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!

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!

Spring Break Has Begun, Now What To Do?

By Blogger: Jacki Licciardi

Spring break is finally here…hallelujah!

Now all we need is the weather to realize that spring is here and we will be all set. I mean really though, the first day of spring was this past Friday. I don’t know about you but I recall wearing a scarf and boots to class. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of fall and winter style but I am more than ready to move on. Oh and did you see all this snow today? Not cool, Mother Nature. Not cool.

Turning in my final literature review during finals week, felt similar to that feeling I get when I am running late and there is no line at Starbucks. Thank you!

With finals over and spring break underway – I finally have time to do whatever I want, right? Well, kind of. I plan to use this brief time off from class to catch up on some much needed me time. I have realized that a large portion of my days are consumed with tending to others (I do enjoy helping others, after all I am studying counseling). But if I don’t take care of myself who will? So I plan to use this week-ish to do things that help me feel “fresh” – fresh means literally feeling refreshed. Kind of like that feeling after you take a good afternoon nap. I usually feel great, similar to what I imagine a child feels like after they nap and need a good 10-20 minutes before anyone talks to them.

So some of the things I plan to do during spring break include finishing the book Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, workout (discovering the workout playlists on Spotify has changed my life- check em out), take a few naps, spend the weekend in New Orleans, paint my nails orange or yellow, and final celebrate my birthday!

My list of things to do may seem lame-with the exception of New Orleans- but what’s most important is that it’s my list. So I encourage you to make a list of your own. At least do one thing each day during break that is just for you! Whether you are going on vacation or staying around campus; doing one thing per day is more than manageable. Like taking a nap really won’t be that difficult 😉

Hopefully the weather gods (whoever they are) will figure out it’s springtime and bring us some beautiful weather during break. Just remember to enjoy yourself because you earned it after a long week of finals.

HappySpringBreak

Dancing to Help The Kids: For All The Right Reasons.

By OSI Blogger: Lindsay Ritenbaugh

In April 2014, I completed my first Dance Marathon—and the third ever DemonTHON at DePaul. 428 registered dancers, 34 directors and assistants, 26 Morale captains, the overall advisor, and I stood 24+ hours For The Kids at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. These incredible students raised $214,050.46 this year, more than $468,000 to date, and have become the 17th most successful Dance Marathon in the nation! But more than that, they’ve raised awareness For The Kids and families with pediatric illnesses in the Chicagoland area. They did so with their opening video (which conveniently showcases the beautiful city in which I live). They did so with each Morale dance at the top of every hour. They did so with every event held on campus and throughout the Chicagoland area throughout the year. They did so through successful social media efforts before and during the Big Event.

I came to DePaul to work as a Program Coordinator for Student Organizations, expecting to supervise student employees in the office and maybe advise a student group. I had no idea how much the latter would impact my life and DePaul experience. During my first month on the job, I reached out to Edwin, the current DemonTHON advisor and offered my help if needed. I later met with Blair, the executive director, who asked if I’d be interested in advising the Morale team. The high school cheerleader/folk dancing camp counselor/karaoke extraordinaire in me was ecstatic. Throughout the year the advisors met weekly with Morale captains, their amazing director and assistants, the overall committee, and management core committee to prepare for this past weekend’s culminating events. Still, I completely underestimated what it would feel like to complete a dance marathon from start to finish. My feet were throbbing and tears (both happy and sad) fell on multiple occasions, but I would will do it all again in a second.

All of my dark hours, when I thought I couldn’t keep standing, paled in comparison to what the miracle children and their families face during treatment. I just thought of faces like sweet Mia Gurevitz and how DemonTHON serves them directly. Wouldn’t you keep standing if you saw this face?

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DemonTHON: I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return (Wicked, 2004). Your ability to build campus affinity and fundraise For The Kids is a force to be reckoned with. And like St. Vincent de Paul reminds us, “There are two things to be considered here, namely, not only to do good, but to do it well.”

Fundraising for DemonTHON 2015 is continuing from today until the end of our Big Event on April 24-25, 2015! Every penny counts. Register or donate today!

If you’ve never experienced a reveal for a Dance Marathon, please watch this immediately: DemonTHON Reveal 2014

…Lindsay Ritenbaugh is the Program Coordinator for Student Organizations at DePaul University in the Office of Student Involvement. Among dancing and fundraising For The Kids, she enjoys watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix and playing trivia!

