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Such a ‘Bler: Andersonville

Such a ‘Bler: Andersonville

Welcome to Andersonville (of course I would introduce this place eventually.)  

I am deeply obsessed with SoHo, New York and often compare Wicker Park to it. However, I knew that if I was going to spend four years of my life in Chicago, I need to find Chicago’s own beauty. And it is Andersonville.  

It’s this neighbourhood that’s a short walk off of the Berwyn Redline stop and honestly one of the best places to enjoy your day off, or even a day that you just want to work outside. I’ve had my fair share of both. There are so many cute coffee shops and restaurants sprinkled around, each with its own unique Andersonville touch. One of my personal favourites is A Taste of Heaven. My newly alumni friends, Andrea, actually took me there after learning about my deep appreciation for breakfast food. The restaurant serves breakfast food all day (I’m squealing) and has a really fun blue and white tiled floor – a twist on your conventional black and white chess checkered spread. And that’s just the thing about this area! 

It seems like any other little town, with cafés, a Starbucks and shopping destinations but if you take your time and really stroll, you’ll thrift stores, antiques places, plant shops, resale bookstores and several up and coming local businesses. My first time around, Andrea even took me to a place that sold old x-ray clips of people’s teethes.  

My friend Sam, whom I wrote about in an early blog about our growing excitement with farmer’s markets, has also recently brought to my attention that on Wednesday from 3-8pm, Andersonville also has a farmer’s market! And you know it’s already now also scheduled on my calendar. 

There are also occasional street books and knickknack resales out and about. I found this mirror at one of them. I also found this little picnic basket brief case thing at one of the antiques stores FOR $5!!!! Next to it, a young jewelry crafter set up her own little table and I got myself some new funky earrings. Being an artist myself, I love being able to support other local artists and personally learn the story behind their work. 

I am now going to leave you now with an aesthetic array of photos because Andersonville itself is just a gem to capture – trust me, take the trip and you’ll be leaving with the same. 



Jie’s Food Blog, La Crêperie, A French Restaurant 🇫🇷

Jie’s Food Blog, La Crêperie, A French Restaurant 🇫🇷

About 2 minutes read.

Hi everyone! Welcome to my food blog! Today, I am going to introduce: La Crêperie, a French restaurant located between the CTA red line 🚇 Belmont and Fullerton stations (about 35min train ride+ walk from Loyola Lake Shore Campus). As you may realize from the restaurant name, Crepes are their signature dishes! I personally do not have much French food experience, but I will share with you my honest opinion and experience on this restaurant! 

When I was researching dinner ideas, La Crêperie’s interior decoration and ambience really caught my eyes! My best friend and I haven’t seen each other for a long time. We both have very busy schedules during the first week of school. So, we decided to have dinner at La Crêperie on a Wednesday night! Because it was a Wednesday night dinner, a farther located restaurant from our campus might help us free the school work in our mind a little bit. 

We arrived around 7:30pm that night. There were a total of four groups of people eating in the restaurant included their patio seating area. It was not a busy night, but the ambience and waiters really made us feel warm and lively. My friend and I accidently ordered the same dish: La Vēgétarienne, a type of savory crêpes. But I switched the roasted tomatoes to mushroom instead. It was my first time having a savory crepe, I would give an honest 7/10 for the taste. You can obviously taste the cheese🧀, broccoli 🥦and mushroom, but the flavor of the whole dish was not very strong for me. I think using other types of cheese would make a different and add a heavier flavor into this dish. I would like to try crêpes from other places for comparison and share more thoughts on it! Also, because we were seating in the patio area, and it was a chill night, the dish went cold quickly. 

Even though their inside dining area is sooooo lovely with all the decorations and warm lighting, I also highly recommended eating at their patio too! Many colorful flowers 💐 🌸and decorations are displayed around the patio area. And, the music playing in the background made a perfect summer night outside! 11/10 for their ambience scores!

Many people also come here for brunch. The restaurant also offers another type of crêpe, the Sweet crêpes. It’s more like a type of very thin pancake for breakfast or a dessert. Most of their Savory and Sweet crêpes cost around $10±2. Sweet crêpe with some French coffee ☕might be your top choice for a lovely brunch meal!The French Onion Soup from La Crêperie is also highly recommended by many people (it looks sooooo good!), and I am planning to try it the next time! So, stay tuned for the next soup blog! 

Landmark’s Century, a movie theater 🎥 which is located right cross street from La Crêperie. The restaurant offers “After Movie Special”, you can bring in a ticket 🎟 from the cinema dated today for a complimentary Chocolate Crepe with the purchase of any beverage! Perfect spot for a date night or just a sweet treatment!

