Decoratus absurdum.

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“Decoratus absurdum”. This is the design mantra behind Foursided boutique. I sat down with co-founder and owner of Foursided boutiques, Gino Pinto and store manager (and artist!), Aidie Janci to find out more about my go to store in the city for gifts, jewelry, cards, the list goes on. My favorite part about shopping at Foursided is that no matter how many times you go in there (and in my case, it’s a lot!), you never know what new, local artist you’re going to discover or what piece of antique dishware is going to pop at you. Gino, Aidie and I chatted and laughed in the quiet, shady spot behind their Lakeview location. Here’s the scoop I got:counter

Tell me about yourself. How did you get started?
The concept began in 2001 when Co-owners and founders Todd Mack and Gino Pinto decided to utilize their different professional backgrounds (Todd in framing, Gino in business), which allowed them to seamlessly and successfully build what was once a simple frame shop into a 3 store (and coming soon: gallery) Chicago staple.

The original location opened on Broadway in Lakeview as a picture framing shop. The second location, (also in Lakeview) on Clark has more of a gifting focus (cards, art, vintage) and is managed by Aidie. The third location, also on Clark St. but in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, combines the two ideas into their largest location.

Pinto and Janci attribute much of the store’s success to social media attention. That and a great relationship with customers. Pinto says the idea for the stores is, “more of an art than a science”. The team wants to provide shoppers with, “things that are accessible. Not high end but not low end. There’s something for everyone!” says Janci.

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How would you describe the mood of Foursided?

A recent remodel of the Lakeview Clark Street location has allowed for a more open, airy environment for shoppers and employees. Colors have been updated and the store is easier to move around in, helping the customer feel more comfortable and not like they’re going to knock down a teacup tower with their yoga mat.

There is also an art exhibit space going in next door, scheduled to open this week (a celebratory opening and 10 year anniversary party is happening Friday, July 17th! Go check it out, I’ll be there!) Local artist Ben Holiday’s work will be on display at the event. Pinto also has plans for the new gallery space to function as extra retail space around the holidays. I’m salivating at the thought of an entire space filled with the gorgeous offerings Foursided usually has around the holidays –helloooo vintage Christmas ornaments!

How do you want your shopper to feel when they leave your store?

“We want them to feel excited and inspired” says Janci. She and Pinto want shoppers to get that spark of curiosity that can happen when wandering through a store. They want their customers to get lost –in a good way.

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What inspires you?

AJ: “I’m an artist, I’m always making things. I’m inspired by active people. People doing and making things”. GP: “Prints. Learning new things” Currently, he’s taking a print and letterpress class at The Chicago Printmakers Collaborative once a week.

What are some of your favorite pieces at the moment?
Lucky horse press (Gino likes the prints), Methane Studios (Foursided is the only store in Chicago that carries their work), Human Shaped Robot prints (hand screen printed pieces), Star Shaped Press, Love Emily D, Kelly Parsell, Crash Candles (local suburban candlemaker), Snow and Graham, and The Found

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Who are some local artists you work with?

Pinto tries to carry a Chicago artist in every department, and they work with a lot of Chicago printmakers and jewelry makers and carry their pieces in store. Another awesome element is that you can find a lot of employee art in store as well. Just recently, a birthday card was being passed around my office and on the artist on the back was very familiar!
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What are some of your favorite vintage shops? Flea Markets?

Janci and Pinto know their way around a vintage shop, which is why I asked them for their sage advice. Some of their favorite hot spots are: Grayslake Antique Market, The Pink Elephant Mall near Springfield, Vintage Garage, Edgewater Antique Market, Renegade Craft Fair, Randolph Street Market and estate sales around the city and suburbs

“We need to treasure the things we have. There’s this idea to edit, edit, edit”, says Pinto. As a very type-A person who loves to edit, edit, edit, its a good reminder to walk into a place like Foursided and get a little lost.

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Something I should’ve posted weeks ago! :/

tonesHey team!

This post is a long time coming, apologies for my absence!

Here’s a little picture recap of a Windy City Bloggers-sponsored event at Jenny Yoo. It was a bridal-focused event and though I am not getting married any time soon, it was fun to browse the beautiful dresses, sample desserts, take pictures in their photo booth and mingle and meet new friends! Hi, Rick and Jennifer!

Enjoy 🙂

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Recap: WCBC Holiday Shopping Soiree!

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Monday night I attended a beautiful Holiday Soiree, thrown by the Windy City Blogger Collective and hosted by Del Frisco’s Steakhouse in the Gold Coast. Right when we walked in, my friend, Agnes (its her birthday today! Happy Birthday Aggie!!) and I were immediately greeted by a waiter offering us champagne –which got the night started right! The space was gorgeous: high, architectural ceilings; two-story wine cabinets, warm lighting and inviting chit-chat. It was the perfect place to have a holiday party.

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There were so many things to see and so many fabulous people to mingle with! Guests could shop for anyone on their list with gifts from The Tie Bar, Kalla flowers, Shop 857, DreamDry blowdry bar, Benefit Cosmetics, The Trendy Sparrow and Vo Jewelry (I won one of her pieces from a Windy City Bloggers giveaway a while back, and I absolutely love it!).

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It was a super fun event and a great way to continue to celebrate the holiday season! Thanks Windy City Bloggers!

