Friday, March 27, 2015

Enter the GB Travel Safe Sweepstakes Today! #GBTravelSafe #IC #ad

Disclosure: I participated in a Blog Blast Activation on behalf of Influence Central for GB. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

A safe, comfy car seat is one of those baby purchases that requires research and investment. It's an item that you'll likely use day in and day out. Most importantly, when it comes to baby's safety, you need to make sure that your car seat is a perfect fit in every way. Car seats save lives!

Today is my firstborn's birthday. I fondly remember buckling him into his carseat for the very first time 14 years ago!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Four Places to Find the Easter Bunny in Chicago

This post originally appeared at ChooseChicago.com, where I am a contributing writer.

Easter Bunny Pinstripes

Hippity Hoppity! Easter is on its way and everybody's favorite bunny is hopping on down to Chicago. It's time to put on your bonnet and smile for a fun picture with Peter Cottontail, or even better, join him for brunch. Here are four of the best places to find the Easter Bunny in Chicago.\

Bowling and Bocce with the Bunny (above)
At the Pinstripes gourmet Easter Brunch Buffet, families will delight in an endless spread of holiday favorites from carved prime rib, a new bruschetta bar, shrimp cocktail and poached salmon, waffles with a choice of toppings, made-to-order omelets, salad bar, chocolate fountain and more. The Easter Bunny will make a special appearance from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for fun photo opportunities with each guest. Five bocce courts (5 indoor, 2 outdoor) and 11 bowling lanes including two private lanes round out this date for guaranteed family fun.


When: Sunday, April 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: $30 per adult; $15 kids 6-12 years old; kids 5 and under free; Easter Baskets are available for purchase for $3 to the first 150 kids (12 years of age and under).
RSVP: 312-527-3140
Where: Pinstripes Chicago; 435 E. Illinois 
More info online at pinstripes.com/chicago



Easter in the Sunshine
Chicagoans are invited to enjoy a special Brunch with the Easter Bunny at Tavern on Rushon Sunday, April 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Enjoy crab cake Benedict, stuffed French toast, breakfast pizza and more. Weather permitting, patrons can dine on Tavern's beautiful patio.

When: Sunday, April 5, 2015; 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: 1031 N. Rush Street
RSVP: 312-664-9600
More info online at tavernonrush.com




Brunch with the Bunny at The Peninsula Chicago
Peninsula Hotel

This is one of the fanciest bunny brunches in town and is a splurge you won't forget. Choose from rolled-to-order sushi and sashimi or an extensive breakfast selection that includes eggs Benedict with truffle hollandaise at the elegant lobby. Shanghai Terrace will be featuring dim sum and Peking duck, and a kid-friendly menu is also available. The Easter Bunny will present at each seating, and a separate Children's Lounge will offer face painting, egg hunts, coloring activities and Wii fun.

Where: 108 E. Superior St.
When: Sunday, April 5; see website for seating times
RSVP: 312-337-2888
More info online at chicago.peninsula.com




Elegant Easter Brunch with the Bunny at the Drake Hotel
Matt Kirouac

Celebrate Easter at the Drake Hotel's Gold Coast Ballroom, where you'll be serenaded with live music by the Steve Biossat Trio as you enjoy the swanky hotel's signature brunch. Step into the Drake Room for face painting, caricatures and balloon twisting, as well as photo ops with the Easter Bunny. Kids ages 5 and under dine free.

When: Sunday, April 5; 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: 140 E. Walton Pl.
RSVP: 312-787-2200 or email Shaun.Rajah@hilton.com
More info online at thedrakehotel.com
Photos Courtesy of: Amy Bizzarri; The Peninsula Hotel Chicago; The Drake Hotel

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crepe Erase Review

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Crepe Erase. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


A little over two weeks ago, I added a new product line to my beauty routine, a product line devoted to caring for the neck - a part of the body that's often overlooked when it comes to skincare routines. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Review: It Was Me All Along

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Every once in awhile a book grabs me and doesn't let me go. This happened yesterday on my flight from D.C. to Chicago. As soon as I boarded, I cracked open this book.  I didn't even take a break to go to the bathroom. Three hours and one ginger ale later, just as our airplane taxied into its gate, I had finished it. Andie Mitchell's memoir of overcoming body image issues and food addiction to find self-acceptance took such a hold of me I just had to finish it.  


