Archives for April 2019

Spoiler-free Avengers: Endgame review

I. Am. Shook.

I’m going to keep this review short and sweet and omg-it’s-so-hard-but-Ima-do-it-anyway free of spoilers. If you haven’t already seen End Game, get thee to a theater ASAP…but it would definitely be better if you’ve already seen the first 21 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (I recommend this order). The way End Game ties them all together in this beautifully composed goodbye letter is more than incredible…it’s breathtaking. 20 minutes ago, I bought tickets to see it again. In 20 minutes. So as I quickly draft this review , I’m also preparing myself to see it again, knowing now what I didn’t know last night.

Avengers: Endgame Black Widow

The best way I can sum this up for you without spoilers is in a listicle. So here goes: 8 things to know before watching Avengers: Endgame

  1. There is no room for bathroom breaks. Ignore the articles that tell you you don’t need to see certain scenes. They are wrong. There is nothing you purposely want to miss. So drink minimally and slowly, Avenger.
  2. The beginning packs a punch. We ate in a dine-in theater and I was crying into my fish taco within seconds. To be fair, I immediately knew what was coming thanks to one of Brian’s many predictions that became too real.
  3. The first half is a beautifully weaved build-up to some of the most epic movie scenes I’ve ever witnessed.
  4. Bring tissues. For real. Even Brian teared up a bit. I, the emotional basketcase that I am cried A LOT. Some sad. Some happy. Some just emotional. I won’t tell you whether there was more happy or sad. Because spoilers. Just know that if you cry, you will cry.
  5. If you haven’t seen all or most of the MCU movies, you might want to go back and watch them first. Or wait until the crowds subside. This movie is probably for everyone, but OMG it is MADE for the fans.
  6. You know nothing. Like Jon Snow, you probably think you know everything, but you know nothing. So several of Brian’s predictions came to be true. A couple of mine may have. But neither of us expected how this plot was going to play out.
  7. Be on the lookout for the ultimate girl-power moment. And that’s all I’m going to say.
  8. Go see it as soon as you can. Because the night is dark and full of spoilers. But you won’t find those spoilers here.
AvengersEndgame Poster

Avengers: Endgame

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.”

Kevin Feige produces “Avengers: Endgame,” and Anthony and Joe Russo are the directors. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau and Stan Lee are the executive producers, and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

7 things you can do right now to celebrate earth day

Happy Earth Day friends!⁣

In the last few months, I’ve been making a conscious effort to be a better human. I’ve been trying to use fewer plastics, buy less, recycle more, reuse, repurpose, or upcycle items, and so much more.

When I do anything, I try to think about the implications of my actions on this planet we call home. I don’t know what clicked, but something got me to expand my awareness of our world. And it makes me feel good to be doing something. Brian and I often have extensive conversations about the changes I’m making in our lives, and most of the time he’s on board. When he’s not, it’s because he has come with a counter argument that is well-researched or we look it up together. We’re constantly learning and growing from each other, and it’s magic.

In honor of this very important day of celebrating the earth, I implore you to do one or more of the following things:⁣

1. Recycle your old cell phones. If they’re sitting in a drawer and you’re never going to use them again, it’s time to pack them up and give them them back to the universe and not dumping them in a landfill, where electronics remain the leading cause of toxic waste. ⁣My new phone arrives today, and I’ll be sending my old one back to Sprint to refurbish for someone else.

2. Reuse grocery bags. Instead of accepting more bags from stores and then throwing them away, reuse the ones you already have. Or pull out those dusty promotional grocery bags you get just about everywhere these days and use those. ⁣

3. Minimize your use of single-use plastics. Instead of buying bottled water, fill a reusable water bottle or straw cup. Stop accepting plastic straws with your drinks. Bring your own reusable cup to Starbucks. Use real silverware, dishes and cloth napkins🍽. Start using bar soap without plastic packaging instead of liquid soap in a single-use container. ⁣

4. Donate! Before you Konmarie everything into the trash, consider whether it’s something that someone else might use or buy. Then donate it to your local thrift store or an organization that provides items to those in need. ⁣

5. Consider buying used. Instead of adding to the consumption of new products, buy something that is new to you. I’ve been thrifting a lot lately, and not only has it been saving my wallet, I feel better knowing that someone else’s trash became my treasure. ⁣

6. Go paperless. Call up your financial institutions and other companies and request digital bills and statements. It also makes for fewer stacks of paper piling up on flat surfaces in your home!⁣

7. Plant a tree. Or flowers. Or something. It’s all a part of the circle of life. Don’t you want to bee (pun intended) a part of it?⁣

What other things can you do or are you doing to help the planet? Let me know in the comments!⁣

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things to do in Chicago this spring: City adventures

Greetings fellow adventurers, world travelers, or Chicago natives. Despite the snow-covered flowers from this past weekend, spring — I promise you — is here.

