Author Archives: Lauren Fondriest

Sprinkles Cupcakes: The Best Treats in Chicago

Sprinkles Cupcakes: The Best Treats in Chicago


You may have heard of this little phenomenon called Sprinkles Cupcakes… if you haven’t, get yourself there now! Sprinkles is one of the top destinations in Chicago to satisfy your sweet tooth. With the Windy City Blogger Collective, I had the lucky opportunity to go behind the scenes at Sprinkles to see where the magic happens, as a #SprinklesTasteTester.


The allure of Sprinkles’ freshly baked cupcakes draws in droves of locals and tourists each day, clamoring for the sweet taste of this Gold Coast shop’s treats. The façade of the store is covered in the characteristic polka dots decorating the tops of many of Sprinkles’ cupcakes. You’ll be greeted first by the innovative Cupcake ATM outside the door – just use the screen to make your selection and you’ll have your cupcake in hand in moments! When you walk in the door, you’ll see what all the fuss is about as your eyes meet the rows of flavors for your choosing. A handy guide will show you which flavors are available each day of the week, and you don’t have to pick just one! Boxes are available to take cupcakes home or to make someone’s day as a gift.


Sprinkles Facade


Rows of Cupcakes


S'mores Cupcakes


Situated behind all the delicious temptations is a small but mighty kitchen churning out all the cupcakes the store sells. Trays and trays of the delicious cupcakes are surrounded by industrial size mixers, ovens, and cupcake pans of various sizes. For our lucky group, a set of unfrosted cupcakes sat out on the counter. I was ready to pick up a frosting spatula right away but my patience was rewarded with a lesson on how to frost cupcakes the official Sprinkles way.


How to Frost a Cupcake – The Official Sprinkles Way


After stirring the frosting a bit with the spatula, scoop up more frosting than will be necessary to top the cupcake. Spread the frosting smoothly over the top, running the spatula in both directions to create a flat surface. Brush the spatula along the side of the cupcake in short sections, removing the excess frosting. Take one final sweep with your spatula across the top and around the sides to smooth out the frosting, finishing the look by rounding out any edges. If you’d like, top with sprinkles or other decorations.


Frosting Lesson


Cupcakes Ready to be Frosted


Windy City Bloggers


I am a vanilla cake lover so I picked up a vanilla cupcake and chose the peanut butter frosting. With a few careful swipes my cupcake was iced and I was ready for the decorations. Chocolate sprinkles and a little pink whale topper seemed like the perfect accoutrements to my creation. Within minutes, I devoured each bite.


My Very Own Cupcake!


Not to limit my taste test to one flavor, I took home a box to try out several of Sprinkles’ other options. My favorite was the new Margarita flavor, which is actually spread with a layer of tequila before being frosted. My other favorite was the S’more cupcake, a concoction of graham cracker crust, chocolate cake with an even more chocolaty center, and a toasted marshmallow topping. With all the flavors and options, I know these cupcakes would make great gifts to a few very lucky individuals.


Sprinkles to Go


Vanilla Cupcake


Next time you’re craving a sweet treat or want to try one of Chicago’s gourmet creations, head to Sprinkles cupcakes to create your own delicious moments!


Connect with Sprinkles:

In-store: 50 E. Walton, Chicago, IL 60611


Instagram: @sprinklescupcakes

Twitter: @sprinkles


Looking to Volunteer: Best Places to Lend a Hand in Chicago

Looking to Volunteer: Best Places to Lend a Hand in Chicago


Have you been thinking about volunteering in Chicago but don’t know where to start? When we step outside our normal boundaries, there are so many in need in this great city, as well as thriving organizations just looking for an extra hand.


A few months ago, I had a rare Saturday afternoon with no plans, and was interested in volunteering. After a web search turned up no options where I could lend an afternoon without an extensive list of requirements, I nearly gave up. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Chicago Volunteer Expo, and came out with a great list of places to give our time and talents. Held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the expo featured hundreds of organizations looking for your help.


