Items you actually NEED from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It’s that time of year again, the #nsale, or, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale … Blogger Christmas, if you will! You’ve probably seen bloggers trying on tons of fall and winter items, putting together bomb outfits, and stressing about getting the blog post(s) live before the cardholders can shop the sale tomorrow (July 12th).

The last couple of years I’ve blogged about the Nordy Sale and this year, I’m taking a different approach. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m on a super strict budget this year which is every bit annoying but, that’s adulting for you ;). I’d be a complete fraud if I said I was going to go ape shit crazy during the sale this year and my goal is to always remain transparent with you guys. With that being said, I decided to find just eight, yes you read that right, EIGHT items you need from this sale that you can walk out of Nordstrom with (or walk back to your bed if you’re shopping from home) and be totally, 100% happy.


 

Tory Burch Mini Everly Crossbody Bag; $165

This crossbody is cute, super versatile (aka I’ll dress it up and down) and doesn’t completely break the bank for a designer piece!

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Jumbo St. Tropez Tanning Mousse; $49

If you literally don’t buy a single thing from this sale, PLEASE, buy this. It is, in my opinion, the absolute BEST value. I’m a self-tanning, pale as f gal and this bronzing mousse is my bff. This size is typically not even sold in stores and if it were it would be like $88 … sooOooOoo … you need it.

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DryBar Get Brushin’ and Crushin’ Set; $165

You already know I’m all about DryBar and allllll the products that come along with DB. I haven’t tried this straightening brush yet but, if I wanted to, NOW would be the time. The straightening brush retails alone for $145 so this is really a no-brainer purchase if you’re in the market for some new goodies from DryBar.

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Steve Madden Rockstar Booties; $79.90

I bought these last year in snakeskin and I absolutely adore them! I’m so happy good old Steve released them in leopard print because, if you couldn’t tell, that’s my favorite neutral color … heeehee! They are a little pricey, I will admit that. However, they’re a good, quality bootie that will last you from fall into winter for years to come. They’re a great statement piece to add a little bit of somethin’ somethin’ to any outfit.

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Adidas Edge Lux 3; $63.90

I’m always on the lookout for running shoes on sale and these are such a cute staple item to grab! I’ve heard that the word on the street is these shoes feel like you’re walking on a cloud and, I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly what my feet deserve to feel.

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Zella Live-In Leggings; $38.90

I actually “live-in” these leggings most of the time. I work from home, don’t have friends, and despise wearing actual clothes … sound familiar? If only me from college could see me now wearing leggings all the time. HA, athleisure for life, am I right? I’m serious though when I say that these leggings are comparable to Lululemon leggings and a fraction of the price. While they’re not the cheapest thing you’ll come across, they ARE the best quality for the price. ***my subtle humor should be taken with a grain of salt, I do have friends and there’s nothing wrong with literally living in leggings, do ya thang girlfriend!***

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Madewell 10-inch High Rise Denim; $84.90

On the off chance that I DO have to wear jeans or put real clothes on, my go to bottom is ALWAYS a pair of Madewell Jeans. Why? Because they’re flattering, actually fit my body, and are comfortable! If you’ve been waiting to try a pair because of the price tag, now is the time to grab a pair and see what the magic is allllll about!

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BlankNYC Leopard Cozy Teddy Coat; $64.90

This is my slightly boujee, not really practical for everyday wear, but still love it pick! Everyone needs to have one of those, right? If you’ve never tried a jacket by BlankNYC, first off, you need to and second, this is the time to do it! I’m obsessed with the style of the coat (it’s called a trucker coat, so whatever that means!!!!) and I think it would be the cutest addition to a casual outfit to give it that extra bit the outfit is missing.

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And that’s a wrap! Eight items that you’ll be totally satisfied with. Sure, swap a few items out and replace them with you personal favorites. Maybe a v-neck tee from BP ($11.90) or maybe something else that fits with your style. Remember, while I’m trying to (and many other bloggers too) build a shopping list for you based off of my favorite items, always feel free to do your own thing and purchase the items YOU love.

xx, Kaitlyn

10 Chicago Rooftops to Visit This Summer

I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, rooftop season is my FAVORITE season in Chicago. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Chi all year long, but, rooftop season – you just can’t beat it! (Maybe it’s because I’m from the midwest so rooftop season is a big deal to me, mainly because I can’t drink a cocktail on a rooftop or outside during the winter without freezing or being in a trendy igloo? I don’t know, probably.)

