iPhone Travel App Video Review: TripCase #SXSW


tripcase logo travel app

Oh how I love to travel.

One of the tricky parts of travel, however, is staying organized.  From the moment you book your airfare to the meetings, dinners, parties and everything in between- it can be a bear to keep track of it all.  What’s a traveler to do?

In steps TripCase.

sxsw interactive 2014 jen knoedlIn the attached video, I am experimenting with the new app during SXSW in Austin, TX.  With so many options and events, I knew I could use all the help I could get in organizing all my trip details and information.

Success!  TripCase helped me to organize the details of my trip all in one spot.  Both manually, and by forwarding confirmation emails, I added items to my “SXSW Trip”.  Voila!  Everything in one cohesive app- that I can share with family and friends.

And I loved that when my flight was delayed, TripCase alerted me plus my family and friends that I invited to “follow” my trip details. That’s pretty cool. tripcase travel app iphone android jen knoedl

TripCase has also integrated seat maps for airplanes, weather maps for wherever you are or wherever you are headed.  Plus they took the extra step of incorporating driving directions- no more cut and paste!  Gotta like that.

If you are an active traveler, or even just a casual traveler- try getting yourself organized with TripCase.  It’s free for iPhone, Android and other smart phones.

Please leave a comment and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

**This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own and any recommendations given are in earnest for the betterment of my readers and viewers.


EVENT: #PINKandGREEN Pre-Spring Fling on March 14 @UndergroundChi

Do you want to raise some money for a great cause? Don your finest pink and green this March 14 at The Underground Chicago in support of A Silver Lining Foundation!

WHAT:   1st Annual Pink and Green Pre-Spring Fling

WHEN: Saturday, March 14, 2014 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM

WHERE: The Underground Chicago, 56 West Illinois, Chicago

The foundation was founded in 2002 by Dr. Sandy Goldberg, and its vision is to ensure that socioeconomic status does not affect an individual’s ability to obtain information, timely cancer screening and diagnosis. The Pre-Spring Fling will support the foundation’s free mammography program.

Pink and Green

Why pink and green? Pink represents breast cancer, and it wouldn’t be Chicago if we weren’t celebrating St. Patrick’s Day that week! Spring officially starts on March 21, so the co-host, NBC 5 meteorologist Alicia Roman is predicting extremely mild temperatures for that night.

Ticket includes two hours of complimentary cocktails (limit  of 5 cocktails per person) and a silent auction, but make no mistake, this is a party! Internationally-renowned DJ Madrid brings his global grooves to the 1s and 2s, along with the ’90s hip-hop stylings of DJ Ryan Ross.

Gather your friends and grab a table, it’s a better deal and they’ll go fast. See you March 14!

Ticket Information

General Admission $35 – Purchase Tickets Online

Pink Table w/ 2 Bottles (includes 6 tickets) $360 – Purchase Tables Online

Green Table w/ 2 Bottles (includes 8 tickets) $400 – Purchase Tables Online

Hosted by NBC 5′s Alicia Roman and Marcus Riley


The mission of A Silver Lining Foundation is to ensure dignified, respectful and equal access to quality cancer education and services for all, by creating meaningful partnerships with community, advocacy and healthcare organizations. Comprised of four programs, it’s the BUY A MOM A MAMMOGRAM® program that garners the most attention and response. Established in mid-2006, over 7,000 women thus far have received information about and access to a cost free screening mammogram and diagnostic evaluation when indicated. Of those women receiving services, 99% are uninsured.

MaseratiUndergroundNBC5 Chicago



Like A Silver Lining Foundation on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asilverliningfoundation

Like The Underground Chicago on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theundergroundchicago

Tweet The Underground Chicago at @undergroundchi

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

Women in Travel Summit 2014 Chicago with @TravelGoGirl & @JenTravelsLife

Check out my interview with buddy Beth Santos of Travel Go Girl.  The Women In Travel Summit is coming up in Chicago March 14-16, 2014 at Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

Let me know in the comments below… where would you LOVE to travel next?!

women in travel summit


Like Travel Go Girl on facebook: www.facebook.com/travelgogirl

Tweet Travel Go Girl at @travelgogirl

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

7 Ways Singles Can Be Happy On Valentine’s Day

Ahh, Valentine’s Day.  So few people even know how this day came about (it’s super convoluted) but we have all come to understand the expectations involved.  It’s can be a test for couples (especially men) and a time of heightened awareness for singles.

love note valentine

As a single person, myself, I’m pretty cool with it.  Sure it would be great to be all snuggles and hand-holding and goo-goo eyes with my soul mate, but I’m not trying to be with someone that I can’t see myself marrying just so I can get a weird box of chocolate.  I happen to know EXACTLY what type of chocolate I like, thank-you-very-much and I know how to get it every day of the year.


