Keep the celebration going into the new year!

With January comes the start of the new year! Everyone is making resolutions to lose weight and such, so be different. Make it your resolution to celebrate every national day this year! Here are a few coming up each day in January!

January 1st: New Year's Day / National Hangover Day

If you are starting off 2018 with a hangover, that means you ended 2017 right.

January 2nd: National Buffet Day / National Personal Trainer Awareness Day

Yes, I am aware of personal trainers and healthy lifestyles. That being said, I am still going to hit the buffet line for seconds and thirds.

January 3rd: National Fruitcake Toss Day

If you haven't already thrown those fruitcakes in the garbage, take part in National Fruitcake Toss Day! Grab a buddy and a slingshot and make that thing fly!

January 4th: National Spaghetti Day

Who doesn't love a big plate of spaghetti? If you're feeling crazy, throw a few meatballs on top, too!

January 5th: National Whipped Cream Day

You can do a lot with whipped cream - put it on an ice cream sundae, squirt it into your mouth from the can, put in in a pie and smash it in someone's face... so grab a can of Reddi Whip and enjoy that fluffy, creamy deliciousness however you like best!

January 6th: National Bean Day / National Cuddle Up Day

I love beans but I'm not sure it's really safe to cuddle up with me after I eat a bowl of them...

January 7th: National Bobblehead Day

The only bobbleheads I really have are the freebies they give away to kids when you go to the Phillies games. I know Shane Victorino doesn't play for the Phillies anymore, but you'd best bet my Flyin' Hawaiian figurine will be out on display anyway!

January 8th: National Bubble Bath Day

If any day is a good day to sit back and relax in a bubble bath with a glass of wine, it's January 8th.

January 9th: National Static Electricity Day

Put of your fuzzy wool socks, shuffle around on a carpet, and give your family and friends a shock or two!

January 10th: National Cut Your Energy Costs Day

Try to use less electricity by watching less TV and keeping the lights dim - OR you could just go Amish-style for the day

January 11th: National Milk Day / National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day

Jumping in puddles is fun. Splashing your friends is funny. Embrace your inner child today - and don't forget to drink your milk to help build strong bones!

January 12th: Kiss a Ginger Day

It's another day for gingers to wear their "Kiss Me I'm Irish" shirts!

January 13th: National Rubber Ducky Day / National Sticker Day

This is another day in January where it is completely acceptable to embrace your inner child! Give out stickers to your friends that let them know they are doing a "good job" or simply just look like an animal. And take a nice bath with your rubber duckies... I know you have some.

January 14th: National Dress Up Your Pet Day

My dogs and cats do not handle dress ups very well. Luckily my goats do!

January 15th: National Hat Day

I wear beanies a lot and at the beach I always have some kind of wide brimmed hat on to protect my face from the sun. But on National Hat Day requires a goofy one!

January 16th: National Fig Newton Day

It's another national day for the 20-something-year-old grandmas like me!

January 17th: National Hot Buttered Rum Day

This is one of my favorite Yankee Candle scents so you'd best bet I will be lighting them!

January 18th: National Thesaurus Day

Want to drive someone crazy? Look up common words in the thesaurus, ascertain the most extravagant synonym there is, and then adopt it in place of the common word. It's quite uproarious.

January 19th: National Popcorn Day

I mean, personally I prefer kettle corn but popcorn is alright too... as long as it's caramel corn!

January 20th: National Cheese Lover's Day / National Disc Jockey Day

Work on your night cheese while listening to your favorite DJ's remixes!

January 21st: National Hugging Day / Squirrel Appreciation Day

Hopefully squirrels are nicer than raccoons...

January 22nd: National Blonde Brownie Day

The best way to enjoy blondies is in the Ben and Jerry's pint form, if you want my opinion.

January 23rd: National Pie Day

Coconut custard will be my choice. What's your favorite pie?

January 24th: National Compliment Day / National Peanut Butter Day

Can I just compliment peanut butter for being absolutely delicious?

January 25th: National Opposite Day

I'm not going to celebrate today by not saying what the opposite of what I mean.

January 26th: National Green Juice Day

Kale, cucumbers, celery, spinach, avocado, lime, granny smith apple... how many green things can you fit into your green juice?

January 27th: National Chocolate Cake Day

You had your green juice yesterday. You deserve your chocolate cake today.

January 28th: National Kazoo Day

Out of all the instruments I can play, I'd say I'm best at the kazoo - not to brag or anything.

January 29th: National Corn Chip Day / National Puzzle Day

You can make a plate of nachos or just sit down with your favorite salsa/queso and bag of corn chips to munch on while you solve a puzzle.

January 30th: National Croissant Day

It can be sweet or savory, I don't really care. I'm not picky when it comes to warm, flaky, buttery French pastries as long as I get some!

January 31st: National Backward Day

January 31st is my brother's birthday SO everyone remember to say happy 18th birthday to Brenton Burkholder - but call him Redlohkrub Netnerb, because it's backward day too.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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More Burgers, More Food to Talk About

February of last year I wrote my very first post about Little Bad Wolf's highly underrated burger in Chicago. Give that one a read, my detail is comical – no joke.


Since that tasty treat at Little Bad Wolf, there are others to share the spotlight and applaud! Here are my recent and ever-growing list of burgers to try when you are in the Chicago city limits.

Easter came early last year, April 1, and you bet I took full advantage to get a burger right after that day. I set my sights on Southport Corridor Brewery's burger. Listed at a reasonable $14, your plate presents itself with a double-steak patty, mustard herb mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, Detroit pickles, and a sesame bun! Pair that sandwich with a tasty beer on their rotating menu, and its lights out. Beer, burgers, and oh, did I mention their vinyl selection? Make it a top stop the next time you are in the area.

A few months later, enjoying a week away with the boys, we stopped at a local establishment in Richmond, IL called the Richmond Brathaus. They have a Hawaiian-take on what they title, the Maui Wowee, and boy was I floored from that creation. Swiss cheese, sautéed onions, cherry wood smoked bacon, grilled pineapple and cherry chipotle BBQ combine for what is an excellent sandwich – but to top it off, I got the "Haus fries," which contain chili and cheese – savory heaven. If you are just over the border in Wisconsin, map search "Richmond BratHaus," I guarantee you are going to like what you eat.

My last burger of 2018 was at a newer establishment in the West Loop from the West Coast (California), known as Ballast Point Brewery. The Ballast Point beers speak for themselves, from their "sculpin" line to specialty barrel aged, and rose-influenced beers. They are always top quality. On a cold winter night, there was nothing I wanted more than a delicious burger from this establishment. After a thorough look at the menu, my eyes kept wandering back to the West Coast Griddle Burger, which had American cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and "wonder" sauce on a brioche bun. They also offer you the option of three in-house sauces as dipping options for your fries. Do it. Even if it is not for the burger, go to the place, especially in the summer for their rooftop!

After four months, my journey for the best burgers in Chicago continues. I continually check Google for listings and names, making sure I am still on the best path. If you have any suggestions, feel free to shoot me a comment or message – recommendations are always welcomed by this guy. Until next time, keep eating, good eats!

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