Sunday, February 26, 2006

Cold weather fun

One of my favorite cold weather activities is to read. So far in 2006, I've read the following books. Amazingly enough, all of them have been terrific so I wholeheartedly recommend them!

(1) Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
(2) Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
(3) My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
(4) Picture Perfect - Jodi Picoult
(5) The Lovely Bones - Alice Lebold (? on the last name--i left this book at my parents' house in FLA)

I'm currently reading "Love Monkey" by Kyle Smith. It is very entertaining! I like that it is about dating and was written by a man's point of view

I'm compiling a list of what I read in 2005 and will post that soon.

Stay warm!!

Saturday, February 25, 2006


I lost the bracelet my boyfriend gave me for Christmas. I always, and I mean, always wear it. Unless I'm going through security at the airport, but then I always put it back on. Anyway, I was at dinner tonight and saw that it WASN'T THERE! I remember looking at it before I left the house. I asked the hostess if she found it; I tore apart Carol's car looking for it; I even asked my doorman if he found it. I looked all over my own apartment aswell. No luck. So I called the BF and told him. He wasn't mad, just sad. I am probably beating up myself more than he would ever do.

The bracelet was the first thing he ever gave me so it is very special to me. I haven't completely given up hope that I will find it.

Other than my bracelet drama, Carol andI did have a nice dinner at Starfish on Randolph near Halsted. Sushi was very tasty . Atmosphere was very chill. We went to The Tasting Room afterwards and got champagne and chocolate fondue. YUM! Almost made me forget about losing the bracelet. Almost.

Monday, February 20, 2006

List-o-Mania: Ways to be fabulous for cheap in Chicago

When I moved to Chicago, I didn't have a job. I had enough saved that I could spend my time finding the right job for me, so I wasn't in a rush per se. However, in order to make my savings stretch but still enjoy the city, I had to commit myself to the idea of cheap fabulousness. I know--I could just not go out. However, that would defeat the purpose of moving to a new city. I needed to get to know the city and definitely needed to make some new friends.

Now here I am....almost a year later! I'm working at a job that is pretty awesome and I'm not worried about the occasional elaborate night out. However, I thought it might be nice to share some of my tips with other gals moving to Chicago.

Tip 1: Parties at the W Lake Shore and City Center hotels: The W hosts these terrific events once or twice a month. I have been to book parties, fashion shows, make up product launchings.....ALL FOR FREE! All I had to do is RSVP and I got to go to some really fun events, complete with free food and alcoholic party drinks! At one party, I left with a goodybag full of stuff. Yeah they may have the book for sale or the clothes--but resist the urge to purchase if you are on a budget! For more info on cool events at the W, visit

Tip 2: Free museum days: My personal favorite was the Art Institute on Tuesday nights. Let your mind expand without stretching your pocket book.

Tip 3: The $5 a day visitor passes on the CTA. I suppose this isn't really a way to be fabulous, but it definitely helped me on the days where I had scheduled 4 interviews in a day. Normally, if you pay for each ride you take on the CTA, it is $1.75 a pop. However, if you know you have to be all over town, the pass is your best bet. I used to buy mine at the Thompson Center at Clark and Lake. I think you can also buy them at the Chicago Red Line stop or at one of the airports.

Tip 4: Free haircuts in Lincoln Park: Many of the trend salons in the city will offer free haircuts and colors to the brave and stylish. Check out Craig's List, under the Free section. I got my hair cut and colored at the Art and Science Salon. The students that cut my hair were in an Advanced program and did a great job. Yes, you should still tip but it definitely saves you some bucks. For those of you getting your hair colored, you may have to pay for the hair color products used--so please be aware!

Tip 5: Free concerts and book readings: The Borders on Michigan as well as on State and Randolph often hold readings and concerts for free. Last summer, I saw Stephen Page of BNL perform for free. If I wanted him to sign something, I had to buy a CD, but there was nothing preventing us from listening to him.

Tip 6: Get thee on the Guest List: Many clubs allow you to put yourself on the guest list via email. This allows you to get in without cover. Sure, you may have to buy drinks, but you aren't required to most of the time. I went to Soundbar with my friends and only had to fork out money for a drink, which was entirely my choice in the first place. Another time, we went to Wet and drank for free from 9p-10p.

Tip 7: Magazine parties: My friends and I went to an In Style party at the Victor Hotel. All we had to do was RSVP. No cover. Seriously. We dined on free apps and drank oodles of free wine and martinis. Best of all, we all got a goody bag filled with products from the next month's InStyle magazine. How do you find out about these parties? One great site is ...

I hope my tips provide some help or at least some entertainment! Remember you can be fabulous without breaking the bank!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I love lists

I like to waste my time by making as many lists as possible. One list I haven't made in a while is a list of my favorite places to eat in Chicago. Prety much--I just like talking about food :)

Top 5 places to chow down in Chi town
(5) Star of Siam on Illinois and State - Excellent food at supposedly the oldest Thai restaurant in the city. Incredibly reasonable prices...tasty Rama chicken (chicken and broccoli in peanut curry)
(4) Wildfire (somewhere in River North--I always forget)- They have this trio of filets where you can pick your topping. Good lord, I would almost forgo sex if I could eat here everyday --just kidding. Also try their creamed spinach!
(3) Dine (in the Crowne Pointe Hotel on Madison) - Comfort food taken up a level. Amazing meatloaf and TRUFFLED mashed potatoes. "Coffee and Donuts" for dessert. This is a new favorite...go before everyone discovers what a find it is!
(2) Tsunami on Dearborn near Division - My roomie and I can't get enough of their sushi. Definitely not a casual sushi bar, but worth the price. Rumor has it, Jeremy Piven is a fan :)
(1) Tufano's Vernon Tap Place (somewhere near UIC's campus) - Old school Italian at its best. I imagine this is what most of Little Italy was like before Bar Louie and the condos came in. The calamari is to die for; the vodka sauce over tortellini is divine.

Yum! I did have an amazing meal last night while visiting my man back in Florida. Bonefish Grill--I know--part of the Outback chain, but don't knock it till you try it!