Music Monday: #MotivationMonday Remix Edition

Happy Monday!  It’s official, I have two work weeks left before I do my first sprint triathlon.  I am nervous, excited, and having all the feels that one can have for not being very athletic to begin with and attempting a very athletic feet.

Along with running, I have been swimming and biking as well to prepare, because #Tri.  So, today’s #MotivationMonday playlist was inspired by a recent spin class I took at Lincoln Square Athletic Club, because I was feelin’ the vibes of stellar remixes that the instructor was playing.  So I thought, why not share some of my favorite workout remixes that are great for anyone’s ride whether you’re in a class or not.

Get out on that trail or keep turnin’ up on your own stationary bike to this pumpin’ list.  What do you jam out to on your rides?  Comment below!
M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

Up North: Pure Michigan

I’m super bummed that I won’t be able to head to Michigan with my family next week.  It’s been a second home for my family since I was a little girl.  It’s not the last opportunity I’ll have to go, but here’s a few things I’ve been craving that I’ll miss out on this trip!  So when you’re “up north” be sure to check out some of these cool little towns and spots!

Smoked White Fish Dip from Carlson’s Fishery
205 W River, Leland, MI 49654

Travel - North and Red - Carlsons - Leland

Before I even liked fish– and let’s face it, that was only a few years ago–but, I always LOVED Carlson’s White Fish Dip. It’s a tradition for my mom to drive into Leland, one of the cutest towns ever, to stop by the docks and check out the local freshly caught fish at and to stock up on this dip for snacking all week long.

Travel - North and Red - Carlsons 2 - Leland

My mom is awesome and freezes it, so really we can enjoy it year round, but it’s not quite the same as getting it and eating at the beach on a lazy vay cay afternoon.  It goes great with cucumbers or crackers in my humble opinion;)  It’s not fish, but if you love beef jerky this is the spot to get yourself a pile of that too!

Mackinaw Island Fudge Ice Cream from Tiffany’s Cafe
10213 W Front St, Empire, MI 49630

Travel - North and Red - Tiffanys Cafe - Empire - Michigan

Would any vacation spot or home away from home be worth anything without ice cream!?  Of course, there are several spots in the area where you can pick up this locally sourced flavor, but Tiffany’s a sweet little place in the heart of downtown Empire.

Travel - North and Red - Tiffanys Cafe 2 - Empire - Michigan

There’s something very nostalgic about eating an ice cream cone at this little shop after a long day at the beach or after climbing Sleeping Bear Dunes.  And of course, the chunks of mackinaw fudge transport you to the island of fudge shops without having to drive the extra few hours!

Dried Cherries from Cherry Republic
6026 Lake Street, Glen Arbor, MI 49636

Travel - North and Red - Cherry Republic - Glen Arbor - Michigan

This place has grown SO much.  It all started years ago when the founder, Dave sold t-shirts and cherries out of his car.  My family has seen him expand the Glen Arbor flagship store from one quaint building to a whole conglomerate of cherry everything!  Wine, soda, snacks and more.  Everything and any condiment you can think of from mustard to salsa is cherry flavored.  One of of my all time favorite takeaways are the chocolate covered dried cherries, which are sweeter, bigger and better than any chocolate covered raisin any day.

Travel - North and Red - Cherry Republic 2 - Glen Arbor - Michigan

Of course, if you can’t make it there you they’ll ship you goodies anywhere, so it’s great for gifts and treats year round.  But, if you have the pleasure of stopping in be sure to taste some wine, eat tons of their ice cream (my fave is cherry waffle chip) and say hi to Dave!  He’ll even tell you the legend of Sleeping Bear like he did for many years at the Leelanau School Friday night bonfire.

All the pasta from Trattoria Funistrada
4566 W. McFarlane Rd., Maple City, MI 49664

Travel - North and Red - Funistrada - Maple City - Michigan

There are lots of family owned joints up in this neck of the woods, but some of the best italian food I have had PERIOD is here at Funistrada.  And hey, I’m on vay cay so I am going to eat ALL THE CARBS especially when everything is made in house.  And, their famous veal Picatta is the one time a year I’ll even consider having Veal, so if you’re going to go for it, do it here.

