*Mornings Archives

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Thursday, December 3

TODAY IS:
Make a Gift Day: It’s a day to celebrate gifts that are made with your hands … and your heart.
National Roof Over Your Head Day: It’s a day to be thankful for what you have, starting with the roof over your head.

Hydrate yourself to happiness … A new survey found that drinking water may be the key to happiness. The survey revealed that 41% of people who drank six or more glasses of water a day said that they were “very happy.” Only 12% of people who drank less than a glass a day said the same. Also, 40% of people who drank six or more glasses of water a day described themselves as optimists. Just 10% of those who drank less than a glass of water a day said they were optimists. (SWNS)

You won’t be able to bring your emotional support pig, possum or peacock  on the plane anymore. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation ruled that only dogs can be service animals – at least when it comes to flying. You can still bring your support animal with you – but they’ll have to travel in the cargo hold. (CBS)

One of the best things about 2020 was how many dogs were adopted from shelters. And 2020 certainly inspired some of the names for these pups. According to Rover.com’s 100 Most Popular Male and Female Dog Names of 2020, the names Covi/Covie, Rona, and Corona were all trending this year. But they weren’t among the most popular male and female dog names.
Here are the Top 10 Male and Female Dog Names for 2020:
Female
  1. Bella
  2. Luna
  3. Lucy
  4. Daisy
  5. Lola
  6. Sadie
  7. Molly
  8. Bailey
  9. Stella
  10. Maggie
Male
  1. Max
  2. Charlie
  3. Cooper
  4. Buddy
  5. Milo
  6. Bear
  7. Rocky
  8. Duke
  9. Tucker
  10. Jack

Music News – Thursday, December 3

Lady Gaga has a sweet deal for fans — and even some haters. She’s introducing her own Oreo cookie!
The cookie makers will roll out a special treat inspired by the Mother Monster’s Chromatica, made with pink-hued Golden Oreos with green-colored creme and three Gaga-inspired cookie designs on the outside, including a beautiful heart embossment.
They’ll initially hit stores in January, in special six-cookie packs, and will be available nationwide a couple of months later. Gaga and Oreos are also teaming up on an initiative to spread some love. Starting December 15 through April 30th, they are encouraging fans to send uplifting “OREOgrams” to people they love. You can create your own message, which will be instantly transformed into a song, or choose from a message recorded by Lady Gaga. Go directly to SingItWithOreo.com and get singing!

Not to be outdone, this Friday, on National Cookie Day, Mariah Carey will launch her personal brand of cookies with a Christmas theme.
There are three holiday flavors — White Chocolate Cranberry, Pumpkin and Gingerbread cookies. There’s also Mimi’s Mix Box, which is a variety of her favorite homemade flavors.
Restaurateur Robert Earl partnered with Mariah’s Cookies. He said, (quote) “Mariah is synonymous with the holidays. I can think of no better way to celebrate with friends and family than with a box of Mariah’s Cookies.”
Mariah’s Cookies will be available by delivery only in 30 markets. Ordering is possible through most apps, including Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates. (Los Angeles Magazine)

Taylor Swift just offered up the first taste of her newly recorded old material — by letting Match.com use the revamped “Love Story” in a comical new commercial.
Tay spilled the details, saying that she just couldn’t say no to pal Ryan Reynolds, who stars in the ad. It shows a devil-like character on a date. The demonic figure looks lovingly at his date, posed in front of a dumpster fire, and says, “I just don’t want this year to end.”
Taylor says the track isn’t completely finished, but promises she’s “working hard to get the music to you soon.”

