To learn more about The Cake Studio, visit their website and follow the fun on Facebook!
Follow #PdMModels and #TCakeStudio on Instagram and hashtag your pics, #BoysAndCupcakes for a chance to win a custom-cake!
|Prestige du Monde (PdM)|
Boys will be boys, and cupcakes will always be delicious. Well, so long as The Cake Studio makes them. The Cake Studio, a locally-sourced cupcake design and gastronomic wonder, opened its doors in Chicago and has launched, with the help of #PdMModels, one of the season's most-anticipated campaigns: #BoysAndCupcakes.
The Cake Studio, one of Chicago's trendiest avenues to get the most-delicious custom-made cupcakes, macaroons, and cakes, is taking Chicago by storm this spring and is collaborating with several fashion powerhouses, including 2(X)ist, Allez Magazine, and Hennessy, to bring savory treats to every household in Chicago, and beyond.
The #BoysAndCupcakes campaign, which officially launches this spring, is a campaign to bring awareness to #TCakeStudio's brand new couture concept for macaroons, cupcakes, and cakes. Some of the style-savvy brand's most popular items include double-chocolate caramel cupcakes (featured above) and the velvet rose wedding cake (by order only).
To learn more about The Cake Studio, visit their website and follow the fun on Facebook!
Follow #PdMModels and #TCakeStudio on Instagram and hashtag your pics, #BoysAndCupcakes for a chance to win a custom-cake!
By Jorge Zavala | Creative Director
As Chicago enters the heart of gala and charity event season, there are numerous events across the city, from River North to Highland Park, that raise funds for a worthy cause. However, one event truly stood out this season: Fashion, Compassion, and Cocktails, organized and graciously delivered by Moxie Strategies, one of Chicago's leading events marketing companies. The industry-insider event took place at the Godfrey Hotel in River North on October 29, 2015.
The highly-anticipated event, which began promptly with a premier cocktail reception, attracted the attention of business gurus, media insiders, fashionistas, and fashion models, among other notable groups.
The soiree benefited the Israel Idonije Foundation, which provides a plethora of programs for empowering children across Chicago, the needy in Africa via Project Africa, and fostering community unity among urban youth and law enforcement via the highly-talked-about program, Shop with a Cop. Additionally, the IIF's All Star Football and Cheer Camp is renowned for its quality work with youth and the program's ability to foster strong leadership skills and confidence in tomorrow's leaders.
Moxie Strategies, LLC, the producer of this successful soiree, is known to host some of Chicago's top industry parties. Some of their previous endeavors include The Masked Rabbit and Candyland. The company's events are quite niche, appealing to the upwardly-mobile professional market, giving them unique and effective experiences and opportunities to network with other professionals so as to grow their business endeavors. The company believes that in helping businesses flourish, the local and national businesses, along with Moxie, can better assist those in need. Moxie’s mission is to provide visibility for small businesses and under-served local charitable organizations.
Attendees enjoyed an evening of delicious hors d'oeuvres, free-flowing premium champagne, and savory cocktails, which included the I|O Rooftop Lounge's special Moscow Mule.
In addition to savory evening elixirs, decadent desserts were provided by some of Chicago's top patisseries and restaurants for attendees to enjoy. This sweet treat, obviously enjoyed in moderation, was a top contender for many guests.
Some of Untitled Chicago's dining team was present to showcase their delicious bourbon and southern-inspired delight. Their food was a delight and definitely worth checking out.
Fashionistas and models adorned both the stage and the crowd as the who's who industry soiree boasted some of Chicago's most notable individuals within the fashion, lifestyle, and society social-circuit. Glenn Marshall, a current model represented in Chicago, enjoyed a glass of bubbly throughout the evening while working the crowd.
Guests, from one side of the rooftop to the other, wouldn't stop discussing the allure of the evening. Top insiders from the industry made their way to the event not just for a wonderful night out, but also for the opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause. Bravo to Moxie Strategies for hosting a top-tier event full of successful marketing opportunities, delish bites, and enticing spirits.
