First Divvy Experience: Success

Is it finally spring in Chicago?  Slowly but surely…YES!

Today it reached a high of almost 60 degrees and with Divvy stations practically on every corner…I decided it was about time to try it out!  I haven’t been on a bike in about 10 years so I though this would be a fun Sunday activity.

For those of you who don’t know… Divvy is a bike sharing system featuring thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations from Andersonville to Hyde Park, available 24/7, 365 days a year. Each station has a touchscreen kiosk, station map, and a docking system that releases bikes using a member key or ride code.  Rides cost $7 for a 24-hour pass or $75 for an annual membership with unlimited rides.Screen shot 2014-04-06 at 8.49.48 PM

I did notice Groupon has a special running for three 24-hour passes for $12.99  so we used that for today’s ride.

Although I have not used Divvy before, getting my bike was a easy peasy.  I went to the stations kiosk which is self explanatory and followed the directions.  You can only rent 2 bikes max on one credit card so if you’re going in a group you’ll need several credit cards.  At the end you will be given a code displayed on the screen as well as printed on a receipt.  You will use this code to release your bike from the dock.  If you choose to purchase the annual membership you will get a card that you can swipe instead of having to type in the code.  So type in your code… wait for the green light and you’re all set to go!  All Divvy bikes are exactly the same the only thing you have to do is adjust your seat and check your breaks. (Quick tip: set your seat about level with your hip, when you’re riding you generally want your leg to be almost fully extended when the pedal is at its lowest point.)

One thing I did not know is that even though it’s a 24-hour unlimited pass…you do need to dock your bike every 30 min in order to avoid extra charges.  (See chart below)  Luckily as I’ve mentioned before there are over 300 stations so you shouldn’t have a problem doing that.  At first I was displeased by this but realized it really wasn’t that big of a deal.

 

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Getting a new bike is easy.  All you have to do is dock your old bike– make sure you use enough force to push it in then wait for the green light which signals that it’s securely locked back in.  To re-set your 30 min. timer you’ll have to get another code from the kiosk (your old code is only valid for 5 min).  You will need to swipe your card again to pull up your account.

The plan was to ride along lake shore drive from Buena Park to the Planetarium and back.  So we picked up our bikes just around the corner from where we live and we made our first dock/bike switch in Lincoln Park.  There was a dock station right off the bike/running path.  Next stop we made was at Navy Pier and after at Millenium Park.  By this time it was getting a little chilly out so we decided to head back after having a mini picnic by the ‘Cloud Gate’ aka ‘The Bean’ and Starbucks run.  (You can find a map of all dock stations at each Divvy station, on their website, or you can also download their app.)

Overall it was a great experience and a new way to explore this beautiful city.  While I don’t plan on getting the yearly membership…I’m definitely considering buying my own bike!  I think Divvy is great and I will definitely make use of it once it starts getting nicer out.  It’s absolutely perfect for quick trips around the city and not having to worry about locking up your own bike.  You can dock at one station, go do your thing, and pick up another bike and a different station.  Divvy is even great when you have friends visiting from out of town..it’s a fun way to show them around town!

A few snaps from our Divvy trip:

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               We started with a selfie                                            Riding along the lake shore bike path…

 

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             Lake Michigan looked beautiful                    Staring up at Lake Point Tower from Divvy Docking Station

 

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               Picnic by ‘the bean’                                          On our way back stopped by the Yacht Club :)

 

Last but not least…as stated on all Divvy bikes don’t forget to FOLLOW THE RULES:

  • Follow traffic laws
  • Walk bikes on sidewalks
  • Yield to pedestrians
  • Ride with traffic

Be safe and have fun!

Things to do in April 2014

It’s officially the first day of spring!

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Like many…I’m so exited to finally be able to get out of the house and enjoy the best that Chicago has to offer without freezing my butt off!

Here are a few events and things to look forward to this April.

