Present Panic!

It’s four days until Christmas and let us guess, you still have more gifts to buy. We know because we totally do too. We found all the places you can still order from in time for Christmas and most of the shipping is totally reasonably, if not free. We know how important that is. Shop away!!! Get those gifts under the tree just in time!

  • Nordstorm – Obviously Nords has your back. You have until NOON EST on December 22 to order most items.
  • Bloomingdales – You can still make these gifts happen if you order by NOON EST on December 22 and select express shipping. Just 12 hours to go!
  • Urban Outfitters – Get your gifts by Christmas Eve when you order by December 22 at 1:00 pm and choose rush shipping.
  • Williams-Sonoma – Enjoy free rush shipping when you order by December 22 at 3:00 am EST and use code FREESHIP at checkout.
  • Draper James – Get the gifts under the tree with free rush shipping when you order by December 23 at 1:30 pm EST
  • Macy’s – Order by 11:59am EST on December 22 and choose express shipping.
  • Neiman Marcus – Delivery is still on! Order by December 22 NOON CT and use code NMQUICK at checkout.
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The Art of Leftovers

One of the biggest conundrums that hosts face after the holidays is the glut of leftover food. Even if you’re just a guest, chances are good that you get sent home with more food than you know what to do with. While you could recreate the meal with smaller portions, that can get a little boring. Pizza. Stir fry. Mac and cheese. Some dinners just taste better the next morning. And yet, leftovers are usually an afterthought. But if you’re wondering what you’re going to eat for lunch this week, maybe you should make leftovers your top priority. Here are some recipes that you can supersize and eat for lunch (or dinner again) all week long. Try the following ways to use up those holiday leftovers in a healthy and satisfying way. Lets get started!

Slow-cooker veggie curryslow-cooker-coconut-curry

 

If there’s anything nearly as convenient as leftovers, it’s cooking dinner in the Crockpot. Slow-cookers have enjoyed a recent return to the spotlight thanks to their ability to do all the hard work while you’re at the office, and make cheap, healthy meals to boot. This slow-cooker recipe is a shining example of what this handy tool can do for you, and there will be plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow (and the next day, and the next day). You begin by whisking together coconut milk, flour, and curry paste for a slightly spicy base, then add onion, potatoes, cauliflower, squash, and bell pepper to the mix. Let it all simmer until the veggies are tender, then throw in cooked basmati rice for a feast.

Shepherd’s pie

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A fluffy layer of mashed potatoes. Tender ground beef. Corn, carrots, and celery. These are the building blocks for shepherd’s pie, a classic comfort food that somehow tastes even better after it’s been refrigerated and microwaved. Sear the beef, mash the potatoes, and make the beef-veggie blend for the bottom of the casserole, then spread it all out in a glass or ceramic casserole dish and wait while the mashed potatoes on top transition slowly from creamy white to golden brown. The dense potatoes and tender meat hold up well in the refrigerator and reheat easily in the microwave.

Cheesy vegetarian lasagna

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If you like cold pizza, you’ll probably enjoy a slice of this cheesy vegetarian lasagna straight from the fridge. But first, you’ll actually have to make it. This version of lasagna skips the meat in favor of a colorful medley of veggies instead. Baby bella mushrooms, eggplant, yellow squash or zucchini, red bell pepper, and garlic mingle with tomato sauce and an array of herbs and spices, all layered between ricotta and mozzarella cheese and sheets of pasta.

Supersize meatballs in marinara sauce

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Cold pasta is perhaps one of the tastiest leftovers out there. And if you didn’t get enough of it from the vegetarian lasagna, scoop some of this spaghetti-and-meatballs creation out of the fridge and eat it straight. Or stick it in the microwave—that’s up to you! The massive meatballs are made by hand using breadcrumbs and milk, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper, and egg. Cook them on the stovetop, then stir in some marinara sauce, and you’re ready to eat—but not too much, because you want those leftovers to last.

Turn mashed potatoes into potato pancakes

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While mashed potatoes are one of those comfort foods that many people can eat over and over again, they make a great base for potato pancakes. Add cheese and chive to the potatoes, scoop a dollop of them into a frying pan and pat them flat to turn them into a completely different tasty meal. Or, keep the pancakes plain and top them with light sour cream or plain yogurt and salmon as an equally tasty alternate take.