Cheers! We look forward to the next one.
by: Tina Ogilvie | Society Editor
In Chicago's pursuit to become glocal, the city's nightlife has undergone a series of renovations. Gastropubs like The Dawson, which opened in 2013, have made it their goal to attract a diverse clientele by embracing Chicago's rich history. Their design mirrors the "pioneering, artistic, and straightforward attitude"attributed to William and Henry Dawson. The Dawson Brothers operated one of the U.S.'s most successful fireplace mantle companies during the late 1800s early 1900s.
The Dawson maybe be known for its history and architecture, however, PdM had the privilege of sampling a few of their popular cocktails; Buried Alive, Midnite Vultures, and Day Spa.
Buried Alive, a mezcal infused cocktail, is the ideal drink for one of Chicago's cold winter days.
For those of you that enjoy fresh lavender and gin, Midnite Vultures is the drink for you. Both fragrant and potent, it is an ideal choice immediately after a successful business rendezvous.
When you live a busy, stressful life in the city, chances are you don't have the time to spend hours at the spa. Fortunately, this cocktail (Day Spa) is the perfect drink to unwind.
Each cocktail has a unique, exquisite taste and are all highly-recommended. While we didn't have the opportunity to sample the food offerings, we vouch for the cocktails whether you're at The Dawson for an early dinner or fancy a night out with a few girl friends. For additional images from PdM's experience at The Dawson, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you to Madelaine Kukanza and the wonderful folks at The Dawson for a great time.
By Jorge G. Zavala | Creative Director
The great Miguel de Cervantes was quoted saying, "All sorrows are less with bread." If this is the case, the delectable brunch at Peacock Alley within the renowned Waldorf Astoria New York will transport you to a time when the mind, heart, and soul only knew and embraced joy, grace, satisfaction, and elegance. The Peacock Alley, which hosts one of the most superb brunches in all of New York City (and beyond), boasts a feast that blends the classic with modern sophistication.
As you step into the halls of the historic Waldorf Astoria, you can't help but feel the hospitality of the handsome staff and l'air d'etre of one of New York City's most dignified spaces. Peacock Alley, which serves brunch on Sundays from 10am until 2pm (final seating), boasts a heritage of culinary excellence that exceeds expectations.
Guests are graciously seated and select an elixir of their choice before engaging in the gastronomic experience. The coffee is bold and flavorful, the jus d'orange is freshly squeezed and divine, but the real experience takes other forms. The Bloody Mary, which is an iconic brunch favorite, takes an entire new level of delicious at Peacock Alley. Generously infused with the right amount of vodka and graced with the freshest tomato juice, black pepper, and Tabasco sauce, this Bloody Mary serves as a "Hello, Good Morning!" to what will become a true culinary journey.
The brunch delivers a divine raw bar with caviar, clams, oysters, lobster and shrimp, which is only enhanced by the smoked fish (we encourage the diverse offerings of salmon) and the meat carving stations. Our personal favorites were the clams, caviar, and plump shrimp, which were some of the freshest we've tasted in New York City.
If the raw bar or savory variety of seasoned meats were not at the top of a guest's list, one of Peacock Alley's charming cuisiners was ready to prepare an omelet of one's choice, full of fresh and palatable ingredients. Additionally, the best of traditional fare americain, which included buttermilk pancakes and lobster bisque, were also popular among guests.
In between savoring the seasoned meats and indulging in the raw bar, we needed to take a moment to observe and truly embrace the ambiance and joie d'etre of the experience. The crowd, which reflected a diverse-array of upwardly-mobile individuals, appeared quite content, perhaps attributed to the fine selection of gourmet desserts.
As we were getting ready to indulge in some of sweet delights, a fine gentleman insisted on a second Bloody Mary. With such hospitality (and flavor), we simply couldn't afford to negate the possibility of a second brunch cocktail. This time, the mimosa was the elixir of choice. Attributing the qualities of the mimosa to very fresh oranges and premium champagne, my palate was completely refreshed and ready for both dessert and additional sips.
