Chicago

Yoga Loft Chicago

One of the coolest perks of my job is we get to try out a variety fitness studios and classes in the city. Sometimes they come to the office and we do a group workout in one of the conference rooms but this past week we were lucky enough to be invited to Yoga Loft, a gorgeous, almost hidden studio in the heart of the River North neighborhood.

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All I knew before stepping foot in the studio was it was going to be a “sculpting” class. I assumed that since it was a sculpt class at a yoga studio it would be yoga + weights and maybe a little more movement than the usual yoga class. BOY was I wrong. But let’s rewind…

We walked into the small but well-utilized space and were immediately faced with rows of dark wooden cubbies for our belongings, a variety of weights to choose from, Dixie cups full of water and a wall of yoga mats. From the second we walked in it was a very warm and welcoming place.

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Next we met Tim, who was our teacher for the day. I should have realized when he said he was a personal trainer that we were NOT going to be doing yoga, but I remained blissfully ignorant to what lay ahead.

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All 15 of us grabbed some five pound weights, headed into the studio and sat down on mats already waiting for us. The room was hot as could be so I knew it was going to be a doozy.

Now, onto the workout. After a quick five-minute “warm up” (a term I use lightly because it was tough in and of itself) we jumped right into a 40 minute bootcamp-style workout. Now, I’ve tried just about every workout: spin, body pump, Crossfit, running, yoga, etc., but these 40 minutes were by far the toughest I’ve ever experienced.

We performed two circuits, including some of the following moves:

  • Moving pushups (moving side to side after each one)
  • Burpees + jump with knees to your chest
  • Pushup + lunge + jump lunge to the other leg
  • Planks
  • Forward and back kicks + punches
  • Mountain climbers
  • Sumo squats
  • High knees

I could keep going but you get the picture 😉

The intensity of this workout plus the heat in the room made for a hilarious picture.  All 15 of us were slipping and sliding on our mats, and I even fell a few times while trying to hold a plank. The longest break we had was 15 seconds, a well-deserved rest that only came two or three times during the workout. Needless to say, it was the quickest 40 minutes of my life. After it was done we all looked around at each other and couldn’t believe we had just been moving like the for 40 whole minutes!

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Now that is some good old fashioned sweat! (Plus a side of some serious forehead)

I left Yoga Loft feeling better than I have in months. They aren’t lying when they say that exercise gives you a serious high. I could have flown home on that endorphin rush!

The thing I’m most excited about is that Yoga Loft  is offering new students an incredible deal: two weeks of unlimited workouts for $35! Anyone who has gone to a small studio in a big city knows just how expensive they are, so this is a steal. Megan and I are definitely going to go back for the next two weeks and get our sweat on again – we’re addicted!

If you’re from Chicago and want to check it out with me, I’d love to go with you in the upcoming weeks! Just check out their website, see if it’s something you want to test out, and let me know! I’m always looking for new fitness partners in crime 🙂

Questions:

  • When was the last time you had an amazing workout?
  • Do you belong to a regular gym or a small studio?
  • Any ideas for how to make a little extra cash so I don’t have to sell a kidney to keep going to classes like this once my two weeks are up?

a weekend of firsts

First time trying squid ink pasta

Twas spicy. And different. Good in a unique way. Zman and I had date night at RPM Italian (owned by Giuliana and Bill Rancic) and after hearing rave reviews, I decided to try this squid ink pasta topped with crab which tasted great and made me feel fancy. I’ll definitely be back to try another dish because everything looked incredible, but I wasn’t blown away by the place – especially by the service. As a former server I know the little tricks of the trade when you’re trying to rush a table and our server was definitely rushing us. She brought out our appetizer WITH our entrees and asked if we’d like to see a dessert menu while we were still eating. Not impressed. But hey, now I can say I tried it!

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First time making French Toast

It took an hour, way too much butter, and I wanted to go back to bed afterwards. The effort was worth it though, especially for leftovers, because this was killer. So delicious (and this is coming from a girl who’s never loved french toast in the past).

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First time doing a squat-a-thon

Because it’s T-minus 2 weeks until I need to squeeze myself into a bikini and I’d rather squat til I drop than do something crazy like give up pizza.