Anyway, I’m constantly asked what my favorite bars in Chicago are and aside from Three Dots and a Dash, the majority of my favorites are rooftop locations. If you didn’t know, River North is the neighborhood I visit most often so that’s where a lot of these rooftop locations are (or close to)!

London House Rooftop

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You guys! If you want one of the BEST views of the river, LH Rooftop is the place to be! Such a cute spot to mix and mingle while admiring the beauty of the city. Even if you’re only stopping by for one drink, it’s totally worth it.

IO Godfrey

Small bites, indoor/outdoor seating, and cute decor. I’m a huge fan of the sea salt truffle fries here paired with a chilled glass of Prosecco!

Drumbar

Looking for trendy Instagram pics? Drumbar is the place, during the day, for my aesthetic. Stop by for a happy hour cocktail, a few Instagram pictures, and the chance to really soak up the sun. I highly recommend visiting during the day!

Cindy’s

It’s ALL about the views here. The drinks are good but the views are AMAZING. You’re overlooking Millennium park, you can see Lake Michigan, and bits of the city. My literal dream. Grab a cocktail, grab brunch, but ultimately make sure you take in the views!

Roof at TheWit

Looking for a place to take your bumble date on a first date? Look no further! This fabulously swanky, trendy rooftop is the place to be in the summer. Music will be bumpin’, cocktails will be crafted, and you’ll have the ability to overlook some of the coolest cities views in the loop!

Devereaux

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If you’re looking for a spot for poolside cocktails, intimate ambiance, and some of the best tasting small plates – look no further! This chill rooftop located at the Viceroy hotel is one of my favorite places to really vibe out in the summer because it mixes the typical cocktail lounge feel with a splash of fun by adding the poolside as an option.

Apogee

The cocktails here are NUTS, like actually so cool! I’m all about experiences and Apogee delivers that for me. Highly recommend date night here!

Raised

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I did an entire dedicated blog post about Raised so I’ll link that blog post here. It’s still one of my favorites and the truffle fries are still SO good!

Cerise Rooftop

I’m really into feeling like I’m in my own slice of paradise and Cerise is 100% a little slice of city paradise for me. It’s super hip, really inviting, and will make you want to stay until the wee hours of the morning just soaking in the city vibes.

52Eighty Rooftop Lounge

Located on the 52nd floor of the Cambria, this gold accented indoor/outdoor lounge holds a key to my heart! The ambiance is perfect for a casual night out in the city.

 

I’m always adding to my list of favorite places in Chicago so feel free to ask for updates or more locations! Happy sipping!

 

xx, Kaitlyn

 

A Taste of Nashville

Nashville has quickly become one of my favorite cities and I know I’m not alone because more than 100 people move to Nashville each DAY. That’s crazy! It comes as no surprise that a city with so much new development and momentum would be a foodie and destination seeking heaven! When you think of Nashville, you might think solely of Southern Comfort food which there is no shortage of BUT what you didn’t know about Nashville is the vast variety of food options. If you’re a BBQ loving carnivore or a Vegan with serious sweet tooth, there’s something for you in this amazing city.

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I love Nashville and try to visit as often as possible, which honestly isn’t often enough. So, one thing I really love about Nashville is the many neighborhoods that make this large city seem smaller. My personal favorite is 12th south! Here’s a list of some of my favorite places … it’s a long one so hang tight!

Proper Bagel

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Bar Taco

Frothy Monkey

Las Paletas 

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Martin’s BBQ

Slim and Husky’s 

Bella Nashville (Germantown)

Calypso Cafe

Acme Feed and Seed

Biscuit Love 

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Sinema

Adele’s Nashville

Five Daughter’s Bakery

Tenn 16

Franklin Juice Company

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Pinewood Social

Party Fowl

Saint Anejo

The Stillery 

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Attaboy

House of Cards

Patterson House

Skull’s

Gray & Dudley

Henley

Pastaria

Milk and Honey

Kung Fu Saloon

Okay, so I know that was a huge list of boozy and foodie favorites but I couldn’t help myself! It will be so hard for you to choose where to go to get your own taste of Nashville and I hope this list helps you narrow down your options!

