Shop Small 2013

A 365 day challenge

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Day 36: We’ve Moved!

Our Shop Small 2013 Challenge blog has moved to the Chicago Now forum!

Today is all about Manicures & Martinis!

Check us out on our new page!

Day 35: English Food Favorites and more requests!

I love that people are writing in with requests! From finding English food favorites, to vegan restaurants, to figure skating shops. Keep the requests coming & I’ll keep you updated with discoveries.

For Caroline who moved to the States from England, I think I found a solution for you!

Caroline is missing a taste of home, especially proper English sausages (bangers?) and teas. England is one country I’ve never been to and am certainly not a good judge of authentic English food. But, Caroline, I think I found a spot for you…

Spencer’s Jolly Posh Foods.
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They are located in Chicago, but some of their products are available at a few local markets (Standard Market is the closest to you). You can also order online.  Let us know if they really offer “proper” English foods! Readers, any other suggestions?

Tonya has decided to go Vegan.  Unfortunately, the suburbs have limited options for vegan restaurants. So, I said I’d do a little digging for her. The first one that came to mind is Thanks Jordan RAW Vegan Cafe in Lockport. I have been there once and am actually planning on going later this week, so I’ll give a more complete review then.

Borrowed Earth Cafe is another fairly close option. I haven’t been there yet, but it’s on my list to try next time I visit Lemon Tree Grocer! I know several readers are vegan, what are your favorites?

Of course, I should mention that Favor the Earth has a huge assortment of vegan nail polish, lip gloss, and candies!

Still on my list to find is a furniture reupholsterer and a figure skating shop. You know I love a challenge, any other products/services you need?

Coming up this week…a great book store, more on the vegan cafe, and some BIG news!

Day 34: A Stadium Pizza for the Big Game!

I kind of wish I were having a Super Bowl party, just so I could order The Stadium Pizza!

A 18×26 pizza full of fresh ingredients: fresh mozzarella, perfect sauce, delicious crust. Yum!

Where can you find this amazing pizza? Salerno’s, of course.

The Salerno family brought their incredible family recipes here from Italy in 1957. In 1966, brothers Joseph, Arnaldo, and Vincenzo opened their first Salerno’s location in Berwyn. It was an instant hit.

Since then, they’ve opened four more locations, all still committed to the freshest ingredients for their delicious recipes.

Want just a slice? For $5 you’ll get “slice” and a drink- though be ready to share- a slice is 1/4 of a 16″ pizza. My favorite slice comes from the Sicilian: olive-oil, fresh mozzarella, & roma tomato pizza. Gluten-free crusts are an option too.

Not in the mood for pizza? Their pasta dishes are just as delicious. All of the pastas on the menu are also available in a 1/2 portion. I had a half portion of the
linguine with shrimp & broccoli for around $7 and still had plenty to take home.

So, before the big game starts, call for your delivery. No location close to you? The next generation of Salerno’s are soon following in their parents footsteps and opening a few more locations soon.

Who delivers your favorite pizza?

Day 33: Adding a kick with olive oil…

If anything, this challenge is forcing me to plan ahead. I’m already trying to figure out 4 birthday gifts for later this month!

Anyway, I’m running low on olive oil (an everyday staple in my house) and know a quick trip to Trader Joe’s probably isn’t a solution.

So, I decided to try the new shop in town, Olive Gallery.

If you’re looking to kick up your dinners a notch, they have every flavor of olive oil and vinegar imaginable. Granted it comes a price, they aren’t cheap. But, I don’t consider these “everyday” olive oils either. It’ll be a special recipe that calls for Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar- thankfully there are plenty of recipe cards available too. Shrimp sautéed in the lime olive oil just may take me out of my cold weather funk!

My favorite olive oils, though, come from another local company. They, however, don’t have a store front. You can often find them at summer farmer’s markets and the occasional craft shows…go to them! Annie’s Gourmet was my first real introduction to gourmet olive oils, and I was hooked. Infused with garlic, herbs, lemon…enough varieties for everyone. I have found that any dish is infinitely better by adding their Sweet Italian Basil with Roasted Garlic Olive Oil. Though I’m really enjoying my Mexican blend of herbs olive oil too! Annie’s has great prices, and small bottle options, perfect for trying a variety. image

What is your favorite flavored vinegar recipe?

Day 32: My Blissful Spa Day!

Month two begins!

In addition to being a mom, owning a small business, and documenting this challenge, I’ve also been a licensed massage therapist for twelve years.

So, I fully believe that massage therapy should not be a luxury, but a part of your well-being. It boosts immunity, increases metabolism, decreases stress, and helps lower blood pressure.

The downside of being a massage therapist, is that it’s very difficult to relax in a massage without analyzing their technique. It’s probably similar to a chef eating at a another restaurant.

Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I figured you may be interested in sending your loved one (or yourself!) to the fantastic massage therapist I found this week.

Sharon Vogel at Blissful Spa is the real deal.
She’s been a licensed massage therapist for over 20 years, and she’s trained in a variety of modalities: shiatsu, sports, deep tissue, reflexology, hot stone, lymphatic drainage, as well as holistic health care.

What I especially loved about her philosophy is that she doesn’t set a pay scale or appointment based on technique (ie. deep tissue vs. Swedish). Each massage is customized to your body’s needs; this allows Sharon to use her vast education to best help you.

She also accepts insurance which may be beneficial if you have specific medical concerns.

If you’re just looking for relaxation and a chance to recharge- you won’t be disappointed. If you’re also a massage therapist looking for someone knowledgeable, experienced, intuitive, with fantastic technique- you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Where do you go to relax and recharge?

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