5 Chicago Lifestyle Bloggers: The Story Behind Their Following

Chicago Lifestyle. How do you become the Chicago cosmopolitan city girl you’ve always aspired to become? At Windy City Cosmo, we focus on building genuine relationships and the beauty, events, skills, and cocktails behind them.

There are a lot of Chicago lifestyle bloggers with a lot of followers. As we’ve dined with and liked their Instagram posts, a few of them stood out. I’ve spoken with some of the most active Chicago lifestyle bloggers to learn why they blog and how they build a following. These bloggers post about food events, botox and beauty trends, the next best cocktail, how to get over your exboyfriend, and how to throw your next holiday party.

If you’re looking for what to do on a Friday night, an event to take your girlfriends to if you’re a Dior girl, or if you are more Chanel, and some fashion tips, then let me introduce you to some of my trusted Chicago lifestyle bloggers on Instagram.

This article includes the following bloggers:

Hungerlust Travel, I admire her photography and how she makes me want to wanderlust.

Now You Know Events/Appetite 4 Adventure, I love how she is always on the scene at the latest food events. She always makes me hungry with her cheesy pizzas and boozy cocktails.

Once Upon a Dollhouse, I love their personalities and their twin vibes when it comes to photo shoots. If you are looking for outfit inspiration, they are always adding a little sparkle and maybe a bow.

The Haute Seeker, I love her weekend events roundup. She always has something creative.

Jodidangerous, I love that this Instagram has spunk and variety, but also serenity.

Hungerlust Travel:

Meet Lily from Hungerlust Travel.

She’s a food and travel blogger based in West Loop Chicago. When she’s home, she introduces you to new and classic restaurants around the city, and when she travels, she post photos of my activities and meals to inspire you to visit those cities as well!

How did you get started?

Hungerlust used to be solely a food Instagram, then I started to feel too restricted that I couldn’t post what I was seeing on vacation, only what I was eating. I’ve had my Instagram since December 2015, and just started blogging this summer.

View this post on Instagram

Lakeview, Chicago: Earlier this month I attended a @dablonvineyards wine tasting at the beautiful music box theatre. Dablon is a winery in southwestern Michigan that is aiming to chance the face of Michigan wine! The reputation is that all wine in the area is sweet, given the cold climate. However, they're growing a lot of traditional dry grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir! I went on a Michigan tasting a few years ago that involved mostly ice wine and s'mores wine so this year I'm going to plan my own and start it off at Dablon! Their tasting room has been recently renovated and they have a brand new private room that I can't wait to visit! #hungerlustlakeview #dablonandcg #dablonwine #chicagogrammers

A post shared by lily📍chicago | travel | food (@hungerlusttravel) on

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

I am solely Instagram at this time, but I know I need to start working on Pinterest more to grow my blog viewers.

How much time do you devote to blogging each week?

I spend about 10-15 hours on Instagram per week, but blogging is more sporadic. When I sit down to write a new city guide, I will spend 5-10 hours on it over a few days, but then I go weeks without adding new content… oops! (which is actually one of the current trends according to Orbit Media’s research with over 1,000 bloggers). I post on Instagram once a day.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

I share a photo if it’s visually pleasing, and I enjoyed the story behind it. I could have a beautiful picture, but if I didn’t enjoy the activity or meal, I won’t share it (which is similar to what Erin from 312 Food does, as well).

You can follow Hungerlust Travel on Instagram or her blog below:

www.instagram.com/hungerlusttravel
www.hungerlusttravel.com

Now You Know Events:

Meet Katie Cahnmann from Now You Know Events.

Katie created Now You Know Events (NYK) to offer a comprehensive site to share cool events and openings happening in and around Chicago. It’s an easy way for anyone to find something interesting and fun to do. She tries to share a little bit of everything to cover everyone’s interest from fashion to charity, food, sports, art, free, etc.

Kate
How did you get started?

I was working full-time as the Director of Social Support at a charter high school on the south side of dealing with really heavy issues with my students – anger, depression, suicide, gang violence, etc. I needed an outlet I sought out fun things to do in Chicago and would invite friends out. Everyone encouraged me to start my own website as I knew about an eclectic mix of events going on in and near the city. That’s how NYK was born!

