Early Morning Crew Blog

Early Morning Crew Blog

Wake up every weekday morning with the Early Morning Crew from 6 to 9 a.m. and let Kevin and Leeann get your day started off right!

Check out our latest blog posts below.



The Weeknd Celebrates ‘Blinding Lights’ Spending a Full Year on the Hot 100

On the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated December 14, 2019, The Weeknd’s “Heartless” claimed the No. 1 spot. That same week, “Blinding Lights” made its chart debut at No. 11. There has been a year of Hot 100 charts released since then, and “Blinding Lights” has been on every single one of them. On the latest chart (dated December 5, 2020), “Blinding Lights” is No. 9, meaning the song has stayed on the Hot 100 for an entire year.

The Weeknd took a moment to observe that achievement, as well as the fact that the song now spends its 41st week in the top 10 of the chart, which extends the record it recently set. He shared a screenshot of a tweet revealing the news and captioned it with an emoji of a smiling face surrounded by hearts. Yesterday, he also shared the single art and commemorated the song’s one-year anniversary, writing, “Blinding Lights turns 1 years old today [heart emoji] it feels like yesterday….”


How to Say No to Anything That Makes You Uncomfortable This Holiday Season

Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us. In any other year, that would mean an onslaught of parties, gift exchanges, dinners, and more. But like most other things right now, this season is going to look pretty different.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have laid out guidelines for holiday festivities that recommend against traveling for Thanksgiving and getting together with people outside of your household. “Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu,” reads the CDC’s website.

If you’re heading into the season knowing you and some (or all) of your loved ones have different perspectives on the pandemic, uncomfortable situations may arise. For help tackling these tough conversations, look no further than this insight provided by Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based civility expert Steven Petrow and Los Angeles-based marriage and family therapist Maisha Gainer.

Set Clear Boundaries Ahead of Time

Before the holiday season really kicks into high gear, Petrow suggests giving a good think to which activities and behaviors feel right to you. “Have a conversation with yourself or with your partner or spouse as you’re heading into the holidays. What are you comfortable with?” Petrow says. “Set rules ahead of time that establish your comfort level.”

Knowing your household’s agreed-upon boundaries will help when it comes time to express them to someone else. Petrow, for instance, says he recently received an invite to an event in a movie theater—a situation he knows he’s not at ease with right now. “I said, ‘Thank you very much for inviting me, but right now I’m not comfortable participating in that type of thing. I hope you understand,’” he explains.

Don’t Put off Discussions About Holiday Plans

Whether it’s telling your family that you won’t be traveling home for the season or communicating that you’re not okay with people traveling to you, it’s better to have the chat(s) sooner rather than later. According to Petrow, this helps loved ones set expectations about what this year’s celebrations will look like.

“You start to come up with alternative plans also,” he says. “I think there’ll be a lot of people who will not be traveling to see family and who then might otherwise wind up at home or alone, and nobody wants that for anybody these holidays.”

Petrow, who has out-of-state family himself, recognizes that these are going to be “really painful conversations.” In his case, he plans to “allow for the feelings that are going to come up, because everybody is going to be challenged by how different these holidays look.”

Find That Compromise

If you feel weary about what your crew has planned, Gainer recommends trying to ID an alternative that everyone feels good about.

Can everyone still gather together on Zoom for cooking, dinner, games, and a movie? Or, if you’re all in the same area, can every household make a different recipe and do contactless delivery to get it to everyone else, then gather on Zoom?

While a virtual celebration is of course not the same, “nothing has been the same this year,” Gainer says. “I would just ensure that the conversation is from a place of safety for all parties.”

When You Turn Down an Invite, Be Clear About Why

Saying no to someone’s event can be a potentially awkward situation, and you don’t want to hurt your relationship with the host. When you tell someone you won’t be attending their holiday soiree, Petrow says it’s important to be clear that the COVID-19 crisis is the reason. Let the host know your ‘no’ RSVP is about safety, not because you don’t want to go.

To reinforce the idea that your absence is about health and safety, make sure you take the time to give a call or send a text to those loved ones you won’t see in person throughout the season. “Now more than ever we need to reach out, we need to be connected, we need to tell people that we care for them. And so make those efforts,” Petrow says. “Be really clear about your feelings and why family or friends matter to you, because we’re all a little bit lost and those kinds of connections matter, and they matter especially during the holidays.”

Release Your Guilt Around the Situation

It’s natural to not want to let down the people in your life, but Gainer reminds us that it’s okay to turn down an invitation. “We take on this guilt of not wanting to say no, not wanting to disappoint someone, but you also have to think about yourself,” she says. “This year has been a lot of, ‘Well, does this work for me? Looking internally, how do I feel?’” Remember: You’re doing the best you can right now.


If You Must Travel Over Thanksgiving, Here Is How to Minimize Your COVID-19 Risk

Here in the U.S., coronavirus cases are rising significantly, at rates not seen previously in the pandemic. “The more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to get infected during travel and spread the virus to others when you return,” the CDC cautions.

Airports, train stations and rest stops are places where people are at risk of being exposed to the virus and it can be difficult to stay six feet away from others, as health experts strongly recommend. At airports, for example, travelers must wait in security lines and gather at gates before boarding their planes.

