Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. Living in a city like Chicago, there are so many great ways to experience the holidays if you need a little help getting into the Christmas spirit, or if you just want to take it all in!

 

Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

I feel like no trip downtown into the Loop is complete without a quick visit to the Bean. It’s my favourite Chicago landmark, and no matter the weather or time of day is always so photogenic.

 

Cloudgate or Bean - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

Cloudgate or Bean - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

One of my newest favourite pastimes (you might already know if you follow me on Instagram) is lobby hunting! There are so many great hotels and office towers in Chicago and it seems that each year they try to out-do each other in Christmas decorations!

My favourite office building decoration was by far the tree at 77 W Wacker Drive and you easily see why! (Hint: their ornaments are my favourite colour!)

 

77 W Wacker Drive - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

77 W Wacker Drive - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

As far as hotel lobbies go, the lobby at the Conrad Chicago Hotel surpassed all my expectations. Located on the 20th floor, it is secluded from the shopping fever on Michigan Avenue and made me feel more relaxed the moment I stepped off the elevator. The lobby is flooded with natural light. Once you make your way to the floor to ceiling windows to catch a glimpse of the fantastic city view, you can't help but admire the colourfully decorated staircase and Christmas tree.

 

Conrad Chicago Hotel - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

Conrad Chicago Hotel - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

Conrad Chicago Hotel - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

Conrad Chicago Hotel - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

Finally, a Christmas tour of the Loop would not be complete without stops at the the Macy’s Christmas windows and the Christkindlmarket. Both attractions are so popular that I suggest going as early in the morning as possible to avoid the crowds if you're visiting on a weekend, or try to stop by on a week day.

 

Christkindlmarket Chicago - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

Every year, I treat myself to a gluhwein, which tastes just like at home in Switzerland, but this time I couldn’t help myself and caved for some hot chocolate.

 

Chirstkindlmarket Chicago - Favourite Christmas Activities in Chicago with Chicwish

 

One thing to keep in mind when exploring the city in December - it can be really cold and windy. Big thanks to Chicwish for keeping me warm as I explored Chicago’s Christmas wonders this year. Their cozy sweaters are the perfect combination of fashionable, cute, and warm! I have been wearing them non-stop since they arrived in the mail. I also love the elegance of the Cape Coat which will easily make any winter outfit look more put together. If you're curious to see how the sweaters and the coat fit, you can check out my try-on Instagram stories which include sizing information.

 

Shop My Chicwish Looks


 

 

These are just a few of my favourite holiday traditions in Chicago, and we didn’t even get a chance to ice skate over to Millenium Park, admire the Zoo Lights, or take a ride on the holiday train! What is your favourite way to celebrate the holidays in Chicago?

 

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. My outfits are courtesy of Chicwish.

 


 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

Thank you RM Champagne Salon for having us. A part of our meal was gifted to us by RM Champagne Salon to allow us to experience their full service and be able to tell you about it. All our opinions are our own.

 

If you ever find yourself in Chicago looking for a great fire-side brunch spot with unforgettable mimosas, I know just the place for you. The RM Champagne Salon is tucked away in the middle of the West Loop and easy to miss if you don't know where you're going.

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

A sign indicates to walk through the cobblestone alley to get to the entrance and start your culinary experience. The RM Champagne Salon is known for romantic dinners and their outstanding seafood, but they recently started serving brunch on weekends starting at 11am.

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

With their antique mirrors, chandeliers, and marble fireplace, RM takes you back in time and provides a relaxed yet luxurious ambience. Their attention to detail is mirrored in the service and food presentation. You don't have to take my word for it - see for yourself!

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

When a few girlfriends and I  were planning to go for brunch, we decided to try the RM Champagne Salon's new brunch menu as none of us had experienced it before. We explored the idea of enjoying a drink or two with breakfast and our waiter highly recommended the mimosa bar. Little did we know, RM Champagne Salon provides a fully customizable mimosa bar allowing you to combine your champagne of choice with mixers and garnishes.

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

Their mixers include a variety of fruit juices, and the garnishes are as pretty as they are tasty!

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

The mimosa bar is served with a tower of nibbles consisting of bite-sized sandwiches, macarons, fresh fruit, truffles, and puff pastry treats - and let me tell you, it was absolutely scrummy (for all the ones who love the Great British Baking show as much as I do, you know what I'm talking about. :-))

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

I'm already a foodie but having everything come in bite-size format, makes me even happier!

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

And the picturesque presentation didn't leave anything to be desired.

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon - Mimosa Bar

 

Brunch at RM Champagne Salon

 

With our eyes bigger than our stomachs, we couldn't help ourselves and also ordered some of our favourite appetizers.

 

 

The avocado toast was a sight for sore foodie eyes. The cheese platter and the salmon dip did not disappoint either.

