Oh Honey! New Henry’s Humdingers Sweet and Spicy Honeys

We been aching to keep up with all the new cool products that we been sampling and this one has been on daily rotation for the Chi Girls.  Normally, we don’t mix our sweet and spicy with the exception of a Mayan Mocha now and then but when Henry’s Humdingers  reached out to us, we were intrigued.  Not only were the products unique, raw honeys infused with varietals of hot peppers, but they aim to help the source of honey, our bee pals!  Now, if you’ve been following the news lately, you may have noticed that we have a bee crisis on our hands, which isn’t just bad for bee dudes but also for us and our food sources.  Henry Miller, founder of the company, donates part of all his profits to The Foundation for the Preservation for Honey Bees to combat the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder which is hurting our friends.

 

So what does Henry’s Humdingers have to offer?  4 different crazy raw honey flavas for yo tongue!

  • Grumpy Grandpa Cayenne and Garlic Honey
  • Phoebe’s Fireball Chipotle and Cinnamon Honey
  • Naughty Nana Pepper and Ginger Honey
  • Diabolical Dad Habanero Lime Honey

504205B8-994D-499F-9AAA-C5D8475DEB8A

What to do with all these combos?  Well Henry has some suggestions that range from sweet and sassy wing sauces to english muffin spreads.  So far, we’ve been addicted to the Phoebe’s Fireball in our morning coffee with some sweet coconut milk stirred in.  We’ve also used the Naughty Nana in rice wine vinegar to pickle veggies for Tofu Bahn Mi sandwiches.

Oh and who can forget the old standby of eating spoons of peanut butter as a snack.  Our afternoons have been filled with PB honey spiced dreams.

We highly recommend Henry’s if you have a willing palate!  We let some of our friends try it in tea as well and their mouths were pleasantly piqued.  You can find Henry’s for purchase at J’s Vitamins in Chicago, online or at locations listed here.

Our fave is really Phoebe’s Fireball but we don’t wanna hurt the other honeys’ feelings so keep it quiet.

photo (20)

Loving Summer in Chicago: Upcoming Fun, Food and Fitness Events

Ok so our weather still isn’t too summery but the events in Chicago are in full swing!  We wanted to share all the summer goodness with ya’ll instead of keeping it for ourselves.  Here’s just a few fun, free events to keep you fit and entertained this summer.

Bikini Blast Time

Looking to get your muscles tight for your new polka dot bikini (or speedo)?  Join the Old Town Purre Barre team for a grand opening party on Thursday, June 19th from 6-8 p.m.  Pure Barre gives clients a chance to sculpt and lengthen their muscles by alternating tiny shake inducing muscle movements with stretching sequences.  Believe us, you will tighten your problem areas and wonder why such little movements can be so sweat provoking.  The grand opening party will feature drinks, light snacks, raffles as well as retail and class specials so this would be a perfect opportunity to snag a deal and step to the barre.  See the Purre Barre website for class information and more details.

Pure Barre Old Town

1350 N. Wells Street, Suite 4

Chicago, IL 60610

oldtown@purebarre.com

312.642.2922

Free Parking in the Self Park lot behind Cobbler Square is available.

 

Getting in Touch with Nature

Are you a city kid with country dreams?  The North Face, the well known outdoor clothing brand, and our beloved Chicago Park District are doing outreach to help us urbanites learn to camp in under our unforgettable Chicago skyline.  Events may feature camping basics, fishing skills and  nature hikes, or even spooky campfire tales lead by Chicago Park District staff.  Visit the website to register and more information.  Registration is mandatory to attend.

There are several spots to learn and set your gear down throughout the summer:

  • July 26-27: Northerly Island
  • August 9-10: Garfield Park Conservatory
  • August 16-17: Calumet Park
  • September 13-14: Gompers Park
  • September 20-21: CCFP Bullfrog Lake
  • September 27-28: Northerly Island
  • October 11: Family Adventure Day

Activity Guides from North Face are also available to give you the low down on other fun park events.

http://exploreyourparks.com/pdf/Chicago_EYP_Download.pdf

Logo

 

Relax and Recharge in the Burbs

Grab some mini massages, snacks, and behind the scenes tours (OH MY!)  of the brand new Massage Envy Spa Mount Prospect, at their Grand Opening event on Tuesday, June 17 from 5-6:30 p.m.  Email massageenvy@heronpr.com to RSVP to the event.  (Text modified from Heron PR)

