ExplorePilsen

Things to Do In Chicago: Spend A Day in Pilsen

A vibrant neighborhood in Chicago full of history and culture, Pilsen is a great area to explore – whether you have the weekend, or just one day!

One of the first stops you should make is to the National Museum of Mexican Art. Here, you can see the beauty of Mexican culture unfold in rich stories told through art.

In addition to the awe-inspiring exhibits, the museum occasionally has guest appearances and short theatrical productions for children and adults alike. The museum is also great for a first date! Be sure to call ahead to find out about special events and the daily program schedule.

After you work up an appetite, head right around the corner to Diez y Ocho. The staff are on my list of places with good customer service and an excellent menu selection. There is a beautiful upstairs loft available for throwing private events. Nice owners, great food, good service keeps me going back for more!

Have another favorite spot in Pilsen? Let us know in the comments or share with us on Facebook & Twitter!

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How to Eat Chicago Deep Dish & Still Stay on Track

Licensed Esthetician and Ortanic specialist Stacy Nawrocki recently went to the West Loop Lou Malnati’s with her fiancé and his family for a late lunch and some Chicago deep dish. She shares some tips for indulging in the Chicago staple the smart way!

The restaurant itself was great – we had a big party of people with us, and the waitress handled us like a pro. From having past restaurant experience, I can tell you that waiting on a big table can be a little intimidating – but she took our orders right away and was very friendly.

A short while later our party was finally ready to order – and yes, it did include deep dish. If you’re anything like me, you can’t say no to Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track AND enjoy one of Chicago’s finest traditions:

Order salad.

Our party decided on two family-style salads – I chose a garlic style dressing on the side, and it was amazing.

Pick Your Toppings Wisely.

I would suggest ordering a variety of fresh veggies like green peppers and tomatoes (my personal favorites) to help add more greens and give you energy while still tasting delicious.

Eat with a Knife & Fork.

After my salad, I ate one slice of the deep dish cheese pizza with a knife and fork – and let me tell you, one slice completely filled me up! Eating with a knife and fork allows you to slow down a little bit and savor the flavor – eating less in the process.

I love Chicago for these amazing food choices and this was no exception. I can’t wait to go back in the near future and would recommend it to anyone for a family day out in the city!

Stacy Nawrocki is a licensed Esthetician and Ortanic specialist at FFC. Book your next appointment with her by contacting her at snawrocki@ffc.com or book online by visiting this link!

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4 Ways to Actually Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Well, we’ve made it to the New Year – happy 2016! The New Year is prime time for new beginnings – new workout routines, new eating habits, new wardrobes – but it can be hard to stick to a new routine.

According to a 2014 study conducted by the University of Scranton psychology department quoted in Huffington Post, 71% of people hold to their New Year’s resolutions for the first two weeks, but 6 months later, less than 50% of those surveyed actually continue to stick to them!

We’re not going to let you be part of that population. Here are a few tips we’ve put together to help you stick to your 2016 New Year’s resolutions:

1. Sign up for a race or competition in January or February.

You’ll have a reason to keep up with your workout routine if you have a deadline!

2. Get the whole family involved.
Why not plan a family football game or a Zumba class to keep everyone fit during this holiday season? Exercise and create memories!

3. Find a workout buddy!
It’s much easier keeping each other motivated by exercising together. You are more likely to stay committed and stay on track with your workout routine.

4. Gift yourself with some new workout gear.
Who doesn’t love a little retail therapy? Plus, you’ll be more motivated to hit the gym to flaunt it! Neon colors, mesh and cutouts are huge this year – make them pop with a sun-kissed glow from Ortanic! Plus, members get 50% off all month long!!

 

There you have it. Did we forget a tip? Let us know on our Facebook & Twitter pages!

