5 Places in Chicago Both You and I Need to Try

The never ending cloudy skies and rain in Chicago is having me dream of summer dresses, high waisted everything, wedges and jumpsuits to wear out and about the city. I recently made a mini list of restaurants and bars I want to try and I thought I would share, along with a cute jumpsuit by Ellie Kai that I can wear out to these new hot spots. This classy jumpsuit is not only perfect for just about any night out, but it is so comfortable too. Be sure to check out all of Ellie Kai’s cute outfits on their website. I love that everything is made to order and they have so many patterns to choose from!

Anyways, tell me what places I am missing! They don’t have to be brand new- I just have a thing for supporting new businesses in the city.

Jumpsuit: Ellie Kai

Ella Elli: Southport, Chicago

The chic booths and savvy light fixtures speak to me. On top of this photo worthy restaurant, the menu contains everything delicious. Whether it is a date night or grabbing a drink with a friend, I cannot wait to stop by this charming restaurant.

La Josie: West Loop, Chicago

I love seeing the transformation of restaurant row in West Loop. This industrial community is bringing every kind of cuisine and La Josie is sure to be a hit. Not to mention this Mexican restaurant has a roof deck. Summer just got that much better.

Violet Hour: Wicker Park, Chicago

I know. I haven’t been to Violet Hour. I’m just as shocked as you are. The artisanal cocktail menu and hidden appeal with no signs outside is the perfect addition to the Wicker Park community. I love that you can escape the grunge and artsy part of town and toast to a cocktail at Violet Hour. I will be stopping in soon!

Steak Bar: Old Town, Chicago

Another place that has been on my list, especially for brunch. No wonder it’s almost famous with it’s extensive brunch menu and bottomless mimosa deal. $35 buffet and $15 mimosas? Yes and yes.

Up and Up Chicago: Wicker Park, Chicago

Located atop the Robey Chicago in Wicker Park brings stunning city views as the perfect beginning or end to any night. The Robey Chicago is a trendy hotel in Wicker that actually used to be an office building. Did I mention Up and Up has a terrace? You’re welcome.

The sunshine is close. I can feel it.

XO.

Lex

 

Photography by: Lincoln Park Minute

Friday Blues with a Hint of Pink

We made it to Friday! I am so excited for a few adventures coming up in the next few weeks, so thanks for following along :). I will give you a hint of what my upcoming adventures include: an ocean, flowers, and more flowers. Oh yes. As you can tell I have been on the floral fashion train because I cannot stop talking about them. I found my top on sale from Anthropologie and I thought it was perfect to wear in the city because it is long sleeved but still bright and cheery (writing this as I wore all black today…). I paired it with my jeans from Zara that are so comfy (and they are high rise!) and my bright pink M. Gemi flats. Anthro usually has a few great pieces on sale when I check out their site or in store (and make sure to grab some Voluspa candles while you’re at it) so make sure to take a peek.

I hope you enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend for Easter! And don’t stay at work too late today.. Happy Friday!

XO.

Lex

Top: Anthropologie // Jeans: Zara // Shoes: M. Gemi // Purse: Kate Spade // Shades: Wavvse

Photography by Brittany Benson

Organically Gorgeous

 

Over the past few months, my skin has completely changed. This is not something I normally talk openly about, but I think it is important to know that not everyone is perfect! I went from having crystal clear skin with a few bumps here and there to having flare ups of tiny little bumps all over my face. Let me tell you: it isn’t fun!

I have always stuck to a strict skincare routine involving a lot of high-end products that worked wonders for me for years and I had not recently changed anything so I was puzzled. I go for a monthly facial at Cowshed Spa in Chicago (I see Ashley- she is a miracle worker!) and found out that my sudden little bumps were not acne, but bodily toxins trying to expel themselves through our largest organ: my skin. Ashley had me switch all of my beauty products over to being 100% plant based, organic + all natural and I was totally lost. I started researching brands that are gentle but effective and stumbled upon TULA.

Each TULA product nourishes your skin with a balanced meal of good-for-you ingredients, the same way a healthy diet nourishes your body. At TULA, they are not just looking at what we put on our face, but looking inside at internal medicine to improve the health and appearance of our body’s largest organ, the skin. That means leveraging the power of probiotics, “the newest breakthrough in skincare.” TULA uses carefully selected skin superfoods and probiotics AKA good bacteria to help skin reveal it’s best self.

My personal favorite and new hero product is the Exfoliating Treatment Mask. I have never used a mask that has exfoliating particles in it, but was pleasantly surprised at the texture. This particular mask contains Lactic acid and Bentonite clay to gently peel away impurities, dead skin, and debris and the tiny beads are plant-based and biodegradable. They release hydrating nutrients including Jojoba and Vitamin E to heal and calm skin.

If you have sensitive skin like me or are

 making a conscious effort to switch what you put on your body to being plant-based, TULA is the perfect line to dip your toe into. They offer this great little started pack so you can try different skincare items to see what works best for you.

 

PS: how funny are these products from Anese? The silly names make me laugh every time I look at them. Currently obsessed with this hair elixir. PSS: take 20% off your order with code FIRST20. No…I do not earn anything from this.

 

<3 Al

Thank you TULA for working with me on this post!

Birthday Weekend Outfits

 

This past weekend I turned 24! My family has always celebrated “birthday weeks” and I look forward to it every year! My parents and I tried out a new restaurant in Chicago called Giant. Not going to lie- I was a little nervous when I first took a glance at the menu, but everything they put down on the table was more delicious than the last. It is in Logan Square, about a five minute drive from Lost Lake. I have professed my love for Lost Lake here before, and recently made a tiki cocktail inspired by their tiki drinks. Needless to say, we stopped at Lost Lake for a cocktail to top off the night.  Saturday night we went to The Aviary– my all time favorite cocktail spot in Chicago. If you have not been to The Aviary- you need to RUN there right now! The things they do to alcohol are truly incredible. We ended the night at Swift & Sons. I got a few questions about the outfits I posted on Instagram, so I thought I would share them!