Here are The Chicago Lifestyle’s top picks for simple, easy was to volunteer in Chicago:


1. Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon on Saturday, June 7


Chicago Cares is a volunteer organization targeting the city’s most critical needs. Their 21st annual Serve-a-thon draws over 5000 volunteers for a fun day of improving the city’s classrooms, parks, playgrounds, libraries and more in Chicago’s underserved communities. Focusing on creating change for the city’s children, this critical day of service contributes to the year’s funding for additional opportunities throughout the year. Celebrate your efforts with an after-party featuring food, drinks and live music. Signup is open now for this special annual event.


On a regular basis, it’s easy to volunteer for one-time events, just sign up on their website and view the volunteer calendar. One-time events include pet therapy, mock interviews, reading with kids, senior breakfasts and bingo, and introducing healthy foods to children and families, for example. The best part: you can filter opportunities by your availability and what sort of service or population you’d like to work with.



2. One Brick – One-time Volunteering Made Easy


Focused on making volunteering simple, One Brick works with thousands of organizations to compile a calendar of volunteer opportunities. Choose one that fits your schedule, enjoy the social atmosphere, and top off your work with a drink at a nearby bar or restaurant. Fully run by volunteers, One Brick is always looking for new helpers like you to fill their opportunities around the city.


Events featured on their calendar include poker dealing, neighborhood food pantry meal service, preparing supplies for Girls on the Run youth self-esteem sessions, and support for special events.



3. Help Run the Old Town Art Fair on June 14 – 15


Did you know the Old Town Art Fair is completely volunteer planned, managed and staffed? Pulled off with a force of over 750 volunteers, the Old Town Art Fair is one of the most anticipated Chicago summer festivals. Help is needed at the entrance gates, manning booths while artists take a break, selling merchandise to benefit the Old Town neighborhood, supporting aid to the artists and more. This is a great way to give back to one of Chicago’s iconic neighborhoods and mingle with the city’s influential artists and visitors.



4. Support Runners on Race Day with CARA


CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) is one of the most well-known running groups in the city, providing training and race day support to thousands of runners across Chicago. CARA is a non-profit group benefiting over 8600 runners, dedicated to expanding, motivating, celebrating and supporting Chicagoland’s running community. Volunteer support is needed for races throughout the year, particularly for race day aid stations, corral setup and more.



What opportunities have you taken to get out there and support Chicago?


{Image via Salvation Army}



Popping Up All Over Chicago: Art, Music, Fashion and Shopping

Popping Up All Over Chicago: Art, Music, Fashion and Shopping


While it’s fun to shop at year-round stores or visit permanent exhibits, it’s exhilarating to take part in Chicago’s “pop-up” events – shopping, art, music or food experiences that happen just for a brief moment – and then they’re gone. If you’re in the know about these happenings – thanks to reading The Chicago Lifestyle, of course – you can take advantage of these fleeting events. You’ll have a unique experience, and you might find some unique items, that you’ll never find anywhere else.





Chicago is a city full of incredible art, visible in many museums, neighborhoods and galleries. Here are some new ways to experience art this month.


ACTIVATE Pop-Up Loop Art Party


The Chicago Loop Alliance, which manages the art and sculptures shown in the loop, is hosting an innovative event called ACTIVATE – which they describe as “part spectacle and part happy hour – featuring art and live music in a unique urban setting.” On Thursday, May 1 from 5 – 10 p.m., the Sullivan Center Alley will be overtaken for the ACTIVATE party, featuring art curated by Johalla Projects and a Zipcar DJ booth. Artists will use lights and lasers to simulate the “death of winter and the rise of spring.” The event is free and beer and wine will be served for $2 (cash only). Sullivan Center Alley can be accessed from Monroe between State and Wabash. RSVP here and get a free drink ticket.



