Monthly Archives: January 2016

Explore - Live

February Events

January 30, 2016

feb events

Feb  1     Free Museum Day
Participating Museums, times vary
Shedd Aquarium, The Adler Planetarium, & Field Museum are offering admission free for IL residents throughout the month of Feb.
more details

Feb  1     IDSA Coaster Break
Kaiser Tiger, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monthly, IDSA (Industrial Design Society of America) sketching & networking event. Come meet other design professionals in Chicaog!
more details

Feb  7     ArtFEED
The Art Institute of Chicago, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Meet other young art lovers over a creatively composed meal and a talk from a museum expert at ArtFEED. 21+
more details + ticket info 

Feb  12     2nd Fridays
Chicago Arts District, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Free art crawl through the 30+ creative spaces and galleries in the Chicago Arts District. Showcasing an exciting display of art and artists from Chicago and beyond.
more details

Feb  14     Love Dose (Dose Market)
Morgan MFG in Fulton Market, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Dose Market is a ever-changing marketplace to meet new makers, bakers, chefs, designers and artists in one spot, letting you shop like a boss.
more details + ticket info

Feb  20    Coffee & Conversation
Mac & Cheese Productions, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Coffee & Conversation is a Chicago-based community of entrepreneurs and innovators who  share ideas, resources, and inspiration.
more details 

Eat - Explore

ICP: Cup & Spoon Review

January 26, 2016

First Indie Passport Coffee Cafe Review! That’s a mouthful. If you haven’t checked it out yet, hop on over to [this post] about what ICP is, how it works, and how you can start your own coffee adventure.


Cup & Spoon started as a pop up at The Nosh and Logan Square Farmer’s Market using all local beans, a then became a brick & mortar with a successful Indiegogo campaign. Decorated retro modern, they have a rotating gallery of local artists, wifi, and print station. If you’re doing ICP, these are the drinks your passport can get you. *Sorry for the bad images- need to get more comfortable taking photos in public.

  1. Medium (12 oz) Latte/Cappuccino
  2. Medium (12 oz) Lumberjack Latte
  3. Medium (12 oz) V60 Pour over
  4. Medium (12 oz) Peppermint Cow
  5. Large (16 oz) Loose Leaf Tea
  6. Large (16 oz) Sunlight in the Fog


What I had:
Blueberry & orange homemade poptart
Lumberjack Latte

If a drink has a special name, it has to be a special drink, right? Cup & Spoon describes their Lumberjack Latte “like maple syrup tapped straight from the source, this hearty latte pairs sweet with a dash of sea salt”. It sounds saccharine, but it’s not overly sweet at all! It’s very good coffee with just a smidge of sweetness enhanced by sea salt.

But the real winner? The poptart. Reviews all raved about the perfectly buttery & golden pastries everywhere. C&S change out the fillings on a seasonal basis, and they don’t disappoint. This little morsel is good enough to tempt me away from my blanket fort in Oak Park.

Next time:
I’ll be getting the Vanilla Essence, a “Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla comes together in perfect latte harmony with fig and black pepper”.

Eat - Explore

Indie Coffee Passport

January 22, 2016

22 cafes. 25 dollars. 9 months. 1 passport.

Was exploring Chicago or finding a new cafe one of your resolutions? Indie Coffee Passport is your ticket to getting out and exploring independent coffee shops.  And for $25, you get to try 22 different cafes- that’s barely more than a dollar for a cup of coffee (or tea)!

I’ll be reviewing 2 cafes a month, trying one of the offered ICP drinks & a review chosen customer favorite. Follow my cafe hoping with #ICPcurated (I promise to limit the latte art posts), and let me know if you’re going to try it!

[full list of participating locations]
ICP Chicago runs from December 1, 2015 – August 31, 2016 and is also in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vermont, East Bay, & Washington DC.


Savor It: Easy Savory Crepes

January 21, 2016

Savor It: Easy Savory Crepes

Sometimes leftovers are a sad reminder to go grocery shopping. Other times, they result in wonderfully bizarre combinations. These crepes are the second, I promise. Using the savory flavors in Andouille sausage and complementing them with creamy goat cheese and sweet honey, this is a flavor bomb that is surprisingly easy to make.

