Explorer of the Month- October

Explorer of the Month- October

We're here again for another issue of Explorer of the Month. This month's installment came about after I reached full on "stan status" (clever verbiage referencing when someone is a super fan of any given person. Referenced from blogger Kid Fury) for a lady known for her chic clothing as well as for her "penchant for food." In the blogging world we get many opportunities to read and support varying work. After visiting fellow blogger Lauren Valenta, creator of Chicago food site ChiGalLauren.com, I fell in love and culinary lust with the fare featured in her reviews on popular restaurants around the city. Her qualifying attributes for such an honor correlate to her mutual duty of Chicago exploration as well as her shiny personality that comes through in her writing and focuses on filling your stomach as well as your heart.

Lauren Valenta

Age:  29

Occupation:  Pharmacist

Location: Lakeview

Favorite HangoutThe Green Lady in Lakeview.  They opened on Lincoln Ave. just over a year ago and my fiancé and I have been frequenting ever since!  They have an amazing selection of craft beers, the owner and bartenders are super friendly (and know their beer!), they have trivia on Thursday nights and you can bring or order-in your own food since they don’t have a kitchen yet...perfect addition to the neighborhood!

Interests:  Travel, food, health & fitness, all things beauty, Da Bears, online shopping, reading, and planning my upcoming wedding!

Favorite Chicago Experience: This was a tough one.  At first thought, things like dinner at Alinea and celebrating in Soldier Field when the Bears won the NFC Championship in 2007 come to mind. But I decided that summing up Chicago in a single experience just doesn’t do it justice.  My favorite Chicago experience is being able to live and breathe Chicago every single day. From the views along the lakefront path to the summer street festivals to the hundreds of bars and restaurants that are all within walking distance of my home, Chicago really is a beautiful city unlike any other, and I feel very lucky that I am able to call it home.

Worst Chicago Experience: Chicago traffic. Every. Single. Day. I work in the north suburbs and the commute home at the end of the day is always brutal. There are usually multiple times each week that I think to myself “this is the worst experience EVER”, only to be shown up the following week!

What kind of "explorer" are you?: I’m the explorer that always wants more. I want to see the world and then some. I’m constantly on the lookout for beautiful, exciting new places to visit; delicious new foods to eat; and unique, interesting sights to see.

It's a Friday night in the city, you are likely.....?: Unwinding with my fiancé with a great craft beer or glass of wine over dinner at one of the many restaurants on our bucket list.

What's one thing/experience in Chicago that you'd like to share with the masses?: If you’re looking to spend a day shopping in the city, try venturing away from the Mag Mile and check out some of the fantastic shops and boutiques along the Southport Corridor in Lakeview, Armitage Ave in Lincoln Park, or Damen Ave in Bucktown.  Whenever I’m in these areas I NEVER go home empty handed and you’ll find things here that you won’t find anywhere else!

Read about our outing here: When Chic Meets Cheap

Do you or someone you know want to be nominated for the next "Explorer of the Month" segment? Then contact us at fourstar.explorer@yahoo.com for more information.

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