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DIY Treatments For Beautiful Hair

Who would have thought that things like eggs, yogurt and honey can not only be used in the kitchen but also as a part of our beauty routine? There are so many different types of hair serums, masks etc. out on the market – but the downfall to them is that they come packed with unnecessary chemicals and ingredients. These products might fix one problem, but can also start another. We believe the best kinds of skin and hair treatments come from natural ingredients that you can find in your refrigerator. Here are a few great at home hair remedies that will be beneficial for whatever it is your are looking to improve when it comes to your hair.

For dry hair of all hair types: The egg is the best of all worlds. The yolk is rich in fats and proteins and is naturally moisturizing, while the white contains bacteria-eating enzymes which remove unwanted oils. 

To use: for normal hair, use the entire egg to condition hair, use egg whites only to condition oily hair. Use egg yolk only to moisturize dry brittle hair. Use ½ cup of whichever egg mixture is right for you and apply to clean damp hair. Use enough to coat all your hair. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse with cool water and shampoo hair. Use once a month.

For dull hair: Styling products as well as air pollution can leave hair looking dull. Dairy products like sour cream and plain yogurt can help reverse this damage. Lactic acid strips away dirt while milk fat moisturizes.

To use: massage ½ cup of sour cream or plain yogurt into damp hair and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water followed by cool water. Then shampoo hair as you normally would. This can be done once every other week.

For itchy scalp: try a lemon juice and olive oil mixture in your hair. The acid from the lemon juice helps rid your skin of any loose, dry flakes from the skin while the olive oil moisturizes the skin on your head.

To use: mix 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp water and massage into damp scalp. Let mixture sit for 20 minutes than rinse and shampoo.You can use this tretment once every other week.

Dry or sun damaged hair: Whatever the cause is for your dry dehydrated hair, nature’s sweetener can help. Honey is a natural humectant which means it attacts and locks in moisture.

To use: massage ½ cup into damp hair and let sit for 20 minutes. You can also add 1 tbsp of olive oil to help loosen the honey for an easier application.This treatment can be used once a month.

 

Try these remedies for 6 months and see the improvement it has on your hair!

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Ortanic Holiday Glow! Plus: FFC Members Get 50% off All Month Long

Offset that little black dress or tuxedo with a shimmery, holiday party-worthy glow – Ortanic will put the finishing touch on your holiday outfit! Plus: FFC Members take 50% Off an Ortanic Tan all month long.

Stop by the Spa at FFC or go online to www.ortanic.com/book-now to schedule and appointment.  Appointment spaces fill quickly!

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Surprising Things That Cause Skin Damage

Although you may have known about some of the skin saboteurs on this list, we’re pretty sure there are others you may not have realized can add up to a whole lot of skin damage. We’ve compiled a list of things you should look out for!

Sleeping With Your Makeup On

While sleeping with makeup on is one of those things I am sure we all do once in a while (or even know it might be bad for our skin if we do it all the time) we also don’t think about the effect it has on our skin and what it’s doing to it at night.

Skin mostly repairs itself at night. Therefore, coating your skin with makeup instead of a repairing serum or moisturizer will do nothing but clog pores, which can result in not only breakouts, etc., but possibly even bacterial infections! The residue that stays on your skin can even make you sick.

Keep makeup removing wipes next to your bed just in case you come close to skipping washing your makeup off. Your skin will thank you!

Drinking Coffee

This may come as a disappointment to some of you, but drinking coffee is a major reason for not only dry skin, but wrinkles too! (Dry skin is more prone to wrinkles.) Quench skin by drinking lots of water. Add fruit slices like orange or lemon to enhance the flavor.

Skipping Meals

Thinking about skipping a few meals to keep your waistline smaller? Think again! Skipping meals deprives you of nutrients and essential elements and can actually cause skin to age faster and dry out more quickly. Always try to include vitamin C (Oranges), B3 (peanuts), E (avocados), and vitamin A (Sweet Potatoes) in your meals to add to your skin’s health.

Hot Showers

Who can say no to a long, hot shower? It’s hard. While the occasional steamy shower is great, it actually strips away the outermost layer of the epidermis which can cause scaly, dry skin. If your skin starts to turn red and itch in the shower, it’s a sign it’s time to step out.

