Winter Weather Tips!

 

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It’s that time of year again-the time of year when your fingers freeze and your soul turns to ice because it’s negative 50 degrees and you can’t even go outside without your eyelashes freezing to your face and you can’t blink anymore.

 

It’s WINTER IN CHICAGO.

What do we do to stay warm when wind chill dips dangerously low?

Here are some tried and true tips for staying toasty.

Layers, layers, layers:

Take it from a commuter– when the wind hits you at 30 miles an hour and it’s -2 degrees outside, you want to be wearing a good pair of thermals  or long underwear. Start with a tank top or thermal shirt. This will keep insulation right next to your skin so no wind creeps up into your clothing. My Mom has suggested Cuddl Duds for years. What about the lower half? Skinny jeans got you all like, “long underwear won’t fit under there!” ? Well, try out some fleece lined tights or leggings. Those will fit under the skinniest of pants and add an extra layer of warmth. If it’s extra cold outside reminiscent of the Polar Vortex, add a pair of track pants or wind resistant ski pants over your gear for even more heat.

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Outerwear:

Again, layers are important here. Make sure you’re wearing a warm sweater or sweatshirt over your tank or thermal top. A coat with high down count is very key to staying warm, so when purchasing a coat, be sure to look at down count over brand names. You want the fill of the coat to be at least 60% down to be a warm coat. For reference, one of the most expensive and warmest coats you can get is a Canada Goose ,– if you can afford this baby and plan to be walking everywhere, this is probably the winter to invest in a coat like this. Otherwise, look for similar down counts in the fill.

It goes without saying that a good hat will be needed–but as an extra tip–pull your hood up over your head and THEN wrap a scarf around your neck via the back of the hood until the hood stays in place securely. This will most definitely  keep the wind from whipping it off of you and freezing your face off.

Hand warmers are the perfect invention to slip inside your mittens or gloves– grab a pair at Walgreens, Amazon, CVS, Target- they are everywhere, but not very widely used.

A poor man’s version of hand warmers is a good ‘ole cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Don’t forget to visit your local coffee shop or Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks/Intelligentsia to warm y04-cold-weather-hacks-eat-something-fatty.jpgour frosty hands with a cup of liquid. And while we’re at it, that hot drink will help warm YOU up too.

Drinking a hot beverage will help raise your body temperature in arctic conditions.

 

 

Inside your home:

thermometer-cold.jpgOnce you’ve braved the storm, you want to make sure the inside of your home is extra toasty! Electric blankets, throws, slippers, and all things fuzzy are excellent choices, but sometimes creating a warm ambiance will help you believe you’re warm, as well. For actual heat, check out a wall mounted fireplace , or if you just want some fake fire, check out this YouTube video that has 1 hour of crackling fire PLUS Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra crooning in the background.

As a final tip, if the heat in your home is not cutting it, take an extra look at your thermostat if it is digital. Make sure the system is set to “Heat” and put the fan on “Auto.” If your abode is still not heating up fast enough, adjust the speed accordingly from low to high until you are warm enough and then adjust as needed.

Hoping these tips help keep you warm this holiday season!

With love,

Chestnut Tower

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Thanksgiving 2016

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Thanksgiving is upon us. And whether you are celebrating America right now or crying your eyes out, there is still turkey to be eaten and relatives to fight with. If you’re staying in the city this year, Chicago’s got you covered!

Don’t want to deal with Thanksgiving prep this year?

DON’T DO YOUR DISHES!

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That’s right! Eating Thanksgiving Dinner outside of the home is an adventure. If you’ve never done it before, you might be in awe of the chocolate fondue fountains, the rows of side dishes, the dessert room with heavenly pieces of pumpkin and apple deliciousness.  You have entered the buffet of Thanksgiving dinners. You do not need to worry about overcooking the stuffing, you only need to worry about stuffing yourself. Someone else will do those dishes. And for the daintier eaters, there is usually a single plate serving of Thanksgiving dinner available if you aren’t into buffet style. Chicago has loads of amazing places to go! If you can’t get home for the holidays or simply just don’t want to this year, head to one of these options!

Top Ten Thanksgiving Restaurants 2016

Or perhaps you’d like to be on the lake, cutting a rug with Grandma while a DJ plays in the background. Take an Odyssey Cruise on Lake Michigan for Thanksgiving! 

…..BEFORE THE TURKEY…..

GO SEE THE PARADE!

