Recently a friend of mine asked me for some recommendations for someone who has never been to the city of Chicago before.
Mind-blown Kristen was like WHAAA? NEVER BEEN TO CHICAGO??
Then my brain started turning, and thinking, and writing down a SUUPER, extra long list of things to do in Chicago, both touristy (obvi if you’ve never been to the Chi), and a few non touristy things for an at home feel.
Truthfully, there is obviously so much to do in the Windy City that I could not fit it all in one blog post, however, I am choosing to list a few of my personal favorite places that anyone would love while visiting Gotham City. (Batman WAS filmed in Chicago, ok?)
Navy Pier is an absolute MUST if you’re new to Chicago! You can walk up and down the boardwalk, see the beautiful view of the entire city from the pier, and you absolutely HAVE to ride the Ferris Wheel! You can’t miss it! Navy Pier also has a beautiful Botanical Garden that’s located inside of the building on the pier, along with a ton of other great things to do.
Obviously, The Bean is an absolute MUST. Whether you’re visiting in the freezing cold temps, or the beautiful summers, you absolutely have to take a picture with it. (Or a mirror selfie on the Bean)
Water Taxis definitely ARE a thing, and something you SHOULD do, along with Boat Tours on the Chicago River.
Also, going to the Willis (Sears, *eye roll*) Tower and standing on the glass is just something that I feel everyone needs to experience at least once in their lifetime.
Also, just simply going to a Cubs game can be SO much fun.
The Museum of Science & Industry is by far one of the most fun museums I have ever been to. Mind you I have not been since I was in elementary school, however, if you have kids I highly recommend this place!
The Art Institute actually blows my mind with how cool this place is. So aesthetically pleasing, and full of extremely interesting pieces that you definitely need to see.
The Shedd Aquarium is obviously everything you could ever imagine it to be. High schools in my area (sadly not mine) held their Prom at the Shedd Aquarium, so if that doesn’t scream something to you, then I don’t know what will.
The Field Museum, because who doesn’t want to go see real dinosaur bones, assembled into the actual dino?
Michigan Avenue is my personal favorite spot to spend all of my money, in this beautiful city. There is also Water Tower, which is a mall located on Michigan Ave. full of even more amazing shopping.
State Street is also a Chicago first-timer must because you just absolutely, positively HAVE to see how beautiful the Macy’s is inside. If you are lucky enough to go around Christmas time, I 10000% recommend that you eat in the Walnut Room that has a view of the biggest, indoor Christmas tree your eyes will EVER set themselves on. Oh, and they have a fairy who runs around spreading wishes by sprinkling glitter into your hair. (This is not a joke)
For pizza either Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s.
For more upscale places, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, RPM Steak, or RPM Italian, or Italian Village are all absolute amazing places that I recommend 100%.
Billy Goat Tavern is one that if you take a trip to Navy Pier you can stop in! There is also a location on Michigan Ave., and I mean who doesn’t want to go to a place that was on SNL?
If you have a sweet tooth, then you HAVE to go to Sprinkles! This cupcake shop allows you to grab a cupcake from an ATM!
Growing up in Chicago was such an amazing experience that I truly feel so grateful to have been able to do. There was always something to do, and new things to see.
As I stated above, there are obviously copious amounts of other things that you can do during your stay in Chicago!
I love music festivals.
If you know me, you know that I am not the girl who is going to wear glitter all over her body, and only pasties over my nipples kind of music festival girl.
I love the way the music is coming from all different directions, and when you hear a song playing It isn’t a recording; it’s the actual band playing that song. I love how you plan your day around your favorite stars who sing the ONE song you just absolutely HAVE to hear.
Hangout Festival is a music festival that takes place on the Gulf Shores of Alabama, and let me tell you, this festival is AMAZING.
Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is picturesque.
You can take a cute, Instagramable pic absolutely ANYWHERE at this festival.
I was surprised at how small the entire venue was once we walked along the entire layout, however It was absolutely perfect. Every corner had something new and exciting:
And seriously, SO, so much more.
This music festival was actually a dream. I had to open my eyes and really make myself believe that I was actually there because It was just that amazing.
Also, my fanny pack that was a lifesaver for a music festival is from Target and you can find It here!
Day two called for some ice cream, and a whole lotta MERICA!
