HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!
Lately, Chicago has been having some super UGLY weather (Rainy, cloudy, and barely in the high 60s). I guess you could say that's pretty normal for Chicago. Although this happens every year I'm still going to complain because I'm a Chicagoan and that's just what we do LOL
With that being said, one of my favorite things to do when the weather isn't so great is travel! But, the way my finances are currently set up (lol) I won't be traveling out the country this year SO, I've decided to make a bucket list of the places I want to go within the next couple years!
Fun Fact: I'm actually obsessed with reading people's bucket/wish lists and could always relate to them but never had one of my own.
I bought myself a couple new notebooks the other day and what better way to crack the seal than to start off with this bucket list. I also felt that if I actually wrote my bucket list down as opposed to just writing this blog post then I'd have to follow it :).....right?
Well, here it is! You all are the first to see my first ever travel bucket list. Enjoy!
2. Travel to Morocco- Visit the majestic Blue City
4. Travel to London (again)
5. Travel to CaliforniaWatch the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge
Go wine tasting at Buena Vista winery
Hike to the Hollywood sign
Alright guys, thats it for now. I could go on for pages but i wanted to start with a list that I would actually be able to achieve within the next couple years. Wish me luck!
Whats on your travel bucket list?!
Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer and Las Vegas is a great place to celebrate the occasion. This year, my friends and I decided to turn this into a girls trip and we had a blast! Though the weather was not as perfect as we expected it to be, we still were able to spend some time outside soaking up some of the desert rays. Here are our picks for the best events for celebrating Memorial Day weekend in Downtown Vegas and some tips to ensure your Memorial Day experience is enjoyable and safe.
Some people come to Las Vegas to gamble. Some come to party. And some come here to eat..... and by some I mean me :)
There are so many choices that it can be hard to decide where to eat. We put together a few suggestions for you for a variety of budgets. If you’re a foodie and you’re in Vegas for a weekend vacation, these are the spots we think you should definitely check out.
Brunch- Wicked Spoon
If you've been to Las Vegas before then you know that brunch buffets can either be really well done or really awful. I've stayed at the Cosmopolitan before, which is where Wicked Spoon is located, so I really didn't expect nothing too spectacular but I was so wrong. This is probably the most glamorous buffet I've ever had. At first glance the buffet includes standard charcuterie with stations for meats, cheeses, fruits, salads, and cereal.
Brunch was only $31 and you have the option to add bottomless beverages for an additional $17 (includes mimosas, champagne, Bloody Mary's, house red or white wine, and Bud Light). My type of budget!
The buffet looks pretty standard with stations for meats, cheeses, fruits, salads, and cereal and if you're in the mood for non-breakfast and brunch items, you’re in luck. However, the taste is far from basic- everything I had was DELICIOUS. Their diverse options for brunch also includes sushi, Thai, pizza, pasta, shrimp, mac & cheese, and so much more. I was also very pleased with how organized and clean Wicked Spoon was- that's something you rarely see at buffets.
I literally tried everything LOL which included fried chicken, jerk chicken, mac & cheese, chicken carbonara, pesto pasta, mashed potatoes, shrimp tempura sushi, waffles, pancakes, need I say more?
Wicked Spoon definitely has something for just about everyone regardless of your dietary restrictions or personal preferences. We suggest scanning all of the stations before grabbing a plate and filling up because I guarantee there will be something you missed and will want to add on.
Lunch- Slater 50/50
Slaters 50/50 wasn't exactly on the way to anywhere BUT I convinced the girls to take break from the strip to go exploring and I'm happy we did. First and foremost, Slater's 50/50 has an extensive beer menu with 50 beers on tap!! I am a huge beer fan so when I walked in and saw the beer display then turned to the right to see every beer I've ever had on tap, I fell in love! We got to taste their best and I can honestly admit that Andy, restaurant manager, pretty much changed my mind on stouts!
The atmosphere was vey chill and laid back with plenty of space to be seated. They even have games up from for the kiddies....or adults lol...to play while you're waiting.
First was the appetizers: bacon mac & cheese, onion rings, and loaded ballpark fries - which we don't have pictures of because they were THAT good!
