Monday, August 22, 2016

Wicker Park: Bangers and Lace

Monday, August 22, 2016









In the summer sun, all I ever want to do is sit outside at a restaurant or cafe. Chicago gave us a few weeks of intense humidity, but other than that, it has been a lovely summer of sun and breezes. The rain this week has brought the most wonderful weather. We were in the mood for gelato, so we enjoyed some on a walk to a friends apartment. As the sun set, the evening got cooler, and I almost considered needing a cardigan in the cool night breeze. We slept with the windows open these past few nights, and by the morning, it was a windy 63 degrees - it was lovely to wake up to! I love Chicago summers because for the most part, you get warm days just like anywhere else, but the night cools everything off for some relief. By noon yesterday, it was 75 degrees. I sat outside with my laptop and worked on my marketing job. Editing articles in the sun and wind is so much better than inside.

We normally love to go to Bangers and Lace for their house-made sausages and beer, but this day, we decided to try their brunch and it was so good! I love cozying up in this intimate space in winter, but I wanted to take advantage of their table outside on the sidewalk while the weather is still warm.

We are getting deep into our Japan planning and we're mapping out places that we must see. We're lucky that we have so many friends that have suggested places for us to go. I downloaded my favorite app for travel, CityMaps2Go, where you can download the map of a city directly to your phone so that you can access it offline. You can even pin spots that you want to visit, making it easy to see what else is around you when you're out and about. It's perfect because when in Airplane Mode, your phone's GPS is still working, but it just needs the map to put you in the correct location. With CityMaps2Go, you have the maps offline, making it impossible to get lost (unless you want to!). We've mapped out our AirBnB's, restaurant recommendations, temples and shrines we want to visit, and even coffee shops that friends recommended that will likely become our morning routine.

It seems like Japan is strangely so soon, how did it come so quickly? When we get back, it will be full-blown winter. I'm looking forward to winter for the sole reason that life will become a little quieter. Last summer we were busy traveling to New Orleans, Paris, Chicago, and even the Bahamas. This summer, we've kept it local by hosting visitors instead of traveling to others. It's been wonderful because we get to be tourists in our own city. Our 1 year anniversary of moving to Chicago came and went this month, and today marks 1 year of me working at this museum. I can no longer say that I'm "new" to Chicago, but I can gladly call Chicago my fair city.
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

At Home / Lately

Thursday, August 18, 2016



My girlfriends came to visit at the most wonderful time (photos of our adventures and shenanigans coming soon...) Just as I received some bad news about an opportunity that I wanted, my friends from Florida arrived the next day. In one long weekend, I had four girlfriends staying with me. It was a full house for sure! From going to a jazz club to hopping from one neighborhood dive bar to another, the weekend was packed and full of exploring my favorite Chicago spots, and discovering new ones together. 

It was a weekend of drinking, and eating, and spending lots of money. I'm now back into super saver mode, getting ready for our trip to Japan in November. It felt like it was months away, and then it truly sneaked up on us. We have our all of our AirBnBs booked, and next is ordering the Japan Rail train passes. We went to purchase tickets for the Studio Ghibli Museum in advance online, and within a matter of days, all of November was sold out. So unfortunately, we will not be able to visit the museum on this trip. However, I'm still looking forward to eating all of the seafood there, exploring the temples, and relaxing at our private onsen overlooking Mt. Fuji. 

Work is nice and manageable these days, especially after such a busy summer season. Although my mantra has been to spend time outside and hang out with friends all summer, I think it's time to be a little reclusive. I'm still disappointed in the missed opportunity, so I am thinking that I need sometime to reflect and contemplate. We will be staying at a cabin with some friends in Michigan for Labor Day weekend. A cabin on the river is coming at the perfect time for me to get away from the city and decompress a bit. As much as I love being in this city, I also need some time to be surrounded by greenery and the water, and for the world to be a little quieter than usual.  
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Monday, August 15, 2016

A Spread from Eataly

Monday, August 15, 2016





A new favorite place of ours is Eataly in Downtown Chicago. From Mario Batali, there is an Eataly in New York City as well. This indoor market place is a combination of grocery store, kitchen shop, and restaurants too. 

On the ground level there is a coffee bar, a dessert stand, and a gelato stand too. There are a few household items like bakewares and lovely packaged snacks to bring home. If you go one floor up, the options seem to be endless. Not only do you have a produce section, a cheese area, and a butcher counter, but there are also different places to sit down and eat. You can enjoy pizza out of a true pizza oven. Or, you can buy a sandwich made with the freshly baked bread that they sell. And, you can even enjoy some seafood dishes near the fish counter, or some cheese and charcuterie near the cheese counter. 

