They call Chicago the “Second City” — behind my love, New York of course. But for one blogger, Chicago is second to none.
And so continues my ‘Love Affair’ series. I thought this would be a fun way for my readers to get to know other bloggers, and the cities they hold dear. For my first blogger spotlight, I started close to home: Milwaukee. Today I’m venturing down the Lake Michigan shoreline to its neighbor to the south: Chicago. I may not love their sports teams, but the city itself is pretty great. And so is one of its bloggers!
Readers… I’d like you to meet Brittany Townsley, of The F Bombs.
When did you start The F Bombs, and what made you decide to start it?
I started The F Bombs on October 31, 2013 because I was looking for a creative outlet when I wasn’t performing on stage. I finally decided to “take the plunge” after a summer of sharing and talking about my Rent the Runway outfits. I was also inspired by the work YOU were doing with A New York Love Affair, so I decided it was the right time for me to join in on the fun.
How would you describe your blog, and what can readers expect to see when they visit?
I would describe The F Bombs as a fashion and lifestyle blog … with a twist. Why with a twist? Well, I think life should be fun and so should a blog. So I NEVER take myself too seriously. I write how I talk, the grammar is not always correct, and there are definitely run-on sentences here and there, but my readers can always tell how excited I am with my use of exclamation points and smiley faces! I love showing my enthusiasm because, well, I think the world needs a little more happy in it! :)
Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?
I find inspiration from this city. Chicago is such a melting pot of fabulousness that it’s hard not to walk down the street without getting an outfit idea, see a play and not want to write about it, or even eat at a restaurant and not want to recreate it.
What is your favorite part about being a blogger in Chicago?
The blogging community, hands down! Yes, in Chicago we have access to the best fashion, food, theater, and sports any fashion and lifestyle blogger could ask for, but in my opinion, it really is about the people I’ve met while blogging. I am a part of two blogger networks here in the city: The Chicago Blogger Network and the Windy City Blogger Collective. Being connected to with all of the fantastic bloggers around the city inspires me on a daily basis. Everyone I’ve met is so supportive and ready to give advice at the drop of a hat, so being a part of a tight knit community means the world. Did I mention we spend time outside of blogger events? New friends + blogging = my favorite part about being a blogger in Chicago!
What is the best part of Chicago, something that might surprise people who have never been?
Oh wow. This is such a tough question! I have lived here for 10 years now and it’s so hard to pin point the best part of Chicago. In my eyes, sorry New York, it is the BEST and #1 city in the world. :) I would have to say, besides the amazing theater, sports, food and fashion, it is the Midwest mentality that makes Chicago stand out from the other big cities in the world. With Chicago, you still get that big city feel but it’s filled with nice and welcoming Midwest people. Do you need directions to Michigan Avenue? Just ask the business person next to you on the EL. You can’t figure out how to pay for parking? Some random person walking on the street will help you figure it out, I guarantee it!
How would you describe the style and character of Chicago, and how has that influenced your blogging?
Chicago is a friendly, busy, diverse, new, stylish city with people who are ambitious, resilient (thanks to the winters), classy and tough. I think it has influenced my blogging because I always try to keep my posts not only stylish, but friendly and fun at the same time. There is always something new and exciting happening and when writing about it, I always like to have fun. Chicago never takes itself too seriously, and I love that.
Describe your perfect date night. Where would you eat and what would you wear?
I could go two ways. My perfect date could be helping my fiance cook in the kitchen while wearing my sweats and then watching a movie in bed. OR I could go with a night out on the town. We really like to do both! If we did a night out, I would love to start with drinks at The Aviary or The Office. These are two speak-easy type places where the bartenders are some of the best in the business. You pretty much need to give up you first born to get a reservation. We’d continue the evening at Girl and the Goat and end with a night cap at The Signature Room in The John Hancock Building overlooking the fantastic city of Chicago. If I were to do an amazing date like this, I would for sure rent a dress from Rent the Runway! A designer look would be a MUST for a night out on the town!
If someone were to visit Chicago for a weekend this summer, what are some things they absolutely must do?
First and foremost, wake up early! Next, I think a stop for pictures at the Bean is a must. Yes, it might be filled with tourists, but there really is nothing like it and the pictures are usually super fun. After that, I think a boat tour would be great, since the Bean and the river are close in proximity. This is a great way to learn more about the city, while sipping on a cocktail and relaxing a bit. Then, I would say you need to see some fantastic Chicago theater. Some of my favorites are Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Writer’s Theatre, or the Lookingglass Theatre. After an afternoon at the theater, I say a concert or movie in the park should be how you end your evening.
Where are your favorite places to shop? And with your closet on full display, how do you fight the urge to keep buying new things?
My one and only secret: NEVER BUY ANYTHING AT FULL PRICE! Okay, now that we have that out of the way, my favorite places to shop are The Limited, Kohl’s, Target, Macy’s, ChicWish, Madewell, ASOS, and DSW.
Do you have any advice for girls interested in starting a fashion/lifestyle blog of their own?
Be yourself. Comparing yourself to other bloggers is dangerous. You’ll look at people who have been blogging for years and start to think you aren’t good enough. NOT TRUE! Your blog is unique because it is written by YOU and no one can copy that. You don’t know how long someone has been blogging, what kind of obligations they have in life, etc. So when it comes to the comparison game, do not do it! Believe me, it is something I struggled with at the very beginning of my blogging journey too. Use the other blogs as inspiration, but be YOU!
Also, I just had a friend ask me how much I make on blogging because she was thinking of starting her own blog. Well folks, I may get a free product here or there, but I make zip, zero, nadda! Blogging is a labor of love. Do not go into it thinking you are going to make zillions. The more you force content and worry about making a dollar, the more you will resent it and ultimately fail.
Lastly, HAVE FUN!!! Blogging is a fabulous and fun journey and you should embrace every second of it!!
A huge thank you to Miss Brittany Townsley for dishing on all things style, blogging and Chicago! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you can do so here. She’s truly a sweetheart with a big heart and an even bigger personality. I’ve been lucky to call this girl a friend since high school, and its been a treat experiencing this blogging journey together.
Got a city or a blogger you’d love to see featured? I’m taking requests!