Happy Summer

I hope everyone had a fun Memorial Day weekend and start to summer! I was lucky to have a few additional days off and I took advantage of the beautiful weather in Chicago. I did a lot of eating and drinking around the city and crossed a lot of stuff off my bucket list! Here’s what we did:

(Finally!) had dinner and drinks at 3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware.

Enjoyed vegan brunch at Handlebar in Wicker Park. We all shared vegan fried pickles with ranch dip that were AMAZING! I definitely want to go back.

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Did some rooftop hopping including the Cabana Club and Chop Shop in Wicker Park.

Tried Goddess and the Baker coffee and sat along the river. (Highly recommend – thanks to Chickpea in the City)

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Went back to Pick Me Up Cafe for a little (lot of) hangover food in Wrigleyville.

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And Monday we finished off the weekend with brunch at Hub 51 and a cookout on a friend’s rooftop in Lakeview.

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Talk about a great weekend! Needless to say I needed a little bit of a reset after all the food and alcohol, but it was such a great start to summer! I’m hoping to jam pack the rest of my weekends here with this many fun activities.

How did you all spend your Memorial Day Weekend?

BIG News !

After much anticipation, I’m finally moving to New York City in July !!! Chicago has been a blast and I’ve made so many amazing friends here, I just knew something was missing that I can only find in The City That Never Sleeps.

Keep following along for my adventures in Chicago as I attempt to cross everything off my bucket list! Then before you know it, I’ll be in a new city.

The Vegas Recap

…. Well some of it anyway ;)

My girlfriends and I had the most unbelievable weekend in Sin City! The weather was perfect, we saw so many great DJs, went to clubs and got to lay by the pool to catch some much-needed rays.

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So here’s the low down:

We stayed at the Aria Resort on the strip. Great rooms, great pool, easy access to other places, no complaints.

Friday

After laying by the pool all day, we had dinner as a big group at Carmine’s, where they had all the allergy/diet menus ready to go, so we ordered a medley of pasta and things. Some guys tried to buy us a round and the host came and shooed them away LOL

Later that night we went to Omnia Nightclub to see Calvin Harris perform AND IT WAS AMAZING!

Saturday

Partied all day at Wet Republic Ultra Pool where Steve Aoki performed.

That night we went to a Thunder From Down Under show (because of course you do when in Vegas) and then later to XS to see David Guetta, who was also INCREDIBLE!

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Needless to say, my EDM self was very pleased with how the weekend turned out. It helped going with 12 girls, but I’d recommend going to any of these spots! Who knows if/when I’ll be back here, but this trip certainly was one for the books.

Vivaaaa Las Vegas.

At the end of the month I’m traveling with a group of girlfriends to the one and only… Las Vegas! This will be my first time and I’m beyond excited to experience this city in all its glory. Understandably we’ve been planning the three day trip for some time now to figure out which shows and parties we want to attend.

So far we’re planning to see Calvin Harris, live it up at a day pool party, see a Thunder Down Under show *gasp*, and obviously do a little gambling too…

So here’s some inspo for the Vegas/city/summer/glam life… I’m picturing glam outfits, high heels, fashionable bathing suits and sunglasses, delicious food, and the craziest non-stop 3 day weekend to date.

Are you going on any fun trips soon? I’m ready for some warmer weather!

London: Part 2

Oh the places you’ll go… in London!

Alright it’s time to share part two of my adventures there – we visited so many beautiful, unique places that weren’t necessarily the usual tourist attractions.

1//. Well… Harrods is one of those, but how can you not visit and *look* at the beautiful clothes and food? Didn’t buy a thing there…

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2//. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park: We stopped at this annual carnival twice – once during the day and at night. We didn’t go on any rides but we walked around, looked at the shops for Christmas gift ideas, and sipped on some hot spiced apple cider. Tis the season!

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3//. Leadenhall Market: We should’ve gone during the week since it’s in the business district and it was pretty deserted when we went on Saturday. (Also if you look it up they clearly state hours are Mon-Fri, so our bad) But it was still a beautiful place to see!

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4//. Borough Market: Coolest market with an underground feel. We ate our way through here between samples and purchasing a few things. I tried Turkish coffee (recommend adding sugar to cut the bitterness), a vegan Indian crepe made with chickpeas and filled with potatoes, and different flavors of olive oil!

