Thursday, March 25, 2021

Staycation At The Wicker Park Inn


This past weekend my friend Cori and I checked out the Wicker Park Inn. Located in Wicker Park in a cozy neighborhood within walking distance to both Division St. and Milwaukee Ave., this modern B&B is the perfect place for your staycation or visit! It's also super close to the CTA to easily navigate the city.

The neighborhood is comfortable and filled with amazing architecture. All the rooms are named after Chicago streets, we stayed in the Wabansia room. Our room was street facing and had tons of natural light! The building has modern bathrooms, cable, and easy AC/heat operation. We felt super fancy and relaxed. 

Makeup by: @jen_hebeauty

As soon as we settled in, Jen from Hannah Elisabeth Beauty stopped by to get us glam for our day of activities. She took me from fresh-faced to glammed up! I was blown away by how light and airy her makeup felt and how dynamic it looked.

Since the B&B is so close to Milwaukee Ave. and Division St., we were able to enjoy the nice weather and walk around to the different stores and later on to dinner and drinks at Whiskey Business. They have a fun atmosphere that is socially distanced with live music. 

The next day we had brunch from Milk and Honey delivered right to our door! Wicker Park Inn has partnered with them to offer this service in addition to many others that can be the cherry on top of your stay! You can read more about their offerings here. 

After we packed up and checked out, we were within walking distance to Paradise Park. This place is Insta-worthy and has great food and fun drinks! I always go with The Umbrella that is served in a Radler can. 

Another great spot to stop by is Eli's Ark. They have creative gelato flavors that you can turn into cute animals!

I always love staycations because they're a quick and easy way to reset without being too far from home. Living in a huge city like Chicago, getting to enjoy other neighborhoods more fully makes me appreciate the culture of the city and all its people more. If you're looking for a calm and gorgeous place to stay, definitely check out Wicker Park Inn

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

How To Shoot Content On Your Own


Sometimes it can feel impossible to capture content. Between friends, conflicting schedules, your work schedule, family commitments, self-care, and feeling inspired it can feel like it's never the right time. 

I love when my friends help me with content because I feel like so many great spontaneous collaboration happens. There's someone to connect with behind the camera and it's faster than trying it on your own.

However, sometimes shooting content by yourself can be super convenient and fruitful! You can do it on your own time, you can take as many shots as you want, and you might be able to try new angles and ideas you'd be too nervous to in front of someone else. 

It can be intimidating to try new things but I've compiled some tips that will set you up for success.

Get a Tripod and/or Ring Light

In order to make sure that you're going to create level photos - I recommend getting a tripod! I've linked the one I use here. I bought this my first year I started blogging and have been using it ever since! They're usually around $30 and it guarantees you won't have to find something to prop your phone up against anything.

Although they serve similar purposes, I do recommend also getting a ring light. If you work full time or have to capture in a poorly light area - a ring light will change your content capturing! They usually have a cord to plug in and then a platform for your phone. I linked mine here

Sometimes it can be hard to pose and look warm when you're taking photos with a tripod - I like to pretend its a person or I try to think of something funny so that I look less stiff.

Use the Self-Timer or Bluetooth Clicker

Once you've set up your phone - now it's time to set your self-timer. I usually set my timer to 10 seconds which allows me to move around, make sure everything is in place. 

I use a Bluetooth clicker as well so I don't have to walk back and forth between my phone and my ideal pose. I still use the self-timer on my phone to allow for time in between clicking to move around, hide my clicker, and make sure everything is in place. The one I use is linked here.

Plan to Shoot 1 to 3 Outfits

Shooting with yourself is a great way to batch content - but don't get overzealous. You don't want to get overzealous and burn out. Especially as you are starting out with shooting content with a tripod. Taking breaks in between the outfits also helps you center yourself and keeps you from becoming frustrated.

Do a Test Shot

Since you can't see your phone from where you'll be standing since the camera facing out is better than your front-facing camera, you'll want to do a test shot. See if you like the lighting if you can see your whole outfit and that the framing is everything you envisioned. You'll also avoid taking 10 photos and hating them.

Take Your Time and Give Yourself Grace

Try to allow for extra time so that you have time so that you're less stressed if you're not getting the shot you want right away. It can be nerve-racking to take photos with a tripod in public - so I recommend trying at first in your backyard, alley, or indoors to get used to taking photos this way. I still get nervous sometimes and sometimes people stare when they walk by but ultimately it's important to remember that you'll probably never see them again - so pay them no mind! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

My Sugaring Experience


I shared over on Instagram Stories last week that I checked out the new Sugaring NYC-Chicago location in Lincoln Park. Sugaring is a more natural way of removing unwanted body hair. It's a mixture of lemon juice, water, and sugar and attaches to the hair instead of the skin. 

