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2020 Holiday Gifts #13

HydraPeak 32 oz Stainless Steel Bottle Yetis, Hydro Flasks and HydraPeaks have changed how we drink. Imagine filling up a bottle with orange juice and ice one night before bed. You wake the next day and in your typical hurried morning you leave for work but forget the OJ from the night before. You get […]

2020 Holiday Gifts #12

Family Game Night In our house, we’ve probably played more board games and video games as a family than we have since our kids were pre-teens. After the first couple of months of quarantine, we were so over Monopoly, Yahtzee and Scrabble. It was time to get creative. Here are a couple of good options […]

2020 Holiday Gifts #11

Portable Battery Charger Here’s a gift that really shows you care. If you have a college student living away from home, a senior parent who’s still driving or a friend with a long work commute, this portable battery charger can really come in handy. At less than 2 pounds and not quite 8 inches in […]

2020 Holiday Gifts #10

Aromatherapy Diffuser & Humidifier As winter approaches we’re returning to the season of dry household heat. Here’s a gift idea that’s both functional and beautiful. This aromatherapy diffuser is also a humidifier, allowing you to add a bit of humidity to your environment in a variety of scents. It’s controlled electronically, compatible with Alexa and […]

2020 Holiday Gifts #9

Keurig Coffee Maker I’ve been in love with Keurig coffee makers for years. Quick and convenient, my Keurig allows me to have a cup of hazelnut vanilla coffee while offering my guests a range of other flavored (or non-flavored) brews. The manufacturers of the K-cup pods is virtually endless, so there’s a wide range of […]

2020 Holiday Gifts #7

Cozy Weighted Blanket If you’ve never been under a weighted blanket, you’re definitely missing a treat. Imagine being embraced in a warm hug by the softest possible fabric. The gentle pressure of the blanket’s weight (from glass beads inside the blanket) is the perfect start to any nap or good night’s sleep. This blanket makes […]

2020 Holiday Gift Ideas: #4

During 2020 each of us learned how to do more from home. From ordering dinner online to video calls with family across the country, we’re maximizing technology to maintain a semblance of normalcy. And although the latest news regarding coronavirus vaccines seems to offer a light at the end of the tunnel, those of us […]

2020 Holiday Gift Ideas: #2

During 2020 each of us learned how to do more from home. From ordering dinner online to video calls with family across the country, we’re maximizing technology to maintain a semblance of normalcy. And although the latest news regarding coronavirus vaccines seems to offer a light at the end of the tunnel, those of us […]

Urban Upscale’s Top 5 Fall Cocktails with NO Pumpkin Spice

Ahhh… Leaves are changing colors. Kids of all ages are preparing to wear masks that have nothing to do with any virus. Sweaters and fire logs are being purchased and frozen margaritas have given way to hot toddies and other belly warming drinks. While being dedicated to providing information pertaining to health, career, education and […]

Beaches, Kittens and an Election

Keep it light. Stay away from politics. Entertain and/or inform. These are basic tenets here at Urban Upscale so I will do my level best to adhere to them. We seek to entertain and inform. There are a ton of websites and a plethora of pundits out there taking political jabs at the other side. […]

The Ultimate Jazz Lover’s Playlist

Music is an irreplaceable part of the human experience. Not to be overly simplistic but everyone loves music. Right? It is as simple as the objective is in baseball….Hit the ball! Well, also not to be overly complicated but the reason for this is that music creates moods. Moods create memories. Memories, in the end, […]

Scotch for Dummies

There are some that think that whisky is just whisky. If you are one of these people then this article is not for you. Not because you don’t know any better but only because you obviously don’t care. If you don’t know that there is a difference between rye, bourbon, Irish, Scotch and blends between […]

2 Plates. 3 Questions. Part 2

If you could have lunch with three people that you currently have absolutely no chance of breaking bread with and you could only ask them three questions…Who would those three people be and what would you ask?  This is not a new question. I tried, with varying degrees of success, to pose valid and coherent […]

3/5 of a Man? Imagine that!

There is a seemingly new awakening of the national conscience regarding race. This national conversation has been prompted by what seems to be “one injustice too many”. There have been tragic losses of life recently that have ignited an increase in both a universal cohesion as well as a brazen hatred not seen in decades.  […]

But what about summer?

