7.29.2014

around chicago // lakeview.

We're continuing to make our way around Chicago to gather neighborhood favorites from the perspective of the ultimate local - a neighborhood resident themselves! In case you've missed past editions, we've been to Old Town, Lincoln park, Wicker Park & Streeterville and this month we're heading up north to Lakeview. Fellow Chicago blogger and friend, Monica of Caravan of Style is sharing her favorite spots in her 'hood:

Around-Chicago-Lakeview



Growing up in Michigan, I spent many long weeks growing up visit the big city of Chicago. A few years later I ended up moving to the Lakeview are and two years later I’m stilling loving everything about my little neighborhood. To me, Lakeview has always been a little neighborhood that welcomes everyone, is constantly changing, and in general is just fun. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite spots that you must check out the next time your in my ‘hood:


Ladies Who Brunch:
  • Southport Grocer & Cafe // This place will always be my first love as it was the very first place I ate brunch at on my first ever visit to Chicago. This place is small so there is always a long wait, but it is well worth it. My top picks: the bread pudding pancakes & the grown-up pop tart!
  • Kanela Breakfast Club // This new kid on the block has definitely made it to the top of my list. I love the greek influenced brunch items that much of the time is organic and locally sourced. Their brunch cocktails are to die for and the drink menu is always changing. My top picks: Salmon Eggs Benedict & The Red Velvet French Toast

Coffee Break:
  • Dollop Coffee Co. // This local coffee shop has one of the coolest vibes ever. It’s one of those places I love to hang out in when I just want to chill out and relax. They also make an amazing hazelnut latte.
  • Heritage Bicycles General Store // For those of you who bike around the city, Heritage is a great place to get your bike fixed or hangout and meet up with fellow bikers. I for one come here every Sunday for their cold brew coffee - delicious!

Shop ’Til You Drop:
  • M2 Boutique // This local Chicago boutique is a “must stop in" after your brunch at Southport Grocer & Cafe. M2 has an amazing selection of jewelry, accessories, and even a section dedicated to your guy. I’m constantly in here picking up jewelry from local designers. 
  • Nevermind // This women’s boutique has been my go to place when I’m in need of a cute dress on short notice. This trendy boutique has something for everyone and I promise you’ll find something amazing to wear the next time to stop in.

For Someone Special:
  • Inkling // This little shop is one of my favorite places to grab a gift for just about anyone. They specialize in carrying items from local artisans and designers making your purchase truly unique.
  • Foursided // Looking for a unique item for that special friend? You’ll probably end up finding it at Foursided. They have an amazing selection of unique vintage itemsand adorable hand made cards.

Gussied Up:
  • Goldplaited // Sometimes a girl deserves a little extra TLC and Goldplaited is my go to blow out bar. From their blow outs to their braid bar, I guarantee that you’ll leave this place feeling like Superwoman. 
  • Hi-Way Nails // It seem like there is a nail salon on just about every corner of Chicago, however not all of them are the same. As someone that is a self proclaimed nail snob, I’m very picky about where I get my nails done. This place has been my go to for the past few years and trust me when I say they do an amazing job. 

Happy Hour:
  • DryHop Brewers // This brand new brew pub just opened up right near my place and has already become a favorite bar for everyone in the neighborhood. Dryhop makes many of their own beers that range from dark to girly. My favorite is the grapefruit beer - around for a limited time only! 
  • Pastoral // For those of you that prefer a nice glass of wine with a artisan cheese plate, I recommend this place. A great place to meet the girls after work or for an intimate date night, this place has some of the best wine & cheese pairings in all of Chicago. 
Date Night Dinner:
  • Tango Sur // Tango Sur is just a mouthwatering experience all around. This BYOB Argentinean steak house is great place to celebrate a special night out. I highly recommend the flan at the end of the night!
  • Bulerias Tapas // Chicago introduced me to the lovely Spanish tradition of tapas and this place has some amazing dishes. I use to stop by this place for a few bacon wrapped dates at least once every few days. A great place to catch up with your girlfriends over a pitcher of sangria & bacon covered anything. 

Sweet Treats:
  • Bobtail Ice Cream // This ice cream shop has been around for an impressive 10 years and boasts some delicious flavors. Stop by and grab a scoop of my favorite flavor, the Lakeview Barhopper (dutch cocoa with jack daniels) #nomnom
  • Paciugo // If you’ve ever been to Italy and missed the deliciously fresh flavors of italian gelato, you will love this place. Paciguo’s is a authentic italian gelato bar and caffe that is the perfect way to end your day. 
Just For Fun:


Do you have any Lakeview spots that you love? Have you checked out any of the spots on Monica's list yet?


7.28.2014

sunday lounging.

