Browsing Tag

logan square

11935005_10204909410878565_8136531672573262723_n
CheapWeek,

CheapWeek: Beer on Beer on Beer

8/17 – Potbelly and Empanadas

IMG_4325

I have friends in high places. When I say that, I mean my best friend Zack works at Potbelly corporate and occasionally bestows free sandwich cards on me. I used one today and always enjoy the jealous looks I get… Anyways, I decided that Potbelly wasn’t enough and headed over to Portillo’s for some cheese fries. My diet starts tomorrow. In a week.

Dan and I fixed the empanadas we tried to make the night before. Our fatal flaw was the crush, so we got some Pillsbury biscuits and flattened them out to make empanada crusts. It worked out so beautifully. Until we get the dough right, I’m planning on always having a backup plan in my fridge.

8/18 – Slurping Turtle and a Friendly Visit

IMG_4328

We had a new person start at work and were charged with taking him to lunch. Fine by me! I took the opportunity to suggest one of my favorite ramen spots – Slurping Turtle. The ramen is amazing. The broth is so good and not so spicy that you can’t handle it. The noodles are the perfect consistency. The only bad thing I can say about it is that they default to plastic chopsticks and I splashed ramen broth everywhere. I guess they don’t call it Slurping Turtle for nothing.

IMG_4329

The truly awesome event of the day was my best friend Jessica from when I studied abroad in Barcelona coming to visit from New York! We spent our first night reunited watching The Great Gatsby (one of my favorites) and made pasta. We have a lot of little traditions when we spend time together and that’s one of them. She ended up making a tomato sauce from scratch that integrated bacon grease. My hero. It was a relaxing but necessary night, since the rest of the week was to be filled up with a bunch of tourist and tradition-related activities.

8/19 – Beach and 3 Sheeps Brewing

11935679_10204909409958542_7887899736102531854_o

Today and tomorrow were the first vacation days I’ve taken in awhile, and I intended to use them to the fullest. After making english muffin breakfast sandwiches with bacon, peanut butter and banana, we headed to North Avenue Beach. Jessica has been to Chicago before, but never to the beach. We took Divvy (for Jessica) and my bike there to get in a little exercise and for the experience of biking the lakefront path – a must-do for any person visiting Chicago. We met up with my friend Rob and read our books and soaked up the sun. In my case, a little too much. Damn Irish skin.

11935005_10204909410878565_8136531672573262723_n

We went home to rinse off the sand, then decided we both needed haircuts. I was past due for one by about a month or two. I went to my new favorite spot – Civello. They do an awesome Groupon deal for a haircut (sold out right now but usually restocks in the beginning of the month) in the Young Professional Salon. Civello is an Aveda salon, so if you like their products, you’ll like this place. The “Young Professionals” have yet to disappoint me. Always a pleasant experience with aromatherapy, arm massage, head massage… and professional haircut and style. Jessica was very satisfied with hers as well.

IMG_4333

We stopped at Adagio Teas (because we’re obsessed with tea as you’ll soon discover) and I found out they do COLD BREW TEA. After a brief shopping trip, we headed over to Lakeshore Beverage for a blogger beer tasting with 3 Sheeps Brewing. The discussion was centered around dark beers. I’ll admit that I’m not the type to pick a dark beer when given a choice, but I came to the event with an open mind. We started with 3 Sheeps Really Cool Waterslides (an IPA), then dove into Paid Time Off, Baaad Boy Black Wheat and Hello My Name is Joe. I loved that we had access to Grant Pauly, the brewer and head honcho. My boyfriend joined Jessica and us. He’s a homebrewer and will be writing articles related to beers and brewing soon on the blog – stay tuned!

Screenshot 2015-08-31 20.06.51

We made it home a little buzzed on dark brews and Jessica made the most badass dinner – twice baked potatoes and steak. I passed out after filling up my belly.

8/20 – The Art Institute and Mario’s Table

IMG_4341

I got a lot of Fitbit steps in today. I woke up slowly and enjoyed a simple breakfast with Jessica while waiting for my sister to drive up to the city. We made our way down to the Art Institute, since Thursdays are Illinois resident free days. Unfortunately that deal didn’t start until 5pm. So we used our time to get some downtown shopping done. I got a tea canister and some jasmine green tea from DavidsTea that was on sale. Then we went to Forever 21. Forever 21 has the cutest and most affordable workout gear… I couldn’t stop myself from getting a new top.

