Tag Archive | Chicago

Fast Food Mascots At A Funeral

Fast Food Mascots at a Funeral
Photo By Gail

This amazing painting featuring a group of seven of the most well-known Fast Food Mascots at a funeral was spotted by me at an arts and crafts street fair in Chicago. They are clearly serving as pallbearers and you can see that the coffin says “Monsanto,” the notorious chemical company. But, what does it all mean? The painting is clearly mounted in an up-cycled window frame, and the rows of towering palm trees in the background indicates that the location is southern California. I neglected to note the artist’s name, so if anyone has a clue as to who painted this, and what it is all about, please leave that information in the comments! Thank you, Drive Through!

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Pink Thing of The Day: Gas For Less Neon Sign

Gas For Less Neon Sign
Photo By Gail

Geoffrey and I were on our way to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo when we passed a building with a glass store-front from whose interior a Pink Neon Sign called out to me. The building turned out to be the home of the Chicago History Museum (formerly known as the Chicago Historical Society), and it looked like a pretty cool place. We did not have time for an in-depth visit (next time!), but we did snap a few photos in the lobby, which is alive with a streetscape of illuminated, vintage Chicago signage such as the eight-feet tall Gas for Less sign you see above, as well as a fully refurbished Lowrider Car, which you may see in a future post! Chicago!

Cats Mural: Broken English Taco Pub, Chicago

Broken English Taco Pub Mural
Photos By Gail

“Paying Attention All the Time is an Interesting Way to Go Through the Day.” That is my favorite quote from photographer Stephen Shore, and while it applies to most days of my life, it was especially true during the week I spent vacationing in Chicago. Man, excluding decent weather, that city has just about everything, including lots of fun public art. This site-specific mural of cartoonish fat cats is painted on the exterior of Broken English Taco Pub, which according to its website serves “A unique take on Mexican street style tacos.”  Sound yummy!

Broken English Taco Pub Mural Detail

We were running around so much that we didn’t have an opportunity to eat there (next time!) and I only got one good snap of the entire mural, but here is a cropped view of the cats, which look like ‘cat balloons,’ almost. The Luchador Mask-wearing Cat below is on the back side of the building on Wells Street as you walk toward the entrance.

Broken English Taco Pub Mural Detail

There are three Broken English Taco Pub locations in Chicago, but this one is located at 1440 N. Wells (at the corner Schiller Street) in the Old Town neighborhood.

Pink Thing Of The Day: Battery Operated Pink Jeep For a Child

Miniature Pink Jeep
All Photos By Gail

When I claimed that my vacation time spent in the lovely city of Chicago had provided me with multiple months of delightful things to feature in this blog, I was not at all exaggerating. Check out this rad battery-powered Pink Jeep for kids! I walked by this while strolling about look at the sites.

Miniature Pink Jeep

A wee bit of Googling took me to this page on the Wal-Mart Website, where the Jeep, referred to as a “ride-on truck,” is feted in irresistibly glowing terms:

“Nothing’s better than cruising in your truck, the sun shining down, and a juice box in hand. Start ’em young and add a car to the garage with this ride-on truck, complete with in-car and remote-control steering. Adventure awaits: get some grass in the treads of those traction wheels and conquer the backyard with a spring suspension system. Our trucks are built large, scaled small, for your little one’s biggest adventures.”

Yeah, Baby!  The Jeep is from Best Choice Products (who make other models of cars for kids as well) and sells for $299 retail. Sweet Ride!

Sweet Ride

Modern Art Monday Presents: Boy By Charles Ray

Boy By Charles Ray
All Photos By Gail

Having been employed as a department store janitor during his freshman year of college, Charles Ray (b. 1953) understands the unease that a mannequin — an inanimate object that one might readily mistake for a live human — can inspire.  Ray’s work is also charged with purely sculptural tensions that exist between surface and interior, armature and appendage and / or size and scale. With Boy (1992), Ray created a particularly disquieting figure.