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Have you been to the parade before? Floats of joy will bring the warmth back to your heart. McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: November 24, 2016 from 8am-11am CST–the parade will head down State Street from Congress to Randolph. The route is approximately 1 mile long. Head there with the kids or your friends and family and embrace each other as you watch joyful folks and balloons marching and floating down State.

RUN OFF THOSE CALORIES IN ADVANCE!

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Let’s face it. Those calories aren’t going to burn themselves off. Well, technically, some of them will. But be proactive and run for The Greater Chicago Food Depository in the Chicago Turkey Trot! This is November 24th at 8am in Lincoln Park. And the swag this year is pretty cool too. Get some fresh air, give back, and get some exercise in the process.

 

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Get thee to Christkindlmarket! This year is the 21st Annual Christkindlmarket! Admission is FREE! The market opens on November 18 until December 24th. Come by and relish in this German tradition turned local city gem. If you’ve never been, explore booth after booth of roasted nuts, spiced wine in legit Chicago ceramic boots, the ornament house (you can actually find pickle ornaments), and above all else, sheer holiday happiness. This is an event for all and definitely not one to miss.

Here’s images.pnghoping one of these options brings you some joy this Thanksgiving. Love hard. Love fierce. Hold each other close. Let’s come together this Thanksgiving and celebrate the love that still unites us all.

 

Why Chicago is the Best Place for the Holidays

Even though the temperatures are dropping and we are heading into the dreaded winter season, there is still a lot to look forward to! Chicago is not only known for its amazing food, but also the great activities we host during the holiday season.

Here are the events to keep an eye on, and to help keep your mind off the freezing temperatures 🙂

 

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Zoo Lights

If you missed the lights being turned on last Friday, not to worry. They will remain Friday-Sunday until 12/13, and then every night until 1/3/15! Grab friends or family and head to Lincoln Park to see the spectacular lights, ice sculptures, hot drinks, and more. Extra bonus:  If you are one of the first 1000 people each night, you’ll receive special glasses to see the lights, and hopefully you can catch animals too 🙂

ZOO LIGHTS CALENDAR

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Ice Skating

 Once you are done taking in the beautiful lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo, glide over to the Farm-In-the-Zoo ice skate rink to get even more Holiday fun.  Rentals are only an additional $5, and perfect activity for all ages. Make sure to check the website for daily hours of operation.

ICE SKATING & EVENTS CALENDAR

 

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Caroling at Cloud Gate:

Now that you are done warming up on the ice rink, it’s time to warm up your vocals. Head to the Cloud Gate, AKA “the Bean” to enjoy beautiful holiday music every Friday from now until December 18th. Chicago Choirs will not only serenade you, but also allow you to join in for the funJ Here is a list of the schedule:  CAROLING AT THE CLOUD GATE

 

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CSO

If you are still wanting more music and looking to make a night of it, look no further than the Chicago Symphony Orchestra! For a once and a lifetime experience that you will not regret. Make sure to buy tickets ahead of time, as they sell out very quickly! Here are the upcoming shows:

CSO CALENDAR

 

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ZED451 Resident Holiday Party

Saving the best for the last!  Join us next Wednesday December 9th at Zed451 for our very own Resident Holiday Party!! Starting at 7:00pm until 9:30pm. Not only will there be delicious food and cocktails, but we will also have some amazing raffle prizes!! It is only a short stroll away, but there will be a shuttle service from Chestnut Tower directly to Zed451.  Feel free to hop on if it’s too chilly to walk!

Chestnut Tower hopes to see you there, and we wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

 

 

Chestnut Tower’s Tips before Travelling for The Holidays

It’s that time of year… the holiday season is fast approaching. We have put away our goblin masks & scary décor, and now have the fun time of figuring out our holiday plans. For many, we will be using much needed vacation time and travelling away from our humble abodes.

But before jet setting away, here are some friendly reminders for your apartment.

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Packages:

With a majority of people now shopping online, the holiday season is the busiest time for deliveries. One of the many perks of Chestnut Tower is that we have 24hr concierge, who not only accept packages for you, but can also deliver while you are away!

Don’t forget to request this ahead of time! Log on to your building link profile http://chestnuttowerresidents.com and make sure we have your accurate information listed.That way you will receive notification when your items arrive, and can notify the doorman if you would like them personally delivered.

