Jul 16 2012

CND Shellac Nail Spa Sanctuary Event: Tres Chic

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So Marisa and I were lucky enough to attend this really cool event last week hosted by CND Shellac. Really couldn’t have been a chicer event.  Started off in the Penthouse of the Chicago’s oh-so-fab Waldorf Astoria.  Each guest received a complimentary shellac manicure with fun foil options, sparkles and even the oh-so-amazing Astrowifey nail artist to add any additional flair.  I got a really fun native themed design on three of my coral nails. It’s actually my first time doing any fun nail art, still love looking at my nails.

I’ve been a big fan of the no-chip manicure for the past year-or-so, I’m pretty rough on my nails so I really just love that I don’t have to deal with them for a couple weeks and they look perfect, AND that I don’t have to wait for them to dry after they are finished.

The event finished off with quite the lovely surprise, a gorgeous and talented opera singer and well-known violinist giving us our own private  concert. TRES CHIC!

Have you guys gotten any cool nail art lately? What’s your favorite designs? Tell us!

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Nov 18 2011

Creative Gift Idea: Give an Experience Gift

{Guest Post Feature: Lily Himmelsbach of Let’s Gift It}

Looking for just the right gift that’s out of the box? Well this holiday season we’re excited to bring you the newest trend from across the globe: Experiential Gifting. We’ve seen it happening for years and now consumers are calling for it too, they are looking to share experiences with the giver, rather than just receiving ‘stuff’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jan 24 2011

Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Valentines Day – What To Give at Each Stage of Your Relationship

Written by TGI’s adorable Erika Odioso

All relationships are different and the gifts you get your honey this Valentine’s Day are sure to be a reflection of how long you’ve been dating or how serious you are.  How do you know what’s the appropriate gift for your Valentine? It’s not easy, but The Gift Insider is here to help with thoughtful and creative gift ideas for all different relationship levels.

The Fling

You aren’t quite sure where this relationship is going but right now you’re just “having fun.” The key to a great gift at this level is not trying too hard. You want to be thoughtful but you don’t want to freak your fling out by going too over the top.

Gift Ideas:

Giant Cupcake: Cupcakes are very popular gifts these days, but why not put a new spin on an old favorite. Give your fling the biggest cupcake out there with this giant cupcake. It’s a fun way to say you’re interested. Crumbs

Vosges Chocolates: Sending chocolates to your valentine is a traditional and non-commital gift, but it isn’t any old box of chocolates. They come in a beautifully designed box and the chocolates inside are defiantly worth the splurge. Vosges




New Relationships

If you have just “officially” started dating someone and things feel new and fresh, this category is for you. Chances are this is your first Valentine’s Day together and therefore you want to give a special gift that they can look back on and remember. Aim for something personal and fun!

Gift Ideas:

Panty by Post: This is a great online subscription that sends you a new, fun and sexy pair of panties each month. This is a perfect gift for him or her and your significant other will definitely appreciate it. Panty By Post

Jewelry: Jewelry is a great way to show someone special that you care. It is something they can carry with them that will always remind them of you. Instead of giving the cliché heart shaped necklace, try some of The Gift Insider’s favorite unique jewelry on our jewelry page. We especially love JCrew Jewelry and Flutter NYC Jewelry and Auralee and Company.

Expandable Vases: These vases look like the real thing when filled with water, but fold away when you aren’t using them. This would be a great gift to pair with her favorite flowers, putting a unique spin on an old Valentines Day tradition.
Vazu Vase




“I Love You” Relationships

You are in a serious relationship with someone and you can confidently say you are in love, this category is for you. If you have said the “L-word” you want to give a more personal gift that you have really put some thought into.