Boy With Guard
Museum Guard With Sense of Humor Poses With Boy

The sculpture stands just shy of six feet tall, the artist’s exact height, yet maintains the softness of youth in its rounded cheeks and limbs. The boy is clad in outdated garments, hovering ‘between baby and Hitler youth,” in the words of one critic. Additionally, the boy’s pose and gesture suggest a confrontational manner at odds with his neutral expression.Boy By Charles Ray

Photographed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Flamingo Murals

Flamingo Rum Club
Photos By Gail

Hey what’s up. I recently returned from a mind-blowlingly great 8-day vacation in the beautiful and exciting city of Chicago, where I had many fun adventures. One ass-kicking afternoon, we walked past this building with huge Pink Flamingos painted on its facade, and of course I stoped to snap some photos. The building turned out to be the home of a well-reviewed Cuban restaurant and club called the Flamingo Rum Club. You can read more about it at This Link, in case you happen to be in Chicago and want to check it out. I love Cuban food and this place sounds pretty cool.

Flamingo Rum Club

Flamingo Rum Club is Located at 601 North Wells Street (Corner of West Ohio), in Chicago, IL.

Eye On Design: Favorite Products from the International Home + Housewares Show Press Preview!

About Flowers Display
All Photos and Story By Gail

Every March, the international Housewares Association (IHA) hosts its massive International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago. This year’s show runs from March 2nd through 5th, but in January, there was a press preview in NYC, where I was able see all kinds of new gadgets and come back home with a huge bag of products to try for myself. It’s great to meet so many cool people and learn about their innovative  designs, and everyone has a lot of fun! Here’s a peek at ten of my favorite new products and services from the show!

About Flowers Display Photo
It’s Me, Getting a Souvenir Photo from Aboutflowers.com!

It’s probably not a total surprise to you that looking at, and being around beautiful Flowers can reduce stress levels. In fact, it is scientifically proven. This year, the Society of American Florists (SAF) was at the show to promote their website, About Flowers Dot Com, where you will find all kinds of inforamtion about flowers, including how they are known to have a calming affect on people. Very cool!

About Flowers Vase Display

Attendees were gifted with their choice of two beautiful wildflower arrangements in a vase to take home. Here they are, enhancing the décor in my home office and making me feel all calm and relaxed. Thanks SAF!

Crane Humidifiers Display
Crane Drop, Personal and Adorable Humidifier Models

If you live in an arid climate, or even in a NYC apartment that has steam heat, you might find yourself in need of a humidifier. Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers come in a variety of models to match any room in your home. Their Adorable line, which includes animal shapes like Wyatt, the Fox-shaped model you see above, is perfect for a child’s room, while the Drop model — which comes in a selection of bold designer colors –accents any modern décor. The compact size of the Personal model (front, left) make it ideally suited for easy portability. These humidifiers feature whisper-quiet running, automatic shut off when the tank is empty, and do not require a filter. Most importantly, the “Clean Control” antimicrobial material in the base is proven to help reduce mold and bacteria growth up to 99.96%.

Portable Humidifier
Personal Travel Humidifier

Crane also makes a Personal Travel Humidifier that’s perfect for the business traveler who needs his or her hotel room to be as comfortable as possible. Even better, use of a humidifier can also help to alleviate respiratory symptoms of colds, flue, and allergies — which feel so much worse when you are on the road. This compact, personal model has all of the features of Crane’s full-size models and includes a carrying bag, portable tank, and power adaptor that works with AC power outlets or any USB port. The Personal Travel Humidifier would make a great gift for any frequent traveler!

Hook and Hang Display

Here’s a simple but brilliant design that absolutely every kitchen needs: the Ritz Hook and Hang Towel (from the John Ritzenthaler Company). Ritz’s patent-pending design features a high quality hand towel with a permanently-attached, flexible rubber ring that will securely lock onto virtually any type of door or drawer handle, so you always have a towel handy for drying hands or dishes, or wiping up small spills. Seriously, what a great idea!

Hook and Hang Display Installed

Here’s the bright red Hook and Hang towel that I got at the show hanging on my fridge door — which does not even have an external handle! These towels come in six solid colors and are fully machine washable. Get one in every color!

Fresh Paper Packaging

Are you a busy person who puts off buying fresh fruit because you’re afraid it will spoil before you have a chance to eat it? I know how you feel. This is where an easy to use new product called FRESHPAPER comes in to save the day!

Fresh Paper In Fruit Bowl

FRESHPAPER is a natural produce-saver sheet that’s infused with organic, active botanicals (inspired by creator Kavita Shukla’s grandmother’s spice tea home remedy) that keeps produce fresh for up to two to four times longer, so that you can keep your kitchen stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Just drop FRESHPAPER sheets into any crisper drawer, fruit bowl, or container filled with produce. It’s a simple, intuitive and money saving design that helps you eat healthy and fresh.