Red Bull Canvas Cooler Project – Showcased in Chicago Restaurants and Bars


Red Bull Cooler Canvas Project


20 emerging Chicago artists were recently selected to each create a masterpiece on a Red Bull cooler covered in canvas. Paired with owners of Chicago’s hottest bars and restaurants, the artists were challenged to create their cooler in fitting with the theme of one specific venue. The artists were only given one day to execute on this creative project, and the coolers were submitted to judges to vote on the best piece, for submission into SCOPE Art Fair in Miami. The remaining creations will go on display in the next few weeks in locations including:

  • Hub 51
  • Three Dots and a Dash
  • Bub City
  • Chop Shop
  • Empty Bottle
  • The Brixton
  • And many more!


Red Bull Cooler Canvas Project




Red Bull Cooler Canvas Project


When you visit any of these locations in the next month, be sure to ask (and watch out for) these unique pieces of art. You’ll be able to surprise your friends when you know where they came from!


{Photos courtesy of Red Bull}





Listen in for this one-of-a-kind concert coming up next week!


Kaleidoscope Concert Featuring Lawrence University Musicians


Lawrence University Kaleidoscope Concert


Imagine a kaleidoscope of jazz, bluegrass, classical and opera music – all converging in one performance. Talented musicians from Lawrence University travel to Chicago to perform for one night only at Park West Theatre (322 W. Armitage) on Tuesday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. The performance will feature acts such as Cuban drumming, a bluegrass quartet, an operatic aria and even a didgeridoo. Past shows have sold out and have amazed concertgoers with the fast-paced variety of music compiled into one event. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here. A pre-show reception with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will begin at 5:30 p.m.


{Photo courtesy of Lawrence University}





Get ahead of the curve with Chicago designers’ brand new clothing lines.


Chicago Designer Spring Showcase


Sine Qua Non Salon (2766 N. Lincoln Ave.) is hosting a spring trunk show featuring Chicago’s top designers this Friday, April 25 from 6:30 – 9 p.m. You’ll have the opportunity to see hot new clothing lines as well as preview new style bar services. Enjoy wine and treats from Paper Moon Bakery while taking advantage of retail promotions and salon booking deals. Fourteen unique vendors will show off their goods at this one-time event. The first 20 people through the door will receive a free blowout!





Vintage Garage Flea Market


Sunday, April 27 will mark the 3rd season of the Vintage Garage flea market. From 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., visit 5051 N. Broadway for a wide selection of vintage clothing, jewelry and mid-century furniture from 100 of the finest vintage dealers in the Midwest. Admission is $5. The event will also feature a “Vintage Style Ride” at 11:30 a.m. – bicyclists dressed in vintage clothing riding along the lakefront.



Randolph Street Market


Randolph Street Market


The classic Randolph Street Market (1350 W. Randolph) will return this weekend, April 25 – 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days. A treasure trove of all kinds of goods, from clothing, posters, furniture, home goods and more, the Randolph Street Market encourages hours of browsing to pick up just the right item that no one else has. This month the market is indoors, and admission is $10. As a special offering at this month’s market, Tandem Felix Letterpress will be offering classes to learn how to use a wooden letterpress for printing. Classes are $25 (including market entry) and tickets can be purchased here. Bonus! Show your entry ticket receipt after the market for a free glass of Prosecco at Nellcôte.



Spring Blooms: Flower Show and Hands-On Floral Design

Spring Blooms: Flower Show and Hands-On Floral Design

With spring tempting us a little more each week, and the tulip buds just beginning to show their tips, we are craving the bright happiness that flowers bring.


Throughout the summer, we’ll be surrounded by gardens full of lush and colorful flowers, many maintained by the City of Chicago. One of my favorite spots to view the flowers is the park outside the Lincoln Park Conservatory, adjacent to the Lincoln Park Zoo entrance.


Longing for the flowers to arrive, I recently attended the Secret Garden Flower Show, held at Macy’s on State Street. Tucked away in one of the top floors of the building, this free flower show featured blooms of all colors, shapes and sizes. Decorative scenes were supplemented by creatively placed pianos, bicycles, painted car tires and other unusual objects. The pièce de résistance was a 10 foot tall beauty donned in a dress of bright red flowers.


