Make Your Resolution Stick!

With the New Year soon approaching, people are thinking of resolutions to make 2018 the best year yet. However, we have all fallen into the trap where we have good intentions to eat better, drink more water, do more self care, or any other resolution only to have it fall apart two weeks into the new year. Check out these tips to make sure your resolution sticks for good in 2018.

  •  If you’ve resolved to drink more water, get a new water bottle so you stop forgetting to drink more than one glass a day. 

    • Nothing will help you stay better hydrated than a new water bottle. Check out the bottles that even have times on them so you know when you should be hitting your water intake goals!
  • If you’ve resolved to get your life organized once and for all, a journal or planner is the way to go.

    • Whether you use a daily planner with to do lists or a more relaxed bullet journal to keep track of everything you have going on, being consistent in your efforts to stay organized is key.
  •  If you’ve resolved to be more active, a fitness tracker or an exercise class pass is perfect for tracking your activity and keeping yourself accountable. 

    • Make goals with your friends on who can get more steps each day. Winner doesn’t have to pay for your weekly brunch! For classes, don’t let those new friends you made in the class feel let down you didn’t show up. Friends motivating each other can ensure your 2018 fitness resolution goals!
  • If you’ve resolved to start making every penny count, use an app to track spending!

    • Want to keep better track of your finances? Apps like Mint show you where and how you are spending your money. It is a great way to start reassessing your finances and putting your money to better use.


With these tips, your New Years Resolution will be sure to be a successful one! Let us know what your resolution is this year in the comments!

Decorating for the Holidays!

How that the holidays are in full swing, you are most likely in the process of decorating for it. However, you may be wondering what the best ways to decorate for the holidays are in your apartment. Check out the list below for some helpful tips to maximize on your holiday cheer decor!


  • Plan Smart Kitchen Decor. It may seem like a great idea to use your ample counter space to decorate, but remember, you’ll need that space for prepping exciting holiday treats! Keep the decor here to a minimum with a holiday themed jar and plates.
  • Take advantage of the high ceilings! To avoid excess clutter, hang things from the ceiling for that extra wow factor.
  • You can never go wrong with wreaths. A timeless classic, wreaths always amp up holiday decor. Try something new this year like a gold wreath! Just remember to keep it on the inside of your apartment.
  • Go tiny. Tiny trees are popping up everywhere lately. Target has some great trees that are under 4 feet! This allows you to get the classic tree while sparing some space in your home.
  • Use color and light whenever possible. Colors, like red and green, really add to the holiday atmosphere. Lighting can set the mood for your holiday celebrations! Be sure to utilize both of these to maximize your holiday spirit.
  • Amp up your bar cart. If there’s somewhere people congregate around during a holiday party, it’s the wine and spirits. Decorate your bar cart with faux fur, cranberries, and some beautiful candlesticks.
  • Swap out your every day decor. Throw pillows, blankets, candles, and more can be swapped out for special holiday versions of the same items. It leaves you with the same amount of space, but more decor!

Fun stuff to do in the winter!

We’ve all been there—sitting on the couch with our friends or family and unanimously canceling the fun we had planned. There’s nothing wrong with staying in, but when low temperatures turn you into a homebody, it can be refreshing to break out of the routine and bundle up to head out of the house. Resist the urge to let the Chicago winter snow on your fun with these winning winter outing ideas.

Try out the ice skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park. Show off your skating skills with the Chicago’s skyline as your behind you. Bring your own skates to save to some money or rent skates for $12 during the week and $14 during the weekend. Once you’ve shown off all your skating (and falling) skills, grab a cup of hot chocolate and relax with the beautiful surroundings.

Grab some delicious hot chocolate. Located in the West Loop, this season’s hottest place for hot chocolate is Bombobar. They have over the top hot chocolate and plenty of delicious sides to go with, like donuts! Definitely hit up this spot for their Instagram worthy food and hot chocolate.

Find a bar or restaurant with a cozy fireplace. Chicago is known for brutal winters and delicious food. Having so many options to grab food where you know the restaurant will be toasty should be enough motivation to leave your cozy home to venture out and try something new!

Hit up a museum. Chicago is home to countless museums that offer a respite from the cold and wind during the winter. Adler Planetarium does plenty of fun activities during the winter like Adler After Dark. On a budget? On Thursdays after 5 pm, Illinois residents can gain free entry into the Art Institute. The Field Museum also hosts a few free days during the winter, as well.

With all the fun going on in the colder months of Chicago, it’s definitely worth it to venture out and see it for yourself. Let us know your favorite cold weather places in Chicago!

Throw the Best Dinner Party in Your Apartment!

1. First of all, actually throw a dinner party.

The number one thing stopping people from throwing a successful dinner party in an apartment is not actually throwing a dinner party! Seriously. If you’ve been holding off throwing a party because you think you live in apartment versus a house, don’t be worried. It may be a small dinner party for 3-5 or you can fit 15 or more people into your apartment. All you need is a desire to bring people into your home and everything should work out!

2. Don’t be afraid to rearrange your apartment furniture for the dinner party.

Sometimes the functionality of every day living doesn’t translate well over to having a dinner party. Yes, you may use your table as a desk, as well, and eat most of your meals at your coffee table. However, for a dinner party, don’t be afraid to mix up your living space! Clear out your yoga corner and make room for people to sit, relax, and enjoy the evening. This can even include moving this temporarily for the night. Throw extra furniture into your bedroom so guests can have the maximum space to enjoy the evening!

