Groupon’s My Chicago Sweepstakes

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E! News anchor and Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic was born in Italy, but she has strong ties to Chicago—namely, her husband, Bill, the Trump-approved entrepreneur and restaurateur behind RPM Italian. In the My Chicago Collection by Giuliana Rancic, the star of Giuliana & Bill gives the scoop on her favorite local spots to get glammed up, be entertained in style, and even shop for Bill.

Plus, if you’re in Chicago, we’re running a sweepstakes on Favin, Groupon’s Beauty Maven’s Facebook page. Win a chance to experience Giuliana’s favorite spots in Chicago!

Update: We’re extending this one day! Place your votes by Saturday!

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Put Your Ideas “On the Table” with Groupon and The Chicago Community Trust

Image Header_HorizontalWant to take part in shaping Chicago’s future? The Chicago Community Trust (CCT) is giving you the chance to do just that.

Groupon is partnering with the CCT for their On the Table initiative, which commemorates the Trust’s 99th anniversary. The event aspires to bring more than 10,000 Chicagoans together on Monday, May 12 to generate new ideas, inspire bold solutions and cultivate collaborations to improve communities throughout Chicago and the surrounding area.

Interior of MK

Interior of MK

As a company invested in the future of our home city of Chicago, we are offering On the Table dinners at select restaurants in the city through a deal that allows customers to purchase seats at 8- to 10-person community tables on May 12. Participating restaurants include MK, Bin 36, Cafe Absinthe, Piece Pizza, Ras Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant, Cafe des Architectes, Carson’s Ribs and Ethiopian Diamond Restaurant.

To join a community table, simply search “#OnTheTable2014″ on Groupon beginning today to reserve your spot for May 12. Representatives from the Social Enterprise Alliance – Chicago, an organization that leverages its members to advance social change through their for-profit and non-profit work, will serve as a Groupon-sponsored hosts at each table to help guide the conversation. At MK, Lisa Kornick, owner, will lead the discussion.

“As a company born and raised in Chicago, Groupon is delighted to support The Chicago Community Trust’s On The Table initiative,” said Brad Keywell, Groupon board member and co-founder. “Getting people to band together around our local community has always been at Groupon’s core and holding these conversations over dinner at a local restaurant makes perfect sense.”

Following the event, On the Table participants will receive a simple email survey to share insights about their participation in this project, the interesting ideas they discussed and how this experience may influence their civic engagement moving forward. To capitalize on the power of these collective ideas, Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) will then invited three-to-five participants with compelling vision and ideas for improving Chicago to take the CIW stage in October 2014.

To reserve a spot at an On the Table community table on May 12, search “#OnTheTable” on www.groupon.com. To learn more about The Chicago Community Trust and On the Table, visit www.onthetable2014.com.

Chicago History Monday

600 W. Chicago in 1914

The inner history nerd surfaced as we came across an image from 1914 of the building most of Groupon’s employees are tightly packed into today.

For comparison, we stepped outside to snap a current shot of Chicago Avenue.

600 W. Chicago in 2012

Not only are we happy that the orange cone was invented, we’re thankful for the ability to see in color in this day and age.

National Vanilla Cupcake Day

Today, we bring you a little something different on the Groupon blog. To celebrate National Vanilla Cupcake Day, Spice Islands® Trading Company and local gourmet cupcake van originator, Flirty Cupcakes, teamed up and shared a nom-inducing Cinnapple Cupcake recipe. Maybe it’s the holidays upon us triggering our basic instincts to prep for hibernation by storing confectioneries. Perhaps it’s the chill in the air reminding us that the best way to keep hands warm is to keep freshly baked goods in your pockets. Either way, we’re excited to try out this recipe and (somewhat reluctantly) share these delicious cupcakes with friends.

If you’re in Chicago and baking isn’t your cup of hot cider, don’t worry! Flirty Cupcakes and Spice Islands are offering a gourmet-cupcake package that is sure to satiate any holiday cupcake craving.

Click through to check out the Cinnapple Cupcake recipe!

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Bike to Work Week

Groupon is participating in the Bike Commuter Challenge with the Active Transportation Alliance this week in an effort to encourage employees to don their helmets and learn about the benefits of cycling to work.

Bike to Work Week Team Leaders - Suits and Helmets Day

The first day proved to be a success as bikes were parked–some would say crammed–in every possible location outside Groupon headquarters. Extra bike racks have been installed to accommodate the additional commuters and riders took full advantage of them this morning. In just one day, 126 people biked to work.

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Chicago Surprise on Friday

Chicago is full of surprises and we’re a big fan of spontaneity here at Groupon. We enjoy hearing about our customers trying new restaurants and adventures on a day to day basis. Because we love surprises that don’t involve scorpions in our shoes, we’re fired up to announce something big on Friday. We’re contractually obligated to keep a lid on it, zip our lips, and designate “mum” as the word, but we wanted to give our customers in Chicago a heads up that something exciting will be happening soon. Check back on the blog on Friday to read about it!

As a side note, many people often mistakenly believe Chicago is called the Windy City because of the gusty air currents barreling through the streets. This isn’t the case. The nickname actually originated from Babe Wind, Chicago’s seventh most-noteworthy pitcher of the acclaimed—now defunct—baseball team, the Chicago Bruisehounds. A powerhouse hitter, he made it his goal to hit a home run in every state in an effort to make every town a Windy City.

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