Fresh Paper With Fruit and Cheese

There is also FRESHPAPER for Cheese, and to keep Bread and other Baked Goods fresh as well!

Fresh Paper With Bread

FRESHPAPER is made by Fresh Glow Co. Read more about their full line of products at This Link.

Fresh Paper With Blueberries

Aladdin Reusable Tumbler Ad 2

With the food service industry becoming hyper-aware of the need to eliminate single-use plastics, packaging designers are also proactively creating attractive and practical reusable containers: because sustainability is on everyone’s mind. Since timing is everything, the Aladdin Sustain Reusable Travel Tumbler is poised to claim a ubiquitous place in your daily life, affordably taking the place of all of your single-use water bottles and disposable to-go cold cups.

Aladdin Reusable Tumblers 1

Look at these cute designs!

Aladdin Reusable Tumbler Ad

Check Out These Features:

  • Press-fit, Drink-through Lid For Easy Sipping On-The-Go.
  • Reusable and Recyclable, to Reduce Waste.
  • Microwave and Dishwasher Safe to be Hassel-Free from Hot to Clean.
  • BPA-free So They’re Safe to Use.
  • Sold in Sets of Three!

Aladdin Reusable Tumblers 2

Be the envy of everyone at McDonalds when you show up rocking your own bitchen designer cups!

Halo Vino Slogan

And while we’re on the subject of drinking on-the-go, check out HaloVino! With this super nifty stackable plastic wine glass, you can take your wine anywhere that glass can’t go. Best of all, HaloVino is designed specifically to optimize the taste of wine in a way that a regular wine glass cannot.

Halo Vino Challenge

At the IHA show I was invited to take the HaloVino Challenge! This taste test lets you compare a glass of wine served in the traditional-design plastic cup, versus the HaloVino. Just one sip will inform your senses that the taller glass with a narrow rim intensifies aromatics and taste by funneling aromas to the nose!

Kung Fu Girl Wine

As an aside, Kung Fu Girl Wine is pretty tasty!

Halo Vino Signage

The two-piece HaloVino cup is easy to assemble with a snap, and sturdy enough to hold by the “Halo” rim! There’s also an easy way to measure how much wine you wish to imbibe — although in my book, more is more!

Halo Vino At The Game

Take your HaloVino to the game!

Halo Vino By The Pool

Enjoy HaloVino by the pool, where glass is a big no-no!

Halo Vino Floats

And then take it right into the pool, because HaloVino floats, bitches! Find out more at HaloVino Dot Com!

Hot Sips Straws Display

Reusable straws are another on-trend item that you can expect to start seeing everywhere, as single-use plastics continue to be phased out of use. It should not surprise anyone then that a company called Brilli Baby has found a way to make the reusable straw not only fashion-forward, but even a little sexy! Check out HotSips Reusable Straws! Available in vibrant, popular shades like pink and aqua, HotSips straws say that not all of your taste is in your mouth (or maybe it is)! But good looks aside, HotSips are eco-friendly, dishwasher safe and can be used in both hot and cold beverages.

Hot Sips Cups Display

HotSips come in three size lengths, and they can also be easily trimmed to accommodate any beverage container. If you are a person who prefers to use a straw when sipping coffee to avoid staining your pearly whites, HotSips are for you! And because of their unique shape, there is a reduced effort to sip, preventing pucker lines around the mouth!

Hot Sips Straws

These fun and practical straws come packaged in a handy travel tube of four straws, for easy on-the-go use. HotSips Reusable Straws can be purchased on Amazon!

Life Straw Table Display

If you are a fan of outdoor survival television shows then you may have already heard of LifeStraw, a portable filtration system that makes any water that might be contaminated safe to drink. Any water. I first heard about LifeStraw when my friend Lauren saw it used on some TV show by a guy who was able to (her words) “Drink Poo Water” and live to tell the tale! I have no desire to drink poo water, but as a demonstration, the lovely brand representative whom I met at the show had brought with her a container of actual “mulch water” (see above) that she had collected from her yard. I then watched her drink the mulch water, which had visible chunks of soil and twigs floating in it, through the Lifestraw, and she did not barf or even make a face. So, color me convinced!

Life Straw Packaging

LifeStraw products are ideal for outdoor expeditions, adventure travel, and for use in emergencies.

Life Straw Side By Side Comparison

I’m not sure if the above cup holds poo water, but you can see that the LifeStraw has made the water clear and potable.