Stuff that stuffing into something else

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The great thing about stuffing is that no matter what your recipe is, it will usually taste great when stuffed into something else. So, go heavy on the veggies and try stuffing bell peppers or onions with that leftover dressing or stuffing. Cook the stuffed vegetables in the oven with the stuffing in them for a quick and easy meal, or char the peppers over an open flame or grill before stuffing them for a more sophisticated touch. The extra protein and carbs in the stuffing will help to add just enough depth and heartiness to this otherwise light meal. Rest assured, a moderate portion of this dish will help you stay satisfied without packing on the pounds.

Make veggies your next appetizer

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If you’re left with an excessive amount of vegetables from the holiday meal, don’t fret — they won’t go to waste. Incorporating them into your lunch or dinner as an appetizer is a healthy and tasty way to use them up. Try baking focaccia with them, or use them to top a tart. Extra asparagus or green beans can be covered in light breadcrumbs and baked for a crunchy pre-meal or game time snack that isn’t just junk food. You could even try pureeing and adding them to sauce for a little extra nutrition. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Don’t pho-get about the turkey

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One of the silver linings to being a host is that you usually get to keep the carcass of the turkey. Rather than discarding it, why not use it to make for a flavorful broth? You could take the classic route and make a broth as a base for a soup, or you could try putting an Asian twist on it by making it a pho. Simmer the broth with peppercorns, ginger, star anise, and sugar, then add extra turkey, onions, bean sprouts, herbs, and Thai chili peppers right before eating. This highly customizable soup should be a hit with the whole family.

Enjoy these quick meal ideas and spend time in doing what we love most – SHOPPING!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Lace It!!

Everyone who’s anyone knows that the lace trend is in …. and its definitely here to stay. Not convinced you can rock lace detailing year round? Think again. We’ve got you covered with these 8 ways to wear lace ASAP this fall.

Romper – What better way to spice up a classic romper than embracing the lace trend at the same time. Whether you’re heading out for a night on the town with your girls or to a trendy restaurant for a date night, this piece is sure to rake in the compliments.

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High Tops – Casual but cute. Need we say more? Throw these on to instantly take any outfit from bland to on trend in less than 2 seconds. You can be a 90s girl AND know how to wear lace!

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Choker – There is no hotter combination than the velvet and lace trends. This choker is seriously one of our all-time faves. It’s guaranteed to upgrade your outfit a hundo p.

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Off The Shoulder Top – This. Is. Everything. Off the shoulder and lace detailing are a freaking match made in heaven . These are two of THE hottest fall trends combined. BRB ordering this now.

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Duster Coat – This fall is all about layering. Don’t say goodbye to your summer faves just yet. Throw this over your warm weather staples for that sophisticated chic cool weather look. There literally isn’t one piece the lace trend doesn’t work for.

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Bralette – We’re always on the lookout for the easiest ways to make any outfit trendier. Looks like we’ve just found a major one. Layer this lace bralette with any tank, tee, or dress to instantly boost your ensemble.

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Cutout Dress – Stop wondering how to wear lace. This dress is GOALS. This lace detailing and flattering cutout are literally to die for. This is the perfect LBD with a little added lace flare we know you’ve been searching for.

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Fringe Skirt – This skirt screams fun n’ flirty. We’re obsessed with everything about it. You’re pretty much guaranteed a wild night of dancing and fun when you slip on this tasseled beauty.

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As if you aren’t already obsessed with the lace trend this fall, shop the rest of our fave finds below! Now you can’t say we didn’t tell you how to wear the lace trend.

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Snugglin’ Up

Forget football, Chunky Sweater season is here! Its getting cold and I officially want to live in a chunky sweater, leggings, and boots world. There is nothing I love more than being a bum on a weekend and snuggling up in our fave oversized sweaters, and Pumpkin Spice latte (or glass of vino, whateva!). No seriously!! Good luck finding me in anything else.

But, no one said being cozy and being cute are mutually exclusive aka don’t even think about taking off your sweats when you venture out for brunch with your besties. Come on, you didn’t really go pumpkin picking if you didn’t Insta a pic while wearing your favorite knit sweater.

From cutout shoulders and extra-long sleeves to the perfect turtleneck, these sweaters will keep you warm all season long. I know you want million of them, so I found the best of them for under $50. That means you can buy like all of them. SCORE!!

