Category Archives: Featured

6 Awesome Apps for Android To Try This Month

There’s no shortage of (awesome apps for Android) or for your iPhone. But which apps are worth downloading and which ones don’t cut the mustard. That’s where we come in. Our upcoming (awesome apps for Android round ups) will mention mobile apps which are not only worth downloading but a MUST TRY.

See our first round up below and if you find any of these super useful; please come back here – or to our FB page – and give us a shout out. 🙂

1. Lyft –

This awesome app for Android is all you need for cheap local rides on the fly. In many areas of the city and beyond, Lyft is a better alternative than riding the bus or hailing a cab. Plus a new! feature recently added to the Lyft app is that your ride cost is now listed up front BEFORE you book your ride. Great for those in a hurry and…on a budget. Right. And who isn’t on a budget nowadays. Are you new to Lyft? Have yet to try this awesome Chicago ride sharing service – here’s a coupon code (LYFT BLOG POST) worth $10 off your FIRST ride. How do you sign up? Just download app, enter code above and book your ride. That’s it.

Lyft coupon code: LYFT BLOG POST (click here for app!)

2. Uber –

You’ve most likely heard of Uber, as it has been around a bit longer than Lyft and has a much bigger budget in which to advertise. We personally prefer Lyft, but Uber is good too and definitely serves its purpose. Works the same as Lyft in that you download the app, enter in a coupon code to save on your first ride and then book your Uber driver. Why should you try Uber? Because again as mentioned above, depending on your area and intended destination; using Uber might save you both; some big bucks and definitely time.

Uber coupon code: 4jt7e (click here for app!)

3. Postmates –

Have you heard of Postmates? They’re a local on demand delivery service that many use to get eats to them. Lots of local restaurants use Postmates and if they’re located in your area; this app is a must try. Why? Because you can have your fave food delivered to your door inexpensively, quickly AND via a delivery person who may sustainably walk or bike to your place. Some drive, but many walk or bike their food order deliveries.

Postmates App: (click here for app!)

4. Time Out App –

Time Out (the magazine) is a treasure trove of goodies when it comes to listing local events, new! happenings and or chronicling the latest and greatest in Chicago. The Time Out app also delivers fresh content but in the palm of your hand via their awesome Android or iPhone app. From the newest plays to the best places to wine and dine and a splendid most useful calendar of events; the this local app is a must download.

Time Out App – (click here for app!)

5. Stand In –

This is a newer app from a local Chicago resident that aims to bridge the gap between Craigslist and paid apps for finding dates or friends. The Stand In App is about helping you find a “stand in” for that event you have coming – and need someone to take the place of friend or family member. I quite like the concept behind this awesome app. Hopefully it takes off, becomes wildly successful with lots of new members and becomes a go to app for finding local peeps to hang with.

Stand In App – (click here for app!)

6. Figo –

Figo is as you might have guessed is a pet related app. But not just any pet related app, it’s a pet insurance app created right here in Chicago – by Chicago tech peeps. The new! app basically lets you find insurance for your furry friend; be it Fluffy or Fido. Whether you have a dog or cat; the Figo app is great for finding affordable and comprehensive health insurance for your beloved pet. Shout out to Tails Pet magazine, where we found out about this awesome, free and local app for Android.

*The Figo app is set to be released late April to early May.

Figo App – (click here for app information, see Q&A #10)

3 Surefire Ways To Refer New Passengers to Lyft

Lyft referrals

Are you wanting to increase your Lyft income by referring new passengers? If so, we have a few good ideas for you.

As you may or may not know, Lyft will give you $10 for every new referral you send their way. And a cool $100 for every (Chicago) driver you refer. That’s a very good amount of coin for simply spreading the word about an awesome new! company. Right?

Right on. So let’s take a look at three ways you can earn some additional cash by referring new passengers to Lyft.

1. Sporting Events –

Chicago is a SPORTS TOWN which makes it a blessing for you. You can pick which sporting event to attend or which sport arena to visit to promote your Lyft code. Are you a baseball fan – then you have the option of either the Chicago Cubs or the Chicago White Sox. Each one has an awesome park with (tons of fans) who could very well use a ride to and from the game. This is perhaps one of the best ways to get the word out about your Lyft partnership. Also keep in mind the season, in the Summer; is when you would best be able take advantage of Cubbies fever and or Sox fever. In the Winter, we have the Chicago Bears (football) the Chicago Bulls basketball and of course, the Chicago Blackhawks (hockey). We have other teams as well, but these are the most popular and most trafficked. Try this idea and see your Lyft referral income skyrocket.

