Weekend Reading

Bows & Sequins making gourmet hot chocolate in her Chicago apartment.

Gahh, it’s been a few weeks (/months) since I’ve shared some of my favorite links across the web! So let’s get to it, shall we?

This happened when I was in China (battling a 14-hour time difference) so I feel like I might have not mentioned it yet, but HAVE YOU SEEN HALLIE’S NEW BLOG NAME AND NEW SITE DESIGN?! Oh my gosh. I am obsessed, among other things. 😜 See what I did there?

Charlotte tweeted me a link to this and I was crying laughing… Have you seen Single Bridget’s annual holiday cards?! 😂😂😂

This is literally the best thing I’ve seen on the internet in months. Grace knocked it out of the park with this quirky gift guide! (Seriously, if you click on one thing, let this be it. You’ll thank me later.)

Loved these tips from Cait… A must-read for anyone considering getting a pet! (Her dad is a veterinarian, too!)

I get so many emails asking to pick my brain about advice for growing a blog. While there’s definitely not some “secret sauce” as most are expecting to hear, these are a lot of the same tips I always give! Six Tips from Successful Bloggers

I’m always looking for gifts that give back… For every Origins Feel Good Candle that’s purchased, they plant a tree!

I found out about this JDRF gala in Chicago too late and already had obligations… Hoping to go next year though!

Loving Grace’s apartment all dressed up for the holidays!

Dying to plan a trip to Bermuda after Mackenzie’s post!

I loved Kelly’s husband’s Gift Guide for Guys!

Did you see Merritt on Town & Country? Go girl!

I know everyone raves about Shake Shack, but I’m more of a Portillo’s girl. If you ever find yourself in Chicago wanting some hangover food (i.e. burgers, fries, hot dogs, etc), GO!! I seriously so freaking good. My go-to order? Hamburger and cheese fries with a chocolate cake shake. (Yes, they put a piece of chocolate cake into a milk shake. 🐷 And yes, I get an extra order of cheese sauce from the fries and put it onto my hamburger because it’s better than the sliced cheese.) I just read that Portillo’s is actually opening a location in Champaign, the town I went to college in. THANK GOODNESS it wasn’t there when I was in school, that’s all I have to say. Godspeed to you college kids at University of Illinois, Godspeed.

Did you know Starbucks is planning to open a few Italian bakeries in the US? Looks like Chicago (West Loop) might be the first one!

Another fun Chicago update — Jeni’s Ice Cream is coming to Armitage in Lincoln Park! Can’t wait to check out Foxtrot.

Loved this series when she did it before… Great ideas this time, too! 4 Outfit Ideas for Winter Dates on The Stripe

And on a bit of a different note, my friend Hitha started a company that makes finding and donating to causes so easy. Through Bridge2Act, $1000 has been raised for the Karam Foundation, an incredible nonprofit that’s been working in Syria helping children since 2007. Here is the donation link if you’re able to donate!

Leave a Comment


  1. 12.16.16
    caroline commented:

    omg I LOVED that funny gift guide! I have a friend I really need to share it with!
    x0x0 Caroline http://thecarolove.com/

  2. 12.16.16
    Taylor commented:

    Your note about Portillo’s has me hungrier for lunch earlier than usual! People always say I’m crazy for just getting a burger and fries at Portillo’s while everyone else is feasting on the Italian beef sandwiches. But honestly, I think Portillo’s might have been the first real (non mcdonalds hah..) burger I had as a kid growing up in Wheaton and I’ve been hooked ever since. I work in Skokie and the one near Old Orchard mall is WAY too close and the temptation is real..

    Enjoy the weekend & stay warm!


  3. 12.16.16
    Charlotte commented:

    Hahaha so happy to hear that you loved that link to Bridget’s Christmas cards as much as I did. Happy Friday, Jess! 🙂

  4. 12.16.16
    Mother Teresa commented:

    Your Godspeed comment about Portillo’s opening in Champaign and warning the college students at the University of Illinios Urbana Champaign has me still laughing.
    You never had the freshman 15, but you & I know you would have eaten their daily (maybe multiple meals )!! I remember a few years ago having to wait in their long drive thru line on a cold December in some Chicago suburb after a long day of shopping and such. I was SO tired and you kept saying “But it’s SO good and it’ll be SO worth it, their cheese fries are to die for!”
    Maybe they can hire you as part of their promotional team in Chambana!

  5. 12.16.16
    Mother Teresa commented:

    Although you never had the freshman 15 … you & I both know you would have eaten their daily if not multiple times in a day!
    I still remember a few years back having to wait in their LONG drive thru lane in a Chicago suburb on a cold December night after spending the day shopping and whatnot being EXTREMELY tired and you said “Mom … it’ll be SO worth the wait – you’ll just love their cheese fries!!” I happen to LOVE their lasagna!!
    Your comment warning the students at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign of their impeding demise with the announcement of a Portillo’s opening this year was hilarious!! They should consider hiring you for their new store promotional team!