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wine

Harvest Sparkling Wine Holiday Menu

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I recently wrote about a trip out to the ‘burbs that I took to enjoy a beer tasting menu, given by Pheasant Run Resort’s Harvest restaurant. This holiday season, Harvest is offering another tasting menu, paired with specialty sparkling wines! I really love the different spin that Harvest takes on a traditional tasting menu. Its not just a wine tasting, there’s a unique element to it. This tasting is perfect for those hard-to-plan holiday dinners or a holiday date night!

Executive Chef Tiffany Tooker put together a really interesting menu, with so many great winter flavors. Course one features an artisan cheese selection. 3 words: Gouda and basil pesto. Course two is a grilled baby caesar salad and course three is seared Alaskan halibut with baby leeks and yellow squash. Oh, dessert? Yeah, its a baked fall apple cobbler with a butter crumb topping, served with dark chocolate accented vanilla bean ice cream. WHAT.

As if that menu didn’t sound appetizing enough, how about the fact that its paired with four different sparkling wines, from national and regional wineries?

Info is below:

Harvest Restaurant

Pheasant Run Resort

4051 West Main Street

St. Charles, IL 60174

For reservations, call: 630-584-6300

The tasting costs $35 per plate excluding tax and gratuity

Seatings available December 11th and 18th, call and make a reservation today!

Things they are a-changin’.

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photo 4Hi everyone!

There are some new opportunities that have come my way, and I’m excited to report that in January I’m moving to Minneapolis for a new job!

With that though, comes some pretty severe weather, even coming from Chicago. I just heard its actually colder there than Alaska. So, there’s that. I thought I would begin to look into some additional winter coats. I have one winter coat at the moment, that works just fine (its Calvin Klein, from Macy’s and I’ve had it for some years), but I’m thinking that in order to get through a Minnesota winter, I’m going to treat myself to an additional winter coat or two. I’m thinking one additional hardcore, shapeless one and then perhaps a more fashion-forward one for when I attempt to look cute. There are a few rules though:

1. My butt must be covered.

2. There must be a hood.

3. A tie belt is a bonus, for a little waist definition.

I’ve been scouring the internet for a few days and here are some options that I’ve found:

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The North Face Miss Metro Parka

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Patagonia Down With It Parka

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Zara 3/4 Length Coat w Fur Hood

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Gap Fur-Trim Snorkel Parka

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AllSaints Klein Shearling Parka

 

BACK.

Hey team,

Many apologies for my brief hiatus from the blogging world. I’ve just been crazy busy with life stuff and work and all that. You know how it goes, but here I am again, and I’m ready to get my blog on.

So, here’s a few things I need to catch you all up on…

1. The hand cream situation. The winner, by far, was Neutrogena Norwegian Formula. Its super lightweight and not greasy at all. It totally worked for my skin and was a great moisturizer. I also kind of liked that it was unscented. Sometimes I get concerned that scented lotions actually make your skin more chapped, but I could be wrong. For scent though, I would go with the Kiehl’s Coriander Deluxe Hand and Body lotion –it smells like oatmeal. I want a blanket made out of it or something. You just want to be enveloped in it, its very comforting.

2. Recently I’ve been working for t+j Designs; a local, sister-owned jewelry company. They had a look book shoot that I was asked to be involved in, which I was excited to accept. Here are some photos from their look book, and be sure to head over to the site and check it out –they are always running amazing deals on the site and on Instagram! See the rest of the look book here.

That’s all for now. Missed you guys.

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Restaurant Spotlight: Harvest

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Last week I traveled out to St. Charles to try Harvest Restaurant, which is located in the Pheasant Run Resort & Spa. It was well worth the journey out to the suburbs, let me tell you.

Every Thursday in October, Executive Chef Tiffany Tooker offers a beer-pairing menu, featuring a four course menu, starting at 5pm with seatings until 10pm. Hopefully, they continue this special after October, because it was so delicious and delightful. Everyone should try it. I’ll even go out there with you. Just let me know. I’m not busy.

Highlights-

A lovely, vanilla-y, red lager made exclusively for Pheasant Run by Leinenkugel. I’m very bummed I can’t buy this elsewhere, guess I’ll just have to go back.

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The warm and inviting atmosphere: vintage books on bookshelves, comfy leather chairs and booths made everything feel cozy and inviting.

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The service was attentive, but not too much. It was a great balance, Jeanette was a gem!

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And now, photos of the food!

We started off with fresh baked Asiago and Multigrain bread with homemade Cinnamon butter.

breadThe first course was diver sea scallops wrapped in bacon and drizzled with an apricot glaze, paired with Stella Artois Lager. YUP.

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Next came a wedge salad with heirloom tomatoes, bacon and buttermilk bleu cheese dressing, served with ChiTown Pier Pale Ale. Also, YUP.

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The last course was my favorite. Wild mushroom crusted filet mignon with spinach risotto and grilled asparagus. Served with the Leinenkugel red lager (my fave!). At this point I was full to bursting, but could literally not. Stop. Eating.

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And then there was dessert…molten chocolate cake topped with Crème Anglaise and served with Guiness Stout. Could’ve done without the Guiness, but the cake was to die for.

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What a great experience this was! It was more than dinner, the tasting menu and welcoming service made the whole evening really enjoyable. I definitely recommend it!

Special thanks to Kelly Wisecarver for inviting me!