No Matter Where You Are...Enjoy the Break You Deserve!

No Matter Where You Are...Enjoy the Break You Deserve!

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Host With The Most

Summer is HERE, and we want you to get ready for a summer of fun & relaxation with Alter Ego Concierge.

This Memorial Day, we're giving you the inside scoop on one of our most popular summer services: our amazing summer chefs. Whether you have a graduation party approaching, a birthday party to organize, or looking for an unforgettable event to plan for friends, our chefs are here to help you enjoy your summer--and refine your palette!

From planning your event to providing the chefs, servers, bartenders, and housekeepers to help, we ensure you will be the
Host With The Most this summer. We just can't ensure your guests will want to ever leave!

Email your request to or call us at 312-802-2337 for more information. If you're a candidate looking to apply, and currently located in the Chicagoland area, we would love to hear from you too!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Guest Blog: Chef Sean Shares His Favorite Summer Burger

Summer is here! If you're planning on grilling out this Memorial Day weekend, spark your menu with Chef Sean's new take on the classic burger:

Grilled Asian Pork Burgers With Napa Cabbage Slaw & Hoisin Sauce

For the burgers:
1 tablespoon canola oil or peanut oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 pound ground pork shoulder
Sesame seed hamburger buns, toasted

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt; sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cool in skillet.

Place pork in large bowl. Mix in 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, and then fold in mushroom mixture. Shape into patties and arrange on plastic-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile light grill to medium high heat, using a small section of the grill as a cool safety zone for flare ups.

Grill patties until a nice crust develops on the outside of the patty and the center registers 170 degrees. 

For the slaw:
1 (3-inch) piece ginger, grated fine
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce
1 head Napa cabbage, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, julienne fine
1 Serrano chili, minced fine
1 large carrot, grated
3 green onions, sliced thinly on the bias
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts (optional) 

In a small bowl, or food processor combine ginger, vinegar, honey soy sauce, lime juice, oil, and honey. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients and then toss with dressing.  

For the sauce:
3 tbsp black bean sauce
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons ketchup

Stir together the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store it in the refrigerator in a container with a tight fitting lid. This will make 1/3 of a cup. Note: This recipe may be doubled to make extra sauce.

To assemble the burger: 
Place a patty on the bottom of the toasted sesame seed bun, top with slaw and serve with hoisin sauce on the side.

Just in time for summer: Among his vast experience, Chef Sean's expertise is at the grill. To request Chef Sean as your next culinary master, please contact Alter Ego Concierge at or call 312.802.2337.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May Special Promotion: Catch It If You Can!

"Well, let's see! I have to..."
  1. Send out the graduation announcements.
  2. Plan my sister's baby shower.
  3. Return those 4 bags of "impulse" purchases that I just can't stare at any longer.
  4. Finally rearrange my cabinets...No, I swear this time...
  5. Book the family reunion for September. And then a real vacation for the week after...
  6. That stack of bills. I'm getting to them...
  7. Finally be the host for our dinner party group? Who? ME?
  8. Organize and scrapbook the 15 rolls of film that were developed in 2003...
  9. Actually stay sane with moving day right around the corner.
  10. Open the summer house, stock the fridge, and get ready to actually relax & ENJOY!
We've heard it all--we promise. No task is too big or too small. Rest easy knowing we're offering you the chance to "Meet The Organized You."

A great gift for you or a loved one: For every 5 hours of personal assistant or concierge services you purchase before May 31, 2010, get an extra hour free! Services must be used by May 31, 2011. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Birthday Party Ideas For Kids!

Summer is the best season for creative birthday party ideas, and also a great time of year to take advantage of outdoor activities! Try these suggestions for surefire hits this birthday summer season:

  • Have a camp themed slumber party- pitch a couple tents in the backyard, grill out and make s'mores! Be sure to end the night with ghost stories and flashlight tag!
  • Public pools have great deals for birthday parties in the summer. Look into your local pool and plan an outdoor pool party that will keep everyone cool during those hot summer days! A great activity while you are there would be to dive for "gold"- throw pennies, dimes, nickels, & quarters into the bottom of the pool and have party guests dive for treasure! If a pool party isn't in the budget, you can also set up a sprinkler, kiddie pools and water squirters in the backyard for just as much fun.
  • Go all out and have a backyard carnival- splurge for a dunk tank or bouncing house. Many rental places will rent cotton candy, popcorn and slushie machines and hot dog carts too. Think of inexpensive games such as ball toss, basketball and more. Have a family friend dress up as a clown and it will sure to be a day that everyone will remember!
  • A fun invite idea for a beach themed party from write the invitation on an inflated beach ball. Deflate the ball and put it in an envelope and mail to guests. Guests will have a blast blowing up the beach ball to find out all the fun party details! Or hand deliver your invitations each in their own sand pail that guests would be able to use at the party!
Now, wouldn't it be great to have an extra set of hands to help you before and during the party? Alter Ego Concierge is here to provide you with whatever you need to fulfill your party planning needs. We have party planners & personal assistants to help with some of the hassle, nannies & babysitters to help watch & patrol the fun, and even chefs to help cater at a fraction of the cost of a local catering company.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Household Organization Tips

It is that transitional time of year when the school year is ending for the little ones and fun summer vacations are near! What better way to start off the summer right than to get your household in order. Here are some of our favorite household organizational tips:

-When switching your closet from cold weather clothes and accesories to warm weather, give away anything that doesn't fit or that you haven't worn in over a year. Put your winter clothes away in under the bed storage containers so they are out of sight and even better, out of mind!

