i was lucky enough to head to chicago for
a paul mitchell color training recently. i LOVE that city.
it has the history of a new york or boston, but the kindness of the midwest.
i hung out with these 4 ladies for 3 days straight.
they are smart and beautiful and funny and amazing.
i made some new friends. we went to dunkin donuts.
bad food choice, but it was good bonding time.
give me royal donut croissant ANYDAY!
i got to hang with this gorgeous lady.
seriously, she is my soul friend.
a life without renee miller is a life half lived.
she moved to chicago a few months ago,
so i made her be my tour guide.
she took me to the most OUTRAGEOUS brunch spot
in wicker park, the bongo room. white chocolate pretzel pancakes. ridiculous.
we be bopped around wicker park and popped into american apparel.
while there, one of the girls approached us and said we both
had great style, they were hiring and invited us to an open call.
we played it super cool until she left, at which point
we had meltdowns of most dorky proportions.
just goes to show, at the heart of every cool kid, is the dorkiest of dorks.
being told by an american apparel employee that you're stylish
is...well, kinda cool. not that i ever doubted, but it's nice to be validated.
this is one of my favorite areas of wicker park.
i posted this pic on instagram and my peeps for SURE
came in strong with the praise. my friends sure know how to
make a gal feel special.
my favorite part of this pic are my wool mittens.
tres chic, no?
renee took me to frank lloyd wright's studio in oak park, just outside the city.
on the same street as his studio, there are a handful of homes that he was commissioned to redesign in his signature style. they are pretty amazing. clearly, this one is renee's fave.
seeing it elicits toyota-like jubilance within her. such jubilance cannot be contained.
nor should it be.
this one was my fave. it's a bit of a split personality house.
it was originally built in the late 1800s, but the top half of the house
burned down in a terrible fire. frank lloyd wright redesigned and had it
rebuilt, but kept the bottom part of the house as is.
the result is a half gothic, half victorian home. i kinda love it.
it's unique and beautiful and just a little bit off. just my style.
did you know the american bar association offices are in downtown chicago?
renee made sure to take a minute to...pay her respects.
did i mention that i basically ate my way through chicago?
yep, it's pretty much the only way to do it. delicious delicious delicious.
firecakes is this incredible little doughnut shop.
maple glazed pineapple and bacon donut. to quote renee:
"tastes like christmas!"
you'll notice that little white pastry box tucked under renee's arm.
filled with donuts. when i say i ate my way through chicago, i wasn't lying.
those donuts stayed with us from firecakes' doors all the way to wicker park.
after awhile, we stopped calling them donuts, and started referring to them as friends.
firecakes. not to be missed.
chicago food was delish. chicago weather...not so much.
the wind. the rain. the wind.
it was almost more than my thin LA skin could handle.
but i not only made it work, i took a selfie to document my ability to brave the elements.
look, stop judging me, you gotta celebrate the little victories in life.
like managing to stay warm in 30 degree weather.
and of course, no trip to chicago would be complete without one meal involving a chicago style hot dog. portillo's made it happen. don't ever try to offer me a hot dog that doesn't have a whole dill pickle on it. no sliced tomatoes? no pickled pepper? a bun with no poppyseeds?
i will slap that hot dog outta your hands faster than you can say...
well, just know, i'm not havin' it! oh and don't even get me started about portillo's chocolate cake shake.
you heard me. CHOCOLATE CAKE. in a shake. it's the most amazing thing ever.
chi-city, you did me good.
can't wait to go back!