buzzoole code Socially Connected Consulting: August 2013

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Friday, August 30, 2013

My Kind Of Foodie Town-Chicago

Took this pic on the way to Streetfood Artistry from the L train

As many of you know I'm from Chicago.  I love Chicago.  For me it's the perfect city.  So when I knew I was going home this summer, I made it a point of making sure to try some new foods.  I tried to get to as many places as I could. The weather was perfect this summer.  Not too hot or cold.  Made traveling around the city quite easy.  Unfortunately time got away from me and I ended up not going as many places as I would have liked.

Jerk 312 Fries

Puffs of Doom Puffs

I won a ticket to StreetFood Artistry.   I was excited to go because I wasn't able to make it to the Taste of Chicago this year.  I was a little disappointed that the free ticket didn't include a wristband so I could partake in drinking alcohol and that there weren't more food trucks.  One of the food trucks I did like there was Jerk 312.  I tried the delicious spicy jerk fries.  They were spicy, but not so spicy that I couldn't enjoy them. The Fat Shallot had a a grilled cheese with caramelized onions and spinach.  That was really good.  I only got a half and wished I had gotten a whole sandwich.  The lemon gelato from Gelato D'Oro was refreshing.   Puffs of Doom is a great idea, but I wish I liked them more.  I tried the maple bacon vanilla and peach cobbler.  The peach cobbler wasn't sweet enough for me.  The maple bacon vanilla was ok. I think they would have tasted better warm too.

The Fat Shallot Grilled Cheese

Before my husband and I went to see Book of Mormon which was awesome, we went to an old favorite My Thai. I had the pineapple curry shrimp.  It was delicious. Lots of flavor and plenty of shrimp.  What I love about My Thai is that it's never difficult to get a seat, the food is served quickly, it's inexpensive and good.

Gelato D'Oro Lemon Gelato

Of course I did have some deep dish pizza.  I went to my favorite place Giordano's where it's called stuffed pizza.  I had the stuffed spinach.  It's like eating a piece of heaven.  Giordano's is my favorite place to have pizza.
My favorite pizza stuffed spinach from Giordano's!

I took the kids to Home Run Inn after the last day of camp.  The kids had chicken and burgers.  I had the Wild Rice Orzo salad.  It has wild rice, orzo, nutty wheat berries, cranberries, corn niblets, toasted almonds and bell peppers dressed in a red wine vinaigrette sweetened with Stevia.  It was good, but I think it would have been better served warm.  

I managed to catch one food truck in the Loop.  Flirty Cupcakes never lets me down.  The kids had the oreo cupcake.  I had the Beached Coconut.  It had a thick layer of sweet coconut frosting.  The cupcake was moist.  Loved it.
Beached Coconut Cupcake

Went to lunch with my friend Paula at Kikuya Japanese restaurant in my favorite neighborhood Hyde Park.  I had the combination platter with salmon teriyaki and California roll.  The salmon was a bit charred the way I like it.  The teriyaki sauce was perfect.  I wish it included more vegetables. California roll was delicious. 

Summer isn't over.  If you are a foodie and are coming to Chicago there are still many foodie events to attend.  Just check out The Local Tourist events calendar.  Also Chicago Gourmet is September 27-29.

Not sure if we will be going home next year. The next time we go to Chicago I want to try more restaurants and food trucks.  I would like to spend all of my time doing that!  A Foodie's dream!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My thoughts about BlogHer13

I know BlogHer13 has been over for weeks, but I was very busy visiting family and friends in Chicago and now that I'm in Vancouver I can formulate my thoughts about the conference.

When I got off the bus in front of McCormick Place I thought I would see a big banner welcoming us to the conference.  Or at least someone out front telling us where to go.  There wasn't any of that.  I followed some arrows and ended up interrupting a commercial shoot. Embarrassed I finally found my way.

I was intimidated because this was my first blogging conference.  Immediately I realized that going to BlogHer by yourself is a bore.  I saw a lot of people meeting and greeting.  I knew no one! I had to force myself to make small talk which did bring me out of my comfort zone.  Met some very interesting people,  The sessions were good, but I noticed that more often than not there would always be two sessions that I wanted to attend happening at the same time,

I liked a lot of the brands.  Although I was hoping to see more beauty and health brands.  There was a ton of food and after sampling for a couple of hours I had no room for lunch.  The first day lunch was awesome.  I believe it was Greek food.