Travel - North and Red - Funistrada 2 - Maple City - Michigan

Not only is the food amazing, but this is a neighborhood spot.  It’s owned by locals that bought it in 2000, and the building itself is almost 100 years old. As they usher in new traditions and good food, they continue to maintain the quality and care of bringing to the table as many local ingredients as they can.  It’s a great spot that I always look forward to returning to.

Where do you go in Michigan?  Looking to plan a trip to the northern woods?  Hit me up via social media, commenting below or emailing me at NorthandRed@gmail.com and I’m happy to share some daytime activities and more!

M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

But first, Coffee… Iced Edition

It’s been a busy summer with lots of #patiotimes and fun in the sun!  If you follow me on social media, you know that I have had plenty o’ coffee to fuel all my adventures.  Here’s a few of my favorite places to grab an iced caffeinated bevvy around Chicago.

Star Lounge

This place serves up Dark Matter Coffee, which is hands down probably one of the best roasters in the city.  There are two other locations and a few spots like the West Town Bakery where you can get a taste of their delicious Chocolate City Cold Brew on tap.

Eats and Sweets

This is a fantastic little neighborhood spot serving up Two Brothers Maelstrom Cold Brew on tap.  This iced coffee with a splash of cream makes for a decadent treat anytime you pop in!  Tastes just as good without cream, I’m just a milk whore with my coffee;)

Saigon Sisters

Delicious Vietnamese sandwiches, baos, and more, so what more could you ask for?  A delicious, creamy, sweet and slightly bitter drink with a caffeine boost to counteract the food coma you’re in from the amazing food!? Grab an iced Vietnamese coffee with your meal or to go, and you won’t be disappointed.  Saigon Sisters has three locations you can check out.

Beatrix

Beatrix offers you a healthy bulletproof hot coffee option, but they’ve got the RD of iced coffees… La Colombe’s Nitro is like drinking a beer for breakfast but with a boost of caffeine and no hangover by lunch.  Check out the nitro by Colombe at one of Beatrix’s two locations or one of the La Colombe locations where they also have a latte on tap!

Asado Coffee Roasters

Asado is such an underrated coffee roaster in the city compared to the many that have popped up.  I think they make one of the BEST iced lattes I have ever had.  They don’t offer any specialty flavor syrups, just cane sugar if you want to add some sweetness to your coffee.  How could you though when you drink an iced latte that tastes this smooth?  It’s hard to make espresso blend well when iced, because of the nature of it’s bitterness being masked when hot, but this is delish! Check out one of their two locations.

Iced Military Latte from Sawada Coffee

 Admittedly this drink is pretty darn instagrammable when it’s hot, but what tastes great hot is also delish when cold.  And, let’s talk about this latte that has literally been brought to the next level of amazingness.  Green Tea latte PLUS espresso!?  Sign me up for that extra boost any day!  Oh and if it’s 5 o’clock somewhere in your world, feel free to indulge in some of their boozy options like their Sawada Style Cold Brew, which is their iced coffee with shochu, because why not?!

Iced Nutella Mocha from Dollop

An iced Mocha is delicious, but an iced NUTELLA mocha is da bomb!  Dollop has been expanding through out Chicago like crazy, because their delightful coffees and teas have been satisfying us for years up in uptown.  It’s great to see more options to hit them up at one of their nine locations.

Iced Coffee your way from Julius Meinl

Sometimes you just want to sit down to coffee like royalty.  You’ll get table service and the royal treatment at Julius Meinl.  Not only do they have a delightful spread of pastries and brekky items, but their lattes and coffees always hit the spot for me.  An austrian brand giving you a unique experience in Chicago.  For a relaxed pick me up, hit up one their spots around the city.
What’s your favorite iced bevvy?  Where do you like to go to refuel on a hot day!?  Let me know by commenting below, because I could always use more coffee in my life!  #ButFirstCoffee
M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

#MondayMotivation: Protein Power

I’ll be the first to admit that I am the QUEEN of yo yo dieting and go through stretches of being a workout warrior to being a strong supporter of the Netflix and Chill movement.

Recently I have been making a lot of healthier eating and lifestyle choices.  I ran my first 5k last year and this year I have already run two!  Next up, is my very first sprint triathalon in August!

With all this training, I have been doing my best to incorporate mindful eating habits into my daily life.  It’s still summer and yes I drink alcohol and have “bad” carbs sometimes, but life is about balance.  Eating hard boiled eggs and cottage cheese gets kind of old, so for anyone else looking to stay on track that needs some power protein finds, here ya go!  Here’s some of of my favorite go-to cleaner eating super powered foodie finds!

