24 hours in chicago

John and I celebrated our 8th anniversary in June and just couldn't seem it get it together enough to plan a trip. I reeeeaaaaally wanted to get away though, so we planned a little staycation... one night in Chicago to try some of the places that have popped up since we had kids. It turned out to be an amazing couple days, so I thought I'd let you know where we went!

This hotel (slash hostel) has a laid back, bohemian vibe that definitely doesn't feel like downtown. It's fun and eclectic, with a great cafe and bar

We had some pretty amazing cocktails at the Broken Shaker. Mine was called shoots and ladders and had snap pea infused beefeater gin, chinese bitter melon shrub, aloe vera liqueur, and coconut la croix. You know I love me some la croix! John had a trail mix old fashioned and I can barely spell what is in it. Amazing.

We had a private room, which was small but cute. I really want to go back with the kids and book one of the bunk rooms.

Parsons Chicken and Fish
I had the most amazing drink here. Hominy beer with a shot of verdita. It's like nothing I have ever tasted and I need to make it right now. Besides that life changing moment, the chicken was delish and we had some fun playing ping pong. I was horrible and surprisingly John was too.

Heritage General Store
We like coffee. We (John) likes bikes. I've been wanting to check out Heritage for a while now and it was for sure a great hang.

Big Star
We made it to Big Star approximately 5 minutes before there was an incredible downpour.  Luckily we were outside watching it, under cover, drinking delicious margaritas and eating some unbelievable tacos. My favorite had mole spiced carrots, chipotle date yogurt, pumpkin and sesame seeds, almond and cilantro.

The Violet Hour
Right across the street from Big Star is the Violet Hour. The mural is ever changing and disguises the entrance. There is a strict no cell phone policy inside, so I can't show you, but it was dark and intimate with super high back chairs and amazing cocktails.

Doughnut Vault
The next morning we headed straight over to the Doughnut Vault, right by the merch mart. They do have a food truck you can track on Twitter, but we were closer to this location. It's really hard to go wrong with doughnuts and coffee. They are made fresh every day, always different kids, and when they sell through- they close up for the day!

Chicago Cultural Center
We had to work off a bit of doughnut, so we walked over to the Chicago Cultural Center. It is worth a stop if you have the time, and it's free!

Lillstreet Art Center
Ravenswood is one of my favorite streets in all of Chicago. It seems secluded, sandwiched between train tracks and rows of brick buildings. I will take any excuse to go there. Luckily, there are two must see places on the same block. The Lillstreet Art Center is one, which offers art classes of all kinds to young and old. Inside the same building is the gallery, which showcases the work of some local artists. It took a lot of willpower not to buy anything...

Architectural Artifacts
This place is amazing, and located right next to Lillstreet. Put it on your bucket list immediately. It has the weird, the cool, the mid century modern, the 18th century antiques. You can find everything from furniture to doorknobs... or a mummy. It doubles as an event space, John and I looked at it as a venue for our wedding, so you can admire the building along with the merchandise.

That was our 24 hour adventure! What are your favorite things to do in Chicago?


Lola's Pop Art Superhero Party

Lola is one tough chick, anyone close to her knows this. She is that little girl in a dress and hiking boots. She can certainly out fight her brother. Her hair is wild and I'm only allowed to style it on very special occasions (or when it is falling into her cheerios). She will bleed without a tear. It wasn't really a surprise when she asked to have a superhero party.

My go-to place for party inspiration is My Little Day. It is expensive to ship overseas, but they always have really cute and not-so-mainstream ideas. Their Superheroines themed party supplies reminded me of the brightly colored, old school comic book, Lichtenstein, ben-day dot look I love. And so, Lola's Pop Art Superhero Party was born!

I did not design the invitations myself, those are from Etsy, but the color and font style was pretty perfect. I was too cheap to print on the back side of the invite, so I opted instead to add some fun paper to the inside of the envelopes.

A superhero needs a city, ya know? I sewed large panels of felt onto a polka dot sheet to make this cityscape. 

I set up a station for the kids to color their own masks.

It was a weird weather day, so we started out with the backdrop outside and had to move it inside when the rain came. By the time everyone got there the sun was out and it was beautiful! But a gal can only move the decor a certain number of times. 2. 2 times. So I left it inside and the kids could come in for pictures. 

Her little birthday banner might be my favorite decoration from the party, it turned out super cute! 

We also left out a bin of superhero costumes should anyone feel like a character change.

I did not make the cake. Y'all know how I feel about making cakes. But Lola and I did come up with the design and had a local grocery store make it. 

A couple buttons for the adults.

Bright neon margaritas called the "Hulk Smash Cocktail" were served to keep the adults having fun.

And the gift boxes, filled with stickers and other assorted superhero swag.

Such cute superheroes!

Just a good old fashioned grill out... with an exclamation point!

I repainted the toss game from Lola's Kitty Party. I think I'll make that a tradition.

She had a pretty great day celebrating her 4th birthday with family and friends! Happy Birthday, Lola!

little mr moo.
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