Five Coffee Shops to Try This Winter

You’ve got five papers to do and you need to get in the zone — but how? If you’re anything like me, you know that a good coffee shop is the cherry on top to the perfect study session. Here’s a list of five super neat coffee shops that’ll appease that perfect study atmosphere we all crave:

  1. The Wormhole Coffee (1462 N Milwaukee Ave)
    1. This little coffee shop is completely ’80s-themed. Into Back to the Future? This is the place for you. They literally have a DeLorean mounted at the back of store surrounded by walls of 1980’s nostalgic memorabilia. Plus, you can get your coffee in a Star Wars themed mug. The wifi password? It’s stored on a 5″ floppy disk.
  2. Bourgeois Pig Cafe (738 W Fullerton Ave)
    1. If you’re a DePaul student, you’ve probably already heard of Bourgeois Pig. Located just a few blocks from the quad, it has an incredibly cozy vibe, sandwiches with literary names (“The Sun Also Rises”, for example), and it’s super peaceful and quiet. It’s the perfect place to completely immerse yourself in schoolwork.
  3. Heritage Bicycles (2959 N Lincoln Ave)
    1. If you combined a Pottery Barn catalog, a bike shop, and a coffee joint, you’d have Heritage Bicycles. This bright cafe doubles as a bike store, offering all your cycling service needs. Plus, their lattes are to die for. If you’re in need of a sunny atmosphere with a chill vibe, head over to this place, stat.
  4. Goddess and the Baker (33 S Wabash Ave)
    1. This all-day cafe is definitely a hidden gem in the loop. Their hot chocolates and banana bread slices are both superb. Also, here’s a tip: their happy hour is from 5 – 7PM every day, which means all their food items are half off!
  5. Wired Coffee House (3508 North Broadway)
    1. Wired is absolutely my favorite place to tune out the rest of the world. A hidden treasure, the place doesn’t look like much outfront, but inside they offer a really easy going atmosphere with plenty of seating and board games to boot. Also, they have a really solid selection of international coffees!

Now that you have this short and sweet list, go out and study, DePaulians! These coffee shops definitely won’t disappoint!

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10 Fun Things to Do in a Cold Chicago

I don’t know about you guys, but winter isn’t necessarily my favorite season. I can deal with autumn — in fact, I really like autumn because of the mid-60’s temps — but winter in Chicago is pretty brutal. To help ease the chilly pain Chicago brings along with it during the cold months, here’s a list of 10 fun (and totally cheap) things to do in a frost-bitten Chicago:

 

1. Ice Skate at Millennium Park

  • Who doesn’t love ice skating? I mean, if it’s cold, you might as well be doing something fun with the cold, right? From November to March, Millennium Park offers free ice skating daily. Bring your family or a couple of friends to good ‘ol Millennium and enjoy a day of gliding (or, in my case, falling) next to a bunch of super cool Chicago monuments.

 

2. Journey Through the Lincoln Park ZooLights

 

  • Listen, I know Lincoln Park Zoo is next to Lake Michigan and I know that means the wind chill makes the cold that much worse, but ZooLights is worth it. First of all, it’s free, and secondly, you can walk around the Lincoln Park Zoo looking at a bunch of really impressive light sculptures while Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” plays in the background.

 

3. Visit the Art Institute

 

  • First of all, the Art Institute is indoors and that means warmth, but secondly, it features a bunch of timeless pieces of art from all over the globe. If you haven’t been, it’s a definite must. Dedicate a day to it at least, because you’ll get absorbed in all the artwork pretty quickly. Plus, you can use your Demon Discount here! It’s totally free for DePaul students.

 

4. Explore the Chicago History Museum

 

  • Like the Art Institute, the Chicago History Museum is indoors and toasty (because that’s the most important part, right? Just kidding… kind of). If artwork isn’t really your thing though, the Chicago History Museum is the place for you. Demon Discounts apply here too — free admission!

 

5. See the Garfield Park Conservatory

 

  • The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of my favorite places in Chicago, honestly. If you’re constantly seeking some sort of image of thriving vegetation and life, take a day trip here. It’s free and the whole thing’s under huge, beautiful glass greenhouses.

