5 Fireplaces to Warm Up in Chicago

If you haven’t heard, Chicago is currently surviving another polar vortex. Temperatures dropped to a record-breaking number yesterday causing businesses to shut down and people to embrace the art of hibernation. Those of us who have the ability to hole up in our homes all day without having to leave for even a second don’t mind this one bit. However, anyone who has to brave the cold probably wishes they relocated anywhere else at this point. Regardless, if there’s one thing Chicago knows how to do, it’s survive winter. So whether you love it, hate it, or care less either way, the city has your back. One of the ways we survive the cold temps in Chicago is through fire...literally. Many restaurants, bars, and hotels have fireplaces to cozy up…

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5 Books to Hibernate With

Whenever I get a weekend to myself during the winter (which lately has been rare), I love to curl up with a good book. Over my holiday break, I peeled through the second half of Night Film by Marisha Pessl and got a head start to Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Because the nights are long in winter, you want to stay in but it seems impractical to go to sleep before a certain time. I know that if I’m in bed before 9pm (unless I’m sick), I’ll be up in the middle of the night ready to start the day at 3am and that’s never a good routine to get on. These are the nights I’m in my bed by 8pm, sometimes earlier, and grabbing a book. Inspired by my own reading kick lately, I’ve put together a list of five book recommendations to keep you busy the rest of winter…

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6 Cozy, Hygge-Inspired Winter Destinations

Invented by the Danish, “hygge” means coziness and it seems to have taken over winter. Unless you’re looking to avoid the cold weather and head somewhere warm, people are gravitating towards vacations and decor in their own homes that resemble a cozy, comfy…hygge...vibe. It makes sense too! Who doesn’t love a hot cup of cocoa by a roaring fireplace while wearing yoga pants and chunky sweaters? I could forget every other season if everyday could be cozy and comfortable and well...the perfect hygge experience. While recreating the lifestyle is easy at home, nothing beats going away and experiencing it somewhere else where you don’t have to clean up the cocoa dishes or sweep the fireplace at the end of the night…

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Southwestern Beefy Vegetable Soup | National Soup Month

Creating these recipes for National Soup Month, the number one word on my brain was comfort. I wanted each of these recipes to feed the body and the soul while warming you up in the process. Well, we got hit with some pretty rough winter weather in this last week. Nothing outrageous or that we Chicagoans can’t handle but COLD. The kind of weather where you have to eat something piping hot for dinner or you might turn into an icicle before bed. Lucky for all of you (and me, of course), this recipe was written on one of those bitter cold days…

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4 Winter Must-Haves If You Work From Home

Working from home in the wintertime has its perks. While everyone is digging through snow to get to their cars and their offices Monday morning, I don’t have to step foot out the door. However, it’s the season of chills up the spine and all the cozy things so why not embrace it? My “working” wardrobe might not consist of sweater dresses and dress slacks but it certainly reflects the season. There are a few tweaks I make to the kitchen and home office this time of year as well. I call them my “Winter Office Must-Haves.” They are the necessities to get me through the colder months which can stretch through April and even May sometimes in Chicago…

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7 Dream Winter Travel Destinations

The colder months are my favorite time of year. From fall through winter, we break out all the cozy sweaters, light up the fireplace and indulge in the best comfort foods. The nights are longer, which most people hate, but I happen to love because it motivates me to finish my day earlier. I get caught up in whatever book is on my nightstand, maybe watch a show or two, or simply spend time with friends or family. Believe it or not, I enjoy going out and meeting people for drinks or dinner more in the colder months than in the summertime. It sounds a little backwards but there’s something about crisp winter air and meeting people in warm, cozy restaurants when it’s already black outside by 6PM…

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5 Ways to Get Over the Holidays (Yes, 10 days later)

Christmas seems to start in October these days. All the decor is displayed in the stores as if the North Pole itself threw up by October 15th. Let’s not forget the Hallmark movies beginning the weekend before Halloween this year. I am 100% a “start celebrating on November 1st” kind of Christmas person but for all the anticipation and excitement, it always feels like it was over to soon come January 2nd. People are taking down their Christmas decorations and here I am still absorbing all the nostalgia with the few houses still lit up and my tree. It may be January 10th, but I am still not over Christmas. It’s a new year though. 2019 is full of amazing things that have yet to come and I am genuinely excited. Yet, I need a little help moving past the festive season and felt that some of you might as well…

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5 Things You Shouldn't Forget to Pack for Winter Travel

Packing is the tricky part of traveling. If my recent trip to the East coast has taught me anything, it’s that you never really know what to expect with Mother Nature. An October trip should have been brisk and cool. Instead, I saw 90 degree heat waves with only booties and sweaters in my carry-on. It seems the only two trips you can count on average weather conditions is somewhere sunny and tropical or somewhere cold and snowy. I love winter travel. There’s something about the shorter days and getting to see a place at night all lit up after a long day. It’s also a great time to be indulgent because you won’t be showing that belly near sandy shores. So go ahead and get that second mug of hot cocoa. No one’s judging!

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