Exploring: Chicago Farmer’s Markets

You may remember me mentioning hitting up a few farmer’s markets a couple weeks back. Honestly, I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked at the first one, but good thing I’ve got the rest of the summer to get back there. Take a look at some of the goods both of these lovely markets have to offer and read up on what I liked and loved.

Daley Plaza Market

The first market was the Daley Plaza Market. This one occurs every Thursday from 7am-3pm in, you guessed it, Daley Plaza. They’ve got loads of goodies there. I picked up some peonies and they’re actually still goin strong a week and a half later. There were actually a ton of different booths selling peonies, probably because they’re the greatest flower ever, second only to the ranunculus I also picked up some mint at the fresh herb booth to make a watermelon, feta and mint salad which ended up going great with some grilled steaks.

There seemed to be a lot of the same booths selling the same things. Now, I’m no scientist, nor am I a farmer or gardener, but I suspect this is because different things are in season at different times. So based on my non-scientific research of the booths, I’ll go ahead and say right now is the best time for strawberries, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and peonies. These are the things that I think had the most booths, but I’m also no mathematician. I’m also starting to realize I’m not a lot of things.

Cherry Tomatoes at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

Mushrooms at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

Strawberries at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

Peonies at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

White Peonie at Daley Plaza Market | Champagne & Chambray

 

Low Line Market

The other market I made it to was the Low Line Market on Southport up in Lakeview right below the Southport brownline stop. This one is much smaller, but it’s nice that it’s open during after-work hours for the people who are on their way home. It’s an easy stop to pick up some fresh ingredients for dinner, or dinner itself. We’ve been both weeks that it’s been open because we loved it so much the first time.

Katić Breads out of Aurora, IL has got some absolutely delicious croissants! I like the their regular butter version, but they’ve also got chocolate versions as well. On our first visit there was a particularly nice woman working this booth who gave us two extra croissants for free. I love free but when it’s mixed with pastries, I love it even more. We weren’t as lucky the second time, but hopefully she’ll be back! They also have a slew of breads of all different types, we got something that was similar to a sourdough that we toasted up with dinner because what’s dinner without some bread? I mean healthier, duh. But come on, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels is a dirty, dirty lie! Fresh bread does. Speaking of sweets, there is also a booth set up by CookieYum with some delicious red velvet and blueberry sugar cookies!

Katic Breads at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Low Line also a couple booths with fresh veggies and fruits, as well as farm fresh eggs. They’ve got the herbs here as well. Oh and a cheese booth! Cheese, my lifeblood. I didn’t pick up any because I really wasn’t making anything that called for it, but it looked delicious! But on top of that are some booths with a very affordable, handheld meal. Tamale’s Express has tamales and tacos that you can order for cheap. I got steak tacos and you guys, the pico de gallo on these babies is FIRE! I had to ask him if I could just buy it from them in bulk, and he told me if I called ahead that day they could make a batch and have it ready for me to pick up. Talk about customer service! There is also a tofu booth there that I obviously had no interest in because I love meat and fake meat does not appeal to my carnivorous tendencies.

Tamales Express at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Steak Tacos at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Michigan Asparagus at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

There’s also another booth with a super sweet little lady that sells empanadas. I’ll be honest, we bought one but we ended up getting too much other food so we threw it in the fridge and kind of forgot about it, so it never got eaten. But never fear, we’ll definitely be picking up another one this week. Yep, I foresee Thursday steak tacos, empanadas and croissants becoming a regular dinner for us this summer.

Empanadas at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Last but not least, Wind Rose Flowers. They’re part of Temple Farms Organics, and they have some gorgeous flora. The poppies were so colorful and vibrant and beautiful, and I almost got some, but my peonies from the week before were still alive and kickin’, so I held off. Fingers crossed they’re back next week and I can grab some then.

Flowers at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Poppies at Low Line Market | Champagne & Chambray

Hope everyone manages to find at least one Thursday to check out these two markets. I’ll be exploring other markets throughout the summer, so keep an eye out for my reviews on those guys too. I really do think that the prices at both the markets are spot on, really affordable for really great product. Have you found any secret gems around Chicago yet? Or let me know what is fresh and in season in your area, I’d love to see if there’s a big difference from locale to locale.

L

Weekend Links | 6.13.14

WEEKEND LINKS 6.13

Friday mornings are kind of a buzzkill if you ask me, because I mean, it’s Friday but you still have to get through an entire eight hour day! Who invented five day work weeks? Because I’d like to start an official petition to get Friday turned into part of the weekend. Who’s with me? We can go on a hunger strike like the gals on OITNB! Except let’s be serious, I can’t go four hours without food, so I’d be a turrrrrible hunger striker. Speaking of eating, I have two bbq’s this weekend! Two in one day even. Excuse me while I gain 5 lbs in two days.