When I handed someone my card I wonder did they take me seriously or just took the card because I offered it? Did they sense that I really didn't know what I was doing or notice that I wasn't as forceful as some of the other bloggers?  I was glad I brought extra bags with me because it was true about the amount of swag.  I was happy I had three weeks in Chicago to either use it up myself or give it out to family and friends. 

BlogHer13 Chicago
My favorite bag of swag from CVS

BlogHer was great and I would go again especially if it was in Chicago or NYC. I have realized in the past few weeks what I want to do with my life.  I want to do social media marketing.  I really enjoy developing a strategy of how to inform others about a brand and introducing brands to other brands via social media.  Hoping to make that dream a reality within the next year!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Crochet Cowl / Headband 2-in-1

Crochet Cowl / Headband 2-in-1
Crochet Cowl/Headband

Yes, it's a cowl and headband in one item!  Ashley the owner of Handmade aj sent me the item for review.  I'm looking forward to wearing it when the weather gets colder.  Very nice as a cowl and can be used as a neck warmer.  To me it seems a bit large for my head to be a headband.  I could see wearing it over the ears in the winter to keep your ears warm.

Neopolitan Mason Jar with Koozie Cozy 2 Piece Set
Mason Jar Koozie Cozy

Ashley has many handmade items in her Etsy shop including mason jar sets, headbands, hats and cute items for babies.  Please check out her Etsy shop Handmade aj to see more of her items.  You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook!  And check out her blog!  She's having a back to school sale!

Disclaimer:  Handmade aj sent me a item to try and review.  I am no obligation to provide a positive review.  The opinions are my own and results may vary. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Fixx/Wang Chung Concert at Hard Rock Cafe Four Winds

My friend and I took a trip to the beautiful Four Winds Casino Resort.  We went to see The Fixx and Wang Chung in concert there at the Hard Rock Cafe.  The Four Winds is a beautiful casino.  My favorite part was driving up this long and winding road to get to the casino.  It's so lovely at night because there are lanterns all along the road lighting the way.

The concert doors opened at 7:00 PM. We got there at 6:00 PM. We were told by a casino worker that we would be able to eat while watching the concert.  Only to be told when we got in line that no food was allowed.  That sushi I ate at 2:30 PM would have to last me until at least 11:00 PM.

The concert started at 8:00 PM.  By then I was pretty tired of smelling the cigarette smoke and was nervous for my poor lungs.  Wang Chung was up 1st.  I remember back in the 80s not being a big fan, but liking 'To Live and Die in LA' and 'Everybody Have Fun Tonight.'  Their set was a good mix of the new and the old.  I even liked some of the newer stuff.  The most memorable was a song called 'Rent Free'. I also liked the song from 'The Walking Dead' soundtrack called 'Space Junk.'

The Fixx were next.  Their set had a lot more of the new songs.  They played at least six newer songs before getting to the hits.  Their set wasn't as enjoyable as Wang Chung because I have to admit I was there for the hits.  Including my favorite The Fixx song 'Our We Ourselves.'  They didn't play that song, but  played all the other hits. As with Wang Chung the musicians were excellent and even though Cy had a frog in his throat I though his voice was strong.

Both singers were very engaging with the audience and the venue had great sound. We ended up standing the entire evening for this general admission show because we weren't able to get any of the booths, but we had a great time dancing.  Even though I didn't know a lot of the songs by both groups, it was very refreshing to see real musicians play and sing. Thanks to Natalie for inviting me to go!

You can still catch Wang Chung on tour including a show at Mandalay Bay Beach with Flock of Seagulls, Bow Wow Wow and Animotion!  I would love to go to that one!  Wang Chung Tour Dates
The Fixx are still on tour too.  They have some great dates coming up including a show with the Psychedelic Furs and another with my all-time favorite male singer Rick Springfield! The Fixx Tour Dates