Great Finds at Belmont Army Store, Chicago

A couple weekends ago, I spent an afternoon shopping around Boystown, Chicago with a couple friends. I lived in downtown Chicago for about five months, but I had never really properly explored this part of the city. Coming from Madison, it was refreshing to see the vibrancy and energy of Chicago…not to mention all the amazing places to go shopping. One of my favorite places from this trip was the Belmont Army Store, which boasted four floors of amazing and unique merchandise. The first floor was a hip, urban boutique, the second a shoe store, the third an army surplus store (coming back here when I have more time to explore this for longer!) and the fourth a perfectly overwhelming vintage shop. I think I could have spent a good half a day in there, but being pressed for time (our parking meter was dangerously close to running out, and we were still at least five L stops away), I only purchased one dress, below, by BB Dakota for $72. That’s more than I would usually spend on a dress, but the fit is perfect and $72 is worth the experience of this shop!Chicago Army Store 2Chicago Army Store 3Chicago Army Store 1Boystown ChicagoBoystown Chicago 1What’s your favorite Chicago find?



p.s. Want to know how I’d style a stripe dress like this? Check out 3 Ways to Style Zig Zags and Stripes.

Windy City Run: Lake Front Trail & Grant Park

LakeFrontTrailRun- Chicago

Wow, was it great to be back in Chicago! My sister and I went down to the city for Easter weekend and took the opportunity to run through Grant Park and the Lake Front Trail. I started training for distance races about nine months ago, so I never ran in downtown Chicago when I lived in the city. Now I realize what I missed! The day was a gorgeous (though cloudy) with temps in the 50s. For two girls coming from 30 degree weather in Wisconsin, it was heaven! Below are some of my favorite pictures from the run (and some of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books):

Chicago Run 1

Chicago Run 2

“You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.”
― Christopher McDougall, Born to RunChicago Run 3 Chicago Run 4

“That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind’s first fine art, our original act of inspired creation.”
Chicago Run 5 Chicago Run 6 Chicago Run 7

“Try the meditation of the trail, just walk along looking at the trail at your feet and don’t look about and just fall into a trance as the ground zips by,” Kerouac wrote. “Trails are like that: you’re floating along in a Shakespearean Arden paradise and expect to see nymphs and fluteboys, then suddenly you’re struggling in a hot broiling sun of hell in dust and nettles and poison oak… just like life.”
Chicago Run 8 Chicago Run 9 Chicago Run 10

“…there was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love [running]. The engineering was certainly the same: both depended on loosening your grip on your own desires, putting aside what you wanted and appreciating what you’ve got, being patient and forgiving and… undemanding…maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that getting better at one could make you better at the other.”

Chicago Run 11 Chicago Run 12

“The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other,… but to be with each other.”

― Christopher McDougall, Born to Run

Where is your favorite running or cycling destination?



Thanksgiving in Chicago: Christkindlmarket & Zoo Lights

Last weekend, I made my annual visit to Chicago’s Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. The event features traditional Bavarian food (like brat wurst, potato pancakes, mulled wine…and beer of course) as well as German holiday gifts, many of which are handmade. I followed the German Christmas market with a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, which are, in fact, just as good as I remember them being when I was six. I even had time to stop by Swirlz Cupcakes for one of the best cupcakes in the city.


Happy Holidays!