Get Soxy with the Strike Out ALS 5K

Did you know May is ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Awareness Month?! We certainly did not until we learned about an awesome charity run on July 14th, the Strike Out ALS 5K.  Go beyond the ice bucket and #challengeALS by raising … Continue reading

Fitness Friday: Travel Fit with Hyatt Chicago and The Barre Code

Music festivals, street food, Summer Dance, Taste of Chicago, baseball games: Chicago is a tourist’s dream.  Even us natives like a good hotel staycation to explore all that this great city has to offer.  But after all those donuts, Chicago dogs and Malort, you may need a good workout!

As travelling and fitness aren’t always synonymous, the Hyatt Regency Chicago is giving your health a helping hand with heart pumping in-room workout videos from the Barre Code.  Started in Chicago, the Barre Code has expanded across the country due to its’ poppy music, female friendly environment and muscle shaping moves.  Instead of Bearing Down (Chicago Bears!), you can barre up with specially created sets of body weight based strength training and intense cardio.  Each video unexpectedly uses common in-room items like towels, chairs and pillows to add functionality.  Guests can pump up the difficulty by borrowing free weights and yoga mats for no extra cost.  The 24 hour availability of workouts insure that business or pleasure doesn’t barre fitness endeavors!

Hyatt Chicago is seated downtown at 151 East Wacker Drive near Mag Mile.  This Sunday, April 26th 11 AM – 2 PM, Hyatt Chicago and The Barre Code are hosting a complimentary fun-filled fitness.

The Barre Code has studios throughout Chicago and is opening a new studio in Oak Park, IL at the beginning of May.  Studios also exist in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas with more to come!

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Get Sauced with Chicago’s Underground Culinary Culture

Two mysterious events this week entice those strong of heart and sound of mind. Darling, will you wander down dark hallways to weave your culinary wants?

Tonight!  The Sauced Night Market makes its way to Emporium Logan Square.  This night market takes place once a month on a Tuesday and hops from hip spot to hip spot (how hop hip).  Meander through aisles of local vittles like Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits while you sip on a apertif (a·pe·ri·tif noun an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite) from Chicago Distillery. Get sassy (or saucy) to DJ beats and peruse the fine elixirs of Windy City Beard Co (works for your mustaches too ladies and gents!).

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Do you dare to join us!?

Sauced Night Market
Tuesday April 21st

6 pm – 11 pm

Emporium Logan Square

1366 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Free

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Wait, you don’t dare?  You prefer to prep for an impending apocalypse?  Build your emergency fridge ideas with Sauce and Bread Kitchen’s event: The Stew Survivalist Supper.  After all, if your last moments on earth are filled with culinary delights perhaps you can eat away the memories of those zombie attacks. Sauce and Bread Kitchen outlines it best

“Cooks Anne Kostroski (Crumb Chicago, SBK) and Mike Bancroft (Co-op Sauce, SBK) are digging back into this freeze dried genre after a 5 year hiatus with wide mole eyes.  They will wow you with a multi-course menu that without advance warning, one would never know could have come from canned, foraged, dried, or fermented foods.  If you are going to survive the apocalypse the least you can do is rock it in style”.  And rock it, you shall.  Hunker down and bunker up.

The Stew Survivalist Supper
Wednesday April 22nd

7 pm – 10 pm

Sauce and Bread Kitchen

6338 N. Clark Street

Fit, Free and Fun for Spring

Finally!  Events are starting to pick up and Chicago is bringing it’s S game.  Super. Spectacular. Spring.

We are so excited to share some of our secret spring events this week to put that sprang back in your step.

Tuesday April 14th (Lincoln Monument) and Thursday April 15th (Pritzker Pavilion) and every Tues, Thurs in April

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North Face Mountain Athletics

We got our first taste of Mountain Athletics at the kickoff event at the end of March on a clear 50 degree day and man, we didn’t know what to expect.  Our duo of personal trainers explained that each week focuses on a different body area all while integrating the core.  We went through a series of intervals all using our own body weight.  Exercise sets can be modified to fit your level of fitness which makes the workout approachable yet challenging.  We loved the partner exercises so bring a pal and get ready to sweat.

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Tuesday 4/14 (and Tuesday nights each week)

BENDER FLAVOR LAB

Calling all house heads slash yogis!  Bender Flavor Lab serves up a hot serving of unique fitness and jams each Tuesday at the Lab Dance Studio.  Each week holds a different theme and DJ set but always gives you snacks and water in an urban street art styled loft space.

Bonus: Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s on Tuesday 4/14!

Wednesday April 15th

Big City Blonde and Goldplaited presents a trivia and pampering event: “Blondes vs. Brunettes”.  Get competitive, red heads and dark locked people can rock the trivia too.  Participants can win glam make up prizes, indulge in styling and make up tutorials from Goldplaited, and obvs flex their hair color knowledge.  We need to study up!  Rsvp here.

Friday April 17th (through Sunday April 19th)

Pure Barre is is partnering with Real Simple for a “Beauty & Balance” Weekend April 17-19.  Stop by any of the participating locations to take a “Pure & Simple” specialty class.  To register for one of these special classes, please visit the local studio page and find the “Real Simple’s ‘Pure & Simple’ Class” on your studio’s schedule and click “Sign Up Now.”  New clients are welcome to try a complimentary class using the promo code “REALSIMPLE” – make sure to select the “Real Simple Class” option and enter this promo code upon checkout.