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Wednesday, December 2

Last month, when an employee at a restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey, tested positive for coronavirus, it looked like things would have to be shut down. But that’s when a business owner in the neighborhood stepped up and kept things running.
It was especially bad timing for the restaurant — called Wurstbar — because the weather was nice and there was a chance to serve a lot of customers outdoors over the unseasonably warm weekend.
But, to be safe, owner Aaron Khan closed the restaurant and sent all the employees home.
Andre Fersa — who owns and operates a barbershop down the block — heard the bad news and wanted to help. He stepped up, and along with some help from his friend, Joe Mercurio, the two men kept the restaurant running for the weekend. They tended bar, served giant Bavarian pretzels (since the other menu items weren’t available with staff gone) and managed to serve about 80 customers.
Aaron was thankful that Andre came to his rescue, and is now looking for ways to help other business owners who are dealing with challenges these days.

The Daily Dish – Wednesday, December 2

Bill Cosby‘s lawyers were in a Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court yesterday asking the judge to throw out the 83-year-old’s sex assault conviction.
Lawyers for Cosby, who is more than two years into his prison sentence for drugging and molesting a woman, believe there was certain evidence and testimony in the 2018 trial that the judge should not have allowed, including testimony from five other accusers. Arguments in court are streaming live on YouTube. (KYW-TV)

Kelly Clarkson won custody of her kids in a court battle with estranged husband Brandon Blackstock, but that’s not stopping him from asking for a huge monthly check.
Brandon, who’s agreed to have River Rose and Remington live with Kelly in Los Angeles, wants $436,000 per month in spousal and child support. A source close to Clarkson tells People magazine that Brandon “has been equally unreasonable in his requests for child and spousal support, as well as attorney fees. Kelly’s offered to pay for all the kids’ expenses, but Brandon seems to think he is entitled to and needs $301,000 in spousal support and $135,000 in child support per month.”
For those keeping score at home, Brandon’s dad, who’s Kelly’s former manager, is also suing her and asking for $1.4 million in unpaid fees.

Juno star Ellen Page has just come out as transgender, changing his name to Elliot.
He posted a lengthy statement on social media Tuesday, saying, “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self… I also ask for patience. My joy is real, but it is also fragile… To all the trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you, and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.”
Elliot currently stars in the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy.

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Wednesday, December 2

TODAY IS:
National Mutt Day: A day to celebrate those lovable mixed breed dogs.

Still eating Thanksgiving leftovers? It’s probably time to stop. It’s been 6 days since Thanksgiving, and if you still have leftovers in the fridge, you should probably throw them out. And if you’re still eating them, you better have some Pepto Bismol standing by. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends discarding uneaten leftovers three or four days after they’re cooked, which means that you needed to finish it all by Monday — or at least tossed it in the freezer. And the USDA says leftovers can safely remain in the freezer for up to six months, although the quality of the food may suffer.

Yesterday was Giving Tuesday, and Starbucks celebrated the day by announcing it would be giving all front-line responders free coffee for the month of December as a thank you for all they have done to keep us safe during the pandemic. According to the company, all front-line responders — including doctors and nurses, public health workers, pharmacists, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, dentists and dental hygienists, mental health workers, hospital staff (including janitors and security), and active-duty military — will get a free tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) throughout the month. (Food & Wine)

No surprise – people are sick and tired of bad news. In fact, a new survey has found that 75% of respondents said the constant stream of bad news has taken a toll on their mental health. And it seems the way we are coping with it is by replacing all the negative with something positive. 70% of those surveyed said they have made a point of doing something positive every day to lift their spirits from all the negativity. And what’s really interesting is that for most people surveyed, their daily “positivity” goal was to make someone else smile. 34% said making someone laugh was something they strived to do every day.

The Sun says Upside Down Christmas trees have once again become a hot holiday seller. The trees are mounted to the ceiling with a hook. Pop star Ariana Grande and other celebs love the trees. They can be purchased online for as little as $25.

Music News – Wednesday, December 2

Lady Gaga is revving up to raise cash for her Born This Way Foundation — by raffling off a high-end sports car that was used in the video for one of her newest pop songs, “911.”
The 2020 Lamborghini, which is valued at $208,000, was shown in a dream sequence meant to mimic Gaga’s own experiences with anti-psychotic medications. The auction description calls it “a piece of pop culture perfection…not to mention a pretty powerful ride,”
Little Monsters and auto fiends can submit one entry for free on Omaze through December 17th. If you want to boost your chances, it’ll cost you: Multiple entries are available for donations ranging from 100 for $10 to 2000 for $100.

