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My Weekend in Chicago

My Weekend in Chicago

Hi friends! I had the most wonderful time in the world with my sweet man in Chicago last month. We were there for less than 48 hours but were able to do so much! Chicago holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been going there every year around Christmas time since I was a little girl. There’s something so magical about the city around that time. I love to get my Christmas shopping done there (hello Black Friday deals) and of course eat some fantastic food. This year, we stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago and it was fabulous! It’s a very chic boutique hotel, I highly recommend booking a stay there and I love that it’s affordable and elegant. I absolutely loved the interior decor and the spacious hotel rooms. Mark and I were so impressed with the inviting contemporary designed lobby, it felt so cozy and sophisticated. Also, a good location in Chicago is key and The Kimpton Hotel Palomar is situated in River North and near Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier. The location was perfect because we were within walking distance of so many sights that are important to see when visiting Chicago.
If you stay at the Kimpton Palomar Chicago, I highly recommend lounging in the artsy lobby and enjoying a drink of choice in between whatever you’re doing. There’s something wonderful about unwinding and relaxing by a cozy fire. 

Oh hiiiiii, that’s me! 
The terrace view is incredible and I can’t wait to come back in the summer and enjoy the views and warm weather.

Now, let’s talk about the food I ate. Everywhere we ate was pretty affordable, delicious and not far from our hotel. There are SO many good places to eat in Chicago and it’s hard to choose. Our first stop when we arrived Friday afternoon was sweet green before we went Christmas shopping. We needed some fuel for the Black Friday madness!
It’s hard not to be obsessed with Sweet Green. It’s actually a very good thing for my bank account that there is not a Sweet Green located near me. I would probably be there every day twice a day. This bowl had arugula, red cabbage, crispy tofu, quinoa, brussels sprouts, extra avocado, broccoli, sweet potatoes and the BEST spicy cashew dressing. Yeah, I could probably drink that stuff. Next up was Sable, located in the Kimpton Palomar Chicago. Sable has contemporary American food anddddd was able to accommodate my dietary restrictions. I had the YUMMIEST bbq cauliflower steak topped with Napa cabbage cole slaw. The sauce was bursting with so much flavor that I didn’t even realize I was eating cauliflower. By the way, my cocktail was awesome! I got the Bombay Sapphire East and it was really festive. The presentation was on point and the flavors were earthy mixed with subtle holiday flavors (fig, arris root, orange, etc). 

What a dreamy space! I mean, could the design be any more perfect?! I could have stayed there all night. Side note: thank you Mark for being a great Instagram hubby.After our early dinner at Sable, we walked around the city and enjoyed all of the Christmas decorations and lights. It really is the most magical time of the year and it’s fun to spend the holidays in a big city. I may just have to make a move…
We had a second dinner around 9:00 pm. I had to give into my sandwich craving, especially when that craving involves True Food Kitchen. True Food Kitchen is addicting and again, if I had one located near me, I would move in. I don’t know how they do it. There has not been one vegan dish I don’t like. Pictured above is the T.L.T. made with smoked tempeh, butter lettuce, tomato, avocado and vegan mayonnaise. Oh Em Gee. Pictured below is the kale aid with no apple and extra celery juice. Green juice with no fruit is my fave. I don’t like fruit juice for some reason. We ordered squash pie to go and YUM. True Food kales it, always.The prettiest view after dinner 🙂 Michigan Avenue around the holidays is a must! I think we went into Water Tower Place on five different occasions. Oops.Breakfast on Saturday was at Snap Kitchen and it was a convenient option because we were in a hurry to start exploring the city. I combined the ab&j oatmeal with chia pudding topped with chocolate and pistachios because ya girl was hungry (shocking). Mark ate quinoa hash and a breakfast wrap. Also, yayyyyy Snap had green juice with no fruit. The signature dark chocolate was stashed in my purse for a later time.
After we walked to Chicago Institute of Art, some nice hot tea sounded amazing. We stopped at Argo and I got Green Tea, which warmed my soul. 

I love a detailed cityscape picture. There are so many beautiful buildings that make you want to stop and take pictures of them all.Hungry again? Yes, quite. This time, we ate at LYFE Chicago and I left with the happiest stomach. There is a healthy option for everyone at LYFE, whether you’re vegan or not. My man ordered a poke bowl and I ate the Beyond Burger. This was the epitome of vegan comfort food. We shared vegan buffalo tenders (not pictured), which were incredibly appetizing and I drank the most flavorsome Pinot Sage Kombucha.
A close-up was completely necessary. Who needs meat!? The Beyond Burger is beyond amazing. 

We decided to buy tickets for A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre (best decision ever). If you’re living in Chicago or visiting this holiday season, I highly recommend seeing this production. It was truly excellent. Before the play, we ate dinner at Sunda but before dinner, a glass of Rosè was completely necessary. Is anyone else a huge fan of dry Rosè? It’s become my favorite drink of choice! This bar is Pops for Champagne and it was perfectly decorated for the holidays.

We LOVE sushi, vegan for me of course. Sunda had a few mouthwatering vegan options. I ended up eating spicy edamame as an appetizer (amazing) and for my entrée, I ordered a sweet potato roll topped with avocado and delicious spicy sauce. A +, loved it. Well, that’s it ladies and gents, I hope that you enjoyed seeing where I stayed and most of the food I stuffed my face with. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

Thank you Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago for a wonderful complimentary stay and thank you to Lyfe Kitchen Chicago, Sable and Snap Kitchen for comping our meals. All pictures and opinions are my own!

My 3 Daily Tips For A Happier Stomach

My 3 Daily Tips For A Happier Stomach

Oh stomachs, how you can be so miserable, upset and all around moody. I don’t do anything too crazy or out there to keep my stomach happy and regulate my digestion, but there are a few tips I would love to share with you. The tips that I am going to share with you work for me and it’s all around a pretty simple routine! Now, lets have at it.

  1. CHAMOMILE WITH LAVENDER 

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 Fabulous scent. Chamomile is a fragrant and caffeine free tea that has been known to calm upset stomachs and alleviate menstrual cramps. I definitely think that chamomile is great for an upset stomach and it is much easier to take down than ginger ale or sugary sports drinks. I usually drink chamomile twice a day, once in the early morning and usually before bed. It’s quite calming to drink before bed, especially with soothing infused lavender.

 

3. COCONUT OIL

 

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So, here is my favorite! I LOOOOOOOVE coconut oil. I use it for EVERYTHANG. I put it in my hair, on my skin (not my face though), on my nails, in my coffee and on my toast. You get the point. I heart coconut oil. Sure this is a fat and all fats in moderation. I either suck it up and down a tbsp of this in the morning or add it to my coffee. Once in awhile I use coconut oil as a cooking oil, but I prefer to just sneak it into my smoothies or coffee. I have been using coconut oil in my diet ever since I read that coconut oil has been found to fight bad bacteria.

4. WARM LEMON WATER

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You’ve probably heard about this. It seems to be a trend. Celebrities looooooove to say that they wake up and drink warm lemon water. Well, I have to agree with them. I feel the digestive benefits from consistently drinking warm lemon water every morning. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and helps maintain the pH levels in your body. I drink this before my breakfast and so far so good! 

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