2. College Papers –

College students love to try the latest and greatest tech and Lyft is definitely HOT right now, not only as a ride share service but as an innovative tech company. So why not introduce students near you to all that Lyft is by offering them a FREE ride. Share with them your unique promo code and let them know how easy Lyft works.

3. Local Laundromats –

You’ve seen them, those huge “worlds largest laundromats” popping up all over the city. I know I’ve seen them. They’re usually jam packed with people, especially nights (and weekends). I went to a local laundromat a month or so ago during the day (like on a Tuesday at 11 am) and it was packed to the brim with people. Packed. No! I didn’t have any promo cards with me, because if I did – you can rest assured everyone in that place would have gotten a card of mine. But you can try this. Find the large laundromats in your local area and then stand outside or do your laundry and just talk to people. Ask them if they’ve heard of Lyft? If they need a ride to their house? If they want to give Lyft a try, etc. Just talk to people and take it from there.

These are three simple (and local) ideas you can try this week, today – like now! to refer new passengers to Lyft and earn yourself a sweet $10 per peep.

If you try any of these – please come back here and let me know how it went. 🙂

FREE Lyft Credit For New Users: 5 Ways To Score Them

lyft free credit

lyft free credit

If you’re looking for free Lyft credit for new users, in this article we highlight a few ways to score some.

With free credit from Lyft you can ride for a few dollars or yes! even free. (But please do tip your driver!) Tips are welcome and appreciate. 🙂

Ok. See our list of ways to net some free Lyft credit for new users. (these tips are not for existing users, that’s another article)

  1. Friends –

Reaching out to friends is one of the fastest ways to score Free Lyft credit. Call or text your buddies who you know use the popular ride sharing service and ask if they have any promo codes available. If they’re Lyft users, chances are – they WILL have codes. As the old saying goes, “Ask and you shall receive”. So ask.

2. Social Media –

Another great method to find codes for Lyft is via social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. You can post an update that you;re looking for Lyft credit and then wait about a nano second for a reply. Most likely if any of your friends use Lyft; you’ll get a code asap. Another way is to visit the Lyft FB page itself and see if any are posted for members.

3. Bloggers –

Bloggers (like me) usually have codes for many different companies and brands, including Lyft and Uber. Just reach out to the bloggers you know or follow and search on their blog. Search for Lyft codes, Lyft discount code, Lyft promo code, Lyft credit, etc.

Yes! We have one for you, see it below.

Code: BLOGPOSTCODE (in caps – all one word, no spaces)

4. Coupon Sites

Coupon sites also have Lyft promo codes although many times they’re not the most recent. Having said that we still feel this is a good place to check. Try Retail Me Not and Coupon Cabin.

5. Local Flyers –

We see flyers, business cards and postcards all the time posted locally; such as in coffee shops, bars, laundry mats, auto repair places, grocery stores,  etc. These usually have good codes on them, just always check the expiration date of promo.

As you can see there are quite a few ways to score free Lyft credit for new users.

If you’re still having trouble, contact me ASAP as I always have promo codes available. 🙂

Get your ride on today!

10 Fun Facts About Lyft

lyft local rides in minutes

Have you been hearing a lot lately about this new ride sharing service called Lyft?

Basically it’s like Uber, but different.

I was curious about this company as well, so decided to do some quick research and found the following facts. If after reading the list, you feel like giving Lyft a try.

Please use this code: LYFTBLOGPOST (one word, no spaces)

Ok. Below are 10 quick and dirty fun facts about Lyft – the cool new! ride sharing service/app.

  1. Lyft is available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices
  2. Free Lyft app is available online via their site, through Google Play or iTunes
  3.  No cash needed for rides, pay with your CC (credit card)
  4. You (book a ride) with (one click) on your mobile thru the Lyft app
  5. Local rides average less than $10 in cost (approx)
  6. Drivers are friendly for the most part and tend to pick up quickly
  7. Tipping is welcome (and always appreciated)
  8. Everything is/can be done with your mobile – from booking, looking up destination routes in GPS, paying for fare, reviewing and rating your experience, etc
  9. Lots of #FREE rides available – in the form of (promo codes) like the one mentioned above and below
  10. Lyft has a cool Facebook page – that discusses all things (car sharing) but also city specific content and yes! discounts galore as well

If you have questions on Lyft or have yet to try it but want to – reach out to me. I’ve recently become a Lyft Brand Ambassador (yes! that’s a thing) and can help you with sign up, get free rides, send you a link to the app, show you how Lyft works and more.