Then came the beer tasting. Andy gave us the best of the best that they had on tap- even my friends ,who are not beer drinkers, enjoyed ever sip. My favorite was the Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout! It taste just like peanut butter!
Now for the 24K Gold Burger! Their most popular dish and I clearly see why. I was a bit skeptical of tasting the gold on the bun and bacon but there you couldn't tell the difference. The burger was juicy and flavorful every single bite. I was satisfied! One of my friends also got the 24K Gold burger while our other friend went the healthier route with a turkey burger and sweet potato fries- DELICIOUS!
Last but not least, as if we did not eat enough, they brought out the Happy Birthday Shake- funfetti shake, vanilla and Jolly Rancher crust, topped with sprinkles, Twinkies and a cupcake, brought out with sparklers. SO CUTE! We were so full by the time the dessert arrived but I will say it was just as good eating it late at night in our room after going out!
Moral of the story, come prepared to eat and drink yourself into a coma! So glad we stepped off the strip and enjoyed our day at Slater's with Andy and Fredie! Thank you guys so much!
By far my favorite experiences in Vegas!
**WARNING** I you choose to come here, WEAR PANTS AND CLOSED TOE SHOES. I know, common sense right? Wrong! Lol. After being out all morning, we completely forgot to dress for this experience and while it wasn't a huge issue, we definitely didn't stay as long as we would have liked because our toes were F-R-O-Z-E-N
We went to the one at the Venetian- located upstairs from the Casino. Not going to lie, when you walk in it looks like a regular bar with an Arctic twist to the decor. However, once we put on our fur coat and gloves and were directed into the ice bar I was AMAZED. The walls, floor to ceiling and chandelier is made of ice! Everything is literally made of ice! From the seats, tables, and bar to the glasses is made from 100% frozen water. I know you're probably like, duh Ashley its and "Ice Bar" but you just have to have seen it to understand lol.
I had an old fashioned- be warned it was super strong! My friends had the Spicy Pineapple Punch and it was just as good! I will say, take it easy on the drinks. I'm guessing because it was super cold inside the alcohol doesn't hit your blood but once we stepped outside and warmed it... let's just say we were VERY warm :)
Nonetheless, this was super cool!- Literally. Thank you so much to Kurt and Brandy for inviting us out! We had a blast. This is the perfect experience for your next Vegas Girls Trip! Can't wait to com back to visit.
**Fun fact: There is more than one location on the strip and this group of mimosa filled chicks went to the wrong one but everyone was super accommodating and got us to the right reservation!
Last but certainly not least, the parties :) Because after all, who doesn't go to Vegas for the parties! Now I didn't do too much reviewing or picture taking- that's what happens when you're having too much fun LOL. but here is my list of must go day parties and nightclubs while you're in Vegas- Especially for Memorial Day Weekend.
& there you have it! A little glimpse into our Girls Trip to Vegas for Memorial Day Weekend. Overall, we had such a great time and enjoyed all that Vegas had to offer. I couldn't review every single thing we did or else I'd be writing for weeks LOL
Moral of the story, bring your girls to Vegas & eat, drink, and party! There's so much to do and so many places to go for whatever mood you're in!
Chao for now!
Every month we come together as a community and have the privilege of being introduced to a variety of local businesses who are a core part of our community. In case you missed us at our March Girls Night Out, check out our spotlight businesses who made our event a splash! It’s not too late to connect, find them and their contact info below!
A special thanks to everyone at The Moxy Chicago, especially Kayla and Lynn; you both have been amazing from the start. Thank you for hosting us and to all that made this event possible!
Every month we come together as a community and have the privilege of being introduced to a variety of local businesses who are a core part of our community. In case you missed us at our F February Girls Night Out, check out our spotlight businesses who made our event a splash! It’s not too late to connect, find them and their contact info below!
A special thank you Bar Louie for hosting us and to all that made this event possible!
beautycounter with Sharon Mehalek
What a difference a month can make, right!? I've been hesitant to post this blog because people are always telling me one of three things:
Ok, I understand and I appreciate it! I AM luckier than most woman for my smooth postpartum weight loss transition BUT that doesn't take away from the fact that I felt uncomfortable and unattractive in my body for a good majority of my postpartum journey. From extra stomach fat that I've never seen a day in my life to dark stretch marks and other skin defects, I just wasn't happy. Not to mention the emotional stress that comes along with it, I continued putting on pounds. It's not about being "skinny" but moreso about loosing my toned body shape and being out of shape.
