theSkimm: A Real News Newsletter

The news is ready with your morning coffee, and this time it’s as compact and efficient as your clutch from last night. It’s called theSkimm, a daily newsletter with notes about the top international and national stories. Turning three this July, men and women alike favor it for its straightforward and witty tone while reporting on real news.

If you have no idea what it going on in the world or you would like to speak a bit more intelligently about politics and current events, it might be time to let these news junkies skimm for you. Here’s what start-up founders, Carly Zakin and Chicago native, Danielle Weisberg have to dish about the daily dish:

What encouraged you to create this platform (What need were you fulfilling)?

“We are long time friends and former NBC News producers. We grew up news junkies and worked hard to find jobs in the industry — so neither one of us really envisioned quitting them. But we began to notice that our friends, very smart, educated, leading women — would ask us basic questions about what was going on in the world. They weren’t watching or reading what we were doing at work. But they needed the information. We saw a void in the market for a news product marketed towards this audience in a way that fit in with their routines and spoke to them like they were speaking to us– as a friend.”

What was the greatest challenge in founding theSkimm? 

“We started theSkimm without any formal business or tech background. Everything from finding an accountant to forming an LLC to making an investor deck was all new to us.”

If you could offer entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Do two things before you start a business—take a vacation and take a coding class. Both will help you immensely in the long run, if only for the memories.”

Subscribe to theSkimm here.

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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Gaining Tech Skills to Boost Your Resume and Confidence

Today is Monday afternoon. At this point you are super busy, super bored, or thinking about happy hour or the gym.

But what if you could change that? What if you could add value to your day? A pep to you walk? Life to your work? 

I had the opportunity to work with The Muse, a company dedicated to helping savvy professionals learn skills and grow in their careers.

Today, the article was published on The Daily Muse’s blog. It is filled with tips to grow in your field if:

a) you don’t have co-workers

b) if you can’t afford a degree

c) if you don’t have on the job training

d) if you want to advance in your career

Below is an excerpt. To read the full article, click here.

Daily Muse: 6 Ways You Can Build Skills Without Asking Anyone for Help

At some companies, your boss will actively suggest that you attend conferences or provide opportunities for on-the-job training. But, there are also many jobs that rely on you to develop your skill set.

Even if your organization won’t pay for (or doesn’t offer) training, there are several things you can do to work your way toward that next promotion or remain competent and coveted in your field. And—better yet—most of them don’t cost much at all.

Chicago Tech Events this Week

In conjunction with this article, I’ve provided a few events this week that can get you started on developing or tweaking skill sets for your next job or current job.

  • On Saturday, May 9th, sign-up for a full day of learning the basics of coding through the class: Intro to HTML/CSS (one day workshop). This is a girl’s only opportunity through the organization, Girl Develop It. More details here.
  • Eat dinner, have drinks, and learn how to tell a good story on Tuesday, May 5th through the Chicago Storytelling Workshop. RSVP here.
  • Learn from women in tech at the Ms. Tech event this Wednesday, May 6th entitled: #Codefident – Tech for Entrepreneurs: Where to Start. RSVP to this free event here.

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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Sunday Brunching

There are few things that make me want to get out of bed in the morning. So, I schedule brunch dates. They are perfect. Everyone has something to do during the day, so brunch usually can be capped at a half hour if you needed it to. But, for the more intimate brunches, there are lots of options. If you are going to brunch it, might I suggest a few places.

The Brunch of Your Life:

  • Jam, Neighborhood: Logan Square

Whether you are recovering from a hangover or want to start your morning with something original, this is your spot. The waiters are perfect, as is the location. Go there during summer, sit outside and people watch at the next door Farmer’s Market. I had the French Toast with coffee. I also had the chicken and waffles. Yes and yes.

The Savory Brunch:

  • SouthPort Grocery & Cafe, Neighborhood: Roscoe Village

Don’t waste your time getting lunch here. The coffee is solid. The food, though, is worth the wait. Though a smaller establishment, they know their food. For an added kick, they have Bourbon Hot Chocolate.

Get This Girl a Mimosa:

  • Hamburger Mary’s, Neighborhood: Andersonville

$3 Mimosas. The food is sub-par, but it makes for a nice, chill double date in the a.m. It’s creative, it’s relaxed, it gets your juices flowing, or atleast the conversation, while you recover from a work-filled or playful weekend.

  • Timothy O’Tooles, Neighborhood: Streeterville

They have a $15 Mimosa bar. Yes, please!!

Rooftop Brunch: 

  • Twisted Spoke, Neighborhood: Noble Square

Sit on the rooftop portion. It is pretty isolated, and it feels more like a Checker’s, with picnic table, shared seating, but it is perfect for capturing the Chicago sun.

Game Day Brunch:

  • Old Town Pour House, Neighborhood: Old Town

So many TVs. They cover hokey, football, basketball. It’s basically a TV wall.

(French) Toast: 

  • Toast, Neighborhood: Lincoln Park

You’ll wait an hour, but the Wizard of Oz Park is right next door.

  • Batter and Berries, Neighborhood: Lincoln Park

Seriously, just get the French Toast here.

It’s Not Just a Donut:

  • Doughnut Vault, Neighborhood: North Side
  • Stan’s Donuts and Coffee, Neighborhood: Wicker Park

Who puts peanut butter in a doughnut? They do. Start here and then go shopping. Sunday is done!

Morning Coffee:

  • Tula’s, Neighborhood: Lakeview

Tula’s has a nice cup of coffee, better than next door, Julius Meinl (Meinl has good salads). 

  • Cafe Mustache, Neighborhood: Logan Square

French music in the background. You can expect mis-matched furniture and mustaches on the bathroom to take your favorite bathroom pic selfie. 

Add Some Sugar to It: 

  • Ann Sather’s, Neighborhood: Edgewater, Lakeview

Don’t bother with the Egg’s Benedict. They will disappoint. Eggs are a good choice, just make sure your side is Ann Sather’s cinnamon rolls. You get two, and you will most likely be taking a doggie bag home with them. 

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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Chicago: A City Where Nice Guys Exist

I don’t think we give enough credit to the Chicago gentleman.

There are a lot of genuinely kind, good guys in the city.

Beyond chivalry, Chicago men are genuinely kind and considerate to their fellow Chicagoans, especially when it comes to lifting suitcases up and down the stairs.

I will admit, I noticed this guy on the train for his bag. It was whiter than snow—unscuffed in every degree. He was a noticeably tall, well-dressed, white man-purse-wearing man, who I thanked in my mind for his attention to details. But, he was more than a polished look.

At the last leg of his evening commute, this guy saw a woman with a child struggling to lift two suitcases down the stairs. She was at the top of the steps stranded. There was no elevator at this platform.

He picked up her large navy suitcase and took it down the stairs, walked it through the gate and held the gate open for her as she rolled the smaller bag through the CTA checkpoint.

That was it. One bag. One woman. One flight of stairs. He didn’t ask questions. He saw someone in need of help, and helped.

Three years ago I was that woman with two suitcases struggling to bring them down the stairs. At that time, a guy walking by grabbed my luggage and left it at the end of the stairs for me. There were no words exchanged. No eye contact. He just did it.

With all of this snow, I have witnessed more people helping people. They have helped pedestrians maneuver through the sidewalks, which have turned into obstacle courses. They have pushed cars out of the snow.

Chicago may be cold, but there is warmth in the people.

Thank you, Chicago gentleman.

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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