Movies and More under the Stars

Chicago Park District continues to bring free Movies in the Parks until early fall and that includes our beloved Millennium Park every Tuesday evenings and one bonus movie on Sunday, June 29th.  Click here to search the nearest park in Chicago.  This year Chicago Park District will also showcase the first Chicago on Screen which will feature locally-produced independent, documentary and short films around Chicago.
Wanna snuggle with a Lion during your show?  Ok that might be dangerous, but you can get up close and personal with the animals of Lincoln Park zoo and then catch a flick afterwards with Zoovies!  General admission is free but you can upgrade to VIP package for snacks, drinks and surprises.
IMG_0898

Photo Credit: MLK Photographs

Summer Bites

Chicago’s most romantic restaurant Geja’s Café will celebrate its 49th Anniversary Sunday, June 29 through Friday, July 4.  Guests will receive 49% off all food bills and can take part in Geja’s 5th annual recipe contest and 4th annual poetry challenge during the 6-day anniversary celebration. Guests are encouraged to compose original poetry about their experiences at Geja’s over the years.  Aspiring fondue foodies are invited to submit an original dipping sauce to accompany Geja’s signature meats and seafood entrée.  The winners from each contest will win a dinner for 6 with selected premium wines.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.gejascafe.com.  (Text provided by Heron PR) 

 

 

Chicago Passport to Healthy Skin

Chicagoan, need a healthy glow after the harsh winter?  Well, this is your opportunity to learn simple solution to healthy skin and more at this FREE event!

Date:  Saturday, June 7th  Location:  Millenium Park North Promenade, Chicago, IL  Time:  11:00am-3:00pm

One survey showed 75% of Chicago women are aware that what they eat impacts their skin’s health, but 52% don’t feel they can call themselves healthy eaters.  So tell your girlfriends and come check out this FREE event which includes the following….

  • Yoga workout sessions
  • Stress-relieving massages
  • Healthy treats and detoxifying teas
  • Skin-loving beauty samples
  • . . . Plus, get first-hand tips from our POPSUGAR editors and the Simple® Advisory Board
  • and FREE goodies!!

RSVP here and you will be showing off your luminous skin just in time for the summer!

Cooking in Chaos with Chicagoans

Want to show off your cooking skills while eating twenty different dishes all at once? Sounds like a crazy reality show right? A few weeks ago, Monica and a friend attended the launch party of Chaos Cooking</strong in one kitchen with only ten burners and one sink to share with over 50 fellow Chicagoans.

14062233567_49da67f2de_o

 

So you must be wondering how do over 50 people cook in one kitchen?  Well think BYOU!  Bring yo’ own utensils, peeps.  I had to bring my own ingredients and supplies so I threw knives, bowls, cutting boards and such in a box and headed out.   There were several pots in the kitchen for people to use, however, making the event a potluck style social with the twist of cooking on the spot with strangers.

People arrived at the spacious Test Kitchen located in Noble Square and were greeted by the bubbly hostess and event organizer, Victoria DeMatteo.  As more people arrived, others immediately felt a sense urgency and started to prep their food.   Cravzy provided VIPs (those who bought tickets early like me) one ingredient such as tofu, golden beets, asparagus, fish filets, chicken thighs and more.  I selected Manila mangoes to prepare mango salsa.

Downloads5

Fellow Chicagoans of all different ages and backgrounds came together and had a great time cooking in chaos.  Some dishes were from online recipes such as simple yet yummy mango sticky rice while others created their own dish and even brought electric grill for toasty bread with goat cheese spread and fresh asparagus. A few even stepped out of the box with unique ideas like beer soaked rice.

  

Downloads6

 So if you have a creative and non-claustrophobic cooking spirit, check out the Chaos Cooking events, held once a month with friends and fellow Chicagoans.  Sign up at Cooking Chaos website for future events or even host an event at your apartment. The next event is Spanish wines and tapas at our fave bistro, Blue Star Bistro & Wine Bar.  Click here to RSVP for this event on June 12th.

What new dish would you make if you had to cook in chaos?

Detergent for the Green and Eco-Restless

We’re always looking to reduce the amount of chemical exposure we have on a daily basis.  With a multitude of ingredients on products and a limited time span, it’s often hard to figure out what you are putting in and on your body.  Reading the ingredients in our fave products often feels like you’re deciphering an ancient code with no decoder ring.  And laundry detergent is no exception.  Phenalyna-glycol a wha?  You want your clothes to be clean but do you need a ‘laundry’ list of items in your detergent?