 

xx, Kaitlyn

Cyber Monday 2018

Happy Cyber Monday, Friends!

Before you come for me with pitch forks, let me explain. As much as I love blogging, my audience prefers to see my life unfold on Instagram. So, while I enjoy writing about deals, life experiences, reviews of places, etc… I want to make sure my audience is getting my content where they want it most! Earlier this year I tried to set a goal to blog on a consistent basis, but, we all know how that turned out. So, instead of promising the world, I’ll leave you with this; I’m going to continue to blog when it makes the most sense for not only my audience, but for me. I strongly encourage others to do what makes the most sense to them so I’m going to live by my own virtue as well.

Okay, on to the goods! Cyber Monday is here, everyone … although I feel like Cyber Monday and Black Friday have been going on for the entire month of November …. anyone else get that vibe? I know my credit card does. I’ve made a list of my favorite sales from my favorite places for you to shop! Most of these deals are only valid until midnight tonight so grab your credit card (as if you haven’t already) and treat yourself (and your family/friends, come on now don’t be selfish) to some goods!

Alex and Ani // free gift and 25% off everything

American Eagle // 50% off sweaters and 40% off everything

Anthropologie // 30% off everything

Banana Republic // 50% off everything

Baublebar // 35% off with code CYBER35

Express // 50% off everything

Free People // 50% off select styles and an additional 30% off sale items

Jcrew // 60% off sale styles and 50% off everything else

Jcrew Factory // 50% off new arrivals and up to 80% off sale items with code ADD2CART

Kendra Scott // 20% off all purchases, 25% off $100+, and 30% off $200+

Loft // 50% off everything with code CYBER

Madewell // 25% off everything

Matisse Footwear // 30% off full price items with code CYBER30

Neiman Marcus // 25% off select styles and gift card opportunities based on amount spent

Nordstrom // up to 60% off select styles (there’s a LOT on sale!!)

Nordstrom Rack // spend $150 get $25 back, 50% off dyson vacuums, extra 30% off sale items

Rebecca Minkoff // total amount discounts (25% off $100+, 30% off $200+, etc…)

Revolve // extra 20% off and up to 75% off on new markdowns

Saks Fifth Avenue // get $50 every $200 you spend

Sephora // up to 50% off new markdowns (a ton of goodies have been added!)

Show Me Your Mumu // 50% off everything including sale with code CYBERMUNDAY

Target // 15% off site wide and BOGO 60% clothing & shoes

Tarte // 25% off site wide and up to 60% off new markdowns

ThirdLove // buy one, give one (to victims effected by fires in california!!), $25 off strapless bras, and 30% off select styles

Tory Burch // 30% off $250+

Ugg // up to 60% off select items

Ulta // $10 off $50 or more and up to 50% off select items + my favorite mascara is 50% off today online only!!! (benefit roller lash)

Urban Outfitters // $50 off $150, $25 off $100, $10 off $50

Victoria’s Secret // 40%-50% off all bras and BOGO sleepwear/lingerie

Vineyard Vines // 40% off sale styles and 25% off full price items

xx,

Kaitlyn

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018

Hiiiiiiiii everyone! As you can tell, I’m EXCITED to bring my 2018 #nsale picks to you. This is honestly my favorite sale of the year, because so many of my favorite brands go on sale and I can scoop them up for that low-low. I don’t live super close to a Nordy so I had to shop the first day of the sale super early (4AM) online which was totally fine and completely worth it because a PJ party with my laptop is basically my favorite thing ever. However, I did shop in store for a few items that I wanted to try-on before buying. I won’t bombard you with too many of my picks and I tried to make sure everything I’m sharing with you is 100% affordable or an incredible deal. So, without further adieu, let’s jump on in!

Tops/Jackets:

1 – BB Dakota Faux Suede Drap Jacket $69

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I love finding jackets that are casual like this one, like a hybrid cardigan! BB Dakota is a great brand to invest in and it’s even better when it’s on sale.

