Chicago Events Celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018

Ladies! This week is a good week to network and meet other amazing, entrepreneurial women in Chicago for International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8, 2018. I went to a beauty event with the Tulle Project today and as we were introducing ourselves, one women shared the four, yes four jobs she has. Another woman, in awe, noted how ambitious Chicago women are. I wholeheartedly believe that. I encourage you to meet these Chicago girl bosses this week at one of the many Chicago events for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018. Look for events and opportunities to connect all month long for women’s history month.

Quick note: International Women’s Day theme is #PressForProgess.

Global Strategist Association Event:

The Global Strategists Association is hosting a luncheon in honor of International Women’s Day to discuss opportunities for women of color.


Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location: The DuSable Museum of African American History


1871 Event:

1871, a Chicago incubator for startups is hosting a day of workshops and speaking events for women. 1871 is such a great resource that female founded companies like this 3D printing jewelry company, this beauty services company that is now offering company perks to GrubHub, and this designer clothes and accessories startup all used to help grow their business.

This event series has several sessions that you can drop into throughout the day. I’m personally looking forward to the Building Your Company’s Brand Panel Discussion.


Time: 8 am – 9 pm

Location: 1871, Merchandise Mart


SheSays Chicago Event:

SheSays Chicago, a Chicago chapter of a national organization of women in creative fields, is putting together an event with Leo Burnett on Thursday, March 8, 2018 right after work.

I’ve been attending SheSays Chicago events for years and even spoke at one of the panels about networking. You can read about some of my past coverage of their events like Turning Passion into Profit and Networking Advice from Edelman, PR Agency.

There will be a panel discussion.


Jessica Papilla, Data Analyst at Leo Burnett


Monika Black, PhD, CPC | Chief Strategy Officer at DyMynd

Kayte Malik, CEO and Co-founder of Dresscode

Beth Sehgal, Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion for A.T. Kearney

Priya Shah, Founder and Executive Director of The Simple Good


Time: 5:30 – 8:00 pm

Location: Leo Burnett Office


Ladies Get Paid Event:

Ladies Get Paid, an organization that helps women achieve their professional goals and get equal pay, is hosting an International Women’s Day event at Ace Bounce. This looks like a causal event to get drinks and meet other professional women.


Time: 5:30-7:30 pm

Location: Ace Bounce


WeWork Kenzie Event:

WeWork Kinzie is hosting an International Women’s Day workshop for freelancers and female entrepreneurs. Over 150 people have signed up for this event. In this workshop, speakers will present four topics: (a) finding the courage to lead, (b) the foundations of entrepreneurship, (c) a woman’s story of finding her purpose, and (d) establishing a position of influence in a competitive industry.


Time: 6:00-9:00 pm

Location: WeWork Kinzie

RSVP ($20)

She Means Business Event:

She Means Business will be presenting a panel discussion and gender equality and female leadership in the workplace.

The Panelists:

• Naima Prince, Expert Budget and Financial Analyst at GSA

• Lindsey Branding, Controller at Hireology

• Colleen Wilson, Founder & CEO of Collaborate Chicago

• Holly Glowaty, Co-Founder at K+H Connection and Founding Co-Producer at Flourish

• Katharine Hebenstreit, President & COO at Link Capital


Time: 5:30-8:00 pm

Location: Topstep Trader


Edgewater Chamber of Commerce:

If drinks aren’t enough for you, the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce is hosting a dinner crawl. Get all the savory details below!

Time: 5 pm

Location: Edgewater, over 10 restaurants



I hope to see you at one of the Chicago events for International Women’s Day or you can join the conversation online using the hashtag: #PressForProgress.

How do you build a professional community in Chicago? Tag me on Twitter or Instagram @windycitycosmo.

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.


Craving Thin Mints? Chicago Restaurant Adds Girl Scout Cookies

It’s Girl Scout cookie time (in case you  missed the Oscars).

And in Chicago, Girl Scouts are thinking big.

Pinstripes Bowling, Bocce, and Bistro  (Chicago, Northbrook, Oak brook, South Barrington) partnered to support the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana by making a special edition dessert for their menu. The dessert is based off of the most popular Girl Scout cookie, Thin Mints.

