The 2018 Fall Guide to Chicago

Fall in Chicago is a special time of year. The amount of time we have beautiful, brisk weather perfect for wearing cozy, chunky sweaters is limited as winter and summer fight over the milder season. The trees turn colors and the streets line with leaves of yellow, orange, red and brown. It feels magical and surreal at times that a city could be so gorgeous. If you’re visiting from out of town, hopefully you get to experience one of the more brisk days (like today). Experience what it's like to bundle up while roaming the streets of the Windy City. Whether you’re looking for a comforting bite to eat, need to warm up, or ideas for things to do...we’ve got the ultimate list for fall…

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July Spotlight

We’re interrupting your regular programming schedule of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to bring you...something different. I love a good sale but is anyone else sick of seeing a million articles and social media posts dedicated to sale items? So if you’re like me and looking for other links around the web, this post is for you! It’s time for the July spotlight and I haven’t had much time for browsing the last month so what I’m sharing had to be work my time. Translation: these links are good ones. Plus, you guys seem to be loving te Pasta Primavera recipe. It’s been the #1 viewed post for the last two weeks! If you’ve had a chance to try it, let me know. I’d love to know what you think. While everyone is more than likely enjoying the second half of their summer and heading off to one or two more vacations before it ends, I’m counting down the days until fall. Summer has been absolutely awful this year with record breaking heat and annoyance from yours truly. I can’t wait for cooler temperatures so I can wear my sweaters and booties again and start making soup and all things pumpkin.

**This post may include affiliate links. Read our full disclosure here.**

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FROM AROUND THE WEB
Throwing a party this summer? Rock your outdoor party with a few entertaining tips

For those of us who would love to meal prep but die a little inside at the thought of eating salads every day all day….

Off the grid is sounding better every single day, especially when I see treehouse getaways like this…

I’m obsessed with this home and dreaming of being able to cook in the kitchen every day…

The podcast episode from Boss Girl Creative talking about overcoming your belief barriers spoke to me on a deep level. If you’re struggling with not feeling good enough or qualified enough, listen up…

I always love finding movie set locations when I travel but the first one on this list is at the time of mine. Any other LOTR fans out there...

TOP RECIPES
[from top left]
Hosting a Girls’ Night In - Taco Fiesta
Hosting a Girls’ Night In - Tapas Night
Southwestern Chicken Pita Pockets
Pasta Primavera

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WHAT I’M UP TO
Hello, lovelies. It’s been a hot minute since I did a check-in, or wrote a post, or did anything productive for that matter. Truth? This weekend was the first weekend I've a minute in a while. Where to start...let’s go back, shall we? The last two weeks of June, as you might have read in the last spotlight, were fabulous yet exhausting. I had an event, meeting or something more days than I didn’t. I saw Lea Michele and Darren Criss in concert on the LMDC Tour (more on that in a second), my friends and I had dinner not once but twice, it was my birthday, oh...and I fell and split my face open in several places and needed stitches. Let’s go back and focus on the good stuff.

LMDC Tour. Holy cow, it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I had expected Lea Michele to be incredible but she is flawless when she performs. Not one note was missed or botched. Lea Michele and Darren Criss came to the historic Chicago Theater June 26th to kick off the second run of their tour. It was fun, nostalgia-filled if you're a "Gleek" and I wish I could relive that night all over again. Darren was funny and personable. These are two people I wish I could have hung out with afterwards. It was truly an incredible concert. I have my eye on a few more concerts coming to Chicago including Panic! At the Disco in February and I’d love to see Ed Sheeran in October but the stadium he’s playing at is way overpriced with tickets so we’ll see. Waitress is also on Broadway in Chicago but it’s only here for a few more days and it doesn’t look like I’ll be going to see it at this point. Believe me when I saw my heart is broken. That just means I’ll have to figure out how to get to NYC to see Katherine McPhee play the lead role instead!

Let’s talk food for a second. In those crazy two weeks, there were lots of food events. It all kicked off with a mid-week staycation at the Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort with a delightful dinner at Three Embers. It was a meal to remember, that’s for sure. I also attended a Windy City Bloggers happy hour at the Metropolitan in the Sears Tower. The views of the city are incredible and the lamb sliders were to die for. Finally, I attended an event with HomeChef to get to know their chefs and learn more about the company. For example, did you know that HomeChef was started and is based here in Chicago? I didn’t! I’ll have a full post discussing HomeChef soon.

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July itself has been pretty uneventful. The fourth is pretty low-key for me, I don’t really celebrate and at the end of the week I had my accident so I’m confined to my house until I feel comfortable enough to start going to events and crowded places that are not the grocery store again. I'm using this experience as one to learn from and soon I’ll share a few more personal notes about the accident and my injuries. I’m not quite there yet and am testing out a healing method to see if it actually works. On that note, if you have any tips to help get rid of scarring, I’d really appreciate them so leave ‘em in the comments below! Until next month, stay cool and enjoy the rest of summer!

WISH LIST
I think I finally found the new bedding for my bedroom! I’m in love with this comforter set from LC by Lauren Conrad..

The one thing I do love about summer is getting to wear super cute dresses. I’m loving this Tie-Waist Dress from Anthropologie in the floral print…

If you’re looking for a comfy t-shirt bra, I’m obsessed with the Breathe Wireless Bra from the Gap. I practically live in mine…

I really love the body positivity campaigns from Aerie and it makes me want to start supporting the company more. This Plush Zip-Up Sweater looks super comfy and perfect as the weather starts turning later this summer..

