Tag Archives: Donny Osmond

State & Randolph: Walgreens Grand Opening Party!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more fabulous grand openings! This week, I was so excited to be a guest at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new Walgreens at the corner of State and Randolph in Chicago. Visiting the city always makes me wax nostalgic; I am a city girl after all. When I was a kid, we would take the Red-line downtown to shop on State Street. It really is a great street. There was Marshall Fields, Carson Pirie Scott, Charles A. Stevens and Walgreens.


At three in the afternoon, I joined my fellow bloggers from Collective Bias for a guided tour. While Walgreens can always be counted on for a fine shopping experience, this new store really is fantastic. Walking in the door was like a wonderland! Who would ever expect to find a fresh sushi bar at Walgreens, but there it was. Beautiful seafood, rice and vegetables wrapped in seaweed; all prepared for the shopper on the go. The selection of upscale delicacies was plentiful; wraps and sandwiches, salads and desserts. The red velvet cake looked absolutely Heavenly!

There was a juice bar, over flowing with fresh fruits and vegetables. For those of us chocoholics, Walgreens was kind enough to bring back the original chocolate malt that they served at their soda fountain at the turn of the century. There’s just something special about tradition.


The fun continued at the frozen yogurt bar, with all of the toppings, and of course at the coffee bar. One of the things I really loved was the inclusion of Chicago vendors like Eli’s Cheesecake. Walgreens even teamed up with a local coffee maker to develop a custom coffee blend called State & Randolph.

However, my favorite feature was the wine and spirits shop. In particular, the virtual bartender concierge was extremely entertaining. All you have to do is punch in the flavors you have a hankering for, and out spits the recipe. How cool is that? They even had a generous selection of cheeses and sausages, which would be perfect to snag on your way home from work or as you head over to enjoy a concert in Millennium Park.

The best part of the night was yet to come. While we were touring the pharmacy department, we met the delightful twin sisters, Iris and Frances, from the Walgreens flu shot commercials. They were adorable! We met the beautiful Gabrielle Union, but my Amanda was much more impressed with the real life Red M&M. My evening was complete with my brush with greatness. As Mayor Rahm Emanuel was shaking hands, meeting and greeting, he paused, turned to me and said, “Nice necklace.” First Donny Osmond, now Mayor Emmanuel. I should play the lottery.


To see all of the fab photos from my visit to Walgreens, please click on the following link:



More grand openings, more star studded nights, more tasty delicacies, more Walgreens….


To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com


This shop has been compensated as part of a shopper’s insight study by Collective Bias http://collectivebias.com #CBias

All thoughts and experiences are my own.


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Donny, Marie, Nurse Terri and Me…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more Donny Osmond! When my cousin, Nurse Terri, asked me if I was free Friday night, I had no idea that we were about to celebrate one of our best nights EVER! My heart belongs to Donny. I have adored him and his purple socks (really Justin Bieber, you had to pick purple as your signature color? Donny already set that trend….) my entire life.


I don’t care how old you are, there is nothing like a teen idol to make you lose your mind. As soon as we sat down to dinner, Nurse Terri proclaimed, “I hope the theater has a two drink minimum!” Even though they didn’t, we were happy to oblige as we toasted our good fortune and headed to our seats…….. 4th row center! The curtain opened and there they were; Donny and Marie. They were absolutely mesmerizing.


After nearly five decades, they’ve still got it. Their voices were fantastic as they belted out Christmas tunes such as their homage to Stevie Wonder’s What Christmas Means to Me and The Beach Boy’s Little Saint Nick. However, you know I am a total sucker for nostalgia, so I went wild when they sang their chart topping hits from the 70’s!!


To us, Donny and Marie: Christmas in Chicago was a good old fashioned concert, as evidenced by the many middle aged women in the audience who brought their album jackets for Donny to sign. In fact, poor Marie even acknowledged, “I know you’re here to see my brother.” Nurse Terri and I were joyfully singing along (because this is a joyful season) to Puppy Love and Go Away Little Girl. Then, across the big screen, flashed an old clip of Donny and his brother’s singing and dancing to Yo-Yo. We jumped out of seats! Four backup dancers burst onto the stage to join Donny, each of them holding a mask of an Osmond brother; Wayne, Jay, Merrill, Alan and, of course, Donny dancing with his Donny mask, circa 1971;


Turnin’, turnin’ love keeps a-burnin’
like a fire in my heart when we’re apart,
but when we’re back together,
you keep changin’ like the weather.
Whoops! Now……
Just like a yo yo.


Well, I am a yo yo, but it was totally worth it! Donny came down into the audience, Sharpie in hand, and ASKED ME MY NAME. Standing, with a spotlight shining on me, I was remarkably calm. Gazing into his eyes, I told him, “I am a blogger and I have christened December 9th (his birthday) as the Feast Day of the Patron Saint of Teen Idols. I am a Sagittarius too.”  He couldn’t have been nicer, as I am certain he is accustomed to bizarre interactions with crazy people, and smiled as he said, “We have a show to do. What is your name?” On the back of his Donny mask he wrote to Vanessa, love Donny Osmond! LOVE DONNY OSMOND!

