Blogger Bows & Sequins takes on the Windy City
The holiday season is one of my favorite times to spend in my favorite cities… The snow, the twinkling lights, the crisp air… It all feels so magical! New York, Paris, and Chicago all know how to do the holiday season right, but now that I’m in Chicago – let’s focus on the holidays here!
Lincoln Park has long been one of my favorite neighborhoods. Gorgeous homes, great shopping, and a lot of quaint places to grab a quick bite. My absolute favorite bakery in Chicago is Sweet Mandy B’s. Start the day there grabbing coffee, hot chocolate, and sweet treats for some much-needed fuel!
The shopping on Armitage is really fun… Lots of cute little boutiques like All She Wrote, Lori’s Shoes, Art Effect, L’Occitane, Benefit and more! (There’s also a Dream Dry if you want to start the day with a blowout!)
I’d highly recommend dinner in the West Loop! It’s a super popular area right now and just about every restaurant off of Randolph has opened in the last 2-3 years. Some of my favorites include: Bar Siena, Maude’s, Au Cheval, Blackbird, Avec, Vivo, Nellcote, The Publican, Green Street Meats and RM Champagne.
Have more than a day?
If you’ve got more than 24 hours, I’d also recommend ice skating near the Bean in Milenium Park, or on the outdoor terrace at the Peninsula Hotel. Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo is also a lot of fun! Don’t forget to check out my Travel Guide for more spots to see while you’re in town!”
Post-dinner, head to the Loop to Chicago’s Theatre District and catch a show. You can’t go wrong with A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre or The Nutcracker at Auditorium Theatre! It’s a quick cab ride from the West Loop to the Chicago Theatre. Add a super chic faux fur coat over your dinner outfit.
Once the show is over, why not cozy up near a fireplace for a nightcap? Some of my favorite cozy bars include; Hubbard Inn, Drumbar, RM Champagne, Scofflaw, The Dawson, the Bar at the Peninsula, Frontier, and The Library under Gilt Bar.
Hit the West Coast with Blogger Gal Meets Glam
San Francisco is an incredible city and I feel so lucky to call it home. Whether you live here or are making a trip in, there are a few activities that are perfect around the holidays for locals and tourists alike. There is something so special about being in the city around the holidays. Maybe it’s the buzz of the people around, the festive decor that starts to pop up or the abundance of things to do, but it’s a feeling that I look forward to every year.
Skip Ghirardelli and make your way to Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission. It was listed as some of the best chocolate in the US. Thomas and I like to order the house hot chocolate with almond milk and usually pick a variety of sweet treats (with chocolate, of course!).
One of the more touristy activities in SF is riding a cable car. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve ridden one and have friends who have lived in the city for years and still have yet to do it. We usually take friends that are visiting, but it’s still a fun experience and worth doing.
Union Square is always filled with holiday decor around this time of year- a giant Christmas tree, ice skating rink and lights galore. While we usually avoid shopping downtown because of the crowds, I love the hustle and bustle around the holidays. It gets me in the festive spirit!
Gal Meets Glam’s favorite piece?
This Express faux fur jacket is a fun piece to have for the holidays. I threw it on over an all black ensemble, including this black turtleneck and these black coated skinny jeans.”
The Ferry Building has a long list of shops and restaurants to choose from. When we stop by, we usually pick up a load of bread from ACME, some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, olive oil from Stonehouse, a sweet treat at Miette, coffee at Blue Bottle and grab a bite to eat at Frog Hollow.
If we’re downtown, we’ll usually grab lunch at the Rotunda in Neiman Marcus. It’s a glamorous spot for a late afternoon lunch with a great view of Union Square. The popovers with strawberry butter are my favorite!