Mariah Carey may be the Queen of Christmas now, but things were a whole lot different when she was a little girl.
Mimi tells Elle magazine that she always loved the holiday, but it never quite turned out the way she wanted. She says, “It’s just that longing that I had as a child, that I always wanted things to be perfect for the holidays … And they never were. It was always somebody ruining the moment, always these dysfunctional family members who came around and foiled everything… After I kind of emerged from my first relationship-slash-marriage, I created the Christmases that I wanted to have.”
You can see exactly how she wanted to spend the holidays when Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special hits Apple TV+ on Friday.

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Tuesday, December 1

In Italy, police officers transported a donated kidney 300 miles in two hours — driving a  Lamborghini sports car.
The officers drove a Lamborghini Huracan from the city of Padua to Gemelli University Hospital in Rome, averaging 145 miles per hour.
Their expert driving paid off. The kidney arrived in plenty of time for a successful transplant.
Normally, the trip would have taken at least five hours. But, luckily, the police have a few Lamborghinis in the garage for situations just like these — and some of them even have a refrigerated trunk for transporting organs or other temperature-sensitive medical supplies.

The Daily Dish – Tuesday, December 1

In a matter of three months, skateboarder Nathan Apodaca has gone from living in an RV to paying cash for a five-bedroom house in Idaho Falls.
Nathan’s social media handle is DoggFace. He became an overnight sensation on TikTok for skateboarding, sipping on Ocean Spray and chilling to Fleetwood Mac‘s ’70s hit “Dreams.”
That fame translated to endorsement deals and corporate gifts like a truck to replace his long-board. DoggFace spent the money on engagement ring for his longtime girlfriend. He also paid $320,000 in cash on their first home. (People)

Melissa Gilbert, best known as the star of Little House on the Prairie, is recovering from major spinal surgery, as she revealed on Instagram on Thanksgiving Day.
Gilbert shared some operating room footage along with her health update, in which she said, “Nothing too gross or gory here but I wanted to share with all of you. Especially if anyone out there is dealing with spine issues. On this Thanksgiving Day, though I am isolated from all of my loved ones, I am so filled with gratitude. Be well and safe everyone. I send you all oceans of love.”
The 56-year-old has had a series of spine issues dating back to when she broke her back in 2001. She also suffered whiplash from a fall she suffered while competing on Dancing With the Stars, and a few months later the balcony of a house she was renting collapsed on her head.

Kelly Clarkson has been granted her holiday wish — “primary custody” of her two children with estranged husband Brandon Blackstock.
People magazine reports that a Los Angeles County judge ruled in Kelly’s favor, settling one part of the couple’s increasingly bitter divorce. The court decision says that joint custody of River Rose and Remington was ruled out because “the level of conflict between the parents has increased. The parties have a difficult time co-parenting due to issues of trust between them.”
Blackstock, who plans to live in Montana, will be allowed visitation at Kelly’s L.A. residence. The judge also divvied up holiday time between the two parents.

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Tuesday, December 1

TODAY IS:
Giving Tuesday: Yesterday was Cyber Monday, a day to buy. And today, Giving Tuesday, is a day to give. ‘Tis the season of giving … so give of yourself this holiday season … even if it’s just your time.
Rosa Parks Day: It was on December 1st, 1955, when Rosa Parks made civil rights history when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger.
National Pie Day: A good day to bake a pie … or finish off that leftover Thanksgiving pie.

