Flowers for Every Occasion

Flowers for Every Occasion

BouquetAndTrayThere are few things that make me happier than a surprise bouquet of flowers. From their vibrant color to the intoxicating smell, a fresh bouquet in my apartment brings a huge smile to my face. And it’s not just me! Studies show that flowers trigger happy brain chemicals – so they actually do improve your mood. Which is why they make the perfect gift for every occasion.

Whether it’s to express condolences or joy, for an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, a birthday or Mother’s Day (Hint! Hint! At least one of these is coming up soon), a beautiful bouquet is the perfect way to show you care. Continue reading “Flowers for Every Occasion”

Coworking Meets Luxury in the West Loop

Coworking Meets Luxury in the West Loop

I don’t know about you, but often times my environment dictates my productivity. When I try to power through work at home I find myself taking breaks to do laundry or grab a snack from the fridge, wander to bed and need a nap, or the dreaded “I can get this done while watching The Real Housewives.” And while I’ve looked into coworking spaces to get my blogging done none ever fit my needs. They felt too informal, had kitchens I could wander in to for beer and coffee and get distracted talking to someone, or were spaces that felt more like a hangout than a work environment. That is, until Co-Optim moved into the West Loop. Continue reading “Coworking Meets Luxury in the West Loop”

International Women’s Day 2018

International Women’s Day 2018

IMG_7531.JPGAs many of you know, International Women’s Day (IWD) is coming up this week. On Thursday, March 8th, people throughout the world unite in order to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In addition, IWD marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

As explained on its website, IWD “has been observed since the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.”

The theme for this year’s IWD is Press for Progress, a call-to-action designed to help accelerate the statistic that gender parity is over 200 years away. To learn more about the theme, which kicks off March 8th, visit their website, here.

Events will be held world-wide to celebrate, create dialogues and cultivate positive change. And while you can find events for cities across the world on the International Women’s Day site, I’ve created a round-up of some exciting things happening in Chicago.

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Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf | A refreshing twist on a classic steakhouse

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf | A refreshing twist on a classic steakhouse

Have you ever had a meal so good that you didn’t want to brush your teeth before bed because you never wanted the taste of delicious steak to go away? If your answer is no then you’ve obviously never been to Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf. (And incase you were concerned about my dental hygiene – yes I did brush my teeth that night). Last night Jackson and I went there for a dinner to celebrate my birthday and his new position on a prestigious choir, (ok we had the reservation before we realized those things, but it’s always more fun to go out for a celebration) and the whole meal reminded me why I truly love good food.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Your Parents

Holiday Gift Guide: Your Parents

I don’t know about your parents, but mine are so hard to shop for. My mom is so picky that usually she sends me a link to exactly what she wants (though I admit I do the same thing back to her), and my dad never really wants us to spend our money on him. He stands by the greatest gift my brother and I ever game him being a pajama set from Target because he only had one pair with a hole in them prior (he really is a minimalist). But the holidays are all about being thankful and spoiling the ones you love, so I have a lineup of gifts that scream “I LOVE YOU” to the people who mean the most to you.

For Mom:

Eucalyptus & Sea Salt Scented Candle | Henri Bendel, $40
This candle will have mom thinking she’s on the beach front instead of in a winter snowstorm. The sea spray notes are balanced by chilled orange and the rejuvenating scent of eucalyptus. With eucalyptus being one of my favorite scents in the world choosing this candle was a no brainer. And one thing I love about Henri Bendel candles is how strong they are. Their candles really brighten up the room and refreshes the space.


Self-Care Kit | Scratch Goods, recommended products total $83 – $87
Scratch Goods is easily my new favorite place in the West Loop. Founded by two high school friends, Maureen and Elizabeth, their line was created to fulfill a need for natural, affordable skin care products. As soon as I tried my first set of goodies from them I was hooked! The products are fabulous and, unlike many brands I’ve tried, don’t irritate my sensitive skin. It’s so hard for me to find products that don’t turn my bright red or make me break out and these do the trick! Any products from their line would make a perfect gift for mom, but below are my recommendations for what I would put in my self-care starter kit:

  • Jade Roller ($25): My jade roller is my new favorite thing I own. It feels amazing, is easy to use (you literally roll it over your face), and has some amazing benefits. Mom’s new jade roller will promote blood flow & cell turnover, reduce any puffiness, stimulate collagen production, smooth overworked facial muscles and leaves skin glowing. On super puffy mornings she can cool her roller in the fridge for extra pore minimization (or any time of day, doesn’t only have to be used in the morning!), but my personal favorite way to use mine is by warming it up under hot tap water after applying my face oils and using the roller to help open my pores for maximum absorption. If you were only to pick one product for mom this would be the must-have.
  • Matcha Mask ($18): This mask is the perfect option for mom. It was created as a tightening, anti-aging mask that detoxifies while lightening dark spots on your face. The ingredients are matcha, bentonite clay and sea clay, making this a perfect combo of tightening, detoxifying and brightening. While I have yet to try this mask – I personally use and love the charcoal mask which is a great option for deep cleaning pores – this is high on my list of things I’m dying to try.
  • Mask Brush ($6): The mask brush is pretty self-explanatory, but it makes the perfect add-on when giving the gift of a matcha (or sea or charcoal) mask. The brush is perfect for a flawless mask application, and keeps mom from having to use her hands or ruin a makeup brush trying to figure out how to get her mask on. They also have gorgeous, handmade mask bowls that are a wonderful addition if you’re looking to add more to your mom’s gift.
  • Face Oil ($34 – $38): Face oil + a warm jade roller after a face mask is one of the greatest feelings in the world. While using mine I was texting my boyfriend about how happy I was I invested in all these new products and how obsessed I was with all of them. While the face oils don’t need to be exclusively used after a mask (Nicole, the fabulous employee helping me at Scratch Goods the other night, told me she uses her heavy oil morning + night), they do feel especially amazing after one. They have three options for oils: light face oil ($34), heavy face oil ($34), and a 15% zinc face oil ($38). I personally use the light face oil because I was worried about how my sensitive skin would react to oils, but any are a great option depending on what our mom likes. The light face oil is intended for normal to oily skin and absorbs quickly, while the heavy face oil is a more intensive moisturizer for normal to dry skin. And the 15% zinc face oil is described as a premium, restorative face oil rich in zinc that works best with skin drink.