While some of the patrons in our section were not nearly as excited as we were, Nurse Terri and I went crazy! In fact, one such grumpy guest, turned to us and suggested, “Vanessa and her friend, please use your inside voices.” But to everyone else, we were practically rock stars! Walking through the theater, as I clutched my coveted Donny mask, women were asking me, “Are you Vanessa? Can I see your mask? Did Donny sign it? What did he say?” Groups of women asked if they could take their picture with it. One women staring longingly into Donny’s eyes as her husband looked on.


We screamed, we sang, we danced and we laughed. While in the past two years, Nurse Terri and I have seen Justin Bieber (adorable) and Katy Perry (charming) with the teenagers, nothing could possibly beat our night with Donny.  What a way to celebrate the holidays!!


More memorable moments with my beloved cousin Terri, more fabulous concerts, more fun than I can remember, more devotion to my delightful and darling Donny…….


To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, or for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com


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Dance to the Music: Dancing With the Stars and American Idol……Everyone’s a Winner!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about………more Dancing with the Stars and American Idol season finales! Where have the past 4 months gone since we were first introduced to all of the “Stars” and met all of the decent contestants during Hollywood week? More importantly, what on Earth are we going to watch during those coveted hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings? Certainly not 2 ½ Men (at least until this fall when super cutie Ashton Kutcher hits the scene) and The Voice isn’t totally doing it for me. Seriously, who exactly is Cee Lo Greene (Forget You…woo, hoo, hoo)?

So here we are, down to our final three contestants for the coveted Mirror Ball, and our final two Idol hopefuls…….It’s been a real horse race.


Heading into the final night of DWTS you’ve got Hines Ward (darling, personable and graceful Steeler’s QB), Chelsea Kane (who claims to be a Disney star, but I’ve never seen her on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and she wasn’t even in High School Musical’s I, II or III) and, of course, America’s favorite, Kirstie Alley (from TV and movie classics such as Cheers and Look Who’s Talking I and II, and the only contestant ever to tame bad boy professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy).

What’s the best way to kick off the season finale party? Obviously with Don’t Stop the Party by the Peas (otherwise known as the Black Eyed Peas), but for me, the party would only have been complete with an appearance from my ultimate boy friend, Season 9 winner, Donny Osmond (and this is not a…..Puppy Love).

With a star studded night, Josh Grobin was quite fine, but if it doesn’t have a beat I can dance to, forgedaboudit (I would have been awesome on American Bandstand or the Soprano’s). As a gal who adores nostalgia, I was thrilled to see Belinda Carlisle and the Go-Go’s (and they have Got the Beat). Country sweetheart, Sarah Evans, made an appearance singing A Little Bit Stronger, which was okay, again, if you like ‘em slow.

The race could have gone any which way, so it all came down to the final round in competition: (best dancer) Chelsea and Mark, with their Hogwart’s inspired Viennese Waltz, (dancer with the most personality and chutzpah) Kirstie and Maks, with the Cha Cha Cha (Forget You……Cee Lo Greene makes a DWTS appearance tonight, too) and (most charming and delightful dancer) Hines and Kym, with the Samba. But which of these competitors reigns supreme?????

The mirror ball trophy goes to, the incomparable………Hines and Kym, bringing it home to the Steeler Nation!

On the other hand (or channel), I haven’t quite gotten over the fact that James Durbin isn’t in the final American Idol race. While I don’t have a classically trained ear, my earliest musical experience comes from exposure to my K-Tel and Donny Osmond albums (you see, everything always comes back to my Donny). What I absolutely adored about James was his range, his passion, his talent and intensity. Even though he’s cute as button and will clearly have a huge career, Scotty McCreary just isn’t doing it for me. As for Lauren Alaina, I think she’s got the chops to be a huge Carrie Underwood/Kelly Clarkson type, but I just can’t shake the feeling that she’s a little bratty. In my house, I might have washed her mouth out with soap (from the pump dispenser for easier clean up). It’s a toss up as to who will walk away victorious, and quite frankly, since it won’t be James, I’m not all that worried. However, I hope they’ve got a super big finale planned……..one where Steven Tyler sings with James (they owe him one)!

More dancing, more singing, more mirror ball trophies, more recording contracts, more stars in the sky…….

To schedule an interior design appointment or a speaking engagement please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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On the Road Again…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more college road trips! What a crazy ride. After visiting numerous college campuses, staying in hotels without Pay-Per-View movies, disappointingly never running into Donny Osmond (as in Martin Lawrence’s classic comedy; College Road Trip), filling out applications and writing a dozen essays, Nick is thrilled to have made the decision to attend Tiger University. Chuck and I couldn’t be happier!

For the past year, Nick has been all over becoming a Red Hawk. You see, they eat, sleep and breathe hockey. With an enormous ice rink right on campus, it’s as simple and convenient as rolling out of bed and lacing up your skates; a hockey fanatics dream come true! There wasn’t a school that we visited that could possibly compare to the Red Hawk’s motto of all hockey all the time.

