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Photos and tips on travel, food, drinks to help you live a fuller life.

Hot Chocolate Recipe with Bulleit Bourbon

I’m stoked to be a #BulleitPartner this year sharing some recipes for Bourbon drinks that you can make in every season.

This week I’m cozying up to enjoy the last few weeks of winter! I decided to put an easy spin on a wintry fav -- a bourbon infused hot chocolate! This tasty recipe is the perfect way to send off the winter season. Check out the recipe and some photos below!

Bourbon Hot Chocolate

-1.25 oz Bulleit Bourbon 

⁃2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

⁃2 tablespoons of sugar

⁃Pinch of Sea Salt

⁃½ cup of milk

⁃½ cup of cream

⁃½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

⁃1.25 oz Bulleit Bourbon

Heat the milk & cream to your desired temperature before mixing the ingredients. Add the cocoa, sugar and sea salt; Stir. Add the vanilla extract and Bourbon, Stir and enjoy!

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Voilà! Let me know if you make this recipe—it’s literally one of the coziest things i’ve tasted this Winter!

Staying Cozy in Subzero Chicago

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If you haven’t heard by now, Chicago is reaching record low temperatures this week. It gets cold every year, of course—but today It’s colder here than it is in Antartica. Which just feels…incredibly unfair.

First things first: If you happen to be reading this and aren’t able to keep your home warm or find a warm place to be, Click here to find a warming center in Chicago. Lyft is also providing free rides to these centers using the code CHIJAYDEN19, and Uber is doing the same with the code DFSS. It’s also helpful to share this info on social just in case—you never know who may need it.

So today is all about staying indoors. I thought I’d share a few things that are keeping me warm and occupied this week.


  1. Metric Coffee - Colombia Roast

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I have the Colombia Nelson Chavez roast brewing all day today. It has a robust initial mouth feel, with notes of raspberry tea, reships and orange zest—and an ever so sweet finish.. I’m into it. Also glad I grabbed a couple cinnamon rolls from my favorite bakery in the suburbs to start the morning off right. ;)

2. Parachute Alpaca Throw

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This Windowpane throw from Parachute Home is made of Alpaca fur in Peru, and is seriously one of the coziest (and warmest) things I own. On a day like today it also could double as a shawl or scarf to protect against the arctic elements—I certainlyI wouldn’t judge! Take a look at it on their site here.

3. Music

I snagged a few faves from the growing vinyl collection to find a few albums that feel ideal for a winter day in.

Yebba is one of my absolute favorite vocalists and I can’t wait for the impending album. For now, we have one main single and if you spring for this LP, an exclusive special acoustic version that I’ve had on repeat for awhile.  Listen on   Apple Music   or   Spotify  .  Bonus: Watch the amazing exclusive Apple Music music video (with unique vocals)   here  .

Yebba is one of my absolute favorite vocalists and I can’t wait for the impending album. For now, we have one main single and if you spring for this LP, an exclusive special acoustic version that I’ve had on repeat for awhile.

Listen on Apple Music or Spotify.

Bonus: Watch the amazing exclusive Apple Music music video (with unique vocals) here.


I inherited this album from my Great Grandmother, and I’m so glad I did. There’s a special energy about live recordings from this era, and Harry’s charm & charisma are so evident throughout the whole album.   Favorite song:  Day O  Listen on   Apple Music   or on   Spotify  .

I inherited this album from my Great Grandmother, and I’m so glad I did. There’s a special energy about live recordings from this era, and Harry’s charm & charisma are so evident throughout the whole album.

Favorite song: Day O

Listen on Apple Music or on Spotify.

This album is basically perfect. To be fair, I can listen to this album any time of the day or year—but it feels especially perfect for the end of a day in. Let S. Carey guide the transition from day to night and keep it nice and cozy.   Favorite Song:  Have You Stopped to Notice  Listen on  Apple Music  or Listen on  Spotify.

This album is basically perfect. To be fair, I can listen to this album any time of the day or year—but it feels especially perfect for the end of a day in. Let S. Carey guide the transition from day to night and keep it nice and cozy.

Favorite Song: Have You Stopped to Notice

Listen on Apple Music or Listen on Spotify.

4. Candles

This one’s a no brainer. I burn a candle or incense nearly every day so I go through scents quickly—but today I’m burning New York by   Roam   ,  and in addition to the perfect notes of Amber & Birch, it also boasts a 45 hour burn time which is amazing for a candle this size. If you have a favorite candle, feel free to leave a link in the comments!