You’re so nice. Minnesota Nice!

By OSI Guest Blogger: Erin McGrath

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Enjoying the vibes of Minnesota.

I was born in the state of Illinois, Elk Grove Village to be exact. Living in the area of Elk Grove and also Joliet during my childhood. I grew up going to catholic school and living what I considered to be a normal childhood. Near my eighth birthday my parents had gotten a divorce and my mom decided to move to Minnesota with my step dad, where I had to make the decision of whom to live with. For any child in this non-ideal situation it can be hard to choose one single parent to live with especially being at such a young age. I had chosen to live with my mom and create a new life in Minnesota.

From what I remember Minnesota wasn’t such a scary place for me when I had first arrived, I was a very outgoing child, which did make it easier. On top of that, I thankfully had enjoyed my new Dad and siblings, whom made me, feel very welcome in my new family.

Not to mention that I now lived in the state that had the Mall of America! At the time, being as young as I was it was a great time because they had a theme park called “Camp Snoopy” with rides that related to the Peanuts characters and that’s not all… they also had a play area related to General Mills where you could make your own Cereal! Every child’s sugary dream!

As time went on…growing up in Minnesota, I started to associate myself more with Minnesota than Illinois, I was from Minnesota! In my eyes Minnesota and Illinois have some differences. I never noticed them in my younger years going back and fourth to visit my dad here in Illinois. It wasn’t until I started being here full time as a college student that I began to notice the differences.

Of course the first one being, the accent, obviously I had never noticed it while I was in Minnesota but once I started introducing myself to people all that changed. I would get comments like “Oh my gosh your accent is so cute!” and I would be so confused because I never thought I had one. Also I had certain words that as Minnesotans say differently because of our thick “O’s” like “about”, “home”, etc. At first I was very conscientious about my accent and tried my best to sound “normal”, but realized I loved my little “O” sound I had in words and also didn’t want to lose sight of my roots in Minnesota.

It has been nice being back “home” in the city of Chicago but I do see those differences. The city of Chicago is a very cultured place with such rich history and many different people fill the city. The atmosphere is also very different. Seeing that I grew up in a place that is referred to as an area where everyone is extremely nice to one another…Minnesota Nice. Every now and then I will mention to people that I’m from Minnesota and they’ll respond with “It’s so weird how nice Minnesota people are” when I hear that I really never know what to say because shouldn’t everyone be nice when you first meet them?

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Just one of the many beautiful views in Minnesota.

The atmosphere in each Chicago is full of buildings and sights to see, while Minnesota (where I grew up) and surrounding areas are very environmental sights with those sights being bluffs and of course the 10,000 lakes. So the big picture is much different.

Whenever I visit these sights in Minnesota I get a nostalgic type of feeling that just gives me peace of mind. My friends and I always come together and talk about our different sights… we refer to them as vibes. Being in a place like Minnesota, the vibes are again very nostalgic because of its great beauty. Not saying that Chicago is not a beautiful place because it truly is a great place and I love being here, but at times when I want to get away I see myself going back to Minnesota because of its environmental beauty and vibes.

Well with that said, now that I am in Chicago for studying at DePaul University, with the possibility of making this my home after college once again. I am very excited to possibly make Chicago my home again, even though my bank account might not be happy about it.  I will never lose sight of my home back in Minnesota and will always make sure I visit whenever I’m stressed because Minnesota is set as my ultimate happy place.  I do hope that people will enjoy my Minnesota Nice style while making Chicago my home.

So I have been living in Chicago for a few months now and the ironic thing is that while I was on break in Minnesota, I was telling my friends and family things like, “I can’t wait to be back home” or “Back home we have…” Which is why I can now say that I can’t wait for what the city has to offer me and what lies ahead for my future.

“Home is not a place- it’s a feeling” – Anonymous

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Erin and her new home – Chicago!

..Erin McGrath is a current freshman at DePaul studying Health Science. Erin is also a member of Delta Gamma Eta Pi Fraternity!

Once a Traveler Always a Traveler: Erin Go Bragh

By: OSI EDGE Member Erin McGrath

        In recent years I have become known as the “Frequent flyer” in my family. Ever since I was a kid I have always loved planes and the idea of travel. The nineteen years of my existence, I have been traveling back and forth between Chicago and Minnesota whether I was by myself or with others, while also traveling to Disneyworld numerous amounts of times.