There are so many great things for sale that would make a lovely hostess gift, a housewarming present, or even something to spice up your own dinner party. I recently went with my mom and we made a dinner of cheese and charcuterie to bring home. I love buying the fennel tarali and crunchy, skinny breadsticks, both are something that my grandmother always had in her kitchen growing up. We got some olives, jams, a semolina baguette, and of course, a few cheese options and dry sausage. Their semolina baguette is made with the flour that they use to make pasta. It's has a yellow hint to it, and so delicious. We make sure to buy two so that we can eat one on the way home. My favorite cheese that they carry is called La Tur. It's a soft, Italian cheese that is made of cows milk, sheeps milk, and goat milk. It's perfect when spread on a slice of baguette. It was the perfect spread. 
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Thursday, August 11, 2016

East Ukrainian Village: Happy Village

Thursday, August 11, 2016




I love spending summer (or any season really) with my two favorite guys! Happy Village is a bar down the block from us. On weekends they put up a sign outside their doors that says "Dog Day Afternoon" so of course, we bring Mort when we can. It's a super chill bar, with a beer garden in the back. The outside is tented and covered in grape vines, which perfectly creates shade for Mort.

Sure, we could sit outside of our apartment on our porch with Mort, but we love bringing him out to bars. We bring treats and attempt to train him to be a chill restaurant dog, but honestly, I think he would rather be at home on the couch. I love going to places where he can come with us so that when people ask about him, we can talk to them about greyhound adoption! He's truly the sweetest and yesterday we celebrated two years since we've adopted him! He got yogurt in his breakfast, and chicken in his dinner! Of course, he got his usual midnight snack of peanut butter and carrots too.

There was an opportunity that came up recently, and it would have been a really exciting path for my career. Unfortunately, it didn't go through. I'm trying to remind myself that although I'm disappointed that I didn't get offered the opportunity, that I shouldn't be disappointed in myself. I've worked really hard to be where I am today, and I'm proud because I've come for far in such a short amount of time. And, I'm still working my dream job at the museum.
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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Chicago Summer Picnic in Logan Square

Sunday, August 07, 2016











One weekend, we packed up a picnic basket with some summer goodies like grapes, cheese, and rose wine. Our friends brought cold beer, as well as some bagels, cream cheese, and smoked fish from Snaggletooth. It was such a delicious spread! This group of people truly signify everything I love about Chicago. I've met some amazing women in Florida, but the women in Chicago are some of the most inspiring group of badass ladies that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I feel humbled that I'm lucky enough to be their friend. Knowing that I am new to Chicago, and that I am spreading my roots and seeking out a new tribe, these girls have been the most welcoming. Their hearts are just as big as their brains, and  I'm so thankful for them.

Earlier this summer, I was very much feeling in a rut. I blamed it on retrograde, and thankfully, my emotional distress didn't last long. When you're in a rut, whether it's with friends, work, or family, it's nearly impossible to see the end. I remember thinking that I love Chicago, I love my job, but I left so many amazing people behind, and I don't want to lose them. Was it worth it? Honestly, yes, yes it was. I was lucky to have one of my girlfriends visit me shortly after I moved. We enjoyed fall together, something that Florida doesn't have! Having people like her helped make the transition so smooth.

I've had to work harder to keep my favorite 1,000-mile relationships strong, and the amazing ones prove that they value our friendship just as much. I have three girlfriends visiting me all at once next weekend, and I cannot wait to show them everything I love about Chicago. At the same time, I'm excited to show Chicago my favorite girls. Whenever life gets real, these girls are there to cry or be angry with me. When there are things to celebrate, I can count on these girls to light up the room with just their smiles and their laughs. I'm finding some amazing friends in Chicago, I've found my tribe, and I hope to become as close to them as I am to my Orlando tribe. 
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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Artful Blogging Magazine Feature

Wednesday, August 03, 2016
 

I'm excited to share that Hygge and Wool has been featured in the Autumn 2016 issue of Artful Blogging magazine! You can purchase the magazine on their website here, as well as see a little preview of my spread! The editor, Danielle, has a wonderful eye for design and quality blogs, so this blog is in good company.

It was really nice to reflect on blogging, the process, and how when things change around me, I still make time to write and take photographs, because it's what I enjoy doing. 
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