Immerse yourself in the beauty of the flowers in my Secret Garden Flower Show photo collage:


Flower Show Collage


If you’re interested in flowers and want to get hands-on, there are multiple opportunities in Chicago.


Floral Arranging Class

Allure Floral Design (1343 N. Ashland) is offering a 2-hour class at their shop in Wicker Park. Thanks to a LivingSocial deal, the course is only $47 (only a few weeks left to take advantage of this offer). You’ll be guided through floral fundamentals, design principles, and learn how to create your own bouquet. Spruce up your home or office with the flowers you’ll be able to take with you.



Terrarium, Orchid and Other Garden Classes

Sprout Home (745 N. Damen) offers one-time classes nearly every week to help you master your green thumb. Classes are usually $20-40. Learn new skills such as:

  • How to build your own mini garden inside a terrarium or bowl, creating a beautiful decoration for your home
  • How to care for orchids and avoid mistakes in keeping these beautiful flowers
  • How to create a living wreath to adorn your door in time for summer



Lincoln Park Zoo Second Saturdays Garden Tours

Tour Lincoln Park Zoo’s beautiful gardens with the Horticulture Department to learn how they’re designed and maintained. Seasonal plants and flowers will be highlighted each month. Tours are free and occur on the second Saturday of each month from 10 – 11 a.m. Upcoming tour dates include May 10 and June 14, and begin at the Nature Boardwalk Kiosk.



New App Sosh Puts Chicago at Your Fingertips

New App Sosh Puts Chicago at Your Fingertips

Want to find out about new Chicago hotspots, where to find the best cocktail, or learn about pop-up events? Be the first in Chicago to use new app Sosh (hint: it launches today!), your pocket guidebook to the fun happenings around the city.


Fueled by the principle that “life is too short to be bored,” Sosh gives you up to the moment recommendations tailored to your preferred neighborhoods and type of activities. If you see an event or business that piques your interest, you have the ability to bookmark it for later and share with your friends via social media.


With success in San Francisco, New York City, Seattle and several other cities, the movement has come to our amazing city to help us uncover the “what’s what” about town.


I had the incredible opportunity to interview Katrina Kurnit, Sosh’s Head of Marketing. Katrina’s passion for Sosh shines through as she describes her experience marketing and engaging with new and existing Sosh users. Inspiration driving the app is the age-old “What should we do tonight” problem. City dwellers often go to the same bars, the same restaurants, and stick to the same experiences, despite being surrounded by thousands of options on any given night.


“Sosh not only helps people find things to do in the city, but also the unique angles and offerings of places they’re already familiar with,” says Katrina. With a powerful combination of technology and people vetting each opportunity, the app serves up an interactive list of options both popular right now and off the beaten path. Up to date “Here and Now” and “What’s Hot” sections are supplemented by ongoing categories and collections such as “Get Cultured,” “Grab a Brew,” “Under $30” and “Open Late.”


“To get the most benefit from Sosh, the app works off of the interests and types of activities you’ve chosen. Recommended events will be filtered based on day of the week and time of day.” With a goal of expanding to more cities and making the service “smarter, more proactive and more predictive,” Katrina sees limitless potential for city residents across the country.


Katrina commends Sosh for allowing people to “experience real world life in a way that previously seemed impossible.” Users can expand their city boundaries and take advantage of much more that Chicago has to offer.



Click here to join Sosh Chicago today.


Chicago Insider Tips: What You Need to Know This Week

The Chicago Lifestyle is bringing you up-to-date Chicago Insider Tips to keep you in the know this week. Free concerts, grill-outs and more – this is where you need to be. Get out and enjoy Chicago (and love the sunshine)!


