Friday, December 31, 2010

Barneys Have a Foodie Holiday

Barneys New York decorated its Chicago and New York City
windows with the Have a Foodie Holiday theme in cooperation with
the Food Network. The Chicago window (pictured) featured a number of local
celebrity chefs including Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill, Topolobampo
and Xoco.

You can see lots of the New York City windows on Martha Stewart's blog

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just Got MacBook Air

I just got the MacBook Air today! It came directly from Shanghai,
China through FedEx. They didn't have the 13 inch model with 4GB of
memory in Chicago area stores. You can see me taking a self-portrait
using the Photo Booth feature. I'm excited to explore all the features.

Friday, December 10, 2010

More Photos from 1-800-Baskets Blogger Event

I took so many photos at the 1-800-Baskets blogger event that it was hard narrowing down the photos to post. We used glue dots (never seen them before) to keep things in place. I got help tying the ribbons to the basket.

Disclosure: I received gift bags from

1-800-Baskets Blogger Event

Here are more photos from the 1-800-Baskets blogger event that I recently attended at their Melrose Park, Illinois headquarters. We made our own 1-800-Baskets in the design center where they had storyboards and aisles full of food to go into the baskets. Would love to have hung out in the design center for a few more hours. Celebrity event planner Shawn Rabideau of Bravo's "Bethenny Getting Married" gave us tips on entertaining at home and decorating throughout the event. Brand leaders from the different 1-800-Flowers divisions -, Cheryl's, Fannie May, The Popcorn Factory, and gave short presentations about their brands. Reps from, DesignPac, and GFGB were also in attendance. We tasted cheeses and wines from and Fannie May chocolates in the kitchen. Then, went home to enjoy our treats. I asked Ann Littlefield of how many cheeses to buy if I am entertaining for 6 adults. She recommended serving two to three cheeses - goat cheese, brie, and Carmody (an artisanal cow's milk cheese made from jersey cows).

Disclosure: I received gift bags from 1-800-Baskets

Ladies Who Lunch at Zodiac Room

I definitely felt underdressed compared to some of the chicly dressed
women at the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus. I ordered the orange
"soufflé" because it is one of their most popular items. The
"soufflé" (more of a orange gelatin and cream dessert) comes with
chicken salad, sweet bread, and a fruit cup with dresssing. The lunch
was good until I realized that Neiman Marcus (even in the Zodiac Room)
only takes American Express, Neiman Marcus charge card, or cash.

Zodiac Room Popovers

Had lunch at the famous Zodiac Room in Neiman Marcus for the first
time. The meal starts with a complimentary popover (yum), strawberry
butter and chicken consommé in a small coffee cup.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hello Kitty Happy Meal

I could not resist getting a hamburger Happy Meal when I saw the Hello
Kitty poster at McDonald's today. Plan to get all three watches if I
can. Love Hello Kitty - always brings a smile to my face.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1-800-FLOWERS Event

Yesterday I had the chance to learn more about the 1-800-FLOWERS
family of brands at a blogger event hosted at their Melrose Park,
Illinois location. We bloggers got to make our own basket, see the
design center (photos to come later), meet celebrity event planner
Shawn Rabideau (Bravo's "Bethenny's Getting Married"), speak to brand
leaders, and sample delicious cheese, chocolates and wine. They were
very, very generous with their gifts. From left to right: J cuvee 20
sparkling wine from, 3 boxes of Cheryl's cookies
(including buttercream frosted triple chocolate and Milk Pretzel
Joys), a popcorn ball decorating kit from The Popcorn Factory (think
my daughter Emma will enjoy this), the gift basket
that I made, a box of Fannie May Meltaways, recipe cards from Shawn, a
red vase, and Wintry Wonder snack assortment (includes holiday kettle
corn and white cheddar popcorn and more) & a cute Wintry Wonder
lunchbox (includes cheese popcorn, caramel popcorn, Jelly Belly beans
and more) from The Popcorn Factory. Lots of good eating.
Disclosure: I received gift bags containing the pictured items from 1-800-FLOWERS

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shawn Rabideau

Met event planner Shawn Rabideau at the 1-800-FLOWERS blogger event at
their Melrose Park office today. Shawn appears on Bravo's "Bethenny
Getting Married". He gave us lots of decorating tips for the holidays
including edible decor.

Disclosure: I received gift bags from 1-800-Flowers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Child's Play Communications Gifts

Here's what I received from the sponsors at the holiday blogger brunch
hosted by Child's Play Communications two Saturdays ago at Chicago's
Navy Pier. Following/during the brunch we bloggers got a chance to
meet the sponsors.
Disclosure: received gifts and gift cards from sponsors.