Trader Joe’s, Target, Walmart Neighborhood Market, T.J. Maxx, and Urban Outfitters are also located around the restaurant (all less than 3min walk). If you are looking for a one stop shopping 🛍️ and dining 🍽 experience, La Crêperie should be on your top list!

That’s all about La Crêperie! Hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions about our page.

What’s your favorite French restaurant 🇫🇷 in Chicago? Let us know!

Thank you & Stay tuned for the next food blog soon!

Jie’s Food Blog — Pizza🍕

Jie’s Food Blog — Pizza🍕

About 3 minutes read.

Hi everyone! Welcome to my very first food blog! Today, I am going to introduce my favorite PIZZA restaurant in Chicago: Pete’s Pizza and Bakehouse, which is located near our Loyola Lake Shore Campus. I am a huge pizza fan and their pizzas are truly the number one in my heart! FYI my personal favorite is sausage pizza! (And no, there is no sponsorship in this blog.)

I still remember the first meal I had at Pete’s. It was a very special experience to me. During my freshman year when I was coming back from China after our winter break, my flight ✈️ got delayed until very late that night. I was very hungry and tired…and Pete’s was one of the couple restaurants open until 1am! Not because any food tastes good in that kind of situation, but their pizzas do taste very very good… 

Fun fact, Pete’s was literally across the street from my second-year residence hall Spring Hill Hall last year! And, I like to workout at very late night, so Pete’s became my go to post-workout meal last year! I am not sure how many times I have ate there around midnight. But I am sure their very friendly workers already know the guy who always come in late and order the same sausage pizza every time. 

Not only pizzas, but they also have a huge menu you can choose from; like burgers, sandwiches, soups, salad and dessert, etc. I have heard their ice cream and cakes are very good, too!🍨🍰 I personally haven’t tried any other food from them yet. Because their pizzas are sooooo good…and I looooove pizza. The price for one slice of pizza is around $4+, include taxes. BTW, you can also use your Rambler Bucks in this restaurant! Also, as you can see from the picture, their slices are pretty big… 

One more fun fact, Pete’s opens in the morning too! I didn’t know that until I wanted to have their pizza for breakfast one time! Okay, that’s a joke, but I do want to have pizza for breakfast sometime. Metropolis Coffee is a very popular coffee shop very close (about 1 minute walk) to Pete’s and our main campus. (📍All locations pined in the Campus Map below.) Many of my friends and students hang out and study in the coffee shop. I am a very quiet person when it comes to studying outside of my room or library. Quick tip before I finish this blog, I found not many people go to Pete’s in the morning, but they do offer coffee, tea and other drinks too. It’s a perfect spot for studying if you are looking for a quieter place with the same smell of coffee! ☕️~

That’s all about Pete’s! Hope you enjoyed reading this food blog. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions about our page.

And, what is your favorite pizza topping? Deep dish or thin crust? Let us know!

Thank you & Stay tuned for the next food blog!

A Countdown Back to College – Looking Back at My Freshman Dorm

A Countdown Back to College – Looking Back at My Freshman Dorm

My freshman year experience all started with my dorm.

This is where I would be spending majority of my time sleeping, studying and socializing. Of course, I did not realize that at the time! Most people will tell you how awful and cramped the dorm rooms are, how you will need to get used to walking far distances, and how communal living is a hot mess.

But through my experience, all of that was a big fat lie. Let’s focus on debunking these dorm room assumptions.

Lets begin with location!

Room 1820, on the first Co-ed Floor of Mertz, my first college dorm. Mertz is not only a super social dorm, but also located very conveniently close to campus! I made a bad call when doing laundry right before to class, and I made it from the 18th floor to Mundelein in an impressive 6 minutes.

Good things come in small packages?

In terms of sizing, as a chronic claustrophobic, I felt my dorm was actually very spacious. In my dorm, we could comfortably throw in an extra person and set of furniture, and still have breathing room. My roommate was way more low maintenance then I was, so I was super happy taking in the extra space.

Neighbor or traitor, how does communal living work out?

And finally, communal living was not the horrible nightmare I expected it to be. Rather then a never ending sleepover with strangers, it felt more like vague cousins that lived with you . While we did have our moments (we had some very prominent personalities that could not get along), we all were close pretty close knit. Since I am a huge nerd, I fell into place with the Night Owls who stayed up until 2 am every night doing homework in our shared space.

Ultimately, dorms are not as overrated as people tend to think! I think its very important to have it capture your personality, and be a space designed for you and your needs in college.