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First lazy “summer” weekend in Chicago

A beautiful run, a two hour adventure walk and $5 worth of frozen yogurt.

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And last but certainly not least, first time signing a lease! (No, college doesn’t count)

Zman and I are officially moving in together in Lincoln Park! We came, we saw, we conquered. In other words, we toured an apartment, fell in love, and signed all within six hours. We didn’t ask nearly enough questions but it’s next door to a Starbucks so I don’t really see what could go wrong.

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Big things happening here! So tell me…did you have any “firsts” this weekend? If not, what was the best thing you did all weekend?

Have a great Monday!

white cheddar tequila trout (it’s not what you think)

Oooo how gross is that title? But it got you to click, right? Bwahaha my master plan is working – shock and awe will keep you all coming back for more! In all seriousness, though, isn’t it funny how you can churn out content almost daily for entire blog posts and then it’s time to come up with a title and you’re like “Uhhh….”. Oh the irony….

I promise I’ll have a recap soon of my juice cleanse attempt (emphasis on the word attempt) but I really feel like I’ve committed a major blogger sin by skipping out on “What I Ate Wednesday”. When I first started reading food blogs (Kath Eats Real Food was my gateway drug) that was my favorite part! Scrolling through photo after photo of snacks, sandwiches, skillets, and everything in between got me through the day when I was working at my first summer internship. One of the first realities I faced when I started blogging was no, you can’t just upload iPhone photos of fish and veggies every single day and call it a healthy living blog. These types of outlets require covering a vast number of topics, and food is just the tip of the iceberg. But hey, we all love a good photo dump every once in awhile, right? So in homage to my blog-obsession roots, I’m going to share some of the best things I’ve eaten in the past week or so.

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Lentil soup – it never sounds good but 9 out of 10 times it knocks my socks off

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Trader Joe’s chicken and verde salsa burritos (an incredibly easy frozen food option) alongside some tortilla chips, salsa and peas. I’m a pea freak lately!

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Tequila and good conversation mix very well 🙂

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Why has no one told me about this white cheddar mac and cheese before? I about died and went to heaven

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Deep dish from the Art of Pizza in Lakeview – my new favorite (the two pounds of cheese per slice helped)

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Overnight oats – never pretty, always delicious

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Easily the best sandwich I’ve had in awhile: chicken, roasted tomatoes, pesto, arugula and provolone.

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Food Ease hot bar inside Water Tower place: Joe’s Crab Shack Roasted Tomatoes, Herb Roasted Trout, and Roasted Potatoes. Talk about a high-class lunch!

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I will never turn down a Chipotle date with Zman 🙂

Let’s end the post with something I’m grateful for today: I’m grateful for the ability to read! Can you imagine never learning that basic skill? I love reading about other people’s life experiences and creative writing pieces so I’m very appreciative that I grew up in a place that values education.

Okay…now let’s hear from you!

  • What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the past week?
  • What’s one thing you’re grateful for today?

birthday weekend in the south pole

Warning: this post is full of not-so-healthy choices.

Fried foods? Check.

Sugary fish bowl drinks? Check.

Limited activity besides Just Dance and walking from bar to bar? Check.

But it’s all okay because it was my birthday weekend!

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That’s right. I’m officially the big 2-3, the year of Michael Jordan, the “there isn’t a Taylor Swift song about it yet” age.  It doesn’t feel much different. At the same time, however, I feel like 2014 is going to bring big things for me so I bet 23 is going to be a great year.  22 was all about transitioning: graduating college, moving back home, finding an internship, maintaining a job, and now moving on to a new opportunity in the city and living here part time. I’m now going to be interning at a new public relations company and I couldn’t be happier.  I start tomorrow (thanks to the freezing temps that I’ll get to later) and I’ll be living with Zman 4 days a week at his apartment in the city. The other 3 days/nights I’ll be back in the suburbs working at the restaurant. It’s a bizarre schedule but I’m so excited to be back on the daily grind! I’m one of those weirdos who thrives on structure, schedules and planners, so I know this change is going to bring me nothing but happiness.

