Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten Songs of 2011

top ten 2011 by sara yaeggi on Grooveshark

I'll be posting my Top Ten Albums of the year tonight at the Top Ten Party, but for now I'll leave you with my Top Ten Songs of the year. (I still need some more time to whittle down the album list before the big reveal - too much good music this year). Are you coming to the Top Ten Party??? There's going to be a lot of people and I can't wait to meet some new friends and fellow music nerds.

The Annual Top Ten Party is TONIGHT at Club Garibaldi from 8-11pm. Bring your lists, drink some Louie's Demise, and let's talk shop. Read the Journal Sentinel article with all the details HERE. And/Or visit the official website http://top10albumsoftheyear.blogspot.com/.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jingle Jangle Jingle

I am onto the wrapping portion of Christmas. Hooray!
I have a new favorite ornament!
I have the song "Jingle Jangle Jingle totally stuck in my head thanks to a toddler.
I can't wait to come home and watch Claymation Christmas tonight.
Getting ready for Christmas BRUNCH!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

So if you're anything like me, you've waited until the 22nd to do the majority of your Christmas Shopping. Welcome, fellow procrastinators, this is your guide to no-overnight-shipping and local buys.

Rishi Tea Sets - Anaba Tea Room and Garden Room in Shorewood has tons of great stuff like vintage-looking mercury Christmas ornaments, fancy gardening odds and ends, and so many types of Rishi tea it will make your head explode. Rishi tea is a Milwaukee company so extra props for supporting local business.

Alessi Sculpture Fruit Bowl - The Milwaukee Art Museum gift shop is one of my favorite places to find unique gifts. They have a great assortment of kids books and unique toys and their prices aren't that bad. I really like their sculpture-esque serving bowls.

City Tins - I love these dang things. Inside are deep discount coupons for the best restaurants in the city. Great gift for young couples. You can buy them at Outpost, Lockers in the Public Market, or Beans & Barley.

Chemex Coffee Maker - Alterra Coffee sells these primo yet simple coffee makers. I've had coffee from them once and I can attest that it IS one of the best ways to make coffee - nice and smooth with no grainy/bitter after taste. For coffee connoisseurs this will make them jump with glee.

Pabst Theater Gift Card - I know teenagers are hard to buy for. Even I knew I was difficult to buy for back then. But the one thing I knew (and every teenager knows) is that concerts are rad.

Assorted Spices - The Spice House has the best spices and walking into their store is a instant aromatherapy session. For avid cooks or just people hard to buy for - you can always find something exotic and rare like West Indies Cardamon pods or common and useful like their special hot chocolate blends.

Slate Cheese Board - For us in the land of cheese and curds, Wisconsin, cheese is its own food group. Since cheese and sausage platters are a staple appetizer, why not give those a nice cheeseboard to show off their stuff a little. You can buy these at The Home Market, The Public Market, and West Allis Cheese and Sausage Co. This particular one is from the Milwaukee Art Museum gift shop.

Rifle Paper Co. Notebooks - Most girls like lotion, candles and fancy paper. Rifle Paper Co. is one of my mega design crushes. I go on their website to oogle about once a day. So these notebooks from Anthropologie (in stock in the Third Ward) would make a nice stocking stuffer, or as a set with a nice pen set, a journal, or other stationery. Monograham in Delafield also sells Rifle Paper Co. goods.

Milwaukee Brewers Jersey - Guys will never turn down a jersey or fan gear. The Brewers stadium store is open late and does personalized stitching to add a player's name or your name. Otherwise, Sports Plus at Mayfair mall stocks a good assortment of all Wisconsin team gear.

Bridesmaids - Filmed in Milwaukee (parts of it), this movie makes me laugh so hard. This would be a great gift for a girlfiend, BFF, or sister.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Backyard Discovery: Zak's Cafe

I recently checked out the new Zak's Cafe in Milwaukee's Walker's Point. I love how Walker's Point neighborhood is being revitalized by new street face-lift, restaurants, condos, breweries, the UWM School of Fresh Water and hotels. Current business like La Merenda, Transfer, South 2nd Street Antiques, Clinton Street Antiques, Soup Bros., and Triskele's are keeping a heartbeat to the neighborhood, so the new development will really reawaken that part of the city.

Zak's Cafe is a perfect addition to all this new growth. Their menu heavily features breakfast and brunch items, but I was more intrigued with the lunch and dinner options like portobello sandwiches, roast duck, and a Friday Fish Fry with perch and walleye.

See the rest of their menu HERE.

Zak's is open
Tues-Thurs 6:30am-9pm
Fri-Sat 6:30am-10am
Sun 7am-3pm
Mon closed

Have you been to Zak's? Did you like it, too?

Monday, December 19, 2011

MKE locals: Eric and Magill

Eric & Magill "You Make It So Good" from Liam Mitchell on Vimeo.

Check out the latest music video for Milwaukee-based Eric & Magill's song "You Make It So Good" and then tell me that's not every 7-year olds dream birthday cake. By the way, the kid in the video is pretty awesome.