For a limited time only,  enjoy the Thin Mint Gelato dessert at Pinstripes. So far, Pinstripes has purchased 3,000 Girl Scout cookies, but Chef Cesar said they are planning on purchasing up to 10,000 Girl Scout cookies due to popularity.

Thin Mint Gelato Recipe:

Already supported your neighborhood Girl Scout Troop and want to make this Thin Mint dessert at home? WGN-TV will show you how with a recipe and cooking video here.

Girl Scouts Encourages Female Entrepreneurs:

Girl Scouts is one of the largest national organizations that support girls by helping them build courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.

As a former Girl Scout leader (no, you don’t have to be a mom to do this!) in Chicago and a Girl Scout Gold Award winner, I appreciate what this organization does to help women become entrepreneurs and help their community.



Girl Scouts Troop in Chicago on a field trip at the Chicago Art Institute in Summer 2015. Photo: Amanda Elliott



The Women Who Lead Girl Scouts:

The Media Relations Manager, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, L’Oreal Thompson will be speaking at a SheSays Chicago and General Assembly event, “Remaking Me: A Conversation on Career Change.”

RSVP to the free career event here.



Why Meeting In Person Is Important: The Power of Free Events

When I moved to Chicago, I was nervous because where I came from zero was a dress size and not the temperature outside.

Nevertheless, I wanted to make the most of city life, and I did that by attending a different free event every night.

My adventures and the people I met along the way inspired Windy City Cosmo, a lifestyle blog that encourages you to explore the city with or without heels because there’s new cocktails to drink and CEOs to meet.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, Windy City Cosmo was selected to speak at Bloggers Meet Startups Meetup’s first event at 1871. The four-year-old group, Bloggers Meet Startups, was formed by Scottt   and is now moderated by Maddy Osman of The Blogsmith.

I wanted to share with you highlights from my first speech and also share some great blogs and startups in Chicago. There were four featured speakers at the February 2016 Bloggers Meet Startups Meetup, but attendees also have 60 seconds to pitch their own projects. Since we were at 1871, one of the greatest innovation hubs for startups in Chicago, there were a lot more startup founders at this event.

You’re Invited To Free Events Every Day:

It’s hard to believe that you are invited to an event when you don’t receive an invitation. So, I’m giving you a formal one. When you live in the city you are invited to a handful of free events every single day. And these events can be as small as a pop-up sale at your favorite Chicago boutique to as big as a startup competition at IBM.

You can find these events on Windy City Cosmo, Time Out Magazine, Eventbrite, Built in Chicago, and, among other sites.

These events may be exciting like a Ne-Yo concert on Michigan Ave., but the true value comes in the fact that they are held at Chicago businesses like Edelman, The Shift, Basecamp, and The Social Deviant. On top of access to restricted businesses and special spaces in Chicago, these free events also help you gain really easy access to the people you want to meet, the people who are going to inspire you or the people who are going to discover your brand and share your content on social media.

In Person Is Important:

Making real-life, in-person connections is important, even in the digital age.

Aziz Ansari mentioned in his book, Modern Romance, that you can swipe right on Tinder, but ultimately you need to meet the person in person for the relationship to progress. The same is true for job interviews. The third part of the interview is always the in-person interview because meeting in person in important.

From Instagram to Insta Friends:

I think when you combine technology to create opportunities to meet people and then actually meet in person at these free events, you are able to grow a very strong social network and professional network very quickly.

For example, I have been an active user on Instagram, which requires liking a lot of photos a day. I realized I was finding photos from Once Upon a Dollhouse, a Chicago lifestyle blog. After a few weeks, I checked out their blog. They liked my photos, and I liked theirs. I went to an Ulta Beauty event on Tuesday and one of the bloggers introduced herself. Yes, it was the founder of this blog I had really enjoyed. We instantly connected and they ended up coming to this Bloggers Meet Startups Meetup the next day to support me and also pitch their blog at the end.

This all happened because we created an opportunity through social media, but deepened our relationship in person. Now we also follow each other on Snapchat (@Rationalization, @OnceUponADollhouse).

Be Inspired, Be Inspiring:

The last part of getting the most out of free Chicago events is that you want to give back.

It’s nice to be inspired, but you want to be inspiring as well.

I started Windy City Cosmo because I wanted to have a purpose for going to these events, and I also wanted to document how resourceful and beneficial it is for city dwellers to attend these Chicago events.

