacao, lemonade and ginger beer, garnished with a red pepper

·         Black Cherry Melonade (non-alcoholic) – created to complement the rich espresso of the Java Lava Burger, this mocktail features a mix of Black Cherry Real and Monin Cucumber, topped with ginger beer, garnished with a cucumber slice and a cherry

Hard Rock World Burger Tour

Burger Tour for the Roadie

·         For those a little more hungry, Hard Rock will bring its menu to life and offer a unique burger experience that takes guests’ taste buds on an international journey

·         Hard Rock, in conjunction with global experience agency RPMC, is offering a World Burger Tour travel package that includes stops at iconic cities includingLondon, England; Athens, Greece; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Seattle, United States. This four-stop, once-in-a-lifetime excursion celebrates the cities that inspired Hard Rock’s World Burger Tour

·         The World Burger Tour travel package is a private, 10-night trip that includes flights, first class hotel accommodations, ground transportation and exclusive dining and music experiences at Hard Rock Cafe locations in each city not typically available to the public

For more information on the Hard Rock Cafe World Burger Tour or for info on the trip check out the official World Burger Tour website. To find your local Hard Rock Cafe head HERE and for up to the minute info follow them on Twitter




Captain Obvious is Running for President

by Jennifer Wieland
Captain Obvious is Running for President with the support of


Whoa! Wait a minute! There’s a presidential race going on? It’s full of controversy and colorful characters? One being Captain Obvious as he literally runs for president through all 50 states? Wow! Talk about pounding the pavement! 

Captain Obvious is Running for President with the support of

With all of the pomp and circumstance, the video clips being shred all over social media and the outlandish headlines from political debates it’s nice to know that Captain Obvious is taking the simple approach and simply using his two feet to run for President. You can follow his efforts and watch all of the hard work he’s putting into his campaign on the “Captain Obvious Runs For President” site. He’ll be providing satirical commentary on what has already proven to be an “interesting” election year.

Captain Obvious is Running for President with the support of is fully supporting Captain Obvious during his state-to-state race because they believe in the simplicity of his race as much as he does – and since he’ll need a place to sleep at night they are providing him a place to rest his sweaty head. They’re not stopping there though. They will also be providing him with running shoes, socks, shorts and everything else he needs to keep him going on his long run.

Captain Obvious is Running for President with the support of

Photo courtesy of

Get Gear and Donate to Great Charities!

When you visit the “Captain Obvious Runs For President” site you can find come funny stuff to buy to show your support but you can also make a donation. No, these donations won’t be to a politicians campaign chest. These donations will be made to wonderful charities that do amazing work throughout the entire country. 

Captain Obvious is Running for President with the support of

Photo courtesy of

For some daily funny in your life and to follow Captain Obvious on his run for the presidency you are definitely going to want to follow him on Twitter!

Captain Obvious is Running for President with the support of

That’s a fine salute you have there Captain Obvious and we salute you and on your attempt to make this year’s presidential race funnier and more lighthearted! 



Discover the Carefree Side of Florida

by Jennifer Wieland
Discover the Carefree Side of Florida


I don’t know about you but I am tired of the cold and I know I miss seeing sunshine more than anything! Living in the Chicago suburbs means my winters are often spent with gray, dreary looking skies, no warmth and definitely no beach to lounge at unless I want to freeze to a chair. I know that I am ready to discover the carefree side of Florida at one of the newest Carefree Communities, Ocean Breeze Resort. Whether you are looking to buy a vacation home, rent one for a little rest and relaxation or just need a site for your RV, then Ocean Breeze Resort is the place for you! 

Discover the Carefree Side of Florida

Pursue your passions and discover new ones along the way at the new Ocean Breeze Resort. Guests and residents alike get to enjoy exclusive access to a world of social activities, classes, outdoor recreation, and planned outings. Whether you want to join a group for morning coffee, enjoy an afternoon round of golf, join a club or enter a cooking contest there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Best places to retire in florida (objb)-5a17babf

At-home comforts that make life comfortable all while enjoying some fun in the sun can now be had at Ocean Breeze Resort. It is a much desired location near Jensen Beach. Located on 45 acres of intra-coastal waterway on the Treasure Coast and just a quarter-mile away from downtown, our one-of-a-kind community offers you new home plans that are thoughtfully designed, with beautifully decorated and furnished open interiors, covered porches, two-story stilt home options and breathtaking views. Ocean Breeze Resort is ideally located between Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach. You can easily visit more Florida vacation hot spots like Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa Bay by driving 90 minutes – 3 hours. 

