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Michelle Li

BLOG: Summer Restaurant Week takes off! Where will you go?

Madison Magazine's Restaurant Week kicks off

Published On: Jul 20 2014 11:24:56 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 21 2014 04:10:42 PM CDT
Michelle Li:  Restaurant Week at Brocach on Monroe

When I first moved to Wisconsin, I thought, "Man, everybody talks about food."  And then it only took a few weeks to learn why... um, because the food is amazing. 

And, then when my parents came to visit, they asked me, "Why do you talk so much about food?!"

Ah, I think I'm becoming a Wisconsinite.  You know, someone who loves a good craft beer, lightly breaded chunky cheese curds and a deep appreciation for football.  I could go on about the UW, dairy products, great schools, outdoor activities and more... but I was trying to keep this post short!  You get it if you get it, okay?

Another tradition for Madisonians is Madison Magazine's Restaurant Week.

I have learned that I need to go to dinner on the first night because my work schedule keeps me from going at night.  The rest of the week, we have to hit up lunch spots.

So on Sunday, we went to Brocach on Monroe.  It was so delicious!  My husband got the petit filet and I ordered the pan crusted halibut.  I can't even begin to tell you how great the dessert options were- we had a pecan bread pudding and a chocolate fondant cake.  Holy cow!

See more pics from Brocach

Anyway, where will you go this week?  Make sure you use the hashtag #restaurantweek, though you might see some other RWs from around the country going on this week, too. 

And shout out to me!  I want to know where we should go next!  Some of you have already hopped on FB to tell me where you're headed and why!

Twitter: @MichelleLiTV

FB: @MichelleLiTV

Our weather deserves a 'Gary' dance

Published On: Jul 16 2014 07:21:18 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 16 2014 07:23:11 AM CDT

It's time to bring out this gem.

This video possible by our friend James Yaeger.  Gary started dancing a while back and Eric took video of it... Gary has a great sense of humor!!  Bringing it out for your Wednesday slump because this always makes me smile.

BLOG: Michelle Li's #TBT to the DMZ

Ever been to the scariest place on earth?

Published On: Jul 10 2014 02:01:28 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 10 2014 03:30:33 PM CDT
#TBT Michelle Li at the DMZ

The DMZ is where South Korea and North Korea meet.  I have been there three times in my life, and I would agree with President Clinton when he called it the scariest place on earth.  Granted, I haven't been to a lot of scary places, but I'll take his word for it.

DMZ, 2009

First of all, the DMZ can be overwhelming.  I've gone there enough times to know that I really don't know that much.  It used to be that Korean citizens could not visit the area or that we had to hire a foreign company to take us.  But, now I'm not really sure about the status of the tours.  I think Koreans may have been able to visit certain aspects of the Joint Security Area, but truthfully, I don't know the truth anymore.  Sorry for that, but a Google search didn't provide me with the answers either.

Read Michelle's personal blog

When I first went in 1998, it was actually creepy, for lack of a better word.  We had to go for an 8-hour tour.  We signed our lives away on this waiver that said if we got shot or maimed, we couldn't hold the US government accountable.  We ate lunch with American soldiers who then took us around the border and told us horror stories of South Koreans and Americans getting ambushed by North Korean soldiers.  We literally crawled to the bottom of an infiltration tunnel, which are hidden tunnels North Koreans dug to one day invade the South.  When we got to the bottom, we were met by a North Korean guard standing at the other side of a steel-looking door.  We also saw "Hollywood" type signs in Korean all through the DMZ, urging people to come to the North Star.  We were blasted with eery North Korean propaganda music, intended to entice Americans and South Koreans to hop the border.

The actual border, by the way, is a field of untouched land that has been known to house rare species of flowers and small animals, likely because it has been left to grow wild for decades.

Armed North Korean, South Korean and American soldiers were everywhere--often facing one another for hours in silence.