Savory Sausage Crepes
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
splash of vanilla extract

Andouille sausage
honey to taste
goat cheese

*Crepe recipe based off Alton Brown’s no fail recipe. Seriously, this recipe is fool proof.*
Whisk together eggs, milk, water, flour, butter, & vanilla extract. Keep going until there aren’t any lumps left. Set aside for 1 hr to make sure the bubbles rise (this will keep the crepe cooking evenly later).

Once the batter is ready, set a non-stick pan on medium heat. Dole out enough batter to swirl around the pan- this will take a bit of practice to figure out the right amount. Get ready to flip once you see the crepe “sweating”. If it’s ready, you should be able to flip it in the air without any problems. Also, mastering crepe flipping makes you one hell of a kitchen ninja. Set your crepe stack aside to prep the filling.

Savor It: Easy Savory Crepes

Once you’ve sweated your crepes and self over said crepes, it’s all nice and easy sailing from here. Andouille sausages are great, because they come precooked! You just need to fry the slices in a bit of oil over medium heat to crisp them up. With the sausages done, fill each crepe with sausage, a sprinkling of goat cheese, and finishing with a drizzle of honey.

Savor It: Easy Savory CrepesSavor It: Easy Savory Crepes


Grand Opening Grand Plan

January 19, 2016

The Grand Opening, Grand Master Plan. All the tips & tricks I've picked up over the years attending grand openings.

Grand openings are exciting. The promise of new items and winning giftcards draws me in every time. I’ve been to 5 major grand openings within the past 2 years (Forver21, H&M x 2, Topshop, Uniqlo) and developed the grand opening, grand master plan to help you successfully navigate.

Battle Plan
+ Do the math! Is it even worth going? Figure out your opportunity cost before committing, because trust me, it’s a commitment.
+ Scope out all information avenues about the event. Read where the line will start (especially if it is in an indoor mall with multiple entrances), time doors open, & giftcard restrictions.
+ Plan your outfit. 2 layers max. It might be freezing outside, but you don’t want to be struggling to carry your coat while juggling hangers & squeezing through shortcuts.
+ Come with 2 budgets. 1) The one you would have on a normal shopping day. Try to stick as closely as possible to this one but… 2) Have an absolute budget. Hard line drawn. It can be a bit crazy in there, but only walk away with things you can picture wearing for awhile.
+ Preshop! Look online and have a checklist of what you want. You can prioritize areas of the store to beat the rush. Having a plan gets more items you actually want in hand. You’ll feel less overwhelmed, and you’ll be ready for the first round of dressing rooms.

Game Time
+ Get there at 7:45. Really. Most grand openings start at 10 am, and the magic time of 7:45 has consistently gotten me into the top 10-20 in line. Usually 1-5 are the before 6 am-ers, and sometimes being the 1st in line is no better than being 20th. (check the event details!)
+ Bring a friend. Unless you downloaded a movie beforehand, you’ll need the entertainment. Once you’re on the inside you can split up. If you know each other well enough, you can keep an eye out for things each other might like.
+ Coffee. Know your limits on this one. It’ll help you keep your energy up, but if it has you running to the restroom, it’s not worth it.
+ Get to know the people around you! You’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder with each other for hours. Get friendly! This way, if you didn’t bring a friend and need a bathroom break, people will hold your spot.
+ Got a giftcard? Awesome! Put it towards a well made staple item that may have been on the stretch end of your budget.
+ The first sweep is a laser focused mission. You’ve done the pre-shopping and know exactly what you want. After your first try-on’s, take a more relaxed second loop. Now’s the time to look at smaller items and decided how much you really want that 3rd flannel.

+ Remember, you can return things! An impulse buy doesn’t always look as good the next day.
+ Get some real food. With 3 hrs of waiting in line & at least 2 hrs of shopping (browsing, trying on, & checkout will all be prolonged), you’re going to need it.

General Rules
+ Use quick judgement in the changing room. Toss no’s, & keep maybe’s to decide on when you do your second sweep. People are lining up, and no one appreciates waiting on back and forth debates for each item.
+ Nothing is worth fighting some one over. See it as more money you can put somewhere else.
+ Retail workers will be overwhelmed. Be nice to them. You’ll be on your own to find something.

Are grand openings worth it? I love going and seeing a brand new store. Presentation is king on grand opening day. It feels like a game- navigating the store, scoping out the best prices and winning giftcards. It was definitely worth it when I was a student and had the time but not the money to shop. Working now, I’d have to get the upper worth giftcards to make it worth the time. However, if any place offers an exclusive product or anyone wants to go, I’ll be your line buddy.