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Saturday April 18

It is time to Live Out Loud Everyday with Lole Activewear.  In celebration of the new Lole Southport location, they are having a grand opening party and fashion show brunch across the street at the Yoga Loft located at 1350 W Newport.  The store is directly across the street at 3434 N Southport Ave.

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image borrowed from Lole

Lole Spring/Summer Collection Preview Fashion Show
Doors Open:  10am
Show Time:  11am
Mimosa’s and brunch from Kitchfix, a $15 Lole voucher, and a Goodie Bag.  $10 Ticket donation going to CTF Children’s Tumor Foundation.

My Om My! Free Holiday Yoga with Lululemon Chicago

Admit it.  You deserve a break from the holidays already and those snowman cookies you’ve gorging on lately certainly aren’t relieving any stress.  Well, real holiday relief is on the way!  In the spirit of the season, Lululemon on Rush & Walton has wrapped up the gift of free yoga classes, ceremoniously titled “12 Days of OM”,  at a diverse set of Chicago based studios for all of us in need of a good Shavasana.  We did a test run last night for the 2nd day of OM at Yoga Fuzion.  Nestled in River North, Yoga Fuzion’s studio space has all the accouterments you would expect from the posh neighborhood.  It boasts infrared heating technology, free towel and mat rental, and a special cushy moisture reducing floor.  During our 1 hour yoga journey with Rachel, we delighted in some much needed detoxing twists (goodbye pumpkin pie!) and a toasty heated temp which was a surprise perk given the 20 degree freeze yesterday.

We sweated it up and still somehow looked glowy at the end.  Ok, so maybe we snuck a brush in our gym bags and tussled our hair a bit before the “op”.

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Yoga Fuzion in River North

Following practice, we chatted it up with Jonna from Lululemon and indulged in mango lemonade, cucumber mint water and fresh veggies.  She explained that class sign-ups are released each Friday and pointed us to the sign up link for “12 Days of OM” on Eventbrite.  Jonna presented us a special gift in the #nohumbug Lululemon tradition, a cute coral colored sweat wicking pink stripe tank for Monica!  ‘Tis the season for you to jump on the free yoga sleigh ride as well.  Check out the “12 Days of Om” schedule below, back away from the cookies and throw those capri and tank in your gym bag!  Next classes include Power Vinyasa Flow at Yoga Loft and Mat Pilates at Lateral Fitness.

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So You Think You Can Be a Barista?

Google+ Local Chicago has really been pumping out the Chicago Jams lately with their events.  Our most recent Google City Expert (YEAAAH we love this city!) special invite was a behind the scenes tour and experience at Bow Truss Coffee Roasters on Broadway.  We have been dreaming about quitting our day jobs and becoming fancy free baristas so this was a chance to test our naturally caffeinated talents.

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We first were schooled in the fine art of coffee roasting.  Holy espresso nibs, did you know that coffee beans are really the seeds of coffee cherries?  We basically thought there were tiny beans jus’ chilling on trees waiting to get plucked.  Once these cherries are harvested, they are shipped off to get naked as their skin and pulp is removed.  What remains is the green coffee seed (Is this the famed green coffee from Starbucks?  The world may never know…as we are too lazy to google it right now).

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Green coffee beans

Next, the seeds are processed and are prepped for roasting.  We watched intently as our coffee guide poured the coffee beans into the roaster and constantly monitored their color and the temp of the roaster.  Once completed, we snuck our way over to weigh and bag our very own bag of Google+ Local coffee beans, roasted especially for us.

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Roasted coffee beans

A few pics later, and we were broken into two groups of coffee adventurers.  Our group joined Barista Greg for a lesson on home coffee brewing.  Neither one of us ever had or made a pour over before so we were ready to coffee rumble with our Pour over devices.  Monica’s finished coffee was a standout winner in the group with notes of red apple and flowers.  Who knew coffee tasting was akin to wine tasting?  We judged on body, undertones, and weight as Greg swirled our creations in his mouth and did the fancy tasting spit to make way for a new flavor.

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Our most delightful and enlighten session was latte art.  Here is where baristas are born, not made.  We were treated to several shots of espresso as a reasonable bedtime became increasingly unrealistic.  Our barista, Brian (hope we spelled it right!), showed us how to magically pour the milk into the espresso to create hearts in our lattes.  Monica was again the front runner with her baby heart while mine looked more like a fetus or possibly Boo from Mario Kart.

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It was evident by my shaking hands that when we open a coffee shop, Monica will be the barista where I can book the entertainment and lead the tastings for quality control.

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Kate’s first attempt at latte art!

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Monica’s first attempt was a success!

A big thank you to Google+ Local Chicago and Bow Truss for letting us experience the daily grind (get it? get it?) of baristas.  We happily recommend a private coffee tutorial for groups as the staff at Bow Truss was beyond knowledgeable, friendly and a trip through their roasting house would be a special treat for any coffee-phile.

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