Back to the important stuff: the birthday!

I took the train to the city in the morning and met up Zman for a bday lunch.  We decided that instead of getting entrees we would just have a day of “apps and zerts”.

Classic Parks and Rec.

We headed to Public House in the River North neighborhood downtown and picked four larger than life appetizers to enjoy.Image

The ones that made the cut were fried pickles, cheese curds, a homemade pretzel with cheese, and sea salt/parsley french fries. Good lawd. Halfway through the apps we were floating on cloud 9, but by the end I was googling wheelbarrow rentals to get me out of there. They were all so good! My only complaint is that I didn’t ask for a bottle of ketchup. The fries were served with a few delicious sauces (creamy parmesan, sweet bbq, etc.) but nothing compares to the classic fries and ketchup.

As most food lovers know, even when you’re stomach is full, you still have room in your “dessert stomach.” This was the case for me after lunch so we headed over to Glazed and Infused for one of my favorite treats: their vanilla bean glazed donut.

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It looks pale in comparison to some of the other selections they have, but I always usually sample something a little more dangerous and then stick with my vanilla bean. It’s just too good!

We spent the rest of the afternoon at “The Wolf of Wall Street” which I LOVED. It was over 3 hours but well worth it.  The rest of the night was spent drinking sugary concoctions, playing Just Dance, and bar hopping with friends. It was the perfect birthday.

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I also can’t forget the incredible birthday cake that my mom made for my brother and me–flourless chocolate! It took her so much time and effort but it was insaaaanely good (especially with a hot cup of coffee).

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Cake for breakfast is ALWAYS acceptable on your birthday.

The rest of the weekend was low key because a) Friday was just too much and b) temps have dipped down into (wait for it) THE NEGATIVES. Yep, that’s right, it’s -18 right now in Chicago, but with wind chills 40 BELOW. I heard this morning that it’s colder here than in the South Pole. Say what?

Since it was still my birthday weekend, we made the boys cook for us.  Spencer used to work at Noodles and Company so he put his skills to use.

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It turned out great! The only thing I’d change next time is to add spinach, but the grocery store was out of a lot of stuff (I’m not kidding when I say it’s a snowpocalypse here).

Here are a few other eats from the weekend before I sign out and snuggle under some blankets for a night of BCS football or The Bachelor (depending on which side of my brain wins the battle).

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Scrambled eggs and Kodiak cakes

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Shrimp diablo tacos from On the Border (they look better than they tasted but the rice, beans, and limitless chips and salsa more than made up for it)

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Scrambled eggs with bell peppers, onions, and cheddar cheese. Veggie sausage on the side.

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Cocoa Krispies make the best late-night snack

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Vegan chili and a jalapeno corn muffin

I’ll be back tomorrow with a more fitness-inspired post. Those have been scarce lately because my workouts have been so monotonous, but I promise I’ll try to shake it up this week!

Questions:

  • Do you like celebrating your birthday?
  • If you could be eating anything in the world right now, what would you eat?
  • What’s the coldest weather you’ve ever experienced?

ghirardelli, girls night out, and friendsgiving

I stayed at work pretty late Friday night which meant I left for the city Saturday morning.  First things first, when I got off the train I beelined to my favorite deli for a bagel sandwich.  Recycled photo but I always get the same thing:

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Everything bagel with a fried egg and cheddar cheese. If you had told me a year ago I would be absolutely head over heels in love with everything bagels, I would have laughed in your face. But they’re so great–especially the onion/garlic breath you get.

Storms ruined our plans to go ice skating and do some sightseeing, so we ended up having a movie day instead. Zman, Spencer and I all watched Hunger Games–perfect timing since the sequel is coming out this weekend!

Afterwards we braved the cold and headed to one of my favorite spots in Chicago.

ImageI went in wanting a simple hot chocolate and this is what happened

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Why is it that the holiday season brings out the sugar monster in all of us?!  Zman and I split a classic hot chocolate as well as their Ocean Beach Sundae, aka a hot fudge sundae with salted caramel sauce.

That night I had a GNO (girls night out), complete with Ke$ha radio and black/white ensembles (thank you, winter).

