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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May Spotlight

April certainly went out like a lion. From the drastic weather change to the insanity that has ensued with not just mine but so many people’s schedules, the transition from April to May has been in a word: chaotic. I won’t complain though because April was just a rough month. And again, not just for me. I know so many people who wanted to move into May barely halfway into the second week of April. Even though it’s been absolutely insanity over here, I’ll take May over April without even blinking. For starters, I’m actually getting a few days off throughout the month with a nice vacation at the end (can I get an Amen). Second, it’s the launch of the Official Lattes, Life & Luggage Shop! This is one of the projects I’ve been working on lately and it’s been killing me not to say anything. Finally, I have a lot of posts that I’ve been working on that I’m really excited about. But let’s dive into what I’ve been looking at around the web, shall we?

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I recently got the Monica outfit from Fabletics and I’m obsessed. The leggings are so comfy…

Purification is one of my favorite essential oil blends and it combats even the stinkiest situations like sweaty boy clothes and wet dog…

Quality downtime is something I’ve learned to embrace recently and Katie from Entropy Organized explains why that’s important…

Who doesn’t prefer to travel on a budget. Here are four European destinations that will save you a buck or two…

And while we’re on the topic of affordable travel, here are five destinations that are ideal to visit in May...

The bookworm in me is drooling over this post. Bookshops in Paris for your next rendezvous…

And while we’re on the topic of Paris, get inspired for your spring home makeover by these ten chic and sophisticated Parisian apartments

Finally, bring more positive vibes to your day with these 5 simple shifts...

[from top left]
Chicken Milanese with Simple Spaghetti
Hosting a Girls’ Night In - Pizza Night
Hosting a Girls’ Night In - Tapas Night
Spring Green & Sausage Hash

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Besides the shop launching one week from Friday, I’ve been doing a lot of recipe writing, cooking, brainstorming, and cookbook research for lots of upcoming food content. One I’m particularly looking forward to is a Farmers Market series that will be more of a challenge than anything. It’s basically Chopped but instead of Ted Allen or Food Network producers choosing my key ingredients, the seasons and what looks good for the price will be the deciding factor. I really want to embrace seasonal cooking and support local farmers and businesses while I’m at it so I’m looking forward to making this a weekly thing.

Still on the hunt for new bedding, curtains and a car! I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations. As I mentioned last month, the colors we’ll be painting in my bedroom are Magnolia’s Panna Cotta with Cupola accents. I finally picked up primer this week so we can get finished soon. It’ll be nice to reorganize and truly spring clean. The car hunt is going slow but I’m thinking about going with a Jeep Cherokee or Compass. I still haven’t had a chance to look at the Renegade which is still a contender. I really like the Nissan Rogue too.

Finally, I have to update you guys on Pretty Woman The Musical and Julie & Julia! Last month, I was about to go see Pretty Woman when I wrote the April Spotlight. Now that I’ve seen it, all I can say is “GO SEE IT!” It’s amazing. It will be premiering in New York later this summer and hopefully they’ll put it on tour as well. I was honestly blown away by the entire thing. Samantha Barks is even better than what you can imagine in person. As for Julie & Julia, what a great book. I related to Julie in a lot of ways and learned a few things about Julia along the way. I’m currently reading Paris Ever After by K.S. Burns. I received this book complimentary for a book and so far so good! It’s hard for me to be upset with anything that’s based in Paris.

We made it!!! #prettywomanthemusical #prettywoman #broadwayinchicago

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In case you’re running down to the wire for Mother’s Day shopping, Target has some great ideas broken into themes and styles as well as price points…

Really in love with this dress from the LC by Lauren Conrad collection for spring…

As if I didn’t love The Gap enough already, they have these floral shirts for summer I’m in love with like this tiered ruffle off-the-shoulder design and this twist-strap cami

Is anyone else excited for Joanna Gaines’ cookbook that recently launched in April? Because I am...

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

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

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

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?