With over 100 gourmet delights to satisfy even the pickiest of dessert connoisseurs, this brunch experience would not be complete with such delicacies.
While walking past the chocolate fondue fountain, we overheard an elderly woman describe the desserts on her plate in detail to one of her gal friends. "Everything I've tried (at the dessert bar) is delicious...these little chocolate cakes are some of the best I've tried outside of Paris."
Dessert, mimosas, and a beautiful crowd adorned our experience at Peacock Alley. An added charm to brunch was the gorgeous voice of a young painist/chanseur that enchanted guests with her talent. The live performance added an extra dose of appeal that was only heightened by the hospitality of those working diligently to make brunch at the Waldorf Astoria a moment to remember.
When in New York, the brunch at Peacock Alley is highly-recommended and PdM-approved. Reservations are a must as this culinary soiree is popular with both locals and visitors wishing to treat themselves to an experience like no other.
For additional images from Prestige du Monde's brunch experience at Peacock Alley, find us on Facebook and Twitter. xo
By Emma Wilson | Guest Contributor
The ACT is a college entrance exam that evaluates a student's readiness for college. Through the ACT exam process college admissions boards can judge a student's current level of knowledge, as well as their ability to reason and think logically. The ACT is one of the most important exams in a students educational career, and is a part of most colleges and universities admission requirements. It is also one of the most challenging and can make, or break, a student's chances of getting into a top school.
What is the ACT?
The ACT is an achievement test that determines a student's current level of knowledge. Students are tested on a variety of subjects, including Mathematics, Science, and English. The test is designed to gauge a student's understanding of these topics, and their ability to apply their knowledge and reasoning skills to a standardized set of questions. It heavily shapes a student's eligibility to enter college and obtain certain scholarships.
The highest achievable score on the ACT is 36. A students score is determined by awarding points for all questions answered correctly. No points are deducted for wrong answers. Each section of the ACT is graded separately, and these scores are averaged to create a composite score for the entire exam. This is your final score, and it is this score that provides college admissions boards with a standard measure of a student's skills in the various areas that have been tested.
This test will determine your child's future.
Taking the ACT can be a valuable experience for students planning to continue on to college. While the thought of one more exam may seem frustrating at first, the value of the ACT should not be dismissed. With a solid ACT score and a good high school academic history you can face the college admissions boards secure in the knowledge that you are a good fit for their institution. Most students will take the exam 3-4 times: most universities do not super-score your exams, so you are welcome to send the highest of the scores.
It is important to seek early preparation for the ACT as the exam weighs heavily on a child's academic portfolio. Some schools weigh the ACT as 35% of a student's portfolio when applying for college while others can weigh the exam up to 78%, depending on the program.
Parents and educators alike are encouraged to begin prepping their students as soon as possible, and a private tutor is usually the best approach. Most tutoring and preparation for the ACT ranges between $60-$120 per 1 hour session, based on student needs. The most challenging for students are the English, Reading, and Science sections as pacing and time are a challenge for many students.
While we'd like to encourage students to have a well-rounded background for college, the reality is that the ACT will determine a great deal of your student's success in college and the experience truly begins now. Don't wait until it's too late to invest in your child.
Emma is an administrator and former educator of 20 years in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She received her master's of education from Northwestern University and has worked with the ACT Board to develop programs benefiting students everywhere. She currently dedicates herself to working with high school students to develop their college-ready skills and preparedness. She lives in Palatine, IL with her husband and dog, Andy.
By Tina Ogilvie | Society Editor
Photography by Jorge G. Zavala
2015 came to Chicago with a bang. Not to sound overtly cliche, but Siena Tavern, located at 51 W. Kinzie in Chicago's trendy River North neighborhood, delivered more than a NYE soiree. It brought elegance, style, hospitality, and craft-cocktails to a new level. The NYE rendezvous, which began promptly at 9pm, attracted some of Chicago's most notable individuals from the finance, fashion, and business sectors as well as out-of-towners who wanted to celebrate the beginning of a new year with our very own who's who.