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Sunday morning started with a healthy breakfast thanks to a sugar-overdose the previous day.

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Two pieces of toast with crunchy peanut butter and a grapefruit. This held me over until the best part of the weekend:

Friendsgiving!

I know this isn’t a novel idea and many other groups of friends do this, but I love that the people I’m friends with celebrate Thanksgiving as a group. Growing up Thanksgiving was always only about family, and while family is incredibly important, I love that as we get older we start to think of our friends as family too. Also, when are multiple Thanksgiving dinners ever a problem?

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I left stuffed to the absolute brim with sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, apple cider sangria, mac and cheese, and stuffing. It was the most beautiful set-up too…straight out of Martha Stewart Living. Thanks, Kenna, for hosting!

It’s already happening that the weekends are full of holiday activities, and I love it! I can’t wait for the weekends to come: the tree lighting in my hometown, going to see the Macy’s Christmas display on State Street, and ice skating in Millennium Park.

I hope you all had a fun weekend and that your Mondays are off to a great start!

Question:

  • Do you start doing holiday activities before Thanksgiving?

 

 

weekend happenings

This weekend was full of firsts.

First apple picking of the season

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It was insanely hot for October (hence the shorts) but doing activities like this make me so happy because I get to enjoy all that fall in the Midwest has to offer.  Plus this apple orchard was less than ten minutes from my house and I had no idea! I’ll definitely be back this season.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with all my apples…

First time at The Signature Room of the Hancock Building

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I’m still really mad that this came out blurry. We asked one of the security guys there to take a pic and he took half a dozen, ALL blurry. Oh well we can all just pretend.

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Champagne is my favorite!

Please excuse the quality of these pictures…being the fancy place it was, the lighting was pretty dim. My flash went off once and I just felt my classy factor plummet so I put an end to that.

First time eating lobster (hey, when in Rome)

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Lobster bisque (to die for)

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Twin lobster tails with three cheese cous cous, swiss chard, and citrus butter.

Too much decadence.

The whole experience at The Signature Room was magical. I’m a foodie but I don’t go out for high class meals like this often, so it was a really nice treat! I felt like a grown up 🙂

First time crafting a new fall wreath

Before:

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After:

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It might not look like much, but my mom and I took off a ton of the old leaves and fake red berries and replaced them with a ton of vibrant berries with a beautiful fall palette.

First time trying Turkish Get Ups

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This workout was pretty focused on practicing the new movement, so after we were done I headed to the gym to get in some time on the elliptical.  It was fun to learn a whole new high-function movement, though!  If you’re interested, feel free to check this out : 7 Secrets of the Turkish Getup

Oh, and it’s hella awkward. I’ve never done anything like this before so it was weird at first. But after a few times I can see why it’s an effective workout.

In other news…

I’m also using this time to really get a fire under my butt about what the next step is for my life. I’m using the new season as an excuse to jump-start my job search and self-discovery. There’s no better time than now, and I realize I need to make some big decisions before I start to get distracted by the holidays. It’s a crazy time, and it’s only going to get crazier!

I hope you all had a great weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow with a new recipe (perfect for the chilly weather!)

Question:

  • What’s the fanciest place you’ve ever eaten?

 

Weekend Happenings: Illini edition!

I had a great time this weekend! So much so that the thought of whipping out the computer to blog just seemed irreverent 🙂

So here I am, another Monday is here, and the one thing getting me through it is reminiscing about my fun Saturday.

It all started bright and early with the official opening celebration of my local bootcamp!

I woke up earlier than normal because it was beautiful fall weather and I wanted to bike there.

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Biking in Fall weather is amazing. It was sunny but crisp and I biked the three miles or so through town and to bootcamp.

ImageIt was my first partner workout! I was paired with a middle aged woman and she was just the sweetest! That’s what I love about Crossfit-like workouts…anyone with any skill level can work together and as long as you know your limits and how to modify the workout, it doesn’t matter.  I love working with people and motivating them to kick their own butt! It was a fun class full of running and rowing.  The ring rows were the toughest for me because my upper body strength is definitely lacking.

After I biked home I walked into the house to a great surprise: whole wheat french toast!