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Heat

Chicago is known for its sporadic weather, especially in the fall/winter months. You might be leaving town in sunny 50 degree temperature, just to return to -30 polar vortex conditions. Make sure all windows are completely closed, and that your heat is left on in your apartment. This will help eliminate pipes being frozen, and make sure there is no water damage while you are gone.

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Refrigerator:

While we might be frantically trying to finish the load of laundry before our trip, or making sure we have every item in our suitcase, we might be forgetting some small things… like… food in the fridge!

Make sure to remove all produce, or foods that can spoil. If you feel bad about just throwing these items away… have a dining night in before your trip.  Cook any remaining items, or heat up the left overs. This way you are saving money and will not have an unpleasant greeting when you return.

If you are not a seasoned chef, and need help getting inspiration. Here are some helpful cooking sites to get you started. Simply input your remaining ingredients, and they will generate easy recipes.

http://www.supercook.com/#/recipes

http://myfridgefood.com/

http://www.recipematcher.com/

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Now that you have these tasks taken care of, you can relax and enjoy your Holiday away!

Designer Collaborations…For Your Home

We will never admit to the number of lines we’ve waited in or how many laptops, tablets and phones we have open to catch our favorite pieces of designer collaborations before they sell out–its a lot!

We’re fanatic about high-low partnerships just as much as everyone else, but why should our clothing and handbags only get the opportunity for luxe designs and low prices from a well known designer.  Check out our favorite designer collaborations for your home!  Leave a note in the comments if we missed one of your favorites.

Kate Spade Saturday | West Elm

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Kate Spade’s Saturday Collection features bedding, small furniture pieces, art and lighting that brighten up your space in an instant, or a Saturday shopping at West Elm.

Issac Mizrahi | Gibson Overseas

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Issac Mizrahi, the leader of the designer collaborations since 2003, partnered with Gibson Overseas for a collection of fun tableware and cookware to dress up your table!

DENY Designs | Target

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DENY Designs for Target features fun prints and bold graphics like the Diamonds Baroque Mirror and the ‘Let’s Cuddle’ throw blanket.

School of the Art Institute Chicago | CB2

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The collaboration between SAIC and CB2 is very refreshing.  Collect small space designs from up and coming interior designers before they become famous.  Our top picks are the multi-purpose floor screen and the space efficient tonic bar cart for Chestnut apartments.

Kelly Wearstler | Swarovski

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Kelly Wearstler designed luxe items for the home like a nomad head figurine with Swarovski encrusted spikes and a bejeweled bottle opener, just in case.

Aaron Probyn | Crate and Barrel 

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Aaron Probyn for Crate and Barrel offers some fresh designs with clean lines and a modern aesthetic.

Marni | The Rug Company

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Internationally recognized clothing company, Marni, partnered with The Rug Company for six opulent rugs for the home.  The Rug Company also features collaborations with Alexander McQueen, Rodarte and Diane von Furstenberg for the home that likes the finer things.

Karl Lagerfeld | Welton London

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John Paul Welton is an interior designer that wants your home to look and smell good.  He collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld for your home to smell like couture.

4 Things to Do On A Snow Day in Chicago…Or Anyday

Other cities shut down at the sight of snow, Chicago has become a seasoned pro when dealing with the blustery weather.   So streets are usually cleaned in a timely manner with most of us not having to be shut in our homes for the day.

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  None of us can predict what Mother Nature has in store for the rest of this winter, maybe another snowpocalypse, but lets not get distraught by all the fluffy white stuff. Instead, embrace the winter weather and attack the season head on with your friends and continue to explore the city, especially if its a snow day of cancelled classes or working from home.

1.  Bundle up and experience Frozemont

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Spend the day at Rosemont’s newest hotspot for winter activities.  Start by snow tubing on a four-story tube hill or making figure 8’s on the ice skating rink.  Warm up inside by experiencing one of the many restaurants, bowling or catching a movie at Muvico.

Avoid the snowy roads and take the CTA blue line directly to Rosemont.

2.  Snowtrekking at Northerly Island

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Explore Northerly Island on snow shoes or cross country skis! All sizes available. This activity requires 3 or more inches of snow. Now a good reason to be excited about snow sticking to the ground!

3.  Spend the day in Water Tower Place

We have a gem in our own neighborhood, Water Tower Place.  It offers a great place of refuge for snow days if you don’t want to be outside and don’t want to be stuck at home.  More than the average mall Water Tower Place features phenomenal dining options, great shopping, a world renowned spa, museum and Broadway playhouse.