1. Improv festival — April 1 – 6, 2014 (begins March 31)

Billed as the world’s longest running festival of improvisational theater, the Chicago Improv Festival includes music, song, comedy, story, and puppetry performances in multiple locations. Cost: Varies $5-$30.

If you like comedy don’t miss Curb Your Enthusiasm start Jeff Garling at Zanies (1548 N Wells)  You can purcase tickets here.  Cost: $25

2.  Macy’s Flower show — April 1 – 6, 2014 (begins March 23)

Macy’s Flower Show features 2 million flowers and exotic topiaries plus scheduled events at Macy’s on State Street.  Cost: FREE! 

3.  21st Annual Chicago’s Underground Film Festival (CUFF) — April 2-6, 2014

Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) shows independent, experimental, and documentary films from around the world at the Logan Theatre, followed by nearby after-parties. You can get a festival pass for a $60 here.

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Or if you’d rather see films from Latin America, Brazil, Spain and Portugal check out the 30th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival — April 3-17th, 2014. Cost: starts at $10.

4.  Cubs home opener! Cubs vs. Phillies — April 4th

Chicago Cubs fans are invited to the “Party of the Century” throughout the 2014 season.  Wrigley Field will celebrate its 100th birthday with special guests, gifts, cake, entertainment and even a serenade to the tune of “Happy Birthday.” Cost: $33-$125

5. Easter at Lincoln Park Zoo — April 19, 2014

Eat treats with the Easter bunny, hunt for eggs, visit animals, ride the train & carousel (in dry weather) at the Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Lincoln Park Zoo.  Guests will also enjoy free carousel and train rides! Cost: $15-$40

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Unleash your inner child and check out Adult Easter Egg Hunt in Logan Square  — April 20th, 2014

Filled with food, drinks, music and deals.  Hunters will receive egg gift baskets  and deals from participating restaurants including The Burlington, Busy Beaver Button Co., Parson’s Chicken and Fish, Scofflaw, The East Room, The Whisler and Slippery Slope. Proceeds benefit the neighborhood’s chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago.   Cost: $5

6.  Spring Wine Stroll — April 24, 2014

Wine Strolls transform Lincoln Square and Ravenswood’s retail establishments and restaurants into wine tasting destinations of approximately 40-45 different reds and whites! All participating businesses pair delicious hors d’oeuvres with their wines. Cost: $40-$60

7.  The Merchandise Mart Antiques Fair — April 23-27, 2014

Showcasing more than 100 of the world’s top dealers of antiques and fine art, the 17th annual Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair is Chicago’s ultimate treasure hunt.   From the seasoned collector to anyone with an appreciation for timeless design, shoppers will find a wonderfully diverse array of art, antiques and jewelry from antiquities to 20th Century modernism. Cost: $15

8.  April is bacon month!  Baconfest — April 25-26, 2014

On the festival floor, the hottest chefs from the finest local restaurants prepare and serve small plates starring bacon.  The best mixologists and brewers quench thirst with refreshing bacon-based and bacon-inspired cocktails and brews.  Luxury brands, artisan bacon-makers, and bacontrepreneurs display, sample, and sell a multitude of local craft bacons and bacon-related products.  There are still some tickets left, pricey… but if you truly love bacon you can’t miss this event! Cost: $100-$200

9.  The Sound of Music at the Lyric— April 25th-May 18th

Worlds most beloved family musical live on stage at the beautiful Lyric Opera house.  Don’t miss this production starring Billy Zane (from Titanic and Chicago on Broadway) and Jenn Gambatese (star of Wicked and Tarzan: The Musical Broadway).  Cost: $35-$119

Last but not least…

10.  Lurie Garden in Millennium Park– all throughout April

After one of the coldest, snowiest winters in recent memory, plenty of people are eager to get out and grow! As the first crocus blooms peek through the ground, the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park offers a variety of free public programs for all ages. Cost: FREE

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Concerts not to miss (if you can still manage to get tickets!)