RXBar: Protein Bar, Coffee Chocolate (Box of 12 Bars/$25.99 at RXBar.com)
Nutrition Facts: 210 calories +12 grams of protein per bar; No Added Sugar, No GMO, Dairy Free, Soy FreeGluten Free, Paleo Friendly, Vegetarian Friendly
I recently discovered this amazing CLEAN eating protein bar brand.  RXBar’s motto is NO BS, and their bars are made with all natural ingredients like nuts, dates and egg whites.  What I like is that it doesn’t make your stomach do the crazy dance from all the chemicals that are present in most protein bars.  They come in 8 different flavors including this Coffee Chocolate made with REAL coffee for that extra boost of energy in your day!

PS: Use this link and get $5 off your first purchase of RXBars!

Think Jerky: Free Range Turkey Jerky, Siracha Honey (5 Pack of Bags/$24.95 at ThinkJerky.com)
Nutrition Facts: 90 calories + 17 grams of protein per bag; Grass Fed, Gluten Free, No Added Antibiotics, No Nitrites, No added hormones, Paleo Friendly
Jerky is becoming a thing… but not all jerky is created equal.  Think Jerky is like Jerky with a conscience.  It’s also kind of a foodie thing, because all of their recipes are created by well-known chefs!  I love the Siracha Honey Turkey Jerky, because it satisfies that need for a protein rich snack that’s got some pazzazz with that siracha spice.  The other flavors like Sweet Chipotle and Orange Ginger are beef instead of turkey jerky.  And of course, the Thanksgiving flavor is a turkey jerky, because yummo!

Halo Top: Ice Cream, Birthday Cake (Pint/Prices vary, Find a store near you at HaloTop.com)
Nutrition Facts: 70 calories +6 grams of protein per 1/2 cup; 280 calories + 24 grams of protein per pint; Low Calorie, Low Sugar, High Protein
Ice cream?  Healthy?  OH yessss.  So when you get the hankering for a sweet treat think twice before you reach for the generic brands, because you can treat yo’ self the healthy way!  Some of the more popular brands of ice cream like B&J’s or HD’s* packs 250 calories in a half cup serving alone.  By the time you’ve eaten the whole pint you’ve consumed over 3/4 of what you should eat for the whole day!  YIKES!  Halo Top comes in seven fun flavors including Birthday Cake!  If you’re PMSing, stressed or you’ve just plain had it with life, you can feel slightly less guilty about indulging in a whole pint of Halo Top, because it’ll only set you back 240 to 280 calories depending on your flavor choice.  Of course, you can also use restraint and have one serving which is a great less than 100 calorie treat!

*I won’t mention any ice cream brands, because I do love them!  But today’s post is about the healthy alternatives:) 

Mikey’s Muffins: English Muffins, Toasted Onion (Prices Vary, Find a store near you at www.MikeysMuffins.com)
Nutrition Facts: 103 Calories + 5 grams of protein per muffin; Paleo Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Grain Free. 
A few years ago a Dr. told me that I am “gluten-sensitive” so I’m not intolerant, but I know my body and when I indulge in tons of carby-gluten-filled foods it’s not good for me.  That said, I do still have gluten and carbs when I want, because life’s too short:-)  When I am seriously hankering from some toast or having a carbie barbie moment I discovered these paleo diet english muffins.  Not only are they grain free, they have way fewer calories than traditional English muffins!  There are three varieties: Original, Toasted Onion and Cinnamon Raisin.  I love using the Toasted Onion to make avocado toast with, because sometimes you just want avo toast at home and not just for the overpriced hype of being a #BasicBitch at brunch.

Thorne Research: Medipro Vegan All-In-One Shake Vanilla (44.6 oz/$69.00 at Amazon.com)
This is sooo not glamorous or cool sounding, but when it comes to protein powder it’s kind of okay to not be glammed out.  There’s so many fad diet powders and supplements out there that I trust this brand, because it’s actually been created by medical professionals. I have done my own tests and found this to have the most health benefits, protein power and yes, it even tastes great!  Mix this up with almond milk, spinach, banana and ice with a pinch of cinnamon and you’d swear you were drinkin’ a milk shake.  Okay maybe not quite, but seriously!  It’s so good and I drink it every morning during the work week.