Now that that is out the way :)
I also want to mention that this is about my postpartum fitness journey- I can only speak from my experience. Everybody is different; what works for me may not work for you. I would definitely consult your doctor or seek personal training assistance.
So here's my history:
I've been pretty active my entire life however, my biggest struggle was my diet. I believe the thing that helped me the most was me almost eliminating sugar from my diet. Before I had my daughter, I barely ever ate junk foods (chips, candy, cakes, etc), I didn't drink pop or juice (unless it was mixed with my liquor LOL) , and I absolutely LOVED water.
SIDENOTE: When I was younger (yes I'm blaming this on you mom :), I spent the summer on punishment for stealing my moms car #BadAssAlert lol. So I spent majority of my days in the basement, eating PACKS of sour patch kids...every day.....for 60 days straight. So guess what happened to your girl?! I ended up with 11 CAVITIES! (Ouch is right!) Several dentist appointments and a bunch of numbing shots later, I was literally terrified to eat candy again! Sounds dramatic, but I swear that's a true story. Ask my mom! I'm sure that's a medical bill she'll never forget LOL (sorry mom!)
Back to my story....
Unfortunately, all of that went down the drain once I had my daughter! I developed a HUGE sweet tooth and craved pop, cookies and ice cream almost every day. This habit stuck around even after I gave birth. & to add more to my struggles, I absolutely love to sleep and I refuse to give that up for anything, especially for the gym lol. (Luckily I didn't have to sacrifice much sleep during early postpartum, my daughter was an angel!). I have a love hate relationship and I find it had to be consistent- only going hard once I notice a little weight gain then falling off.
I'm saying this because I want you all to know that I am like everyone else, I have to work hard to stay fit....and this is about to be a LONG journey. Are you guys ready?!
When did you start to workout?
I was pretty good with stay active throughout my pregnancy. My favorite thing to do was take Zumba classes 3-4x's a week. This helped TREMENDOUSLY! Once I gave birth, I didn't work out until about a month ago....9 months postpartum. After having a pretty hard labor- 3rd degree tear- it took a very long time for me to even feel comfortable enough to sit down or stand up for long periods of time....yet alone workout.
How often do you workout?
Let me just say, my trainer, Jordan , is AMAZING! I'll put his information at the bottom for you guys, definitely reach out to him if you're trying to achieve your fitness going and want someone who is EXTREMELY knowledgeable!
I try my best to train with Jordan 3-4x's a week. Being a mompreneur is SUPER hard and very time consuming. Not to mention I am still getting the hang of this thing called Life With a 10 Month Old. Some days are much harder than others and almost impossible to schedule a workout but we make it work!
Now for the good stuff!
kanye's workout plan:
So what exactly do I do? Hell if I know LOL I told you, this is a journey for me. Everyday is something new- I'm still learning the names of the exercises. What I do know is that I don't focus on cardio.....because let's face it, I HATE CARDIO. My trainer isn't the biggest fan of it either so it works out. Instead, we hit the weights HARD and I'm already seeing progress. It's only been a month! Check out the videos below to see what a normal day at the gym with my trainer looks like.
Personal Trainer: Jordan Davis
IG: @jfit.ness_ | Email: email@example.com | Phone: 312.409.8342
How do you stay motivated
I work from home with a 10 month old, so honestly, just being able to get out of the house to do something for myself is motivation enough! Lol I find myself looking at old pictures of myself in better shape and that is also motivation for me. Overall, I want to be healthier, look healthier and to FEEL healthier (Skinny does NOT equal healthy). Working out as much as I can and doing the best I can to get a grip on my eating habits will help me get there!
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Fans of the flavors of the ever growing Mexican beverage unite over varying tequila tastes. Try new and recognized brands on a Saturday afternoon in February.
Porque no … or why not?
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Can't wait to see you there!