David Guetta at Aragon — April 4th

John Legend at the Cadillac Palace Theater — April 9th

Juana Molina at the Old Town School of Folk Music — April 10th

Diana Ross at the Chicago theater — April 29th-30th

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Now you have absolutely NO excuse to sit at home and say

‘I’m bored…there’s nothing to do’.  

Happy Spring Everyone!

Fifth Annual Chicago Chef Week! Have you made your reservations?

Those of you who love & appreciate culinary arts (or just simply love to eat) know that Chicago has one of the country’s hottest restaurants scenes & is truly at the forefront of culinary experimentation.

With that said…The Fifth Annual Chicago Chef Week has officially begun!chefs-week-2014

Now through Friday, March 21 experience prix-fixe dining at 80 local culinary destinations. These restaurants will offer a three or four-course dinner menu for $30-$44/person and three-course lunch menu for $22/person (please note that not all restaurants offer a lunch menu). Reservations can be made via Open Table to avoid the wait lines!

To see all of the participating restaurants, check out their menus, as well as book a table….visit the official website here.

Just a few of my favorite restaurants to recommend are: Roka Akkor, Jellyfish, GT Fish & Oyster, Le Colonial, Slurping Turtle, Hot Chocolate, & Mercadito.

Start making your reservations & Bon Appétit!

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Let’s Have A Fabulous Dinner Party

Dinner parties are the best!  However, hosting one isn’t easy.  All the planning, decorating, and cooking can make one’s head spin but here are some tried tips to help you create a festive mood the won’t soon be forgotten.

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1.  Guest List — Remember…this is a dinner party…not a party party so you want to have an exclusive guest list.  Usually 8-10 people is a good number, but depending on who’s lucky enough to attend you can give or take a few more numbers from the guest list.

2. The mood — For dinner parties it’s best to make a play list with songs that flow into one other  (for example soundtracks to movies).  For me a ‘Gotan Project’ or ‘Hotel Costes’ album does the trick.  You want to pick music which enhances dinner not distracts your guests. Illuminate your space with candles and dim lamps.  The alluring aromas and soothing qualities of candles will create a relaxed atmosphere and will surely set the mood.

My choice? William Sonomas Vert Frais (citrus/herbal) and Fleur de Sel (verbena/juniper/lily)– Both  light, fresh, and clean scents.  If you want to go with a ‘warmer’ scent try Voluspas Baltic Amber which is an amber/vanilla/sandwood mix.  Heavenly!

3. Don’t forget the flowers! — Don’t go crazy with balloons or streamers because you can never go wrong with fresh flowers.  Placing them in small bouquets on the table and around your place will really add some warmth and color.  You can go with just one type of flower and alternate colors or you can choose to combine different types.  Go to your local market or flower distributor to get inspired!

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4.  Dinnerware —  If you have a set of 8-10  table settings…great!  But being one who only has 2 of everything..I love to mix and match!  You can always catch a great sale at anthropolgie especially on their tableware items.  Don’t be afraid to combine patterns and shapes…if it’s all in the same palette (or not) it can look very artistic and chic.  If you’d rather go with something simple spruce up the table with colorful napkins.  Remember that your guest will spend majority of their time at the table so paying special attention to the details is key.  If you choose you can do assigned seating and make name cards for everyone.

 

5.  Cheers! —  Once again…this is a dinner party…not a party party so stick to only two types of drinks.  I would suggest a wine that pairs well with what you’ll be serving and then something stronger either straight up or a mixed cocktail.. tequila, vodka, rum, whisky..your pick!  Have one or two non alcoholic options as well– fruit or herb infused sparking water is always a great and simple choice.

6.  Main Dish —  Panning your menu can be the most frustrating but the most important part of throwing a dinner party.  You don’t want to blow your budget but this is where most of your money will go.  Don’t forget to budget for appetizers as well as dessert.  If you won’t have time to bake and cook a meal for 10 (who does?) no need to worry…go to your local bakery and pick up a delicious cake or simply serve a DIY ice cream sundae.