 

 

 

We left RM Champagne Salon extremely full, slightly tipsy, and in awe of their new brunch. All of us decided that we'd be back and would rave about this place for days to come!

Don't take my word for it but check RM Champagne Salon out yourself! You can make reservations here or give them a call at (312) 243-1199.

 

 

Cheers!

 

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An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I resisted fall for a long time. After all, I'm always cold as it is and the dropping temperatures don't help with that. However, last Saturday was the perfect fall day - blue skies, crisp air, and bright yellow leaves everywhere. It was an Apple Picking in Wisconsin kind of day.

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

A bit less than a year ago, we felt just as inspired to go apple picking and found a great place in Wisconsin - Apple Holler. Their apples are so delicious that I'm still dreaming about them as of today. Further, they offer so many fun farm-inspired activities that I wanted to go back there, rather than finding a new place.

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

It turned out that we were not the only ones thinking that as we stood in line for 15 minutes to get the tickets. If you're wondering whether it's too late to go apple picking you'd be happy to hear that it's not and you still have two full weeks to go! Our favorite apples - Cameo - are actually ripe from mid- to the end of October.

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

After you purchase tickets for whatever size bag of apples you would like, you can start your adventure around the premises. Before getting on the little 'train' to the orchards, we made a stop at the pumpkin patch.

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day

 

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day

 

Shop My Fall Look

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

A little train towed by a tractor will then take you to the orchards where you can pick and sample any apples you would like.

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

Or just run around and have fun play hide and seek between the orchards.

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

By far my favorite apples are Cameos. They are the perfect combination of sweet and tart - and are super crisp. In other words, the only way I like my apples. 🙂

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

After you picked your favorite apples, you can walk or take the cute 'train' back to the main area and indulge in some home-made backed goods - Kyle couldn't resist the Apple Cider Donuts.

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

Apple Holler also set up a cute S'Mores station, a face painting booth, a corn maze, and much to my delight - a farm animal petting area.

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

You can see how I would immediately make new best friends while apple picking!

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

An Apple Picking in Wisconsin Kind of Day - Apple Holler

 

Have you been apple picking this season? What's your favorite fall activity? Let us know in the comments below!

 


 

Blogging On The Go

Kyle and I are the kind of people who like to be busy all the time and are constantly on the go. We rarely take time off and do absolutely nothing. Sure, there is the odd Saturday in winter when we binge watch Orange is the New Black (or any other show we’re obsessed with) in our PJs all day. There was also this one weekend we spent on the beach in Cancun. Other than that, we’re often on the road, exploring a new country, city, or coffee shop.

 

Blogging On The Go

 

The days we’re at home in Chicago, we like to explore the city and everything it has to offer. Given my love for coffee and working in public spaces, I’m always on the look-out for a new cute coffee shop and recently found a place I can’t wait to share with you. In the middle of Lakeview, right on Broadway, there is Maison Marcel – possibly the prettiest French shabby chic coffee shop I have ever seen outside of France.

 

Blogging On The Go

 

 

 

Filled with unique furniture, a fireplace, and rustic French décor, it won over my heart the moment I walked in.

 

 

 

The owner, originally from Marseille, France, serves delicious lattes, sweets, and buttery soft croissants. My personal favorite is the almond chocolate croissant. It’s the irresistible combination of European almond paste with chocolate, all wrapped in a flaky crust.

 

 

 

Because we’re always on the go and often blog while we’re on the road, we spend a lot of time on our phones and laptop. I personally carry my laptop with me almost everywhere.

 

 

 

Shop My Look

 

My shoes are from Guess and a few years old. I linked similar ones below.

The super soft knit vest with fringe is from my favorite Spanish designer store Teria Yabar.

My bracelets are from InStyleCo.

This makes it all the more important to protect our blogging equipment from scratches, spills, or drops. I was really excited when I received my custom iphone case and laptop skin from CaseApp.

 

 

They are not only functional but fit right in with my desire for everything to look pretty and preferably be pastel coloured. The phone case and the laptop skin fit in perfectly with my on the go lifestyle (and style!).

 

 

 

 

I custom designed my phone case – using one of the many designs and adding words to live by.

 

 

You can design your own phone case or laptop skin on the CaseApp website and they will ship it directly to you! If you’d like to design your own, you can get 20% off using the discount code BEINGBETTINA20. Happy shopping (don’t wait too long, the discount code lasts until the end of August)!

 

What do you think of these cases? Aren't they so cute? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 


 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

Going to a white party has been on my bucket list for years. I have to admit that I got hooked on the idea of going to a party where everyone is dressed in white through one of my favourite TV shows. It is such an elegant concept for a summer event that you just can't resist the idea. When I received an invite to go to the White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge, I canceled all my other plans for Sunday, which consisted of my usual weekend to do list, aka laundry, and dragged Kyle shopping for an all-white outfit. After all, going to this party is a bucket list item and it was part of the fun to follow the theme closely.