2 – BP. Raw Edge V-Neck Tee $11

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Okay, hi! $11 for a tee? I’m sold. This tee comes in a variety of colors, many of which are still fully in stock! Grab some while you can. (I bought three!)

3 – BP. Twist Front Sweater $31

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I thought this was so cute with the twist front detail! What I really like is the fact that this can be worn casually or you could definitely dress this sweater up for a night out.

4 – Chelsea28 Lace Yoke Top $45

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When I saw this, I immediately thought of fall and how cute this would look layered under a cardigan with some dark (or black) denim. It comes in four colors and I wish one of those would have been black BUT that’s okay. This rust color sold me!

5 – Free People Found My Friend Sweater $51

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I love Free People but I love freep even more when I find it on sale. This cute sweater can be worn off one shoulder and comes in a variety of colors! So cute for fall.

6 – BP. Colorblock Sweater $31

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I really love neutral colors so I was drawn to this mock neck sweater! This isn’t something I would typically buy, but I think styled with some distressed black denim, it will be a cute piece to have for fall.

7 – BP. Lace Trim Camisole $22

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Super cute and super feminine! Great for layering but sadly almost sold out (hopefully they’ll restock!!)

8 – Woven Heart Chenille Sweater $36

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Well, clearly, I had fall on my mind when I shopped the sale yesterday morning because I am so excited to style this sweater all fall long!

 

Bottoms:

1 – Madewell 10-Inch High Waist Skinny Jeans $89

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If you didn’t know, Madewell denim is my absolute favorite of all time. I currently don’t own any high waist jeans like this so I was super excited to score them for such a deal! (Madewell denim runs true to size)

2 – Zella Live-In Legging $35

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If there’s ONE thing you pick up from this sale, it needs to be these leggings. I legitimately live in these leggings 75% of the time. I compare them to Lululemon quality but at a much more reasonable price point.

3 – Leith Surplice Jumpsuit $52

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Jumpsuits have 100% been my go-to this spring/summer. Naturally, I’m obsessed with this one and I love the tasteful cut out in the front.

4 – Levi’s 501 Destroyed Boyfriend Jean $85

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I’ve been looking for a cute, destroyed pair of boyfriend jeans and these were the savior! They’re so cute and, in my opinion, destroyed perfectly. I can’t wait to style these with a tee and a pair of heels!

Shoes:

1 – Hunter Original Tall Rain Boot $99

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Hunters are my favorite for fall, winter, and spring (at least here in the midwest)! This is an amazing deal and a great time to snag a pair for yourself considering they’re usually $150 or more.

2 – Sam Edelman Caprice Boot $149

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I had been eyeing these boots for a while and truly couldn’t justify paying full price so when I saw that they were included in the sale, I was off the wall with excitement (it’s the little things in life, people!!) These boots come in three colors, I’m personally most excited for the black ones.

3 – Steve Madden Trace Studded Mule $50

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I’m pretty sure these were the first things in my cart yesterday morning, partially because I don’t own anything like them and because I envisioned so many of my favorite fall styles pairing so well with them.

4 – Adidas Flashback Sneaker $68

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You really can’t go wrong with a pair of classic sneakers! I’m always on the hunt for fairly priced athletic shoes and what I love about this pair is that they can be paired with a casual, athleisure outfit.

 

Accessories:

1 – Tory Burch Marsden Crossbody – $151

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This beauty comes in four colors and, at this price, you really can’t beat it! I’m a huge fan of crossbody bags and an even bigger fan of Tory Burch bags so when I can grab one for over 50% off, you better believe I jump on that opportunity.

2 – Kendra Scott Miku Drop Earring $39

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I had to pick these cuties up when I saw that they were on sale! They come in three metals; gold, silver, and rose gold.

3 – Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody $149

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I’m crying a little on the inside because I bought a crossbody super similar to this one last fall at a much higher price and I’m kicking myself for not waiting! This is a super cute bag to take you through the fall and into winter. Is anyone else happy leopard print is back?

4 – Brixton Baker Boy Cap $31

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Everyone is obsessed with this style of hat and I can see why! I scored one on sale so I’m going to see if I’m cool enough to pull off this style.