Party-goers were treated to a full-night of open bar with premium elixir selections, including Grey Goose Vodka, as well as free-flowing champagne for our upwardly-mobile friends to savor while mingling with a posh, insider crowd.
Whether you wanted a whiskey sour or indulged in a savory cocktail with Grey Goose Vodka, the options for delight were limitless as Siena Tavern constantly made it a point to ensure guests were partying like it was 2015.
This holiday couple was all smiles as they sipped on their savour bonne cocktails and made new friends on New Year's Eve.
Friends, both old and new, gathered to celebrate one of the most important holidays of the year at one of Chicago's hottest venues.
VIP guests were invited to their personal booths, generous amounts of mixers and gastronomy delights, along with Grey Goose Vodka to keep the night bumpin;.
The only challenge guests encountered NYE was deciding which type of elixir to choose from.
As one of these fabulous young ladies put it, "New Year's is a time to mingle with your friends but also drink a good cocktail because it's the beginning of something special, a new you for the new year."
Fashionistas from both coasts couldn't miss the stylish happenings at Siena Tavern. "We wanted a great cocktail but also an opportunity to welcome the new year with some of the closest people to us."
By the time the new year had arrived, guests were more than ready to toast to new opportunities, new friends, and a new set of experiences to come.
While champagne was definitely a favorite for the toast, guest continued to indulge in Grey Goose craft cocktails, a whiskey double, and a tequila sunrise, or two. Props to the wonderful staff at Siena Tavern for their diligence and awesome attitude throughout the entire night.
If you missed this year's affair at one of Chicago's hottest industry-insider spot, don't panic: they offer plenty of fun throughout the regular season. In 2015, we expect some momentous avenues to continue opening up for Siena Tavern. One of the hottest places to be this past NYE, we anticipate some high-profile developments with some of Chicago's finest ladies (and gents). Happy New Year to everyone at Siena Tavern. We look forward to next year's soiree.
For more images from NYE 2015 at Siena Tavern, "like" us on Facebook.
By Jorge G. Zavala | Creative Director
2015 is upon us, and most of us can agree that self-improvement is a big part of the new year. Some will decide to lose a few pounds, others contemplate becoming more self-less individuals, and some strive to become better professionals within their respective careers. These are all amazing, and with the right motivation and action (plenty of it, please), we can all achieve our goals.
My personal goal for 2015 (in addition to maintaining my killer bod) is to bring chivalry back and encourage my fellow bros, bromos, dudes, and fratsters to embrace the values our fathers and grandfathers were taught.
Firstly, what is a gentleman in this day and age? He is one who rises above the need for rash force or animal instincts to make his mark or solve his problems. His focus is in building himself (and others) up through self improvement, rather than from bringing others down. Furthermore, the following are the qualities that will constitute a gentleman in 2015:
1) R E S P E C T. A true gent will show respect to everyone around him. He will not be condescending or put anyone down, regardless of intelligence, social class, race, religion, or professional position. A man of integrity and confidence finds no use in degrading others. This especially includes women, the poor, animals, and children.
2) Equality is hot. Gentlemen do not compare each other or make a point to be “better” than his fellow man. His confidence is rooted within him, not in his superiority to others.
3) Cool as a cucumber. He understands others and his first instinct is to extinguish a volatile situation through the use of words and reason. The modern gentleman is one who has developed himself beyond the use of violence, but still knows how to use it if absolutely necessary, as a last resort – he will protect his family and loved ones at all costs.
4) Look fly, fratstar. While values are a big part of being a modern gent, let's be real: appearances matter, tons. Men: look good for the ladies (and gents) in your life, but most importantly look good for yourself. A gentleman maintains his appearance. He will pay attention to how he presents himself to others. He understands that it doesn’t only show respect for himself, but also for those around him. The statement he makes through dressing well is that he is respecting others by putting effort into how he presents himself to them.
5) International man of mystery. In addition to looking fresh, a gent prides himself on becoming a cosmopolitan man of the world. Knowledge will be learned, yes, and mistakes will surely be made. He accepts these scenarios as learning experiences and therefore welcomes discussions and even being corrected. He has evolved past being controlled by his ego.