What are some of your favorite protein powered foodie finds? Comment below, hit me up at NorthandRed@gmail.com, or on social media.

M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

Travel: Less than 72 Hours in NYC

I’m very lucky to have friends and family that live in the Big Apple! When I visit, it’s a whirlwind tour of everything that I need to eat and drink, all while catching up with some awesome people.

Travel - North and Red - New York - Friends

Here’s a few of the cool places I got to check out on my most recent visit over the 4th of July weekend!

But First, Coffee

Travel - North and Red - New York - Fika

Fika Coffee, Multiple Locations
I love love love coffee, and in the summer in NYC you need some good iced coffee to get your day started.  Fika has a simple coffee menu without too many fancy drinks, but definitely does regular cold and hot brews right.  Their lattes are also on point.  If you’re fueling a full day of touring I recommend their “power bars” which are really like candy bars, but hey with 16 grams of protein that’s nothing to snuff at in regards to getting your energy boost!  Totally a vay cay treat and not to be had on the reg unless you’re super active and burn calories like crazy.

Where to Roll

Travel - North and Red - New York - Burger and Lobster

Burger and Lobster, 39 W 19th Street, Flat Iron District NYC
One of the first things I need to eat when I touch down on the East Coast is a Lobster Roll.  One of my newest finds was Burger and Lobster, because it’s an AMAZING deal.  20 bucks gets you a roll, fries and salad. Just the roll alone can run you 15-30 bucks in NY or anywhere, so for this to include two sides with a hearty portion of seafood, I say “yesssss please.”

Share with Friends

Travel - North and Red - New York - Toro

Toro, 85 10th Ave, Meatpacking District NYC
This was one of the best new places I tried!  Toro is a tapas restaurant in the meat packing district that has a fantastic atmosphere, great people watching, and delicious food.  Slightly upscale, but still approachable and casual, this is a great place to go with a small to mid-sized group of friends for a great meal.   Notable dishes were the Pimientos Del Padron, Datiles Con Jamon, Jamon Serrano, Maiz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotilja, Pulpo, and Empanada De Pollo Y Patatas.

Fancy Drinks

Bathtub Gin, 132 9th Ave, Chelsea NYC
Looking for great cocktails that no one can find?  This place is an homage to prohibition era, and is located literally behind a coffee shop storefront.  Look for a coffee shop from the street, then walk on through to find this hidden gem.  Their cocktails are mostly gin-based, but have a full menu with a variety of classic and new mixology-based cocktails to satisfy anyone’s whim.  Notable cocktails: Shirley’s Temple and Blonde Ambition.

Quintessential Brunch Goals

Travel - North and Red - New York - Penelope

Penelope Cafe, 159 Lexington Ave, Midtown East – Kips Bay NYC
No trip to NYC is complete without #brunchgoals.  Penelope has been a favorite of mine, and a mainstay for locals since 2003. This comfy spot is good for hangovers or to enjoy a great brunch bevvy.  The queue can be long especially on weekends, so feel free to put your name in and go grab a quick coffee and check out the neighborhood.  If you’re venturing on a weekday here, breakfast, and dinner offer great options.  It’s very “chick” friendly during the dinner hour, so think SATC #squadgoals. Also, I highly recommend a slice of red velvet cake no matter what time of day.   Notable brunch items: Salmon wrapped poached eggs and Nutella French Toast.

Seafood with a View

Travel - North and Red - New York - Brooklyn Crab

Brooklyn Crab, 24 Reed Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn NYC
#PatioTimes for daaaays here at BK Crab.  This place is great for everything outdoors and is apparently great in the winter too.  Grab yourself some fresh oysters, fried seafood, or a seafood pot… whatever you get it’s ALL good.  In addition to some seriously fresh seafood fare, they have entertainment and views that make you feel like you’re not even in NY.  But then you take a look around and realize, this is definitely Brooklyn with the cast of characters surrounding you.  Worth the trek from the mainland.
Pro tip: Take the FREE Ikea Boat from Pier 11.  Notable dishes: Blue Crab Roll, Seasonal Oysters, and the BK Steampot for 1.

