Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

Can’t login to your Gmail account?

September 1, 2009

It’s driving us crazy too.

But consider this your invitation from the Google Powers that Be to take that latte break, power nap, or much needed stroll down procrastination lane. In fact, we’ve rounded up a few great sites to browse that are just perfect for those days when Gmail tells you “enough is enough”, or, well, “could not complete your request”.


Nice pictures of cool things.

2. Newser

My guilty pleasure. It’s a news aggregation service that provides mostly tabloid level stories– but with pictures!

3. Free Rice

Mindless. Free. Rice. And somehow you’re also helping to save the world.


An up to the minute compilation of hard-to-believe-they’re-true news articles from around the world.

5. Apartment Therapy

Inspiration for your home. It’s very DIY yet modern.

If these links just aren’t cutting it for you and you really, actually, do have something you’ve just gotta send out, here’s a way to get around the 502 error. Simply head over to iGoogle, and you can read and send messages via the dashboard’s gmail link. What do you do when your Gmail is down?

Cupcake Crawl

August 26, 2009

Red Velvet cucpake from Swirlz

I don’t have the drinking endurance to handle a bar crawl, so when my friends get dolled up for a night of club-hopping, I curl up for a night on the couch. I might not be able to handle my liquor, but I’ve got the sweet tooth of a champion. My taste buds lead me right to the cupcake.

Cupcakes are having a major cultural moment: since super-chic Carrie Bradshaw nibbled on morsels from New York’s swanky Magnolia Bakery on Sex and the City, cupcakes have gone from childhood birthday party fare to a sophisticated culinary trend. Once relegated to grocery stores and cake shops, cupcakes are now staples of any corner bakery, and many bakeries are devoted entirely to the dessert. While my friends slept off their night on the town, I embarked on a cupcake crawl that took me around Chicago in search of the best the city’s got to offer. Here, my two favorites:

My first stop was More (1 E. Delaware Place), a couture cupcake shop in the river north neighborhood. With succulent sweet and savory flavors like lemon meringue and bacon maple, More is a spot for the discerning dessert-eater. The lemon meringue cupcake came with perfectly-formed tufts of fluffy meringue and a lemon-filled center. With its white interior and crisp light installations, this bakery has a chic, boutique feel. The fancy flavors like peach bacon bbq, blueberry acai, and salted caramel classify these cakes as haute cuisine, and the deliciously-sweet cupcakes definitely left me wanting More.

Next, I trekked to Lincoln Park to hit Swirlz (705 W. Belden), where I got a cupcake that totally justified the long CTA trip. Daily options include vanilla, chocolate, and the mouth-wateringly delicious red velvet, made with buttermilk, cocoa, and cream cheese frosting. Swirlz has options for various dietary needs, including those with vegan or gluten-free diets. Every day, there are different gluten-free and vegan options, including vegan chocolate-peanut butter and gluten-free banana cream cheese. In addition to cupcakes to accommodate these diets, the bakery also has fare for patrons’ four-legged friends. If your canine has a carb craving, give him a Pupcake, a bite-sized cupcake made just for Fido.

Embrace the cupcake trend and take a bite out of some of the tastiest deserts in town.

Celebrating Woodstock

August 14, 2009

Channel your inner hippie and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Woodstock this weekend…

Check out’s list of fashion foward neo-hippies, including David LaChappelle, Blake Mycoskie (Toms Shoes) and models Shalom Harlow and Angela Lindvall. In one way or another, all of these free-spirited ne0-hippies promote peace, the environment, helping each other and positive vibes.

Natasha Khan

If you really want to re-live Woodstock, check out some Woodstock anniversary celebrations in your area. A few this weekend include:

A Woodstock TributeA Woodstock Illinois Tribute
August 14 – August 15
Galt Airport (approx. 50 miles NW of Chicago)
5112 Greenwood Road
Wonderlake, IL 60097
Featuring nine tribute bands for: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead and Santana.

Woodfest '09 Music and Arts Festival

Woodfest ’09 Music and Arts Festival
August 14 – August 16
The Washita Hideaway
I-35 and Hwy 77 (exit 51), NE Corner
Davis, OK
Featuring tribute bands for: Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Nicks, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Jim Morrison, Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and more.

Check out a few more Woodstock celebrations throughout the country.

If you can’t visit any of these celebrations this weekend, just wear a few of your favorite ’60s trends. Woodstock was an obvious inspiration for the fashion world at the time and still remains influential today.

