The Best Singalong of All Time

ninainthechiUncategorized%s Comments

I’m just going to leave this right here…

And may the record reflect that this car is filled with my answer to the question “If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?” except I would probably add my late-grandmother who would spend the entire time calling Jesse Tyler Ferguson “cute as a button” and telling them about the time we saw the original cast of Spring Awakening on Broadway and she didn’t understand the plot until the (very graphic) sex scene right before intermission.

I freaking love the week before the Tony Awards. Mainstream media gets all on-board with musical theatre and everywhere I look there is another interview with someone who made a beautiful piece of art for us to enjoy this year.

And may the record also reflect that when I consider reproducing, it is largely so we can divvy up the parts in “One Day More”.


ninainthechiChicago%s Comments


I know it’s not a competition but if National Donut Day was in fact a competition, my Dad and I would win.

It’s really cute how everyone on social media today is all #NationalDonutDay but the old man and I practically invented a holiday around our favorite breakfast confection because every day we consumed a donut was a celebration, we love them so much.

I am an only child so you might assume that a 4 pack pictured above would be the the amount of donuts brought into our house but you would be mistaken. Saturday mornings were usually met with a baker’s dozen from the local gas station that doubled as a (surprisingly decent) donut shop. If I had a friend spend the night? All bets were off, two dozen were sitting on the kitchen counter when we emerged from our sleeping bags. Krispy Kreme were for amateurs, over-hyped small boring glazed discs…we were apple fritter, long john (custard, not creme), cake donut with any topping aficionados. And don’t get us started about french crullers or blueberry cake donuts. Or properly done apple cider donuts (why are they dry so often?).

When I moved to Chicago, our donut game got real and my Dad and I started making the rounds. I will never forget the day I went to meet up with my parents and saw my Dad carrying a bright orange box proudly down State Street. I didn’t even have to tell him about Glazed and Infused- the siren song of fresh, real deal donuts lured him there.

My husband (then-fiance) once claimed that Do-Rite Donuts had the best apple fritter in the city so my Dad and I immediately headed toward Randolph Street. I honestly think my Dad considered stopping our wedding. Best fritter in the city it was not.

In honor of this alleged #NationalDonutDay, I present to you the Chicago Tour de Donut. These selections were made after doing some serious leg, err, donut work and my suggestions do not come lightly- this is seriously the bees knees of donuts.

Glazed & Infused: Apple Fritter

Stan’s Donuts: Glazed or the Donut Gelato Sandwich

Dinkel’s Bakery: Cake with Coconut

BomboBar (Bar Siena- the walk-up window on the side): Salted Caramel Bomboloni

And for the love of sugar, if you happen to be in Charleston, SC today PLEASE go to Glazed Gourmet and buy everything and eat everything. My best pals woke me up with a box of glory from this place on my bachelorette party and I will never forget how happy I felt covered in powered sugar and smiles.

High five, Daddio- you taught me well.

Beer Under Glass at Garfield Park Conservatory

ninainthechiChicago, Uncategorized%s Comments

Beer Under Glass

Have you ever been to the Garfield Park Conservatory? One of my clients is in the craft beer industry and I was invited to join them at the kickoff to Chicago Craft Beer Week called Beer Under Glass and was blown away by how gorgeous the conservatory was. It is basically the biggest, most beautiful greenhouse I have ever seen under a canopy of glass. And while it was a gorgeous evening, after the cold chill we had last week it felt really good to be somewhere that was warm and slightly humid.

Oh and there was beer. Really, really good beer. My little sampling glass (pictured above) was filled with several craft brews during the event and favorites included Moody Tongue’s Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter and the grilled pineapple and rhubarb infused Farmhouse Ale from Smylie Brothers– bonus points for the beer history lesson I got from Brad the head brewer which was seriously fascinating and awesome.

To recap: drinking local craft beer while surrounded by gorgeous greenery in a historic Chicago landmark. Beer Under Glass is about as solid an event as they come.

