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Please Oh Please, Can I Have This for Summer?!

Chicago Summer Must-Haves

by Lakesha Rose – May 30, 2013

Summer in Chicago is the “sweet spot” and that’s why so many of us curse our way through the winter just to get to a Chicago summer.

We have free festivals, free concerts, long standing parades and an abundance of green space to plant our perky behinds on and have a picnic with friends and family. Heck, since we live in the Midwest, there is always someone pleasant to meet.

These are finds I plan to purchase this summer:

Picnic bags: I like the Kate Spade bag because it is the best of both worlds. It has a sturdy bottom to create a flat surface with a flexible canvas top for easy walking.

It is a bit pricey, but I live by the motto: “live rich on a budget.” I would much rather have fewer good quality items than several poor quality ones. But at the same time, you want value for your dollar. This is what this bag represents.

If you’re saying, “Lakesha, get out of here. You’re talkin’ smack! I’m not spending $248.” Here is another great alternative from Crate and Barrel. I aim to please everyone…I’m a people pleaser.

That's the Last Straw bag, Kate Spade, $248

Ventana natural picnic basket, Crate and Barrel, $39.95









I LOVE these paper place mats! They are colorful, fun, stylish and a definite talking point as you’re waiting to feast on your picnic or backyard BBQ.

Visit Takara Home, 131 North Marion Street in Oak Park or call 708.524.9200.

Paper place mats, Takara Home, $25

Paper place mats, Takara Home, $25








When I saw these chairs, they reminded me of every outdoor cafe in Europe. When I travel to Europe and see these chairs combined with the energy of happy people in the summer, it automatically makes me want to sit down and order a drink. I hope that same magic can be recreated in your backyard, city terrace or balcony.

Serena and Lily has made the purchase of these chairs very appealing; it’s less expensive to purchase more than one, i.e. one chair = $225; 2+ chairs = $198 each.

Riviera side chairs, Serena and Lily

I hope these summer picks and weather on the up swing will put you in the mood for a classic Chicago summer.

Check out some other summer ideas here.

About the Author: Lakesha Rose

Lakesha Rose is a 6 year volunteer at Common Threads where she gives children’s cooking classes with an emphasis on creating enhanced cultural experiences that build social confidence. She is Honorary Chair of Almost Home Kids, a proud recipient of a 2013 Changing Worlds Humanitarian Award and annual “MC” at the Friends of Chicago Animal Care and Control Event. Lakesha Rose is also the founder of L.Rose Design a lifestyle design company and resides in Chicago with her husband, legendary Chicago Sports Broadcaster, Jim Rose and their dog Petey.