This is a blog written by a 20-something PR professional in the Second City. Follow along as I chronicle my outfits, DIY projects, social events and more. Thanks for stopping by!
Category Archives: Traveling
Image via Gal Meets Glam
Well, I’m about to put up my “out of office” email and don my “do not disturb” hat. I’m so excited to be traveling to the East Coast tomorrow for my bachelorette party! I had a hard time choosing where I wanted to travel because there were just too many good choices! As much as my friends and I love Vegas, I decided it isn’t exactly the atmosphere I wanted for this girls trip. I loved Austin when I was there two years ago, and could see myself going back with friends but instead wanted somewhere new. In the end I chose to have a Charleston bachelorette party despite never having been to the city. From what I read, Charleston seems like the perfect combination of night life and charming daytime activities. And the weekend we have planned will reflect that.
I’m packing a bag for the range of activities and to fit into that cheery, preppy Southern vibe I gather Charleston has. Here are some of the items in my suitcase:
As for what all we’ll be doing, my five friends and I will end up all being in Charleston for a relatively short time. So we aren’t trying to cram too much into the trip. Instead, we have a few things planned but are keeping the rest of the time open to wander at will. Charleston is a super foodie town, and we were even too late making reservations two weeks in advance to the most popular spots. Thankfully there are a lot of options, and we did get a few good restaurants on the calendar. And since everyone suggests the carriage rides through historic Charleston, we purchased tickets for an afternoon. Other than that, a trip to the beach, a rooftop bar and perhaps a to-go coffee from the Butcher & Bee are on my list.
I hope you have exciting weekend planned. I myself am excited to get started on mine early with a Charleston bachelorette party!
When my parents held our family’s first Christmas in their new home in Florida I was a bit skeptical. Christmas in 80 degree weather and a nighttime walk on the beach? It sure wasn’t the white Midwest Christmas I was used to. But as soon as I felt the warm air hit me getting off the plane, I wasn’t complaining. Even better was arriving to my parents’ home and see all of the lovely decorations my mom had set out. It felt like home, even if it wasn’t our usual Christmas.
This year is actually the first year I won’t be with my family for Christmas. With all of the traveling Steve and I have done lately, we decided it’d be easier to drive to Michigan than fly to Tampa. We’re looking forward to spending time with his large, extended family. But I’m also a bit sad not to be with my family for the holiday. To cheer myself up, I revisited a Szink family Christmas with these photos. I wanted to share them with you, too, because I didn’t post them after snapping them last year. Keep reading to see some Pinterest-worthy decor and Christmas inspiration. Wishing you safe and happy holidays!
This Shine Bright mural … how’s that for a #MondayMantra? I saw this when I was in Louisville, Kent., recently for a wedding. Steve’s and my cab drove by it downtown and I made a mental note to return to the wall across from the Science Center. (There, now you can too, if you’re in Louisville.) I loved how, well, bright the wall was and the sentiment to it. Some weeks it’s really hard, but seriously, isn’t it fun to shine bright? Externally through clothes, exuding from the inside, just shining. With this amazing fall weather we’ve been having it hasn’t been hard to shine, but I’ll definitely need to remember this Shine Bright mural once the winter months come around.
Was your Monday pretty good? It’s Halloween so hopefully that shook up what can be an otherwise dreaded day. I know my office was bubbling over with Halloween spirit and friendly competition for the annual dip-or-treat. I made chocolate chip banana muffins, because I figured people needed something substantial to balance out all of those dips, right? Since we started the week off on such a good note, let’s hope it continues for the next four days!
A photo snapped of us (very graciously by a student) outside of the University of Dayton chapel last spring – this was the day we decided to hold our wedding here!
I know I’ve been pretty mum on wedding plans aside from an initial engagement post and life update. Steve, my fiancé, was worried my lack of sharing on the blog meant that I for some reason wasn’t excited about our wedding; his concern is crazy but also understandable since I share so much else on here!
There’s no lack of excitement over being married to Steve, but when I think about the wedding planning there is some anxiety! As I talk to more brides it’s nice to know I’m not alone. Sure, some women have been envisioning their dream wedding for years, so the execution of the details is exciting to them. But for many others, a wedding is such a large undertaking, the many decisions make it hard to focus on the fun end result. Being eight months away from our wedding date I am still relatively calm, though not quite on top of The Knot’s planning calendar! There was one decision that was quite easy for Steve and me, so I thought I’d share that today.
Choosing our venue
One of the few things I’d had in mind for my wedding for many years was where it would be. I went to the University of Dayton for undergrad and it was the best four years of my life. The campus culture there is so unique that those happy memories really stay with many alumni forever. I know this because my grandpa, my parents and many other family members also attended UD. Without this post getting to be too much of an ad for the college, I’ll just say the college holds such a special place in my heart that I always loved the thought of getting married there. Especially after the University of Dayton chapel renovation turned it into a lovely venue.
However, since Steve went to Michigan State University and we met in Chicago, I was no longer holding on to the hope that we would get married on UD’s campus. He had no connection to the college and planning a wedding several hours away seemed tough. We have a church in Chicago, so after we got engaged we began researching getting married in the Second City. With all the options and many expenses my head started spinning! Steve saw this and recognized that it was making it difficult for me to move forward with decisions.
