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Guides Journal

what we did in chicago…



We spent most of last week in beautiful Chicago. Bob had a conference for work, so I managed to coordinate it with my Chicago book party so that we could take a little family trip all together. It was such a fun and leisurely week in one of my favorite cities.

Normally when I travel, I have a huge list of things I want to do and places I want to eat. But with having to fit in baby naps and lugging around a car seat to get around in a taxi, I chose not plan anything and figure things out day-by-day. It was so not me, but so perfect for this trip. Ruby and I got to explore Chicago by foot without having to worry about our usual play dates, appointments, or work commitments. We met up with a few friends, fit in in a work meeting (a very kid-friendly one), and found fun places to eat on the fly. Being in Chicago sure made me missing living in a walkable city. I'd totally live there…if only it wasn't so darn cold in the winter…!

ps. I did a fun live chat with Levo League yesterday chatting about blogging and business. You can see the archived chat right here (skip over the bit of pause at the 3 min mark)!

{Photos by Oh Joy, bottom photo by Vanessa Churchill. Above: Doughnuts from Glazed and Infused (the chocolate and lemon flavors were INSANE), SmileBooth photos from my Chicago book party (thanks Katie for this post!), Lemon Meringue cupcakes from More, Passion fruit Tart from Floriole.} 


  1. Looks like you 3 had a blast (temper tantrum aside, he he). Ummm lady. you eat so well. how do you eat all the sweets and stay the same size? Do you have a workout schedule? I need to get back into working out. I kept telling myself that “chasing after a toddler was workout enough” but that is becoming an excuse!
    So happy for your book success Joy!

  2. This is such a cute trip summary. So new and creative (and incredibly refreshing). I’m loving the quality of your posts lately (not that they were ever bad to begin with) but you can clearly see that they all have your personal touch now. Have a great weekend!

  3. Looks amazing!! I love walking cities too. Makes me wish I lived in one all the time (except for the winter – like you mentioned). And those donuts look amazing!

  4. Glad you had such a great trip! I love Chicago and there are so many little things that make even the terrible winters worth it. Sad I missed out on your book party at West Elm but can’t wait to read your book this weekend.
    Where are those donuts from?!

  5. Ruby looks like she means business taking notes. Though maybe the tantrum isn’t too professional 🙂
    I checked out the Smilebooth photos from your book launch. Looks like everyone had a great time. Looking forward to it being released here in the UK. Since you won’t be coming to England, does that mean I’ll have to have a photo booth party on my own? 🙂
    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  6. The walkability of this city is my #1 reason I love living here, and it’s funny because I was just thinking about that on my morning walk today along the beach and to the natural foods store. More cities need to model themselves after the Chi!
    The winters used to be brutal, but now, not so much.. not last year anyway. 85 degrees in March, anyone? Weird!

  7. I’m so glad you made this post! I’ll be going to Chi Town for a business trip next week! I hope I have time to check out these places & that they are close by to where I’m staying. Walkable city?!? Being from LA, I didn’t know that existed!

  8. Such a fun trip! Your photos are great. I’ve been traveling to Chicago a lot lately and honestly the city just keeps getting better. That lemon doughnut from Glazed and Infused has to be one of the best doughnuts I’ve tasted. Isn’t the little window where you can order them outside so cute? So true about having fun in a walkable city, it’s something that doesn’t exist in LA unless you’re in one of the little neighborhoods.

  9. I went to Chicago for the first time over the summer and fell in love with the city! I feel the same way about moving there, but I’m a California girl, so those winters would be a tough adjustment!

  10. Chicago is my FAVORITE place! Went to law school there and only left to make my long-time long distance relationship with my now husband a same city one. good thing it worked out or I’d be so pissed I left that place! I’ve taken Charlie back to visit my besties’ and their kiddos twice (by myself!), so I totally hear you on the traveling with a baby issues. looks like you had fun and made it work. but did you have any deep dish pizza??? mmmm.

  11. I love the temper tantrum. kids seem be in this position as a way of protesting. I do have to stop my boys when they resort to banging their heads on the floor.. hm, not fun :/

  12. Glad hear you had a lovely trip to my hometown. Now that I’m a mama, I must say one of the things I love about Chicago is how much there is to do when you have a baby, especially on foot. My 1-year old little man and I are regulars at the Art Institute of Chicago stroller tours.
    Also, wonderful to hear you speak at the Blog, Inc. book signing…I’ve already marked so many pages as I work on revamping my blog. Thank you, Joy! Good luck with the rest of the book tour.

  13. does anyone know where that grey carpet with the colorful dots is from? it’s in the picture with ruby. i need that in my life.

  14. I definitely agree on not making plans and figuring things out day by day when your out of town with your kiddo. Nice to know that you guys had fun. Ruby is so adorable!


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