Once on a plane, where you sit matters. “There’s actually research on this, believe it or not: You want to sit at the window,” Dr. George Rutherford, epidemiologist and infectious diseases expert at UC San Francisco, said during a recent campus town hall. “And you want to sit as far away from the toilets as much as possible, which would minimize how often you’re near passengers walking past you … You want to be as far away from that action as possible.”

Rutherford also recommended choosing airlines that are not selling the middle seats in rows to increase distancing between passengers. “I think that’s important,” he said.

“Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes,” the CDC says. “However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within six feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19.”

If you find yourself needing to take a taxi or rideshare, the CDC recommends to avoid riding with unmasked drivers or passengers; avoid touching surfaces; don’t accept free water bottles; sit as far as possible from the driver; and ask the driver to improve ventilation by opening the windows or setting the air ventilation system on non-recirculation mode, the agency said.

Bay Area health officials took an even stronger stance about car travel, saying in a statement: “Don’t share vehicles with people you don’t live with. Vehicles are small enclosed spaces where COVID-19 can spread easily between people.

“If you must share a vehicle, try to ride with the same people each time, make sure everyone wears a face covering and open the windows to maximize outdoor air circulation as much as you can,” Bay Area health officials said in a joint statement.

Those taking public transit should avoid touching surfaces, travel during non-peak hours and stay at least six feet from other travelers whenever possible. “Stay out of crowded spaces when possible, especially at transit stations and stops,” the CDC says.

Rutherford also suggested that college students not return home for the holidays this winter. But if that’s not possible, he suggested having them get tested before they depart and tested again at home with about three days between tests.

“One single test is not going to do it. You got to get tested twice,” Rutherford said.

A single negative test is not proof that someone is not infected. If a person is tested shortly after becoming infected and before the virus has reproduced enough copies of itself, a test could fail to detect the virus and produce a false negative result.

At the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, campus officials voiced dismay at students swarming the football field to celebrate an upset victory over Clemson University. The university is now mandating that students get tested for the virus before returning home at the end of the semester and are threatening to tie up the students’ registration for the next semester if they don’t get tested before leaving the campus near South Bend, Ind.

“You may not leave the South Bend area until you receive the results of your exit test,” the campus said.

“Obviously, the preference is for people not to be flying home for the holidays — for students or for others — at this point in time,” said Ferrer, the L.A. County director of public health.

She said that some colleges are recommending that if students do return home for Thanksgiving, they stay home for the rest of the year and finish up the rest of the semester remotely online “so that you’re not really exposing lots more people when you come back … to finish out the semester.”

The L.A. County recommendation to quarantine for 14 days when returning from travel means staying at home as much as possible, and not leaving to go to the grocery store or to restaurants. Instead, people in quarantine should order food to be delivered, Ferrer said.

During quarantine, you can go out for a walk by yourself, said Ferrer, as long as you don’t come in contact with other people. “We don’t want you go to restaurants and sitting and eating outside. And we don’t want you going into retail establishments, either, when we’ve asked you to quarantine.”

“The tighter you can restrict your activities over those 14 days, the better off we all are,” Ferrer said.

Similarly, health officials in the Bay Area strongly recommend self-quarantining for 14 days after returning to the region if a traveler’s activities put them at higher risk for infection. That can include traveling on planes and other public transit where face masks were not worn at all times by everyone or being within six feet of people outside your nuclear family if anyone was not wearing a mask.


UPDATE: Matthew Perry Reveals the FRIENDS Reunion Is Now Scheduled for March


In what feels like the most drawn-out reunion in the history of sitcoms, Matthew Perry took to Twitter on Thursday, Nov. 12 to confirm that finally, after months of holding our breaths, the Friends reunion is a go.

“Friends reunion being rescheduled for the beginning of March,” he wrote. “Looks like we have a busy year coming up. And that’s the way I like it!” 

As Friends stans will remember, the reunion was initially supposed to film in March, then premiere in May alongside the launch of HBO Max. But just like so many other shows, it was put on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mountain Dew Releasing Cookbook Full of Recipes Using the Fan Favorite Soda

Mountain Dew soda has such a cult following that those who love it have no problem buying a handmade candle or hot sauce inspired by the beverage. For those true die-hards, Mountain Dew is releasing a cookbook that includes 96 pages of recipes that use the lemon-lime drink in ways you’ve never seen before—from grilled cheese to cocktails.

The Big Bold Book of MTN DEW Recipes will show amateur and seasoned cooks alike how to infuse the stuff into everyday recipes. The cookbook is divided into sections so you can easily find whatever food fits your mood. Some of those sections are: Bada$ Breakfasts, Dippin’ with DEW, DEW Does Dinner, Satisfying Sides, Dang Good Desserts, and Liquid Legends. You could truly make an entire meal with Mountain Dew, but if you prefer to keep things more low-key, you can choose to make just one part of your dish Mountain Dew-approved.