 

6. Shop Around Water Tower Place

 

  • Water Tower Place is one of those shopping malls you expect to go into for 30 minutes and, in reality, you end up staying for about 3 hours. No shame, though — the place has about 95 attractions (including Food Life which is a definite must).

 

7. View the Macy’s Window Displays

 

  • The Macy’s Window Displays have, for me, been the quintessential epitome of the holiday season. Even though the holiday’s are over, stop by and check them out. It’s outside, but with the months of hard work that goes into them, totally worth it.

 

8. Catch a Movie at AMC Theaters

 

  • Going to the movies is, without a doubt, my favorite thing. Food, comfy chairs, and a giant movie screen all in one place? Yes, please. Best part? Demon Discounts apply at AMC Theaters too. Also, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out right now and if you haven’t seen it you really, really need to. It’s amazing.

 

9. See a Show at The Second City

 

  • I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like laughing and really funny people. Fortunately, Second City provides both of those things, and it’s accessible via Demon Discounts. Enjoy a night full of giggling and stop by to see some of Chicago’s funniest.

 

10. Grab a Cup of Hot Cocoa at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

 

  • Ok, I’m a bit of a hot chocolate aficionado, and Mindy’s Hot Chocolate is some of the best I’ve ever had, ever. Guys, there’s 9 different types of hot chocolate (I didn’t even know that was possible?!); from the classic Old-Fashioned to Eggnog to Affogato (which has this coffee cocoa ice cream that I literally dream about on a daily basis). Plus, getting a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa is great way to end a day full of activities.

 
Sure, Chicago’s cold weather isn’t something to get super excited about, but the activities provided by the city during its colder months are, without a doubt, some of the best. Get out there and enjoy it!

What the EDGE Program Taught Me

By Guest Blogger: Megan Bogolia

I have participated in a lot of different activities and events during my freshman year at DePaul. I must say, however, that the EDGE program has been the highlight of my freshman year involvement. I have had so much fun working with my team in the Office of Student Involvement and I’m so thankful to have been part of such a great program.

EDGE has helped me a lot in my professional life. The resume workshop we did during Winter Quarter was extremely helpful. It showed me how to develop a strong resume that has helped me land several interviews and even a job! The cover letter workshop, as well, was equally as helpful. I had been avoiding job applications that required a cover letter because I didn’t know how to write a cover letter; after that EDGE workshop, I had no problem confidently applying to jobs and internships that needed one!

Another thing EDGE has helped me with in terms of my professional life is my LinkedIn profile. I actually had no idea was LinkedIn was until EDGE! Essentially, it’s a very important tool for networking and potential jobs and/or internships – it’s kind of like a professional Facebook. Without EDGE, I honestly wouldn’t have known how to create a successful profile so early. Interview skills, along with this, were something we learned about during one of our meetings. I was taught a lot about what interviewers were looking for, especially in group interviews (which was actually something I had never been exposed to).

My personal life has also greatly benefitted from EDGE. We had two great presentations from the Office of Financial Fitness: one that focused on budgeting (which I have learned is very important in college) and one that gave useful information about renting apartments. Something that I’ve learned is that managing money is very different now that I’m not living at home – the budgeting workshop showed me how to organize my spending and saving. During the apartment workshop, I learned what to look for when renting, the proper steps to take prior and after finding the space, and the kinds of questions that are important to ask. These workshops were both so helpful and I’m extremely grateful to have been able to participate in them!

We also had a workshop on StrengthsQuest, a website that basically helped us discover our talents for future job opportunities and beyond. There was an online quiz we were all required to take that helped to determine our core strengths and assets. This workshop in particular taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to challenge my skills in a way that would be beneficial in both leadership and everyday instances. These strengths, I learned, came into play every day of my life and being aware of them has helped me know how to act in a ton of different situations.

During our team meetings, we also talked a lot about other organizations at DePaul that you can get involved in. This was nice because I learned about different clubs and groups that I would never have heard of otherwise. I joined the organization Hoops for Hopes (which is a volunteer group that works with children at the Kelly YMCA). I’ve had a great time there and am glad I learned about it through EDGE! Another thing I learned about was the Student Leadership Institute. I discovered their certificate program and was so interested that I decided to complete it! The seminars were very interesting and I had a great time improving my leadership skills through them.