There was one last school we had yet to visit; Tiger University. What a difference a year makes! When we arrived on campus, Nick just felt like he was home. It was beautiful; gracious red brick buildings, lovely landscaping, nice kids and curiously, not an ice rink in sight. That’s when I really knew that Nick was growing up. He was seeing the school for what it could be for him and how he could grow as a student. It was awesome!

Wednesday, Nick and I headed back to Tiger U for an interview. Only this time, we made it a mother-son road trip with Nick’s long time pal Andrew and his mom Claire. It was great; the boys were having big dorm overnight fun and we were planning a girl’s pajama party with wine and movies at the hotel. The boys were getting there things ready to hit the dorms and my Nick teasingly remarked, “While I’m here, I’m going to get a senior girlfriend.” To which Claire replied, “If you get stuck I can help you out, because I’ve got an AARP card!” Nick’s a lucky guy to have a friend that’s got his back!

His visit was amazing. He sat in on an Econ class. He was invited to attend a golf practice, as he’s planning to try out for the golf team. He met a great kid from the golf team that was his host, who showed Nick a big time, including a super fun fraternity party. He enjoyed his interview and attended a lecture series. And best of all, he loved every minute of it!

Nick is so funny and genuinely excited about all that the future holds. He’d like to make a big show of the whole thing by wearing a Tiger University t-shirt and baseball cap while I take his picture for his own personal “signing day.” While I’m thrilled that he’s so happy and looking forward to all that the future holds, I hope I can hold it together as I snap away. I’m sure going to miss him.

More golf fun, more great kids, more exciting endeavors, more growing up……..

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The Mysterious Case of the Broken Pagoda….

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……….more hidden, broken treasures! Last weekend, in a rare stolen moment, Chuck, Nick, Amanda, Wrigley and I were watching the Grammy’s (and how exactly did Justin Bieber not win New Artist of the Year? He’s cute as a button, and Amanda just informed me that his favorite color is purple…….the favorite color of the Patron Saint of Teen Idols; Donny Osmond. With such a winning combination, how could he lose?). Somehow, as these things tend to happen, our friendly conversation turned to the kids giving me grief about all the things I would never let them do when they were little, like watch Boy Meets World (too racy), say f-a-r-t (I insisted they sat “toot”) or go into the woods at the end of our street. They giggled as they informed me that whenever they had the chance they would watch Boy Meets World, say f-a-r-t and tempt fate by darting into the woods, if even for just a moment.

Suddenly, Amanda had a huge case of the giggles. She was practically hyperventilating as she asked Chuck, “Dad, didn’t you tell her?” Hmmm. “Tell me what?” I asked. “No, no, no,” they insisted they would go to their graves with their big secret. As they continued to laugh, they decided their big secret was too good to keep to themselves, so they spilled the beans.

For some reason, since Nick was in the 5th grade (which would be for the past 7 years), his life’s work has been to increase his vertical jump. Why, you may ask. He’s not a basketball player or a track star. The last time I checked, there was absolutely no need for jumping in golf or hockey. So what is his obsession with improving his vertical maneuvers? There are finger prints all over our house; on our woodwork, walls and ceilings. One time (Nick must have been in 6th grade) I was holding the ladder for Chuck as he made his way up the scuttle hole into our attic and I noticed pencil markings on my wall, marking off one foot increments. As a control freak, I happen to like things “just so” (which excludes writing on my walls). I could have killed him.   

Apparently, a few weeks ago, while I was downtown preparing for my engagement at the Merchandise Mart, a minor accident happened in our home. Chuck was watching the news in our Family Room, Amanda was reading in our Living Room and Nick was running through our Foyer. Never one to miss an opportunity for an imaginary lay up on our light fixture, he jumped up into the air and as he came down, the carpet at our front door slipped out from under his feet. He flew into the air, landing on his back, but not before he managed to karate-chop collide with my treasured red pagoda étagère.

While Amanda tried to stifle her fit of laughter, Chuck went berserk when he heard the commotion and realized what Nick had done. Never mind the potential injury, my family is acutely aware of my obsession for order. This was a Brady Bunch moment if I’ve ever heard of one. You know, Mom always says, “Don’t play ball in the house.” There was no time for glue, the best they could do was spin the red pagoda étagère around and pray that I didn’t notice that the wood work was hanging on by a thread. I didn’t; though I would have been mighty surprised when I got to my dusting.

Truthfully, with three very busy kids in our home (which includes Wrigley), it’s a miracle more things haven’t been broken. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of casualties (a decorative plate, bumble bee sphere, a trompe l’oiel box and the window in our Den are the only items that come to mind. Not too bad for 18 years.). Fortunately, Chuck was able to glue my red pagoda back together, so it’s as good as new. I dare say that when my Nick is off to college in the fall, I am going to miss him jumping around, imaginary slam dunking my light fixtures and getting his finger prints all over my woodwork, walls and ceilings.

More mishaps, more glue, more harmless secrets, more family memories…….

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