Their studio is on Halsted by Sumer House Santa Monica and there's plenty of parking in the area! Upon my arrival, my temperature was taken and I offered a sit in their waiting room. The whole storefront is super clean, spread out, and organized so I felt completely safe. 

Once my specialist was ready, I meet with her before the initial service. She did a wonderful job of walking me through the process, how I may feel, and different options we could do if I was experiencing any discomfort. (They have fans they can turn on and you can take brakes at any time during the service to catch your breath!)

Your comfort is their priority. It's not completely painless however, I felt like compared to a traditional hot wax treatment this was a lot more manageable. It's so quick and my skin reacted really well to it. 

A week out, my skin is still super smooth! I haven't experienced any irritation or ingrown hairs. Unlike traditional hot wax treatments, where it would attach to my skin and would rip it at times and could burn live skin cells in the painful process. I experienced a lot of ingrown hairs and it really irritated my skin. 

I had a really positive experience and I'm happy with my results. I will definitely be back and I encourage you to give it a try if you often pay for traditional hot wax appointments! You can DM them on Instagram or make an appointment online! I have included their price sheet below.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Staycation At The Hotel Lincoln


I feel like my friends rarely NEED something to celebrate to have a good time but GETTING to celebrate Xi's milestone birthday made this weekend extra special! We checked into our suite at the Hotel Lincoln in Lincoln Park by the Lincoln Park Zoo on Friday night to start the weekend on the right foot! Paris 312, Alpha-Lit Chicago, and Danica Rose Wine helped us set up for the birthday festivities. 

One huge perk of staying at the Hotel Lincoln is that you have priority seating at the J Parker. This rooftop greenhouse rooftop has fun cocktails and amazing shareables as well as burgers on potato buns! The views of the skyline were also next level. 

After dinner, we headed back to our suite and began our cocktail party. Unlike the Bachelor, we made cocktails on the fly with alcohol we got from Nipyata (no drama!)! Nipyata sent us a pinata filled with candy and tiny shooters of alcohol. I shared all our mixed drinks here

The next day we started the day off with coffee from Elaine's Coffee Call in the hotel lobby. I tried the Lavender Vanilla latte with almond milk and it didn't disappoint. 

We drank our coffee as we got ready for brunch at Park & Field. We Uberred over to Logan Square for the $45 unlimited brunch. You can choose from Mimosas, Rosé, Bloody Marys and beer. They have a nice spread of brunch food to chose from that you select on a form and they bring right to your table. (In normal times it is a buffet.)

If you wanted to stay close to Hotel Lincoln when dining out, Ranalli's, The Vig, 80 Proof, and Utopian Tailgate are all within walking distance from the hotel.

In the afternoon we batched content, explored the hotel, and walked through the park across the street. Lincoln Park Zoo is also across the street. In warmer months, you could head to the beach as well. It's a really good central location to a lot of attractions for families and couples alike!

We started the evening with a charcuterie spread and taking photos with the marque sign from Alpha-Lit Chicago. We had an 8:30 pm Igloo reservation at Bar Cocina. The igloo allows you to preselect your food and alcohol options and upon arrival, you are able to pair your phone with a Bluetooth speaker and relax in their comfortable seating options. We enjoyed our spread and once we finished dinner we headed down the street to Replay for the Schitt Happens pop-up bar.

I LOVE Schitt's Creek and loved the decor of the bar, however, I would recommend getting tickets for the day or early evening. We got tickets for 10:30 pm and Last Call was shortly after they sat us. We did not find the wait staff to be extremely friendly and they were abrasive at times. To me, it was worth it because the bar broke up sections to have Moria's wig room, the town sign, Rose's Apothecary, the Front Desk, and Cafe Tropical. They also have really unique cocktails based on the show and they play Schitt's Creek episodes on a loop on all the TVs. 

I always have a good time with my girlfriends and this weekend was a fun way to celebrate our girl Xi and warmer weather. One of my favorite parts about Chicago is that there's always something new to discover. You will never get tired of where to eat, walk, workout, shop, drink and so much more! I got to try some new places in my own neighborhood - I live right down the street from Hotel Lincoln! If you haven't tried something new around you lately - whether it's ordering in or walking a different way - it's worth it. It will give you new energy.

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