Don’t forget to use promo code: LYFTBLOGPOST (all one word, no spaces) when you FIRST sign up. *Not valid with existing users.

Questions, comments, feedback – Contact me here. (Thanks!)

Chicago Bloggers Local Link Up – 9/10/2015 #MidwestBloggers

chicago bloggers local link up

chicago bloggers local link up

I am borrowing this idea from the Virginia Bloggers blog and membership site. They’re a city blog that promotes local bloggers with a weekly local link up. I love the idea and wish to do the same here, just need to get the word out and let others know. If you happen to come on by and see this and are a Chicago blogger, please spread the word. I plan to do this link up weekly, depending on participation and at the very least, could also just do it bi weekly.

YOU tell me. YOU let me know. YOU decide.

It’s easy, simply drop your latest post below via the (InLinkz) link. A pic along with a link to your post will appear on the weekly link up. Sharing is appreciated, spreading the word on your Twitter and Facebook will get us ALL more traction. Use hashtag: #MFClinkup

1. October is looking like a great time to visit one of our fine museums, since we’re having our very first dedicated “Museum Week”. Madeline Wolfson from Time Out Chicago has all the deets on the museums participating, the free or discounted days and the many special events. Plan now, for a great family outing in October.

2. Looking for some good restaurant and meal ideas for this week? Here are a few awesome ones from Chicago Magazine’s website. Honey Butter Fried Chicken restaurant (on Elston Avenue) sounds like a hot spot!

3. I just ran into Midwest Bloggers on Facebook, and as their name suggests – they’re a network of bloggers from the Midwest such as Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. We’re happy to have found them, as the site is run by a couple of local gals who each also run fabulous blogs, so do give this network a look if you’re a Chicago blogger.

Leave your link below – remember to leave the title of your blog post in the (name) field.

50 Words To Use Instead of “Passion”

passion article image

passion article imageI was on Facebook the other day or Twitter (can’t recall which) and came across an amazing blue-ribbon post titled “101 Words To Use Instead of “Amazing”. I found it useful, interesting and a fun read. It comes courtesy of Rachel Parker from Resonance Content and it gave me food for thought to come up with my own but with a different word, one used a lot that maybe could be used just a tad less. I think this word gets over used tons and I tend to see it a lot on the web in various articles. Many many articles.

The word in question?

Passion

p.s. (another word that is used way too often nowadays and hopefully will go away soon is: “viral” (so very annoying a word) Agree? Disagree?

But for this post, we will concentrate on finding words that can be used in place of passion. Let’s see if we can come up with 50, and if you want – you can join in as well and share a word. Just leave YOUR suggestion(s) in the comment area.

1. purpose

2. calling

3. meaning

4. vehemence

5. drive

6. intense (or intensity)

7. fervor

8. fervidness

9. obsession

10. belief

11. opinion

12. persuasion

13. view

14. stance

15. fondness

16. liking

17. love

18. devotion

19. affection

20. fancy

21. favor

22. admire

23. esteem

24. relish

25. preference

26. enthusiasm

27. appreciation

28. standpoint

29. regard

30. emotion (or emotional)

31. ardor

32. favorite

33. devoted

34. desire

35. crave

36. yearn

37. longing

38. respect

39. pine (or pining)

40. want

41. wish

42. fervency

43. ardency

44. zest

45. sensibilities

46. eager

47. dream

48. vision

49. avidity

50. zeal

What’s your personal favorite from our list to use instead of passion and what other words would you use instead? Tell us below.

image created using (PicMonkey)

New! for 2015 – The Most #Unique and Awesomest #Chicago Summer #Tshirt Ever

chicago summer 2015 t shirt

I just designed this unique Chicago Summer tee that captures a little bit of the essence of our wonderful city. See it below.

 chicago summer 2015 t shirt

grab one here – Chicago Summer 2015 T shirt

The white v neck t shirt features the words Lakefront, Lou Malnati’s, Cutler and Rizzo – which to me, pretty much sums up all the things I love about Chicago. I know Cutler is Winter, but I had to include him as he is very well known as a Chicagoan and c’mon he makes the sport of football an edge of your seat ride. He’s anything but dull.

Enough about Cutler, back to my t shirt. You can grab it now online via Teespring which is a cool site similar to Kickstarter in that you have to set and reach your goal of sales in order for the item to go out. Mine is 10, so help me reach that goal and in the process you score yourself the most unique and awesomest Chicago t shirt anywhere.

