June 2016 – A Little Leopard
June 2016 – A Little Leopard

June 2016 – A Little Leopard

Image: Foxtail + Moss

Life is all about balance. I enjoy a good order of Chinese take-out as much as the next girl, but I am also all about a refreshing, cold-pressed green juice. Real talk: the fact that Real Good Juice Co. is next door to Flywheel and literally inside Studio Three is Real Bad for my wallet. Look, Chicago is no Los Angeles, but we’ve got our fair share of health-conscious eateries and juice bars, too. Here are my top three spots to get your juice on in Chicago, in alphabetical order because I can’t pick a favorite.

City Press Juice & Bottle

City Press Juice & Bottle gets points for being approximately three short blocks from my apartment, having super-nice employees, and perhaps most importantly, being the home of my favorite smoothie ever: The Incan Warrior. It’s an indulgent-tasting blend of maca, raw cacao, chia, coconut oil, banana, house-made almond milk, dates and cinnamon, and my go-to meal (along with a whole food/protein bar) before a weekend morning workout. If you’re new to the whole juice/organic/superfood movement, The Incan Warrior is an excellent way to test it out. One of these days I will also try their Goji Bowls!

I also love that City Press is both a juice bar and a mini health-food market. You can pick up nut butter and other essentials while you’re here — in fact, I have better luck regularly finding dates (the fruit, guys) here than I do at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

City Press Juice & Bottle is located in Lakeview at 2931 N Broadway

Owen + Alchemy

Image: Foxtail + Moss

Owen + Alchemy might have been the first official juice bar I ever tried in Chicago — and naturally, I went for a nut/seed blend. (#58: Cold-brewed organic coffee, raw almond and cashew, maca and maple syrup, if anyone’s curious.) I also love the #24 (grapefruit, mint, honey and lime) and would really like to try their activated charcoal lemonade. Bonus: they deliver throughout Chicago and ship nationally.

If you’re into aesthetics, you will love this place. It’s not at all your typical juice bar, but it works. Think lots of black, gold accents and exposed brick. It’s about as Logan Square-y as a juice bar can get, which is good, because that’s exactly where the O.G. Owen + Alchemy location is. While the Eataly popup is sadly gone, O+A is opening two new locations soon, in Uptown and Lincoln Park. Both are way closer to me. Please hide my wallet.

Owen + Alchemy is located in Logan Square at 2355 N Milwaukee 

Real Good Juice Co.

Oh my god Real Good Juice Co. is so very Instagrammable and all the juices are named after celebrities and fictional characters. I’m a fan of the Juice Springsteen and Juicille Ball, a traditional green juice and a lemon/cayenne pepper mix, respectively. The branding is on-point, the juice is delicious, and it’s dangerously conveniently located next door to Flywheel Old Town, inside Studio Three and in Whole Foods West Loop and Edgewater.

Real Good Juice Co. is located in Old Town at 1647 N Wells, inside Studio Three in River North at 648 N Clark, and inside Whole Foods West Loop at 1 N Halsted and Whole Foods Edgewater at 6009 N Broadway

Image: Oracle Fox

Confession: I do not have a morning routine. Unless waking up at the last possible second (sometimes later) and trying to put on makeup and do my hair while still having time to catch the bus counts as a morning routine. However, that’s hardly my ideal world. I would love to be a super-productive morning person! Ahead, eight tips from people who pull it off:

  1. Prep the night before: Make sure your work bag is ready to go, your lunch is ready and your outfit is chosen. (Seriously, the daily struggle of deciding what to wear is such a time-suck.) You can even pre-program your coffeemaker if you’ve got one with that functionality!
  2. Don’t hit the snooze button: Which is a million times easier said than done, but not taking those extra five minutes will have a super positive impact on the rest of your day.
  3. Set your intention: It’s a little cheesy, sure. But remember that each day is a fresh start, and this is your opportunity to set your goal for the day. Hey, if it works for Arianna Huffington
  4. Hydrate: Yes, drinking water is important, but apparently it’s even better for you in the morning. If you start your day with enough water, it makes you less likely to become dehydrated throughout the day. Try warm lemon water with pinch of cayenne pepper for an energizing kick in the morning with detoxing benefits, too.
  5. Do bed yoga: This is totally a thing. Try a super-quick stretch session instead of hitting the snooze button twelve times. You’ll be energized before your feet even hit the floor.  Or, if you’re feeling more ambitious, try a quick five- or ten-minute workout session while still in your PJs.
  6. Get moving: If you’re feeling really ambitious, wake up early enough to fit in a full morning workout — maybe at your favorite group fitness class?
  7. Make the bed: You’ll feel super productive, and it’s way nicer to come home to at the end of the day too.
  8. Eat breakfast: It is the most important meal of the day, after all. If you’re short on time, try grab-and-go recipes like overnight oats, or smoothie cubes you can make and freeze ahead of time.

What do you think? Any successful morning routine tips you swear by?

Attention, world: I have finally started working out, thanks largely to the magic of ClassPass. I may do a later post on how I found the motivation, got over the intimidation factor and became someone who actually kind of looks forward to exercising, but for now, I’m focusing on the fun part.

Shopping, of course! Shiny new athletic and athleisure wear is a big part of why we all do this, right?

