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I’ve been dying to go to places downtown during this time so wanted to feel closer to it by sharing some awesome places! This blog post is in collaboration with Flats and they helped explain each of the places way better than I could! If you are looking to immerse yourself in art and culture, then Chicago is the place to go. The streets are lined with galleries, theatres, and restaurants and that makes it a go-to for everyone from creatives to foodies. No matter what you seek in The Windy City, no exploration would be complete without a few stops at the iconic buildings that helped shape this historic metropolitan!

From old factories given a contemporary spin using adaptive reuse architecture to iconic historical sites overflowing with vintage charm, there are endless places to catch a glimpse of Chicago’s artful past. Below are 5 of my favorites!

The Lawrence House

Photo Courtesy of Flats

This former luxury hotel built in 1928 skillfully blends old Chicago’s beauty with contemporary living. Recently renovated into a modern Uptown apartment building, it has preserved key architectural details while offering residents a slew of luxe amenities such as a rooftop lounge and pool, a 7,000 square foot gym, and a grand lobby that is open to the public (pictured).

The lobby is arguably the real star of this historical marvel with its stunning details and amenities like a health food shop, bar, and cafe. You will be able to enjoy the beverage of your choice in one of the many seating options such as club chairs, the expansive leather sectional, or a lengthy coworking table. But no matter what seat in the house you choose, you will get a premium view of the lobby’s stunning vintage features such as the arched Art Deco skylights, terrazzo flooring, and old photos that are artfully displayed throughout. It is an absolute must-see that offers the perfect escape from the buzz of the city!

1020 W. Lawrence Avenue

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

Photo Courtesy of Green Mill

The Green Mill in Uptown may have been designed after the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris, also known as the Red Mill. But since it was established in 1907, it has become an icon in its own right.

Enter the door under the green marquee sign that reads “Green Mill Cocktail Lounge” and you will be transported back to the mid-1900s. Locals and visitors of all ages come to mingle at this vintage-style jazz club that offers live music and poetry readings. It is complete with wood-paneled walls that feature scrolling frames, ambient lighting, and cozy booths—including the one favorited by Al Capone back in the day. You can also find a hatch behind that long end of the bar that Capone and his associates used to dodge authorities.

Nowadays, you won’t see people popping in and out of the underground tunnel that runs to the street. But you can still find great drinks, an energetic atmosphere, and live jazz music.

4802 N. Broadway Avenue

Chicago Cultural Center

Photo courtesy of Lyric Kinard

This designated Chicago Landmark building is a highly-sought out tourist destination in not just The Loop neighborhood, but all of Chicago. And for good reason. Designed as the city’s central library in 1892 and completed in 1897, this hotspot was infused with awe-worthy architectural elements. This includes a pair of glass dome skylights, lavish marble detailing, and eye-catching mosaics—all of which can still be enjoyed today thanks to this building’s preservation efforts and renewed purpose as a cultural center.

Beyond its exquisite details, the Chicago Cultural Center now presents more than 1,000 programs and exhibits annually that cover a wide variety of art. It is considered one of the most comprehensive arts showcases in the United States.

77 E. Randolph Street

Chicago Water Tower

Photo Courtesy of Charlottees

One of the few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, The Water Tower is not only an icon but a symbol of hope. Its limestone detailing and captivating silhouette makes this glorious piece of architecture a showpiece on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile. Being built over 150 years ago in 1869, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and ranks as the second oldest water tower in US history.

While you won’t find this tower pumping water anymore, it is now home to the Chicago Office of Tourism. This includes a free art gallery that is open to the public that features the talents of local photographers, artists, and filmmakers.

835 N. Michigan Avenue

Frederick C. Robie House

Photo Courtesy of David Arpi

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1909, this iconic house displays both the organic architecture and Prairie House style that helped propel Wright to fame. Some of its noteworthy features are the earth-toned color palette, abstract art glass windows, and heavy use of horizontal lines. These highlights allow it to not only blend into its surroundings (Organic Architecture) but also make it reminiscent of a Prairie landscape (Prairie Style).

This home was added to the National Register of Historic Places list in 1966.

Tours of the Robie House are available and highly recommended for any art or design lovers!

5757 S. Woodlawn Avenue

This list only scrapes the surface of what Chicago has to offer for icons. Other places of immense interest include The Wrigley Building, James M. Nederlander Theatre, Graceland Cemetery, Civic Opera House, Merchandise Mart, and Humboldt Park Field House (to name a few).

The beauty of Chicago is that you don’t have far to look to find the history and icons that helped build one of America’s most exciting cities!

Thanks to Flats for sponsoring this blog post.

You can follow all our home reno youtube videos here

All my home reno blog posts are here

You can find more house updates on my insta stories and vlogs

Don't forget to check out my Amazon Page that lists all my favorites on there- clothing, bathing suits, beauty products and more.

xoxo ela

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Hi guys!

Our first Christmas in our first house! I do have to say I got the decor ideas from Pinterest - just another reason why Pinterest is amazing!! Super minimalistic (you know me)- we still don't know our exact plans for Christmas but who knows- we may have it at our house since the amount of people will be small with the pandemic! Hosting pool parties every weekend in the summer is enough for me usually though haha. Hope you enjoy!

