Filtering by Tag: chicago

Go West This Winter!

When you think of putting  a little cowboy in to your get-up, it's usually during the summer months.  What better way to show off your Southern Style than wearing a pair of cowboy boots to a summer music festival, usually complimented with a fringe vest and some ripped jean shorts, am I right?  Well, winter time welcomes the Western look as well.  Given my obsession with Country Music, this casual Americana look has always been a go-to.  But now I'm going to show you a way to make it even more chic...and keep you warm this winter.  

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"Next Door Chef" Thanksgiving Pop-up Dinner

Ahh it's that time of year again.  The leaves are changing, the weather is getting crisp, and the food is getting quite comforting.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and experiencing a unique spin on typical Turkey Day fare can really elevate the holiday.  I was so excited to be invited by Morton Salt to the "Next Door Chef" Pop-up dinner to indulge in Thanksgiving favorites...with a twist.  

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Bootler...Let's Simplify Our Food Delivery, Shall We?

Ahh the challenges of the 21st century.  So many conveniences, everything can be delivered right to your door.  We literally don't even have to go to the drugstore anymore if we don't want to (and why would we?!).  But with all of these modern technological advances comes a problem.  Not there are SO many competing companies who are just dying to help you stay glued to your couch.... which do we choose??  Why are our lives so hard?!?!

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B. Bim Asian Eatery.... The Cool New Kid On the Block

Wicker Park is home to some of the hottest AND coolest restaurants and bars in the city.  I've always loved the gritty, real vibe.  Of course it has changed over the years and has become more approachable and less of an "up and coming" neighborhood.  New restaurants are popping up all the time, and with the high expectations of the local culinary scene... ya gotta be good.  

Full Service Bar!! Woo hoo!

B. Bim Asian Eatery, (1324 N. Milwaukee Ave.) which opened Dec. 5th,  is such a cool new addition to the Milwaukee strip.  They call themselves a "Korean inspired fast casual restaurant with a dive bar complex".  This is so on point.  It makes Korean food approachable to people who may not be quite familiar with the cuisine all while staying true to the typical Wicker Park casual watering hole.  Chef/Partner EJ Kim (graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and protegè of Rodelio Aglibot) helped create a menu that provides something for everyone: Vegetarians, seafood lovers, carnivores, health nuts, or people who just want to indulge in fine yet quick Asian cuisine.  Did I mention they have a full bar (yummy selection of Korean Beers) and play killer tunes (lots of 90's)?!?


Check out what I ate (yes, I was intensely full after my visit.)

These chicken wings were MASSIVE and coated in a tangy and spicy orange-y honey sriracha sauce.  They were undoubtedly some of the best wings I've ever had. 

Crispy Mahndoo Beef Dumplings made with tofu, sprouts and garlic.  And the B. Bim Salad.  The salad was so fresh and crunchy, made with nappa cabbage, carrots, radish, and scallion. 

These shrimp lettuce wraps may be my favorite item on the menu.  The shrimp was lightly crispy and the kimchi gave it a tangy kick. 

Of course the piece de resistance is their Bi Bim Bap Bowls.  Traditional accouterment with a fresh fried egg on top.  This was the chicken bowl and it was outstanding. 

This is the Beef Bi Bim Bap bowl that is actually made with short rib, vs. the traditional ribeye.  They marinate the beef for over 24 hours.  It was incredibly flavorful and tender.  

B. Bim has AMAZING desserts.  This was the Goodie Bag.  It's a paper bag filled with these delectable tempura fried "doughnuts" filled with walnuts and red bean paste.  So unique!

A Foodie and Nutritionist walk into a...Restaurant.

Last week I had the pleasure of dining with Nutritionist and Healthy Living Concierge, Ashley Pettit. I've respected her talent and career for a long time, and even though our lines of work are quite different...we knew there had to be some way we could synergize.  We decided to have a collabo lunch at both of our favorite spot, Beatrix.  Beatrix has amazing foodie finds, and all of their food is health oriented, fresh, organic, and delicious.  Win-Win!!  Read below for Ashley's insider take on our awesome meal together!

"Lunch dates…they are a pretty common thing, especially during the work-week when you may want to catch up with a girlfriend or colleague. However, so many of my clients always tell me that when they are trying to be healthy, they don’t eat out and abstain from hanging out with friends so they can keep on track.

Get this: there is absolutely NO reason to become anti-social when you are adopting healthy eating habits. If I can do it with my friend + ridiculously awesome food, music, + travel blogger; Ms. Kelly Rizzo (aka: Eat, Travel, Rock,) then you can eat out with just about whomever, wherever you want!

