Chicago Archives – A Little LeopardA Little Leopard

Like it or not, the holiday season is pretty much here. Of course, you know you’re going to have to buy gifts for friends and family, but you’ll also probably be faced with cards, White Elephant exchanges and more…and that’s where Foursided Chicago comes in.

Foursided is a custom framing shop that also features art, greeting cards and home decor, with three locations in Chicago: two in Lakeview and one in Andersonville. And, every Christmas, it transforms into a holiday wonderland, featuring cards, ornaments, and tons of unique local gifts. Think all the coolest stuff available on Etsy, but in a real-life store.

I am lucky enough to live within walking distance of both Lakeview locations, so they’ve become my go-to for greeting cards and gifts. I just picked up holiday cards from there to send this year, and am fully planning on going back for friend and co-worker gifts, too. You can see a selection of their products and art prints online, but definitely check out the store if you can — the location on Clark Street is full of fun discoveries in every nook and cranny, and the holiday window displays are especially worth a visit this time of year!

Here are ten of my favorite products and gift picks available at Foursided Chicago’s online shop…but seriously, go check them out in person if you can. The employees are super nice, the space is super cute, and it’s kind of like Target in that you will spend more than you intended to, but you’ll be supporting a local business so it’s okay!

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“Brunch so hard,” “but first, brunch”…. people really, really love their brunch. And just because it’s cooling down and you can’t indulge in mimosas and Bloody Marys outside at noon on a Sunday doesn’t mean you have to give up on this time-honored weekend tradition altogether. Au contraire, bring those mimosas and Bloody Marys inside, or consider cozying up with a coffee cocktail to go with your pancakes instead. Here are five great Chicago brunch options that are perfect for fall (or any time of year, really):

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Blow dry bars in their current incarnation might seem like a recent trend, but women have been going to the salon to get their hair “did” for decades now. However, entire spaces dedicated to the blowout — no cut, no color, , just style? That’s a newer concept, for sure.

Yes, blowouts are definitely a luxury, but for an incredibly thick-haired girl like myself, they’re also a godsend. I don’t even own a blowdryer because it takes me so long to do it (plus my arms get tired), and even “easy” beach waves take me half an hour on a quick day. So if I have a special occasion and room in my budget to pay someone to do my hair for me, um, yes, I will do so. Here are five of the best Chicago blow dry bars if you feel like treating yo self, too:

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Ever since I joined ClassPass, I have been searching for the perfect mix of fitness classes to take weekly. Generally, celebrity trainers seem to recommend a mix of strength training (think barre, pilates) bookended by high intensity cardio sessions (like indoor cycling), plus a yoga session or two for active recovery.

I still haven’t found my own perfect mix, and this is probably partly because there’s so much I want to try, from class formats to favorite instructors to go back to. Throw in ever-changing weekly themes at places like Flywheel and Studio Three, and I doubt I’ll ever truly settle on a weekly workout routine … but that’s okay because isn’t variety the spice of life? And also, you know, not getting completely bored by your workout routine.

So, every Sunday, I take a look at the upcoming week on ClassPass, my schedule, and any theme classes I want to take, and plan my workouts. It’s probably one of the few routines I consistently stick to, actually. Right now, I am on the ClassPass core plan, which allows for 10 classes per month. I plan to supplement those classes so I can work out at least three times per week, which also allows me to splurge on SoulCycle classes that aren’t on ClassPass. However, I’ll have to look at how much I spend on those supplemental classes and see if it makes sense to switch back to Unlimited… I even have expensive taste in fitness, it’s a real problem.

ANYWAY, here’s a look at my planned workouts for the upcoming week, featuring a mix of old favorites and new-to-me fitness class experiences:

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Are you familiar with flash sale site Gilt? Because I am seriously obsessed with their city editions — specifically Gilt City Chicago. Think a tightly edited, highly curated Groupon that only presents you with the best of the best.

My friend Stephanie and I have discovered lots of great places through Gilt City deals and buy them all the time. We did Presidio brunch thanks to Gilt City Chicago, and The Rookery is next on our list…both deals are live again now! And The Rookery apparently has drinks with feathers in them! Sign me up.

In fact, I want to purchase about every other deal on Gilt right now. They’ve got everything from fitness to beauty to restaurants and so much of it looks amazing. Part of that is probably because ChiCityFashion blogger Jena Gambaccini is their current guest curator — Gilt City Chicago will often invite local tastemakers to share some of their favorite experiences around town on the site. And, uh, Jena has great taste. That Presidio deal? Yeah, it’s one of her selections.

Here are 10 great Gilt City Chicago deals seriously tempting me right now (sign up using this link to get 25% off if you’re new to the site!):

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