Food did seem to be much of the attraction to this market, but there were a few other types of vendors present as well.

5//. Camden Market: Such a cool market that keeps winding and winding up and around. There were many great food vendors, large and small shops or all kinds. Try to beat the rush a little and go in the morning.

6//. Oneill’s Irish Pub, XOYOTwo spots we went to at night that were worth mentioning. Oneill’s is several stories with a live band and a great crowd. XOYO is a night club in Shoreditch with kind of a grunge/basement vibe to it but the DJ played some great beats!

7//. Just getting lost in the streets of central London…. Seven Dials, Soho, having drinks at the Radio Rooftop and overlooking the skyline.

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Well that’s all I have to share from my London trip! I hope I have the chance to visit again soon. I’d even be open to working there for a bit… Happy travels :)

London: Part 1

This year I celebrated Thanksgiving a little differently…. I flew to London to see my brother who’s studying abroad there!

London was one of my favorite cities I visited during my study abroad in college, so I was very excited to go back. I was there a little less than a week and we did all the walking, exploring, and eating you can imagine.

I want to share my adventures there in two parts – food/restaurant spots and the places we explored. Since I’ve previously been to London we passed on all the usual tourist stuff and made our own to do list for the week.

There are so many food options in this city and I was pleased to find it’s very vegetarian/vegan friendly. I didn’t take pictures at all the places we ate, but below are some of the highlights.

Have you been to any of these places?

1//. The Mae Deli: Opened by Deliciously Ella and her husband on the cutest back street by the Marble Arch. It’s a cozy place serving plant-based breakfast, lunch, and dinner deli style.

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My brother and I stopped in for a quick coffee and small bite before heading out to explore for the day. We both ordered the Mae Coffee which is made with coconut milk and 2 shots of espresso (much-needed to keep the jet lag away), and we split a slice of their Blueberry and Orange cake. Everything was delicious and vegan, and my brother was surprised to enjoy it so much!

 

2//. Daisy Green: Another adorable cafe style place by the Marble Arch. We had an amazing brunch here that met both our meat-eater and vegan needs.

My brother ordered The Bondi, which included several meats, half an avocado, and charcoal bread (so cool)! I had the Summer Porridge, which is served cold with the most incredible presentation. It included fresh and freeze-dried fruit, seeds, and edible flowers!

I mean…. just look at that oatmeal…

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3//. Busaba Eathai: To be honest, we randomly came across this Thai place when we were dying of hunger walking around. It was a great find though, let me tell you. The food was warm, tasty, and just the right portions. I ordered the Pad Thai Jay, which is vegan, and my brother ordered the Jungle Chicken curry with a side of fried rice.

 

4//. Yori: Authentic Korean spot we stumbled upon. I forgot to take pictures but we ordered a scallion pancake to share and then our own Bibimbap bowls! Very good and I would recommend if you like Korean food.

5//. Dishoom Carnaby: I didn’t take any pictures of the food, but I was told by several people to eat at this well-known Indian restaurant. They have a few locations  and we were not disappointed!

It was a little challenging for me to eat here, but they do provide a dairy-free menu. I ordered the vegetable samosas, a bowl of seasoned vegetables, and basmati rice. My brother ordered garlic naan bread and a chicken entrée. This is another restaurant I would highly recommend to try if you’re in London and enjoy Indian food!

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of our London adventures!

Dry Hop Brewers

I finally had the chance to go to Dry Hop Brewers in Lakeview to try their beer, food, and hang out with some friends this weekend. What started as just brunch with a few people turned into a great afternoon with a bigger group hanging out and drinking beers.

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I walk by this place a lot and always notice the crowd, fun energy, and open air atmosphere. I’m so glad I finally got to experience it for myself! The beer was delicious – I tried the Shark Meets Hipster wheat IPA and the Spottieoppiedopolicious (what a name, am I right?) and I really liked them. I’m not a fan of hoppy beer and these were just the right amount! Next time I want to try a flight to taste their other options…

For brunch I ordered their Vegetable Reuben minus the cheese and horseradish sauce. It came with a side of fries and an interesting ketchup that seemed like a mix of tomato/pasta sauce and regular ketchup. It was delicious! My friends order the chilaquiles and the breakfast sandwich, which also looked very good.