Gift Ideas:

LoveBook: This is a great and memorable way to tell your special someone just how special they are to you. Make a customized book telling your Valentine all the reasons you love them. The best part is it is very easy to make! LoveBookOnline

Customized Love Song: You don’t have to be a musician to write love songs these days! At lovesongs.com you can get professionally recorded, customized love songs that tell your story. This is a very personal gift and you could surprise her by sneaking it in her car stereo or computer so she hears it when least expecting it. Love Songs

DNA Kiss Print: DNA11 makes really original and customized gifts. The Gift Insider loves their DNA Kiss Print for Valentine’s Day. You send in your kiss mark and they create a one-of-a- kind piece of art made from your DNA.  The fingerprints are pretty cool too! DNA11



Long-Term Relationships
If you have been with someone for a long time and you really think it’s going somewhere , it gets harder and harder year after year to show them how much you care. The key to great gifts at this level is sharing experiences. Giving something that you can do together shows that you value your partner’s company and that even after all this time, you aren’t sick of them.

Gift Ideas:

Cooking Classes: Why take your sweetheart to a regular restaurant when you can cook together, for each other. The Chopping Block is Chicago’s largest recreational cooking school and is offering fun classes this year around Valentines Day. They have couples classes, chocolate classes and romantic classes to make date night unique. This is the perfect gift for couples that have been together for a while and are looking to do something different. The Chopping Block

For more cooking classes around the country check out this article by RachelRayMag.com

Cloud 9 Experiences: If you want to give the gift of experience, this is the extreme way to do it. Cloud9living.com offers an array of unique and exciting experiences all over the country. If you want to give your loved one something they will really remember, this is the way to do it. Give them “the gift of passion and dreams.” Cloud9living.com

Need gift ideas for guys depending on different relationship levels? Check out this article by DivineDinnerParty.com

We’ve all had plenty of single Valentine’s Day – here’s an article by YourTango on 7 Fun Single Gal Things to do on Valentine’s Day

What do you think are good gift ideas for your level of commitment, The Gift Insider would love to know! What about what you do if your first or second date is right around Valentine’s Day?  Or you are casually dating a few people at the same time.  Let us know your ideas and comment here.

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Jan 17 2011

Top 5 Most Romantic Restaurants in Chicago

The Gift Insider’s local Chicago gift girl, Alexx Miles, helps you men out there find the most romantic date spots in Chicago.


The Gift Insider knows that the same restaurants get old and the last thing anyone wants is a dull date, so spice it up this Valentine’s Day and visit one of these hot spots. We’d love to hear some of your favorite romantic spots, comment and let us know!

1. Fred’s at Barney’s
15 East Oak Street Chicago, IL 60611-1205 (312) 596-1111
Barney’s is obviously gorgeous, but just wait until you see Fred’s Restaurant at the top with Chef Jean Tippenhauer. You will be pleasantly surprised by everything Fred’s has to offer from the atmosphere to the fabulous food and drinks.

2. Signature Room at the 95th
875 North Michigan Avenue # 1525 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 787-9596
Located at the top of the John Hancock Center, the view itself is enough of a reason to check out the Signature room. That being said, the atmosphere, which offers live jazz on weekends, isn’t the only reason people are raving about it. The Signature Room offers the best of the best when it comes to Contemporary American fare.

3. The Village
71 W. Monroe Chicago IL 60603 (312) 332-7005
Designed like a small italian village, the delicious italian food and cozy booths create the perfect atmosphere for the perfect date.

4. Cornelias
750 West Cornelia Avenue Chicago, IL 60657 (773) 248-8333
A Chicago favorite with a fantastic staff, delicious food and gorgeous atmosphere. Its a little less expensive than the previously mentioned spots, but that doesn’t make it any less fabulous.

5. Rose Angelis
1314 West Wrightwood Avenue # 1 Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 296-0081
This first come first serve restaurant is a Chicago gem that is a must-visit. You’ll feel right at home while dining on some of the best Italian in Chicago perpared by Chef Lawrence Rosenblum.

Now that you have the perfect date spot, all you need is the perfect gift.  Check out our unique and creative gift ideas here!

For more romantic date ideas check out The Best Tables in Town article by Urban Daddy, Valentine’s Day Prices and Menus from ChicagoFoodWores.

Comment here and let us know your favorite spots around Chicago.  You know everyone needs some help around Valentine’s Day to find the perfect date spot – we want to hear your favorites!

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