Spark your creativity, picking a theme can even make planning easier and narrow down your recipe choices.  Gather your friends and recipes…eat, entertain and just enjoy!

 

Below are some beautiful photos to get you inspired for your next dinner party!

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Photos courtesy of glitterinc.comlonny.com, babble.com, thesweetestoccasion.com, realsimple.com

Don’t Miss Chicago Theater Week!

I know this is a little last minute..but I had to share!

It’s cold and we are all sick of being stuck indoors (thanks to living in chiberia) but it the second annual Chicago Theater Week!

Bundle up and check out one of the 100 productions featuring the city’s best talent.  It started yesterday and goes till February 16th.  After Chicago Restaurant Week this is the next best thing!

This is really the perfect time to explore a broad array of Chicago theater and have the opportunity to check out a wide-range of theater companies from powerhouses such as Goodman and Steppenwolf to small storefront theater for only $15-$30!

Click here to look at the list of productions and get your tickets!

-PS if you don’t have Valentines Day plans yet…this makes for a perfect gift!

Ryan-Borque-and-Harry-Groener-in-Chicago-Shakespeares-production-of-CYRANO.

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See originally here.

5 Daring Wall Paint Colors To Try

Some folks are not afraid of color…and you shouldn’t be either!

I’ve picked out 5 gorgeous spaces with rich, energizing, and soothing colors which complement a lot of styles.  Get inspired from these room and start your own color project to get ready for spring!!!

1.  Valspar’s Dutch Licorice is one of those colors many designers absolutely love to work with.  It looks like a blue-purple-gray-black-brown hybrid  and it will add a wonderful bit of drama to a room.

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2.   Benjamine Moore’s South Beach 2043-50 is a really green turquoise which kind of looks like sea glass.  It’s a light fresh color to give a ‘beach house’ feel to any home.

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3.  Valspar’s Carrot Cake is definitely warm but bold!  Pairing it with less vibrant colors will help act as a grounding color.  The plum colored rug has some black in it, which grays it out and turns it into a neutral backdrop for the intense orange!

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4.  White you ask?  Why yes…white can be quite daring.  If you have crown molding paint it high-gloss white to highlight the architectural detail.  When you go white you have the freedom to use a LOT of color elsewhere.

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5.  Wallpaper is back in a big way!  So I know this isn’t really a ‘paint color’ but there are so many styles from traditional and classic to bold and graphic to get creative.  Wallpaper an entire room, an accent wall, or just part of wall.  Lastly I picked a hand screenprinted (wall) paper sold at Anthropologie and I would love this for an office/work space area.

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anthropologie.com

DIY Valentines Day

Valentines day only 3 days away!  What better a way to represent this time of love than with some beautiful DIY gifts and decorations for your home.

These are incredibly simple DIY projects that won’t break the bank.  You can make them for your love, friend, siblings…or even yourself!
1. Valentine’s Day card messages are an important part of your Valentine’s Day celebrations…here’s a fun and easy one you can make.  All you need is glue, card stock paper/construction paper, match sticks and the rest is self explanatory..see picture below!
2.  Find some playing cards and tell your love 52 reasons why you adore them!  

Supplies
:

  • Deck of Cards
  • Binder Rings or Lace, String, Ribbon etc
  • Hole Punch
  • Marker

Type/write out 52 Reasons I Love You, the date, or anything else you want to put on the front or back of the card deck. Hole punch each card and connect them together.

3.  L.O.V.E. fire place mantel or table decoration.

Supplies
:

  • Paper Mache Letters – I got mine at Joann’s they are the 8” height
  • Gold Spray Paint
  • Dowell Rod
  • Feathers
  • Hearts
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Gold Leather Cord

Spray Paint the letters gold.  Cut a “trap door” in the back of each letter and remove the inner support cardboard (otherwise your dowel rod won’t poke through).

