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The Rundown v. 41 and Shedd BLU Giveaway

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Welp. It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these posts, and between the travel posts going up on the site and recent trips on my Instagram – I’m even getting confused. In May I spent about 3 weeks in Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and Montenegro and I have slowly been sharing those blog posts with you. Since returning from Europe, I’ve gone on a series of 5 trips within the U.S. I haven’t been home for more than 10 days in a row since April, and yes, I’m starting to feel a little tired… but I’m also having too much fun to slow down.

Before I tell you all about what I have been up to lately, I have a GIVEAWAY for you! I am giving away 2 tickets to Shedd BLU – a fundraiser for the Shedd Aquarium and one of my favorite events of the year. Not only does the event raise money to care for Shedd’s 32,000 animals, guests get to taste food from top Chicago restaurants, dance the night away on the gorgeous terrace overlooking Lake Michigan, and watch the Navy Pier fireworks. We have been attending the event for a few years, and it is a highlight of our summer. If you want to buy tickets, you can do so here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last year I wore one of my favorite dresses – and it is still available online in black and white.

And one more thing before I get to the rundown – I am working on planning out future content for the site and I would LOVE it if you would complete the 10 question survey above!!

Now on to what I have been up to in the past couple of months ->

First Charles and I went to Maine to visit my family. We posed for a photo in the same spot where we got married.

Next, I went to Madison with Ashlee and Christine to judge the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s Grilled Cheese Showdown.

The following weekend I went to Indianapolis for a travel blogging workshop.

The weekend after that Charles and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary with a trip to New Orleans.

The next week Charles had to go to New York City for work, and I tagged along so that I could see my sister.

In addition to all of the travel, Charles and I have been making the most of the Chicago summer. On the rare weekend that we have been home we have enjoyed our routine of spin class at Flywheel followed by brunch at LPQ.

The folks over at Le Pan Quotidien have our exact orders memorized at this point. And we love it.

On the actual day of our anniversary, we had cocktails at the Library Bar at the Public Hotel followed by dinner at Blue Door Kitchen and Garden.

Blue Door Kitchen is owned by Art Smith, who used to be Oprah’s chef, and he is famous for his fried chicken. The garden patio is gorgeous and the perfect place for a date.

The Windy City Blogger Collective hosted a happy hour at The Bristol. We snacked on arancini and sipped on Moscow Mules, and I got to catch up with my blogging friends. If you haven’t beed to The Bristol yet, go immediately, you won’t be disappointed.

Along with some of the WCBC members, I saw King Liz, a fast paced play about a female sports agent. It is playing at the Windy City Playhouse and I definitely recommend it!

I was on the co-chair committee for a luncheon hosted by Chelsea Handler to benefit the Karam Foundation back in May.

The Karam Foundation provides aid to Syrian refugees, including education for children. You can donate here.

My sister and I took a quick weekend trip up to the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. Their restaurant the Wisconsin Room has one of the most epic Sunday Brunch buffets ever.

The night before I left for Serbia I joined my friends Jocelyn and Jenny for dinner at Duck Duck Goat – and it was amazing – I can’t wait to go back.

My friend Jenn hosted the loveliest weekday brunch with Monica Vinader, a company that makes the prettiest bracelets. It was such a nice opportunity to catch up with some of my girlfriends that I hadn’t seen in a long time. And they gave me a rose gold bracelet that I had engraved with my initials.

I checked out the new menu at Streeterville Social at the Loews Hotel in Chicago. It’s a hidden gem right in downtown Chicago – and it’s a perfect place for post-work drinks and snacks! I loved the Summer Corn Flatbread with smoked fontina, shishito peppers, red onion, pickled cantaloupe, and bacon. Plus the chicken fried mushrooms and crispy calamari were great too! I rounded out my meal with a burger which had comeback sauce (it’s my newest obsession!).

My friend Lauren and I checked out Slighted Toasted, a new restaurant in the West Loop that specializes in cocktails and gourmet toast dishes. We tried the Fava Bean Toast, the Avocado Toast, a sweet Strawberry Toast, and a Bourbon Butterscotch and Nutella Toast.

This year we went to Pitchfork instead of Windy City Smokeout, and it felt more laid back and less crowded.

Charles loved the people watching – the fashion at Pitchfork is creative, to say the least. We saw multiple guys rocking overalls and/or pigtails. Men in metallic leggings seemed to be another developing trend.

Charles’s favorite part of Pitchfork was the Dewar’s set up that included the coolest tiny house on a trailer that their brand ambassador is taking on tour around the country. They were also selling cocktails and giving away scotch egg with each drink. Charles loves scotch eggs, and this was the best part of the entire festival for him. (Brits are so weird sometimes).

On Monday night we went to an event celebrating Maine Lobster at GT Fish & Oyster! We got to taste test hard shell and new shell lobster to understand the difference between the two. I prefer new shell – it is sweeter and more moist than hard shell.

If you made it all the way to end of this post – thanks for sticking with me! What have you been up to this summer? I would love to hear all about it in the comments!

Jenn Lake

Wednesday 19th of July 2017

Wow, you have been one busy lady! It's so fun to see all of your travels and experiences (granted I do not know how you find time for sleep). Thanks for also including the Monica Vinader brunch - loved having you there!

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