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

I have a website (www.nowyouknowevents.com) where I share all upcoming events as well as recaps/reviews of events and places, occasional interviews with cool people doing cool things in Chicago, photos, and more. I also use MailChimp to send out newsletters and social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I used to use Pinterest but not so much anymore.

Who inspires you in the blogging community?

The entire group of incredible bloggers. There are so many. I’ve belonged to different groups of bloggers and stayed up-to-date with some including Chicago Bloggers Network, Windy City Bloggers, and Chicagogrammers to name a few. There are so many amazing bloggers in Chicago and it’s been a super supportive community.

How much time do you devote to blogging each week?

I used to devote a lot more but given everything that has happened in my personal and professional life over the last couple of years that time has decreased. I used to update the blog daily but now I do it weekly.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

I really try to be conscious of my readers, subscribers, and followers and only share what I truly believe they will appreciate and enjoy. Occasionally, I will share things I personally love and just hope my followers do, too. My hope is that anything I post resonates with my readers.

You can follow Appetite for Adventure on Instagram or Now You Know Events blog below:

Website: http://www.nowyouknowevents.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NowYouKnowEvents/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NYK_Events
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/appetite_4_adventure/

Once Upon a Dollhouse:

Meet Caitlin Campbell and  Danielle Sommerfeld, the dolls behind Once Upon a Dollhouse.

Once Upon a Dollhouse chronicles the dolls’ friendship and their adventures as they celebrate the beauty of life. Their ultimate goal is to inspire readers to become their healthiest and happiest selves – whether it’s through your own best friend, yoga, music, crystal healing or even fashion.

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How did you get started?

This has to be one of our favorite questions! Of course we have a story behind it. Shall we start with Once upon a time… ? We met by a combination of serendipity and magic and became the fastest of friends. Soon enough, we became roommates and moved into the glam pad that will forever be remembered as our life-size Dollhouse. The Dollhouse became the meeting place for all of our best friends where we shared laughs, meals, girl talk and plenty of champagne. Before we knew it, people started to ask us what events we were going to, our favorite music to listen to, our workout routines, our favorite boutiques and more. Then, we decided to write it all down and to share our sparkle with the world! Once Upon a Dollhouse was officially launched in January 2016 to chronicle our best friend adventures and celebrate the beauty of life. In this world, our ultimate goal is to share positivity and inspire our fans and followers to become their healthiest, happiest self.

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

Instagram is our absolute favorite! Our main resource is each other. It’s important for us to always be in constant communication so that we can maintain an authentic brand message that we are both proud of. We encourage each other and celebrate our ideas and every milestone we hit along the way.

Who inspires you in the blogging community?

We have met so many inspirational women in the blogging community right here in Chicago! We are proud to be a part of such a strong network of women that supports one another. A few of our go-to gals are Windy City Cosmo (duh!), Julz Chez and Caroline Taft.Everyone has their own unique story…. WCC is always there for us . and right now is training for a marathon, Julz Chez is the sweetest small town gal turned fashion maven and Caroline Taft is a former U.S. Army Reserves Intelligence Officer turned culinary creative and photographer. The best part about these inspiring ladies is that we’ve become great friends along the way!

How much time do you devote to blogging each week?

It really varies week to week. For us, it’s all about balance. We balance our friendship with our business to keep our motivation, consistency and vibrant energy in tact.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

We like to share content with our readers that sparks a sparkle! We’re an open book and looking to share our light and positivity with others – especially at a time when we need it most! Stay tuned for a more “risque” topic coming up on the blog soon about aging gracefully.

We like to share content with our readers that sparks a sparkle! We’re an open book and looking to share our light and positivity with others – especially at a time when we need it most! Stay tuned for a more “risque” topic coming up on the blog soon about aging gracefully.

You can follow Once Upon a Dollhouse on Instagram or on their blog below:
www.instagram.com/onceuponadollhouse
www.facebook.com/onceuponadollhouse
www.pinterest.com/OUADollhouse
www.onceuponadollhouse.com

The Haute Seeker:

Meet Taylor Justin from The Haute Seeker.

The Haute Seeker is a curated lifestyle blog that seeks out and shares the unseen fashion, food, arts, and community good in the city of Chicago.