Leading up to a wedding we were traveling to in Columbus, Steve out of the blue offered to look at wedding options in Dayton on the way. Hearing this I immediately perked up. He said if he’d known that would have made me so happy, he would have suggested it weeks prior. Part of the reason I was so happy about our decision to get married at UD was Steve’s selfless suggestion. I knew I was with the right guy if he was attune to what I really wanted without me even coming out and asking for it.
What’s left to do
So we’ve booked our venues in Dayton, Ohio, and I’m happily moving along with some of the other details, like the dress and floral arrangements. Other, smaller-to-me-details like table settings are coming a bit slower. Have you planned a wedding before? How did you get yourself motivated to nail down every detail? I’d love to hear your experience and tips so that I can stay on track with our spring wedding.
When I first moved in with my fiance this summer I was nervous about adjusting to my new neighborhood. For the five years I lived in Chicago I was in Lakeview, a neighborhood north of the city. Then I moved west of the city and had a lot of new sights and things to get used to. There were also a lot of new opportunities to explore. If I travel just south of my ‘hood I’m in Pilsen. Pilsen has traditionally been a port of entry for immigrants and now combines many customs of the Mexican-American community. It’s more than just good murals (although there are plenty of those), and my coworkers took me out there recently to see for myself.
Can you believe this weekend is already Labor Day? I have to say, I had an amazing summer and I’m really sad to see it go. When summer started this year I was moving into a new apartment with my fiance and made the decision that I was going to say “yes” less. Yes, say it less! So many times summer gets away from me because I commit to too much – whether it’s too much traveling or too many responsibilities. My promise to myself this summer to do less for others and more for me really worked out well. I got to enjoy that Chicago summer we all love! And enjoyed one specific activity toward the end…
Were you a kid of the 90s? If so, you might understand why my friends and I were so, so excited to visit the popup restaurant Saved by the Max in Wicker Park. Modeled after The Max on Saved by the Bell, the restaurant (at 1941 W. North Ave.) lets all of your childhood dreams come true. You feel like you stepped inside of the 90s sitcom set and can be whoever you want to be – Kelly Kapowski, A.C. Slater, Lisa Turtle, etc. The atmosphere coupled with some really good food makes the ticket price completely worth it. Keep reading to find out why you’ll want to snag tickets to Saved by the Max before its run is over December 29, 2016.
I used to work in the West Loop and every few weeks I’d see trucks and carloads of people heading into the Randolph Street Market. I was always curious as to what was behind the gates and heard a lot of stories of amazing vintages finds at the festival. I finally visited the market for the first time this year at the opening party and saw some amazing pieces being set out that I wanted to share with you.
There are so many unique antiques and vintage finds at the Randolph Street Market. How cool is the decanter above? Mark that to add to my bar cart! There were also a lot of accessories and clothes, and I’m sure you’d be able to find a gem and have fun poking around. I personally love 60s style so obviously the wicker purse below caught my eye.
And how about this wicker furniture that would go lovely on an outdoor deck. (A girl can dream…she may one day have a deck.)
I want to say thanks so much to the Randolph Street Market for having me to the opening party and for giving me a sneak peek at the amazing pieces that are for sale inside. If you’re interested in browsing the market, vendors will be there this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visit the website for more information.
Are you getting as excited for summer as I am? The days are already lighter longer and that means I’m planning a lot more activities after work. There’s so much I love to do on Chicago summer nights, such as movies in the park, dining alfresco and now – a new addition – the Sunset Series at 360 CHICAGO. Whether you live in Chicago or somewhere else, if you do have plans to make it to downtown Chicago, continue reading to hear all the fun things planned at 360 CHICAGO this summer.
First of all, have you tried Tilt! in the observation deck yet? To be completely honest, I didn’t! The tilt outward 1,000 feet over Chicago was too scary for me. This observation deck starts upright and then, as you’re standing against the glass, starts to slowly tilt over the skyline. More power to you if you like seeing the city this way, but I will be just as happy to experience it with one of the other events at 360 CHICAGO this year.
The 94th floor observation deck will offer a free weekly activities through its Sunset Series such as Photography Night on Mondays, Guides in the Sky on Tuesday and DJs on Thursday. If you’re into photography, I’d definitely suggest choosing a Monday for the tripod activities because they’ll be led by 360 CHICAGO photography ambassador Nick Ulivieri, a professional photographer lauded for his Chicago imagery. (Be sure to follow Nick on Instagram.) The way you get to see Chicago from 360 CHICAGO is unparalleled and worth a stop this summer!
Yesterday I had fun sharing some tidbits from my boyfriend’s and my recent trip to Austin, Texas, which happens to be one of my new favorite cities. The sites and the weather on our trip were so beautiful that I ended up taking tons of photos. I’m sharing them with you today, as well as Austin trip ideas in case you’re planning an upcoming vacation. I’d highly suggest traveling to Texas, especially if you live in the Midwest. One Uber driver commented about the spike of Chicago tourists he’s seen, and why not? The winter weather is so much better in Austin than in Chicago, the flight between the two cities is just over two hours and the drinks are still inexpensive at Austin bars! (I mean, if bar prices aren’t a reason to travel to a city, I don’t know what is.) Read after the jump for my photo gallery and suggestions of things to do in Austin.