Screenshot 2015-08-31 20.06.36

Soon, we headed back to the Art Institute and I took Jessica and Darya through Asian Art exhibits, some American classics, and Greek statues. After all the shopping and art, we were getting hangry.

11947501_10204909412278600_4824743692101841981_n

One of Social Media Beast’s clients is Mario’s Table, and today happened to be their 20th anniversary party. So we headed there. Just as we got there, several of my coworkers were leaving, having just enjoyed a delicious Italian meal. My boss was there with family and friends and sent us a free appetizer… what a guy. The wine was $20 (regularly $35), the chicken parmesan I got was seasoned perfectly, and I got a free bottle of olive oil to take home. And a gift card to come back. What a great event.

8/21 – Cafe Baba Reeba and a Drag Show at Hydrate

11899905_10204909421398828_7868536713246496360_n

Jessica and I both had to work today, so we chilled on the couch together and got it done. We took a late afternoon jog, then cleaned up for dinner. It was a true Barcelona reunion, since we planned on meeting another study abroad friend (Chris) at a Spanish tapas place, my favorite – Cafe Baba Reeba. We enjoyed some shared bites and mango “sangria,” then headed to Chris’ place for a quick drink. He has the cutest little baby kitten! I fell in love.

11903822_10204909422398853_2160788686965295013_n

Later in the evening, we went to Hydrate Night Club in Boystown for a drag show. I’d never been to a real drag show, so this was an awesome experience to share with Jessica and Chris. Hydrate is $5 to get into the drag show with a two drink minimum, but the drinks are pretty affordable. Make sure to bring some singles to tip the performers if you go. Also, there’s some performers the straight ladies will appreciate… but I’ll let you go there and figure it out for yourself 😉

8/22 – Royal Run, Chinatown and Afternoon Tea at the Allis

11222232_10204909423518881_1865337594840579810_n

Jessica and I didn’t stay out late after the drag show, since we had a run early this morning. It was the Royal Run, and I’ve got to say… the event kind of sucked. Not that many people showed up, the start location was a 10 minute drive from the one listed on all race materials, and it wasn’t a full 5k… whoops. Regardless, it was Jessica’s first 5k, and I was happy to share the experience with her. And we got some capes. People were cheering us on the whole time.

11951389_10204909425998943_5514948752007381481_n

We took a little nap, the headed to Chinatown. Jessica has a goal to visit every Chinatown, and Chicago was no exception. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Jessica’s favorite. Though we did drink some delicious bubble tea and shared some gargantuan noodle dishes. Jessica realized too late that a family of four shared the dish she ended up ordering… no chance of finishing it. Definitely check it out if you’re in Chinatown with a friend. Entrees are around $10 and can easily serve two or more.

11949483_10204909427078970_3045925195047056735_n

One of our traditions is getting afternoon tea. Today I took Jessica to The Allis, one of the public restaurants of Soho House. The serve a mean afternoon tea, and even accommodated Jessica’s egg allergies. The space is adorable – the perfect place to take a group of girls or your mom.

Jessica and I made our way home, then I joined my boyfriend in Logan Square for a few hours. Deschutes Brewery had a public event in a park, not unlike New Beligum’s event earlier in the summer. There were a bunch of different types of beer, food trucks, and live music.

I didn’t stay up late – it was Jessica’s last night in town. I went home and we relaxed for the rest of the night.

This kitty was in my hallway. Signs around the building claim he just walked in and nobody knew his owner. So I had an apartment cat for about... an hour.

This kitty was in my hallway. Signs around the building claim he just walked in and nobody knew his owner. So I had an apartment cat for about… an hour.

8/23 – One Year Anniversary <3

Screenshot 2015-08-31 20.06.01

Jessica left super early… like 5am. I spent most of the day lounging around with my boyfrend. We watch A Clockwork Orange… can you believe I’ve never seen it? Later in the day, we headed for Wicker Park. We don’t actually know when to count our one year anniversary, but decided that we would celebrate it today. We started the night at Big Star. We both love tacos, so it’s weird that we hadn’t given Big Star a chance yet. It didn’t disappoint – the tacos had unique flavors and were quite satisfying. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time when you come – there’s ALWAYS a line. Even Sunday at 9pm. After indulging on tacos and beer, we headed right across the street to Violet Hour. The theme of the night was places we’ve never been to. After Violet Hour got a James Beard award for Outstanding Bar Program, I knew I had to make it in. Besides all the other glowing recommendations from friends. It’s an interesting place – a speakeasy that’s hard to find unless there’s already a line queueing up. We went inside and they offered us some top-shelf liquor to sip on while making our drinks. We both got too and were considerably tipsy upon leaving. Although the drinks are more expensive here than your typical bar, they’re more dense with liquor. Plus they taste great! I’ll admit I’m not huge on craft cocktails, but I appreciated all the work that went into these.

