OMG! Enter to win a YEAR of free meals + manis

These days, there are a few things I wish I had in unlimited supply: Uninterrupted sleep. Time to do stuff around the house. The ability to do my hair and makeup with one arm while holding a squirming (and sometimes screaming) baby. The motivation and self-confidence to wear real pants.

As much as we wish we had the time and ability to check everything off our lists while still looking presentable, it’s just not always possible. Babies don’t seem to get the memo to take a nap so we can put on a moisturizing mask, or wash our hair, or even cook a dinner that wasn’t once frozen in a box.

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Time is valuable … but our well-being is, too, which is why I am SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED to tell you about the Year of Free Meals and Manicures Contest from PrettyQuick and Radish, two apps that make my life infinitely easier and lots more enjoyable. Download them now, thank me later.

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One lucky winner will receive a year of manicures and meals from PrettyQuick and Radish, which is valued at more than $1500. Go – seriously, GO RIGHT NOW – to the Meals and Manis page and enter your email address in the box.

That’s it! It couldn’t be easier to gain entry for a year’s worth of YOU time.

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What would winning this contest mean? It would mean more of the confidence-boosting beauty treatments you’ve probably avoided because you’re too tired and busy. More opportunities to eat healthy without the hassle. And, most importantly, more time to give your drooling baby (or, you know, your non-drooling partner) a billion kisses instead of scouring the pantry for tonight’s dinner.

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The contest runs through April 14, but you really shouldn’t wait to enter – it’s easy enough to do when you’re toting around a baby and when you’re sleep-deprived. And while you’re at it, download PrettyQuick (use referral code FANCYKINS for a free manicure) or see what’s on the menu over at Radish. Oh man, there’s just something about Chicago apps that gives me the warm-fuzzies, and these are two of the absolute best.

I mean, who doesn’t want to make their life easier and a billion times more enjoyable? Someone who doesn’t enter this contest, clearly.

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Oh, I almost forgot to tell you the best part! The PrettyQuick weekly credit will roll over each week and can be used toward any service on PrettyQuick. Do you know what that means? You can treat yourself to all the most incredible, luxurious, decadent beauty treatments this side of the Mississippi.

What would YOU get if you won an ENTIRE YEAR of services? Oh man. I can hardly think about it without getting giddy.

Utter Nonsense: The best game to play while snowed in, and also while not snowed in

I apologize for the lack of posts – the snow storm meant I got a surprise three-day weekend visiting  Trina, who’s due literally ANY SECOND NOW, and she let us rub her tummy 1,000 times without ever complaining – but I’ve got to tell you about a game I played while everyone got drunk and snowed in (and fat, thanks to our snacks-only diet this weekend).

Utter Nonsense, which is sometimes compared to Cards Against Humanity. It is just as – if not more than – hilarious and ridiculous, and I counted two instances where my comrades spewed booze out of their mouths and/or noses while trying to suppress laughter mid-drink.

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I should note that I took at least 5,000 photos of my friends and I playing Utter Nonsense, announcing that I was going to post them on this blog to show everyone just how fun this game really is. But when I looked at the photos in the harsh light of day, most of them look like this:

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… which is why this post features a bunch of photos via Tapiture that I didn’t take.

OK, back to the game, because I’m actually giggling out loud writing this post.

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What is Utter Nonsense?

Utter Nonsense is a card game founded by Chicagoans Tim Swindle and Dave Mazurek, who have been playing a version of this game since their raucous college days. In August 2014, the two raised more than $16,000 in a Kickstarter campaign and were able to take their game to market just in time for the holiday season.

As you can see from the pictures, Utter Nonsense is super simple – it’s a box with the rules printed on the side, 40 accent cards, and 460 phrase cards. That’s it. It’s foolproof when you’re drinking (or overindulging in) wine, except it guarantees your usual wine cry will be a happy one.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: You can download the Utter Nonsense playtest deck here for FREE and try it yourself!

So, how do you play it?

The entire point of Utter Nonsense is to pair any of the 40 accent cards with the 460 phrase cards to make the most ridiculous combinations, but just because it’s simple doesn’t mean you won’t almost pee your pants laughing.

Each player is dealt seven phrase cards, and the first Nonsense Judge selects an accent card from the deck – think Valley Girl or Robot. Once the accent card is revealed, each player selects a phrase card to read out loud in the selected accent, and the Nonsense Judge selects the winner based on whose combination was funniest.

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Tears will be shed. You might have to run to the bathroom a few times to avoid accidents.

So, is it offensive?

I’d describe it as “colorful,” which is why the game is best-suited for players ages 18 and older. Think Cards Against Humanity, but with fewer expansion packs and more laughs.

Where can you find the game?

Utter Nonsense is available online at www.utternonsensegame.com or at select retailers including Marbles and Amazon. Don’t forget to download the Utter Nonsense playtest deck here for FREE and try it yourself first!

I’ve got to admit, it’s a great game to get people out of their comfort zones, whether you’ve known them for years OR only met them at a party an hour ago. Has anybody out there played Utter Nonsense, or does it sound like something you and your friends would love?

DISCLOSURE: I RECEIVED UTTER NONSENSE IN EXCHANGE FOR WRITING A REVIEW ON THE BLOG. ALL REVIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE MY OWN BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE. AND YES, I DID PEE MY PANTS A BIT WHILE PLAYING.

An ode to Black Bull’s Tabla Mixta, AKA the greatest thing to consume on a date (or, you know, alone)

If you live in Chicago, you know that Division Street in Wicker Park is the greatest place to do basically anything you can imagine.

• Want to eat a delicious sandwich? Go to Jerry’s.

• Want to go to a dive bar that has live music AND a basketball court/beer garden out back, which is totally cool because there’s nothing better than drinking and playing H-O-R-S-E? Go to Phyllis’ Musical Inn.

• Want to buy your pregnant friends the cutest things, because ALL your friends are pregnant? Sprout Kids is the shit.

• Looking for a sick beer list and some kick-ass karaoke? Obviously you’re going to go to Bangers & Lace, then cross the street to Bob San karaoke, where you will stay until they turn on the lights and kick you out at 2 a.m.

But. BUT. I have to tell you guys that I have discovered the greatest thing to eat on Division Street and in the entire city of Chicago, and it’s perfect to order on a date or with friends. Or alone, because more deliciousness for you, you lucky duck.

The Tabla Mixta from Black Bull. Apparently Black Bull is also home to a speakeasy that needs a password to access (James may have been pulling my leg, so let’s go with it), but I will never go because I can’t get over the Tabla Mixta for long enough to go upstairs.

Behold:

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What you’re seeing here is jamon serrano, chorizo, salchichon, olives, fruit, bread and spanish cheese with sprigs of rosemary that are literally LIT ON FIRE with a torch.

Pardon me while I hold myself back from licking my computer screen.

It’s best to devour this meat and cheese board with a pitcher of Black Bull’s homemade sangria or an entire bottle of Nabucco Spanish red. In my opinion, it’s best to not limit yourself in this department – Bob San karaoke is less than a block away, afterall.black bull tapas division street chicagoImage via Black Bull Chicago – picture those walls open in the summertime, because IT IS REALLY CHARMING.

Anybody out there been to Black Bull? More importantly, any Tabla Mixta-lovers in the house? Share your favorite Division Street hot spots, too!

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