Measure up 4” from the bottom of each letter and place a mark. Using an exacto knife, cut a hole the size of your dowel rod in the edge of each letter.

Feed your dowel rod through all the letters.  Trim your dowel rod to a good length, it’s up to you, I took off about 6”.  Using hot glue, glue a foam heart to one end of the rod.  Glue feathers to the other end of the rod.  Cover the end of the feathers with gold leather cord.  Glue in place.

That’s it! You’re done, easy peasy huh?

4.  Make a wall of paper hearts!  You could stick them on a wall or door temporarily, or glue them to a board permanently to make a 3D wall poster.  You can attach to presents too!

Supplies:

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

This is made from traditional heart shapes with a slit cut partway down the center.  To make a flat heart into something three dimensional, roll the inner edges of the two arcs toward the back with your fingers to get the shape started.

When the edges are glued together, the heart looks 3D.  Once you get the hang of it, you can bend that paper to your will and make dozens.

5.  Nothing says endless love like carving your initials into a candle!
Supplies:

  • Candle
  • Linoleum Cutter
  • Gold Leaf Pen/Ball Point Pen
  • Tape
  • Design

Start by taping your design to a candle. You don’t want it to slip when you draw over it! You can freehand the design or make it in Photoshop if you need more of a guide. I used the unique shape tool in Photoshop to make the heart and Garamond for the font.
Firmly trace over your design with a ball point pen. This will make the initial path you need for carving, so be extra careful.

Go over your initial tracing with the linoleum cutter. The line should be wide and deep enough to fit the tip of your gold leaf pen.
Go over the inside of your carving with a gold leaf pen. You may need a second coat to achieve the level of gold you want. Let dry and gift to your sweetheart.

6.  These leather conversation hearts are easy to make and very economical!  You can turn these hearts into Necklaces, Key Chains and Key Fobs.  It think that they’d be adorable attached to a purse handle.
Supplies:

  • Pre Cut Leather Hearts- you can find these at leather stores and online
  • A leather alphabet stamping kit
  • I also had a Native American leather stamping kit (for the arrows)
  • A punch that can go through leather (like the crop a dile) or an awl hole punch set
  • Eyelets, Jump Rings
  • Chain and Key Chain or Necklace Chain
  • Leather Conditioner to seal the leather when you’re done
  • Washi Tape

To start, I found it easiest to mark a straight line on my hearts with washi tape. It’s not tacky so it won’t mess up the leather, and it gave me a guide to stamp my letters straight.Start with the bottom row of letters first (if you’re doing two rows).

Begin stamping your letters working from the center out. To do this attach the die to the stamping tool, and on a hard surface (like a butcher block, piece of heavy granite, or concrete) hit the tool with the hammer 4-5 times.  (You need to test your stamps first to see how many hits it takes for a good impression, just use one of your hearts as a ‘test’).
When you’re done stamping remove the washi tape.  Using a paper towel apply some leather conditioner to the leather to seal it.  If you’re making a key fob or key ring, punch a hole in the side of the heart and set an eyelet into it (just follow the instructions on the eyelet package).  Use jump rings to attach key fobs or key rings as you like.
To make the necklaces, punch two holes in the top of the heart (1/16”) then feed a jump ring through each.  Loop 30” of chain onto the jump rings and close the jump rings.

7.  Create matching His and Her pillow cases — awww so adorable!

Supplies
:

  • Pillow cases
  • Red and white cotton fabric
  • Adhesive letters
  • You will also need to have scissors, sewing pins and a sewing machine!

First, cut a large heart out of the white fabric. Make sure it’s not bigger than your pillow case! We made our heart wider than normal because when the pillow is in the case it tends to make it bulge, making it look less wide.

Next, apply the adhesive letters. You can buy a pack of letters at your local craft store, or make your own out of contact paper!

Once you’ve applied the lettering, flip the heart over, facing down. Begin pinning large squares of the red fabric on the back. This will be the background of the lettering so be sure that all of the adhesive letters have fabric behind it.

