Wednesday Wanderlust

Chicago

Oh Chicago! You really are one fantastic city. You have the charm of my beloved Boston and the big city feel of my one and only NYC. Your lake is majestic, your skyline breathtaking, and your people so kind. Thank you for a wonderful Memorial Day visit. We can’t wait to visit you again!

Stay

Stay- Chicago

When K and I decided to travel to Chicago this past Memorial Day weekend, I was torn between staying at the newly opened Soho House Chicago in the West Loop and Public Chicago in the Gold Coast. The decision was made easy when I learned that my request for a holiday weekend at the Soho House was not fulfilled. So Public is was.

With 285 rooms, this hotel is much larger than we typically like to stay at. The rooms are tastefully designed by Ian Schrager and the common areas on the first floor are beautiful, including a coffee bar, a library den and a movie room. However, I must be honest and say I was a bit unimpressed with our experience. We heard our neighbors, the bathroom was tiny and had few amenities {no robes, only 2 towels and lackluster products} and the accent chair in our room was dirty and stained. Thankfully we had lots to see {and eat} so there wasn’t much time spend relaxing in our room.

Eat

Eat Chicago

While I was disappointed with our hotel of choice, the food in Chicago did not disappoint. My favorites include:

Little Goat – Located in the West Loop, Little Goat should not be missed. We had our first breakfast here and loved every single delicious bite. We started with their enormous ooey gooey cinnabun and shared the Kimchee + Bacon + Eggs + Pancakes Asian Styke BreakfastTasty Thing. This is the actual name… I promise! And the service was fantastic. We asked our waiter, who had just been in Boston oddly enough, his not to miss spots. Fortunately, we had dinner reservations at his top spot. Score!

The Winchester – Located in East Village, we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday brunch here. The interior is beautiful and my cocktail of Allagash white and grapefruit juice with a salt rim was delightful. A perfect neighborhood spot!

Doughnut Vault – I’m a total sucker for a good doughnut and the old-fashion buttermilk glazed is all I’ve been thinking about since I left. So good.

Floriole – Located in charming Lincoln Park, Floriole is the bakery of my dreams. And although we didn’t visit on this most recent trip, I have indulged in the pastries at this french inspired cafe more times than I’d like to admit!

Milk & Honey Cafe – Located in the eclectic Wicker Park neighborhood, I would refer to Milk & Hone as the Flour Bakery of the midwest. Great sandwiches, pastries and plenty of room to eat. It really is a place where “fresh and goodness meet!”

avec -Meaning with in French, avec was initially designed as the place to enjoy a light bite before your meal at critically acclaimed Blackbird next door. However, avec has now become the place to go for your meal. A dinner reservation is nearly impossible to get so we opted for lunch, which I highly recommend. The chorizo stuffed dates with bacon in a piquillo pepper-tomato sauce is worth every calorie.

Big Star -The place for tacos in the Windy City. Located in Wicker Park, right by the L, this is a great place for meeting up with friends. They have a huge patio and the beer list is quite impressive.

Piece Brewery + Pizza – Although Chicago is known for it’s deep dish, I’m a thin crust girl so highly recommend this local establishment with musical roots. Just guess who is a part owner? Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick!

The Bristol – Located in Bucktown, The Bristol is that neighborhood spot I wish we had in Boston. Good comfort food, tasty cocktails and friendly staff. You can’t go wrong.

Girl & the Goat – You all remember Stephanie Izard from Top Chef, right? With her winnings, she opened up this Must-go spot in her hometown. If you can’t score a reservation, Little Goat is hers as well.

Ruxbin – “People who love to eat are always the best people.” One of my favorite quotes from Julia Child and the introduction to the menu at this Chicago gem in Noble Square. Ruxbin’s concept is a curated, family style meal. You pick two small plates, two large and two desserts. Meals arrive on the most beautiful pieces of pottery that are available for purchase here. The chickpea pierogi with apple, zurek, celery leaf, and radish bonito has moved onto my top 5 best dishes I’ve ever had list.

Maudes Liquor Bar – Located down the street from Girl & the Goat, this is a romantic spot to grab an after dinner drink and dessert. The chocolate mouse was sinfully smooth.

The Allis – The most well designed bar I’ve ever been to. I literally could move right in. They also offer afternoon tea service. A must!

Another must is a Chicago hot dog. We had ours down on the waterfront from a street vendor but I’m told the best place to go is Downtown Dogs. The poppy seed bun, relish, mustard and celery salt make you realize you don’t need ketchup after all!

A few places that we didn’t make it to but are on the list for next time include: Mott Street, Parson’s Chicken and & Fish, The Hampton Social and Fat Rice.

Do

Besides eating my way through a city, I always like to take in a bit of history and a bit of culture. I highly recommend an Architectural Boat Tour, a walk around Millenium Park and Cloud Gate and a visit to The Art Institute.

And if time allows, get tickets to a comedy show a Second City Not sure I’ve ever laughted so hard in my life.

Can’t wait to see you again, Chi-town!

 

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Found

luggage

Another weekend, another getaway! This time we are off to Hudson, New York to do a whole lot of nothing. Sounds like a dream, no?

While packing this morning I realized something. I need to up my luggage game, especially since we are leaving for Paris is less than a month. While doing a little research, I came across the Voyager Denim CarryOn and decided this had to be my found item of the week. The color, beautiful detailing, blue & red gingham lining. Everything above this suitcase is perfection. An early birthday present to myself… I think so 😉

Enjoy the weekend, sweet readers and for those of you in Boston, Happy One Boston Day!

Found

Found

Happy Friday, friends! Any fun plans this weekend? My book club ladies are getting together for high tea on Sunday to discuss Fates and Furies. I’ll have a full book report for you next week.