I started writing event recaps for SheSays Chicago, an international group of women and men in creative fields helping women advance to leadership roles. Today, SheSays Chicago is still one of the best resources for not only networking, but also mentorship, and freelance work referrals for me.

After the presentation, we had a brief q&a with Windy City Cosmo and the room full of roughly 50 startup founders and bloggers.

People asked about analytics, strategies for promoting blogs, and the hardest part about running a blog.

It was really great to be in a room of Millennials all working on projects to make life better, inspire others, and create ways to form and facilitate relationships.


Amanda Elliott from Windy City Cosmo speaking at 171 fir Bloggers Meet Startups. Photo: Amanda Elliott


This was Bloggers Meet Startups first time booking space at 1871. Photo: Once Upon a Dollhouse

Chicago Bloggers Pitch:

Several attendees pitched their blogs and startups including the lifestyle blog, Once Upon Dollhouse, and a new event company that followed trends on Pinterest to bring clients the best mix between hiring an event planner and DIY parties, Paris 312.

We were inspired by Susie of to live a life beyond expectations. Susie was diagnosed with a terminal disease but has been living life like a champion by running marathons and helping others with her health and wellness blog and as a trainer.

Startup Founders Pitch:

Startup founders also pitched like Justin and Matt of Backspace app, a social sharing site where nothing lasts forever, and the most liked content stays on the platform longer.

And another startup, ParqEx, is using a similar concept to Airbnb and applying it to parking space by letting consumers rent out their personal garage space or outdoor parking space when they don’t use it. Because yes, parking  is always an issue in cities.

Below are some photos from the networking portion of the event.

The next Bloggers Meet Startups Event will be at Next Door Chicago in Lakeview.


Bloggers Meet Startups has three portions: features speakers, 60 second pitches and a networking opportunity. Photo: Amanda Elliott


Nisha Mathur, who is currently working on a startup and Sara McAllister of the blog, Freckles and Ivory mingle at Bloggers Meet Startups. Photo: Amanda Elliott  





When is the Super Bowl? I’m Not Single.

“I’ve been putting myself out there,” I told my friend

“I’ve been going to dinner parties and museums, and I have only met gay guys,” I went on.

“That’s because straight men don’t want to comment on centerpieces. Single men go to concerts and sports bars,” she divulged.

“Oh, I don’t go to any of those,” I sighed.


Super Bowl 50 Details:

We’ve concluded that if your winter has been more Hulu and Isolation instead of Netflix and Chill, you should make plans to attend a Super Bowl party (which is this Sunday, February 7, 2016).

P.S. The Denver Bronco’s are playing the Carolina Panther’s in this year’s 50th (no Roman numerals this time) Super Bowl.

You can still go just for the Super Bowl commercials which are $5 million for a 30-second spot. You can also go for the Super Bowl Half-Time Show with Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyonce. Yes, Beyonce is back.

Kick-off is at 5:30 pm on CBS.

Bonus: The weather is going to be perfect compared to last year – no precipitation and a high of 43 degrees.

Where to Watch the Super Bowl:

Chicago is the best sports town. We turn into a college campus with pride and support for our Chicago sport’s teams.

Chicago Eater put together a comprehensive map of places throughout Chicago to watch the Super Bowl. 

Below are a few options for the sport’s fan, the Chicago foodies, the rooftop lover, and your average meetup.

The True Sporting Experience:

Timothy O’Toole’s Pub

Address: 622 N. Fairbanks Court

Super Bowl Sunday

This is one of my favorite bars for holidays. People show up —a lot of people show up here for a good time. They get decked out for holidays like no other Chicago bar. I expect the Super Bowl 50 to be no exception.

Specials include:$4.50 Miller Lite/Coors Light Stadium Cups, Jameson Shots $6.50, O’Toole’s Vodka Cocktails $6, Panthers Shots – $5

Bonus: Super Bowl Squares and scratch cards to win prizes every quarter. Flat screen TV Giveaway.

Bub City

Address: 435 N. Clark St.

Reservations recommended. 5:00 pm – 12:00 am

I love this place. It’s definitely a sport’s bar with a country flare. It’s trendy, it’s in a great location, and Bub City already has the 16 flat-screen TVs. I just hope you like Whiskey and southern food i.e. pulled pork nachos, Carolina pulled pork sandwiches, and hot, sticky, and sweet wings.

