Monday, June 23, 2014

Chicago Food Favorites, Part II (See Jane Eat)

Two summers ago, I gave recommendations of my favorite Chicago restaurants and thought I'd share some new places.  Just like last time, I included restaurants in various neighborhoods around the city.  Also, be sure to check out my instagram, too, as I often tag the restaurants where I eat.

Best steakhouse: Bavettes Bar + Beouf (a great place even for a non-beef eater!)
Best doughnuts: Stan's Donuts (bonus: they have delicious coffee)
Best patio: Parsons Chicken + Fish (sorry, Big Star--I can't deal with your four hour wait times anymore; Parson's only has a TWO hour wait)
Best pizza: Spacca Napoli (I still love Piece but if I want true, Italian pizza, go to Spacca Napoli)
Best gelato: Black Dog (go for the unique flavors; I love the goat cheese cashew!)
Best cheap eats: L'Patron Tacos (tips: pick it up to go. the veggie burrito is the best I've had. and order the guacamole + chips)
Best group dinner: Cho Sun Ok (It's the most delicious Korean BBQ I've had outside of LA and yes, the waitresses are brusque, but it's all in good fun)
Best dessert: Bang Bang Pie Shop (The key lime pie is so good, I'd eat it for breakfast)
Best Chinese: Lao Sze Chaun (Must head to Chinatown for the best--and Lao Sze Chaun is delicious)
Best kale salad: Siena Tavern (I had to include something healthy on here, although, I'm not sure it's considered healthy seeing as how delicious it is.  Their meatball is also amazing)

I've lived in this fair city for seven years now, so if you want any other lists (i.e. beauty, bars, shopping, baby friendly) let me know!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Newborn Essentials (See Jane Learn)

  1. stroller - quite possibly my most researched item--and I love it.
  2. iPad - because you will be watching a lot of netflix during feedings and naptimes.
  3. crib - you want safety and style for your little one (I went with an Oeuf crib).
  4. nursery art - you'll spend a lot of time in the nursery, so choose art you won't tire of seeing.
  5. bibs - one hyphenated word: spit-up.
  6. bath products - I swear, nothing smells better than a freshly washed baby.
  7. car seat - I chose the Cybex for its safety standards and sleek look (and it attaches to my stroller!)
  8. nursing tank - let's be real; you'll be spending most of the first month in yoga pants and a nursing bra.
  9. swaddle blankets - lightweight and great for travel.
  10. boppy - I found this especially helpful for nursing after a c-section AND as a safety net for guests fearful of holding a newborn. 
  11. grass pad - the best bottle holder.
  12. baby monitor - the Snuza is great for the parent who spends every five minutes checking on their child's breathing (like me!).

I would never categorize myself as a baby person.  I'm a youngest child through and through (youngest of four, to be exact), which means my interaction with babies was minimal until my nephews and niece came along.  I was reluctant to even hold them when they were babies for fear of breakage--seriously.

Now that I have my own little man, I've learned a thing or two in these early days--first being how to hold a baby, of course.  As for the rest, well, there is a learning curve; I learn something new every day so at this point, I know about 0.0006% there is to know about babies.  These first two months have been an incredible journey and my biggest takeaway is that you can't plan for anything--not even for how much you will love your little person (it's overwhelming how much you can love them!).  BUT you can have some essentials beforehand, which will at least make you feel (falsely) prepared.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Party Dressing (See Jane Wear)

J Crew dress, Coach shoes, Cuyana bag (c/o), Saint Laurent sunglasses
This party dress was the perfect pick for a friend's baby shower this weekend.  Thank goodness summer is here!