1. Aloe Blacc Tickets


Take action for a great cause – alleviating poverty – and enter for a chance to win tickets to see Aloe Blacc (the soulful voice behind Avicii’s “Wake Me Up”) at The Vic on April 24. The event is hosted by Global Citizen, who encourages you to take action by learning about the sources of food and water, signing a petition to give children access to education or to help female entrepreneurs rise above poverty. Each action earns you points toward winning a ticket. Sign up here.



2. Big Green Egg Grill-out


Did you attend Better Homes & Gardens/Weber Grill’s Chill and Grill festival in the past? Evidence is sketchy on whether this fun outdoor festival will return to Chicago this year. In the meantime, get your grilling fix this weekend at The Chopping Block Lincoln Square’s event with The Big Green Egg Grill. On the cooking school’s back patio, chefs will be demonstrating the Big Green Egg’s grilling masterpieces with pork and more. Free food for all! No registration necessary, just show up with an appetite! Click here for more details.



3. Chicago Gourmet Tickets


Did you miss Thursday’s discounted pre-sale tickets to Chicago Gourmet? Bummer. This incredible Chicago event isn’t sold out, though. You can still buy full-price tickets on their website. Chicago Gourmet is the foodie fest to end all fests – a full day of wining and dining in Millennium Park’s magnificent space. Chefs from renowned restaurants across the city present their best dishes in sample tents around the park, with a central tent featuring worldly wine vendors. This is an event you do not want to miss – if you can afford a full-price ticket.



4. Title Boxing Club


Title Boxing Club is opening a brand new location in Lincoln Park, at 2417 N. Clark St. Slated to begin their full class schedule the week of May 5, they are offering guests a first class for free! Burn up to 1000 calories an hour in this powerful workout, guaranteed to help you get buff for the summer. Learn more here.



Taste Test: Fulton Market Kitchen

Taste Test: Fulton Market Kitchen

Looking for a new and innovative restaurant that carries a creative attitude across food, drinks and décor? Newcomer Fulton Market Kitchen combines superb flavors with a bold new atmosphere. I had the pleasure of dining there this weekend – here’s the scoop on this new hot spot.


First – to get there, you’ll step outside the boundaries of Randolph’s “Restaurant Row” and head deeper into the Fulton Market warehouse district. Situated behind a row of parked trucks, you’ll see a black painted building marked with “Post No Bills” signs – don’t get scared away too quickly because you’ll be glad once you step inside.


Dining Room Entrance



The sunlight spills into the main dining room, lighting up the incredible murals on the walls for the hour before the sun sets and the lights are dimmed for the evening. Featuring a combination of illustrations, portraits, and cartoonish-images, the walls are quite a sight. Textural components such as exposed brick and mini boats hanging from the ceiling round out the décor. Seating in the dining room is a mix of against-the-wall bench seating, high-top tables in the middle, bar seating, and for a lucky large group, a traditional dining table topped with a candelabra. Upon being seated the hostess will hand you a historic storybook, inside of which is your menu.


Dining Room and Menu


The menu consists of small, medium and large plates, and there are equally as many unique cocktail options. I started with the Light from the Left, a combination of Bourbon, Cynar, blueberry, lemon and Thai basil. Bright and crisp, this is the perfect drink to kick off the spring. The contrast of the berry-colored drink against the deep green basil garnish made the drink both delicious and picture-worthy. Other cocktails on the menu feature flavor combinations such as carrot, ginger, lemon and tarragon (What’s Up Doc) or red pepper, lemon, orange and BBQ bitters (Never Trust a Spaniard). If you try this drink – please let me know what the BBQ bitters taste like!



Light from the Left Cocktail


Our choice on the First Canvas (small plates) menu was the Ravioli and Foie, which was so melt-in-your mouth delicious that the pair dining next to us ordered it just based on the looks on our faces. The house-made pasta was so light, in perfect pairing with the rich mushroom, veal and foie gras flavors.