One tip- we plug the tree into a wifi plug so we can put a timer on it and use it with Alexa. It's amazing.

Also I haven't completed decorating the living room to do a dedicated blog post on it and I always get questions on the paint color so to mention that we did Pure White with Sherwin Williams in every room. Eggshell on walls, semi gloss on moldings, and flat on ceilings.

If you're curious what the house looked like before we remodeled it- look no farther than here. :)

You can find all the xmas decor here:

Tree - 9 feet

Tree skirt


Fresh Garland

Candle sticks

Candle holders

Icicle Ornaments


Echo wifi plug

Ornaments- hobby lobby

Wreath- hobby lobby

You can find all the living room furniture here

Couch- Jonathan Louis Furniture- Carlin Couch


TV border

Rug- 6x9

TV stand - not on wayfair anymore but linked similar

Pampas Grass


Bar console

Chandelier, and bulbs

Pampas on bar console

Wood sticks on bar console

All of the photos have been edited with my presets

You can follow all our home reno youtube videos here

All my home reno blog posts are here

You can find more house updates on my insta stories and vlogs

Don't forget to check out my Amazon Page that lists all my favorites on there- clothing, bathing suits, beauty products and more.

xoxo ela

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

HI! :)

I was hesitant in sharing my experience on this but I did so many research beforehand that helped me so I figured my blog is about helping too so here you go!

Initially I was going to Images Med Spa in the chicagoland area for a facial, and that turned into a facial and lip injections lol. To be honest, I reached out to do a collab with them and at first was just going to do a facial but they were down to do lip filler too and since I've always wanted to do it I decided to try it! I'm sure I'd eventually do lip filler to test it out one day but it happened earlier than I had planned haha. And now I feel like I'll get them once a year bc i love them but let me get to the experience :)

So I got the facial first, it was a combo of a hydrafacial and using this ultrasonic tool- that was cool. Then it was on to the lips. I got numbed and holy crap I could still feel the pokes unfortunately. Some technicians (not at images) don't even like to numb their patients- crazy! I watched a couple lip filler youtube videos the day after and some places have total numbing cremes and shots and they can't feel anything so I am JEALOUS. I couldn't imagine how much more it would have hurt having none though. Something is better than nothing right?! But I got 12 pokes- 6 on top, 4 on bottom, and two more in the cupids bow. We used Juvederm Ultra Plus and only half a syringe. You buy the whole syringe and then you go back to use the rest at a later time! You can do 2 weeks after if you wanted more or a year later!

To prevent bruising

I was told to stay away from Alcohol, Advil (any similar blood thinners) and Fish Oils (so omega 3 vitamins)- I also purchased Arnicare which i put on a few days before and during the healing process like chap stick and I did not bruise!! woo! They did recommend pineapple too beforehand to prevent bruising but I didn't try that. I was just so happy I didn't bruise.


Thursday 7:00 PM



Thursday 8 PM

Swelling is beginning- it was a bit sore and before bed I should have taken a few advil. During the night I kept waking up (probably to make sure i didnt sleep face down on them haha but they did feel sore.

Friday 2 PM (day 1)

Woke up so happy that I had no bruising!! The real swelling was now showing though. I took 3 advils this morning to relieve the soreness. It hurt to drink from a straw or make a kissy face haha. I was honestly so nervous now though that the filler was mirgrating above my top lip but I googled some other swelling examples and same happened to other people. I was scared it was turning into a duck lip from the side! I mean look at these pics but it was all because of the swelling.

Friday 6:30 PM

Not the best quality pics but I feel like by now the swelling went down a bit. The migrating swelling portion also was pretty much gone. I was told that 3-4 days after most swelling goes down and 2 weeks after is when I see the final real result.

Saturday (day 2)

I think my lips are just dry at this point but same soreness with doing the kissy lips.

Sunday (day 3)

Same-my lips are just dry but less soreness with doing the kissy lips.

Monday (day 4)

Dryness goes away

Day 8

I can finally make the kissy face and its not sore- also can connect my lips as if I'm connecting my lip stick (if that's how you say that haha)

Day 9

feels all good as if i did nothing :) finally put some lip product on too

You can use ELABOBAK50 for $50 off your first visit at Images Med Spa. They have locations in Lincoln Park, Hinsdale, Mokena, Wilmette, and Wheaton.

Hope you learned something from this!

Thanks to Images for collabing with me!

Most of my photos have been edited with my presets (not these though)

You can follow all our home reno youtube videos here

All my home reno blog posts are here

You can also find more house updates on my insta stories and vlogs

Don't forget to check out my Amazon Page that lists all my favorites on there- clothing, home decor, beauty products and more.

xoxo ela


Hi, I'm Ela! I started this blog to share all my knowledge of fashion, home decor, travel and more. I previously worked as a men's model agent (see that post here) and now I work in advertising. Majoring in Fashion Business, I've always had a love towards fashion and love sharing about it. I get so excited getting pieces for a steal (my Polish background does that to me,) I love to travel anywhere and everywhere, and I love interior decor and turning something old into something beautiful and new.


From traveling, fashion, home decor, happiness and health, follow here to see more.






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