This one’s a no brainer. I burn a candle or incense nearly every day so I go through scents quickly—but today I’m burning New York by Roam, and in addition to the perfect notes of Amber & Birch, it also boasts a 45 hour burn time which is amazing for a candle this size. If you have a favorite candle, feel free to leave a link in the comments!


However you’re spending the winter months (and extra chilly days if you’re in the Midwest) I hope you at least get a few moments of cozy. A special shout out to those who can’t take the day off or work from home—public servants and other workers who keep things moving even on days like today.

Giveaway with Korchmar Bags

The holidays might be over, but I’m still in the gifting mood!

Photo by  Jesse Schroeder

Lately I’ve been searching for a smaller bag for day to day work, when I don’t need to lug around my camera and all my equipment. Enter Korchmar Bags, with the Edwin—their slim leather briefcase I‘m just a little obsessed with. They’ve been making fine leather goods since 1917, so the quality is pretty amazing.

Photo by  Jesse Schroeder

To win one of your own, just head to Instagram and follow the directions in the caption linked here.

Good luck—Giveaway closes Friday at 5PM CST!

Cozy Bedroom Remodel

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cozy bedroom remodel

 

sweet dreams are made of this

When I was growing up, I spent countless nights watching HGTV with my mom. Obsessing over details, re-designs, paint colors, etc--and then we'd often spend weekends re-working the living room, moving furniture around or working on a new project around the house. 

So it's no surprise that as an adult, re-designing my living spaces has been a hobby of mine as well. So stoked to share photos of my bedroom, a year or two in the making. My goal was to make a space that felt like home, bright and inviting during the day and cozy & intimate at night. 

My personal style tends to be mostly found or antique objects, mixed with pieces that mean something to me; and of course, making sure there's space for candles. warm light and plants as well. Plus the coziest bedding by Parachute Home.

Check out the before and after, & a tour of my favorite moments below! Sources linked at the end. 

Before & After

A daily reminder on the importance of doing the work from  The Parative Project .

A daily reminder on the importance of doing the work from The Parative Project.

I found this shelf inside a vintage toolbox I'm using as storage, and decided to utilize it as additional display space on the opposite wall. 

I found this shelf inside a vintage toolbox I'm using as storage, and decided to utilize it as additional display space on the opposite wall. 

One of my favorite quotes, delivered by Julie Andrews in One Special Night (1999). Board by  Letterfolk .

One of my favorite quotes, delivered by Julie Andrews in One Special Night (1999). Board by Letterfolk.

One of my favorite orchestral pieces of all time. Listen to this version on Apple Music  here .

One of my favorite orchestral pieces of all time. Listen to this version on Apple Music here.

A cozy Saturday morning as photographed by  Matt Scheffer.

A cozy Saturday morning as photographed by Matt Scheffer.

My proudest DIY moment in the room belongs to the light fixture-- a basket I found at a thrift store and proclaimed, "that belongs on the ceiling!" Add an Edison-style bulb and you're golden. 

My proudest DIY moment in the room belongs to the light fixture-- a basket I found at a thrift store and proclaimed, "that belongs on the ceiling!" Add an Edison-style bulb and you're golden. 

Photo by  Mike Gregory .

Photo by Mike Gregory.

Thanks for checking out my space! I'll be sharing photos of my re-designed living room soon, so keep an eye out for those! 


Sources: 

Bedding: Parachute Home Pictured: Linen Venice Set in Indigo & Percale/Linen Venice Set in White

"Dream to Do" Flag: The Parative Project

Leather Pillows: The Citizenry

Lamp: Target

Letterboard: Letterfolk 

"Chicago, IL" Flag: Wild Standard 

 

Staycation - Chicago Athletic Association

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stay with me

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Sometimes you just need a break, but don't quite have the time (or energy) for a long trip. That's why I was so glad when the folks at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel asked me to come for a staycation, experiencing all the amazing culture and cuisine the hotel has to offer.

Reserved for Chicago's elite for over 100 years, the Chicago Athletic Association and Hotel now serves as a place for everyone--complete with lots of original architecture and nods to the building's tremendous history. 

It also features seven dining experiences, rendering it basically unnecessary to leave the building (especially in the brutal winter months.) Find Cindy's Rooftop & the Cherry Circle Room featured in the photos below.

I can't recommend this place, the amazing views and kind staff enough! Located right on Michigan Avenue across from Millennium Park, it's a great place for folks visiting the city or just looking to get away for a minute.  

Click here to book a room.

Check out a few favorites from my stay below!