Sunday-Lounging


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Sundays are the best day of the week in my book. They're what sets the tone for the week ahead and are your last opportunity to seize the weekend before it's gone. In a perfect world, all Sundays would begin with a little extra lounging before it's time to roll up your sleeves and get shit done. I'm all about socializing on Saturdays but when it comes to Sunday mornings, you're likely to find me spending some extra time in bed with a good cup of coffee, some pup snuggles and catch up time with magazines and Pinterest.


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Yesterday, I did just that and took my time recovering from both Friday and Saturday spent out and about (who am I?! I'm usually a total homebody) and spent some quality time with my new Crane & Canopy bedding. You know that feeling of sleeping in a hotel bed? Where the bedding just feels different than home, in the best way possible? That's how I feel now in my own bed thanks to a little bedding refresh - I love how crisp and clean the neutral duvet is, it's the perfect balance to the bright colors I have in my headboard and accent pillows. And best of all? Crane & Canopy keeps things affordable so you can get the luxe feeling for less - they skip the middle man that you'll find in traditional retail processes to save you money without sacrificing on quality. 


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Bedding: c/o Crane & Canopy // Deer Head: White Faux Taxidermy // Faux Sheepskin: IKEA
// Bench: One King's Lane //  // Pink Pillows: World Market // Headboard: Joss & Main (similar) //
Sequin Pillow: Urban Outfitters // Beaded Pillow: c/o Donna Karan // Romper: Intimint 

Are you a believer in Sunday lounging? Were you able to savor any extra lounge time yesterday morning?

7.25.2014

skincare tips from the pros.

When it comes to my skin, I'm kind of all over the place in my never-ending quest to truly figure out what works best for my temperamental complexion. It's a bit of a trial and error method with testing out new things, keeping what works and tossing what does not, so when the team at Jonathan Breitung Salon & Spa invited me in for a facial and to test out their new Epicurean Skin Care line, I was more than ready to put things in the hands of the professionals.


Skincare-Tips-From-Pros

I've somehow never experimented in the world of facials before, so I truly had no idea what to expect but once I entered the spa area of the Jonathan Breitung location in Lakeview, I knew I was in for a treat thanks to how luxe and calming the entire space felt. My aesthetician Brook made the entire experience equal parts relaxing and just plain effective with scrubs, serums and even some massaging mixed in. So after my hour of pure bliss, I was curious to learn more about how to take care of my own skin like the pros do and luckily enough, Brook was willing to help out and answer a few questions:

1. What products should everyone have as part of their skincare routine? Cleanser, toner, moisturizer, exfoliant. Cleanser to remove makeup and impurities. Toner (a step most people skip) stops the action of your cleanser, tones and lightens skin, cleanses off impurities cleanser may have left behind and can do so many other things! (ie. add hydration for dry skin or absorb oil for oily skin types!). Toner also puts skin back at a level pH balance which makes all other products work harder and better! Moisturizer adds hydration to the skin Exfoliant sloughs off dead skin cells that lay on the surface that can cause blemishes or rough texture. Exfoliants should be used anywhere from 1-3 times a week generally.

2. What is the most common skincare mistake you see people regularly making? Picking at your skin, especially when a blemish is not ready for extraction. Picking can cause scarring and pigmentation issues as well as spread bacteria. Picking at a blemish before its ready causes it to rupture underneath the skins surface resulting in clusters of blemishes. If you have a blemish, wait until it is ready for extraction. Usually you will see a white head at the surface. Warm the skin with a hot wash cloth on steam and use two cotton swabs to press on each side of the blemish. If it doesn't come  out easily, don't push it further...it's not ready!

3. Should your morning routine differ from your evening one? How so? It doesn't have to but depending on your skin type it definitely can. If you notice dry skin, try using a heavier moisturizer at night. When you sleep, your body is able to rest and repair. Your skin can absorb heavier moisturizers better at night. And always use an SPF during the day.

4. How often should you go beyond just washing your face? Beyond toner, moisturizer, exfoliant...just pay attention to what your skin is telling you and think about your concerns. If you desire something for anti-aging, add anti-aging serum like Epicuren's Alpha Lipoic Omega facial serum. If you have occasional breakouts, use a gentle clay or oil absorbing mask.

5. If you could give someone one bit of advice when it comes to their skin, what would it be? Pay attention to your skin and what your needs and concerns are. Use products that cater to those needs! This seems pretty self explanatory, but it's not and shopping for skincare can get very overwhelming  After 17 years in the business, I still get overwhelmed! Look beyond the way a product smells, the brand, high prices, or the fact that your friend uses it and it works for them. All of these things do not mean they will work for you. Find something that works and stick with it! If your not sure what would work best for you, see your esthetician and get a facial. Pay attention to how the products feel on your skin and always ask for recommendations!

Overall, I'm super impressed at the difference a facial makes and how relaxing the experience actually is. Consider me hooked and ready to hand things over to the pros on a regular basis as part of my skincare routine. If you're in Chicago, definitely check out Jonathan Breitung Salon & Spa and prepare to be as impressed as I was.

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