6) Compassion is manly. The 2015 gentleman understands that regardless of what society tells you, emotions are not just for women. A gentleman understands that if a woman (or man) is considering something long term & building a family with, s(he) won’t want children raised by a statue. S(he) will also want to be loved, taken care of, and understood.
7) Chivalry is so not dead, bro. A gentleman is chivalrous, but not just towards women – towards everyone. He maintains a lifestyle that is respectful to all, and inspires others to adopt his values through his positive actions. If he encounters negative or unappreciative responses from others, he does not let it affect him.
2015 is a fresh opportunity for us to become better than before, more well-rounded, and definitely more interesting through our new-found experiences. Ring in the new year with a champagne toast with those you love and take the proactive steps to continuously develop yourself as a man of the world, as a gentleman of your community, city, state, and nation.
By Ogilvie Zavala | Arts and Society Editor
On Friday, November 21, 2014, the Girls On The Run Chicago (GOTRC) hosted their 15th Annual Sparkle and Shine Gala at The Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago. The event, which was filled with some of Chicago's finest representing a wider-range of industries, brought together philanthropy and style.
The gala, which began promptly at 8pm, consisted of some savory special features, including beer, delish wine, and craft cocktails along with passed hors d'oeuvres from The Drake Hotel.
The evening began with guests mingling with old and new friends over tasty hors d'oeuvres, which included mini burgers and cheese burgers, tuna delights, and chicken satay. To wash it all down, attendees took full advantage of the open bar, which included custom-cocktails specifically made for the event.
Guests had the opportunity to engage in a very special silent auction, which included gift packages from the Chicago Athletic Center and Lululemon, among others. The impressive selection of items was definitely a highlight of the evening.
Girl Power, one of the custom-cocktails of the evening, was a favorite among the crowd. Not too sweet, but just potent-enough to be appropriate for a gala, this elixir truly was a sensation among younger attendees.
Maureen Hartigan, Governing Board President for GOTRC and Jen Dawson, the Governing Board Vice President, expressed their gratitude for such a wonderful attendance and encouraged guests to participate in the evening's developments, including a high-profile raffle that included a trip for two to Sonoma, California.
Throughout the evening, attendees secured their item of choice from the silent auction via text message. Everyone appeared to enjoy the diverse selection of items present, and many made it a priority, in between enjoy the evening's succulent food and beverage options, to support scholarship programs for GOTRC's young women.
Girls On The Run Chicago is an after-school program that uses the power of running to education and prepare young women from 3rd-8th grade for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. The organization encourages participants to create and participate in sustainable values and well-being with regards to emotional, social, mental, and physical development. Since 1999, GOTRC has served over 44,000 girls from across Chicagoland.
During the gala, many positive comments were mentioned about the organization and the evening's developments. Some of the most popular themes included the wonderful turnout for the event, the importance of keeping young women focused and full of self-confidence, and importance of giving back and fundraising.
PdM is confident in stating that the GOTRC's 15th Annual Sparkle and Shine Gala was a success. Proceeds from the evening directly support the program's participants. After many participated in the silent auction, engaged in the highly-anticipated raffle, and took full-advantage of the diverse networking, guests let loose with a little boogie. The music created a fun ambiance that was only enhanced by a Girl Power craft cocktail, or two.
Congratulations to Girls On The Run Chicago and their wonderful endeavors. We wish you plenty of success in 2015 and cannot wait until next time.
For more images from the gala, follow us on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook.
By Jorge G. Zavala | Creative Director
Like chivalry, the art of dating is not dead. We need to dust off the stories of our fathers and grandfathers courting our beautiful mothers and grandmothers and treating them with respect, dignity, and compassion. The art of dating is alive and well, and by following these highly-coveted tips you, too, can create a lasting impression in the eyes and heart of that special someone.
1. Coming to the door to pick someone up.
I think we’ve all had it with the incredibly unromantic “here” text, and meeting up always seems to be more casual and platonic than the alternative. Of course, meeting someone from online or any circumstance like that would probably be the exception to this rule, but generally: the 30 seconds it takes to get out of a car or cab and knock on the door makes a huge difference. Plus, it really makes you stand out from the crowd.