Check out these ’60s-inspired/neo-hippie/boho looks from Avant Gaudy:

Lolla, $48 Painterly, $45

Catchism, $58 Nirvana, $25


Don’t forget what Woodstock was really all about! Listen to some of our favorite songs and artists that played at Woodstock ’69 in our pop-out player.

 Standalone player 

So what if I think serial killers are good looking?

August 13, 2009

As the sun sets Tuesday nights at Grant Park in downtown Chicago, hundreds gather to relax, converse, AND catch a good old-fashioned movie.

I have been an aficionado of going to these since

A.  I am completely broke and this event is free

B.  The people I go with generally possess some sort of edible goods

Tonight, the featured film was none other than Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho. I had been fortunate enough to see the film with my UChicago dorm buddies earlier in the year, but was grateful to re-watch it.  I remember what struck me originally about the film the first time I watched it was the dashing good looks of none other than the insane-murderer-guy.  When I mentioned this patent fact to my predominately male companions, I was laughed at.  After receiving various jabs throughout the week about my observations, I, discouraged and downtrodden, put my Psycho yearnings on the back shelf.

Oh, Norman

The movie in Grant Park was projected onto a huge white screen.  My heart skipped a beat whilst munching on popcorn when that lovely, dark visage graced the screen.  With this amplified view, I frankly fell back into love with the antagonist: deranged, introverted, mentally disturbed and oh-so-dreamy, Norman Bates.

Have such a crush on Normy.  That black sweater.  That gripping gaze.  That deft movement by which he impinges Marion Crane’s abdomen with a butcher knife.



Some men are just to die for.

So P.O.S.H.

August 13, 2009

 I passionately believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it doesn’t count unless it’s warm, filling, and piled high. That’s why I’m enamored with these cheeky mugs emblazoned with the phrase, “Pancakes Make People Happy” ($8). They make me reminisce about lazy Sunday-morning brunches at my favorite greasy-spoon diner, where I’d dive mouth-first into a buttery short-stack. These days, I’m always eating on the run, but I’m happy to gulp down a big drink of nostalgia.  


 Whether looking for charming diner-staples like these mugs or for slightly classier-fare, thrifty shoppers should flock to P.O.S.H., a well-edited vintage home-goods boutique for nesters who don’t want to skimp on style.  

The affordable housewares and eclectic goods are culled from restaurant warehouses and flea markets in the U.S. and Europe. The store stocks plates, bowls, mugs, tea services, and glassware in a variety of patterns, attracting buyers looking for anything from classy to kitsch. Some delicate floral patterns seem straight out of a bucolic English bed-and-breakfast, while other understated pieces in monochromatic palettes would be at home in a chic Parisian bistro. Other pieces are full of whimsy, such as a cheerful creamer decorated with an accordion-playing gnome.  

With many adorable items under $10 and $20, P.O.S.H. is ideal for shoppers who want to give their kitchen a cosmopolitan flair on a college student’s budget.  

613 N. State St.
Chicago, IL

Crust: An Eco-Friendly Eatery

August 12, 2009

Recently I discovered Crust, an amazing restaurant in Wicker Park, Chicago. I had never heard of it before, but someone suggested the eatery to my family and I. I was expecting a typical Panera or Corner Bakery type of place. But Crust, an organic and eco-friendly restaurant, left me pleasantly surprised.


First and most importantly, the food was completely fresh. The salads were crisp and appetizers were all freshly prepared and looked great. The restaurant is chiefly known for its’ pizzas, and I am not surpirsed as to why. Normally I don’t really like or eat pizza, but Crust uses such delicious ingredients that I could have eaten two whole pizzas by myself. The eatery offers organic appetizers, entrees, and even organic desserts. The menu will please anyone tastes, as a variety of foods is offered from vegetarian friendly salads, to calzones and chicken sandwiches.

Another great thing about the establishment was the eye-catching interior. When you first walk in, you can’t help but notice a big brick oven covered in small colored glass tiles. The decor is very contemporary and modern. While I was there, I enjoyed sitting in their charming back patio, which feaures black fences covered in vines and white curtains. 

What makes the restaurant so unique, is that it uses local resources to make their meals, which reduces their carbon footprint. According to the Crust Web site,”every effort is made to use responsibly produced, locally produced & wild crafted products.”


The restaurant is also completly smoke-free, even while dining on their front and back patios.

I give the restaurant five stars, for its’ friendly service, the fact that it’s eco-friendly, the great food and great atmosphere. Although I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a cheap lunch, Crust is definitely worth checking out and enjoying.


2056 W. Division
Chicago, IL 60622