Spotlight: Favorite Things Gift Exhange

For at least 10 years my friends and I have been having gift exchanges around the holidays. Each year we have a theme for our gift giving; we started with undergarments (one pair naughty, one nice, haha), and moved on to jewelry, “as seen on TV”, beauty products, and this year: favorite things!

Here’s the gist: you pick one of your many favorite things and buy three of the item for the exchange. Then each person’s name is put into a bowl three times, and each person picks three names out of the bowl. You get to enjoy those girls’ favorite things!

So what favorites did I bring? I love candles (I have one burning as I type!), so I brought three Voluspa candles in delicious scents like persimmon and pink grapefruit. I paired those with Clinique’s chubby sticks. Ladies, you must try these–they’re both moisturizing and the color lasts. My color of choice is Richer Raisin, but I got an assortment for the party.

My gal Bridget was an excellent hostess, and I gotta say, I thought the theme was fantastic. I came home with a makeup bag, cleansing wipes, chocolate, lip gloss, nail polish, nail files, and self-tanning towels. What a fun way to try out products that are approved by those you love: your friends! Other gifts from the night included large ramekins, jewelry cleaner, and nipple balm for your lips!

The best part? Spending time with my gals, of course!

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Week #52 – Foodiechats Event at Chi-Town Eatery

This time last week, I was nervous and excited about my first #Foodiechats event at West Loop’s Chi-Town Eatery. I was invited in a direct message on Twitter, and was thrilled to be included.

These live events take place every Monday at 7 pm CST, and #Foodiechats shares 10 questions for the foodie community to answer (with a new topic each week). On this particular Monday, the event was hosted at Chi-Town Eatery, a new fast casual restaurant in the West Loop.

Saying yes to this event was so full circle for me. A year ago, I was tired of doing the same old thing in the city I love. And now, I’m stepping outside of my safe zone, and going to a blogger event on my own–as Second City Gal.

I walked over on that snowy day, ready to be social and have a good time. Everyone was so kind and friendly. I arrived as close to on time as I could, and sat down with some other bloggers. More and more people came, those who were active on social media, young and old, shy and loud, and we had a great time.

I quickly became friends with @kalehummus, @FlavCity, and @ArtDessi, who were also newbies to the event. (Shameless plug to check them out on Twitter!) We talked a lot about what we do, food in Chicago, the #FoodieChats questions, social media, and everyday life. It was fun to hear about husband and wife duo @FlavCity and @ArtDessi’s adventures for their online cooking and travel show, and @kalehummus and I bonded over our love for Chipotle and Native Foods!

There was so much food to sample at the event. I was in heaven. The restaurant served tons of food from its menu, including burgers, Mac and cheese, wings, kettle chips, chocolate covered strawberries, and lots more. We were also told we could order anything off of the menu, so I tried the salad with goat cheese and apples. Yum!

At the end of the evening, they held a raffle where I won a gift certificate to Chi-Town Eatery–how cool is that? @FlavCity won a t-shirt, so we dubbed ourselves the winners’ table.

I had so much fun at this event, and it really got me excited about this blog, and I’ve decided to continue the project in 2014.

Look out for more great adventures with Second City Gal…hopefully more #Foodiechats events, too!

Chi-Town Eatery
1000 West Washington
West Loop

Website: #Foodiechats
Twitter: #Foodiechats

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Week #51 – Spotlight: Walnut Room at Macy’s

Marshall Fields…I mean, Macy’s, has been a landmark on State Street for many years. The Walnut Room–the restaurant on the 7th floor–is a holiday must-see because of it’s big, beautiful Christmas tree, holiday-themed drinks, and a fairy princess (or two) who roams the restaurant granting wishes.

Just last year was the first time I went to the Walnut Room with my long-time friends Anne, Sarah, and Sarah’s daughter, Emma. We enjoyed it so much that we went back again this year!

Hint: Go early if you don’t want a long wait to get into the restaurant. We arrived at 9:15 am on a Saturday in December and were seated immediately. After a breakfast buffet, we wandered around Macy’s, wrote a letter to Santa, found some ornaments, and purchased some of Marshall Fields’ famous Frango mints.

All in all, it was another successful visit! So good to spend time with good friends, especially during the holidays.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Walnut Room
111 North State
The Loop

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