I’m all about unconventional Valentine’s Day dates…but I’m obvi always up for a nice dinner. I love food, what can I say (& spending time with Leo…sometimes). Though Leo and I have frequent dinner dates, I still look forward to our Valentine’s Day plans. There is something special about the time and thoughtfulness put into a night celebrating your relationship.
Another thing special about Valentine’s Day? How fast the restaurants book up. You don’t want to be scrambling last minute trying to find your spot – trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s less than ideal. For all my Chicagoans, I’ve pulled together a list of my favorite cozy & romantic restaurants in the city, all of which would be perfect Valentine’s Day dinner destinations.
We’ll be spending Valentine’s Day early this year due to work travel, but I’ll let you guys know where we end up! PS – here are gift ideas for him too.
When you’ve been on the hunt for home products for months, a new collaboration like this will literally make your day (I’m pretty sure it made my week). Dwell magazine just officially launched a modern line at Target, and it’s everything you could imagine & more. I’m loving every single piece from this collection. Beautiful, modern furniture at Target price points. Am I dreaming? AND…wait for it…they’re refreshing the line in the Spring & Summer.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons in this city. There’s something soothing about watching the leaves change color, getting festive with pumpkin spice & apple cider, and feeling the sensation of a cool breeze after the hot summer months. Though we’ve had our fair share of rain recently, the past few days have been absolutely perfect. Sunshine, nice breeze…couldn’t ask for anything more, except for more time to enjoy it!
I know I’ve talked about this a lot as of late, but life has been crazy the last few months. Between moving out of my place, closing on a house/remodeling, and work travel, I haven’t had time to just chill. I feel like I’m constantly going at 100 mph, and I can’t wait to slow down. I know it will all be worth it in the end, but can we just fast forward to that part?
Ever since I said goodbye to my old apartment and hello to the new place, it’s been home decor shopping central over here. It’s funny how I now notice the details in every space I enter – hotel rooms, restaurants, bars. I’m more observant than I ever was. Google Image Search has been my new best friend, in addition to spending countless hours on Pinterest. Recently, I’ve discovered a few home decor blogs that I’ve been reading on the reg, and they’ve been the best source of inspiration as we try to furnish and decorate our new home. Below are the blogs I’ve been frequenting lately. We’re leaning towards a more minimalist vibe, so you’ll notice that all the blogs fall into this theme. You can also shop my current home obsessions here.
One of the things I wish I did more often was read. I say I’m going to make time for it, but always fail to follow through. I was an avid reader as a child all the way through college, and somehow life eventually got in the way of one of my favorite activities. It’s really unfortunate that it’s gotten to this point, as reading is one of my best escapes and stress-relievers. I’m in the process of determining how I can slowly introduce it back into my life, including a monthly book club with my closest girlfriends (who doesn’t need another excuse to hang with the besties?).
Meanwhile, vacation time for me is prime reading time. Prior to every big trip, I research and compile a reading list, stock my Kindle up and spend long afternoons reading on the beach. Here’s what’s currently on my reading list:
One thing I’ve learned so far after having my own REAL home for one week, is that the number of decisions you have to make is overwhelming. Sometimes paralyzing. Every tiny detail, some as small as what color you want to use for your door frames or kitchen backsplash grout, takes time and consideration.
Another realization I had is how much more I pay attention to interiors now. I look for inspiration everywhere I go, and appreciate when I see an amazing space.
I was in Miami for New Year’s Eve last year, and we celebrated the New Year at Soho Beach House. Soho House obviously does a phenomenal job when it comes to decor (I have a book I purchased that I will share with you guys soon that’s all about this), and this specific tile they had in their common area has stuck with me now for literally MONTHS.
I can’t believe it’s already mid-July. We’ve had such a wonderful summer thus far in Chicago. Not too much rain, and a lot of sunshine – if anyone needs it, we do. This city truly comes alive in the summer months. There are countless activities & events to partake in every weekend (& yes – weekdays too!). It can be overwhelming, and I find most of my summer weekends get booked up fairly quickly with weddings, birthday parties, quick vacations. That said, I make an effort to block a handful of weekends in the summer for some me time. Here’s what’s currently on my bucket list:
Gboard: Google’s latest keyboard for iOS. Prior to installing Gboard, I already had three different keyboards installed on my phone. It may seem like a bit much, but believe me, these keyboards are used on a daily basis (I’m talking emojis, bitmojis, etc.). Am I a keyboard fanatic? Guilty.
Google released this new keyboard a few weeks back, and I decided to give it a go to see what all of the hype was about. There are unique Gboard features I’m loving, and I find myself using it more and more – and saving time by doing so!
One thing I love about Chicago is that once the weather starts to warm up, people are out and about…immediately. We’ve been so deprived of sunshine, that once the sun makes an appearance, we’re out in shorts and tank tops (even though it’s still low 60’s and probably still too cold for summer clothing). Hit up Big Star’s patio on a sunny Saturday afternoon and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Outside of taking advantage of every bar/restaurant patio, I typically try to plan a few spring-y activities (in addition to things I’ve been wanting to do for months while in hibernation mode) to embrace the change of seasons. Currently on my bucket list:
After 4 years of CrossFitting (I know, I did CrossFit for THAT long, don’t judge), I threw in the towel a few months back and signed up for ClassPass. As much as I loved CrossFit, it was starting to take a toll on my body. I needed variety in my workout routine, and transitioning to ClassPass has been such a great experience thus far. I have fitness dates with friends who also ClassPass, and I’ve been able to explore various fitness studios across the city (not to mention exploring new neighborhoods I normally don’t venture out to). After 4 months of ClassPassing, I’ve found a handful of studios that I now have on rotation. Some of them include well-known studios like Flywheel and Corepower Yoga, but my favorites are these Chicago gems…