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

We got to the Devereaux Rooftop at noon and were blown away by the sleek and modern design of the rooftop. The turquoise pool in the middle is surrounded by little white tables and white chairs - perfect for spending a sunny afternoon with friends, drinks, and some bites.

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

The Devereaux is located in the gold coast neighbourhood, a great location for some astonishing city and lake views. We found a cozy table and couldn't resist the idea of a cool and sweet Frosé, a cool summer drink made with - who would have guessed it - frozen rosé.

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

Perfect for sharing fun memories with friends.

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

What could be better than spending the afternoon with friends, on a sunny rooftop with breathtaking views, and incredibly delicious drinks?

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

The White Party featured small bites by chef Lee Wolen which of course we couldn't pass up. Shortly after we started sipping on our drinks, waiters flew around with trays of heavenly goodness.

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

We were served some incredibly delicious fried chicken and pickle bites with sriracha aioli and ranch, tuna poke on a nori chip with avocado and sesame, and my personal favorite - roasted strawberry and burrata with basil on a brioche.

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

Light, fresh, and too good to resist! Needless to say, I grabbed a bite every time these trays came around.

Us girls couldn't resist a few snaps to show off our pretty white party outfits.

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

White Party Outfit Ideas Under $100

 

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

And couldn't resist the tray of delicious bites as they came by again ...

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

Stuffed and slightly tipsy from the many Frosés in the sun, we slowly made our way back home.

 

White Party at the Devereaux Rooftop Lounge

 

Shop My Look

 

My tassel earrings are currently on sale for $6.99 and come in a variety of colours.

White Purse | Dainty Necklace

My dress is from H&M and quite a few years old. I linked similar options below.

 

 

It was the perfect Sunday afternoon with friends. Have you been to a white party before and did you enjoy it? Let us know in the comments below.


 

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St. Patrick’s Day, Chicago

If you're planning a trip to Chicago in the future and don't mind the cold March weather, we should let you in on one of Chicago's best party traditions: St. Patrick's Day.

This year marks the first year of us being in town for St. Patrick's Day and since Chicago's celebration of the feast of St. Patrick is often rated as one of the best (or greenest) in the world (check out this article), we couldn't pass up on the opportunity to roam the streets and watch the river dyeing. 

We started the day early, hoping to beat the crowds, which was exactly what thousands of other people had planned to do as well. We walked towards the Chicago River and didn't expect much. Let's be honest, almost all pictures you see online are edited and I was certain, so was the green in the green river pictures. I was wrong! And how wrong I was! There it was, a body of water as green as a neon green highlighter, spanning the entire block between State Street and Michigan Avenue.

 

Chicago Fire Department on the green Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day

 

Fighting through the crowds, we managed to get to the top of Irv Kupcinet Bridge, or Wabash Avenue bridge, to take some pictures of the spectacular view. 

 

Yellow Chicago Water Taxi on the green Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day

 

Kyle in front of the green Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day

 

Of course, we were doing our best to fit in and wore a lot of green. I was particularly happy to be able to use my green summer purse on a Chicago winter day.

 

Bettina and Kyle in front of the green Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day

 

Bettina in front of the green Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day carrying a green purse

 

Shop Green Accessories:

After a while, the cold started to get to us and we decided to warm up with some matcha latte and green icing cupcake at Goddess and the Baker.  It's a very cute cafe with delicious baked goods, all decorated for the festivities. 

 

Neon sign eat now caffeinate at Goddess and the Baker

 

Colourful bird wallpaper at Goddess and the Baker

 

Assortment of Sweets at Goddess and the Baker

 

Delicious Goddess and the Baker Cupcake with green St. Patrick's Day Decoration

 

Full disclosure, there may also have been some of their famous rainbow cake.

 

Rainbow cake at Goddess and the Baker

 

Happy to have escaped the crowds, we happily sipped on our teas while catching up with friends and watching the party from our cozy and warm seats.


 

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It’s High Time for High Tea, Hotel Peninsula Chicago

In case you’re planning a weekend getaway to Chicago, I know just the right place to spend an elegant afternoon. Especially, if you’re visiting during the cold winter months. This is the perfect place to rent some ice skates and enjoy a romantic afternoon on the rink, away from the hustle and bustle on Michigan Avenue, followed by a great meal or afternoon tea. The Sky Rink at the Peninsula Hotel.

Sarah and I followed the little blue ice rink signs until we arrived in front of a completely empty ice rink outdoors on the 4th floor of the hotel, including a rustic Swiss chalet.

