Monthly Archive: January 2014

Thursday

16

January 2014

4

COMMENTS

Blaze Pizza

Written by , Posted in Chicago, Restaurants

If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would absolutely be pizza. Thin, thick, deep dish, stuffed, NY, New Haven, Chicago…the list goes on, and I love them all. So…when the newly opened Blaze Pizza in Lakeview invited me to stop in and see what they were all about, I jumped at the chance!

Blaze Pizza

The concept at Blaze is simple yet so perfect, it really makes you wonder why someone didn’t think of it sooner! Think of Blaze as the Subway or Chipotle of pizza. Pick your crust (gluten-free option available!), pick your sauce, pick your toppings (vegan cheese available!), wait 180 seconds, and your creation is ready to be devoured, hot and crisp, straight from their wood-burning oven! The dough is made from scratch and all the ingredients are super fresh and very tasty, the perfect building blocks for a winning pie!

Toppings galore!

Blaze Pizza

When I first walked up to the counter I was a bit intimidated by all the choices in front of me, but the staff was super helpful and held my hand the whole way through-they’re used to newbies here! If you’re not up for creating your own pie they also have several Signature Pizzas that you can choose from, and modify as it moves down the assembly line if you so choose. I’ve tried Red Vine and the Green Stripe which were both big winners in my book, along with a creation of my own. If you’re making your own and enjoy a bit of a kick, definitely give their spicy red sauce a try!

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza

Blaze also has a variety of fresh salads to choose from in small and large sizes, I tried the Classic Caesar and I’m a fan!

Blaze Pizza

Add in a glass of their Blood Orange Lemonade and one of their RIDICULOUS warm, gooey S’more Pies and you’ve got yourself a meal! With pizzas just under $8, you can afford a sweet treat at the end!

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza

Blaze is currently open at 953 W. Belmont, near the intersection of Belmont & Sheffield, right under the Belmont Red/Brown line stop…easy access people! More Blaze locations will be opening in Chicago this year, so be on the look out for new openings in your ‘hood!

I was invited to Blaze and enjoyed my first visit at no charge, but I have since returned and enjoyed more of their delicious pizzas and s’more pies on my own hard earned dime. Opinions on this fab new pizza joint are my own. 

 

Tuesday

14

January 2014

0

COMMENTS

Windy City Blogger Collective

Written by , Posted in Chicago

WCBC

photo by Andrea Plecko http://www.chicagoandreacreative.com/

photo by Andrea Plecko http://www.chicagoandreacreative.com/

For those of you that follow me on social media, you may have noticed yesterday’s big announcement that the Windy City Blogger Collective is officially up and running!

Blair, Christine, Erin, Kit and I have been hard at work over the last couple months to get our idea off the ground and we couldn’t have been more excited to see it all finally come together. In a nutshell, WCBC is a blogger collective created by bloggers, for bloggers, with aims to educate, promote and connect bloggers with each other. Blogging has helped us meet so many amazing people and has brought tons of fun opportunities our way so we want to use what we know and what our members know to make the blogging community even better! Membership is open to Chicago-area bloggers only, but our site will have a TON of useful information for bloggers everywhere!

To celebrate the launch, we’re hosting a Happy Hour tomorrow at Trellis  in Lincoln Park from 6p-8p. Stop by to say hi and help us celebrate! Thank you all for your kind words and continuing support, we can’t wait to see all the great things in store for this wonderful group!

Monday

13

January 2014

0

COMMENTS

Travel Throwback: Cruising the Mediterranean with Celebrity

Written by , Posted in Travel

With the excitement of the holidays behind us and the bitter cold settling in over Chicago, I thought this would be the perfect time to bring you to the warm, sunny lands of Italy, Greece, and Turkey! Travel Throwback is a series of blog posts based on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise that I took with Mike, my mom, and my brother aboard the Celebrity Equinox back in August of 2011. Back then I wasn’t blogging about my travel but luckily I kept a journal and took a LOT of pictures and I can’t wait to share!

Welcome to the Celebrity Equinox!

Celebrity Equinox

I’m a pretty lucky girl-I had the opportunity to go on several cruises with my family when I was younger and we’ve visited Mexico, the Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, etc….all those places that most people think of when you hear ‘cruise’. We have cruised with both Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines in the past but none of those ships and itineraries were as beautiful or as impressive as our Mediterranean cruise with Celebrity.

Celebrity Equinox

The four of us had 2 adjoining staterooms, each with great balconies where we enjoyed our coffee in the mornings, read books during the day while at sea, and convened for drinks at night. Rooms on cruise ships generally aren’t very big, and the showers certainly aren’t made for families with an average height over 6′, but our rooms on the Equinox were quite comfortable and proved to be a great home away from home for 10 days!

Our balcony aboard the Celebrity Equinox

Our balcony aboard the Celebrity Equinox

On our balcony aboard the Celebrity Equinox

On our balcony aboard the Celebrity Equinox

While the rooms were great and all, we honestly didn’t spend very much time in them. We only had 2 full days at sea and on those days most of our time was spent lounging by the pool, enjoying the onboard spa, shopping, or enjoying entertainment at one of the many public spaces on the ship. We loved catching the sunset every night at the aptly named Sunset Bar where frozen drinks and latin tunes were never in short supply.

The main pool on the Celebrity Equinox

The main pool on the Celebrity Equinox

Our favorite entertainment at the Sunset Bar

Our favorite entertainment at the Sunset Bar

The fam enjoying our usual happy hour at the Sunset Bar on board

The fam enjoying our usual happy hour at the Sunset Bar on board

My brother and I watching the sunset as we sailed from Santorini

My brother and I watching the sunset as we sailed from Santorini

Sunset from the ship as we sailed from Santorini

Sunset from the ship as we sailed from Santorini

Of course you can’t talk about a cruise ship without talking about the food! I easily gained at least one clothing size over the 10 days, even with the endless walking we did, but you know what-it was well worth it! Breakfast was usually a quick stop at the ship’s buffet before we headed out for the day. Dinners were feasts in the main dining room or at Murano or Silk Harvest, two of the specialty restaurants that we visited onboard. We also took full advantage of the free room service after few late nights out-it’s pretty hard to beat wings, burgers, and pizza delivered to your room after a long night of drinking! Bottom line: Celebrity knows their food. Enjoy it, savor it, and save the diet for when you get back home!

The main buffet aboard the Equinox

The main buffet aboard the Equinox

Delicious sushi at the onboard restaurant, Silk Harvest

Delicious sushi at the onboard restaurant, Silk Harvest

Escargot, a must-order nearly every night!

Escargot, a must-order nearly every night!

Although we usually had early wake-up calls, there was always time for a little partying before calling it a night, even when we stuffed ourselves silly at dinner. The Equinox has a bunch of great places to grab drinks and/or do a little dancing, all with a different atmosphere and theme. Whether it was a sweaty dance party by the pool, fancy drinks at the martini bar, or hanging around the the ship’s club, Quasar, we always had a fantastic time!

Celebrity Equinox

Drinks in the Martini Bar

Just hanging out in the middle of the onboard club, Quasar

Just hanging out in the middle of the onboard club, Quasar

The rooms, the food, the staff, the entertainment, all the amenities…cruising on the Celebrity Equinox was a crazy wonderful experience all around. If you’re looking for a great cruise line, we all give Celebrity two giant thumbs up!

View of our ships from Fira, Santorini

View of our ships from Fira, Santorini

Celebrity Equinox

Bon Voyage!

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