A Winter Guide to Chicago

Written by Megan Biddix
Photography by Brooke Van Groningen

Moving to Chicago was an easy decision for us and we’ve loved it more and more in the three years that we’ve lived here. One of the things that we didn’t realize until living here is how different each neighborhood is, making them so enjoyable to explore.

I work as an event coordinator, so it’s not only my job to keep up with all of the hot, new things to do in the city, but is also a joy for my personal life. When Brooke asked me to put together a winter guide to Chicago my first reaction was “of course, I’d love to!” but the more I considered it the harder it seemed because there is truly so much this city has to offer.

Here’s just a glimpse of my favorite Chicago winter-inspired activities, experiences, and good eats.

Good Eats

Whisk | West Town

A Ron Swanson-inspired bacon enthusiast's dream, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner – but you must come for the brunch. Be prepared to wait for up to two hours and BYOB, but the variety of savory and sweet breakfast selections are just too decadent to miss!

Bro Bagel | Bucktown

This tiny storefront is the best cure to the winter blues boasting the best, freshest bagels in town! Stop in to grab-and-go, or, wait for one of the four spots at the counter. Open only for breakfast and lunch with unbeatable prices! We like to grab our everything bagel breakfast sandwiches to go and take them to our favorite coffee shop, Ipsento, to sit and enjoy them with a latte in hand.

Ramen | West Loop, Fulton Market

It’s hard to choose between the many ramen options in the city, but here are two favorites. High Five is a hidden, intimate space serving, as most would agree, “the best ramen in the city.” Opening at 5pm, the line begins forming two hours prior just to put your name in since the space only accommodates around 20 people. If you can’t handle the 2-3hr wait, head on over to Ramen-San. Ramen-San is a neighborhood noodle joint that slings hot broth, ice-cold beer, and ‘90s hip-hop music.

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Damn Fine Coffee | Logan Square

My favorite oatmilk vanilla latte in the city and conveniently located only four blocks from our home. The natural light and hanging plants make this fresh space so homey. Get there early for a selection of locally made pastries.

Activities

Sprout Home | West Town

The cutest plant shop with large varieties of types and sizes, as well as locally made artisan pots. You’ll forget all about the freezing temperatures outside when you’re inside this house-plant oasis. Put your name in at Whisk and walk over and pick out a new plant while you wait!

Garfield Park Conservatory | Garfield Park

One of the two conservatories in the city with free entry and wifi – you can stay for hours exploring and relaxing. The desert room is a personal favorite with its neutral colors and warm climate.

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Experiences

Sporting Event

To leave the drab outdoor weather behind, enjoy watching the Bulls or Blackhawks at the United Center and engage in the thrilling and lively atmosphere of a local sports game. We had the best time and it didn’t hurt the Bulls pulled out the W!

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Honorable Mentions

Good Eats: Lula Café, Beatrix, Bongo Room, Parlor Pizza, Daisey’s, Three Arts Café

Activities: Penguin Foot Pottery, Ace Bounce, Bad Ax Throwing, Scratch Goods, Le Labo Perfume

Experiences: Second City, Magic Lounge, Chicago Architectural Boat Tour

Stay: Ace Hotel, Marine Layer Loft, or the Biddix’s Air BnB.

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Megan Biddix

Megan resides in Chicago, IL with her husband Chris and goldendoodle, Millie. She is an event planner who loves coffee, barre and exploring new cities in her free time. Follow her on Instagram.


My Favorite Ethical White T-Shirts

For the rule-followers amongst us and with Memorial Day weekend now behind us, I thought it
would be fun to share some of my favorite ethical white t-shirts and blouses, as well as different
ways I like to style them. My most favorite ethical fashion company of all won't be a surprise to
those who've followed me for any amount of time, but — you guessed it — Everlane.

Everlane

I'll lay out a few of my top reasons I love Everlane and then we’ll get on to the shirts.

  1. They are known best for their "Radical Transparency". They believe in knowing who makes your clothes and that everyone deserves being paid a fair wage.
  2. They don't believe in the "mark-up" and are up-front about why they are charging what they charge. (see image below)
  3. A huge part of sustainable fashion is buying quality over quality and Everlane is just that. You buy clothes that last with Everlane and I can appreciate that about them.
  4. Their clothing is timeless and I love how most of their pieces are solid colors so they can be in my closet for years with no sign of "out of style".

With some of my favorite reasons why I love Everlane laid out, I'll now share some of my favorite white blouses/tees.

I'm wearing the The Japanese GoWeave Back-Zip Tee in White and I can't say enough good things about it. It's the perfect summer shirt as it is made from 100% triacetate—making it crease-resistant and cooling, perfect for surviving the heat with a subtle texture and silky drape. It also has a great weight to it that gives me the reassurance it will last for years to come.

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I am also a huge fan of scoop neck blouses and shirts and all the variety it allows when
accessorizing. I fully believe in working with a variety of textiles and materials when putting an
outfit together. With the subtle texture of this blouse plus the texture from my water buffalo horn necklace or bandana scarf from Noonday Collection, they compliment each other beautifully. 

I also love the creativity of the back of The Japanese GoWeave Back-Zip Tee, and how it elevates the style of the shirt.

My other favorite white t-shirts from Everlane are from their linen collection. Their lightweight linen gives you an easy drape and a breathable feel for warmer days. These are my go-to items when packing for a summer getaway.

Everlane also carries Men's and children's clothes as well so you can get your whole family amazing quality staples and ethical pieces in one shopping trip!

Other Favorite Ethical White T-shirts

I have other white t-shirts in my closet from a few of my favorite sustainable companies that I thought I'd share below - you might not need a new one now, but my hope is that when you have a gap in your closet and you need to fill it, you'll think of the companies I share here on my blog when you shop!

Live FashionABLE

FashionABLE has been a big favorite of mine as I have three of their purses, but they just came out with their new clothing line last week called .ABLE and I'm over the moon for it. I happened to be in Nashville over the weekend and got to try on and personally shop the new collection. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Their new clothing line is all handmade in Peru and is incredibly soft and could be mistaken for wearing butter. They are such great quality pieces and timeless. I'm a big fan of their color scheme and how I can have it in my closet for years to come.

ThredUp

ThredUp is a great second-hand online clothing company. A great way to shop ethically is to shop second-hand to give clothes a new life and ThredUp is my favorite avenue for shopping via thrift stores. You can filter by your size, type of clothing (tops) and color (white), and quickly scan to shop what you are looking for!

Krochet Kids intl.

Krochet Kids intl. makes their clothing line in Peru just like Live FashionABLE and considering I traveled to Peru last summer with Noonday Collection, that pulls on my heart strings. I love their Standard Tee and the Organic Tee.

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Made in the USA

Lastly, I encourage you to keep asking major companies #whomadeyourclothes and if your shopping at major companies such as Nordstrom or Macy's, don't forget you can search "Made in the USA" in the search bar! They make it so easy to make an ethical shopping purchase without even realizing it with the "Made in the USA" note in the details section! 

*this post is sponsored by Everlane, my favorite Ethical clothing line!