It feels really great to be home. There is something extra special about Chicago in the summertime. The entire city is buzzing with activity and excitement, and I am planning to stay right here for the rest of the summer.
Before I get to the rundown of what I have been up to lately – I have a giveaway for you! I am giving away 2 tickets to the Shedd Aquarium‘s 10th annual Shedd BLU event on Saturday, August 6th! Shedd BLU is the annual fundraiser for the aquarium hosted by the auxiliary board, and it is one of my favorite events of the summer!
Last year Shedd BLU raised $415,000, and the money went towards things like Shedd’s animal rescue and rehabilitation programs and education initiatives. Shedd is home to 32,000 animals including penguins, dolphins, frogs, sharks, turtles, sea otters, and iguanas.
We love Shedd BLU because not only can you tour the aquarium, you can sample gourmet food from Chicago restaurants, view an aquatic show, watch fireworks, and dance the night away on the terrace with views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. It’s one of our favorite date nights of the year. Who doesn’t love to dress up and go to a fun party?!
You can enter to win a pair of tickets here! Or to buy tickets to the event, click here.
And now on to what I have been up to this month. I spent the first chunk of July in Iceland and London. We were in Iceland for 4 days with our friends Libb and Mick- you can read about that here, and then Charles and I went to London for our niece’s baptism.
We were in London for a week, and I was able to do some sightseeing even though I had a terrible sinus infection. I have more Iceland posts and London posts coming your way in August!
When I returned to Chicago, Art Smith’s new restaurant Blue Door Kitchen & Garden opened. I can’t wait to go back and have their famous fried chicken.
The Everygirl hosted a dinner at Cochon Volant to celebrate Bastille Day. I was joined by many of my blogging friends for bottomless glasses of rosé.
Our dinner consisted of their burrata bruschetta, steak, and salmon. Cocoon Volant is definitely one of the best restaurants in the Loop – and a great spot for a weekday lunch.
La Marca hosted a summery picnic at A New Leaf’s event space in Lincoln Park where I got to hang out with my friend Olivia.
Jocelyn joined me for a night of fried chicken and negroni slushies at Parsons. They have one of my favorite patios and I love their fried chicken.
I had lunch at Shanghai Terrace at the Peninsula Hotel. Their Kung Pao Chicken has the perfect spice level, and their outdoor dining space is stunning.
Last Friday I attended a cocktail party hosted by Cointreau and Guest of a Guest at The Patio at The James Hotel. The cocktails were a wonderful way to cool off on a 90 degree day.
We went to the Rachel Ray Feedback food festival/concert at the Lincoln Park Zoo. This was the first year that the festival was held in Chicago, and it was pretty awesome to see live music at the zoo. Grace Potter headlined – I have been a huge fan of hers for years, I love her soulful rock music.
I paired Indian food with Italian wine on Sunday night when we ordered from Rangoli. Fabio Viviani’s new Signature Red Wine Blend was a pleasant surprise waiting for me when we got back from Europe, and it was delicious!
Last weekend we went to the Coldplay concert at Soldier Field. I hadn’t been to a stadium concert in years, and those light up wristbands have totally changed the experience! We had an amazing time, until it started to rain as hard as it could possibly rain and the thunder and lightning shut down the show.
My brother and his girlfriend came to visit for Windy City Smokeout, and we had a blast. Smokeout is one of my favorite events of the summer since I love beer and barbecue and they always have a great lineup of country bands.
Of course the people who came to visit from Maine had to try the lobster at Smokeout – and they gave it a thumbs up! One of my favorite parts of the trip was when Franny, Charles, and I decided to go see an 11pm show on at Second City. We saw #Dateme: An OKCupid Experiment and it was hilarious. It was part scripted and part improv and based on real life experiences using the online dating website OK Cupid.
Last weekend we had a friend from Maine in town and we had Sunday brunch at Mon Ami Gabi in Lincoln Park before setting off to explore the city.
I might have stopped to admire this home on Astor Street while we were walking around.
On Wednesday night I went to the #boulangeriebleue dinner hosted by Grey Goose.
The peaches with burrata was the highlight of the meal, and I loved the Le Grand Fizz, a cocktail made with Grey Goose Vodka, St. Germain, Lime and Soda.
This weekend we are going to lay low and hang out with friends, and I couldn’t be more excited.