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Staycation at the Holiday Inn North Shore

We love being able to share the hustle of female entrepreneurs with you and one such opportunity recently presented itself.  We were invited to check out the newly renovated Holiday Inn North Shore in Skokie by CFO Sheila Lakhani Gilani for a little #Getaway and I am not sure if the kids or us chicks had more fun! 

This enormous property has 250 rooms and 15,000 sq. feet of flexible banquet space perfect for up to 1000 people.  Sounds about right for an Indian wedding venue! They have a full service catering staff on hand to make your event special.  As part of the renovation, all of the rooms were also upgraded with BeautyRest mattresses, new amenities, and an updated look.  We loved that our room that had a kitchenette in it, it is such a life saver when traveling with kids.

Banquet Room

Located 30 minutes from the airport and the city, this conference center stays very busy.  During our stay there were several large corporate meetings taking place as well as a poker tournament.  The property, however, did not feel congested or crowded.

We enjoyed playing at the indoor pool and also dining at the Bar Louie located inside the hotel itself!

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Thank you so much to the amazing Manager and staff at the Holiday Inn North Shore for a fun staycation with our kiddos!

We love reviewing places to stay and sharing them with you, check out our post on the Hyatt Regency in Orlando in case you are headed there for your summer vacation. We also have a few tips for visiting Harry Potter World if that’s your thing.

Thanks for stopping by Chicks And Salsa!

Your Chicks,

Rina and Sonia

**This post was written in exchange for a complimentary staycation.

Things To Do In Doing Dublin: Rain or Shine

It is said that in Dublin you can experience all four seasons in one day. After a whole week in this quiet yet vibrant city, I can safely say, they are not kidding! Dublin, is located on the Eastern coast of Ireland which makes it quite windy and often wet (it rains an average of 190 days a year)!  Most of our week reminded me of Chicago weather-wise with a fair amount of unpredictability, but that did not stop us from taking in the city streets and countryside. 

City Streets and The Countryside
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Ireland has a population of almost 5 million people and ten percent of its population lives in Dublin. With an endless view of the Atlantic, Ireland offers a unique cultural experience that is heavily rooted in history.  At this time Northern Ireland is a British province which is currently complicating the politics of Brexit.  The future of the Republic of Ireland (Southern Part) along with its Northern neighbor is unknown at this time and it is top of mind for all residents. 

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People Don’t Come Back to Ireland for the Weather; They Come Back For The Hospitality

Politics and weather aside, the Irish are VERY hospitable and happy people.  A full time work schedule is 36.5 hours/week, public transportation is super convenient, and pint of Guinness costs less than a bottle of water…what is not to be happy about!

Since the weather was un-cooperative during our visit and since we were travelling with our kids, we kept our schedule light.  We did not venture too far outside of Dublin, we made only one day trip out to see the Cliffs of Moher.  In the video below I have highlighted the few things that we enjoyed above all else during our visit. 

Cliffs of Moher

Every picture I have EVER seen of Ireland included dramatic landscapes with tall cliffs along the ocean.  I knew that no matter what, I had to see them myself.  We chose to visit the Cliffs of Moher versus the Ring of Kerry and Dingle purely based on driving distances from Dublin alone.  Had the weather been better, and my kids older (ages 7 and 9), I would have loved to have ventured out further.  The Cliffs of Moher, however, did not disappoint as you can see from our photos.  I am not sure where in the US you can find ANYTHING that looks like this (but this place comes to mind).  This stop also has a museum and interactive exhibition that is great for adults and kids.

Rocking My Scarf from the Box of Style
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If you follow us on Instagram (@chicksandsalsablog) you would have caught my journey through Dublin using local transportation like the bus and train line.  One of our favorite ways to see a city is through the eyes of a local citizen.  My husband and I like to visit hole in the wall cafes and the local library just to really get a pulse of what life in the city is like. I came across a very helpful article suggesting that visitors take the local train line, the DART, up and down its 53 km line with recommended stops.  This ended up being an amazing idea that was affordable, comfortable, and fun! We made three notable stops, Killiney Bay, Bray Mountain, and Howth, we also wanted to see Malahide Castle but conceded to the rain.

When in Howth be sure to pop into Wrights FindLater Restaurant and have an amazing cocktail crafted by the bartender, Ben.

I wore my go-to travel accessory EVERY day!!