My mom called me last week when I was in Nashville to see if there was anything I had wanted for my birthday. Honestly- I 100% forgot to tell my mom that I wanted anything because of my foggy Lyme brain.  Whoops. BUT- my mom found this beautiful python lips bag from designer Gelareh Mizrahi- you can scoop one up exclusively at Barney’s or on her website, here. Fun fact: you can order a custom bag of your face. I collect (hoard) bags (and shoes and clothes- HA) and this was the perfect, unique addition to my collection.

 Oxford: JCREW: Skirt: JCREW (now on sale, similar here, also on sale.)

Loafers: Madewell (Also obsessed with these that Jenn Lake recently wore- but alas they do not have my giant size.)

Leather jacket: All Saints. Striped T-shirt: (Similar) JCrew. Belt: Louis Vuitton.

Jeans: Good American. Bag: Gelareh Mizrahi.

<3 Al

Downtown Chic

Chicago Style Chicago Style Chicago Style Chicago Style Chicago Style Chicago Style

Sweater: Nordstrom (Similar here) // Jeans: Topshop @ Nordstrom // Boots: Aldo

Hair Products: Moroccan Oil and Blowout Sealing Serum

Shampoo: Fekkai // Conditioner: Fekkai

I have been meaning to channel my inner tourist and share some images that really capture the epitome of Chicago. I wanted to live here for a reason, right? One of the most iconic pictures in Chicago is the infamous CHICAGO marquee located at State and Lake at the Chicago Theatre. I work right next door to it so I get to see it every morning and night as I get off and on the redline. State street is great for shopping (I call the Macy’s the Disneyland shopping adventure of Chicago) and you’re in the heart of the city’s Theatre district where you can easily snag student rush tickets to a show.

It has still been a little colder than usual in Chicago, so I went with a black sweater, torn jeans, and ankle boots. I tend to lightly style my hair during the work week and use more products/ heat on it during the weekends, so I think that could be a reason as to why my hair grows so fast (I am in a desperate need of a haircut…). I shared a few of my hair products I use in case anyone is looking for new product recos! Moroccan oil has been my go to for years, and sometimes I mix it with my Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial to give my face ultimate moisture before bed. Any must have black clothing items you have spotted? Let me know!

XO.

Lex

Green for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is always an event: you see the river dyed green, you eat lots of corned beef and cabbage, drink green beer, and bar hop all around the city. One of my favorite things about St. Patty’s Day is the people watching! Oh are the outfits fun. I wanted to share a ‘street chic’ St. Patrick’s Day outfit I’ll be sporting on Saturday (as Patty’s day happens early this year) as I brunch with friends, see the green river, and hop around Chicago to a few bars and friend’s apartments. I love the slight poof to my top as I have been noticing that as an up and coming style. I decided to jazz up my outfit a little more with an added neck scarf. Thank you Anthropologie for the cute outfit! What greenery will you be sporting?! Below are a few of my top Chicago go-tos for Patty’s Day festivities too.

Top 5 Restaurants/Bars to go to on St. Patty’s Day (Saturday March 11th and 17th)

*Don’t forget to download the app Tally (a bar tab on your phone without the hassle of using a credit card at busy hot spots!) and receive 20% off your tab at participating Chicago bars on St. Patty’s Day!

All my luck,

Lex

Top: Anthropologie // Jeans: Anthropologie // Neck Tie: Anthropologie // Shoes: Nordstrom Rack

Photography by Brittany Benson.

Stay-caytion in Chicago

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

I love my city. One of the things I love most is you never feel too consumed from living in Chicago. You can always go to different places throughout the city to get fresh air and clear your mind. One way Bill and I decided to get some savvy R&R was to take a little stay-cation. Our stay was made extra special thanks to the hospitality from the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. We are familiar with the Gold Coast neighborhood and have many memories there but being a guest in your own city for once is pretty fun and something different. Bill and I relaxed, did some shopping, and had delicious dinners during our stay. I think my favorite thing about our short and sweet vacation was the fireplace in our hotel room.. it’s the little things that matter right?

I encourage you to take a stay-cation in your city, whether it be by yourself, with a friend, or lover.

A few tips I have when you are thinking about taking a stay-cation:

  • Plan ahead: Think of where you ideally want to stay, and a few new dinner spots you have been wanting to try.
  • Bring an outfit you normally wouldn’t wear out: I don’t mean bring something outrageous. Just bring a dress you never have a chance to wear but always receive compliments on. Dress up because it makes you feel fabulous.
  • Do something tourist-y: Yep. You read that correctly. Bill and I went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory on an off day when it wasn’t busy. It reminded both of us what a beautiful city we live in and how nice our local attractions are.

I shared a few photos from our stay-cation below: Fireplace, Balcony, Outfits and more.

If it’s not going away from your home for a weekend, find a great movie, make your favorite snack and splurge on that fancy candle you have been dying to try.

XO.

Lex

The Waldorf Astoria Chicago

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Dinner at Merlo Maple
Waldorf Astoria ChicagoMerlo Maple Chicago

Top: Free People (similar here!) // Boots: Steve Madden

A Day as a Tourist at the Lincoln Park Conservatory

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Jacket: Hinge @ Nordstrom (Another fave here) // Hat: BP @ Nordstrom // Leggings: Zella // Shoes: Nike (similarLincoln Park Conservatory Lincoln Park Conservatory Lincoln Park Conservatory Lincoln Park Conservatory Lincoln Park Conservatory