Still…  I thought we’d have a little fun with it and with the help of some Facebook friends (see all comments below) I’ve come up with some fun and actionable things, tasks and projects us single folk can do to be happy-er* on this day of romantic love.

*This post assumes (I know we’re not supposed to assume) that you are already happy, love yourself and know it’s “just a matter of time”.


It’s more fun than you might think… and imagine saving it… and then handing it over.  Eek!  Think it can’t be done?  Observe…

Dear You… I am so happy this note finally found you!  Yay!  I am writing you on Valentine’s Day 2014 and even though I don’t know you, I am thinking about you anyway.  I love that you love that I do kooky things like that.

And, instead of being down-in-the-dumps that we are not together yet, I decided to go for a long nature walk.  You would have loved it- the birds were chirping and the wind was blowing and it was just a really peaceful day.  I thought about us holding hands and laughing- you have a great laugh, I just know it.  And those eyes… ahh.

Oh- and I said a little prayer for your happiness today too.  It was pretty sweet.  Did you feel it?

Well- I’m gonna go eat some ice cream and wonder about your favorite flavor…

xoxo- Jen

PS: Put this note down and kiss me already!


If you can swing a whole Spa Day… that’s the way to go.  If not, set up the best bath you can imagine… Music, book, bubbles, cucumbers over your eyes… heck- maybe even some wine and cheese.  Remember you are preparing this special bath for someone you absolutely adore… you. 


Ok, so I’m gonna feel bad if you were- but every time I watch the news of the winter Olympics, I say a prayer of gratitude for living in the USA.  If that doesn’t do it for you- be grateful for something else… and 9 more.  When you think of 10 things you are grateful for, stop… and treat yourself to some chocolate.hot chocolate valentine


Donate blood, volunteer, walk a dog, call your grandma or another single friend… use all your God-given talents on someone else and feel the love bounce back.
No time like the present!  Been thinking about signing up for a dating app?  That new sports bar (notice I said sports and not wine- it will be couple-ville at a wine bar) just opened up- peep it out!  Of course, it’s a great day to flirt with your Facebook crush- why not?  What are you waiting for?!  Today’s a perfect excuse to be “lovey-dovey” with other single people under the guise of “Cupid made me do it.”
love never fails
Since the beginning of time, dancing and singing have been natural expressions of joy for humans.  Whether it’s in your car, in the kitchen, out at karaoke… you CAN physically change your physiology.  There are a host of ways you can create your own special brand of art.  Do what you love… and the love is sure to follow.
Ahh… doing nothing.  I find that I allow myself to do nothing more often if someone is with me.  I rarely watch tv or movies alone- it seems like a waste of time usually.  But if I intend for a me-date (geez- I’m overdue anyhow) then it’s all good.  Get to Redbox early, watch all the King of Queens reruns videos you can get a hold of  or dust off an old favorite DVD (I recommend Coming To America and Arthur).  Allowing yourself to do absolutely nothing may be just what our heart longs for after all.  Just be.

VSPANN Christmas Special 2013 Supporting Veterans and Services

I love veterans.  In addition to my gratitude for their service to me and this great country, I am always in awe of their honor and familyhood.  I was asked to grab interviews at V-SPANN’s inaugural television event.  Here are some of those interviews.

12 Christmas Gifts For The Chicago Lover In Your Life #BuyOnline #Holidays

christmas fun jenchicago jen knoedlIf you are like me, you love to surprise people with unique gifts that won’t sit in the bottom of a drawer.  If you are also like me, you like to avoid crowds and the madness that weekend shopping can be.  Here are 12 unique ideas you can buy online that are sure to bring a smile to the Chicago-lover’s face.  Got more suggestions?  Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @JenTravelsLife.


Are you looking for a fun way to experience Chicago? Here it is! Chicago in-a-box! The game is full of Blues, pizza, sorts, shopping, a little more pizza and…lots of wind.



Giordano’s take great pride in crafting and shipping their world famous pizza pies nationwide. To guarantee the best quality for all their shipped stuffed pizzas, they hand craft them to order, partially bake them, freeze them, and then ship them anywhere in the U.S.A.