I love everyone on my team. We’ve spent so much time together over the quarter and I am so grateful I got the chance to meet all of them. During our Earth Week projects, I got to know a few of them even better which was a great opportunity. Of course, the actual Earth Week event was also a fun experience. I learned how to plan an event and how much work actually goes into it! It was a fun idea and I’m glad we got to spread the word about helping the environment.

As the weeks progressed, we were also introduced to the other staff members in the Office of Student Involvement. They’re all really awesome and I’m glad we had the chance to meet them in person. We were taught so much about OSI and what exactly the office does. Now I know where to go if I ever need tickets for an event or if I’m looking for something fun to do in Chicago! It’s a great resource at DePaul and I’m very happy it’s now an office I’m really familiar with.

Being a part of the OSI EDGE team and the EDGE program in general has been such a great experience. I am so thankful for all of the people I’ve met and for all the opportunities it has brought me. I would highly recommend incoming students to look into becoming a part of the EDGE program because it’s been such a rewarding and memorable experience for me this year!

Some of The Best S’more Recipes!

By Guest Blogger: Cali Parisi

When you think of happiness, what comes to mind?

When I think of happiness, I think of many things. One big thing that makes me happy is s’mores.

I believe that s’mores have the power to bring people together. I mean think about it, when you are sitting around a fire in the summertime, what do you really secretly want to be doing? Maybe it’s not even a secret, because who doesn’t love a good s’more?

In order to make a good time a great time, all you have to do is bust open a bag of marshmallows, some chocolate, and some graham crackers, find a stick, and BAM! You have the power to make a s’more!

Once the s’more is made, you along with your company can bond over the marshmallow goo that will appear on your face after taking that first bite into heaven. The flavor of s’mores has been formed into so many delicious treats. From ice cream to cakes, the flavor has taken over, which might just be the best thing ever.

Personally, I love to look up new recipes for baked goods, and I have a few in mind that I want to share. Some of these I have not yet made, but definitely will soon due to the fact that they look delicious! Here is a picture from 2006 of my sister, my dad, and I on vacation in Wisconsin. Our hotel hosted a large bonfire for everyone on Saturday nights, and that was a highlight that we always looked forward to. Clearly, we were all a little bit sunburned as well.

IMG_7668

First off, this cake has to be one of the most delicious desserts I have ever had. My mom introduced me to this recipe that she found online. Just looking at it makes my mouth water. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 14 graham crackers, divided
  • ¼ cup  butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp.  sugar
  • 1-1/2 pkg.  (4 oz. each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1 tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping(Do not thaw.)
  • 1 container  (1-3/4 qt.) chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 1 pkg.  (10 oz.) JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows, divided
  • 2 Tbsp.  milk

Steps to make it:

Start by HEATING your oven to 325°F.

Step One: CRUSH 8-1/2 crackers to form fine crumbs; break remaining crackers into rectangles. Place cracker crumbs in medium bowl. Add butter and sugar; mix well. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

Step Two: MEANWHILE, microwave chocolate and COOL WHIP in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 to 2-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is blended, stirring after each minute. Let stand 15 min. Spread chocolate mixture over crust. Stand cracker rectangles, top-sides facing out, around edge of pan, pressing gently into chocolate mixture to secure. Freeze 20 min. or until filling is firm.

Step Three: COVER with ice cream. Freeze 4 hours or until ice cream layer is very firm. When ready to serve dessert, reserve 2 cups marshmallows. Microwave remaining marshmallows and milk in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. 15 sec. or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1 min. Cool 10 min.

Step Four: HEAT broiler. Place dessert on baking sheet; top with melted marshmallow mixture and reserved marshmallows. Broil, 6 inches from heat, 1 min. or until marshmallows are golden brown. Remove rim of pan before serving dessert.

And here is the finished product! This cake is great for any occasion. It can be for a birthday party, Christmas, or just because!

Smores-Ice-Cream-Cake-62754

Recipe and photo from: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/smores-ice-cream-cake-144700.aspx


This next recipe is also a great one. This one isn’t too difficult, which is quite convenient. Most people like cookies, but these have a twist due to the s’more flavor! After you make the cookie dough, you can also make them into any shape you want be using cookie cutters or just with your hands. The dough gives you freedom to make these cookies any way you want them. The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Jet-Puffed vanilla mallow bits
  • 2 regular size (1.55 oz) Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Candy Bars
  • Extra graham cracker pieces and mallow bits (optional)

Steps to make the dough:

Step One: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Step Two: In a large bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Step Three: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Step Four: Stir in the Mallow Bits and mini chocolate chips. Roll a teaspoon of cookie dough into a ball. Press half of a Hershey’s chocolate square on top of the cookie and gently press down. I stuck in a few extra pieces of graham crackers and Mallow Bits onto the top of the dough for looks, but you can skip this step if you wish. Continue making all of the cookies.

Step Five: Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until cookies are set. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

These cookies are great for anything. You are able to make these cookies miniature or regular sized. They are very tasty and the flavor is not too overwhelming. You can dip them in coffee or milk, or just eat them plain. The possibilities are endless.

mini-smores-cookiesRecipe and photo from: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/mini-smores-cookies/


This third and final recipe is one that I have not yet tried, but I think that it looks delicious, so I will definitely be trying it soon. I am a big fan of fudge, so this is right up my alley. Fudge is a great gift idea for any chocolate lover. It is also great just to make and eat for yourself! Here we go:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 graham crackers, chopped (plus a few crushed for topping)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Steps to bake:

Step One: Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Step Two: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Step Two: Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Gently fold in graham crackers and pour into prepared pan.

Step Four: Top with mini marshmallows and some crushed graham cracker. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.

Smores-Fudge-logo

Recipe and photo from: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/08/smores-fudge/

…I hope you enjoy these recipes, and I hope that you are able to try them yourself one day!

My First Time Back Home From College.

By Guest Blogger: Madison Page

So you never really know what to expect when you return home from college for the first time. I envisioned… stepping off the plane, walking to baggage claim, and having my parents waiting with signs that read “WELCOME HOME MADI” and me running into their arms. No. This is not exactly how it played out- let me just get one thing clear that fantasy of mine – never happened.

What really happened was me getting off the plane, walking to baggage claim, lugging my two heavy bags alone, waiting on the curb of LAX with a homeless man badgering me. Home sweet home LA. Well, then my mom arrived with a bag of Five Guys and she was like – “Madi, you’re driving home! I want to eat!” and I was like great to see you too! It was like I never even left, and I loved it.

Once I got home I gave my dad a huge hug, then my dad, mom, and I talked for around two hours about my whole other life in Chicago and how much I missed them. Then, Will came home!  I rushed into his arms and I couldn’t believe it – my sixteen year old brother had facial hair, but not only that, his voice changed, and he has muscles now! Ahhh the worst part – HE IS TALLER THAN ME. I was so shocked… I couldn’t believe it. The pest of a little brother I’ve grown up with is now taller and stronger than me (how much time had past?).

It was a realization that now when we get into fist fights I will probably lose (like most brothers and sisters do, right?). Such a depressing thought, I never thought the day would come when I wouldn’t be able to beat my little brother anymore.

Also, another thing I never thought I would appreciate so much is, my dad’s cooking. Yummy!! He has always been an amazing chef , but the transition from STU food for months to a home cooked meal, it was pure heaven. I ate so much food when I was home because it tasted like it was food for the gods. He made Chicken Piccata for my first night back, and let me just tell you that I had three pieces of chicken, but a part of me died and went to heaven…so it was all worth it. Home cooking will forever be my favorite food. Whereas before I went to college my favorite food was In-N-Out Burger. If it was possible I would marry home cooking! What a great trip home I had, can’t wait for the next time.

Credit:

Photo created using canva.com and photo from www.goodwinhouse.org

Farewell… it’s been real.

By OSI Blogger: Jacki Licciardi

This will be my last blog post for the Office of Student Involvement. It can be hard to say goodbye, especially when you have worked with some pretty incredible people. I have been working as the Program Assistant for Social Media and Leadership Development for around 7 months now, which doesn’t seem like that long but it feels like it’s been years. I have learned much more than I had anticipated from the students and colleagues in this office!

