Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hey Michigan Ave...I've missed you!

     When I moved to Chicago in 2005 I knew I wanted to be in the South Loop - it was the up and coming area and I liked being close to the lake and having Michigan Ave right there!  It took me quite a while to find the right place for me - a lot of the new construction was too "cookie cutter", no personality and I needed something that screamed KRISTIN! when I walked through the front door.. so after months and months of walk-thrus, drive-bys and dragging my realtor around - I found it!
     I will never forget that Friday night that my realtor called and said this condo just came open today, we're listing it and we need to go NOW... and so we did! This is it I told her as I walked around, it was located in an old building that had been renovated and the original owner was a carpenter and built an upstairs and a ladder into the wall to get up there... she designed the back splash and added the side by side washer and dryer with extra storage.
     The unit is on the top floor of a 6 story building and sits on Michigan Ave - I walked onto balcony (wrap around I might add) and there was lake view... I had to hold down my excitement as there were a few other people walking around and checking it out too.  I def would need to update the paint, change up some colors and eventually change out the appliances but I knew this was the place for me!  We wrote up the offer, it was accepted and I moved in 1 month later.
     I love the space, the view, my neighbors and am so excited to be back home!
The entry way... I hired a designer to come in and paint this area, the ceilings and my bedroom and bath.   This room gets western sun in the afternoon and when I picked this blue mixed with the sunshine makes the room so happy! 
My bedroom - this was taken from the loft upstairs - it wraps around and has a door to close off the room and upstairs loft.  I had it painted with Ralph Lauren suede paint - 2 walls are a grey tone, 1 is chocolate brown and the brick wall - it's a true urban city feel.
Better view of living room from the upstairs - I like to keep things simple - I had the couch made to fit the size of my loft and kept it neutral.  The TV is in the armoire so I can close the doors if not watching.
I will changing out the marble around the fireplace this year. 
This is the ladder that was built into the wall to get upstairs... it's unique and again gives it a true city feel.  
Kitchen and dining room space. I'm changing out the white appliances this year  and  giving the granite counters a refresh.
Better view of the upstairs loft area.... the window is an old door and has a hinge to open and widen the space.  Used the same door on the left to close off the upstairs loft/bedroom.  The upstairs is my favorite space - I have my desk, yoga area and a comfy couch. 
Another view of the blue wall...this was my move out day.
Better view of brick, dining room and balcony door. 

Here's my building - I like being in a 6 story vs a high rise... my condo is the top balcony.
Painted the floor with a diamond design - another view of the window that opens to my bedroom.

This should be called the "before" photo as this kitchen is about to change.

Well, that's a quick peak into my Chicago condo. I'm counting down the days to be home and  June 1 is the perfect time as there is nothing better than a Chicago Summer! Come visit! xo

Sweet Chicago...I'm coming home!

I took this photo of the Chicago skyline in 1997 when living in Chicago was simply a dream!

     It's been awhile since I've posted...just a few things going on in my life but as they say, When Life Hands You, see your family, visit new places, lose a job and get a better one!! As of Feb 1 I was unemployed and for people that know me that meant very little - I was interviewing, networking and making some big decisions about life!
     As of March 4 I'm excited to tell the world I'm employed and moving back to Chicago.  I bought a condo there in March 2007 and I've been renting it for the past 2 1/2 years while I've been in Denver... we'll leave my condo for another post...but as sad as I am to leave Colorado and all it's sunshine, mountains and friends - I get to move back to Chicago and move into my own condo.
     My new company flew me to Chicago last weekend for some meetings and put me up at The Trump  - it was the perfect way to soak up the energy of the city, get a morning run in and be grateful that I'm  coming back to my family and friends.
The view and architecture of the city never gets old! This is the Wrigley Building and a peak of the river (it will be green as of next Saturday for St Patrick's Day)
My morning run - when I lived in Chicago my friend Dawn at I would meet at 4:45am to get a few miles in - I took this at 5:45am but still that same feeling - nothing beats the energy of Chicago!!
Who doesn't love a pair of slippers - waiting for me upon check in - it's the added touches that make this hotel so fabulous!
I should have lightened this as the darkness doesn't do it justice - the rooms are soothing and you feel relaxed just being in one... turn down service at night, Nespresso maker in the room and who doesn't love a TV in the bathroom mirror?
We had a long day and ended up at Smith & Wollensky for dinner - I chose the tuna, always rare with a wine reduction
My new friend/co-worker, Tina, ordered oysters for the table - she's an East Coaster so she asked if she could prepare for me... delicious!
What better to wash down our amazing dinner - an UNoaked Chardonnay.
Our 2nd day we had 45 min to grab lunch so we decided on Sixteen, the exquisite restaurant on the Sixteen Floor of the Trump - wow! Too much money for too little food... I understand this would be a treat for people - the view is spectacular but when you need a quick lunch, no good.
This was the amuse Bouche... cucumber gelatin with sliced scallion and caviar.
Smoked potato leak and truffle soup - delicious and I appreciated the presentation.
Lobster potato gnocchi with winter citrus - the flavors worked well together, the only problem I needed about 3 more cups of it. :)
Portillo's... this is truly all I wanted while visiting Chicago! My favorite Italian Beef Sandwich with sweet peppers - there is nothing like it! I didn't get the chocolate cake but highly recommend to anyone in Chicago - you have to try a piece to understand how moist and chocolaty it is!

Well, that was literally a taste of my trip back to Chicago... there will be many more posts to come - there are so many terrific restaurants, neighborhoods and people in this city - can't wait to be back!  Life is an adventure, my seat belt is strapped and I'm ready for the ride! xo