Stretch Bar & Grill

Show up for the game. Enjoy specials: $15 domestic buckets, $5 mimosa’s and bloody mary’s, Half-price bombs.

Bonus: Each shot you purchase gets you a raffle ticket to win a Bear’s jersey at the Super Bowl Halftime or at the end of the game.

Super Bowl Packages:

Bar Toma

Address: 110 E Pearson St.

Tickets: $30 per person starting at 5:00 pm to the end of game

Bar Toma_1

Bar Toma is excited to play host for the first time this year. With 22 big screen TVs and your bar food of wings, S’mores pizza, and more elevated by Chef Tony Mantuano’s, it’s going to be a good time.

Bonus: Stay till the end of the game  and you could win four tickets to the Cubs Opening Day Game at Wrigley Field, and a cute ensemble to wear to game day. Double date, anyone?

Rockit Bar & Grill

Address: 22 W. Hubbard St.

Tickets: Pre-Party Charity Event: $10 or $20 from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Furever Football

If you’re more about the pre-party then the actual party, you are in luck. Rockit Bar and Grill is hosting a special Super Bowl 50 pre-party to benefit, Furever Rescue, a local animal rescue non-profit. Your ticket includes two free drinks and appetizers.

There are game-time party packages for parties, which range from $200-$400.

The Pony

Address: 1638 West Belmont

Tickets: $40 per person from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

There will be the usual TVs, but each table also gets their very own flat-screen. Yes, this will be up-close and personal for you. Your ticket includes a pizza and wing buffet, domestic, import and craft pints, call liquors. Specials: $4 Jameson.

Bonus: Super Bowl Half-Time competition, where you can kick a field goal to win a $250 prize. The game will be broadcast on overhead plasma TVs and at tables that feature an individual flat-screen TV for viewing.

The Super Bowl + A View:

The J. Parker

Address: 1816 N. Clark St.

I’ve always wanted to go here. It’s one of the classiest places in Chicago, and it’s not even downtown. Go up in the air for a Super Bowl tailgate atop Hotel Lincoln. Chef Paul Virant will be preparing: chili, patty melts, pork sandwiches, chili cheese fries, and sliders. Specials on Bud Light and Tecate buckets.

360 Chicago

Address: 875 N. Michigan Avenue

Tickets (at the door): $20 per person starting at 5:00 pm

Don’t eat too much or drink too much if you’re going to the 94th-floor observatory of the John Hancock Center. Like Bar Toma, this is the first time the John Hancock is hosting a Super Bowl party. They will have two 80-inch TV’s.

It’s worth noting that this is a family event.

It’s also worth noting that there is seating for about 40 people, a Hancock spokeswoman said, but a lot more standing room available, reports DNAinfo.

Bonus: Specialty cocktails themed after the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are on the menu. We know you are classier than beer.

Extra Bonus: Anyone who shows up wearing an NFL jersey can ride Tilt for free!

I Need Something More Than The Super Bowl:

Howells & Hood

Address: 435 N. Michigan Avenue

Tickets:  It’s free, but $16 chili-trio packages

You’re invited to eat something besides wings on Sunday. The Third Annual Chili Cook-Off Super Bowl Sunday will add tasting and voting on something other than who is going to win the game. Zed 451 and Chop Shop will be battling for the title of “Chili Master.”

Super Bowl Parties:

If going out in groups is more your style, there are a few Super Bowl parties to join:

The Chicago Adventures Meetup Group is organizing an event Super Bowl Party @ Trophy Room: $40 3.5 Hour Food Drink Package! 56 people have signed up thus far, so you’re sure to meet someone. Start time: 5:00 pm

The Chicago Loop Happy Hour Group is meeting up at Roanoke Club for the traditional Super Bowl food and drink specials including $3.00 beers and $5.00 wine. 13 people have signed up. Start time: 4:00 pm.

Go Team:

You don’t need to cook, just show up with team spirit. Let me know how your Super Bowl boy turns into your Valentine’s Day date. I’m rooting for you because I honestly don’t know who to root for in the Super Bowl.

P.S. Windy City Cosmo’s top pick is The John Hancock. Themed cocktails, a view, a new experience, and a socially relevant game all in one? Yes, please!