Writing this blog had me thinking about how saying goodbye isn’t really goodbye, it’s see ya later. The time I have spent working here and the two years of graduate school at DePaul will always remain a vital part of my life. Not to mention that I will still be here every Monday for class which means I will be stopping in to visit – often!

I am part of the marketing team here in the Office of Student Involvement which consists of me the social media coordinator, Nicole who is the graphic designer, Jorge who is the web designer, and Kristin who oversees it all as the Program Coordinator for Educational Programs and Communications!

Over the past 7 months, I have learned a lot from each of them and I would like to share this wisdom with you all.

Nicole is one of the most talented individuals I have ever met or worked with.  Nicole is a very inspiring person to be around and she is both confident and unique. Nicole has shown me the power of persistence.

Jorge is one of the most hardworking and dedicated students I have seen. Jorge is a master multitasker who manages his coursework in web design, his role in the Student Government Association and Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc., and still finds time to dance in Ritmo Dembow for DePaul and work in the office. I have learned from him that hard work does truly pay off.

Last but not least, Kristin… I have been so lucky to have her as a supervisor for more reasons than I can even list. She is the type of supervisor everyone dreams of having one day. She has consistently challenged and supported me both professionally and personally throughout my time here. Kristin brings the most positive and encouraging energy to work every day-yes, every day!

I leave you with some of my favorite “goodbye” quotes… “Farewell, it’s been real.” – Jacki Licciardi

“Thank God I found the GOOD in goodbye”
― Beyoncé Knowles

“Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.”
― Dr. Seuss

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

Read more goodbye quotes…

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/goodbye

Credit: Photo created on canva.com

I Dare You To Just Try.

By OSI Blogger: Jacki Licciardi

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about how truly unpredictable life can be, no matter how much we try and plan things. I bet you are thinking, of course life is unpredictable, duh… but this fact of life has never stopped me from planning for my future. This made me think about how many things I have had planned out for this year and how many of those things actually took place! I mean, I don’t think that planning is wasteful because I would be really lost without planning. Now really think about it. How many ideas or desires did you dream up for yourself last year (or at all), and how many of those things have happened just the way you planned or thought? If you are anything like me- none of them happened just as planned. But, here’s the thing, maybe none of them happened just how I planned because they happened in the way they should have happened.

I’ll give you an example. As a graduate student at DePaul studying counseling, I am required to complete 700 clinical hours- yeah, 700 – it’s a lot. Last year I was working as an Academic Advisor and had been for 4 years. How in the world would I complete 700 additional hours in three quarters when I was already working 40 hours each week? Craziness, I know. So…I made a plan (of course) and I found a part-time job and a part-time internship to make sure I could complete these hours and still pay my bills. The plan was to stay at both of these positions until June 2015 – until I graduate and land my dream job, good plan…right? Well, this is not how things worked out. I found my dream job now, as in literally starting in three weeks. Looking back, I was so worried that I would not find a full-time position in time for graduation or that I would not complete my hours in time. Maybe the plan didn’t work out just as I planned but it worked out. I was afraid and anxious about leaving my then full time position but it turned out great. I really believe that the things we are most afraid to try are the same things that turn out great! Chance is good. Change is good.

I don’t know about you but I do not know anyone who has been successful in life because they never took a chance or never changed in the process.

I was at a conference in New Orleans over the weekend (NASPA: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) and the opening featured speaker was Dr. Jennifer Arnold- who can I just say was Aaamazing and very inspirational. I want to share one of the quotes she shared during her presentation by hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” This really stuck with me.

So my point is that you have to try to succeed otherwise you’ll never know. Maybe the outcome won’t be the way you planned or maybe you will fail but either way you would have taken the shot. Failing isn’t the worst thing that could happen because this can lead you down a new path. So maybe you are starting a new job, a new quarter of classes, or just need to repair a relationship in your life…whatever it might be, just start by trying.

Don’t be afraid to be amazing!

…Don’t miss next weeks “goodbye” blog by Jacki Licciardi— stay tuned.