With encouragement from our waitress, we ordered the Two Tails from the Second Canvas (medium plates) menu. Imagine an entire lobster tail (cut in half for easy sharing) surrounding crisped pig tail, which tasted like part pork belly and part pork shoulder. Each of the accompaniments – melted leeks, artichokes and burgundy sauce – worked together to enhance and deepen the flavors of the pork and lobster.



Ravioli & Foie and Two Tails


After two great starters we couldn’t wait for our entrees to arrive.  The Skate was a nice, light white fish surrounded by a spring sampling of asparagus, mushrooms, fennel puree, parsley pesto, and a sweet and tangy bite of candied lemon.


The Lamb was elegantly presented with cucumber garnish and dots of mint and feta cheese. The spiced cauliflower puree tasted like a comforting cheese sauce, which I spread on every savory bite of the lamb. I typically like meat cooked medium, and the lamb was perfectly cooked inside even though the outside looked a little more red.


For dessert, rather than offering a standard menu, several special options were presented to us, and we chose a hazelnut tiramisu. The soft creaminess of the top layers were offset by a crunchy bottom akin to a candy bar. The hazelnut, cream and chocolate combination didn’t hurt either.



Lamb and Menu


We couldn’t leave without taking a peek into the other rooms in the restaurant. Behind the dining room is a lounge area with pin-tucked leather benches and a separate bar topped with pieces of dining chairs adhered to the wall. The murals in this room feature a sultry-eyed lady and pops of bright colors that stand out in the dim lighting. I will definitely be coming back here for drinks to try more of the creative cocktail menu. Beyond the lounge area sits a private dining room, filled with luxurious velvet high-backed chairs, a sturdy dining table and a gorgeous chandelier, set for a king and queen. This would be a great spot to host a private party and impress your guests.



Lounge and Private Dining Room


I would recommend Fulton Market Kitchen as a great place to amaze your visual and taste senses alike. Make sure you add this restaurant to your “must go” list to experience the combination of great food and artistic flair.



What’s Up This Month: April 2014

What’s Up This Month: April 2014

With the sun starting to shine, the weather heating up, we can finally come out of hibernation! Plan your social calendar with these top picks for April:



Fondue Cooking Class at Geja’s Cafe
Time: 1 – 3 p.m.
Location: Geja’s Café (340 W. Armitage)
Cost: $25 (proceeds benefit Greater Chicago Food Depository)


To celebrate National Cheese Fondue Week, you have the pleasure of learning the decades-old artistry of Geja’s swiss fondue. Learn from the best and enjoy wine pairings, and even take home samples of the fondue!



4/11 – 4/12
Dance Shelter Performance at Stage 773
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont)
Cost: $15


In honor of Chicago Dance Month, go see the performances directed by risk-taking choreographers at Stage 773. This contemporary dance show features the work of six choreographers.



Pastoral Artisan Festival
Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton – in Ogilvie Train Station)
Cost: Free


Discover new artisanal meats, cheeses, craft beers, liquors and more directly from their creators. Held at the French Market, this festival allows you to taste lots of local treats for free!



Grapes to Bottles Wine Tasting Party at Floating World Gallery
Time: 3 – 6 p.m. or 7 – 10 p.m.
Location: Floating World Gallery (1925 N. Halsted)
Cost: $38


This month’s innovative wine tasting is held at a unique gallery in Lincoln Park. Surround yourself with art at this urban loft space while tasting wines and bubbly in the social bubble wine room. Of course, the cheese plate will be a main feature.



Minds Matter Spring for the Students Gala
Time: 8 – 11 p.m.
Location: Chicago History Museum (1601 N. Clark)
Cost: $95


Party for a cause at the Spring for the Students Gala, benefiting Minds Matter, an organization that pairs students from low-income families with professional mentors, helping them achieve their college preparation and acceptance dreams. Money raised covers the students’ educational needs such as Kaplan prep books, summer school programs, and college application fees. The party features a DJ, open bar, appetizers and desserts as well as a silent auction and raffle.



