Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello!  I just wanted to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.  Have a wonderful day wherever you are!  I'm thankful because my dad is here to celebrate the holiday with us in Toronto.  So, I have someone to watch the Bears game with! I hope you have a lovely day!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Foodie Friday: Batter & Berries Part Deux!

Burger with onion rings and sweet potato fries
Batter & Berries Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

The hashtag Batter & Berries use most frequently is #comegetyousome and indeed I did!  I made a second visit there this summer.  I couldn't leave Chicago without visiting the restaurant. Read my first review of Batter & Berries here.

Scallop Omelette
Scallop Omelette

As usual the restaurant was packed, but it only took us 20 minutes to get a table.  Pro tip: Go during the week, the wait for a table is better than the weekend.  I have a friend who went during the weekend and had to wait over an hour for a table.  The cool thing is that now they text you when you when a table is available.  So, you can walk around the neighborhood, but don't go too far.

Peach Tea
Benjamin Loose-Leaf Teas

I wanted to try the French Toast Flight, but I saw the burger with onion rings and sweet potato fries on the menu and decided to try that.  I think they should offer samples of their signature dishes.  I would have gotten a sample of the French Toast Flight and then my order.  The food was delicious and the service was outstanding.  I know it was only my second time there, but I will be going back every visit to Chicago because the atmosphere is very welcoming. I felt like I was going to a friend's home to eat.  We saw our favorite server Tim there and he greeted us with a hug.

Batter & Berries Menu
Batter & Berries Menu
Check out the Batter & Berries menu here. Have you been to Batter & Berries?! Please share your experience in the comments section. To find out more about Batter & Berries follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender Review

My dad received this Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender as a gift. He told me he had no use for it so I took it off his hands. Yes, I know I'm such a good daughter.  Anyway, I was so excited to receive this.  I imagined making all kinds of soups and smoothies with it.

First of all, it's very easy to use and to assemble. The motor body and detachable blending shaft snap together. After use detach the blending shaft. The clean up is a breeze. I basically just rinse it off the blending shaft and wipe off the motor body.  I have made soups and smoothies with the hand blender.  It makes the soups thicker in a matter of seconds. Smoothies blend easily and get super thick. It's a great product and I'm always looking for ways to use it.

My super thick protein smoothie

The blender came with a mixing beaker (pictured above). I make the smoothies right in the beaker. The detachable blending shaft and beaker are both dishwasher safe. The beaker is microwave safe. Also included was an instructional recipe booklet (pictured below).

I highly recommend the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender. To find out more about this and other Cuisinart products please visit their website at  You can also follow them on TwitterInstagram and like them on Facebook.

Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and on Instagram!

Disclaimer: I received no monetary compensation for this review.  I am under no obligation to provide a positive review.  The opinions are my own and results may vary.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ramsey Lewis Take Another Look-Deluxe Edition

Back in 2011 Ramsey Lewis released Take Another Look.  It was a CD going back to his electric band roots of the 1970s.  What I like to call the 'Sun Goddess' Era.

The deluxe edition released in 2015 has three bonus songs 'Jungle Strut', 'Tambura', and 'Sharing Her Journey.' This CD takes me back to my younger days when my parents played their Ramsey Lewis records.  Below you can see Ramsey talking about how the CD Take Another Look came together.

Track  Listing:
1.  Intimacy
2.  Tambura
3.  Love  Song
4.  Living  for  the  City
5.  Betcha  by  Golly  Wow
6.  To  Know  Her
7.  The  Way  She  Smiles
8.  Jungle  Strut
9.  Sharing  Her  Journey
10.  Sun  Goddess
Bonus  Tracks:
1.  Jungle  Strut  - Dr.  John
2.  Tambura  -- Kung  Fu
3.  Sharing  Her  Journey  - TAUK

I like the mixture of  songs on this CD.  There's something for everyone. This is a great CD to listen to while relaxing or hanging out with friends and family this holiday season.  And for the Ramsey Lewis or jazz music fan in your life this would make a great gift.  It's never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts. 

Speaking of holidays, my first introduction to Ramsey Lewis was his Sound of Christmas album as a child.  It wasn't officially Christmastime until that album was played in our home  and I still feel that way.  I bet once you hear this CD it will be on heavy rotation in your home too!

Any Ramsey Lewis CD would be an excellent addition to your music library.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received this CD free for an honest review. The opinions are my own and results may vary. I received no monetary compensation for my review.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Repair & Protect Your Hair From Sun Damage-Tuesday Tip


I have done so much damage to my hair.  It became lifeless and brittle.  I could feel and hear it snap while combing.  For the past 3 weeks I've been using Pantene's Pro-V Overnight Miracle and Ultimate BB Creme haircare products.