ImageI grabbed two slices, drowned them in maple syrup, and served them alongside two eggs.  If I don’t eat some protein with breakfast I’ll be hungry ten minutes later so eggs were definitely necessary.  It was such a nice change-up from my normal breakfasts!

The plan for the day was to get to the Illini game at Soldier Field so I caught a train downtown and met up Zman at Navy Pier for a little pre-game date 🙂

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We ate outside on the patio of Bubba Gump Shrimp. It was the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful weather.

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If you’re even at Navy Pier I highly recommend Bubba Gump. It was fairly inexpensive and pretty delicious, but the highlight of the meal was our waiter.  He asked us trivia about the movie Forrest Gump throughout our meal which made it a really lighthearted and interactive experience. I was so impressed because Zman knew EVERY answer! He’s a real movie buff, apparently. Who knew 🙂

We started out with a popcorn shrimp appetizer (mostly because Zman was ready to eat his arm if he didn’t get food asap). I was so happy because he usually refuses to touch any kind of seafood but today hunger overruled!

ImageZman is also a sucker for fruity drinks so when he saw the waiter walk by with some of the famous Bubba Gump cocktails he knew we had to try one.

ImageI tried some and that thing is dangerous! So sweet that you wouldn’t even realize what you’re drinking 😉

For my entree I ordered a berry and shrimp salad, which came out beautifully.

ImageIt was so light and refreshing, the perfect balance after attacking that popcorn shrimp!

After our mini-date, we walked from Navy Pier to Soldier Field (another 3 miles!) and found our seats for the game.

ImageThe best thing about Soldier Field is that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. It’s a relatively small stadium, so even from the 400-level we could see every play.

It was a good game! We definitely have low expectations for our football team haha so the fact that we kept up and made it a good game was great for the fans.  I didn’t even mind the loss because I ran into one of my oldest and dearest friends from high school, Frank! I love it when that happens.

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Once the game was over we walked with masses the Museum of Science and Industry, where most people were drunkenly stumbling onto buses and into cabs.  Luckily, Zman is a fan of walking so we decided another three mile walk would be better than waiting for that mess.

I love Chicago. Have I made that clear yet?

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After getting back to the apartment and watching The League while we recuperated, we had some friends over and decided to go to Wrigleyville for a bit.  Even though we didn’t spend a lot of time at the bars, it’s always good to get out to that area. The people watching, ESPECIALLY after midnight, is hilarious! No pictures from the bars but I obviously did document the most important part of the night:

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No night out is complete without a 2am pizza run!

It was a blast of a day! It felt a little like we were back in college, which I’ll never say no to 😉

Question: what’s your favorite late-night food after you’ve gone out?

 

 

Megan’s birthday in the city!

Saturday was full of birthday shenanigans (the best kind of shenanigans, of course).

Before I went downtown to spend the day with Megan, I hit up my regular 8am spin class and came home to these beauties.

ImageCherry walnut pancakes a la Dad. We have so many sweet cherries from the farmer’s market so my dad decided to whip these up for breakfast.  I ate pancakes on the back porch with my parents and it all made for a beautiful morning.

After some typical Chicago traffic I was in the Lakeview neighborhood and ready to enjoy the day. The weather was perfect, breezy and mid 80s, so Megan and I decided to walk to a coffee shop nearby that I’d heard of.

ImageThe Coffee and Tea Exchange has been open in the East Lakeview neighborhood since 1975.  They offer tons of freshly roasted coffee from all over the world, all on display in barrels that you are encouraged to observe and smell. They offer every kind of Torani syrup known to man and have daily specials including “Rose latte” along with plenty of other creative concoctions.

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After a lonnnnnnnnng decision-making process, I chose salted caramel syrup (next time I’m coming for you, french toast!) I had a salted caramel iced coffee with soy milk. It tasted like a dessert!

Megan picked the rose latte, which I took a curious sip of, and it tasted exactly what you’d think a rose would taste like. It was not overpowering like I’ve found other rose-flavored desserts to be.