Jan 25th-Feb 7th is Chicago Restaurant Week! CRW is filled with two weeks of dining deals from hundred of restaurants all over Chicago. In fact, this year will be the LARGEST it's ever been- over 400 restaurants participating!
This is legit the biggest event of the year so don't miss out on these specials. Searching for restaurants that participate in CRW can be very overwhelming so being the wonderful person that I am :) I've decided to compile a list of some of my favorite restaurants just for you!
Check it out!
1. Beatrix - River North | American | Deal: $24 Lunch Menu, $36 Dinner Menu
2. RPM Steak | Steakhouse | Deal: $24 Lunch Menu, $48 Dinner Menu
3. Barrio | Mexican | Deal: $24 Lunch Menu, $48 Dinner Menu
4. Bub City | Barbecue | Deal: $24 Lunch Menu , $36 Dinner Menu
5. Naoki | Japanese | $48 Dinner Menu
6. Aurelio's Pizza South Loop | Pizzeria | $24 Lunch Menu, $36 Dinner Menu
7. Siena Tavern | Italian | $24 Brunch & Lunch Menu, $48 Dinner Menu
8. FIG & OLIVE Chicago | Mediterranean | $48 Dinner Menu
Seriously, I really can't say what I enjoyed the most because the entire experience was phenomenal! Let's start from the beginning:
We pulled into The Rose Hotel parking lot and it was PACKED! My immediate first thought was that we were going to be forced to park in the lot across the street and truck it through the snow- wearing suede, pointed toe, open sided heels at that! (No, I didn't think this through lol). Luckily for us, as I drove around the parking lot I noticed a sign that read "Valet Parking". JACKPOT! As we approached the front entrance, I looked toward the bottom of the sign trying to find the pricing and guess what.....IT WAS FREE!
[ The Rose Hotel 1 || Every Other Hotel 0]
Living in a money hungry city like Chicago, we all know what a luxury Complementary Parking is...especially Valet Parking. Well done Rose Hotel!
We parked in the Valet line and was approached by one of the attendants....a very handsome one I should say :). He opened my car door and greeted me with a smile, and gave me his arm to hold on to. He asked me what my friends name was, addressed her as such and guided us into the hotel to be handed off to a staff member.
[ The Rose Hotel 2 || Every Other Hotel 0]
My jaw literally dropped when I walked into the hotel! There were pink, blue, and purple (or just a darker pink.....I've self diagnosed myself with color blindness LOL ) lights illuminating from every corner of the room. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L ! A mixture of glass, marble and wood décor throughout. To the right of us was the Dj booth, full service bar, a Smash Cake Table, Fireplace, a room full of Rosé & cotton candy, lounge seats scattered throughout, and a backflipping man in a black/white stripe onesie! (YES, I said that). Super chill yet very classy!
[ The Rose Hotel 3 || Every Other Hotel 0]
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[ The Rose Hotel 4 || Every Other Hotel 0]
[ The Rose Hotel 150 || Every Other Hotel 0]
And it just got so much better!
Walking towards what looked like a rose garden backdrop for pictures but as I got closer, I noticed there was a hand with a glass of champagne sticking out of it.
Now, at this point we've already been by the bar and were working on drink number 3 LOL So of course, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me when I saw someone take the glass of champagne and the hand disappeared then returned with yet another glass of wine.
Umm, excuse me....WHAT just happened?!
Yes, you heard it right! They had a rose wall that handed you glasses of champagne as you walked by. MIND BLOWING! So very creative. Still trying to figure out how I can get that wall at home :) LOL.
[ The Rose Hotel 5,000 || Every Other Hotel 0]
Now, for the other side of the hotel.
To the right of the wall of champagne was a room filled with green lit umbrellas! A super simple touch but it looked amazing! There was another bar, photobooth, tasty bites from Rosebud Restaurant and Dave & Buster's, and a room of champagne, beer, and liquor brands giving out samples (as if the two open bars was not enough LOL)
The Rose Hotel seriously knows how to party!
[ The Rose Hotel 6,809 || Every Other Hotel 0]
[ The Rose Hotel > Every Other Hotel ]
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Book your stay at The Rose Hotel in Rosemont! Tell them Ashley sent you!
Chao for now!
Hi, I'm Ashley!
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