Expectations are tricky. We lay them out for ourselves as a way to plan, anticipate and level set our experiences. It’s just one big mind game, really. A constricting one at that. Rather than planning how I think I might feel, I’m just feeling.
And, boy, did I ever feel at theWit.
Let’s see. I expected the Signature Massage at the Spa@theWit to be relaxing. Spoiler: it was. I also expected to wince in pain as the knots in my back got worked. I didn’t; they were actually tame. What I didn’t expect, but I felt wholeheartedly, was an epic release of pain in the most unexpected place: my legs. We’re talking tears on the table emotion that took me by total surprise. And I know myself enough to recognize that it was more than just physical, though that was very apparent. Every muscle and tendon was on the defense – tightness and soreness surfaced that I didn’t know was a problem. My body was all, “what have you been doing to me?!” The trace of the hot stones and pressure my therapist applied was nothing short of euphoric. I was smiling through the tears.
In those 50 minutes, I felt the weight of every step I’ve taken these past few months wither away. The steps down the hallway at the courthouse to see the judge who would officially end my marriage. The walk to the alley to take the garbage out (is it BAD if I point out that I completely delegated this task for as long as I can remember?!) Actually, maybe it was the “get low” squats I busted out while dancing at a bar as a single lady for the first time in more than a decade. Or breaking in these heels because a girl wants to feel sexy in a hot pair of shoes (for the record, they’re actually pretty comfortable). There are so many motions and firsts I’m experiencing that every step I’ve taken since August feels heavier. Like I’m a mall walker ready to burn some cals with my strap-on weights. My mom totally had a pair of those, btw.
My point? Opening ourselves up to feeling what we actually need to feel and straying from the confines of our own expectations is when you actually process a moment. Or in my case, months of moments that burrowed in my hamstrings.
I took some time to decompress in The Whisper Room – theWit’s pre- and post-spa oasis with shaved coconut and tea – and thought about how I needed to come back for a massage sooner than later – thank ya very much new PrettyQuick app – and how I’m actually pretty excited to get low on the dance floor again.
Charming isn’t a word I use often. It loses its power if used on something decidedly un-charming. But I’m busting it out today. We’ve got charming on charming upon CHARMING. With a side of quaint.
It’s taken me nearly six years in Chicago to explore Printer’s Row. What was I waiting for? Big mistake. HUGE. I know. It’s a quick jaunt to the South Loop but the historic charm transports you to what feels like a different world. And, I know, for me, it was. I stood at the corner for a while taking in the view of the Willis (sigh…Sears #4eva) Tower from the South. So close, yet so far away this whole time.
I didn’t even know quite how much I would adore this area when I made a PrettyQuick date with Spa Anjou. It’s sandwiched in between the historic Franklin building and Sandmeyer’s book store…an independent shop with loads of, you guessed it, charm. I wrapped up cozy in this buffalo plaid wrap jacket (Target, you’re killing it!) and dabbed on my cherry Sacred Lip Shine and had an epic fall day exploring the ‘hood. I’m sure I was giddy walking down the street with leaves falling behind me and my eyes taking in rows of brick buildings with detailed architecture. Sometimes you have to let your city court you. I’d say for a first date, Printer’s Row made a great impression on me.
My mani — Essie’s nearly navy Style Cartel – lasted for a full week. I admittedly do my own nails most of the time but turning it over to the profs once in a while is a nice change. The Anjou tech did a fabulous job and didn’t overbuff or damage my nail beds in any way. I looked down at my hands a sick amount during Style Cartel’s reign. But wouldn’t you, too?!
Hi, let’s talk about something that’s been on my mind. Specifically, feeling beautiful. Beauty is in this blog name and there’s a whole lot of product talk around here. But beauty is so much more than that. You know it. I know it. This weekend I took over the PrettyQuick Instagram to and we did a fun giveaway which I seriously wanted everyone to win. To enter, I wanted to see what made everyone feel beautiful. There was a hilarious boyfriend shot, some sister time, a fall run and so many others that made me smile. Seeing these pics affirmed that feeling beautiful has little to do with makeup and everything to do with how we feel about ourselves and our interactions with the world and others. I feel most beautiful when I’m confident and challenging myself. Be it finally mastering crow pose in yoga (still working on getting lift for more than a second) or nailing a presentation at work. Hard work can be gritty, sweaty and exhausting but so worth the effort. I wear makeup because I love experimenting and enhancing my features. I take care of my skin because it fuels my confidence and I’m a freak about an anti-aging regimen. But I feel beautiful when I’m strong. The distinction is an important one. What about you? When do you feel beautiful? The PrettyQuick takeover wrapped with the weekend but I still want to talk about this.
OK, I actually saw that on Pinterest this week and it gave me a very near and dear chuckle. In that vein, let’s wrap up this week with a quickie beauty update. A “PrettyQuick” one, that is. I’m thrilled to join the Chicago-based PrettyQuick team as their beauty editor. I’ll be sharing all of my favorite spots around Chicago to get nails did, hair blown, muscles whacked and brows tweezed. Is this my favorite job ever? Perhaps. We share an ideology. PrettyQuick is the Uber of beauty services, helping the time-deprived women of Chicago book appointments at Chicago’s best salons and spas. Instead of calling and hunting down services, book in just a few clicks at PrettyQuick. While it works for the planners getting their appointments lined up well in advance, you can also book with just a few hours’ notice. You can narrow in by neighborhood, service and even actual location if you have a go-to. They house your payment info so when you leave your appointment, you are set and on your way. I appreciate that part so much because I am so bad at living the “cash only” life. Oh, and since I’m on the inside now, I have a little intel about a PrettyQuick app and rewards program in the works. Aww, yeah…
Now for the really fun part!
PrettyQuick is offering first time users a free mani! Just sign-up, enter the code 312beautyblog and you’ll get a $15 credit in your PrettyQuick account. Chicago friends, seize the mani!
*NOTE: If you are redeeming the $15 credit please make sure to input “312BeautyBlog”