Love Chicago? Say it loud and proud with this one-a-kind tee that beautifully captures the spirit of the Windy City.

Shipping is only $3.99 per shirt in the USA and if you buy one, I promise to sign it – so long as you live in Chitown. A photo will also be taken and this pic will go on my Instagram with the hashtag (#bestChicagotshirtEVER) – by me taking the photo, you agree to let me post the photo.

Grab the best 2015 Summer Chicago tee here – then let me know, by leaving me a comment below. Thanks!

Help me reach my goal, or the shirts WON’T print. Boohoo! Let’s have some fun and bring these shirts into the world.

***This Teespring campaign ends June 2nd. You have till now and June 2nd to grab the tee. Good luck!

How To Find a Good Used #Bike in #Chicago

how to find used bikes in chicago

 how to find used bikes in chicago

If you’re looking to enjoy the city this Summer via more exercise such as biking, but need a good bike to do so with. This article is for you. We discuss a few ways to find a good used bicycle right here in the Windy City at a fair price.

See our ideas below. If you recently bought a used bike (not) via any of the methods noted below; please chime in and tell us where you got it and was it a good deal, good bike, good experience, etc. You can also let us know what bike you got – feel free to show it off in a pic.

1. Facebook –

Your Facebook profile itself could net you a good used bicycle if you have a lot of friends and family members on your account and you post that you’re looking for a bike. But there is another way. There are also lots of local “for sale” groups that exist on Facebook that allow you to post and browse for a variety of items including used bikes. Many are set by neighborhoods such as Facebook Bucktown For Sale Group, Naperville Facebook For Sale Group, etc. Look for your town via a search like this “town name for sale group” and see if one already exists. It may or may not. Also look in your surrounding towns. As usual be careful when dealing with people you don’t know and use the proper precautions when meeting someone to look at or buy something. Meet in a public place and talk to the person by phone first to make arrangements. Many people have scored all kinds of goodies via these for sale Facebook groups. From clothing to shoes and used furniture to tech gadgets and yes! – used bikes. Good luck!

2. Bike Shop/Flea Market –

Many bike shops sell both new and used bikes. However, their selection of used bikes might not come with a big discount. They may just be a tad less expensive than the new models they carry. Do keep this in mind if you’re not looking to spend several hundred dollars on a used bike. But if a good brand and reliable repair service ARE something you’re looking for as part of your bike purchase; then a used bike from a traditional shop might be the best option for you. Another option is your local flea market or swap mart. Some carry used bikes, some don’t. I would call in advance to see if your local flea market or swap mart carries bikes to avoid the trip if they don’t. But if they do, this could be another way to find a great gently used bike for this and next Summer.

3. Craigslist –

This is usually the first place that many Chicagoans turn to when looking for something used to buy. From furniture to clothing and cars to tech; even jobs. When looking for a used bicycle in Chicago this is also a good option. Craigslist has a “for sale” category and a “bike” sub-category and in this sub category you can browse bikes by price, location or type in a make and model in the search bar.  There will be many to choose from, so browse around a while. I hope you score a great bike at a great price. If so, do come back here and feel free to share away.

4. Family & Friends –

This is the old stand by. Asking around your network of friends and family whether through a social site or just via calling, emailing, etc. You can let your F&F know that you’re in the market for a good used bike and if they happen to have one for sale or know someone who has. Sometimes people will upgrade and buy a new bike in early Summer and trade away, sell or hand down the older model to someone. Ask around and see; you never know who has what – unless you ask.

There you go. Four excellent ways to find a good used bike locally and possibly even at a great price. Try one or all methods above and do come back here and let me know what you found. Deal?

image via: photo credit: Kyoto_20101020_400UC-Roll-14_31 via photopin (license)

Have You Heard of Task Rabbit Chicago?

mashable task rabbit chicago

mashable task rabbit chicago

I’m wondering if any of my readers have heard of Task Rabbit, the Chicago chapter? If so, please chime in below and share your experience.

Whether as a user of services or as a provider. Please share your thoughts and feedback. I signed up last week as a provider in various categories: and at this point am waiting approval. There’s an application process, background check, etc. So for now am waiting to hear back from the TR Chicago team.

Task Rabbit was founded in 2008 by a female in Boston, and the service has since rolled out to various cities including here in Chicago. It’s essentially a marketplace for tasks. You need some cleaning done, pet sitting, house work or other similar task? Hire a Task Rabbit and for a reasonable fee – they will get the job done.

According to this recent article from Mashable, some Rabbit Taskers are making upwards of $2,000 plus offering their various services. Great read. See it here.

