Before I start – how is it already April?? This year is flying by so quickly!
In another month, I will officially be one year out of school – what?! Crazy!
Another fun little fact is that I just joined Windy City Bloggers Collective, very similar to another group I’m apart of called Chicagogrammers – plus I got to meet new people too!
Alright, let’s get to it.
First up, I hosted my first giveaway on Instagram (yay!) with goGLOW which was pretty exciting. I’m hoping to do more of these in the future so stay tuned!
Next up, I took a quick stop into Small Cakes – a cupcakery known for their cupcake smashes (ice cream + cupcake). I got cookie dough for both and it was super sweet and creamy, definitely shareable though it’s quite tall and I didn’t finish all of mine. They had a lot of unique flavors too like a cookie monster looking cookies and cream as well as cannoli and tiramisu.
After that, I headed to my first Windy City Bloggers Event at DL Loft with Debi Lilly (the owner of the space) and Jewel-Osco. I had heard so much about this place – a lot of people like to do photo shoots here with its late 1800s history and charm. Such a fitting pairing with Jewel Osco given that the company started here in 1855 with two guys serving coffee and tea to people’s homes from a wagon. I was so excited to finally see it for myself. The entry with the chandelier was a great start – so gorgeous! Walking in, I was surrounded by treats, from cookies and candy to flowers and candles.
Upon arrival, I was immediately given with a choice of a cocktail: rosé fizz or a carrot bellini. I opted for the rosé fizz first with ingredients like grapefruit, starfruit, mint, citrus and mixed berries all in a punch-like form. The hors-d’oeuvres were super yummy as well with a prosciutto and brie option topped with a peach slice and a cheesy tomato and cucumber number in a crunchy shell.
The second drink option was surprisingly my favorite of the two, with peach apple juice and a topping off of champagne thrown in. You couldn’t even taste the carrot juice!
Once all the mingling started to die down, Debi Lilly showed us how to great the perfect bouquet for Easter. Debi couldn’t be nicer and she made sure to go around helping all of us after we started building our masterpieces. Three takeaways I learned: for tulips, leave the leaves on the stems so that the flowers don’t flop over; for hydrangeas, take the leaves off and cut above the node (little bumps where a leave would grow) on an angle so the flowers last longer. Cutting it at an angle gives the opening of the stem a larger shape so it can take in more water. Lastly, to make your flowers last longer, you need to trim all the stems a little each day and change the water daily to fresh room temperature. If you have plant food for them, spread that out between days as well too.
I got to take home a couple of candles – both smell amazing with completely different scents, one is more flowery and the other is more fresh.
I got to try out a new workspace this week – I gotta say I’m liking this home office thing. I’ve never been to Goddess and the Grocer before but I’ve heard nothing but great things about it, especially since I’ve been seeing them pop up a lot recently.
There’s free wifi and lots of seating – not too noisy so you can focus on your work. They have plenty of food and drink options too – including a happy hour! I tried the avocado toast and honestly, this tasted even better than the one I make myself!! I’ll have to update my list of all the toasts I found in the city because a new winner has been crowned.
Later that day, I went to Petit Margeaux inside the Waldorf Astoria hotel to try their happy hour. Unfortunately, the only thing on the menu was rosé. It was good as was the price, but it would’ve been nice to include a snack or two as well. This hotel is gorgeous though so I’ll still be coming back – plus I do want to try their food even if it can’t come with a discount.
For the last event before the holiday, I went to my first members only event with Windy City Bloggers and Zapwater at Bitter Pops in Lakeview for a shopping tour of Southport. This spot was so trendy looking and cool with all different kinds of beer scattered around with labels big and small. I tried their 3 Floyds lighter beer on tap and it was a little hoppy but tasted refreshing.
After chatting a little bit and finishing our drinks, we ventured over to our first stop: Kendra Scott. I love this brand and all it embodies: family, friends, and philanthropy. Their product is always great quality and the price is decent for what you get. The earrings I have from Kendra Scott are one of my favorites plus they just launched their candle collection! We were treated to some champagne and desserts when we walked in and got to try some of the new candles too. My favorite is the Amethyst one – not too powerful but not subtle either.
We also got a gift from the staff which was super sweet – a pair of earrings from their new spring collection. I was very happy with the set I got, I don’t have a lot of rose gold jewelry. I wore these out and for Easter and I was shocked at how light they were in weight too. If you need a statement earring that would go with everything and won’t pull on your ears, this is it!
We also went to a really cool store that I had been meaning to make my way to, Lou & Grey. Originally a part of Ann Taylor, this brand got so big that it eventually became its own and started launching stores all over the country. Still small, I really loved that you could find unique pieces in here – plus that neon sign got me. 😉 I didn’t buy anything but they have a collection right now that features women-owned businesses which is really awesome so if you haven’t visited yet, go!
This weekend, I decided to switch up my usual avocado toast and give it an Italian twist. Instead of an egg like usual, I decided to throw on some fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, and a little drizzle of olive oil. This was so yummy!! I will definitely make a blog post for this so look for that one as well as that round up of ginger beer cocktails I mentioned I would work on.
And finally, Happy Easter (and Passover) to all my friends out there!! My siblings were all able to come in from school so it was really nice to have everyone together. We went all out on the food with avocado pomegranate salsa, deviled eggs, cheesy potatoes, holiday ham and more. As for dessert, we had a couple of pies and some cake pops made by my cousin – yum! As I mentioned above, I was able to test out my earrings for the holiday (and the night before while out for the Loyola game) and it’s safe to say you’ll be seeing a lot of these.
Local Spots I Checked Out: Small Cakes, DL Loft, Goddess and the Grocer, Petit Margeaux, Bitter Pops, Kendra Scott Southport, Lou & Grey
Events I’m Looking Forward To: Steak Education with Chicago Chop House, Jeni’s Opening in Wrigleyville (sadly can’t go but loved the Old Town Opening), Nashville Trip,
See you in the next post!