It’s December 1st … Which means engagement season has begun. According to WeddingWire’s 2020 Newlywed Report, December is by far the most popular month of the year for popping the question. In fact, 19% of the entire year’s engagements happen in December (July is the second most popular month at 9%). And 7 out of 10 of the most popular dates to get engaged are in December. According to WeddingWire data, Christmas Day will be the most popular day to get engaged, followed by Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day (yes, technically January – but close enough). (Real Simple)

Hey, remote workers … Hawaii wants you. Yep, paradise is calling. The state of Hawaii wants you to pick up and move to one of their islands right now. If you can handle the early morning work hours (a six-hour time difference for East Coasters), your day will end in the early afternoon — giving you plenty of time for fun in the sun. The statewide campaign, called Movers & Shakas — a reference to the “hang loose” hand gesture — is trying to help the damaged tourism economy by inviting remote workers to move to the beautiful state. According to the campaign, the first 50 applicants receive a free, round-trip ticket to Honolulu, but you must also pledge to “respect Hawaii’s culture and natural resources and help out at a local nonprofit.” And an added bonus … the state has some of the lowest COVID-19 rates in the country. (Newser)

And, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey has a $106 burger on the menu at his new restaurant in London, which opens this week. What makes this burger worth so much? According to the menu, the burger features an expensive cut of sirloin patty, truffle pecorino cheese, fresh black truffles and mayonnaise made with Cep mushrooms. Oh, and fries aren’t included with the burger. That will cost you another 8 bucks. “I guarantee this will be a burger experience like no other,” Ramsey said. It better be for $106. (Today)

Music News – Tuesday, December 1

Camila Cabello is still head over heels in love with Shawn Mendes — but she wants fans to know that their relationship isn’t as perfect as it looks in pictures.
The “Seniorita” singer hit up Instagram over the weekend to offer her thoughts on love. She wrote, “When you’re in a relationship with someone, it feels like they are this mirror reflecting yourself back to you — It’s not as simple as it looks in pictures sometimes. sometimes, it’s messy and uncomfortable and ugly. to be in love means to choose that person over and over again, to go through the messy stuff with. And that’s way more beautiful and raw and real than perfection.”

A joke about Selena Gomez in the reboot of Saved by the Bell led the show’s producers and streaming service Peacock to apologize to the singer.
In one episode two high school students are seen arguing about who the donor was for Gomez’s kidney transplant in 2017. (The donor was her best friend Francia Raisa.) One student says, “I know for a fact that Selena Gomez’s kidney donor was Justin Bieber‘s mom. God, I wish that I had my phone so that I could prove it.” The other student replies, “Prove what? That you’re an idiot? It was Demi Lovato‘s kidney. They’re best friends, like you and I were.”
And in another scene the words “Does Selena Gomez even have a kidney?” are written near some lockers on the walls of the high school.
The references caused a social media storm on over the holiday weekend, leading to “Respect Selena Gomez” to trend on Twitter. The show’s executive producers and Peacock released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that said, “We apologize. It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health. We have been in touch with her team and will be making a donation to her charity, The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC.”

Happy Headline from United Federal Credit Union – Monday, November 30

Six years ago, Sam Sanchez of San Antonio, Texas, started helping kids living at a nearby homeless shelter. She wanted to make sure those kids felt safe and warm, even though they were dealing with difficult situations – and was able to help those kids by providing blankets to them.
Well, fast forward six years, and Sam continues on her mission with her charity group Sam’s Covers.
So far this year, Sam has donated more than 150 fleece blankets to children living in nearby shelters.
She has learned that just providing blankets is a big deal – but it’s not the most important thing she does. Instead, she’s realized that talking to them, being present and learning about their background has an even bigger impact on their happiness.
Her efforts in helping others with Sam’s Covers has inspired her to take next steps with her career. Sam will be attending Baylor University next year – and pursuing a degree in psychology, that she expects will be able to help even more kids in the future.