What Happens When You Mix Coffee And Musical Theater?

What happens when coffee and musical theater come together? I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a member of the Bow Truss Coffee Roasters team to discuss their new partnership with Broadway In Chicago and find out. Considering I am a coffee addict and in love with Broadway musicals (I saw Wicked four times), this was an opportunity I could not pass up. Representative Rachael Barnhart met me at the Jackson and Michigan Bow Truss location to answer a few questions and introduce me to this brilliant partnership they have going on.

On Bow Truss and the inspiration to partner with Broadway in Chicago...
Bow Truss is a Chicago company and they try to do things within the city that are localized. Broadway in Chicago also tries to keep things Chicago based and Chicago specific and because of that, it was the perfect partnership. It also helps that the arts and coffee make the perfect duo. To commemorate this pairing, Bow Truss created a special blend that encompasses Broadway in Chicago. 

Why Rachael loves Bow Truss...
She was drawn to the fact that everyone who works for Bow Truss cares a lot about what they're doing. The head roaster goes to all of the farms where they get coffee beans. The company makes sure everyone is being paid fairly and being taken care of. It's a very personable business. 

What sets Bow Truss apart...
Baristas have to pass a bar certification training before they can access the espresso machine. There always needs to be the perfect ratio of foam, espresso, etc. The staff keeps people coming back to the stores. They're personable and helpful. They enjoy answering questions and always make sure your experience is nothing short of perfect. I can agree with this whole heartedly. I've never felt unwelcome in a Bow Truss and anytime I've asked questions, instead of getting an annoyed response, I'm always met with willingness to provide answers. 

Bow Truss Favorites...
The cappuccino is the most popular drink across the board. Other favorites include seasonal drinks and the cortado. It used to be a barista secret but has since caught on in popularity. It's low temperature and can be drunk very fast. I've never had one but I'm going to have to try it the next time I visit. 

How Bow Truss chooses its newest locations...
There are a few things that determine where a Bow Truss location will go. Coffee deserts are a big opportunity and they also look for big Chicago cultural centers as well as take in consideration transportation. For example, the Logan Square location is located right off the blue line, perfect for morning commuters. They then look at the neighborhood vibe. Luckily, Bow Truss employs people from all kinds of Chicago neighborhoods which can offer plenty of insight to the demographics and what the residents might be looking for. Each location has it's own feel to it but they all have dedicated customers.

Coffee notes...
They have a base line of three blends. They also have a seasonal holiday blend each winter and soon they will serve a spring, summer and fall blend. The Broadway In Chicago blend is one of their most recent specialties. Aside from their regular blends, they also currently have 12 single origins that are from a specific location. Insider tip: they like to serve them at random so people can get a taste of all the different flavors (love that).

What's coming soon with Bow Truss...
Bow Truss Coffee Roasters are right on the precipice of officially becoming a Chicago staple. They will be opening another location in Chicago very soon as well as their first non-Chicago location in Beverly Hills. 

I asked Rachael what her favorite musical has been and she responded with The Book of Mormon. I've never seen that one but I want to very much. Broadway In Chicago will be featuring the blend from Bow Truss in their theatres at upcoming shows. See a list of what's coming to Chicago soon below.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Where: Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 East Chestnut
When: November 14th - January 3rd

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 West Randolph
When: December 1st - February 21st

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience
Where: Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 East Chestnut
When: December 1st - January 3rd

Disney Presents The Lion King
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 24 West Randolph
When: December 2nd - January 17th

Gotta Dance (Pre-Broadway World Premiere!)
Where: The PrivateBank Theatre, 18 West Monroe
When: December 13th - January 17th

Cabaret
Where: The PrivateBank Theatre, 18 West Monroe
When: February 9th - February 21st

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
Where: Broadway Playhouse, 175 East Chestnut
When: February 9th - February 21st

If/Then
Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 West Randolph
When: February 23rd  - March 6th

42nd Street
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph
When: March 8th - March 20th

Matilda The Musical
Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 West Randolph
When: March 22nd - April 10th

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph
When: April 5th - April 10th

Bullets Over Broadway
Where: The PrivateBank Theatre, 18 West Monroe
When: April 19th - May 1st

Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph
When: May 7th, 2016

Chicago
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph
When: May 10th - May 15th

Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph
When: May 24th - May 29th

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

The SpongeBob Musical
Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 West Randolph
When: June 7th - July 3rd

The Sound of Music
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph
When: June 7th - June 19th

The Book of Mormon
Where: The PrivateBank Theatre, 18 West Monroe
When: June 29th - August 14th

Disney's Newsies
Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 West Randolph
When: July 28th - August 7th

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Photo provided by Broadway In Chicago

Fun Home
Where: The PrivateBank Theatre, 18 West Monroe
When: November 2nd - November 13th

Finding Neverland
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 West Randolph
When: November 22nd - December 4th

Get the full list of upcoming shows and details of each show on the Broadway In Chicago website. My theatre wishlist for 2016 includes: The Book of Mormon, If/Then, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Disney's Newsies and Finding Neverland. What are you looking forward to see in the new year?