Have you used them? If so, in what capacity – for what service, etc.

Please share below.

***When and if I get my approval, will share my experience with Task Rabbit Chicago and how it fares for me. Will keep you posted.

image via (Mashable)

6 Awesome Chicago Gift Souvenir Ideas

chicago skyline t shirt

Thanks for coming by – if you love Chicago as much as I do and live here or plan to visit – feel free to answer any ONE (or all) of the questions below. Leave your answer in the comment section.

1. What are your favorite restaurants in the city? And why?

2. If you’re a traveler – what landmarks or attractions do you always visit when you come here? And why?

3. What do you MOST love about Chicago?

First let me say this isn’t an official list made by a gift expert, but my own opinion on what I think those traveling to Chitown would love. From the usual mugs and t-shirts to a few more original ideas are all included in my list. And most can be found and purchased online. Hope you enjoy my picks – if so, let me know via my social media channels. As always do spread the word, if you find this article helpful, fun or informative – please share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest pretty please. (and Thank you!) 🙂

1. Chicago Divvy Gift Pass –

Divvy is an exclusive Chicago bike rental program that lets you rent a bike by the hour or for a 24 hour period and use it to attend an outdoor concert, make it to a Summer festival, take a stroll through downtown, ride in Grant park, etc. The stations are located plentifully throughout the city and they’re easy to spot as the bikes are baby blue in color and usually lined up in busy areas. A Divvy gift pass would make a great souvenir idea for your current or next trip to Chicago or to give to a friend. For complete details on how renting a bike through Divvy works, please their website.

2. Chicago Themed Shirt –

There are a ton of awesome and cute Chicago themed t shirts on eBay, our fave online shop. For women, men and kids – from the funny to the artsy and to sports related tees – they have quite the collection to browse and choose from. We quite liked the Chicago skyline shirt pictured below that comes from eBay seller Ann Arbor T Shirt Company, but there are plenty other designs to choose from. Have a look at either link above.

 chicago skyline t shirt

3. Chicago Souvenir Mug –

We went again to (eBay) and did a search for Chicago themed gift mugs and tons came up. Tons. eBay has a fantastic collection of gift mugs for the Chicagoan in you or to give as a souvenir gift. From steins to collectibles and landmark themed mugs to the popular Starbucks Chicago collector mugs. Most of these Starbucks cups I think are discontinued so they’re hard to find at store level, but there are quite a few vintage models on eBay. From the many that are available (non-Starbucks related), we like this Windy City mug. So very cute! 🙂

4. Chicago Dabble Activity Gift Card –

Sometimes an activity makes for a great gift idea. Some people love to do as opposed to shop. If this describes you or your giftee, then we think a gift certificate from Dabble should fit the bill. Dabble is a marketplace of classes and workshops – all kinds – so very many to choose from, it takes a bit of time to browse through all the offerings. They have a Chicago portal, so when you choose this as your city at the top of the Dabble website, all classes are here local. Want to learn how to salsa or make a mean Mojito drink, or sew, knit etc – it’s all here. The gift card page can be seen at this link and you can order cards in different denominations starting at $20 – all the way up to $200. What a fun and unique Chicago souvenir idea. *Sidenote: I just noticed I tend to mention Dabble a lot on this site and probably will continue to do so, that it might seem I work for them. I do not. I just think what they do and offer is great, so am spreading the good word.

5. Chicago Attractions Pass, The Go Chicago Card –

The Go Chicago Card is a multi-attraction pass that allows you to visit up to 25 city attractions at one inclusive price. This pass will SAVE you tons of money and is a great gift idea for anyone coming to visit. These are just some of the attractions you’ll get to visit for FREE with the Go Chicago Card: Shedd Aquarium, SkyDeck Chicago, The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Chicago Children’s Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, Brookfield Zoo, Art Institute of Chicago and so much more. You can grab the Go Chicago pass online here via this link, then just enjoy as many attractions as you can.

6. Chicago Themed Shot Glass –

The old stand by, this one is one many collect and since its inexpensive, is great for gift giving as well. Some peeps like to collect a shot glass from every city or state they visit along with magnets. If you want a cool Chicago themed shot glass, we found a great collection of them online via eBay. See a few below and or just head straight to eBay and browse around to see what catches your fancy. You can narrow down your search by price, category, new or used, collectible, etc. Shot glasses almost always make for a nice souvenir.


Disclosure: I’m an eBay affiliate, so I might make a small commission if you buy through my links above. If so, I thank you and appreciate your patronage.