In other news, let’s talk about the fact that it’s Friday the 13th. Annnnd a full moon. I feel like this is the most unsafe day we’ll have for 30 years. I consequently had a really effed up 5 minutes on Wednesday night. Apparently Max’s hairstylist is also a tarot reader (awesomely random, I know). He was showing me the cards he chose, one of which was the High Priestess (whether this is a marijuana reference is still unclear). Turns out that bitch is “forever fertile”. This frightened us both and as any sane woman would, I hightailed it for my birth control, only in my rush to prevent babies, I knocked over the bottle of wine and it spilled all over my white rug. Take away: nothing good comes from your boyfriend getting his hair cut! So now I’m even more worried that today is going to be even worse! Stay inside people, the crazies are gonna be out and luck will not be on your side. Since it’s gonna be a rough one, hopefully I can ease you into it with some weekend links!

Amazon quietly rolled out a new streaming music service yesterday for Prime users, I wouldn’t call it a Spotify killer…yet.

Bringing you more augmented reality this week, this time from McDonald’s for some big soccer tournament that apparently started? I kid, I kid! (thanks for the tip on this Stefan!)

The World Cup is, in fact, a huge deal (probably actually the hugest deal there is besides the Olympics) which means brands are going to take advantage. Here are some of the best tv spots so far, and it just started yesterday!

J. Crew Factory has fun under $35 and under $20 sales that are running through the end of today, they’ve got stuff that was originally $80+ so get over there fast before it’s gone!

I heard this rumor that white girls love Starbucks. Here’s a Groupon for ya, friends. You’re welcome.

Speaking of Starbucks, if you live in San Fran, you’re in luck. Charger not needed. Hopefully this comes to Chicago soon because I feel like San Fran always gets the good stuff. Damn you Silicon Valley!

In honor of Father’s Day being this Sunday, let us laugh at texts from dad’s. Why is texting so hard for adults?!

Alllllso, sometimes ya gotta stock up on your underoos. ( I feel like that may have been a bad transition, no?) Victoria’s Secret and Aerie are both having their semi-annual sales, so…treat yoself! Perfect time to grab a few new suits for the season too!

The Betches over at Betches Love This created their own version of Zagat, and I think it’ll be prettttay funny. Again, get to Chicago and I’ll probably laugh more.

See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!
L

Free Font Resources

8 Free Font Resources

As a designer, fonts are an incredibly important tool. Using the wrong font (read: bad font) is basically designer suicide. Quick lesson: there are fonts that work, and fonts that don’t. Don’t use the ones that don’t. I guess what I’m trying to say but failing at is, fonts make or break every piece of creative. You can have the right content, the right colors, the right hierarchy, but if you’re using the wrong font, boom, you’re dead.

So to combat the messy designer-suicide situation, I make sure to have plenty of great fonts on hand. The only problem is, a lot of the good ones cost more than I’d like to spend, because I’d like to spend nothing. I’ll pay zero dollars please. Since, unfortunately, money is not something that I’ve got just piling up  waiting to be spent on pretty typefaces. Said money is being saved for pretty bags, obvi. Purses trump fonts any day of the week. Except for when you redesign your blog and you decide it’s worth it to buy a $60 font for your header, but that’s the exception not the rule.

Anyway, a bunch of my non-designer friends are have asked me where they can find some fun fonts to spice up a resume, powerpoint, newsletter or what have you. So today I wanted to share with you guys some of my favorite free font resources. I will warn that some are only free for personal use, and if you want to use them for commercial use (which means you’re making money of whatever you’re using the font on) you’ll have to shell out some doll hairs, so make sure you look at individual fonts’ specific usage rights.

1. Font Squirrel 

This is my main stay when I need a new free font, all of them are good, you’ll find no trash here.

2. Da Font 

This site has a bajillion fonts, organized into very specific categories making it easy to find what you want.

3. Fonts for Peas

This site is awesome because this woman takes handwriting submissions and turns them into fonts. And she updates pretty regularly, so make sure you check back for new ones.

4. Type Depot 

This is small Bulgarian design studio that has a few free fonts, quality over quantity right here folks

5. 1001 Fonts 

Self explanatory I’d hope, but  honestly, not my favorite. Lot of novelty fonts though if that’s your jam.

6. Lost Type 

A foundry that accepts whatever you’re willing to pay to download, I choose $0 because I’m poor and I suck at life and am a terrible person. Sorry?

7. The League of Movable Type

No more bullshit. Join the revolution. The first free and open-source type foundry.