With direction from the cookbook, you can start your day with Mountain Dew pancakes, dip some chips into Mountain Dew green salsa for a snack, make some Mountain Dew jalapeño poppers to go with your Mountain Dew pork chops for dinner, and then finish it all off with Mountain Dew two-ingredient cupcakes. Oh, and feel free to wash it all down with a Mountain Dew Moscow Mule, of course.

The cookbook will be available for purchase through the MTN DEW store online for $30 a pop. It officially launches next week so keep an eye out or join the DEW Nation HQ fan club to receive the news before anyone else.


Graze on These Festive ‘Charcu-Turkey’ Boards This Thanksgiving


Charcuterie is a great addition to any gathering and while we may not have large flocks of people gathered together this year, a festive board filled with snacks or sweets is a fun food trend that anyone can try at home this Thanksgiving.

The latest twist on charcuterie can be done in a variety of ways, from appetizers to desserts.

Option 1: Simple turkey snack board with fruits and nuts for feathers

PHOTO: This turkey snack board from The Baker Mama is a fun and festive addition for Thanksgiving.
Maegan Brown/The Baker Mama

This turkey snack board from The Baker Mama is a fun and festive addition for Thanksgiving.

Blogger and cookbook author Maegan Brown creates a wide range of snackable platters, but none are more festive for Thanksgiving than her take on a turkey.

Slices of Bosc pear are shaped like a turkey and macadamia nuts, cheddar cheese and bell peppers are arranged like a face. She then fills in the sections with fanned out cheeses, scalloped crackers, pecans, grapes, apricots, carrots and more.

Option 2: “Charcu-turkey”

Cheese by Numbers created a simple step-by-step “charcu-turkey.” Images on Instagram show followers how to easily replicate this cheese board.

From simply folded cured meats to layered veggies, this version of a charcuterie board is almost too pretty to eat.

Option 3: Turkey Dessert Board

PHOTO: This festive turkey-shaped dessert board is a sweet way to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Home is Where The Boat is

This festive turkey-shaped dessert board is a sweet way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Hand-dipped and decorated chocolate-covered pretzel rods, candy corn, Reese’s pieces, mini Oreos, pumpkin spice yogurt-covered pretzel twists and more make up this crafty dessert.

Production On Movie Starring Harry Styles Halted Due To Positive Coronavirus Test

Production on the Olivia Wilde-directed psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling has been temporarily halted after a member of the production tested positive for the coronavirus.

The upcoming movie features pop star Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, and Chris Pine along with Olivia Wilde herself in a supporting role.

According to reports from Deadline and Variety, the individual who tested positive was not a principle cast member and is currently in isolation.

Don’t Worry Darling, which has been filming in Los Angeles since last month, is just one of a number of productions that have been forced to shut down due to a positive coronavirus test.


Andrew Lincoln to play Scrooge in live-streamed production of A Christmas Carol

On Monday, The Old Vic theater in London announced that The Walking Dead star will take on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in this year’s “Old Vic: In Camera” production of Jack Thorne’s A Christmas Carol, a play based on the 1843 novella of the same name by Charles Dickens.

The production will play 16 live performances Dec. 12-24, with 80,000 tickets available throughout the run from £10–£65, with all ticket prices offering the same view. Audiences only need to buy one ticket to watch with a group on the same screen.

Purchase tickets below!


Nelly Furtado To Release Expanded Edition Of Debut Album To Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Grammy winning singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado has announced plans to release an expanded edition of her debut album Whoa, Nelly! to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Furtado also shared a throwback video of herself promoting the album 20-years ago on Instagram.

“WOW!!! Twenty years! How did this happen?” she captioned the clip. “So excited! Thanks for all the love over the years. Feeling so grateful, and looking forward to making more pop music in the future. Thanks! Gracias! Obrigada! And Much Love.”

“P.S. Hope I’ve grown up a bit since I filmed this clip twenty years ago, but (shrugging emoji),” she added.

The expanded edition of Whoa, Nelly! drops October 23 via Dreamworks/UMe. The original album, which dropped on October 24, 2000, went on to win Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2002 Grammy Awards.

The record also took home two Juno Awards. The album was RIAA-certified double-platinum. It included singles, “I’m Like a Bird,” “Turn Off the Light” and “…on the Radio (Remember the Days).”

The expanded edition will include the 12 original tracks, the five tracks from the two-disc 2008 Special Edition, and five digital-only bonus tracks.

Adele To Host ‘Saturday Night Live’ For First Time

Adele is set to host “Saturday Night Live” for the first time this weekend.

The 32-year-old has appeared as a musical guest on the late-night sketch-comedy show on numerous occasions, but the upcoming episode will be the first in which she takes on hosting duties of the widely celebrated show.

“Bloooooody hellllll I’m so excited about this!! And also absolutely terrified!” she shared, alongside an Instagram photo of the air-date, which also revealed that the musical act for the night would be the contemporary R&B singer, H.E.R.

The 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer also shared that the episode, which will air on Saturday, October 24, will fall on the almost-12-year anniversary of her first-ever appearance on the show.

“I’ve always wanted to do it as a stand alone moment, so that I could roll up my sleeves and fully throw myself into it, but the time has never been right,” she added. “But if there was ever a time for any of us to jump head first into the deep end with our eyes closed and hope for the best it’s 2020 right?”