 It Was Me All Along

Andie Mitchell struggled through her childhood and teens with weight and disordered eating. When she stepped on the scale on her 20th birthday, she had reached 268 pounds. She knew she had to make major changes in not just her lifestyle but also the way she thought about food and herself.


I was most struck by Andie's chaotic childhood with an alcoholic father, as she found comfort in food, the one thing that didn't let her down. I was inspired as she worked hard to get to the root of her issues, finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself. Though I personally haven't struggled with weight issues, body acceptance and learning to love ourselves is an issue that resonates with me (and most women...). 


Today, Ms. Mitchell is a passionate writer and recipe developer. Order her book today and check out her blog,  Can You Stay for Dinner

Friday, March 13, 2015

Where the Flowers Are: Finding Chicago's Best Spring Blooms

This post originally appeared on ChooseChicago.com, where I am a contributing writer.

You might know Chicago as the "Windy City" or the "City of Broad Shoulders," but one of our city's most appropriate nicknames is the "Garden City." Indeed, our city's seal states clearly Urbs in Horto, Latin for "garden in city." As springtime rolls around, the reason for this flowery nickname is evident: everywhere you turn, you'll see gardens big and small, in our backyards, on our parkways, even on our balconies and rooftops! Here are three places to find the best blooms in Chicago. 

Chicago Flower & Garden Show


Every spring, Macy's on State Street bursts and blooms with the spirit of the season. During the annual Macy's Flower Show (March 22 - April 4, above), expert florists adorn the entire store with gorgeous flowers from around the world, creating a shopping experience like no other. A wonderful array of free workshops and related events rounds out the flowery fun. This year's show, Art in Bloom, will usher in spring with a lovely in-store garden filled blooming with inspiration and creativity. Highlights this year include an edible flower tasting, a performance by Loyola University Chicago's premier female a cappella group "The Silhouettes" and vase painting with One Strange Bird. Free to the public, Macy's Flower Show will be open during regular store hours. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit visitmacyschicago.com

Spring Flower Show: Sun Showers

One of the best places in the city to catch spring blooms is at Lincoln Park Conservatory's Spring Flower Show (through May 10, above). The beauty of spring is in full bloom here - and the glass-paned conservatory will protect you from the occasional rainshower. Located just next door to both The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Lincoln Park Zoo, the conservatory is a wonderful place to catch your breath after a busy day. This year, you'll be able to see the direct descendants of the great Azaleas that once bloomed at the World's Colombian Exposition of 1893!

Chicago Flower & Garden Show

The Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Chicago's Navy Pier (March 14-22), is an experience for the senses, a place where gardeners gather ideas and inspiration among blooming perennials, annuals and trees at Navy Pier. Whether you're looking to expand your veggie patch or even just add a few pots to your patio, the beautiful gardens here - all designed by local landscape designers, builders and suppliers - will give you realistic solutions for all your gardening, greening, floral and home-related needs. Top horticulture experts will share insights at workshops and seminars throughout the event and top Chicago chefs sharing their expertise on creating sumptuous dishes using natural and home-grown ingredients. Visit chicagoflower.com for updated event info and a full schedule of workshops and seminars.
  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chicago Parent Playdate #Giveaway

Spring is finally here!!! And here's a fun event to celebrate the season with your entire family: Chicago Parent Playdate at the Accelerated Center April 26.


Expect a day filled with non-stop entertainment on the stage while parents will learn more ways to keep the fun and learning happening all year round. Here's another perk to this awesome event: a portion of the proceeds benefits Bernie’s Book Bank. Bring a book along, too, as families also are asked to be part of a giant book collection effort planned for the day.
Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here
GIVEAWAY! I have a family four-pack of tickets to giveaway for this fun event. The first person to comment below sharing your favorite spring activity wins! Good luck! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Crepe Erase First Impression

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Crepe Erase. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I love Nora Ephron's collection of essays I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. If you haven't read this intimate, humorous take on the ups and downs of life as a (middle-aged!) woman, you're missing out.