Women making an “IMPACT”

“As a bullet whizzed past my cheek, the heat caused me to fall face first into the concrete” Isaiah Brooms spoke to the crowd – and we listened to each word, each breath of his story, this was his experience growing up in Chicago. This same man Isaiah was now in front of the crowd of over 400 women, and he is now a Chicago Public School teacher, a mentor, a youth minister, and role model Mr. Brooms  is telling us this, and thanking Tutoring Chicago and his first tutor Sarah.

Tutoring Chicago

From Tutoring Chicago Facebook page

Isaiah is pitching to the crowd, almost Shark Tank style as he and six other finalist are presenting for the 2016 grant award from Impact 100 Chicago. A group of women in Chicago who each donate $1,000 each to empower change. This is an all women, all volunteer group of women, who put their own money, time, effort, and resources to seek out nonprofits that are making a difference, empowering, and changing the lives of so many.

These grants are not taking lightly, each application and applicant is looked over and vetted with a rigorous review, four-step process, and close look at how the funds will be used.

From RefugeeOne Facebook page -

From RefugeeOne Facebook page –

Each of the presentations were so moving, I wanted to get up and volunteer  my own time and money to help each one. The crowd heard from Refugee One, a very poised young lady who survived the worst situation over in her birth country of Sudan was welcomed with open arms when she finally arrived to Chicago. A heart moving story of how she now has hope for a future because of this group was eye opening.

Another presentation was for a program which supports low-income students so they can continue their education, One Million Degrees and they walked away with on of the four awarded with $100,000 grant’s so they can continue to support their efforts.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.41.47 PMHere are the links to all of the organizations that were selected to present – in my heart all of these are amazing and sharing your support will continue to impact change for the better here in Chicago, and around the world. Next year you can bet that I will be supporting Impact 100 Chicago, and maybe you should also.

Chicago Women in Trades

One Million Degrees

The Chicago Debate Commission

Refugee One

Family Rescue Inc


Action Chicago



What will I wear? Because I love to eat on Vacation

I recently had a quick few days in Las Vegas for a conference. I wanted to travel with a simple easy wardrobe that I could mix and match. I looked to pack a few pieces that could be dressy, casual, easy to layer, and items that I didn’t have to worry about wrinkles. By the way, is soft surroundings in financial trouble? because I really like the clothes in Soft Surrounding. offers stylish, luxurious, and comfortable women’s clothes for every size.


Love this simple pop of bright pink top – you can dress it up or down. Here I have it with a simple pair of jeans, faded black.

This silky black top can be worn for a nice dinner, off to a show, in a club. It gives you a lot of room to enjoy the food you may want to try in the restaurant. If you spill on it no worries, to make sure it’s wrinkle free when you arrive just hang it in the bathroom, and boom it’s ready to wear.


A great silky black top, with a dark dressy pair of jeans. Gold jewelry.

Love this simple clean look, with a pop of color in the red jeans. This black top is easy to layer and again you can dress it up or down. Looks very classy with the silver chain.


This is a great look to walk around the town. You can layer it up when your get a chill, and strip it down if you get hot walking in the warm Vegas air.

white shirt, black jeans, business look.

This is a great clean and classy look – I paired it with a black blazer and it was ready for business. A crisp white shirt, dark jeans, and high heals.

I love this look, it’s amazing that jeans with these big rips can actually be considered dressy. This is my casual  travel look when I fly, I layer a soft gray sweater over this, and also carry and wear my big gray poncho – pictured below. I wear my easy gray slip on shoes for going through the TSA lines, easy to slip my shoes on and off.


This photo was taken on a recent trip to NYC not Las Vegas, but I wanted to include it because you can see I have my gray poncho on. It’s like a big warm blanket perfect to travel on a plane with.


Getting the Low Down on Chicago Loews Streeterville Social



Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.34.20 AMGetting the Low Down on one of the new Chicago Rooftop spots…by Beth Rosen

This summer has been made even better by the recent opening of Streeterville Social at the Loews Chicago Hotel. The well named Streeterville Social offers two bars, a wonderful coverd in real grass lawn area

This is a very cool location because it’s not a high in the skydeck, Streeterville Social is just a few floors up so your away from the hustle bustle of the city, but still close enough to enjoy the sites and the sounds. You can see the Lake and the City

The amount of space is amazing because of where it’s located there is about 9,000 square feet of beauty – with views, park like feel, and some extras that you will enjoy as you sip a wine, have a snack, and people watch.