The Daily Dish – Monday, November 30

Star Wars fans are mourning the loss of one of its biggest stars — who never said a word on screen.
David Prowse, who actually wore Darth Vader’s black suit and mask, has died at age 85.
The six-foot-seven British actor played Vader in the original three movies. His other credits include portraying Frankenstein’s monster three times — most notably in the early James Bond spoof Casino Royale. He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2000.
Prowse died Saturday following a short illness. (Hollywood Reporter)
George Lucas paid tribute over the weekend, saying, “He made Vader leap off the page and on to the big screen, with an imposing stature and movement performance to match the intensity and undercurrent of Vader’s presence.” (Hollywood Reporter)

Friends star Matthew Perry is engaged for the first time.
The 51-year-old actor told People magazine (quote) “I decided to get engaged. Luckily, I happened to be dating the greatest woman on the face of the planet at this time.”
He proposed to 29-year-old Molly Hurwitz. They started dating about two years ago, though they briefly split during the pandemic.
A close friend said that Molly has been a grounding influence on Matthew, who has struggled for decades with addiction. The unnamed source said, (quote) “He’s sober and doing better than he has in a long time with Molly in his life. She literally gave him something to live for.” (People)

And, Comedian Rebel Wilson lost weight over the Thanksgiving Day break.
She entered a wellness retreat, VivaMayr, rather than indulge over the long holiday. On Sunday, she proudly announced how she reached her goal weight of 165 pounds. She arrived one-month ahead of schedule.
Rebel wrote at Instagram Stories, (quote) “Hit my goal with one month to spare! Even though it’s not about a weight number, it’s about being healthy, I needed a tangible measurement to have as a goal and that was [165 pounds].” (People)

Coffee Talk from Honor Credit Union – Monday, November 30

TODAY IS: Cyber Monday: Experts believe this Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, with projected sales of $10.8 billion to $12.7 billion. (Qz)

The first Snow Storm of Fall / Winter 2020 is … today. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning early this morning to run through tomorrow at 9am due to blowing snow and high winds, and a likely band of Lake Effect Snow that will set up over Berrien and Van Buren counties, dumping snow that could total up to one foot in some places.

For those of you that think getting COVID-19 is no big deal for you personally, the side effects and after effects seem to be worse than the onset. The Sun says some coronavirus patients are losing their teeth. Doctors say this is the newest symptom along with fatigue, hair loss and brain fog.

CBS says all three Denver Broncos quarterbacks were ineligible for yesterday’s game because they had contact with another quarterback, who tested positive for the coronavirus. Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles all tested negative after coming in contact with Jeff Driskel. They were ruled ineligible because they were not wearing masks. The Broncos lost to the Saints 31-3. Wide receiver-turned-quarterback Kendall Hinton completed one of nine passes for the Broncos.

Sarah Fuller made history on Saturday when she became the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game when she kicked off to start the second half between Vanderbilt and Missouri. The Vanderbilt University soccer star was asked to step in after a number of players were unable to play due to COVID-19. Fuller had “Play Like a Girl” on the back of her helmet. (ESPN)

Music News – Monday, November 30

Taylor Swift confirms one long-discussed rumor about Folklore in her new documentary — her boyfriend Joe Alywn is William Bowery.
Bowery was credited as a co-writer on two tracks, “Exile” and “Betty,” and Alwyn or Billie Eilish have been rumored as Bowery since then. In Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions Taylor says, “There’s been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity because it’s not a real person. William Bowery is Joe, as we know.”
She adds that it wasn’t just a vanity project. “Joe plays piano beautifully. He’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things. And ‘Exile’ was crazy because Joe had written that entire piano part. He was singing the Bon Iver part. And so I was entranced and asked if we could keep writing that one. It was pretty obvious that it should be a duet.”

Saturday Night Live has a star-studded musical lineup scheduled for December. Among the artists are Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, who will taking the stage December 12th. It’s just his fourth musical appearance — and third with the E Street Band — on the long-running show. Timothee Chalamet will host.

President-elect Biden Selects All-Female White House Senior Communications Team

On Sunday, President-elect Joe Biden announced an all-female White House senior communications team. In a statement, Biden’s transition team issued a statement declaring the team the “first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women. These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”... [Read Full Story]