Older Amanda still loves going on Pinterest looking at apartment décor nowadays, but nothing compares to the excitement of Baby Amanda planning her freshman year dorm! You are given several options to pick from regarding your room: Single, Double, Triple, or Quad; Bunk Beds, Junior loft, or Senior loft; the possibilities are endless!

I got lucky! I had a double with a high loft bed in Mertz on the 18th floor. I had the gorgeous sunset view, but I did spend a lot of time staring at the east view of the lake.

This is how I chose to design my dorm!

Totally did not get cluttered during the school year.

Not only did I love how color coordinated my room is (again type – A planner who relishes in perfect details), but I also loved how much of a conversation starter it was. During Welcome Week, I meet most of my friends from just running around, exploring everyone’s dorms.

Also important in your dorm is a plan for snacks!

Yes, that is a Walmart shoe self, full of snack suitable for bingeing on during Midterms.

And finally, a quick brag of how beautiful my view was:

I really do miss views like this.
My “Blend” Retail Marketing Summer Class (Part 2)

My “Blend” Retail Marketing Summer Class (Part 2)

July 10, 2019

Welcome back to the Part 2 of my Retail Marketing summer class blog!

As I mentioned in the Part 1 blog, this online summer class has two in-person class meetings at a local coffee shop called Helix near our Lake Shore Campus. And yesterday, we had our first “coffee shop class” together!

The coffee shop just opened in May 2019, and many things are still in developing like store layout and menu, etc. I really like all the design and small detail in the shop, but have not tried their coffee yet (but will try soon ha-ha). I am personally not a huge fan of studying in a coffee shop because of background noise. And, I am happy our class came in after their business hours so that there was only the smell of coffee around the shop! We sat down with the two founders of Helix, and learned about their mission and purpose of opening this coffee shop. Their vision is to create a network of social enterprises that employ youth and reinvest in the communities. I have never seen a mission driven coffee shop built for helping youth on their career path and skill sets before. Also, both of the founders are Loyola Alumni, and one of them is also the co-founders of Loyola Limits!

I am not sure if it was the coffee shop environment or the excitement of meeting each other in person, but three hours of the in-person class went by much faster than our online version in my opinion. I think it is great to meet with my classmates in person and know more about each other, because we will have group projects working together in the next few weeks.

There are so much more interesting and new ideas in this class. For example, this is a writing intensive class, but we are not writing anything like a research paper or any normal college paper. We are writing podcast scripts for our final marketing audits project! To be honest, I did not even know there are scripts for podcasts at first. I though people just free-talk and chat on their podcasts. By the way, are you a Trader Joe’s fan? Do you know there is a podcast talking about everything about Trader Joe’s called Inside Trader Joe’s? Dr. Stacy is a huge fan of Trader Joe’s, and this podcast is actually one of the “textbooks” we will learn from. (If you have not read the Part 1 blog yet, we don’t have any paper/online textbook for this class. Instead, we listen to podcasts!)

Please make a comment if you want to know more about summer class experience at Loyola or anything else! I am happy to answer and write about! Stay tuned!

Such a ‘Bler: Moving Out

Such a ‘Bler: Moving Out

Yes, I have officially moved out of the campus dorms. Why you ask? I simply wanted to. 

The dorms were more than I could have asked for, both freshman and sophomore year. But I think it is time that I venture out on my own. I want to separate my time on and off campus more, really allowing myself to be completely away from school when I need to be, as well as motivate myself to see different parts of the city instead of gravitating to those closest to my dorm. Apartment hunting itself was certainly already a journey. It seems that staying close to the Redline is the best bet. Despite the above, I still wanted a space near enough to our main campus but not too far from the downtown campus because of my Communication Studies major. 

My new roommates were big help. We all actually met at Mertz Hall freshman year. I lived with one and stayed close with the other during sophomore year. Signing our lease for junior fall and spring, I felt even more grateful for the two years I did spend in the dorms because it made housing plans when I landed on the decision to move out for junior and senior year less daunting. 

Am I nervous? Somewhat. Mainly because I’ve heard a lot from upperclassmen about how the commute time can be tough. I’ll also miss the convenience of the dining halls now that I’ll have to make my own breakfast, pack lunch and plan dinner. These are definitely two clear advantages of living on campus, especially for an individual who is often late like myself. Perhaps this decision is a new way for me to explore time management. Besides, from what I’ve seen, Loyola really knows how to organize great commuter celebratory events! 

I hope this short insight helps any inquiries you have about moving out. Get ready for a lot of new commuter content! Here comes Junior year, and here’s to a new chapter. 