8. Font Fabric

This is an independent type foundry that has a lot of typefaces, good amount of them cost money but they’ve got almost 70 that are free.

I’m fairly confident that this list is the most comprehensive on the entirety of the interwebs, so it seems doubtful I missed anything. But in the unlikely event that I did, I’m always on the hunt for new resources, so let me know of your go-to sites for free fonts down in the comments section!

(That top part is a joke. Sometimes it’s hard to get my sarcasm across via the written word. If anyone stumbles across a sarcasm font, hook it upppp!)

8 Chicago Instagram Accounts to Follow

Chicago IG Accounts to Follow

As promised, I bring you another installment of “Who You Should Be Following on Instagram”. This time, I’m going to keep it to local, within the good ol’ 312. Chicago is probably one of the most Instagram-able cities around. There are just so many different places that you can take outstanding photographs. Plus our skyline is one of the best in the world, in my opinion, which I know doesn’t count for much, but I don’t care. Only lucky for you (and me), there are plenty of other people that feel the same way I do. Which means there’s a whole slew of IGers that you should be following if you want to get a daily dose of Chitown in your feed. Some are all Chicago, all the time. Others put a bit of their personal lives in there. Some are architecture, others are people, others are nature in the city. Check them all out, see who you like, and give ’em a follow, you’ll be happy you did.

Now, I can’t promise that these people aren’t taking the photos with their fancy DSLR and uploading it to insta after they’ve spent hours editing it, but honestly, what does it matter, it looks pretty and that’s all I’m lookin’ for. I personally don’t like to post photos that haven’t been shot or edited specifically on my phone, but in the rare event that I do, I say so. Based on how awesome some of these pics are, I’m gonna just go ahead and assume that’s what they’re doing. But anyway, here are a few of my favorite Chicago IGers. (Again, this will be revisited because I have a lot more to share!)

@nick_uliveri

@nick_ulivieri

 

@_jazzyfizzle

@_jazzyfizzle

 

@jasonmpeterson

@jasonmpeterson

 

@patrick_sexton

@patrick_sexton

 

@kbucklandphoto

@kbucklandphoto

 

@cmykchicago

@cmykchicago

 

@swopes

@swopes

 

@trashhand

@trashhand

Weekend Links | 6.6.14

WEEKEND LINKS 6-6Ahhh weekend’s here, we made it through the week. I’m actually pretty excited for this weekend because I’m spending it IN THE CITY and not in the burbs. Unfortunately, I started feeling like I was getting sick on Wednesday night and I’m still wondering if this is just allergies or if it’s going to turn into a full blown cold. I tend to get summer colds and it sucks hard. Getting sick in the winter is one thing, when you don’t want to be outside, so having to stay inside and watch an entire season of OITNB (season 2 is on nextflix today btdubs!) is a non-issue, but being sick in the summer is the serious pits. Yes I’m a senior citizen and I say the pits. Ok moving on, here are your links! Have a fab weekend friends!

Augmented reality seriously freaks me out. Check out what Sephora is doing with it at their Milan store. Field trip to Italy anyone? (Thanks for the tip on this Tom!)

In honor of this month’s Chipotle chart, watch this guy eat 4 burritos in 3 minutes. I’m not kidding. It’s not right. I actually went on to read about professional competitive eaters for 20 minutes after watching this. And really wanted a burrito, I was able to keep it together though and hold off.

Since this week was the start of most farmer’s markets around the city, check out this summer produce guide. I hit up two yesterday and found amazingness at both, keep an eye out for a post about it next week.

Because I already miss the Blackhawks, let us remind ourselves that celebs love them as much as we do. And they’re probably just as sad as we are. Womp womp.

Bare with me on the hockey updates, here’s a tearjerker video about an NHL player who had a pretty rough past 18 months and is now on his way to potentially securing a Stanley Cup championship. Seriously, I cried for the better half of this, but it really makes you want to root for the Rangers!

Remember my post about how awesome an editing app VSCO Cam was? Forget all of it, because Instagram just overhauled their entire app, now it’s all you need. Wonder what VSCO is gonna do to retaliate?

Speaking of phones (were we speaking of phones or were we speaking of photo editing apps? whatever.), I’m sure you heard about the unveiling of iOS8 for the iPhone, here’s what you probably didn’t hear about.

This story made me feel all warm inside. The world needs more parents like this.

Being outside in the summer is awesome. Eating is awesome. Combine the two and you’re in heaven. Here’s a list of awesome Chicago venues with the best outdoor experiences. I’ve got a work happy hour at #3 this afternoon!

Saved the best for last again, fests! Take a look at what’s going on around the city this weekend, I think we’ll try to hit up Ribfest fo sho, can’t say no to bbq!