Life Straw With Bottle

The Lifestraw Go advanced water filter bottle has a price point of $44.95, so you can see it is a good investment. LifeStraw is also a company with a conscience. For every product purchased, a school child in a developing nation receives safe water for an entire school year. Unlike many other companies, LifeStraw implements this program directly. Fantastic!

So Young Lunch Bag Ad

If there’s one thing that many of us will agree on, it’s that Change is Hard. Personally, I hate change, but you just can’t fight it. If you find yourself feeling so overwhelmed with the degree of needed change  in your life that you become inert,  just starting with a tiny step can kick start a personal transformation. If you’re wondering what that has to do with an insulated lunch bag, let me introduce you to SoYoung, founded by Catherine Choi.

So Young Fashion Lunch Bag

Catherine founded SoYoung after she recovered from a drug addiction, and started on a journey of personal healing. When I spoke to Catherine at the show, she expressed the importance of eating healthy as a basic foundation to wellness, which sparked her idea to design a cool lunch bag, or poche (which is French for pocket) to elevate the simple act of taking a homemade lunch to  the office.

Here are three ways SoYoung’s Lunch Poche supports systems that empower long-term transformation:

KICKSTART WELLNESS: Planning choices in advance is a proven tactic for long term change. Whether you’re are looking to lose weight, feel more energized or manage a food sensitivity, packing nourishing food that you love is a great way to kick- start incremental change in all areas of your life.

LEAVE NO TRACE: North America produces over 285 million tons of waste every year – much of it single-use food wrapping. We can reverse this trend with reusable containers filled with fresh, unprocessed food.

SPEND INTENTIONALLY: The average cost of eating lunch out in North America is nearly $12, while packing lunch costs only $4. That means you can save over $2,000 a year simply by bringing your food from home.

So Young Fashion Lunch Bag Inside

The SoYoung Lunch Poche is roomy enough to hold your lunch and snacks without crushing anything, and each one has a removable insulated lining for easy cleaning. Plus, the craftsmanship and minimalist design aesthetic make you feel like you are carrying your food in a gorgeous designer shoulder bag!

So Young Fashion Lunch Bag Close Up

We’re talking Kate Spade-quality hardware! Find out more about the SoYoung line of Lunch Poches, Cooler Bags and Backpacks at This Link!

Marathon Watch Company Hotel Room Alarm Clocks

Alarm Clocks will never be replaced by the Smart Phone as long as there are cool new modern designs from companies like Marathon Watch Company. It was fun to meet the super-friendly guys from Marathon at the IHA show and find out more about how they integrate timeless design with modern technology. One of their newest designs is Marathon’s LED Alarm Clock and USB Charging Station seen above. This eye-catching clock — with its bright and easy-to-read display– also stands out for its two, easily accessible USB Ports located directly on the front of the clock. What a great idea! These ports are fast-charging and are perfect for your phone or tablet. This charging function is something that everyone needs, but Marathon made it happen. Available colors include: White, Black, Cocoa and Graphite.

Pink and Green Alarm Clocks

Here’s Marathon’s design-forward Compact Alarm Clock with Temperature and Date that I’m happy to say I have in my home right now.
With its easy-to-use styling, alarm, lighting options and compact size, this alarm clock is great for all ages and locations in your home. All control buttons, for the time (12 or 24-hour display options), month, date, day, temperature (Celsius or Fahrenheit), are located at the back of the clock to eliminate clutter. Color choices black, white, blue, graphite grey, green or pink. Two AAA batteries are included, so it’s ready to go out of the box!

Marathon Watch Company Alarm Clocks

Marathon also makes a traditional Analog Desk Alarm Clock with Auto-Night Light (above left) that is the perfect marriage of form and function. This clean-look clock features an elegant, classic design with modern touches to create the perfect bedside accessory. The ambient light sensor ensures the face of the clock is illuminated in the dark and easy to read, and a sweeping second hand eliminates any audible tick (which can be so annoying for light sleepers). All control buttons are conveniently located on the top of the clock and are easily accessible even in the dark. Available in a variety of colors: Black, White, Blue, Gold, and Silver.

Pink Alarm Clock

Check out my Pink Marathon Alarm Clock which fits perfectly in my bedroom! I love this little clock!

See All of these Products and More at The International Home + Housewares Show, which runs from March 2nd through 5th, 2019 at the McCormick Place Exposition Center in Downtown Chicago.