2. Trying to dress really nicely for a date.
“Nicely” means different things for different people, so I think it’s just a matter of putting effort into how you put yourself together to go out with someone. It’s not about wearing suits and petticoats again, but just realizing that, whether or not we like to accept it, appearance does count for something, and we should do our best to make sure that our appearance says something about us, in whatever way we’d like it to.
3. Bringing flowers or other tokens of affection to the first date.
Now, many lucky ladies (and some men) have received a wide-range of goods on a date, and there's just something special about receiving a little something to show you think (or have been thinking) about the person. I think there’s something to be said for bringing flowers to the door on your first date. It’s become uncool because it’s forward and it’s a gesture that confirms their interest, but we should definitely get past that idea and worry more about how we’re going to let someone know we really do care and appreciate that they want to spend time with us.
4. Going dancing that’s not grinding on a grimy club floor.
Whatever happened to this? Dancing for the sake of dancing, like fun, not essentially sex on a dance floor dancing. What’s a better way to literally shake off nerves than seeing them bust a really dorky move on a dance floor? And the art of slow dancing has generally been lost, though I must admit I have to left feet (and for a Latino, that's a sin), which sometimes has allowed me to escape this aforementioned experience. However, despite your dancing abilities it is still looked highly-upon to put a bit of effort into the experience and show that special someone you aren't afraid to look a little goofy to make him/her smile.
5. Straightforwardly asking someone out and not calling it “hanging out" or, as is very popular these days, “talking.” “Oh, we’re just… talking.”
As in, seeing one another and speaking frequently as to get to know each other? So… dating? We’ve found these really convenient ways to skirt around the issue of having to put our hearts on the line, but honestly, it just ends up being messy and confusing for all parties involved. There’s no need to go back to the idea of courting or anything, unless you want to, but simply being direct about whether or not you’d like to go on a date with someone is a truly lost art, one that really shouldn’t be.
6. Additionally, being clear about when you’re “going steady.”
Oh, the awkward, “so… are we… you know… what are we?” talk. Classic. We should go back to asking one another if the other person would like to “go steady” or something. There’s something about asking them if they’d like to rather than assuming that you are or aren’t anything that’s just very cute, in my opinion. Clarity is key, folks.
7. Romantic gestures like writing love notes.
Writing poems or love notes may not be for you, I know mine would look something like “Roses are red, violets are blue, I hate poetry but I love you.” But seriously, like a handwritten letter in the mail or just surprising them with something you made even if it looks like the macaroni necklace you made when you were 5 is cute just because you tried and were thinking of them.
8. Turning electronics off and just being with one another.
I’m not sure there is anything worse than the person who picks up their phone and starts staring at it in the middle of dinner, or at any point while you’re together and having a conversation. I’m not anti-technology here but I am saying that there comes a time to turn it off and disconnect and remember what actually matters: people.
9. The general concept of asking permission for things.
It used to be principle for people to say: oh, when can I see you? Or, when could I call you? Rather than just assuming they can at any point. But I think that old concept could be applied to our modern world by just assuming that, unless told otherwise, you should ask permission to you know, touch them anywhere, take them out, call them at a certain time, etc. Once you’re in a relationship these things usually don’t require asking anymore, but some do, especially when it comes to sexuality. I once knew a person who said that they asked permission before so much as touching a girl’s thigh, and that always stuck with me.
10. Not assuming sex is to be had at any point in time.
Now, I’m certainly not saying it should go back to being a taboo that’s unspoken of, but we certainly shouldn’t expect it from someone on the third date, on the first date, because they’re being flirty, because you know they’re into you, or even because they agreed to go out with you. A date does not have to be a precursor to sex, and you shouldn’t be disappointed if it isn’t because you should never assume that it will be. It depends on the person you’re with and what they want to do. Of course, if it does happen one must note that safe practices are never out of style.
Self, society, and the modern world.