The Creative Local: Coreen Farrell

Welcome to The Creative Local Series! Up this week – The Creative Local: Coreen Farrell from Sprinkled Life. I am excited to bring this lady over to Uniquely Women today.  You must head over to her Instagram to see for yourself the vibrant and colorful feed she has.  Her creativity is out of this world!  She is a definite inspiration!  Today she will be sharing a little bit more about her business and some of her favorite Chicago, IL hangouts within this interview!

Without further adieu – please welcome Coreen Farrell!



If you are new to Uniquely Women, I started a blog series column – The Creative Local. This series showcases boss ladies, whether it be bloggers, entrepreneurs, or women making a difference in their neck of the woods. Each will showcase their current city, taking us around to their favorite places along with a little bit of their current business endeavors. Tag #thecreativelocal on Instagram & Twitter to showcase the creative local in YOU to be featured.


The Creative Local: Coreen Farrell

Her Favorite Chicago, IL Spots:


Sweet Home, Chicago(land)

I was actually born in North Dakota. Both of my parents grew up in quaint rural communities. Answering a call to spread their wings in their adulthood, they moved us to suburban Chicago when I was five and my sister three. Thereafter I would gain two more siblings, and we lived a sweet, quiet life only a 30 minutes drive from the hustle and bustle of amazing downtown Chicago. 

Growing up, the city was a novelty, and I loved every opportunity I had to to experience it. Visits to museums, theaters, and restaurants in the city were reserved mostly for holidays, school field trips, and entertaining out-of-town guests. I treasure those memories so much!

I went to college in Wisconsin and after I graduated I moved to Colorado for two years. I loved the adventure, but eventually I had to get myself back to my beloved heartland! 

I live in the sweet suburb that I grew up in, but now as an adult I have the freedom of going to the city as much as I want. And I LOVE going into the city! Chicago is truly unique, it’s modern, but has a cool historic edge. It has a beautiful lakefront, incredible shopping, amazing restaurants, and diverse entertainment. I also have to brag a little bit about the suburbs. There are great restaurants, shops, entertainment and festivities in the beautiful towns and cities surrounding Chicago. Come for a visit, you’ll have the BEST hot dog and slice of deep dish pizza you’ll ever have! But make sure they’re from Portillo’s and Lou Malnati’s respectively, wink! 


The Choo Choo (Des Plaines, IL)


This just might be my favorite restaurant in all of existence! The Choo Choo diner truly is a sweet and magical place. It embodies the innocence of an era gone by, and everyone who visits is enamored with its charm. If you’re visiting Chicago, it’s just steps away from the Metra stop in Des Plaines.


Built in 1951 by husband and wife, James & Marilyn Ballowe, the Choo Choo Restaurant, as it was then called, was one of the original “fast food” concept restaurants. James said, “Trains go fast, and that’s how we want our customers to be served.” Hamburgers and french fries were delivered by model train, and kids and adults alike fell in love with the novelty. It was such a hit that four years later when Ray Kroc built his first McDonald’s franchise down the street from the Choo Choo, he was concerned that it would not be able to compete with the uniqueness of the diner. Well, how cute is that?

The current owner of The Choo Choo, Jean Paxton, has lovingly preserved the diner, keeping the original booths and boomerang counter tops. The milkshakes are made with a retro mixer, and songs from the 50’s & 60’s happily linger in the background. Nostalgia fills the air and keeps folks coming generation after generation. A Must!


{ Find out more about The Choo Choo – Here! }

the choo choo the choo choo

Spinkles Cupcakes (Chicago)


With only 21 locations, nine of them in California, we are so dang lucky to have a Sprinkles Cupcake in Chicago. What makes Sprinkles so special? The Cupcake ATM, of course! Seriously, this is beyond fun in my book! I love standing in line, eagerly anticipating that touchscreen, awaiting that little door to slide open revealing that magical, insanely delicious cupcake in ALL ITS GLORY!!! Shall I go on?! Ahhhhhhhhhhh, it’s just the BEST!
Located off Chicago’s historic Magnificent Mile between Michigan Avenue and Rush Street, Sprinkles Cupcakes is a fun stop while taking in all of the pretty sites and incredible shopping in this area. Yayyyyyyyy!