If you live in the Chicagoland area I highly recommend stopping by the store to pick out the perfect set for your mom. They are extremely helpful and can help pick out the perfect products depending on your mom’s skin type and preferences. And, through the end of the year, if you bring unopened toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, tampons, razors, etc) items to donate to Sarah’s Circle they will give you 10% off you in-store purchase!

Gifts For Dad:

wilmangiftsetWild Man Starter Kit | shopamongtheflowers, $38
This Wild Man Starter Kit is the perfect gift for dad. It offers a box of plant-based products that are soothing enough to help him unwind, while still feeling manly enough to make him think he just finished a hike through the mountains when he finished. (If only all “hikes” made us feel as refreshed as this box does) The kit includes a wood pile man mist, whipped coconut body butter and a bar of cold process soap with a backwoods scent. It’s the perfect care package for dad while mom is using her Scratch Goods goodies.

Sock of the Month Club | Yo Sox, $72+
A sock of the month club subscription is the gift that keeps on giving (for 6 or 12 months depending on the subscription you buy). I love this idea because dad gets socks for up to a full year, reminding him every month how loved he is. Plus, every time he wears his new socks he’ll think of you. I love the subscription to Yo Box because they have such fun patterns and prints, so every month he’ll get a unique, fun pair (or two) of socks. This gift is guaranteed to put a smile on his face.

Gifts For Both:

Cooking class | Sur La Table, $69 – $85
A cooking class is the perfect gift for a couple – especially mom and dad. It gives them a fun night out, something special to do together, memories to make and ends with a delicious plate of food. Sur La Table offers a wide range of classes from tamales to paella to homemade pizza to cookies, so you can pick the perfect class for mom and dad. While I’ve mentioned Sur La Table, there are cooking classes offered at different locations, stores, and restaurants through the US, so no matter where your family lives you can get them a cooking class for a perfect holiday date night gift.

What did you get your parents this year?

DOH! I mean GO! to Moe’s Tavern in Lincoln Park

DOH! I mean GO! to Moe’s Tavern in Lincoln Park
This past weekend I spent the day in Springfield drinking with my boyfriend.

Okay, not actual Springfield, but at the Moe’s Tavern and Arcade Pop-Up Bar at Replay Lincoln Park it was hard not to feel like you were in Springfield alongside Homer, Barney, Lenny and Carl. It’s the perfect getaway for any Simpsons fan.

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A letter to my first time marathoners

A letter to my first time marathoners

Congratulations! Your hard work and dedicated training have gotten you to race week! It’s almost time to put on your bib, step into Grant Park, and race your way through this beautiful city. It is one of the most exciting times to be in Chicago, whether you’re a marathon runner or just a Chicagoan ready to cheer the runners on.

If it’s your first time running a marathon though, this week can also be a little bit nerve wrecking as you prepare for a day you have only dreamed of up until now.

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Deciding How to Rock Your Ride

CYCLEBAR Fulton Market has been rocking rides for a little over a month now and the Cyclestars are bringing it. From high-intensity performance rides to killer themed rides to being able to clear your mind in a connect ride and all of the classic rides in between there are so many ways to hop on a bike.

But how do you decide what class is right for you? I’ve ridden every type of class so you don’t have to. Unless you want to, in which case YASSS QUEEN (OR KING) take one of each!

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Cheap Summer Date Ideas

There’s something extra fun about going out for a date with your significant other in the summer. The gorgeous sunshine, not needing to carry around a bulky coat, being able to sit outside on a patio—what’s not to love? But going out all the time can start to break the bank if you’re not careful.

Luckily, there are so many great ways in Chicago to go out and have a romantic date without having to spend a fortune. Continue reading “Cheap Summer Date Ideas”

In The Mind of a First Time Cycler

In The Mind of a First Time Cycler

Ok, so it wasn’t my first time cycling, but it was my first time in years. And when I’d gone in the past it was at your run-of-the-mill gym that happened to offer cycling classes, not an actual cycling studio. So what happens when you take a girl who’s used to yoga and boxing and stick her on a state-of-the-art bike? Let’s just say my butt still hurts…

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