(Click on pics to navigate to their respective brand/shopping site)

 

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Orange Crush

Yesterday was first official day of Fall. With changing in seasons, your skin is the one that suffers the most. So, its time to adjust your skin care routine for fabulous fall skin. And what better than some DIY care. We all know that oranges are good for our health, mainly due to their high Vitamin C content. They are also packed with Vitamins A and B, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Soluble fiber and other nutrients. But, did you know that orange peel itself holds way more Vitamin C and nutrients than the orange pulp or juice? 100g of fresh orange peel provides 136mg of vitamin C whereas its pulp about 71mg/100g.

Your skin loves vitamin C. The more the better. After enjoying this tangy fruit, most of us throw away the peels. But in doing so, we’re missing out on many benefits, as the peels have unique health, beauty and other uses. You can even include shredded orange peels and zest in your regular cooking. So, take advantage of the nutritional benefits of orange peels through countless ways, as you do with the fruit.

But first, lets start with making the orange powder.op

  • Collect enough orange peels according to how much powder you want to make. It’s always better to have a bottle full of it if you intend to use it regularly.
  • Wash the peels and set them out in a tray to dry in a place where there is good sunlight. This may take 2-3 days depending on the weather. The peels must be completely dry and should look dehydrated.
  • Once the orange peels are sun-dried you can grind them into powder and store it in an airtight container.

Once this powder is ready, you are ready to go!

Here are the top 10 uses of orange peels.

1. Face Mask:

Skin blemishes and dark spots can be reduced with orange peels. They work as a natural bleacher that helps improve your skin tone. Furthermore, their Vitamin C content maintains your skin’s suppleness, prevents dullness and adds a healthy glow. It even protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) sun-rays.

This orange peel powder face mask can be used to exfoliate and cleanse your skin leaving it fresh and healthy. So chuck those exfoliators, scrubs and cleansers and go for this all-natural home-made face mask!

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You will need:

  • 1 tsp orange peel powder
  • 1 tsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Apply all over your face and leave it for 10-15 mins. Wet your fingers and scrub lightly over the areas where there are blackheads. For over all exfoliation, scrub all over the face slowly in circular motion. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry and notice the fresh glow on your skin. Apply moisturizer if you have a dry skin.

Why this works:

Honey has antibacterial properties and helps sooth and cleanse your skin. It also brings a healthy shine to the skin. Yogurt helps improve complexion and acts as a natural bleach when used regularly. It also helps moisturize and prevents wrinkles and fine lines. Orange peel powder helps get rid of pimples, blemishes or dark spots and is an excellent exfoliator. It is best for oily skin as it helps in oil control and takes away excess oil. All three combined together make an excellent face mask for a glowy skin.
Note: Use for at least 2 weeks to see a noticeable difference. Desired results also depends on skin type and regularity of use.

2. Fights Aging Signs:

The powerful antioxidants in orange peels fight off free radicals. These free radicals damage healthy skin cells, which accelerates skin aging and promotes wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. Furthermore, the peels work as a great skin toner, thanks to their astringent properties.orange-peel-face-mask

  • Mix 1 tablespoon each of orange peel powder and oatmeal powder with enough honey to make a paste.
  • Apply this paste on your face and neck area.
  • Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.

Use this anti-aging face mask once a week for best results.

3. Removes Blackheads and Whiteheads:

Being slightly abrasive in nature, orange peel powder works as a natural exfoliating agent that can remove dirt and dead skin cells from your skin. This helps prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. It even reduces the occurrence of acne.opm

  • Prepare a paste with equal amounts of orange peel powder and plain yogurt.
  • Apply it on your face and neck area, using gentle circular motions.
  • Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • With wet hands, gently rub off the paste.

Use this remedy every other day to reduce blackheads and whiteheads. Then, repeat once a week as a preventive measure.

4. Whitens Teeth:

Fresh orange peels can also reduce the yellow tinge accumulated on your teeth. The peel contains a compound known as d-limonene that helps reduce teeth staining, especially smoking stains.

  • Simply rub the inside of an orange peel (the white portion) over your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse your mouth and teeth with lukewarm water.
  • Do this twice daily until you are satisfied with the results.

Alternatively, mix some orange peel powder and a little water to make a paste. You can also add dried leaves in it. Put this paste on your toothbrush and use it to brush your teeth. Repeat twice daily for a few weeks.

5. Aids Weight Loss:

Orange peels can help you lose weight. Many nutritional components of oranges are present in the peel, especially vitamin C. This antioxidant vitamin helps burn fat. In your weight-loss diet, include orange peel tea instead of coffee and sodas.