Discover the Carefree Side of Florida


Discover the Carefree Side of Florida
Ocean Breeze Resort is a master planned community and it’s expected to fill quickly. If you are interested in learning more about how you can rent a vacation cottage, an RV site, or own a home call (772) 334-2494 or visit the Ocean Breeze Resort website for more information.

Don’t miss out on this fabulous deal they have available right now!

For a limited time, get up to $100 in credit at a local restaurant when you book your stay at Carefree!

Reserve a rental for a week and receive a $100 gift card to Peters Steakhouse in Jensen Beach.
*Weekly Rental rates start at $900/week


Reserve an RV site for a week and receive a $50 gift card to Peters Steakhouse in Jensen Beach.
*Weekly RV rates start at $394/week. Waterfront $428/week

A 5-minute walk from Ocean Breeze Resort, Peters Steakhouse is a Treasure Coast favorite. Upscale yet homey, it’s an intimate steakhouse offering a classic American menu plus beer & wine.




Rosemont| It’s All Here

by Jennifer Wieland
MB Financial Park fun for the whole family! #Rosemont #MBFInancialPark #ItsAllHere
I was part of a media event invited to experience all that Rosemont has to offer visitors. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Just northwest of Chicago is the town of Rosemont and it just so happens to be neighbors with O’Hare International Airport, one of the largest airports in the world. Rosemont sees guests from all over the world and locals as well. As a result they have strived to turn Rosemont into a place with something to entertain and delight everyone and they have achieved it with great success because it’s all here in Rosemont. The town is now celebrating its 60th birthday and it is home to the MB Financial Park, which is home to 13 venues featuring international cuisine, nightlife, live music and comedy, state-of-the-art film and bowling venues and so much more. Across the street from that is Fashion Outlets of Chicago. This indoor outlet mall houses high-end stores and amenities along with a stunning contemporary art collection. Rosemont is also home to Loews Chicago O’Hare, a gorgeous, world-class hotel.

MB Financial Park fun for the whole family! #Rosemont #MBFInancialPark #ItsAllHere

The Loews Chicago O’Hare is a decadent and contemporary hotel. What sets it apart from its competitors is the vast display of art throughout the first floor of the building. After speaking with the general manager, I learned that this specific Loews hotel has a n agreement with a local art studio. The hotel displays and advertises the art for sale from the art studio. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement since the artists get exposure to their work and the hotel improves its aesthetics. 

Loews Chicago O'Hare - #Rosemont It's All Here! #VisitRosemont #LoewsHotels

One of the great restaurants in MB FInancial Park is Hofbräuhaus Chicago. This classic Bavarian bier hall brings more than 400 years of beer brewing and dining expertise to the Chicagoland area. The German themed restaurant is home to a German micro-brewery and beer hall. Guests are offered in-house brewed beers along with a huge selection of both domestic and imported beer options.


Hoftbrauhaus Chicago Image by Leigh Loftus Copyright 2013 Leigh Loftus

Hoftbrauhaus Chicago
Image by Leigh Loftus
Copyright 2013 Leigh Loftus

The restaurant flies in its pretzels from a bakery overseas and then bakes them fresh for each order. The staff is outfitted in fun German based Oktoberfest garments and the restaurant and staff provide for a lively outing full of genuine German cheer. 

Hofbrauhaus Chicago - Rosemont, It's all here! #MBFinancialPark #Hofbrauhaus #visitRosemont

Hoftbrauhaus Chicago
Image by Leigh Loftus
Copyright 2013 Leigh Loftus

The Fashion Outlets of Chicago is a shopping mecca that draws in locals and world travelers alike. From whimsical candy shops to high-end clothing stores this two-story mall will thrill and delight everyone. With more than 130 outlet stores there will be something there for everyone.

Fashion Outlets of Chicago #Rosemont #FOCShopping

It’s convenient indoor parking garage helps protect visitors from the elements. The artwork throughout the mall is eye-catching and a delight of form and color.Fashion Outlets of Chicago #Rosemont #FOCShopping

For more information on these and the numerous other dining, hotel and entertainment options that Rosemont has to offer visit



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