Happy Sixth Anniversary, Chicago

So I realize (and feel bad about) the fact that I haven’t posted in awhile. Okay, it feels like forever. And to say we were busy is an understatement. Ellie is now 13 months (what?!?), we had a great birthday party for her at Historic Wagner Farm in Glenview, we had her Christening a few weeks ago, and I chopped off my hair (12 inches; fourth time donating it).

You may wonder, what is more exciting than all of these things? Well, not much, but because I am the Second City Gal, it only feels appropriate that I share that today is my anniversary of living in Chicago. Nate and I moved into a tiny apartment in the Fulton Market/West Loop area six years ago.

Before that, I was living in the burbs while commuting to Lincolnshire for work, and visited Nate in Milwaukee while he attended law school. In 2010, after I landed my first job in the city, we decided to take the leap and move in together. The rest is history.

When an old post showed up in my Facebook feed, it took me back to that fateful day six years ago, and reminded me how much my life has changed. I’ve changed jobs, relationship statuses, became a mom to George, became a job to Ellie, and so much more in between.

And all along the way, the city has been the backdrop of my story. When I first moved here, I didn’t know how to get around at all–I got lost in the Loop. With my iPhone. Now, I love walking around, going to my favorite restaurants, the ease (and disgust) of the Blue Line, saying “hi” to friendly faces…like Frank Sinatra says, “it’s my kind of town.”

Our lease is up on our current apartment next month, and we debated the big question: city or suburbs? We are in the burbs just about every weekend visiting family…so does it make sense to just bite the bullet and move there? The answer for us, right now, was no. I’m not ready to sacrifice less time with my baby during the week and the convenience of the city. Not yet. 

So, whether you like it or not, Chicago, you have me for another year. Let’s make it one that we’ll never forget. XO



It’s Time for a Change

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I’ve been seriously absent from my blog. I’m not going to lie, since Ellie arrived we haven’t gotten “out” to new places all that much. And I haven’t had a ton of free time. (New moms who are back to work: I know you can relate!)

But I’ve been thinking for some time about evolving this blog into something different. When I started Second City Gal, I had just turned 30 and was ready for a challenge and ready for some fun. What I wasn’t ready for was the hole in my wallet from going out so much, and sometimes I felt like a robot because I liked everything I was doing or was too scared to be completely honest about bad service (it didn’t happen often, though, I promise).

So, instead of writing reviews about all of the cool things I’m doing and places I’m going, how about just writing about my experiences and life in the city? I’ve embraced the fact that my life has changed a lot over the past three years. I like staying home on a Friday night with my husband, pup, and now daughter. I like going to the pizza place in my neighborhood where our favorite waiter knows us. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to try new places, but familiar is just as fun as fresh in my eyes. Have I grown up? Have I becoming boring? Probably a little bit of both. But I’m ready to share more about my life and experiences than the cute decor in a new small plates, farm-to-table restaurant. (Although there might be some of that, too!)

So I hope you continue on the journey with me. I might not post as often, but I hope it’s more meaningful.

Talk soon. Xo.

Spotlight: Nice, France

Well, talk about a throw back! It’s about time (almost 5 months) I share some pictures with you from my time in Nice, don’t you think?!?

Back in January, I made my second trip in Nice; my first time was for two days when I was 18 years old (needless to say, it’s been awhile) while on a European getaway with my friend Ali. 

Although I was there for work this time around (I know, my job IS awesome!), I was able to enjoy lots of good food and see the city, and even visited Cannes and Monaco. 

I was also 14 weeks pregnant at the time, so no tartare, soft cheese, or wine for me! Well, I had one sip…guess I’ll just have to go back!!!

I am not really sure how to share a week in paradise with you, but I’ll share some of my favorites moments, meals, and memories (through photos) with you! 

Nicoise cuisine is a mix of French and Mediterranean, including lots of fresh fish and seafood, olives, veggies, cheeses, and don’t forget the rosé wine! Here’s a good article on 5 things to eat and drink from Nice.

Some of my favorite meals and snacks included:

  • Farcis: a classic Nicoise dish made from vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini, hollowed out and stuffed with ground meat, garlic, and bread crumbs.
  • Fresh clementines I bought from a local grocer (they sell them with the leaves and stems still on)
  • Red mullet fish and greens 
  • Artisan apple tart
  • Coq au vin 
  • And lots of croissants! 

Take a look:
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Want more? Check out this video I made for work: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TNJBzXIlN_k 

Au revoir for now!