Is it time to travel yet? Summer trips are canceled. Business trips are being held via Zoom. Weddings are postponed. Family reunions are rescheduled for 2021.  2020 has thrown us for a loop, to put it mildly. But here we are, stuck in limbo. Case counts are decreasing. Death tolls are dropping. But will it […]

2 Plates. 3 Questions. Part 1

If you could have lunch with three people that you currently have absolutely no chance of breaking bread with…Who would those three people be?  This is not a new question. Quite frankly, this is a topic that has been written about by better scribes than myself. But since I have this website and since I […]

Vodka showdown, part 2

In our last vodka taste test, we compared Tito’s, Grey Goose, Stolichnaya and Ketel One. The results may have been predictable to some depending on your personal taste. We couldn’t wait to conduct part 2. Any guesses as to which brand won? The brands. For this latest vodka taste test we included Absolut, Belvedere, Ciroc […]

Will we be okay without these 5 companies?

The unforeseen events of the beginning of 2020 have us readjusting our lives in so many ways. We have children that go to class without leaving their bedrooms. We have a brand new level of tension when we grocery shop. We have an uncertainty about the near future that is unprecedented. ”Will my college student […]

Throwback Road Trip Playlist Couldn’t do it, huh? 🙂 We understand. Scroll to view the list of classics included on Urban Upscale’s Throwback Road Trip playlist below. You can also click this link to open the list in Spotify: Comment below with other songs we should add!

Your best cookout menu

As we ease into summer and enjoy more time outside, the thought of cooking out is pretty appealing. That is, until you think about the work involved. While your guests are enjoying adult beverages on your back deck, you’re getting your steps in with multiple trips to the kitchen to prep food for the grill. […]

All Hands on Deck

Let’s face it. This summer will not be one of carousing at a crowded bar while sipping a colorful aperitif right next to an affable stranger. But do not fret. You can have that beautiful yellow, red or even blue eye catching, yet still intoxicating cocktail. On your deck! All that you require are the […]

The Summer Question: Gas vs Charcoal

There are the sounds right now. Birds are singing in the mornings. The drone of lawns being mowed permeates the afternoons. There are also the sights right now. Couples tooling around town in convertibles with their tops down. My kids in tank tops and their caramel brown skin that is soon to be chocolaty as […]

Your checklist for a healthy summer (part 2): You are what you eat

Urban Upscale has developed a 3-part checklist so you have the information you need to make this your best summer yet. Part2, below, focuses on healthy eating. Part 1 offers a quick list for leveling up your physical activity. Watch for part 3, with a list for mental/emotional fitness. Let’s face it, maintaining a healthy […]

Your checklist for a healthy summer (part 1): Let’s get physical

Urban Upscale has developed a 3-part checklist so you have the information you need to make this your best summer yet. Part 1, below, focuses on physical activity. Watch for parts 2 and 3, with lists for smart eating and mental fitness. You’ve probably heard the saying “summer bodies are made in the spring.” That […]

Back to business

Whether you’re a corporate executive or entrepreneur, almost all businesses were impacted by the covid-19 epidemic that swept across the United States in 2020. Unless your industry is healthcare, grocery/essential retail or online shipping, it is very likely that your business slowed significantly during the first half of the year. In some cases, local or […]

What my mom taught me

As Mother’s Day 2020 approaches, I naturally think about the role motherhood has played in my life. I became a mom nearly 20 years ago. Prior to that day, if you would have asked me if my mother loved me I would have said “sure” and not given it another thought. It was only after […]

Oxygen needs to last all day

Almost 25 years ago, my wife and I went on a wonderful trip to Aruba (This was before I knew that she was going to be my wife. SHE knew it. I just didn’t). Living on the adventurous side of the “life fence”, we decided to try out scuba diving. The excursion offered a one-hour […]

Vodka showdown, part 1

“Ketel One and tonic, extra lime.” That’s my usual drink order. Ketel One is my favorite vodka and has been for years. The first time I tried it was at a Ketel One tasting event and I was surprised by how smooth it was. Smooth enough to drink straight, which is not at all my […]

What’s the deal with TikTok?

So I have to admit it. I was against TikTok. The last thing I needed was yet another video platform to show me useless information created by people that have too much time on their hands. Then the lockdown happened. “Stay home, stay safe” was the right thing to do, but after 4 weeks at […]

Purchasing a little peace of mind

With all of us being as safe as we can be during these trying times, a lockdown or “Shelter in place” order can get pretty old pretty quick. There are times when we feel like a walk around the subdivision or a bike ride in a park just doesn’t last long enough and before we […]

“Second” City. Really?

Anyone that has visited both Chicago and New York City for reasons other than business knows that the term “Second City” is a nickname that is very apropos. New York is undeniably one the the world’s urban marvels. But if you have been to Chicago, like REALLY been to Chicago, then you might often wonder […]

Starting them young

Early experiences can have a lifelong impact. Whether it’s traveling, dining out or other family experiences, exposing younger children to various activities helps them grow into well-rounded adults.

