stitch chicago

4xForth: Brenda Bergen by Natalie Pavela


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. 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. 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. 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!

4xForth: Lisa Henderson by Natalie Pavela

4xForth-Chicago-Lisa-Henderson 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 Lisa Henderson! Lisa's Picks:

Places I frequent in Chicago: 

1. Stitch: A little gem in Wicker Park. They have amazing furniture, art, jewelry and accessories. Both my couch and favorite necklace came from here.

2. Magnificent Milestones: A “Paperie with a Chicago Accent”. If you like modern, feminine cards, pillows and wall art that celebrate our zip codes, public art, skyline, and el schedule then you will be in heaven here.

3. Open Books: My neighborhood bookstore is awesome. For the kids, it has story time, lots of music and craft events, and the kid area is designed for kids to be loud and make a mess. For the Adults, super wide range of books and I always end up finding something totally random and amazing. Plus, Open Books is nonprofit and promotes literacy so you can donate books, volunteer and expect low-priced books.

4. My Massage: You often don’t hear raving reviews about “cheap massages”, but I have found the hidden gem. You can get a 60-minute massage for $60 and they are open until 9pm on weeknights. When you arrive, don’t be scared off by the curb appeal - garden level business with neon sign flashing “$1 per minute massages”. My husband and I go weekly and it is very professional. Plus it is right next to Whole Foods so you can get some grocery shopping done too!

Places I’ll go someday:

1. Live Taping of Saturday Night Live: I love to laugh. I love to see comedians in person. I am curious about the behind-the-scenes-world of TV.

2. Luxury Tree House Resort: India + Tree House + Luxury Resort…what’s not to love right?

3. Amsterdam: I am obsessed with mid century modern furniture and Amsterdam is the one of the best shopping destinations. I am going to treasure hunt the heck out of the city and then ship an entire container full back to my perfectly designed pre-fab house (pipedream!)

4. Grand Canyon: Preferably in an RV with my husband and kids.

Best bites in Chicago:

1. Bang Bang Pie Shop: BEST PIE EVER…Oh and they also sell the pie crust scraps for the obsessed like me.

2. La Fournette: Cute, approachable, authentic French bakery in Old Town. I dream about the mushroom soup on a weekly basis.

3. Saigon Sisters: Modern Vietnamese sandwiches and rice bowls. I have eaten everything on the menu and I have never been disappointed. The Porky sandwich is my favorite.

4. Farmhouse: Midwestern Craft Tavern. Locally sourced food like burgers and fish, plus craft beer from all over the Midwest. They even have Five Star, which is a beer from this tiny brewery in my hometown Wausau, Wisconsin

Sites I lurve:

1. Story Corp: NPR produced interviews between friends/family members/enemies. Just listen to the interview between a father and daughter about the father’s scariest moment as a child. It will make you want to interview everyone in your family!

2. Make It For Us: If you are an avid Etsy or Pinterest shopper you are going to love this concept. This is a new company in Chicago that I am following where they bring together people who can make things and connect them with people who want something custom made.

3. Creative Good: Mark Hurst focuses on how companies do a good/bad job connecting with their customers and how they make a meaningful relationship. He also produces the GEL Conference – a must see if you like Service Design and meeting cool people.

4. Creative Commons: Instead of goggling for cool images, please go here instead! Free stock images from artists and designers that will blow your mind.

Thanks Lisa! Make it For Us is such a fun concept, I'll definitely be checking it out soon and that tree house resort is bananas.

Lisa's the leading lady at Hatch Valley Co, follow them on Twitter!