Giordano's Pizza


Garrett Popcorn is handmade throughout the day in old-fashioned copper kettles using only the highest-quality ingredients. This holiday, share the tradition of Garrett Popcorn with your family and friends!

Garrett Holiday Popcorn


The perfect gift for the sports lover in your life, this Chicago Bears Gift Set features a pair of officially licensed cufflinks, a money clip and team tie bar. Ideal for the fashionable Bears fan, support your team in the most sophisticated of ways.

 Chicago Bears 3-pc Set


Give the Gift of Chicago Gourmet! A day or a weekend at Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet is the perfect gift for any food and wine enthusiast — your spouse, your friends, your parents, your siblings, or yourself!

Chicago Gourmet


Do you know what is Chicago’s number one tourist attraction? Or how many parks there are throughout Chicago? BrainBox Chicago contains 55 beautifully-illustrated cards showing the very best Chicago has to offer. The object of the game is to study a card for 10 seconds and then answer a question based on the roll of a die.



Commemorate your trip to Chicago! This 5.5″ Chicago Glass Cityscape Ornament has beautiful details of the various landmarks of the Windy City. Buy one for yourself or for a loved one. Either way, it will be worth it!



The gift of herbs and spices is the perfect present for anyone who likes to cook or wants to learn. This Chicago Ethnic Spice Set contains hand packed jars of freshly ground and blended spices and herbs and includes the Central European style blend, the Italian blend from Old Taylor Street, the Lake Shore Drive Seasoning-perfect for fish, and of course the Bronzeville Rib Rub.

Chicago Spice Set


This Chicago Fan Gift Box is the perfect gift for the lover of all things Windy City! The Gift Set includes: 2014 Chicago Wall Calendar, Chicago Drinking Glass, Chicago’s Famous Buildings paperback book, CAF Icon Journal, CAF Chicago Water Globe, and 4D Chicago Cityscape Puzzle.

 Chicago Fan Gift Set


A purple, slim fit Chicago tee with a white screen printed map graphic and cap sleeve. “Chicago…. America’s Happy Place”

Chicago Shirt


If you have sleepy tots who need a great bedtime story, why not have it be about the greatest city in the world? With this Good Night Chicago Children’s Book, you’ll have your young ones dreaming about the best landmarks of the windy city in no time.

Good Night Chicago Book


The America the Beautiful series takes readers on a photographic tour of the country’s most beautiful states and most vibrant cities. This edition features Chicago, the third largest city in the United States and is President Barack Obama’s hometown. Get to know The Windy City more!

America the Beautiful - Chicago

What am I missing?  Add your favorite Chicago-esque gifts in the comments below and have a very Merry Christmas!

The Art Of Fashion 2013 by StyleChicago.com #event #runway #localdesigners

On October 18, 2013, StyleChicago.com presented The Art of Fashion 2013 Runway Show at Millennium Park.  The best VIP bag, I’ve gotten all year.  Check out my video above tune in for next year’s show.

From the website:

StyleChicago.com is thrilled to again be presenting two signature events for Fashion Focus, a week-long celebration of Chicago’s thriving fashion industry, which is returning for its ninth year in 2013 on October 15-20. Presented by the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Fashion Focus showcases some of the city’s top designers and features three headlining runway shows in Millennium Park. 

Featured Designers: 
Borris PowellCalvin TranEva PazolaHector Javier-MonarrezLily & MigsMaria PintoMark RoscoeMichelle TanSHALINIShernett Swaby 

Premium Sponsors:
PERONI Italy * LUNA Bar 

In Collaboration:
City of Chicago • Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE) • Mayor’s Fashion Council 

Hotel Sponsor:
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago 

Beverage Sponsor:
neuro drinks 

Beauty Sponsor:
Cate McNabb Cosmetics 

Hair Stylists:
Pascal Studio 

Models & Production:
Factor Runway • ZZAZZ Productions

Factor Artists 

Staging, Lighting & Facilities:
FROST • Millennium Park 

Associated link: StyleChicago.com

EVENT: Bacon, Sports & Beer Celebration @BaconSportsBeer @BaconSports (11-23-13)

UPDATE: This event happened!  Watch my #socialvideo recap below!