                                                   Haircare products, Panten Pro-V

The Overnight Miracle works on my hair overnight while I sleep.  Just apply to the hair and go to sleep.  It's that simple! The Overnight Miracle dissolves in the hair quickly and doesn't leave any residue on the pillow.  Ovenight Miracle erases at least 6 months of damage.

Pantene Pro-V, Haircare Products

The Ultimate 10 BB Creme is for use during the day.  It's a 10 in 1 hair perfecter.  It strengthens hair, has frizz control, protects hair from heat styling.  It can be used on wet or dry hair.

I've noticed a lot less breakage and my hair is less dry and easier to manage.  I will continue to use these two products together.  I think these products are a must for the summer especially if you are spending a lot of time in the sun.  Use these products daily to repair and protect your hair from sun damage. Find out more about these and other Pantene products at

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer in Chicago! Tuesday Tip

Buckingham Fountain
Buckingham Fountain

If you follow me on Twitter (@dancingvalentin) or know me just a little bit, you know that I love Chicago.  I was born and raised there.  We are getting ready for our yearly trip there! Chicago has been in the news a lot lately because of the violence that plagues the city, but there's more to Chicago than that.  That is why I love the city so much.  It has more to offer than you may hear.

Recently, I've been inspired by Choose Chicago's campaign Beyond the Loop. Two Second City members go into various neighborhoods around the city to show that there is more to Chicago than the Loop, Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier.

President and Mrs. Obama's home in Hyde Park

The first episode I saw was for Hyde Park.  

Hyde Park is my favorite neighborhood.  I just feel like I can exhale, be myself and enjoy the sights and sounds of the neighborhood.  Also, this is where President and Mrs. Obama's house is located.  In Beyond the Loop they visit Medici and Valoris (one of President Obams's favorites), but if you want to celebrate the diversity of Hyde Park you must go to Rajun Cajun. Rajun Cajun is a combination of soul food and Indian food restaurant. 

Beyond the Loop goes into other neighborhoods I've lived in like Lincoln Park and my second favorite neighborhood Lakeview. See a little bit about the Gay Pride Parade in Lakeview (Boystown) below.

Our Winters Are Brutal!  

We know how to do summer because of our winters.  Here are just a few things to while you are there.  Taste of Chicago is my favorite outdoor festival.  It's a chance to sample food from various restaurants and food trucks in the city and to hear some great music.  Gospel Festival and various festivals in the neighborhoods happening every weekend.  Another great way to explore the neighborhoods in Chicago.

But wait! There's more!
You should also check out the MCA Tuesdays On The Terrace, Blues Fest,  Millennium Park Summer Film Series and the Chicago Jazz Fest

There are a few things I know I'm doing once I get home to Chicago. 

The first is going to the Chicago Cultural Center  for Move Your Body:  The Evolution of House Music exhibit. and the second is to visit one of my new favorite restaurants Batter & Berries.  You can read my review for Batter & Berries here. Third I want to visit Maggie Daley Park. Named after the late wife of Mayor Richard Daley.

Taste of Chicago

I know I've missed some things.  When I lived in Chicago I felt so overwhelmed with things to do in the city, especially in the summer. Just check out the City of Chicago website and for more things to do in this wonderful city!

Friday, June 12, 2015

G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popcorn Review (It's not Garrett Popcorn, but still good)

I live in Toronto, but I'm a Chicago girl. To me Chicago is a fantastic city known for its architecture, live theater, wonderful people (like me) and of course the food. When you think of Chicago food, deep dish pizza immediately comes to mine. We are also known for what's called the "Chicago Mix." That's a mixture of cheese and caramel popcorn.  If you're a Chicagoan and you hear the words "Chicago Mix" Garrett Popcorn comes to mind.

When I'm home I always try to go to Garrett Popcorn. Why?! Because it's the best popcorn ever! That's where the "Chicago Mix" was born. Recently Garrett Popcorn has had to stop using the name "Chicago Mix" because of a lawsuit by a company called Candyland. Candyland holds the trademark for "Chicago Mix." They had to change the name to "Garrett Mix". But I still call it "Chicago Mix." Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone!

I was very happy to find G.H. Cretors' "Chicago Mix" here in Toronto. I was amazed at how close it was to the "Garrett Mix." The caramel popcorn definitely reminded it me of Garrett's "CaramelCrisp."  It was sweet, buttery and just yummy.  The cheese popcorn could have been cheesier, but when you put the two together....heaven.

Chicago Mix

G.H. Cretors' "Chicago Mix" is the closest brand I've tried that tasted like Garrett's.  When I ran out of it, I made a special trip to the store to get more.  I hope that the store continues to sell it. It's like having a little piece of home with me in every bite. 

Their popcorn is gluten-free and contains non-GMO ingredients. Another reason to like them, right?! Check out G.H. Cretors' website for more flavors. You can also like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and now finally I'm on Instagram!  Have you tried G.H. Cretors Popcorn?! What did you think?!