How did you get started?

I am not new to this. I’m inquisitive by nature. I moved to Chicago out of college and had no family or friends in the city. I wasn’t going to sit at home so I would go out everyday and visit neighborhoods that interested me. I became very acclimated to Chicago and always knew where to go and became a resource to close friends. I decided to challenge myself and become a resource for others who are culture vultures and that’s when I started The Haute Seeker.

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

Instagram by far! I treat it like a mood/ inspiration board.  I use Buffer to keep my social media in check. Thank God I discovered that tool. It helps me so much!

Who inspires you in the blogging community?

I am inspired by the stories that people share. It’s awesome to seek fellow bloggers shine and grow.

How much time do you devote to blogging each week?

Every single day. If I am not writing I’m planning my content and generating leads. My post goals are two a week, 3 if I’m being very ambitious.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

I share what I would want to read. I’ve realized my content is not for everyone and it never will be because not everyone likes the same things. And that’s okay! If you are inspired by everyday people, you like interesting things, or are moved by cultural innovations than you will love my content.

You can follow The Haute Seeker on Instagram or on their blog below:
@thehauteseek
www.thehauteseeker.com

Jodidangerous

Meet Jodi Dudek. Her blog will be launching in the next couple of months. For now, you can find her on Instagram: @jodidangerous

Jodi wanted to use my actual name, but make it a little fun. The “dangerous” is because she does what I want. 😉 People should follow her because I’ve experienced a lot in life and continue to enjoy a good adventure and try to share that in a thoughtful way. She’ll be working on some fun things shortly, she’d love to grow interest.

How did you get started?

I was interested in blogs and eBay stars years ago, have been in the design community for over 15 years, joined Instagram when it very first started, and am even now head of social media creative for a large company. Travelling and being naturally curious have been huge catalysts, and I have grown to really love meeting new people and sharing great stories!

What’s your favorite platform to share content? Do you use social tools to help you? If so, which ones?

Instagram, hands down. Specifically, I post an Instagram Story nearly every day.

Who inspires you in the blogging community?

So many people. On a large level, Brit+Co and Bri from DesignLoveFest really kill it. Beyond that, I appreciate anyone who is well-curated, and even informative… thoughtfulness, organization, and beautiful content!

How much time do you devote to blogging/content creation each week?

It used to be a decent amount, but due to having a full-time gig in social media, my presence has been minimal.

How do you choose what to share with your readers or followers?

First, I don’t over-share. Relevancy is fairly important, but also things that I am passionate about.

You can follow JodiDangerous on Instagram here:

Jodidangerous is the only one that I’m comfortable with at this time… stay tuned!

Conclusion:

There’s a lot of Chicago bloggers. Some are sassy, some take a killer #ootd (outfit of the day) photo and others build a community around cultural events or the love of shoes.

I hope you connect with some of these Instagrammers and bloggers.

Who do you love to follow and why do you like or comment on their content?

 

 

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Almond Breeze Stops at Taste of Chicago for National Homegrown Tour

This is a sponsored post.

“It’s different…it tastes almost like milk.” I heard someone outside the Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Taste of Chicago tent.

“And what is that – is that an almond burger?”

What he was about to eat was a Home Run Chicken Slider with Creamy Breeze Guacamole made with almond milk.

Almond Breeze is halfway through it’s 2017 Homegrown Tour, which is a multi-city national tour featuring recipes made by Food Expert Patty Mastracco. When I usually think of almond milk, I think of it for my smoothies and cereal, and lately I’ve been using it for my protein shakes now that I’m training for the Chicago Marathon. While almond milk is great for those uses, it’s more versatile and can also be a milk substitute for savory foods. Food Expert Patty Mastracco specifically crafted recipes for each city on the tour using Almond Breeze almond milk, and for The Taste of Chicago, it was no different.

“The hardest part was coming up with something for Chicago because when someone thinks of Chicago eats, they think of dishes that aren’t that healthy,” Food Expert Patty Mastracco said. “So I started with classic recipes and gave them a fun twist.”

Food Expert Patty Mastracco at The Taste of Chicago 2017.