A great spot for a first date they have some games and cool seating niches like  birdcage chairs,  high-top tables, cabanas that  make getting to know someone very comfortable.

I can imagen a girls night out, but not having to leave the large space with a delightful menu. Items you can find…Oyster Po’ Boy, chorizo,  Crispy Lamb Belly Gyro, you will love it.

It’s not like any other deck in our city so I suggest you head over and enjoy before we have to start thinking about the weather changing.

Streeterville Social at Loews Chicago Hotel

Go beyond the sushi bar at Sunda

Chicago is truly becoming on of the best food cities in the country. With so many new places to wine and dine arriving each week you can get very tempted to just keep trying new foods. We like to keep you up to speed, as we taste our way around the town. It was just this past week that I had an opportunity to get back to one of the places where I continue to return to have always enjoyed.

Tender strip steak formed into “lollipops” around lemongrass skewers

Tender strip steak formed into “lollipops” around lemongrass skewers

Sunda is in the very cool River North area. Always a fun crowd, great drinks, and some good tasting Asian-inspired dishes.

Oxtail Pot Stickers braised oxtail, caramelized onion jus, white wasabi cream

Oxtail Pot Stickers braised oxtail, caramelized onion jus, white wasabi cream

A great place to grab a group and sit around the table tasting an assortment of different types of food from China, Japan, but also dishes from other countries, including Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Tiger Shrimp Tempura candied walnuts, creamy honey aioli

Tiger Shrimp Tempura candied walnuts, creamy honey aioli

A dish to try is Crispy Brussels Sprouts brussels sprouts, red cabbage, carrots, chilies, fried shallots, minced shrimp nuoc cham, vinaigrette.

Go give it a try, eat, drink, and enjoy.

Sunda New Asian River North

110 W. Illinois


A trendy little restaurant to try

It’s so fun to discover and uncover little spots in Chicago that serve up a nice atmosphere and food where you enjoy both. With MJ Tam on a media preview night we were able to taste a selection from Executive Chef/Partner Pete Coenen’s The Monarch Restaurant Bar.

Goat cheese, licorice molasses, honey vinaigrette

Goat cheese, licorice molasses, honey vinaigrette

You will find a selection from what is called “American Fare” at The Monarch,”Gastro-Pub” located in Wicker Park neighborhood. I was please to find parking free and easy in this North Av restaurant. The Monarch is easy to  find at 1745 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Excellent flavor with pinot grigio, fine herbs, tomato

Excellent flavor with pinot grigio, fine herbs, tomato

Since we were there for a media tasting we were able to share selections from pre-selected items. I found the food to have a nice flavor, not overdone, and clean and simple. The Dessert was outstanding a Butterscotch Pudding with salted scotch caramel, and espresso powder.

Since MJ Tam and I produce content for social media it was fun to see this below sign, we love when our value get’s noticed.

Logomonarch (2)

I have a son who lives in Brooklyn New York and the feel of the restaurant was a little like some of the places I like and bring me memories of the food and good times I have had when I go to visit him.

So I will be back, and will bring my NYC son to see if he too likes the vibe and food.

I was invited to sample the pub fare menu at The Monarch Restaurant Bar. I was not financially compensated and all opinions expressed are my own.

The Monarch


I love what I do – The people I meet

What a great #chicagonistalive show at @trumpchicago Thank you to all our #chicagonistalive influencers! @mjtam @nancyloo @duongonline @andreametcalf @candidcandace @cecemelinda @jenluby @foodtravelist @tedrubin @thelocaltourist @tmmeditation @indianapplepie — with Ted Rubin, MJ Tam, Nancy Loo, Beth Rosen and Jennifer Dunham Luby at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and our crew and staff – you all bring so much joy into my life – and make things fun!!

#ChicagonistaLive at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago! W  MJTam, Nancy Loo Cece AndNMelinda, Anupy Singla Gupta, The Local Tourist, Andrea Metcalf

#ChicagonistaLive at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago! W MJTam, Nancy Loo Cece AndNMelinda, Anupy Singla Gupta, The Local Tourist, Andrea Metcalf