IMG_20140416_092114

So what’s a more clear option?  Spearheaded by a former fashion designer, Puretergent aims to fill the gap between eco-friendly and fashion forward.  Kate attended a brunch to check out the new line with fellow Chicago bloggers at delicious Beatrix.  The line not only includes a minimalist ingredient list but has easy instructions and identifying packaging for the laundry illiterate.

Check it!  You have a pile of sweaty yoga clothes.  Should you choose the:

  • Colors
  • Whites and Dirty Stuff
  • X-Tra Sensitive

See, not as hard as a Choose Your Own Adventure Book.  Whites and Dirty Stuff it is!

IMG_20140416_092140

Now what about the other essential elements you look for in a detergent?

Scent: Botanical fresheners like Aloe Vera, Lavender and Eucalyptus are the scent base.  None of the products smell perfume-y or strong and we especially liked the relaxing lavender smell of the Colors detergent.

Texture: No gooey sticky gel here.  Puretergent is almost like water when you pour it in.

Clothes Feel: No clothing softener needed as Purtergent promotes natural softness.

And the best thing about Purtergent?  It excludes chlorine, phosphates, nonylphenol ethoxylates, alcohol, dyes, optical brighteners, animal products and EPA priority pollutants so you can rest easy in your freshly laundered jammies.

puretergent

Puretergent is available at Target and runs at a similar price as most major brands.  Anyone feel like doing our laundry ;)?

Kettlebell Fitness for your tush and thighs

Spring and pending summer raise the “risk” of going out for fruity umbrella drinks, thus raising the probability of expanding our shorts sizes.  YIKES!  Sometimes you gotta switch up your fitness routine to get over the summer drink hump.  But what do two fitanistas do when they’ve tried a gamut of fitness styles?

13895055022_c261357dc1_o

Go to an expert!  Our bestest personal trainer friend alerted us to a Kettlebell option in Chicago that we just had to try.  Chicago Kettlebell Club is the go-to place for kettlebell sport training in Chicago, and is home of Chicago’s growing kettlebell sport team.  They also offer intro classes for greenies like us.  The only Kettlebell experience we’ve had was in circuit training-like classes where we hacked our way through the traditional wood chopper exercise.

But now, we know better!  One of the best things about Chicago Kettlebell Club is the bubbly, informative and meticulous instructor, Bea Rodriguez (read her personal story about how she got hooked on kettlebell).  When entering, we were late (we need to work on that!) to the North Side space where Bea’s small group training sessions are held, Evolution, but Bea looped us right in.  There were about 4 other people in the class and the circuit was posted on a dry erase board for more experienced classmates.  Bea warmed us up and then helped us through the entire class with basic kettlebell handling, form, and facts.  This was much appreciated as we figured out we had noooo idea how to handle that sucker.

ckc shirts

Basic Kettlebell Tidbits:

What Da…is a Kettlebell anyways?

Kettlebells originated in Russia and are either cast iron or steel balls with an attached handle.  They range in weight as can be quite light or supremely heavy.  Bea uses steel competition Kettlebells in her classes.

So how much do they weigh?

We started off with a 8 kg kilogram kettlebell (good ol’ pinky the Kettlebell) which equates to approximately 17.6 lbs and bumped up to the light blue 10 kg kettlebell (approx. 22 pounds).  The largest kettlebell (an appropriately colored gold bell) at Evolution weighs 48 kg lbs.

For the math curious, 1 kg=2.2 pounds (Oh you tricky metric system!)
13918827604_a156f74a61_o
There are different schools of Kettlebell thought/technique: Girevoy Sport Style and Hardstyle

Girevoy style Kettlebell classes focus on endurance over time whereas Hardstyle does more explosive movements where you tire quickly.  Bea practices Girevoy Sport style, aka fluid style, but you may encounter Hardstyle at your local gym.

You can compete with Kettlebells.

No ways! There is an upcoming competition in Chicago in June, and there are many competitions that team members can attend throughout the year, in Chicago and other states and countries.

ckc team practice

So who should join the Chicago Kettlebell Club?

Whether you’re in Chicago or not, you can join Coach Bea‘s kettlebell sport team.  Male, female, beginner and advanced athletes are all welcome. All you need are 2 things:

1) Set aside 3 times a week to follow Coach Bea‘s weekly programming, whether at home or a gym that has competition bells (in Chicago, Evolution Fitness at 6122 N Pulaski Rd and Phenomenal Fitness at 1450 S Michigan Ave has them)

2) Set up in-person coaching (at Evolution Fitness or Phenomenal Fitness) or video technique coaching.  You may also choose to attend optional team practice sessions at Evolution on Saturdays at 12pm.

