||| summer in chicago | taste of randolph |||

okay, i’m a little behind… but still had to share. how could i not with all of these amazing restaurants? below are our top pics from the taste of randolph this past weekend: thyme & oregano kettle corn from the tasting room, chips & and a hefty helping of quac from de cero, spinach arancini from marcello’s , tacos from belly q & a gorgeous view on the patio of city winery.
Taste of Randolph Chicago collage

||| valentine’s day | my true love |||

happy valentine’s day! today is the perfect day to reveal my true love: restaurant week. this year, we tested out senza. amazing! senza is located in lakeview neighborhood of chicago. they offer a pre-fixed menu that varies by season; $100 for nine courses, $50 for four. senza is a perfect restaurant for those of you with celiac disease; everything on the menu is gluten free!

moving down (from left to right) we have: a picture of the modern interior, the commemorative restaurant week menu, parsnip soup, grilled lettuce, tagliatelle (with truffles), gnocchi, scallops, white chocolate & spiked apple cider dessert.

i’m trying to stray away from food posts, but c’mon, it’s food.


||| have a lovely night! rachel |||

||| travel tip thursday | chicago |||

for those of you in the windy city this weekend, chicago restaurant week starts saturday! restaurant week is (besides the greatest idea ever) an ideal time to try out the city’s hottest restaurants through pre-set brunches, lunches and dinners at reasonable prices. here’s the list of participating restaurants.

also this weekend is randolph street market, discussed last summer here.

||| next door cafe | free & fun classes |||

ndcafe(photo via nextdoorchi.com)

a must share – fascinating concept! next door cafe, opened by state farm as a way to get closer to the community, offers financial coaching and fun instructional classes from brainstorming to yoga (and they’re all free!).

the café has coffee, delicious treats, rooms for meetings and a simple, modern design (what more could you ask for?!). today, i took a photography course, hosted by paulo saini and a healthy eating course, hosted by marcy e. cruice, earlier this month. both classes were beneficial and engaging, highly recommend glancing over the calendar of classes if you’re in the chicago area!

open 7am-10pm | 659 w diversey pkwy, chicago

||| local etsy talents | chicago |||

This week’s local Etsy talents were found in the windy city of Chicago, IL. Rachel actually goes to school in Chicago and I visit about 4 or 5 times a year for work (or to visit Rachel), so it is a city that is very close to both of our hearts.  There is some amazing talent in this city and I am happy to share a few with you this week!

||| enjoy! -t |||

||| Glam Rocks Designs | the jewelry in this shop is absolutely gorgeous—my favorites are definitely the dainty little knuckle rings.

||| Silly Buddy | these collars and leashes will make your fur baby just as chic as you!

||| Inflated Deflated | the first time I fell in love with this project was actually on pinterest a few months ago—I was extremely excited to find them on the local etsy shops in chicago.  the shop includes a range prints of sayings written on deflated balloons.  this is such a fabulous collection.

||| Oh Me & Oh My | I love the simplistic design of these ombre wooden spoons.

||| Print Wolf | minimalist movie posters—a huge (and necessary!) step up from the marie antoinette poster from Target I used to have thumb tacked on the wall in my dorm room!

||| xoazureé |I love how this shop offers cards with all the trimmings—envelopes, confetti, a gift tag, and even some baker’s twine.

||| Lullu D | the perfect jewelry for any occasion in any color you may desire!

||| I Am Home | the handmade chalkboard skulls in this shop are just too cool

||| Up in the Air Somewhere | any of the papier-mâché vessels in this shop would be a welcome addition to any home

||| Olive Brown | beautiful accessories—I am completely obsessed with the neutral colored clutches with neon zippers.

Old is the New New.

I (luckily!) picked the perfect weekend to revisit Chicago.  Though my main aim was to apply for my visa, my appointment was the same weekend as the beloved Randolph Street Market.  As a vintage enthusiast, I found it a necessity to plot out all antique fairs and shops in Chicago after my move to the city, and this is one of my favorites.

My find of the weekend: a vintage Samsonite carry-on bag.  Snatched this beauty for a mere $25.  The bag is mod bowling-bag style, from their popular soft-sided collection of the 60s or early 70s.

It smelled a bit stale, as most vintage items do, so I placed lavender scented dryer sheets in the bag and each pocket and closed them for 3 days.  Soaks up the stench and adds a fresh smell.  

In love with the lock on the side!

It’s inevitable to discover an item that seems outrageous the moment you see it, then later seems essential to your life.  This is that item.  At first glance, you’d think “Why would anyone need a radio that looks like a golden owl with eyes as the dials?” and later you think “Me, that’s who.”  (Pardon the “who” pun.)

And, as always, RSM offered some of the most delightful (yet quick!) food for lunch!  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the chefs at Gotta B Crepes are imaginative enough to make pizza on crepes!