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To make this tea:

  • Dry the peels from a few oranges in a cool, dry place.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of the dried peels in 1 cup of hot water.
  • Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the peels and add a little raw honey.
  • Drink 2 cups of this herbal tea daily.

Note: Make sure you use the peels from organic oranges and wash them thoroughly before drying.

6. Lowers Bad Cholesterol:

Orange peels can even help reduce the low-density lipoproteins (LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol) in the body that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and heart attacks. The rich pectin, a natural soluble fiber, in the peels helps reduce cholesterol as well as blood pressure levels.

7. Regulates Bowel Movements:

Orange peels even improve digestion. The high dietary fiber in them helps regulate bowel movements, which prevents constipation. They also help treat various digestive disorders, including indigestion, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and heartburn.
Plus, the pectin in orange peels is beneficial for the growth of friendly bacteria in the large intestine.
After eating a meal, drink a cup of orange peel tea to improve digestion.

8. Works as a Natural Air Freshener:

The sweet, lemony aroma of orange peels works as a great air freshener. You can use them to mask unpleasant odors in different areas of your home or office, including kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms.

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  • Put a handful of fresh orange peels, a little lemon juice and a few cinnamon sticks in 2 cups of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain, allow it to cool and then transfer the liquid into a spray bottle. Use it as needed.

OR

  • Put some orange peel powder in small sachet and place them in different areas around the house to mask bad odors.
  • Place some dried orange peels at the bottom of your trash can to keep odors at bay.

9. Repels Mosquitoes and Ants:

The citrus smell of orange peels deters ants and also works to repel mosquitoes, flies, and even cats. Insects do not like the limonene (which contributes to the citrus smell), found in abundance in orange and other citrus fruit peels.

  • Grind some orange peels and place the powder in areas where ants, flies and other pests are prone to congregate.
  • To prevent mosquito bites, rub fresh orange peels all over your skin.
  • Put orange peels around your windowsills, doors and other entry points to keep stray cats away.

10. Makes Good Compost for Gardening:

Orange peels make a great addition to the compost pile. Being rich in nitrogen, they make the soil more fertile to support healthy cultivation of fruits and vegetables. They will even make the compost pile smell fresh and deter cats and dogs from digging in or using your garden as a litter box.

  • Thoroughly wash the peels of a few oranges and other citrus fruits under running water to remove pesticides and harmful chemicals.
  • Chop them into pieces for faster degradation.
  • Mix them into your compost pile.

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Once the compost is ready, use it for gardening.

Additional Tips:

  • Wash the peels under cold water to remove as much of the pesticides as possible before drying them in the sun.
  • Always dry the peels thoroughly before grinding them to make a powder.
  • Store the dried powder in an airtight container.
  • Do not store fresh peels in the refrigerator.

Don’t say goodbye to summer just yet

We may have to bid summer goodbye soon, but for those of you still craving, it is time for barbecues, parties and afternoon get-togethers. Get out your drink umbrellas and dazzle your guests with some of these delicious drink recipes influenced by tropical flavors and warm weather. Serve them in mason jars for that extra oomph!

Clementine and Red Wine Spritzers

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Serves: 4

1 bottle red wine (not super sweet)
2 bottles clementine soda
Ice and straws, for serving

 

Fill each glass with ice. Fill each glass a third of the way full with clementine soda. Top with wine and serve immediately!

 

The Natural

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Recipe:

2 oz fresh pressed watermelon juice
1 1/4 oz Tequila Blanco
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 oz Allagash White

Shake all ingredients together except the Allagash, pour into chilled brandy snifter, add Allagash, and garnish with a mint leaf.

 

Watermelon Sizzle

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Recipe:
1 1/2 oz Casamigos Tequila
1/2 oz agave nectar
1 oz chile-infused watermelon juice

 

Serve with a pink Himalayan salt rim and garnished with a tequila soaked watermelon wedge.

 

Skinny Cherry Berry Bash

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Cherry pie is a quintessential summer dessert — but it’s not exactly figure friendly. This Skinny Cherry Bash turns dessert into a delectable drink. Plus, all of the cherries and blueberries will give you a serving of fruit!
Ingredients:
12 cherries, pitted and cut in half
1/2 cup blueberries
12 fresh mint leaves
6 ounces dark rum
1/4 cup lime juice (2-3 limes worth)
3 cups black-cherry or cherry flavored soda
ice

Directions:
Add 3 cherries, 2 tablespoons blueberries, and 4 mint leaves into each glass. Muddle with a wooden spoon. Add 1 1/2 ounces dark rum, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 3/4 cup soda to each glass and stir. Add ice.