Patio Times

Travel - North and Red - New York - Lavendar Lake

Lavender Lake, 383 Carroll Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn NYC
So, I have to admit I was super disappointed with my visit to Lavender Lake, because they offer alcoholic slushies on Fridays and Saturdays and I went on a Sunday (insert sad face emoji).  So, despite not getting the draaaaanks that I wanted, the atmosphere and patio at Lavender Lake is totally worth checking out.  Next time I will be in for some fancy drinks and food!  But for now, their atmosphere won me over.

Tiki with a Twist

Zombie Hut, 273 Smith Street, Gowanus – Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn NYC
Looking for strong frozen drink with some flare?  Zombie Hut has got an array of fruity strong cocktails to satisfy a hot summer night on the patio.  It’s also super cool and fun inside, so I am torn whether I say go for their patio or go for some inside times.  Regardless what you choose, there’s board bames, fun drinks and a great atmosphere inside and out.  Notable Drink: The Frozen Zombie.

Neighborhood Vibes

Travel - North and Red - New York - Bar Tabac

Bar Tabac, 128 Smith Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn NYC
If ever there were a “feeling” that you’re in Brooklyn this place is it. The candle lit, euro influenced dishes and random artisty types that hang out here make you feel right at home.  Whether you’re settling in for a chill date or throwin’ back some wine with friends this is a neighborhood joint that anyone can enjoy.  Comfort food galore and live music 4 nights a week makes me wish I lived around the corner.  Notable dishes: Burger Bar Tabac and Couscous Merguez.

Where all the Cool Kids Hang

Travel - North and Red - New York - Gansavoort

Gansavoort Park Avenue Hotel, 420 S Park Ave, Midtown East – Flat Iron District NYC
I was fancy during my visit this time and got the opportunity to stay at the Gansavoort Park Ave.  I recommend this place because it was a luxurious hotel without being stuffy.  It’s also a great neighborhood location that is convenient to getting to lots of tourist areas, without being in tourist central.  The bi-level rooftop during the day was a fantastic place to sun bathe, hit the pool and grab a delish snack like their guac with plantain chips.  Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, hitting their rooftop bar, The Drift for some cocktails and views is definitely a great idea if you’re in the area.  If you’re up for some cluuuub times see about hitting the VIP Red Room for some DJ, dancing and a scene.

And Hey, it’s Okay to Be a Tourist

Travel - North and Red - New York - Eataly

Eataly, 200 5th Ave,Flat Iron District NYC
I love going to off the beaten path places, but it’s a-okay to enjoy places that are touristy central, including Eataly.  Eataly is a unique market place chef-driven and totally amazing, so don’t beat yourself up if you just can’t help indulging in their artisanal market shopping, delightful desserts or going carbie barbie and sitting down to a hearty pasta or pizza dish.  No judgments over here, because Eataly is the best!

Always looking forward to more NYC finds next time I visit!  Comment below with your favorite places to eat, drink and parte!  Would love to check them out soon!

M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

Music Monday: Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!  I know everyone is probably out there firing up the barbecue, mixing that potato salad and making a mad dash to the store for more booze, so here’s a quick #MotivationMonday update!

Today’s #MondayMotivation playlist has a patriotic theme, so I encourage you to jump on your bike, get out there for a run or go do something active even if it’s just for a little bit to celebrate FREEDOM.

Fourth of July  - North and Red - Lurie Cancer Survivors’ Celebration 5k 2016
Lurie Cancer Survivors’ Celebration 5k, June 2016

Last year I ran my first 5k run.  This year I ran two in the span of a few weeks and even shaved off 2 minutes on my time!

Fourth of July - North and Red - Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation 5k Run 2016
Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation 5k Run, June 2016

I’m 6 weeks away from doing my first sprint triathlon and every day counts.  I’ll be bustin’ a move to these jams today and I hope you get out there and do something to burn off all those weekend calories too!

M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

Summer Beauty Update

I can’t believe it’s already the end of June!  I have been so busy playing outside and having fun that I haven’t had much time for blogging.  Of course, I had to make time to share all my fave summer beauty supplies!

Summer Nails!

My Pedi Set, Let’s Go Spring! Guide has some great tips for getting your legs and feet ready for sundress season that are absolutely great for summer too!  To update your paws, here’s some fun hues!

Essie: Nail Polish in California Coral (.46 fl. oz/$8.50 at Essie.com)
I’m obsessed with coral pinks, and Essie’s California Coral is even brighter once it’s on your nails.  It really pops and gives you a funky look without being too over the top and in yo’ face pink!  But, be sure to check out the coral that works for you, are you a neutral or bold coral kind of gal?