Beauty:

1 – drybar The Most Wonderful Waves Set $165

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You already know I love drybar (if you didn’t, now you do)! Any time I can grab something like this for a friend or as a gift, I try to. This is such an incredible deal because the curling wand alone is $165!

 

2 – St. Tropez Jumbo Self Tan Express Mousse $49

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Like being tan without the worry? Me too! St. Tropez is one of my favorite tanning lotion brands AND this self tan express mousse has been my go-to allllllll summer! You’re getting the JUMBO for the price of the regular size bottle.

3 – NARS Undressed Liquid Lip Set $49

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I’ve been really obsessed with NARS liquid lip lately and I’m so happy to see this set of four on sale for such a great price!

4 – Luxie Face Complexion Set $35

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These are some of my favorite makeup brushes ever! $35 for this set is an absolute steal.

 

Happy Shopping, friends! Leave a comment with your favorite items!

xx, Kaitlyn

 

Play Hard: Chicago

It’s no surprise that Chicago is my home away from home and I absolutely love experiencing new things the city has to offer. My friends know I’m the gal to go to for recommendations in the city and I thought I’d bring my list of favorites to life by sharing it with all of you!

Drinks and Eats:

Three Dots and a Dash – MY FAVORITE BAR EVER. It’s grown wildly popular for it’s underground (yes, you heard me, underground!) tiki theme and imported rums in the last few years so you’ll need to make a reservation but I promise it’s worth it.

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Pops for Champagne – We all know I love my champagne and pops definitely delivers the best selection of champs and cheese boards!

Raised Bar – I actually did an entire review of Raised Bar last year so I’ll link it here and let that post do the talking.

The Up Room at The Robey – I was lucky enough to collab with The Robey earlier this year and had the best experience at The Up Room! The views were incredible and the drinks were all hand crafted.

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Cindy’s Rooftop – Another place with a great view and trendy drinks!

LondonHouse Rooftop – Hellllooooo perfect view of the Chicago River! This rooftop terrace is one of the prettiest in Chicago to grab a drink and admire the beauty of Chi Town.

Cubby Bear – A typical bar located in Wrigleyville but perfect for a pre-Cubs game drink!

Quartino – Honestly, one of my favorite Italian restaurants ever. I love pasta and I love pasta even more if it’s fresh/homemade. Let’s not forget about their Lemoncello Martini!

Public House Chicago – One of my favorite stops in River North for not only a great brunch but for their boozy cake shakes!

Giordano’s Pizza – Don’t come for me, this is my FAV deep dish ‘za in Chicago and always will be.

Rosebud – A cute restaurant with some Italian flare in River North.

Beatrix – With a couple of locations in Chi, this is one of the best places for a girl’s Sunday Funday brunch! (my girl gang and I went to the one in the west loop!)

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The Q – I’m not a huge fan of BBQ but The Q always serves up some delicious southern ‘Q.

Hub 51 – A great, American classic restaurant where you can devour a burger and fries or a few cocktails!

Portillos – I hate hotdogs so I can’t personally vouch for this but everyone says Portillos is THE place to get a legit Chicago dog. The cheese fries are delish too!

Noyane – SUSHI and a view!

Velvet Taco – Theeee place to taco ’bout! Everyone loves Velvet Taco and if you go, you’ll see why!

Big Star Taco – Margs? Check. Family style tacos? Check. Multiple Salsa Options? Check.

STK – I literally loveeeeee STK. I recently visited the Las Vegas location and the food is literally always amazing. Slightly pricey but totally worth it!

Tavern on Rush – A chic, trendy place to grab lunch or dinner. Great for groups too!

Steak 48 – Another super good place to get a steak cooked to absolute perfection.

Goddess and the Grocer – Absolutely obsessed with G&G. Super fresh ingredients and so great for a tasty lunch.

Hampton Social – The best frosé in the game and the cutest vine wall ever! (also great for brunch)

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Summer House Santa Monica – Beachy vibes and great food.

Where to Stay? 

I’m partial to River North because that’s just where I like to hang out so most of my favorites are in that area! 