-Clean out your garage so it is easy to find your summer go-to's fast. Hang lawnchairs and bikes on racks on the wall for extra space and put sporting equipment in bins to avoid clutter.

-During the summer you are sure to find extra sleepover guests at your household at any given moment. Store bed sheets in their matching pillowcases so making a bed for guests can be done at a moments notice!

-Clean out your fridge of any expired foods. Make sure to have condiments on hand for a barbeque and keep them together in an old utensil server for easy access!

-Keep a fully stocked picnic basket handy for impromptu outings!

-Put bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, a towel, swimsuit, and other summer essentials in a bag so they are all easily accessible in the same place and ready for a quick, seamless trip to the beach!

If the idea of organizing your house isn't ideal, Alter Ego Concierge has the best household organizers and housekeepers that Chicago & the North Shore can find. Check us out at or email us at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chicago Kids Must-See & Do!

Summer is quickly approaching, and Chicago is THE place for families with children. Whether you are a parent looking for a new child-friendly activity or you are a nanny planning a fun fieldtrip, you can't go wrong with some of our favorites:
What are your favorites? We would love for you to share your suggestions!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interview Tips For Every Industry

No matter what your career path is, an interview is your most important tool in establishing your mark in a company or with an individual. Some great advice that applies to everyone, whether interviewing in a private home or at a large corporation:

1.) Prepare. Do your research and do your homework. Be ready with answers about yourself and your resume, and with questions to help you learn as much about the position as possible.

2.) Arrive early. Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable. Remember this for both the interview and moving forward, and you will already make an impression.
3.) Dress appropriately and be well groomed. Refrain from scented perfumes and lotions, and no gum.
4.) Show enthusiasm and interest, but remain professional in your speech and tone.

5.) Always bring a clean copy of your resume, as well as a list of references. This will typically be required and you should look prepared.

To follow up, a hand-written thank you note always goes further than an email!  An occasional check in is standard, but remember to remain patient. Being too eager can be mistaken for impatience!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Family Assistant Needed- Northfield

Working Mother looking for a FAMILY ASSISTANT in Northfield for August 2010 start, with transitional hours beginning in late July.

Duties include--
Caring for twin boys in 7th grade: picking up from school, driving to activities, helping with homework.
Preparing dinner.
Laundry and light housekeeping.
Errands: grocery shopping, dry cleaning, etc.

Ideal candidate is able to live in on occasion when the mother has to travel for business (can fluctuate from a few days per month to a few weeks).

Family is looking for a minimum of 2-3 year commitment.

Requirements: must drive and have own vehicle. Salary DOE.

To apply, email your resume to or call 312-802-2337 for further information.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice--once for herself & once for her child" Sophia Loren

A mother's work is seemingly never done, but we hope you are all taking a break today! Celebrate your Mother, Grandmother, and all of the special women in your life.

Happy Mother's Day from Alter Ego Concierge!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chicago's Moms In The City

Alter Ego Concierge's founder, Caitlin Hofherr, is featured as a guest blogger at Chicago's Moms In The City giving tips on Caregivers- how to find them, communicate with them, and retain them! For the full article and a great promotion for Moms In The City readers, check out and join the Moms In The City network for all the latest resources & events for busy Chicago Moms.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

15 Essential Tips For Job Success

Whether you are looking to be a nanny, a personal assistant, or a hedge fund manager, the simple steps that you take now for job success have a huge impact on your career and future. Our favorite tip for success is to "Treat Everyone  Equally"--from the garbage men to Fortune 500 CEO's. You never know who could be your next contact, reference, or even employer! Treat others with kindness.

US News & World Report compiled a list of their 15 Essential Tips For Job  Success...Here is a sneak peek--for details you can check out the full article here:

1.) Online Networking
2.) Networking In Person
3.) Stand Out
4.) Be Discreet
5.) Beware Of Blunders
6.) Phone Prep
7.) Interview Info
8.)  Straight Talk
9.) Keep Anxiety At Bay
10.) Accept The Job With Class
11.) Negotiate Your  Benefits &  Pay
12.) Get Off To A  Good Start
13.) Post Prudently
14.) Play Nice
15.) Climb The Ladder

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Benefits of Hiring A Summer Nanny

As the school year end is near, camps are filling up and families are scrambling for childcare. The benefits of hiring a summer nanny are endless...

Summer camps can be fun, but they just add to the monotony of following a strict, yearly routine for kids. A summer nanny can break that routine--no two days ever need to be the same.

Summer camps can also be quite expensive--they can cost thousands of dollars PER child, whereas a summer nanny is paid a weekly salary based on the position. 

Summer camps are often not for the duration of the entire summer break, leaving parents to scramble for a caregiver for the last few weeks before school starts.

Summer nannies are typically college or graduate students with great childcare experience, who not only help plan enjoyable activities but can also travel with a family on vacation or care for the children at a summer home.

Summer nannies can often double as a tutor. Is your child struggling in school? We have many school teachers who work as summer nannies and can get your child back on target before Labor Day rolls around...