Excess Sugar & Salt

Overdoing it on your sugar intake can take a major toll on your skin. When you consume too much sugar, it damages the collagen nestled in your skin (responsible for your skin’s elasticity), which can leave you with sag. Fight your sweet tooth and grab organic fruits like mango and pineapple instead.

Excess sodium in your diet can suck the moisture out of your skin and leave it dry and dull (and prone to more wrinkles!) Avoid too many salty treats and invest in a hydrating moisturizer.


Try eliminating these items for at least 6 months and see how the overall appearance of your skin has improved! Which of these did you not know about? Which are you most guilty of? Let us know in the comments, or share your skin tips with us on social with the hashtag #FFCChicago! 

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Summertime Indoor Activities To Take Outside

The weather is beautiful in Chicago and it looks like summer is here to stay — for now. We’ve gotten used to spending time indoors that it might be a hard time adjusting to the outdoor. The best way to do so is to take some of your favorite activities outside and enjoy the weather! Here are a few indoor activities that would be even better outside! Enjoy…

Movies? We all love to head to the theater for a good movie, but with the beautiful weather you can enjoy a movie even more! Create a personal outdoor movie theater experience by grabbing a few folding chairs and projecting a flick onto the garage door. Chicago also features outdoor movie series during the summer in the park.

Catch a concert or play outdoors instead of visiting a museum or indoor theater. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of outdoor cultural experiences. Find some free performances in public parks or check out a local street fest or art exhibit.

Call a friend outdoors instead of chatting indoors. Head for a bench or grassy spot and phone a friend who is sure to lift your spirits. Or just wear a headset for show and have a heart to heart with yourself.

We all love parties and get togethers with our closest friends and family. Host a rooftop or pool party instead of an indoor get together. There is sunshine…a cool breeze and you don’t have to worry about anyone spilling beer all over your carpet.

The cubicle and home office aren’t the only places with internet access. Use the Wi-fi outdoors instead of working inside. Grab the laptop, sit on a park bench and get some work done in a new environment.

Step outside for a mid day meal instead of eating lunch in front of the computer. There is some evidence that shows chowing down in front of the computer causes overeating, so head to a nearby park bench for some more mindful munching.

Now since you will be spending all this time outside, make sure to use sun screen and schedule your next Ortanic Appointment to make your skin summertime Chi ready.

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Beautiful Healthy Summer Hair

We always talk about our skin when it comes to keeping it soft and hydrated…especially throughout the summer months. But what about our hair? The intense sun rays in the summer and the super dry heat and humidity can do some damage to our hair and make it dry, frizzy and unmanageable. It can sometimes even change the color of our hair. There are a few things we can do to help stop that process or even prevent it! Here are some ways to keep your hair soft, shiny and silky throughout the summer months.

Let us start with washing your hair. Most of us don’t need to wash our hair every day and should not. Our scalp produces sebum which moisturizes your scalp naturally and keeps it hydrated. Try to skip a day in between washes and when you do wash your hair, wash your scalp only and then rinse. The shampoo you have on top will make its way down to your ends as you rinse. And that is all you need as shampoo can also be very drying to the hair.

Conditioner would be the next step. Make sure you only put conditioner on the ends of your hair. You can rub just a little on the top of your scalp, but it’s really unnecessary. The oils that our scalp produces keeps the top of our head fully conditioned naturally. That’s why the hair on top of our head is a lot healthier than our ends. Putting conditioner on the top of your head can also make your hair greasy faster..this will ensure that you will not need to wash your hair on a daily basis.

Just how we use masks on our face we also need to use masks on our hair. Try at least once a week. You can purchase one or you can make one yourself. If you purchase one, look for one which has a lot of protein ingredients as well as Keratin to make your hair shiny and strong. Your best bet would be to leave it overnight for best results then shampoo and condition. The results are amazing! Now if you are someone who would like to try to make your own hair mask at home, here is a good protein filled mask that will do wonders for your hair especially if you do it once a week.