4.  Take in a play during Chicago Theatre Week

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Chicago Theatre Week 2015 features $15 and $30 tickets (or less) to more than 250 professional theatre companies in Chicago!  February 12-22, visitors and residents will have the opportunity to choose from more than 100 productions and sample the extraordinary range of theatrical offerings throughout Chicago.

Tickets are on sale now.  See what’s playing here.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to go outside so that you can enjoy your time inside. Chicago has so much to offer and it would be a shame to miss out on the fun pouting over the cold weather.

Last Minute Decorating Ideas!

If this rainy weather has you procrastinating on holiday decorating, there’s still time to throw together something festive!  Little touches can make a big impact, especially in an apartment. Check out our tips below for easy, last-minute decorating tips and have a Happy Holiday, Chestnuts 🙂

No time to trim a tree?  Fill vases with ornaments, pine cones, or ribbons for a quick and merry centerpiece.

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Nothing says “Christmas” like a fresh-cut tree.  You can spruce (get it?) up any room with a tiny live tree.  Not only will it fill your apartment with the fresh scent of pine, a little greenery brightens up even the smallest spaces.  Last we checked, these little guys were still available at Whole Foods.

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String some white lights and pretty garland literally anywhere for instant cheer. If you’re not feeling particularly crafty, Paper Source has some ridiculously cute, pre-made garlands.

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Last but not least 🙂 A few push pins or small nails can turn a string of lights into the perfect apartment Christmas tree.  You can’t help but love this sparkly little arrangement. It’s a great way to display a few special ornaments and no pine needles to clean up!

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Let us know your favorite apartment decorating tips in the comments!

4 easy travel tips that make all the difference!

Summer isn’t over yet! Many of us still have fun filled vacations we have been looking forward to for months. Whether you’re traveling for friends’ weddings, baby showers, family outings, or a much needed R&R, here are some helpful traveling tips to make sure your trip goes that much smoother!

 

Booking Flights  

Most of us want to make sure we are getting the best price for a flight- which usually means countless hours of searching online. Did you know that most travel sites track your visits, which actually increases the ticket prices because of your search history. Make sure you place your browser on “new incognito window” to prevent this from happening. Feel free to search as many times as you’d like…& still get the best deal!

 

Booking Flights

Credit Cards

If you are lucky enough to be traveling internationally, make sure to notify your credit card companies before hand to authorize purchases( this goes for your bank as well). That way you won’t have to worry about the unexpected holds on your payments, and you can focus on treating yo-self.

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Scan passport 

Make sure to scan important documents in case of loss or theft! Scan and email your passport, id, itinerary, etc so that you will have a digital copy. Feel free to email this to your friends or family who are also traveling with you as a back up.

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Screen shot directions 

We’ve all been there… right when you need directions the most the Wi-Fi is conveniently no where to be found. Make sure to screen shot your directions before hand so you’ll have them handy!

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Whether you are traveling in state our out of the country, Chestnut Tower wishes everyone safe travels!

-Chestnut Team

 

 

 

A Dog’s Guide to Summer 2014

Summer 2014 is now in full force& it’s time to live out the festivities we Chicagoans plan far in advance. From outdoor happy hours/dinners/sports games/ vacations( pretty much anything that doesn’t involve being inside), there’s so much to think about! However, a lot of our residents have another member of the family who has their own guide to fun- the dogs! We’ve put together a guide of things to do with your pup that will make their summer the best yet!

1.Tails in the City

Everyone deserves a day to treat themselves.. & who doesn’t love to shop? Tails in the City is an adorable boutique store just a few blocks a way and sells a wide variety of accessories and treats your dog will love!

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2. Washington Square Park

Head over a block and you’ll find a gorgeous park with plenty of room to play with your pets and hang out for the day. Washington Square Park is an awesome way for your pup to meet new friends in the area.

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3. Clark St Ale House

This location has outdoor seating and a beer garden in back, making it perfect for a happy hour or dinner date. The crowds are usually moderate which makes it easy for everyone to relax& have fun!

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4. Montrose Dog Beach

You can’t go wrong with a day at the beach in the summertime! Montrose Beach(Mondog Beach) is great location to get some sun or read a good book..did we say it’s aimed specifically for dogs? Win,win situation for everyone!   

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5. Chestnut Tower Dog Park

Save the best for last! What’s a better way for your pup to relax and feel at home…than it’s own home! The dog park is a great way for them to feel comfortable and there for our residents and their pups 24/7. 

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