Go ahead Sir. Order that Porterhouse!

It is time to just be honest with everyone Fellas. We like to eat good food and, quite often, that good food is not inexpensive. Even more often, however, that excellent and pricey dish is not the healthiest choice on the menu. Statistically, we men eat less healthy than our beautiful and more intelligent counterparts. […]

This is worth the risk

This is my most personal article to date. I tend to not divulge life stories to the world but some stories just need to be told. My wife and I are best friends. I know that this post may cause problems between us because I didn’t confer with her before publishing this article and we […]

The Sisterhood

If you’re a woman who grew up with a sister, you’re very lucky. You know what it’s like to have someone to confide in, laugh with, and—sometimes—fight with. As a sister to a sister, I understand what it’s like to know that someone always has your back, someone who understands what it means to be […]

Stop worrying about it and just prepare for it.

Many of us have worked hard and smart. Hard enough and smart enough that we have all the trappings and we pay for our children’s braces and we pay for their college tuition and we plan on that not too far off period where we can just deep sea fish or hop a plane across […]

This is NOT what Urban Upscale was built for…

This is NOT what we do. Our intent with Urban Upscale is to create a destination that is an informational and entertaining site based on our education, experiences and hopefully sound advice. We do not offer opinions about politics nor do we editorialize on controversies. We want to be a source of happiness and edification.  […]

Quarantine Schmuarantine! Paris Edition

We are all light years from the last or the next time that we will hop on or have hopped on an international flight, it seems. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t find ways to remember our special trips or eventually plan for one once this fog is lifted.  Here is a way that […]

The Whammy

wham·my • /ˈ(h)wamē/ (noun) – A secret power possessed by “Him” that is used to make a regular, already happy situation change into BOOM. I will share this with everyone now as this secret has gotten too big to keep to myself and, apparently, there are still non-believers out there. This can happen at a […]

Building and managing your personal brand

If you’ve built a professional reputation that has fueled your career and your lifestyle, then you likely have created a personal brand that’s served you well. The question is, was it intentional or happenstance? And are you managing your personal brand for the next level? Okay, that’s two questions, but equally important. A personal brand […]

Talking to kids about coronavirus

Although they may not say it, many kids and teens may be concerned or scared about the U.S. 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. With almost non-stop coronavirus coverage on media and  social media, children and teens may experience feelings of anxiety or worry during this time. Here are a few ways you can talk to your […]

10 Tips: Staying sane during the coronavirus outbreak

So we’re all dealing with coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. You don’t have to be sick with the disease to be affected by it. The closure of retail and restaurants, cancelations of events and national sports, these all serve as daily reminders that life is very different these days. And the support you would normally […]

5 things to do when there’s nothing to do

Whether it’s self-imposed or just a blank space on your calendar, “downtime” can quickly lead to boredom if time stretches on and isn’t well spent. Here are 5 suggestions to make the most of your “you time”. Reconnect face-to-face. We all spend a lot of time on our devices. Put away the phones and tablets […]

Freshman year’s over. Now who is this?

There are few occasions in life that make a parent more proud than a child leaving for college. And even fewer that are more confusing than when that child returns after freshman year. Many parents have experienced it. Senior year of high school is busy, expensive and full of hope for the future. Everyone’s watching […]

10 Resources: Building your personal brand

Whether you’re in senior management or you just got your first promotion, building your personal brand is an ongoing endeavor and is definitely worth a more in-depth examination when you have time. For now, we’ve curated a list of 10 useful links to help keep your personal brand on track. 10 Keys to a Memorable […]

The Bloodiest.

A cocktail that offers the opportunity to include literally a hundred different ingredients, has as many different tastes and hues, is always refreshing and intoxicating and also gives you your daily recommended supply of numerous vitamins? There is only one. The Bloody Mary. Here we will explore what makes a good Bloody Mary a good […]

Career podcasts you should know

For busy career professionals, balancing work, family and other commitments is a constant juggling act. If you’ve been able to master this mix of competing priorities, good for you! You clearly know what it takes to keep all the plates spinning while maintaining a harmonious homelife and a successful career. But with your busy schedule […]

Why date night is (still) important

If you’re single, the concept of date night is probably fairly laughable. After all, isn’t every night date tonight? But those of you who are married, and have been for any length of time, know what date light night is all about. This is time set aside for a married couple to reconnect, postponing discussion […]

How to visit New Orleans in style

Being the parents of two incredible–and incredibly busy–teenage girls, we’ve learned that vacation time for mom and dad is extremely precious. We love our alone time, but we also love being with our daughters, so we need to make every moment count. When we think about where we can go to have our “us time”, […]

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