{ Find out more about Sprinkles Cupcakes – Here! }

sprinkles cupcakes chicago

sprinkles cupcake chicago  
Sweet Lulu (Frankfort, IL)

 Oh, where do I even start about my beloved Sweet Lulu? This is my favorite, favorite, favorite, (one more time), favorite party supplier. Located in sweet, historical downtown Frankfort, this incredible place is an hour and a half drive from Chicago.
Sweet Lulu is an online shop, a beautifully organized warehouse, and darling and constantly changing retail shop. The owner, Jessie Senese, is a fairy godmother, granting your every party wish. She does an astounding job sourcing beautiful pieces from around the world that will make your party-loving heart swoon. Favors, balloons, garlands, confetti, cake decorations & stands, stationary, inflatables, she’s got it all, and it’s all beautiful! Her store also has a vintage-y sensibility that I love and that makes it unique. They also host in-store crafting events that are so fun. If you aren’t able to visit soon don’t worry, the e-site gives access to almost everything, and includes a blog with cute party ideas and fun recipes. Dream place!

{ Find out more about Sweet Lulu – Here! }



Next Up: Interview with Coreen

(Read Below)



In a few sentences describe yourself.

Hiiiiiiiiii! I’m Coreen, and I was born for the party! My party, your party, pizza party, whatever it is, that’s why I’m here! Ever since I can remember, I was looking for ways to make even the tiniest of occasions special and fun.

I know you have found and have grown to love Instagram, can you tell us how it has inspired you?

Instagram has a big ‘ol special place in my heart. That little app allows me to express my creative side in such a satisfying way. I decided to leave my job six years ago when I had my sweet daughter, Mabelline. This gave me so much time to cook, bake, and entertain. I loved indulging this part of myself; I was having so much fun! Last year when I discovered Instagram, it opened my eyes to all of the creativity on social media and I was naturally drawn to it. My Instagram handle is @sprinkledlife and my photo gallery is a sprinkle of this, a sprinkle of that. I share photos of all of the things that I love, including of course, SWEETS! Sprinkled Life has become so much to me, a platform to share, a source of income, and a place of fellowship. One of the unexpected aspects of Instagram is the friendships that I’ve made with so many warm, and talented people.

What are your tips to creating such vibrant and visually appealing photos?

Photography is so subjective. I think that the subject really dictates the vibe of one’s photos. I am drawn to subjects that are inherently colorful and fun, so I think that translates in my photos. I also LOVE what I’m photographing, so I believe that becomes part of it, too. And one cannot underestimate the power of editing. A subject can be so beautiful, but if it’s not highlighted by proper editing, it can fall flat.

What are your top tools to editing photos?

People are often surprised when I tell them that the editing features on the Instagram app are usually sufficient for me when I edit a photo for Instagram. The trick there is just playing with it some and getting used to it. I find it to be convenient and totally reliable. There is also an app called “A Color Story” that I like and does an incredible job especially if I need to brighten up an image.

Top Bucket List Locations?



Currently- Top Must View Instagram Profiles?


and so many more, jeepers…

Don’t forget to share #thecreativelocal on Instagram and Twitter with photos of you or other small business owners, entrepreneurs, or other hustlers out there making a difference in their neck of the woods!

Visit Coreen: Sprinkled Life


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  • Reply Laura Taccona September 27, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Loved this post! Coreen is one of a kind and I’m lucky to call her a friend. xo!

  • Reply Heidi @ Grow Family Love September 30, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Great post, Nicole! I found a few new instagram profiles to follow, too! Blessings

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