Stories for: Chicago

Chicago, Food, HotelsAn EFFEN Good Summer

Back in April, EFFEN Vodka hosted a fun event at the ROOF at theWit, focusing on meaningful and sustainable design. What’s the connection between EFFEN and design? EFFEN chooses to be different from other vodkas by design, featuring all natural ingredients. Its bottle was also designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional–the patented rubber sleeve that it is encased in provides insulation to keep the vodka chilled longer, as well as easier handling.

I asked one of my girlfriends to come to the event with me and we loved enjoying the amazing views at ROOF, the lounge on the roof of theWit Hotel. We met a lot of Chicago foodies and bloggers, like Better With Butter and the Local Tourist, and heard about Chicago architecture and sustainability from Jonathan Boyer. We also got to enjoy some delicious cocktails by mixologist Jonny Abens (featuring EFFEN, of course). Now that summer’s in full swing, I wanted to share these drink recipes with you so that you can bust them out at your next warm weather get-together!

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Chicago, Dining & NightlifeChicago, A La Card

One of the best things about Chicago is its amazing restaurant scene. There are so many fantastic chefs here and not nearly enough time to explore! A La Card Chicago makes it a lot easier by making decks of $10 gift certificates to 52 different chef-driven, owner-operated restaurants. The participating restaurants are awesome and even include some of my personal favorites, like Floriole, Hot Chocolate, Salpicon, and Takashi, and a whole bunch that I can’t wait to try. The $520 worth of gift certificates are handily packaged like a deck of cards… and will only cost you $30! So the next time that you’re thinking of a new place to eat, take out your A La Card Chicago deck, draw a card, and save $10 every time. For the full list of restaurants or to purchase, visit alacardchicago.com.

ChicagoSpring for the Students!

Wanna get all dressed up, enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvre, and party amongst Bentleys and Lambourghinis–all for a great cause? Well, you can do all this and more next Saturday, April 24th, at Minds Matter of Chicago’s 4th Annual Spring for the Students fundraising gala! The event is taking place at Bentley Gold Coast at 834 N. Rush St., starting at 8pm, and I hope to see you there! SFTS will feature a silent auction with amazing items up for grabs:

  • Objets d’Envy Lavaliere necklace and one-of-a-kind earrings with green Swarovski crystals
  • A Tory Burch tote and private shopping party at their boutique on Walton St.
  • A jewelry design party hosted by erin gallagher jewelry complete with your own custom-designed piece
  • Vacations in Florida with airfare and stays at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island and Ritz-Carlton Naples
  • A weekend in New Orleans at the historic Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter
  • Special stays at the Park Hyatt Chicago and the dana hotel and spa
  • Private VIP parties at Bull & Bear and Stone Lotus
  • Cubs tickets, Bulls tickets, and White Sox memorabilia

…and much, much more! I’ve been volunteering with Minds Matter of Chicago for over two years now, and my fellow editor Carolyn has been volunteering with the NYC chapter for years now as well. Being a mentor at Minds Matter has been an incredibly wonderful and rewarding experience. The proceeds from this event will go directly toward our mission of making higher education a reality for bright, motivated students from inner-city areas. To buy tickets and find out more about Spring for the Students, click here. Ticket are $75 until tomorrow, and then they go up to $90, so get yours asap! If you’d like more information about Minds Matter of Chicago, visit our website at mindsmatter.org/chicago.

Chicago, HomeMacy’s Flower Show 2010

The annual Macy’s Flower Show is underway for 2010, and it’s a fun, free way to celebrate the season! Called “Spring is in the Air,” it’s taking place from now until April 11th at five Macy’s locations: Chicago, Minneapolis, NYC, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. I was lucky enough to get the inside scoop on Chicago’s Flower Show, taking place at the historic store on State St., and I can’t wait to check it out for myself!

The State St. store features over 20 displays with over 100 varieties of exotic trees and flowering plants. There are also beautiful tablescapes by the Martha Stewart and Lenox collections that will definitely inspire how you’ll set your table. You can even take a guided tour hosted by a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener. Pictured above is an amazing 16-foot birdcage display in the Walnut Room on the 7th floor, featuring white spriea, orchids, tulips, daffodils, birds of paradise, blue hydrangea, and different ivy and grasses. And don’t miss this year’s centerpiece–a hot air balloon, reaching over 2 stories high, with a gondola filled with beautiful greenery and flowers. Be sure to check out Macy’s Flower Show at 111 N. State St. while you can, and click to see even more pictures! READ MORE

Chicago, Dining & NightlifeChicago Restaurant Week!

