Travel: Chicago, Part 2

{Day 2 we did ALOT -- so I'm breaking this up into two posts}

We woke early, to rain, to start our second day in Chicago.
Rain on windowsRaindrops

We dined again at the hotel for (free) breakfast, and then took our time to walk the city to our first reservation – The Sky Deck @ the Willis Tower.

Chicago at street level

Chicago River

Chicago Tribune


And then the rain cleared for a bit -- yay!

Chicago buildings
Chicago buildings

American flags

Mom in Chicago

So, the Willis Tower is North America’s tallest building; its interior office spaces are home to popular companies, and it’s an iconic landmark in Chicago.  

Willis Tower

The experience from the Sky Ledge is both terrifying & exhilarating to say the least...

Sky Ledge at Willis Tower

Sky Ledge at Willis Tower

The Sky Deck is at the 103rd floor & offers views for miles on a clear day.  Within the Sky Deck sits a few Sky Ledges – which are solid glass boxes which protrude out from the building about 4 feet & individuals are able to literally walk on what seems like air – crazy!!

Views from the Willis Tower Sky Deck; Chicago

Views from the Willis Tower Sky Deck; Chicago

Views from the Willis Tower Sky Deck; Chicago

About 2 weeks prior to our trip we pre-purchased the Fast Track pass – we learned from our experience in NYC & the Empire State Building that is it SO WORTH the extra money not to have to wait in any lines... (when you only have a couple days in a city, it’s painful to have to wait in a 2-3 hour line).

Views from the Willis Tower Sky Deck; Chicago

Views from the Willis Tower Sky Deck; Chicago

Views from the Willis Tower Sky Deck; Chicago

More to come, stay tuned!

If you missed my recap of Day 1,  click here

Happy Sunday.

I'm tempted to make homemade body butter, and I'm thinking this recipe sounds perfect for fall.  I hear glorious things about coconut oil ALL the time, but feel weird putting it on my skin... Anybody use it for skin care?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

The Evolution of School Photos -- Kelle has such a way with words & finds meaning in everything.  She's my favorite!

Target did good this year with the plaid movement -- I want one of everything, please!  Even the Listerine is in plaid packaging, my gosh!

Speaking of Target, I'm loving these nock-off Chucks -- they look the same & are a fraction of the cost.. mint or red... mint or red - love them both!

I could never afford this dress, but ohhh do I love it!

Fall List.

It seems that I can just feel fall in the air.  The days are warm, but the nights are cool...
The sunset is setting sooner & our days are getting shorter.  The leaves are slowly starting to change...
Chunky scarfs, cozy sweaters, and the return of boots & all things pumpkin spice are on the horizon.

Ohhhh fall! I've been waiting for you!

Since today is the first “official” day of fall, I thought I’d kick it off by sharing my Fall Bucket List:

Fall Bucket List

You can download this printable fall bucket list here!

What are you most excited for this fall?

Travel: Chicago, Day 1

As I shared in this post, my mom, sister & I have started a tradition of annual girl’s trips.  Last year we visited New York City & this year we wandered through the streets of Chicago for a long weekend.

Three days was the perfect amount of time in the windy city & we easily checked everything off our to do list.

Friday morning we woke up at the butt-crack of dawn.  No really, we did – 2:15 AM, to hop on the Amtrak out of Milwaukee headed to Chicago.  Upon arrival, we were able to check into our hotel & we were early enough to still catch the hotel breakfast.  Score!

FYI -- If you’re looking for a hotel in downtown Chicago, I highly recommend the Embassy Suites on North Columbus.  It's centrally located, just a couple blocks from all the major attractions (Navy Pier, Michigan Ave, Millennium Park, etc.).  Their continental breakfast includes made-to-order omelets, hash browns, pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs & the whole nine yards.  Additionally, they have a complimentary cocktail hour in the evening.  Moreover, the Concierge was wonderful in getting us tickets to our architectural cruise & priority seating at a local restaurant – more on that later!

So after we grabbed a bite to eat, we navigated the streets to Millennium Park – home of the coveted Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean”.

foggy Chicago skyline

sept 11
The Bean, Cloud Gate

It was a bit of a rainy day, but we lucked out... the fact that it was rainy meant that there weren't so many people at The Bean!

The Bean selfies

Pictures at the Bean

Girls at the Bean

The sun came out for a bit, so we took our obligatory pictures, and then headed over to Navy Pier.

We might not have taken the friendliest walking route, but had we not, we would not have walked through this wonderful residential garden area...

purple flowers

chicago skyline with flowers

mom walking with umbrella

raindrops on roses

Nor would we have been able to snap these pics…

Chicago Skyline

mom and becky

becky and katie

Chicago Riverwalk

Two steps into the shops at Navy Pier and it started to DOWN POUR.  Again, counting our blessing that we could shop indoors while it rained outside.  It rained for awhile, so we had a little snack & rested our feet.

Navy Pier

cool light fixtures

'fountains at navy pier

After Navy Pier, we did some shopping on Michigan Ave, and got to enjoy all the shops that little Northeast Wisconsin does not have to offer ... Charming Charlie's, Anthropologie, Zara, Crate & Barrel, etc.

I was basically in heaven, even if I couldn't afford anything in the shops that lined Michigan Ave.  It's still fun to look!

Magnificent Mile

After our arms were full with packages, we walked back to our hotel & freshened up for dinner at RPM Italian (thanks to Erin for this post).

RPM Italian
image from my Instagram

We had made reservations about 2 weeks prior & although we were not fortunate enough to spot Giuliana or Bill, we did enjoy some of the best moscato I’ve ever tasted & we had a lovely dinner.  You best bet I will be trying to recreate the zucchini fritti appetizer we had, too.  YUM!!!

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel & called it an early night.

Stay tuned for a recap of Day 2!

Create: vintage mason jar decor

One of my most favorite things to decorate with are vintage Ball mason jars.

I recently picked up an antique metal jar canner at my most favorite shop in all the land, The Vintage Garden.
Instantly, I knew that it would be the most perfect piece to display some of my vintage canning jars.

I have such a weakness for vintage Ball canning jars & I've accumulated quite a few over the years, mostly from my grandma, but a few from antique stores as well.

I cut some fresh flowers from our garden, and I think they look lovely (though they kind of scream spring/summer, and it's basically fall, but oh well).

This could be used as a centerpiece on a table, it could sit nicely on a book shelf, or would look great on a coffee table.

Right now, it's sitting in my kitchen atop a lovely, vintage Cosco fold out step stool high chair (also from my grandma).

How would you style this piece in your home?


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