Remember when I shared this found item with you last fall? Truthis, I did love the natural deodorant but didn’t like having to apply it with my fingers so overtime I returned to my Dove {filled with terrible toxins}. That was until I read this blog post introducing me to Agent Nateur. I ordered a stick immediately and luckily it arrived last Friday just in-time for our trip to Mexico. I used it everyday and was shocked by how well it worked. And while the price tag is a little high {$19}, my health is worth it. Looking to try a new and natural deodorant, this week’s found item will be your next favorite thing. I promise.

The End

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Happy Monday, dear readers. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Did you watch last night’s final episode of Downton Abbey? Don’t you agree it was the best series ending ever. I was in tears from start to finish. To help me deal with my grief {I’m not sure my Sunday’s will ever be the same}, I wanted to collect my favorite quotes from this amazing series in one place.

“You’re a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do.” 

“Forgive, perhaps. Forget, never.”

“We’re sisters. And sisters have secrets.”

“The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that’s all there is.”

“I should hate to be predictable.”

“My dear. A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears.”

“We all have chapters we would rather keep unpublished.”

“Vulgarity is not substitute for wit.”

“I’m not a romantic, but even I concede that the heart does not exist solely for the purpose of pumping blood.”

“In the end, happiness is a matter of choice.”

And my favorite…

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Image credit: Vogue and Pinterest

In the Kitchen

Food

Is it really only Wednesday? I’m ready for the weekend!

Since making my award winning chili last week, I must be honest and say very little has happened in my kitchen. While catching up on my blog reading this am, I read this interesting piece on the five things in your kitchen you wouldn’t be caught without. So, I thought today I would add my five things to the list, which include:

  • A block of delicious cheese
  • Crackers (I could easily make a meal out of crackers and cheese)
  • Olive oil (I’m obsessed with Frankie’s 457 oil at the moment)
  • Eggs (I’m a huge fan of breakfast for dinner)
  • San Pellegrino (I think their glass bottle is one of the prettiest things on a table)

Do share yours too!

Movie Monday

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I’m a sucker for Nancy Meyers films. Baby Boom, Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated, The Holiday. And now I can add The Intern to the list. At first, I heard so-so reviews and thus didn’t rush to the theater. But last weekend, while K was at the gym, I was searching On Demand and decided to give it a try. And I’ve gotta say, I loved it. The story line was sweet, the cast delightful and the set design, swoon worthy. Just take a look at these spaces.

THE INTERN

The office space in Brooklyn where Robert De Niro becomes an intern. I’d work here in a New York minute!

THE INTERN

Ann Hathaway’s kitchen… l die. Looks like I need to become the founder of a fashion company ASAP!

THE INTERN

The dining room and seating area in Hathaway’s Brooklyn brownstone. That mirror needs to find its ways to Melrose Place (my home).

Looking for a light and feel good film? Give The Intern a try!

 

Found

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We made it to the end of the week… Aleluia! And the good news, Boston will not get buried in snow this weekend.  For those mid-Atlantic readers, good luck 😉

This week’s found item may be the best photo editing app yet. A Color Story, brought to you by two amazing sisters, who just happen to be the founders of A Beautiful Mess, is AMAZING. A year and a half in the making, ACS is an everyday photo editing app with filters, tools, and simple light effects. The app has 100+ filters, 30+ effects 20+ tools and the freedom to create and save custom filters. I purchased the whole bundle yesterday at the introductory price of $7.99 and must admit it was my best purchase of the week!

I posted my first photo using the app last night. It pops, right? Looking to up your Instagram game {like me}? Then you’ve gotta try A Color Story.

Habit

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Friends, I have yet another confession to make. I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I might go as far as to say that pinning is my cardio! Waiting in line for my latte, stuck in the car at a red light, and even before falling asleep {note: break this habit} I’m scrolling through pictures of places to go, things to bake, books to read. I’ve done quite of bit of work as of late organizing categories and getting my page in tip-top-shape. Take a look and let me know what you think. And if you have any suggestions for edits and/or people to follow, please share!

Time

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2016 is 53 days away! Are you ready? For me, the easiest way to come to terms with the passing of another year is to buy myself a beautiful new calendar. Last year, it was this Linda and Harriett beauty. Lucky for you, I’ve done a bit of research and today wanted to share my picks for 2016 calendars. Take a look:

With only 53 days till the New Year, I guess that means we have 45 days till Christmas. Thankfully, my shopping has commenced and I’ll be sharing my gift guides with all of you next week. Do let me know if you have a specific person you need ideas for. I love, love, LOVE finding the perfect gift!

Found

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Sweet readers… I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this week’s found item and what just may be my favorite book of all time. Love x Style x Life by the effortlessly chic Garance Dore. If you aren’t familiar with Garance, you should be. I’ll admit, I didn’t know who she was until her collaboration with Rifle Paper. But since that fateful introduction, Garance has become a woman I admire from afar. When I learned of her book, I pre-ordered right away. From reading her blog, I knew her writing would speak to me. And you know what, it most certainly does. Below is a brief excerpt from the introduction:

We want love. We want to feel beautiful. We want to be good friends, good partners, good sisters, good daughters. We want to know how to never buy the wrong pair of shoes again. {Sorry to inform you, but you will keep making shoe mistakes until the day you die. So celebrate being alive right now!} We want to feel fulfilled by the work we do, whatever that work may be. Most of all, we want to find our place in this work.

It reads like my manifesto! I had the pleasure of meeting Garance last night at her Boston book signing. Now I’ve been to many a book signing but never one where I received flowers for attending and the author graciously offered me a seat next to her to have a chat. What a night and honor!

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