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We took our coffee to go and walked the streets of East Lakeview. Megan and Christina just moved to the neighborhood so it’s been fun to explore with them.  Our walk took us to Wrigley Field, and of course I had to snap a pic.

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We grabbed some rental bikes near the lakefront afterwards and took the path from Lincoln Park all the way to Museum Campus, passing Navy Pier and North Avenue beach along the way.

ImageThe birthday girl!

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Contrary to this picture, the path was packed! It took us an hour to go less than five miles and we spent most of the time dodging runners and walkers, but regardless it was still a beautiful trip along Lake Michigan.  The lakefront path is my favorite place in Chicago (although I suppose it’s not really a “place”, but I don’t know if you could find a more beautiful and scenic route in any other city).

When we got back to their apartment I gave Megan her presents.

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Blue Moon, cookie cake, and flowers.  Such grown-up gifts. I remember when a birthday present meant a Jesse McCartney card and a new t-shirt from Aeropostale.

We were absolutely exhausted from all the walking and biking so we knew we could only order one thing for dinner:

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Lou Malnati’s while watch Tosh.0.  You could be having the worst day in the world and Tosh.0 will have you rolling on the floor laughing. I loveeeeee that show.

Between the deep dish pizza, cookie cake, and beer, it was a really healthy night 😉

Later we went out for a few hours to celebrate.  Even though we couldn’t stop talking about how crazy it is that this year we’re all turning 23 (Megan and I have been best friends since we were 14), we agreed that we’re looking forward to the years to come, when hopefully we get things a little more “figured out” 🙂

I love these girls like sisters and while our birthday celebration was nothing like turning 21 (haha), it was a nice night out with friends.

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ImageClearly I’ve been spending too much time in the sun.

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Happy Birthday, Megan! I love you!

Questions:

  • How long have you known your best friend?
  • What was your favorite birthday (year)?

The Pump Room

Last night I had the pleasure of dining at The Pump Room inside the Public hotel in Chicago.  Zman and I had been planning a fancy date night this weekend but since we gorged ourselves on pizza for lunch, we wanted to save this restaurant for a day when we could really appreciate it. I’m so happy we did because this was a meal to remember.

ImageThe minute we walked into the dining room we knew it was going to be an exceptional experience.

ImageI absolutely love lanterns and think it’s so cool when people incorporate them into decorations, so walking into a dim room full of these orbs was a pleasant surprise. Zman requested a booth when he made the reservation (the man knows he has a high-maintenance girlfriend…such a sweetheart) so we had a half-circle booth made for at least five people all to ourselves. It was so nice to sit next to each other and look out on the gorgeous dining room.

The menus were handed out on clipboards. Such a pinterest-esque thing to do!

The menus were handed out on clipboards. Such a pinterest-esque thing to do!

ImageWe started with a Raspberry Lychee Bellini that we shared simply because we both feel guilty going to fancy places and not drinking. To be honest, Zman and I aren’t big drinkers. Sure we go out, but at meals you’ll never see us ordering beers with our burgers or wine with our pasta. I’d much rather save room for more food!

The cocktail didn’t blow us away. It was a mix of La Marca Prosecco and homemade raspberry-lychee syrup but it just wasn’t sweet enough for what we were expecting.

ImageAfter we had placed our dinner orders, the server brought out a cutting board with slices of freshly baked bread, high quality olive oil, and a dish of sea salt. As an avid bread eater I’m used to seeing bread with parmesean cheese in this situation. But surprisingly I really loved the addition of sea salt on top of the bread. The salt and the oil seemed like they really brought out the flavor in each other. Who would’ve thought?

Our food came out pretty fast for such a high-class place. We were expecting to be waiting an hour or so but everything was out in less than 20 minutes.

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Zain liked his burger, but I know he would have liked a Five Guys burger just as much if not better. He only goes to fancy-pants places like this for me (AND for the dessert—which we’ll get to in a second!)

I had researched The Pump Room and was initially excited for the crab toast and baked lobster.  Sadly, the waitress explained to us that their suppliers from the East coast had said the product wasn’t up to quality so they had to temporarily keep it off the menu.  At first I was disappointed, but then I realized how amazing it was that this restaurant stood by its standards. If the fish wasn’t going to blow me away like it normally would, why would I want it? They were totally upfront and honest about the issue and I really respect restaurants that do that.