The absolute best week for Chicago foodies just kicked off today–it’s Chicago Restaurant Week! Starting today through the 28th, you can have a 3-course lunch for only $22 and a 3-course dinner for only $32 at over 170 participating restaurants in Chicago (all prix fixe). This is quite the deal for a 3-course meal, especially at some of Chicago’s top restaurants. I’m so excited to see that some of my favorite restaurants are participating and I’ve got some great recommendations for you:

  • Blackbird counts Anthony Bourdain as one of its biggest fans and offers amazing contemporary dishes from executive chef Paul Kahan, a James Beard nominee and winner.
  • Definitely check out Perennial, named one of Travel & Leisure’s Top 50 New Restaurants in America. Their most delicious black truffle gnocchi appetizer is available for Restaurant Week!
  • I’ve had the best tapas and even a whole roast pig at Mercat a la Planxa, and they are participating with a special lunch menu.
  • Through Top Chef Masters, the rest of the country discovered the talent of Chicago’s Rick Bayless. His Frontera Grill and Topolobampo restaurants will have special lunch menus.
  • The Chicago location of Miami’s famous Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab will have those delicious stone crab claws on the menu for Restaurant Week.

Visit eatitupchicago.com for a complete list of participating restaurants, as well as featured recipes from some of the restaurants so you can make the deliciousness at home! You can make reservations very easily online at opentable.com. Enjoy, and eat it up!

Chicago, ShoppingA One of a Kind Sale

Listen up, Chicagoans–here’s your chance to shop for the holidays in the most unique way. The One of a Kind Show and Sale is coming to town starting tomorrow till the 6th. This special shopping event features hand-crafted creations from artists and artisans across the continent, including some of our local faves that we’ve featured on TDO before. Among the artists that will be there are Abbey Brown Soap Artisan, erin gallagher jewelry, and Objets d’Envy, which are all local to Chicago. I’m excited to be able to browse their latest creations, as well as the rest of the unique photography, art, furniture, and jewelry from all of the featured artisans.

Tickets to the One of a Kind Show and Sale are $12 for adults and $9 for seniors and students (bring your ID). Head on over to Merchandise Mart starting noon tomorrow, because 100% of Thursday’s ticket sales benefit the Children’s Memorial Hospital. Click here to purchase your ticket and have fun shopping!

Beauty, Chicago, MakeupFusion of Color

Fusion of Color is an indie line of natural mineral makeup based in Chicago that I think you’ll want to check out. Why? Well, it offers similar products as the big name cosmetics brands out there, but for a far lower price. They even offer small, inexpensive sample sizes of some of their products so that you can try them out easily. Among the mineral makeup they make include finishing powders, primers, eyeshadows, blush, and more. Everything is made in small batches to preserve the utmost freshness. The founder of Fusion of Color, Kathy Duncan, reached out to me and sent over some samples of her makeup for me to try.

Perhaps what I was most impressed by was the Aura-Lusion powder, pictured above. It’s a great alternative to those pricier “high def” powders out there. It’s sheer and manages to smooth and brighten your face in just the right way. I also really liked the eyeshadows–a wide range of colors that are amazingly pigmented that you can apply with your fingers or a brush. For foundation, Kathy has even custom-blended shades for her clients. It’s always great to discover independent beauty brands to add to your radar, so check out Fusion of Color!

Accessories, Chicago, JewelryA Grand Opening Celebration

A few weeks ago, I gave our Chicago readers the heads up that Erin Gallagher Jewelry was moving their retail location from the West Loop up to the Lincoln Park neighborhood (closer to me, yay!). Well, EG is now settled in their new location, and they’re celebrating with a great party. In honor of their grand opening, they’re giving away the gorgeous ruby ring pictured above, valued at $1500!

All you have to do is RSVP to rsvp@egjewelry.com and be ready to party at 7pm on Thursday, October 22nd. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and live beats by Sub Rocka at the new studio at 2034 N. Halsted, and you’ll be entered in a raffle to win the ring. Click to see the invite for more information, and good luck! READ MORE

Chicago, Fashion, Fitness & Health, ShoesNike’s Chicago Marathon Collection

One of Chicago’s best events every year is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, coming up this Sunday on October 11th. Whether you’re running it yourself, or cheering on a friend, it’s a fantastic way to get to know the city a little better. The Marathon route goes through many of Chicago’s distinct neighborhoods, and the new Chicago Marathon Collection from Nike celebrates that. Nike invited me to visit their showroom and see for myself. As a relatively new Chicagoan, I loved seeing how the different pieces in this collection highlighted the diversity and uniqueness of the city. Take the Nike Poster Women’s T-Shirt ($28), above. The front of the shirt features a design of the Chicago flag, and the back? Look closely: READ MORE

Accessories, Chicago, JewelryErin Gallagher Jewelry Moving Sale

I’ve raved before about erin gallagher jewelry, a line of gorgeous accessories from Chicago-based designer Erin Gallagher. Her retail store location is moving from the West Loop to the Lincoln Park neighborhood, and to celebrate, there will be a moving sale this weekend from August 28th through the 30th. Select items will be 40-75% off! Not in Chicago? Don’t fret–the sale will be available online, as well.

I love the pretty Michele necklace, pictured left, which will be among the marked down jewelry this weekend. The Gabby, Lori, Jenna, and Theodora designs will be on sale too, so you’re bound to find the perfect bauble for you. Stop by 1017 W. Lake St. this weekend, or go to egjewelry.com and use the code: newhome2009 to take advantage of the sale prices! Erin’s new location will be at 2043 N. Halsted.

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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