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  • Rachel Reynolds

December in Chicago

Hi friends!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! This week of the year is always so funny - like truly what day is it?? Curtis and I have been eating all the cookies and watching all the Christmas movies our hearts can desire! (Christmas Vacation is our favorite). Still though, I am trying to stay *somewhat* in a routine - because as much as I love lounging around, I can get a little restless after a few days. So today I am excited to continue the weekly blog post, which happens to be the last one of 2022!

Like I’m sure a lot of you, we had a very busy and festive-filled December! I think Chicago is a particularly special place to spend December. We have all of the sparkle of a big-city holiday, with a lot of the midwest charm. There’s just so much to do!

My grandma and I kicked off December by going to the One Of A Kind Show in the Merchandise Mart! She and my aunt have been going for years, and I was so excited to finally check it out for myself. There were SO many (like over 500) artists, makers, and designers and I just loved all of the variety. I got so many great presents for my family (okay, and maybe a few things for myself)! It would be a total dream to be in this show one day :)

Artist Lennard Taylor live painting

Then, Curtis and I celebrated our one year anniversary at The Herrington! I covered most of that in Our Wedding Recap, but just had to include it in here because it was so special! It was also the first time I’ve had a candy cane martini, and I will DEFINITELY be trying to make these next year.

candy cane martini at The Herrington

Luckily, we had a ‘bye-week’ between festivities which really allowed me to catch up on holiday orders! I’m so grateful for all of the custom artwork that got to go under the trees this year. Everything from ornaments to home paintings to pet illustrations - I simply can’t thank you enough for letting me be part of your holiday season! My goal was to get all holiday orders finished and in the mail by December 15th, and I am so happy that that could happen! I’ve spent a few holiday seasons in the past taking on too much and pushing til the last minute, so I was just really grateful that I set some boundaries and was able to take my time with every single order.

Okay, so now that all of the holiday orders were sent out, it was really time to start getting festive! My little sister stayed with us for 2 nights and we had a blast. We had brunch at Three Arts, went to the World’s Largest Starbucks, and visited the Wrigleyville Christkindlmarket. I had only been to the one downtown, and honestly I think I preferred the Wrigleyville one! It was just a lot easier to walk around and I loved that they were playing Home Alone on the big screen. KEVIN! It also had just started snowing and it was just the most Christmas-y vibes you could hope for!

Christkindlmarket at Wrigleyville

After that, Curtis and I headed down to Missouri to see my niece in her first dance recital and celebrate her 4th birthday! Everything was Frozen themed, even the recital - and I was ALL about it. She was just so stinkin cute and I might be biased, but I definitely think she was born for the stage :) We had the best time and I’m so glad we were able to just hang out and visit. We were also able to stop at my Grandpas on the drive back and have a nice long chat!

how cute is she??

Next up, my friend and I decided to treat ourselves to a special Christmas tea at the Langham Hotel. It was so fun to sit there and chat and sip on champagne and yummy tea and eat scones and reindeer macarons. The decorations were just stunning. If you’re looking for a really special experience to celebrate the year, I really couldn’t recommend it enough!


For the last of our festive experiences (except actual Christmas of course) - Curtis and I went to the Nutcracker! We were supposed to go on Christmas Eve Eve, but because the weather was supposed to be brutally cold, they were so nice to let us switch our tickets to a few days earlier. I had never been to the ballet (unless you count my niece's recital the week prior) and it definitely won’t be my last. The talent, production, and architecture were just so magical - and I’m so glad we got to have this very special date night before we were hit with a winter storm! I immediately went home and found all of the dancers' biographies and instagrams and lived vicariously through their lives for a minute - does anyone else do that? Haha.

And finally - Curtis, Leo, and I headed out to Geneva to celebrate Christmas with my grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousin! Unfortunately, like so many people across the country, some of our plans had to change due to weather and my sister and parents had to postpone their trip to next week. We definitely missed them, but I am so glad everyone is safe and that Curtis and I went to Missouri to see my sister and her family a few weeks early :) May I just say my grandma is a superhost - she bakes all the cookies you could imagine, decorates the whole house, and fills our stockings.

nothing better than a Christmas nap!

Next up: we are headed to Michigan to hang out with the Madjerics and celebrate the New Year! Word on the street is that there’s a huge Michigan game to watch… We are also headed to Frankenmuth for a day! I’ve never been, but it’s a German town in Michigan known for it’s huge all-year-open Christmas shop and fried chicken, so I am SO excited. Some of y’all might remember that I used to work at the Christmas shop at Walt Disney World, so I am definitely excited to check this one out and will definitely be reporting back!

source: Pure Michigan

And there we have it, truly the most festive time of year! Not to be cheesy (because I know not everyone is a resolution person), but I really do find this time of year to be a special time to reflect. For me, I really struggle with the idea that I’m not getting enough done - and sometimes it’s not until I take a minute to look back that I see all the art that I created and the special memories I made. Because this is a reflection post, I won’t get into all the details for next year - but let me just say I am EXCITED.

decor at The Langham!

I also just wanted to say one last thing about December - I know I just rambled on about all of the magical things we were able to do this holiday season (and I truly am so grateful), but I want you to know that it’s okay if not every day of your December was magical. It certainly wasn’t for me. It’s a great time of year filled with sparkle and glamor, but it can also be a time filled with comparison, over-consumption, and high-expectations that aren’t always met. If you felt any of those things the past month, I just want you to know you’re not alone. The last thing I want is for this blog or my instagram to turn into a highlight reel, and I think I’m slowly getting better at trying to show the realness. I also had to do A LOT of yoga this month to balance out the overstimulation. If you’re like me and love being active and social, but also find yourself getting anxious or tired - I hope you can take some time for yourself this week (and every week) to do something for yourself.

Sending you lots of love, joy, and peace for the New Year ❤️ Stay safe, eat well, and don’t drink and drive. Thank you for an amazing 2022, I’ll see you in 2023!

With love,


PS: if there’s anything you would like to see from me in 2023, whether that be a blog topic, art, or a DIY - please let me know! Feel free to comment on this post or email me at 😊


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