China Glaze: Lite Brites Nail Lacquer with Hardener in I’ll Pink to That! (.5 fl. oz./$7.50 at Ulta.com)
Speaking of in yo’ face, this is the ultimate PINK! This color is perfectly rebellious and girly.  Looks even better holding a cocktail in your social media #draaaaanks posts, so I’ll pink to that!

OPI: Alice Through the Looking Glass Nail Lacquer Collection in What’s the Hatter with You (.5 fl. oz/$10 at Ulta.com)
Johnny Depp’s movie may not be a hit, but this amazing color from the Alice Through the Looking Glass OPI Collection is definitely a win in my opinion.  Perfect for an edgier festival look.

Revlon: Colorstay Gel Envy in Full House (.4 fl. oz./$7.99 at Ulta.com)
Revlon has an awesome new formula to help your manicure last.  This Full House color is a cool poolside look even if you’re not in Vegas!

Zoya: Studio Nail Lacquer in Moonday (.5 fl. oz./$10 at www.Zoya.com)
Neutral doesn’t have to be boring!  Zoya is chaneling your inner Star Wars nerd in a classy way with this Leia that will definitely capture the eyes of your Hans Solo. Bonus: Zoya is all natural and vegan so you’re treatin’ the environment right:)

Tame Those Tresses!

I have long hair and it’s a crap shoot how my hair will act on any given day.  From the weather being humid and frizzing my hair out to my locks getting dried out from swimming in the pool without a bathing cap, summer is a stressful time for my mane. Here’s a few products I have discovered that help you treat your summer hair needs.

Herbal Essences: Naked Dry Shampoo (4.9 fl. oz./$4.99 at Target.com)
THIS. IS. EVERYTHING.  I don’t know about you, but once I discovered dry shampoo existed it was a game changer for me.  I don’t like to wash my hair everyday because of it’s drying effects, the management of having to dry my hair etc.  Enter, this delightful dry shampoo for times when I’m lazy and don’t want to wash my hair, don’t have time or whatever the excuse is.  It’s also summer so sometimes my hair just gets oily and dirty from being outside, but then my ends are dry AF.  The price for this is awesome, especially with how much I use it (no judgements). Dry shampoo can run you upwards of $20-25 a bottle for one that works well.  I have tried numerous, and this is the best bargain for the product.  It smells great, gets rid of the greasiness, without over drying your hair which is an issue I have run into with many of the inexpensive brands. Again, this is literally everything and I don’t know how I ever survived college without dry shampoo.

Dove: Style + Care Flexible Hold Hairspray (7 fl. oz./$6.65 at Amazon.com)
Weather is not your friend in the summer from humidity to wind it’s all over the place. This light hold spray keeps my top knot in place and my beach waves wavey, and that’s if that is what I want my hair to be doing.  Bonus, this smells great!

Redken: All Soft Conditioner (8.5 fl. oz./$16.50 at Ulta.com)
I love Redken products for hair, especially their all soft line.  This is the perfect way to keep your locks moisturized in the summer without stripping or over saturating.  Touchable, soft and smooth is the end result when using any of the All Soft shampoo, conditioner, or leave-in products.

Glam Bod!

Don’t forget t protect your beautiful bod with the right SPF, but of course you have to look your best so here’s a few makeup and body buys that’ll keep your skin and look fresh this summer.

Coppertone: Sport Continuous Sunscreen Spray (8 fl. oz/$7.99 at Target.com)
This goes without saying, but sunscreen is an absolute must in your pool bag this summer!  I of course, will look like a tomato if I don’t lather up, but regardless I have one word for you, Cancer.  So here’s the thing, it couldn’t be easier these days to apply sunscreen so there’s really no excuse. The Coppertone brand when I was a kid would gross me out with all of it’s thick gloppy-ness that would make a mess all over the back seat of my mom’s mini van.  But these days, they have upped their game with this super sleek spray.  Best thing: If you’re by yourself it’s easy to reach over and spray your back evenly.  No splotches, no awkward convos with your 2nd cousin removed at the family reunion with a “Can you get my back?” Let’s not make this weird request.