I love being able to dine with all sorts of people, anytime I want. It just takes some simple consideration and a determination to eat right while being a social butterfly! I managed to maintain my composure when Kelly ordered something that came with my biggest weakness: French fries (see below- doesn’t that fry look amazing?) And sometimes I have some fries, but this lunch was not my time to indulge. Yet, in the end, I did not miss them! Here is a glimpse into our meal + the main APL tips to eating out socially."  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Lollapalooza 101

Hey all!!  Lollapalooza is this weekend and if you're like me, and planning on rocking out in Grant Park for 3 days, you're gonna need some tips, tricks, and a survival guide.  Read below, and don't forget to share your favevtips and tricks with me!!

Getting Ready:

Make sure to look your best while protecting your assets.  I always use a tinted moisturizer with a bit of shimmer. (Full coverage foundation is TOO much for the heat.)  My fave is Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20.  It gives you a great festival glow, a bit of coverage, and good protection so you can party in the sun!


Always wear some head gear.  What screams festival-goer more than some awesome cranium accessories?  PLUS, if it's windy, or the weather is inclement, it will keep your hair secure and out of your face.  Fedoras or wide brimmed hats are a NO-GO for the same reason, if it's windy you'll lose it... plus you'll annoy all the people standing behind you.  

Shoes.  For the love of God, NO heels people.  And no open toed shoes or sandals, especially flip-flops.  We all know that Lolla can get muddy, and if you're wearing flip flops they will constantly get sucked off your feet.  And your feet will look like you've been on Survivor if you wear sandals of any type.  Wear comfy boots or comfy gym shoes.  PERIOD.  Converse or combat/cowboy boots are not only going to keep you feet happy, but you'll stay clean, protected, and look stylish too.  

Bags:  Do not bring any type of bag you have to carry.  Belt bags or Cross body bags are life savers for festivals.  You want your arms free for jumping, dancing, and carrying multiple beers for you and your friends.  Belt bags are not only functional, but these Gabby Fringe bags from 84 Rockwell SCREAM festival.  My favorite cross body bag right now is my new Coach Rhyder cross body in pebble leather.  

84 Rockwell Gabby Fringe

Coach Rhyder Cross body


Lolla Cashless- Did you know you can link your Lolla wristband to your debit card/credit card?  You can pay for all of your food, booze, and merchandise just with a tap of your band. Brilliant! To activate, click here.  

Phone chargers-  The only thing worse than having no cell service while at Lolla, is having a dead phone.  Keep that from happening with these handy little portable chargers that can fit in any pocket or purse.  Urban Outfitters 

Got lost??: Download the app Glympse. Glympse is a fast, free, and simple way to share your location in real time with the people you trust. So this way you can find the friends you were with if you get lost, or find the friends you're supposed to meet up with easily.  


Surge Protector:  Uber is ALWAYS the way to go, but sometimes the surge pricing, especially after a huge festival or event, can be astronomical.  Surge Protector finds locations close to you with lower surge pricing, and helps call an Uber close to those spots.  Genius! 

Walk!!!  Always my choice.... thankfully I live close.  But walking home from Grant Park is usually a great way to wind down after the craziness AND get in a bit of exercise after a day filled with food and a ton of drinks.  

Hydrate:  Drink a ton of water throughout the day as well as benefit from drinks like Ginger tea and coconut water to help combat hangovers and keep you ready to rock for the next day!!


Eat Travel Rock TV is HERE!

First off, I want to start by saying how appreciative I am of all the support I've received from all my friends, family, and "supporters" since Chantel (my manager/producer) and I began this crazy project.  No one even knew what the hell Eat Travel Rock TV was, yet you all were on board.  Well now it's here and it's LIVE on my site... Just click HERE for all the available episodes... yet you still may not know what the hell it is.

Eat Travel Rock TV came about from the frustration I had while working on other TV projects, coupled with my desire to put my specific brand on camera.  I've had a vision of a show that fully integrates food, music, and travel in a unique and unexpected way.  There is nothing like it on television, nor the internet (as far as I've seen... those interwebs are a mighty huge place).  Plus I get to be ME!  There are no network constrictions, nor producers/directors who don't share my vision and let me do what I want to do and act how I want to act.  

Here are some examples of who you will meet along this journey:  I interviewed Chase Rice at the Windy City Smokeout (music and food, baby!) I interviewed Love and Theft in Key West, FL (music and travel!) I had Ryan Chiaverini give me a guitar lesson in his home (unexpected music!) and I brought Down With Webster to Fulton Market Kitchen.  We have launched 5 episodes today, and we will be releasing 1 episode each Wednesday.

No two episodes are alike, and I have MANY ideas for the future.  Stay tuned for many bands, musicians, famous chefs, innovative restauranteurs, Chicago athletes, notable personalities etc.  I plan to Eat a ton, Travel a bunch, and constantly rock out... so please join me on this journey.  I truly hope you enjoy this labor of love and I welcome your thoughts, feedback, and requests.  Thank you!!