Don’t just read about good deals – get them yourself! Find of-the-moment updates by liking Chicago Cheap Ass on Facebook.

 

Thanks to my amazing photographer friend Jessica Chuang for some of these pictures!

chicago cheap ass (18)
Life, Pets,

How to Choose a Chicago Veterinarian

no comment

Hey Chicagoans,

Hopefully everyone had a great holiday weekend and was able to soak up some sun and hang with your pets! I know I did and as a result, my dog is officially over the city and in love with the suburbs. Big yard, tons of grass, no loud noises, actual windows to look out of, what’s a dog not to love?

This week let’s talk about taking care of your pet. There are a multitude of things you’ll consider when taking care of your pet. What is a good Chicago vet for long term care? Do you want to trust Yelp reviews? What to do in the event of an emergency?

When I moved to Chicago in 2013, I brought Rizzo with me. He’s my clearance puppy I adopted from the Monroe County Humane Society in Bloomington, IN for $20 (no joke). I had Rizzo throughout a tough senior year at IU, so needless to say I am pretty attached to the little guy. Once in Chicago I spent about a month trying to figure out which Chicago vet provided great bedside manner, nice facilities and was reasonably priced… Your Pets Wellness stuck out like a sore thumb. They’re located in Bucktown at 2319 N. Damen Ave and 2659 N. Milwaukee Ave in Logan Square.

Dr. Jessica Miller and Dr. Dory Stricker are absolutely AMAZING and are the nicest people you could trust to take care of your pet. The first day I brought Rizzo, they were very thorough in getting to know me, Rizzo and our lifestyles before making any assessments. Their bedside manner is nicer than many human doctors I’ve seen. Not to mention their staff is always on top of their game in scheduling and reminding you when you have an upcoming appointment. Their staff always follows up with us right after an appointment just to see how Rizzo is doing and feeling – talk about customer service! They took care of registering Rizzo with the city and providing me with his Dog Friendly Area (DFA tags). So now he’s legit.

As a reminder folks, make sure you register your animal with the city! DFA tags require your dog to have certain vaccines before going to the dog parks and beaches. Otherwise you’re putting your dog and other dogs at serious risk of contracting diseases/viruses and nobody wants that. Not to mention the Chicago Police can write you a HEFTY fine for not having these tags. Try wiggling out of that ticket – it’s a public health hazard. 

I’ve only been to their Bucktown location but the facility is top-notch and very welcoming. You literally feel like you’re being invited in, which is odd stuff at a vet, right? They have snacks and drinks for their customers to enjoy while they wait, and plenty of treats for your animals too. Cat lovers – They’re also a Silver Standard Cat Friendly Practice certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). When it comes to taking care of my dog convenience is a big thing for me. Fortunately their practice has an online portal for new and existing patients to use. Before I went for our first visit I filled out all the new patient paper work online which saved me so much time! Just be sure to have your animal’s previous medical records on hand before you go if you’re new! If your animal is on constant medication, their online pharmacy is super easy to use and will deliver right to your door. Easy peasy. It also has a section dedicated to learning ways to treat and train your animals, I got to reading the article : www.thepamperedpup.com/best-strongest-indestructible-dog-crate-reviews/ and have a renewed confidence in what to buy when in comes to crates for big dogs. I also learned how to use them properly which has always kept me from getting one.

One of the things that really makes me feel like a valued customer is that I never feel like I’m being pushed into a course of treatment or a high-end bill. Any time I’ve had to make an appointment for something semi serious everyone takes the time to speak with me and understand the situation in its entirety. After which they examine Rizzo and then explain to me what they believe to be the best course of action. While providing an alternative course while talking about the cost and what I’m comfortable with. As a customer that is what I believe to be a practice doing their due diligence. You can feel assured that you made the correct decision.

That is all I have for right now. I’ll write another post soon with some other places around the city you can go to for quick vaccinations and where you can go in the event of an emergency!