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Get to Know President Barack Obama

Friday February 28, 2014

President Barack Obama came to the world's attention with his spirited bid for President of the United States in 2008. He was inaugurated as the nation's 44th President on January 20, 2009 and won a second term in 2012.

Find information about President Obama including where he went to college, his political career in Illinois, and who the first dogs are.

You can also learn about Chicago's very own Michelle Obama, who was raised on the south side of the city. (Before Michelle Obama met President Obama her name was Michelle Robinson. She was born on January 17, 1964 and was raised by a city worker and a stay-at-home mom. She graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School and enjoyed a career in corporate law, the public sector, and community relations.)

Also read: 2014 GOP Primary in Illinois l April 2014 Events in Chicago l March 2014 Events in Chicago


Chicago's theWit Gets Healthy

Friday February 28, 2014

Looking for something healthy to eat but in a trendy restaurant? Chicago's TheWit is the first hotel in the Midwest to partner up with SPE Certified, a restaurant certification program that pairs chefs with nutritionists to create meals that are low in salt, saturated fats, and processed ingredients.

Over 10 healthy items are now offered at theWit's first-floor restaurant State and Lake where Chef Evan Percoco is serving butter-and-cream free soup made with squash from a Michigan farm, seared salmon with chive yogurt, and Amish chicken with a mustard-maple glaze. For dessert, the hotel's pastry chef Toni Roberts has created avocado brownies made sans diary, eggs, or sugar.

SPE menu items are also offered in-room, at the hotel's on-site spa, and in spring 2014 will be available upstairs at theWit's trendy ROOF bar.

Learn more about the healthy restaurant items offered at theWit.

Also read: Cross-Country Skiing in Chicago l March Events in Chicago l Best Walking Tours in Chicago

Nordic Fun in and Near Chicago

Thursday February 27, 2014

Even with the cold weather, if you are wanting to get outside and exercise, you can. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are two great ways to stay fit during the winter.

We researched some of the best spots in and near Chicago to enjoy Nordic sports. And while the City of Chicago doesn't have decided ski trails, you can create your own in Lincoln Park, among other places in the city.

Read our Guide to Nordic Sports in and Near Chicago.

If downhill skiing is more your thing, snow enthusiasts will be impressed with the heartland's ski resorts that include something for everyone, from easy cruiser trails to challenging runs with steep vertical drops. Read our Guide to the Best Ski Resorts and Winter Activities Near Chicago.

Also worth checking out: Ice Skating at Chicago's Millennium Park l Guide to the Art Institute of Chicago l Taking Public Transit in Chicago

Any Johnny Cash Fans Out There?

Thursday February 20, 2014

February 26 is the birthday of the late (and great) Johnny Cash and in his honor Chicago's Untitled is hosting a tribute evening to the life and music of the "Man in Black."

Country band Iron Horse will be performing and playing the best of Cash's hits. Iron Horse specializes in Cash covers around Chicago and has been spotted on America's Got Talent and headlining for "Cash For Kids," Chicago's only Johnny Cash Festival.

Tip: If you are ever in Nashville, check out the Johnny Cash museum. The museum features the earliest known Johnny Cash letters and documents as well as the handwritten manuscript to the last song ever written by the prolific songwriter, just days before his passing. Visitors also are given an extensive look into Cash's non-entertainment related life including his childhood and early adulthood and his service in the United States Air Force.

The night will also feature a special appearance by Adam Lee, who plays Johnny Cash in the award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet. (I have seen Million Dollar Quartet -- worth going to. Million Dollar Quartet tells a story based on a "serendipitous" night in 1956 that brought four young musicians, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash, together to create a legendary album.  The musical is on stage at the Apollo Theater in Chicago.)

Untitled is located at 111 West Kinzie Street; 312-880-1511.

March 2014 Illinois GOP Governor Primaries

Thursday February 20, 2014

With the Illinois governor's race in the news so much recently, we thought we'd do a blog on the upcoming Republican gubernatorial primary elections, which will take place in March. The actual governor's election will be November 4, 2014. (On the Democratic ticket will be Illinois's current governor, Pat Quinn. His running mate (for lieutenant governor) is Paul Vallas.)