Almond Milk for Savory Foods:

For the popular Home Run Chicken Slider, one interesting thing she did was add almond milk to guacamole – something that already has creamy avocados. But, honestly, it really made a difference. It also changed the way I usually eat chicken sliders – which is with cheese instead of guacamole. But as a Chicago foodie, I love to try new things and this was my favorite sample that I tried at The Taste of Chicago food festival. Festival goers enjoyed free samples of a variety of almond milk (including chocolate milk) and almond milk based foods like the Chicago Breeze Ballpark Pretzels.

What’s really great about these is that for most recipes for cooking you can directly substitute almond milk for regular milk without compromising taste or texture. You can also use almond milk for baking, which might call for a shorter bake time. The only time you need extra almond milk is when making custards or puddings because almond milk doesn’t have saturated fat.

Below is my favorite Chicago recipes from Almond Breeze:

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Home Run Chicken Sliders at The Taste of Chicago.


Home Run Chicken Slider:

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 6 to 10 minutes

1 lb. ground chicken

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Blue Diamond Original Unsweetened Almond Breeze

1/4 cup finely minced red onion

1/4 cup shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend

2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeno peppers

1 tablespoon Mexican seasoning blend

1 egg

Olive oil cooking spray

16 small rolls (2-inches in diameter)

Fresh pico de gallo

Mix together chicken, breadcrumbs, Almond Breeze, onion, cheese, peppers, seasoning and egg in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (May be prepared 1 day ahead and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator.) Using wet hands, shape into 12 flat patties. Coat liberally on both sides with olive oil spray and cook over medium heat in a very large nonstick skillet for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned and cooked through. Spread roll bottoms with Creamy Breeze Guacamole, then sprinkle with pico de gallo. Place a slider and roll top on each. Makes 18 sliders.
Creamy Breeze Guacamole:

Prep time: 5 minutes

1/4 cup Blue Diamond Original Unsweetened Almond Breeze

2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon sliced pickled jalapeno peppers plus 1 tablespoon brine from jar

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

1 medium green onion, sliced

Puree all ingredients in a small blender or food processor. Serve with Home Run Chicken Sliders. Makes 1 cup. Double recipe to make extra guacamole for dipping, if desired.

Almond Breeze National Tour Stops:

Don’t miss the opportunity to see what dairy-free, savory recipes Food Expert Patty Mastracco has whipped up for your city. After The Taste of Chicago, The Homegrown Tour will make the following stops:

Eat Drink San Francisco, August 24 -27, 2017

Farm-to-Fork Festival Sacramento, September 24, 2017

NYC Wine and Food Festival, October 12-14, 2017

Taste of Atlanta, October 21-23, 2017

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Who to Follow on Snapchat: Chicago Food and Lifestyle Bloggers

You liked their post on Instagram. You may have even added the Chicago restaurant they visited to your Chicago bucket list.

Rather then fill your Instagram feed with their adventures, Chicago food bloggers and lifestyle bloggers have a story for you, a Snapchat story.

I’ve reached out to some of my favorite Chicago food bloggers and Chicago lifestyle bloggers to ask them who they follow on Snapchat.

Below is a list of everyone you ever wanted to have dinner with in Chicago (because the food is guaranteed to be good).

Side note: yes, you can go to l Chicago restaurant and have terrible food. Head to 312food Chicago’s Instagram, where she finds Chicago neighborhood restaurants with really good food or search under the hashtag #312food where Chicagoans tag their favorite neighborhood restaurant. You would be surprised by the amazing Chicago restaurants in your neighborhood that you pass everyday and never noticed.

Full disclosure, some of these Chicago food bloggers I have met in real life and other Chicago lifestyle bloggers I have simply met online. Maybe we’ll have a cosmo one day and I’ll be part of their Snapchat story. Maybe.

Chicago Food Bloggers to Follow on Snapchat:

Whether you like to eat or see how much other people can eat, these are the Snapchat channels to follow for Chicago foodies.

P.S. Their names or Chicago food blog names link to their Instagram pictures.

adamsoko

I either can’t stop laughing or I am watching too much food porn with Adam Soko. Adam is an established Chicago food blogger. Find his still lifes via hashtag: #sokophoto. I met him over a few rounds of Bloody Mary’s at The Violet Hour.  He captures dripping egg yolks and craft cocktails at Earl’s, Baffo, etc. all over Chicago, and this January he has been spotted in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Miami, and New Orleans. His life and Snapchats are more than just food. He throws in the selfie, rap song, or ostrich every now and then.