My top is actually a swimsuit from Chubbies!
Day three was also very American themed, and my top is from SheIn and can be found here!
On both day two and three I decided to switch to some Old Navy Flip Flops that were much easier to switch from land to sand in!
If you ever have the opportunity to head down South during this music festival, I highly recommend you check It out. I am so thankful for my best friend and her family for making this trip happen for me, otherwise I would’ve never experienced such an amazing weekend.
$13 drinks will not be missed however, by the third day we FINALLY got smart and bought a $30 pouch that was huge (pictured above) but worth It.
Until next year Hangout!
CHAMPAIGN CAMPAIGN THIS GIRL IS 21!
I have waited for this day my entire life if I’m being honest with you. Being a bartender and constantly giving the drinks, this girl cannot wait to be the one getting the drinks, and exploring all of the amazing bars out here in Savannah.
Right now I am home in Chicago, getting ready for a weekend at Hangout Fest in the Gulf Shores of Alabama with one of my best friends from High School. After tips, and tricks from everyone, hearing people at the bar talk, and friends experiences, I wanted to put together a little 21’st birthday survival kit for the Basic White Girl. (Or anyone reading this!)
First things first…
Staying hydrated is not only my favorite skin care tip, but also my favorite hangover tip! If you make sure you are staying hydrated and drinking water in between drinks, you will be fine. Keeping that healthy balance between drinks, and water will keep you in the golden zone. Lately my favorite water has been Alkalife Ten Alkaline Spring water that has a perfect pH balance of 10.
The bottles are small enough to carry with you in any size bag for the night so you can always have water on hand with you.
This is a trick that I am not sure many know, however if you take a Vitamin B12 before your big night out for the first time, you will feel great the next day. When you drink, the alcohol depletes the body of vitamins, especially vitamin B12. The depletion of these vitamins is what causes the fatigue, aches, and extreme tired feelings that come with a hangover, so when you be proactive and take the time to replenish them into your body beforehand, your body won’t have a deficiency of these vitamins.
I have also heard that Honey has natural vitamin B12 in it, therefore taking a shot of honey before you leave for the night can also help cure a hangover the next day.
Eat greasy, and carb filled foods to line your stomach and ensure that the alcohol has something to soak up before completely entering your bloodstream without anything else in your system. This will also help you not get so drunk, so quickly! The slower you drink, the less of the hangover.
The next day, or even the night you get back, MOISTURIZE THE SKIN! The alcohol will be extremely dehydrating to the skin, (why you should be drinking water in between drinks!) so when you get home it is essential to do a super vitamin rich, hydrating mask on clean skin. I recommend the Jet Lag mask by Summer Fridays, and some Sheet Masks. These are both quick, mess free masks that will replenish the skin of the nutrients that were lost.
(Because no one wants ugly skin in all of their birthday insta pics, amirite ladies?)
The next day you will also want to make sure that you take in all of the nutrients that you can get, so it is important to start your day with a vitamin packed smoothie, and tons of fruits and veggies to get your metabolism back on track and bring back in those missing vitamins that were drank away the night before. (No harm, no foul)
Ok yes, I mean wear them, you kind of have to if you want to get into bars… however, what I MEAN is that you want to
A) Be sure to wear comfy shoes that you’re not going to drunkenly break an ankle in, and that you can do a lot of standing in just in case the bars are packed full!
B) Wear something that isn’t going to show your private areas if you’re bending over puking your brains out. (Sorry not sorry)
These nights can get pretty long when you’re new to the bar scene and can literally go all night long… so therefore you’re going to want to keep some refreshing spray in your bag to pump up the makeup and hair again. My fave is the Mario Badescu facial spray with Aloe to keep your skin looking glowing and not dull from all of the vegas bombs…
There is also no shame if your deodorant stops doing its job and you need to break out the freshening wipes. My current faves are the Pacifica Underarm Deodorant wipes.
Ok, so say for whatever reason you still seem to have that nasty hangover when your night is all said and done, Pedialite is not just for infants you know… and if that’s not so much your thing, then coconut water is a great, natural way to get some of those electrolytes back into your system.
Seriously though, all in all, in the end just make sure that you have the BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE! You’re only 21 once, so PARTY IT UP GIRLFRIEND!