My “Blend” Retail Marketing Summer Class (Part 1)

My “Blend” Retail Marketing Summer Class (Part 1)

July 3, 2019

After waiting for two months, I finally started my Retail Marketing summer class yesterday!! This class just becomes my all-time favorite class, even though it is a three hours and fifteen minutes long class per class section! There are many reasons why I joined in this class. Dr. Stacy Neier is my favorite marketing professor at Loyola! I have taken her class in the past. It was the most interesting class I have ever taken. I love the energy during our class discussions and all the creative knowledge about Marketing. Also, she is the faculty advisor of my fraternity! @DeltaSigmaPiLUC

When I first saw the class title, I was very confused by the name “MARK 360W Blend”. I think most people understand the “W” which means this is a writing intensive class. This course incorporates a variety of assessments that are specifically designed to help students become a better writer. This is another reason why I joined this class, to improve my writing skills.

The word “Blend” was where I got lost. But before I explain the meaning of the word. I want to share a fun fact about this class: most of our class meetings are online, but there are couple meetings we have to meet in person. Guess where do we meet for the in-person classes — a coffee shop!!! Yep! At first, I thought maybe because it is a small class, so we don’t even need a normal classroom to meet up. But the truth is we are working together with a local coffee shop name Helix Café near the Lake Shore Campus! The coffee shop is also owned by our Loyola Alumni!! (And FYI, there are about 15 students in this class.) We will work on the retail strategy about this coffee shop and write audits as a Retail Analyst. I really cannot wait to have a class at a coffee shop! Okay, back to the “blend”. I guess the word starts making sense because this course has both online and in-person class meetings. Yesterday during class, Dr. Stacy explained to us the word “blend” means a class only meet up in person under three times. Since we are only going to meet twice at the coffee shop during this six-week summer class, we get this special title!!

After yesterday’s class, I learned there are so much more interesting and new stuffs about this class. I will share them in my next blog! Quick hint: Do you know there are actually scripts for podcasts?

Stay tuned!

And happy 4thof July everyone!

News about Helix Café:

Allow me to Introduce “G”

Allow me to Introduce “G”

Hey folks, my name is Jie (pronounce as G). Today I would like to introduce myself and my life at Loyola. Before we get into the Blog, just a quick fun fact about my name: almost every person asks if my name is spell as the letter G after they first heard my name. It always makes me wonder should I just change my first name to letter G?

I am an international student from Beijing, China. Also, I am a raising Junior student and majoring in Marketing. The past two years have gone by very fast. From being a first-year university student in a foreign country. To a person who sees Chicago as his second home with all his great friends. About a year and half ago, I had the opportunity to join Delta Sigma Pi, a business professional fraternity. I could not tell you how much all the brothers have helped me through my life in this totally new environment. It has always been a pleasure time to work and hang out together with them. After became the social media manager of the fraternity last year, I gained more skills and made many friends around campus!

As a business major student, I think college life and Loyola taught me a lot of lessons on managing relationships with people and the importance of building networks. Last Spring Break, I got an amazing opportunity and honor to participate in the Quinlan Ramble trip to Boston. The Quinlan Ramble is an annual alternative spring break trip that enables Quinlan undergraduate students and Arrupe business students to experience business in another part of the United States. Where I got to network with amazing professionals in different business fields and with our great Loyola Alumni. I also got to make many new friends with whom I know I can count on during my time at Loyola University Chicago and beyond.

For now, I am currently one of the Social Media Student Ambassadors of Loyola University Chicago. I joined the team at the end of last semester. It has been more than a month since I started working as the Social Media Student Ambassador this summer. I am very grateful and excited to join this wonderful team with our leader Adam, even though I have not had chance to meet with my other teammates during this summer break. I really enjoy been in a creative and motivated team. With all the future plans we have like creating Loyola memes and promoting our own YouTube channel, I cannot wait to work with the rest of our teammates together and contribute each of our unique skills to this team!

And, that is my boss Adam in our Instagram Name-tag!

