I know it seemed like I dropped off the face of this Earth but I’m back!! After quite the run down of the flu, I had to take a bit of a delay this past week. However, with that in mind, I made sure to not leave a single detail out for the roundup so here we go! First up, I started out the year on a good health note (yay) and got some avocado toast, peanut butter strawberry toast, and some fresh barbacoa with yellow rice – yum. I also (before my sickness came through) was habitually drinking apple cider vinegar since it has a lot of health and weight loss benefits. Pro tip: make sure to dilute it with a glass of water or lemon juice since it’s highly acidic and could damage your throat and stomach, also drink it with a straw to protect your teeth. Now that my health is on the mend, I’ll be going back to this. I also tried a new recipe for “smashed” potatoes and they were so delicious and easy to make!
Shortly after, I got to attend my first event of 2018. Roy’s Furniture invited me to a little party at their Lincoln Park location complete with complimentary wine, treats from Nothing Bundt Cakes and featured a couple local vendors like Kissable by Kaiti (who sells Lipsense lipsticks) and Di Mi Tierra natural bath and body product and household cleaners. Di Mi Tierra had some really nice stuff – everything smelled so fresh and, fun fact, it’s run and made by sisters! They all make the products in their kitchen together with family recipes. Nothing Bundt’s cakes were SO good, now I know why they are growing so much! I had the red velvet and the chocolate chocolate chip (which they said is there best seller) and they were very moist and rich. Lipsense was really cool too, it lasts 24 hrs on your lips and is smudge proof. I actually tested it out after going home with eating dinner and NOTHING came off except a little of the clear gloss. That is pretty good considering I had bright red lips on! Only thing is that it was a pain to get off, which was to be expected since it’s suppose to last a while.
The next night, I got to attend one of Scratch Good’s First Friday’s Foot Soaks with Jordin. I mentioned Scratch Goods a few posts back but for those who don’t know, as well as being a skincare and wellness store they also have events too! One being where every first friday of the month you can stop in for a free foot soak! While we waited we got to sip on some hot tea and also sample some local honey from Hive. Did you know there’s different types of honey? According to the rep, there’s a fall and summer batch with one being lighter in flavor than the other. It was really good so I might have to grab some soon. After our soak, we shopped around. They were having a deal where if you brought in donations for the charity they were collecting for, you got 10% off. I brought some Tampon Tribe items since I figured no one would donate items like that (plus its cute). After testing out a few products, I got a jade roller and a facial brush. I’ve been wanting to try both out since I keep seeing jade rolling all over Instagram. I’ve been using it sporadically with my cold and I’m really liking the jade roller so far – I leave it in the fridge and the cool jade against my face feels really nice. When my head starts to ache, I break it out and it helps. I want to try it with serums next, as that’s one of the reasons people buy them in the first place. As for the brush, it was a brand new item when we came last time and it was SUPER soft. My Clarisonic bit the dust a while back so I’ve been trying to find a replacement since – this one I don’t have to charge plus it has really soft bristles for my sensitive skin! Win!! I haven’t tried it yet so I’ll be sure to give an update soon.
To cap off the night, Jordin and I decided to try out RM Champagne Salon since neither of us have been and wanted to try it. We were a little scared at first since the reviews online were horrible to say the least (mainly on service) but surprisingly, it went off without a hitch! Thank goodness. The space was adorable with little chandeliers everywhere – I would have loved to checkout the outside more but it was freezing out and it was closed off because of it. I tried my best to take a few to show off my flare jeans and furry coat. I started off with a French 75 because 1) it’s my favorite cocktail out there and 2) it was made with Moët & Chandon – for those who don’t know, that’s a pretty great champagne. It was a bit of a splurge (sorry Mom!) but it was so worth it. One of the best ones I’ve ever had – peep my reaction after my first sip below. To go with our drinks, we split a steak tartare – something neither of us had had before. It was decent, I’ve seen some at other places where there’s an egg yolk on top and I feel like that would be the cherry on top. As for the main course, we opted for croque madames. These were SO good. The gruyere was so melty and tasty and the spinach salad was perfectly seasoned with a lemon vinaigrette. I’ve had some where the salad is bone dry and therefore doesn’t add anything to the meal so this was a win in my book. Fun fact: croque madames have eggs on the open-faced sandwich, whereas croque monsieurs do not. To finish out (and realized we didn’t need ’em), we got pomme frites/fries. They were nicely seasoned and the aioli was really good but they were a bit too salty. The service was totally fine for us so maybe they are getting better? All and all, we both agreed that we’d be back again soon.