Next, slowly stitch around all of the adhesive lettering, sewing together the red and white fabric. 6. Once you’ve sewn around all the lettering, remove the contact paper!

Next, you’ll slowly cut out each letter. Make sure you only cut through the top layer of fabric!

Lastly, cut the heart down the middle and sew it to the pillow case! We used a simple top stitch close to the edge of the fabric to prevent as much fray as possible.

8.  What better way to your man’s heart (or to anyone’s heart for that matter) than with something yummy and sweet!  Grab your favorite recipe and here are a few ideas on how you can decorate for this heart filled holiday.

Hope these DIY decorations and gifts got your creative juices flowing!  You will surely
make someone feel special by giving a home made gift.  Happy Valentines day to you all!

Originally seen here :)

Sources:
www.pinterest.com
www.polkadotchair.com
www.stylemepretty.com
www.studiodiy.com
www.apartmenttherapy.com
www.abeautifulmess.com

Happy 100th Birthday Wrigley Field

Living within walking distance to Wrigley Field, I have developed a love-hate relationship with the Cubs over the years.  I have to admit…they do grow on you, their die-hard team spirit is contagious –despite the Curse of the Billy Goat and their seemingly endless losing streak.

The Cubs have not won a National League pennant and have not won a World series since 1908.  So they may not be the greatest winning team but they do have a passionate fan base, an impressive roster of Hall of Fame players, and a beautiful, timeless ball park that reeks of unique traditions and which is actually part of the personality of the team and the city celebrating it’s 100th birthday this year!

“Chicago Cubs fans are the greatest fans in baseball. They’ve got to be.” – Cubs Manager Herman Franks (1978)

A Very Short History of the Chicago Cubs:

Ironically known initially as the ‘white stockings‘ they were originally formed as an amateur team less than a decade after the Civil War (1870) and then joined the National League (1876) for its initial season.  They are the only franchise to play continuously in the same city since the formation of the National League.

At the turn of the 20th century they changed their names to Cubs.  The 1906 Cubs had it all. The team won 116 games, a record that still stands, and finished twenty games ahead of the competition.  The only thing the Cubs did wrong in 1906 was lose the World Series.  They did win the World Series in 1907 and 1908, both times against Ty Cobb’s Detroit Tigers.  These back to back championships are the only two the franchise has ever won.

Throughout the years they have won 10 National League Pennants and have 30 former players in the Hall of Fame!


 Chicago reached the World Series four times between 1906 and 1910, winning twice.

A Very Short history of Wrigley Field:

Wrigley Field was built in 1914 costing $250,000 and originally named as Weeghman Park.  It was called Cubs Park between 1920 and 1924 when it was finally named Wrigley Field in 1925 by new owner and chewing gum tycoon, William Wrigley, Jr. in order to generate more exposure for his brand of chewing gum.  William Wrigley and his family had owned it for 65 years and in 1981 they sold Wrigley Field to The Tribune Company for 20.5 million dollars!  Since 2009 it’s been under the ownership of Joe Ricketts–the founder, former CEO and former chairman of TD Ameritrad.

The current capacity (2013) is 41,019 making Wrigley Field the 10th-smallest actively used ballpark.  It is the oldest National League ballpark, the second oldest active major league ballpark and the only remaining Federal League park.  Wrigley is known for its ivy covered brick outfield wall, the unusual wind patterns off Lake Michigan, the iconic red marquee over the main entrance, the hand turned scoreboard, and for being the last major league park to have lights installed in 1988 for play after dark.

Did you know that the Chicago Bears played at Wrigley Field from 1921 to 1970 before relocating to Soldier Field (see photo below)?  They even named themselves the Bears in order to identify with the baseball team, a common practice in the NFL in those days.

You are all invited to the Party of the Century throughout the 2014 season to celebrate Wrigley Fields 100th birthday!  There will be decades-themed homestands, throwback uniforms, unique promotional items, commemorative merchandise, surprise guests and entertainment for all you die-hard cubs fans.

