Coffee Talk (Vol. 2)

QUESTION: What neighborhood of Chicago do you live in? I’m considering moving to Chicago and would love to know (good but livable) areas to check out.
How exciting! Chicago is a wonderful city. I live in Lakeview East. Some of the things I love most about my neighborhood are: its proximity to the lake, a variety of restaurants and shops within walking distance, and its ‘neighborhoody’/residential feel. Depending on your preferences and budget, I’d also recommend checking out Old Town, Lincoln Park, West Loop, Bucktown and Southport Corridor, all as great options to live.
QUESTION: How did you and your fiancé meet? 
We met through mutual friends and began dating back in 2009. (Today is actually our 8 year ‘dating’ anniversary!) You can read more about how we met here.

QUESTION: Can I ask what material your kitchen countertops are?
Yes, you may! They are quartz. I absolutely love the look of marble… but ultimately opted for quartz, because it’s way less susceptible to stains and etching. My fiancé and I replaced the existing counters (which were originally soapstone) after living with them with a few years — and have been happy with the decision to go quartz.
QUESTION: What apps do you use to edit photos for social media? I notice a theme on your Instagram that’s light and bright… do you edit all your pictures a certain way so they match color wise?
Two of my favorite iPhone editing apps are Snapseed and VSCO. Snapseed really helps boost the brightness of photos, while VSCO is great for creating a consistent feel and color palette for photos. Also, keep in mind: natural light is key! Don’t expect a photo you shoot in dim, grainy conditions to magically appear bright and crisp. You can find additional iPhone photography tips here.

QUESTION: Tips for saving money (while still keeping a social life) in a big city?
Good question! Balancing your budget and social life can feel tricky, no matter where you live. My biggest tip is to be creative in how you socialize and see friends. Typically, you can find inexpensive things to do in your city if you seek them out — like open admission at art museums, free concerts in the park, movie screenings, running clubs or discounted fitness classes, happy hour specials, etc. I’d also say: do your best to use public transportation and limit your reliance for taxis/Uber. (One outing can suddenly turn into a $50 round-trip!) Lastly, offer to host your friends at home, whether it’s for a glass of wine, casual brunch or to catch up on your favorite show together. The invite is usually reciprocated back to you, too 🙂

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  • Thankful for friends, near and far, who’ve shared in our joy! Photos from our Chicago #babyshower are now posted 🕊🐇
  • Feeling the love after a big celebration yesterday for Baby M! 🕊 #27weeks #babyshower #hellothirdtrimester #momtobe This leopard print dress is non-maternity (I couldn’t resist!) I purchased 2 sizes up to fit baby bump. Shop the dress here: #LTKbumpstyle
  • It’s been a big year for us — getting married in New Orleans, honeymooning in France, selling our Lakeview condo, buying and moving into a new house in Chicago. And now welcoming our baby boy in 3 short months! 💙
Read more about our baby news on the blog 〰️ 📷 @scott_shepardson
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