Jameson Distillery Tour

Since we are not huge Guinness beer fans we decided to skip the Guinness tour and opted instead to visit the Jameson Distillery.  Built on the original distillery site from 1780 on Bow Street, the venue itself is amazing, but paying the 50 Euros for the tour is one hundred percent worth it.  They have created a really beautiful, classy, and thorough tasting experience that really makes you understand the whiskey itself.  Our tour had ALL Americans in it which the tour guide thought was amusing since the US consumes half of the Jameson exports alone!  After visiting I have a new favorite cocktail, Jameson whiskey with a splash of ginger ale and lime, shaken and poured. Sláinte (Cheers) as they say in Ireland.

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Visiting Ireland and staying with family truly was a pleasure.  There was a little something to for everyone – cousins for the kids, company for us, sights to see, music to hear, and flavors to taste! All in all, Ireland was a wholesome European experience with heritage that runs deep into its Celtic traditions.

Until next time,

Sláinte ,


#1 Airport/Travel Accessory for Women

It’s true from coast-to-coast and across all airports there is one bag on everyone’s back.  Let’s call it the #TUMITakeover since there seems to be something for everyone in their collection.  These bags are streamlined, sophisticated and lightweight making it perfect for weekend or travel adventures at a moment’s notice.

We have shared our love for Tumi products in our gift guides and believe that they make a great gift for any friend or family member you have!

Tumi Collection
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Bags for Working Women

Bags that can keep our files from creasing and our laptops from getting in the way are a must for women going from the office to happy hour!

Bags for Moms of Young Children

Let’s face it, I never leave the house without snacks, water bottles, my camera, an extra layer of clothing for the kids and god knows what else! With that in mind, these bags are perfect for getting that ‘trendy mom’ look.

Daily Use – Under $100

For lighter daily use bags they have a very affordable line coming in at just about $100 that you will love.  I have bought these for my mom and sisters, they are just too perfect!

Tumi for Men

Yep, you guessed…there is something for the guys too!

If you have been on the market for a new bag that makes your life easier, look no further than Tumi, they currently have many items on sale, see them all here!

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You Chick,


Travel Secrets For Packing a Carry On

Lately I have been traveling a lot. No, I’m not a consultant…no, it’s not work related, and yes, its all just for fun.   I’ve always loved a packing challenge and my husband supports it, in fact he taught me how fun traveling could be if I packed less.  At first I didn’t understand what that even meant, in time I started to realize why.  When you pack less, you worry less, less to lift, less to pack and unpack, and less to lose. 

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For example, our trip to Aspen moved faster simply because we just had carry-on’s. On our way back, flights were canceled and we were able to get re-booked on another flight easily because we didn’t have any checked bags.  Not checking in a bag not only saves money, but also time and space when you travel by plane, train, or car.  So you may wonder why I’m even writing about this, simple, people always ask me “what the heck do you pack? and how?”  So packing less over the years has become a challenge for me, I research different products and keep up with the seasons must haves.  I came up with how I travel smart without sacrificing the fashionista in me. 

One Dress Three Ways


Lets face it, do we really end up wearing everything we pack?  No. Do we really need to pack 4 pairs of shoes? No. Do we really need all that makeup?  No.  Once you answered all those questions then the next question is, what are the most realistic things you NEED according to your itinerary?

Beach Vacation- 1 Week

If you are travelling with family, you only need one swim suit, but with friends, pack 2. Throw in 2 cover-ups, 1 pair of shorts, yoga pants for daily wear (and possibly night), 4 dresses (2 semi-formal and 2 maxis).  Maxi’s are elegant and easy to pack.  Add in a few tops, 5 at most, and you are ready to go!


Of course we can pack 6 pairs, but are we really going to wear them?  No!  My solution is a pair of flats that could go in a pocket of your bag or tote.  A pair of wedges or heels, I prefer wedges, heels can be tricky in a tropical place or beach.  Last but not least, sneakers if you intend on doing excursions.


When you are out in the sun, the last thing you want to do is have a melted makeup look.  Pack foundation, a powder, mascara, eyeliner and a few fun lip colors.  Don’t overcrowd your bag or mind with all of your makeup.  There is plenty of sample size makeup out there.  I subscribe to Sephora’s Play Box and many of those things come in handy, from face primer, lip-gloss, to skin care.  In fact I even take sample size perfume vials with me, no worries of spillages, leaks or taking up room.  DONE AND DONE!


I always pack my jewelry in a travel box and stuff into my large tote or bag.  Lately, I love Tumi bagsThey are not only soft but also durable while travelling. They are also easy to clean and expandable when need be.  Mine has compartments for me to take essentials like medication, lotions, books, and even my IPAD!

Pack less enjoy more, that’s pretty much the motto in my household these days.  Life is too short to clutter your suitcase with nonsense, de-clutter and be free. 

Your Chick,


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