Laura Mercier: Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 20 – Oil Free (1.7 oz/$44 at Sephora.com)
If you’ve read any of my previous beauty updates, you know I love love love Laura Mercier makeup.  One of my faves is the tinted moisturizer and in the summer, I switch to the oil free version.  This is a great lightweight moisturizer and makeup solution in the summer.  The tint gives your skin the glow you want, the SPF protection protects your face, and the oil free formula ensures that you won’t clog your pores.  I love using this in lieu of heavy foundation in the summer.

Fresh: Sugar, Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30 (.2 oz/$25 at Sephora.com)
You can tell I’m serious about protecting my skin, so it’s no different when it comes to my lips.  Winter automatically dries our lips so we resume maintenance of them then, but it’s super important to protect them year round!  I love the Fresh Brand’s Sugar lip glosses, so I was stoked when they released a summer sport formula!  With SPF 30, a delightful smooth glide on formula that leaves your lips soft and moisturized is perfectly natural way to accent your beach smile:)

Bare Minerals: Radiance powder (.03 oz./$21 at Sephora.com)
This whole contouring movement has got me like ???  I stick to what I know and Bare Minerals  makes it easy to fake it till you make it with a bronzer, blush and highlighters in various translucent shimmer shades and bolder bronzers and blushes that blend easily.  I love using them together, separate or even to add a little warm all over to my face.

Benefit: They’re Real in Beyond Blue (.3 oz/$24 at Sephora.com)
Summer is about having fun!  I love this funky take on mascara from Benefit, and it’s actually not that crazy lookin’ on either. I’m fairly conservative with my makeup, but it was suggested to me at the Benefit Counter when I was getting my eyebrows done that I put some of this bad boy color on the lower lashes to add some dimension and I loved it!  So if you’re not ready for a full on plunge to colored mascara, try it on your lower lashes, while using a regular black on the top.  It literally blows my mind how subtle but cool it is.  Try it!

Do you have any great makeup tips or fave products for summer?  Hit me up at NorthandRed@gmail.com, on social media or by commenting!

M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

Hype or the Real Deal? Instagram’s Famous Food

I think it’s safe to say I’m a “foodie” although I dislike that word, because I am not certified in any capacity to be an expert on the subject.  But, for the past 9 and half years I have been eating and drinking my way through this fare city and somehow stumbled upon jobs and opportunities to share my love for it.

I remember being perched over my laptop in my tiny room in my first apartment in Wicker Park looking stuff up on Metromix to inform me of what was all the rage.  Nowadays, there’s a gazillion and one ways to find “the best” anything from trending dishes like avocado toast to good old fashioned pizza. At the end of the day though, I have learned that I can only trust one source above all else, and that’s MOI!

Sure, I read tons of review boards, publications about restaurant openings and stalk down people’s Instagram feeds like it’s my job, oh wait, it kinda is;)  My point is, there’s so much information out there, that sometimes I get tired of being told what’s good when in reality, it’s not.  Like I said, I’m not an expert, but I have definitely ate and drank enough to know what I like, and sometimes I don’t agree with what people are hyping up on their social media feeds, just because it looks pretty in a photo to get more of a following.

A while back, I read two great reviews from the Infatuation, Chicago Edition.  These articles stuck out in my memory and definitely shed light on the legitimacy of their publication and in turn gave them major street cred in my book at least.  A lot of people know the Infatuation for it’s hip hashtag #EEEEEATS, it’s millennial-esque review writing style or it’s glutinous postings on social media.

Ultimately, they want to take over the world, but for now, it’s a premium food guide that started in NY that has since expanded to Chicago and other cities.  Like I said, world domination is part of the plan, but for now they are only in six cities in the U.S.The Infatuation - North And RedThe first piece I read was about Coal Fire, known in the Insta world for it’s Pepperoni and whipped Ricotta pizza.

I had never been there, but was curious to read the review, because at the time I was a starry eyed pizza dreamer ogling photos of this decadent pizza in my feed.  So, it was surprising to read this:

“But there’s something we need to be honest about, and it goes against everything Instagram will tell you. We don’t like the pepperoni and whipped ricotta pizza at Coalfire. It makes an infinitely better picture than it does actual meal. The ricotta adds nothing to the overall enjoyment of the pizza from a flavor standpoint, unless you get pure enjoyment from snapping the perfect shot. There. We said it.” – Sam Faye, Infatuation: Chicago

I’m one of those people that’s on social media before I am even out of bed in the AM.  I also can appreciate overhead coffee table shots to perfectly manicured hands holding ice cream cones.  However, the authenticity of influencers is not always transparent and there is a lot of pay to play in the market right now along with an ever changing landscape of rules and algorithms.  It’s hard to really know if something is really worth the hype or if it is a well written article or perfectly captured photo that makes food and drink items seem better than they really are.

