Archive of ‘Etc.’ category

Kate’s Fall Favorites


These chilly fall temps snuck up on me quickly so I’ve been retreating indoors for Netflix binges and T-Swift jam sessions. Check out what I’ve been reading, watching and listening to as of late.

Reading: The Defying Decade by psychologist D. Meg Jay

Typically, I don’t buy into the self-help, kumbaya books that flood the shelves at bookstores. I’ve repeatedly heard phenomenal things about this book so, I bought in. Growing up in a society that promotes barista occupations, musical festival lifestyles, and tiny-home housing, this book is nothing short of a reality check. Dr. Jay makes a riveting argument to making the most out of your 20’s.

Watching: Stranger Things
This series packs suspense, humor, romance, and horror-all within 55 minute episodes. Sci-Fi has never been so fab.

Listening: “Ready for It” by Taylor Swift.
Rest assured, this one is not about Kayne.

Skirt Triks: Building The Perfect Cheese Plate

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m totally obsessed with any and all types of cheese! Whenever I host a book club, girls’ night in, or family gathering, my go-to appetizer is always a cheese plate. Easy to assemble and packed with an assortment of textures and flavors, a mix of different cheeses, meats, and fruits is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. While the options are endless, here are a few of my go-to ingredients for building a delectable and totally Instagram-worthy cheese platter:

Photo via: Apartment 34

A good rule is to have something hard, something soft, something goat, and something cow while offering a combination of aged, crumbly, and creamy cheeses. Since cheese is best served at room temperature, make sure to let your platter sit for about 30 minutes before serving.

Sturdy chips and crackers, toasted bread, or baguette slices are all good options. You’ll want to offer at least two choices.

Salami, Prosciutto, or other cured meats are staples of a good cheese plate. Mix spicy meats, like hot Soppressata, with mild ones or add rich flavors, such as Capicola for a variety of tastes.

Add some color and bit of sweetness with fresh grapes or berries, dried apricots, or a side of jam or honey.

For some crunch and salt, include nuts like almonds or cashews.

Once you have the perfect combination selected, carefully arrange everything on a pretty serving platter and enjoy

Product Junkies: Chapin

The Organic Pharmacy Sunless Tanner:
This might be my favorite self-tanning product because it goes on just like a regular lotion. It does need a few applications to get a noticeable tan, but I don’t feel any harm to my body when I put it on.

Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner:
I have seen so many people talking about this shampoo/conditioner duo. I must say it makes my hair feel extra silky and keeps my highlights longer than normal!

Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
This is the lightest sunscreen I have ever used. It goes on sheer, and I love that it doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky!

Lily Lolo Mascara
I stopped into the recently opened Credo Beauty in Bucktown and asked for a mascara recommendation. I am very pleased with this suggestion as it gives great volume and doesn’t make my lashes feel clumpy.

Acure Body Lotion:
Acure is still one of my is one of my favorite clean beauty brands! I have been using this body lotion for a few years now. The price is right, too!

What are your go-to beauty products?

Last-Minute Summer Bucket List

As summer begins to fade to make way for fall, we’re soaking up as many warm-weather activities as we can before cooler temps set in. Here’s our team’s last-minute Chicago summer bucket list:

Photo Credit: Camille Styles

Take my daughter for a picnic at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Spend an afternoon lounging by the lakefront with a good book.

Attend a concert at Wrigley Field.

Kayak in the Chicago river.

Buy my first piece of Chicago paraphernalia; go Cubs!

Molly M.
Spend a day at the beach with my family’s pup, Sam!

Watch a movie in the park.

Watch the Navy Pier fireworks from the harbor.

Molly T.
Hit up Cindy’s for a rooftop cocktail.

What’s on your last-minute summer bucket list?

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