 

Chupacabra

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Recipe:
25oz pineapple syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
3/4 oz long chile-infused Domaine de Canton Liqueur
1 oz fresh watermelon juice
1 oz Lunazul Blanco Tequila

Combine ingredients in a shaker. Fill with ice, shake vigorously for eight to 10 seconds. Double strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

 

Mutticano Cocktail

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1 ounce vodka
3/4 ounce Campari
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice, chilled
Ice
Club soda
Orange twist, for garnish

Directions:
Place the vodka, Campari, and orange juice in a cocktail shaker and stir to combine. Fill a rocks glass with ice and pour in the mixture. Add just a splash of soda and garnish with the orange twist.

 

And now its time for “Salute!! Cheers!! Kampai!!” I hope you enjoy these and have a great weekend!

Fallin’ into Fun

We’re just about ready to switch out our rosé for our favorite red now. The seasons changing and so are the contents of our closet. Choosing the wine is easy, now we have to get serious about our favorites pieces for fall. You itsy bitsy bikini is no longer a necessity, but here are the 10 things that are.

The Perfect Pair of Booties – This will absolutely be your most worn piece of anything you own all fall long and into winter.

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A Great Hat – Keep that pretty little head of yours warm and stylin’ with our favorite fall hats.

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A Femme Trouser – No shave … for six months is a real thing. Wear your favorite pants to stay warm and avoid any potential for razor burn.

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Fall Sunnies – Because the sun likes to taunt us with blinding rays even when the temperature is anything but scorching.

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Midi Skirt – More is more when it comes to the latest skirt trend. Leave more of your eg to the imagination and less of it exposed to the elements.

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A Great Going Out Top – Just because the beach bars closed doesn’t mean the party’s over. We know you’ll be going OUT all season.

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Bomber Jacket – This trend is bomb (lolz, we couldn’t help it) and we know you’ll be wearing one of your bomber jackets for every occasion.

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Body Suit – This is anything but a warm weather piece. You can layer it with your scarves, tights, and midi skirts and be the trendiest girl on the block.

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A Crochet Sweater – Let it hand off you shoulder for the closest thing to sultry you can get in a seater or bundle it up under a scarf bigger than you for those cold fall nights.

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A Faux Turtle Tank – This is without a doubt the chicest piece of fall clothing. It gives the cold weather vibe without looking like something you snagged from your grandma’s closet.

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You don’t have to go back to school to back-to-school shop. ‘Tis the season to add a few strategic pieces to your wardrobe so you can take on the brisk air and cool breeze in style.

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24 hours in Chicago

It’s 3:00am in San Francisco. I am waiting for my Uber to take me to SFO airport. It’s a much awaited weekend trip to Chicago, Illinois. Why you ask? History and Films. Superman! Transformers!! Need I say more? All these films screamed out that this city is full of character and old historical buildings.
Normally when we plan our trips, we generally know something about the location we are visiting. Not this time. We decided to spend our time just exploring as we go! And so our weekend began –

 

Spectacular Sightings

Chicago is known for its skyscrapers. I mean one of the things that you just have to do when visiting is go to the top of the Willis Tower. It opened in 1973 and was the Worlds Tallest Building for the next 25 years. Won’t you like to step out onto The Ledge, a suspended glass box at the Skydeck Chicago observatory that is more than 1,000 feet in the sky? Do you know – that the window in ladies room on the tower has the most spectacular view of the city? Don’t believe me? Try it!
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Willis Tower – Chicago Skydeck

After a trip to cloud, its time to take a stroll around Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park and enjoy the colorful light and music display as it glows against the backdrop of Chicago’s skyline and lakefront. Inspired by the Latona Basin at Versailles, but twice the size as its counterpart, it is One of the Largest Fountains in the World and one of the city’s favorite icons.
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Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park

A visit to Chicago is incomplete with out s selfie in front of “The Bean” – famous sculpture officially known as Cloud Gate, at its home in Millennium Park. Also check out the Jay Pritzker Pavilion for a free performance, connect with nature in Lurie Garden, and cool off in Crown Fountain, the glass towers that spout water from its digital faces. Millennium Park is constructed on top of a railroad yard and expansive parking garages — making it One of the Largest Green Roofs in the World.
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“The Bean” at Millennium Park