And speaking of shiny and new, I’ve had these Alo Yoga Moto Leggings sitting in my cart for awhile. I am trying to expand my workout-clothes horizons beyond Lululemon, although I do love a good Lululemon legging. I discovered Alo while shopping Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale and it turns out, I kind of love it. It’s a Los Angeles-based fitness brand with some definite California-cool vibes — very street to studio. Or barre to bar, as the case may be. Oh, and unlike Lululemon, it actually goes on sale, and you can find Alo at Nordstrom Rack, too! Bonus: it’s a legit celebrity favorite.

Which brings us back to the leggings, specifically. Pretty much every it girl and model under the sun has been spotted out and about in Alo moto leggings, like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. Which is cool, if you’re into that sort of thing… and I am.

Image: Who What Wear

I love that they’re edgier than your average legging thanks to the moto detailing and almost leather-like look. There are few things better than a great pair of leather or faux-leather pants, so even better if my workout clothes have that vibe, right? Heck, you could probably wear them on a night out because they’re just so cool, and no one would be the wiser that you are rocking leggings aka the comfiest pants ever. Yes, $110 is a little steep, but luckily Alo is also sold on Amazon. Guess who happens to have an Amazon gift card? This girl!

So… should I do it? Should I bite the bullet and buy these guys? Or is there better stuff to spend my Amazon gift card on out there?

Chicago may be known for hot dogs, deep dish pizza and wind, but it’s actually a design lover’s paradise, too. From storied architecture (thanks, Mies van der Rohe!) to the massive Merchandise Mart, Chicago’s history is rich with good design. And it carries over to today — so whether you’re furnishing your first place in Lincoln Park or your dream home in Bucktown, here are five of the best Chicago home decor stores to hit up.


Think custom furniture is out of your price range? Think again. Megmade offers an incredible selection of vintage, refinished furniture, all right here in Chicago and all affordably. No, it’s not IKEA prices, but most pieces will run you less than $1000 — not a bad deal for something completely unique. Plus, you’ve probably seen some of her pieces in your favorite bloggers’ home tours, too! (Hint: there’s one right this way.)

Image: Wildly Spun

Gather Home & Lifestyle

Um, confession: I haven’t actually been here yet, but I totally 100% want to move in anyway. Lately, I have had the urge to completely revamp my own apartment and decor style. The neutral, bohemian, slightly-Scandinavian vibes of Gather Home & Lifestyle are pretty much exactly what I’m going for. Plus, it’s right smack in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Wicker Park. Check out A Gather Guide to Chicago for even more cool spots.

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago

Okay, Renegade Craft Fair isn’t technically a shop…but it is a fabulous way to spend your weekend and bursting with cool stuff to buy for your house, yourself and more. Bonus: there is a Renegade Summer Pop-Up happening this weekend! It’s June 25 + 26 at The Hideout. Bonus bonus: A Little Leopard favorite Katie Dean Jewelry will be there! (I will too, but that’s probably less of a bonus.)

Image: Time Out Chicago

The Brown Elephant (Lakeview)

The Brown Elephant is a thrift/resale store with multiple locations, but the Lakeview one is absolutely gorgeous. Like most thrift stores, there’s an element of “the thrill of the hunt” — you can find some genuine luxury goods here if you’re lucky! Or, if you’re me, you might just find a copy of one of Nora Ephron’s bookswith a handwritten note from the previous owner on the inside cover. They also accept donations (I’ve dropped off here before after a good Marie Kondo session) and all proceeds benefit The Howard Brown Health Center, which benefits the LGBTQ community in Chicago. All the more reason to head over there now, right? It’s perfect for Pride Month and you can feel good about shopping!

Image: Emily Henderson

Jayson Home

Finally, no list of the best Chicago home decor stores would be complete without Jayson Home. Yes, the furniture is on the higher end of the price spectrum…to say the least. But some of their accessories aren’t terrible, and there are definitely deals to be had at their Annual Warehouse Sale. Keep an eye out this fall!

What did I miss? I’m always looking for cool new Chicago home decor stores, so please leave your recommendations in the comments!

It seems like Scandinavian style is the mood of the moment, but you know who else is really good at creating a fashionable living space? Australia. Case in point: this three-story, open-plan apartment converted from a 1920s print factory in Melbourne. If that description alone doesn’t make you excited to see the space, I don’t know what will.

Other units in the warehouse were converted into more traditional apartments with walled rooms. This one was left open, “which increases the sense of space,” says homeowner Craig Miller-Randle, owner and creative director of MRD Home. “I love that you can be in one area, still connect with other areas and have all these different vistas.” Take a peek at the enviable loft-style unit below.

A mix of textures, as you’ll see, is key to this home’s overall aesthetic, from the sheepskin on the chair to the wooden coffee tables. Plant life and greenery play a big role, too.

I love the play of modern and traditional in the living room, above. The classic crystal chandelier contrasts nicely with the abstract art, lucite table and floor lamp.

Layered mirrors and glass furniture help light flow through the space, making it seem even airier and bigger.

The bedroom, above, is my absolute favorite room. Surprise, surprise, right? From the four poster bed to the black, white and blush color scheme, I am head over heels for this space. Plus, it makes the whole “art on the floors” thing work — I actually think it adds more interest to the room than if the print were hanging next to the bed on the wall. And for anyone who wants to re-create this look, CB2 has a super similar, actually decently affordable canopy bed style here. (Ahem, me. I do.)

What do you think? Are you a fan of this Melbourne loft space?

All images via Inside Out