Acme Hotel Company – If you follow me on Instagram you already know I love this place with my whole heart. The vibes, the location, the staff, the cleanliness … everything is amazing! Can’t say I love it enough!

The Gwen – A cute, swanky hotel in close proximity to Michigan Ave and the River front.

The Dana – Adorable hotel complete with spa! Who could want more?

Moxy Chicago Downtown – a NEW hotel to Chicago. Similar vibes to that of Acme but located a little south of River North in the loop!

Where to Play?

Cubs Game – I’m a Cubs fan and have been since basically birth! So, I’m partial to a Cubs game but the White Sox fans know how to party too. Either way, you really can’t go wrong … but … Wrigleyville has my heart.

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The Bean – A Chicago classic attraction. Pro Tip: Go early before all the tourists get there … oops probably shouldn’t give away my secret 😉

Navy Pier – It’s always a good time at Navy Pier! River cruises, Chicago eye, the conservatory … all the best things in one place!

Lincoln Park Zoo – What better way to spend an afternoon?

Social 25 – A club in River North with an upstairs and downstairs. In my prime, I may or may not have danced on a table of two in the basement of this place.


I’m always updating my list of favorites in Chicago so don’t hesitate to ask me for more recommendations and if I didn’t cover something you wish I would have in this post, let me know!

xx, Kaitlyn

 

Passion for Influence

A while back I made an Instagram Story (if you don’t follow me on IG, I post stories about my dog and food mostly – it’s quality stuff!) about taking a break from blogging. I wasn’t creating content I loved and I simply didn’t feel inspired to write about things I was truly passionate about. Sure, I can produce content weekly, even daily if I wanted to, but that’s not why I’m here in my little corner of the internet. I’m here because I have a passion for creating. So, long story short, I opted not to produce content just for the sake of having a blog post go live and I hope my followers can appreciate that because when I do post they know they’re getting the maximum.

Sooo frequently I’m asked “how do I become an influencer!?” or “how do I get free product?!” or “how do I start making money on Instagram!?” … and I’m always taken back before I answer. You see, you can’t go into this industry of blogging and being an influencer with the mindset that you’ll be able to quit your job immediately and bask in the glory of “free product” in exchange for a post. If that’s what your intention is, I’ll tell you right now, you probably won’t be happy. Being an influencer takes work, real work, and you’re not always compensated for your time. It’s not as simple as standing next to a cool wall with a cute outfit and taking photos. It’s creating content even when you’re not in front of a camera, planning your blog posts, and most importantly, constantly having your “business” in mind. Being that my background is in Public Relations and Marketing, specifically as it relates to social media, I have a really good grasp on the influencer market and on the ever changing world of Instagram, my platform of choice. Instagram is like an actual game of risk because it takes planning and determination to grow yourself organically. I could go on forever about Instagram but I’ll save that for another blog post. I’m continuously researching how to better myself and how to combat Instagram’s algorithm so that I’m able to share my successes and my failures with not only my Instagram friends but companies and brands. Now, remember what the title of this blog post is? Passion for Influence. That’s something raw and real. Each day, as I’m plotting my attack on IG (heehee), I remind myself why I’m doing what I do. Each time I have a fluctuation in engagement or my follower count isn’t at a constant incline, I remind myself why I continue to do what I do. Here’s the short answer, I have a passion for influencing others. I believe strongly that the power of influence can impact the lives of many and that’s why I’m here. Most of the time, I’m sharing products I love or collaborating with companies that I love to give you guys the best reviews and testimonials. However, I’m also sharing when I fall short. I’m hoping that by not only sharing the good but the bad too, that I’m able to positively impact someone. It’s not always about the number of followers you have or your engagement score, it’s about having fun with your content and being transparent to your followers!

Usually, when I tell people the long version of that story, they either decide that becoming an influencer isn’t as easy as they originally thought it would be and they move on with their life or they take the challenge head on to begin growing their brand. I’m not an expert and I have a long way to go to be where I want to be. There will always be influencers who are better than I am and do way more than I ever could, but I know that at the end of the day I’m giving this path I’ve chosen my all to strive for my ultimate goal of spreading my passion to create content and positively influence others to the masses. Happy Monday!

 

xx, Kaitlyn