Family Dollar Gift Bag

Here are the contents of the gift bag I received at the Family Dollar
blogger event in Chicago two Thursdays ago. Not pictured are two gift
cards worth a total of $50. They were promoting $5 toys at this event
so they included Hot Wheels cars and a coffeemaker in the bag.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nordstrom Fragrance Quiz

Nordstrom Oakbrook offered a fragrance quiz to attendees of last
Saturday's fragrance festival. I took a 4 question quiz and the
results show that I like oriental fragrances. Attendees picked from
floral, fresh, oriental and woodsy and received a fabric bracelet
scented with a fragrance of their choice. New fragrances highlighted
at the table included Yves Saint Laurent Belle D'Opium, an oriental.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Marketing to Moms in Social Media

Child's Play Communications hosted a panel discussion titled, Marketing to Moms in Social Media: How to Most Effectively Promote Your Brand, at Chicago's Navy Pier last Saturday. The panelists were Amy Mueller of, Kris Cain of, MJ Tam of, and Maria Ramos of The panel was moderated by Child's Play's Stephanie Azzarone. 

After the panel Chicago and Indiana area mom bloggers enjoyed brunch, mimosas, and Cold Stone Creamery layer cakes. Bloggers also got a chance to talk with sponsors from Backyard Safari Outfitters/Zillionz, Cold Stone Creamery, In Zone beverages, Mary Kay, MEGA Brands, Playtex Baby,, and Toy State. We also received gifts from the sponsors.

Disclosure: Received gifts and gift cards from above sponsors, free admission to panel and brunch, and free pass to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Flowerbomb Hand Massage

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb offered hand massages during the Nordstrom
Oakbrook fragrance festival. I met the designers Viktor Horsting and
Rolf Snoeren when they visited Nordstrom Michigan Avenue for the
fragrance's launch a few Octobers ago.

Family Dollar Holiday Tablescape

Here is the holiday tablescape that an event planner designed for the
Chicago Family Dollar blogger event last Thursday. She said she was
going for a Pottery Barn/Crate & Barrel look. I asked about fast
holiday decorating tips. She suggested using the glass hurricane and
putting a pre-decorated wreath around it. The glass hurricane and
wreath are now on my dining room table. Need to get the white pillar
candle to complete the look.
Disclosure: I received a $50 gift card, gift bag, and the glass
hurricane and wreath from Family Dollar.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nordstrom Fragrance Breakfast

Yummy breakfast served at today's fragrance festival. Egg & cheese
panini, bacon, egg & cheese panini, French toast, cranberry and
another scone, donuts, and fruit kabobs. The Bellini and mimosa bar
offered pear and mango bellinis (have only had peach bellinis before).
Only thing missing: coffee.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Chicago Mommy

Here's me with Maria Tiongco Ramos of at the Family Dollar event at Hotel 71
tonight. I've met Maria at several blogger events. She'll be speaking
on a panel of bloggers this Saturday at Navy Pier.
Disclosure: received gift card of $50, gift bag and car service home
from Family Dollar.

Family Dollar Blogger Event

Had fun and learned a lot at the Family Dollar event for bloggers
tonight. We met with representatives from Family Dollar at Hotel 71
before going to the Family Dollar store on 2252 N Milwaukee. The event
brought a lot of bloggers (especially frugal bloggers) from the
Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana area. Am going home now in the car
service that they provided.
Disclosure: Family Dollar provided me a $50 gift card, a gift bag
worth about $20, a glass hurricane and wreath, car service to my home,
and food & drink.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nescafe Taster's Choice

Nescafe Taster's Choice handed out a sample pack of six sticks
(packets) of their instant coffee at Ogilvie Transportation Center in
Chicago this morning. Inside of pack says, "Real Beans - Real Flavor-
Real Value@ along with a $1.00 off coupon on any stick pack carton 20
count or larger. Flavors: French Roast, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Decaf House
Blend, House Blend, and 100% Columbian.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sweets at PrettyCity Shape Sale

No shortage of sweets at the PrettyCity Shape Magazine Beauty Sample
Sale. Enjoyed the Flirtini - we got two drink tickets with admission.
Lots of free beauty services including manicures and makeovers. Beauty
exhibitors included Pop Beauty, L'Oreal (Armani and Viktor & Rolf
Flowerbomb fragrances) and lots of salons (that sold Aveda and

Flirty Girl Fitness

Sundeck at Flirty Girl Fitness on West Randolph where the PrettyCity
Shape Beauty Sample Sale took place. Have always wanted to take
exercise classes like pole dancing here - sounds like fun.