P.S. He’s always on.

vansventures

My friend and Chicago foodie, Van, is most known for her love of Ramen. I thought of her the first time I tried Ramen this year. We met at a magazine launch for FW:Chicago, a resource about the lifestyles and careers of fellow Chicago women who live, work, and play in the city. Ever since then, we show love on Instagram.

everythingerica

Everythingerica will either be eating, making food so that she can eat, or liking your Chicago Instagram pic. Seriously, I don’t know how she does it, but she always likes my photos right away. P.S. Thank you. Erica Eckman is funny because she’s real. Her current status is Chicago blogger and future mommy. She’s bffs with 312Food. And this pair, though petite, has an appetite any Chicago foodie can appreciate.

 

312food

I could write a book about Erin from 312Food. But, it would be a picture book because her pictures are flawless. I met Erin through Instagram, and you can read the full story here. She’s a superstar in your own right, and she’ll make you want to go to Sweet Mandy B’s for cookie dough stuffed cookies or eat a heart-shaped pepperoni pizza from Bar Siena. She got started on Instagram in the summer of 2015. This girl is a game changer.

ChicagoFoodAuthority

Samantha Roby has a way with food. She makes table settings and food look beautiful all through placement. She showed off her skills this past summer at a Chicago blogger event with Bell Brands.

Chicago Lifestyle Bloggers to Follow on Snapchat:

I get hooked into the lives of fellow Chicago lifestyle bloggers.

P.S. Their names or their Chicago lifestlye blog names link to their Instagram pictures.

oliviamaeromano

You can usually catch Olivia with her bff, Adam Soko, making face masks or homemade rice krispie treats. She’s random. She’s a lawyer? She’ll make everyday funny, and sometimes we need just that.

drunkonshoes

This one is new to me. Drunkonshoes came recommended to me by my friend and past co-worker, Porchea Londone.

porchea_londone

I met Porchea when I worked a shift manager at Ann Taylor at Water Tower Place. Fast-forward to 2015, and we ran into each other at a Chicago fashion event her company, The Frock Shop, was hosting in Pilsen with America’s Next Top Model and make-up artists and stylists. She most recently appeared on WCIU You And Me This Morning.

chelsias

This one is new to me. Chelsias came recommended by my friend and Chicago foodie, Van, most known for her love of Ramen.

chicagocheapass

Maddy Osman tells it like it is. Her blog is Chicago Cheap Ass. But don’t let the name fool you, every time I have cocktails at Drumbar or Bub City with this social media God send, I leave enriched. For my savvy Chicago city girls looking for a good (and sometimes off the cuff) time on a budget, check-in with Maddy.

 

ihadabiglunch

Lauren Lehocky may have a big lunch, but she’s also training to be a fitness instructor and works at Lululemon. She believes that to be healthy you don’t have to count the number of almonds and have a green smoothie (though she’s not opposed to either). I met Lehocky at a cheese event when I introduced her to Milagro tequila. She is as much about the fitness as she is about the fun.

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Lostgirlvintage

Lost Girl Vintage is a vintage boutique shop in Pilsen. The owner’s adventures are usually not in the shop, they are all over Chicago. She’s also friends with Adam Soko, and we met the same night over Bloody Mary’s at Violet Hour.

 

Of course, don’t forget to follow your favorite Chicago city girl, Windy City Cosmo!

 

P.S. If you want to get away from Chicago, follow these travel bloggers. Their Snapchat stories will take you to Santa Claus’ home and the beach, where I would like to be most days during Chicago winters (It’s getting sunnier, though). Drew Binsky is my favorite to follow and he’s the one who wrote the article. I like writers, I guess. 🙂

Personal Branding from Chicago Bloggers:

Love watching Chicago food and lifestyle bloggers create content? Why not try to create your own personal brand? Learn from the best bloggers in this article, “How Bloggers and Brands Create Authenticity on Social Media,” inspired by Social Media Week Chicago 2015.

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