P.S.S. If you are single and want to mingle, Bub City might be the better option. It’s less family and more friendly.







Interactive Show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Created a Scent From Your Thoughts


“Will you blindfold me?,” I asked the tall guy standing next to me.

He took the blindfold and looped it around my face, securing it at the back of my head.

“Is this too tight?,” he checked in with me.

I extended my arms to the left of me to grab for the wall. I could feel him anticipating my fall, but it was easier to stand blindfolded then I thought.

I felt alone. But, I wasn’t. In a crowded room of around 100 people, we all waited to hear the bell strike three times before we could remove our black cloth blindfolds and orange ear plugs.


There was pop art, there was surrealism, and there were blindfolds for a special night at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (220 E. Chicago Ave.).

Magician, Jeanette Andrews’ free experimental illusions performance and interactive set, Thresholds on January 26, 2016 from 6:00-7:00 pm, wowed crowds. Using a combination of research in philosophy, psychology, and art, Andrews drew in the crowd with her personality, but kept them there with her mind, and most importantly—by blowing their minds.

Museum goers received a one-time demonstration on the stage and in their hands.

Andrews’ presentation helped the audience to see their senses in a new light and have a little fun with magic.

Dressed in a short-sleeved black top, everything about her felt genuine, and yet surreal.

Below is the kit we each received during the interactive, perceptual illusion presentation.

Creating a Scent From Fiji Water + Your Thoughts:

The most exciting part of the Thresholds presentation was when she brought an audience member to the stage and during the demonstration, the audience member could smell the scent that she was thinking.

What was scarier, was that the audience smelled it, too.

Using just Fiji water and a spray container, she prepared the fragrance. Everyone wrote down a scent—their favorite or a particularly pungent smell—on an index card and passed them to the stage.

Andrews flipped through the cards and gave kudos to the “sawdust” and “Doritos” scent.

The audience member on stage drew a card that read “lemonade”. Andrews sprayed the bottle, and the volunteer gasped. It smelled like lemons.

We didn’t chant “lemonade” or meditate on it. It was an instantaneous motion of drawing a card and spraying a bottle.

Can we really re-create a smell through our minds? All of us—at the same time?

Andrews went around the crowd and sprayed it and it did, it smelled not slightly, but strongly of lemons.

Towards the end of the night, the old lady behind me whispered to her husband, “I think I need a drink.”

Andrews wasn’t done drawing in the crowd with her charismatic personality. She used cards and blindfolds to create further shock-and-awe.

For a taste of the Thresholds show, add Windy City Cosmo (Username: Rationalization) on Snapchat. Hurry, like magic, it will disappear by 7:30 pm tonight!


Art Museum Exhibits:

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has some incredible and vibrant art exhibits. One of the most eye-catching art exhibit is the pop art collection on the top floor that includes Campbell Soup, Andy Warhol works of Jackie O., and  sexism in advertising. Museum goers can be part of the art by sitting in the pop art lounge with a big red lip couch and other pop art inspired furnishings made from Herman Miller, a Midwest furniture manufacturer.


Oh, and did you see everyone on social media going to the Oval Office? There was one installment in the “Kathryn Andrews Runs for President” exhibit, where you walked around a cylinder and could take a selfie in the Oval Office.



Dec 19, 2015Mar 27, 2016



Dec 19, 2015Mar 27, 2016

A black and white image of a laughing clown appears on a panel of red, white, and blue vertical stripes inside a gray frame. Inside the frame, above the image, a cubbyhole is filled with holiday lights and campaign buttons in red, white, and blue sections that mirror the stripes below.


Nov 21, 2015May 8, 2016


Nov 21, 2015Jun 5, 2016


Sep 1, 2015Jul 10,2016


Sep 19, 2015Mar 6,2016

An illustration of a black column with a letter form covered in patterns spelling "Hi" protruding from the top



Aug 25, 2015Jan 31,2016


Free Chicago Art Museum Day:

Every Tuesday night is a free night for Illinois residents at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago located directly behind Michigan Ave’s shopping mall, Water Tower Place. Plus, the museum is open for extended hours, until 8:00 pm on Tuesday nights.

For more information about upcoming shows by Jeanette Andrews, visit her website.