Of course, like clockwork, I got sick for days right after this. Ugh. However, I had to still go to the Everything Erica Eataly event because, duh! I had been waiting for a while to come to one of these so I wasn’t going to let one little flu stop me! Thank you so much to all my favorite bloggers that were here – so happy I got to meet Brett, Erica and Erin (again – loved her Cookies and Rosé event with Erica). I followed them all around the time that Elia’s baby shower happened so I love seeing them all together in person! Ok, now the main event: the food!! For those who have been following for a while, you know how much I love Eataly – it’s one of my favorite spots in the city (plus the central market that I frequented when I was abroad in Florence was owned by it too). Upon walking in, we received a glass of prosecco in a souvenir glass we could take home and a wine glass holder with another drink ticket inside – aka the lovely necklace I’m wearing below 😂. And yes, my glass is in there so it works! The food was served buffet-style with all kinds of Italian staples like a buttery ravioli, fresh mozzarella and a few types of foccaccia and flatbreads. Everything tasted amazing of course – I think my favorite was the balsamic drizzled flatbread with mushrooms. Obviously they couldn’t skimp on the dessert, so I headed to the gelato cart which had cherry amaretto gelato, tiramisu gelato and a berry sorbet. I opted for the tiramisu – so yummy! To finish off, they had a cannoli cart – yeah – and sadly I couldn’t even finish it and my second drink because I was so stuffed with all the other goodies. Though I wasn’t at my best, this event definitely helped keep me going and I can’t wait for Erica’s next event!
Now that I was on the mend, I made sure to attend yet another event I had been waiting before, Oak Street Social’s Social Media Seminar! The topic this time was on video content, something that I honestly have been meaning to expose myself more into. I learned so much from these ladies – like, did you know that majority of videos watched on a phone is watched without sound? Crazy right? I will definitely be implementing some of the tools I learned into my content soon so stay tuned on Instagram for that. Also can we talk about this space for a second? Seriously, how did I not know about these cute spaces before? They are called Breather and they have all different ones you can rent for meetings or photo shoots or what have you throughout the city. Considering how cold it’s been lately, not a bad idea to me. The event was also stocked with Dark Matter coffee and Swirls cupcakes – yum! The red velvet and chocolate ones were my fave. We even got a little goodie bag to take home filled with local vendors – nothing like small businesses helping each other out, I love that. If you get a chance to go to their next seminar, it’s April 12th and I’m going – come with me!
To round out these past two weeks, I got some brunch at one of my favorite spots, Holt’s. I always like to try something different here plus they recently changed up their menu, so this time I went for the chilaquiles. The only qualm I had about them was that there was a lot of salsa verde – so much so that most of the tortilla chips were a little soggy. I also asked for my eggs sunny side up instead of scrambled, which I think was worth it. Other than that, this pile of chorizo, guac, cotija cheese, eggs, pico de gallo, salsa verde and chips was pretty amazing. This was my first time having chilaquiles ever, as I had been meaning to try it since seeing the dish pop up all around Instagram and it’s safe to safe I will be ordering it for brunch again. Yum!
I’m just shy of 100% better so I’ll be resuming my schedule now. Thanks for sticking with me through the break!
Local Spots I Checked Out: Roy’s Furniture, RM Champagne Salon, Scratch Goods, Eataly, Breather, Holt’s
Events I’m Looking Forward To: Chicago Restaurant Week, catching up on blog posts, blogger shoots, catching up with friends (hibernation season is real, y’all)
See you in the next post!