Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fast Easy Curls

I met Kiss representatives at the 2013 BlogHer conference in Chicago.  They gave me nail stickers, press-on nails, and fake eyelashes to try and review.  Recently a Kiss rep asked me to try out their InstaWave Automatic Curler.  Sure, why not? I was curious about the instant, automatic curling iron concept; perhaps even a bit terrified that my hair would get sucked up, tangled in, and torn out by the rotating rod.  But surely, why would a brand I know push a product that doesn't work or rips out your hair?  I read the instructions and looked at the diagram photos and still wondered how it could work.  But I followed the directions and placed the tip of the curling rod at the top of my sectioned hair and pressed the switch, while I kept the rod parallel to my hair.  Sure enough the barrel started rotating and gently captured my hair as it revolved.  It was fast, easy and painless -- it really works!  It's so easy that I was taking selfies while curling my hair; hence, the slightly blurry focus.  My hair is normally (not naturally) curly, but my friends could see the difference in curls.  The InstaWaved side was soft-looking, loose spirals while my untouched hair was crinkly and messy.  This is a great addition to the Kiss product line that keeps in mind the stylish and busy woman on the go.
I was not financially compensated for this post, links, or tweets.  However, I did receive a product sample to facilitate my review.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Brunch Without the Frantics

Finding a nice place for brunch on the weekends without a line and without the hustle and bustle of servers maneuvering between tight spaces is seemingly impossible.  Seung and I had a quiet and enjoyable brunch at the spacious and sunny Oak Tree Restaurant & Bakery on the 6th Floor of the 900 N. Michigan Shops. Brunch without the clanging of dishes from the kitchen and without toddler meltdowns IS possible!

The bread basket was phenomenal -- possibly the best complimentary assortment offered at a restaurant.   The restaurant is, after all, also a bakery, which undoubtedly beats the diners with stale dinner rolls coming off of some distant conveyor belt.  I ordered the Windy City Chop Salad with spring greens, roasted turkey, swiss gruyere, egg, tomato, lardon, and thousand island on the side.  Mostly everything tasted simple, clean, and fresh, although the lardon were some rogue nuggets of bacon and the thousand island dressing tasted very much like the special sauce in a McDonald's Big Mac.  Seung had the hearty cheddar, spinach, and tomato omelet.

Whenever I visit the 900 N. Michigan Shops, it is quite empty.  Perhaps the high-end designer shops intimidate the masses.  Regardless, this makes all the building's eateries such as Baisi Thai less congested than most of the food outlets you'll find on tourist-infested Michigan Avenue.

Oak Tree on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Breakfast at Beatrix

I had heard and read many great things about Beatrix in River North, especially about their breakfast and brunch offerings.  Recently I attended a breakfast there hosted by blurb, the online self-publishing platform. The fresh-squeezed Power Greens juice was a nourishing and faintly sweet concoction of locally sourced kale, romaine, celery, pineapple, and mint.

Our delicious offerings on our specialized event menu included gluten-free cinnamon coffee cake muffins, lemon blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs, hash browns, green chili deep dish quiche, and chicken sausage. Of all the delectable options, I liked the chicken sausage the best; the grilled, flat patties had a tinge of sweetness.  Beatrix is known for their pastries and is a great place to pick some up along with a great cup of Intelligentsia or Metropolis coffee on your morning commute.

The service was exemplary and professional.  Beatrix is a great place to dine comfortably with friends and family or over a business meeting with clients and coworkers.
Beatrix on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quasi-Swanky LUXBAR

Compared to some of the high-end fine dining restaurants near Viagra Triangle, Luxbar is a more affordably-priced option with an exceptionally stylish environment.  Stan and I had dinner there and were quite content with the quality and taste of our meal, as well as the above par, professional service.  Stan savored his steak frites -- a hearty Midwestern dish of essentially steak and (fried) potatoes.  I thoroughly enjoyed my pan seared Amish chicken breast with broccoli rabe and brown rice.  Why can't I get my chicken to taste like that?  Perhaps because these chickens are antibiotic-free and vegetable-fed at Miller's Farm, which is located nearby in northern Indiana.
Luxbar is part of the Gibsons Restaurant Group (famous for their steaks) and rightfully prides themselves of their "legendary service."  I definitely appreciate their wholesome and natural food and will return for another classy dining experience.