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Pritzker Pavilion

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Millennium Park

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Crown Fountain – Digital Face Spitting Fountain

Combining elements of whimsy reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Maggie Daley Park (located just west of Millennium Park) is one of the newest kid-approved attractions in Chicago. This super playground can’t be missed with it’s towering play bridges, sky-high slides and a rock climbing wall that is One of the Largest Outdoor Climbing Structures in the World.
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View from Maggie Daley Park

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Maggie Daley Park

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Maggie Daley Park (located just west of Millennium Park)

Ride on the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. It’s modeled after the very first Ferris wheel built for Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Rides, shops, restaurants and boat tours abound at the Midwest’s Number One Attraction.
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Navy Pier

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Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier

Loop up and around on an Architecture Boat tour. Chicago was home to The World’s First Skyscraper and while it no longer stands (the iron-and-steel-framed Home Insurance Building stood downtown from 1884-1931), the city’s skyline is one of the most recognizable and is filled with architectural treasures of the past and present.
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Architectural Boat Tour (Navy Pier)

  

Culinary Choices

Indulge in some cheesy goodness at the famous pizzerias that serve up our award-winning Deep-Dish Pizzas, Chicago originals with layers of cheese and buttery crust over an inch thick. Who serves up the best pies? Lou Malnatis Pizza. Everything on menu is delicious. But, we just love their Lou’s Special. Also, remember to save some spot for “Chocolate Pizza”.

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Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

Classic local eats also include the Chicago-style Hot Dog, which piles on a whopping seven toppings! For authenticity you’ll find: yellow mustard, chopped onions, bright green sweet relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, spicy pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. And absolutely no ketchup.
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Chicago-style Hot Dog (Hot Dog Fiend)

Smell the wonders of Chicago’s famous Chicago Mix before you even reach the storefront door at Garrett Popcorn Shops. While you might feel like it’s the Longest Line in the World for Popcorn, the intriguing blend of caramel and cheese popcorn is well worth the wait. They even got them smoked!
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Garretts Popcorn (located in Navy Pier)

Craving for some good ‘ld sandwich? Checkout the Italian Steak Sandwich at Portillos. Whats so special about a Portellos sandwich you say? You won’t know until you try. and you are like me, who like a good serving of meaty sandwich, this is a must visit place. Yummy!!
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Portillo’s Hotdogs

Need some ice-cream to cool off the day’s excitement? Head over to Oberweis Dairy for a “farm to table” experience. You won’t be able to stop yourself at one scoop. And not to forget those yummy, warm waffle cups dipped in chocolate. It just takes ice-cream to another level. Oh! and care for some organic, right out of farm milk, they got it all.
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Oberweis Dairy

 
Whether you are planning a Chicago travel itinerary for a half day, weekend or multi-day stay, these are some of the many must-sees while in the Windy City. But just as Chicago is unique, we invite you to put your personal stamp on your Chicago adventure. So let the fun begin!

Get Happy

Now that summer sunshine has finally reentered your world, it’s time to trade heavy jeans for shorts and bulky boots for strappy sandals – and hit the beach. But, summertime also brings in heat and with that comes sweet and cold cravings specially when last weekend was National Ice-cream Day. Not all are good because overall wellness isn’t really about being a stickler when it comes to what you eat, but rather balancing indulgence with hard work. So, you can keep eating your sweets, and enjoying them without guilt—you just may need to change the type of treat, and perhaps the quantity. Here are my healthy-ish treats that are so yummy and they won’t throw off your workout efforts:

Frozen chocolate-covered bananas

IMGP7477 You can’t go wrong with a fruit-based dessert because the natural sweet already brings the sugar—but paired with fiber. What’s the benefit of eating sugar with fiber versus sugar without? The fiber slows down the digestion of the sugar, allowing it to be released into the body at a slower pace that it’s designed to handle. These chocolate-covered bananas have a little bit of both natural sugar and added sugar, making them the perfect low-calorie indulgence. Simply melt dark chocolate chips, slice up half of a banana, and dip the slices into the gooey chocolate. Then pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so, and you have bite-sized treats ready to go. You can also take it up a notch by adding toppings like crushed pretzels, cereal, sprinkles, coconut, salted peanuts, toasted almonds, hopes & dreams.