Eric and Magill self-released their second album, Kick The Covers Vol. 1 on December 15 and have it up for free streaming and free download on their website. 88.9 FM has been playing the track, Baggage Claim a lot and I have a feeling the album might show up on a few Top Ten Lists this year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Surviving Cold and Flu Season

{ It's that time of year....not the most wonderful time of the year -- cold and flu season. Viral gastroenteritis hit our house like napalm on Friday. One minute, fine. The next, I was headfirst in the toilet bowl for the next three days. Then last night, just after I had my first full meal in days and thought I was turning the bend, my husband came down with the exact same thing. It was like watching a bad rerun.

It's going around like the plague, my friends. Word on the street (the clinic I work at) is that there's a norovirus (a virus that causes your GI system to act like the exorcist) on the loose. Fortunately, norovirus only lasts about 1-2 days and isn't not too dangerous, just gross. Strep throat, sinusitis, plain-jane runny noses colds and norovirus all follow the same rules of epidemiology. All of them are spread by contact with droplets or the infectious material to the nose/mouth. But good old fashion TLC and an attitude like a HazMat officer will get you through it. }

Tip #1: Wash your hands, then wash again.

I wash my hands a lot. Being a nurse, it's basically my life. But over the past week, I washed every even more especially after touching my mouth, before and after eating, and after any of that aforementioned gross stuff happened. Being diligent will keep a virus in check. It's no coincidence that hand-washing with plain ol' soap reduces bacteria by 82% and reduces viruses by over 50%.
- Keys to proper hand-washing are duration and intensity. Some sing "Happy Birthday" to help them reach the recommended 30 second minimum for hand-washing, but I turn hand-washing into "make-believe spa time" with fancy smelling soaps and nice warm water - do whatever mental trick works for you. You can use a nailbrush to make sure that you get under your nails and between your fingers.

Tip #2: Drink Plain Water

Drinking fluids not only replaces what your body loses through fighting infection and all the aforementioned gross stuff, it helps wash out your mouth/throat - ridding incoming germs and clearing phelgm. I'm a big fan of plain water, sometimes with a little pedialyte, gatorade, or juice.
- Strong flavors or creamy drinks might be aggravating to an upset stomach and cause you to throw up again which is why the doctor tells you to drink clear fluids. If you can see through it, you can drink it.
- Sugary drinks like soda or juice provide fuel for bacteria and can cause stomach upset, an unnecessary waste of energy to break down all that sugar, and wasting of water to dilute and digest all that sugar.
- If you're losing electrolytes via one end or the other, add more gatorade/pedialyte/rehydration salts. You can also eat your salt, magnesium, potassium, chloride, and calcium. Cheerios, yogurt, peanut butter, and enriched white bread pack a lot of these electrolytes.

Tip #3: Put Some Salt In It

Most of those cold season germs attach to an area in the back of the throat called the pharynx before entering the body. That's why most colds start out with a sore throat before turning into a runny nose or cough.
- Salt water gargles work. Add 1 tsp of table salt (less coarse=easy dissolve) to 1 cup of warm water. Hot water will dissolve the salt faster, just wait until it's warm before using.
- Neti pots are my bff. I get seasonal allergies, exposure to all sorts of germs at work, and occasional runny noses. Rinsing my sinuses with warm salt water (same recipe above) keep me functioning through all that. You might want to start with luke warm water and less salt until you get the hang of salt water up the nose.

Tip #4: Clean sheets, clean air

Florence Nightingale revolutionized the nursing profession with clean sheets, clean air, and clean hands. She was onto something.
- Wash all sheets, clothes, pajamas, towels, blankets, and sweaters whether or not they have witnessed the glory of your cold/flu/barf. Many viruses can live for up to a week on surfaces and fabrics.
- Get outside. Even though it's winter and you're sick, bundle up and try to get outside for 5 minutes. Getting fresh air and even a little walk can open up your lungs, loosen up mucus, and increase your oxygen levels. Oxygen is needed for every bodily function including fighting infections. Just stay warm. Colds thrive in (like their name) cold.

Tip #5: Eat what you can
I tend to believe "listen to your body" is the best guide for eating when sick. I know that your body needs extra calories to fuel an immune system in overdrive. However, most people have enough fat stores to get them through a couple days of being sick. Pushing foods only applies to the very young, very old, or very sick. If you want a milkshake, get it. If you are craving saltine crackers, your body is probably telling you it needs more salt. If you're dehydrated your body needs the salt to pull the water from your gut into the bloodstream. A few days of not eating much is not going to hurt most people, but a few days of not drinking can be very, very serious. So worry more about the fluids than the foods.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Etsy Finds: Krust

I'm loving these bags from Krust. I need some bright pops of color in my wardrobe since it seems I wear nothing but black and grey when the temps dip below 32. I'm not great at physics but dark colors attract heat, correct? It's worth a try isn't it?

Check out more bags at the Krust Etsy store


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