If you like bacon, sports, beer, and fun then this celebration is for you! With a ticket to the Bacon, Sports & Beer Celebration brought to you by Bacon Sports, you get unlimited tastings of bacon inspired creations from some of Chicago’s top restaurants, a healthy dose of craft beer tastings, plus all the fun and activities you can handle.

WHAT:   Bacon, Sports & Beer Celebration

WHEN: Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

WHERE: Union Station Great Hall, 500 West Jackson Boulevard

TICKET COST: General Admission – $100 (2pm – 6 pm)

VIP Ticket – $200 (1pm – 6pm) Use promo code “havefun” to avail of 40% off!


There will be Nerf games, multiple pop-a-shot hoops, a bumpin’ DJ, action photo booth to take crazy photos, a putting green, TV’s with games on, sports trivia, and various interactive games from some of Chicago’s top companies.

Make sure to wear your favorite or most random jersey or sports attire as we’ll be handing out awards to the people who go hardest in the paint.  

You’ll be sure to leave this Celebration fully satisfied by the hat trick of awesomeness so get your tickets now!

 Bacon, Sports, and Beer Celebration 2


Like Bacon, Sports & Beer Celebration on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Baconsportsbeer

Like Bacon Sports on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/baconsports

Tweet Bacon, Sports & Beer Celebration at @baconsportsbeer

Tweet Bacon Sports at @BaconSports

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

EVENT: The 20th Annual Eve of the Eve #Chicago #NewYearsEve @JenTravelsLife

The EVE of the EVE takes place the night before New Year’s Eve and all proceeds benefit HighSight’s scholarship program. This black-tie optional event offers more than 2,000 young, hip, urban professionals the opportunity to mix and mingle, while jump-starting their New Year’s celebrations. The party takes over the entire Great Hall of Union Station, where guests enjoy cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a live band, DJ and
dancing. This much-anticipated event is truly one of Chicagoland’s hippest extravaganzas and the premiere holiday choice for partygoers year after year!
Eve of the Eve 2013 Venue.jpg

WHAT:  The 20th Annual Eve of the Eve 2013

WHEN: Monday, December 30, 2013 (8:00pm – 1:00am)

WHERE: Chicago Union Station, 500 West Jackson Boulevard

TICKET COST: $125 in advance, $140 day of; VIP Ticket: $160 in advance

To purchase tickets, click here!

Eve to Eve Ken Knoedl


  • Open Bar
  • Heavy Hors d’oeuvres Buffet
  • Silent Auction
  • Cash Raffle
  • Live Music & DJ
  • Dancing
HighSight is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide academic and social support to Chicago high school students. HighSight provides scholarships, tutoring, mentoring, leadership development and college readiness programs to enable its students to attend and succeed at the private high school of their choice.
Eve of the Eve 2013 Founder


Like HighSight on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSightChicago

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

@TheWeberGrill is Doing the Cooking this #Thanksgiving! (11-28-13)

Weber Grill Chicago

Families can gather around the warm and welcoming tables at Weber Grill this year as the restaurants’ chefs and grilling experts take Thanksgiving dinner under their wing. On Thanksgiving Day, November 28, Weber Grill will open its doors all-day for a coursed ‘Fire-Grilled Thanksgiving Feast’ in addition to its regular dinner menu plus ‘Thanksgiving Party Platters To-Go’ for those celebrating at home.

WHAT: Thanksgiving Cooking at Weber Grill

WHERE: 539 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

WHEN: Thursday, November 28, 2013 (11:00am-11:00pm in Chicago)

12:00pm-8:00pm in Lombard, Schaumburg, and Indianapolis

PRICES: Thanksgiving Feast Menu – $28.95 for adults and $9.95 for children 10 and under

Thanksgiving Platters are a la carte and prices range from $11.95 to $199.95

Weber's Grill Thanksgiving Feast

If Thanksgiving is best celebrated at home, but not necessarily in the kitchen, Weber Grill will be offering ‘Thanksgiving Party Platters To-Go’ making entertaining as easy as pie. Each beautifully prepared platter serves 8-10 people including choices like the Harvest Salad or Shrimp Cocktail plus festive classics from Grill-Roasted Smoked Turkey and Beef Tenderloin to Cornbread with Maple Bourbon Butter, Sausage Stuffing and Grill Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Desserts include 10” Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie or Classic Pumpkin Pie.

For more event information, contact cy@mjprchicago.com or call 312-467-9696.


Like Weber Grill Chicago on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeberGrillRestaurantChicago

Tweet Weber Grill at @thewebergrill

Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife

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