Michelle Li at the DMZ

Fast forward to my last trip in 2009.  We still had to hire a Chinese tourism company to take us to the DMZ, we still had to sign that ominous waiver, but overall, we had a much lighter experience.

We got to take a tram down the tunnel, for example.  It was more like an amusement ride.  There was no North Korean guard at the end.  In fact, we only saw one North Korean guard.  It seemed less intense, though it still fascinated and slightly frightened my husband.  

I have no idea what it's like today with Kim Jong-un in charge.  I am really curious about North Korea.  I hope it wasn't offensive to use the word creepy, but it really was like visiting a new world.  It is the best way I know how to describe it.

If you're interested in North Korean culture, I have two favorite documentaries to share.  One is about an American defector who became a North Korean celebrity in the 1960s.  Here is his story on CBS' 60 Minutes.

His documentary is here.

Another great documentary is called A State of Mind, which shows us how North Korean's Mass Games work.  It is an incredible display of synchronized gymnastics to please the nation's Great Leader.  It is one of the most beautiful and curious things I've seen.

BLOG: Our 5 most memorable videos of the week

From local cuties to funny pets, you bet we found them.

Published On: Jun 13 2014 01:37:16 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 13 2014 03:35:00 PM CDT
YouTube image:  'Tammy' movie

Happy Friday everyone!  We know how crazy the week gets, so you might not have time to search the internet like we do!  These were our favorite picks of the week - hope you like them, too!  If you have any fun videos, send them to us!  And honestly, no. 5 is not our favorite, but some viewers keep asking!  So, enjoy!  - @MichelleLiTV

1.  Dear Kitten:  the greatest lessons of life come from a salty cat. 

YouTube Image: Dear Kitten

2. The elevator ride from hell

Out of control elevator Chile

3. Benicio's Back!  WATCH this local cutie for Rock for Respite

Rock For Respite 2014:  Benicio is Back

4. Psy + Snoop Dogg = "Hangover".  Another crazy, viral video

YouTube image:  Psy and Snoop Dogg in 'Hangover'

5.  'Tammy' trailer hits theaters nationwide. Yes, that is News 3's Michelle Li

YouTube image:  'Tammy' movie

MADISON, Wis. - News 3's Michelle Li makes a cameo in the movie 'Tammy' -- the movie preview recently started showing nationwide across television households. Michelle recently spoke about her (admittedly very small part) in the movie on Live at 5 with Mark Koehn and Susan Siman.

(YOUTUBE) - Korean pop singer Psy is back with a brand new viral video, this time featuring Snoop Dogg. The new song is called "Hangover" and features the duo wandering through the streets of Korea drinking soju and singing at a noraebang, the Korean version of karaoke.

(YOUTUBE) - A Friskies cat commercial has gone viral as a cat gives a little kitty advice on life. It was shared via BuzzFeedVideo on June 5 and links back to the Friskies YouTube channel, though Friskies has not uploaded the video on its own YouTube page.

YouTube: Dad and daughter duo go viral for lip dub

It's not 'Let it Go' but it is pretty 'Fancy'

Published On: May 22 2014 05:38:25 PM CDT   Updated On: May 22 2014 05:39:10 PM CDT
YouTube: Dad, daughter duo do a lip dub to 'Fancy'

According to TIME, San Diego radio personality Jesse Lozano wanted to do a lip dub video with his daughter Savannah.

WATCH the lip dub

He suggested doing "Let It Go" from Frozen, but because she's a per-teen, she wanted to do something a little more fresh.

And that's how they recorded the Iggy Azalea's hit song "Fancy."

What do you think?  Would you every do anything like that with your kiddos?  If you have a great video to share, let's see it!

BLOG: Memorable moments of the week

Here are 5 great moments you may have missed this week

Published On: May 22 2014 04:15:48 PM CDT
YouTube Image:  An and Ria's First Flight

Happy Friday everyone!  It has been another crazy week and here's a list of another 5 great moments from it.  My favorite video of the week is actually #5.  It's a little longer, but it is so worth it!  Susan Siman and I were shedding a few tears over it.  So sweet!