½ banana
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 egg whites
blend, apply and leave on for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse off. The protein-packed egg whites help strengthen hair..especially the split ends.

Most of us blow dry, straighten and curl our hair. This is all not bad to do as long as you are using a heat protectant before you do so. The heat protectant will seal your hair and protect it from the heat to make sure it doesn’t dry it out and make it frizzy.

Start these steps now to make sure you have beautiful healthy hair before the summer comes! And, of course, come in to get your Ortanic tan. Warm weather is just around the corner.

This Blog is written by Ortanic Coordinator, Kat Maj. The opinions in this post are her own. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.

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Top Hair Trends For Spring 2015

Spring is here and that means it’s the season of no muss, no fuss hairdos leaving you more time to have fun! Some of this season’s styles are simple enough for just about anyone to do. A wet look, a casual braid or bun, and, most importantly, bed hair are becoming extremely popular this season. You can choose slicked or tousled styles. Either way, styling your hair has never been so easy and stylish at the same time.

Shiny, slicked or wet-looking hair is probably the biggest trend of this season. You might be wondering how you can achieve this look without looking like a complete grease ball! That would be by using the right products, as well as the right amount of them. You can use mousse, gel or hairspray. When using mousse, just use a handful.You can style it straight back or toss it to the side. With gel or hair spray, you can just spray a little on the sides of your hair and slick it to the back. And just like that you are out the door! I told you this was going to be easy breezy.

If hair is not tousled or slicked, you can put in in a low or medium-low messy ponytail. Nothing much to this process but a hairbrush and a hair tie.

Braids, braids, braids… This is one of my favorites! I used to love putting my hair in a french braid when I was younger. Looks like I will have the opportunity to do it again. French braid, side braid, half braid. Anyway you do it you will be making a fashion statement this season! You can always Google some hairstyles to get a better idea of different types of braids.

Enjoy these wonderful and fun ways to style your hair this spring, and don’t forget to come in for your custom airbrush tan! We have some awesome specials on products and packages that you don’t want to miss out on.

Blog written by Ortanic Coordinator, Kat Maj. The opinions in this post are her own. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.

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Natural Remedies For Spring Allergies

As spring creeps up on us, so do our allergies. Spring is also the time to decide whether you will be fighting those allergies with over-the-counter medications, or if you will opt to take the more natural route… Which I, personally, think is the best and safest way. Some anti-allergy medications can make us feel drowsy and sluggish, and that is definitely not the way we want to greet the sun! Try these remedies once you feel an onset of your allergy symptoms, and continue to enjoy the wonderful weather Chicago spring has to offer!

Probiotics are a great way to lower your allergy symptoms by improving digestion and boosting immunity. You can find probiotics in yogurt and Kefir. Enjoy either of these for breakfast or as a snack throughout the day. You can also find probiotics in fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi (spicy Korean pickled cabbage). If you include any of these into your daily diet, you’ll feel better in no time!

Increasing your Vitamin C intake can also help with the formation of histamines. Your daily recommended intake when sick is 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg a day. A delicious way to get your Vitamin C throughout the day is fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice! Most of FFC’s Fit Cafés are able to freshly squeeze orange or grapefruit juice for you to get your day started on a healthy note.

Fish oils rich in Omega 3 fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory and help ease allergy symptoms. The DHA in fish and fish oils has been found to be the best preventative option for allergy disorders. You can get fish oil/DHA supplements to take daily or you can enjoy a fish for dinner a few times a week for the same benefits.

The most interesting of all of these to me is that consuming honey produced in your region can gradually make you more immune to the common allergens found there. Thanks, bees! Honey is also known for the soothing effects it has on irritated throats caused by allergies.

Try these great natural remedies and enjoy the spring season! Don’t forget to book your Ortanic tan, since you will start to show more skin within the next few weeks!

Blog written by Ortanic Coordinator, Kat Maj. The opinions in this post are her own. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.