Pop Beauty & Pop Chips

Pop Beauty (and Pixi) sold color palettes at bargain prices at the
PrettyCity Shape Beauty Sample Sale. Pop Chips were given out for free.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

PrettyCity Shape Beauty Sample Sale

Here's the gift bag and samples from the Chicago Beauty Sample Sale
presented by PrettyCity and Shape Magazine from a few weeks ago.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Geir Ness and Laila

Here's me with Geir Ness, creator of Laila, at the Nordstrom Oakbrook
Cosmetics Trend Show. During the show he talked about how he named
Norway's first fragrance after his mom Laila and secretly had her
signature screened on the bottle. After the show he gave hand massages
using his Laila hand & body cream. I've met Geir several times at
Nordstrom and at the Norway pavillion at Disney World's Epcot Center
last March.
More info on Geir and Laila at

Chantecaille Tiger in the Wild

I'm here with Alex Chantecaille, Director of Sales for Chantecaille,
at the Nordstrom Oakbrook Comsmetics Trend Show. During the show Alex
talked about her company's efforts to save endangered wild tigers
through the limited-edition Tiger in the Wild palette (three
eyeshadows and one blush). Five percent of the palette's proceeds will
go to Traffic, a wildlife trade monitoring network.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mrs Smiths Diaper Bag

If you have a friend/relative who is a new mom and struggling to stay
organized, you may want to recommend a Mrs Smith's diaper bag. The
bags offer multiple compartments including a pull-out drawer for baby
foods & spoons & bib, insulated pockets for baby formula bottles/sippy
cups, a space for an Epipen for those of who have children with
allergies, a diaper pad, and plenty of space to pack diapers, baby's
change of clothing and toys topped with a Velcro flap-cover.

Have used it in a variety of situations - trip to the mall, bus trip
to Walmart, dinner at friend's house. And, keeps me organized every
time! My Exotic Zebra bag was $74.99 from

Julianne at Nordstrom Oakbrook

Julianne ("Jules"), beauty editor for Nordstrom, welcomes the audience
to the Nordstrom Oakbrook cosmetics trend show. She's playing the
"Price Is Right" game with attendee from LA - just won an Anastasia
brow kit and a serum.

Nordstrom Beauty Gift Bag

Here's the gift for attending this morning's Notfstrom Oakbrook
cosmetics tren show - a black patent leather bag with fragrance
samples and a bottle of water. Now in line for coffee and breakfast.

Nordstrom Cosmetics Show Line

It's 7:16am on a Saturday morning and a lot of women are waiting
outside to get into the Nordstrom Oakbrook cosmetics trend show. As
usual, guest speakers, commentary from Jules, gifts with purchase,
light breakfast and coffee.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Free Pan from Jewel-Osco

Am sure a lot of you in the Chicago area are saving your free pan
stickers from Jewel-Osco. I finally got my "free" pan! I redeemed 100
stickers (bought over $1000 worth of groceries and baby formua there
in the past few weeks) and paid 1 cent for the glass covered stir fry
pan. I used the pan to make kimchee fried rice with tofu - yum! This
pan will come in handy for making chicken and tofu stir fries.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

At HBA Expo

Here's me with my fellow panelists - JuE Wong of Astral Brands and
Mike Branson of Pearlfisher - at the HBA Expo on Tuesday. I spoke
about opportunities in the global beauty and personal care market.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lean Cuisine Photo

Here's me posing with a boa and a "dog" in a handbag at the Lean
Cuisine booth at Shecky's Girls Night Out.

Shecky's Sep 2010 Bag

Here's the goody bag from Wednesday's Shecky's Girls Night Out at
Chicago's Union Station.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

La Croix at Shecky's

Lot of beverage companies at Shecky's Girls Night Out including La
Croix which handed out recipes for skinny cocktails.

Lean Cuisine Photo Booth

Girlfriends having fun at the Lean Cuisine booth at Shecky's Girls
Night Out. They had boas, hats and handbags you could borrow for the
photo shoot. You got instant photos afterwards.

Budweiser at Shecky's Girls

They ran out of the sangria at the Budweiser booth so unable to sample.

Lean Cuisine Market Creations

Stouffer's Lean Cuisine had a huge booth with free samples of its new
Market Creations frozen entree (garlic chicken),designer plates, and a
photo booth. This was my dinner last night so I went back 3 times!

Bezzerwizzer at Shecky's

I played a new game betterwizzer at Shecky's - it was fun. It's kind
of like Trivial Pursuit with different categories including food (eg,
Q: what food is associated with tarte tatin? A: Apple), geography,
politics. Not sure if the PR woman from Mattel (Rachel?) was letting
me win but I was good!

Lindt at Shecky's

Lindt booth offered sampled of dark chocolate and chocolate with sea

Budweiser Beer Tasting

Women waiting to taste beer and food at the Budweiser booth at
Shecky's Girls Night Out.