Have a great weekend!   Also, share your great moments with me and I may share them, too! 

1.  The daughter-dad lip dub of the week.  It's NOT 'Let it Go' -

YouTube: Dad, daughter duo do a lip dub to 'Fancy'

2.  Gary dances for Day of Kindness (and then we added a remix version.)  Trust us, you've never seen Gary like this before:

WATCH the original

YouTube:  REMIX - Gary dances for Day of Kindness

3.  A guy thinks a drone could help us walk our dogs

Vimeo Image:  Drone walks dog

4.  This 2-month old baby really seems to say 'I love you' --

YouTube image:  'I love you' baby

5.  An & Ria's First Flight - grab the tissues!

YouTube Image:  An and Ria's First Flight

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BLOG: Secret Santa lives at WISC

What fun holiday things do you do at work?

Published On: May 21 2014 09:02:10 AM CDT
Red Hot

We are just getting started on our Secret Santa month here at WISC-TV.  What do you guys do for the holidays at your office?

Susan Siman always coordinates a cookie exchange in December.  I'm not sure how it works yet but I know people end up with a boatload of cookies.

We just started Secret Santa.  Here's how we do it.  We spend $5 a week on our person starting in December, and then the last week, we can spend $10.  Now, some people will overachieve, but I'm a big believer of trying to stretch my dollar.

The funniest things I don't have pictures of, which include our grumpy photographer Lance, getting a DVD of the movie, Grumpy Old Men.  Hilarious.  We tried to take a picture of him, but it coincidentally didn't take.

Eric Franke got a Sponge Bob mug set with hot chocolate.  He's always mimicking Sponge Bob, so it's fitting - it's because he has two young boys.  They'll love the mugs.

Red Hot

My secret Santa knows me VERY well apparently.  Got me two HUGE bottles of Frank's Red Hot sauce.  I can't say how much that's appreciated because I just ran out!  So, this was a pretty cool surprise.  

Watch Eric open his gift

Anyway, I need a good idea for a finale.  Got any ideas on how we should reveal ourselves to one another?  We have nearly another month!  It has been very comical to hear people guess out loud who theirs is... and to hear things like, "My secret Santa gets me."  

Love the mood here right now!  Seriously, what do you do?  I'd love to hear your ideas for the office.  @MichelleLiTV

BLOG: Don't just be a buddy, be an example

We tell people not to be bullies, but we often don't set the example

Published On: May 21 2014 09:02:03 AM CDT
School bully teases kid

This is my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions.

We have worked so hard in our partnership with Dean Clinic to teach kids not to be bullies.  Just search #BeABuddy on any social media platform, and you'll probably find one of our posts.  

In fact, the campaign has been so successful, that Dean Clinic has had to put a cap on the number of Buddy Bands.  So far, more than 236,000 bands have been requested around the area! 

Even Wednesday night, anchor Susan Siman moderated a special screening of the documentary Bully and talked with students afterwards.  She interviewed one girl who was crying because she said she could see herself in the video.  Heartbreaking.

There are also efforts by our state lawmakers to fight cyberbullying.  

So, it just disappoints me to see so many negative comments on social media.  I mean, we're adults!  Shouldn't we set the tone?  

I am a little fired up because people were particularly rude about a little Madison pet that went viral online for its Halloween costume.  I mean, I don't care if you don't like the dog, the costume or the idea... but whatever happened to community spirit?  Or just keeping your mouth shut if you don't have something nice to say?

I met the owner and she was so excited to be on our news!  She was super sweet, clever, funny, and likable.  It made me cringe that people were mean on our Facebook page.  What good comes out of that?  It's not a hard news story.  It's not breaking news.  It's a silly dog in a silly costume.  In my humble opinion, it's one thing to be in disagreement with an idea, it's another thing to be an internet troll.

