ClassPass Chicago + a Giveaway!

3 09 2014

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Hi, my name is Nina and I am a workout jumper arounder.

Let me elaborate: being active and working out is a huge part of what keeps me feeling healthy and balanced. A good sweat is my favorite way to start a day, end a day, work through ideas/troubles/stress and…I am about as loyal to specific workouts as Tiger Woods was to his wife. I love Flywheel, Pure Barre was my jam before the wedding (lift/tone/burn, baby!), there are so many great yoga studios in town, and don’t get me started on my love for Exhale Spa.

And, spoiler alert, belonging to every single one of those studios would cost approximately a million dollars.

Enter ClassPass, a monthly membership that gets you into the best boutique fitness facilities in Chicago for $99. All of the studios I mentioned are fair game plus Moksha, PilatesProWorks, Sweat on State and more. You get unlimited classes, can go to each studio up to 3 times and it costs less than a gym membership. AND you won’t get stuck in a workout rut because you’ll be mixing it up so often.

I went to a Core Fusion class at Exhale last night for the Chicago launch of ClassPass and it reminded me why I love working out- packed class, killer instructor, good energy. I am stoked about ClassPass because I think you should have access to sweat where you want to, when you want to. It’s what I want and it’s awesome that ClassPass is making it happen.

In celebration of sweating all over town, I want to gift one of you a month ClassPass so you can try it for yourself! Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite way to sweat. I will choose a winner at random by 5pm on Friday.

Happy sweating, all!





A Labor Day Weekend Adendum

31 08 2014

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Something that must be added to the Labor Day weekend post…The J.Parker. I met a girlfriend for drinks there last night and was greeted by this view of the sunset. It was breathtaking and felt like the absolute best place to enjoy such a stunning evening. Our conversation was punctuated with “Can you believe this sky?!”, “What a gorgeous evening!” and “The moon! Look at the moon!”. Summer nights like last night are like unicorns- you can hardly believe it’s real and all you want is to figure out how to capture it, replicate it.

Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend and are squeezing out every last drop of summer.





Labor Day Weekend in Chicago

28 08 2014

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I struggle with Labor Day weekend. I want to soak in every last drop of summer but if we’re being honest, I am also ready for college football, chili and leather boots. In the spirit of not denying ourselves our respective college season openers and making the most of summer specific activities, here’s a list of both to help make planning for the long weekend less of a challenge.

Chicago Jazz Fest: Pack a picnic and head to Millennium Park for jazz with a side of skyline. Here are four bands you have to see.

Headquarters River North: This Lakeview favorite brings their huge craft beer selection and arcade games to River North. Opens today and in case beer and pinball isn’t enough for you, this location is going to have food.

Magnificent Mile Women’s Half Marathon & 5k: Ladies, if you’ve been hitting the pavement all summer, do a victory lap by running the first ever race to hit the Mag Mile. Registration for both the half and 5k looks like it’s still open.

Critical Mass Ride: A few weeks ago, we were test riding bikes and I fell off mine at a stop sign and yelled “I DON’T WANT TO RIDE BIKES!” as I got up so this is a suggestion for you, not me. But if you are a biker of the pedal-y sort, head to Daley Plaza on Friday at 5:30 for this free ride through the city’s streets with a few thousand of your biker friends.

Fireworks Cruise: Water. Skyline. Fireworks. Enough said.

College Football Bars: We live in a city with a bar for every.single.college there is. Here’s a complete list of where to see your team on college game days. (And here’s the Spartan Fight Song for good measure.)

Elle on the River: one last shot at tacos and punch al fresco. This has been one of my favorite spots this summer and the only thing better than their fish taco on chickpea flatbread is the views of the river.

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Brown Bag Seafood

15 08 2014

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Lakeshore East is one of my favorite neighborhoods. Yes, I am biased because we lived there for 2 years but this little hidden gem on Lake Michigan and steps away from Michigan Ave is just the best…and now it has Brown Bag Seafood.

I was starvation city last night after Flywheel but wanted something fresh, healthy, that wasn’t a sit down restaurant but also wasn’t Whole Foods. Brown Bag Seafood fit the bill and then some. I grabbed one of their “brown bags” (piece of paper with all the food options), marked down what kind of fish I wanted and how I wanted it prepared (tacos, salad, sandwich, plain, etc) and obviously checked the box for a glass of wine and a few minutes later…dinner.

After much debate (and the help of the sweet man taking my order), I went for the Power Pack: white fish on top of a red quinoa & wild rice blend atop spinach with lemon and herbs. But with 4 different types of tots, I will be back soon to try those and the fish tacos. And probably a sandwich. Such a fun find, this urban fish shack!

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RPM Steak Opening Party

10 08 2014

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There are some plans I have to remind my husband of multiple times…attending the Opening Party for RPM Steak was not one of them. From the second we were invited, August 9th at 7pm was top of mind- I would imagine it had something to do with visions of steak and manhattans dancing in his head.

The new space at 60 W. Kinzie is beautiful. Huge and airy with the same sleekness RPM Italian has but toned down to highlight what’s clearly the star of the show: the steak. Chef Psaltis was on hand serving up quite the spread and while I first congratulated him on the gorgeous new restaurant, Ryan went back and congratulated him on the steak. He was wildly impressed with everything from the ribeye to the lamb chops to the skirt steak.

Me? Glass of champagne in hand, I was happy as could be…and then I made my way upstairs to what will be the private dining space and found lobster and oysters perched atop a bar made entirely of ice. Jack.pot.

Also to be noted: dessert. Mini lemon sorbet baked Alaska. Basil hazelnut cream puffs. Yes.

It was such a fun, almost interactive date night. We walked around, sampled the food, ran into some people we hadn’t seen in ages, caught up on our weeks. There’s no official opening date announced yet but a waiter told us that Bill Rancic (partial owner) told them 10 days so get ready to snag a reso- I know we can’t wait to try RPM Steak in full.

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31 07 2014

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“I’d rather be a lamp post in Chicago than a millionaire in any other city.” William A. Hulbert





Local (Coffee) Buzz

29 07 2014

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My coffee consumption is typically pretty utilitarian- I grab a cup from Starbucks to go before I start my work day or for a walk and on weekends, we use our Nespresso. But today I needed an afternoon pick-me-up and instead of finding the nearest ‘bux, I ducked into BowTruss and ordered a pourover…not to go. In a glass mug. And took a call while sitting on their little patio. It was so lovely and the opposite of utilitarian- it was enjoyable.

I don’t claim to be a coffee expert but in the spirit of great local coffee houses, here are a few of my favorites that I am going to make a point to hit up more. Anything to add to my list- please comment!

Heritage Bicycles: 2959 N. Lincoln|The people demand bikes and coffee and treats from Little Goat.

Bow Truss Coffee Roasters: 2934 N. Broadway & 406 N. Wells| beans roasted right here in Chicago by some of the friendliest people you’re likely to meet.

The Coffee Studio: 5628 N. Clark| the space is what does it for me here- it’s a must stay, must sit, must create/connect/cappuccino kind of place.

Buzz: Killer Espresso: 1644 N. Damen| Really great lattes and their staff wants to teach you about how they do what they do while they do it. Cool.

Cafe Tola: 3612 N. Southport| I don’t know if this counts as a coffee shop but I love their spicy mocha, cold brew and they have empanadas. And sprinkle donuts. And this is my list and I get to say what goes on it. Oh and there’s this ledge against a painted wall for you to balance your coffee & donut/empanada on that I get a kick out of.

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