 

 

 

After renting our skates, which are $15 each, we stumbled onto the ice (yes, you read correctly, at least it was a graceful stumble).

 

 

We were both excited about the ice skating adventure, though we had forgotten that we’re not actually very talented ice skaters. Luckily for us, this was the end of the skating season and so the “ice” was really a plastic substitute.

 

 

 

After a few rounds, and not yet making complete fools of ourselves, we decided not to test our luck any further and head inside for some afternoon tea.

Seated right at the window and overlooking the ice rink, we chose our teas and enjoyed the view.

 

 

I must admit, I had quite high expectations of the high tea. The last time I went for high tea was last year in the UK (story to follow in a future blog post) and it was amazing. So the stakes were high.

 

 

 

 

The scones had arrived and we couldn’t wait to dig in.

 

 

Shop Sarah's Look

 

 

Shop My Look

Together with two types of scones, we were served raspberry jam, lemon custard, and some proper clotted cream.

 

 

It was absolutely scrumptious! We were in food heaven and happily finished it all. It was the perfect Sunday afternoon.

 

Are you planning your next trip to Chicago yet?


 

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3 Arts Café, Restoration Hardware

We found the perfect café and winter brunch spot in Chicago!

The food is outstanding, the atmosphere very chic, and you are seated amongst live trees and plants dotted throughout the courtyard. Did I mention the fountain and chandelier?

 

 

 

 

 

Kyle and I decided to have a pre-Valentine’s Day brunch at a place which I stumbled across on Instagram. (Thank you @insta_chicago) It’s a café in the courtyard of the Chicago Gold Coast Restoration Hardware store. Away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago, the café seems to be one of those hidden gems – only that it’s not very hidden.

They don’t take reservations so we decided to arrive close to opening given that it was Sunday morning. We arrived only 15 minutes past opening time and the wait was already 1.5 hours. Most people would turn around at the mention of at least 1.5 hours until eating, especially if you're already hungry, but we thought it would be a good opportunity to stroll around the store.

 

 

5 levels filled with different styles of furniture and home décor. I was melting away.

 

(I'm wearing my favorite over the knee boots and purse from this post. The boots are sold out but I linked similar ones below. My polka dots flare dress is from Forever New. They don't have any stores in the U.S. but ship from Australia.)

Shop my look:

 

Our wait paid off as we were seated right by the fountain in the centre of the courtyard.

Of course,  we had to start off our pre-Valentine’s Day celebration with two glasses of sparkling…

 

 

Closely followed by the all-star Delice de Bourgogne cheese plate with oven-fresh bread.

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

 

 

Needless to say that I polished off all the roasted pecans before breakfast.

 

 

We couldn’t leave without trying their amazing fries with aioli – very much worth overeating for.

 

 

Having eaten way too much as always, we left without dessert but very happy to have found another great brunch spot in Chicago to take family and friends to whenever they are in town.

 

 

 

If you decide to grab a bite at 3 Arts Café, make sure you arrive early or on a weekday to avoid long wait times. For those who struggle to get out of bed early enough, there are plenty of things to do and see in the Restoration Hardware store while you’re waiting for your table. It’s well worth the wait.


 

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A Walk in the Snow, Chicago

By now, you may have caught on to the idea that Kyle and I love winter, a snowy winter that is. Unlike some people who contemplate leaving Chicago because of its weather, we were looking forward to moving here, hoping for many snowy winter months. The last two winters were rather mild and quite disappointing on the snow-front. Things are looking up though right now! We were hit by a snowstorm at the end of last week which was cause for some to take a snow-day, aka work from home. I didn’t truly believe it would happen until I woke up to 30cm of fresh powder!

 

Excited as a puppy about how the city was turned into a snowy fairy tale, I couldn’t wait to put on my boots and go for a walk. I decided to ignore the weather app warnings and wear my pretty A-line coat from Ever New (check out some of the most beautiful A-line coats here) instead of my clunky but properly warm Fjiallraven I’m wearing in this post. Bundled up in my favorite blanket scarf this season from Zara and the surprisingly warm over-knees (currently on sale!), we were off to the lake…

 

 

Shop my look:

Where we found what I had been looking for: tons of untouched snow and amazing views of the snowy Chicago skyline!

A walk along the snow covered lakeshore in Aldo over the knee boots, black a-line jacket, and cute Aldo purse with the Chicago skyline in the background.

 

 

The entire lakeshore was frozen and snow covered, providing spectacular sights which Kyle managed to capture.

 

While I was trying to capture him taking pictures of everything.

 

We played around in the snow for a while, making snow angels and having snowball fights, until the cold got the best of us.

 

Exhausted and by now freezing cold, we took a last look back at the view and headed to a café to warm up with a well-deserved cup of hot chocolate.

How did you spend your weekend?


 

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