Garfield Conservatory

Smylie Bros BUG

Garfield Park Conservatory at night with moon

The 5 Stages of Starting a Business

ninainthechiUncategorized%s Comments


I left my employed-by-someone else job in November and have since started my own company. I’ve heard parenthood called “the longest shortest time” and while I have not birthed an actual child in the last 6 months, I have found that phrase fairly accurate describing bringing a company to life as well. Now that I have a roster of clients and full days, I find myself thinking “Wow! Everything came together so quickly!”. But there was that time (also known as all of February and the better part of March) where I wondered what the hell I was doing with my life and self-doubt occupied every corner of my brain.

When looking back at the decision I made to start a PR and Brand Development company and the time it took to make multiple Hamiltons, the stages to get here are pretty clear and they look a little like another 5 Stages. So I present to you…the 5 Stages of Starting a Business.

  1. Denial. No, I’m not really doing this. I can’t start a company. Starting a business is what other people do, other people who have better connections, are smarter and more successful than I am. People who are independently wealthy and probably really good at Excel. I am just taking this time to freelance until I find a stable salaried job with benefits and a 401k because I am an adult and those things matter. This isn’t really happening because no one would want what I have to offer, no one would pay real money for that. Nope, I am just in a transition time that is anything but starting a business.
  2. Anger. Why do I have to start a business? Why didn’t the companies I worked for in the past fulfill every need and goal I had? If they had their shit together, I would have stayed and made them millions of dollars and not had to go through figuring out what my next step was. Why doesn’t the business I want to start exist already? Shouldn’t someone have already done this and I could join their team? Why do I have to be the one to provide this solution for the market? Why didn’t I become a teacher/accountant/[insert other job with a (perceived) clear path] so that I knew where I was going to go with my career? This is complete crap. What is wrong with everybody, everything and what is wrong with me?!???
  3. Bargaining. Okay. So if I start my own company, I will be my own boss. I will be the sole factor in how much or little income I make. If I start my own company, I can choose who I work with and what projects I take on. I can work how I am comfortable working, create my own schedule. Not wear pants until 2pm if I don’t want to. Go for a run to work through any blocks I have (*likely while wearing pants). If I start my own company, I can create the business and life I want.
  4. Depression. This is never going to work. I am a huge failure. Worse than a failure, I am worthless and it’s comical that I ever thought I could do this. I’m not good enough to start a company. I am not worth the paper Lean In was printed on, let alone thinking I do anything a big CEO even did in their first internship. The only thing I am good for is raising my cat and that isn’t even going well. I am bad at folding laundry well and hate cleaning my shower. I have wasted so much time and money and it’s all for nothing because I am not good enough to do what I think I want to.
  5. Acceptance. I am starting my own company. I have started my own company. Every conversation, every relationship, every interaction, every success during my entire career was a brick building up to my company. My LLC is filed, I have a business credit card, and my website has been published. I have my own company. I have clients. I am giving out my business cards for MY business. I am telling people what I do, I am making connections. I am sending out emails, I am getting press, I am building strategies that are valuable. I set my own schedule, I burn the midnight oil, I have big wins, big learnings…and it’s all mine. Because I started a business.

Sad Little Bracket Busting Bears

adminUncategorized%s Comments

I think I counted my chickens before they were hatched. Or, at the very least, purchased too many Michigan State themed gummi bears to be consumed before the end of that terrible, bracket busting game on Friday.

However, I soldiered on and ate those gummi bears. Someone had to do it.

See ya next season,Spartans. 


ninainthechiChicago%s Comments

Lincoln Park North Pond City View

Happy Friday from North Pond in Lincoln Park! Signs of Spring are slowly but surely popping up and for that I am grateful.

I am also grateful for March Madness and that I always pick the Ivy League teams to do better than they should. My bracket is in great shape going into today and a victory for the Spartans will make for a stellar way to kickoff the weekend.

Enjoy the day, friends!

