Sep 27 2011

Hostess Gift Ideas Under $50 on Chicago’s WGN News

With tailgating season, Jewish High Holidays, Fall Get togethers and the beginning of the Holiday season – fall is packed with times when you need a great hostess gift.  Below are some great options that won’t break the bank, all under $50. Each item also has a 10-20% discount code on the  The Gift Insider is also a member of the Gift Giving Advisory Board ( which is putting out a great Hostess Gift Guide in October.

The Gift Insider Hostess Gift Ideas Under $50Products Featured:



Sep 24 2011

Ask For The Gift You Really Want

Weddings, birthdays, holidays – times of celebration and, even better, times of gift giving! The personalization and thought that comes with a gift is hard to beat but, let’s be honest, sometimes you might have one big-ticket item in mind that you’d prefer instead of a bunch of smaller ones from each friend.  It might seem impolite to request that your friends pool their resources, but with an alternative gift registry like Deposit a Gift, it’s easy to do!

An alternative gift registry lets you register for the money to get exactly what you want.  Perfect for weddings, birthdays, babies, graduations, and more!  You create a gift list, just like you would at a department store, but instead of being relegated to their inventory, you can register for anything: from honeymoons to home down payments, newlywed activities to charity.  Gift-givers contribute via credit card and when you’re ready, you cash-out to redeem your money via FREE direct deposit, personal check or Visa gift card to spend it how, when and where you want without being tied to a particular store. There is no shipping, no gift wrap, no need for returns.  You’re free to treat yourself to exactly what you want, and the Gift Insider has got some fantastic ideas!

For the new graduate, Heys USA has some of the sleekest luggage that’s fun and vibrant.

Del Toro makes customizable men’s shoes and slippers that will make all the birthday guy’s friends jealous.

Del Toro Shoes Customized Shoes

Towels and blenders can be dull gifts, but this decanter from Reidel is sure to excite newlyweds.

Reidel Heart Wine Decanter

Looking for more inspiration? Click here to see what others are doing to get exactly what they need, not ‘stuff’ they don’t. Have fun and happy registering!

About our Guest Blogger 

Dana Ostomel is the founder and Chief Gifting Officer of the cash wedding registry site: Deposit a Gift. She works closely with her users to ensure they are able to craft the perfect gift list for them. Years before Dana got married, she wondered how anyone could store so many presents—and even if they could, how they had the time to unwrap, return (often), track and use them all. Her marketing background led her to believe she could simplify the registry process—and not just for weddings, but for any big gifting event. And so Deposit a Gift, the next generation gift registry, was born. For more creative registry ideas, keep up with Deposit a Gift on Facebook, Twitter and their blog.


Sep 8 2011

2011 Demo Reel – TGI Highlights

Gift Expert, Lindsay Roberts, is the go-to expert in the gift-giving field. Below is a reel of her in 2011 highlights.

Lindsay scours local boutiques, magazines and the web to help users find the best, newest, coolest, most unique, most romantic, most creative gift ideas out there – so that users don’t have to.

Roberts’ influence as a Gift Expert  goes far beyond just, as she has appeared  on ABC, NBC, CBS, CW and FOX networks across the country, was recently a guest on The Carson Daly Radio Show and contributes to several gift guides and online columns.




Sep 8 2011

Places to Get Pretty in Chicago

Getting Pretty in the Chicago City








Chicago is packed with spas, salons and heath clubs. We helped you cut through Health&Beauty clutter and here are our Gift Expert Top Picks from one of our favorite Gift Insider contributors and former intern, Alexx Miles.

Noel Rose – Feather Extensions


 Feather hair extensions have been a fad sweeping the nation and have finally landed in Chicago at Noel Rose Salon on Halsted. I originally came across the feather fad at the University of Colorado last fall and have had no luck finding any salons who offer the service until now! The ladies at Noel Rose Salon will apply these fabulous feather extensions, as well as glittered and colored hair extensions, for almost nothing – 3/$20 or $7 each. Get as many or as little as you please, and take them out by yourself whenever.

Along with this newfound service, Noel Rose offers refreshingly great deals on cuts and colors. If you’re looking for a new salon or are interested in feather or glitter extensions, Noel Rose is the place to go. Located at 2631 N. Halsted #1 in Lincoln Park. Walk-ins are welcome if you’re ever in desperate need, but to make an appointment call  (773) 325-1695.