Overall it was a fun afternoon with friends on a beautiful afternoon. The only downside to Dry Hop is they don’t have any TVs! Especially on a weekend I think that is a turn off for most people who are looking to watch football…

But I will definitely be back!

How to Stay Healthy on the Road

The past two months I’ve been traveling almost every week for either work or vacation…

(Milwaukee -> Green Bay -> Kansas City -> Montana -> Cleveland)

Trying to stay healthy on the road is something a lot of people struggle with. It can be difficult to keep a balanced lifestyle when you’re eating out all the time with little time to work out. So here are some tips I try to stick to when I’m traveling…

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1// Eat when you’re hungry (not when you’re bored!) and stop when you’re full.

This is a big one for me especially if there are snacks around or when you’re out to eat. It can be tempting to finish that whole plate of food even if you are full half way through, but don’t!

 

2// Hydrate throughout the day.

Make sure to either carry a water bottle or drink a lot of water everywhere you go. This helps keep you full and energized! Most of the time when you think you’re getting hunger pangs, it’s really your body telling you you’re dehydrated. Check out all the benefits of drinking water!

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3// Exercise when you can.

I always make sure to pack sneakers and gym clothes when traveling because there almost always is a workout room at a hotel. If you’re not so lucky then take a walk for breaks throughout the day or do a routine in your room. Just get moving!

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Home on the Range

This past week my family and I went on a vacation we don’t normally do. We stayed at an all-inclusive dude ranch in Montana – The Ranch at Rock Creek.

It was our first time in Montana and we were completely blown away.

The property was beautiful, the staff was so friendly, and we were never bored. Every day we did different activities such as: horseback riding, archery, shooting pistols, mountain biking, hiking and that’s not even all they offer!

My family loves riding and horses so my parents and I made sure to ride everyday with one particular wrangler/guide who became our favorite in no time (thanks Natalie!).

She took us through the most breathtaking trails up mountains with views like this…

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Every Tuesday the ranch hosts a rodeo – and it was my first one! Now I can really use that saying, “This ain’t my first rodeo…” There was barrel racing, bull riding, wrangling, and so much more. It was a great night activity during our trip.

This trip was probably my favorite family vacation so far, so thanks Montana! Hopefully I will get the chance the chance to come back in the future – maybe go to Big Sky or one of the National Parks… Until next time!

Summerfest in Milwaukee

Last week I went to Milwaukee for work and we were also able to go to Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival (!!!), for two nights and listen to some great music.

The day we got up to Wisconsin, a few coworkers and I stopped by a farmers market happening across from our hotel. They bought some homemade soap bars and bug repellant, which actually smelled so good. We also discovered this amazing vegan and soy free chocolate stand, Tabal Chocolate. They are based out of Milwaukee and just opened their first storefront! Tabal had samplings available and each one we tried was so unique and flavorful from the next. They even sell a 100% cacao bar we were able to taste as well. That has a very potent and natural flavorful since it’s straight from the cocoa bean.


We ended up buying three bars –  Bolivia 70% cacao with hints of nut and caramel, Costa Rica 70% cacao with sea salt, and the Bolivia 70% cacao with coffee. All were delicious and I’d highly recommend checking them out if you like dark chocolate, whether you are a vegan or not!

At Summerfest both nights we saw quite the range of artists perform…It was my first time going to this music festival and I couldn’t believe how big it is! Except for the main venue, all the stages are small and you’re able to get really close to the artists. The first night we saw Hunter Hayes, Milky Chance and Sir Mix-A-Lot (LOL). And yes, he did play Baby Got Back, in case you were wondering…


Night two we somehow scored tickets to see Luke Bryan at the main stage for a major discount! Before him we listened to some older bands like Harvey Scales and the Seven Sounds, and Johnny Wad. Luke Bryan was amazing and we had actual seats at the top of the amphitheater. The weather couldn’t have been better during the time we were there either… Last music festival (as of now anyway) is Lollapalooza and that’s coming up quick!

Summer, please don’t end…