In the rest of Sam’s review about Coalfire on the Infatuation he gave them props for items that maybe aren’t as picturesque, but have some serious flavors!

“We actually like the calzones more than the pizzas, and they are almost equally as large. All calzones come stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta, and romano cheese, along with your choice of filling. There’s a heavy dose of ricotta in the calzones too, but it adds flavor when backed in with everything else, unlike when just glopped on top of the pizza for show.” – Same Faye, Infatuation: Chicago

The other misconception is the hype of a restaurant in general, and not just one food item.  I was cracking up when I read the Infatuation’s cheeky rap battle review about Big Star.

“Point, Sam: There’s not much I’d rather do on a beautiful summer day than post up at Big Star to eat and drink as many tacos and margaritas/beers as my body can handle.

Counterpoint, Claire: I can think of at least 17 things I’d rather be doing on a beautiful summer day that doesn’t include sacrificing two hours of wait time, a sunburn, and potentially my first born for the privilege to sit in the equivalent of a folding chair while eating mediocre (at best) tacos.” – Same Faye, Infatuation: Chicago

I have to say, personally I’m torn too. On the one hand, I love a good patio….on the other, I can’t stand WAITING!  So, for me I brave it every year and I always enjoy myself, because helloooo I have awesome friends to accompany me.  But I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite place on the planet like some people make it out to be.

So what’s the point?  Should everyone give up on social media?  Of course, not!  But, I say it’s worth taking a deeper look at, right?! This post marks the beginning of a series of investigative blogging, where I rate things that are super trendy on social media and give you my two cents on the matter.  So look out for more Hype or RD posts soon!

Suggestions are absolutely welcome:)  Cheers!

M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

Music Monday: #MondayMotivation Hipster Edition

My first #MondayMotivation post in May featured my super duper #GirlPower playlist to get you on the road to summer bod training season.  I was jammin’ out with myself walkin’ down the street the other day when it hit me.  I realized that hipsters have to work out too, right?! I don’t know about you, but some of the hipsters I know are in seriously good shape to fit into their tight ass skinny pants.

Today’s playlist features a few of my favorite “hipster”-ish bands to change up your workout routine.

~M~ Tip: This is a great work out mix for rainy or cold days!

What tunes do you work out too?  Girl Power?  Hipster?  Metal?  Comment below and let me know what jams keep you motivated!

M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

Music Monday: #MondayMotivation

Happy May!  I’m super excited about today’s Music Monday post, because not only is it a brand new month, it’s also my half birthday!

For me this is that time of year when I think about what I’ve accomplished at <Insert Age>.  Since my birthday last November, I have undergone a lot of changes.  And although I don’t always notice it on a daily basis, I do feel that I have grown a lot.  With that said, today I’m super excited to kick off May with a #MotivationMonday #MusicMonday Playlist!

One of the things I struggle to stay motivated with is working out.  Last year at this time I started preparing to run my very first 5k run ever.  How does someone that doesn’t like running get motivated to run a 5k you ask?  With amazing tunes to keep me pumped and a handy dandy iphone app called 5k Runner Pro ($2.99 at the itunes and android app stores).

Over the course of this 8 week program (3 days a week) of runs, you can literally go from not having run in years to being able to run a 5k!  I am NOT a runner, but this was an easy to follow program that you listen to while you’re exercising instructing you to run and walk in intervals.  This process of upping the intervals over the 6 weeks is so gradual and doable that by the end, you’re ready for race day!

In addition to getting your interval instructions, you can play your own music in the background and still get your walking/running instructions.  Today’s #MusicMonday list is perfect for training, because I have curated this list to be 45 minutes with a  warm up and cool down built into the mix, so you can have a great work out!

~M~ Tip: Thinking about doing a run or walk/run… here’s a link to find one near you!  Sometimes just setting a date to do a race is the motivation you need to start training!  GO FOR IT!

M - Signature - Meghan Phillipp - North and Red

PS This list is all about Female Empowerment, but that’s not to say there aren’t some serious jams by some dudes out there! So there will be more #MotivationMonday lists to come. I Promise!