Random Update

ninainthechiChicago%s Comments

Lincoln Park Colorful Row Houses

I know I came out of the blue with that post about UberEATS yesterday so I figured a little update of the most random sort was in order:

This winter has been a godsend, especially after the last 2 winters Chicago has had. Getting outside to run and walk and really do anything has been infinitely more enjoyable than any February or March I can remember.

I am OBSESSED with Siggi’s Yogurt, particularly the Vanilla-Fig flavor. Lots of Icelandic-style yogurt being consumed around here.

On the drive to Michigan for my grandmother’s memorial, my husband put on the Hamilton cast album so I would have something to do while he worked in the car. As much as I love singing, there is 1000% a reason why I don’t do it for a living and God bless that man for listening to me belt out every.single.part of that musical (except for Lafayette because rapping with a French accent is hard.)

Speaking of belting out songs, Soul Cycle had an all Broadway ride last Friday and I went and was surrounded by my people…overly enthusiastic musical geeks who knew and performed every song right alongside me. I usually don’t love Soul Cycle but singing out loud while riding a bike is hard so two thumbs up for the Broadway ride at Soul Cycle.

I started a brand development and public relations company in November and the website went up this week. I really believe that big companies, small companies, startups, you name it can craft really incredible stories that lend themselves to impactful marketing campaigns and it’s been really cool bringing that work to organizations I believe in. Check out the and don’t hesitate to shoot me a note, I would love to work together.

I have been pouring over the Frankie’s Sputino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual. Their Sunday sauce is simmering on our stove on most weekends and I love the laid back way they talk through recipes.

UberEATS Launches in Chicago

ninainthechiChicago%s Comments

UberEATS Chicago

As if Uber getting me all over town wasn’t enough, now they want to bring me food from pretty much wherever I want.

UberEATS launches today in Chicago and the new stand-alone app features 100+ of the best restaurants in Chicago and allows Chicagoans to order from their full menus 8ammidnight, 7 days per week. I tried it out last night and it was pretty great. From the moment I decided I did not, in fact, want to eat scrambled eggs to when my quinoa wrap from Lyfe Kitchen showed up was about 25 minutes and everything tasted just as great as eating there. My husband and I always hate ordering takeout because apps like Seamless only offer us places we don’t go to normally so we are left with food we only sort of want to eat sitting on our couch. I was really impressed that UberEATS offered healthy options like Lyfe Kitchen, Blue Door Farm Stand…and Homeslice. Because sometimes you don’t want to fight off DePaul students to get that glorious pizza.

The fine people at Uber were kind enough to send me a promo code for $10 off your UberEATS order- use the code JustaChiTownGirl and you’re set to jet.

{this post was not sponsored other than my promo code- I just really liked this service and think you will too.}

Weekend Pause Button

adminChicago%s Comments

Last weekend was one of those weekends I wish had a pause button and now that we have a few inches of snow on the ground, I really wish that there was pause button because those 60 degree days were glorious. But until the next thaw comes, I will remember the glass of wine I drank outside with this view and our trip to the Milk Room. Spending time outside in February just feels like the craziest gift, you know? If you don’t know, look out the window at that white stuff and we’ll be on the same page.

Sidebar: The Milk Room, an 8 seat cocktail bar in the Chicago Athletic Association, is one of the coolest places we have ever been too. Formerly the teeny room used to store milk in the early 1900s / booze during Prohibition, it now houses a cocktail experience…which sounds like a weird thing to say but when you’re drinking Campari from the 1970s, Bourbon from the 50s, listening the Bob Dylan on vinyl and learning about it all from the single bartender with only candles lighting the way, it’s an experience. An extravagant experience but a date that will rank the top of our list for years to come.   

Middle of the Night Musicals

ninainthechiUncategorized%s Comments


When you’re wide awake at 4am, there are worse things than West Side Story being on tv. I would rather be asleep, I think, but a trip down memory lane where gangs have dance fights and everyone is really good at snapping isn’t the worst. And here I thought only infomercials were on in the middle of the night.

So to kick off Friday, a song:

Stay cool, boy.