My question:  How can we expect our kids to have a certain level of respect when we don't set the tone?

I could go on and on, but I'm not here to scold.  We all have good and bad days.  I try to keep my social media accounts upbeat because I have a more public job, and I feel the need to be positive.  But that is also what I want out of social media - positivity.

My thought of the day is don't blame "them."  Perhaps it's time to start looking at "us."  When we know better, we do better.  I certainly don't want to offend, but I just want to share a thought.   If it makes you think twice, then great.  If not, then so be it.

FREEBIE FRIDAY: bread, veggies, coffee and more

Published On: May 21 2014 09:02:02 AM CDT

This week there are some great deals that don't require you to be coupon clippers.

Target is offering some great deals as long as you use the mobile app.  If you don't want to use the mobile app, you can text "FRESH" to 827-438.  

We paid 19-cents for Target's Market Pantry bread.  There's a mobile coupon that will give you $1 off any Target sandwich bread.  The white bread was $1.19 before the coupon.  Some stores have the bread cheaper, so you could get it for free.

Target will also give you $1 off any frozen item that costs $1 or more.  Green Giant vegetables are on sale for $1.  That means 1.00-1.00 = FREE.

We used those deals so they know they work.  Other potentially great deals (disclosure- haven't tried these yet):

- Free floss at Target.  Target brand floss is on sale for less than a dollar.  If you use this coupon, you can get it for free.

- Free Starbucks coffee through 10/11.  If you buy a friend a drink at Starbucks, you get a free tall brewed coffee.  Offer is limited to stores, but it's for the Come Together campaign.

- Free fries at Burger King if you order the new value-size fries, called Satisfries.  They're normally $1.29, but this weekend (10/12-10/13), you can them for free.  One per customer.  NO coupons, NO IDs, No nuthin'.

- Free Redbox DVD rental with the code MCPC413S.  Expires 10/23.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  These are deals Michelle Li found, but don't forget that deals can differ per region.  Also, if you have a different experience and need Michelle to know, tweet her!  @MichelleLiTV

Friday Freebies: Accessories and picture printouts, up to $65 in savings

Published On: May 21 2014 09:02:02 AM CDT

The first deal is a great one by Target.  If you download the store's mobile app, it will give you a buy one, get one free mobile coupon for any accessory up to $58.99.  The thing is, the store will let you buy the cheapest one first!

We checked the policy with the Fitchburg store, and it is true.  We bought a pair of earrings on clearance for $2.38 and got a free watch, that normally costs $49.99.  With tax, we spent $2.51.

See what we bought

Also, this week, Walgreens is giving away 25 free prints.  All you have to do is go online and upload your pictures to

After you upload 25, go to your cart and type:  25FREEPRINTS

It's completely free if you have it sent to a Walgreens near you.  If you want it shipped to your house, you're going to have to pay shipping.

See our order

Disclaimer:  Michelle Li is a savings hound, but these deals are always subject to change and may differ depending on where you live.  We also don't favor any stores.  We just scour the web for deals, and we share the ones that are ethical and work for us.  If you have a concern or a deal you'd like to share, let us know!  Tweet @MichelleLiTV to share yours!

Koats for Kids really needs your help NOW!

Published On: May 21 2014 09:02:02 AM CDT
Eric and Michelle for Koats for Kids

We cleaned out the WISC-TV closet... and now we're asking you to do the same!  And, truthfully, it's getting to the point when we really need people to step up. 

Drop-Off Locations

Eric Franke and I were being a little goofy here, but helping our friends and neighbors during the brutal Wisconsin winters is nothing to laugh at.  We need at least 10,000 gently-used coats, and we still have several thousand to go.

See more pics

Can you spare one?  Drop off a coat at any Klinke cleaners until Oct. 5th!  Distribution starts the following week.  

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