Best mani + pedi in Chicago…forreal forreal!

If I have a bride that wants to take her maids out to get their nails done, I always recommend ZaZaZoo.  Ever since my first manicure a little over a year and a half ago (thanks Lindsay), I have been hooked.  The Bucktown shop is so pretty that it makes the experience a nice treat than the nail shop around the corner.  And of course, I wouldn’t come back unless they do good work and leave my nails chip-free.  

Imagine my delight when I woke up to find out about the Gilt Groupe Chicago deal! They are offering a spa manicure and pedicure for $30!  I checked with Gilt and as long as there is space available, they will accept the deal for a group of girls.  ZaZaZoo takes reservations in advance so hopefully, you can take advantage of this offer.  Seriously girls, I haven’t had a better manicure/pedicure in the city.  They really do a fantastic job.

If you haven’t joined Gilt Groupe, you are, ahem, behind the times.  Join.  Immediately.  Click here for an invitation.

Drink While You Paint

Last month, my girlfriend and I went to a Bottles and Bottega class. By paying the class fee, we each received a blank canvas with paint supplies as well as four types of wine for a wine tasting. While I was in the class, I immediately thought that this could be a fantastic bachelorette party.

Stephanie, the owner, does private events all of the time. The event can be done in your home or at her fabulous new studio. Check out her events schedule to learn more.

My masterpiece in progress!

Winery Bachelorette Party

The immediate place people think of in terms of wineries in the U.S. is, of course, Napa. But for those of us with both budget and time constraints why not spend a day or weekend visiting a local winery (or two). It would certainly be a unique and fun idea for a bachelorette party. Rent a house or some rooms in a Bed and Breakfast. Your girlfriends will all be able to hang out, relax, and enjoy good wine and good food.

Here are some links to help you plan a local winery outing.

My Bachelorette Party

My lovely maids decided to combine a few of my favorite things: italian food, champagne, hotels.

The four of us started the night out at the James Hotel. We hung out and then got ready for the big night out. What better way to start out the night than to drink some champagne? (This will be a reoccuring theme for the night!)

Around 6ish, my friends arrived for a personal shower. My bridesmaids had the most fun goodie bags! They included all sort of fun things including nail art. I put on some stickers that spelled “M + J”. Since my husband’s name ends with J, this is a sign of the state I was in my 7pm!

Since I was really adament about not wanting to wear anything “bachelorette party-esque”, I was told to wear something in a really bright color. It turns out that everyone else wore black. It was much more chic than the group of girls we saw that evening in matching fuschia T-Shirts with boas, in my opinion.

After the shower, we headed to Quartino’s for dinner. Quartino’s is a great place for a family style dinner. I would highly recommend this venue for group dining.

Once dinner was finished, we headed to Pops For Champagne, a great lounge for champagne, of course! We had a toast at the beginning of the night- which was probably one of the highlights of the evening for me.

Just as more things are being accepted across the board for weddings, the same is true for bachelorette parties. I am so glad that we did something that was very “me” than a more “traditional” bachelorette party.

Bachelorette Party Ideas

While I am a gracious bride, I did have a list of demands for my Bachelorette Party. Or a list of things that I did not want:

No Thank You

  • penises

  • sashes

  • oversize jewelry

  • tiaras

  • veils

  • hats

  • strippers

  • rush & division

  • bar hopping

  • sports related

  • drag queens

I was pretty sure that my bridal party was going to ask for my help. Therefore, I came up with list of options. Ultimately, they planned a fantastic evening and I wasn’t a part of any of the planning.
Here are my ideas! I hope that they help someone else.

Motel Bar w Michelle L’Amour

Watch Michelle L’Amour and other burlesque beauties shake their pasties and jiggle their tassels to live swinging sounds. Enjoy drink specials at one of my favorite lounges in the city.
Moxie Classes

Moxie has all sort of classes, including strip tease classes and fellatio workshops. It reminds me of that one Sex and the City episode!

Wine Tasting- Randolph Wine Cellars

Randolph Wine Cellars is a great place to grab a glass of wine — or champagne. Events are scheduled regularly.

Sheque events
Sheque throws parties around the city about five times per month. You can also hire the girls at Sheque to throw a private party for you. They combine beauty with drinks for a fun girls night out.

S Factor Pole Dancing
Why not learn how to pole dance? Sheila Kelly offers many different types of classes that can be made private.

My Life = Wedding Plans

Don’t get me wrong—I love wedding planning.

But before my life became consumed with wedding plans, I had other interests. I loved to read. What do I read now? Wedding magazines. Etiquette books. Ceremony Planning.

I loved fashion. Now, I barely have time to read all of my fashion magazines that arrive each month in the mail. I don’t even bother to open the emails that I get regularly from Berghoff Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, or Intermix because I don’t even have the money to shop.


I do have one occasion that requires a new dress—my bachelorette party! It’s a surprise—which is exciting!—but I’ve been told that I need to wear a bright color. After a grueling class at Power Plate, I stopped into SHE on Saturday. When I told them what I was looking for, they found me the PERFECT dress in two seconds flat.

Is this not the most PERFECT bachelorette party dress?! It’s by What Comes Around, Goes Around. I love it!