Core Power yoga

4xForth: Devron Enarson of Dev Photography LLC and Paper Doll Club by Natalie Pavela

4xForth-Dev-Enarson-Chicago We're so excited to feature Devron Enarson for today's 4xForth. You may remember her from last year; Dev so graciously hosted our 2013 Autumn Salon in her gorgeous studio and you can read about her experience and see here studio space. Dev is a multi-talented lady - photographer at Dev Photography LLC and co-founder of Paper Doll Club. We love the idea behind Paper Doll Club - it's all about encouraging and building-up girls. They invite you to gather your girlfriends for a fun event filled with make-up, hair-dos, cocktails, and a photo shoot!

Today Dev is sharing some awesome tips - helping you appreciate this colder season with a few things she's looking forward to this winter and sharing the inside scoop on products she can't live without. Learn about the websites she loves and the places she frequents around Chicago. Happy Friday friends!

Things I'm looking forward to this winter

1. Being an introvert. I've been exploring how to give my inner introvert her romp in the woods these days. I love being extroverted and all that jazz, but winter is a time that calls us indoors - and inward too - if we give ourselves the right space to do it. I'm committed to being kind to myself in that way this winter.

2. SOUP. Need I say more? I could live off of soup all winter and thankfully I have an enthusiastic soup lover as a husband so it works out well for us. Soup also let's me continually use my favorite kitchen pot, my dutch oven. It's even yellow to put a little sunshine in my life while I cook!

3. Yoga yoga yoga. I just joined Corepower Yoga and I'm gonna milk that membership all winter long. Heated rooms? I'm in!

4. Christmas lights. There is no magic like tiny light bulbs on green wire all plugged into each other! The effect is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Magic! It ALMOST makes up for the sun going down at ungodly early hours this time of year....(almost)

Products I can't live without

1. This might be cheating since they are not products you can buy, but I can't live without my home-made beauty products. It also may sound very snooty, but I don't care because I love them so much and they enrich my life! I feel good about putting simple and preservative free things on my face and I zen out when I'm making them. It's a win-win situation. Plus, once your in the groove of making them it's really much more lazy than it sounds. I've also enlisted one of my closest friends to join me on product making days which makes it even more enriching, and less work!

2. Dry shampoo. Ahhh, an extra day of no styling (let's be honest, it's more like three days). My favorite brands are Big Sexy and L'Oreal.

3. Already mentioned in my winter section but it gets another nod here - My Dutch Oven. It's a pot, it's a roaster, it's a frying pan. It can be used on the stove top or in the oven, or both in one recipe if needed. Perfect for roasting veggies or meat for a soup and then transferring it to the stove top to simmer everything with broth for an amazingly complex soup. Yum!

4. Espresso maker. I have a DeLonghi. One of those supped up ones that you push a button and it does everything for you, including grinding your beans on the spot. I would never have paid the $1,200 price tag on it (I got it for a crazy unreasonable deal) but now that I've enjoyed 5 years of bliss with this guy it would have been so worth it if I had.

Websites I love

1. www.localmilk.com - She's a writer, a photographer, a recipe maker and a stylist. I try not to hate her too much, and the quality and haunting beauty with which she does everything has me going back to her every time.

2. psychologyforphotographers.com - This site is for photographers but could just as easily translate to any profession. Love the crazy good info she gives for free, and one of these days I'll put all her good advise to use.

3. barenecessities.com - I'm one of those people with a "complex" bra size. Simply put, I can't go to a store and buy a bra. No no, I have to order mine special, and this is where I do it.

4. It's not so much a website as an Instagram feed: @katiacarletti. She's a ceramicist from Australia and one day I will own an entire set of dishes from her! Rustic and whimsy meet in her work to surprise me, make me smile, and feel at home all at the same time. She sells hanging planters at association-shop.com.

4 places I frequent in Chicago

1. The Logan Theatre. $6 movies and a full bar in an vintage theater. This is the only place I'll go when I want to see a movie by myself!

2. Just around the corner from The Logan Theater is Lula Cafe. A tried and true Chicago classic, but I can't leave it out just because most people have probably heard about it. It's for sure my breakfast place of choice, and I'm a professional breakfaster.

3. Revolution Brewery Tap Room. When Rev Brew opened this place so close to us (Avondale) we became instant regulars! We've since tapered down a bit, especially since the masses have, rightly, begun coming as well. But, it's still a perfect place to gather with a group, bring your own food (might I suggest sushi from Lawrence Fish Market?) and sip their beer in a warehouse environment. You'll feel very cool. Oh! And they have free popcorn!

