Toddler Meal Planning Made Easy- Little Harvest

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As soon as Noah started to eat solids around 6 months, my husband and I were so excited for him to try EVERYTHING. Our plan was to cook all his meals ourselves, meal prep for the week and have him it only the best, organic food. Well, fast forward to 16 months now, we haven’t been as good. Meal prep is hard for us sometimes, because like everyone, we are busy. So I did a little searching and found read more at CGL Baby.

Our “Planned” Birth Story

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My son, Noah, is 15 months. He is a happy, healthy, silly little boy and that is all that matters. I love him so much, it is actually hard to describe. But to this day, I carry around what I call “MG” aka mom guilt. Read more on CGL Baby

The First Haircut

The First Haircut

Ok, moms. We did it. We finally got Noah’s first haircut. After 14 months, I finally gave in and realized I no longer have a baby, but a growing toddler that needed a haircut. Desperately.

It wasn’t really about his hair or whether or not he would behave in the chair, but more about getting over the fact that he is growing and growing FAST. With all my anxiety, I needed to find place to calm my nerves and also find a salon great with children. Through lots of research, I found Kid Snips. With 8 locations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, stylists that specialize with toddlers and kids, my hesitations were put to rest. Read more at CGL BabyFullSizeRender(13)

A Stroll down Southport Corridor (adults only)

The Southport Corridor may be known for strollers, moms and boutiques, but recently, there has been a surge in places for adults to play. So ditch those strollers, grab a glass of wine, and take a peek into some adult friendly places popping up on the Southport Corridor.

Coda Di Volpe-  Boasting Southern Italian fare like pizza, steak and seafood, they are most known for their Neapolitan pizza that comes with a side scissors to cut your own slices. This swanky spot has a great wine list, but an even better cocktail menu. The blood orange is not only pretty, its delicious and perfect way to start your meal. As for food, my absolute favorite is the goat cheese with beets appetizer. I usually never order beets, but you CANNOT miss this dish.

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Coda di Volpe

Next, pizza! The Funghi and Diavolo pizza is delicious, but really, they all look fantastic. All the pastas are made in-house and the chef curates all the meat for charcuterie boards. The decor is contemporary and cool with a trendy crowd.  It’s perfect for date night or a night out with the ladies. No need to head downtown anymore! Coda Di Volpe 

Ella Elli- The newest addition to the 4 star restaurant group, is the wine bar, Ella Elli. This sexy, romantic spot is so swanky, I felt like I had been transported downtown to a fancy hotel in River North. The oversized lanterns, fireplace and couches, make for THE perfect date night spot.

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Ella Elli

The wine list is extensive, but Pinot Noir Rose by Willamette Valley really added greatness to my experience. The cheese board and toasts was presented beautifully and paired well with the wine. FullSizeRender(10)

Ella Elli is a great place to start or even end your night at with their variety of desserts. Who needs the the Four Seasons, when Ella Elli has hit Southport.

With so many options now on Southport, there is really something for everyone. Go check them out and let me know what you think!

Until next time..

~xoxo~

Christine

 

Taking Risks as a 30 something-year-old. Finally

My entire life has been pretty much planned out since I can remember. As a child, I laid out my clothes, packed my lunch, and even put the toothpaste on my toothbrush (crazy, I know) every school night. I knew what college I wanted to go to by Sophomore year of high school. I knew (roughly) when I was going to get engaged. I have been at the same job for ten years. And my son was a scheduled c-section (an entirely other sensitive topic in itself though). With all that being said, every event has been plotted, revised and schemed with perfection.

But now, as a 32 year old, I am finally taking some risks and it feels so good. For some time now, I have wanted to start a blog. I love food, telling stories, giving advice and most importantly, helping others. But I never had the courage to act on it. In fact, I have written this blog post twice because I kept deleting it, too afraid of what could happen. But now, I can say, I am OVER what others say.  I am a mom, wife and have a loving family and with lots of friends. All these people support me, sometimes more than I even realized. I am learning that it doesn’t matter what others say, you are living your own life day in and day out. No one else. Failures are lessons learned. And I truly believe everything and everyone in your life is for a reason. This is one lesson I wish I could go back in time and tell my 25 year old self.

It has been almost a week since I have gone public with The Chicago Good Life and I couldn’t be happier. The support I am getting is amazing and I am so excited what the future holds. I am also making some big career moves as well and there is a still a lot unknown. But that is okay and I will learn. I will continue to build confidence and take steps to being a happy me. And listen to a lot of Beyonce 😉

So thanks for following and I can’t wait to share my adventure with you! Please reach out with comments, questions, or please, any ideas you would LOVE to see here on The Chicago Good Life.

Until next time…

~xoxo~

Christine

CGL Baby: Spring Fun around the City

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Tulips on Oak Street

Happy First Day of Spring! There are number of things to do (besides of course sitting on patios and rooftops drinking the day away, sigh :/) to kickoff the warmer weather months. For the family, there are a number of activities throughout the city that are family friendly (and fun for parents too). Read more at CGL Baby: Spring Fun around the City

Spring Fever, a Budget and a Baby

Happy Thursday! With the birth of my son this past February (see little man below) and the changing weather, I have a serious case of spring fever. I’ve also missed out on some good wine and yummy food in the past 10 months, so now is the time. Now what to do with a 3 month old? I’ve done a lot of exploring, knowing I shouldn’t overspend, and compiled a list of adult “kid” friendly fun places.

  1.  Whole Foods– Yes, Whole Foods. Sounds boring. But at the DePaul location, every Friday is Five for Five from 5-7pm. Five dollars for five wine tastings. With generous pours, food pairings and an opportunity to get groceries, it’s perfect. No problem with babe in the stroller and even left with some recipes. Plus, you get a 10 dollar off coupon for the next day if you spend 50 dollars or more (very easy to do at Whole Foods). Great deal and a good time with hubs and friends.                         959 West Fullerton 5-7pm $5 dollars
  2. Punt and Plume– A neighborhood wine and spirits store, “where everybody knows your name” kind of vibe. Doors always open and you’ll be greeted by the friendly neighborhood dog. The room is a little small, but the stroller was easy and there’s a ramp on the side of the building. Every Thursday and Friday, there are FREE wine tastings from 6-8pm with light snacks. We left with some really great wines, which we tasted. Always a plus. Wasn’t too long, so babe was great in the stroller and we were home in time for bedtime. http://www.puntandplume.com/mobile-main                                                                    1324 W. Wrightwood 6-8pm Thursday and Friday’s, Saturday’s (times and days may change) FREE
  3. Earls Restaurant– I have a small obsession with New City, the new mini mall on Clybourn and North Avenue. Indoor parking, a movie theatre, shopping, Mariano’s and restaurants, it’s a one stop shop. Hubs and I had a lunch date with babe and were impressed by the food, beer and wine list. I easily breastfed, no worries and felt very comfortable. There was lots of space for the stroller and the staff was very accommodating. My favorite, the Watchmacallit Chardonnay (only available at Earls) literally tastes like butter, it’s my favorite. Amazing. https://instagram.com/p/BB-yQrBTH9k/. They have a great soup, sandwich, and salad menu. I had the Santa Fe Salad and it was great and big. Portions are easily shared. Overall, it’s nice addition to Lincoln Park. They also have happy hour and a patio to check out as well.                1538 North Clybourn Avenue Unit A108 Average bill ranges. 
  4. Knife and Tine- FREE bar snacks (bar only) from 4-6pm from Monday through Friday. A little bit more challenging with a stroller, but can easily be done. Might be easier wearing baby, but stroller is not an issue. The staff easily checked the stroller at the hostess stand. Bartenders swear brunch is a big baby spot. The Shisisto peppers are a must snack on the menu (see below). Wine, beer, and cocktails are also half off from 4-6pm. Enough said.                        1417 W Fullerton FREE Bar snacks Monday-Friday 4-6pm, half off beer, wine and cocktails