Pricing will depend on location and the training package you choose.

Email Coach Bea at chikettleclub@gmail.com with your name and phone number if interested.  More info can also be found here http://thechicagokettlebellclub.com/faqs/

ckc team

Here’s a sneak peek demo of a kick butt Kettlebell signature move, the Double Turkish Get-Up 24kg .

Umm soo..do Kettlebells make you lose weight?

As with all things, your nutritional lifestyle and exercise both factor in but yep, Kettlebells burn some major calories so they are an effective tool to get your blood pumping!

We wholeheartedly recommend this class for beginners or advanced fitness students.  Aside from being comfortable with basic swing variations and squat techniques, there was one thing we were definitely sure about…..Bea’s Kettlebell class worked us out!  Our booties and thighs were sore enough to make us think we walked up a mountain!

 

Ready to try it out?  Your first class with Bea is free!  Contact her to get started today.

 13918573165_c8f9d45f53_o

 

 

And for you competitive go-getter types, here’s a taste of what a competition looks like:

Happy swinging!

 

Girl’s Fit Night: Exhale and Women’s Health Core Fusion Party

We don’t know about ya’ll, but we love spending quality time with our best pals and quality time is even better when you can get fit together!   Exhale Spa Chicago, one of our fave luxurious spa and workout joints, is hosting a free event this coming Tuesday.

10294386_10152110261655197_1447814912435164118_n

The event includes complimentary evening Core Fusion classes, lite bites, goodie bags, giveaways, DJ’s and more!  The illustrious and well known, Women’s Health magazine, will also be kicking off their “Next Fitness Star” competition with guest star contender, Emily Scrhomm, during the party.  

Core Fusion Barre+Cardio, Exhale’s newest class will be one of the featured workouts for attendees to try during FusionFest.  If you haven’t tried an Exhale class, their instructors are impeccably skilled at merging ab wrenching exercises with toning Barre tricks and sweat inducing bursts of heart pumping moves.  

Anyone who attends the complimentary FusionFest classes will also be the recipient of a free month subscription to WH Fit Club (https://fitclub.womenshealthmag.com/), the online fitness center that gives access to the hottest, most coveted workout studios and leading fitness experts across the country—including exclusive workouts from Exhale co-founders Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp and Exhale’s National Yoga Director Stefanie Eris.

We would love you to join us in a fit and fun girl’s night!  Sign up here, grab your sticky grip socks, cute fitness gear and we’ll meet you at the Barre.

Final Details

Date: Exhale FusionFest, Tuesday May 20th

Class times: 5:25pm, 5:45pm, 6:35pm, 7:45pm

Location: 945 N. State, Chicago, IL 60610

Get “Flattened by Flavor” with Potbelly’s New #Flatbreads!

Is the old white bread rigamaroll bringing you down?  We have developed a forever love of Potbelly’s whole grain bread subs (sorry Subway :/ ) that keeps us coming back for the skinny mushroom melt and the vegetarian Mediterranean.

photo (19)

But what’s this?  Potbelly has unveiled a new bread experience: the flatbread gloves are off and Potbelly is ready to battle.

Last Thursday, we had the privilege of tasting the new multigrain flatbreads with the toppings of our tried and true sandwich stars.  And boy howdy does Potbelly know how to make you feel special!  Bottles were popping and flatbreads were flowing.  Ok well, actually the new frozen raspberry lemonades with the tiny shortbread cookies on the straws were popping.  We can dream right?

photo (18)

Once we checked in, we walked upstairs to the VIP lounge.  Each table had several snack bags of BBQ Popchips awaiting our arrival.  Potbelly staff walked around with samples of the several types of sandwiches on the new flatbread.  We both tried a full sized veggie Mediterranean and Kate nibbled the tiny sized grilled chicken and cheese.  The Wreck, Turkey and Tuna on the flats were also available but we didn’t partake.  After we gobbled down our sammiches, we delighted in a “Drop the Popchip in your mouth” competition.

BBQ Popchips!

BBQ Popchips!

Review!

Nutrition: With 90 calories less than Potbelly’s traditional breads, the flatbread is a solid nutritional choice for somebody watching the waistline while craving a sammitch.

Taste: We are a big fan of the skinnys as too much bread can be overwhelming.  The flats had a mild multigrain flavor, not too overwhelming.  They have a nice balance of outside crunch and inside softness as well.  The raspberry lemonade was off the chain tasty but our guess is it is not on the health conscious list.  For a nice summer treat in 80 degree weather, it would alrighty but not the best idea in addition to a cookie, chips, sandwich, shake…hehehe…although light and airy Popchips are a good choice if you just hafta add the chips.