I will leave you with some tips for those who are newly Cubs fans or future fans so you can get the most of this seasons 100th year celebration!

How to be a ‘Proper’ Cubs Fan for Beginners:

  1. Do not be a Chicago White Sox fan. —  Either you are a Cubs fan or a Sox fan; there is no binding of the two. Period.
  2. Show your Pride! — Your new favorite color is now blue and red. Purchase yourself a starter kit which includes a jersey, t-shirt, hat, banner, flag or home made sign about how much you love the Cubbies!
  3. Start drinking beer or get use to hanging around people who drink beer…lots of beer!
  4. Know where to tailgate. — Since Wrigley Field does not allow tailgating in parking lots, you can instead tailgate at one of the 80+ bars and restaurants in Wrigleyville.  Some fan favorites are Sluggers, Cubbie Bear, Murphys, John Barleycorn and Harry’s Tavern.
  5. Go to as many games as you can possibly (afford to) go to. — Don’t forget the ‘bleacher’ experience as well as the ‘roof top’ experience to get a unique view of the park from the outside.  Oh and of course boo every time the opposing team hits a home run.

                                                     

Do not forget to get your commemorative historic never-before-produced booble-head (given out to first 10,000 fans during the first Friday home game of each decade-themed homestand) and enjoy the the 100th year celebration of the 2014 Chicago Cubs Baseball Season!  

Go Cubbies!

Sources:
chicago.cubs.mlb.com
baseball-almanac.com
en.wikipedia.org

The Tiny House Project

This is America!  The bigger the better!

Right?!  Not everyone thinks so…

The popularity of the tiny house evolution is growing quite rapidly around the US as well as the world.  But in reality…how many of us can live in up to 400 square feet of space — many tiny houses are even smaller than that!

There are many differently types of designs for tiny houses but they all share the same core principle of simplified, eco friendly living as well as…well…being really tiny!

Tiny houses are not for everyone.  Living in Chicago, a tiny house might not abide by building or zoning codes, however, there are lessons we can learn and apply to the way we live.

Tiny Living Encompasses:

  • Tiny Houses
  • Life Simplification
  • Environmental Consciousness
  • Self Sufficiency
  • Sound Fiscal Plans
  • Social Consciousness

The significant aspect of a tiny house is the intelligent and efficient design.  From the start the house is designed so that every inch is used to the peak of its potential.  Empty wall space is utilized for built in storage and many rooms serve double duty when possible.


thetinylife.com

Tiny houses built on trailers have the luxury of a ‘house on the go’ but these will have some restriction regarding the size.  The finished house can be no wider that 8.5 feet, no taller than 13.5 feet.  Because most people build on 16 or 20 foot trailer a typical tiny house will be under 200 square feet.  In order to utilize space the best, these tiny houses will include a loft area to add extra space for a bed.

                  
tiny-project.com

Take a look how this couple lives in a 200 square feet tiny house and they even have a tiny dog!

                                

Here is another short video of a slightly larger tiny house, this one 280 square feet.  I actually kind of like this one!

                                

While I am not planning to move to or build a tiny house any time soon….I will definitely take a tiny beach house any day…wouldn’t you?!  It would make for the perfect winter getaway :)

One of the best features of this beach shack is how it can completely close up to protect itself from the weather.  Being that it currently sits directly in front of the ocean, this must certainly come in handy at times.


Can you imagine waking up to the smell of the ocean breeze and the sound of the crashing waves? I sure can!

Interior view with lofted bedroom and plenty of shelving for storage.

Look at the view! The large windows facing the water are actually doors that completely open up.


Unique shower in this modern ‘tiny’ beach house. 

Want to read more about tiny houses?  Huffington Post has it’s very own news tab about them.

