A Date With The Everygirl in Chicago

Did you know it takes two editors in Chicago and a hefty team of eleven women spread across the United States to produce the content on The Everygirl? While our team is a relatively young one, we've managed to accomplish quite a bit under the fearless leadership of founders Danielle and Alaina via the grand ole internet. It was only a matter of time before we all got together, and thanks to The W Hotel, we had that opportunity just a couple of weeks ago.

We flew into Chicago to meet, eat, play, and most importantly, plan the future of our content but not the boring old fashioned way. We did it The Everygirl way. Our meeting room at the The W's newly renovated Lakeshore location boasted stunning views of Lake Michigan and The Navy Pier, we were spoiled with delicious local foods, and a sweet swag bag from generous sponsors. But, the best part? We enjoyed each other's company and got to know our team on a deeper level. If you ask me, team building trips are essential to building a strong company. I walked away feeling more inspired and excited to continue developing the food section with Lauren, the best co-editor and hotel roomie anyone could ask for!

After a fruitful conference, I had Friday morning to re-explore Chicago. Josh and I lived there for six months after Hurricane Katrina and we instantly fell in love with the city.  We visited every year for four years following, but's been a minute since my last visit.  Since you can't beat The W Hotel's location, I started with a trip to the Ohio Street Beach for some sun followed by a nice, long walk downtown with some time at the Chicago River.  Chicago is the perfect combination of New York City's hustle with New Orleans' soul, and I think you're pretty lucky if you get to call it home!

Will always be in awe of the Chicago River.

Will always be in awe of the Chicago River.

Our cool, modern, clean hotel room at The W Lakeshore.

Our cool, modern, clean hotel room at The W Lakeshore.

A beautiful day at the Ohio Street Beach.

A beautiful day at the Ohio Street Beach.

The setting at Current Restaurant.

The setting at Current Restaurant.

With my food team co-editor Lauren (Photo by: Katie Kett Photography)

With my food team co-editor Lauren (Photo by: Katie Kett Photography)

Doing what we do best! #dreamteam (Photo by: Katie Kett Photography)

Doing what we do best! #dreamteam (Photo by: Katie Kett Photography)

A quintessential Chicago lunch: Lou Manali's & local 312 beer. (Photo by: Katie Kett Photography)

A quintessential Chicago lunch: Lou Manali's & local 312 beer(Photo by: Katie Kett Photography)

MAKE LIFE ONE LONG WEEKEND.

MAKE LIFE ONE LONG WEEKEND.

The Everygirl Team! (photo by: Katie Kett Photography)

The Everygirl Team! (photo by: Katie Kett Photography)

Had to take another shot.

Had to take another shot.

Chicagooooo.

Chicagooooo.

Hi!

Hi!

And another one. Toodles!

And another one. Toodles!


My Mini Vacay with Dog Vacay

If I haven't formally introduced you yet, this is Jameson. My rambunctious, sensitive, sweet, handsome Boston Terrier. At just over three years old, he's stolen both Josh and my heart since the minute we got him. For many reasons. The intensive cuddling, the endearing snores, and I mean, THAT FACE. 

With all the traveling I've been doing and Josh's intense work schedule, not to mention us not living together at this time (short-long distance sucks!), we were adamant about getting in some quality time. A frustrating thing about having a pet is that while you want to take them on vacations, hotels generally aren't accomodating. Factor in flights and all that jazz, and it's just impossible. We generally rely on his parents or my little sister to take care of Jameson while we're away. They do a wonderful job, but sometimes we don't want to inconvenience them.

I caught news of Dog Vacay, a website and app that makes finding great pet sitters as simple as AirBnB. Pet owners can search for pet sitters nearby, book stays and pay online, all with just a couple clicks. The reservation included free pet insurance, around the clock customer service, and daily photo 'pup' dates! I was able to browse several hosts around my area and found someone who was flexible and could stay with Jameson at my home, an important factor for me because he does best in his own environment. Once our reservation was booked, we arranged a meeting so Jameson could meet his new friend. She was delightful and immediately put Jameson, and more importantly my paranoid mind, at ease. During our trip, we received daily 'pup'dates, or pictures, of what Jameson was up to and came home to a happy puppy. It was an overall great experience!

If you're interested in signing up for DogVacay, use the promo code UPPERLYNE for $10 off your first reservation (new users only).  If you have any questions about the site, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. I'd be happy to help! 

While we were taking full advantage of Florida's beautiful white sandy beaches..

While we were taking full advantage of Florida's beautiful white sandy beaches..

Jameson was walking his friendly host for the weekend.

Jameson was walking his friendly host for the weekend.

And putting her to work with his favorite game, the old toss and fetch.

And putting her to work with his favorite game, the old toss and fetch.

So happy to be back home and have Jameson back from his #minivacay! 

So happy to be back home and have Jameson back from his #minivacay! 

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by DogVacay in exchange for writing this review, but all opinions are my own.


Summer Black and Gold

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This blouse from Target's Rodarte collaboration a few years ago still remains one of my favorites. Remember Dakota Fanning in the leopard dress? So good. I paired the top with black satin wide leg pants for this dinner at Le Petite Grocery. You probably think I'm crazy for wearing all black during the dog days of summer, but the key here is to wear light and airy fabrics that won't stick to your skin. Plus, you can eat as much bread as you want! And that's just what I did.

images: kytana

SHOP SIMILAR ITEMS


West Elm New Orleans Opening

Last week's West Elm festivities still have me in a happy frenzy.  It started with a giveaway that sweet Juliet Meeks won and an Upperlyne & Co. home office makeover. Then, a dinner at Le Petite Grocery with the amazing West Elm corporate team, including creative director Vanessa Holden, who I've been obsessed with since reading her The Everygirl career profile. (If you haven't read it, hop on over here.) Just as I was making a bee line to the dinner table, Vanessa tracks me down to introduce herself. I literally shook this woman and screeched 'HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!' D'oh! Not the greatest first impression. But she didn't mind it at all because she's quite possibly everything you'd hope she'd be. Funny, approachable, and humble like the rest of her team. It's no wonder she's lead this brand to what it is today. 

Following that day, a few great lifestyle bloggers including Graham Blackall of Glazed and Confused, Aimee Broussard, Leigh Ann Chatagnier of My Diary of Us, and Emily of Louisiana Bride Blog and I were invited to preview the store in all its glory. The store, located in the former Pippen Lane, is a welcomed addition to Magazine Street. In addition to its usual envy-inducing selection of furniture and home accessories, the store highlights great local makers and crafters by selling their products in the Love Local section. If you need to find me, I'll be the creeper shopping at West Elm weekly.

Shortly following the private preview was the grand opening. It seems the entire stylish New Orleans community came to welcome West Elm with a big hug. Drinks, shopping, the cutest photobooth, and a second line made for the happiest happy hour I've been to in a long time! Welcome, West Elm. We're so happy you're here.

Vanessa just chillen.

Vanessa just chillen.

An intimate dinner at Le Petite Grocery. Oh the shrimp and grits!

An intimate dinner at Le Petite Grocery. Oh the shrimp and grits!

The adorable local makers display. So many greats including dear friends Flying Fox, Tchoup Bags, Lion Heart Prints, and The Grove Street Press.

The adorable local makers display. So many greats including dear friends Flying Fox, Tchoup Bags, Lion Heart Prints, and The Grove Street Press.

With Summer Suleiman of Healthy Summer and The Grove Street Press girls at the grand opening party

With Summer Suleiman of Healthy Summer and The Grove Street Press girls at the grand opening party

With Vanessa Holden, Creative Director of West Elm

With Vanessa Holden, Creative Director of West Elm