With spring, comes the end of hibernation (or Snowbird) season. And if you’re like me (and the 547 cookies I ate this winter — not counting the two I just had for lunch), you’re probably ready to step out and get active. And I’ve got a list of some super fun things you can check out if you’re a Chicagoland local or considering an exciting visit to the Windy City (highly recommended now that winter is *hopefully* over…just in case, bring a coat. And a light jacket. And an umbrella. And maybe hand warmers…).

Some of these things will help you with that whole getting active thing. Others may deter whatever health resolutions you made for 2019. But it’s fine. Walk it off. Without further ado, here are some of my top picks for things you can do right now (or like, really, really soon) in Chicago(ish). I’ll even break it up for you into two parts: city adventures and suburban treks (coming next week – make sure you’re subscribed). Try both. I promise the suburbs don’t bite. And neither does the city.

City adventures

360 Chicago ($20-$30)

Chrissy in a rainbow dress on the TILT at 360 Chicago
You better believe I dressed to match the TILT, you guys. Dress: Amazon $15; Crinoline: Amazon: $13

I recently attended a sweet media preview at the skyscraper formerly known as Hancock (now officially known by its address, 875 N. Michigan — but like most things in Chicago, we call it what we want because we don’t like change). 360 Chicago is what you get when you ascend the elevator to the 94th floor — a panoramic view of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, complete with a bar and cafe, activities and entertainment (including yoga!), and my favorite part, the TILT thrill ride.

TILT is a moving window pane that literally tilts you out at a 30 degree angle, 1000 feet over Michigan Avenue (The Magnificent Mile). It’s pretty freaking awesome. I’ve been on it about ten times and probably would have kept going if they hadn’t kicked me off to make way for more people. Tickets to the observation deck are about $20 (buy online in advance to save a few bucks) and $8 extra for the TILT experience (WORTH IT).

Djembe! The Show ($39-$53)

Recently making its U.S. tour debut in Chicago, this interactive storytelling experience is EVERYTHING. First and foremost, this show is a drum-focused musical performance. But it’s so much more than that. Cletus and I had the pleasure of attending a media preview for the show and oh boy did we have a fantastic time.

Djembe! drums in the Apollo Theater lobby
These drums were so much fun to listen to and play with!

Each seat is equipped with a djembe drum because you are a part of the show. The performers will guide you in an interactive drum performance that will leave you breathless (and probably with slightly sore arms unless you’ve been working out all winter — I clearly haven’t).

The empty Djembe! stage at the Apollo Theater
The stage at the Apollo

In addition to the incredible collaborative drumming, there is a beautiful story weaved throughout the show that focuses on the positive and uplifting side of the history, music, and influence of the djembe drum. The music is inspiring, and the storytelling is amazing. I cried. Of course. Djembe! is playing at the Apollo Theater through June 2. Tickets are $39-$53.

She the People

Not sure if you know this about me, but I’ve been studying comedy at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. It’s been a wild ride to be sure, and I am loving every second of it. Part of the ride includes seeing lots of comedy shows, and She the People is truly the best show that I’ve seen at The Second City. I’ve seen it twice, and I’m planning to go again. That’s how good it is.

I laughed. I cried (there are some real moments in here that really spoke to me). I related. It is so freakin’ relatable. It’s feminism with a side of laughter. It’s smartly written and super funny. I only cried like twice. If you’re a woman. If you love a woman or women. This all-female cast sketch show is for you. If you’re a He-man woman-hater, you may want to sit this one out. Go see Djembe again. Or one of the other dozen or so shows playing at The Second City every night. She the People plays Thursday through Sunday evenings in the UP Comedy Club. Tickets are $26-$36.

What are some of your favorite things to do in the city in Spring?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!