Wonderful Lashes


I’ve always heard of people getting eyelashes put in, but never knew what it was about until I tried Wonderful Lashes. I was a little nervous at first, but after getting them done I am extremely happy with the result. Jocelyn, who does Wonderful Lashes out of her in-home spa, put 40 lashes put on each eye, which is the minimum treatment, and my eyelashes never looked better. My eyes always looked like I was wearing eye makeup and I didn’t notice that the lashes were even on. Jocelyn said the lashes would remain on for 3-4 weeks, but as I write this a month and a half after the treatment I still have plenty of the lashes on and haven’t noticed any loss of my actual lashes. If you’re sick of putting eye makeup on, want to have thick, full and long lashes all the time or are just looking for a fun new spa treatment, be sure to check out Wonderful Lashes at

 or call Jocelyn at (847) 508-0684.

The Elysian Hotel – Spa


If you ever feel like splurging, the spa at the Elysian Hotel is, hands down, the best place to get pampered in Chicago. I recently went to get my eyebrows waxed, and ended up being in the spa for 2 hours and left feeling so relaxed. Elle Magazine backs me up, ranking it as the forth best spa in the United States. Whether you’re going in for a simple treatment or a head-to-toe facial, the atmosphere at the Elysian will make you want to stay forever. Go ahead and treat yourself, (or better yet, let someone else do the honors) and visit the Elysian Hotel located at 11 E. Walton. Call (312) 646 – 1300 for reservations.

CorePower Yoga

Core Power

Hot yoga has been all the rage lately so I had to try it out for myself. My friend and I tried out a couple different popular places and didn’t have the best experience; we felt uncomfortable and left feeling dirtier than expected. We figured we’d give hot yoga another chance when we were recommended to try CorePower Yoga. Needless to say, we are now hooked! Though we still left feeling dirty, being that we had just done one of the hardest workouts of our lives, we were refreshed and cleansed and ready to take on the world! The locker rooms are CorePower are fully equipped with everything from shampoo to blow dryers, in case you are going straight from hot yoga to a hot date (which I do not recommend). The staff is welcoming and understanding to the fact that you’ve probably never done something so intense on a 5×2 mat. They made us feel as comfortable as possible while we sweat out our body weight in downward dog position. I could go on for hours about my feelings for CorePower, but you’ll never really know until you try it out for yourself! You will love it – I know it and they know it, which is why your first week at CorePower is FREE! There are several different locations throughout Chicago, to find one closest to you visit their website at

 Good Shepard Advocate Health and Fitness – Air Brush Tan

While Good Shepard Advocate is a little out of the way for city people, it is a must go-to if you’re in need for a GOOD air brush tan. Having worked at a tanning salon before, I know that machine spray-on tans are never good, so don’t even try it. Because of all the bad hype about tanning beds and the spray-on orange machines, many salons have started doing air brush tans which have shown great results, IF you go to the right place. To avoid an air brush nightmare, listen to us and get your glow on by Krissy at Good Shepard in Barrington. Its comfortable, quick, affordable and the best tan I’ve ever gotten. Because Krissy is the one spraying you, you can tell her exactly where you want to be sprayed and how dark you want to be. It’s perfect for special occasions or whenever you want to have a little color. Krissy books up quickly, so make sure to call in advance. (847) 381-9600

Locally bred House of Noyes

Designer and diva Meghan Noyes of the northwest suburbs of Chicago has always had a passion for jewelry. After attending the University of Colorado, she enrolled in the Gemological Institute of America in NYC where she started began her jewelry collection. House of Noyes is edgy yet refined, bold yet sophisticated and nothing short of fabulous. Whether you’re looking for the perfect piece for an upcoming event or are in need a unique gift idea, House of Noyes is sure to make heads turn. Visit

or email for inquiries at

Daniella Cherie Art

Locally Bred

Locally Bred

I was looking for some funky, over-the-top art for my new apartment and got exactly that from local artist Daniella Meyer. Using everything from house hold items to water colors and acrylic paints, the goal is to “force the viewer to be connected with the artwork,” she says. Danielle has a huge gallery of pre-made work but is also happy to do custom designs to fit your needs. Daniella specializes in abstract paintings as well as illustrations, portraits and free-hand drawings, so if you’re ever looking for something in particular she is the girl to call. For as little as $15 to no more than $100, these unique, one of a kind pieces will brighten any room. And hey, who doesn’t like helping out a struggling artist? Contact Daniella at

 or visit her website at

We really wanna hear, where are your favorite places in Chicago to get pretty??




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