3. Go for mood lighting.

Almost anything is improved with good mood lighting. Rely on lamps with warm white lights, tea lights, candles, and even string lights! The lighting will set the tone for a wonderful evening, and will be great for Instagramming your delicious meal and spectacular night, as well.

4. Make it a collaborative experience.

Every dinner party is enhanced when everyone feels involved. One new idea that’s hitting the best dinner parties is using a chalkboard to put up the menu and ingredients. This way, your guests feel involved in the meal to come. Also, you can never go wrong with having guests bring their favorite side dishes, wines, or desserts! Any way to get your guests engaged in the evening is a good thing.

5. Realize it won’t all be perfect, which is totally okay.

The final tip for having a successful dinner party with friends in your apartment is really more a reminder that friends are friends for a reason. As long as everyone enjoys the company of others and has a fun time, no one will remember that the dessert was served a little later than expected or you had white wine with steak.  The entire reason to have a dinner party is to bring together people for good company and good food.


We hope you use these ideas and make the holiday season the best one yet with all your dinner parties! For even more tips, stop by our #friendsgiving on Thursday!

ZRS CEO Does Leadership Best

The apartment and rental industry is ever changing. There is always new technology, a new building, and a new demographic on the horizon. With all of this change, many people opt to rent due to the ease of renting and the lifestyle of renting. On top of this, the way people search for apartments has changed, as well. How do you stay on top of the game? By having a great CEO like ZRS Management (the company that manages Chestnut Tower) has.

ZRS Management President Steve Buck not only runs one of the largest apartment management firms in the country, he is known as a person of example for corporate culture in the industry. ZRS’ employees stay longer than the average in the industry and enjoy a workplace supported by Steve’s great leadership skills. Check out some of his key tidbits to better our leadership qualities!

“Everyone loves hearing their name.”

— Steve Buck, President, ZRS Management

Use client’s names often, when talking over the phone or meeting in person. It makes the client feel special, important, and more likely to remember you and your building.

“People should have really high expectations of us.”

 Steve Buck, President, ZRS Management

Your reputation in this industry is paramount to your success. Without people expecting the best from you, you are letting yourself and your building down. Make sure people expect a lot, and still exceed those expectations.

“I’m really conscious of not getting in the way.”

— Steve Buck, President, ZRS Management

Sometimes, the best management is done from afar. Through thorough training and setting an example, the ultimate leader should be able to lead from behind and let the people in the front handle everything successfully.




City Living in the Fall

Living in Chicago, you may be worried you won’t get to see the traditional sights of fall-leaves changing, corn, pumpkins farms, and more! Thankfully, our great city is home to some wonderful destinations to fulfill your need for everything fall. Keep reading to learn more.


Chicago Botanic Garden

In the next few weeks, be sure to take some time to visit Chicago’s Botanic Garden! You’ll be able to see countless perennials, maples turning red, and more! The fun doesn’t stop, though, once the leaves change, since this garden boasts impressive walks that will truly enhance your Fall experience.

Lincoln Park

Not far from Chestnut Tower is Lincoln Park! Watching leaves change here is truly beautiful. There’s countless playgrounds for the kiddos, parks for your dogs, and even the Zoo! Be sure to check out this local gem to see Fall happening in our city.

Promontory Point

Located in Burnham Park and accessible via the Lakefront Trail, Promontory Point Park is also very close by and a great spot to check out the beauty of Fall! Catch the amazing Fall views of the Chicago skyline while going for a walk, run, or bike before the weather gets too cold!

Morton Arboretum

Located in Lisle about 30 minutes West of Chicago, this is a great gem to explore! Accessible by car or train, this park is expansive. Stop by to view the countless trees changing leaves, take a hike on one of their many trails, and check out their special fall events!

Remember, in Northern Illinois, Fall foliage is at its peak in mid-October. Happy Fall!

5 Places to Hang Out with your Friends and Your Dog!


In case you didn’t notice, Chestnut Tower is a little dog crazy. We love spending time with our dogs and want to share some of the best spots on where you and your pup can hang out together! Here’s some great pet friendly patios in the city you can bring your adorable dogs with you when you go out exploring the city!

  1. Freestyle Food + Drink

This hip bar located in the Dana Hotel in River North is very dog friendly! Your four legged family member can join you for drinks and food with the pet Patio Package! This gets your dog a plush pet, a fancy treat, and their signature water bowl. What better way to spend time out in the city than relaxing with your dog and good food and drinks?

  1. Howells & Hood

Howells and Hood, nestled in the beautiful Tribune Tower, is a Chicago landmark with great food! What makes this spot even better is that the patio is dog friendly! When employees see your dog, they’ll ensure your dog is as satisfied as you are by bringing a water bowl just for them!

  1. Begyle Brewing Co.

Located in North Center, this community supported brewing company caters to all you craft beer enthusiasts and your dogs! While your dogs can’t indulge in an IPA, Begyle Brewing Company does have water bowls and treats ready and waiting for you and your dog to visit.

  1. 312 Chicago

Just a short ride away on the 156 bus into the Loop, 312 Chicago is the spot to get Italian food for yourself and delicious food for your pup! The patio, which is dog friendly, has a special menu for your dog, including things like salmon with rice and peanut butter biscuits! And, of course, there are water bowls available for your dog.

  1. The Dock at Montrose Beach

No list about dog friendly restaurants in Chicago would be complete without mentioning The Dock at Montrose Beach. After spending an afternoon playing with your dog on the beach, you can both go relax and get something to eat or drink at The Dock! If that isn’t a perfect way to spend a warm Saturday afternoon, we don’t know what is.