4. For fancier drinks I always revert to The Violet Hour. I know, I know, just like Lula Cafe this is far from a Chicago secret but the fact remains that they make a damn good cocktail! I'm a gin fanatic and their selection of gin cocktails is superb. With homemade tinctures and specialty sized ice cubes they lure me in through thick and thin. My secret to enjoying this place the most? Go at 5:00 on a weekday to avoid a line that NO cocktail is worth. Yeah, I'm old(ish).

Thanks for sharing Dev! My dutch oven is also my favorite cooking vessel and we say three cheers for embracing your introverted self this holiday season! We love your food and drink recommendations - and ordering sushi to the brewery tap room - genius. If you ever need extra hands next time you're making homemade beauty products, call us in to join in the fun!

Stay in touch with Dev on twitter and instagram, and follow along with Paper Doll Club on twitter, instagram, and their blog as well!

4xForth: Brenda Bergen by Natalie Pavela

4xForth-Chicago-Brenda-Bergen  

Each Friday we’re highlighting one of the lovely women in our community by learning about her favorite Chicago places and restaurants, hearing what websites she’s all jazzed about, and gaining some inspiration from destinations she’s dreaming of traveling to next.

It’s 4 x Forth Friday and today we’re talking to Brenda Bergen, the creative force behind Wink Design Atelier! She's also the lady behind Get Fueled, an interview series with inspiring people about their creative process. 

Places I frequent in Chicago:

1. Bluebird Restaurant: It has a great vibe, awesome wine list and cocktails, nice bartenders, yummy mussels and frites. And the best part? It’s my closest neighborhood bar. 2. Belmont Harbor: the lake is one of the best things about Chicago, and we’ll have a sailboat docked there if it ever gets warm enough! 3. Millenium Park: I grew up near Ravinia, so I’ve been spoiled with great outdoor concerts my whole life. But Millenium Park has kicked it up a notch. I love sitting on the grass, eating a picnic, looking up at Chicago’s architecture, all while listening to music on a warm summer evening. Divine! 4. My own neighborhood: I spend the most amount of my time in Bucktown, my own neighborhood, because it really has everything I need within walking distance. There’s Olivia’s Market for last minute groceries, The Daily Method or Core Power Yoga for working out, my son’s school, Stitch for great gifts, Steven Alan for clothes, City Soles for shoe shopping, Double Door for concerts, the farmer's market for fresh veggies, Buzz: Killer Espresso for coffee, Trencherman for burgers and cocktails, Bluebird (see above), and soon the Bloomingdale Trail for biking and walking.

Places I'll go someday:

Travel is a priority in our family. We will give up living in a larger home in order to travel more. I’m very lucky, I’ve been to some incredible places that I would love to return to. I also have a long list of places I’ve never been, so here are some that I’m hoping to go to sooner rather than later.

1. Istanbul, Turkey: I’m just so intrigued by the opposing forces of ancient and modern. The architecture, the history, the food, the markets. This place is high on my list. 2. Cartagena, Colombia: I think it’s going to be the next hot spot. I want to go before it gets too touristy. 3. Querétaro, Mexico: One of my closest friends recently opened a restaurant there. I’m dying to visit her and eat there. Queretaro is an old colonial city with gorgeous architecture and a rich history. Plus, it’s less than an hour from San Miguel de Allende, which is also on my list. 4. Mentawai Island, Indonesia: My husband likes surfing, I like yoga, and our son finds fun things to do anywhere. All 3 of us love Indonesia. There are numerous private islands near Bali that we would love to explore, and this is one of them.

Best Bites in Chicago:

1. Fish Tacos: GT Fish & Oyster and Antique Taco could arm wrestle over this one. 2. Salted Caramel Gelato: Black Dog Gelato on Damen 3. Polenta & Pork Ragu: Davanti Enoteca on Taylor Street 4. Pig Face: Girl & the Goat. Don’t be scared, go for it, it’ll blow you away. I have celiac disease and therefore I have no choice but to eat gluten free. The folks at Girl & the Goat do the best job of dealing with it. It feels as if Stephanie Izzard is personally taking care of me. She actually knows what each person in her restaurant is eating - crazy!

Sites I lurve:

1. SweetFineDay.com: Jenna Park writes what I’m thinking and feeling, it’s absolutely uncanny. Recently, I reached out to her to invite her to be featured on my blog and now we are penpals. It’s so cool. 2. SousStyle.com: Reading this makes me feel hip. Everyone on it is so beautiful. Plus they have some great recipes and adorable guys on Mondays. 3. Vineet Kaur's Tumblr: One of the best curated sites out there. 4. PetitePassport.com: I check this site out religiously whenever I’m about to go on a trip. I always love her suggestions, they are right up my alley.

Thank you for sharing Brenda. I think we're kindred spirits when it comes to dining, exploring Chicago spots, and neighborhood appreciation.

Follow along with Brenda and Wink Design on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest!