Megan

betty white is older than sliced bread

Thank goodness February is basically over! Sayonara, see you later, adios, I won’t miss you. Other than that nice little day right in the middle of the month where I get to binge eat m&ms and get flowers, nothing about February is good. Yeah that’s a blanket statement and it’s probably pretty unfair, but it’s never been good to me. The way I see it is it makes me appreciate March even more! I love walking outside in March and just feeling Spring in the air. Can’t wait to get me some warmth!

ImageOy vey guys do I feel like I have lots to share today. Nothing serious but I’ve just been stumbling upon some of the funniest stories, cutest outfits, coolest facts, etc. etc. and I thought, who better to discuss this stuff than with my virtual friends??

Betches Love This – The Bachelor recap

Image

If you don’t watch The Bachelor you’re really missing out. This season is centered around Juan Pablo, the kind of man who is quite literally my worst nightmare. Not because he’s some arrogant jerk or tough as nails man who is incapable of intimacy. No, it’s because he just doesn’t care. He’s a 30-something man whose depth is as impressive as the shallow end of a kiddy pool. He is constantly asking the women questions like “Why are you thinking so much?” and “You’re so pretty…you’re so cute…this place is so pretty…I’m so happy.” I just want to send him a care package full of things like The Feminine Mystique, a Spanish-English dictionary, and a fucking Thesaurus. The man needs some new adjectives.  This week Andi, one of the FINAL 3 contestants basically had a mental breakdown because she realized this guy, the guy who could potentially propose to her in a week (which, as we all know, is a ridiculous premise of the show), had no idea who she was. And he genuinely had no interest in figuring it out. He loved that she was smart, he loved that she was beautiful and kind, but at the end of the day he was all surface. I know I’m young but as someone who’s been in a relationship for over three years I can definitively say that no relationship can survive on compliments and laughs. Relationships are about friendly debate about civic issues, fighting over why you don’t want to take out the garbage, and facing life’s tough roadblocks together: death, loss of friends, job changes, emotional instability, etc. I think JP seems like a nice guy. He’s the guy I’d love to give me a tour of a soccer stadium, shoot a ball around and buy me a hot pretzel. But I’m with Andi – you can’t just say everything’s “okay”. Feelings are important, and limiting yourself to just saying “okay” when someone challenges you is one of the most frustrating things I can possibly think of and I probably couldn’t handle him for more than an hour.  If you DO watch The Bachelor and haven’t read the “Betches Love This” recaps every week, do yourself a favor and read them,. I always laugh my butt off.

On that note, when did I become such a feminist? Oh that’s right, when I was 18 and finally looked up from my Facebook long enough to take a look around at the world and see just how shitty things can still be for women. You know what’s the funniest thing I hear whenever I tell someone that I’m a feminist? “Oh so I shouldn’t hold the door open for you?” (self-gratifying chuckle). Oh yeah totally—because I’m a feminist I would love it if your manners disappeared.

I don’t know exactly when or why I changed my views on the world. In fact, a few years ago I went to Washington DC and protested against the Roe vs. Wade decision, holding up a sign and marching with other protestors about the sanctity of life. My views on this great tragedy of life haven’t personally changed—but I woke up one day and realized that I am a smart, intelligent, compassionate, rational woman and I have the right to make every single decision regarding my body that I need to make, and I have absolutely no right to tell anyone else what to do. (Sidenote: I still respect both sides and know it’s a tough/emotional topic for so many people, but I wanted to share because it shows a little about my growth as a woman over the past few years). I’m not just talking about women’s reproductive rights either. The Affordable Care Act has, quite honestly, brought out the worst in people and has brought up many different debates including sex education, contraception, religious freedoms, safety, cycles of poverty, etc. It’s a problem that is so much more complex than just “yes or no” or “is it moral”. It’s an issue that should be faced with compassion and empathy. I’m lucky enough to have grown up in a time and place where I had access to education, but some people don’t. It’s as simple as that. So until we start addressing the ROOT of the problem, I don’t think that I or anyone else has the right to shame women for ANY decisions they make. (Again, respect to all).

Ok, unclench. The tough stuff is over 🙂

 8 Surprising Historical Facts That Will Change Your Concept of Time Forever

Image

Betty White is older than sliced bread?? The last time the Cubs won a World Series the Ottoman Empire still existed??  France was still using the guillotine when “Star Wars” came out?

Mind. Blown.

Shamrock Shuffle 8K!

I’m signing up for this race today! I’ve never run an 8K before but since it’s right around 5 miles I think this is going to be my new favorite distance. Not only that but it’s at the end of March so I’m sure it’ll be decently warm without being uncomfortable. Plus people dress up and run around the streets of Chicago—I can’t think of anything more fun! Should I be a leprechaun? A pot of gold? A rainbow? A SHAMROCK SHAKE? The possibilities are endless.

ImagePiperlime

As much as I love my long-sleeved baggy sweaters, boots and skinny jeans, I’m more than happy that spring fashion is in the air. Have you all ever heard of Piperlime? It’s an affiliate of Gap, another favorite of mine, but their stuff is just head to toe gorgeous. Please do yourself a favor and head over to their website and lust over their new arrivals for spring. I’m already formulating plots to make extra money this month so I can afford it. I’m ready to donate plasma—I just want this damn skirt.

ImageBefore I forget….

Holla at my best friend Megan for taking a leap of faith, leaving her full-time job and pursuing something that will make her happy! I’m so proud to be surrounded by a brave woman like you. You’re an inspiration and I know this big risk will pay of tenfold! Let’s celebrate the way we do best – coffee or brunch

Image

Image

Have a great Friday!!

Questions:

  • What are you most looking forward to this weekend?
  • What’s your favorite race distance? Ever run an 8K and have some advice?
  • What’s your favorite season and why?
Advertisements

Frozen yogurt + the flower dilemma

Yesterday was a busy day!

You know how sometimes work just creeps up on you and all of a sudden **bam** you’re overwhelmed? Luckily I have coffee, snacks, and an insatiable need to sweat to keep me sane during busy times.
 
Breakfast today was so good!  I’ve been over hot foods lately thanks to the heat wave taking over the midwest, so a big bowl of cereal with fresh fruit and cold almond milk sounded perfect.
Image
Look I even got all artsy! You know you’re a foodie when you take the time to arrange your food so it looks good.  I had 1 cup of vanilla graham kashi cereal + half a banana and a handful of Michigan blueberries.  I drowned it all in almond milk while I went over my work for the day.
 
I did hit up the farmers market this morning after a visit to the gym (strength workout + 8 minute abs + 30 min elliptical workout).  There were some cool new finds there that I just had to snap some pictures of.
Image
Crazy colored tomatoes…how fun would it be to include these in some recipes? I feel like they would throw people off!
Image
Radishes chilling (literally) in ice.
Image
Peppers on peppers on peppers.  Anyone watch “Orange is the New Black”? That scene where Piper has to eat poblano peppers (or were they jalapenos?) was the craziest thing ever! I mean at the very least I’m sure she didn’t have any sinus problems for awhile.
Image
White eggplant?! Weird!
Image
Image
And of course some beautiful flowers! Flowers are such a dilemma.  They’re gorgeous and brighten up my day (and any room I put them in!) but they’re always expensive.  Plus, they just die three days after you buy them.  Believe me, I’ve had this argument with Zman many a time…they seem like a pointless gift. But there’s just something about flowers that makes everything better 🙂 They make what otherwise would be a monotonous day, special!
 
Wait–back to the title of this post.
I went to Lincoln Park last night to visit Megan for an outdoor yoga class. Well, long story short, we walked right past the class and marched into a frozen yogurt shop instead. Oh well, it was a long walk, right? 😉
Image
Breaking news: I may have found the best frozen yogurt in Chicagoland.
 
Forever Yogurt was exactly what a froyo place is supposed to be: over a dozen flavors, tonnnnns of toppings, and SAMPLE CUPS.  There is nothing I hate more than places without sample cups.  Look, I get it, high schoolers come into your store, eat their body weight in samples and then walk out.  But I’m a 22 year old woman with a serious decision-making problem so if you’re going to ask me to pick a flavor without sampling them all first, you’re nuts.
Image
Image
Image
After my sampling, I settled on pistachio cream with praline almonds. I went simple (which never happens) and it was less than $4 (which NEVER happens) and I left feeling satisfied, not sick with oreo/cookie dough/sprinkle overload.
Image
 
Yum!
 
Megan and I spent the rest of the night drinking Pinot Grigio and talking.  It was so refreshing to just sit and talk with a good friend.  A wonderful night!
 
Questions:
  • What’s your usual/favorite frozen yogurt combination?
 
 
 
 
 

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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!

Image

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.

Image

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:

Image

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.

Image

Image

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

bike

Happy Birthday, Megan! I love you!

Questions:

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

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

 

Image

Image

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)

Image

Heavenly.

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

Image

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!

Image

Image

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.

Image

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).

Image

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?

 

throwback friday

Today was a throwback! Why? I’ll get to that in a minute.

I woke up and went on a slow, scenic 5 mile run. The last mile of the run I did “that thing” where I sprinted during the refrain and walked during the verses of the song I was listening to. Does anyone else do that? It really pumps me up at the end of a run!

Nevertheless, it was a beautiful run.

Image

Image

Image

Post-run breakfast was peach oatmeal:

Image

Peach cobbler in a bowl. Yum.

Back to the throwback!

Megan and I went back to visit our high school today! It was a crazy bittersweet experience.  It’s funny how you can go back to high school and your teachers seem so much more like your peers.  Especially since some of our friends are going back and teaching there this year. It’s pretty bizarre!

Image

Image

Image

I found this picture of my choir from back in the day! See me in the top row? Crazy!

Dinner wasn’t anything special since my friends and I had a movie night planned (with plenty of snacks of course).

Image

Veggie burger with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, tomato, all on a lettuce wrap.

Movie night was another throwback:

Image

I made a jalapeno popper dip for the get together. I’ll post the recipe soon!

Image

It was a fun day spent with friends. Have a great weekend!

a day at the beach

It was a perfect 75 degrees in downtown Chicago today, complete with a beaming sun and comforting breeze. It was definitely a beach day.

I made plans to meet up with some friends at Oak Street Beach for the afternoon, so I knew I had to get a workout in beforehand.  On a day when you’re rocking a bikini you definitely have to have the confidence and endorphins in your body that only come from a good workout. 

Crazy enough, I’m still sore from Monday’s bootcamp workout, so I took it pretty easy and didn’t work the muscles that were still sore.

Image

I spy with my little eye….one of the only people working out in the gym!  I went on the elliptical for 45 minutes, alternating resistance every 5-10 minutes to keep it challenging.

Followed by the best and greatest ab workout of the past 30 years:

Image

Image

Oh 8 minute abs, you’ll never go out of style.

I got showered and ready to go, but of course didn’t miss breakfast.

Image

1 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch, 1 banana, 1.5 cups almond milk

I had to walk from my boyfriend’s apartment to the beach where my friends were.  I say “had to” like it was a tough walk, but really it looked something like this:

Image

Tough view, I know.

Well, besides getting burned (I’ll never learn) and being surrounded by a camp full of 11 year olds with iPhones (crazy), it was a gorgeous day at the beach.

Image

Image

After about 3 hours Megan and I got antsy, so we decided to leave and take a walk down Michigan Avenue.  Since Megan just moved back she hasn’t explored Chicago in awhile and it’s just so nice to stroll down the main streets, taking in the shops, sights, and everyday happenings of the city.

Image

Image

Hint: walk in, get free sample, walk out. Day=made

Image

Image

Image

One of the most interesting things happening this weekend in Chicago is the Windy City Rubber Duck Derby. It’s an event where people can “adopt” a rubber duck and watch as it is placed in the Chicago River and competes against other quacks in a floating race to the finish line.  The event benefits the Special Olympics, and I think it’s just one of the coolest ideas. Plus all the banners around town to “Adopt a Duck!” were too cute.

Image

We grabbed a late lunch before I had to catch the train home.

Image

I had a Nicoise Salad! It totally reminded me of my time studying abroad in Paris.  It was made up of tuna with capers, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, a few small roasted potatoes, tomatoes, and butter lettuce dressed with a Dijon vinaigrette.  Baguette on the side, of course 🙂  This was so refreshing and filling at the same time (and worth it, even though it was a very expensive middle-of-the-day meal).

I had just a few minutes to spare before I had to head to Union Station to catch the train home, but Megan and I knew we wanted to take a picture at The Bean for fun on such a sunny day.  The Bean, aka Cloud Gate (but you’ll never hear a Chicagoan call it that), is essentially a sculpture that sits in the middle of one of the biggest parks in Chicago (Millennium Park).  It won a design competition about a decade ago, and while some people said it wasn’t possible to construct and wouldn’t be popular anyway, it has become a Chicago sensation.

Image

I mean, come on! It’s just so unique.  There’s nothing in the world quite like seeing a reflection of yourself.

Image

Oh, and did I mention it’s Tourist Central? It’s always jam-packed with people trying to Instagram their reflection or come up with the coolest new pose to do in front of it with their friends. We just had to sneak a quick, cute picture in.  And I’m glad we did! It was the perfect ending to a long, fun day.

The train ride was longgggggggggg (and I almost got away without paying but my Honest Abe ways got the best of me).  It was made better by this (surprisingly) delicious iced coffee from Corner Bakery.

Image

Caffeine is appropriate no matter the hour.

I hope you all felt the sunshine in your cities today too! It finally feels like summer 🙂