Vegan cherry chocolate chip ice cream

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This vegan “ice cream” skips the dairy in favor of a frozen, blended banana, which brings the sweetness without overpowering the main event: fresh cherries. You should actually start with the cherries: wash, pit, and dry them, then stick them in the freezer for at least three hours. Then cut a banana in half, peel it, and put that in the freezer, too, along with a quarter-cup of almond milk in ice cube trays. Once everything is nice and frosty, throw it all in the food processor until it’s creamy and smooth (with an additional unfrozen quarter-cup of almond milk). Add a dash of dairy-free chocolate chips and dig in.

Mango Brûlée

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Pre-heat your broiler and set an oven rack a few inches away from it. Lay each mango half face up, and score with a sharp knife — basically, make a big hashtag on your mango. Brush with rum and squeeze lime over the top. Finish by sprinkling sugar on top. Pop it into the broiler and check after five minutes. (If you’re a real pro, feel free to whip out your brûlée torch and go to town.) Once it’s reached a dark golden-brown, pull ’em out and serve immediately.

Homemade Frozen Yogurt

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Strain your yogurt well. You can use an ultra-fine sieve or line a strainer with cheesecloth and fill with your yogurt. Even if you start with Greek yogurt (which is already strained), do it anyway. You want to remove as much excess liquid from the yogurt as possible, which will prevent it from getting too icy in the freezer. We recommend leaving it to strain into a large bowl placed in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight. After removing, blot the outside of the sieve or cheesecloth with a paper towel to get any leftover liquid.Freeze your berries (or other add-ins, especially if they’re fruits) in advance. This will also help it to not get rock-hard and icy in the freezer. There’s no reasonable explanation as to why this makes such a difference, but it does. It’s frozen yogurt voodoo. Once all ingredients are thrown together and mixed, use a food processor, blender, hand mixer, or immersion blender to finish the job. This will help the honey and berry flavors to really infuse the yogurt, blending in a way you just can’t do by hand (unless you have a turbo-charged arm). Do this quickly, before the frozen stuff softens too much. Pop your goodies in the freezer for one to two hours — definitely check after one. We find it’s best not to leave overnight, or you may have to defrost the yogurt a bit. This recipe is at its best when eaten same day. But, we have a feeling it will be gone even faster.

Good to Glow

So, it’s a wonderful time of the year! The time when living is easy and work is hard. With temperature rising <uh, its so hot>, your brain might decide to take a break as well. Summer also brings along lot of events like Graduation parties, July 4th celebrations or <no reason whatsoever> traveling. With the excitement of summer and rest of the plans, our skin gets the bad part of the deal.

As any other person enjoying summer, I have been traveling a lot. The heat, salt water, humidity and difference in temperature (depending on my destination) take their toll on your skin, but the #1 offender is sun exposure. And when traveling, you cannot carry your complete skin-care vanity. In that case, I always go for travel sets. And, maintaining a great face on the road is been easy –  and fast – thanks to these travel size masks and creams.

malingoetz clarifying clay maskshopnow

Mallin + Goetz Clarifying Clay Mask has absorbent kaolin clay to draw out impurities and is perfect for oily and acne prone skin. It conquers shine and blemishes in under 10 minutes a week. Just like that.

Kiehl's Turmeric &amp; Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masqueshopnow

Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque is made with inflammatory turmeric, and tiny cranberry seeds exfoliate the skin. This creamy formula is packed with potent natural ingredients that brighten and energize dull, tired skin in minutes.

Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masqueshopnow

Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque leaves skin soft and dewy after applying eucalyptus-and rosemary-scented gel. The skin feels and looks awesome after using this product. Definitely recommend to anyone.

JK7 Beautifying &amp; Rejuvenating Cream

JK7 Beautifying & Rejuvenating Cream employs natural ingredients, including marshmallow and gingko biloba, to help reduce fine lines, prevent premature aging and calm skin. This rich cream is easily absorbed and helps to reduce fine lines.

JK7 Perfecting &amp; Replenishing Face Mask
JK7 Perfecting & Replenishing Face Mask offers a delicate, floral scent and an “instant face-lift” promise with green tea, chamomile, pomegranate and Vitamins A, C and E, among other ingredients. This rich natural face mask is deeply replenishing for all skin types. It can also be used as a quick face lifter and freshener before a special event.

Kiehl's Cilantro &amp; Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masqueshopnow

Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque has an antioxidant-rich formula meant for wear at night to revive skin and protect against environment impurities. With regular use, lines are minimized, rough texture is smoothed and dullness is diminished.