Sign Up for Chicago Sport and Social Club Volleyball


Work on your tan all summer with your friends by joining Chicago Sport and Social Club’s volleyball leagues on North Avenue Beach. With options for all skill levels, the volleyball league is a great way to meet new friends and get some fun in after work. While there is no deadline to sign up, registration is open now and will sell out.



Baconfest Master Class at Whole Foods Lincoln Park
Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Whole Foods Lincoln Park (1550 N. Kingsbury)
Cost: $5


Join in the #BaconMonth craze at Lincoln Park’s flagship Whole Foods while Barn & Co.’s Pitmaster Gary Wiviott demonstrates new ways to enjoy bacon. The chef samples are paired with Lagunitas beer samples. Follow the link to buy tickets or call 312-587-0648 to reserve your spot.




Ravinia tickets go on sale at 5 a.m.

Time: 5 a.m.

Cost: Varies


The ultimate summer concert venue, Ravinia encourages long nights of picnicking on the lawn with friends. An easy train ride from the city, Ravinia features hundreds of concerts throughout the summer season. Some of this year’s headliners include One Republic, ZZ Top, Rufus Wainwright, and Willie Nelson. Tickets go on sale at 5 a.m. – headliners sell out quickly but many concert options are open throughout the summer.



Wine and Wildlife at Lincoln Park Zoo
Time: 6 – 8 p.m.
Location: Lincoln Park Zoo Regenstein Small Mammal – Reptile House
Cost: $17


Enjoy a glass of wine while learning about the zoo’s conservation efforts with rare prairie and reptile species.



4/25 – 4/27
Gilt City Warehouse Sale
Time: Shifts vary
Location: MCA Warehouse (1747 W. Hubbard)
Cost: $10 – $20


Get your high-end fashion fix at this annual warehouse sale hosted by Gilt City. Expect racks of clothing, shoes and accessories to choose from. Hint: go early before all the good stuff is gone.



Triathlon Gear Swap
Time: 2 – 5 p.m.
Location: Centered Chef (177 N. Ada Suite 101)
Cost: Free admission


Runners, bikers and swimmers alike can browse and buy used gear at the Triathlon Gear Swap. Suit up for your next race or just your summer workouts. Curious about competing in triathlons? Come early for the “Tri 101” class and meet athletes who are happy to share their tips with you.



Enjoy Chicago this April!



Send Postcards Directly from Your Smartphone With Lettr

Send Postcards Directly from Your Smartphone With Lettr

Want to showcase your adventures in Chicago or on vacation with your family and friends? Send a postcard directly from your phone or tablet with Lettr!


Who doesn’t like receiving a good old fashioned card in the mail? Local Chicagoans and tourists alike can create postcards through Lettr, a service that allows you to sign on with Facebook, choose your own photo, write your own message, and even sign with a touch-screen enabled signature. The final product, printed on quality postcard material, showcases a map of the city you sent the card from.


Lucky for us, technology has evolved so we don’t have to visit the tourist shops, buy stamps, or even collect addresses from our favorite people. To make it as easy as possible, here’s how Lettr works:


  • Capture your best scenic moment on your smartphone, or access your favorite memories from your camera roll or saved images
  • Sign on to Lettr from your phone, tablet or computer
  • Upload your favorite photo, craft your postcard message and sign your name
  • Select friends via Facebook that you’d like to send the card to – Facebook will notify them that a postcard is waiting and will ask for their preferred address
  • Lettr’s specially designed application sends the postcard for printing and shipping at a location close to the recipient, cutting down delivery time from weeks (if you’re vacationing abroad) to a few days
  • Simply pay for the card using debit, credit or PayPal


Just in time for spring break – and Chicago’s imminent spring – you can use Lettr to share the love with your friends and family on your adventures near and far. Use the links provided in this post or access the buttons on our site’s header or sidebar to send your postcard through Lettr.


The first 10 users of Lettr through The Chicago Lifestyle will win a credit to send a free postcard!


Who will you send a card to today?