While traveling basically all over the country and also to Mexico, I have always had dreams about going over seas to places like Italy, Spain, England, Australia, and even Ireland. For myself the biggest dream of travel I have had is to go to Ireland. Even though I am of Irish ancestry I have always had a dying obsession for the culture, music and especially the accents!

So you could say I have been to every Irish festival near my home in Minnesota and every Saint. Patrick’s Day Parade, but have yet to go to the one here in Chicago. Thankfully… I will be able to go this year, now that I reside in Chicago! I can finally go and I am ecstatic about it, to give you an idea of how excited I am I currently have a countdown going. Which if your wondering is at 59 more days!

Four_Leaf_Clover_03

I’m even more excited because I have been chosen to be a finalist in the running to become the next St. Patrick’s Day Parade Queen. So overall I am very Irish obsessed girl.

In regards to my obsession I have just begun my winter quarter here at DePaul and as a freshman we are required to take “Learning Studies Programs” or also known as “LSP” classes, which get us, acclimated to DePaul, Chicago, and the classroom. This quarter I decided after my application was accepted, to take a First Year Study program LSP class that is actually a study abroad program to Ireland, while learning about travel literature.

You could say that all my dreams came true when I found out about my acceptance and also the itinerary telling me that I would be staying at a “Bread and Breakfast” in a Castle!

Now that my Ireland obsession is about to be fulfilled in just about 66 days, I am nervous yet very excited. I mainly am nervous about the idea that I am not allowed to bring along a suitcase and that all my clothes have to fit in a backpack. You may say I’m being rather dramatic but for a girl that always goes over the weight limit by about twenty pounds, my packing is going to be the definition of difficulty.

Once I had found out that I was in the class my excitement ran through my veins over our 6-week long break, but quickly I had realized it was going to be much more than a leisurely vacation. At the beginning of the course we went through our syllabus and it is all becoming very real. While going on this vacation, we also go over different types of travel pieces like journals that are written during ones vacations and also problems that are going on in different countries, mainly Ireland. This class also has made me realize that I’m not very informed with problems in other countries, which made me begin research into what is going on in Ireland. While also learning about issues in other countries we observe why we travel.

I always thought we traveled just to get away or to visit others like loved ones, but after further analysis through articles we have read travel really opens up our minds. Which now when I look at it is very true because we come to do the same thing everyday and do the same old boring routines, so sometimes we need to just get away to cleanse ourselves in a way.

That brings in one of my favorite quotes, “Traveling- it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” –Ibn Batutta

study-abroad

Even though I am only two weeks into the course, I am overly excited that college or for that DePaul is able to give it’s students the opportunity to travel abroad, especially as a first year student.

I have always wanted to go out of the country but this day in age economically it can be very brutal on a college budget and who knows when I would be able to do such a thing once I am out of college. Which is why I’m grateful for being able to go as a first year student, because being a Health Science student it can be hard for us to go during most students ideal time (Junior year) because we are finally settling into our studies and there are not many health programs offered in other countries. As I progress through my course work I become more and more excited for what I am going to learn, while also my vacation and my obsession for Ireland to be fulfilled.

…Erin McGrath is a current freshman at DePaul studying Health Science. Erin is also a member of Delta Gamma Eta Pi Fraternity! Erin’s favorite movie is Bridesmaids because she is a huge Kirsten Wiig and Melissa McCarthy fan and she can quote basically every line in the movie!

DPU Finals

DPUfinalsHappy Finals Week Blue Demons! With this quarter coming to an end, our university has many sponsored events just for students to make finals week a little easier.

The ever so popular, Vinnie Van is back! Vinnie Van will give students a safe ride home from the John T Richardson Library from 9PM-5AM. The boundaries are: Belmont, Armitage, Clark, and Southport- thank you SGA! The vans will be running from November 20-21 and 24-25.

For those night owls. the John T. Richardson Library is now open for 24 hours through November 26th! Don’t forget to bring your student ID, they will be checked at 11pm for safety reasons. JTR is ready for finals, the hall is filled with additional tables and seating!

Besides studying hard, don’t forget to do a daily wellness check! Stop by the Ray Meyer Fitness Center for a quick workout before heading to JTR for a study session. The Ray is open Monday-Thursday until 11:30pm and Friday-Sunday until 10pm. Remember, breaking out a sweat and getting a good workout gives you more energy!

Need additional advice on final exams? Take a quick look at what fellow Blue Demons have to say: