Do People Use Dating Apps in The Summer?

All of my friends are picking up their dating game and I’m actually put mine down this year. I don’t know if you’ve gotten busier or it’s just me – but I don’t have time to swipe on Tinder or Bumble. And when I do have a wifi connection – and look at the possible suitors – it seems like it’s not just me. So, what is going on with dating apps- how do we find our summer time fling or our SOS?

As always, we have options:

You can step up your profile game:

I know it’s difficult, but you could change your photos (maybe lose the scarf and winter coats), update your bio with something more of substance other than “no hookups” or “brunch, dogs, and pools”.

Or you know – you could talk first. I know, it’s hard and it’s a lot more work than waiting for the other person to tell you you’re cute. But, as long as you’re not starting out with “hey there,” I think you should be fine.

You can change where you’re swiping:

While Bumble and Tinder still seem to be the most used, as I meet more couples and single girl bosses, I’ve noticed that they are searching on Hinge or Coffee Meets Bagel. And honestly, I would add social media platforms like Instagram to your list. I’ve met my best friends through Instagram, and I’m not alone. Adam Soko, one of Chicago’s top foodies, met his best friend through Instagram. I think when you appreciate someone else’s work and you inspire each other, it’s probably the beginning of a great relationship.

I did a recent poll on my Instagram stories asking my followers if they would meet someone from Instagram and 97 percent said yes. So, there you go – slide into his DM’s.

You could talk to people IRL:

I don’t know if you feel this way, but I prefer it when a guy actually asks me out in person. Like some people don’t consider the first time you meet someone from Bumble a date. They call it a “hangout.” It’s all very confusing.

You could take a break:

Your soulmate is probably off in Ibeza or reading in the park. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy rooftops, cross things off your bucket list, enjoy vacay, and maybe do something other than focus on relationships. I’m kindof in this zone and have been for a few months. I’ve been focusing on other things besides dating, and quite honestly, I’m really happy. I’ve been meeting up with old friends, excelling at work, and enjoying rooftops and patios.

Conclusion:

You can take a few months or weeks off. It’s weird because dating seems like a daily chore and it doesn’t have to be. If you need to take a summer break, do it. But, if you want to cuddle with someone on a rooftop or be romantic at movies in the park (which you should seriously do), then by all means, keep swiping, keep smiling – and remember, have fun! Dating should be fun and enjoyable though sometimes he can be flakier than a croissant. If you’re not having fun with someone and enjoy talking to them – then move on.

 

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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Cool and Chill Places in The West Loop

The West Loop has become kindof my second home and I get that there are some of the best restaurants there – I read Emily Belden’s “Hot Mess” (and also interviewed her on a West Loop Entrepreneur panel) and partnered with some Randolph Street restaurants. I get it – I love the shimmer and sparkle of the west loop. But sometimes, I want to be low key and just grab a good drink and be silly with my girls.

So, since I get asked this question – the question of where to go and what to do in the west loop – as a community and marketing manager for luxury coworking space, Co-Optim, I want to share with you those cool and chill places where you can unwind and get those much needed laughs with friends in the west loop.

Parlor Pizza

I’m not biased – even though Parlor Pizza regramed my cheese pull video. It seriously is always happening at Parlor Pizza- maybe because it’s right next to SoHo house or just off the ever-busy Randolph Street. I love the rooftop during the summer. If you do go, don’t order the pizza, order the pizza bread. It’s so good that me and my friend ordered it and had it delivered to a bar while watching a basketball game. It is life changing and the salads are pretty good.

Also, my friend and fellow blogger, Sany, did an insane video on Parlor Pizza covering their dessert bar – dessert tacos never seemed so appealing.

 

CH Distillery and Cocktail Bar

CH Distillery has a flight of vodka – need I say more. It’s across the street from Olgilvie Transportation Center. Fair warning, it opens at 4 pm and they have a cute patio.

The cocktails can be a little bit much – don’t order the mojito. It’s not good. I heard the Rosemary’s Baby cocktail is good. Oh, and P.S. the burger looks insane. P.S.S. they have a cocktails and humor night with stand-up comedians on September 8, 2018. You can learn more and get tickets here. 

Lone Wolf

Lone Wold is right next to Au Cheval. Good beer list and artisanal hot dogs on the menu. A fellow Chicago blogger, Blair Bitove from The Blair Necessities shared “[Lone Wolf] was a nice little bar where you can actually talk to people but still have fun.”

Blind Barber

For a cool experience  – Blind Barber is a barber shop by day and an old school bar at night. It’s still on my list to go – so if you do go, tag me in your Instagram post please. One of my favorite Chicago bloggers, Tavi from Chi At A Glance wrote a Yelp review about it – sharing that it is like a speakeasy because “Unless you know about this spot you’ll never find it. Lol. You actually have to enter the barber shop and then walk through the unmarked door once inside.”

Punch Bowl Social

Punch Bowl Social is so nice and chill. Their motto is “Here’s to going out right.” When you walk in, you feel like you are at the wrong place because it looks like a laundromat, but you go up the stairs and there’s so much to explore. Punch Bowl Social is huge – like Marco Polo huge. With karaoke bars and a bowling alley and a gigantic scrabble board – you are sure to have one of the best nights of your life. Once you get bored of one activity, there’s another. It’s perfect for a windy/cold/too hot – basically every other day in Chicago. It’s seriously The Monopoly of this year – with multiple locations throughout the nation. We were lucky to get one this spring.

El Che Bar

El Che Bar was inspired by time spent eating, drinking and traveling in Argentina and you definitely get that flavorful cool and trendy vibe from the interior to the patio. I had a few drinks there with fellow Chicago food bloggers, but honestly – you go there for the food, particularly their steak because it’s an Argentinian-style steakhouse. I wouldn’t pass over the appetizers – the braised beef and horseradish aioli empanada was delicious as were the Spanish olives and their – never discounted – buttery and grilled oysters.

 

So, these are some of the gems in Chicago’s West Loop to chill grab a drink, and just live after a long day at work. My next question is – who are you taking with you?

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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#SoxSocial Tap Room: A Night of Baseball with Chicago Blogger Babes

Did you hear? Revolution Brewing partnered with Guaranteed Rate to take your Chi summer baseball experience to the next level on the south side. The #SoxSocial Tap Room is a new bar and events space for all White Sox baseball ticket holders stocked with some of Revolution Brewing favorites like Anti-Hero IPA, Fist City Chicago Pale Ale, Rev Pils that baseball fans can enjoy along the left field line.

What’s better than beer, baseball, and besties on a Friday night? We had to check it out and hold on to the last month of summer with a Chicago blogger baseball outing. I joined some of my favorite Chicago bloggers from the Chicagogrammers community for August 17th’s game – The Sox vs. Kansas City Royals (a city I just fell in love with this year when I interviewed Hallmark and HBO).

Getting Ready for Baseball with Chicago Blogger Babes:

Since there’s a hashtag in the title, you know #SoxSocial Tap Room is going to be a social media experience. I heard there’s a selfie area and thank goodness – a phone charging station. So, I prepped for the big night of baseball at The #SoxSocial Tap Room with a new hair look – pigtails – and an illuminating glow from my new Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow palette – that literally smells like peaches. Ulta Beauty had sponsored a girl’s mentorship Shine and Dine benefit dinner for Step Up in Chicago that I attended last week (you can read more about giving back by being part of Step Up’s mission to inspire women to inspire girls here).

 

White Sox vs Kansas City in Chicago

I took my office look to night by ditching my BCBG heels and switching them for flip flops. I’m thinking more and more about investing in streetwear shoes, like these (comfortable and) gorgeous Air Max 270, but I’m not there yet.

Booze and Baseball:

It’s always exciting to go to a Chicago sporting event. I went to my first White Sox game last year – and honestly it’s much more relaxed than the Cub’s stadium, but it has better food. So you win some, you lose some – it applies for baseball and a night out.

This game was no different. It was chill. People were dressed in white and black. There was a crowd, and they were excited about The Sox, but in a perfect way – it was more tame than Wrigley Field.

 

Baseball is amazing because it makes you excited to be an American – they honored soldiers by having three of them parachute into the stadium. Also I feel like when anyone sings Star Spangled Banner – you just get goose bumps.

We started off the night with nachos and beer because we were at Revolution Brewing #SoxSocial Tap Room. This space wasn’t over the top. It was a common area off to the side and up the stairs where people could enjoy a beer and maybe a taco and also swag a free hat by downloading the MLB hat. Once you have the hat, it changes the game. You start getting interested in baseball – even if you don’t follow baseball.

 

After a drink (or two), we decided to explore the stadium. It was about the second inning and people were already flocking in lines for hot dogs or to take photos with Elvis impersonators. I’m assuming there was a themed Elvis night – because Elvis look-a-likes were everywhere.

We got our hot dogs with extra onions and finally found our seats in the bleachers. It was there that I loved baseballs. Hats. check. Hot dogs. check. But it wasn’t until I was sitting in front of the bright green grass and taking a selfie with my girls, that I felt the true sense of going out for a night at the ball game.

The #SoxSocial

Overall, I think the #SoxSocial is a nice addition to the Guaranteed Rate Ball Park – but I think you should also explore other parts of the stadium and find your seats for the true baseball experience. Make sure to add a night at the stadium to your Chicago Summer Bucketlist. It’s chill. It’s fun. And if the Sox wins, the night ends in fireworks (like it did for us). What’s #1 on your summer bucket list?

 

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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Where to Go For The Best Taco in Chicago on Taco Tuesday

While we may not be as active on the Throwback Thursday’s, Taco Tuesday’s are here to stay in Chicago! For National Tequila Day (July 24th), a few of my favorite bloggers like Jennifer Mai from Jen Eats Chi and Lee Lepe from Chicago Standard and Katie from Appetite4Adventure and you know, 380 other people got together at Park & Field in Logan Square (which by the way is one of the best patios in Chicago – it seriously gives me LA vibes) to sample six different tacos to vote on the best taco in Chicago.

The Tortilla Awards

The crowd was lit with excitement as people lined up after work on Tuesday, July 24th to vote on the best tacos and take part in the festivities. The Tortilla Awards is a party open to the public featuring a city-wide search for the best tacos. It launched in Los Angeles on June 26th and will end in Austin on September 11th. For the Chicago Tortilla Awards, both partners, Tequila CAZADORES and Chef Aarón Sánchez, hand selected the top five tortilla makers to come together in person to compete for the title of being the best taco.

“My culture and heritage are the number one influence on my cooking, and there is nothing more authentic to my upbringing than the art of making a tortilla. Each of these contestants has
been selected because of their dedication and craft in preparing a fresh tortilla that reminds me of being back in Mexico, and I look forward to meeting each of them at these competitions,” shared Chef Aaron Sanchez, Chef/owner Johnny Sánchez, located in New Orleans and co-star of FOX’s MasterChef and MasterChef Junior.

Margs!

Of course you can’t have tacos without margaritas. And there were so many margaritas to choose from! After going to the tequila shot hut (with three different types of tequila), we gathered around Park & Field’s fire pit and  enjoyed Tequila Cazadores cocktails, including the Rosa La Poderosa, an exclusive recipe from local Chicago bartender Julieta Campos that features Cazadores Blanco, Apologue Aronia, cucumber, Weatherby Cola Bitters and lime.

Tortilla Taco Awards in Chicago at Park and Field 2018

While the sky was brooding, we stayed the night running back and forth to sample all six tacos and catching up on summer romances and blunders. Around 9 pm, our rims we’re getting a little saltier and the mood was lighter, and we got up to cast our votes.

Tortilla Award Winners:

Chicago blogger, Erin from 312 Food at the Tortilla Awards in Chicago

 

So, when you’re out and about this summer, add Big Star in Wicker Park to your must-see patios and tacos. Come back soon for more places to go, food to sample, and people to meet.

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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5 New Spots to Grab a Cocktail in Chicago This Summer

Summertime Chi is a time of discovery and well, cocktails. We’ve combined the two to give you five of the newest bars to grab some cocktails in Chicago this summer – including one of the most talked about rooftop! From cocktail bars to social clubs, chances are there are some hot spots that will help you plan your next happy hours and Friday night benders. And if you’re gone every other weekend or spending the summer in Rome – we’ve covered some solid choices to put in your rotation for months to come. When you’re drinking and having a great time, you’ll definitely want to think about how you’re going to bar hop! I suggest organizing transportation ahead of time so you can focus more on the drinks and catching up, than on the logistics when you’re soaking up the sun. Click here for some suggestions. 

Z Bar

108 E Superior Street

This rooftop bar has an awesome location near the Magnificent Mile downtown. It just opened this June with a few evening parties with some of the hottest bloggers like Olivia Rink. It is often packed, especially during weekends, but the hand crafted cocktails are certainly worth the wait. Their cocktail menu is inspired by luxury travel around the world, and you’ll notice it in the quality of the drinks here. Plus, the rooftop terrace has unbeatable views of the city – am I right? 

80 Proof

1500 N Wells Street

You can find this new American bar in the Old Town near the North side of town. Their dishes are upscale comfort food with options like chorizo sloppy joes and spicy shrimp tacos. They have a DJ at their brunch which is the perfect way to start your weekend! There are a lot of photo opps – so if you missed 29 Rooms or Happy Place – you can still spice up your insta. 

Flight Club Darts Chicago

111 W Wacker Drive

Flight Club Darts Chicago is a social club with fun games and delicious food and drink options. It’s fun to play darts while socializing with friends – because sometimes we need another activity besides just drinking.  You can expect the usual bar food menu here. They even host fun events with magicians and other entertainment through the month.

The Gringo

1201 W Grand Avenue

When a taqueria meets a beer garden, you get The Gringo, and it’s as magical as it sounds. You can order elotes, margaritas (by the pitcher), and if that isn’t enough motivation to get you here, maybe the oreo churros will be! They play hip, indie music, and you have a variety of meat and salsa options to choose from.

Dutch & Doc’s

3600 N Clark St

This new restaurant in Lakeview is located right across the street from Wrigley Field, so it’s a perfect stop if you’re doing some sightseeing in the city or heading to a Cub’s game. They serve a variety of cuisines on their menu, and they make a mean homemade vanilla bean soft serve for that hot afternoon or if you’re starting early they have you set with fresh, bloody Mary drinks for brunch.

This is a sponsored post. 

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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