We looked to our server for other suggestions, since my research was thrown out the window.  She recommended the organic fried chicken, something I have never had in my life. I would never have considered it normally, but she explained that it wasn’t actually fried the way I was thinking.  It was two pieces of boneless chicken, a breast and a thigh, that is flash fried so it only retains 2% of the oil and still retains its natural moisture and health qualities. The intensity of the heat and the quickness of the exposure to the oil made it unlike anything “fried” I’d ever had. It tasted crunchy but not dry or greasy whatsoever. I would have never ordered this entrée without her input, and served over creamed corn and a sweet chili puree, it was delicious.

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Ok…now dessert. Sweet mother of GOD was dessert good.

Deep dish cookie filled with chocolate and topped with chocolate malt ice cream.

ImageWe finished this dish in three minutes. The minute I cut into it and the hot chocolate poured out of the cookie I let out an audible groan. It was such beautiful chocolatey goodness.  I almost ordered another one.

We will definitely be returning to The Pump Room. I can’t wait to try the crab toast and baked lobster, and I absolutely want to try every dessert that they have to offer. Maybe one night we’ll forgo dinner and just order one of each! We left the restaurant full but not overly stuffed, and it made our mile-long late night stroll full of conversation about how satisfied we were with the experience.

if i die it’s because i ate the expired yogurt in the fridge

so yeah. there’s that.

Today was my first day commuting downtown for work! Exciting, I know, but to be honest the day couldn’t possibly have started out worse.

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Minus this sunrise. I came out of a 5 am spin class and it was so breathtaking. The little things…

So my day started off on the wrong foot. I completely underestimated how long it would take me to get ready after the gym in order to make the train. After sprinting in the door, getting ready, and making breakfast (all without pausing for a second), I knew if I didn’t eat my cereal in the car I’d be late.

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Kashi vanilla graham topped with peaches and almond milk. I am all about this cereal right now.

Sadly as I was running out the door I dropped the bowl on my foot (ouch). Not only did it shatter, but I was covered in milk. Lovely. No time to change though, otherwise I’d miss the train. So like the champion I am, I powered through, milky hair and all.

Bad luck #2:  I still missed the train. We drove up just as it was pulling away. What a tease. Luckily my dad is a sweetheart and hung out with me in the car until the next train came ten minutes later.

Bad luck #3: Because I didn’t purchase my ticket at the station it was an additional $3–cash that I didn’t have. Luckily the woman behind me practically jumped out of her seat to help pay for my ticket, but it was still mortifying.

Well I eventually made it downtown, ready to start my first official day as a big kid.

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The building where I work is awesome! You can tell it’s an old building that has been renovated–it has a cool hipster vibe.

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I do solemnly swear to never ever take the elevator. The stairwells are awesome!

I settled into my “desk” (I’ll be moving around the office for awhile) and got the grand tour.  It’s a small company and the building is no different, but that makes it incredibly low-key and comfortable.

Oh, and the best part? READING FOOD BLOGS (just part of the job, folks)

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Heavenly.

I snacked a lot throughout the day, including this delicious 3-week-expired yogurt.

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By the time I was halfway through it I noticed the expiration date. It was slightly chunky to say the least (TMI?) but I’m still here to tell the tale. If I don’t check in tomorrow you’ll know why.

I ended the day meeting up with Megan for happy hour, but not before stopping at Starbucks for some more snacks. PS there is an amazing looking bakery close to my work–I can’t wait to try it out!

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Megan and I met up at Moe’s Cantina in the River North neighborhood for drinks after work. It was so nice to hang out just the two of us, spending a few hours catching up and talking about life.

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Margarita for her, mojito for me.

Then we walked around a little more, exploring the River North neighborhood (which included stalking the Trump Tower and seeing if Giuliana Rancic or Ashton Kutcher would make an appearance).

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So for a day that started pretty much as bad as it gets, ending it with my best friend on a gorgeous day in the city wasn’t a bad deal.

Question: do you eat expired foods, or throw them out the day the date has passed?