Campaigning for the upcoming GOP gubernatorial primary election in March are:

Also read: Who is My Illinois State Representative? and Who is My Illinois State Senator?


Wicker Dog Park Fundraiser

Thursday February 13, 2014

Chicago's Twisted Spoke (which serves the city's best Bloody Mary in my opinion) is teaming up with Goose Island to host The Wicker Dog Park Fundraiser to help its neighborhood dog park. The event will be held, Saturday, February 15, from 7 - 10:30 p.m.

Toast man's best friend with pints from a donated Goose Island keg and participate in a silent auction bidding war where attendees can test their luck with a 50/50 pot raffle split. All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Wicker Dog Park Fund and park maintenance. Unfortunately Twisted Spoke is unable to allow pets indoors so this is a pet-free event but for a good cause, no doubt.

Twisted Spoke is located at 501 N. Ogden Avenue. For more information dog park fundraiser event, call 312-666-1500.

Also read: Best Pet Shops in Chicago l February 2014 Events in Chicago l History of President's Day


Valentine's Day in Chicago

Thursday February 13, 2014

Looking for something to do this Valentine's Day in Chicago, which falls on Friday, February 14.

Check out our Guide to Valentine's Day Events, including things to do for couples and for singles.

For a formal event, isn't your things, check out these ideas for Valentine's Day-friendly activities:

Also read: Mitchell Dental Salon makes going to the dentist easy with pre-treatment facials and massage and Chicago's Top Pet Stores


Chicago Restaurant Week

Tuesday February 4, 2014

Don't forget: Chicago Restaurant Week goes through Thursday, February 6, 2014.

During the annual Chicago Restaurant Week, over 200  restaurants throughout the Chicagoland area offer special prix fix menus starting at about $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity). This is a great bargain considering that some of Chicago's top restaurants will be showcasing their best dishes and cocktails with three-course meals. Participating restaurants will offer lunch, dinner, or both at their discretion.

Check out our Guide to Chicago Restaurant Week 2014, which includes information on making reservations during Chicago Restaurant Week, participating restaurants, and more.

Also worth reading: Chicago Pet Stores and Visiting the Art Institute of Chicago

Mitchell Dental Spa - The One Dentist You Want to See

Friday January 31, 2014

No one likes the dentist, at least I haven't met anyone who does. I really don't like the dentist. I panic just thinking out going in for a cleaning. But today I experienced dentistry in a whole new way. A way that actually made me feel so calm and relaxed I didn't want to leave the dentist's office.

I went to the Mitchell Dental Spa, located in Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue. Just the name of the dentistry brings peace (spa). But what really sold me on this place was the complimentary facial I got. With every dental service, you get either a 10-15 minute gratis facial, massage or  hydrating lip treatment, done pre- or post-visit with the dentist. Other longer treatments (30 or 60 minutes) like an Eminence Mimosa Back Facial or a Phytomer Brightening Face Facial are available for an extra charge.

Learn more about the Mitchell Dental Spa, including location, services offered and more.

Also read: Chicago Restaurant Week 2014 l Breakfast Spots in Chicago l Visiting the DuSable Museum of African American History

Are You Ready for Pancake Bowl?

Friday January 31, 2014

Not that people need any more excuses to eat, but tomorrow, Saturday, February 1, 10 hungry pancake lovers will compete in the first ever IHOP Pancake Bowl.

The event challenges eaters' abilities to chow down on as many pancakes as they can for a chance to win a $500 IHOP gift card. (Pancakes for life?)

Learn more about the IHOP Pancake Bowl.

Good to know: Through February 9, 2014, IHOP is offering its annual "All You Can Eat Pancakes" nationwide. "All You Can Eat Pancakes" are available as part of IHOP restaurant's combos or as an order of five buttermilk pancakes as a main course.

Also read: Chicago Restaurant Week 2014 l March 2014 Events in Chicago l April 2014 Events l Pet-friendly Allegro Hotel Chicago

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