Also you can check out this documentary called ‘We The Tiny House People‘ by TV producer and Internet-video personality Kirsten Dirksen who invites us on her journey into the tiny homes of people searching for simplicity, self-sufficiency, minimalism and happiness by creating shelter in caves, converted garages, trailers, tool sheds, river boats and former pigeon coops.

 

Sources:
tinyhouseblog.com 
tinyhousetalk.com
rowdykittens.com 
tiny-project.com

25 Reasons To Be Thrilled You Live In Chicago

As much as I love traveling and exploring new places, I always have a giddy happy feeling coming back home.  It was hard to make such a short list but here are a few reason why Chicago…also known as Chi-town… is better than living anywhere else :)

“… And each time I roam, Chicago is calling me home, Chicago is why I just grin like a clown – It’s my kind of town…” Sinatra

Best_of_chicago

25.  We love to cover popcorn with delicious carmel and cheese, lines wrap around the corner at Garrett Popcorn Shops for a good reason.

24.  Pretty much every hilarious person in America started off at Second City. Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey is just to name a few.

23.  We are a city that appreciates art…whether that’s giant sculptures seen around town, cows climbing buildings, or free museum days!

22.  Chicago Lollapalooza has the greatest view of any paloozas anywhere. Period.

21.  We live next to Oprah, Joan Cusack, Vince Vaughn or Andrew bird but don’t make a big deal of it since we are too busy with our own lives to notice.

20.  For all you dedicated bikers…or newly born bike lovers inspired by Divvy, there’s a whole week dedicated to you filled with bike related activities and events throughout Chicago and the burbs.

19.  We have over 29 miles of beach in the city!

18.  If you do have to leave Chicago for whatever reason…O’hare or Midway is easily accessible with the EL.

17.  Being one of the most culturally rich cities you can pretend to be German at Octoberfest, an art+design major at SOFA Chicago, or foodie at Taste of Chicago.  We dye our rivers green because we feel that Irish for a weekend.

16. From giant research universities, urban campuses, and top rated culinary schools in America…there’s something for everyone!

15. Chicago’s night scene exists 7 days a week from roof top lounges to underground clubs to sports bars. Whether it’s late night blues sets at Kingston Mines or looking your best at Paris Club there’s just way too many options to wait in line.

14.  All of our favorite sports teams play within the city and we are always just a quick ride from Wrigley Field, United Center, Soldier Field, U.S. Cellular Field…whether that’s a good or bad thing.

13.  With over 500 parks there’s always a park near by…Lincoln Park gets over 20 million visitors a year!

12.  Chicago is easy to navigate thanks to the simple grid system and thanks to Daniel Burnham

11.  Our wonderful city made the cut…Chicago was voted into the top 10 cities to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet.

10. We may have a fan page for how much we hate the new Ventra cards…but can’t complain too much since we use it to get around the city for only about $2!

9.  Our streets are (almost) always clean, thank goodness for alleys!

8.  We have some of the best restaurants in the universe with countless award winning chefs and I’m not just talking about 5 star restaurants like ‘Girl & the Goat’…Hot Dougs draws just as much attention and stomachs!

7.  You may be single or alone..but you never feel lonely caught up in all of Chicago’s fabulous affairs. It’s never too early to start looking forward to this summers festivals.

6.  Grabbing a fresh copy of the Redeye in the morning is a delight.

5.  There’s absolutely no excuse to drink and drive, the 3 foot long pink mustaches serves as a reminder to us all. Thanks Lyft!

4.  There is always someone crazier than you on the CTA…always!

3.  Willis Tower? Really? Chicagoans forever and ever will call Sears Towers…Sears Tower!

2.  We love Chicago…but the best part is that Chicago loves you back!

1.  We have mastered how to deal with the harshest winters but still manage to be the most beautiful city when everyone else in the midwest is frozen and miserable.

Perhaps the best thing about Chicagoans is their modesty.  Northwestern University President Schapiro, himself an east coast native and former President of Williams College, described it: “I love the civility, I love the humility, I love the respect, I love the friendliness, I love the lack of entitlement.”