So when can you grab the flats and flatten them out?  Flats go national wide on May 6 and the yummy lemonade hits stands in June.

 

Our VIP Goody Bag from Potbelly

Our VIP Goody Bag from Potbelly

 

Run the Night to Save Some Light! Join the 5k Energizer Night Race

Just as we started to begin to bear running outside again (shaking our fists at the lingering Polar Vortex), we were presented with a chance to not only stretch our fledgling run skills but also to help improve the quality of lives for others.  Sure, fun runs abound in the Chi.  There’s beer runs, chocolate runs (yum), Santa runs, Neon Color Glowy Runs and so on.

But your 5K can be silly and charitable!  Imagine, for example, running down Lake Shore Drive in the dark with a set of bunny ears on.  No, this is not your typical wild Saturday night.  This is the Energizer 5k Night Race for a Brighter World and we are your run ambassadors!

SO why do we need to make a brighter world?

The mission of the Energizer Night Race is to spread awareness of the dangers of unclean lighting.  When you participate in the Energizer Night Race in Chicago, you can help the 1.3 billion people that lack electricity.  Your time running will aid in Energizer’s efforts to donate over 14 million hours of light to families around the world through their partner, One Million Lights – a non-profit that provides clean, safe, affordable solar lighting to rural communities globally.  When we were reading through the info, we were surprised to learn about the usage and dangers of kerosene lighting which is still prevalent in many countries.  To be honest, we sometimes don’t consider all the comforts of home we have!  Are you inspired to lace up those shoes yet?  Here’s the details of the race!

 Energizer Night Race for a Brighter World

Saturday June 7, 2014

Lakeshore East Park

6PM Race Day Packet Pick-up/On-site Registration

7 PM Pre-Race Festivities

8 PM 5K Race Step Off

8:45-10:00 PM Post-Race Celebration

(Keep the bunny ears on for that extra party ‘je ne sais quoi’)

 

Your $35 entry fee includes your Energizer LED headlamp, bunny ears, event shirt as well as pre and post race entertainment.

 

And now we want to spread the positivitenergy™ to you!  We have race GIVEAWAYS so spread the word to keep the lights on!

To win, please tell us how you light up others’ lives and an email where we can reach you.  Deadline May 24th, 2014.

 

Prizes (click on each to see the prize):

2 Free Race Entries

5 Energizer® 3 LED Headlights

Energizer® Solar™ LED Flashlights 

Sign up, spread the word, put on those ears and run faster than a…well, faster than an Enegizer bunny, that’s apropos right?

 

Spring Tea Time Treats

We’ve jumped from winter to winter to oh my, is that spring we see?  There was that one blissful 60s weekend and the tulips have somehow managed to peek out of the ground and stretch their leafy arms.  What’s best way to enjoy the promise of such weather? With a break, of course.  A very classy wafel break. We Americans have been doing our break all wrong, you see.  We’ve been missing the stroopwafel, a cookie made of  two thin Dutch waffle-like wafers with gooey caramel in-between.  When we first received a sample box from Rip van Wafels, we screamed in delight.  The presentation of the monthly coffee/tea & stroopwafels was cuter than a bucket of bunnies cuddling puppies. Vanwafels Numi Breakfast Blend tea, the featured beverage, was packed in a handle mason jar with two legions of  individually wrapped wafels on each side.  Numi is a perfect partner for Rip Van Wafels with it’s focus on fair trade and organic products. First things first, we didn’t follow the suggested directions of placing the stroopwafel over a steamy beverage to warm the ooey-gooey caramel loveliness inside.  After about 4 days of mindless wafel munching (Kate received and commandeered the wafels at her house), Monica closely examined the packaging and realized the delicacies of this Dutch tradition, koffietijd, or a mid morning coffee and wafel break.

photo (17)

Heating our wafels up with Numi Tea

Subscribers to Rip van Wafels will get a new coffee or tea in each box as well as sturdy traditional stroopwafels or their fanciful cousin, the cocoa filled wafel.  We are curious to know how the cocoa filled wafel would stand up to our Chicago micro-roasting coffee companies.  Yumm, delicious collaboration could be on the horizon!

image

Picture courtesy of Rip van Wafels

So what say you America, shall we start a mindful revolution of stroopwafeling and mid morning time outs? We say let’s import the Dutch tradition and while we’re at it, let’s bring back the old school kindergarten nap time to the adult work world too!