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Category: Illinois

An Ode to My Hometown

An Ode to My Hometown

I grew up in a town called Johnsburg, in Northwestern Illinois.  You may know it from the Tom Waits song (“…and she grew up outside of McHenry, in Johnrburg, Illinois”).  Born and raised in this petite village, I knew every nook and cranny by the time I was in grade school.  In terms of size, it is quite small, with a total of six square acres to its name; most of which is covered in cornfields.  I had my first…

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Logan Square Farmers Market

Logan Square Farmers Market

Mike and I have a new obsession in our neighborhood: The Logan Square Farmers Market.  We’ve been taking the fifteen minute walk from our apartment to the market for the past few weekends to do some grocery shopping and marvel over all the delicious goods.  It’s a wonderland of organic fruits and vegetables, homemade cheeses, candles, and honey, fresh baked breads and pastries, and the prettiest fresh flowers you’ve ever seen. We’ve been setting a budget of $20 and seeing…

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Favorite Midwest Road Trips

Favorite Midwest Road Trips

I love the Midwest.  I was born here, raised here, and it’s here where I gained my love for travel.  My family has always had the travel bug, and we often explored towns closest to us as our family vacations.  Once I started traveling and branching out on my own, naturally I chose to explore this region first.  I haven’t been everywhere of note in the Midwest quite yet, but I have amassed a list of my favorite Midwest road…

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Top Five Friday #19

Top Five Friday #19

Things to Do Near the Mag Mile The Mag Mile (or Magnificent Mile if you’re not familiar) in Chicago is one of the city’s most known and visited tourist attractions.  Though no one would claim it to be very original or unique in it’s restaurants and stores, there are quite a few hidden gems to find near this main drag.  I recently wrote about this subject for VIVA Lifestyle & Travel and I have to say, going back to explore…

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Lincoln Park Zoo & Conservatory

Lincoln Park Zoo & Conservatory

When I first moved to Chicago almost ten years ago (yikes), Lincoln Park was one of the few neighborhoods I knew of.  I would take the red line from the loop up to Fullerton and wander around the area, visiting friends that went to DePaul and lived in the neighborhood.  I always loved how many parks and green spaces there were in the area.  I actually spent my 20th birthday at the Lincoln Park Zoo for Zoolights, which is a…

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Neighborhood Spotlight: West Town

Neighborhood Spotlight: West Town

West Town is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago, though I may be a bit biased because I’ve lived here for two years now.  Located directly west of the Gold Coast, straight down Chicago Avenue, West Town is a perfect mix of friendly neighborhood and big city cool.  It has a ton of fun and unique shops, bars, and restaurants, plus plenty of beautiful homes and parks to stroll through.  Just recently, we’ve decided to depart this lovely neighborhood,…

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Top Five Friday #17

Top Five Friday #17

Favorite Chicago Restaurants As much as I love to cook, I love letting someone else cook for me even more.  There are obviously a ton of fantastic restaurants in Chicago, and I haven’t even gotten close to trying them all.  However, I do have my favorites.  These restaurants are our go-tos, the ones we frequent when we can’t decide on anywhere else or we want to go somewhere we know the food will always be excellent.  Because Mike and I…

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Four Seasons Spa Chicago

Four Seasons Spa Chicago

Last year, my dear friend Amber and I started a tradition of enjoying a spa day in the bleak winter months.  This year, it took a little extra planning but we finally made it happen.  We found a great Groupon for a massage and exfoliation at the Four Seasons Spa in Chicago that we couldn’t pass up, so that’s where we ended up this past Thursday evening. We met after work and ran into some bad rush hour traffic, which…

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Girls’ Weekend at The Chicago Athletic Association

Girls’ Weekend at The Chicago Athletic Association

This past weekend, a group of friends and I enjoyed a marvelous staycation at the historic Chicago Athletic Association.  We, Jennifer, Jessica, Adrienne and I, were there to celebrate our beautiful friend, Sarah’s birthday with her.  I have to say, it was by far one of the best hotel experiences I’ve had in a long time.  I checked in first, as the room was under my name, and as soon I walked in I was lost. The building is full…

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Chinatown

Neighborhood Spotlight: Chinatown

This past weekend, Mike and I hitched a ride over to Chinatown to get a little color in this dreary Chicago January. We took an Uber there, but it is also easily accessible by the Red Line Cermak-Chinatown stop. Both of us hadn’t visited this area since college, so it’s been quite a few years. Though the sky was cloudy, it wasn’t too cold out and there were plenty of other people milling about, so we were in good company….

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