Summer Plans as a Loyola Student

Summer Plans as a Loyola Student

You’ve finally gotten over the crazy midterms, quizzes, endless nights of studying, homework, labs, and soon you will conquer finals week! Even though some of you may be taking classes over the summer, enjoy your summer break! Take the time to acknowledge all of the hard work you have put forth these past semesters and treat yourself. Summer break will officially start May 4th, 2019 and classes will resume August 26th, 2019. Make sure to take advantage of this lengthy break and enjoy it with your friends and family. Get the sleep that you missed out on for the past couple of months, go out and explore, take road trips, go to the LOLLA concert, go to the 4th of July parades, work and make some extra money, try new restaurants, do some fun reading! This is your time to give yourself the well deserved break you needed, and throw the stress out (at least until September…). However, keep in mind, you should probably do some review and look into the classes you will be taking next semester, because the worst thing you can do is forget everything you have learned and have a rough start so early in the semester! Here are some school related things you should do aside from your fun shenanigans:

  1. Add some classes to your cart and register!!! Even if the times don’t seem so great or it’s a professor you don’t want, just register so that you’re in a class! You can always drop this and switch it with another one.
  2. Complete your to-do list on LOCUS! Many people may need to do verification worksheets, immunizations, or residential/commuting sheets, so look into that!
  3. Check for any holds on LOCUS  because trust me, it will be annoying if you put these off to the last minute.
  4. Stalk the registration page at random times! This will allow you to get the best classes at the best times when someone randomly decides to drop or swap.
  6. Start the monthly tuition plan if it’s something that interests you. Some students prefer paying that big chunk of money over the couple of months, so look into the monthly I PLAN so that you can start paying your tuition and relieve the burden that may come later!
  7. Look for research/internship opportunities
  8. Set goals for the upcoming semester – this will reduce anxiety and make it more clear what needs to be accomplished.
  9. Readjust your 4 year plan and make sure it is updated and clear.

There may be a lot of things you need to still look after during your Summer break, but make the most out of it. These are the moments you definitely don’t want to forget!

Treat Yo Self During the Summer

Treat Yo Self During the Summer

For many of you, this may be your first year; for others, it may just be another long semester. We all need a break from these crazy days or even just after finals! I don’t know about you guys, but my resort is usually food. During my first year at Loyola, I was able to discover awesome places to eat at so I thought i’d share it with you all and get a little study snack or lunch to make the summer more worthwhile!

Need a quick breakfast before that 8:15a class you are dreading: Anne Sather

This is super close to campus and one of the most popular breakfast places! Quick service, inexpensive, and pure satisfaction.

Where is it? 3415 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657 (next to the Granville Station!)

Ordering: Their cinnamon rolls are perfect! If you are on a budget (about $3) and want to be filled up, I definitely recommend this!

Need some Instagram love?: Amorino Gelato 

Warning. When you get this… you won’t even want to eat it because it’s too pretty to eat! You can choose a bunch of flavors and somehow transform it into a flower.

Where is it?: 838 N State St. Chicago, IL 60610 (right across the Quinlan School of Business at the downtown campus)

Ordering: You can basically order whichever flavors you like! In my opinion the bright, pretty, fruity colors make the best flowers but the chocolate does its magic as well!

Have a sweet tooth?: Lickity Split Frozen Custard & Sweets

This should be a simple reward for you hard workers! If you need a break from all the studying, simply go to this place! Its very close by and they have items such as frozen custard, baked goods, candy, special sodas, etc!

Where is it?: 6056 N Broadway St. Chicago, IL 60660

Ordering: You can simply get a frozen custard flavor or if you really are indecisive, you can literally blend a cupcake in your dessert! Get the best of everything!

When you want a pizza and you can’t decide on a topping… get everything!: Blaze Pizza 

This is a hip pizzeria where you pay less than 10 bucks for a delicious pizza of your choice! It is fresh, made from scratch dough, healthy and quick! You decide what you want on it and then it goes right in a blazing hot oven made in seconds!

Where is it?: 6550 N. Sheridan Rd. Chicago, IL 60626 (Right next to the Loyola Train Station!)

Ordering: What can’t you order here? I usually get all the veggies because it’s so hard for us veggie lovers to get a pizza with as many veggies possible!
When you need an elegant atmosphere with some great tea/coffee: Three Arts Club Cafe

This place is so beautiful. You will fall in love the moment you walk in. Definitely something worthy of pictures, friends, and formal clothing.

Where is it?: 1300 N Dearborn St Chicago IL 60610

Ordering: The RH scramble is delicious and includes 4 pieces of toast with avocado and eggs with chives. Tie it with a cup of coffee and you are set! BTW I heard the cookies are amazing as well!

Need a lot of options and a nice place for lunch/dinner?: Grand Lux Cafe 

Where is it?: 600 N Michigan Ave Chicago IL 60661

Ordering: The pastas are always great and the macaroni and cheese skillet is definitely a great appetizer!

Craving a classic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza?: Giordano’s 

Where is it?: 6836 N Sheridan Rd Chicago IL 60626

Ordering: Deep dish and your favorite toppings will satisfy your cravings! Make sure to plan early because it takes about 45 minutes to cook! The garlic parmesan fries and the frozen lemonade are the best pairings!